WorldWideScience

Sample records for identifying molecular mechanisms

  1. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations Identify the Ring-Opening Mechanism of Creatininase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitonnom, Jitrayut; Mujika, Jon I; van der Kamp, Marc W; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2017-12-05

    Creatininase catalyzes the conversion of creatinine (a biosensor for kidney function) to creatine via a two-step mechanism: water addition followed by ring opening. Water addition is common to other known cyclic amidohydrolases, but the precise mechanism for ring opening is still under debate. The proton donor in this step is either His178 or a water molecule bound to one of the metal ions, and the roles of His178 and Glu122 are unclear. Here, the two possible reaction pathways have been fully examined by means of combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations at the SCC-DFTB/CHARMM22 level of theory. The results indicate that His178 is the main catalytic residue for the whole reaction and explain its role as proton shuttle during the ring-opening step. In the first step, His178 provides electrostatic stabilization to the gem-diolate tetrahedral intermediate. In the second step, His178 abstracts the hydroxyl proton of the intermediate and delivers it to the cyclic amide nitrogen, leading to ring opening. The latter is the rate-limiting step with a free energy barrier of 18.5 kcal/mol, in agreement with the experiment. We find that Glu122 must be protonated during the enzyme reaction, so that it can form a stable hydrogen bond with its neighboring water molecule. Simulations of the E122Q mutant showed that this replacement disrupts the H-bond network formed by three conserved residues (Glu34, Ser78, and Glu122) and water, increasing the energy barrier. Our computational studies provide a comprehensive explanation for previous structural and kinetic observations, including why the H178A mutation causes a complete loss of activity but the E122Q mutation does not.

  2. Probing molecular mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone: biophysical modeling identifies key regulators of functional dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anshuman Dixit

    Full Text Available Deciphering functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery is an important objective in cancer biology aiming to facilitate discovery of targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite significant advances in understanding structure and function of molecular chaperones, organizing molecular principles that control the relationship between conformational diversity and functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 activity lack a sufficient quantitative characterization. We combined molecular dynamics simulations, principal component analysis, the energy landscape model and structure-functional analysis of Hsp90 regulatory interactions to systematically investigate functional dynamics of the molecular chaperone. This approach has identified a network of conserved regions common to the Hsp90 chaperones that could play a universal role in coordinating functional dynamics, principal collective motions and allosteric signaling of Hsp90. We have found that these functional motifs may be utilized by the molecular chaperone machinery to act collectively as central regulators of Hsp90 dynamics and activity, including the inter-domain communications, control of ATP hydrolysis, and protein client binding. These findings have provided support to a long-standing assertion that allosteric regulation and catalysis may have emerged via common evolutionary routes. The interaction networks regulating functional motions of Hsp90 may be determined by the inherent structural architecture of the molecular chaperone. At the same time, the thermodynamics-based "conformational selection" of functional states is likely to be activated based on the nature of the binding partner. This mechanistic model of Hsp90 dynamics and function is consistent with the notion that allosteric networks orchestrating cooperative protein motions can be formed by evolutionary conserved and sparsely connected residue clusters. Hence, allosteric signaling through a small network of distantly connected

  3. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-02-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroscience Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Atom Tunneling in the Hydroxylation Process of Taurine/α-Ketoglutarate Dioxygenase Identified by Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Barcia, Sonia; Kästner, Johannes

    2017-06-01

    Taurine/α-ketoglutarate dioxygenase is one of the most studied α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (αKGDs), involved in several biotechnological applications. We investigated the key step in the catalytic cycle of the αKGDs, the hydrogen transfer process, by a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach (B3LYP/CHARMM22). Analysis of the charge and spin densities during the reaction demonstrates that a concerted mechanism takes place, where the H atom transfer happens simultaneously with the electron transfer from taurine to the Fe═O cofactor. We found the quantum tunneling of the hydrogen atom to increase the rate constant by a factor of 40 at 5 °C. As a consequence, a quite high kinetic isotope effect close to 60 is obtained, which is consistent with the experimental value.

  5. RNA sequencing of Populus x canadensis roots identifies key molecular mechanisms underlying physiological adaption to excess zinc.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Ariani

    Full Text Available Populus x canadensis clone I-214 exhibits a general indicator phenotype in response to excess Zn, and a higher metal uptake in roots than in shoots with a reduced translocation to aerial parts under hydroponic conditions. This physiological adaptation seems mainly regulated by roots, although the molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes are still poorly understood. Here, differential expression analysis using RNA-sequencing technology was used to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the response to excess Zn in root. In order to maximize specificity of detection of differentially expressed (DE genes, we consider the intersection of genes identified by three distinct statistical approaches (61 up- and 19 down-regulated and validate them by RT-qPCR, yielding an agreement of 93% between the two experimental techniques. Gene Ontology (GO terms related to oxidation-reduction processes, transport and cellular iron ion homeostasis were enriched among DE genes, highlighting the importance of metal homeostasis in adaptation to excess Zn by P. x canadensis clone I-214. We identified the up-regulation of two Populus metal transporters (ZIP2 and NRAMP1 probably involved in metal uptake, and the down-regulation of a NAS4 gene involved in metal translocation. We identified also four Fe-homeostasis transcription factors (two bHLH38 genes, FIT and BTS that were differentially expressed, probably for reducing Zn-induced Fe-deficiency. In particular, we suggest that the down-regulation of FIT transcription factor could be a mechanism to cope with Zn-induced Fe-deficiency in Populus. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in adaption to excess Zn in Populus spp., but could also constitute a starting point for the identification and characterization of molecular markers or biotechnological targets for possible improvement of phytoremediation performances of poplar trees.

  6. Multi-omics approach identifies molecular mechanisms of plant-fungus mycorrhizal interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter E Larsen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root – mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensor systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with fifteen transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and, jasmonic acid. This multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation.

  7. An organelle-specific protein landscape identifies novel diseases and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldt, Karsten; van Reeuwijk, Jeroen; Lu, Qianhao; Koutroumpas, Konstantinos; Nguyen, Thanh-Minh T; Texier, Yves; van Beersum, Sylvia E C; Horn, Nicola; Willer, Jason R; Mans, Dorus A; Dougherty, Gerard; Lamers, Ideke J C; Coene, Karlien L M; Arts, Heleen H; Betts, Matthew J; Beyer, Tina; Bolat, Emine; Gloeckner, Christian Johannes; Haidari, Khatera; Hetterschijt, Lisette; Iaconis, Daniela; Jenkins, Dagan; Klose, Franziska; Knapp, Barbara; Latour, Brooke; Letteboer, Stef J F; Marcelis, Carlo L; Mitic, Dragana; Morleo, Manuela; Oud, Machteld M; Riemersma, Moniek; Rix, Susan; Terhal, Paulien A; Toedt, Grischa; van Dam, Teunis J P; de Vrieze, Erik; Wissinger, Yasmin; Wu, Ka Man; Apic, Gordana; Beales, Philip L; Blacque, Oliver E; Gibson, Toby J; Huynen, Martijn A; Katsanis, Nicholas; Kremer, Hannie; Omran, Heymut; van Wijk, Erwin; Wolfrum, Uwe; Kepes, François; Davis, Erica E; Franco, Brunella; Giles, Rachel H; Ueffing, Marius; Russell, Robert B; Roepman, Ronald

    2016-05-13

    Cellular organelles provide opportunities to relate biological mechanisms to disease. Here we use affinity proteomics, genetics and cell biology to interrogate cilia: poorly understood organelles, where defects cause genetic diseases. Two hundred and seventeen tagged human ciliary proteins create a final landscape of 1,319 proteins, 4,905 interactions and 52 complexes. Reverse tagging, repetition of purifications and statistical analyses, produce a high-resolution network that reveals organelle-specific interactions and complexes not apparent in larger studies, and links vesicle transport, the cytoskeleton, signalling and ubiquitination to ciliary signalling and proteostasis. We observe sub-complexes in exocyst and intraflagellar transport complexes, which we validate biochemically, and by probing structurally predicted, disruptive, genetic variants from ciliary disease patients. The landscape suggests other genetic diseases could be ciliary including 3M syndrome. We show that 3M genes are involved in ciliogenesis, and that patient fibroblasts lack cilia. Overall, this organelle-specific targeting strategy shows considerable promise for Systems Medicine.

  8. Global transcriptomic profiling of aspen trees under elevated [CO2] to identify potential molecular mechanisms responsible for enhanced radial growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hairong; Gou, Jiqing; Yordanov, Yordan; Zhang, Huaxin; Thakur, Ramesh; Jones, Wendy; Burton, Andrew

    2013-03-01

    Aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees growing under elevated [CO(2)] at a free-air CO(2) enrichment (FACE) site produced significantly more biomass than control trees. We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed increase in biomass by producing transcriptomic profiles of the vascular cambium zone (VCZ) and leaves, and then performed a comparative study to identify significantly changed genes and pathways after 12 years exposure to elevated [CO(2)]. In leaves, elevated [CO(2)] enhanced expression of genes related to Calvin cycle activity and linked pathways. In the VCZ, the pathways involved in cell growth, cell division, hormone metabolism, and secondary cell wall formation were altered while auxin conjugation, ABA synthesis, and cytokinin glucosylation and degradation were inhibited. Similarly, the genes involved in hemicellulose and pectin biosynthesis were enhanced, but some genes that catalyze important steps in lignin biosynthesis pathway were inhibited. Evidence from systemic analysis supported the functioning of multiple molecular mechanisms that underpin the enhanced radial growth in response to elevated [CO(2)].

  9. Mechanisms to medicines: elucidating neural and molecular substrates of fear extinction to identify novel treatments for anxiety disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukalo, Olena; Pinard, Courtney R; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The burden of anxiety disorders is growing, but the efficacy of available anxiolytic treatments remains inadequate. Cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders focuses on identifying and modifying maladaptive patterns of thinking and behaving, and has a testable analogue in rodents in the form of fear extinction. A large preclinical literature has amassed in recent years describing the neural and molecular basis of fear extinction in rodents. In this review, we discuss how this work is being harnessed to foster translational research on anxiety disorders and facilitate the search for new anxiolytic treatments. We begin by summarizing the anatomical and functional connectivity of a medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)–amygdala circuit that subserves fear extinction, including new insights from optogenetics. We then cover some of the approaches that have been taken to model impaired fear extinction and associated impairments with mPFC–amygdala dysfunction. The principal goal of the review is to evaluate evidence that various neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems mediate fear extinction by modulating the mPFC–amygdala circuitry. To that end, we describe studies that have tested how fear extinction is impaired or facilitated by pharmacological manipulations of dopamine, noradrenaline, 5-HT, GABA, glutamate, neuropeptides, endocannabinoids and various other systems, which either directly target the mPFC–amygdala circuit, or produce behavioural effects that are coincident with functional changes in the circuit. We conclude that there are good grounds to be optimistic that the progress in defining the molecular substrates of mPFC–amygdala circuit function can be effectively leveraged to identify plausible candidates for extinction-promoting therapies for anxiety disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Animal Models in Psychiatry Research. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014

  10. Mechanisms to medicines: elucidating neural and molecular substrates of fear extinction to identify novel treatments for anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukalo, Olena; Pinard, Courtney R; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-10-01

    The burden of anxiety disorders is growing, but the efficacy of available anxiolytic treatments remains inadequate. Cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders focuses on identifying and modifying maladaptive patterns of thinking and behaving, and has a testable analogue in rodents in the form of fear extinction. A large preclinical literature has amassed in recent years describing the neural and molecular basis of fear extinction in rodents. In this review, we discuss how this work is being harnessed to foster translational research on anxiety disorders and facilitate the search for new anxiolytic treatments. We begin by summarizing the anatomical and functional connectivity of a medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-amygdala circuit that subserves fear extinction, including new insights from optogenetics. We then cover some of the approaches that have been taken to model impaired fear extinction and associated impairments with mPFC-amygdala dysfunction. The principal goal of the review is to evaluate evidence that various neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems mediate fear extinction by modulating the mPFC-amygdala circuitry. To that end, we describe studies that have tested how fear extinction is impaired or facilitated by pharmacological manipulations of dopamine, noradrenaline, 5-HT, GABA, glutamate, neuropeptides, endocannabinoids and various other systems, which either directly target the mPFC-amygdala circuit, or produce behavioural effects that are coincident with functional changes in the circuit. We conclude that there are good grounds to be optimistic that the progress in defining the molecular substrates of mPFC-amygdala circuit function can be effectively leveraged to identify plausible candidates for extinction-promoting therapies for anxiety disorders. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  11. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I.; Taylor, Kent D.; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O.

    2015-01-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS. PMID:26305227

  12. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle R Jones

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Genome wide association studies (GWAS have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS, a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  13. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michelle R; Brower, Meredith A; Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I; Taylor, Kent D; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O

    2015-08-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  14. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    Glioma, and in particular high-grade astrocytoma termed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the most common primary tumor of the brain. Primarily because of its diffuse nature, there is no effective treatment for GBM, and relatively little is known about the processes by which it develops. Therefore......, in order to design novel therapies and treatments for GBM, research has recently intensified to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to GBM formation. Modeling of astrocytomas by genetic manipulation of mice suggests that deregulation of the pathways that control gliogenesis during normal...... brain development, such as the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into astrocytes, might contribute to GBM formation. These pathways include growth factor-induced signal transduction routes and processes that control cell cycle progression, such as the p16-CDK4-RB and the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathways...

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Vitoratos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity/mortality. The pathogenesis of preeclampsia is still under investigation. The aim of this paper is to present the molecular mechanisms implicating in the pathway leading to preeclampsia.

  16. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allinger, Norman L

    2011-04-01

    Molecular mechanics gives us a well known model of molecular structure. It is less widely recognized that valence bond theory gives us structures which offer a direct interpretation of molecular mechanics formulations and parameters. The electronic effects well-known in physical organic chemistry can be directly interpreted in terms of valence bond structures, and hence quantitatively calculated and understood. The basic theory is outlined in this paper, and examples of the effects, and their interpretation in illustrative examples is presented.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, E.J.

    1997-01-01

    The possibility that chromosomal changes are responsible for neoplasia was proposed in the early years of this century. A combination of improved cytogenetics and the advent of recombinant technology has settled the issue. As recently as 20 years ago, however, the genetic and molecular basis of familiar predisposition to cancer were a mystery, and it is only in the last few years that light has been shed on a few specific types of malignancies. As the genetic basis of human cancer had been documented, a number of genes have been identified as functioning either as oncogenes which act in a dominant fashion to promote tumor growth when mutated, or as tumor suppressor genes which act in a recessive fashion

  18. Molecular mechanisms of cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Weber, Georg F

    2007-01-01

    ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Section I. General Mechanisms of Transformation 1. Theories of Carcinogenesis...

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; C. Iavazzo

    2012-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in ...

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S Ananth

    2015-08-20

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S. Ananth

    2015-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. PMID:26292986

  2. Integrated physiological, biochemical and molecular analysis identifies important traits and mechanisms associated with differential response of rice genotypes to elevated temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boghireddy eSailaja

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In changing climate, heat stress caused by high temperature poses a serious threat to rice cultivation. A multiple organizational analysis at physiological, biochemical and molecular level is required to fully understand the impact of elevated temperature in rice. This study was aimed at deciphering the elevated temperature response in eleven popular and mega rice cultivars widely grown in India. Physiological and biochemical traits specifically membrane thermostability (MTS, antioxidants, and photosynthesis were studied at vegetative and reproductive phases which were used to establish a correlation with grain yield under stress. Several useful traits in different genotypes were identified which will be important resource to develop high temperature tolerant rice cultivars. Interestingly, Nagina22 emerged as best performer in terms of yield as well as expression of physiological and biochemical traits at elevated temperature. It showed lesser relative injury, lesser reduction in chlorophyll content, increased super oxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase activity, lesser reduction in net photosynthetic rate (PN, high transpiration rate (E and other photosynthetic/ fluorescence parameters contributing to least reduction in spikelet fertility and grain yield at elevated temperature. Further, expression of 14 genes including heat shock transcription factors and heat shock proteins was analyzed in Nagina22 (tolerant and Vandana (susceptible at flowering phase, strengthening the fact that N22 performs better at molecular level also during elevated temperature. This study shows that elevated temperature response is complex and involves multiple biological processes which are needed to be characterized to address the challenges of future climate extreme conditions.

  3. STATINS AND MYOPATHY: MOLECULAR MECHANISMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. M. Drapkina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The safety of statin therapy is considered. In particular the reasons of a complication such as myopathy are discussed in detail. The molecular mechanisms of statin myopathy , as well as its risk factors are presented. The role of coenzyme Q10 in the myopathy development and coenzyme Q10 application for the prevention of this complication are considered. 

  4. Sampling Molecular Conformers in Solution with Quantum Mechanical Accuracy at a Nearly Molecular-Mechanics Cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Marta; Micciarelli, Marco; Laio, Alessandro; Baroni, Stefano

    2016-09-13

    We introduce a method to evaluate the relative populations of different conformers of molecular species in solution, aiming at quantum mechanical accuracy, while keeping the computational cost at a nearly molecular-mechanics level. This goal is achieved by combining long classical molecular-dynamics simulations to sample the free-energy landscape of the system, advanced clustering techniques to identify the most relevant conformers, and thermodynamic perturbation theory to correct the resulting populations, using quantum-mechanical energies from density functional theory. A quantitative criterion for assessing the accuracy thus achieved is proposed. The resulting methodology is demonstrated in the specific case of cyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) in water solution.

  5. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia ? The Molecular Mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Nessa, Azizun; Rahman, Sofia A.; Hussain, Khalid

    2016-01-01

    Under normal physiological conditions, pancreatic β-cells secrete insulin to maintain fasting blood glucose levels in the range 3.5–5.5 mmol/L. In hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH), this precise regulation of insulin secretion is perturbed so that insulin continues to be secreted in the presence of hypoglycemia. HH may be due to genetic causes (congenital) or secondary to certain risk factors. The molecular mechanisms leading to HH involve defects in the key genes regulating insulin secretio...

  6. Identifying links between origami and compliant mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. C. Greenberg

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Origami is the art of folding paper. In the context of engineering, orimimetics is the application of folding to solve problems. Kinetic origami behavior can be modeled with the pseudo-rigid-body model since the origami are compliant mechanisms. These compliant mechanisms, when having a flat initial state and motion emerging out of the fabrication plane, are classified as lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs. To demonstrate the feasibility of identifying links between origami and compliant mechanism analysis and design methods, four flat folding paper mechanisms are presented with their corresponding kinematic and graph models. Principles from graph theory are used to abstract the mechanisms to show them as coupled, or inter-connected, mechanisms. It is anticipated that this work lays a foundation for exploring methods for LEM synthesis based on the analogy between flat-folding origami models and linkage assembly.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbier, Olivier; Arreola-Mendoza, Laura; Del Razo, Luz María

    2010-11-05

    Halfway through the twentieth century, fluoride piqued the interest of toxicologists due to its deleterious effects at high concentrations in human populations suffering from fluorosis and in in vivo experimental models. Until the 1990s, the toxicity of fluoride was largely ignored due to its "good reputation" for preventing caries via topical application and in dental toothpastes. However, in the last decade, interest in its undesirable effects has resurfaced due to the awareness that this element interacts with cellular systems even at low doses. In recent years, several investigations demonstrated that fluoride can induce oxidative stress and modulate intracellular redox homeostasis, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyl content, as well as alter gene expression and cause apoptosis. Genes modulated by fluoride include those related to the stress response, metabolic enzymes, the cell cycle, cell-cell communications and signal transduction. The primary purpose of this review is to examine recent findings from our group and others that focus on the molecular mechanisms of the action of inorganic fluoride in several cellular processes with respect to potential physiological and toxicological implications. This review presents an overview of the current research on the molecular aspects of fluoride exposure with emphasis on biological targets and their possible mechanisms of involvement in fluoride cytotoxicity. The goal of this review is to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which fluoride affects cells, with an emphasis on tissue-specific events in humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Roland; Melk, Anette

    2017-09-01

    Epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular evidence suggest that aging is a major contributor to the increasing incidence of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The aging kidney undergoes complex changes that predispose to renal pathology. The underlying molecular mechanisms could be the target of therapeutic strategies in the future. Here, we summarize recent insight into cellular and molecular processes that have been shown to contribute to the renal aging phenotype.The main clinical finding of renal aging is the decrease in glomerular filtration rate, and its structural correlate is the loss of functioning nephrons. Mechanistically, this has been linked to different processes, such as podocyte hypertrophy, glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, and gradual microvascular rarefaction. Renal functional recovery after an episode of acute kidney injury is significantly worse in elderly patients. This decreased regenerative potential, which is a hallmark of the aging process, may be caused by cellular senescence. Accumulation of senescent cells could explain insufficient repair and functional loss, a view that has been strengthened by recent studies showing that removal of senescent cells results in attenuation of renal aging. Other potential mechanisms are alterations in autophagy as an important component of a disturbed renal stress response and functional differences in the inflammatory system. Promising therapeutic measures to counteract these age-related problems include mimetics of caloric restriction, pharmacologic renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibition, and novel strategies of senotherapy with the goal of reducing the number of senescent cells to decrease aging-related disease in the kidney. Copyright © 2017 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular Mechanism of Somite Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulfidan Coskun

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available From third week of gestation, notochord and the neural folds begin to gather at the center of the embryo to form the paraxial mesoderm. Paraxial mesoderm separates into blocks of cells called somitomers at the lateral sides of the neural tube of the head region. At the beginning of the third week somitomeres take ring shapes and form blocks of somites from occipital region to caudal region. Although somites are transient structures, they are extremely important in organizing the segmental pattern of vertebrate embryos. Somites give rise to the cells that form the vertebrae and ribs, the dermis of the dorsal skin, the skeletal muscles of the back, and the skeletal muscles of the body wall and limbs. Somitogenesis are formed by a genetic mechanism that is regulated by cyclical expression of genes in the Notch, Wnt and fibroblast growth factor signaling pathways. The prevailing model of the mechanism governing somitogenesis is the “clock and wave front”. Somitogenesis has components of periodicity, separation, epithelialization and axial specification. According to this model, the clock causes cells to undergo repeated oscillations, with a particular phase of each oscillation defining the competency of cells in the presomitic mesoderm to form a somite. Any disruption in this mechanism can be cause of severe segmentation defects of the vertebrae and congenital anomalies. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying the somitogenesis which is an important part of morphogenesis. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2013; 22(3.000: 362-376

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Induced Pluripotency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchkaeva, I.A.; Dashinimaev, E.B.; Terskikh, V.V.; Sukhanov, Y.V.; Vasiliev, A.V.

    2012-01-01

    In this review the distinct aspects of somatic cell reprogramming are discussed. The molecular mechanisms of generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells via the introduction of transcription factors into adult somatic cells are considered. Particular attention is focused on the generation of iPS cells without genome modifications via the introduction of the mRNA of transcription factors or the use of small molecules. Furthermore, the strategy of direct reprogramming of somatic cells omitting the generation of iPS cells is considered. The data concerning the differences between ES and iPS cells and the problem of epigenetic memory are also discussed. In conclusion, the possibility of using iPS cells in regenerative medicine is considered. PMID:22708059

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Thilo Martin

    Cautious optimism has arisen over recent decades with respect to the long struggle against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This has been offset, however, by a fatal complacency stemming from previous successes such as the development of antimicrobial drugs, the eradication of smallpox, and global immunization programs. Infectious diseases nevertheless remain the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million persons annually [61]. Diarrheal diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae or Shigella dysenteriae kill about 3 million persons every year, most of them young children: Another 4 million die of tuberculosis or tetanus. Outbreaks of diphtheria in Eastern Europe threatens the population with a disease that had previously seemed to be overcome. Efforts to control infectious diseases more comprehensively are undermined not only by socioeconomic conditions but also by the nature of the pathogenic organisms itself; some isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter have become so resistant to drugs by horizontal gene transfer that they are almost untreatable. In addition, the mechanism of genetic variability helps pathogens to evade the human immune system, thus compromising the development of powerful vaccines. Therefore detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity is absolutely necessary to develop new strategies against infectious diseases and thus to lower their impact on human health and social development.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of curcumin action: gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishodia, Shishir

    2013-01-01

    Curcumin derived from the tropical plant Curcuma longa has a long history of use as a dietary agent, food preservative, and in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used for centuries to treat biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Extensive research over several decades has attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms of curcumin action. Curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets by altering their gene expression, signaling pathways, or through direct interaction. Curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1), growth factors (e.g., VEGF, EGF, FGF), growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER-2, AR), enzymes (e.g., COX-2, LOX, MMP9, MAPK, mTOR, Akt), adhesion molecules (e.g., ELAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1), apoptosis related proteins (e.g., Bcl-2, caspases, DR, Fas), and cell cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). Curcumin modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, AP-1, STAT) and their signaling pathways. Based on its ability to affect multiple targets, curcumin has the potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases including cancers, arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative disease, hepatic disorders, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of modulation of gene expression by curcumin. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Molecular toxicity mechanism of nanosilver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle McShan

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Silver is an ancient antibiotic that has found many new uses due to its unique properties on the nanoscale. Due to its presence in many consumer products, the toxicity of nanosilver has become a hot topic. This review summarizes recent advances, particularly the molecular mechanism of nanosilver toxicity. The surface of nanosilver can easily be oxidized by O2 and other molecules in the environmental and biological systems leading to the release of Ag+, a known toxic ion. Therefore, nanosilver toxicity is closely related to the release of Ag+. In fact, it is difficult to determine what portion of the toxicity is from the nano-form and what is from the ionic form. The surface oxidation rate is closely related to the nanosilver surface coating, coexisting molecules, especially thiol-containing compounds, lighting conditions, and the interaction of nanosilver with nucleic acids, lipid molecules, and proteins in a biological system. Nanosilver has been shown to penetrate the cell and become internalized. Thus, nanosilver often acts as a source of Ag+ inside the cell. One of the main mechanisms of toxicity is that it causes oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species and causes damage to cellular components including DNA damage, activation of antioxidant enzymes, depletion of antioxidant molecules (e.g., glutathione, binding and disabling of proteins, and damage to the cell membrane. Several major questions remain to be answered: (1 the toxic contribution from the ionic form versus the nano-form; (2 key enzymes and signaling pathways responsible for the toxicity; and (3 effect of coexisting molecules on the toxicity and its relationship to surface coating.

  14. Conformation analysis of trehalose. Molecular dynamics simulation and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnamaira, M.C.; Howard, E.I.; Grigera, J.R.

    1992-09-01

    Conformational analysis of the disaccharide trehalose is done by molecular dynamics and molecular mechanics. In spite of the different force fields used in each case, comparison between the molecular dynamics trajectories of the torsional angles of glycosidic linkage and energy conformational map shows a good agreement between both methods. By molecular dynamics it is observed a moderate mobility of the glycosidic linkage. The demands of computer time is comparable in both cases. (author). 6 refs, 4 figs

  15. Molecular mechanisms of thyroid tumorigenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krause, K.; Fuehrer, D.

    2008-01-01

    Thyroid nodules are the most frequent endocrine disorder and occur in approximately 30% of the German population. Thyroid nodular disease constitutes a very heterogeneous entity. A striking diversity of possible functional and morphological features of a thyroid tumour derived from the same thyroid ancestor cell, is a hallmark of thyroid tumorigenesis and is due to specific genetic alterations. Defects in known candidate genes can be found in up to 70% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas and determine the respective cancer phenotype. Papillary thyroid cancers (PTC) harbour BRAF (or much less frequently RAS) mutations in sporadically occurring tumours, while radiation-induced PTC display chromosomal rearrangements such as RET, TRK, APR9 / BRAF. These genetic events results in constitutive MAPKinase activation. Follicular thyroid cancers (FTC) harbour RAS mutations or PAX8/ PPARγ rearrangements, both of which, however have also been identified in follicular adenoma. In addition, recent studies show, that activation of PI3K/AKT signalling occurs with high frequency in follicular thyroid tumours. Undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancers (ATC) display genetic features of FTC or PTC, in addition to aberant activation of multiple tyrosinkinase pathways (overexpression or mutations in PI3K and MAPK pathways). This underscores the concept of a sequential evolution of ATC from differentiated thyroid cancer, a process widely conceived to be triggered by p53 inactivation. In contrast, the molecular pathogenesis of benign thyroid tumours, in particular cold thyroid nodules is less known, except for toxic thyroid nodules, which arise from constitutive activation of cAMP signalling, predominantly through TSHR mutations. (orig.)

  16. Molecular mechanics calculations on cobalt phthalocyanine dimers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuts, J.P.A.; Schipper, E.T.W.M.; Piet, P.; German, A.L.

    1995-01-01

    In order to obtain insight into the structure of cobalt phthalocyanine dimers, molecular mechanics calculations were performed on dimeric cobalt phthalocyanine species. Molecular mechanics calculations are first presented on monomeric cobalt(II) phthalocyanine. Using the Tripos force field for the

  17. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Starrs, S.M

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA){sub n} and (GA){sub n}, and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a

  19. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starrs, S.M.

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA) n and (GA) n , and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a dimeric

  20. Molecular mechanisms of NCAM function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hinsby, Anders M; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2004-01-01

    receptor that responds to both homophilic and heterophilic cues, as well as a mediator of cell-cell adhesion. This review describes NCAM function at the molecular level. We discuss recent models for extracellular ligand-interactions of NCAM, and the intracellular signaling cascade that follows to define...

  1. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Review Article. ,. Molecular ... This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and ... insulin action from receptor to the alteration of blood glucose. Hence, in ... the first protein to have its amino acid sequence determined;2 ... an integral membrane glycoprotein composed of two subunits, a and 13 ...

  2. Programmed necrosis and necroptosis – molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Giżycka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Programmed necrosis has been proven vital for organism development and homeostasis maintenance. Its regulatory effects on functional activity of the immune system, as well as on pathways regulating the death mechanisms in cells with diminished apoptotic activity, including malignant cells, have been confirmed. There is also increasing evidence indicating necrosis involvement in many human pathologies. Contrary to previous beliefs, necrosis is not only a passive, pathological, gene-independent process. However, the current knowledge regarding molecular regulation of programmed necrosis is scarce. In part this is due to the multiplicity and complexity of signaling pathways involved in programmed necrosis, as well as the absence of specific cellular markers identifying this process, but also the ambiguous and imprecise international terminology. This review presents the current state of the art on molecular mechanisms of programmed necrosis. In particular, its specific and frequent form, necroptosis, is discussed. The role of RIP1 and RIP3 kinases in this process is presented, as well as the diverse pathways induced by ligation of tumor necrosis factor α, to its receptor, TNFR1, i.e. cell survival, apoptosis or necroptosis.

  3. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cieplak, Piotr [Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92120 (United States); Dupradeau, Francois-Yves [UMR CNRS 6219-Faculte de Pharmacie, Universite de Picardie Jules Verne, 1 rue des Louvels, F-80037 Amiens (France); Duan, Yong [Genome Center and Department of Applied Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Wang Junmei, E-mail: pcieplak@burnham.or [Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6001 Forest Park Boulevard, ND9.136, Dallas, TX 75390-9050 (United States)

    2009-08-19

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component-polarization energy-and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. (topical review)

  4. Molecular mechanism of insulin resistance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Free fatty acids are known to play a key role in promoting loss of insulin sensitivity, thereby causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism involved is still unclear. In searching for the cause of the mechanism, it has been found that palmitate inhibits insulin receptor (IR) gene expression, ...

  5. Semiclassical mechanics with molecular applications

    CERN Document Server

    Child, M S

    2014-01-01

    Semiclassical mechanics, which stems from the old quantum theory, has seen a remarkable revival in recent years as a physically intuitive and computationally accurate scheme for the interpretation of modern experiments. The main text concentrates less on the mathematical foundations than on the global influence of the classical phase space structures on the quantum mechanical observables. Further mathematical detail is contained in the appendices. Worked problem sets are included as an aid to the student.

  6. Molecular mechanism of the Syk activation switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Emily; Giannetti, Anthony M; Shaw, David; Dinh, Marie; Tse, Joyce K Y; Gandhi, Shaan; Ho, Hoangdung; Wang, Sandra; Papp, Eva; Bradshaw, J Michael

    2008-11-21

    Many immune signaling pathways require activation of the Syk tyrosine kinase to link ligation of surface receptors to changes in gene expression. Despite the central role of Syk in these pathways, the Syk activation process remains poorly understood. In this work we quantitatively characterized the molecular mechanism of Syk activation in vitro using a real time fluorescence kinase assay, mutagenesis, and other biochemical techniques. We found that dephosphorylated full-length Syk demonstrates a low initial rate of substrate phosphorylation that increases during the kinase reaction due to autophosphorylation. The initial rate of Syk activity was strongly increased by either pre-autophosphorylation or binding of phosphorylated immune tyrosine activation motif peptides, and each of these factors independently fully activated Syk. Deletion mutagenesis was used to identify regions of Syk important for regulation, and residues 340-356 of the SH2 kinase linker region were identified to be important for suppression of activity before activation. Comparison of the activation processes of Syk and Zap-70 revealed that Syk is more readily activated by autophosphorylation than Zap-70, although both kinases are rapidly activated by Src family kinases. We also studied Syk activity in B cell lysates and found endogenous Syk is also activated by phosphorylation and immune tyrosine activation motif binding. Together these experiments show that Syk functions as an "OR-gate" type of molecular switch. This mechanism of switch-like activation helps explain how Syk is both rapidly activated after receptor binding but also sustains activity over time to facilitate longer term changes in gene expression.

  7. Molecular biological mechanism II. Molecular mechanisms of cell cycle regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, T.

    2000-01-01

    The cell cycle in eukaryotes is regulated by central cell cycle controlling protein kinase complexes. These protein kinase complexes consist of a catalytic subunit from the cyclin-dependent protein kinase family (CDK), and a regulatory subunit from the cyclin family. Cyclins are characterised by their periodic cell cycle related synthesis and destruction. Each cell cycle phase is characterised by a specific set of CDKs and cyclins. The activity of CDK/cyclin complexes is mainly regulated on four levels. It is controlled by specific phosphorylation steps, the synthesis and destruction of cyclins, the binding of specific inhibitor proteins, and by active control of their intracellular localisation. At several critical points within the cell cycle, named checkpoints, the integrity of the cellular genome is monitored. If damage to the genome or an unfinished prior cell cycle phase is detected, the cell cycle progression is stopped. These cell cycle blocks are of great importance to secure survival of cells. Their primary importance is to prevent the manifestation and heritable passage of a mutated genome to daughter cells. Damage sensing, DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis are closely linked cellular defence mechanisms to secure genome integrity. Disregulation in one of these defence mechanisms are potentially correlated with an increased cancer risk and therefore in at least some cases with an increased radiation sensitivity. (orig.) [de

  8. Molecular mechanisms of crystal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pina, C. M.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper I present an example of the research that the Mineral Surface Group of the Munster University is conducting in the field of Crystal Growth. Atomic Force Microscopy (Am) in situ observations of different barite (BaSO4) faces growing from aqueous solutions, in combination with computer simulations of the surface attachment of growth units allows us to test crystal growth models. Our results demonstrate the strong structural control that a crystal can exert on its own growth, revealing also the limitation of the classical crystal growth theories (two dimensional nucleation and spiral growth models) in providing a complete explanation for the growth behaviour at a molecular scale. (Author) 6 refs

  9. Molecular mechanisms of induced pluripotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulcenty, Katarzyna; Wróblewska, Joanna; Mazurek, Sylwia; Liszewska, Ewa; Jaworski, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Growing knowledge concerning transcriptional control of cellular pluripotency has led to the discovery that the fate of differentiated cells can be reversed, which has resulted in the generation, by means of genetic manipulation, of induced pluripotent stem cells. Overexpression of just four pluripotency-related transcription factors, namely Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (Yamanaka factors, OKSM), in fibroblasts appears sufficient to produce this new cell type. Currently, we know that these factors induce several changes in genetic program of differentiated cells that can be divided in two general phases: the initial one is stochastic, and the subsequent one is highly hierarchical and organised. This review briefly discusses the molecular events leading to induction of pluripotency in response to forced presence of OKSM factors in somatic cells. We also discuss other reprogramming strategies used thus far as well as the advantages and disadvantages of laboratory approaches towards pluripotency induction in different cell types.

  10. Molecular pathogenesis and mechanisms of thyroid cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignancy. There has been exciting progress in understanding its molecular pathogenesis in recent years, as best exemplified by the elucidation of the fundamental role of several major signalling pathways and related molecular derangements. Central to these mechanisms are the genetic and epigenetic alterations in these pathways, such as mutation, gene copy-number gain and aberrant gene methylation. Many of these molecular alterations represent novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers and therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer, which provide unprecedented opportunities for further research and clinical development of novel treatment strategies for this cancer. PMID:23429735

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ischemic Conditioning Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kierulf-Lassen, Casper; Nieuwenhuijs-Moeke, Gertrude J; Krogstrup, Nicoline V

    2015-01-01

    summarizes research on the molecular mechanisms underlying both local and remote ischemic pre-, per- and postconditioning of the kidney. The different types of conditioning strategies in the kidney recruit similar powerful pro-survival mechanisms. Likewise, renal ischemic conditioning mobilizes many...

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Hee Yu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of obesity has been rapidly increasing worldwide over the last several decades and has become a major health problem in developed countries. The brain, especially the hypothalamus, plays a key role in the control of food intake by sensing metabolic signals from peripheral organs and modulating feeding behaviors. To accomplish these important roles, the hypothalamus communicates with other brain areas such as the brainstem and reward-related limbic pathways. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and pancreatic β-cell-derived insulin inform adiposity to the hypothalamus. Gut hormones such as cholecystokinin, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and oxyntomodulin transfer satiety signals to the brain and ghrelin relays hunger signals. The endocannabinoid system and nutrients are also involved in the physiological regulation of food intake. In this article, we briefly review physiological mechanisms of appetite regulation.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21Cip1 and p16INK4a/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.

  14. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lonsdale, Richard; Fort, Rachel M; Rydberg, Patrik

    2016-01-01

    )-mexiletine in CYP1A2 with hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods, providing a more detailed and realistic model. Multiple reaction barriers have been calculated at the QM(B3LYP-D)/MM(CHARMM27) level for the direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound mechanisms. Our calculated barriers......The mechanism of cytochrome P450(CYP)-catalyzed hydroxylation of primary amines is currently unclear and is relevant to drug metabolism; previous small model calculations have suggested two possible mechanisms: direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound. We have modeled the N-hydroxylation of (R...... indicate that the direct N-oxidation mechanism is preferred and proceeds via the doublet spin state of Compound I. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the presence of an ordered water molecule in the active site assists in the binding of mexiletine in the active site...

  15. Molecular machines with bio-inspired mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Marcos, Vanesa; Leigh, David A

    2018-02-26

    The widespread use of molecular-level motion in key natural processes suggests that great rewards could come from bridging the gap between the present generation of synthetic molecular machines-which by and large function as switches-and the machines of the macroscopic world, which utilize the synchronized behavior of integrated components to perform more sophisticated tasks than is possible with any individual switch. Should we try to make molecular machines of greater complexity by trying to mimic machines from the macroscopic world or instead apply unfamiliar (and no doubt have to discover or invent currently unknown) mechanisms utilized by biological machines? Here we try to answer that question by exploring some of the advances made to date using bio-inspired machine mechanisms.

  16. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. DNA damage; double-strand break; genomic instability; infertility; MMEJ; NHEJ; pesticides. Abstract. Endosulfan is a broad-spectrum organochlorine pesticide, speculated to be detrimental to human health in areas ofactive exposure. However, the molecular insights to its mechanism of action remain poorly ...

  17. [Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and molecular mechanisms of jaundice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirsa, M; Sticová, E

    2013-07-01

    The introductory summarises the classical path of heme degradation and classification of jaundice. Subsequently, a description of neonatal types of jaundice is given, known as Crigler Najjar, Gilberts, DubinJohnson and Rotor syndromes, emphasising the explanation of the molecular mechanisms of these metabolic disorders. Special attention is given to a recently discovered molecular mechanism of the Rotor syndrome. The mechanism is based on the inability of the liver to retrospectively uptake the conjugated bilirubin fraction primarily excreted into the blood, not bile. A reduced ability of the liver to uptake the conjugated bilirubin contributes to the development of hyperbilirubinemia in common disorders of the liver and bile ducts and to the toxicity of xenobiotics and drugs using transport proteins for conjugated bilirubin.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity: An Expanding Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

    Biochemical processes in synapses and other neuronal compartments underlie neuroplasticity (functional and structural alterations in the brain enabling adaptation to the environment, learning, memory, as well as rehabilitation after brain injury). This basic molecular level of brain plasticity covers numerous specific proteins (enzymes, receptors, structural proteins, etc.) participating in many coordinated and interacting signal and metabolic processes, their modulation forming a molecular basis for brain plasticity. The articles in this issue are focused on different "hot points" in the research area of biochemical mechanisms supporting neuroplasticity.

  19. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltzius, Jed J. W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2013-01-01

    Strains are phenotypic variants, encoded by nucleic acid sequences in chromosomal inheritance and by protein “conformations” in prion inheritance and transmission. But how is a protein “conformation” stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms? Here new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins offer structural mechanisms for prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packings (polymorphs) of β-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in a second mechanism, segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct β-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring “conformations,” capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of information by nucleic acid inheritance, including sequence specificity and recognition by non-covalent bonds. PMID:19684598

  20. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561

  1. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2011-10-28

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mini-review: Molecular mechanisms of antifouling compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2013-04-01

    Various antifouling (AF) coatings have been developed to protect submerged surfaces by deterring the settlement of the colonizing stages of fouling organisms. A review of the literature shows that effective AF compounds with specific targets are ones often considered non-toxic. Such compounds act variously on ion channels, quorum sensing systems, neurotransmitters, production/release of adhesive, and specific enzymes that regulate energy production or primary metabolism. In contrast, AF compounds with general targets may or may not act through toxic mechanisms. These compounds affect a variety of biological activities including algal photosynthesis, energy production, stress responses, genotoxic damage, immunosuppressed protein expression, oxidation, neurotransmission, surface chemistry, the formation of biofilms, and adhesive production/release. Among all the targets, adhesive production/release is the most common, possibly due to a more extensive research effort in this area. Overall, the specific molecular targets and the molecular mechanisms of most AF compounds have not been identified. Thus, the information available is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the types of molecular targets to be used as sensitive biomarkers for future design and screening of compounds with AF potential. In this review, the relevant advantages and disadvantages of the molecular tools available for studying the molecular targets of AF compounds are highlighted briefly and the molecular mechanisms of the AF compounds, which are largely a source of speculation in the literature, are discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Golbidi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Physical inactivity is increasingly recognized as modifiable behavioral risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. A partial list of proposed mechanisms for exercise-induced cardioprotection include induction of heat shock proteins, increase in cardiac antioxidant capacity, expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins, anatomical and physiological changes in the coronary arteries, changes in nitric oxide production, adaptational changes in cardiac mitochondria, increased autophagy, and improved function of sarcolemmal and/or mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels. It is currently unclear which of these protective mechanisms are essential for exercise-induced cardioprotection. However, most investigations focus on sarcolemmal KATP channels, NO production, and mitochondrial changes although it is very likely that other mechanisms may also exist. This paper discusses current information about these aforementioned topics and does not consider potentially important adaptations within blood or the autonomic nervous system. A better understanding of the molecular basis of exercise-induced cardioprotection will help to develop better therapeutic strategies.

  4. Biological Applications of Hybrid Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyoung Kang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since in most cases biological macromolecular systems including solvent water molecules are remarkably large, the computational costs of performing ab initio calculations for the entire structures are prohibitive. Accordingly, QM calculations that are jointed with MM calculations are crucial to evaluate the long-range electrostatic interactions, which significantly affect the electronic structures of biological macromolecules. A UNIX-shell-based interface program connecting the quantum mechanics (QMs and molecular mechanics (MMs calculation engines, GAMESS and AMBER, was developed in our lab. The system was applied to a metalloenzyme, azurin, and PU.1-DNA complex; thereby, the significance of the environmental effects on the electronic structures of the site of interest was elucidated. Subsequently, hybrid QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD simulation using the calculation system was employed for investigation of mechanisms of hydrolysis (editing reaction in leucyl-tRNA synthetase complexed with the misaminoacylated tRNALeu, and a novel mechanism of the enzymatic reaction was revealed. Thus, our interface program can play a critical role as a powerful tool for state-of-the-art sophisticated hybrid ab initio QM/MM MD simulations of large systems, such as biological macromolecules.

  5. Molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet antiaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Geng, Feng; Fan, Hua-Ying; Luan, Hai-Yun; Liu, Yue; Ji, Kai; Fu, Feng-Hua

    2018-04-01

    In this study, we detected the effect of Danshensu on PARs-PLCβsignaling pathway to elucidate molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet anti-aggregation. Our results demonstrate that Danshensu is able to decrease the levels of IP3, Ca2+ and AA secretion, which indicate that Danshensu may involve in PARs-PLCβ signaling pathways. Molecular docking study shows that Danshesu has similar polar interactions with PAR1 receptors as BMS200261 at the same position. The findings from our study enable a better understanding of Danshensu biological properties, which could ultimately lead to the development of multi-target antiplatelet natural medicine for the treatment and/or prevention of some thrombotic diseases.

  6. Measuring the mechanical properties of molecular conformers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, S. P.; Taylor, S.; Baran, J. D.; Champness, N. R.; Larsson, J. A.; Moriarty, P.

    2015-09-01

    Scanning probe-actuated single molecule manipulation has proven to be an exceptionally powerful tool for the systematic atomic-scale interrogation of molecular adsorbates. To date, however, the extent to which molecular conformation affects the force required to push or pull a single molecule has not been explored. Here we probe the mechanochemical response of two tetra(4-bromophenyl)porphyrin conformers using non-contact atomic force microscopy where we find a large difference between the lateral forces required for manipulation. Remarkably, despite sharing very similar adsorption characteristics, variations in the potential energy surface are capable of prohibiting probe-induced positioning of one conformer, while simultaneously permitting manipulation of the alternative conformational form. Our results are interpreted in the context of dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations which reveal significant differences in the diffusion barriers for each conformer. These results demonstrate that conformational variation significantly modifies the mechanical response of even simple porpyhrins, potentially affecting many other flexible molecules.

  7. Pitfall in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulation of small solutes in solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hao; Liu, Haiyan

    2013-05-30

    Developments in computing hardware and algorithms have made direct molecular dynamics simulation with the combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical methods affordable for small solute molecules in solution, in which much improved accuracy can be obtained via the quantum mechanical treatment of the solute molecule and even sometimes water molecules in the first solvation shell. However, unlike the conventional molecular mechanical simulations of large molecules, e.g., proteins, in solutions, special care must be taken in the technical details of the simulation, including the thermostat of the solute/solvent system, so that the conformational space of the solute molecules can be properly sampled. We show here that the common setup for classical molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulations, such as the Berendsen or single Nose-Hoover thermostat, and/or rigid water models could lead to pathological sampling of the solutes' conformation. In the extreme example of a methanol molecule in aqueous solution, improper and sluggish setups could generate two peaks in the distribution of the O-H bond length. We discuss the factors responsible for this somewhat unexpected result and evoke a simple and ancient technical fix-up to resolve this problem.

  8. A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study on the hydrolysis mechanism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kongkai; Lu, Junyan; Liang, Zhongjie; Kong, Xiangqian; Ye, Fei; Jin, Lu; Geng, Heji; Chen, Yong; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang; Li, Jun-Qian; Luo, Cheng

    2013-03-01

    New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) has emerged as a major global threat to human health for its rapid rate of dissemination and ability to make pathogenic microbes resistant to almost all known β-lactam antibiotics. In addition, effective NDM-1 inhibitors have not been identified to date. In spite of the plethora of structural and kinetic data available, the accurate molecular characteristics of and details on the enzymatic reaction of NDM-1 hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics remain incompletely understood. In this study, a combined computational approach including molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations was performed to characterize the catalytic mechanism of meropenem catalyzed by NDM-1. The quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics results indicate that the ionized D124 is beneficial to the cleavage of the C-N bond within the β-lactam ring. Meanwhile, it is energetically favorable to form an intermediate if no water molecule coordinates to Zn2. Moreover, according to the molecular dynamics results, the conserved residue K211 plays a pivotal role in substrate binding and catalysis, which is quite consistent with previous mutagenesis data. Our study provides detailed insights into the catalytic mechanism of NDM-1 hydrolyzing meropenem β-lactam antibiotics and offers clues for the discovery of new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strains in clinical studies.

  9. Mechanically controllable break junctions for molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Dong; Jeong, Hyunhak; Lee, Takhee; Mayer, Dirk

    2013-09-20

    A mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) represents a fundamental technique for the investigation of molecular electronic junctions, especially for the study of the electronic properties of single molecules. With unique advantages, the MCBJ technique has provided substantial insight into charge transport processes in molecules. In this review, the techniques for sample fabrication, operation and the various applications of MCBJs are introduced and the history, challenges and future of MCBJs are discussed. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Molecular mechanisms of action of bacterial exotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, J; Rautenberg, P; Ullmann, U

    1996-07-01

    Toxins are one of the inventive strategies that bacteria have developed in order to survive. As virulence factors, they play a major role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Recent discoveries have once more highlighted the effectiveness of these precisely adjusted bacterial weapons. Furthermore, toxins have become an invaluable tool in the investigation of fundamental cell processes, including regulation of cellular functions by various G proteins, cytoskeletal dynamics and neural transmission. In this review, the bacterial toxins are presented in a rational classification based on the molecular mechanisms of action.

  11. Resveratrol and Calcium Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey E. McCalley

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound contributing to cellular defense mechanisms in plants. Its use as a nutritional component and/or supplement in a number of diseases, disorders, and syndromes such as chronic diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases has prompted great interest in the underlying molecular mechanisms of action. The present review focuses on resveratrol, specifically its isomer trans-resveratrol, and its effects on intracellular calcium signaling mechanisms. As resveratrol’s mechanisms of action are likely pleiotropic, its effects and interactions with key signaling proteins controlling cellular calcium homeostasis are reviewed and discussed. The clinical relevance of resveratrol’s actions on excitable cells, transformed or cancer cells, immune cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells are contrasted with a review of the molecular mechanisms affecting calcium signaling proteins on the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria. The present review emphasizes the correlation between molecular mechanisms of action that have recently been identified for resveratrol and their clinical implications.

  12. Simulation with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbault, Florent; Maurel, François

    2015-10-01

    Biological macromolecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, are (still) molecules and thus they follow the same chemical rules that any simple molecule follows, even if their size generally renders accurate studies unhelpful. However, in the context of drug discovery, a detailed analysis of ligand association is required for understanding or predicting their interactions and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computations are relevant tools to help elucidate this process. In this review, the authors explore the use of QM/MM for drug discovery. After a brief description of the molecular mechanics (MM) technique, the authors describe the subtractive and additive techniques for QM/MM computations. The authors then present several application cases in topics involved in drug discovery. QM/MM have been widely employed during the last decades to study chemical processes such as enzyme-inhibitor interactions. However, despite the enthusiasm around this area, plain MM simulations may be more meaningful than QM/MM. To obtain reliable results, the authors suggest fixing several keystone parameters according to the underlying chemistry of each studied system.

  13. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1991-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypothesis regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alternation in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  14. Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Labeur

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This review highlights the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. Most effects of glucocorticoids are mediated by the intracellular GR which is present in almost every tissue and controls transcriptional activation via direct and indirect mechanisms. Nevertheless the glucocorticoid responses are tissue -and gene- specific. GR associates selectively with corticosteroid ligands produced in the adrenal gland in response to changes of humoral homeostasis. Ligand interaction with GR promotes either GR binding to genomic glucocorticoid response elements, in turn modulating gene transcription, or interaction of GR monomers with other transcription factors activated by other signalling pathways leading to transrepression. The GR regulates a broad spectrum of physiological functions, including cell differentiation, metabolism and inflammatory responses. Thus, disruption or dysregulation of GR function will result in severe impairments in the maintenance of homeostasis and the control of adaptation to stress.

  15. Multiscale Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations with Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Wu, Jingheng; Yang, Weitao

    2016-10-11

    Molecular dynamics simulation with multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods is a very powerful tool for understanding the mechanism of chemical and biological processes in solution or enzymes. However, its computational cost can be too high for many biochemical systems because of the large number of ab initio QM calculations. Semiempirical QM/MM simulations have much higher efficiency. Its accuracy can be improved with a correction to reach the ab initio QM/MM level. The computational cost on the ab initio calculation for the correction determines the efficiency. In this paper we developed a neural network method for QM/MM calculation as an extension of the neural-network representation reported by Behler and Parrinello. With this approach, the potential energy of any configuration along the reaction path for a given QM/MM system can be predicted at the ab initio QM/MM level based on the semiempirical QM/MM simulations. We further applied this method to three reactions in water to calculate the free energy changes. The free-energy profile obtained from the semiempirical QM/MM simulation is corrected to the ab initio QM/MM level with the potential energies predicted with the constructed neural network. The results are in excellent accordance with the reference data that are obtained from the ab initio QM/MM molecular dynamics simulation or corrected with direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies. Compared with the correction using direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies, our method shows a speed-up of 1 or 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the neural network method combined with the semiempirical QM/MM calculation can be an efficient and reliable strategy for chemical reaction simulations.

