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Sample records for functionally diverse proteins

  1. Diversity and functions of protein glycosylation in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walski, Tomasz; De Schutter, Kristof; Van Damme, Els J M; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-01

    The majority of proteins is modified with carbohydrate structures. This modification, called glycosylation, was shown to be crucial for protein folding, stability and subcellular location, as well as protein-protein interactions, recognition and signaling. Protein glycosylation is involved in multiple physiological processes, including embryonic development, growth, circadian rhythms, cell attachment as well as maintenance of organ structure, immunity and fertility. Although the general principles of glycosylation are similar among eukaryotic organisms, insects synthesize a distinct repertoire of glycan structures compared to plants and vertebrates. Consequently, a number of unique insect glycans mediate functions specific to this class of invertebrates. For instance, the core α1,3-fucosylation of N-glycans is absent in vertebrates, while in insects this modification is crucial for the development of wings and the nervous system. At present, most of the data on insect glycobiology comes from research in Drosophila. Yet, progressively more information on the glycan structures and the importance of glycosylation in other insects like beetles, caterpillars, aphids and bees is becoming available. This review gives a summary of the current knowledge and recent progress related to glycan diversity and function(s) of protein glycosylation in insects. We focus on N- and O-glycosylation, their synthesis, physiological role(s), as well as the molecular and biochemical basis of these processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Diversity, classification and function of the plant protein kinase superfamily

    OpenAIRE

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D.; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase r...

  3. BRICHOS - a superfamily of multidomain proteins with diverse functions

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    Johansson Jan

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The BRICHOS domain has been found in 8 protein families with a wide range of functions and a variety of disease associations, such as respiratory distress syndrome, dementia and cancer. The domain itself is thought to have a chaperone function, and indeed three of the families are associated with amyloid formation, but its structure and many of its functional properties are still unknown. Findings The proteins in the BRICHOS superfamily have four regions with distinct properties. We have analysed the BRICHOS proteins focusing on sequence conservation, amino acid residue properties, native disorder and secondary structure predictions. Residue conservation shows large variations between the regions, and the spread of residue conservation between different families can vary greatly within the regions. The secondary structure predictions for the BRICHOS proteins show remarkable coherence even where sequence conservation is low, and there seems to be little native disorder. Conclusions The greatly variant rates of conservation indicates different functional constraints among the regions and among the families. We present three previously unknown BRICHOS families; group A, which may be ancestral to the ITM2 families; group B, which is a close relative to the gastrokine families, and group C, which appears to be a truly novel, disjoint BRICHOS family. The C-terminal region of group C has nearly identical sequences in all species ranging from fish to man and is seemingly unique to this family, indicating critical functional or structural properties.

  4. PDZ-containing proteins: alternative splicing as a source of functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierralta, Jimena; Mendoza, Carolina

    2004-12-01

    Scaffold proteins allow specific protein complexes to be assembled in particular regions of the cell at which they organize subcellular structures and signal transduction complexes. This characteristic is especially important for neurons, which are highly polarized cells. Among the domains contained by scaffold proteins, the PSD-95, Discs-large, ZO-1 (PDZ) domains are of particular relevance in signal transduction processes and maintenance of neuronal and epithelial polarity. These domains are specialized in the binding of the carboxyl termini of proteins allowing membrane proteins to be localized by the anchoring to the cytoskeleton mediated by PDZ-containing scaffold proteins. In vivo studies carried out in Drosophila have taught that the role of many scaffold proteins is not limited to a single process; thus, in many cases the same genes are expressed in different tissues and participate in apparently very diverse processes. In addition to the differential expression of interactors of scaffold proteins, the expression of variants of these molecular scaffolds as the result of the alternative processing of the genes that encode them is proving to be a very important source of variability and complexity on a main theme. Alternative splicing in the nervous system is well documented, where specific isoforms play roles in neurotransmission, ion channel function, neuronal cell recognition, and are developmentally regulated making it a major mechanism of functional diversity. Here we review the current state of knowledge about the diversity and the known function of PDZ-containing proteins in Drosophila with emphasis in the role played by alternatively processed forms in the diversity of functions attributed to this family of proteins.

  5. Post-translational processing targets functionally diverse proteins in Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

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    Tacchi, Jessica L; Raymond, Benjamin B A; Haynes, Paul A; Berry, Iain J; Widjaja, Michael; Bogema, Daniel R; Woolley, Lauren K; Jenkins, Cheryl; Minion, F Chris; Padula, Matthew P; Djordjevic, Steven P

    2016-02-01

    Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is a genome-reduced, cell wall-less, bacterial pathogen with a predicted coding capacity of less than 700 proteins and is one of the smallest self-replicating pathogens. The cell surface of M. hyopneumoniae is extensively modified by processing events that target the P97 and P102 adhesin families. Here, we present analyses of the proteome of M. hyopneumoniae-type strain J using protein-centric approaches (one- and two-dimensional GeLC-MS/MS) that enabled us to focus on global processing events in this species. While these approaches only identified 52% of the predicted proteome (347 proteins), our analyses identified 35 surface-associated proteins with widely divergent functions that were targets of unusual endoproteolytic processing events, including cell adhesins, lipoproteins and proteins with canonical functions in the cytosol that moonlight on the cell surface. Affinity chromatography assays that separately used heparin, fibronectin, actin and host epithelial cell surface proteins as bait recovered cleavage products derived from these processed proteins, suggesting these fragments interact directly with the bait proteins and display previously unrecognized adhesive functions. We hypothesize that protein processing is underestimated as a post-translational modification in genome-reduced bacteria and prokaryotes more broadly, and represents an important mechanism for creating cell surface protein diversity. © 2016 The Authors.

  6. Mini Heme-Proteins: Designability of Structure and Diversity of Functions.

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    Rai, Jagdish

    2017-08-30

    Natural heme proteins may have heme bound to poly-peptide chain as a cofactor via noncovalent forces or heme as a prosthetic group may be covalently bound to the proteins. Nature has used porphyrins in diverse functions like electron transfer, oxidation, reduction, ligand binding, photosynthesis, signaling, etc. by modulating its properties through diverse protein matrices. Synthetic chemists have tried to utilize these molecules in equally diverse industrial and medical applications due to their versatile electro-chemical and optical properties. The heme iron has catalytic activity which can be modulated and enhanced for specific applications by protein matrix around it. Heme proteins can be designed into novel enzymes for sterio specific catalysis ranging from oxidation to reduction. These designed heme-proteins can have applications in industrial catalysis and biosensing. A peptide folds around heme easily due to hydrophobic effect of the large aromatic ring of heme. The directional property of co-ordinate bonding between peptide and metal ion in heme further specifies the structure. Therefore heme proteins can be easily designed for targeted structure and catalytic activity. The central aromatic chemical entity in heme viz. porphyrin is a very ancient molecule. Its presence in the prebiotic soup and in all forms of life suggests that it has played a vital role in the origin and progressive evolution of living organisms. Porphyrin macrocycles are highly conjugated systems composed of four modified pyrrole subunits interconnected at their α -carbon atoms via methine (=CH-) bridges. Initial minimalist models of hemoproteins focused on effect of heme-ligand co-ordinate bonding on chemical reactivity, spectroscopy, electrochemistry and magnetic properties of heme. The great sensitivity of these spectroscopic features of heme to its surrounding makes them extremely useful in structural elucidation of designed heme-peptide complexes. Therefore heme proteins are

  7. Evolutionary Conservation and Emerging Functional Diversity of the Cytosolic Hsp70:J Protein Chaperone Network of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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    Verma, Amit K; Diwan, Danish; Raut, Sandeep; Dobriyal, Neha; Brown, Rebecca E; Gowda, Vinita; Hines, Justin K; Sahi, Chandan

    2017-06-07

    Heat shock proteins of 70 kDa (Hsp70s) partner with structurally diverse Hsp40s (J proteins), generating distinct chaperone networks in various cellular compartments that perform myriad housekeeping and stress-associated functions in all organisms. Plants, being sessile, need to constantly maintain their cellular proteostasis in response to external environmental cues. In these situations, the Hsp70:J protein machines may play an important role in fine-tuning cellular protein quality control. Although ubiquitous, the functional specificity and complexity of the plant Hsp70:J protein network has not been studied. Here, we analyzed the J protein network in the cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana and, using yeast genetics, show that the functional specificities of most plant J proteins in fundamental chaperone functions are conserved across long evolutionary timescales. Detailed phylogenetic and functional analysis revealed that increased number, regulatory differences, and neofunctionalization in J proteins together contribute to the emerging functional diversity and complexity in the Hsp70:J protein network in higher plants. Based on the data presented, we propose that higher plants have orchestrated their "chaperome," especially their J protein complement, according to their specialized cellular and physiological stipulations. Copyright © 2017 Verma et al.

  8. Constraints on lateral gene transfer in promoting fimbrial usher protein diversity and function.

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    Stubenrauch, Christopher J; Dougan, Gordon; Lithgow, Trevor; Heinz, Eva

    2017-11-01

    Fimbriae are long, adhesive structures widespread throughout members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are multimeric extrusions, which are moved out of the bacterial cell through an integral outer membrane protein called usher. The complex folding mechanics of the usher protein were recently revealed to be catalysed by the membrane-embedded translocation and assembly module (TAM). Here, we examine the diversity of usher proteins across a wide range of extraintestinal (ExPEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) Escherichia coli , and further focus on a so far undescribed chaperone-usher system, with this usher referred to as UshC. The fimbrial system containing UshC is distributed across a discrete set of EPEC types, including model strains like E2348/67, as well as ExPEC ST131, currently the most prominent multi-drug-resistant uropathogenic E. coli strain worldwide. Deletion of the TAM from a naive strain of E. coli results in a drastic time delay in folding of UshC, which can be observed for a protein from EPEC as well as for two introduced proteins from related organisms, Yersinia and Enterobacter We suggest that this models why the TAM machinery is essential for efficient folding of proteins acquired via lateral gene transfer. © 2017 The Authors.

  9. RNAi pathways in Mucor: A tale of proteins, small RNAs and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa M

    2016-05-01

    The existence of an RNA-mediated silencing mechanism in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Mucor circinelloides was first described in the early 2000. Since then, Mucor has reached an outstanding position within the fungal kingdom as a model system to achieve a deeper understanding of regulation of endogenous functions by the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery. M. circinelloides combines diverse components of its RNAi machinery to carry out functions not only limited to the defense against invasive nucleic acids, but also to regulate expression of its own genes by producing different classes of endogenous small RNA molecules (esRNAs). The recent discovery of a novel RNase that participates in a new RNA degradation pathway adds more elements to the gene silencing-mediated regulation. This review focuses on esRNAs in M. circinelloides, the different pathways involved in their biogenesis, and their roles in regulating specific physiological and developmental processes in response to environmental signals, highlighting the complexity of silencing-mediated regulation in fungi. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Amino acid metabolism conflicts with protein diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Krick, Teresa; Shub, David A.; Verstraete, Nina; Ferreiro, Diego U.; Alonso, Leonardo G.; Shub, Michael; Sanchez, Ignacio E.

    2014-01-01

    The 20 protein-coding amino acids are found in proteomes with different relative abundances. The most abundant amino acid, leucine, is nearly an order of magnitude more prevalent than the least abundant amino acid, cysteine. Amino acid metabolic costs differ similarly, constraining their incorporation into proteins. On the other hand, a diverse set of protein sequences is necessary to build functional proteomes. Here, we present a simple model for a cost-diversity trade-off postulating that n...

  11. Expression of measles virus nucleoprotein induces apoptosis and modulates diverse functional proteins in cultured mammalian cells.

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    Ashima Bhaskar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Measles virus nucleoprotein (N encapsidates the viral RNA, protects it from endonucleases and forms a virus specific template for transcription and replication. It is the most abundant protein during viral infection. Its C-terminal domain is intrinsically disordered imparting it the flexibility to interact with several cellular and viral partners. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we demonstrate that expression of N within mammalian cells resulted in morphological transitions, nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation and activation of Caspase 3 eventuating into apoptosis. The rapid generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS was involved in the mechanism of cell death. Addition of ascorbic acid (AA or inhibitor of caspase-3 in the extracellular medium partially reversed N induced apoptosis. We also studied the protein profile of cells expressing N protein. MS analysis revealed the differential expression of 25 proteins out of which 11 proteins were up regulated while 14 show signs of down regulation upon N expression. 2DE results were validated by real time and semi quantitative RT-PCR analysis. CONCLUSION: These results show the pro-apoptotic effects of N indicating its possible development as an apoptogenic tool. Our 2DE results present prima facie evidence that the MV nucleoprotein interacts with or causes differential expression of a wide range of cellular factors. At this stage it is not clear as to what the adaptive response of the host cell is and what reflects a strategic modulation exerted by the virus.

  12. The diverse functions of the hepatitis B core/capsid protein (HBc) in the viral life cycle: Implications for the development of HBc-targeting antivirals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diab, Ahmed; Foca, Adrien; Zoulim, Fabien; Durantel, David; Andrisani, Ourania

    2018-01-01

    Virally encoded proteins have evolved to perform multiple functions, and the core protein (HBc) of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a perfect example. While HBc is the structural component of the viral nucleocapsid, additional novel functions for the nucleus-localized HBc have recently been described. These results extend for HBc, beyond its structural role, a regulatory function in the viral life cycle and potentially a role in pathogenesis. In this article, we review the diverse roles of HBc in HBV replication and pathogenesis, emphasizing how the unique structure of this protein is key to its various functions. We focus in particular on recent advances in understanding the significance of HBc phosphorylations, its interaction with host proteins and the role of HBc in regulating the transcription of host genes. We also briefly allude to the emerging niche for new direct-acting antivirals targeting HBc, known as Core (protein) Allosteric Modulators (CAMs). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Diverse mitotic functions of the cytoskeletal cross-linking protein Shortstop suggest a role in Dynein/Dynactin activity.

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    Dewey, Evan B; Johnston, Christopher A

    2017-09-15

    Proper assembly and orientation of the bipolar mitotic spindle is critical to the fidelity of cell division. Mitotic precision fundamentally contributes to cell fate specification, tissue development and homeostasis, and chromosome distribution within daughter cells. Defects in these events are thought to contribute to several human diseases. The underlying mechanisms that function in spindle morphogenesis and positioning remain incompletely defined, however. Here we describe diverse roles for the actin-microtubule cross-linker Shortstop (Shot) in mitotic spindle function in Drosophila Shot localizes to mitotic spindle poles, and its knockdown results in an unfocused spindle pole morphology and a disruption of proper spindle orientation. Loss of Shot also leads to chromosome congression defects, cell cycle progression delay, and defective chromosome segregation during anaphase. These mitotic errors trigger apoptosis in Drosophila epithelial tissue, and blocking this apoptotic response results in a marked induction of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition marker MMP-1. The actin-binding domain of Shot directly interacts with Actin-related protein-1 (Arp-1), a key component of the Dynein/Dynactin complex. Knockdown of Arp-1 phenocopies Shot loss universally, whereas chemical disruption of F-actin does so selectively. Our work highlights novel roles for Shot in mitosis and suggests a mechanism involving Dynein/Dynactin activation. © 2017 Dewey and Johnston. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Evidence for functional diversity between the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 and its closest related protein HVRP1.

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    Iris H Kim

    Full Text Available The Hv1 channel and voltage-sensitive phosphatases share with voltage-gated sodium, potassium, and calcium channels the ability to detect changes in membrane potential through voltage-sensing domains (VSDs. However, they lack the pore domain typical of these other channels. NaV, KV, and CaV proteins can be found in neurons and muscles, where they play important roles in electrical excitability. In contrast, VSD-containing proteins lacking a pore domain are found in non-excitable cells and are not involved in neuronal signaling. Here, we report the identification of HVRP1, a protein related to the Hv1 channel (from which the name Hv1 Related Protein 1 is derived, which we find to be expressed primarily in the central nervous system, and particularly in the cerebellum. Within the cerebellar tissue, HVRP1 is specifically expressed in granule neurons, as determined by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Analysis of subcellular distribution via electron microscopy and immunogold labeling reveals that the protein localizes on the post-synaptic side of contacts between glutamatergic mossy fibers and the granule cells. We also find that, despite the similarities in amino acid sequence and structural organization between Hv1 and HVRP1, the two proteins have distinct functional properties. The high conservation of HVRP1 in vertebrates and its cellular and subcellular localizations suggest an important function in the nervous system.

  15. A user's guide to functional diversity indices

    OpenAIRE

    Schleuter, D.; Daufresne, M.; Massol, F.; Argillier, C.

    2010-01-01

    Functional diversity is the diversity of species traits in ecosystems. This concept is increasingly used in ecological research, yet its formal definition and measurements are currently under discussion. As the overall behaviour and consistency of functional diversity indices have not been described so far, the novice user risks choosing an inaccurate index or a set of redundant indices to represent functional diversity. In our study we closely examine functional diversity indices to clari...

  16. Expression Profiling of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Genes Reveals Their Evolutionary and Functional Diversity in Different Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis Cultivars

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    Xiang Jin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis is the only commercially cultivated plant for producing natural rubber, one of the most essential industrial raw materials. Knowledge of the evolutionary and functional characteristics of kinases in H. brasiliensis is limited because of the long growth period and lack of well annotated genome information. Here, we reported mitogen-activated protein kinases in H. brasiliensis (HbMPKs by manually checking and correcting the rubber tree genome. Of the 20 identified HbMPKs, four members were validated by proteomic data. Protein motif and phylogenetic analyses classified these members into four known groups comprising Thr-Glu-Tyr (TEY and Thr-Asp-Tyr (TDY domains, respectively. Evolutionary and syntenic analyses suggested four duplication events: HbMPK3/HbMPK6, HbMPK8/HbMPK9/HbMPK15, HbMPK10/HbMPK12 and HbMPK11/HbMPK16/HbMPK19. Expression profiling of the identified HbMPKs in roots, stems, leaves and latex obtained from three cultivars with different latex yield ability revealed tissue- and variety-expression specificity of HbMPK paralogues. Gene expression patterns under osmotic, oxidative, salt and cold stresses, combined with cis-element distribution analyses, indicated different regulation patterns of HbMPK paralogues. Further, Ka/Ks and Tajima analyses suggested an accelerated evolutionary rate in paralogues HbMPK10/12. These results revealed HbMPKs have diverse functions in natural rubber biosynthesis, and highlighted the potential possibility of using MPKs to improve stress tolerance in future rubber tree breeding.

  17. Diversity and functional properties of bistable pigments.

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    Tsukamoto, Hisao; Terakita, Akihisa

    2010-11-01

    Rhodopsin and related opsin-based pigments, which are photosensitive membrane proteins, have been extensively studied using a wide variety of techniques, with rhodopsin being the most understood G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Animals use various opsin-based pigments for vision and a wide variety of non-visual functions. Many functionally varied pigments are roughly divided into two kinds, based on their photoreaction: bistable and monostable pigments. Bistable pigments are thermally stable before and after photo-activation, but monostable pigments are stable only before activation. Here, we review the diversity of bistable pigments and their molecular characteristics. We also discuss the mechanisms underlying different molecular characteristics of bistable and monostable pigments. In addition, the potential of bistable pigments as a GPCR model is proposed.

  18. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

  19. Functional Diversity of AAA+ Protease Complexes in Bacillus subtilis

    OpenAIRE

    Elsholz, Alexander K. W.; Birk, Marlene S.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Turgay, K?r?ad

    2017-01-01

    Here, we review the diverse roles and functions of AAA+ protease complexes in protein homeostasis, control of stress response and cellular development pathways by regulatory and general proteolysis in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. We discuss in detail the intricate involvement of AAA+ protein complexes in controlling sporulation, the heat shock response and the role of adaptor proteins in these processes. The investigation of these protein complexes and their adaptor pro...

  20. Effect of Functional diversity on Software Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Viswanatha Rao, Balajee

    2011-01-01

    For the past few decades, there has been numerous literature produced on functional diversity and performance. However, the relationship between functional diversity and performance in software industry is clearly not explained and results are found to be inconsistent. The main focus of this research is to explore the effects of functional diversity on software project performance by conducting a qualitative study. Four metrics were chosen from literature namely decision making, creativity an...

  1. Functional assignment to JEV proteins using SVM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahoo, Ganesh Chandra; Dikhit, Manas Ranjan; Das, Pradeep

    2008-01-01

    Identification of different protein functions facilitates a mechanistic understanding of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection and opens novel means for drug development. Support vector machines (SVM), useful for predicting the functional class of distantly related proteins, is employed to ascribe a possible functional class to Japanese encephalitis virus protein. Our study from SVMProt and available JE virus sequences suggests that structural and nonstructural proteins of JEV genome possibly belong to diverse protein functions, are expected to occur in the life cycle of JE virus. Protein functions common to both structural and non-structural proteins are iron-binding, metal-binding, lipid-binding, copper-binding, transmembrane, outer membrane, channels/Pores - Pore-forming toxins (proteins and peptides) group of proteins. Non-structural proteins perform functions like actin binding, zinc-binding, calcium-binding, hydrolases, Carbon-Oxygen Lyases, P-type ATPase, proteins belonging to major facilitator family (MFS), secreting main terminal branch (MTB) family, phosphotransfer-driven group translocators and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family group of proteins. Whereas structural proteins besides belonging to same structural group of proteins (capsid, structural, envelope), they also perform functions like nuclear receptor, antibiotic resistance, RNA-binding, DNA-binding, magnesium-binding, isomerase (intra-molecular), oxidoreductase and participate in type II (general) secretory pathway (IISP).

  2. Functional & phylogenetic diversity of copepod communities

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    Benedetti, F.; Ayata, S. D.; Blanco-Bercial, L.; Cornils, A.; Guilhaumon, F.

    2016-02-01

    The diversity of natural communities is classically estimated through species identification (taxonomic diversity) but can also be estimated from the ecological functions performed by the species (functional diversity), or from the phylogenetic relationships among them (phylogenetic diversity). Estimating functional diversity requires the definition of specific functional traits, i.e., phenotypic characteristics that impact fitness and are relevant to ecosystem functioning. Estimating phylogenetic diversity requires the description of phylogenetic relationships, for instance by using molecular tools. In the present study, we focused on the functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod surface communities in the Mediterranean Sea. First, we implemented a specific trait database for the most commonly-sampled and abundant copepod species of the Mediterranean Sea. Our database includes 191 species, described by seven traits encompassing diverse ecological functions: minimal and maximal body length, trophic group, feeding type, spawning strategy, diel vertical migration and vertical habitat. Clustering analysis in the functional trait space revealed that Mediterranean copepods can be gathered into groups that have different ecological roles. Second, we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree using the available sequences of 18S rRNA. Our tree included 154 of the analyzed Mediterranean copepod species. We used these two datasets to describe the functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod surface communities in the Mediterranean Sea. The replacement component (turn-over) and the species richness difference component (nestedness) of the beta diversity indices were identified. Finally, by comparing various and complementary aspects of plankton diversity (taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity) we were able to gain a better understanding of the relationships among the zooplankton community, biodiversity, ecosystem function, and environmental forcing.

  3. Protein Functionalized Nanodiamond Arrays

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    Liu YL

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Various nanoscale elements are currently being explored for bio-applications, such as in bio-images, bio-detection, and bio-sensors. Among them, nanodiamonds possess remarkable features such as low bio-cytotoxicity, good optical property in fluorescent and Raman spectra, and good photostability for bio-applications. In this work, we devise techniques to position functionalized nanodiamonds on self-assembled monolayer (SAMs arrays adsorbed on silicon and ITO substrates surface using electron beam lithography techniques. The nanodiamond arrays were functionalized with lysozyme to target a certain biomolecule or protein specifically. The optical properties of the nanodiamond-protein complex arrays were characterized by a high throughput confocal microscope. The synthesized nanodiamond-lysozyme complex arrays were found to still retain their functionality in interacting with E. coli.

  4. Functional aspects of protein flexibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilum, Kaare; Olsen, Johan G; Kragelund, Birthe B

    2009-01-01

    this into an intuitive perception of protein function is challenging. Flexibility is of overwhelming importance for protein function, and the changes in protein structure during interactions with binding partners can be dramatic. The present review addresses protein flexibility, focusing on protein-ligand interactions...

  5. Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda

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    Jan Michels

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Resilin is an elastomeric protein typically occurring in exoskeletons of arthropods. It is composed of randomly orientated coiled polypeptide chains that are covalently cross-linked together at regular intervals by the two unusual amino acids dityrosine and trityrosine forming a stable network with a high degree of flexibility and mobility. As a result of its molecular prerequisites, resilin features exceptional rubber-like properties including a relatively low stiffness, a rather pronounced long-range deformability and a nearly perfect elastic recovery. Within the exoskeleton structures, resilin commonly forms composites together with other proteins and/or chitin fibres. In the last decades, numerous exoskeleton structures with large proportions of resilin and various resilin functions have been described. Today, resilin is known to be responsible for the generation of deformability and flexibility in membrane and joint systems, the storage of elastic energy in jumping and catapulting systems, the enhancement of adaptability to uneven surfaces in attachment and prey catching systems, the reduction of fatigue and damage in reproductive, folding and feeding systems and the sealing of wounds in a traumatic reproductive system. In addition, resilin is present in many compound eye lenses and is suggested to be a very suitable material for optical elements because of its transparency and amorphousness. The evolution of this remarkable functional diversity can be assumed to have only been possible because resilin exhibits a unique combination of different outstanding properties.

  6. Tree species diversity promotes aboveground carbon storage through functional diversity and functional dominance.

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    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Assogbadjo, Achille E; Glèlè Kakaï, Romain; Seifert, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has increasingly been debated as the cornerstone of the processes behind ecosystem services delivery. Experimental and natural field-based studies have come up with nonconsistent patterns of biodiversity-ecosystem function, supporting either niche complementarity or selection effects hypothesis. Here, we used aboveground carbon (AGC) storage as proxy for ecosystem function in a South African mistbelt forest, and analyzed its relationship with species diversity, through functional diversity and functional dominance. We hypothesized that (1) diversity influences AGC through functional diversity and functional dominance effects; and (2) effects of diversity on AGC would be greater for functional dominance than for functional diversity. Community weight mean (CWM) of functional traits (wood density, specific leaf area, and maximum plant height) were calculated to assess functional dominance (selection effects). As for functional diversity (complementarity effects), multitrait functional diversity indices were computed. The first hypothesis was tested using structural equation modeling. For the second hypothesis, effects of environmental variables such as slope and altitude were tested first, and separate linear mixed-effects models were fitted afterward for functional diversity, functional dominance, and both. Results showed that AGC varied significantly along the slope gradient, with lower values at steeper sites. Species diversity (richness) had positive relationship with AGC, even when slope effects were considered. As predicted, diversity effects on AGC were mediated through functional diversity and functional dominance, suggesting that both the niche complementarity and the selection effects are not exclusively affecting carbon storage. However, the effects were greater for functional diversity than for functional dominance. Furthermore, functional dominance effects were strongly transmitted by CWM of

  7. Functional Diversity of AAA+ Protease Complexes in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsholz, Alexander K W; Birk, Marlene S; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Turgay, Kürşad

    2017-01-01

    Here, we review the diverse roles and functions of AAA+ protease complexes in protein homeostasis, control of stress response and cellular development pathways by regulatory and general proteolysis in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis . We discuss in detail the intricate involvement of AAA+ protein complexes in controlling sporulation, the heat shock response and the role of adaptor proteins in these processes. The investigation of these protein complexes and their adaptor proteins has revealed their relevance for Gram-positive pathogens and their potential as targets for new antibiotics.

  8. Functional Diversity of AAA+ Protease Complexes in Bacillus subtilis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsholz, Alexander K. W.; Birk, Marlene S.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Turgay, Kürşad

    2017-01-01

    Here, we review the diverse roles and functions of AAA+ protease complexes in protein homeostasis, control of stress response and cellular development pathways by regulatory and general proteolysis in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. We discuss in detail the intricate involvement of AAA+ protein complexes in controlling sporulation, the heat shock response and the role of adaptor proteins in these processes. The investigation of these protein complexes and their adaptor proteins has revealed their relevance for Gram-positive pathogens and their potential as targets for new antibiotics. PMID:28748186

  9. Architectures and Functional Coverage of Protein-Protein Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuncbag, Nurcan; Gursoy, Attila; Guney, Emre; Nussinov, Ruth; Keskin, Ozlem

    2008-01-01

    The diverse range of cellular functions is performed by a limited number of protein folds existing in nature. One may similarly expect that cellular functional diversity would be covered by a limited number of protein-protein interface architectures. Here, we present 8205 interface clusters, each representing unique interface architecture. This dataset of protein-protein interfaces is analyzed and compared with older datasets. We observe that the number of both biological and crystal interfaces increase significantly compared to the number of PDB entries. Further, we find that the number of distinct interface architectures grows at a much faster rate than the number of folds and is yet to level off. We further analyze the growth trend of the functional coverage by constructing functional interaction networks from interfaces. The functional coverage is also found to steadily increase. Interestingly, we also observe that despite the diversity of interface architectures, some are more favorable and frequently used, and of particular interest, those are the ones which are also preferred in single chains. PMID:18620705

  10. Inorganic pyrophosphatases: structural diversity serving the function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samygina, V. R.

    2016-05-01

    The review is devoted to ubiquitous enzymes, inorganic pyrophosphatases, which are essential in all living organisms. Despite the long history of investigations, these enzymes continue to attract interest. The review focuses on the three-dimensional structures of various representatives of this class of proteins. The structural diversity, the relationship between the structure and some properties of pyrophosphatases and various mechanisms of enzyme action related to the structural diversity of these enzymes are discussed. Interactions of pyrophosphatase with other proteins and possible practical applications are considered. The bibliography includes 56 references.

  11. Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naila O Alieva

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available GFP-like fluorescent proteins (FPs are the key color determinants in reef-building corals (class Anthozoa, order Scleractinia and are of considerable interest as potential genetically encoded fluorescent labels. Here we report 40 additional members of the GFP family from corals. There are three major paralogous lineages of coral FPs. One of them is retained in all sampled coral families and is responsible for the non-fluorescent purple-blue color, while each of the other two evolved a full complement of typical coral fluorescent colors (cyan, green, and red and underwent sorting between coral groups. Among the newly cloned proteins are a "chromo-red" color type from Echinopora forskaliana (family Faviidae and pink chromoprotein from Stylophora pistillata (Pocilloporidae, both evolving independently from the rest of coral chromoproteins. There are several cyan FPs that possess a novel kind of excitation spectrum indicating a neutral chromophore ground state, for which the residue E167 is responsible (numeration according to GFP from A. victoria. The chromoprotein from Acropora millepora is an unusual blue instead of purple, which is due to two mutations: S64C and S183T. We applied a novel probabilistic sampling approach to recreate the common ancestor of all coral FPs as well as the more derived common ancestor of three main fluorescent colors of the Faviina suborder. Both proteins were green such as found elsewhere outside class Anthozoa. Interestingly, a substantial fraction of the all-coral ancestral protein had a chromohore apparently locked in a non-fluorescent neutral state, which may reflect the transitional stage that enabled rapid color diversification early in the history of coral FPs. Our results highlight the extent of convergent or parallel evolution of the color diversity in corals, provide the foundation for experimental studies of evolutionary processes that led to color diversification, and enable a comparative analysis of

  12. Centrins in unicellular organisms: functional diversity and specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; He, Cynthia Y

    2012-07-01

    Centrins (also known as caltractins) are conserved, EF hand-containing proteins ubiquitously found in eukaryotes. Similar to calmodulins, the calcium-binding EF hands in centrins fold into two structurally similar domains separated by an alpha-helical linker region, shaping like a dumbbell. The small size (15-22 kDa) and domain organization of centrins and their functional diversity/specialization make them an ideal system to study protein structure-function relationship. Here, we review the work on centrins with a focus on their structures and functions characterized in unicellular organisms.

  13. Functional diversity changes during tropical forest succession.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Poorter, L.; Paz, H.; Breugel, van M.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Bongers, F.

    2012-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) ‘those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions’ is a promising tool to assess the effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning. FD has received ample theoretical attention, but empirical studies are limited. We evaluate

  14. NAC transcription factors: structurally distinct, functionally diverse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Addie Nina; Ernst, Heidi A; Leggio, Leila Lo

    2005-01-01

    level and localization, and to the first indications of NAC participation in transcription factor networks. The recent determination of the DNA and protein binding NAC domain structure offers insight into the molecular functions of the protein family. Research into NAC transcription factors has......NAC proteins constitute one of the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors, and the family is present in a wide range of land plants. Here, we summarize the biological and molecular functions of the NAC family, paying particular attention to the intricate regulation of NAC protein...

  15. Assessing functional diversity by program slicing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, D.R.; Lyle, J.R.; Gallagher, K.B.; Ippolito, L.M.

    1994-01-01

    A responsibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission auditors is to provide assessments of the quality of the safety systems. For software, the audit process as currently implemented is a slow, tedious, manual process prone to human errors. While auditors cannot possibly examine all components of the system in complete detail, they do check for implementation of specific principles like functional diversity. This paper describes an experimental prototype Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool, UNRAVEL, designed to enable auditors to check for functional diversity and aid an auditor in examining software by extracting all code relevant to a computation identified for detailed inspection

  16. Diversity of function in the isocitrate lyase enzyme superfamily: the Dianthus caryophyllus petal death protein cleaves alpha-keto and alpha-hydroxycarboxylic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhibing; Feng, Xiaohua; Song, Ling; Han, Ying; Kim, Alexander; Herzberg, Osnat; Woodson, William R; Martin, Brian M; Mariano, Patrick S; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra

    2005-12-20

    The work described in this paper was carried out to define the chemical function a new member of the isocitrate lyase enzyme family derived from the flowering plant Dianthus caryophyllus. This protein (Swiss-Prot entry Q05957) is synthesized in the senescent flower petals and is named the "petal death protein" or "PDP". On the basis of an analysis of the structural contexts of sequence markers common to the C-C bond lyases of the isocitrate lyase/phosphoenolpyruvate mutase superfamily, a substrate screen that employed a (2R)-malate core structure was designed. Accordingly, stereochemically defined C(2)- and C(3)-substituted malates were synthesized and tested as substrates for PDP-catalyzed cleavage of the C(2)-C(3) bond. The screen identified (2R)-ethyl, (3S)-methylmalate, and oxaloacetate [likely to bind as the hydrate, C(2)(OH)(2) gem-diol] as the most active substrates (for each, k(cat)/K(m) = 2 x 10(4) M(-)(1) s(-)(1)). In contrast to the stringent substrate specificities previously observed for the Escherichia coli isocitrate and 2-methylisocitrate lyases, the PDP tolerated hydrogen, methyl, and to a much lesser extent acetate substituents at the C(3) position (S configuration only) and hydoxyl, methyl, ethyl, propyl, and to a much lesser extent isobutyl substituents at C(2) (R configuration only). It is hypothesized that PDP functions in oxalate production in Ca(2+) sequestering and/or in carbon scavenging from alpha-hydroxycarboxylate catabolites during the biochemical transition accompanying petal senescence.

  17. Predicting estuarine benthic production using functional diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Dolbeth

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We considered an estuarine system having naturally low levels of diversity, but attaining considerable high production levels, and being subjected to different sorts of anthropogenic impacts and climate events to investigate the relationship between diversity and secondary production. Functional diversity measures were used to predict benthic production, which is considered as a proxy of the ecosystem provisioning services. To this end, we used a 14-year dataset on benthic invertebrate community production from a seagrass and a sandflat habitat and we adopted a sequential modeling approach, where abiotic, trait community weighted means (CWM and functional diversity indices were tested by generalized linear models (GLM, and their significant variables were then combined to produce a final model. Almost 90% of variance of the benthic production could be predicted by combining the number of locomotion types, the absolute maximum atmospheric temperature (proxy of the heat waves occurrence, the type of habitat and the mean body mass, by order of importance. This result is in agreement with the mass ratio hypothesis, where ecosystem functions/services can be chiefly predicted by the dominant trait in the community, here measured as CWM. The increase of benthic production with the number of locomotion types may be seen as greater possibility of using the resources available in the system. Such greater efficiency would increase production. The other variables were also discussed in line of the previous hypothesis and taking into account the general positive relationship obtained between production and functional diversity indices. Overall, it was concluded that traits representative of wider possibilities of using available resources and higher functional diversity are related with higher benthic production.

  18. Nutritional and functional properties of whey proteins concentrate and isolate

    OpenAIRE

    Zoran Herceg; Anet Režek

    2006-01-01

    Whey protein fractions represent 18 - 20 % of total milk nitrogen content. Nutritional value in addition to diverse physico - chemical and functional properties make whey proteins highly suitable for application in foodstuffs. In the most cases, whey proteins are used because of their functional properties. Whey proteins possess favourable functional characteristics such as gelling, water binding, emulsification and foaming ability. Due to application of new process techniques (membrane fract...

  19. Diversity in protein glycosylation among insect species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianni Vandenborre

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A very common protein modification in multicellular organisms is protein glycosylation or the addition of carbohydrate structures to the peptide backbone. Although the Class of the Insecta is the largest animal taxon on Earth, almost all information concerning glycosylation in insects is derived from studies with only one species, namely the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, the differences in glycoproteomes between insects belonging to several economically important insect orders were studied. Using GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin affinity chromatography, different sets of glycoproteins with mannosyl-containing glycan structures were purified from the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum, the silkworm (Bombyx mori, the honeybee (Apis mellifera, the fruit fly (D. melanogaster and the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum. To identify and characterize the purified glycoproteins, LC-MS/MS analysis was performed. For all insect species, it was demonstrated that glycoproteins were related to a broad range of biological processes and molecular functions. Moreover, the majority of glycoproteins retained on the GNA column were unique to one particular insect species and only a few glycoproteins were present in the five different glycoprotein sets. Furthermore, these data support the hypothesis that insect glycoproteins can be decorated with mannosylated O-glycans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results presented here demonstrate that oligomannose N-glycosylation events are highly specific depending on the insect species. In addition, we also demonstrated that protein O-mannosylation in insect species may occur more frequently than currently believed.

  20. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Grain proteins from 20 Indian wheat genotypes were evaluated for diversity assessment based seed storage protein profiling on sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Genetic diversity was evaluated using Nei's index, Shannon index and Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic ...

  1. Exploring the diversity of protein modifications: special bacterial phosphorylation systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mijakovic, Ivan; Grangeasse, Christophe; Turgay, Kürşad

    2016-01-01

    Protein modifications not only affect protein homeostasis but can also establish new cellular protein functions and are important components of complex cellular signal sensing and transduction networks. Among these post-translational modifications, protein phosphorylation represents the one that ...

  2. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  3. Exchange Protein Directly Activated by cAMP (epac) : A Multidomain cAMP Mediator in the Regulation of Diverse Biological Functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt, Martina; Dekker, Frank J.; Maarsingh, Harm

    Since the discovery nearly 60 years ago, cAMP is envisioned as one of the most universal and versatile second messengers. The tremendous feature of cAMP to tightly control highly diverse physiologic processes, including calcium homeostasis, metabolism, secretion, muscle contraction, cell fate, and

  4. Nutritional and functional properties of whey proteins concentrate and isolate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran Herceg

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Whey protein fractions represent 18 - 20 % of total milk nitrogen content. Nutritional value in addition to diverse physico - chemical and functional properties make whey proteins highly suitable for application in foodstuffs. In the most cases, whey proteins are used because of their functional properties. Whey proteins possess favourable functional characteristics such as gelling, water binding, emulsification and foaming ability. Due to application of new process techniques (membrane fractionation techniques, it is possible to produce various whey - protein based products. The most important products based on the whey proteins are whey protein concentrates (WPC and whey protein isolates (WPI. The aim of this paper was to give comprehensive review of nutritional and functional properties of the most common used whey proteins (whey protein concentrate - WPC and whey protein isolate - WPI in the food industry.

  5. Scoring functions for protein-protein interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moal, Iain H; Moretti, Rocco; Baker, David; Fernández-Recio, Juan

    2013-12-01

    The computational evaluation of protein-protein interactions will play an important role in organising the wealth of data being generated by high-throughput initiatives. Here we discuss future applications, report recent developments and identify areas requiring further investigation. Many functions have been developed to quantify the structural and energetic properties of interacting proteins, finding use in interrelated challenges revolving around the relationship between sequence, structure and binding free energy. These include loop modelling, side-chain refinement, docking, multimer assembly, affinity prediction, affinity change upon mutation, hotspots location and interface design. Information derived from models optimised for one of these challenges can be used to benefit the others, and can be unified within the theoretical frameworks of multi-task learning and Pareto-optimal multi-objective learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Diversity and functions of intestinal mononuclear phagocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joeris, Thorsten; Müller-Luda, K; Agace, William Winston

    2017-01-01

    The intestinal lamina propria (LP) contains a diverse array of mononuclear phagocyte (MNP) subsets, including conventional dendritic cells (cDC), monocytes and tissue-resident macrophages (mφ) that collectively play an essential role in mucosal homeostasis, infection and inflammation. In the curr......The intestinal lamina propria (LP) contains a diverse array of mononuclear phagocyte (MNP) subsets, including conventional dendritic cells (cDC), monocytes and tissue-resident macrophages (mφ) that collectively play an essential role in mucosal homeostasis, infection and inflammation....... In the current review we discuss the function of intestinal cDC and monocyte-derived MNP, highlighting how these subsets play several non-redundant roles in the regulation of intestinal immune responses. While much remains to be learnt, recent findings also underline how the various populations of MNP adapt...

  7. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  8. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  9. Diverse role of CBL-interacting protein kinases in plant

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    admin

    Diverse role of CBL-interacting protein kinases in plant. Most of the extracellular and ... to their role in stress signalling. Their role in transport of plant hormone auxin and mechanism of action in stress response shed new light on diverse role of.

  10. The SpTransformer Gene Family (Formerly Sp185/333) in the Purple Sea Urchin and the Functional Diversity of the Anti-Pathogen rSpTransformer-E1 Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L. Courtney; Lun, Cheng Man

    2017-01-01

    The complex innate immune system of sea urchins is underpinned by several multigene families including the SpTransformer family (SpTrf; formerly Sp185/333) with estimates of ~50 members, although the family size is likely variable among individuals of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. The genes are small with similar structure, are tightly clustered, and have several types of repeats in the second of two exons and that surround each gene. The density of repeats suggests that the genes are positioned within regions of genomic instability, which may be required to drive sequence diversification. The second exon encodes the mature protein and is composed of blocks of sequence called elements that are present in mosaics of defined element patterns and are the major source of sequence diversity. The SpTrf genes respond swiftly to immune challenge, but only a single gene is expressed per phagocyte. Many of the mRNAs appear to be edited and encode proteins with altered and/or missense sequence that are often truncated, of which some may be functional. The standard SpTrf protein structure is an N-terminal glycine-rich region, a central RGD motif, a histidine-rich region, and a C-terminal region. Function is predicted from a recombinant protein, rSpTransformer-E1 (rSpTrf-E1), which binds to Vibrio and Saccharomyces, but not to Bacillus, and binds tightly to lipopolysaccharide, β-1,3-glucan, and flagellin, but not to peptidoglycan. rSpTrf-E1 is intrinsically disordered but transforms to α helical structure in the presence of binding targets including lipopolysaccharide, which may underpin the characteristics of binding to multiple targets. SpTrf proteins associate with coelomocyte membranes, and rSpTrf-E1 binds specifically to phosphatidic acid (PA). When rSpTrf-E1 is bound to PA in liposome membranes, it induces morphological changes in liposomes that correlate with PA clustering and leakage of luminal contents, and it extracts or removes PA from the bilayer. The

  11. The Emerging and Diverse Roles of Src-Like Adaptor Proteins in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolett Marton

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Src-like adaptor proteins (SLAP-1 and SLAP-2 were mainly studied in lymphocytes, where they act as negative regulators and provide fine control of receptor signaling, recently, several other functions of these proteins were discovered. In addition to the well-characterized immunoregulatory functions, SLAP proteins appear to have an essential role in the pathogenesis of type I hypersensitivity, osteoporosis, and numerous malignant diseases. Both adaptor proteins are expressed in a wide variety of tissues, where they have mostly inhibitory effects on multiple intracellular signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize the diverse effects of SLAP proteins.

  12. Fungal endophytes: diversity and functional roles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, R.J.; White, J.F.; Arnold, A.E.; Redman, R.S.

    2009-01-01

    All plants in natural ecosystems appear to be symbiotic with fungal endophytes. This highly diverse group of fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities through increasing fitness by conferring abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, increasing biomass and decreasing water consumption, or decreasing fitness by altering resource allocation. Despite more than 100 yr of research resulting in thousands of journal articles, the ecological significance of these fungi remains poorly characterized. Historically, two endophytic groups (clavicipitaceous (C) and nonclavicipitaceous (NC)) have been discriminated based on phylogeny and life history traits. Here, we show that NC-endophytes represent three distinct functional groups based on host colonization and transmission, in planta biodiversity and fitness benefits conferred to hosts. Using this framework, we contrast the life histories, interactions with hosts and potential roles in plant ecophysiology of C- and NC-endophytes, and highlight several key questions for future work in endophyte biology.

  13. Structural symmetry and protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodsell, D S; Olson, A J

    2000-01-01

    The majority of soluble and membrane-bound proteins in modern cells are symmetrical oligomeric complexes with two or more subunits. The evolutionary selection of symmetrical oligomeric complexes is driven by functional, genetic, and physicochemical needs. Large proteins are selected for specific morphological functions, such as formation of rings, containers, and filaments, and for cooperative functions, such as allosteric regulation and multivalent binding. Large proteins are also more stable against denaturation and have a reduced surface area exposed to solvent when compared with many individual, smaller proteins. Large proteins are constructed as oligomers for reasons of error control in synthesis, coding efficiency, and regulation of assembly. Symmetrical oligomers are favored because of stability and finite control of assembly. Several functions limit symmetry, such as interaction with DNA or membranes, and directional motion. Symmetry is broken or modified in many forms: quasisymmetry, in which identical subunits adopt similar but different conformations; pleomorphism, in which identical subunits form different complexes; pseudosymmetry, in which different molecules form approximately symmetrical complexes; and symmetry mismatch, in which oligomers of different symmetries interact along their respective symmetry axes. Asymmetry is also observed at several levels. Nearly all complexes show local asymmetry at the level of side chain conformation. Several complexes have reciprocating mechanisms in which the complex is asymmetric, but, over time, all subunits cycle through the same set of conformations. Global asymmetry is only rarely observed. Evolution of oligomeric complexes may favor the formation of dimers over complexes with higher cyclic symmetry, through a mechanism of prepositioned pairs of interacting residues. However, examples have been found for all of the crystallographic point groups, demonstrating that functional need can drive the evolution of

  14. Functional diversity in plant communities: Theory and analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant functional diversity in community has become a key point in ecology studies recently. The development of species functional diversity was reviewed in the present work. Based on the former original research papers and reviews, we discussed the concept and connotation and put forward a new definition of functional ...

  15. Phospholipid liposomes functionalized by protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glukhova, O. E.; Savostyanov, G. V.; Grishina, O. A.

    2015-03-01

    Finding new ways to deliver neurotrophic drugs to the brain in newborns is one of the contemporary problems of medicine and pharmaceutical industry. Modern researches in this field indicate the promising prospects of supramolecular transport systems for targeted drug delivery to the brain which can overcome the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Thus, the solution of this problem is actual not only for medicine, but also for society as a whole because it determines the health of future generations. Phospholipid liposomes due to combination of lipo- and hydrophilic properties are considered as the main future objects in medicine for drug delivery through the BBB as well as increasing their bioavailability and toxicity. Liposomes functionalized by various proteins were used as transport systems for ease of liposomes use. Designing of modification oligosaccharide of liposomes surface is promising in the last decade because it enables the delivery of liposomes to specific receptor of human cells by selecting ligand and it is widely used in pharmacology for the treatment of several diseases. The purpose of this work is creation of a coarse-grained model of bilayer of phospholipid liposomes, functionalized by specific to the structural elements of the BBB proteins, as well as prediction of the most favorable orientation and position of the molecules in the generated complex by methods of molecular docking for the formation of the structure. Investigation of activity of the ligand molecule to protein receptor of human cells by the methods of molecular dynamics was carried out.

  16. DNA mimic proteins: functions, structures, and bioinformatic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hao-Ching; Ho, Chun-Han; Hsu, Kai-Cheng; Yang, Jinn-Moon; Wang, Andrew H-J

    2014-05-13

    DNA mimic proteins have DNA-like negative surface charge distributions, and they function by occupying the DNA binding sites of DNA binding proteins to prevent these sites from being accessed by DNA. DNA mimic proteins control the activities of a variety of DNA binding proteins and are involved in a wide range of cellular mechanisms such as chromatin assembly, DNA repair, transcription regulation, and gene recombination. However, the sequences and structures of DNA mimic proteins are diverse, making them difficult to predict by bioinformatic search. To date, only a few DNA mimic proteins have been reported. These DNA mimics were not found by searching for functional motifs in their sequences but were revealed only by structural analysis of their charge distribution. This review highlights the biological roles and structures of 16 reported DNA mimic proteins. We also discuss approaches that might be used to discover new DNA mimic proteins.

  17. Diversity and evolution of ABC proteins in basidiomycetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalchuk, Andriy; Lee, Yong-Hwan; Asiegbu, Fred O

    2013-01-01

    ABC proteins constitute one of the largest families of proteins. They are implicated in wide variety of cellular processes ranging from ribosome biogenesis to multidrug resistance. With the advance of fungal genomics, the number of known fungal ABC proteins increases rapidly but the information on their biological functions remains scarce. In this work we extended the previous analysis of fungal ABC proteins to include recently sequenced species of basidiomycetes. We performed an identification and initial cataloging of ABC proteins from 23 fungal species representing 10 orders within class Agaricomycotina. We identified more than 1000 genes coding for ABC proteins. Comparison of sets of ABC proteins present in basidiomycetes and ascomycetes revealed the existence of two groups of ABC proteins specific for basidiomycetes. Results of survey should contribute to the better understanding of evolution of ABC proteins in fungi and support further experimental work on their characterization.

  18. A note on reliability estimation of functionally diverse systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Littlewood, B.; Popov, P.; Strigini, L.

    1999-01-01

    It has been argued that functional diversity might be a plausible means of claiming independence of failures between two versions of a system. We present a model of functional diversity, in the spirit of earlier models of diversity such as those of Eckhardt and Lee, and Hughes. In terms of the model, we show that the claims for independence between functionally diverse systems seem rather unrealistic. Instead, it seems likely that functionally diverse systems will exhibit positively correlated failures, and thus will be less reliable than an assumption of independence would suggest. The result does not, of course, suggest that functional diversity is not worthwhile; instead, it places upon the evaluator of such a system the onus to estimate the degree of dependence so as to evaluate the reliability of the system

  19. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  20. Land use change has stronger effects on functional diversity than taxonomic diversity in tropical Andean hummingbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco, Boris A; Santillán, Vinicio E; Graham, Catherine H

    2018-03-01

    Land use change modifies the environment at multiple spatial scales, and is a main driver of species declines and deterioration of ecosystem services. However, most of the research on the effects of land use change has focused on taxonomic diversity, while functional diversity, an important predictor of ecosystem services, is often neglected. We explored how local and landscape scale characteristics influence functional and taxonomic diversity of hummingbirds in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador. Data was collected in six landscapes along a land use gradient, from an almost intact landscape to one dominated by cattle pastures. We used point counts to sample hummingbirds from 2011 to 2012 to assessed how local factors (i.e., vegetation structure, flowering plants richness, nectar availability) and landscape factors (i.e., landscape heterogeneity, native vegetation cover) influenced taxonomic and functional diversity. Then, we analyzed environment - trait relationships (RLQ test) to explore how different hummingbird functional traits influenced species responses to these factors. Taxonomic and functional diversity of hummingbirds were positively associated with landscape heterogeneity but only functional diversity was positively related to native vegetation coverage. We found a weak response of taxonomic and functional diversity to land use change at the local scale. Environment-trait associations showed that body mass of hummingbirds likely influenced species sensitivity to land use change. In conclusion, landscape heterogeneity created by land use change can positively influence hummingbird taxonomic and functional diversity; however, a reduction of native vegetation cover could decrease functional diversity. Given that functional diversity can mediate ecosystem services, the conservation of native vegetation cover could play a key role in the maintenance of hummingbird pollination services in the tropical Andes. Moreover, there are particular functional

  1. Low Functional β-Diversity Despite High Taxonomic β-Diversity among Tropical Estuarine Fish Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Miranda, Julia Ramos; Hernandez, Domingo Flores; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    The concept of β-diversity, defined as dissimilarity among communities, has been widely used to investigate biodiversity patterns and community assembly rules. However, in ecosystems with high taxonomic β-diversity, due to marked environmental gradients, the level of functional β-diversity among communities is largely overlooked while it may reveal processes shaping community structure. Here, decomposing biodiversity indices into α (local) and γ (regional) components, we estimated taxonomic and functional β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities, through space and time. We found extremely low functional β-diversity values among fish communities (diversities, α and γ functional diversities were very close to the minimal value. These patterns were caused by two dominant functional groups which maintained a similar functional structure over space and time, despite the strong dissimilarity in taxonomic structure along environmental gradients. Our findings suggest that taxonomic and functional β-diversity deserve to be quantified simultaneously since these two facets can show contrasting patterns and the differences can in turn shed light on community assembly rules. PMID:22792395

  2. Protein chimerism: novel source of protein diversity in humans adds complexity to bottom-up proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado-Vela, Juan; Lacal, Juan Carlos; Elortza, Felix

    2013-01-01

    Three main molecular mechanisms are considered to contribute expanding the repertoire and diversity of proteins present in living organisms: first, at DNA level (gene polymorphisms and single nucleotide polymorphisms); second, at messenger RNA (pre-mRNA and mRNA) level including alternative splicing (also termed differential splicing or cis-splicing); finally, at the protein level mainly driven through PTM and specific proteolytic cleavages. Chimeric mRNAs constitute an alternative source of protein diversity, which can be generated either by chromosomal translocations or by trans-splicing events. The occurrence of chimeric mRNAs and proteins is a frequent event in cells from the immune system and cancer cells, mainly as a consequence of gene rearrangements. Recent reports support that chimeric proteins may also be expressed at low levels under normal physiological circumstances, thus, representing a novel source of protein diversity. Notably, recent publications demonstrate that chimeric protein products can be successfully identified through bottom-up proteomic analyses. Several questions remain unsolved, such as the physiological role and impact of such chimeric proteins or the potential occurrence of chimeric proteins in higher eukaryotic organisms different from humans. The occurrence of chimeric proteins certainly seems to be another unforeseen source of complexity for the proteome. It may be a process to take in mind not only when performing bottom-up proteomic analyses in cancer studies but also in general bottom-up proteomics experiments. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Hydrophobicity diversity in globular and nonglobular proteins measured with the Gini index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2017-12-01

    Amino acids and their properties are variably distributed in proteins and different compositions determine all protein features, ranging from solubility to stability and functionality. Gini index, a tool to estimate distribution uniformity, is widely used in macroeconomics and has numerous statistical applications. Here, Gini index is used to analyze the distribution of hydrophobicity in proteins and to compare hydrophobicity distribution in globular and intrinsically disordered proteins. Based on the analysis of carefully selected high-quality data sets of proteins extracted from the Protein Data Bank (http://www.rcsb.org) and from the DisProt database (http://www.disprot.org/), it is observed that hydrophobicity is distributed in a more diverse way in intrinsically disordered proteins than in folded and soluble globular proteins. This correlates with the observation that the amino acid composition deviates from the uniformity (estimate with the Shannon and the Gini-Simpson indices) more in intrinsically disordered proteins than in globular and soluble proteins. Although statistical tools tike the Gini index have received little attention in molecular biology, these results show that they allow one to estimate sequence diversity and that they are useful to delineate trends that can hardly be described, otherwise, in simple and concise ways. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Functional divergence outlines the evolution of novel protein ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-10-01

    Oct 1, 2013 ... identified a number of vital amino acid sites which contribute to predicted functional diversity. We have ... Taking this into account, in this study we looked into the possibility of ... to the structure of NifH protein and solubility accessibility of ..... ment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties.

