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Sample records for membrane structure conundrum

  1. Co-producing social inclusion: the structure/agency conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifton, A; Repper, J; Banks, D; Remnant, J

    2013-08-01

    There is a raft of policy guidelines indicating that mental health nurses should be increasing the social inclusion of mental health service users. Despite this there is no universally accepted definition of social inclusion and there is a dearth of empirical evidence on the successful outcome of increasing inclusion for mental health service users. Recognizing the lack of clarity surrounding the concept we have a produced a social inclusion framework to assist mental health professionals and service users to co-produce social inclusive outcomes. Although we agree that social inclusion can be a positive aspect of recovery, we question the extent to which mental health nurses and service users in co-production can overcome the social, economic and political structures that have created the social exclusion in the first place. An understanding and appreciation of the structure/agency conundrum is required if mental health nurses are to engage with service users in an attempt to co-produce socially inclusive outcomes. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Static and Dynamic Membrane Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergiu Ivanov

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While originally P systems were defined to contain multiset rewriting rules, it turned out that considering different types of rules may produce important results, such as increasing the computational power of the rules. This paper focuses on factoring out the concept of a membrane structure out of various P system models with the goal of providing useful formalisations. Both static and dynamic membrane structures are considered.

  3. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    circuited. The present invention further provides a method of producing the above membrane structure, comprising the steps of : providing a ionically conducting layer; applying at least one layer of electronically conducting material on each side of said ionically conducting layer; sintering the multilayer...

  4. Molecular Structure of Membrane Tethers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baoukina, Svetlana; Marrink, Siewert J.; Tieleman, D. Peter

    2012-01-01

    Membrane tethers are nanotubes formed by a lipid bilayer. They play important functional roles in cell biology and provide an experimental window on lipid properties. Tethers have been studied extensively in experiments and described by theoretical models, but their molecular structure remains

  5. Structure and physical properties of bio membranes and model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tibor Hianik

    2006-01-01

    Bio membranes belong to the most important structures of the cell and the cell organelles. They play not only structural role of the barrier separating the external and internal part of the membrane but contain also various functional molecules, like receptors, ionic channels, carriers and enzymes. The cell membrane also preserves non-equilibrium state in a cell which is crucial for maintaining its excitability and other signaling functions. The growing interest to the bio membranes is also due to their unique physical properties. From physical point of view the bio membranes, that are composed of lipid bilayer into which are incorporated integral proteins and on their surface are anchored peripheral proteins and polysaccharides, represent liquid s crystal of smectic type. The bio membranes are characterized by anisotropy of structural and physical properties. The complex structure of bio membranes makes the study of their physical properties rather difficult. Therefore several model systems that mimic the structure of bio membranes were developed. Among them the lipid monolayers at an air-water interphase, bilayer lipid membranes, supported bilayer lipid membranes and liposomes are most known. This work is focused on the introduction into the physical word of the bio membranes and their models. After introduction to the membrane structure and the history of its establishment, the physical properties of the bio membranes and their models are stepwise presented. The most focus is on the properties of lipid monolayers, bilayer lipid membranes, supported bilayer lipid membranes and liposomes that were most detailed studied. This lecture has tutorial character that may be useful for undergraduate and graduate students in the area of biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and bioengineering, however it contains also original work of the author and his co-worker and PhD students, that may be useful also for specialists working in the field of bio membranes and model

  6. The holistic structure of causal quantum theory, its implementation in the Einstein-Jordan conundrum and its violation in some recent particle theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schroer, Bert; FU-Berlin

    2012-02-01

    Recent insights into the conceptual structure of localization in QFT ('modular localization') led to clarifications of old unsolved problems. The oldest one is the Einstein-Jordan conundrum which led Jordan in 1925 to the discovery of quantum field theory. This comparison of fluctuations in subsystems of heat bath systems (Einstein) with those resulting from the restriction of the QFT vacuum state to an open sub volume (Jordan) leads to a perfect analogy; the globally pure vacuum state becomes upon local restriction a strongly impure KMS state. This phenomenon of localization-caused thermal behavior as well as the vacuum-polarization clouds at the causal boundary of the localization region places localization in QFT into a sharp contrast with quantum mechanics and justifies the attribute 'holistic'. In fact it positions the E-J Gedankenexperiment into the same conceptual class as the cosmological constant problem and the Unruh Gedankenexperiment and the problem of the cosmological constant. The holistic structure of QFT resulting from 'modular localization' also leads to a revision of the conceptual origin of the crucial crossing property which entered particle theory at the time of the bootstrap S-matrix approach but suffered from incorrect use in the S-matrix settings of the dual model and string theory. The new point of view, which strengthens the autonomous aspect of QFT, also comes with new messages for gauge theory by exposing the clash between Hilbert space structure and pointlike localization for massless higher spin fields. It hopefully also will contribute to its solution. (author)

  7. Cardiolipin effects on membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsay, Joseph D; Cosentino, Katia; Subburaj, Yamunadevi; García-Sáez, Ana J

    2013-12-23

    Cardiolipin (CL) is a lipid with unique properties solely found in membranes generating electrochemical potential. It contains four acyl chains and tends to form nonlamellar structures, which are believed to play a key role in membrane structure and function. Indeed, CL alterations have been linked to disorders such as Barth syndrome and Parkinson's disease. However, the molecular effects of CL on membrane organization remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the structure and physical properties of CL-containing membranes using confocal microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. We found that the fluidity of the lipid bilayer increased and its mechanical stability decreased with CL concentration, indicating that CL decreases the packing of the membrane. Although the presence of up to 20% CL gave rise to flat, stable bilayers, the inclusion of 5% CL promoted the formation of flowerlike domains that grew with time. Surprisingly, we often observed two membrane-piercing events in atomic force spectroscopy experiments with CL-containing membranes. Similar behavior was observed with a lipid mixture mimicking the mitochondrial outer membrane composition. This suggests that CL promotes the formation of membrane areas with apposed double bilayers or nonlamellar structures, similar to those proposed for mitochondrial contact sites. All together, we show that CL induces membrane alterations that support the role of CL in facilitating bilayer structure remodeling, deformation, and permeabilization.

  8. The Trojan Color Conundrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewitt, David

    2018-02-01

    The Trojan asteroids of Jupiter and Neptune are likely to have been captured from original heliocentric orbits in the dynamically excited (“hot”) population of the Kuiper Belt. However, it has long been known that the optical color distributions of the Jovian Trojans and the hot population are not alike. This difference has been reconciled with the capture hypothesis by assuming that the Trojans were resurfaced (for example, by sublimation of near-surface volatiles) upon inward migration from the Kuiper Belt (where blackbody temperatures are ∼40 K) to Jupiter’s orbit (∼125 K). Here, we examine the optical color distribution of the Neptunian Trojans using a combination of new optical photometry and published data. We find a color distribution that is statistically indistinguishable from that of the Jovian Trojans but unlike any sub-population in the Kuiper Belt. This result is puzzling, because the Neptunian Trojans are very cold (blackbody temperature ∼50 K) and a thermal process acting to modify the surface colors at Neptune’s distance would also affect the Kuiper Belt objects beyond, where the temperatures are nearly identical. The distinctive color distributions of the Jovian and Neptunian Trojans thus present us with a conundrum: they are very similar to each other, suggesting either capture from a common source or surface modification by a common process. However, the color distributions differ from any plausible common source population, and there is no known modifying process that could operate equally at both Jupiter and Neptune.

  9. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong; Wu, Tao

    2017-01-01

    The present invention is a structure, method of making and method of use for a novel macroscopic hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped, nano-porous carbon membrane (HNDCMs) with asymmetric and hierarchical pore architecture that can be produced

  10. Electrospun superhydrophobic membranes with unique structures for membrane distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yuan; Loh, Chun-Heng; Wang, Rong; Fane, Anthony G

    2014-09-24

    With modest temperature demand, low operating pressure, and high solute rejection, membrane distillation (MD) is an attractive option for desalination, waste treatment, and food and pharmaceutical processing. However, large-scale practical applications of MD are still hindered by the absence of effective membranes with high hydrophobicity, high porosity, and adequate mechanical strength, which are important properties for MD permeation fluxes, stable long-term performance, and effective packing in modules without damage. This study describes novel design strategies for highly robust superhydrophobic dual-layer membranes for MD via electrospinning. One of the newly developed membranes comprises a durable and ultrathin 3-dimensional (3D) superhydrophobic skin and porous nanofibrous support whereas another was fabricated by electrospinning 3D superhydrophobic layers on a nonwoven support. These membranes exhibit superhydrophobicity toward distilled water, salty water, oil-in-water emulsion, and beverages, which enables them to be used not only for desalination but also for other processes. The superhydrophobic dual-layer membrane #3S-N with nanofibrous support has a competitive permeation flux of 24.6 ± 1.2 kg m(-2) h(-1) in MD (feed and permeate temperate were set as 333 and 293 K, respectively) due to the higher porosity of the nanofibrous scaffold. Meanwhile, the membranes with the nonwoven support exhibit greater mechanical strength due to this support combined with better long-term performance because of the thicker 3D superhydrophobic layers. The morphology, pore size, porosity, mechanical properties, and liquid enter pressure of water of these superhydrophobic composite membranes with two different structures are reported and compared with commercial polyvinylidene fluoride membranes.

  11. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Roslyn M; Henderson, Peter J F; Iwata, So; Kunji, Edmund R S; Michel, Hartmut; Neutze, Richard; Newstead, Simon; Poolman, Bert; Tate, Christopher G; Vogel, Horst

    2011-04-01

    After decades of slow progress, the pace of research on membrane protein structures is beginning to quicken thanks to various improvements in technology, including protein engineering and microfocus X-ray diffraction. Here we review these developments and, where possible, highlight generic new approaches to solving membrane protein structures based on recent technological advances. Rational approaches to overcoming the bottlenecks in the field are urgently required as membrane proteins, which typically comprise ~30% of the proteomes of organisms, are dramatically under-represented in the structural database of the Protein Data Bank.

  12. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong

    2017-08-03

    The present invention is a structure, method of making and method of use for a novel macroscopic hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped, nano-porous carbon membrane (HNDCMs) with asymmetric and hierarchical pore architecture that can be produced on a large-scale approach. The unique HNDCM holds great promise as components in separation and advanced carbon devices because they could offer unconventional fluidic transport phenomena on the nanoscale. Overall, the invention set forth herein covers a hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes and methods of making and using such a membranes.

  13. Structural validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory and influence of depressive symptoms in banking workplace: Unfastening the occupational conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Maria do Socorro da Silva; Wang, Yuan-Pang; Menezes, Paulo Rossi

    2018-06-04

    Burnout and mental disorders have been reported in the financial industry. This study aims to examine the structural validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and to investigate the connection between the dimensions of burnout and depressive symptoms in a sample of 1046 bank employees from North Brazil who completed the MBI and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to cross-check the factorial structure of the MBI. One-way analysis of variance and correlation analysis were applied to elucidate the relationship between burnout and depressive symptoms. Both 3-factor and 4-factor oblique solutions were plausible EFA models of the burnout syndrome. Results of CFA supported the 19-item 4-factor structure as the best fitting model to data, with two exhaustion factors ("exhausted" and "strained"), depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. The PHQ-9 total score and individual score of depressive items were significantly correlated with all MBI dimensions, notably with the emotional exhaustion dimension. The moderate-to-high correlation observed between burnout and depression suggest the potential utility of the MBI for evaluating burnout among bank employees as well as to point out the need to evaluate systematically the burnout and depressive symptoms given to their potential association. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Structure Biology of Membrane Bound Enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Dax [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). School of Medicine. Dept. of Physiology

    2016-11-30

    The overall goal of the proposed research is to understand the membrane-associated active processes catalyzed by an alkane $\\square$-hydroxylase (AlkB) from eubacterium Pseudomonase oleovorans. AlkB performs oxygenation of unactivated hydrocarbons found in crude oils. The enzymatic reaction involves energy-demanding steps in the membrane with the uses of structurally unknown metal active sites featuring a diiron [FeFe] center. At present, a critical barrier to understanding the membrane-associated reaction mechanism is the lack of structural information. The structural biology efforts have been challenged by technical difficulties commonly encountered in crystallization and structural determination of membrane proteins. The specific aims of the current budget cycle are to crystalize AlkB and initiate X-ray analysis to set the stage for structural determination. The long-term goals of our structural biology efforts are to provide an atomic description of AlkB structure, and to uncover the mechanisms of selective modification of hydrocarbons. The structural information will help elucidating how the unactivated C-H bonds of saturated hydrocarbons are oxidized to initiate biodegradation and biotransformation processes. The knowledge gained will be fundamental to biotechnological applications to biofuel transformation of non-edible oil feedstock. Renewable biodiesel is a promising energy carry that can be used to reduce fossil fuel dependency. The proposed research capitalizes on prior BES-supported efforts on over-expression and purification of AlkB to explore the inner workings of a bioenergy-relevant membrane-bound enzyme.

  15. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bill, Roslyn M.; Henderson, Peter J. F.; Iwata, So; Kunji, Edmund R. S.; Michel, Hartmut; Neutze, Richard; Newstead, Simon; Poolman, Bert; Tate, Christopher G.; Vogel, Horst

    After decades of slow progress, the pace of research on membrane protein structures is beginning to quicken thanks to various improvements in technology, including protein engineering and microfocus X-ray diffraction. Here we review these developments and, where possible, highlight generic new

  16. Cracking a chemical conundrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, James M.; Ivanov, Alexandre S.; Johnson, Mark R.; Stride, John A

    2004-07-15

    An everyday laboratory chemical, hexamethylbenzene (HMB) has assumed an important role in the history of molecular structure and crystallography. It was one of the first organic crystal structures to be solved and provided direct experimental proof for the hypothesis of planarity in aromatic systems. Very soon after this, HMB was found to undergo a phase transition at 117 K, resulting in crystal shattering. Since then, many attempts have been made to obtain the low-temperature structure, but none have succeeded until now. Making use of the unique properties of the neutron, we have performed powder diffraction measurements to obtain the low-temperature crystal structure and inelastic measurements to determine the dynamics of the system. These experiments have been augmented by the use of ab initio calculations and molecular modelling to obtain a complete picture of HMB in the solid state.

  17. Cracking a chemical conundrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, James M.; Ivanov, Alexandre S.; Johnson, Mark R.; Stride, John A.

    2004-01-01

    An everyday laboratory chemical, hexamethylbenzene (HMB) has assumed an important role in the history of molecular structure and crystallography. It was one of the first organic crystal structures to be solved and provided direct experimental proof for the hypothesis of planarity in aromatic systems. Very soon after this, HMB was found to undergo a phase transition at 117 K, resulting in crystal shattering. Since then, many attempts have been made to obtain the low-temperature structure, but none have succeeded until now. Making use of the unique properties of the neutron, we have performed powder diffraction measurements to obtain the low-temperature crystal structure and inelastic measurements to determine the dynamics of the system. These experiments have been augmented by the use of ab initio calculations and molecular modelling to obtain a complete picture of HMB in the solid state

  18. Structure and properties of cell membranes. Volume 3: Methodology and properties of membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benga, G.

    1985-01-01

    This book covers the topics: Quantum chemical approach to study the mechanisms of proton translocation across membranes through protein molecules; monomolecular films as biomembrane models; planar lipid bilayers in relation to biomembranes; relation of liposomes to cell membranes; reconstitution of membrane transport systems; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by X-ray techniques; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by spin labeling ESR; structure and dynamics of cell membranes as revealed by NMR techniques; the effect of dietary lipids on the composition and properties of biological membranes and index

  19. Review of Large Spacecraft Deployable Membrane Antenna Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Quan; Qiu, Hui; Li, Xiao; Yang, Shu-Li

    2017-11-01

    The demand for large antennas in future space missions has increasingly stimulated the development of deployable membrane antenna structures owing to their light weight and small stowage volume. However, there is little literature providing a comprehensive review and comparison of different membrane antenna structures. Space-borne membrane antenna structures are mainly classified as either parabolic or planar membrane antenna structures. For parabolic membrane antenna structures, there are five deploying and forming methods, including inflation, inflation-rigidization, elastic ribs driven, Shape Memory Polymer (SMP)-inflation, and electrostatic forming. The development and detailed comparison of these five methods are presented. Then, properties of membrane materials (including polyester film and polyimide film) for parabolic membrane antennas are compared. Additionally, for planar membrane antenna structures, frame shapes have changed from circular to rectangular, and different tensioning systems have emerged successively, including single Miura-Natori, double, and multi-layer tensioning systems. Recent advances in structural configurations, tensioning system design, and dynamic analysis for planar membrane antenna structures are investigated. Finally, future trends for large space membrane antenna structures are pointed out and technical problems are proposed, including design and analysis of membrane structures, materials and processes, membrane packing, surface accuracy stability, and test and verification technology. Through a review of large deployable membrane antenna structures, guidance for space membrane-antenna research and applications is provided.

  20. Environmental behaviour of tensile membrane structures

    OpenAIRE

    Elnokaly, Amira; Chilton, John; Wilson, Robin

    2002-01-01

    This paper considers the environmental properties of spaces enclosed by tensile membrane structures (TMS). Limitations in the understanding of the environmental and thermal performance of TMS have to some extent hindered their acceptance by building clients and the building industry. A review of the early attempts to model the thermal environment of spaces enclosed by TMS is given and their environmental and thermal properties are discussed. The lack of appropriate tools for the investigation...

  1. Enhanced water desalination performance through hierarchically-structured ceramic membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Tong; Lei, Libin; Gu, Jianqiang; Wang, Yao; Winnubst, Louis; Chen, Chusheng; Ye, Chunsong; Chen, Fanglin

    2017-01-01

    Developments of membrane water desalination are impeded by low water vapor flux across the membrane. We present an innovative membrane design to significantly enhance the water vapor flux. A bilayer zirconia-based membrane with a thick hierarchically-structured support and a thin functional layer is

  2. Structure modification of particle track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lueck, H.B.; Gemende, B.; Heinrich, B.

    1991-01-01

    Three different structure modifications were studied in order to improve the flux and dirt loading capacity of particle track membranes without affecting their retention characteristic. Divergent irradiation is a very effective tool for decreasing the number of multiple pores and increasing the porosity up to 20 per cent. The technique leads to a remarkable but not efficient enhancement of the surface porosity. Improved surface porosity produced by a double irradiation technique turns out to be very effective with respect to the filtration performance. (author)

  3. Polyamide membranes with nanoscale Turing structures for water purification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhe; Chen, Shengfu; Peng, Xinsheng; Zhang, Lin; Gao, Congjie

    2018-05-01

    The emergence of Turing structures is of fundamental importance, and designing these structures and developing their applications have practical effects in chemistry and biology. We use a facile route based on interfacial polymerization to generate Turing-type polyamide membranes for water purification. Manipulation of shapes by control of reaction conditions enabled the creation of membranes with bubble or tube structures. These membranes exhibit excellent water-salt separation performance that surpasses the upper-bound line of traditional desalination membranes. Furthermore, we show the existence of high water permeability sites in the Turing structures, where water transport through the membranes is enhanced.

  4. Membrane structure in disease and drug therapy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zimmer, G

    2000-01-01

    ...) interaction with membranous transport systems (opening or closing of ion or substrate channels); (2) reaction with receptors; (3) activation or inhibition of membrane enzymes; or (4) cytosolic membranous signaling and exchange. These consequences within the membrane influence intracellular wellbeing: life is possible only if a bala...

  5. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

    Embossed plates direct flows of reactants and coolant. Membrane-type fuel-cell battery has improved reactant flow and heat removal. Compact, lightweight battery produces high current and power without drying of membranes.

  6. Changes in plasma membrane structure upon irradiation on thymocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreval', V.I.

    1993-01-01

    Thymocytes were irradiated with doses of 4 to 10 4 Gy. The binding of 1-anilinonaphtalene-8-sulphonate and Ca 2+ to plasma membranes; viscosity and lipid peroxidation; Stern-Folmer constant; and the number of Sh-groups of membrane proteins were determined. The structural changes in plasma membranes after irradiation of thymocytes were found to be cooperative

  7. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    if higher operating temperature is enabled. One approach to obtain improved membranes in the aspects of applicable operating temperature and methanol permeability, which has attracted considerable attention, is the formation of composites by distributing inorganic fillers into Nafion or alternative polymers...... temperature and high relative humidity can cause excessive swelling of the membranes, yielding insufficient mechanical properties and breakdown of membrane function. Moreover, in the case of the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC), their significant methanol permeability causes loss of efficiency. Higher...

  8. Integrable structure in discrete shell membrane theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schief, W K

    2014-05-08

    We present natural discrete analogues of two integrable classes of shell membranes. By construction, these discrete shell membranes are in equilibrium with respect to suitably chosen internal stresses and external forces. The integrability of the underlying equilibrium equations is proved by relating the geometry of the discrete shell membranes to discrete O surface theory. We establish connections with generalized barycentric coordinates and nine-point centres and identify a discrete version of the classical Gauss equation of surface theory.

  9. Effect of dope solution temperature on the membrane structure and membrane distillation performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawi, N. I. M.; Bilad, M. R.; Nordin, N. A. H. M.

    2018-04-01

    Membrane distillation (MD) is a non-isothermal process applicable to purify water using hydrophobic membrane. Membrane in MD is hydrophobic, permeable to water vapor but repels liquid water. MD membrane is expected to pose high flux, high fouling and scaling resistances and most importantly high wetting resistance. This study develops flat-sheet polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane by exploring both liquid-liquid and liquid-solid phase inversion technique largely to improve its wetting resistance and flux performance. We hypothesize that temperature of dope solution play roles in solid-liquid separation during membrane formation and an optimum balance between liquid-liquid and liquid-solid (crystallization) separation leads to highly performance PVDF membrane. Findings obtained from differential scanning calorimeter test show that increasing dope solution temperature reduces degree of PVDF crystallinity and suppresses formation of crystalline structure. The morphological images of the resulting membranes show that at elevated dope solution temperature (40, 60, 80 and 100°C), the spherulite-like structures are formed across the thickness of membranes ascribed from due to different type of crystals. The performance of direct-contact MD shows that the obtained flux of the optimum dope temperature (60°C) of 10.8 L/m2h is comparable to commercial PTFE-based MD membrane.

  10. NMR structural studies of peptides and proteins in membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Opella, S J [Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry

    1994-12-31

    The use of NMR methodology in structural studies is described as applicable to larger proteins, considering that the majority of membrane proteins is constructed from a limited repertoire of structural and dynamic elements. The membrane associated domains of these proteins are made up of long hydrophobic membrane spanning helices, shorter amphipathic bridging helices in the plane of the bilayer, connecting loops with varying degrees of mobility, and mobile N- and C- terminal sections. NMR studies have been successful in identifying all of these elements and their orientations relative to each other and the membrane bilayer 19 refs., 9 figs.

  11. Three Modes of Hydrogeophysical Investigation: Puzzles, Mysteries, and Conundrums

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferre, P. A.

    2011-12-01

    In an article in the New Yorker in 2007, Malcolm Gladwell discussed the distinction that national security expert Gregory Treverton has made between puzzles and mysteries. Specifically, puzzles are problems that we understand and that will eventually be solved when we amass enough information. (Think crossword puzzles.) Mysteries are problems for which we have the necessary information, but it is often overwhelmed by irrelevant or misleading input. To solve a mystery, we require improved analysis. (Think find-a-word.) Gladwell goes on to explain that, in the national security realm, the Cold War was a puzzle while the current national security condition is a mystery. I will discuss the past, current, and future trajectories of hydrogeophysics in terms of puzzles and mysteries. I will also add a third class of problem: conundrums - those for which we lack sufficient information about their structure to know how to solve them. A conundrum is a mystery with an unexpected twist. I hope to make the case that the future growth of hydrogeophysics lies in our ability to address this more challenging and more interesting class of problem.

  12. Wrinkling reduction of membrane structure by trimming edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjun Liu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Thin membranes have negligible bending stiffness, compressive stresses inevitably lead to wrinkling. Therefore, it is important to keep the surface of membrane structures flat in order to guarantee high precision. Edge-trimming is an effective method to passively diminish wrinkles, however a key difficulty in this process is the determination of the optimal trimming level. In this paper, regular polygonal membrane structures subjected to equal radial forces were analyzed, and a new stress field distribution model for arc-edge square membrane structure was proposed to predict the optimal trimming level. This model is simple and applicable to any polygonal membrane structures. Comparison among the results of the finite element analysis, and the experimental and analytical results showed that the proposed model accurately described the stress field distribution and guaranteed that there are no wrinkles appear inside the effective inscribed circle region for the optimal trimming level.

  13. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

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

  14. Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang; Zhang, Sui; Chung, Neal Tai-Shung

    2015-01-01

    In this work, a novel sandwich-structured hollow fiber membrane has been developed via a specially designed spinneret and optimized spinning conditions. With this specially designed spinneret, the outer layer, which is the most crucial part of the sandwich-structured membrane, is maintained the same as the traditional dual-layer membrane. The inner substrate layer is separated into two layers: (1) an ultra-thin middle layer comprising a high molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) additive to enhance integration with the outer polybenzimidazole (PBI) selective layer, and (2) an inner-layer to provide strong mechanical strength for the membrane. Experimental results show that a high water permeability and good mechanical strength could be achieved without the expensive post treatment process to remove PVP which was necessary for the dual-layer pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes. By optimizing the composition, the membrane shows a maximum power density of 6.23W/m2 at a hydraulic pressure of 22.0bar when 1M NaCl and 10mM NaCl are used as the draw and feed solutions, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the best phase inversion hollow fiber membrane with an outer selective PBI layer for osmotic power generation. In addition, this is the first work that shows how to fabricate sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for various applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

  15. Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang

    2015-11-01

    In this work, a novel sandwich-structured hollow fiber membrane has been developed via a specially designed spinneret and optimized spinning conditions. With this specially designed spinneret, the outer layer, which is the most crucial part of the sandwich-structured membrane, is maintained the same as the traditional dual-layer membrane. The inner substrate layer is separated into two layers: (1) an ultra-thin middle layer comprising a high molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) additive to enhance integration with the outer polybenzimidazole (PBI) selective layer, and (2) an inner-layer to provide strong mechanical strength for the membrane. Experimental results show that a high water permeability and good mechanical strength could be achieved without the expensive post treatment process to remove PVP which was necessary for the dual-layer pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes. By optimizing the composition, the membrane shows a maximum power density of 6.23W/m2 at a hydraulic pressure of 22.0bar when 1M NaCl and 10mM NaCl are used as the draw and feed solutions, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the best phase inversion hollow fiber membrane with an outer selective PBI layer for osmotic power generation. In addition, this is the first work that shows how to fabricate sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for various applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

  16. High throughput platforms for structural genomics of integral membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Filippo; Love, James

    2011-08-01

    Structural genomics approaches on integral membrane proteins have been postulated for over a decade, yet specific efforts are lagging years behind their soluble counterparts. Indeed, high throughput methodologies for production and characterization of prokaryotic integral membrane proteins are only now emerging, while large-scale efforts for eukaryotic ones are still in their infancy. Presented here is a review of recent literature on actively ongoing structural genomics of membrane protein initiatives, with a focus on those aimed at implementing interesting techniques aimed at increasing our rate of success for this class of macromolecules. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crick, Duncan J.; Wang, Jue X. [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom); Graham, Bim; Swarbrick, James D. [Monash University, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Australia); Mott, Helen R.; Nietlispach, Daniel, E-mail: dn206@cam.ac.uk [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom)

    2015-04-15

    Obtaining enough experimental restraints can be a limiting factor in the NMR structure determination of larger proteins. This is particularly the case for large assemblies such as membrane proteins that have been solubilized in a membrane-mimicking environment. Whilst in such cases extensive deuteration strategies are regularly utilised with the aim to improve the spectral quality, these schemes often limit the number of NOEs obtainable, making complementary strategies highly beneficial for successful structure elucidation. Recently, lanthanide-induced pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) have been established as a structural tool for globular proteins. Here, we demonstrate that a PCS-based approach can be successfully applied for the structure determination of integral membrane proteins. Using the 7TM α-helical microbial receptor pSRII, we show that PCS-derived restraints from lanthanide binding tags attached to four different positions of the protein facilitate the backbone structure determination when combined with a limited set of NOEs. In contrast, the same set of NOEs fails to determine the correct 3D fold. The latter situation is frequently encountered in polytopical α-helical membrane proteins and a PCS approach is thus suitable even for this particularly challenging class of membrane proteins. The ease of measuring PCSs makes this an attractive route for structure determination of large membrane proteins in general.

  18. Graphene-based structure, method of suspending graphene membrane, and method of depositing material onto graphene membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettl, Alexander K.; Meyer, Jannik Christian

    2013-04-02

    An embodiment of a method of suspending a graphene membrane across a gap in a support structure includes attaching graphene to a substrate. A pre-fabricated support structure having the gap is attached to the graphene. The graphene and the pre-fabricated support structure are then separated from the substrate which leaves the graphene membrane suspended across the gap in the pre-fabricated support structure. An embodiment of a method of depositing material includes placing a support structure having a graphene membrane suspended across a gap under vacuum. A precursor is adsorbed to a surface of the graphene membrane. A portion of the graphene membrane is exposed to a focused electron beam which deposits a material from the precursor onto the graphene membrane. An embodiment of a graphene-based structure includes a support structure having a gap, a graphene membrane suspended across the gap, and a material deposited in a pattern on the graphene membrane.

  19. Influence of membrane phospholipid composition and structural organization on spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankov, R; Markovska, T; Antonov, P; Ivanova, L; Momchilova, A

    2006-09-01

    Investigations were carried out on the influence of phospholipid composition of model membranes on the processes of spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes. Acceptor vesicles were prepared from phospholipids extracted from plasma membranes of control and ras-transformed fibroblasts. Acceptor model membranes with manipulated levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), sphingomyelin and phosphatidic acid were also used in the studies. Donor vesicles were prepared of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and contained two fluorescent lipid analogues, NBD-PC and N-Rh-PE, at a self-quenching concentration. Lipid transfer rate was assessed by measuring the increase of fluorescence in acceptor membranes due to transfer of fluorescent lipid analogues from quenched donor to unquenched acceptor vesicles. The results showed that spontaneous NBD-PC transfer increased upon fluidization of acceptor vesicles. In addition, elevation of PE concentration in model membranes was also accompanied by an increase of lipid transfer to all series of acceptor vesicles. The results are discussed with respect to the role of lipid composition and structural order of cellular plasma membranes in the processes of spontaneous lipid exchange between membrane bilayers.

  20. Carbon nanotube embedded PVDF membranes: Effect of solvent composition on the structural morphology for membrane distillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapunda, Edgar C.; Mamba, Bhekie B.; Msagati, Titus A. M.

    2017-08-01

    Rapid population increase, growth in industrial and agricultural sectors and global climate change have added significant pressure on conventional freshwater resources. Tapping freshwater from non-conventional water sources such as desalination and wastewater recycling is considered as sustainable alternative to the fundamental challenges of water scarcity. However, affordable and sustainable technologies need to be applied for the communities to benefit from the treatment of non-conventional water source. Membrane distillation is a potential desalination technology which can be used sustainably for this purpose. In this work multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes for application in membrane distillation desalination were prepared via non-solvent induced phase separation method. The casting solution was prepared using mixed solvents (N, N-dimethylacetamide and triethyl phosphate) at varying ratios to study the effect of solvent composition on membrane morphological structures. Membrane morphological features were studied using a number of techniques including scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, SAXSpace tensile strength analysis, membrane thickness, porosity and contact angle measurements. It was revealed that membrane hydrophobicity, thickness, tensile strength and surface roughness were increasing as the composition of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was increasing with maximum values obtained between 40 and 60% N, N-dimethylacetamide. Internal morphological structures were changing from cellular structures to short finger-like and sponge-like pores and finally to large macro void type of pores when the amount of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was changed from low to high respectively. Multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes of desired morphological structures and physical properties can be synthesized by regulating the composition of solvents used to prepare the

  1. Toward the Structure of Dynamic Membrane-Anchored Actin Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Igor

    2007-01-01

    In the cortex of a motile cell, membrane-anchored actin filaments assemble into structures of varying shape and function. Filopodia are distinguished by a core of bundled actin filaments within finger-like extensions of the membrane. In a recent paper by Medalia et al1 cryo-electron tomography has been used to reconstruct, from filopodia of Dictyostelium cells, the 3-dimensional organization of actin filaments in connection with the plasma membrane. A special arrangement of short filaments converging toward the filopod's tip has been called a “terminal cone”. In this region force is applied for protrusion of the membrane. Here we discuss actin organization in the filopodia of Dictyostelium in the light of current views on forces that are generated by polymerizing actin filaments, and on the resistance of membranes against deformation that counteracts these forces. PMID:19262130

  2. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Role for chlamydial inclusion membrane proteins in inclusion membrane structure and biogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Mital

    Full Text Available The chlamydial inclusion membrane is extensively modified by the insertion of type III secreted effector proteins. These inclusion membrane proteins (Incs are exposed to the cytosol and share a common structural feature of a long, bi-lobed hydrophobic domain but little or no primary amino acid sequence similarity. Based upon secondary structural predictions, over 50 putative inclusion membrane proteins have been identified in Chlamydia trachomatis. Only a limited number of biological functions have been defined and these are not shared between chlamydial species. Here we have ectopically expressed several C. trachomatis Incs in HeLa cells and find that they induce the formation of morphologically distinct membranous vesicular compartments. Formation of these vesicles requires the bi-lobed hydrophobic domain as a minimum. No markers for various cellular organelles were observed in association with these vesicles. Lipid probes were incorporated by the Inc-induced vesicles although the lipids incorporated were dependent upon the specific Inc expressed. Co-expression of Inc pairs indicated that some colocalized in the same vesicle, others partially overlapped, and others did not associate at all. Overall, it appears that Incs may have an intrinsic ability to induce membrane formation and that individual Incs can induce membranous structures with unique properties.

  5. Lipid nanotechnologies for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Grushin, Kirill; Dalm, Daniela; Miller, Jaimy

    2014-11-01

    We present a methodology of lipid nanotubes (LNT) and nanodisks technologies optimized in our laboratory for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins at close to physiological conditions. The application of these lipid nanotechnologies for structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is fundamental for understanding and modulating their function. The LNTs in our studies are single bilayer galactosylceramide based nanotubes of ∼20 nm inner diameter and a few microns in length, that self-assemble in aqueous solutions. The lipid nanodisks (NDs) are self-assembled discoid lipid bilayers of ∼10 nm diameter, which are stabilized in aqueous solutions by a belt of amphipathic helical scaffold proteins. By combining LNT and ND technologies, we can examine structurally how the membrane curvature and lipid composition modulates the function of the membrane-associated proteins. As proof of principle, we have engineered these lipid nanotechnologies to mimic the activated platelet's phosphtaidylserine rich membrane and have successfully assembled functional membrane-bound coagulation factor VIII in vitro for structure determination by cryo-EM. The macromolecular organization of the proteins bound to ND and LNT are further defined by fitting the known atomic structures within the calculated three-dimensional maps. The combination of LNT and ND technologies offers a means to control the design and assembly of a wide range of functional membrane-associated proteins and complexes for structural studies by cryo-EM. The presented results confirm the suitability of the developed methodology for studying the functional structure of membrane-associated proteins, such as the coagulation factors, at a close to physiological environment. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

    This book provides a molecular view of membrane transport by means of numerous biochemical and biophysical techniques. The rapidly growing number of atomic structures of transporters in different conformations and the constant progress in bioinformatics have recently added deeper insights.   The unifying mechanism of energized solute transport across membranes is assumed to consist of the conformational cycling of a carrier protein to provide access to substrate binding sites from either side of a cellular membrane. Due to the central role of active membrane transport there is considerable interest in deciphering the principles of one of the most fundamental processes in nature: the alternating access mechanism.   This book brings together particularly significant structure-function studies on a variety of carrier systems from different transporter families: Glutamate symporters, LeuT-like fold transporters, MFS transporters and SMR (RND) exporters, as well as ABC-type importers.   The selected examples im...

  7. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankova, A.; Videkov, V.; Tzaneva, B.

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, nanomembranes have become one of the most widely used construction material for ultrasensitive and ultrathin applications in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensor structures due to their remarkable mechanical properties. Among these, the mechanical stability is of particular importance. We present an approach to the analysis of the stability of nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide free membranes subjected to mechanical bending. The membranes tested were with a thickness of 500 nm to 15 urn in various topological shapes; we describe the technological schemes of their preparation. Bends were applied to membranes prepared by using a selective process of etching and anodizing. The results of the preparation of the membranes are discussed, together with the influence of the angle of deflection, and the number of bendings. The results obtained can be used in designing MEMS structures and sensors which use nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide.

  8. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bankova, A; Videkov, V; Tzaneva, B

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, nanomembranes have become one of the most widely used construction material for ultrasensitive and ultrathin applications in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensor structures due to their remarkable mechanical properties. Among these, the mechanical stability is of particular importance. We present an approach to the analysis of the stability of nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide free membranes subjected to mechanical bending. The membranes tested were with a thickness of 500 nm to 15 urn in various topological shapes; we describe the technological schemes of their preparation. Bends were applied to membranes prepared by using a selective process of etching and anodizing. The results of the preparation of the membranes are discussed, together with the influence of the angle of deflection, and the number of bendings. The results obtained can be used in designing MEMS structures and sensors which use nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide.

  9. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    conformational changes. Their structural and functional decoding is challenging and has imposed demanding experimental development. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the techniques providing the capacity to make a significant difference in the deciphering of the membrane protein...... structure-function paradigm. The method has evolved dramatically during the last decade resulting in a plethora of new experiments leading to a significant increase in the scientific repertoire for studying membrane proteins. Besides solving the three-dimensional structures using state-of-the-art approaches......-populated states, this review seeks to introduce the vast possibilities solution NMR can offer to the study of membrane protein structure-function analyses with special focus on applicability. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1491-1539, 2012....

  10. Correct use of Membrane Elements in Structural Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rothman Timothy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural analysis of consumer electronic devices such as phones and tablets involves Finite Element Analysis (FEA. Dynamic loading conditions such as device dropping and bending dictate accurate FEA models to reduce design risk in many areas. The solid elements typically used in structural analysis do not have integration points on the surface. The outer surface is of most interest because that is where the cracks start. Analysts employ a post processing trick through using membranes to bring accurate stress/strain results to the surface. This paper explains numerical issues with implementation of membranes and recommends a methodology for accurate structural analysis.

  11. Increasing the Performance of Vacuum Membrane Distillation Using Micro-Structured Hydrophobic Aluminum Hollow Fiber Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chieh Ko

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This study develops a micro-structured hydrophobic alumina hollow fiber with a high permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 and salt rejection over 99.9% in a vacuum membrane distillation process. The fiber is fabricated by phase inversion and sintering, and then modified with fluoroalkylsilanes to render it hydrophobic. The influence of the sintering temperature and feeding temperature in membrane distillation (MD on the characteristics of the fiber and MD performance are investigated. The vacuum membrane distillation uses 3.5 wt % NaCl aqueous solution at 70 °C at 0.03 bar. The permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 is the highest, compared with reported data and is higher than that for polymeric hollow fiber membranes.

  12. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufareva, Irina; Lenoir, Marc; Dancea, Felician; Sridhar, Pooja; Raush, Eugene; Bissig, Christin; Gruenberg, Jean; Abagyan, Ruben; Overduin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms, and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. Here we present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH) and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting Membrane Optimal Docking Area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein, and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible, and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome. PMID:25394204

  13. Modification of track membranes structure by gas discharge etching method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitriev, S.N.; Kravets, L.I.

    1996-01-01

    An investigation of the properties of polyethyleneterephthalate track membranes (PET TM) treated with the plasma RF-discharge in air has been performed. The influence of the plasma treatment conditions on the basic properties of the membranes, namely pore size and pore shape, porosity and mechanical strength has been studied. It was arranged that the effect of air plasma on the PET TM results to etching a membrane's surface layer. The membranes' pore size and the form in this case change. It is shown that it is possible to change the structure of track membranes directly by the gas discharge etching method. Depending on the choice of discharge parameters, it is possible to make etching either in a part of the channel or along the whole length of the pore channels. In both cases the membranes with an asymmetric pore shape are formed which possess higher porosity and flow rate. The use of the membranes of such a type allows one to increase drastically the efficiency of the filtration processes. 12 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  14. DNA nanotubes for NMR structure determination of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellot, Gaëtan; McClintock, Mark A; Chou, James J; Shih, William M

    2013-04-01

    Finding a way to determine the structures of integral membrane proteins using solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has proved to be challenging. A residual-dipolar-coupling-based refinement approach can be used to resolve the structure of membrane proteins up to 40 kDa in size, but to do this you need a weak-alignment medium that is detergent-resistant and it has thus far been difficult to obtain such a medium suitable for weak alignment of membrane proteins. We describe here a protocol for robust, large-scale synthesis of detergent-resistant DNA nanotubes that can be assembled into dilute liquid crystals for application as weak-alignment media in solution NMR structure determination of membrane proteins in detergent micelles. The DNA nanotubes are heterodimers of 400-nm-long six-helix bundles, each self-assembled from a M13-based p7308 scaffold strand and >170 short oligonucleotide staple strands. Compatibility with proteins bearing considerable positive charge as well as modulation of molecular alignment, toward collection of linearly independent restraints, can be introduced by reducing the negative charge of DNA nanotubes using counter ions and small DNA-binding molecules. This detergent-resistant liquid-crystal medium offers a number of properties conducive for membrane protein alignment, including high-yield production, thermal stability, buffer compatibility and structural programmability. Production of sufficient nanotubes for four or five NMR experiments can be completed in 1 week by a single individual.

  15. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, David; Bill, Roslyn M; Jawhari, Anass; Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins account for a third of the eukaryotic proteome, but are greatly under-represented in the Protein Data Bank. Unfortunately, recent technological advances in X-ray crystallography and EM cannot account for the poor solubility and stability of membrane protein samples. A limitation of conventional detergent-based methods is that detergent molecules destabilize membrane proteins, leading to their aggregation. The use of orthologues, mutants and fusion tags has helped improve protein stability, but at the expense of not working with the sequence of interest. Novel detergents such as glucose neopentyl glycol (GNG), maltose neopentyl glycol (MNG) and calixarene-based detergents can improve protein stability without compromising their solubilizing properties. Styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs) focus on retaining the native lipid bilayer of a membrane protein during purification and biophysical analysis. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline, primarily by maintaining protein stability, will facilitate the elucidation of many more membrane protein structures in the near future. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  16. Characterization of a structural intermediate of flavivirus membrane fusion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Stiasny

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Viral membrane fusion proceeds through a sequence of steps that are driven by triggered conformational changes of viral envelope glycoproteins, so-called fusion proteins. Although high-resolution structural snapshots of viral fusion proteins in their prefusion and postfusion conformations are available, it has been difficult to define intermediate structures of the fusion pathway because of their transient nature. Flaviviruses possess a class II viral fusion protein (E mediating fusion at acidic pH that is converted from a dimer to a trimer with a hairpin-like structure during the fusion process. Here we show for tick-borne encephalitis virus that exposure of virions to alkaline instead of acidic pH traps the particles in an intermediate conformation in which the E dimers dissociate and interact with target membranes via the fusion peptide without proceeding to the merger of the membranes. Further treatment to low pH, however, leads to fusion, suggesting that these monomers correspond to an as-yet-elusive intermediate required to convert the prefusion dimer into the postfusion trimer. Thus, the use of nonphysiological conditions allows a dissection of the flavivirus fusion process and the identification of two separate steps, in which membrane insertion of multiple copies of E monomers precedes the formation of hairpin-like trimers. This sequence of events provides important new insights for understanding the dynamic process of viral membrane fusion.

  17. Structuring detergents for extracting and stabilizing functional membrane proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Membrane proteins are privileged pharmaceutical targets for which the development of structure-based drug design is challenging. One underlying reason is the fact that detergents do not stabilize membrane domains as efficiently as natural lipids in membranes, often leading to a partial to complete loss of activity/stability during protein extraction and purification and preventing crystallization in an active conformation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Anionic calix[4]arene based detergents (C4Cn, n=1-12 were designed to structure the membrane domains through hydrophobic interactions and a network of salt bridges with the basic residues found at the cytosol-membrane interface of membrane proteins. These compounds behave as surfactants, forming micelles of 5-24 nm, with the critical micellar concentration (CMC being as expected sensitive to pH ranging from 0.05 to 1.5 mM. Both by 1H NMR titration and Surface Tension titration experiments, the interaction of these molecules with the basic amino acids was confirmed. They extract membrane proteins from different origins behaving as mild detergents, leading to partial extraction in some cases. They also retain protein functionality, as shown for BmrA (Bacillus multidrug resistance ATP protein, a membrane multidrug-transporting ATPase, which is particularly sensitive to detergent extraction. These new detergents allow BmrA to bind daunorubicin with a Kd of 12 µM, a value similar to that observed after purification using dodecyl maltoside (DDM. They preserve the ATPase activity of BmrA (which resets the protein to its initial state after drug efflux much more efficiently than SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate, FC12 (Foscholine 12 or DDM. They also maintain in a functional state the C4Cn-extracted protein upon detergent exchange with FC12. Finally, they promote 3D-crystallization of the membrane protein. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These compounds seem promising to extract in a functional state

  18. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn P.; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe; Morth, J. Preben

    2007-01-01

    A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H1-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi1......-3, and Na1,K1-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals4. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis5.The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na1,K1-ATPase and Ca21......- ATPase are type II6. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps7, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define...

  19. Plant membranes a biophysical approach to structure, development and senescence

    CERN Document Server

    Leshem, Ya’Acov Y

    1992-01-01

    The plasma membrane is at once the window through which the cell senses the environment and the portal through which the environment influences the structure and activities of the cell. Its importance in cellular physiology can thus hardly be overestimated, since constant flow of materials between cell and environment is essential to the well-being of any biological system. The nature of the materials mov­ ing into the cell is also critical, since some substances are required for maintenance and growth, while others, because of their toxicity, must either be rigorously excluded or permitted to enter only after chemical alteration. Such alteration frequently permits the compounds to be sequestered in special cellular compartments having different types of membranes. This type of homogeneity, plus the fact that the wear and tear of transmembrane molecular traffic compels the system to be constantly monitored and repaired, means that the membrane system of any organism must be both structurally complex and dy­...

  20. FATE OF REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO) MEMBRANES DURING OXIDATION BY DISINFECTANTS USED IN WATER TREATMENT: IMPACT ON MEMBRANE STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCES

    KAUST Repository

    Maugin, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    Providing pretreatment prior RO filtration is essential to avoid biofouling and subsequent loss of membrane performances. Chlorine is known to degrade polymeric membrane, improving or reducing membrane efficiency depending on oxidation conditions. This study aimed to assess the impact of alternative disinfectant, NH2Cl, as well as secondary oxidants formed during chloramination of seawater, e.g. HOBr, HOI, or used in water treatment e.g. ClO2, O3, on membrane structure and performances. Permeability, total and specific rejection (Cl-, SO4 2-, Br-, Boron), FTIR profile, elemental composition were analyzed. Results showed that each oxidant seems to react differently with the membrane. HOCl, HOBr, ClO2 and O3 improved membrane permeability but decreased rejection in different extent. In comparison, chloramines resulted in identical trends but oxidized membrane very slowly. On the contrary, iodine improved membrane rejection e.g. boron, but decreased permeability. Reaction conducted with chlorine, bromine, iodine and chloramines resulted in the incorporation of halogen in the membrane structure. All oxidant except iodine were able to break amide bonds of the membrane structure in our condition. In addition, chloramine seemed to react with membrane differently, involving a potential addition of nitrogen. Chloramination of seawater amplified membrane performances evolutions due to generation of bromochloramine. Moreover, chloramines reacted both with NOM and membrane during oxidation in natural seawater, leading to additional rejection drop.

  1. Fish skin as a model membrane: structure and characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrádsdóttir, Fífa; Loftsson, Thorsteinn; Sigfússon, Sigurdur Dadi

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic and cell-based membranes are frequently used during drug formulation development for the assessment of drug availability. However, most of the currently used membranes do not mimic mucosal membranes well, especially the aqueous mucous layer of the membranes. In this study we evaluated catfish (Anarichas lupus L) skin as a model membrane. Permeation of hydrocortisone, lidocaine hydrochloride, benzocaine, diethylstilbestrol, naproxen, picric acid and sodium nitrate through skin from a freshly caught catfish was determined in Franz diffusion cells. Both lipophilic and hydrophilic molecules permeate through catfish skin via hydrated channels or aqueous pores. No correlation was observed between the octanol/water partition coefficient of the permeating molecules and their permeability coefficient through the skin. Permeation through catfish skin was found to be diffusion controlled. The results suggest that permeation through the fish skin proceeds via a diffusion-controlled process, a process that is similar to drug permeation through the aqueous mucous layer of a mucosal membrane. In addition, the fish skin, with its collagen matrix structure, appears to possess similar properties to the eye sclera.

  2. Conundrums in mixed woody-herbaceous plant systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    House, JI

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available -form communities, the novel, complex, nonlinear behaviour of mixed tree-grass systems cannot be accounted for by simply studying or modelling woody and herbaceous components independently. A more robust understanding requires addressing three fundamental conundrums...

  3. Structural Study and Modification of Support Layer for Forward Osmosis Membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-01-01

    polymerization. Among the different substrates we include standard asymmetric porous membranes prepared from homopolymers, such as polysulfone. Additionally block copolymer membrane and Anodisc alumina membrane are chosen based on their exceptional structures

  4. Structure and membrane organization of photosystem II in green plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hankamer, B; Barber, J; Boekema, EJ

    1997-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is the pigment protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membrane of higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria that uses solar energy to drive the photosynthetic water-splitting reaction. This chapter reviews the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of PSII as

  5. Fabrication of functional structures on thin silicon nitride membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ekkels, P.; Tjerkstra, R.W.; Krijnen, Gijsbertus J.M.; Berenschot, Johan W.; Brugger, J.P.; Elwenspoek, Michael Curt

    A process to fabricate functional polysilicon structures above large (4×4 mm2) thin (200 nm), very flat LPCVD silicon rich nitride membranes was developed. Key features of this fabrication process are the use of low-stress LPCVD silicon nitride, sacrificial layer etching, and minimization of

  6. Structural Changes of PVDF Membranes by Phase Separation Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Semin; Kim, Sung Soo

    2016-01-01

    Thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) and nonsolvent induced phase separation (NIPS) were simultaneously induced for the preparation of flat PVDF membranes. N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) was used as a solvent and dibutyl-phthlate (DBP) was used as a diluent for PVDF. When PVDF was melt blended with NMP and DBP, crystallization temperature was lowered for TIPS and unstable region was expanded for NIPS. Ratio of solvent to diluent changed the phase separation mechanism to obtain the various membrane structures. Contact mode of dope solution with nonsolvent determined the dominant phase separation behavior. Since heat transfer rate was greater than mass transfer rate, surface structure was formed by NIPS and inner structure was by TIPS. Quenching temperature of dope solution also affected the phase separation mechanism and phase separation rate to result in the variation of structure

  7. Different Structures of PVA Nanofibrous Membrane for Sound Absorption Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Mohrova

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The thin nanofibrous layer has different properties in the field of sound absorption in comparison with porous fibrous material which works on a principle of friction of air particles in contact with walls of pores. In case of the thin nanofibrous layer, which represents a sound absorber here, the energy of sonic waves is absorbed by the principle of membrane resonance. The structure of the membrane can play an important role in the process of converting the sonic energy to a different energy type. The vibration system acts differently depending on the presence of smooth fibers in the structure, amount of partly merged fibers, or structure of polymer foil as extreme. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA was used as a polymer because of its good water solubility. It is possible to influence the structure of nanofibrous layer during the production process thanks to this property of polyvinyl alcohol.

  8. Class I Cytokine Receptors: Structure and function in the Membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    bilayer via structural characterizations of TMD representatives. To enable structural studies of these domains, an organic-extraction based strategy for efficient production of isotope-labeled TMDs with or without short intrinsically disordered regions was developed. This strategy successfully provided...... of these challenging domains. Supplemented by a review of the current collection of TMD structures from single-pass transmembrane receptors, the thesis as a whole provides important insights on the structure and function in the membrane as well as highlight the open questions to be addressed in the years to come.......Class I cytokine receptors are involved in important biological functions of both physiological and pathological nature in mammals. However, the molecular details of the cross-membrane signal transduction through these receptors remain obscure. One of the major reasons for this is the lack...

  9. Designing CNC Knit for Hybrid Membrane And Bending Active Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamke, Martin; Holden Deleuran, Anders; Gengnagel, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    specific properties and detailing. CNC knitting with high tenacity yarn enables this practice and offers an alternative to current woven membranes. The design and fabrication of an 8m high fabric tower through an interdisciplinary team of architects, structural and textile engineers, allowed to investigate...... means to design, specify, make and test CNC knit as material for hybrid structures in architectural scale. This paper shares the developed process, identifies challenges, potentials and future work...

  10. Microwave-Driven Multifunctional Capability of Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang H.; Chu, Sang-Hyong; Song, Kyo D.; King, Glen C.

    2002-01-01

    A large, ultra lightweight space structure, such as solar sails and Gossamer spacecrafts, requires a distributed power source to alleviate wire networks, unlike the localized on-board power infrastructures typically found in most small spacecrafts. The concept of microwave-driven multifunctional capability for membrane structures is envisioned as the best option to alleviate the complexity associated with hard-wired control circuitry and on-board power infrastructures. A rectenna array based on a patch configuration for high voltage output was developed to drive membrane actuators, sensors, probes, or other devices. Networked patch rectenna array receives and converts microwave power into a DC power for an array of smart actuators. To use microwave power effectively, the concept of a power allocation and distribution (PAD) circuit is adopted for networking a rectenna/actuator patch array. The use of patch rectennas adds a significant amount of rigidity to membrane flexibility and they are relatively heavy. A dipole rectenna array (DRA) appears to be ideal for thin-film membrane structures, since DRA is flexible and light. Preliminary design and fabrication of PAD circuitry that consists of a few nodal elements were made for laboratory testing. The networked actuators were tested to correlate the network coupling effect, power allocation and distribution, and response time.

  11. Solving the shape conundrum in $^{70}$Se

    CERN Multimedia

    We propose a multi-step Coulomb-excitation study of $^{70}$Se at HIE-ISOLDE using the $^{208}$Pb( $^{70}$Se, $^{70}$Se*)$^{208}$Pb* reaction at a safe energy of 5.0 MeV/u. We aim at a precise measurement of the $\\left \\langle 2^{+}_{1} \\hspace{0.1cm} || \\hspace{0.1cm}\\hat{E}2 \\hspace{0.1cm} || \\hspace{0.1cm}2^{+}_{ 1} \\right \\rangle$ diagonal matrix element as well as gaining information on additional matrix elements. Such information will shed light onto the shape conundrum of the 2$^{+}_{1}$ state in $^{70}$Se as well as foreseeing the opportunity for a more detailed understanding of the shape-coexistence phenomenon in this region.

  12. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties.

  13. Structural basis for catalysis at the membrane-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufrisne, Meagan Belcher; Petrou, Vasileios I; Clarke, Oliver B; Mancia, Filippo

    2017-11-01

    The membrane-water interface forms a uniquely heterogeneous and geometrically constrained environment for enzymatic catalysis. Integral membrane enzymes sample three environments - the uniformly hydrophobic interior of the membrane, the aqueous extramembrane region, and the fuzzy, amphipathic interfacial region formed by the tightly packed headgroups of the components of the lipid bilayer. Depending on the nature of the substrates and the location of the site of chemical modification, catalysis may occur in each of these environments. The availability of structural information for alpha-helical enzyme families from each of these classes, as well as several beta-barrel enzymes from the bacterial outer membrane, has allowed us to review here the different ways in which each enzyme fold has adapted to the nature of the substrates, products, and the unique environment of the membrane. Our focus here is on enzymes that process lipidic substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Bacterial Lipids edited by Russell E. Bishop. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Structure and organization of nanosized-inclusion-containing bilayer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Chun-Lai; Ma, Yu-Qiang

    2009-07-01

    Based on a considerable amount of experimental evidence for lateral organization of lipid membranes which share astonishingly similar features in the presence of different inclusions, we use a hybrid self-consistent field theory (SCFT)/density-functional theory (DFT) approach to deal with bilayer membranes embedded by nanosized inclusions and explain experimental findings. Here, the hydrophobic inclusions are simple models of hydrophobic drugs or other nanoparticles for biomedical applications. It is found that lipid/inclusion-rich domains are formed at moderate inclusion concentrations and disappear with the increase in the concentration of inclusions. At high inclusion content, chaining of inclusions occurs due to the effective depletion attraction between inclusions mediated by lipids. Meanwhile, the increase in the concentration of inclusions can also cause thickening of the membrane and the distribution of inclusions undergoes a layering transition from one-layer structure located in the bilayer midplane to two-layer structure arranged into the two leaflets of a bilayer. Our theoretical predictions address the complex interactions between membranes and inclusions suggesting a unifying mechanism which reflects the competition between the conformational entropy of lipids favoring the formation of lipid- and inclusion-rich domains in lipids and the steric repulsion of inclusions leading to the uniform dispersion.

  15. Conundrums Approached from the Cognitive Perspective of "The Impartment and Inheritance of Connotation and Denotation"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jin

    2013-01-01

    The most distinctive feature of conundrum is the deliberate misinterpretation in the course of its application. The present paper attempts a new cognitive approach to the understanding of conundrums. Based on psychological laws of mankind, the conundrum begins with the questioner's leaving a certain linguistic item on purpose, which will…

  16. MEMS-Based Fuel Reformer with Suspended Membrane Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Kuei-Sung; Tanaka, Shuji; Esashi, Masayoshi

    We report a MEMS-based fuel reformer for supplying hydrogen to micro-fuel cells for portable applications. A combustor and a reforming chamber are fabricated at either side of a suspended membrane structure. This design is used to improve the overall thermal efficiency, which is a critical issue to realize a micro-fuel reformer. The suspended membrane structure design provided good thermal isolation. The micro-heaters consumed 0.97W to maintain the reaction zone of the MEMS-based fuel reformer at 200°C, but further power saving is necessary by improving design and fabrication. The conversion rate of methanol to hydrogen was about 19% at 180°C by using evaporated copper as a reforming catalyst. The catalytic combustion of hydrogen started without any assistance of micro-heaters. By feeding the fuel mixture of an equivalence ratio of 0.35, the temperature of the suspended membrane structure was maintained stable at 100°C with a combustion efficiency of 30%. In future works, we will test a micro-fuel reformer by using a micro-combustor to supply heat.

  17. Membrane Transporters: Structure, Function and Targets for Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravna, Aina W.; Sager, Georg; Dahl, Svein G.; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    Current therapeutic drugs act on four main types of molecular targets: enzymes, receptors, ion channels and transporters, among which a major part (60-70%) are membrane proteins. This review discusses the molecular structures and potential impact of membrane transporter proteins on new drug discovery. The three-dimensional (3D) molecular structure of a protein contains information about the active site and possible ligand binding, and about evolutionary relationships within the protein family. Transporters have a recognition site for a particular substrate, which may be used as a target for drugs inhibiting the transporter or acting as a false substrate. Three groups of transporters have particular interest as drug targets: the major facilitator superfamily, which includes almost 4000 different proteins transporting sugars, polyols, drugs, neurotransmitters, metabolites, amino acids, peptides, organic and inorganic anions and many other substrates; the ATP-binding cassette superfamily, which plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy; and the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which includes the molecular targets for some of the most widely used psychotropic drugs. Recent technical advances have increased the number of known 3D structures of membrane transporters, and demonstrated that they form a divergent group of proteins with large conformational flexibility which facilitates transport of the substrate.

  18. Structural basis for alginate secretion across the bacterial outer membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitney, J.C.; Robinson, H.; Hay, I. D.; Li, C.; Eckford, P. D. W.; Amaya, M. F.; Wood, L. F.; Ohman, D. E.; Bear, C. E.; Rehm, B. H.; Howell, P. L.

    2011-08-09

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  19. Structural Basis for Alginate Secretion Across the Bacterial Outer Membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Whitney; I Hay; C Li; P Eckford; H Robinson; M Amaya; L Wood; D Ohman; C Bear; et al.