  16. An improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianbiao; Zhu, Tong; Zhang, Han; Lin, Li

    2012-01-01

    With the rapid development of information technology and extensive requirement of network resource sharing, plenty of resource hotlinking phenomenons appear on the internet. The hotlinking problem not only harms the interests of legal websites but also leads to a great affection to fair internet environment. The anti-leech technique based on session identifier is highly secure, but the transmission of session identifier in plaintext form causes some security flaws. In this paper, a proxy hotlinking technique based on session identifier is introduced firstly to illustrate these security flaws; next, this paper proposes an improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier, the mechanism takes the random factor as the core and detects hotlinking request using a map table that contains random factor, user's information and time stamp; at last the paper analyzes the security of mechanism in theory. The result reveals that the improved mechanism has the merits of simple realization, high security and great flexibility.

  17. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krause, Marie N. [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); University Hospital of Würzburg, Department of Pediatrics, 2 Josef-Schneiderstrasse, 97080 Würzburg (Germany); Sancho-Martinez, Ignacio [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King' s College London, 28th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy' s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London (United Kingdom); Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos, E-mail: belmonte@salk.edu [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States)

    2016-05-06

    Despite the profound and rapid advancements in reprogramming technologies since the generation of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006[1], the molecular basics of the process and its implications are still not fully understood. Recent work has suggested that a subset of TFs, so called “Pioneer TFs”, play an important role during the stochastic phase of iPSC reprogramming [2–6]. Pioneer TFs activities differ from conventional transcription factors in their mechanism of action. They bind directly to condensed chromatin and elicit a series of chromatin remodeling events that lead to opening of the chromatin. Chromatin decondensation by pioneer factors progressively occurs during cell division and in turn exposes specific gene promoters in the DNA to which TFs can now directly bind to promoters that are readily accessible[2, 6]. Here, we will summarize recent advancements on our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming to iPSC as well as the implications that pioneer Transcription Factor activities might play during different lineage conversion processes. - Highlights: • Pioneer transcription factor activity underlies the initial steps of iPSC generation. • Reprogramming can occur by cis- and/or trans- reprogramming events. • Cis-reprogramming implies remodeling of the chromatin for enabling TF accessibility. • Trans-reprogramming encompasses direct binding of Tfs to their target gene promoters.

  18. Genomic analyses identify molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Peter; Chang, David K; Nones, Katia; Johns, Amber L; Patch, Ann-Marie; Gingras, Marie-Claude; Miller, David K; Christ, Angelika N; Bruxner, Tim J C; Quinn, Michael C; Nourse, Craig; Murtaugh, L Charles; Harliwong, Ivon; Idrisoglu, Senel; Manning, Suzanne; Nourbakhsh, Ehsan; Wani, Shivangi; Fink, Lynn; Holmes, Oliver; Chin, Venessa; Anderson, Matthew J; Kazakoff, Stephen; Leonard, Conrad; Newell, Felicity; Waddell, Nick; Wood, Scott; Xu, Qinying; Wilson, Peter J; Cloonan, Nicole; Kassahn, Karin S; Taylor, Darrin; Quek, Kelly; Robertson, Alan; Pantano, Lorena; Mincarelli, Laura; Sanchez, Luis N; Evers, Lisa; Wu, Jianmin; Pinese, Mark; Cowley, Mark J; Jones, Marc D; Colvin, Emily K; Nagrial, Adnan M; Humphrey, Emily S; Chantrill, Lorraine A; Mawson, Amanda; Humphris, Jeremy; Chou, Angela; Pajic, Marina; Scarlett, Christopher J; Pinho, Andreia V; Giry-Laterriere, Marc; Rooman, Ilse; Samra, Jaswinder S; Kench, James G; Lovell, Jessica A; Merrett, Neil D; Toon, Christopher W; Epari, Krishna; Nguyen, Nam Q; Barbour, Andrew; Zeps, Nikolajs; Moran-Jones, Kim; Jamieson, Nigel B; Graham, Janet S; Duthie, Fraser; Oien, Karin; Hair, Jane; Grützmann, Robert; Maitra, Anirban; Iacobuzio-Donahue, Christine A; Wolfgang, Christopher L; Morgan, Richard A; Lawlor, Rita T; Corbo, Vincenzo; Bassi, Claudio; Rusev, Borislav; Capelli, Paola; Salvia, Roberto; Tortora, Giampaolo; Mukhopadhyay, Debabrata; Petersen, Gloria M; Munzy, Donna M; Fisher, William E; Karim, Saadia A; Eshleman, James R; Hruban, Ralph H; Pilarsky, Christian; Morton, Jennifer P; Sansom, Owen J; Scarpa, Aldo; Musgrove, Elizabeth A; Bailey, Ulla-Maja Hagbo; Hofmann, Oliver; Sutherland, Robert L; Wheeler, David A; Gill, Anthony J; Gibbs, Richard A; Pearson, John V; Waddell, Nicola; Biankin, Andrew V; Grimmond, Sean M

    2016-03-03

    Integrated genomic analysis of 456 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas identified 32 recurrently mutated genes that aggregate into 10 pathways: KRAS, TGF-β, WNT, NOTCH, ROBO/SLIT signalling, G1/S transition, SWI-SNF, chromatin modification, DNA repair and RNA processing. Expression analysis defined 4 subtypes: (1) squamous; (2) pancreatic progenitor; (3) immunogenic; and (4) aberrantly differentiated endocrine exocrine (ADEX) that correlate with histopathological characteristics. Squamous tumours are enriched for TP53 and KDM6A mutations, upregulation of the TP63∆N transcriptional network, hypermethylation of pancreatic endodermal cell-fate determining genes and have a poor prognosis. Pancreatic progenitor tumours preferentially express genes involved in early pancreatic development (FOXA2/3, PDX1 and MNX1). ADEX tumours displayed upregulation of genes that regulate networks involved in KRAS activation, exocrine (NR5A2 and RBPJL), and endocrine differentiation (NEUROD1 and NKX2-2). Immunogenic tumours contained upregulated immune networks including pathways involved in acquired immune suppression. These data infer differences in the molecular evolution of pancreatic cancer subtypes and identify opportunities for therapeutic development.

  19. A 6-gene signature identifies four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background There are currently three postulated genomic subtypes of the childhood tumour neuroblastoma (NB); Type 1, Type 2A, and Type 2B. The most aggressive forms of NB are characterized by amplification of the oncogene MYCN (MNA) and low expression of the favourable marker NTRK1. Recently, mutations or high expression of the familial predisposition gene Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) was associated to unfavourable biology of sporadic NB. Also, various other genes have been linked to NB pathogenesis. Results The present study explores subgroup discrimination by gene expression profiling using three published microarray studies on NB (47 samples). Four distinct clusters were identified by Principal Components Analysis (PCA) in two separate data sets, which could be verified by an unsupervised hierarchical clustering in a third independent data set (101 NB samples) using a set of 74 discriminative genes. The expression signature of six NB-associated genes ALK, BIRC5, CCND1, MYCN, NTRK1, and PHOX2B, significantly discriminated the four clusters (p INSS stage 4 and/or dead of disease, p < 0.05, Fisher's exact test). Conclusions Based on expression profiling we have identified four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma, which can be distinguished by a 6-gene signature. The fourth subgroup has not been described elsewhere, and efforts are currently made to further investigate this group's specific characteristics. PMID:21492432

  20. A 6-gene signature identifies four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kogner Per

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are currently three postulated genomic subtypes of the childhood tumour neuroblastoma (NB; Type 1, Type 2A, and Type 2B. The most aggressive forms of NB are characterized by amplification of the oncogene MYCN (MNA and low expression of the favourable marker NTRK1. Recently, mutations or high expression of the familial predisposition gene Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK was associated to unfavourable biology of sporadic NB. Also, various other genes have been linked to NB pathogenesis. Results The present study explores subgroup discrimination by gene expression profiling using three published microarray studies on NB (47 samples. Four distinct clusters were identified by Principal Components Analysis (PCA in two separate data sets, which could be verified by an unsupervised hierarchical clustering in a third independent data set (101 NB samples using a set of 74 discriminative genes. The expression signature of six NB-associated genes ALK, BIRC5, CCND1, MYCN, NTRK1, and PHOX2B, significantly discriminated the four clusters (p ALK, BIRC5, and PHOX2B, and was significantly associated with higher tumour stage, poor outcome and poor survival compared to the Type 1-corresponding favourable group (INSS stage 4 and/or dead of disease, p Conclusions Based on expression profiling we have identified four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma, which can be distinguished by a 6-gene signature. The fourth subgroup has not been described elsewhere, and efforts are currently made to further investigate this group's specific characteristics.

  1. Reaction Mechanism of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Glutamine Synthetase Using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cátia; Ramos, Maria J; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino

    2016-06-27

    This paper is devoted to the understanding of the reaction mechanism of mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase (mtGS) with atomic detail, using computational quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods at the ONIOM M06-D3/6-311++G(2d,2p):ff99SB//B3LYP/6-31G(d):ff99SB level of theory. The complete reaction undergoes a three-step mechanism: the spontaneous transfer of phosphate from ATP to glutamate upon ammonium binding (ammonium quickly loses a proton to Asp54), the attack of ammonia on phosphorylated glutamate (yielding protonated glutamine), and the deprotonation of glutamine by the leaving phosphate. This exothermic reaction has an activation free energy of 21.5 kcal mol(-1) , which is consistent with that described for Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase (15-17 kcal mol(-1) ). The participating active site residues have been identified and their role and energy contributions clarified. This study provides an insightful atomic description of the biosynthetic reaction that takes place in this enzyme, opening doors for more accurate studies for developing new anti-tuberculosis therapies. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Mouse Skin Tumor Promotion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundhaug, Joyce E.; Fischer, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple molecular mechanisms are involved in the promotion of skin carcinogenesis. Induction of sustained proliferation and epidermal hyperplasia by direct activation of mitotic signaling pathways or indirectly in response to chronic wounding and/or inflammation, or due to a block in terminal differentiation or resistance to apoptosis is necessary to allow clonal expansion of initiated cells with DNA mutations to form skin tumors. The mitotic pathways include activation of epidermal growth factor receptor and Ras/Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Chronic inflammation results in inflammatory cell secretion of growth factors and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukins, as well as production of reactive oxygen species, all of which can stimulate proliferation. Persistent activation of these pathways leads to tumor promotion

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Neonatal Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Thornton

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fetal/neonatal brain injury is an important cause of neurological disability. Hypoxia-ischemia and excitotoxicity are considered important insults, and, in spite of their acute nature, brain injury develops over a protracted time period during the primary, secondary, and tertiary phases. The concept that most of the injury develops with a delay after the insult makes it possible to provide effective neuroprotective treatment after the insult. Indeed, hypothermia applied within 6 hours after birth in neonatal encephalopathy reduces neurological disability in clinical trials. In order to develop the next generation of treatment, we need to know more about the pathophysiological mechanism during the secondary and tertiary phases of injury. We review some of the critical molecular events related to mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis during the secondary phase and report some recent evidence that intervention may be feasible also days-weeks after the insult.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Replication Checkpoint Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bénédicte Recolin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The major challenge of the cell cycle is to deliver an intact, and fully duplicated, genetic material to the daughter cells. To this end, progression of DNA synthesis is monitored by a feedback mechanism known as replication checkpoint that is untimely linked to DNA replication. This signaling pathway ensures coordination of DNA synthesis with cell cycle progression. Failure to activate this checkpoint in response to perturbation of DNA synthesis (replication stress results in forced cell division leading to chromosome fragmentation, aneuploidy, and genomic instability. In this review, we will describe current knowledge of the molecular determinants of the DNA replication checkpoint in eukaryotic cells and discuss a model of activation of this signaling pathway crucial for maintenance of genomic stability.

  5. A 6-gene signature identifies four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Abel, Frida

    2011-04-14

    Abstract Background There are currently three postulated genomic subtypes of the childhood tumour neuroblastoma (NB); Type 1, Type 2A, and Type 2B. The most aggressive forms of NB are characterized by amplification of the oncogene MYCN (MNA) and low expression of the favourable marker NTRK1. Recently, mutations or high expression of the familial predisposition gene Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) was associated to unfavourable biology of sporadic NB. Also, various other genes have been linked to NB pathogenesis. Results The present study explores subgroup discrimination by gene expression profiling using three published microarray studies on NB (47 samples). Four distinct clusters were identified by Principal Components Analysis (PCA) in two separate data sets, which could be verified by an unsupervised hierarchical clustering in a third independent data set (101 NB samples) using a set of 74 discriminative genes. The expression signature of six NB-associated genes ALK, BIRC5, CCND1, MYCN, NTRK1, and PHOX2B, significantly discriminated the four clusters (p < 0.05, one-way ANOVA test). PCA clusters p1, p2, and p3 were found to correspond well to the postulated subtypes 1, 2A, and 2B, respectively. Remarkably, a fourth novel cluster was detected in all three independent data sets. This cluster comprised mainly 11q-deleted MNA-negative tumours with low expression of ALK, BIRC5, and PHOX2B, and was significantly associated with higher tumour stage, poor outcome and poor survival compared to the Type 1-corresponding favourable group (INSS stage 4 and\\/or dead of disease, p < 0.05, Fisher\\'s exact test). Conclusions Based on expression profiling we have identified four molecular subgroups of neuroblastoma, which can be distinguished by a 6-gene signature. The fourth subgroup has not been described elsewhere, and efforts are currently made to further investigate this group\\'s specific characteristics.

  6. Identifying molecular targets of lifestyle modifications in colon cancer prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly Marie Derry

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available One in four deaths in the United States is cancer-related, and colorectal cancer (CRC is the second leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. Screening strategies are utilized but have not reduced disease incidence or mortality. In this regard, there is an interest in cancer preventive strategies focusing on lifestyle intervention, where specific etiologic factors involved in cancer initiation, promotion, and progression could be targeted. For example, exposure to dietary carcinogens, such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons influences colon carcinogenesis. Furthermore, dietary deficiencies could alter sensitivity to genetic damage and influence carcinogen metabolism contributing to CRC. High alcohol consumption increases the risk of mutations including the fact that acetaldehyde, an ethanol metabolite, is classified as a group 1 carcinogen. Tobacco smoke exposure is also a risk factor for cancer development; ~20% of CRCs are associated with smoking. Additionally, obese patients have a higher risk of cancer development, which is further supported by the fact that physical activity decreases CRC risk by 55%. Similarly, chronic inflammatory conditions also increase the risk of CRC development. Moreover, the circadian clock alters digestion and regulates other biochemical, physiological and behavioral processes that could positively influence CRC. Taken together, colon carcinogenesis involves a number of etiological factors, and therefore, to create effective preventive strategies, molecular targets need to be identified and beleaguered prior to disease progression. With this in mind, the following is a comprehensive review identifying downstream target proteins of the above lifestyle risk factors, which are modulated during colon carcinogenesis and could be targeted for CRC prevention by novel agents including phytochemicals.

  7. Exact and Optimal Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qiming; Chan, Garnet Kin-Lic

    2014-09-09

    Motivated by recent work in density matrix embedding theory, we define exact link orbitals that capture all quantum mechanical (QM) effects across arbitrary quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) boundaries. Exact link orbitals are rigorously defined from the full QM solution, and their number is equal to the number of orbitals in the primary QM region. Truncating the exact set yields a smaller set of link orbitals optimal with respect to reproducing the primary region density matrix. We use the optimal link orbitals to obtain insight into the limits of QM/MM boundary treatments. We further analyze the popular general hybrid orbital (GHO) QM/MM boundary across a test suite of molecules. We find that GHOs are often good proxies for the most important optimal link orbital, although there is little detailed correlation between the detailed GHO composition and optimal link orbital valence weights. The optimal theory shows that anions and cations cannot be described by a single link orbital. However, expanding to include the second most important optimal link orbital in the boundary recovers an accurate description. The second optimal link orbital takes the chemically intuitive form of a donor or acceptor orbital for charge redistribution, suggesting that optimal link orbitals can be used as interpretative tools for electron transfer. We further find that two optimal link orbitals are also sufficient for boundaries that cut across double bonds. Finally, we suggest how to construct "approximately" optimal link orbitals for practical QM/MM calculations.

  8. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetkin, Ertan; Waltenberger, Johannes

    2009-06-12

    Calcific aortic stenosis is the most common cause of aortic valve replacement in developed countries, and this condition increases in prevalence with advancing age. The fibrotic thickening and calcification are common eventual endpoint in both non-rheumatic calcific and rheumatic aortic stenoses. New observations in human aortic valves support the hypothesis that degenerative valvular aortic stenosis is the result of active bone formation in the aortic valve, which may be mediated through a process of osteoblast-like differentiation in these tissues. Additionally histopathologic evidence suggests that early lesions in aortic valves are not just a disease process secondary to aging, but an active cellular process that follows the classical "response to injury hypothesis" similar to the situation in atherosclerosis. Although there are similarities with the risk factor and as well as with the process of atherogenesis, not all the patients with coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis have calcific aortic stenosis. This review mainly focuses on the potential vascular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of aortic valve stenosis. Namely extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, inflammation, and eventually osteoblast-like differentiation resulting in bone formation have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of calcific aortic stenosis. Several mediators related to underlying mechanisms, including growth factors especially transforming growth factor-beta1 and vascular endothelial growth factors, angiogenesis, cathepsin enzymes, adhesion molecules, bone regulatory proteins and matrix metalloproteinases have been demonstrated, however the target to be attacked is not defined yet.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vsevolod Arsen'evich Tkachuk

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance (IR is a phenomenon associated with an impaired ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake by target cells and to reduce the blood glucose level. A response increase in insulin secretion by the pancreas and hyperinsulinemia are compensatory reactions of the body. The development of IR leads to the inability of target cells to respond to insulin that results in developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM and metabolic syndrome. For this reason, the metabolic syndrome is defined in practice as a combination of IR with one or more pathologies such as T2DM, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and some others. However, a combination of high blood glucose and insulin levels always serves as its physiological criterion.IR should be considered as a systemic failure of the endocrine regulation in the body. Physiological causes of IR are diverse. The main ones are nutritional overload and accumulation of certain lipids and their metabolites in cells, low physical activity, chronic inflammation and stress of various nature, including oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress (impairment of damaged protein degradation in the cell. Recent studies have demonstrated that these physiological mechanisms likely act through a single intracellular scenario. This is the impairment of signal transduction from the insulin receptor to its targets via the negative feedback mechanism in intracellular insulin-dependent signaling cascades.This review describes the physiological and intracellular mechanisms of insulin action and focuses on their abnormalities upon IR development. Finally, feasible trends in early molecular diagnosis and therapy of IR are discussed.

  10. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biyikli, Emre; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-01-01

    Atomistic/continuum coupling methods combine accurate atomistic methods and efficient continuum methods to simulate the behavior of highly ordered crystalline systems. Coupled methods utilize the advantages of both approaches to simulate systems at a lower computational cost, while retaining the accuracy associated with atomistic methods. Many concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling methods have been proposed in the past; however, their true computational efficiency has not been demonstrated. The present work presents an efficient implementation of a concurrent coupling method called the Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) for serial, parallel, and adaptive analysis. First, we present the features of the software implemented along with the associated technologies. The scalability of the software implementation is demonstrated, and the competing effects of multiscale modeling and parallelization are discussed. Then, the algorithms contributing to the efficiency of the software are presented. These include algorithms for eliminating latent ghost atoms from calculations and measurement-based dynamic balancing of parallel workload. The efficiency improvements made by these algorithms are demonstrated by benchmark tests. The efficiency of the software is found to be on par with LAMMPS, a state-of-the-art Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation code, when performing full atomistic simulations. Speed-up of the MMM method is shown to be directly proportional to the reduction of the number of the atoms visited in force computation. Finally, an adaptive MMM analysis on a nanoindentation problem, containing over a million atoms, is performed, yielding an improvement of 6.3–8.5 times in efficiency, over the full atomistic MD method. For the first time, the efficiency of a concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling method is comprehensively investigated and demonstrated.

  11. A Systems Biology Framework Identifies Molecular Underpinnings of Coronary Heart Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huan, Tianxiao; Zhang, Bin; Wang, Zhi; Joehanes, Roby; Zhu, Jun; Johnson, Andrew D.; Ying, Saixia; Munson, Peter J.; Raghavachari, Nalini; Wang, Richard; Liu, Poching; Courchesne, Paul; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Assimes, Themistocles L.; McPherson, Ruth; Samani, Nilesh J.; Schunkert, Heribert; Meng, Qingying; Suver, Christine; O'Donnell, Christopher J.; Derry, Jonathan; Yang, Xia; Levy, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Objective Genetic approaches have identified numerous loci associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). The molecular mechanisms underlying CHD gene-disease associations, however, remain unclear. We hypothesized that genetic variants with both strong and subtle effects drive gene subnetworks that in turn affect CHD. Approach and Results We surveyed CHD-associated molecular interactions by constructing coexpression networks using whole blood gene expression profiles from 188 CHD cases and 188 age- and sex-matched controls. 24 coexpression modules were identified including one case-specific and one control-specific differential module (DM). The DMs were enriched for genes involved in B-cell activation, immune response, and ion transport. By integrating the DMs with altered gene expression associated SNPs (eSNPs) and with results of GWAS of CHD and its risk factors, the control-specific DM was implicated as CHD-causal based on its significant enrichment for both CHD and lipid eSNPs. This causal DM was further integrated with tissue-specific Bayesian networks and protein-protein interaction networks to identify regulatory key driver (KD) genes. Multi-tissue KDs (SPIB and TNFRSF13C) and tissue-specific KDs (e.g. EBF1) were identified. Conclusions Our network-driven integrative analysis not only identified CHD-related genes, but also defined network structure that sheds light on the molecular interactions of genes associated with CHD risk. PMID:23539213

  12. Molecular mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurugubelli Krishna, Rao; Vishnu Bhat, B

    2017-07-10

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a pregnancy specific disease characterized by decreased growth rate of fetus than the normal growth potential at particular gestational age. In the current scenario it is a leading cause of fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. In the last decade exhilarating experimental studies from several laboratories have provided fascinating proof for comprehension of molecular basis of IUGR. Atypical expression of enzymes governed by TGFβ causes the placental apoptosis and altered expression of TGFβ due to hyper alimentation causes impairment of lung function. Crosstalk of cAMP with protein kinases plays a prominent role in the regulation of cortisol levels. Increasing levels of NOD1 proteins leads to development of IUGR by increasing the levels of inflammatory mediators. Increase in leptin synthesis in placental trophoblast cells is associated with IUGR. In this review, we emphasize on the regulatory mechanisms of IUGR and its associated diseases. They may help improve the in-utero fetal growth and provide a better therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of IUGR.

  13. Molecular and genetic mechanisms of environmental mutagens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kubitschek, H.E.; Derstine, P.L.; Griego, V.M.; Matsushita, T.; Peak, J.G.; Peak, M.J.; Reynolds, P.R.; Webb, R.B.; Williams-Hill, D.

    1981-01-01

    This program is primarily concerned with elucidation of the nature of DNA lesions produced by environmental and energy related mutagens, their mechanisms of action, and their repair. The main focus is on actions of chemical mutagens and electromagnetic radiations. Synergistic interactions between mutagens and the mutational processes that lead to synergism are being investigated. Mutagens are chosen for study on the basis of their potential for analysis of mutation (as genetic probes), for development of procedures for reducing mutational damage, for their potential importance to risk assessment, and for development of improved mutagen testing systems. Bacterial cells are used because of the rapidity and clarity of scientific results that can be obtained, the detailed genetic maps, and the many well-defined mutand strains available. The conventional tools of microbial and molecular genetics are used, along with intercomparison of genetically related strains. Advantage is taken of tcollective dose commitment will result in more attention being paid to potential releases of radionuclides at relatively short times after disposal

  14. Molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by nitro compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kagiya, T.; Wada, T.; Nishimoto, S.I.

    1984-01-01

    In this chapter a molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by electron-affinic nitro compounds is discussed, mainly on the basis of the results of the radiation-induced chemical studies of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions. In Section II the general aspects of the radiation chemistry of organic compounds in the absence and presence of oxygen in aqueous solution are shown in order to demonstrate characteristic differences between radiation chemical reactions in hypoxic and oxic cells. The effects of nitro compounds on the radiolysis yields of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions are described in Section III. In Section IV the retardation effects of misonidazole on the radiation chemical processes of DNA-related compounds are shown along with the reaction characteristics of misonidazole with hydroxyl radical ( . OH) and hydrated electron (e/sub aq/-bar) produced by the radiolysis of water. The promotion of radiation-induced oxidation of thymine into thymine glycol (TG) by nitro radiosensitizers in deoxygenated solution and the relations between the activity of nitro compound for the thymine glycol formation and the enhancement activity measured in vitro are described in Section V. Finally, the protection against radiation-induced damage of thymine by a sulfhydryl compound of glutathione and the ability of electron-affinic compounds to decompose the intracellular radioprotector are described in Section VI

  15. Spiers Memorial Lecture. Molecular mechanics and molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckman, Robert; Beverly, Kris; Boukai, Akram; Bunimovich, Yuri; Choi, Jang Wook; DeIonno, Erica; Green, Johnny; Johnston-Halperin, Ezekiel; Luo, Yi; Sheriff, Bonnie; Stoddart, Fraser; Heath, James R

    2006-01-01

    We describe our research into building integrated molecular electronics circuitry for a diverse set of functions, and with a focus on the fundamental scientific issues that surround this project. In particular, we discuss experiments aimed at understanding the function of bistable rotaxane molecular electronic switches by correlating the switching kinetics and ground state thermodynamic properties of those switches in various environments, ranging from the solution phase to a Langmuir monolayer of the switching molecules sandwiched between two electrodes. We discuss various devices, low bit-density memory circuits, and ultra-high density memory circuits that utilize the electrochemical switching characteristics of these molecules in conjunction with novel patterning methods. We also discuss interconnect schemes that are capable of bridging the micrometre to submicrometre length scales of conventional patterning approaches to the near-molecular length scales of the ultra-dense memory circuits. Finally, we discuss some of the challenges associated with fabricated ultra-dense molecular electronic integrated circuits.

  16. Common Lung Microbiome Identified among Mechanically Ventilated Surgical Patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley D Smith

    Full Text Available The examination of the pulmonary microbiome in patients with non-chronic disease states has not been extensively examined. Traditional culture based screening methods are often unable to identify bacteria from bronchoalveolar lavage samples. The advancement of next-generation sequencing technologies allows for a culture-independent molecular based analysis to determine the microbial composition in the lung of this patient population. For this study, the Ion Torrent PGM system was used to assess the microbial complexity of culture negative bronchoalveolar lavage samples. A group of samples were identified that all displayed high diversity and similar relative abundance of bacteria. This group consisted of Hydrogenophaga, unclassified Bacteroidetes, Pedobacter, Thauera, and Acinetobacter. These bacteria may be representative of a common non-pathogenic pulmonary microbiome associated within this population of patients.

  17. The molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tominaga, Motoki; Ito, Kohji

    2015-10-01

    Cytoplasmic streaming occurs widely in plants ranging from algae to angiosperms. However, the molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming have long remained unelucidated. Recent molecular genetic approaches have identified specific myosin members (XI-2 and XI-K as major and XI-1, XI-B, and XI-I as minor motive forces) for the generation of cytoplasmic streaming among 13 myosin XIs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Simultaneous knockout of these myosin XI members led to a reduced velocity of cytoplasmic streaming and marked defects of plant development. Furthermore, the artificial modifications of myosin XI-2 velocity changed plant and cell sizes along with the velocity of cytoplasmic streaming. Therefore, we assume that cytoplasmic streaming is one of the key regulators in determining plant size. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Cellular and molecular mechanisms coordinating pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastidas-Ponce, Aimée; Scheibner, Katharina; Lickert, Heiko; Bakhti, Mostafa

    2017-08-15

    The pancreas is an endoderm-derived glandular organ that participates in the regulation of systemic glucose metabolism and food digestion through the function of its endocrine and exocrine compartments, respectively. While intensive research has explored the signaling pathways and transcriptional programs that govern pancreas development, much remains to be discovered regarding the cellular processes that orchestrate pancreas morphogenesis. Here, we discuss the developmental mechanisms and principles that are known to underlie pancreas development, from induction and lineage formation to morphogenesis and organogenesis. Elucidating such principles will help to identify novel candidate disease genes and unravel the pathogenesis of pancreas-related diseases, such as diabetes, pancreatitis and cancer. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Epidemiological bases and molecular mechanisms linking obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Salmerón, María; Chocarro-Calvo, Ana; García-Martínez, José Manuel; de la Vieja, Antonio; García-Jiménez, Custodia

    2017-02-01

    The association between diabetes and cancer was hypothesized almost one century ago. Today, a vast number of epidemiological studies support that obese and diabetic populations are more likely to experience tissue-specific cancers, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Obesity, diabetes, and cancer share many hormonal, immune, and metabolic changes that may account for the relationship between diabetes and cancer. In addition, antidiabetic treatments may have an impact on the occurrence and course of some cancers. Moreover, some anticancer treatments may induce diabetes. These observations aroused a great controversy because of the ethical implications and the associated commercial interests. We report an epidemiological update from a mechanistic perspective that suggests the existence of many common and differential individual mechanisms linking obesity and type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus to certain cancers. The challenge today is to identify the molecular links responsible for this association. Classification of cancers by their molecular signatures may facilitate future mechanistic and epidemiological studies. Copyright © 2016 SEEN. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  20. Molecular mechanisms in radiation carcinogenesis: introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Setlow, R.B.

    1975-01-01

    Molecular studies of radiation carcinogenesis are discussed in relation to theories for extrapolating from cellular and animal models to man. Skin cancer is emphasized because of sunlight-induced photochemical damage to DNA. It is emphasized that cellular and animal models are needed as well as molecular theories for quantitative evaluation of hazardous environmental agents. (U.S.)

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanello, S. B.; Boyle, R.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of both vertebrates and invertebrates follows internal rhythms coordinated in phase with the 24-hour daily light cycle. This circadian clock is governed by a central pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. However, peripheral circadian clocks or oscillators have been identified in most tissues. How the central and peripheral oscillators are synchronized is still being elucidated. Light is the main environmental cue that entrains the circadian clock. Under the absence of a light stimulus, the clock continues its oscillation in a free-running condition. In general, three functional compartments of the circadian clock are defined. The vertebrate retina contains endogenous clocks that control many aspects of retinal physiology, including retinal sensitivity to light, neurohormone synthesis (melatonin and dopamine), rod disk shedding, signalling pathways and gene expression. Neurons with putative local circadian rhythm generation are found among all the major neuron populations in the mammalian retina. In the mouse, clock genes and function are more localized to the inner retinal and ganglion cell layers. The photoreceptor, however, secrete melatonin which may still serve a an important circadian signal. The reception and transmission of the non-visual photic stimulus resides in a small subpopulation (1-3%) or retinal ganglion cells (RGC) that express the pigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are called intrisically photoreceptive RGC (ipRGC). Melanopsin peak absorption is at 420 nm and all the axons of the ipRGC reach the SCN. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate the risk of fatigue and health and performance decrement due to circadian rhythm disruption. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ip

  2. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  3. Molecular mechanism for generation of antibody memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivarov, Velizar; Shinkura, Reiko; Doi, Tomomitsu; Begum, Nasim A; Nagaoka, Hitoshi; Okazaki, Il-Mi; Ito, Satomi; Nonaka, Taichiro; Kinoshita, Kazuo; Honjo, Tasuku

    2009-03-12

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is the essential enzyme inducing the DNA cleavage required for both somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) of the immunoglobulin gene. We originally proposed the RNA-editing model for the mechanism of DNA cleavage by AID. We obtained evidence that fulfils three requirements for CSR by this model, namely (i) AID shuttling between nucleus and cytoplasm, (ii) de novo protein synthesis for CSR, and (iii) AID-RNA complex formation. The alternative hypothesis, designated as the DNA-deamination model, assumes that the in vitro DNA deamination activity of AID is representative of its physiological function in vivo. Furthermore, the resulting dU was removed by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) to generate a basic site, followed by phosphodiester bond cleavage by AP endonuclease. We critically examined each of these provisional steps. We identified a cluster of mutants (H48A, L49A, R50A and N51A) that had particularly higher CSR activities than expected from their DNA deamination activities. The most striking was the N51A mutant that had no ability to deaminate DNA in vitro but retained approximately 50 per cent of the wild-type level of CSR activity. We also provide further evidence that UNG plays a non-canonical role in CSR, namely in the repair step of the DNA breaks. Taking these results together, we favour the RNA-editing model for the function of AID in CSR.

  4. Quantum chemical approaches: semiempirical molecular orbital and hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce, Richard A; Hillier, Ian H

    2014-01-01

    The use of computational quantum chemical methods to aid drug discovery is surveyed. An overview of the various computational models spanning ab initio, density function theory, semiempirical molecular orbital (MO), and hybrid quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) methods is given and their strengths and weaknesses are highlighted, focussing on the challenge of obtaining the accuracy essential for them to make a meaningful contribution to drug discovery. Particular attention is given to hybrid QM/MM and semiempirical MO methods which have the potential to yield the necessary accurate predictions of macromolecular structure and reactivity. These methods are shown to have advanced the study of many aspects of substrate-ligand interactions relevant to drug discovery. Thus, the successful parametrization of semiempirical MO methods and QM/MM methods can be used to model noncovalent substrate-protein interactions, and to lead to improved scoring functions. QM/MM methods can be used in crystal structure refinement and are particularly valuable for modelling covalent protein-ligand interactions and can thus aid the design of transition state analogues. An extensive collection of examples from the areas of metalloenzyme structure, enzyme inhibition, and ligand binding affinities and scoring functions are used to illustrate the power of these techniques.

  5. Identifying Molecular Targets For PTSD Treatment Using Single Prolonged Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    Post - traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) is a chronic, debilitating psychiatric disorder that can...SPS animals. Post - traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) is associated with neurocognitive impairments that have been attributed to functional deficits...and resilience. 2. KEYWORDS Post - traumatic stress disorder , Single Prolonged Stress , Neurobiological Mechanisms 5 3. ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  6. The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Mathieu

    2013-12-01

    The use of physical models of molecular structures as research tools has been central to the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. Intriguingly, it has received little attention from scholars of science. In this paper, I argue that these physical models are not mere three-dimensional representations but that they are in fact very special research tools: they are cognitive augmentations. Despite the fact that they are external props, these models serve as cognitive tools that augment and extend the modeler's cognitive capacities and performance in molecular modeling tasks. This cognitive enhancement is obtained because of the way the modeler interacts with these models, the models' materiality contributing to the solving of the molecule's structure. Furthermore, I argue that these material models and their component parts were designed, built and used specifically to serve as cognitive facilitators and cognitive augmentations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases through Network Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose A. Santiago

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases are rarely caused by a mutation in a single gene but rather influenced by a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Emerging high-throughput technologies such as RNA sequencing have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular landscape of neurodegenerative diseases, however, the interpretation of such large amounts of data remains a challenge. Network biology has become a powerful platform to integrate multiple omics data to comprehensively explore the molecular networks in the context of health and disease. In this review article, we highlight recent advances in network biology approaches with an emphasis in brain-networks that have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s (AD, Parkinson’s (PD and Huntington’s diseases (HD. We discuss how integrative approaches using multi-omics data from different tissues have been valuable for identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In addition, we discuss the challenges the field of network medicine faces toward the translation of network-based findings into clinically actionable tools for personalized medicine applications.

  8. Quantum mechanics of molecular rate processes

    CERN Document Server

    Levine, Raphael D

    1999-01-01

    This survey of applications of the theory of collisions and rate processes to molecular problems explores collisions of molecules with internal structure, generalized Ehrenfest theorem, theory of reactive collisions, and role of symmetry. It also reviews partitioning technique, equivalent potentials and quasibound states, theory of direct reactions, more. 1969 edition.

  9. Oligodendroglioma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesseling, P.; Bent, M. van den; Perry, A.

    2015-01-01

    For nearly a century, the diagnosis and grading of oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas has been based on histopathology alone. Roughly 20 years ago, the first glioma-associated molecular signature was found with complete chromosome 1p and 19q codeletion being particularly common in

  10. Identifying the receptor subtype selectivity of retinoid X and retinoic acid receptors via quantum mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Motonori; Shudo, Koichi; Kagechika, Hiroyuki

    2017-03-01

    Understanding and identifying the receptor subtype selectivity of a ligand is an important issue in the field of drug discovery. Using a combination of classical molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical calculations, this report assesses the receptor subtype selectivity for the human retinoid X receptor (hRXR) and retinoic acid receptor (hRAR) ligand-binding domains (LBDs) complexed with retinoid ligands. The calculated energies show good correlation with the experimentally reported binding affinities. The technique proposed here is a promising method as it reveals the origin of the receptor subtype selectivity of selective ligands.

  11. Molecular medicine of fragile X syndrome: based on known molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Shi-Yu; Wu, Ling-Qian; Duan, Ran-Hui

    2016-02-01

    Extensive research on fragile X mental retardation gene knockout mice and mutant Drosophila models has largely expanded our knowledge on mechanism-based treatment of fragile X syndrome (FXS). In light of these findings, several clinical trials are now underway for therapeutic translation to humans. Electronic literature searches were conducted using the PubMed database and ClinicalTrials.gov. The search terms included "fragile X syndrome", "FXS and medication", "FXS and therapeutics" and "FXS and treatment". Based on the publications identified in this search, we reviewed the neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS patients and the potential pathogenic mechanisms to monitor the progress of FXS research, from basic studies to clinical trials. The pathological mechanisms of FXS were categorized on the basis of neuroanatomy, synaptic structure, synaptic transmission and fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) loss of function. The neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS were described to motivate extensive research into the region-specific pathologies in the brain responsible for FXS behavioural manifestations. Mechanism-directed molecular medicines were classified according to their target pathological mechanisms, and the most recent progress in clinical trials was discussed. Current mechanism-based studies and clinical trials have greatly contributed to the development of FXS pharmacological therapeutics. Research examining the extent to which these treatments provided a rescue effect or FMRP compensation for the developmental impairments in FXS patients may help to improve the efficacy of treatments.

  12. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Study of the Sialyltransferase Reaction Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamada, Yojiro; Kanematsu, Yusuke; Tachikawa, Masanori

    2016-10-11

    The sialyltransferase is an enzyme that transfers the sialic acid moiety from cytidine 5'-monophospho-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid (CMP-NeuAc) to the terminal position of glycans. To elucidate the catalytic mechanism of sialyltransferase, we explored the potential energy surface along the sialic acid transfer reaction coordinates by the hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method on the basis of the crystal structure of sialyltransferase CstII. Our calculation demonstrated that CstII employed an S N 1-like reaction mechanism via the formation of a short-lived oxocarbenium ion intermediate. The computational barrier height was 19.5 kcal/mol, which reasonably corresponded with the experimental reaction rate. We also found that two tyrosine residues (Tyr156 and Tyr162) played a vital role in stabilizing the intermediate and the transition states by quantum mechanical interaction with CMP.

  13. Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenser, Teresa; Theißen, Günter

    2013-12-01

    Domestication has helped to understand evolution. We argue that, vice versa, novel insights into evolutionary principles could provide deeper insights into domestication. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that convergent phenotypic evolution is often based on molecular changes in orthologous genes or pathways. Recent studies have revealed that during plant domestication the causal mutations for convergent changes in key traits are likely to be located in particular genes. These insights may contribute to defining candidate genes for genetic improvement during the domestication of new plant species. Such efforts may help to increase the range of arable crops available, thus increasing crop biodiversity and food security to help meet the predicted demands of the continually growing global population under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Quantitative proteomics identify molecular targets that are crucial in larval settlement and metamorphosis of bugula neritina

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Huoming

    2011-01-07

    The marine invertebrate Bugula neritina has a biphasic life cycle that consists of a swimming larval stage and a sessile juvenile and adult stage. The attachment of larvae to the substratum and their subsequent metamorphosis have crucial ecological consequences. Despite many studies on this species, little is known about the molecular mechanism of these processes. Here, we report a comparative study of swimming larvae and metamorphosing individuals at 4 and 24 h postattachment using label-free quantitative proteomics. We identified more than 1100 proteins at each stage, 61 of which were differentially expressed. Specifically, proteins involved in energy metabolism and structural molecules were generally down-regulated, whereas proteins involved in transcription and translation, the extracellular matrix, and calcification were strongly up-regulated during metamorphosis. Many tightly regulated novel proteins were also identified. Subsequent analysis of the temporal and spatial expressions of some of the proteins and an assay of their functions indicated that they may have key roles in metamorphosis of B. neritina. These findings not only provide molecular evidence with which to elucidate the substantial changes in morphology and physiology that occur during larval attachment and metamorphosis but also identify potential targets for antifouling treatment. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  15. Identifying Slow Molecular Motions in Complex Chemical Reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccini, GiovanniMaria; Polino, Daniela; Parrinello, Michele

    2017-09-07

    We have studied the cyclization reaction of deprotonated 4-chloro-1-butanethiol to tetrahydrothiophene by means of well-tempered metadynamics. To properly select the collective variables, we used the recently proposed variational approach to conformational dynamics within the framework of metadyanmics. This allowed us to select the appropriate linear combinations from a set of collective variables representing the slow degrees of freedom that best describe the slow modes of the reaction. We performed our calculations at three different temperatures, namely, 300, 350, and 400 K. We show that the choice of such collective variables allows one to easily interpret the complex free-energy surface of such a reaction by univocal identification of the conformers belonging to reactants and product states playing a fundamental role in the reaction mechanism.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of induced-mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kato, Takeshi

    1985-01-01

    The outcome of recent studies on mechanisms of induced-mutations is outlined with particular emphasis on the dependence of recA gene function in Escherichia coli. Genes involved in spontaneous mutation and x-ray- and chemical-induced mutation and genes involved in adaptive response are presented. As for SOS mutagenesis, SOS-induced regulation mechanisms and mutagenic routes are described. Furthermore, specificity of mutagens themselves are discussed in relation to mechanisms of base substitution, frameshift, and deletion mutagenesis. (Namekawa, K.)

  17. Gene expression analysis to identify molecular correlates of pre- and post-conditioning derived neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Shiv S; Russell, Marsha; Nowakowska, Margeryta; Williams, Andrew; Yauk, Carole

    2012-06-01

    Mild ischaemic exposures before or after severe injurious ischaemia that elicit neuroprotective responses are referred to as preconditioning and post-conditioning. The corresponding molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection are not completely understood. Identification of the genes and associated pathways of corresponding neuroprotection would provide insight into neuronal survival, potential therapeutic approaches and assessments of therapies for stroke. The objectives of this study were to use global gene expression approach to infer the molecular mechanisms in pre- and post-conditioning-derived neuroprotection in cortical neurons following oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in vitro and then to apply these findings to predict corresponding functional pathways. To this end, microarray analysis was applied to rat cortical neurons with or without the pre- and post-conditioning treatments at 3-h post-reperfusion, and differentially expressed transcripts were subjected to statistical, hierarchical clustering and pathway analyses. The expression patterns of 3,431 genes altered under all conditions of ischaemia (with and without pre- or post-conditioning). We identified 1,595 genes that were commonly regulated within both the pre- and post-conditioning treatments. Cluster analysis revealed that transcription profiles clustered tightly within controls, non-conditioned OGD and neuroprotected groups. Two clusters defining neuroprotective conditions associated with up- and downregulated genes were evident. The five most upregulated genes within the neuroprotective clusters were Tagln, Nes, Ptrf, Vim and Adamts9, and the five most downregulated genes were Slc7a3, Bex1, Brunol4, Nrxn3 and Cpne4. Pathway analysis revealed that the intracellular and second messenger signalling pathways in addition to cell death were predominantly associated with downregulated pre- and post-conditioning associated genes, suggesting that modulation of cell death and signal transduction pathways

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Superantigen Function

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sadegh-Nasseri, Scheherazade

    2004-01-01

    ...) Vb domains and can result in systemic shock and death. Rational design of strategies for prevention or treatments of such diseases may only be possible if we have insights into the mechanisms of T cell activation by SEs...

  19. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    progressive multiple symptoms of motor, cognitive dys- function and behavioural ..... using different types of neurons such as rodent cortical, hippocampal and ..... in the neocortex of rat via a mechanism involving CXCR4 chemokine receptor ...

  20. Mechanically magnified imaging of molecular interferograms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stibor, A.; Stefanov, A.; Goldfarb, F.; Reiger, E.; Arndt, M.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: Imaging of surface adsorbed molecules is presented as a valuable detection method for matter interferometry with fluorescent particles. A mechanical magnification scheme is implemented to circumvent the optical resolution limit. Mechanically magnified fluorescence imaging turns out to be an excellent tool for recording quantum interference patterns with high visibility. A unique advantage of this technique is its scalability: for certain classes of nanosized objects, the detection sensitivity will even increase significantly with increasing size of the particle. (author)

  1. Molecular biological mechanisms I. DNA repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedl, A.A.

    2000-01-01

    Cells of all living systems possess a variety of mechanisms that allow to repair spontaneous and exogeneously induced DNA damage. DNA repair deficiencies may invoke enhanced sensitivity towards DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. They may also enhance the risk of cancer development, both spontaneously or after induction. This article reviews several DNA repair mechanisms, especially those dealing with DNA double-strand breaks, and describes hereditary diseases associated with DNA repair defects. (orig.) [de

  2. Complement Involvement in Periodontitis: Molecular Mechanisms and Rational Therapeutic Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis.

  3. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  4. The molecular mechanism of gene-radiotherapy of tumor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xian

    2004-01-01

    Gene-radiotherapy of tumor is a new method which is induced by ionizing radiation. The molecular mechanism is to activate various molecular target by many ways and induce the apoptosis of tumor cell. It is a gene therapy based on the radiation-inducible property of the Egr-1 gene. It has good application prospect in therapy of tumor

  5. Molecular mechanisms of canalization: Hsp90 and beyond

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhu Sudhan

    2007-03-26

    Mar 26, 2007 ... clients are essential nodes in signal transduction pathways and regulatory circuits, accounting for the .... respective contributions of genetics versus epigenetics ... authors succeeded in elucidating the molecular mechanism.

  6. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents

  7. What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress tolerance? ... Salt stress harmfully shocks agricultural yield throughout the world affecting production whether it is for subsistence or economic outcomes. ... from 32 Countries:.

  8. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents. (ERB)

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations with Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics and Adaptive Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2018-03-13

    Direct molecular dynamics (MD) simulation with ab initio quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods is very powerful for studying the mechanism of chemical reactions in a complex environment but also very time-consuming. The computational cost of QM/MM calculations during MD simulations can be reduced significantly using semiempirical QM/MM methods with lower accuracy. To achieve higher accuracy at the ab initio QM/MM level, a correction on the existing semiempirical QM/MM model is an attractive idea. Recently, we reported a neural network (NN) method as QM/MM-NN to predict the potential energy difference between semiempirical and ab initio QM/MM approaches. The high-level results can be obtained using neural network based on semiempirical QM/MM MD simulations, but the lack of direct MD samplings at the ab initio QM/MM level is still a deficiency that limits the applications of QM/MM-NN. In the present paper, we developed a dynamic scheme of QM/MM-NN for direct MD simulations on the NN-predicted potential energy surface to approximate ab initio QM/MM MD. Since some configurations excluded from the database for NN training were encountered during simulations, which may cause some difficulties on MD samplings, an adaptive procedure inspired by the selection scheme reported by Behler [ Behler Int. J. Quantum Chem. 2015 , 115 , 1032 ; Behler Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2017 , 56 , 12828 ] was employed with some adaptions to update NN and carry out MD iteratively. We further applied the adaptive QM/MM-NN MD method to the free energy calculation and transition path optimization on chemical reactions in water. The results at the ab initio QM/MM level can be well reproduced using this method after 2-4 iteration cycles. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the QM/MM-NN with direct MD simulations has great potentials not only for the calculation of thermodynamic properties but also for the characterization of

  10. Molecular profiling identifies prognostic markers of stage IA lung adenocarcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Shao, Jinchen; Zhu, Lei; Zhao, Ruiying; Xing, Jie; Wang, Jun; Guo, Xiaohui; Tu, Shichun; Han, Baohui; Yu, Keke

    2017-09-26

    We previously showed that different pathologic subtypes were associated with different prognostic values in patients with stage IA lung adenocarcinoma (AC). We hypothesize that differential gene expression profiles of different subtypes may be valuable factors for prognosis in stage IA lung adenocarcinoma. We performed microarray gene expression profiling on tumor tissues micro-dissected from patients with acinar and solid predominant subtypes of stage IA lung adenocarcinoma. These patients had undergone a lobectomy and mediastinal lymph node dissection at the Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai, China in 2012. No patient had preoperative treatment. We performed the Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) analysis to look for gene expression signatures associated with tumor subtypes. The histologic subtypes of all patients were classified according to the 2015 WHO lung Adenocarcinoma classification. We found that patients with the solid predominant subtype are enriched for genes involved in RNA polymerase activity as well as inactivation of the p53 pathway. Further, we identified a list of genes that may serve as prognostic markers for stage IA lung adenocarcinoma. Validation in the TCGA database shows that these genes are correlated with survival, suggesting that they are novel prognostic factors for stage IA lung adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, we have uncovered novel prognostic factors for stage IA lung adenocarcinoma using gene expression profiling in combination with histopathology subtyping.

  11. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo calculations in statistical mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, W.W.; Erpenbeck, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics calculations on statistical mechanical systems is reviewed giving some of the more significant recent developments. It is noted that the term molecular dynamics refers to the time-averaging technique for hard-core and square-well interactions and for continuous force-law interactions. Ergodic questions, methodology, quantum mechanical, Lorentz, and one-dimensional, hard-core, and square and triangular-well systems, short-range soft potentials, and other systems are included. 268 references

  12. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  13. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A., E-mail: thomas.milne@imm.ox.ac.uk [MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS (United Kingdom)

    2012-09-10

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  14. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis

  15. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and remodeling of the lung architecture. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is considered the most common and severe form of the disease, with a median survival of approximately three years and no proven effective therapy. Despite the fact that effective treatments are absent and the precise mechanisms that drive fibrosis in most patients remain incompletely understood, an extensive body of scientific literature regarding pulmonary fibrosis has accumulated over the past 35 years. In this review, we discuss three broad areas which have been explored that may be responsible for the combination of altered lung fibroblasts, loss of alveolar epithelial cells, and excessive accumulation of ECM: inflammation and immune mechanisms, oxidative stress and oxidative signaling, and procoagulant mechanisms. We discuss each of these processes separately to facilitate clarity, but certainly significant interplay will occur amongst these pathways in patients with this disease. PMID:22824096

  16. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waisberg, Michael; Joseph, Pius; Hale, Beverley; Beyersmann, Detmar

    2003-01-01

    Cadmium is a heavy metal, which is widely used in industry, affecting human health through occupational and environmental exposure. In mammals, it exerts multiple toxic effects and has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Cadmium affects cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and other cellular activities. Cd 2+ does not catalyze Fenton-type reactions because it does not accept or donate electrons under physiological conditions, and it is only weakly genotoxic. Hence, indirect mechanisms are implicated in the carcinogenicity of cadmium. In this review multiple mechanisms are discussed, such as modulation of gene expression and signal transduction, interference with enzymes of the cellular antioxidant system and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibition of DNA repair and DNA methylation, role in apoptosis and disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Cadmium affects both gene transcription and translation. The major mechanisms of gene induction by cadmium known so far are modulation of cellular signal transduction pathways by enhancement of protein phosphorylation and activation of transcription and translation factors. Cadmium interferes with antioxidant defense mechanisms and stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species, which may act as signaling molecules in the induction of gene expression and apoptosis. The inhibition of DNA repair processes by cadmium represents a mechanism by which cadmium enhances the genotoxicity of other agents and may contribute to the tumor initiation by this metal. The disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by cadmium probably further stimulates the development of tumors. It becomes clear that there exist multiple mechanisms which contribute to the carcinogenicity of cadmium, although the relative weights of these contributions are difficult to estimate

  17. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  18. Molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of buprofezin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-07-14

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and non-target insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon and energy for growth. In this study, the upstream catabolic pathway in strain YL-1 was identified using tandem mass spectrometry. Buprofezin is composed of a benzene ring and a heterocyclic ring. The degradation is initiated by the dihydroxylation of the benzene ring and continues via dehydrogenation, aromatic ring cleavage, breaking of an amide bond and the release of the heterocyclic ring 2- tert -butylimino-3-isopropyl-1,3,5-thiadiazinan-4-one (2-BI). A buprofezin degradation-deficient mutant strain YL-0 was isolated. Comparative genomic analysis combined with gene deletion and complementation experiments revealed that the gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin. bfzA3A4A1A2 encodes a novel Rieske non-heme iron oxygenase (RHO) system that is responsible for the dihydroxylation of buprofezin at the benzene ring; bfzB is involved in dehydrogenation, and bfzC is in charge of benzene ring cleavage. Furthermore, the products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C can also catalyze dihydroxylation, dehydrogenation and aromatic ring cleavage of biphenyl, flavanone, flavone and bifenthrin. In addition, a transcriptional study revealed that bfzBA3A4A1A2C is organized in one transcriptional unit that is constitutively expressed in strain YL-1. Importance There is an increasing concern about the residue and environmental fate of buprofezin. Microbial metabolism is an important mechanism responsible for the buprofezin degradation in natural environment

  19. Xenon preconditioning: molecular mechanisms and biological effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Wenwu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.

  20. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Timothy J.; Gilmore, Aprile; Ward, Karen; Vowell, Courtney

    Medical studies established that vancomycin and other related macrocyclic antibiotics have an enhanced antimicrobial activity when they are associated as dimers. The carbohydrate units attached to the vancomycin basket have an essential role in the dimerization reaction. Covalently synthesized dimers were found active against vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains. A great similarity between antibiotic potential and enantioselectivity was established. A covalent vancomycin dimer was studied in capillary electrophoresis producing excellent chiral separation of dansyl amino acids. Balhimycin is a macrocyclic glycopeptide structurally similar to vancomycin. The small differences are, however, responsible for drastic differences in enantioselectivity in the same experimental conditions. Contributions from studies examining vancomycin's mechanism for antimicrobial activity have substantially aided our understanding of its mechanism in chiral recognition.