  5. Protein change in plant evolution: tracing one thread connecting molecular and phenotypic diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madelaine eBartlett

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Proteins change over the course of evolutionary time. New protein-coding genes and gene families emerge and diversify, ultimately affecting an organism’s phenotype and interactions with its environment. Here we survey the range of structural protein change observed in plants and review the role these changes have had in the evolution of plant form and function. Verified examples tying evolutionary change in protein structure to phenotypic change remain scarce. We will review the existing examples, as well as draw from investigations into domestication, and quantitative trait locus (QTL cloning studies searching for the molecular underpinnings of natural variation. The evolutionary significance of many cloned QTL has not been assessed, but all the examples identified so far have begun to reveal the extent of protein structural diversity tolerated in natural systems. This molecular (and phenotypic diversity could come to represent part of natural selection’s source material in the adaptive evolution of novel traits. Protein structure and function can change in many distinct ways, but the changes we identified in studies of natural diversity and protein evolution were predicted to fall primarily into one of six categories: altered active and binding sites; hypomorphic and hypermorphic alleles; altered protein-protein interactions; altered domain content; altered protein stability; and altered activity as an activator or repressor. Variability was also observed in the evolutionary scale at which particular changes were observed. Some changes were detected at both micro- and macroevolutionary timescales, while others were observed primarily at deep or shallow phylogenetic levels. This variation might be used to determine the trajectory of future investigations in structural molecular evolution.

  6. Dynamic protein S-palmitoylation mediates parasite life cycle progression and diverse mechanisms of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert W B; Sharma, Aabha I; Engman, David M

    2017-04-01

    Eukaryotic parasites possess complex life cycles and utilize an assortment of molecular mechanisms to overcome physical barriers, suppress and/or bypass the host immune response, including invading host cells where they can replicate in a protected intracellular niche. Protein S-palmitoylation is a dynamic post-translational modification in which the fatty acid palmitate is covalently linked to cysteine residues on proteins by the enzyme palmitoyl acyltransferase (PAT) and can be removed by lysosomal palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) or cytosolic acyl-protein thioesterase (APT). In addition to anchoring proteins to intracellular membranes, functions of dynamic palmitoylation include - targeting proteins to specific intracellular compartments via trafficking pathways, regulating the cycling of proteins between membranes, modulating protein function and regulating protein stability. Recent studies in the eukaryotic parasites - Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma brucei, Cryptococcus neoformans and Giardia lamblia - have identified large families of PATs and palmitoylated proteins. Many palmitoylated proteins are important for diverse aspects of pathogenesis, including differentiation into infective life cycle stages, biogenesis and tethering of secretory organelles, assembling the machinery powering motility and targeting virulence factors to the plasma membrane. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge of palmitoylation in eukaryotic parasites, highlighting five exemplary mechanisms of parasite virulence dependent on palmitoylation.

  7. Insights into Hox protein function from a large scale combinatorial analysis of protein domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Merabet

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein function is encoded within protein sequence and protein domains. However, how protein domains cooperate within a protein to modulate overall activity and how this impacts functional diversification at the molecular and organism levels remains largely unaddressed. Focusing on three domains of the central class Drosophila Hox transcription factor AbdominalA (AbdA, we used combinatorial domain mutations and most known AbdA developmental functions as biological readouts to investigate how protein domains collectively shape protein activity. The results uncover redundancy, interactivity, and multifunctionality of protein domains as salient features underlying overall AbdA protein activity, providing means to apprehend functional diversity and accounting for the robustness of Hox-controlled developmental programs. Importantly, the results highlight context-dependency in protein domain usage and interaction, allowing major modifications in domains to be tolerated without general functional loss. The non-pleoitropic effect of domain mutation suggests that protein modification may contribute more broadly to molecular changes underlying morphological diversification during evolution, so far thought to rely largely on modification in gene cis-regulatory sequences.

  8. Resource diversity and provenance underpin spatial patterns in functional diversity across native and exotic species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez, Verónica; Wood, Jamie R; Butler, Simon J

    2018-05-01

    Functional diversity metrics are increasingly used to augment or replace taxonomic diversity metrics to deliver more mechanistic insights into community structure and function. Metrics used to describe landscape structure and characteristics share many of the same limitations as taxonomy-based metrics, particularly their reliance on anthropogenically defined typologies with little consideration of structure, management, or function. However, the development of alternative metrics to describe landscape characteristics has been limited. Here, we extend the functional diversity framework to characterize landscapes based on the diversity of resources available across habitats present. We then examine the influence of resource diversity and provenance on the functional diversities of native and exotic avian communities in New Zealand. Invasive species are increasingly prevalent and considered a global threat to ecosystem function, but the characteristics of and interactions between sympatric native and exotic communities remain unresolved. Understanding their comparative responses to environmental change and the mechanisms underpinning them is of growing importance in predicting community dynamics and changing ecosystem function. We use (i) matrices of resource use (species) and resource availability (habitats) and (ii) occurrence data for 62 native and 25 exotic species and 19 native and 13 exotic habitats in 2015 10 × 10 km quadrats to examine the relationship between native and exotic avian and landscape functional diversity. The numbers of species in, and functional diversities of, native and exotic communities were positively related. Each community displayed evidence of environmental filtering, but it was significantly stronger for exotic species. Less environmental filtering occurred in landscapes providing a more diverse combination of resources, with resource provenance also an influential factor. Landscape functional diversity explained a greater

  9. The numerology of T cell functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haining, W Nicholas

    2012-01-27

    Memory T cells are heterogeneous in phenotype and function. In this issue of Immunity, Newell et al. (2012) use a new flow cytometry platform to show that the functional heterogeneity of the human T cell compartment is even greater than previously thought. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The Numerology of T Cell Functional Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Haining, W. Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Memory T cells are heterogeneous in phenotype and function. In this issue of Immunity Newell et al. (2012) use a new flow cytometry platform to show that the functional heterogeneity in the human T cell compartment is even greater than expected.

  11. Firm size diversity, functional richness, and resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmestani, A.S.; Allen, Craig R.; Mittelstaedt, J.D.; Stow, C.A.; Ward, W.A.

    2006-01-01

    This paper applies recent advances in ecology to our understanding of firm development, sustainability, and economic development. The ecological literature indicates that the greater the functional richness of species in a system, the greater its resilience - that is, its ability to persist in the face of substantial changes in the environment. This paper focuses on the effects of functional richness across firm size on the ability of industries to survive in the face of economic change. Our results indicate that industries with a richness of industrial functions are more resilient to employment volatility. ?? 2006 Cambridge University Press.

  12. Phytochemicals perturb membranes and promiscuously alter protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Koçer, Armağan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    2014-08-15

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous modifiers of membrane protein function, suggesting that some of their actions may be due to a common, membrane bilayer-mediated mechanism. To test whether bilayer perturbation may underlie this diversity of actions, we examined five bioactive phenols reported to have medicinal value: capsaicin from chili peppers, curcumin from turmeric, EGCG from green tea, genistein from soybeans, and resveratrol from grapes. We find that each of these widely consumed phytochemicals alters lipid bilayer properties and the function of diverse membrane proteins. Molecular dynamics simulations show that these phytochemicals modify bilayer properties by localizing to the bilayer/solution interface. Bilayer-modifying propensity was verified using a gramicidin-based assay, and indiscriminate modulation of membrane protein function was demonstrated using four proteins: membrane-anchored metalloproteases, mechanosensitive ion channels, and voltage-dependent potassium and sodium channels. Each protein exhibited similar responses to multiple phytochemicals, consistent with a common, bilayer-mediated mechanism. Our results suggest that many effects of amphiphilic phytochemicals are due to cell membrane perturbations, rather than specific protein binding.

  13. Role of microProteins in controlling diverse biological pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dolde, Ulla Margrit

    MicroProteins are small, single-domain proteins that dimerize with larger multi-domain proteins and prevent them from forming functional complexes. To date, 22 microProteins have been identified in plants that regulate their target by sequestering them into non-productive protein complexes. The two......Proteins that regulate their target by forming a higher order protein complex. They form an at least trimeric complex with CO and the transcriptional repressor TOPLESS (TPL). Ectopic expression of miP1a or miP1b in plants causes a late flowering phenotype, due to the failure in COdependent activation of FLOWERING LOCUS...... T (FT) expression. In agreement with the late flowering of overexpression plants, loss-of-function mutants of both miP1a and miP1b, generated using CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering, showed also a slightly early flowering phenotype. In a forward genetic screen using transgenic plants overexpressing mi...

  14. Traits Without Borders:Integrating Functional Diversity Across Scales

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Carmona, C. P.; de Bello, Francesco; Mason, N. W. H.; Lepš, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 5 (2016), s. 382-394 ISSN 0169-5347 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296; GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : functional trait * functional diversity * functional niche Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 15.268, year: 2016

  15. Ecosystem Functions across Trophic Levels Are Linked to Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Patrick L.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  16. Topology-function conservation in protein-protein interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Darren; Yaveroğlu, Ömer Nebil; Malod-Dognin, Noël; Stojmirovic, Aleksandar; Pržulj, Nataša

    2015-05-15

    Proteins underlay the functioning of a cell and the wiring of proteins in protein-protein interaction network (PIN) relates to their biological functions. Proteins with similar wiring in the PIN (topology around them) have been shown to have similar functions. This property has been successfully exploited for predicting protein functions. Topological similarity is also used to guide network alignment algorithms that find similarly wired proteins between PINs of different species; these similarities are used to transfer annotation across PINs, e.g. from model organisms to human. To refine these functional predictions and annotation transfers, we need to gain insight into the variability of the topology-function relationships. For example, a function may be significantly associated with specific topologies, while another function may be weakly associated with several different topologies. Also, the topology-function relationships may differ between different species. To improve our understanding of topology-function relationships and of their conservation among species, we develop a statistical framework that is built upon canonical correlation analysis. Using the graphlet degrees to represent the wiring around proteins in PINs and gene ontology (GO) annotations to describe their functions, our framework: (i) characterizes statistically significant topology-function relationships in a given species, and (ii) uncovers the functions that have conserved topology in PINs of different species, which we term topologically orthologous functions. We apply our framework to PINs of yeast and human, identifying seven biological process and two cellular component GO terms to be topologically orthologous for the two organisms. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. Polychaete functional diversity in shallow habitats: Shelter from the storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wouters, Julia M.; Gusmao, Joao B.; Mattos, Gustavo; Lana, Paulo

    2018-05-01

    Innovative approaches are needed to help understanding how species diversity is related to the latitudinal gradient at large or small scales. We have applied a novel approach, by combining morphological and biological traits, to assess the relative importance of the large scale latitudinal gradient and regional morphodynamic drivers in shaping the functional diversity of polychaete assemblages in shallow water habitats, from exposed to estuarine sandy beaches. We used literature data on polychaetes from beaches along the southern and southeastern Brazilian coast together with data on beach types, slope, grain size, temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll a concentration. Generalized linear models on the FDis index for functional diversity calculated for each site and a combined RLQ and fourth-corner analysis were used to investigate relationships between functional traits and environmental variables. Functional diversity was not related to the latitudinal gradient but negatively correlated with grain size and beach slope. Functional diversity was highest in flat beaches with small grain size, little wave exposure and enhanced primary production, indicating that small scale morphodynamic conditions are the primary drivers of polychaete functional diversity.

  18. The construction of an amino acid network for understanding protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wenying; Zhou, Jianhong; Sun, Maomin; Chen, Jiajia; Hu, Guang; Shen, Bairong

    2014-06-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) are undirected networks consisting of amino acid residues and their interactions in three-dimensional protein structures. The analysis of AANs provides novel insight into protein science, and several common amino acid network properties have revealed diverse classes of proteins. In this review, we first summarize methods for the construction and characterization of AANs. We then compare software tools for the construction and analysis of AANs. Finally, we review the application of AANs for understanding protein structure and function, including the identification of functional residues, the prediction of protein folding, analyzing protein stability and protein-protein interactions, and for understanding communication within and between proteins.

  19. Protein kinase substrate identification on functional protein arrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Fang

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the last decade, kinases have emerged as attractive therapeutic targets for a number of different diseases, and numerous high throughput screening efforts in the pharmaceutical community are directed towards discovery of compounds that regulate kinase function. The emerging utility of systems biology approaches has necessitated the development of multiplex tools suitable for proteomic-scale experiments to replace lower throughput technologies such as mass spectroscopy for the study of protein phosphorylation. Recently, a new approach for identifying substrates of protein kinases has applied the miniaturized format of functional protein arrays to characterize phosphorylation for thousands of candidate protein substrates in a single experiment. This method involves the addition of protein kinases in solution to arrays of immobilized proteins to identify substrates using highly sensitive radioactive detection and hit identification algorithms. Results To date, the factors required for optimal performance of protein array-based kinase substrate identification have not been described. In the current study, we have carried out a detailed characterization of the protein array-based method for kinase substrate identification, including an examination of the effects of time, buffer compositions, and protein concentration on the results. The protein array approach was compared to standard solution-based assays for assessing substrate phosphorylation, and a correlation of greater than 80% was observed. The results presented here demonstrate how novel substrates for protein kinases can be quickly identified from arrays containing thousands of human proteins to provide new clues to protein kinase function. In addition, a pooling-deconvolution strategy was developed and applied that enhances characterization of specific kinase-substrate relationships and decreases reagent consumption. Conclusion Functional protein microarrays are an

  20. Origins of Protein Functions in Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelig, Burchard; Pohorille, Andrzej

    2011-01-01

    In modern organisms proteins perform a majority of cellular functions, such as chemical catalysis, energy transduction and transport of material across cell walls. Although great strides have been made towards understanding protein evolution, a meaningful extrapolation from contemporary proteins to their earliest ancestors is virtually impossible. In an alternative approach, the origin of water-soluble proteins was probed through the synthesis and in vitro evolution of very large libraries of random amino acid sequences. In combination with computer modeling and simulations, these experiments allow us to address a number of fundamental questions about the origins of proteins. Can functionality emerge from random sequences of proteins? How did the initial repertoire of functional proteins diversify to facilitate new functions? Did this diversification proceed primarily through drawing novel functionalities from random sequences or through evolution of already existing proto-enzymes? Did protein evolution start from a pool of proteins defined by a frozen accident and other collections of proteins could start a different evolutionary pathway? Although we do not have definitive answers to these questions yet, important clues have been uncovered. In one example (Keefe and Szostak, 2001), novel ATP binding proteins were identified that appear to be unrelated in both sequence and structure to any known ATP binding proteins. One of these proteins was subsequently redesigned computationally to bind GTP through introducing several mutations that introduce targeted structural changes to the protein, improve its binding to guanine and prevent water from accessing the active center. This study facilitates further investigations of individual evolutionary steps that lead to a change of function in primordial proteins. In a second study (Seelig and Szostak, 2007), novel enzymes were generated that can join two pieces of RNA in a reaction for which no natural enzymes are known

  1. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Sitters

    Full Text Available Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape sampling approach to examine relationships between bird FD, vegetation diversity and time since fire. We surveyed birds and measured vegetation at 36 landscape sampling units in dry and wet forest in southeast Australia during 2010 and 2011. Four uncorrelated indices of bird FD (richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion were derived from six bird traits, and we investigated responses of these indices and species richness to both vertical and horizontal vegetation diversity using linear mixed models. We also considered the extent to which the mean and diversity of time since fire were related to vegetation diversity. Results showed opposing responses of FD to vegetation diversity in dry and wet forest. In dry forest, where fire is frequent, species richness and two FD indices (richness and dispersion were positively related to vertical vegetation diversity, consistent with theory relating to environmental variation and coexistence. However, in wet forest subject to infrequent fire, the same three response variables were negatively associated with vertical diversity. We suggest that competitive dominance by species results in lower FD as vegetation diversity increases in wet forest. The responses of functional evenness were opposite to those of species richness, functional richness and dispersion in both forest types, highlighting the value of examining multiple FD metrics at management-relevant scales. The mean and diversity of time since fire were uncorrelated

  2. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; York, Alan; Swan, Matthew; Christie, Fiona; Di Stefano, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD) provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape sampling approach to examine relationships between bird FD, vegetation diversity and time since fire. We surveyed birds and measured vegetation at 36 landscape sampling units in dry and wet forest in southeast Australia during 2010 and 2011. Four uncorrelated indices of bird FD (richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion) were derived from six bird traits, and we investigated responses of these indices and species richness to both vertical and horizontal vegetation diversity using linear mixed models. We also considered the extent to which the mean and diversity of time since fire were related to vegetation diversity. Results showed opposing responses of FD to vegetation diversity in dry and wet forest. In dry forest, where fire is frequent, species richness and two FD indices (richness and dispersion) were positively related to vertical vegetation diversity, consistent with theory relating to environmental variation and coexistence. However, in wet forest subject to infrequent fire, the same three response variables were negatively associated with vertical diversity. We suggest that competitive dominance by species results in lower FD as vegetation diversity increases in wet forest. The responses of functional evenness were opposite to those of species richness, functional richness and dispersion in both forest types, highlighting the value of examining multiple FD metrics at management-relevant scales. The mean and diversity of time since fire were uncorrelated with vegetation

  3. β-Diversity, Community Assembly, and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Isbell, Forest; Seidl, Rupert

    2018-05-25

    Evidence is increasing for positive effects of α-diversity on ecosystem functioning. We highlight here the crucial role of β-diversity - a hitherto underexplored facet of biodiversity - for a better process-level understanding of biodiversity change and its consequences for ecosystems. A focus on β-diversity has the potential to improve predictions of natural and anthropogenic influences on diversity and ecosystem functioning. However, linking the causes and consequences of biodiversity change is complex because species assemblages in nature are shaped by many factors simultaneously, including disturbance, environmental heterogeneity, deterministic niche factors, and stochasticity. Because variability and change are ubiquitous in ecosystems, acknowledging these inherent properties of nature is an essential step for further advancing scientific knowledge of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in theory and practice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Diverse gene functions in a soil mobilome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Wenting; Xu, Zhuofei; Riber, Leise

    2016-01-01

    Accessing bacterial mobilomes of any given environment enables the investigation of genetic traits encoded by circular genetic elements, and how their transfer drives the adaptation of microbial communities. Here we take advantage of Illumina HiSeq sequencing and report, for the first time......, the soil mobilome sampled from a well-characterized field in Hygum, Denmark. Soil bacterial cells were obtained by Nycodenz extraction, total DNA was purified by removing sheared chromosomal DNA using exonuclease digestion, and the remaining circular DNA was amplified with the phi29 polymerase and finally...... sequenced. The soil mobilome represented a wide range of known bacterial gene functions and highlighted the enrichment of plasmids, transposable elements and phages when compared to a well-characterized soil metagenome that, on the other hand, was dominated by basic biosynthesis and metabolism functions...

  5. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antommattei Frances M

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Geobacter species are δ-Proteobacteria and are often the predominant species in a variety of sedimentary environments where Fe(III reduction is important. Their ability to remediate contaminated environments and produce electricity makes them attractive for further study. Cell motility, biofilm formation, and type IV pili all appear important for the growth of Geobacter in changing environments and for electricity production. Recent studies in other bacteria have demonstrated that signaling pathways homologous to the paradigm established for Escherichia coli chemotaxis can regulate type IV pili-dependent motility, the synthesis of flagella and type IV pili, the production of extracellular matrix material, and biofilm formation. The classification of these pathways by comparative genomics improves the ability to understand how Geobacter thrives in natural environments and better their use in microbial fuel cells. Results The genomes of G. sulfurreducens, G. metallireducens, and G. uraniireducens contain multiple (~70 homologs of chemotaxis genes arranged in several major clusters (six, seven, and seven, respectively. Unlike the single gene cluster of E. coli, the Geobacter clusters are not all located near the flagellar genes. The probable functions of some Geobacter clusters are assignable by homology to known pathways; others appear to be unique to the Geobacter sp. and contain genes of unknown function. We identified large numbers of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP homologs that have diverse sensing domain architectures and generate a potential for sensing a great variety of environmental signals. We discuss mechanisms for class-specific segregation of the MCPs in the cell membrane, which serve to maintain pathway specificity and diminish crosstalk. Finally, the regulation of gene expression in Geobacter differs from E. coli. The sequences of predicted promoter elements suggest that the alternative sigma factors

  6. Specialized functional diversity and interactions of the Na,K-ATPase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor I. Krivoi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Na,K-ATPase is a protein ubiquitously expressed in the plasma membrane of all animal cells and vitally essential for their functions. A specialized functional diversity of the Na,K-ATPase isozymes is provided by molecular heterogeneity, distinct subcellular localizations and functional interactions with molecular environment. Studies over the last decades clearly demonstrated complex and isoform-specific reciprocal functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and neighboring proteins and lipids. These interactions are enabled by a spatially restricted ion homeostasis, direct protein-protein/lipid interactions and protein kinase signaling pathways. In addition to its ‘classical’ function in ion translocation, the Na,K-ATPase is now considered as one of the most important signaling molecules in neuronal, epithelial, skeletal, cardiac and vascular tissues. Accordingly, the Na,K-ATPase forms specialized sub-cellular multimolecular microdomains which act as receptors to circulating endogenous cardiotonic steroids triggering a number of signaling pathways. Changes in these endogenous cardiotonic steroid levels and initiated signaling responses have significant adaptive values for tissues and whole organisms under numerous physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This review discusses recent progress in the studies of functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and molecular microenvironment, the Na,K-ATPase-dependent signaling pathways and their significance for diversity of cell function.

  7. Proteomic analysis reveals the diversity and complexity of membrane proteins in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaiswal Dinesh Kumar

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Compartmentalization is a unique feature of eukaryotes that helps in maintaining cellular homeostasis not only in intra- and inter-organellar context, but also between the cells and the external environment. Plant cells are highly compartmentalized with a complex metabolic network governing various cellular events. The membranes are the most important constituents in such compartmentalization, and membrane-associated proteins play diverse roles in many cellular processes besides being part of integral component of many signaling cascades. Results To obtain valuable insight into the dynamic repertoire of membrane proteins, we have developed a proteome reference map of a grain legume, chickpea, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. MALDI-TOF/TOF and LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis led to the identification of 91 proteins involved in a variety of cellular functions viz., bioenergy, stress-responsive and signal transduction, metabolism, protein synthesis and degradation, among others. Significantly, 70% of the identified proteins are putative integral membrane proteins, possessing transmembrane domains. Conclusions The proteomic analysis revealed many resident integral membrane proteins as well as membrane-associated proteins including those not reported earlier. To our knowledge, this is the first report of membrane proteome from aerial tissues of a crop plant. The findings may provide a better understanding of the biochemical machinery of the plant membranes at the molecular level that might help in functional genomics studies of different developmental pathways and stress-responses.

  8. Hsp40 function in yeast prion propagation: Amyloid diversity necessitates chaperone functional complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2015-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based elements, most of which are formed of amyloid aggregates that rely on the action of molecular chaperones for transmission to progeny. Prions can form distinct amyloid structures, known as 'strains' in mammalian systems, that dictate both pathological progression and cross-species infection barriers. In yeast these same amyloid structural polymorphisms, called 'variants', dictate the intensity of prion-associated phenotypes and stability in mitosis. We recently reported that [PSI(+)] prion variants differ in the fundamental domain requirements for one chaperone, the Hsp40/J-protein Sis1, which are mutually exclusive between 2 different yeast prions, demonstrating a functional plurality for Sis1. Here we extend that analysis to incorporate additional data that collectively support the hypothesis that Sis1 has multiple functional roles that can be accomplished by distinct sets of domains. These functions are differentially required by distinct prions and prion variants. We also present new data regarding Hsp104-mediated prion elimination and show that some Sis1 functions, but not all, are conserved in the human homolog Hdj1/DNAJB1. Importantly, of the 10 amyloid-based prions indentified to date in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the chaperone requirements of only 4 are known, leaving a great diversity of amyloid structures, and likely modes of amyloid-chaperone interaction, largely unexplored.

  9. A comprehensive analysis of the Omp85/TpsB protein superfamily structural diversity, taxonomic occurrence, and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Eva; Lithgow, Trevor

    2014-01-01

    Members of the Omp85/TpsB protein superfamily are ubiquitously distributed in Gram-negative bacteria, and function in protein translocation (e.g., FhaC) or the assembly of outer membrane proteins (e.g., BamA). Several recent findings are suggestive of a further level of variation in the superfamily, including the identification of the novel membrane protein assembly factor TamA and protein translocase PlpD. To investigate the diversity and the causal evolutionary events, we undertook a comprehensive comparative sequence analysis of the Omp85/TpsB proteins. A total of 10 protein subfamilies were apparent, distinguished in their domain structure and sequence signatures. In addition to the proteins FhaC, BamA, and TamA, for which structural and functional information is available, are families of proteins with so far undescribed domain architectures linked to the Omp85 β-barrel domain. This study brings a classification structure to a dynamic protein superfamily of high interest given its essential function for Gram-negative bacteria as well as its diverse domain architecture, and we discuss several scenarios of putative functions of these so far undescribed proteins. PMID:25101071

  10. Structural and Function Prediction of Musa acuminata subsp. Malaccensis Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anum Munir

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Hypothetical proteins (HPs are the proteins whose presence has been anticipated, yet in vivo function has not been built up. Illustrating the structural and functional privileged insights of these HPs might likewise prompt a superior comprehension of the protein-protein associations or networks in diverse types of life. Bananas (Musa acuminata spp., including sweet and cooking types, are giant perennial monocotyledonous herbs of the order Zingiberales, a sister grouped to the all-around considered Poales, which incorporate oats. Bananas are crucial for nourishment security in numerous tropical and subtropical nations and the most prominent organic product in industrialized nations. In the present study, the hypothetical protein of M. acuminata (Banana was chosen for analysis and modeling by distinctive bioinformatics apparatuses and databases. As indicated by primary and secondary structure analysis, XP_009393594.1 is a stable hydrophobic protein containing a noteworthy extent of α-helices; Homology modeling was done utilizing SWISS-MODEL server where the templates identity with XP_009393594.1 protein was less which demonstrated novelty of our protein. Ab initio strategy was conducted to produce its 3D structure. A few evaluations of quality assessment and validation parameters determined the generated protein model as stable with genuinely great quality. Functional analysis was completed by ProtFun 2.2, and KEGG (KAAS, recommended that the hypothetical protein is a transcription factor with cytoplasmic domain as zinc finger. The protein was observed to be vital for translation process, involved in metabolism, signaling and cellular processes, genetic information processing and Zinc ion binding. It is suggested that further test approval would help to anticipate the structures and functions of other uncharacterized proteins of different plants and living being.

  11. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  12. Functionally diverse reef-fish communities ameliorate coral disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymundo, Laurie J; Halford, Andrew R; Maypa, Aileen P; Kerr, Alexander M

    2009-10-06

    Coral reefs, the most diverse of marine ecosystems, currently experience unprecedented levels of degradation. Diseases are now recognized as a major cause of mortality in reef-forming corals and are complicit in phase shifts of reef ecosystems to algal-dominated states worldwide. Even so, factors contributing to disease occurrence, spread, and impact remain poorly understood. Ecosystem resilience has been linked to the conservation of functional diversity, whereas overfishing reduces functional diversity through cascading, top-down effects. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that reefs with trophically diverse reef fish communities have less coral disease than overfished reefs. We surveyed reefs across the central Philippines, including well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs), and found that disease prevalence was significantly negatively correlated with fish taxonomic diversity. Further, MPAs had significantly higher fish diversity and less disease than unprotected areas. We subsequently investigated potential links between coral disease and the trophic components of fish diversity, finding that only the density of coral-feeding chaetodontid butterflyfishes, seldom targeted by fishers, was positively associated with disease prevalence. These previously uncharacterized results are supported by a second large-scale dataset from the Great Barrier Reef. We hypothesize that members of the charismatic reef-fish family Chaetodontidae are major vectors of coral disease by virtue of their trophic specialization on hard corals and their ecological release in overfished areas, particularly outside MPAs.

  13. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo García-Morales

    Full Text Available Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae, including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites. The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others.

  14. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Rodrigo; Moreno, Claudia E; Badano, Ernesto I; Zuria, Iriana; Galindo-González, Jorge; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Ávila-Gómez, Eva S

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness) along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae), including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites). The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others.

  15. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille

    2014-01-01

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha...... of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory....

  16. Symbiotic Dinoflagellate Functional Diversity Mediates Coral Survival under Ecological Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggett, David J; Warner, Mark E; Leggat, William

    2017-10-01

    Coral reefs have entered an era of 'ecological crisis' as climate change drives catastrophic reef loss worldwide. Coral growth and stress susceptibility are regulated by their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium). The phylogenetic diversity of Symbiodinium frequently corresponds to patterns of coral health and survival, but knowledge of functional diversity is ultimately necessary to reconcile broader ecological success over space and time. We explore here functional traits underpinning the complex biology of Symbiodinium that spans free-living algae to coral endosymbionts. In doing so we propose a mechanistic framework integrating the primary traits of resource acquisition and utilisation as a means to explain Symbiodinium functional diversity and to resolve the role of Symbiodinium in driving the stability of coral reefs under an uncertain future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  18. Diversity and evolution of ABC proteins in mycorrhiza-forming fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalchuk, Andriy; Kohler, Annegret; Martin, Francis; Asiegbu, Fred O

    2015-12-28

    Transporter proteins are predicted to have an important role in the mycorrhizal symbiosis, due to the fact that this type of an interaction between plants and fungi requires a continuous nutrient and signalling exchange. ABC transporters are one of the large groups of transporter proteins found both in plants and in fungi. The crucial role of plant ABC transporters in the formation of the mycorrhizal symbiosis has been demonstrated recently. Some of the fungal ABC transporter-encoding genes are also induced during the mycorrhiza formation. However, no experimental evidences of the direct involvement of fungal ABC transporters in this process are available so far. To facilitate the identification of fungal ABC proteins with a potential role in the establishment of the mycorrhizal symbiosis, we have performed an inventory of the ABC protein-encoding genes in the genomes of 25 species of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. We have identified, manually annotated and curated more than 1300 gene models of putative ABC protein-encoding genes. Out of those, more than 1000 models are predicted to encode functional proteins, whereas about 300 models represent gene fragments or putative pseudogenes. We have also performed the phylogenetic analysis of the identified sequences. The sets of ABC proteins in the mycorrhiza-forming species were compared to the related saprotrophic or plant-pathogenic fungal species. Our results demonstrate the high diversity of ABC genes in the genomes of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. Via comparison of transcriptomics data from different species, we have identified candidate groups of ABC transporters that might have a role in the process of the mycorrhiza formation. Results of our inventory will facilitate the identification of fungal transporters with a role in the mycorrhiza formation. We also provide the first data on ABC protein-coding genes for the phylum Glomeromycota and for orders Pezizales, Atheliales, Cantharellales and Sebacinales, contributing to

  19. Functional diversification of structurally alike NLR proteins in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Joydeep; Jain, Akansha; Mukherjee, Dibya; Ghosh, Suchismita; Das, Sampa

    2018-04-01

    In due course of evolution many pathogens alter their effector molecules to modulate the host plants' metabolism and immune responses triggered upon proper recognition by the intracellular nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins. Likewise, host plants have also evolved with diversified NLR proteins as a survival strategy to win the battle against pathogen invasion. NLR protein indeed detects pathogen derived effector proteins leading to the activation of defense responses associated with programmed cell death (PCD). In this interactive process, genome structure and plasticity play pivotal role in the development of innate immunity. Despite being quite conserved with similar biological functions in all eukaryotes, the intracellular NLR immune receptor proteins happen to be structurally distinct. Recent studies have made progress in identifying transcriptional regulatory complexes activated by NLR proteins. In this review, we attempt to decipher the intracellular NLR proteins mediated surveillance across the evolutionarily diverse taxa, highlighting some of the recent updates on NLR protein compartmentalization, molecular interactions before and after activation along with insights into the finer role of these receptor proteins to combat invading pathogens upon their recognition. Latest information on NLR sensors, helpers and NLR proteins with integrated domains in the context of plant pathogen interactions are also discussed. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Intricate knots in proteins: Function and evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Virnau

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Our investigation of knotted structures in the Protein Data Bank reveals the most complicated knot discovered to date. We suggest that the occurrence of this knot in a human ubiquitin hydrolase might be related to the role of the enzyme in protein degradation. While knots are usually preserved among homologues, we also identify an exception in a transcarbamylase. This allows us to exemplify the function of knots in proteins and to suggest how they may have been created.

  1. Diversity of T cell epitopes in Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein likely due to protein-protein interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagesh R Aragam

    Full Text Available Circumsporozoite protein (CS is a leading vaccine antigen for falciparum malaria, but is highly polymorphic in natural parasite populations. The factors driving this diversity are unclear, but non-random assortment of the T cell epitopes TH2 and TH3 has been observed in a Kenyan parasite population. The recent publication of the crystal structure of the variable C terminal region of the protein allows the assessment of the impact of diversity on protein structure and T cell epitope assortment. Using data from the Gambia (55 isolates and Malawi (235 isolates, we evaluated the patterns of diversity within and between epitopes in these two distantly-separated populations. Only non-synonymous mutations were observed with the vast majority in both populations at similar frequencies suggesting strong selection on this region. A non-random pattern of T cell epitope assortment was seen in Malawi and in the Gambia, but structural analysis indicates no intramolecular spatial interactions. Using the information from these parasite populations, structural analysis reveals that polymorphic amino acids within TH2 and TH3 colocalize to one side of the protein, surround, but do not involve, the hydrophobic pocket in CS, and predominately involve charge switches. In addition, free energy analysis suggests residues forming and behind the novel pocket within CS are tightly constrained and well conserved in all alleles. In addition, free energy analysis shows polymorphic residues tend to be populated by energetically unfavorable amino acids. In combination, these findings suggest the diversity of T cell epitopes in CS may be primarily an evolutionary response to intermolecular interactions at the surface of the protein potentially counteracting antibody-mediated immune recognition or evolving host receptor diversity.

  2. The structure and function of endophilin proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerulff, Ole; Brodin, Lennart; Jung, Anita

    2011-01-01

    Members of the BAR domain protein superfamily are essential elements of cellular traffic. Endophilins are among the best studied BAR domain proteins. They have a prominent function in synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE), receptor trafficking and apoptosis, and in other processes that require...

  3. Functional studies on the phosphatidychloride transfer protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, A.P.M. de

    2002-01-01

    The phosphatidylcholine transfer protein (PC-TP) has been studied for over 30 years now. Despite extensive research concerning the biochemical, biophysical and structural properties of PC-TP, the function of this protein is still elusive. We have studied in vitro the folding and the mechanism of PC

  4. Using sequence similarity networks for visualization of relationships across diverse protein superfamilies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J Atkinson

    Full Text Available The dramatic increase in heterogeneous types of biological data--in particular, the abundance of new protein sequences--requires fast and user-friendly methods for organizing this information in a way that enables functional inference. The most widely used strategy to link sequence or structure to function, homology-based function prediction, relies on the fundamental assumption that sequence or structural similarity implies functional similarity. New tools that extend this approach are still urgently needed to associate sequence data with biological information in ways that accommodate the real complexity of the problem, while being accessible to experimental as well as computational biologists. To address this, we have examined the application of sequence similarity networks for visualizing functional trends across protein superfamilies from the context of sequence similarity. Using three large groups of homologous proteins of varying types of structural and functional diversity--GPCRs and kinases from humans, and the crotonase superfamily of enzymes--we show that overlaying networks with orthogonal information is a powerful approach for observing functional themes and revealing outliers. In comparison to other primary methods, networks provide both a good representation of group-wise sequence similarity relationships and a strong visual and quantitative correlation with phylogenetic trees, while enabling analysis and visualization of much larger sets of sequences than trees or multiple sequence alignments can easily accommodate. We also define important limitations and caveats in the application of these networks. As a broadly accessible and effective tool for the exploration of protein superfamilies, sequence similarity networks show great potential for generating testable hypotheses about protein structure-function relationships.

  5. Using sequence similarity networks for visualization of relationships across diverse protein superfamilies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Holly J; Morris, John H; Ferrin, Thomas E; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2009-01-01

    The dramatic increase in heterogeneous types of biological data--in particular, the abundance of new protein sequences--requires fast and user-friendly methods for organizing this information in a way that enables functional inference. The most widely used strategy to link sequence or structure to function, homology-based function prediction, relies on the fundamental assumption that sequence or structural similarity implies functional similarity. New tools that extend this approach are still urgently needed to associate sequence data with biological information in ways that accommodate the real complexity of the problem, while being accessible to experimental as well as computational biologists. To address this, we have examined the application of sequence similarity networks for visualizing functional trends across protein superfamilies from the context of sequence similarity. Using three large groups of homologous proteins of varying types of structural and functional diversity--GPCRs and kinases from humans, and the crotonase superfamily of enzymes--we show that overlaying networks with orthogonal information is a powerful approach for observing functional themes and revealing outliers. In comparison to other primary methods, networks provide both a good representation of group-wise sequence similarity relationships and a strong visual and quantitative correlation with phylogenetic trees, while enabling analysis and visualization of much larger sets of sequences than trees or multiple sequence alignments can easily accommodate. We also define important limitations and caveats in the application of these networks. As a broadly accessible and effective tool for the exploration of protein superfamilies, sequence similarity networks show great potential for generating testable hypotheses about protein structure-function relationships.

  6. Bacterial flagellar capping proteins adopt diverse oligomeric states

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Postel, Sandra; Deredge, Daniel; Bonsor, Daniel A.; Yu, Xiong; Diederichs, Kay; Helmsing, Saskia; Vromen, Aviv; Friedler, Assaf; Hust, Michael; Egelman, Edward H.; Beckett, Dorothy; Wintrode, Patrick L.; Sundberg, Eric J. (UV); (Braunschweig); (Maryland-MED); (Konstanz); (Maryland); (Hebrew)

    2016-09-24

    Flagella are crucial for bacterial motility and pathogenesis. The flagellar capping protein (FliD) regulates filament assembly by chaperoning and sorting flagellin (FliC) proteins after they traverse the hollow filament and exit the growing flagellum tip. In the absence of FliD, flagella are not formed, resulting in impaired motility and infectivity. Here, we report the 2.2 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of FliD fromPseudomonas aeruginosa, the first high-resolution structure of any FliD protein from any bacterium. Using this evidence in combination with a multitude of biophysical and functional analyses, we find thatPseudomonasFliD exhibits unexpected structural similarity to other flagellar proteins at the domain level, adopts a unique hexameric oligomeric state, and depends on flexible determinants for oligomerization. Considering that the flagellin filaments on which FliD oligomers are affixed vary in protofilament number between bacteria, our results suggest that FliD oligomer stoichiometries vary across bacteria to complement their filament assemblies.

  7. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heloise Gibb

    Full Text Available Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species. We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies. Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  8. Functional diversity exhibits a diverse relationship with area, even a decreasing one

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadimou, Elpida K.; Kallimanis, Athanasios S.; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Dimopoulos, Panayotis

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between species richness and area is one of the few well-established laws in ecology, and one might expect a similar relationship with functional diversity (FD). However, only a few studies investigate the relationship between trait-based FD and area, the Functional Diversity - Area Relationship (FDAR). To examine FDAR, we constructed the species accumulation curve and the corresponding FD curve. We used plant diversity data from nested plots (1–128 m2), recorded on the Volcanic islands of Santorini Archipelagos, Greece. Six multidimensional FD indices were calculated using 26 traits. We identified a typology of FDARs depending on the facet of FD analyzed: (A) strongly positive for indices quantifying the range of functional traits in the community, (B) negative correlation for indices quantifying the evenness in the distribution of abundance in the trait space, (C) no clear pattern for indices reflecting the functional similarity of species and (D) idiosyncratic patterns with area for functional divergence. As area increases, the range of traits observed in the community increases, but the abundance of traits does not increase proportionally and some traits become dominant, implying a reliance on some functions that may be located in either the center or the periphery of the trait space. PMID:27752086

  9. Stress, Social Support, and Psychosocial Functioning of Ethnically Diverse Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Michelle; Langrehr, Kimberly J.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the stress-buffering role of social support on indicators of psychosocial functioning among a combined and split sample of ethnically diverse college students. Although high social support significantly moderated 2 relationships in the combined sample, high and low levels of social support significantly reduced the effect of…

  10. Enzyme structure, enzyme function and allozyme diversity in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In estimates of population genetic diversity based on allozyme heterozygosity, some enzymes are regularly more variable than others. Evolutionary theory suggests that functionally less important molecules, or parts of molecules, evolve more rapidly than more important ones; the latter enzymes should then theoretically be ...

  11. Functional diversity of fish in estuaries at a global extent

    OpenAIRE

    Rita P Vasconcelos; Sébastien Villéger; François Guilhaumon

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is currently viewed as a framework encompassing multiple facets of the variety of life, including taxonomic and functional aspects. Species richness and composition of fish assemblages in estuaries is defined by global to local processes acting on community colonization. The present study further investigates how biodiversity of fish assemblages varies among estuaries globally, by simultaneously analysing taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of assemblages. A comprehen...

  12. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoyo Ujisawa

    Full Text Available Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron.

  13. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujisawa, Tomoyo; Ohta, Akane; Uda-Yagi, Misato

    2016-01-01

    Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron. PMID:27788246

  14. Recognition of functional sites in protein structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulman-Peleg, Alexandra; Nussinov, Ruth; Wolfson, Haim J

    2004-06-04

    Recognition of regions on the surface of one protein, that are similar to a binding site of another is crucial for the prediction of molecular interactions and for functional classifications. We first describe a novel method, SiteEngine, that assumes no sequence or fold similarities and is able to recognize proteins that have similar binding sites and may perform similar functions. We achieve high efficiency and speed by introducing a low-resolution surface representation via chemically important surface points, by hashing triangles of physico-chemical properties and by application of hierarchical scoring schemes for a thorough exploration of global and local similarities. We proceed to rigorously apply this method to functional site recognition in three possible ways: first, we search a given functional site on a large set of complete protein structures. Second, a potential functional site on a protein of interest is compared with known binding sites, to recognize similar features. Third, a complete protein structure is searched for the presence of an a priori unknown functional site, similar to known sites. Our method is robust and efficient enough to allow computationally demanding applications such as the first and the third. From the biological standpoint, the first application may identify secondary binding sites of drugs that may lead to side-effects. The third application finds new potential sites on the protein that may provide targets for drug design. Each of the three applications may aid in assigning a function and in classification of binding patterns. We highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each type of search, provide examples of large-scale searches of the entire Protein Data Base and make functional predictions.

  15. Mung bean proteins and peptides: nutritional, functional and bioactive properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Yi-Shen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available To date, no extensive literature review exists regarding potential uses of mung bean proteins and peptides. As mung bean has long been widely used as a food source, early studies evaluated mung bean nutritional value against the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/the World Health Organization (WHO amino acids dietary recommendations. The comparison demonstrated mung bean to be a good protein source, except for deficiencies in sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Methionine and cysteine residues have been introduced into the 8S globulin through protein engineering technology. Subsequently, purified mung bean proteins and peptides have facilitated the study of their structural and functional properties. Two main types of extraction methods have been reported for isolation of proteins and peptides from mung bean flours, permitting sequencing of major proteins present in mung bean, including albumins and globulins (notably 8S globulin. However, the sequence for albumin deposited in the UniProt database differs from other sequences reported in the literature. Meanwhile, a limited number of reports have revealed other useful bioactivities for proteins and hydrolysed peptides, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory activity, anti-fungal activity and trypsin inhibitory activity. Consequently, several mung bean hydrolysed peptides have served as effective food additives to prevent proteolysis during storage. Ultimately, further research will reveal other nutritional, functional and bioactive properties of mung bean for uses in diverse applications.

  16. New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Mason, Norman W H; Mouillot, David

    2008-08-01

    Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification

  17. Versatile Loading of Diverse Cargo into Functional Polymer Capsules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Joseph J; Maina, James W; Ejima, Hirotaka; Hu, Ming; Guo, Junling; Choy, Mei Y; Gunawan, Sylvia T; Lybaert, Lien; Hagemeyer, Christoph E; De Geest, Bruno G; Caruso, Frank

    2015-02-01

    Polymer microcapsules are of particular interest for applications including self-healing coatings, catalysis, bioreactions, sensing, and drug delivery. The primary way that polymer capsules can exhibit functionality relevant to these diverse fields is through the incorporation of functional cargo in the capsule cavity or wall. Diverse functional and therapeutic cargo can be loaded into polymer capsules with ease using polymer-stabilized calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ) particles. A variety of examples are demonstrated, including 15 types of cargo, yielding a toolbox with effectively 500+ variations. This process uses no harsh reagents and can take less than 30 min to prepare, load, coat, and form the hollow capsules. For these reasons, it is expected that the technique will play a crucial role across scientific studies in numerous fields.

  18. JNK Signaling: Regulation and Functions Based on Complex Protein-Protein Partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeke, András; Misheva, Mariya

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs), as members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, mediate eukaryotic cell responses to a wide range of abiotic and biotic stress insults. JNKs also regulate important physiological processes, including neuronal functions, immunological actions, and embryonic development, via their impact on gene expression, cytoskeletal protein dynamics, and cell death/survival pathways. Although the JNK pathway has been under study for >20 years, its complexity is still perplexing, with multiple protein partners of JNKs underlying the diversity of actions. Here we review the current knowledge of JNK structure and isoforms as well as the partnerships of JNKs with a range of intracellular proteins. Many of these proteins are direct substrates of the JNKs. We analyzed almost 100 of these target proteins in detail within a framework of their classification based on their regulation by JNKs. Examples of these JNK substrates include a diverse assortment of nuclear transcription factors (Jun, ATF2, Myc, Elk1), cytoplasmic proteins involved in cytoskeleton regulation (DCX, Tau, WDR62) or vesicular transport (JIP1, JIP3), cell membrane receptors (BMPR2), and mitochondrial proteins (Mcl1, Bim). In addition, because upstream signaling components impact JNK activity, we critically assessed the involvement of signaling scaffolds and the roles of feedback mechanisms in the JNK pathway. Despite a clarification of many regulatory events in JNK-dependent signaling during the past decade, many other structural and mechanistic insights are just beginning to be revealed. These advances open new opportunities to understand the role of JNK signaling in diverse physiological and pathophysiological states. PMID:27466283

  19. Effects of land use on taxonomic and functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hevia, Violeta; Carmona, Carlos P.; Azcárate, Francisco M.

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change is the major driver of biodiversity loss. However, taxonomic diversity (TD) and functional diversity (FD) might respond differently to land-use change, and this response might also vary depending on the biotic group being analysed. In this study, we compare the TD and FD of four......: the sampling unit scale and the site scale. Land-use intensity effects on TD and FD were quite different and highly varied among the four biotic groups, with no single clear pattern emerging that could be considered general for all organisms. Additive partitioning of species diversity revealed clear...... contrasting patterns between TD and FD in the percentage of variability observed at each spatial scale. While most variability in TD was found at the larger scales, irregardless of organism group and land-use type, most variability in FD was found at the smallest scale, indicating that species turnover among...

  20. Functions of intrinsic disorder in transmembrane proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaergaard, Magnus; Kragelund, Birthe B.

    2017-01-01

    Intrinsic disorder is common in integral membrane proteins, particularly in the intracellular domains. Despite this observation, these domains are not always recognized as being disordered. In this review, we will discuss the biological functions of intrinsically disordered regions of membrane...... receptors. The functions of the disordered regions are many and varied. We will discuss selected examples including: (1) Organization of receptors, kinases, phosphatases and second messenger sources into signaling complexes. (2) Modulation of the membrane-embedded domain function by ball-and-chain like...... mechanisms. (3) Trafficking of membrane proteins. (4) Transient membrane associations. (5) Post-translational modifications most notably phosphorylation and (6) disorder-linked isoform dependent function. We finish the review by discussing the future challenges facing the membrane protein community regarding...

  1. Biomimetic devices functionalized by membrane channel proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jacob

    2004-03-01

    We are developing a new family of active materials which derive their functional properties from membrane proteins. These materials have two primary components: the proteins and the membranes themselves. I will discuss our recent work directed toward development of a generic platform for a "plug-and-play" philosophy of membrane protein engineering. By creating a stable biomimetic polymer membrane a single molecular monolayer thick, we will enable the exploitation of the function of any membrane protein, from pores and pumps to sensors and energy transducers. Our initial work has centered on the creation, study, and characterization of the biomimetic membranes. We are attempting to make large areas of membrane monolayers using Langmuir-Blodgett film formation as well as through arrays of microfabricated black lipid membrane-type septa. A number of techniques allow the insertion of protein into the membranes. As a benchmark, we have been employing a model system of voltage-gated pore proteins, which have electrically controllable porosities. I will report on the progress of this work, the characterization of the membranes, protein insertion processes, and the yield and functionality of the composite.

  2. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jerome; Galzin, Rene; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Lavergne, Sebastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouquet, Nicolas; Paine, C E Timothy; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees), we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by ecosystems across

  3. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

    Full Text Available Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees, we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by

  4. Minor snake venom proteins: Structure, function and potential applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrini-França, Johara; Cologna, Camila Takeno; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Wiezel, Gisele Adriano; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Shibao, Priscila Yumi Tanaka; Ferreira, Isabela Gobbo; de Oliveira, Isadora Sousa; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2017-04-01

    Snake venoms present a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds that may be applied as research and biotechnological tools, as well as in drug development and diagnostic tests for certain diseases. The most abundant toxins have been extensively studied in the last decades and some of them have already been used for different purposes. Nevertheless, most of the minor snake venom protein classes remain poorly explored, even presenting potential application in diverse areas. The main difficulty in studying these proteins lies on the impossibility of obtaining sufficient amounts of them for a comprehensive investigation. The advent of more sensitive techniques in the last few years allowed the discovery of new venom components and the in-depth study of some already known minor proteins. This review summarizes information regarding some structural and functional aspects of low abundant snake venom proteins classes, such as growth factors, hyaluronidases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, nucleases and nucleotidases, cobra venom factors, vespryns, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, among others. Some potential applications of these molecules are discussed herein in order to encourage researchers to explore the full venom repertoire and to discover new molecules or applications for the already known venom components. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Protein-protein interaction network-based detection of functionally similar proteins within species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Baoxing; Wang, Fen; Guo, Yang; Sang, Qing; Liu, Min; Li, Dengyun; Fang, Wei; Zhang, Deli

    2012-07-01

    Although functionally similar proteins across species have been widely studied, functionally similar proteins within species showing low sequence similarity have not been examined in detail. Identification of these proteins is of significant importance for understanding biological functions, evolution of protein families, progression of co-evolution, and convergent evolution and others which cannot be obtained by detection of functionally similar proteins across species. Here, we explored a method of detecting functionally similar proteins within species based on graph theory. After denoting protein-protein interaction networks using graphs, we split the graphs into subgraphs using the 1-hop method. Proteins with functional similarities in a species were detected using a method of modified shortest path to compare these subgraphs and to find the eligible optimal results. Using seven protein-protein interaction networks and this method, some functionally similar proteins with low sequence similarity that cannot detected by sequence alignment were identified. By analyzing the results, we found that, sometimes, it is difficult to separate homologous from convergent evolution. Evaluation of the performance of our method by gene ontology term overlap showed that the precision of our method was excellent. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Protein function prediction using neighbor relativity in protein-protein interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moosavi, Sobhan; Rahgozar, Masoud; Rahimi, Amir

    2013-04-01

    There is a large gap between the number of discovered proteins and the number of functionally annotated ones. Due to the high cost of determining protein function by wet-lab research, function prediction has become a major task for computational biology and bioinformatics. Some researches utilize the proteins interaction information to predict function for un-annotated proteins. In this paper, we propose a novel approach called "Neighbor Relativity Coefficient" (NRC) based on interaction network topology which estimates the functional similarity between two proteins. NRC is calculated for each pair of proteins based on their graph-based features including distance, common neighbors and the number of paths between them. In order to ascribe function to an un-annotated protein, NRC estimates a weight for each neighbor to transfer its annotation to the unknown protein. Finally, the unknown protein will be annotated by the top score transferred functions. We also investigate the effect of using different coefficients for various types of functions. The proposed method has been evaluated on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Homo sapiens interaction networks. The performance analysis demonstrates that NRC yields better results in comparison with previous protein function prediction approaches that utilize interaction network. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Scoring protein relationships in functional interaction networks predicted from sequence data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaston K Mazandu

    Full Text Available UNLABELLED: The abundance of diverse biological data from various sources constitutes a rich source of knowledge, which has the power to advance our understanding of organisms. This requires computational methods in order to integrate and exploit these data effectively and elucidate local and genome wide functional connections between protein pairs, thus enabling functional inferences for uncharacterized proteins. These biological data are primarily in the form of sequences, which determine functions, although functional properties of a protein can often be predicted from just the domains it contains. Thus, protein sequences and domains can be used to predict protein pair-wise functional relationships, and thus contribute to the function prediction process of uncharacterized proteins in order to ensure that knowledge is gained from sequencing efforts. In this work, we introduce information-theoretic based approaches to score protein-protein functional interaction pairs predicted from protein sequence similarity and conserved protein signature matches. The proposed schemes are effective for data-driven scoring of connections between protein pairs. We applied these schemes to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteome to produce a homology-based functional network of the organism with a high confidence and coverage. We use the network for predicting functions of uncharacterised proteins. AVAILABILITY: Protein pair-wise functional relationship scores for Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain CDC1551 sequence data and python scripts to compute these scores are available at http://web.cbio.uct.ac.za/~gmazandu/scoringschemes.

  9. Using RNA Interference to Study Protein Function

    OpenAIRE

    Curtis, Carol D.; Nardulli, Ann M.

    2009-01-01

    RNA interference can be extremely useful in determining the function of an endogenously-expressed protein in its normal cellular environment. In this chapter, we describe a method that uses small interfering RNA (siRNA) to knock down mRNA and protein expression in cultured cells so that the effect of a putative regulatory protein on gene expression can be delineated. Methods of assessing the effectiveness of the siRNA procedure using real time quantitative PCR and Western analysis are also in...

  10. Disturbance, Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Processes: Does Species Identity Matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Emrick III, Verl Roy

    2013-01-01

    The role of disturbance is widely recognized as a fundamental driver of ecological organization from individual species to entire landscapes. Anthropogenic disturbances from military training provide a unique opportunity to examine effects of disturbance on vegetation dynamics, physicochemical soil properties, and ecosystem processes. Additionally, plant functional diversity has been suggested as the key to ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient dynamics. I investigated how dis...