    2011-12-31

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  20. Membrane binding properties of EBV gp110 C-terminal domain; evidences for structural transition in the membrane environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Sung Jean; Seo, Min-Duk; Lee, Suk Kyeong; Lee, Bong Jin

    2008-01-01

    Gp110 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mainly localizes on nuclear/ER membranes and plays a role in the assembly of EBV nucleocapsid. The C-terminal tail domain (gp110 CTD) is essential for the function of gp110 and the nuclear/ER membranes localization of gp110 is ruled by its C-terminal unique nuclear localization signal (NLS), consecutive four arginines. In the present study, the structural properties of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics were investigated using CD, size-exclusion chromatography, and NMR, to elucidate the effect of membrane environment on the structural transition and to compare the structural feature of the protein in the solution state with that of the membrane-bound form. CD and NMR analysis showed that gp110 CTD in a buffer solution appears to adopt a stable folding intermediate which lacks compactness, and a highly helical structure is formed only in membrane environments. The helical content of gp110 CTD was significantly affected by the negative charge as well as the size of membrane mimics. Based on the elution profiles of the size-exclusion chromatography, we found that gp110 CTD intrinsically forms a trimer, revealing that a trimerization region may exist in the C-terminal domain of gp110 like the ectodomain of gp110. The mutation of NLS (RRRR) to RTTR does not affect the overall structure of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics, while the helical propensity in a buffer solution was slightly different between the wild-type and the mutant proteins. This result suggests that not only the helicity induced in membrane environment but also the local structure around NLS may be related to trafficking to the nuclear membrane. More detailed structural difference between the wild-type and the mutant in membrane environment was examined using synthetic two peptides including the wild-type NLS and the mutant NLS

  1. The continuing conundrum of the LEA proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunnacliffe, Alan; Wise, Michael J

    2007-10-01

    Research into late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins has been ongoing for more than 20 years but, although there is a strong association of LEA proteins with abiotic stress tolerance particularly dehydration and cold stress, for most of that time, their function has been entirely obscure. After their initial discovery in plant seeds, three major groups (numbered 1, 2 and 3) of LEA proteins have been described in a range of different plants and plant tissues. Homologues of groups 1 and 3 proteins have also been found in bacteria and in certain invertebrates. In this review, we present some new data, survey the biochemistry, biophysics and bioinformatics of the LEA proteins and highlight several possible functions. These include roles as antioxidants and as membrane and protein stabilisers during water stress, either by direct interaction or by acting as molecular shields. Along with other hydrophilic proteins and compatible solutes, LEA proteins might also serve as "space fillers" to prevent cellular collapse at low water activities. This multifunctional capacity of the LEA proteins is probably attributable in part to their structural plasticity, as they are largely lacking in secondary structure in the fully hydrated state, but can become more folded during water stress and/or through association with membrane surfaces. The challenge now facing researchers investigating these enigmatic proteins is to make sense of the various in vitro defined functions in the living cell: Are the LEA proteins truly multi-talented, or are they still just misunderstood?

  2. Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yusong R; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2017-12-12

    Mechanosensitive ion channels convert external mechanical stimuli into electrochemical signals for critical processes including touch sensation, balance, and cardiovascular regulation. The best understood mechanosensitive channel, MscL, opens a wide pore, which accounts for mechanosensitive gating due to in-plane area expansion. Eukaryotic Piezo channels have a narrow pore and therefore must capture mechanical forces to control gating in another way. We present a cryo-EM structure of mouse Piezo1 in a closed conformation at 3.7Å-resolution. The channel is a triskelion with arms consisting of repeated arrays of 4-TM structural units surrounding a pore. Its shape deforms the membrane locally into a dome. We present a hypothesis in which the membrane deformation changes upon channel opening. Quantitatively, membrane tension will alter gating energetics in proportion to the change in projected area under the dome. This mechanism can account for highly sensitive mechanical gating in the setting of a narrow, cation-selective pore. © 2017, Guo et al.

  3. On the Kohn–Luttinger conundrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirata, So; He Xiao

    2013-01-01

    Kohn and Luttinger [Phys. Rev. 118, 41 (1960)] showed that the conventional finite-temperature extension of the second-order many-body perturbation theory had the incorrect zero-temperature limit in metals and, on this basis, argued that the theory was incorrect. We show that this inconsistency arises from the noninclusion of the temperature effect in the energies of the zeroth-order eigenstates of the perturbation theory, which causes not only the Kohn–Luttinger conundrum but also another inconsistency with the zero-temperature many-body perturbation theory, namely, the different rates of divergence of the correlation energy in a homogeneous electron gas (HEG). We propose a renormalized many-body perturbation theory derivable from the finite-temperature extension of the normal-ordered second quantization applied to the denominators of the energy expression, which involves the energies of the zeroth-order states, as well as to the numerators. The renormalized theory is shown to have the correct zero-temperature limit and the same rate of divergence in a HEG as the zero-temperature counterpart, and is, therefore, the correct finite-temperature many-body perturbation theory.

  4. Recognition of GPCRs by peptide ligands and membrane compartments theory: structural studies of endogenous peptide hormones in membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2006-04-01

    One of the largest family of cell surface proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate virtually all known physiological processes in mammals. With seven transmembrane segments, they respond to diverse range of extracellular stimuli and represent a major class of drug targets. Peptidergic GPCRs use endogenous peptides as ligands. To understand the mechanism of GPCR activation and rational drug design, knowledge of three-dimensional structure of receptor-ligand complex is important. The endogenous peptide hormones are often short, flexible and completely disordered in aqueous solution. According to "Membrane Compartments Theory", the flexible peptide binds to the membrane in the first step before it recognizes its receptor and the membrane-induced conformation is postulated to bind to the receptor in the second step. Structures of several peptide hormones have been determined in membrane-mimetic medium. In these studies, micelles, reverse micelles and bicelles have been used to mimic the cell membrane environment. Recently, conformations of two peptide hormones have also been studied in receptor-bound form. Membrane environment induces stable secondary structures in flexible peptide ligands and membrane-induced peptide structures have been correlated with their bioactivity. Results of site-directed mutagenesis, spectroscopy and other experimental studies along with the conformations determined in membrane medium have been used to interpret the role of individual residues in the peptide ligand. Structural differences of membrane-bound peptides that belong to the same family but differ in selectivity are likely to explain the mechanism of receptor selectivity and specificity of the ligands. Knowledge of peptide 3D structures in membrane environment has potential applications in rational drug design.

  5. G protein-membrane interactions II: Effect of G protein-linked lipids on membrane structure and G protein-membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Jesús; Ibarguren, Maitane; Álvarez, Rafael; Terés, Silvia; Lladó, Victoria; Piotto, Stefano P; Concilio, Simona; Busquets, Xavier; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    G proteins often bear myristoyl, palmitoyl and isoprenyl moieties, which favor their association with the membrane and their accumulation in G Protein Coupled Receptor-rich microdomains. These lipids influence the biophysical properties of membranes and thereby modulate G protein binding to bilayers. In this context, we showed here that geranylgeraniol, but neither myristate nor palmitate, increased the inverted hexagonal (H II ) phase propensity of phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes. While myristate and palmitate preferentially associated with phosphatidylcholine membranes, geranylgeraniol favored nonlamellar-prone membranes. In addition, Gαi 1 monomers had a higher affinity for lamellar phases, while Gβγ and Gαβγ showed a marked preference for nonlamellar prone membranes. Moreover, geranylgeraniol enhanced the binding of G protein dimers and trimers to phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes, yet it decreased that of monomers. By contrast, both myristate and palmitate increased the Gαi 1 preference for lamellar membranes. Palmitoylation reinforced the binding of the monomer to PC membranes and myristoylation decreased its binding to PE-enriched bilayer. Finally, binding of dimers and trimers to lamellar-prone membranes was decreased by palmitate and myristate, but it was increased in nonlamellar-prone bilayers. These results demonstrate that co/post-translational G protein lipid modifications regulate the membrane lipid structure and that they influence the physico-chemical properties of membranes, which in part explains why G protein subunits sort to different plasma membrane domains. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Measuring excess free energies of self-assembled membrane structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norizoe, Yuki; Daoulas, Kostas Ch; Müller, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    Using computer simulation of a solvent-free, coarse-grained model for amphiphilic membranes, we study the excess free energy of hourglass-shaped connections (i.e., stalks) between two apposed bilayer membranes. In order to calculate the free energy by simulation in the canonical ensemble, we reversibly transfer two apposed bilayers into a configuration with a stalk in three steps. First, we gradually replace the intermolecular interactions by an external, ordering field. The latter is chosen such that the structure of the non-interacting system in this field closely resembles the structure of the original, interacting system in the absence of the external field. The absence of structural changes along this path suggests that it is reversible; a fact which is confirmed by expanded-ensemble simulations. Second, the external, ordering field is changed as to transform the non-interacting system from the apposed bilayer structure to two-bilayers connected by a stalk. The final external field is chosen such that the structure of the non-interacting system resembles the structure of the stalk in the interacting system without a field. On the third branch of the transformation path, we reversibly replace the external, ordering field by non-bonded interactions. Using expanded-ensemble techniques, the free energy change along this reversible path can be obtained with an accuracy of 10(-3)k(B)T per molecule in the n VT-ensemble. Calculating the chemical potential, we obtain the free energy of a stalk in the grandcanonical ensemble, and employing semi-grandcanonical techniques, we calculate the change of the excess free energy upon altering the molecular architecture. This computational strategy can be applied to compute the free energy of self-assembled phases in lipid and copolymer systems, and the excess free energy of defects or interfaces.

  7. Relating performance of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes to support layer formation and structure

    KAUST Repository

    Tiraferri, Alberto; Yip, Ngai Yin; Phillip, William A.; Schiffman, Jessica D.; Elimelech, Menachem

    2011-01-01

    the technology to the point that it is commercially viable. Here, a systematic investigation of the influence of thin-film composite membrane support layer structure on forward osmosis performance is conducted. The membranes consist of a selective polyamide

  8. Ion track membranes providing heat pipe surfaces with capillary structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akapiev, G.N.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Erler, B.; Shirkova, V.V.; Schulz, A.; Pietsch, H.

    2003-01-01

    The microgalvanic method for metal filling of etched ion tracks in organic foils is of particular interest for the fabrication of microsized structures. Microstructures like copper whiskers with a high aspect ratio produced in ion track membranes are suitable for the generation of high-performance heat transfer surfaces. A surface with good heat transfer characteristics is defined as a surface on which a small temperature difference causes a large heat transfer from the surface material to the liquid. It is well-known that a porous surface layer transfers to an evaporating liquid a given quantity of heat at a smaller temperature difference than does a usual smooth surface. Copper whiskers with high aspect ratio and a density 10 5 per cm 2 form such a porous structure, which produces strong capillary forces and therefore a maximum of heat transfer coefficients

  9. A Methodological Conundrum: Comparing Schools in Scotland and England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Bethan; Gibbons, Simon

    2015-01-01

    This article considers a conundrum in research methodology; the fact that, in the main, you have to use a social science-based research methodology if you want to look at what goes on in a classroom. This article proposes an alternative arts-based research method instead based on the work of Eisner, and before him Dewey, where one can use the more…

  10. Molecular simulations of hydrated proton exchange membranes. The structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcharnd, Gabriel [Duisburg-Essen Univ., Essen (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Theoretische Chemie; Bordeaux Univ., Talence (France). Dept. of Chemistry; Bopp, Philippe A. [Bordeaux Univ., Talence (France). Dept. of Chemistry; Spohr, Eckhard [Duisburg-Essen Univ., Essen (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Theoretische Chemie

    2013-01-15

    The structure of two hydrated proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (PEMFC), Nafion {sup registered} (Dupont) and Hyflon {sup registered} (Solvay), is studied by all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations. Since the characteristic times of these systems are long compared to the times for which they can be simulated, several different, but equivalent, initial configurations with a large degree of randomness are generated for different water contents and then equilibrated and simulated in parallel. A more constrained structure, analog to the newest model proposed in the literature based on scattering experiments, is investigated in the same way. One might speculate that a limited degree of entanglement of the polymer chains is a key feature of the structures showing the best agreement with experiment. Nevertheless, the overall conclusion remains that the scattering experiments cannot distinguish between the several, in our view equally plausible, structural models. We thus find that the characteristic features of experimental scattering curves are, after equilibration, fairly well reproduced by all systems prepared with our method. We thus study in more detail some structural details. We attempt to characterize the spatial and size distribution of the water rich domains, which is where the proton diffusion mostly takes place, using several clustering algorithms. (orig.)

  11. Structural and Electrochemical Analysis of PMMA Based Gel Electrolyte Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chithra M. Mathew

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available New gel polymer electrolytes containing poly(vinylidene chloride-co-acrylonitrile and poly(methyl methacrylate are prepared by solution casting method. With the addition of 60 wt.% of EC to PVdC-AN/PMMA blend, ionic conductivity value 0.398×10-6 S cm−1 has been achieved. XRD and FT-IR studies have been conducted to investigate the structure and complexation in the polymer gel electrolytes. The FT-IR spectra show that the functional groups C=O and C≡N play major role in ion conduction. Thermal stability of the prepared membranes is found to be about 180°C.

  12. Role of charged lipids in membrane structures — Insight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

    Lipids and proteins are the main components of cell membranes. It is becoming increasingly clear that lipids, in addition to providing an environment for proteins to work in, are in many cases also able to modulate the structure and function of those proteins. Particularly charged lipids...... to fruitful directions. In this paper, we review studies that have utilized molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the roles of charged lipids in membrane structures. We focus on lipids as active constituents of the membranes, affecting both general membrane properties as well as non-lipid membrane...

  13. Influence of cholesterol and ceramide VI on the structure of multilamellar lipid membranes at water exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryabova, N. Yu.; Kiselev, M. A.; Balagurov, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    The structural changes in the multilamellar lipid membranes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC)/cholesterol and DPPC/ceramide VI binary systems during hydration and dehydration have been studied by neutron diffraction. The effect of cholesterol and ceramide on the kinetics of water exchange in DPPC membranes is characterized. Compared to pure DPPC, membranes of binary systems swell faster during hydration (with a characteristic time of ∼30 min). Both compounds, ceramide VI and cholesterol, similarly affect the hydration of DPPC membranes, increasing the repeat distance due to the bilayer growth. However, in contrast to cholesterol, ceramide significantly reduces the thickness of the membrane water layer. The introduction of cholesterol into a DPPC membrane slows down the change in the parameters of the bilayer internal structure during dehydration. In the DPPC/ceramide VI/cholesterol ternary system (with a molar cholesterol concentration of 40%), cholesterol is partially released from the lamellar membrane structure into the crystalline phase.

  14. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polulakh, Yu. A.; Zhadko, S. I.; Klimchuk, D. A.; Baraboy, V. A.; Alpatov, A. N.; Sytnik, K. M.

    Structural-functional organization of plasma membrane of pea roots seedling was investigated by methods of chemiluminescence, fluorescence probes, chromatography and freeze-fracture studies under normal conditions and clinostatting. Phase character of lipid peroxidation intensity was fixed. The initial phase of this process is characterized by lipid peroxidation decreasing with its next induction. The primary changes depending on free-radical mechanisms of lipid peroxidation were excellently revealed by chemiluminescence. Plasmalemma microviscosity increased on the average of 15-20 % under microgravity at the initial stages of its phenomenon. There were major changes of phosphatidilcholine and phosphatidilethanolamine contents. The total quantity of phospholipids remained rather stable. Changes of phosphatide acid concentration point to degradation and phospholipids biosynthesis. There were increases of unsaturated fatty acids mainly at the expense of linoleic and linolenic acids and also a decrease of saturated fatty acid content at the expense of palmitic and stearic acids. Unsaturation index of fatty acids increased as well. On the whole fatty acid composition was variable in comparison with phospholipids. Probably it is one of mechanisms of maintaining of microviscosity within definite limits. Considerable structural changes in organization of plasmalemma protein-lipid complex were not revealed by the freeze-fracture studies.

  15. Invisible detergents for structure determination of membrane proteins by small-angle neutron scattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Midtgaard, Søren Roi; Darwish, Tamim A.; Pedersen, Martin Cramer

    2018-01-01

    A novel and generally applicable method for determining structures of membrane proteins in solution via small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is presented. Common detergents for solubilizing membrane proteins were synthesized in isotope-substituted versions for utilizing the intrinsic neutron sca...... solution structure determination of membrane proteins by SANS and subsequent data analysis available to non-specialists. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

  16. Impacts of operating conditions and solution chemistry on osmotic membrane structure and performance

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.

    2012-02-01

    Herein, we report on changes in the performance of a commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane, imparted by varied operating conditions and solution chemistries. Changes to feed and draw solution flow rate did not significantly alter the CTA membrane\\'s water permeability, salt permeability, or membrane structural parameter when operated with the membrane skin layer facing the draw solution (PRO-mode). However, water and salt permeability increased with increasing feed or draw solution temperature, while the membrane structural parameter decreased with increasing draw solution, possibly due to changes in polymer intermolecular interactions. High ionic strength draw solutions may de-swell the CTA membrane via charge neutralization, which resulted in lower water permeability, higher salt permeability, and lower structural parameter. This observed trend was further exacerbated by the presence of divalent cations which tends to swell the polymer to a greater extent. Finally, the calculated CTA membrane\\'s structural parameter was lower and less sensitive to external factors when operated in PRO-mode, but highly sensitive to the same factors when the skin layer faced the feed solution (FO-mode), presumably due to swelling/de-swelling of the saturated porous substructure by the draw solution. This is a first attempt aimed at systematically evaluating the changes in performance of the CTA membrane due to operating conditions and solution chemistry, shedding new insight into the possible advantages and disadvantages of this material in certain applications. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  17. The PhD Conundrum in South African Academia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breier, Mignonne; Herman, Chaya

    2017-01-01

    South African universities need more academics with PhDs, from historically disadvantaged population groups in particular, but they face a conundrum. In order to have more staff with PhDs, they need to produce more PhD graduates. But in order to produce more PhD graduates, they need more staff with PhDs to supervise. This article explores this…

  18. Dynamical and structural properties of lipid membranes in relation to liposomal drug delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Pedersen, Tina B.

    2001-01-01

    The structural and dynamical properties of DPPC liposomes containing lipopolymers (PEG-lipids) and charged DPPS lipids have been,studied in relation to the lipid membrane interaction of enzymes and peptides. The results suggest that both the lipid membrane structure and dynamics and in particular...

  19. Asymmetric block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh porosity and hierarchical pore structure by plain solvent evaporation

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, H.

    2016-09-14

    Membranes with a hierarchical porous structure could be manufactured from a block copolymer blend by pure solvent evaporation. Uniform pores in a 30 nm thin skin layer supported by a macroporous structure were formed. This new process is attractive for membrane production because of its simplicity and the lack of liquid waste.

  20. Asymmetric block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh porosity and hierarchical pore structure by plain solvent evaporation

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, H.; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Behzad, Ali Reza; Musteata, Valentina-Elena; Smilgies, D.-M.; Nunes, Suzana Pereira; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor

    2016-01-01

    Membranes with a hierarchical porous structure could be manufactured from a block copolymer blend by pure solvent evaporation. Uniform pores in a 30 nm thin skin layer supported by a macroporous structure were formed. This new process is attractive for membrane production because of its simplicity and the lack of liquid waste.

  1. Wrapping up : nidovirus membrane structures and innate immunity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudshoorn, D.

    2017-01-01

    The replication of all positive-stranded RNA viruses of eukaryotes is thought to take place at cytoplasmic membranous replication organelles. One of the most prominent types of viral ROs induced by a number of these viruses, including coronaviruses and arteriviruses, are double-membrane vesicles

  2. Patterning of super-hydrophobic structures on permeable sensor membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelt, van S.; Eggermont, J.; Frijns, A.J.H.; Dietzel, A.H.; Colin, S; Morini, GL; Brandner, JJ

    2012-01-01

    For a disposable smart food monitoring system, a gas sensor membrane is needed that isolates the sensor surface from (dust) particles water droplets. At the same time, this membrane must have a high permeability, a sufficiently fast response times and should be water repellent to avoid blocking of

  3. The Tower: Modelling, Analysis and Construction of Bending Active Tensile Membrane Hybrid Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holden Deleuran, Anders; Schmeck, Michel; Charles Quinn, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    The project is the result of an interdisciplinary research collaboration between CITA, KET and Fibrenamics exploring the design of integrated hybrid structures employing bending active elements and tensile membranes with bespoke material properties and detailing. Hybrid structures are defined her...

  4. MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Randall

    2014-07-03

    The initial goal of the MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Installation Project was for the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to gain experience using the integrated higher efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) single-ply membrane product, as it differs from the conventional, low efficiency, thin-film PV products, to determine the feasibility of success of larger deployment. As several of CCSF’s municipal rooftops are constrained with respect to weight restrictions, staff of the Energy Generation Group of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) proposed to install a solar PV system using single-ply membrane The installation of the 100 kW (DC-STC) lightweight photo voltaic (PV) system at the MUNI Ways and Structures Center (700 Pennsylvania Ave., San Francisco) is a continuation of the commitment of the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to increase the pace of municipal solar development, and serve its municipal facilities with clean renewable energy. The fourteen (14) solar photovoltaic systems that have already been installed at CCSF municipal facilities are assisting in the reduction of fossil-fuel use, and reduction of greenhouse gases from fossil combustion. The MUNI Ways & Structures Center roof has a relatively low weight-bearing capacity (3.25 pounds per square foot) and use of traditional crystalline panels was therefore rejected. Consequently it was decided to use the best available highest efficiency Building-Integrated PV (BIPV) technology, with consideration for reliability and experience of the manufacturer which can meet the low weight-bearing capacity criteria. The original goal of the project was to provide an opportunity to monitor the results of the BIPV technology and compare these results to other City and County of San Francisco installed PV systems. The MUNI Ways and Structures Center was acquired from the Cookson Doors Company, which had run the Center for many decades. The building was

  5. Antibacterial Membrane with a Bone-Like Structure for Guided Bone Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YuYuan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An antibacterial membrane with a bone-like structure was developed for guided bone regeneration (GBR by mineralising acellular bovine pericardium (ABP and loading it with the antibiotic minocycline. The bovine pericardium (BP membrane was processed using physical and chemical methods to remove the cellular components and obtain ABP membranes. Then, the ABP membranes were biomimetically mineralised using a calcium phosphate-loaded agarose hydrogel system aided by electrophoresis. Minocycline was adsorbed to the mineralised ABP membrane, and the release profile in vitro was studied. The membranes were characterised through scanning electron microscopy, diffuse reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Results showed that the ABP membrane had an asymmetric structure with a layer of densely arranged and irregularly aligned collagen fibrils. Collagen fibrils were calcified with the formation of intrafibrillar and interfibrillar hydroxyapatites similar to the bone structure. Minocycline was incorporated into the mineralised collagen membrane and could be released in vitro. This process endowed the membrane with an antibacterial property. This novel composite membrane offers promising applications in bioactive GBR.

  6. Structural Aspects of Bacterial Outer Membrane Protein Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calmettes, Charles; Judd, Andrew; Moraes, Trevor F

    2015-01-01

    The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is predominantly populated by β-Barrel proteins and lipid anchored proteins that serve a variety of biological functions. The proper folding and assembly of these proteins is essential for bacterial viability and often plays a critical role in virulence and pathogenesis. The β-barrel assembly machinery (Bam) complex is responsible for the proper assembly of β-barrels into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, whereas the localization of lipoproteins (Lol) system is required for proper targeting of lipoproteins to the outer membrane.

  7. Structural models of the membrane anchors of envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from pestiviruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. - Highlights: • Structures of pestivirus E2 proteins impose constraints on E1, E2 membrane anchors. • Atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors were generated in silico. • A “snorkeling” arginine completes the short helical hairpin in the E2 membrane anchor. • Roles in pH sensing and E1–E2 disulfide bond formation are proposed for E1 residues. • Implications for E1 ectodomain structure and disulfide bonding pattern are discussed

  8. Probing Induced Structural Changes in Biomimetic Bacterial Cell Membrane Interactions with Divalent Cations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, Allison M [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F [ORNL; Jubb, Aaron M [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Johs, Alexander [ORNL

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes, formed primarily by the self-assembly of complex mixtures of phospholipids, provide a structured scaffold for compartmentalization and structural processes in living cells. The specific physical properties of phospholipid species present in a given membrane play a key role in mediating these processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a zwitterionic lipid present in bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cell membranes, is exceptional. In addition to undergoing the standard lipid polymorphic transition between the gel and liquid-crystalline phase, it can also assume an unusual polymorphic state, the inverse hexagonal phase (HII). Divalent cations are among the factors that drive the formation of the HII phase, wherein the lipid molecules form stacked tubular structures by burying the hydrophilic head groups and exposing the hydrophobic tails to the bulk solvent. Most biological membranes contain a lipid species capable of forming the HII state suggesting that such lipid polymorphic structural states play an important role in structural biological processes such as membrane fusion. In this study, the interactions between Mg2+ and biomimetic bacterial cell membranes composed of PE and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were probed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The lipid phase transitions were examined at varying ratios of PE to PG and upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+. An understanding of these basic interactions enhances our understanding of membrane dynamics and how membrane-mediated structural changes may occur in vivo.

  9. Structural models of the membrane anchors of envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from pestiviruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jimin, E-mail: jimin.wang@yale.edu; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo, E-mail: yorgo.modis@yale.edu

    2014-04-15

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. - Highlights: • Structures of pestivirus E2 proteins impose constraints on E1, E2 membrane anchors. • Atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors were generated in silico. • A “snorkeling” arginine completes the short helical hairpin in the E2 membrane anchor. • Roles in pH sensing and E1–E2 disulfide bond formation are proposed for E1 residues. • Implications for E1 ectodomain structure and disulfide bonding pattern are discussed.

  10. Integrated Structural Biology for α-Helical Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Yan; Fischer, Axel W; Teixeira, Pedro; Weiner, Brian; Meiler, Jens

    2018-04-03

    While great progress has been made, only 10% of the nearly 1,000 integral, α-helical, multi-span membrane protein families are represented by at least one experimentally determined structure in the PDB. Previously, we developed the algorithm BCL::MP-Fold, which samples the large conformational space of membrane proteins de novo by assembling predicted secondary structure elements guided by knowledge-based potentials. Here, we present a case study of rhodopsin fold determination by integrating sparse and/or low-resolution restraints from multiple experimental techniques including electron microscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Simultaneous incorporation of orthogonal experimental restraints not only significantly improved the sampling accuracy but also allowed identification of the correct fold, which is demonstrated by a protein size-normalized transmembrane root-mean-square deviation as low as 1.2 Å. The protocol developed in this case study can be used for the determination of unknown membrane protein folds when limited experimental restraints are available. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. An Investigation on bilayer structures of electrospun polyacrylonitrile nanofibrous membrane and cellulose membrane used as filtration media for apple juice clarification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawitri, Asti; Miftahul Munir, Muhammad; Edikresnha, Dhewa; Sandi, Ahzab; Fauzi, Ahmad; Rajak, Abdul; Natalia, Dessy; Khairurrijal, Khairurrijal

    2018-05-01

    Nanofibrous membrane has a potential to use in filtration technology with electrospinning as one of the techniques used in synthesizing nanofibers. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous membranes with various fibers diameters were electrospun by varying its precursor solution concentration. The average fibers diameters of the PAN nanofibrous membranes obtained from the precursor solution concentrations of 6, 9, 12, and 14 wt% were 341, 534, 1274, and 2107 nm, respectively. Filtration media for apple juice clarification were bilayer-structured membranes made of PAN nanofibrous membranes on commercial cellulose microfibrous membranes. It has been shown that the reduction of apple juice color or turbidity performed by the cellulose microfibrous membrane was well enhanced by the presence of the PAN nanofibrous membrane in the bilayer-structured membrane. In addition, the apple-juice color and turbidity reductions increased with decreasing the average fibers diameter of the PAN nanofibrous membrane. Furthermore, the PAN nanofibrous membrane also helped the cellulose microfibrous membrane in the bilayer-structured membrane enhance the reductions of total phenols, protein, and glucose of the apple juice.

  12. HAMLET interacts with lipid membranes and perturbs their structure and integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossberg, Ann-Kristin; Puchades, Maja; Halskau, Øyvind; Baumann, Anne; Lanekoff, Ingela; Chao, Yinxia; Martinez, Aurora; Svanborg, Catharina; Karlsson, Roger

    2010-02-23

    Cell membrane interactions rely on lipid bilayer constituents and molecules inserted within the membrane, including specific receptors. HAMLET (human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) is a tumoricidal complex of partially unfolded alpha-lactalbumin (HLA) and oleic acid that is internalized by tumor cells, suggesting that interactions with the phospholipid bilayer and/or specific receptors may be essential for the tumoricidal effect. This study examined whether HAMLET interacts with artificial membranes and alters membrane structure. We show by surface plasmon resonance that HAMLET binds with high affinity to surface adherent, unilamellar vesicles of lipids with varying acyl chain composition and net charge. Fluorescence imaging revealed that HAMLET accumulates in membranes of vesicles and perturbs their structure, resulting in increased membrane fluidity. Furthermore, HAMLET disrupted membrane integrity at neutral pH and physiological conditions, as shown by fluorophore leakage experiments. These effects did not occur with either native HLA or a constitutively unfolded Cys-Ala HLA mutant (rHLA(all-Ala)). HAMLET also bound to plasma membrane vesicles formed from intact tumor cells, with accumulation in certain membrane areas, but the complex was not internalized by these vesicles or by the synthetic membrane vesicles. The results illustrate the difference in membrane affinity between the fatty acid bound and fatty acid free forms of partially unfolded HLA and suggest that HAMLET engages membranes by a mechanism requiring both the protein and the fatty acid. Furthermore, HAMLET binding alters the morphology of the membrane and compromises its integrity, suggesting that membrane perturbation could be an initial step in inducing cell death.

  13. The structure and function of cell membranes studied by atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yan; Cai, Mingjun; Zhou, Lulu; Wang, Hongda

    2018-01-01

    The cell membrane, involved in almost all communications of cells and surrounding matrix, is one of the most complicated components of cells. Lack of suitable methods for the detection of cell membranes in vivo has sparked debates on the biochemical composition and structure of cell membranes over half a century. The development of single molecule techniques, such as AFM, SMFS, and TREC, provides a versatile platform for imaging and manipulating cell membranes in biological relevant environments. Here, we discuss the latest developments in AFM and the progress made in cell membrane research. In particular, we highlight novel structure models and dynamic processes, including the mechanical properties of the cell membranes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. How membrane lipids control the 3D structure and function of receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Fantini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The cohabitation of lipids and proteins in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells is controlled by specific biochemical and biophysical rules. Lipids may be either constitutively tightly bound to cell-surface receptors (non-annular lipids or less tightly attached to the external surface of the protein (annular lipids. The latter are exchangeable with surrounding bulk membrane lipids on a faster time scale than that of non-annular lipids. Not only do non-annular lipids bind to membrane proteins through stereoselective mechanisms, they can also help membrane receptors acquire (or maintain a functional 3D structure. Cholesterol is the prototype of membrane lipids that finely controls the 3D structure and function of receptors. However, several other lipids such as sphingolipids may also modulate the function of membrane proteins though conformational adjustments. All these concepts are discussed in this review in the light of representative examples taken from the literature.

  15. Structural adaptations of proteins to different biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogozheva, Irina D.; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Mosberg, Henry I.; Lomize, Andrei L.

    2013-01-01

    To gain insight into adaptations of proteins to their membranes, intrinsic hydrophobic thicknesses, distributions of different chemical groups and profiles of hydrogen-bonding capacities (α and β) and the dipolarity/polarizability parameter (π*) were calculated for lipid-facing surfaces of 460 integral α-helical, β-barrel and peripheral proteins from eight types of biomembranes. For comparison, polarity profiles were also calculated for ten artificial lipid bilayers that have been previously studied by neutron and X-ray scattering. Estimated hydrophobic thicknesses are 30-31 Å for proteins from endoplasmic reticulum, thylakoid, and various bacterial plasma membranes, but differ for proteins from outer bacterial, inner mitochondrial and eukaryotic plasma membranes (23.9, 28.6 and 33.5 Å, respectively). Protein and lipid polarity parameters abruptly change in the lipid carbonyl zone that matches the calculated hydrophobic boundaries. Maxima of positively charged protein groups correspond to the location of lipid phosphates at 20-22 Å distances from the membrane center. Locations of Tyr atoms coincide with hydrophobic boundaries, while distributions maxima of Trp rings are shifted by 3-4 Å toward the membrane center. Distributions of Trp atoms indicate the presence of two 5-8 Å-wide midpolar regions with intermediate π* values within the hydrocarbon core, whose size and symmetry depend on the lipid composition of membrane leaflets. Midpolar regions are especially asymmetric in outer bacterial membranes and cell membranes of mesophilic but not hyperthermophilic archaebacteria, indicating the larger width of the central nonpolar region in the later case. In artificial lipid bilayers, midpolar regions are observed up to the level of acyl chain double bonds. PMID:23811361

  16. Deformation mechanisms of a porous structure of the poly(ethylene terephthalate) nuclear track membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ovchinnikov, V.V.

    1989-01-01

    The deformation mechanisms of a porous structure of the nuclear track membrane made of poly(ethylene terephthalate) are investigated in the temperature range from 333 to 473 K. It is shown that the pore size of the membrane can both decrease and increase. The analytical equation based on the Alfrey mechanical approach to the relaxation deformation of polymers describes the experimental data satisfactorily over the whole range of temperatures and pore radii of the membranes. 21 refs.; 5 figs.; 3 tabs

  17. Deformation analysis of a film-overlapped micro-pump membrane structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Fu-Shin; Wang, Pi-Wen; Chen, Chih-Hsiung

    2008-01-01

    A novel approach is developed to study a film-overlapped membrane structure. Meanwhile, the established model is employed to design the micro-pump membrane structure and to evaluate its pumping efficiency. Two-dimensional coupling effects between the overlapping actuator films and the deformable membrane are thoroughly investigated, including the influences on the membrane from the overlapping films' elongation effects, Poisson's ratio effects and shear strain effects. Overall deformations and interactions for the three-layer membrane structures are accurately calculated through exercising the developed model, in contrast to what difficulties are usually encountered in carrying out FEM methods with very thin elements meshed for the actuator films. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that the high stiffness of the actuating metal films needs to be reflected in the equivalent stiffness of the membrane structures, especially when the sizes of the actuator films become compatible with the sizes of the membranes. Hence, the optimal micro-pumping efficiency of a membrane structure is acquired upon exercising the developed model, and larger sizes of the actuating films do not definitely obtain larger pumping efficiencies for the electromagnetically actuated micro-pumps

  18. Bioactive Structure of Membrane Lipids and Natural Products Elucidated by a Chemistry-Based Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Michio; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Matsumori, Nobuaki

    2015-08-01

    Determining the bioactive structure of membrane lipids is a new concept, which aims to examine the functions of lipids with respect to their three-dimensional structures. As lipids are dynamic by nature, their "structure" does not refer solely to a static picture but also to the local and global motions of the lipid molecules. We consider that interactions with lipids, which are completely defined by their structures, are controlled by the chemical, functional, and conformational matching between lipids and between lipid and protein. In this review, we describe recent advances in understanding the bioactive structures of membrane lipids bound to proteins and related molecules, including some of our recent results. By examining recent works on lipid-raft-related molecules, lipid-protein interactions, and membrane-active natural products, we discuss current perspectives on membrane structural biology. © 2015 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Membrane Structure Studies by Means of Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knott, R. B.

    2008-01-01

    The basic model for membrane structure--a lipid bilayer with imbedded proteins--was formulated 35 years ago, however the detailed structure is still under active investigation using a variety of physical, chemical and computational techniques. Every biologically active cell is encapsulated by a plasma membrane with most cells also equipped with an extensive intracellular membrane system. The plasma membrane is an important boundary between the cytoplasm of the cell and the external environment, and selectively isolates the cell from that environment. Passive diffusion and/or active transport mechanisms are provided for water, ions, substrates etc. which are vital for cell metabolism and viability. Membranes also facilitate excretion of substances either as useful cellular products or as waste. Despite their complexity and diverse function, plasma membranes from quite different cells have surprisingly similar compositions. A typical membrane structure consists of a phospholipid bilayer with a number of proteins scattered throughout, along with carbohydrates (glycoproteins), glycolipids and sterols. The plasma membranes of most eukaryotic cells contain approximately equal weights of lipid and protein, which corresponds to about 100 lipid molecules per protein molecule. Clearly, lipids are a major constituent and the study of their structure and function in isolation provides valuable insight into the more complex intact multicomponent membrane. The membrane bound protein is the other major constituent and is a very active area of research for a number of reasons including the fact that over 60% of modern drugs act on their receptor sites. The interaction between the protein and the supporting lipid bilayer is clearly of major importance. Neutron scattering is a powerful technique for exploring the structure of membranes, either as reconstituted membranes formed from well characterised lipids, or as intact membranes isolated from selected biological systems. A brief

  20. Partially Fluorinated Sulfonated Poly(ether amide Fuel Cell Membranes: Influence of Chemical Structure on Membrane Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A series of fluorinated sulfonated poly (ether amides (SPAs were synthesized for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications. A polycondensation reaction of 4,4’-oxydianiline, 2-sulfoterephthalic acid monosodium salt, and tetrafluorophenylene dicarboxylic acids (terephthalic and isophthalic or fluoroaliphatic dicarboxylic acids produced SPAs with sulfonation degrees of 80–90%. Controlling the feed ratio of the sulfonated and unsulfonated dicarboxylic acid monomers afforded random SPAs with ion exchange capacities between 1.7 and 2.2 meq/g and good solubility in polar aprotic solvents. Their structures were characterized using NMR and FT IR spectroscopies. Tough, flexible, and transparent films were obtained with dimethylsulfoxide using a solution casting method. Most SPA membranes with 90% sulfonation degree showed high proton conductivity (>100 mS/cm at 80 °C and 100% relative humidity. Among them, two outstanding ionomers (ODA-STA-TPA-90 and ODA-STA-IPA-90 showed proton conductivity comparable to that of Nafion 117 between 40 and 80 °C. The influence of chemical structure on the membrane properties was systematically investigated by comparing the fluorinated polymers to their hydrogenated counterparts. The results suggest that the incorporation of fluorinated moieties in the polymer backbone of the membrane reduces water absorption. High molecular weight and the resulting physical entanglement of the polymers chains played a more important role in improving stability in water, however.

  1. Impacts of operating conditions and solution chemistry on osmotic membrane structure and performance

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.; Martinez, Kristina; Ramon, Guy Z.; Hoek, Eric M.V.

    2012-01-01

    Herein, we report on changes in the performance of a commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane, imparted by varied operating conditions and solution chemistries. Changes to feed and draw solution flow rate did not significantly alter the CTA membrane's water permeability, salt permeability, or membrane structural parameter when operated with the membrane skin layer facing the draw solution (PRO-mode). However, water and salt permeability increased with increasing feed or draw solution temperature, while the membrane structural parameter decreased with increasing draw solution, possibly due to changes in polymer intermolecular interactions. High ionic strength draw solutions may de-swell the CTA membrane via charge neutralization, which resulted in lower water permeability, higher salt permeability, and lower structural parameter. This observed trend was further exacerbated by the presence of divalent cations which tends to swell the polymer to a greater extent. Finally, the calculated CTA membrane's structural parameter was lower and less sensitive to external factors when operated in PRO-mode, but highly sensitive to the same factors when the skin layer faced the feed solution (FO-mode), presumably due to swelling/de-swelling of the saturated porous substructure by the draw solution. This is a first attempt aimed at systematically evaluating the changes in performance of the CTA membrane due to operating conditions and solution chemistry, shedding new insight into the possible advantages and disadvantages of this material in certain applications. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Relating performance of thin-film composite forward osmosis membranes to support layer formation and structure

    KAUST Repository

    Tiraferri, Alberto

    2011-02-01

    Osmotically driven membrane processes have the potential to treat impaired water sources, desalinate sea/brackish waters, and sustainably produce energy. The development of a membrane tailored for these processes is essential to advance the technology to the point that it is commercially viable. Here, a systematic investigation of the influence of thin-film composite membrane support layer structure on forward osmosis performance is conducted. The membranes consist of a selective polyamide active layer formed by interfacial polymerization on top of a polysulfone support layer fabricated by phase separation. By systematically varying the conditions used during the casting of the polysulfone layer, an array of support layers with differing structures was produced. The role that solvent quality, dope polymer concentration, fabric layer wetting, and casting blade gate height play in the support layer structure formation was investigated. Using a 1M NaCl draw solution and a deionized water feed, water fluxes ranging from 4 to 25Lm-2h-1 with consistently high salt rejection (>95.5%) were produced. The relationship between membrane structure and performance was analyzed. This study confirms the hypothesis that the optimal forward osmosis membrane consists of a mixed-structure support layer, where a thin sponge-like layer sits on top of highly porous macrovoids. Both the active layer transport properties and the support layer structural characteristics need to be optimized in order to fabricate a high performance forward osmosis membrane. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  3. Membrane structure: neutron diffraction and small angle scattering studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaccai, G.

    1985-01-01

    The author considers a molecule in a beam of radiation of wavelength lambda. Two extreme ways are shown in which on can have many identical molecules in a sample: a crystal in which they are related to each other by the symmetry of a lattice, and complete disorder in which there is no correlation between molecules. The detailed crystallographic analysis of isomorphous replacement is examined. Neutron diffraction experiments with specific deuteration are performed to characterize interactions of cholesterol with lipid bilayers. Retinal rod outer segment disk membranes and the purple membrane of H. halobium are examined

  4. The performance of double layer structure membrane prepared from flowing coagulant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieow Kee, Chan; Xeng, Anthony Leong Chan; Regal, Sasiskala; Singh, Balvinder; Raoo, Preeshaath; Koon Eu, Yap; Sok Choo, Ng

    2017-12-01

    Membrane with double layer structure is favourable as it exhibits smooth surface and macrovoids free structure. However, its’ performance in terms of permeability, porosity and strength has not been studied thoroughly. Additionally, the effect of flowing coagulant on the formation of double layer membrane has not been reported. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the performance of double layer membranes, which were prepared using flowing coagulant. Results showed that when the coagulant flow changed from laminar to turbulent, the pure water permeation of the membrane increased. It was due to the higher porosity in the membrane, which prepared by turbulent flow (CA-Turbulent) compared to the membrane which fabricated under laminar condition (CA-Laminar). This can be explained by the rapid solvent-coagulant exchange rate between the polymer solution and the turbulent coagulant. In term of strength, the tensile strength of the CA-Turbulent was ~32 MPa, which was 100% higher compared to CA-Laminar. This may due to the presence of large amount of nodules on its surface, which reduced the surface integrity. In conclusion, flowing coagulant altered the membrane properties and adopting turbulent coagulant flow in membrane fabrication would improve the porosity, surface roughness and the strength of the membrane.

  5. Structural and morphological changes in supramolecular-structured polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell on addition of phosphoric acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrana, S.; Pryliana, R. F.; Natanael, C. L.; Rahayu, I.

    2018-03-01

    Phosphoric acid is one agents used in membrane fuel cell to modify ionic conductivity. Therefore, its distribution in membrane is a key parameter to gain expected conductivity. Efforts have been made to distribute phosphoric acid in a supramolecular-structured membrane prepared with a matrix. To achieve even distribution across bulk of the membrane, the inclusion of the polyacid is carried out under pressurized chamber. Image of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows better phosphoric acid distribution for one prepared in pressurized state. It also leads in better performing in ionic conductivity. Moreover, data from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) indicate that the addition of phosphoric acid is prominent in the change of membrane structure, while morphological changes are captured in SEM images.

  6. The in vivo structure of biological membranes and evidence for lipid domains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nickels, Jonathan D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Chatterjee, Sneha [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Stanley, Christopher B. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Qian, Shuo [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cheng, Xiaolin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Myles, Dean A. A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Standaert, Robert F. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Elkins, James G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Katsaras, John [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Lopez, Daniel [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    2017-05-23

    Examining the fundamental structure and processes of living cells at the nanoscale poses a unique analytical challenge, as cells are dynamic, chemically diverse, and fragile. A case in point is the cell membrane, which is too small to be seen directly with optical microscopy and provides little observational contrast for other methods. As a consequence, nanoscale characterization of the membrane has been performed ex vivo or in the presence of exogenous labels used to enhance contrast and impart specificity. Here, we introduce an isotopic labeling strategy in the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis to investigate the nanoscale structure and organization of its plasma membrane in vivo. Through genetic and chemical manipulation of the organism, we labeled the cell and its membrane independently with specific amounts of hydrogen (H) and deuterium (D). These isotopes have different neutron scattering properties without altering the chemical composition of the cells. From neutron scattering spectra, we confirmed that the B. subtilis cell membrane is lamellar and determined that its average hydrophobic thickness is 24.3 ± 0.9 Ångstroms (Å). Furthermore, by creating neutron contrast within the plane of the membrane using a mixture of H- and D-fatty acids, we detected lateral features smaller than 40 nm that are consistent with the notion of lipid rafts. These experiments—performed under biologically relevant conditions—answer long-standing questions in membrane biology and illustrate a fundamentally new approach for systematic in vivo investigations of cell membrane structure.

  7. Probing water structure and transport in proton exchange membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ling, X.

    2018-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have attracted tremendous attention as alternative energy sources because of their high energy density and practically zero greenhouse gas emission - water is their only direct by-product. Critical to the function of PEMFCs is fast proton and water

  8. Structural investigation of membrane proteins by electron microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moscicka, Katarzyna Beata

    2009-01-01

    Biological membranes are vital components of all living systems, forming the boundaries of cells and their organelles. They consist of a lipid bilayer and embedded proteins, which are nanomachines that fulfill key functions such as energy conversion, solute transport, secretion, and signal

  9. Visualizing Membranes : 3D Electron Microscopic Imaging of Cellular Structures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebbink, M.N.

    2009-01-01

    Cells are organized in a highly complex manner. And while there are many different types of cells - each organized in a different manner according to their function - they do share certain commonalities. Among these commonalities are membranes that functions not only as a barrier between the extra-

  10. The Plasma Membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae : Structure, Function, and Biogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VANDERREST, ME; KAMMINGA, AH; NAKANO, A; ANRAKU, Y; POOLMAN, B; KONINGS, WN

    The composition of phospholipids, sphingolipids, and sterols in the plasma membrane has a strong influence on the activity of the proteins associated or embedded in the lipid bilayer. Since most lipid-synthesizing enzymes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are located in intracellular organelles, an

  11. Uniform Structure of Eukaryotic Plasma Membrane: Lateral Domains in Plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Malínská, Kateřina; Zažímalová, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 2 (2011), s. 148-155 ISSN 1389-2037 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06034 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : Plasma membrane * microdomains * lateral segregation Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 2.886, year: 2011

  12. Paramyxovirus membrane fusion: Lessons from the F and HN atomic structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamb, Robert A.; Paterson, Reay G.; Jardetzky, Theodore S.

    2006-01-01

    Paramyxoviruses enter cells by fusion of their lipid envelope with the target cell plasma membrane. Fusion of the viral membrane with the plasma membrane allows entry of the viral genome into the cytoplasm. For paramyxoviruses, membrane fusion occurs at neutral pH, but the trigger mechanism that controls the viral entry machinery such that it occurs at the right time and in the right place remains to be elucidated. Two viral glycoproteins are key to the infection process-an attachment protein that varies among different paramyxoviruses and the fusion (F) protein, which is found in all paramyxoviruses. For many of the paramyxoviruses (parainfluenza viruses 1-5, mumps virus, Newcastle disease virus and others), the attachment protein is the hemagglutinin/neuraminidase (HN) protein. In the last 5 years, atomic structures of paramyxovirus F and HN proteins have been reported. The knowledge gained from these structures towards understanding the mechanism of viral membrane fusion is described

  13. A new look at lipid-membrane structure in relation to drug research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent

    1998-01-01

    Lipid-bilayer membranes are key objects in drug research in relation to (i) interaction of drugs with membrane-bound receptors, (ii) drug targeting, penetration, and permeation of cell membranes, and (iii) use of liposomes in micro-encapsulation technologies for drug delivery. Rational design...... of new drugs and drug-delivery systems therefore requries insight into the physical properties of lipid-bilayer membranes. This mini-review provides a perspective on the current view of lipid-bilayer structure and dynamics based on information obtained from a variety of recent experimental...... and theoretical studies. Special attention is paid to trans-bilayer structure, lateral molecular organization of the lipid bilayer, lipid-mediated protein assembly, and lipid-bilayer permeability. It is argued that lipids play a major role in lipid membrane-organization and functionality....

  14. Spontaneous formation of structurally diverse membrane channel architectures from a single antimicrobial peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yukun; Chen, Charles H.; Hu, Dan; Ulmschneider, Martin B.; Ulmschneider, Jakob P.

    2016-11-01

    Many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) selectively target and form pores in microbial membranes. However, the mechanisms of membrane targeting, pore formation and function remain elusive. Here we report an experimentally guided unbiased simulation methodology that yields the mechanism of spontaneous pore assembly for the AMP maculatin at atomic resolution. Rather than a single pore, maculatin forms an ensemble of structurally diverse temporarily functional low-oligomeric pores, which mimic integral membrane protein channels in structure. These pores continuously form and dissociate in the membrane. Membrane permeabilization is dominated by hexa-, hepta- and octamers, which conduct water, ions and small dyes. Pores form by consecutive addition of individual helices to a transmembrane helix or helix bundle, in contrast to current poration models. The diversity of the pore architectures--formed by a single sequence--may be a key feature in preventing bacterial resistance and could explain why sequence-function relationships in AMPs remain elusive.

  15. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses

  16. On ripples and rafts: Curvature induced nanoscale structures in lipid membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmid, Friederike; Dolezel, Stefan; Meinhardt, Sebastian; Lenz, Olaf

    2014-01-01

    We develop an elastic theory that predicts the spontaneous formation of nanoscale structures in lipid bilayers which locally phase separate between two phases with different spontaneous monolayer curvature. The theory rationalizes in a unified manner the observation of a variety of nanoscale structures in lipid membranes: Rippled states in one-component membranes, lipid rafts in multicomponent membranes. Furthermore, we report on recent observations of rippled states and rafts in simulations of a simple coarse-grained model for lipid bilayers, which are compatible with experimental observations and with our elastic model

  17. Influence of ionizing radiation on the spatial structure of erythrocyte membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreval', V.Yi.; Syichevs'ka, L.V.; Doroshenko, A.O.; Roshal', O.D.

    1998-01-01

    Influence of gamma-radiation of doses of 10, 10 2 , 5 centre dot 10 2 , and 10 3 Gy on the structure of the protein-lipid complexes of erythrocyte membranes is investigated. The allotment of fluorescence of protein in the donor-acceptor pair of tryptophan-pyrene and the distance of protein from the surface of the lipid bilayer of a membrane are determined by the method of inductive-resonance transfer of energy. The pair is localized at the distance of above 3.2 nm from lipids. We find that the action of irradiation changes the space structure of proteins and lipids of the erythrocyte membrane

  18. Biological Membrane Ion Channels Dynamics, Structure, and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    2007-01-01

    Ion channels are biological nanotubes that are formed by membrane proteins. Because ion channels regulate all electrical activities in living cells, understanding their mechanisms at a molecular level is a fundamental problem in biology. This book deals with recent breakthroughs in ion-channel research that have been brought about by the combined effort of experimental biophysicists and computational physicists, who together are beginning to unravel the story of these exquisitely designed biomolecules. With chapters by leading experts, the book is aimed at researchers in nanodevices and biosensors, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology and the physical sciences. Key Features Presents the latest information on the molecular mechanisms of ion permeation through membrane ion channels Uses schematic diagrams to illustrate important concepts in biophysics Written by leading researchers in the area of ion channel investigations

  19. Heat-induced reorganization of the structure of photosystem II membranes: role of oxygen evolving complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busheva, Mira; Tzonova, Iren; Stoitchkova, Katerina; Andreeva, Atanaska

    2012-12-05

    The sensitivity of the green plants' photosystem II (PSII) to high temperatures is investigated in PSII enriched membranes and in membranes, from which the oxygen evolving complex is removed. Using steady-state 77 K fluorescence and resonance Raman spectroscopy we analyze the interdependency between the temperature-driven changes in structure and energy distribution in the PSII supercomplex. The results show that the heat treatment induces different reduction of the 77 K fluorescence emission in both types of investigated membranes: (i) an additional considerable decrease of the overall fluorescence emission in Tris-washed membranes as compared to the native membranes; (ii) a transition point at 42°C(,) observed only in native membranes; (iii) a sharp reduction of the PSII core fluorescence in Tris-washed membranes at temperatures higher than 50°C; (iv) a 3 nm red-shift of F700 band's maximum in Tris-washed membranes already at 20°C and its further shift by 1 nm at temperature increase. Both treatments intensified their action by increasing the aggregation and dissociation of the peripheral light harvesting complexes. The oxygen-evolving complex, in addition to its main function to produce O(2), increases the thermal stability of PSII core by strengthening the connection between the core and the peripheral antenna proteins and by keeping their structural integrity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Biochar composite membrane for high performance pollutant management: Fabrication, structural characteristics and synergistic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaffar, Abdul; Zhu, Xiaoying; Chen, Baoliang

    2018-02-01

    Biochar, a natural sourced carbon-rich material, has been used commonly in particle shape for carbon sequestration, soil fertility and environmental remediation. Here, we report a facile approach to fabricate freestanding biochar composite membranes for the first time. Wood biochars pyrolyzed at 300 °C and 700 °C were blended with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) in three percentages (10%, 30% and 50%) to construct membranes through thermal phase inversion process. The resultant biochar composite membranes possess high mechanical strength and porous structure with uniform distribution of biochar particles throughout the membrane surface and cross-section. The membrane pure water flux was increased with B300 content (4825-5411 ± 21 L m -2 h -1 ) and B700 content (5823-6895 ± 72 L m -2 h -1 ). The membranes with B300 were more hydrophilic with higher surface free energy (58.84-60.31 mJ m -2 ) in comparison to B700 (56.32-51.91 mJ m -2 ). The biochar composite membranes indicated promising adsorption capacities (47-187 mg g -1 ) to Rhodamine B (RhB) dye. The biochar membranes also exhibited high retention (74-93%) for E. coli bacterial suspensions through filtration. After simple physical cleaning, both the adsorption and sieving capabilities of the biochar composite membranes could be effectively recovered. Synergistic mechanisms of biochar/PVdF in the composite membrane are proposed to elucidate the high performance of the membrane in pollutant management. The multifunctional biochar composite membrane not only effectively prevent the problems caused by directly using biochar particle as sorbent but also can be produced in large scale, indicating great potential for practical applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Membrane Characterization by Microscopic and Scattering Methods: Multiscale Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Moulin

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Several microscopic and scattering techniques at different observation scales (from atomic to macroscopic were used to characterize both surface and bulk properties of four new flat-sheet polyethersulfone (PES membranes (10, 30, 100 and 300 kDa and new 100 kDa hollow fibers (PVDF. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM with “in lens” detection was used to obtain information on the pore sizes of the skin layers at the atomic scale. White Light Interferometry (WLI and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM using different scales (for WLI: windows: 900 × 900 µm2 and 360 × 360 µm2; number of points: 1024; for AFM: windows: 50 × 50 µm2 and 5 × 5 µm2; number of points: 512 showed that the membrane roughness increases markedly with the observation scale and that there is a continuity between the different scan sizes for the determination of the RMS roughness. High angular resolution ellipsometric measurements were used to obtain the signature of each cut-off and the origin of the scattering was identified as coming from the membrane bulk.

  2. Structural and electrical characterization of PZT on gold for micromachined piezoelectric membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, M.C.; Morris, D.J.; Hayenga, P.D.; Cho, J.H.; Richards, C.D.; Richards, R.F.; Bahr, D.F.

    2006-01-01

    Piezoelectric membranes have been fabricated that incorporate a gold bottom electrode with an adhesion layer of titanium-tungsten (10:90 wt. %). For solution-deposited acetic acid based lead zirconate titanate (HoAc-PZT) with a Zr:Ti ratio of 40:60, the film's average piezoelectric coefficient, e 31 , is -5.31 C/m 2 , with a dielectric constant of 814 at 200 Hz, which is similar to values for platinum bottom electrodes. The PZT structure remains columnar on both types of bottom electrodes. Initial fabrication attempts resulted in cracking that initiated in the PZT layer of the structure. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was utilized to establish how processing affects diffusion throughout the composite membrane structure. Crack-free membranes were fabricated and tested. This paper discusses the performance properties and piezoelectric fatigue results for these membranes. (orig.)

  3. The synthesis of recombinant membrane proteins in yeast for structural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routledge, Sarah J; Mikaliunaite, Lina; Patel, Anjana; Clare, Michelle; Cartwright, Stephanie P; Bawa, Zharain; Wilks, Martin D B; Low, Floren; Hardy, David; Rothnie, Alice J; Bill, Roslyn M

    2016-02-15

    Historically, recombinant membrane protein production has been a major challenge meaning that many fewer membrane protein structures have been published than those of soluble proteins. However, there has been a recent, almost exponential increase in the number of membrane protein structures being deposited in the Protein Data Bank. This suggests that empirical methods are now available that can ensure the required protein supply for these difficult targets. This review focuses on methods that are available for protein production in yeast, which is an important source of recombinant eukaryotic membrane proteins. We provide an overview of approaches to optimize the expression plasmid, host cell and culture conditions, as well as the extraction and purification of functional protein for crystallization trials in preparation for structural studies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Structure and hydration of membranes embedded with voltage-sensing domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Mihailescu, Mihaela; Freites, J Alfredo; Schow, Eric V; Worcester, David L; Gawrisch, Klaus; Tobias, Douglas J; White, Stephen H; Swartz, Kenton J

    2009-11-26

    Despite the growing number of atomic-resolution membrane protein structures, direct structural information about proteins in their native membrane environment is scarce. This problem is particularly relevant in the case of the highly charged S1-S4 voltage-sensing domains responsible for nerve impulses, where interactions with the lipid bilayer are critical for the function of voltage-activated ion channels. Here we use neutron diffraction, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the structure and hydration of bilayer membranes containing S1-S4 voltage-sensing domains. Our results show that voltage sensors adopt transmembrane orientations and cause a modest reshaping of the surrounding lipid bilayer, and that water molecules intimately interact with the protein within the membrane. These structural findings indicate that voltage sensors have evolved to interact with the lipid membrane while keeping energetic and structural perturbations to a minimum, and that water penetrates the membrane, to hydrate charged residues and shape the transmembrane electric field.

  5. Current strategies for protein production and purification enabling membrane protein structural biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Aditya; Shin, Kyungsoo; Patterson, Robin E; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2016-12-01

    Membrane proteins are still heavily under-represented in the protein data bank (PDB), owing to multiple bottlenecks. The typical low abundance of membrane proteins in their natural hosts makes it necessary to overexpress these proteins either in heterologous systems or through in vitro translation/cell-free expression. Heterologous expression of proteins, in turn, leads to multiple obstacles, owing to the unpredictability of compatibility of the target protein for expression in a given host. The highly hydrophobic and (or) amphipathic nature of membrane proteins also leads to challenges in producing a homogeneous, stable, and pure sample for structural studies. Circumventing these hurdles has become possible through the introduction of novel protein production protocols; efficient protein isolation and sample preparation methods; and, improvement in hardware and software for structural characterization. Combined, these advances have made the past 10-15 years very exciting and eventful for the field of membrane protein structural biology, with an exponential growth in the number of solved membrane protein structures. In this review, we focus on both the advances and diversity of protein production and purification methods that have allowed this growth in structural knowledge of membrane proteins through X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

  6. Modeling of the axon membrane skeleton structure and implications for its mechanical properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yihao Zhang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that, unlike the soma and dendrites, the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under tension. Currently, the structure-function relationship of the axonal structure is unclear. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM to show that the stiffness of the axon plasma membrane is significantly higher than the stiffnesses of dendrites and somata. To examine whether the structure of the axon plasma membrane determines its overall stiffness, we introduced a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model of the axon membrane skeleton that reproduces the structure identified by super-resolution microscopy. Our proposed computational model accurately simulates the median value of the Young's modulus of the axon plasma membrane determined by atomic force microscopy. It also predicts that because the spectrin filaments are under entropic tension, the thermal random motion of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav, which are bound to ankyrin particles, a critical axonal protein, is reduced compared to the thermal motion when spectrin filaments are held at equilibrium. Lastly, our model predicts that because spectrin filaments are under tension, any axonal injuries that lacerate spectrin filaments will likely lead to a permanent disruption of the membrane skeleton due to the inability of spectrin filaments to spontaneously form their initial under-tension configuration.

  7. Modeling of the axon membrane skeleton structure and implications for its mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yihao; Abiraman, Krithika; Li, He; Pierce, David M; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George

    2017-02-01

    Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that, unlike the soma and dendrites, the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under tension. Currently, the structure-function relationship of the axonal structure is unclear. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to show that the stiffness of the axon plasma membrane is significantly higher than the stiffnesses of dendrites and somata. To examine whether the structure of the axon plasma membrane determines its overall stiffness, we introduced a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model of the axon membrane skeleton that reproduces the structure identified by super-resolution microscopy. Our proposed computational model accurately simulates the median value of the Young's modulus of the axon plasma membrane determined by atomic force microscopy. It also predicts that because the spectrin filaments are under entropic tension, the thermal random motion of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav), which are bound to ankyrin particles, a critical axonal protein, is reduced compared to the thermal motion when spectrin filaments are held at equilibrium. Lastly, our model predicts that because spectrin filaments are under tension, any axonal injuries that lacerate spectrin filaments will likely lead to a permanent disruption of the membrane skeleton due to the inability of spectrin filaments to spontaneously form their initial under-tension configuration.