  1. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, John H. Jr. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)], E-mail: jhmiller@uh.edu; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Claycomb, James R. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Department of Mathematics and Physics, Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77074-3298 (United States); Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors.

  2. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, John H. Jr.; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L.; Claycomb, James R.; Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T.

    2009-01-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors

  3. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Bonaldo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle is a plastic organ that is maintained by multiple pathways regulating cell and protein turnover. During muscle atrophy, proteolytic systems are activated, and contractile proteins and organelles are removed, resulting in the shrinkage of muscle fibers. Excessive loss of muscle mass is associated with poor prognosis in several diseases, including myopathies and muscular dystrophies, as well as in systemic disorders such as cancer, diabetes, sepsis and heart failure. Muscle loss also occurs during aging. In this paper, we review the key mechanisms that regulate the turnover of contractile proteins and organelles in muscle tissue, and discuss how impairments in these mechanisms can contribute to muscle atrophy. We also discuss how protein synthesis and degradation are coordinately regulated by signaling pathways that are influenced by mechanical stress, physical activity, and the availability of nutrients and growth factors. Understanding how these pathways regulate muscle mass will provide new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of muscle atrophy in metabolic and neuromuscular diseases.

  4. Dynamics in microbial communities: Unraveling mechanisms to identify principles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konopka, Allan; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, Jim K.

    2015-07-01

    Diversity begets higher order properties such as functional stability and robustness in microbial communities, but principles that inform conceptual (and eventually predictive) models of community dynamics are lacking. Recent work has shown that selection as well as dispersal and drift shape communities, but the mechanistic bases for assembly of communities and the forces that maintain their function in the face of environmental perturbation are not well understood. Conceptually, some interactions among community members could generate endogenous dynamics in composition, even in the absence of environmental changes. These endogenous dynamics are further perturbed by exogenous forcing factors to produce a richer network of community interactions, and it is this “system” that is the basis for higher order community properties. Elucidation of principles that follow from this conceptual model requires identifying the mechanisms that (a) optimize diversity within a community and (b) impart community stability. The network of interactions between organisms can be an important element by providing a buffer against disturbance beyond the effect of functional redundancy, as alternative pathways with different combinations of microbes can be recruited to fulfill specific functions.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of radioadaptive responses in human lymphoblastoid cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kakimoto, Ayana; Taki, Keiko; Nakajima, Tetsuo

    2008-01-01

    Radioadaptive response is a biodefensive response observed in a variety of mammalian cells and animals where exposure to low dose radiation induces resistance against the subsequent high dose radiation. Elucidation of its mechanisms is important for risk estimation of low dose radiation because the radioadaptive response implies that low dose radiation affects cells/individuals in a different manner from high dose radiation. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in human lymphoblastoid cells AHH-1 in terms of mutation at the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene locus. First we observed that preexposure to the priming dose in the range from 0.02 Gy to 0.2 Gy significantly reduced mutation frequency at HPRT gene locus after irradiation with 3 Gy of X rays. As no significant adaptive response was observed with the priming dose of 0.005 Gy, it was indicated that the lower limit of the priming dose to induce radioadaptive response may be between 0.005 Gy and 0.02 Gy. Second, we examined the effect of 3-amino-benzamide (3AB), an inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase1, which has been reported to inhibit the radioadaptive response in terms of chromosome aberration. However we could observe significant radioadaptive responses in terms of mutation even in the presence of 3AB. These findings suggested that molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in terms of mutation may be different from that for radioadaptive responses in terms of chromosomal aberration, although we could not exclude a possibility that the differential effects of 3AB was due to cell type difference. Finally, by performing a comprehensive analysis of alterations in gene expression using high coverage expression profiling (HiCEP), we could identify 17 genes whose expressions were significantly altered 6 h after irradiation with 0.02 Gy. We also found 17 and 20 genes, the expressions of which were different with or without priming

  6. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1996-01-01

    The objectives of this work were to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that were responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The studies were based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA

  7. Molecular mechanisms in disorders of gonadal development

    OpenAIRE

    Norling, Ameli

    2014-01-01

    “Hur många barn får jag när jag blir stor?” Controlling fertility, or rather infertility, is a common problem for couples nowadays where approximately 10% experience infertility. This thesis focuses on the rare conditions leading to infertility in which the gonads have either failed to develop properly, or prematurely lost their function. The overall aim of this thesis was to identify and study candidate genes in gonadal disorders of sex development (DSD) and primary o...

  8. Neuronal and molecular mechanisms of sleep homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donlea, Jeffrey M

    2017-12-01

    Sleep is necessary for survival, and prolonged waking causes a homeostatic increase in the need for recovery sleep. Homeostasis is a core component of sleep regulation and has been tightly conserved across evolution from invertebrates to man. Homeostatic sleep regulation was first identified among insects in cockroaches several decades ago, but the characterization of sleep rebound in Drosophila melanogaster opened the use of insect model species to understand homeostatic functions and regulation of sleep. This review describes circuits in two neuropil structures, the central complex and mushroom bodies, that influence sleep homeostasis and neuromodulatory systems that influence the accrual of homeostatic sleep need. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular cytotoxic mechanisms of anticancer hydroxychalcones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabzevari, Omid; Galati, Giuseppe; Moridani, Majid Y; Siraki, Arno; O'Brien, Peter J

    2004-06-30

    Chalcones are being considered as anticancer agents as they are natural compounds that are particularly cytotoxic towards K562 leukemia or melanoma cells. In this study, we have investigated phloretin, isoliquiritigenin, and 10 other hydroxylated chalcones for their cytotoxic mechanisms towards isolated rat hepatocytes. All hydroxychalcones partly depleted hepatocyte GSH and oxidized GSH to GSSG. These chalcones also caused a collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased oxygen uptake. Furthermore, glycolytic or citric acid cycle substrates prevented cytotoxicity and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. The highest pKa chalcones were the most effective at collapsing the mitochondrial membrane potential which suggests that the cytotoxic activity of hydroxychalcones are likely because of their ability to uncouple mitochondria.

  10. [Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astratenkova, I V; Rogozkin, V A

    2014-06-01

    Enzymes Akt, AMPK, mTOR, S6K and PGC-1a coactivator take part in skeletal muscles in the regulation of synthesis of proteins. The expression of these proteins is regulated by growth factors, hormones, nutrients, mechanical loading and leads to an increase in muscle mass and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The review presents the results of studies published in the past four years, which expand knowledge on the effects of various factors on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The attention is focused on the achievements that reveal and clarify the signaling pathways involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The central place is taken by mTOR enzyme which controls and regulates the main stages of the cascade of reactions of muscle proteins providing synthesis in the conditions of human life. coactivator PGC-1a.

  11. Molecular and neuroendocrine mechanisms of cancer cachexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Maria Carolina S; Pimentel, Gustavo D; Costa, Felipe O; Carvalheira, José B C

    2015-09-01

    Cancer and its morbidities, such as cancer cachexia, constitute a major public health problem. Although cancer cachexia has afflicted humanity for centuries, its underlying multifactorial and complex physiopathology has hindered the understanding of its mechanism. During the last few decades we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the understanding of cancer cachexia pathophysiology. Anorexia and muscle and adipose tissue wasting are the main features of cancer cachexia. These apparently independent symptoms have humoral factors secreted by the tumor as a common cause. Importantly, the hypothalamus has emerged as an organ that senses the peripheral signals emanating from the tumoral environment, and not only elicits anorexia but also contributes to the development of muscle and adipose tissue loss. Herein, we review the roles of factors secreted by the tumor and its effects on the hypothalamus, muscle and adipose tissue, as well as highlighting the key targets that are being exploited for cancer cachexia treatment. © 2015 Society for Endocrinology.

  12. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins constitute a family of growth factors that play a key role in the regulation of the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. A common feature of all the neurotrophins is their synthesis in cells as long precursors (pre-pro-neurotrophins) that contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a following propeptide and the mature neurotrophin. Although the signal peptide functions have been well studied, the role of neurotrophin propeptides is not so clear. Here, we briefly summarize the biochemistry of neurotrophin propeptides, including their role as folding-assistants for the mature factor and their role in processing and in secretion of neurotrophins. In the main part of the review we summarize our current state of knowledge of the biological activity of neurotrophin propeptides, their possible mechanisms of action, and their potential influence on the activity of the mature neurotrophins.

  13. Performance assessment of semiempirical molecular orbital methods in describing halogen bonding: quantum mechanical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical-molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Mahmoud A A

    2011-10-24

    The performance of semiempirical molecular-orbital methods--MNDO, MNDO-d, AM1, RM1, PM3 and PM6--in describing halogen bonding was evaluated, and the results were compared with molecular mechanical (MM) and quantum mechanical (QM) data. Three types of performance were assessed: (1) geometrical optimizations and binding energy calculations for 27 halogen-containing molecules complexed with various Lewis bases (Two of the tested methods, AM1 and RM1, gave results that agree with the QM data.); (2) charge distribution calculations for halobenzene molecules, determined by calculating the solvation free energies of the molecules relative to benzene in explicit and implicit generalized Born (GB) solvents (None of the methods gave results that agree with the experimental data.); and (3) appropriateness of the semiempirical methods in the hybrid quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) scheme, investigated by studying the molecular inhibition of CK2 protein by eight halobenzimidazole and -benzotriazole derivatives using hybrid QM/MM molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations with the inhibitor described at the QM level by the AM1 method and the rest of the system described at the MM level. The pure MM approach with inclusion of an extra point of positive charge on the halogen atom approach gave better results than the hybrid QM/MM approach involving the AM1 method. Also, in comparison with the pure MM-GBSA (generalized Born surface area) binding energies and experimental data, the calculated QM/MM-GBSA binding energies of the inhibitors were improved by replacing the G(GB,QM/MM) solvation term with the corresponding G(GB,MM) term.

  14. Functioning and nonfunctioning thyroid adenomas involve different molecular pathogenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonacchera, M; Vitti, P; Agretti, P; Ceccarini, G; Perri, A; Cavaliere, R; Mazzi, B; Naccarato, A G; Viacava, P; Miccoli, P; Pinchera, A; Chiovato, L

    1999-11-01

    The molecular biology of follicular cell growth in thyroid nodules is still poorly understood. Because gain-of-function (activating) mutations of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TShR) and/or Gs alpha genes may confer TSh-independent growth advantage to neoplastic thyroid cells, we searched for somatic mutations of these genes in a series of hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas specifically selected for their homogeneous gross anatomy (single nodule in an otherwise normal thyroid gland). TShR gene mutations were identified by direct sequencing of exons 9 and 10 of the TShR gene in genomic DNA obtained from surgical specimens. Codons 201 and 227 of the Gs alpha gene were also analyzed. At histology, all hyperfunctioning nodules and 13 of 15 nonfunctioning nodules were diagnosed as follicular adenomas. Two nonfunctioning thyroid nodules, although showing a prevalent microfollicular pattern of growth, had histological features indicating malignant transformation (a minimally invasive follicular carcinoma and a focal papillary carcinoma). Activating mutations of the TShR gene were found in 12 of 15 hyperfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. In one hyperfunctioning adenoma, which was negative for TShR mutations, a mutation in codon 227 of the Gs alpha gene was identified. At variance with hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas, no mutation of the TShR or Gs alpha genes was detected in nonfunctioning thyroid nodules. In conclusion, our findings clearly define a different molecular pathogenetic mechanism in hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. Activation of the cAMP cascade, which leads to proliferation but maintains differentiation of follicular thyroid cells, typically occurs in hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas. Oncogenes other than the TShR and Gs alpha genes are probably involved in nonfunctioning follicular adenomas.

  15. Molecular Theory of the Living Cell Concepts, Molecular Mechanisms, and Biomedical Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Sungchul

    2012-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive molecular theory of the living cell based on over thirty concepts, principles and laws imported from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, informatics, computer science, linguistics, semiotics, and philosophy. The author formulates physically, chemically and enzymologically realistic molecular mechanisms to account for the basic living processes such as ligand-receptor interactions, protein folding, single-molecule enzymic catalysis, force-generating mechanisms in molecular motors, signal transduction, regulation of the genome-wide RNA metabolism, morphogenesis, the micro-macro coupling in coordination dynamics, the origin of life, and the mechanisms of biological evolution itself. Possible solutions to basic and practical problems facing contemporary biology and biomedical sciences have been suggested, including pharmacotheragnostics and personalized medicine.

  16. Graph-drawing algorithms geometries versus molecular mechanics in fullereness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, M.; Pisanski, T.; Lukman, D.; Borštnik, B.; Graovac, A.

    1996-09-01

    The algorithms of Kamada-Kawai (KK) and Fruchterman-Reingold (FR) have been recently generalized (Pisanski et al., Croat. Chem. Acta 68 (1995) 283) in order to draw molecular graphs in three-dimensional space. The quality of KK and FR geometries is studied here by comparing them with the molecular mechanics (MM) and the adjacency matrix eigenvectors (AME) algorithm geometries. In order to compare different layouts of the same molecule, an appropriate method has been developed. Its application to a series of experimentally detected fullerenes indicates that the KK, FR and AME algorithms are able to reproduce plausible molecular geometries.

  17. Using Genetic Buffering Relationships Identified in Fission Yeast To Elucidate the Molecular Pathology of Tuberous Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-01

    tsc1 and tsc2 loss of function mutations in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Northeast Regional Yeast Meeting, June 16-17, University at Buffalo, The State...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0169 TITLE: Using Genetic Buffering Relationships Identified in Fission Yeast To Elucidate the Molecular Pathology of...SUBTITLE Using Genetic Buffering Relationships Identified in Fission 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0169 Yeast to Elucidate the Molecular Pathology

  18. Molecular mechanism of allosteric communication in Hsp70 revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Chiappori

    Full Text Available Investigating ligand-regulated allosteric coupling between protein domains is fundamental to understand cell-life regulation. The Hsp70 family of chaperones represents an example of proteins in which ATP binding and hydrolysis at the Nucleotide Binding Domain (NBD modulate substrate recognition at the Substrate Binding Domain (SBD. Herein, a comparative analysis of an allosteric (Hsp70-DnaK and a non-allosteric structural homolog (Hsp110-Sse1 of the Hsp70 family is carried out through molecular dynamics simulations, starting from different conformations and ligand-states. Analysis of ligand-dependent modulation of internal fluctuations and local deformation patterns highlights the structural and dynamical changes occurring at residue level upon ATP-ADP exchange, which are connected to the conformational transition between closed and open structures. By identifying the dynamically responsive protein regions and specific cross-domain hydrogen-bonding patterns that differentiate Hsp70 from Hsp110 as a function of the nucleotide, we propose a molecular mechanism for the allosteric signal propagation of the ATP-encoded conformational signal.

  19. Early and long-standing rheumatoid arthritis: distinct molecular signatures identified by gene-expression profiling in synovia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequerré, Thierry; Bansard, Carine; Vittecoq, Olivier; Derambure, Céline; Hiron, Martine; Daveau, Maryvonne; Tron, François; Ayral, Xavier; Biga, Norman; Auquit-Auckbur, Isabelle; Chiocchia, Gilles; Le Loët, Xavier; Salier, Jean-Philippe

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous disease and its underlying molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Because previous microarray studies have only focused on long-standing (LS) RA compared to osteoarthritis, we aimed to compare the molecular profiles of early and LS RA versus control synovia. Methods Synovial biopsies were obtained by arthroscopy from 15 patients (4 early untreated RA, 4 treated LS RA and 7 controls, who had traumatic or mechanical lesions). Extracted mRNAs were used for large-scale gene-expression profiling. The different gene-expression combinations identified by comparison of profiles of early, LS RA and healthy synovia were linked to the biological processes involved in each situation. Results Three combinations of 719, 116 and 52 transcripts discriminated, respectively, early from LS RA, and early or LS RA from healthy synovia. We identified several gene clusters and distinct molecular signatures specifically expressed during early or LS RA, thereby suggesting the involvement of different pathophysiological mechanisms during the course of RA. Conclusions Early and LS RA have distinct molecular signatures with different biological processes participating at different times during the course of the disease. These results suggest that better knowledge of the main biological processes involved at a given RA stage might help to choose the most appropriate treatment. PMID:19563633

  20. Physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetnyak, Vasiliy Ivanovich

    2013-01-01

    This review considers the physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation. The composition of bile and structure of a bile canaliculus, biosynthesis and conjugation of bile acids, bile phospholipids, formation of bile micellar structures, and enterohepatic circulation of bile acids are described. In general, the review focuses on the molecular physiology of the transporting systems of the hepatocyte sinusoidal and apical membranes. Knowledge of physiological and biochemical basis of bile formation has implications for understanding the mechanisms of development of pathological processes, associated with diseases of the liver and biliary tract. PMID:24259965

  1. Cartography of Pathway Signal Perturbations Identifies Distinct Molecular Pathomechanisms in Malignant and Chronic Lung Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arakelyan, Arsen; Nersisyan, Lilit; Petrek, Martin; Löffler-Wirth, Henry; Binder, Hans

    2016-01-01

    Lung diseases are described by a wide variety of developmental mechanisms and clinical manifestations. Accurate classification and diagnosis of lung diseases are the bases for development of effective treatments. While extensive studies are conducted toward characterization of various lung diseases at molecular level, no systematic approach has been developed so far. Here we have applied a methodology for pathway-centered mining of high throughput gene expression data to describe a wide range of lung diseases in the light of shared and specific pathway activity profiles. We have applied an algorithm combining a Pathway Signal Flow (PSF) algorithm for estimation of pathway activity deregulation states in lung diseases and malignancies, and a Self Organizing Maps algorithm for classification and clustering of the pathway activity profiles. The analysis results allowed clearly distinguish between cancer and non-cancer lung diseases. Lung cancers were characterized by pathways implicated in cell proliferation, metabolism, while non-malignant lung diseases were characterized by deregulations in pathways involved in immune/inflammatory response and fibrotic tissue remodeling. In contrast to lung malignancies, chronic lung diseases had relatively heterogeneous pathway deregulation profiles. We identified three groups of interstitial lung diseases and showed that the development of characteristic pathological processes, such as fibrosis, can be initiated by deregulations in different signaling pathways. In conclusion, this paper describes the pathobiology of lung diseases from systems viewpoint using pathway centered high-dimensional data mining approach. Our results contribute largely to current understanding of pathological events in lung cancers and non-malignant lung diseases. Moreover, this paper provides new insight into molecular mechanisms of a number of interstitial lung diseases that have been studied to a lesser extent. PMID:27200087

  2. Phosphorus physiological ecology and molecular mechanisms in marine phytoplankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Senjie; Litaker, Richard Wayne; Sunda, William G

    2016-02-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for marine phytoplankton and indeed all life forms. Current data show that P availability is growth-limiting in certain marine systems and can impact algal species composition. Available P occurs in marine waters as dissolved inorganic phosphate (primarily orthophosphate [Pi]) or as a myriad of dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) compounds. Despite numerous studies on P physiology and ecology and increasing research on genomics in marine phytoplankton, there have been few attempts to synthesize information from these different disciplines. This paper is aimed to integrate the physiological and molecular information on the acquisition, utilization, and storage of P in marine phytoplankton and the strategies used by these organisms to acclimate and adapt to variations in P availability. Where applicable, we attempt to identify gaps in our current knowledge that warrant further research and examine possible metabolic pathways that might occur in phytoplankton from well-studied bacterial models. Physical and chemical limitations governing cellular P uptake are explored along with physiological and molecular mechanisms to adapt and acclimate to temporally and spatially varying P nutrient regimes. Topics covered include cellular Pi uptake and feedback regulation of uptake systems, enzymatic utilization of DOP, P acquisition by phagotrophy, P-limitation of phytoplankton growth in oceanic and coastal waters, and the role of P-limitation in regulating cell size and toxin levels in phytoplankton. Finally, we examine the role of P and other nutrients in the transition of phytoplankton communities from early succession species (diatoms) to late succession ones (e.g., dinoflagellates and haptophytes). © 2015 Phycological Society of America.

  3. Molecular nucleation mechanisms and control strategies for crystal polymorph selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Driessche, Alexander E. S.; van Gerven, Nani; Bomans, Paul H. H.; Joosten, Rick R. M.; Friedrich, Heiner; Gil-Carton, David; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M.; Sleutel, Mike

    2018-04-01

    The formation of condensed (compacted) protein phases is associated with a wide range of human disorders, such as eye cataracts, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sickle cell anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, condensed protein phases have their uses: as crystals, they are harnessed by structural biologists to elucidate protein structures, or are used as delivery vehicles for pharmaceutical applications. The physiochemical properties of crystals can vary substantially between different forms or structures (‘polymorphs’) of the same macromolecule, and dictate their usability in a scientific or industrial context. To gain control over an emerging polymorph, one needs a molecular-level understanding of the pathways that lead to the various macroscopic states and of the mechanisms that govern pathway selection. However, it is still not clear how the embryonic seeds of a macromolecular phase are formed, or how these nuclei affect polymorph selection. Here we use time-resolved cryo-transmission electron microscopy to image the nucleation of crystals of the protein glucose isomerase, and to uncover at molecular resolution the nucleation pathways that lead to two crystalline states and one gelled state. We show that polymorph selection takes place at the earliest stages of structure formation and is based on specific building blocks for each space group. Moreover, we demonstrate control over the system by selectively forming desired polymorphs through site-directed mutagenesis, specifically tuning intermolecular bonding or gel seeding. Our results differ from the present picture of protein nucleation, in that we do not identify a metastable dense liquid as the precursor to the crystalline state. Rather, we observe nucleation events that are driven by oriented attachments between subcritical clusters that already exhibit a degree of crystallinity. These insights suggest ways of controlling macromolecular phase transitions, aiding the development of protein

  4. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki [Shinshu University, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Ueda (Japan); Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan); Natsuki, Jun [Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan)

    2017-04-15

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  5. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki; Natsuki, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  6. Potential of isotope analysis (C, Cl) to identify dechlorination mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cretnik, Stefan; Thoreson, Kristen; Bernstein, Anat; Ebert, Karin; Buchner, Daniel; Laskov, Christine; Haderlein, Stefan; Shouakar-Stash, Orfan; Kliegman, Sarah; McNeill, Kristopher; Elsner, Martin

    2013-04-01

    Chloroethenes are commonly used in industrial applications, and detected as carcinogenic contaminants in the environment. Their dehalogenation is of environmental importance in remediation processes. However, a detailed understanding frequently accounted problem is the accumulation of toxic degradation products such as cis-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) at contaminated sites. Several studies have addressed the reductive dehalogenation reactions using biotic and abiotic model systems, but a crucial question in this context has remained open: Do environmental transformations occur by the same mechanism as in their corresponding in vitro model systems? The presented study shows the potential to close this research gap using the latest developments in compound specific chlorine isotope analysis, which make it possible to routinely measure chlorine isotope fractionation of chloroethenes in environmental samples and complex reaction mixtures.1,2 In particular, such chlorine isotope analysis enables the measurement of isotope fractionation for two elements (i.e., C and Cl) in chloroethenes. When isotope values of both elements are plotted against each other, different slopes reflect different underlying mechanisms and are remarkably insensitive towards masking. Our results suggest that different microbial strains (G. lovleyi strain SZ, D. hafniense Y51) and the isolated cofactor cobalamin employ similar mechanisms of reductive dechlorination of TCE. In contrast, evidence for a different mechanism was obtained with cobaloxime cautioning its use as a model for biodegradation. The study shows the potential of the dual isotope approach as a tool to directly compare transformation mechanisms of environmental scenarios, biotic transformations, and their putative chemical lab scale systems. Furthermore, it serves as an essential reference when using the dual isotope approach to assess the fate of chlorinated compounds in the environment.

  7. Advance of Mechanically Controllable Break Junction for Molecular Electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Wang, Ling; Zhang, Lei; Xiang, Dong

    2017-06-01

    Molecular electronics stands for the ultimate size of functional elements, keeping up with an unstoppable trend over the past few decades. As a vital component of molecular electronics, single molecular junctions have attracted significant attention from research groups all over the world. Due to its pronounced superiority, the mechanically controllable break junctions (MCBJ) technique has been widely applied to characterize the dynamic performance of single molecular junctions. This review presents a system analysis for single-molecule junctions and offers an overview of four test-beds for single-molecule junctions, thus offering more insight into the mechanisms of electron transport. We mainly focus on the development of state-of-the-art mechanically controlled break junctions. The three-terminal gated MCBJ approaches are introduced to manipulate the electron transport of molecules, and MCBJs are combined with characterization techniques. Additionally, applications of MCBJs and remarkable properties of single molecules are addressed. Finally, the challenges and perspective for the mechanically controllable break junctions technique are provided.

  8. Survival under stress: molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies in my laboratory are analysing the molecular mechanisms and regulatory events that underlie transitions to and from hypometabolic states In systems including anoxia-tolerant turtles and molluscs, estivating snails and toads, hibernating small mammals, and freeze tolerant frogs and insects. Our newest research ...

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Microcystin Toxicity in Animal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Campos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Microcystins (MC are potent hepatotoxins produced by the cyanobacteria of the genera Planktothrix, Microcystis, Aphanizomenon, Nostoc and Anabaena. These cyclic heptapeptides have strong affinity to serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PPs thereby acting as an inhibitor of this group of enzymes. Through this interaction a cascade of events responsible for the MC cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in animal cells may take place. Moreover MC induces oxidative stress in animal cells and together with the inhibition of PPs, this pathway is considered to be one of the main mechanisms of MC toxicity. In recent years new insights on the key enzymes involved in the signal-transduction and toxicity have been reported demonstrating the complexity of the interaction of these toxins with animal cells. Key proteins involved in MC up-take, biotransformation and excretion have been identified, demonstrating the ability of aquatic animals to metabolize and excrete the toxin. MC have shown to interact with the mitochondria. The consequences are the dysfunction of the organelle, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS and cell apoptosis. MC activity leads to the differential expression/activity of transcriptional factors and protein kinases involved in the pathways of cellular differentiation, proliferation and tumor promotion activity. This activity may result from the direct inhibition of the protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A. This review aims to summarize the increasing data regarding the molecular mechanisms of MC toxicity in animal systems, reporting for direct MC interacting proteins and key enzymes in the process of toxicity biotransformation/excretion of these cyclic peptides.

  10. Proteomics Characterization of the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutant P53 Reactivation with PRIMA-1 in Breast Cancer Cells

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Daoud, Sayed S

    2006-01-01

    The main purpose of the study is to identify novel protein-protein interactions in various locations of cells to establish the molecular mechanisms of mutant p53 reactivation with PRIMA-1 in breast cancer cells...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-05

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

  12. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models.

  13. Submillisecond elastic recoil reveals molecular origins of fibrin fiber mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O'Brien, E Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Falvo, Michael R

    2013-06-18

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin's elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin's mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Submillisecond Elastic Recoil Reveals Molecular Origins of Fibrin Fiber Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E.; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O’Brien, E. Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V.; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Falvo, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin’s elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin’s mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. PMID:23790375

  15. Sediment tolerance mechanisms identified in sponges using advanced imaging techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian W. Strehlow

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial runoff, resuspension events and dredging can affect filter-feeding sponges by elevating the concentration of suspended sediments, reducing light intensity, and smothering sponges with sediments. To investigate how sponges respond to pressures associated with increased sediment loads, the abundant and widely distributed Indo-Pacific species Ianthella basta was exposed to elevated suspended sediment concentrations, sediment deposition, and light attenuation for 48 h (acute exposure and 4 weeks (chronic exposure. In order to visualise the response mechanisms, sponge tissue was examined by 3D X-ray microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM. Acute exposures resulted in sediment rapidly accumulating in the aquiferous system of I. basta, although this sediment was fully removed within three days. Sediment removal took longer (>2 weeks following chronic exposures, and I. basta also exhibited tissue regression and a smaller aquiferous system. The application of advanced imaging approaches revealed that I. basta employs a multilevel system for sediment rejection and elimination, containing both active and passive components. Sponges responded to sediment stress through (i mucus production, (ii exclusion of particles by incurrent pores, (iii closure of oscula and pumping cessation, (iv expulsion of particles from the aquiferous system, and (v tissue regression to reduce the volume of the aquiferous system, thereby entering a dormant state. These mechanisms would result in tolerance and resilience to exposure to variable and high sediment loads associated with both anthropogenic impacts like dredging programs and natural pressures like flood events.

  16. Substrate binding and catalytic mechanism in phospholipase C from Bacillus cereus. a molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Graça Thrige, D; Buur, J R; Jørgensen, Flemming Steen

    1997-01-01

    cereus including a docked substrate molecule was subjected to a stepwise molecular mechanics energy minimization. Second, the location of the nucleophilic water molecule in the active site of the fully relaxed enzyme-substrate complex was determined by evaluation of nonbonded interaction energies between...... water molecule was verified during a 100 ps molecular dynamics simulation. During the simulation the substrate undergoes a conformational change, but retains its localization in the active site. The contacts between the enzyme, the substrate, and the nucleophilic water molecule display some fluctuations...... the strong electrostatic interactions in the active site realistically during energy minimization, delocalization of the charges from the three zinc ions was considered. Therefore, quantum mechanics calculations on the zinc ions and the zinc-coordinating residues were carried out prior to the molecular...

  17. Identifying mechanisms for superdiffusive dynamics in cell trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passucci, Giuseppe; Brasch, Megan; Henderson, James; Manning, M. Lisa

    Self-propelled particle (SPP) models have been used to explore features of active matter such as motility-induced phase separation, jamming, and flocking, and are often used to model biological cells. However, many cells exhibit super-diffusive trajectories, where displacements scale faster than t 1 / 2 in all directions, and these are not captured by traditional SPP models. We extract cell trajectories from image stacks of mouse fibroblast cells moving on 2D substrates and find super-diffusive mean-squared displacements in all directions across varying densities. Two SPP model modifications have been proposed to capture super-diffusive dynamics: Levy walks and heterogeneous motility parameters. In mouse fibroblast cells displacement probability distributions collapse when time is rescaled by a power greater than 1/2, which is consistent with Levy walks. We show that a simple SPP model with heterogeneous rotational noise can also generate a similar collapse. Furthermore, a close examination of statistics extracted directly from cell trajectories is consistent with a heterogeneous mobility SPP model and inconsistent with a Levy walk model. Our work demonstrates that a simple set of analyses can distinguish between mechanisms for anomalous diffusion in active matter.

  18. Exploring the molecular mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine components using gene expression signatures and connectivity map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Minjae; Shin, Jimin; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Jihye; Kang, Jaewoo; Tan, Aik Choon

    2018-04-04

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced over thousands of years in China and other Asian countries for treating various symptoms and diseases. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of TCM are poorly understood, partly due to the "multi-component, multi-target" nature of TCM. To uncover the molecular mechanisms of TCM, we perform comprehensive gene expression analysis using connectivity map. We interrogated gene expression signatures obtained 102 TCM components using the next generation Connectivity Map (CMap) resource. We performed systematic data mining and analysis on the mechanism of action (MoA) of these TCM components based on the CMap results. We clustered the 102 TCM components into four groups based on their MoAs using next generation CMap resource. We performed gene set enrichment analysis on these components to provide additional supports for explaining these molecular mechanisms. We also provided literature evidence to validate the MoAs identified through this bioinformatics analysis. Finally, we developed the Traditional Chinese Medicine Drug Repurposing Hub (TCM Hub) - a connectivity map resource to facilitate the elucidation of TCM MoA for drug repurposing research. TCMHub is freely available in http://tanlab.ucdenver.edu/TCMHub. Molecular mechanisms of TCM could be uncovered by using gene expression signatures and connectivity map. Through this analysis, we identified many of the TCM components possess diverse MoAs, this may explain the applications of TCM in treating various symptoms and diseases. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms Behind the Chemopreventive Effects of Anthocyanidins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Xing Hou

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthocyanins are polyphenolic ring-based flavonoids, and are widespread in fruits and vegetables of red-blue color. Epidemiological investigations and animal experiments have indicated that anthocyanins may contribute to cancer chemoprevention. The studies on the mechanism have been done recently at molecular level. This review summarizes current molecular bases for anthocyanidins on several key steps involved in cancer chemoprevention: (i inhibition of anthocyanidins in cell transformation through targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathway and activator protein 1 (AP-1 factor; (ii suppression of anthocyanidins in inflammation and carcinogenesis through targeting nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB pathway and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2 gene; (iii apoptotic induction of cancer cells by anthocyanidins through reactive oxygen species (ROS / c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK-mediated caspase activation. These data provide a first molecular view of anthocyanidins contributing to cancer chemoprevention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

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

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Chromium in Alleviating Insulin Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Yinan; Clark, Suzanne; Ren, Jun; Sreejayan, Nair

    2011-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular anomalies and is a major health problem approaching global epidemic proportions. Insulin resistance, a prediabetic condition, precedes the onset of frank type 2 diabetes and offers potential avenues for early intervention to treat the disease. Although lifestyle modifications and exercise can reduce the incidence of diabetes, compliance has proved to be difficult, warranting pharmacological interventions. However, most of the currently available drugs that improve insulin sensitivity have adverse effects. Therefore, attractive strategies to alleviate insulin resistance include dietary supplements. One such supplement is chromium, which has been shown reduce insulin resistance in some, but not all, studies. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance remain elusive. This review examines emerging reports on the effect of chromium, as well as molecular and cellular mechanisms by which chromium may provide beneficial effects in alleviating insulin resistance. PMID:22423897

  2. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu H

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Haiyan Zhu, Hui Luo, Wenwen Zhang, Zhaojun Shen, Xiaoli Hu, Xueqiong Zhu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%–20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer. Keywords: cisplatin, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, microRNA, molecular mechanism, resistance

  3. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Hedgehog-Gli (HH-GLI), specific roles mediated by cell surface markers and micro-environmental factors are involved in the regulation of self-renewal. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind self-renewal may lead to the development of novel targeted interventions for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

  4. Stability mechanisms of a thermophilic laccase probed by molecular dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels J Christensen

    Full Text Available Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response to variable ionic strengths, temperatures, and glycosylation status. Near-physiological conditions provided excellent agreement with the crystal structure (average RMSD ∼0.92 Å and residual agreement with experimental B-factors. The persistence of backbone hydrogen bonds was identified as a key descriptor of structural response to environment, whereas solvent-accessibility, radius of gyration, and fluctuations were only locally relevant. Backbone hydrogen bonds decreased systematically with temperature in all simulations (∼9 per 50 K, probing structural changes associated with enthalpy-entropy compensation. Approaching T opt (∼350 K from 300 K, this change correlated with a beginning "unzipping" of critical β-sheets. 0 M ionic strength triggered partial denucleation of the C-terminal (known experimentally to be sensitive at 400 K, suggesting a general salt stabilization effect. In contrast, F(- (but not Cl(- specifically impaired secondary structure by formation of strong hydrogen bonds with backbone NH, providing a mechanism for experimentally observed small anion destabilization, potentially remedied by site-directed mutagenesis at critical intrusion sites. N-glycosylation was found to support structural integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F(- intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes.

  5. Integrative Genomic Analysis of Cholangiocarcinoma Identifies Distinct IDH-Mutant Molecular Profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farshad Farshidfar

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA is an aggressive malignancy of the bile ducts, with poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Here, we describe the integrated analysis of somatic mutations, RNA expression, copy number, and DNA methylation by The Cancer Genome Atlas of a set of predominantly intrahepatic CCA cases and propose a molecular classification scheme. We identified an IDH mutant-enriched subtype with distinct molecular features including low expression of chromatin modifiers, elevated expression of mitochondrial genes, and increased mitochondrial DNA copy number. Leveraging the multi-platform data, we observed that ARID1A exhibited DNA hypermethylation and decreased expression in the IDH mutant subtype. More broadly, we found that IDH mutations are associated with an expanded histological spectrum of liver tumors with molecular features that stratify with CCA. Our studies reveal insights into the molecular pathogenesis and heterogeneity of cholangiocarcinoma and provide classification information of potential therapeutic significance.

  6. Elucidation of Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of Norrie Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Luhmann, Ulrich F.O.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Norrie disease (ND) is a rare X-linked recessive congenital blindness, sometimes associated with deafness and mental retardation. In this thesis the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of this syndrome should be elucidated using the Ndph knockout mouse model. Gene expression studies but also histology and protein biochemistry were used to characterize the affected organs, eye and brain. Gene expression analyses of eyes at p21 using cDNA subtrac...

  7. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swygenhoven, H. van [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Caro, A. [Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina). Centro Atomico Bariloche

    1997-09-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young`s modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  8. Unraveling the mechanism of molecular doping in organic semiconductors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mityashin, Alexander; Olivier, Yoann; Van Regemorter, Tanguy; Rolin, Cedric; Verlaak, Stijn; Martinelli, Nicolas G; Beljonne, David; Cornil, Jérôme; Genoe, Jan; Heremans, Paul

    2012-03-22

    The mechanism by which molecular dopants donate free charge carriers to the host organic semiconductor is investigated and is found to be quite different from the one in inorganic semiconductors. In organics, a strong correlation between the doping concentration and its charge donation efficiency is demonstrated. Moreover, there is a threshold doping level below which doping simply has no electrical effect. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swygenhoven, H. van; Caro, A.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young's modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs

  10. Radiotracer studies on molecular mechanisms of death and resuscitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikulin, V.J.; Pogossova, A.V.; Konikova, A.S.

    1980-01-01

    Tracer techniques and artificial circulation were applied to rabbits after death by anoxia and deep hypothermia in order to study molecular mechanisms. 60 min after death the biosynthesis and disintegration of protein RNA and DNA practically stopped in all organs. In animals cooled post mortem the process of biosynthesis and degradation of protein, RNA and DNA, as well as the physiological functions of the whole organism, were restored. (author)

  11. Molecular Mechanism and Genetic Determinants of Buprofezin Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-01-01

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and nontarget insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon...

  12. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth facto...

  13. Combined quantum and molecular mechanics (QM/MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesner, Richard A

    2004-12-01

    We describe the current state of the art of mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methodology, with a particular focus on modeling of enzymatic reactions. Over the past decade, the effectiveness of these methods has increased dramatically, based on improved quantum chemical methods, advances in the description of the QM/MM interface, and reductions in the cost/performance of computing hardware. Two examples of pharmaceutically relevant applications, cytochrome P450 and class C β-lactamase, are presented.: © 2004 Elsevier Ltd . All rights reserved.

  14. Lignin biodegradation: experimental evidence, molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monties, B

    1985-01-01

    A critical review is presented of English, French and some German language literature, mainly from 1983 onwards. It examines experimental evidence on the behaviour as barriers to biodegradation of lignins and phenolic polymers such as tannins and suberins. The different molecular mechanisms of lignolysis by fungi (mainly), actinomycetes and bacteria are examined. A new biochemical approach to the physiological mechanism of regulation of lignolytic activities is suggested based on the discoveries of ligniolytic enzymes: effects of nitrogen, oxygen and substrate are discussed. It is concluded that a better knowledge of the structure and reactivity of phenolic barriers is needed in order to control the process of lignolysis.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saif Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease with a high incidence and is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is primarily characterized by degeneration of the spinal motor neurons that leads to skeletal muscle atrophy followed by symmetric limb paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. In humans, mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1 gene shifts the load of expression of SMN protein to the SMN2 gene that produces low levels of full-length SMN protein because of alternative splicing, which are sufficient for embryonic development and survival but result in SMA. The molecular mechanisms of the (a regulation of SMN gene expression and (b degeneration of motor neurons caused by low levels of SMN are unclear. However, some progress has been made in recent years that have provided new insights into understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of SMA pathogenesis. In this review, we have briefly summarized recent advances toward understanding of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of SMN levels and signaling mechanisms that mediate neurodegeneration in SMA.

  16. Identifying molecular subtypes in human colon cancer using gene expression and DNA methylation microarray data

    OpenAIRE

    REN, ZHONGLU; WANG, WENHUI; LI, JINMING

    2015-01-01

    Identifying colon cancer subtypes based on molecular signatures may allow for a more rational, patient-specific approach to therapy in the future. Classifications using gene expression data have been attempted before with little concordance between the different studies carried out. In this study we aimed to uncover subtypes of colon cancer that have distinct biological characteristics and identify a set of novel biomarkers which could best reflect the clinical and/or biological characteristi...

  17. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V; Voth, Gregory A

    2018-01-07

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  18. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2018-01-01

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  19. A pseudobond parametrization for improved electrostatics in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations of enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Jerry M; Hu, Hao; Cohen, Aron J; Yang, Weitao

    2008-10-21

    The pseudobond method is used in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations in which a covalent bond connects the quantum mechanical and classical subsystems. In this method, the molecular mechanical boundary atom is replaced by a special quantum mechanical atom with one free valence that forms a bond with the rest of the quantum mechanical subsystem. This boundary atom is modified through the use of a parametrized effective core potential and basis set. The pseudobond is designed to reproduce the properties of the covalent bond that it has replaced, while invoking as small a perturbation as possible on the system. Following the work of Zhang [J. Chem. Phys. 122, 024114 (2005)], we have developed new pseudobond parameters for use in the simulation of enzymatic systems. Our parameters yield improved electrostatics and deprotonation energies, while at the same time maintaining accurate geometries. We provide parameters for C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(3)), C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(2),carbonyl), and C(ps)(sp(3))-N(sp(3)) pseudobonds, which allow the interface between the quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical subsystems to be constructed at either the C(alpha)-C(beta) bond of a given amino acid residue or along the peptide backbone. In addition, we demonstrate the efficiency of our parametrization method by generating residue-specific pseudobond parameters for a single amino acid. Such an approach may enable higher accuracy than general purpose parameters for specific QM/MM applications.

  20. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  1. Multiscale simulations in face-centered cubic metals: A method coupling quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Xiao-Xiang; Wang Chong-Yu

    2013-01-01

    An effective multiscale simulation which concurrently couples the quantum-mechanical and molecular-mechanical calculations based on the position continuity of atoms is presented. By an iterative procedure, the structure of the dislocation core in face-centered cubic metal is obtained by first-principles calculation and the long-range stress is released by molecular dynamics relaxation. Compared to earlier multiscale methods, the present work couples the long-range strain to the local displacements of the dislocation core in a simpler way with the same accuracy. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  2. Molecular mechanisms of fertilization: the role of male factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Maria Kratz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fertilization, the fusion of male and female gametes, is an incompletely known, multistep, complex process, in which many factors participate. Fertilization is a precisely regulated, species-specific process, but some cellular mechanisms are similar for many mammal species. The studies of mechanisms of male and female gamete production enable understanding of fertilization issues and, as a result, make the analysis of the causes of infertility possible. Male and female infertility is a progressive phenomenon. The development of laboratory medicine enables the analysis of molecular aspects of the reactions between gametes, which may result in better diagnosis of many infertility cases and indicate the direction of therapeutic management. The fertilization process is accompanied by many biochemical reactions, in which glycoproteins present in human ejaculate play a very important role. Glycan structures enable glycoproteins to participate in the interactions between cells, including those between gametes. The analysis of the glycosylation profile and degree of ejaculate glycoproteins not only contributes to deepening the knowledge about mechanisms accompanying the fertilization process, but also may be useful as an additional diagnostic marker of male infertility.The aim of the present review is to approach selected molecular mechanisms occurring in the male genital tract, related to the fertilization process, as well as to analyze their influence on male fertility.

  3. Molecular models of zinc phthalocyanines: semi-empirical molecular orbital computations and physicochemical properties studied by molecular mechanics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gantchev, Tsvetan G.; van Lier, Johan E.; Hunting, Darel J.

    2005-01-01

    To build 3D-molecular models of Zinc-phthalocyanines (ZnPc) and to study their diverse chemical and photosensitization properties, we performed quantum mechanical molecular orbital (MO) semi-empirical (AM1) computations of the ground, excited singlet and triplet states as well as free radical (ionic) species. RHF and UHF (open shell) geometry optimizations led to near-perfect symmetrical ZnPc. Predicted ionization potentials (IP), electron affinities (EA) and lowest electronic transitions of ZnPc are in good agreement with the published experimental and theoretical data. The computation-derived D 4h /D 2h -symmetry 3D-structures of ground and excited states and free radicals of ZnPc, together with the frontier orbital energies and Mulliken electron population analysis enabled us to build robust molecular models. These models were used to predict important chemical-reactivity entities such as global electronegativity (χ), hardness (η) and local softness based on Fukui-functions analysis. Examples of molecular mechanics (MM) applications of the 3D-molecular models are presented as approaches to evaluate solvation free energy (ΔG 0 ) solv and to estimate ground- and excited- state oxidation/reduction potentials as well as intermolecular interactions and stability of ground and excited state dimers (exciplexes) and radical ion-pairs

  4. 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.

  5. NEWLY IDENTIFIED EXTENDED GREEN OBJECTS (EGOs) FROM THE SPITZER GLIMPSE II SURVEY. II. MOLECULAR CLOUD ENVIRONMENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Xi; Gan Conggui; Shen Zhiqiang [Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030 (China); Ellingsen, Simon P.; Titmarsh, Anita [School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (Australia); He Jinhua, E-mail: chenxi@shao.ac.cn [Key Laboratory for the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Yunnan Astronomical Observatory/National Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 110, Kunming 650011, Yunnan Province (China)

    2013-06-01

    We have undertaken a survey of molecular lines in the 3 mm band toward 57 young stellar objects using the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m radio telescope. The target sources were young stellar objects with active outflows (extended green objects (EGOs)) newly identified from the GLIMPSE II survey. We observe a high detection rate (50%) of broad line wing emission in the HNC and CS thermal lines, which combined with the high detection rate of class I methanol masers toward these sources (reported in Paper I) further demonstrates that the GLIMPSE II EGOs are associated with outflows. The physical and kinematic characteristics derived from the 3 mm molecular lines for these newly identified EGOs are consistent with these sources being massive young stellar objects with ongoing outflow activity and rapid accretion. These findings support our previous investigations of the mid-infrared properties of these sources and their association with other star formation tracers (e.g., infrared dark clouds, methanol masers and millimeter dust sources) presented in Paper I. The high detection rate (64%) of the hot core tracer CH{sub 3}CN reveals that the majority of these new EGOs have evolved to the hot molecular core stage. Comparison of the observed molecular column densities with predictions from hot core chemistry models reveals that the newly identified EGOs from the GLIMPSE II survey are members of the youngest hot core population, with an evolutionary time scale of the order of 10{sup 3} yr.

  6. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathiazhagan, S., E-mail: smathi.research@gmail.com; Anup, S., E-mail: anupiist@gmail.com

    2016-08-19

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  7. Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned copper by molecular dynamics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xing [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China); Lu, Cheng, E-mail: chenglu@uow.edu.au [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Tieu, Anh Kiet; Pei, Linqing; Zhang, Liang; Su, Lihong [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Zhan, Lihua [State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China)

    2017-02-27

    Nanotwinned materials exhibit simultaneous ultrahigh strength and high ductility which is attributed to the interactions between dislocations and twin boundaries but the specific deformation mechanisms are rarely seen in experiments at the atomic level. Here we use large scale molecular dynamics simulations to explore this intricate interplay during the plastic deformation of nanotwinned Cu. We demonstrate that the dominant deformation mechanism transits dynamically from slip transfer to twin boundary migration to slip-twin interactions as the twin boundary orientation changes from horizontal to slant, and then to a vertical direction. Building on the fundamental physics of dislocation processes from computer simulations and combining the available experimental investigations, we unravel the underlying deformation mechanisms for nanotwinned Cu, incorporating all three distinct dislocation processes. Our results give insights into systematically engineering the nanoscale twins to fabricate nanotwinned metals or alloys that have high strength and considerable ductility.

  8. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-01-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  9. Molecular mechanism of extreme mechanostability in a pathogen adhesin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Lukas F; Schulten, Klaus; Gaub, Hermann E; Bernardi, Rafael C

    2018-03-30

    High resilience to mechanical stress is key when pathogens adhere to their target and initiate infection. Using atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy, we explored the mechanical stability of the prototypical staphylococcal adhesin SdrG, which targets a short peptide from human fibrinogen β. Steered molecular dynamics simulations revealed, and single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments confirmed, the mechanism by which this complex withstands forces of over 2 nanonewtons, a regime previously associated with the strength of a covalent bond. The target peptide, confined in a screwlike manner in the binding pocket of SdrG, distributes forces mainly toward the peptide backbone through an intricate hydrogen bond network. Thus, these adhesins can attach to their target with exceptionally resilient mechanostability, virtually independent of peptide side chains. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  10. Homeostasis-altering molecular processes as mechanisms of inflammasome activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liston, Adrian; Masters, Seth L

    2017-03-01

    The innate immune system uses a distinct set of germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to initiate downstream inflammatory cascades. This recognition system is in stark contrast to the adaptive immune system, which relies on highly variable, randomly generated antigen receptors. A key limitation of the innate immune system's reliance on fixed PRRs is its inflexibility in responding to rapidly evolving pathogens. Recent advances in our understanding of inflammasome activation suggest that the innate immune system also has sophisticated mechanisms for responding to pathogens for which there is no fixed PRR. This includes the recognition of debris from dying cells, known as danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which can directly activate PRRs in a similar manner to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Distinct from this, emerging data for the inflammasome components NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing 3) and pyrin suggest that they do not directly detect molecular patterns, but instead act as signal integrators that are capable of detecting perturbations in cytoplasmic homeostasis, for example, as initiated by infection. Monitoring these perturbations, which we term 'homeostasis-altering molecular processes' (HAMPs), provides potent flexibility in the capacity of the innate immune system to detect evolutionarily novel infections; however, HAMP sensing may also underlie the sterile inflammation that drives chronic inflammatory diseases.

  11. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA and oleanolic acid (OA at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0 to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139 μM, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of aging and immune system regulation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Castillo, Julio Cesar

    2012-01-01

    Aging is a complex process that involves the accumulation of deleterious changes resulting in overall decline in several vital functions, leading to the progressive deterioration in physiological condition of the organism and eventually causing disease and death. The immune system is the most important host-defense mechanism in humans and is also highly conserved in insects. Extensive research in vertebrates has concluded that aging of the immune function results in increased susceptibility to infectious disease and chronic inflammation. Over the years, interest has grown in studying the molecular interaction between aging and the immune response to pathogenic infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for dissecting the genetic and genomic basis of important biological processes, such as aging and the innate immune system, and deciphering parallel mechanisms in vertebrate animals. Here, we review the recent advances in the identification of key players modulating the relationship between molecular aging networks and immune signal transduction pathways in the fly. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in aging and immune system regulation will potentially lead to the development of strategies for decreasing the impact of age-related diseases, thus improving human health and life span.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis determined by the recombinant DNA technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    A study of the alteration of the DNA in the mutant gene can determine mechanisms of mutation by distinguishing between mutations induced by transition, transversion, frameshifts of a single base and deletions involving many base pairs. The association of a specific pattern of response with a mutagen will permit detecting mutants induced by the mutagen with a reduced background by removing mutations induced by other mechanisms from the pool of potential mutants. From analyses of studies that have been conducted, it is quite apparent that there are substantial differences among mutagens in their modes of action. Of 31 x-ray induced mutants, 20 were large deletions while only 3 showed normal Southern blots. Only one mutant produced a sub-unit polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge in the in vivo test whereas in vitro synthesis produced a second one. In contrast, nine of thirteen EMS induced mutants produced cross-reacting proteins with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weights equivalent to wild type. Two of three ENU induced mutants recently analyzed in our laboratory produced protein with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weight and electrical charge similar to the wild type stock in which the mutants were induced. One ENU induced mutation is a large deletion. 21 refs., 1 fig

  14. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  15. Postischemic revascularization: from cellular and molecular mechanisms to clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, Jean-Sébastien; Smadja, David M; Lévy, Bernard I

    2013-10-01

    After the onset of ischemia, cardiac or skeletal muscle undergoes a continuum of molecular, cellular, and extracellular responses that determine the function and the remodeling of the ischemic tissue. Hypoxia-related pathways, immunoinflammatory balance, circulating or local vascular progenitor cells, as well as changes in hemodynamical forces within vascular wall trigger all the processes regulating vascular homeostasis, including vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, arteriogenesis, and collateral growth, which act in concert to establish a functional vascular network in ischemic zones. In patients with ischemic diseases, most of the cellular (mainly those involving bone marrow-derived cells and local stem/progenitor cells) and molecular mechanisms involved in the activation of vessel growth and vascular remodeling are markedly impaired by the deleterious microenvironment characterized by fibrosis, inflammation, hypoperfusion, and inhibition of endogenous angiogenic and regenerative programs. Furthermore, cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, and aging, constitute a deleterious macroenvironment that participates to the abrogation of postischemic revascularization and tissue regeneration observed in these patient populations. Thus stimulation of vessel growth and/or remodeling has emerged as a new therapeutic option in patients with ischemic diseases. Many strategies of therapeutic revascularization, based on the administration of growth factors or stem/progenitor cells from diverse sources, have been proposed and are currently tested in patients with peripheral arterial disease or cardiac diseases. This review provides an overview from our current knowledge regarding molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in postischemic revascularization, as well as advances in the clinical application of such strategies of therapeutic revascularization.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. PMID:23847533

  17. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration.