  11. Biogeographical disparity in the functional diversity and redundancy of corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam, Mike; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Baird, Andrew H; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Madin, Joshua S; Hughes, Terry P

    2018-03-20

    Corals are major contributors to a range of key ecosystem functions on tropical reefs, including calcification, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling, and the provision of habitat structure. The abundance of corals is declining at multiple scales, and the species composition of assemblages is responding to escalating human pressures, including anthropogenic global warming. An urgent challenge is to understand the functional consequences of these shifts in abundance and composition in different biogeographical contexts. While global patterns of coral species richness are well known, the biogeography of coral functions in provinces and domains with high and low redundancy is poorly understood. Here, we quantify the functional traits of all currently recognized zooxanthellate coral species ( n = 821) in both the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic domains to examine the relationships between species richness and the diversity and redundancy of functional trait space. We find that trait diversity is remarkably conserved (>75% of the global total) along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in species richness, falling away only in species-poor provinces ( n < 200), such as the Persian Gulf (52% of the global total), Hawaii (37%), the Caribbean (26%), and the East-Pacific (20%), where redundancy is also diminished. In the more species-poor provinces, large and ecologically important areas of trait space are empty, or occupied by just a few, highly distinctive species. These striking biogeographical differences in redundancy could affect the resilience of critical reef functions and highlight the vulnerability of relatively depauperate, peripheral locations, which are often a low priority for targeted conservation efforts.

  12. Functional diversity of fish in estuaries at a global extent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita P Vasconcelos

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is currently viewed as a framework encompassing multiple facets of the variety of life, including taxonomic and functional aspects. Species richness and composition of fish assemblages in estuaries is defined by global to local processes acting on community colonization. The present study further investigates how biodiversity of fish assemblages varies among estuaries globally, by simultaneously analysing taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of assemblages. A comprehensive worldwide database was compiled on the fish assemblage composition and environmental characteristics of estuaries. In addition, functional attributes of the fish species were characterized such as body size, habitat use and trophic ecology. We investigated the relationship between taxonomic and functional aspects of biodiversity, i.e. the match or mismatch between the two. We also explored how functional diversity of fish assemblages varied among estuaries globally and related to environmental features of estuaries, i.e. historic and contemporary, global and local constraints. The results are explored in the context of ecosystem functioning and resilience, and outcomes relevant to assist in prioritizing conservation efforts are highlighted.

  13. Plant functional diversity affects climate-vegetation interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, Vivienne P.; Raddatz, Thomas; Reick, Christian H.; Claussen, Martin

    2018-04-01

    We present how variations in plant functional diversity affect climate-vegetation interaction towards the end of the African Humid Period (AHP) in coupled land-atmosphere simulations using the Max Planck Institute Earth system model (MPI-ESM). In experiments with AHP boundary conditions, the extent of the green Sahara varies considerably with changes in plant functional diversity. Differences in vegetation cover extent and plant functional type (PFT) composition translate into significantly different land surface parameters, water cycling, and surface energy budgets. These changes have not only regional consequences but considerably alter large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and the position of the tropical rain belt. Towards the end of the AHP, simulations with the standard PFT set in MPI-ESM depict a gradual decrease of precipitation and vegetation cover over time, while simulations with modified PFT composition show either a sharp decline of both variables or an even slower retreat. Thus, not the quantitative but the qualitative PFT composition determines climate-vegetation interaction and the climate-vegetation system response to external forcing. The sensitivity of simulated system states to changes in PFT composition raises the question how realistically Earth system models can actually represent climate-vegetation interaction, considering the poor representation of plant diversity in the current generation of land surface models.

  14. A surprising role for conformational entropy in protein function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wand, A. Joshua; Moorman, Veronica R.; Harpole, Kyle W.

    2014-01-01

    Formation of high-affinity complexes is critical for the majority of enzymatic reactions involving proteins. The creation of the family of Michaelis and other intermediate complexes during catalysis clearly involves a complicated manifold of interactions that are diverse and complex. Indeed, computing the energetics of interactions between proteins and small molecule ligands using molecular structure alone remains a grand challenge. One of the most difficult contributions to the free energy of protein-ligand complexes to experimentally access is that due to changes in protein conformational entropy. Fortunately, recent advances in solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation methods have enabled the use of measures-of-motion between conformational states of a protein as a proxy for conformational entropy. This review briefly summarizes the experimental approaches currently employed to characterize fast internal motion in proteins, how this information is used to gain insight into conformational entropy, what has been learned and what the future may hold for this emerging view of protein function. PMID:23478875

  15. Functionality of system components: Conservation of protein function in protein feature space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Juhl; Ussery, David; Brunak, Søren

    2003-01-01

    well on organisms other than the one on which it was trained. We evaluate the performance of such a method, ProtFun, which relies on protein features as its sole input, and show that the method gives similar performance for most eukaryotes and performs much better than anticipated on archaea......Many protein features useful for prediction of protein function can be predicted from sequence, including posttranslational modifications, subcellular localization, and physical/chemical properties. We show here that such protein features are more conserved among orthologs than paralogs, indicating...... they are crucial for protein function and thus subject to selective pressure. This means that a function prediction method based on sequence-derived features may be able to discriminate between proteins with different function even when they have highly similar structure. Also, such a method is likely to perform...

  16. Incorporating functional inter-relationships into protein function prediction algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Vipin

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional classification schemes (e.g. the Gene Ontology that serve as the basis for annotation efforts in several organisms are often the source of gold standard information for computational efforts at supervised protein function prediction. While successful function prediction algorithms have been developed, few previous efforts have utilized more than the protein-to-functional class label information provided by such knowledge bases. For instance, the Gene Ontology not only captures protein annotations to a set of functional classes, but it also arranges these classes in a DAG-based hierarchy that captures rich inter-relationships between different classes. These inter-relationships present both opportunities, such as the potential for additional training examples for small classes from larger related classes, and challenges, such as a harder to learn distinction between similar GO terms, for standard classification-based approaches. Results We propose a method to enhance the performance of classification-based protein function prediction algorithms by addressing the issue of using these interrelationships between functional classes constituting functional classification schemes. Using a standard measure for evaluating the semantic similarity between nodes in an ontology, we quantify and incorporate these inter-relationships into the k-nearest neighbor classifier. We present experiments on several large genomic data sets, each of which is used for the modeling and prediction of over hundred classes from the GO Biological Process ontology. The results show that this incorporation produces more accurate predictions for a large number of the functional classes considered, and also that the classes benefitted most by this approach are those containing the fewest members. In addition, we show how our proposed framework can be used for integrating information from the entire GO hierarchy for improving the accuracy of

  17. Functions and structures of eukaryotic recombination proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogawa, Tomoko

    1994-01-01

    We have found that Rad51 and RecA Proteins form strikingly similar structures together with dsDNA and ATP. Their right handed helical nucleoprotein filaments extend the B-form DNA double helixes to 1.5 times in length and wind the helix. The similarity and uniqueness of their structures must reflect functional homologies between these proteins. Therefore, it is highly probable that similar recombination proteins are present in various organisms of different evolutional states. We have succeeded to clone RAD51 genes from human, mouse, chicken and fission yeast genes, and found that the homologues are widely distributed in eukaryotes. The HsRad51 and MmRad51 or ChRad51 proteins consist of 339 amino acids differing only by 4 or 12 amino acids, respectively, and highly homologous to both yeast proteins, but less so to Dmcl. All of these proteins are homologous to the region from residues 33 to 240 of RecA which was named ''homologous core. The homologous core is likely to be responsible for functions common for all of them, such as the formation of helical nucleoprotein filament that is considered to be involved in homologous pairing in the recombination reaction. The mouse gene is transcribed at a high level in thymus, spleen, testis, and ovary, at lower level in brain and at a further lower level in some other tissues. It is transcribed efficiently in recombination active tissues. A clear functional difference of Rad51 homologues from RecA was suggested by the failure of heterologous genes to complement the deficiency of Scrad51 mutants. This failure seems to reflect the absence of a compatible partner, such as ScRad52 protein in the case of ScRad51 protein, between different species. Thus, these discoveries play a role of the starting point to understand the fundamental gene targeting in mammalian cells and in gene therapy. (J.P.N.)

  18. The evolution of function in strictosidine synthase-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Michael A; Barber, Alan E; Giddings, Lesley-Ann; Caldwell, Jenna; O'Connor, Sarah E; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2011-11-01

    The exponential growth of sequence data provides abundant information for the discovery of new enzyme reactions. Correctly annotating the functions of highly diverse proteins can be difficult, however, hindering use of this information. Global analysis of large superfamilies of related proteins is a powerful strategy for understanding the evolution of reactions by identifying catalytic commonalities and differences in reaction and substrate specificity, even when only a few members have been biochemically or structurally characterized. A comparison of >2500 sequences sharing the six-bladed β-propeller fold establishes sequence, structural, and functional links among the three subgroups of the functionally diverse N6P superfamily: the arylesterase-like and senescence marker protein-30/gluconolactonase/luciferin-regenerating enzyme-like (SGL) subgroups, representing enzymes that catalyze lactonase and related hydrolytic reactions, and the so-called strictosidine synthase-like (SSL) subgroup. Metal-coordinating residues were identified as broadly conserved in the active sites of all three subgroups except for a few proteins from the SSL subgroup, which have been experimentally determined to catalyze the quite different strictosidine synthase (SS) reaction, a metal-independent condensation reaction. Despite these differences, comparison of conserved catalytic features of the arylesterase-like and SGL enzymes with the SSs identified similar structural and mechanistic attributes between the hydrolytic reactions catalyzed by the former and the condensation reaction catalyzed by SS. The results also suggest that despite their annotations, the great majority of these >500 SSL sequences do not catalyze the SS reaction; rather, they likely catalyze hydrolytic reactions typical of the other two subgroups instead. This prediction was confirmed experimentally for one of these proteins. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Proteins with Novel Structure, Function and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a small enzyme that ligates two RNA fragments with the rate of 10(exp 6) above background was evolved in vitro (Seelig and Szostak, Nature 448:828-831, 2007). This enzyme does not resemble any contemporary protein (Chao et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 9:81-83, 2013). It consists of a dynamic, catalytic loop, a small, rigid core containing two zinc ions coordinated by neighboring amino acids, and two highly flexible tails that might be unimportant for protein function. In contrast to other proteins, this enzyme does not contain ordered secondary structure elements, such as alpha-helix or beta-sheet. The loop is kept together by just two interactions of a charged residue and a histidine with a zinc ion, which they coordinate on the opposite side of the loop. Such structure appears to be very fragile. Surprisingly, computer simulations indicate otherwise. As the coordinating, charged residue is mutated to alanine, another, nearby charged residue takes its place, thus keeping the structure nearly intact. If this residue is also substituted by alanine a salt bridge involving two other, charged residues on the opposite sides of the loop keeps the loop in place. These adjustments are facilitated by high flexibility of the protein. Computational predictions have been confirmed experimentally, as both mutants retain full activity and overall structure. These results challenge our notions about what is required for protein activity and about the relationship between protein dynamics, stability and robustness. We hypothesize that small, highly dynamic proteins could be both active and fault tolerant in ways that many other proteins are not, i.e. they can adjust to retain their structure and activity even if subjected to mutations in structurally critical regions. This opens the doors for designing proteins with novel functions, structures and dynamics that have not been yet considered.

  20. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in Neotropical Savanna headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological diversity can be divided into: alpha (α, local), beta (β, difference in assemblage composition among locals), and gamma (γ, total diversity). We assessed the partitioning of taxonomic diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) and of functional feedin...

  1. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    jai ganesha

    2013-07-17

    Jul 17, 2013 ... of genetic diversity in wheat has been on differences in morphological and ... glutenins, are the main components of gluten, which is the main contributor to the .... However, there was no within variety diversity observed as a ...

  2. Diverse Supramolecular Nanofiber Networks Assembled by Functional Low-Complexity Domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bolin; Wang, Xinyu; Cui, Mengkui; Gui, Xinrui; Mao, Xiuhai; Liu, Yan; Li, Ke; Chu, Cenfeng; Pu, Jiahua; Ren, Susu; Wang, Yanyi; Zhong, Guisheng; Lu, Timothy K; Liu, Cong; Zhong, Chao

    2017-07-25

    Self-assembling supramolecular nanofibers, common in the natural world, are of fundamental interest and technical importance to both nanotechnology and materials science. Despite important advances, synthetic nanofibers still lack the structural and functional diversity of biological molecules, and the controlled assembly of one type of molecule into a variety of fibrous structures with wide-ranging functional attributes remains challenging. Here, we harness the low-complexity (LC) sequence domain of fused in sarcoma (FUS) protein, an essential cellular nuclear protein with slow kinetics of amyloid fiber assembly, to construct random copolymer-like, multiblock, and self-sorted supramolecular fibrous networks with distinct structural features and fluorescent functionalities. We demonstrate the utilities of these networks in the templated, spatially controlled assembly of ligand-decorated gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, nanorods, DNA origami, and hybrid structures. Owing to the distinguishable nanoarchitectures of these nanofibers, this assembly is structure-dependent. By coupling a modular genetic strategy with kinetically controlled complex supramolecular self-assembly, we demonstrate that a single type of protein molecule can be used to engineer diverse one-dimensional supramolecular nanostructures with distinct functionalities.

  3. The semenogelins: proteins with functions beyond reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, M; Lundwall, A; Malm, J

    2006-12-01

    The coagulum proteins of human semen, semenogelins I and II, are secreted in abundance by the seminal vesicles. Their function in reproduction is poorly understood as they are rapidly degraded in ejaculated semen. However, more recent results indicate that it is time to put the semenogelins in a broader physiological perspective that goes beyond reproduction and fertility.

  4. The semenogelins: proteins with functions beyond reproduction?

    OpenAIRE

    Jonsson, Magnus; Lundwall, Åke; Malm, Johan

    2006-01-01

    The coagulum proteins of human semen, semenogelins I and II, are secreted in abundance by the seminal vesicles. Their function in reproduction is poorly understood as they are rapidly degraded in ejaculated semen. However, more recent results indicate that it is time to put the semenogelins in a broader physiological perspective that goes beyond reproduction and fertility.

  5. Morphological and functional diversity of primary producers group in savannas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medina, E.

    1996-01-01

    The meaning of biological diversity for the operation and stability of natural ecosystems is matter of great theoretical and practical interest. The appearance and permanency of species in a given atmosphere indicates its capacity to compete with other species with similar habit and requirements, and to accumulate the resources that allow its reproduction. On the other hand, the coexistence of similar species in the same ecosystem allows to wonder if ever biological redundancy exists, that is to say, if several species coexist with the same function inside the ecosystem, so that the disappearance of one of them would not have biological significant consequences. A strategy to simplify the analysis of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystems operation is by grouping species with similar function, called functional groups. In this work the the primary producers functional group is analyzed, essentially superiors plants, in a savannas ecosystems. The analysis establishes that the gives the primary producers group is heterogeneous and complex, so much morphological as functionally: 1) the structural complexity and diversity forms of life in an savannas ecosystem are associated with the stratified exploitation of resources over (light) and under the floor (nourishment and water). Changes in diversity that affect the system structure will probably also affect its operations. 2 )Very similar morphological species can differ physiologically up to constitute production units with contrasting nutritional requirements. The echo-physiologic analysis of this differentiation can explain the habitat preferences that are naturally observed. 3) The long-time permanency of rare species, of low frequency, show the inability of dominant species to capture all the available resources. 4) The primary producers and the floor microorganisms have strong interactions. Changes in the community composition can generate significant changes in other community. These biotic interactions

  6. A Global Overview of the Genetic and Functional Diversity in the Helicobacter pylori cag Pathogenicity Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moodley, Yoshan; Uhr, Markus; Stamer, Christiana; Vauterin, Marc; Suerbaum, Sebastian; Achtman, Mark

    2010-01-01

    The Helicobacter pylori cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI) encodes a type IV secretion system. Humans infected with cagPAI–carrying H. pylori are at increased risk for sequelae such as gastric cancer. Housekeeping genes in H. pylori show considerable genetic diversity; but the diversity of virulence factors such as the cagPAI, which transports the bacterial oncogene CagA into host cells, has not been systematically investigated. Here we compared the complete cagPAI sequences for 38 representative isolates from all known H. pylori biogeographic populations. Their gene content and gene order were highly conserved. The phylogeny of most cagPAI genes was similar to that of housekeeping genes, indicating that the cagPAI was probably acquired only once by H. pylori, and its genetic diversity reflects the isolation by distance that has shaped this bacterial species since modern humans migrated out of Africa. Most isolates induced IL-8 release in gastric epithelial cells, indicating that the function of the Cag secretion system has been conserved despite some genetic rearrangements. More than one third of cagPAI genes, in particular those encoding cell-surface exposed proteins, showed signatures of diversifying (Darwinian) selection at more than 5% of codons. Several unknown gene products predicted to be under Darwinian selection are also likely to be secreted proteins (e.g. HP0522, HP0535). One of these, HP0535, is predicted to code for either a new secreted candidate effector protein or a protein which interacts with CagA because it contains two genetic lineages, similar to cagA. Our study provides a resource that can guide future research on the biological roles and host interactions of cagPAI proteins, including several whose function is still unknown. PMID:20808891

  7. Tet protein function during Drosophila development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Wang

    Full Text Available The TET (Ten-eleven translocation 1, 2 and 3 proteins have been shown to function as DNA hydroxymethylases in vertebrates and their requirements have been documented extensively. Recently, the Tet proteins have been shown to also hydroxylate 5-methylcytosine in RNA. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmrC is enriched in messenger RNA but the function of this modification has yet to be elucidated. Because Cytosine methylation in DNA is barely detectable in Drosophila, it serves as an ideal model to study the biological function of 5hmrC. Here, we characterized the temporal and spatial expression and requirement of Tet throughout Drosophila development. We show that Tet is essential for viability as Tet complete loss-of-function animals die at the late pupal stage. Tet is highly expressed in neuronal tissues and at more moderate levels in somatic muscle precursors in embryos and larvae. Depletion of Tet in muscle precursors at early embryonic stages leads to defects in larval locomotion and late pupal lethality. Although Tet knock-down in neuronal tissue does not cause lethality, it is essential for neuronal function during development through its affects upon locomotion in larvae and the circadian rhythm of adult flies. Further, we report the function of Tet in ovarian morphogenesis. Together, our findings provide basic insights into the biological function of Tet in Drosophila, and may illuminate observed neuronal and muscle phenotypes observed in vertebrates.

  8. Binding proteins of somatomedins and their functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kostelecka, Z.; Blahovec, J.

    1998-01-01

    In this paper the functions of binding proteins are discussed. One variable that provides insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) control at the extracellular level is the presence of high-affinity, soluble insulin-like growth factor proteins (IGFBPs). IGFBP-1 inhibits IGF effect on human osteosarcoma cells. Increased concentration of IGFBP-3 inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cell line MCF 7 either directly or by competition for IGF receptors. Maybe IGFBPs work as anti-mitogens and IGFs are potential promotors of cancer growth

  9. Genetic diversity and evolution of human metapneumovirus fusion protein over twenty years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liem Alexis

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human metapneumovirus (HMPV is an important cause of acute respiratory illness in children. We examined the diversity and molecular evolution of HMPV using 85 full-length F (fusion gene sequences collected over a 20-year period. Results The F gene sequences fell into two major groups, each with two subgroups, which exhibited a mean of 96% identity by predicted amino acid sequences. Amino acid identity within and between subgroups was higher than nucleotide identity, suggesting structural or functional constraints on F protein diversity. There was minimal progressive drift over time, and the genetic lineages were stable over the 20-year period. Several canonical amino acid differences discriminated between major subgroups, and polymorphic variations tended to cluster in discrete regions. The estimated rate of mutation was 7.12 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year and the estimated time to most recent common HMPV ancestor was 97 years (95% likelihood range 66-194 years. Analysis suggested that HMPV diverged from avian metapneumovirus type C (AMPV-C 269 years ago (95% likelihood range 106-382 years. Conclusion HMPV F protein remains conserved over decades. HMPV appears to have diverged from AMPV-C fairly recently.

  10. Genetic diversity and evolution of human metapneumovirus fusion protein over twenty years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chin-Fen; Wang, Chiaoyin K; Tollefson, Sharon J; Piyaratna, Rohith; Lintao, Linda D; Chu, Marla; Liem, Alexis; Mark, Mary; Spaete, Richard R; Crowe, James E; Williams, John V

    2009-01-01

    Background Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important cause of acute respiratory illness in children. We examined the diversity and molecular evolution of HMPV using 85 full-length F (fusion) gene sequences collected over a 20-year period. Results The F gene sequences fell into two major groups, each with two subgroups, which exhibited a mean of 96% identity by predicted amino acid sequences. Amino acid identity within and between subgroups was higher than nucleotide identity, suggesting structural or functional constraints on F protein diversity. There was minimal progressive drift over time, and the genetic lineages were stable over the 20-year period. Several canonical amino acid differences discriminated between major subgroups, and polymorphic variations tended to cluster in discrete regions. The estimated rate of mutation was 7.12 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year and the estimated time to most recent common HMPV ancestor was 97 years (95% likelihood range 66-194 years). Analysis suggested that HMPV diverged from avian metapneumovirus type C (AMPV-C) 269 years ago (95% likelihood range 106-382 years). Conclusion HMPV F protein remains conserved over decades. HMPV appears to have diverged from AMPV-C fairly recently. PMID:19740442

  11. Condensins: universal organizers of chromosomes with diverse functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Tatsuya

    2012-08-01

    Condensins are multisubunit protein complexes that play a fundamental role in the structural and functional organization of chromosomes in the three domains of life. Most eukaryotic species have two different types of condensin complexes, known as condensins I and II, that fulfill nonoverlapping functions and are subjected to differential regulation during mitosis and meiosis. Recent studies revealed that the two complexes contribute to a wide variety of interphase chromosome functions, such as gene regulation, recombination, and repair. Also emerging are their cell type- and tissue-specific functions and relevance to human disease. Biochemical and structural analyses of eukaryotic and bacterial condensins steadily uncover the mechanisms of action of this class of highly sophisticated molecular machines. Future studies on condensins will not only enhance our understanding of chromosome architecture and dynamics, but also help address a previously underappreciated yet profound set of questions in chromosome biology.

  12. Functionality of extrusion--texturized whey proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onwulata, C I; Konstance, R P; Cooke, P H; Farrell, H M

    2003-11-01

    Whey, a byproduct of the cheesemaking process, is concentrated by processors to make whey protein concentrates (WPC) and isolates (WPI). Only 50% of whey proteins are used in foods. In order to increase their usage, texturizing WPC, WPI, and whey albumin is proposed to create ingredients with new functionality. Extrusion processing texturizes globular proteins by shearing and stretching them into aligned or entangled fibrous bundles. In this study, WPC, WPI, and whey albumin were extruded in a twin screw extruder at approximately 38% moisture content (15.2 ml/min, feed rate 25 g/min) and, at different extrusion cook temperatures, at the same temperature for the last four zones before the die (35, 50, 75, and 100 degrees C, respectively). Protein solubility, gelation, foaming, and digestibility were determined in extrudates. Degree of extrusion-induced insolubility (denaturation) or texturization, determined by lack of solubility at pH 7 for WPI, increased from 30 to 60, 85, and 95% for the four temperature conditions 35, 50, 75, and 100 degrees C, respectively. Gel strength of extruded isolates increased initially 115% (35 degrees C) and 145% (50 degrees C), but gel strength was lost at 75 and 100 degrees C. Denaturation at these melt temperatures had minimal effect on foaming and digestibility. Varying extrusion cook temperature allowed a new controlled rate of denaturation, indicating that a texturized ingredient with a predetermined functionality based on degree of denaturation can be created.

  13. Consumers control diversity and functioning of a natural marine ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the functional consequences of changes in biodiversity has been hampered by several limitations of previous work, including limited attention to trophic interactions, a focus on species richness rather than evenness, and the use of artificially assembled communities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we manipulated the density of an herbivorous snail in natural tide pools and allowed seaweed communities to assemble in an ecologically relevant and non-random manner. Seaweed species evenness and biomass-specific primary productivity (mg O(2 h(-1 g(-1 were higher in tide pools with snails because snails preferentially consumed an otherwise dominant seaweed species that can reduce biomass-specific productivity rates of algal assemblages. Although snails reduced overall seaweed biomass in tide pools, they did not affect gross primary productivity at the scale of tide pools (mg O(2 h(-1 pool(-1 or mg O(2 h(-1 m(-2 because of the enhanced biomass-specific productivity associated with grazer-mediated increases in algal evenness. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that increased attention to trophic interactions, diversity measures other than richness, and particularly the effects of consumers on evenness and primary productivity, will improve our understanding of the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and allow more effective links between experimental results and real-world changes in biodiversity.

  14. Platyhelminth Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) proteins: revealing structural diversity, class-specific features and biological associations across the phylum

    Science.gov (United States)

    CHALMERS, IAIN W.; HOFFMANN, KARL F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY During platyhelminth infection, a cocktail of proteins is released by the parasite to aid invasion, initiate feeding, facilitate adaptation and mediate modulation of the host immune response. Included amongst these proteins is the Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) family, part of the larger sperm coating protein/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7 (SCP/TAPS) superfamily. To explore the significance of this protein family during Platyhelminthes development and host interactions, we systematically summarize all published proteomic, genomic and immunological investigations of the VAL protein family to date. By conducting new genomic and transcriptomic interrogations to identify over 200 VAL proteins (228) from species in all 4 traditional taxonomic classes (Trematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Turbellaria), we further expand our knowledge related to platyhelminth VAL diversity across the phylum. Subsequent phylogenetic and tertiary structural analyses reveal several class-specific VAL features, which likely indicate a range of roles mediated by this protein family. Our comprehensive analysis of platyhelminth VALs represents a unifying synopsis for understanding diversity within this protein family and a firm context in which to initiate future functional characterization of these enigmatic members. PMID:22717097

  15. Functional diversity of bacterial genes associated with aromatic hydrocarbon degradation in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Gomes Germano

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the catabolic gene diversity for the bacterial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia (ADE and their biochar (BC. Functional diversity analyses in ADE soils can provide information on how adaptive microorganisms may influence the fertility of soils and what is their involvement in biogeochemical cycles. For this, clone libraries containing the gene encoding for the alpha subunit of aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (α-ARHD bacterial gene were constructed, totaling 800 clones. These libraries were prepared from samples of an ADE soil under two different land uses, located at the Caldeirão Experimental Station - secondary forest (SF and agriculture (AG -, and the biochar (SF_BC and AG_BC, respectively. Heterogeneity estimates indicated greater diversity in BC libraries; and Venn diagrams showed more unique operational protein clusters (OPC in the SF_BC library than the ADE soil, which indicates that specific metabolic processes may occur in biochar. Phylogenetic analysis showed unidentified dioxygenases in ADE soils. Libraries containing functional gene encoding for the alpha subunit of the aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (ARHD gene from biochar show higher diversity indices than those of ADE under secondary forest and agriculture.

  16. Diversity Indices as Measures of Functional Annotation Methods in Metagenomics Studies

    KAUST Repository

    Jankovic, Boris R.

    2016-01-26

    Applications of high-throughput techniques in metagenomics studies produce massive amounts of data. Fragments of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic molecules are all found in metagenomics samples. Laborious and meticulous effort in sequencing and functional annotation are then required to, amongst other objectives, reconstruct a taxonomic map of the environment that metagenomics samples were taken from. In addition to computational challenges faced by metagenomics studies, the analysis is further complicated by the presence of contaminants in the samples, potentially resulting in skewed taxonomic analysis. The functional annotation in metagenomics can utilize all available omics data and therefore different methods that are associated with a particular type of data. For example, protein-coding DNA, non-coding RNA or ribosomal RNA data can be used in such an analysis. These methods would have their advantages and disadvantages and the question of comparison among them naturally arises. There are several criteria that can be used when performing such a comparison. Loosely speaking, methods can be evaluated in terms of computational complexity or in terms of the expected biological accuracy. We propose that the concept of diversity that is used in the ecosystems and species diversity studies can be successfully used in evaluating certain aspects of the methods employed in metagenomics studies. We show that when applying the concept of Hill’s diversity, the analysis of variations in the diversity order provides valuable clues into the robustness of methods used in the taxonomical analysis.

  17. Diversity and subcellular distribution of archaeal secreted proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabo, Zalan; Pohlschroder, Mechthild

    2012-01-01

    Secreted proteins make up a significant percentage of a prokaryotic proteome and play critical roles in important cellular processes such as polymer degradation, nutrient uptake, signal transduction, cell wall biosynthesis, and motility. The majority of archaeal proteins are believed to be secreted either in an unfolded conformation via the universally conserved Sec pathway or in a folded conformation via the Twin arginine transport (Tat) pathway. Extensive in vivo and in silico analyses of N-terminal signal peptides that target proteins to these pathways have led to the development of computational tools that not only predict Sec and Tat substrates with high accuracy but also provide information about signal peptide processing and targeting. Predictions therefore include indications as to whether a substrate is a soluble secreted protein, a membrane or cell wall anchored protein, or a surface structure subunit, and whether it is targeted for post-translational modification such as glycosylation or the addition of a lipid. The use of these in silico tools, in combination with biochemical and genetic analyses of transport pathways and their substrates, has resulted in improved predictions of the subcellular localization of archaeal secreted proteins, allowing for a more accurate annotation of archaeal proteomes, and has led to the identification of potential adaptations to extreme environments, as well as phyla-specific pathways among the archaea. A more comprehensive understanding of the transport pathways used and post-translational modifications of secreted archaeal proteins will also facilitate the identification and heterologous expression of commercially valuable archaeal enzymes.

  18. The functional properties, modification and utilization of whey proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. G. Venter

    1986-03-01

    Full Text Available Whey protein has an excellent nutritional value and exhibits a functional potential. In comparison with certain other food proteins, the whey protein content of essential amino acids is extremely favourable for human consumption. Depending on the heat-treatment history thereof, soluble whey proteins with utilizable functional properties, apart from high biological value, true digestibility, protein efficiency ratio and nett protein utilization, can be recovered. Various technological and chemical recovery processes have been designed. Chemically and enzymatically modified whey protein is manufactured to obtain technological and functional advantages. The important functional properties of whey proteins, namely hydration, gelation, emulsifying and foaming properties, are reviewed.

  19. Functional Diversity of Fibroblast Growth Factors in Bone Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichiro Takei

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The functional significance of fibroblast growth factor (FGF signaling in bone formation has been demonstrated through genetic loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches. FGFs, comprising 22 family members, are classified into three subfamilies: canonical, hormone-like, and intracellular. The former two subfamilies activate their signaling pathways through FGF receptors (FGFRs. Currently, intracellular FGFs appear to be primarily involved in the nervous system. Canonical FGFs such as FGF2 play significant roles in bone formation, and precise spatiotemporal control of FGFs and FGFRs at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels may allow for the functional diversity of FGFs during bone formation. Recently, several research groups, including ours, have shown that FGF23, a member of the hormone-like FGF subfamily, is primarily expressed in osteocytes/osteoblasts. This polypeptide decreases serum phosphate levels by inhibiting renal phosphate reabsorption and vitamin D3 activation, resulting in mineralization defects in the bone. Thus, FGFs are involved in the positive and negative regulation of bone formation. In this review, we focus on the reciprocal roles of FGFs in bone formation in relation to their local versus systemic effects.

  20. Using Gel Electrophoresis To Illustrate Protein Diversity and Isoelectric Point.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Mark; Vanable, Joseph

    2002-01-01

    Demonstrates the differences in protein structures by focusing on isoelectric point with an experiment that is observable under certain pH levels in gel electrophoresis. Explains the electrophoresis procedure and reports results of the experiments. (YDS)

  1. Ontogenetic functional diversity: size structure of a keystone predator drives functioning of a complex ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf, Volker H W; Rasmussen, Nick L

    2013-05-01

    A central challenge in community ecology is to understand the connection between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. While traditional approaches have largely focused on species-level diversity, increasing evidence indicates that there exists substantial ecological diversity among individuals within species. By far, the largest source of this intraspecific diversity stems from variation among individuals in ontogenetic stage and size. Although such ontogenetic shifts are ubiquitous in natural communities, whether and how they scale up to influence the structure and functioning of complex ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the consequences of ontogenetic niche shifts for the structure of communities and ecosystem processes. In particular we experimentally manipulated the stage structure in a keystone predator, larvae of the dragonfly Anax junius, in complex experimental pond communities to test whether changes in the population stage or size structure of a keystone species scale up to alter community structure and ecosystem processes, and how functional differences scale with relative differences in size among stages. We found that the functional role of A. junius was stage-specific. Altering what stages were present in a pond led to concurrent changes in community structure, primary producer biomass (periphyton and phytoplankton), and ultimately altered ecosystem processes (respiration and net primary productivity), indicating a strong, but stage-specific, trophic cascade. Interestingly, the stage-specific effects did not simply scale with size or biomass of the predator, but instead indicated clear ontogenetic niche shifts in ecological interactions. Thus, functional differences among stages within a keystone species scaled up to alter the functioning of entire ecosystems. Therefore, our results indicate that the classical approach of assuming an average functional role of a species can be misleading because

  2. The E4 protein; structure, function and patterns of expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doorbar, John, E-mail: jdoorba@nimr.mrc.ac.uk

    2013-10-15

    The papillomavirus E4 open reading frame (ORF) is contained within the E2 ORF, with the primary E4 gene-product (E1{sup ∧}E4) being translated from a spliced mRNA that includes the E1 initiation codon and adjacent sequences. E4 is located centrally within the E2 gene, in a region that encodes the E2 protein′s flexible hinge domain. Although a number of minor E4 transcripts have been reported, it is the product of the abundant E1{sup ∧}E4 mRNA that has been most extensively analysed. During the papillomavirus life cycle, the E1{sup ∧}E4 gene products generally become detectable at the onset of vegetative viral genome amplification as the late stages of infection begin. E4 contributes to genome amplification success and virus synthesis, with its high level of expression suggesting additional roles in virus release and/or transmission. In general, E4 is easily visualised in biopsy material by immunostaining, and can be detected in lesions caused by diverse papillomavirus types, including those of dogs, rabbits and cattle as well as humans. The E4 protein can serve as a biomarker of active virus infection, and in the case of high-risk human types also disease severity. In some cutaneous lesions, E4 can be expressed at higher levels than the virion coat proteins, and can account for as much as 30% of total lesional protein content. The E4 proteins of the Beta, Gamma and Mu HPV types assemble into distinctive cytoplasmic, and sometimes nuclear, inclusion granules. In general, the E4 proteins are expressed before L2 and L1, with their structure and function being modified, first by kinases as the infected cell progresses through the S and G2 cell cycle phases, but also by proteases as the cell exits the cell cycle and undergoes true terminal differentiation. The kinases that regulate E4 also affect other viral proteins simultaneously, and include protein kinase A, Cyclin-dependent kinase, members of the MAP Kinase family and protein kinase C. For HPV16 E1{sup

  3. Functional advantages of dynamic protein disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlow, Rebecca B; Dyson, H Jane; Wright, Peter E

    2015-09-14

    Intrinsically disordered proteins participate in many important cellular regulatory processes. The absence of a well-defined structure in the free state of a disordered domain, and even on occasion when it is bound to physiological partners, is fundamental to its function. Disordered domains are frequently the location of multiple sites for post-translational modification, the key element of metabolic control in the cell. When a disordered domain folds upon binding to a partner, the resulting complex buries a far greater surface area than in an interaction of comparably-sized folded proteins, thus maximizing specificity at modest protein size. Disorder also maintains accessibility of sites for post-translational modification. Because of their inherent plasticity, disordered domains frequently adopt entirely different structures when bound to different partners, increasing the repertoire of available interactions without the necessity for expression of many different proteins. This feature also adds to the faithfulness of cellular regulation, as the availability of a given disordered domain depends on competition between various partners relevant to different cellular processes. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Xanthophylls as modulators of membrane protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruban, Alexander V; Johnson, Matthew P

    2010-12-01

    This review discusses the structural aspect of the role of photosynthetic antenna xanthophylls. It argues that xanthophyll hydrophobicity/polarity could explain the reason for xanthophyll variety and help to understand their recently emerging function--control of membrane organization and the work of membrane proteins. The structure of a xanthophyll molecule is discussed in relation to other amphiphilic compounds like lipids, detergents, etc. Xanthophyll composition of membrane proteins, the role of their variety in protein function are discussed using as an example for the major light harvesting antenna complex of photosystem II, LHCII, from higher plants. A new empirical parameter, hydrophobicity parameter (H-parameter), has been introduced as an effective measure of the hydrophobicity of the xanthophyll complement of LHCII from different xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants of Arabidopsis. Photosystem II quantum efficiency was found to correlate well with the H-parameter of LHCII xanthophylls. PSII down-regulation by non-photochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, NPQ, had optimum corresponding to the wild-type xanthophyll composition, where lutein occupies intrinsic sites, L1 and L2. Xanthophyll polarity/hydrophobicity alteration by the activity of the xanthophyll cycle explains the allosteric character of NPQ regulation, memory of illumination history and the hysteretic nature of the relationship between the triggering factor, ΔpH, and the energy dissipation process. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin and vagina. Much of this diversity remains unexplained, although diet, environment, host genetics and early microbial exposure have all been implicated. Accordingly, to characterize the ecology of human-associated microbial communities, the Human Microbiome Project has analysed the largest cohort and set of distinct, clinically relevant body habitats so far. We found the diversity and abundance of each habitat's signature microbes to vary widely even among healthy subjects, with strong niche specialization both within and among individuals. The project encountered an estimated 81-99% of the genera, enzyme families and community configurations occupied by the healthy Western microbiome. Metagenomic carriage of metabolic pathways was stable among individuals despite variation in community structure, and ethnic/racial background proved to be one of the strongest associations of both pathways and microbes with clinical metadata. These results thus delineate the range of structural and functional configurations normal in the microbial communities of a healthy population, enabling future characterization of the epidemiology, ecology and translational applications of the human microbiome.

  6. Functional understanding of the diverse exon-intron structures of human GPCR genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Dorothy A; Olman, Victor; Xu, Ying

    2014-02-01

    The GPCR genes have a variety of exon-intron structures even though their proteins are all structurally homologous. We have examined all human GPCR genes with at least two functional protein isoforms, totaling 199, aiming to gain an understanding of what may have contributed to the large diversity of the exon-intron structures of the GPCR genes. The 199 genes have a total of 808 known protein splicing isoforms with experimentally verified functions. Our analysis reveals that 1301 (80.6%) adjacent exon-exon pairs out of the total of 1,613 in the 199 genes have either exactly one exon skipped or the intron in-between retained in at least one of the 808 protein splicing isoforms. This observation has a statistical significance p-value of 2.051762 * e(-09), assuming that the observed splicing isoforms are independent of the exon-intron structures. Our interpretation of this observation is that the exon boundaries of the GPCR genes are not randomly determined; instead they may be selected to facilitate specific alternative splicing for functional purposes.

  7. Functional diversity of potassium channel voltage-sensing domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islas, León D

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-gated potassium channels or Kv's are membrane proteins with fundamental physiological roles. They are composed of 2 main functional protein domains, the pore domain, which regulates ion permeation, and the voltage-sensing domain, which is in charge of sensing voltage and undergoing a conformational change that is later transduced into pore opening. The voltage-sensing domain or VSD is a highly conserved structural motif found in all voltage-gated ion channels and can also exist as an independent feature, giving rise to voltage sensitive enzymes and also sustaining proton fluxes in proton-permeable channels. In spite of the structural conservation of VSDs in potassium channels, there are several differences in the details of VSD function found across variants of Kvs. These differences are mainly reflected in variations in the electrostatic energy needed to open different potassium channels. In turn, the differences in detailed VSD functioning among voltage-gated potassium channels might have physiological consequences that have not been explored and which might reflect evolutionary adaptations to the different roles played by Kv channels in cell physiology.

  8. Diversity and subcellular distribution of archaeal secreted proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mechthild ePohlschroder

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Secreted proteins make up a significant percentage of a prokaryotic proteome and play critical roles in important cellular processes such as polymer degradation, nutrient uptake, signal transduction, cell wall biosynthesis and motility. The majority of archaeal proteins are believed to be secreted either in an unfolded conformation via the universally conserved Sec pathway or in a folded conformation via the Twin arginine transport (Tat pathway. Extensive in vivo and in silico analyses of N-terminal signal peptides that target proteins to these pathways have led to the development of computational tools that not only predict Sec and Tat substrates with high accuracy but also provide information about signal peptide processing and targeting. Predictions therefore include indications as to whether a substrate is a soluble secreted protein, a membrane or cell-wall anchored protein, or a surface structure subunit, and whether it is targeted for post-translational modification such as glycosylation or the addition of a lipid. The use of these in silico tools, in combination with biochemical and genetic analyses of transport pathways and their substrates, has resulted in improved predictions of the subcellular localization of archaeal secreted proteins, allowing for a more accurate annotation of archaeal proteomes, and has led to the identification of potential adaptations to extreme environments, as well as archaeal kingdom-specific pathways. A more comprehensive understanding of the transport pathways and post-translational modifications of secreted archaeal proteins will also generate invaluable insights that will facilitate the identification of commercially valuable archaeal enzymes and the development of heterologous systems in which to efficiently express them.

  9. Endozoicomonas genomes reveal functional adaptation and plasticity in bacterial strains symbiotically associated with diverse marine hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.

    2017-01-17

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are globally distributed and often abundantly associated with diverse marine hosts including reef-building corals, yet their function remains unknown. In this study we generated novel Endozoicomonas genomes from single cells and metagenomes obtained directly from the corals Stylophora pistillata, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Acropora humilis. We then compared these culture-independent genomes to existing genomes of bacterial isolates acquired from a sponge, sea slug, and coral to examine the functional landscape of this enigmatic genus. Sequencing and analysis of single cells and metagenomes resulted in four novel genomes with 60–76% and 81–90% genome completeness, respectively. These data also confirmed that Endozoicomonas genomes are large and are not streamlined for an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle, implying that they have free-living stages. All genomes show an enrichment of genes associated with carbon sugar transport and utilization and protein secretion, potentially indicating that Endozoicomonas contribute to the cycling of carbohydrates and the provision of proteins to their respective hosts. Importantly, besides these commonalities, the genomes showed evidence for differential functional specificity and diversification, including genes for the production of amino acids. Given this metabolic diversity of Endozoicomonas we propose that different genotypes play disparate roles and have diversified in concert with their hosts.

  10. Endozoicomonas genomes reveal functional adaptation and plasticity in bacterial strains symbiotically associated with diverse marine hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.; Michell, Craig; Apprill, Amy; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are globally distributed and often abundantly associated with diverse marine hosts including reef-building corals, yet their function remains unknown. In this study we generated novel Endozoicomonas genomes from single cells and metagenomes obtained directly from the corals Stylophora pistillata, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Acropora humilis. We then compared these culture-independent genomes to existing genomes of bacterial isolates acquired from a sponge, sea slug, and coral to examine the functional landscape of this enigmatic genus. Sequencing and analysis of single cells and metagenomes resulted in four novel genomes with 60–76% and 81–90% genome completeness, respectively. These data also confirmed that Endozoicomonas genomes are large and are not streamlined for an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle, implying that they have free-living stages. All genomes show an enrichment of genes associated with carbon sugar transport and utilization and protein secretion, potentially indicating that Endozoicomonas contribute to the cycling of carbohydrates and the provision of proteins to their respective hosts. Importantly, besides these commonalities, the genomes showed evidence for differential functional specificity and diversification, including genes for the production of amino acids. Given this metabolic diversity of Endozoicomonas we propose that different genotypes play disparate roles and have diversified in concert with their hosts.

  11. Unrecognized coral species diversity masks differences in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Jennifer N; Hellberg, Michael E; Cortés, Jorge; Baums, Iliana B

    2014-02-07

    Porites corals are foundation species on Pacific reefs but a confused taxonomy hinders understanding of their ecosystem function and responses to climate change. Here, we show that what has been considered a single species in the eastern tropical Pacific, Porites lobata, includes a morphologically similar yet ecologically distinct species, Porites evermanni. While P. lobata reproduces mainly sexually, P. evermanni dominates in areas where triggerfish prey on bioeroding mussels living within the coral skeleton, thereby generating asexual coral fragments. These fragments proliferate in marginal habitat not colonized by P. lobata. The two Porites species also show a differential bleaching response despite hosting the same dominant symbiont subclade. Thus, hidden diversity within these reef-builders has until now obscured differences in trophic interactions, reproductive dynamics and bleaching susceptibility, indicative of differential responses when confronted with future climate change.

  12. The functions of biological diversity in an age of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, Shahid; Duffy, J Emmett; Zavaleta, Erika

    2012-06-15

    Ecosystems worldwide are rapidly losing taxonomic, phylogenetic, genetic, and functional diversity as a result of human appropriation of natural resources, modification of habitats and climate, and the spread of pathogenic, exotic, and domestic plants and animals. Twenty years of intense theoretical and empirical research have shown that such biotic impoverishment can markedly alter the biogeochemical and dynamic properties of ecosystems, but frontiers remain in linking this research to the complexity of wild nature, and in applying it to pressing environmental issues such as food, water, energy, and biosecurity. The question before us is whether these advances can take us beyond merely invoking the precautionary principle of conserving biodiversity to a predictive science that informs practical and specific solutions to mitigate and adapt to its loss.

  13. Diversity, Function and Transcriptional Regulation of Gut Innate Lymphocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucille eRankin

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The innate immune system plays a critical early role in host defense against viruses, bacteria and tumour cells. Until recently, natural killer (NK cells and lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi cells were the primary members of the innate lymphocyte family: NK cells form the front-line interface between the external environment and the adaptive immune system, while LTi cells are essential for secondary lymphoid tissue formation. More recently, it has become apparent that the composition of this family is much more diverse than previously appreciated and newly recognized populations play distinct and essential functions in tissue protection. Despite the importance of these cells, the developmental relationships between different innate lymphocyte populations (ILCs remain unclear. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the development of different innate immune cell subsets, the transcriptional programs that might be involved in driving fate decisions during development, and their relationship to NK cells.

  14. Structure, diversity and evolution of protein toxins from spore-forming entomopathogenic bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maagd, de R.A.; Bravo, A.; Berry, C.; Crickmore, N.; Schnepf, H.E.

    2003-01-01

    Gram-positive spore-forming entomopathogenic bacteria can utilize a large variety of protein toxins to help them invade, infect, and finally kill their hosts, through their action on the insect midgut. These toxins belong to a number of homology groups containing a diversity of protein structures

  15. Functionally relevant diversity of closely related Nitrospira in activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber-Dorninger, Christiane; Pester, Michael; Kitzinger, Katharina; Savio, Domenico F; Loy, Alexander; Rattei, Thomas; Wagner, Michael; Daims, Holger

    2015-03-01

    Nitrospira are chemolithoautotrophic nitrite-oxidizing bacteria that catalyze the second step of nitrification in most oxic habitats and are important for excess nitrogen removal from sewage in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). To date, little is known about their diversity and ecological niche partitioning within complex communities. In this study, the fine-scale community structure and function of Nitrospira was analyzed in two full-scale WWTPs as model ecosystems. In Nitrospira-specific 16S rRNA clone libraries retrieved from each plant, closely related phylogenetic clusters (16S rRNA identities between clusters ranged from 95.8% to 99.6%) within Nitrospira lineages I and II were found. Newly designed probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) allowed the specific detection of several of these clusters, whose coexistence in the WWTPs was shown for prolonged periods of several years. In situ ecophysiological analyses based on FISH, relative abundance and spatial arrangement quantification, as well as microautoradiography revealed functional differences of these Nitrospira clusters regarding the preferred nitrite concentration, the utilization of formate as substrate and the spatial coaggregation with ammonia-oxidizing bacteria as symbiotic partners. Amplicon pyrosequencing of the nxrB gene, which encodes subunit beta of nitrite oxidoreductase of Nitrospira, revealed in one of the WWTPs as many as 121 species-level nxrB operational taxonomic units with highly uneven relative abundances in the amplicon library. These results show a previously unrecognized high diversity of Nitrospira in engineered systems, which is at least partially linked to niche differentiation and may have important implications for process stability.

  16. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  17. Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portraits In Courage Vol. VIII Portraits In Courage Vol. IX Portraits In Courage Vol. X AF Sites Social -Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce Executive Order 13548 : Virtual Diversity Conference Air Force Diversity & Inclusion Air Force Diversity Graphic There is no

  18. Molecular and clinical diversity in paraneoplastic immunity to Ma proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenfeld, M R; Eichen, J G; Wade, D F; Posner, J B; Dalmau, J

    2001-09-01

    Antibodies to Ma1 and Ma2 proteins identify a paraneoplastic disorder that affects the limbic system, brain stem, and cerebellum. Preliminary studies suggested the existence of other Ma proteins and different patterns of immune response associated with distinct neurologic symptoms and cancers. In this study, our aim was to isolate the full-length sequence of Ma2 and new family members, identify the major autoantigen of the disorder, and extend the dinical-immunological analysis to 29 patients. Sera from selected patients were used to probe a brainstem cDNA library and isolate the entire Ma2 gene and a new family member, Ma3. Ma3 mRNA is ubiquitously expressed in brain, testis, and several systemic tissues. The variable cellular expression of Ma proteins and analysis of protein motifs suggest that these proteins play roles in the biogenesis of mRNA. Immunoblot studies identify Ma2 as the major autoantigen with unique epitopes recognized by all patients' sera. Eighteen patients had antibodies limited to Ma2: they developed limbic, hypothalamic, and brainstem encephalitis, and 78% had germ-cell tumors of the testis. Eleven patients had antibodies to Ma2 and additional antibodies to Ma1 and/or Ma3; they usually developed additional cerebellar symptoms and more intense brainstem dysfunction, and 82% of these patients had tumors other than germ-cell neoplasms. Overall, 17 of 24 patients (71%) with brain magnetic resonance imaging studies had abnormalities within or outside the temporal lobes, some as contrast-enhancing nodular lesions. A remarkable finding of immunity to Ma proteins is that neurologic symptoms may improve or resolve. This improvement segregated to a group of patients with antibodies limited to Ma2.

  19. Dietary fatty acids and membrane protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, M G

    1990-02-01

    In recent years, there has been growing public awareness of the potential health benefits of dietary fatty acids, and of the distinction between the effects of the omega6 and omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that are concentrated in vegetable and fish oils, respectively. A part of the biologic effectiveness of the two families of polyunsaturated fatty acids resides in their relative roles as precursors of the eicosanoids. However, we are also beginning to appreciate that as the major components of the hydrophobic core of the membrane bilayer, they can interact with and directly influence the functioning of select integral membrane proteins. Among the most important of these are the enzymes, receptors, and ion channels that are situated in the plasma membrane of the cell, since they carry out the communication and homeostatic processes that are necessary for normal cell function. This review examines current information regarding the effects of diet-induced changes in plasma membrane fatty acid composition on several specific enzymes (adenylate cyclase, 5'-nucleotidase, Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase) and cell-surface receptors (opiate, adrenergic, insulin). Dietary manipulation studies have demonstrated a sensitivity of each to a fatty acid environment that is variably dependent on the nature of the fatty acid(s) and/or source of the membrane. The molecular mechanisms appear to involve fatty acid-dependent effects on protein conformation, on the "fluidity" and/or thickness of the membrane, or on protein synthesis. Together, the results of these studies reinforce the concept that dietary fats have the potential to regulate physiologic function and to further our understanding of how this occurs at a membrane level.

  20. Decreases in soil microbial function and functional diversity in response to depleted uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, M.C.; Paschke, M.W.; McLendon, T.

    1998-01-01

    A soil microcosm experiment was used to analyze effects of depleted uranium (DU) on soil function, and the concomitant changes in bacterial functional diversity. Uranium treatment levels were 0, 50, 500, 5000, 10,000 and 25,000 mg DU kg -1 soil. Three measures of soil function were made. Overall soil biological activity was assessed via measurement of soil respiration. Decomposition was assessed by measurement of mass loss of four different plant litter types: wood sticks, cellulose paper, high-N grass, and low-N grass. Mineral N availability in the microcosms was estimated using ion-exchange resin bags. Functional diversity of the microcosms was analyzed through the use of the Biolog-system of sole-C-utilization patterns. Soil respiration was the most sensitive measure of functional changes, with significant decreases observed starting at the 500 mg kg -1 treatment. No differences in N availability were observed across the U treatments. Litter decomposition was significantly decreased at the 25,000 mg kg -1 level relative to the control for all litter types except the high-N grass. Wood decomposition was reduced by 84% at the 25,000 mg kg - treatment, cellulose paper by 68%, and low-N grass by 15%. Decreases in the functional diversity of the bacterial community were related to the observed decrease in soil respiration, and to the greater effect on decomposition of the lower-quality litter types

  1. Protein landmarks for diversity assessment in wheat genotypes

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-05-04

    May 4, 2009 ... agronomic performance, biochemical and molecular. (DNA-based) data ... analysis of storage protein variation in wheat has proved to be a useful tool ... concentration: 0.5 M Tris-HCl (pH 6.8), 2.5% SDS, 10 % glycerol and 5% ...

  2. Diverse Functional Properties of Wilson Disease ATP7B Variants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huster, Dominik; Kühne, Angelika; Bhattacharjee, Ashima; Raines, Lily; Jantsch, Vanessa; Noe, Johannes; Schirrmeister, Wiebke; Sommerer, Ines; Sabri, Osama; Berr, Frieder; Mössner, Joachim; Stieger, Bruno; Caca, Karel; Lutsenko, Svetlana

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS Wilson disease is a severe disorder of copper metabolism caused by mutations in ATP7B, which encodes a copper-transporting adenosine triphosphatase. The disease presents with a variable phenotype that complicates the diagnostic process and treatment. Little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to the different phenotypes of the disease. METHODS We analyzed 28 variants of ATP7B from patients with Wilson disease that affected different functional domains; the gene products were expressed using the baculovirus expression system in Sf9 cells. Protein function was analyzed by measuring catalytic activity and copper (64Cu) transport into vesicles. We studied intracellular localization of variants of ATP7B that had measurable transport activities and were tagged with green fluorescent protein in mammalian cells using confocal laser scanning microscopy. RESULTS Properties of ATP7B variants with pathogenic amino-acid substitution varied greatly even if substitutions were in the same functional domain. Some variants had complete loss of catalytic and transport activity, whereas others lost transport activity but retained phosphor-intermediate formation or had partial losses of activity. In mammalian cells, transport-competent variants differed in stability and subcellular localization. CONCLUSIONS Variants in ATP7B associated with Wilson disease disrupt the protein’s transport activity, result in its mislocalization, and reduce its stability. Single assays are insufficient to accurately predict the effects of ATP7B variants the function of its product and development of Wilson disease. These findings will contribute to our understanding of genotype–phenotype correlation and mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. PMID:22240481

  3. Butterflies show different functional and species diversity in relationship to vegetation structure and land use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Marshall, L.; van't Zelfde, M.; Villalobos-Arámbula, A.R.; Boekelo, B.; Bartholomeus, H.; Franzén, M.; Biesmeijer, J.C.

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Biodiversity is rapidly disappearing at local and global scales also affecting the functional diversity of ecosystems. We aimed to assess whether functional diversity was correlated with species diversity and whether both were affected by similar land use and vegetation structure drivers.