  8. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z-S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  9. Structure refinement and membrane positioning of selectively labeled OmpX in phospholipid nanodiscs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagn, Franz, E-mail: franz.hagn@tum.de; Wagner, Gerhard, E-mail: gerhard-wagner@hms.harvard.edu [Harvard Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (United States)

    2015-04-15

    NMR structural studies on membrane proteins are often complicated by their large size, taking into account the contribution of the membrane mimetic. Therefore, classical resonance assignment approaches often fail. The large size of phospholipid nanodiscs, a detergent-free phospholipid bilayer mimetic, prevented their use in high-resolution solution-state NMR spectroscopy so far. We recently introduced smaller nanodiscs that are suitable for NMR structure determination. However, side-chain assignments of a membrane protein in nanodiscs still remain elusive. Here, we utilized a NOE-based approach to assign (stereo-) specifically labeled Ile, Leu, Val and Ala methyl labeled and uniformly {sup 15}N-Phe and {sup 15}N-Tyr labeled OmpX and calculated a refined high-resolution structure. In addition, we were able to obtain residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) of OmpX in nanodiscs using Pf1 phage medium for the induction of weak alignment. Back-calculated NOESY spectra of the obtained NMR structures were compared to experimental NOESYs in order to validate the quality of these structures. We further used NOE information between protonated lipid head groups and side-chain methyls to determine the position of OmpX in the phospholipid bilayer. These data were verified by paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments obtained with Gd{sup 3+}-modified lipids. Taken together, this study emphasizes the need for the (stereo-) specific labeling of membrane proteins in a highly deuterated background for high-resolution structure determination, particularly in large membrane mimicking systems like phospholipid nanodiscs. Structure validation by NOESY back-calculation will be helpful for the structure determination and validation of membrane proteins where NOE assignment is often difficult. The use of protein to lipid NOEs will be beneficial for the positioning of a membrane protein in the lipid bilayer without the need for preparing multiple protein samples.

  10. Structural role of lipids in mitochondrial and sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes: freeze-fracture electron microscopy studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Packer, L; Mehard, C W; Meissner, G; Zahler, W L; Fleischer, S

    1974-01-01

    The role of phospholipid in the structure of the membranes of beef heart mitochondria and of the sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes from rabbit skeletal muscle has been investigated by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Progressive removal of membrane phospholipids, by phospholipase A treatment or detergent treatment, or by organic solvent extraction, results in loss of the smooth background seen in membrane fracture faces and decreased ability of membrane to undergo freeze fracture to yield fracture faces. Instead cross-sections of vesicles or particle clusters are observed. Sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles have a 9 to 1 asymmetry in the distribution of particles between the convex and concave fracture faces. There is also a wide range of particle size distribution in both of these fracture faces with 85-A particles in greatest number. The removal of membrane associated proteins by detergent extraction does not appreciably change the distribution in particle size. Sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles were dissolved with detergent and reassembled to form membrane vesicles containing mainly one protein (approx. 90%), i.e., the Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein, and with a ratio of lipid to protein similar to the original membrane. The reconstituted vesicles readily underwent freeze fracture but the asymmetric particle distribution between the fracture faces was no longer observed. The size distribution of particles in the reconstituted membrane, consisting mainly of Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein, and phospholipid, was similar in heterogeneity to the original sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane. Thus the heterogeneity in particle size could reflect variation in the orientation of the Ca/sup 2 +/ pump protein within the membrane.

  11. Robust hydrophobic polyurethane fibrous membranes with tunable porous structure for waterproof and breathable application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jiatai; Gu, Haihong; Cao, Jin; Chen, Shaojie; Li, Ni; Xiong, Jie

    2018-05-01

    In this work, novel nanofibrous membranes with waterproof and breathable (W&B) performance were successfully fabricated by the combination of electrospinning and surface modification technology. This fibrous membranes consisted of polyurethane (PU), NaCl, and fluoroalkylsilane (FAS). Firstly, The fibrous construction and porous structure of fibrous membranes were regulated by tuning the NaCl concentrations in PU solutions. Then, the obtained PU/NaCl fibrous membranes were further modified with fluoroalkylsilane (FAS) to improve hydrophobic property. The synergistic effect of porous structure and hydrophobicity on waterproof and breathable performance was investigated. Furthermore, the mechanical property of fibrous membranes was deeply analysed on the basis of macromolecule orientation and adhesive structure. Benefiting from the optimized porous structure and hydrophobic modification, the resultant fibrous membranes exhibited excellent waterproof (hydrostatic pressure of 1261 Mbar), breathable (water vapor transmission (WVT) rate of 9.06 kg m-2 d-1 and air permeability of 4.8 mm s-1) performance, as well as high tensile strength (breakage stress of 10.4 MPa), suggesting a promising candidate for various applications, especially in protective clothing.

  12. An experimental study of perovskite-structured mixed ionic- electronic conducting oxides and membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Pingying

    In recent decades, ceramic membranes based on mixed ionic and electronic conducting (MIEC) perovskite-structured oxides have received many attentions for their applications for air separation, or as a membrane reactor for methane oxidation. While numerous perovskite oxide materials have been explored over the past two decades; there are hardly any materials with sufficient practical economic value and performance for large scale applications, which justifies continuing the search for new materials. The main purposes of this thesis study are: (1) develop several novel SrCoO3-delta based MIEC oxides, SrCoCo1-xMxO3-delta, based on which membranes exhibit excellent oxygen permeability; (2) investigate the significant effects of the species and concentration of the dopants M (metal ions with fixed valences) on the various properties of these membranes; (3) investigate the significant effects of sintering temperature on the microstructures and performance of oxygen permeation membranes; and (4) study the performance of oxygen permeation membranes as a membrane reactor for methane combustion. To stabilize the cubic phase structure of the SrCoO3-delta oxide, various amounts of scandium was doped into the B-site of SrCoO 3-delta to form a series of new perovskite oxides, SrScxCoCo 1-xO3-delta (SSCx, x = 0-0.7). The significant effects of scandium-doping concentration on the phase structure, electrical conductivity, sintering performance, thermal and structural stability, cathode performance, and oxygen permeation performance of the SSCx membranes, were systematically studied. Also for a more in-depth understanding, the rate determination steps for the oxygen transport process through the membranes were clarified by theoretical and experimental investigation. It was found that only a minor amount of scandium (5 mol%) doping into the B-site of SrCoO3-delta can effectively stabilize the cubic phase structure, and thus significantly improve the electrical conductivity and

  13. Study of structural stability and damaging effect on membrane for four Aβ42 dimers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Feng

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence shows that Aβ oligomers are key pathogenic molecules in Alzheimer's disease. Among Aβ oligomers, dimer is the smallest aggregate and toxic unit. Therefore, understanding its structural and dynamic properties is quite useful to prevent the formation and toxicity of the Aβ oligomers. In this study, we performed molecular dynamic simulations on four Aβ42 dimers, 2NCb, CNNC, NCNC and NCCN, within the hydrated DPPC membrane. Four Aβ42 dimers differ in the arrangements of two Aβ42 peptides. This study aims to investigate the impact of aggregation pattern of two Aβ peptides on the structural stability of the Aβ42 dimer and its disruption to the biological membrane. The MD results demonstrate that the NCCN, CNNC and NCNC have the larger structural fluctuation at the N-terminus of Aβ42 peptide, where the β-strand structure converts into the coil structure. The loss of the N-terminal β-strand further impairs the aggregate ability of Aβ42 dimer. In addition, inserting Aβ42 dimer into the membrane can considerably decrease the average APL of DPPC membrane. Moreover this decrease effect is largely dependent on the distance to the location of Aβ42 dimer and its secondary structure forms. Based on the results, the 2NCb is considered as a stable dimeric unit for aggregating the larger Aβ42 oligomer, and has a potent ability to disrupt the membrane.

  14. Influence of the surface structure on the filtration performance of UV-modified PES membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kæselev, Bozena Alicja; Kingshott, P.; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    2002-01-01

    chemically characterised using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time of flight-static secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-static SIMS). The filtration performance of irradiated/non-modified and irradiated/modified membranes was examined in a crossflow cell, using a dextran solution. The filtration...... in relation to dextran when compared to membranes modified by AAG and AAP. This work suggests that the structure of the presence of grafted chains seems to be responsible for the observed changes to filtration performance of the modified membrane. Surface analysis supports the claim that the specific surface...

  15. Guided Bone Regeneration in Long-Bone Defects with a Structural Hydroxyapatite Graft and Collagen Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Original Articles Guided Bone Regeneration in Long-Bone Defects with a Structural Hydroxyapatite Graft and Collagen Membrane Teja Guda, PhD,1,2 John...Joint Surg Br 90-B, 1617, 2008. 6. Carlo Reis, E.C., Borges AaPB, Araujo, M.V.F., Mendes, V.C., Guan, L., and Davies, J.E. Periodontal regeneration...Regeneration of periodontal tissues: combinations of barrier membranes and grafting materials–biological foundation and preclinical evi- dence: a

  16. Screening and large-scale expression of membrane proteins in mammalian cells for structural studies

    OpenAIRE

    Goehring, April; Lee, Chia-Hsueh; Wang, Kevin H.; Michel, Jennifer Carlisle; Claxton, Derek P.; Baconguis, Isabelle; Althoff, Thorsten; Fischer, Suzanne; Garcia, K. Christopher; Gouaux, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Structural, biochemical and biophysical studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins are often hampered by difficulties in over-expression of the candidate molecule. Baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells (BacMam), although a powerful method to heterologously express membrane proteins, can be cumbersome for screening and expression of multiple constructs. We therefore developed plasmid Eric Gouaux (pEG) BacMam, a vector optimized for use in screening assays, as well as for efficient productio...

  17. Structural features and dynamic investigations of the membrane-bound cytochrome P450 17A1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ying-Lu; Xue, Qiao; Zheng, Qing-Chuan; Zhang, Ji-Long; Kong, Chui-Peng; Fan, Jing-Rong; Zhang, Hong-Xing

    2015-10-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 17A1 is a dual-function monooxygenase with a critical role in the synthesis of many human steroid hormones. The enzyme is an important target for treatment of breast and prostate cancers that proliferate in response to estrogens and androgens. Despite the crystallographic structures available for CYP17A1, no membrane-bound structural features of this enzyme at atomic level are available. Accumulating evidence has indicated that the interactions between bounded CYPs and membrane could contribute to the recruitment of lipophilic substrates. To this end, we have investigated the effects on structural characteristics in the presence of the membrane for CYP17A1. The MD simulation results demonstrate a spontaneous insertion process of the enzyme to the lipid. Two predominant modes of CYP17A1 in the membrane are captured, characterized by the depths of insertion and orientations of the enzyme to the membrane surface. The measured heme tilt angles show good consistence with experimental data, thereby verifying the validity of the structural models. Moreover, conformational changes induced by the membrane might have impact on the accessibility of the active site to lipophilic substrates. The dynamics of internal aromatic gate formed by Trp220 and Phe224 are suggested to regulate tunnel opening motions. The knowledge of the membrane binding characteristics could guide future experimental and computational works on membrane-bound CYPs so that various investigations of CYPs in their natural, lipid environment rather than in artificially solubilized forms may be achieved. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Stability and structure of the membrane protein transporter Ffh is modulated by substrates and lipids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reinau, Marika Ejby; Otzen, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    the apoprotein. Escherichia coli lipid and DOPG (and to a smaller extent DOPC) increase Ffh's α-helical content, possibly related to Ffh's role in guiding membrane proteins to the membrane. Binding is largely mediated by electrostatic interactions but does not protect Ffh against trypsinolysis. We conclude...... that Ffh is a structurally flexible and dynamic protein whose stability is significantly modulated by the environment. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved....

  19. Microbial community structure characteristics associated membrane fouling in A/O-MBR system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Da-Wen; Wen, Zhi-Dan; Li, Bao; Liang, Hong

    2014-02-01

    The study demonstrated the potential relationship between microbial community structure and membrane fouling in an anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR). The results showed that the microbial community structure in biocake was different with aerobic mixture, and the dominant populations were out of sync during the fouling process. Based on microbial community structure and metabolites analysis, the results showed that the succession of microbial community might be the leading factor to the variation of metabolites, and it might be the primary cause of membrane fouling. The rise of Shannon diversity index (H) of the microbial community in A/O-MBR went with the gradually serious membrane fouling. Pareto-Lorenz curve was used to describe the evenness of microbial distribution in A/O-MBR, and the result indicated when community evenness was low, the membrane fouling took place smoothly or slightly, otherwise, high evenness of microbial community would lead to more seriously membrane fouling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Structural Study and Modification of Support Layer for Forward Osmosis Membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Shi, Meixia

    2016-06-01

    Water scarcity is a serious global issue, due to the increasing population and developing economy, and membrane technology is an essential way to address this problem. Forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging membrane process, due to its low energy consumption (not considering the draw solute regeneration). A bottleneck to advance this technology is the design of the support layer for FO membranes to minimize the internal concentration polarization. In this dissertation, we focus on the structural study and modification of the support layer for FO membranes. Firstly, we digitally reconstruct different membrane morphologies in 3D and propose a method for predicting performance in ultrafiltration operations. Membranes with analogous morphologies are later used as substrate for FO membranes. Secondly, we experimentally apply substrates with different potentially suitable morphologies as an FO support layer. We investigate their FO performance after generating a selective polyamide layer on the top, by interfacial polymerization. Among the different substrates we include standard asymmetric porous membranes prepared from homopolymers, such as polysulfone. Additionally block copolymer membrane and Anodisc alumina membrane are chosen based on their exceptional structures, with cylindrical pores at least in part. 3D digitally reconstructed porous substrates, analogous to those investigated for ultrafiltration, are then used to model the performance in FO operation. Finally, we analyze the effect of intermediate layers between the porous substrate and the interfacial polymerized layer. We investigate two materials including chitosan and hydrogel. The main results are the following. Pore-scale modeling for digital membrane generation effectively predicts the velocity profile in different layers of the membrane and the performance in UF experiments. Flow simulations confirm the advantage of finger-like substrates over sponge-like ones, when high water permeance is sought

  1. Single-particle electron microscopy in the study of membrane protein structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Zorzi, Rita; Mi, Wei; Liao, Maofu; Walz, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Single-particle electron microscopy (EM) provides the great advantage that protein structure can be studied without the need to grow crystals. However, due to technical limitations, this approach played only a minor role in the study of membrane protein structure. This situation has recently changed dramatically with the introduction of direct electron detection device cameras, which allow images of unprecedented quality to be recorded, also making software algorithms, such as three-dimensional classification and structure refinement, much more powerful. The enhanced potential of single-particle EM was impressively demonstrated by delivering the first long-sought atomic model of a member of the biomedically important transient receptor potential channel family. Structures of several more membrane proteins followed in short order. This review recounts the history of single-particle EM in the study of membrane proteins, describes the technical advances that now allow this approach to generate atomic models of membrane proteins and provides a brief overview of some of the membrane protein structures that have been studied by single-particle EM to date. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japanese Society of Microscopy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Structure and dynamics of water and lipid molecules in charged anionic DMPG lipid bilayer membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, G. H.; Hansen, F. Y.; Taub, H.; Miskowiec, A.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The diffusion constant of water as a function of its depth in the membrane has been determined from mean-square-displacement calculations. Also, calculated incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering functions have been compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 10 8 –10 9 V m −1 , which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential for DMPG bilayers and found ∼1 V (∼2 ⋅ 10 8 V m −1 ) when in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and ∼1.4 V (∼2.8 ⋅ 10 8 V m −1 ) when in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The number of water molecules for a fully hydrated DMPG membrane has been estimated to be 9.7 molecules per lipid in the gel phase and 17.5 molecules in the fluid phase, considerably smaller than inferred experimentally for 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3

  3. Structure and dynamics of water and lipid molecules in charged anionic DMPG lipid bilayer membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, G. H.; Hansen, F. Y., E-mail: flemming@kemi.dtu.dk [Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, IK 207 DTU, DK-2800 Lyngby (Denmark); Taub, H.; Miskowiec, A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy and the University of Missouri Research Reactor,University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211 (United States)

    2016-04-14

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The diffusion constant of water as a function of its depth in the membrane has been determined from mean-square-displacement calculations. Also, calculated incoherent quasielastic neutron scattering functions have been compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 10{sup 8}–10{sup 9} V m{sup −1}, which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential for DMPG bilayers and found ∼1 V (∼2 ⋅ 10{sup 8} V m{sup −1}) when in the fluid phase with a monovalent counter-ion and ∼1.4 V (∼2.8 ⋅ 10{sup 8} V m{sup −1}) when in the gel phase with a divalent counter-ion. The number of water molecules for a fully hydrated DMPG membrane has been estimated to be 9.7 molecules per lipid in the gel phase and 17.5 molecules in the fluid phase, considerably smaller than inferred experimentally for 1

  4. Parvovirus Family Conundrum: What Makes a Killer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kailasan, Shweta; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Parrish, Colin R

    2015-11-01

    Parvoviruses infect a wide variety of hosts, and their ancestors appear to have emerged tens to hundreds of millions of years ago and to have spread widely ever since. The diversity of parvoviruses is therefore extensive, and although they all appear to descend from a common ancestor and share common structures in their capsid and nonstructural proteins, there is often low homology at the DNA or protein level. The diversity of these viruses is also seen in the widely differing impacts they have on their hosts, which range from severe and even lethal disease to subclinical or nonpathogenic infections. In the past few years, deep sequencing of DNA samples from animals has shown just how widespread the parvoviruses are in nature, but most of the newly discovered viruses have not yet been associated with any disease. However, variants of some parvoviruses have altered their host ranges to create new epidemic or pandemic viruses. Here, we examine the properties of parvoviruses and their interactions with their hosts that are associated with these disparate pathogenic outcomes.

  5. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Miyako; Saldanha, Rohit; Göbel, Anja; Kavallaris, Maria; Packer, Nicolle H

    2011-11-01

    Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2-6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2-6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2-6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2-6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

  6. The structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekely, Or; Steiner, Ariel; Szekely, Pablo; Amit, Einav; Asor, Roi; Tamburu, Carmen; Raviv, Uri

    2011-06-21

    In pure water, zwitterionic lipids form lamellar phases with an equilibrium water gap on the order of 2 to 3 nm as a result of the dominating van der Waals attraction between dipolar bilayers. Monovalent ions can swell those neutral lamellae by a small amount. Divalent ions can adsorb onto dipolar membranes and charge them. Using solution X-ray scattering, we studied how the structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes. We found that unlike monovalent ions that weakly interact with all of the examined dipolar membranes, divalent and trivalent ions adsorb onto membranes containing lipids with saturated tails, with an association constant on the order of ∼10 M(-1). One double bond in the lipid tail is sufficient to prevent divalent ion adsorption. We suggest that this behavior is due to the relatively loose packing of lipids with unsaturated tails that increases the area per lipid headgroup, enabling their free rotation. Divalent ion adsorption links two lipids and limits their free rotation. The ion-dipole interaction gained by the adsorption of the ions onto unsaturated membranes is insufficient to compensate for the loss of headgroup free-rotational entropy. The ion-dipole interaction is stronger for cations with a higher valence. Nevertheless, polyamines behave as monovalent ions near dipolar interfaces in the sense that they interact weakly with the membrane surface, whereas in the bulk their behavior is similar to that of multivalent cations. Advanced data analysis and comparison with theory provide insight into the structure and interactions between ion-induced regulated charged interfaces. This study models biologically relevant interactions between cell membranes and various ions and the manner in which the lipid structure governs those interactions. The ability to monitor these interactions creates a tool for probing systems that are more complex and forms the basis for controlling the interactions between dipolar

  7. A Class of Rigid Linker-bearing Glucosides for Membrane Protein Structural Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaf, Aiman; Mortensen, Jonas S; Capaldi, Stefano; Tikhonova, Elena; Hariharan, Parameswaran; de Castro Ribeiro, Orquidea; Loland, Claus J; Guan, Lan; Byrne, Bernadette; Chae, Pil Seok

    2016-03-01

    Membrane proteins are amphipathic bio-macromolecules incompatible with the polar environments of aqueous media. Conventional detergents encapsulate the hydrophobic surfaces of membrane proteins allowing them to exist in aqueous solution. Membrane proteins stabilized by detergent micelles are used for structural and functional analysis. Despite the availability of a large number of detergents, only a few agents are sufficiently effective at maintaining the integrity of membrane proteins to allow successful crystallization. In the present study, we describe a novel class of synthetic amphiphiles with a branched tail group and a triglucoside head group. These head and tail groups were connected via an amide or ether linkage by using a tris(hydroxylmethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) or neopentyl glycol (NPG) linker to produce TRIS-derived triglucosides (TDTs) and NPG-derived triglucosides (NDTs), respectively. Members of this class conferred enhanced stability on target membrane proteins compared to conventional detergents. Because of straightforward synthesis of the novel agents and their favourable effects on a range of membrane proteins, these agents should be of wide applicability to membrane protein science.

  8. Energy conundrum, digital revolution and politics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ersun, Oe.

    2007-01-01

    The 21st Century will be fundamentally different from the previous one in all aspects of the human life. The world is now facing unprecedented challenges that will determine the fate of the human race as a whole. Our tiny planet is too small to shoulder the weight of six and a half billion energy-needy people and it is too vulnerable to afford violent and confrontational approaches as was the case in the past 20th century. It is also a fact that science opened new horizons before us. Digital Revolution inaugurated a new era in human history. Technology offers tremendous opportunities to overcome new and inherited problems. Sadly, the family of nations is ill-equipped for handling these challenges because the organizational structure of the world society is archaic and inoperative. Or, we live in a geo strategic environment pregnant with dangerous crisis of global significance. Furthermore, the good old days when scientists were heeded respectfully as reliable guides and when scientific facts were accepted as 'veritas' are over. Solid scientific arguments are perceived as cover up stories to defend financial interests of multinational companies. Similarly, confidence in politicians is at its lowest level in several countries. At the center of this puzzle lies a frenetic quest for cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy sources. In such circumstances, the best remedies which may be created by the brightest minds of the world will be tributary to the 'goodwill' of politicians. Or, politicians are under the overwhelming pressure of their respective public opinions who may act according to emotional factors or advices from religion, gossip or ideology. Consequently, 'Societal Issues' will be 'the decisive' factor in shaping the future of 'Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems' as well as nonnuclear technologies. This paper will attempt to identify major elements of this global equation from a political standpoint. One also has to take into account a group of new and powerful

  9. Reconceiving myself: challenging conundrums and creating feminist community psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulvey, Anne

    2008-01-01

    This narrative describes how contexts in which I grew up influenced my pursuit of feminist community psychology and my work in a master's level community psychology program. Grappling inside and outside with longings that appear contradictory and contradictions that others do not experience has fueled passionate engagement with life and work. Growing up an Irish Catholic girl in the Midwest U.S. post World War II era informed and constrained my relational and vocational choices. Participation in consciousness raising and informal community building initiatives opened opportunities for personal, professional and political growth. These intensely personal interconnected stories describe conundrums that I experienced and the ways in which they were reconceived and repaired in the process of creating self, work and community.

  10. A German conundrum. In search for a final storage site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breloer, Bernd J.; Breyer, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    This article will recap the history of nuclear waste management and reveal why there was no solution and in what ways the disposal of nuclear waste is still being blocked even today. Despite all the efforts of the industry and the government bodies involved, the disposal of waste is being systematically thwarted by those who largely derive their political authority from being an anti-nuclear energy movement. They have been helped by their political coalition partners and, in the end, also the conservative and liberal parties for whom the topic has become a political nuisance. This paper is a revised and extended version of the article 'Die deutsche Zweifelsfrage' (A German Conundrum), which appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 21 May 2013. (orig.)

  11. Structural models of the membrane anchors of envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from pestiviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. PMID:24725935

  12. Tuning of Preparational Factors Affecting the Morphological Structure and Gas Separation Property of Asymmetric Polysulfone Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuenyao, C.; Ruangdit, S.; Chittrakarn, T.

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this work was to study the effect of preparational factors such as solvent type, evaporation time (ET) and non-solvent additive, on the morphological structure, physical and gas separation properties of the prepared membrane samples by tuning of these parameters. Flat sheet asymmetric polysulfone (PSF) membranes were prepared by the dry/wet phase inversion process combined with the double coagulation bath method. The alteration of the prepared membranes were analyzed through scientific techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA). Furthermore, gas separation performance of membrane samples was measured in term of gas permeation and ideal selectivity of CO2/CH4. Experimental results showed that the change of preparational factors affected to the gas permeation of asymmetric PSF membranes. For example, the selective layer thickness increased with increasing of ET. This lead to increase significantly of ideal selectivity of CO2/CH4. The CO2/CH4 ideal selectivity was also increased with increase of ethanol (non-solvent additive) concentration in casting solution. In summary, the tuning of preparational factors affected to morphological structure, physical and gas separation properties of PSF membranes.

  13. Structurally stable graphene oxide-based nanofiltration membranes with bioadhesive polydopamine coating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chongbin; Li, Zhiyuan; Chen, Jianxin; Yin, Yongheng; Wu, Hong

    2018-01-01

    Graphene oxide (GO)-based membranes possess promising potential in liquid separation for its high flux. The state-of-art GO-based membranes need to be supported by a substrate to ensure that the ultra-thin GO layer can withstand transmembrane pressure in practical applications. The interfacial compatibility of this kind of composite membrane remains a great challenge due to the intrinsic difference in chemical/physical properties between the GO sheets and the substrate. In this paper, a structurally stable GO-based composite nanofiltration membrane was fabricated by coupling the mussel-inspired adhesive platform and filtration-assisted assembly of GO laminates. The water flux for the prepared GO-based nanofiltration membrane reached up to 85 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 with a high retention above 95% and 100% for Orange G and Congo Red, respectively. The membrane exhibited highly stable structure owing to the covalent and noncovalent interactions between GO separation layer and dopamine adhesive platform.

  14. Structure, Dynamics, and Phase Behavior of DOPC/DSPC Mixture Membrane Systems: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Seonghan; Chang, Rakwoo [Kwangwoon University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-07-15

    Full atomistic molecular dynamics simulations have been performed for model mixture bilayer membrane systems consisting of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) phospholipids to understand the effects of two essential parameters such as lipid composition and temperature on the structural, dynamical, and phase behavior of mixture membrane systems. Although pure DSPC membranes are in the gel-like (L{sub β}' or P{sub β}') phase at 323 K, raising the temperature by only 10 K or replacing 20% of DSPC lipids by DOPC lipids can change the gel-like phase into the completely liquid-crystalline phase (L{sub α}). This phase change is accompanied by dramatic change in both structural properties such as area per lipid, membrane thickness, deuterium order parameter, and tail angle distribution, and dynamics properties such as mobility map. We also observe that the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) data of tail angle distribution as well as area per lipid (or membrane thickness)can be used as order parameters for the membrane phase transition.

  15. Structure, Dynamics, and Phase Behavior of DOPC/DSPC Mixture Membrane Systems: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seonghan; Chang, Rakwoo

    2016-01-01

    Full atomistic molecular dynamics simulations have been performed for model mixture bilayer membrane systems consisting of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) phospholipids to understand the effects of two essential parameters such as lipid composition and temperature on the structural, dynamical, and phase behavior of mixture membrane systems. Although pure DSPC membranes are in the gel-like (L_β' or P_β') phase at 323 K, raising the temperature by only 10 K or replacing 20% of DSPC lipids by DOPC lipids can change the gel-like phase into the completely liquid-crystalline phase (L_α). This phase change is accompanied by dramatic change in both structural properties such as area per lipid, membrane thickness, deuterium order parameter, and tail angle distribution, and dynamics properties such as mobility map. We also observe that the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) data of tail angle distribution as well as area per lipid (or membrane thickness)can be used as order parameters for the membrane phase transition.

  16. Structure, Function, Self-Assembly and Origin of Simple Membrane Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins perform such essential cellular functions as transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, transduction of environmental signals, regulation of cell fusion, recognition of other cells, energy capture and its conversion into high-energy compounds. In fact, 30-40% of genes in modem organisms codes for membrane proteins. Although contemporary membrane proteins or their functional assemblies can be quite complex, their transmembrane fragments are usually remarkably simple. The most common structural motif for these fragments is a bundle of alpha-helices, but occasionally it could be a beta-barrel. In a series of molecular dynamics computer simulations we investigated self-organizing properties of simple membrane proteins based on these structural motifs. Specifically, we studied folding and insertion into membranes of short, nonpolar or amphiphatic peptides. We also investigated glycophorin A, a peptide that forms sequence-specific dimers, and a transmembrane aggregate of four identical alpha-helices that forms an efficient and selective voltage-gated proton channel was investigated. Many peptides are attracted to water-membrane interfaces. Once at the interface, nonpolar peptides spontaneously fold to a-helices. Whenever the sequence permits, peptides that contain both polar and nonpolar amino also adopt helical structures, in which polar and nonpolar amino acid side chains are immersed in water and membrane, respectively. Specific identity of side chains is less important. Helical peptides at the interface could insert into the membrane and adopt a transmembrane conformation. However, insertion of a single helix is unfavorable because polar groups in the peptide become completely dehydrated upon insertion. The unfavorable free energy of insertion can be regained by spontaneous association of peptides in the membrane. The first step in this process is the formation of dimers, although the most common are aggregates of 4

  17. Modeling membrane protein structure through site-directed ESR spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kavalenka, A.A.

    2009-01-01

    Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a
    relatively new biophysical tool for obtaining structural information about proteins. This
    thesis presents a novel approach, based on powerful spectral analysis techniques (multicomponent
    spectral

  18. Towards structural and functional analysis of the plant plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport...... of nutrients and metabolites across the plasma membrane. Additional processes involving the PM H+-ATPase includes plant growth, development, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive efforts have been made in attempts to elucidate the detailed physiological role and biochemical characteristics...... of plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...

  19. Impact of the antimicrobial peptide Novicidin on membrane structure and integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren B; Otzen, Daniel Erik

    2010-01-01

    We have studied the impact of an 18-residue cationic antimicrobial peptide Novicidin (Nc) on the structure and integrity of partially anionic lipid membranes using oriented circular dichroism (OCD), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), dual polarization interferometry (DPI......), calcein dye leakage and fluorescence spectroscopy. OCD consistently showed that Nc is bound in an alpha-helical, surface bound state over a range of peptide to lipid (P/L) ratios up to approximately 1:15. Realignment of Nc at higher P/L ratios correlates to loss of membrane integrity as shown by Laurdan...... concentration, probably through formation of transient pores or transient disruption of the membrane integrity, followed by more extensive membrane disintegration at higher P/L ratios....

  20. Structure and electrochemical properties of the track membranes modified by tetrafluoroethane plasma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L.I.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Goryacheva, T.A.; Satulu, V.; Mitu, B.; Dinescu, G.

    2010-01-01

    A structure and charge transport properties of the poly(ethylene terephthalate) track membrane modified by the 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane plasma have been studied. It has been found that the polymer deposition on the surface of a track membrane via the plasma polymerization of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane results in the creation of bilayered composite membranes that possess a conductivity asymmetry in electrolyte solutions - a rectification effect similar to that of p-n junction in semiconductors. This effect is caused by an important reduction of the pore diameter in the polymer layer that leads to changing the pore geometry as well as by existence of an interface between two layers with different concentrations of carboxyl groups. Information about the charge transport in the studied membranes has been obtained by the method of impedance spectroscopy

  1. Characterizing the structure of lipodisq nanoparticles for membrane protein spectroscopic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rongfu; Sahu, Indra D; Liu, Lishan; Osatuke, Anna; Comer, Raven G; Dabney-Smith, Carole; Lorigan, Gary A

    2015-01-01

    Membrane protein spectroscopic studies are challenging due to the difficulty introduced in preparing homogenous and functional hydrophobic proteins incorporated into a lipid bilayer system. Traditional membrane mimics such as micelles or liposomes have proved to be powerful in solubilizing membrane proteins for biophysical studies, however, several drawbacks have limited their applications. Recently, a nanosized complex termed lipodisq nanoparticles was utilized as an alternative membrane mimic to overcome these caveats by providing a homogeneous lipid bilayer environment. Despite all the benefits that lipodisq nanoparticles could provide to enhance the biophysical studies of membrane proteins, structural characterization in different lipid compositions that closely mimic the native membrane environment is still lacking. In this study, the formation of lipodisq nanoparticles using different weight ratios of POPC/POPG lipids to SMA polymers was characterized via solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS). A critical weight ratio of (1/1.25) for the complete solubilization of POPC/POPG vesicles has been observed and POPC/POPG vesicles turned clear instantaneously upon the addition of the SMA polymer. The size of lipodisq nanoparticles formed from POPC/POPG lipids at this weight ratio of (1/1.25) was found to be about 30 nm in radius. We also showed that upon the complete solubilization of POPC/POPG vesicles by SMA polymers, the average size of the lipodisq nanoparticles is weight ratio dependent, when more SMA polymers were introduced, smaller lipodisq nanoparticles were obtained. The results of this study will be helpful for a variety of biophysical experiments when specific size of lipid disc is required. Further, this study will provide a proper path for researchers working on membrane proteins to obtain pertinent structure and dynamic information in a physiologically relevant membrane mimetic environment

  2. Super-resolution optical microscopy for studying membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezgin, Erdinc

    2017-07-12

    Investigation of cell membrane structure and dynamics requires high spatial and temporal resolution. The spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy is limited due to the diffraction of light. However, recent developments in microscopy enabled us to access the nano-scale regime spatially, thus to elucidate the nanoscopic structures in the cellular membranes. In this review, we will explain the resolution limit, address the working principles of the most commonly used super-resolution microscopy techniques and summarise their recent applications in the biomembrane field.

  3. Development of a stealth carrier system for structural studies of membrane proteins in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows for the handling of membrane proteins in solution and enables the use of small-angle scattering techniques for fast...... and reliable structural analysis. The difficulty with this approach is that the carrier discs contribute to the measured scattering intensity in a highly non-trivial fashion, making subsequent data analysis challenging. This thesis presents the development of a specifically deuterated, stealth nanodisc system...

  4. Measurement and evaluation of the summer microclimate in the semi-enclosed space under a membrane structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, Jiang; Hoyano, Akira [Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259-G5-2 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8502 (Japan)

    2010-01-15

    This study aims to clarify the summer microclimate in membrane structure buildings with semi-outdoor spaces and develop a computational simulation tool for designing a comfortable urban environment using membrane structures. Field measurements were conducted in a membrane structure building with a semi-outdoor space during a summer period. The present paper describes analysis results of measurement data for vertical distributions of air temperature and velocity under the membrane structure on clear sunny days. The following subjects were also discussed: (1) the effect of solar transmission on the warming of air temperature by the floor under the membrane structure; (2) the temperature reduction effect of ventilation by wind; (3) evaluation of thermal comfort in the living space under the membrane structure in terms of a thermal comfort index (new standard effective temperature: SET*). In order to demonstrate the capability to improve the thermal environment in the test membrane structure building, an evaporative cooling pavement was assumed to be applied to the ground under the membrane structure. The microclimatic modifying effect of this passive cooling strategy was evaluated using a numerical simulation method of coupling computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a 3D-CAD-based thermal simulation tool developed by the authors' research group. Simulation results show that the proposed simulation method is capable of quantifying spatial distributions of surface temperature, air temperature, air velocity and moisture in the living space under the membrane structure. The thermal comfort index (SET*) can also be estimated using these simulated results. (author)

  5. Sphingomyelinase D activity in model membranes: structural effects of in situ generation of ceramide-1-phosphate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto P Stock

    Full Text Available The toxicity of Loxosceles spider venom has been attributed to a rare enzyme, sphingomyelinase D, which transforms sphingomyelin to ceramide-1-phosphate. The bases of its inflammatory and dermonecrotic activity, however, remain unclear. In this work the effects of ceramide-1-phosphate on model membranes were studied both by in situ generation of this lipid using a recombinant sphingomyelinase D from the spider Loxosceles laeta and by pre-mixing it with sphingomyelin and cholesterol. The systems of choice were large unilamellar vesicles for bulk studies (enzyme kinetics, fluorescence spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering and giant unilamellar vesicles for fluorescence microscopy examination using a variety of fluorescent probes. The influence of membrane lateral structure on the kinetics of enzyme activity and the consequences of enzyme activity on the structure of target membranes containing sphingomyelin were examined. The findings indicate that: 1 ceramide-1-phosphate (particularly lauroyl ceramide-1-phosphate can be incorporated into sphingomyelin bilayers in a concentration-dependent manner and generates coexistence of liquid disordered/solid ordered domains, 2 the activity of sphingomyelinase D is clearly influenced by the supramolecular organization of its substrate in membranes and, 3 in situ ceramide-1-phosphate generation by enzymatic activity profoundly alters the lateral structure and morphology of the target membranes.

  6. Uniaxial and biaxial tensioning effects on thin membrane materials. [large space structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, W. F.; Goslee, J. W.

    1980-01-01

    Thin laminated membranes are being considered for various surface applications on future large space structural systems. Some of the thin membranes would be stretched across or between structural members with the requirement that the membrane be maintained within specified limits of smoothness which would be dictated by the particular applications such as antenna reflector requirements. The multiaxial tensile force required to maintain the smoothness in the membrane needs to be determined for use in the structure design. Therefore, several types of thicknesses of thin membrane materials have been subjected to varied levels of uniaxial and biaxial tensile loads. During the biaxial tests, deviations of the material surface smoothness were measured by a noncontacting capacitance probe. Basic materials consisted of composites of vacuum deposited aluminum on Mylar and Kapton ranging in thickness from 0.00025 in (0.000635 cm) to 0.002 in (0.00508 cm). Some of the material was reinforced with Kevlar and Nomex scrim. The uniaxial tests determined the material elongation and tensile forces up to ultimate conditions. Biaxial tests indicated that a relatively smooth material surface could be achieved with tensile force of approximately 1 to 15 Newtons per centimeter, depending upon the material thickness and/or reinforcement.

  7. Shallow Boomerang-shaped Influenza Hemagglutinin G13A Mutant Structure Promotes Leaky Membrane Fusion*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Alex L.; Tamm, Lukas K.

    2010-01-01

    Our previous studies showed that an angled boomerang-shaped structure of the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) fusion domain is critical for virus entry into host cells by membrane fusion. Because the acute angle of ∼105° of the wild-type fusion domain promotes efficient non-leaky membrane fusion, we asked whether different angles would still support fusion and thus facilitate virus entry. Here, we show that the G13A fusion domain mutant produces a new leaky fusion phenotype. The mutant fusion domain structure was solved by NMR spectroscopy in a lipid environment at fusion pH. The mutant adopted a boomerang structure similar to that of wild type but with a shallower kink angle of ∼150°. G13A perturbed the structure of model membranes to a lesser degree than wild type but to a greater degree than non-fusogenic fusion domain mutants. The strength of G13A binding to lipid bilayers was also intermediate between that of wild type and non-fusogenic mutants. These membrane interactions provide a clear link between structure and function of influenza fusion domains: an acute angle is required to promote clean non-leaky fusion suitable for virus entry presumably by interaction of the fusion domain with the transmembrane domain deep in the lipid bilayer. A shallower angle perturbs the bilayer of the target membrane so that it becomes leaky and unable to form a clean fusion pore. Mutants with no fixed boomerang angle interacted with bilayers weakly and did not promote any fusion or membrane perturbation. PMID:20826788

  8. Structure and interactions in biomaterials based on membrane-biopolymer self-assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koltover, Ilya

    Physical and chemical properties of artificial pure lipid membranes have been extensively studied during the last two decades and are relatively well understood. However, most real membrane systems of biological and biotechnological importance incorporate macromolecules either embedded into the membranes or absorbed onto their surfaces. We have investigated three classes of self-assembled membrane-biopolymer biomaterials: (i) Structure, interactions and stability of the two-dimensional crystals of the integral membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR). We have conducted a synchrotron x-ray diffraction study of oriented bR multilayers. The important findings were as follows: (1) the protein 2D lattice exhibited diffraction patterns characteristic of a 2D solid with power-law decay of in-plane positional correlations, which allowed to measure the elastic constants of protein crystal; (2) The crystal melting temperature was a function of the multilayer hydration, reflecting the effect of inter-membrane repulsion on the stability of protein lattice; (3) Preparation of nearly perfect (mosaicity gene therapy applications. We have established that DNA complexes with cationic lipid (DOTAP) and a neutral lipid (DOPC) have a compact multilayer liquid crystalline structure ( L ca ) with DNA intercalated between the lipid bilayers in a periodic 2D smectic phase. Furthermore, a different 2D columnar phase of complexes was found in mixtures with a transfectionen-hancing lipid DOPE. This structure ( HcII ) derived from synchrotron x-ray diffraction consists of DNA coated by cationic lipid monolayers and arranged on a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. Optical microscopy revealed that the L ca complexes bind stably to anionic vesicles (models of cellular membranes), whereas the more transfectant HcII complexes are unstable, rapidly fusing and releasing DNA upon adhering to anionic vesicles.

  9. Fast iodide-SAD phasing for high-throughput membrane protein structure determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnikov, Igor; Polovinkin, Vitaly; Kovalev, Kirill; Gushchin, Ivan; Shevtsov, Mikhail; Shevchenko, Vitaly; Mishin, Alexey; Alekseev, Alexey; Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco; Borshchevskiy, Valentin; Cherezov, Vadim; Leonard, Gordon A; Gordeliy, Valentin; Popov, Alexander

    2017-05-01

    We describe a fast, easy, and potentially universal method for the de novo solution of the crystal structures of membrane proteins via iodide-single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (I-SAD). The potential universality of the method is based on a common feature of membrane proteins-the availability at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface of positively charged amino acid residues with which iodide strongly interacts. We demonstrate the solution using I-SAD of four crystal structures representing different classes of membrane proteins, including a human G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), and we show that I-SAD can be applied using data collection strategies based on either standard or serial x-ray crystallography techniques.

  10. Nano-scale structure in membranes in relation to enzyme action - computer simulation vs. experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, P.; Jørgensen, Kent; Mouritsen, O.G.

    2002-01-01

    There is increasing theoretical and experimental evidence indicating that small-scale domain structure and dynamical heterogeneity develop in lipid membranes as a consequence of the the underlying phase transitions and the associated density and composition fluctuations. The relevant coherence...... lengths are in the nano-meter range. The nano-scale structure is believed to be important for controlling the activity of enzymes, specifically phospholipases, which act at bilayer membranes. We propose here a lattice-gas statistical mechanical model with appropriate dynamics to account for the non......-equilibrium action of the enzyme phospholipase A(2) which hydrolyses lipid-bilayer substrates. The resulting product molecules are assumed to induce local variations in the membrane interfacial pressure. Monte Carlo simulations of the non-equilibrium properties of the model for one-component as well as binary lipid...

  11. Structural studies of the lipid membranes at the Siberia-2 synchrotron radiation source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiselev, M. A.; Ermakova, E. V.; Ryabova, N. Yu.; Nayda, O. V.; Zabelin, A. V.; Pogorely, D. K.; Korneev, V. N.; Balagurov, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Lipid membranes are a subject of contemporary interdisciplinary studies at the junction of biology, biophysics, pharmacology, and bionanotechnology. The results of the structural studies of several types of lipid membranes by the lamellar and lateral diffraction of X-ray synchrotron radiation are presented. The experiments were performed at the Mediana and DICSI stations of the Siberia-2 synchrotron radiation source at the Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute. The data obtained are compared with the results of studying lipid membranes at the small-angle scattering beamlines D22 and D24 at LURE (France) and at the A2 beamline at DESY (Germany). The parameters of the DICSI station are shown to meet the basic requirements for the structural study of lipid systems, which are of fundamental and applied interest.

  12. Physico-mechanical and structural properties of eggshell membrane gelatin- chitosan blend edible films

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohammadi, Reza; Mohammadifar, Mohammad Amin; Rouhi, Milad

    2018-01-01

    This study investigated the physico-mechanical and structural properties of composite edible films based on eggshell membrane gelatin (G) and chitosan (Ch) (75G:25Ch, 50G:50Ch, 25G:75Ch). The results demonstrated that the addition of Ch increased elongation at break significantly (p< 0.05), but r......This study investigated the physico-mechanical and structural properties of composite edible films based on eggshell membrane gelatin (G) and chitosan (Ch) (75G:25Ch, 50G:50Ch, 25G:75Ch). The results demonstrated that the addition of Ch increased elongation at break significantly (p... interactions introduced by the addition of chitosan to eggshell membrane gelatin as new resources could improve the films’ functional properties....

  13. Sphingomyelinase D activity in model membranes: structural effects of in situ generation of ceramide-1-phosphate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stock, Roberto; Brewer, Jonathan R.; Wagner, Kerstin

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of Loxosceles spider venom has been attributed to a rare enzyme, sphingomyelinase D, which transforms sphingomyelin to ceramide-1-phosphate. The bases of its inflammatory and dermonecrotic activity, however, remain unclear. In this work the effects of ceramide-1-phosphate on model...... membranes were studied both by in situ generation of this lipid using a recombinant sphingomyelinase D from the spider Loxosceles laeta and by pre-mixing it with sphingomyelin and cholesterol. The systems of choice were large unilamellar vesicles for bulk studies (enzyme kinetics, fluorescence spectroscopy...... and dynamic light scattering) and giant unilamellar vesicles for fluorescence microscopy examination using a variety of fluorescent probes. The influence of membrane lateral structure on the kinetics of enzyme activity and the consequences of enzyme activity on the structure of target membranes containing...

  14. Bicelles and Other Membrane Mimics: Comparison of Structure, Properties, and Dynamics from MD Simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Mikkel; Kraft, Johan Frederik; Vosegaard, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    present molecular dynamics simulations to elucidate structural and dynamic properties of small bicelles and compare them to a large alignable bicelle, a small nanodisc, and a lipid bilayer. Properties such as lipid packing and properties related to embedding both an α-helical peptide and a transmembrane...... protein are investigated. The small bicelles are found to be very dynamic and mainly assume a prolate shape substantiating that small bicelles cannot be regarded as well-defined disclike structures. However, addition of a peptide results in an increased tendency to form disc-shaped bicelles. The small......The increased interest in studying membrane proteins has led to the development of new membrane mimics such as bicelles and nanodiscs. However, only limited knowledge is available of how these membrane mimics are affected by embedded proteins and how well they mimic a lipid bilayer. Herein, we...

  15. Crosslinked copolyazoles with a zwitterionic structure for organic solvent resistant membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Chisca, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The preparation of crosslinked membranes with a zwitterionic structure based on a facile reaction between a newly synthesized copolyazole with free OH groups and (3-glycidyloxypropyl)trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) is reported. The new OH-functionalized copolyazole is soluble in common organic solvents, such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), N,N′-dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and can be easily processed by phase inversion. After crosslinking with GPTMS, the membranes acquire high solvent resistance. We show the membrane performance and the influence of the crosslinking reaction conditions on the thermal stability, surface polarity, pore morphology, and solvent resistance. By using UV-spectroscopy we monitored the solvent resistance of the membranes in four aggressive solvents (THF, DMSO, DMF and NMP) for 30 days. After this time, only minor changes (less than 2%) were detected for membranes subjected to a crosslinking reaction for 6 hours or longer. Our data suggest that the novel crosslinked membranes can be used for industrial applications in wide harsh environments in the presence of organic solvents.

  16. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Mei; Su, Yongchao

    2011-01-01

    Many membrane peptides and protein domains contain functionally important cationic Arg and Lys residues, whose insertion into the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer encounters significant energy barriers. To understand how these cationic molecules overcome the free energy barrier to insert into the lipid membrane, we have used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to determine the membrane-bound topology of these peptides. A versatile array of solid-state NMR experiments now readily yields the conformation, dynamics, orientation, depth of insertion, and site-specific protein–lipid interactions of these molecules. We summarize key findings of several Arg-rich membrane peptides, including β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, unstructured cell-penetrating peptides, and the voltage-sensing helix of voltage-gated potassium channels. Our results indicate the central role of guanidinium-phosphate and guanidinium-water interactions in dictating the structural topology of these cationic molecules in the lipid membrane, which in turn account for the mechanisms of this functionally diverse class of membrane peptides. PMID:21344534

  17. Effect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drolle, E [University of Waterloo, Canada; Kucerka, Norbert [Canadian Neutron Beam Centre and Comelius University (Slovakia); Hoopes, M I [University of Waterloo, Canada; Choi, Y [University of Waterloo, Canada; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Karttunen, M [University of Waterloo, Canada; Leonenko, Z [University of Waterloo, Canada

    2013-01-01

    The cell membrane plays an important role in the molecular mechanism of amyloid toxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease. The membrane's chemical composition and the incorporation of small molecules, such as melatonin and cholesterol, can alter its structure and physical properties, thereby affecting its interaction with amyloid peptides. Both melatonin and cholesterol have been recently linked to amyloid toxicity. Melatonin has been shown to have a protective role against amyloid toxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of this protection is still not well understood, and cholesterol's role remains controversial. We used small-angle neutron diffraction (SAND) from oriented lipid multi-layers, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) from unilamellar vesicles experiments andMolecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate non-specific interactions of melatonin and cholesterol with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) model membranes. We conclude that melatonin decreases the thickness of both model membranes by disordering the lipid hydrocarbon chains, thus increasing membrane fluidity. This result is in stark contrast to the much accepted ordering effect induced by cholesterol, which causes membranes to thicken.

  18. Complete flexural vibration band gaps in membrane-like lattice structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Dianlong; Liu Yaozong; Qiu Jing; Wang Gang; Zhao Honggang

    2006-01-01

    The propagation of flexural vibration in the periodical membrane-like lattice structure is studied. The band structure calculated with the plane wave expansion method indicates the existence of complete gaps. The frequency response function of a finite periodic structure is simulated with finite element method. Frequency ranges with vibration attenuation are in good agreement with the gaps found in the band structure. Much larger attenuations are found in the complete gaps comparing to those directional ones. The existence of complete flexural vibration gaps in such a lattice structure provides a new idea for vibration control of thin plates

  19. Dimensional and Structural Control of Silica Aerogel Membranes for Miniaturized Motionless Gas Pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shanyu; Jiang, Bo; Maeder, Thomas; Muralt, Paul; Kim, Nayoung; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Jeong, Eunho; Han, Yen-Lin; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-08-26

    With growing public interest in portable electronics such as micro fuel cells, micro gas total analysis systems, and portable medical devices, the need for miniaturized air pumps with minimal electrical power consumption is on the rise. Thus, the development and downsizing of next-generation thermal transpiration gas pumps has been investigated intensively during the last decades. Such a system relies on a mesoporous membrane that generates a thermomolecular pressure gradient under the action of an applied temperature bias. However, the development of highly miniaturized active membrane materials with tailored porosity and optimized pumping performance remains a major challenge. Here we report a systematic study on the manufacturing of aerogel membranes using an optimized, minimal-shrinkage sol-gel process, leading to low thermal conductivity and high air conductance. This combination of properties results in superior performance for miniaturized thermomolecular air pump applications. The engineering of such aerogel membranes, which implies pore structure control and chemical surface modification, requires both chemical processing know-how and a detailed understanding of the influence of the material properties on the spatial flow rate density. Optimal pumping performance was found for devices with integrated membranes with a density of 0.062 g cm(-3) and an average pore size of 142.0 nm. Benchmarking of such low-density hydrophobic active aerogel membranes gave an air flow rate density of 3.85 sccm·cm(-2) at an operating temperature of 400 °C. Such a silica aerogel membrane based system has shown more than 50% higher pumping performance when compared to conventional transpiration pump membrane materials as well as the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures (up to 440 °C). This study highlights new perspectives for the development of miniaturized thermal transpiration air pumps while offering insights into the fundamentals of molecular pumping in

  20. Nanoclay-Directed Structure and Morphology in PVDF Electrospun Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyunghwan Yoon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The incorporation of organically modified Lucentite nanoclay dramatically modifies the structure and morphology of the PVDF electrospun fibers. In a molecular level, the nanoclay preferentially stabilizes the all-trans conformation of the polymer chain, promoting an α to β transformation of the crystalline phase. The piezoelectric properties of the β-phase carry great promise for energy harvest applications. At a larger scale, the nanoclay facilitates the formation of highly uniform, bead-free fibers. Such an effect can be attributed to the enhanced conductivity and viscoelasticity of the PVDF-clay suspension. The homogenous distribution of the directionally aligned nanoclays imparts advanced mechanical properties to the nanofibers.

  1. BCL::MP-Fold: membrane protein structure prediction guided by EPR restraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Axel W.; Alexander, Nathan S.; Woetzel, Nils; Karakaş, Mert; Weiner, Brian E.; Meiler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    For many membrane proteins, the determination of their topology remains a challenge for methods like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has evolved as an alternative technique to study structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of membrane protein topology determination using limited EPR distance and accessibility measurements. The BCL::MP-Fold algorithm assembles secondary structure elements (SSEs) in the membrane using a Monte Carlo Metropolis (MCM) approach. Sampled models are evaluated using knowledge-based potential functions and agreement with the EPR data and a knowledge-based energy function. Twenty-nine membrane proteins of up to 696 residues are used to test the algorithm. The protein-size-normalized root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD100) value of the most accurate model is better than 8 Å for twenty-seven, better than 6 Å for twenty-two, and better than 4 Å for fifteen out of twenty-nine proteins, demonstrating the algorithm’s ability to sample the native topology. The average enrichment could be improved from 1.3 to 2.5, showing the improved discrimination power by using EPR data. PMID:25820805

  2. Plasma-polymerized alkaline anion-exchange membrane: Synthesis and structure characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Jue; Meng Yuedong; Zhang Chengxu; Fang Shidong

    2011-01-01

    After-glow discharge plasma polymerization was developed for alkaline anion-exchange membranes synthesis using vinylbenzyl chloride as monomer. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the chemical structure properties of plasma-polymerized membranes. Ion-exchange capacities of quaternized poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (QPVBC) membranes were measured to evaluate their capability of hydroxyl ion transport. A mechanism of plasma polymerization using VBC as monomer that accounts for the competitive effects of free radicals polymerization and plasma ablation in the plasma polymerization process was proposed. Our results indicate that plasma discharge power influences the contents of functional groups and the structure of the plasma polymer membranes, which attribute to the coactions of polymerization and ablation. The properties of uniform morphology, good adhesion to the substrate, high thermal stability and satisfying anion conduction level suggest the potential application of QPVBC membrane deposited at discharge power of 20 W in alkaline direct methanol fuel cells.

  3. Understanding the structure and performance of self-assembled triblock terpolymer membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Pendergast, MaryTheresa M.; Mika Dorin, Rachel; Phillip, William A.; Wiesner, Ulrich; Hoek, Eric M.V.

    2013-01-01

    Nanoporous membranes represent a possible route towards more precise particle and macromolecular separations, which are of interest across many industries. Here, we explored membranes with vertically-aligned nanopores formed from a poly(isoprene-. b-styrene-. b-4 vinyl pyridine) (ISV) triblock terpolymer via a hybrid self-assembly/nonsolvent induced phase separation process (S-NIPS). ISV concentration, solvent composition, and evaporation time in the S-NIPS process were varied to tailor ordering of the selective layer and produce enhanced water permeability. Here, water permeability was doubled over previous versions of ISV membranes. This was achieved by increasing volatile solvent concentration, thereby decreasing the evaporation period required for self-assembly. Fine-tuning was required, however, since overly-rapid evaporation did not yield the desired pore structure. Transport models, used to relate the in-. situ structure to the performance of these materials, revealed narrowing of pores and blocking by the dense region below. It was shown that these vertically aligned nanoporous membranes compare favorably with commercial ultrafiltration membranes formed by NIPS and track-etching processes, which suggests that there is practical value in further developing and optimizing these materials for specific industrial separations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  4. Assembly and structural organization of pigment-protein complexes in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunter, C.N.; Pennoyer, J.D.; Niederman, R.A.

    1982-01-01

    The B875 and B800-850 light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides are characterized further by lithium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at 4 degrees C. Bacteriochlorophyll a was shown in reconstruction studies to remain complexed with its respective binding proteins during this procedure. From distributions in these gels, a quantitative description for the arrangement of the complexes is proposed. Assembly of the complexes was examined in delta-aminolevulinate-requiring mutant H-5 after a shift from high- to low-light intensity. After 10 h of delta-[ 3 H]aminolevulinate labeling, the specific radioactivity of bacteriochlorophyll in a fraction containing putative membrane invaginations reached the maximal level, while that of the mature photosynthetic membrane was at only one-third this level. This suggests that membrane invaginations are sites of preferential bacteriochlorophyll synthesis in which completed pigment-proteins exist transiently. Analysis of the 3 H distribution after electrophoretic separation further suggests that photosynthetic membranes grow mainly by addition of B800-850 to preformed membrane consisting largely of B875 and photochemical reaction centers. These results corroborate the above model for the structural organization of the light-harvesting system and indicate that the structurally and functionally discrete B800-850 pool is not completely assembled until all B875 sites for B800-850 interactions are occupied

  5. Structure and formation of egg membranes in Aedes aegypti. (L. ) (Diptera:Culicidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathew, G; Rai, K S

    1975-01-01

    An ultrastructural study of mosquito ovarioles reveals that both the vitelline membrane and the endochorion are secreted by the follicular epithelium. The presecretory phase is characterized by the hypertrophy of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex in the follicle cells. Synthesis of vitelline membrane precursors begins immediately after yolk protein uptake by micropinocytosis. Secretory droplets are budded off Golgi cisternae and released into the follicle cell--oocyte interface by exocytosis. The vitelline membrane first appears as dense plaques which eventually fuse to form a single homogeneous layer. Two types of secretory material are identified in the follicle cells prior to the formation of the endochorion. Golgi cisternae bud off small droplets similar in size and appearance to the precursors of the vitelline membrane. These migrate to the apical surface and accumulate between surface folds in the plasma membrane. The second type is a fibrous material formed in endoplasmic reticulum. When fully secreted, the endochorion is a 2-layered structure. The lower layer is comprised of pillar-like structures alternating with fibrous mesh-like areas. The pillars are formed by the coalescence of droplets released from Golgi, while the mesh-like areas presumably arise from the fibrous material. The outer layer is also fibrous. The follicle cells degenerate once the endochorion is laid down. endochorion is laid down.

  6. Understanding the structure and performance of self-assembled triblock terpolymer membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Pendergast, MaryTheresa M.

    2013-10-01

    Nanoporous membranes represent a possible route towards more precise particle and macromolecular separations, which are of interest across many industries. Here, we explored membranes with vertically-aligned nanopores formed from a poly(isoprene-. b-styrene-. b-4 vinyl pyridine) (ISV) triblock terpolymer via a hybrid self-assembly/nonsolvent induced phase separation process (S-NIPS). ISV concentration, solvent composition, and evaporation time in the S-NIPS process were varied to tailor ordering of the selective layer and produce enhanced water permeability. Here, water permeability was doubled over previous versions of ISV membranes. This was achieved by increasing volatile solvent concentration, thereby decreasing the evaporation period required for self-assembly. Fine-tuning was required, however, since overly-rapid evaporation did not yield the desired pore structure. Transport models, used to relate the in-. situ structure to the performance of these materials, revealed narrowing of pores and blocking by the dense region below. It was shown that these vertically aligned nanoporous membranes compare favorably with commercial ultrafiltration membranes formed by NIPS and track-etching processes, which suggests that there is practical value in further developing and optimizing these materials for specific industrial separations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  7. Micropore structure stabilization in organosilica membranes by gaseous catalyst post-treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dral, A. Petra; van Eck, Ernst R.H.; Winnubst, Louis; ten Elshof, Johan E.

    2018-01-01

    A post-treatment involving repeated exposure to gaseous HCl alternated with heating is demonstrated to strongly accelerate the recently reported structural evolution in organically bridged silica networks. Films, powders and membranes derived from 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane were exposed to

  8. Solution structure and elevator mechanism of the membrane electron transporter CcdA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yunpeng; Bushweller, John H

    2018-02-01

    Membrane oxidoreductase CcdA plays a central role in supplying reducing equivalents from the bacterial cytoplasm to the envelope. It transports electrons across the membrane using a single pair of cysteines by a mechanism that has not yet been elucidated. Here we report an NMR structure of the Thermus thermophilus CcdA (TtCcdA) in an oxidized and outward-facing state. CcdA consists of two inverted structural repeats of three transmembrane helices (2 × 3-TM). We computationally modeled and experimentally validated an inward-facing state, which suggests that CcdA uses an elevator-type movement to shuttle the reactive cysteines across the membrane. CcdA belongs to the LysE superfamily, and thus its structure may be relevant to other LysE clan transporters. Structure comparisons of CcdA, semiSWEET, Pnu, and major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporters provide insights into membrane transporter architecture and mechanism.

  9. The asymmetrical structure of Golgi apparatus membranes revealed by in situ atomic force microscope.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

    Full Text Available The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

  10. New penta-saccharide-bearing tripod amphiphiles for membrane protein structure studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehsan, Muhammad; Ghani, Lubna; Du, Yang

    2017-01-01

    of detergents, are available, purification and structural characterization of many membrane proteins remain challenging. In the current study, a new class of tripod amphiphiles bearing two different penta-saccharide head groups, designated TPSs, were developed and evaluated for their ability to extract...