  18. Separating grain boundary migration mechanisms in molecular dynamics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulomek, Felix; Mohles, Volker

    2016-01-01

    In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of grain boundary (GB) migration it is quite common to find a temperature dependence of GB mobility that deviates strongly from an Arrhenius-type dependence. This usually indicates that more than one mechanism is actually active. With the goal to separate different GB migration mechanisms we investigate a Σ7 <111> 38.2° GB by MD using an EAM potential for aluminium. To drive the GB with a well-known and adjustable force, the energy conserving orientational driving force (ECO DF) is used that had been introduced recently. The magnitude of the DF and the temperature are varied. This yielded a high and a low temperature range for the GB velocity, with a transition temperature that depends on the magnitude of the DF. A method is introduced which allows both a visual and a statistical characterization of GB motion on a per atom basis. These analyses reveal that two mechanisms are active in this GB, a shuffling mechanism and its initiation. These mechanisms operate in a sequential, coupled manner. Based on this, a simple model is introduced that describes all simulated GB velocities (and hence the mobility) very well, including the transition between the dominating mechanisms.

  19. Molecular mechanisms in compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide/Polyvinyl alcohol blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qinghua; Wang, Yanen; Che, Yu; Yang, Mingming; Li, Xinpei; Zhang, Yingfeng

    2017-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to develop a computational model based on molecular dynamics technique to investigate the compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide (PAM)/Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) blends. Five simulation models of PAM/PVA with different composition ratios (4/0, 3/1, 2/2, 1/3, 0/4) were constructed and simulated by using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The interaction mechanisms of molecular chains in PAM/PVA blend system were elaborated from the aspects of the compatibility, mechanical properties, binding energy and pair correlation function, respectively. The computed values of solubility parameters for PAM and PVA indicate PAM has a good miscibility with PVA. The results of the static mechanical analysis, based on the equilibrium structures of blends with differing component ratios, shows us that the elastic coefficient, engineering modulus, and ductility are increased with the addition of PVA content, which is 4/0 PAM/PVAPVAPVAPVAPVA. Moreover, binding energy results indicate that a stronger interaction exists among PVA molecular chains comparing with PAM molecular chains, which is why the mechanical properties of blend system increasing with the addition of PVA content. Finally, the results of pair correlation functions (PCFs) between polar functional groups and its surrounding hydrogen atoms, indicated they interact with each other mainly by hydrogen bonds, and the strength of three types of polar functional groups has the order of O(-OH)>O(-C=O)>N(-NH 2 ). This further elaborates the root reason why the mechanical properties of blend system increase with the addition of PVA content. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Quantum Interactomics and Cancer Molecular Mechanisms: I. Report Outline

    CERN Document Server

    Baianu, I C

    2004-01-01

    Single cell interactomics in simpler organisms, as well as somatic cell interactomics in multicellular organisms, involve biomolecular interactions in complex signalling pathways that were recently represented in modular terms by quantum automata with ‘reversible behavior’ representing normal cell cycling and division. Other implications of such quantum automata, modular modeling of signaling pathways and cell differentiation during development are in the fields of neural plasticity and brain development leading to quantum-weave dynamic patterns and specific molecular processes underlying extensive memory, learning, anticipation mechanisms and the emergence of human consciousness during the early brain development in children. Cell interactomics is here represented for the first time as a mixture of ‘classical’ states that determine molecular dynamics subject to Boltzmann statistics and ‘steady-state’, metabolic (multi-stable) manifolds, together with ‘configuration’ spaces of metastable quant...

  1. Conduction mechanism of nitronyl-nitroxide molecular magnetic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotti, N.; Heintze, E.; Slota, M.; Hübner, R.; Wang, F.; Nuss, J.; Dressel, M.; Bogani, L.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the conduction mechanisms of nitronyl-nitroxide (NIT) molecular radicals, as useful for the creation of nanoscopic molecular spintronic devices, finding that it does not correspond to standard Mott behavior, as previously postulated. We provide a complete investigation using transport measurements, low-energy, sub-THz spectroscopy and introducing differently substituted phenyl appendages. We show that a nontrivial surface-charge-limited regime is present in addition to the standard low-voltage Ohmic conductance. Scaling analysis allows one to determine all the main transport parameters for the compounds and highlights the presence of charge-trapping effects. Comparison among the different compounds shows the relevance of intermolecular stacking between the aromatic ring of the phenyl appendix and the NIT motif in the creation of useful electron transport channels. The importance of intermolecular pathways is further highlighted by electronic structure calculations, which clarify the nature of the electronic channels and their effect on the Mott character of the compounds.

  2. Internal force corrections with machine learning for quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingheng; Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2017-10-28

    Ab initio quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulation is a useful tool to calculate thermodynamic properties such as potential of mean force for chemical reactions but intensely time consuming. In this paper, we developed a new method using the internal force correction for low-level semiempirical QM/MM molecular dynamics samplings with a predefined reaction coordinate. As a correction term, the internal force was predicted with a machine learning scheme, which provides a sophisticated force field, and added to the atomic forces on the reaction coordinate related atoms at each integration step. We applied this method to two reactions in aqueous solution and reproduced potentials of mean force at the ab initio QM/MM level. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. The present work reveals great potentials for machine learning in QM/MM simulations to study complex chemical processes.

  3. Sexual polyploidization in plants--cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-05-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. © 2013 Ghent University. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Drugs meeting the molecular basis of diabetic kidney disease: bridging from molecular mechanism to personalized medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambers Heerspink, Hiddo J; Oberbauer, Rainer; Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Mayer, Gert; Mayer, Bernd

    2015-08-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a complex, multifactorial disease and is associated with a high risk of renal and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes recommend essentially identical treatments for all patients without taking into account how the individual responds to the instituted therapy. Yet, individuals vary widely in how they respond to medications and therefore optimal therapy differs between individuals. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of variability in drug response will help tailor optimal therapy. Polymorphisms in genes related to drug pharmacokinetics have been used to explore mechanisms of response variability in DKD, but with limited success. The complex interaction between genetic make-up and environmental factors on the abundance of proteins and metabolites renders pharmacogenomics alone insufficient to fully capture response variability. A complementary approach is to attribute drug response variability to individual variability in underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of disease. The interplay of different processes (e.g. inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, oxidative stress) appears to drive disease progression, but the individual contribution of each process varies. Drugs at the other hand address specific targets and thereby interfere in certain disease-associated processes. At this level, biomarkers may help to gain insight into which specific pathophysiological processes are involved in an individual followed by a rational assessment whether a specific drug's mode of action indeed targets the relevant process at hand. This article describes the conceptual background and data-driven workflow developed by the SysKid consortium aimed at improving characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying DKD at the interference of the molecular impact of individual drugs in order to tailor optimal therapy to individual patients. © The Author 2015. Published by

  5. Cortical GABA markers identify a molecular subtype of psychotic and bipolar disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, D W; Sampson, A R; Zhang, Y; Edelson, J R; Lewis, D A

    2016-09-01

    Deficits in gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) neuron-related markers, including the GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67, the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin, the neuropeptide somatostatin, and the transcription factor Lhx6, are most pronounced in a subset of schizophrenia subjects identified as having a 'low GABA marker' (LGM) molecular phenotype. Furthermore, schizophrenia shares degrees of genetic liability, clinical features and cortical circuitry abnormalities with schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. Therefore, we determined the extent to which a similar LGM molecular phenotype may also exist in subjects with these disorders. Transcript levels for GAD67, parvalbumin, somatostatin, and Lhx6 were quantified using quantitative PCR in prefrontal cortex area 9 of 184 subjects with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (n = 39), schizoaffective disorder (n = 23) or bipolar disorder (n = 35), or with a confirmed absence of any psychiatric diagnoses (n = 87). A blinded clustering approach was employed to determine the presence of a LGM molecular phenotype across all subjects. Approximately 49% of the subjects with schizophrenia, 48% of the subjects with schizoaffective disorder, and 29% of the subjects with bipolar disorder, but only 5% of unaffected subjects, clustered in the cortical LGM molecular phenotype. These findings support the characterization of psychotic and bipolar disorders by cortical molecular phenotype which may help elucidate more pathophysiologically informed and personalized medications.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, M A; Liñares, J; Martín, R

    1997-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are among the most common nosocomial pathogens. The most significant mechanism of resistance to methicillin in this-species is the acquisition of a genetic determinant (mecA gene). However, resistance seems to have a more complex molecular basis, since additional chromosomal material is involved in such resistance. Besides, overproduction of penicillinase and/or alterations in the PBPs can contribute to the formation of resistance phenotypes. Genetic and environmental factors leading to MRSA are reviewed.

  7. Mixed 2D molecular systems: Mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beno, Juraj [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Weis, Martin [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)], E-mail: Martin.Weis@stuba.sk; Dobrocka, Edmund [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Institute of Electrical Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 841 04-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Hasko, Daniel [International Laser Centre, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)

    2008-08-15

    Study of Langmuir monolayers consisting of stearic acid (SA) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) molecules was done by surface pressure-area isotherms ({pi}-A), the Maxwell displacement current (MDC) measurement, X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the selected mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties based on orientational structure of monolayers. On the base of {pi}-A isotherms analysis we explain the creation of stable structures and found optimal monolayer composition. The dielectric properties represented by MDC generated monolayers were analyzed in terms of excess dipole moment, proposing the effect of dipole-dipole interaction. XRR and AFM results illustrate deposited film structure and molecular ordering.

  8. The mechanism of selective molecular capture in carbon nanotube networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yu; Guan, Jun; Yang, Xudong; Zheng, Quanshui; Xu, Zhiping

    2014-07-28

    Recently, air pollution issues have drawn significant attention to the development of efficient air filters, and one of the most promising materials for this purpose is nanofibers. We explore here the mechanism of selective molecular capture of volatile organic compounds in carbon nanotube networks by performing atomistic simulations. The results are discussed with respect to the two key parameters that define the performance of nanofiltration, i.e. the capture efficiency and flow resistance, which demonstrate the advantages of carbon nanotube networks with high surface-to-volume ratio and atomistically smooth surfaces. We also reveal the important roles of interfacial adhesion and diffusion that govern selective gas transport through the network.

  9. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

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

  10. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Haiyan; Luo, Hui; Zhang, Wenwen; Shen, Zhaojun; Hu, Xiaoli; Zhu, Xueqiong

    2016-01-01

    Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%-20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Drought Tolerance in Pinus halepensis Seed Sources As Identified by Distinctive Physiological and Molecular Markers

    OpenAIRE

    Taïbi, Khaled; Campo, Antonio D. del; Vilagrosa Carmona, Alberto; Bellés, José M.; López-Gresa, María Pilar; Pla, Davinia; Calvete, Juan J.; López-Nicolás, José M.; Mulet, José M.

    2017-01-01

    Drought is one of the main constraints determining forest species growth, survival and productivity, and therefore one of the main limitations for reforestation or afforestation. The aim of this study is to characterize the drought response at the physiological and molecular level of different Pinus halepensis (common name Aleppo pine) seed sources, previously characterized in field trials as drought-sensitive or drought-tolerant. This approach aims to identify different traits capable of pre...

  13. MicroRNA Expression Profiling Identifies Molecular Diagnostic Signatures for Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Cuiling; Iqbal, Javeed; Teruya-Feldstein, Julie

    2013-01-01

    distinct clustering of ALCL, PTCL-NOS, and the AITL subtype of PTCL. Cases of ALK(+) ALCL and ALK(-) ALCL were interspersed in unsupervised analysis, suggesting a close relationship at the molecular level. We identified an miRNA signature of 7 miRNAs (5 upregulated: miR-512-3p, miR-886-5p, miR-886-3p, mi...

  14. Je, a versatile suite to handle multiplexed NGS libraries with unique molecular identifiers

    OpenAIRE

    Girardot, Charles; Scholtalbers, Jelle; Sauer, Sajoscha; Su, Shu-Yi; Furlong, Eileen E.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background The yield obtained from next generation sequencers has increased almost exponentially in recent years, making sample multiplexing common practice. While barcodes (known sequences of fixed length) primarily encode the sample identity of sequenced DNA fragments, barcodes made of random sequences (Unique Molecular Identifier or UMIs) are often used to distinguish between PCR duplicates and transcript abundance in, for example, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). In paired-end sequ...

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Pathogenesis Differ in Krabbe Disease Variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spratley, Samantha J; Hill, Chris H; Viuff, Agnete H

    2016-01-01

    different mutations have been identified in GALC that cause Krabbe disease but the mechanisms by which they cause disease remain unclear. We have generated monoclonal antibodies against full-length human GALC and used these to monitor the trafficking and processing of GALC variants in cell-based assays...

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Survival Strategies in Extreme Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Migliardo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Today, one of the major challenges in biophysics is to disclose the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes. In such a frame, the understanding of the survival strategies in extreme conditions received a lot of attention both from the scientific and applicative points of view. Since nature provides precious suggestions to be applied for improving the quality of life, extremophiles are considered as useful model-systems. The main goal of this review is to present an overview of some systems, with a particular emphasis on trehalose playing a key role in several extremophile organisms. The attention is focused on the relation among the structural and dynamic properties of biomolecules and bioprotective mechanisms, as investigated by complementary spectroscopic techniques at low- and high-temperature values.

  17. HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Thomas; Budzinska, Magdalena A.; Shackel, Nicholas A.; Urban, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite this form being a replicative dead-end for the virus. The frequent finding of somatic integration of viral DNA suggests an evolutionary benefit for the virus; however, the mechanism of integration, its functions, and the clinical implications remain unknown. Here we review the current body of knowledge of HBV DNA integration, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms and its clinical implications (including the possible consequences of replication-independent antigen expression and its possible role in hepatocellular carcinoma). HBV DNA integration is likely to influence HBV replication, persistence, and pathogenesis, and so deserves greater attention in future studies. PMID:28394272

  18. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

    . Even though a range of mechanisms contributing to polyQ diseases have been uncovered, there is still no treatment available. One of the more common polyQ diseases is SCA3, which is caused by a polyQ expansion in the ataxin-3 protein that normally functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme involved...... in protein quality control. In SCA3 patients polyQ expanded ataxin-3 forms intranuclear inclusions in various brain areas, but why the polyQ expansion of ataxin-3 leads to neuronal dysfunction is still not well understood. This thesis describes molecular biological investigations of ataxin-3 biology, aimed...... at furthering our understanding of SCA3 disease mechanisms. In manuscript I, we investigated if post-translational modifications of ataxin-3 were changed by the polyQ expansion. The ubiquitin chain topology and ubiquitination pattern of ataxin-3 were unaltered by the polyQ expansion. In contrast...

  19. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA. Progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypotheses regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alteration in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  20. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of platelet P2Y(12) receptor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Margaret R; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J

    2013-02-01

    Platelets are critical for haemostasis, however inappropriate activation can lead to the development of arterial thrombosis, which can result in heart attack and stroke. ADP is a key platelet agonist that exerts its actions via stimulation of two surface GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). Similar to most GPCRs, P2Y receptor activity is tightly regulated by a number of complex mechanisms including receptor desensitization, internalization and recycling. In the present article, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor regulation, with particular emphasis on the structural motifs within the P2Y(12) receptor, which are required to maintain regulatory protein interaction. The implications of these findings for platelet responsiveness are also discussed.

  2. DMPD: Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 18086388 Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Ko....csml) Show Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. PubmedID 18086388 Title ...Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Authors K

  3. Molecular mechanism and potential targets for bone metastasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iguchi, Haruo

    2007-01-01

    The incidence of bone metastasis has been increasing in all cancers in recent years. Bone metastasis is associated with substantial morbidity, including bone pain, pathological fracture, neurological deficit and/or hypercalcemia. Thus, the management of bone metastasis in patients is a clinically significant issue. In the process of bone metastasis, the primary mechanism responsible for bone destruction is cancer cell-mediated stimulation of osteoclastic bone resorption, which results in osteolysis and release of various growth factors from the bone matrix. These growth factors are prerequisites for successful colonization and subsequent invasive growth of cancer cells in bone, which is called a 'vicious cycle.' Thus, it is important to elucidate what molecules are involved in this step of bone destruction, and the understanding of these molecular mechanisms could lead to develop molecular-target therapies for bone metastasis. Bisphosphonates introduced in the treatment for bone metastasis have been shown to reduce skeletal morbidity. In Japan, the most potent bisphosphonate, zoledronate (ZOMETA), was introduced in this past April, and a phase III clinical trial of humanized anti-receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) monoclonal antibody (Denosumab) against bone metastasis is under way as a global study. These new agents, which are targeted to osteoclasts, are considered to be standard management in the care of bone metastasis patients in combination with chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. (author)

  4. Molecular subtypes of osteosarcoma identified by reducing tumor heterogeneity through an interspecies comparative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Milcah C.; Sarver, Aaron L.; Gavin, Katherine J.; Thayanithy, Venugopal; Getzy, David M.; Newman, Robert A.; Cutter, Gary R.; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Kisseberth, William C.; Hunter, Lawrence E.; Subramanian, Subbaya; Breen, Matthew; Modiano, Jaime F.

    2011-01-01

    The heterogeneous and chaotic nature of osteosarcoma has confounded accurate molecular classification, prognosis, and prediction for this tumor. The occurrence of spontaneous osteosarcoma is largely confined to humans and dogs. While the clinical features are remarkably similar in both species, the organization of dogs into defined breeds provides a more homogeneous genetic background that may increase the likelihood to uncover molecular subtypes for this complex disease. We thus hypothesized that molecular profiles derived from canine osteosarcoma would aid in molecular subclassification of this disease when applied to humans. To test the hypothesis, we performed genome wide gene expression profiling in a cohort of dogs with osteosarcoma, primarily from high-risk breeds. To further reduce inter-sample heterogeneity, we assessed tumor-intrinsic properties through use of an extensive panel of osteosarcoma-derived cell lines. We observed strong differential gene expression that segregated samples into two groups with differential survival probabilities. Groupings were characterized by the inversely correlated expression of genes associated with G2/M transition and DNA damage checkpoint and microenvironment-interaction categories. This signature was preserved in data from whole tumor samples of three independent dog osteosarcoma cohorts, with stratification into the two expected groups. Significantly, this restricted signature partially overlapped a previously defined, predictive signature for soft tissue sarcomas, and it unmasked orthologous molecular subtypes and their corresponding natural histories in five independent data sets from human patients with osteosarcoma. Our results indicate that the narrower genetic diversity of dogs can be utilized to group complex human osteosarcoma into biologically and clinically relevant molecular subtypes. This in turn may enhance prognosis and prediction, and identify relevant therapeutic targets. PMID:21621658

  5. MATCH: An Atom- Typing Toolset for Molecular Mechanics Force Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesselman, Joseph D.; Price, Daniel J.; Knight, Jennifer L.; Brooks, Charles L.

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a toolset of program libraries collectively titled MATCH (Multipurpose Atom-Typer for CHARMM) for the automated assignment of atom types and force field parameters for molecular mechanics simulation of organic molecules. The toolset includes utilities for the conversion from multiple chemical structure file formats into a molecular graph. A general chemical pattern-matching engine using this graph has been implemented whereby assignment of molecular mechanics atom types, charges and force field parameters is achieved by comparison against a customizable list of chemical fragments. While initially designed to complement the CHARMM simulation package and force fields by generating the necessary input topology and atom-type data files, MATCH can be expanded to any force field and program, and has core functionality that makes it extendable to other applications such as fragment-based property prediction. In the present work, we demonstrate the accurate construction of atomic parameters of molecules within each force field included in CHARMM36 through exhaustive cross validation studies illustrating that bond increment rules derived from one force field can be transferred to another. In addition, using leave-one-out substitution it is shown that it is also possible to substitute missing intra and intermolecular parameters with ones included in a force field to complete the parameterization of novel molecules. Finally, to demonstrate the robustness of MATCH and the coverage of chemical space offered by the recent CHARMM CGENFF force field (Vanommeslaeghe, et al., JCC., 2010, 31, 671–690), one million molecules from the PubChem database of small molecules are typed, parameterized and minimized. PMID:22042689

  6. A Practical Quantum Mechanics Molecular Mechanics Method for the Dynamical Study of Reactions in Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús I; Marcos-Alcalde, Iñigo; Trabada, Daniel G; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Ortega, José; Mendieta, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are excellent tools for the modeling of biomolecular reactions. Recently, we have implemented a new QM/MM method (Fireball/Amber), which combines an efficient density functional theory method (Fireball) and a well-recognized molecular dynamics package (Amber), offering an excellent balance between accuracy and sampling capabilities. Here, we present a detailed explanation of the Fireball method and Fireball/Amber implementation. We also discuss how this tool can be used to analyze reactions in biomolecules using steered molecular dynamics simulations. The potential of this approach is shown by the analysis of a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase (TIM). The conformational space and energetic landscape for this reaction are analyzed without a priori assumptions about the protonation states of the different residues during the reaction. The results offer a detailed description of the reaction and reveal some new features of the catalytic mechanism. In particular, we find a new reaction mechanism that is characterized by the intramolecular proton transfer from O1 to O2 and the simultaneous proton transfer from Glu 165 to C2. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Comparing hair-morphology and molecular methods to identify fecal samples from Neotropical felids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos C Alberts

    Full Text Available To avoid certain problems encountered with more-traditional and invasive methods in behavioral-ecology studies of mammalian predators, such as felids, molecular approaches have been employed to identify feces found in the field. However, this method requires a complete molecular biology laboratory, and usually also requires very fresh fecal samples to avoid DNA degradation. Both conditions are normally absent in the field. To address these difficulties, identification based on morphological characters (length, color, banding, scales and medullar patterns of hairs found in feces could be employed as an alternative. In this study we constructed a morphological identification key for guard hairs of eight Neotropical felids (jaguar, oncilla, Geoffroy's cat, margay, ocelot, Pampas cat, puma and jaguarundi and compared its efficiency to that of a molecular identification method, using the ATP6 region as a marker. For this molecular approach, we simulated some field conditions by postponing sample-conservation procedures. A blind test of the identification key obtained a nearly 70% overall success rate, which we considered equivalent to or better than the results of some molecular methods (probably due to DNA degradation found in other studies. The jaguar, puma and jaguarundi could be unequivocally discriminated from any other Neotropical felid. On a scale ranging from inadequate to excellent, the key proved poor only for the margay, with only 30% of its hairs successfully identified using this key; and have intermediate success rates for the remaining species, the oncilla, Geoffroy's cat, ocelot and Pampas cat, were intermediate. Complementary information about the known distributions of felid populations may be necessary to substantially improve the results obtained with the key. Our own molecular results were even better, since all blind-tested samples were correctly identified. Part of these identifications were made from samples kept in suboptimal

  8. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-03

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches.

  9. Defended to the Nines: 25 Years of Resistance Gene Cloning Identifies Nine Mechanisms for R Protein Function[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Plants have many, highly variable resistance (R) gene loci, which provide resistance to a variety of pathogens. The first R gene to be cloned, maize (Zea mays) Hm1, was published over 25 years ago, and since then, many different R genes have been identified and isolated. The encoded proteins have provided clues to the diverse molecular mechanisms underlying immunity. Here, we present a meta-analysis of 314 cloned R genes. The majority of R genes encode cell surface or intracellular receptors, and we distinguish nine molecular mechanisms by which R proteins can elevate or trigger disease resistance: direct (1) or indirect (2) perception of pathogen-derived molecules on the cell surface by receptor-like proteins and receptor-like kinases; direct (3) or indirect (4) intracellular detection of pathogen-derived molecules by nucleotide binding, leucine-rich repeat receptors, or detection through integrated domains (5); perception of transcription activator-like effectors through activation of executor genes (6); and active (7), passive (8), or host reprogramming-mediated (9) loss of susceptibility. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the functions of R genes are only understood for a small proportion of known R genes, a clearer understanding of mechanisms is emerging and will be crucial for rational engineering and deployment of novel R genes. PMID:29382771

  10. Defended to the Nines: 25 Years of Resistance Gene Cloning Identifies Nine Mechanisms for R Protein Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kourelis, Jiorgos; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2018-02-01

    Plants have many, highly variable resistance ( R ) gene loci, which provide resistance to a variety of pathogens. The first R gene to be cloned, maize ( Zea mays ) Hm1 , was published over 25 years ago, and since then, many different R genes have been identified and isolated. The encoded proteins have provided clues to the diverse molecular mechanisms underlying immunity. Here, we present a meta-analysis of 314 cloned R genes. The majority of R genes encode cell surface or intracellular receptors, and we distinguish nine molecular mechanisms by which R proteins can elevate or trigger disease resistance: direct (1) or indirect (2) perception of pathogen-derived molecules on the cell surface by receptor-like proteins and receptor-like kinases; direct (3) or indirect (4) intracellular detection of pathogen-derived molecules by nucleotide binding, leucine-rich repeat receptors, or detection through integrated domains (5); perception of transcription activator-like effectors through activation of executor genes (6); and active (7), passive (8), or host reprogramming-mediated (9) loss of susceptibility. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the functions of R genes are only understood for a small proportion of known R genes, a clearer understanding of mechanisms is emerging and will be crucial for rational engineering and deployment of novel R genes. © 2018 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation-induced Mechanical Deformation and Phase Transformation in Monocrystalline Silicon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Sheng-Rui

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThis work presents the molecular dynamics approach toward mechanical deformation and phase transformation mechanisms of monocrystalline Si(100 subjected to nanoindentation. We demonstrate phase distributions during loading and unloading stages of both spherical and Berkovich nanoindentations. By searching the presence of the fifth neighboring atom within a non-bonding length, Si-III and Si-XII have been successfully distinguished from Si-I. Crystallinity of this mixed-phase was further identified by radial distribution functions.

  12. Molecular Mechanics of the Moisture Effect on Epoxy/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lik-ho Tam

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The strong structural integrity of polymer nanocomposite is influenced in the moist environment; but the fundamental mechanism is unclear, including the basis for the interactions between the absorbed water molecules and the structure, which prevents us from predicting the durability of its applications across multiple scales. In this research, a molecular dynamics model of the epoxy/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT nanocomposite is constructed to explore the mechanism of the moisture effect, and an analysis of the molecular interactions is provided by focusing on the hydrogen bond (H-bond network inside the nanocomposite structure. The simulations show that at low moisture concentration, the water molecules affect the molecular interactions by favorably forming the water-nanocomposite H-bonds and the small cluster, while at high concentration the water molecules predominantly form the water-water H-bonds and the large cluster. The water molecules in the epoxy matrix and the epoxy-SWCNT interface disrupt the molecular interactions and deteriorate the mechanical properties. Through identifying the link between the water molecules and the nanocomposite structure and properties, it is shown that the free volume in the nanocomposite is crucial for its structural integrity, which facilitates the moisture accumulation and the distinct material deteriorations. This study provides insights into the moisture-affected structure and properties of the nanocomposite from the nanoscale perspective, which contributes to the understanding of the nanocomposite long-term performance under the moisture effect.

  13. Computational exploration of single-protein mechanics by steered molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sotomayor, Marcos [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (United States)

    2015-12-31

    Hair cell mechanotransduction happens in tens of microseconds, involves forces of a few picoNewtons, and is mediated by nanometer-scale molecular conformational changes. As proteins involved in this process become identified and their high resolution structures become available, multiple tools are being used to explore their “single-molecule responses” to force. Optical tweezers and atomic force microscopy offer exquisite force and extension resolution, but cannot reach the high loading rates expected for high frequency auditory stimuli. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can reach these fast time scales, and also provide a unique view of the molecular events underlying protein mechanics, but its predictions must be experimentally verified. Thus a combination of simulations and experiments might be appropriate to study the molecular mechanics of hearing. Here I review the basics of MD simulations and the different methods used to apply force and study protein mechanics in silico. Simulations of tip link proteins are used to illustrate the advantages and limitations of this method.

  14. Molecular Mechanics of the Moisture Effect on Epoxy/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Lik-Ho; Wu, Chao

    2017-10-13

    The strong structural integrity of polymer nanocomposite is influenced in the moist environment; but the fundamental mechanism is unclear, including the basis for the interactions between the absorbed water molecules and the structure, which prevents us from predicting the durability of its applications across multiple scales. In this research, a molecular dynamics model of the epoxy/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) nanocomposite is constructed to explore the mechanism of the moisture effect, and an analysis of the molecular interactions is provided by focusing on the hydrogen bond (H-bond) network inside the nanocomposite structure. The simulations show that at low moisture concentration, the water molecules affect the molecular interactions by favorably forming the water-nanocomposite H-bonds and the small cluster, while at high concentration the water molecules predominantly form the water-water H-bonds and the large cluster. The water molecules in the epoxy matrix and the epoxy-SWCNT interface disrupt the molecular interactions and deteriorate the mechanical properties. Through identifying the link between the water molecules and the nanocomposite structure and properties, it is shown that the free volume in the nanocomposite is crucial for its structural integrity, which facilitates the moisture accumulation and the distinct material deteriorations. This study provides insights into the moisture-affected structure and properties of the nanocomposite from the nanoscale perspective, which contributes to the understanding of the nanocomposite long-term performance under the moisture effect.

  15. Optimization and benchmarking of a perturbative Metropolis Monte Carlo quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldt, Jonas; Miranda, Sebastião; Pratas, Frederico; Roma, Nuno; Tomás, Pedro; Mata, Ricardo A

    2017-12-28

    In this work, we present an optimized perturbative quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method for use in Metropolis Monte Carlo simulations. The model adopted is particularly tailored for the simulation of molecular systems in solution but can be readily extended to other applications, such as catalysis in enzymatic environments. The electrostatic coupling between the QM and MM systems is simplified by applying perturbation theory to estimate the energy changes caused by a movement in the MM system. This approximation, together with the effective use of GPU acceleration, leads to a negligible added computational cost for the sampling of the environment. Benchmark calculations are carried out to evaluate the impact of the approximations applied and the overall computational performance.

  16. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  17. Chemical and mechanical efficiencies of molecular motors and implications for motor mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Hongyun

    2005-01-01

    Molecular motors operate in an environment dominated by viscous friction and thermal fluctuations. The chemical reaction in a motor may produce an active force at the reaction site to directly move the motor forward. Alternatively a molecular motor may generate a unidirectional motion by rectifying thermal fluctuations using free energy barriers established in the chemical reaction. The reaction cycle has many occupancy states, each having a different effect on the motor motion. The average effect of the chemical reaction on the motor motion can be characterized by the motor potential profile. The biggest advantage of studying the motor potential profile is that it can be reconstructed from the time series of motor positions measured in single-molecule experiments. In this paper, we use the motor potential profile to express the Stokes efficiency as the product of the chemical efficiency and the mechanical efficiency. We show that both the chemical and mechanical efficiencies are bounded by 100% and, thus, are properly defined efficiencies. We discuss implications of high efficiencies for motor mechanisms: a mechanical efficiency close to 100% implies that the motor potential profile is close to a constant slope; a chemical efficiency close to 100% implies that (i) the chemical transitions are not slower than the mechanical motion and (ii) the equilibrium constant of each chemical transition is close to one

  18. Identifying molecular subtypes in human colon cancer using gene expression and DNA methylation microarray data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Zhonglu; Wang, Wenhui; Li, Jinming

    2016-02-01

    Identifying colon cancer subtypes based on molecular signatures may allow for a more rational, patient-specific approach to therapy in the future. Classifications using gene expression data have been attempted before with little concordance between the different studies carried out. In this study we aimed to uncover subtypes of colon cancer that have distinct biological characteristics and identify a set of novel biomarkers which could best reflect the clinical and/or biological characteristics of each subtype. Clustering analysis and discriminant analysis were utilized to discover the subtypes in two different molecular levels on 153 colon cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Data Portal. At gene expression level, we identified two major subtypes, ECL1 (expression cluster 1) and ECL2 (expression cluster 2) and a list of signature genes. Due to the heterogeneity of colon cancer, the subtype ECL1 can be further subdivided into three nested subclasses, and HOTAIR were found upregulated in subclass 2. At DNA methylation level, we uncovered three major subtypes, MCL1 (methylation cluster 1), MCL2 (methylation cluster 2) and MCL3 (methylation cluster 3). We found only three subtypes of CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in colon cancer instead of the four subtypes in the previous reports, and we found no sufficient evidence to subdivide MCL3 into two distinct subgroups.

  19. Natural agents: cellular and molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afaq, Farrukh

    2011-04-15

    The skin is the largest organ of the body that produces a flexible and self-repairing barrier and protects the body from most common potentially harmful physical, environmental, and biological insults. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major environmental insults to the skin and causes multi-tiered cellular and molecular events eventually leading to skin cancer. The past decade has seen a surge in the incidence of skin cancer due to changes in life style patterns that have led to a significant increase in the amount of UV radiation that people receive. Reducing excessive exposure to UV radiation is desirable; nevertheless this approach is not easy to implement. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel strategies to reduce the adverse biological effects of UV radiation on the skin. A wide variety of natural agents have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have elucidated that natural agents act by several cellular and molecular mechanisms to delay or prevent skin cancer. In this review article, we have summarized and discussed some of the selected natural agents for skin photoprotection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Nai-Kui; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Acute spinal cord injury initiates a complex cascade of molecular events termed ‘secondary injury’, which leads to progressive degeneration ranging from early neuronal apoptosis at the lesion site to delayed degeneration of intact white matter tracts, and, ultimately, expansion of the initial injury. These secondary injury processes include, but are not limited to, inflammation, free radical-induced cell death, glutamate excitotoxicity, phospholipase A2 activation, and induction of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, which are important targets in developing neuroprotective strategies for treatment of spinal cord injury. Recently, a number of studies have shown promising results on neuroprotection and recovery of function in rodent models of spinal cord injury using treatments that target secondary injury processes including inflammation, phospholipase A2 activation, and manipulation of the PTEN-Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The present review outlines our ongoing research on the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental spinal cord injury and briefly summarizes our earlier findings on the therapeutic potential of pharmacological treatments in spinal cord injury. PMID:25624837

  1. Nanoparticles and potential neurotoxicity: focus on molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Lovisolo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The last decades have seen an explosive increase in the development of nanoparticles and in their use in consumer, industrial and medical applications. Their fast diffusion has also raised widespread concern about the potential toxic effects on living organisms, including humans: at the nanoscale, they can interact with subcellular components such as membranes, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, thus inducing unpredicted functional perturbations in cells and tissues. The nervous tissue is a particular sensitive target, because its cellular components (mainly neurons and glial cells are tightly regulated and metabolically exigent biological entities. While the literature on the potential toxicity of nanoparticles has grown in parallel with their utilization, the available data on neurotoxicity are less abundant. In particular, information on the neuronal molecular targets of nanoparticles is still largely incomplete. A better understanding of this issue is highly relevant for the rational and controlled design of nanoparticles, both for their general utilization and more specifically for their use in the promising field of nanoneuromedicine. In this review, we will discuss the available information on the mechanisms involved in the interaction between nanoobjects and cells of the nervous system, focusing on the known molecular actors, both at the plasma membrane and in intracellular compartments.

  2. Quantum mechanical force fields for condensed phase molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, Timothy J.; York, Darrin M.

    2017-09-01

    Molecular simulations are powerful tools for providing atomic-level details into complex chemical and physical processes that occur in the condensed phase. For strongly interacting systems where quantum many-body effects are known to play an important role, density-functional methods are often used to provide the model with the potential energy used to drive dynamics. These methods, however, suffer from two major drawbacks. First, they are often too computationally intensive to practically apply to large systems over long time scales, limiting their scope of application. Second, there remain challenges for these models to obtain the necessary level of accuracy for weak non-bonded interactions to obtain quantitative accuracy for a wide range of condensed phase properties. Quantum mechanical force fields (QMFFs) provide a potential solution to both of these limitations. In this review, we address recent advances in the development of QMFFs for condensed phase simulations. In particular, we examine the development of QMFF models using both approximate and ab initio density-functional models, the treatment of short-ranged non-bonded and long-ranged electrostatic interactions, and stability issues in molecular dynamics calculations. Example calculations are provided for crystalline systems, liquid water, and ionic liquids. We conclude with a perspective for emerging challenges and future research directions.

  3. Anticancer Chemodiversity of Ranunculaceae Medicinal Plants: Molecular Mechanisms and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Da-Cheng; He, Chun-Nian; Shen, Jie; Xiao, Pei-Gen

    2017-02-01

    The buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, comprising more than 2,200 species in at least 62 genera, mostly herbs, has long been used in folk medicine and worldwide ethnomedicine since the beginning of human civilization. Various medicinal phytometabolites have been found in Ranunculaceae plants, many of which, such as alkaloids, terpenoids, saponins, and polysaccharides, have shown anti-cancer activities in vitro and in vivo. Most concerns have been raised for two epiphany molecules, the monoterpene thymoquinone and the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine. At least 17 genera have been enriched with anti-cancer phytometabolites. Some Ranunculaceae phytometabolites induce the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells or enhance immune activities, while others inhibit the proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis, or reverse the multi-drug resistance of cancer cells thereby regulating all known hallmarks of cancer. These phytometabolites could exert their anti-cancer activities via multiple signaling pathways. In addition, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion/toxicity properties and structure/activity relationships of some phytometabolites have been revealed assisting in the early drug discovery and development pipelines. However, a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms and functions of Ranunculaceae anti-cancer phytometabolites is lacking. Here, we summarize the recent progress of the anti-cancer chemo- and pharmacological diversity of Ranunculaceae medicinal plants, focusing on the emerging molecular machineries and functions of anti-cancer phytometabolites. Gene expression profiling and relevant omics platforms (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) could reveal differential effects of phytometabolites on the phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cells.

  4. Molecular mechanisms of maternal vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulopoulou, Styliani; Davidge, Sandra T

    2015-02-01

    In preeclampsia, as a heterogeneous syndrome, multiple pathways have been proposed for both the causal as well as the perpetuating factors leading to maternal vascular dysfunction. Postulated mechanisms include imbalance in the bioavailability and activity of endothelium-derived contracting and relaxing factors and oxidative stress. Studies have shown that placenta-derived factors [antiangiogenic factors, microparticles (MPs), cell-free nucleic acids] are released into the maternal circulation and act on the vascular wall to modify the secretory capacity of endothelial cells and alter the responsiveness of vascular smooth muscle cells to constricting and relaxing stimuli. These molecules signal their deleterious effects on the maternal vascular wall via pathways that provide the molecular basis for novel and effective therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. DNA replication stress: from molecular mechanisms to human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Sergio; Méndez, Juan

    2017-02-01

    The genome of proliferating cells must be precisely duplicated in each cell division cycle. Chromosomal replication entails risks such as the possibility of introducing breaks and/or mutations in the genome. Hence, DNA replication requires the coordinated action of multiple proteins and regulatory factors, whose deregulation causes severe developmental diseases and predisposes to cancer. In recent years, the concept of "replicative stress" (RS) has attracted much attention as it impinges directly on genomic stability and offers a promising new avenue to design anticancer therapies. In this review, we summarize recent progress in three areas: (1) endogenous and exogenous factors that contribute to RS, (2) molecular mechanisms that mediate the cellular responses to RS, and (3) the large list of diseases that are directly or indirectly linked to RS.

  6. The molecular mechanisms of offspring effects from obese pregnancy.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Dowling, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat \\/ high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  7. Recent Advances in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity Mechanisms and Its Molecular Pathophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaobin Yu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is a sympathomimetic amine that belongs to phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, which are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, METH produces persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin release in nerve terminals, gliosis, and apoptosis. This review summarized the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excessive dopamine, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, protein nitration, endoplasmic reticulum stress, p53 expression, inflammatory molecular, D3 receptor, microtubule deacetylation, and HIV-1 Tat protein that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. In addition, the feasible therapeutic strategies according to recent studies were also summarized ranging from drug and protein to gene level.

  8. Quantum-Mechanical Calculations on Molecular Substructures Involved in Nanosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Szefler

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, four ideas are discussed: (a aromaticity of fullerenes patched with flowers of 6-and 8-membered rings, optimized at the HF and DFT levels of theory, in terms of HOMA and NICS criteria; (b polybenzene networks, from construction to energetic and vibrational spectra computations; (c quantum-mechanical calculations on the repeat units of various P-type crystal networks and (d construction and stability evaluation, at DFTB level of theory, of some exotic allotropes of diamond D5, involved in hyper-graphenes. The overall conclusion was that several of the yet hypothetical molecular nanostructures herein described are serious candidates to the status of real molecules.

  9. A Hybrid Imperative and Functional Molecular Mechanics Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Deboni

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Molecular mechanics applications model the interactions among large ensembles of discrete particles. They are used where probabilistic methods are inadequate, such as drug chemistry. This methodology is difficult to parallelize with good performance, due to its poor locality, uneven partitions, and dynamic behavior. Imperative programs have been written that attempt this on shared and distributed memory machines. Given such a program, the computational kernel can be rewritten in Sisal, a functional programming language, and integrated with the rest of the imperative program under the Sisal Foreign Language Interface. This allows minimal effort and maximal return from parallelization work, and leaves the work appropriate to imperative implementation in its original form. We describe such an effort, focusing on the parts of the application that are appropriate for Sisal implementation, the specifics of mixed-language programming, and the complex performance behavior of the resulting hybrid code.

  10. Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Signaling and Modifying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigemura, Noriatsu; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2016-01-01

    The sense of taste conveys crucial information about the quality and nutritional value of foods before it is ingested. Taste signaling begins with taste cells via taste receptors in oral cavity. Activation of these receptors drives the transduction systems in taste receptor cells. Then particular transmitters are released from the taste cells and activate corresponding afferent gustatory nerve fibers. Recent studies have revealed that taste sensitivities are defined by distinct taste receptors and modulated by endogenous humoral factors in a specific group of taste cells. Such peripheral taste generations and modifications would directly influence intake of nutritive substances. This review will highlight current understanding of molecular mechanisms for taste reception, signal transduction in taste bud cells, transmission between taste cells and nerves, regeneration from taste stem cells, and modification by humoral factors at peripheral taste organs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of water transport in the eye

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamann, Steffen

    2002-01-01

    The four major sites for ocular water transport, the corneal epithelium and endothelium, the ciliary epithelium, and the retinal pigment epithelium, are reviewed. The cornea has an inherent tendency to swell, which is counteracted by its two surface cell layers, the corneal epithelium...... and endothelium. The bilayered ciliary epithelium secretes the aqueous humor into the posterior chamber, and the retinal pigment epithelium transports water from the retinal to the choroidal site. For each epithelium, ion transport mechanisms are associated with fluid transport, but the exact molecular coupling...... sites between ion and water transport remain undefined. In the retinal pigment epithelium, a H+-lactate cotransporter transports water. This protein could be the site of coupling between salt and water in this epithelium. The distribution of aquaporins does not suggest a role for these proteins...

  12. Molecular mechanism for inhibition of twinfilin by phosphoinositides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hakala, Markku; Kalimeri, Maria; Enkavi, Giray

    2018-01-01

    actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-like ADF homology domains of twinfilin bind phosphoinositides only with low affinity. Mutagenesis and biochemical experiments combined with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the C-terminal tail of twinfilin interacts with membranes through......Membrane phosphoinositides control organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton by regulating the activities of several key actin-binding proteins. Twinfilin is an evolutionarily conserved protein that contributes to cytoskeletal dynamics by interacting with actin monomers, filaments......, and the heterodimeric capping protein. Twinfilin also binds phosphoinositides, which inhibit its interactions with actin, but the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. Here, we show that the high-affinity binding site of twinfilin for phosphoinositides is located at the C-terminal tail region, whereas the two...

  13. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashy, Elshahat H. A.; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins.

  14. Molecular and Microbial Mechanisms Increasing Soil C Storage Under Future Rates of Anthropogenic N Deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald R. [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2017-11-17

    A growing body of evidence reveals that anthropogenic N deposition can reduce the microbial decay of plant detritus and increase soil C storage across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. This aspect of global change has the potential to constrain the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, and hence slow the pace of climate warming. The molecular and microbial mechanisms underlying this biogeochemical response are not understood, and they are not a component of any coupled climate-biogeochemical model estimating ecosystem C storage, and hence, the future climate of an N-enriched Earth. Here, we report the use of genomic-enabled approaches to identify the molecular underpinnings of the microbial mechanisms leading to greater soil C storage in response to anthropogenic N deposition, thereby enabling us to better anticipate changes in soil C storage.

  15. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A

    2016-07-01

    A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that link different POPs to common metabolic diseases. Environ

  16. Using molecular tools to identify the geographical origin of a case of human brucellosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchowski, J K; Koylass, M S; Dainty, A C; Stack, J A; Perrett, L; Whatmore, A M; Perrier, C; Chircop, S; Demicoli, N; Gatt, A B; Caruana, P A; Gopaul, K K

    2015-10-01

    Although Malta is historically linked with the zoonosis brucellosis, there had not been a case of the disease in either the human or livestock population for several years. However, in July 2013 a case of human brucellosis was identified on the island. To determine whether this recent case originated in Malta, four isolates from this case were subjected to molecular analysis. Molecular profiles generated using multilocus sequence analysis and multilocus variable number tandem repeat for the recent human case isolates and 11 Brucella melitensis strains of known Maltese origin were compared with others held on in-house and global databases. While the 11 isolates of Maltese origin formed a distinct cluster, the recent human isolation was not associated with these strains but instead clustered with isolates originating from the Horn of Africa. These data was congruent with epidemiological trace-back showed that the individual had travelled to Malta from Eritrea. This work highlights the potential of using molecular typing data to aid in epidemiological trace-back of Brucella isolations and assist in monitoring of the effectiveness of brucellosis control schemes.

  17. Mechanism of the Glycosidic Bond Cleavage of Mismatched Thymine in Human Thymine DNA Glycosylase Revealed by Classical Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaan, Natalia; Crehuet, Ramon; Imhof, Petra

    2015-09-24

    Base excision of mismatched or damaged nucleotides catalyzed by glycosylase enzymes is the first step of the base excision repair system, a machinery preserving the integrity of DNA. Thymine DNA glycosylase recognizes and removes mismatched thymine by cleaving the C1'-N1 bond between the base and the sugar ring. Our quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of this reaction in human thymine DNA glycosylase reveal a requirement for a positive charge in the active site to facilitate C1'-N1 bond scission: protonation of His151 significantly lowers the free energy barrier for C1'-N1 bond dissociation compared to the situation with neutral His151. Shuttling a proton from His151 to the thymine base further reduces the activation free energy for glycosidic bond cleavage. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of the H151A mutant suggest that the mutation to the smaller, neutral, residue increases the water accessibility of the thymine base, rendering direct proton transfer from the bulk feasible. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of the glycosidic bond cleavage reaction in the H151A mutant show that the activation free energy is slightly lower than in the wild-type enzyme, explaining the experimentally observed higher reaction rates in this mutant.

  18. Evidence for systems-level molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Capellá Gabriel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer arises from the consecutive acquisition of genetic alterations. Increasing evidence suggests that as a consequence of these alterations, molecular interactions are reprogrammed in the context of highly connected and regulated cellular networks. Coordinated reprogramming would allow the cell to acquire the capabilities for malignant growth. Results Here, we determine the coordinated function of cancer gene products (i.e., proteins encoded by differentially expressed genes in tumors relative to healthy tissue counterparts, hereafter referred to as "CGPs" defined as their topological properties and organization in the interactome network. We show that CGPs are central to information exchange and propagation and that they are specifically organized to promote tumorigenesis. Centrality is identified by both local (degree and global (betweenness and closeness measures, and systematically appears in down-regulated CGPs. Up-regulated CGPs do not consistently exhibit centrality, but both types of cancer products determine the overall integrity of the network structure. In addition to centrality, down-regulated CGPs show topological association that correlates with common biological processes and pathways involved in tumorigenesis. Conclusion Given the current limited coverage of the human interactome, this study proposes that tumorigenesis takes place in a specific and organized way at the molecular systems-level and suggests a model that comprises the precise down-regulation of groups of topologically-associated proteins involved in particular functions, orchestrated with the up-regulation of specific proteins.

  19. Molecular defects identified by whole exome sequencing in a child with Fanconi anemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zhaojing; Geng, Juan; Yao, Ru-En; Li, Caihua; Ying, Daming; Shen, Yongnian; Ying, Lei; Yu, Yongguo; Fu, Qihua

    2013-11-10

    Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic disease characterized by bone marrow failure, multiple congenital malformations, and an increased susceptibility to malignancy. At least 15 genes have been identified that are involved in the pathogenesis of Fanconi anemia. However, it is still a challenge to assign the complementation group and to characterize the molecular defects in patients with Fanconi anemia. In the current study, whole exome sequencing was used to identify the affected gene(s) in a boy with Fanconi anemia. A recurring, non-synonymous mutation was found (c.3971C>T, p.P1324L) as well as a novel frameshift mutation (c.989_995del, p.H330LfsX2) in FANCA gene. Our results indicate that whole exome sequencing may be useful in clinical settings for rapid identification of disease-causing mutations in rare genetic disorders such as Fanconi anemia. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system-dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A.; Katner, Simon N.; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S.

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH’s effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system–dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Particle Ration Induced Apoptosis in Lymphocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yufang

    Space radiation, composed of high-energy charged nuclei (HZE particles) and protons, has been previously shown to severely impact immune homeostasis in mice. To determine the molecular mechanisms that mediate acute lymphocyte depletion following exposure to HZE particle radiation mice were exposed to particle radiation beams at Brookhaven National Laboratory. We found that mice given whole body 5 6Fe particle irradiation (1GeV /n) had dose-dependent losses in total lymphocyte numbers in the spleen and thymus (using 200, 100 and 50 cGy), with thymocytes being more sensitive than splenocytes. All phenotypic subsets were reduced in number. In general, T cells and B cells were equally sensitive, while CD8+ T cells were more senstive than CD4+ T cells. In the thymus, immature CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes were exquisitely sensitive to radiation-induced losses, single-positive CD4 or CD8 cells were less sensitive, and the least mature double negative cells were resistant. Irradiation of mice deficient in genes encoding essential apoptosis-inducing proteins revealed that the mechanism of lymphocyte depletion is independent of Fas ligand and TRAIL (TNF-ralated apoptosis-inducing ligand), in contrast to γ-radiation-induced lymphocyte losses which require the Fas-FasL pathway. Using inhibitors in vitro, lymphocyte apoptosis induced by HZE particle radiation was found to be caspase dependent, and not involve nitric oxide or oxygen free radicals.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Liver Fibrosis in HIV/HCV Coinfection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio M. Mastroianni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. Several studies have shown that HIV infection promotes accelerated HCV hepatic fibrosis progression, even with HIV replication under full antiretroviral control. The pathogenesis of accelerated hepatic fibrosis among HIV/HCV coinfected individuals is complex and multifactorial. The most relevant mechanisms involved include direct viral effects, immune/cytokine dysregulation, altered levels of matrix metalloproteinases and fibrosis biomarkers, increased oxidative stress and hepatocyte apoptosis, HIV-associated gut depletion of CD4 cells, and microbial translocation. In addition, metabolic alterations, heavy alcohol use, as well drug use, may have a potential role in liver disease progression. Understanding the pathophysiology and regulation of liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV co-infection may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for the management of all patients with ongoing liver disease. In this review, we therefore discuss the evidence and potential molecular mechanisms involved in the accelerated liver fibrosis seen in patients coinfected with HIV and HCV.

  4. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-10-05

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is paid to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of metformin: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viollet, Benoit; Guigas, Bruno; Sanz Garcia, Nieves; Leclerc, Jocelyne; Foretz, Marc; Andreelli, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    Considerable efforts have been made since the 1950s to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of metformin, a potent antihyperglycemic agent now recommended as the first line oral therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main effect of this drug from the biguanide family is to acutely decrease hepatic glucose production, mostly through a mild and transient inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory-chain complex 1. In addition, the resulting decrease in hepatic energy status activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a cellular metabolic sensor, providing a generally accepted mechanism for metformin action on hepatic gluconeogenic program. The demonstration that the respiratory-chain complex 1, but not AMPK, is the primary target of metformin was recently strengthened by showing that the metabolic effect of the drug is preserved in liver-specific AMPK-deficient mice. Beyond its effect on glucose metabolism, metformin was reported to restore ovarian function in polycystic ovary syndrome, reduce fatty liver and to lower microvascular and macrovascular complications associated with T2D. Its use was also recently suggested as an adjuvant treatment for cancer or gestational diabetes, and for the prevention in pre-diabetic populations. These emerging new therapeutic areas for metformin will be reviewed together with recent data from pharmacogenetic studies linking genetic variations to drug response, a promising new step towards personalized medicine in the treatment of T2D. PMID:22117616

  6. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is given to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. PMID:25058905

  7. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Surface effects in nanoscale materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Qingcheng, E-mail: qiy9@pitt.edu; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-05-01

    Surface effects have been observed to contribute significantly to the mechanical response of nanoscale structures. The newly proposed energy-based coarse-grained atomistic method Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) (Yang, To (2015), ) is applied to capture surface effect for nanosized structures by designing a surface summation rule SR{sup S} within the framework of MMM. Combined with previously proposed bulk summation rule SR{sup B}, the MMM summation rule SR{sup MMM} is completed. SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are consistently formed within SR{sup MMM} for general finite element shape functions. Analogous to quadrature rules in finite element method (FEM), the key idea to the good performance of SR{sup MMM} lies in that the order or distribution of energy for coarse-grained atomistic model is mathematically derived such that the number, position and weight of quadrature-type (sampling) atoms can be determined. Mathematically, the derived energy distribution of surface area is different from that of bulk region. Physically, the difference is due to the fact that surface atoms lack neighboring bonding. As such, SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are employed for surface and bulk domains, respectively. Two- and three-dimensional numerical examples using the respective 4-node bilinear quadrilateral, 8-node quadratic quadrilateral and 8-node hexahedral meshes are employed to verify and validate the proposed approach. It is shown that MMM with SR{sup MMM} accurately captures corner, edge and surface effects with less 0.3% degrees of freedom of the original atomistic system, compared against full atomistic simulation. The effectiveness of SR{sup MMM} with respect to high order element is also demonstrated by employing the 8-node quadratic quadrilateral to solve a beam bending problem considering surface effect. In addition, the introduced sampling error with SR{sup MMM} that is analogous to numerical integration error with quadrature rule in FEM is very small. - Highlights:

  8. Molecular mechanisms controlling proton pumping by bacteriorhodopsin. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crouch, Rosalie K.; Ebrey, Thomas G.