  4. Protein Function Prediction Based on Sequence and Structure Information

    KAUST Repository

    Smaili, Fatima Z.

    2016-01-01

    operate. In this master thesis project, we worked on inferring protein functions based on the primary protein sequence. In the approach we follow, 3D models are first constructed using I-TASSER. Functions are then deduced by structurally matching

  5. UTILIZATION OF PLANT PROTEINS IN FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. G. Kulakov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Development of functional food products technology is considered to be a prospect way for creating new food products. Such products are known to be popular among consumers. Utilization of plant proteins allows to widen and improve food assortment and quality. The article represents a review of plant proteins utilization in production of functional food. For optimization of flour confectionery chemical composition the authors utilized a method of receipts modeling. Simulation of combined products is based on the principles of food combinatorics and aims to create recipes of new types of food products on basis of methods of mathematical optimization by reasonable selection of the basic raw materials, ingredients, food additives and dietary supplements, totality of which ensures formation desired organoleptic, physical and chemical properties product as well as a predetermined level of food, biological and energy value. Modeling process of combined products recipes includes the following three stages: preparation of input data for the design, formalization requirements for the composition and properties of raw ingredients and quality final product, process modeling; product design with desired structural properties.

  6. Density functional study of molecular interactions in secondary structures of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Yu; Kusaka, Ayumi; Nakamura, Haruki

    2016-01-01

    Proteins play diverse and vital roles in biology, which are dominated by their three-dimensional structures. The three-dimensional structure of a protein determines its functions and chemical properties. Protein secondary structures, including α-helices and β-sheets, are key components of the protein architecture. Molecular interactions, in particular hydrogen bonds, play significant roles in the formation of protein secondary structures. Precise and quantitative estimations of these interactions are required to understand the principles underlying the formation of three-dimensional protein structures. In the present study, we have investigated the molecular interactions in α-helices and β-sheets, using ab initio wave function-based methods, the Hartree-Fock method (HF) and the second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (MP2), density functional theory, and molecular mechanics. The characteristic interactions essential for forming the secondary structures are discussed quantitatively.

  7. Phylogenetic and Functional Diversity of Fleshy-Fruited Plants Are Positively Associated with Seedling Diversity in a Tropical Montane Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia C. Muñoz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Mutualistic interactions between plants and animals can affect both plant and animal communities, and potentially leave imprints on plant demography. Yet, no study has simultaneously tested how trait variation in plant resources shapes the diversity of animal consumers, and how these interactions influence seedling recruitment. Here, we analyzed whether (i phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of fruiting plants were correlated with the corresponding diversity of frugivorous birds, and (ii whether phylogenetic diversity and functional identity of plant and bird communities influenced the corresponding diversity and identity of seedling communities. We recorded mutualistic interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivorous birds and seedling communities in 10 plots along an elevational gradient in the Colombian Andes. We built a phylogeny for plants/seedlings and birds and measured relevant morphological plant and bird traits that influence plant-bird interactions and seedling recruitment. We found that phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of frugivorous birds were positively associated with the corresponding diversities of fruiting plants, consistent with a bottom-up effect of plants on birds. Moreover, the phylogenetic diversity of seedlings was related to the phylogenetic diversity of plants, but was unrelated to the phylogenetic diversity of frugivorous birds, suggesting that top-down effects of animals on seedlings were weak. Mean seed mass of seedling communities was positively associated with the mean fruit mass of plants, but was not associated with the mean avian body mass in the frugivore communities. Our study shows that variation in the traits of fleshy-fruited plants was associated with the diversity of frugivorous birds and affected the future trajectory of seedling recruitment, whereas the morphological traits of animal seed dispersers were unrelated to the phylogenetic and functional structure of

  8. Integrative Identification of Arabidopsis Mitochondrial Proteome and Its Function Exploitation through Protein Interaction Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jian; Liu, Jinghua; Li, Yuhua; Shi, Tieliu

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria are major players on the production of energy, and host several key reactions involved in basic metabolism and biosynthesis of essential molecules. Currently, the majority of nucleus-encoded mitochondrial proteins are unknown even for model plant Arabidopsis. We reported a computational framework for predicting Arabidopsis mitochondrial proteins based on a probabilistic model, called Naive Bayesian Network, which integrates disparate genomic data generated from eight bioinformatics tools, multiple orthologous mappings, protein domain properties and co-expression patterns using 1,027 microarray profiles. Through this approach, we predicted 2,311 candidate mitochondrial proteins with 84.67% accuracy and 2.53% FPR performances. Together with those experimental confirmed proteins, 2,585 mitochondria proteins (named CoreMitoP) were identified, we explored those proteins with unknown functions based on protein-protein interaction network (PIN) and annotated novel functions for 26.65% CoreMitoP proteins. Moreover, we found newly predicted mitochondrial proteins embedded in particular subnetworks of the PIN, mainly functioning in response to diverse environmental stresses, like salt, draught, cold, and wound etc. Candidate mitochondrial proteins involved in those physiological acitivites provide useful targets for further investigation. Assigned functions also provide comprehensive information for Arabidopsis mitochondrial proteome. PMID:21297957

  9. Canola/rapeseed protein-functionality and nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanasundara Janitha P.D.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Protein rich meal is a valuable co-product of canola/rapeseed oil extraction. Seed storage proteins that include cruciferin (11S and napin (2S dominate the protein complement of canola while oleosins, lipid transfer proteins and other minor proteins of non-storage nature are also found. Although oil-free canola meal contains 36–40% protein on a dry weight basis, non-protein components including fibre, polymeric phenolics, phytates and sinapine, etc. of the seed coat and cellular components make protein less suitable for food use. Separation of canola protein from non-protein components is a technical challenge but necessary to obtain full nutritional and functional potential of protein. Process conditions of raw material and protein preparation are critical of nutritional and functional value of the final protein product. The storage proteins of canola can satisfy many nutritional and functional requirements for food applications. Protein macromolecules of canola also provide functionalities required in applications beyond edible uses; there exists substantial potential as a source of plant protein and a renewable biopolymer. Available information at present is mostly based on the protein products that can be obtained as mixtures of storage protein types and other chemical constituents of the seed; therefore, full potential of canola storage proteins is yet to be revealed.

  10. The phylogeny of the mammalian heme peroxidases and the evolution of their diverse functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ó'Fágáin Ciarán

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian heme peroxidases (MHPs are a medically important group of enzymes. Included in this group are myeloperoxidase, eosinophil peroxidase, lactoperoxidase, and thyroid peroxidase. These enzymes are associated with such diverse diseases as asthma, Alzheimer's disease and inflammatory vascular disease. Despite much effort to elucidate a clearer understanding of the function of the 4 major groups of this multigene family, we still do not have a clear understanding of their relationships to each other. Results Sufficient signal exists for the resolution of the evolutionary relationships of this family of enzymes. We demonstrate, using a root mean squared deviation statistic, how the removal of the fastest evolving sites aids in the minimisation of the effect of long branch attraction and the generation of a highly supported phylogeny. Based on this phylogeny we have pinpointed the amino acid positions that have most likely contributed to the diverse functions of these enzymes. Many of these residues are in close proximity to sites implicated in protein misfolding, loss of function or disease. Conclusion Our analysis of all available genomic sequence data for the MHPs from all available completed mammalian genomes, involved sophisticated methods of phylogeny reconstruction and data treatment. Our study has (i fully resolved the phylogeny of the MHPs and the subsequent pattern of gene duplication, and (ii, we have detected amino acids under positive selection that have most likely contributed to the observed functional shifts in each type of MHP.

  11. Nck adapter proteins: functional versatility in T cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janssen Ottmar

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Nck is a ubiquitously expressed adapter protein that is almost exclusively built of one SH2 domain and three SH3 domains. The two isoproteins of Nck are functionally redundant in many aspects and differ in only few amino acids that are mostly located in the linker regions between the interaction modules. Nck proteins connect receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases to the machinery of actin reorganisation. Thereby, Nck regulates activation-dependent processes during cell polarisation and migration and plays a crucial role in the signal transduction of a variety of receptors including for instance PDGF-, HGF-, VEGF- and Ephrin receptors. In most cases, the SH2 domain mediates binding to the phosphorylated receptor or associated phosphoproteins, while SH3 domain interactions lead to the formation of larger protein complexes. In T lymphocytes, Nck plays a pivotal role in the T cell receptor (TCR-induced reorganisation of the actin cytoskeleton and the formation of the immunological synapse. However, in this context, two different mechanisms and adapter complexes are discussed. In the first scenario, dependent on an activation-induced conformational change in the CD3ε subunits, a direct binding of Nck to components of the TCR/CD3 complex was shown. In the second scenario, Nck is recruited to the TCR complex via phosphorylated Slp76, another central constituent of the membrane proximal activation complex. Over the past years, a large number of putative Nck interactors have been identified in different cellular systems that point to diverse additional functions of the adapter protein, e.g. in the control of gene expression and proliferation.

  12. Nanobody Technology: A Versatile Toolkit for Microscopic Imaging, Protein-Protein Interaction Analysis, and Protein Function Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beghein, Els; Gettemans, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Over the last two decades, nanobodies or single-domain antibodies have found their way in research, diagnostics, and therapy. These antigen-binding fragments, derived from Camelid heavy chain only antibodies, possess remarkable characteristics that favor their use over conventional antibodies or fragments thereof, in selected areas of research. In this review, we assess the current status of nanobodies as research tools in diverse aspects of fundamental research. We discuss the use of nanobodies as detection reagents in fluorescence microscopy and focus on recent advances in super-resolution microscopy. Second, application of nanobody technology in investigating protein-protein interactions is reviewed, with emphasis on possible uses in mass spectrometry. Finally, we discuss the potential value of nanobodies in studying protein function, and we focus on their recently reported application in targeted protein degradation. Throughout the review, we highlight state-of-the-art engineering strategies that could expand nanobody versatility and we suggest future applications of the technology in the selected areas of fundamental research.

  13. Identification of Abiotic Stress Protein Biomarkers by Proteomic Screening of Crop Cultivar Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Barkla, Bronwyn J.

    2016-01-01

    Modern day agriculture practice is narrowing the genetic diversity in our food supply. This may compromise the ability to obtain high yield under extreme climactic conditions, threatening food security for a rapidly growing world population. To identify genetic diversity, tolerance mechanisms of cultivars, landraces and wild relatives of major crops can be identified and ultimately exploited for yield improvement. Quantitative proteomics allows for the identification of proteins that may cont...

  14. A FREQUENCY-BASED LINGUISTIC APPROACH TO PROTEIN DECODING AND DESIGN: SIMPLE CONCEPTS, DIVERSE APPLICATIONS, AND THE SCS PACKAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenta Motomura

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Protein structure and function information is coded in amino acid sequences. However, the relationship between primary sequences and three-dimensional structures and functions remains enigmatic. Our approach to this fundamental biochemistry problem is based on the frequencies of short constituent sequences (SCSs or words. A protein amino acid sequence is considered analogous to an English sentence, where SCSs are equivalent to words. Availability scores, which are defined as real SCS frequencies in the non-redundant amino acid database relative to their probabilistically expected frequencies, demonstrate the biological usage bias of SCSs. As a result, this frequency-based linguistic approach is expected to have diverse applications, such as secondary structure specifications by structure-specific SCSs and immunological adjuvants with rare or non-existent SCSs. Linguistic similarities (e.g., wide ranges of scale-free distributions and dissimilarities (e.g., behaviors of low-rank samples between proteins and the natural English language have been revealed in the rank-frequency relationships of SCSs or words. We have developed a web server, the SCS Package, which contains five applications for analyzing protein sequences based on the linguistic concept. These tools have the potential to assist researchers in deciphering structurally and functionally important protein sites, species-specific sequences, and functional relationships between SCSs. The SCS Package also provides researchers with a tool to construct amino acid sequences de novo based on the idiomatic usage of SCSs.

  15. A frequency-based linguistic approach to protein decoding and design: Simple concepts, diverse applications, and the SCS Package

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Kenta; Nakamura, Morikazu; Otaki, Joji M.

    2013-01-01

    Protein structure and function information is coded in amino acid sequences. However, the relationship between primary sequences and three-dimensional structures and functions remains enigmatic. Our approach to this fundamental biochemistry problem is based on the frequencies of short constituent sequences (SCSs) or words. A protein amino acid sequence is considered analogous to an English sentence, where SCSs are equivalent to words. Availability scores, which are defined as real SCS frequencies in the non-redundant amino acid database relative to their probabilistically expected frequencies, demonstrate the biological usage bias of SCSs. As a result, this frequency-based linguistic approach is expected to have diverse applications, such as secondary structure specifications by structure-specific SCSs and immunological adjuvants with rare or non-existent SCSs. Linguistic similarities (e.g., wide ranges of scale-free distributions) and dissimilarities (e.g., behaviors of low-rank samples) between proteins and the natural English language have been revealed in the rank-frequency relationships of SCSs or words. We have developed a web server, the SCS Package, which contains five applications for analyzing protein sequences based on the linguistic concept. These tools have the potential to assist researchers in deciphering structurally and functionally important protein sites, species-specific sequences, and functional relationships between SCSs. The SCS Package also provides researchers with a tool to construct amino acid sequences de novo based on the idiomatic usage of SCSs. PMID:24688703

  16. Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. 2. Cellular components, domains, technical terms, developmental processes, and coding sequence diversities correlated with long disordered regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucetic, Slobodan; Xie, Hongbo; Iakoucheva, Lilia M; Oldfield, Christopher J; Dunker, A Keith; Obradovic, Zoran; Uversky, Vladimir N

    2007-05-01

    Biologically active proteins without stable ordered structure (i.e., intrinsically disordered proteins) are attracting increased attention. Functional repertoires of ordered and disordered proteins are very different, and the ability to differentiate whether a given function is associated with intrinsic disorder or with a well-folded protein is crucial for modern protein science. However, there is a large gap between the number of proteins experimentally confirmed to be disordered and their actual number in nature. As a result, studies of functional properties of confirmed disordered proteins, while helpful in revealing the functional diversity of protein disorder, provide only a limited view. To overcome this problem, a bioinformatics approach for comprehensive study of functional roles of protein disorder was proposed in the first paper of this series (Xie, H.; Vucetic, S.; Iakoucheva, L. M.; Oldfield, C. J.; Dunker, A. K.; Obradovic, Z.; Uversky, V. N. Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. 1. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions. J. Proteome Res. 2007, 5, 1882-1898). Applying this novel approach to Swiss-Prot sequences and functional keywords, we found over 238 and 302 keywords to be strongly positively or negatively correlated, respectively, with long intrinsically disordered regions. This paper describes approximately 90 Swiss-Prot keywords attributed to the cellular components, domains, technical terms, developmental processes, and coding sequence diversities possessing strong positive and negative correlation with long disordered regions.

  17. Functional Anthology of Intrinsic Disorder. II. Cellular Components, Domains, Technical Terms, Developmental Processes and Coding Sequence Diversities Correlated with Long Disordered Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucetic, Slobodan; Xie, Hongbo; Iakoucheva, Lilia M.; Oldfield, Christopher J.; Dunker, A. Keith; Obradovic, Zoran; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2008-01-01

    Biologically active proteins without stable ordered structure (i.e., intrinsically disordered proteins) are attracting increased attention. Functional repertoires of ordered and disordered proteins are very different, and the ability to differentiate whether a given function is associated with intrinsic disorder or with a well-folded protein is crucial for modern protein science. However, there is a large gap between the number of proteins experimentally confirmed to be disordered and their actual number in nature. As a result, studies of functional properties of confirmed disordered proteins, while helpful in revealing the functional diversity of protein disorder, provide only a limited view. To overcome this problem, a bioinformatics approach for comprehensive study of functional roles of protein disorder was proposed in the first paper of this series (Xie H., Vucetic S., Iakoucheva L.M., Oldfield C.J., Dunker A.K., Obradovic Z., Uversky V.N. (2006) Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. I. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions. J. Proteome Res.). Applying this novel approach to Swiss-Prot sequences and functional keywords, we found over 238 and 302 keywords to be strongly positively or negatively correlated, respectively, with long intrinsically disordered regions. This paper describes ~90 Swiss-Prot keywords attributed to the cellular components, domains, technical terms, developmental processes and coding sequence diversities possessing strong positive and negative correlation with long disordered regions. PMID:17391015

  18. Combined thermal and herbicide stress in functionally diverse coral symbionts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dam, J.W. van; Uthicke, S.; Beltran, V.H.; Mueller, J.F.; Negri, A.P.

    2015-01-01

    Most reef building corals rely on symbiotic microalgae (genus Symbiodinium) to supply a substantial proportion of their energy requirements. Functional diversity of different Symbiodinium genotypes, endorsing the host with physiological advantages, has been widely reported. Yet, the influence of genotypic specificity on the symbiont's susceptibility to contaminants or cumulative stressors is unknown. Cultured Symbiodinium of presumed thermal-tolerant clade D tested especially vulnerable to the widespread herbicide diuron, suggesting important free-living populations may be at risk in areas subjected to terrestrial runoff. Co-exposure experiments where cultured Symbiodinium were exposed to diuron over a thermal stress gradient demonstrated how fast-growing clade C1 better maintained photosynthetic capability than clade D. The mixture toxicity model of Independent Action, considering combined thermal stress and herbicide contamination, revealed response additivity for inhibition of photosynthetic yield in both tested cultures, emphasizing the need to account for cumulative stressor impacts in ecological risk assessment and resource management. - Highlights: • Water quality influences thermal stress thresholds in different Symbiodinium types. • Photosystem of clade D tested more sensitive than C1 to a common herbicide. • Increased thermal tolerance quickly countered in presence of herbicide. • Mixture toxicity approach demonstrated response additivity for combined stressors. • Symbiotic partnership may be compromised in areas subjected to terrestrial runoff. - Thermal-tolerant Symbiodinium type D tested especially vulnerable to a common herbicide, emphasizing the significance of cumulative stressors in ecological risk management

  19. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

  20. Structural and functional diversity of CLAVATA3/ESR (CLE)-like genes from the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Shun-Wen; Chen, Shiyan; Wang, Jianying; Yu, Hang; Chronis, Demosthenis; Mitchum, Melissa G; Wang, Xiaohong

    2009-09-01

    Plant CLAVATA3/ESR-related (CLE) peptides have diverse roles in plant growth and development. Here, we report the isolation and functional characterization of five new CLE genes from the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis. Unlike typical plant CLE peptides that contain a single CLE motif, four of the five Gr-CLE genes encode CLE proteins with multiple CLE motifs. These Gr-CLE genes were found to be specifically expressed within the dorsal esophageal gland cell of nematode parasitic stages, suggesting a role for their encoded proteins in plant parasitism. Overexpression phenotypes of Gr-CLE genes in Arabidopsis mimicked those of plant CLE genes, and Gr-CLE proteins could rescue the Arabidopsis clv3-2 mutant phenotype when expressed within meristems. A short root phenotype was observed when synthetic GrCLE peptides were exogenously applied to roots of Arabidopsis or potato similar to the overexpression of Gr-CLE genes in Arabidopsis and potato hairy roots. These results reveal that G. rostochiensis CLE proteins with either single or multiple CLE motifs function similarly to plant CLE proteins and that CLE signaling components are conserved in both Arabidopsis and potato roots. Furthermore, our results provide evidence to suggest that the evolution of multiple CLE motifs may be an important mechanism for generating functional diversity in nematode CLE proteins to facilitate parasitism.

  1. Protein Profiles Reveal Diverse Responsive Signaling Pathways in Kernels of Two Maize Inbred Lines with Contrasting Drought Sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming Yang

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Drought stress is a major factor that contributes to disease susceptibility and yield loss in agricultural crops. To identify drought responsive proteins and explore metabolic pathways involved in maize tolerance to drought stress, two maize lines (B73 and Lo964 with contrasting drought sensitivity were examined. The treatments of drought and well water were applied at 14 days after pollination (DAP, and protein profiles were investigated in developing kernels (35 DAP using iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation. Proteomic analysis showed that 70 and 36 proteins were significantly altered in their expression under drought treatments in B73 and Lo964, respectively. The numbers and levels of differentially expressed proteins were generally higher in the sensitive genotype, B73, implying an increased sensitivity to drought given the function of the observed differentially expressed proteins, such as redox homeostasis, cell rescue/defense, hormone regulation and protein biosynthesis and degradation. Lo964 possessed a more stable status with fewer differentially expressed proteins. However, B73 seems to rapidly initiate signaling pathways in response to drought through adjusting diverse defense pathways. These changes in protein expression allow for the production of a drought stress-responsive network in maize kernels.

  2. Syndecans as cell surface receptors: Unique structure equates with functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Youngsil; Chung, Heesung; Jung, Heyjung

    2011-01-01

    An increasing number of functions for syndecan cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans have been proposed over the last decade. Moreover, aberrant syndecan regulation has been found to play a critical role in multiple pathologies, including cancers, as well as wound healing and inflammation....... As receptors, they have much in common with other molecules on the cell surface. Syndecans are type I transmembrane molecules with cytoplasmic domains that link to the actin cytoskeleton and can interact with a number of regulators. However, they are also highly complex by virtue of their external...... glycosaminoglycan chains, especially heparan sulfate. This heterodisperse polysaccharide has the potential to interact with many ligands from diverse protein families. Here, we relate the structural features of syndecans to some of their known functions....

  3. Origin and Function of Tuning Diversity in Macaque Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goris, Robbe L T; Simoncelli, Eero P; Movshon, J Anthony

    2015-11-18

    Neurons in visual cortex vary in their orientation selectivity. We measured responses of V1 and V2 cells to orientation mixtures and fit them with a model whose stimulus selectivity arises from the combined effects of filtering, suppression, and response nonlinearity. The model explains the diversity of orientation selectivity with neuron-to-neuron variability in all three mechanisms, of which variability in the orientation bandwidth of linear filtering is the most important. The model also accounts for the cells' diversity of spatial frequency selectivity. Tuning diversity is matched to the needs of visual encoding. The orientation content found in natural scenes is diverse, and neurons with different selectivities are adapted to different stimulus configurations. Single orientations are better encoded by highly selective neurons, while orientation mixtures are better encoded by less selective neurons. A diverse population of neurons therefore provides better overall discrimination capabilities for natural images than any homogeneous population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Distance-Based Functional Diversity Measures and Their Decomposition: A Framework Based on Hill Numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Chun-Huo; Chao, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Hill numbers (or the “effective number of species”) are increasingly used to characterize species diversity of an assemblage. This work extends Hill numbers to incorporate species pairwise functional distances calculated from species traits. We derive a parametric class of functional Hill numbers, which quantify “the effective number of equally abundant and (functionally) equally distinct species” in an assemblage. We also propose a class of mean functional diversity (per species), which quantifies the effective sum of functional distances between a fixed species to all other species. The product of the functional Hill number and the mean functional diversity thus quantifies the (total) functional diversity, i.e., the effective total distance between species of the assemblage. The three measures (functional Hill numbers, mean functional diversity and total functional diversity) quantify different aspects of species trait space, and all are based on species abundance and species pairwise functional distances. When all species are equally distinct, our functional Hill numbers reduce to ordinary Hill numbers. When species abundances are not considered or species are equally abundant, our total functional diversity reduces to the sum of all pairwise distances between species of an assemblage. The functional Hill numbers and the mean functional diversity both satisfy a replication principle, implying the total functional diversity satisfies a quadratic replication principle. When there are multiple assemblages defined by the investigator, each of the three measures of the pooled assemblage (gamma) can be multiplicatively decomposed into alpha and beta components, and the two components are independent. The resulting beta component measures pure functional differentiation among assemblages and can be further transformed to obtain several classes of normalized functional similarity (or differentiation) measures, including N-assemblage functional generalizations of

  5. Distance-based functional diversity measures and their decomposition: a framework based on Hill numbers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Huo Chiu

    Full Text Available Hill numbers (or the "effective number of species" are increasingly used to characterize species diversity of an assemblage. This work extends Hill numbers to incorporate species pairwise functional distances calculated from species traits. We derive a parametric class of functional Hill numbers, which quantify "the effective number of equally abundant and (functionally equally distinct species" in an assemblage. We also propose a class of mean functional diversity (per species, which quantifies the effective sum of functional distances between a fixed species to all other species. The product of the functional Hill number and the mean functional diversity thus quantifies the (total functional diversity, i.e., the effective total distance between species of the assemblage. The three measures (functional Hill numbers, mean functional diversity and total functional diversity quantify different aspects of species trait space, and all are based on species abundance and species pairwise functional distances. When all species are equally distinct, our functional Hill numbers reduce to ordinary Hill numbers. When species abundances are not considered or species are equally abundant, our total functional diversity reduces to the sum of all pairwise distances between species of an assemblage. The functional Hill numbers and the mean functional diversity both satisfy a replication principle, implying the total functional diversity satisfies a quadratic replication principle. When there are multiple assemblages defined by the investigator, each of the three measures of the pooled assemblage (gamma can be multiplicatively decomposed into alpha and beta components, and the two components are independent. The resulting beta component measures pure functional differentiation among assemblages and can be further transformed to obtain several classes of normalized functional similarity (or differentiation measures, including N-assemblage functional

  6. Chaperoning Proteins for Destruction: Diverse Roles of Hsp70 Chaperones and their Co-Chaperones in Targeting Misfolded Proteins to the Proteasome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayala Shiber

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Molecular chaperones were originally discovered as heat shock-induced proteins that facilitate proper folding of proteins with non-native conformations. While the function of chaperones in protein folding has been well documented over the last four decades, more recent studies have shown that chaperones are also necessary for the clearance of terminally misfolded proteins by the Ub-proteasome system. In this capacity, chaperones protect misfolded degradation substrates from spontaneous aggregation, facilitate their recognition by the Ub ligation machinery and finally shuttle the ubiquitylated substrates to the proteasome. The physiological importance of these functions is manifested by inefficient proteasomal degradation and the accumulation of protein aggregates during ageing or in certain neurodegenerative diseases, when chaperone levels decline. In this review, we focus on the diverse roles of stress-induced chaperones in targeting misfolded proteins to the proteasome and the consequences of their compromised activity. We further discuss the implications of these findings to the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of amyloid diseases.

  7. Identifying and Visualizing Functional PAM Diversity across CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leenay, Ryan T; Maksimchuk, Kenneth R; Slotkowski, Rebecca A; Agrawal, Roma N; Gomaa, Ahmed A; Briner, Alexandra E; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Beisel, Chase L

    2016-04-07

    CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes boast a diversity of protein families and mechanisms of action, where most systems rely on protospacer-adjacent motifs (PAMs) for DNA target recognition. Here, we developed an in vivo, positive, and tunable screen termed PAM-SCANR (PAM screen achieved by NOT-gate repression) to elucidate functional PAMs as well as an interactive visualization scheme termed the PAM wheel to convey individual PAM sequences and their activities. PAM-SCANR and the PAM wheel identified known functional PAMs while revealing complex sequence-activity landscapes for the Bacillus halodurans I-C (Cascade), Escherichia coli I-E (Cascade), Streptococcus thermophilus II-A CRISPR1 (Cas9), and Francisella novicida V-A (Cpf1) systems. The PAM wheel was also readily applicable to existing high-throughput screens and garnered insights into SpyCas9 and SauCas9 PAM diversity. These tools offer powerful means of elucidating and visualizing functional PAMs toward accelerating our ability to understand and exploit the multitude of CRISPR-Cas systems in nature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Food-derived carbohydrates--structural complexity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharanathan, Rudrapatnam N

    2002-01-01

    acid esters, which after oxidative coupling in vivo mediated by H2O2 and peroxidases or even by photochemical means give cross linked diferuloyl derivatives. The latter confer strength and extensibility to the cell wall and offer resistance for digestibility by ruminants. They also help blocking of the ingress of pathogens. The ester bound ferulic acid after oxidation in vivo generates reactive oxygen species that contribute to the fragmentation of non-starch polysaccharides (hemicelluloses), and thereby reduces the product viscosity, a property seen during long-term storage of rice. In plant tissues, the arabinogalactans are implicated in such diverse functions as cell-cell adhesion, nutrition of growing pollen tubes, response to microbial infections, and also as markers of identity expressed in the terminal sequences of saccharide chains.

  9. Annotating Protein Functional Residues by Coupling High-Throughput Fitness Profile and Homologous-Structure Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yushen; Wu, Nicholas C; Jiang, Lin; Zhang, Tianhao; Gong, Danyang; Shu, Sara; Wu, Ting-Ting; Sun, Ren

    2016-11-01

    Identification and annotation of functional residues are fundamental questions in protein sequence analysis. Sequence and structure conservation provides valuable information to tackle these questions. It is, however, limited by the incomplete sampling of sequence space in natural evolution. Moreover, proteins often have multiple functions, with overlapping sequences that present challenges to accurate annotation of the exact functions of individual residues by conservation-based methods. Using the influenza A virus PB1 protein as an example, we developed a method to systematically identify and annotate functional residues. We used saturation mutagenesis and high-throughput sequencing to measure the replication capacity of single nucleotide mutations across the entire PB1 protein. After predicting protein stability upon mutations, we identified functional PB1 residues that are essential for viral replication. To further annotate the functional residues important to the canonical or noncanonical functions of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (vRdRp), we performed a homologous-structure analysis with 16 different vRdRp structures. We achieved high sensitivity in annotating the known canonical polymerase functional residues. Moreover, we identified a cluster of noncanonical functional residues located in the loop region of the PB1 β-ribbon. We further demonstrated that these residues were important for PB1 protein nuclear import through the interaction with Ran-binding protein 5. In summary, we developed a systematic and sensitive method to identify and annotate functional residues that are not restrained by sequence conservation. Importantly, this method is generally applicable to other proteins about which homologous-structure information is available. To fully comprehend the diverse functions of a protein, it is essential to understand the functionality of individual residues. Current methods are highly dependent on evolutionary sequence conservation, which is

  10. The PANTHER database of protein families, subfamilies, functions and pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Mi, Huaiyu; Lazareva-Ulitsky, Betty; Loo, Rozina; Kejariwal, Anish; Vandergriff, Jody; Rabkin, Steven; Guo, Nan; Muruganujan, Anushya; Doremieux, Olivier; Campbell, Michael J.; Kitano, Hiroaki; Thomas, Paul D.

    2004-01-01

    PANTHER is a large collection of protein families that have been subdivided into functionally related subfamilies, using human expertise. These subfamilies model the divergence of specific functions within protein families, allowing more accurate association with function (ontology terms and pathways), as well as inference of amino acids important for functional specificity. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) are built for each family and subfamily for classifying additional protein sequences. The l...

  11. Bam35 tectivirus intraviral interaction map unveils new function and localization of phage ORFan proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berjón-Otero, Mónica; Lechuga, Ana; Mehla, Jitender; Uetz, Peter; Salas, Margarita; Redrejo-Rodríguez, Modesto

    2017-07-26

    Tectiviridae comprises a group of tail-less, icosahedral, membrane-containing bacteriophages that can be divided into two groups by their hosts, either Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria. While the first group is composed of PRD1 and nearly identical well characterized lytic viruses, the second one includes more variable temperate phages, like GIL16 or Bam35, whose hosts are Bacillus cereus and related Gram-positive bacteria.In the genome of Bam35, nearly half of the 32 annotated open reading frames (ORFs) have no homologs in databases (ORFans), being putative proteins of unknown function, which hinders the understanding of their biology. With the aim of increasing the knowledge of the viral proteome, we carried out a comprehensive yeast two-hybrid analysis among all the putative proteins encoded by the Bam35 genome. The resulting protein interactome comprises 76 unique interactions among 24 proteins, of which 12 have an unknown function. These results suggested that the P17 protein is the minor capsid protein of Bam35 and P24 is the penton protein, being the latter also supported by iterative threading protein modeling. Moreover, the inner membrane transglycosylase protein P26 could have an additional structural role. We also detected interactions involving non-structural proteins, such as the DNA binding protein P1 and the genome terminal protein (P4), which was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation of recombinant proteins. Altogether, our results provide a functional view of the Bam35 viral proteome, with a focus on the composition and organization of the viral particle. IMPORTANCE Tail-less viruses of the family Tectiviridae can infect commensal and pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, they have been proposed to be at the evolutionary origin of several groups of large eukaryotic DNA viruses and self-replicating plasmids. However, due to their ancient origin and complex diversity, many tectiviral proteins are ORFans of unknown

  12. SITEX 2.0: Projections of protein functional sites on eukaryotic genes. Extension with orthologous genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvedeva, Irina V; Demenkov, Pavel S; Ivanisenko, Vladimir A

    2017-04-01

    Functional sites define the diversity of protein functions and are the central object of research of the structural and functional organization of proteins. The mechanisms underlying protein functional sites emergence and their variability during evolution are distinguished by duplication, shuffling, insertion and deletion of the exons in genes. The study of the correlation between a site structure and exon structure serves as the basis for the in-depth understanding of sites organization. In this regard, the development of programming resources that allow the realization of the mutual projection of exon structure of genes and primary and tertiary structures of encoded proteins is still the actual problem. Previously, we developed the SitEx system that provides information about protein and gene sequences with mapped exon borders and protein functional sites amino acid positions. The database included information on proteins with known 3D structure. However, data with respect to orthologs was not available. Therefore, we added the projection of sites positions to the exon structures of orthologs in SitEx 2.0. We implemented a search through database using site conservation variability and site discontinuity through exon structure. Inclusion of the information on orthologs allowed to expand the possibilities of SitEx usage for solving problems regarding the analysis of the structural and functional organization of proteins. Database URL: http://www-bionet.sscc.ru/sitex/ .

  13. High genetic diversity in the coat protein and 3' untranslated regions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The 3′ terminal region consisting of the coat protein (CP) coding sequence and 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) was cloned and sequenced from seven isolates. Sequence comparisons revealed considerable genetic diversity among the isolates in their CP and 3′UTR, making CdMV one of the highly variable members ...

  14. Genetic diversity of three surface protein genes in Plasmodium malariae from three Asian countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srisutham, Suttipat; Saralamba, Naowarat; Sriprawat, Kanlaya; Mayxay, Mayfong; Smithuis, Frank; Nosten, Francois; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Day, Nicholas P J; Dondorp, Arjen M; Imwong, Mallika

    2018-01-11

    Genetic diversity of the three important antigenic proteins, namely thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP), apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1), and 6-cysteine protein (P48/45), all of which are found in various developmental stages of Plasmodium parasites is crucial for targeted vaccine development. While studies related to the genetic diversity of these proteins are available for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, barely enough information exists regarding Plasmodium malariae. The present study aims to demonstrate the genetic variations existing among these three genes in P. malariae by analysing their diversity at nucleotide and protein levels. Three surface protein genes were isolated from 45 samples collected in Thailand (N = 33), Myanmar (N = 8), and Lao PDR (N = 4), using conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Then, the PCR products were sequenced and analysed using BioEdit, MEGA6, and DnaSP programs. The average pairwise nucleotide diversities (π) of P. malariae trap, ama1, and p48/45 were 0.00169, 0.00413, and 0.00029, respectively. The haplotype diversities (Hd) of P. malariae trap, ama1, and p48/45 were 0.919, 0.946, and 0.130, respectively. Most of the nucleotide substitutions were non-synonymous, which indicated that the genetic variations of these genes were maintained by positive diversifying selection, thus, suggesting their role as a potential target of protective immune response. Amino acid substitutions of P. malariae TRAP, AMA1, and P48/45 could be categorized to 17, 20, and 2 unique amino-acid variants, respectively. For further vaccine development, carboxyl terminal of P48/45 would be a good candidate according to conserved amino acid at low genetic diversity (π = 0.2-0.3). High mutational diversity was observed in P. malariae trap and ama1 as compared to p48/45 in P. malariae samples isolated from Thailand, Myanmar, and Lao PDR. Taken together, these results suggest that P48/45 might be a good vaccine

  15. Assessing Genetic Diversity Based on Gliadin Proteins in Aegilops cylindrica Populations from Northwest of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toraj KHABIRI

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Wild wheat progenitors served as a valuable gene pool in breeding perspectives. In this respect, gliadins could be an important tool in assessing genetic variability as protein markers. Thus, genetic diversity of gliadin protein patterns in seventeen populations of Aegilops cylindrica collected from northwest of Iran were investigated using acid polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Results showed that the highest number of bands in the electrophoregrams were related to the ω type of geliadins. Conversely, the lowest number of bands were pertained to the β type of gliadins. Genetic diversity between populations was greater than within population variation. Assessment of total variation for the three gliadin types indicated that the highest total variation was related to β type while, the lowest one was belonged to ω type. Cluster analysis using complete linkage method divided populations into two separated groups in which genetic diversity does not follow from geographical distribution.

  16. Functional analysis of thermostable proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akerboom, A.P.

    2007-01-01

    Thermostable proteins can resist temperature stress whilst keeping their integrity and functionality. In many cases, thermostable proteins originate from hyperthermophilic microorganisms that thrive in extreme environments. These systems are generally located close to geothermal (volcanic) activity,

  17. Functional Molecular Diversity of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter Is Reduced during Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Mentges

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Dissolved organic matter (DOM is a highly diverse mixture of compounds, accounting for one of the world's largest active carbon pools. The surprising recalcitrance of some DOM compounds to bacterial degradation has recently been associated with its diversity. However, little is known about large-scale patterns of marine DOM diversity and its change through degradation, in particular considering the functional diversity of DOM. Here, we analyze the development of marine DOM diversity during degradation in two data sets comprising DOM of very different ages: a three-year mesocosm experiment and highly-resolved field samples from the Atlantic and Southern Ocean. The DOM molecular composition was determined using ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry. We quantify DOM diversity using three conceptually different diversity measures, namely richness of molecular formulas, abundance-based diversity, and functional molecular diversity. Using these measures we find stable molecular richness of DOM with age >1 year, systematic changes in the molecules' abundance distribution with degradation state, and increasing homogeneity with respect to chemical properties for more degraded DOM. Coinciding with differences in sea water density, the spatial field data separated clearly into regions of high and low diversity. The joint application of different diversity measures yields a comprehensive overview on temporal and spatial patterns of molecular diversity, valuable for general conclusions on drivers and consequences of marine DOM diversity.

  18. Single proteins that serve linked functions in intracellular and extracellular microenvironments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radisky, Derek C.; Stallings-Mann, Melody; Hirai, Yohei; Bissell, Mina J.

    2009-06-03

    Maintenance of organ homeostasis and control of appropriate response to environmental alterations requires intimate coordination of cellular function and tissue organization. An important component of this coordination may be provided by proteins that can serve distinct, but linked, functions on both sides of the plasma membrane. Here we present a novel hypothesis in which non-classical secretion can provide a mechanism through which single proteins can integrate complex tissue functions. Single genes can exert a complex, dynamic influence through a number of different processes that act to multiply the function of the gene product(s). Alternative splicing can create many different transcripts that encode proteins of diverse, even antagonistic, function from a single gene. Posttranslational modifications can alter the stability, activity, localization, and even basic function of proteins. A protein can exist in different subcellular localizations. More recently, it has become clear that single proteins can function both inside and outside the cell. These proteins often lack defined secretory signal sequences, and transit the plasma membrane by mechanisms separate from the classical ER/Golgi secretory process. When examples of such proteins are examined individually, the multifunctionality and lack of a signal sequence are puzzling - why should a protein with a well known function in one context function in such a distinct fashion in another? We propose that one reason for a single protein to perform intracellular and extracellular roles is to coordinate organization and maintenance of a global tissue function. Here, we describe in detail three specific examples of proteins that act in this fashion, outlining their specific functions in the extracellular space and in the intracellular space, and we discuss how these functions may be linked. We present epimorphin/syntaxin-2, which may coordinate morphogenesis of secretory organs (as epimorphin) with control of

  19. Vaccinia complement control protein: Multi-functional protein and a ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    naturally occurring antagonist of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-18. Another strategy used by ... receptors or binding proteins for tumour necrosis factor. (TNF) ... immune regulators, such as the viral IL-10 and vascular endothelial growth factor ...

  20. Functional, size and taxonomic diversity of fish along a depth gradient in the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindel, Beth L; Neat, Francis C; Trueman, Clive N; Webb, Thomas J; Blanchard, Julia L

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is well studied in ecology and the concept has been developed to include traits of species, rather than solely taxonomy, to better reflect the functional diversity of a system. The deep sea provides a natural environmental gradient within which to study changes in different diversity metrics, but traits of deep-sea fish are not widely known, hampering the application of functional diversity to this globally important system. We used morphological traits to determine the functional richness and functional divergence of demersal fish assemblages along the continental slope in the Northeast Atlantic, at depths of 300-2,000 m. We compared these metrics to size diversity based on individual body size and species richness. Functional richness and size diversity showed similar patterns, with the highest diversity at intermediate depths; functional divergence showed the opposite pattern, with the highest values at the shallowest and deepest parts of the study site. Species richness increased with depth. The functional implications of these patterns were deduced by examining depth-related changes in morphological traits and the dominance of feeding guilds as illustrated by stable isotope analyses. The patterns in diversity and the variation in certain morphological traits can potentially be explained by changes in the relative dominance of pelagic and benthic feeding guilds. All measures of diversity examined here suggest that the deep areas of the continental slope may be equally or more diverse than assemblages just beyond the continental shelf.

  1. Functional, size and taxonomic diversity of fish along a depth gradient in the deep sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth L. Mindel

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is well studied in ecology and the concept has been developed to include traits of species, rather than solely taxonomy, to better reflect the functional diversity of a system. The deep sea provides a natural environmental gradient within which to study changes in different diversity metrics, but traits of deep-sea fish are not widely known, hampering the application of functional diversity to this globally important system. We used morphological traits to determine the functional richness and functional divergence of demersal fish assemblages along the continental slope in the Northeast Atlantic, at depths of 300–2,000 m. We compared these metrics to size diversity based on individual body size and species richness. Functional richness and size diversity showed similar patterns, with the highest diversity at intermediate depths; functional divergence showed the opposite pattern, with the highest values at the shallowest and deepest parts of the study site. Species richness increased with depth. The functional implications of these patterns were deduced by examining depth-related changes in morphological traits and the dominance of feeding guilds as illustrated by stable isotope analyses. The patterns in diversity and the variation in certain morphological traits can potentially be explained by changes in the relative dominance of pelagic and benthic feeding guilds. All measures of diversity examined here suggest that the deep areas of the continental slope may be equally or more diverse than assemblages just beyond the continental shelf.

  2. Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP. We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.

  3. Functional identity and diversity of animals predict ecosystem functioning better than species-based indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagic, Vesna; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Jonsson, Tomas; Taylor, Astrid; Winqvist, Camilla; Fischer, Christina; Slade, Eleanor M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Emmerson, Mark; Potts, Simon G; Tscharntke, Teja; Weisser, Wolfgang; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-02-22

    Drastic biodiversity declines have raised concerns about the deterioration of ecosystem functions and have motivated much recent research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. A functional trait framework has been proposed to improve the mechanistic understanding of this relationship, but this has rarely been tested for organisms other than plants. We analysed eight datasets, including five animal groups, to examine how well a trait-based approach, compared with a more traditional taxonomic approach, predicts seven ecosystem functions below- and above-ground. Trait-based indices consistently provided greater explanatory power than species richness or abundance. The frequency distributions of single or multiple traits in the community were the best predictors of ecosystem functioning. This implies that the ecosystem functions we investigated were underpinned by the combination of trait identities (i.e. single-trait indices) and trait complementarity (i.e. multi-trait indices) in the communities. Our study provides new insights into the general mechanisms that link biodiversity to ecosystem functioning in natural animal communities and suggests that the observed responses were due to the identity and dominance patterns of the trait composition rather than the number or abundance of species per se. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Functional diversity of macrobenthic assemblages decreases in response to sewage discharges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gusmao, Joao B.; Brauko, Kalina M.; Eriksson, Britas K.; Lana, Paulo C.

    We analyzed the effects of sewage discharge on a subtropical estuary by comparing the functional diversity of intertidal macroinvertebrate assemblages in contaminated with non-contaminated reference areas. Functional structure was assessed using biological traits analysis (BTA) and four multivariate

  5. Printing Proteins as Microarrays for High-Throughput Function Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacBeath, Gavin; Schreiber, Stuart L.

    2000-09-01

    Systematic efforts are currently under way to construct defined sets of cloned genes for high-throughput expression and purification of recombinant proteins. To facilitate subsequent studies of protein function, we have developed miniaturized assays that accommodate extremely low sample volumes and enable the rapid, simultaneous processing of thousands of proteins. A high-precision robot designed to manufacture complementary DNA microarrays was used to spot proteins onto chemically derivatized glass slides at extremely high spatial densities. The proteins attached covalently to the slide surface yet retained their ability to interact specifically with other proteins, or with small molecules, in solution. Three applications for protein microarrays were demonstrated: screening for protein-protein interactions, identifying the substrates of protein kinases, and identifying the protein targets of small molecules.

  6. Unveiling protein functions through the dynamics of the interaction network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Sendiña-Nadal

    Full Text Available Protein interaction networks have become a tool to study biological processes, either for predicting molecular functions or for designing proper new drugs to regulate the main biological interactions. Furthermore, such networks are known to be organized in sub-networks of proteins contributing to the same cellular function. However, the protein function prediction is not accurate and each protein has traditionally been assigned to only one function by the network formalism. By considering the network of the physical interactions between proteins of the yeast together with a manual and single functional classification scheme, we introduce a method able to reveal important information on protein function, at both micro- and macro-scale. In particular, the inspection of the properties of oscillatory dynamics on top of the protein interaction network leads to the identification of misclassification problems in protein function assignments, as well as to unveil correct identification of protein functions. We also demonstrate that our approach can give a network representation of the meta-organization of biological processes by unraveling the interactions between different functional classes.

  7. Random heteropolymers preserve protein function in foreign environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panganiban, Brian; Qiao, Baofu; Jiang, Tao; DelRe, Christopher; Obadia, Mona M.; Nguyen, Trung Dac; Smith, Anton A. A.; Hall, Aaron; Sit, Izaac; Crosby, Marquise G.; Dennis, Patrick B.; Drockenmuller, Eric; Olvera de la Cruz, Monica; Xu, Ting

    2018-03-01

    The successful incorporation of active proteins into synthetic polymers could lead to a new class of materials with functions found only in living systems. However, proteins rarely function under the conditions suitable for polymer processing. On the basis of an analysis of trends in protein sequences and characteristic chemical patterns on protein surfaces, we designed four-monomer random heteropolymers to mimic intrinsically disordered proteins for protein solubilization and stabilization in non-native environments. The heteropolymers, with optimized composition and statistical monomer distribution, enable cell-free synthesis of membrane proteins with proper protein folding for transport and enzyme-containing plastics for toxin bioremediation. Controlling the statistical monomer distribution in a heteropolymer, rather than the specific monomer sequence, affords a new strategy to interface with biological systems for protein-based biomaterials.

  8. Molecular and functional diversity in Capsicum landraces of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    shrawan

    2013-09-25

    Sep 25, 2013 ... of diversity in the local germplasm was much needed to recognize the genetic .... reducing sugar and multiplying with a conversion factor (0.95). The absorbance for ..... Except SPG-3 which was outlier with 54% intra-cluster ...

  9. Molecular and functional diversity in Capsicum landraces of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study analyzed the diversity in 26 landraces of Capsicum from Andaman Islands using 20 morphological, 16 biochemical and 10 DNA markers. Significant differences were observed in tested landraces and 16 reference genotypes from mainland India. Biochemical markers grouped all the genotypes into eight ...

  10. Functional characterization of sugarcane mustang domesticated transposases and comparative diversity in sugarcane, rice, maize and sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Kajihara

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Transposable elements (TEs account for a large portion of plant genomes, particularly in grasses, in which they correspond to 50%-80% of the genomic content. TEs have recently been shown to be a source of new genes and new regulatory networks. The most striking contribution of TEs is referred as “molecular domestication”, by which the element coding sequence loses its movement capacity and acquires cellular function. Recently, domesticated transposases known as mustang and derived from the Mutator element have been described in sugarcane. In order to improve our understanding of the function of these proteins, we identified mustang genes from Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays and performed a phenetic analysis to assess the diversity and evolutionary history of this gene family. This analysis identified orthologous groups and showed that mustang genes are highly conserved in grass genomes. We also explored the transcriptional activity of sugarcane mustang genes in heterologous and homologous systems. These genes were found to be ubiquitously transcribed, with shoot apical meristem having the highest expression levels, and were downregulated by phytohormones. Together, these findings suggest the possible involvement of mustang proteins in the maintenance of hormonal homeostasis.

  11. Diversity of Pol IV function is defined by mutations at the maize rmr7 locus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Stonaker

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Mutations affecting the heritable maintenance of epigenetic states in maize identify multiple small RNA biogenesis factors including NRPD1, the largest subunit of the presumed maize Pol IV holoenzyme. Here we show that mutations defining the required to maintain repression7 locus identify a second RNA polymerase subunit related to Arabidopsis NRPD2a, the sole second largest subunit shared between Arabidopsis Pol IV and Pol V. A phylogenetic analysis shows that, in contrast to representative eudicots, grasses have retained duplicate loci capable of producing functional NRPD2-like proteins, which is indicative of increased RNA polymerase diversity in grasses relative to eudicots. Together with comparisons of rmr7 mutant plant phenotypes and their effects on the maintenance of epigenetic states with parallel analyses of NRPD1 defects, our results imply that maize utilizes multiple functional NRPD2-like proteins. Despite the observation that RMR7/NRPD2, like NRPD1, is required for the accumulation of most siRNAs, our data indicate that different Pol IV isoforms play distinct roles in the maintenance of meiotically-heritable epigenetic information in the grasses.

  12. [Research on functional diversity of microorganisms on jujube fruit surface in storage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sha, Yuexia

    2009-10-01

    Disease during storage caused by microbial infection is a serious problem of jujube fruits. The aim of the study was to characterize the microbial diversity in stored jujube fruits. I used Biolog in experiment. The types of micro-plates were Filamentous Fungi micro-plate and Economicmicro-plate. There was much difference in microbial functional diversity on the surface of stored jujube fruit. The microbial functional diversity of stored 30 days was richer than it of stored 15 days. The diversity, homogeneity and average well color development of jujube used by fruit perservatives were lower than it not used by fruit preservatives. There were six kinds of the characteristic carbon. Our study firstly showed microbial diversity on the surface of stored jujube fruit. Biolog could be applied in the research on microbial functional diversity of fruit surface.

  13. Diversity and Functional Analysis of the FeMo-Cofactor Maturase NifB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Arragain

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the main hurdles to engineer nitrogenase in a non-diazotrophic host is achieving NifB activity. NifB is an extremely unstable and oxygen sensitive protein that catalyzes a low-potential SAM-radical dependent reaction. The product of NifB activity is called NifB-co, a complex [8Fe-9S-C] cluster that serves as obligate intermediate in the biosyntheses of the active-site cofactors of all known nitrogenases. Here we study the diversity and phylogeny of naturally occurring NifB proteins, their protein architecture and the functions of the distinct NifB domains in order to understand what defines a catalytically active NifB. Focus is on NifB from the thermophile Chlorobium tepidum (two-domain architecture, the hyperthermophile Methanocaldococcus infernus (single-domain architecture and the mesophile Klebsiella oxytoca (two-domain architecture, showing in silico characterization of their nitrogen fixation (nif gene clusters, conserved NifB motifs, and functionality. C. tepidum and M. infernus NifB were able to complement an Azotobacter vinelandii (ΔnifB mutant restoring the Nif+ phenotype and thus demonstrating their functionality in vivo. In addition, purified C. tepidum NifB exhibited activity in the in vitro NifB-dependent nitrogenase reconstitution assay. Intriguingly, changing the two-domain K. oxytoca NifB to single-domain by removal of the C-terminal NifX-like extension resulted in higher in vivo nitrogenase activity, demonstrating that this domain is not required for nitrogen fixation in mesophiles.

  14. Genetic diversity of the merozoite surface protein-3 gene in Plasmodium falciparum populations in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Sawaswong, Vorthon; Simpalipan, Phumin; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Siripoon, Napaporn; Harnyuttanakorn, Pongchai

    2016-10-21

    An effective malaria vaccine is an urgently needed tool to fight against human malaria, the most deadly parasitic disease of humans. One promising candidate is the merozoite surface protein-3 (MSP-3) of Plasmodium falciparum. This antigenic protein, encoded by the merozoite surface protein (msp-3) gene, is polymorphic and classified according to size into the two allelic types of K1 and 3D7. A recent study revealed that both the K1 and 3D7 alleles co-circulated within P. falciparum populations in Thailand, but the extent of the sequence diversity and variation within each allelic type remains largely unknown. The msp-3 gene was sequenced from 59 P. falciparum samples collected from five endemic areas (Mae Hong Son, Kanchanaburi, Ranong, Trat and Ubon Ratchathani) in Thailand and analysed for nucleotide sequence diversity, haplotype diversity and deduced amino acid sequence diversity. The gene was also subject to population genetic analysis (F st ) and neutrality tests (Tajima's D, Fu and Li D* and Fu and Li' F* tests) to determine any signature of selection. The sequence analyses revealed eight unique DNA haplotypes and seven amino acid sequence variants, with a haplotype and nucleotide diversity of 0.828 and 0.049, respectively. Neutrality tests indicated that the polymorphism detected in the alanine heptad repeat region of MSP-3 was maintained by positive diversifying selection, suggesting its role as a potential target of protective immune responses and supporting its role as a vaccine candidate. Comparison of MSP-3 variants among parasite populations in Thailand, India and Nigeria also inferred a close genetic relationship between P. falciparum populations in Asia. This study revealed the extent of the msp-3 gene diversity in P. falciparum in Thailand, providing the fundamental basis for the better design of future blood stage malaria vaccines against P. falciparum.