  11. Kinetics of structural reorganizations in multilamellarphotosynthetic membranes monitored by small-angle neutronscattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagy, Gergely; Kovacs, Laszlo; Unnep, Renata

    2013-01-01

    and in unicellular organisms, we discuss the advantages and technical and methodological limitations of timeresolved SANS. We present a detailed and more systematical investigation of the kinetics of light-induced structural reorganizations in isolated spinach thylakoid membranes, which show how changes...

  12. Solution Structure and Membrane Interaction of the Cytoplasmic Tail of HIV-1 gp41 Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, R Elliot; Samal, Alexandra B; Vlach, Jiri; Saad, Jamil S

    2017-11-07

    The cytoplasmic tail of gp41 (gp41CT) remains the last HIV-1 domain with an unknown structure. It plays important roles in HIV-1 replication such as mediating envelope (Env) intracellular trafficking and incorporation into assembling virions, mechanisms of which are poorly understood. Here, we present the solution structure of gp41CT in a micellar environment and characterize its interaction with the membrane. We show that the N-terminal 45 residues are unstructured and not associated with the membrane. However, the C-terminal 105 residues form three membrane-bound amphipathic α helices with distinctive structural features such as variable degree of membrane penetration, hydrophobic and basic surfaces, clusters of aromatic residues, and a network of cation-π interactions. This work fills a major gap by providing the structure of the last segment of HIV-1 Env, which will provide insights into the mechanisms of Gag-mediated Env incorporation as well as the overall Env mobility and conformation on the virion surface. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Biophysical study of resin acid effects on phospholipid membrane structure and properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jagalski, Vivien; Barker, Robert; Topgaard, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Hydrophobic resin acids (RAs) are synthesized by conifer trees as part of their defense mechanisms. One of the functions of RAs in plant defense is suggested to be the perturbation of the cellular membrane. However, there is a vast diversity of chemical structures within this class of molecules, ...

  14. Mitochondrial membranes with mono- and divalent salt: Changes induced by salt ions on structure and dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pöyry, S.; Róg, T.; Karttunen, M.E.J.; Vattulainen, I.

    2009-01-01

    We employ atomistic simulations to consider how mono- (NaCl) and divalent (CaCl2) salt affects properties of inner and outer membranes of mitochondria. We find that the influence of salt on structural properties is rather minute, only weakly affecting lipid packing, conformational ordering, and

  15. Computational Approaches for Revealing the Structure of Membrane Transporters: Case Study on Bilitranslocase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Venko

    Full Text Available The structural and functional details of transmembrane proteins are vastly underexplored, mostly due to experimental difficulties regarding their solubility and stability. Currently, the majority of transmembrane protein structures are still unknown and this present a huge experimental and computational challenge. Nowadays, thanks to X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy over 3000 structures of membrane proteins have been solved, among them only a few hundred unique ones. Due to the vast biological and pharmaceutical interest in the elucidation of the structure and the functional mechanisms of transmembrane proteins, several computational methods have been developed to overcome the experimental gap. If combined with experimental data the computational information enables rapid, low cost and successful predictions of the molecular structure of unsolved proteins. The reliability of the predictions depends on the availability and accuracy of experimental data associated with structural information. In this review, the following methods are proposed for in silico structure elucidation: sequence-dependent predictions of transmembrane regions, predictions of transmembrane helix–helix interactions, helix arrangements in membrane models, and testing their stability with molecular dynamics simulations. We also demonstrate the usage of the computational methods listed above by proposing a model for the molecular structure of the transmembrane protein bilitranslocase. Bilitranslocase is bilirubin membrane transporter, which shares similar tissue distribution and functional properties with some of the members of the Organic Anion Transporter family and is the only member classified in the Bilirubin Transporter Family. Regarding its unique properties, bilitranslocase is a potentially interesting drug target. Keywords: Membrane proteins, Bilitranslocase, 3D protein structure, Transmembrane region predictors, Helix–helix interactions

  16. Membrane proteins bind lipids selectively to modulate their structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Reading, Eamonn; Allison, Timothy M; Ulmschneider, Martin B; Degiacomi, Matteo T; Baldwin, Andrew J; Robinson, Carol V

    2014-06-05

    Previous studies have established that the folding, structure and function of membrane proteins are influenced by their lipid environments and that lipids can bind to specific sites, for example, in potassium channels. Fundamental questions remain however regarding the extent of membrane protein selectivity towards lipids. Here we report a mass spectrometry approach designed to determine the selectivity of lipid binding to membrane protein complexes. We investigate the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and aquaporin Z (AqpZ) and the ammonia channel (AmtB) from Escherichia coli, using ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS), which reports gas-phase collision cross-sections. We demonstrate that folded conformations of membrane protein complexes can exist in the gas phase. By resolving lipid-bound states, we then rank bound lipids on the basis of their ability to resist gas phase unfolding and thereby stabilize membrane protein structure. Lipids bind non-selectively and with high avidity to MscL, all imparting comparable stability; however, the highest-ranking lipid is phosphatidylinositol phosphate, in line with its proposed functional role in mechanosensation. AqpZ is also stabilized by many lipids, with cardiolipin imparting the most significant resistance to unfolding. Subsequently, through functional assays we show that cardiolipin modulates AqpZ function. Similar experiments identify AmtB as being highly selective for phosphatidylglycerol, prompting us to obtain an X-ray structure in this lipid membrane-like environment. The 2.3 Å resolution structure, when compared with others obtained without lipid bound, reveals distinct conformational changes that re-position AmtB residues to interact with the lipid bilayer. Our results demonstrate that resistance to unfolding correlates with specific lipid-binding events, enabling a distinction to be made between lipids that merely bind from those that modulate membrane

  17. Investigation of the utility of selective methyl protonation for determination of membrane protein structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shih, Steve C. C.; Stoica, Ileana; Goto, Natalie K.

    2008-01-01

    Polytopic α-helical membrane proteins present one of the final frontiers for protein structural biology, with significant challenges causing severe under-representation in the protein structure databank. However, with the advent of hardware and methodology geared to the study of large molecular weight complexes, solution NMR is being increasingly considered as a tool for structural studies of these types of membrane proteins. One method that has the potential to facilitate these studies utilizes uniformly deuterated samples with protons reintroduced at one or two methyl groups of leucine, valine and isoleucine. In this work we demonstrate that in spite of the increased proportion of these amino acids in membrane proteins, the quality of structures that can be obtained from this strategy is similar to that obtained for all α-helical water soluble proteins. This is partly attributed to the observation that NOEs between residues within the transmembrane helix did not have an impact on structure quality. Instead the most important factors controlling structure accuracy were the strength of dihedral angle restraints imposed and the number of unique inter-helical pairs of residues constrained by NOEs. Overall these results suggest that the most accurate structures will arise from accurate identification of helical segments and utilization of inter-helical distance restraints from various sources to maximize the distribution of long-range restraints

  18. Structural remodeling and oligomerization of human cathelicidin on membranes suggest fibril-like structures as active species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sancho-Vaello, Enea; François, Patrice; Bonetti, Eve-Julie

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides as part of the mammalian innate immune system target and remove major bacterial pathogens, often through irreversible damage of their cellular membranes. To explore the mechanism by which the important cathelicidin peptide LL-37 of the human innate immune system interacts w...... that these supramolecular structures represent the LL-37-membrane active state. Collectively, our study provides new insights into the fascinating plasticity of LL-37 demonstrated at atomic resolution and opens the venue for LL-37-based molecules as novel antibiotics....

  19. Different Structures of PVA Nano fibrous Membrane for Sound Absorption Application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohrova, J.; Kalinova, K.

    2012-01-01

    The thin nano fibrous layer has different properties in the field of sound absorption in comparison with porous fibrous material which works on a principle of friction of air particles in contact with walls of pores. In case of the thin nano fibrous layer, which represents a sound absorber here, the energy of sonic waves is absorbed by the principle of membrane resonance. The structure of the membrane can play an important role in the process of converting the sonic energy to a different energy type. The vibration system acts differently depending on the presence of smooth fibers in the structure, amount of partly merged fibers, or structure of polymer foil as extreme. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was used as a polymer because of its good water solubility. It is possible to influence the structure of nano fibrous layer during the production process thanks to this property of polyvinyl alcohol.

  20. A Glimpse of Membrane Transport through Structures-Advances in the Structural Biology of the GLUT Glucose Transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Nieng

    2017-08-18

    The cellular uptake of glucose is an essential physiological process, and movement of glucose across biological membranes requires specialized transporters. The major facilitator superfamily glucose transporters GLUTs, encoded by the SLC2A genes, have been a paradigm for functional, mechanistic, and structural understanding of solute transport in the past century. This review starts with a glimpse into the structural biology of membrane proteins and particularly membrane transport proteins, enumerating the landmark structures in the past 25years. The recent breakthrough in the structural elucidation of GLUTs is then elaborated following a brief overview of the research history of these archetypal transporters, their functional specificity, and physiological and pathophysiological significances. Structures of GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT5 in distinct transport and/or ligand-binding states reveal detailed mechanisms of the alternating access transport cycle and substrate recognition, and thus illuminate a path by which structure-based drug design may be applied to help discover novel therapeutics against several debilitating human diseases associated with GLUT malfunction and/or misregulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Membrane-lipid therapy: A historical perspective of membrane-targeted therapies - From lipid bilayer structure to the pathophysiological regulation of cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    Our current understanding of membrane lipid composition, structure and functions has led to the investigation of their role in cell signaling, both in healthy and pathological cells. As a consequence, therapies based on the regulation of membrane lipid composition and structure have been recently developed. This novel field, known as Membrane Lipid Therapy, is growing and evolving rapidly, providing treatments that are now in use or that are being studied for their application to oncological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and neuropathic pain. This field has arisen from relevant discoveries on the behavior of membranes in recent decades, and it paves the way to adopt new approaches in modern pharmacology and nutrition. This innovative area will promote further investigation into membranes and the development of new therapies with molecules that target the cell membrane. Due to the prominent roles of membranes in the cells' physiology and the paucity of therapeutic approaches based on the regulation of the lipids they contain, it is expected that membrane lipid therapy will provide new treatments for numerous pathologies. The first on-purpose rationally designed molecule in this field, minerval, is currently being tested in clinical trials and it is expected to enter the market around 2020. However, it seems feasible that during the next few decades other membrane regulators will also be marketed for the treatment of human pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Conceptual model study using origami for membrane space structures : a perspective of origami-based engineering

    OpenAIRE

    NATORI, M. C.; SAKAMOTO, Hiraku; KATSUMATA, Nobuhisa; YAMAKAWA, Hiroshi; KISHIMOTO, Naoko

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses what has been found and what will be found using conceptual “origami” models to develop deployable space structures. The study covers the following: (i) one-dimensional structural elements, which are axially buckled inflatable tubes; (ii) two-dimensional elements, which are deployable membranes, such as solar arrays and solar sails; and (iii) deployable elements in nature. The study clarifies what design considerations are necessary to adapt the basic concepts to actual s...

  3. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiriaev, Serguei; Dam Madsen, Nis; Rubahn, Horst-Günter

    2017-01-01

    electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM). A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its....... In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles. Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM...

  4. Modification of the poly(ethylene) terephthalate track membrane structure and surface in the plasma of non-polymerized gases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L.I.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Apel, P.Y.

    1999-01-01

    An investigation of the properties of poly(ethylene) terephthalate track membranes (PETTMs) treated with a plasma RF-discharge in non-polymerized gases has been performed. The influence of the plasma treatment conditions on the basic properties of the membranes has been studied. It was arranged that the effect of non-polymerized gases plasma on the PETTMs results to etching a membrane's surface layer. The membranes' pore size and the form in this case change. It is shown that it is possible to change the structure of track membranes directly by gas discharge etching

  5. Heterogeneous structure and its effect on properties and electrochemical behavior of ion-exchange membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariono, D.; Khoiruddin; Subagjo; Wenten, I. G.

    2017-02-01

    Generally, commercially available ion-exchange membrane (IEM) can be classified into homogeneous and heterogeneous membranes. The classification is based on degree of heterogeneity in membrane structure. It is well known that the heterogeneity greatly affects the properties of IEM, such as conductivity, permselectivity, chemical and mechanical stability. The heterogeneity also influences ionic and electrical current transfer behavior of IEM-based processes during their operation. Therefore, understanding the role of heterogeneity in IEM properties is important to provide preliminary information on their operability and applicability. In this paper, the heterogeneity and its effect on IEM properties are reviewed. Some models for describing the heterogeneity of IEM and methods for characterizing the degree of heterogeneity are discussed. In addition, the influence of heterogeneity on the performance of IEM-based processes and their electrochemical behavior are described.

  6. Structure and dynamics of water and lipid molecules in charged anionic DMPG lipid bilayer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, Günther H.J.; Hansen, Flemming Yssing

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the influence of the valency of counter-ions on the structure of freestanding bilayer membranes of the anionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (DMPG) lipid at 310 K and 1 atm. At this temperature, the membrane is in the fluid...... compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have...... the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic...

  7. In silico local structure approach: a case study on outer membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Juliette; de Brevern, Alexandre G; Camproux, Anne-Claude

    2008-04-01

    The detection of Outer Membrane Proteins (OMP) in whole genomes is an actual question, their sequence characteristics have thus been intensively studied. This class of protein displays a common beta-barrel architecture, formed by adjacent antiparallel strands. However, due to the lack of available structures, few structural studies have been made on this class of proteins. Here we propose a novel OMP local structure investigation, based on a structural alphabet approach, i.e., the decomposition of 3D structures using a library of four-residue protein fragments. The optimal decomposition of structures using hidden Markov model results in a specific structural alphabet of 20 fragments, six of them dedicated to the decomposition of beta-strands. This optimal alphabet, called SA20-OMP, is analyzed in details, in terms of local structures and transitions between fragments. It highlights a particular and strong organization of beta-strands as series of regular canonical structural fragments. The comparison with alphabets learned on globular structures indicates that the internal organization of OMP structures is more constrained than in globular structures. The analysis of OMP structures using SA20-OMP reveals some recurrent structural patterns. The preferred location of fragments in the distinct regions of the membrane is investigated. The study of pairwise specificity of fragments reveals that some contacts between structural fragments in beta-sheets are clearly favored whereas others are avoided. This contact specificity is stronger in OMP than in globular structures. Moreover, SA20-OMP also captured sequential information. This can be integrated in a scoring function for structural model ranking with very promising results. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Plasma lipid pattern and red cell membrane structure in β-thalassemia patients in Jakarta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Over the last 10 years, we have investigated thalassemia patients in Jakarta to obtain a comprehensive picture of iron overload, oxidative stress, and cell damage.Methods: In blood samples from 15 transfusion-dependent patients (group T, 5 non-transfused patients (group N and 10 controls (group C, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, lipid-soluble vitamin E, malondialdehyde (MDA and thiol status were measured. Isolated eryhtrocyte membranes were investigated with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy using doxyl-stearic acid and maleimido-proxyl spin lables. Data were analyzed statistically with ANOVA.Results: Plasma triglycerides were higher and cholesterol levels were lower in thalassemic patients compared to controls. Vitamin E, group C: 21.8 vs T: 6.2 μmol/L and reactive thiols (C: 144 vs. T: 61 μmol/L were considerably lower in transfused patients, who exert clear signs of oxidative stress (MDA, C: 1.96 vs T: 9.2 μmol/L and of tissue cell damage, i.e., high transaminases plasma levels. Non-transfused thalassemia patients have slight signs of oxidative stress, but no significant indication of cell damage. Erythrocyte membrane parameters from EPR spectroscopy differ considerably between all groups. In transfusion-dependent patients the structure of the erythrocyte membrane and the gradients of polarity and fluidity are destroyed in lipid domains; binding capacity of protein thiols in the membrane is lower and immobilized.Conclusion: In tranfusion-dependent thalassemic patients, plasma lipid pattern and oxidative stress are associated with structural damage of isolated erythrocyte membranes as measured by EPR spectroscopy with lipid and proteinthiol spin labels. (Med J Indones 2011; 20:178-84Keywords: electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, erythrocyte membrane, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, thalassemia, plasma lipids.

  9. Structure/property relationships in polymer membranes for water purification and energy applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geise, Geoffrey

    Providing sustainable supplies of purified water and energy is a critical global challenge for the future, and polymer membranes will play a key role in addressing these clear and pressing global needs for water and energy. Polymer membrane-based processes dominate the desalination market, and polymer membranes are crucial components in several rapidly developing power generation and storage applications that rely on membranes to control rates of water and/or ion transport. Much remains unknown about the influence of polymer structure on intrinsic water and ion transport properties, and these relationships must be developed to design next generation polymer membrane materials. For desalination applications, polymers with simultaneously high water permeability and low salt permeability are desirable in order to prepare selective membranes that can efficiently desalinate water, and a tradeoff relationship between water/salt selectivity and water permeability suggests that attempts to prepare such materials should rely on approaches that do more than simply vary polymer free volume. One strategy is to functionalize hydrocarbon polymers with fixed charge groups that can ionize upon exposure to water, and the presence of charged groups in the polymer influences transport properties. Additionally, in many emerging energy applications, charged polymers are exposed to ions that are very different from sodium and chloride. Specific ion effects have been observed in charged polymers, and these effects must be understood to prepare charged polymers that will enable emerging energy technologies. This presentation discusses research aimed at further understanding fundamental structure/property relationships that govern water and ion transport in charged polymer films considered for desalination and electric potential field-driven applications that can help address global needs for clean water and energy.

  10. Adhesion structures and their cytoskeleton-membrane interactions at podosomes of osteoclasts in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akisaka, Toshitaka; Yoshida, Hisaho; Suzuki, Reiko; Takama, Keiko

    2008-03-01

    The organization of the cytoskeleton in the podosomes of osteoclasts was studied by use of cell shearing, rotary replication, and fluorescence cytochemical techniques. After shearing, clathrin plaques and particles associated with the cytoskeleton were left behind on the exposed cytoplasmic side of the membrane. The cytoskeleton of the podosomes was characterized by two types of actin filaments: relatively long filaments in the portion surrounding the podosome core, and highly branched short filaments in the core. Individual actin filaments radiating from the podosomes interacted with several membrane particles along the length of the filaments. Many lateral contacts with the membrane surface by the particles were made along the length of individual actin filaments. The polarity of actin filaments in podosomes became oriented such that their barbed ends were directed toward the core of podosomes. The actin cytoskeletons terminated or branched at the podosomes, where the membrane tightly adhered to the substratum. Microtubules were not usually present in the podosome structures; however, certain microtubules appeared to be morphologically in direct contact with the podosome core. Most of the larger clathrin plaques consisted of flat sheets of clathrin lattices that interconnected neighboring clathrin lattices to form an extensive clathrin area. However, the small deeply invaginated clathrin plaques and the podosomal cytoskeleton were located close together. Thus, the clathrin plaques on the ventral membrane of osteoclasts might be involved in both cell adhesion and the formation of receptor-ligand complexes, i.e., endocytosis.

  11. Membrane-associated insulin-like growth factor (IGF binding structures in placental cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The biological activities of IGF-I and –II are mediated mainly by the type 1 IGF receptor (IGF 1R and controlled by their interaction with soluble proteins, the IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs. Although there is a growing body of evidence that some IGFBPs may be cell surface-bound, published data concerning cell association of IGFBP-1 are scarce and none of them concern placental cells. The cell membranes used in this study were isolated from term human placentae. Detergent-solubilized membranes were shown to contain two types of IGF binding structures that were separated by gel filtration on a Sephadex G-100 column. Proteins in the first peak were eluted at V0 (Mr > 100 kD and they bound IGF-I with greater specificity and affinity than IGF-II and insulin. Most likely, they represented the IGF 1R. Small proteins (Mr ~ 45 kD were eluted with the membrane proteins in the second maximum. They were able to bind IGF-I and IGF-II, but not insulin. The identity of these proteins was shown to be IGFBP-1 on the basis of their reaction with specific anti-IGFBP-1 antibodies. To the best of our knowledge, the existence of IGFBP-1 associated with human placental cell membranes has not been reported in the literature before. Colocalisation of IGFBP-1 with IGF 1R in cell membranes could provide efficient modulation of IGF 1R receptor-ligand interactions.

  12. Effect of Processing Parameters on Pore Structure and Thickness of Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) Tubular Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belwalkar, A.; Grasing, E.; Huang, Z.; Misiolek, W.Z.

    2008-01-01

    Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) tubular membranes were fabricated from aluminum alloy tubes in sulfuric and oxalic acid electrolytes using a two-step anodization process. The membranes were investigated for characteristics such as pore size, interpore distance and thickness by varying applied voltage and electrolyte concentration. Morphology of the membranes was examined using light optical and scanning electron microscopy and characterized using ImageJ software. Results showed that membranes having narrow pore size and uniform pore distribution with parallel channel arrays were obtained. The pore sizes were ranging from 14 to 24 nm and the wall thicknesses as high as 76 µm. It was found that the pore size increased in direct proportion with the applied voltage and inversely with the electrolyte concentration while the interpore distance increased linearly with the applied voltage. It was also observed that increase in acid concentration increased tubular membrane wall thickness that improved mechanical handling. By using anodic alumina technology, robust ceramic tubes with uniformly distributed pore-structure and parallel nano-channels of lengths and sizes practical for industrial applications were reliably produced in quantity. PMID:19578471

  13. Effect of Processing Parameters on Pore Structure and Thickness of Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) Tubular Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belwalkar, A; Grasing, E; Van Geertruyden, W; Huang, Z; Misiolek, W Z

    2008-07-01

    Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) tubular membranes were fabricated from aluminum alloy tubes in sulfuric and oxalic acid electrolytes using a two-step anodization process. The membranes were investigated for characteristics such as pore size, interpore distance and thickness by varying applied voltage and electrolyte concentration. Morphology of the membranes was examined using light optical and scanning electron microscopy and characterized using ImageJ software. Results showed that membranes having narrow pore size and uniform pore distribution with parallel channel arrays were obtained. The pore sizes were ranging from 14 to 24 nm and the wall thicknesses as high as 76 microm. It was found that the pore size increased in direct proportion with the applied voltage and inversely with the electrolyte concentration while the interpore distance increased linearly with the applied voltage. It was also observed that increase in acid concentration increased tubular membrane wall thickness that improved mechanical handling. By using anodic alumina technology, robust ceramic tubes with uniformly distributed pore-structure and parallel nano-channels of lengths and sizes practical for industrial applications were reliably produced in quantity.

  14. Physical degradation of membrane electrode assemblies undergoing freeze/thaw cycling: Micro-structure effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, S. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Research and Development Division, Hyundai Motor Company, Yongin 446-912 (Korea); Mench, M.M. [Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2007-11-22

    The objective of this work is to investigate physical damage of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) materials subjected to freeze/thaw cycling. Effects of membrane electrode assembly micro-structures (catalyst layer cracking, membrane thickness, and membrane reinforcement) and diffusion media with micro-porous layers were analyzed by comparing scanning electron microscopy images of freeze/thaw cycled samples (-40 C/70 C) with those of virgin material and thermal cycled samples without freezing (5 C/70 C). Ex situ testing performed in this study has revealed a strong direction for the material choices in the PEFC and confirmed the previous computational model in the literature [S. He, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., 153 (2006) A1724-A1731; S. He, S.H. Kim, M.M. Mench, J. Electrochem. Soc., in press]. Specifically, the membrane electrode assemblies were found to be a source of water that can damage the catalyst layers under freeze/thaw conditions. Damage was found to occur almost exclusively under the channel, and not under the land (the graphite that touches the diffusion media). Conceptually, the best material to mitigate freeze-damage is a crack free virgin catalyst layer on a reinforced membrane that is as thin as possible, protected by a stiff diffusion media. (author)

  15. Engineering lipid structure for recognition of the liquid ordered membrane phase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bordovsky, Stefan S.; Wong, Christopher S.; Bachand, George D.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.; Sasaki, Darryl Y.

    2016-01-01

    The selective partitioning of lipid components in phase-separated membranes is essential for domain formation involved in cellular processes. Identifying and tracking the movement of lipids in cellular systems would be improved if we understood how to achieve selective affinity between fluorophore-labeled lipids and membrane assemblies. Furthermore, we investigated the structure and chemistry of membrane lipids to evaluate lipid designs that partition to the liquid ordered (L_o) phase. A range of fluorophores at the headgroup position and lengths of PEG spacer between the lipid backbone and fluorophore were examined. On a lipid body with saturated palmityl or palmitoyl tails, we found that although the lipid tails can direct selective partitioning to the L_o phase through favorable packing interactions, headgroup hydrophobicity can override the partitioning behavior and direct the lipid to the disordered membrane phase (L_d). The PEG spacer can serve as a buffer to mute headgroup–membrane interactions and thus improve L_o phase partitioning, but its effect is limited with strongly hydrophobic fluorophore headgroups. We present a series of lipid designs leading to the development of novel fluorescently labeled lipids with selective affinity for the L_o phase.

  16. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng

    2014-07-15

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

  17. Self-ordered, controlled structure nanoporous membranes using constant current anodization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwan; Tang, Yun; Ouyang, Min

    2008-12-01

    We report a constant current (CC) based anodization technique to fabricate and control structure of mechanically stable anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes with a long-range ordered hexagonal nanopore pattern. For the first time we show that interpore distance (Dint) of a self-ordered nanopore feature can be continuously tuned over a broad range with CC anodization and is uniquely defined by the conductivity of sulfuric acid as electrolyte. We further demonstrate that this technique can offer new degrees of freedom for engineering planar nanopore structures by fine tailoring the CC based anodization process. Our results not only facilitate further understanding of self-ordering mechanism of alumina membranes but also provide a fast, simple (without requirement of prepatterning or preoxide layer), and flexible methodology for controlling complex nanoporous structures, thus offering promising practical applications in nanotechnology.

  18. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn; Stroh, Cordula; Zhu Rong; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry δ-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin

  19. Structure determination of an integral membrane protein at room temperature from crystals in situ

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Axford, Danny; Foadi, James; Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani; Iwata, So; Beis, Konstantinos; Evans, Gwyndaf; Alguel, Yilmaz

    2015-01-01

    The X-ray structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron diffraction data measured in situ at room temperature is demonstrated. The structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature directly in vapour-diffusion crystallization plates (in situ) is demonstrated. Exposing the crystals in situ eliminates manual sample handling and, since it is performed at room temperature, removes the complication of cryoprotection and potential structural anomalies induced by sample cryocooling. Essential to the method is the ability to limit radiation damage by recording a small amount of data per sample from many samples and subsequently assembling the resulting data sets using specialized software. The validity of this procedure is established by the structure determination of Haemophilus influenza TehA at 2.3 Å resolution. The method presented offers an effective protocol for the fast and efficient determination of membrane-protein structures at room temperature using third-generation synchrotron beamlines

  20. Structure determination of an integral membrane protein at room temperature from crystals in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Axford, Danny [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Foadi, James [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Iwata, So [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Beis, Konstantinos [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Evans, Gwyndaf, E-mail: gwyndaf.evans@diamond.ac.uk [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Alguel, Yilmaz, E-mail: gwyndaf.evans@diamond.ac.uk [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom)

    2015-05-14

    The X-ray structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron diffraction data measured in situ at room temperature is demonstrated. The structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature directly in vapour-diffusion crystallization plates (in situ) is demonstrated. Exposing the crystals in situ eliminates manual sample handling and, since it is performed at room temperature, removes the complication of cryoprotection and potential structural anomalies induced by sample cryocooling. Essential to the method is the ability to limit radiation damage by recording a small amount of data per sample from many samples and subsequently assembling the resulting data sets using specialized software. The validity of this procedure is established by the structure determination of Haemophilus influenza TehA at 2.3 Å resolution. The method presented offers an effective protocol for the fast and efficient determination of membrane-protein structures at room temperature using third-generation synchrotron beamlines.

  1. Conundrums in the legal protection of migrant workers' health rights and relative resolutions: implications from the case of Tseng Hei-tao.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kai

    2013-08-01

    The deteriorating situation of migrant workers' health rights protection was once again highlighted in the case of Tseng Hei-tao. This case explicitly and implicitly showed that four conundrums--the Employment Restriction Conundrum, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Legal Conundrum, the Morality Conundrum and the Identity Conundrum--are barriers to migrant workers' right protection. The health rights of migrant workers could be safeguarded by abolishing the outdated household registration system designed in the planned economy era, improving the rule of law, and strengthening administrative supervisions. This would fundamentally remove these barriers and thus contribute to migrant workers' health rights protection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Jain

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

  3. Common processes at unique volcanoes – a volcanological conundrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine eCashman

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available An emerging challenge in modern volcanology is the apparent contradiction between the perception that every volcano is unique, and classification systems based on commonalities among volcano morphology and eruptive style. On the one hand, detailed studies of individual volcanoes show that a single volcano often exhibits similar patterns of behaviour over multiple eruptive episodes; this observation has led to the idea that each volcano has its own distinctive pattern of behaviour (or personality. In contrast, volcano classification schemes define eruption styles referenced to type volcanoes (e.g. Plinian, Strombolian, Vulcanian; this approach implicitly assumes that common processes underpin volcanic activity and can be used to predict the nature, extent and ensuing hazards of individual volcanoes. Actual volcanic eruptions, however, often include multiple styles, and type volcanoes may experience atypical eruptions (e.g., violent explosive eruptions of Kilauea, Hawaii1. The volcanological community is thus left with a fundamental conundrum that pits the uniqueness of individual volcanic systems against generalization of common processes. Addressing this challenge represents a major challenge to volcano research.

  4. Collaborative Research on Sustainability: Myths and Conundrums of Interdisciplinary Departments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Sherren

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Establishing interdisciplinary academic departments has been a common response to the challenge of addressing complex problems. However, the assumptions that guide the formation of such departments are rarely questioned. Additionally, the designers and managers of interdisciplinary academic departments in any field of endeavour struggle to set an organisational climate appropriate to the diversity of their members. This article presents a preliminary analysis of collaborative dynamics within two interdisciplinary university departments in Australia focused on sustainability. Social network diagrams and metrics of coauthorship and cosupervision are analysed qualitatively. A “vicarious interdisciplinarity” was identified among key academics working narrowly in order to earn the resources that allow them to support others working interdisciplinarily. Those supported in this way appear to benefit from the esteem and nonredundant collaborative connections their mentors provide via this strategy, but they experience uncertainty about their own career opportunities in similar settings. This article thus unearths a conundrum of succession for interdisciplinary academic environments, and suggests that simple colocation of diverse academic stars is an inadequate strategy to achieve effective intradepartmental collaboration.

  5. Dispersion bias, dispersion effect, and the aerosol-cloud conundrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yangang; Daum, Peter H; Guo Huan; Peng Yiran

    2008-01-01

    This work examines the influences of relative dispersion (the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean radius of the cloud droplet size distribution) on cloud albedo and cloud radiative forcing, derives an analytical formulation that accounts explicitly for the contribution from droplet concentration and relative dispersion, and presents a new approach to parameterize relative dispersion in climate models. It is shown that inadequate representation of relative dispersion in climate models leads to an overestimation of cloud albedo, resulting in a negative bias of global mean shortwave cloud radiative forcing that can be comparable to the warming caused by doubling CO 2 in magnitude, and that this dispersion bias is likely near its maximum for ambient clouds. Relative dispersion is empirically expressed as a function of the quotient between cloud liquid water content and droplet concentration (i.e., water per droplet), yielding an analytical formulation for the first aerosol indirect effect. Further analysis of the new expression reveals that the dispersion effect not only offsets the cooling from the Twomey effect, but is also proportional to the Twomey effect in magnitude. These results suggest that unrealistic representation of relative dispersion in cloud parameterization in general, and evaluation of aerosol indirect effects in particular, is at least in part responsible for several outstanding puzzles of the aerosol-cloud conundrum: for example, overestimation of cloud radiative cooling by climate models compared to satellite observations; large uncertainty and discrepancy in estimates of the aerosol indirect effect; and the lack of interhemispheric difference in cloud albedo.

  6. The structure of the COPII transport-vesicle coat assembled on membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanetti, Giulia; Prinz, Simone; Daum, Sebastian; Meister, Annette; Schekman, Randy; Bacia, Kirsten; Briggs, John A G

    2013-09-17

    Coat protein complex II (COPII) mediates formation of the membrane vesicles that export newly synthesised proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. The inner COPII proteins bind to cargo and membrane, linking them to the outer COPII components that form a cage around the vesicle. Regulated flexibility in coat architecture is essential for transport of a variety of differently sized cargoes, but structural data on the assembled coat has not been available. We have used cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to determine the structure of the complete, membrane-assembled COPII coat. We describe a novel arrangement of the outer coat and find that the inner coat can assemble into regular lattices. The data reveal how coat subunits interact with one another and with the membrane, suggesting how coordinated assembly of inner and outer coats can mediate and regulate packaging of vesicles ranging from small spheres to large tubular carriers. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00951.001.

  7. Development of Hydrogen Separation Module with Structured Catalyst for Use in Membrane Reformer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isamu Yasuda; Tatsuya Tsuneki; Yoshinori Shirasaki; Toru Shimamori; Hidekazu Shigaki; Hiroyuki Tanaka

    2006-01-01

    A new type of hydrogen separation module for use in a membrane reformer was proposed and developed. The new module, what we call MOC (Membrane On Catalyst), was designed to have a membrane of palladium-based alloy prepared on the surface of the tubular structured catalyst that has catalytic activity for steam reforming reaction, thermal expansion matching with the membrane material, proper porosity, mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. The best composition of the structured catalyst was identified in the composites of metallic Ni and YSZ (Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia). A hydrogen separation module was manufactured by electroless plating of Pd with thickness of 7 to 15 microns on the surface of porous sintered tube of Ni-YSZ with an approximate size of 9 mm in diameter and 100 mm in length. The hydrogen permeability measurements have shown hydrogen flux of 25 to 35 cc/min at 550 to 600 C, which is higher than the permeability of the conventional modules using rolled Pd film. (authors)

  8. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns, a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Aberle

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available E(rns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  9. Structure of the Membrane Anchor of Pestivirus Glycoprotein Erns, a Long Tilted Amphipathic Helix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S.; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Erns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the Erns membrane contact, processing and secretion. PMID:24586172

  10. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns), a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-02-01

    E(rns) is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the E(rns) membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  11. The effect of near-infrared MLS laser radiation on cell membrane structure and radical generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kujawa, Jolanta; Pasternak, Kamila; Zavodnik, Ilya; Irzmański, Robert; Wróbel, Dominika; Bryszewska, Maria

    2014-09-01

    The therapeutic effects of low-power laser radiation of different wavelengths and light doses are well known, but the biochemical mechanism of the interaction of laser light with living cells is not fully understood. We have investigated the effect of MLS (Multiwave Locked System) laser near-infrared irradiation on cell membrane structure, functional properties, and free radical generation using human red blood cells and breast cancer MCF-4 cells. The cells were irradiated with low-intensity MLS near-infrared (simultaneously 808 nm, continuous emission and 905 nm, pulse emission, pulse-wave frequency, 1,000 or 2,000 Hz) laser light at light doses from 0 to 15 J (average power density 212.5 mW/cm(2), spot size was 3.18 cm(2)) at 22 °C, the activity membrane bound acetylcholinesterase, cell stability, anti-oxidative activity, and free radical generation were the parameters used in characterizing the structural and functional changes of the cell. Near-infrared low-intensity laser radiation changed the acetylcholinesterase activity of the red blood cell membrane in a dose-dependent manner: There was a considerable increase of maximal enzymatic rate and Michaelis constant due to changes in the membrane structure. Integral parameters such as erythrocyte stability, membrane lipid peroxidation, or methemoglobin levels remained unchanged. Anti-oxidative capacity of the red blood cells increased after MLS laser irradiation. This irradiation induced a time-dependent increase in free radical generation in MCF-4 cells. Low-intensity near-infrared MLS laser radiation induces free radical generation and changes enzymatic and anti-oxidative activities of cellular components. Free radical generation may be the mechanism of the biomodulative effect of laser radiation.

  12. The effect of natural and synthetic fatty acids on membrane structure, microdomain organization, cellular functions and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarguren, Maitane; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2014-06-01

    This review deals with the effects of synthetic and natural fatty acids on the biophysical properties of membranes, and on their implication on cell function. Natural fatty acids are constituents of more complex lipids, like triacylglycerides or phospholipids, which are used by cells to store and obtain energy, as well as for structural purposes. Accordingly, natural and synthetic fatty acids may modify the structure of the lipid membrane, altering its microdomain organization and other physical properties, and provoking changes in cell signaling. Therefore, by modulating fatty acids it is possible to regulate the structure of the membrane, influencing the cell processes that are reliant on this structure and potentially reverting pathological cell dysfunctions that may provoke cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The so-called Membrane Lipid Therapy offers a strategy to regulate the membrane composition through drug administration, potentially reverting pathological processes by re-adapting cell membrane structure. Certain fatty acids and their synthetic derivatives are described here that may potentially be used in such therapies, where the cell membrane itself can be considered as a target to combat disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Fluorescent probes for detecting cholesterol-rich ordered membrane microdomains: entangled relationships between structural analogies in the membrane and functional homologies in the cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérald Gaibelet

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This review addresses the question of fluorescent detection of ordered membrane (micro domains in living (cultured cells, with a “practical” point of view since the situation is much more complicated than for studying model membranes. We first briefly recall the bases of model membrane structural organization involving liquid-ordered and -disordered phases, and the main features of their counterparts in cell membranes that are the various microdomains. We then emphasize the utility of the fluorescent probes derived from cholesterol, and delineate the respective advantages, limitations and drawbacks of the existing ones. In particular, besides their intra-membrane behavior, their relevant characteristics should integrate their different cellular fates for membrane turn-over, trafficking and metabolism, in order to evaluate and improve their efficiency for in-situ probing membrane microdomains in the cell physiology context. Finally, at the present stage, it appears that Bdp-Chol and Pyr-met-Chol display well complementary properties, allowing to use them in combination to improve the reliability of the current experimental approaches. But the field is still open, and there remains much work to perform in this research area.

  14. Structural characterization of Bacillus subtilis membrane protein Bmr: an in silico approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nargotra, Amit; Rukmankesh; Ali, Shakir; Koul, Surrinder

    2014-01-01

    Efflux pump--a membrane protein belonging to Major Facilitator (MF) family and associated with Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) has been a major factor in drug resistance of bacteria. In the era when no new effective antibiotic had been reported for years, the detailed study of these membrane proteins became imperative in order to improve the efficacy of existing drugs. The Bacillus subtilis membrane protein Bmr belongs to the super family of major facilitator proteins and is one of the first-discovered bacterial multidrug-efflux transporters. Development of Bmr inhibitors (B. subtilis) for least resistance, better drug sustainability and effective cellular activity requires three dimensional structure of this protein which has not yet been determined. In this communication structural characterization of this important efflux pump has been attempted using in silico approaches. The modeled structure of Bmr has been found to have 12 main helical segments interspersed by loops of variable lengths at regular intervals with both N- and C-termini on the same side of membrane. Docking of the known inhibitor reserpine on to the predicted structure of Bmr and its mutants signified the importance of the residues Phe143, Val286 and Phe306 in the interaction with the ligand. Besides this, the role of Arg313 and Phe309 in the H-bond formation and π-π interaction respectively, with reserpine was the new significant finding based on the interaction studies. The structure elucidation of Bmr and the role of these residues in binding to the ligand are expected to have a great impact on the efflux pump inhibition studies around the world and hence in the efficiency of the existing antibiotic drugs.

  15. Periodontal ligament cellular structures engineered with electrospun poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) nanofibrous membrane scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inanç, Bülend; Arslan, Y Emre; Seker, Sükran; Elçin, A Eser; Elçin, Y Murat

    2009-07-01

    Periodontal tissue engineering is expected to overcome the limitations associated with the existing regenerative techniques for the treatment of periodontal defects involving alveolar bone, cementum, and periodontal ligament. Cell-based tissue engineering approaches involve the utilization of in vitro expanded cells with regenerative capacity and their delivery to the appropriate sites via biomaterial scaffolds. The aim of this study was to establish living periodontal ligament cell-containing structures on electrospun poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofiber membrane scaffolds, assess their viability and characteristics, and engineer multilayered structures amenable to easy handling. Human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells were expanded in explant culture and then characterized morphologically and immunohistochemically. PLGA nanofiber membranes were prepared by the electrospinning process; mechanical tensile properties were determined, surface topography, nanofiber size, and porosity status were investigated with SEM. Cells were seeded on the membranes at approximately 50,000 cell/cm(2) and cultured for 21 days either in expansion or in osteogenic induction medium. Cell adhesion and viability were demonstrated using SEM and MTT, respectively, and osteogenic differentiation was determined with IHC and immunohistomorphometric evaluation of osteopontin, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein marker expression. At days 3, 6, 9, and 12 additional cell/membrane layers were deposited on the existing ones and multilayered hybrid structures were established. Results indicate the feasibility of periodontal ligament cell-containing tissue-like structures engineering with PDL cells and electrospun nanofiber PLGA scaffolds supporting cell adhesion, viability and osteogenic differentiation properties of cells in hybrid structures amenable to macroscopic handling.

  16. Structure Prediction of Outer Membrane Protease Protein of Salmonella typhimurium Using Computational Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rozina Tabassum

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella typhimurium, a facultative gram-negative intracellular pathogen belonging to family Enterobacteriaceae, is the most frequent cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide. PgtE gene product, outer membrane protease emerges important in the intracellular phases of salmonellosis. The pgtE gene product of S. typhimurium was predicted to be capable of proteolyzing T7 RNA polymerase and localize in the outer membrane of these gram negative bacteria. PgtE product of S. enterica and OmpT of E. coli, having high sequence similarity have been revealed to degrade macrophages, causing salmonellosis and other diseases. The three-dimensional structure of the protein was not available through Protein Data Bank (PDB creating lack of structural information about E protein. In our study, by performing Comparative model building, the three dimensional structure of outer membrane protease protein was generated using the backbone of the crystal structure of Pla of Yersinia pestis, retrieved from PDB, with MODELLER (9v8. Quality of the model was assessed by validation tool PROCHECK, web servers like ERRAT and ProSA are used to certify the reliability of the predicted model. This information might offer clues for better understanding of E protein and consequently for developmet of better therapeutic treatment against pathogenic role of this protein in salmonellosis and other diseases.

  17. Fiber Temperature Sensor Based on Micro-mechanical Membranes and Optical Interference Structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yueming; Tian Weijian; Hua Jing

    2011-01-01

    A novel fiber temperature sensor is presented theoretically and experimentally in this paper. Its working principle is based on Optical Fabry-Perot interference structure that is formed between a polished optical fiber end and micro-mechanical Bi-layered membranes. When ambient temperature is varying, Bi-layered membranes will be deflected and the length of Fabry-Perot cavity will be changed correspondingly. By detecting the reflecting optical intensity from the Fabry-Perot cavity, the ambient temperature can be measured. Using finite element software ANSYS, the sensor structure was optimized based on optical Interference theory and Bi-layered membranes thermal expansion theory, and theoretical characteristics was simulated by computer software. In the end, using optical fiber 2x2 coupler and photo-electrical detector, the fabricated sample sensor was tested successfully by experiment that demonstrating above theoretical analysis and simulation results. This sensor has some favorable features, such as: micro size owing to its micro-mechanical structure, high sensitivity owing to its working Fabry-Perot interference cavity structure, and optical integration character by using optical fiber techniques.

  18. Three-Dimensional Architecture and Biogenesis of Membrane Structures Associated with Plant Virus Replication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejiao Jin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Positive-sense (+ RNA viruses represent the most abundant group of viruses and are dependent on the host cell machinery to replicate. One remarkable feature that occurs after (+ RNA virus entry into cells is the remodeling of host endomembranes, leading to the formation of viral replication factories. Recently, rapid progress in three-dimensional (3D imaging technologies, such as electron tomography (ET and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM, has enabled researchers to visualize the novel membrane structures induced by viruses at high resolution. These 3D imaging technologies provide new mechanistic insights into the viral infection cycle. In this review, we summarize the latest reports on the cellular remodeling that occurs during plant virus infection; in particular, we focus on studies that provide 3D architectural information on viral replication factories. We also outline the mechanisms underlying the formation of these membranous structures and discuss possible future research directions.

  19. Crystal structure of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrD inner membrane multidrug efflux pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jani Reddy Bolla

    Full Text Available Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human pathogen and the causative agent of the sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea. The control of this disease has been compromised by the increasing proportion of infections due to antibiotic-resistant strains, which are growing at an alarming rate. The MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to the hydrophobic and amphiphilic efflux resistance-nodulation-cell division (HAE-RND family, spans both the inner and outer membranes of N. gonorrhoeae and confers resistance to a variety of antibiotics and toxic compounds. We here report the crystal structure of the inner membrane MtrD multidrug efflux pump, which reveals a novel structural feature that is not found in other RND efflux pumps.

  20. Probing chemistry within the membrane structure of wood with soft X-ray spectral microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cody, George D.

    2000-01-01

    Scanning Transmission Soft X-ray spectral microscopy on Carbon's 1s absorption edge reveals the distribution of structural biopolymers within cell membrane regions of modern cedar and oak. Cellulose is extremely susceptible to beam damage. Spectroscopic studies of beam damage reveals that the chemical changes resulting from secondary electron impact may be highly selective and is consistent with hydroxyl eliminations and structural rearrangement of pyranose rings in alpha-cellulose to hydroxyl substituted γ pyrones. A study of acetylated cellulose demonstrates significantly different chemistry; principally massive decarboxylation. Defocusing the beam to a 2 μm spot size allows for the acquisition of 'pristine' cellulose spectra. Spectral deconvolution is used to assess the distribution of lignin and cellulose in the different regions of the cell membrane. Using the intensity of the hydroxylated aromatic carbons 1s-π * transition, the ratio of coniferyl and syringyl based lignin within the middle lamellae and secondary cell wall of oak, an angiosperm can be determined

  1. Characterization of TBP containing polysiloxane membrane/insulator/semiconductor structures for hexavalent chromium detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zazoua, A. [Universite de Jijel, BP 98, Ouled Aissa, 18000 Jijel (Algeria); Universite de Annaba, BP 12, El-Hadjar, Annaba (Algeria); Kherrat, R.; Samar, M.H. [Universite de Annaba, BP 12, El-Hadjar, Annaba (Algeria); Errachid, A. [Laboratori de Nanobioenginyeria-IBEC, CIBER, Parc Cientific de Barcelona (PCB)-Departament d' Electronica. Universitat de Barcelona, C/Marti i Franques 1, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Jaffrezic-Renault, N. [LSA - UMR 5180 CNRS - Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex (France)], E-mail: nicole.jaffrezic@univ-lyon1.fr; Bessueille, F.; Leonard, D. [LSA - UMR 5180 CNRS - Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex (France)

    2008-07-01

    A hexavalent chromium-sensitive EMIS sensor (electrolyte membrane insulator semiconductor sensor) is prepared by deposition of a tributylphosphate (TBP) ionophore-containing siloprene membrane on a Si/SiO{sub 2}/Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} structure. The developed EMIS sensor was studied by means of impedance spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry and FT-IR spectroscopy. From the flat-band shift of the EMIS structure, the nersntian response to the anionic species Cr{sub 2}O{sub 7}{sup -} was demonstrated. The linear range of detection is 10{sup -4} M to 10{sup -1} M and the detection limit is 10{sup -5} M. Sulfate and chloride anions are shown not to be interfering whereas carbonate ions present a pK{sup pot} equal to 0.19.

  2. Probing membrane protein structure using water polarization transfer solid-state NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jonathan K; Hong, Mei

    2014-10-01

    Water plays an essential role in the structure and function of proteins, lipid membranes and other biological macromolecules. Solid-state NMR heteronuclear-detected (1)H polarization transfer from water to biomolecules is a versatile approach for studying water-protein, water-membrane, and water-carbohydrate interactions in biology. We review radiofrequency pulse sequences for measuring water polarization transfer to biomolecules, the mechanisms of polarization transfer, and the application of this method to various biological systems. Three polarization transfer mechanisms, chemical exchange, spin diffusion and NOE, manifest themselves at different temperatures, magic-angle-spinning frequencies, and pulse irradiations. Chemical exchange is ubiquitous in all systems examined so far, and spin diffusion plays the key role in polarization transfer within the macromolecule. Tightly bound water molecules with long residence times are rare in proteins at ambient temperature. The water polarization-transfer technique has been used to study the hydration of microcrystalline proteins, lipid membranes, and plant cell wall polysaccharides, and to derive atomic-resolution details of the kinetics and mechanism of ion conduction in channels and pumps. Using this approach, we have measured the water polarization transfer to the transmembrane domain of the influenza M2 protein to obtain information on the structure of this tetrameric proton channel. At short mixing times, the polarization transfer rates are site-specific and depend on the pH, labile protons, sidechain conformation, as well as the radial position of the residues in this four-helix bundle. Despite the multiple dependences, the initial transfer rates reflect the periodic nature of the residue positions from the water-filled pore, thus this technique provides a way of gleaning secondary structure information, helix tilt angle, and the oligomeric structure of membrane proteins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  3. Effect of acetone accumulation on structure and dynamics of lipid membranes studied by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posokhov, Yevgen O; Kyrychenko, Alexander

    2013-10-01

    The modulation of the properties and function of cell membranes by small volatile substances is important for many biomedical applications. Despite available experimental results, molecular mechanisms of action of inhalants and organic solvents, such as acetone, on lipid membranes remain not well understood. To gain a better understanding of how acetone interacts with membranes, we have performed a series of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of a POPC bilayer in aqueous solution in the presence of acetone, whose concentration was varied from 2.8 to 11.2 mol%. The MD simulations of passive distribution of acetone between a bulk water phase and a lipid bilayer show that acetone favors partitioning into the water-free region of the bilayer, located near the carbonyl groups of the phospholipids and at the beginning of the hydrocarbon core of the lipid membrane. Using MD umbrella sampling, we found that the permeability barrier of ~0.5 kcal/mol exists for acetone partitioning into the membrane. In addition, a Gibbs free energy profile of the acetone penetration across a bilayer demonstrates a favorable potential energy well of -3.6 kcal/mol, located at 15-16Å from the bilayer center. The analysis of the structural and dynamics properties of the model membrane revealed that the POPC bilayer can tolerate the presence of acetone in the concentration range of 2.8-5.6 mol%. The accumulation of the higher acetone concentration of 11.2 mol% results, however, in drastic disordering of phospholipid packing and the increase in the membrane fluidity. The acetone molecules push the lipid heads apart and, hence, act as spacers in the headgroup region. This effect leads to the increase in the average headgroup area per molecule. In addition, the acyl tail region of the membrane also becomes less dense. We suggest, therefore, that the molecular mechanism of acetone action on the phospholipid bilayer has many common features with the effects of short chain alcohols, DMSO, and

  4. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  5. Facile synthesis of mesoporous silica sublayer with hierarchical pore structure on ceramic membrane using anionic polyelectrolyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Taewook; Oh, Seogil; Kim, Honggon; Yi, Jongheop

    2005-06-21

    A facile method for introducing mesoporous silica sublayer onto the surface of a ceramic membrane for use in liquid-phase separation is described. To reduce the electrostatic repulsion between the mesoporous silica sol and the ceramic membrane in highly acidic conditions (pH ceramic membrane, as confirmed by experimental titration data. Consistent with the titration results, the amount of mesoporous silica particles on the surface of the ceramic membrane was low, in the absence of PSS- treatment, whereas mesoporous silica sublayer with hierarchical pore structure was produced, when 1 wt % PSS- was used. The results show that mesoporous silica grows in the confined surface, eventually forming a multistacked surface architecture. The mesoporous silica sublayer contained uniform, ordered (P6 mm) mesopores of ca. 7.5 nm from mesoporous silica as well as macropores ( approximately mum) from interparticle voids, as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy analyses. The morphologies of the supported mesoporous silica could be manipulated, thus permitting the generation of uniform needlelike forms or uniform spheroid particles by varying the concentration of PSS-.

  6. Effect of saline stress on plasma membrane structure and function of barley roots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, F. H.

    2000-01-01

    Barely (Hordeum vulgare L. c v. Black Local) plants were grown hydroponic ally under different saline stresses (50, 100, 150 And 200 mm NaCI. The adverse effect of each saline stress on the structure and function of root cells plasma membrane was studied in terms of root surface ATPase activation by NaCI in the reaction mixture. Was 0, 50, 100. 150 and 200mM. ATPase activity was found to be increased gradually at certain concentrations of NaCI. For control and 50mM stressed plants, the increase in root surface ATPase activity was started at 150mM NaCI. For 100mM stressed plants it was started at 100mM NaCI. For 150 and 200mM stressed plants it was stated at 50mM NaCI Results indicated that the adverse effect of the growth medium saline stresses on the integrity of the plasma membrane was started at 100mM saline stress. Accordingly the role of plasma membrane bound ATPase in active ion transport was disturbed at 100mM saline stress and may be impaired at 150 and 200mM saline stresses. It was suggested that the lipid environment of the plasma membrane surrounding ATPase was modified by the saline stresses 100-200mM. (author). 38 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

  7. Influence of cholesterol and ceramide-VI on structure of the multilamellar lipid membrane at water exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryabova, N.Yu.; Kiselev, M.A.; Balagurov, A.M.

    2009-01-01

    The results of neutron diffraction investigation of structure changes in multilamellar lipid membranes DPPC/cholesterol and DPPC/ceramide-VI (DPPC - dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine) during the processes of hydration and dehydration are presented. The influence of cholesterol and ceramide-VI on kinetics of water exchange in DPPC membrane is characterized

  8. Chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometry studies of the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins and receptors.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haskins, William E.; Leavell, Michael D.; Lane, Pamela; Jacobsen, Richard B.; Hong, Joohee; Ayson, Marites J.; Wood, Nichole L.; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Kruppa, Gary Hermann; Sale, Kenneth L.; Young, Malin M.; Novak, Petr

    2005-03-01

    Membrane proteins make up a diverse and important subset of proteins for which structural information is limited. In this study, chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry were used to explore the structure of the G-protein-coupled photoreceptor bovine rhodopsin in the dark-state conformation. All experiments were performed in rod outer segment membranes using amino acid 'handles' in the native protein sequence and thus minimizing perturbations to the native protein structure. Cysteine and lysine residues were covalently cross-linked using commercially available reagents with a range of linker arm lengths. Following chemical digestion of cross-linked protein, cross-linked peptides were identified by accurate mass measurement using liquid chromatography-fourier transform mass spectrometry and an automated data analysis pipeline. Assignments were confirmed and, if necessary, resolved, by tandem MS. The relative reactivity of lysine residues participating in cross-links was evaluated by labeling with NHS-esters. A distinct pattern of cross-link formation within the C-terminal domain, and between loop I and the C-terminal domain, emerged. Theoretical distances based on cross-linking were compared to inter-atomic distances determined from the energy-minimized X-ray crystal structure and Monte Carlo conformational search procedures. In general, the observed cross-links can be explained by re-positioning participating side-chains without significantly altering backbone structure. One exception, between C3 16 and K325, requires backbone motion to bring the reactive atoms into sufficient proximity for cross-linking. Evidence from other studies suggests that residues around K325 for a region of high backbone mobility. These findings show that cross-linking studies can provide insight into the structural dynamics of membrane proteins in their native environment.

  9. Glycan structures contain information for the spatial arrangement of glycoproteins in the plasma membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Kristen Hall

    Full Text Available Glycoconjugates at the cell surface are crucial for cells to communicate with each other and the extracellular microenvironment. While it is generally accepted that glycans are vectorial biopolymers, their information content is unclear. This report provides evidence that distinct N-glycan structures influence the spatial arrangement of two integral membrane glycoproteins, Kv3.1 and E-cadherin, at the adherent membrane which in turn alter cellular properties. Distinct N-glycan structures were generated by heterologous expression of these glycoproteins in parental and glycosylation mutant Chinese hamster ovary cell lines. Unlike the N-linked glycans, the O-linked glycans of the mutant cell lines are similar to those of the parental cell line. Western and lectin blots of total membranes and GFP immunopurified samples, combined with glycosidase digestion reactions, were employed to verify the glycoproteins had predominantly complex, oligomannose, and bisecting type N-glycans from Pro(-5, Lec1, and Lec10B cell lines, respectively. Based on total internal reflection fluorescence and differential interference contrast microscopy techniques, and cellular assays of live parental and glycosylation mutant CHO cells, we propose that glycoproteins with complex, oligomannose or bisecting type N-glycans relay information for localization of glycoproteins to various regions of the plasma membrane in both a glycan-specific and protein-specific manner, and furthermore cell-cell interactions are required for deciphering much of this information. These distinct spatial arrangements also impact cell adhesion and migration. Our findings provide direct evidence that N-glycan structures of glycoproteins contribute significantly to the information content of cells.

  10. Ion beam evaluation of silicon carbide membrane structures intended for particle detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pallon, J., E-mail: jan.pallon@nuclear.lu.se [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Syväjärvi, M. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Wang, Q. [Sensor System, ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Box 1070, SE-164 25 Kista (Sweden); Yakimova, R.; Iakimov, T. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Elfman, M.; Kristiansson, P.; Nilsson, E.J.C.; Ros, L. [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)

    2016-03-15

    Thin ion transmission detectors can be used as a part of a telescope detector for mass and energy identification but also as a pre-cell detector in a microbeam system for studies of biological effects from single ion hits on individual living cells. We investigated a structure of graphene on silicon carbide (SiC) with the purpose to explore a thin transmission detector with a very low noise level and having mechanical strength to act as a vacuum window. In order to reach very deep cavities in the SiC wafers for the preparation of the membrane in the detector, we have studied the Inductive Coupled Plasma technique to etch deep circular cavities in 325 μm prototype samples. By a special high temperature process the outermost layers of the etched SiC wafers were converted into a highly conductive graphitic layer. The produced cavities were characterized by electron microscopy, optical microscopy and proton energy loss measurements. The average membrane thickness was found to be less than 40 μm, however, with a slightly curved profile. Small spots representing much thinner membrane were also observed and might have an origin in crystal defects or impurities. Proton energy loss measurement (also called Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy, STIM) is a well suited technique for this thickness range. This work presents the first steps of fabricating a membrane structure of SiC and graphene which may be an attractive approach as a detector due to the combined properties of SiC and graphene in a monolithic materials structure.

  11. Fabrication variables affecting the structure and properties of supported carbon molecular sieve membranes for hydrogen separation

    KAUST Repository

    Briceñ o, Kelly; Montané , Daniel; Garcia-Valls, Ricard; Iulianelli, Adolfo; Basile, Angelo

    2012-01-01

    A high molecular weight polyimide (Matrimid) was used as a precursor for fabricating supported carbon molecular sieve membranes without crack formation at 550-700°C pyrolysis temperature. A one-step polymer (polyimide) coating method as precursor of carbon layer was used without needing a prior modification of a TiO 2 macroporous support. The following fabrication variables were optimized and studied to determine their effect on the carbon structure: polymeric solution concentration, solvent extraction, heating rate and pyrolysis temperature. Two techniques (Thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy) were used to determine these effects on final carbon structure. Likewise, the effect of the support was also reported as an additional and important variable in the design of supported carbon membranes. Atomic force microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry quantified the degree of influence. Pure gas permeation tests were performed using CH 4, CO, CO 2 and H 2. The presence of a molecular sieving mechanism was confirmed after defects were plugged with PDMS solution at 12wt%. Gas selectivities higher than Knudsen theoretical values were reached with membranes obtained over 650°C, showing as best values 4.46, 4.70 and 10.62 for H 2/N 2, H 2/CO and H 2/CH 4 ratio, respectively. Permeance values were over 9.82×10 -9mol/(m 2Pas)during pure hydrogen permeation tests. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  12. Fabrication variables affecting the structure and properties of supported carbon molecular sieve membranes for hydrogen separation

    KAUST Repository

    Briceño, Kelly

    2012-10-01

    A high molecular weight polyimide (Matrimid) was used as a precursor for fabricating supported carbon molecular sieve membranes without crack formation at 550-700°C pyrolysis temperature. A one-step polymer (polyimide) coating method as precursor of carbon layer was used without needing a prior modification of a TiO 2 macroporous support. The following fabrication variables were optimized and studied to determine their effect on the carbon structure: polymeric solution concentration, solvent extraction, heating rate and pyrolysis temperature. Two techniques (Thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy) were used to determine these effects on final carbon structure. Likewise, the effect of the support was also reported as an additional and important variable in the design of supported carbon membranes. Atomic force microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry quantified the degree of influence. Pure gas permeation tests were performed using CH 4, CO, CO 2 and H 2. The presence of a molecular sieving mechanism was confirmed after defects were plugged with PDMS solution at 12wt%. Gas selectivities higher than Knudsen theoretical values were reached with membranes obtained over 650°C, showing as best values 4.46, 4.70 and 10.62 for H 2/N 2, H 2/CO and H 2/CH 4 ratio, respectively. Permeance values were over 9.82×10 -9mol/(m 2Pas)during pure hydrogen permeation tests. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  13. Quantitative structure-retention relationship studies with immobilized artificial membrane chromatography II: partial least squares regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Sun, Jin; He, Zhonggui

    2007-01-26

    We aimed to establish quantitative structure-retention relationship (QSRR) with immobilized artificial membrane (IAM) chromatography using easily understood and obtained physicochemical molecular descriptors and to elucidate which descriptors are critical to affect the interaction process between solutes and immobilized phospholipid membranes. The retention indices (logk(IAM)) of 55 structurally diverse drugs were determined on an immobilized artificial membrane column (IAM.PC.DD2) directly or obtained by extrapolation method for highly hydrophobic compounds. Ten simple physicochemical property descriptors (clogP, rings, rotatory bond, hydro-bond counting, etc.) of these drugs were collected and used to establish QSRR and predict the retention data by partial least squares regression (PLSR). Five descriptors, clogP, rotatory bond (RotB), rings, molecular weight (MW) and total surface area (TSA), were reserved by using the Variable Importance for Projection (VIP) values as criterion to build the final PLSR model. An external test set was employed to verify the QSRR based on the training set with the five variables, and QSRR by PLSR exhibited a satisfying predictive ability with R(p)=0.902 and RMSE(p)=0.400. Comparison of coefficients of centered and scaled variables by PLSR demonstrated that, for the descriptors studied, clogP and TSA have the most significant positive effect but the rotatable bond has significant negative effect on drug IAM chromatographic retention.