    2000-02-10

    Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is the simplest biological system for the transduction of light energy. Light energy is directly converted to transmembrane proton gradient by a single, small membrane protein. The extraordinary stability of bR makes it an outstanding subject for bioenergetic studies. This project has focused on the role of interactions between key residues of the pigment involved in light-induced proton transfer. Methods to estimate the strength of these interactions and their correlation with the rate and efficiency of proton transfer have been developed. The concept of the coupling of the protonation states of key groups has been applied to individual steps of the proton transfer with the ultimate goal of understanding on the molecular level the driving forces for proton transport and the pathway of the transported proton in bT. The mechanism of light-induced proton release, uptake and the mechanism of recovery of initial state of bT has been examined. The experiments were performed with genetically engineered, site-specific mutants of bR. This has enabled us to characterize the role of individual amino acid residues in bR. Time resolved and low temperature absorption spectroscopy and light-induced photocurrent measurements were used in order to study the photochemical cycle and proton transfer in mutant pigments. Chemical modification and crosslinking of both the specific amino acids to the chromophore or to other amino acids were used to elucidate the role of light-induced conformational changes in the photocycle and the structure of the protein in the ground state. The results of this project provided new knowledge on the architecture of the proton transfer pathways inside the protein, on the mechanism of proton release in bR, and on the role of specific amino acid residues in the structure and function of bR.

  9. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aldosterone producing adenoma development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheerazed eBoulkroun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Primary aldosteronism (PA is the most common form of secondary hypertension with an estimated prevalence of ~10% in referred patients. PA occurs as a result of a dysregulation of the normal mechanisms controlling adrenal aldosterone production. It is characterized by hypertension with low plasma renin and elevated aldosterone and often associated with hypokalemia. The two major causes of PA are unilateral aldosterone producing adenoma (APA and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, accounting together for ~95% of cases. In addition to the well-characterized effect of excess mineralocorticoids on blood pressure, high levels of aldosterone also have cardiovascular, renal and metabolic consequences. Hence, long-term consequences of PA include increased risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Despite recent progress in the management of patients with PA, critical issues related to diagnosis, subtype differentiation and treatment of non-surgically correctable forms still persist. A better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease should lead to the identification of more reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for a more sensitive and specific screening and new therapeutic options. In this review we will summarize our current knowledge on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of APA development. On one hand, we will discuss how various animal models have improved our understanding of the pathophysiology of excess aldosterone production. On the other hand, we will summarize the major advances made during the last few years in the genetics of APA due to transcriptomic studies and whole exome sequencing. The identification of recurrent and somatic mutations in genes coding for ion channels (KCNJ5 and CACNA1D and ATPases (ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 allowed highlighting the central role of calcium signaling in autonomous aldosterone production by the adrenal.

  10. Comprehensive expression profiling of tumor cell lines identifies molecular signatures of melanoma progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byungwoo Ryu

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Gene expression profiling has revolutionized our ability to molecularly classify primary human tumors and significantly enhanced the development of novel tumor markers and therapies; however, progress in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma over the past 3 decades has been limited, and there is currently no approved therapy that significantly extends lifespan in patients with advanced disease. Profiling studies of melanoma to date have been inconsistent due to the heterogeneous nature of this malignancy and the limited availability of informative tissue specimens from early stages of disease.In order to gain an improved understanding of the molecular basis of melanoma progression, we have compared gene expression profiles from a series of melanoma cell lines representing discrete stages of malignant progression that recapitulate critical characteristics of the primary lesions from which they were derived. Here we describe the unsupervised hierarchical clustering of profiling data from melanoma cell lines and melanocytes. This clustering identifies two distinctive molecular subclasses of melanoma segregating aggressive metastatic tumor cell lines from less-aggressive primary tumor cell lines. Further analysis of expression signatures associated with melanoma progression using functional annotations categorized these transcripts into three classes of genes: 1 Upregulation of activators of cell cycle progression, DNA replication and repair (CDCA2, NCAPH, NCAPG, NCAPG2, PBK, NUSAP1, BIRC5, ESCO2, HELLS, MELK, GINS1, GINS4, RAD54L, TYMS, and DHFR, 2 Loss of genes associated with cellular adhesion and melanocyte differentiation (CDH3, CDH1, c-KIT, PAX3, CITED1/MSG-1, TYR, MELANA, MC1R, and OCA2, 3 Upregulation of genes associated with resistance to apoptosis (BIRC5/survivin. While these broad classes of transcripts have previously been implicated in the progression of melanoma and other malignancies, the specific genes identified within each class

  11. Survivin-T34A: molecular mechanism and therapeutic potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R Aspe

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Jonathan R Aspe, Nathan R WallCenter for Health Disparities Research and Molecular Medicine, Division of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USAAbstract: The inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin's threonine 34 to alanine (T34A mutation abolishes a phosphorylation site for p34(cdc2–cyclin B1, resulting in initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in cancer cells; however, it has little known direct effects on normal cells. The possibility that targeting survivin in this way may provide a novel approach for selective cancer gene therapy has yet to be fully evaluated. Although a flurry of work was undertaken in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only minor advances on this mutant have recently taken place. We recently described that cells generated to express a stable form of the mutant protein released this survivin-T34A to the conditioned medium. When this conditioned medium was collected and deposited on naive tumor cells, conditioned medium T34A was as effective as some chemotherapeutics in the induction of tumor cell apoptosis, and when combined with other forms of genotoxic stressors potentiated their killing effects. We hope with this review to revitalize the T34A field, as there is still much that needs to be investigated. In addition to determining the therapeutic dose and the duration of drug therapy required at the disease site, a better understanding of other key factors is also important. These include knowledge of target cell populations, cell-surface receptors, changes that occur in the target tissue at the molecular and cellular level with progression of the disease, and the mechanism and site of therapeutic action.Keywords: survivin, T34A, apoptosis, proliferation, therapy

  12. Molecular mechanisms for sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanematsu, Keisuke; Kusakabe, Yuko; Shigemura, Noriatsu; Hirokawa, Takatsugu; Nakamura, Seiji; Imoto, Toshiaki; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2014-09-12

    Gymnemic acids are triterpene glycosides that selectively suppress taste responses to various sweet substances in humans but not in mice. This sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids is diminished by rinsing the tongue with γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids and the interaction between gymnemic acids versus sweet taste receptor and/or γ-CD. To investigate whether gymnemic acids directly interact with human (h) sweet receptor hT1R2 + hT1R3, we used the sweet receptor T1R2 + T1R3 assay in transiently transfected HEK293 cells. Similar to previous studies in humans and mice, gymnemic acids (100 μg/ml) inhibited the [Ca(2+)]i responses to sweet compounds in HEK293 cells heterologously expressing hT1R2 + hT1R3 but not in those expressing the mouse (m) sweet receptor mT1R2 + mT1R3. The effect of gymnemic acids rapidly disappeared after rinsing the HEK293 cells with γ-CD. Using mixed species pairings of human and mouse sweet receptor subunits and chimeras, we determined that the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 was mainly required for the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids. Directed mutagenesis in the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 revealed that the interaction site for gymnemic acids shared the amino acid residues that determined the sensitivity to another sweet antagonist, lactisole. Glucuronic acid, which is the common structure of gymnemic acids, also reduced sensitivity to sweet compounds. In our models, gymnemic acids were predicted to dock to a binding pocket within the transmembrane domain of hT1R3. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Towards a Better Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Sunlight-Induced Melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Mandy

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Although much less prevalent than its nonmelanoma skin cancer counterparts, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM is the most lethal human skin cancer. Epidemiological and biological studies have established a strong link between lifetime exposure to ultraviolet (UV light, particularly sunburn in childhood, and the development of melanoma. However, the specific molecular targets of this environmental carcinogen are not known. Data obtained from genetic and molecular studies over the last few years have identified the INK4a/ARF locus as the “gatekeeper” melanoma suppressor, encoding two tumour suppressor proteins in human, p16 INK4a and p14 ARF . Recent developments in molecular biotechnology and research using laboratory animals have made a significant gene breakthrough identifying the components of the p16 INK4a /Rb pathway as the principal and rate-limiting targets of UV radiation actions in melanoma formation. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in melanoma development and its relationship to sunlight UV radiation.

  14. Evolutionary traces decode molecular mechanism behind fast pace of myosin XI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syamaladevi Divya P

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytoplasmic class XI myosins are the fastest processive motors known. This class functions in high-velocity cytoplasmic streaming in various plant cells from algae to angiosperms. The velocities at which they process are ten times faster than its closest class V homologues. Results To provide sequence determinants and structural rationale for the molecular mechanism of this fast pace myosin, we have compared the sequences from myosin class V and XI through Evolutionary Trace (ET analysis. The current study identifies class-specific residues of myosin XI spread over the actin binding site, ATP binding site and light chain binding neck region. Sequences for ET analysis were accumulated from six plant genomes, using literature based text search and sequence searches, followed by triple validation viz. CDD search, string-based searches and phylogenetic clustering. We have identified nine myosin XI genes in sorghum and seven in grape by sequence searches. Both the plants possess one gene product each belonging to myosin type VIII as well. During this process, we have re-defined the gene boundaries for three sorghum myosin XI genes using fgenesh program. Conclusion Molecular modelling and subsequent analysis of putative interactions involving these class-specific residues suggest a structural basis for the molecular mechanism behind high velocity of plant myosin XI. We propose a model of a more flexible switch I region that contributes to faster ADP release leading to high velocity movement of the algal myosin XI.

  15. Identification of key genes and molecular mechanisms associated with dedifferentiated liposarcoma based on bioinformatic methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu H

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Hongliang Yu,1 Dong Pei,2 Longyun Chen,2 Xiaoxiang Zhou,2 Haiwen Zhu2 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital and Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research, The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Yancheng Third People’s Hospital, Yancheng, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China Background: Dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS is one of the most deadly types of soft tissue sarcoma. To date, there have been few studies dedicated to elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind the disease; therefore, the molecular mechanisms behind this malignancy remain largely unknown.Materials and methods: Microarray profiles of 46 DDLPS samples and nine normal fat controls were extracted from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO. Quality control for these microarray profiles was performed before analysis. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis were used to distinguish the general differences in gene expression between DDLPS samples and the normal fat controls. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified using the Limma package in R. Next, the enriched Gene Ontology (GO terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathways were obtained using the online tool DAVID (http://david.abcc.ncifcrf.gov/. A protein–protein interaction (PPI network was constructed using the STRING database and Cytoscape software. Furthermore, the hub genes within the PPI network were identified.Results: All 55 microarray profiles were confirmed to be of high quality. The gene expression pattern of DDLPS samples was significantly different from that of normal fat controls. In total, 700 DEGs were identified, and 83 enriched GO terms and three KEGG pathways were obtained. Specifically, within the DEGs of DDLPS samples, several pathways were identified as being significantly enriched, including the PPAR signaling pathway, cell cycle pathway, and pyruvate metabolism pathway

  16. Molecular mechanism of APC/C activation by mitotic phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Suyang; Chang, Leifu; Alfieri, Claudio; Zhang, Ziguo; Yang, Jing; Maslen, Sarah; Skehel, Mark; Barford, David

    2016-05-12

    In eukaryotes, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C, also known as the cyclosome) regulates the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of specific cell-cycle proteins to coordinate chromosome segregation in mitosis and entry into the G1 phase. The catalytic activity of the APC/C and its ability to specify the destruction of particular proteins at different phases of the cell cycle are controlled by its interaction with two structurally related coactivator subunits, Cdc20 and Cdh1. Coactivators recognize substrate degrons, and enhance the affinity of the APC/C for its cognate E2 (refs 4-6). During mitosis, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) and polo-like kinase (Plk) control Cdc20- and Cdh1-mediated activation of the APC/C. Hyperphosphorylation of APC/C subunits, notably Apc1 and Apc3, is required for Cdc20 to activate the APC/C, whereas phosphorylation of Cdh1 prevents its association with the APC/C. Since both coactivators associate with the APC/C through their common C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs, the mechanism underlying this differential regulation is unclear, as is the role of specific APC/C phosphorylation sites. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical analysis, we define the molecular basis of how phosphorylation of human APC/C allows for its control by Cdc20. An auto-inhibitory segment of Apc1 acts as a molecular switch that in apo unphosphorylated APC/C interacts with the C-box binding site and obstructs engagement of Cdc20. Phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment displaces it from the C-box-binding site. Efficient phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment, and thus relief of auto-inhibition, requires the recruitment of Cdk-cyclin in complex with a Cdk regulatory subunit (Cks) to a hyperphosphorylated loop of Apc3. We also find that the small-molecule inhibitor, tosyl-l-arginine methyl ester, preferentially suppresses APC/C(Cdc20) rather than APC/C(Cdh1), and interacts with the binding sites of both the C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs. Our

  17. Azobenzene as a photoregulator covalently attached to RNA: a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics-surface hopping dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Padmabati; Granucci, Giovanni; Rastädter, Dominique; Persico, Maurizio; Burghardt, Irene

    2018-05-28

    The photoregulation of nucleic acids by azobenzene photoswitches has recently attracted considerable interest in the context of emerging biotechnological applications. To understand the mechanism of photoinduced isomerisation and conformational control in these complex biological environments, we employ a Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) approach in conjunction with nonadiabatic Surface Hopping (SH) dynamics. Two representative RNA-azobenzene complexes are investigated, both of which contain the azobenzene chromophore covalently attached to an RNA double strand via a β-deoxyribose linker. Due to the pronounced constraints of the local RNA environment, it is found that trans -to- cis isomerization is slowed down to a time scale of ∼10-15 picoseconds, in contrast to 500 femtoseconds in vacuo , with a quantum yield reduced by a factor of two. By contrast, cis -to- trans isomerization remains in a sub-picosecond regime. A volume-conserving isomerization mechanism is found, similarly to the pedal-like mechanism previously identified for azobenzene in solution phase. Strikingly, the chiral RNA environment induces opposite right-handed and left-handed helicities of the ground-state cis -azobenzene chromophore in the two RNA-azobenzene complexes, along with an almost completely chirality conserving photochemical pathway for these helical enantiomers.

  18. Instant Update: Considering the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutation & Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    The molecular basis of evolution is an important concept to understand but one that students and teachers often find challenging. This article provides training and guidance for teachers on how to present molecular evolution concepts so that students will associate molecular changes with the evolution of form and function in organisms. Included…

  19. Dissecting molecular stress networks: identifying nodes of divergence between life-history phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2013-02-01

    The complex molecular network that underlies physiological stress response is comprised of nodes (proteins, metabolites, mRNAs, etc.) whose connections span cells, tissues and organs. Variable nodes are points in the network upon which natural selection may act. Thus, identifying variable nodes will reveal how this molecular stress network may evolve among populations in different habitats and how it might impact life-history evolution. Here, we use physiological and genetic assays to test whether laboratory-born juveniles from natural populations of garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans), which have diverged in their life-history phenotypes, vary concomitantly at candidate nodes of the stress response network, (i) under unstressed conditions and (ii) in response to an induced stress. We found that two common measures of stress (plasma corticosterone and liver gene expression of heat shock proteins) increased under stress in both life-history phenotypes. In contrast, the phenotypes diverged at four nodes both under unstressed conditions and in response to stress: circulating levels of reactive oxygen species (superoxide, H(2)O(2)); liver gene expression of GPX1 and erythrocyte DNA damage. Additionally, allele frequencies for SOD2 diverge from neutral markers, suggesting diversifying selection on SOD2 alleles. This study supports the hypothesis that these life-history phenotypes have diverged at the molecular level in how they respond to stress, particularly in nodes regulating oxidative stress. Furthermore, the differences between the life-history phenotypes were more pronounced in females. We discuss the responses to stress in the context of the associated life-history phenotype and the evolutionary pressures thought to be responsible for divergence between the phenotypes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Curcumin Renoprotection in Experimental Acute Renal Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youling Fan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As a highly perfused organ, the kidney is especially sensitive to ischemia and reperfusion. Ischemia-reperfusion (IR-induced acute kidney injury (AKI has a high incidence during the perioperative period in the clinic and is an important link in ischemic acute renal failure (IARF. Therefore, IR-induced AKI has important clinical significance and it is necessary to explore to develop drugs to prevent and alleviate IR-induced AKI. Curcumin [diferuloylmethane, 1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxiphenyl-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione] is a polyphenol compound derived from Curcuma longa (turmeric and was shown to have a renoprotective effect on ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI in a previous study. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the protective role of curcumin in IR-induced AKI are not completely understood. APPL1 is a protein coding gene that has been shown to be involved in the crosstalk between the adiponectin-signaling and insulin-signaling pathways. In the study, to investigate the molecular mechanisms of curcumin effects in kidney ischemia/reperfusion model, we observed the effect of curcumin in experimental models of IR-induced AKI and we found that curcumin treatment significantly increased the expression of APPL1 and inhibited the activation of Akt after IR treatment in the kidney. Our in vitro results showed that apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells was exacerbated with hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR treatment compared to sham control cells. Curcumin significantly decreased the rate of apoptosis in renal tubular epithelial cells with HR treatment. Moreover, knockdown of APPL1 activated Akt and subsequently aggravated apoptosis in HR-treated renal tubular epithelial cells. Conversely, inhibition of Akt directly reversed the effects of APPL1 knockdown. In summary, our study demonstrated that curcumin mediated upregulation of APPL1 protects against ischemia reperfusion induced AKI by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation.

  1. Mechanical Properties of Boehmite Evaluated by Atomic Force Microscopy Experiments and Molecular Dynamic Finite Element Simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fankhanel, J.; Daum, B.; Kempe, A.; Rolfes, R.; Silbernagl, D.; Khorasani, M.Gh.Z.; Sturm, H.; Sturm, H.

    2016-01-01

    Boehmite nanoparticles show great potential in improving mechanical properties of fiber reinforced polymers. In order to predict the properties of nanocomposites, knowledge about the material parameters of the constituent phases, including the boehmite particles, is crucial. In this study, the mechanical behavior of boehmite is investigated using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) experiments and Molecular Dynamic Finite Element Method (MDFEM) simulations. Young’s modulus of the perfect crystalline boehmite nanoparticles is derived from numerical AFM simulations. Results of AFM experiments on boehmite nanoparticles deviate significantly. Possible causes are identified by experiments on complementary types of boehmite, that is, geological and hydrothermally synthesized samples, and further simulations of imperfect crystals and combined boehmite/epoxy models. Under certain circumstances, the mechanical behavior of boehmite was found to be dominated by inelastic effects that are discussed in detail in the present work. The studies are substantiated with accompanying X-ray diffraction and Raman experiments.

  2. Identifying self-interstitials of bcc and fcc crystals in molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bukkuru, S.; Bhardwaj, U.; Warrier, M.; Rao, A.D.P.; Valsakumar, M.C.

    2017-01-01

    Identification of self-interstitials in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations is of critical importance. There exist several criteria for identifying the self-interstitial. Most of the existing methods use an assumed cut-off value for the displacement of an atom from its lattice position to identify the self-interstitial. The results obtained are affected by the chosen cut-off value. Moreover, these chosen cut-off values are independent of temperature. We have developed a novel unsupervised learning algorithm called Max-Space Clustering (MSC) to identify an appropriate cut-off value and its dependence on temperature. This method is compared with some widely used methods such as effective sphere (ES) method and nearest neighbor sphere (NNS) method. The cut-off radius obtained using our method shows a linear variation with temperature. The value of cut-off radius and its temperature dependence is derived for five bcc (Cr, Fe, Mo, Nb, W) and six fcc (Ag, Au, Cu, Ni, Pd, Pt) crystals. It is seen that the ratio of the cut-off values “r” to the lattice constant “a” lies between 0.23 and 0.3 at 300 K and this ratio is on an average smaller for the fcc crystals. Collision cascade simulations are carried out for Primary knock-on Atom (PKA) energies of 5 keV in Fe (at 300 K and 1000 K) and W (at 300 K and 2500 K) and the results are compared using the various methods. - Highlights: • Max-Space Clustering (MSC) method is developed to identify interstitials in crystals. • MSC provides a structured way to identify the temperature dependent cut-off radius. • It is compared with widely used sphere methods and found to be better. • MSC coupled with graph tree optimization can be used to obtain diffusion trajectory. • Cascade simulations of Fe, W are carried out and results are compared with various methods.

  3. Identifying self-interstitials of bcc and fcc crystals in molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bukkuru, S., E-mail: srinivasaraobukkuru@gmail.com [Dept. of Nuclear Physics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003 (India); Bhardwaj, U., E-mail: haptork@gmail.com [Computational Analysis Division, BARC, Visakhapatnam 530012, Andhra Pradesh (India); Warrier, M., E-mail: manoj.warrier@gmail.com [Computational Analysis Division, BARC, Visakhapatnam 530012, Andhra Pradesh (India); Rao, A.D.P., E-mail: adp_rao_99@yahoo.com [Dept. of Nuclear Physics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003 (India); Valsakumar, M.C., E-mail: mc.valsakumar@gmail.com [IIT Palakkad, Kozhippara P.O., Palakkad 678557, Kerala (India)

    2017-02-15

    Identification of self-interstitials in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations is of critical importance. There exist several criteria for identifying the self-interstitial. Most of the existing methods use an assumed cut-off value for the displacement of an atom from its lattice position to identify the self-interstitial. The results obtained are affected by the chosen cut-off value. Moreover, these chosen cut-off values are independent of temperature. We have developed a novel unsupervised learning algorithm called Max-Space Clustering (MSC) to identify an appropriate cut-off value and its dependence on temperature. This method is compared with some widely used methods such as effective sphere (ES) method and nearest neighbor sphere (NNS) method. The cut-off radius obtained using our method shows a linear variation with temperature. The value of cut-off radius and its temperature dependence is derived for five bcc (Cr, Fe, Mo, Nb, W) and six fcc (Ag, Au, Cu, Ni, Pd, Pt) crystals. It is seen that the ratio of the cut-off values “r” to the lattice constant “a” lies between 0.23 and 0.3 at 300 K and this ratio is on an average smaller for the fcc crystals. Collision cascade simulations are carried out for Primary knock-on Atom (PKA) energies of 5 keV in Fe (at 300 K and 1000 K) and W (at 300 K and 2500 K) and the results are compared using the various methods. - Highlights: • Max-Space Clustering (MSC) method is developed to identify interstitials in crystals. • MSC provides a structured way to identify the temperature dependent cut-off radius. • It is compared with widely used sphere methods and found to be better. • MSC coupled with graph tree optimization can be used to obtain diffusion trajectory. • Cascade simulations of Fe, W are carried out and results are compared with various methods.

  4. Duodenoscope-Related Outbreak of a Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Identified Using Advanced Molecular Diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Romney M; Yang, Shuan; Kim, Stephen; Muthusamy, Venkatara Raman; Russell, Dana; Trout, Alisa M; Zaroda, Teresa; Cheng, Quen J; Aldrovandi, Grace; Uslan, Daniel Zachary; Hemarajata, Peera; Rubin, Zachary Aaron

    2017-10-01

    Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections are increasingly prevalent in North American hospitals. We describe an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae containing the blaOXA-232 gene transmitted by contaminated duodenoscopes during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures. An outbreak investigation was performed when 9 patients with blaOXA-232 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae infections were identified at a tertiary care hospital. The investigation included 2 case-control studies, review of duodenoscope reprocessing procedures, and culture of devices. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacieae (CRE) isolates were evaluated with polymerase chain reaction analysis for carbapenemase genes, and isolates with the blaOXA-232 gene were subjected to whole-genome sequencing and chromosome single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis. On recognition of ERCP as a key risk factor for infection, targeted patient notification and CRE screening cultures were performed. Molecular testing ultimately identified 17 patients with blaOxa-232 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates, including 9 with infections, 7 asymptomatic carriers who had undergone ERCP, and 1 additional patient who had been hospitalized in India and was probably the initial carrier. Two case-control studies established a point-source outbreak associated with 2 specific duodenoscopes. A field investigation of the use, reprocessing, and storage of deuodenoscopes did not identify deviations from US Food and Drug Administration or manufacturer recommendations for reprocessing. This outbreak demonstrated the previously underappreciated potential for duodenoscopes to transmit disease, even after undergoing high-level disinfection according to manufacturers' guidelines.

  5. Identifying self-interstitials of bcc and fcc crystals in molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukkuru, S.; Bhardwaj, U.; Warrier, M.; Rao, A. D. P.; Valsakumar, M. C.

    2017-02-01

    Identification of self-interstitials in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations is of critical importance. There exist several criteria for identifying the self-interstitial. Most of the existing methods use an assumed cut-off value for the displacement of an atom from its lattice position to identify the self-interstitial. The results obtained are affected by the chosen cut-off value. Moreover, these chosen cut-off values are independent of temperature. We have developed a novel unsupervised learning algorithm called Max-Space Clustering (MSC) to identify an appropriate cut-off value and its dependence on temperature. This method is compared with some widely used methods such as effective sphere (ES) method and nearest neighbor sphere (NNS) method. The cut-off radius obtained using our method shows a linear variation with temperature. The value of cut-off radius and its temperature dependence is derived for five bcc (Cr, Fe, Mo, Nb, W) and six fcc (Ag, Au, Cu, Ni, Pd, Pt) crystals. It is seen that the ratio of the cut-off values "r" to the lattice constant "a" lies between 0.23 and 0.3 at 300 K and this ratio is on an average smaller for the fcc crystals. Collision cascade simulations are carried out for Primary knock-on Atom (PKA) energies of 5 keV in Fe (at 300 K and 1000 K) and W (at 300 K and 2500 K) and the results are compared using the various methods.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of circulatory dysfunction in cirrhotic portal hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Ling Ho

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Acute or chronic insults to the liver are usually followed by a tissue repairing process. Unfortunately, this action, in most cases, is not effective enough to restore the normal hepatic structure and function. Instead, fibrogenesis and regenerative nodules formation ensue, which are relatively nonfunctioning. The common final stage of the process is liver cirrhosis with increased intrahepatic resistance to portal venous blood flow. Throughout the entire course, the extrahepatic circulatory dysfunction, including increased splanchnic blood flow, elevated portal venous blood flow and pressure, decreased splanchnic and peripheral vascular resistance, tachycardia, and increased cardiac output, are noted and denoted as portal hypertension with hyperdynamic circulatory dysfunction. When such a condition is established, patients may suffer from fatal complications such as gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage, hepatic encephalopathy, or hepatorenal syndrome. The cause of such a circulatory dysfunction is not fully elucidated. Nevertheless, clarification of the pathophysiology definitely contributes to the control of portal hypertension-related complications. Herein, the molecular mechanism of this intriguing disaster is reviewed and discussed.

  7. Mechanical properties of irradiated nanowires – A molecular dynamics study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Figueroa, Emilio [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Matemática y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Santiago 7800002 (Chile); Tramontina, Diego [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad de Mendoza, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Gutiérrez, Gonzalo, E-mail: gonzalo@fisica.ciencias.uchile.cl [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Bringa, Eduardo [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina)

    2015-12-15

    In this work we study, by means of molecular dynamics simulation, the change in the mechanical properties of a gold nanowire with pre-existing radiation damage. The gold nanowire is used as a simple model for a nanofoam, made of connected nanowires. Radiation damage by keV ions leads to the formation of a stacking fault tetrahedron (SFT), and this defect leads to a reduced plastic threshold, as expected, when the nanowire is subjected to tension. We quantify dislocation and twin density during the deformation, and find that the early activation of the SFT as a dislocation source leads to reduced dislocation densities compared to the case without radiation damage. In addition, we observed a total destruction of the SFT, as opposed to a recent simulation study where it was postulated that SFTs might act as self-generating dislocation sources. The flow stress at large deformation is also found to be slightly larger for the irradiated case, in agreement with recent experiments. - Highlights: • Stacking Fault Tetrahedra (SFT) formation proceeds by cascades, containing typically a vacancy cluster and interstitials. • Applied tension leads to the destruction of the SFT, in contrast to a recently reported case of a SFT which soften the NW. • After the initial dislocation activity, strength is controlled by a few surviving dislocations.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ankit; Tiwari, Subodh C.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya; Kalia, Rajiv; CACS Team

    Experimental and first principle computational studies on FOX 7 have either involved a very small system consisting of a few atoms or they did not take into account the decomposition mechanisms under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. We have performed a large-scale reactive MD simulation using ReaxFF-lg force field to study the shock decomposition of FOX 7. The chemical composition of the principal decomposition products correlates well with experimental observations. Furthermore, we observed that the production of N2 and H2O was inter molecular in nature and was through different chemical pathways. Moreover, the production of CO and CO2 was delayed due to production of large stable C,O atoms cluster. These critical insights into the initial processes involved in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7 will greatly help in understanding the factors playing an important role in the insensitiveness of this high energy material. This research is supported by AFOSR Award No. FA9550-16-1-0042.

  9. The Molecular Mechanisms of Offspring Effects from Obese Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Dowling

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat / high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  10. Molecular Mechanisms and New Treatment Paradigm for Atrial Fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirish, Padmini; Li, Ning; Timofeyev, Valeriy; Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Wang, Lianguo; Yang, Jun; Lee, Kin Sing Stephen; Bettaieb, Ahmed; Ma, Sin Mei; Lee, Jeong Han; Su, Demetria; Lau, Victor C; Myers, Richard E; Lieu, Deborah K; López, Javier E; Young, J Nilas; Yamoah, Ebenezer N; Haj, Fawaz; Ripplinger, Crystal M; Hammock, Bruce D; Chiamvimonvat, Nipavan

    2016-05-01

    Atrial fibrillation represents the most common arrhythmia leading to increased morbidity and mortality, yet, current treatment strategies have proven inadequate. Conventional treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs carries a high risk for proarrhythmias. The soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of anti-inflammatory epoxy fatty acids, including epoxyeicosatrienoic acids from arachidonic acid to the corresponding proinflammatory diols. Therefore, the goal of the study is to directly test the hypotheses that inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme can result in an increase in the levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, leading to the attenuation of atrial structural and electric remodeling and the prevention of atrial fibrillation. For the first time, we report findings that inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, atrial structural, and electric remodeling. Treatment with soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor significantly reduces the activation of key inflammatory signaling molecules, including the transcription factor nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and transforming growth factor-β. This study provides insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to atrial fibrillation by inflammation and represents a paradigm shift from conventional antiarrhythmic drugs, which block downstream events to a novel upstream therapeutic target by counteracting the inflammatory processes in atrial fibrillation. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  11. Final Report - Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation - UCSF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Susan M. [UCSF

    2014-04-24

    The bacterial mercury resistance (mer) operon functions in Hg biogeochemistry and bioremediation by converting reactive inorganic Hg(II) and organic [RHg(II)]1+ mercurials to relatively inert monoatomic mercury vapor, Hg(0). Its genes regulate operon expression (MerR, MerD, MerOP), import Hg(II) (MerT, MerP, and MerC), and demethylate (MerB) and reduce (MerA) mercurials. We focus on how these components interact with each other and with the host cell to allow cells to survive and detoxify Hg compounds. Understanding how this ubiquitous detoxification system fits into the biology and ecology of its bacterial host is essential to guide interventions that support and enhance Hg remediation. In the current overall project we focused on two aspects of this system: (1) investigations of the energetics of Hg(II)-ligand binding interactions, and (2) both experimental and computational approaches to investigating the molecular mechanisms of Hg(II) acquisition by MerA and intramolecular transfer of Hg(II) prior to reduction within the MerA enzyme active site. Computational work was led by Prof. Jeremy Smith and took place at the University of Tennessee, while experimental work on MerA was led by Prof. Susan Miller and took place at the University of California San Francisco.

  12. Unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of repetitive magnetic stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eMüller-Dahlhaus

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite numerous clinical studies, which have investigated the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS in various brain diseases, our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rTMS-based therapies remains limited. Thus, a deeper understanding of rTMS-induced neural plasticity is required to optimize current treatment protocols. Studies in small animals or appropriate in vitro preparations (including models of brain diseases provide highly useful experimental approaches in this context. State-of-the-art electrophysiological and live-cell imaging techniques that are well established in basic neuroscience can help answering some of the major questions in the field, such as (i which neural structures are activated during TMS, (ii how does rTMS induce Hebbian plasticity, and (iii are other forms of plasticity (e.g., metaplasticity, structural plasticity induced by rTMS? We argue that data gained from these studies will support the development of more effective and specific applications of rTMS in clinical practice.

  13. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced osteopenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Yao; Liu, Yitong; Chen, Hui; Shi, Songtao; Liu, Yi

    2017-12-01

    Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed, resulting in a staggering economic cost in different social and cultural settings. Types of alcohol consumption vary from light occasional to heavy, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol abuse at all ages. In general, heavy alcohol consumption is widely recognized as a major epidemiological risk factor for chronic diseases and is detrimental to many organs and tissues, including bones. Indeed, recent findings demonstrate that alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect in promoting imbalanced bone remodeling. This imbalance eventually results in osteopenia, an established risk factor for osteoporosis. Decreased bone mass and strength are major hallmarks of osteopenia, which is predominantly attributed not only to inhibition of bone synthesis but also to increased bone resorption through direct and indirect pathways. In this review, we present knowledge to elucidate the epidemiology, potential pathogenesis, and major molecular mechanisms and cellular effects that underlie alcoholism-induced bone loss in osteopenia. Novel therapeutic targets for correcting alcohol-induced osteopenia are also reviewed, such as modulation of proinflammatory cytokines and Wnt and mTOR signaling and the application of new drugs.

  14. Quantum mechanical simulations of polymers for molecular electronics and photonics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupuis, M.; Villar, H.O.; Clementi, E.

    1987-01-01

    Ab initio quantum mechanical studies can play an important role in obtaining a detailed understanding of the electronic structure of existing materials, and in predicting the properties of new ones. In this article the authors give a general outline of their research activity in two areas dealing with new materials, specifically, conducting polymers and polymers with non-linear optical properties. The authors present the strategy followed for the study of these molecular systems, and an overview of their findings concerning the structure of the prototypical conducting polymer, i.e. pure and doped polyacetylene (PA). They focused attention on vibrational spectra and infrared and Raman intensities. The results of self-consistent-field (SCF) calculations on charged soliton-like molecules are consistent with experimental observation. In particular, they show that the theoretically established accidental mutual exclusion of infrared and Raman bands invalidates the requirement formulated on the basis of the interpretation of experimental data, that defects in PA must have local C/sub 2h/ symmetry. These conclusions are derived from extensive calculations for which supercomputer performance was imperative and carried out on the parallel supercomputer assembled at IBM-Kingston as a loosely coupled array of processors (LCAP). The authors briefly describe this computer system which has proven to be ideally suited to the methods of ab initio quantum chemistry

  15. Molecular mechanisms of Ebola virus pathogenesis: focus on cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, L; Agrati, C; Petrosillo, N; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Ippolito, G; Piacentini, M

    2015-08-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) belongs to the Filoviridae family and is responsible for a severe disease characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise accompanied by other non-specific signs and symptoms; in 30-50% of cases hemorrhagic symptoms are present. Multiorgan dysfunction occurs in severe forms with a mortality up to 90%. The EBOV first attacks macrophages and dendritic immune cells. The innate immune reaction is characterized by a cytokine storm, with secretion of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induces a huge number of contradictory signals and hurts the immune cells, as well as other tissues. Other highly pathogenic viruses also trigger cytokine storms, but Filoviruses are thought to be particularly lethal because they affect a wide array of tissues. In addition to the immune system, EBOV attacks the spleen and kidneys, where it kills cells that help the body to regulate its fluid and chemical balance and that make proteins that help the blood to clot. In addition, EBOV causes liver, lungs and kidneys to shut down their functions and the blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissues. In this review, we analyze the molecular mechanisms at the basis of Ebola pathogenesis with a particular focus on the cell death pathways induced by the virus. We also discuss how the treatment of the infection can benefit from the recent experience of blocking/modulating cell death in human degenerative diseases.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Anticancer Effects of Phytoestrogens in Breast Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Chia-Jung; Hsu, Ya-Ling; Huang, Ya-Fang; Tsai, Eing-Mei

    2018-01-01

    Phytoestrogens derived from plants exert estrogenic as well as antiestrogenic effects and multiple actions within breast cancer cells. Chemopreventive properties of phytoestrogens have emerged from epidemiological observations. In recent clinical research studies, phytoestrogens are safe and may even protect against breast cancer. In this brief review, the molecular mechanisms of phytoestrogens on regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, estrogen receptors, cell signaling pathways, and epigenetic modulations in relation to breast cancer are discussed. Phytoestrogens have a preferential affinity for estrogen receptor (ER)-β, which appears to be associated with antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic effects. Moreover, while phytoestrogens not only inhibit ER-positive but also ER-negative breast cancer cells, the possibility of epigenetic modulation playing an important role is also discussed. In conclusion, as there are multiple targets and actions of phytoestrogens, extensive research is still necessary. However, due to low toxicity, low cost, and easy availability, their potent chemoprevention effects deserve further study. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  17. Understanding the mechanisms of amorphous creep through molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Penghui; Short, Michael P; Yip, Sidney

    2017-12-26

    Molecular processes of creep in metallic glass thin films are simulated at experimental timescales using a metadynamics-based atomistic method. Space-time evolutions of the atomic strains and nonaffine atom displacements are analyzed to reveal details of the atomic-level deformation and flow processes of amorphous creep in response to stress and thermal activations. From the simulation results, resolved spatially on the nanoscale and temporally over time increments of fractions of a second, we derive a mechanistic explanation of the well-known variation of creep rate with stress. We also construct a deformation map delineating the predominant regimes of diffusional creep at low stress and high temperature and deformational creep at high stress. Our findings validate the relevance of two original models of the mechanisms of amorphous plasticity: one focusing on atomic diffusion via free volume and the other focusing on stress-induced shear deformation. These processes are found to be nonlinearly coupled through dynamically heterogeneous fluctuations that characterize the slow dynamics of systems out of equilibrium.

  18. Evaluation of carbohydrate molecular mechanical force fields by quantum mechanical calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmingsen, Lars Bo Stegeager; Madsen, D.E.; Esbensen, A.L.

    2004-01-01

    of the (gg, gt and tg) rotamers of methyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside are (0.13, 0.00, 0.15) and (0.64, 0.00, 0.77) kcal/mol. respectively. The results of the quantum mechanical calculations are compared with the results of calculations using the 20 second...... for monosaccharide carbohydrate benchmark systems. Selected results are: (i) The interaction energy of the alpha-D-alucopyranose-H2O heterodimer is estimated to be 4.9 kcal/mol, using a composite method including terms at highly correlated (CCSD(T)) level. Most molecular mechanics force fields are in error...

  19. Trends in nanoscale mechanics mechanics of carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanocomposites and molecular dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    2014-01-01

    This book contains a collection of the state-of-the-art reviews written by the leading researchers in the areas of nanoscale mechanics, molecular dynamics, nanoscale modeling of nanocomposites and mechanics of carbon nanotubes. No other book has reviews of the recent discoveries such as a nanoscale analog of the Pauli’s principle, i.e., effect of the spatial exclusion of electrons or the SEE effect, a new Registry Matrix Analysis for the nanoscale interfacial sliding and new data on the effective viscosity of interfacial electrons in nanoscale stiction at the interfaces. This volume is also an exceptional resource on the well tested nanoscale modeling of carbon nanotubes and nanocomposites, new nanoscale effects, unique evaluations of the effective thickness of carbon nanotubes under different loads, new data on which size of carbon nanotubes is safer and many other topics. Extensive bibliography concerning all these topics is included along with the lucid short reviews. Numerous illustrations are provided...

  20. A mouse model of alcoholic liver fibrosis-associated acute kidney injury identifies key molecular pathways

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furuya, Shinji; Chappell, Grace A.; Iwata, Yasuhiro; Uehara, Takeki; Kato, Yuki; Kono, Hiroshi; Bataller, Ramon; Rusyn, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data strongly indicate that acute kidney injury (AKI) is a critical complication in alcoholic hepatitis, an acute-on-chronic form of liver failure in patients with advanced alcoholic fibrosis. Development of targeted therapies for AKI in this setting is hampered by the lack of an animal model. To enable research into molecular drivers and novel therapies for fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI, we aimed to combine carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 )-induced fibrosis with chronic intra-gastric alcohol feeding. Male C57BL/6J mice were administered a low dose of CCl 4 (0.2 ml/kg 2 × week/6 weeks) followed by alcohol intragastrically (up to 25 g/kg/day for 3 weeks) and with continued CCl 4 . We observed that combined treatment with CCl 4 and alcohol resulted in severe liver injury, more pronounced than using each treatment alone. Importantly, severe kidney injury was evident only in the combined treatment group. This mouse model reproduced distinct pathological features consistent with AKI in human alcoholic hepatitis. Transcriptomic analysis of kidneys revealed profound effects in the combined treatment group, with enrichment for damage-associated pathways, such as apoptosis, inflammation, immune-response and hypoxia. Interestingly, Havcr1 and Lcn2, biomarkers of AKI, were markedly up-regulated. Overall, this study established a novel mouse model of fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI and identified key mechanistic pathways. - Highlights: • Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a critical complication in alcoholic hepatitis • We developed a novel mouse model of fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI • This model reproduces key molecular and pathological features of human AKI • This animal model can help identify new targeted therapies for alcoholic hepatitis

  1. Drought Tolerance in Pinus halepensis Seed Sources As Identified by Distinctive Physiological and Molecular Markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taïbi, Khaled; Del Campo, Antonio D; Vilagrosa, Alberto; Bellés, José M; López-Gresa, María Pilar; Pla, Davinia; Calvete, Juan J; López-Nicolás, José M; Mulet, José M

    2017-01-01

    Drought is one of the main constraints determining forest species growth, survival and productivity, and therefore one of the main limitations for reforestation or afforestation. The aim of this study is to characterize the drought response at the physiological and molecular level of different Pinus halepensis (common name Aleppo pine) seed sources, previously characterized in field trials as drought-sensitive or drought-tolerant. This approach aims to identify different traits capable of predicting the ability of formerly uncharacterized seedlings to cope with drought stress. Gas-exchange, water potential, photosynthetic pigments, soluble sugars, free amino acids, glutathione and proteomic analyses were carried out on control and drought-stressed seedlings in greenhouse conditions. Gas-exchange determinations were also assessed in field-planted seedlings in order to validate the greenhouse experimental conditions. Drought-tolerant seed sources presented higher values of photosynthetic rates, water use efficiency, photosynthetic pigments and soluble carbohydrates concentrations. We observed the same pattern of variation of photosynthesis rate and maximal efficiency of PSII in field. Interestingly drought-tolerant seed sources exhibited increased levels of glutathione, methionine and cysteine. The proteomic profile of drought tolerant seedlings identified two heat shock proteins and an enzyme related to methionine biosynthesis that were not present in drought sensitive seedlings, pointing to the synthesis of sulfur amino acids as a limiting factor for drought tolerance in Pinus halepensis . Our results established physiological and molecular traits useful as distinctive markers to predict drought tolerance in Pinus halepensis provenances that could be reliably used in reforestation programs in drought prone areas.

  2. A mouse model of alcoholic liver fibrosis-associated acute kidney injury identifies key molecular pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furuya, Shinji; Chappell, Grace A.; Iwata, Yasuhiro [Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A& M University, College Station, TX (United States); Uehara, Takeki; Kato, Yuki [Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka (Japan); Kono, Hiroshi [First Department of Surgery, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi (Japan); Bataller, Ramon [Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States); Rusyn, Ivan, E-mail: irusyn@tamu.edu [Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A& M University, College Station, TX (United States)

    2016-11-01

    Clinical data strongly indicate that acute kidney injury (AKI) is a critical complication in alcoholic hepatitis, an acute-on-chronic form of liver failure in patients with advanced alcoholic fibrosis. Development of targeted therapies for AKI in this setting is hampered by the lack of an animal model. To enable research into molecular drivers and novel therapies for fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI, we aimed to combine carbon tetrachloride (CCl{sub 4})-induced fibrosis with chronic intra-gastric alcohol feeding. Male C57BL/6J mice were administered a low dose of CCl{sub 4} (0.2 ml/kg 2 × week/6 weeks) followed by alcohol intragastrically (up to 25 g/kg/day for 3 weeks) and with continued CCl{sub 4}. We observed that combined treatment with CCl{sub 4} and alcohol resulted in severe liver injury, more pronounced than using each treatment alone. Importantly, severe kidney injury was evident only in the combined treatment group. This mouse model reproduced distinct pathological features consistent with AKI in human alcoholic hepatitis. Transcriptomic analysis of kidneys revealed profound effects in the combined treatment group, with enrichment for damage-associated pathways, such as apoptosis, inflammation, immune-response and hypoxia. Interestingly, Havcr1 and Lcn2, biomarkers of AKI, were markedly up-regulated. Overall, this study established a novel mouse model of fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI and identified key mechanistic pathways. - Highlights: • Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a critical complication in alcoholic hepatitis • We developed a novel mouse model of fibrosis- and alcohol-associated AKI • This model reproduces key molecular and pathological features of human AKI • This animal model can help identify new targeted therapies for alcoholic hepatitis.

  3. Drought Tolerance in Pinus halepensis Seed Sources As Identified by Distinctive Physiological and Molecular Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Taïbi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Drought is one of the main constraints determining forest species growth, survival and productivity, and therefore one of the main limitations for reforestation or afforestation. The aim of this study is to characterize the drought response at the physiological and molecular level of different Pinus halepensis (common name Aleppo pine seed sources, previously characterized in field trials as drought-sensitive or drought-tolerant. This approach aims to identify different traits capable of predicting the ability of formerly uncharacterized seedlings to cope with drought stress. Gas-exchange, water potential, photosynthetic pigments, soluble sugars, free amino acids, glutathione and proteomic analyses were carried out on control and drought-stressed seedlings in greenhouse conditions. Gas-exchange determinations were also assessed in field-planted seedlings in order to validate the greenhouse experimental conditions. Drought-tolerant seed sources presented higher values of photosynthetic rates, water use efficiency, photosynthetic pigments and soluble carbohydrates concentrations. We observed the same pattern of variation of photosynthesis rate and maximal efficiency of PSII in field. Interestingly drought-tolerant seed sources exhibited increased levels of glutathione, methionine and cysteine. The proteomic profile of drought tolerant seedlings identified two heat shock proteins and an enzyme related to methionine biosynthesis that were not present in drought sensitive seedlings, pointing to the synthesis of sulfur amino acids as a limiting factor for drought tolerance in Pinus halepensis. Our results established physiological and molecular traits useful as distinctive markers to predict drought tolerance in Pinus halepensis provenances that could be reliably used in reforestation programs in drought prone areas.

  4. Antimycobacterial drug discovery using Mycobacteria-infected amoebae identifies anti-infectives and new molecular targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trofimov, Valentin; Kicka, Sébastien; Mucaria, Sabrina; Hanna, Nabil; Ramon-Olayo, Fernando; Del Peral, Laura Vela-Gonzalez; Lelièvre, Joël; Ballell, Lluís; Scapozza, Leonardo; Besra, Gurdyal S; Cox, Jonathan A G; Soldati, Thierry

    2018-03-02

    Tuberculosis remains a serious threat to human health world-wide, and improved efficiency of medical treatment requires a better understanding of the pathogenesis and the discovery of new drugs. In the present study, we performed a whole-cell based screen in order to complete the characterization of 168 compounds from the GlaxoSmithKline TB-set. We have established and utilized novel previously unexplored host-model systems to characterize the GSK compounds, i.e. the amoeboid organisms D. discoideum and A. castellanii, as well as a microglial phagocytic cell line, BV2. We infected these host cells with Mycobacterium marinum to monitor and characterize the anti-infective activity of the compounds with quantitative fluorescence measurements and high-content microscopy. In summary, 88.1% of the compounds were confirmed as antibiotics against M. marinum, 11.3% and 4.8% displayed strong anti-infective activity in, respectively, the mammalian and protozoan infection models. Additionally, in the two systems, 13-14% of the compounds displayed pro-infective activity. Our studies underline the relevance of using evolutionarily distant pathogen and host models in order to reveal conserved mechanisms of virulence and defence, respectively, which are potential "universal" targets for intervention. Subsequent mechanism of action studies based on generation of over-expresser M. bovis BCG strains, generation of spontaneous resistant mutants and whole genome sequencing revealed four new molecular targets, including FbpA, MurC, MmpL3 and GlpK.

  5. Reaction mechanism of oxygen atoms with unsaturated hydrocarbons by the crossed molecular beams method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buss, R.J.; Baseman, R.J.; Guozhong, H.; Lee, Y.T.

    1982-04-01

    From a series of studies of the reaction of oxygen atoms with unsaturated hydrocarbons using the crossed molecular beam method, the dominant reaction mechanisms were found to be the simple substitution reactions with oxygen atoms replacing H, Cl, Br atom or alkyl groups. Complication due to secondary reaction was avoided by carrying out experiments under single collisions and observing primary products directly. Primary products were identified by measuring the angular and velocity distributions of products at all the mass numbers which could be detected by the mass spectrometer, and from comparison of these distributions, applying the requirement of energy and momentum conservation.

  6. Reaction Mechanism of Oxygen Atoms with Unsaturated Hydrocarbons by the Crossed-Molecular-Beams Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, R. J.; Baseman, R. J.; Guozhong, H.; Lee, Y. T.

    1982-04-01

    From a series of studies of the reaction of oxygen atoms with unsaturated hydrocarbons using the crossed molecular beam method, the dominant reaction mechanisms were found to be the simple substitution reactions with oxygen atoms replacing H, Cl, Br atom or alkyl groups. Complication due to secondary reaction was avoided by carrying out experiments under single collisions and observing primary products directly. Primary products were identified by measuring the angular and velocity distributions of products at all the mass numbers which could be detected by the mass spectrometer, and from comparison of these distributions, applying the requirement of energy and momentum conservation.

  7. Transcriptional analysis and molecular dynamics simulations reveal the mechanism of toxic metals removal and efflux pumps in Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.31

    KAUST Repository

    Shaw, Dario Rangel; Dussan, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain OT4b.31 is a bacterium widely applied in bioremediation processes of hydrocarbon and metal polluted environments. In this study, we identified the molecular mechanism underlying the Pb2+ and Cr6+ resistance. Metal

  8. Distinct Molecular Signature of Murine Fetal Liver and Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cells Identify Novel Regulators of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manesia, Javed K; Franch, Monica; Tabas-Madrid, Daniel; Nogales-Cadenas, Ruben; Vanwelden, Thomas; Van Den Bosch, Elisa; Xu, Zhuofei; Pascual-Montano, Alberto; Khurana, Satish; Verfaillie, Catherine M

    2017-04-15

    During ontogeny, fetal liver (FL) acts as a major site for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) maturation and expansion, whereas HSCs in the adult bone marrow (ABM) are largely quiescent. HSCs in the FL possess faster repopulation capacity as compared with ABM HSCs. However, the molecular mechanism regulating the greater self-renewal potential of FL HSCs has not yet extensively been assessed. Recently, we published RNA sequencing-based gene expression analysis on FL HSCs from 14.5-day mouse embryo (E14.5) in comparison to the ABM HSCs. We reanalyzed these data to identify key transcriptional regulators that play important roles in the expansion of HSCs during development. The comparison of FL E14.5 with ABM HSCs identified more than 1,400 differentially expressed genes. More than 200 genes were shortlisted based on the gene ontology (GO) annotation term "transcription." By morpholino-based knockdown studies in zebrafish, we assessed the function of 18 of these regulators, previously not associated with HSC proliferation. Our studies identified a previously unknown role for tdg, uhrf1, uchl5, and ncoa1 in the emergence of definitive hematopoiesis in zebrafish. In conclusion, we demonstrate that identification of genes involved in transcriptional regulation differentially expressed between expanding FL HSCs and quiescent ABM HSCs, uncovers novel regulators of HSC function.

  9. Physiological and molecular mechanisms associated with cross tolerance between hypoxia and low temperature in Thaumatotibia leucotreta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boardman, Leigh; Sørensen, Jesper Givskov; Terblanche, John S

    2015-01-01

    identified to date. Using larvae of false codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta, a pest of southern Africa, we investigated the physiological and molecular responses to hypoxia or temperature stress pre-treatments, followed by a standard low temperature exposure. Survival rates were significantly influenced...... by pretreatment conditions, although T. leucotreta shows relatively high basal resistance to various stressors (4% variation in larval survival across all pre-treatments). Results showed that mild pre-treatments with chilling and hypoxia increased resistance to low temperatures and that these responses were...... correlated with increased membrane fluidity (increased UFA:SFA) and/or alterations in heat shock protein 70 (HSP70); while general mechanical stress (shaking) and heat (2 h at 35 C) do not elicit cross tolerance (no change in survival or molecular responses). We therefore found support for some limited cold...