  15. Microbial functional diversity plays an important role in the degradation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Samrat; Tribedi, Prosun

    2018-03-01

    Towards bioremediation of recalcitrant materials like synthetic polymer, soil has been recognized as a traditional site for disposal and subsequent degradation as some microorganisms in soil can degrade the polymer in a non-toxic, cost-effective, and environment friendly way. Microbial functional diversity is a constituent of biodiversity that includes wide range of metabolic activities that can influence numerous aspects of ecosystem functioning like ecosystem stability, nutrient availability, ecosystem dynamics, etc. Thus, in the current study, we assumed that microbial functional diversity could play an important role in polymer degradation in soil. To verify this hypothesis, we isolated soil from five different sites of landfill and examined several microbiological parameters wherein we observed a significant variation in heterotrophic microbial count as well as microbial activities among the soil microcosms tested. Multivariate analysis (principle component analysis) based on the carbon sources utilization pattern revealed that soil microcosms showed different metabolic patterns suggesting the variable distribution of microorganisms among the soil microcosms tested. Since microbial functional diversity depends on both microbial richness and evenness, Shannon diversity index was determined to measure microbial richness and Gini coefficient was determined to measure microbial evenness. The tested soil microcosms exhibited variation in both microbial richness and evenness suggesting the considerable difference in microbial functional diversity among the tested microcosms. We then measured polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) degradation in soil microcosms after desired period of incubation of PHB in soil wherein we found that soil microcosms having higher functional diversity showed enhanced PHB degradation and soil microcosms having lower functional diversity showed reduced PHB degradation. We also noticed that all the tested soil microcosms showed similar pattern in both

  16. Functional Anthology of Intrinsic Disorder. III. Ligands, Postranslational Modifications and Diseases Associated with Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M.; Oldfield, Christopher J.; Dunker, A. Keith; Obradovic, Zoran; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2008-01-01

    Currently, the understanding of the relationships between function, amino acid sequence and protein structure continues to represent one of the major challenges of the modern protein science. As much as 50% of eukaryotic proteins are likely to contain functionally important long disordered regions. Many proteins are wholly disordered but still possess numerous biologically important functions. However, the number of experimentally confirmed disordered proteins with known biological functions is substantially smaller than their actual number in nature. Therefore, there is a crucial need for novel bioinformatics approaches that allow projection of the current knowledge from a few experimentally verified examples to much larger groups of known and potential proteins. The elaboration of a bioinformatics tool for the analysis of functional diversity of intrinsically disordered proteins and application of this data mining tool to >200,000 proteins from Swiss-Prot database, each annotated with at least one of the 875 functional keywords was described in the first paper of this series (Xie H., Vucetic S., Iakoucheva L.M., Oldfield C.J., Dunker A.K., Obradovic Z., Uversky V.N. (2006) Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. I. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions. J. Proteome Res.). Using this tool, we have found that out of the 711 Swiss-Prot functional keywords associated with at least 20 proteins, 262 were strongly positively correlated with long intrinsically disordered regions, and 302 were strongly negatively correlated. Illustrative examples of functional disorder or order were found for the vast majority of keywords showing strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder, respectively. Some 80 Swiss-Prot keywords associated with disorder- and order-driven biological processes and protein functions were described in the first paper (Xie H., Vucetic S., Iakoucheva L.M., Oldfield C.J., Dunker A.K., Obradovic

  17. Proteomic investigation of aphid honeydew reveals an unexpected diversity of proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Sabri

    Full Text Available Aphids feed on the phloem sap of plants, and are the most common honeydew-producing insects. While aphid honeydew is primarily considered to comprise sugars and amino acids, its protein diversity has yet to be documented. Here, we report on the investigation of the honeydew proteome from the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. Using a two-Dimensional Differential in-Gel Electrophoresis (2D-Dige approach, more than 140 spots were isolated, demonstrating that aphid honeydew also represents a diverse source of proteins. About 66% of the isolated spots were identified through mass spectrometry analysis, revealing that the protein diversity of aphid honeydew originates from several organisms (i.e. the host aphid and its microbiota, including endosymbiotic bacteria and gut flora. Interestingly, our experiments also allowed to identify some proteins like chaperonin, GroEL and Dnak chaperones, elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu, and flagellin that might act as mediators in the plant-aphid interaction. In addition to providing the first aphid honeydew proteome analysis, we propose to reconsider the importance of this substance, mainly acknowledged to be a waste product, from the aphid ecology perspective.

  18. Production of functional protein hydrolysates from Egyptian breeds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Production of functional protein hydrolysates from Egyptian breeds of soybean and lupin seeds. AA khalil, SS Mohamed, FS Taha, EN Karlsson. Abstract. Enzymatic hydrolysis is an agro-processing aid that can be utilized in order to improve nutritional quality of protein extracts from many sources. In this study, protein ...

  19. Quantitative protein localization signatures reveal an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loo, Lit-Hsin; Laksameethanasan, Danai; Tung, Yi-Ling

    2014-03-01

    Protein subcellular localization is a major determinant of protein function. However, this important protein feature is often described in terms of discrete and qualitative categories of subcellular compartments, and therefore it has limited applications in quantitative protein function analyses. Here, we present Protein Localization Analysis and Search Tools (PLAST), an automated analysis framework for constructing and comparing quantitative signatures of protein subcellular localization patterns based on microscopy images. PLAST produces human-interpretable protein localization maps that quantitatively describe the similarities in the localization patterns of proteins and major subcellular compartments, without requiring manual assignment or supervised learning of these compartments. Using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we show that PLAST is more accurate than existing, qualitative protein localization annotations in identifying known co-localized proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PLAST can reveal protein localization-function relationships that are not obvious from these annotations. First, we identified proteins that have similar localization patterns and participate in closely-related biological processes, but do not necessarily form stable complexes with each other or localize at the same organelles. Second, we found an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins during evolution. Surprisingly, as proteins with common ancestors evolve, they tend to develop more diverged subcellular localization patterns, but still occupy similar numbers of compartments. This suggests that divergence of protein localization might be more frequently due to the development of more specific localization patterns over ancestral compartments than the occupation of new compartments. PLAST enables systematic and quantitative analyses of protein localization-function relationships, and will be useful to elucidate protein

  20. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  1. Bacterial diversity and ecological function in lake water bodies

    OpenAIRE

    Lijuan Ren; Dan He; Peng Xing; Yujing Wang; Qinglong Wu

    2013-01-01

    The healthy development of lake ecosystems is a global issue. Bacteria are not only an integral component of food webs, but also play a key role in controlling and regulating water quality in lake ecosystems. Hence, in order to provide some suggestions for maintaining the long-term and healthy development of lake ecosystems, this review discusses and analyses concepts and assessment of bacterial diversity, the distribution of bacteria communities, mechanisms of formation, and the ecological f...

  2. Alkylation damage by lipid electrophiles targets functional protein systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codreanu, Simona G; Ullery, Jody C; Zhu, Jing; Tallman, Keri A; Beavers, William N; Porter, Ned A; Marnett, Lawrence J; Zhang, Bing; Liebler, Daniel C

    2014-03-01

    Protein alkylation by reactive electrophiles contributes to chemical toxicities and oxidative stress, but the functional impact of alkylation damage across proteomes is poorly understood. We used Click chemistry and shotgun proteomics to profile the accumulation of proteome damage in human cells treated with lipid electrophile probes. Protein target profiles revealed three damage susceptibility classes, as well as proteins that were highly resistant to alkylation. Damage occurred selectively across functional protein interaction networks, with the most highly alkylation-susceptible proteins mapping to networks involved in cytoskeletal regulation. Proteins with lower damage susceptibility mapped to networks involved in protein synthesis and turnover and were alkylated only at electrophile concentrations that caused significant toxicity. Hierarchical susceptibility of proteome systems to alkylation may allow cells to survive sublethal damage while protecting critical cell functions.

  3. Alkylation Damage by Lipid Electrophiles Targets Functional Protein Systems*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codreanu, Simona G.; Ullery, Jody C.; Zhu, Jing; Tallman, Keri A.; Beavers, William N.; Porter, Ned A.; Marnett, Lawrence J.; Zhang, Bing; Liebler, Daniel C.

    2014-01-01

    Protein alkylation by reactive electrophiles contributes to chemical toxicities and oxidative stress, but the functional impact of alkylation damage across proteomes is poorly understood. We used Click chemistry and shotgun proteomics to profile the accumulation of proteome damage in human cells treated with lipid electrophile probes. Protein target profiles revealed three damage susceptibility classes, as well as proteins that were highly resistant to alkylation. Damage occurred selectively across functional protein interaction networks, with the most highly alkylation-susceptible proteins mapping to networks involved in cytoskeletal regulation. Proteins with lower damage susceptibility mapped to networks involved in protein synthesis and turnover and were alkylated only at electrophile concentrations that caused significant toxicity. Hierarchical susceptibility of proteome systems to alkylation may allow cells to survive sublethal damage while protecting critical cell functions. PMID:24429493

  4. Computer analysis of protein functional sites projection on exon structure of genes in Metazoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvedeva, Irina V; Demenkov, Pavel S; Ivanisenko, Vladimir A

    2015-01-01

    Study of the relationship between the structural and functional organization of proteins and their coding genes is necessary for an understanding of the evolution of molecular systems and can provide new knowledge for many applications for designing proteins with improved medical and biological properties. It is well known that the functional properties of proteins are determined by their functional sites. Functional sites are usually represented by a small number of amino acid residues that are distantly located from each other in the amino acid sequence. They are highly conserved within their functional group and vary significantly in structure between such groups. According to this facts analysis of the general properties of the structural organization of the functional sites at the protein level and, at the level of exon-intron structure of the coding gene is still an actual problem. One approach to this analysis is the projection of amino acid residue positions of the functional sites along with the exon boundaries to the gene structure. In this paper, we examined the discontinuity of the functional sites in the exon-intron structure of genes and the distribution of lengths and phases of the functional site encoding exons in vertebrate genes. We have shown that the DNA fragments coding the functional sites were in the same exons, or in close exons. The observed tendency to cluster the exons that code functional sites which could be considered as the unit of protein evolution. We studied the characteristics of the structure of the exon boundaries that code, and do not code, functional sites in 11 Metazoa species. This is accompanied by a reduced frequency of intercodon gaps (phase 0) in exons encoding the amino acid residue functional site, which may be evidence of the existence of evolutionary limitations to the exon shuffling. These results characterize the features of the coding exon-intron structure that affect the functionality of the encoded protein and

  5. Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-3 alpha: a high-resolution marker for genetic diversity studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prajapati, Surendra Kumar; Joshi, Hema; Valecha, Neena

    2010-06-01

    Malaria, an ancient human infectious disease caused by five species of Plasmodium, among them Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria species and causes huge morbidity to its host. Identification of genetic marker to resolve higher genetic diversity for an ancient origin organism is a crucial task. We have analyzed genetic diversity of P. vivax field isolates using highly polymorphic antigen gene merozoite surface protein-3 alpha (msp-3 alpha) and assessed its suitability as high-resolution genetic marker for population genetic studies. 27 P. vivax field isolates collected during chloroquine therapeutic efficacy study at Chennai were analyzed for genetic diversity. PCR-RFLP was employed to assess the genetic variations using highly polymorphic antigen gene msp-3 alpha. We observed three distinct PCR alleles at msp-3 alpha, and among them allele A showed significantly high frequency (53%, chi2 = 8.22, p = 0.001). PCR-RFLP analysis revealed 14 and 17 distinct RFLP patterns for Hha1 and Alu1 enzymes respectively. Further, RFLP analysis revealed that allele A at msp-3 alpha is more diverse in the population compared with allele B and C. Combining Hha1 and Alu1 RFLP patterns revealed 21 distinct genotypes among 22 isolates reflects higher diversity resolution power of msp-3 alpha in the field isolates. P. vivax isolates from Chennai region revealed substantial amount of genetic diversity and comparison of allelic diversity with other antigen genes and microsatellites suggesting that msp-3 alpha could be a high-resolution marker for genetic diversity studies among P. vivax field isolates.

  6. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Liebergesell

    Full Text Available Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis and the functional richness index (FRic. Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

  7. Liver Function Status in some Nigerian Children with Protein Energy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To ascertain functional status of the liver in Nigeria Children with Protein energy malnutrition. Materials and Methods: Liver function tests were performed on a total of 88 children with protein energy malnutrition (PEM). These were compared with 22 apparently well-nourished children who served as controls.

  8. The contact activation proteins: a structure/function overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijers, J. C.; McMullen, B. A.; Bouma, B. N.

    1992-01-01

    In recent years, extensive knowledge has been obtained on the structure/function relationships of blood coagulation proteins. In this overview, we present recent developments on the structure/function relationships of the contact activation proteins: factor XII, high molecular weight kininogen,

  9. Membrane Protein Production in Lactococcus lactis for Functional Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigneurin-Berny, Daphne; King, Martin S; Sautron, Emiline; Moyet, Lucas; Catty, Patrice; André, François; Rolland, Norbert; Kunji, Edmund R S; Frelet-Barrand, Annie

    2016-01-01

    Due to their unique properties, expression and study of membrane proteins in heterologous systems remains difficult. Among the bacterial systems available, the Gram-positive lactic bacterium, Lactococcus lactis, traditionally used in food fermentations, is nowadays widely used for large-scale production and functional characterization of bacterial and eukaryotic membrane proteins. The aim of this chapter is to describe the different possibilities for the functional characterization of peripheral or intrinsic membrane proteins expressed in Lactococcus lactis.

  10. Usher protein functions in hair cells and photoreceptors

    OpenAIRE

    Cosgrove, Dominic; Zallocchi, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    The 10 different genes associated with the deaf/blind disorder, Usher syndrome, encode a number of structurally and functionally distinct proteins, most expressed as multiple isoforms/protein variants. Functional characterization of these proteins suggests a role in stereocilia development in cochlear hair cells, likely owing to adhesive interactions in hair bundles. In mature hair cells, homodimers of the Usher cadherins, cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15, interact to form a structural fiber,...

  11. Functional genomic analysis supports conservation of function among cellulose synthase-like a gene family members and suggests diverse roles of mannans in plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liepman, Aaron H; Nairn, C Joseph; Willats, William G T

    2007-01-01

    from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), guar (Cyamopsis tetragonolobus), and Populus trichocarpa catalyze beta-1,4-mannan and glucomannan synthase reactions in vitro. Mannan polysaccharides and homologs of CslA genes appear to be present in all lineages of land plants analyzed to date. In many plants......, the CslA genes are members of extended multigene families; however, it is not known whether all CslA proteins are glucomannan synthases. CslA proteins from diverse land plant species, including representatives of the mono- and dicotyledonous angiosperms, gymnosperms, and bryophytes, were produced...... they are prevalent at cell junctions and in buds. Taken together, these results demonstrate that members of the CslA gene family from diverse plant species encode glucomannan synthases and support the hypothesis that mannans function in metabolic networks devoted to other cellular processes in addition to cell wall...

  12. GalaxyDock BP2 score: a hybrid scoring function for accurate protein-ligand docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Minkyung; Shin, Woong-Hee; Chung, Hwan Won; Seok, Chaok

    2017-07-01

    Protein-ligand docking is a useful tool for providing atomic-level understanding of protein functions in nature and design principles for artificial ligands or proteins with desired properties. The ability to identify the true binding pose of a ligand to a target protein among numerous possible candidate poses is an essential requirement for successful protein-ligand docking. Many previously developed docking scoring functions were trained to reproduce experimental binding affinities and were also used for scoring binding poses. However, in this study, we developed a new docking scoring function, called GalaxyDock BP2 Score, by directly training the scoring power of binding poses. This function is a hybrid of physics-based, empirical, and knowledge-based score terms that are balanced to strengthen the advantages of each component. The performance of the new scoring function exhibits significant improvement over existing scoring functions in decoy pose discrimination tests. In addition, when the score is used with the GalaxyDock2 protein-ligand docking program, it outperformed other state-of-the-art docking programs in docking tests on the Astex diverse set, the Cross2009 benchmark set, and the Astex non-native set. GalaxyDock BP2 Score and GalaxyDock2 with this score are freely available at http://galaxy.seoklab.org/softwares/galaxydock.html.

  13. Structures and Corresponding Functions of Five Types of Picornaviral 2A Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyao Yang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Among the few non-structural proteins encoded by the picornaviral genome, the 2A protein is particularly special, irrespective of structure or function. During the evolution of the Picornaviridae family, the 2A protein has been highly non-conserved. We believe that the 2A protein in this family can be classified into at least five distinct types according to previous studies. These five types are (A chymotrypsin-like 2A, (B Parechovirus-like 2A, (C hepatitis-A-virus-like 2A, (D Aphthovirus-like 2A, and (E 2A sequence of the genus Cardiovirus. We carried out a phylogenetic analysis and found that there was almost no homology between each type. Subsequently, we aligned the sequences within each type and found that the functional motifs in each type are highly conserved. These different motifs perform different functions. Therefore, in this review, we introduce the structures and functions of these five types of 2As separately. Based on the structures and functions, we provide suggestions to combat picornaviruses. The complexity and diversity of the 2A protein has caused great difficulties in functional and antiviral research. In this review, researchers can find useful information on the 2A protein and thus conduct improved antiviral research.

  14. Functionalization of whey proteins by reactive supercritical fluid extrusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khanitta Ruttarattanamongkol

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Whey protein, a by-product from cheese-making, is often used in a variety of food formulations due to its unsurpassednutritional quality and inherent functional properties. However, the possibilities for the improvement and upgrading of wheyprotein utilization still need to be explored. Reactive supercritical fluid extrusion (SCFX is a novel technique that has beenrecently reported to successfully functionalize commercially available whey proteins into a product with enhanced functionalproperties. The specific goal of this review is to provide fundamental understanding of the reinforcement mechanism andprocessing of protein functionalization by reactive SCFX process. The superimposed extrusion variables and their interactionmechanism affect the physico-chemical properties of whey proteins. By understanding the structure, functional properties andprocessing relationships of such materials, the rational design criteria for novel functionalized proteins could be developedand effectively utilized in food systems.

  15. DNA-binding proteins from marine bacteria expand the known sequence diversity of TALE-like repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lange, Orlando; Wolf, Christina; Thiel, Philipp; Krüger, Jens; Kleusch, Christian; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Lahaye, Thomas

    2015-11-16

    Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) of Xanthomonas bacteria are programmable DNA binding proteins with unprecedented target specificity. Comparative studies into TALE repeat structure and function are hindered by the limited sequence variation among TALE repeats. More sequence-diverse TALE-like proteins are known from Ralstonia solanacearum (RipTALs) and Burkholderia rhizoxinica (Bats), but RipTAL and Bat repeats are conserved with those of TALEs around the DNA-binding residue. We study two novel marine-organism TALE-like proteins (MOrTL1 and MOrTL2), the first to date of non-terrestrial origin. We have assessed their DNA-binding properties and modelled repeat structures. We found that repeats from these proteins mediate sequence specific DNA binding conforming to the TALE code, despite low sequence similarity to TALE repeats, and with novel residues around the BSR. However, MOrTL1 repeats show greater sequence discriminating power than MOrTL2 repeats. Sequence alignments show that there are only three residues conserved between repeats of all TALE-like proteins including the two new additions. This conserved motif could prove useful as an identifier for future TALE-likes. Additionally, comparing MOrTL repeats with those of other TALE-likes suggests a common evolutionary origin for the TALEs, RipTALs and Bats. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  16. Protein Carbonylation and Adipocyte Mitochondrial Function*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Jessica M.; Hahn, Wendy S.; Stone, Matthew D.; Inda, Jacob J.; Droullard, David J.; Kuzmicic, Jovan P.; Donoghue, Margaret A.; Long, Eric K.; Armien, Anibal G.; Lavandero, Sergio; Arriaga, Edgar; Griffin, Timothy J.; Bernlohr, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Carbonylation is the covalent, non-reversible modification of the side chains of cysteine, histidine, and lysine residues by lipid peroxidation end products such as 4-hydroxy- and 4-oxononenal. In adipose tissue the effects of such modifications are associated with increased oxidative stress and metabolic dysregulation centered on mitochondrial energy metabolism. To address the role of protein carbonylation in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial dysfunction, quantitative proteomics was employed to identify specific targets of carbonylation in GSTA4-silenced or overexpressing 3T3-L1 adipocytes. GSTA4-silenced adipocytes displayed elevated carbonylation of several key mitochondrial proteins including the phosphate carrier protein, NADH dehydrogenase 1α subcomplexes 2 and 3, translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane 50, and valyl-tRNA synthetase. Elevated protein carbonylation is accompanied by diminished complex I activity, impaired respiration, increased superoxide production, and a reduction in membrane potential without changes in mitochondrial number, area, or density. Silencing of the phosphate carrier or NADH dehydrogenase 1α subcomplexes 2 or 3 in 3T3-L1 cells results in decreased basal and maximal respiration. These results suggest that protein carbonylation plays a major instigating role in cytokine-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and may be linked to the development of insulin resistance in the adipocyte. PMID:22822087

  17. Protein carbonylation and adipocyte mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Jessica M; Hahn, Wendy S; Stone, Matthew D; Inda, Jacob J; Droullard, David J; Kuzmicic, Jovan P; Donoghue, Margaret A; Long, Eric K; Armien, Anibal G; Lavandero, Sergio; Arriaga, Edgar; Griffin, Timothy J; Bernlohr, David A

    2012-09-21

    Carbonylation is the covalent, non-reversible modification of the side chains of cysteine, histidine, and lysine residues by lipid peroxidation end products such as 4-hydroxy- and 4-oxononenal. In adipose tissue the effects of such modifications are associated with increased oxidative stress and metabolic dysregulation centered on mitochondrial energy metabolism. To address the role of protein carbonylation in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial dysfunction, quantitative proteomics was employed to identify specific targets of carbonylation in GSTA4-silenced or overexpressing 3T3-L1 adipocytes. GSTA4-silenced adipocytes displayed elevated carbonylation of several key mitochondrial proteins including the phosphate carrier protein, NADH dehydrogenase 1α subcomplexes 2 and 3, translocase of inner mitochondrial membrane 50, and valyl-tRNA synthetase. Elevated protein carbonylation is accompanied by diminished complex I activity, impaired respiration, increased superoxide production, and a reduction in membrane potential without changes in mitochondrial number, area, or density. Silencing of the phosphate carrier or NADH dehydrogenase 1α subcomplexes 2 or 3 in 3T3-L1 cells results in decreased basal and maximal respiration. These results suggest that protein carbonylation plays a major instigating role in cytokine-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and may be linked to the development of insulin resistance in the adipocyte.

  18. Identification and Characterisation CRN Effectors in Phytophthora capsici Shows Modularity and Functional Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remco Stam

    Full Text Available Phytophthora species secrete a large array of effectors during infection of their host plants. The Crinkler (CRN gene family encodes a ubiquitous but understudied class of effectors with possible but as of yet unknown roles in infection. To appreciate CRN effector function in Phytophthora, we devised a simple Crn gene identification and annotation pipeline to improve effector prediction rates. We predicted 84 full-length CRN coding genes and assessed CRN effector domain diversity in sequenced Oomycete genomes. These analyses revealed evidence of CRN domain innovation in Phytophthora and expansion in the Peronosporales. We performed gene expression analyses to validate and define two classes of CRN effectors, each possibly contributing to infection at different stages. CRN localisation studies revealed that P. capsici CRN effector domains target the nucleus and accumulate in specific sub-nuclear compartments. Phenotypic analyses showed that few CRN domains induce necrosis when expressed in planta and that one cell death inducing effector, enhances P. capsici virulence on Nicotiana benthamiana. These results suggest that the CRN protein family form an important class of intracellular effectors that target the host nucleus during infection. These results combined with domain expansion in hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens, suggests specific contributions to pathogen lifestyles. This work will bolster CRN identification efforts in other sequenced oomycete species and set the stage for future functional studies towards understanding CRN effector functions.

  19. Diverse Roles of Axonemal Dyneins in Drosophila Auditory Neuron Function and Mechanical Amplification in Hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karak, Somdatta; Jacobs, Julie S; Kittelmann, Maike; Spalthoff, Christian; Katana, Radoslaw; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Schon, Michael A; Kernan, Maurice J; Eberl, Daniel F; Göpfert, Martin C

    2015-11-26

    Much like vertebrate hair cells, the chordotonal sensory neurons that mediate hearing in Drosophila are motile and amplify the mechanical input of the ear. Because the neurons bear mechanosensory primary cilia whose microtubule axonemes display dynein arms, we hypothesized that their motility is powered by dyneins. Here, we describe two axonemal dynein proteins that are required for Drosophila auditory neuron function, localize to their primary cilia, and differently contribute to mechanical amplification in hearing. Promoter fusions revealed that the two axonemal dynein genes Dmdnah3 (=CG17150) and Dmdnai2 (=CG6053) are expressed in chordotonal neurons, including the auditory ones in the fly's ear. Null alleles of both dyneins equally abolished electrical auditory neuron responses, yet whereas mutations in Dmdnah3 facilitated mechanical amplification, amplification was abolished by mutations in Dmdnai2. Epistasis analysis revealed that Dmdnah3 acts downstream of Nan-Iav channels in controlling the amplificatory gain. Dmdnai2, in addition to being required for amplification, was essential for outer dynein arms in auditory neuron cilia. This establishes diverse roles of axonemal dyneins in Drosophila auditory neuron function and links auditory neuron motility to primary cilia and axonemal dyneins. Mutant defects in sperm competition suggest that both dyneins also function in sperm motility.

  20. Biases in the experimental annotations of protein function and their effect on our understanding of protein function space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M Schnoes

    Full Text Available The ongoing functional annotation of proteins relies upon the work of curators to capture experimental findings from scientific literature and apply them to protein sequence and structure data. However, with the increasing use of high-throughput experimental assays, a small number of experimental studies dominate the functional protein annotations collected in databases. Here, we investigate just how prevalent is the "few articles - many proteins" phenomenon. We examine the experimentally validated annotation of proteins provided by several groups in the GO Consortium, and show that the distribution of proteins per published study is exponential, with 0.14% of articles providing the source of annotations for 25% of the proteins in the UniProt-GOA compilation. Since each of the dominant articles describes the use of an assay that can find only one function or a small group of functions, this leads to substantial biases in what we know about the function of many proteins. Mass-spectrometry, microscopy and RNAi experiments dominate high throughput experiments. Consequently, the functional information derived from these experiments is mostly of the subcellular location of proteins, and of the participation of proteins in embryonic developmental pathways. For some organisms, the information provided by different studies overlap by a large amount. We also show that the information provided by high throughput experiments is less specific than those provided by low throughput experiments. Given the experimental techniques available, certain biases in protein function annotation due to high-throughput experiments are unavoidable. Knowing that these biases exist and understanding their characteristics and extent is important for database curators, developers of function annotation programs, and anyone who uses protein function annotation data to plan experiments.

  1. A comprehensive software suite for protein family construction and functional site prediction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Renfrew Haft

    Full Text Available In functionally diverse protein families, conservation in short signature regions may outperform full-length sequence comparisons for identifying proteins that belong to a subgroup within which one specific aspect of their function is conserved. The SIMBAL workflow (Sites Inferred by Metabolic Background Assertion Labeling is a data-mining procedure for finding such signature regions. It begins by using clues from genomic context, such as co-occurrence or conserved gene neighborhoods, to build a useful training set from a large number of uncharacterized but mutually homologous proteins. When training set construction is successful, the YES partition is enriched in proteins that share function with the user's query sequence, while the NO partition is depleted. A selected query sequence is then mined for short signature regions whose closest matches overwhelmingly favor proteins from the YES partition. High-scoring signature regions typically contain key residues critical to functional specificity, so proteins with the highest sequence similarity across these regions tend to share the same function. The SIMBAL algorithm was described previously, but significant manual effort, expertise, and a supporting software infrastructure were required to prepare the requisite training sets. Here, we describe a new, distributable software suite that speeds up and simplifies the process for using SIMBAL, most notably by providing tools that automate training set construction. These tools have broad utility for comparative genomics, allowing for flexible collection of proteins or protein domains based on genomic context as well as homology, a capability that can greatly assist in protein family construction. Armed with this new software suite, SIMBAL can serve as a fast and powerful in silico alternative to direct experimentation for characterizing proteins and their functional interactions.

  2. Diversity-interaction modeling: estimating contributions of species identities and interactions to ecosystem function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirwan, L; Connolly, J; Finn, J A

    2009-01-01

    to the roles of evenness, functional groups, and functional redundancy. These more parsimonious descriptions can be especially useful in identifying general diversity-function relationships in communities with large numbers of species. We provide an example of the application of the modeling framework......We develop a modeling framework that estimates the effects of species identity and diversity on ecosystem function and permits prediction of the diversity-function relationship across different types of community composition. Rather than just measure an overall effect of diversity, we separately....... These models describe community-level performance and thus do not require separate measurement of the performance of individual species. This flexible modeling approach can be tailored to test many hypotheses in biodiversity research and can suggest the interaction mechanisms that may be acting....

  3. Impacts of Urban Areas and Their Characteristics on Avian Functional Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Oliveira Hagen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Urban development is rapidly expanding across the globe and is a major driver of environmental change. Despite considerable improvements in our understanding of how species richness responds to urbanization, there is still insufficient knowledge of how other measures of assemblage composition and structure respond to urban development. Functional diversity metrics provide a useful approach for quantifying ecological function. We compare avian functional diversity in 25 urban areas, located across the globe, with paired non-urban assemblages using a database of 27 functional traits that capture variation in resource use (amount and type of resources and how they are acquired across the 529 species occurring across these assemblages. Using three standard functional diversity metrics (FD, MNTD, and convex hull we quantify observed functional diversity and, using standardized effect sizes, how this diverges from that expected under random community assembly null models. We use regression trees to investigate whether human population density, amount of vegetation and city size (spatial extent of urban land, bio-region and use of semi-natural or agricultural assemblages as a baseline modulate the effect of urbanization on functional diversity. Our analyses suggest that observed functional diversity of urban avian assemblages is not consistently different from that of non-urban assemblages. After accounting for species richness avian functional diversity is higher in cities than areas of semi-natural habitat. This creates a paradox as species responses to urban development are determined by their ecological traits, which should generate assemblages clustered within a narrow range of trait space. Greater habitat diversity within cities compared to semi-natural areas dominated by a single habitat may enhance functional diversity in cities and explain this paradox. Regression trees further suggest that smaller urban areas, lower human population densities

  4. Origination and immigration drive latitudinal gradients in marine functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Berke

    Full Text Available Global patterns in the functional attributes of organisms are critical to understanding biodiversity trends and predicting biotic responses to environmental change. In the first global marine analysis, we find a strong decrease in functional richness, but a strong increase in functional evenness, with increasing latitude using intertidal-to-outer-shelf bivalves as a model system (N = 5571 species. These patterns appear to be driven by the interplay between variation in origination rates among functional groups, and latitudinal patterns in origination and range expansion, as documented by the rich fossil record of the group. The data suggest that (i accumulation of taxa in spatial bins and functional categories has not impeded continued diversification in the tropics, and (ii extinctions will influence ecosystem function differentially across latitudes.

  5. Heterogeneous genetic diversity pattern in Plasmodium vivax genes encoding merozoite surface proteins (MSP) -7E, -7F and -7L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzón-Ospina, Diego; Forero-Rodríguez, Johanna; Patarroyo, Manuel A

    2014-12-13

    The msp-7 gene has become differentially expanded in the Plasmodium genus; Plasmodium vivax has the highest copy number of this gene, several of which encode antigenic proteins in merozoites. DNA sequences from thirty-six Colombian clinical isolates from P. vivax (pv) msp-7E, -7F and -7L genes were analysed for characterizing and studying the genetic diversity of these pvmsp-7 members which are expressed during the intra-erythrocyte stage; natural selection signals producing the variation pattern so observed were evaluated. The pvmsp-7E gene was highly polymorphic compared to pvmsp-7F and pvmsp-7L which were seen to have limited genetic diversity; pvmsp-7E polymorphism was seen to have been maintained by different types of positive selection. Even though these copies seemed to be species-specific duplications, a search in the Plasmodium cynomolgi genome (P. vivax sister taxon) showed that both species shared the whole msp-7 repertoire. This led to exploring the long-term effect of natural selection by comparing the orthologous sequences which led to finding signatures for lineage-specific positive selection. The results confirmed that the P. vivax msp-7 family has a heterogeneous genetic diversity pattern; some members are highly conserved whilst others are highly diverse. The results suggested that the 3'-end of these genes encode MSP-7 proteins' functional region whilst the central region of pvmsp-7E has evolved rapidly. The lineage-specific positive selection signals found suggested that mutations occurring in msp-7s genes during host switch may have succeeded in adapting the ancestral P. vivax parasite population to humans.

  6. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  7. Dramatic increases of soil microbial functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone of Changbai Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong Shen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500 to 2200 m on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0, we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC. This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  8. Design and functionality of dense protein particles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saglam, D.

    2012-01-01

    Food products that contain high levels of protein can help to control food intake and to maintain a healthy body weight due to their strong satiating properties. They are also beneficial in the nutrition of elderly and commonly used in medical nutrition. Preparation of food products at high

  9. Molecular and functional characterization of MICAL proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, Y.

    2011-01-01

    Since their original identification in 2002, MICAL proteins have been implicated in various physiological and pathological processes including axon guidance, tight junction formation, spinal cord injury and cancer. MICALs mediate cell signaling via their unusual N-terminal monooxygenase (MO) domain

  10. Functional differences in yeast protein disulfide isomerases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, P; Westphal, V; Tachibana, C

    2001-01-01

    PDI1 is the essential gene encoding protein disulfide isomerase in yeast. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, however, contains four other nonessential genes with homology to PDI1: MPD1, MPD2, EUG1, and EPS1. We have investigated the effects of simultaneous deletions of these genes. In several...

  11. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

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

  12. Computational design of proteins with novel structure and functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Wei; Lai Lu-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Computational design of proteins is a relatively new field, where scientists search the enormous sequence space for sequences that can fold into desired structure and perform desired functions. With the computational approach, proteins can be designed, for example, as regulators of biological processes, novel enzymes, or as biotherapeutics. These approaches not only provide valuable information for understanding of sequence–structure–function relations in proteins, but also hold promise for applications to protein engineering and biomedical research. In this review, we briefly introduce the rationale for computational protein design, then summarize the recent progress in this field, including de novo protein design, enzyme design, and design of protein–protein interactions. Challenges and future prospects of this field are also discussed. (topical review)

  13. Multiple structure-intrinsic disorder interactions regulate and coordinate Hox protein function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondos, Sarah

    During animal development, Hox transcription factors determine fate of developing tissues to generate diverse organs and appendages. Hox proteins are famous for their bizarre mutant phenotypes, such as replacing antennae with legs. Clearly, the functions of individual Hox proteins must be distinct and reliable in vivo, or the organism risks malformation or death. However, within the Hox protein family, the DNA-binding homeodomains are highly conserved and the amino acids that contact DNA are nearly invariant. These observations raise the question: How do different Hox proteins correctly identify their distinct target genes using a common DNA binding domain? One possible means to modulate DNA binding is through the influence of the non-homeodomain protein regions, which differ significantly among Hox proteins. However genetic approaches never detected intra-protein interactions, and early biochemical attempts were hindered because the special features of ``intrinsically disordered'' sequences were not appreciated. We propose the first-ever structural model of a Hox protein to explain how specific contacts between distant, intrinsically disordered regions of the protein and the homeodomain regulate DNA binding and coordinate this activity with other Hox molecular functions.

  14. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are involved in every aspects of life: structure, motion, catalysis, recognition and regulation. Today's highly sophisticated science of the modifications of proteins has ancient roots. The tailoring of proteins for food and medical uses precedes the beginning of what is called biochemistry. Chemical modification of proteins was pursued early in the twentieth century as an analytical procedure for side-chain amino acids. Later, methods were developed for specific inactivation of biologically active proteins and titration of their essential groups. Enzymatic modifications were mainly developed in the seventies when many more enzymes became economically available. Protein engineering has become a valuable tool for creating or improving proteins for practical use and has provided new insights into protein structure and function. The actual and potential use of milk proteins as food ingredients has been a popular topic for research over the past 40 years. With today's sophisticated analytical, biochemical and biological research tools, the presence of compounds with biological activity has been demonstrated. Improvements in separation techniques and enzyme technology have enabled efficient and economic isolation and modification of milk proteins, which has made possible their use as functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and medical foods. In this review, some chemical and enzymatic modifications of milk proteins are described, with particular focus on their functional and biological properties.

  15. Biases in the Experimental Annotations of Protein Function and Their Effect on Our Understanding of Protein Function Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnoes, Alexandra M.; Ream, David C.; Thorman, Alexander W.; Babbitt, Patricia C.; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-01-01

    The ongoing functional annotation of proteins relies upon the work of curators to capture experimental findings from scientific literature and apply them to protein sequence and structure data. However, with the increasing use of high-throughput experimental assays, a small number of experimental studies dominate the functional protein annotations collected in databases. Here, we investigate just how prevalent is the “few articles - many proteins” phenomenon. We examine the experimentally validated annotation of proteins provided by several groups in the GO Consortium, and show that the distribution of proteins per published study is exponential, with 0.14% of articles providing the source of annotations for 25% of the proteins in the UniProt-GOA compilation. Since each of the dominant articles describes the use of an assay that can find only one function or a small group of functions, this leads to substantial biases in what we know about the function of many proteins. Mass-spectrometry, microscopy and RNAi experiments dominate high throughput experiments. Consequently, the functional information derived from these experiments is mostly of the subcellular location of proteins, and of the participation of proteins in embryonic developmental pathways. For some organisms, the information provided by different studies overlap by a large amount. We also show that the information provided by high throughput experiments is less specific than those provided by low throughput experiments. Given the experimental techniques available, certain biases in protein function annotation due to high-throughput experiments are unavoidable. Knowing that these biases exist and understanding their characteristics and extent is important for database curators, developers of function annotation programs, and anyone who uses protein function annotation data to plan experiments. PMID:23737737

  16. AVID: An integrative framework for discovering functional relationships among proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keating Amy E

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Determining the functions of uncharacterized proteins is one of the most pressing problems in the post-genomic era. Large scale protein-protein interaction assays, global mRNA expression analyses and systematic protein localization studies provide experimental information that can be used for this purpose. The data from such experiments contain many false positives and false negatives, but can be processed using computational methods to provide reliable information about protein-protein relationships and protein function. An outstanding and important goal is to predict detailed functional annotation for all uncharacterized proteins that is reliable enough to effectively guide experiments. Results We present AVID, a computational method that uses a multi-stage learning framework to integrate experimental results with sequence information, generating networks reflecting functional similarities among proteins. We illustrate use of the networks by making predictions of detailed Gene Ontology (GO annotations in three categories: molecular function, biological process, and cellular component. Applied to the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, AVID provides 37,451 pair-wise functional linkages between 4,191 proteins. These relationships are ~65–78% accurate, as assessed by cross-validation testing. Assignments of highly detailed functional descriptors to proteins, based on the networks, are estimated to be ~67% accurate for GO categories describing molecular function and cellular component and ~52% accurate for terms describing biological process. The predictions cover 1,490 proteins with no previous annotation in GO and also assign more detailed functions to many proteins annotated only with less descriptive terms. Predictions made by AVID are largely distinct from those made by other methods. Out of 37,451 predicted pair-wise relationships, the greatest number shared in common with another method is 3,413. Conclusion AVID provides

  17. Roles for text mining in protein function prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verspoor, Karin M

    2014-01-01

    The Human Genome Project has provided science with a hugely valuable resource: the blueprints for life; the specification of all of the genes that make up a human. While the genes have all been identified and deciphered, it is proteins that are the workhorses of the human body: they are essential to virtually all cell functions and are the primary mechanism through which biological function is carried out. Hence in order to fully understand what happens at a molecular level in biological organisms, and eventually to enable development of treatments for diseases where some aspect of a biological system goes awry, we must understand the functions of proteins. However, experimental characterization of protein function cannot scale to the vast amount of DNA sequence data now available. Computational protein function prediction has therefore emerged as a problem at the forefront of modern biology (Radivojac et al., Nat Methods 10(13):221-227, 2013).Within the varied approaches to computational protein function prediction that have been explored, there are several that make use of biomedical literature mining. These methods take advantage of information in the published literature to associate specific proteins with specific protein functions. In this chapter, we introduce two main strategies for doing this: association of function terms, represented as Gene Ontology terms (Ashburner et al., Nat Genet 25(1):25-29, 2000), to proteins based on information in published articles, and a paradigm called LEAP-FS (Literature-Enhanced Automated Prediction of Functional Sites) in which literature mining is used to validate the predictions of an orthogonal computational protein function prediction method.

  18. Function and structure of GFP-like proteins in the protein data bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Wayne J-H; Alvarez, Samuel; Leroux, Ivan E; Shahid, Ramza S; Samma, Alex A; Peshkepija, Paola; Morgan, Alicia L; Mulcahy, Shawn; Zimmer, Marc

    2011-04-01

    The RCSB protein databank contains 266 crystal structures of green fluorescent proteins (GFP) and GFP-like proteins. This is the first systematic analysis of all the GFP-like structures in the pdb. We have used the pdb to examine the function of fluorescent proteins (FP) in nature, aspects of excited state proton transfer (ESPT) in FPs, deformation from planarity of the chromophore and chromophore maturation. The conclusions reached in this review are that (1) The lid residues are highly conserved, particularly those on the "top" of the β-barrel. They are important to the function of GFP-like proteins, perhaps in protecting the chromophore or in β-barrel formation. (2) The primary/ancestral function of GFP-like proteins may well be to aid in light induced electron transfer. (3) The structural prerequisites for light activated proton pumps exist in many structures and it's possible that like bioluminescence, proton pumps are secondary functions of GFP-like proteins. (4) In most GFP-like proteins the protein matrix exerts a significant strain on planar chromophores forcing most GFP-like proteins to adopt non-planar chromophores. These chromophoric deviations from planarity play an important role in determining the fluorescence quantum yield. (5) The chemospatial characteristics of the chromophore cavity determine the isomerization state of the chromophore. The cavities of highlighter proteins that can undergo cis/trans isomerization have chemospatial properties that are common to both cis and trans GFP-like proteins.

  19. Evolutionary Algorithms for Boolean Functions in Diverse Domains of Cryptography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picek, Stjepan; Carlet, Claude; Guilley, Sylvain; Miller, Julian F; Jakobovic, Domagoj

    2016-01-01

    The role of Boolean functions is prominent in several areas including cryptography, sequences, and coding theory. Therefore, various methods for the construction of Boolean functions with desired properties are of direct interest. New motivations on the role of Boolean functions in cryptography with attendant new properties have emerged over the years. There are still many combinations of design criteria left unexplored and in this matter evolutionary computation can play a distinct role. This article concentrates on two scenarios for the use of Boolean functions in cryptography. The first uses Boolean functions as the source of the nonlinearity in filter and combiner generators. Although relatively well explored using evolutionary algorithms, it still presents an interesting goal in terms of the practical sizes of Boolean functions. The second scenario appeared rather recently where the objective is to find Boolean functions that have various orders of the correlation immunity and minimal Hamming weight. In both these scenarios we see that evolutionary algorithms are able to find high-quality solutions where genetic programming performs the best.

  20. Regional specialization within the human striatum for diverse psychological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Wolfgang M; O'Reilly, Randall C; Yarkoni, Tal; Wager, Tor D

    2016-02-16

    Decades of animal and human neuroimaging research have identified distinct, but overlapping, striatal zones, which are interconnected with separable corticostriatal circuits, and are crucial for the organization of functional systems. Despite continuous efforts to subdivide the human striatum based on anatomical and resting-state functional connectivity, characterizing the different psychological processes related to each zone remains a work in progress. Using an unbiased, data-driven approach, we analyzed large-scale coactivation data from 5,809 human imaging studies. We (i) identified five distinct striatal zones that exhibited discrete patterns of coactivation with cortical brain regions across distinct psychological processes and (ii) identified the different psychological processes associated with each zone. We found that the reported pattern of cortical activation reliably predicted which striatal zone was most strongly activated. Critically, activation in each functional zone could be associated with distinct psychological processes directly, rather than inferred indirectly from psychological functions attributed to associated cortices. Consistent with well-established findings, we found an association of the ventral striatum (VS) with reward processing. Confirming less well-established findings, the VS and adjacent anterior caudate were associated with evaluating the value of rewards and actions, respectively. Furthermore, our results confirmed a sometimes overlooked specialization of the posterior caudate nucleus for executive functions, often considered the exclusive domain of frontoparietal cortical circuits. Our findings provide a precise functional map of regional specialization within the human striatum, both in terms of the differential cortical regions and psychological functions associated with each striatal zone.

  1. Protein mislocalization: mechanisms, functions and clinical applications in cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohong; Li, Shulin

    2014-01-01

    The changes from normal cells to cancer cells are primarily regulated by genome instability, which foster hallmark functions of cancer through multiple mechanisms including protein mislocalization. Mislocalization of these proteins, including oncoproteins, tumor suppressors, and other cancer-related proteins, can interfere with normal cellular function and cooperatively drive tumor development and metastasis. This review describes the cancer-related effects of protein subcellular mislocalization, the related mislocalization mechanisms, and the potential application of this knowledge to cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. PMID:24709009

  2. Functional-diversity indices can be driven by methodological choices and species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poos, Mark S; Walker, Steven C; Jackson, Donald A

    2009-02-01

    Functional diversity is an important concept in community ecology because it captures information on functional traits absent in measures of species diversity. One popular method of measuring functional diversity is the dendrogram-based method, FD. To calculate FD, a variety of methodological choices are required, and it has been debated about whether biological conclusions are sensitive to such choices. We studied the probability that conclusions regarding FD were sensitive, and that patterns in sensitivity were related to alpha and beta components of species richness. We developed a randomization procedure that iteratively calculated FD by assigning species into two assemblages and calculating the probability that the community with higher FD varied across methods. We found evidence of sensitivity in all five communities we examined, ranging from a probability of sensitivity of 0 (no sensitivity) to 0.976 (almost completely sensitive). Variations in these probabilities were driven by differences in alpha diversity between assemblages and not by beta diversity. Importantly, FD was most sensitive when it was most useful (i.e., when differences in alpha diversity were low). We demonstrate that trends in functional-diversity analyses can be largely driven by methodological choices or species richness, rather than functional trait information alone.

  3. Exploring protein dynamics space: the dynasome as the missing link between protein structure and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulf Hensen

    Full Text Available Proteins are usually described and classified according to amino acid sequence, structure or function. Here, we develop a minimally biased scheme to compare and classify proteins according to their internal mobility patterns. This approach is based on the notion that proteins not only fold into recurring structural motifs but might also be carrying out only a limited set of recurring mobility motifs. The complete set of these patterns, which we tentatively call the dynasome, spans a multi-dimensional space with axes, the dynasome descriptors, characterizing different aspects of protein dynamics. The unique dynamic fingerprint of each protein is represented as a vector in the dynasome space. The difference between any two vectors, consequently, gives a reliable measure of the difference between the corresponding protein dynamics. We characterize the properties of the dynasome by comparing the dynamics fingerprints obtained from molecular dynamics simulations of 112 proteins but our approach is, in principle, not restricted to any specific source of data of protein dynamics. We conclude that: 1. the dynasome consists of a continuum of proteins, rather than well separated classes. 2. For the majority of proteins we observe strong correlations between structure and dynamics. 3. Proteins with similar function carry out similar dynamics, which suggests a new method to improve protein function annotation based on protein dynamics.

  4. Improving protein function prediction methods with integrated literature data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabow Aaron P

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Determining the function of uncharacterized proteins is a major challenge in the post-genomic era due to the problem's complexity and scale. Identifying a protein's function contributes to an understanding of its role in the involved pathways, its suitability as a drug target, and its potential for protein modifications. Several graph-theoretic approaches predict unidentified functions of proteins by using the functional annotations of better-characterized proteins in protein-protein interaction networks. We systematically consider the use of literature co-occurrence data, introduce a new method for quantifying the reliability of co-occurrence and test how performance differs across species. We also quantify changes in performance as the prediction algorithms annotate with increased specificity. Results We find that including information on the co-occurrence of proteins within an abstract greatly boosts performance in the Functional Flow graph-theoretic function prediction algorithm in yeast, fly and worm. This increase in performance is not simply due to the presence of additional edges since supplementing protein-protein interactions with co-occurrence data outperforms supplementing with a comparably-sized genetic interaction dataset. Through the combination of protein-protein interactions and co-occurrence data, the neighborhood around unknown proteins is quickly connected to well-characterized nodes which global prediction algorithms can exploit. Our method for quantifying co-occurrence reliability shows superior performance to the other methods, particularly at threshold values around 10% which yield the best trade off between coverage and accuracy. In contrast, the traditional way of asserting co-occurrence when at least one abstract mentions both proteins proves to be the worst method for generating co-occurrence data, introducing too many false positives. Annotating the functions with greater specificity is harder

  5. The Rules and Functions of Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Xuekun; Liang, Chao; Li, Fangfei; Wang, Luyao; Wu, Xiaoqiu; Lu, Aiping; Xiao, Guozhi; Zhang, Ge

    2018-05-12

    Biological macromolecules are the basis of life activities. There is a separation of spatial dimension between DNA replication and RNA biogenesis, and protein synthesis, which is an interesting phenomenon. The former occurs in the cell nucleus, while the latter in the cytoplasm. The separation requires protein to transport across the nuclear envelope to realize a variety of biological functions. Nucleocytoplasmic transport of protein including import to the nucleus and export to the cytoplasm is a complicated process that requires involvement and interaction of many proteins. In recent years, many studies have found that proteins constantly shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. These shuttling proteins play a crucial role as transport carriers and signal transduction regulators within cells. In this review, we describe the mechanism of nucleocytoplasmic transport of shuttling proteins and summarize some important diseases related shuttling proteins.

  6. Plant litter functional diversity effects on litter mass loss depend on the macro-detritivore community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patoine, Guillaume; Thakur, Madhav P; Friese, Julia; Nock, Charles; Hönig, Lydia; Haase, Josephine; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-11-01

    A better understanding of the mechanisms driving litter diversity effects on decomposition is needed to predict how biodiversity losses affect this crucial ecosystem process. In a microcosm study, we investigated the effects of litter functional diversity and two major groups of soil macro-detritivores on the mass loss of tree leaf litter mixtures. Furthermore, we tested the effects of litter trait community means and dissimilarity on litter mass loss for seven traits relevant to decomposition. We expected macro-detritivore effects on litter mass loss to be most pronounced in litter mixtures of high functional diversity. We used 24 leaf mixtures differing in functional diversity, which were composed of litter from four species from a pool of 16 common European tree species. Earthworms, isopods, or a combination of both were added to each litter combination for two months. Litter mass loss was significantly higher in the presence of earthworms than in that of isopods, whereas no synergistic effects of macro-detritivore mixtures were found. The effect of functional diversity of the litter material was highest in the presence of both macro-detritivore groups, supporting the notion that litter diversity effects are most pronounced in the presence of different detritivore species. Species-specific litter mass loss was explained by nutrient content, secondary compound concentration, and structural components. Moreover, dissimilarity in N concentrations increased litter mass loss, probably because detritivores having access to nutritionally diverse food sources. Furthermore, strong competition between the two macro-detritivores for soil surface litter resulted in a decrease of survival of both macro-detritivores. These results show that the effects of litter functional diversity on decomposition are contingent upon the macro-detritivore community and composition. We conclude that the temporal dynamics of litter trait diversity effects and their interaction with

  7. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spasojevic, Marko J.; Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2013-01-01

    1. The physiological tolerance hypothesis proposes that plant species richness is highest in warm and/or wet climates because a wider range of functional strategies can persist under such conditions. Functional diversity metrics, combined with statistical modeling, offer new ways to test whether diversity-environment relationships are consistent with this hypothesis. 2. In a classic study by R. H. Whittaker (1960), herb species richness declined from mesic (cool, moist, northerly) slopes to xeric (hot, dry, southerly) slopes. Building on this dataset, we measured four plant functional traits (plant height, specific leaf area, leaf water content and foliar C:N) and used them to calculate three functional diversity metrics (functional richness, evenness, and dispersion). We then used a structural equation model to ask if ‘functional diversity’ (modeled as the joint responses of richness, evenness, and dispersion) could explain the observed relationship of topographic climate gradients to species richness. We then repeated our model examining the functional diversity of each of the four traits individually. 3. Consistent with the physiological tolerance hypothesis, we found that functional diversity was higher in more favorable climatic conditions (mesic slopes), and that multivariate functional diversity mediated the relationship of the topographic climate gradient to plant species richness. We found similar patterns for models focusing on individual trait functional diversity of leaf water content and foliar C:N. 4. Synthesis. Our results provide trait-based support for the physiological tolerance hypothesis, suggesting that benign climates support more species because they allow for a wider range of functional strategies.

  8. Exploring Protein Function Using the Saccharomyces Genome Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Edith D

    2017-01-01

    Elucidating the function of individual proteins will help to create a comprehensive picture of cell biology, as well as shed light on human disease mechanisms, possible treatments, and cures. Due to its compact genome, and extensive history of experimentation and annotation, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an ideal model organism in which to determine protein function. This information can then be leveraged to infer functions of human homologs. Despite the large amount of research and biological data about S. cerevisiae, many proteins' functions remain unknown. Here, we explore ways to use the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD; http://www.yeastgenome.org ) to predict the function of proteins and gain insight into their roles in various cellular processes.

  9. SVM-Prot 2016: A Web-Server for Machine Learning Prediction of Protein Functional Families from Sequence Irrespective of Similarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying Hong; Xu, Jing Yu; Tao, Lin; Li, Xiao Feng; Li, Shuang; Zeng, Xian; Chen, Shang Ying; Zhang, Peng; Qin, Chu; Zhang, Cheng; Chen, Zhe; Zhu, Feng; Chen, Yu Zong

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of protein function is important for biological, medical and therapeutic studies, but many proteins are still unknown in function. There is a need for more improved functional prediction methods. Our SVM-Prot web-server employed a machine learning method for predicting protein functional families from protein sequences irrespective of similarity, which complemented those similarity-based and other methods in predicting diverse classes of proteins including the distantly-related proteins and homologous proteins of different functions. Since its publication in 2003, we made major improvements to SVM-Prot with (1) expanded coverage from 54 to 192 functional families, (2) more diverse protein descriptors protein representation, (3) improved predictive performances due to the use of more enriched training datasets and more variety of protein descriptors, (4) newly integrated BLAST analysis option for assessing proteins in the SVM-Prot predicted functional families that were similar in sequence to a query protein, and (5) newly added batch submission option for supporting the classification of multiple proteins. Moreover, 2 more machine learning approaches, K nearest neighbor and probabilistic neural networks, were added for facilitating collective assessment of protein functions by multiple methods. SVM-Prot can be accessed at http://bidd2.nus.edu.sg/cgi-bin/svmprot/svmprot.cgi.

  10. Rapamycin-binding FKBP25 associates with diverse proteins that form large intracellular entities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galat, Andrzej; Thai, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • The hFKBP25 interacts with diverse components of macromolecular entities. • We show that the endogenous human FKBP25 is bound to polyribosomes. • The endogenous hFKBP25 co-immunoprecipitated with nucleosomal proteins. • FKBP25 could induce conformational switch in macromolecular complexes. - Abstract: In this paper, we show some evidence that a member of the FK506-binding proteins, FKBP25 is associated to diverse components that are part of several different intracellular large-molecular mass entities. The FKBP25 is a high-affinity rapamycin-binding immunophilin, which has nuclear translocation signals present in its PPIase domain but it was detected both in the cytoplasm compartment and in the nuclear proteome. Analyses of antiFKBP25-immunoprecipitated proteins have revealed that the endogenous FKBP25 is associated to the core histones of the nucleosome, and with several proteins forming spliceosomal complexes and ribosomal subunits. Using polyclonal antiFKBP25 we have detected FKBP25 associated with polyribosomes. Added RNAs or 0.5 M NaCl release FKBP25 that was associated with the polyribosomes indicating that the immunophilin has an intrinsic capacity to form complexes with polyribonucleotides via its charged surface patches. Rapamycin or FK506 treatments of the polyribosomes isolated from porcine brain, HeLa and K568 cells caused a residual release of the endogenous FKBP25, which suggests that the immunophilin also binds to some proteins via its PPIase cavity. Our proteomics study indicates that the nuclear pool of the FKBP25 targets various nuclear proteins that are crucial for packaging of DNA, chromatin remodeling and pre-mRNA splicing whereas the cytosolic pool of this immunophilin is bound to some components of the ribosome

  11. Rapamycin-binding FKBP25 associates with diverse proteins that form large intracellular entities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galat, Andrzej, E-mail: galat@dsvidf.cea.fr; Thai, Robert

    2014-08-08

    Highlights: • The hFKBP25 interacts with diverse components of macromolecular entities. • We show that the endogenous human FKBP25 is bound to polyribosomes. • The endogenous hFKBP25 co-immunoprecipitated with nucleosomal proteins. • FKBP25 could induce conformational switch in macromolecular complexes. - Abstract: In this paper, we show some evidence that a member of the FK506-binding proteins, FKBP25 is associated to diverse components that are part of several different intracellular large-molecular mass entities. The FKBP25 is a high-affinity rapamycin-binding immunophilin, which has nuclear translocation signals present in its PPIase domain but it was detected both in the cytoplasm compartment and in the nuclear proteome. Analyses of antiFKBP25-immunoprecipitated proteins have revealed that the endogenous FKBP25 is associated to the core histones of the nucleosome, and with several proteins forming spliceosomal complexes and ribosomal subunits. Using polyclonal antiFKBP25 we have detected FKBP25 associated with polyribosomes. Added RNAs or 0.5 M NaCl release FKBP25 that was associated with the polyribosomes indicating that the immunophilin has an intrinsic capacity to form complexes with polyribonucleotides via its charged surface patches. Rapamycin or FK506 treatments of the polyribosomes isolated from porcine brain, HeLa and K568 cells caused a residual release of the endogenous FKBP25, which suggests that the immunophilin also binds to some proteins via its PPIase cavity. Our proteomics study indicates that the nuclear pool of the FKBP25 targets various nuclear proteins that are crucial for packaging of DNA, chromatin remodeling and pre-mRNA splicing whereas the cytosolic pool of this immunophilin is bound to some components of the ribosome.