  14. Non-bilayer structures in mitochondrial membranes regulate ATP synthase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasanov, Sardar E; Kim, Aleksandr A; Yaguzhinsky, Lev S; Dagda, Ruben K

    2018-02-01

    Cardiolipin (CL) is an anionic phospholipid at the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) that facilitates the formation of transient non-bilayer (non-lamellar) structures to maintain mitochondrial integrity. CL modulates mitochondrial functions including ATP synthesis. However, the biophysical mechanisms by which CL generates non-lamellar structures and the extent to which these structures contribute to ATP synthesis remain unknown. We hypothesized that CL and ATP synthase facilitate the formation of non-bilayer structures at the IMM to stimulate ATP synthesis. By using 1 H NMR and 31 P NMR techniques, we observed that increasing the temperature (8°C to 37°C), lowering the pH (3.0), or incubating intact mitochondria with CTII - an IMM-targeted toxin that increases the formation of immobilized non-bilayer structures - elevated the formation of non-bilayer structures to stimulate ATP synthesis. The F 0 sector of the ATP synthase complex can facilitate the formation of non-bilayer structures as incubating model membranes enriched with IMM-specific phospholipids with exogenous DCCD-binding protein of the F 0 sector (DCCD-BPF) elevated the formation of immobilized non-bilayer structures to a similar manner as CTII. Native PAGE assays revealed that CL, but not other anionic phospholipids, specifically binds to DCCD-BPF to promote the formation of stable lipid-protein complexes. Mechanistically, molecular docking studies identified two lipid binding sites for CL in DCCD-BPF. We propose a new model of ATP synthase regulation in which CL mediates the formation of non-bilayer structures that serve to cluster protons and ATP synthase complexes as a mechanism to enhance proton translocation to the F 0 sector, and thereby increase ATP synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The effects of 7-dehydrocholesterol on the structural properties of membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yingzhe; Chipot, Christophe; Shao, Xueguang; Cai, Wensheng

    2011-10-01

    Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a congenital and developmental malformation disease, is typified by abnormal accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), the immediate precursor of cholesterol (CHOL), and depletion thereof. Knowledge of the effect of 7DHC on the biological membrane is, however, still fragmentary. In this study, large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, employing two distinct force fields, have been conducted to elucidate differences in the structural properties of a hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer due to CHOL and 7DHC. The present series of results indicate that CHOL and 7DHC possess virtually the same ability to condense and order membranes. Furthermore, the condensing and ordering effects are shown to be strengthened at increasing sterol concentrations.

  16. Mitochondrial membranes with mono- and divalent salt: changes induced by salt ions on structure and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Róg, Tomasz; Karttunen, Mikko

    2009-01-01

    We employ atomistic simulations to consider how mono- (NaCl) and divalent (CaCl(2)) salt affects properties of inner and outer membranes of mitochondria. We find that the influence of salt on structural properties is rather minute, only weakly affecting lipid packing, conformational ordering......, and membrane electrostatic potential. The changes induced by salt are more prominent in dynamical properties related to ion binding and formation of ion-lipid complexes and lipid aggregates, as rotational diffusion of lipids is slowed down by ions, especially in the case of CaCl(2). In the same spirit, lateral...... diffusion of lipids is slowed down rather considerably for increasing concentration of CaCl(2). Both findings for dynamic properties can be traced to the binding of ions with lipid head groups and the related changes in interaction patterns in the headgroup region, where the binding of Na(+) and Ca(2+) ions...

  17. Effects of Thermal Cross-Linking on the Structure and Property of Asymmetric Membrane Prepared from the Polyacrylonitrile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Jin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Improving the thermal and chemical stabilities of classical polymer membranes will be beneficial to extend their applications in the high temperature or aggressive environment. In this work, the asymmetric ultrafiltration membranes prepared from the polyacrylonitrile (PAN were used to fabricate the cross-linking asymmetric (CLA PAN membranes via thermal cross-linking in air to improve their thermal and chemical stabilities. The effects of thermal cross-linking parameters such as temperature and holding time on the structure, gas separation performance, thermal and chemical stabilities of PAN membranes were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, thermogravimetic analysis (TGA and gas permeation test. The thermal cross-linking significantly influences the chemical structure, microstructure and pore structure of PAN membrane. During the thermal cross-linking, the shrinkage of membrane and coalescence or collapse of pore and microstructure make large pores diminish, small pores disappear and pore volumes reduce. The gas permeances of CLA-PAN membranes increase as the increasing of cross-linking temperature and holding time due to the volatilization of small molecules. The CLA-PAN membranes demonstrate excellent thermal and chemical stabilities and present good prospects for application in ultrafiltration for water treatment and for use as a substrate for nanofiltration or gas separation with an aggressive and demanding environment.

  18. Crosslinked polybenzimidazoles containing branching structure as membrane materials with excellent cell performance and durability for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Meishao; Ni, Jiangpeng; Zhang, Boping; Neelakandan, Sivasubramaniyan; Wang, Lei

    2018-06-01

    Crosslinking is an effective method to improve the properties of high temperature proton exchange membranes based on polybenzimidazole. However, the compact structure of crosslinked polybenzimidazole hinders the phosphoric acid absorption of the membranes, resulting in a relatively poor fuel cell performance. Recently, we find that branched polymers can absorb more phosphoric acid with a larger free volume, but suffer from deteriorated mechanical strength. In this work, a new method is proposed to obtain excellent over-all properties of high temperature proton exchange membranes. A series of crosslinked polybenzimidazoles containing branching structure as membrane materials are successfully prepared for the first time. Compared with conventional crosslinked membranes, these crosslinked polybenzimidazole membranes containing branching structure exhibit a higher phosphoric acid doping level and proton conductivity, improved durability, lower swelling rate and comparable mechanical strength. In particular, the fuel cell base on the crosslinked and branched membrane with a 10% ratio of crosslinker in non-humidified hydrogen/air at 160 °C achieves a power density of 404 mW cm-2. The results indicate that the combination of crosslinking and branching is an effective approach to improve the properties of polybenzimidazole membrane materials.

  19. Perturbations of Native Membrane Protein Structure in Alkyl Phosphocholine Detergents: A Critical Assessment of NMR and Biophysical Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Membrane proteins perform a host of vital cellular functions. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms whereby they fulfill these functions requires detailed biophysical and structural investigations. Detergents have proven pivotal to extract the protein from its native surroundings. Yet, they provide a milieu that departs significantly from that of the biological membrane, to the extent that the structure, the dynamics, and the interactions of membrane proteins in detergents may considerably vary, as compared to the native environment. Understanding the impact of detergents on membrane proteins is, therefore, crucial to assess the biological relevance of results obtained in detergents. Here, we review the strengths and weaknesses of alkyl phosphocholines (or foscholines), the most widely used detergent in solution-NMR studies of membrane proteins. While this class of detergents is often successful for membrane protein solubilization, a growing list of examples points to destabilizing and denaturing properties, in particular for α-helical membrane proteins. Our comprehensive analysis stresses the importance of stringent controls when working with this class of detergents and when analyzing the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins in alkyl phosphocholine detergents. PMID:29488756

  20. The Relation Between Structure-Performance of Thin Film Composite Membranes and the Tools Used for Their Fabrication Method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Briceno, Kelly; Javakhishvili, Irakli; Guo, Haofei

    For more than 30 years polyimides (PA) have been one of the main polymers for the fabrication of thin film composite membranes. Several researchers have assessed the main fabrication variables that influence the final structure of the polyamide layers including monomer concentration, solvents....... A polymeric support is initially brought in contact with the aqueous phase containing m-phenylene diamine (MPD) monomer and then with the organic phase containing the trimesoly chloride (TMC) monomer in order to promote PA formation through interfacial polymerization. The critical step occurs immediately......, or for that matter the absence of any tool using only water evaporation. In this work different methods of avoiding drop formation during the membrane preparation are tested to evaluate how the preparation methods influence the membrane structure and the final membrane properties. Understanding the membrane...

  1. Effect of engineered environment on microbial community structure in biofilter and biofilm on reverse osmosis membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Sanghyun; Cho, Kyungjin; Jeong, Dawoon; Lee, Seockheon; Leiknes, TorOve; Vigneswaran, Saravanamuthu; Bae, Hyokwan

    2017-11-01

    Four dual media filters (DMFs) were operated in a biofiltration mode with different engineered environments (DMF I and II: coagulation with/without acidification and DMF III and IV: without/with chlorination). Designed biofilm enrichment reactors (BERs) containing the removable reverse osmosis (RO) coupons, were connected at the end of the DMFs in parallel to analyze the biofilm on the RO membrane by DMF effluents. Filtration performances were evaluated in terms of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and assimilable organic carbon (AOC). Organic foulants on the RO membrane were also quantified and fractionized. The bacterial community structures in liquid (seawater and effluent) and biofilm (DMF and RO) samples were analyzed using 454-pyrosequencing. The DMF IV fed with the chlorinated seawater demonstrated the highest reductions of DOC including LMW-N as well as AOC among the other DMFs. The DMF IV was also effective in reducing organic foulants on the RO membrane surface. The bacterial community structure was grouped according to the sample phase (i.e., liquid and biofilm samples), sampling location (i.e., DMF and RO samples), and chlorination (chlorinated and non-chlorinated samples). In particular, the biofilm community in the DMF IV differed from the other DMF treatments, suggesting that chlorination exerted as stronger selective pressure than pH adjustment or coagulation on the biofilm community. In the DMF IV, several chemoorganotrophic chlorine-resistant biofilm-forming bacteria such as Hyphomonas, Erythrobacter, and Sphingomonas were predominant, and they may enhance organic carbon degradation efficiency. Diverse halophilic or halotolerant organic degraders were also found in other DMFs (i.e., DMF I, II, and III). Various kinds of dominant biofilm-forming bacteria were also investigated in RO membrane samples; the results provided possible candidates that cause biofouling when DMF process is applied as the pretreatment option for the RO process. Copyright

  2. Effect of engineered environment on microbial community structure in biofilter and biofilm on reverse osmosis membrane

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Sanghyun

    2017-07-25

    Four dual media filters (DMFs) were operated in a biofiltration mode with different engineered environments (DMF I and II: coagulation with/without acidification and DMF III and IV: without/with chlorination). Designed biofilm enrichment reactors (BERs) containing the removable reverse osmosis (RO) coupons, were connected at the end of the DMFs in parallel to analyze the biofilm on the RO membrane by DMF effluents. Filtration performances were evaluated in terms of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and assimilable organic carbon (AOC). Organic foulants on the RO membrane were also quantified and fractionized. The bacterial community structures in liquid (seawater and effluent) and biofilm (DMF and RO) samples were analyzed using 454-pyrosequencing. The DMF IV fed with the chlorinated seawater demonstrated the highest reductions of DOC including LMW-N as well as AOC among the other DMFs. The DMF IV was also effective in reducing organic foulants on the RO membrane surface. The bacterial community structure was grouped according to the sample phase (i.e., liquid and biofilm samples), sampling location (i.e., DMF and RO samples), and chlorination (chlorinated and non-chlorinated samples). In particular, the biofilm community in the DMF IV differed from the other DMF treatments, suggesting that chlorination exerted as stronger selective pressure than pH adjustment or coagulation on the biofilm community. In the DMF IV, several chemoorganotrophic chlorine-resistant biofilm-forming bacteria such as Hyphomonas, Erythrobacter, and Sphingomonas were predominant, and they may enhance organic carbon degradation efficiency. Diverse halophilic or halotolerant organic degraders were also found in other DMFs (i.e., DMF I, II, and III). Various kinds of dominant biofilm-forming bacteria were also investigated in RO membrane samples; the results provided possible candidates that cause biofouling when DMF process is applied as the pretreatment option for the RO process.

  3. Proceedings of the users meeting on structure and phase transition of phospholipid membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatta, Ichiro; Amemiya, Yoshiyuki

    1994-06-01

    On the occasion that the persons of three groups that have carried out the research on the structure and the phase transition of phospholipid membranes have carried out the experiment successively, the users meeting was held on November 1, 1993 at National Laboratory for High Energy Physics. Lectures were given on the L βI structure of DPPC/alcohol system, the self gathering and intermolecular cooperation phenomenon of glycero phospholipid, the phase transition of DEPE/water system, the structure of DMPA/polylysine, the development of X-ray television, the ripple structure of DMPC/cholesterol system and the simultaneous measurement of X-ray diffraction/DSC. To have the chance like this is very meaningful because sufficient discussion can be done among usually busy researchers at the synchrotron radiation experiment facility. (K.I.)

  4. Proceedings of the users meeting on structure and phase transition of phospholipid membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatta, Ichiro [Nagoya Univ. (Japan). School of Engineering; Amemiya, Yoshiyuki [eds.

    1994-06-01

    On the occasion that the persons of three groups that have carried out the research on the structure and the phase transition of phospholipid membranes have carried out the experiment successively, the users meeting was held on November 1, 1993 at National Laboratory for High Energy Physics. Lectures were given on the L{sub {beta}I} structure of DPPC/alcohol system, the self gathering and intermolecular cooperation phenomenon of glycero phospholipid, the phase transition of DEPE/water system, the structure of DMPA/polylysine, the development of X-ray television, the ripple structure of DMPC/cholesterol system and the simultaneous measurement of X-ray diffraction/DSC. To have the chance like this is very meaningful because sufficient discussion can be done among usually busy researchers at the synchrotron radiation experiment facility. (K.I.).

  5. Camps 2.0: exploring the sequence and structure space of prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and viral membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Sindy; Hartmann, Holger; Martin-Galiano, Antonio J; Fuchs, Angelika; Frishman, Dmitrij

    2012-03-01

    Structural bioinformatics of membrane proteins is still in its infancy, and the picture of their fold space is only beginning to emerge. Because only a handful of three-dimensional structures are available, sequence comparison and structure prediction remain the main tools for investigating sequence-structure relationships in membrane protein families. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of the structural families corresponding to α-helical membrane proteins with at least three transmembrane helices. The new version of our CAMPS database (CAMPS 2.0) covers nearly 1300 eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and viral genomes. Using an advanced classification procedure, which is based on high-order hidden Markov models and considers both sequence similarity as well as the number of transmembrane helices and loop lengths, we identified 1353 structurally homogeneous clusters roughly corresponding to membrane protein folds. Only 53 clusters are associated with experimentally determined three-dimensional structures, and for these clusters CAMPS is in reasonable agreement with structure-based classification approaches such as SCOP and CATH. We therefore estimate that ∼1300 structures would need to be determined to provide a sufficient structural coverage of polytopic membrane proteins. CAMPS 2.0 is available at http://webclu.bio.wzw.tum.de/CAMPS2.0/. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Recent advances on polymeric membranes for membrane reactors

    KAUST Repository

    Buonomenna, M. G.; Choi, Seung Hak

    2012-01-01

    . The successful use of membranes in membrane reactors is primary the result of two developments concerning: (i) membrane materials and (ii) membrane structures. The selection of a suited material and preparation technique depends on the application the membrane

  7. Detergent-dependent separation of postsynaptic density, membrane rafts and other subsynaptic structures from the synaptic plasma membrane of rat forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, LiYing; Sakagami, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2014-10-01

    We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and post-synaptic membrane rafts (PSRs) from the rat forebrain synaptic plasma membranes by examining the components and the structures of the materials obtained after the treatment of synaptic plasma membranes with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside (OG) or 3-([3-cholamidopropyl]dimethylammonio)-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPSO). These three detergents exhibited distinct separation profiles for the synaptic subdomains. Type I and type II PSD proteins displayed mutually exclusive distribution. After TX-100 treatment, type I PSD was recovered in two fractions: a pellet and an insoluble fraction 8, which contained partially broken PSD-PSR complexes. Conventional PSD was suggested to be a mixture of these two PSD pools and did not contain type II PSD. An association of type I PSD with PSRs was identified in the TX-100 treatment, and those with type II PSD in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. An association of GABA receptors with gephyrin was easily dissociated. OG at a high concentration solubilized the type I PSD proteins. CHAPSO treatment resulted in a variety of distinct fractions, which contained certain novel structures. Two different pools of GluA, either PSD or possibly raft-associated, were identified in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. These results are useful in advancing our understanding of the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and synaptic membrane rafts by examining the structures obtained after treatment of the SPMs with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside or CHAPSO. Differential distribution of type I and type II PSD, synaptic membrane rafts, and other novel subdomains in the SPM give clues to understand the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. Crystal structure of an orthomyxovirus matrix protein reveals mechanisms for self-polymerization and membrane association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenting; Zheng, Wenjie; Toh, Yukimatsu; Betancourt-Solis, Miguel A; Tu, Jiagang; Fan, Yanlin; Vakharia, Vikram N; Liu, Jun; McNew, James A; Jin, Meilin; Tao, Yizhi J

    2017-08-08

    Many enveloped viruses encode a matrix protein. In the influenza A virus, the matrix protein M1 polymerizes into a rigid protein layer underneath the viral envelope to help enforce the shape and structural integrity of intact viruses. The influenza virus M1 is also known to mediate virus budding as well as the nuclear export of the viral nucleocapsids and their subsequent packaging into nascent viral particles. Despite extensive studies on the influenza A virus M1 (FLUA-M1), only crystal structures of its N-terminal domain are available. Here we report the crystal structure of the full-length M1 from another orthomyxovirus that infects fish, the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV). The structure of ISAV-M1 assumes the shape of an elbow, with its N domain closely resembling that of the FLUA-M1. The C domain, which is connected to the N domain through a flexible linker, is made of four α-helices packed as a tight bundle. In the crystal, ISAV-M1 monomers form infinite 2D arrays with a network of interactions involving both the N and C domains. Results from liposome flotation assays indicated that ISAV-M1 binds membrane via electrostatic interactions that are primarily mediated by a positively charged surface loop from the N domain. Cryoelectron tomography reconstruction of intact ISA virions identified a matrix protein layer adjacent to the inner leaflet of the viral membrane. The physical dimensions of the virion-associated matrix layer are consistent with the 2D ISAV-M1 crystal lattice, suggesting that the crystal lattice is a valid model for studying M1-M1, M1-membrane, and M1-RNP interactions in the virion.

  9. Crystal structure of the potassium-importing KdpFABC membrane complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Ching-Shin; Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Stokes, David L.

    2017-06-21

    Cellular potassium import systems play a fundamental role in osmoregulation, pH homeostasis and membrane potential in all domains of life. In bacteria, the kdp operon encodes a four-subunit potassium pump that maintains intracellular homeostasis, cell shape and turgor under conditions in which potassium is limiting1. This membrane complex, called KdpFABC, has one channel-like subunit (KdpA) belonging to the superfamily of potassium transporters and another pump-like subunit (KdpB) belonging to the superfamily of P-type ATPases. Although there is considerable structural and functional information about members of both superfamilies, the mechanism by which uphill potassium transport through KdpA is coupled with ATP hydrolysis by KdpB remains poorly understood. Here we report the 2.9 Å X-ray structure of the complete Escherichia coli KdpFABC complex with a potassium ion within the selectivity filter of KdpA and a water molecule at a canonical cation site in the transmembrane domain of KdpB. The structure also reveals two structural elements that appear to mediate the coupling between these two subunits. Specifically, a protein-embedded tunnel runs between these potassium and water sites and a helix controlling the cytoplasmic gate of KdpA is linked to the phosphorylation domain of KdpB. On the basis of these observations, we propose a mechanism that repurposes protein channel architecture for active transport across biomembranes.

  10. Membrane interaction and secondary structure of de novo designed arginine-and tryptophan peptides with dual function

    KAUST Repository

    Rydberg, Hanna A.

    2012-10-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides and antimicrobial peptides are two classes of positively charged membrane active peptides with several properties in common. The challenge is to combine knowledge about the membrane interaction mechanisms and structural properties of the two classes to design peptides with membrane-specific actions, useful either as transporters of cargo or as antibacterial substances. Membrane active peptides are commonly rich in arginine and tryptophan. We have previously designed a series of arg/trp peptides and investigated how the position and number of tryptophans affect cellular uptake. Here we explore the antimicrobial properties and the interaction with lipid model membranes of these peptides, using minimal inhibitory concentrations assay (MIC), circular dichroism (CD) and linear dichroism (LD). The results show that the arg/trp peptides inhibit the growth of the two gram positive strains Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes, with some individual variations depending on the position of the tryptophans. No inhibition of the gram negative strains Proteus mirabilis or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was noticed. CD indicated that when bound to lipid vesicles one of the peptides forms an α-helical like structure, whereas the other five exhibited rather random coiled structures. LD indicated that all six peptides were somehow aligned parallel with the membrane surface. Our results do not reveal any obvious connection between membrane interaction and antimicrobial effect for the studied peptides. By contrast cell-penetrating properties can be coupled to both the secondary structure and the degree of order of the peptides. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

  11. Could the gut microbiota reconcile the oral bioavailability conundrum of traditional herbs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Feng; Wen, Qi; Jiang, Jun; Li, Hai-Long; Tan, Yin-Feng; Li, Yong-Hui; Zeng, Nian-Kai

    2016-02-17

    A wealth of information is emerging about the impact of gut microbiota on human health and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. As we learn more, we find out the gut microbiota has the potential as new territory for drug targeting. Some novel therapeutic approaches could be developed through reshaping the commensal microbial structure using combinations of different agents. The gut microbiota also affects drug metabolism, directly and indirectly, particularly towards the orally administered drugs. Herbal products have become the basis of traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicine and also been being considered valuable materials in modern drug discovery. Of note, low oral bioavailability but high bioactivity is a conundrum not yet solved for some herbs. Since most of herbal products are orally administered, the herbs' constituents are inevitably exposed to the intestinal microbiota and the interplays between herbal constituents and gut microbiota are expected. Emerging explorations of herb-microbiota interactions have an opportunity to revolutionize the way we view herbal therapeutics. The present review aims to provide information regarding the health promotion and/or disease prevention by the interplay between traditional herbs with low bioavailability and gut microbiota through gut microbiota via two different types of mechanisms: (1) influencing the composition of gut microbiota by herbs and (2) metabolic reactions of herbal constituents by gut microbiota. The major data bases (PubMed and Web of Science) were searched using "gut microbiota", "intestinal microbiota", "gut flora", "intestinal flora", "gut microflora", "intestinal microflora", "herb", "Chinese medicine", "traditional medicine", or "herbal medicine" as keywords to find out studies regarding herb-microbiota interactions. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2010 edition, Volume I) was also used to collect the data of commonly used medicinal herbs and their quality

  12. NMR structure of temporin-1 ta in lipopolysaccharide micelles: mechanistic insight into inactivation by outer membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rathi Saravanan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs play important roles in the innate defense mechanism. The broad spectrum of activity of AMPs requires an efficient permeabilization of the bacterial outer and inner membranes. The outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria is made of a specialized lipid called lipopolysaccharide (LPS. The LPS layer is an efficient permeability barrier against anti-bacterial agents including AMPs. As a mode of protection, LPS can induce self associations of AMPs rendering them inactive. Temporins are a group of short-sized AMPs isolated from frog skin, and many of them are inactive against Gram negative bacteria as a result of their self-association in the LPS-outer membrane. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using NMR spectroscopy, we have determined atomic resolution structure and characterized localization of temporin-1Ta or TA (FLPLIGRVLSGIL-amide in LPS micelles. In LPS micelles, TA adopts helical conformation for residues L4-I12, while residues F1-L3 are found to be in extended conformations. The aromatic sidechain of residue F1 is involved in extensive packing interactions with the sidechains of residues P3, L4 and I5. Interestingly, a number of long-range NOE contacts have been detected between the N-terminal residues F1, P3 with the C-terminal residues S10, I12, L13 of TA in LPS micelles. Saturation transfer difference (STD NMR studies demonstrate close proximity of residues including F1, L2, P3, R7, S10 and L13 with the LPS micelles. Notably, the LPS bound structure of TA shows differences with the structures of TA determined in DPC and SDS detergent micelles. SIGNIFICANCE: We propose that TA, in LPS lipids, forms helical oligomeric structures employing N- and C-termini residues. Such oligomeric structures may not be translocated across the outer membrane; resulting in the inactivation of the AMP. Importantly, the results of our studies will be useful for the development of antimicrobial agents with a

  13. Structure formation of lipid membranes: Membrane self-assembly and vesicle opening-up to octopus-like micelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2013-02-01

    We briefly review our recent studies on self-assembly and vesicle rupture of lipid membranes using coarse-grained molecular simulations. For single component membranes, lipid molecules self-assemble from random gas states to vesicles via disk-shaped clusters. Clusters aggregate into larger clusters, and subsequently the large disks close into vesicles. The size of vesicles are determined by kinetics than by thermodynamics. When a vesicle composed of lipid and detergent types of molecules is ruptured, a disk-shaped micelle called bicelle can be formed. When both surfactants have negligibly low critical micelle concentration, it is found that bicelles connected with worm-like micelles are also formed depending on the surfactant ratio and spontaneous curvature of the membrane monolayer.

  14. The Effect of LiCl and Coagulation Bath Temperature on the Structure and Performance of PVDF Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzieh Sedaghat

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF membranes are widely used in microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes for their excellent mechanical and chemical resistance and thermal stability in comparison with other polymeric membranes. Non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS is the most important method by which the PVDF membranes are prepared. The structure of the membranes prepared by NIPS method depends on different parameters including the concentration of the polymer solution, polymer molecular weight, the composition and temperature of coagulation bath, type of solvent and the presence of additives in the initial solution. In the present work, the effects of coagulation bath temperature and LiCl content of the dope solution were studied with respect to the structure and performance of PVDF membranes. N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone and water were used as solvent and coagulation bath, respectively. A set of analytical techniques including: scanning electron microscopy, mechanical test, pure water permeability and mean pore radius of pores was used to characterize the membranes. Moreover, the separation of humic acid, a main biological contaminant in surface water resources, was studied to determine membranes performance. The results show that at constant coagulation bath temperature, presence of LiCl in the dope solution increased the number as well as the mean pore radius of the pores at the surface of membranes and consequently, pure water permeability of the membranes was increased, whereas, the mechanical strength and humic acid rejection of the membranes were dropped. Moreover, at a constant content of LiCl, increasing the coagulation bath temperature decreased the size of macrovoids so that the mechanical strength as well as humic acid rejection of the membranes was increased.

  15. Lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids and fatty acids: Effects of membrane phase structure and detergent chain length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Davidsen, Jesper; Jørgensen, Kent

    2001-01-01

    gel phase and at high temperatures in the disordered fluid phase of the phospholipid membrane vesicles. The long saturated acyl chains of the lysolipids and fatty acids varied from 10 to 16 carbon atoms and all titrations were performed below the critical micellar concentrations (cmc...... of magnitude higher when the saturated acyl chain of the detergents increases by two carbon atoms. The obtained partition coefficients are of importance in relation to a deeper understanding of the interplay between global aqueous and local membrane concentrations of the detergents and the functional influence...

  16. Milrinone and thyroid hormone stimulate myocardial membrane Ca2+-ATPase activity and share structural homologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylotte, K M; Cody, V; Davis, P J; Davis, F B; Blas, S D; Schoenl, M

    1985-01-01

    We have recently shown that thyroid hormone in physiological concentrations stimulates sarcolemma-enriched rabbit-myocardial-membrane Ca2+-ATPase in vitro. In this study, milrinone [2-methyl-5-cyano-(3,4'-bipyridin)-6(1H)-one], a cardiac inotropic agent, was thyromimetic in the same system. At clinically achievable concentrations (50-500 nM), milrinone significantly stimulated membrane Ca2+-ATPase in vitro. This action was antagonized by W-7 [N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide], an agent that also blocks thyroid hormone action on the Ca2+-ATPase, at concentrations as low as 5 microM. Progressive additions of milrinone to membranes incubated with a fixed concentration of thyroxine (0.10 nM) or triiodothyronine resulted in a progressive obliteration of the thyroid hormone effect on Ca2+-ATPase. Amrinone [5-amino-(3,4'-bipyridin)-6(1H)-one], the parent bipyridine of milrinone, had no effect on myocardial Ca2+-ATPase activity. X-ray crystallographic analysis of milrinone and amrinone revealed structural homologies between the phenolic ring of thyroxine and the substituted ring of milrinone, whereas amrinone did not share these homologies. The mechanism(s) of the inotropic actions of thyroxine and of milrinone is not clearly understood, but these observations implicate Ca2+-ATPase, a calcium pump-associated enzyme, as one mediator of the effects on the heart of these two compounds. PMID:2933747

  17. A hypothesis for the minimal overall structure of the mammalian plasma membrane redox system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Grey, Aubrey D N J

    2003-05-01

    After a long period of frustration, many components of the mammalian plasma membrane redox system are now being identified at the molecular level. Some are apparently ubiquitous but are necessary only for a subset of electron donors or acceptors; some are present only in certain cell types; some appear to be associated with proton extrusion; some appear to be capable of superoxide production. The volume and variety of data now available have begun to allow the formulation of tentative models for the overall network of interactions of enzymes and substrates that together make up the plasma membrane redox system. Such a model is presented here. The structure discussed here is of the mammalian system, though parts of it may apply more or less accurately to fungal and plant cells too. Judging from the history of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, it may be hoped that the development of models of the whole system - even if they undergo substantial revision thereafter - will markedly accelerate the pace of research in plasma membrane redox, by providing a coherent basis for the design of future experiments.

  18. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome ''depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs

  19. The structural role of cholesterol in cell membranes: from condensed bilayers to lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

    CONSPECTUS: Defining the two-dimensional structure of cell membranes represents one of the most daunting challenges currently facing chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists. In particular, the time-averaged lateral organization of the lipids and proteins that make up these natural enclosures has yet to be established. As the classic Singer-Nicolson model of cell membranes has evolved over the past 40 years, special attention has focused on the structural role played by cholesterol, a key component that represents ca. 30% of the total lipids that are present. Despite extensive studies with model membranes, two fundamental issues have remained a mystery: (i) the mechanism by which cholesterol condenses low-melting lipids by uncoiling their acyl chains and (ii) the thermodynamics of the interaction between cholesterol and high- and low-melting lipids. The latter bears directly on one of the most popular notions in modern cell biology, that is, the lipid raft hypothesis, whereby cholesterol is thought to combine with high-melting lipids to form "lipid rafts" that float in a "sea" of low-melting lipids. In this Account, we first describe a chemical approach that we have developed in our laboratories that has allowed us to quantify the interactions between exchangeable mimics of cholesterol and low- and high-melting lipids in model membranes. In essence, this "nearest-neighbor recognition" (NNR) method involves the synthesis of dimeric forms of these lipids that contain a disulfide moiety as a linker. By means of thiolate-disulfide interchange reactions, equilibrium mixtures of dimers are then formed. These exchange reactions are initiated either by adding dithiothreitol to a liposomal dispersion to generate a small amount of thiol monomer or by including a small amount of thiol monomer in the liposomes at pH 5.0 and then raising the pH to 7.4. We then show how such NNR measurements have allowed us to distinguish between two very different mechanisms that have been

  20. China’s financial conundrum and global imbalances

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ronald; Mckinnon; Gunther; Schnabl

    2009-01-01

    China’s financial conundrum arises from two sources: (1) its large trade (saving) surplus results in a currency mismatch because it is an immature creditor that cannot lend in its own currency. Instead foreign currency claims (largely dollars) build up within domestic financial institutions. And (2) economists – both American and Chinese – mistakenly attribute the surpluses to an undervalued renminbi. To placate the United States, the result is a gradual appreciation of the renminbi against the dollar of 6% or more per year. This predictable appreciation since 2004, and the fall in US interest rates since mid 2007, not only attracts hot money inflows but inhibits private capital outflows from financing China’s huge trade surplus. This one-way bet in the foreign exchange markets can no longer be offset by relatively low interest rates in China compared to the United States, as had been the case in 2005-06. Thus, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) now must intervene heavily to prevent the renminbi from ratcheting upwards – and so becomes the country’s sole international financial intermediary. Despite massive efforts by the PBOC to sterilize the monetary consequences of the reserve buildup, inflation in China is increasing, with excess liquidity that spills over into the world economy. China has been transformed from a deflationary force on American and European price levels into an inflationary one. Because of the currency mismatch, floating the RMB is neither feasible nor desirable – and a higher RMB would not reduce China’s trade surplus. Instead, monetary control and normal private-sector finance for the trade surplus require a return to a credibly fixed nominal yuan/dollar rate similar to that which existed between 1995 and 2004. But for any newly reset yuan/dollar rate to be credible as a monetary anchor, foreign "China bashing" to get the RMB up must end. Currency stabilization would allow the PBOC to regain monetary control and quash

  1. Concept-Development of a Structure Supported Membrane for Deployable Space Applications - From Nature to Manufacture and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Martin; Belvin, W. K.

    2012-01-01

    Current space applications of membrane structures include large area solar power arrays, solar sails, antennas, and numerous other large aperture devices like the solar shades of the new James Webb Space Telescope. These expandable structural systems, deployed in-orbit to achieve the desired geometry, are used to collect, reflect and/or transmit electromagnetic radiation. This work, a feasibility study supporting a diploma thesis, describes the systematic process for developing a biologically inspired concept for a structure supported (integrated) membrane, that features a rip stop principle, makes self-deployment possible and is part of an ultra-light weight space application. Novel manufacturing of membrane prototypes and test results are presented for the rip-stop concepts. Test data showed that the new membrane concept has a higher tear resistance than neat film of equivalent mass.

  2. Structural Contraction of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: Membrane Application on Porous Metallic Hollow Fibers for Gas Separation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacho-Bailo, Fernando; Etxeberría-Benavides, Miren; David, Oana; Téllez, Carlos; Coronas, Joaquín

    2017-06-21

    Positive thermal expansion coefficients (TECs) of 52 × 10 -6 and 35 × 10 -6 K -1 were experimentally calculated in the -116 to 250 °C range for the III-phases of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIF) ZIF-9(Co) and ZIF-7(Zn), respectively, by means of the unit cell dimensions and volume of the materials in the monoclinic crystal system calculated from the XRD patterns. The unit cell dimensions and volume showed a significant expansion phenomenon as the temperature increased, by as much as 5.5% for ZIF-9-III in the studied range. To exploit the advantages of such thermal behavior, a new approach to the fabrication of ZIF-9-III membranes on thin, flexible, and highly porous nickel hollow fiber (Ni HF) supports by a versatile and easy-controllable microfluidic setup is herein reported. These Ni HF supports result from the sintering of 25-μm Ni particles and display very positive mechanical properties and bending resistance. As compared to the traditional polymer-based HF membranes, the ZIF metal-supported membrane exhibited good durability and robustness throughout its operation in a wide temperature range and after heating and cooling cycles. These benefits derive from (1) the pore-plugging membrane configuration resulting from the high porosity of the support and (2) the similarity between the TECs of the ZIF and the metallic support, both positive, which enhances their mutual compatibility. An increase in the H 2 /CO 2 separation selectivity at low temperatures (as high as 22.2 at -10 °C, along with 102 GPU permeance of H 2 ) was achieved, in agreement with the structural variations observed in the ZIF material.

  3. Preparation of fluoropolymer-based ion-track membranes. Structure of latent tracks and pretreatment effect

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaki, Tetsuya; Nuryanthi, Nuryanthi; Koshikawa, Hiroshi; Sawada, Shinichi; Hakoda, Teruyuki; Hasegawa, Shin; Asano, Masaharu; Maekawa, Yasunari

    2012-01-01

    High-energy heavy-ion induced damage, called latent tracks m organic polymers can sometimes be etched out chemically to give submicro- and nano-sized pores. Our focus is placed on ion-track membranes of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF), a type of fluoropolymer, which were previously considered as a matrix of polymer electrolyte fuel-cell membranes. There have been no optimized methods of preparing the PVDF-based ion-track membranes. We thus examined chemical structures of the defects created in the track, and accordingly, presented a pretreatment technique for achieving more efficient track etching. A 25 μm-thick PVDF film was bombarded with 1.1 GeV 238 U or 450 MeV 129 Xe ions. In the multi-purpose chamber, degradation processes were monitored in-situ by FT-IR spectroscopy and residual gas analysis as a function of the fluence up to 6.0 x 10 11 ions/cm 2 . The films irradiated at 8 ions/cm 2 were etched in a 9 M KOH aqueous solution at 80degC. We also performed the conductometric etching, which allows monitoring of pore evolution versus etching time by recording the electrical conductance through the membrane. At fluences above 1 x 10 10 ions/cm 2 , the film showed two new absorption bands identified as double-bond stretching vibrations of in-chain unsaturations -CH=CF- and fluorinated vinyl groups -CF 2 CH=CF 2 . These defects would result from the evolution of HF. The knowledge of the solubility in a permanganate alkaline solution and our preliminary experiment suggested the importance of oxidized tracks for the easy introduction of the etching agent. We finally found that the pretreatment with ozone could oxidize the double bonds in the tracks, thereby vigorously promoting track etching before breakthrough. (author)

  4. Solution structure of detergent micelles at conditions relevant to membrane protein crystallization.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Littrell, K.; Thiyagarajan, P.; Tiede, D.; Urban, V.

    1999-07-02

    In this study small angle neutron scattering was used to characterize the formation of micelles in aqueous solutions of the detergents DMG and SPC as a function of detergent concentration and ionic strength of the solvent. The effects on the micelle structure of the additives glycerol and PEG, alone as well as in combination typical for actual membrane protein crystallization, were also explored. This research suggests that the micelles are cigar-like in form at the concentrations studied. The size of the micelles was observed to increase with increasing ionic strength but decrease with the addition of glycerol or PEG.

  5. Composition, structure and mechanical properties define performance of pulmonary surfactant membranes and films

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ortiz, Elisa Parra; Perez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    of breathing and avoiding alveolar collapse, especially at the end of expiration. The goal of the present review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the structure, lipid-protein interactions and mechanical features of surfactant membranes and films and how these properties correlate with surfactant...... biological function inside the lungs. Surfactant mechanical properties can be severely compromised by different agents, which lead to surfactant inhibition and ultimately contributes to the development of pulmonary disorders and pathologies in newborns, children and adults. A detailed comprehension...

  6. Influence of myelin proteins on the structure and dynamics of a model membrane with emphasis on the low temperature regime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knoll, W. [University Joseph Fourier, UFR PhiTEM, Grenoble (France); Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Peters, J. [University Joseph Fourier, UFR PhiTEM, Grenoble (France); Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Institut de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble (France); Kursula, P. [University of Oulu, Oulu (Finland); CSSB–HZI, DESY, Hamburg (Germany); Gerelli, Y. [Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); Natali, F., E-mail: natali@ill.fr [Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France); CNR–IOM–OGG, c/o Institut Laue–Langevin, Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-28

    Myelin is an insulating, multi-lamellar membrane structure wrapped around selected nerve axons. Increasing the speed of nerve impulses, it is crucial for the proper functioning of the vertebrate nervous system. Human neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are linked to damage to the myelin sheath through demyelination. Myelin exhibits a well defined subset of myelin-specific proteins, whose influence on membrane dynamics, i.e., myelin flexibility and stability, has not yet been explored in detail. In a first paper [W. Knoll, J. Peters, P. Kursula, Y. Gerelli, J. Ollivier, B. Demé, M. Telling, E. Kemner, and F. Natali, Soft Matter 10, 519 (2014)] we were able to spotlight, through neutron scattering experiments, the role of peripheral nervous system myelin proteins on membrane stability at room temperature. In particular, the myelin basic protein and peripheral myelin protein 2 were found to synergistically influence the membrane structure while keeping almost unchanged the membrane mobility. Further insight is provided by this work, in which we particularly address the investigation of the membrane flexibility in the low temperature regime. We evidence a different behavior suggesting that the proton dynamics is reduced by the addition of the myelin basic protein accompanied by negligible membrane structural changes. Moreover, we address the importance of correct sample preparation and characterization for the success of the experiment and for the reliability of the obtained results.

  7. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alén, Begoña O; Nieto, Lidia; Gurriarán-Rodríguez, Uxía; Mosteiro, Carlos S; Álvarez-Pérez, Juan C; Otero-Alén, María; Camiña, Jesús P; Gallego, Rosalía; García-Caballero, Tomás; Martín-Pastor, Manuel; Casanueva, Felipe F; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Pazos, Yolanda

    2012-01-01

    The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1). Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2) and the fragment peptides (6-23)-obestatin (3), (11-23)-obestatin (4), and (16-23)-obestatin (5) have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS). Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation). Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size) and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively) at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  8. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  9. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marassi, Francesca M.; Ding, Yi; Schwieters, Charles D.; Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong

    2015-01-01

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential

  10. Aspectos estruturais da membrana eritrocitária Structural aspects of the erythrocyte membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Murador

    2007-06-01

    ócito e é ainda responsável pela estabilidade sob mecanismos de estresse. Essa revisão da membrana eritrocitária é importante para um melhor entendimento das reações transfusionais, onde a formação de anticorpos contra antígenos de alta freqüência dificulta a transfusão compatível. O estudo da diversidade antigênica, a caracterização bioquímica de diferentes proteínas trará uma contribuição para o estabelecimento da saúde, assim como para o diagnóstico, desenvolvimento de tecnologias, como a produção de anticorpos monoclonais e conduta terapêutica para muitas enfermidades.This article describes the structures and functions of the erythrocyte membrane and its importance in transfusional medicine. The erythrocyte membrane is one of the best known membranes in terms of structure, function and genetic disorders. As any other plasma membrane, it mediates transport functions. It also provides the erythrocytes with their resilience and deformability. According to the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT, more than 500 antigens are expressed in the erythrocyte membrane, and around 270 are involved in transfusion reaction cases and hemolytic diseases of the fetus and newborn. In the ISBT classification, the high frequency series is represented by antigens in more than 99% of population (high prevalence antigen. In transfusion, the absence of these antigens determines severe problems as for example, one woman without the P antigen suffered 6 repetitive miscarriages due to placental insufficiency, which was caused by an antibody formed against the absent P antigen. Some important erythrocyte membrane proteins are described here including Band 3, Glycophorins and spectrin. The most abundant integral membrane protein is Band 3 and its main function is to mediate exchange of chloride and bicarbonate anions across the plasma membrane. The second most abundant integral membrane protein in the human erythrocyte is sialoglycoprotein glycophorin A (GPA

  11. Determination of the separate lipid and protein profile structures derived from the total membrane profile structure or isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum via x-ray and neutron diffraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbette, L.; Blasie, J.K.

    1984-01-01

    Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes were prepared to contain biosynthetically deuterated SR phospholipids utilizing specific and general phospholipid exchange proteins (PLEP). Functional measurements and freeze fracture on SR dispersions and x-ray diffraction of hydrated oriented membrane multilayers revealed that the exchanged SR membranes were very similar to unexchanged SR membranes. Low resolution (28-A) neutron diffraction studies utilizing SR membranes exchanged with either protonated or perdeuterated SR phospholipids allowed direct determination of the lipid profile within the isolated SR membrane at two different unit cell repeat distances. These lipid profile structures were found to be highly asymmetric regarding the conformation of the fatty acid chain extents and compositional distribution of phospholipid molecules in the inner vs. outer monolayer of the SR membrane bilayer. The relatively high resolution (11-A) electron-density profile from x-ray diffraction was decomposed by utilizing the asymmetry in the number of phospholipid molecules residing in the inner vs. outer monolayer of the SR lipid bilayer as obtained from the neutron diffraction study. To our knowledge, this represents the first direct determination of a lipid bilayer profile structure within an isolated membrane system

  12. Computational molecular modeling and structural rationalization for the design of a drug-loaded PLLA/PVA biopolymeric membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sibeko, B; Pillay, V; Choonara, Y E; Khan, R A; Danckwerts, M P; Modi, G; Iyuke, S E; Naidoo, D

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to design, characterize and assess the influence of triethanolamine (TEA) on the physicomechanical properties and release of methotrexate (MTX) from a composite biopolymeric membrane. Conjugated poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) membranes were prepared by immersion precipitation with and without the addition of TEA. Drug entrapment efficiency (DEE) and release studies were performed in phosphate buffered saline (pH 7.4, 37 deg. C). Scanning electron microscopy elucidated the membrane surface morphology. Computational and structural molecular modeling rationalized the potential mechanisms of membrane formation and MTX release. Bi-axial force-distance (F-D) extensibility profiles were generated to determine the membrane toughness, elasticity and fracturability. Membranes were significantly toughened by the addition of TEA as a discrete rubbery phase within the co-polymer matrix. MTX-TEA-PLLA-PVA membranes were tougher (F = 89 N) and more extensible (D = 8.79 mm) compared to MTX-PLLA-PVA (F = 35 N, D = 3.7 mm) membranes as a greater force of extension and fracture distance were required (N = 10). DEE values were relatively high (>80%, N = 5) for both formulations. Photomicrographs revealed distinct crystalline layered morphologies with macro-pores. MTX was released by tri-phasic kinetics with a lower fractional release of MTX from MTX-TEA-PLLA-PVA membranes compared to MTX-PLLA-PVA. TEA provided a synergistic approach to improving the membrane physicomechanical properties and modulation of MTX release. The composite biopolymeric membrane may therefore be suitable for the novel delivery of MTX in the treatment of chronic primary central nervous system lymphoma.

  13. F-BAR family proteins, emerging regulators for cell membrane dynamic changes-from structure to human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suxuan; Xiong, Xinyu; Zhao, Xianxian; Yang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Hong

    2015-05-09

    Eukaryotic cell membrane dynamics change in curvature during physiological and pathological processes. In the past ten years, a novel protein family, Fes/CIP4 homology-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) domain proteins, has been identified to be the most important coordinators in membrane curvature regulation. The F-BAR domain family is a member of the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain superfamily that is associated with dynamic changes in cell membrane. However, the molecular basis in membrane structure regulation and the biological functions of F-BAR protein are unclear. The pathophysiological role of F-BAR protein is unknown. This review summarizes the current understanding of structure and function in the BAR domain superfamily, classifies F-BAR family proteins into nine subfamilies based on domain structure, and characterizes F-BAR protein structure, domain interaction, and functional relevance. In general, F-BAR protein binds to cell membrane via F-BAR domain association with membrane phospholipids and initiates membrane curvature and scission via Src homology-3 (SH3) domain interaction with its partner proteins. This process causes membrane dynamic changes and leads to seven important cellular biological functions, which include endocytosis, phagocytosis, filopodium, lamellipodium, cytokinesis, adhesion, and podosome formation, via distinct signaling pathways determined by specific domain-binding partners. These cellular functions play important roles in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. We further summarize F-BAR protein expression and mutation changes observed in various diseases and developmental disorders. Considering the structure feature and functional implication of F-BAR proteins, we anticipate that F-BAR proteins modulate physiological and pathophysiological processes via transferring extracellular materials, regulating cell trafficking and mobility, presenting antigens, mediating extracellular matrix degradation, and transmitting

  14. RosettaTMH: a method for membrane protein structure elucidation combining EPR distance restraints with assembly of transmembrane helices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Leaver-Fay

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Membrane proteins make up approximately one third of all proteins, and they play key roles in a plethora of physiological processes. However, membrane proteins make up less than 2% of experimentally determined structures, despite significant advances in structure determination methods, such as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy. One potential alternative means of structure elucidation is to combine computational methods with experimental EPR data. In 2011, Hirst and others introduced RosettaEPR and demonstrated that this approach could be successfully applied to fold soluble proteins. Furthermore, few computational methods for de novo folding of integral membrane proteins have been presented. In this work, we present RosettaTMH, a novel algorithm for structure prediction of helical membrane proteins. A benchmark set of 34 proteins, in which the proteins ranged in size from 91 to 565 residues, was used to compare RosettaTMH to Rosetta’s two existing membrane protein folding protocols: the published RosettaMembrane folding protocol (“MembraneAbinitio” and folding from an extended chain (“ExtendedChain”. When EPR distance restraints are used, RosettaTMH+EPR outperforms ExtendedChain+EPR for 11 proteins, including the largest six proteins tested. RosettaTMH+EPR is capable of achieving native-like folds for 30 of 34 proteins tested, including receptors and transporters. For example, the average RMSD100SSE relative to the crystal structure for rhodopsin was 6.1 ± 0.4 Å and 6.5 ± 0.6 Å for the 449-residue nitric oxide reductase subunit B, where the standard deviation reflects variance in RMSD100SSE values across ten different EPR distance restraint sets. The addition of RosettaTMH and RosettaTMH+EPR to the Rosetta family of de novo folding methods broadens the scope of helical membrane proteins that can be accurately modeled with this software suite.

  15. Pyrene-Labeled Amphiphiles: Dynamic And Structural Probes Of Membranes And Lipoproteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pownall, Henry J.; Homan, Reynold; Massey, John B.

    1987-01-01

    Lipids and proteins are important functional and structural components of living organisms. Although proteins are frequently found as soluble components of plasma or the cell cytoplasm, many lipids are much less soluble and separate into complex assemblies that usually contain proteins. Cell membranes and plasma lipoproteins' are two important macro-molecular assemblies that contain both lipids and proteins. Cell membranes are composed of a variety of lipids and proteins that form an insoluble bilayer array that has relatively little curvature over distances of several nm. Plasma lipoproteins are different in that they are much smaller, water-soluble, and have highly curved surfaces. A model of a high density lipoprotein (HDL) is shown in Figure 1. This model (d - 10 nm) contains a surface of polar lipids and proteins that surrounds a small core of insoluble lipids, mostly triglycerides and cholesteryl esters. The low density (LDL) (d - 25 nm) and very low density (VLDL) (d 90 nm) lipoproteins have similar architectures, except the former has a cholesteryl ester core and the latter a core that is almost exclusively triglyceride (Figure 1). The surface proteins of HDL are amphiphilic and water soluble; the single protein of LDL is insoluble, whereas VLDL contains both soluble and insoluble proteins. The primary structures of all of these proteins are known.

  16. Structure of hybrid organic-inorganic sols for the preparation of hydrothermally stable membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castricum, H.L.; Sah, A; Blank, D.H.A.; Ten Elshof, J.E. [Inorganic Materials Science, MESA Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Geenevasen, J.A.J. [Van ' t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Kreiter, R.; Vente, J.F. [ECN Energy Efficiency in the Industry, Petten (Netherlands)

    2008-06-15

    A procedure for the preparation of hybrid sols for the synthesis of organic-inorganic microporous materials and thin film membranes is reported. We describe silane reactivity and sol structure for acid-catalysed colloidal sols from mixtures of either tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and methyltriethoxysilane (MTES), or bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTESE) and MTES. Early-stage hydrolysis and condensation rates of the individual silane precursors were followed with 29Si liquid NMR and structural characteristics of more developed sols were studied with Dynamic Light Scattering. Condensation was found to proceed at more or less similar rates for the different precursors. Homogeneously mixed hybrid colloids can therefore be formed from precursor mixtures. The conditions of preparation under which clear sols with low viscosity could be formed from BTESE/MTES were determined. These sols were synthesised at moderate water/silane and acid/silane ratios and could be applied for the coating of defect-free microporous membranes for molecular separations under hydrothermal conditions.

  17. Molecular dynamics studies of simple membrane-water interfaces: Structure and functions in the beginnings of cellular life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.

    1995-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of the structure and functions of a simple membrane are performed in order to examine whether membranes provide an environment capable of promoting protobiological evolution. Our model membrane is composed of glycerol 1-monooleate. It is found that the bilayer surface fluctuates in time and space, occasionally creating thinning defects in the membrane. These defects are essential for passive transport of simple ions across membranes because they reduce the Born barrier to this process by approximately 40%. Negative ions are transferred across the bilayer more readily than positive ions due to favorable interactions with the electric field at the membrane-water interface. Passive transport of neutral molecules is, in general, more complex than predicted by the solubility-diffusion model. In particular, molecules which exhibit sufficient hydrophilicity and lipophilicity concentrate near membrane surfaces and experience 'interfacial resistance' to transport. The membrane-water interface forms an environment suitable for heterogeneous catalysis. Several possible mechanisms leading to an increase of reaction rates at the interface are discussed. We conclude that vesicles have many properties that make them very good candidates for earliest protocells. Some potentially fruitful directions of experimental and theoretical research on this subject are proposed.

  18. Performance enhancement of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by dual-layered membrane electrode assembly structures with carbon nanotubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Dong-Won; Kim, Jun-Ho; Kim, Se-Hoon; Kim, Jun-Bom; Oh, Eun-Suok

    2013-05-01

    The effect of dual-layered membrane electrode assemblies (d-MEAs) on the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated using the following characterization techniques: single cell performance test, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). It has been shown that the PEMFC with d-MEAs has better cell performance than that with typical mono-layered MEAs (m-MEAs). In particular, the d-MEA whose inner layer is composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) showed the best fuel cell performance. This is due to the fact that the d-MEAs with MWCNTs have the highest electrochemical surface area and the lowest activation polarization, as observed from the CV and EIS test.

  19. Reverse osmosis membrane composition, structure and performance modification by bisulphite, iron(III), bromide and chlorite exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer, O; Gibert, O; Cortina, J L

    2016-10-15

    Reverse osmosis (RO) membrane exposure to bisulphite, chlorite, bromide and iron(III) was assessed in terms of membrane composition, structure and performance. Membrane composition was determined by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and membrane performance was assessed by water and chloride permeation, using a modified version of the solution-diffusion model. Iron(III) dosage in presence of bisulphite led to an autooxidation of the latter, probably generating free radicals which damaged the membrane. It comprised a significant raise in chloride passage (chloride permeation coefficient increased 5.3-5.1 fold compared to the virgin membrane under the conditions studied) rapidly. No major differences in terms of water permeability and membrane composition were observed. Nevertheless, an increase in the size of the network pores, and a raise in the fraction of aggregate pores of the polyamide (PA) layer were identified, but no amide bond cleavage was observed. These structural changes were therefore, in accordance with the transport properties observed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. In-situ small/wide-angle neutron scattering studies of the cluster structure in polyelectrolyte membrane for fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakano, Tomohiro; Kaneko, Michiyo; Otomo, Toshiya; Kamiyama, Takashi; Sugiyama, Masaaki; Fukunaga, Toshiharu; Kanno, Ryoji; Yamamoto, Satoru; Hyodo, Shiaki

    2007-01-01

    Proton conductivity of Nafion membrane is varied by humidity and it has been thought to be affected by the cluster structure of the membrane. We applied Small-Angle Scattering technique under humidity-controlled atmosphere with X-ray (SAXS) and neutron (SANS) to clarify the relationship between the cluster structure and molecular structure in two types of Nafion membrane, N115 and NE151F, which have different equivalent weight (EW). The proton conductivity of N115 is higher than that of NE151F. By these two measurements, three different sized periodic structures were observed in the Nafion membrane. Contrast variation method (D/H=60/40, 75/25, 80/20, 90/10) was also applied in SANS experiments and it was suggested that two of three peaks are originated from two different sizes of water clusters. A distinguishing peak at q=0.2[A -1 ], which shifts to lower q region by humidity increase, was reproduced by a simulation of Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD): the shifts of the peak was interpreted as the swelling of cluster structure. The size of the cluster calculated from the peak position is positively correlated with the proton conductivity. Finally, the effect of EW on the proton conductivity of Nafion membrane was briefly discussed from the point of its cluster structure. (author)

  1. Shell and membrane theories in mechanics and biology from macro- to nanoscale structures

    CERN Document Server

    Mikhasev, Gennadi

    2015-01-01

    This book presents the latest results related to shells  characterize and design shells, plates, membranes and other thin-walled structures, a multidisciplinary approach from macro- to nanoscale is required which involves the classical disciplines of mechanical/civil/materials engineering (design, analysis, and properties) and physics/biology/medicine among others. The book contains contributions of a meeting of specialists (mechanical engineers, mathematicians, physicists and others) in such areas as classical and non-classical shell theories. New trends with respect to applications in mechanical, civil and aero-space engineering, as well as in new branches like medicine and biology are presented which demand improvements of the theoretical foundations of these theories and a deeper understanding of the material behavior used in such structures.

  2. Structural studies of the vacuolar membrane ATPase from Neurospora crassa and comparison with the tonoplast membrane ATPase and Zea mays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowman, E.J.; Mandala, S.; Taiz, L.; Bowman, B.J.

    1986-01-01

    The H + translocating ATPase located on vacuolar membranes of Neurospora crassa was partially purified by solubilization in two detergents, Triton X-100 and N-hexadecyl-N,N-dimethyl-3-ammonio-1-propanesulfonate, followed by centrifugation on sucrose density gradients. Two polypeptides of M/sub r/ ≅ 70,000 and ≅ 62,000 consistently migrated with activity, along with several minor bands of lower molecular weight. Radioactively labeled inhibitors of ATPase activity, N-[ 14 C]ethylmaleimide and 7-chloro-4-nitro[ 14 C]benzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole, labeled the M/sub r/ ≅ 70,000 polypeptide; this labeling was reduced in the presence of ATP. N,N'-[ 14 C]dicyclohexylcarbodiimide labeled a polypeptide of M/sub r/ ≅ 15,000. Estimation of the functional size of the vacuolar membrane ATPase by radiation inactivation gave a value of M/sub r/ 5.2 x 10 5 , 10-15% larger than the mitochondrial ATPase. The Neurospora vacuolar ATPase showed no crossreactivity with antiserum to plasma membrane or mitochrondrial ATPase but stongly crossreacted with antiserum against a polypeptide of M/sub r/ ≅ 70,000 associated with the tonoplast ATPase of corn coleoptiles. These results suggest that fungal and plant vacuolar ATPases may be large multisubunit complexes, somewhat similar to, but immunologically distinct from, known F 0 F 1 ATPases

  3. Studies of membrane structure by freeze--etching. Progress report, 1 July 1974--30 June 1975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Branton, D.

    1975-01-01

    The structure and organization of biological membranes was studied using a variety of physical and biochemical techniques together with electron microscopy and freeze-etching. These studies are providing knowledge relating the architecture of cellular membranes to their role in regulating the transport of molecules into and out of cells. A number of model systems, including Acholeplasma laidlawii and human erythrocyte membranes were proved to determine the distribution and asymmetry of component lipids and proteins. For this purpose, a novel combination of freeze-fracture and electron microscope autoradiographic techniques has been developed and is being tested. (U.S.)

  4. Quantitative structure-retention relationships of flavonoids unraveled by immobilized artificial membrane chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Adriana Leandra; Carrilho, Emanuel; Lanças, Fernando Mauro; Montanari, Carlos Alberto

    2016-06-10

    The pharmacokinetic properties of flavonoids with differing degrees of lipophilicity were investigated using immobilized artificial membranes (IAMs) as the stationary phase in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). For each flavonoid compound, we investigated whether the type of column used affected the correlation between the retention factors and the calculated octanol/water partition (log Poct). Three-dimensional (3D) molecular descriptors were calculated from the molecular structure of each compound using i) VolSurf software, ii) the GRID method (computational procedure for determining energetically favorable binding sites in molecules of known structure using a probe for calculating the 3D molecular interaction fields, between the probe and the molecule), and iii) the relationship between partition and molecular structure, analyzed in terms of physicochemical descriptors. The VolSurf built-in Caco-2 model was used to estimate compound permeability. The extent to which the datasets obtained from different columns differ both from each other and from both the calculated log Poct and the predicted permeability in Caco-2 cells was examined by principal component analysis (PCA). The immobilized membrane partition coefficients (kIAM) were analyzed using molecular descriptors in partial least square regression (PLS) and a quantitative structure-retention relationship was generated for the chromatographic retention in the cholesterol column. The cholesterol column provided the best correlation with the permeability predicted by the Caco-2 cell model and a good fit model with great prediction power was obtained for its retention data (R(2)=0.96 and Q(2)=0.85 with four latent variables). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Electron cryomicroscopy structure of a membrane-anchored mitochondrial AAA protease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sukyeong; Augustin, Steffen; Tatsuta, Takashi; Gerdes, Florian; Langer, Thomas; Tsai, Francis T F

    2011-02-11

    FtsH-related AAA proteases are conserved membrane-anchored, ATP-dependent molecular machines, which mediate the processing and turnover of soluble and membrane-embedded proteins in eubacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. Homo- and hetero-oligomeric proteolytic complexes exist, which are composed of homologous subunits harboring an ATPase domain of the AAA family and an H41 metallopeptidase domain. Mutations in subunits of mitochondrial m-AAA proteases have been associated with different neurodegenerative disorders in human, raising questions on the functional differences between homo- and hetero-oligomeric AAA proteases. Here, we have analyzed the hetero-oligomeric yeast m-AAA protease composed of homologous Yta10 and Yta12 subunits. We combined genetic and structural approaches to define the molecular determinants for oligomer assembly and to assess functional similarities between Yta10 and Yta12. We demonstrate that replacement of only two amino acid residues within the metallopeptidase domain of Yta12 allows its assembly into homo-oligomeric complexes. To provide a molecular explanation, we determined the 12 Å resolution structure of the intact yeast m-AAA protease with its transmembrane domains by electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and atomic structure fitting. The full-length m-AAA protease has a bipartite structure and is a hexamer in solution. We found that residues in Yta12, which facilitate homo-oligomerization when mutated, are located at the interface between neighboring protomers in the hexamer ring. Notably, the transmembrane and intermembrane space domains are separated from the main body, creating a passage on the matrix side, which is wide enough to accommodate unfolded but not folded polypeptides. These results suggest a mechanism regarding how proteins are recognized and degraded by m-AAA proteases.