  10. Retroviral insertions in the VISION database identify molecular pathways in mouse lymphoid leukemia and lymphoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiser, Keith C; Liu, Bin; Hansen, Gwenn M; Skapura, Darlene; Hentges, Kathryn E; Yarlagadda, Sujatha; Morse Iii, Herbert C; Justice, Monica J

    2007-10-01

    AKXD recombinant inbred (RI) strains develop a variety of leukemias and lymphomas due to somatically acquired insertions of retroviral DNA into the genome of hematopoetic cells that can mutate cellular proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We generated a new set of tumors from nine AKXD RI strains selected for their propensity to develop B-cell tumors, the most common type of human hematopoietic cancers. We employed a PCR technique called viral insertion site amplification (VISA) to rapidly isolate genomic sequence at the site of provirus insertion. Here we describe 550 VISA sequence tags (VSTs) that identify 74 common insertion sites (CISs), of which 21 have not been identified previously. Several suspected proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes lie near CISs, providing supportive evidence for their roles in cancer. Furthermore, numerous previously uncharacterized genes lie near CISs, providing a pool of candidate disease genes for future research. Pathway analysis of candidate genes identified several signaling pathways as common and powerful routes to blood cancer, including Notch, E-protein, NFkappaB, and Ras signaling. Misregulation of several Notch signaling genes was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. Our data suggest that analyses of insertional mutagenesis on a single genetic background are biased toward the identification of cooperating mutations. This tumor collection represents the most comprehensive study of the genetics of B-cell leukemia and lymphoma development in mice. We have deposited the VST sequences, CISs in a genome viewer, histopathology, and molecular tumor typing data in a public web database called VISION (Viral Insertion Sites Identifying Oncogenes), which is located at http://www.mouse-genome.bcm.tmc.edu/vision .

  11. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Piper species: a perspective from screening to molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sarvesh; Malhotra, Shashwat; Prasad, Ashok K; Van der Eycken, Erik V; Bracke, Marc E; Stetler-Stevenson, William G; Parmar, Virinder S; Ghosh, Balaram

    2015-01-01

    Identifying novel therapeutic agents from natural sources and their possible intervention studies has been one of the major areas in biomedical research in recent years. Piper species are highly important - commercially, economically and medicinally. Our groups have been working for more than two decades on the identification and characterization of novel therapeutic lead molecules from Piper species. We have extensively studied the biological activities of various extracts of Piper longum and Piper galeatum, and identified and characterized novel molecules from these species. Using synthetic chemistry, various functional groups of the lead molecules were modified and structure activity relationship (SAR) studies identified synthetic molecules with better efficacy and lower IC50 values. Moreover, the mechanisms of actions of some of these molecules were studied at the molecular level. The objective of this review is to summarize experimental data published from our laboratories and others on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potentials of Piper species and their chemical constituents.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-12-18

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

  13. Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in natural Leishmania populations vary with genetic background.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Decuypere

    Full Text Available The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L. donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread

  14. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms of intraflagellar transport in Chlamydomonas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, L. B.; Geimer, S.; Rosenbaum, J. L.

    2006-01-01

    Background The assembly and maintenance of eukaryotic cilia and flagella are mediated by intraflagellar transport (IFT), a bidirectional microtubule (MT)-based transport system. The IFT system consists of anterograde (kinesin-2) and retrograde (cDynein1b) motor complexes and IFT particles...... comprising two complexes, A and B. In the current model for IFT, kinesin-2 carries cDynein1b, IFT particles, and axonemal precursors from the flagellar base to the tip, and cDynein1b transports kinesin-2, IFT particles, and axonemal turnover products from the tip back to the base. Most of the components...... of the IFT system have been identified and characterized, but the mechanisms by which these different components are coordinated and regulated at the flagellar base and tip are unclear. Results Using a variety of Chlamydomonas mutants, we confirm that cDynein1b requires kinesin-2 for transport toward the tip...

  15. ApoE4-specific Misfolded Intermediate Identified by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benfeard Williams

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD is associated with the APOE gene, which encodes for three variants of Apolipoprotein E, namely E2, E3, E4, differing only by two amino acids at positions 112 and 158. ApoE4 is known to be the strongest risk factor for AD onset, while ApoE3 and ApoE2 are considered to be the AD-neutral and AD-protective isoforms, respectively. It has been hypothesized that the ApoE isoforms may contribute to the development of AD by modifying the homeostasis of ApoE physiological partners and AD-related proteins in an isoform-specific fashion. Here we find that, despite the high sequence similarity among the three ApoE variants, only ApoE4 exhibits a misfolded intermediate state characterized by isoform-specific domain-domain interactions in molecular dynamics simulations. The existence of an ApoE4-specific intermediate state can contribute to the onset of AD by altering multiple cellular pathways involved in ApoE-dependent lipid transport efficiency or in AD-related protein aggregation and clearance. We present what we believe to be the first structural model of an ApoE4 misfolded intermediate state, which may serve to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the role of ApoE4 in AD pathogenesis. The knowledge of the structure for the ApoE4 folding intermediate provides a new platform for the rational design of alternative therapeutic strategies to fight AD.

  16. Analyzing the molecular mechanism of lipoprotein localization in Brucella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolab, Shivani; Roth, Robyn L; van Heerden, Henriette; Crampton, Michael C

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins possess diverse structure and functionality, ranging from bacterial physiology to pathogenic processes. As such many lipoproteins, originating from Brucella are exploited as potential vaccines to countermeasure brucellosis infection in the host. These membrane proteins are translocated from the cytoplasm to the cell membrane where they are anchored peripherally by a multifaceted targeting mechanism. Although much research has focused on the identification and classification of Brucella lipoproteins and their potential use as vaccine candidates for the treatment of Brucellosis, the underlying route for the translocation of these lipoproteins to the outer surface of the Brucella (and other pathogens) outer membrane (OM) remains mostly unknown. This is partly due to the complexity of the organism and evasive tactics used to escape the host immune system, the variation in biological structure and activity of lipoproteins, combined with the complex nature of the translocation machinery. The biosynthetic pathway of Brucella lipoproteins involves a distinct secretion system aiding translocation from the cytoplasm, where they are modified by lipidation, sorted by the lipoprotein localization machinery pathway and thereafter equipped for export to the OM. Surface localized lipoproteins in Brucella may employ a lipoprotein flippase or the β-barrel assembly complex for translocation. This review provides an overview of the characterized Brucella OM proteins that form part of the OM, including a handful of other characterized bacterial lipoproteins and their mechanisms of translocation. Lipoprotein localization pathways in gram negative bacteria will be used as a model to identify gaps in Brucella lipoprotein localization and infer a potential pathway. Of particular interest are the dual topology lipoproteins identified in Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenza. The localization and topology of these lipoproteins from other gram negative bacteria

  17. Analyzing the molecular mechanism of lipoprotein localization in Brucella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolab, Shivani; Roth, Robyn L.; van Heerden, Henriette; Crampton, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins possess diverse structure and functionality, ranging from bacterial physiology to pathogenic processes. As such many lipoproteins, originating from Brucella are exploited as potential vaccines to countermeasure brucellosis infection in the host. These membrane proteins are translocated from the cytoplasm to the cell membrane where they are anchored peripherally by a multifaceted targeting mechanism. Although much research has focused on the identification and classification of Brucella lipoproteins and their potential use as vaccine candidates for the treatment of Brucellosis, the underlying route for the translocation of these lipoproteins to the outer surface of the Brucella (and other pathogens) outer membrane (OM) remains mostly unknown. This is partly due to the complexity of the organism and evasive tactics used to escape the host immune system, the variation in biological structure and activity of lipoproteins, combined with the complex nature of the translocation machinery. The biosynthetic pathway of Brucella lipoproteins involves a distinct secretion system aiding translocation from the cytoplasm, where they are modified by lipidation, sorted by the lipoprotein localization machinery pathway and thereafter equipped for export to the OM. Surface localized lipoproteins in Brucella may employ a lipoprotein flippase or the β-barrel assembly complex for translocation. This review provides an overview of the characterized Brucella OM proteins that form part of the OM, including a handful of other characterized bacterial lipoproteins and their mechanisms of translocation. Lipoprotein localization pathways in gram negative bacteria will be used as a model to identify gaps in Brucella lipoprotein localization and infer a potential pathway. Of particular interest are the dual topology lipoproteins identified in Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenza. The localization and topology of these lipoproteins from other gram negative bacteria

  18. Je, a versatile suite to handle multiplexed NGS libraries with unique molecular identifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardot, Charles; Scholtalbers, Jelle; Sauer, Sajoscha; Su, Shu-Yi; Furlong, Eileen E M

    2016-10-08

    The yield obtained from next generation sequencers has increased almost exponentially in recent years, making sample multiplexing common practice. While barcodes (known sequences of fixed length) primarily encode the sample identity of sequenced DNA fragments, barcodes made of random sequences (Unique Molecular Identifier or UMIs) are often used to distinguish between PCR duplicates and transcript abundance in, for example, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). In paired-end sequencing, different barcodes can be inserted at each fragment end to either increase the number of multiplexed samples in the library or to use one of the barcodes as UMI. Alternatively, UMIs can be combined with the sample barcodes into composite barcodes, or with standard Illumina® indexing. Subsequent analysis must take read duplicates and sample identity into account, by identifying UMIs. Existing tools do not support these complex barcoding configurations and custom code development is frequently required. Here, we present Je, a suite of tools that accommodates complex barcoding strategies, extracts UMIs and filters read duplicates taking UMIs into account. Using Je on publicly available scRNA-seq and iCLIP data containing UMIs, the number of unique reads increased by up to 36 %, compared to when UMIs are ignored. Je is implemented in JAVA and uses the Picard API. Code, executables and documentation are freely available at http://gbcs.embl.de/Je . Je can also be easily installed in Galaxy through the Galaxy toolshed.

  19. Incorporation of unique molecular identifiers in TruSeq adapters improves the accuracy of quantitative sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jungeui; Gresham, David

    2017-11-01

    Quantitative analysis of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data requires discriminating duplicate reads generated by PCR from identical molecules that are of unique origin. Typically, PCR duplicates are identified as sequence reads that align to the same genomic coordinates using reference-based alignment. However, identical molecules can be independently generated during library preparation. Misidentification of these molecules as PCR duplicates can introduce unforeseen biases during analyses. Here, we developed a cost-effective sequencing adapter design by modifying Illumina TruSeq adapters to incorporate a unique molecular identifier (UMI) while maintaining the capacity to undertake multiplexed, single-index sequencing. Incorporation of UMIs into TruSeq adapters (TrUMIseq adapters) enables identification of bona fide PCR duplicates as identically mapped reads with identical UMIs. Using TrUMIseq adapters, we show that accurate removal of PCR duplicates results in improved accuracy of both allele frequency (AF) estimation in heterogeneous populations using DNA sequencing and gene expression quantification using RNA-Seq.

  20. Molecular markers for identifying a new selected variety of Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yang; Zhang, Xiaojun; Liu, Jingwen; Li, Fuhua; Huang, Hao; Li, Yijun; Liu, Xiaolin; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    Selective breeding of the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei during the last decade has produced new varieties exhibiting high growth rates and disease resistance. However, the identification of new varieties of shrimps from their phenotypic characters is difficult. This study introduces a new approach for identifying varieties of shrimps using molecular markers of microsatellites and mitochondrial control region sequences. The method was employed to identify a new selected variety, Kehai No. 1 (KH-1), from three representative stocks (control group): Zhengda; Tongwei; and a stock collected from Fujian Province, which is now cultured in mainland China. By pooled genotyping of KH-1 and the control group, five microsatellites showing differences between KH-1 and the control group were screened out. Individual genotyping data confirmed the results from pooled genotyping. The genotyping data for the five microsatellites were applied to the assignment analysis of the KH-1 group and the control group using the partial Bayesian assignment method in GENECLASS2. By sequencing the mitochondrial control regions of individuals from the KH-1 and control group, four haplotypes were observed in the KH-1 group, whereas 14 haplotypes were obtained in the control group. By combining the microsatellite assignment analysis with mitochondrial control region analysis, the average accuracy of identification of individuals in the KH-1 group and control group reached 89%. The five selected microsatellite loci and mitochondrial control region sequences were highly polymorphic and could be used to distinguish new selected varieties of L. vannamei from other populations cultured in China.

  1. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical study of the hydroxylation of phenol and halogeneted derivatives by phenol hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.J.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    2000-01-01

    A combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method (AM1/CHARMM) was used to investigate the mechanism of the aromatic hydroxylation of phenol by a flavin dependent phenol hydroxylase (PH), an essential reaction in the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds. The model

  2. Molecular mechanisms in lithium-associated renal disease: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rej, Soham; Pira, Shamira; Marshe, Victoria; Do, André; Elie, Dominique; Looper, Karl J; Herrmann, Nathan; Müller, Daniel J

    2016-11-01

    Lithium is an essential treatment in bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression; however, its use has been limited by concerns regarding its renal adverse effects. An improved understanding of potential molecular mechanisms can help develop prevention and treatment strategies for lithium-associated renal disease. We conducted a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, Embase, and PsychINFO including English-language original research articles published prior to November 2015 that specifically investigated lithium's effects on nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), using molecular markers. From a total of 3510 records, 71 pre-clinical studies and two relevant clinical studies were identified. Molecular alterations were reported in calcium signaling, inositol monophosphate, extracellular-regulated, prostaglandin, sodium/solute transport, G-protein-coupled receptors, nitric oxide, vasopressin/aquaporin, and inflammation-related pathways in lithium-associated renal disease. The majority of studies found that these mechanisms were implicated in NDI, while few studies had examined CKD. Future studies will have to focus on (1) validating the present findings in human subjects and (2) examining CKD, which is the most clinically relevant lithium-associated renal effect. This will improve our understanding of lithium's biological effects, as well as inform a personalized medicine approach, which could lead to safer lithium prescribing and less renal adverse events.

  3. Molecular mechanism of reduction in pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bose, Mahuya; Whittal, Randy M.; Gairola, C. Gary; Bose, Himangshu S.

    2008-01-01

    Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) facilitates the movement of cholesterol from the outer to inner mitochondrial membrane for the synthesis of pregnenolone. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of the reduction of pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). Pre-exposure or post-exposure of cells with CSC led to reduced pregnenolone synthesis, in a fashion similar to its effect on isolated mitochondria. However, there was no difference in the expression of 30 kDa StAR in cells treated with moderately concentrated CSC by either regimen. The active form of 37 kDa StAR is degraded easily suggesting that the continuous presence of CSC reduces StAR expression. Mitochondrial import of 35 S-methionine-labeled StAR followed by extraction of the StAR-mitochondrial complex with 1% digitonin showed similarly sized complexes in the CSC-treated and untreated mitochondria. Further analysis by sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed a specific complex, 'complex 2', in the untreated mitochondria but absent in the CSC-treated mitochondria. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that complex 2 is the outer mitochondrial protein, VDAC1. Knockdown of VDAC1 expression by siRNA followed by co-transfection with StAR resulted in a lack of pregnenolone synthesis and 37 kDa StAR expression with reduced expression of the intermediate, 32 kDa StAR. Taken together, these results suggest that in the absence of VDAC1, active StAR expression is reduced indicating that VDAC1 expression is essential for StAR activity. In the absence of VDAC1-StAR interaction, cholesterol cannot be transported into mitochondria; thus the interaction with VDAC1 is a mandatory step for initiating steroidogenesis

  4. On The Molecular Mechanism Of Positive Novolac Resists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian-Ping; Kwei, T. K.; Reiser, Arnost

    1989-08-01

    A molecular mechanism for the dissolution of novolac is proposed, based on the idea of a critical degree of deprotonation as being the condition for the transfer of polymer into solution. The rate at which the critical deprotonation condition is achieved is controlled by the supply of developer into a thin penetration zone, and depends in particular on the rate of diffusion of the base cations which are the developer component with the lowest mobility. The penetration zone contains phenolate ions and ion-bound water, but it retains the structure of a rigid polymer membrane, as evidenced by the diffusion coefficient of cations in the pene;tration zone which is several orders of magnitude slower than in an open gel of the same material. When the critical degree of deprotonation is reached, the membrane structure unravels and all subsequent events, chain rearrangement and transfer into solution, occur rapidly. The supralinear dependence of dissolution rate on base concentration and the effect of the size of the base cation are plausibly interpreted by the model. The diffusion of developer components is assumed to occur preferentially via hydrophilic sites in the polymer matrix. These sites define a diffusion path which acts like a hydrophilic diffusion channel. Suitably designed hydrophobic molecules can block some of the channels and in this way alter the dissolution rate. They reduce in effect the diffusion crossect ion of the material. Hydrophilic additives, on the other hand, introduce additional channels into the system and promote dissolution. The concept of diffusion channels appears to provide a unified interpretation for a number of common observations.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  6. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling: cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Kurt R; Fagan, Karen A; Frid, Maria G

    2006-09-29

    Chronic hypoxic exposure induces changes in the structure of pulmonary arteries, as well as in the biochemical and functional phenotypes of each of the vascular cell types, from the hilum of the lung to the most peripheral vessels in the alveolar wall. The magnitude and the specific profile of the changes depend on the species, sex, and the developmental stage at which the exposure to hypoxia occurred. Further, hypoxia-induced changes are site specific, such that the remodeling process in the large vessels differs from that in the smallest vessels. The cellular and molecular mechanisms vary and depend on the cellular composition of vessels at particular sites along the longitudinal axis of the pulmonary vasculature, as well as on local environmental factors. Each of the resident vascular cell types (ie, endothelial, smooth muscle, adventitial fibroblast) undergo site- and time-dependent alterations in proliferation, matrix protein production, expression of growth factors, cytokines, and receptors, and each resident cell type plays a specific role in the overall remodeling response. In addition, hypoxic exposure induces an inflammatory response within the vessel wall, and the recruited circulating progenitor cells contribute significantly to the structural remodeling and persistent vasoconstriction of the pulmonary circulation. The possibility exists that the lung or lung vessels also contain resident progenitor cells that participate in the remodeling process. Thus the hypoxia-induced remodeling of the pulmonary circulation is a highly complex process where numerous interactive events must be taken into account as we search for newer, more effective therapeutic interventions. This review provides perspectives on each of the aforementioned areas.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabel Peter

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS is a new infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus that leads to deleterious pulmonary pathological features. Due to its high morbidity and mortality and widespread occurrence, SARS has evolved as an important respiratory disease which may be encountered everywhere in the world. The virus was identified as the causative agent of SARS due to the efforts of a WHO-led laboratory network. The potential mutability of the SARS-CoV genome may lead to new SARS outbreaks and several regions of the viral genomes open reading frames have been identified which may contribute to the severe virulence of the virus. With regard to the pathogenesis of SARS, several mechanisms involving both direct effects on target cells and indirect effects via the immune system may exist. Vaccination would offer the most attractive approach to prevent new epidemics of SARS, but the development of vaccines is difficult due to missing data on the role of immune system-virus interactions and the potential mutability of the virus. Even in a situation of no new infections, SARS remains a major health hazard, as new epidemics may arise. Therefore, further experimental and clinical research is required to control the disease.

  8. Molecular genetic studies in Saudi population; identified variants from GWAS and meta-analysis in stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alharbi, Khalid Khalaf; Ali Khan, Imran; Alotaibi, Mohammad Abdullah; Saud Aloyaid, Abdullah; Al-Basheer, Haifa Abdulaziz; Alghamdi, Naelah Abdullah; Al-Baradie, Raid Saleem; Al-Sulaiman, A M

    2018-01-01

    Stroke is a multifactorial and heterogeneous disorder, correlates with heritability and considered as one of the major diseases. The prior reports performed the variable models such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), replication, case-control, cross-sectional and meta-analysis studies and still, we lack diagnostic marker in the global world. There are limited studies were carried out in Saudi population, and we aim to investigate the molecular association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified through GWAS and meta-analysis studies in stroke patients in the Saudi population. In this case-control study, we have opted gender equality of 207 cases and 207 controls from the capital city of Saudi Arabia in King Saud University Hospital. The peripheral blood (5 ml) sample will be collected in two different vacutainers, and three mL of the coagulated blood will be used for lipid analysis (biochemical tests) and two mL will be used for DNA analysis (molecular tests). Genomic DNA will be extracted with the collected blood samples, and specific primers will be designed for the opted SNPs ( SORT1 -rs646218 and OLR1 -rs11053646 polymorphisms) and PCR-RFLP will be performed and randomly DNA sequencing will be carried out to cross check the results. The rs646218 and rs11053646 polymorphisms were significantly associated with allele, genotype and dominant models with and without crude odds ratios (OR's) and Multiple logistic regression analysis (p Saudi population. The current results were in the association with the prior study results documented through GWAS and meta-analysis association. However, other ethnic population studies should be performed to rule out in the human hereditary diseases.

  9. Meta-Analysis of Placental Transcriptome Data Identifies a Novel Molecular Pathway Related to Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Uitert, Miranda; Moerland, Perry D; Enquobahrie, Daniel A; Laivuori, Hannele; van der Post, Joris A M; Ris-Stalpers, Carrie; Afink, Gijs B

    2015-01-01

    Studies using the placental transcriptome to identify key molecules relevant for preeclampsia are hampered by a relatively small sample size. In addition, they use a variety of bioinformatics and statistical methods, making comparison of findings challenging. To generate a more robust preeclampsia gene expression signature, we performed a meta-analysis on the original data of 11 placenta RNA microarray experiments, representing 139 normotensive and 116 preeclamptic pregnancies. Microarray data were pre-processed and analyzed using standardized bioinformatics and statistical procedures and the effect sizes were combined using an inverse-variance random-effects model. Interactions between genes in the resulting gene expression signature were identified by pathway analysis (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, Graphite) and protein-protein associations (STRING). This approach has resulted in a comprehensive list of differentially expressed genes that led to a 388-gene meta-signature of preeclamptic placenta. Pathway analysis highlights the involvement of the previously identified hypoxia/HIF1A pathway in the establishment of the preeclamptic gene expression profile, while analysis of protein interaction networks indicates CREBBP/EP300 as a novel element central to the preeclamptic placental transcriptome. In addition, there is an apparent high incidence of preeclampsia in women carrying a child with a mutation in CREBBP/EP300 (Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome). The 388-gene preeclampsia meta-signature offers a vital starting point for further studies into the relevance of these genes (in particular CREBBP/EP300) and their concomitant pathways as biomarkers or functional molecules in preeclampsia. This will result in a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease and opens up the opportunity to develop rational therapies targeting the placental dysfunction causal to preeclampsia.

  10. Meta-Analysis of Placental Transcriptome Data Identifies a Novel Molecular Pathway Related to Preeclampsia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miranda van Uitert

    Full Text Available Studies using the placental transcriptome to identify key molecules relevant for preeclampsia are hampered by a relatively small sample size. In addition, they use a variety of bioinformatics and statistical methods, making comparison of findings challenging. To generate a more robust preeclampsia gene expression signature, we performed a meta-analysis on the original data of 11 placenta RNA microarray experiments, representing 139 normotensive and 116 preeclamptic pregnancies. Microarray data were pre-processed and analyzed using standardized bioinformatics and statistical procedures and the effect sizes were combined using an inverse-variance random-effects model. Interactions between genes in the resulting gene expression signature were identified by pathway analysis (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, Graphite and protein-protein associations (STRING. This approach has resulted in a comprehensive list of differentially expressed genes that led to a 388-gene meta-signature of preeclamptic placenta. Pathway analysis highlights the involvement of the previously identified hypoxia/HIF1A pathway in the establishment of the preeclamptic gene expression profile, while analysis of protein interaction networks indicates CREBBP/EP300 as a novel element central to the preeclamptic placental transcriptome. In addition, there is an apparent high incidence of preeclampsia in women carrying a child with a mutation in CREBBP/EP300 (Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. The 388-gene preeclampsia meta-signature offers a vital starting point for further studies into the relevance of these genes (in particular CREBBP/EP300 and their concomitant pathways as biomarkers or functional molecules in preeclampsia. This will result in a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease and opens up the opportunity to develop rational therapies targeting the placental dysfunction causal to preeclampsia.

  11. Molecular marker to identify radiolarian species -toward establishment of paleo-environmental proxy-

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishitani, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Marine fossilized unicellular plankton are known to have many genetically divergent species (biological species) in the single morphological species and these biological species show the species-specific environments much more precisely than that of morphological species. Among these plankton, Radiolaria are one of the best candidates for time- and environmental-indicators in the modern and past oceans, because radiolarians are the only group which represent entire water column from shallow to deep waters. However, the ecology and evolution of radiolarian were traditionally studied in paleontology and paleoceanography by morphological species. Even Radiolaria has a huge potential for novel proxy of wide and deep environments, there is no criterion to identify the biological species. The motivation for this study is setting the quantitative delimitation to establish the biological species of radiolarians based on molecular data, for leading the future ecological and paleo-environmental study. Identification of the biological species by ribosomal DNA sequences are mainly based on two ways: one is the evolutionary distance of the small subunit (SSU) rDNA, the internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS1 and 2), and the large subunit (LSU) rDNA; and the other is the secondary structure of ITS2. In the present study, all four possible genetic markers (SSU, ITS1, ITS2, and LSU rDNA) were amplified from 232 individuals of five radiolarian morphological species and applied to examine the evolutionary distance and secondary structure of rDNA. Comprehensive survey clearly shows that evolutionary distance of ITS1 rDNA and the secondary structure of ITS2 is good to identify the species. Notably, evolutionary distance of ITS1 rDNA is possible to set the common delimitation to identify the biological species, as 0.225 substitution per site. The results show that the ITS1 and ITS 2 rDNA could be the criterion for radiolarian species identification.

  12. Mechanical feedback in the molecular ISM of luminous IR galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loenen, A. F.; Spaans, M.; Baan, W. A.; Meijerink, R.

    Aims. Molecular emission lines originating in the nuclei of luminous infra-red galaxies are used to determine the physical properties of the nuclear ISM in these systems. Methods. A large observational database of molecular emission lines is compared with model predictions that include heating by UV

  13. Identifying mechanisms in the control of quantum dynamics through Hamiltonian encoding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitra, Abhra; Rabitz, Herschel

    2003-01-01

    A variety of means are now available to design control fields for manipulating the evolution of quantum systems. However, the underlying physical mechanisms often remain obscure, especially in the cases of strong fields and high quantum state congestion. This paper proposes a method to quantitatively determine the various pathways taken by a quantum system in going from the initial state to the final target. The mechanism is revealed by encoding a signal in the system Hamiltonian and decoding the resultant nonlinear distortion of the signal in the system time-evolution operator. The relevant interfering pathways determined by this analysis give insight into the physical mechanisms operative during the evolution of the quantum system. A hierarchy of mechanism identification algorithms with increasing ability to extract more detailed pathway information is presented. The mechanism identification concept is presented in the context of analyzing computer simulations of controlled dynamics. As illustrations of the concept, mechanisms are identified in the control of several simple, discrete-state quantum systems. The mechanism analysis tools reveal the roles of multiple interacting quantum pathways to maximally take advantage of constructive and destructive interference. Similar procedures may be applied directly in the laboratory to identify control mechanisms without resort to computer modeling, although this extension is not addressed in this paper

  14. Phosphorelay of non-orthodox two component systems functions through a bi-molecular mechanism in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jovanovic, Goran; Sheng, Xia; Ale, Angelique

    2015-01-01

    the functional relevance of the dimerization of a non-orthodox or hybrid histidine kinase along which the phosphorelay takes place has been a subject of debate. We use a combination of molecular and genetic approaches, coupled to mathematical and statistical modelling, to demonstrate that the different possible...... intra- and inter-molecular mechanisms of phosphotransfer are formally non-identifiable in Escherichia coli expressing the ArcB non-orthodox histidine kinase used in anoxic redox control. In order to resolve this issue we further analyse the mathematical model in order to identify discriminatory...

  15. Molecular Mechanism of Terbinafine Resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leber, Regina; Fuchsbichler, Sandra; Klobučníková, Vlasta; Schweighofer, Natascha; Pitters, Eva; Wohlfarter, Kathrin; Lederer, Mojca; Landl, Karina; Ruckenstuhl, Christoph; Hapala, Ivan; Turnowsky, Friederike

    2003-01-01

    Ten mutants of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae resistant to the antimycotic terbinafine were isolated after chemical or UV mutagenesis. Molecular analysis of these mutants revealed single base pair exchanges in the ERG1 gene coding for squalene epoxidase, the target of terbinafine. The mutants did not show cross-resistance to any of the substrates of various pleiotropic drug resistance efflux pumps tested. The ERG1 mRNA levels in the mutants did not differ from those in the wild-type parent strains. Terbinafine resistance was transmitted with the mutated alleles in gene replacement experiments, proving that single amino acid substitutions in the Erg1 protein were sufficient to confer the resistance phenotype. The amino acid changes caused by the point mutations were clustered in two regions of the Erg1 protein. Seven mutants carried the amino acid substitutions F402L (one mutant), F420L (one mutant), and P430S (five mutants) in the C-terminal part of the protein; and three mutants carried an L251F exchange in the central part of the protein. Interestingly, all exchanges identified involved amino acids which are conserved in the squalene epoxidases of yeasts and mammals. Two mutations that were generated by PCR mutagenesis of the ERG1 gene and that conferred terbinafine resistance mapped in the same regions of the Erg1 protein, with one resulting in an L251F exchange and the other resulting in an F433S exchange. The results strongly indicate that these regions are responsible for the interaction of yeast squalene epoxidase with terbinafine. PMID:14638499

  16. Molecular mechanisms of thyroid tumorigenesis; Molekulare Mechanismen der Schilddruesentumorgenese

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krause, K.; Fuehrer, D. [Universitaetsklinikum Leipzig (Germany). Abt. fuer Endokrinolgoie, Diabetologie und Nephrologie

    2008-09-15

    Thyroid nodules are the most frequent endocrine disorder and occur in approximately 30% of the German population. Thyroid nodular disease constitutes a very heterogeneous entity. A striking diversity of possible functional and morphological features of a thyroid tumour derived from the same thyroid ancestor cell, is a hallmark of thyroid tumorigenesis and is due to specific genetic alterations. Defects in known candidate genes can be found in up to 70% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas and determine the respective cancer phenotype. Papillary thyroid cancers (PTC) harbour BRAF (or much less frequently RAS) mutations in sporadically occurring tumours, while radiation-induced PTC display chromosomal rearrangements such as RET, TRK, APR9 / BRAF. These genetic events results in constitutive MAPKinase activation. Follicular thyroid cancers (FTC) harbour RAS mutations or PAX8/ PPAR{gamma} rearrangements, both of which, however have also been identified in follicular adenoma. In addition, recent studies show, that activation of PI3K/AKT signalling occurs with high frequency in follicular thyroid tumours. Undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancers (ATC) display genetic features of FTC or PTC, in addition to aberant activation of multiple tyrosinkinase pathways (overexpression or mutations in PI3K and MAPK pathways). This underscores the concept of a sequential evolution of ATC from differentiated thyroid cancer, a process widely conceived to be triggered by p53 inactivation. In contrast, the molecular pathogenesis of benign thyroid tumours, in particular cold thyroid nodules is less known, except for toxic thyroid nodules, which arise from constitutive activation of cAMP signalling, predominantly through TSHR mutations. (orig.)

  17. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Enzymatic Processes: Caveats and Breakthroughs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesne, Matthew G; Borowski, Tomasz; de Visser, Sam P

    2016-02-18

    Nature has developed large groups of enzymatic catalysts with the aim to transfer substrates into useful products, which enables biosystems to perform all their natural functions. As such, all biochemical processes in our body (we drink, we eat, we breath, we sleep, etc.) are governed by enzymes. One of the problems associated with research on biocatalysts is that they react so fast that details of their reaction mechanisms cannot be obtained with experimental work. In recent years, major advances in computational hardware and software have been made and now large (bio)chemical systems can be studied using accurate computational techniques. One such technique is the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) technique, which has gained major momentum in recent years. Unfortunately, it is not a black-box method that is easily applied, but requires careful set-up procedures. In this work we give an overview on the technical difficulties and caveats of QM/MM and discuss work-protocols developed in our groups for running successful QM/MM calculations. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Computing pKa Values with a Mixing Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Fan, Xiaoli; Jin, Yingdi; Hu, Xiangqian; Hu, Hao

    2013-09-10

    Accurate computation of the pKa value of a compound in solution is important but challenging. Here, a new mixing quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) Hamiltonian method is developed to simulate the free-energy change associated with the protonation/deprotonation processes in solution. The mixing Hamiltonian method is designed for efficient quantum mechanical free-energy simulations by alchemically varying the nuclear potential, i.e., the nuclear charge of the transforming nucleus. In pKa calculation, the charge on the proton is varied in fraction between 0 and 1, corresponding to the fully deprotonated and protonated states, respectively. Inspired by the mixing potential QM/MM free energy simulation method developed previously [H. Hu and W. T. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 041102], this method succeeds many advantages of a large class of λ-coupled free-energy simulation methods and the linear combination of atomic potential approach. Theory and technique details of this method, along with the calculation results of the pKa of methanol and methanethiol molecules in aqueous solution, are reported. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data.

  19. Investigation of gamma-ray fingerprint identifying mechanism for the types of radiation sources

    CERN Document Server

    Liu Su Ping; Gu Dang Chang; Gong-Jian; Hao Fan Hua; Hu Guang Chun

    2002-01-01

    Radiation fingerprints sometimes can be used to label and identify the radiation resources. For instance, in a future nuclear reduction treaty that requires verification of irreversible dismantling of reduced nuclear warheads, the radiation fingerprints of nuclear warheads are expected to play a key role in labelling and identifying the reduced warheads. It would promote the development of nuclear warheads deep-cuts verification technologies if authors start right now some investigations on the issues related to the radiation fingerprints. The author dedicated to the investigation of gamma-ray fingerprint identifying mechanism for the types of radiation resources. The purpose of the identifying mechanism investigation is to find a credible way to tell whether any two gamma-ray spectral fingerprints that are under comparison are radiated from the same resource. The authors created the spectrum pattern comparison (SPC) to study the comparability of the two radiation fingerprints. Guided by the principle of SPC,...

  20. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of human microtia via a pig model of HOXA1 syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruimin Qiao

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Microtia is a congenital malformation of the outer ears. Although both genetic and environmental components have been implicated in microtia, the genetic causes of this innate disorder are poorly understood. Pigs have naturally occurring diseases comparable to those in humans, providing exceptional opportunity to dissect the molecular mechanism of human inherited diseases. Here we first demonstrated that a truncating mutation in HOXA1 causes a monogenic disorder of microtia in pigs. We further performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq analysis on affected and healthy pig embryos (day 14.25. We identified a list of 337 differentially expressed genes (DEGs between the normal and mutant samples, shedding light on the transcriptional network involving HOXA1. The DEGs are enriched in biological processes related to cardiovascular system and embryonic development, and neurological, renal and urological diseases. Aberrant expressions of many DEGs have been implicated in human innate deformities corresponding to microtia-associated syndromes. After applying three prioritizing algorithms, we highlighted appealing candidate genes for human microtia from the 337 DEGs. We searched for coding variants of functional significance within six candidate genes in 147 microtia-affected individuals. Of note, we identified one EVC2 non-synonymous mutation (p.Asp1174Asn as a potential disease-implicating variant for a human microtia-associated syndrome. The findings advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human microtia, and provide an interesting example of the characterization of human disease-predisposing variants using pig models.

  1. Molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical modeling of hexane soot structure and interactions with pyrene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kubicki JD

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Molecular simulations (energy minimizations and molecular dynamics of an n-hexane soot model developed by Smith and co-workers (M. S. Akhter, A. R. Chughtai and D. M. Smith, Appl. Spectrosc., 1985, 39, 143; ref. 1 were performed. The MM+ (N. L. Allinger, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1977, 395, 157; ref. 2 and COMPASS (H. Sun, J. Phys. Chem., 1998, 102, 7338; ref. 3 force fields were tested for their ability to produce realistic soot nanoparticle structure. The interaction of pyrene with the model soot was simulated. Quantum mechanical calculations on smaller soot fragments were carried out. Starting from an initial 2D structure, energy minimizations are not able to produce the observed layering within soot with either force field. Results of molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the COMPASS force field does a reasonably accurate job of reproducing observations of soot structure. Increasing the system size from a 683 to a 2732 atom soot model does not have a significant effect on predicted structures. Neither does the addition of water molecules surrounding the soot model. Pyrene fits within the soot structure without disrupting the interlayer spacing. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH, such as pyrene, may strongly partition into soot and have slow desorption kinetics because the PAH-soot bonding is similar to soot–soot interactions. Diffusion of PAH into soot micropores may allow the PAH to be irreversibly adsorbed and sequestered so that they partition slowly back into an aqueous phase causing dis-equilibrium between soil organic matter and porewater.

  2. Study of effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties of PHB and PHNV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fechine, Guilhermino J.M.; Terence, Mauro C.; Rabello, M.S.; Willen, Renate M.R.

    2011-01-01

    The effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties (tensile and flexural) of PHB and PHBV samples was investigated. The values of stress and strain at the break point for both mechanical properties indicated that scission molecular reactions were predominant in PHB and PHBV samples submitted to gamma radiation. These results were confirmed by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) analysis. (author)

  3. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  4. Forcefields based molecular modeling on the mechanical and physical properties of emeraldine base polyaniline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, X.; Yuan, C.A.; Wong, K.Y.; Zhang, G.Q.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) and molecular mechanical (MM) analysis are carried out to provide reliable and accurate model for emeraldine base polyaniline. This study validate the forcefields and model with the physical and mechanical properties of the polyaniline. The temperature effects on non-bond

  5. Molecular profiling of appendiceal epithelial tumors using massively parallel sequencing to identify somatic mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoying; Mody, Kabir; de Abreu, Francine B; Pipas, J Marc; Peterson, Jason D; Gallagher, Torrey L; Suriawinata, Arief A; Ripple, Gregory H; Hourdequin, Kathryn C; Smith, Kerrington D; Barth, Richard J; Colacchio, Thomas A; Tsapakos, Michael J; Zaki, Bassem I; Gardner, Timothy B; Gordon, Stuart R; Amos, Christopher I; Wells, Wendy A; Tsongalis, Gregory J

    2014-07-01

    Some epithelial neoplasms of the appendix, including low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm and adenocarcinoma, can result in pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). Little is known about the mutational spectra of these tumor types and whether mutations may be of clinical significance with respect to therapeutic selection. In this study, we identified somatic mutations using the Ion Torrent AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel v2. Specimens consisted of 3 nonneoplastic retention cysts/mucocele, 15 low-grade mucinous neoplasms (LAMNs), 8 low-grade/well-differentiated mucinous adenocarcinomas with pseudomyxoma peritonei, and 12 adenocarcinomas with/without goblet cell/signet ring cell features. Barcoded libraries were prepared from up to 10 ng of extracted DNA and multiplexed on single 318 chips for sequencing. Data analysis was performed using Golden Helix SVS. Variants that remained after the analysis pipeline were individually interrogated using the Integrative Genomics Viewer. A single Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) mutation was detected in the mucocele group. Eight mutations were identified in the V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and GNAS complex locus (GNAS) genes among LAMN samples. Additional gene mutations were identified in the AKT1 (v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1), APC (adenomatous polyposis coli), JAK3, MET (met proto-oncogene), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PIK3CA), RB1 (retinoblastoma 1), STK11 (serine/threonine kinase 11), and tumor protein p53 (TP53) genes. Among the PMPs, 6 mutations were detected in the KRAS gene and also in the GNAS, TP53, and RB1 genes. Appendiceal cancers showed mutations in the APC, ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), KRAS, IDH1 [isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (NADP+)], NRAS [neuroblastoma RAS viral (v-ras) oncogene homolog], PIK3CA, SMAD4 (SMAD family member 4), and TP53 genes. Our results suggest molecular heterogeneity among epithelial tumors of the appendix. Next generation sequencing efforts

  6. Endogenous molecular network reveals two mechanisms of heterogeneity within gastric cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Site; Zhu, Xiaomei; Liu, Bingya; Wang, Gaowei; Ao, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Intratumor heterogeneity is a common phenomenon and impedes cancer therapy and research. Gastric cancer (GC) cells have generally been classified into two heterogeneous cellular phenotypes, the gastric and intestinal types, yet the mechanisms of maintaining two phenotypes and controlling phenotypic transition are largely unknown. A qualitative systematic framework, the endogenous molecular network hypothesis, has recently been proposed to understand cancer genesis and progression. Here, a minimal network corresponding to such framework was found for GC and was quantified via a stochastic nonlinear dynamical system. We then further extended the framework to address the important question of intratumor heterogeneity quantitatively. The working network characterized main known features of normal gastric epithelial and GC cell phenotypes. Our results demonstrated that four positive feedback loops in the network are critical for GC cell phenotypes. Moreover, two mechanisms that contribute to GC cell heterogeneity were identified: particular positive feedback loops are responsible for the maintenance of intestinal and gastric phenotypes; GC cell progression routes that were revealed by the dynamical behaviors of individual key components are heterogeneous. In this work, we constructed an endogenous molecular network of GC that can be expanded in the future and would broaden the known mechanisms of intratumor heterogeneity. PMID:25962957

  7. Animal Hairs as Water-stimulated Shape Memory Materials: Mechanism and Structural Networks in Molecular Assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xueliang; Hu, Jinlian

    2016-05-01

    Animal hairs consisting of α-keratin biopolymers existing broadly in nature may be responsive to water for recovery to the innate shape from their fixed deformation, thus possess smart behavior, namely shape memory effect (SME). In this article, three typical animal hair fibers were first time investigated for their water-stimulated SME, and therefrom to identify the corresponding net-points and switches in their molecular and morphological structures. Experimentally, the SME manifested a good stability of high shape fixation ratio and reasonable recovery rate after many cycles of deformation programming under water stimulation. The effects of hydration on hair lateral size, recovery kinetics, dynamic mechanical behaviors and structural components (crystal, disulfide and hydrogen bonds) were then systematically studied. SME mechanisms were explored based on the variations of structural components in molecular assemblies of such smart fibers. A hybrid structural network model with single-switch and twin-net-points was thereafter proposed to interpret the water-stimulated shape memory mechanism of animal hairs. This original work is expected to provide inspiration for exploring other natural materials to reveal their smart functions and natural laws in animals including human as well as making more remarkable synthetic smart materials.

  8. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M; Scherlis, Damián A

    2016-08-24

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  9. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, Diego; Scherlis, Damián A; Sanchez, Veronica M

    2016-01-01

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car–Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO 2 anatase (1 0 1) solid–liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H 2 O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-17

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

  11. Insights into the Thiamine Diphosphate Enzyme Activation Mechanism: Computational Model for Transketolase Using a Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauton, Lionel; Hélaine, Virgil; Théry, Vincent; Hecquet, Laurence

    2016-04-12

    We propose the first computational model for transketolase (TK), a thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method on the basis of crystallographic TK structures from yeast and Escherichia coli, together with experimental kinetic data reported in the literature with wild-type and mutant TK. This model allowed us to define a new route for ThDP activation in the enzyme environment. We evidenced a strong interaction between ThDP and Glu418B of the TK active site, itself stabilized by Glu162A. The crucial point highlighted here is that deprotonation of ThDP C2 is not performed by ThDP N4' as reported in the literature, but by His481B, involving a HOH688A molecule bridge. Thus, ThDP N4' is converted from an amino form to an iminium form, ensuring the stabilization of the C2 carbanion or carbene. Finally, ThDP activation proceeds via an intermolecular process and not by an intramolecular one as reported in the literature. More generally, this proposed ThDP activation mechanism can be applied to some other ThDP-dependent enzymes and used to define the entire TK mechanism with donor and acceptor substrates more accurately.

  12. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reusch Thorsten BH

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. Results In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. Conclusions These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence.

  13. Back to the sea twice: identifying candidate plant genes for molecular evolution to marine life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissler, Lothar; Codoñer, Francisco M; Gu, Jenny; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Olsen, Jeanine L; Procaccini, Gabriele; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2011-01-12

    Seagrasses are a polyphyletic group of monocotyledonous angiosperms that have adapted to a completely submerged lifestyle in marine waters. Here, we exploit two collections of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of two wide-spread and ecologically important seagrass species, the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the eelgrass Zostera marina L., which have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. This replicated, yet independent evolutionary history facilitates the identification of traits that may have evolved in parallel and are possible instrumental candidates for adaptation to a marine habitat. In our study, we provide the first quantitative perspective on molecular adaptations in two seagrass species. By constructing orthologous gene clusters shared between two seagrasses (Z. marina and P. oceanica) and eight distantly related terrestrial angiosperm species, 51 genes could be identified with detection of positive selection along the seagrass branches of the phylogenetic tree. Characterization of these positively selected genes using KEGG pathways and the Gene Ontology uncovered that these genes are mostly involved in translation, metabolism, and photosynthesis. These results provide first insights into which seagrass genes have diverged from their terrestrial counterparts via an initial aquatic stage characteristic of the order and to the derived fully-marine stage characteristic of seagrasses. We discuss how adaptive changes in these processes may have contributed to the evolution towards an aquatic and marine existence.

  14. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  15. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms of nitrogenase conformational protection against oxygen in diazotrophic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lery, Letícia M S; Bitar, Mainá; Costa, Mauricio G S; Rössle, Shaila C S; Bisch, Paulo M

    2010-12-22

    G. diazotrophicus and A. vinelandii are aerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Although oxygen is essential for the survival of these organisms, it irreversibly inhibits nitrogenase, the complex responsible for nitrogen fixation. Both microorganisms deal with this paradox through compensatory mechanisms. In A. vinelandii a conformational protection mechanism occurs through the interaction between the nitrogenase complex and the FeSII protein. Previous studies suggested the existence of a similar system in G. diazotrophicus, but the putative protein involved was not yet described. This study intends to identify the protein coding gene in the recently sequenced genome of G. diazotrophicus and also provide detailed structural information of nitrogenase conformational protection in both organisms. Genomic analysis of G. diazotrophicus sequences revealed a protein coding ORF (Gdia0615) enclosing a conserved "fer2" domain, typical of the ferredoxin family and found in A. vinelandii FeSII. Comparative models of both FeSII and Gdia0615 disclosed a conserved beta-grasp fold. Cysteine residues that coordinate the 2[Fe-S] cluster are in conserved positions towards the metallocluster. Analysis of solvent accessible residues and electrostatic surfaces unveiled an hydrophobic dimerization interface. Dimers assembled by molecular docking presented a stable behaviour and a proper accommodation of regions possibly involved in binding of FeSII to nitrogenase throughout molecular dynamics simulations in aqueous solution. Molecular modeling of the nitrogenase complex of G. diazotrophicus was performed and models were compared to the crystal structure of A. vinelandii nitrogenase. Docking experiments of FeSII and Gdia0615 with its corresponding nitrogenase complex pointed out in both systems a putative binding site presenting shape and charge complementarities at the Fe-protein/MoFe-protein complex interface. The identification of the putative FeSII coding gene in G. diazotrophicus genome

  16. Molecular Signature and Mechanisms of Hepatitis D Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Giacomo; Engle, Ronald E; Tice, Ashley; Melis, Marta; Montenegro, Stephanie; Rodriguez-Canales, Jaime; Hanson, Jeffrey; Emmert-Buck, Michael R; Bock, Kevin W; Moore, Ian N; Zamboni, Fausto; Govindarajan, Sugantha; Kleiner, David; Farci, Patrizia

    2018-06-01

    There is limited data on the molecular mechanisms whereby hepatitis D virus (HDV) promotes liver cancer. Therefore, serum and liver specimens obtained at the time of liver transplantation from well-characterized patients with HDV-HCC (n-5) and with non-HCC HDV cirrhosis (n=7) were studied using an integrated genomic approach. Transcriptomic profiling was performed using laser capture-microdissected (LCM) malignant and non-malignant hepatocytes, tumorous and non-tumorous liver tissue from patients with HDV-HCC, and liver tissue from patients with non-HCC HDV cirrhosis. HDV-HCC was also compared with hepatitis B virus (HBV) HBV-HCC alone and hepatitis C virus (HCV) HCV-HCC. HDV malignant hepatocytes were characterized by an enrichment of up-regulated transcripts associated with pathways involved in cell cycle/DNA replication, damage and repair (sonic hedgehog, GADD45, DNA-damage-induced 14-3-3σ, cyclins and cell cycle regulation, cell cycle: G2/M DNA-damage checkpoint regulation, and hereditary breast cancer). Moreover, a large network of genes identified functionally relate to DNA repair, cell cycle, mitotic apparatus and cell division, including 4 cancer testis antigen genes, attesting to the critical role of genetic instability in this tumor. Besides being over-expressed, these genes were also strongly co-regulated. Gene co-regulation was high not only when compared to non-malignant hepatocytes, but also to malignant hepatocytes from HBV-HCC alone or HCV-HCC. Activation and co-regulation of genes critically associated with DNA replication, damage, and repair point to genetic instability as an important mechanism of HDV hepatocarcinogenesis. This specific HDV-HCC trait emerged also from the comparison of the molecular pathways identified for each hepatitis virus-associated HCC. Despite the dependence of HDV on HBV, these findings suggest that HDV and HBV promote carcinogenesis by distinct molecular mechanisms. This study identifies a molecular signature of HDV

  17. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pajeva Ilza

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection

  18. Atomic and molecular excitation mechanisms in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sternberg, A.

    1986-01-01

    The detailed infrared response of dense molecular hydrogen gas to intense ultraviolet radiation fields in photodissociation regions is presented. The thermal and chemical structures of photodissociation regions are analyzed, and the relationship between the emission by molecular hydrogen and trace atomic and molecular species is explored. The ultraviolet spectrum of radiation generated by cosmic rays inside dense molecular clouds is presented, and the resulting rates of photodissociation for a variety of interstellar molecules are calculated. Effects of this radiation on the chemistry of dense molecular clouds are discussed, and it is argued that the cosmic ray induced photons will significantly inhibit the production of complex molecular species. It is argued that the annihilation of electrons and positrons at the galactic center may result in observable infrared line emission by atomic hydrogen. A correlation between the intensity variations of the 511 keV line and the hydrogen infrared lines emitted by the annihilation region is predicted. The observed infrared fluxes from compact infrared sources at the galactic center may be used to constrain theories of pair production there

  19. Molecular mechanisms of the genetic risk factors in pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanatsu, Kunihiko; Tomita, Taisuke

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the extensive deposition of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Until recently, only the APOE gene had been known as a genetic risk factor for late-onset AD (LOAD), which accounts for more than 95% of all AD cases. However, in addition to this well-established genetic risk factor, genome-wide association studies have identified several single nucleotide polymorphisms as genetic risk factors of LOAD, such as PICALM and BIN1 . In addition, whole genome sequencing and exome sequencing have identified rare variants associated with LOAD, including TREM2 . We review the recent findings related to the molecular mechanisms by which these genetic risk factors contribute to AD, and our perspectives regarding the etiology of AD for the development of therapeutic agents.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of lipoapoptosis and metformin protection in GLP-1 secreting cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kappe, Camilla; Holst, Jens Juul; Zhang, Qimin

    2012-01-01

    Evidence is emerging that elevated serum free fatty acids (hyperlipidemia) contribute to the pathogenesis of type-2-diabetes, and lipotoxicity is observed in many cell types. We recently published data indicating lipotoxic effects of simulated hyperlipidemia also in GLP-1-secreting cells, where...... the antidiabetic drug metformin conferred protection from lipoapoptosis. The aim of the present study was to identify mechanisms involved in mediating lipotoxicity and metformin lipoprotection in GLP-1 secreting cells. These signaling events triggered by simulated hyperlipidemia may underlie reduced GLP-1...... secretion in diabetic subjects, and metformin lipoprotection by metformin could explain elevated plasma GLP-1 levels in diabetic patients on chronic metformin therapy. The present study may thus identify potential molecular targets for increasing endogenous GLP-1 secretion through enhanced viability of GLP...

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Chronic Kidney Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Sandhya S.; Zhang, Liping; Mitch, William E.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin resistance refers to reduced sensitivity of organs to insulin-initiated biologic processes that result in metabolic defects. Insulin resistance is common in patients with end-stage renal disease but also occurs in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), even when the serum creatinine is minimally increased. Following insulin binding to its receptor, auto-phosphorylation of the insulin receptor is followed by kinase reactions that phosphorylate insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt. In fact, low levels of Akt phosphorylation (p-Akt) identifies the presence of the insulin resistance that leads to metabolic defects in insulin-initiated metabolism of glucose, lipids and muscle proteins. Besides CKD, other complex conditions (e.g., inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic acidosis, aging and excess angiotensin II) reduce p-Akt resulting in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in each of these conditions is due to activation of different, E3 ubiquitin ligases which specifically conjugate ubiquitin to IRS-1 marking it for degradation in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Consequently, IRS-1 degradation suppresses insulin-induced intracellular signaling, causing insulin resistance. Understanding mechanisms of insulin resistance could lead to therapeutic strategies that improve the metabolism of patients with CKD. PMID:26444029

  2. An Updated Review of the Molecular Mechanisms in Drug Hypersensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Bing Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Drug hypersensitivity may manifest ranging from milder skin reactions (e.g., maculopapular exanthema and urticaria to severe systemic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS, or Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN. Current pharmacogenomic studies have made important strides in the prevention of some drug hypersensitivity through the identification of relevant genetic variants, particularly for genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and human leukocyte antigens (HLAs. The associations identified by these studies are usually drug, phenotype, and ethnic specific. The drug presentation models that explain how small drug antigens might interact with HLA and T cell receptor (TCR molecules in drug hypersensitivity include the hapten theory, the p-i concept, the altered peptide repertoire model, and the altered TCR repertoire model. The broad spectrum of clinical manifestations of drug hypersensitivity involving different drugs, as well as the various pathomechanisms involved, makes the diagnosis and management of it more challenging. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the predisposing factors, immune mechanisms, pathogenesis, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic approaches for drug hypersensitivity.

  3. An Updated Review of the Molecular Mechanisms in Drug Hypersensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Riichiro; Pan, Ren-You; Wang, Chuang-Wei

    2018-01-01

    Drug hypersensitivity may manifest ranging from milder skin reactions (e.g., maculopapular exanthema and urticaria) to severe systemic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS)/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS), or Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS)/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Current pharmacogenomic studies have made important strides in the prevention of some drug hypersensitivity through the identification of relevant genetic variants, particularly for genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). The associations identified by these studies are usually drug, phenotype, and ethnic specific. The drug presentation models that explain how small drug antigens might interact with HLA and T cell receptor (TCR) molecules in drug hypersensitivity include the hapten theory, the p-i concept, the altered peptide repertoire model, and the altered TCR repertoire model. The broad spectrum of clinical manifestations of drug hypersensitivity involving different drugs, as well as the various pathomechanisms involved, makes the diagnosis and management of it more challenging. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the predisposing factors, immune mechanisms, pathogenesis, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic approaches for drug hypersensitivity. PMID:29651444

  4. Identifying and Investigating Difficult Concepts in Engineering Mechanics and Electric Circuits. Research Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streveler, Ruth; Geist, Monica; Ammerman, Ravel; Sulzbach, Candace; Miller, Ronald; Olds, Barbara; Nelson, Mary

    2007-01-01

    This study extends ongoing work to identify difficult concepts in thermal and transport science and measure students' understanding of those concepts via a concept inventory. Two research questions provided the focal point: "What important concepts in electric circuits and engineering mechanics do students find difficult to learn?" and…

  5. Identifying serotonergic mechanisms underlying the corticolimbic response to threat in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fisher, Patrick M; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2013-01-01

    . Integrating these methodological approaches offers novel opportunities to identify mechanisms through which serotonin signalling contributes to differences in brain function and behaviour, which in turn can illuminate factors that confer risk for illness and inform the development of more effective treatment...

  6. Mechanical and molecular studies of biocomposites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches microfibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikmatin, S.; Saepulloh, D. R.; Irmansyah; Syafiuddin, A.

    2017-05-01

    The present work aims to investigate mechanical and molecular characteristics of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) composites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) microfibers. OPEFB microfibers were produced using mechanical milling. Composite granules were fabricated using single screw extruder. These composites were then used for fabricating helmet according to the Indonesian National Standard (SNI). Mechanical testing confirms that the helmet produced using this biocomposites are suitable to the SNI. Molecular interaction between matrix with OPEFB can be described using orbital hybridization theory. In general, this study has successfully investigated mechanical and molecular properties of the biocomposites.

  7. LUMINOSITY FUNCTIONS OF SPITZER-IDENTIFIED PROTOSTARS IN NINE NEARBY MOLECULAR CLOUDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kryukova, E.; Megeath, S. T.; Allen, T. S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH (United States); Gutermuth, R. A. [Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States); Pipher, J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (United States); Allen, L. E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, AZ (United States); Myers, P. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Muzerolle, J. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2012-08-15

    We identify protostars in Spitzer surveys of nine star-forming (SF) molecular clouds within 1 kpc: Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Chamaeleon, Lupus, Taurus, Orion, Cep OB3, and Mon R2, which combined host over 700 protostar candidates. These clouds encompass a variety of SF environments, including both low-mass and high-mass SF regions, as well as dense clusters and regions of sparsely distributed star formation. Our diverse cloud sample allows us to compare protostar luminosity functions in these varied environments. We combine near- and mid-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and Spitzer to create 1-24 {mu}m spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Using protostars from the c2d survey with well-determined bolometric luminosities, we derive a relationship between bolometric luminosity, mid-IR luminosity (integrated from 1-24 {mu}m), and SED slope. Estimations of the bolometric luminosities for protostar candidates are combined to create luminosity functions for each cloud. Contamination due to edge-on disks, reddened Class II sources, and galaxies is estimated and removed from the luminosity functions. We find that luminosity functions for high-mass SF clouds (Orion, Mon R2, and Cep OB3) peak near 1 L{sub Sun} and show a tail extending toward luminosities above 100 L{sub Sun }. The luminosity functions of the low-mass SF clouds (Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Taurus, Lupus, and Chamaeleon) do not exhibit a common peak, however the combined luminosity function of these regions peaks below 1 L{sub Sun }. Finally, we examine the luminosity functions as a function of the local surface density of young stellar objects. In the Orion molecular clouds, we find a significant difference between the luminosity functions of protostars in regions of high and low stellar density, the former of which is biased toward more luminous sources. This may be the result of primordial mass segregation, although this interpretation is not unique. We compare our luminosity

  8. LUMINOSITY FUNCTIONS OF SPITZER-IDENTIFIED PROTOSTARS IN NINE NEARBY MOLECULAR CLOUDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kryukova, E.; Megeath, S. T.; Allen, T. S.; Gutermuth, R. A.; Pipher, J.; Allen, L. E.; Myers, P. C.; Muzerolle, J.

    2012-01-01

    We identify protostars in Spitzer surveys of nine star-forming (SF) molecular clouds within 1 kpc: Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Chamaeleon, Lupus, Taurus, Orion, Cep OB3, and Mon R2, which combined host over 700 protostar candidates. These clouds encompass a variety of SF environments, including both low-mass and high-mass SF regions, as well as dense clusters and regions of sparsely distributed star formation. Our diverse cloud sample allows us to compare protostar luminosity functions in these varied environments. We combine near- and mid-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and Spitzer to create 1-24 μm spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Using protostars from the c2d survey with well-determined bolometric luminosities, we derive a relationship between bolometric luminosity, mid-IR luminosity (integrated from 1-24 μm), and SED slope. Estimations of the bolometric luminosities for protostar candidates are combined to create luminosity functions for each cloud. Contamination due to edge-on disks, reddened Class II sources, and galaxies is estimated and removed from the luminosity functions. We find that luminosity functions for high-mass SF clouds (Orion, Mon R2, and Cep OB3) peak near 1 L ☉ and show a tail extending toward luminosities above 100 L ☉ . The luminosity functions of the low-mass SF clouds (Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Taurus, Lupus, and Chamaeleon) do not exhibit a common peak, however the combined luminosity function of these regions peaks below 1 L ☉ . Finally, we examine the luminosity functions as a function of the local surface density of young stellar objects. In the Orion molecular clouds, we find a significant difference between the luminosity functions of protostars in regions of high and low stellar density, the former of which is biased toward more luminous sources. This may be the result of primordial mass segregation, although this interpretation is not unique. We compare our luminosity functions to those

  9. Molecular evolution of rbcL in three gymnosperm families: identifying adaptive and coevolutionary patterns

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Sen, Lin

    2011-06-03

    Abstract Background The chloroplast-localized ribulose-1, 5-biphosphate carboxylase\\/oxygenase (Rubisco), the primary enzyme responsible for autotrophy, is instrumental in the continual adaptation of plants to variations in the concentrations of CO2. The large subunit (LSU) of Rubisco is encoded by the chloroplast rbcL gene. Although adaptive processes have been previously identified at this gene, characterizing the relationships between the mutational dynamics at the protein level may yield clues on the biological meaning of such adaptive processes. The role of such coevolutionary dynamics in the continual fine-tuning of RbcL remains obscure. Results We used the timescale and phylogenetic analyses to investigate and search for processes of adaptive evolution in rbcL gene in three gymnosperm families, namely Podocarpaceae, Taxaceae and Cephalotaxaceae. To understand the relationships between regions identified as having evolved under adaptive evolution, we performed coevolutionary analyses using the software CAPS. Importantly, adaptive processes were identified at amino acid sites located on the contact regions among the Rubisco subunits and on the interface between Rubisco and its activase. Adaptive amino acid replacements at these regions may have optimized the holoenzyme activity. This hypothesis was pinpointed by evidence originated from our analysis of coevolution that supported the correlated evolution between Rubisco and its activase. Interestingly, the correlated adaptive processes between both these proteins have paralleled the geological variation history of the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Conclusions The gene rbcL has experienced bursts of adaptations in response to the changing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. These adaptations have emerged as a result of a continuous dynamic of mutations, many of which may have involved innovation of functional Rubisco features. Analysis of the protein structure and the functional implications of such

  10. Investigation of gamma-ray fingerprint identifying mechanism for the types of radiation sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Suping; Wu Huailong; Gu Dangchang; Gong Jian; Hao Fanhua; Hu Guangchun

    2002-01-01

    Radiation fingerprints sometimes can be used to label and identify the radiation resources. For instance, in a future nuclear reduction treaty that requires verification of irreversible dismantling of reduced nuclear warheads, the radiation fingerprints of nuclear warheads are expected to play a key role in labelling and identifying the reduced warheads. It would promote the development of nuclear warheads deep-cuts verification technologies if authors start right now some investigations on the issues related to the radiation fingerprints. The author dedicated to the investigation of gamma-ray fingerprint identifying mechanism for the types of radiation resources. The purpose of the identifying mechanism investigation is to find a credible way to tell whether any two gamma-ray spectral fingerprints that are under comparison are radiated from the same resource. The authors created the spectrum pattern comparison (SPC) to study the comparability of the two radiation fingerprints. Guided by the principle of SPC, the authors programmed a software dedicated to identify the types of radiation resources. The efficiency of the software was tested by a series of experiments with some laboratory gamma-ray resources. The experiments were designed to look into the relations between comparability and radioactive statistics, and the relations between comparability and some measurement conditions such as real time, resource activity and background etc. Two main results can be drawn from the investigation: 1) it is quite feasible to use the concept of spectral comparability to answer the question whether any two gamma-ray fingerprints are identity or not; 2) the identifying mechanism can only identify the types of radiation resources, and cannot identify the individuals with the same type and small differences

  11. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Ping; Gagliardi, Laura; Truhlar, Donald G

    2018-05-30

    Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM-MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM-MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM-MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  12. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Ping Wu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM−MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM−MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM−MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  13. Radiation toxins: molecular mechanisms of action and radiomimetic properties .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Vecheslav

    Introduction: Acute Radiation Disease (ARD) or Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) were defined as a toxic poisonous with development of the acute pathological processes in irradi-ated animals: systemic inflammatory response syndrome(SIRS), toxic multiple organ injury (TMOI), toxic multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (TMOD), toxic multiple organ failure (TMOF). However, the nature of radiation toxins, their mechanisms of formation, molecular structure, and mechanism of actions remain uncertain. Moderate and high doses of radiation induce apoptotic necrosis of radiosensitive cells with formation of Radiation Toxins and in-flammation development. Mild doses of radiation induce apoptosis or controlled programmed death of radiosensitive cells without Radiation Toxins formation and development of inflam-mation processes. Only radiation induced apoptotic necrosis initiates formation of Radiation Toxins(RT). Radiation Toxins are playing an important role as the trigger mechanisms for in-flammation development and cell lysis. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome after radiation involves an influence of various endogenous agents and mediators of inflammation such as bradykinin, histamine, serotonin and phospholipases activation, prostaglandins biosyn-thesis. Although, formation of non-specific toxins such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is an important pathological process at mild or high doses of radiation. Reactive Oxygen Species play an important role in molecules damage and development of peroxidation of lipids and pro-teins which are the structural parts of cell and mitochondrial membranes. ROS and bio-radicals induce damage of DNA and RNA and peroxidation of their molecules. But high doses of radia-tion, severe and extremely severe physiological stress, result in cells death by apoptotic necrosis and could be defined as the neuroimmune acute disease. Excitotoxicity is an important patho-logical mechanism which damages the central nervous system. We postulate that

  14. A mechanical actuator driven electrochemically by artificial molecular muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juluri, Bala Krishna; Kumar, Ajeet S; Liu, Yi; Ye, Tao; Yang, Ying-Wei; Flood, Amar H; Fang, Lei; Stoddart, J Fraser; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2009-02-24

    A microcantilever, coated with a monolayer of redox-controllable, bistable [3]rotaxane molecules (artificial molecular muscles), undergoes reversible deflections when subjected to alternating oxidizing and reducing electrochemical potentials. The microcantilever devices were prepared by precoating one surface with a gold film and allowing the palindromic [3]rotaxane molecules to adsorb selectively onto one side of the microcantilevers, utilizing thiol-gold chemistry. An electrochemical cell was employed in the experiments, and deflections were monitored both as a function of (i) the scan rate (+0.4 V) and reducing (artificial molecular muscles, were compared with (i) data from nominally bare microcantilevers precoated with gold and (ii) those coated with two types of control compounds, namely, dumbbell molecules to simulate the redox activity of the palindromic bistable [3]rotaxane molecules and inactive 1-dodecanethiol molecules. The comparisons demonstrate that the artificial molecular muscles are responsible for the deflections, which can be repeated over many cycles. The microcantilevers deflect in one direction following oxidation and in the opposite direction upon reduction. The approximately 550 nm deflections were calculated to be commensurate with forces per molecule of approximately 650 pN. The thermal relaxation that characterizes the device's deflection is consistent with the double bistability associated with the palindromic [3]rotaxane and reflects a metastable contracted state. The use of the cooperative forces generated by these self-assembled, nanometer-scale artificial molecular muscles that are electrically wired to an external power supply constitutes a seminal step toward molecular-machine-based nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS).

  15. Insights into the Reaction Mechanism of Aromatic Ring Cleavage by Homogentisate Dioxygenase: A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yue; Lu, Jiarui; Lai, Wenzhen

    2016-05-26

    To elucidate the reaction mechanism of the ring cleavage of homogentisate by homogentisate dioxygenase, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were carried out by using two systems in different protonation states of the substrate C2 hydroxyl group. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is ionized (the ionized pathway), the superoxo attack on the substrate is the rate-limiting step in the catalytic cycle, with a barrier of 15.9 kcal/mol. Glu396 was found to play an important role in stabilizing the bridge species and its O-O cleavage product by donating a proton via a hydrogen-bonded water molecule. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is not ionized (the nonionized pathway), the O-O bond cleavage of the bridge species is the rate-limiting step, with a barrier of 15.3 kcal/mol. The QM/MM-optimized geometries for the dioxygen and alkylperoxo complexes using the nonionized model (for the C2 hydroxyl group) are in agreement with the experimental crystal structures, suggesting that the C2 hydroxyl group is more likely to be nonionized.

  16. Molecular profiling of aged neural progenitors identifies Dbx2 as a candidate regulator of age-associated neurogenic decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupo, Giuseppe; Nisi, Paola S; Esteve, Pilar; Paul, Yu-Lee; Novo, Clara Lopes; Sidders, Ben; Khan, Muhammad A; Biagioni, Stefano; Liu, Hai-Kun; Bovolenta, Paola; Cacci, Emanuele; Rugg-Gunn, Peter J

    2018-06-01

    Adult neurogenesis declines with aging due to the depletion and functional impairment of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). An improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive age-associated neurogenic deficiency could lead to the development of strategies to alleviate cognitive impairment and facilitate neuroregeneration. An essential step towards this aim is to investigate the molecular changes that occur in NSPC aging on a genomewide scale. In this study, we compare the transcriptional, histone methylation and DNA methylation signatures of NSPCs derived from the subventricular zone (SVZ) of young adult (3 months old) and aged (18 months old) mice. Surprisingly, the transcriptional and epigenomic profiles of SVZ-derived NSPCs are largely unchanged in aged cells. Despite the global similarities, we detect robust age-dependent changes at several hundred genes and regulatory elements, thereby identifying putative regulators of neurogenic decline. Within this list, the homeobox gene Dbx2 is upregulated in vitro and in vivo, and its promoter region has altered histone and DNA methylation levels, in aged NSPCs. Using functional in vitro assays, we show that elevated Dbx2 expression in young adult NSPCs promotes age-related phenotypes, including the reduced proliferation of NSPC cultures and the altered transcript levels of age-associated regulators of NSPC proliferation and differentiation. Depleting Dbx2 in aged NSPCs caused the reverse gene expression changes. Taken together, these results provide new insights into the molecular programmes that are affected during mouse NSPC aging, and uncover a new functional role for Dbx2 in promoting age-related neurogenic decline. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical reaction pathway calculation for aromatic hydroxylation by p-hydroxybenzoate-3-hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    1999-01-01

    The reaction pathway for the aromatic 3-hydroxylation of p-hydroxybenzoate by the reactive C4a-hydroperoxyflavin cofactor intermediate in p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH) has been investigated by a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method. A structural model for the

  18. Comparative metatranscriptomics identifies molecular bases for the physiological responses of phytoplankton to varying iron availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Adrian; Schruth, David M; Durkin, Colleen A; Parker, Micaela S; Kodner, Robin B; Berthiaume, Chris T; Morales, Rhonda; Allen, Andrew E; Armbrust, E Virginia

    2012-02-07

    In vast expanses of the oceans, growth of large phytoplankton such as diatoms is limited by iron availability. Diatoms respond almost immediately to the delivery of iron and rapidly compose the majority of phytoplankton biomass. The molecular bases underlying the subsistence of diatoms in iron-poor waters and the plankton community dynamics that follow iron resupply remain largely unknown. Here we use comparative metatranscriptomics to identify changes in gene expression associated with iron-stimulated growth of diatoms and other eukaryotic plankton. A microcosm iron-enrichment experiment using mixed-layer waters from the northeastern Pacific Ocean resulted in increased proportions of diatom transcripts and reduced proportions of transcripts from most other taxa within 98 h after iron addition. Hundreds of diatom genes were differentially expressed in the iron-enriched community compared with the iron-limited community; transcripts of diatom genes required for synthesis of photosynthesis and chlorophyll components, nitrate assimilation and the urea cycle, and synthesis of carbohydrate storage compounds were significantly overrepresented. Transcripts of genes encoding rhodopsins in eukaryotic phytoplankton were significantly underrepresented following iron enrichment, suggesting rhodopsins help cells cope with low-iron conditions. Oceanic diatoms appear to display a distinctive transcriptional response to iron enrichment that allows chemical reduction of available nitrogen and carbon sources along with a continued dependence on iron-free photosynthetic proteins rather than substituting for iron-containing functional equivalents present within their gene repertoire. This ability of diatoms to divert their newly acquired iron toward nitrate assimilation may underlie why diatoms consistently dominate iron enrichments in high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll regions.

  19. Revealing molecular mechanisms by integrating high-dimensional functional screens with protein interaction data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Simeone

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Functional genomics screens using multi-parametric assays are powerful approaches for identifying genes involved in particular cellular processes. However, they suffer from problems like noise, and often provide little insight into molecular mechanisms. A bottleneck for addressing these issues is the lack of computational methods for the systematic integration of multi-parametric phenotypic datasets with molecular interactions. Here, we present Integrative Multi Profile Analysis of Cellular Traits (IMPACT. The main goal of IMPACT is to identify the most consistent phenotypic profile among interacting genes. This approach utilizes two types of external information: sets of related genes (IMPACT-sets and network information (IMPACT-modules. Based on the notion that interacting genes are more likely to be involved in similar functions than non-interacting genes, this data is used as a prior to inform the filtering of phenotypic profiles that are similar among interacting genes. IMPACT-sets selects the most frequent profile among a set of related genes. IMPACT-modules identifies sub-networks containing genes with similar phenotype profiles. The statistical significance of these selections is subsequently quantified via permutations of the data. IMPACT (1 handles multiple profiles per gene, (2 rescues genes with weak phenotypes and (3 accounts for multiple biases e.g. caused by the network topology. Application to a genome-wide RNAi screen on endocytosis showed that IMPACT improved the recovery of known endocytosis-related genes, decreased off-target effects, and detected consistent phenotypes. Those findings were confirmed by rescreening 468 genes. Additionally we validated an unexpected influence of the IGF-receptor on EGF-endocytosis. IMPACT facilitates the selection of high-quality phenotypic profiles using different types of independent information, thereby supporting the molecular interpretation of functional screens.

  20. [Molecular Biology on the Mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Clinical Psychiatrists].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    While, in general, a certain number of clinical psychiatrists might not be familiar with molecular biology, the mechanisms of mental illnesses have been uncovered by molecular biology for decades. Among mental illnesses, even biological psychiatrists and neuroscientists have paid less attention to the biological treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia since ASD has been regarded as a developmental disorder that was seemingly untreatable. However, multifaceted methods of molecular biology have revealed the mechanisms that would lead to the medication of ASD. In this article, how molecular biology dissects the pathobiology of ASD is described in order to announce the possibilities of biological treatment for clinical psychiatrists.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Ion-Specific Effects on Proteins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rembert, K. B.; Paterová, Jana; Heyda, Jan; Hilty, Ch.; Jungwirth, Pavel; Cremer, P. S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 134, č. 24 (2012), s. 10039-10046 ISSN 0002-7863 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/08/0114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : ions * proteins * molecular dynamics * NMR Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 10.677, year: 2012

  2. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance | Pillay | South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of the insulin receptor and insulin action, and how these relate to the clinical aspects of insulin resistance associated with non-insulin-dependent diabetes and other disorders. Improved understanding of the molecular basis of insulin ...

  3. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-07

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r(-1) term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN2 reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN2 reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical reactions.

  4. Elucidating Mechanisms of Molecular Recognition Between Human Argonaute and miRNA Using Computational Approaches

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Hanlun

    2016-12-06

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and Argonaute (AGO) protein together form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) that plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. Elucidating the underlying mechanism of AGO-miRNA recognition is thus of great importance not only for the in-depth understanding of miRNA function but also for inspiring new drugs targeting miRNAs. In this chapter we introduce a combined computational approach of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, Markov state models (MSMs), and protein-RNA docking to investigate AGO-miRNA recognition. Constructed from MD simulations, MSMs can elucidate the conformational dynamics of AGO at biologically relevant timescales. Protein-RNA docking can then efficiently identify the AGO conformations that are geometrically accessible to miRNA. Using our recent work on human AGO2 as an example, we explain the rationale and the workflow of our method in details. This combined approach holds great promise to complement experiments in unraveling the mechanisms of molecular recognition between large, flexible, and complex biomolecules.

  5. Molecular mechanism of mast cell–mediated innate defense against endothelin and snake venom sarafotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Lars A.; Schlenner, Susan M.; Feyerabend, Thorsten B.; Wunderlin, Markus; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer

    2007-01-01

    Mast cells are protective against snake venom sarafotoxins that belong to the endothelin (ET) peptide family. The molecular mechanism underlying this recently recognized innate defense pathway is unknown, but secretory granule proteases have been invoked. To specifically disrupt a single protease function without affecting expression of other proteases, we have generated a mouse mutant selectively lacking mast cell carboxypeptidase A (Mc-cpa) activity. Using this mutant, we have now identified Mc-cpa as the essential protective mast cell enzyme. Mass spectrometry of peptide substrates after cleavage by normal or mutant mast cells showed that removal of a single amino acid, the C-terminal tryptophan, from ET and sarafotoxin by Mc-cpa is the principle molecular mechanism underlying this very rapid mast cell response. Mast cell proteases can also cleave ET and sarafotoxin internally, but such “nicking” is not protective because intramolecular disulfide bridges maintain peptide function. We conclude that mast cells attack ET and sarafotoxin exactly at the structure required for toxicity, and hence sarafotoxins could not “evade” Mc-cpa's substrate specificity without loss of toxicity. PMID:17923505

  6. Ozone Atmospheric Pollution and Alzheimer's Disease: From Epidemiological Facts to Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croze, Marine L; Zimmer, Luc

    2018-01-01

    Atmospheric pollution is a well-known environmental hazard, especially in developing countries where millions of people are exposed to airborne pollutant levels above safety standards. Accordingly, several epidemiological and animal studies confirmed its role in respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies and identified a strong link between ambient air pollution exposure and adverse health outcomes such as hospitalization and mortality. More recently, the potential deleterious effect of air pollution inhalation on the central nervous system was also investigated and mounting evidence supports a link between air pollution exposure and neurodegenerative pathologies, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). The focus of this review is to highlight the possible link between ozone air pollution exposure and AD incidence. This review's approach will go from observational and epidemiological facts to the proposal of molecular mechanisms. First, epidemiological and postmortem human study data concerning residents of ozone-severely polluted megacities will be presented and discussed. Then, the more particular role of ozone air pollution in AD pathology will be described and evidenced by toxicological studies in rat or mouse with ozone pollution exposure only. The experimental paradigms used to reproduce in rodent the human exposure to ozone air pollution will be described. Finally, current insights into the molecular mechanisms through which ozone inhalation can affect the brain and play a role in AD development or progression will be recapitulated.

  7. Elucidating Mechanisms of Molecular Recognition Between Human Argonaute and miRNA Using Computational Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hanlun; Zhu, Lizhe; Héliou, Amélie; Gao, Xin; Bernauer, Julie; Huang, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and Argonaute (AGO) protein together form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) that plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. Elucidating the underlying mechanism of AGO-miRNA recognition is thus of great importance not only for the in-depth understanding of miRNA function but also for inspiring new drugs targeting miRNAs. In this chapter we introduce a combined computational approach of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, Markov state models (MSMs), and protein-RNA docking to investigate AGO-miRNA recognition. Constructed from MD simulations, MSMs can elucidate the conformational dynamics of AGO at biologically relevant timescales. Protein-RNA docking can then efficiently identify the AGO conformations that are geometrically accessible to miRNA. Using our recent work on human AGO2 as an example, we explain the rationale and the workflow of our method in details. This combined approach holds great promise to complement experiments in unraveling the mechanisms of molecular recognition between large, flexible, and complex biomolecules.

  8. Benchmarking Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) Methods on the Thymidylate Synthase-Catalyzed Hydride Transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Świderek, Katarzyna; Arafet, Kemel; Kohen, Amnon; Moliner, Vicent

    2017-03-14

    Given the ubiquity of hydride-transfer reactions in enzyme-catalyzed processes, identifying the appropriate computational method for evaluating such biological reactions is crucial to perform theoretical studies of these processes. In this paper, the hydride-transfer step catalyzed by thymidylate synthase (TSase) is studied by examining hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) potentials via multiple semiempirical methods and the M06-2X hybrid density functional. Calculations of protium and tritium transfer in these reactions across a range of temperatures allowed calculation of the temperature dependence of kinetic isotope effects (KIE). Dynamics and quantum-tunneling effects are revealed to have little effect on the reaction rate, but are significant in determining the KIEs and their temperature dependence. A good agreement with experiments is found, especially when computed for RM1/MM simulations. The small temperature dependence of quantum tunneling corrections and the quasiclassical contribution term cancel each other, while the recrossing transmission coefficient seems to be temperature-independent over the interval of 5-40 °C.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Cutaneous Inflammatory Disorder: Atopic Dermatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung Eun; Kim, Jong Sic; Cho, Dae Ho; Park, Hyun Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial inflammatory skin disease resulting from interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. The pathogenesis of AD is poorly understood, and the treatment of recalcitrant AD is still challenging. There is accumulating evidence for new gene polymorphisms related to the epidermal barrier function and innate and adaptive immunity in patients with AD. Newly-found T cells and dendritic cell subsets, cytokines, chemokines and signaling pathways have extended our understanding of the molecular pathomechanism underlying AD. Genetic changes caused by environmental factors have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. We herein present a review of the genetics, epigenetics, barrier dysfunction and immunological abnormalities in AD with a focus on updated molecular biology. PMID:27483258

  10. Molecular modeling of polycarbonate materials: Glass transition and mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palczynski, Karol; Wilke, Andreas; Paeschke, Manfred; Dzubiella, Joachim

    2017-09-01

    Linking the experimentally accessible macroscopic properties of thermoplastic polymers to their microscopic static and dynamic properties is a key requirement for targeted material design. Classical molecular dynamics simulations enable us to study the structural and dynamic behavior of molecules on microscopic scales, and statistical physics provides a framework for relating these properties to the macroscopic properties. We take a first step toward creating an automated workflow for the theoretical prediction of thermoplastic material properties by developing an expeditious method for parameterizing a simple yet surprisingly powerful coarse-grained bisphenol-A polycarbonate model which goes beyond previous coarse-grained models and successfully reproduces the thermal expansion behavior, the glass transition temperature as a function of the molecular weight, and several elastic properties.

  11. Mechanical and assembly units of viral capsids identified via quasi-rigid domain decomposition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Polles

    Full Text Available Key steps in a viral life-cycle, such as self-assembly of a protective protein container or in some cases also subsequent maturation events, are governed by the interplay of physico-chemical mechanisms involving various spatial and temporal scales. These salient aspects of a viral life cycle are hence well described and rationalised from a mesoscopic perspective. Accordingly, various experimental and computational efforts have been directed towards identifying the fundamental building blocks that are instrumental for the mechanical response, or constitute the assembly units, of a few specific viral shells. Motivated by these earlier studies we introduce and apply a general and efficient computational scheme for identifying the stable domains of a given viral capsid. The method is based on elastic network models and quasi-rigid domain decomposition. It is first applied to a heterogeneous set of well-characterized viruses (CCMV, MS2, STNV, STMV for which the known mechanical or assembly domains are correctly identified. The validated method is next applied to other viral particles such as L-A, Pariacoto and polyoma viruses, whose fundamental functional domains are still unknown or debated and for which we formulate verifiable predictions. The numerical code implementing the domain decomposition strategy is made freely available.

  12. Mechanical tuning of conductance and thermopower in helicene molecular junctions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vacek, Jaroslav; Vacek Chocholoušová, Jana; Stará, Irena G.; Starý, Ivo; Dubi, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 19 (2015), s. 8793-8802 ISSN 2040-3364 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP207/10/2207 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : helicene molecular junctions * quantum interference * stereoselective syntheses * nonlinear optical properties Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 7.760, year: 2015 http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2015/nr/c5nr01297j

  13. Molecular and Metabolic Mechanisms of Carbon Sequestration in Marine Thrombolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mobberley, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The overall goal of my dissertation project has been to examine the molecular processes underlying carbon sequestration in lithifying microbial ecosystems, known as thrombolitic mats, and assess their feasibility for use in bioregenerative life support systems. The results of my research and education efforts funded by the Graduate Student Researchers Program can be summarized in four peer-reviewed research publication, one educational publication, two papers in preparation, and six research presentations at local and national science meetings (see below for specific details).

  14. Effects of ionizing radiation and the molecular and cellular mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    This symposium with its 60 contributions presents a survey of the current state of the art in molecular radiation biophysics and radiobiology in the FRG. Many contributions show the trend of applying findings in these fields to cancer research. The various sessions have been devoted to: 1) Radiation chemistry of biomolecules; 2) DNA damage and repair; 3) Repair of DNA damage; 4) Cell proliferation and cell inactivation; 5) Cancerogenesis, mutation and chromosomal damage; 6) Effects of heavy ions. (AJ) [de

  15. Identifying mechanisms that structure ecological communities by snapping model parameters to empirically observed tradeoffs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Clark, Adam; Lehman, Clarence; Tilman, David

    2018-04-01

    Theory predicts that interspecific tradeoffs are primary determinants of coexistence and community composition. Using information from empirically observed tradeoffs to augment the parametrisation of mechanism-based models should therefore improve model predictions, provided that tradeoffs and mechanisms are chosen correctly. We developed and tested such a model for 35 grassland plant species using monoculture measurements of three species characteristics related to nitrogen uptake and retention, which previous experiments indicate as important at our site. Matching classical theoretical expectations, these characteristics defined a distinct tradeoff surface, and models parameterised with these characteristics closely matched observations from experimental multi-species mixtures. Importantly, predictions improved significantly when we incorporated information from tradeoffs by 'snapping' characteristics to the nearest location on the tradeoff surface, suggesting that the tradeoffs and mechanisms we identify are important determinants of local community structure. This 'snapping' method could therefore constitute a broadly applicable test for identifying influential tradeoffs and mechanisms. © 2018 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Polarizable Atomic Multipole-based Molecular Mechanics for Organic Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Pengyu; Wu, Chuanjie; Ponder, Jay W

    2011-10-11

    An empirical potential based on permanent atomic multipoles and atomic induced dipoles is reported for alkanes, alcohols, amines, sulfides, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, amides, aromatics and other small organic molecules. Permanent atomic multipole moments through quadrupole moments have been derived from gas phase ab initio molecular orbital calculations. The van der Waals parameters are obtained by fitting to gas phase homodimer QM energies and structures, as well as experimental densities and heats of vaporization of neat liquids. As a validation, the hydrogen bonding energies and structures of gas phase heterodimers with water are evaluated using the resulting potential. For 32 homo- and heterodimers, the association energy agrees with ab initio results to within 0.4 kcal/mol. The RMS deviation of hydrogen bond distance from QM optimized geometry is less than 0.06 Å. In addition, liquid self-diffusion and static dielectric constants computed from molecular dynamics simulation are consistent with experimental values. The force field is also used to compute the solvation free energy of 27 compounds not included in the parameterization process, with a RMS error of 0.69 kcal/mol. The results obtained in this study suggest the AMOEBA force field performs well across different environments and phases. The key algorithms involved in the electrostatic model and a protocol for developing parameters are detailed to facilitate extension to additional molecular systems.

  17. Nucleon molecular orbitals and the transition mechanism between molecular orbitals in nucleus-nucleus collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imanishi, B.; Misono, S.; von Oertzen, W.; Voit, H.

    1988-08-01

    The molecular orbitals of the nucleon(s) in nucleus-nucleus collisions are dynamically defined as a linear combination of nucleon single-particle orbits (LCNO) in a rotating frame by using the coupled-reaction-channel (CRC) theory. Nucleon molecular orbitals and the promotions of nucleon, - especially due to the Landau-Zener radial coupling are discussed with the method above mentioned. (author)

  18. Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Mechanics Study of the Catalytic Mechanism of Human AMSH-LP Domain Deubiquitinating Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenyou; Liu, Yongjun; Ling, Baoping

    2015-08-25

    Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) catalyze the cleavage of the isopeptide bond in polyubiquitin chains to control and regulate the deubiquitination process in all known eukaryotic cells. The human AMSH-LP DUB domain specifically cleaves the isopeptide bonds in the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains. In this article, the catalytic mechanism of AMSH-LP has been studied using a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics method. Two possible hydrolysis processes (Path 1 and Path 2) have been considered. Our calculation results reveal that the activation of Zn(2+)-coordinated water molecule is the essential step for the hydrolysis of isopeptide bond. In Path 1, the generated hydroxyl first attacks the carbonyl group of Gly76, and then the amino group of Lys63 is protonated, which is calculated to be the rate limiting step with an energy barrier of 13.1 kcal/mol. The energy barrier of the rate limiting step and the structures of intermediate and product are in agreement with the experimental results. In Path 2, the protonation of amino group of Lys63 is prior to the nucleophilic attack of activated hydroxyl. The two proton transfer processes in Path 2 correspond to comparable overall barriers (33.4 and 36.1 kcal/mol), which are very high for an enzymatic reaction. Thus, Path 2 can be ruled out. During the reaction, Glu292 acts as a proton transfer mediator, and Ser357 mainly plays a role in stabilizing the negative charge of Gly76. Besides acting as a Lewis acid, Zn(2+) also influences the reaction by coordinating to the reaction substrates (W1 and Gly76).

  19. Molecular mechanism of crystallization impacting calcium phosphate cements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giocondi, J L; El-Dasher, B S; Nancollas, G H; Orme, C A

    2009-05-31

    In summary, SPM data has shown that (1) Mg inhibits growth on all steps but relatively high Mg/Ca ratios are needed. Extracting the mechanism of interaction requires more modeling of the kinetic data, but step morphology is consistent with incorporation. (2) Citrate has several effects depending on the citrate/Ca ratio. At the lowest concentrations, citrate increases the step free energy without altering the step kinetics; at higher concentrations, the polar step is slowed. (3) Oxalate also slows the polar step but additionally stabilizes a new facet, with a [100]{sub Cc} step. (4) Etidronate has the greatest kinetic impact of the molecules studied. At 7{micro}M concentrations, the polar step slows by 60% and a new polar step appears. However, at the same time the [10-1]{sub Cc} increases by 67%. It should be noted that all of these molecules complex calcium and can effect kinetics by altering the solution supersaturation or the Ca to HPO{sub 4}{sup 2-} ratio. For the SPM data shown, this effect was corrected for to distinguish the effect of the molecule at the crystal surface from the effect of the molecule on the solution speciation. The goal of this paper is to draw connections between fundamental studies of atomic step motion and potential strategies for materials processing. It is not our intent to promote the utility of SPM for investigating processes in cement dynamics. The conditions are spectacularly different in many ways. The data shown in this paper are fairly close to equilibrium (S=1.6) whereas the nucleation of cements is initiated at supersaturation ratios in the thousands to millions. Of course, after the initial nucleation phase, the growth will occur at more modest supersaturations and as the cement evolves towards equilibrium certainly some of the growth will occur in regimes such as shown here. In addition to the difference in supersaturation, cements tend to have lower additive to calcium ratios. As an example, the additive to Ca ratio is

  20. Molecular mechanisms of plant competition: neighbour detection and response strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, R.; Mommer, L.; Voesenek, L.A.C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Plant competition determines the diversity and species abundance of natural communities as well as potential yields in agricultural systems. Understanding the mechanisms of plant competition is instrumental to understanding plant performance in true vegetations. In this review, we will address

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Secretion and Insulin Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatt, Peter R.; Bailey, Clifford J.

    1991-01-01

    Information and current ideas on the factors regulating insulin secretion, the mechanisms underlying the secretion and biological actions of insulin, and the main characteristics of diabetes mellitus are presented. (Author)

  2. Examining the mechanical equilibrium of microscopic stresses in molecular simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Torres Sánchez, Alejandro; Vanegas, Juan Manuel; Arroyo Balaguer, Marino

    2015-01-01

    The microscopic stress field provides a unique connection between atomistic simulations and mechanics at the nanoscale. However, its definition remains ambiguous. Rather than a mere theoretical preoccupation, we show that this fact acutely manifests itself in local stress calculations of defective graphene, lipid bilayers, and fibrous proteins. We find that popular definitions of the microscopic stress violate the continuum statements of mechanical equilibrium, and we propose an unambiguous a...

  3. A suite of molecular markers for identifying species, detecting introgression and describing population structure in spadefoot toads (Spea spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfennig, Karin S; Allenby, Ashley; Martin, Ryan A; Monroy, Anaïs; Jones, Corbin D

    2012-09-01

    Two congeneric species of spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicata and Spea bombifrons, have been the focus of hybridization studies since the 1970s. Because complex hybrids are not readily distinguished phenotypically, genetic markers are needed to identify introgressed individuals. We therefore developed a set of molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphism, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and single nucleotide polymorphism) for identifying pure-species, F1 hybrids and more complex introgressed types. To do so, we tested a series of markers across both species and known hybrids using populations in both allopatry and sympatry. We retained those markers that differentiated the two pure-species and also consistently identified known species hybrids. These markers are well suited for identifying hybrids between these species. Moreover, those markers that show variation within each species can be used in conjunction with existing molecular markers in studies of population structure and gene flow. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Molecular mechanisms and in vitro antioxidant effects of Lactobacillus plantarum MA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Wei; Xing, Zhuqing; Li, Chao; Wang, Jinju; Wang, Yanping

    2017-04-15

    Lactobacillus plantarum MA2 was isolated from Chinese traditional Tibetan kefir grains. The antioxidant activities in vitro of this strain were evaluated extensively. The results showed that L. plantarum MA2 can tolerate hydrogen peroxide up to 2.0mM, and its fermentate (fermented supernatant, intact cell and cell-free extract) had strong reducing capacities, lipid peroxidation inhibition capacities, Fe 2+ -chelating abilities, as well as various free radical scavenging capacities. Additionally, both the fermented supernatant and cell homogenate exhibited glutathione peroxidase activity and superoxide dismutase activity. In order to investigate the antioxidant mechanism of L. plantarum MA2 at the molecular level, eight antioxidant-related genes were identified, and further analyzed. Three groups of genes cat, gshR and npx, were found up-regulated under H 2 O 2 challenge. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Galleria mellonella model identifies highly virulent strains among all major molecular types of Cryptococcus gattii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Firacative

    Full Text Available Cryptococcosis is mainly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. However, the number of cases due to C. gattii is increasing, affecting mainly immunocompetent hosts. C. gattii is divided into four major molecular types, VGI to VGIV, which differ in their host range, epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility and geographic distribution. Besides studies on the Vancouver Island outbreak strains, which showed that the subtype VGIIa is highly virulent compared to the subtype VGIIb, little is known about the virulence of the other major molecular types. To elucidate the virulence potential of the major molecular types of C. gattii, Galleria mellonella larvae were inoculated with ten globally selected strains per molecular type. Survival rates were recorded and known virulence factors were studied. One VGII, one VGIII and one VGIV strain were more virulent (p 0.05, 21 (five VGI, five VGII, four VGIII and seven VGIV were less virulent (p <0.05 while one strain of each molecular type were avirulent. Cell and capsule size of all strains increased markedly during larvae infection (p <0.001. No differences in growth rate at 37°C were observed. Melanin synthesis was directly related with the level of virulence: more virulent strains produced more melanin than less virulent strains (p <0.05. The results indicate that all C. gattii major molecular types exhibit a range of virulence, with some strains having the potential to be more virulent. The study highlights the necessity to further investigate the genetic background of more and less virulent strains in order to recognize critical features, other than the known virulence factors (capsule, melanin and growth at mammalian body temperature, that maybe crucial for the development and progression of cryptococcosis.

  7. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular response to biophysical cues using synthetic biology approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denning, Denise; Roos, Wouter H

    2016-01-01

    The use of synthetic surfaces and materials to influence and study cell behavior has vastly progressed our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cellular response to physicochemical and biophysical cues. Reconstituting cytoskeletal proteins and interfacing them with a

  8. Genetic factors and molecular mechanisms in dry eye disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ling; Garrett, Qian; Flanagan, Judith; Chakrabarti, Subhabrata; Papas, Eric

    2018-04-01

    Dry eye disease (DED) is a complex condition with a multifactorial etiology that can be difficult to manage successfully. While external factors are modifiable, treatment success is limited if genetic factors contribute to the disease. The purpose of this review is to compile research describing normal and abnormal ocular surface function on a molecular level, appraise genetic studies involving DED or DED-associated diseases, and introduce the basic methods used for conducting genetic epidemiology studies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Stability mechanisms of a thermophilic laccase probed by molecular dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Niels Johan; Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2013-01-01

    Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD) was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response...... integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F(-) intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes....

  10. A concerted kinase interplay identifies PPARgamma as a molecular target of ghrelin signaling in macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Demers

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor PPARgamma plays an essential role in vascular biology, modulating macrophage function and atherosclerosis progression. Recently, we have described the beneficial effect of combined activation of the ghrelin/GHS-R1a receptor and the scavenger receptor CD36 to induce macrophage cholesterol release through transcriptional activation of PPARgamma. Although the interplay between CD36 and PPARgamma in atherogenesis is well recognized, the contribution of the ghrelin receptor to regulate PPARgamma remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that ghrelin triggers PPARgamma activation through a concerted signaling cascade involving Erk1/2 and Akt kinases, resulting in enhanced expression of downstream effectors LXRalpha and ABC sterol transporters in human macrophages. These effects were associated with enhanced PPARgamma phosphorylation independently of the inhibitory conserved serine-84. Src tyrosine kinase Fyn was identified as being recruited to GHS-R1a in response to ghrelin, but failure of activated Fyn to enhance PPARgamma Ser-84 specific phosphorylation relied on the concomitant recruitment of docking protein Dok-1, which prevented optimal activation of the Erk1/2 pathway. Also, substitution of Ser-84 preserved the ghrelin-induced PPARgamma activity and responsiveness to Src inhibition, supporting a mechanism independent of Ser-84 in PPARgamma response to ghrelin. Consistent with this, we found that ghrelin promoted the PI3-K/Akt pathway in a Galphaq-dependent manner, resulting in Akt recruitment to PPARgamma, enhanced PPARgamma phosphorylation and activation independently of Ser-84, and increased expression of LXRalpha and ABCA1/G1. Collectively, these results illustrate a complex interplay involving Fyn/Dok-1/Erk and Galphaq/PI3-K/Akt pathways to transduce in a concerted manner responsiveness of PPARgamma to ghrelin in macrophages.

  11. Molecular Level Investigation of Staphylococci’s Resistance Mechanisms to Antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavinia Lorena PRUTEANU

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Polymerase chain reaction (PCR techniques development allows elaboration of many assays for identification of bacteria’s resistance mechanisms to antibiotics. Following this idea, the results of molecular level investigation of bacteria’s resistance mechanisms to antibiotics may give many opportunities to find more rapid methods for identifying the genes which are responsible for antibiotic resistance induction. The aim of this study was to investigate antibiotic resistance genes in Staphylococcus bacteria on molecular level. As classes of antibiotics it was used macrolides-lincosamides-streptogramin B (MLSB and beta-lactams. In the proposed study the bacterial strains are represented by 50 isolates of Staphylococcus. The bacterial strains were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction to identify the nuc, tuf, tst, sea, pathogenic activity genes. After this, the bacteria were tested for ermA, ermB, ermC genes and for mecA, femA which are involved in resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, streptogramin B and to beta-lactams, respectively. The presence or the absence of these genes confirms that tested strains are resistant to specific antibiotic or not. Bacteria pathogenic activity was emphasized by genes as follows: sea (enterotoxin which was found at all isolates, tst (toxic shock toxin gene was not detected in any of isolates and tuf gene (elongation factor was obtained with one pair of primers. Resistance to beta-lactams was evidenced by the presence of mecA in all isolates and femA in some strains. Each of ermC, ermA and ermB, macrolides-lincosamides-streptogramin B resistance genes, were detected.

  12. Molecular mechanisms associated with nosocomial carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcántar-Curiel, María Dolores; García-Torres, Luis Francisco; González-Chávez, María Inés; Morfín-Otero, Rayo; Gayosso-Vázquez, Catalina; Jarillo-Quijada, Ma Dolores; Fernández-Vázquez, José Luis; Giono-Cerezo, Silvia; Rodríguez-Noriega, Eduardo; Santos-Preciado, José Ignacio

    2014-10-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging pathogen worldwide that is most commonly associated with nosocomial infections and multi-drug resistance. In the present study we determined the mechanisms of carbapenem resistance and clonal diversity of A. baumannii nosocomial isolates in Hospital Civil de Guadalajara, Mexico. A total of 303 clinical isolates of A. baumannii identified during a period expanding from 2004-2011 were analyzed for carbapenem resistance using several microbiological and molecular methods. Clonal relatedness of these isolates was determined using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Of the 303 isolates, 84% were resistant to meropenem, 71.3% to imipenem and 78.3% the resistant isolates were positive for metallo-β-lactamases as determined by the phenotypic assay. In addition, 49.6% of carbapenem-intermediate or -resistant isolates carried the blaOXA-72 gene and 1.2% carried the blaVIM-1 gene. Efflux pump phenotype was responsible for reduced susceptibility to meropenem in 14.5% and to imipenem in 31.6% of the resistant isolates, respectively in the presence of the efflux pump inhibitor, carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone. Strains representing different carbapenem-resistant patterns exhibited reduced expression of 22, 29, 33, and 43 kDa OMPs. Among the bacterial collection studied, 48 different clones were identified, two of which were predominant and persistently transmitted. Carbapenemase production in combination with efflux pump expression, reduction in OMPs expression and the cross-transmission of clones appear to be major contributors to the high frequency of carbapenem-resistance observed in A. baumannii. To our knowledge, this is the first study to define the molecular mechanisms associated with carbapenem-resistance in A. baumannii in Mexico. Copyright © 2014 IMSS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Integrated structural biology to unravel molecular mechanisms of protein-RNA recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlundt, Andreas; Tants, Jan-Niklas; Sattler, Michael

    2017-04-15

    Recent advances in RNA sequencing technologies have greatly expanded our knowledge of the RNA landscape in cells, often with spatiotemporal resolution. These techniques identified many new (often non-coding) RNA molecules. Large-scale studies have also discovered novel RNA binding proteins (RBPs), which exhibit single or multiple RNA binding domains (RBDs) for recognition of specific sequence or structured motifs in RNA. Starting from these large-scale approaches it is crucial to unravel the molecular principles of protein-RNA recognition in ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) to understand the underlying mechanisms of gene regulation. Structural biology and biophysical studies at highest possible resolution are key to elucidate molecular mechanisms of RNA recognition by RBPs and how conformational dynamics, weak interactions and cooperative binding contribute to the formation of specific, context-dependent RNPs. While large compact RNPs can be well studied by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, analysis of dynamics and weak interaction necessitates the use of solution methods to capture these properties. Here, we illustrate methods to study the structure and conformational dynamics of protein-RNA complexes in solution starting from the identification of interaction partners in a given RNP. Biophysical and biochemical techniques support the characterization of a protein-RNA complex and identify regions relevant in structural analysis. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful tool to gain information on folding, stability and dynamics of RNAs and characterize RNPs in solution. It provides crucial information that is complementary to the static pictures derived from other techniques. NMR can be readily combined with other solution techniques, such as small angle X-ray and/or neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), which provide information about overall shapes, internal domain

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Nuclear Magnetic Shielding Constants from Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations Using Polarizable Embedding: Role of the Embedding Potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinmann, Casper; Olsen, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard; Kongsted, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    We present NMR shielding constants obtained through quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) embedding calculations. Contrary to previous reports, we show that a relatively small QM region is sufficient, provided that a high-quality embedding potential is used. The calculated averaged NMR...... shielding constants of both acrolein and acetone solvated in water are based on a number of snapshots extracted from classical molecular dynamics simulations. We focus on the carbonyl chromophore in both molecules, which shows large solvation effects, and we study the convergence of shielding constants...

  16. Prediction of Sliding Friction Coefficient Based on a Novel Hybrid Molecular-Mechanical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaogang; Zhang, Yali; Wang, Jianmei; Sheng, Chenxing; Li, Zhixiong

    2018-08-01

    Sliding friction is a complex phenomenon which arises from the mechanical and molecular interactions of asperities when examined in a microscale. To reveal and further understand the effects of micro scaled mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient on overall frictional behavior, a hybrid molecular-mechanical model is developed to investigate the effects of main factors, including different loads and surface roughness values, on the sliding friction coefficient in a boundary lubrication condition. Numerical modelling was conducted using a deterministic contact model and based on the molecular-mechanical theory of friction. In the contact model, with given external loads and surface topographies, the pressure distribution, real contact area, and elastic/plastic deformation of each single asperity contact were calculated. Then asperity friction coefficient was predicted by the sum of mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient. The mechanical component was mainly determined by the contact width and elastic/plastic deformation, and the molecular component was estimated as a function of the contact area and interfacial shear stress. Numerical results were compared with experimental results and a good agreement was obtained. The model was then used to predict friction coefficients in different operating and surface conditions. Numerical results explain why applied load has a minimum effect on the friction coefficients. They also provide insight into the effect of surface roughness on the mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficients. It is revealed that the mechanical component dominates the friction coefficient when the surface roughness is large (Rq > 0.2 μm), while the friction coefficient is mainly determined by the molecular component when the surface is relatively smooth (Rq < 0.2 μm). Furthermore, optimal roughness values for minimizing the friction coefficient are recommended.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of the sleep wake cycle : therapeutic applications to insomnia

    OpenAIRE

    Grima, Melanie; Hunter, Therese; Zhang, Yimeng

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this review is to explore the molecular mechanism and genetic components of the sleepwake cycle and insomnia. Moreover, we wanted to review the correlation between primary insomnia and its comorbidities. With this aim, a systematic review of recent evidence of the molecular and genetic mechanisms involved in the causation of primary insomnia, along with associations between primary insomnia and other diseases were conducted. Primary insomnia is a complex disorder which accounts for...

  18. Molecular mechanics work station for protein conformational studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fine, R.; Levinthal, C.; Schoenborn, B.; Dimmier, G.; Rankowitz, C.

    1984-01-01

    Interest in computational problems in Biology has intensified over the last few years, partly due to the development of techniques for the rapid cloning, sequencing, and mutagenesis of genes from organisims ranging from E. coli to Man. The central dogma of molecular biology; that DNA codes for mRNA which codes for protein, has been understood in a linear programming sense since the genetic code was cracked. But what is not understood at present is how a protein, once assembled as a long sequence of amino acids, folds back on itself to produce a three-dimensional structure which is unique to that protein and which dictates its chemical and biological activity. This folding process is purely physics, and involves the time evolution of a system of several thousand atoms which interact with each other and with atoms from the surrounding solvent. Molecular dynamics simulations on smaller molecules suggest that approaches which treat the protein as a classical ensemble of atoms interacting with each other via an empirical Hamiltonian can yield the kind of predictive results one would like when applied to proteins

  19. Molecular Mechanism: ERK Signaling, Drug Addiction, and Behavioral Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei-Lun; Quizon, Pamela M; Zhu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Addiction to psychostimulants has been considered as a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by craving and compulsive drug seeking and use. Over the past two decades, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that repeated drug exposure causes long-lasting neurochemical and cellular changes that result in enduring neuroadaptation in brain circuitry and underlie compulsive drug consumption and relapse. Through intercellular signaling cascades, drugs of abuse induce remodeling in the rewarding circuitry that contributes to the neuroplasticity of learning and memory associated with addiction. Here, we review the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, and its related intracellular signaling pathways in drug-induced neuroadaptive changes that are associated with drug-mediated psychomotor activity, rewarding properties and relapse of drug seeking behaviors. We also discuss the neurobiological and behavioral effects of pharmacological and genetic interferences with ERK-associated molecular cascades in response to abused substances. Understanding the dynamic modulation of ERK signaling in response to drugs may provide novel molecular targets for therapeutic strategies to drug addiction. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms Modulating the Phenotype of Macrophages and Microglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Amici

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Macrophages and microglia play crucial roles during central nervous system development, homeostasis and acute events such as infection or injury. The diverse functions of tissue macrophages and microglia are mirrored by equally diverse phenotypes. A model of inflammatory/M1 versus a resolution phase/M2 macrophages has been widely used. However, the complexity of macrophage function can only be achieved by the existence of varied, plastic and tridimensional macrophage phenotypes. Understanding how tissue macrophages integrate environmental signals via molecular programs to define pathogen/injury inflammatory responses provides an opportunity to better understand the multilayered nature of macrophages, as well as target and modulate cellular programs to control excessive inflammation. This is particularly important in MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases, where chronic inflammatory macrophage and microglial responses may contribute to pathology. Here, we perform a comprehensive review of our current understanding of how molecular pathways modulate tissue macrophage phenotype, covering both classic pathways and the emerging role of microRNAs, receptor-tyrosine kinases and metabolism in macrophage phenotype. In addition, we discuss pathway parallels in microglia, novel markers helpful in the identification of peripheral macrophages versus microglia and markers linked to their phenotype.

  1. Molecular mechanisms involved in Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mielich-Süss, Benjamin; Lopez, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Summary Biofilms are the predominant lifestyle of bacteria in natural environments, and they severely impact our societies in many different fashions. Therefore, biofilm formation is a topic of growing interest in microbiology, and different bacterial models are currently studied to better understand the molecular strategies that bacteria undergo to build biofilms. Among those, biofilms of the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus subtilis are commonly used for this purpose. Bacillus subtilis biofilms show remarkable architectural features that are a consequence of sophisticated programs of cellular specialization and cell-cell communication within the community. Many laboratories are trying to unravel the biological role of the morphological features of biofilms, as well as exploring the molecular basis underlying cellular differentiation. In this review, we present a general perspective of the current state of knowledge of biofilm formation in B. subtilis. In particular, a special emphasis is placed on summarizing the most recent discoveries in the field and integrating them into the general view of these truly sophisticated microbial communities. PMID:24909922

  2. Signature gene expression reveals novel clues to the molecular mechanisms of dimorphic transition in Penicillium marneffei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ence Yang

    2014-10-01

    in P. marneffei, providing a powerful foundation for identifying molecular targets for mechanism-based interventions.

  3. Whole-genome sequencing and comprehensive molecular profiling identify new driver mutations in gastric cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Kai; Yuen, Siu Tsan; Xu, Jiangchun; Lee, Siu Po; Yan, Helen H N; Shi, Stephanie T; Siu, Hoi Cheong; Deng, Shibing; Chu, Kent Man; Law, Simon; Chan, Kok Hoe; Chan, Annie S Y; Tsui, Wai Yin; Ho, Siu Lun; Chan, Anthony K W; Man, Jonathan L K; Foglizzo, Valentina; Ng, Man Kin; Chan, April S; Ching, Yick Pang; Cheng, Grace H W; Xie, Tao; Fernandez, Julio; Li, Vivian S W; Clevers, Hans; Rejto, Paul A; Mao, Mao; Leung, Suet Yi

    Gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease with diverse molecular and histological subtypes. We performed whole-genome sequencing in 100 tumor-normal pairs, along with DNA copy number, gene expression and methylation profiling, for integrative genomic analysis. We found subtype-specific genetic and

  4. Molecular mechanics of DNA bricks: in situ structure, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slone, Scott Michael; Li, Chen-Yu; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Yoo, Jejoong

    2016-01-01

    The DNA bricks method exploits self-assembly of short DNA fragments to produce custom three-dimensional objects with subnanometer precision. In contrast to DNA origami, the DNA brick method permits a variety of different structures to be realized using the same library of DNA strands. As a consequence of their design, however, assembled DNA brick structures have fewer interhelical connections in comparison to equivalent DNA origami structures. Although the overall shape of the DNA brick objects has been characterized and found to conform to the features of the target designs, the microscopic properties of DNA brick objects remain yet to be determined. Here, we use the all-atom molecular dynamics method to directly compare the structure, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity of DNA brick and DNA origami structures different only by internal connectivity of their consistituent DNA strands. In comparison to equivalent DNA origami structures, the DNA brick structures are found to be less rigid and less dense and have a larger cross-section area normal to the DNA helix direction. At the microscopic level, the junction in the DNA brick structures are found to be right-handed, similar to the structure of individual Holliday junctions (HJ) in solution, which contrasts with the left-handed structure of HJ in DNA origami. Subject to external electric field, a DNA brick plate is more leaky to ions than an equivalent DNA origami plate because of its lower density and larger cross-section area. Overall, our results indicate that the structures produced by the DNA brick method are fairly similar in their overall appearance to those created by the DNA origami method but are more compliant when subject to external forces, which likely is a consequence of their single crossover design. (paper)

  5. DMPD: Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolysaccharide: roles of the receptor complex. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 14609719 Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolys...acol Ther. 2003 Nov;100(2):171-94. (.png) (.svg) (.html) (.csml) Show Molecular mechanisms of macrophage act...medID 14609719 Title Molecular mechanisms of macrophage activation and deactivation bylipopolysaccharide: ro

  6. Molecular mechanisms of toxicity of important food-borne phytotoxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Martena, M.J.; Boersma, M.G.; Spiegelenberg, W.; Alink, G.M.

    2005-01-01

    At present, there is an increasing interest for plant ingredients and their use in drugs, for teas, or in food supplements. The present review describes the nature and mechanism of action of the phytochemicals presently receiving increased attention in the field of food toxicology. This relates to

  7. Congenital amusics use a secondary pitch mechanism to identify lexical tones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bones, Oliver; Wong, Patrick C M

    2017-09-01

    Amusia is a pitch perception disorder associated with deficits in processing and production of both musical and lexical tones, which previous reports have suggested may be constrained to fine-grained pitch judgements. In the present study speakers of tone-languages, in which lexical tones are used to convey meaning, identified words present in chimera stimuli containing conflicting pitch-cues in the temporal fine-structure and temporal envelope, and which therefore conveyed two distinct utterances. Amusics were found to be more likely than controls to judge the word according to the envelope pitch-cues. This demonstrates that amusia is not associated with fine-grained pitch judgements alone, and is consistent with there being two distinct pitch mechanisms and with amusics having an atypical reliance on a secondary mechanism based upon envelope cues. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Linking Exercise to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hojman, Pernille; Gehl, Julie; Christensen, Jesper F.

    2018-01-01

    The benefits of exercise training for cancer patients are becoming increasingly evident. Physical exercise has been shown to reduce cancer incidence and inhibit tumor growth. Here we provide the status of the current molecular understanding of the effect of exercise on cancer. We propose...... that exercise has a role in controlling cancer progression through a direct effect on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of anti-cancer treatment efficacy. These findings have wide-ranging societal implications......, as this understanding may lead to changes in cancer treatment strategies. Hojman et al. discuss the role of exercise in controlling cancer progression through direct effects on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of cancer...

  9. Molecular mechanism of sarcopenia and cachexia: recent research advances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakuma, Kunihiro; Aoi, Wataru; Yamaguchi, Akihiko

    2017-06-01

    Skeletal muscle provides a fundamental basis for human function, enabling locomotion and respiration. Muscle loss occurs as a consequence of several chronic diseases (cachexia) and normal aging (sarcopenia). Although many negative regulators (atrogin-1, muscle ring finger-1, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), myostatin, etc.) have been proposed to enhance protein degradation during both sarcopenia and cachexia, the adaptation of these mediators markedly differs within both conditions. Sarcopenia and cachectic muscles have been demonstrated to be abundant in myostatin-linked molecules. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is activated during rapid atrophy model (cancer cachexia), but few mediators of the UPS change during sarcopenia. NF-κB signaling is activated in cachectic, but not in sarcopenic, muscle. Recent studies have indicated the age-related defect of autophagy signaling in skeletal muscle, whereas autophagic activation occurs in cachectic muscle. This review provides recent research advances dealing with molecular mediators modulating muscle mass in both sarcopenia and cachexia.

  10. Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of Cytoskeletal Proteins: Molecular Mechanism and Biological Significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Kumeta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Various nuclear functional complexes contain cytoskeletal proteins as regulatory subunits; for example, nuclear actin participates in transcriptional complexes, and actin-related proteins are integral to chromatin remodeling complexes. Nuclear complexes such as these are involved in both basal and adaptive nuclear functions. In addition to nuclear import via classical nuclear transport pathways or passive diffusion, some large cytoskeletal proteins spontaneously migrate into the nucleus in a karyopherin-independent manner. The balance of nucleocytoplasmic distribution of such proteins can be altered by several factors, such as import versus export, or capture and release by complexes. The resulting accumulation or depletion of the nuclear populations thereby enhances or attenuates their nuclear functions. We propose that such molecular dynamics constitute a form of cytoskeleton-modulated regulation of nuclear functions which is mediated by the translocation of cytoskeletal components in and out of the nucleus.

  11. New technique of identifying the hierarchy of dynamic domains in proteins using a method of molecular dynamics simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yesylevskyy S. O.

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Despite a large number of existing domain identification techniques there is no universally accepted method, which identifies the hierarchy of dynamic domains using the data of molecular dynamics (MD simulations. The goal of this work is to develop such technique. Methods. The dynamic domains are identified by eliminating systematic motions from MD trajectories recursively in a model-free manner. Results. The technique called the Hierarchical Domain-Wise Alignment (HDWA to identify hierarchically organized dynamic domains in proteins using the MD trajectories has been developed. Conclusion. A new method of domain identification in proteins is proposed

  12. Identifying the nonlinear mechanical behaviour of micro-speakers from their quasi-linear electrical response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilletti, Michele; Marker, Arthur; Elliott, Stephen John; Holland, Keith

    2017-05-01

    In this study model identification of the nonlinear dynamics of a micro-speaker is carried out by purely electrical measurements, avoiding any explicit vibration measurements. It is shown that a dynamic model of the micro-speaker, which takes into account the nonlinear damping characteristic of the device, can be identified by measuring the response between the voltage input and the current flowing into the coil. An analytical formulation of the quasi-linear model of the micro-speaker is first derived and an optimisation method is then used to identify a polynomial function which describes the mechanical damping behaviour of the micro-speaker. The analytical results of the quasi-linear model are compared with numerical results. This study potentially opens up the possibility of efficiently implementing nonlinear echo cancellers.

  13. Identifying partial topology of complex dynamical networks via a pinning mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Shuaibing; Zhou, Jin; Lu, Jun-an

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, we study the problem of identifying the partial topology of complex dynamical networks via a pinning mechanism. By using the network synchronization theory and the adaptive feedback controlling method, we propose a method which can greatly reduce the number of nodes and observers in the response network. Particularly, this method can also identify the whole topology of complex networks. A theorem is established rigorously, from which some corollaries are also derived in order to make our method more cost-effective. Several numerical examples are provided to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. In the simulation, an approach is also given to avoid possible identification failure caused by inner synchronization of the drive network.

  14. Molecular Imaging to Identify Tumor Recurrence following Chemoradiation in a Hostile Surgical Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olugbenga T. Okusanya

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Surgical biopsy of potential tumor recurrence is a common challenge facing oncologists, surgeons, and cancer patients. Imaging modalities have limited ability to accurately detect recurrent cancer in fields affected by previous surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. However, definitive tissue diagnosis is often needed to initiate treatment and to direct therapy. We sought to determine if a targeted fluorescent intraoperative molecular imaging technique could be applied in a clinical setting to assist a surgical biopsy in a “hostile” field. We describe the use of a folate-fluorescein conjugate to direct the biopsy of a suspected recurrent lung adenocarcinoma invading the mediastinum that had been previously treated with chemoradiation. We found that intraoperative imaging allowed the identification of small viable tumor deposits that were otherwise indistinguishable from scar and necrosis. Our operative observations were confirmed by histology, fluorescence microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Our results demonstrate one possible application and clinical value of intraoperative molecular imaging.

  15. Studies on the molecular mechanism of nucleotide excision repair in human cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedberg, E.C.

    1987-01-01

    Studies in this laboratory have focused on attempts to define the mechanism of nucleotide excision repair of DNA in human cells, with a view to understanding the molecular pathogenesis of the disease XP. With the advent of recombinant DNA technology, they directed their efforts to the molecular cloning of human genes defective in XP, with a view to using the cloned genes to overexpress proteins of interest for biochemical investigations. Initial studies exploited the selectable phenotype of marked sensitivity to killing of XP group A cells by UV radiation and by other DNA damaging agents. However, except for a single report in 1982 there has been no reproducible demonstration of complementation of the UV sensitivity of XP cells by DNA-mediated transfection. The apparent difficulties associated with transfection of XP cells have been the subject of several recent studies. In view of the multiple problems associated with stable transfection of XP cells using total genomic DNA, they have embarked on an alternative strategy designed to facilitate the cloning of human XP genes. This strategy involves the transfer of single human chromosomes into XP cells and screening for this relatively high frequency event. The idea is to identify chromosomes on which particular XP genes reside and then to isolate non-complementing derivatives of these chromosomes so that highly enriched DNA pools containing genes of interest can be generated by employing one or more subtractive strategies

  16. Fragment molecular orbital study on electron tunneling mechanisms in bacterial photosynthetic reaction center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitoh-Nishioka, Hirotaka; Ando, Koji

    2012-11-01

    The tunneling mechanisms of electron transfers (ETs) in photosynthetic reaction center of Blastochloris viridis are studied by the ab initio fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method combined with the generalized Mulliken-Hush (GMH) and the bridge Green function (GF) calculations of the electronic coupling T(DA) and the tunneling current method for the ET pathway analysis at the fragment-based resolution. For the ET from batctriopheophytin (H(L)) to menaquinone (MQ), a major tunneling current through Trp M250 and a minor back flow via Ala M215, Ala M216, and His M217 are quantified. For the ET from MQ to ubiquinone, the major tunneling pathway via the nonheme Fe(2+) and His L190 is identified as well as minor pathway via His M217 and small back flows involving His L230, Glu M232, and His M264. At the given molecular structure from X-ray experiment, the spin state of the Fe(2+) ion, its replacement by Zn(2+), or its removal are found to affect the T(DA) value by factors within 2.2. The calculated T(DA) values, together with experimentally estimated values of the driving force and the reorganization energy, give the ET rates in reasonable agreement with experiments.

  17. Anisotropic mechanical properties of graphene sheets from molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ni Zhonghua; Bu Hao; Zou Min; Yi Hong; Bi Kedong; Chen Yunfei

    2010-01-01

    Anisotropic mechanical properties are observed for a sheet of graphene along different load directions. The anisotropic mechanical properties are attributed to the hexagonal structure of the unit cells of the graphene. Under the same tensile loads, the edge bonds bear larger load in the longitudinal mode (LM) than in the transverse mode (TM), which causes fracture sooner in LM than in TM. The Young's modulus and the third order elastic modulus for the LM are slightly larger than that for the TM. Simulation also demonstrates that, for both LM and TM, the loading and unloading stress-strain response curves overlap as long as the graphene is unloaded before the fracture point. This confirms that graphene sustains complete elastic and reversible deformation in the elongation process.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of DNA repair inhibition by caffeine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Selby, C.P.; Sancar, A. (Univ. of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill (USA))

    1990-05-01

    Caffeine potentiates the mutagenic and lethal effects of genotoxic agents. It is thought that this is due, at least in some organisms, to inhibition of DNA repair. However, direct evidence for inhibition of repair enzymes has been lacking. Using purified Escherichia coli DNA photolyase and (A)BC excinuclease, we show that the drug inhibits photoreactivation and nucleotide excision repair by two different mechanisms. Caffeine inhibits photoreactivation by interfering with the specific binding of photolyase to damaged DNA, and it inhibits nucleotide excision repair by promoting nonspecific binding of the damage-recognition subunit, UvrA, of (A)BC excinuclease. A number of other intercalators, including acriflavin and ethidium bromide, appear to inhibit the excinuclease by a similar mechanism--that is, by trapping the UvrA subunit in nonproductive complexes on undamaged DNA.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narasimamurthy, Rajesh; Virshup, David M

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep-wake cycle, feeding-fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Virshup

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  1. Utilizing Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration in Identifying Molecular Targets for Pancreatic Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Onyekachi Henry Ogbonna; Muhammad Wasif Saif

    2013-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer remains a devastating disease, with poor survival rates and high recurrence rates with current treatmentregimens. Over the years we have come to understand the complex biology of this cancer, involving cross-talking signalingpathways that proffers resistance to current therapy. Several molecularly targeted agents remain in development. At the2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, an abstract (#4051) was presented which exploredusing endoscopic ultr...

  2. Hidden diversity and evolutionary trends in malacosporean parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) identified using molecular phylogenetics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bartošová, Pavla; Hrabcová, M.; Pecková, Hana; Patra, Sneha; Kodádková, Alena; Jurajda, Pavel; Tyml, Tomáš; Holzer, Astrid S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 8 (2014), s. 565-577 ISSN 0020-7519 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GPP506/11/P724; GA ČR GBP505/12/G112; GA AV ČR(CZ) M200961205 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:68081766 Keywords : Buddenbrockia * Tetracapsuloides * diversity * phylogeny * Bryozoa * fish * cryptic * worm Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology; EG - Zoology (UBO-W) Impact factor: 3.872, year: 2014

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiezhong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Antipsychotic drugs (APDs are widely prescribed to control various mental disorders. As mental disorders are chronic diseases, these drugs are often used over a life-time. However, APDs can cause serious glucometabolic side-effects including type 2 diabetes and hyperglycaemic emergency, leading to medication non-compliance. At present, there is no effective approach to overcome these side-effects. Understanding the mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes should be helpful in prevention and treatment of these side-effects of APDs and thus improve the clinical outcomes of APDs. In this review, the potential mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes are summarized so that novel approaches can be considered to relieve APD-induced diabetes. APD-induced diabetes could be mediated by multiple mechanisms: (1 APDs can inhibit the insulin signaling pathway in the target cells such as muscle cells, hepatocytes and adipocytes to cause insulin resistance; (2 APD-induced obesity can result in high levels of free fatty acids (FFA and inflammation, which can also cause insulin resistance. (3 APDs can cause direct damage to β-cells, leading to dysfunction and apoptosis of β-cells. A recent theory considers that both β-cell damage and insulin resistance are necessary factors for the development of diabetes. In high-fat diet-induced diabetes, the compensatory ability of β-cells is gradually damaged, while APDs cause direct β-cell damage, accounting for the severe form of APD-induced diabetes. Based on these mechanisms, effective prevention of APD-induced diabetes may need an integrated approach to combat various effects of APDs on multiple pathways.

  4. Molecular and Cell Mechanisms of Singlet Oxygen Effect on Biosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Martusevich А.А.; Peretyagin S.P.; Martusevich А.К.

    2012-01-01

    There has been considered a poorly studied form of activated oxygen — singlet oxygen. Its physicochemical properties (electron configuration of a molecule, reactive capacity, features) are analyzed, and enzymic and nonenzymic ways of singlet oxygen generation in body are specified. There are shown in detail biological effects of the compound as a regulator of cell activity including that determining the mechanism of apoptosis initiation. The relation of singlet oxygen and photodynamic effect ...

  5. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    OpenAIRE

    David M. Virshup; Rajesh Narasimamurthy

    2017-01-01

    An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entr...

  6. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    OpenAIRE

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA da...

  7. Systematic analysis of molecular mechanisms for HCC metastasis via text mining approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhen, Cheng; Zhu, Caizhong; Chen, Haoyang; Xiong, Yiru; Tan, Junyuan; Chen, Dong; Li, Jin

    2017-02-21

    To systematically explore the molecular mechanism for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis and identify regulatory genes with text mining methods. Genes with highest frequencies and significant pathways related to HCC metastasis were listed. A handful of proteins such as EGFR, MDM2, TP53 and APP, were identified as hub nodes in PPI (protein-protein interaction) network. Compared with unique genes for HBV-HCCs, genes particular to HCV-HCCs were less, but may participate in more extensive signaling processes. VEGFA, PI3KCA, MAPK1, MMP9 and other genes may play important roles in multiple phenotypes of metastasis. Genes in abstracts of HCC-metastasis literatures were identified. Word frequency analysis, KEGG pathway and PPI network analysis were performed. Then co-occurrence analysis between genes and metastasis-related phenotypes were carried out. Text mining is effective for revealing potential regulators or pathways, but the purpose of it should be specific, and the combination of various methods will be more useful.

  8. Carboplatin: molecular mechanisms of action associated with chemoresistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziele Fonseca de Sousa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Carboplatin is a derivative of cisplatin; it has a similar mechanism of action, but differs in terms of structure and toxicity. It was approved by the FDA in the 1980s and since then it has been widely used in the treatment of several tumor types. This agent is characterized by its ability to generate lesions in DNA through the formation of adducts with platinum, thereby inhibiting replication and transcription and leading to cell death. However, its use can lead to serious inconvenience arising from the development of resistance that some patients acquire during treatment, limiting the scope of its full potential. Currently, the biochemical mechanisms related to resistance are not precisely known. Therefore, knowledge of pathways associated with resistance caused by carboplatin exposure may provide valuable clues for more efficient rational drug design in platinum-based therapy and the development of new therapeutic strategies. In this narrative review, we discuss some of the known mechanisms of resistance to platinum-based drugs, especially carboplatin.

  9. Molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to Candida biofilm formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Cate, J.M.; Klis, F.M.; Pereira-Cenci, T.; Crielaard, W.; de Groot, P.W.J.

    2009-01-01

    Fungal infections in the oral cavity are mainly caused by C. albicans, but other Candida species are also frequently identified. They are increasing in prevalence, especially in denture-wearers and aging people, and may lead to invasive infections, which have a high mortality rate. Attachment to

  10. Cluster analysis of spontaneous preterm birth phenotypes identifies potential associations among preterm birth mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esplin, M Sean; Manuck, Tracy A; Varner, Michael W; Christensen, Bryce; Biggio, Joseph; Bukowski, Radek; Parry, Samuel; Zhang, Heping; Huang, Hao; Andrews, William; Saade, George; Sadovsky, Yoel; Reddy, Uma M; Ilekis, John

    2015-09-01

    We sought to use an innovative tool that is based on common biologic pathways to identify specific phenotypes among women with spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) to enhance investigators' ability to identify and to highlight common mechanisms and underlying genetic factors that are responsible for SPTB. We performed a secondary analysis of a prospective case-control multicenter study of SPTB. All cases delivered a preterm singleton at SPTB ≤34.0 weeks' gestation. Each woman was assessed for the presence of underlying SPTB causes. A hierarchic cluster analysis was used to identify groups of women with homogeneous phenotypic profiles. One of the phenotypic clusters was selected for candidate gene association analysis with the use of VEGAS software. One thousand twenty-eight women with SPTB were assigned phenotypes. Hierarchic clustering of the phenotypes revealed 5 major clusters. Cluster 1 (n = 445) was characterized by maternal stress; cluster 2 (n = 294) was characterized by premature membrane rupture; cluster 3 (n = 120) was characterized by familial factors, and cluster 4 (n = 63) was characterized by maternal comorbidities. Cluster 5 (n = 106) was multifactorial and characterized by infection (INF), decidual hemorrhage (DH), and placental dysfunction (PD). These 3 phenotypes were correlated highly by χ(2) analysis (PD and DH, P cluster 3 of SPTB. We identified 5 major clusters of SPTB based on a phenotype tool and hierarch clustering. There was significant correlation between several of the phenotypes. The INS gene was associated with familial factors that were underlying SPTB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Identifying the causes of differences in ozone production from the CB05 and CBMIV chemical mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. D. Saylor

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available An investigation was conducted to identify the mechanistic differences between two versions of the carbon bond gas-phase chemical mechanism (CB05 and CBMIV which consistently lead to larger ground-level ozone concentrations being produced in the CB05 version of the National Air Quality Forecasting Capability (NAQFC modeling system even though the two parallel forecast systems utilize the same meteorology and base emissions and similar initial and boundary conditions. Box models of each of the mechanisms as they are implemented in the NAQFC were created and a set of 12 sensitivity simulations was designed. The sensitivity simulations independently probed the conceptual mechanistic differences between CB05 and CBMIV and were exercised over a 45-scenario simulation suite designed to emulate the wide range of chemical regimes encountered in a continental-scale atmospheric chemistry model. Results of the sensitivity simulations indicate that two sets of reactions that were included in the CB05 mechanism, but which were absent from the CBMIV mechanism, are the primary causes of the greater ozone production in the CB05 version of the NAQFC. One set of reactions recycles the higher organic peroxide species of CB05 (ROOH, resulting in additional photochemically reactive products that act to produce additional ozone in some chemical regimes. The other set of reactions recycles reactive nitrogen from less reactive forms back to NO2, increasing the effective NOx concentration of the system. In particular, the organic nitrate species (NTR, which was a terminal product for reactive nitrogen in the CBMIV mechanism, acts as a reservoir species in CB05 to redistribute NOx from major source areas to potentially NOx-sensitive areas where additional ozone may be produced in areas remote from direct NOx sources.

  12. Insights of asphaltene aggregation mechanism from molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer De León

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Molecular and functional analyses of a maize autoactive NB-LRR protein identify precise structural requirements for activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan-Feng Wang

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant disease resistance is often mediated by nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR proteins which remain auto-inhibited until recognition of specific pathogen-derived molecules causes their activation, triggering a rapid, localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR. Three domains are recognized in one of the major classes of NLR proteins: a coiled-coil (CC, a nucleotide binding (NB-ARC and a leucine rich repeat (LRR domains. The maize NLR gene Rp1-D21 derives from an intergenic recombination event between two NLR genes, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2 and confers an autoactive HR. We report systematic structural and functional analyses of Rp1 proteins in maize and N. benthamiana to characterize the molecular mechanism of NLR activation/auto-inhibition. We derive a model comprising the following three main features: Rp1 proteins appear to self-associate to become competent for activity. The CC domain is signaling-competent and is sufficient to induce HR. This can be suppressed by the NB-ARC domain through direct interaction. In autoactive proteins, the interaction of the LRR domain with the NB-ARC domain causes de-repression and thus disrupts the inhibition of HR. Further, we identify specific amino acids and combinations thereof that are important for the auto-inhibition/activity of Rp1 proteins. We also provide evidence for the function of MHD2, a previously uncharacterized, though widely conserved NLR motif. This work reports several novel insights into the precise structural requirement for NLR function and informs efforts towards utilizing these proteins for engineering disease resistance.

  14. Molecular and functional analyses of a maize autoactive NB-LRR protein identify precise structural requirements for activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guan-Feng; Ji, Jiabing; El-Kasmi, Farid; Dangl, Jeffery L; Johal, Guri; Balint-Kurti, Peter J

    2015-02-01

    Plant disease resistance is often mediated by nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) proteins which remain auto-inhibited until recognition of specific pathogen-derived molecules causes their activation, triggering a rapid, localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR). Three domains are recognized in one of the major classes of NLR proteins: a coiled-coil (CC), a nucleotide binding (NB-ARC) and a leucine rich repeat (LRR) domains. The maize NLR gene Rp1-D21 derives from an intergenic recombination event between two NLR genes, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2 and confers an autoactive HR. We report systematic structural and functional analyses of Rp1 proteins in maize and N. benthamiana to characterize the molecular mechanism of NLR activation/auto-inhibition. We derive a model comprising the following three main features: Rp1 proteins appear to self-associate to become competent for activity. The CC domain is signaling-competent and is sufficient to induce HR. This can be suppressed by the NB-ARC domain through direct interaction. In autoactive proteins, the interaction of the LRR domain with the NB-ARC domain causes de-repression and thus disrupts the inhibition of HR. Further, we identify specific amino acids and combinations thereof that are important for the auto-inhibition/activity of Rp1 proteins. We also provide evidence for the function of MHD2, a previously uncharacterized, though widely conserved NLR motif. This work reports several novel insights into the precise structural requirement for NLR function and informs efforts towards utilizing these proteins for engineering disease resistance.

  15. The molecular signature of impaired diabetic wound healing identifies serpinB3 as a healing biomarker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadini, Gian Paolo; Albiero, Mattia; Millioni, Renato; Poncina, Nicol; Rigato, Mauro; Scotton, Rachele; Boscari, Federico; Brocco, Enrico; Arrigoni, Giorgio; Villano, Gianmarco; Turato, Cristian; Biasiolo, Alessandra; Pontisso, Patrizia; Avogaro, Angelo

    2014-09-01

    Chronic foot ulceration is a severe complication of diabetes, driving morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms underlying delaying wound healing in diabetes are incompletely understood and tools to identify such pathways are eagerly awaited. Wound biopsies were obtained from 75 patients with diabetic foot ulcers. Matched subgroups of rapidly healing (RH, n = 17) and non-healing (NH, n = 11) patients were selected. Proteomic analysis was performed by labelling with isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification and mass spectrometry. Differentially expressed proteins were analysed in NH vs RH for identification of pathogenic pathways. Individual sample gene/protein validation and in vivo validation of candidate pathways in mouse models were carried out. Pathway analyses were conducted on 92/286 proteins that were differentially expressed in NH vs RH. The following pathways were enriched in NH vs RH patients: apoptosis, protease inhibitors, epithelial differentiation, serine endopeptidase activity, coagulation and regulation of defence response. SerpinB3 was strongly upregulated in RH vs NH wounds, validated as protein and mRNA in individual samples. To test the relevance of serpinB3 in vivo, we used a transgenic mouse model with α1-antitrypsin promoter-driven overexpression of human SERPINB3. In this model, wound healing was unaffected by SERPINB3 overexpression in non-diabetic or diabetic mice with or without hindlimb ischaemia. In an independent validation cohort of 47 patients, high serpinB3 protein content was confirmed as a biomarker of healing improvement. We provide a benchmark for the unbiased discovery of novel molecular targets and biomarkers of impaired diabetic wound healing. High serpinB3 protein content was found to be a biomarker of successful healing in diabetic patients.

  16. Report of National Cancer Institute symposium: comparison of mechanisms of carcinogenesis by radiation and chemical agents. I. Common molecular mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borg, D.C.

    1984-01-01

    Some aspects of molecular mechanisms common to radiation and chemical carcinogenesis are discussed, particularly the DNA damage done by these agents. Emphasis is placed on epidemiological considerations and on dose-response models used in risk assessment to extrapolate from experimental data obtained at high doses to the effects from long-term, low-level exposures. 3 references, 6 figures. (ACR)

  17. Report of National Cancer Institute symposium: comparison of mechanisms of carcinogenesis by radiation and chemical agents. I. Common molecular mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borg, D.C.

    1984-01-01

    Some aspects of molecular mechanisms common to radiation and chemical carcinogenesis are discussed, particularly the DNA damage done by these agents. Emphasis is placed on epidemiological considerations and on dose-response models used in risk assessment to extrapolate from experimental data obtained at high doses to the effects from long-term, low-level exposures. 3 references, 6 figures

  18. Ab initio study of structural and mechanical property of solid molecular hydrogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yingting; Yang, Li; Yang, Tianle; Nie, Jinlan; Peng, Shuming; Long, Xinggui; Zu, Xiaotao; Du, Jincheng

    2015-06-01

    Ab initio calculations based on density functional theory (DFT) were performed to investigate the structural and the elastic properties of solid molecular hydrogens (H2). The influence of molecular axes of H2 on structural relative stabilities of hexagonal close-packed (hcp) and face-centered cubic (fcc) structured hydrogen molecular crystals were systematically investigated. Our results indicate that for hcp structures, disordered hydrogen molecule structure is more stable, while for fcc structures, Pa3 hydrogen molecular crystal is most stable. The cohesive energy of fcc H2 crystal was found to be lower than hcp. The mechanical properties of fcc and hcp hydrogen molecular crystals were obtained, with results consistent with previous theoretical calculations. In addition, the effects of zero point energy (ZPE) and van der Waals (vdW) correction on the cohesive energy and the stability of hydrogen molecular crystals were systematically studied and discussed.

  19. Metabolic actions of FGF21: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Ge

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21 is an atypical member of the FGF family that functions as an endocrine factor. In obese animals, elevation of plasma FGF21 levels by either pharmacological or genetic approaches reduces body weight, decreases hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, alleviates fatty liver and increases insulin sensitivity. FGF21 exerts its pleiotropic metabolic effects through its actions on multiple targets, including adipose tissue, liver, brain and pancreas. The expression of FGF21 is under the control of both peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα. A growing body of evidence suggests that the metabolic benefits of these two nuclear receptors are mediated in part by induction of FGF21. In humans, plasma levels of FGF21 are elevated in obese subjects and patients with type 2 diabetes, but are reduced in patients with autoimmune diabetes. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding the physiological roles of FGF21 and the molecular pathways underlying its actions, and also discusses the future prospective of developing FGF21 or its agonists as therapeutic agents for obesity-related medical complications.

  20. Lipoprotein(a: Cellular Effects and Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten Riches

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lipoprotein(a (Lp(a is an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD. Indeed, individuals with plasma concentrations >20 mg/dL carry a 2-fold increased risk of developing CVD, accounting for ~25% of the population. Circulating levels of Lp(a are remarkably resistant to common lipid lowering therapies, and there are currently no robust treatments available for reduction of Lp(a apart from plasma apheresis, which is costly and labour intensive. The Lp(a molecule is composed of two parts, an LDL/apoB-100 core and a unique glycoprotein, apolipoprotein(a (apo(a, both of which can interact with components of the coagulation cascade, inflammatory pathways, and cells of the blood vessel wall (smooth muscle cells (SMC and endothelial cells (EC. Therefore, it is of key importance to determine the molecular pathways by which Lp(a exerts its influence on the vascular system in order to design therapeutics to target its cellular effects. This paper will summarise the role of Lp(a in modulating cell behaviour in all aspects of the vascular system including platelets, monocytes, SMC, and EC.

  1. Molecular mechanisms involved in the production of chromosomal aberrations. I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natarajan, A.T.; Obe, G.

    1978-01-01

    Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) were X-irradiated in G2 stage of the cell cycle and immediately treated, in the presence of inactivated Sendai virus, with Neurospora endonuclease (E.C. 3.1.4.), an enzyme which is specific for cleaving single-stranded DNA. With this treatment, the frequencies of all types of chromosome aberrations increased when compared to X-irradiated controls. These results are interpreted as due to the conversion of some of the X-ray induced single-stranded DNA breaks into double-strand breaks by this enzyme. Similar enhancement due to this enzyme was found following treatment with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and bleomycin, but not following UV and mitomycin C. Addition of Micrococcus endonuclease and Neurospora endonuclease to the cells did not alter the frequencies of aberrations induced by UV. The introduction of enzymes with specific DNA-repair function offers possibilities to probe into the molecular events involved in the formation of structural chromosome aberrations induced by different classes of physical and chemical mutagens. (Auth.)

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Glutamine Synthetase Mutations that Lead to Clinically Relevant Pathologies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Frieg

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Glutamine synthetase (GS catalyzes ATP-dependent ligation of ammonia and glutamate to glutamine. Two mutations of human GS (R324C and R341C were connected to congenital glutamine deficiency with severe brain malformations resulting in neonatal death. Another GS mutation (R324S was identified in a neurologically compromised patient. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the impairment of GS activity by these mutations have remained elusive. Molecular dynamics simulations, free energy calculations, and rigidity analyses suggest that all three mutations influence the first step of GS catalytic cycle. The R324S and R324C mutations deteriorate GS catalytic activity due to loss of direct interactions with ATP. As to R324S, indirect, water-mediated interactions reduce this effect, which may explain the suggested higher GS residual activity. The R341C mutation weakens ATP binding by destabilizing the interacting residue R340 in the apo state of GS. Additionally, the mutation is predicted to result in a significant destabilization of helix H8, which should negatively affect glutamate binding. This prediction was tested in HEK293 cells overexpressing GS by dot-blot analysis: Structural stability of H8 was impaired through mutation of amino acids interacting with R341, as indicated by a loss of masking of an epitope in the glutamate binding pocket for a monoclonal anti-GS antibody by L-methionine-S-sulfoximine; in contrast, cells transfected with wild type GS showed the masking. Our analyses reveal complex molecular effects underlying impaired GS catalytic activity in three clinically relevant mutants. Our findings could stimulate the development of ATP binding-enhancing molecules by which the R324S mutant can be repaired extrinsically.

  3. Rapid, computer vision-enabled murine screening system identifies neuropharmacological potential of two new mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Roberds

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The lack of predictive in vitro models for behavioral phenotypes impedes rapid advancement in neuropharmacology and psychopharmacology. In vivo behavioral assays are more predictive of activity in human disorders, but such assays are often highly resource-intensive. Here we describe the successful application of a computer vision-enabled system to identify potential neuropharmacological activity of two new mechanisms. The analytical system was trained using multiple drugs that are used clinically to treat depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and other psychiatric or behavioral disorders. During blinded testing the PDE10 inhibitor TP-10 produced a signature of activity suggesting potential antipsychotic activity. This finding is consistent with TP-10’s activity in multiple rodent models that is similar to that of clinically used antipsychotic drugs. The CK1ε inhibitor PF-670462 produced a signature consistent with anxiolytic activity and, at the highest dose tested, behavioral effects similar to that of opiate analgesics. Neither TP-10 nor PF-670462 was included in the training set. Thus, computer vision-based behavioral analysis can facilitate drug discovery by identifying neuropharmacological effects of compounds acting through new mechanisms.

  4. [Review: plant polyphenols modulate lipid metabolism and related molecular mechanism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Yan-li; Zou, Yu-xiao; Liu, Fan; Li, Hong-zhi

    2015-11-01

    Lipid metabolism disorder is an important risk factor to obesity, hyperlipidemia and type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic metabolic disease. It is also a key target in preventing metabolic syndrome, chronic disease prevention. Plant polyphenol plays an important role in maintaining or improving lipid profile in a variety of ways. including regulating cholesterol absorption, inhibiting synthesis and secretion of triglyceride, and lowering plasma low density lipoprotein oxidation, etc. The purpose of this article is to review the lipid regulation effects of plant polyphenols and its related mechanisms.

  5. Molecular mechanisms in DM1 - a focus on foci

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pettersson, Olof Joakim; Aagaard, Lars; Jensen, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    -expanded RNA remains in the nuclear compartment, while in dividing cells such as fibroblasts a considerable fraction of the mutant RNA reaches the cytoplasm, consistent with findings that both nuclear and cytoplasmic events are mis-regulated in DM1. Recent evidence suggests that the nuclear aggregates......, or ribonuclear foci, are more dynamic than previously anticipated and regulated by several proteins, including RNA helicases. In this review, we focus on the homeostasis of DMPK mRNA foci and discuss how their dynamic regulation may affect disease-causing mechanisms in DM1...

  6. Radiative and mechanical feedback into the molecular gas of NGC 253

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kazandjian, M. V.; van der Werf, P. P.; Israel, F. P.; Meijerink, R.; Weiß, A.; Requena-Torres, M. A.; Güsten, R.

    Starburst galaxies are galaxies or regions of galaxies undergoing intense periods of star formation. Understanding the heating and cooling mechanisms in these galaxies can give us insight to the driving mechanisms that fuel the starburst. Molecular emission lines play a crucial role in the cooling

  7. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Epileptogenesis and Seizure Progression in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 1 Deficient Mouse Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    dysregulation in epileptogenesis in the developing brain? 2) What are the molecular mechanisms downstream of mTOR hyperactivation that trigger epileptogenesis...underlying epilepsy. Hopefully, a knowledge of these mechanisms will aid in a rational development of therapies. KEYWORDS Tuberous Sclerosis, Epilepsy

  8. Exploiting large-pore metal-organic frameworks for separations through entropic molecular mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torres-Knoop, A.; Dubbeldam, D.

    2015-01-01

    We review the molecular mechanisms behind adsorption and the separations of mixtures in metal-organic frameworks and zeolites. Separation mechanisms can be based on differences in the affinity of the adsorbate with the framework and on entropic effects. To develop next-generation adsorbents, the

  9. Mechanistic phenotypes: an aggregative phenotyping strategy to identify disease mechanisms using GWAS data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan D Mosley

    Full Text Available A single mutation can alter cellular and global homeostatic mechanisms and give rise to multiple clinical diseases. We hypothesized that these disease mechanisms could be identified using low minor allele frequency (MAF<0.1 non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs associated with "mechanistic phenotypes", comprised of collections of related diagnoses. We studied two mechanistic phenotypes: (1 thrombosis, evaluated in a population of 1,655 African Americans; and (2 four groupings of cancer diagnoses, evaluated in 3,009 white European Americans. We tested associations between nsSNPs represented on GWAS platforms and mechanistic phenotypes ascertained from electronic medical records (EMRs, and sought enrichment in functional ontologies across the top-ranked associations. We used a two-step analytic approach whereby nsSNPs were first sorted by the strength of their association with a phenotype. We tested associations using two reverse genetic models and standard additive and recessive models. In the second step, we employed a hypothesis-free ontological enrichment analysis using the sorted nsSNPs to identify functional mechanisms underlying the diagnoses comprising the mechanistic phenotypes. The thrombosis phenotype was solely associated with ontologies related to blood coagulation (Fisher's p = 0.0001, FDR p = 0.03, driven by the F5, P2RY12 and F2RL2 genes. For the cancer phenotypes, the reverse genetics models were enriched in DNA repair functions (p = 2×10-5, FDR p = 0.03 (POLG/FANCI, SLX4/FANCP, XRCC1, BRCA1, FANCA, CHD1L while the additive model showed enrichment related to chromatid segregation (p = 4×10-6, FDR p = 0.005 (KIF25, PINX1. We were able to replicate nsSNP associations for POLG/FANCI, BRCA1, FANCA and CHD1L in independent data sets. Mechanism-oriented phenotyping using collections of EMR-derived diagnoses can elucidate fundamental disease mechanisms.

  10. Towards identifying the mechanisms underlying field-aligned edge-loss of HHFW power on NSTX

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perkins, R. J.; Bell, R. E.; Bertelli, N.; Diallo, A.; Gerhardt, S.; Hosea, J. C.; Jaworski, M. A.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Kramer, G. J.; Maingi, R.; Phillips, C. K.; Podestà, M.; Roquemore, L.; Scotti, F.; Taylor, G.; Wilson, J. R. [Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ (United States); Ahn, J-W.; Gray, T. K.; Green, D. L.; McLean, A. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); and others

    2014-02-12

    Fast-wave heating will be a major heating scheme on ITER, as it can heat ions directly and is relatively unaffected by the large machine size unlike neutral beams. However, fast-wave interactions with the plasma edge can lead to deleterious effects such as, in the case of the high-harmonic fast-wave (HHFW) system on NSTX, large losses of fast-wave power in the scrape off layer (SOL) under certain conditions. In such scenarios, a large fraction of the lost HHFW power is deposited on the upper and lower divertors in bright spiral shapes. The responsible mechanism(s) has not yet been identified but may include fast-wave propagation in the scrape off layer, parametric decay instability, and RF currents driven by the antenna reactive fields. Understanding and mitigating these losses is important not only for improving the heating and current-drive on NSTX-Upgrade but also for understanding fast-wave propagation across the SOL in any fast-wave system. This talk summarizes experimental results demonstrating that the flow of lost HHFW power to the divertor regions largely follows the open SOL magnetic field lines. This lost power flux is relatively large close to both the antenna and the last closed flux surface with a reduced level in between, so the loss mechanism cannot be localized to the antenna. At the same time, significant losses also occur along field lines connected to the inboard edge of the bottom antenna plate. The power lost within the spirals is roughly estimated, showing that these field-aligned losses to the divertor are significant but may not account for the total HHFW loss. To elucidate the role of the onset layer for perpendicular fast-wave propagation with regards to fast-wave propagation in the SOL, a cylindrical cold-plasma model is being developed. This model, in addition to advanced RF codes such as TORIC and AORSA, is aimed at identifying the underlying mechanism(s) behind these SOL losses, to minimize their effects in NSTX-U, and to predict

  11. Towards identifying the mechanisms underlying field-aligned edge-loss of HHFW power on NSTX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R. J.; Bell, R. E.; Bertelli, N.; Diallo, A.; Gerhardt, S.; Hosea, J. C.; Jaworski, M. A.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Kramer, G. J.; Maingi, R.; Phillips, C. K.; Podestà, M.; Roquemore, L.; Scotti, F.; Taylor, G.; Wilson, J. R.; Ahn, J-W.; Gray, T. K.; Green, D. L.; McLean, A.

    2014-01-01

    Fast-wave heating will be a major heating scheme on ITER, as it can heat ions directly and is relatively unaffected by the large machine size unlike neutral beams. However, fast-wave interactions with the plasma edge can lead to deleterious effects such as, in the case of the high-harmonic fast-wave (HHFW) system on NSTX, large losses of fast-wave power in the scrape off layer (SOL) under certain conditions. In such scenarios, a large fraction of the lost HHFW power is deposited on the upper and lower divertors in bright spiral shapes. The responsible mechanism(s) has not yet been identified but may include fast-wave propagation in the scrape off layer, parametric decay instability, and RF currents driven by the antenna reactive fields. Understanding and mitigating these losses is important not only for improving the heating and current-drive on NSTX-Upgrade but also for understanding fast-wave propagation across the SOL in any fast-wave system. This talk summarizes experimental results demonstrating that the flow of lost HHFW power to the divertor regions largely follows the open SOL magnetic field lines. This lost power flux is relatively large close to both the antenna and the last closed flux surface with a reduced level in between, so the loss mechanism cannot be localized to the antenna. At the same time, significant losses also occur along field lines connected to the inboard edge of the bottom antenna plate. The power lost within the spirals is roughly estimated, showing that these field-aligned losses to the divertor are significant but may not account for the total HHFW loss. To elucidate the role of the onset layer for perpendicular fast-wave propagation with regards to fast-wave propagation in the SOL, a cylindrical cold-plasma model is being developed. This model, in addition to advanced RF codes such as TORIC and AORSA, is aimed at identifying the underlying mechanism(s) behind these SOL losses, to minimize their effects in NSTX-U, and to predict

  12. Molecular mechanism underlying juvenile hormone-mediated repression of precocious larval-adult metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayukawa, Takumi; Jouraku, Akiya; Ito, Yuka; Shinoda, Tetsuro

    2017-01-31

    Juvenile hormone (JH) represses precocious metamorphosis of larval to pupal and adult transitions in holometabolous insects. The early JH-inducible gene Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) plays a key role in the repression of metamorphosis as a mediator of JH action. Previous studies demonstrated that Kr-h1 inhibits precocious larval-pupal transition in immature larva via direct transcriptional repression of the pupal specifier Broad-Complex (BR-C). JH was recently reported to repress the adult specifier gene Ecdysone-induced protein 93F (E93); however, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Here, we found that JH suppressed ecdysone-inducible E93 expression in the epidermis of the silkworm Bombyx mori and in a B. mori cell line. Reporter assays in the cell line revealed that the JH-dependent suppression was mediated by Kr-h1. Genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis identified a consensus Kr-h1 binding site (KBS, 14 bp) located in the E93 promoter region, and EMSA confirmed that Kr-h1 directly binds to the KBS. Moreover, we identified a C-terminal conserved domain in Kr-h1 essential for the transcriptional repression of E93 Based on these results, we propose a mechanism in which JH-inducible Kr-h1 directly binds to the KBS site upstream of the E93 locus to repress its transcription in a cell-autonomous manner, thereby preventing larva from bypassing the pupal stage and progressing to precocious adult development. These findings help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating the metamorphic genetic network, including the functional significance of Kr-h1, BR-C, and E93 in holometabolous insect metamorphosis.

  13. Molecular Mechanism for Various Pharmacological Activities of NSAIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohru Mizushima

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The anti-inflammatory action of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs is mediated through their inhibitory effects on cyclooxygenase (COX activity. On the other hand, NSAID use is often associated with gastrointestinal complications. The inhibition of COX by NSAIDs is not the sole explanation for the gastrointestinal side effects of NSAIDs. Furthermore, recent epidemiological studies have revealed that prolonged NSAID use reduces the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD and a COX-independent unknown mechanism is suggested to be involved in these activities of NSAIDs. In this article, I review our recent work on the COX-independent mechanism involved in NSAID-induced gastric lesions and anti-tumor and anti-AD activities of NSAIDs. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that NSAIDs affect expression of various genes in a COX-independent manner. We found that membrane permeabilization activity of NSAIDs and resulting NSAID-induced apoptosis are involved in NSAID-induced gastric lesions. On the other hand, induction of expression of tight junction-related genes and endoplasmic reticulum chaperones were suggested to be involved in anti-tumor and anti-AD, respectively, activities of NSAIDs. These results suggest that NSAIDs affect expression of various genes in a COX-independent manner, which is involved in various pharmacological activities of NSAIDs.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, Patrick J; Wongngamnit, Narin; Beresford, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Research for decades was focused on understanding the mechanisms of an illegal/addictive drug. This led to the discovery of the vast endocannabinoid system. Research has now shifted to understanding fundamental biological questions related to one of the most widespread signaling systems in both the brain and the body. Our understanding of cannabinoid signaling has advanced significantly in the last two decades. In this review, we discuss the state of knowledge on mechanisms of Cannabis signaling in the brain and the modulation of key brain neurotransmitter systems involved in both brain reward/addiction and psychiatric disorders. It is highly probable that various cannabinoids will be found to be efficacious in the treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders. However, while there is clearly much potential, marijuana has not been properly vetted by the medical-scientific evaluation process and there are clearly a range of potentially adverse side-effects-including addiction. We are at crossroads for research on endocannabinoid function and therapeutics (including the use of exogenous treatments such as Cannabis). With over 100 cannabinoid constituents, the majority of which have not been studied, there is much Cannabis research yet to be done. With more states legalizing both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana the rigorous scientific investigation into cannabinoid signaling is imperative. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms That Contribute to Bone Marrow Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason J. Ivanusic

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Pain associated a bony pathology puts a significant burden on individuals, society, and the health-care systems worldwide. Pathology that involves the bone marrow activates sensory nerve terminal endings of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors, and is the likely trigger for pain. This review presents our current understanding of how bone marrow nociceptors are influenced by noxious stimuli presented in pathology associated with bone marrow. A number of ion channels and receptors are emerging as important modulators of the activity of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors. Nerve growth factor (NGF sequestration has been trialed for the management of inflammatory bone pain (osteoarthritis, and there is significant evidence for interaction of NGF with bone marrow nociceptors. Activation of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 sensitizes bone marrow nociceptors and could contribute to increased sensitivity of patients to noxious stimuli in various bony pathologies. Acid-sensing ion channels sense changes to tissue pH in the bone marrow microenvironment and could be targeted to treat pathology that involves acidosis of the bone marrow. Piezo2 is a mechanically gated ion channel that has recently been reported to be expressed by most myelinated bone marrow nociceptors and might be a target for treatments directed against mechanically induced bone pain. These ion channels and receptors could be useful targets for the development of peripherally acting drugs to treat pain of bony origin.

  16. More on contamination: the use of asymmetric molecular behavior to identify authentic ancient human DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malmström, Helena; Svensson, Emma M; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2007-01-01

    concerning the authenticity of such data. Although several methods have been developed to the purpose of authenticating ancient DNA (aDNA) results, while they are useful in faunal research, most of the methods have proven complicated to apply to ancient human DNA. Here, we investigate in detail...... the reliability of one of the proposed criteria, that of appropriate molecular behavior. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pyrosequencing, we have quantified the relative levels of authentic aDNA and contaminant human DNA sequences recovered from archaeological dog and cattle remains. In doing...

  17. Cancer in silico drug discovery: a systems biology tool for identifying candidate drugs to target specific molecular tumor subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Lucas, F Anthony; Fowler, Jerry; Chang, Kyle; Kopetz, Scott; Vilar, Eduardo; Scheet, Paul

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale cancer datasets such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) allow researchers to profile tumors based on a wide range of clinical and molecular characteristics. Subsequently, TCGA-derived gene expression profiles can be analyzed with the Connectivity Map (CMap) to find candidate drugs to target tumors with specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics. This represents a powerful computational approach for candidate drug identification, but due to the complexity of TCGA and technology differences between CMap and TCGA experiments, such analyses are challenging to conduct and reproduce. We present Cancer in silico Drug Discovery (CiDD; scheet.org/software), a computational drug discovery platform that addresses these challenges. CiDD integrates data from TCGA, CMap, and Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) to perform computational drug discovery experiments, generating hypotheses for the following three general problems: (i) determining whether specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics are associated with unique gene expression signatures; (ii) finding candidate drugs to repress these expression signatures; and (iii) identifying cell lines that resemble the tumors being studied for subsequent in vitro experiments. The primary input to CiDD is a clinical or molecular characteristic. The output is a biologically annotated list of candidate drugs and a list of cell lines for in vitro experimentation. We applied CiDD to identify candidate drugs to treat colorectal cancers harboring mutations in BRAF. CiDD identified EGFR and proteasome inhibitors, while proposing five cell lines for in vitro testing. CiDD facilitates phenotype-driven, systematic drug discovery based on clinical and molecular data from TCGA. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stamm Petra

    2012-10-01

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

  19. NAD+ in Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Translational Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Evandro F; Lautrup, Sofie; Hou, Yujun; Demarest, Tyler G; Croteau, Deborah L; Mattson, Mark P; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2017-10-01

    The coenzyme NAD + is critical in cellular bioenergetics and adaptive stress responses. Its depletion has emerged as a fundamental feature of aging that may predispose to a wide range of chronic diseases. Maintenance of NAD + levels is important for cells with high energy demands and for proficient neuronal function. NAD + depletion is detected in major neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, cardiovascular disease and muscle atrophy. Emerging evidence suggests that NAD + decrements occur in various tissues during aging, and that physiological and pharmacological interventions bolstering cellular NAD + levels might retard aspects of aging and forestall some age-related diseases. Here, we discuss aspects of NAD + biosynthesis, together with putative mechanisms of NAD + action against aging, including recent preclinical and clinical trials. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Excited hydrogen bonds in the molecular mechanism of muscle contraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bespalova, S V; Tolpygo, K B

    1991-11-21

    The mechanism of muscle contraction is considered. The hydrolysis of an ATP molecule is assumed to produce the excitation of hydrogen bonds A--H...B between electronegative atoms A and B, which are contained in the myosin head and actin filament. This excitation energy epsilon f depends on the interatomic distance AB = R and generates the tractive force f = -delta epsilon f/delta R, that makes atoms AB approach each other. The swing of the myosin head results in macroscopic mutual displacement of actin and myosin polymers. The motion of the actin filament under the action of this force is studied. The conditions under which a considerable portion of the excitation energy converts into the potential tension energy of the actin filament are analysed, and the probability of higher muscle efficiency existence is discussed.