  12. Text mining improves prediction of protein functional sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin M Verspoor

    Full Text Available We present an approach that integrates protein structure analysis and text mining for protein functional site prediction, called LEAP-FS (Literature Enhanced Automated Prediction of Functional Sites. The structure analysis was carried out using Dynamics Perturbation Analysis (DPA, which predicts functional sites at control points where interactions greatly perturb protein vibrations. The text mining extracts mentions of residues in the literature, and predicts that residues mentioned are functionally important. We assessed the significance of each of these methods by analyzing their performance in finding known functional sites (specifically, small-molecule binding sites and catalytic sites in about 100,000 publicly available protein structures. The DPA predictions recapitulated many of the functional site annotations and preferentially recovered binding sites annotated as biologically relevant vs. those annotated as potentially spurious. The text-based predictions were also substantially supported by the functional site annotations: compared to other residues, residues mentioned in text were roughly six times more likely to be found in a functional site. The overlap of predictions with annotations improved when the text-based and structure-based methods agreed. Our analysis also yielded new high-quality predictions of many functional site residues that were not catalogued in the curated data sources we inspected. We conclude that both DPA and text mining independently provide valuable high-throughput protein functional site predictions, and that integrating the two methods using LEAP-FS further improves the quality of these predictions.

  13. Text Mining Improves Prediction of Protein Functional Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Judith D.; Ravikumar, Komandur E.

    2012-01-01

    We present an approach that integrates protein structure analysis and text mining for protein functional site prediction, called LEAP-FS (Literature Enhanced Automated Prediction of Functional Sites). The structure analysis was carried out using Dynamics Perturbation Analysis (DPA), which predicts functional sites at control points where interactions greatly perturb protein vibrations. The text mining extracts mentions of residues in the literature, and predicts that residues mentioned are functionally important. We assessed the significance of each of these methods by analyzing their performance in finding known functional sites (specifically, small-molecule binding sites and catalytic sites) in about 100,000 publicly available protein structures. The DPA predictions recapitulated many of the functional site annotations and preferentially recovered binding sites annotated as biologically relevant vs. those annotated as potentially spurious. The text-based predictions were also substantially supported by the functional site annotations: compared to other residues, residues mentioned in text were roughly six times more likely to be found in a functional site. The overlap of predictions with annotations improved when the text-based and structure-based methods agreed. Our analysis also yielded new high-quality predictions of many functional site residues that were not catalogued in the curated data sources we inspected. We conclude that both DPA and text mining independently provide valuable high-throughput protein functional site predictions, and that integrating the two methods using LEAP-FS further improves the quality of these predictions. PMID:22393388

  14. Diversity and function of prevalent symbiotic marine bacteria in the genus Endozoicomonas

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.; Apprill, Amy; Ferrier-Pagè s, Christine; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are emerging as extremely diverse and flexible symbionts of numerous marine hosts inhabiting oceans worldwide. Their hosts range from simple invertebrate species, such as sponges and corals, to complex vertebrates, such as fish. Although widely distributed, the functional role of Endozoicomonas within their host microenvironment is not well understood. In this review, we provide a summary of the currently recognized hosts of Endozoicomonas and their global distribution. Next, the potential functional roles of Endozoicomonas, particularly in light of recent microscopic, genomic, and genetic analyses, are discussed. These analyses suggest that Endozoicomonas typically reside in aggregates within host tissues, have a free-living stage due to their large genome sizes, show signs of host and local adaptation, participate in host-associated protein and carbohydrate transport and cycling, and harbour a high degree of genomic plasticity due to the large proportion of transposable elements residing in their genomes. This review will finish with a discussion on the methodological tools currently employed to study Endozoicomonas and host interactions and review future avenues for studying complex host-microbial symbioses.

  15. Diversity and function of prevalent symbiotic marine bacteria in the genus Endozoicomonas

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.

    2016-08-24

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are emerging as extremely diverse and flexible symbionts of numerous marine hosts inhabiting oceans worldwide. Their hosts range from simple invertebrate species, such as sponges and corals, to complex vertebrates, such as fish. Although widely distributed, the functional role of Endozoicomonas within their host microenvironment is not well understood. In this review, we provide a summary of the currently recognized hosts of Endozoicomonas and their global distribution. Next, the potential functional roles of Endozoicomonas, particularly in light of recent microscopic, genomic, and genetic analyses, are discussed. These analyses suggest that Endozoicomonas typically reside in aggregates within host tissues, have a free-living stage due to their large genome sizes, show signs of host and local adaptation, participate in host-associated protein and carbohydrate transport and cycling, and harbour a high degree of genomic plasticity due to the large proportion of transposable elements residing in their genomes. This review will finish with a discussion on the methodological tools currently employed to study Endozoicomonas and host interactions and review future avenues for studying complex host-microbial symbioses.

  16. Local-scale Partitioning of Functional and Phylogenetic Beta Diversity in a Tropical Tree Assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jie; Swenson, Nathan G; Zhang, Guocheng; Ci, Xiuqin; Cao, Min; Sha, Liqing; Li, Jie; Ferry Slik, J W; Lin, Luxiang

    2015-08-03

    The relative degree to which stochastic and deterministic processes underpin community assembly is a central problem in ecology. Quantifying local-scale phylogenetic and functional beta diversity may shed new light on this problem. We used species distribution, soil, trait and phylogenetic data to quantify whether environmental distance, geographic distance or their combination are the strongest predictors of phylogenetic and functional beta diversity on local scales in a 20-ha tropical seasonal rainforest dynamics plot in southwest China. The patterns of phylogenetic and functional beta diversity were generally consistent. The phylogenetic and functional dissimilarity between subplots (10 × 10 m, 20 × 20 m, 50 × 50 m and 100 × 100 m) was often higher than that expected by chance. The turnover of lineages and species function within habitats was generally slower than that across habitats. Partitioning the variation in phylogenetic and functional beta diversity showed that environmental distance was generally a better predictor of beta diversity than geographic distance thereby lending relatively more support for deterministic environmental filtering over stochastic processes. Overall, our results highlight that deterministic processes play a stronger role than stochastic processes in structuring community composition in this diverse assemblage of tropical trees.

  17. Protein Function Prediction Based on Sequence and Structure Information

    KAUST Repository

    Smaili, Fatima Z.

    2016-05-25

    The number of available protein sequences in public databases is increasing exponentially. However, a significant fraction of these sequences lack functional annotation which is essential to our understanding of how biological systems and processes operate. In this master thesis project, we worked on inferring protein functions based on the primary protein sequence. In the approach we follow, 3D models are first constructed using I-TASSER. Functions are then deduced by structurally matching these predicted models, using global and local similarities, through three independent enzyme commission (EC) and gene ontology (GO) function libraries. The method was tested on 250 “hard” proteins, which lack homologous templates in both structure and function libraries. The results show that this method outperforms the conventional prediction methods based on sequence similarity or threading. Additionally, our method could be improved even further by incorporating protein-protein interaction information. Overall, the method we use provides an efficient approach for automated functional annotation of non-homologous proteins, starting from their sequence.

  18. Targeting functional motifs of a protein family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhadola, Pradeep; Deo, Nivedita

    2016-10-01

    The structural organization of a protein family is investigated by devising a method based on the random matrix theory (RMT), which uses the physiochemical properties of the amino acid with multiple sequence alignment. A graphical method to represent protein sequences using physiochemical properties is devised that gives a fast, easy, and informative way of comparing the evolutionary distances between protein sequences. A correlation matrix associated with each property is calculated, where the noise reduction and information filtering is done using RMT involving an ensemble of Wishart matrices. The analysis of the eigenvalue statistics of the correlation matrix for the β -lactamase family shows the universal features as observed in the Gaussian orthogonal ensemble (GOE). The property-based approach captures the short- as well as the long-range correlation (approximately following GOE) between the eigenvalues, whereas the previous approach (treating amino acids as characters) gives the usual short-range correlations, while the long-range correlations are the same as that of an uncorrelated series. The distribution of the eigenvector components for the eigenvalues outside the bulk (RMT bound) deviates significantly from RMT observations and contains important information about the system. The information content of each eigenvector of the correlation matrix is quantified by introducing an entropic estimate, which shows that for the β -lactamase family the smallest eigenvectors (low eigenmodes) are highly localized as well as informative. These small eigenvectors when processed gives clusters involving positions that have well-defined biological and structural importance matching with experiments. The approach is crucial for the recognition of structural motifs as shown in β -lactamase (and other families) and selectively identifies the important positions for targets to deactivate (activate) the enzymatic actions.

  19. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Omar López-Martínez

    Full Text Available Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity. Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering, whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning, and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position, whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity

  20. Direct interactions of the five known Fanconi anaemia proteins suggest a common functional pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medhurst, A L; Huber, P A; Waisfisz, Q; de Winter , J P; Mathew, C G

    2001-02-15

    Fanconi anaemia (FA) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder associated with a progressive aplastic anaemia, diverse congenital abnormalities and cancer. The condition is genetically heterogeneous, with at least seven complementation groups (A-G) described. Cells from individuals who are homozygous for mutations in FA genes are characterized by chromosomal instability and hypersensitivity to DNA interstrand crosslinking agents. These features suggest a possible role for the encoded proteins in the recognition or repair of these lesions, but neither their function nor whether they operate in a concerted or discrete functional pathways is known. The recent cloning of the FANCF and FANCE genes has allowed us to investigate the interaction of the proteins encoded by five of the seven complementation groups of FA. We used the yeast two-hybrid system and co-immunoprecipitation analysis to test the 10 possible pairs of proteins for direct interaction. In addition to the previously described binding of FANCA to FANCG, we now demonstrate direct interaction of FANCF with FANCG, of FANCC with FANCE and a weaker interaction of FANCE with both FANCA and FANCG. These findings show that the newly identified FANCE protein is an integral part of the FA pathway, and support the concept of a functional link between all known proteins encoded by the genes that are mutated in this disorder. These proteins may act either as a multimeric complex or by sequential recruitment of subsets of the proteins in a common pathway that protects the genomic integrity of mammalian cells.

  1. UET: a database of evolutionarily-predicted functional determinants of protein sequences that cluster as functional sites in protein structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lua, Rhonald C; Wilson, Stephen J; Konecki, Daniel M; Wilkins, Angela D; Venner, Eric; Morgan, Daniel H; Lichtarge, Olivier

    2016-01-04

    The structure and function of proteins underlie most aspects of biology and their mutational perturbations often cause disease. To identify the molecular determinants of function as well as targets for drugs, it is central to characterize the important residues and how they cluster to form functional sites. The Evolutionary Trace (ET) achieves this by ranking the functional and structural importance of the protein sequence positions. ET uses evolutionary distances to estimate functional distances and correlates genotype variations with those in the fitness phenotype. Thus, ET ranks are worse for sequence positions that vary among evolutionarily closer homologs but better for positions that vary mostly among distant homologs. This approach identifies functional determinants, predicts function, guides the mutational redesign of functional and allosteric specificity, and interprets the action of coding sequence variations in proteins, people and populations. Now, the UET database offers pre-computed ET analyses for the protein structure databank, and on-the-fly analysis of any protein sequence. A web interface retrieves ET rankings of sequence positions and maps results to a structure to identify functionally important regions. This UET database integrates several ways of viewing the results on the protein sequence or structure and can be found at http://mammoth.bcm.tmc.edu/uet/. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  2. Fluorescent tags of protein function in living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, M

    2000-02-01

    A cell's biochemistry is now known to be the biochemistry of molecular machines, that is, protein complexes that are assembled and dismantled in particular locations within the cell as needed. One important element in our understanding has been the ability to begin to see where proteins are in cells and what they are doing as they go about their business. Accordingly, there is now a strong impetus to discover new ways of looking at the workings of proteins in living cells. Although the use of fluorescent tags to track individual proteins in cells has a long history, the availability of laser-based confocal microscopes and the imaginative exploitation of the green fluorescent protein from jellyfish have provided new tools of great diversity and utility. It is now possible to watch a protein bind its substrate or its partners in real time and with submicron resolution within a single cell. The importance of processes of self-organisation represented by protein folding on the one hand and subcellular organelles on the other are well recognised. Self-organisation at the intermediate level of multimeric protein complexes is now open to inspection. BioEssays 22:180-187, 2000. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  3. Epigenetic variation predicts regional and local intraspecific functional diversity in a perennial herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2014-10-01

    The ecological significance of epigenetic variation has been generally inferred from studies on model plants under artificial conditions, but the importance of epigenetic differences between individuals as a source of intraspecific diversity in natural plant populations remains essentially unknown. This study investigates the relationship between epigenetic variation and functional plant diversity by conducting epigenetic (methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms, MSAP) and genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) marker-trait association analyses for 20 whole-plant, leaf and regenerative functional traits in a large sample of wild-growing plants of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus from ten sampling sites in south-eastern Spain. Plants differed widely in functional characteristics, and exhibited greater epigenetic than genetic diversity, as shown by per cent polymorphism of MSAP fragments (92%) or markers (69%) greatly exceeding that for AFLP ones (41%). After controlling for genetic structuring and possible cryptic relatedness, every functional trait considered exhibited a significant association with at least one AFLP or MSAP marker. A total of 27 MSAP (13.0% of total) and 12 AFLP (4.4%) markers were involved in significant associations, which explained on average 8.2% and 8.0% of trait variance, respectively. Individual MSAP markers were more likely to be associated with functional traits than AFLP markers. Between-site differences in multivariate functional diversity were directly related to variation in multilocus epigenetic diversity after multilocus genetic diversity was statistically accounted for. Results suggest that epigenetic variation can be an important source of intraspecific functional diversity in H. foetidus, possibly endowing this species with the capacity to exploit a broad range of ecological conditions despite its modest genetic diversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Functional Dysregulation of CDC42 Causes Diverse Developmental Phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinelli, Simone; Krumbach, Oliver H F; Pantaleoni, Francesca; Coppola, Simona; Amin, Ehsan; Pannone, Luca; Nouri, Kazem; Farina, Luciapia; Dvorsky, Radovan; Lepri, Francesca; Buchholzer, Marcel; Konopatzki, Raphael; Walsh, Laurence; Payne, Katelyn; Pierpont, Mary Ella; Vergano, Samantha Schrier; Langley, Katherine G; Larsen, Douglas; Farwell, Kelly D; Tang, Sha; Mroske, Cameron; Gallotta, Ivan; Di Schiavi, Elia; Della Monica, Matteo; Lugli, Licia; Rossi, Cesare; Seri, Marco; Cocchi, Guido; Henderson, Lindsay; Baskin, Berivan; Alders, Mariëlle; Mendoza-Londono, Roberto; Dupuis, Lucie; Nickerson, Deborah A; Chong, Jessica X; Meeks, Naomi; Brown, Kathleen; Causey, Tahnee; Cho, Megan T; Demuth, Stephanie; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Gelb, Bruce D; Bamshad, Michael J; Zenker, Martin; Ahmadian, Mohammad Reza; Hennekam, Raoul C; Tartaglia, Marco; Mirzaa, Ghayda M

    2018-01-17

    Exome sequencing has markedly enhanced the discovery of genes implicated in Mendelian disorders, particularly for individuals in whom a known clinical entity could not be assigned. This has led to the recognition that phenotypic heterogeneity resulting from allelic mutations occurs more commonly than previously appreciated. Here, we report that missense variants in CDC42, a gene encoding a small GTPase functioning as an intracellular signaling node, underlie a clinically heterogeneous group of phenotypes characterized by variable growth dysregulation, facial dysmorphism, and neurodevelopmental, immunological, and hematological anomalies, including a phenotype resembling Noonan syndrome, a developmental disorder caused by dysregulated RAS signaling. In silico, in vitro, and in vivo analyses demonstrate that mutations variably perturb CDC42 function by altering the switch between the active and inactive states of the GTPase and/or affecting CDC42 interaction with effectors, and differentially disturb cellular and developmental processes. These findings reveal the remarkably variable impact that dominantly acting CDC42 mutations have on cell function and development, creating challenges in syndrome definition, and exemplify the importance of functional profiling for syndrome recognition and delineation. Copyright © 2017 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Boronate Derivatives of Functionally Diverse Catechols: Stability Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Aziz Ketuly

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Benzeneboronate of catecholic carboxyl methyl esters, N-acetyldopamine, coumarin and catechol estrogens were prepared as crystalline derivatives in high yield. Related catechol compounds with extra polar functional group(s (OH, NH2 do not form or only partially form unstable cyclic boronate derivatives.

  6. Mycorrhizal symbioses of Salix repens : diversity and functional significance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, van der E.W.

    2000-01-01

    This thesis investigates the significance of different mycorrhizal fungi, belonging to different functional types (arbuscular mycorrhiza-AM and ectomycorrhiza-EcM), in Salix repens . A comparison between above-ground and below-ground observations on ectomycorrhizal

  7. Evolutionary relationships and functional diversity of plant sulfate transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hideki; Buchner, Peter; Yoshimoto, Naoko; Hawkesford, Malcolm J; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2011-01-01

    Sulfate is an essential nutrient cycled in nature. Ion transporters that specifically facilitate the transport of sulfate across the membranes are found ubiquitously in living organisms. The phylogenetic analysis of known sulfate transporters and their homologous proteins from eukaryotic organisms indicate two evolutionarily distinct groups of sulfate transport systems. One major group named Tribe 1 represents yeast and fungal SUL, plant SULTR, and animal SLC26 families. The evolutionary origin of SULTR family members in land plants and green algae is suggested to be common with yeast and fungal SUL and animal anion exchangers (SLC26). The lineage of plant SULTR family is expanded into four subfamilies (SULTR1-SULTR4) in land plant species. By contrast, the putative SULTR homologs from Chlorophyte green algae are in two separate lineages; one with the subfamily of plant tonoplast-localized sulfate transporters (SULTR4), and the other diverged before the appearance of lineages for SUL, SULTR, and SLC26. There also was a group of yet undefined members of putative sulfate transporters in yeast and fungi divergent from these major lineages in Tribe 1. The other distinct group is Tribe 2, primarily composed of animal sodium-dependent sulfate/carboxylate transporters (SLC13) and plant tonoplast-localized dicarboxylate transporters (TDT). The putative sulfur-sensing protein (SAC1) and SAC1-like transporters (SLT) of Chlorophyte green algae, bryophyte, and lycophyte show low degrees of sequence similarities with SLC13 and TDT. However, the phylogenetic relationship between SAC1/SLT and the other two families, SLC13 and TDT in Tribe 2, is not clearly supported. In addition, the SAC1/SLT family is absent in the angiosperm species analyzed. The present study suggests distinct evolutionary trajectories of sulfate transport systems for land plants and green algae.

  8. Evolutionary relationships and functional diversity of plant sulfate transporters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki eTakahashi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sulfate is an essential nutrient cycled in nature. Ion transporters that specifically facilitate the transport of sulfate across the membranes are found ubiquitously in living organisms. The phylogenetic analysis of known sulfate transporters and their homologous proteins from eukaryotic organisms indicate two evolutionarily distinct groups of sulfate transport systems. One major group named Tribe 1 represents yeast and fungal SUL, plant SULTR and animal SLC26 families. The evolutionary origin of SULTR family members in land plants and green algae is suggested to be common with yeast and fungal sulfate transporters (SUL and animal anion exchangers (SLC26. The lineage of plant SULTR family is expanded into four subfamilies (SULTR1 to SULTR4 in land plant species. By contrast, the putative SULTR homologues from Chlorophyte green algae are in two separate lineages; one with the subfamily of plant tonoplast-localized sulfate transporters (SULTR4, and the other diverged before the appearance of lineages for SUL, SULTR and SLC26. There also was a group of yet undefined members of putative sulfate transporters in yeast and fungi divergent from these major lineages in Tribe 1. The other distinct group is Tribe 2, primarily composed of animal sodium-dependent sulfate/carboxylate transporters (SLC13 and plant tonoplast-localized dicarboxylate transporters (TDT. The putative sulfur-sensing protein (SAC1 and SAC1-like transporters (SLT of Chlorophyte green algae, bryophyte and lycophyte show low degrees of sequence similarities with SLC13 and TDT. However, the phylogenetic relationship between SAC1/SLT and the other two families, SLC13 and TDT in Tribe 2, is not clearly supported. In addition, the SAC1/SLT family is completely absent in the angiosperm species analyzed. The present study suggests distinct evolutionary trajectories of sulfate transport systems for land plants and green algae.

  9. Challenges in the Development of Functional Assays of Membrane Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Demarche

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Lipid bilayers are natural barriers of biological cells and cellular compartments. Membrane proteins integrated in biological membranes enable vital cell functions such as signal transduction and the transport of ions or small molecules. In order to determine the activity of a protein of interest at defined conditions, the membrane protein has to be integrated into artificial lipid bilayers immobilized on a surface. For the fabrication of such biosensors expertise is required in material science, surface and analytical chemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology. Specifically, techniques are needed for structuring surfaces in the micro- and nanometer scale, chemical modification and analysis, lipid bilayer formation, protein expression, purification and solubilization, and most importantly, protein integration into engineered lipid bilayers. Electrochemical and optical methods are suitable to detect membrane activity-related signals. The importance of structural knowledge to understand membrane protein function is obvious. Presently only a few structures of membrane proteins are solved at atomic resolution. Functional assays together with known structures of individual membrane proteins will contribute to a better understanding of vital biological processes occurring at biological membranes. Such assays will be utilized in the discovery of drugs, since membrane proteins are major drug targets.

  10. Jatropha seed protein functional properties for technical applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lestari, D.; Mulder, W.J.; Sanders, J.P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Jatropha press cake, by-product after oil expression from Jatropha seeds, contains 24–28% protein on dry basis. Objectives of this research were to investigate functional properties, such as solubility, emulsifying, foaming, film forming, and adhesive properties, of Jatropha press cake proteins and

  11. Dry fractionation for production of functional pea protein concentrates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelgrom, P.J.M.; Vissers, A.M.; Boom, R.M.; Schutyser, M.A.I.

    2013-01-01

    Dry milling in combination with air classification was evaluated as an alternative to conventional wet extraction of protein from yellow field peas (Pisum sativum). Major advantages of dry fractionation are retention of native functionality of proteins and its lower energy and water use. Peas were

  12. Rheological and Functional Properties of Catfish Skin Protein Hydrolysates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catfish skin is an abundant and underutilized resource that can be used as a unique protein source to make fish skin hydrolysates. The objectives of this study were to: isolating soluble and insoluble proteins from hydrolyzed catfish skin and study the chemical and functional properties of the prote...

  13. Bioorthogonal fluorescent labeling of functional G-protein-coupled receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, He; Naganathan, Saranga; Kazmi, Manija A

    2014-01-01

    Novel methods are required for site-specific, quantitative fluorescent labeling of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and other difficult-to-express membrane proteins. Ideally, fluorescent probes should perturb the native structure and function as little as possible. We evaluated bioorthogonal...

  14. Collagen targeting using multivalent protein-functionalized dendrimers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breurken, M.; Lempens, E.H.M.; Temming, R.P.; Helms, B.A.; Meijer, E.W.; Merkx, M.

    2011-01-01

    Collagen is an attractive marker for tissue remodeling in a variety of common disease processes. Here we report the preparation of protein dendrimers as multivalent collagen targeting ligands by native chemical ligation of the collagen binding protein CNA35 to cysteine-functionalized dendritic

  15. Prediction of human protein function according to Gene Ontology categories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Juhl; Gupta, Ramneek; Stærfeldt, Hans Henrik

    2003-01-01

    developed a method for prediction of protein function for a subset of classes from the Gene Ontology classification scheme. This subset includes several pharmaceutically interesting categories-transcription factors, receptors, ion channels, stress and immune response proteins, hormones and growth factors...

  16. Preparation of functional lupine protein fractions by dry separation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelgrom, P.J.M.; Berghout, J.A.M.; Goot, van der A.J.; Boom, R.M.; Schutyser, M.A.I.

    2014-01-01

    Lupine protein concentrate is a promising ingredient that can be obtained by a combination of milling and air classification, generally called dry fractionation. This is a more sustainable route than conventional wet extraction and delivers a protein concentrate with native functional properties.

  17. A large-scale evaluation of computational protein function prediction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radivojac, P.; Clark, W.T.; Oron, T.R.; Schnoes, A.M.; Wittkop, T.; Kourmpetis, Y.A.I.; Dijk, van A.D.J.; Friedberg, I.

    2013-01-01

    Automated annotation of protein function is challenging. As the number of sequenced genomes rapidly grows, the overwhelming majority of protein products can only be annotated computationally. If computational predictions are to be relied upon, it is crucial that the accuracy of these methods be

  18. Functional properties and Solubility of date seed proteins as ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Med ali

    2013-03-06

    Mar 6, 2013 ... Key words: Phoenix dactylifera L, date palm seed, fibre, protein, functional properties. INTRODUCTION. The date .... was employed to perform dynamic measurements. ... are likely to be composed of high-molecular weight.

  19. Simulation of Protein Structure, Dynamics and Function in Organic Media

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Daggett, Valerie

    1998-01-01

    The overall goal of our ONR-sponsored research is to pursue realistic molecular modeling strudies pertinnent to the related properties of protein stability, dynamics, structure, function, and folding in aqueous solution...

  20. Evaluation of epididymal function through specific protein on spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Río, A G; De Sánchez, L Z; Sirena, A

    1984-01-01

    Investigations were focused on the characterization of specific epididymal proteins on the human spermatozoa as a representative parameter for epididymal function. An easy and attainable method, suitable for investigators and clinical use, is proposed in this article.

  1. Diverse novel functions of neutrophils in immunity, inflammation, and beyond

    OpenAIRE

    Mocsai, A.

    2013-01-01

    Neutrophils have long been considered simple suicide killers at the bottom of the hierarchy of the immune response. That view began to change 10–20 yr ago, when the sophisticated mechanisms behind how neutrophils locate and eliminate pathogens and regulate immunity and inflammation were discovered. The last few years witnessed a new wave of discoveries about additional novel and unexpected functions of these cells. Neutrophils have been proposed to participate in protection against intracellu...

  2. Diversity of Histologic Patterns and Expression of Cytoskeletal Proteins in Canine Skeletal Osteosarcoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamine, E; Hirayama, K; Matsuda, K; Okamoto, M; Ohmachi, T; Kadosawa, T; Taniyama, H

    2015-09-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS), the most common bone tumor, includes OS of the head (OSH) and appendicular OS (OSA). In dogs, it is classified into 6 histologic subtypes: osteoblastic, chondroblastic, fibroblastic, telangiectatic, giant cell, and poorly differentiated. This study investigated the significance of the histologic classification relevant to clinical outcome and the histologic and immunohistochemical relationships between pleomorphism and expression of cytoskeletal proteins in 60 cases each of OSH and OSA. Most neoplasms exhibited histologic diversity, and 64% of OS contained multiple subtypes. In addition to the above 6 subtypes, myxoid, round cell, and epithelioid subtypes were observed. Although the epithelioid subtypes were observed in only OSH, no significant difference in the frequency of other subtypes was observed. Also, no significant relevance was observed between the clinical outcome and histologic subtypes. Cytokeratin (CK) was expressed in both epithelioid and sarcomatoid tumor cells in various subtypes, and all CK-positive tumor cells also expressed vimentin. Vimentin and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) were expressed in all subtypes. A few SMA-positive spindle-shaped tumor cells exhibited desmin expression. Glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive tumor cells were observed in many subtypes, and some of these cells showed neurofilament expression. Although OSH exhibited significantly stronger immunoreactivity for SMA than OSA, no significant difference in other cytoskeletal proteins was observed. Some tumor cells had cytoskeletal protein expression compatible with the corresponding histologic subtypes, such as CK in the epithelioid subtype and SMA in the fibroblastic subtype. Thus, canine skeletal OS is composed of pleomorphic and heterogenous tumor cells as is reflected in the diversity of histologic patterns and expression of cytoskeletal proteins. © The Author(s) 2015.

  3. Diverse novel functions of neutrophils in immunity, inflammation, and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mócsai, Attila

    2013-07-01

    Neutrophils have long been considered simple suicide killers at the bottom of the hierarchy of the immune response. That view began to change 10-20 yr ago, when the sophisticated mechanisms behind how neutrophils locate and eliminate pathogens and regulate immunity and inflammation were discovered. The last few years witnessed a new wave of discoveries about additional novel and unexpected functions of these cells. Neutrophils have been proposed to participate in protection against intracellular pathogens such as viruses and mycobacteria. They have been shown to intimately shape the adaptive immune response at various levels, including marginal zone B cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells and T cell populations, and even to control NK cell homeostasis. Neutrophils have been shown to mediate an alternative pathway of systemic anaphylaxis and to participate in allergic skin reactions. Finally, neutrophils were found to be involved in physiological and pathological processes beyond the immune system, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and thrombus formation. Many of those functions appear to be related to their unique ability to release neutrophil extracellular traps even in the absence of pathogens. This review summarizes those novel findings on versatile functions of neutrophils and how they change our view of neutrophil biology in health and disease.

  4. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  5. Structural and Functional Annotation of Hypothetical Proteins of O139

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Saiful Islam

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In developing countries threat of cholera is a significant health concern whenever water purification and sewage disposal systems are inadequate. Vibrio cholerae is one of the responsible bacteria involved in cholera disease. The complete genome sequence of V. cholerae deciphers the presence of various genes and hypothetical proteins whose function are not yet understood. Hence analyzing and annotating the structure and function of hypothetical proteins is important for understanding the V. cholerae. V. cholerae O139 is the most common and pathogenic bacterial strain among various V. cholerae strains. In this study sequence of six hypothetical proteins of V. cholerae O139 has been annotated from NCBI. Various computational tools and databases have been used to determine domain family, protein-protein interaction, solubility of protein, ligand binding sites etc. The three dimensional structure of two proteins were modeled and their ligand binding sites were identified. We have found domains and families of only one protein. The analysis revealed that these proteins might have antibiotic resistance activity, DNA breaking-rejoining activity, integrase enzyme activity, restriction endonuclease, etc. Structural prediction of these proteins and detection of binding sites from this study would indicate a potential target aiding docking studies for therapeutic designing against cholera.

  6. Protein domain recurrence and order can enhance prediction of protein functions

    KAUST Repository

    Abdel Messih, Mario A.

    2012-09-07

    Motivation: Burgeoning sequencing technologies have generated massive amounts of genomic and proteomic data. Annotating the functions of proteins identified in this data has become a big and crucial problem. Various computational methods have been developed to infer the protein functions based on either the sequences or domains of proteins. The existing methods, however, ignore the recurrence and the order of the protein domains in this function inference. Results: We developed two new methods to infer protein functions based on protein domain recurrence and domain order. Our first method, DRDO, calculates the posterior probability of the Gene Ontology terms based on domain recurrence and domain order information, whereas our second method, DRDO-NB, relies on the nave Bayes methodology using the same domain architecture information. Our large-scale benchmark comparisons show strong improvements in the accuracy of the protein function inference achieved by our new methods, demonstrating that domain recurrence and order can provide important information for inference of protein functions. The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press.

  7. Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Diverse Cauliflower Cultivars under Mild and Severe Drought. Impaired Coordination of Selected Transcript and Proteomic Responses, and Regulation of Various Multifunctional Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michał Rurek

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial responses under drought within Brassica genus are poorly understood. The main goal of this study was to investigate mitochondrial biogenesis of three cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis cultivars with varying drought tolerance. Diverse quantitative changes (decreases in abundance mostly in the mitochondrial proteome were assessed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. Respiratory (e.g., complex II, IV (CII, CIV and ATP synthase subunits, transporter (including diverse porin isoforms and matrix multifunctional proteins (e.g., components of RNA editing machinery were diversely affected in their abundance under two drought levels. Western immunoassays showed additional cultivar-specific responses of selected mitochondrial proteins. Dehydrin-related tryptic peptides (found in several 2D spots immunopositive with dehydrin-specific antisera highlighted the relevance of mitochondrial dehydrin-like proteins for the drought response. The abundance of selected mRNAs participating in drought response was also determined. We conclude that mitochondrial biogenesis was strongly, but diversely affected in various cauliflower cultivars, and associated with drought tolerance at the proteomic and functional levels. However, discussed alternative oxidase (AOX regulation at the RNA and protein level were largely uncoordinated due to the altered availability of transcripts for translation, mRNA/ribosome interactions, and/or miRNA impact on transcript abundance and translation.

  8. Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Diverse Cauliflower Cultivars under Mild and Severe Drought. Impaired Coordination of Selected Transcript and Proteomic Responses, and Regulation of Various Multifunctional Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rurek, Michał; Czołpińska, Magdalena; Staszak, Aleksandra Maria; Nowak, Witold; Krzesiński, Włodzimierz; Spiżewski, Tomasz

    2018-01-01

    Mitochondrial responses under drought within Brassica genus are poorly understood. The main goal of this study was to investigate mitochondrial biogenesis of three cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) cultivars with varying drought tolerance. Diverse quantitative changes (decreases in abundance mostly) in the mitochondrial proteome were assessed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE) coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Respiratory (e.g., complex II, IV (CII, CIV) and ATP synthase subunits), transporter (including diverse porin isoforms) and matrix multifunctional proteins (e.g., components of RNA editing machinery) were diversely affected in their abundance under two drought levels. Western immunoassays showed additional cultivar-specific responses of selected mitochondrial proteins. Dehydrin-related tryptic peptides (found in several 2D spots) immunopositive with dehydrin-specific antisera highlighted the relevance of mitochondrial dehydrin-like proteins for the drought response. The abundance of selected mRNAs participating in drought response was also determined. We conclude that mitochondrial biogenesis was strongly, but diversely affected in various cauliflower cultivars, and associated with drought tolerance at the proteomic and functional levels. However, discussed alternative oxidase (AOX) regulation at the RNA and protein level were largely uncoordinated due to the altered availability of transcripts for translation, mRNA/ribosome interactions, and/or miRNA impact on transcript abundance and translation. PMID:29642585

  9. Human Milk: Bioactive Proteins/Peptides and Functional Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lönnerdal, Bo

    2016-06-23

    Breastfeeding has been associated with many benefits, both in the short and in the long term. Infants being breastfed generally have less illness and have better cognitive development at 1 year of age than formula-fed infants. Later in life, they have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Several components in breast milk may be responsible for these different outcomes, but bioactive proteins/peptides likely play a major role. Some proteins in breast milk are comparatively resistant towards digestion and may therefore exert their functions in the gastrointestinal tract in intact form or as larger fragments. Other milk proteins may be partially digested in the upper small intestine and the resulting peptides may exert functions in the lower small intestine. Lactoferrin, lysozyme and secretory IgA have been found intact in the stool of breastfed infants and are therefore examples of proteins that are resistant against proteolytic degradation in the gut. Together, these proteins serve protective roles against infection and support immune function in the immature infant. α-lactalbumin, β-casein, κ-casein and osteopontin are examples of proteins that are partially digested in the upper small intestine, and the resulting peptides influence functions in the gut. Such functions include stimulation of immune function, mineral and trace element absorption and defense against infection. © 2016 Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Macrophage heterogeneity in tissues: phenotypic diversity and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Siamon; Plüddemann, Annette; Martinez Estrada, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    During development and throughout adult life, macrophages derived from hematopoietic progenitors are seeded throughout the body, initially in the absence of inflammatory and infectious stimuli as tissue-resident cells, with enhanced recruitment, activation, and local proliferation following injury and pathologic insults. We have learned a great deal about macrophage properties ex vivo and in cell culture, but their phenotypic heterogeneity within different tissue microenvironments remains poorly characterized, although it contributes significantly to maintaining local and systemic homeostasis, pathogenesis, and possible treatment. In this review, we summarize the nature, functions, and interactions of tissue macrophage populations within their microenvironment and suggest questions for further investigation. PMID:25319326

  11. Proteomics for exploiting diversity of lupin seed storage proteins and their use as nutraceuticals for health and welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabello-Hurtado, Francisco; Keller, Jean; Ley, José; Sanchez-Lucas, Rosa; Jorrín-Novo, Jesús V; Aïnouche, Abdelkader

    2016-06-30

    Lupins have a variety of both traditional and modern uses. In the last decade, reports assessing the benefits of lupin seed proteins have proliferated and, nowadays, the pharmaceutical industry is interested in lupin proteins for human health. Modern genomics and proteomics have hugely contributed to describing the diversity of lupin storage genes and, above all, proteins. Most of these studies have been centered on few edible lupin species. However, Lupinus genus comprises hundreds of species spread throughout the Old and New Worlds, and these resources have been scarcely explored and exploited. We present here a detailed review of the literature on the potential of lupin seed proteins as nutraceuticals, and the use of -omic tools to analyze seed storage polypeptides in main edible lupins and their diversity at the Lupinus inter- and intra-species level. In this sense, proteomics, more than any other, has been a key approach. Proteomics has shown that lupin seed protein diversity, where post-translational modifications yield a large number of peptide variants with a potential concern in bioactivity, goes far beyond gene diversity. The future extended use of second and third generation proteomics should definitely help to go deeper into coverage and characterization of lupin seed proteome. Some important topics concerning storage proteins from lupin seeds are presented and analyzed in an integrated way in this review. Proteomic approaches have been essential in characterizing lupin seed protein diversity, which goes far beyond gene diversity since the protein level adds to the latter differential proteolytic cleavage of conglutin pro-proteins and a diverse array of glycosylation forms and sites. Proteomics has also proved helpful for screening and studying Lupinus germplasm with the future aim of exploiting and improving food production, quality, and nutritional values. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Management with willow short rotation coppice increase the functional gene diversity and functional activity of a heavy metal polluted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, K; van Nostrand, J D; Vangronsveld, J; Witters, N; Janssen, J O; Kumpiene, J; Siebielec, G; Galazka, R; Giagnoni, L; Arenella, M; Zhou, J-Z; Renella, G

    2015-11-01

    We studied the microbial functional diversity, biochemical activity, heavy metals (HM) availability and soil toxicity of Cd, Pb and Zn contaminated soils, kept under grassland or short rotation coppice (SRC) to attenuate the risks associated with HM contamination and restore the soil ecological functions. Soil microbial functional diversity was analyzed by the GeoChip, a functional gene microarray containing probes for genes involved in nutrient cycling, metal resistance and stress response. Soil under SRC showed a higher abundance of microbial genes involved in C, N, P and S cycles and resistance to various HM, higher microbial biomass, respiration and enzyme activity rates, and lower HM availability than the grassland soil. The linkages between functional genes of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties, HM availability and biochemical activity were also investigated. Soil toxicity and N, P and Pb availability were important factors in shaping the microbial functional diversity, as determined by CCA. We concluded that in HM contaminated soils the microbial functional diversity was positively influenced by SRC management through the reduction of HM availability and soil toxicity increase of nutrient cycling. The presented results can be important in predicting the long term environmental sustainability of plant-based soil remediation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Growing functional modules from a seed protein via integration of protein interaction and gene expression data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrakopoulou Konstantina

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nowadays modern biology aims at unravelling the strands of complex biological structures such as the protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. A key concept in the organization of PPI networks is the existence of dense subnetworks (functional modules in them. In recent approaches clustering algorithms were applied at these networks and the resulting subnetworks were evaluated by estimating the coverage of well-established protein complexes they contained. However, most of these algorithms elaborate on an unweighted graph structure which in turn fails to elevate those interactions that would contribute to the construction of biologically more valid and coherent functional modules. Results In the current study, we present a method that corroborates the integration of protein interaction and microarray data via the discovery of biologically valid functional modules. Initially the gene expression information is overlaid as weights onto the PPI network and the enriched PPI graph allows us to exploit its topological aspects, while simultaneously highlights enhanced functional association in specific pairs of proteins. Then we present an algorithm that unveils the functional modules of the weighted graph by expanding a kernel protein set, which originates from a given 'seed' protein used as starting-point. Conclusion The integrated data and the concept of our approach provide reliable functional modules. We give proofs based on yeast data that our method manages to give accurate results in terms both of structural coherency, as well as functional consistency.

  14. Application of the Nutrition Functional Diversity indicator to assess food system contributions to dietary diversity and sustainable diets of Malawian households.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckett, Brian G; DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Mundorf, Adrienne R; Rose, Donald

    2015-09-01

    Dietary diversity is associated with nutrient adequacy and positive health outcomes but indicators to measure diversity have focused primarily on consumption, rather than sustainable provisioning of food. The Nutritional Functional Diversity score was developed by ecologists to describe the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable diets. We have employed this tool to estimate the relative contribution of home production and market purchases in providing nutritional diversity to agricultural households in Malawi and examine how food system provisioning varies by time, space and socio-economic conditions. A secondary analysis of nationally representative household consumption data to test the applicability of the Nutritional Functional Diversity score. The data were collected between 2010 and 2011 across the country of Malawi. Households (n 11 814) from predominantly rural areas of Malawi. Nutritional Functional Diversity varied demographically, geographically and temporally. Nationally, purchased foods contributed more to household nutritional diversity than home produced foods (mean score=17·5 and 7·8, respectively). Households further from roads and population centres had lower overall diversity (PFunctional Diversity score is an effective indicator for identifying populations with low nutritional diversity and the relative roles that markets, agricultural extension and home production play in achieving nutritional diversity. This information may be used by policy makers to plan agricultural and market-based interventions that support sustainable diets and local food systems.

  15. Functional diversity of soil invertebrates: a potential tool to explain N2O emission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubbers, Ingrid; De Deyn, Gerlinde; Drake, Harold; Hunger, Sindy; Oppermann, Timo; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota play a crucial role in the mineralization of nutrients from organic material. However, they can thereby increase emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Our current lack of understanding of the factors controlling N2O production and emission is impeding the development of effective mitigation strategies. It is the challenge to control N2O emissions from production systems without reducing crop yield, and diversity of soil fauna may play a key role. A high functional diversity of soil invertebrates is known to stimulate nitrogen mineralization and thereby plant growth, however, it is unknown whether a high functional diversity of soil invertebrates can concurrently diminish N2O emissions. We hypothesized that increased functional diversity of soil invertebrates reduces faunal-induced N2O emissions by facilitating more complete denitrification through (i) stimulating the activity of denitrifying microbes, and (ii) affecting the distribution of micro and macro pores, creating more anaerobic reaction sites. Using state-of-the-art X-ray tomography and next-generation sequencing, we studied effects of functional diversity on soil structural properties and the diversity of the microbial community (16S rRNA genes and 16S rRNA), and linked these to soil N2O emissions. In a 120-day study we found that the functional composition of the soil invertebrate community determined N2O emissions: earthworm activity was key to faunal-induced N2O emissions (a 32-fold increase after 120 days, Pstructural properties (mean pore size, pore size distribution) were found to be radically altered by earthworm activity. We conclude that the presence of a few functional groups (ecosystem engineers) is more important than overall increased functional diversity in explaining faunal-affected N2O emissions.

  16. Predator-prey dynamics driven by feedback between functionally diverse trophic levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Tirok

    Full Text Available Neglecting the naturally existing functional diversity of communities and the resulting potential to respond to altered conditions may strongly reduce the realism and predictive power of ecological models. We therefore propose and study a predator-prey model that describes mutual feedback via species shifts in both predator and prey, using a dynamic trait approach. Species compositions of the two trophic levels were described by mean functional traits--prey edibility and predator food-selectivity--and functional diversities by the variances. Altered edibility triggered shifts in food-selectivity so that consumers continuously respond to the present prey composition, and vice versa. This trait-mediated feedback mechanism resulted in a complex dynamic behavior with ongoing oscillations in the mean trait values, reflecting continuous reorganization of the trophic levels. The feedback was only possible if sufficient functional diversity was present in both trophic levels. Functional diversity was internally maintained on the prey level as no niche existed in our system, which was ideal under any composition of the predator level due to the trade-offs between edibility, growth and carrying capacity. The predators were only subject to one trade-off between food-selectivity and grazing ability and in the absence of immigration, one predator type became abundant, i.e., functional diversity declined to zero. In the lack of functional diversity the system showed the same dynamics as conventional models of predator-prey interactions ignoring the potential for shifts in species composition. This way, our study identified the crucial role of trade-offs and their shape in physiological and ecological traits for preserving diversity.

  17. Functionalization of protein-based nanocages for drug delivery applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoonen, Lise; van Hest, Jan C M

    2014-07-07

    Traditional drug delivery strategies involve drugs which are not targeted towards the desired tissue. This can lead to undesired side effects, as normal cells are affected by the drugs as well. Therefore, new systems are now being developed which combine targeting functionalities with encapsulation of drug cargo. Protein nanocages are highly promising drug delivery platforms due to their perfectly defined structures, biocompatibility, biodegradability and low toxicity. A variety of protein nanocages have been modified and functionalized for these types of applications. In this review, we aim to give an overview of different types of modifications of protein-based nanocontainers for drug delivery applications.

  18. A diverse host thrombospondin-type-1 repeat protein repertoire promotes symbiont colonization during establishment of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Emilie-Fleur; Poole, Angela Z; Neubauer, Philipp; Detournay, Olivier; Tan, Kenneth; Davy, Simon K; Weis, Virginia M

    2017-05-08

    The mutualistic endosymbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellates is mediated by complex inter-partner signaling events, where the host cnidarian innate immune system plays a crucial role in recognition and regulation of symbionts. To date, little is known about the diversity of thrombospondin-type-1 repeat (TSR) domain proteins in basal metazoans or their potential role in regulation of cnidarian-dinoflagellate mutualisms. We reveal a large and diverse repertoire of TSR proteins in seven anthozoan species, and show that in the model sea anemone Aiptasia pallida the TSR domain promotes colonization of the host by the symbiotic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium minutum . Blocking TSR domains led to decreased colonization success, while adding exogenous TSRs resulted in a 'super colonization'. Furthermore, gene expression of TSR proteins was highest at early time-points during symbiosis establishment. Our work characterizes the diversity of cnidarian TSR proteins and provides evidence that these proteins play an important role in the establishment of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

  19. Association of papillomavirus E6 proteins with either MAML1 or E6AP clusters E6 proteins by structure, function, and evolutionary relatedness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Brimer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Papillomavirus E6 proteins bind to LXXLL peptide motifs displayed on targeted cellular proteins. Alpha genus HPV E6 proteins associate with the cellular ubiquitin ligase E6AP (UBE3A, by binding to an LXXLL peptide (ELTLQELLGEE displayed by E6AP, thereby stimulating E6AP ubiquitin ligase activity. Beta, Gamma, and Delta genera E6 proteins bind a similar LXXLL peptide (WMSDLDDLLGS on the cellular transcriptional co-activator MAML1 and thereby repress Notch signaling. We expressed 45 different animal and human E6 proteins from diverse papillomavirus genera to ascertain the overall preference of E6 proteins for E6AP or MAML1. E6 proteins from all HPV genera except Alpha preferentially interacted with MAML1 over E6AP. Among animal papillomaviruses, E6 proteins from certain ungulate (SsPV1 from pigs and cetacean (porpoises and dolphins hosts functionally resembled Alpha genus HPV by binding and targeting the degradation of E6AP. Beta genus HPV E6 proteins functionally clustered with Delta, Pi, Tau, Gamma, Chi, Mu, Lambda, Iota, Dyokappa, Rho, and Dyolambda E6 proteins to bind and repress MAML1. None of the tested E6 proteins physically and functionally interacted with both MAML1 and E6AP, indicating an evolutionary split. Further, interaction of an E6 protein was insufficient to activate degradation of E6AP, indicating that E6 proteins that target E6AP co-evolved to separately acquire both binding and triggering of ubiquitin ligase activation. E6 proteins with similar biological function clustered together in phylogenetic trees and shared structural features. This suggests that the divergence of E6 proteins from either MAML1 or E6AP binding preference is a major event in papillomavirus evolution.

  20. Lipid Bilayer Composition Affects Transmembrane Protein Orientation and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie D. Hickey

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Sperm membranes change in structure and composition upon ejaculation to undergo capacitation, a molecular transformation which enables spermatozoa to undergo the acrosome reaction and be capable of fertilization. Changes to the membrane environment including lipid composition, specifically lipid microdomains, may be responsible for enabling capacitation. To study the effect of lipid environment on proteins, liposomes were created using lipids extracted from bull sperm membranes, with or without a protein (Na+ K+-ATPase or -amylase. Protein incorporation, function, and orientation were determined. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET confirmed protein inclusion in the lipid bilayer, and protein function was confirmed using a colourometric assay of phosphate production from ATP cleavage. In the native lipid liposomes, ATPase was oriented with the subunit facing the outer leaflet, while changing the lipid composition to 50% native lipids and 50% exogenous lipids significantly altered this orientation of Na+ K+-ATPase within the membranes.

  1. Non-equilibrium coupling of protein structure and function to translation-elongation kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Ajeet K; O'Brien, Edward P

    2018-04-01

    Protein folding research has been dominated by the assumption that thermodynamics determines protein structure and function. And that when the folding process is compromised in vivo the proteostasis machinery-chaperones, deaggregases, the proteasome-work to restore proteins to their soluble, functional form or degrade them to maintain the cellular pool of proteins in a quasi-equilibrium state. During the past decade, however, more and more proteins have been identified for which altering only their speed of synthesis alters their structure and function, the efficiency of the down-stream processes they take part in, and cellular phenotype. Indeed, evidence has emerged that evolutionary selection pressures have encoded translation-rate information into mRNA molecules to coordinate diverse co-translational processes. Thus, non-equilibrium physics can play a fundamental role in influencing nascent protein behavior, mRNA sequence evolution, and disease. Here, we discuss how our understanding of this phenomenon is being advanced by the application of theoretical tools from the physical sciences. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Prokaryotic caspase homologs: phylogenetic patterns and functional characteristics reveal considerable diversity.

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    Johannes Asplund-Samuelsson

    Full Text Available Caspases accomplish initiation and execution of apoptosis, a programmed cell death process specific to metazoans. The existence of prokaryotic caspase homologs, termed metacaspases, has been known for slightly more than a decade. Despite their potential connection to the evolution of programmed cell death in eukaryotes, the phylogenetic distribution and functions of these prokaryotic metacaspase sequences are largely uncharted, while a few experiments imply involvement in programmed cell death. Aiming at providing a more detailed picture of prokaryotic caspase homologs, we applied a computational approach based on Hidden Markov Model search profiles to identify and functionally characterize putative metacaspases in bacterial and archaeal genomes. Out of the total of 1463 analyzed genomes, merely 267 (18% were identified to contain putative metacaspases, but their taxonomic distribution included most prokaryotic phyla and a few archaea (Euryarchaeota. Metacaspases were particularly abundant in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, which harbor many morphologically and developmentally complex organisms, and a distinct correlation was found between abundance and phenotypic complexity in Cyanobacteria. Notably, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, known to undergo genetically regulated autolysis, lacked metacaspases. Pfam domain architecture analysis combined with operon identification revealed rich and varied configurations among the metacaspase sequences. These imply roles in programmed cell death, but also e.g. in signaling, various enzymatic activities and protein modification. Together our data show a wide and scattered distribution of caspase homologs in prokaryotes with structurally and functionally diverse sub-groups, and with a potentially intriguing evolutionary role. These features will help delineate future characterizations of death pathways in prokaryotes.

  3. Functional characterization of fidgetin, an AAA-family protein mutated in fidget mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Yan; Mahaffey, Connie L.; Berube, Nathalie; Nystuen, Arne; Frankel, Wayne N.

    2005-01-01

    The mouse fidget mutation is an autosomal recessive mutation that renders reduced or absent semicircular canals, microphthalmia, and various skeletal abnormalities to affected mice. We previously identified the defective gene which encodes fidgetin, a new member of the ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA proteins). Here, we report on the subcellular localization of fidgetin as well as that of two closely related proteins, fidgetin-like 1 and fidgetin-like 2. Epitope-tagging and immunostaining revealed that both fidgetin and fidgetin-like 2 were predominantly localized to the nucleus, whereas fidgetin-like 1 was both nuclear and cytoplasmic. Furthermore, deletion studies identified a putative bipartite nuclear localization signal in the middle portion of the fidgetin protein. Since AAA proteins are known to form functional hetero- or homo-hexamers, we used reciprocal immunoprecipitation to examine the potential interaction among these proteins. We found that fidgetin interacted with itself and this specific interaction was abolished when either the N- or C-terminus of the protein was truncated. Taken together, our results suggest that fidgetin is a nuclear AAA-family protein with the potential to form homo-oligomers, thus representing the first step towards the elucidation of fidgetin's cellular function and the disease mechanism in fidget mutant mice

  4. Usher protein functions in hair cells and photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosgrove, Dominic; Zallocchi, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    The 10 different genes associated with the deaf/blind disorder, Usher syndrome, encode a number of structurally and functionally distinct proteins, most expressed as multiple isoforms/protein variants. Functional characterization of these proteins suggests a role in stereocilia development in cochlear hair cells, likely owing to adhesive interactions in hair bundles. In mature hair cells, homodimers of the Usher cadherins, cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15, interact to form a structural fiber, the tip link, and the linkages that anchor the taller stereocilia's actin cytoskeleton core to the shorter adjacent stereocilia and the elusive mechanotransduction channels, explaining the deafness phenotype when these molecular interactions are perturbed. The conundrum is that photoreceptors lack a synonymous mechanotransduction apparatus, and so a common theory for Usher protein function in the two neurosensory cell types affected in Usher syndrome is lacking. Recent evidence linking photoreceptor cell dysfunction in the shaker 1 mouse model for Usher syndrome to light-induced protein translocation defects, combined with localization of an Usher protein interactome at the periciliary region of the photoreceptors suggests Usher proteins might regulate protein trafficking between the inner and outer segments of photoreceptors. A distinct Usher protein complex is trafficked to the ribbon synapses of hair cells, and synaptic defects have been reported in Usher mutants in both hair cells and photoreceptors. This review aims to clarify what is known about Usher protein function at the synaptic and apical poles of hair cells and photoreceptors and the prospects for identifying a unifying pathobiological mechanism to explain deaf/blindness in Usher syndrome. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Predicting Protein Function via Semantic Integration of Multiple Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Guoxian; Fu, Guangyuan; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Hailong

    2016-01-01

    Determining the biological functions of proteins is one of the key challenges in the post-genomic era. The rapidly accumulated large volumes of proteomic and genomic data drives to develop computational models for automatically predicting protein function in large scale. Recent approaches focus on integrating multiple heterogeneous data sources and they often get better results than methods that use single data source alone. In this paper, we investigate how to integrate multiple biological data sources with the biological knowledge, i.e., Gene Ontology (GO), for protein function prediction. We propose a method, called SimNet, to Semantically integrate multiple functional association Networks derived from heterogenous data sources. SimNet firstly utilizes GO annotations of proteins to capture the semantic similarity between proteins and introduces a semantic kernel based on the similarity. Next, SimNet constructs a composite network, obtained as a weighted summation of individual networks, and aligns the network with the kernel to get the weights assigned to individual networks. Then, it applies a network-based classifier on the composite network to predict protein function. Experiment results on heterogenous proteomic data sources of Yeast, Human, Mouse, and Fly show that, SimNet not only achieves better (or comparable) results than other related competitive approaches, but also takes much less time. The Matlab codes of SimNet are available at https://sites.google.com/site/guoxian85/simnet.