  6. A structural model of the genome packaging process in a membrane-containing double stranded DNA virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuan Hong

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Two crucial steps in the virus life cycle are genome encapsidation to form an infective virion and genome exit to infect the next host cell. In most icosahedral double-stranded (ds DNA viruses, the viral genome enters and exits the capsid through a unique vertex. Internal membrane-containing viruses possess additional complexity as the genome must be translocated through the viral membrane bilayer. Here, we report the structure of the genome packaging complex with a membrane conduit essential for viral genome encapsidation in the tailless icosahedral membrane-containing bacteriophage PRD1. We utilize single particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM and symmetry-free image reconstruction to determine structures of PRD1 virion, procapsid, and packaging deficient mutant particles. At the unique vertex of PRD1, the packaging complex replaces the regular 5-fold structure and crosses the lipid bilayer. These structures reveal that the packaging ATPase P9 and the packaging efficiency factor P6 form a dodecameric portal complex external to the membrane moiety, surrounded by ten major capsid protein P3 trimers. The viral transmembrane density at the special vertex is assigned to be a hexamer of heterodimer of proteins P20 and P22. The hexamer functions as a membrane conduit for the DNA and as a nucleating site for the unique vertex assembly. Our structures show a conformational alteration in the lipid membrane after the P9 and P6 are recruited to the virion. The P8-genome complex is then packaged into the procapsid through the unique vertex while the genome terminal protein P8 functions as a valve that closes the channel once the genome is inside. Comparing mature virion, procapsid, and mutant particle structures led us to propose an assembly pathway for the genome packaging apparatus in the PRD1 virion.

  7. A structural model of the genome packaging process in a membrane-containing double stranded DNA virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Chuan; Oksanen, Hanna M; Liu, Xiangan; Jakana, Joanita; Bamford, Dennis H; Chiu, Wah

    2014-12-01

    Two crucial steps in the virus life cycle are genome encapsidation to form an infective virion and genome exit to infect the next host cell. In most icosahedral double-stranded (ds) DNA viruses, the viral genome enters and exits the capsid through a unique vertex. Internal membrane-containing viruses possess additional complexity as the genome must be translocated through the viral membrane bilayer. Here, we report the structure of the genome packaging complex with a membrane conduit essential for viral genome encapsidation in the tailless icosahedral membrane-containing bacteriophage PRD1. We utilize single particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) and symmetry-free image reconstruction to determine structures of PRD1 virion, procapsid, and packaging deficient mutant particles. At the unique vertex of PRD1, the packaging complex replaces the regular 5-fold structure and crosses the lipid bilayer. These structures reveal that the packaging ATPase P9 and the packaging efficiency factor P6 form a dodecameric portal complex external to the membrane moiety, surrounded by ten major capsid protein P3 trimers. The viral transmembrane density at the special vertex is assigned to be a hexamer of heterodimer of proteins P20 and P22. The hexamer functions as a membrane conduit for the DNA and as a nucleating site for the unique vertex assembly. Our structures show a conformational alteration in the lipid membrane after the P9 and P6 are recruited to the virion. The P8-genome complex is then packaged into the procapsid through the unique vertex while the genome terminal protein P8 functions as a valve that closes the channel once the genome is inside. Comparing mature virion, procapsid, and mutant particle structures led us to propose an assembly pathway for the genome packaging apparatus in the PRD1 virion.

  8. KNEE CARTILAGE AND SYNOVIAL MEMBRANE STRUCTURAL CHANGES DURING TIBIA DISTRACTION WITH PLATING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Stupina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose of the study — to analyze the changes in knee articular cartilage and synovial membrane during distraction external fixation of the tibia in combination with plating.Material and methods. Articular cartilage and synovial membrane of the knee joint were studied using histomorphometry methods in 9 mongrel dogs during distraction external fixation of the tibia combined with plating. Tibia and fibula osteotomies were performed at the border of middle and upper third, plate was fixed on tibia diaphysis. Lengthening was achieved at rate of 1 mm per day in four stages during 21–28 days. Animals were withdrawn from experiment in 30 and 90 days. After autopsy of knee joints the authors excised sections of synovial membrane from suprapatellar area, articular cartilage with underlying subchondral bone from loadable surface of femoral condyles. Thickness of articular cartilage, its area and volumetric density of chondrocytes was measured, proportion of chondrocytes within isogenic groups from the overall number of chondrocytes as well as proportion of empty lacunae. In synovial membrane the authors measured thickness of surface layer and numeric density of micro vessels. Articular cartilage of 5 intact animals was used as a control group.Results. After 30 days of plate fixation a hyperplasia of the integument layer, mild synovitis, and hypervascularization were observed in synovial membrane. Density of micro vessels increased to 363.93±33.71 (control group — 335.05±28.88. The authors also observed subperineural and endoneural edema as well as destruction of nerve fibers in subsynovial layer. Articular cartilage retained the zonal structure. Destructive changes were manifested by fibers separation in the superficial part of surface zone and by partial loss of chondrocytes. The following parameters were reduced: cartilage thickness, area and volumetric density of chondrocytes, proportion of isogenic groups; empty lacunae exceeded the values in

  9. The establishment and application of direct coupled electrostatic-structural field model in electrostatically controlled deployable membrane antenna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yongzhen; Duan, Baoyan; Du, Jingli

    2018-05-01

    The electrostatically controlled deployable membrane antenna (ECDMA) is a promising space structure due to its low weight, large aperture and high precision characteristics. However, it is an extreme challenge to describe the coupled field between electrostatic and membrane structure accurately. A direct coupled method is applied to solve the coupled problem in this paper. Firstly, the membrane structure and electrostatic field are uniformly described by energy, considering the coupled problem is an energy conservation phenomenon. Then the direct coupled electrostatic-structural field governing equilibrium equations are obtained by energy variation approach. Numerical results show that the direct coupled method improves the computing efficiency by 36% compared with the traditional indirect coupled method with the same level accuracy. Finally, the prototype has been manufactured and tested and the ECDMA finite element simulations show good agreement with the experiment results as the maximum surface error difference is 6%.

  10. Quaternary structure of the lactose transport protein of Streptococcus thermophilus in the detergent-solubilized and membrane-reconstituted state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friesen, R.H.E.; Poolman, B.; Knol, J.

    2000-01-01

    The quaternary structure of LacS, the lactose transporter of Streptococcus thermophilus, has been determined for the detergent-solubilized and the membrane-reconstituted state of the protein. The quaternary structure of the n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside-solubilized state was studied using a combination of

  11. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: Formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change

    KAUST Repository

    Dreszer, C.; Wexler, Adam D.; Drusová , S.; Overdijk, T.; Zwijnenburg, Arie; Flemming, Hans Curt; Kruithof, Joop C.; Vrouwenvelder, Johannes S.

    2014-01-01

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s-1) and permeate flux (20 L m-2h-1).In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m-2h-1). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure.Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  12. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: Formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change

    KAUST Repository

    Dreszer, C.

    2014-12-01

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s-1) and permeate flux (20 L m-2h-1).In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m-2h-1). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure.Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  13. Visualization of structural organization of ventral membranes of sheared-open resorbing osteoclasts attached to apatite pellets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akisaka, Toshitaka; Yoshida, Atsushi

    2015-05-01

    Osteoclasts are highly polarized cells from both morphological and functional points of view. Using quick-freeze, rotary-replication methods combined with cell-shearing, we clarified the variability of cytoplasmic surface of the polarized membranes of osteoclasts seeded on apatite. As to the organization of actin filaments and clathrin sheets, we confirmed almost the same ventral membrane specializations of osteoclasts on apatite as seen on glass plates. The organized actin filaments and membrane-associated particles supported the ruffled border membranes. Inside the actin sealing zone, membrane specializations were not always occupied with the ruffled border but also with other types of membranes. Some osteoclasts formed an actin ring but lacked the ruffled border projections. We report a unique and distinctive membrane modification of apatite-attached osteoclasts, i.e., the presence of dense aggregates of membrane-associated particles and related structures not found in the osteoclasts seeded on glass plates. Actin filament polarity in the podosomes was determined by decoration with myosin S1. The actin filament polarity within podosome appears to be oriented predominantly with its barbed ends toward the core, whereas the interconnecting F-actin appears to be mixed oriented. Two different types of clathrin plaques displayed different distributions: clathrin-dependent endocytosis was observed in the ruffled border regions, whereas flat clathrin sheets were found in the leading edge of lamellipodia and near podosomes. The clathrin sheets adhered to the apatite surface tightly on the ventral membranes overlaying the resorption lacunae. All these membrane specializations as mentioned above may indicate the functional variability of osteoclasts seeded on apatite.

  14. ALS-causing profilin-1-mutant forms a non-native helical structure in membrane environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Liangzhong; Kang, Jian; Song, Jianxing

    2017-11-01

    Despite having physiological functions completely different from superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), profilin 1 (PFN1) also carries mutations causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a striking similarity to that triggered by SOD1 mutants. Very recently, the C71G-PFN1 has been demonstrated to cause ALS by a gain of toxicity and the acceleration of motor neuron degeneration preceded the accumulation of its aggregates. Here by atomic-resolution NMR determination of conformations and dynamics of WT-PFN1 and C71G-PFN1 in aqueous buffers and in membrane mimetics DMPC/DHPC bicelle and DPC micelle, we deciphered that: 1) the thermodynamic destabilization by C71G transforms PFN1 into coexistence with the unfolded state, which is lacking of any stable tertiary/secondary structures as well as restricted ps-ns backbone motions, thus fundamentally indistinguishable from ALS-causing SOD1 mutants. 2) Most strikingly, while WT-PFN1 only weakly interacts with DMPC/DHPC bicelle without altering the native structure, C71G-PFN1 acquires abnormal capacity in strongly interacting with DMPC/DHPC bicelle and DPC micelle, energetically driven by transforming the highly disordered unfolded state into a non-native helical structure, similar to what has been previously observed on ALS-causing SOD1 mutants. Our results imply that one potential mechanism for C71G-PFN1 to initiate ALS might be the abnormal interaction with membranes as recently established for SOD1 mutants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Metagenomes reveal microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jinxing; Wang, Zhiwei; Li, Huan; Park, Hee-Deung; Wu, Zhichao

    2016-06-01

    Metagenomic sequencing was used to investigate the microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results showed that the microbial community in the MBR was highly diverse. Notably, function analysis of the dominant genera indicated that common genes from different phylotypes were identified for important functional potentials with the observation of variation of abundances of genes in a certain taxon (e.g., Dechloromonas). Despite maintaining similar metabolic functional potentials with a parallel full-scale conventional activated sludge (CAS) system due to treating the identical wastewater, the MBR had more abundant nitrification-related bacteria and coding genes of ammonia monooxygenase, which could well explain its excellent ammonia removal in the low-temperature period. Furthermore, according to quantification of the genes involved in exopolysaccharide and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) protein metabolism, the MBR did not show a much different potential in producing EPS compared to the CAS system, and bacteria from the membrane biofilm had lower abundances of genes associated with EPS biosynthesis and transport compared to the activated sludge in the MBR.

  16. Structural and thermodynamic characterization of doxycycline/β-cyclodextrin supramolecular complex and its bacterial membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Diego F; Consuegra, Jessika; Trajano, Vivianne C; Gontijo, Sávio M L; Guimarães, Pedro P G; Cortés, Maria E; Denadai, Ângelo L; Sinisterra, Rubén D

    2014-06-01

    Doxycycline is a semi-synthetic antibiotic commonly used for the treatment of many aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. It inhibits the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and affects cell proliferation. In this study, the structural and thermodynamic parameters of free DOX and a DOX/βCD complex were investigated, as well as their interactions and effects on Staphylococcus aureus cells and cellular cytotoxicity. Complexation of DOX and βCD was confirmed to be an enthalpy- and entropy-driven process, and a low equilibrium constant was obtained. Treatment of S. aureus with higher concentrations of DOX or DOX/βCD resulted in an exponential decrease in S. aureus cell size, as well as a gradual neutralization of zeta potential. These thermodynamic profiles suggest that ion-pairing and hydrogen bonding interactions occur between DOX and the membrane of S. aureus. In addition, the adhesion of βCD to the cell membrane via hydrogen bonding is hypothesized to mediate a synergistic effect which accounts for the higher activity of DOX/βCD against S. aureus compared to pure DOX. Lower cytotoxicity and induction of osteoblast proliferation was also associated with DOX/βCD compared with free DOX. These promising findings demonstrate the potential for DOX/βCD to mediate antimicrobial activity at lower concentrations, and provides a strategy for the development of other antimicrobial formulations. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Screening and large-scale expression of membrane proteins in mammalian cells for structural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goehring, April; Lee, Chia-Hsueh; Wang, Kevin H; Michel, Jennifer Carlisle; Claxton, Derek P; Baconguis, Isabelle; Althoff, Thorsten; Fischer, Suzanne; Garcia, K Christopher; Gouaux, Eric

    2014-11-01

    Structural, biochemical and biophysical studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins are often hampered by difficulties in overexpression of the candidate molecule. Baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells (BacMam), although a powerful method to heterologously express membrane proteins, can be cumbersome for screening and expression of multiple constructs. We therefore developed plasmid Eric Gouaux (pEG) BacMam, a vector optimized for use in screening assays, as well as for efficient production of baculovirus and robust expression of the target protein. In this protocol, we show how to use small-scale transient transfection and fluorescence-detection size-exclusion chromatography (FSEC) experiments using a GFP-His8-tagged candidate protein to screen for monodispersity and expression level. Once promising candidates are identified, we describe how to generate baculovirus, transduce HEK293S GnTI(-) (N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I-negative) cells in suspension culture and overexpress the candidate protein. We have used these methods to prepare pure samples of chicken acid-sensing ion channel 1a (cASIC1) and Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) for X-ray crystallography, demonstrating how to rapidly and efficiently screen hundreds of constructs and accomplish large-scale expression in 4-6 weeks.

  18. Hierarchically structured transparent hybrid membranes by in situ growth of mesostructured organosilica in host polymer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallé, Karine; Belleville, Philippe; Pereira, Franck; Sanchez, Clément

    2006-02-01

    The elaborate performances characterizing natural materials result from functional hierarchical constructions at scales ranging from nanometres to millimetres, each construction allowing the material to fit the physical or chemical demands occurring at these different levels. Hierarchically structured materials start to demonstrate a high input in numerous promising applied domains such as sensors, catalysis, optics, fuel cells, smart biologic and cosmetic vectors. In particular, hierarchical hybrid materials permit the accommodation of a maximum of elementary functions in a small volume, thereby optimizing complementary possibilities and properties between inorganic and organic components. The reported strategies combine sol-gel chemistry, self-assembly routes using templates that tune the material's architecture and texture with the use of larger inorganic, organic or biological templates such as latex, organogelator-derived fibres, nanolithographic techniques or controlled phase separation. We propose an approach to forming transparent hierarchical hybrid functionalized membranes using in situ generation of mesostructured hybrid phases inside a non-porogenic hydrophobic polymeric host matrix. We demonstrate that the control of the multiple affinities existing between organic and inorganic components allows us to design the length-scale partitioning of hybrid nanomaterials with tuned functionalities and desirable size organization from ångström to centimetre. After functionalization of the mesoporous hybrid silica component, the resulting membranes have good ionic conductivity offering interesting perspectives for the design of solid electrolytes, fuel cells and other ion-transport microdevices.

  19. Structural basis for plant plasma membrane protein dynamics and organization into functional nanodomains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronnier, Julien; Crowet, Jean-Marc; Habenstein, Birgit; Nasir, Mehmet Nail; Bayle, Vincent; Hosy, Eric; Platre, Matthieu Pierre; Gouguet, Paul; Raffaele, Sylvain; Martinez, Denis; Grelard, Axelle; Loquet, Antoine; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia; Der, Christophe; Bayer, Emmanuelle M; Jaillais, Yvon; Deleu, Magali; Germain, Véronique; Lins, Laurence; Mongrand, Sébastien

    2017-07-31

    Plasma Membrane is the primary structure for adjusting to ever changing conditions. PM sub-compartmentalization in domains is thought to orchestrate signaling. Yet, mechanisms governing membrane organization are mostly uncharacterized. The plant-specific REMORINs are proteins regulating hormonal crosstalk and host invasion. REMs are the best-characterized nanodomain markers via an uncharacterized moiety called REMORIN C-terminal Anchor. By coupling biophysical methods, super-resolution microscopy and physiology, we decipher an original mechanism regulating the dynamic and organization of nanodomains. We showed that targeting of REMORIN is independent of the COP-II-dependent secretory pathway and mediated by PI4P and sterol. REM-CA is an unconventional lipid-binding motif that confers nanodomain organization. Analyses of REM-CA mutants by single particle tracking demonstrate that mobility and supramolecular organization are critical for immunity. This study provides a unique mechanistic insight into how the tight control of spatial segregation is critical in the definition of PM domain necessary to support biological function.

  20. The use of nanoparticles in polymeric and ceramic membrane structures: Review of manufacturing procedures and performance improvement for water treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jeonghwan [Department of Environmental Engineering, INHA University, Nam-gu, Yonghyun-dong 253, Incheon 402-751 (Korea, Republic of); Van der Bruggen, Bart, E-mail: bart.vanderbruggen@cit.kuleuven.b [K.U. Leuven, Department of Chemical Engineering, Laboratory for Applied Physical Chemistry and Environmental Technology, W. de Croylaan 46, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)

    2010-07-15

    Membrane separations are powerful tools for various applications, including wastewater treatment and the removal of contaminants from drinking water. The performance of membranes is mainly limited by material properties. Recently, successful attempts have been made to add nanoparticles or nanotubes to polymers in membrane synthesis, with particle sizes ranging from 4 nm up to 100 nm. Ceramic membranes have been fabricated with catalytic nanoparticles for synergistic effects on the membrane performance. Breakthrough effects that have been reported in the field of water and wastewater treatment include fouling mitigation, improvement of permeate quality and flux enhancement. Nanomaterials that have been used include titania, alumina, silica, silver and many others. This paper reviews the role of engineered nanomaterials in (pressure driven) membrane technology for water treatment, to be applied in drinking water production and wastewater recycling. Benefits and drawbacks are described, which should be taken into account in further studies on potential risks related to release of nanoparticles into the environment. - Nanoparticles show a great potential for application in polymeric and ceramic membrane structures, in view of fouling mitigation and catalytic breakdown processes.

  1. The use of nanoparticles in polymeric and ceramic membrane structures: Review of manufacturing procedures and performance improvement for water treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jeonghwan; Van der Bruggen, Bart

    2010-01-01

    Membrane separations are powerful tools for various applications, including wastewater treatment and the removal of contaminants from drinking water. The performance of membranes is mainly limited by material properties. Recently, successful attempts have been made to add nanoparticles or nanotubes to polymers in membrane synthesis, with particle sizes ranging from 4 nm up to 100 nm. Ceramic membranes have been fabricated with catalytic nanoparticles for synergistic effects on the membrane performance. Breakthrough effects that have been reported in the field of water and wastewater treatment include fouling mitigation, improvement of permeate quality and flux enhancement. Nanomaterials that have been used include titania, alumina, silica, silver and many others. This paper reviews the role of engineered nanomaterials in (pressure driven) membrane technology for water treatment, to be applied in drinking water production and wastewater recycling. Benefits and drawbacks are described, which should be taken into account in further studies on potential risks related to release of nanoparticles into the environment. - Nanoparticles show a great potential for application in polymeric and ceramic membrane structures, in view of fouling mitigation and catalytic breakdown processes.

  2. Cationic liposome/DNA complexes: from structure to interactions with cellular membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracciolo, Giulio; Amenitsch, Heinz

    2012-10-01

    Gene-based therapeutic approaches are based upon the concept that, if a disease is caused by a mutation in a gene, then adding back the wild-type gene should restore regular function and attenuate the disease phenotype. To deliver the gene of interest, both viral and nonviral vectors are used. Viruses are efficient, but their application is impeded by detrimental side-effects. Among nonviral vectors, cationic liposomes are the most promising candidates for gene delivery. They form stable complexes with polyanionic DNA (lipoplexes). Despite several advantages over viral vectors, the transfection efficiency (TE) of lipoplexes is too low compared with those of engineered viral vectors. This is due to lack of knowledge about the interactions between complexes and cellular components. Rational design of efficient lipoplexes therefore requires deeper comprehension of the interactions between the vector and the DNA as well as the cellular pathways and mechanisms involved. The importance of the lipoplex structure in biological function is revealed in the application of synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering in combination with functional TE measurements. According to current understanding, the structure of lipoplexes can change upon interaction with cellular membranes and such changes affect the delivery efficiency. Recently, a correlation between the mechanism of gene release from complexes, the structure, and the physical and chemical parameters of the complexes has been established. Studies aimed at correlating structure and activity of lipoplexes are reviewed herein. This is a fundamental step towards rational design of highly efficient lipid gene vectors.

  3. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei Chiriaev

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of composite materials with microscopy techniques is an essential route to understanding their properties and degradation mechanisms, though the observation with a suitable type of microscopy is not always possible. In this work, we present proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM. A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its advantages in surface imaging, which is paramount in studies of the interface morphology of ionomer covered or absorbed catalyst structures in a combination with electrochemical characterization and accelerated stress test. The electrode porosity was found to depend on the ionomer content. The stressed electrodes demonstrated higher porosity in comparison to the unstressed ones on the condition of no external mechanical pressure. Moreover, formation of additional small grains was observed for the electrodes with the low ionomer content, indicating Pt redeposition through Ostwald ripening. Polymer nanofiber structures were found in the crack regions of the catalyst layer, which appear due to the internal stress originated from the solvent evaporation. These fibers have fairly uniform diameters of a few tens of nanometers, and their density increases with the increasing ionomer content in the electrodes. In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles.

  4. Laboratory information management system for membrane protein structure initiative--from gene to crystal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troshin, Petr V; Morris, Chris; Prince, Stephen M; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2008-12-01

    Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (MPSI) exploits laboratory competencies to work collaboratively and distribute work among the different sites. This is possible as protein structure determination requires a series of steps, starting with target selection, through cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and finally structure determination. Distributed sites create a unique set of challenges for integrating and passing on information on the progress of targets. This role is played by the Protein Information Management System (PIMS), which is a laboratory information management system (LIMS), serving as a hub for MPSI, allowing collaborative structural proteomics to be carried out in a distributed fashion. It holds key information on the progress of cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of proteins. PIMS is employed to track the status of protein targets and to manage constructs, primers, experiments, protocols, sample locations and their detailed histories: thus playing a key role in MPSI data exchange. It also serves as the centre of a federation of interoperable information resources such as local laboratory information systems and international archival resources, like PDB or NCBI. During the challenging task of PIMS integration, within the MPSI, we discovered a number of prerequisites for successful PIMS integration. In this article we share our experiences and provide invaluable insights into the process of LIMS adaptation. This information should be of interest to partners who are thinking about using LIMS as a data centre for their collaborative efforts.

  5. Neutron diffraction analysis of the structure of rod photoreceptor membranes in intact retinas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yaeger, M; Schoenborn, B; Engelman, D; Moore, P; Stryer, L

    1980-01-01

    Neutron diffraction data have been collected from samples containing ten dark-adapted Rana catesbiana bullfrog retinas in 100, 80, 60, 40, and 30% D/sub 2/O Ringer's solution using a step-scanning Soller slit diffractometer. Diffraction was also recorded from retinas equilibrated in D/sub 2/O solutions with varying osmolarity. Rocking curve experiments demonstrated that the rods are disoriented in a cylindrically symmetrical fashion. Structure factor amplitudes were obtained using semi-automated curve-fitting procedures, and phases were obtained by interpreting the D/sub 2/O-H/sub 2/O and osmotic Patterson maps. In D/sub 2/O Ringer's solution the first four structure factors are -353 +- 25, 246 +- 19, 434 +- 13 and 383 +- 19. Neutron scattering density profiles were calculated to 75 A resolution using these structure factors. These neutron diffraction data are consistent with the view that the lipid bilayer is a major structural motif of the rod outer segment disc membrane. Neutron Fourier syntheses in different mixtures of D/sub 2/O and H/sub 2/O indicate that the intradisc and extradisc spaces are predominantly aqueous, consistent with the increase in the intradisc and extradisc volumes as the Ringer's solution is made more hypotomic. In isotonic Ringer's solution, the thicknesses of the intradisc and extradisc spaces are about 36 A and 160 A, respectively, and the center-to-center separation between the 50 A thick lipid bilayer is 88 A.

  6. Structure of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, an essential monotopic membrane enzyme involved in respiration and metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeh, Joanne I.; Chinte, Unmesh; Du, Shoucheng

    2008-01-01

    Sn-glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GlpD) is an essential membrane enzyme, functioning at the central junction of respiration, glycolysis, and phospholipid biosynthesis. Its critical role is indicated by the multitiered regulatory mechanisms that stringently controls its expression and function. Once expressed, GlpD activity is regulated through lipid-enzyme interactions in Escherichia coli. Here, we report seven previously undescribed structures of the fully active E. coli GlpD, up to 1.75 (angstrom) resolution. In addition to elucidating the structure of the native enzyme, we have determined the structures of GlpD complexed with substrate analogues phosphoenolpyruvate, glyceric acid 2-phosphate, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, and product, dihydroxyacetone phosphate. These structural results reveal conformational states of the enzyme, delineating the residues involved in substrate binding and catalysis at the glycerol-3-phosphate site. Two probable mechanisms for catalyzing the dehydrogenation of glycerol-3-phosphate are envisioned, based on the conformational states of the complexes. To further correlate catalytic dehydrogenation to respiration, we have additionally determined the structures of GlpD bound with ubiquinone analogues menadione and 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide, identifying a hydrophobic plateau that is likely the ubiquinone-binding site. These structures illuminate probable mechanisms of catalysis and suggest how GlpD shuttles electrons into the respiratory pathway. Glycerol metabolism has been implicated in insulin signaling and perturbations in glycerol uptake and catabolism are linked to obesity in humans. Homologs of GlpD are found in practically all organisms, from prokaryotes to humans, with >45% consensus protein sequences, signifying that these structural results on the prokaryotic enzyme may be readily applied to the eukaryotic GlpD enzymes.

  7. Low-Resolution Structure of Detergent-Solubilized Membrane Proteins from Small-Angle Scattering Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutsioubas, Alexandros

    2017-12-05

    Despite the ever-increasing usage of small-angle scattering as a valuable complementary method in the field of structural biology, applications concerning membrane proteins remain elusive mainly due to experimental challenges and the relative lack of theoretical tools for the treatment of scattering data. This fact adds up to general difficulties encountered also by other established methods (crystallography, NMR) for the study of membrane proteins. Following the general paradigm of ab initio methods for low-resolution restoration of soluble protein structure from small-angle scattering data, we construct a general multiphase model with a set of physical constraints, which, together with an appropriate minimization procedure, gives direct structural information concerning the different components (protein, detergent molecules) of detergent-solubilized membrane protein complexes. Assessment of the method's precision and robustness is evaluated by performing shape restorations from simulated data of a tetrameric α-helical membrane channel (Aquaporin-0) solubilized by n-Dodecyl β-D-Maltoside and from previously published small-angle neutron scattering experimental data of the filamentous hemagglutinin adhesin β-barrel protein transporter solubilized by n-Octyl β-D-glucopyranoside. It is shown that the acquisition of small-angle neutron scattering data at two different solvent contrasts, together with an estimation of detergent aggregation number around the protein, permits the reliable reconstruction of the shape of membrane proteins without the need for any prior structural information. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Effect of temperature and pH on the lipid photoperoxidation and the structural state of erythrocyte membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roshchupkin, D.I.; Pelenitsyn, A.B.; Vladimirov, Yu.A.

    1978-01-01

    The degree of lipid photoperoxidation in erythrocytes (the amount of TBA-active products accumulated under the given dose of ultraviolet irradiation at 254 nm) increased abruptly with temperature in the interval 12 - 20 0 C, then it increased more slowly and later on passed over the maximum at about 30 - 32 0 C. Apparently, the degree of lipid photoperoxidation can serve as a sensitive index of lipid structural state. Using a method of modelling of erythrocyte membranes by liposomes of different chemical content, it was shown that under temperature changes in physiological limits the lipids of erythrocyte membranes undergo at least two structural transformations. The first might be a change in the relative position of cholesterol and phospholipids. The second is followed by the enhancement of membrane antioxidant activity. The degree of lipid photoperoxidation in erythrocytes grows with increasing pH from 6 to 8 according to S-shaped curve with middle point at pH 7.0. This effect can be attributed to structural transformation of membrane lipid zone associated with ionization of membrane protein hystidine. The swelling of erythrocytes in hypotonic medium also leads to structural transformation of lipid zone. (author)

  9. Charge transport in the electrospun nanofiber composite membrane's three-dimensional fibrous structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGostin, Matthew B.; Peracchio, Aldo A.; Myles, Timothy D.; Cassenti, Brice N.; Chiu, Wilson K. S.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a Fiber Network (FN) ion transport model is developed to simulate the three-dimensional fibrous microstructural morphology that results from the electrospinning membrane fabrication process. This model is able to approximate fiber layering within a membrane as well as membrane swelling due to water uptake. The discrete random fiber networks representing membranes are converted to resistor networks and solved for current flow and ionic conductivity. Model predictions are validated by comparison with experimental conductivity data from electrospun anion exchange membranes (AEM) and proton exchange membranes (PEM) for fuel cells as well as existing theories. The model is capable of predicting in-plane and thru-plane conductivity and takes into account detailed membrane characteristics, such as volume fraction, fiber diameter, fiber conductivity, and membrane layering, and as such may be used as a tool for advanced electrode design.

  10. Tandem malonate-based glucosides (TMGs) for membrane protein structural studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hussain, Hazrat; Mortensen, Jonas S.; Du, Yang

    2017-01-01

    class of glucoside amphiphiles, designated tandem malonate-based glucosides (TMGs). A few TMG agents proved effective at both stabilizing a range of membrane proteins and extracting proteins from the membrane environment. These favourable characteristics, along with synthetic convenience, indicate...

  11. Novel sandwich structure adsorptive membranes for removal of 4-nitrotoluene from water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Yuexin [College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); School of Pharmacy, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan 063000 (China); Jia, Zhiqian, E-mail: zhqjia@bnu.edu.cn [College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2016-11-05

    Highlights: • Novel sandwich PES-SPES/PS-PDVB/PTFE adsorptive membranes were prepared. • The removal efficiency for 4-nitrotoluene is greater than 95% after five recycles. • The membrane showed higher adsorption capacity than that of mixed matrix membrane. - Abstract: Novel sandwich PES-SPES/PS-PDVB/PTFE adsorptive membranes were prepared by a filtration/immersion precipitation method and employed for the removal of 4-nitrotoluene from water. The static adsorption thermodynamics, kinetics, dynamic adsorption/desorption and membrane reusability were investigated. The results showed that the Freundlich model describes the adsorption isotherm satisfactorily. With increased PS-PDVB content, the maximum static adsorption capacity, partition coefficient, apparent adsorption rate constant, and dynamic adsorption capacity all significantly increased. The sandwich membranes showed much higher removal efficiency and adsorption capacity than those of mixed matrix membranes. With respect to dynamics adsorption/desorption, the sandwich membranes exhibited excellent reusability, with a removal efficiency greater than 95% even after five recycles.

  12. A Coincidence Detection Mechanism Controls PX-BAR Domain-Mediated Endocytic Membrane Remodeling via an Allosteric Structural Switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Wen-Ting; Vujičić Žagar, Andreja; Gerth, Fabian; Lehmann, Martin; Puchkov, Dymtro; Krylova, Oxana; Freund, Christian; Scapozza, Leonardo; Vadas, Oscar; Haucke, Volker

    2017-11-20

    Clathrin-mediated endocytosis occurs by bending and remodeling of the membrane underneath the coat. Bin-amphiphysin-rvs (BAR) domain proteins are crucial for endocytic membrane remodeling, but how their activity is spatiotemporally controlled is largely unknown. We demonstrate that the membrane remodeling activity of sorting nexin 9 (SNX9), a late-acting endocytic PX-BAR domain protein required for constriction of U-shaped endocytic intermediates, is controlled by an allosteric structural switch involving coincident detection of the clathrin adaptor AP2 and phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate (PI(3,4)P 2 ) at endocytic sites. Structural, biochemical, and cell biological data show that SNX9 is autoinhibited in solution. Binding to PI(3,4)P 2 via its PX-BAR domain, and concomitant association with AP2 via sequences in the linker region, releases SNX9 autoinhibitory contacts to enable membrane constriction. Our results reveal a mechanism for restricting the latent membrane remodeling activity of BAR domain proteins to allow spatiotemporal coupling of membrane constriction to the progression of the endocytic pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Structural study of the membrane protein MscL using cell-free expression and solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdine, Alaa; Verhoeven, Michiel A.; Park, Kyu-Ho; Ghazi, Alexandre; Guittet, Eric; Berrier, Catherine; Van Heijenoort, Carine; Warschawski, Dror E.

    2010-05-01

    High-resolution structures of membrane proteins have so far been obtained mostly by X-ray crystallography, on samples where the protein is surrounded by detergent. Recent developments of solid-state NMR have opened the way to a new approach for the study of integral membrane proteins inside a membrane. At the same time, the extension of cell-free expression to the production of membrane proteins allows for the production of proteins tailor made for NMR. We present here an in situ solid-state NMR study of a membrane protein selectively labeled through the use of cell-free expression. The sample consists of MscL (mechano-sensitive channel of large conductance), a 75 kDa pentameric α-helical ion channel from Escherichia coli, reconstituted in a hydrated lipid bilayer. Compared to a uniformly labeled protein sample, the spectral crowding is greatly reduced in the cell-free expressed protein sample. This approach may be a decisive step required for spectral assignment and structure determination of membrane proteins by solid-state NMR.

  14. Performance of diagonal control structures at different operating conditions for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serra, Maria; Husar, Attila; Feroldi, Diego; Riera, Jordi [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C. Llorens i Artigas 4, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2006-08-25

    This work is focused on the selection of operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. It analyses efficiency and controllability aspects, which change from one operating point to another. Specifically, several operating points that deliver the same amount of net power are compared, and the comparison is done at different net power levels. The study is based on a complex non-linear model, which has been linearised at the selected operating points. Different linear analysis tools are applied to the linear models and results show important controllability differences between operating points. The performance of diagonal control structures with PI controllers at different operating points is also studied. A method for the tuning of the controllers is proposed and applied. The behaviour of the controlled system is simulated with the non-linear model. Conclusions indicate a possible trade-off between controllability and optimisation of hydrogen consumption. (author)

  15. Structure-function relationships in pulmonary surfactant membranes: from biophysics to therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Rodriguez, Elena; Pérez-Gil, Jesús

    2014-06-01

    Pulmonary surfactant is an essential lipid-protein complex to maintain an operative respiratory surface at the mammalian lungs. It reduces surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface to stabilise the lungs against physical forces operating along the compression-expansion breathing cycles. At the same time, surfactant integrates elements establishing a primary barrier against the entry of pathogens. Lack or deficiencies of the surfactant system are associated with respiratory pathologies, which treatment often includes supplementation with exogenous materials. The present review summarises current models on the molecular mechanisms of surfactant function, with particular emphasis in its biophysical properties to stabilise the lungs and the molecular alterations connecting impaired surfactant with diseased organs. It also provides a perspective on the current surfactant-based strategies to treat respiratory pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Sound Insulation Property Study on Nylon 66 Scrim Reinforced PVF Laminated Membranes and their Composite Sound Proof Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lihe; Chen, Zhaofeng; Zhang, Xinyang; Wang, Weiwei

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, we investigated the sound insulation property of nylon 66 scrim reinforced PVF laminated membranes and their corresponding composite structures with glass fiber felt and carbon fiber board. Sound transmission loss (STL) was measured by standing wave tube method. The results show that, with the decrease of nylon 66 gridlines spacing, STL of nylon 66 scrim reinforced PVF laminated membranes was improved. The sound insulation performance of laminated membranes with gridlines spacing of 3mm is the best, whose STL was up to 10dB at 6.3 kHz. Besides, STL was improved effectively as air layers were embedded into the composite sound proof construction consist of laminated membrane, glass fiber felt and carbon fiber board.

  17. Structure and stability of the spinach aquaporin SoPIP2;1 in detergent micelles and lipid membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inés Plasencia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: SoPIP2;1 constitutes one of the major integral proteins in spinach leaf plasma membranes and belongs to the aquaporin family. SoPIP2;1 is a highly permeable and selective water channel that has been successfully overexpressed and purified with high yields. In order to optimize reconstitution of the purified protein into biomimetic systems, we have here for the first time characterized the structural stability of SoPIP2;1. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We have characterized the protein structural stability after purification and after reconstitution into detergent micelles and proteoliposomes using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques. The structure of SoPIP2;1 was analyzed either with the protein solubilized with octyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (OG or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed by E. coli lipids, diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine (DPhPC, or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed from mixtures of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPE, 1-palmitoyl-2oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylserine (POPS, and ergosterol. Generally, SoPIP2;1 secondary structure was found to be predominantly α-helical in accordance with crystallographic data. The protein has a high thermal structural stability in detergent solutions, with an irreversible thermal unfolding occurring at a melting temperature of 58°C. Incorporation of the protein into lipid membranes increases the structural stability as evidenced by an increased melting temperature of up to 70°C. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The results of this study provide insights into SoPIP2;1 stability in various host membranes and suggest suitable choices of detergent and lipid composition for reconstitution of SoPIP2;1 into biomimetic membranes for biotechnological applications.

  18. Characterization of anisotropic UF-membranes: top layer thickness and pore structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuperus, F.P.; Cuperus, F.P.; Bargeman, D.; Bargeman, D.; Smolders, C.A.; Smolders, C.A.

    1991-01-01

    Anisotropic poly(2,6-dimethyl-, 1,4-phenylene oxide) (PPO) ultrafiltration membranes are characterized by means of two techniques. A new method for the determination of skin thicknesses, the gold sol method, is introduced and applied to these membranes. The membranes appeared to have a well-defined

  19. Controlled Bulk Properties of Composite Polymeric Solutions for Extensive Structural Order of Honeycomb Polysulfone Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gugliuzza, Annarosa; Perrotta, Maria Luisa; Drioli, Enrico

    2016-05-16

    This work provides additional insights into the identification of operating conditions necessary to overcome a current limitation to the scale-up of the breath figure method, which is regarded as an outstanding manufacturing approach for structurally ordered porous films. The major restriction concerns, indeed, uncontrolled touching droplets at the boundary. Herein, the bulk of polymeric solutions are properly managed to generate honeycomb membranes with a long-range structurally ordered texture. Water uptake and dynamics are explored as chemical environments are changed with the intent to modify the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance and local water floatation. In this context, a model surfactant such as the polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate is used in combination with alcohols at different chain length extents and a traditional polymer such as the polyethersufone. Changes in the interfacial tension and kinematic viscosity taking place in the bulk of composite solutions are explored and examined in relation to competitive droplet nucleation and growth rate. As a result, extensive structurally ordered honeycomb textures are obtained with the rising content of the surfactant while a broad range of well-sized pores is targeted as a function of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance and viscosity of the composite polymeric mixture. The experimental findings confirm the consistency of the approach and are expected to give propulsion to the commercially production of breath figures films shortly.

  20. Controlled Bulk Properties of Composite Polymeric Solutions for Extensive Structural Order of Honeycomb Polysulfone Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annarosa Gugliuzza

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This work provides additional insights into the identification of operating conditions necessary to overcome a current limitation to the scale-up of the breath figure method, which is regarded as an outstanding manufacturing approach for structurally ordered porous films. The major restriction concerns, indeed, uncontrolled touching droplets at the boundary. Herein, the bulk of polymeric solutions are properly managed to generate honeycomb membranes with a long-range structurally ordered texture. Water uptake and dynamics are explored as chemical environments are changed with the intent to modify the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance and local water floatation. In this context, a model surfactant such as the polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate is used in combination with alcohols at different chain length extents and a traditional polymer such as the polyethersufone. Changes in the interfacial tension and kinematic viscosity taking place in the bulk of composite solutions are explored and examined in relation to competitive droplet nucleation and growth rate. As a result, extensive structurally ordered honeycomb textures are obtained with the rising content of the surfactant while a broad range of well-sized pores is targeted as a function of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance and viscosity of the composite polymeric mixture. The experimental findings confirm the consistency of the approach and are expected to give propulsion to the commercially production of breath figures films shortly.

  1. Micro-scale NMR Experiments for Monitoring the Optimization of Membrane Protein Solutions for Structural Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horst, Reto; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2015-07-20

    Reconstitution of integral membrane proteins (IMP) in aqueous solutions of detergent micelles has been extensively used in structural biology, using either X-ray crystallography or NMR in solution. Further progress could be achieved by establishing a rational basis for the selection of detergent and buffer conditions, since the stringent bottleneck that slows down the structural biology of IMPs is the preparation of diffracting crystals or concentrated solutions of stable isotope labeled IMPs. Here, we describe procedures to monitor the quality of aqueous solutions of [ 2 H, 15 N]-labeled IMPs reconstituted in detergent micelles. This approach has been developed for studies of β-barrel IMPs, where it was successfully applied for numerous NMR structure determinations, and it has also been adapted for use with α-helical IMPs, in particular GPCRs, in guiding crystallization trials and optimizing samples for NMR studies (Horst et al ., 2013). 2D [ 15 N, 1 H]-correlation maps are used as "fingerprints" to assess the foldedness of the IMP in solution. For promising samples, these "inexpensive" data are then supplemented with measurements of the translational and rotational diffusion coefficients, which give information on the shape and size of the IMP/detergent mixed micelles. Using microcoil equipment for these NMR experiments enables data collection with only micrograms of protein and detergent. This makes serial screens of variable solution conditions viable, enabling the optimization of parameters such as the detergent concentration, sample temperature, pH and the composition of the buffer.

  2. Computational Prediction of Atomic Structures of Helical Membrane Proteins Aided by EM Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Julio A.; Yeager, Mark; Abagyan, Ruben

    2007-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins pose a major challenge for protein-structure prediction because only ≈100 high-resolution structures are available currently, thereby impeding the development of rules or empirical potentials to predict the packing of transmembrane α-helices. However, when an intermediate-resolution electron microscopy (EM) map is available, it can be used to provide restraints which, in combination with a suitable computational protocol, make structure prediction feasible. In this work we present such a protocol, which proceeds in three stages: 1), generation of an ensemble of α-helices by flexible fitting into each of the density rods in the low-resolution EM map, spanning a range of rotational angles around the main helical axes and translational shifts along the density rods; 2), fast optimization of side chains and scoring of the resulting conformations; and 3), refinement of the lowest-scoring conformations with internal coordinate mechanics, by optimizing the van der Waals, electrostatics, hydrogen bonding, torsional, and solvation energy contributions. In addition, our method implements a penalty term through a so-called tethering map, derived from the EM map, which restrains the positions of the α-helices. The protocol was validated on three test cases: GpA, KcsA, and MscL. PMID:17496035

  3. The hemifusion structure induced by influenza virus haemagglutinin is determined by physical properties of the target membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chlanda, Petr; Mekhedov, Elena; Waters, Hang; Schwartz, Cindi L; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Ryham, Rolf J; Cohen, Fredric S; Blank, Paul S; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2016-04-18

    Influenza A virus haemagglutinin conformational change drives the membrane fusion of viral and endosomal membranes at low pH. Membrane fusion proceeds through an intermediate called hemifusion(1,2). For viral fusion, the hemifusion structures are not determined(3). Here, influenza virus-like particles(4) carrying wild-type haemagglutinin or haemagglutinin hemifusion mutant G1S(5) and liposome mixtures were studied at low pH by Volta phase plate cryo-electron tomography, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio close to focus. We determined two distinct hemifusion structures: a hemifusion diaphragm and a novel structure termed a 'lipidic junction'. Liposomes with lipidic junctions were ruptured with membrane edges stabilized by haemagglutinin. The rupture frequency and hemifusion diaphragm diameter were not affected by G1S mutation, but decreased when the cholesterol level in the liposomes was close to physiological concentrations. We propose that haemagglutinin induces a merger between the viral and target membranes by one of two independent pathways: a rupture-insertion pathway leading to the lipidic junction and a hemifusion-stalk pathway leading to a fusion pore. The latter is relevant under the conditions of influenza virus infection of cells. Cholesterol concentration functions as a pathway switch because of its negative spontaneous curvature in the target bilayer, as determined by continuum analysis.

  4. A Novel High-Performance Beam-Supported Membrane Structure with Enhanced Design Flexibility for Partial Discharge Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenzhao Fu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available A novel beam-supported membrane (BSM structure for the fiber optic extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI sensors showing an enhanced performance and an improved resistance to the temperature change was proposed for detecting partial discharges (PDs. The fundamental frequency, sensitivity, linear range, and flatness of the BSM structure were investigated by employing the finite element simulations. Compared with the intact membrane (IM structure commonly used by EFPI sensors, BSM structure provides extra geometrical parameters to define the fundamental frequency when the diameter of the whole membrane and its thickness is determined, resulting in an enhanced design flexibility of the sensor structure. According to the simulation results, it is noted that BSM structure not only shows a much higher sensitivity (increased by almost four times for some cases, and a wider working range of fundamental frequency to choose, but also an improved linear range, making the system development much easier. In addition, BSM structure presents a better flatness than its IM counterpart, providing an increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR. A further improvement of performance is thought to be possible with a step-forward structural optimization. The BSM structure shows a great potential to design the EFPI sensors, as well as others for detecting the acoustic signals.

  5. The effects of surface-charged submicron polystyrene particles on the structure and performance of PSF forward osmosis membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Hao-Ran; Fu, Jia-Bei; Cao, Gui-Ping; Hu, Nian; Lu, Hui; Liu, Hui-Qing; Chen, Peng-Peng; Yu, Jie

    2018-04-01

    Monodisperse surface-charged submicron polystyrene particles were designed, synthesized, and blended into polysulfone (PSF) support layer to prepare forward osmosis (FO) membrane with high performance. The membrane incorporated with particles were characterized with respect to morphology, porosity, and internal osmotic pressure (IOP). Results showed that the polymer particles not only increased the hydrophilicity and porosity of support layer, but also generated considerable IOP, which helped markedly decreasing the structure parameter from 1550 to 670 μm. The measured mass transfer parameters further confirmed the beneficial effects of the surface-charged submicron polymer particles on the performance of FO membrane. For instance, the water permeability coefficient (5.37 L m-2 h-1 bar-1) and water flux (49.7 L m-2 h-1) of the FO membrane incorporated with 5 wt% particles were almost twice as much as that of FO membrane without incorporation. This study suggests that monodisperse surface-charged submicron polymer particles are potential modifiers for improving the performance of FO membranes.

  6. Novel proton exchange membranes based on structure-optimized poly(ether ether ketone ketone)s and nanocrystalline cellulose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Chuangjiang; Wei, Yingcong; Zhao, Qi; Liu, Baijun; Sun, Zhaoyan; Gu, Yan; Zhang, Mingyao; Hu, Wei

    2018-03-01

    Two sulfonated fluorenyl-containing poly(ether ether ketone ketone)s (SFPEEKKs) were synthesized as the matrix of composite proton exchange membranes by directly sulfonating copolymer precursors comprising non-sulfonatable fluorinated segments and sulfonatable fluorenyl-containing segments. Surface-modified nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was produced as the "performance-enhancing" filler by treating the microcrystalline cellulose with acid. Two families of SFPEEKK/NCC nanocomposite membranes with various NCC contents were prepared via a solution-casting procedure. Results revealed that the insertion of NCC at a suitable ratio could greatly enhance the proton conductivity of the pristine membranes. For example, the proton conductivity of SFPEEKK-60/NCC-4 (SFPEEKK with 60% fluorenyl segments in the repeating unit, and inserted with 4% NCC) composite membrane was as high as 0.245 S cm-1 at 90 °C, which was 61.2% higher than that of the corresponding pure SFPEEKK-60 membrane. This effect could be attributed to the formation of hydrogen bond networks and proton conduction paths through the interaction between -SO3H/-OH groups on the surface of NCC particles and -SO3H groups on the SFPEEKK backbones. Furthermore, the chemically modified NCC filler and the optimized chemical structure of the SFPEEKK matrix also provided good dimensional stability and mechanical properties of the obtained nanocomposites. In conclusion, these novel nanocomposites can be promising proton exchange membranes for fuel cells at moderate temperatures.

  7. Surprising transformation of a block copolymer into a high performance polystyrene ultrafiltration membrane with a hierarchically organized pore structure

    KAUST Repository

    Shevate, Rahul

    2018-02-08

    We describe the preparation of hierarchical polystyrene nanoporous membranes with a very narrow pore size distribution and an extremely high porosity. The nanoporous structure is formed as a result of unusual degradation of the poly(4-vinyl pyridine) block from self-assembled poly(styrene)-b-poly(4-vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) membranes through the formation of an unstable pyridinium intermediate in an alkaline medium. During this process, the confined swelling and controlled degradation produced a tunable pore size. We unequivocally confirmed the successful elimination of the P4VP block from a PS-b-P4VPVP membrane using 1D/2D NMR spectroscopy and other characterization techniques. Surprisingly, the long range ordered surface porosity was preserved even after degradation of the P4VP block from the main chain of the diblock copolymer, as revealed by SEM. Aside from a drastically improved water flux (∼67% increase) compared to the PS-b-P4VP membrane, the hydraulic permeability measurements validated pH independent behaviour of the isoporous PS membrane over a wide pH range from 3 to 10. The effect of the pore size on protein transport rate and selectivity (a) was investigated for lysozyme (Lys), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and globulin-γ (IgG). A high selectivity of 42 (Lys/IgG) and 30 (BSA/IgG) was attained, making the membranes attractive for size selective separation of biomolecules from their synthetic model mixture solutions.

  8. Synthesis of nickel-incorporated larch-based carbon membranes with controllable porous structure for gas separation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xin; Li, Wei; Huang, Zhanhua; Liu, Shouxin, E-mail: chemist@126.com, E-mail: liushouxin@126.com [Northeast Forestry University, College of Material Science and Engineering (China)

    2015-11-15

    Ni-incorporated larch-based carbon membranes have been synthesized by introducing the Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2} into the liquefied larch using liquefied larch sawdust as precursors and F127 as the soft template. The porous structure can be tailored by the amount of Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, and the Ni and NiO nanoparticles with a size of 10 nm incorporated in the carbon frameworks. The increase in Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2} content can lead to the formation of disordered porous structure and shrinkage of carbon frameworks. The Ni-incorporated carbon membranes with largest pores possess highest gas permeation for N{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}, and O{sub 2} of 37.5, 19.8, and 55.5 m{sup 3} cm/m{sup 2} h kPa, which is larger than that of the pure carbon membranes, respectively. However, the poor ordered porous structure caused by adding large amount of Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2} can reduce the gas separation performance, which is attributed to the weaken of the molecular sieve function. The results indicate that the incorporation of few nanoparticles into larch-based carbon membranes can improve molecular sieve function.Graphical abstractNi-incorporated larch-based carbon membranes have been synthesized by introducing the Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2} into the liquefied larch. The porous structure can be tailored by the amount of Ni(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, and the Ni and NiO nanoparticles incorporated in the carbon frameworks. The Ni-incorporated carbon membranes with largest pores possess highest gas permeation and gas permseparation.

  9. Tomographic Structural Changes of Retinal Layers after Internal Limiting Membrane Peeling for Macular Hole Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Mun Yueh; Ferreira, Nuno P; Cristóvao, Diana M; Mano, Sofia; Sousa, David Cordeiro; Monteiro-Grillo, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    To highlight tomographic structural changes of retinal layers after internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling in macular hole surgery. Nonrandomized prospective, interventional study in 38 eyes (34 patients) subjected to pars plana vitrectomy and ILM peeling for idiopathic macular hole. Retinal layers were assessed in nasal and temporal regions before and 6 months after surgery using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Total retinal thickness increased in the nasal region and decreased in the temporal region. The retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), and inner plexiform layer (IPL) showed thinning on both nasal and temporal sides of the fovea. The thickness of the outer plexiform layer (OPL) increased. The outer nuclear layer (ONL) and outer retinal layers (ORL) increased in thickness after surgery in both nasal and temporal regions. ILM peeling is associated with important alterations in the inner retinal layer architecture, with thinning of the RNFL-GCL-IPL complex and thickening of OPL, ONL, and ORL. These structural alterations can help explain functional outcome and could give indications regarding the extent of ILM peeling, even though peeling seems important for higher rate of hole closure. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Predicting liquid water saturation through differently structured cathode gas diffusion media of a proton exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akhtar, N.; Kerkhof, P.J.A.M.

    2012-01-01

    The role of gas diffusion media with differently structured properties have been examined with emphasis on the liquid water saturation within the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The cathode electrode consists of a gas diffusion layer (GDL), a micro-porous layer and a

  11. Studying the molecular determinants of potassium channel structure and function in membranes by solid-state NMR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Cruijsen, Elwin

    2014-01-01

    Solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (ssNMR) has made remarkable progress in the structural characterization of membrane proteins systems at atomic resolution. Such studies can be further aided by the use of molecular dynamic simulations. Moreover, ssNMR data can be directly compared to functional

  12. Exploring the structure-properties relationships of novel polyamide thin film composite membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Briceño, Kelly; Javakhishvili, Irakli; Guo, Haofei

    Polysulfone (PSU) is a material widely used in the fabrication of membranes for ultrafiltration and as a support for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Interfacial polymerization usually combines amine and acid chloride monomers for the fabrication of thin film composite membranes[1......] . However, only few publications describe it’s usage for the modification of supports for the fabrication of ultrafiltration membranes [2]. This research focuses on the modification of PSU supports to produce new ultrafiltration membranes. The advantages of interfacial polymerization in the fabrication...... of UF membranes includes: Negatively charged PSF surfaces that could be less prone to biofouling Scale up process for the modification of PSU. An alternative to costly and technically challenging processes as in situ interfacial polymerization [3]....

  13. Polymer nanocomposite membranes with hierarchically structured catalysts for high throughput dehalogenation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crock, Christopher A.

    Halogenated organics are categorized as primary pollutants by the Environmental Protection Agency. Trichloroethylene (TCE), which had broad industrial use in the past, shows persistence in the environment because of its chemical stability. The large scale use and poor control of TCE resulted in its prolonged release into the environment before the carcinogenic risk associated with TCE was fully understood. TCE pollution stemmed from industrial effluents and improper disposal of solvent waste. Membrane reactors are promising technology for treating TCE polluted groundwater because of the high throughput, relatively low cost of membrane fabrication and facile retrofitting of existing membrane based water treatment facilities with catalytic membrane reactors. Compared to catalytic fluidized or fixed bed reactors, catalytic membrane reactors feature minimal diffusional limitation. Additionally, embedding catalyst within the membrane avoids the need for catalyst recovery and can prevent aggregation of catalytic nanoparticles. In this work, Pd/xGnP, Pd-Au/xGnP, and commercial Pd/Al2O3 nanoparticles were employed in batch and flow-through membrane reactors to catalyze the dehalogenation of TCE in the presence of dissolved H2. Bimetallic Pd-Au/xGnP catalysts were shown to be more active than monometallic Pd/xGnP or commercial Pd/Al 2O3 catalysts. In addition to synthesizing nanocomposite membranes for high-throughput TCE dehalogenation, the membrane based dehalogenation process was designed to minimize the detrimental impact of common catalyst poisons (S2-, HS-, and H2S -) by concurrent oxidation of sulfide species to gypsum in the presence of Ca2+ and removal of gypsum through membrane filtration. The engineered membrane dehalogenation process demonstrated that bimetallic Pd-Au/xGnP catalysts resisted deactivation by residual sulfide species after oxidation, and showed complete removal of gypsum during membrane filtration.

  14. Effect of Processing Parameters on Pore Structure and Thickness of Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) Tubular Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Belwalkar, A.; Grasing, E.; Van Geertruyden, W.; Huang, Z.; Misiolek, W.Z.

    2008-01-01

    Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) tubular membranes were fabricated from aluminum alloy tubes in sulfuric and oxalic acid electrolytes using a two-step anodization process. The membranes were investigated for characteristics such as pore size, interpore distance and thickness by varying applied voltage and electrolyte concentration. Morphology of the membranes was examined using light optical and scanning electron microscopy and characterized using ImageJ software. Results showed that me...

  15. How membrane lipids control the 3D structure and function of receptors

    OpenAIRE

    Jacques Fantini; Francisco J. Barrantes

    2018-01-01

    The cohabitation of lipids and proteins in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells is controlled by specific biochemical and biophysical rules. Lipids may be either constitutively tightly bound to cell-surface receptors (non-annular lipids) or less tightly attached to the external surface of the protein (annular lipids). The latter are exchangeable with surrounding bulk membrane lipids on a faster time scale than that of non-annular lipids. Not only do non-annular lipids bind to membrane prote...

  16. Structural basis of sterol recognition and nonvesicular transport by lipid transfer proteins anchored at membrane contact sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Junsen; Manik, Mohammad Kawsar; Im, Young Jun

    2018-01-30

    Membrane contact sites (MCSs) in eukaryotic cells are hotspots for lipid exchange, which is essential for many biological functions, including regulation of membrane properties and protein trafficking. Lipid transfer proteins anchored at membrane contact sites (LAMs) contain sterol-specific lipid transfer domains [StARkin domain (SD)] and multiple targeting modules to specific membrane organelles. Elucidating the structural mechanisms of targeting and ligand recognition by LAMs is important for understanding the interorganelle communication and exchange at MCSs. Here, we determined the crystal structures of the yeast Lam6 pleckstrin homology (PH)-like domain and the SDs of Lam2 and Lam4 in the apo form and in complex with ergosterol. The Lam6 PH-like domain displays a unique PH domain fold with a conserved N-terminal α-helix. The Lam6 PH-like domain lacks the basic surface for phosphoinositide binding, but contains hydrophobic patches on its surface, which are critical for targeting to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial contacts. Structures of the LAM SDs display a helix-grip fold with a hydrophobic cavity and a flexible Ω1-loop as a lid. Ergosterol is bound to the pocket in a head-down orientation, with its hydrophobic acyl group located in the tunnel entrance. The Ω1-loop in an open conformation is essential for ergosterol binding by direct hydrophobic interaction. Structural comparison suggested that the sterol binding mode of the Lam2 SD2 is likely conserved among the sterol transfer proteins of the StARkin superfamily. Structural models of full-length Lam2 correlated with the sterol transport function at the membrane contact sites.

  17. Synthesis of nickel-incorporated larch-based carbon membranes with controllable porous structure for gas separation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin; Li, Wei; Huang, Zhanhua; Liu, Shouxin

    2015-11-01

    Ni-incorporated larch-based carbon membranes have been synthesized by introducing the Ni(NO3)2 into the liquefied larch using liquefied larch sawdust as precursors and F127 as the soft template. The porous structure can be tailored by the amount of Ni(NO3)2, and the Ni and NiO nanoparticles with a size of 10 nm incorporated in the carbon frameworks. The increase in Ni(NO3)2 content can lead to the formation of disordered porous structure and shrinkage of carbon frameworks. The Ni-incorporated carbon membranes with largest pores possess highest gas permeation for N2, CO2, and O2 of 37.5, 19.8, and 55.5 m3 cm/m2 h kPa, which is larger than that of the pure carbon membranes, respectively. However, the poor ordered porous structure caused by adding large amount of Ni(NO3)2 can reduce the gas separation performance, which is attributed to the weaken of the molecular sieve function. The results indicate that the incorporation of few nanoparticles into larch-based carbon membranes can improve molecular sieve function.

  18. Fine structure of granal thylakoid membrane organization using cryo electron tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kouril, Roman; Oostergetel, Gert T.; Boekema, Egbert J.