  6. Analysis of substructural variation in families of enzymatic proteins with applications to protein function prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fofanov Viacheslav Y

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Structural variations caused by a wide range of physico-chemical and biological sources directly influence the function of a protein. For enzymatic proteins, the structure and chemistry of the catalytic binding site residues can be loosely defined as a substructure of the protein. Comparative analysis of drug-receptor substructures across and within species has been used for lead evaluation. Substructure-level similarity between the binding sites of functionally similar proteins has also been used to identify instances of convergent evolution among proteins. In functionally homologous protein families, shared chemistry and geometry at catalytic sites provide a common, local point of comparison among proteins that may differ significantly at the sequence, fold, or domain topology levels. Results This paper describes two key results that can be used separately or in combination for protein function analysis. The Family-wise Analysis of SubStructural Templates (FASST method uses all-against-all substructure comparison to determine Substructural Clusters (SCs. SCs characterize the binding site substructural variation within a protein family. In this paper we focus on examples of automatically determined SCs that can be linked to phylogenetic distance between family members, segregation by conformation, and organization by homology among convergent protein lineages. The Motif Ensemble Statistical Hypothesis (MESH framework constructs a representative motif for each protein cluster among the SCs determined by FASST to build motif ensembles that are shown through a series of function prediction experiments to improve the function prediction power of existing motifs. Conclusions FASST contributes a critical feedback and assessment step to existing binding site substructure identification methods and can be used for the thorough investigation of structure-function relationships. The application of MESH allows for an automated

  7. Automatic annotation of protein motif function with Gene Ontology terms

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    Gopalakrishnan Vanathi

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Conserved protein sequence motifs are short stretches of amino acid sequence patterns that potentially encode the function of proteins. Several sequence pattern searching algorithms and programs exist foridentifying candidate protein motifs at the whole genome level. However, amuch needed and importanttask is to determine the functions of the newly identified protein motifs. The Gene Ontology (GO project is an endeavor to annotate the function of genes or protein sequences with terms from a dynamic, controlled vocabulary and these annotations serve well as a knowledge base. Results This paperpresents methods to mine the GO knowledge base and use the association between the GO terms assigned to a sequence and the motifs matched by the same sequence as evidence for predicting the functions of novel protein motifs automatically. The task of assigning GO terms to protein motifsis viewed as both a binary classification and information retrieval problem, where PROSITE motifs are used as samples for mode training and functional prediction. The mutual information of a motif and aGO term association isfound to be a very useful feature. We take advantageof the known motifs to train a logistic regression classifier, which allows us to combine mutual information with other frequency-based features and obtain a probability of correctassociation. The trained logistic regression model has intuitively meaningful and logically plausible parameter values, and performs very well empirically according to our evaluation criteria. Conclusions In this research, different methods for automatic annotation of protein motifs have been investigated. Empirical result demonstrated that the methods have a great potential for detecting and augmenting information about thefunctions of newly discovered candidate protein motifs.

  8. Changes in the functional trait composition and diversity of meadow communities induced by Rhinanthus minor L.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mudrák, Ondřej; de Bello, Francesco; Doležal, Jiří; Lepš, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2016), s. 1-11 ISSN 1211-9520 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0048 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : functional traits * functional diversity * root hemiparasite Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BC-A) Impact factor: 1.017, year: 2016

  9. Scale-Dependence of Processes Structuring Dung Beetle Metacommunities Using Functional Diversity and Community Deconstruction Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  10. Tracking of plus-ends reveals microtubule functional diversity in different cell types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaebani, M. Reza; Pasula, Aravind; Ott, Albrecht; Santen, Ludger

    2016-07-01

    Many cellular processes are tightly connected to the dynamics of microtubules (MTs). While in neuronal axons MTs mainly regulate intracellular trafficking, they participate in cytoskeleton reorganization in many other eukaryotic cells, enabling the cell to efficiently adapt to changes in the environment. We show that the functional differences of MTs in different cell types and regions is reflected in the dynamic properties of MT tips. Using plus-end tracking proteins EB1 to monitor growing MT plus-ends, we show that MT dynamics and life cycle in axons of human neurons significantly differ from that of fibroblast cells. The density of plus-ends, as well as the rescue and catastrophe frequencies increase while the growth rate decreases toward the fibroblast cell margin. This results in a rather stable filamentous network structure and maintains the connection between nucleus and membrane. In contrast, plus-ends are uniformly distributed along the axons and exhibit diverse polymerization run times and spatially homogeneous rescue and catastrophe frequencies, leading to MT segments of various lengths. The probability distributions of the excursion length of polymerization and the MT length both follow nearly exponential tails, in agreement with the analytical predictions of a two-state model of MT dynamics.

  11. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity.

  12. Linking microbial diversity and functionality of arctic glacial surface habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2017-02-01

    Distinct microbial habitats on glacial surfaces are dominated by snow and ice algae, which are the critical players and the dominant primary colonisers and net producers during the melt season. Here for the first time we have evaluated the role of these algae in association with the full microbial community composition (i.e., algae, bacteria, archaea) in distinct surface habitats and on 12 glaciers and permanent snow fields in Svalbard and Arctic Sweden. We cross-correlated these data with the analyses of specific metabolites such as fatty acids and pigments, and a full suite of potential critical physico-chemical parameters including major and minor nutrients, and trace metals. It has been shown that correlations between single algal species, metabolites, and specific geochemical parameters can be used to unravel mixed metabolic signals in complex communities, further assign them to single species and infer their functionality. The data also clearly show that the production of metabolites in snow and ice algae is driven mainly by nitrogen and less so by phosphorus limitation. This is especially important for the synthesis of secondary carotenoids, which cause a darkening of glacial surfaces leading to a decrease in surface albedo and eventually higher melting rates. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Bacterial cellulose biosynthesis: diversity of operons, subunits, products and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent studies of bacterial cellulose biosynthesis, including structural characterization of a functional cellulose synthase complex, provided the first mechanistic insight into this fascinating process. In most studied bacteria, just two subunits, BcsA and BcsB, are necessary and sufficient for the formation of the polysaccharide chain in vitro. Other subunits – which differ among various taxa – affect the enzymatic activity and product yield in vivo by modulating expression of biosynthesis apparatus, export of the nascent β-D-glucan polymer to the cell surface, and the organization of cellulose fibers into a higher-order structure. These auxiliary subunits play key roles in determining the quantity and structure of the resulting biofilm, which is particularly important for interactions of bacteria with higher organisms that lead to rhizosphere colonization and modulate virulence of cellulose-producing bacterial pathogens inside and outside of host cells. Here we review the organization of four principal types of cellulose synthase operons found in various bacterial genomes, identify additional bcs genes that encode likely components of the cellulose biosynthesis and secretion machinery, and propose a unified nomenclature for these genes and subunits. We also discuss the role of cellulose as a key component of biofilms formed by a variety of free-living and pathogenic bacteria and, for the latter, in the choice between acute infection and persistence in the host. PMID:26077867

  14. Experimental-confirmation and functional-annotation of predicted proteins in the chicken genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCarthy Fiona M

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The chicken genome was sequenced because of its phylogenetic position as a non-mammalian vertebrate, its use as a biomedical model especially to study embryology and development, its role as a source of human disease organisms and its importance as the major source of animal derived food protein. However, genomic sequence data is, in itself, of limited value; generally it is not equivalent to understanding biological function. The benefit of having a genome sequence is that it provides a basis for functional genomics. However, the sequence data currently available is poorly structurally and functionally annotated and many genes do not have standard nomenclature assigned. Results We analysed eight chicken tissues and improved the chicken genome structural annotation by providing experimental support for the in vivo expression of 7,809 computationally predicted proteins, including 30 chicken proteins that were only electronically predicted or hypothetical translations in human. To improve functional annotation (based on Gene Ontology, we mapped these identified proteins to their human and mouse orthologs and used this orthology to transfer Gene Ontology (GO functional annotations to the chicken proteins. The 8,213 orthology-based GO annotations that we produced represent an 8% increase in currently available chicken GO annotations. Orthologous chicken products were also assigned standardized nomenclature based on current chicken nomenclature guidelines. Conclusion We demonstrate the utility of high-throughput expression proteomics for rapid experimental structural annotation of a newly sequenced eukaryote genome. These experimentally-supported predicted proteins were further annotated by assigning the proteins with standardized nomenclature and functional annotation. This method is widely applicable to a diverse range of species. Moreover, information from one genome can be used to improve the annotation of other genomes and

  15. Prediction of heterodimeric protein complexes from weighted protein-protein interaction networks using novel features and kernel functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peiying Ruan

    Full Text Available Since many proteins express their functional activity by interacting with other proteins and forming protein complexes, it is very useful to identify sets of proteins that form complexes. For that purpose, many prediction methods for protein complexes from protein-protein interactions have been developed such as MCL, MCODE, RNSC, PCP, RRW, and NWE. These methods have dealt with only complexes with size of more than three because the methods often are based on some density of subgraphs. However, heterodimeric protein complexes that consist of two distinct proteins occupy a large part according to several comprehensive databases of known complexes. In this paper, we propose several feature space mappings from protein-protein interaction data, in which each interaction is weighted based on reliability. Furthermore, we make use of prior knowledge on protein domains to develop feature space mappings, domain composition kernel and its combination kernel with our proposed features. We perform ten-fold cross-validation computational experiments. These results suggest that our proposed kernel considerably outperforms the naive Bayes-based method, which is the best existing method for predicting heterodimeric protein complexes.

  16. Patterns of bird functional diversity on land-bridge island fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Zhifeng; Feeley, Kenneth J; Wang, Yanping; Pakeman, Robin J; Ding, Ping

    2013-07-01

    The loss of species diversity due to habitat fragmentation has been extensively studied. In contrast, the impacts of habitat fragmentation on functional diversity remains relatively poorly understood. We conducted bird functional diversity studies on a set of 41 recently isolated land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake, China. We analysed differences in bird species richness and a recently developed suite of complementary functional diversity indices (FRic, volume of functional space occupied; FEve, evenness of abundance distribution in the functional trait space; FDiv, divergence in the distribution of abundance in the trait volume) across different gradients (island area and isolation). We found no correlations between FRic and FEve or FEve and FDiv, but negative correlations between FRic and FDiv. As predicted, island area accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness, whereas isolation explained most of the variation in species evenness (decreasing species evenness with increasing isolation). Functional diversity appears to be more strongly influenced by habitat filtering as opposed to limiting similarity. More specifically, across all islands, both FRic and FEve were significantly lower than expected for randomly assembled communities, but FDiv showed no clear patterns. FRic increased with island area, FEve decreased with island area and FDiv showed no clear patterns. Our finding that FEve decreases with island area at TIL may indicate low functional stability on such islands, and as such large islands and habitat patches may deserve extra attention and/or protection. These results help to demonstrate the importance of considering the effects of fragmentation on functional diversity in habitat management and reserve design plans. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  17. In Search of functionality-diversity relationships in anaerobic mixed culture fermentations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleerebezem, R.; Temudo, M.; Muyzer Van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.

    2009-01-01

    Based on the work described in this paper we will postulate that in environmental ecosystems with a weak selective pressure no clear relationship exists between the ecosystem functionality and the microbial diversity and microbial composition. In the past years we have been investigating the anaerobic fermentation of glucose, xylose, and glycerol, and mixtures of these substrates in continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR) inoculated with an activated sludge characterized by a very rich microbial diversity. (Author)

  18. Decoupling phylogenetic and functional diversity to reveal hidden signals in community assembly

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    de Bello, Francesco; Šmilauer, P.; Diniz-Filho, J. A. F.; Carmona, C. P.; Lososová, Z.; Herben, Tomáš; Götzenberger, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 10 (2017), s. 1200-1211 ISSN 2041-210X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-15012S; GA ČR GB14-36079G EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 267243 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community ecology * phylogenetic diversity * functional diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 5.708, year: 2016

  19. JAFA: a protein function annotation meta-server

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friedberg, Iddo; Harder, Tim; Godzik, Adam

    2006-01-01

    Annotations, or JAFA server. JAFA queries several function prediction servers with a protein sequence and assembles the returned predictions in a legible, non-redundant format. In this manner, JAFA combines the predictions of several servers to provide a comprehensive view of what are the predicted functions...

  20. Solid state protein monolayers: Morphological, conformational, and functional properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompa, P. P.; Biasco, A.; Frascerra, V.; Calabi, F.; Cingolani, R.; Rinaldi, R.; Verbeet, M. Ph.; de Waal, E.; Canters, G. W.

    2004-12-01

    We have studied the morphological, conformational, and electron-transfer (ET) function of the metalloprotein azurin in the solid state, by a combination of physical investigation methods, namely atomic force microscopy, intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy. We demonstrate that a "solid state protein film" maintains its nativelike conformation and ET function, even after removal of the aqueous solvent.

  1. Oral treponeme major surface protein: Sequence diversity and distributions within periodontal niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, M; Chan, Y; Lacap-Bugler, D C; Huo, Y-B; Gao, W; Leung, W K; Watt, R M

    2017-12-01

    Treponema denticola and other species (phylotypes) of oral spirochetes are widely considered to play important etiological roles in periodontitis and other oral infections. The major surface protein (Msp) of T. denticola is directly implicated in several pathological mechanisms. Here, we have analyzed msp sequence diversity across 68 strains of oral phylogroup 1 and 2 treponemes; including reference strains of T. denticola, Treponema putidum, Treponema medium, 'Treponema vincentii', and 'Treponema sinensis'. All encoded Msp proteins contained highly conserved, taxon-specific signal peptides, and shared a predicted 'three-domain' structure. A clone-based strategy employing 'msp-specific' polymerase chain reaction primers was used to analyze msp gene sequence diversity present in subgingival plaque samples collected from a group of individuals with chronic periodontitis (n=10), vs periodontitis-free controls (n=10). We obtained 626 clinical msp gene sequences, which were assigned to 21 distinct 'clinical msp genotypes' (95% sequence identity cut-off). The most frequently detected clinical msp genotype corresponded to T. denticola ATCC 35405 T , but this was not correlated to disease status. UniFrac and libshuff analysis revealed that individuals with periodontitis and periodontitis-free controls harbored significantly different communities of treponeme clinical msp genotypes (Pdiversity than periodontitis-free controls (Mann-Whitney U-test, Pdiversity of Treponema clinical msp genotypes within their subgingival niches. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Identification of Abiotic Stress Protein Biomarkers by Proteomic Screening of Crop Cultivar Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkla, Bronwyn J

    2016-09-08

    Modern day agriculture practice is narrowing the genetic diversity in our food supply. This may compromise the ability to obtain high yield under extreme climactic conditions, threatening food security for a rapidly growing world population. To identify genetic diversity, tolerance mechanisms of cultivars, landraces and wild relatives of major crops can be identified and ultimately exploited for yield improvement. Quantitative proteomics allows for the identification of proteins that may contribute to tolerance mechanisms by directly comparing protein abundance under stress conditions between genotypes differing in their stress responses. In this review, a summary is provided of the data accumulated from quantitative proteomic comparisons of crop genotypes/cultivars which present different stress tolerance responses when exposed to various abiotic stress conditions, including drought, salinity, high/low temperature, nutrient deficiency and UV-B irradiation. This field of research aims to identify molecular features that can be developed as biomarkers for crop improvement, however without accurate phenotyping, careful experimental design, statistical robustness and appropriate biomarker validation and verification it will be challenging to deliver what is promised.

  3. Identification of Abiotic Stress Protein Biomarkers by Proteomic Screening of Crop Cultivar Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn J. Barkla

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Modern day agriculture practice is narrowing the genetic diversity in our food supply. This may compromise the ability to obtain high yield under extreme climactic conditions, threatening food security for a rapidly growing world population. To identify genetic diversity, tolerance mechanisms of cultivars, landraces and wild relatives of major crops can be identified and ultimately exploited for yield improvement. Quantitative proteomics allows for the identification of proteins that may contribute to tolerance mechanisms by directly comparing protein abundance under stress conditions between genotypes differing in their stress responses. In this review, a summary is provided of the data accumulated from quantitative proteomic comparisons of crop genotypes/cultivars which present different stress tolerance responses when exposed to various abiotic stress conditions, including drought, salinity, high/low temperature, nutrient deficiency and UV-B irradiation. This field of research aims to identify molecular features that can be developed as biomarkers for crop improvement, however without accurate phenotyping, careful experimental design, statistical robustness and appropriate biomarker validation and verification it will be challenging to deliver what is promised.

  4. Combining modularity, conservation, and interactions of proteins significantly increases precision and coverage of protein function prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sers Christine T

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the number of newly sequenced genomes and genes is constantly increasing, elucidation of their function still is a laborious and time-consuming task. This has led to the development of a wide range of methods for predicting protein functions in silico. We report on a new method that predicts function based on a combination of information about protein interactions, orthology, and the conservation of protein networks in different species. Results We show that aggregation of these independent sources of evidence leads to a drastic increase in number and quality of predictions when compared to baselines and other methods reported in the literature. For instance, our method generates more than 12,000 novel protein functions for human with an estimated precision of ~76%, among which are 7,500 new functional annotations for 1,973 human proteins that previously had zero or only one function annotated. We also verified our predictions on a set of genes that play an important role in colorectal cancer (MLH1, PMS2, EPHB4 and could confirm more than 73% of them based on evidence in the literature. Conclusions The combination of different methods into a single, comprehensive prediction method infers thousands of protein functions for every species included in the analysis at varying, yet always high levels of precision and very good coverage.

  5. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Étienne Normandin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852 and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775. Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services.

  6. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normandin, Étienne; Vereecken, Nicolas J; Buddle, Christopher M; Fournier, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks) within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852) and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775). Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal) but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services.

  7. Functional diversity of macrophyte communities within and between Pyrenean lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enric BALLESTEROS

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Submersed vegetation is a common feature in about 70% Pyrenean high mountain (>1500 m a.s.l. lakes. Isoetids and soft-water elodeids are common elements of this underwater flora and can form distinct vegetation units (i.e. patches of vegetation dominated by different species within complex mosaics of vegetation in shallow waters (<7 m. Since isoetids exert a strong influence on sediment biogeochemistry due to high radial oxygen loss, we examined the small scale characteristics of the lake environment (water and sediment associated to vegetation patches in order to ascertain potential functional differences among them. To do so, we characterised the species composition and biomass of the main vegetation units from 11 lakes, defined plant communities based on biomass data, and then related each community with sediment properties (redox and dissolved nutrient concentration in the pore water and water nutrient concentration within plant canopy. We also characterised lake water and sediment in areas without vegetation as a reference. A total of twenty-one vegetation units were identified, ranging from one to five per lake. A cluster analysis on biomass species composition suggested seven different macrophyte communities that were named after the most dominant species: Nitella sp., Potamogeton praelongus, Myriophyllum alterniflorum, Sparganium angustifolium, Isoetes echinospora, Isoetes lacustris and Carex rostrata. Coupling between macrophyte communities and their immediate environment (overlying water and sediment was manifested mainly as variation in sediment redox conditions and the dominant form of inorganic nitrogen in pore-water. These effects depended on the specific composition of the community, and on the allocation between above- and belowground biomass, and could be predicted with a model relating the average and standard deviation of sediment redox potential from 0 down to -20 cm, across macrophyte communities. Differences in pore

  8. Intracellular Transport and Kinesin Superfamily Proteins: Structure, Function and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirokawa, N.; Takemura, R.

    Using various molecular cell biological and molecular genetic approaches, we identified kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) and characterized their significant functions in intracellular transport, which is fundamental for cellular morphogenesis, functioning, and survival. We showed that KIFs not only transport various membranous organelles, proteins complexes and mRNAs fundamental for cellular functions but also play significant roles in higher brain functions such as memory and learning, determination of important developmental processes such as left-right asymmetry formation and brain wiring. We also elucidated that KIFs recognize and bind to their specific cargoes using scaffolding or adaptor protein complexes. Concerning the mechanism of motility, we discovered the simplest unique monomeric motor KIF1A and determined by molecular biophysics, cryoelectron microscopy and X-ray crystallography that KIF1A can move on a microtubule processively as a monomer by biased Brownian motion and by hydolyzing ATP.

  9. Wide ranges of functional traits in the flora from the central region of Sonora: A diversity to be explored

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesar Hinojo Hinojo; Alejandro E. Castellanos; Jose M. Llano. Sotelo

    2013-01-01

    Although the Sonoran Desert does not have the highest plant species richness, it has been documented with the highest growth form diversity from the North American deserts. It is not known if this high growth form diversity could also harbor a high functional diversity. In this study we characterize the ecophysiological functional traits of photosynthetic capacity,...

  10. A proteomics strategy to elucidate functional protein-protein interactions applied to EGF signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blagoev, B.; Kratchmarova, I.; Ong, S.E.

    2003-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-based proteomics can reveal protein-protein interactions on a large scale, but it has been difficult to separate background binding from functionally important interactions and still preserve weak binders. To investigate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway, we em...

  11. Structure and function of nanoparticle-protein conjugates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aubin-Tam, M-E; Hamad-Schifferli, K

    2008-01-01

    Conjugation of proteins to nanoparticles has numerous applications in sensing, imaging, delivery, catalysis, therapy and control of protein structure and activity. Therefore, characterizing the nanoparticle-protein interface is of great importance. A variety of covalent and non-covalent linking chemistries have been reported for nanoparticle attachment. Site-specific labeling is desirable in order to control the protein orientation on the nanoparticle, which is crucial in many applications such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer. We evaluate methods for successful site-specific attachment. Typically, a specific protein residue is linked directly to the nanoparticle core or to the ligand. As conjugation often affects the protein structure and function, techniques to probe structure and activity are assessed. We also examine how molecular dynamics simulations of conjugates would complete those experimental techniques in order to provide atomistic details on the effect of nanoparticle attachment. Characterization studies of nanoparticle-protein complexes show that the structure and function are influenced by the chemistry of the nanoparticle ligand, the nanoparticle size, the nanoparticle material, the stoichiometry of the conjugates, the labeling site on the protein and the nature of the linkage (covalent versus non-covalent)

  12. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, João; Sárkány, Zsuzsa; Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico; Martins, Sónia; Almeida, Maria R; Li, Jianming; Damas, Ana M

    2010-02-18

    Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL) protein is a potential substrate in the brassinosteroid signalling cascade, having a role that moderates plant growth. Moreover, sequence homology revealed two sequence domains similar to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline (OHCU) decarboxylase (N-terminal domain) and 5-hydroxyisourate (5-HIU) hydrolase (C-terminal domain). TTL is a member of the transthyretin-related protein family (TRP), which comprises a number of proteins with sequence homology to transthyretin (TTR) and the characteristic C-terminal sequence motif Tyr-Arg-Gly-Ser. TRPs are single domain proteins that form tetrameric structures with 5-HIU hydrolase activity. Experimental evidence is fundamental for knowing if TTL is a tetrameric protein, formed by the association of the 5-HIU hydrolase domains and, in this case, if the structural arrangement allows for OHCU decarboxylase activity. This work reports about the biochemical and functional characterization of TTL. The TTL gene was cloned and the protein expressed and purified for biochemical and functional characterization. The results show that TTL is composed of four subunits, with a moderately elongated shape. We also found evidence for 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities in vitro, in the full-length protein. The Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL) protein is a tetrameric bifunctional enzyme, since it has 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities, which were simultaneously observed in vitro.

  13. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida Maria R

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL protein is a potential substrate in the brassinosteroid signalling cascade, having a role that moderates plant growth. Moreover, sequence homology revealed two sequence domains similar to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline (OHCU decarboxylase (N-terminal domain and 5-hydroxyisourate (5-HIU hydrolase (C-terminal domain. TTL is a member of the transthyretin-related protein family (TRP, which comprises a number of proteins with sequence homology to transthyretin (TTR and the characteristic C-terminal sequence motif Tyr-Arg-Gly-Ser. TRPs are single domain proteins that form tetrameric structures with 5-HIU hydrolase activity. Experimental evidence is fundamental for knowing if TTL is a tetrameric protein, formed by the association of the 5-HIU hydrolase domains and, in this case, if the structural arrangement allows for OHCU decarboxylase activity. This work reports about the biochemical and functional characterization of TTL. Results The TTL gene was cloned and the protein expressed and purified for biochemical and functional characterization. The results show that TTL is composed of four subunits, with a moderately elongated shape. We also found evidence for 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities in vitro, in the full-length protein. Conclusions The Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL protein is a tetrameric bifunctional enzyme, since it has 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities, which were simultaneously observed in vitro.

  14. Protein domain recurrence and order can enhance prediction of protein functions

    KAUST Repository

    Abdel Messih, Mario A.; Chitale, Meghana; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Kihara, Daisuke; Gao, Xin

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: Burgeoning sequencing technologies have generated massive amounts of genomic and proteomic data. Annotating the functions of proteins identified in this data has become a big and crucial problem. Various computational methods have been

  15. Molecular design and nanoparticle-mediated intracellular delivery of functional proteins to target cellular pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Dhiral Ashwin

    functional proteins can be delivered intracellularly in vitro using nanoparticles and used to target key signaling proteins and regulate cell signaling pathways. The same concept of naturally occurring protein-protein interactions can also be implemented to selectively bring intracellular protein targets in close proximity to proteasomal degradation machinery in cells and effect their depletion from the cellular compartments. This approach will be able to not only target entire pool of proteins to ubiquitination-mediated degradation, but also to specific sub-pools of posttranslationally modified proteins in the cell, provided peptides having distinct binding affinities are identified for posttranslational modifications. This system can then be tested for intracellular protein delivery using nanoparticle carriers to identify roles of different posttranslational modifications on the protein's activity. In future work, we propose to develop a cellular detection system, based on GFP complementation, which can be used to evaluate the efficiency of different protein delivery carriers to internalize proteins into the cell cytosol. We envision the application of nanoscale materials as intracellular protein delivery vehicles to target diverse cell signaling pathways at the posttranslational level, and subsequent metabolic manipulation, which may have interesting therapeutic properties and can potentially target stem cell fate.

  16. Divergence, recombination and retention of functionality during protein evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Yanlong O

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We have only a vague idea of precisely how protein sequences evolve in the context of protein structure and function. This is primarily because structural and functional contexts are not easily predictable from the primary sequence, and evaluating patterns of evolution at individual residue positions is also difficult. As a result of increasing biodiversity in genomics studies, progress is being made in detecting context-dependent variation in substitution processes, but it remains unclear exactly what context-dependent patterns we should be looking for. To address this, we have been simulating protein evolution in the context of structure and function using lattice models of proteins and ligands (or substrates. These simulations include thermodynamic features of protein stability and population dynamics. We refer to this approach as 'ab initio evolution' to emphasise the fact that the equilibrium details of fitness distributions arise from the physical principles of the system and not from any preconceived notions or arbitrary mathematical distributions. Here, we present results on the retention of functionality in homologous recombinants following population divergence. A central result is that protein structure characteristics can strongly influence recombinant functionality. Exceptional structures with many sequence options evolve quickly and tend to retain functionality -- even in highly diverged recombinants. By contrast, the more common structures with fewer sequence options evolve more slowly, but the fitness of recombinants drops off rapidly as homologous proteins diverge. These results have implications for understanding viral evolution, speciation and directed evolutionary experiments. Our analysis of the divergence process can also guide improved methods for accurately approximating folding probabilities in more complex but realistic systems.

  17. Extraordinary Diversity of Immune Response Proteins among Sea Urchins: Nickel-Isolated Sp185/333 Proteins Show Broad Variations in Size and Charge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Lauren S.; Schrankel, Catherine S.; Brown, Kristy J.; Smith, L. Courtney

    2015-01-01

    Effective protection against pathogens requires the host to produce a wide range of immune effector proteins. The Sp185/333 gene family, which is expressed by the California purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus in response to bacterial infection, encodes a highly diverse repertoire of anti-pathogen proteins. A subset of these proteins can be isolated by affinity to metal ions based on multiple histidines, resulting in one to four bands of unique molecular weight on standard Western blots, which vary depending on the individual sea urchin. Two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) of nickel-isolated protein samples followed by Western blot was employed to detect nickel-isolated Sp185/333 (Ni-Sp185/333) proteins and to evaluate protein diversity in animals before and after immune challenge with marine bacteria. Ni-Sp185/333 proteins of the same molecular weight on standard Western blots appear as a broad complex of variants that differ in pI on 2DE Western blots. The Ni-Sp185/333 protein repertoire is variable among animals, and shows a variety of changes among individual sea urchins in response to immune challenges with both the same and different species of bacteria. The extraordinary diversity of the Ni-Sp185/333 proteins may provide significant anti-pathogen capabilities for sea urchins that survive solely on innate immunity. PMID:26406912

  18. Broadening the functionality of a J-protein/Hsp70 molecular chaperone system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilke, Brenda A; Ciesielski, Szymon J; Ziegelhoffer, Thomas; Kamiya, Erina; Tonelli, Marco; Lee, Woonghee; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Hines, Justin K; Markley, John L; Craig, Elizabeth A

    2017-10-01

    By binding to a multitude of polypeptide substrates, Hsp70-based molecular chaperone systems perform a range of cellular functions. All J-protein co-chaperones play the essential role, via action of their J-domains, of stimulating the ATPase activity of Hsp70, thereby stabilizing its interaction with substrate. In addition, J-proteins drive the functional diversity of Hsp70 chaperone systems through action of regions outside their J-domains. Targeting to specific locations within a cellular compartment and binding of specific substrates for delivery to Hsp70 have been identified as modes of J-protein specialization. To better understand J-protein specialization, we concentrated on Saccharomyces cerevisiae SIS1, which encodes an essential J-protein of the cytosol/nucleus. We selected suppressors that allowed cells lacking SIS1 to form colonies. Substitutions changing single residues in Ydj1, a J-protein, which, like Sis1, partners with Hsp70 Ssa1, were isolated. These gain-of-function substitutions were located at the end of the J-domain, suggesting that suppression was connected to interaction with its partner Hsp70, rather than substrate binding or subcellular localization. Reasoning that, if YDJ1 suppressors affect Ssa1 function, substitutions in Hsp70 itself might also be able to overcome the cellular requirement for Sis1, we carried out a selection for SSA1 suppressor mutations. Suppressing substitutions were isolated that altered sites in Ssa1 affecting the cycle of substrate interaction. Together, our results point to a third, additional means by which J-proteins can drive Hsp70's ability to function in a wide range of cellular processes-modulating the Hsp70-substrate interaction cycle.

  19. Functional diversity of benthic ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients in a wetland of Yangtze Estuary, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yuan; Fan, Xinpeng; Warren, Alan; Zhang, Liquan; Xu, Henglong

    2018-02-01

    Researches on the functional diversity of benthic ecosystems have mainly focused on macrofauna, and studies on functional structure of ciliate communities have been based only on trophic- or size-groups. Current research was carried out on the changing patterns of classical and functional diversity of benthic ciliates in response to environmental gradients at three sites in a wetland in Yangtze Estuary. The results showed that changes of environmental factors (e.g. salinity, sediment grain size and hydrodynamic conditions) in the Yangtze Estuary induce variability in species composition and functional trait distribution. Furthermore, increased species richness and diversity did not lead to significant changes in functional diversity due to functional redundancy. However, salt water intrusion of Yangtze Estuary during the dry season could cause reduced functional diversity of ciliate communities. Current study provides the first insight into the functional diversity of ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional diversity of home gardens and their agrobiodiversity conservation benefits in Benin, West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbedomon, Rodrigue Castro; Salako, Valère Kolawolé; Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain; Idohou, Alix Frank Rodrigue; Glèlè Kakaї, Romain; Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem

    2017-11-25

    Understanding the functional diversity of home gardens and their socio-ecological determinants is essential for mainstreaming these agroforestry practices into agrobiodiversity conservation strategies. This paper analyzed functional diversity of home gardens, identified the socio-ecological drivers of functions assigned to them, and assessed the agrobiodiversity benefits of home gardens functions. Using data on occurring species in home garden (HG) and functions assigned to each species by the gardeners, the study combined clustering and discriminant canonical analyses to explore the functional diversity of 360 home gardens in Benin, West Africa. Next, multinomial logistic models and chi-square tests were used to analyze the effect of socio-demographic characteristics of gardeners (age, gender, and education level), agro-ecological zones (humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid), and management regime (single and multiple managers) on the possession of a functional type of home gardens. Generalized linear models were used to assess the effect of the functions of home gardens and the determinant factor on their potential in conserving agrobiodiversity. Seven functional groups of home gardens, four with specific functions (food, medicinal, or both food and medicinal) and three with multiple functions (more than two main functions), were found. Women owned most of home gardens with primarily food plant production purpose while men owned most of home gardens with primarily medicinal plant production purposes. Finding also showed that multifunctional home gardens had higher plant species diversity. Specifically, crops and crop wild relatives occurred mainly in home gardens with food function while wild plant species were mostly found in home gardens with mainly medicinal function. Home gardening is driven by functions beyond food production. These functions are mostly related to direct and extractive values of home gardens. Functions of home gardens were gendered, with women

  1. Yellow Mealworm Protein for Food Purposes - Extraction and Functional Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xue; Vázquez-Gutiérrez, José Luis; Johansson, Daniel P.; Landberg, Rikard; Langton, Maud

    2016-01-01

    A protocol for extraction of yellow mealworm larvae proteins was established, conditions were evaluated and the resulting protein extract was characterised. The freeze-dried yellow mealworm larvae contained around 33% fat, 51% crude protein and 43% true protein on a dry matter basis. The true protein content of the protein extract was about 75%, with an extraction rate of 70% under optimised extraction conditions using 0.25 M NaOH, a NaOH solution:ethanol defatted worm ratio of 15:1 mL/g, 40°C for 1 h and extraction twice. The protein extract was a good source of essential amino acids. The lowest protein solubility in distilled water solution was found between pH 4 and 5, and increased with either increasing or decreasing pH. Lower solubility was observed in 0.5 M NaCl solution compared with distilled water. The rheological tests indicated that temperature, sample concentration, addition of salt and enzyme, incubation time and pH alterations influenced the elastic modulus of yellow mealworm protein extract (YMPE). These results demonstrate that the functional properties of YMPE can be modified for different food applications. PMID:26840533

  2. Yellow Mealworm Protein for Food Purposes - Extraction and Functional Properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue Zhao

    Full Text Available A protocol for extraction of yellow mealworm larvae proteins was established, conditions were evaluated and the resulting protein extract was characterised. The freeze-dried yellow mealworm larvae contained around 33% fat, 51% crude protein and 43% true protein on a dry matter basis. The true protein content of the protein extract was about 75%, with an extraction rate of 70% under optimised extraction conditions using 0.25 M NaOH, a NaOH solution:ethanol defatted worm ratio of 15:1 mL/g, 40°C for 1 h and extraction twice. The protein extract was a good source of essential amino acids. The lowest protein solubility in distilled water solution was found between pH 4 and 5, and increased with either increasing or decreasing pH. Lower solubility was observed in 0.5 M NaCl solution compared with distilled water. The rheological tests indicated that temperature, sample concentration, addition of salt and enzyme, incubation time and pH alterations influenced the elastic modulus of yellow mealworm protein extract (YMPE. These results demonstrate that the functional properties of YMPE can be modified for different food applications.

  3. Characterisation and functional properties of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) seed proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wani, Ali Abas; Sogi, Dalbir Singh; Singh, Preeti; Wani, Idrees Ahmed; Shivhare, Uma S

    2011-01-15

    People in developing countries depend largely on non-conventional protein sources to augment the availability of proteins in their diets. Watermelon seed meal is reported to contain an adequate amount of nutritional proteins that could be extracted for use as nutritional ingredients in food products. Osborne classification showed that globulin was the major protein (≥500 g kg (-1)) present in watermelon seed meal, followed by albumin and glutelin. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that the polypeptides had low molecular weights ranging from 35 to 47 kDa. Isoelectric focusing revealed that the isoelectric point of most proteins was in the acidic range 4-6. These proteins are rich in aspartic acid, glutamic acid and serine. An increase in pH (5-9) significantly (P watermelon protein fractions respectively, while surface hydrophobicity ranged from 126.4 to 173.2 and from 125.8 to 169.3 respectively. The foaming and emulsifying properties of albumin were better than those of the other proteins studied. The good nutritional and functional properties of watermelon seed meal proteins suggest their potential use in food formulations. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  4. Functional and technological properties of camel milk proteins: a review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hailu, Yonas; Hansen, Egon Bech; Seifu, Eyassu

    2016-01-01

    This review summarises current knowledge on camel milk proteins, with focus on significant peculiarities in protein composition and molecular properties. Camel milk is traditionally consumed as a fresh or naturally fermented product. Within the last couple of years, an increasing quantity is being...... processed in dairy plants, and a number of consumer products have been marketed. A better understanding of the technological and functional properties, as required for product improvement, has been gained in the past years. Absence of the whey protein β-LG and a low proportion of к-casein cause differences...... in relation to dairy processing. In addition to the technological properties, there are also implications for human nutrition and camel milk proteins are of interest for applications in infant foods, for food preservation and in functional foods. Proposed health benefits include inhibition of the angiotensin...

  5. Usher proteins in inner ear structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Zubair M; Frolenkov, Gregory I; Riazuddin, Saima

    2013-11-01

    Usher syndrome (USH) is a neurosensory disorder affecting both hearing and vision in humans. Linkage studies of families of USH patients, studies in animals, and characterization of purified proteins have provided insight into the molecular mechanisms of hearing. To date, 11 USH proteins have been identified, and evidence suggests that all of them are crucial for the function of the mechanosensory cells of the inner ear, the hair cells. Most USH proteins are localized to the stereocilia of the hair cells, where mechano-electrical transduction (MET) of sound-induced vibrations occurs. Therefore, elucidation of the functions of USH proteins in the stereocilia is a prerequisite to understanding the exact mechanisms of MET.

  6. Identifying the molecular functions of electron transport proteins using radial basis function networks and biochemical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Nguyen-Quoc-Khanh; Nguyen, Trinh-Trung-Duong; Ou, Yu-Yen

    2017-05-01

    The electron transport proteins have an important role in storing and transferring electrons in cellular respiration, which is the most proficient process through which cells gather energy from consumed food. According to the molecular functions, the electron transport chain components could be formed with five complexes with several different electron carriers and functions. Therefore, identifying the molecular functions in the electron transport chain is vital for helping biologists understand the electron transport chain process and energy production in cells. This work includes two phases for discriminating electron transport proteins from transport proteins and classifying categories of five complexes in electron transport proteins. In the first phase, the performances from PSSM with AAIndex feature set were successful in identifying electron transport proteins in transport proteins with achieved sensitivity of 73.2%, specificity of 94.1%, and accuracy of 91.3%, with MCC of 0.64 for independent data set. With the second phase, our method can approach a precise model for identifying of five complexes with different molecular functions in electron transport proteins. The PSSM with AAIndex properties in five complexes achieved MCC of 0.51, 0.47, 0.42, 0.74, and 1.00 for independent data set, respectively. We suggest that our study could be a power model for determining new proteins that belongs into which molecular function of electron transport proteins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. An Approach to Function Annotation for Proteins of Unknown Function (PUFs in the Transcriptome of Indian Mulberry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K H Dhanyalakshmi

    Full Text Available The modern sequencing technologies are generating large volumes of information at the transcriptome and genome level. Translation of this information into a biological meaning is far behind the race due to which a significant portion of proteins discovered remain as proteins of unknown function (PUFs. Attempts to uncover the functional significance of PUFs are limited due to lack of easy and high throughput functional annotation tools. Here, we report an approach to assign putative functions to PUFs, identified in the transcriptome of mulberry, a perennial tree commonly cultivated as host of silkworm. We utilized the mulberry PUFs generated from leaf tissues exposed to drought stress at whole plant level. A sequence and structure based computational analysis predicted the probable function of the PUFs. For rapid and easy annotation of PUFs, we developed an automated pipeline by integrating diverse bioinformatics tools, designated as PUFs Annotation Server (PUFAS, which also provides a web service API (Application Programming Interface for a large-scale analysis up to a genome. The expression analysis of three selected PUFs annotated by the pipeline revealed abiotic stress responsiveness of the genes, and hence their potential role in stress acclimation pathways. The automated pipeline developed here could be extended to assign functions to PUFs from any organism in general. PUFAS web server is available at http://caps.ncbs.res.in/pufas/ and the web service is accessible at http://capservices.ncbs.res.in/help/pufas.

  8. An endoplasmic reticulum-localized Coffea arabica BURP domain-containing protein affects the response of transgenic Arabidopsis plants to diverse abiotic stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinh, Sy Nguyen; Kang, Hunseung

    2017-11-01

    The Coffea arabica BURP domain-containing gene plays an important role in the response of transgenic Arabidopsis plants to abiotic stresses via regulating the level of diverse proteins. Although the functions of plant-specific BURP domain-containing proteins (BDP) have been determined for a few plants, their roles in the growth, development, and stress responses of most plant species, including coffee plant (Coffea arabica), are largely unknown. In this study, the function of a C. arabica BDP, designated CaBDP1, was investigated in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The expression of CaBDP1 was highly modulated in coffee plants subjected to drought, cold, salt, or ABA. Confocal analysis of CaBDP1-GFP fusion proteins revealed that CaBDP1 is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum. The ectopic expression of CaBDP1 in Arabidopsis resulted in delayed germination of the transgenic plants under abiotic stress and in the presence of ABA. Cotyledon greening and seedling growth of the transgenic plants were inhibited in the presence of ABA due to the upregulation of ABA signaling-related genes like ABI3, ABI4, and ABI5. Proteome analysis revealed that the levels of several proteins are modulated in CaBDP1-expressing transgenic plants. The results of this study underscore the importance of BURP domain proteins in plant responses to diverse abiotic stresses.

  9. Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. 1. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M; Oldfield, Christopher J; Dunker, A Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N; Obradovic, Zoran

    2007-05-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence, and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study, we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from the Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins, and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our

  10. Functional Anthology of Intrinsic Disorder. I. Biological Processes and Functions of Proteins with Long Disordered Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M.; Oldfield, Christopher J.; Dunker, A. Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N.; Obradovic, Zoran

    2008-01-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our statistical

  11. Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Bates, Amanda E; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett; Baker, Susan C; Thomson, Russell J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Hill, Nicole A; Kininmonth, Stuart J; Airoldi, Laura; Becerro, Mikel A; Campbell, Stuart J; Dawson, Terence P; Navarrete, Sergio A; Soler, German A; Strain, Elisabeth M A; Willis, Trevor J; Edgar, Graham J

    2013-09-26

    Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, this is changing rapidly, as it is now recognized that not only the number of species but the species present, their phenotypes and the number of individuals of each species are critical in determining the nature and strength of the relationships between species diversity and a range of ecological functions (such as biomass production and nutrient cycling). Integrating these measures should provide a more relevant representation of global biodiversity patterns in terms of ecological functions than that provided by simple species counts. Here we provide comparisons of a traditional global biodiversity distribution measure based on richness with metrics that incorporate species abundances and functional traits. We use data from standardized quantitative surveys of 2,473 marine reef fish species at 1,844 sites, spanning 133 degrees of latitude from all ocean basins, to identify new diversity hotspots in some temperate regions and the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. These relate to high diversity of functional traits amongst individuals in the community (calculated using Rao's Q), and differ from previously reported patterns in functional diversity and richness for terrestrial animals, which emphasize species-rich tropical regions only. There is a global trend for greater evenness in the number of individuals of each species, across the reef fish species observed at sites ('community evenness'), at higher latitudes. This contributes to the distribution of functional diversity hotspots and contrasts with well-known latitudinal gradients in richness. Our findings suggest that the contribution of species diversity to a range of

  12. Optimization of functionalization conditions for protein analysis by AFM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arroyo-Hernández, María, E-mail: maria.arroyo@ctb.upm.es [Centro de Tecnología Biomédica, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid (Spain); Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, ETSI Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Daza, Rafael; Pérez-Rigueiro, Jose; Elices, Manuel; Nieto-Márquez, Jorge; Guinea, Gustavo V. [Centro de Tecnología Biomédica, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid (Spain); Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, ETSI Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain)

    2014-10-30

    Highlights: • Highest fluorescence is obtained for central conditions. • Largest primary amine contribution is obtained for central conditions. • RMS roughness is smaller than 1 nm for all functional films. • Selected deposition conditions lead to proper RMS and functionality values. • LDH proteins adsorbed on AVS-films were observed by AFM. - Abstract: Activated vapor silanization (AVS) is used to functionalize silicon surfaces through deposition of amine-containing thin films. AVS combines vapor silanization and chemical vapor deposition techniques and allows the properties of the functionalized layers (thickness, amine concentration and topography) to be controlled by tuning the deposition conditions. An accurate characterization is performed to correlate the deposition conditions and functional-film properties. In particular, it is shown that smooth surfaces with a sufficient surface density of amine groups may be obtained with this technique. These surfaces are suitable for the study of proteins with atomic force microscopy.

  13. Functional analysis of virion host shutoff protein of pseudorabies virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, H.-W.; Chang, Y.-Y.; Wong, M.-L.; Lin, J.-W.; Chang, T.-J.

    2004-01-01

    During lytic infection, the virion host shutoff (vhs) protein of alphaherpesviruses causes the degradation of mRNAs nonspecifically. In this work, we cloned the vhs gene (UL41 open reading frame) of pseudorabies virus (PRV; TNL strain) by PCR, and its nucleotide sequences were determined. The PCR product of vhs gene was subcloned into the prokaryotic pET32b expression vector, and production of the recombinant vhs protein was examined by SDS-PAGE. Result of Western blotting demonstrated that our recombinant vhs protein reacted with antiserum against a synthetic peptide of 17 amino acids of the vhs protein. After purification with nickel-chelate affinity chromatography, the purified recombinant vhs protein exhibited in vitro ribonuclease activity as expected. We further cloned the vhs gene into eukaryotic expression vectors and investigated the intracellular function of vhs protein by DNA transfection. By transient trasfection and CAT assay, we found the CAT activity was reduced in the presence of vhs, indicating that degradation of mRNA of the CAT gene was caused by the vhs. Furthermore, our results showed that the plaque formation of pseudorabies virus was blocked by exogenous vhs. Taken together, we have cloned the vhs gene of pseudorabies virus (TNL strain) and conducted functional analysis of the recombinant vhs protein in vitro as well as in vivo

  14. RACK1, A Multifaceted Scaffolding Protein: Structure and Function

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Adams, David R

    2011-10-06

    Abstract The Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1 (RACK1) is a member of the tryptophan-aspartate repeat (WD-repeat) family of proteins and shares significant homology to the β subunit of G-proteins (Gβ). RACK1 adopts a seven-bladed β-propeller structure which facilitates protein binding. RACK1 has a significant role to play in shuttling proteins around the cell, anchoring proteins at particular locations and in stabilising protein activity. It interacts with the ribosomal machinery, with several cell surface receptors and with proteins in the nucleus. As a result, RACK1 is a key mediator of various pathways and contributes to numerous aspects of cellular function. Here, we discuss RACK1 gene and structure and its role in specific signaling pathways, and address how posttranslational modifications facilitate subcellular location and translocation of RACK1. This review condenses several recent studies suggesting a role for RACK1 in physiological processes such as development, cell migration, central nervous system (CN) function and circadian rhythm as well as reviewing the role of RACK1 in disease.

  15. The nonstructural proteins of Pneumoviruses are remarkably distinct in substrate diversity and specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribaudo, Michael; Barik, Sailen

    2017-11-06

    Interferon (IFN) inhibits viruses by inducing several hundred cellular genes, aptly named 'interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes' (ISGs). The only two RNA viruses of the Pneumovirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family, namely Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM), each encode two nonstructural (NS) proteins that share no sequence similarity but yet suppress IFN. Since suppression of IFN underlies the ability of these viruses to replicate in the host cells, the mechanism of such suppression has become an important area of research. This Short Report is an important extension of our previous efforts in defining this mechanism. We show that, like their PVM counterparts, the RSV NS proteins also target multiple members of the ISG family. While significantly extending the substrate repertoire of the RSV NS proteins, these results, unexpectedly, also reveal that the target preferences of the NS proteins of the two viruses are entirely different. This is surprising since the two Pneumoviruses are phylogenetically close with similar genome organization and gene function, and the NS proteins of both also serve as suppressors of host IFN response. The finding that the NS proteins of the two highly similar viruses suppress entirely different members of the ISG family raises intriguing questions of pneumoviral NS evolution and mechanism of action.

  16. Role of AAA(+)-proteins in peroxisome biogenesis and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Immanuel; Erdmann, Ralf; Girzalsky, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    Mutations in the PEX1 gene, which encodes a protein required for peroxisome biogenesis, are the most common cause of the Zellweger spectrum diseases. The recognition that Pex1p shares a conserved ATP-binding domain with p97 and NSF led to the discovery of the extended family of AAA+-type ATPases. So far, four AAA+-type ATPases are related to peroxisome function. Pex6p functions together with Pex1p in peroxisome biogenesis, ATAD1/Msp1p plays a role in membrane protein targeting and a member of the Lon-family of proteases is associated with peroxisomal quality control. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the AAA+-proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis and function.

  17. Reduced Fragment Diversity for Alpha and Alpha-Beta Protein Structure Prediction using Rosetta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbass, Jad; Nebel, Jean-Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Protein structure prediction is considered a main challenge in computational biology. The biannual international competition, Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP), has shown in its eleventh experiment that free modelling target predictions are still beyond reliable accuracy, therefore, much effort should be made to improve ab initio methods. Arguably, Rosetta is considered as the most competitive method when it comes to targets with no homologues. Relying on fragments of length 9 and 3 from known structures, Rosetta creates putative structures by assembling candidate fragments. Generally, the structure with the lowest energy score, also known as first model, is chosen to be the "predicted one". A thorough study has been conducted on the role and diversity of 3-mers involved in Rosetta's model "refinement" phase. Usage of the standard number of 3-mers - i.e. 200 - has been shown to degrade alpha and alpha-beta protein conformations initially achieved by assembling 9-mers. Therefore, a new prediction pipeline is proposed for Rosetta where the "refinement" phase is customised according to a target's structural class prediction. Over 8% improvement in terms of first model structure accuracy is reported for alpha and alpha-beta classes when decreasing the number of 3- mers. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  18. Parametric scaling from species to growth-form diversity: an interesting analogy with multifractal functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricotta, Carlo; Pacini, Alessandra; Avena, Giancarlo

    2002-01-01

    We propose a measure of divergence from species to life-form diversity aimed at summarizing the ecological similarity among different plant communities without losing information on traditional taxonomic diversity. First, species and life-form relative abundances within a given plant community are determined. Next, using Rényi's generalized entropy, the diversity profiles of the analyzed community are computed both from species and life-form relative abundances. Finally, the speed of decrease from species to life-form diversity is obtained by combining the outcome of both profiles. Interestingly, the proposed measure shows some formal analogies with multifractal functions developed in statistical physics for the analysis of spatial patterns. As an application for demonstration, a small data set from a plant community sampled in the archaeological site of Paestum (southern Italy) is used.

  19. Dissociation of activated protein C functions by elimination of protein S cofactor enhancement.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Harmon, Shona

    2008-11-07

    Activated protein C (APC) plays a critical anticoagulant role in vivo by inactivating procoagulant factor Va and factor VIIIa and thus down-regulating thrombin generation. In addition, APC bound to the endothelial cell protein C receptor can initiate protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)-mediated cytoprotective signaling. Protein S constitutes a critical cofactor for the anticoagulant function of APC but is not known to be involved in regulating APC-mediated protective PAR-1 signaling. In this study we utilized a site-directed mutagenesis strategy to characterize a putative protein S binding region within the APC Gla domain. Three single amino acid substitutions within the APC Gla domain (D35T, D36A, and A39V) were found to mildly impair protein S-dependent anticoagulant activity (<2-fold) but retained entirely normal cytoprotective activity. However, a single amino acid substitution (L38D) ablated the ability of protein S to function as a cofactor for this APC variant. Consequently, in assays of protein S-dependent factor Va proteolysis using purified proteins or in the plasma milieu, APC-L38D variant exhibited minimal residual anticoagulant activity compared with wild type APC. Despite the location of Leu-38 in the Gla domain, APC-L38D interacted normally with endothelial cell protein C receptor and retained its ability to trigger PAR-1 mediated cytoprotective signaling in a manner indistinguishable from that of wild type APC. Consequently, elimination of protein S cofactor enhancement of APC anticoagulant function represents a novel and effective strategy by which to separate the anticoagulant and cytoprotective functions of APC for potential therapeutic gain.

  20. Functionality of alternative protein in gluten-free product development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deora, Navneet Singh; Deswal, Aastha; Mishra, Hari Niwas

    2015-07-01

    Celiac disease is an immune-mediated disease triggered in genetically susceptible individuals by ingested gluten from wheat, rye, barley, and other closely related cereal grains. The current treatment for celiac disease is life-long adherence to a strict gluten-exclusion diet. The replacement of gluten presents a significant technological challenge, as it is an essential structure-building protein, which is necessary for formulating high-quality baked goods. A major limitation in the production of gluten-free products is the lack of protein functionality in non-wheat cereals. Additionally, commercial gluten-free mixes usually contain only carbohydrates, which may significantly limit the amount of protein in the diet. In the recent past, various approaches are attempted to incorporate protein-based ingredients and to modify the functional properties for gluten-free product development. This review aims to the highlight functionality of the alternative protein-based ingredients, which can be utilized for gluten-free product development both functionally as well as nutritionally. © The Author(s) 2014.