    The architecture of grana membranes from spinach chloroplasts was studied by cryo electron tomography. Tomographic reconstructions of ice-embedded isolated grana stacks enabled to resolve features of photosystem II (PSII) in the native membrane and to assign the absolute orientation of individual

  19. Statistical thermodynamics of association colloids : the equilibrium structure of micelles, vesicles, and bilayer membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leermakers, F.A.M.

    1988-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to unravel the general equilibrium physical properties of lipid bilayer membranes. We consider four major questions:
    1. What determines the morphology of the association colloids (micelles, membranes, vesicles) in general?
    2. Do the

  20. A survey of structure characterization methods for ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smolders, C.A.; Mulder, M.H.V.; van der Velden, P.M.

    1976-01-01

    Asymmetric membranes consist of a thin skin, which is permselective to certain molecules in solution, and a porous support, serving as a mechanical support layer and also as a transport layer for the permeate. Both in ultrafiltration and in hyperfiltration (reverse osmosis) asymmetric membranes are

  1. Structure of anti-FLAG M2 Fab domain and its use in the stabilization of engineered membrane proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roosild, Tarmo P.; Castronovo, Samantha; Choe, Senyon

    2006-01-01

    The X-ray crystallographic analysis of anti-FLAG M2 Fab is reported and the implications of the structure on FLAG epitope binding are described as a first step in the development of a tool for the structural and biophysical study of membrane proteins. The inherent difficulties of stabilizing detergent-solubilized integral membrane proteins for biophysical or structural analysis demand the development of new methodologies to improve success rates. One proven strategy is the use of antibody fragments to increase the ‘soluble’ portion of any membrane protein, but this approach is limited by the difficulties and expense associated with producing monoclonal antibodies to an appropriate exposed epitope on the target protein. Here, the stabilization of a detergent-solubilized K + channel protein, KvPae, by engineering a FLAG-binding epitope into a known loop region of the protein and creating a complex with Fab fragments from commercially available anti-FLAG M2 monoclonal antibodies is reported. Although well diffracting crystals of the complex have not yet been obtained, during the course of crystallization trials the structure of the anti-FLAG M2 Fab domain was solved to 1.86 Å resolution. This structure, which should aid future structure-determination efforts using this approach by facilitating molecular-replacement phasing, reveals that the binding pocket appears to be specific only for the first four amino acids of the traditional FLAG epitope, namely DYKD. Thus, the use of antibody fragments for improving the stability of target proteins can be rapidly applied to the study of membrane-protein structure by placing the short DKYD motif within a predicted peripheral loop of that protein and utilizing commercially available anti-FLAG M2 antibody fragments

  2. High quality NMR structures: a new force field with implicit water and membrane solvation for Xplor-NIH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Ye [Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (United States); Schwieters, Charles D. [National Institutes of Health, Center for Information Technology (United States); Opella, Stanley J. [University of California San Diego, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (United States); Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org [Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (United States)

    2017-01-15

    Structure determination of proteins by NMR is unique in its ability to measure restraints, very accurately, in environments and under conditions that closely mimic those encountered in vivo. For example, advances in solid-state NMR methods enable structure determination of membrane proteins in detergent-free lipid bilayers, and of large soluble proteins prepared by sedimentation, while parallel advances in solution NMR methods and optimization of detergent-free lipid nanodiscs are rapidly pushing the envelope of the size limit for both soluble and membrane proteins. These experimental advantages, however, are partially squandered during structure calculation, because the commonly used force fields are purely repulsive and neglect solvation, Van der Waals forces and electrostatic energy. Here we describe a new force field, and updated energy functions, for protein structure calculations with EEFx implicit solvation, electrostatics, and Van der Waals Lennard-Jones forces, in the widely used program Xplor-NIH. The new force field is based primarily on CHARMM22, facilitating calculations with a wider range of biomolecules. The new EEFx energy function has been rewritten to enable OpenMP parallelism, and optimized to enhance computation efficiency. It implements solvation, electrostatics, and Van der Waals energy terms together, thus ensuring more consistent and efficient computation of the complete nonbonded energy lists. Updates in the related python module allow detailed analysis of the interaction energies and associated parameters. The new force field and energy function work with both soluble proteins and membrane proteins, including those with cofactors or engineered tags, and are very effective in situations where there are sparse experimental restraints. Results obtained for NMR-restrained calculations with a set of five soluble proteins and five membrane proteins show that structures calculated with EEFx have significant improvements in accuracy, precision

  3. A structural overview of the plasma membrane Na+,K+-ATPase and H+-ATPase ion pumps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morth, Jens Preben; Pedersen, Bjørn Panella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe

    2011-01-01

    transport systems that are responsible for uptake and extrusion of metabolites and other ions. The ion gradients are also both directly and indirectly used to control pH homeostasis and to regulate cell volume. The plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase maintains a proton gradient in plants and fungi and the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase...... maintains a Na(+) and K(+) gradient in animal cells. Structural information provides insight into the function of these two distinct but related P-type pumps.......Plasma membrane ATPases are primary active transporters of cations that maintain steep concentration gradients. The ion gradients and membrane potentials derived from them form the basis for a range of essential cellular processes, in particular Na(+)-dependent and proton-dependent secondary...

  4. A structural overview of the plasma membrane Na+,K+-ATPase and H+-ATPase ion pumps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morth, Jens Preben; Pedersen, Bjørn Panella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe

    2011-01-01

    transport systems that are responsible for uptake and extrusion of metabolites and other ions. The ion gradients are also both directly and indirectly used to control pH homeostasis and to regulate cell volume. The plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase maintains a proton gradient in plants and fungi and the Na......Plasma membrane ATPases are primary active transporters of cations that maintain steep concentration gradients. The ion gradients and membrane potentials derived from them form the basis for a range of essential cellular processes, in particular Na(+)-dependent and proton-dependent secondary......(+),K(+)-ATPase maintains a Na(+) and K(+) gradient in animal cells. Structural information provides insight into the function of these two distinct but related P-type pumps....

  5. Hijacked then lost in translation: the plight of the recombinant host cell in membrane protein structural biology projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Roslyn M; von der Haar, Tobias

    2015-06-01

    Membrane protein structural biology is critically dependent upon the supply of high-quality protein. Over the last few years, the value of crystallising biochemically characterised, recombinant targets that incorporate stabilising mutations has been established. Nonetheless, obtaining sufficient yields of many recombinant membrane proteins is still a major challenge. Solutions are now emerging based on an improved understanding of recombinant host cells; as a 'cell factory' each cell is tasked with managing limited resources to simultaneously balance its own growth demands with those imposed by an expression plasmid. This review examines emerging insights into the role of translation and protein folding in defining high-yielding recombinant membrane protein production in a range of host cells. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Molecular, dynamic, and structural origin of inhomogeneous magnetization transfer in lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Scott D; Malyarenko, Dariya I; Fabiilli, Mario L; Welsh, Robert C; Nielsen, Jon-Fredrik; Srinivasan, Ashok

    2017-03-01

    To elucidate the dynamic, structural, and molecular properties that create inhomogeneous magnetization transfer (ihMT) contrast. Amphiphilic lipids, lamellar phospholipids with cholesterol, and bovine spinal cord (BSC) specimens were examined along with nonlipid systems. Magnetization transfer (MT), enhanced MT (eMT, obtained with double-sided radiofrequency saturation), ihMT (MT - eMT), and dipolar relaxation, T 1D , were measured at 2.0 and 11.7 T. The amplitude of ihMT ratio (ihMTR) is positively correlated with T 1D values. Both ihMTR and T 1D increase with increasing temperature in BSC white matter and in phospholipids and decrease with temperature in other lipids. Changes in ihMTR with temperature arise primarily from alterations in MT rather than eMT. Spectral width of MT, eMT, and ihMT increases with increasing carbon chain length. Concerted motions of phospholipids in white matter decrease proton spin diffusion leading to increased proton T 1D times and increased ihMT amplitudes, consistent with decoupling of Zeeman and dipolar spin reservoirs. Molecular specificity and dynamic sensitivity of ihMT contrast make it a suitable candidate for probing myelin membrane disorders. Magn Reson Med 77:1318-1328, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  7. Effect of gamma-radiation on the structure and function of yeast membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khare, S.; Trivedi, A.; Kesavan, P.C.; Prasad, R.

    1982-01-01

    A decrease in the influx of several amino acids was observed following gamma-irradiation of Candida albicans strain 3100. At low dose (2.5 Gy), which does not affect cell survival, a stimulation in the uptake was visible; moreover, sulphydryl loss and lipid peroxidation were also evident. With further increase in the dose of radiation, a parallel increment in the loss of sulphydryl groups and production of malonaldehyde was observed. Radioprotectors like L-cysteine and dithiothreitol were shown to shield the radiation-induced loss of sulphydryl and damage to transport and survival. Reduced glutathione, on the other hand, exhibited protection at the level of sulphydryl damage only. N-ethylmaleimide, a well known hypoxic cell radiosensitizer, enhanced the radiosensitivity with respect to survival; it, however, had no effect on amino acid transport. Oxygen enhancement of radiation damage to transport and cell survival and the radioprotection by sodium formate under these circumstances, and more so by anoxia, were demonstrated. The results indicate that the manifestation of damage to membrane structure and function precedes any observable loss of survival. (author)

  8. Characterization of Bifunctional Spin Labels for Investigating the Structural and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins Using EPR Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Indra D; Craig, Andrew F; Dunagum, Megan M; McCarrick, Robert M; Lorigan, Gary A

    2017-10-05

    Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) coupled with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a very powerful technique to study structural and dynamic properties of membrane proteins. The most widely used spin label is methanthiosulfonate (MTSL). However, the flexibility of this spin label introduces greater uncertainties in EPR measurements obtained for determining structures, side-chain dynamics, and backbone motion of membrane protein systems. Recently, a newer bifunctional spin label (BSL), 3,4-bis(methanethiosulfonylmethyl)-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrrol-1-yloxy, has been introduced to overcome the dynamic limitations associated with the MTSL spin label and has been invaluable in determining protein backbone dynamics and inter-residue distances due to its restricted internal motion and fewer size restrictions. While BSL has been successful in providing more accurate information about the structure and dynamics of several proteins, a detailed characterization of the spin label is still lacking. In this study, we characterized BSLs by performing CW-EPR spectral line shape analysis as a function of temperature on spin-labeled sites inside and outside of the membrane for the integral membrane protein KCNE1 in POPC/POPG lipid bilayers and POPC/POPG lipodisq nanoparticles. The experimental data revealed a powder pattern spectral line shape for all of the KCNE1-BSL samples at 296 K, suggesting the motion of BSLs approaches the rigid limit regime for these series of samples. BSLs were further utilized to report for the first time the distance measurement between two BSLs attached on an integral membrane protein KCNE1 in POPC/POPG lipid bilayers at room temperature using dipolar line broadening CW-EPR spectroscopy. The CW dipolar line broadening EPR data revealed a 15 ± 2 Å distance between doubly attached BSLs on KCNE1 (53/57-63/67) which is consistent with molecular dynamics modeling and the solution NMR structure of KCNE1 which yielded a

  9. Correlation between spatial (3D) structure of pea and bean thylakoid membranes and arrangement of chlorophyll-protein complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumak, Izabela; Mazur, Radosław; Gieczewska, Katarzyna; Kozioł-Lipińska, Joanna; Kierdaszuk, Borys; Michalski, Wojtek P; Shiell, Brian J; Venema, Jan Henk; Vredenberg, Wim J; Mostowska, Agnieszka; Garstka, Maciej

    2012-05-25

    The thylakoid system in plant chloroplasts is organized into two distinct domains: grana arranged in stacks of appressed membranes and non-appressed membranes consisting of stroma thylakoids and margins of granal stacks. It is argued that the reason for the development of appressed membranes in plants is that their photosynthetic apparatus need to cope with and survive ever-changing environmental conditions. It is not known however, why different plant species have different arrangements of grana within their chloroplasts. It is important to elucidate whether a different arrangement and distribution of appressed and non-appressed thylakoids in chloroplasts are linked with different qualitative and/or quantitative organization of chlorophyll-protein (CP) complexes in the thylakoid membranes and whether this arrangement influences the photosynthetic efficiency. Our results from TEM and in situ CLSM strongly indicate the existence of different arrangements of pea and bean thylakoid membranes. In pea, larger appressed thylakoids are regularly arranged within chloroplasts as uniformly distributed red fluorescent bodies, while irregular appressed thylakoid membranes within bean chloroplasts correspond to smaller and less distinguished fluorescent areas in CLSM images. 3D models of pea chloroplasts show a distinct spatial separation of stacked thylakoids from stromal spaces whereas spatial division of stroma and thylakoid areas in bean chloroplasts are more complex. Structural differences influenced the PSII photochemistry, however without significant changes in photosynthetic efficiency. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of chlorophyll-protein complexes as well as spectroscopic investigations indicated a similar proportion between PSI and PSII core complexes in pea and bean thylakoids, but higher abundance of LHCII antenna in pea ones. Furthermore, distinct differences in size and arrangements of LHCII-PSII and LHCI-PSI supercomplexes between species are suggested

  10. Structural changes in plasma membranes prepared from irradiated Chinese hamster V79 cells as revealed by Raman spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, S.P.; Sonwalkar, N.

    1991-01-01

    The effect of gamma irradiation on the integrity of plasma membranes isolated from Chinese hamster V79 cells was investigated by Raman spectroscopy. Plasma membranes of control V79 cells show transitions between -10 and 5 degree C (low-temperature transition), 10 and 22 degree C (middle-temperature transition), and 32 and 40 degree C (high-temperature transition). Irradiation (5 Gy) alters these transitions markedly. First, the low-temperature transition shifts to higher temperature (onset and completion temperatures 4 and 14 degree C). Second, the middle-temperature transition shifts up to the range of about 20-32 degree C, but the width remains unchanged. Third, the higher temperature transition broadens markedly and shifts to the range of about 15-40 degree C. Protein secondary structure as determined by least-squares analysis of the amide I bands shows 36% total helix, 55% total beta-strand, and 9% turn plus undefined for control plasma membrane proteins. Plasma membrane proteins of irradiated V79 cells show an increase in total helix (40 and 45% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) and a decrease in the total beta-strand (48 and 44% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) structures. The qualitative analysis of the Raman features of plasma membranes and model compounds in the 1600 cm-1 region, assigned to tyrosine groups, revealed that irradiation alters the microenvironment of these groups. We conclude that the radiation dose used in the survival range of Chinese hamster V79 cells can cause damage to plasma membrane proteins without detectable lipid peroxidation, and that the altered proteins react differently with lipids, yielding a shift in the thermal transition properties

  11. Structural Changes in the Surface of Red Blood Cell Membranes during Long-Term Donor Blood Storage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Moroz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study changes in the surface of red blood cell membranes of donor blood at the macro- and ultrastructural level during its storage for 30 days and to evaluate the functional state of the red blood cell membrane during the whole storage period. Material and methods. The investigation was conducted on human whole blood and packed red blood cells placed in the specialized packs containing the preservative CPDA-1, by using calibrated electroporation and atomic force microscopy and measuring plasma pH. Conclusion. The long-term, up to 30-day, storage of whole blood and packed red blood cells at 4°C was attended by lower plasma pH and increased hemolysis rate constant during calibrated electroporation and by the development of oxidative processes. The hemolysis rate constant was also higher in the packed red blood cells than that in the whole blood. On days 5—6, the membrane structure showed defects that developed, as the blood was stored, and caused irreversible cell membrane damage by day 30. Key words: donor blood, red blood cell membranes, atomic force microscopy.

  12. Structural and Spectroscopic Characterization of A Nanosized Sulfated TiO2 Filler and of Nanocomposite Nafion Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Allodi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A large number of nano-sized oxides have been studied in the literature as fillers for polymeric membranes, such as Nafion®. Superacidic sulfated oxides have been proposed and characterized. Once incorporated into polymer matrices, their beneficial effect on peculiar membrane properties has been demonstrated. The alteration of physical-chemical properties of composite membranes has roots in the intermolecular interaction between the inorganic filler surface groups and the polymer chains. In the attempt to tackle this fundamental issue, here we discuss, by a multi-technique approach, the properties of a nanosized sulfated titania material as a candidate filler for Nafion membranes. The results of a systematic study carried out by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetry, Raman and infrared spectroscopies are presented and discussed to get novel insights about the structural features, molecular properties, and morphological characteristics of sulphated TiO2 nanopowders and composite Nafion membranes containing different amount of sulfated TiO2 nanoparticles (2%, 5%, 7% w/w.

  13. Role of band 3 in the erythrocyte membrane structural changes under thermal fluctuations -multi scale modeling considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajic-Lijakovic, Ivana

    2015-12-01

    An attempt was made to discuss and connect various modeling approaches on various time and space scales which have been proposed in the literature in order to shed further light on the erythrocyte membrane rearrangement caused by the cortex-lipid bilayer coupling under thermal fluctuations. Roles of the main membrane constituents: (1) the actin-spectrin cortex, (2) the lipid bilayer, and (3) the trans membrane protein band 3 and their course-consequence relations were considered in the context of the cortex non linear stiffening and corresponding anomalous nature of energy dissipation. The fluctuations induce alternating expansion and compression of the membrane parts in order to ensure surface and volume conservation. The membrane structural changes were considered within two time regimes. The results indicate that the cortex non linear stiffening and corresponding anomalous nature of energy dissipation are related to the spectrin flexibility distribution and the rate of its changes. The spectrin flexibility varies from purely flexible to semi flexible. It is influenced by: (1) the number of band 3 molecules attached to single spectrin filaments, and (2) phosphorylation of the actin-junctions. The rate of spectrin flexibility changes depends on the band 3 molecules rearrangement.

  14. Development of nano-structure controlled polymer electrolyte fuel-cell membranes by high-energy heavy ion irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaki, Tetsuya; Asano, Masaharu; Maekawa, Yasunari; Yoshida, Masaru; Kobayashi, Misaki; Nomura, Kumiko; Takagi, Shigeharu

    2008-01-01

    There is increasing interest in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) together with recent worldwide energy demand and environmental issues. In order to develop proton-conductive membranes for PEFCs, we have been using high-energy heavy ion beams from the cyclotron accelerator of Takasaki Ion Accelerators for Advanced Radiation Application (TIARA), JAEA. Our strategic focus is centered on using nano-scale controllability of the ion-beam processing; the membrane preparation involves (1) the irradiation of commercially-available base polymer films with MeV ions, (2) graft polymerization of vinyl monomers into electronically-excited parts along the ion trajectory, called latent tracks, and (3) sulfonation of the graft polymers. Interestingly, the resulting membranes exhibited anisotropic proton transport, i.e., higher conductivity in the thickness direction. According to microscopic observations, this is probably because the columnar electrolyte phase extended, with a width of tens-to-hundreds nanometers, through the membrane. Other excellent membrane properties, e.g., sufficient mechanical strength, high dimensional stability, and low gas permeability should be due to such a controlled structure. (author)

  15. Structural properties of lipid reconstructs and lipid composition of normotensive and hypertensive rat vascular smooth muscle cell membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R. Oliveira

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Multiple cell membrane alterations have been reported to be the cause of various forms of hypertension. The present study focuses on the lipid portion of the membranes, characterizing the microviscosity of membranes reconstituted with lipids extracted from the aorta and mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR and normotensive control rat strains (WKY and NWR. Membrane-incorporated phospholipid spin labels were used to monitor the bilayer structure at different depths. The packing of lipids extracted from both aorta and mesenteric arteries of normotensive and hypertensive rats was similar. Lipid extract analysis showed similar phospholipid composition for all membranes. However, cholesterol content was lower in SHR arteries than in normotensive animal arteries. These findings contrast with the fact that the SHR aorta is hyporeactive while the SHR mesenteric artery is hyperreactive to vasopressor agents when compared to the vessels of normotensive animal strains. Hence, factors other than microviscosity of bulk lipids contribute to the vascular smooth muscle reactivity and hypertension of SHR. The excess cholesterol in the arteries of normotensive animal strains apparently is not dissolved in bulk lipids and is not directly related to vascular reactivity since it is present in both the aorta and mesenteric arteries. The lower cholesterol concentrations in SHR arteries may in fact result from metabolic differences due to the hypertensive state or to genes that co-segregate with those that determine hypertension during the process of strain selection.

  16. Structure and function of the Juxta membrane domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor by NMR spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choowongkomon, Kiattawee; Carlin, Cathleen; Sonnichsen, Frank D.

    2005-10-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase family involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation. Its juxta membrane domain (JX), the region located between the transmembrane and kinase domains, plays important roles in receptor trafficking since both basolateral sorting in polarized epithelial cells and lysosomal sorting signals are identified in this region. In order to understand the regulation of these signals, we characterized the structural properties of recombinant JX domain in dodecyl phosphocholine detergent (DPC) by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In DPC micelles, structures derived from NMR data showed three amphipathic, helical segments. Two equivalent average structural models on the surface of micelles were obtained that differ only in the relative orientation between the first and second helices. Our data suggests that the activity of sorting signals may be regulated by their membrane association and restricted accessibility in the intact receptor

  17. Structure and Stability of the Spinach Aquaporin SoPIP2;1 in Detergent Micelles and Lipid Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plasencia, Ines; Survery, Sabeen; Ibragimova, Sania

    2011-01-01

    Background: SoPIP2;1 constitutes one of the major integral proteins in spinach leaf plasma membranes and belongs to the aquaporin family. SoPIP2;1 is a highly permeable and selective water channel that has been successfully overexpressed and purified with high yields. In order to optimize...... reconstitution of the purified protein into biomimetic systems, we have here for the first time characterized the structural stability of SoPIP2;1. Methodology/Principal Finding: We have characterized the protein structural stability after purification and after reconstitution into detergent micelles...... and proteoliposomes using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques. The structure of SoPIP2;1 was analyzed either with the protein solubilized with octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside (OG) or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed by E. coli lipids, diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine (DPh...

  18. Kinetic stability and membrane structure of liposomes during in vitro infant intestinal digestion: Effect of cholesterol and lactoferrin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weilin; Wei, Fuqiang; Ye, Aiqian; Tian, Mengmeng; Han, Jianzhong

    2017-09-01

    The effects of cholesterol and lactoferrin on the kinetic stability and membrane structural integrity of negatively charged liposomes under in vitro infant intestinal digestion conditions were elucidated using dynamic light scattering, pH-stat titration, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and pyrene steady state fluorescence probes. The liposomes had a smaller particle diameter, a wider size distribution, and a greater negative charge after digestion. The incorporation of cholesterol into the phospholipid bilayers resulted in a more ordered conformation in the aliphatic tail region and reduced micropolarity, indicating that cholesterol can improve the structural stability of liposomal membranes against intestinal environmental stress. Lactoferrin coverage facilitated the release of free fatty acids and increased the microfluidity of the bilayers, reducing the structural integrity of the liposomes. This study provides useful information on the design of liposomes and other microcapsules with improved and controlled release properties during digestion for particular groups of people. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Synthesis of CdS hollow/solid nanospheres and their chain-structures by membrane technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duan Shumin; Wu Qingsheng; Jia Runping; Liu Xinbo

    2008-01-01

    CdS hollow/solid nanospheres and their chain-structures were successfully synthesized through supporting liquid membrane (SLM) system with bio-membrane. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-Vis spectroscopy, and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy have been used for the characterization of the products. The average diameters of CdS solid/hollow spheres are about 10, 40 nm, respectively. The wall of the hollow spheres is about 5 nm. CdS products are all cubic face-centered structure with the cell constant a = 5.830 A. We also explore the morphology, structure and possible synthesis mechanism. A possible template mechanism has been proposed for the production of the hollow CdS nanocrystals, that is, CdS nanoparticles grow along the non-soakage interface between CHCl3 and reactant solution. During this process, the organic functional groups were crucial to the control of crystal morphologies

  20. Massive hemoptysis in a patient with pulmonary embolism, a real therapeutic conundrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiolanda Herodotou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Massive Hemoptysis and pulmonary embolism are two very severe and potentially fatal pulmonary emergencies requiring completely different treatments. We present the case of a 45-year old male transmitted to our Hospital for massive hemoptysis who at the same time was found to suffer from pulmonary embolism. Hemoptysis was treated with bronchial artery embolization which resulted in cessation of haemorrhage and allowed the administration of anticoagulant therapy a few days later. This case report gives an answer on how to manage a real therapeutic conundrum which is the coexistence of a massive hemoptysis and a concomitant pulmonary embolism.

  1. Structural aspects of the antioxidant activity of lutein in a model of photoreceptor membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewska-Becker, Anna; Nawrocki, Grzegorz; Duda, Mariusz; Subczynski, Witold K.

    2014-01-01

    It was shown that in membranes containing raft domains, the macular xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin are not distributed uniformly, but are excluded from saturated raft domains and about ten times more concentrated in unsaturated bulk lipids. The selective accumulation of lutein and zeaxanthin in direct proximity to unsaturated lipids, which are especially susceptible to lipid peroxidation, could be very important as far as their antioxidant activity is concerned. Therefore, the protective role of lutein against lipid peroxidation was investigated in membranes made of raft-forming mixtures and in models of photoreceptor outer segment membranes and compared with their antioxidant activity in homogeneous membranes composed of unsaturated lipids. Lipid peroxidation was induced by photosensitized reactions using rose Bengal and monitored by an MDA-TBA test, an iodometric assay, and oxygen consumption (using EPR spectroscopy and the mHCTPO spin label as an oxygen probe). The results show that lutein protects unsaturated lipids more effectively in membranes made of raft-forming mixtures than in homogeneous membranes. This suggests that the selective accumulation of macular xanthophylls in the most vulnerable regions of photoreceptor membranes may play an important role in enhancing their antioxidant properties and ability to prevent age-related macular diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration [AMD]). PMID:22428148

  2. Structural characterization of hydrogen separating membranes based on lanthanide-tungstates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scherb, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    The global energy supply is currently the most controversial issue discussed in our society. Despite the increasing importance of renewable energies, the largest portion of electrical energy has its origin in fossil fuels. CO 2 , emitted during combustion in power plants is known to be one of the greenhouse gases that contributes significantly to global climate change. The development of technologies for environmentally friendly power generation from coal and gas is an area of significant interest. One possibility is the capture and long-term storage of CO 2 from the exhaust stream of fossil fuel power plants. In the pre-combustion process, CO 2 and H 2 can be separated after gasification of the fossil fuel. For this purpose gas-tight ceramic membranes with mixed electronic-protonic conductivity can be used. However, these materials have high requirements due to the extreme conditions in power plants. Mixed electronic-protonic conducting lanthanide tungstates (Ln 6 WO 12 Ln = lanthanide or yttrium) are promising materials, which are stable in CO 2 -containing harsh environments. This work presents a study on structure-property relationships of Ln 6 WO 12 . The structural analysis was performed by the use of neutron and high-resolution X-ray diffraction methods for three exemplary systems (Ln = La, Nd, Y). Samples were prepared via solid state reaction (SSR), and also via a sol-gel approach (Pechini). For the systems LaWO and NdWO, new structural models were developed by combined Rietveld analysis and Fourier density maps. The latter was applied to determine the electron and nuclear density distribution. LaWO with a La/W ratio from 5.3 to 5.7 crystallizes with the space group F-43m and forms a superstructure due to a partially ordered arrangement of cations. On Wyckoff site 48h, up to 4.6 % W can be substituted by La. The oxygen atoms around tungsten are highly delocalized and 6 out of 24 possible split positions are occupied. Thus, W has an octahedral coordination

  3. A Micro-Force Sensor with Beam-Membrane Structure for Measurement of Friction Torque in Rotating MEMS Machines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan Liu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a beam-membrane (BM sensor for measuring friction torque in micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS gas bearings is presented. The proposed sensor measures the force-arm-transformed force using a detecting probe and the piezoresistive effect. This solution incorporates a membrane into a conventional four-beam structure to meet the range requirements for the measurement of both the maximum static friction torque and the kinetic friction torque in rotating MEMS machines, as well as eliminate the problem of low sensitivity with neat membrane structure. A glass wafer is bonded onto the bottom of the sensor chip with a certain gap to protect the sensor when overloaded. The comparisons between the performances of beam-based sensor, membrane-based sensor and BM sensor are conducted by finite element method (FEM, and the final sensor dimensions are also determined. Calibration of the fabricated and packaged device is experimentally performed. The practical verification is also reported in the paper for estimating the friction torque in micro gas bearings by assembling the proposed sensor into a rotary table-based measurement system. The results demonstrate that the proposed force sensor has a potential application in measuring micro friction or force in MEMS machines.

  4. Integrating Solid-State NMR and Computational Modeling to Investigate the Structure and Dynamics of Membrane-Associated Ghrelin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Els-Heindl, Sylvia; Chollet, Constance; Scheidt, Holger A.; Beck-Sickinger, Annette G.; Meiler, Jens; Huster, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The peptide hormone ghrelin activates the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a, also known as the ghrelin receptor. This 28-residue peptide is acylated at Ser3 and is the only peptide hormone in the human body that is lipid-modified by an octanoyl group. Little is known about the structure and dynamics of membrane-associated ghrelin. We carried out solid-state NMR studies of ghrelin in lipid vesicles, followed by computational modeling of the peptide using Rosetta. Isotropic chemical shift data of isotopically labeled ghrelin provide information about the peptide’s secondary structure. Spin diffusion experiments indicate that ghrelin binds to membranes via its lipidated Ser3. Further, Phe4, as well as electrostatics involving the peptide’s positively charged residues and lipid polar headgroups, contribute to the binding energy. Other than the lipid anchor, ghrelin is highly flexible and mobile at the membrane surface. This observation is supported by our predicted model ensemble, which is in good agreement with experimentally determined chemical shifts. In the final ensemble of models, residues 8–17 form an α-helix, while residues 21–23 and 26–27 often adopt a polyproline II helical conformation. These helices appear to assist the peptide in forming an amphipathic conformation so that it can bind to the membrane. PMID:25803439

  5. Integrating solid-state NMR and computational modeling to investigate the structure and dynamics of membrane-associated ghrelin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerrit Vortmeier

    Full Text Available The peptide hormone ghrelin activates the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a, also known as the ghrelin receptor. This 28-residue peptide is acylated at Ser3 and is the only peptide hormone in the human body that is lipid-modified by an octanoyl group. Little is known about the structure and dynamics of membrane-associated ghrelin. We carried out solid-state NMR studies of ghrelin in lipid vesicles, followed by computational modeling of the peptide using Rosetta. Isotropic chemical shift data of isotopically labeled ghrelin provide information about the peptide's secondary structure. Spin diffusion experiments indicate that ghrelin binds to membranes via its lipidated Ser3. Further, Phe4, as well as electrostatics involving the peptide's positively charged residues and lipid polar headgroups, contribute to the binding energy. Other than the lipid anchor, ghrelin is highly flexible and mobile at the membrane surface. This observation is supported by our predicted model ensemble, which is in good agreement with experimentally determined chemical shifts. In the final ensemble of models, residues 8-17 form an α-helix, while residues 21-23 and 26-27 often adopt a polyproline II helical conformation. These helices appear to assist the peptide in forming an amphipathic conformation so that it can bind to the membrane.

  6. Plasma-chemical modification of the structure and properties of poly(ethylene terephthalate) track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L I; Dmitriev, S N; Dinescu, G; Lazea, A; Sleptsov, V V; Elinson, V M

    2007-01-01

    A process of extraction of the low-molecular products of the synthesis from the poly(ethylene terephthalate) track membranes modified by plasma has been investigated. It is shown that the deposition of a thin polymeric hydrocarbon film by cyclohexane plasma on the membrane surface with preliminary treatment in a plasma of non-polymerizing gases, for example oxygen, allows one to produce membranes possessing a high productivity. Their advantages are much better hydrodynamic properties and a small amount of the low-molecular products of the synthesis extracted by organic solvents

  7. Membrane paradigm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.H.; Thorne, K.S.

    1986-01-01

    The membrane paradigm is a modified frozen star approach to modeling black holes, with particles and fields assuming a complex, static, boundary-layer type structure (membrane) near the event horizon. The membrane has no effects on the present or future evolution of particles and fields above itself. The mathematical representation is a combination of a formalism containing terms for the shear and bulk viscosity, surface pressure, momentum, temperature, entropy, etc., of the horizon and the 3+1 formalism. The latter model considers a family of three-dimensional spacelike hypersurfaces in one-dimensional time. The membrane model considers a magnetic field threading the hole and undergoing torque from the hole rotation. The field is cleaned by the horizon and distributed over the horizon so that ohmic dissipation is minimized. The membrane paradigm is invalid inside the horizon, but is useful for theoretically probing the properties of slowly evolving black holes

  8. Toward the fourth dimension of membrane protein structure: insight into dynamics from spin-labeling EPR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHaourab, Hassane S; Steed, P Ryan; Kazmier, Kelli

    2011-11-09

    Trapping membrane proteins in the confines of a crystal lattice obscures dynamic modes essential for interconversion between multiple conformations in the functional cycle. Moreover, lattice forces could conspire with detergent solubilization to stabilize a minor conformer in an ensemble thus confounding mechanistic interpretation. Spin labeling in conjunction with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy offers an exquisite window into membrane protein dynamics in the native-like environment of a lipid bilayer. Systematic application of spin labeling and EPR identifies sequence-specific secondary structures, defines their topology and their packing in the tertiary fold. Long range distance measurements (60 Å-80 Å) between pairs of spin labels enable quantitative analysis of equilibrium dynamics and triggered conformational changes. This review highlights the contribution of spin labeling to bridging structure and mechanism. Efforts to develop methods for determining structures from EPR restraints and to increase sensitivity and throughput promise to expand spin labeling applications in membrane protein structural biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Membrane Guanylate Cyclase catalytic Subdomain: Structure and Linkage with Calcium Sensors and Bicarbonate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarangan Ravichandran

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Membrane guanylate cyclase (MGC is a ubiquitous multi-switching cyclic GMP generating signaling machine linked with countless physiological processes. In mammals it is encoded by seven distinct homologous genes. It is a single transmembrane spanning multi-modular protein; composed of integrated blocks and existing in homo-dimeric form. Its core catalytic domain (CCD module is a common transduction center where all incoming signals are translated into the production of cyclic GMP, a cellular signal second messenger. Crystal structure of the MGC’s CCD does not exist and its precise identity is ill-defined. Here, we define it at a sub-molecular level for the phototransduction-linked MGC, the rod outer segment guanylate cyclase type 1, ROS-GC1. (1 The CCD is a conserved 145-residue structural unit, represented by the segment V820-P964. (2 It exists as a homo-dimer and contains seven conserved catalytic elements (CEs wedged into seven conserved motifs. (3 It also contains a conserved 21-residue neurocalcin δ-modulated structural domain, V836-L857. (4 Site-directed mutagenesis documents that each of the seven CEs governs the cyclase’s catalytic activity. (5 In contrast to the soluble and the bacterium MGC which use Mn2+-GTP substrate for catalysis, MGC CCD uses the natural Mg2+-GTP substrate. (6 Strikingly, the MGC CCD requires anchoring by the Transmembrane Domain (TMD to exhibit its major (∼92% catalytic activity; in isolated form the activity is only marginal. This feature is not linked with any unique sequence of the TMD; there is minimal conservation in TMD. Finally, (7 the seven CEs control each of four phototransduction pathways- -two Ca2+-sensor GCAPs-, one Ca2+-sensor, S100B-, and one bicarbonate-modulated. The findings disclose that the CCD of ROS-GC1 has built-in regulatory elements that control its signal translational activity. Due to conservation of these regulatory elements, it is proposed that these elements also control the

  10. Chimaerin suppresses Rac1 activation at the apical membrane to maintain the cyst structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shunsuke Yagi

    Full Text Available Epithelial organs are made of a well-polarized monolayer of epithelial cells, and their morphology is maintained strictly for their proper functions. Previously, we showed that Rac1 activation is suppressed at the apical membrane in the mature organoid, and that such spatially biased Rac1 activity is required for the polarity maintenance. Here we identify Chimaerin, a GTPase activating protein for Rac1, as a suppressor of Rac1 activity at the apical membrane. Depletion of Chimaerin causes over-activation of Rac1 at the apical membrane in the presence of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, followed by luminal cell accumulation. Importantly, Chimaerin depletion did not inhibit extension formation at the basal membrane. These observations suggest that Chimaerin functions as the apical-specific Rac1 GAP to maintain epithelial morphology.

  11. Structure and functionality of PVdF/PAN based, composite proton conducting membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinelli, A.; Navarra, M.A.; Matic, A.; Panero, S.; Jacobsson, P.; Boerjesson, L.; Scrosati, B.

    2005-01-01

    We have investigated new poly-vinylidene fluoride/poly-acrylonitrile (PVdF/PAN) based proton conducting membranes by means of vibrational spectroscopy. We find that a complete phase inversion occurs during the preparation procedure, when the gelling solvents are replaced by an acidic solution, providing the proton conducting property. The uptake of acid is promoted both by the presence of PAN and the ceramic filler, Al 2 O 3 . No particular interaction between the polymer matrix and the acidic solution could be detected, supporting the picture of an inert matrix entrapping a liquid component. However, the dissociation degree of the acid is decreased due to the spatial confinement in the membrane. By comparing the dissociation degree and the actual amount of acid in the membrane to the conductivity, we conclude that the limiting factor for the conductivity is the long-range mobility of the protons, which is governed by the morphology of the membrane

  12. Structure-property relationships in flavour-barrier membranes with reduced high-temperature diffusivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heitfeld, Kevin A.; Schaefer, Dale W.

    2009-01-01

    Encapsulation is used to decrease the premature release of volatile flavour ingredients while offering protection against environmental damage such as oxidation, light-induced reactions, etc. Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is investigated here as a 'smart,' temperature responsive membrane for flavour encapsulation and delivery. Gel films were synthesized and characterized by diffusion and small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering techniques. Increasing temperature typically increases the diffusion rate across a membrane; HPC, however, can be tailored to give substantially improved elevated temperature properties. Scattering results indicate processing conditions have a significant impact on membrane morphology (micro phase separation). Under certain synthetic conditions, micro phase separation is mitigated and the membranes show temperature-independent diffusivity between 25 C and 60 C.

  13. Recent progress in electrocatalysts with mesoporous structures for application in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    OpenAIRE

    Xing, Wei; Wu, Zucheng; Tao, Shanwen

    2016-01-01

    Recently mesoporous materials have drawn great attention in fuel cell related applications, such as preparation of polymer electrolyte membranes and catalysts, hydrogen storage and purification. In this mini-review, we focus on recent developments in mesoporous electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, including metallic and metal-free catalysts for use as either anode or cathode catalysts. Mesoporous Pt-based metals have been synthesized as anode catalysts with improved a...

  14. A structural and kinetic link between membrane association and amyloid fibril formation of α-Synuclein

    OpenAIRE

    Heise, Henrike; Etzkorn, Manuel; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Buell, Alexander; Strodel, Birgit; Willbold, Dieter; Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Poojari, Chetan; Uluca, Boran; Wördehoff, Michael; Viennet, Thibault

    2017-01-01

    The protein α-Synuclein (αS) is linked to Parkinson's disease through its abnormal aggregation, which is thought to involve an interplay between cytosolic and membrane-bound forms of αS. Therefore, better insights into the molecular determinants of membrane association and their implications for protein aggregation may help deciphering the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Following previous studies using micelles and vesicles, we present a comprehensive study of αS interaction with phosph...

  15. Characterizing free volumes and layer structures in polymeric membranes using slow positron annihilation spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jean, Y C; Chen Hongmin; Awad, Somia; Zhang Sui; Chen Hangzheng; Lau, Cher Hon; Wang Huan; Li Fuyun; Chung, Tai-Shung; Lee, L James; Huang, James

    2011-01-01

    Positron annihilation spectroscopy coupled with a newly built slow positron beam at National University of Singapore has been used to study the free volume, pore, and depth profile (0 - 10 μm) in cellulose acetate polymeric membrane at the bottom and top sides of membranes for ionic separation in water purification applications. The S and R parameters from Doppler broadening energy of annihilation radiation representing free volumes (0.1-1 nm size) and pores (>1 nm-μm) as a function of depth have been analyzed into multilayers, i.e. skin dense, transition, and porous layers, respectively. The top side of membrane has large free volumes and pores and the bottom side has a skin dense layer, which plays a key role in membrane performance. Positron annihilation lifetime results provide additional information about free-volume size and distribution at the atomic and molecular scale in polymeric membrane systems. Doppler broadening energy and lifetime spectroscopies coupled with a variable mono-energy slow positron beam are sensitive and novel techniques for characterization of polymeric membrane in separation applications.

  16. Effect of amine structure on CO2 capture by polymeric membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Ikuo; Kinugasa, Kae; Toyoda, Mariko; Minezaki, Koki

    2017-01-01

    Poly(amidoamine)s (PAMAMs) incorporated into a cross-linked poly(ethylene glycol) exhibited excellent CO 2 separation properties over H 2 . However, the CO 2 permeability should be increased for practical applications. Monoethanolamine (MEA) used as a CO 2 determining agent in the current CO 2 capture technology at demonstration scale was readily immobilized in poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) matrix by solvent casting of aqueous mixture of PVA and the amine. The resulting polymeric membranes can be self-standing with the thickness above 3 μm and the amine fraction less than 80 wt%. The gas permeation properties were examined at 40 °C and under 80% relative humidity. The CO 2 separation performance increased with increase of the amine content in the polymeric membranes. When the amine fraction was 80 wt%, the CO 2 permeability coefficient of MEA containing membrane was 604 barrer with CO 2 selectivity of 58.5 over H 2 , which was much higher than the PAMAM membrane (83.7 barrer and 51.8, respectively) under the same operation conditions. On the other hand, ethylamine (EA) was also incorporated into PVA matrix to form a thin membrane. However, the resulting polymeric membranes exhibited slight CO 2 -selective gas permeation properties. The hydroxyl group of MEA was crucial for high CO 2 separation performance.

  17. Glycerin purification using asymmetric nano-structured ceramic membranes from production of waste fish oil biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghami, M.; Sadrameli, S. M.; Shamloo, M.

    2018-02-01

    Biodiesel is an environmental friendly alternative liquid transportation fuel that can be used in diesel engines without major modifications. The scope of this research work is to produce biodiesel from waste fish oil and its purification from the byproducts using a ceramic membrane. Transesterification of waste fish oil was applied for the biodiesel production using methanol in the presence of KOH as a catalyst. Effect of catalyst weight percent, temperature and methanol to oil molar ratio (MR) on the biodiesel yield have been studied and the results show that highest methyl ester yield of 79.2% has been obtained at 60 °C, MR: 6 and 1% KOH. The produced biodiesel purified by a ceramic membrane. Membrane flux and glycerin removal at different operating conditions such as temperature, trans-membrane pressures and cross flow velocities have been measured. Glycerin purity by membrane method is 99.97% by weight at the optimum condition. The highest membrane flux occurred at 50 °C temperature, 1 bar pressure and 3 m/s velocity.

  18. [Structure of maxillary sinus mucous membrane under normal conditions and in odontogenic perforative sinusitis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baĭdik, O D; Logvinov, S V; Zubarev, S G; Sysoliatin, P G; Gurin, A A

    2011-01-01

    Methods of light, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry were used to study the samples of maxillary sinus (MS) mucous membrane (MM) under normal conditions and in odontogenic sinusitis. To study the normal structure, the samples were obtained at autopsy from 26 human corpses 12-24 hours after death. Electron microscopic and immunohistochemical study was performed on biopsies of grossly morphologically unchanged MS MM, obtained during the operations for retention cysts in 6 patients. MS MM in perforative sinusitis was studied using the biopsies obtained from 43 patients. The material is broken into 4 groups depending on perforative sinusitis duration. Under normal conditions, MS MM is lined with a pseudostratified columnar ciliated epithelium. Degenerative changes of ciliated epithelial cells were already detected at short time intervals after MS perforations and become apparent due to reduction of specific volume of mitochondria and, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and increase of nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio. In the globlet cells, the reduction of nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio was associated with the disturbance of the secretory product release. At time intervals exceeding 3 months, epithelium underwent metaplasia into simple cuboidal and stratified squamous keratinized, while in MS MM lamina propria, cellular infiltration was increased. CD4+ cell content in sinus MM gradually increased, while at late periods after perforation occurrence it decreased. Low CD4+ cell count within the epithelium and the absence of muromidase on the surface of MS MM was detected. With the increase of the time interval since MS perforation, the number of CD8+ and CD20+ cells in MS MM was found to increase.

  19. Peptides actively transported across the tympanic membrane: Functional and structural properties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arwa Kurabi

    Full Text Available Otitis media (OM is the most common infectious disease of children under six, causing more antibiotic prescriptions and surgical procedures than any other pediatric condition. By screening a bacteriophage (phage library genetically engineered to express random peptides on their surfaces, we discovered unique peptides that actively transport phage particles across the intact tympanic membrane (TM and into the middle ear (ME. Herein our goals were to characterize the physiochemical peptide features that may underlie trans-TM phage transport; assess morphological and functional effects of phage peptides on the ME and inner ear (IE; and determine whether peptide-bearing phage transmigrate from the ME into the IE. Incubation of five peptide-bearing phage on the TM for over 4hrs resulted in demonstrably superior transport of one peptide, in level and in exponential increase over time. This suggests a preferred peptide motif for TM active transport. Functional and structural comparisons revealed unique features of this peptide: These include a central lysine residue, isoelectric point of 0.0 at physiological pH and a hydrophobic C-terminus. When the optimal peptide was applied to the TM independent of phage, similar transport was observed, indicating that integration into phage is not required. When 109 particles of the four different trans-TM phage were applied directly into the ME, no morphological effects were detected in the ME or IE when compared to saline or wild-type (WT phage controls. Comparable, reversible hearing loss was observed for saline controls, WT phage and trans-TM peptide phage, suggesting a mild conductive hearing loss due to ME fluid. Perilymph titers after ME incubation established that few copies of trans-TM peptide phage crossed into the IE. The results suggest that, within the parameters tested, trans-TM peptides are safe and could be used as potential agents for noninvasive delivery of drugs, particles and gene therapy

  20. Mediterranean-style diet effect on the structural properties of the erythrocyte cell membrane of hypertensive patients: the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barceló, Francisca; Perona, Javier S; Prades, Jesús; Funari, Sérgio S; Gomez-Gracia, Enrique; Conde, Manuel; Estruch, Ramon; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Valentina

    2009-11-01

    A currently ongoing randomized trial has revealed that the Mediterranean diet, rich in virgin olive oil or nuts, reduces systolic blood pressure in high-risk cardiovascular patients. Here, we present a structural substudy to assess the effect of a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with nuts or virgin olive oil on erythrocyte membrane properties in 36 hypertensive participants after 1 year of intervention. Erythrocyte membrane lipid composition, structural properties of reconstituted erythrocyte membranes, and serum concentrations of inflammatory markers are reported. After the intervention, the membrane cholesterol content decreased, whereas that of phospholipids increased in all of the dietary groups; the diminishing cholesterol:phospholipid ratio could be associated with an increase in the membrane fluidity. Moreover, reconstituted membranes from the nuts and virgin olive oil groups showed a higher propensity to form a nonlamellar inverted hexagonal phase structure that was related to an increase in phosphatidylethanolamine lipid class. These data suggest that the Mediterranean-style diet affects the lipid metabolism that is altered in hypertensive patients, influencing the structural membrane properties. The erythrocyte membrane modulation described provides insight in the structural bases underlying the beneficial effect of a Mediterranean-style diet in hypertensive subjects.

  1. Primordial membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanczyc, Martin M; Monnard, Pierre-Alain

    2017-01-01

    Cellular membranes, which are self-assembled bilayer structures mainly composed of lipids, proteins and conjugated polysaccharides, are the defining feature of cell physiology. It is likely that the complexity of contemporary cells was preceded by simpler chemical systems or protocells during...... the various evolutionary stages that led from inanimate to living matter. It is also likely that primitive membranes played a similar role in protocell 'physiology'. The composition of such ancestral membranes has been proposed as mixtures of single hydrocarbon chain amphiphiles, which are simpler versions...

  2. Population genetic structure and natural selection of apical membrane antigen-1 in Plasmodium vivax Korean isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jung-Mi; Lee, Jinyoung; Cho, Pyo-Yun; Moon, Sung-Ung; Ju, Hye-Lim; Ahn, Seong Kyu; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Lee, Hyeong-Woo; Kim, Tong-Soo; Na, Byoung-Kuk

    2015-11-16

    Plasmodium vivax apical membrane antigen-1 (PvAMA-1) is a leading candidate antigen for blood stage malaria vaccine. However, antigenic variation is a major obstacle in the development of an effective vaccine based on this antigen. In this study, the genetic structure and the effect of natural selection of PvAMA-1 among Korean P. vivax isolates were analysed. Blood samples were collected from 66 Korean patients with vivax malaria. The entire PvAMA-1 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and cloned into a TA cloning vector. The PvAMA-1 sequence of each isolate was sequenced and the polymorphic characteristics and effect of natural selection were analysed using the DNASTAR, MEGA4, and DnaSP programs. Thirty haplotypes of PvAMA-1, which were further classified into seven different clusters, were identified in the 66 Korean P. vivax isolates. Domain II was highly conserved among the sequences, but substantial nucleotide diversity was observed in domains I and III. The difference between the rates of non-synonymous and synonymous mutations suggested that the gene has evolved under natural selection. No strong evidence indicating balancing or positive selection on PvAMA-1 was identified. Recombination may also play a role in the resulting genetic diversity of PvAMA-1. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of nucleotide diversity across the entire PvAMA-1 gene using a single population sample from Korea. Korean PvAMA-1 had limited genetic diversity compared to PvAMA-1 in global isolates. The overall pattern of genetic polymorphism of Korean PvAMA-1 differed from other global isolates and novel amino acid changes were also identified in Korean PvAMA-1. Evidences for natural selection and recombination event were observed, which is likely to play an important role in generating genetic diversity across the PvAMA-1. These results provide useful information for the understanding the population structure of P. vivax circulating in Korea and have important

  3. Application of Electron Structure Calculations to the Migration of Oxygen through a Perovskite Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Douglas A.

    The focus of this thesis is the application of electron structure calculations, particularly density functional theory, to the analysis of the process by which oxygen is able to migrate through a perovskite crystal. This property creates the possibility of using perovskite membranes to separate oxygen from air. This could be applied to the generation of syngas directly from natural gas without the need for a separate air separation unit. A perovskite has the nominal formula ABO3 where A is a rare earth type cation and B is a transition type cation. The structure consists of the B cations arranged in a cube with the A cation in the center. The oxygen ions are located at the midpoint of each B-B cube edge and form an octahedron centered on each B cation. Any real perovskite crystal will contain a certain fraction of vacancies at the oxygen sites. Oxygen migrates through the crystal by jumping from a neighboring site to the vacancy. The permeability of the crystal is thus a function of the concentration of vacancies and the activation energy of the jump from a neighboring site to the vacancy. These properties can be modified by adding dopants for the A and B cations. The literature contains a substantial amount of experimental work on the effect of such dopants. The overall migration process can be divided into components (i) the concentration of oxygen vacancies, (ii) the activation energy for a neighboring on-site oxygen atom to jump to the vacant site, (iii) the concentration of surface vacancies, and (iv) the processes by which oxygen ions transfer back and forth between the perovskite surface and the contiguous vapor space. Using SrTiO3 and LaCoO3 as model compounds, DFT calculations have been used to (i) calculate various properties of the perovskite crystal, (ii) estimate the activation energy of a jump between an occupied oxygen site and an adjacent vacant oxygen site, (iii) predict the effects of various dopants at the A and B site and (iv) analyze the

  4. Preparation and characterization of structures of oxygen-ion-conductive thin-film membranes; Herstellung und Charakterisierung von sauerstoffionenleitenden Duennschichtmembranstrukturen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betz, Michael

    2010-07-01

    In power plants using Oxyfuel technology, fossil fuels are combusted with pure oxygen. This leads to carbon dioxide of high purity, which is necessary for its transport and storage. Oxygen separation by means of perovskitic membranes have great potential to decrease the efficiency losses caused by the allocation of the enormous amounts of oxygen. The aim of this work is the preparation and characterisation of thin film membranes on porous substrates and the analysis of their oxygen permeation properties. Therefore the material system A{sub 0,68}Sr{sub 0,3}Fe{sub 0,8}Co{sub 0,2}O{sub 3-{delta}} (A68SFC) was analysed, where the A-site was substituted with Lanthanides (La, Pr, Nd, Eu, Sm, Gd, Dy, Er) or alkaline earth metals (Ba, Ca). After an extensive characterisation, the selection was reduced to the substitutions with La, Pr and Nd. Other compounds could not meet the demands with regard to phase purity, chemical stability or extension behaviour. All analyses were conducted in comparison to Ba{sub 0,5}Sr{sub 0,5}Co{sub 0,8}Fe{sub 0,2}O{sub 3-{delta}} (BSCF) which is known to exhibit higher permeation rates, but is more sensitive to stability issues. The dependency of permeation rates on membrane thickness or oxygen partial pressures on both membrane surfaces is discussed by means of permeation measurements conducted on bulk BSCF membranes. These cannot be described completely by the Wagner equation. This is due to changes of the driving force originating from influences of the surface reaction kinetics and concentration polarisation on the membrane surface, which are not considered. Porous substrates for asymmetric membranes were manufactured by tape casting and warm pressing. The application of the functional layer was performed via screen printing. Permeation measurements show that the asymmetric structures exhibit higher permeation rates in comparison to bulk membranes with L=1 mm. The moderate increase can be attributed to the low gas permeability of the

  5. Membrane Microdomain Structures of Liposomes and Their Contribution to the Cellular Uptake Efficiency into HeLa Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onuki, Yoshinori; Obata, Yasuko; Kawano, Kumi; Sano, Hiromu; Matsumoto, Reina; Hayashi, Yoshihiro; Takayama, Kozo

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to obtain a comprehensive relationship between membrane microdomain structures of liposomes and their cellular uptake efficiency. Model liposomes consisting of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC)/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/cholesterol (Ch) were prepared with various lipid compositions. To detect distinct membrane microdomains in the liposomes, fluorescence-quenching assays were performed at temperatures ranging from 25 to 60 °C using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene-labeled liposomes and (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl. From the data analysis using the response surface method, we gained a better understanding of the conditions for forming distinct domains (Lo, Ld, and gel phase membranes) as a function of lipid composition. We further performed self-organizing maps (SOM) clustering to simplify the complicated behavior of the domain formation to obtain its essence. As a result, DPPC/DOPC/Ch liposomes in any lipid composition were integrated into five distinct clusters in terms of similarity of the domain structure. In addition, the findings from synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering analysis offered further insight into the domain structures. As a last phase of this study, an in vitro cellular uptake study using HeLa cells was conducted using SOM clusters' liposomes with/without PEGylation. As a consequence of this study, higher cellular uptake was observed from liposomes having Ch-rich ordered domains.

  6. Targeting of a Nicotiana plumbaginifolia H+ -ATPase to the plasma membrane is not by default and requires cytosolic structural determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Benoit; Batoko, Henri; Duby, Geoffrey; Boutry, Marc

    2004-07-01

    The structural determinants involved in the targeting of multitransmembrane-span proteins to the plasma membrane (PM) remain poorly understood. The plasma membrane H+ -ATPase (PMA) from Nicotiana plumbaginifolia, a well-characterized 10 transmembrane-span enzyme, was used as a model to identify structural elements essential for targeting to the PM. When PMA2 and PMA4, representatives of the two main PMA subfamilies, were fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP), the chimeras were shown to be still functional and to be correctly and rapidly targeted to the PM in transgenic tobacco. By contrast, chimeric proteins containing various combinations of PMA transmembrane spanning domains accumulated in the Golgi apparatus and not in the PM and displayed slow traffic properties through the secretory pathway. Individual deletion of three of the four cytosolic domains did not prevent PM targeting, but deletion of the large loop or of its nucleotide binding domain resulted in GFP fluorescence accumulating exclusively in the endoplasmic reticulum. The results show that, at least for this polytopic protein, the PM is not the default pathway and that, in contrast with single-pass membrane proteins, cytosolic structural determinants are required for correct targeting.

  7. Performance Evaluation of Waterproofing Membrane Systems Subject to the Concrete Joint Load Behavior of Below-Grade Concrete Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaeyoung Song

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Below-grade structures such as parking lots, underground subway tunnels, and basements are growing in scale and reaching deeper below-ground levels. In this type of environment, they become subject to higher water pressure. The concrete material of the structures is exposed to wet conditions for longer periods of time, which makes the proper adhesion of waterproofing membranes difficult. Joint movements from increased structural settlement, thermal expansion/shrinkage, and physical loads from external sources (e.g., vehicles make securing durable waterproofing challenging. While ASTM Guides, Korean Codes, and BS Practice Codes on below-grade waterproofing stress the importance of manufacturer specification for quality control, ensuring high quality waterproofing for the ever-changing scale of construction remains a challenge. This study proposes a new evaluation method and criteria which allow for the selection of waterproofing membranes based on specific performance attributes and workmanship. It subjects six different waterproofing membrane systems (installed on dry and wet surface conditioned mortar slab specimens with an artificial joint to different cyclic movement widths to 300 cycles in water to demonstrate that inadequate material properties and workmanship are key causes for leakages.

  8. Poly(vinyl-alcohol)/poly(ethylene-glycol)/poly(ethylene-imine) blend membranes - structure and CO2 facilitated transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ben Hamouda, S.; Quang, Trong Nguyen; Langevin, D.; Sadok, Roudeslic

    2010-01-01

    Poly(vinyl-alcohol) (PVA)/poly(ethylene-imine) (PEI)/poly(ethylene-glycol) (PEG) blend membranes were prepared by solution casting followed by solvent evaporation. The effects of the blend polymer composition on the membrane structure and CO 2 /N 2 permeation characteristics were investigated. IR spectroscopy evidenced strong hydrogen bonding interactions between amorphous PVA and PEI, and weaker interactions between PVA and PEG. DSC studies showed that PVA crystallization was partially inhibited by the interactions between amorphous PVA and PEI blend, in which PEG separated into nodules. The CO 2 permeability decreased with an increase in CO 2 partial pressure in feed gas, while the N 2 permeability remained constant. This result indicated that only CO 2 was transported by the facilitated transport mechanism. The CO 2 and N 2 permeabilities increased monotonically with the PEI content in the blend membranes, whereas the ideal selectivity of CO 2 to N 2 transport showed a maximum. When CO 2 is humidified, its permeability through the blend membranes is much higher than that of dry CO 2 , but the change in permeability due to the presence of humidity is reversible. (authors)

  9. Reinforced PEI/PVdF Multicore-Shell Structure Composite Membranes by Phase Prediction on a Ternary Solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihye Chae

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available To construct a polyetherimide (PEI-reinforced polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF composite membrane with multicore-shell structure, a ternary solution was prepared and electrospun by single-nozzle electrospinning. A theoretical prediction was made for the feasibility of complete distinction of two phases. The diameters of the membrane fibers and the PEI multi-core fibrils varied with the PEI ratio and the spinning time, respectively. The tensile strength and modulus were improved to 48 MPa and 1.5 GPa, respectively. The shrinkage of the membrane was only 6.6% at 180 °C, at which temperature the commercial PE separator melted down. The reinforcement in mechanical and thermal properties is associated with multiple PEI nanofibrils oriented along the fiber axis. Indeed, the unique morphology of self-assembled multicore-shell fibers plays an important role in their properties. All in all, PEI/PVdF membranes are appropriate for a lithium-ion battery application due to their high mechanical strength, excellent thermal stability, and controllable textural properties.

  10. Membrane protein extraction and purification using styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymer: effect of variations in polymer structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Kerrie A; Akram, Aneel; Mathews, Ashlyn; Khan, Zoeya A; Patel, Jaimin H; Zhou, Chumin; Hardy, David J; Moore-Kelly, Charles; Patel, Roshani; Odiba, Victor; Knowles, Tim J; Javed, Masood-Ul-Hassan; Chmel, Nikola P; Dafforn, Timothy R; Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-12-01

    The use of styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers to extract and purify transmembrane proteins, while retaining their native bilayer environment, overcomes many of the disadvantages associated with conventional detergent-based procedures. This approach has huge potential for the future of membrane protein structural and functional studies. In this investigation, we have systematically tested a range of commercially available SMA polymers, varying in both the ratio of styrene and maleic acid and in total size, for the ability to extract, purify and stabilise transmembrane proteins. Three different membrane proteins (BmrA, LeuT and ZipA), which vary in size and shape, were used. Our results show that several polymers, can be used to extract membrane proteins, comparably to conventional detergents. A styrene:maleic acid ratio of either 2:1 or 3:1, combined with a relatively small average molecular mass (7.5-10 kDa), is optimal for membrane extraction, and this appears to be independent of the protein size, shape or expression system. A subset of polymers were taken forward for purification, functional and stability tests. Following a one-step affinity purification, SMA 2000 was found to be the best choice for yield, purity and function. However, the other polymers offer subtle differences in size and sensitivity to divalent cations that may be useful for a variety of downstream applications. © 2016 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  11. Trp[superscript 2313]-His[superscript 2315] of Factor VIII C2 Domain Is Involved in Membrane Binding Structure of a Complex Between the C[subscript 2] Domain and an Inhibitor of Membrane Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Zhuo; Lin, Lin; Yuan, Cai; Nicolaes, Gerry A.F.; Chen, Liqing; Meehan, Edward J.; Furie, Bruce; Furie, Barbara; Huang, Mingdong (Harvard-Med); (UAH); (Maastricht); (Chinese Aca. Sci.)

    2010-11-03

    Factor VIII (FVIII) plays a critical role in blood coagulation by forming the tenase complex with factor IXa and calcium ions on a membrane surface containing negatively charged phospholipids. The tenase complex activates factor X during blood coagulation. The carboxyl-terminal C2 domain of FVIII is the main membrane-binding and von Willebrand factor-binding region of the protein. Mutations of FVIII cause hemophilia A, whereas elevation of FVIII activity is a risk factor for thromboembolic diseases. The C2 domain-membrane interaction has been proposed as a target of intervention for regulation of blood coagulation. A number of molecules that interrupt FVIII or factor V (FV) binding to cell membranes have been identified through high throughput screening or structure-based design. We report crystal structures of the FVIII C2 domain under three new crystallization conditions, and a high resolution (1.15 {angstrom}) crystal structure of the FVIII C2 domain bound to a small molecular inhibitor. The latter structure shows that the inhibitor binds to the surface of an exposed {beta}-strand of the C2 domain, Trp{sup 2313}-His{sup 2315}. This result indicates that the Trp{sup 2313}-His{sup 2315} segment is an important constituent of the membrane-binding motif and provides a model to understand the molecular mechanism of the C2 domain membrane interaction.

  12. Structural study on Ni nanowires in an anodic alumina membrane by using in situ heating extended x-ray absorption fine structure and x-ray diffraction techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai Quan; Chen Xing; Chen Zhongjun; Wang Wei; Mo Guang; Wu Zhonghua; Zhang Junxi; Zhang Lide; Pan Wei

    2008-01-01

    Polycrystalline Ni nanowires have been prepared by electrochemical deposition in an anodic alumina membrane template with a nanopore size of about 60 nm. In situ heating extended x-ray absorption fine structure and x-ray diffraction techniques are used to probe the atomic structures. The nanowires are identified as being mixtures of nanocrystallites and amorphous phase. The nanocrystallites have the same thermal expansion coefficient, of 1.7 x 10 -5 K -1 , as Ni bulk; however, the amorphous phase has a much larger thermal expansion coefficient of 3.5 x 10 -5 K -1 . Details of the Ni nanowire structures are discussed in this paper

  13. Structure of an E. coli integral membrane sulfurtransferase and its structural transition upon SCN− binding defined by EPR-based hybrid method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Shenglong; Wang, Wei; Yu, Lu; Peng, Junhui; Cai, Xiaoying; Xiong, Ying; Hayati, Zahra; Zhang, Longhua; Zhang, Zhiyong; Song, Likai; Tian, Changlin

    2016-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)-based hybrid experimental and computational approaches were applied to determine the structure of a full-length E. coli integral membrane sulfurtransferase, dimeric YgaP, and its structural and dynamic changes upon ligand binding. The solution NMR structures of the YgaP transmembrane domain (TMD) and cytosolic catalytic rhodanese domain were reported recently, but the tertiary fold of full-length YgaP was not yet available. Here, systematic site-specific EPR analysis defined a helix-loop-helix secondary structure of the YagP-TMD monomers using mobility, accessibility and membrane immersion measurements. The tertiary folds of dimeric YgaP-TMD and full-length YgaP in detergent micelles were determined through inter- and intra-monomer distance mapping and rigid-body computation. Further EPR analysis demonstrated the tight packing of the two YgaP second transmembrane helices upon binding of the catalytic product SCN−, which provides insight into the thiocyanate exportation mechanism of YgaP in the E. coli membrane. PMID:26817826

  14. 1 or 0? Cantorian Conundrums in the Contemporary Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriraman, Bharath; Knott, Libby

    2006-01-01

    In set theory, one comes across the notion of "vacuous truth." A statement is vacuously true if it is true but does not quite say anything. The structure of a vacuously true statement is typically of the form: everything with property A also has property B, with the caveat being that there is nothing in property A. For instance one could say: all…

  15. Reconstitution of a Kv channel into lipid membranes for structural and functional studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sungsoo; Zheng, Hui; Shi, Liang; Jiang, Qiu-Xing

    2013-07-13

    To study the lipid-protein interaction in a reductionistic fashion, it is necessary to incorporate the membrane proteins into membranes of well-defined lipid composition. We are studying the lipid-dependent gating effects in a prototype voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel, and have worked out detailed procedures to reconstitute the channels into different membrane systems. Our reconstitution procedures take consideration of both detergent-induced fusion of vesicles and the fusion of protein/detergent micelles with the lipid/detergent mixed micelles as well as the importance of reaching an equilibrium distribution of lipids among the protein/detergent/lipid and the detergent/lipid mixed micelles. Our data suggested that the insertion of the channels in the lipid vesicles is relatively random in orientations, and the reconstitution efficiency is so high that no detectable protein aggregates were seen in fractionation experiments. We have utilized the reconstituted channels to determine the conformational states of the channels in different lipids, record electrical activities of a small number of channels incorporated in planar lipid bilayers, screen for conformation-specific ligands from a phage-displayed peptide library, and support the growth of 2D crystals of the channels in membranes. The reconstitution procedures described here may be adapted for studying other membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, especially for the investigation of the lipid effects on the eukaryotic voltage-gated ion channels.

  16. Mechanistic Insight into Bunyavirus-Induced Membrane Fusion from Structure-Function Analyses of the Hantavirus Envelope Glycoprotein Gc.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Guardado-Calvo

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Hantaviruses are zoonotic viruses transmitted to humans by persistently infected rodents, giving rise to serious outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS or of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS, depending on the virus, which are associated with high case fatality rates. There is only limited knowledge about the organization of the viral particles and in particular, about the hantavirus membrane fusion glycoprotein Gc, the function of which is essential for virus entry. We describe here the X-ray structures of Gc from Hantaan virus, the type species hantavirus and responsible for HFRS, both in its neutral pH, monomeric pre-fusion conformation, and in its acidic pH, trimeric post-fusion form. The structures confirm the prediction that Gc is a class II fusion protein, containing the characteristic β-sheet rich domains termed I, II and III as initially identified in the fusion proteins of arboviruses such as alpha- and flaviviruses. The structures also show a number of features of Gc that are distinct from arbovirus class II proteins. In particular, hantavirus Gc inserts residues from three different loops into the target membrane to drive fusion, as confirmed functionally by structure-guided mutagenesis on the HPS-inducing Andes virus, instead of having a single "fusion loop". We further show that the membrane interacting region of Gc becomes structured only at acidic pH via a set of polar and electrostatic interactions. Furthermore, the structure reveals that hantavirus Gc has an additional N-terminal "tail" that is crucial in stabilizing the post-fusion trimer, accompanying the swapping of domain III in the quaternary arrangement of the trimer as compared to the standard class II fusion proteins. The mechanistic understandings derived from these data are likely to provide a unique handle for devising treatments against these human pathogens.

  17. X-ray structure, thermodynamics, elastic properties and MD simulations of cardiolipin/dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine mixed membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boscia, Alexander L.; Treece, Bradley W.; Mohammadyani, Dariush

    2014-01-01

    TMCL. Coarse grain molecular dynamics simulations confirm the experimental thickening of 2 Å for 20 mol% TMCL and locate the TMCL headgroups near the glycerol-carbonyl region of DMPC; i.e., they are sequestered below the DMPC phosphocholine headgroup. Our results suggest that TMCL plays a role similar...... to cholesterol in that it thickens and stiffens DMPC membranes, orders chains, and is positioned under the umbrella of the PC headgroup. CL may be necessary for hydrophobic matching to inner mitochondrial membrane proteins. Differential scanning calorimetry, S Xray and CGMD simulations all suggest that TMCL does......Cardiolipins (CLs) are important biologically for their unique role in biomembranes that couple phosphorylation and electron transport like bacterial plasma membranes, chromatophores, chloroplasts and mitochondria. CLs are often tightly coupled to proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation...

  18. Bacillus subtilis MreB orthologs self-organize into filamentous structures underneath the cell membrane in a heterologous cell system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Dempwolff

    Full Text Available Actin-like bacterial cytoskeletal element MreB has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of rod cell shape in many bacteria. MreB forms rapidly remodelling helical filaments underneath the cell membrane in Bacillus subtilis and in other bacterial cells, and co-localizes with its two paralogs, Mbl and MreBH. We show that MreB localizes as dynamic bundles of filaments underneath the cell membrane in Drosophila S2 Schneider cells, which become highly stable when the ATPase motif in MreB is modified. In agreement with ATP-dependent filament formation, the depletion of ATP in the cells lead to rapid dissociation of MreB filaments. Extended induction of MreB resulted in the formation of membrane protrusions, showing that like actin, MreB can exert force against the cell membrane. Mbl also formed membrane associated filaments, while MreBH formed filaments within the cytosol. When co-expressed, MreB, Mbl and MreBH built up mixed filaments underneath the cell membrane. Membrane protein RodZ localized to endosomes in S2 cells, but localized to the cell membrane when co-expressed with Mbl, showing that bacterial MreB/Mbl structures can recruit a protein to the cell membrane. Thus, MreB paralogs form a self-organizing and dynamic filamentous scaffold underneath the membrane that is able to recruit other proteins to the cell surface.

  19. Bacillus subtilis MreB orthologs self-organize into filamentous structures underneath the cell membrane in a heterologous cell system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempwolff, Felix; Reimold, Christian; Reth, Michael; Graumann, Peter L

    2011-01-01

    Actin-like bacterial cytoskeletal element MreB has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of rod cell shape in many bacteria. MreB forms rapidly remodelling helical filaments underneath the cell membrane in Bacillus subtilis and in other bacterial cells, and co-localizes with its two paralogs, Mbl and MreBH. We show that MreB localizes as dynamic bundles of filaments underneath the cell membrane in Drosophila S2 Schneider cells, which become highly stable when the ATPase motif in MreB is modified. In agreement with ATP-dependent filament formation, the depletion of ATP in the cells lead to rapid dissociation of MreB filaments. Extended induction of MreB resulted in the formation of membrane protrusions, showing that like actin, MreB can exert force against the cell membrane. Mbl also formed membrane associated filaments, while MreBH formed filaments within the cytosol. When co-expressed, MreB, Mbl and MreBH built up mixed filaments underneath the cell membrane. Membrane protein RodZ localized to endosomes in S2 cells, but localized to the cell membrane when co-expressed with Mbl, showing that bacterial MreB/Mbl structures can recruit a protein to the cell membrane. Thus, MreB paralogs form a self-organizing and dynamic filamentous scaffold underneath the membrane that is able to recruit other proteins to the cell surface.

  20. A membranous structure separating the adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis: an anatomical study and its clinical application for craniopharyngioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yun-Tao; Qi, Song-Tao; Xu, Jia-Ming; Pan, Jun; Shi, Jin

    2015-06-01

    OBJECT This study aimed to identify the membranous septation between the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The clinical impact of this septation in the surgical removal of infradiaphragmatic craniopharyngioma (Id-CP) is also clarified. METHODS The sellar regions from 8 fetal and 6 adult cadavers were dissected. After staining first with H & E and then with picro-Sirius red, the membranous structures were observed and measured under normal light and polarization microscopy. The pre- and postsurgical images and intraoperative procedures in 28 cases of childhood Id-CP were reviewed and analyzed. RESULTS There is a significant membranous septation (termed the adenoneurohypophysis septation [ANHS]) lying behind the intermediate lobe to separate the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The average thicknesses are 21.9 ± 16.9 μm and 79.1 ± 43.2 μm in fetal and adult heads, respectively. The median segment of the septation is significantly thicker than the upper and lower segments. The ANHS extends from the suprasellar pars tuberalis to the sellar floor, where it is fused with the pituitary capsule. During Id-CP surgery performed via a transcranial approach, the ANHS can be identified to reserve the neurohypophysis. Moreover, by understanding the anatomy of this membrane, the pituitary stalk was preserved in 3 patients (10.7%). CONCLUSIONS There is a significant membrane separating the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland, which lies behind the intermediate lobe. Understanding the anatomy of this septation is important for identifying and preserving the neurohypophysis and pituitary stalk during Id-CP surgery.

  1. Nanocrystalline TiO{sub 2} photocatalytic membranes with a hierarchical mesoporous multilayer structure: synthesis, characterization, and multifunction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, H.; Dionysiou, D.D. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071 (United States); Sofranko, A.C. [Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4741 (United States)

    2006-05-19

    A novel sol-gel dip-coating process to fabricate nanocrystalline TiO{sub 2} photocatalytic membranes with a robust hierarchical mesoporous multilayer and improved performance has been studied. Various titania sols containing poly(oxyethylenesorbitan monooleate) (Tween 80) surfactant as a pore-directing agent to tailor-design the porous structure of TiO{sub 2} materials at different molar ratios of Tween 80/isopropyl alcohol/acetic acid/titanium tetraisopropoxide = R:45:6:1 have been synthesized. The sols are dip-coated on top of a homemade porous alumina substrate to fabricate TiO{sub 2}/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} composite membranes, dried, and calcined, and this procedure is repeated with varying sols in succession. The resulting asymmetric mesoporous TiO{sub 2} membrane with a thickness of 0.9 {mu}m exhibits a hierarchical change in pore diameter from 2-6, through 3-8, to 5-11 nm from the top to the bottom layer. Moreover, the corresponding porosity is incremented from 46.2, through 56.7, to 69.3 %. Compared to a repeated-coating process using a single sol, the hierarchical multilayer process improves water permeability significantly without sacrificing the organic retention and photocatalytic activity of the TiO{sub 2} membranes. The prepared TiO{sub 2} photocatalytic membrane has great potential in developing highly efficient water treatment and reuse systems, for example, decomposition of organic pollutants, inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms, physical separation of contaminants, and self-antifouling action because of its multifunctional capability. (Abstract Copyright [2006], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  2. Population genetic structure and natural selection of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 in Myanmar isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jung-Mi; Lee, Jinyoung; Moe, Mya; Jun, Hojong; Lê, Hương Giang; Kim, Tae Im; Thái, Thị Lam; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Myint, Moe Kyaw; Lin, Khin; Shin, Ho-Joon; Kim, Tong-Soo; Na, Byoung-Kuk

    2018-02-07

    Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen-1 (PfAMA-1) is one of leading blood stage malaria vaccine candidates. However, genetic variation and antigenic diversity identified in global PfAMA-1 are major hurdles in the development of an effective vaccine based on this antigen. In this study, genetic structure and the effect of natural selection of PfAMA-1 among Myanmar P. falciparum isolates were analysed. Blood samples were collected from 58 Myanmar patients with falciparum malaria. Full-length PfAMA-1 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and cloned into a TA cloning vector. PfAMA-1 sequence of each isolate was sequenced. Polymorphic characteristics and effect of natural selection were analysed with using DNASTAR, MEGA4, and DnaSP programs. Polymorphic nature and natural selection in 459 global PfAMA-1 were also analysed. Thirty-seven different haplotypes of PfAMA-1 were identified in 58 Myanmar P. falciparum isolates. Most amino acid changes identified in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were found in domains I and III. Overall patterns of amino acid changes in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were similar to those in global PfAMA-1. However, frequencies of amino acid changes differed by country. Novel amino acid changes in Myanmar PfAMA-1 were also identified. Evidences for natural selection and recombination event were observed in global PfAMA-1. Among 51 commonly identified amino acid changes in global PfAMA-1 sequences, 43 were found in predicted RBC-binding sites, B-cell epitopes, or IUR regions. Myanmar PfAMA-1 showed similar patterns of nucleotide diversity and amino acid polymorphisms compared to those of global PfAMA-1. Balancing natural selection and intragenic recombination across PfAMA-1 are likely to play major roles in generating genetic diversity in global PfAMA-1. Most common amino acid changes in global PfAMA-1 were located in predicted B-cell epitopes where high levels of nucleotide diversity and balancing natural selection were found. These results highlight the

  3. Structure-function insights into direct lipid transfer between membranes by Mmm1-Mdm12 of ERMES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawano, Shin; Tamura, Yasushi; Kojima, Rieko; Bala, Siqin; Asai, Eri; Michel, Agnès H; Kornmann, Benoît; Riezman, Isabelle; Riezman, Howard; Sakae, Yoshitake; Okamoto, Yuko; Endo, Toshiya

    2018-03-05

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial encounter structure (ERMES) physically links the membranes of the ER and mitochondria in yeast. Although the ER and mitochondria cooperate to synthesize glycerophospholipids, whether ERMES directly facilitates the lipid exchange between the two organelles remains controversial. Here, we compared the x-ray structures of an ERMES subunit Mdm12 from Kluyveromyces lactis with that of Mdm12 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and found that both Mdm12 proteins possess a hydrophobic pocket for phospholipid binding. However in vitro lipid transfer assays showed that Mdm12 alone or an Mmm1 (another ERMES subunit) fusion protein exhibited only a weak lipid transfer activity between liposomes. In contrast, Mdm12 in a complex with Mmm1 mediated efficient lipid transfer between liposomes. Mutations in Mmm1 or Mdm12 impaired the lipid transfer activities of the Mdm12-Mmm1 complex and furthermore caused defective phosphatidylserine transport from the ER to mitochondrial membranes via ERMES in vitro. Therefore, the Mmm1-Mdm12 complex functions as a minimal unit that mediates lipid transfer between membranes. © 2018 Kawano et al.

  4. The Role of Electron Microscopy in Studying the Continuum of Changes in Membranous Structures during Poliovirus Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossignol, Evan D.; Yang, Jie E.; Bullitt, Esther

    2015-01-01

    Replication of the poliovirus genome is localized to cytoplasmic replication factories that are fashioned out of a mixture of viral proteins, scavenged cellular components, and new components that are synthesized within the cell due to viral manipulation/up-regulation of protein and phospholipid synthesis. These membranous replication factories are quite complex, and include markers from multiple cytoplasmic cellular organelles. This review focuses on the role of electron microscopy in advancing our understanding of poliovirus RNA replication factories. Structural data from the literature provide the basis for interpreting a wide range of biochemical studies that have been published on virus-induced lipid biosynthesis. In combination, structural and biochemical experiments elucidate the dramatic membrane remodeling that is a hallmark of poliovirus infection. Temporal and spatial membrane modifications throughout the infection cycle are discussed. Early electron microscopy studies of morphological changes following viral infection are re-considered in light of more recent data on viral manipulation of lipid and protein biosynthesis. These data suggest the existence of distinct subcellular vesicle populations, each of which serves specialized roles in poliovirus replication processes. PMID:26473912

  5. The structure of Serratia marcescens Lip, a membrane-bound component of the type VI secretion system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rao, Vincenzo A.; Shepherd, Sharon M.; English, Grant; Coulthurst, Sarah J.; Hunter, William N., E-mail: w.n.hunter@dundee.ac.uk [College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2011-12-01

    The high-resolution crystal structure of S. marcescens Lip reveals a new member of the transthyretin family of proteins. Lip, a core component of the type VI secretion apparatus, is localized to the outer membrane and is positioned to interact with other proteins forming this complex system. Lip is a membrane-bound lipoprotein and a core component of the type VI secretion system found in Gram-negative bacteria. The structure of a Lip construct (residues 29–176) from Serratia marcescens (SmLip) has been determined at 1.92 Å resolution. Experimental phases were derived using a single-wavelength anomalous dispersion approach on a sample cocrystallized with iodide. The membrane localization of the native protein was confirmed. The structure is that of the globular domain lacking only the lipoprotein signal peptide and the lipidated N-terminus of the mature protein. The protein fold is dominated by an eight-stranded β-sandwich and identifies SmLip as a new member of the transthyretin family of proteins. Transthyretin and the only other member of the family fold, 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase, form homotetramers important for their function. The asymmetric unit of SmLip is a tetramer with 222 symmetry, but the assembly is distinct from that previously noted for the transthyretin protein family. However, structural comparisons and bacterial two-hybrid data suggest that the SmLip tetramer is not relevant to its role as a core component of the type VI secretion system, but rather reflects a propensity for SmLip to participate in protein–protein interactions. A relatively low level of sequence conservation amongst Lip homologues is noted and is restricted to parts of the structure that might be involved in interactions with physiological partners.

  6. The structure of Serratia marcescens Lip, a membrane-bound component of the type VI secretion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rao, Vincenzo A.; Shepherd, Sharon M.; English, Grant; Coulthurst, Sarah J.; Hunter, William N.

    2011-01-01

    The high-resolution crystal structure of S. marcescens Lip reveals a new member of the transthyretin family of proteins. Lip, a core component of the type VI secretion apparatus, is localized to the outer membrane and is positioned to interact with other proteins forming this complex system. Lip is a membrane-bound lipoprotein and a core component of the type VI secretion system found in Gram-negative bacteria. The structure of a Lip construct (residues 29–176) from Serratia marcescens (SmLip) has been determined at 1.92 Å resolution. Experimental phases were derived using a single-wavelength anomalous dispersion approach on a sample cocrystallized with iodide. The membrane localization of the native protein was confirmed. The structure is that of the globular domain lacking only the lipoprotein signal peptide and the lipidated N-terminus of the mature protein. The protein fold is dominated by an eight-stranded β-sandwich and identifies SmLip as a new member of the transthyretin family of proteins. Transthyretin and the only other member of the family fold, 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase, form homotetramers important for their function. The asymmetric unit of SmLip is a tetramer with 222 symmetry, but the assembly is distinct from that previously noted for the transthyretin protein family. However, structural comparisons and bacterial two-hybrid data suggest that the SmLip tetramer is not relevant to its role as a core component of the type VI secretion system, but rather reflects a propensity for SmLip to participate in protein–protein interactions. A relatively low level of sequence conservation amongst Lip homologues is noted and is restricted to parts of the structure that might be involved in interactions with physiological partners

  7. Membrane orientation and lateral diffusion of BODIPY-cholesterol as a function of probe structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solanko, Lukasz Michal; Wüstner, Daniel; Lund, Frederik Wendelboe

    2013-01-01

    -24 of cholesterol (B-P-Chol). Using two-photon fluorescence polarimetry in giant unilamellar vesicles and in the plasma membrane (PM) of living intact and actin-disrupted cells, we show that the BODIPY-groups in B-Chol and B-P-Chol are oriented perpendicular and almost parallel to the bilayer normal...

  8. Effect of cholesterol on structural and mechanical properties of membranes depends on lipid chain saturation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Jianjun; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Nagle, John F.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of cholesterol on membrane bending modulus K C , membrane thickness D HH , the partial and apparent areas of cholesterol and lipid, and the order parameter S xray are shown to depend upon the number of saturated hydrocarbon chains in the lipid molecules. Particularly striking is the result that up to 40% cholesterol does not increase the bending modulus K C of membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine lipids with two cis monounsaturated chains, although it does have the expected stiffening effect on membranes composed of lipids with two saturated chains. The B fluctuational modulus in the smectic liquid crystal theory is obtained and used to discuss the interactions between bilayers. Our K C results motivate a theory of elastic moduli in the high cholesterol limit and they challenge the relevance of universality concepts. Although most of our results were obtained at 30 deg. C, additional data at other temperatures to allow consideration of a reduced temperature variable do not support universality for the effect of cholesterol on all lipid bilayers. If the concept of universality is to be valid, different numbers of saturated chains must be considered to create different universality classes. The above experimental results were obtained from analysis of x-ray scattering in the low angle and wide angle regions.

  9. Research on the combination of water and membranes as a structural building material.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pronk, A.D.C.; Maffei, R.; Martin, H.J.; Lazaro, C.; Domingo, A.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to investigate the combination of water and membranes for temporary architectural applications. Water as a construction material, can be useful for three different purposes: first of all, thanks to its thermal mass, it can be used as a medium for cooling down or heating up

  10. Membrane plasmalogen composition and cellular cholesterol regulation: a structure activity study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Myat Khine K

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Disrupted cholesterol regulation leading to increased circulating and membrane cholesterol levels is implicated in many age-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD, Alzheimer's disease (AD, and cancer. In vitro and ex vivo cellular plasmalogen deficiency models have been shown to exhibit impaired intra- and extra-cellular processing of cholesterol. Furthermore, depleted brain plasmalogens have been implicated in AD and serum plasmalogen deficiencies have been linked to AD, CVD, and cancer. Results Using plasmalogen deficient (NRel-4 and plasmalogen sufficient (HEK293 cells we investigated the effect of species-dependent plasmalogen restoration/augmentation on membrane cholesterol processing. The results of these studies indicate that the esterification of cholesterol is dependent upon the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA-containing ethanolamine plasmalogen (PlsEtn present in the membrane. We further elucidate that the concentration-dependent increase in esterified cholesterol observed with PUFA-PlsEtn was due to a concentration-dependent increase in sterol-O-acyltransferase-1 (SOAT1 levels, an observation not reproduced by 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA reductase inhibition. Conclusion The present study describes a novel mechanism of cholesterol regulation that is consistent with clinical and epidemiological studies of cholesterol, aging and disease. Specifically, the present study describes how selective membrane PUFA-PlsEtn enhancement can be achieved using 1-alkyl-2-PUFA glycerols and through this action reduce levels of total and free cholesterol in cells.

  11. pH control structure design for a periodically operated membrane separation process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prado Rubio, Oscar Andres; Jørgensen, Sten Bay; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    2012-01-01

    A bioreactor integrated with an electrically driven membrane separation process (Reverse Electro-Enhanced Dialysis – REED) is under investigation as potential technology for intensifying lactic acid bioproduction. In this contribution the pH regulation issue in the periodically operated REED module...

  12. The Structure of a Sugar Transporter of the Glucose EIIC Superfamily Provides Insight into the Elevator Mechanism of Membrane Transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Jason G; Ren, Zhenning; Stanevich, Vitali; Lee, Jumin; Mitra, Sharmistha; Levin, Elena J; Poget, Sebastien; Quick, Matthias; Im, Wonpil; Zhou, Ming

    2016-06-07

    The phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase systems are found in bacteria, where they play central roles in sugar uptake and regulation of cellular uptake processes. Little is known about how the membrane-embedded components (EIICs) selectively mediate the passage of carbohydrates across the membrane. Here we report the functional characterization and 2.55-Å resolution structure of a maltose transporter, bcMalT, belonging to the glucose superfamily of EIIC transporters. bcMalT crystallized in an outward-facing occluded conformation, in contrast to the structure of another glucose superfamily EIIC, bcChbC, which crystallized in an inward-facing occluded conformation. The structures differ in the position of a structurally conserved substrate-binding domain that is suggested to play a central role in sugar transport. In addition, molecular dynamics simulations suggest a potential pathway for substrate entry from the periplasm into the bcMalT substrate-binding site. These results provide a mechanistic framework for understanding substrate recognition and translocation for the glucose superfamily EIIC transporters. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Neutral-helium-atom diffraction from a micron-scale periodic structure: Photonic-crystal-membrane characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Torstein; Eder, Sabrina D.; Kaltenbacher, Thomas; Grepstad, Jon Olav; Simonsen, Ingve; Holst, Bodil

    2017-06-01

    Surface scattering of neutral helium beams created by supersonic expansion is an established technique for measuring structural and dynamical properties of surfaces on the atomic scale. Helium beams have also been used in Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction experiments. Due to the short wavelength of the atom beams of typically 0.1 nm or less, Fraunhofer diffraction experiments in transmission have so far been limited to grating structures with a period (pitch) of up to 200 nm. However, larger periods are of interest for several applications, for example, for the characterization of photonic-crystal-membrane structures, where the period is typically in the micron to high submicron range. Here we present helium atom diffraction measurements of a photonic-crystal-membrane structure with a two-dimensional square lattice of 100 ×100 circular holes. The nominal period and the hole radius were 490 and 100 nm, respectively. To our knowledge this is the largest period that has been measured with helium diffraction. The helium diffraction measurements are interpreted using a model based on the helium beam characteristics. It is demonstrated how to successfully extract values from the experimental data for the average period of the grating, the hole diameter, and the width of the virtual source used to model the helium beam.

  14. Structure of a membrane-attack complex/perforin (MACPF) family protein from the human gut symbiont Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Qingping; Abdubek, Polat; Astakhova, Tamara; Axelrod, Herbert L.; Bakolitsa, Constantina; Cai, Xiaohui; Carlton, Dennis; Chen, Connie; Chiu, Hsiu-Ju; Clayton, Thomas; Das, Debanu; Deller, Marc C.; Duan, Lian; Ellrott, Kyle; Farr, Carol L.; Feuerhelm, Julie; Grant, Joanna C.; Grzechnik, Anna; Han, Gye Won; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Jin, Kevin K.; Klock, Heath E.; Knuth, Mark W.; Kozbial, Piotr; Krishna, S. Sri; Kumar, Abhinav; Lam, Winnie W.; Marciano, David; Miller, Mitchell D.; Morse, Andrew T.; Nigoghossian, Edward; Nopakun, Amanda; Okach, Linda; Puckett, Christina; Reyes, Ron; Tien, Henry J.; Trame, Christine B.; Bedem, Henry van den; Weekes, Dana; Wooten, Tiffany; Yeh, Andrew; Zhou, Jiadong; Hodgson, Keith O.; Wooley, John; Elsliger, Marc-André; Deacon, Ashley M.; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    The crystal structure of a novel MACPF protein, which may play a role in the adaptation of commensal bacteria to host environments in the human gut, was determined and analyzed. Membrane-attack complex/perforin (MACPF) proteins are transmembrane pore-forming proteins that are important in both human immunity and the virulence of pathogens. Bacterial MACPFs are found in diverse bacterial species, including most human gut-associated Bacteroides species. The crystal structure of a bacterial MACPF-domain-containing protein BT-3439 (Bth-MACPF) from B. thetaiotaomicron, a predominant member of the mammalian intestinal microbiota, has been determined. Bth-MACPF contains a membrane-attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domain and two novel C-terminal domains that resemble ribonuclease H and interleukin 8, respectively. The entire protein adopts a flat crescent shape, characteristic of other MACPF proteins, that may be important for oligomerization. This Bth-MACPF structure provides new features and insights not observed in two previous MACPF structures. Genomic context analysis infers that Bth-MACPF may be involved in a novel protein-transport or nutrient-uptake system, suggesting an important role for these MACPF proteins, which were likely to have been inherited from eukaryotes via horizontal gene transfer, in the adaptation of commensal bacteria to the host environment

  15. Stem cell therapy clinical research: A regulatory conundrum for academia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagpal, Anjali; Juttner, Chris; Hamilton-Bruce, Monica Anne; Rolan, Paul; Koblar, Simon A

    2017-12-01

    The encouraging pace of discovery and development in the field of regenerative medicine holds tremendous potential for bringing therapies to the clinic that may offer meaningful benefit to patients, particularly in diseases with no or suboptimal therapeutic options. Academic researchers will continue to play a critical role in developing concepts and therapies, thus determining whether regenerative medicine will be able to live up to this potential that clearly excites clinicians, researchers and patients alike. This review summarises recent developments in regulatory frameworks across different countries that aim to ensure adequate oversight of the development of regenerative medicine products, which are unique in structural and functional complexity when compared to traditional chemical drugs and fully characterised biological drugs. It discusses the implications of these developments for researchers aiming to make the challenging transition from laboratory to clinical development of these therapies and considers possible pragmatic solutions that could accelerate this process that is essential to maintain research credibility and ensure patient safety. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Incipient cognition solves the spatial reciprocity conundrum of cooperation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeromos Vukov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: From the simplest living organisms to human societies, cooperation among individuals emerges as a paradox difficult to explain and describe mathematically, although very often observed in reality. Evolutionary game theory offers an excellent toolbar to investigate this issue. Spatial structure has been one of the first mechanisms promoting cooperation; however, alone it only opens a narrow window of viability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we equip individuals with incipient cognitive abilities, and investigate the evolution of cooperation in a spatial world where retaliation, forgiveness, treason and mutualism may coexist, as individuals engage in Prisoner's Dilemma games. In the model, individuals are able to distinguish their partners and act towards them based on previous interactions. We show how the simplest level of cognition, alone, can lead to the emergence of cooperation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Despite the incipient nature of the individuals' cognitive abilities, cooperation emerges for unprecedented values of the temptation to cheat, being also robust to invasion by cheaters, errors in decision making and inaccuracy of imitation, features akin to many species, including humans.

  17. The schizoaffective disorder diagnosis: a conundrum in the clinical setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jo Ellen; Nian, Hui; Heckers, Stephan

    2014-02-01

    The term schizoaffective was introduced to describe the co-occurrence of both psychotic and affective symptoms. Overtime, as the diagnosis schizoaffective disorder was added to diagnostic manuals, significant concerns were raised as to the reliability and clinical utility of the diagnosis. We recruited 134 psychiatrically hospitalized subjects who had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder with psychotic features by their treating clinician. The subjects were also diagnosed by trained research personnel with the Structured Clinical Interview of the DSM-IV-TR, employing an explicit time threshold for criterion C of the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. We found significant differences between the clinical and research diagnoses. Clinicians diagnosed 48 patients (36%) with schizophrenia, 50 patients (37%) with schizoaffective disorder and 36 patients (27%) with psychotic bipolar disorder. In contrast, researchers diagnosed 64 patients (48%) with schizophrenia, 38 patients (28%) with schizoaffective disorder and 32 patients (24%) with psychotic bipolar disorder. This was a statistically significant disagreement between the research and clinical diagnoses (p = 0.003) and indicates that clinicians choose the less severe diagnosis for psychotic patients. We conclude that a more stringent criterion C for the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis will address an implicit bias in clinical practice and will affect the prevalence of the psychotic disorder diagnoses.

  18. The Porphobilinogen Conundrum in Prebiotic Routes to Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Masahiko; Ptaszek, Marcin; Chandrashaker, Vanampally; Lindsey, Jonathan S.

    2017-03-01

    Attempts to develop a credible prebiotic route to tetrapyrroles have relied on enzyme-free recapitulation of the extant biosynthesis, but this process has foundered from the inability to form the pyrrole porphobilinogen ( PBG) in good yield by self-condensation of the precursor δ-aminolevulinic acid ( ALA). PBG undergoes robust oligomerization in aqueous solution to give uroporphyrinogen (4 isomers) in good yield. ALA, PBG, and uroporphyrinogen III are universal precursors to all known tetrapyrrole macrocycles. The enzymic formation of PBG entails carbon-carbon bond formation between the less stable enolate/enamine of one ALA molecule (3-position) and the carbonyl/imine (4-position) of the second ALA molecule; without enzymes, the first ALA reacts at the more stable enolate/enamine (5-position) and gives the pyrrole pseudo-PBG. pseudo-PBG cannot self-condense, yet has one open α-pyrrole position and is proposed to be a terminator of oligopyrromethane chain-growth from PBG. Here, 23 analogues of ALA have been subjected to density functional theoretical (DFT) calculations, but no motif has been identified that directs reaction at the 3-position. Deuteriation experiments suggested 5-(phosphonooxy)levulinic acid would react preferentially at the 3- versus 5-position, but a hybrid condensation with ALA gave no observable uroporphyrin. The results suggest efforts toward a biomimetic, enzyme-free route to tetrapyrroles from ALA should turn away from structure-directed reactions and focus on catalysts that orient the two aminoketones to form PBG in a kinetically controlled process, thereby avoiding formation of pseudo-PBG.

  19. 'Nice girls don't': women and the condom conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Catherine

    2012-02-01

    This study aims to highlight the tensions between the 'risks' of condom negotiation to feminine identity and safer sex health education messages of individual choice and responsibility. Effective education incorporates nurses' recognition that deterrents to women practising safer sex may increase subsequent to a diagnosis of a viral sexually transmitted infection. Health educational messages and clinicians' teaching emphasise rational decision-making with regard to condom use with a focus on the acquisition of technical information and ready access to condoms. These messages do not take into account the social complexities for women in negotiating condom use with men that deter condom use. A qualitative, feminist post-structuralist research design was used. In-depth email interviews were conducted with 12 clinicians with expertise in the sexual health field and 26 women with a diagnosis of either herpes simplex virus or human papilloma virus. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the semi-structured and interactive interviews. Few women in the study had received any direct safer sex education from clinicians and wanted them to initiate this discussion. Most women found the topic of safer sex became more difficult once diagnosed with a viral sexually transmitted infection. Women's dilemmas were whether to disclose the diagnosis as part of insisting on condom use, whether condom use mitigated the obligation to disclose or whether any talk or condom use was avoided as too 'risky' to feminine identity. Paradoxically, it may be harder for women to negotiate safer sex and ask for condoms to be used, once diagnosed with a viral sexually transmitted infection. Women want clinicians to give advice about the dissonance between 'rational' safer sex messages and social expectations of appropriate femininity. Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses have a key role in engaging with women in considering safer sex practices. Nurses need to be able to demonstrate to

  20. Controlled in meso phase crystallization--a method for the structural investigation of membrane proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Kubicek

    Full Text Available We investigated in meso crystallization of membrane proteins to develop a fast screening technology which combines features of the well established classical vapor diffusion experiment with the batch meso phase crystallization, but without premixing of protein and monoolein. It inherits the advantages of both methods, namely (i the stabilization of membrane proteins in the meso phase, (ii the control of hydration level and additive concentration by vapor diffusion. The new technology (iii significantly simplifies in meso crystallization experiments and allows the use of standard liquid handling robots suitable for 96 well formats. CIMP crystallization furthermore allows (iv direct monitoring of phase transformation and crystallization events. Bacteriorhodopsin (BR crystals of high quality and diffraction up to 1.3 Å resolution have been obtained in this approach. CIMP and the developed consumables and protocols have been successfully applied to obtain crystals of sensory rhodopsin II (SRII from Halobacterium salinarum for the first time.

  1. A Safety Conundrum Illustrated: Logic, Mathematics, and Science Are Not Enough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, C. M.; Johnson, C. W.; Collins, Kristine R.

    2010-01-01

    In an ideal world, conversations about whether a particular system is safe, or whether a particular method or tool enhances safety, would be emotion-free discussions concentrating on the level of safety required, available evidence, and coherent logical, mathematical, or scientific arguments based on that evidence. In the real world, discussions about safety are often not emotion-free. Political and economic arguments may play a bigger role than logical, mathematical, and scientific arguments, and psychological factors may be as important, or even more important, than purely technical factors. This paper illustrates the conundrum that can result from this clash of the ideal and the real by means of an imagined conversation among a collection of fictional characters representing various types of people who may be participating in a safety discussion.

  2. Detection of structural defects in lecithin membranes by the small-angle neutron scattering method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bezzabotnov, V.Yu.; Gordelij, V.I.; Ostanevich, Yu.M.; Yaguzhinskij, L.S.

    1989-01-01

    Irregularities interpreted as interdomain defects have been detected in model lipid membranes of dipalmitoil lecithin in liquid L α -phase by the method of small-angle scattering (lateral diffraction). The dimensions and concentrations of the defects were about those supposed within the dynamic cluster model of bilayer (Ivkov, 1984). No irregularities were detected in the solid Lβ ' -phase (the diffusion scattering intensity was at least ten times less)

  3. Differential dynamic and structural behavior of lipid-cholesterol domains in model membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis F Aguilar

    Full Text Available Changes in the cholesterol (Chol content of biological membranes are known to alter the physicochemical properties of the lipid lamella and consequently the function of membrane-associated enzymes. To characterize these changes, we used steady-state and time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and two photon-excitation microscopy techniques. The membrane systems were chosen according to the techniques that were used: large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs for cuvette and giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs for microscopy measurements; they were prepared from dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC and dioctadecyl phosphatidylcholine (DOPC in mixtures that are well known to form lipid domains. Two fluorescent probes, which insert into different regions of the bilayer, were selected: 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH was located at the deep hydrophobic core of the acyl chain regions and 2-dimethylamino-6-lauroylnaphthalene (Laurdan at the hydrophilic-hydrophobic membrane interface. Our spectroscopy results show that (i the changes induced by cholesterol in the deep hydrophobic phospholipid acyl chain domain are different from the ones observed in the superficial region of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface, and these changes depend on the state of the lamella and (ii the incorporation of cholesterol into the lamella induces an increase in the orientation dynamics in the deep region of the phospholipid acyl chains with a corresponding decrease in the orientation at the region close to the polar lipid headgroups. The microscopy data from DOPC/DPPC/Chol GUVs using Laurdan generalized polarization (Laurdan GP suggest that a high cholesterol content in the bilayer weakens the stability of the water hydrogen bond network and hence the stability of the liquid-ordered phase (Lo.

  4. Radiation-induced structural changes in membrane proteins of human erythrocytes and ghosts and the relation to cellular morphology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuurhuis, G.J.; Hommes, J.; Vos, J.; Molenaar, I.; Konings, A.W.T. (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands))

    1984-02-01

    Isolated human erythrocytes and ghosts were irradiated with X-rays under different experimental conditions and the effect examined with regard to the structure of membrane proteins and morphology of whole cells and ghosts. From sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis it is concluded that spectrin (band 1 and 2) is the most radiosensitive of the membrane proteins examined. X-irradiation of cells and ghosts induced covalent cross-linking of a small fraction of membrane proteins. In the protein aggregates thus formed spectrin was found to be the major component. Molecular disulphide (-SS-) bridges seemed to account for part of the cross-links observed. Some nondisulphide cross-links were found, especially when ghosts were irradiated. Significant amounts of spectrin aggregates were formed during post-irradiation incubation at 37/sup 0/C but not at 4/sup 0/C. In the intact cell a transformation in shape from discocyte to echinocyte accompanied the process of post-irradiation spectrin aggregation. The characteristics of both processes, such as their reversibility with adenosine, point to a metabolic involvement. It is shown that there is no causal relationship between the two phenomena observed. Possible causes of the post-irradiation effects and the parallelism with similar processes in non-irradiated metabolically depleted cells are discussed.

  5. Radiation-induced structural changes in membrane proteins of human erythrocytes and ghosts and the relation to cellular morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuurhuis, G.J.; Hommes, J.; Vos, J.; Molenaar, I.; Konings, A.W.T.

    1984-01-01

    Isolated human erythrocytes and ghosts were irradiated with X-rays under different experimental conditions and the effect examined with regard to the structure of membrane proteins and morphology of whole cells and ghosts. From sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis it is concluded that spectrin (band 1 and 2) is the most radiosensitive of the membrane proteins examined. X-irradiation of cells and ghosts induced covalent cross-linking of a small fraction of membrane proteins. In the protein aggregates thus formed spectrin was found to be the major component. Molecular disulphide (-SS-) bridges seemed to account for part of the cross-links observed. Some nondisulphide cross-links were found, especially when ghosts were irradiated. Significant amounts of spectrin aggregates were formed during post-irradiation incubation at 37 0 C but not at 4 0 C. In the intact cell a transformation in shape from discocyte to echinocyte accompanied the process of post-irradiation spectrin aggregation. The characteristics of both processes, such as their reversibility with adenosine, point to a metabolic involvement. It is shown that there is no causal relationship between the two phenomena observed. Possible causes of the post-irradiation effects and the parallelism with similar processes in non-irradiated metabolically depleted cells are discussed. (author)

  6. On the structure and dynamics of water associated with single-supported zwitterionic and anionic membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiec, A.; Buck, Z. N.; Hansen, Flemming Yssing

    2017-01-01

    We have used high-resolution quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) to investigate the dynamics of water molecules (time scale of motion similar to ∼10-11- 10-9 s) in proximity to single-supported bilayers of the zwitterionic lipid DMPC (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine) and the ani......We have used high-resolution quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) to investigate the dynamics of water molecules (time scale of motion similar to ∼10-11- 10-9 s) in proximity to single-supported bilayers of the zwitterionic lipid DMPC (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine......) and the anionic lipid DMPG (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol) in the temperature range 160-295 K. For both membranes, the temperature dependence of the intensity of neutrons scattered elastically and incoherently from these samples indicates a series of freezing/melting transitions...... the membrane and two types of confined water in closer proximity to the lipids. Specifically, we propose a water type termed "confined 2" located within and just above the lipid head groups of the membrane and confined 1 water that lies between the bulk-like and confined 2 water. Confined 1 water is only...

  7. Effect of atomic layer deposition coatings on the surface structure of anodic aluminum oxide membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Guang; Elam, Jeffrey W; Feng, Hao; Han, Catherine Y; Wang, Hsien-Hau; Iton, Lennox E; Curtiss, Larry A; Pellin, Michael J; Kung, Mayfair; Kung, Harold; Stair, Peter C

    2005-07-28

    Anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes were characterized by UV Raman and FT-IR spectroscopies before and after coating the entire surface (including the interior pore walls) of the AAO membranes by atomic layer deposition (ALD). UV Raman reveals the presence of aluminum oxalate in bulk AAO, both before and after ALD coating with Al2O3, because of acid anion incorporation during the anodization process used to produce AAO membranes. The aluminum oxalate in AAO exhibits remarkable thermal stability, not totally decomposing in air until exposed to a temperature >900 degrees C. ALD was used to cover the surface of AAO with either Al2O3 or TiO2. Uncoated AAO have FT-IR spectra with two separate types of OH stretches that can be assigned to isolated OH groups and hydrogen-bonded surface OH groups, respectively. In contrast, AAO surfaces coated by ALD with Al2O3 display a single, broad band of hydrogen-bonded OH groups. AAO substrates coated with TiO2 show a more complicated behavior. UV Raman results show that very thin TiO2 coatings (1 nm) are not stable upon annealing to 500 degrees C. In contrast, thicker coatings can totally cover the contaminated alumina surface and are stable at temperatures in excess of 500 degrees C.

  8. Prolonged Intake of Dietary Lipids Alters Membrane Structure and T Cell Responses in LDLr-/- Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Abigail H; Tedla, Nicodemus; Hancock, Sarah E; Cornely, Rhea; Mitchell, Todd W; Yang, Zhengmin; Kockx, Maaike; Parton, Robert G; Rossy, Jérémie; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-05-15

    Although it is recognized that lipids and membrane organization in T cells affect signaling and T cell activation, to what extent dietary lipids alter T cell responsiveness in the absence of obesity and inflammation is not known. In this study, we fed low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice a Western high-fat diet for 1 or 9 wk and examined T cell responses in vivo along with T cell lipid composition, membrane order, and activation ex vivo. Our data showed that high levels of circulating lipids for a prolonged period elevated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation and resulted in an increased proportion of CD4(+) central-memory T cells within the draining lymph nodes following induction of contact hypersensitivity. In addition, the 9-wk Western high-fat diet elevated the total phospholipid content and monounsaturated fatty acid level, but decreased saturated phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin within the T cells. The altered lipid composition in the circulation, and of T cells, was also reflected by enhanced membrane order at the activation site of ex vivo activated T cells that corresponded to increased IL-2 mRNA levels. In conclusion, dietary lipids can modulate T cell lipid composition and responses in lipoprotein receptor knockout mice even in the absence of excess weight gain and a proinflammatory environment. Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  9. Formaldehyde gas sensor based on TiO2 thin membrane integrated with nano silicon structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xuan; Ming, An-jie; Ye, Li; Chen, Feng-hua; Sun, Xi-long; Liu, Wei-bing; Li, Chao-bo; Ou, Wen; Wang, Wei-bing; Chen, Da-peng

    2016-07-01

    An innovative formaldehyde gas sensor based on thin membrane type metal oxide of TiO2 layer was designed and fabricated. This sensor under ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diode (LED) illumination exhibits a higher response to formaldehyde than that without UV illumination at low temperature. The sensitivities of the sensor under steady working condition were calculated for different gas concentrations. The sensitivity to formaldehyde of 7.14 mg/m3 is about 15.91 under UV illumination with response time of 580 s and recovery time of 500 s. The device was fabricated through micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) processing technology. First, plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) was adopted to form black polysilicon, then a nanoscale TiO2 membrane with thickness of 53 nm was deposited by DC reactive magnetron sputtering to obtain the sensing layer. By such fabrication approaches, the nanoscale polysilicon presents continuous rough surface with thickness of 50 nm, which could improve the porosity of the sensing membrane. The fabrication process can be mass-produced for the MEMS process compatibility.

  10. Human lactoferricin derived di-peptides deploying loop structures induce apoptosis specifically in cancer cells through targeting membranous phosphatidylserine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedl, Sabrina; Leber, Regina; Rinner, Beate; Schaider, Helmut; Lohner, Karl; Zweytick, Dagmar

    2015-11-01

    Host defense-derived peptides have emerged as a novel strategy for the development of alternative anticancer therapies. In this study we report on characteristic features of human lactoferricin (hLFcin) derivatives which facilitate specific killing of cancer cells of melanoma, glioblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma compared with non-specific derivatives and the synthetic peptide RW-AH. Changes in amino acid sequence of hLFcin providing 9-11 amino acids stretched derivatives LF11-316, -318 and -322 only yielded low antitumor activity. However, the addition of the repeat (di-peptide) and the retro-repeat (di-retro-peptide) sequences highly improved cancer cell toxicity up to 100% at 20 μM peptide concentration. Compared to the complete parent sequence hLFcin the derivatives showed toxicity on the melanoma cell line A375 increased by 10-fold and on the glioblastoma cell line U-87mg by 2-3-fold. Reduced killing velocity, apoptotic blebbing, activation of caspase 3/7 and formation of apoptotic DNA fragments proved that the active and cancer selective peptides, e.g. R-DIM-P-LF11-322, trigger apoptosis, whereas highly active, though non-selective peptides, such as DIM-LF11-318 and RW-AH seem to kill rapidly via necrosis inducing membrane lyses. Structural studies revealed specific toxicity on cancer cells by peptide derivatives with loop structures, whereas non-specific peptides comprised α-helical structures without loop. Model studies with the cancer membrane mimic phosphatidylserine (PS) gave strong evidence that PS only exposed by cancer cells is an important target for specific hLFcin derivatives. Other negatively charged membrane exposed molecules as sialic acid, heparan and chondroitin sulfate were shown to have minor impact on peptide activity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. The structure and function of the urokinase receptor, a membrane protein governing plasminogen activation on the cell surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Behrendt, N; Rønne, E; Danø, K

    1995-01-01

    PA receptor, uPAR, is a cell-surface protein which plays an important role in the localization and regulation of these processes. In the present article a number of established conclusions concerning the structure and function of uPAR are presented, and in addition various models are discussed which might...... explain additional observations for which the mechanisms involved have not yet been clarified experimentally. uPAR is a highly glycosylated, 3-domain protein, anchored in the plasma membrane by a glycolipid moiety. The domain organization is important for efficient ligand-binding, and the NH2-terminal...

  12. Liquid and Gas Permeation Studies on the Structure and Properties of Polyamide Thin-Film Composite Membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Duan, Jintang

    2014-11-01

    This research was undertaken to improve the understanding of structure-property-performance relationships in crosslinked polyamide (PA) thin-film composite (TFC) membranes as characterized by liquid and gas permeation studies. The ultrathin PA selective layer formed by interfacial polymerization between meta-phenylene diamine and trimesoyl chloride was confirmed to contain dense polymer matrix regions and defective regions in both dry and hydrated states. The first part of this research studied the effect of non-selective convection through defective regions on water flux and solute flux in pressure-assisted forward osmosis (PAFO). Through systematic comparison with cellulose triacetate (CTA) and PEBAX-coated PA-TFC membranes, the existence of defects in pristine, hydrated PA-TFC membranes was verified, and their effects were quantified by experimental and modeling methods. In the membrane orientation of selective layer facing the draw solution, water flux increases of up to 10-fold were observed to result from application of low hydraulic pressure (1.25 bar). Convective water flux through the defects was low (< 1% of total water flux for PA-TFC membranes) and of little consequence in practical FO or reverse osmosis (RO) applications. However, it effectively mitigated the concentration polarization in PAFO and therefore greatly increased the diffusive flux through the dense regions. The second part of this research characterized the structures of the PA material and the PA selective layer by gas adsorption and gas permeation measurements. Gas adsorption isotherms (N2 at 77K, CO2 at 273K) confirmed the microporous nature of PA in comparison with dense CTA and polysulfone materials. Gas permeation through the commercial PA-TFC membranes tested occurred primarily in the defective regions, resulting in Knudsen gas selectivity for various gas pairs. Applying a Nafion coating layer effectively plugged the defects and allowed gas permeation through the dense PA regions

  13. Application of PolyHIPE Membrane with Tricaprylmethylammonium Chloride for Cr(VI) Ion Separation: Parameters and Mechanism of Transport Relating to the Pore Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jyh-Herng; Le, Thi Tuyet Mai; Hsu, Kai-Chung

    2018-03-02

    The structural characteristics of membrane support directly affect the performance of carrier facilitated transport membrane. A highly porous PolyHIPE impregnated with Aliquat 336 is proposed for Cr(VI) separation. PolyHIPE consisting of poly(styrene- co -2-ethylhexyl acrylate) copolymer crosslinked with divinylbenzene has the pore structure characteristic of large pore spaces interconnected with small window throats. The unique pore structure provides the membrane with high flux and stability. The experimental results indicate that the effective diffusion coefficient D* of Cr(VI) through Aliquat 336/PolyHIPE membrane is as high as 1.75 × 10 -11 m² s -1 . Transport study shows that the diffusion of Cr(VI) through Aliquat 336/PolyHIPE membrane can be attributed to the jumping transport mechanism. The hydraulic stability experiment shows that the membrane is quite stable, with recovery rates remaining at 95%, even after 10 consecutive cycles of operation. The separation study demonstrates the potential application of this new type of membrane for Cr(VI) recovery.

  14. Pulse radiolysis studies of model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heijman, M.G.J.

    1984-01-01

    In this thesis the influence of the structure of membranes on the processes in cell membranes were examined. Different models of the membranes were evaluated. Pulse radiolysis was used as the technique to examine the membranes. (R.B.)

  15. Calcium binding promotes prion protein fragment 90-231 conformational change toward a membrane destabilizing and cytotoxic structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sacha Sorrentino

    Full Text Available The pathological form of prion protein (PrP(Sc, as other amyloidogenic proteins, causes a marked increase of membrane permeability. PrP(Sc extracted from infected Syrian hamster brains induces a considerable change in membrane ionic conductance, although the contribution of this interaction to the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration process is still controversial. We previously showed that the human PrP fragment 90-231 (hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁ increases ionic conductance across artificial lipid bilayer, in a calcium-dependent manner, producing an alteration similar to that observed for PrP(Sc. In the present study we demonstrate that hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁, pre-incubated with 10 mM Ca⁺⁺ and then re-suspended in physiological external solution increases not only membrane conductance but neurotoxicity as well. Furthermore we show the existence of a direct link between these two effects as demonstrated by a highly statistically significant correlation in several experimental conditions. A similar correlation between increased membrane conductance and cell degeneration has been observed assaying hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁ bearing pathogenic mutations (D202N and E200K. We also report that Ca⁺⁺ binding to hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁ induces a conformational change based on an alteration of secondary structure characterized by loss of alpha-helix content causing hydrophobic amino acid exposure and proteinase K resistance. These features, either acquired after controlled thermal denaturation or induced by D202N and E200K mutations were previously identified as responsible for hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁ cytotoxicity. Finally, by in silico structural analysis, we propose that Ca⁺⁺ binding to hPrP₉₀₋₂₃₁ modifies amino acid orientation, in the same way induced by E200K mutation, thus suggesting a pathway for the structural alterations responsible of PrP neurotoxicity.

  16. Dietary prebiotics, milk fat globule membrane and lactoferrin affects structural neurodevelopment in the young piglet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austin T Mudd

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM and lactoferrin have been identified as two components that have potential to affect neurodevelopment. While concentrations of some MFGM constituents in infant formulas are within human milk range, they may not be present at optimal or clinically effective levels. However, lactoferrin levels of infant formulas are consistently reported to be lower than human milk. This study sought to provide a novel combination of prebiotics, bovine-derived milk fat globule membrane and lactoferrin and assess their influence on neurodevelopment. Methods: Twenty-four male piglets were provided either TEST (n=12 or CONT (n=12 diet from 2 to 31 d of age. Piglets underwent spatial T-maze assessment starting at 17 d of age, were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging at 30 d of age, and were euthanized for tissue collection at 31 d of age. Results: Diffusion tensor imaging revealed differences in radial (P = 0.032 and mean (P = 0.028 diffusivities in the internal capsule, where CONT piglets had higher rates of diffusion compared with TEST piglets. Voxel-based morphometry indicated larger (P < 0.05 differences in cortical grey and white matter concentrations, with CONT piglets having larger tissue clusters in these regions compared with TEST piglets. In the spatial T-maze assessment, CONT piglets exhibited shorter latency to choice compared with TEST piglets on d 2 of acquisition and d 3 and 4 of reversal. Conclusion: Observed differences in microstructure maturation of the internal capsule and cortical tissue concentrations suggest that piglets provided TEST diet were more advanced developmentally than piglets provided CONT diet. Therefore, supplementation of infant formula with prebiotics, milk fat globule membrane and lactoferrin may support neurodevelopment in human infants.

  17. Biomimetic membranes and methods of making biomimetic membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rempe, Susan; Brinker, Jeffrey C.; Rogers, David Michael; Jiang, Ying-Bing; Yang, Shaorong

    2016-11-08

    The present disclosure is directed to biomimetic membranes and methods of manufacturing such membranes that include structural features that mimic the structures of cellular membrane channels and produce membrane designs capable of high selectivity and high permeability or adsorptivity. The membrane structure, material and chemistry can be selected to perform liquid separations, gas separation and capture, ion transport and adsorption for a variety of applications.

  18. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans made by different basement-membrane-producing tumors have immunological and structural similarities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wewer, U M; Albrechtsen, R; Hassell, J R

    1985-01-01

    in the native basement membrane of surrounding normal murine tissues. Blocking and ELISA assays demonstrated that the antibodies recognized both antigens. Using techniques involving the chemical and enzymatic degradation of 35S-sulfate-labeled glycosaminoglycans, the mouse EHS tumor cells were found to produce...... proteoglycans obtained from these two sources immunoprecipitated the same precursor protein with a molecular mass of 400,000 daltons from 35S-methionine pulse-labeled cells of both tumors. Immunohistochemistry showed the heparan sulfate proteoglycan to be distributed in the extracellular matrix and also...

  19. Characterization of HCoV-229E fusion core: Implications for structure basis of coronavirus membrane fusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Cheng; Feng Youjun; Gao Feng; Zhang Qiangmin; Wang Ming

    2006-01-01

    Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), a member of group I coronaviruses, has been identified as one of the major viral agents causing respiratory tract diseases in humans for nearly 40 years. However, the detailed molecular mechanism of the membrane fusion mediated by the spike (S) protein of HCoV-229E remains elusive. Here, we report, for the first time, a rationally designed fusion core of HCoV-229E (HR1-SGGRGG-HR2), which was in vitro produced in GST prokaryotic expression system. Multiple lines of experimental data including gel-filtration, chemical cross-linking, and circular diagram (CD) demonstrated that the HCoV-229E fusion core possesses the typical properties of the trimer of coiled-coil heterodimer (six α-helix bundle). 3D structure modeling presents its most-likely structure, similar to those of coronaviruses that have been well-documented. Collectively, HCoV-229E S protein belongs to the type I fusion protein, which is characterized by the existence of two heptad-repeat regions (HR1 and HR2), furthermore, the available knowledge concerning HCoV-229E fusion core may make it possible to design small molecule or polypeptide drugs targeting the membrane fusion, a crucial step of HCoV-229E infection

  20. Electronic structure of Pt-Co cathode catalysts in membrane electrolyte assembly observed by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy with different probing depth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobayashi, M.; Hidai, S.; Niwa, H.; Harada, Y.; Oshima, M.; Ofuchi, H.; Nakamori, Y.; Aoki, T.

    2010-01-01

    Electronic structures of Pt-Co cathode and Pt-Ru anode catalysts in membrane electrolyte assemblies (MEAs) for polymer electrolyte fuel cell have been investigated using X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and the changes of electronic structures accompanied with degradation have been observed by comparison between spectra obtained by fluorescence-yield (FY) and conversion-electron-yield (CEY) methods, probing depths of which are several hundreds μm and ∼100 nm, respectively. The Co K XANES spectra of the as-fabricated MEA show that the Co atoms in the cathode are metallic and oxidized Co ions exist at the interface between the cathode and electrolyte. The spectra of the long-time operated MEA suggest that the oxidation of Co makes progress with degradation of the cathode catalysts. In contrast to the Co K XANES spectra, the line shape of the Ru K XANES spectra is unchanged even after the long-time operation.

  1. Effects of Cationic Pendant Groups on Ionic Conductivity for Anion Exchange Membranes: Structure Conductivity Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sojeong; Choi, Soo-Hyung; Lee, Won Bo

    Anion exchange membranes(AEMs) have been widely studied due to their various applications, especially for Fuel cells. Previous proton exchange membranes(PEMs), such as Nafions® have better conductivity than AEMs so far. However, technical limitations such as slow electrode kinetics, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning of metal catalysts, high methanol crossover and high cost of Pt-based catalyst detered further usages. AEMs have advantages to supplement its drawbacks. AEMs are environmentally f