  1. SM30 protein function during sea urchin larval spicule formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilt, Fred; Killian, Christopher E; Croker, Lindsay; Hamilton, Patricia

    2013-08-01

    A central issue in better understanding the process of biomineralization is to elucidate the function of occluded matrix proteins present in mineralized tissues. A potent approach to addressing this issue utilizes specific inhibitors of expression of known genes. Application of antisense oligonucleotides that specifically suppress translation of a given mRNA are capable of causing aberrant biomineralization, thereby revealing, at least in part, a likely function of the protein and gene under investigation. We have applied this approach to study the possible function(s) of the SM30 family of proteins, which are found in spicules, teeth, spines, and tests of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus as well as other euechinoid sea urchins. It is possible using the anti-SM30 morpholino-oligonucleotides (MO's) to reduce the level of these proteins to very low levels, yet the development of skeletal spicules in the embryo shows little or no aberration. This surprising result requires re-thinking about the role of these, and possibly other occluded matrix proteins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Functional diversity and redundancy across fish gut, sediment and water bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escalas, Arthur; Troussellier, Marc; Yuan, Tong; Bouvier, Thierry; Bouvier, Corinne; Mouchet, Maud A; Flores Hernandez, Domingo; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Zhou, Jizhong; Mouillot, David

    2017-08-01

    This article explores the functional diversity and redundancy in a bacterial metacommunity constituted of three habitats (sediment, water column and fish gut) in a coastal lagoon under anthropogenic pressure. Comprehensive functional gene arrays covering a wide range of ecological processes and stress resistance genes to estimate the functional potential of bacterial communities were used. Then, diversity partitioning was used to characterize functional diversity and redundancy within (α), between (β) and across (γ) habitats. It was showed that all local communities exhibit a highly diversified potential for the realization of key ecological processes and resistance to various environmental conditions, supporting the growing evidence that macro-organisms microbiomes harbour a high functional potential and are integral components of functional gene dynamics in aquatic bacterial metacommunities. Several levels of functional redundancy at different scales of the bacterial metacommunity were observed (within local communities, within habitats and at the metacommunity level). The results suggested a high potential for the realization of spatial ecological insurance within this ecosystem, that is, the functional compensation among microorganisms for the realization and maintenance of key ecological processes, within and across habitats. Finally, the role of macro-organisms as dispersal vectors of microbes and their potential influence on marine metacommunity dynamics were discussed. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. GFP-like proteins as ubiquitous metazoan superfamily: evolution of functional features and structural complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shagin, Dmitry A; Barsova, Ekaterina V; Yanushevich, Yurii G; Fradkov, Arkady F; Lukyanov, Konstantin A; Labas, Yulii A; Semenova, Tatiana N; Ugalde, Juan A; Meyers, Ann; Nunez, Jose M; Widder, Edith A; Lukyanov, Sergey A; Matz, Mikhail V

    2004-05-01

    Homologs of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), including the recently described GFP-like domains of certain extracellular matrix proteins in Bilaterian organisms, are remarkably similar at the protein structure level, yet they often perform totally unrelated functions, thereby warranting recognition as a superfamily. Here we describe diverse GFP-like proteins from previously undersampled and completely new sources, including hydromedusae and planktonic Copepoda. In hydromedusae, yellow and nonfluorescent purple proteins were found in addition to greens. Notably, the new yellow protein seems to follow exactly the same structural solution to achieving the yellow color of fluorescence as YFP, an engineered yellow-emitting mutant variant of GFP. The addition of these new sequences made it possible to resolve deep-level phylogenetic relationships within the superfamily. Fluorescence (most likely green) must have already existed in the common ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria, and therefore GFP-like proteins may be responsible for fluorescence and/or coloration in virtually any animal. At least 15 color diversification events can be inferred following the maximum parsimony principle in Cnidaria. Origination of red fluorescence and nonfluorescent purple-blue colors on several independent occasions provides a remarkable example of convergent evolution of complex features at the molecular level.

  4. Bypassing Evolutionary Roadblocks: Phenotypic Diversity in Isogenic Population Bridges Tradeoff in Evolution of a New Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, K. L.; Meyer, J. R.

    2017-07-01

    A novel mechanism of innovation bridges fitness valleys by violating the one gene-one phenotype dogma. Protein products of a single gene partition into populations, some of which carry out a new function and some the old, avoiding tradeoffs.

  5. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Gang; Mi, Xiangcheng; Bøcher, Peder Klith

    2014-01-01

    their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition...... studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study...

  6. Functional discrimination of membrane proteins using machine learning techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yabuki Yukimitsu

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Discriminating membrane proteins based on their functions is an important task in genome annotation. In this work, we have analyzed the characteristic features of amino acid residues in membrane proteins that perform major functions, such as channels/pores, electrochemical potential-driven transporters and primary active transporters. Results We observed that the residues Asp, Asn and Tyr are dominant in channels/pores whereas the composition of hydrophobic residues, Phe, Gly, Ile, Leu and Val is high in electrochemical potential-driven transporters. The composition of all the amino acids in primary active transporters lies in between other two classes of proteins. We have utilized different machine learning algorithms, such as, Bayes rule, Logistic function, Neural network, Support vector machine, Decision tree etc. for discriminating these classes of proteins. We observed that most of the algorithms have discriminated them with similar accuracy. The neural network method discriminated the channels/pores, electrochemical potential-driven transporters and active transporters with the 5-fold cross validation accuracy of 64% in a data set of 1718 membrane proteins. The application of amino acid occurrence improved the overall accuracy to 68%. In addition, we have discriminated transporters from other α-helical and β-barrel membrane proteins with the accuracy of 85% using k-nearest neighbor method. The classification of transporters and all other proteins (globular and membrane showed the accuracy of 82%. Conclusion The performance of discrimination with amino acid occurrence is better than that with amino acid composition. We suggest that this method could be effectively used to discriminate transporters from all other globular and membrane proteins, and classify them into channels/pores, electrochemical and active transporters.

  7. Arabidopsis thaliana mTERF proteins: evolution and functional classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana eKleine

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Organellar gene expression (OGE is crucial for plant development, photosynthesis and respiration, but our understanding of the mechanisms that control it is still relatively poor. Thus, OGE requires various nucleus-encoded proteins that promote transcription, splicing, trimming and editing of organellar RNAs, and regulate translation. In metazoans, proteins of the mitochondrial Transcription tERmination Factor (mTERF family interact with the mitochondrial chromosome and regulate transcriptional initiation and termination. Sequencing of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome led to the identification of a diversified MTERF gene family but, in contrast to mammalian mTERFs, knowledge about the function of these proteins in photosynthetic organisms is scarce. In this hypothesis article, I show that tandem duplications and one block duplication contributed to the large number of MTERF genes in A. thaliana, and propose that the expansion of the family is related to the evolution of land plants. The MTERF genes - especially the duplicated genes - display a number of distinct mRNA accumulation patterns, suggesting functional diversification of mTERF proteins to increase adaptability to environmental changes. Indeed, hypothetical functions for the different mTERF proteins can be predicted using co-expression analysis and gene ontology annotations. On this basis, mTERF proteins can be sorted into five groups. Members of the chloroplast and chloroplast-associated clusters are principally involved in chloroplast gene expression, embryogenesis and protein catabolism, while representatives of the mitochondrial cluster seem to participate in DNA and RNA metabolism in that organelle. Moreover, members of the mitochondrion-associated cluster and the low expression group may act in the nucleus and/or the cytosol. As proteins involved in OGE and presumably nuclear gene expression, mTERFs are ideal candidates for the coordination of the expression of organelle and nuclear

  8. Inferring the Functions of Proteins from the Interrelationships between Functional Categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Kamal

    2018-01-01

    This study proposes a new method to determine the functions of an unannotated protein. The proteins and amino acid residues mentioned in biomedical texts associated with an unannotated protein can be considered as characteristics terms for , which are highly predictive of the potential functions of . Similarly, proteins and amino acid residues mentioned in biomedical texts associated with proteins annotated with a functional category can be considered as characteristics terms of . We introduce in this paper an information extraction system called IFP_IFC that predicts the functions of an unannotated protein by representing and each functional category by a vector of weights. Each weight reflects the degree of association between a characteristic term and (or a characteristic term and ). First, IFP_IFC constructs a network, whose nodes represent the different functional categories, and its edges the interrelationships between the nodes. Then, it determines the functions of by employing random walks with restarts on the mentioned network. The walker is the vector of . Finally, is assigned to the functional categories of the nodes in the network that are visited most by the walker. We evaluated the quality of IFP_IFC by comparing it experimentally with two other systems. Results showed marked improvement.

  9. SitesIdentify: a protein functional site prediction tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doig Andrew J

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rate of protein structures being deposited in the Protein Data Bank surpasses the capacity to experimentally characterise them and therefore computational methods to analyse these structures have become increasingly important. Identifying the region of the protein most likely to be involved in function is useful in order to gain information about its potential role. There are many available approaches to predict functional site, but many are not made available via a publicly-accessible application. Results Here we present a functional site prediction tool (SitesIdentify, based on combining sequence conservation information with geometry-based cleft identification, that is freely available via a web-server. We have shown that SitesIdentify compares favourably to other functional site prediction tools in a comparison of seven methods on a non-redundant set of 237 enzymes with annotated active sites. Conclusion SitesIdentify is able to produce comparable accuracy in predicting functional sites to its closest available counterpart, but in addition achieves improved accuracy for proteins with few characterised homologues. SitesIdentify is available via a webserver at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/bioinformatics/sitesidentify/

  10. Analysis of Protein Phosphorylation and Its Functional Impact on Protein-Protein Interactions via Text Mining of the Scientific Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qinghua; Ross, Karen E; Huang, Hongzhan; Ren, Jia; Li, Gang; Vijay-Shanker, K; Wu, Cathy H; Arighi, Cecilia N

    2017-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are one of the main contributors to the diversity of proteoforms in the proteomic landscape. In particular, protein phosphorylation represents an essential regulatory mechanism that plays a role in many biological processes. Protein kinases, the enzymes catalyzing this reaction, are key participants in metabolic and signaling pathways. Their activation or inactivation dictate downstream events: what substrates are modified and their subsequent impact (e.g., activation state, localization, protein-protein interactions (PPIs)). The biomedical literature continues to be the main source of evidence for experimental information about protein phosphorylation. Automatic methods to bring together phosphorylation events and phosphorylation-dependent PPIs can help to summarize the current knowledge and to expose hidden connections. In this chapter, we demonstrate two text mining tools, RLIMS-P and eFIP, for the retrieval and extraction of kinase-substrate-site data and phosphorylation-dependent PPIs from the literature. These tools offer several advantages over a literature search in PubMed as their results are specific for phosphorylation. RLIMS-P and eFIP results can be sorted, organized, and viewed in multiple ways to answer relevant biological questions, and the protein mentions are linked to UniProt identifiers.

  11. Determining and comparing protein function in Bacterial genome sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesth, Tammi Camilla

    of this class have very little homology to other known genomes making functional annotation based on sequence similarity very difficult. Inspired in part by this analysis, an approach for comparative functional annotation was created based public sequenced genomes, CMGfunc. Functionally related groups......In November 2013, there was around 21.000 different prokaryotic genomes sequenced and publicly available, and the number is growing daily with another 20.000 or more genomes expected to be sequenced and deposited by the end of 2014. An important part of the analysis of this data is the functional...... annotation of genes – the descriptions assigned to genes that describe the likely function of the encoded proteins. This process is limited by several factors, including the definition of a function which can be more or less specific as well as how many genes can actually be assigned a function based...

  12. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF RICE PROTEIN CONCENTRATES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Kolpakova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally rice and products of its processing are used to cook porridge, pilaf, lettuce, confectionery, fish, dairy and meat products. At the same time new ways of its processing with releasing of protein products for more effective using, including the use of a glutenfree diet, are developing. The task of this study was a comparative research of nutrition and biological value and functional properties of protein and protein-calcium concentrates produced from rice flour milled from white and brown rice. The traditional and special methods were used. Concentrates were isolated with enzyme preparations of xylanase and amylolytic activity with the next dissolution of protein in diluted hydrochloric acid. Concentrates differed in the content of mineral substances (calcium, zinc, iron and other elements, amino acids and functional properties. The values of the functional properties and indicators of the nutritional value of concentrates from white rice show the advisability of their using in food products, including gluten-free products prepared on the basis of the emulsion and foam systems, and concentrates from brown rice in food products prepared on the basis of using of the emulsion systems. Protein concentrates of brown rice have a low foaming capacity and there is no foam stability at all.

  13. Morphological and functional diversity in therizinosaur claws and the implications for theropod claw evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2014-06-22

    Therizinosaurs are a group of herbivorous theropod dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia, best known for their iconically large and elongate manual claws. However, among Therizinosauria, ungual morphology is highly variable, reflecting a general trend found in derived theropod dinosaurs (Maniraptoriformes). A combined approach of shape analysis to characterize changes in manual ungual morphology across theropods and finite-element analysis to assess the biomechanical properties of different ungual shapes in therizinosaurs reveals a functional diversity related to ungual morphology. While some therizinosaur taxa used their claws in a generalist fashion, other taxa were functionally adapted to use the claws as grasping hooks during foraging. Results further indicate that maniraptoriform dinosaurs deviated from the plesiomorphic theropod ungual morphology resulting in increased functional diversity. This trend parallels modifications of the cranial skeleton in derived theropods in response to dietary adaptation, suggesting that dietary diversification was a major driver for morphological and functional disparity in theropod evolution.

  14. Human HOX Proteins Use Diverse and Context-Dependent Motifs to Interact with TALE Class Cofactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dard, Amélie; Reboulet, Jonathan; Jia, Yunlong; Bleicher, Françoise; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Vanaker, Jean-Marc; Forcet, Christelle; Merabet, Samir

    2018-03-13

    HOX proteins achieve numerous functions by interacting with the TALE class PBX and MEIS cofactors. In contrast to this established partnership in development and disease, how HOX proteins could interact with PBX and MEIS remains unclear. Here, we present a systematic analysis of HOX/PBX/MEIS interaction properties, scanning all paralog groups with human and mouse HOX proteins in vitro and in live cells. We demonstrate that a previously characterized HOX protein motif known to be critical for HOX-PBX interactions becomes dispensable in the presence of MEIS in all except the two most anterior paralog groups. We further identify paralog-specific TALE-binding sites that are used in a highly context-dependent manner. One of these binding sites is involved in the proliferative activity of HOXA7 in breast cancer cells. Together these findings reveal an extraordinary level of interaction flexibility between HOX proteins and their major class of developmental cofactors. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Taxonomical and functional diversity turnover in Mediterranean grasslands: interactions between grazing, habitat type and rainfall

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Carmona, C. P.; Azcárate, F. M.; de Bello, Francesco; Ollero, H. S.; Lepš, Jan; Peco, B.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 5 (2012), 1084-1093 ISSN 0021-8901 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : Dehesa * diversity partitioning * functional redundancy * grazing management Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.740, year: 2012

  16. Microbial functional diversity and enzymatic activity of soil degraded by sulphur mining reclaimed with various waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joniec, Jolanta; Frąc, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate microbial functional diversity based on community level physiological profiling and β-glucosidase activity changes in soil degraded by sulphur mining and subjected to reclamation with various waste. The experiment was set up in the area of the former `Jeziórko' Sulphur Mine (Poland), on a soilless substrate with a particle size distribution of slightly loamy sand. The experimental variants included the application of post-flotation lime, sewage sludge and mineral wool. The analyses of soil samples included the assessment of the following microbiological indices: β-glucosidase activity and functional diversity average well color development and richness). The results indicate that sewage sludge did not exert a significant impact on the functional diversity of microorganisms present in the reclaimed soil. In turn, the application of other types of waste contributed to a significant increase in the parameters of total metabolic activity and functional diversity of the reclaimed soil. However, the temporal analysis of the metabolic profile of soil microorganisms demonstrated that a single application of waste did not yield a durable, stable metabolic profile in the reclaimed soil. Still, there was an increase in β-glucosidase activity, especially in objects treated with sewage sludge.

  17. Analysis of the functional diversity of the microbial communities in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Biolog method was thus evaluated in a paper-mill water system. The influence of the production of various paper grades, biocide combinations and monthly maintenance shut-downs on the functional diversity of the microbial communities were determined using the Biolog technique. The communities in the planktonic ...

  18. Comparing functional diversity in traits and demography of Central European vegetation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Z.; Klimešová, Jitka

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 5 (2013), s. 910-920 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/0963 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : botanical garden * plant functional traits * funtional diversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.372, year: 2013

  19. Lacritin and Other New Proteins of the Lacrimal Functional Unit

    OpenAIRE

    McKown, Robert L.; Wang, Ningning; Raab, Ronald W.; Karnati, Roy; Zhang, Yinghui; Williams, Patricia B.; Laurie, Gordon W.

    2008-01-01

    The lacrimal functional unit (LFU) is defined by the 2007 International Dry Eye WorkShop as ‘an integrated system comprising the lacrimal glands, ocular surface (cornea, conjunctiva and meibomian glands) and lids, and the sensory and motor nerves that connect them’. The LFU maintains a healthy ocular surface primarily through a properly functioning tear film that provides protection, lubrication, and an environment for corneal epithelial cell renewal. LFU cells express thousands of proteins. ...

  20. Functional Modification of Thioether Groups in Peptides, Polypeptides, and Proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, TJ

    2017-01-01

    Recent developments in the modification of methionine and other thioether-containing residues in peptides, polypeptides, and proteins are reviewed. Properties and potential applications of the resulting functionalized products are also discussed. While much of this work is focused on natural Met residues, modifications at other side-chain residues have also emerged as new thioether-containing amino acids have been incorporated into peptidic materials. Functional modification of thioether-cont...

  1. Rapid mapping of protein functional epitopes by combinatorial alanine scanning

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, GA; Watanabe, CK; Zhong, A; Goddard, A; Sidhu, SS

    2000-01-01

    A combinatorial alanine-scanning strategy was used to determine simultaneously the functional contributions of 19 side chains buried at the interface between human growth hormone and the extracellular domain of its receptor. A phage-displayed protein library was constructed in which the 19 side chains were preferentially allowed to vary only as the wild type or alanine. The library pool was subjected to binding selections to isolate functional clones, and DNA sequencing was used to determine ...

  2. [Species, functional, structural diversity of typical plant communities and their responses to environmental factors in Miao Archipelago, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Li Ting; Su, Tian; Liu, Xiang Yu; Yin, Fang; Guo, Chao; Tuo, Bin; Yan, En Rong

    2018-02-01

    Island vegetation plays an important role in biodiversity research across the world. The study of plant diversity in island is helpful for understanding the mechanism of plant diversity maintenance under land-sea interaction. Here, four typical plant communities (Quercus acutissima community, Robinia pseudoacacia community, Pinus thunbergii community and Vitex negundo community) in Miao Archipelago were selected to examine the species, functional and structural diversities and their responses to environmental factors at the community scale by using species diversity indices, functional diversity indices, as well as structural diversity indices. The results showed that the species richness and Rao index of P. thunbergii community was higher than that of Q. acutissima community and R. pseudoacacia community, but the structural diversity was lower. The species diversity and structural diversity of V. Negundo shrub were lower than that of forest community, but the functional diversity was higher than some forest communities. The relationship between the diversity of typical plant communities in island area illustrated a significant positive correlation between species richness with Rao index and tree height diversity, however the correlation with functional evenness was significantly negative. The structural diversity and functional evenness were determined by slope with negative and positive relationships, respectively. Functional heterogeneity, functional divergence and species diversity were affected largely by soil physical and chemical properties, displaying the positive relationship with soil bulk density and soil total carbon content, and a negative relationship with soil water content. In conclusion, diversity pattern of plant community in Miao Archipelago reflected not only the characteristics in mainland vegetation but also the special nature of the sea island.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

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

  4. Structure and Function of Caltrin (cium ansport hibitor Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Javier Grasso

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Caltrin ( cal cium tr ansport in hibitor is a family of small and basic proteins of the mammalian seminal plasma which bind to sperm cells during ejaculation and inhibit the extracellular Ca 2+ uptake, preventing the premature acrosomal exocytosis and hyperactivation when sperm cells ascend through the female reproductive tract. The binding of caltrin proteins to specific areas of the sperm surface suggests the existence of caltrin receptors, or precise protein-phospholipid arrangements in the sperm membrane, distributed in the regions where Ca 2+ influx may take place. However, the molecular mechanisms of recognition and interaction between caltrin and spermatozoa have not been elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this article is to describe in depth the known structural features and functional properties of caltrin proteins, to find out how they may possibly interact with the sperm membranes to control the intracellular signaling that trigger physiological events required for fertilization.

  5. Fundamental Characteristics of AAA+ Protein Family Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Justin M; Enemark, Eric J

    2016-01-01

    Many complex cellular events depend on multiprotein complexes known as molecular machines to efficiently couple the energy derived from adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis to the generation of mechanical force. Members of the AAA+ ATPase superfamily (ATPases Associated with various cellular Activities) are critical components of many molecular machines. AAA+ proteins are defined by conserved modules that precisely position the active site elements of two adjacent subunits to catalyze ATP hydrolysis. In many cases, AAA+ proteins form a ring structure that translocates a polymeric substrate through the central channel using specialized loops that project into the central channel. We discuss the major features of AAA+ protein structure and function with an emphasis on pivotal aspects elucidated with archaeal proteins.

  6. Expression and Function of Transmembrane-4 Superfamily (Tetraspanin Proteins in Osteoclasts: Reciprocal Roles of Tspan-5 and NET-6 during Osteoclastogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaori Iwai

    2007-01-01

    Conclusions: These data indicate that a diversity of tetraspanins is expressed in osteoclast precursors, and that cell fusion during osteoclastogenesis is regulated by cooperation of distinct tetraspanin family proteins such as Tspan-5 and NET-6. This study indicates that functional alterations of tetraspanin family proteins may have therapeutic potential in diseases where osteoclasts play a major role, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

  7. Functional diversity of voltage-sensing phosphatases in two urodele amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutua, Joshua; Jinno, Yuka; Sakata, Souhei; Okochi, Yoshifumi; Ueno, Shuichi; Tsutsui, Hidekazu; Kawai, Takafumi; Iwao, Yasuhiro; Okamura, Yasushi

    2014-07-16

    Voltage-sensing phosphatases (VSPs) share the molecular architecture of the voltage sensor domain (VSD) with voltage-gated ion channels and the phosphoinositide phosphatase region with the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), respectively. VSPs enzymatic activities are regulated by the motions of VSD upon depolarization. The physiological role of these proteins has remained elusive, and insights may be gained by investigating biological variations in different animal species. Urodele amphibians are vertebrates with potent activities of regeneration and also show diverse mechanisms of polyspermy prevention. We cloned cDNAs of VSPs from the testes of two urodeles; Hynobius nebulosus and Cynops pyrrhogaster, and compared their expression and voltage-dependent activation. Their molecular architecture is highly conserved in both Hynobius VSP (Hn-VSP) and Cynops VSP (Cp-VSP), including the positively-charged arginine residues in the S4 segment of the VSD and the enzymatic active site for substrate binding, yet the C-terminal C2 domain of Hn-VSP is significantly shorter than that of Cp-VSP and other VSP orthologs. RT-PCR analysis showed that gene expression pattern was distinct between two VSPs. The voltage sensor motions and voltage-dependent phosphatase activities were investigated electrophysiologically by expression in Xenopus oocytes. Both VSPs showed "sensing" currents, indicating that their voltage sensor domains are functional. The phosphatase activity of Cp-VSP was found to be voltage dependent, as shown by its ability to regulate the conductance of coexpressed GIRK2 channels, but Hn-VSP lacked such phosphatase activity due to the truncation of its C2 domain. © 2014 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  8. Dietary protein effects on irradiated rat kidney function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahler, P.A.; Yatuin, M.B.

    1984-01-01

    The authors have previously reported that unilaterally nephrectomized, kidney irradiated young male S-D rats have an increased median survival when placed on a low (4%) protein diet, as compared to a normal (20%) or high (50%) protein diet (200, 103, and 59 days respectively for 14 Gy irradiation). They have expanded these studies to examine the effects of irradiation and dietary protein levels on kidney function, by examining the parameters of blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, urine urea nitrogen, urine creatinine, urine osmolarity, urine volume, and water consumption. Irradiated 20% protein diet animals show an increase in water consumption and urine production and also a decrease in urine osmolarity, urine urea concentration and urine creatinine concentration. These changes all support the hypothesis the kidney irradiated rats fed a normal protein diet have a reduced capability to concentrate urine compared to nonirradiated control rats. Evaluation of the same parameters in irradiated rats fed a 4% protein diet does not indicate a similar loss of concentrating capability. Whether this protection is due to the growth inhibition of the 4% protein diet or some other phenomena remains to be determined

  9. From protein interactions to functional annotation: graph alignment in Herpes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolář, Michal; Lassig, M.; Berg, J.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 90 (2008), e-e ISSN 1752-0509 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : graph alignment * functional annotation * protein orthology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.706, year: 2008

  10. Rift Valley fever virus NSs protein functions and the similarity to other bunyavirus NSs proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Hoai J; Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2016-07-02

    Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease that affects both ruminants and humans. The nonstructural (NS) protein, which is a major virulence factor for Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), is encoded on the S-segment. Through the cullin 1-Skp1-Fbox E3 ligase complex, the NSs protein promotes the degradation of at least two host proteins, the TFIIH p62 and the PKR proteins. NSs protein bridges the Fbox protein with subsequent substrates, and facilitates the transfer of ubiquitin. The SAP30-YY1 complex also bridges the NSs protein with chromatin DNA, affecting cohesion and segregation of chromatin DNA as well as the activation of interferon-β promoter. The presence of NSs filaments in the nucleus induces DNA damage responses and causes cell-cycle arrest, p53 activation, and apoptosis. Despite the fact that NSs proteins have poor amino acid similarity among bunyaviruses, the strategy utilized to hijack host cells are similar. This review will provide and summarize an update of recent findings pertaining to the biological functions of the NSs protein of RVFV as well as the differences from those of other bunyaviruses.

  11. Automated quantitative assessment of proteins' biological function in protein knowledge bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gabriele; Lepperdinger, Günter; Lackner, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  12. Automated Quantitative Assessment of Proteins' Biological Function in Protein Knowledge Bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Mayr

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  13. Mining secreted proteins that function in pepper fruit development and ripening using a yeast secretion trap (YST)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Je Min, E-mail: jemin@knu.ac.kr [Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Department of Horticultural Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Sang-Jik [Biotechnology Institute, Nongwoo Bio Co, Ltd, Yeoju (Korea, Republic of); Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States); Rose, Jocelyn K.C. [Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States); Yeam, Inhwa [Department of Horticulture and Breeding, Andong National University, Andong (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Byung-Dong [Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-04-18

    Highlights: • Yeast secretion trap (YST) is a valuable tool for mining secretome. • A total of 80 secreted proteins are newly identified via YST in pepper fruits. • The secreted proteins are differentially regulated during pepper development and ripening. • Transient GFP-fusion assay and in planta secretion trap can effectively validate the secretion of proteins. - Abstract: Plant cells secrete diverse sets of constitutively- and conditionally-expressed proteins under various environmental and developmental states. Secreted protein populations, or secretomes have multiple functions, including defense responses, signaling, metabolic processes, and developmental regulation. To identify genes encoding secreted proteins that function in fruit development and ripening, a yeast secretion trap (YST) screen was employed using pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit cDNAs. The YST screen revealed 80 pepper fruit-related genes (CaPFRs) encoding secreted proteins including cell wall proteins, several of which have not been previously described. Transient GFP-fusion assay and an in planta secretion trap were used to validate the secretion of proteins encoded by selected YST clones. In addition, RNA gel blot analyses provided further insights into their expression and regulation during fruit development and ripening. Integrating our data, we conclude that the YST provides a valuable functional genomics tool for the identification of substantial numbers of novel secreted plant proteins that are associated with biological processes, including fruit development and ripening.

  14. Mining secreted proteins that function in pepper fruit development and ripening using a yeast secretion trap (YST)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Je Min; Lee, Sang-Jik; Rose, Jocelyn K.C.; Yeam, Inhwa; Kim, Byung-Dong

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Yeast secretion trap (YST) is a valuable tool for mining secretome. • A total of 80 secreted proteins are newly identified via YST in pepper fruits. • The secreted proteins are differentially regulated during pepper development and ripening. • Transient GFP-fusion assay and in planta secretion trap can effectively validate the secretion of proteins. - Abstract: Plant cells secrete diverse sets of constitutively- and conditionally-expressed proteins under various environmental and developmental states. Secreted protein populations, or secretomes have multiple functions, including defense responses, signaling, metabolic processes, and developmental regulation. To identify genes encoding secreted proteins that function in fruit development and ripening, a yeast secretion trap (YST) screen was employed using pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit cDNAs. The YST screen revealed 80 pepper fruit-related genes (CaPFRs) encoding secreted proteins including cell wall proteins, several of which have not been previously described. Transient GFP-fusion assay and an in planta secretion trap were used to validate the secretion of proteins encoded by selected YST clones. In addition, RNA gel blot analyses provided further insights into their expression and regulation during fruit development and ripening. Integrating our data, we conclude that the YST provides a valuable functional genomics tool for the identification of substantial numbers of novel secreted plant proteins that are associated with biological processes, including fruit development and ripening

  15. Why we shouldn't underestimate the impact of plant functional diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, V.; Raddatz, T.; Reick, C. H.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    We present a series of coupled land-atmosphere simulations with different combinations of plant functional types (PFTs) from mid-Holocene to preindustrial to show how plant functional diversity affects simulated climate-vegetation interaction under changing environmental conditions in subtropical Africa. Scientists nowadays agree that the establishment of the ``green'' Sahara was triggered by external changes in the Earth's orbit and amplified by internal feedback mechanisms. The timing and abruptness of the transition to the ``desert'' state are in turn still under debate. While some previous studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation implying a strong climate-vegetation feedback, others suggested a gradual vegetation decline thereby questioning the existence of a strong climate-vegetation feedback. However, none of these studies explicitly accounted for the role of plant diversity. We show that the introduction or removal of a single PFT can bring about significant impacts on the simulated climate-vegetation system response to changing orbital forcing. While simulations with the standard set of PFTs show a gradual decrease of precipitation and vegetation cover over time, the reduction of plant functional diversity can cause either an abrupt decline of both variables or an even slower response to the external forcing. PFT composition seems to be the decisive factor for the system response to external forcing, and an increase in plant functional diversity does not necessarily increase the stability of the climate-vegetation system. From this we conclude that accounting for plant functional diversity in future studies - not only on palaeo climates - could significantly improve the understanding of climate-vegetation interaction in semi-arid regions, the predictability of the vegetation response to changing climate, and respectively, of the resulting feedback on precipitation.

  16. Comparative genomic and functional analyses: unearthing the diversity and specificity of nematicidal factors in Pseudomonas putida strain 1A00316

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jing; Jing, Xueping; Peng, Wen-Lei; Nie, Qiyu; Zhai, Yile; Shao, Zongze; Zheng, Longyu; Cai, Minmin; Li, Guangyu; Zuo, Huaiyu; Zhang, Zhitao; Wang, Rui-Ru; Huang, Dian; Cheng, Wanli; Yu, Ziniu; Chen, Ling-Ling; Zhang, Jibin

    2016-01-01

    We isolated Pseudomonas putida (P. putida) strain 1A00316 from Antarctica. This bacterium has a high efficiency against Meloidogyne incognita (M. incognita) in vitro and under greenhouse conditions. The complete genome of P. putida 1A00316 was sequenced using PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. A comparative genomic analysis of 16 Pseudomonas strains revealed that although P. putida 1A00316 belonged to P. putida, it was phenotypically more similar to nematicidal Pseudomonas fluorescens (P. fluorescens) strains. We characterized the diversity and specificity of nematicidal factors in P. putida 1A00316 with comparative genomics and functional analysis, and found that P. putida 1A00316 has diverse nematicidal factors including protein alkaline metalloproteinase AprA and two secondary metabolites, hydrogen cyanide and cyclo-(l-isoleucyl-l-proline). We show for the first time that cyclo-(l-isoleucyl-l-proline) exhibit nematicidal activity in P. putida. Interestingly, our study had not detected common nematicidal factors such as 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG) and pyrrolnitrin in P. putida 1A00316. The results of the present study reveal the diversity and specificity of nematicidal factors in P. putida strain 1A00316. PMID:27384076

  17. Functional evolution in the plant SQUAMOSA-PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill Christine Preston

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The SQUAMOSA-PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL family of transcription factors is functionally diverse, controlling a number of fundamental aspects of plant growth and development, including vegetative phase change, flowering time, branching, and leaf initiation rate. In natural plant populations, variation in flowering time and shoot architecture have major consequences for fitness. Likewise, in crop species, variation in branching and developmental rate impact biomass and yield. Thus, studies aimed at dissecting how the various functions are partitioned among different SPL genes in diverse plant lineages are key to providing insight into the genetic basis of local adaptation and have already garnered attention by crop breeders. Here we use phylogenetic reconstruction to reveal nine major SPL gene lineages, each of which is described in terms of function and diversification. To assess evidence for ancestral and derived functions within each SPL gene lineage, we use ancestral character state reconstructions. Our analyses suggest an emerging pattern of sub-functionalization, neo-functionalization, and possible convergent evolution following both ancient and recent gene duplication. Based on these analyses we suggest future avenues of research that may prove fruitful for elucidating the importance of SPL gene evolution in plant growth and development.

  18. Structure and function of small heat shock/alpha-crystallin proteins: established concepts and emerging ideas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacRae, T H

    2000-06-01

    Small heat shock/alpha-crystallin proteins are defined by conserved sequence of approximately 90 amino acid residues, termed the alpha-crystallin domain, which is bounded by variable amino- and carboxy-terminal extensions. These proteins form oligomers, most of uncertain quaternary structure, and oligomerization is prerequisite to their function as molecular chaperones. Sequence modelling and physical analyses show that the secondary structure of small heat shock/alpha-crystallin proteins is predominately beta-pleated sheet. Crystallography, site-directed spin-labelling and yeast two-hybrid selection demonstrate regions of secondary structure within the alpha-crystallin domain that interact during oligomer assembly, a process also dependent on the amino terminus. Oligomers are dynamic, exhibiting subunit exchange and organizational plasticity, perhaps leading to functional diversity. Exposure of hydrophobic residues by structural modification facilitates chaperoning where denaturing proteins in the molten globule state associate with oligomers. The flexible carboxy-terminal extension contributes to chaperone activity by enhancing the solubility of small heat shock/alpha-crystallin proteins. Site-directed mutagenesis has yielded proteins where the effect of the change on structure and function depends upon the residue modified, the organism under study and the analytical techniques used. Most revealing, substitution of a conserved arginine residue within the alpha-crystallin domain has a major impact on quaternary structure and chaperone action probably through realignment of beta-sheets. These mutations are linked to inherited diseases. Oligomer size is regulated by a stress-responsive cascade including MAPKAP kinase 2/3 and p38. Phosphorylation of small heat shock/alpha-crystallin proteins has important consequences within stressed cells, especially for microfilaments.

  19. MODexplorer: an integrated tool for exploring protein sequence, structure and function relationships.

    KAUST Repository

    Kosinski, Jan

    2013-02-08

    SUMMARY: MODexplorer is an integrated tool aimed at exploring the sequence, structural and functional diversity in protein families useful in homology modeling and in analyzing protein families in general. It takes as input either the sequence or the structure of a protein and provides alignments with its homologs along with a variety of structural and functional annotations through an interactive interface. The annotations include sequence conservation, similarity scores, ligand-, DNA- and RNA-binding sites, secondary structure, disorder, crystallographic structure resolution and quality scores of models implied by the alignments to the homologs of known structure. MODexplorer can be used to analyze sequence and structural conservation among the structures of similar proteins, to find structures of homologs solved in different conformational state or with different ligands and to transfer functional annotations. Furthermore, if the structure of the query is not known, MODexplorer can be used to select the modeling templates taking all this information into account and to build a comparative model. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: Freely available on the web at http://modorama.biocomputing.it/modexplorer. Website implemented in HTML and JavaScript with all major browsers supported. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  20. MODexplorer: an integrated tool for exploring protein sequence, structure and function relationships.

    KAUST Repository

    Kosinski, Jan; Barbato, Alessandro; Tramontano, Anna

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY: MODexplorer is an integrated tool aimed at exploring the sequence, structural and functional diversity in protein families useful in homology modeling and in analyzing protein families in general. It takes as input either the sequence or the structure of a protein and provides alignments with its homologs along with a variety of structural and functional annotations through an interactive interface. The annotations include sequence conservation, similarity scores, ligand-, DNA- and RNA-binding sites, secondary structure, disorder, crystallographic structure resolution and quality scores of models implied by the alignments to the homologs of known structure. MODexplorer can be used to analyze sequence and structural conservation among the structures of similar proteins, to find structures of homologs solved in different conformational state or with different ligands and to transfer functional annotations. Furthermore, if the structure of the query is not known, MODexplorer can be used to select the modeling templates taking all this information into account and to build a comparative model. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: Freely available on the web at http://modorama.biocomputing.it/modexplorer. Website implemented in HTML and JavaScript with all major browsers supported. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  1. Positive selection neighboring functionally essential sites and disease-implicated regions of mammalian reproductive proteins.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Morgan, Claire C

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Reproductive proteins are central to the continuation of all mammalian species. The evolution of these proteins has been greatly influenced by environmental pressures induced by pathogens, rival sperm, sexual selection and sexual conflict. Positive selection has been demonstrated in many of these proteins with particular focus on primate lineages. However, the mammalia are a diverse group in terms of mating habits, population sizes and germ line generation times. We have examined the selective pressures at work on a number of novel reproductive proteins across a wide variety of mammalia. RESULTS: We show that selective pressures on reproductive proteins are highly varied. Of the 10 genes analyzed in detail, all contain signatures of positive selection either across specific sites or in specific lineages or a combination of both. Our analysis of SP56 and Col1a1 are entirely novel and the results show positively selected sites present in each gene. Our findings for the Col1a1 gene are suggestive of a link between positive selection and severe disease type. We find evidence in our dataset to suggest that interacting proteins are evolving in symphony: most likely to maintain interacting functionality. CONCLUSION: Our in silico analyses show positively selected sites are occurring near catalytically important regions suggesting selective pressure to maximize efficient fertilization. In those cases where a mechanism of protein function is not fully understood, the sites presented here represent ideal candidates for mutational study. This work has highlighted the widespread rate heterogeneity in mutational rates across the mammalia and specifically has shown that the evolution of reproductive proteins is highly varied depending on the species and interacting partners. We have shown that positive selection and disease are closely linked in the Col1a1 gene.

  2. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  3. Anaplasma marginale major surface protein 1a: a marker of strain diversity with implications for control of bovine anaplasmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; de la Fuente, José

    2015-04-01

    Classification of bacteria is challenging due to the lack of a theory-based framework. In addition, the adaptation of bacteria to ecological niches often results in selection of strains with diverse virulence, pathogenicity and transmission characteristics. Bacterial strain diversity presents challenges for taxonomic classification, which in turn impacts the ability to develop accurate diagnostics and effective vaccines. Over the past decade, the worldwide diversity of Anaplasma marginale, an economically important tick-borne pathogen of cattle, has become apparent. The extent of A. marginale strain diversity, formerly underappreciated, has contributed to the challenges of classification which, in turn, likely impacts the design and development of improved vaccines. Notably, the A. marginale surface protein 1a (MSP1a) is a model molecule for these studies because it serves as a marker for strain identity, is both an adhesin necessary for infection of cells and an immuno-reactive protein and is also an indicator of the evolution of strain diversity. Herein, we discuss a molecular taxonomic approach for classification of A. marginale strain diversity. Taxonomic analysis of this important molecule provides the opportunity to understand A. marginale strain diversity as it relates geographic and ecological factors and to the development of effective vaccines for control of bovine anaplasmosis worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. A three-way approach for protein function classification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hafeez Ur Rehman

    Full Text Available The knowledge of protein functions plays an essential role in understanding biological cells and has a significant impact on human life in areas such as personalized medicine, better crops and improved therapeutic interventions. Due to expense and inherent difficulty of biological experiments, intelligent methods are generally relied upon for automatic assignment of functions to proteins. The technological advancements in the field of biology are improving our understanding of biological processes and are regularly resulting in new features and characteristics that better describe the role of proteins. It is inevitable to neglect and overlook these anticipated features in designing more effective classification techniques. A key issue in this context, that is not being sufficiently addressed, is how to build effective classification models and approaches for protein function prediction by incorporating and taking advantage from the ever evolving biological information. In this article, we propose a three-way decision making approach which provides provisions for seeking and incorporating future information. We considered probabilistic rough sets based models such as Game-Theoretic Rough Sets (GTRS and Information-Theoretic Rough Sets (ITRS for inducing three-way decisions. An architecture of protein functions classification with probabilistic rough sets based three-way decisions is proposed and explained. Experiments are carried out on Saccharomyces cerevisiae species dataset obtained from Uniprot database with the corresponding functional classes extracted from the Gene Ontology (GO database. The results indicate that as the level of biological information increases, the number of deferred cases are reduced while maintaining similar level of accuracy.

  5. Shifts in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity with agriculture: How fragile is the Brazilian Cerrado?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Renata Carolini; Mendes, Iêda Carvalho; Reis-Junior, Fábio Bueno; Carvalho, Fabíola Marques; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza Ribeiro; Vicente, Vânia Aparecida; Hungria, Mariangela

    2016-03-16

    The Cerrado--an edaphic type of savannah--comprises the second largest biome of the Brazilian territory and is the main area for grain production in the country, but information about the impact of land conversion to agriculture on microbial diversity is still scarce. We used a shotgun metagenomic approach to compare undisturbed (native) soil and soils cropped for 23 years with soybean/maize under conservation tillage--"no-till" (NT)--and conventional tillage (CT) systems in the Cerrado biome. Soil management and fertilizer inputs with the introduction of agriculture improved chemical properties, but decreased soil macroporosity and microbial biomass of carbon and nitrogen. Principal coordinates analyses confirmed different taxonomic and functional profiles for each treatment. There was predominance of the Bacteria domain, especially the phylum Proteobacteria, with higher numbers of sequences in the NT and CT treatments; Archaea and Viruses also had lower numbers of sequences in the undisturbed soil. Within the Alphaproteobacteria, there was dominance of Rhizobiales and of the genus Bradyrhizobium in the NT and CT systems, attributed to massive inoculation of soybean, and also of Burkholderiales. In contrast, Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas and Acidobacterium predominated in the native Cerrado. More Eukaryota, especially of the phylum Ascomycota were detected in the NT. The functional analysis revealed lower numbers of sequences in the five dominant categories for the CT system, whereas the undisturbed Cerrado presented higher abundance. High impact of agriculture in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity in the biome Cerrado was confirmed. Functional diversity was not necessarily associated with taxonomic diversity, as the less conservationist treatment (CT) presented increased taxonomic sequences and reduced functional profiles, indicating a strategy to try to maintain soil functioning by favoring taxa that are probably not the most

  6. Probing the mutational interplay between primary and promiscuous protein functions: a computational-experimental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Seisdedos, Hector; Ibarra-Molero, Beatriz; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M

    2012-01-01

    Protein promiscuity is of considerable interest due its role in adaptive metabolic plasticity, its fundamental connection with molecular evolution and also because of its biotechnological applications. Current views on the relation between primary and promiscuous protein activities stem largely from laboratory evolution experiments aimed at increasing promiscuous activity levels. Here, on the other hand, we attempt to assess the main features of the simultaneous modulation of the primary and promiscuous functions during the course of natural evolution. The computational/experimental approach we propose for this task involves the following steps: a function-targeted, statistical coupling analysis of evolutionary data is used to determine a set of positions likely linked to the recruitment of a promiscuous activity for a new function; a combinatorial library of mutations on this set of positions is prepared and screened for both, the primary and the promiscuous activities; a partial-least-squares reconstruction of the full combinatorial space is carried out; finally, an approximation to the Pareto set of variants with optimal primary/promiscuous activities is derived. Application of the approach to the emergence of folding catalysis in thioredoxin scaffolds reveals an unanticipated scenario: diverse patterns of primary/promiscuous activity modulation are possible, including a moderate (but likely significant in a biological context) simultaneous enhancement of both activities. We show that this scenario can be most simply explained on the basis of the conformational diversity hypothesis, although alternative interpretations cannot be ruled out. Overall, the results reported may help clarify the mechanisms of the evolution of new functions. From a different viewpoint, the partial-least-squares-reconstruction/Pareto-set-prediction approach we have introduced provides the computational basis for an efficient directed-evolution protocol aimed at the simultaneous

  7. pocketZebra: a web-server for automated selection and classification of subfamily-specific binding sites by bioinformatic analysis of diverse protein families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suplatov, Dmitry; Kirilin, Eugeny; Arbatsky, Mikhail; Takhaveev, Vakil; Svedas, Vytas

    2014-07-01

    The new web-server pocketZebra implements the power of bioinformatics and geometry-based structural approaches to identify and rank subfamily-specific binding sites in proteins by functional significance, and select particular positions in the structure that determine selective accommodation of ligands. A new scoring function has been developed to annotate binding sites by the presence of the subfamily-specific positions in diverse protein families. pocketZebra web-server has multiple input modes to meet the needs of users with different experience in bioinformatics. The server provides on-site visualization of the results as well as off-line version of the output in annotated text format and as PyMol sessions ready for structural analysis. pocketZebra can be used to study structure-function relationship and regulation in large protein superfamilies, classify functionally important binding sites and annotate proteins with unknown function. The server can be used to engineer ligand-binding sites and allosteric regulation of enzymes, or implemented in a drug discovery process to search for potential molecular targets and novel selective inhibitors/effectors. The server, documentation and examples are freely available at http://biokinet.belozersky.msu.ru/pocketzebra and there are no login requirements. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. Automatically extracting functionally equivalent proteins from SwissProt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Andrew CR

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a frequent need to obtain sets of functionally equivalent homologous proteins (FEPs from different species. While it is usually the case that orthology implies functional equivalence, this is not always true; therefore datasets of orthologous proteins are not appropriate. The information relevant to extracting FEPs is contained in databanks such as UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot and a manual analysis of these data allow FEPs to be extracted on a one-off basis. However there has been no resource allowing the easy, automatic extraction of groups of FEPs – for example, all instances of protein C. We have developed FOSTA, an automatically generated database of FEPs annotated as having the same function in UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot which can be used for large-scale analysis. The method builds a candidate list of homologues and filters out functionally diverged proteins on the basis of functional annotations using a simple text mining approach. Results Large scale evaluation of our FEP extraction method is difficult as there is no gold-standard dataset against which the method can be benchmarked. However, a manual analysis of five protein families confirmed a high level of performance. A more extensive comparison with two manually verified functional equivalence datasets also demonstrated very good performance. Conclusion In summary, FOSTA provides an automated analysis of annotations in UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot to enable groups of proteins already annotated as functionally equivalent, to be extracted. Our results demonstrate that the vast majority of UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot functional annotations are of high quality, and that FOSTA can interpret annotations successfully. Where FOSTA is not successful, we are able to highlight inconsistencies in UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot annotation. Most of these would have presented equal difficulties for manual interpretation of annotations. We discuss limitations and possible future extensions to FOSTA, and

  9. Genetic diversity and natural selection of Plasmodium knowlesi merozoite surface protein 1 paralog gene in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Md Atique; Fauzi, Muh; Han, Eun-Taek

    2018-03-14

    selection of pkmsp1p. A low level of genetic diversity and strong evidence of negative selection was detected and observed in all the domains of pkmsp1p of P. knowlesi indicating functional constrains. Shared haplotypes were identified within pkmsp1p-19 highlighting further evaluation using larger number of clinical samples from Malaysia.

  10. Genomics and structure/function studies of Rhabdoviridae proteins involved in replication and transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assenberg, R; Delmas, O; Morin, B; Graham, S C; De Lamballerie, X; Laubert, C; Coutard, B; Grimes, J M; Neyts, J; Owens, R J; Brandt, B W; Gorbalenya, A; Tucker, P; Stuart, D I; Canard, B; Bourhy, H

    2010-08-01

    Some mammalian rhabdoviruses may infect humans, and also infect invertebrates, dogs, and bats, which may act as vectors transmitting viruses among different host species. The VIZIER programme, an EU-funded FP6 program, has characterized viruses that belong to the Vesiculovirus, Ephemerovirus and Lyssavirus genera of the Rhabdoviridae family to perform ground-breaking research on the identification of potential new drug targets against these RNA viruses through comprehensive structural characterization of the replicative machinery. The contribution of VIZIER programme was of several orders. First, it contributed substantially to research aimed at understanding the origin, evolution and diversity of rhabdoviruses. This diversity was then used to obtain further structural information on the proteins involved in replication. Two strategies were used to produce recombinant proteins by expression of both full length or domain constructs in either E. coli or insect cells, using the baculovirus system. In both cases, parallel cloning and expression screening at small-scale of multiple constructs based on different viruses including the addition of fusion tags, was key to the rapid generation of expression data. As a result, some progress has been made in the VIZIER programme towards dissecting the multi-functional L protein into components suitable for structural and functional studies. However, the phosphoprotein polymerase co-factor and the structural matrix protein, which play a number of roles during viral replication and drives viral assembly, have both proved much more amenable to structural biology. Applying the multi-construct/multi-virus approach central to protein production processes in VIZIER has yielded new structural information which may ultimately be exploitable in the derivation of novel ways of intervening in viral replication. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional investigation of grass carp reovirus nonstructural protein NS80

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shao Ling

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Grass Carp Reovirus (GCRV, a highly virulent agent of aquatic animals, has an eleven segmented dsRNA genome encased in a multilayered capsid shell, which encodes twelve proteins including seven structural proteins (VP1-VP7, and five nonstructural proteins (NS80, NS38, NS31, NS26, and NS16. It has been suggested that the protein NS80 plays an important role in the viral replication cycle that is similar to that of its homologous protein μNS in the genus of Orthoreovirus. Results As a step to understanding the basis of the part played by NS80 in GCRV replication and particle assembly, we used the yeast two-hybrid (Y2H system to identify NS80 interactions with proteins NS38, VP4, and VP6 as well as NS80 and NS38 self-interactions, while no interactions appeared in the four protein pairs NS38-VP4, NS38-VP6, VP4-VP4, and VP4-VP6. Bioinformatic analyses of NS80 with its corresponding proteins were performed with all currently available homologous protein sequences in ARVs (avian reoviruses and MRVs (mammalian reoviruses to predict further potential functional domains of NS80 that are related to VFLS (viral factory-like structures formation and other roles in viral replication. Two conserved regions spanning from aa (amino acid residues of 388 to 433, and 562 to 580 were discovered in this study. The second conserved region with corresponding conserved residues Tyr565, His569, Cys571, Asn573, and Glu576 located between the two coiled-coils regions (aa ~513-550 and aa ~615-690 in carboxyl-proximal terminus were supposed to be essential to form VFLS, so that aa residues ranging from 513 to 742 of NS80 was inferred to be the smallest region that is necessary for forming VFLS. The function of the first conserved region including Ala395, Gly419, Asp421, Pro422, Leu438, and Leu443 residues is unclear, but one-third of the amino-terminal region might be species specific, dominating interactions with other viral components. Conclusions Our

  12. Crystallization of bi-functional ligand protein complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoni, Claudia; Vera, Laura; Devel, Laurent; Catalani, Maria Pia; Czarny, Bertrand; Cassar-Lajeunesse, Evelyn; Nuti, Elisa; Rossello, Armando; Dive, Vincent; Stura, Enrico Adriano

    2013-06-01

    Homodimerization is important in signal transduction and can play a crucial role in many other biological systems. To obtaining structural information for the design of molecules able to control the signalization pathways, the proteins involved will have to be crystallized in complex with ligands that induce dimerization. Bi-functional drugs have been generated by linking two ligands together chemically and the relative crystallizability of complexes with mono-functional and bi-functional ligands has been evaluated. There are problems associated with crystallization with such ligands, but overall, the advantages appear to be greater than the drawbacks. The study involves two matrix metalloproteinases, MMP-12 and MMP-9. Using flexible and rigid linkers we show that it is possible to control the crystal packing and that by changing the ligand-enzyme stoichiometric ratio, one can toggle between having one bi-functional ligand binding to two enzymes and having the same ligand bound to each enzyme. The nature of linker and its point of attachment on the ligand can be varied to aid crystallization, and such variations can also provide valuable structural information about the interactions made by the linker with the protein. We report here the crystallization and structure determination of seven ligand-dimerized complexes. These results suggest that the use of bi-functional drugs can be extended beyond the realm of protein dimerization to include all drug design projects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Properties and Functions of the Dengue Virus Capsid Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byk, Laura A; Gamarnik, Andrea V

    2016-09-29

    Dengue virus affects hundreds of millions of people each year around the world, causing a tremendous social and economic impact on affected countries. The aim of this review is to summarize our current knowledge of the functions, structure, and interactions of the viral capsid protein. The primary role of capsid is to package the viral genome. There are two processes linked to this function: the recruitment of the viral RNA during assembly and the release of the genome during infection. Although particle assembly takes place on endoplasmic reticulum membranes, capsid localizes in nucleoli and lipid droplets. Why capsid accumulates in these locations during infection remains unknown. In this review, we describe available data and discuss new ideas on dengue virus capsid functions and interactions. We believe that a deeper understanding of how the capsid protein works during infection will create opportunities for novel antiviral strategies, which are urgently needed to control dengue virus infections.

  14. Multifarious Functions of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jenna K; Broadie, Kendal

    2017-10-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a heritable intellectual and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), results from the loss of Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). This neurodevelopmental disease state exhibits neural circuit hyperconnectivity and hyperexcitability. Canonically, FMRP functions as an mRNA-binding translation suppressor, but recent findings have enormously expanded its proposed roles. Although connections between burgeoning FMRP functions remain unknown, recent advances have extended understanding of its involvement in RNA, channel, and protein binding that modulate calcium signaling, activity-dependent critical period development, and the excitation-inhibition (E/I) neural circuitry balance. In this review, we contextualize 3 years of FXS model research. Future directions extrapolated from recent advances focus on discovering links between FMRP roles to determine whether FMRP has a multitude of unrelated functions or whether combinatorial mechanisms can explain its multifaceted existence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services such as carbon cycling...... of soil microbial functions is still needed. In soil, enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity will reflect...... the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes. Their activity has been measured by the use of fluorogenic model substrates e.g. methylumbelliferyl (MUF) substrates for a number of enzymes involved in the degradation of polysacharides as cellulose, hemicellulose...

  16. Altitudinal patterns of diversity and functional traits of metabolically active microorganisms in stream biofilms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Linda; Besemer, Katharina; Fragner, Lena; Peter, Hannes; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Battin, Tom J

    2015-01-01

    Resources structure ecological communities and potentially link biodiversity to energy flow. It is commonly believed that functional traits (generalists versus specialists) involved in the exploitation of resources depend on resource availability and environmental fluctuations. The longitudinal nature of stream ecosystems provides changing resources to stream biota with yet unknown effects on microbial functional traits and community structure. We investigated the impact of autochthonous (algal extract) and allochthonous (spruce extract) resources, as they change along alpine streams from above to below the treeline, on microbial diversity, community composition and functions of benthic biofilms. Combining bromodeoxyuridine labelling and 454 pyrosequencing, we showed that diversity was lower upstream than downstream of the treeline and that community composition changed along the altitudinal gradient. We also found that, especially for allochthonous resources, specialisation by biofilm bacteria increased along that same gradient. Our results suggest that in streams below the treeline biofilm diversity, specialisation and functioning are associated with increasing niche differentiation as potentially modulated by divers allochthonous and autochthonous constituents contributing to resources. These findings expand our current understanding on biofilm structure and function in alpine streams. PMID:25978543

  17. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  18. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyu Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3′ UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3′ UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

  19. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tianyu; Yan, Xiping; Wang, Guosong; Liu, Hehe; Gan, Xiang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Jiwen; Li, Liang

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity<