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Sample records for membrane structure conundrum

  1. Vibrational and intruder structures in 116Cd: a conundrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M., K; N, W; PE, G; J, J; SW, Y

    2003-10-15

    Decay properties of multiphonon quadropole vibrational states and intruder structures in {sup 116}Cd have been examined with the (n,n'{gamma}) reaction. Gamma-ray excitation functions, angular distributions and {gamma}-{gamma} coincidences have been measured. Lifetimes of many levels were determined with the Doppler-shift attenuation method, exposing the degree of collectivity of the intruder structure and the three-phonon states. In combination with other recent results, this new information reveals that the intruder picture is well supported in the Cd nuclei. However, a conundrum not present in the lighter cadmium nuclei emerges in {sup 116}Cd; strong configuration mixing between intruder and multiphonon vibrational excitations cannot describe the observed decays of the lowest 0{sup +} excited states.

  2. 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.

  3. Alternative Pathway Dysregulation and the Conundrum of Complement Activation by IgG4 Immune Complexes in Membranous Nephropathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borza, Dorin-Bogdan

    2016-01-01

    Membranous nephropathy (MN), a major cause of nephrotic syndrome, is a non-inflammatory immune kidney disease mediated by IgG antibodies that form glomerular subepithelial immune complexes. In primary MN, autoantibodies target proteins expressed on the podocyte surface, often phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R1). Pathology is driven by complement activation, leading to podocyte injury and proteinuria. This article overviews the mechanisms of complement activation and regulation in MN, addressing the paradox that anti-PLA2R1 and other antibodies causing primary MN are predominantly (but not exclusively) IgG4, an IgG subclass that does not fix complement. Besides immune complexes, alterations of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) in MN may lead to impaired regulation of the alternative pathway (AP). The AP amplifies complement activation on surfaces insufficiently protected by complement regulatory proteins. Whereas podocytes are protected by cell-bound regulators, the GBM must recruit plasma factor H, which inhibits the AP on host surfaces carrying certain polyanions, such as heparan sulfate (HS) chains. Because HS chains present in the normal GBM are lost in MN, we posit that the local complement regulation by factor H may be impaired as a result. Thus, the loss of GBM HS in MN creates a micro-environment that promotes local amplification of complement activation, which in turn may be initiated via the classical or lectin pathways by subsets of IgG in immune complexes. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms of complement activation and dysregulation in MN is important for designing more effective therapies. PMID:27199983

  4. Self-Deployable Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolowski, Witold M.; Willis, Paul B.; Tan, Seng C.

    2010-01-01

    Currently existing approaches for deployment of large, ultra-lightweight gossamer structures in space rely typically upon electromechanical mechanisms and mechanically expandable or inflatable booms for deployment and to maintain them in a fully deployed, operational configuration. These support structures, with the associated deployment mechanisms, launch restraints, inflation systems, and controls, can comprise more than 90 percent of the total mass budget. In addition, they significantly increase the stowage volume, cost, and complexity. A CHEM (cold hibernated elastic memory) membrane structure without any deployable mechanism and support booms/structure is deployed by using shape memory and elastic recovery. The use of CHEM micro-foams reinforced with carbon nanotubes is considered for thin-membrane structure applications. In this advanced structural concept, the CHEM membrane structure is warmed up to allow packaging and stowing prior to launch, and then cooled to induce hibernation of the internal restoring forces. In space, the membrane remembers its original shape and size when warmed up. After the internal restoring forces deploy the structure, it is then cooled to achieve rigidization. For this type of structure, the solar radiation could be utilized as the heat energy used for deployment and space ambient temperature for rigidization. The overall simplicity of the CHEM self-deployable membrane is one of its greatest assets. In present approaches to space-deployable structures, the stow age and deployment are difficult and challenging, and introduce a significant risk, heavy mass, and high cost. Simple procedures provided by CHEM membrane greatly simplify the overall end-to-end process for designing, fabricating, deploying, and rigidizing large structures. The CHEM membrane avoids the complexities associated with other methods for deploying and rigidizing structures by eliminating deployable booms, deployment mechanisms, and inflation and control systems

  5. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention provides a membrane structure, comprising in said order a first electronically conducting layer, an ionically conducting layer, and a second electronically conducting layer, characterized in that the first and second electronically conducting layers are internally short circ...

  6. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention provides a membrane structure, comprising in said order a first electronically conducting layer, an ionically conducting layer, and a second electronically conducting layer, characterized in that the first and second electronically conducting layers are internally short...... 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...

  7. Structure Prediction of Membrane Proteins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunlong Zhou; Yao Zheng; Yan Zhou

    2004-01-01

    There is a large gap between the number of membrane protein (MP) sequences and that of their decoded 3D structures, especially high-resolution structures, due to difficulties in crystal preparation of MPs. However, detailed knowledge of the 3D structure is required for the fundamental understanding of the function of an MP and the interactions between the protein and its inhibitors or activators. In this paper, some computational approaches that have been used to predict MP structures are discussed and compared.

  8. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.

    2013-09-30

    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  9. Molecular Structure of Membrane Tethers

    OpenAIRE

    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 unknown due to their small diameters and dynamic nature. We used molecular dynamics simulations to obtain molecular-level insight into tether formation. Tethers were pulled from single-component lipid b...

  10. Visualizing structural dynamics of thylakoid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwai, Masakazu; Yokono, Makio; Nakano, Akihiko

    2014-01-01

    To optimize photosynthesis, light-harvesting antenna proteins regulate light energy dissipation and redistribution in chloroplast thylakoid membranes, which involve dynamic protein reorganization of photosystems I and II. However, direct evidence for such protein reorganization has not been visualized in live cells. Here we demonstrate structural dynamics of thylakoid membranes by live cell imaging in combination with deconvolution. We observed chlorophyll fluorescence in the antibiotics-induced macrochloroplast in the moss Physcomitrella patens. The three-dimensional reconstruction uncovered the fine thylakoid membrane structure in live cells. The time-lapse imaging shows that the entire thylakoid membrane network is structurally stable, but the individual thylakoid membrane structure is flexible in vivo. Our observation indicates that grana serve as a framework to maintain structural integrity of the entire thylakoid membrane network. Both the structural stability and flexibility of thylakoid membranes would be essential for dynamic protein reorganization under fluctuating light environments. PMID:24442007

  11. Membrane protein structure determination in membrana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M

    2013-09-17

    The two principal components of biological membranes, the lipid bilayer and the proteins integrated within it, have coevolved for specific functions that mediate the interactions of cells with their environment. Molecular structures can provide very significant insights about protein function. In the case of membrane proteins, the physical and chemical properties of lipids and proteins are highly interdependent; therefore structure determination should include the membrane environment. Considering the membrane alongside the protein eliminates the possibility that crystal contacts or detergent molecules could distort protein structure, dynamics, and function and enables ligand binding studies to be performed in a natural setting. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is compatible with three-dimensional structure determination of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayer membranes under physiological conditions and has played an important role in elucidating the physical and chemical properties of biological membranes, providing key information about the structure and dynamics of the phospholipid components. Recently, developments in the recombinant expression of membrane proteins, sample preparation, pulse sequences for high-resolution spectroscopy, radio frequency probes, high-field magnets, and computational methods have enabled a number of membrane protein structures to be determined in lipid bilayer membranes. In this Account, we illustrate solid-state NMR methods with examples from two bacterial outer membrane proteins (OmpX and Ail) that form integral membrane β-barrels. The ability to measure orientation-dependent frequencies in the solid-state NMR spectra of membrane-embedded proteins provides the foundation for a powerful approach to structure determination based primarily on orientation restraints. Orientation restraints are particularly useful for NMR structural studies of membrane proteins because they provide information about both three-dimensional structure

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling branching pore structures in membrane filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaei, Pejman; Cummings, Linda J.

    2016-11-01

    Membrane filters are in widespread industrial use, and mathematical models to predict their efficacy are potentially very useful, as such models can suggest design modifications to improve filter performance and lifetime. Many models have been proposed to describe particle capture by membrane filters and the associated fluid dynamics, but most such models are based on a very simple structure in which the pores of the membrane are assumed to be simple circularly-cylindrical tubes spanning the depth of the membrane. Real membranes used in applications usually have much more complex geometry, with interconnected pores which may branch and bifurcate. Pores are also typically larger on the upstream side of the membrane than on the downstream side. We present an idealized mathematical model, in which a membrane consists of a series of bifurcating pores, which decrease in size as the membrane is traversed. Feed solution is forced through the membrane by applied pressure, and particles are removed from the feed either by sieving, or by particle adsorption within pores (which shrinks them). Thus the membrane's permeability decreases as the filtration progresses, ultimately falling to zero. We discuss how filtration efficiency depends on the characteristics of the branching structure. Partial support from NSF DMS 1261596 is gratefully acknowledged.

  14. 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.

  15. Thermostabilisation of membrane proteins for structural studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnani, Francesca; Serrano-Vega, Maria J.; Shibata, Yoko; Abdul-Hussein, Saba; Lebon, Guillaume; Miller-Gallacher, Jennifer; Singhal, Ankita; Strege, Annette; Thomas, Jennifer A.; Tate, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    The thermostability of an integral membrane protein in detergent solution is a key parameter that dictates the likelihood of obtaining well-diffracting crystals suitable for structure determination. However, many mammalian membrane proteins are too unstable for crystallisation. We developed a thermostabilisation strategy based on systematic mutagenesis coupled to a radioligand-binding thermostability assay that can be applied to receptors, ion channels and transporters. It takes approximately 6-12 months to thermostabilise a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) containing 300 amino acid residues. The resulting thermostabilised membrane proteins are more easily crystallised and result in high-quality structures. This methodology has facilitated structure-based drug design applied to GPCRs, because it is possible to determine multiple structures of the thermostabilised receptors bound to low affinity ligands. Protocols and advice are given on how to develop thermostability assays for membrane proteins and how to combine mutations to make an optimally stable mutant suitable for structural studies. PMID:27466713

  16. A chromospheric conundrum?

    CERN Document Server

    Judge, Philip; Schmidt, Wolgang; Steiner, Oskar

    2010-01-01

    We examine spectra of the Ca II H line, obtained under good seeing conditions with the VTT Echelle Spectrograph in June of 2007, and higher resolution data of the Ca II 8542 Angstrom line from Fabry-Perot instruments. The VTT targets were areas near disk center which included quiet Sun and some dispersed plage. The infrared data included quiet Sun and plage associated with small pores. Bright chromospheric network emission patches expand little with wavelength from line wing to line center, i.e. with increasing line opacity and height. We argue that this simple observation has implications for the force and energy balance of the chromosphere, since bright chromospheric network emission is traditionally associated with enhanced local mechanical heating which increases temperatures and pressures. Simple physical considerations then suggest that the network chromosphere may not be able to reach horizontal force balance with its surroundings, yet the network is a long-lived structure. We speculate on possible rea...

  17. Structures of photosynthetic membrane complexes

    OpenAIRE

    Semchonok, Dmitry Alexandrovich

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis is essential to all life on Earth. It is the biological process that captures energy of sunlight and converts it into chemical compounds usable by any living organism. The processes occurring within photosynthesis can be divided into the light-dependent reactions and the light-independent reactions. In my PhD thesis several integral membrane protein complexes were investigated that catalyze the light dependent reactions. Primarily the photosystem I and II that are taking part i...

  18. Optimizing internal structure of membrane filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Linda; Sanaei, Pejman

    2016-11-01

    Membrane filters are in widespread use, and manufacturers have considerable interest in improving their performance, in terms of particle retention properties, and total throughput over the filter lifetime. In this regard, it has long been known that membrane properties should not be uniform over the membrane depth; rather, membrane permeability should decrease in the direction of flow. While much research effort has been focused on investigating favorable membrane permeability gradients, this work has been largely empirical in nature. We present a simple, first-principles model for flow through and fouling of a membrane filter, accounting for permeability gradients via variable pore size. Our model accounts for two fouling modes: sieving; and particle adsorption within pores. For filtration driven by a fixed pressure drop, flux through the membrane eventually goes to zero, as fouling occurs and pores close. We address issues of filter performance as the internal pore structure is varied, by comparing the total throughput obtained with equal-resistance membranes. Within certain classes of pore profiles we are able to find the optimum pore profile that maximizes total throughput over the filter lifetime, while maintaining acceptable particle removal from the feed. Partial support from NSF DMS 1261596 is gratefully acknowledged.

  19. 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.

  20. Single molecule studies of molecular diffusion in cellular membranes: determining membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchie, Ken; Spector, Jeff

    Since the advent of single particle/molecule microscopies, researchers have applied these techniques to understanding the fluid membranes of cells. By observing diffusion of membrane proteins and lipids in live cell membranes of eukaryotic cells, it has been found that membranes contain a mosaic of fluid compartments. Such structure may be instrumental in understanding key characteristics of the membrane. Recent single molecule observations on prokaryotic cell membranes will also be discussed.

  1. Sphingolipid symmetry governs membrane lipid raft structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Peter J

    2014-07-01

    Lipid domain formation in membranes underlies the concept of rafts but their structure is controversial because the key role of cholesterol has been challenged. The configuration of glycosphingolipid receptors for agonists, bacterial toxins and enveloped viruses in plasma membrane rafts appears to be an important factor governing ligand binding and infectivity but the details are as yet unresolved. I have used X-ray diffraction methods to examine how cholesterol affects the distribution of glycosphingolipid in aqueous dispersions of an equimolar mixture of cholesterol and egg-sphingomyelin containing different proportions of glucosylceramide from human extracts. Three coexisting liquid-ordered bilayer structures are observed at 37°C in mixtures containing up to 20mol% glycosphingolipid. All the cholesterol was sequestered in one bilayer with the minimum amount of sphingomyelin (33mol%) to prevent formation of cholesterol crystals. The other two bilayers consisted of sphingomyelin and glucosylceramide. Asymmetric molecular species of glucosylceramide with N-acyl chains longer than 20 carbons form an equimolar complex with sphingomyelin in which the glycosidic residues are arranged in hexagonal array. Symmetric molecular species mix with sphingomyelin in proportions less than equimolar to form quasicrystalline bilayers. When the glycosphingolipid exceeds equimolar proportions with sphingomyelin cholesterol is incorporated into the structure and formation of a gel phase of glucosylceramide is prevented. The demonstration of particular structural features of ceramide molecular species combined with the diversity of sugar residues of glycosphingolipid classes paves the way for a rational approach to understanding the functional specificity of lipid rafts and how they are coupled across cell membranes.

  2. [Function of surface membrane structures in Thiobacillus thiooxidans].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovarova, T A; Karavaĭko, G I

    1975-01-01

    The function of the surface membrane structures was studied with cytochemical techniques on ultrathin sections of Thiobacillus thiooxidans. The transport of elementary sulphur inside the cell involves the surface membrane structures, while oxidation of the sulphur to sulphuric acid takes place on the outer surface of the cytoplasmic membrane. The surface membrane structures are supposed also to participate in the primary dissolution of elementary sulphur at the site of contact of the cells with the mineral.

  3. Strong thin membrane structure. [solar sails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazer, R. E. (Inventor)

    1979-01-01

    A continuous process is described for producing strong lightweight structures for use as solar sails for spacecraft propulsion by radiation pressure. A thin reflective coating, such as aluminum, is applied to a rotating cylinder. A nylon mesh, applied over the aluminum coating, is then coated with a polymerizing material such as a para-xylylene monomer gas to polymerize as a film bound to the mesh and the aluminum. An emissivity increasing material such as chromium or silicon monoxide is applied to the polymer film to disperse such material colloidally into the growing polymer film, or to the final polymer film. The resulting membrane structure is then removed from the cylinder. Alternately, the membrane structure can be formed by etching a substrate in the form of an organic film such as a polymide, or a metal foil, to remove material from the substrate and reduce its thickness. A thin reflective coating (aluminum) is applied on one side of the substrate, and an emissivity increasing coating is applied on the reverse side of the substrate.

  4. Controlling Structure in Sulfonated Block Copolymer Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Phuc; Stein, Gila; Strzalka, Joe

    2015-03-01

    In many ionic block copolymer systems, the strong incompatibility between ionic and non-ionic segments will trap non-equilibrium structures in the film, making it difficult to engineer the optimal domain sizes and transport pathways. The goal of this work is to establish a framework for controlling the solid-state structure of sulfonated pentablock copolymer membranes. They have ABCBA block sequence, where A is poly(t-butyl styrene), B is poly(hydrogenated isoprene), and C is poly(styrene sulfonate). To process into films, the polymer is dissolved in toluene/n-propanol solvent mixtures, where the solvent proportions and the polymer loading were both varied. Solution-state structure was measured with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). We detected micelles with radii that depend on the solvent composition and polymer loading. Film structure was measured with grazing-incidence SAXS, which shows (i) domain periodicity is constant throughout film thickness; (ii) domain periodicity depends on solvent composition and polymer loading, and approximately matches the micelle radii in solutions. The solid-state packing is consistent with a hard sphere structure factor. Results suggest that solid-state structure can be tuned by manipulating the solution-state self-assembly.

  5. Expression and structural analysis of membrane proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Eifler, Nora

    2006-01-01

    1.1 Membrane Proteins Between one quarter and one third of all genes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms code for integral membrane proteins (IMPs) (Essen, 2002). These proteins are essential parts of biological membranes and confer various functions, such as energy conversion, transport, biosynthesis of lipids, signal transduction, or cell recognition. The enormous economical potential of membrane proteins is highlighted by the family of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPC...

  6. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane structures, the membrane is generally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable elements, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other hand, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cables is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface on the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this purpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cable can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface - based contact algorithm. The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable sliding has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributions in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

  7. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane st ructures, the membrane is gen erally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable eleme nts, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other h and, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cab les is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface o n the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this pu rpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cab le can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface-based contact algorithm . The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable slidin g has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributio ns in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

  8. Identification of Novel Membrane Structures in Plasmodium falciparum Infected Erythrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clavijo Carlos A

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the release of merozoites from malaria infected erythrocytes. In this study membranous structures present in the culture medium at the time of merozoite release have been characterized. Biochemical and ultrastructural evidence indicate that membranous structures consist of the infected erythrocyte membrane, the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane and a residual body containing electron dense material. These are subcellular compartments expected in a structure that arises as a consequence of merozoite release from the infected cell. Ultrastructural studies show that a novel structure extends from the former parasite compartment to the surface membrane. Since these membrane modifications are detected only after merozoites have been released from the infected erythrocyte, it is proposed that they might play a role in the release of merozoites from the host cell

  9. 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 relevan...

  10. Structural Requirements for Membrane Assembly of Proteins Spanning the Membrane Several Times

    OpenAIRE

    Lipp, Joachim; Flint, Nicholas; Haeuptle, Marie-Theres; Dobberstein, Bernhard

    1989-01-01

    We have investigated the structural requirements for the biogenesis of proteins spanning the membrane several times. Proteins containing various combinations of topological signals (signal anchor and stop transfer sequences) were synthesized in a cell-free translation system and their membrane topology was determined. Proteins spanning the membrane twice were obtained when a signal anchor sequence was followed by either a stop transfer sequence or a second signal anchor sequence. Thus, a sig...

  11. Characterization of ion-exchange membrane materials: properties vs structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezina, N P; Kononenko, N A; Dyomina, O A; Gnusin, N P

    2008-06-22

    This review focuses on the preparation, structure and applications of ion-exchange membranes formed from various materials and exhibiting various functions (electrodialytic, perfluorinated sulphocation-exchange and novel laboratory-tested membranes). A number of experimental techniques for measuring electrotransport properties as well as the general procedure for membrane testing are also described. The review emphasizes the relationships between membrane structures, physical and chemical properties and mechanisms of electrochemical processes that occur in charged membrane materials. The water content in membranes is considered to be a key factor in the ion and water transfer and in polarization processes in electromembrane systems. We suggest the theoretical approach, which makes it possible to model and characterize the electrochemical properties of heterogeneous membranes using several transport-structural parameters. These parameters are extracted from the experimental dependences of specific electroconductivity and diffusion permeability on concentration. The review covers the most significant experimental and theoretical research on ion-exchange membranes that have been carried out in the Membrane Materials Laboratory of the Kuban State University. These results have been discussed at the conferences "Membrane Electrochemistry", Krasnodar, Russia for many years and were published mainly in Russian scientific sources.

  12. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    Perfluorosulfonic acid membranes (e.g. Nafion®) are the most widely applied electrolytes in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) because of their good chemical stability, mechanical properties and high proton conductivity, when well hydrated. The upper limit of operating temperature...... [1, 2, 3]. Improved fuel cell performance from incorporation of hygroscopic oxides or solid proton conductors (e.g. zirconium phosphates) has been reported. The poster exhibits upcoming work in the field of composite electrolyte membranes at the University of Southern Denmark, combining radiation...

  13. Electron crystallography for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins are important research targets for basic biological sciences and drug design, but studies of their structure and function are considered difficult to perform. Studies of membrane structures have been greatly facilitated by technological and instrumental advancements in electron microscopy together with methodological advancements in biology. Electron crystallography is especially useful in studying the structure and function of membrane proteins. Electron crystallography is now an established method of analyzing the structures of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, which resembles their natural biological environment. To better understand the neural system function from a structural point of view, we developed the cryo-electron microscope with a helium-cooled specimen stage, which allows for analysis of the structures of membrane proteins at a resolution higher than 3 Å. This review introduces recent instrumental advances in cryo-electron microscopy and presents some examples of structure analyses of membrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin, water channels and gap junction channels. This review has two objectives: first, to provide a personal historical background to describe how we came to develop the cryo-electron microscope and second, to discuss some of the technology required for the structural analysis of membrane proteins based on cryo-electron microscopy.

  14. STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF COMPOSITE POLYURETHANE HOLLOW FIBER MEMBRANES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian-feng Li; Chang-fa Xiao

    2005-01-01

    Composite polyurethane (PU)-SiO2 hollow fiber membranes were successfully prepared via optimizing the technique of dry-jet wet spinning, and their pressure-responsibilities were confirmed by the relationships of pure water fluxtransmembrane pressure (PWF-TP) for the first time. The origin for this phenomenon was analyzed on the basis of membrane structure and material characteristics. The effects of SiO2 content on the structure and properties of membrane were investigated. The experimental results indicated that SiO2 in membrane created a great many interfacial micro-voids and played an important role in pressure-responsibility, PWF and rejection of membrane: with the increase of SiO2 content, the ability of membrane recovery weakened, PWF increased, and rejection decreased slightly.

  15. Cell membrane fluid-mosaic structure and cancer metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L

    2015-04-01

    Cancer cells are surrounded by a fluid-mosaic membrane that provides a highly dynamic structural barrier with the microenvironment, communication filter and transport, receptor and enzyme platform. This structure forms because of the physical properties of its constituents, which can move laterally and selectively within the membrane plane and associate with similar or different constituents, forming specific, functional domains. Over the years, data have accumulated on the amounts, structures, and mobilities of membrane constituents after transformation and during progression and metastasis. More recent information has shown the importance of specialized membrane domains, such as lipid rafts, protein-lipid complexes, receptor complexes, invadopodia, and other cellular structures in the malignant process. In describing the macrostructure and dynamics of plasma membranes, membrane-associated cytoskeletal structures and extracellular matrix are also important, constraining the motion of membrane components and acting as traction points for cell motility. These associations may be altered in malignant cells, and probably also in surrounding normal cells, promoting invasion and metastatic colonization. In addition, components can be released from cells as secretory molecules, enzymes, receptors, large macromolecular complexes, membrane vesicles, and exosomes that can modify the microenvironment, provide specific cross-talk, and facilitate invasion, survival, and growth of malignant cells.

  16. The Structural Basis of Cholesterol Activity in Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsen, Brett N.; Bielska, Agata; Lee, Tiffany; Daily, Michael D.; Covey, Douglas F.; Schlesinger, Paul H.; Baker, Nathan A.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2013-10-15

    Although the majority of free cellular cholesterol is present in the plasma membrane, cholesterol homeostasis is principally regulated through sterol-sensing proteins that reside in the cholesterol-poor endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In response to acute cholesterol loading or depletion, there is rapid equilibration between the ER and plasma membrane cholesterol pools, suggesting a biophysical model in which the availability of plasma membrane cholesterol for trafficking to internal membranes modulates ER membrane behavior. Previous studies have predominantly examined cholesterol availability in terms of binding to extramembrane acceptors, but have provided limited insight into the structural changes underlying cholesterol activation. In this study, we use both molecular dynamics simulations and experimental membrane systems to examine the behavior of cholesterol in membrane bilayers. We find that cholesterol depth within the bilayer provides a reasonable structural metric for cholesterol availability and that this is correlated with cholesterol-acceptor binding. Further, the distribution of cholesterol availability in our simulations is continuous rather than divided into distinct available and unavailable pools. This data provide support for a revised cholesterol activation model in which activation is driven not by saturation of membrane-cholesterol interactions but rather by bulk membrane remodeling that reduces membrane-cholesterol affinity.

  17. Study and prediction of secondary structure for membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amirova, Svetlana R.; Milchevsky, Juri V.; Filatov, Ivan V.; Esipova, Natalia G.; Tumanyan, Vladimir G.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we present a novel approach to membrane protein secondary structure prediction based on the statistical stepwise discriminant analysis method. A new aspect of our approach is the possibility to derive physical -chemical properties that may affect the formation of membrane protein secon

  18. Nidovirus replication structures : hijacking membranes to support viral RNA synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knoops, Kèvin

    2011-01-01

    Positive-stranded RNA viruses replicate in the cytoplasm of host cells and their replication complexes are associated with modified cell membranes. We investigated the structure of the nidovirus-induced membrane modifications and found that nidoviruses transform the endoplasmic reticulum into a reti

  19. Structural basis for lipopolysaccharide insertion in the bacterial outer membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Shuai; Luo, Qingshan; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Xuejun Cai; Huang, Yihua

    2014-07-03

    One of the fundamental properties of biological membranes is the asymmetric distribution of membrane lipids. In Gram-negative bacteria, the outer leaflet of the outer membrane is composed predominantly of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The export of LPS requires seven essential lipopolysaccharide transport (Lpt) proteins to move LPS from the inner membrane, through the periplasm to the surface. Of the seven Lpt proteins, the LptD-LptE complex is responsible for inserting LPS into the external leaflet of the outer membrane. Here we report the crystal structure of the ∼110-kilodalton membrane protein complex LptD-LptE from Shigella flexneri at 2.4 Å resolution. The structure reveals an unprecedented two-protein plug-and-barrel architecture with LptE embedded into a 26-stranded β-barrel formed by LptD. Importantly, the secondary structures of the first two β-strands are distorted by two proline residues, weakening their interactions with neighbouring β-strands and creating a potential portal on the barrel wall that could allow lateral diffusion of LPS into the outer membrane. The crystal structure of the LptD-LptE complex opens the door to new antibiotic strategies targeting the bacterial outer membrane.

  20. Structure and Water Transport in Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Eric; Page, Kirt

    2014-03-01

    Perfluorinated ionomers, specifically Nafion, are the most widely used ion exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow battery applications, where an understanding of the relationship between membrane structure and transport of water/ions is critical to battery performance. In this study, the structure of Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes, synthesized using sol-gel chemistry, as well as cast directly from Nafion/SiO2 nanoparticle dispersions, was measured using both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS). Through contrast match studies of the SiO2 nanoparticles, direct information on the change in the structure of the Nafion membranes and the ion-transport channels within was obtained, where differences in membrane structure was observed between the solution-cast membranes and the membranes synthesized using sol-gel chemistry. Additionally, water sorption and diffusion in these Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes were measured using in situ time-resolved Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy and dynamic vapor sorption (DVS).

  1. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    operating temperatures (>100 °C) are desired as they improve reaction kinetics and reduce the problem of CO poisoning the catalyst, thus allowing reduced noble metal loading in the catalyst layers of the membrane electrode assembly of the fuel cell. Moreover water and heat management can be simplified...... [1, 2, 3]. Improved fuel cell performance from incorporation of hygroscopic oxides or solid proton conductors (e.g. zirconium phosphates) has been reported. The poster exhibits upcoming work in the field of composite electrolyte membranes at the University of Southern Denmark, combining radiation...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Nanodevices based on Membrane-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hye Jun; Kim, Tae Hyun; Namgung, Seon; Hong, Seunghun; Lee, Sang Hun; Park, Tai Hyun

    2010-03-01

    Proteins in cell membrane have been drawing attention due to their versatile functionalities such as ion transfer for neuronal activity and selective binding for sensory systems. However, it is still very difficult to manipulate and study those proteins because they easily lose their functionalities without lipid membranes. We developed a method to coat lipid membranes containing various functional membrane proteins on single-walled carbon nanotube (swCNT)-based field effect transistors (FETs). In this hybrid structure, the activity of membrane proteins can be monitored by underlying swCNT-FETs, allowing us to easily study the functionalities of membrane proteins. Furthermore, we built advanced devices based on these hybrid structures. For an example, we coated lipid membrane containing `olfactory receptors' on swCNT-FETs, resulting in `bioelectric nose' systems. The bioelectric nose system had high sensitivity and human nose-like selectivity to odorant molecules. This talk will also discuss about the future prospect of these membrane-CNT hybrid structures.

  5. 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.

  6. Solid-state NMR structures of integral membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patching, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    Solid-state NMR is unique for its ability to obtain three-dimensional structures and to measure atomic-resolution structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers. An increasing number and complexity of integral membrane protein structures have been determined by solid-state NMR using two main methods. Oriented sample solid-state NMR uses macroscopically aligned lipid bilayers to obtain orientational restraints that define secondary structure and global fold of embedded peptides and proteins and their orientation and topology in lipid bilayers. Magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR uses unoriented rapidly spinning samples to obtain distance and torsion angle restraints that define tertiary structure and helix packing arrangements. Details of all current protein structures are described, highlighting developments in experimental strategy and other technological advancements. Some structures originate from combining solid- and solution-state NMR information and some have used solid-state NMR to refine X-ray crystal structures. Solid-state NMR has also validated the structures of proteins determined in different membrane mimetics by solution-state NMR and X-ray crystallography and is therefore complementary to other structural biology techniques. By continuing efforts in identifying membrane protein targets and developing expression, isotope labelling and sample preparation strategies, probe technology, NMR experiments, calculation and modelling methods and combination with other techniques, it should be feasible to determine the structures of many more membrane proteins of biological and biomedical importance using solid-state NMR. This will provide three-dimensional structures and atomic-resolution structural information for characterising ligand and drug interactions, dynamics and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins under physiological lipid bilayer conditions.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Structure and membrane interactions of the homodimeric antibiotic peptide homotarsinin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verly, Rodrigo M.; Resende, Jarbas M.; Junior, Eduardo F. C.; de Magalhães, Mariana T. Q.; Guimarães, Carlos F. C. R.; Munhoz, Victor H. O.; Bemquerer, Marcelo Porto; Almeida, Fábio C. L.; Santoro, Marcelo M.; Piló-Veloso, Dorila; Bechinger, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from amphibian skin are valuable template structures to find new treatments against bacterial infections. This work describes for the first time the structure and membrane interactions of a homodimeric AMP. Homotarsinin, which was found in Phyllomedusa tarsius anurans, consists of two identical cystine-linked polypeptide chains each of 24 amino acid residues. The high-resolution structures of the monomeric and dimeric peptides were determined in aqueous buffers. The dimer exhibits a tightly packed coiled coil three-dimensional structure, keeping the hydrophobic residues screened from the aqueous environment. An overall cationic surface of the dimer assures enhanced interactions with negatively charged membranes. An extensive set of biophysical data allowed us to establish structure-function correlations with antimicrobial assays against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Although both peptides present considerable antimicrobial activity, the dimer is significantly more effective in both antibacterial and membrane biophysical assays. PMID:28102305

  10. Structure and membrane interactions of the homodimeric antibiotic peptide homotarsinin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verly, Rodrigo M.; Resende, Jarbas M.; Junior, Eduardo F. C.; de Magalhães, Mariana T. Q.; Guimarães, Carlos F. C. R.; Munhoz, Victor H. O.; Bemquerer, Marcelo Porto; Almeida, Fábio C. L.; Santoro, Marcelo M.; Piló-Veloso, Dorila; Bechinger, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from amphibian skin are valuable template structures to find new treatments against bacterial infections. This work describes for the first time the structure and membrane interactions of a homodimeric AMP. Homotarsinin, which was found in Phyllomedusa tarsius anurans, consists of two identical cystine-linked polypeptide chains each of 24 amino acid residues. The high-resolution structures of the monomeric and dimeric peptides were determined in aqueous buffers. The dimer exhibits a tightly packed coiled coil three-dimensional structure, keeping the hydrophobic residues screened from the aqueous environment. An overall cationic surface of the dimer assures enhanced interactions with negatively charged membranes. An extensive set of biophysical data allowed us to establish structure-function correlations with antimicrobial assays against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Although both peptides present considerable antimicrobial activity, the dimer is significantly more effective in both antibacterial and membrane biophysical assays.

  11. 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

    2015-01-21

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jinkee; Holbrook, N Michele; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2012-01-01

    Ion-mediated changes in xylem hydraulic resistance are hypothesized to result from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in the bordered pit membranes separating adjacent xylem vessels. Although the kinetics of the ion-mediated changes in hydraulic resistance are consistent with the swelling/deswelling behavior of pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate structural changes in bordered pit membranes associated with changes in the ionic concentration of the surrounding solution. When submerged in de-ionized water, AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft, and lacking any sharp edges surface, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM) or AFM performed on air-dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties and elevation features. Specifically, bordered pit membranes became harder and the fiber edges were clearly visible. In addition, the membrane contracted and appeared much rougher due to exposed microfibers. In neither solution was there any evidence of discrete pores through the membrane whose dimensions were altered in response to the ionic composition of the surrounding solution. Instead the variable hydraulic resistance appears to involve changes in the both the permeability and the thickness of the pit membrane.

  15. 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...

  16. Ternary structure reveals mechanism of a membrane diacylglycerol kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dianfan; Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Sansom, Mark S. P.; Keogh, Aaron; Vogeley, Lutz; Howe, Nicole; Lyons, Joseph A.; Aragao, David; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Basu, Shibom; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Rendek, Kimberley; Weierstall, Uwe; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Cherezov, Vadim; Liu, Wei; Bandaru, Sateesh; English, Niall J.; Gati, Cornelius; Barty, Anton; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Chapman, Henry N.; Diederichs, Kay; Messerschmidt, Marc; Boutet, Sébastien; Williams, Garth J.; Marvin Seibert, M.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Diacylglycerol kinase catalyses the ATP-dependent conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. The small size of this integral membrane trimer, which has 121 residues per subunit, means that available protein must be used economically to craft three catalytic and substrate-binding sites centred about the membrane/cytosol interface. How nature has accomplished this extraordinary feat is revealed here in a crystal structure of the kinase captured as a ternary complex with bound lipid substrate and an ATP analogue. Residues, identified as essential for activity by mutagenesis, decorate the active site and are rationalized by the ternary structure. The γ-phosphate of the ATP analogue is positioned for direct transfer to the primary hydroxyl of the lipid whose acyl chain is in the membrane. A catalytic mechanism for this unique enzyme is proposed. The active site architecture shows clear evidence of having arisen by convergent evolution.

  17. 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.

  18. Structure formation of surfactant membranes under shear flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiba, Hayato; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Gompper, Gerhard

    2013-07-01

    Shear-flow-induced structure formation in surfactant-water mixtures is investigated numerically using a meshless-membrane model in combination with a particle-based hydrodynamics simulation approach for the solvent. At low shear rates, uni-lamellar vesicles and planar lamellae structures are formed at small and large membrane volume fractions, respectively. At high shear rates, lamellar states exhibit an undulation instability, leading to rolled or cylindrical membrane shapes oriented in the flow direction. The spatial symmetry and structure factor of this rolled state agree with those of intermediate states during lamellar-to-onion transition measured by time-resolved scatting experiments. Structural evolution in time exhibits a moderate dependence on the initial condition.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    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...... of structural knowledge on their membrane-embedded transmembrane domains (TMDs), which connect the extracellular ligand binding domains to the intracellular signaling platforms. The overall aim of this thesis work was to improve our understanding of the class I cytokine receptor signaling across the membrane...... ample material of high quality for structural studies with NMR spectroscopy of several class I cytokine receptor TMDs. Furthermore, the structure of a class I cytokine receptor TMD in DHPC micelles was solved with solution-state NMR spectroscopy. Additionally, since structural studies of intact proteins...

  20. A beam-membrane structure micromachined differential pressure flow sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, P; Zhao, Y L; Tian, B; Li, C; Li, Y Y

    2015-04-01

    A beam-membrane structure micromachined flow sensor is designed, depending on the principle of differential pressure caused by the mass flow, which is directly proportional to the square flow rate. The FSI (fluid structure interaction) characteristics of the differential pressure flow sensor are investigated via numerical analysis and analog simulation. The working mechanism of the flow sensor is analyzed depending on the FSI results. Then, the flow sensor is fabricated and calibrated. The calibration results show that the beam-membrane structure differential pressure flow sensor achieves ideal static characteristics and works well in the practical applications.

  1. 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.

  2. Membrane proteins structure and dynamics by nuclear magnetic resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltsev, Sergey; Lorigan, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    Membrane proteins represent a challenging class of biological systems to study. They are extremely difficult to crystallize and in most cases they retain their structure and functions only in membrane environments. Therefore, commonly used diffraction methods fail to give detailed molecular structure and other approaches have to be utilized to obtain biologically relevant information. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, however, can provide powerful structural and dynamical constraints on these complicated systems. Solution- and solid-state NMR are powerful methods for investigating membrane proteins studies. In this work, we briefly review both solution and solid-state NMR techniques for membrane protein studies and illustrate the applications of these methods to elucidate proteins structure, conformation, topology, dynamics, and function. Recent advances in electronics, biological sample preparation, and spectral processing provided opportunities for complex biological systems, such as membrane proteins inside lipid vesicles, to be studied faster and with outstanding quality. New analysis methods therefore have emerged, that benefit from the combination of sample preparation and corresponding specific high-end NMR techniques, which give access to more structural and dynamic information.

  3. Finite Element Analysis of Wrinkled Membrane Structures for Sunshield Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, John D.; Brodeur, Stephen J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The deployable sunshield is an example of a gossamer structure envisioned for use on future space telescopes. The basic structure consists of multiple layers of pretensioned, thin-film membranes supported by deployable booms. The prediction and verification of sunshield dynamics has been identified as an area in need of technology development due to the difficulties inherent in predicting nonlinear structural behavior of the membranes and because of the challenges involved. in ground testing of the full-scale structure. This paper describes a finite element analysis of a subscale sunshield that has been subjected to ground testing in support of the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) program. The analysis utilizes a nonlinear material model that accounts for wrinkling of the membranes. Results are presented from a nonlinear static preloading analysis and subsequent dynamics analyses to illustrate baseline sunshield structural characteristics. Studies are then described which provide further insight into the effect of membrane. preload on sunshield dynamics and the performance of different membrane modeling techniques. Lastly, a comparison of analytical predictions and ground test results is presented.

  4. 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

  5. DNA-Tile Structures Induce Ionic Currents through Lipid Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göpfrich, Kerstin; Zettl, Thomas; Meijering, Anna E C; Hernández-Ainsa, Silvia; Kocabey, Samet; Liedl, Tim; Keyser, Ulrich F

    2015-05-13

    Self-assembled DNA nanostructures have been used to create man-made transmembrane channels in lipid bilayers. Here, we present a DNA-tile structure with a nominal subnanometer channel and cholesterol-tags for membrane anchoring. With an outer diameter of 5 nm and a molecular weight of 45 kDa, the dimensions of our synthetic nanostructure are comparable to biological ion channels. Because of its simple design, the structure self-assembles within a minute, making its creation scalable for applications in biology. Ionic current recordings demonstrate that the tile structures enable ion conduction through lipid bilayers and show gating and voltage-switching behavior. By demonstrating the design of DNA-based membrane channels with openings much smaller than that of the archetypical six-helix bundle, our work showcases their versatility inspired by the rich diversity of natural membrane components.

  6. Problem Based Learning (PBL): a conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Samantha H; Warelow, Philip J; Jackson, Karen L

    2009-10-01

    Problem Based Learning (PBL) using minimal guided instruction is used as an educational strategy across a broad variety of disciplines in the tertiary sector. This paper includes some of the strengths and weaknesses of PBL, both in general and in relation to the health care setting, encompassing some of its philosophical underpinnings and its methodological approach. In an effort to explore some of the benefits and problems with PBL in the work setting, this account will comprise a realistic rather than idealistic focus and will include a range of perspectives from both a facilitator and student standpoint. We suggest that PBL is a useful strategy across a comprehensive nursing degree programme (as the ideal) provided the learning programme is supported financially and that its ideal creed which supports a small group approach are adhered to. What we find is that reality is often different, with individual facilitators condensing their PBL programmes to incorporate a modified PBL approach with this personalized approach often taking strength away from the original conceptions of PBL. What we suggest here is that these circumstances constitute a conundrum.

  7. Structure-diffusion relationship of polymer membranes with different texture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasowska, Monika; Strzelewicz, Anna; Dudek, Gabriela; Cieśla, Michał

    2017-01-01

    Two-dimensional diffusion in heterogenic composite membranes, i.e., materials comprising polymer with dispersed inorganic fillers, composed of ethylcellulose and magnetic powder is studied. In the experimental part, the morphology of membranes is described by the following characteristics: the amount of polymer matrix, the fractal dimension of polymer matrix, the average size of polymer matrix domains, the average number of obstacles in the proximity of each polymer matrix pixel. The simulation work concentrates on the motion of a particle in the membrane environment. The focus is set on the relationship between membranes morphology characterized by polymer matrix density, its fractal dimension, the average size of domains, and the average number of near obstacles and the characteristics of diffusive transport in them. The comparison of diffusion driven by Gaussian random walk and Lévy flights shows that the effective diffusion exponent at long time limits is subdiffusive and it does not depend on the details of the underlying random process causing diffusion. The analysis of the parameters describing the membrane structure shows that the most important factor for the diffusion character is the average size of a domain penetrated by diffusing particles. The presented results may be used in the design and preparation of membrane structures with specific diffusion properties.

  8. Structure and mechanism of peptide-induced membrane pores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Shuo

    This thesis reports the studies of the structure and mechanism of peptide-induced membrane pores by antimicrobial peptide alamethicin and by a peptide named Baxalpha5, which is derived from Bax protein. Alamethicin is one of best known antimicrobial peptides, which are ubiquitous throughout the biological world. Bax-alpha5 peptide is the pore-forming domain of apoptosis regulator protein Bax, which activates pore formation on outer mitochondrial membrane to release cytochrome c to initiate programmed cell death. Both peptides as well as many other pore-forming peptides, induce pores in membrane, however the structure and mechanism of the pore formation were unknown. By utilizing grazing angle x-ray diffraction, I was able to reconstruct the electron density profile of the membrane pores induced by both peptides. The fully hydrated multiple bilayers of peptide-lipid mixture on solid substrate were prepared in the condition that pores were present, as established previously by neutron in-plane scattering and oriented circular dichroism. At dehydrated conditions, the inter bilayer distance of the sample shortened and the interactions between bilayers caused the membrane pores to become long-ranged correlated and formed a periodically ordered lattice of rhombohedral symmetry, so that x-ray diffraction can be applied. To help solving the phase problem of diffraction, a brominated lipid was used and multi-wavelength anomalous diffraction was performed below the bromine K-edge. The reconstructed electron density profiles unambiguously revealed that the alamethicin-induced membrane pore is of barrel-stave type, while the Bax-alpha5 induced pore is of lipidic toroidal (wormhole) type. The underlying mechanism of pore formation was resolved by observing the time-dependent process of pore formation in vesicles exposed to Bax-alpha5 solutions, as well as the membrane thinning experiment. This demonstrated that Bax-alpha5 exhibited the same sigmoidal concentration dependence as

  9. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, Jens Preben

    2007-01-01

    define the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle......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: H+-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi 1, 2......, 3 , and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium–potassium pump) in animals 4 . The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis 5 . The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na...

  10. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, Jens 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: H+-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi 1, 2......, 3 , and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium–potassium pump) in animals 4 . The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis 5 . The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na...... define the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle...

  11. Deformation of wrinkled membrane inflatable structures under concentrated loads

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Chang-guo; DU Xing-wen; WAN Zhi-min; HE Xiao-dong

    2008-01-01

    The axisymmetric deformation of a paraboloidal membrane inflatable structure subjected to a concentrated load at its apex and a uniform intemal pressure was analyzed.The wrinkle angle was obtained according to the membrane theory when wrinkles appeared and determined the wrinkle region.The wrinkled deformation was obtained based on the relaxed energy function.The effects of inflation pressure and concentrated loads on the wrinkle ansle were analyzed and the deformation Was obtained at the apex of structure.According to the numerical analysis,the shape of deformed meridians with wrinkles Was obtained.

  12. 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.

  13. MWIR optical modulation using structured silicon membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakar, A.; Park, S. J.; Zerova, V.; Kaplan, A.; Canham, Leigh T.; Lewis, K. L.; Burgess, C. D.

    2016-10-01

    We have used near IR pump - Mid IR probe techniques to compare the feasibility and potential of using free standing nano-porous and micro-porous silicon (ordered hole arrays) as optically controlled modulators operating in the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) covering the range from 3.3-5 μm. We employed 800 nm pumping pulses with the duration of 60 fs to reduce 4 μm light transmission modulation to about 25% and 45% for both silicon structures, respectively, at excitation powers of 50mW (4 mJ=cm2). However, at 5 μm both structures shown similar contrast of about 60%. The time resolved measurements revealed a fast sub-picosecond rise time for both structures suggesting that the optically generated carriers are a dominant mechanism for the modulation. However, the measurements demonstrated a significant difference in the relaxation dynamics. The nanoporous silicon demonstrated recovery as fast as a few tens of picoseconds and a possibility to effectively work in the GHz regime, while hole arrays shown almost three orders of magnitude slower response making it suitable for the MHz regime.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Isolation of mitochondria with cubic membrane morphology reveals specific ionic requirements for the preservation of membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Ketpin; Tan, Olivia Li Ling; Almsherqi, Zakaria A; Lin, Qingsong; Kohlwein, Sepp D; Deng, Yuru

    2015-03-01

    Biological membranes with cubic symmetry are a hallmark of virus-infected or diseased cells. The mechanisms of formation and specific cellular functions of cubic membranes, however, are unclear. The best-documented cubic membrane formation occurs in the free-living giant amoeba Chaos carolinense. In that system, mitochondrial inner membranes undergo a reversible structural change from tubular to cubic membrane organization upon starvation of the organism. As a prerequisite to further analyze the structural and functional features of cubic membranes, we adapted protocols for the isolation of mitochondria from starved amoeba and have identified buffer conditions that preserve cubic membrane morphology in vitro. The requirement for high concentration of ion-chelating agents in the isolation media supports the importance of a balanced ion milieu in establishing and maintaining cubic membranes in vivo.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in computation allow for the integration of design and simulation of highly interrelated systems, such as hybrids of structural membranes and bending active elements. The engaged complexities of forces and logistics can be mediated through the development of materials with project...... 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...

  1. Relocating Subalternity : Scattered Speculations on the Conundrum of a Concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mascat, J.; de Jong, S.

    2016-01-01

    This article introduces the special issue ‘Relocating Subalternity: Scattered Speculations on the Conundrum of a Concept’, in which we take Spivak’s particular invocation of (gendered) subalternity and its scholarly reception as a point of departure to confront the ‘foreclosure’ of subalternity.

  2. Relocating Subalternity : Scattered Speculations on the Conundrum of a Concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mascat, J.; de Jong, S.

    2016-01-01

    This article introduces the special issue ‘Relocating Subalternity: Scattered Speculations on the Conundrum of a Concept’, in which we take Spivak’s particular invocation of (gendered) subalternity and its scholarly reception as a point of departure to confront the ‘foreclosure’ of subalternity. Whi

  3. 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…

  4. Primate cathelicidin orthologues display different structures and membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgera, Francesca; Vaccari, Lisa; Antcheva, Nikolinka; Scaini, Denis; Pacor, Sabrina; Tossi, Alessandro

    2009-02-01

    The human cathelicidin LL-37 displays both direct antibacterial activities and the capacity to modulate host-cell activities. These depend on structural characteristics that are subject to positive selection for variation, as observed in a previous analysis of the CAMP gene (encoding LL-37) in primates. The altered balance between cationic and anionic residues in different primate orthologues affects intramolecular salt-bridging and influences the stability of the helical conformation and tendency to aggregate in solution of the peptide. In the present study, we have analysed the effects of these structural variations on membrane interactions for human LL-37, rhesus RL-37 and orang-utan LL-37, using several complementary biophysical and biochemical methods. CD and ATR (attenuated total reflection)-FTIR (Fourier-transform IR) spectroscopy on model membranes indicate that RL-37, which is monomeric and unstructured in bulk solution [F-form (free form)], and human LL-37, which is partly structured and probably aggregated [A-form (aggregated form)], bind biological membranes in different manners. RL-37 may insert more deeply into the lipid bilayer than LL-37, which remains aggregated. AFM (atomic force microscopy) performed on the same supported bilayer as used for ATR-FTIR measurements suggests a carpet-like mode of permeabilization for RL37 and formation of more defined worm-holes for LL-37. Comparison of data from the biological activity on bacterial cells with permeabilization of model membranes indicates that the structure/aggregation state also affects the trajectory of the peptides from bulk solution through the outer cell-wall layers to the membrane. The results of the present study suggest that F-form cathelicidin orthologues may have evolved to have primarily a direct antimicrobial defensive capacity, whereas the A-forms have somewhat sacrificed this to gain host-cell modulating functions.

  5. Looking Beyond Structure: Membrane Phospholipids of Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heden, Timothy D; Neufer, P Darrell; Funai, Katsuhiko

    2016-08-01

    Skeletal muscle mitochondria are highly dynamic and are capable of tremendous expansion to meet cellular energetic demands. Such proliferation in mitochondrial mass requires a synchronized supply of enzymes and structural phospholipids. While transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial enzymes has been extensively studied, there is limited information on how mitochondrial membrane lipids are generated in skeletal muscle. Herein we describe how each class of phospholipids that constitute mitochondrial membranes are synthesized and/or imported, and summarize genetic evidence indicating that membrane phospholipid composition represents a significant modulator of skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiratory function. We also discuss how skeletal muscle mitochondrial phospholipids may mediate the effect of diet and exercise on oxidative metabolism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

    The objective of this research was to explore structure-property relationships to develop the understanding needed for introduction of superior PEM materials. Polymer electrolyte membranes based on sulfonated poly(ether ketone ketone) (SPEKK) were fabricated using N-methyl pyrrolidone as casting solvent. The membranes were characterized in terms of properties that were relevant to fuel cell applications, such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and swelling properties, among others. It was found in this study that the proton conductivity of neat SPEKK membranes could reach the conductivity of commercial membranes such as NafionRTM. However, when the conductivity of SPEKK was comparable to NafionRTM, the swelling of SPEKK in water was quite excessive. The swelling problem was remedied by modifying the microstructure of SPEKK using different techniques. One of them involved blending of lightly sulfonated PEKK with highly acidic particles (sulfonated crosslinked polystyrene-SXLPS). Low sulfonation level of SPEKK was used to reduce the swelling of the membrane in water and the role of the highly acidic particles was to enhance the proton conductivity of the membrane. Because of the residual crystallinity in SPEKK with low sulfonation levels (IEC sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The conductivities of the blends were enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude when the morphology was modified by electric field. The last approach was ionic crosslinking of the sulfonate groups in SPEKK using divalent cations, specifically barium ions. The crosslinking treatment has greatly improved the thermal stability of the membranes in both dry and wet conditions.

  8. Form-finding analysis of the tensioned saddle membrane structure considering the cutting lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenhui CUI

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Traditional membrane structure analysis including form-finding, load analysis and cutting ignores that in practical engineering the membrane structure is with cutting lines which will lead to wrinkle or destruction of the membrane, so the membrane structure with cutting line is designed. The lap joint and similar zero-stress state of the membrane are considered sufficiently during the membrane flatten process. Firstly, the geodesic method is used to generate space tangent line. The sliced space membrane diaphragms are unfolded to produce planar similar zero-stress membrane diaphragms with equivalent plate element method, then, with considering the joints of membrane diaphragms, the planar similar zero-stress membrane diaphragms are joined by thermal connect, and the second forming-finding of the membrane diaphragms is implemented. Finally, the results with and without cutting lines are compared, which proves the effectiveness of the method. The research can provide reference for future design and construction of membranes.

  9. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinkee eLee

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Xylem hydraulic resistance varies with ion concentration in sap solution. It is assumed that this variation in resistance results from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in bordered pit membranes separating adjacent vessels. Although kinetics of the resistance change suggests swelling/deswelling behavior of the pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we provide evidence of structural changes in bordered pit membranes responding to variation in ionic concentration of solute around it using atomic force microscopy (AFM. AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft and lacking any sharp edges surface when submerged in de-ionized water, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM or AFM performed on air dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties with and elevation features as bordered pit membrane became harder, with visible edges of fibers and collapsed, while no change in porosity was observed. Analysis suggests a need for a major shift in our understanding to the physical bases of variable xylem resistance from change in porosity to change in pathway length. Findings support the role of actuating properties of hybrid hydrogel-cellulose materials in water redistribution and embolism resistance.

  10. The Fluid-Mosaic Model of Membrane Structure: still relevant to understanding the structure, function and dynamics of biological membranes after more than 40 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L

    2014-06-01

    In 1972 the Fluid-Mosaic Membrane Model of membrane structure was proposed based on thermodynamic principals of organization of membrane lipids and proteins and available evidence of asymmetry and lateral mobility within the membrane matrix [S. J. Singer and G. L. Nicolson, Science 175 (1972) 720-731]. After over 40years, this basic model of the cell membrane remains relevant for describing the basic nano-structures of a variety of intracellular and cellular membranes of plant and animal cells and lower forms of life. In the intervening years, however, new information has documented the importance and roles of specialized membrane domains, such as lipid rafts and protein/glycoprotein complexes, in describing the macrostructure, dynamics and functions of cellular membranes as well as the roles of membrane-associated cytoskeletal fences and extracellular matrix structures in limiting the lateral diffusion and range of motion of membrane components. These newer data build on the foundation of the original model and add new layers of complexity and hierarchy, but the concepts described in the original model are still applicable today. In updated versions of the model more emphasis has been placed on the mosaic nature of the macrostructure of cellular membranes where many protein and lipid components are limited in their rotational and lateral motilities in the membrane plane, especially in their natural states where lipid-lipid, protein-protein and lipid-protein interactions as well as cell-matrix, cell-cell and intracellular membrane-associated protein and cytoskeletal interactions are important in restraining the lateral motility and range of motion of particular membrane components. The formation of specialized membrane domains and the presence of tightly packed integral membrane protein complexes due to membrane-associated fences, fenceposts and other structures are considered very important in describing membrane dynamics and architecture. These structures along

  11. The membrane-water interface region of membrane proteins: structural bias and the anti-snorkeling effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Adamian, Larisa; Jackups, Ronald

    2005-07-01

    Membrane proteins have important roles in many cellular processes. Computational analysis of their sequences and structures has provided much insight into the organizing principles of transmembrane helices. In a recent study, the membrane-water interface region was examined in detail for the first time. The results have revealed that this interface region has an important role in constraining protein secondary structure. This study raises new questions and opens up new directions for studying membrane proteins.

  12. Axon Membrane Skeleton Structure is Optimized for Coordinated Sodium Propagation

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yihao; Li, He; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George

    2016-01-01

    Axons transmit action potentials with high fidelity and minimal jitter. This unique capability is likely the result of the spatiotemporal arrangement of sodium channels along the axon. Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under entropic tension. Sodium channels also exhibit a periodic distribution pattern, as they bind to ankyrin G, which associates with spectrin. Here, we elucidate the relationship between the axon membrane skeleton structure and the function of the axon. By combining cytoskeletal dynamics and continuum diffusion modeling, we show that spectrin filaments under tension minimize the thermal fluctuations of sodium channels and prevent overlap of neighboring channel trajectories. Importantly, this axon skeletal arrangement allows for a highly reproducible band-like activation of sodium channels leading to coordinated sodium propagation along the axon.

  13. Structural Transition in Myelin Membrane as Initiator of Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaharabani, Rona; Ram-On, Maor; Avinery, Ram; Aharoni, Rina; Arnon, Ruth; Talmon, Yeshayahu; Beck, Roy

    2016-09-21

    In demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, disrupted myelin structures impair the functional role of the sheath as an insulating layer for proper nerve conduction. Though the etiology and recovery pathways remain unclear, in vivo studies show alterations in the lipid and the adhesive protein (myelin basic protein, MBP) composition. We find that in vitro cytoplasmic myelin membranes with modified lipid composition and low MBP concentration, as in demyelinating disease, show structural instabilities and pathological phase transition from a lamellar to inverted hexagonal, which involve enhanced local curvature. Similar curvatures are also found in vivo in diseased myelin sheaths. In addition, MBP dimers form a correlated mesh-like network within the inner membrane space, only in the vicinity of native lipid composition. These findings delineate the distinct functional roles of dominant constituents in cytoplasmic myelin sheaths, and shed new light on mechanisms disrupting lipid-protein complexes in the diseased state.

  14. Lipid domain structure of the plasma membrane revealed by patching of membrane components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, T; Scheiffele, P; Verkade, P; Simons, K

    1998-05-18

    Lateral assemblies of glycolipids and cholesterol, "rafts," have been implicated to play a role in cellular processes like membrane sorting, signal transduction, and cell adhesion. We studied the structure of raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells. Overexpressed plasma membrane markers were evenly distributed in the plasma membrane. We compared the patching behavior of pairs of raft markers (defined by insolubility in Triton X-100) with pairs of raft/non-raft markers. For this purpose we cross-linked glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), Thy-1, influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), and the raft lipid ganglioside GM1 using antibodies and/or cholera toxin. The patches of these raft markers overlapped extensively in BHK cells as well as in Jurkat T-lymphoma cells. Importantly, patches of GPI-anchored PLAP accumulated src-like protein tyrosine kinase fyn, which is thought to be anchored in the cytoplasmic leaflet of raft domains. In contrast patched raft components and patches of transferrin receptor as a non-raft marker were sharply separated. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that coalescence of cross-linked raft elements is mediated by their common lipid environments, whereas separation of raft and non-raft patches is caused by the immiscibility of different lipid phases. This view is supported by the finding that cholesterol depletion abrogated segregation. Our results are consistent with the view that raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells are normally small and highly dispersed but that raft size can be modulated by oligomerization of raft components.

  15. Structure and flow calculation of cake layer on microfiltration membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yadong Yu; Zhen Yang; Yuanyuan Duan

    2017-01-01

    Submerged membrane bioreactors (SMBR) are widely used in wastewater treatment.The permeability of a membrane declines rapidly because of the formation of a cake layer on the membrane surface.In this paper,a multiple staining protocol was conducted to probe the four major foulants in the cake layer formed on a filtration membrane.Fluorescent images of the foulants were obtained using a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM).The three dimensional structure of the cake layer was reconstructed,and the internal flow was calculated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).Simulation results agreed well with the experimental data on the permeability of the cake layer during filtration and showed better accuracy than the calculation by Kozeny-Carman method.β-D-Glucopyranose polysaccharides and proteins are the two main foulants with relatively large volume fractions,while α-D-glucopyranose polysaccharides and nucleic acids have relatively large specific surface areas.The fast growth of β-D-glucopyranose polysaccharides in the volume fraction is mainly responsible for the increase in cake volume fraction and the decrease in permeability.The specific area,or the aggregation/dispersion of foulants,is less important to its permeability compared to its volume fraction.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Sound absorption by subwavelength membrane structures: A geometric perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Min; Li, Yong; Meng, Chong; Fu, Caixing; Mei, Jun; Yang, Zhiyu; Sheng, Ping

    2015-12-01

    Decorated membranes comprising a thin layer of elastic film with small rigid platelets fixed on top have been found to be efficient absorbers of low-frequency sound. In this work we consider the problem of sound absorption from a perspective aimed at deriving upper bounds under different scenarios, i.e., whether the sound is incident from one side only or from both sides, and whether there is a reflecting surface on the back side of the membrane. By considering the negligible thickness of the membrane, usually on the order of a fraction of one millimeter, we derive a relation showing that the sum of the incoming sound waves' (complex) pressure amplitudes, averaged over the area of the membrane, must be equal to that of the outgoing waves. By using this relation, and without going to any details of the wave solutions, it is shown that the maximum absorption achievable from one-sided incidence is 50%, while the maximum absorption with a back-reflecting surface can reach 100%. The latter was attained by the hybridized resonances. All the results are shown to be in excellent agreement with the experiments. This generalized perspective, when used together with the Green function's formalism, can be useful in gaining insights into the constraints on what are achievable in scatterings and absorption by thin film structures and delineating them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-30

    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.

  20. Term Structure Conundrum of Informal Finance Interest Rate: An Interpretation Based on the Probe of Wenzhou%民间借贷利率期限结构之谜——基于温州民间借贷利率监测数据的解释

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁骋骋; 邱瑾

    2012-01-01

    Based on the analyses using monitoring data of the interest rate of informal finance provided by a rural credit association in Wenzhou, it ~s found that the term structures present four features, which are different from the single structure described in related literatures. The term structure exhibits monotonic increasing shape, U shape, inverted U shape, and undulate shape. The phenomenon that long-term rate is lower than short-term rate occurs persistently in the period of high inflation and decline in economy. This phenomenon is called term structure conundrum of informal finance interest rate. By analyzing the mechanism of the interest rate of informal finance, the term premium in preferred habitat theory is the key to understand the variability and the abnormal phenomenon of the term structure. Market segmentation hypothesis is helpful to interpret why the abnormal phenomenon exists persistently. Furthermore, just as Greenspan~s conundrum indicates the recession, the persistently abnormal phenomenon of the interest rate probably presages systematic risk of informal finance. The empirical analysis shows that long memory doesn't exist in the interest rate of informal finance. Moreover, the interest rate and CPI are highly correlated, which is demonstrated by the cointegration between two kinds of interest rates and CPI. The conclusions of this paper are significant to the administration of informal finance.%与以往文献中单一形态的利率期限结构不同,民间借贷利率期限结构存在递增形、U形、倒U形和波浪形等多种形状,长期利率低于短期利率成为通胀高企、经济下行时期一种持续的常态。我们将这种难以按常理解释的现象称为民间借贷的利率期限结构之谜。本文围绕民间借贷利率形成机制对其进行分析,认为“偏好习性理论”的“期限升水”是理解民间借贷利率结构多样性与异常性的关键,而“市场分割假说”则有助于说明

  1. Effect of membrane structure on the action of polyenes: I. Nystatin action in cholesterol- and ergosterol-containing membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Récamier, K S; Hernández-Gómez, A; González-Damián, J; Ortega-Blake, I

    2010-09-01

    A detailed and thorough characterization of nystatin-induced permeability on lipid bilayers of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)-containing ergosterol or cholesterol is presented. The results show that the same collection of transmembrane pores appears in membranes containing either sterol. The concentration range for the appearance of these pores is sterol-dependent. Another mechanism of action, membrane disruption, is also observed in ergosterol-POPC membranes. The greater potency of nystatin present in ergosterol-containing membranes cannot be explained simply by the longer opening times of its pores, as has been suggested; it is also due to an increased number of events in these membranes. The present results and those of a companion paper lead us to propose that membrane structure is the determining factor for drug selectivity in membranes with different sterols.

  2. Carbonate factories: A conundrum in sedimentary geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomar, L.; Hallock, P.

    2008-03-01

    Describing, characterizing and interpreting the nearly infinite variety of carbonate rocks are conundrums - intricate and difficult problems having only conjectural answers - that have occupied geologists for more than two centuries. Depositional features including components, rock textures, lithofacies, platform types and architecture, all vary in space and time, as do the results of diagenetic processes on those primary features. Approaches to the study of carbonate rocks have become progressively more analytical. One focus has evolved from efforts to build reference models for specific Phanerozoic windows to scrutinize the effect of climate and long-term oscillations of the ocean-atmosphere system in influencing the mineralogy of carbonate components. This paper adds to the ongoing lively debates by attempting to understand changes in the predominant types of carbonate-producing organisms during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic, while striving to minimize the uniformitarian bias. Our approach integrates estimates of changes in Ca 2+ concentration in seawater and atmospheric CO 2, with biological evolution and ecological requirements of characteristic carbonate-producing marine communities. The underlying rationale for our approach is the fact that CO 2 is basic to both carbonates and organic matter, and that photosynthesis is a fundamental biological process responsible for both primary production of organic matter and providing chemical environments that promote calcification. Gross photosynthesis and hypercalcification are dependent largely upon sunlight, while net primary production and, e.g., subsequent burial of organic matter typically requires sources of new nutrients (N, P and trace elements). Our approach plausibly explains the changing character of carbonate production as an evolving response to changing environmental conditions driven by the geotectonic cycle, while identifying uncertainties that deserve further research. With metazoan consumer diversity reduced

  3. NMR structure of the integral membrane protein OmpX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, César; Hilty, Christian; Wider, Gerhard; Güntert, Peter; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2004-03-05

    The structure of the integral membrane protein OmpX from Escherichia coli reconstituted in 60 kDa DHPC micelles (OmpX/DHPC) was calculated from 526 NOE upper limit distance constraints. The structure determination was based on complete sequence-specific assignments for the amide protons and the Val, Leu, and Ile(delta1) methyl groups in OmpX, which were selectively protonated on a perdeuterated background. The solution structure of OmpX in the DHPC micelles consists of a well-defined, eight-stranded antiparallel beta-barrel, with successive pairs of beta-strands connected by mobile loops. Several long-range NOEs observed outside of the transmembrane barrel characterize an extension of a four-stranded beta-sheet beyond the height of the barrel. This protruding beta-sheet is believed to be involved in intermolecular interactions responsible for the biological functions of OmpX. The present approach for de novo structure determination should be quite widely applicable to membrane proteins reconstituted in mixed micelles with overall molecular masses up to about 100 kDa, and may also provide a platform for additional functional studies.

  4. The Molecular Structure of Human Red Blood Cell Membranes from Highly Oriented, Solid Supported Multi-Lamellar Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himbert, Sebastian; Alsop, Richard J.; Rose, Markus; Hertz, Laura; Dhaliwal, Alexander; Moran-Mirabal, Jose M.; Verschoor, Chris P.; Bowdish, Dawn M. E.; Kaestner, Lars; Wagner, Christian; Rheinstädter, Maikel C.

    2017-01-01

    We prepared highly oriented, multi-lamellar stacks of human red blood cell (RBC) membranes applied on silicon wafers. RBC ghosts were prepared by hemolysis and applied onto functionalized silicon chips and annealed into multi-lamellar RBC membranes. High resolution X-ray diffraction was used to determine the molecular structure of the stacked membranes. We present direct experimental evidence that these RBC membranes consist of nanometer sized domains of integral coiled-coil peptides, as well as liquid ordered (lo) and liquid disordered (ld) lipids. Lamellar spacings, membrane and hydration water layer thicknesses, areas per lipid tail and domain sizes were determined. The common drug aspirin was added to the RBC membranes and found to interact with RBC membranes and preferably partition in the head group region of the lo domain leading to a fluidification of the membranes, i.e., a thinning of the bilayers and an increase in lipid tail spacing. Our results further support current models of RBC membranes as patchy structures and provide unprecedented structural details of the molecular organization in the different domains.

  5. Antimicrobial Peptide Structure and Mechanism of Action: A Focus on the Role of Membrane Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Hall, Kristopher N; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are showing increasing promise as potential candidate antibacterial drugs in the face of the rapidly emerging bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics in recent years. The target of these peptides is the microbial membrane and there are numerous models to explain their mechanism of action ranging from pore formation to general membrane disruption. The interaction between the AMP and the target membrane is critical to the specificity and activity of these peptides. However, a precise understanding of the relationship between antimicrobial peptide structure and their cytolytic function in a range of organisms is still lacking. This is a result of the complex nature of the interactions of AMPs with the cell membrane, the mechanism of which can vary considerably between different classes of antimicrobia peptides. A wide range of biophysical techniques have been used to study the influence of a number of peptide and membrane properties on the cytolytic activity of these peptides in model membrane systems. Central to characterisation of this interaction is a quantitative analysis of the binding of peptide to the membrane and the coherent dynamic changes in membrane structure. Recently, dual polarization interferometry has been used to perform an in depth analysis of antimicrobial peptide induced membrane perturbation and with new mass-structure co-fitting kinetic analysis have allowed a real-time label free analysis of binding affinity and kinetics. We review these studies which describe multi-step mechanisms which are adopted by various AMPs in nature and may advance our approach to the development of a new generation of effective antimicrobial therapeutics.

  6. Beyond Membrane Protein Structure: Drug Discovery, Dynamics and Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggin, Philip C; Aldeghi, Matteo; Bodkin, Michael J; Heifetz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Most of the previous content of this book has focused on obtaining the structures of membrane proteins. In this chapter we explore how those structures can be further used in two key ways. The first is their use in structure based drug design (SBDD) and the second is how they can be used to extend our understanding of their functional activity via the use of molecular dynamics. Both aspects now heavily rely on computations. This area is vast, and alas, too large to consider in depth in a single book chapter. Thus where appropriate we have referred the reader to recent reviews for deeper assessment of the field. We discuss progress via the use of examples from two main drug target areas; G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. We end with a discussion of some of the main challenges in the area.

  7. Vibrational and structural relaxation of hydrated protons in Nafion membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liyuan; Lotze, Stephan; Bakker, Huib J.

    2017-02-01

    We study the vibrational dynamics of the bending mode at 1730 cm-1 of proton hydration structures in Nafion membranes with polarization-resolved infrared (IR) pump-probe spectroscopy. The bending mode relaxes to an intermediate state with a time constant T1 of 170 ± 30 fs. Subsequently, the dissipated energy equilibrates with Teq of 1.5 ± 0.2 ps. The transient absorption signals show a long-living anisotropy, which indicates that for part of the excited proton hydration clusters the vibrational energy dissipation results in a local structural change, e.g. the breaking of a local hydrogen bond. This structural relaxation relaxes with a time constant of 38 ± 4 ps.

  8. Electrical Dissipative Structures in Membrane-Coupled Compartment Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feudel, U.; Feistel, R.; Ebeling, W.

    Reaction-diffusion systems with charged particles are studied. Conditions for the arising of electrical dissipative structures in a compartment system consisting of two boxes separated by a membrane are derived. The appearance of a polar dissipative structure is proved for a simple capacitor model in combination with a simple second order chemical kinetics which leads to an analytically solvable problem. Electrical dissipative structures can in principle be considered as non equilibrium electrical batteries. The theoretical efficiency of such batteries is estimated.Translated AbstractElektrische Dissipative Strukturen in Membrangekoppelten SystemenEs werden Reaktions-Diffusionssysteme mit geladenen Teilchen studiert. Bedingungen für die Entstehung elektrischer dissipativer Strukturen in einem Kompartment-System, bestehend aus zwei durch eine Membran getrennten Zellen werden abgeleitet. Die Entstehung einer polaren dissipativen Struktur wird für ein einfaches Kondensatorenmodell in Kombination mit einer einfachen chemischen Kinetik, das analytische Lösbarkeit gestattet, nachgewiesen. Elektrische dissipative Strukturen können im Prinzip als elektrische Batterien fern von Gleichgewicht betrachtet werden. Der theoretische Wirkungsgrad einer solchen Batterie wird berechnet.

  9. 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 (HII) phase propensity of phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes. While myristate and palmitate preferentially associated with phosphatidylcholine membranes, geranylgeraniol favored nonlamellar-prone membranes. In addition, Gαi1 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 Gαi1 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.

  10. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Finn

    2009-01-01

    Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner......Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner...

  11. Modelling and Fabrication of Micro-SOFC Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigita ABAKEVIČIENĖ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fabrication process of micro-SOFC membrane structure using the bulk micromachining of silicon technique with SiO2 and Si3N4 sacrificial layers is presented in this study. The process involves back side photolithography, magnetron sputtering of platinum thin films, thermal evaporation of YSZ electrolyte, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and, finally, release of free-standing membrane using CF4/O2 plasma etching.X-ray analysis shows the cubic phase of YSZ electrolyte and platinum electrodes. Modelling of normal stress distribution in the micro-SOFC structure with the Si3N4 sacrificial layer shows that at high temperatures the substrate expands less than the coating, causing tensile stresses in the substrate area next to the coating and compressive stresses in the coating, as the substrate material has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than the layered Pt/YSZ/Pt coating. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.20.2.5585

  12. Modelling and Fabrication of Micro-SOFC Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigita ABAKEVIČIENĖ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fabrication process of micro-SOFC membrane structure using the bulk micromachining of silicon technique with SiO2 and Si3N4 sacrificial layers is presented in this study. The process involves back side photolithography, magnetron sputtering of platinum thin films, thermal evaporation of YSZ electrolyte, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and, finally, release of free-standing membrane using CF4/O2 plasma etching.X-ray analysis shows the cubic phase of YSZ electrolyte and platinum electrodes. Modelling of normal stress distribution in the micro-SOFC structure with the Si3N4 sacrificial layer shows that at high temperatures the substrate expands less than the coating, causing tensile stresses in the substrate area next to the coating and compressive stresses in the coating, as the substrate material has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than the layered Pt/YSZ/Pt coating. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.20.2.5585

  13. Charged porous membrane structures for separation of biomolecules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kopec, Karina Katarzyna

    2011-01-01

    Thesis presents various membrane techniques for biomolecules separation. New charged membranes and new methods to introduce charge into the membranes are demonstrated. All chapters present characterization of the hollow fiber membranes produced via the immersion precipitation dry-wet spinning. Apart

  14. Heat Denaturation of Protein Structures and Chlorophyll States in PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 赵南明

    2002-01-01

    Heat denaturation is an important technique in the study of the structure and function of photosynthetic proteins. Heat denaturation of photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and oxygen electrode. Complete loss of oxygen-evolving activity of the PSII membrane was observed at temperatures below 45℃. The decrease of excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules occurred more rapidly than the change of the protein secondary structure of the PSII membrane at temperatures above 45℃. The results indicate that the protein secondary structure of the membrane proteins in PSII membranes is more stable than the excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules during heat denaturation.

  15. Revealing alteration of membrane structures during ischema using impedance spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Gheorghiu

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Alterations of membrane structure and function are essential characteristics of cells undergoing ischemia. Noninvasive monitoring of tissue alterations during ischemia and the estimation of the reversibility domain (corresponding to organ capability to fully recover its functions after shifting back to normal blood perfusion are important for biomedical applications allowing better time management during surgical interventions, especially in organ transplantation. Due to it’s capability to reveal inhomogeneities, as well as it’s noninvasive character, impedance spectroscopy was used for continuous monitoring of the progression of excised tissue samples during ischemia. We have developed a fast, noninvasive, automated method for quantitative analysis of impedance spectra of tissue samples, capable of revealing, through characteristic parameters (dispersion amplitudes, time constants and distribution parameters membrane based microscopic processes like the closure ofgap-junctions (a characteristic of the early alterations of ischemic tissues in the reversibility phase. Microscopic and equivalent circuit modeling was used to probe the effect of closure of cell connections and of changes in electrical properties of cell constituents on impedance spectra. We have developed a normalizing procedure emphasizing the pattern of ischemic alterations and enabling the comparison of different data sets.

  16. 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.

  17. NMR structural studies of the bacterial outer membrane protein OmpX in oriented lipid bilayer membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahalakshmi, Radhakrishnan; Franzin, Carla M; Choi, Jungyuen; Marassi, Francesca M

    2007-12-01

    The beta-barrels found in the outer membranes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms constitute an important functional class of proteins. Here we present solid-state NMR spectra of the bacterial outer membrane protein OmpX in oriented lipid bilayer membranes. We show that OmpX is folded in both glass-supported oriented lipid bilayers and in lipid bicelles that can be magnetically oriented with the membrane plane parallel or perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field. The presence of resolved peaks in these spectra demonstrates that OmpX undergoes rotational diffusion around an axis perpendicular to the membrane surface. A tightly hydrogen-bonded domain of OmpX resists exchange with D2O for days and is assigned to the transmembrane beta-barrel, while peaks at isotropic resonance frequencies that disappear rapidly in D2O are assigned to the extracellular and periplasmic loops. The two-dimensional 1H/15N separated local field spectra of OmpX have several resolved peaks, and agree well with the spectra calculated from the crystal structure of OmpX rotated with the barrel axis nearly parallel (5 degrees tilt) to the direction of the magnetic field. The data indicate that it will be possible to obtain site-specific resonance assignments and to determine the structure, tilt, and rotation of OmpX in membranes using the solid-state NMR methods that are currently being applied to alpha-helical membrane proteins.

  18. High Temperature Membrane with Humidification-Independent Cluster Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipp, Ludwig [FuelCell Energy, Inc., Danbury, CT (United States)

    2015-07-10

    The objective of this project was to develop high temperature membranes to facilitate the wide-spread deployment of hydrogen fuel cells. High temperature membranes offer significant advantages in PEM system operation, overall capital and operating costs. State-of-the-art Nafion-based membranes are inadequate for the high temperature operation. These conventional membranes become unstable at higher temperatures (90-120°C) and lose their conductivity, particularly at low relative humidity. In this program, alternate materials were developed to enable fabrication of novel high performance composite membranes. FCE’s concept for the multi-component composite membrane, named mC2, has been used in the design of more conductive membranes.

  19. Lipid quantification and structure determination of nuclear envelope precursor membranes in the sea urchin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnier-Lhomme, Marie; Dufourc, Erick J; Larijani, Banafshé; Poccia, Dominic

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear envelope assembly is a fundamental cellular process normally taking place once in every cell cycle in eukaryotes. The timing of fusion of nuclear membrane precursors to form the complete double membrane surrounding the chromosomes is tightly controlled, but much remains unclear concerning its regulation. Small amounts of material available and the high background of irrelevant cellular membranes have limited detailed analysis. We have employed several sensitive and high-resolution techniques to analyze the nuclear membrane structure, composition, and dynamics using purified membrane fractions and a cell-free system that results in nuclear envelope formation. We discuss the application of cholesterol and phospholipid colorimetric assays, fluorescent filipin labeling, electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry coupled to HPLC (HPLC-ESI/MS/MS), electron microscopy (EM), and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Colorimetric assays determine the amounts of inorganic phosphates from phospholipids and cholesterol/ cholesteryl esters present in membrane-containing fractions. Filipin staining of natural membranes allows the localization and relative quantification of cholesterol. HPLC-ESI/MS/MS determines the quantitative composition of membrane phospholipid species from small amounts of membranes. Cryosectioning of cryoprotected sperm cells facilitates EM verification of membrane domains existing in vivo. Deuterium solid-state NMR provides information about membrane rigidity and lipid-phase behavior. The sensitivity, quantification, and structural determinations provided by these techniques should prove useful in studying membrane dynamics in a variety of systems exhibiting membrane fusion.

  20. Endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions: structure, function and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okeke, Emmanuel; Dingsdale, Hayley; Parker, Tony; Voronina, Svetlana; Tepikin, Alexei V

    2016-06-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) junctions are contact sites between the ER and the PM; the distance between the two organelles in the junctions is below 40 nm and the membranes are connected by protein tethers. A number of molecular tools and technical approaches have been recently developed to visualise, modify and characterise properties of ER-PM junctions. The junctions serve as the platforms for lipid exchange between the organelles and for cell signalling, notably Ca(2+) and cAMP signalling. Vice versa, signalling events regulate the development and properties of the junctions. Two Ca(2+) -dependent mechanisms of de novo formation of ER-PM junctions have been recently described and characterised. The junction-forming proteins and lipids are currently the focus of vigorous investigation. Junctions can be relatively short-lived and simple structures, forming and dissolving on the time scale of a few minutes. However, complex, sophisticated and multifunctional ER-PM junctions, capable of attracting numerous protein residents and other cellular organelles, have been described in some cell types. The road from simplicity to complexity, i.e. the transformation from simple 'nascent' ER-PM junctions to advanced stable multiorganellar complexes, is likely to become an attractive research avenue for current and future junctologists. Another area of considerable research interest is the downstream cellular processes that can be activated by specific local signalling events in the ER-PM junctions. Studies of the cell physiology and indeed pathophysiology of ER-PM junctions have already produced some surprising discoveries, likely to expand with advances in our understanding of these remarkable organellar contact sites. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.

  1. Protein-induced surface structuring in myelin membrane monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosetti, Carla M; Maggio, Bruno

    2007-12-15

    Monolayers prepared from myelin conserve all the compositional complexity of the natural membrane when spread at the air-water interface. They show a complex pressure-dependent surface pattern that, on compression, changes from the coexistence of two liquid phases to a viscous fractal phase embedded in a liquid phase. We dissected the role of major myelin protein components, myelin basic protein (MBP), and Folch-Lees proteolipid protein (PLP) as crucial factors determining the structural dynamics of the interface. By analyzing mixtures of a single protein with the myelin lipids we found that MBP and PLP have different surface pressure-dependent behaviors. MBP stabilizes the segregation of two liquid phases at low pressures and becomes excluded from the film under compression, remaining adjacent to the interface. PLP, on the contrary, organizes a fractal-like pattern at all surface pressures when included in a monolayer of the protein-free myelin lipids but it remains mixed in the MBP-induced liquid phase. The resultant surface topography and dynamics is regulated by combined near to equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium effects. PLP appears to act as a surface skeleton for the whole components whereas MBP couples the structuring to surface pressure-dependent extrusion and adsorption processes.

  2. 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

    The lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids (lysoPC) and fatty acids (FA) into unilamellar vesicles composed of saturated DC$-16$/PC phospholipids has been determined by means of isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The calorimetric titrations were performed at low temperatures in the ordered...... 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....... Oppositely, the membrane partitioning of fatty acids depends only weakly on the phase structure of the phospholipid vesicles. In addition, the thermodynamic measurements show that the partition coefficients for both the lysolipids and fatty acids toward gel and fluid lipid membranes become almost an order...

  3. 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...... the appearance of small-scale lipid structures might be of importance for the activity of membrane associated and liposome degrading enzymes as well as for the membrane interaction of acylated peptides. The combined experimental and simulation results are of relevance for a rational development of peptide loaded...

  4. Molecular Dynamics Studies of Structure and Functions of Water-Membrane Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A large number of essential cellular processes occur at the interfaces between water and membranes. The selectivity and dynamics of these processes are largely determined by the structural and electrical properties of the water-membrane interface. We investigate these properties by the molecular dynamics method. Over the time scales of the simulations, the membrane undergoes fluctuations described by the capillary wave model. These fluctuations produce occasional thinning defects in the membrane which provide effective pathways for passive transport of ions and small molecules across the membrane. Ions moving through the membrane markedly disrupt its structure and allow for significant water penetration into the membrane interior. Selectivity of transport, with respect to ionic charge, is determined by the interfacial electrostatic potential. Many small molecules. of potential significance in catalysis, bioenergetics and pharmacology, are shown to bind to the interface. The energetics and dynamics of this process will be discussed.

  5. Nanoscale Distribution of Sulfonic Acid Groups Determines Structure and Binding of Water in Nafion Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Xiao; Bonn, Mischa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The connection between the nanoscale structure of two chemically equivalent, yet morphologically distinct Nafion fuel‐cell membranes and their macroscopic chemical properties is demonstrated. Quantification of the chemical interactions between water and Nafion reveals that extruded membranes have smaller water channels with a reduced sulfonic acid head group density compared to dispersion‐cast membranes. As a result, a disproportionally large amount of non‐bulk water molecules exists in extruded membranes, which also exhibit larger proton conductivity and larger water mobility compared to cast membranes. The differences in the physicochemical properties of the membranes, that is, the chemical constitution of the water channels and the local water structure, and the accompanying differences in macroscopic water and proton transport suggest that the chemistry of nanoscale channels is an important, yet largely overlooked parameter that influences the functionality of fuel‐cell membranes. PMID:26895211

  6. Molecular Dynamics Studies of Structure and Functions of Water-Membrane Interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Wilson, Michael A.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A large number of essential cellular processes occur at the interfaces between water and membranes. The selectivity and dynamics of these processes are largely determined by the structural and electrical properties of the water-membrane interface. We investigate these properties by the molecular dynamics method. Over the time scales of the simulations, the membrane undergoes fluctuations described by the capillary wave model. These fluctuations produce occasional thinning defects in the membrane which provide effective pathways for passive transport of ions and small molecules across the membrane. Ions moving through the membrane markedly disrupt its structure and allow for significant water penetration into the membrane interior. Selectivity of transport, with respect to ionic charge, is determined by the interfacial electrostatic potential. Many small molecules. of potential significance in catalysis, bioenergetics and pharmacology, are shown to bind to the interface. The energetics and dynamics of this process will be discussed.

  7. 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

    We demonstrate the power of time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering experiments for the investigation of the structure and structural reorganizations of multilamellar photosynthetic membranes. In addition to briefly summarizing our results on thylakoid membranes isolated from higher plants a...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of Irradiation on the Structure-activity Relationship of Konjac Glucomannan Molecular Chain Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Chun-Hua; PENG Shu-Hui; WEN Cheng-Rong; WANG Li-Xia; XIONG Bo; LIU Ya-Nan; FAN Lin-Lin; YAO Min-Na; PANG Jie

    2012-01-01

    To know the effects of irradiation on the konjac glucomannan (KGM) molecular chain membrane, KGM membrane solution was treated with the irradiation dose of 0-20 kGy in this study, and the structure and properties of KGM membrane were analyzed with Infrared spectrum, Raman spectrum, X-ray, SEM scanning and so on. The results revealed that the effects of different irradiation doses on the KGM molecular chain structure were different. Higher irradiation dose (20 kGy) resulted in partial damage against KGM membrane crystal structure, and there was no obvious change for the amorphous structure; with membrane property test, the tensile strength of KGM membrane gradually increased with the increase of irradiation dose and its elongation at break reduced, but these changes were not significant, WVP value reduced; with SEM, the membrane surface treated with irradiation was smoother even than the membrane without treatment. In addition, when increasing the irradiation dose, membrane surface became more even, and arrangement was more orderly and compact. KGM membrane nrooerties, and it is an ideal Irradiation modification could effectively improve the modification method.

  11. 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

  12. [Radiation-induced changes in structural state of membranes of human blood cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burlakova, E B; Atkarskaia, M V; Fatkullina, L D; Andreev, S G

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate radiation-induced changes in the structural state of the membranes, blood samples of healthy donors were subjected to gamma radiation in the range of small (1-10 cGy) and medium doses (50 cGy-2 Gy). After irradiation, the microviscosity of lipid membranes of red and white blood cells was measured by ESR spin probe method. At doses exceeding 1 cGy, statistically significant changes of the degree of spontaneous erythrocyte hemolysis and of the lymphocyte plasma membrane microviscosity were observed. Under identical irradiation conditions, the stability of lymphocyte membranes was less as compared to erythrocyte membranes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Morphology and fine structure of membranes upon osmotic upshifts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kahya, Nicoletta; Wiersma, Douwe A.; Poolman, Bert

    2002-01-01

    Lipid bilayers are impermeable to most polar molecules. Osmoregulated transporters are responsible for controlling the intracellular osmolarity and protecting the cell against changes in osmolality in the environment. The mechanisms by which membranes regulate the activity of these transporters are

  17. The adolescent female athlete: current concepts and conundrums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greydanus, Donald E; Omar, Hatim; Pratt, Helen D

    2010-06-01

    The adolescent female athlete has become a common part of the sports environment at all levels from childhood play to professional adult sports. This article considers various issues common to this athlete to help clinicians care for their patients. Basic sports physiology is reviewed and then specific conditions are considered, including iron deficiency anemia, stress urinary incontinence, breast issues (ie, pain, asymmetry, galactorrhea, injury), the female athlete triad (ie, menstrual dysfunction, abnormal eating patterns, and osteopenia or osteoporosis), and injuries. Clinical conundrums are considered including the difficulty in caring for a dedicated athlete whose intense love of her sport may lead to menstrual and bone loss complications. The knowledgeable clinician in the twenty-first century can be of considerable help to the female athlete who is at and beyond puberty.

  18. Small business and entrepreneurial venture in an economic conundrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Amolo

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Does small business add the same value as entrepreneurial venture to an economy? Entrepreneurial ventures are resilient to economic duress, while providing higher quality and quantity of jobs, products and services. A needed entrepreneurial economic omnipresence pervasively stimulates socio-economic mindset in opportunity, rather than resource pursuit. A managed economy is under challenge by a knowledge economy and the policies of the former have become irrelevant for the latter. The unpredictable economic times call for a flexibility associated with an entrepreneurial economy. In this presentation, a literature review was conducted to highlight this conundrum in an economy. The findings are that entrepreneurial ventures have their distinctive features from simply small business enterprise and are better served in an entrepreneurial economy than a managed economy. The significance of an entrepreneurial business and economy for individuals and policy makers alike has never needed an emphasis as in the days of our economic volatility.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Fischer, Axel Walter; Woetzel, Nils; Karakas, Mert; Weiner, Brian; Meiler, Jens

    2015-01-01

    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 (BioChemical Library membrane protein 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 RMSD100 value of the most accurate model is better than 8{\\AA} for twenty-seven, better than 6{\\AA} for twenty-two and better than 4{\\AA} for fifte...

  20. 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.

  1. Studies of membrane structure by freeze-etching. Progress report, 1 July 1975--30 June 1976. [Erythrocyte membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Branton, D.

    1976-01-01

    The structure and organization of biological membranes were 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 modulating cell behavior in response to environmental perturbants and in regulating the transport of molecules into and out of cells. As model systems, human erythrocyte membranes and their ghosts have been probed 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 tested and a new method of rotary shadow freeze-etching has been evaluated. The role of lipid-lipid and protein-protein interactions in controlling the mobility of cell surface macromolecules has been studied using freeze-fracture, protein extraction and SDS-polyacrylamide gel techniques.

  2. Present and future of membrane protein structure determination by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David L

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical to cell physiology, playing roles in signaling, trafficking, transport, adhesion, and recognition. Despite their relative abundance in the proteome and their prevalence as targets of therapeutic drugs, structural information about membrane proteins is in short supply. This chapter describes the use of electron crystallography as a tool for determining membrane protein structures. Electron crystallography offers distinct advantages relative to the alternatives of X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Namely, membrane proteins are placed in their native membranous environment, which is likely to favor a native conformation and allow changes in conformation in response to physiological ligands. Nevertheless, there are significant logistical challenges in finding appropriate conditions for inducing membrane proteins to form two-dimensional arrays within the membrane and in using electron cryo-microscopy to collect the data required for structure determination. A number of developments are described for high-throughput screening of crystallization trials and for automated imaging of crystals with the electron microscope. These tools are critical for exploring the necessary range of factors governing the crystallization process. There have also been recent software developments to facilitate the process of structure determination. However, further innovations in the algorithms used for processing images and electron diffraction are necessary to improve throughput and to make electron crystallography truly viable as a method for determining atomic structures of membrane proteins.

  3. Structure and Properties of Polytetrafluorethylene and Polyurethane Layered Membrane for Protective Clothing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a new idea for intensifying protective and stretch recovery properties of micro porous polytetrafluorethylene and hydrophilic polyurethane (PTFE/PU) layered membrane through a co-stretching process. The structure and properties of co-stretching PTFE/PU layered membrane and coated PTFE/PU layered membrane by means of directly coating the PU on the PTFE membrane were investigated using Electron Microscope, Universal Materials Testing Machine, and the water vapor permeability (WVP) was measured according to absorption method of water vapor of GB/T 12704 - 91. Contrasted to PU coating process, the PU membrane on the co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is nonporous because of heat treatment process, which can prevent the SARS virus from permeating the Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane. The stretch and recovery properties of the Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is at least 66% after being stretched to 50% of its original length in transverse directions and that of the coated PTFE/PU membrane is 52%. The WVP of the Coresults suggest that when Co-stretching PTFE/PU membrane is laminated to a stretchable fabric, the fabric would have excellent stretch and recovery properties while waterproof and being permeable to water vapor. So, the Costretching PTFE/PU membrane laminated fabric will be a comfortable protective clothing material.

  4. Polymer electrolyte membranes from fluorinated polyisoprene-block-sulfonated polystyrene: Membrane structure and transport properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sodeye, Akinbode [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts; Huang, Tianzi [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Gido, Samuel [University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Mays, Jimmy [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    With a view to optimizing morphology and ultimately properties, membranes have been cast from relatively inexpensive block copolymer ionomers of fluorinated polyisoprene-block-sulfonated polystyrene (FISS) with various sulfonation levels, in both the acid form and the cesium neutralized form. The morphology of these membranes was characterized by transmission electron microscopy and ultra-small angle X-ray scattering, as well as water uptake, proton conductivity and methanol permeability within the temperature range from 20 to 60 C. Random phase separated morphologies were obtained for all samples except the cesium sample with 50 mol% sulfonation. The transport properties increased with increasing degree of sulfonation and temperature for all samples. The acid form samples absorbed more water than the cesium samples with a maximum swelling of 595% recorded at 60 C for the acid sample having 50 mol% sulfonation. Methanol permeability for the latter sample was more than an order of magnitude less than for Nafion 112 but so was the proton conductivity within the plane of the membrane at 20 C. Across the plane of the membrane this sample had half the conductivity of Nafion 112 at 60 C.

  5. Structural elucidation of the interaction between neurodegenerative disease-related tau protein with model lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Emmalee M.

    A protein's sequence of amino acids determines how it folds. That folded structure is linked to protein function, and misfolding to dysfunction. Protein misfolding and aggregation into beta-sheet rich fibrillar aggregates is connected with over 20 neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is characterized in part by misfolding, aggregation and deposition of the microtubule associated tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, two questions remain: What is tau's fibrillization mechanism, and what is tau's cytotoxicity mechanism? Tau is prone to heterogeneous interactions, including with lipid membranes. Lipids have been found in NFTs, anionic lipid vesicles induced aggregation of the microtubule binding domain of tau, and other protein aggregates induced ion permeability in cells. This evidence prompted our investigation of tau's interaction with model lipid membranes to elucidate the structural perturbations those interactions induced in tau protein and in the membrane. We show that although tau is highly charged and soluble, it is highly surface active and preferentially interacts with anionic membranes. To resolve molecular-scale structural details of tau and model membranes, we utilized X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. X-ray reflectivity indicated tau aggregated at air/water and anionic lipid membrane interfaces and penetrated into membranes. More significantly, membrane interfaces induced tau protein to partially adopt a more compact conformation with density similar to folded protein and ordered structure characteristic of beta-sheet formation. This suggests possible membrane-based mechanisms of tau aggregation. Membrane morphological changes were seen using fluorescence microscopy, and X-ray scattering techniques showed tau completely disrupts anionic membranes, suggesting an aggregate-based cytotoxicity mechanism. Further investigation of protein constructs and a "hyperphosphorylation" disease mimic helped

  6. Effect of counter- and co-ions on the structural transport parameters of sulfoacid cationite membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demina, O. A.; Falina, I. V.; Kononenko, N. A.; Demin, A. V.

    2016-08-01

    The diffusion permeability and specific electroconductivity of MK-40 sulfoacid cationite and Nafion 425 membranes are studied experimentally in NaOH, NaCl, and HCl solutions with various concentrations. The resulting concentration dependences of the electrodiffusion characteristics and data on the nonexchange sorption of the electrolytes are used to calculate the structural transport parameters of the membranes in terms of a two-phase conduction model. Analysis of a set of parameters, including the electroconductivity and diffusion permeability of the membrane gel phase, the volume fractions of the conductive phases, and a parameter that reflects their relative positions, the Donnan constant, and the diffusion coefficients of counter and co-ions in the membrane gel phase reveals the effect the nature of counter- and co-ions has on the electrodiffusion, structural, and sorption characteristics of sulfoacid cationite membranes with different types of structure.

  7. Practical aspects in expression and purification of membrane proteins for structural analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Edwards, Patricia C; Standfuss, Joerg

    2013-01-01

    A surge of membrane protein structures in the last few years can be attributed to advances in technologies starting at the level of genomes, to highly efficient expression systems, stabilizing conformational flexibility, automation of crystallization and data collection for screening large numbers of crystals and the microfocus beam lines at synchrotrons. The substantial medical importance of many membrane proteins provides a strong incentive to understand them at the molecular level. It is becoming obvious that the major bottleneck in many of the membrane projects is obtaining sufficient amount of stable functional proteins in a detergent micelle for structural studies. Naturally, large effort has been spent on optimizing and advancing multiple expression systems and purification strategies that have started to yield sufficient protein and structures. We describe in this chapter protocols to refold membrane proteins from inclusion bodies, purification from inner membranes of Escherichia coli and from mammalian cell lines.

  8. pH Dependence of Chlorophyll States, Protein Structures and Function of the PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 张秀芳; 赵南明

    2003-01-01

    The effect of varying pH on the photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using absorption and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy, and using a variable fluorescence technique.pH variations induced significant changes in the chlorophyll states of the PSII membrane, but no effect was seen on the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter F′v/F′m.For acidic pH conditions, protein structures of the PSII membrane were slightly altered, whilst at alkaline pH levels, large changes in the protein structure of the PSII membrane were detected.The results indicate that the microenvironment around Cys in the PSII membrane is very susceptible to alkaline pH conditions, and that in the acid (4≤pH7) regions, pH variation has no effect on the protein structures of the PSII reaction center (RC).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Preparation of Ferrierite Zeolite Membranes in the Absence of Organic Structure-directing Agents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Hui SU; Gang LI; Rui Sen LIN; Eiichi KIKUCHI; Masahiko MATSUKATA

    2006-01-01

    Ferrierite zeolite membranes were prepared for the first time in the absence of organic structure-directing agents (SDA) on the surface of a porous α-alumina support. These membranes were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and pervaporation tests.

  12. Crystal structure of HIV-1 gp41 including both fusion peptide and membrane proximal external regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Buzon

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env composed of the receptor binding domain gp120 and the fusion protein subunit gp41 catalyzes virus entry and is a major target for therapeutic intervention and for neutralizing antibodies. Env interactions with cellular receptors trigger refolding of gp41, which induces close apposition of viral and cellular membranes leading to membrane fusion. The energy released during refolding is used to overcome the kinetic barrier and drives the fusion reaction. Here, we report the crystal structure at 2 A resolution of the complete extracellular domain of gp41 lacking the fusion peptide and the cystein-linked loop. Both the fusion peptide proximal region (FPPR and the membrane proximal external region (MPER form helical extensions from the gp41 six-helical bundle core structure. The lack of regular coiled-coil interactions within FPPR and MPER splay this end of the structure apart while positioning the fusion peptide towards the outside of the six-helical bundle and exposing conserved hydrophobic MPER residues. Unexpectedly, the section of the MPER, which is juxtaposed to the transmembrane region (TMR, bends in a 90 degrees-angle sideward positioning three aromatic side chains per monomer for membrane insertion. We calculate that this structural motif might facilitate the generation of membrane curvature on the viral membrane. The presence of FPPR and MPER increases the melting temperature of gp41 significantly in comparison to the core structure of gp41. Thus, our data indicate that the ordered assembly of FPPR and MPER beyond the core contributes energy to the membrane fusion reaction. Furthermore, we provide the first structural evidence that part of MPER will be membrane inserted within trimeric gp41. We propose that this framework has important implications for membrane bending on the viral membrane, which is required for fusion and could provide a platform for epitope and lipid bilayer recognition for broadly

  13. Investigation of structural change of purple membrane in storage by transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The structural change of purple membrane during storage has been investigated by means of transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope. It is found that many liposomes have spontaneously evolved from the purple membrane sheets isolated three years ago. The membrane proteins on the liposomes, bacteriorhodopsin, are still presented as trimers in 2-D hexagonal structure, which is the same as that in natural cell membrane. However, the cytoplasmic surface of purple membrane faced outside on the liposomes.

  14. Structure, composition, and strength of nitrifying membrane-aerated biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellicer i Nàcher, Carles; Smets, Barth F.

    2014-01-01

    Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) are a novel technology based on the growth of biofilms on oxygen-permeable membranes. Hereby, MABRs combine all the advantages of biofilm growth with a more flexible and efficient control of the oxygen load. In the present work, flow cell operation...... had a higher content of proteins and a lower level of carbohydrates. Staining analyses revealed that the EPS in the stronger biofilm regions had hydrophilic nature and distributed around dense microbial aggregates, whereas it was homogeneously distributed in the weaker strata. Overall, the obtained...

  15. Membrane dish analysis: A summary of structural and optical analysis capabilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steele, C.R.; Balch, C.D.; Jorgensen, G.J.; Wendelin, T.; Lewandowski, A.

    1991-11-01

    Research at SERI within the Department of Energy's Solar Thermal Technology Program has focused on the development of membrane dish concentrators for space and terrestrial power applications. As potentially lightweight, inexpensive, high-performance structures, they are excellent candidates for space-deployable energy sources as well as cost-effective terrestrial energy concepts. A thorough engineering research treatment of these types of structures consists primarily of two parts: (1) structural mechanics of the membrane and ring support and (2) analysis and characterization of the concentrator optical performance. It is important to understand the effects of the membrane's structure and support system on the optical performance of the concentrator. This requires an interface between appropriate structural and optical models. Until recently, such models and the required interface have not existed. This report documents research that has been conducted at SERI in this area. It is a compilation of several papers describing structural models of membrane dish structures and optical models used to predict dish concentrator optical and thermal performance. The structural models were developed under SERI subcontract by Dr. Steele and Dr. Balch of Stanford University. The optical model was developed in-house by SERI staff. In addition, the interface between the models is described. It allows easy and thorough characterization of membrane dish systems from the mechanics to the resulting optical performance. The models described herein have been and continue to be extremely useful to SERI, industry, and universities involved with the modeling and analysis of lightweight membrane concentrators for solar thermal applications.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

    such as phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylserines are involved in several examples of such effects. Molecular dynamics simulations have proved an invaluable tool in exploring these aspects. This so-called computational microscope can provide both complementing explanations for the experimental results and guide experiments...... 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Donnan dialysis as membrane process for nitrate removal from drinking water: Membrane structure effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ben Hamouda

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Nitrates are extremely soluble in water and are considered as the renown pollutants of natural water and water table. Removing them through AMX, AM3, and RPA anion exchange membranes has been studied under donnan dialysis conditions as a function of concentration, pH and the nature of the feed phase. It was observed that the AMX membrane gives the highest nitrate transport efficiency and that the optimal concentration in the selected zone was in 6.2 g/L (0.1 M with 37.9%. It was also observed that the best pH for the concentration of 0.62 g/L is pH 10 with yield of 23%. Results are evaluated by the yield calculated with nitrates concentration detected by molecular absorption spectrometry in 212 nm.

  19. Pinkbar is an epithelial-specific BAR domain protein that generates planar membrane structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pykäläinen, Anette; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Zhao, Hongxia; Saarikangas, Juha; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Jansen, Maurice; Hakanen, Janne; Koskela, Essi V.; Peränen, Johan; Vihinen, Helena; Jokitalo, Eija; Salminen, Marjo; Ikonen, Elina; Dominguez, Roberto; Lappalainen, Pekka (Helsinki); (Penn)

    2013-05-29

    Bin/amphipysin/Rvs (BAR)-domain proteins sculpt cellular membranes and have key roles in processes such as endocytosis, cell motility and morphogenesis. BAR domains are divided into three subfamilies: BAR- and F-BAR-domain proteins generate positive membrane curvature and stabilize cellular invaginations, whereas I-BAR-domain proteins induce negative curvature and stabilize protrusions. We show that a previously uncharacterized member of the I-BAR subfamily, Pinkbar, is specifically expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, where it localizes to Rab13-positive vesicles and to the plasma membrane at intercellular junctions. Notably, the BAR domain of Pinkbar does not induce membrane tubulation but promotes the formation of planar membrane sheets. Structural and mutagenesis analyses reveal that the BAR domain of Pinkbar has a relatively flat lipid-binding interface and that it assembles into sheet-like oligomers in crystals and in solution, which may explain its unique membrane-deforming activity.

  20. Damage detection in membrane structures using non-contact laser excitation and wavelet transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, Feblil; Kajiwara, Itsuro; Hosoya, Naoki

    2014-08-01

    In this paper, a vibration testing and health monitoring system based on an impulse response excited by laser is proposed to detect damage in membrane structures. A high power Nd: YAG pulse laser is used to supply an ideal impulse to a membrane structure by generating shock waves via laser-induced breakdown in air. A health monitoring apparatus is developed with this vibration testing system and a damage detecting algorithm which only requires the vibration mode shape of the damaged membrane. Artificial damage is induced in membrane structure by cutting and tearing the membrane. The vibration mode shapes of the membrane structure extracted from vibration testing by using the laser-induced breakdown and laser Doppler vibrometer are then analyzed by 2-D continuous wavelet transformation. The location of damage is determined by the dominant peak of the wavelet coefficient which can be seen clearly by applying a boundary treatment and the concept of an iso-surface to the 2-D wavelet coefficient. The applicability of the present approach is verified by finite element analysis and experimental results, demonstrating the ability of the method to detect and identify the positions of damage induced on the membrane structure.

  1. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    , a large variety of developments of well-established techniques are available providing insight into membrane protein flexibility, dynamics, and interactions. Inspired by the speed of development in the application of new strategies, by invention of methods to measure solvent accessibility and describe low...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebbink, M.N.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304834246

    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-

  3. 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 transduct

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1995-01-01

    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 extens

  5. 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

  6. Structural basis for the membrane association of ankyrinG via palmitoylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, Yuichiro; Kondo, Hiroko X.; Shirota, Matsuyuki; Kobayashi, Megumi; Takeshita, Kohei; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Okamura, Yasushi; Kinoshita, Kengo

    2016-04-01

    By clustering various ion channels and transporters, ankyrin-G (AnkG) configures the membrane-excitation platforms in neurons and cardiomyocytes. AnkG itself localizes to specific areas on the plasma membrane via s-palmitoylation of Cys. However, the structural mechanism by which AnkG anchors to the membrane is not understood. In this study, we solved the crystal structures of the reduced and oxidized forms of the AnkG s-palmitoylation domain and used multiple long-term coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to analyze their membrane association. Here we report that the membrane anchoring of AnkG was facilitated by s-palmitoylation, defining a stable binding interface on the lipid membrane, and that AnkG without s-palmitoylation also preferred to stay near the membrane but did not have a unique binding interface. This suggests that AnkG in the juxtamembrane region is primed to accept lipid modification at Cys, and once that happens AnkG constitutes a rigid structural base upon which a membrane-excitation platform can be assembled.

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of Heat Treatment on Structures and Properties of Polyurethane Blend Ultrafiltration Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    封严; 肖长发

    2004-01-01

    The polyurethane/polyacrylonitrile ( PU/PAN ) and polyurethane/cellulose acetate (PU/CA) blend ultra filtration membranes were prepared based on LoebSourirajan phase transition method. The change of the structures and properties of the PU/PAN and PU/CA membranes with the heat treatment process was studied.The results showed: the water flux decreased and retention increased with the increase of heat treatment temperature of PU/PAN blend membrane, but the water flux of PU/CA blend membrane got the maximum with heat treatment temperature of 60℃ and decreased rapidly with the heat treatment temperature of 100 ℃. The interfacial microvoid structure and its influence on the properties of PU/PAN and PU/CA blend membranes were studied.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. NOVEL NANOCOMPOSITE MEMBRANE STRUCTURES FOR H2 SEPARATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benny D. Freeman

    2005-03-31

    This report explores possible methods of improving CO{sub 2} selectivity in polymer based membranes. The first method investigated using basic nanoparticles to enhance the solubility of acid gases in nanocomposite membranes, thus enhancing the overall acid gas/light gas selectivity (e.g., CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}/CH{sub 4}, etc.). The influence of nanoparticle surface chemistry on nanocomposite morphology and transport properties will be determined experimentally in a series of poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne). Additional factors (e.g., chemical reaction of the particles with the polymers) have been considered, as necessary, during the course of the investigation. The second method investigated using polar polymers such as crosslinked poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(ether-b-amide) to improve CO{sub 2} sorption and thereby increase CO{sub 2} permeability and CO{sub 2}/light gas selectivity. For both types of materials, CO{sub 2} and light gas permeabilities have been characterized. The overall objective was to improve the understanding of materials design strategies to improve acid gas transport properties of membranes.

  12. 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.

  13. Membrane characterization by microscopic and scattering methods: multiscale structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamime, Rahma; Wyart, Yvan; Siozade, Laure; Baudin, Isabelle; Deumie, Carole; Glucina, Karl; Moulin, Philippe

    2011-04-13

    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.

  14. Structural characterization of membrane-bound human immunodeficiency virus-1 Gag matrix with neutron reflectometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eells, Rebecca; Barros, Marilia; Scott, Kerry M.; Karageorgos, Ioannis; Heinrich, Frank; Lösche, Mathias

    2017-01-01

    The structural characterization of peripheral membrane proteins represents a tremendous challenge in structural biology due to their transient interaction with the membrane and the potential multitude of protein conformations during this interaction. Neutron reflectometry is uniquely suited to address this problem because of its ability to structurally characterize biological model systems nondestructively and under biomimetic conditions that retain full protein functionality. Being sensitive to only the membrane-bound fraction of a water-soluble peripheral protein, neutron reflectometry obtains a low-resolution average structure of the protein-membrane complex that is further refined using integrative modeling strategies. Here, the authors review the current technological state of biological neutron reflectometry exemplified by a detailed report on the structure determination of the myristoylated human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) Gag matrix associated with phosphoserine-containing model membranes. The authors found that the HIV-1 Gag matrix is able to adopt different configurations at the membrane in a pH-dependent manner and that the myristate group orients the protein in a way that is conducive to PIP2-binding. PMID:28511544

  15. Advances in structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisedchaisri, Goragot; Reichow, Steve L; Gonen, Tamir

    2011-10-12

    Electron crystallography is a powerful technique for the study of membrane protein structure and function in the lipid environment. When well-ordered two-dimensional crystals are obtained the structure of both protein and lipid can be determined and lipid-protein interactions analyzed. Protons and ionic charges can be visualized by electron crystallography and the protein of interest can be captured for structural analysis in a variety of physiologically distinct states. This review highlights the strengths of electron crystallography and the momentum that is building up in automation and the development of high throughput tools and methods for structural and functional analysis of membrane proteins by electron crystallography.

  16. 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.

  17. Membrane proteins: functional and structural studies using reconstituted proteoliposomes and 2-D crystals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rigaud J.-L.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Reconstitution of membrane proteins into lipid bilayers is a powerful tool to analyze functional as well as structural areas of membrane protein research. First, the proper incorporation of a purified membrane protein into closed lipid vesicles, to produce proteoliposomes, allows the investigation of transport and/or catalytic properties of any membrane protein without interference by other membrane components. Second, the incorporation of a large amount of membrane proteins into lipid bilayers to grow crystals confined to two dimensions has recently opened a new way to solve their structure at high resolution using electron crystallography. However, reconstitution of membrane proteins into functional proteoliposomes or 2-D crystallization has been an empirical domain, which has been viewed for a long time more like "black magic" than science. Nevertheless, in the last ten years, important progress has been made in acquiring knowledge of lipid-protein-detergent interactions and has permitted to build upon a set of basic principles that has limited the empirical approach of reconstitution experiments. Reconstitution strategies have been improved and new strategies have been developed, facilitating the success rate of proteoliposome formation and 2-D crystallization. This review deals with the various strategies available to obtain proteoliposomes and 2-D crystals from detergent-solubilized proteins. It gives an overview of the methods that have been applied, which may be of help for reconstituting more proteins into lipid bilayers in a form suitable for functional studies at the molecular level and for high-resolution structural analysis.

  18. The structure and function of cell membranes examined by atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda

    2015-06-07

    The cell membrane is one of the most complicated biological complexes, and long-term fierce debates regarding the cell membrane persist because of technical hurdles. With the rapid development of nanotechnology and single-molecule techniques, our understanding of cell membranes has substantially increased. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has provided several unprecedented advances (e.g., high resolution, three-dimensional and in situ measurements) in the study of cell membranes and has been used to systematically dissect the membrane structure in situ from both sides of membranes; as a result, novel models of cell membranes have recently been proposed. This review summarizes the new progress regarding membrane structure using in situ AFM and single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), which may shed light on the study of the structure and functions of cell membranes.

  19. Membrane dish analysis: A summary of structural and optical analysis capabilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steele, C.R.; Balch, C.D.; Jorgensen, G.J.; Wendelin, T.; Lewandowski, A.

    1991-11-01

    Research at SERI within the Department of Energy`s Solar Thermal Technology Program has focused on the development of membrane dish concentrators for space and terrestrial power applications. As potentially lightweight, inexpensive, high-performance structures, they are excellent candidates for space-deployable energy sources as well as cost-effective terrestrial energy concepts. A thorough engineering research treatment of these types of structures consists primarily of two parts: (1) structural mechanics of the membrane and ring support and (2) analysis and characterization of the concentrator optical performance. It is important to understand the effects of the membrane`s structure and support system on the optical performance of the concentrator. This requires an interface between appropriate structural and optical models. Until recently, such models and the required interface have not existed. This report documents research that has been conducted at SERI in this area. It is a compilation of several papers describing structural models of membrane dish structures and optical models used to predict dish concentrator optical and thermal performance. The structural models were developed under SERI subcontract by Dr. Steele and Dr. Balch of Stanford University. The optical model was developed in-house by SERI staff. In addition, the interface between the models is described. It allows easy and thorough characterization of membrane dish systems from the mechanics to the resulting optical performance. The models described herein have been and continue to be extremely useful to SERI, industry, and universities involved with the modeling and analysis of lightweight membrane concentrators for solar thermal applications.

  20. 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.

  1. Static and Dynamic Analyses of Long-Span Spatial Steel-Cable-Membrane Hybrid Structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁阳; 彭翼; 李忠献

    2003-01-01

    With the increment of the complexity of structural systems and the span of spatial structures, the interactions between parts of the structures, especially between some flexible substructures, become too complex to be analyzed clearly. In this paper, taking an actual gymnasium of a long-span spatial steel-cable-membrane hybrid structure as the calculation model, the static and dynamic analyses of the hybrid structures are performed by employing the global analysis of the whole hybrid structure and the substructural analysis of the truss arch substructure, the cable-membrane substructure, etc. In addition, the comparison of stresses and displacements of structural members in the global and substructural analyses is made. The numerical results show that serious errors exist in the substructural analysis of the hybrid structure, and the global analysis is necessary for the hybrid structure under the excitation of static loads and seismic loads.

  2. Analysis of wrinkled membrane structures based on a wrinkle-wave model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjun Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As research on the applications of high-precision membrane structures develops, wrinkling has become a popular topic. Here, we present a new wrinkle-wave model to describe wrinkles more accurately. First, the characteristics of wrinkle-waves that result from radial tension stress applied at the vertex of a triangular structure were analyzed. However, for polygonal structures under more than two tensions, the influence of the other vertexes should also be considered. Therefore, by introducing a load ratio, we constructed a wrinkle-wave model of a square membrane structure subjected to corner forces. This model is applicable to various loading cases and polygonal membrane structures. Comparison among the results of the finite element analysis, and the experimental and analytical results showed that the proposed model more accurately described the wrinkling details and solved the problem of convergence that is encountered during finite element analysis.

  3. Influence of the membrane structure plan shape on the displacements under point load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milošević Vuk S.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Deformations of membrane structures under external loads are much more prominent compared to other structures and structural materials. External area loads cause large displacements and redistribution of internal tension forces. Point loads have a less significant impact on changes of internal forces, but a more significant role in creation of local deformations. Previous researches have shown the influence of position and intensity of point loads on the deformations of membrane structures. The aim of this research is to investigate the influence of plan shape of the membrane structure on the displacements under point load. The influence of rhombic shaped plans with different diagonal lengths and ratios is explored. The research is conducted on numerical models in the specialized software Sofistik. Models are loaded with point loads in the point where diagonals intersect and the results are compared.

  4. Outer membrane active transport: structure of the BtuB:TonB complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultis, David D; Purdy, Michael D; Banchs, Christian N; Wiener, Michael C

    2006-06-02

    In Gram-negative bacteria, the import of essential micronutrients across the outer membrane requires a transporter, an electrochemical gradient of protons across the inner membrane, and an inner membrane protein complex (ExbB, ExbD, TonB) that couples the proton-motive force to the outer membrane transporter. The inner membrane protein TonB binds directly to a conserved region, called the Ton-box, of the transporter. We solved the structure of the cobalamin transporter BtuB in complex with the C-terminal domain of TonB. In contrast to its conformations in the absence of TonB, the Ton-box forms a beta strand that is recruited to the existing beta sheet of TonB, which is consistent with a mechanical pulling model of transport.

  5. 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.

  6. Obesity epidemic: overview, pathophysiology, and the intensive care unit conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurt, Ryan T; Frazier, Thomas H; McClave, Stephen A; Kaplan, Lee M

    2011-09-01

    Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, second only to smoking. The annual number of deaths attributed to obesity is estimated to be as high as 400,000. Nearly 70% of the adult U.S. population is overweight or obese. The historical viewpoint toward obesity has deemed it to be a lifestyle choice or characterological flaw. However, given the emerging research into the development of obesity and its related complications, our perspective is changing. It is now clear that obesity is a heterogeneous disease with many different subtypes, which involves an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. The current epidemic of obesity is the result of an obesogenic environment (which includes energy-dense foods and a lack of physical activity) in individuals who have a genetic susceptibility for developing obesity. The pathophysiology associated with weight gain is much more complex than originally thought. The heterogeneous nature of the disease makes the development of treatment strategies for obesity difficult. Obesity in general is associated with increased all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality (from cardiovascular, diabetic, hepatic, and neoplastic causes). Yet despite increased overall mortality rates, current evidence suggests that when these same patients are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), the obesity provides some protection against mortality. At present, there is no clear explanation for this obesity conundrum in critical illness.

  7. 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.

  8. Solving the programmed/non-programmed aging conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith, Theodore C

    2015-01-01

    For more than 150 years there has been some level of scientific argument regarding whether aging in humans and other mammals is purposely genetically programmed because living too long produces an evolutionary disadvantage, or whether aging in mammals is non-programmed because there is no such disadvantage. Although for many decades it was very widely thought that programmed aging in mammals was theoretically impossible, new evolutionary mechanics theories and new discoveries support programmed mammal aging as well as programmed lifespan limitation in non-mammals. The emergence of modern programmed aging theories has created a schism in the bioscience community regarding the programmed/ non-programmed issue. Because the two theories have radically different predictions regarding the fundamental nature of aging and consequently the nature of highly age-related diseases like cancer, stroke, and heart disease, resolving this issue is critical to medical research. This article summarizes the evolutionary mechanics basis of modern programmed and non-programmed aging theories, describes some of the many ancillary circumstances that continue to prevent resolution of this issue, and recommends steps that could be taken to rapidly resolve the programmed/ non-programmed conundrum.

  9. Preterm patent ductus arteriosus: A continuing conundrum for the neonatologist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Nick

    2015-08-01

    How to manage the preterm patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) remains a conundrum. On the one hand, physiology and statistical association with adverse outcomes suggest that it is pathological. On the other hand, clinical trials of treatment strategies have failed to show any long-term benefit. Ultrasound studies of PDA have suggested that the haemodynamic impact may be much earlier after birth than previously thought (in the first hours); however, we still do not know when to treat PDA. Studies that have tested symptomatic or pre-symptomatic treatment are mainly historical and have not tested the effect of no treatment. Prophylactic treatment is the best-studied regimen but improvements in some short-term outcomes do not translate to any difference in longer-term outcomes. Neonatologists have been reluctant to engage in trials that test treatment against almost never treating. Observations of very early postnatal haemodynamic significance suggest that targeting treatment on the basis of the early postnatal constrictive response of the duct may optimize benefits. A pilot trial of this strategy showed reduction in the incidence of pulmonary haemorrhage but more trials of this strategy are needed.

  10. Structural Diversity of Eukaryotic Membrane Cytochrome P450s*

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Eric F.; Stout, C. David

    2013-01-01

    X-ray crystal structures are available for 29 eukaryotic microsomal, chloroplast, or mitochondrial cytochrome P450s, including two non-monooxygenase P450s. These structures provide a basis for understanding structure-function relations that underlie their distinct catalytic activities. Moreover, structural plasticity has been characterized for individual P450s that aids in understanding substrate binding in P450s that mediate drug clearance.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    ample material of high quality for structural studies with NMR spectroscopy of several class I cytokine receptor TMDs. Furthermore, the structure of a class I cytokine receptor TMD in DHPC micelles was solved with solution-state NMR spectroscopy. Additionally, since structural studies of intact proteins...

  12. Structure and transport properties of ethylcellulose membranes with different types and granulation of magnetic powder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasowska, Monika; Strzelewicz, Anna; Rybak, Aleksandra; Dudek, Gabriela; Cieśla, Michał

    2016-06-01

    Structure and transport properties of ethylcellulose membranes with dispersed magnetic powder were investigated. The study mainly focused on diffusion, which is one of the transport mechanisms. The transport properties depend on many parameters like: polymeric matrix used, type of powder, its amount and granulation. The structure of the pattern formed by magnetic particles in the membrane matrix was studied. Description of the system was based on the phenomenological and molecular (random walk on a fractal lattice) approaches. Two parameters were calculated: the fractal dimension of random walk dw, and the fractal dimension of membrane structure df. The knowledge of both parameters made it possible to use the generalized equation of diffusion on the fractal structure obtained by Metzler et al. The research was carried out to determine the influence of magnetic powder granulation on the transport properties. The results showed that the random walk within the membranes of the smallest magnetic powder granulation was of the most subdiffusive character. Detailed investigation and quantitative description of gas transport through the membranes enables designing the membranes to be used in air oxygen enrichment.

  13. Structural Basis for Host Membrane Remodeling Induced by Protein 2B of Hepatitis A Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vives-Adrián, Laia; Garriga, Damià; Buxaderas, Mònica; Fraga, Joana; Pereira, Pedro José Barbosa

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The complexity of viral RNA synthesis and the numerous participating factors require a mechanism to topologically coordinate and concentrate these multiple viral and cellular components, ensuring a concerted function. Similarly to all other positive-strand RNA viruses, picornaviruses induce rearrangements of host intracellular membranes to create structures that act as functional scaffolds for genome replication. The membrane-targeting proteins 2B and 2C, their precursor 2BC, and protein 3A appear to be primarily involved in membrane remodeling. Little is known about the structure of these proteins and the mechanisms by which they induce massive membrane remodeling. Here we report the crystal structure of the soluble region of hepatitis A virus (HAV) protein 2B, consisting of two domains: a C-terminal helical bundle preceded by an N-terminally curved five-stranded antiparallel β-sheet that displays striking structural similarity to the β-barrel domain of enteroviral 2A proteins. Moreover, the helicoidal arrangement of the protein molecules in the crystal provides a model for 2B-induced host membrane remodeling during HAV infection. IMPORTANCE No structural information is currently available for the 2B protein of any picornavirus despite it being involved in a critical process in viral factory formation: the rearrangement of host intracellular membranes. Here we present the structure of the soluble domain of the 2B protein of hepatitis A virus (HAV). Its arrangement, both in crystals and in solution under physiological conditions, can help to understand its function and sheds some light on the membrane rearrangement process, a putative target of future antiviral drugs. Moreover, this first structure of a picornaviral 2B protein also unveils a closer evolutionary relationship between the hepatovirus and enterovirus genera within the Picornaviridae family. PMID:25589659

  14. Solid state NMR: The essential technology for helical membrane protein structural characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Timothy A; Ekanayake, Vindana; Paulino, Joana; Wright, Anna

    2014-02-01

    NMR spectroscopy of helical membrane proteins has been very challenging on multiple fronts. The expression and purification of these proteins while maintaining functionality has consumed countless graduate student hours. Sample preparations have depended on whether solution or solid-state NMR spectroscopy was to be performed - neither have been easy. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that membrane mimic environments influence the structural result. Indeed, in these recent years we have rediscovered that Nobel laureate, Christian Anfinsen, did not say that protein structure was exclusively dictated by the amino acid sequence, but rather by the sequence in a given environment (Anfinsen, 1973) [106]. The environment matters, molecular interactions with the membrane environment are significant and many examples of distorted, non-native membrane protein structures have recently been documented in the literature. However, solid-state NMR structures of helical membrane proteins in proteoliposomes and bilayers are proving to be native structures that permit a high resolution characterization of their functional states. Indeed, solid-state NMR is uniquely able to characterize helical membrane protein structures in lipid environments without detergents. Recent progress in expression, purification, reconstitution, sample preparation and in the solid-state NMR spectroscopy of both oriented samples and magic angle spinning samples has demonstrated that helical membrane protein structures can be achieved in a timely fashion. Indeed, this is a spectacular opportunity for the NMR community to have a major impact on biomedical research through the solid-state NMR spectroscopy of these proteins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Structure and function of thyroid hormone plasma membrane transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Ulrich; Johannes, Jörg; Bayer, Dorothea; Braun, Doreen

    2014-09-01

    Thyroid hormones (TH) cross the plasma membrane with the help of transporter proteins. As charged amino acid derivatives, TH cannot simply diffuse across a lipid bilayer membrane, despite their notorious hydrophobicity. The identification of monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8, SLC16A2) as a specific and very active TH transporter paved the way to the finding that mutations in the MCT8 gene cause a syndrome of psychomotor retardation in humans. The purpose of this review is to introduce the current model of transmembrane transport and highlight the diversity of TH transmembrane transporters. The interactions of TH with plasma transfer proteins, T3 receptors, and deiodinase are summarized. It is shown that proteins may bind TH owing to their hydrophobic character in hydrophobic cavities and/or by specific polar interaction with the phenolic hydroxyl, the aminopropionic acid moiety, and by weak polar interactions with the iodine atoms. These findings are compared with our understanding of how TH transporters interact with substrate. The presumed effects of mutations in MCT8 on protein folding and transport function are explained in light of the available homology model.

  16. The Obesity-Breast Cancer Conundrum: An Analysis of the Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawna B. Matthews

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Breast cancer develops over a timeframe of 2–3 decades prior to clinical detection. Given this prolonged latency, it is somewhat unexpected from a biological perspective that obesity has no effect or reduces the risk for breast cancer in premenopausal women yet increases the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This conundrum is particularly striking in light of the generally negative effects of obesity on breast cancer outcomes, including larger tumor size at diagnosis and poorer prognosis in both pre- and postmenopausal women. This review and analysis identifies factors that may contribute to this apparent conundrum, issues that merit further investigation, and characteristics of preclinical models for breast cancer and obesity that should be considered if animal models are used to deconstruct the conundrum.

  17. The Obesity-Breast Cancer Conundrum: An Analysis of the Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Shawna B; Thompson, Henry J

    2016-06-22

    Breast cancer develops over a timeframe of 2-3 decades prior to clinical detection. Given this prolonged latency, it is somewhat unexpected from a biological perspective that obesity has no effect or reduces the risk for breast cancer in premenopausal women yet increases the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This conundrum is particularly striking in light of the generally negative effects of obesity on breast cancer outcomes, including larger tumor size at diagnosis and poorer prognosis in both pre- and postmenopausal women. This review and analysis identifies factors that may contribute to this apparent conundrum, issues that merit further investigation, and characteristics of preclinical models for breast cancer and obesity that should be considered if animal models are used to deconstruct the conundrum.

  18. Changes in the plasma membrane in metabolic disease: impact of the membrane environment on G protein-coupled receptor structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Aditya J; Miller, Laurence J

    2017-07-10

    Drug development targeting GPCRs often utilizes model heterologous cell expression systems, reflecting an implicit assumption that the membrane environment has little functional impact on these receptors or on their responsiveness to drugs. However, much recent data have illustrated that membrane components can have an important functional impact on intrinsic membrane proteins. This review is directed toward gaining a better understanding of the structure of the plasma membrane in health and disease, and how this organelle can influence GPCR structure, function and regulation. It is important to recognize that the membrane provides a potential mode of lateral allosteric regulation of GPCRs and can affect the effectiveness of drugs and their biological responses in various disease states, which can even vary among individuals across the population. The type 1 cholecystokinin receptor is reviewed as an exemplar of a class A GPCR that is affected in this way by changes in the plasma membrane. © 2017 The British Pharmacological Society.

  19. 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.

  20. Structures linking the myonemes, endoplasmic reticulum, and surface membranes in the contractile ciliate Vorticella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, R D

    1973-02-01

    An electron microscope investigation of the interface between the myonemes of Vorticella convallaria and their associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has revealed structures of a complex morphology linking these two organelles. These structures are named "linkage complexes". Each complex contains a spindle-shaped midpiece which lies in a groove of the ER membrane. Microfilaments splay out from the tips of the midpiece and may come in contact with the inner alveolar sac membrane. Three to six raillike structures lie on each side of the midpiece and parallel it. The ER membrane appears to pass through the sides of the rails. In the lumen of the ER these rails are associated with a meshwork of filaments. A cradle of five rods lies within the groove under the midpiece. The ER membrane also passes through these rods which contact the same meshwork. In the scopular region and in the stalk the microfilaments from the midpiece form a bundle which passes into the lumen of modified basal bodies. These basal bodies are connected to the alveolar sac which, in the stalk, passes as a flattened tube along its length. The parts of the dissociated linkage complex are scattered throughout the spasmoneme of the stalk along membranes of the intraspasmonemal tubules. Thus, both stalk and body contractile bundles have linkage complexes that link their associated membrane systems to the microfibrils and, in turn, connect this membrane-microfibrillar interface to the pellicular membranes. The arrangement of the linkage complex suggests an involvement in the control of the transport of calcium ions between ER and microfibrils, and possibly the transfer of a message from the surface membranes to the sites of calcium release to trigger myonemal contraction.

  1. Structural Transition of Actin Filament in a Cell-Sized Water Droplet with a Phospholipid Membrane

    CERN Document Server

    Hase, M

    2005-01-01

    Actin filament, F-actin, is a semiflexible polymer with a negative charge, and is one of the main constituents on cell membranes. To clarify the effect of cross-talk between a phospholipid membrane and actin filaments in cells, we conducted microscopic observations on the structural changes in actin filaments in a cell-sized (several tens of micrometers in diameter) water droplet coated with a phospholipid membrane such as phosphatidylserine (PS; negatively-charged head group) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE; neutral head group) as a simple model of a living cell membrane. With PS, actin filaments are distributed uniformly in the water phase without adsorption onto the membrane surface between 2 and 6 mM Mg2+, while between 6 and 12 mM Mg2+, actin filaments are adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface. With PE, actin filaments are uniformly adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface between 2 and 12 mM Mg2+. With both PS and PE membranes, at Mg2+ concentrations higher than 12 mM, thick bundles are formed in the...

  2. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    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...... into soluble nanoscale lipid bilayers, also termed nanodiscs. Extensive analysis confirms the correct assembly and reconstitution of active proton pump into nanodiscs. The pump inserts as a monomer, which through activity analysis confirms this as the minimal functional unit of the plasma membrane H......+-ATPase. Reconstitution of the H+-ATPase into nanodiscs has the potential to enable structural and functional characterization using various techniques, exemplified by the specific immobilization of reconstituted proton pump using surface plasma resonance. The ability to efficiently separate empty from membrane protein...

  4. Structure-dependent interactions of polyphenols with a biomimetic membrane system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Huong T T; Yoda, Tsuyoshi; Chahal, Bindu; Morita, Masamune; Takagi, Masahiro; Vestergaard, Mun'delanji C

    2014-10-01

    Polyphenols are naturally-occurring compounds, reported to be biologically active, and through their interactions with cell membranes. Although association of the polyphenols with the bilayer has been reported, the detailed mechanism of interaction is not yet well elucidated. We report on spatio-temporal real-time membrane dynamics observed in the presence of polyphenols. Two distinct membrane dynamics, corresponding to the two classes of polyphenols used, were observed. Flavonoids (epi-gallocatechin-3-gallate, gallocatechin, theaflavin and theaflavin-3-gallate) caused lipid membrane aggregation and rigidification. As simple structural modification through opening of the aromatic C-ring into an olefin bond, present in trans-stilbenes (resveratrol and picead), completely changed the membrane properties, increasing fluidity and inducing fluctuation. There were differences in the membrane transformations within the same class of polyphenols. Structure-dependent classification of membrane dynamics may contribute to a better understanding of the physicochemical mechanism involved in the bioactivity of polyphenols. In general, an increase in the number of hydrophilic side chains (galloyl, hydroxyl, glucoside, gallate) increased the reactivity of the polyphenols. Most notable was the difference observed through a simple addition of the gallate group. Unraveling the importance of these polyphenols, at a functional group level further opens the key to tailored design of bioactive compounds as potential drug candidates.

  5. Sandwich-structured enzyme membrane reactor for efficient conversion of maltose into isomaltooligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lei; Su, Yanlei; Zheng, Yang; Jiang, Zhongyi; Shi, Jiafu; Zhu, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Yanjun

    2010-12-01

    A novel enzyme membrane reactor with sandwich structure has been developed by confining glucosidase between two sheets of ultrafiltration membranes to effectively convert maltose to isomaltooligosaccharides (IMOs). The hydrophilic ultrafiltration membranes, which were prepared by phase inversion method using PES as bulk polymer and Pluronic F127 as both surface modification and pore formation agent, exhibited the desirable enzyme adsorption-resistant property. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) photographs showed that two sheets of PES/Pluronic F127 membranes were packed tightly and glucosidase was kept in a free state within a nanoscale space. When the weight ratio of Pluronic F127 to PES was 30%, glucosidase could be completely rejected by the membranes. Due to the sandwich structuring of the membrane reactor and the high hydrophilicity of the PES/Pluronic F127 membrane surface, maltose conversion and yield reached 100% and 58% under the optimum experimental conditions (pH 6.0, 50 degrees C), respectively. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...... membranes and the polar lipid extract of soybeans. The complementarity of the biophysical techniques used (NMR, DLS, NR, DSC, Cryo-TEM) allowed correlating changes at the vesicle level with changes at the molecular level and the co-localization of RAs within DPPC monolayer. Effects on DPPC membranes...... are correlated with the physical chemical properties of the RA and their toxicity....

  7. Flash-induced structural dynamics in photosystem II membrane fragments of green plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieper, Jörg; Renger, Gernot

    2009-07-07

    Time-resolved quasielastic neutron scattering with laser excitation is a promising novel pump-probe approach, which opens up new perspectives for the study of protein-membrane dynamics in specific functional states of even complex systems. This is demonstrated here for the case of photosystem II membrane fragments with inhibited electron transfer. In contrast to the case of the model system bacteriorhodopsin, a transient reduction of the dynamics is observed approximately 160 micros after the actinic laser flash. This effect is the first observation of a modulated structural dynamics in photosystem II membrane fragments.

  8. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  9. Structure and properties of PVDF membrane with PES-C addition via thermally induced phase separation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Lishun; Sun, Junfen

    2014-12-01

    Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane and PVDF membrane with phenolphthalein polyethersulfone (PES-C) addition were prepared via thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) method by using diphenyl carbonate (DPC) and dimethyl acetamide (DMAc) as mixed diluents. The effects of coagulation temperature and pre-evaporation time on structure and properties of membranes were studied. The changes of sewage flux in MBR and the attenuation coefficient of sewage flux were investigated. The resistance distributions of PVDF and PVDF/PES-C membranes were compared by resistance analysis. Membrane composition and structure were characterized by ATR-FTIR, TGA, SEM and AFM. The foulant on membranes was analyzed by FTIR. The contact angle of PVDF/PES-C membrane was lower than that of PVDF membrane. A thinner skin layer and a porous cellular support layer formed in PVDF/PES-C membrane and resulted in a higher porosity and pure water flux. The pure water flux and porosity of PVDF/PES-C membrane increased with rising coagulation temperature and decreased with extending pre-evaporation time. The flux attenuation coefficient, the cake layer resistance and internal fouling resistance of PVDF/PES-C membrane in MBR were smaller than those of PVDF membrane in MBR. The FTIR spectrum of foulant on membrane indicated that the foulant on PVDF/PES-C membrane was mostly composed of protein and polysaccharide, while the foulant on pure PVDF membrane included biopolymer clusters besides protein and polysaccharide.

  10. Comparative analysis and "expression space" coverage of the production of prokaryotic membrane proteins for structural genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surade, Sachin; Klein, Markus; Stolt-Bergner, Peggy C; Muenke, Cornelia; Roy, Ankita; Michel, Hartmut

    2006-09-01

    Membrane proteins comprise up to one-third of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes, but only a very small number of membrane protein structures are known. Membrane proteins are challenging targets for structural biology, primarily due to the difficulty in producing and purifying milligram quantities of these proteins. We are evaluating different methods to produce and purify large numbers of prokaryotic membrane proteins for subsequent structural and functional analysis. Here, we present the comparative expression data for 37 target proteins, all of them secondary transporters, from the mesophilic organism Salmonella typhimurium and the two hyperthermophilic organisms Aquifex aeolicus and Pyrococcus furiosus in three different Escherichia coli expression vectors. In addition, we study the use of Lactococcus lactis as a host for integral membrane protein expression. Overall, 78% of the targets were successfully produced under at least one set of conditions. Analysis of these results allows us to assess the role of different variables in increasing "expression space" coverage for our set of targets. This analysis implies that to maximize the number of nonhomologous targets that are expressed, orthologous targets should be chosen and tested in two vectors with different types of promoters, using C-terminal tags. In addition, E. coli is shown to be a robust host for the expression of prokaryotic transporters, and is superior to L. lactis. These results therefore suggest appropriate strategies for high-throughput heterologous overproduction of membrane proteins.

  11. Structural determinants for the membrane insertion of the transmembrane peptide of hemagglutinin from influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor, Bruno L; Baptista, António M; Soares, Cláudio M

    2012-11-26

    Membrane fusion is a process involved in a high range of biological functions, going from viral infections to neurotransmitter release. Fusogenic proteins increase the slow rate of fusion by coupling energetically downhill conformational changes of the protein to the kinetically unfavorable fusion of the membrane lipid bilayers. Hemagglutinin is an example of a fusogenic protein, which promotes the fusion of the membrane of the influenza virus with the membrane of the target cell. The N-terminus of the HA2 subunit of this protein contains a fusion domain described to act as a destabilizer of the target membrane bilayers, leading eventually to a full fusion of the two membranes. On the other hand, the C-terminus of the same subunit contains a helical transmembrane domain which was initially described to act as the anchor of the protein to the membrane of the virus. However, in recent years the study of this peptide segment has been gaining more attention since it has also been described to be involved in the membrane fusion process. Yet, the structural characterization of the interaction of such a protein domain with membrane lipids is still very limited. Therefore, in this work, we present a study of this transmembrane peptide domain in the presence of DMPC membrane bilayers, and we evaluate the effect of several mutations, and the effect of peptide oligomerization in this interaction process. Our results allowed us to identify and confirm amino acid residue motifs that seem to regulate the interaction between the segment peptide and membrane bilayers. Besides these sequence requirements, we have also identified length and tilt requirements that ultimately contribute to the hydrophobic matching between the peptide and the membrane. Additionally, we looked at the association of several transmembrane peptide segments and evaluated their direct interaction and stability inside a membrane bilayer. From our results we could conclude that three independent TM peptide

  12. 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

  13. High-resolution Structures of Protein-Membrane Complexes by Neutron Reflection and MD Simulation: Membrane Association of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lösche, Matthias

    2012-02-01

    The lipid matrix of biomembranes is an in-plane fluid, thermally and compositionally disordered leaflet of 5 nm thickness and notoriously difficult to characterize in structural terms. Yet, biomembranes are ubiquitous in the cell, and membrane-bound proteins are implicated in a variety of signaling pathways and intra-cellular transport. We developed methodology to study proteins associated with model membranes using neutron reflection measurements and showed recently that this approach can resolve the penetration depth and orientation of membrane proteins with ångstrom resolution if their crystal or NMR structure is known. Here we apply this technology to determine the membrane bindung and unravel functional details of the PTEN phosphatase, a key player in the PI3K apoptosis pathway. PTEN is an important regulatory protein and tumor suppressor that performs its phosphatase activity as an interfacial enzyme at the plasma membrane-cytoplasm boundary. Acting as an antagonist to phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) in cell signaling, it is deleted in many human cancers. Despite its importance in regulating the levels of the phosphoinositoltriphosphate PI(3,4,5)P3, there is little understanding of how PTEN binds to membranes, is activated and then acts as a phosphatase. We investigated the structure and function of PTEN by studying its membrane affinity and localization on in-plane fluid, thermally disordered synthetic membrane models. The membrane association of the protein depends strongly on membrane composition, where phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol diphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) act synergetically in attracting the enzyme to the membrane surface. Membrane affinities depend strongly on membrane fluidity, which suggests multiple binding sites on the protein for PI(4,5)P2. Neutron reflection measurements show that the PTEN phosphatase ``scoots'' along the membrane surface (penetration protein, ˜ 60 å away from the bilayer surface, in a rather compact

  14. Crystal Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein Complex Ⅱ Determined

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    @@ Scientists at the CAS Institute of Biophysics (IBP) and Tsinghua University have gained new insights into the mechanism of mitochondria, the subcellular structures which generate energy for living cells.

  15. Probing Site-Specific Structural Information of Peptides at Model Membrane Interface In Situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Bei; Panahi, Afra; Ho, Jia-Jung; Laaser, Jennifer E; Brooks, Charles L; Zanni, Martin T; Chen, Zhan

    2015-08-19

    Isotope labeling is a powerful technique to probe detailed structures of biological molecules with a variety of analytical methods such as NMR and vibrational spectroscopies. It is important to obtain molecular structural information on biological molecules at interfaces such as cell membranes, but it is challenging to use the isotope labeling method to study interfacial biomolecules. Here, by individually (13)C═(16)O labeling ten residues of a peptide, Ovispirin-1, we have demonstrated for the first time that a site-specific environment of membrane associated peptide can be probed by the submonolayer surface sensitive sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy in situ. With the peptide associated with a single lipid bilayer, the sinusoidal trend of the SFG line width and peak-center frequency suggests that the peptide is located at the interface beneath the lipid headgroup region. The constructive interferences between the isotope labeled peaks and the main peptide amide I peak contributed by the unlabeled components were used to determine the membrane orientation of the peptide. From the SFG spectral peak-center frequency, line width, and polarization dependence of the isotope labeled units, we deduced structural information on individual units of the peptide associated with a model cell membrane. We also performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to understand peptide-membrane interactions. The physical pictures described by simulation agree well with the SFG experimental result. This research demonstrates the feasibility and power of using isotope labeling SFG to probe molecular structures of interfacial biological molecules in situ in real time.

  16. Stealth carriers for low-resolution structure determination of membrane proteins in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma; Skar-Gislinge, Nicholas; Midtgaard, Søren;

    2014-01-01

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial nanoscale bilayer disc carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows the handling of membrane proteins in solution. This 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 nontrivial fashion, making subsequent data analysis challenging. Here, an elegant solution to circumvent the intrinsic complexity......O at the length scales relevant to SANS. These 'stealth' carrier discs may be used as a general platform for low-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins using well established data-analysis tools originally developed for soluble proteins. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography....

  17. Structural Sensitivity of a Prokaryotic Pentameric Ligand-gated Ion Channel to Its Membrane Environment*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labriola, Jonathan M.; Pandhare, Akash; Jansen, Michaela; Blanton, Michael P.; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Baenziger, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Although the activity of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is exquisitely sensitive to its membrane environment, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly defined. The homologous prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel, Gloebacter ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC), represents an excellent model for probing the molecular basis of nAChR sensitivity because of its high structural homology, relative ease of expression, and amenability to crystallographic analysis. We show here that membrane-reconstituted GLIC exhibits structural and biophysical properties similar to those of the membrane-reconstituted nAChR, although GLIC is substantially more thermally stable. GLIC, however, does not possess the same exquisite lipid sensitivity. In particular, GLIC does not exhibit the same propensity to adopt an uncoupled conformation where agonist binding is uncoupled from channel gating. Structural comparisons provide insight into the chemical features that may predispose the nAChR to the formation of an uncoupled state. PMID:23463505

  18. Structural sensitivity of a prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel to its membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labriola, Jonathan M; Pandhare, Akash; Jansen, Michaela; Blanton, Michael P; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Baenziger, John E

    2013-04-19

    Although the activity of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is exquisitely sensitive to its membrane environment, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly defined. The homologous prokaryotic pentameric ligand-gated ion channel, Gloebacter ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC), represents an excellent model for probing the molecular basis of nAChR sensitivity because of its high structural homology, relative ease of expression, and amenability to crystallographic analysis. We show here that membrane-reconstituted GLIC exhibits structural and biophysical properties similar to those of the membrane-reconstituted nAChR, although GLIC is substantially more thermally stable. GLIC, however, does not possess the same exquisite lipid sensitivity. In particular, GLIC does not exhibit the same propensity to adopt an uncoupled conformation where agonist binding is uncoupled from channel gating. Structural comparisons provide insight into the chemical features that may predispose the nAChR to the formation of an uncoupled state.

  19. BCL::MP-fold: Membrane protein structure prediction guided by EPR restraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    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 (BioChemical Library membrane protein 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 RMSD100 value of the most accurate model is better than 8 Å for 27, better than 6 Å for 22, and better than 4 Å for 15 of the 29 proteins, demonstrating the algorithms' 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.

  20. 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

  1. Electrochemical properties of honeycomb-like structured HFBI self-organized membranes on HOPG electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Ryota; Takatsuji, Yoshiyuki; Lienemann, Michael; Asakawa, Hitoshi; Fukuma, Takeshi; Linder, Markus; Haruyama, Tetsuya

    2014-11-01

    HFBI (derived from Trichoderma sp.) is a unique structural protein, which forms a self-organized monolayer at both air/water interface and water/solid interfaces in accurate two-dimensional ordered structures. We have taken advantage of the unique functionality of HFBI as a molecular carrier for preparation of ordered molecular phase on solid substrate surfaces. The HFBI molecular carrier can easily form ordered structures; however, the dense molecular layers form an electrochemical barrier between the electrode and solution phase. In this study, the electrochemical properties of HFBI self-organized membrane-covered electrodes were investigated. Wild-type HFBI has balanced positive and negative charges on its surface. Highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) electrodes coated with HFBI molecules were investigated electrochemically. To improve the electrochemical properties of this HFBI-coated electrode, the two types of HFBI variants, with oppositely charged surfaces, were prepared genetically. All three types of HFBI-coated HOPG electrode perform electron transfer between the electrode and solution phase through the dense HFBI molecular layer. This is because the HFBI self-organized membrane has a honeycomb-like structure, with penetrating holes. In the cases of HFBI variants, the oppositely charged HFBI membrane phases shown opposite electrochemical behaviors in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. HFBI is a molecule with a unique structure, and can easily form honeycomb-like structures on solid material surfaces such as electrodes. The molecular membrane phase can be used for electrochemical molecular interfaces.

  2. 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...... fluorescence spectroscopy and by loss of lipid alignment in DPI analysis. Laurdan generalized polarity shows a decrease in water accessibility or mobility in the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface of the lipid membrane, consistent with rearrangement of lipid packing. QCM-D studies on the interaction of Nc...... with lipid membranes emphasize the importance of including the dissipation factor in data analysis, revealing formation of a highly hydrated film after exposure to 3muMNc. Our findings suggest a carpet mechanism of membrane disruption in which peptide binding first induces leakage at a critical surface...

  3. Structure alignment of membrane proteins: Accuracy of available tools and a consensus strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamm, Marcus; Forrest, Lucy R

    2015-09-01

    Protein structure alignment methods are used for the detection of evolutionary and functionally related positions in proteins. A wide array of different methods are available, but the choice of the best method is often not apparent to the user. Several studies have assessed the alignment accuracy and consistency of structure alignment methods, but none of these explicitly considered membrane proteins, which are important targets for drug development and have distinct structural features. Here, we compared 13 widely used pairwise structural alignment methods on a test set of homologous membrane protein structures (called HOMEP3). Each pair of structures was aligned and the corresponding sequence alignment was used to construct homology models. The model accuracy compared to the known structures was assessed using scoring functions not incorporated in the tested structural alignment methods. The analysis shows that fragment-based approaches such as FR-TM-align are the most useful for aligning structures of membrane proteins. Moreover, fragment-based approaches are more suitable for comparison of protein structures that have undergone large conformational changes. Nevertheless, no method was clearly superior to all other methods. Additionally, all methods lack a measure to rate the reliability of a position within a structure alignment. To solve both of these problems, we propose a consensus-type approach, combining alignments from four different methods, namely FR-TM-align, DaliLite, MATT, and FATCAT. Agreement between the methods is used to assign confidence values to each position of the alignment. Overall, we conclude that there remains scope for the improvement of structural alignment methods for membrane proteins. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Molecular structure, function, and dynamics of clathrin-mediated membrane traffic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchhausen, Tom; Owen, David; Harrison, Stephen C

    2014-05-01

    Clathrin is a molecular scaffold for vesicular uptake of cargo at the plasma membrane, where its assembly into cage-like lattices underlies the clathrin-coated pits of classical endocytosis. This review describes the structures of clathrin, major cargo adaptors, and other proteins that participate in forming a clathrin-coated pit, loading its contents, pinching off the membrane as a lattice-enclosed vesicle, and recycling the components. It integrates as much of the structural information as possible at the time of writing into a sketch of the principal steps in coated-pit and coated-vesicle formation.

  5. The effect of prostaglandin synthase inhibitor, aspirin on the rat intestinal membrane structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, G; Kaur, J; Mittal, N; Nath Sanyal, S

    2010-01-01

    Aspirin at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight was found to decrease the activity of the rat intestinal brush border membrane (BBM) - associated enzymes such as the sucrase, lactase, maltase and alkaline phosphatase. Aspirin treatment also led to a decrease in the microviscosity in the native as well as the benzyl alcohol treated membrane which might be due to the lipid peroxidative damage in the membrane. Physical correlation of the membrane oxidative damage was evident as the Fourier Transformation Infra Red (FTIR) study of the Aspirin treated membrane, which include an increased proportion of gauche to trans conformer, shift in the methylene C-H asymmetric and symmetric stretching frequencies, C = O double bond stretching, NH bending, antisymmetric (N)-CH3 bending, C-N stretching and antisymmetric CNC stretching while there was no change in the CH2 wagging and twisting as well as in NH-bending amide bond I and II. Aspirin treatment also caused an alteration in the glucose and histidine transport, as evident by a decreased Vmax value while the apparent Km remaining unchanged in the control and Aspirin-treated animals confirming that there was no change in the substrate affinity constant of the membrane transport proteins for the glucose and the basic amino acid, although the rate of transport decreased considerably. There was a decrease noted in the energy of activation of glucose and histidine transport when studied at different temperature but no change in the temperature of phase transition in the BBM with Aspirin treatment, thus implying that perhaps the thermotropic phase transition in the membrane may have relatively little effect on the transport processes. The result suggests an underlying molecular mechanism indicating the implied membrane damage by Aspirin, an important member of the non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) family which could possibly through an oxidative damage may lead to an altered molecular structure, physical state and biological

  6. Structural insights into the organization of the cavin membrane coat complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovtun, Oleksiy; Tillu, Vikas A; Jung, WooRam; Leneva, Natalya; Ariotti, Nicholas; Chaudhary, Natasha; Mandyam, Ramya A; Ferguson, Charles; Morgan, Garry P; Johnston, Wayne A; Harrop, Stephen J; Alexandrov, Kirill; Parton, Robert G; Collins, Brett M

    2014-11-24

    Caveolae are cell-surface membrane invaginations that play critical roles in cellular processes including signaling and membrane homeostasis. The cavin proteins, in cooperation with caveolins, are essential for caveola formation. Here we show that a minimal N-terminal domain of the cavins, termed HR1, is required and sufficient for their homo- and hetero-oligomerization. Crystal structures of the mouse cavin1 and zebrafish cavin4a HR1 domains reveal highly conserved trimeric coiled-coil architectures, with intersubunit interactions that determine the specificity of cavin-cavin interactions. The HR1 domain contains a basic surface patch that interacts with polyphosphoinositides and coordinates with additional membrane-binding sites within the cavin C terminus to facilitate membrane association and remodeling. Electron microscopy of purified cavins reveals the existence of large assemblies, composed of a repeating rod-like structural element, and we propose that these structures polymerize through membrane-coupled interactions to form the unique striations observed on the surface of caveolae in vivo.

  7. Effect of Receptor Structure and Length on the Wrapping of a Nanoparticle by a Lipid Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haizhen Zhang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Nanoparticles have been considered as a type of powerful tool to deliver drugs and genes into cells for disease diagnosis and therapies. It has been generally accepted that the internalization of nanoparticles into cells is mostly realized by receptor-mediated endocytosis. However, for the influence of structural factors of receptors on endocytosis, this is still largely unknown. In this paper, computer simulations are applied to investigate the effects of structure (i.e., the number of constituent chains of the receptor and the length of the receptor on the wrapping behavior of nanoparticles by the lipid membrane, which is a key step of receptor-medicated endocytosis. It is found that these structural factors of receptors have strong effects on the nanoparticle’s final interaction configuration with the membrane in the simulations, such as adhering on the membrane surface or being partly or fully wrapped by the membrane. Furthermore, in some cases, the rupture of the lipid membrane occurs. These results are helpful for the understanding of endocytosis and the preparation of advanced nanoscale drug-delivery vectors.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 vectors currently used in 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.

  10. Acetylcholine Receptors in Model Membranes: Structure/Function Correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-12-01

    sodium channel: Inferences derived from computer aided analysis of the Electrophorus electricus channel primary structure. FEBS Lett. 193:125-134. 19...from Torpedo californica and the voltage- sensitive sodium channel from Electrophorus electricus and rat brain provide an opportunity to pursue this...Agnew, W.S. and Levinson, S.R. (1983) Principal glycopeptide of the tetrodotoxin/saxitoxin binding protein from Electrophorus electricus :Isolation

  11. Hierarchically structured polysulfone/titania fibrous membranes with enhanced air filtration performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Huigao; Wang, Na; Yang, Jianmao; Si, Yinsong; Chen, Kun; Ding, Bin; Sun, Gang; El-Newehy, Mohamed; Al-Deyab, Salem S; Yu, Jianyong

    2014-03-01

    Hierarchically structured, superhydrophobic filter medium exhibiting robust filtration performance to airborne particulate were prepared by a facile deposition of electrospun polysulfone/titania nanoparticles (PSU/TiO2 NPs) on a conventional nonwoven substrate. The air permeability, tensile strength and abrasion resistance of pristine PSU fibrous membranes could be finely controlled by regulating the solvent composition and number ratios of jets. By employing the TiO2 NPs incorporation, the pristine PSU fibers were endowed with promising superhydrophobicity with a water contact angle of up to 152°. The quantitative hierarchical roughness analysis using N2 adsorption method has confirmed the major contribution of TiO2 NPs on enhancing the porous structure and surface fractal features with irregular rough structure. Filtration performance studies have revealed that the filtration efficiency and pressure drop of resultant hybrid membranes could be manipulated by tuning the surface composition as well as the hierarchical structures. Furthermore, the as-prepared PSU/TiO2-5 membrane exhibited improved filtration efficiency (99.997%) and pressure drop (45.3 Pa) compared with pristine PSU membrane, which would make them a promising media for fine particle filtration, and a new insight was also provided into the design and development of high performance filter medium based on hierarchical structured fibers.

  12. Benchmarking Membrane Protein Detergent Stability for Improving Throughput of High-Resolution X-ray Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonoda, Yo; Newstead, Simon; Hu, Nien-Jen; Alguel, Yilmaz; Nji, Emmanuel; Beis, Konstantinos; Yashiro, Shoko; Lee, Chiara; Leung, James; Cameron, Alexander D.; Byrne, Bernadette; Iwata, So; Drew, David

    2011-01-01

    Summary Obtaining well-ordered crystals is a major hurdle to X-ray structure determination of membrane proteins. To facilitate crystal optimization, we investigated the detergent stability of 24 eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane proteins, predominantly transporters, using a fluorescent-based unfolding assay. We have benchmarked the stability required for crystallization in small micelle detergents, as they are statistically more likely to lead to high-resolution structures. Using this information, we have been able to obtain well-diffracting crystals for a number of sodium and proton-dependent transporters. By including in the analysis seven membrane proteins for which structures are already known, AmtB, GlpG, Mhp1, GlpT, EmrD, NhaA, and LacY, it was further possible to demonstrate an overall trend between protein stability and structural resolution. We suggest that by monitoring membrane protein stability with reference to the benchmarks described here, greater efforts can be placed on constructs and conditions more likely to yield high-resolution structures. PMID:21220112

  13. Validation of an immersed thick boundary method for simulating fluid-structure interactions of deformable membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigüenza, J.; Mendez, S.; Ambard, D.; Dubois, F.; Jourdan, F.; Mozul, R.; Nicoud, F.

    2016-10-01

    This paper constitutes an extension of the work of Mendez et al. (2014) [36], for three-dimensional simulations of deformable membranes under flow. An immersed thick boundary method is used, combining the immersed boundary method with a three-dimensional modeling of the structural part. The immersed boundary method is adapted to unstructured grids for the fluid resolution, using the reproducing kernel particle method. An unstructured finite-volume flow solver for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations is coupled with a finite-element solver for the structure. The validation process relying on a number of test cases proves the efficiency of the method, and its robustness is illustrated when computing the dynamics of a tri-leaflet aortic valve. The proposed immersed thick boundary method is able to tackle applications involving both thin and thick membranes/closed and open membranes, in significantly high Reynolds number flows and highly complex geometries.

  14. 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

    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......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......-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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma

    which can be used for SANS structural analysis of membrane proteins in solution. In combination with the D2O/H2O-based contrast variation method it is demonstrated that it is possible to prepare specifically deuterated analogues of the nanodisc, which give minimal contribution to the neutron scattering......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...... scaffolding protein. To obtain physiologically relevant deuterated phosphatidylcholine (PC) species with the required scattering length density a novel method for deuteration of PC was developed to separately control the deuteration levels of three different parts of the phospholipid molecule: the lipid head...

  16. 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.

  17. Nano-Structured Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu Chien-Suen; Lin Fan-Yen; Chu Peter P

    2005-01-01

    @@ 1Introduction Nano-structured materials are characterized by long range ordering of the nano-dimensioned quantum dot units. They have been found to deliver substantially different (electric, optical, magnetic and physical) properties from that of the bulk. The differences are mainly due to the increases of surface charge with large fraction of grain boundaries, and the periodical potential field created by the ordered nano-domains. Specifically,the issues considered in "nano ionics" are the degree of interaction, the charge distribution on the interfaces where they become obvious in ionic properties and thermodynamics such as mobility of charge carriers. Major efforts in this direction are focused on:

  18. Quercetin modulates activities of Taiwan cobra phospholipase A2 via its effects on membrane structure and membrane-bound mode of phospholipase A2

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Yi-Ling Chiou; Shinne-Ren Lin; Wan-Ping Hu; Long-Sen Chang

    2012-06-01

    The goal of the present study is to elucidate the mechanism of quercetin on modulating Naja naja atra phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities. Sphingomyelin inhibited PLA2 enzymatic activity and membrane-damaging activity against egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC), while cholesterol and quercetin abrogated the sphingomeyelin inhibitory effect. Quercetin incorporation led to a reduction in PLA2 enzymatic activity and membrane-damaging activity toward EYPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol vesicles. Both cholesterol and quercetin increased detergent resistance and reduced membrane fluidity of EYPC/sphingomyelin vesicles. Quercetin reduced detergent insolubility but increased ordered lipid packing of EYPC/sphingomyelin/cholesterol vesicles. Acrylamide quenching studies and trinitrophenylation of Lys residues revealed that quercetin altered the membrane-bound mode of PLA2 differently upon absorption onto the membrane bilayers of different lipid compositions. However, 8-anilinonaphthalene sulphonate-binding assay revealed that quercetin marginally affected the interaction between active site of PLA2 with phospholipid vesicles. Collectively, our data indicate that membrane-inserted quercetin modulates PLA2 interfacial activity and membrane-damaging activity via its effects on membrane structure and membrane-bound mode of PLA2.

  19. 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.

  20. Bax assembles into large ring-like structures remodeling the mitochondrial outer membrane in apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Große, Lena; Wurm, Christian A; Brüser, Christian; Neumann, Daniel; Jans, Daniel C; Jakobs, Stefan

    2016-02-15

    The Bcl-2 family proteins Bax and Bak are essential for the execution of many apoptotic programs. During apoptosis, Bax translocates to the mitochondria and mediates the permeabilization of the outer membrane, thereby facilitating the release of pro-apoptotic proteins. Yet the mechanistic details of the Bax-induced membrane permeabilization have so far remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that activated Bax molecules, besides forming large and compact clusters, also assemble, potentially with other proteins including Bak, into ring-like structures in the mitochondrial outer membrane. STED nanoscopy indicates that the area enclosed by a Bax ring is devoid of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins such as Tom20, Tom22, and Sam50. This strongly supports the view that the Bax rings surround an opening required for mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). Even though these Bax assemblies may be necessary for MOMP, we demonstrate that at least in Drp1 knockdown cells, these assemblies are not sufficient for full cytochrome c release. Together, our super-resolution data provide direct evidence in support of large Bax-delineated pores in the mitochondrial outer membrane as being crucial for Bax-mediated MOMP in cells. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

  1. 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.

  2. Bacterial social networks: structure and composition of Myxococcus xanthus outer membrane vesicle chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remis, Jonathan P; Wei, Dongguang; Gorur, Amita; Zemla, Marcin; Haraga, Jessica; Allen, Simon; Witkowska, H Ewa; Costerton, J William; Berleman, James E; Auer, Manfred

    2014-02-01

    The social soil bacterium, Myxococcus xanthus, displays a variety of complex and highly coordinated behaviours, including social motility, predatory rippling and fruiting body formation. Here we show that M. xanthus cells produce a network of outer membrane extensions in the form of outer membrane vesicle chains and membrane tubes that interconnect cells. We observed peritrichous display of vesicles and vesicle chains, and increased abundance in biofilms compared with planktonic cultures. By applying a range of imaging techniques, including three-dimensional (3D) focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy, we determined these structures to range between 30 and 60 nm in width and up to 5 μm in length. Purified vesicle chains consist of typical M. xanthus lipids, fucose, mannose, N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactoseamine carbohydrates and a small set of cargo protein. The protein content includes CglB and Tgl outer membrane proteins known to be transferable between cells in a contact-dependent manner. Most significantly, the 3D organization of cells within biofilms indicates that cells are connected via an extensive network of membrane extensions that may connect cells at the level of the periplasmic space. Such a network would allow the transfer of membrane proteins and other molecules between cells, and therefore could provide a mechanism for the coordination of social activities. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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

  4. Effect of non-solvent additives on the morphology, pore structure, and direct contact membrane distillation performance of PVDF-CTFE hydrophobic membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Libing; Wu, Zhenjun; Zhang, Yong; Wei, Yuansong; Wang, Jun

    2016-07-01

    Four common types of additives for polymer membrane preparation including organic macromolecule and micromolecule additives, inorganic salts and acids, and the strong non-solvent H2O were used to prepare poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-chlorotrifluoroethylene) (PVDF-CTFE) hydrophobic flat-sheet membranes. Membrane properties including morphology, porosity, hydrophobicity, pore size and pore distribution were investigated, and the permeability was evaluated via direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) of 3.5g/L NaCl solution in a DCMD configuration. Both inorganic and organic micromolecule additives were found to slightly influence membrane hydrophobicity. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), organic acids, LiCl, MgCl2, and LiCl/H2O mixtures were proved to be effective additives to PVDF-CTFE membranes due to their pore-controlling effects and the capacity to improve the properties and performance of the resultant membranes. The occurrence of a pre-gelation process showed that when organic and inorganic micromolecules were added to PVDF-CTFE solution, the resultant membranes presented a high interconnectivity structure. The membrane prepared with dibutyl phthalate (DBP) showed a nonporous surface and symmetrical cross-section. When H2O and LiCl/H2O mixtures were also used as additives, they were beneficial for solid-liquid demixing, especially when LiCl/H2O mixed additives were used. The membrane prepared with 5% LiCl+2% H2O achieved a flux of 24.53kg/(m(2)·hr) with 99.98% salt rejection. This study is expected to offer a reference not only for PVDF-CTFE membrane preparation but also for other polymer membranes.

  5. 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

  6. Peroxynitrous acid induces structural and functional modifications to basement membranes and its key component, laminin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Degendorfer, Georg; Chuang, Christine Y.; Hammer, Astrid;

    2015-01-01

    Basement membranes (BM) are specialized extracellular matrices underlying endothelial cells in the artery wall. Laminin, the most abundant BM glycoprotein, is a structural and biologically active component. Peroxynitrous acid (ONOOH), a potent oxidizing and nitrating agent, is formed in vivo at s...

  7. Simulations of a Membrane-Anchored Peptide: Structure, Dynamics, and Influence on Bilayer Properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Østergaard; Mouritsen, O.G.; Peters, Günther H.J.

    2004-01-01

    A three-dimensional structure of a model decapeptide is obtained by performing molecular dynamics simulations of the peptide in explicit water. Interactions between an N-myristoylated form of the folded peptide anchored to dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine fluid phase lipid membranes are studied at ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castricum, H.L.; Sah, A.; Geenevasen, J.A.J.; Kreiter, R.; Blank, D.H.A.; Vente, J.F.; ten Elshof, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    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 methyltriethox

  9. The Asymmetrical Structure of Golgi Apparatus Membranes Revealed by In situ Atomic Force Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23613878

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fabrication and biocompatibility of an antimicrobial composite membrane with an asymmetric porous structure.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, J.; Zuo, Y.; Man, Y.; Mo, A.; Huang, C.; Liu, M.; Jansen, J.A.; Li, Y.

    2012-01-01

    A composite slurry from silver ion-substituted nano-hydroxyapatite, titania nano-particles and polyamide 66 (Ag-nHA/TiO(2)/PA66) was prepared and used to fabricate a novel antimicrobial membrane with a gradient porous structure for guided bone regeneration (GBR). Subsequently, assays were performed

  13. 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 an......-resolution structural studes of many membrane proteins and their complexes in solution as the analysis of SANS data for this platform is greatly simplified and allows for the application of existing data analysis tools already available for soluble proteins...... 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...... which can be used for SANS structural analysis of membrane proteins in solution. In combination with the D2O/H2O-based contrast variation method it is demonstrated that it is possible to prepare specifically deuterated analogues of the nanodisc, which give minimal contribution to the neutron scattering...

  14. Membrane protein structural biology using X-ray free electron lasers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neutze, Richard; Brändén, Gisela; Schertler, Gebhard F X

    2015-08-01

    Membrane protein structural biology has benefitted tremendously from access to micro-focus crystallography at synchrotron radiation sources. X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) are linear accelerator driven X-ray sources that deliver a jump in peak X-ray brilliance of nine orders of magnitude and represent a disruptive technology with potential to dramatically change the field. Membrane proteins were amongst the first macromolecules to be studied with XFEL radiation and include proof-of-principle demonstrations of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX), the observation that XFEL data can deliver damage free crystallographic structures, initial experiments towards recording structural information from 2D arrays of membrane proteins, and time-resolved SFX, time-resolved wide angle X-ray scattering and time-resolved X-ray emission spectroscopy studies. Conversely, serial crystallography methods are now being applied using synchrotron radiation. We believe that a context dependent choice of synchrotron or XFEL radiation will accelerate progress towards novel insights in understanding membrane protein structure and dynamics.

  15. Hydropathy profile alignment : a tool to search for structural homologues of membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lolkema, JS; Slotboom, DJ

    1998-01-01

    Hydropathy profile alignment is introduced as a tool in functional genomics. The architecture of membrane proteins is reflected in the hydropathy profile of the amino acid sequence. Both secondary and tertiary structural elements determine the profile which provides enough sensitivity to detect evol

  16. Crystal structure and biochemical analyses reveal Beclin 1 as a novel membrane binding protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weijiao Huang; Feng-Liang Wang; Haiteng Deng; Lei Liu; Ning Gao; Li Yu; Yigong Shi; Wooyoung Choi; Wanqiu Hu; Na Mi; Qiang Guo; Meisheng Ma; Mei Liu; Yuan Tian; Peilong Lu

    2012-01-01

    The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an essential role in autophagy.However,the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1 functions remains largely unknown.Here we report the crystal structure of the evolutionarily conserved domain(ECD)of Beclin 1 at 1.6(A)resolution.Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold,with three structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis.Beclin 1 ECD defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain,with a strong preference for lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin.The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1 ECD,comprising three aromatic amino acids,acts as a hydrophobic finger to associate with lipid membrane,consequently resulting in the deformation of membrane and liposomes.Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1 unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo.These observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological functions of Beclin 1.

  17. [Phospholipids and structural modification of tissues and cell membranes for adaptation in high altitude mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakovlev, V M; Vishnevskiĭ, A A; Shanazarov, A S

    2012-01-01

    The nature of the impact of physical factors of high altitudes (3200 m) on the lipids of tissues and membranes of animals was researched. It was established that the adaptation process in Wistar rats was followed by peroxide degradation and subsequent modification of the phospholipids' structure of tissues and microsomal membranes. Adaptive phospholipids reconstruction takes place in microsomal membranes in the tissues of the lungs, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. Together with this, the amount of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid accumulates, indicating that the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5 biphosphate to diacylglycerol and secondary messenger--inositol triphosphate, occurs. A decrease in temperature adaptation (+10 degrees C) leads to a more noticeable shift in peroxide oxidation of lipids, phospholipid structure in the tissues and membranes rather than adaptation in thermoneutral conditions (+30 degrees C). Modification of lipid composition of tissues and cell membranes in the highlands obviously increases the adaptive capabilities of cells of the whole body: physical performance and resistance to hypoxia increases in animals.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. Transgender Children: Conundrums and Controversies--A Introduction to the Section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lament, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces the readership of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child to the topic of transgender children, which will be investigated in the papers that follow. A flashpoint in the recent discourse that escorts children who self-describe as gender nonconforming is whether or not to support the practice of the medical suspension of puberty of these children by the administration of hormonal treatment. Relevant up-to-date research findings on this subject will be reviewed here. Despite those advocates and opponents who swarm around both poles, any reliable conclusions as to the long-term safety and psychological effects of puberty suppressants will remain provisional untilfuture studies proffer more definitive answers. While we await further study, the journal sees the necessity to press for dialogue concerning this conundrum. Anchoring this section is a clinical paper by Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D., which documents the psychotherapeutic treatment of a transgender child who was prescribed puberty suppressants. The commentaries that follow and that are briefly summarized in this introduction will accent the psychoanalytic developmental point of view. This will provide the principal framework for the study of this controversy, which underscores the complementary dimensions of linear and nonlinear progressive hierarchical growth. In this context, features such as the developmentally normative fluidity of self-structures, including gender role identity, and the evolution of concrete thinking toward metaphoricity and figurative meaning-making in middle childhood and adolescence will be examined and applied to the clinical data. In addition, the argument that the use of puberty suppressants exacts a premature foreclosure on the reorganizing potential of developmental growth, and the proposed efftcts of the crosscurrents of the sociocultural body politic on these children and on the decision to opt for the suspension of pubertal growth will be explored.

  2. The Flavivirus Precursor Membrane-Envelope Protein Complex: Structure and Maturation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Long; Lok, Shee-Mei; Yu, I-Mei; Zhang, Ying; Kuhn, Richard J.; Chen, Jue; Rossmann, Michael G. (Purdue)

    2008-09-17

    Many viruses go through a maturation step in the final stages of assembly before being transmitted to another host. The maturation process of flaviviruses is directed by the proteolytic cleavage of the precursor membrane protein (prM), turning inert virus into infectious particles. We have determined the 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structure of a recombinant protein in which the dengue virus prM is linked to the envelope glycoprotein E. The structure represents the prM-E heterodimer and fits well into the cryo-electron microscopy density of immature virus at neutral pH. The pr peptide {beta}-barrel structure covers the fusion loop in E, preventing fusion with host cell membranes. The structure provides a basis for identifying the stages of its pH-directed conformational metamorphosis during maturation, ending with release of pr when budding from the host.

  3. Structural Signatures and Membrane Helix 4 in GLUT1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, Juan M.; Wang, Dong; Yang, Ru; Shi, Lei; Yang, Hong; De Vivo, Darryl C.

    2008-01-01

    Exon IV of SLC2A1, a multiple facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporter gene, is particularly susceptible to mutations that cause GLUT1 deficiency syndrome, a human encephalopathy that results from decreased glucose flux through the blood-brain barrier. Genotyping of 100 patients revealed that in a third of them who harbor missense mutations in the GLUT1 transporter, transmembrane domain 4 (TM4), encoded by SLC2A1 exon IV, contains mutant residues that have the periodicity of one face of a kinked α-helix. Arg-126, located at the amino terminus of TM4, is the locus for most of the mutations followed by other arginine and glycine residues located elsewhere in the transporter but conserved among MFS proteins. The Arg-126 mutants were constructed and assayed for protein expression, targeting, and transport capacity in Xenopus oocytes. The role of charge at position 126, as well as its accessibility, was investigated in R126H by determining its activity as a function of extracellular pH. The results indicate that intracellular charges at the MFS TM2–3 and TM8–9 signature loops and flanking TMs 3, 5, and 6 are critical for the structure of GLUT1 as are TM glycines and that TM4, located at the catalytic core of MFS proteins, forms a helix that surfaces into the extracellular solution where another proton facilitates transport. PMID:18387950

  4. Study of structural model of biological membranes by synchrotron radiation

    CERN Document Server

    Cavalcanti, L P

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this work has been to study, from the structural point of view, the process of incorporation of various types of hydrophobic compounds into the lamellar phase of liposomes and multilayers of the zwitterionic phospholipid DPPC. X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques using synchrotron radiation, have been used to monitor changes of several bilayer systems. Thermotropic phase transitions as well as the order of the lamellar packing were studied in situ experiments. The behavior of the L beta' and L alpha phases was followed as a function of the water content in dispersions of DPPC multi lamellar vesicles with the addition of the alkaloid Ellipticine in several concentrations. The results showed a decrease in the temperature of the pre-transition as well as that of the main transition (P beta' ->L alpha). The decrease of the lamellar spacing as a function of temperature in the liquid crystalline phase leads to the description of the thermal compression coefficient in the L alpha phase. It wa...

  5. The Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor: A Complex Membrane-Anchoring Structure for Proteins†

    OpenAIRE

    Paulick, Margot G.; Bertozzi, Carolyn R

    2008-01-01

    Positioned at the C-terminus of many eukaryotic proteins, the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is a posttranslational modification that anchors the modified protein in the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. The GPI anchor is a complex structure comprising a phosphoethanolamine linker, glycan core, and phospholipid tail. GPI-anchored proteins are structurally and functionally diverse and play vital roles in numerous biological processes. While several GPI-anchored proteins have been ...

  6. 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.

  7. Optimization design combined with coupled structural-electrostatic analysis for the electrostatically controlled deployable membrane reflector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Yang, Guigeng; Zhang, Yiqun

    2015-01-01

    The electrostatically controlled deployable membrane reflector (ECDMR) is a promising scheme to construct large size and high precision space deployable reflector antennas. This paper presents a novel design method for the large size and small F/D ECDMR considering the coupled structure-electrostatic problem. First, the fully coupled structural-electrostatic system is described by a three field formulation, in which the structure and passive electrical field is modeled by finite element method, and the deformation of the electrostatic domain is predicted by a finite element formulation of a fictitious elastic structure. A residual formulation of the structural-electrostatic field finite element model is established and solved by Newton-Raphson method. The coupled structural-electrostatic analysis procedure is summarized. Then, with the aid of this coupled analysis procedure, an integrated optimization method of membrane shape accuracy and stress uniformity is proposed, which is divided into inner and outer iterative loops. The initial state of relatively high shape accuracy and uniform stress distribution is achieved by applying the uniform prestress on the membrane design shape and optimizing the voltages, in which the optimal voltage is computed by a sensitivity analysis. The shape accuracy is further improved by the iterative prestress modification using the reposition balance method. Finally, the results of the uncoupled and coupled methods are compared and the proposed optimization method is applied to design an ECDMR. The results validate the effectiveness of this proposed methods.

  8. 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

    as combining two or more structural concepts and materials together to create a stronger whole. The paper presents the methods used and developed for design, simulation, evaluation and production, as well as the challenges and obstacles to overcome to build a complex hybrid tower structure in an outside......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 here...

  9. Structure-function relationships of ErbB RTKs in the plasma membrane of living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt-Jovin, Donna J; Botelho, Michelle G; Jovin, Thomas M

    2014-04-01

    We review the states of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), primarily the EGF receptor (EGFR, ErbB1, HER1) and the orphan receptor ErbB2 as they exist in living mammalian cells, focusing on four main aspects: (1) aggregation state and distribution in the plasma membrane; (2) conformational features of the receptors situated in the plasma membrane, compared to the crystallographic structures of the isolated extracellular domains; (3) coupling of receptor disposition on filopodia with the transduction of signaling ligand gradients; and (4) ligand-independent receptor activation by application of a magnetic field.

  10. Structural insight into the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Kuszak, Adam J; Gumbart, James C; Lukacik, Petra; Chang, Hoshing; Easley, Nicole C; Lithgow, Trevor; Buchanan, Susan K

    2013-09-19

    β-barrel membrane proteins are essential for nutrient import, signalling, motility and survival. In Gram-negative bacteria, the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) complex is responsible for the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins, with homologous complexes found in mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here we describe the structure of BamA, the central and essential component of the BAM complex, from two species of bacteria: Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Haemophilus ducreyi. BamA consists of a large periplasmic domain attached to a 16-strand transmembrane β-barrel domain. Three structural features shed light on the mechanism by which BamA catalyses β-barrel assembly. First, the interior cavity is accessible in one BamA structure and conformationally closed in the other. Second, an exterior rim of the β-barrel has a distinctly narrowed hydrophobic surface, locally destabilizing the outer membrane. And third, the β-barrel can undergo lateral opening, suggesting a route from the interior cavity in BamA into the outer membrane.

  11. Structural and functional properties of hydration and confined water in membrane interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disalvo, E A; Lairion, F; Martini, F; Tymczyszyn, E; Frías, M; Almaleck, H; Gordillo, G J

    2008-12-01

    The scope of the present review focuses on the interfacial properties of cell membranes that may establish a link between the membrane and the cytosolic components. We present evidences that the current view of the membrane as a barrier of permeability that contains an aqueous solution of macromolecules may be replaced by one in which the membrane plays a structural and functional role. Although this idea has been previously suggested, the present is the first systematic work that puts into relevance the relation water-membrane in terms of thermodynamic and structural properties of the interphases that cannot be ignored in the understanding of cell function. To pursue this aim, we introduce a new definition of interphase, in which the water is organized in different levels on the surface with different binding energies. Altogether determines the surface free energy necessary for the structural response to changes in the surrounding media. The physical chemical properties of this region are interpreted in terms of hydration water and confined water, which explain the interaction with proteins and could affect the modulation of enzyme activity. Information provided by several methodologies indicates that the organization of the hydration states is not restricted to the membrane plane albeit to a region extending into the cytoplasm, in which polar head groups play a relevant role. In addition, dynamic properties studied by cyclic voltammetry allow one to deduce the energetics of the conformational changes of the lipid head group in relation to the head-head interactions due to the presence of carbonyls and phosphates at the interphase. These groups are, apparently, surrounded by more than one layer of water molecules: a tightly bound shell, that mostly contributes to the dipole potential, and a second one that may be displaced by proteins and osmotic stress. Hydration water around carbonyl and phosphate groups may change by the presence of polyhydroxylated compounds

  12. Organization into Higher Ordered Ring Structures Counteracts Membrane Binding of IM30, a Protein Associated with Inner Membranes in Chloroplasts and Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidrich, Jennifer; Wulf, Verena; Hennig, Raoul; Saur, Michael; Markl, Jürgen; Sönnichsen, Carsten; Schneider, Dirk

    2016-07-15

    The IM30 (inner membrane-associated protein of 30 kDa), also known as the Vipp1 (vesicle-inducing protein in plastids 1), has a crucial role in thylakoid membrane biogenesis and maintenance. Recent results suggest that the protein binds peripherally to membranes containing negatively charged lipids. However, although IM30 monomers interact and assemble into large oligomeric ring complexes with different numbers of monomers, it is still an open question whether ring formation is crucial for membrane interaction. Here we show that binding of IM30 rings to negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol membrane surfaces results in a higher ordered membrane state, both in the head group and in the inner core region of the lipid bilayer. Furthermore, by using gold nanorods covered with phosphatidylglycerol layers and single particle spectroscopy, we show that not only IM30 rings but also lower oligomeric IM30 structures interact with membranes, although with higher affinity. Thus, ring formation is not crucial for, and even counteracts, membrane interaction of IM30.

  13. Dynamical clustering and a mechanism for raft-like structures in a model lipid membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Francis W; Hartmann, Benedikt; Douglas, Jack F

    2014-05-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. This model qualitatively reproduces the known phase transitions between disordered, ordered, and gel membrane phases, and the phase transitions are accompanied by significant changes in the nature of the lipid dynamics. In particular, lipid diffusion in the liquid-ordered phase is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, similar to the dynamics of a liquid approaching its glass transition. This transient molecular caging gives rise to two distinct mobility groups within a single-component membrane: lipids that are transiently trapped, and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. Most significantly, lipids within these distinct mobility states spatially segregate, creating transient "islands" of enhanced mobility having a size and time scale compatible with lipid "rafts," dynamical structures thought to be important for cell membrane function. Although the dynamic lipid clusters that we observe do not themselves correspond to rafts (which are more complex, multicomponent structures), we hypothesize that such rafts may develop from the same universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. We also show that mobile lipid clusters can be dissected into smaller clusters of cooperatively rearranging molecules. The geometry of these clusters can be understood in the context of branched equilibrium polymers, related to percolation theory. We discuss how these dynamical structures relate to a range observations on the dynamics of lipid membranes.

  14. Structure of TonB in complex with FhuA, E. coli outer membrane receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawelek, Peter D; Croteau, Nathalie; Ng-Thow-Hing, Christopher; Khursigara, Cezar M; Moiseeva, Natalia; Allaire, Marc; Coulton, James W

    2006-06-02

    The cytoplasmic membrane protein TonB spans the periplasm of the Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope, contacts cognate outer membrane receptors, and facilitates siderophore transport. The outer membrane receptor FhuA from Escherichia coli mediates TonB-dependent import of ferrichrome. We report the 3.3 angstrom resolution crystal structure of the TonB carboxyl-terminal domain in complex with FhuA. TonB contacts stabilize FhuA's amino-terminal residues, including those of the consensus Ton box sequence that form an interprotein beta sheet with TonB through strand exchange. The highly conserved TonB residue arginine-166 is oriented to form multiple contacts with the FhuA cork, the globular domain enclosed by the beta barrel.

  15. Unsteady fluid-structure interactions with a heaving compliant membrane wing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alon Tzezana, Gali; Breuer, Kenneth

    2016-11-01

    Membrane wings have been shown to provide some benefits over rigid wings at the low Reynolds number regime (Re 103 to 105), specifically improved thrust in flapping flight. Here we present results from a theoretical framework used to characterize the unsteady aeroelastic behavior of compliant membrane wings executing a heaving motion. An analytical model is developed using 2D unsteady thin airfoil theory, coupled with an unsteady membrane equation. Chebyshev collocation methods are used to solve the coupled system efficiently. The model is used to explore the effects of wing compliance, inertia (including added mass effect) and flapping kinematics on the aerodynamic performance, identifying optimal conditions for maximum thrust and propulsive efficiency. A resonant frequency of the coupled system is identified and characterized for different fluid-structure interaction regimes. Extensions to pitching kinematics are also discussed.

  16. Design Optimization of Deflection Caused After Release of Multilayer Structural Membrane of Symmetric Toggle Switch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Maninder

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the optimization in deflection caused by the inbuilt stress generated in mechanical or movable membrane of Symmetric Toggle RF MEMS Switch (STS. The movable membrane of STS was initially fabricated with two different materials, i.e. Chrome and Gold. The simulated deflection at 70 °C was 11.9 µm, and experimental deflection was 11-12 µm. We present a study of inbuilt deflection reduction in multimetal movable layers without change in actuation voltage of the switch. The design study was initially carried out on cantilevers and then on structural membrane of STS. STS with proposed multilayer of Cr-Au-Au-Ti-Au has a simulated deflection of 0.56 µm at 70 °C.

  17. Structure of TonB in Complex with FhuA, E. Coli Outer Membrane Receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pawelek,P.; Croteau, N.; Ng-Thow-Hing, C.; Khursigara, C.; Moiseeva, N.; Allaire, M.; Coulton, J.

    2006-01-01

    The cytoplasmic membrane protein TonB spans the periplasm of the Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope, contacts cognate outer membrane receptors, and facilitates siderophore transport. The outer membrane receptor FhuA from Escherichia coli mediates TonB-dependent import of ferrichrome. We report the 3.3 angstrom resolution crystal structure of the TonB carboxyl-terminal domain in complex with FhuA. TonB contacts stabilize FhuA's amino-terminal residues, including those of the consensus Ton box sequence that form an interprotein {beta} sheet with TonB through strand exchange. The highly conserved TonB residue arginine-166 is oriented to form multiple contacts with the FhuA cork, the globular domain enclosed by the {beta} barrel.

  18. 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

    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...... 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....

  19. Research on Several Prediction Methods of Membrane Protein Structure and Topology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Since present prediction methods of membrane protein structureand topology made use of mixed data sets both from experiments and prediction as training and test sets, the reliability and accuracy of their prediction is still under debate. To benchmark the performance of these methods, this commentary uses a test set of membrane proteins created by European Bioinformatics Institute with either available 3-D structure or experimentally confirmed transmembrane regions. Then the prediction results are compared and the problems existing in these methods and important features for successful prediction are pointed out, which may help users to choose a more reliable prediction from different results. Based upon recent advances in membrane protein, possible means to improve topology prediction accuracy are discussed.

  20. The structural dynamics of the flavivirus fusion peptide-membrane interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ygara S Mendes

    Full Text Available Membrane fusion is a crucial step in flavivirus infections and a potential target for antiviral strategies. Lipids and proteins play cooperative roles in the fusion process, which is triggered by the acidic pH inside the endosome. This acidic environment induces many changes in glycoprotein conformation and allows the action of a highly conserved hydrophobic sequence, the fusion peptide (FP. Despite the large volume of information available on the virus-triggered fusion process, little is known regarding the mechanisms behind flavivirus-cell membrane fusion. Here, we evaluated the contribution of a natural single amino acid difference on two flavivirus FPs, FLA(G ((98DRGWGNGCGLFGK(110 and FLA(H ((98DRGWGNHCGLFGK(110, and investigated the role of the charge of the target membrane on the fusion process. We used an in silico approach to simulate the interaction of the FPs with a lipid bilayer in a complementary way and used spectroscopic approaches to collect conformation information. We found that both peptides interact with neutral and anionic micelles, and molecular dynamics (MD simulations showed the interaction of the FPs with the lipid bilayer. The participation of the indole ring of Trp appeared to be important for the anchoring of both peptides in the membrane model, as indicated by MD simulations and spectroscopic analyses. Mild differences between FLA(G and FLA(H were observed according to the pH and the charge of the target membrane model. The MD simulations of the membrane showed that both peptides adopted a bend structure, and an interaction between the aromatic residues was strongly suggested, which was also observed by circular dichroism in the presence of micelles. As the FPs of viral fusion proteins play a key role in the mechanism of viral fusion, understanding the interactions between peptides and membranes is crucial for medical science and biology and may contribute to the design of new antiviral drugs.

  1. Importance of Membrane Structural Integrity for RPE65 Retinoid Isomerization Activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golczak, Marcin; Kiser, Philip D.; Lodowski, David T.; Maeda, Akiko; Palczewski, Krzysztof (Case Western)

    2010-04-05

    Regeneration of visual chromophore in the vertebrate visual cycle involves the retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein RPE65, the key enzyme catalyzing the cleavage and isomerization of all-trans-retinyl fatty acid esters to 11-cis-retinol. Although RPE65 has no predicted membrane spanning domains, this protein predominantly associates with microsomal fractions isolated from bovine retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We have re-examined the nature of RPE65 interactions with native microsomal membranes by using extraction and phase separation experiments. We observe that hydrophobic interactions are the dominant forces that promote RPE65 association with these membranes. These results are consistent with the crystallographic model of RPE65, which features a large lipophilic surface that surrounds the entrance to the catalytic site of this enzyme and likely interacts with the hydrophobic core of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Moreover, we report a critical role for phospholipid membranes in preserving the retinoid isomerization activity and physical properties of RPE65. Isomerase activity measured in bovine RPE was highly sensitive to phospholipase A{sup 2} treatment, but the observed decline in 11-cis-retinol production did not directly reflect inhibition by products of lipid hydrolysis. Instead, a direct correlation between the kinetics of phospholipid hydrolysis and retinoid isomerization suggests that the lipid membrane structure is critical for RPE65 enzymatic activity. We also provide evidence that RPE65 operates in a multiprotein complex with retinol dehydrogenase 5 and retinal G protein-coupled receptor in RPE microsomes. Modifications in the phospholipid environment affecting interactions with these protein components may be responsible for the alterations in retinoid metabolism observed in phospholipid-depleted RPE microsomes. Thus, our results indicate that the enzymatic activity of native RPE65 strongly depends on its membrane binding and

  2. Development of Pd Alloy Hydrogen Separation Membranes with Dense/Porous Hybrid Structure for High Hydrogen Perm-Selectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Yun Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available For the commercial applications of hydrogen separation membranes, both high hydrogen selectivity and permeability (i.e., perm-selectivity are required. However, it has been difficult to fabricate thin, dense Pd alloy composite membranes on porous metal support that have a pore-free surface and an open structure at the interface between the Pd alloy films and the metal support in order to obtain the required properties simultaneously. In this study, we fabricated Pd alloy hydrogen separation membranes with dense/porous hybrid structure for high hydrogen perm-selectivity. The hydrogen selectivity of this membrane increased owing to the dense and pore-free microstructure of the membrane surface. The hydrogen permeation flux also was remarkably improved by the formation of an open microstructure with numerous open voids at the interface and by an effective reduction in the membrane thickness as a result of the porous structure formed within the Pd alloy films.

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Stroh, Cordula [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Zhu Rong [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Angsuthanasombat, Chanan [Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Hinterdorfer, Peter [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria)]. E-mail: peter.hinterdorfer@jku.at

    2005-11-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry {delta}-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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Requirements on paramagnetic relaxation enhancement data for membrane protein structure determination by NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottstein, Daniel; Reckel, Sina; Dötsch, Volker; Güntert, Peter

    2012-06-06

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure calculations of the α-helical integral membrane proteins DsbB, GlpG, and halorhodopsin show that distance restraints from paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) can provide sufficient structural information to determine their structure with an accuracy of about 1.5 Å in the absence of other long-range conformational restraints. Our systematic study with simulated NMR data shows that about one spin label per transmembrane helix is necessary for obtaining enough PRE distance restraints to exclude wrong topologies, such as pseudo mirror images, if only limited other NMR restraints are available. Consequently, an experimentally realistic amount of PRE data enables α-helical membrane protein structure determinations that would not be feasible with the very limited amount of conventional NOESY data normally available for these systems. These findings are in line with our recent first de novo NMR structure determination of a heptahelical integral membrane protein, proteorhodopsin, that relied extensively on PRE data.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Deuterated detergents for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins: Properties, chemical synthesis and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiruma-Shimizu, Kazumi; Shimizu, Hiroki; Thompson, Gary S; Kalverda, Arnout P; Patching, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    Detergents are amphiphilic compounds that have crucial roles in the extraction, purification and stabilization of integral membrane proteins and in experimental studies of their structure and function. One technique that is highly dependent on detergents for solubilization of membrane proteins is solution-state NMR spectroscopy, where detergent micelles often serve as the best membrane mimetic for achieving particle sizes that tumble fast enough to produce high-resolution and high-sensitivity spectra, although not necessarily the best mimetic for a biomembrane. For achieving the best quality NMR spectra, detergents with partial or complete deuteration can be used, which eliminate interfering proton signals coming from the detergent itself and also eliminate potential proton relaxation pathways and strong dipole-dipole interactions that contribute line broadening effects. Deuterated detergents have also been used to solubilize membrane proteins for other experimental techniques including small angle neutron scattering and single-crystal neutron diffraction and for studying membrane proteins immobilized on gold electrodes. This is a review of the properties, chemical synthesis and applications of detergents that are currently commercially available and/or that have been synthesized with partial or complete deuteration. Specifically, the detergents are sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), lauryldimethylamine-oxide (LDAO), n-octyl-β-D-glucoside (β-OG), n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside (DDM) and fos-cholines including dodecylphosphocholine (DPC). The review also considers effects of deuteration, detergent screening and guidelines for detergent selection. Although deuterated detergents are relatively expensive and not always commercially available due to challenges associated with their chemical synthesis, they will continue to play important roles in structural and functional studies of membrane proteins, especially using solution-state NMR.

  11. The effects of heat exposure on the membranous structure of rat's intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Biao Zhu; Ji Hong Li

    2000-01-01

    AIM To study the effects of heat exposure and swimming on membranous structure of the small intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes.METHODS The distribution of the intra-membranous particles (IMPs) in enteric epithelium of SD rats andthe number of IMPs were analyzed with freeze-etching technique and TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and totalSA (TSA) were measured with the techniques of biochemistry and radio-immunity.RESULTS Heat exposure markedly affected the distributive pattern of IMPs in intestinal epithelium andmade the numbers of IMPs on the PF and EF faces of cell membrane and nuclear membrane decreased.Swimming exacerbated the above changes. And in the meantime heat exposure resulted in the massivereleasing of the body-hurting substance as TxB2 and reducing of the body-protecting substance as PGFIa.TSA increased obviously. These changes recovered partly after heat exposure, but the number of IMPs onboth PF and EF faces and certain biochemical indexes were still not restored to the levels as in the controlgroup.CONCLUSION Heat exposure and swimming can make the cellular catabolism accelerated and anabolismreduced, then bring about the numbers of IMPs of intestinal epithelium membrane and nuclear membranedecreased, and the distribution was abnormal. TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and TSA were changedabnormally during heat exposure. And above indexes showed no notable evidence of recovery after stoppingheat exposure 4 hours-24 hours; the delayed injury was obviously presented.

  12. Effect of Dehydration on Leakage and Membrane Structure in Lotus corniculatus L. Seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKersie, B D; Stinson, R H

    1980-08-01

    Membrane damage as a result of dehydration was studied in Lotus corniculatus L. cv. Carroll seeds which had been pregerminated for 0, 12, and 24 hours prior to dehydration. During reimbibition, desiccation-tolerant (0- and 12-hour) seeds leaked relatively low quantities of all solutes (total electrolytes, potassium, phosphate, sugar, amino acid, and protein). Desiccation-sensitive (24-hour) seeds leaked higher levels, but evidence of selective permeability remained. Membrane damage was not manifested as a complete removal of the diffusion barrier, although its permeability properties were dramatically altered. Consequently, the plasmalemma was not ruptured or torn by the dehydration treatment, but a more subtle structural alteration occurred.The possibility that seed membranes form a hexagonal rather than a lamellar phase at moisture contents below 20% was investigated by x-ray diffraction. Phospholipids were extracted from desiccation-tolerant (0-hour) and desiccation-sensitive (24-hour) seeds and hydrated to 5, 10, 20, and 40% water. This phospholipid-water system was examined using low-and wide-angle x-ray diffraction and was found to be exclusively lamellar, even at 5% water. Consequently, membrane damage and the leakage of cytoplasmic solutes from seeds cannot be explained by the formation of a hexagonal phase by membrane phospholipids.

  13. Structural plasticity in the topology of the membrane-interacting domain of HIV-1 gp41.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyrychenko, Alexander; Freites, J Alfredo; He, Jing; Tobias, Douglas J; Wimley, William C; Ladokhin, Alexey S

    2014-02-04

    We use a number of computational and experimental approaches to investigate the membrane topology of the membrane-interacting C-terminal domain of the HIV-1 gp41 fusion protein. Several putative transmembrane regions are identified using hydrophobicity analysis based on the Wimley-White scales, including the membrane-proximal external region (MPER). The MPER region is an important target for neutralizing anti-HIV monoclonal antibodies and is believed to have an interfacial topology in the membrane. To assess the possibility of a transmembrane topology of MPER, we examined the membrane interactions of a peptide corresponding to a 22-residue stretch of the MPER sequence (residues 662-683) using fluorescence spectroscopy and oriented circular dichroism. In addition to the previously reported interfacial location, we identify a stable transmembrane conformation of the peptide in synthetic lipid bilayers. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations of the MPER-derived peptide in a lipid bilayer demonstrate a stable helical structure with an average tilt of 24 degrees, with the five tryptophan residues sampling different environments inside the hydrocarbon core of the lipid bilayer, consistent with the observed spectral properties of intrinsic fluorescence. The degree of lipid bilayer penetration obtained by computer simulation was verified using depth-dependent fluorescence quenching of a selectively attached fluorescence probe. Overall, our data indicate that the MPER sequence can have at least two stable conformations in the lipid bilayer, interfacial and transmembrane, and suggest a possibility that external perturbations can switch the topology during physiological functioning.

  14. Membrane tubule formation by banana-shaped proteins with or without transient network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2016-02-01

    In living cells, membrane morphology is regulated by various proteins. Many membrane reshaping proteins contain a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain, which consists of a banana-shaped rod. The BAR domain bends the biomembrane along the rod axis and the features of this anisotropic bending have recently been studied. Here, we report on the role of the BAR protein rods in inducing membrane tubulation, using large-scale coarse-grained simulations. We reveal that a small spontaneous side curvature perpendicular to the rod can drastically alter the tubulation dynamics at high protein density, whereas no significant difference is obtained at low density. A percolated network is intermediately formed depending on the side curvature. This network suppresses tubule protrusion, leading to the slow formation of fewer tubules. Thus, the side curvature, which is generated by protein-protein and membrane-protein interactions, plays a significant role in tubulation dynamics. We also find that positive surface tensions and the vesicle membrane curvature can stabilize this network structure by suppressing the tubulation.

  15. 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

  16. Post-directed-self-assembly membrane fabrication for in situ analysis of block copolymer structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, J.; Ocola, L. E.; Divan, R.; Czaplewski, D. A.; Segal-Peretz, T.; Xiong, S.; Kline, R. J.; Arges, C. G.; Nealey, P. F.

    2016-10-01

    Full characterization of the three-dimensional structures resulting from the directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) remains a difficult challenge. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) tomography and resonant soft x-ray scattering have emerged as powerful and complementary methods for through-film characterization; both techniques require samples to be prepared on specialized membrane substrates. Here we report a generalizable process to implement BCP DSA with density multiplication on silicon nitride membranes. A key feature of the process developed here is that it does not introduce any artefacts or damage to the polymer assemblies as DSA is performed prior to back-etched membrane formation. Because most research and applications of BCP lithography are based on silicon substrates, process variations introduced by implementing DSA on a silicon nitride/silicon stack versus silicon were identified and mitigated. Using full-wafers, membranes were fabricated with different sizes and layouts to enable both TEM and x-ray characterization. Finally, both techniques were used to characterize structures resulting from the DSA of lamella-forming BCP with density multiplication.

  17. Atomic-level structural and functional model of a bacterial photosynthetic membrane vesicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sener, Melih K; Olsen, John D; Hunter, C Neil; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-10-02

    The photosynthetic unit (PSU) of purple photosynthetic bacteria consists of a network of bacteriochlorophyll-protein complexes that absorb solar energy for eventual conversion to ATP. Because of its remarkable simplicity, the PSU can serve as a prototype for studies of cellular organelles. In the purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides the PSU forms spherical invaginations of the inner membrane, approximately 70 nm in diameter, composed mostly of light-harvesting complexes, LH1 and LH2, and reaction centers (RCs). Atomic force microscopy studies of the intracytoplasmic membrane have revealed the overall spatial organization of the PSU. In the present study these atomic force microscopy data were used to construct three-dimensional models of an entire membrane vesicle at the atomic level by using the known structure of the LH2 complex and a structural model of the dimeric RC-LH1 complex. Two models depict vesicles consisting of 9 or 18 dimeric RC-LH1 complexes and 144 or 101 LH2 complexes, representing a total of 3,879 or 4,464 bacteriochlorophylls, respectively. The in silico reconstructions permit a detailed description of light absorption and electronic excitation migration, including computation of a 50-ps excitation lifetime and a 95% quantum efficiency for one of the model membranes, and demonstration of excitation sharing within the closely packed RC-LH1 dimer arrays.

  18. 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

  19. Possible mechanism of structural transformations induced by StAsp-PSI in lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fernando; Palomares-Jerez, M Francisca; Daleo, Gustavo; Villalaín, José; Guevara, M Gabriela

    2014-01-01

    In the present work we have analyzed the effect of StAsp-PSI (plant-specific insert of potato aspartic protease) on the structural and thermotropic properties of the major phospholipid types of bacterial and animal cells. Results obtained suggest that StAsp-PSI induces a destabilization of the membrane bilayers, depending on the time of interaction between the protein and the bilayers, rather than on its concentration. This temporal delay would be consistent with a lateral diffusion of StAsp-PSI monomers to assemble into aggregates to form pores. Like with the results previously reported for the StAsp-PSI circular dichroism, data obtained here from IR spectroscopy show that there are slight changes in the StAsp-PSI secondary structure in the presence of lipid membranes; suggesting that these changes could be related with the StAsp-PSI self-association. Results obtained from steady-state fluorescence anisotropy and differential scanning calorimetry assays suggest that StAsp-PSI interacts with both uncharged and negatively charged phospholipids, modulates the phase polymorphic behavior of model membranes and partitions and buries differentially in the membrane depending on the presence of negatively charged phospholipids. © 2013.

  20. Crystallizing membrane proteins for structure-function studies using lipidic mesophases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, Martin

    2011-06-01

    The lipidic cubic phase method for crystallizing membrane proteins has posted some high-profile successes recently. This is especially true in the area of G-protein-coupled receptors, with six new crystallographic structures emerging in the last 3½ years. Slowly, it is becoming an accepted method with a proven record and convincing generality. However, it is not a method that is used in every membrane structural biology laboratory and that is unfortunate. The reluctance in adopting it is attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. However, over the years, we have worked to make the method user-friendly. To this end, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-litre volume range have been developed for efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Glass crystallization plates have been built that provide unparalleled optical quality and sensitivity to nascent crystals. Lipid and precipitant screens have been implemented for a more rational approach to crystallogenesis, such that the method can now be applied to a wide variety of membrane protein types and sizes. In the present article, these assorted advances are outlined, along with a summary of the membrane proteins that have yielded to the method. The challenges that must be overcome to develop the method further are described.

  1. 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.

  2. Influence of plasma-treatments on the structure, superstructure, and function of membrane lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Malte U.; Forbrig, Enrico; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Reuter, Stephan

    2012-10-01

    Every cell, eu- or prokaryotic, has a membrane as an interface to the environment. Every substance that is applied from outside the cell has to interact with it. This includes plasma-generated reactive species in the liquid cell environment created by plasma-treatment. By the Singer and Nicolson model, proteins are embedded in a lipid bilayer. Proteins are the functional elements, lipids are the structural elements. Due to the amphiphilic nature of the lipids, they form (super-) structures in an aqueous environment. The exact superstructure is determined by a structural parameter of the lipid, its shape. Here, we show experiments on lipids by fluorophore-based liposome assays and raman spectroscopy. The results show a membrane-activity of plasma-born reactive species against lipids and lipid structures. Based on this results and literature, we propose a model for a lesion-forming mechanism in membranes of some reactive species created by plasma-treatment. It is based on a hydrophobic-hydrophilic mismatch due to lipid peroxidization induced by reactive species generated in liquids by plasma-treatment.

  3. 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.

  4. Structure of an asymmetric ternary protein complex provides insight for membrane interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Brian R; Rezvanpour, Atoosa; Lee, Ting-Wai; Barber, Kathryn R; Junop, Murray S; Shaw, Gary S

    2012-10-10

    Plasma membrane repair involves the coordinated effort of proteins and the inner phospholipid surface to mend the rupture and return the cell back to homeostasis. Here, we present the three-dimensional structure of a multiprotein complex that includes S100A10, annexin A2, and AHNAK, which along with dysferlin, functions in muscle and cardiac tissue repair. The 3.5 Å resolution X-ray structure shows that a single region from the AHNAK C terminus is recruited by an S100A10-annexin A2 heterotetramer, forming an asymmetric ternary complex. The AHNAK peptide adopts a coil conformation that arches across the heterotetramer contacting both annexin A2 and S100A10 protomers with tight affinity (∼30 nM) and establishing a structural rationale whereby both S100A10 and annexin proteins are needed in AHNAK recruitment. The structure evokes a model whereby AHNAK is targeted to the membrane surface through sandwiching of the binding region between the S100A10/annexin A2 complex and the phospholipid membrane.

  5. 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.

  6. Electrostatics of cell membrane recognition: structure and activity of neutral and cationic rigid push-pull rods in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized lipid bilayer membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, N; Gerard, D; Matile, S

    2001-03-21

    Design, synthesis, and structural and functional studies of rigid-rod ionophores of different axial electrostatic asymmetry are reported. The employed design strategy emphasized presence of (a) a rigid scaffold to minimize the conformational complexity, (b) a unimolecular ion-conducting pathway to minimize the suprastructural complexity and monitor the function, (c) an extended fluorophore to monitor structure, (d) variable axial rod dipole, and (e) variable terminal charges to create axial asymmetry. Studies in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized bilayer membranes confirmed a general increase in activity of uncharged rigid push-pull rods in polarized bilayers. The similarly increased activity of cationic rigid push-pull rods with an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that of alpha-helical bee toxin melittin (positive charge near negative axial dipole terminus) is shown by fluorescence-depth quenching experiments to originate from the stabilization of transmembrane rod orientation by the membrane potential. The reduced activity of rigid push-pull rods having an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that in alpha-helical natural antibiotics (a positive charge near the positive axial dipole terminus) is shown by structural studies to originate from rod "ejection" by membrane potentials comparable to that found in mammalian plasma membranes. This structural evidence for cell membrane recognition by asymmetric rods is unprecedented and of possible practical importance with regard to antibiotic resistance.

  7. 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.

  8. Crystal structure of a membrane-bound metalloenzyme that catalyses the biological oxidation of methane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lieberman, R.L.; Rosenzweig, A.C. (NWU)

    2010-03-08

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is an integral membrane metalloenzyme that catalyses the conversion of methane to methanol. Knowledge of how pMMO performs this extremely challenging chemistry may have an impact on the use of methane as an alternative energy source by facilitating the development of new synthetic catalysts. We have determined the structure of pMMO from the methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) to a resolution of 2.8 {angstrom}. The enzyme is a trimer with an {alpha}{sub 3}{beta}{sub 3}{gamma}{sub 3} polypeptide arrangement. Two metal centres, modelled as mononuclear copper and dinuclear copper, are located in soluble regions of each pmoB subunit, which resembles cytochrome c oxidase subunit II. A third metal centre, occupied by zinc in the crystal, is located within the membrane. The structure provides new insight into the molecular details of biological methane oxidation.

  9. Porous structure of membranes of an acrylonitrile copolymer. Porosity, ^1H-NMR permeability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viallat, A.; Margulies, M. M.

    2000-06-01

    Nanoporous polymer membranes (porosity φ≈ 0.7) used for dialysis are studied from NMR relaxation times of water confined in the pore space. Fast interpore water diffusion is observed. Two structural parameters are evidenced: i) a reduced NMR relaxation time, tau, which reflects the width of the pore-size distribution; ii) the average polymer-grain size of the solid matrix deduced from NMR experiments performed on membranes partially filled by water. A relation is found between the ratio k/tau^2, where k is the permeability to water and the porosity. This relation is in qualitative agreement with numerical simulations reported in the literature on low-porosity systems and with experimental results obtained for sedimentary rocks and for fused glass model systems. It supports the idea that tau is the relevant structural parameter to describe convective transport in a wide class of porous systems.

  10. Stealth carriers for low-resolution structure determination of membrane proteins in solution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maric, Selma; Skar-Gislinge, Nicholas; Midtgaard, Søren

    2014-01-01

    Structural studies of membrane proteins remain a great experimental challenge. Functional reconstitution into artificial nanoscale bilayer disc carriers that mimic the native bilayer environment allows the handling of membrane proteins in solution. This 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 nontrivial fashion, making subsequent data analysis challenging. Here, an elegant solution to circumvent the intrinsic complexity...... brought about by the presence of the carrier disc is presented. In combination with small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and the D2O/H2O-based solvent contrast-variation method, it is demonstrated that it is possible to prepare specifically deuterated carriers that become invisible to neutrons in 100% D2...

  11. Effects of the Membrane Action of Tetralin on the Functional and Structural Properties of Artificial and Bacterial Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    SIKKEMA, J; POOLMAN, B; KONINGS, WN; DEBONT, JAM

    1992-01-01

    Tetralin is toxic to bacterial cells at concentrations below 100-mu-mol/liter. To assess the inhibitory action of tetralin on bacterial membranes, a membrane model system, consisting of proteoliposomes in which beef heart cytochrome c oxidase was reconstituted as the proton motive force-generating m

  12. Probing Membrane Protein Structure Using Water Polarization Transfer Solid-State NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jonathan K.; Hong, Mei

    2014-01-01

    Water plays an essential role in the structure and function of proteins, lipid membranes and other biological macromolecules. Solid-state NMR heteronuclear-detected 1H 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 peptide 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. PMID:25228502

  13. Determining the Secondary Structure of Membrane Proteins and Peptides Via Electron Spin Echo Envelope Modulation (ESEEM) Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lishan; Mayo, Daniel J.; Sahu, Indra D.; Zhou, Andy; Zhang, Rongfu; McCarrick, Robert M.; Lorigan, Gary A.

    2016-01-01

    Revealing detailed structural and dynamic information of membrane embedded or associated proteins is challenging due to their hydrophobic nature which makes NMR and X-ray crystallographic studies challenging or impossible. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) has emerged as a powerful technique to provide essential structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins with no size limitations in membrane systems which mimic their natural lipid bilayer environment. Therefore, tremendous efforts have been devoted toward the development and application of EPR spectroscopic techniques to study the structure of biological systems such as membrane proteins and peptides. This chapter introduces a novel approach established and developed in the Lorigan lab to investigate membrane protein and peptide local secondary structures utilizing the pulsed EPR technique electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM) spectroscopy. Detailed sample preparation strategies in model membrane protein systems and the experimental setup are described. Also, the ability of this approach to identify local secondary structure of membrane proteins and peptides with unprecedented efficiency is demonstrated in model systems. Finally, applications and further developments of this ESEEM approach for probing larger size membrane proteins produced by over-expression systems are discussed. PMID:26477255

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 3D wind-induced response analysis of a cable-membrane structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun-jie LUO; Da-jian HAN

    2009-01-01

    Wind loading is a dominant factor for design of a cable-membrane structure. Three orthogonal turbulent components, including the longitudinal, lateral and vertical wind velocities, should be taken into account for the wind loads. In this study, a stochastic 3D coupling wind field model is derived by the spectral representation theory, The coherence functions of the three orthognnal turbulent components are considered in this model. Then the model is applied to generate the three correlated wind turbulent components. After that, formulae are proposed to transform the velocities into wind loads, and to introduce the modified wind pressure force. Finally, a wind-induced time-history response analysis is conducted for a 3D cable-membrane structure. Analytical results indicate that responses induced by the proposed wind load model are 10%--25% larger than those by the con-ventionai uncorrelated model, and that the responses are not quite influenced by the modified wind pressure force. Therefore, we concluded that, in the time-history response analysis, the coherences of the three orthogonal turbulent components are necessary for a 3D cable-membrane structure, but the modified wind pressure force can be ignored.

  16. Efficient and reusable polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets membrane with bimodal structures for air filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bowen; Zhang, Shichao; Wang, Xueli; Yu, Jianyong; Ding, Bin

    2015-11-01

    Nanofibrous media that both possess high airborne particle interception efficiency and robust air permeability would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from individual protection and industrial security to environmental governance; however, creating such filtration media has proved extremely challenging. Here we report a strategy to construct the bio-based polyamide-56 nanofiber/nets (PA-56 NFN) membranes with bimodal structures for effective air filtration via one-step electrospinning/netting. The PA-56 membranes are composed of completely covered two-dimensional (2D) ultrathin (∼20 nm) nanonets which are optimized by facilely regulating the solution concentration, and the bonded scaffold fibers constructed cavity structures which are synchronously created by using the CH3COOH inspiration. With integrated properties of small aperture, high porosity, and bonded scaffold, the resulting PA-56 NFN membranes exhibit high filtration efficiency of 99.995%, low pressure drop of 111 Pa, combined with large dust holding capacity of 49 g/m(2) and dust-cleaning regeneration ability, for filtrating ultrafine airborne particles in the most safe manner involving sieving principle and surface filtration. The successful synthesis of PA-56 NFN medium would not only make it a promising candidate for air filtration, but also provide new insights into the design and development of nanonet-based bimodal structures for various applications.

  17. From a single molecule to a membrane of structured ionic polymers: A molecular dynamic simulation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aryal, Dipak; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary S.

    2012-02-01

    The association of an A-B-C-B-A co-polymer with an ionizable center and a bulky end block has been investigated using molecular dynamic simulations. The center block consists of a randomly sulfonated polystyrene connected to a flexible poly (ethylene-r-propylene) bridge and end caped with poly (t-butyl styrene). Tailoring the nature of individual segments within a block co-polymer is a potential design tool to form membranes with desired properties. The association mode and the dynamics of the segments control the overall characteristics. The membranes with three sulfonation level for the center block were made by evaporating a common solvent for all blocks. The local structure including size and distribution of the ionic blocks and the continuity of the styrene phase as well as long range correlations were identified at 300 and 500K. The initial membrane structure is affected by the structure in solution. Studies on changes that take place above the glass transition temperature for each of the blocks will also be presented.

  18. Cryo-EM structure of lysenin pore elucidates membrane insertion by an aerolysin family protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokori-Brown, Monika; Martin, Thomas G.; Naylor, Claire E.; Basak, Ajit K.; Titball, Richard W.; Savva, Christos G.

    2016-04-01

    Lysenin from the coelomic fluid of the earthworm Eisenia fetida belongs to the aerolysin family of small β-pore-forming toxins (β-PFTs), some members of which are pathogenic to humans and animals. Despite efforts, a high-resolution structure of a channel for this family of proteins has been elusive and therefore the mechanism of activation and membrane insertion remains unclear. Here we determine the pore structure of lysenin by single particle cryo-EM, to 3.1 Å resolution. The nonameric assembly reveals a long β-barrel channel spanning the length of the complex that, unexpectedly, includes the two pre-insertion strands flanking the hypothetical membrane-insertion loop. Examination of other members of the aerolysin family reveals high structural preservation in this region, indicating that the membrane-insertion pathway in this family is conserved. For some toxins, proteolytic activation and pro-peptide removal will facilitate unfolding of the pre-insertion strands, allowing them to form the β-barrel of the channel.

  19. The Obesity-Breast Cancer Conundrum: An Analysis of the Issues

    OpenAIRE

    Matthews, Shawna B.; Thompson, Henry J.

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer develops over a timeframe of 2–3 decades prior to clinical detection. Given this prolonged latency, it is somewhat unexpected from a biological perspective that obesity has no effect or reduces the risk for breast cancer in premenopausal women yet increases the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This conundrum is particularly striking in light of the generally negative effects of obesity on breast cancer outcomes, including larger tumor size at diagnosis and poorer ...

  20. Structure of porous electrodes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: An optical reconstruction technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Sinton, David; Djilali, Ned

    Computing flows and phase transport in porous media requires a physically representative geometric model. We present a simple method of digitizing the structure of fibrous porous media commonly used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the so-called gas diffusion layer (GDL). Employing an inverted microscope and image recognition software we process images of the GDL surface collected manually at different focal lengths with micrometer accuracy. Processing the series of images allows retrieval of local depths of the salient in-focus structural elements in each of the different images. These elements are then recombined into a depth-map representing the three-dimensional structure of the GDL surface. Superimposition of the in-focus portions of the structural elements distributed throughout the stack of images yields digitized data describing the geometry and structural attributes of the 3D surface of the GDL fibrous material.

  1. Structure of the poly-C9 component of the complement membrane attack complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudkina, Natalya V; Spicer, Bradley A; Reboul, Cyril F; Conroy, Paul J; Lukoyanova, Natalya; Elmlund, Hans; Law, Ruby H P; Ekkel, Susan M; Kondos, Stephanie C; Goode, Robert J A; Ramm, Georg; Whisstock, James C; Saibil, Helen R; Dunstone, Michelle A

    2016-02-04

    The membrane attack complex (MAC)/perforin-like protein complement component 9 (C9) is the major component of the MAC, a multi-protein complex that forms pores in the membrane of target pathogens. In contrast to homologous proteins such as perforin and the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), all of which require the membrane for oligomerisation, C9 assembles directly onto the nascent MAC from solution. However, the molecular mechanism of MAC assembly remains to be understood. Here we present the 8 Å cryo-EM structure of a soluble form of the poly-C9 component of the MAC. These data reveal a 22-fold symmetrical arrangement of C9 molecules that yield an 88-strand pore-forming β-barrel. The N-terminal thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) domain forms an unexpectedly extensive part of the oligomerisation interface, thus likely facilitating solution-based assembly. These TSP1 interactions may also explain how additional C9 subunits can be recruited to the growing MAC subsequent to membrane insertion.

  2. Have NEC Coat, Will Travel: Structural Basis of Membrane Budding During Nuclear Egress in Herpesviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigalke, J M; Heldwein, E E

    2017-01-01

    Herpesviruses are unusual among enveloped viruses because they bud twice yet acquire a single envelope. Furthermore, unlike other DNA viruses that replicate in the nucleus, herpesviruses do not exit it by passing through the nuclear pores or by rupturing the nuclear envelope. Instead, herpesviruses have a complex mechanism of nuclear escape whereby nascent capsids bud at the inner nuclear membrane to form perinuclear virions that subsequently fuse with the outer nuclear membrane, releasing capsids into the cytosol. This makes them some of the very few known viruses that bud into the nuclear envelope. The envelope acquired during nuclear budding does not end up in the mature viral particle but instead allows the capsid to translocate from the nucleus into the cytosol. The viral nuclear egress complex (NEC) is a critical player in the nuclear egress, yet its function and mechanism have remained enigmatic. Recent studies have demonstrated that the NEC buds membranes without the help of other proteins by forming a honeycomb coat, which established the NEC as the first virally encoded budding machine that operates at the nuclear, as opposed to cytoplasmic, membrane. This review discusses our current understanding of the NEC budding mechanism, with the emphasis on studies that illuminated the structure of the NEC coat and its role in capsid budding during herpesvirus nuclear escape.

  3. Biophysical significance of the inner mitochondrial membrane structure on the electrochemical potential of mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dong Hoon; Park, Jonghyun; Maurer, Laura L.; Lu, Wei; Philbert, Martin A.; Sastry, Ann Marie

    2013-12-01

    The available literature supports the hypothesis that the morphology of the inner mitochondrial membrane is regulated by different energy states, that the three-dimensional morphology of cristae is dynamic, and that both are related to biochemical function. Examination of the correlation between the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) structure and mitochondrial energetic function is critical to an understanding of the links between mesoscale morphology and function in progressive mitochondrial dysfunction such as aging, neurodegeneration, and disease. To investigate this relationship, we develop a model to examine the effects of three-dimensional IMM morphology on the electrochemical potential of mitochondria. The two-dimensional axisymmetric finite element method is used to simulate mitochondrial electric potential and proton concentration distribution. This simulation model demonstrates that the proton motive force (Δp) produced on the membranes of cristae can be higher than that on the inner boundary membrane. The model also shows that high proton concentration in cristae can be induced by the morphology-dependent electric potential gradient along the outer side of the IMM. Furthermore, simulation results show that a high Δp is induced by the large surface-to-volume ratio of an individual crista, whereas a high capacity for ATP synthesis can primarily be achieved by increasing the surface area of an individual crista. The mathematical model presented here provides compelling support for the idea that morphology at the mesoscale is a significant driver of mitochondrial function.

  4. Lipid membrane: inelastic deformation of surface structure by an atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张静; 孙润广

    2002-01-01

    The stability of the 1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-Glycero-3-[phospho-rac-1-Glycerol-Na] liposome in the liquid crystalline statehave been investigated using an atomic force microscope (AFM). We have observed the inelastic deformation of thesample surface. The AFM tip causes persistent deformation of the surface of the lipid membrane, in which some of thelipid molecules are eventually pushed or dragged by the AFM tip. The experiment shows how the surface structure ofthe lipid membrane can be created by the interaction between the AFM tip and lipid membrane. When the operatingforce exceeds 10-8 N, it leads to large deformations of the surface. A square region of about 1×1μm2 is created by thescanning probe on the surface. When the operating force is between 10-11N and 10-8N, it can image the topographyof the surface of the lipid membrane. The stability of the sample is related to the concentration of the medium in whichthe sample is prepared.

  5. Membrane microdomains: role of ceramides in the maintenance of their structure and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staneva, Galya; Momchilova, Albena; Wolf, Claude; Quinn, Peter J; Koumanov, Kamen

    2009-03-01

    Free-standing giant unilamellar vesicles were used to visualize the complex lateral heterogeneity, induced by ceramide in the membrane bilayer at micron scale using C(12)-NBD-PC probe partitioning under the fluorescence microscope. Ceramide gel domains exist as leaf-like structures in glycerophospholipid/ceramide mixtures. Cholesterol readily increases ceramide miscibility with glycerophospholipids but cholesterol-ceramide interactions are not involved in the organization of the liquid-ordered phase as exemplified by sphingomyelin/cholesterol mixtures. Sphingomyelin stabilizes the gel phase and thus decreases ceramide miscibility in the presence of cholesterol. Gel/liquid-ordered/liquid-disordered phase coexistence was visualized in quaternary phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelin/ceramide/cholesterol mixtures as occurrence of dark leaf-like and circular domains within a bright liquid phase. Sphingomyelin initiates specific ceramide-sphingomyelin interactions to form a highly ordered gel phase appearing at temperatures higher than pure ceramide gel phase in phosphatidylcholine/ceramide mixtures. Less sphingomyelin is engaged in formation of liquid-ordered phase leading to a shift in its formation to lower temperatures. Sphingomyelinase activity on substrate vesicles destroys micron L(o) domains but induces the formation of a gel-like phase. The activation of phospholipase A(2) by ceramide on heterogeneous membranes was visualized. Changes in the phase state of the membrane bilayer initiates such morphological processes as membrane fragmentation, budding in and budding out was demonstrated.

  6. Crystal Structure of the Membrane Fusion Protein CusB from Escherichia coli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Su, Chih-Chia; Yang, Feng; Long, Feng; Reyon, Deepak; Routh, Mathew D.; Kuo, Dennis W.; Mokhtari, Adam K.; Van Ornam, Jonathan D.; Rabe, Katherine L.; Hoy, Julie A.; Lee, Young Jin; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Yu, Edward W.; (Cornell); (Iowa State)

    2010-03-29

    Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently utilize tripartite efflux complexes belonging to the resistance-nodulation-division family to expel diverse toxic compounds from the cell. These systems contain a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (MFP) that is critical for substrate transport. We here present the x-ray structures of the CusB MFP from the copper/silver efflux system of E. coli. This is the first structure of any MFPs associated with heavy-metal efflux transporters. CusB bridges the inner-membrane efflux pump CusA and outer-membrane channel CusC to mediate resistance to Cu{sup +} and Ag{sup +} ions. Two distinct structures of the elongated molecules of CusB were found in the asymmetric unit of a single crystal, which suggests the flexible nature of this protein. Each protomer of CusB can be divided into four different domains, whereby the first three domains are mostly {beta}-strands and the last domain adopts an entirely helical architecture. Unlike other known structures of MFPs, the {alpha}-helical domain of CusB is folded into a three-helix bundle. This three-helix bundle presumably interacts with the periplasmic domain of CusC. The N- and C-termini of CusB form the first {beta}-strand domain, which is found to interact with the periplasmic domain of the CusA efflux pump. Atomic details of how this efflux protein binds Cu{sup +} and Ag{sup +} were revealed by the crystals of the CusB-Cu(I) and CusB-Ag(I) complexes. The structures indicate that CusB consists of multiple binding sites for these metal ions. These findings reveal novel structural features of an MFP in the resistance-nodulation-division efflux system and provide direct evidence that this protein specifically interacts with transported substrates.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallon, J.; Syväjärvi, M.; Wang, Q.; Yakimova, R.; Iakimov, T.; Elfman, M.; Kristiansson, P.; Nilsson, E. J. C.; Ros, L.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  10. Oxidation of Membrane Curvature-Regulating Phosphatidylethanolamine Lipid Results in Formation of Bilayer and Cubic Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankhagowit, Shalene; Lee, Ernest Y; Wong, Gerard C L; Malmstadt, Noah

    2016-03-15

    Oxidation is associated with conditions related to chronic inflammations and aging. Cubic structures have been observed in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial membranes of cells under oxidative stress (e.g., tumor cells and virus-infected cells). It has been previously suspected that oxidation can result in the rearrangement of lipids from a fluid lamellar phase to a cubic structure in organelles containing membranes enriched with amphiphiles that have nonzero intrinsic curvature, such as phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and cardiolipin. This study focuses on the oxidation of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), a lipid that natively forms an inverted hexagonal phase at physiological conditions. The oxidized samples contain an approximately 3:2 molar ratio of nonoxidized to oxidized DOPE. Optical microscopy images collected during the hydration of this mixture from a dried film suggest that the system evolves into a coexistence of a stable fluid lamellar phase and transient square lattice structures with unit cell sizes of 500-600 nm. Small-angle X-ray scattering of the same lipid mixture yielded a body-centered Im3m cubic phase with the lattice parameter of 14.04 nm. On average, the effective packing parameter of the oxidized DOPE species was estimated to be 0.657 ± 0.069 (standard deviation). This suggests that the oxidation of PE leads to a group of species with inverted molecular intrinsic curvature. Oxidation can create amphiphilic subpopulations that potently impact the integrity of the membrane, since negative Gaussian curvature intrinsic to cubic phases can enable membrane destabilization processes.

  11. Formation of domain structure of erythrocyte membrane in Wistar rat fed with CeCl3 per os

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    To explore the possibility of absorption of lanthanides via digestive duct and their effects on the membrane structure and permeability of erythrocytes,the fine structure of erythrocyte membrane from Wistar rats,fed for 70 days of daily administration per os with 20 mg CeCl3/kg weight,was imaged by means of atomic force microscopy and FT-IR deconvolution spectra.The results show that,although the erythrocytes maintain the intact shape,the change of secondary structure,aggregation and crosslinking of the protein particles of membrane surface and the enlarged lipid regions lead to the domain structure formation.This structure might be responsible for the increasing permeability of erythrocyte membrane.

  12. Topological Structures and Membrane Nanostructures of Erythrocytes after Splenectomy in Hereditary Spherocytosis Patients via Atomic Force Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Ying; Lu, Liyuan; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Hereditary spherocytosis is an inherited red blood cell membrane disorder resulting from mutations of genes encoding erythrocyte membrane and cytoskeletal proteins. Few equipments can observe the structural characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis directly expect for atomic force microscopy In our study, we proved atomic force microscopy is a powerful and sensitive instrument to describe the characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis. Erythrocytes from hereditary spherocytosis patients we...

  13. Permeability Changes of Manduca sexta Midgut Brush Border Membranes Induced by Oligomeric Structures of Different Cry Toxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muñoz-Garay, C.; Sánchez, J.; Darszon, A.; Maagd, de R.A.; Bakker, P.; Soberón, M.; Bravo, A.

    2006-01-01

    The pore-formation activity of monomeric and oligomeric forms of different Cry1 toxins (from Cry1A to Cry1G) was analyzed by monitoring ionic permeability across Manduca sexta brush border membrane vesicles. The membrane vesicles were isolated from microvilli structures, showing a high enrichment of

  14. Deuterium Labeling Strategies for Creating Contrast in Structure-Function Studies of Model Bacterial Outer Membranes Using Neutron Reflectometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Brun, Anton P; Clifton, Luke A; Holt, Stephen A; Holden, Peter J; Lakey, Jeremy H

    2016-01-01

    Studying the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is challenging due to the complex nature of its structure. Therefore, simplified models are required to undertake structure-function studies of processes that occur at the outer membrane/fluid interface. Model membranes can be created by immobilizing bilayers to solid supports such as gold or silicon surfaces, or as monolayers on a liquid support where the surface pressure and fluidity of the lipids can be controlled. Both model systems are amenable to having their structure probed by neutron reflectometry, a technique that provides a one-dimensional depth profile through a membrane detailing its thickness and composition. One of the strengths of neutron scattering is the ability to use contrast matching, allowing molecules containing hydrogen and those enriched with deuterium to be highlighted or matched out against the bulk isotopic composition of the solvent. Lipopolysaccharides, a major component of the outer membrane, can be isolated for incorporation into model membranes. Here, we describe the deuteration of lipopolysaccharides from rough strains of Escherichia coli for incorporation into model outer membranes, and how the use of deuterated materials enhances structural analysis of model membranes by neutron reflectometry.

  15. Structure and dynamics of nano-sized raft-like domains on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Fernando E.; Pantano, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Cell membranes are constitutively composed of thousands of different lipidic species, whose specific organization leads to functional heterogeneities. In particular, sphingolipids, cholesterol and some proteins associate among them to form stable nanoscale domains involved in recognition, signaling, membrane trafficking, etc. Atomic-detail information in the nanometer/second scale is still elusive to experimental techniques. In this context, molecular simulations on membrane systems have provided useful insights contributing to bridge this gap. Here we present the results of a series of simulations of biomembranes representing non-raft and raft-like nano-sized domains in order to analyze the particular structural and dynamical properties of these domains. Our results indicate that the smallest (5 nm) raft domains are able to preserve their distinctive structural and dynamical features, such as an increased thickness, higher ordering, lower lateral diffusion, and specific lipid-ion interactions. The insertion of a transmembrane protein helix into non-raft, extended raft-like, and raft-like nanodomain environments result in markedly different protein orientations, highlighting the interplay between the lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions.

  16. 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.

  17. Characterization of cake layer structure on the microfiltration membrane permeability by iron pre-coagulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jin; Pan, Siru; Luo, Dongping

    2013-02-01

    A cake layer is formed by coagulation aggregates under certain transmembrane pressure in the coagulation-microfiltration (MF) process. The characteristics of humic acid aggregates coagulated by different iron-based coagulants, such as charge, size, fractal dimension and compressibility, have an effect on the cake layer structure. At the optimum iron dose of 0.6 to 0.8 mmol/L for ferric chloride (FC) and polymer ferric sulfate (PFS) pre-coagulation, at the point of charge neutralization for near zero zeta potential, the aggregate particles produced possess the greatest size and highest fractal dimension, which contributes to the cake layer being most loose with high porosity and low compressibility. Thus the membrane filterability is better. At a low or high iron dose of FC and PFS, a high negative or positive zeta potential with high charge repulsion results in so many small aggregate particles and low fractal dimension that the cake layer is compact with low porosity and high compressibility. Therefore the membrane fouling is accelerated and MF permeability becomes worse. The variation of cake layer structure as measured by scanning electric microscopy corresponds with the fact that the smaller the coagulation flocs size and fractal dimension are, the lower the porosity and the tighter the cake layer conformation. This also explains the MF membrane flux variation visually and accurately.

  18. Characterization of cake layer structure on the microfiltration membrane permeability by iron pre-coagulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jin Wang; Siru Pan; Dongping Luo

    2013-01-01

    A cake layer is formed by coagulation aggregates under certain transmembrane pressure in the coagulation-microfiltration (MF) process.The characteristics of humic acid aggregates coagulated by different iron-based coagulants,such as charge,size,fractal dimension and compressibility,have an effect on the cake layer structure.At the optimum iron dose of 0.6 to 0.8 mmol/L for ferric chloride (FC) and polymer ferric sulfate (PFS) pre-coagulation,at the point of charge neutralization for near zero zeta potential,the aggregate particles produced possess the greatest size and highest fractal dimension,which contributes to the cake layer being most loose with high porosity and low compressibility.Thus the membrane filterability is better.At a low or high iron dose of FC and PFS,a high negative or positive zeta potential with high charge repulsion results in so many small aggregate particles and low fractal dimension that the cake layer is compact with low porosity and high compressibility.Therefore the membrane fouling is accelerated and MF permeability becomes worse.The variation of cake layer structure as measured by scanning electric microscopy corresponds with the fact that the smaller the coagulation flocs size and fractal dimension are,the lower the porosity and the tighter the cake layer conformation.This also explains the MF membrane flux variation visually and accurately.

  19. Structural determinants of protein partitioning into ordered membrane domains and lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorent, Joseph Helmuth; Levental, Ilya

    2015-11-01

    Increasing evidence supports the existence of lateral nanoscopic lipid domains in plasma membranes, known as lipid rafts. These domains preferentially recruit membrane proteins and lipids to facilitate their interactions and thereby regulate transmembrane signaling and cellular homeostasis. The functionality of raft domains is intrinsically dependent on their selectivity for specific membrane components; however, while the physicochemical determinants of raft association for lipids are known, very few systematic studies have focused on the structural aspects that guide raft partitioning of proteins. In this review, we describe biophysical and thermodynamic aspects of raft-mimetic liquid ordered phases, focusing on those most relevant for protein partitioning. Further, we detail the variety of experimental models used to study protein-raft interactions. Finally, we review the existing literature on mechanisms for raft targeting, including lipid post-translational modifications, lipid binding, and transmembrane domain features. We conclude that while protein palmitoylation is a clear raft-targeting signal, few other general structural determinants for raft partitioning have been revealed, suggesting that many discoveries lie ahead in this burgeoning field.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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....05), but resulted in no significant change in tensile strength (TS) using 75G:25Ch, 50G:50Ch mixtures in comparison with gelatin-based film. The water solubility and water vapor permeability of the 50G:50Ch film decreased significantly compared to plain films (100G:0Ch and 0G:100Ch) and other composite films (p... interactions introduced by the addition of chitosan to eggshell membrane gelatin as new resources could improve the films’ functional properties....

  1. Structural Origins of Nitroxide Side Chain Dynamics on Membrane Protein [alpha]-Helical Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kroncke, Brett M.; Horanyi, Peter S.; Columbus, Linda (UV)

    2010-12-07

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins in their native, hydrophobic environment is important to understanding how these proteins function. EPR spectroscopy in combination with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) can measure dynamics and structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid environment; however, until now the dynamics measured have been qualitative due to limited knowledge of the nitroxide spin label's intramolecular motion in the hydrophobic environment. Although several studies have elucidated the structural origins of EPR line shapes of water-soluble proteins, EPR spectra of nitroxide spin-labeled proteins in detergents or lipids have characteristic differences from their water-soluble counterparts, suggesting significant differences in the underlying molecular motion of the spin label between the two environments. To elucidate these differences, membrane-exposed {alpha}-helical sites of the leucine transporter, LeuT, from Aquifex aeolicus, were investigated using X-ray crystallography, mutational analysis, nitroxide side chain derivatives, and spectral simulations in order to obtain a motional model of the nitroxide. For each crystal structure, the nitroxide ring of a disulfide-linked spin label side chain (R1) is resolved and makes contacts with hydrophobic residues on the protein surface. The spin label at site I204 on LeuT makes a nontraditional hydrogen bond with the ortho-hydrogen on its nearest neighbor F208, whereas the spin label at site F177 makes multiple van der Waals contacts with a hydrophobic pocket formed with an adjacent helix. These results coupled with the spectral effect of mutating the i {+-} 3, 4 residues suggest that the spin label has a greater affinity for its local protein environment in the low dielectric than on a water-soluble protein surface. The simulations of the EPR spectra presented here suggest the spin label oscillates about the terminal bond nearest the ring while maintaining weak

  2. 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...... is studied. A methodology for control structure design is proposed to handle the dynamic system. A sensitivity analysis is used for the conceptual design of the control structure. Dynamic simulations are employed to evaluate the sensitivity index. From the analysis a periodic input-resetting control...... structure is selected. The system controls pH using the imposed current density and resets the current density manipulating the hydroxide inlet concentration to the dialysate channel. The control structure is satisfactorily achieving a desired pH at the outlet of the feed channel in REED from period...

  3. Crystal structure of outer membrane protein NMB0315 from Neisseria meningitidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangyu Wang

    Full Text Available NMB0315 is an outer membrane protein of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B (NMB and a potential candidate for a broad-spectrum vaccine against meningococcal disease. The crystal structure of NMB0315 was solved by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD at a resolution of 2.4 Å and revealed to be a lysostaphin-type peptidase of the M23 metallopeptidase family. The overall structure consists of three well-separated domains and has no similarity to any previously published structure. However, only the topology of the carboxyl-terminal domain is highly conserved among members of this family, and this domain is a zinc-dependent catalytic unit. The amino-terminal domain of the structure blocks the substrate binding pocket in the carboxyl-terminal domain, indicating that the wild-type full-length protein is in an inactive conformational state. Our studies improve the understanding of the catalytic mechanism of M23 metallopeptidases.

  4. 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.

  5. Mathematical Model of Gas Permeation Through PTFE Porous Membrane and the Effect of Membrane Pore Structure%PTFE多孔膜气体渗透数学模型和膜孔结构的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张秀莉; 张卫东; 郝新敏; 张慧峰; 张泽廷; 张建春

    2003-01-01

    Membrane-based separation processes are new technology combined membrane separation with conven-tional separation. Hydrophobic porous membranes are often used in these processes. The structure of hydrophobicporous membrane has significant effect on mass transfer process. The permeabilities of five kinds of gas, He, N2,O2, CO2 and water vapor, across six polytetrafiuoroethylene(PTFE) flat membranes were tested experimentally.Results indicated that the greater the membrane mean pore size and the wider the pore size distribution are, thehigher the gas permeability. A gas permeation model, including the effects of membrane structure parameter and gasproperties, was established. A comprehensive characteristic parameter (including porosity, thickness and tortuosity)was found more effective to express the influence of membrane structure in gas permeation process. The predictedpermeation coefficients were in good agreement with experimental data.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. [Structural modifications of the surface of Escherichia coli bacteria and copper-induced permeability of plasma membrane].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedev, V S; Volodina, L A; Deĭnega, E Iu; Fedorov, Iu I

    2005-01-01

    The effect of Cu2+ on the structural organization of the cell surface of Escherichia coli bacteria during the induction of conductivity of a plasma membrane was studied. A fluorescent study did not reveal any substantial changes in the microviscosity of lipids by the action of copper ions. At the same time, a substantial reorganization of membrane proteins during plasmolysis was observed. A model of the copper-induced structural reorganization of membrane lipids was constructed, according to which the reorganization leads to the opening in the membrane of channels of nonspecific conductivity for cations. The opening of conductivity channels results from the break of disulfide bonds in critical membrane proteins during the interaction with Cu+, which form either due to the reduction of Cu2+ on specific sites of cell surface or by means of external reducing agents.

  10. The influence of a membrane environment on the structure and stability of a prokaryotic potassium channel, KcsA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encinar, J A; Molina, M L; Poveda, J A; Barrera, F N; Renart, M L; Fernández, A M; González-Ros, J M

    2005-09-26

    The lack of a membrane environment in membrane protein crystals is considered one of the major limiting factors to fully imply X-ray structural data to explain functional properties of ion channels [Gulbis, J.M. and Doyle, D. (2004) Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 14, 440-446]. Here, we provide infrared spectroscopic evidence that the structure and stability of the potassium channel KcsA and its chymotryptic derivative 1-125 KcsA reconstituted into native-like membranes differ from those exhibited by these proteins in detergent solution, the latter taken as an approximation of the mixed detergent-protein crystal conditions.

  11. Investigation of lipid membrane macro- and micro-structure using calorimetry and computer simulation: structural and functional relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Mouritsen, Ole G.

    1999-01-01

    The lipid bilayer part of biological membranes is a complex lipid mixture displaying cooperative phenomena. By means of differential scanning calorimetry and computer simulation techniques, the equilibrium and non-equilibrium properties of the large assembly of mutually interacting amphiphilic...... lipid molecules constituting the lipid bilayer have been investigated. The cooperative many-particle lipid bilayer behavior is manifested in terms of phase transitions and large-scale macroscopic phase equilibria. On a smaller nanometer length-scale, equilibrium structural and compositional fluctuations...... and proteins. (C) 1999 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved....

  12. 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.

  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. Myelin-specific proteins: a structurally diverse group of membrane-interacting molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Huijong; Myllykoski, Matti; Ruskamo, Salla; Wang, Chaozhan; Kursula, Petri

    2013-01-01

    The myelin sheath is a multilayered membrane in the nervous system, which has unique biochemical properties. Myelin carries a set of specific high-abundance proteins, the structure and function of which are still poorly understood. The proteins of the myelin sheath are involved in a number of neurological diseases, including autoimmune diseases and inherited neuropathies. In this review, we briefly discuss the structural properties and functions of selected myelin-specific proteins (P0, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, myelin basic protein, myelin-associated oligodendrocytic basic protein, P2, proteolipid protein, peripheral myelin protein of 22 kDa, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, and periaxin); such properties include, for example, interactions with lipid bilayers and the presence of large intrinsically disordered regions in some myelin proteins. A detailed understanding of myelin protein structure and function at the molecular level will be required to fully grasp their physiological roles in the myelin sheath.

  15. Effect of membrane structure on the action of polyenes II: nystatin activity along the phase diagram of ergosterol- and cholesterol-containing POPC membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Damián, J; Ortega-Blake, I

    2010-09-01

    Pores formed by the polyene antibiotic nystatin were studied in solvent-free lipid membranes. The membranes were formed by the tip-dip technique using 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) with different mol fractions (0-50%) of cholesterol or ergosterol. The effects of the mol fraction of sterol and of temperature variation (15-35°C) on the activity of the pores, their unitary conductances, lifetimes and time average conductances were studied. The results were used to analyze the behavior of nystatin channels along the phase diagrams previously reported for these lipid mixtures and to propose that membrane structure is the determinant factor for the known ergosterol/cholesterol selectivity.

  16. 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

    The respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics of breath......The respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics...... 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...

  17. S-layers as patterning structures and supporting layers for biomimetic membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pum, Dietmar; Wetzer, Barbara; Schuster, Bernhard; Sleytr, Uwe B.

    1997-03-01

    A new approach in nanostructure technology particularly in the functionalization of surfaces has been developed on the basis of crystalline bacterial cell surface layers (S- layers). S-layers are composed of monomolecular arrays of identical (glyco)proteins showing high molecular order, defined mass distribution and isoporosity, and a high binding capacity for functional macromolecules. The possibility for recrystallizing isolated S-layer subunits into large isoporous, coherent lattices at solid supports, at the air/water interface or on lipid films and for handling such layers by standard Langmuir-Blodgett techniques opens a broad spectrum of applications in basic and applied membrane research. S-layer supported functional phospholipid bilayers or tetraether lipid films mimic the molecular architecture of those archaebacterial cell envelopes that are exclusively composed of an S-layer and a plasma membrane. This novel concept could lead to new techniques for exploiting large scale structural and functional principles of membrane associated and integrated molecules (e.g. ion channels, proton pumps, receptors).

  18. A novel Cryptosporidium parvum antigen, CP2, preferentially associates with membranous structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hara, Steven P; Yu, Jae-Ran; Lin, Jim Jung-Ching

    2004-03-01

    The present study addresses the cloning and characterization of a Cryptosporidium parvum antigen, CP2. Sequencing of cDNA and genomic clones revealed a novel gene capable of coding a message of 2,136 nucleotides flanked by 28 and 140 nucleotides of the 5'- and 3'-noncoding regions, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence suggests that CP2 is a secreted and/or membrane protein. Immunofluorescence microscopy detected CP2 enrichment in sporozoites that subsequently appeared to encase type I meronts in infected HCT-8 cells. Immunogold electron microscopy revealed that CP2 consistently localized to membranous structures throughout development. In addition, progression from macrogametocyte to sporulated oocyst revealed CP2 initially at the periphery of amylopectin-like granules, in the cytoplasm and discrete vesicles, the parasitophorous vacuole, on the surface of sporozoites, and finally on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). The observed expression pattern suggests that CP2 may be involved in the invasion process and/or PVM integrity.

  19. Structure and functions of water-membrane interfaces and their role in proto-biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, A.; Wilson, M.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1991-01-01

    Among the most important developments in proto-biological evolution was the emergence of membrane-like structures. These are formed by spontaneous association of relatively simple amphiphilic molecules that would have been readily available in the primordial environment. The resulting interfacial regions between water and nonpolar interior of the membrane have several properties which made them uniquely suitable for promoting subsequent evolution. They can (1) selectively attract organic material and mediate its transport, (2) serve as simple catalysts for chemical reactions, and (3) promote the formation of trans-membrane electrical and chemical gradients which could provide energy sources for proto-cells. Understanding the structure of interfaces, their interactions with organic molecules and molecular mechanisms of their functions is an essential step to understanding proto-biological evolution. In our computer simulation studies, we showed that the structure of water at interfaces with nonpolar media is significantly different from that in the bulk. In particular, the average surface dipole density points from the vapor to the liquid. As a result, negative ions can approach the interface more easily than positive ions. Amphiphilic molecules composed of hydrocarbon conjugated rings and polar substituents (e.g., phenol) assume at the interface rigid orientations in which polar groups are buried in water while hydrocarbon parts are located in the nonpolar environment. These orientational differences are of special interest in connection with the ability of some of these molecules to efficiently absorb photons. Flexible molecules with polar substituents often adopt at interfaces conformations different from those in the bulk aquaeous solution and in the gas phase. As a result, in many instances both specificity and kinetics of chemical reactions in which these molecules can participate is modified by the presence of surfaces. Of special interest is the mechanism by

  20. Structural and Functional Proteomic Analysis of a Developing Energy Transducing Membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niederman, Robert A

    2012-06-04

    While much is known about the light reactions of photosynthesis in purple bacteria, comparatively little information is available on how the requisite integral membrane proteins are assembled, their patterns of cellular localization are established or their apoproteins cooperate with numerous assembly factors in their insertion into the growing intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM). This problem was approached through a detailed structural and functional proteomic analysis of ICM assembly process in the well-characterized purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Proteomic approaches have focused upon identification of membrane proteins temporally expressed during ICM development and spatially localized in both membrane growth initiation sites and in mature ICM vesicles. Protocols were established for ICM induction under reduced aeration and ICM remodeling in cells adapting to low intensity illumination, which permitted isolation, in sucrose density gradients, of ICM growth initiation sites as an upper pigmented band (UPB) and mature ICM vesicles as the main (chromatophore) band. Non-denaturing clear native gel electrophoresis (CNE) of these isolated membrane fractions gave rise to pigmented bands containing the peripheral light-harvesting 2 (LH2) antenna and the reaction center-light-harvesting 1 (RC-LH1) core complex, together with a full array of other ICM proteins, which were subjected to proteomic analysis. Proteomic analysis of the gel bands from chromatophores revealed developmental changes including increasing levels of the LH2 complex as ICM development proceeded, as well as a large array of other associated proteins including high spectral counts for the F1FO ATP synthase subunits, given the inability to detect this coupling factor, as well as the more abundant cytochrome bc1 complex by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Significant levels of general membrane assembly factors were encountered, as well as high counts for RSP6124, a protein of unknown function

  1. Interfacial Structure, Dynamics, and Transport of Polyelectrolyte Membrane Materials for Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soles, Christopher; Page, K.; Eastman, S.; Kim, S.; Kang, S.; Dura, J.; National Institute of Standards; Technology; Polymers Divison Team; NIST Collaboration

    2011-03-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) fuel cells show promise for a wide range of applications both in the transportation sector and for stationary power production due to their high charge density and low operating temperatures. While the structure and transport of bulk PEMs have been studied extensively, little is known about these materials at interfaces and under confinement, as they exist within the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Using neutron/ x-ray reflectivity and polarization-modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, we have studied the polymer-substrate interfacial structure, swelling, and water transport as function of humidity, surface chemistry, and film thickness. The interfacial structure is highly dependent upon the substrate surface chemistry and the swelling/water diffusivity are suppressed when the PEM is confined to a thin film. This new information will enable researchers to more accurately model the performance of the MEA as current simulations typically rely on bulk property values to predict water and proton transport under these conditions.

  2. Structure-activity relationships of ω-Agatoxin IVA in lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Jae Ha; Jung, Hoi Jong; Konishi, Shiro; Kim, Ha Hyung; Park, Zee-Yong; Kim, Jae Il

    2017-01-01

    To analyze structural features of ω-Aga IVA, a gating modifier toxin from spider venom, we here investigated the NMR solution structure of ω-Aga IVA within DPC micelles. Under those conditions, the Cys-rich central region of ω-Aga IVA still retains the inhibitor Cys knot motif with three short antiparallel β-strands seen in water. However, (15)N HSQC spectra of ω-Aga IVA within micelles revealed that there are radical changes to the toxin's C-terminal tail and several loops upon binding to micelles. The C-terminal tail of ω-Aga IVA appears to assume a β-turn like conformation within micelles, though it is disordered in water. Whole-cell patch clamp studies with several ω-Aga IVA analogs indicate that both the hydrophobic C-terminal tail and an Arg patch in the core region of ω-Aga IVA are critical for Cav2.1 blockade. These results suggest that the membrane environment stabilizes the structure of the toxin, enabling it to act in a manner similar to other gating modifier toxins, though its mode of interaction with the membrane and the channel is unique. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. On the vein-stiffening membrane structure of a dragonfly hind wing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhong-xue LI; Wei SHEN; Gen-shu TONG; Jia-meng TIAN; Loc VU-QUOC

    2009-01-01

    Aiming at exploring the excellent structural performance of the vein-stiffening membrane structure of dragonfly hind wings, we analyzed two planar computational models and three 3D computational models with cambered corrugation based on the finite element method. It is shown that the vein size in different zones is proportional to the magnitude of the vein internal force when the wing structure is subjected to uniform out-of-plane transverse loading. The membrane contributes little to the flexural stiffness of the planar wing models, while exerting an immense impact upon the stiffness of the 3D wing models with cambered corrugation. If a lumped mass of 10% of the wing is fixed on the leading edge close to the wing tip, the wing fundamental fre-quency decreases by 10.7%~13.2%; ifa lumped mass is connected to the wing via multiple springs, the wing fundamental fre-quency decreases by 16.0%~18.0%. Such decrease in fundamental frequency explains the special function of the wing pterostigma in alleviating the wing quivering effect. These particular features of dragonfly wings can be mimicked in the design of new-style reticulately stiffening thin-walled roof systems and flapping wings in novel intelligent aerial vehicles.

  4. 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

  5. Computation of wind-induced vibrations of flexible shells and membranous structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glück, M.; Breuer, M.; Durst, F.; Halfmann, A.; Rank, E.

    2003-04-01

    A partitioned coupling approach for time-dependent fluid-structure interactions is applied to thin shells and membranous structures with large displacements. The frame algorithm connects a three-dimensional, finite volume-based multi-block flow solver for incompressible fluids with a finite element code for geometrically nonlinear structural problems using a commercial coupling interface. Thus a high modularity is achieved and the whole range of opportunities with these two powerful codes - each of them highly adapted to its specific field of application - can be used also for coupled simulations. Two completely different configurations were investigated. First, the coupling algorithm was applied to an academic test configuration consisting of one, two, and three flexible L-shaped plates being loaded by a steady far-field flow. Various investigations were carried out at different Reynolds numbers /(Re=50,200, and 500) in order to study phenomena such as vortex shedding, resonance, influence of the interaction between several flexible plates, whereas the second and third plates were placed in the wake of the first. The second part of the paper shows that in principle the coupling procedure can also deal with real-life structures as they occur in civil engineering. A membranous roof of glass-fiber synthetics with a complex shape was exposed to a time-dependent wind gust from diagonally above which was superimposed on a constant basic wind flow parallel to the ground. The structural model contains the pre-stressed textile roof including the taut cables at its circumference which are fastened at the pylons. As a structural response, the wind gust led to a displacement of the textile roof which disappeared again when the gust subsided. With the coupled algorithm proposed in the paper it is possible to study dynamic interactions for engineering applications.

  6. 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 le...... mixtures show that the enzyme activity is modulated by nano-scale lipid-domain formation in the lipid bilayer and lead to a characteristic lag-burst behavior. The simulations are found to be in semi-quantitative agreement with experimental data....

  7. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. The NMR Structure of Human Obestatin in Membrane-Like Environments: Insights into the Structure-Bioactivity Relationship of Obestatin

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:23056203

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, W.; Peters, J.; Kursula, P.; Gerelli, Y.; Natali, F.

    2014-11-01

    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.

  12. Thinking in Terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships (T-SAR: A Tool to Better Understand Nanofiltration Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Stolte

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available A frontier to be conquered in the field of membrane technology is related to the very limited scientific base for the rational and task-specific design of membranes. This is especially true for nanofiltration membranes with properties that are based on several solute-membrane interaction mechanisms. “Thinking in terms of Structure-Activity-Relationships” (T-SAR is a methodology which applies a systematic analysis of a chemical entity based on its structural formula. However, the analysis become more complex with increasing size of the molecules considered. In this study, T-SAR was combined with classical membrane characterization methods, resulting in a new methodology which allowed us not only to explain membrane characteristics, but also provides evidence for the importance of the chemical structure for separation performance. We demonstrate an application of the combined approach and its potential to discover stereochemistry, molecular interaction potentials, and reactivity of two FilmTec nanofiltration membranes (NF-90 and NF-270. Based on these results, it was possible to predict both properties and performance in the recovery of hydrophobic ionic liquids from aqueous solution.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org; Ding, Yi [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States); Schwieters, Charles D. [National Institutes of Health, Division of Computational Bioscience, Center for Information Technology (United States); Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States)

    2015-09-15

    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.

  14. Structural Basis for Translocation of a Biofilm-supporting Exopolysaccharide across the Bacterial Outer Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Andole Pannuri, Archana; Ni, Dongchun; Zhou, Haizhen; Cao, Xiou; Lu, Xiaomei; Romeo, Tony; Huang, Yihua

    2016-05-06

    The partially de-N-acetylated poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (dPNAG) polymer serves as an intercellular biofilm adhesin that plays an essential role for the development and maintenance of integrity of biofilms of diverse bacterial species. Translocation of dPNAG across the bacterial outer membrane is mediated by a tetratricopeptide repeat-containing outer membrane protein, PgaA. To understand the molecular basis of dPNAG translocation, we determined the crystal structure of the C-terminal transmembrane domain of PgaA (residues 513-807). The structure reveals that PgaA forms a 16-strand transmembrane β-barrel, closed by four loops on the extracellular surface. Half of the interior surface of the barrel that lies parallel to the translocation pathway is electronegative, suggesting that the corresponding negatively charged residues may assist the secretion of the positively charged dPNAG polymer. In vivo complementation assays in a pgaA deletion bacterial strain showed that a cluster of negatively charged residues proximal to the periplasm is necessary for biofilm formation. Biochemical analyses further revealed that the tetratricopeptide repeat domain of PgaA binds directly to the N-deacetylase PgaB and is critical for biofilm formation. Our studies support a model in which the positively charged PgaB-bound dPNAG polymer is delivered to PgaA through the PgaA-PgaB interaction and is further targeted to the β-barrel lumen of PgaA potentially via a charge complementarity mechanism, thus priming the translocation of dPNAG across the bacterial outer membrane.

  15. 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

  16. A mutagenesis and screening strategy to generate optimally thermostabilized membrane proteins for structural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnani, Francesca; Serrano-Vega, Maria J; Shibata, Yoko; Abdul-Hussein, Saba; Lebon, Guillaume; Miller-Gallacher, Jennifer; Singhal, Ankita; Strege, Annette; Thomas, Jennifer A; Tate, Christopher G

    2016-08-01

    The thermostability of an integral membrane protein (MP) in detergent solution is a key parameter that dictates the likelihood of obtaining well-diffracting crystals that are suitable for structure determination. However, many mammalian MPs are too unstable for crystallization. We developed a thermostabilization strategy based on systematic mutagenesis coupled to a radioligand-binding thermostability assay that can be applied to receptors, ion channels and transporters. It takes ∼6-12 months to thermostabilize a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) containing 300 amino acid (aa) residues. The resulting thermostabilized MPs are more easily crystallized and result in high-quality structures. This methodology has facilitated structure-based drug design applied to GPCRs because it is possible to determine multiple structures of the thermostabilized receptors bound to low-affinity ligands. Protocols and advice are given on how to develop thermostability assays for MPs and how to combine mutations to make an optimally stable mutant suitable for structural studies. The steps in the procedure include the generation of ∼300 site-directed mutants by Ala/Leu scanning mutagenesis, the expression of each mutant in mammalian cells by transient transfection and the identification of thermostable mutants using a thermostability assay that is based on binding of an (125)I-labeled radioligand to the unpurified, detergent-solubilized MP. Individual thermostabilizing point mutations are then combined to make an optimally stable MP that is suitable for structural biology and other biophysical studies.

  17. Structure of BamA, an essential factor in outer membrane protein biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Reinhard; Schütz, Monika; Oberhettinger, Philipp; Faulstich, Michaela; Bermejo, Ivan; Rudel, Thomas; Diederichs, Kay; Zeth, Kornelius

    2014-06-01

    Outer membrane protein (OMP) biogenesis is an essential process for maintaining the bacterial cell envelope and involves the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) for OMP recognition, folding and assembly. In Escherichia coli this function is orchestrated by five proteins: the integral outer membrane protein BamA of the Omp85 superfamily and four associated lipoproteins. To unravel the mechanism underlying OMP folding and insertion, the structure of the E. coli BamA β-barrel and P5 domain was determined at 3 Å resolution. These data add information beyond that provided in the recently published crystal structures of BamA from Haemophilus ducreyi and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and are a valuable basis for the interpretation of pertinent functional studies. In an `open' conformation, E. coli BamA displays a significant degree of flexibility between P5 and the barrel domain, which is indicative of a multi-state function in substrate transfer. E. coli BamA is characterized by a discontinuous β-barrel with impaired β1-β16 strand interactions denoted by only two connecting hydrogen bonds and a disordered C-terminus. The 16-stranded barrel surrounds a large cavity which implies a function in OMP substrate binding and partial folding. These findings strongly support a mechanism of OMP biogenesis in which substrates are partially folded inside the barrel cavity and are subsequently released laterally into the lipid bilayer.

  18. The IFT-A complex regulates Shh signaling through cilia structure and membrane protein trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liem, Karel F; Ashe, Alyson; He, Mu; Satir, Peter; Moran, Jennifer; Beier, David; Wicking, Carol; Anderson, Kathryn V

    2012-06-11

    Two intraflagellar transport (IFT) complexes, IFT-A and IFT-B, build and maintain primary cilia and are required for activity of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway. A weak allele of the IFT-A gene, Ift144, caused subtle defects in cilia structure and ectopic activation of the Shh pathway. In contrast, strong loss of IFT-A, caused by either absence of Ift144 or mutations in two IFT-A genes, blocked normal ciliogenesis and decreased Shh signaling. In strong IFT-A mutants, the Shh pathway proteins Gli2, Sufu, and Kif7 localized correctly to cilia tips, suggesting that these pathway components were trafficked by IFT-B. In contrast, the membrane proteins Arl13b, ACIII, and Smo failed to localize to primary cilia in the absence of IFT-A. We propose that the increased Shh activity seen in partial loss-of-function IFT-A mutants may be a result of decreased ciliary ACIII and that the loss of Shh activity in the absence of IFT-A is a result of severe disruptions of cilia structure and membrane protein trafficking.

  19. Structural and functional importance of outer membrane proteins in Vibrio cholerae flagellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, Wasimul; Lee, Kang-Mu; Yoon, Sang Sun

    2012-08-01

    Vibrio cholerae has a sheath-covered monotrichous flagellum that is known to contribute to virulence. Although the structural organization of the V. cholerae flagellum has been extensively studied, the involvement of outer membrane proteins as integral components in the flagellum still remains elusive. Here we show that flagella produced by V. cholerae O1 El Tor strain C6706 were two times thicker than those from two other Gram-negative bacteria. A C6706 mutant strain (SSY11) devoid of two outer membrane proteins (OMPs), OmpU and OmpT, produced thinner flagella. SSY11 showed significant defects in the flagella-mediated motility as compared to its parental strain. Moreover, increased shedding of the flagella-associated proteins was observed in the culture supernatant of SSY11. This finding was also supported by the observation that culture supernatants of the SSY11 strain induced the production of a significantly higher level of IL-8 in human colon carcinoma HT29 and alveolar epithelial A549 cells than those of the wild-type C6706 strain. These results further suggest a definite role of these two OMPs in providing the structural integrity of the V. cholerae flagellum as part of the surrounding sheath.

  20. Prediction of water-phosphatidylcholine membrane partition coefficient of some drugs from their molecular structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatemi, Mohammad Hossein; Moghaddam, Masoomeh Raei

    2012-10-01

    In this work, the phosphatidylcholine membrane-water partition coefficients (MA) of some drugs were estimated from their theoretical derived molecular descriptors by applying quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methodology. The data set consisted of 46 drugs where their log MA were determined experimentally. Descriptors used in this work were calculated by DRAGON (version 1) package, on the basis of optimized molecular structures, and the most relevant descriptors were selected by stepwise multilinear regressions (MLRs). These descriptors were used to developing linear and nonlinear models by using MLR and artificial neural networks (ANNs), respectively. During this investigation, the best QSAR model was identified when using the ANN model that produced a reasonable level of correlation coefficients (R(train) = 0.995, R(test) = 0.948) and low standard error (SE(train) = 0.099, SE(test) = 0.326). The built model was fully assessed by various validation methods, including internal and external validation test, Y-randomization test, and cross-validation (Q(2) = 0.805). The results of this investigation revealed the applicability of QSAR approaches in the estimation of phosphatidylcholine membrane-water partition coefficients.

  1. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16550.001 PMID:27502556

  2. The impact of cell-penetrating peptides on membrane bilayer structure during binding and insertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirst, Daniel J; Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Kulkarni, Ketav; Wilce, Jacqueline A; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2016-08-01

    We have studied the effect of penetratin and a truncated analogue on the bilayer structure using dual polarisation interferometry, to simultaneously measure changes in mass per unit area and birefringence (an optical parameter representing bilayer order) with high sensitivity during the binding and dissociation from the membrane. Specifically, we studied penetratin (RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), along with a shortened and biotinylated version known as R8K-biotin (RRMKWKKK(Biotin)-NH2). Overall both peptides bound only weakly to the neutral DMPC and POPC bilayers, while much higher binding was observed for the anionic DMPC/DMPG and POPC/POPG. The binding of penetratin to gel-phase DMPC/DMPG was adequately represented by a two-state model, whereas on the fluid-phase POPC/POPG it exhibited a distinctly different binding pattern, best represented by a three-state kinetic model. However, R8K-biotin did not bind well to DMPC/DMPG and showed a more transitory and superficial binding to POPC/POPG. Comparing the modelling results for both peptides binding to POPC/POPG suggests an important role for a securely bound intermediate prior to penetratin insertion and translocation. Overall these results further elucidate the mechanism of penetratin, and provide another example of the significance of the ability of DPI to measure structural changes and the use of kinetic analysis to investigate the stages of peptide-membrane interactions.

  3. Structural determinants for membrane insertion, pore formation and translocation of Clostridium difficile toxin B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genisyuerek, Selda; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Guttenberg, Gregor; Schubert, Rolf; Benz, Roland; Aktories, Klaus

    2011-03-01

    Clostridium difficile toxins A and B bind to eukaryotic target cells, are endocytosed and then deliver their N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain after processing into the cytosol. Whereas glucosyltransferase, autoprocessing and cell-binding domains are well defined, structural features involved in toxin delivery are unknown. Here, we studied structural determinants that define membrane insertion, pore formation and translocation of toxin B. Deletion analyses revealed that a large region, covering amino acids 1501-1753 of toxin B, is dispensable for cytotoxicity in Vero cells. Accordingly, a chimeric toxin, consisting of amino acids 1-1550 and the receptor-binding domain of diphtheria toxin, caused cytotoxic effects. A large N-terminal part of toxin B (amino acids 1-829) was not essential for pore formation (measured by (86) Rb(+) release in mammalian cells). Studies using C-terminal truncation fragments of toxin B showed that amino acid residues 1-990 were still capable of inducing fluorescence dye release from large lipid vesicles and led to increased electrical conductance in black lipid membranes. Thereby, we define the minimal pore-forming region of toxin B within amino acid residues 830 and 990. Moreover, we identify within this region a crucial role of the amino acid pair glutamate-970 and glutamate-976 in pore formation of toxin B.

  4. Pore formation by antimicrobial peptides: structural tendencies in bulk and quasi-2D membrane systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Vernita; Yang, Lihua; Davis, Matthew; Som, A.; Tew, G.; Wong, Gerard

    2007-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides are cationic, amphiphilic structures that are key components of innate immunity. A prototypical family of synthetic analogs are the phenylene ethynylene antimicrobial oligomers (AMOs), which have hydrophobic alkyl chains connected to cationic hydrophilic regions. Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) shows that when AMO is mixed with concentrated model membranes, initially in the form of Small Unilamellar Vesicles, the sample forms the inverted hexagonal phase. This is a 3-dimensional phase characterized by a regular array of size-defined water channels. We demonstrate how this structural tendency is expressed when AMOs interact with dilute model membranes in the form of Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs). Using confocal microscopy, we see that applying AMO to the GUVs causes small encapsulated molecules to be released while large molecules are retained, indicating that size-defined pores have been created. Examining the partial release of polydisperse intermediately-sized molecules allows a closer measurement of the pore size, and there are indications that this single-vesicle microscopy will allow elucidation of the kinetics of the pore-forming process.

  5. 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.

  6. Atomic resolution view into the structure-function relationships of the human myelin peripheral membrane protein P2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruskamo, Salla; Yadav, Ravi P; Sharma, Satyan; Lehtimäki, Mari; Laulumaa, Saara; Aggarwal, Shweta; Simons, Mikael; Bürck, Jochen; Ulrich, Anne S; Juffer, André H; Kursula, Inari; Kursula, Petri

    2014-01-01

    P2 is a fatty acid-binding protein expressed in vertebrate peripheral nerve myelin, where it may function in bilayer stacking and lipid transport. P2 binds to phospholipid membranes through its positively charged surface and a hydrophobic tip, and accommodates fatty acids inside its barrel structure. The structure of human P2 refined at the ultrahigh resolution of 0.93 Å allows detailed structural analyses, including the full organization of an internal hydrogen-bonding network. The orientation of the bound fatty-acid carboxyl group is linked to the protonation states of two coordinating arginine residues. An anion-binding site in the portal region is suggested to be relevant for membrane interactions and conformational changes. When bound to membrane multilayers, P2 has a preferred orientation and is stabilized, and the repeat distance indicates a single layer of P2 between membranes. Simulations show the formation of a double bilayer in the presence of P2, and in cultured cells wild-type P2 induces membrane-domain formation. Here, the most accurate structural and functional view to date on P2, a major component of peripheral nerve myelin, is presented, showing how it can interact with two membranes simultaneously while going through conformational changes at its portal region enabling ligand transfer.

  7. Structural comparison of highly similar nucleoside-diphosphate kinases: Molecular explanation of distinct membrane-binding behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois-Moutal, L; Marcillat, O; Granjon, T

    2014-10-01

    NDPK-A, NDPK-B and NDPK-D are three enzymes which belong to the NDPK group I isoforms and are not only involved in metabolism process but also in transcriptional regulation, DNA cleavage, histidine protein kinase activity and metastasis development. Those enzymes were reported to bind to membranes either in mitochondria where NDPK-D influences cardiolipin lateral organization and is thought to be involved in apoptotic pathway or in cytosol where NDPK-A and NDPK-B membrane association was shown to influence several cellular processes like endocytosis, cellular adhesion, ion transport, etc. However, despite numerous studies, the role of NDPK-membrane association and the molecular details of the binding process are still elusive. In the present work, a comparative study of the three NDPK isoforms allowed us to show that although membrane binding is a common feature of these enzymes, mechanisms differ at the molecular scale. NDPK-A was not able to bind to model membranes mimicking the inner leaflet of plasma membrane, suggesting that its in vivo membrane association is mediated by a non-lipidic partner or other partners than the studied phospholipids. On the contrary, NDPK-B and NDPK-D were shown to bind efficiently to liposomes mimicking plasma membrane and mitochondrial inner membrane respectively but details of the binding mechanism differ between the two enzymes as NDPK-B binding necessarily involved an anionic phospholipid partner while NDPK-D can bind either zwitterionic or anionic phospholipids. Although sharing similar secondary structure and homohexameric quaternary arrangement, tryptophan fluorescence revealed fine disparities in NDPK tertiary structures. Interfacial behavior as well as ANS fluorescence showed further dissimilarities between NDPK isoforms, notably the presence of distinct accessible hydrophobic areas as well as different capacity to form Gibbs monolayers related to their surface activity properties. Those distinct features may contribute to

  8. Crystal structures of electrospun PVDF membranes and its separator application for rechargeable lithium metal cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao Kun [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China)]. E-mail: gaokun@hit.edu.cn; Hu Xinguo [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China); Dai Chongsong [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China); Yi Tingfeng [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China)

    2006-07-15

    An electrospinning method was used to prepare electrospun PVDF-based membranes (EPMs) for battery separators applications. The morphology of the EPMs was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The relations between applied voltage and average fiber diameter (AFD) under certain electrospinning conditions were discussed. The thermal properties and crystal structure of the EPMs also were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). Due to soften PVDF fibers in high temperature, the thermal treated EPMs can form an interconnected web structure, which greatly improves physical properties. Compared with Celgard{sup TM} 2400 (PP separator), the cell with EPM shows better cycling ability of CV and charge-discharge performance with little capacity loss after 50 cycles at C/2 rate.

  9. Membrane-electrode structures for molecular catalysts for use in fuel cells and other electrochemical devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerr, John B.; Zhu, Xiaobing; Hwang, Gi Suk; Martin, Zulima; He, Qinggang; Driscoll, Peter; Weber, Adam; Clark, Kyle

    2016-09-27

    Water soluble catalysts, (M)meso-tetra(N-Methyl-4-Pyridyl)Porphinepentachloride (M=Fe, Co, Mn & Cu), have been incorporated into the polymer binder of oxygen reduction cathodes in membrane electrode assemblies used in PEM fuel cells and found to support encouragingly high current densities. The voltages achieved are low compared to commercial platinum catalysts but entirely consistent with the behavior observed in electroanalytical measurements of the homogeneous catalysts. A model of the dynamics of the electrode action has been developed and validated and this allows the MEA electrodes to be optimized for any chemistry that has been demonstrated in solution. It has been shown that improvements to the performance will come from modifications to the structure of the catalyst combined with optimization of the electrode structure and a well-founded pathway to practical non-platinum group metal catalysts exists.

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sibeko, B; Pillay, V; Choonara, Y E; Khan, R A; Danckwerts, M P [Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193 Johannesburg (South Africa); Modi, G [Division of Neurosciences, Department of Neurology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa); Iyuke, S E [School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa); Naidoo, D, E-mail: viness.pillay@wits.ac.z [Division of Neurosciences, Department of Neurosurgery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa)

    2009-02-15

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Structural, chemical surface and transport modifications of regenerated cellulose dense membranes due to low-dose {gamma}-radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, M.I. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain); Heredia-Guerrero, J.A., E-mail: jose.alejandro@icmse.csic.es [Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Centro Mixto CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, Avda, Americo Vespuccio 49, 41092 Sevilla (Spain); Galan, P. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain); Benitez, J.J. [Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Centro Mixto CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, Avda, Americo Vespuccio 49, 41092 Sevilla (Spain); Benavente, J. [Grupo de Caracterizacion Electrocinetica en Membranas e Interfases, Departamento de Fisica Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, E-29071 Malaga (Spain)

    2011-04-15

    Research highlights: {yields} Low dose {gamma}-radiation causes slight structural, chemical and morphological changes on regenerated cellulose films. {yields} Induced structural changes increase the fragility of irradiated films. {yields} Structural modifications reduce ion permeability of films. - Abstract: Modifications caused in commercial dense regenerated cellulose (RC) flat membranes by low-dose {gamma}-irradiation (average photons energy of 1.23 MeV) are studied. Slight structural, chemical and morphological surface changes due to irradiation in three films with different RC content were determined by ATR-FTIR, XRD, XPS and AFM. Also, the alteration of their mechanical elasticity has been studied. Modification of membrane performance was determined from solute diffusion coefficient and effective membrane fixed charge concentration obtained from NaCl diffusion measurements. Induced structural changes defining new and effective fracture propagation directions are considered to be responsible for the increase of fragility of irradiated RC membranes. The same structural changes are proposed to explain the reduction of the membrane ion permeability through a mechanism involving either ion pathways elongation and/or blocking.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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/ approx. = 70,000 and approx. = 62,000 consistently migrated with activity, along with several minor bands of lower molecular weight. Radioactively labeled inhibitors of ATPase activity, N-( UC)ethylmaleimide and 7-chloro-4-nitro( UC)benzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole, labeled the M/sub r/ approx. = 70,000 polypeptide; this labeling was reduced in the presence of ATP. N,N'-( UC)dicyclohexylcarbodiimide labeled a polypeptide of M/sub r/ approx. = 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 10V, 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/ approx. = 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 F0F1 ATPases.

  17. VESICULAR TRANSPORT. A structure of the COPI coat and the role of coat proteins in membrane vesicle assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonova, S O; Diestelkoetter-Bachert, P; von Appen, A; Hagen, W J H; Beck, R; Beck, M; Wieland, F; Briggs, J A G

    2015-07-10

    Transport of material within cells is mediated by trafficking vesicles that bud from one cellular compartment and fuse with another. Formation of a trafficking vesicle is driven by membrane coats that localize cargo and polymerize into cages to bend the membrane. Although extensive structural information is available for components of these coats, the heterogeneity of trafficking vesicles has prevented an understanding of how complete membrane coats assemble on the membrane. We combined cryo-electron tomography, subtomogram averaging, and cross-linking mass spectrometry to derive a complete model of the assembled coat protein complex I (COPI) coat involved in traffic between the Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum. The highly interconnected COPI coat structure contradicted the current "adaptor-and-cage" understanding of coated vesicle formation.

  18. Effect of Nd-doping on the Thermal Stability and Pore-structure of Al2O3 Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Jian-Chang; XU Wei-Jun; HUANG Qing-Ming; HU Sheng-Wei

    2005-01-01

    Unsupported Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes have been prepared with a sol-gel treatnt by using aluminium isopropoxide and Nd(NO3)3 as the main raw materials. The properties of Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes were characterized by XRD, DTA-TG, IR and N2 adsorption. The effects of Nd-doping on the phase composition, thermal stability as well as applications of pore- structure of Nd-doped Al2O3 membranes at high temperature were discussed. The results show that Nd-doping can raise the transition temperature rom γ-Al2O3 to α-Al2O3, enhance the thermal stability of Al2O3 membranes, and evidently improve the pore-structural parameters of Al2O3 mem- branes applied at higher temperatures.

  19. Perfluorinated carbon-chain copolymers with functional groups and cation exchange membranes based on them: synthesis, structure and properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsh, Yu E.; Smirnov, S. A.; Popkov, Yu M.; Timashev, Sergei F.

    1990-06-01

    The review is devoted to perfluorinated polymers with sulphonic and carboxylic acid groups and to cation exchange membranes based on them. The synthesis is described of copolymers of tetrafluoroethylene with perfluorovinyl ethers containing functional groups by radical copolymerisation in an organic medium and in aqueous emulsions. Special features of the copolymerisation and approaches to obtaining copolymers with set characteristics are discussed. Data are presented on the structure and physicochemical properties of the polymeric films. Attempts to form membranes from the polymers obtained, the means of strengthening them and methods for chemical modification are described. Data are correlated on the influence of structure and polymer composition and the nature of the functional groups on the electrochemical characteristics of membranes. Special features of the functioning of perfluorinated membranes in the process for making chlorine and alkali by the electrolysis of sodium chloride solution are considered. The bibliography has 104 references.

  20. Structural and functional damages of whole body ionizing radiation on rat brain homogenate membranes and protective effect of amifostine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cakmak, Gulgun; Severcan, Mete; Zorlu, Faruk; Severcan, Feride

    2016-12-01

    To investigate the effects of whole body ionizing radiation at a sublethal dose on rat brain homogenate membranes and the protective effects of amifostine on these systems at molecular level. Sprague-Dawley rats, in the absence and presence of amifostine, were whole-body irradiated at a single dose of 8 Gy and decapitated after 24 h. The brain homogenate membranes of these rats were analyzed using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Ionizing radiation caused a significant increase in the lipid to protein ratio and significant decreases in the ratios of olefinic = CH/lipid, CH2/lipid, carbonyl ester/lipid and CH3/lipid suggesting, respectively, a more excessive decrease in the protein content and the degradation of lipids as a result of lipid peroxidation. In addition, radiation changed the secondary structure of proteins and the status of packing of membrane lipid head groups. Furthermore, it caused a decrease in lipid order and an increase in membrane fluidity. The administration of amifostine before ionizing radiation inhibited all the radiation-induced alterations in brain homogenate membranes. The results revealed that whole body ionizing radiation at a sublethal dose causes significant alterations in the structure, composition and dynamics of brain homogenate membranes and amifostine has a protective effect on these membranes.

  1. 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

    PC), or reconstituted into lipid membranes formed from mixtures of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPE), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylserine (POPS), and ergosterol. Generally, SoPIP2;1 secondary structure was found to be predominantly a...... by an increased melting temperature of up to 70 degrees 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...

  2. Structural characterization of outer membrane components of the type IV pili system in pathogenic Neisseria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samta Jain

    Full Text Available Structures of the type IV pili secretin complexes from Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis, embedded in outer membranes were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Single particle averaging revealed additional domains not observed previously. Secretin complexes of N. gonorrhoeae showed a double ring structure with a 14-15-fold symmetry in the central ring, and a 14-fold symmetry of the peripheral ring with 7 spikes protruding. In secretin complexes of N. meningitidis, the spikes were absent and the peripheral ring was partly or completely lacking. When present, it had a 19-fold symmetry. The structures of the complexes in several pil mutants were determined. Structures obtained from the pilC1/C2 adhesin and the pilW minor pilin deletion strains were similar to wild-type, whereas deletion of the homologue of N. meningitidis PilW resulted in the absence of secretin structures. Remarkably, the pilE pilin subunit and pilP lipoprotein deletion mutants showed a change in the symmetry of the peripheral ring from 14 to 19 and loss of spikes. The pilF ATPase mutant also lost the spikes, but maintained 14-fold symmetry. These results show that secretin complexes contain previously unidentified large and flexible extra domains with a probable role in stabilization or assembly of type IV pili.

  3. 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.

  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

    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 tran......(+),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. Structural studies of two outer membrane proteins: OmpT from Escherichia coli and NspA from Neisseria meningitidis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutten, L.

    2003-01-01

    This Thesis describes the three-dimensional structures of two outer membrane proteins (OMPs), OmpT and NspA, from two pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. These structures reveal information about the functioning of these proteins and can potentially be used for the design of antimicrobial drugs or va

  6. Structural studies of two outer membrane proteins: OmpT from Escherichia coli and NspA from Neisseria meningitidis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutten, L.

    2003-01-01

    This Thesis describes the three-dimensional structures of two outer membrane proteins (OMPs), OmpT and NspA, from two pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. These structures reveal information about the functioning of these proteins and can potentially be used for the design of antimicrobial drugs or

  7. Evaluation of dialyzer jacket structure and hollow-fiber dialysis membranes to achieve high dialysis performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Ayaka; Yamamoto, Ken-ichiro; Matsuda, Masato; Ogawa, Takehito; Yakushiji, Taiji; Miyasaka, Takehiro; Sakai, Kiyotaka

    2011-02-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the optimum dialyzer jacket structure and hollow-fiber dialysis membrane, both of which are indispensable factors for achieving high dialysis performance, by clarifying the relationship between the dialysis performance and the flow of dialysate and blood in a hollow-fiber dialyzer. We evaluated the clearance, dialysate, and blood flow for four commercially available hollow-fiber dialyzers, namely, the APS-15S, APS-15SA, TS-1.6UL, and CX-1.6U. To evaluate dialysate and blood flow, we measured the residence-time distribution of dialysate and blood flow of these dialyzers by the pulse-response method. We also determined the clearances of urea, creatinine, vitamin B(12), and lysozyme to evaluate the dialysis performance of these dialyzers. While the baffle and taper structures allow effective supply of dialysate into the dialyzer jacket, the hollow-fiber shape, inner diameter, and packing density significantly influence the dialysate flow. In dialyzers with long taper-holding slits, the slit area is a key design parameter for achieving optimum dialysate flow. Similarly, the blood flow is significantly influenced by the structure of the inflowing and outflowing blood ports at the header of a dialyzer, and the shape and inner diameter of the hollow fibers. Hollow fibers with smaller inner diameters cause an increase in blood pressure, which causes blood to enter the hollow fibers more easily. The hollow-fiber shape hardly affects the blood flow. While improved dialysate and blood flow cause higher clearance of low molecular-weight substances, higher membrane area and pure-water permeability accelerate internal filtration, thereby causing an increase in the clearance of large molecular-weight substances. © 2010 The Authors. Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis © 2010 International Society for Apheresis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreszer, C; Wexler, A D; Drusová, S; Overdijk, T; Zwijnenburg, A; Flemming, H-C; Kruithof, J C; Vrouwenvelder, J S

    2014-12-15

    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(-2)h(-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(-2)h(-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.

  9. 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.

  10. Management of Psoriasis Herpeticum in Pregnancy: A Clinical Conundrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leanne Almario

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Kaposi varicelliform eruption (KVE is a widespread cutaneous viral infection, most commonly herpes simplex virus, which affects patients with underlying dermatosis. When KVE occurs in a patient with a history of psoriasis, it is referred to as psoriasis herpeticum, a rare subtype of KVE with only a handful of cases reported in the literature. To the authors’ knowledge, we report for the first time a case of psoriasis herpeticum in pregnancy. Case Presentation. A 23-year-old woman in her third pregnancy presented at 26-week gestation with a 10-year history of psoriasis. Cutaneous examination revealed diffuse psoriatic plaques with scattered ~1 cm erosions. Punch biopsy of the skin revealed herpes simplex virus (HSV infection within a psoriatic plaque, necessitating dermatological treatment. The patient experienced premature rupture of membranes at 37-week gestation. Pelvic exam showed no evidence of herpetic lesions. After labor augmentation, the patient delivered a healthy female infant with no evidence of HSV infection. Discussion. Psoriasis herpeticum is a rare and potentially devastating complication of an underlying dermatosis. With a paucity of data available to guide pregnancy-specific issues, the general management of this condition is controversial and requires a multidisciplinary care approach. Concerns for systemic infection in the mother and vertical transmission to the neonate are of critical importance.

  11. Structural basis for feed-forward transcriptional regulation of membrane lipid homeostasis in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Albanesi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The biosynthesis of membrane lipids is an essential pathway for virtually all bacteria. Despite its potential importance for the development of novel antibiotics, little is known about the underlying signaling mechanisms that allow bacteria to control their membrane lipid composition within narrow limits. Recent studies disclosed an elaborate feed-forward system that senses the levels of malonyl-CoA and modulates the transcription of genes that mediate fatty acid and phospholipid synthesis in many Gram-positive bacteria including several human pathogens. A key component of this network is FapR, a transcriptional regulator that binds malonyl-CoA, but whose mode of action remains enigmatic. We report here the crystal structures of FapR from Staphylococcus aureus (SaFapR in three relevant states of its regulation cycle. The repressor-DNA complex reveals that the operator binds two SaFapR homodimers with different affinities, involving sequence-specific contacts from the helix-turn-helix motifs to the major and minor grooves of DNA. In contrast with the elongated conformation observed for the DNA-bound FapR homodimer, binding of malonyl-CoA stabilizes a different, more compact, quaternary arrangement of the repressor, in which the two DNA-binding domains are attached to either side of the central thioesterase-like domain, resulting in a non-productive overall conformation that precludes DNA binding. The structural transition between the DNA-bound and malonyl-CoA-bound states of SaFapR involves substantial changes and large (>30 Å inter-domain movements; however, both conformational states can be populated by the ligand-free repressor species, as confirmed by the structure of SaFapR in two distinct crystal forms. Disruption of the ability of SaFapR to monitor malonyl-CoA compromises cell growth, revealing the essentiality of membrane lipid homeostasis for S. aureus survival and uncovering novel opportunities for the development of antibiotics

  12. Structural basis for feed-forward transcriptional regulation of membrane lipid homeostasis in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanesi, Daniela; Reh, Georgina; Guerin, Marcelo E; Schaeffer, Francis; Debarbouille, Michel; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Schujman, Gustavo E; de Mendoza, Diego; Alzari, Pedro M

    2013-01-01

    The biosynthesis of membrane lipids is an essential pathway for virtually all bacteria. Despite its potential importance for the development of novel antibiotics, little is known about the underlying signaling mechanisms that allow bacteria to control their membrane lipid composition within narrow limits. Recent studies disclosed an elaborate feed-forward system that senses the levels of malonyl-CoA and modulates the transcription of genes that mediate fatty acid and phospholipid synthesis in many Gram-positive bacteria including several human pathogens. A key component of this network is FapR, a transcriptional regulator that binds malonyl-CoA, but whose mode of action remains enigmatic. We report here the crystal structures of FapR from Staphylococcus aureus (SaFapR) in three relevant states of its regulation cycle. The repressor-DNA complex reveals that the operator binds two SaFapR homodimers with different affinities, involving sequence-specific contacts from the helix-turn-helix motifs to the major and minor grooves of DNA. In contrast with the elongated conformation observed for the DNA-bound FapR homodimer, binding of malonyl-CoA stabilizes a different, more compact, quaternary arrangement of the repressor, in which the two DNA-binding domains are attached to either side of the central thioesterase-like domain, resulting in a non-productive overall conformation that precludes DNA binding. The structural transition between the DNA-bound and malonyl-CoA-bound states of SaFapR involves substantial changes and large (>30 Å) inter-domain movements; however, both conformational states can be populated by the ligand-free repressor species, as confirmed by the structure of SaFapR in two distinct crystal forms. Disruption of the ability of SaFapR to monitor malonyl-CoA compromises cell growth, revealing the essentiality of membrane lipid homeostasis for S. aureus survival and uncovering novel opportunities for the development of antibiotics against this major human

  13. Unraveling the structure of membrane proteins in situ by transfer function corrected cryo-electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibauer, Matthias; Hoffmann, Christian; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Nickell, Stephan; Engelhardt, Harald

    2012-12-01

    Cryo-electron tomography in combination with subtomogram averaging allows to investigate the structure of protein assemblies in their natural environment in a close to live state. To make full use of the structural information contained in tomograms it is necessary to analyze the contrast transfer function (CTF) of projections and to restore the phases of higher spatial frequencies. CTF correction is however hampered by the difficulty of determining the actual defocus values from tilt series data, which is due to the low signal-to-noise ratio of electron micrographs. In this study, an extended acquisition scheme is introduced that enables an independent CTF determination. Two high-dose images are recorded along the tilt axis on both sides of each projection, which allow an accurate determination of the defocus values of these images. These values are used to calculate the CTF for each image of the tilt series. We applied this scheme to the mycobacterial outer membrane protein MspA reconstituted in lipid vesicles and tested several variants of CTF estimation in combination with subtomogram averaging and correction of the modulation transfer function (MTF). The 3D electron density map of MspA was compared with a structure previously determined by X-ray crystallography. We were able to demonstrate that structural information up to a resolution of 16.8Å can be recovered using our CTF correction approach, whereas the uncorrected 3D map had a resolution of only 26.2Å.

  14. The interaction between membrane structure and wind based on the discontinuous boundary element

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Small disturbance potential theory is widely used in solving aerodynamic problems with low Mach numbers, and it plays an important role in engineering design. Concerning structure wind engineering, the body of the structure is in a low velocity wind field, with a low viscosity of air and thin boundary layer, therefore, the tiny shear stress caused by the boundary layer can be ignored, only wind pressure being considered. In this paper, based on small disturbance potential theory, the fluid-structure interaction between the wind and membrane structure is analyzed by joint utilization of the boundary element method (BEM) and finite element method (FEM) through a loose-coupling procedure. However, the boundary of flow field to be calculated is not fully smooth, corners and edges still exist, so the discontinuous boundary element is introduced. Furthermore, because a large scale boundary element equation set with a nonsymmetrical coefficient matrix must be solved, this paper imports a preconditioning GMRES (the generalized minimum residual) iterative algorithm, which takes full advantage of the boundary element method. Several calculation examples have verified the correctness and soundness of the treatments mentioned above.

  15. 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.

  16. Dynamical Clustering and the Origin of Raft-like Structures in a Model Lipid Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Francis

    2014-03-01

    We investigate the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using simulations of a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. In the liquid-ordered (LO) phase, lipid diffusion is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, giving rise to two distinct mobility groups: low-mobility lipids which are temporarily ``caged'', and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. The lipid molecules within these distinct mobility states cluster, giving rise to transient ``islands'' of enhanced mobility having the size and time scale expected for lipid ``rafts''. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. Such dynamic heterogeneity is ubiquitous in disordered condensed-phase systems. Thus, we hypothesize that rafts may originate from this universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. This perspective provides a new approach to understand membrane transport.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Elisa; Pérez-Gil, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    The respiratory surface in the mammalian lung is stabilized by pulmonary surfactant, a membrane-based system composed of multiple lipids and specific proteins, the primary function of which is to minimize the surface tension at the alveolar air-liquid interface, optimizing the mechanics 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 of the unique mechanical and rheological properties of surfactant layers is crucial for the diagnostics and treatment of lung diseases, either by analyzing the contribution of surfactant impairment to the pathophysiology or by improving the formulations in surfactant replacement therapies. Finally, a short review is also included on the most relevant experimental techniques currently employed to evaluate lung surfactant mechanics, rheology, and inhibition and reactivation processes.

  18. Three-dimensionally Ordered Macroporous Structure Enabled Nanothermite Membrane of Mn2O3/Al

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Guoqiang; Zhang, Wenchao; Shen, Ruiqi; Ye, Jiahai; Qin, Zhichun; Chao, Yimin

    2016-03-01

    Mn2O3 has been selected to realize nanothermite membrane for the first time in the literature. Mn2O3/Al nanothermite has been synthesized by magnetron sputtering a layer of Al film onto three-dimensionally ordered macroporous (3DOM) Mn2O3 skeleton. The energy release is significantly enhanced owing to the unusual 3DOM structure, which ensures Al and Mn2O3 to integrate compactly in nanoscale and greatly increase effective contact area. The morphology and DSC curve of the nanothermite membrane have been investigated at various aluminizing times. At the optimized aluminizing time of 30 min, energy release reaches a maximum of 2.09 kJ•g-1, where the Al layer thickness plays a decisive role in the total energy release. This method possesses advantages of high compatibility with MEMS and can be applied to other nanothermite systems easily, which will make great contribution to little-known nanothermite research.

  19. Colloidal membranes of hard rods: unified theory of free edge structure and twist walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, C Nadir; Meyer, Robert B

    2014-07-14

    Monodisperse suspensions of rod like chiral fd viruses are condensed into a rod-length thick colloidal monolayers of aligned rods by depletion forces. Twist deformations of the molecules are expelled to the monolayer edge as in a chiral smectic A liquid crystal, and a cholesteric band forms at the edge. Coalescence of two such isolated membranes results in a twist wall sandwiched between two regions of aligned rods, dubbed π-walls. By modeling the membrane as a binary fluid of coexisting cholesteric and chiral smectic A liquid-crystalline regions, we develop a unified theory of the π-walls and the monolayer edge. The mean-field analysis of our model yields the molecular tilt profiles, the local thickness change, and the crossover from smectic to cholesteric behavior at the monolayer edge and across the π-wall. Furthermore, we calculate the line tension associated with the formation of these interfaces. Our model offers insights regarding the stability and the detailed structure of the π-wall and the monolayer edge.

  20. 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

    2014-01-01

    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 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 over-express 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. PMID:25299155

  1. Glycosphingolipid-facilitated membrane insertion and internalization of cobra cardiotoxin. The sulfatide.cardiotoxin complex structure in a membrane-like environment suggests a lipid-dependent cell-penetrating mechanism for membrane binding polypeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chia-Hui; Liu, Jyung-Hurng; Lee, Shao-Chen; Hsiao, Chwan-Deng; Wu, Wen-Guey

    2006-01-06

    Cobra cardiotoxins, a family of basic polypeptides having lipid- and heparin-binding capacities similar to the cell-penetrating peptides, induce severe tissue necrosis and systolic heart arrest in snakebite victims. Whereas cardiotoxins are specifically retained on the cell surface via heparan sulfate-mediated processes, their lipid binding ability appears to be responsible, at least in part, for cardiotoxin-induced membrane leakage and cell death. Although the exact role of lipids involved in toxin-mediated cytotoxicity remains largely unknown, monoclonal anti-sulfatide antibody O4 has recently been shown to inhibit the action of CTX A3, the major cardiotoxin from Taiwan cobra venom, on cardiomyocytes by preventing cardiotoxin-induced membrane leakage and CTX A3 internalization into mitochondria. Here, we show that anti-sulfatide acts by blocking the binding of CTX A3 to the sulfatides in the plasma membrane to prevent sulfatide-dependent CTX A3 membrane pore formation and internalization. We also describe the crystal structure of a CTX A3-sulfatide complex in a membrane-like environment at 2.3 angstroms resolution. The unexpected orientation of the sulfatide fatty chains in the structure allows prediction of the mode of toxin insertion into the plasma membrane. CTX A3 recognizes both the headgroup and the ceramide interfacial region of sulfatide to induce a lipid conformational change that may play a key role in CTX A3 oligomerization and cellular internalization. This proposed lipid-mediated toxin translocation mechanism may also shed light on the cellular uptake mechanism of the amphiphilic cell-penetrating peptides known to involve multiple internalization pathways.

  2. Structural Dynamics and Conformational Equilibria of SERCA Regulatory Proteins in Membranes by Solid-State NMR Restrained Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Simone, Alfonso; Mote, Kaustubh R.; Veglia, Gianluigi

    2014-01-01

    Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is emerging as a powerful approach to determine structure, topology, and conformational dynamics of membrane proteins at the atomic level. Conformational dynamics are often inferred and quantified from the motional averaging of the NMR parameters. However, the nature of these motions is difficult to envision based only on spectroscopic data. Here, we utilized restrained molecular dynamics simulations to probe the structural dynamics, topology and conformational transitions of regulatory membrane proteins of the calcium ATPase SERCA, namely sarcolipin and phospholamban, in explicit lipid bilayers. Specifically, we employed oriented solid-state NMR data, such as dipolar couplings and chemical shift anisotropy measured in lipid bicelles, to refine the conformational ensemble of these proteins in lipid membranes. The samplings accurately reproduced the orientations of transmembrane helices and showed a significant degree of convergence with all of the NMR parameters. Unlike the unrestrained simulations, the resulting sarcolipin structures are in agreement with distances and angles for hydrogen bonds in ideal helices. In the case of phospholamban, the restrained ensemble sampled the conformational interconversion between T (helical) and R (unfolded) states for the cytoplasmic region that could not be observed using standard structural refinements with the same experimental data set. This study underscores the importance of implementing NMR data in molecular dynamics protocols to better describe the conformational landscapes of membrane proteins embedded in realistic lipid membranes. PMID:24940774

  3. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S Truschel; D Sengupta; A Foote; A Heroux; M Macbeth; A Linstedt

    2011-12-31

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  4. Structure of the Membrane-tethering GRASP Domain Reveals a Unique PDZ Ligand Interaction That Mediates Golgi Biogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truschel, S.T.; Heroux, A.; Sengupta, D.; Foote, A.; Macbeth, M. R.; Linstedt, A. D.

    2011-06-10

    Biogenesis of the ribbon-like membrane network of the mammalian Golgi requires membrane tethering by the conserved GRASP domain in GRASP65 and GRASP55, yet the tethering mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the GRASP55 GRASP domain, which revealed an unusual arrangement of two tandem PDZ folds that more closely resemble prokaryotic PDZ domains. Biochemical and functional data indicated that the interaction between the ligand-binding pocket of PDZ1 and an internal ligand on PDZ2 mediates the GRASP self-interaction, and structural analyses suggest that this occurs via a unique mode of internal PDZ ligand recognition. Our data uncover the structural basis for ligand specificity and provide insight into the mechanism of GRASP-dependent membrane tethering of analogous Golgi cisternae.

  5. Structural, thermal and ion transport studies of different particle size nanocomposite fillers incorporated PVdF-HFP hybrid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, G. Gnana [Specialized Graduate School of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Pil [Specialized Graduate School of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Ae Rhan [Specialized Graduate School of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Nahm, Kee Suk [Specialized Graduate School of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of)], E-mail: nahmks@chonbuk.ac.kr; Elizabeth, R. Nimma [Department of Physics, Lady Doak College, Madurai 625002 (India)

    2009-05-15

    Organic-inorganic hybrid membranes based on poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexa fluoropropylene) (PVdF-HFP)/sulfosuccinic acid were fabricated with different nanometer sizes of silica particles. Morphological images reveal the embedded ceramic filler over the membrane. Structural characterizations were made by FT-IR and XPS, ensure the inclusion of sulfosuccinic acid and silica into the PVdF-HFP polymer matrix. Sulfonic acid groups promote the IEC values and greater swelling behavior. Silica content in the hybrid membranes had a great effect on crystalline character as well as thermal properties of the membranes. Decrease in the filler size creates an effective route of polymer-filler interface and promotes the protonic conductivity of the membranes. The high conductivities in the range of 10{sup -2} to 10{sup -3} S cm{sup -1} were achieved through synergistic interactions between the organic and inorganic moieties of the hybrid membranes. Due to these splendid features, the prepared hybrid membranes can be a trademark in the field of fuel cells.

  6. Hierarchical structured MnO2@SiO2 nanofibrous membranes with superb flexibility and enhanced catalytic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xueqin; Dou, Lvye; Yang, Liu; Yu, Jianyong; Ding, Bin

    2017-02-15

    Constructing nanostructured catalyst-embedded ceramic fibrous membranes would facilitate the remediation or preliminary treatment of dyeing wastewater, however, most of such membranes are brittle with low deformation resistance, thus, restricting their widely applications. Herein, the flexible and hierarchical nanostructured MnO2-immobilized SiO2 nanofibrous membranes (MnO2@SiO2 NFM) were fabricated by combining the electrospinning technique with hydrothermal method. The morphologies of membranes could be regulated from nanowires and nanoflower to mace-like structure via varying concentration of reactants. The resultant MnO2@SiO2 NFM could cooperate with hydrogen peroxide to form a Fenton-like reagent for the degradation of methylene blue (MB). The resultant membrane exhibited prominent catalytic performance towards MB, including high degradation degree of 95% within 40min, fast degradation rate of 0.0865min(-1), and excellent reusability in 5 cycles. Moreover, the membranes could be used in a wide pH range of 0 to 14 and the degradation degree reached 76% during dynamic filtration process with a flux of 490,000Lm(-2)h(-1). The successful fabricating of such membrane with extraordinary catalytic performance would provide a platform for preparing high-performance catalysts for remediation of dyeing wastewater. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Enhancing Structural Stability and Pervaporation Performance of Composite Membranes by Coating Gelatin onto Hydrophilically Modified Support Layer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴洪; 芦霞; 李宪实; 李奕帆; 赵翠红; 姜忠义

    2014-01-01

    The interfacial compatibility of composite membrane is an important factor to its structural stability and separation performance. In this study, poly (ether sulfone) (PES) support layer was first hydrophilically modified with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) via surface segregation during the phase inversion process. Gelatin (GE) was then cast on the PVA-modified PES support layer as the active layer followed by crosslinking to fabricate composite membranes for ethanol dehydration. The enrichment of PVA on the surface of support layer improved interfacial compatibility of the as-prepared GE/PVA-PES composite membrane. The water contact angle measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data confirmed the surface segregation of PVA with a surface coverage density of~80%. T-peel test showed that the maximal force to separate the support layer and the active layer was enhanced by 3 times compared with the GE/PES membrane. The effects of PVA content in the support layer, crosslinking of GE active layer and operating parameters on the pervaporative dehydration performance were in-vestigated. The operational stability of the composite membrane was tested by immersing the membrane in ethanol aqueous solution for a period of time. Stable pervaporation performance for dehydration of 90%ethanol solution was obtained for GE/PVA-PES membrane with a separation factor of~60 and a permeation flux of~1910 g·m-2·h-1 without peeling over 28 days immersion.

  8. Effect of gold nanoparticle on structure and fluidity of lipid membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil R Mhashal

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the effect of different size gold nanoparticles on the fluidity of lipid membrane at different regions of the bilayer. To investigate this, we have considered significantly large bilayer leaflets and incorporated only one nanoparticle each time, which was subjected to all atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. We have observed that, lipid molecules located near to the gold nanoparticle interact directly with it, which results in deformation of lipid structure and slower dynamics of lipid molecules. However, lipid molecules far away from the interaction site of the nanoparticle get perturbed, which gives rise to increase in local ordering of the lipid domains and decrease in fluidity. The bilayer thickness and area per head group in this region also get altered. Similar trend, but with different magnitude is also observed when different size nanoparticle interact with the bilayer.

  9. Effect of Gold Nanoparticle on Structure and Fluidity of Lipid Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhashal, Anil R.; Roy, Sudip

    2014-01-01

    This paper deals with the effect of different size gold nanoparticles on the fluidity of lipid membrane at different regions of the bilayer. To investigate this, we have considered significantly large bilayer leaflets and incorporated only one nanoparticle each time, which was subjected to all atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. We have observed that, lipid molecules located near to the gold nanoparticle interact directly with it, which results in deformation of lipid structure and slower dynamics of lipid molecules. However, lipid molecules far away from the interaction site of the nanoparticle get perturbed, which gives rise to increase in local ordering of the lipid domains and decrease in fluidity. The bilayer thickness and area per head group in this region also get altered. Similar trend, but with different magnitude is also observed when different size nanoparticle interact with the bilayer. PMID:25469786

  10. Insane in the membrane: a structural perspective of MLKL function in necroptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, Emma J; Hildebrand, Joanne M; Murphy, James M

    2017-02-01

    Necroptosis (or 'programmed necrosis') is a caspase-independent cell death pathway that operates downstream of death receptors, including Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor-1 (TNFR1), and the Toll-like receptors, TLR3 and TLR4. Owing to its immunogenicity, necroptosis has been attributed roles in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and the tissue damage arising from ischaemic-reperfusion injuries. Only over the past 7 years has the core machinery of this pathway, the receptor-interacting protein kinase-3 (RIPK3) and the pseudokinase, Mixed Lineage Kinase domain-Like (MLKL), been defined. Our current understanding of the pathway is that RIPK3-mediated phosphorylation activates cytoplasmic MLKL, which is the most terminal known effector in the pathway, leading to MLKL's oligomerisation, translocation to, and permeabilisation of, the plasma membrane. Here, we discuss the insights gleaned from structural and biophysical studies of MLKL and highlight the known unknowns surrounding MLKL's mechanism of action and activation.

  11. 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)

  12. Structure of raft-model membrane by using the inverse contrast variation neutron scattering method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirai, Mitsuhiro [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Hirai, Harutaka [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Koizumi, Masaharu [Department of Physics, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510 (Japan); Kasahara, Kohji [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan); Yuyama, Kohei [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan); Suzuki, Naoko [Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan)

    2006-11-15

    By means of the inverse contrast variation method in small-angle neutron scattering, we have studied the structure of a small unilamellar vesicle (SUV) composed of ganglioside, cholesterol and dipalmitoyl-phosphocholine. The SUV treated has a similar lipid composition as in a plasma membrane with microdomains, so-called rafts. The present results indicate an asymmetric distribution of lipid components within the bilayer of the vesicle, that is, a predominant distribution of ganglioside and cholesterol at the outer leaflet of the vesicle bilayer. The deviation from the linearity in a pseudo-Stuhrmannplot strongly suggests the presence of a large heterogeneity of lipid composition in a bilayer, namely a clustering of ganglioside and cholesterol molecules. This deviation is enhanced by temperature elevation, meaning that ganglioside-cholesterol clusters become larger with holding liquid-ordered (L{sub o}) phase.

  13. Structural Characterization of HIV gp41 with the Membrane-proximal External Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, W.; Bohon, J; Han, D; Habte, H; Qin, Y; Cho, M; Chance, M

    2010-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (gp120/gp41) plays a critical role in virus infection and pathogenesis. Three of the six monoclonal antibodies considered to have broadly neutralizing activities (2F5, 4E10, and Z13e1) bind to the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of gp41. This makes the MPER a desirable template for developing immunogens that can elicit antibodies with properties similar to these monoclonal antibodies, with a long term goal of developing antigens that could serve as novel HIV vaccines. In order to provide a structural basis for rational antigen design, an MPER construct, HR1-54Q, was generated for x-ray crystallographic and x-ray footprinting studies to provide both high resolution atomic coordinates and verification of the solution state of the antigen, respectively. The crystal structure of HR1-54Q reveals a trimeric, coiled-coil six-helical bundle, which probably represents a postfusion form of gp41. The MPER portion extends from HR2 in continuation of a slightly bent long helix and is relatively flexible. The structures observed for the 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes agree well with existing structural data, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays indicate that the antigen binds well to antibodies that recognize the above epitopes. Hydroxyl radical-mediated protein footprinting of the antigen in solution reveals specifically protected and accessible regions consistent with the predictions based on the trimeric structure from the crystallographic data. Overall, the HR1-54Q antigen, as characterized by crystallography and footprinting, represents a postfusion, trimeric form of HIV gp41, and its structure provides a rational basis for gp41 antigen design suitable for HIV vaccine development.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Structure of purotoxin-2 from wolf spider: modular design and membrane-assisted mode of action in arachnid toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oparin, Peter B; Nadezhdin, Kirill D; Berkut, Antonina A; Arseniev, Alexander S; Grishin, Eugene V; Vassilevski, Alexander A

    2016-10-01

    Traditionally, arachnid venoms are known to contain two particularly important groups of peptide toxins. One is disulfide-rich neurotoxins with a predominance of β-structure that specifically target protein receptors in neurons or muscle cells. The other is linear cationic cytotoxins that form amphiphilic α-helices and exhibit rather non-specific membrane-damaging activity. In the present paper, we describe the first 3D structure of a modular arachnid toxin, purotoxin-2 (PT2) from the wolf spider Alopecosa marikovskyi (Lycosidae), studied by NMR spectroscopy. PT2 is composed of an N-terminal inhibitor cystine knot (ICK, or knottin) β-structural domain and a C-terminal linear cationic domain. In aqueous solution, the C-terminal fragment is hyper-flexible, whereas the knottin domain is very rigid. In membrane-mimicking environment, the C-terminal domain assumes a stable amphipathic α-helix. This helix effectively tethers the toxin to membranes and serves as a membrane-access and membrane-anchoring device. Sequence analysis reveals that the knottin + α-helix architecture is quite widespread among arachnid toxins, and PT2 is therefore the founding member of a large family of polypeptides with similar structure motifs. Toxins from this family target different membrane receptors such as P2X in the case of PT2 and calcium channels, but their mechanism of action through membrane access may be strikingly similar. © 2016 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  17. Particle-based simulations of bilayer membranes: self-assembly, structural analysis, and shock-wave damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhauser, Martin O.; Schindler, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    We report on the results of particle-based, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of amphiphilic lipid molecules in aqueous environment where the membrane structures at equilibrium are subsequently exposed to strong shock waves, and their damage is analyzed. The lipid molecules self-assemble from unbiased random initial configurations to form stable bilayer membranes, including closed vesicles. During self-assembly of lipid molecules, we observe several stages of clustering, starting with many small clusters of lipids, gradually merging together to finally form one single bilayer membrane. We find that the clustering of lipids sensitively depends on the hydrophobic interaction h_c of the lipid tails in our model and on temperature T of the system. The self-assembled bilayer membranes are quantitatively analyzed at equilibrium with respect to their degree of order and their local structure. We also show that—by analyzing the membrane fluctuations and using a linearized theory— we obtain area compression moduli K_A and bending stiffnesses κ_B for our bilayer membranes which are within the experimental range of in vivo and in vitro measurements of biological membranes. We also discuss the density profile and the pair correlation function of our model membranes at equilibrium which has not been done in previous studies of particle-based membrane models. Furthermore, we present a detailed phase diagram of our lipid model that exhibits a sol-gel transition between quasi-solid and fluid domains, and domains where no self-assembly of lipids occurs. In addition, we present in the phase diagram the conditions for temperature T and hydrophobicity h_c of the lipid tails of our model to form closed vesicles. The stable bilayer membranes obtained at equilibrium are then subjected to strong shock waves in a shock tube setup, and we investigate the damage in the membranes due to their interaction with shock waves. Here, we find a transition from self

  18. Particle-based simulations of bilayer membranes: self-assembly, structural analysis, and shock-wave damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinhauser, Martin O.; Schindler, Tanja

    2017-01-01

    We report on the results of particle-based, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of amphiphilic lipid molecules in aqueous environment where the membrane structures at equilibrium are subsequently exposed to strong shock waves, and their damage is analyzed. The lipid molecules self-assemble from unbiased random initial configurations to form stable bilayer membranes, including closed vesicles. During self-assembly of lipid molecules, we observe several stages of clustering, starting with many small clusters of lipids, gradually merging together to finally form one single bilayer membrane. We find that the clustering of lipids sensitively depends on the hydrophobic interaction h_c of the lipid tails in our model and on temperature T of the system. The self-assembled bilayer membranes are quantitatively analyzed at equilibrium with respect to their degree of order and their local structure. We also show that—by analyzing the membrane fluctuations and using a linearized theory— we obtain area compression moduli K_A and bending stiffnesses κ _B for our bilayer membranes which are within the experimental range of in vivo and in vitro measurements of biological membranes. We also discuss the density profile and the pair correlation function of our model membranes at equilibrium which has not been done in previous studies of particle-based membrane models. Furthermore, we present a detailed phase diagram of our lipid model that exhibits a sol-gel transition between quasi-solid and fluid domains, and domains where no self-assembly of lipids occurs. In addition, we present in the phase diagram the conditions for temperature T and hydrophobicity h_c of the lipid tails of our model to form closed vesicles. The stable bilayer membranes obtained at equilibrium are then subjected to strong shock waves in a shock tube setup, and we investigate the damage in the membranes due to their interaction with shock waves. Here, we find a transition from self

  19. N-terminal structure of maize ferredoxin:NADP+ reductase determines recruitment into different thylakoid membrane complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twachtmann, Manuel; Altmann, Bianca; Muraki, Norifumi; Voss, Ingo; Okutani, Satoshi; Kurisu, Genji; Hase, Toshiharu; Hanke, Guy T

    2012-07-01

    To adapt to different light intensities, photosynthetic organisms manipulate the flow of electrons through several alternative pathways at the thylakoid membrane. The enzyme ferredoxin:NADP(+) reductase (FNR) has the potential to regulate this electron partitioning because it is integral to most of these electron cascades and can associate with several different membrane complexes. However, the factors controlling relative localization of FNR to different membrane complexes have not yet been established. Maize (Zea mays) contains three chloroplast FNR proteins with totally different membrane association, and we found that these proteins have variable distribution between cells conducting predominantly cyclic electron transport (bundle sheath) and linear electron transport (mesophyll). Here, the crystal structures of all three enzymes were solved, revealing major structural differences at the N-terminal domain and dimer interface. Expression in Arabidopsis thaliana of maize FNRs as chimeras and truncated proteins showed the N-terminal determines recruitment of FNR to different membrane complexes. In addition, the different maize FNR proteins localized to different thylakoid membrane complexes on expression in Arabidopsis, and analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence and photosystem I absorbance demonstrates the impact of FNR location on photosynthetic electron flow.

  20. 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

    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 pr...

  1. 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...

  2. Dystrophin and utrophin influence fiber type composition and post-synaptic membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafael, J A; Townsend, E R; Squire, S E; Potter, A C; Chamberlain, J S; Davies, K E

    2000-05-22

    The X-linked muscle wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by the lack of dystrophin in muscle. Protein structure predictions, patient mutations, in vitro binding studies and transgenic and knockout mice suggest that dystrophin plays a mechanical role in skeletal muscle, linking the subsarcolemmal cytoskeleton with the extracellular matrix through its direct interaction with the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DAPC). Although a signaling role for dystrophin has been postulated, definitive data have been lacking. To identify potential non-mechanical roles of dystrophin, we tested the ability of various truncated dystrophin transgenes to prevent any of the skeletal muscle abnormalities associated with the double knockout mouse deficient for both dystrophin and the dystrophin-related protein utrophin. We show that restoration of the DAPC with Dp71 does not prevent the structural abnormalities of the post-synaptic membrane or the abnormal oxidative properties of utrophin/dystrophin-deficient muscle. In marked contrast, a dystrophin protein lacking the cysteine-rich domain, which is unable to prevent dystrophy in the mdx mouse, is able to ameliorate these abnormalities in utrophin/dystrophin-deficient mice. These experiments provide the first direct evidence that in addition to a mechanical role and relocalization of the DAPC, dystrophin and utrophin are able to alter both structural and biochemical properties of skeletal muscle. In addition, these mice provide unique insights into skeletal muscle fiber type composition.

  3. Optimization of Thermo electric Microwave Power Sensors Based on Thin-Membrane Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Debo; GAO Bo; ZHAO Jiang; ZHANG Yi; GUO Yanyan

    2015-01-01

    In this work, the thermal conduction prop-erty of thermoelectric microwave power sensors is re-searched. The fabrication of the thermoelectric microwave power sensor consists of a front side and a back side pro-cessing using GaAs Monolithic microwave integrated cir-cuit (MMIC) process and MEMS technology. An isolation structure on the front side is designed to prevent the ther-mal conduction from the resistor to the Coplanar waveg-uide (CPW). A thin-membrane on the back side is de-signed to prevent the thermal conduction from the resistor to the substrate. For the microwave power sensor without an isolation structure, the sensitivity is about 0.138, 0.136, 0.132, 0.115 and 0.111mV/mW at 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12GHz, respectively. For the microwave power sensor with an isola-tion structure, the sensitivity is about 0.142, 0.139, 0.135, 0.117 and 0.115mV/mW at 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12GHz, respec-tively. As a result, the higher thermal conduction efficiency and the higher sensitivity are obtained for the optimized thermoelectric microwave power sensors.

  4. Chitosan facilitates structure formation of the salivary gland by regulating the basement membrane components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tsung-Lin; Hsiao, Ya-Chuan

    2015-10-01

    Tissue structure is important for inherent physiological function and should be recapitulated during tissue engineering for regenerative purposes. The salivary gland is a branched organ that is responsible for saliva secretion and regulation. The salivary glands develop from epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and depend on the support of the basement membrane (BM). Chitosan-based biomaterials have been demonstrated to be competent in facilitating the formation of salivary gland tissue structure. However, the underlying mechanisms have remained elusive. In the developing submandibular gland (SMG), the chitosan effect was found to diminish when collagen and laminin were removed from cultured SMG explants. Chitosan increased the expression of BM components including collagen, laminin, and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, and also facilitated BM components and the corresponding receptors to be expressed in tissue-specific patterns beneficial for SMG branching. The chitosan effect decreased when either laminin components or receptors were inhibited, as well when the downstream signaling was blocked. Our results revealed that chitosan promotes salivary glands branching through the BM. By regulating BM components and receptors, chitosan efficiently stimulated downstream signaling to facilitate salivary gland branching. The present study revealed the underlying mechanism of the chitosan effect in engineering SMG structure formation.

  5. Influence of commercially available polyimide and formation conditions on the performance and structure of asymmetric polyimide organic solvent nanofiltration membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Lopes, Mafalda Pessoa

    2009-01-01

    Dissertação apresentada na Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa para a obtenção do grau de Mestre em Engenharia Química e Bioquímica This work covers experimental and theoretical research related to the impact of the polymer structure of commercially available polyimide and polyetherimides as well as the formation conditions on the performance and structure of polyimide Organic Solvent Nanofiltration membranes. The influence in some membrane formation parame...

  6. Topological Structures and Membrane Nanostructures of Erythrocytes after Splenectomy in Hereditary Spherocytosis Patients via Atomic Force Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Lu, Liyuan; Li, Juan

    2016-09-01

    Hereditary spherocytosis is an inherited red blood cell membrane disorder resulting from mutations of genes encoding erythrocyte membrane and cytoskeletal proteins. Few equipments can observe the structural characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis directly expect for atomic force microscopy In our study, we proved atomic force microscopy is a powerful and sensitive instrument to describe the characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis. Erythrocytes from hereditary spherocytosis patients were small spheroidal, lacking a well-organized lattice on the cell membrane, with smaller cell surface particles and had reduced valley to peak distance and average cell membrane roughness vs. those from healthy individuals. These observations indicated defects in the certain cell membrane structural proteins such as α- and β-spectrin, ankyrin, etc. Until now, splenectomy is still the most effective treatment for symptoms relief for hereditary spherocytosis. In this study, we further solved the mysteries of membrane nanostructure changes of erythrocytes before and after splenectomy in hereditary spherocytosis by atomic force microscopy. After splenectomy, the cells were larger, but still spheroidal-shaped. The membrane ultrastructure was disorganized and characterized by a reduced surface particle size and lower than normal Ra values. These observations indicated that although splenectomy can effectively relieve the symptoms of hereditary spherocytosis, it has little effect on correction of cytoskeletal membrane defects of hereditary spherocytosis. We concluded that atomic force microscopy is a powerful tool to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms of hereditary spherocytosis and to monitor treatment efficacy in clinical practices. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to study hereditary spherocytosis with atomic force microscopy and offers important mechanistic insight into the underlying role of splenectomy.

  7. 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.

  8. Structural features of membrane-bound glucocerebrosidase and α-synuclein probed by neutron reflectometry and fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Thai Leong; Jiang, Zhiping; Heinrich, Frank; Gruschus, James M; Pfefferkorn, Candace M; Barros, Marilia; Curtis, Joseph E; Sidransky, Ellen; Lee, Jennifer C

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease, are a common genetic risk factor for the development of Parkinson disease and related disorders, implicating the role of this lysosomal hydrolase in the disease etiology. A specific physical interaction exists between the Parkinson disease-related protein α-synuclein (α-syn) and GCase both in solution and on the lipid membrane, resulting in efficient enzyme inhibition. Here, neutron reflectometry was employed as a first direct structural characterization of GCase and α-syn·GCase complex on a sparsely-tethered lipid bilayer, revealing the orientation of the membrane-bound GCase. GCase binds to and partially inserts into the bilayer with its active site most likely lying just above the membrane-water interface. The interaction was further characterized by intrinsic Trp fluorescence, circular dichroism, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Both Trp fluorescence and neutron reflectometry results suggest a rearrangement of loops surrounding the catalytic site, where they extend into the hydrocarbon chain region of the outer leaflet. Taking advantage of contrasting neutron scattering length densities, the use of deuterated α-syn versus protiated GCase showed a large change in the membrane-bound structure of α-syn in the complex. We propose a model of α-syn·GCase on the membrane, providing structural insights into inhibition of GCase by α-syn. The interaction displaces GCase away from the membrane, possibly impeding substrate access and perturbing the active site. GCase greatly alters membrane-bound α-syn, moving helical residues away from the bilayer, which could impact the degradation of α-syn in the lysosome where these two proteins interact.

  9. Structural Features of Membrane-bound Glucocerebrosidase and α-Synuclein Probed by Neutron Reflectometry and Fluorescence Spectroscopy*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Thai Leong; Jiang, Zhiping; Heinrich, Frank; Gruschus, James M.; Pfefferkorn, Candace M.; Barros, Marilia; Curtis, Joseph E.; Sidransky, Ellen; Lee, Jennifer C.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease, are a common genetic risk factor for the development of Parkinson disease and related disorders, implicating the role of this lysosomal hydrolase in the disease etiology. A specific physical interaction exists between the Parkinson disease-related protein α-synuclein (α-syn) and GCase both in solution and on the lipid membrane, resulting in efficient enzyme inhibition. Here, neutron reflectometry was employed as a first direct structural characterization of GCase and α-syn·GCase complex on a sparsely-tethered lipid bilayer, revealing the orientation of the membrane-bound GCase. GCase binds to and partially inserts into the bilayer with its active site most likely lying just above the membrane-water interface. The interaction was further characterized by intrinsic Trp fluorescence, circular dichroism, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Both Trp fluorescence and neutron reflectometry results suggest a rearrangement of loops surrounding the catalytic site, where they extend into the hydrocarbon chain region of the outer leaflet. Taking advantage of contrasting neutron scattering length densities, the use of deuterated α-syn versus protiated GCase showed a large change in the membrane-bound structure of α-syn in the complex. We propose a model of α-syn·GCase on the membrane, providing structural insights into inhibition of GCase by α-syn. The interaction displaces GCase away from the membrane, possibly impeding substrate access and perturbing the active site. GCase greatly alters membrane-bound α-syn, moving helical residues away from the bilayer, which could impact the degradation of α-syn in the lysosome where these two proteins interact. PMID:25429104

  10. Structure and resistance of concentration polar layer on cation exchange membrane-solution interface

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SANG Shang-bin; HUANG Ke-long; LI Xiao-gang; WANG Xian

    2006-01-01

    Membrane/solution interface consists of a neutral concentration polar layer(CPL) and a charge layer(CL) under external electrical field, and the neutral CPL can be neglected under high frequency AC electrical field. The relationship of CL thickness e with electrolyte concentration C and fixed ion exchange sites density σ in membrane surface layer can be expressed as e=σ/C.According to this model, the thickness of the CL on Nafion1135 membrane/solution interface(ec) was calculated under different membrane surface charge quantity Q and variable electrolyte concentration C. The membrane/solution interface CL thickness(em) is obviously related with the membrane properties, and decreases dramatically in a higher electrolyte concentration, em values are 76.3nm and 110.3 nm respectively for Nafion1135 and PE01 ion exchange membrane in 0.05 mol/L H2SO4 solution, and em values for both membrane tend to 2 nm in 2 mol/L H2SO4 solution. For Nafion1135 membrane, the comparison of ec and em gives the result that CL thickness em obtained by resistance measurement fits well with the calculated CPL thickness ec while proton in CL transferred to membrane surface is 14.56 × l0-10 mol, which corresponds to the fixed exchange group number in a surface layer with a thickness τ=2 nm for Nafion1135 membrane.

  11. Recent Developments in Graphene-Based Membranes: Structure, Mass-Transport Mechanism and Potential Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pengzhan; Wang, Kunlin; Zhu, Hongwei

    2016-03-23

    Significant achievements have been made on the development of next-generation filtration and separation membranes using graphene materials, as graphene-based membranes can afford numerous novel mass-transport properties that are not possible in state-of-art commercial membranes, making them promising in areas such as membrane separation, water desalination, proton conductors, energy storage and conversion, etc. The latest developments on understanding mass transport through graphene-based membranes, including perfect graphene lattice, nanoporous graphene and graphene oxide membranes are reviewed here in relation to their potential applications. A summary and outlook is further provided on the opportunities and challenges in this arising field. The aspects discussed may enable researchers to better understand the mass-transport mechanism and to optimize the synthesis of graphene-based membranes toward large-scale production for a wide range of applications.

  12. The influence of cholesterol on membrane protein structure, function, and dynamics studied by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grouleff, Julie; Irudayam, Sheeba Jem; Skeby, Katrine K; Schiøtt, Birgit

    2015-09-01

    The plasma membrane, which encapsulates human cells, is composed of a complex mixture of lipids and embedded proteins. Emerging knowledge points towards the lipids as having a regulating role in protein function. Furthermore, insight from protein crystallography has revealed several different types of lipids intimately bound to membrane proteins and peptides, hereby possibly pointing to a site of action for the observed regulation. Cholesterol is among the lipid membrane constituents most often observed to be co-crystallized with membrane proteins, and the cholesterol levels in cell membranes have been found to play an essential role in health and disease. Remarkably little is known about the mechanism of lipid regulation of membrane protein function in health as well as in disease. Herein, we review molecular dynamics simulation studies aimed at investigating the effect of cholesterol on membrane protein and peptide properties. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: Navigating the Diagnosis-Management Conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jeremy; McCreesh, Karen; Roy, Jean-Sébastien; Ginn, Karen

    2015-11-01

    Synopsis The hallmark characteristics of rotator cuff (RC) tendinopathy are pain and weakness, experienced most commonly during shoulder external rotation and elevation. Assessment is complicated by nonspecific clinical tests and the poor correlation between structural failure and symptoms. As such, diagnosis is best reached by exclusion of other potential sources of symptoms. Symptomatic incidence and prevalence data currently cannot be determined with confidence, primarily as a consequence of a lack of diagnostic accuracy, as well as the uncertainty as to the location of symptoms. People with symptoms of RC tendinopathy should derive considerable comfort from research that consistently demonstrates improvement in symptoms with a well-structured and graduated exercise program. This improvement is equivalent to outcomes reported in surgical trials, with the additional generalized benefits of exercise, less sick leave, a faster return to work, and reduced costs to the health care system. This evidence covers the spectrum of conditions that include symptomatic RC tendinopathy and atraumatic partial- and full-thickness RC tears. The principles guiding exercise treatment for RC tendinopathy include relative rest, modification of painful activities, an exercise strategy that initially does not exacerbate pain, controlled reloading, and gradual progression from simple to complex shoulder movements. Evidence also exists for a specific exercise program being beneficial for people with massive inoperable tears of the RC. Education is an essential component of rehabilitation, and attention to lifestyle factors (smoking cessation, nutrition, stress, and sleep management) may enhance outcomes. Outcomes may also be enhanced by subgrouping RC tendinopathy presentations and directing treatment strategies according to the clinical presentation and the patient's response to shoulder symptom modification procedures outlined herein. There are substantial deficits in our knowledge

  14. Flattened-Top Domical Water Drops Formed through Self-Organization of Hydrophobin Membranes: A Structural and Mechanistic Study Using Atomic Force Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Ryota; Takatsuji, Yoshiyuki; Asakawa, Hitoshi; Fukuma, Takeshi; Haruyama, Tetsuya

    2016-01-26

    The Trichoderma reesei hydrophobin, HFBI, is a unique structural protein. This protein forms membranes by self-organization at air/water or water/solid interfaces. When HFBI forms a membrane at an air/water interface, the top of the water droplet is flattened. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon has not been explored. In this study, this unique phenomenon has been investigated. Self-organized HFBI membranes form a hexagonal structured membrane on the surface of water droplets; the structure was confirmed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurement. Assembled hexagons can form a planar sheet or a tube. Self-organized HFBI membranes on water droplets form a sheet with an array of hexagonal structures or a honeycomb structure. This membrane, with its arrayed hexagonal structures, has very high buckling strength. We hypothesized that the high buckling strength is the reason that water droplets containing HFBI form flattened domes. To test this hypothesis, the strength of the self-organized HFBI membranes was analyzed using AFM. The buckling strength of HFBI membranes was measured to be 66.9 mN/m. In contrast, the surface tension of water droplets containing dissolved HFBI is 42 mN/m. Thus, the buckling strength of a self-organized HFBI membrane is higher than the surface tension of water containing dissolved HFBI. This mechanistic study clarifies why the water droplets formed by self-organized HFBI membranes have a flattened top.

  15. Association of Acinetobacter baumannii EF-Tu with Cell Surface, Outer Membrane Vesicles, and Fibronectin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shatha F. Dallo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A conundrum has long lingered over association of cytosol elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu with bacterial surface. Here we investigated it with Acinetobacter baumannii, an emerging opportunistic pathogen associated with a wide spectrum of infectious diseases. The gene for A. baumannii EF-Tu was sequenced, and recombinant EF-Tu was purified for antibody development. EF-Tu on the bacterial surface and the outer membrane vesicles (OMVs was revealed by immune electron microscopy, and its presence in the outer membrane (OM and the OMV subproteomes was verified by Western blotting with the EF-Tu antibodies and confirmed by proteomic analyses. EF-Tu in the OM and the OMV subproteomes bound to fibronectin as detected by Western blot and confirmed by a label-free real-time optical sensor. The sensor that originates from photonic crystal structure in a total-Internal-reflection (PC-TIR configuration was functionalized with fibronectin for characterizing EF-Tu binding. Altogether, with a novel combination of immunological, proteomical, and biophysical assays, these results suggest association of A. baumannii EF-Tu with the bacterial cell surface, OMVs, and fibronectin.

  16. Electricity producing property and bacterial community structure in microbial fuel cell equipped with membrane electrode assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubaba, Owen; Araki, Yoko; Yamamoto, Shuji; Suzuki, Kei; Sakamoto, Hisatoshi; Matsuda, Atsunori; Futamata, Hiroyuki

    2013-07-01

    It is important for practical use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to not only develop electrodes and proton exchange membranes but also to understand the bacterial community structure related to electricity generation. Four lactate fed MFCs equipped with different membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were constructed with paddy field soil as inoculum. The MEAs significantly affected the electricity-generating properties of the MFCs. MEA-I was made with Nafion 117 solution and the other MEAs were made with different configurations of three kinds of polymers. MFC-I equipped with MEA-I exhibited the highest performance with a stable current density of 55 ± 3 mA m⁻². MFC-III equipped with MEA-III with the highest platinum concentration, exhibited the lowest performance with a stable current density of 1.7 ± 0.1 mA m⁻². SEM observation revealed that there were cracks on MEA-III. These results demonstrated that it is significantly important to prevent oxygen-intrusion for improved MFC performance. By comparing the data of DGGE and phylogenetic analyzes, it was suggested that the dominant bacterial communities of MFC-I were constructed with lactate-fermenters and Fe(III)-reducers, which consisted of bacteria affiliated with the genera of Enterobacter, Dechlorosoma, Pelobacter, Desulfovibrio, Propioniferax, Pelosinus, and Firmicutes. A bacterium sharing 100% similarity to one of the DGGE bands was isolated from MFC-I. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the isolate shared 98% similarity to gram-positive Propioniferax sp. P7 and it was confirmed that the isolate produced electricity in an MFC. These results suggested that these bacteria are valuable for constructing the electron transfer network in MFC. Copyright © 2013 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Inflammation and the Peritoneal Membrane: Causes and Impact on Structure and Function during Peritoneal Dialysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Baroni

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Peritoneal dialysis therapy has increased in popularity since the end of the 1970s. This method provides a patient survival rate equivalent to hemodialysis and better preservation of residual renal function. However, technique failure by peritonitis, and ultrafiltration failure, which is a multifactorial complication that can affect up to 40% of patients after 3 years of therapy. Encapsulant peritoneal sclerosis is an extreme and potentially fatal manifestation. Causes of inflammation in peritoneal dialysis range from traditional factors to those related to chronic kidney disease per se, as well as from the peritoneal dialysis treatment, including the peritoneal dialysis catheter, dialysis solution, and infectious peritonitis. Peritoneal inflammation generated causes significant structural alterations including: thickening and cubic transformation of mesothelial cells, fibrin deposition, fibrous capsule formation, perivascular bleeding, and interstitial fibrosis. Structural alterations of the peritoneal membrane described above result in clinical and functional changes. One of these clinical manifestations is ultrafiltration failure and can occur in up to 30% of patients on PD after five years of treatment. An understanding of the mechanisms involved in peritoneal inflammation is fundamental to improve patient survival and provide a better quality of life.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Development of Solid State NMR Methods for the Structural Characterization of Membrane Proteins: Applications to Understand Multiple Sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cosman, M; Tran, A T; Ulloa, J; Maxwell, R S

    2003-03-04

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a relapsing-remitting disorder of the central nervous system that results in the loss of the myelin sheaths insulating nerve fibers (axons). Strong evidence suggests that MS is an autoimmune disease mediated by T-cell and antibody responses against myelin antigens. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) is a 26 kD to 28 kD an integral membrane protein of the central nervous system implicated as a target for autoaggressive antibodies in MS. To date, the conformation of MOG in association with the myelin membrane is unknown and the exact nature of the interactions between this protein and disease-inducing immune responses have not been determined. Since membrane associated proteins are typically characterized by decreased correlation times, solution state NMR methodologies are often impracticable. Membrane proteins are also often difficult to crystallize for X-ray diffraction studies, Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop new structure characterization tools for this important class of biomolecules. The research described here overviews the initial stages of our effort to develop an integrated, NMR based approach to structural studies of MOG over the many structural domains it is postulated to posses. The structural knowledge gained about this important MS antigen in its native environment will contribute significantly to our understanding of its function in vivo. This project will also aid in the development of therapeutics to inhibit the antigedantibody interaction and thus prevent demyelination in MS patients.

  1. Structure of dimeric ATP synthase from mitochondria : An angular association of monomers induces the strong curvature of the inner membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dudkina, Natalya V.; Heinemeyer, Jesco; Keegstra, Wilko; Boekema, Egbert J.; Braun, Hans-Peter

    2005-01-01

    Respiration in all cells depends upon synthesis of ATP by the ATP synthase complex, a rotary motor enzyme. The structure of the catalytic moiety of ATP synthase, the so-called F1 headpiece, is well established. F1 is connected to the membrane-bound and ion translocating F0 subcomplex by a central

  2. The hydrogen permeability of Pd-Cu based thin film membranes in relation to their structure : A combinatorial approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerwaal, R. J.; Bouman, E. A.; Haije, W. G.; Schreuders, H.; Dutta, S.; Wu, M. Y.; Boelsma, C.; Ngene, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314121684; Basak, S.; Dam, B.

    2015-01-01

    Pd-Cu is a well-known alloy for H-2 separation membranes. Using a new optical combinatorial method we determined the H-2 permeability of Pd-Cu alloys at room temperature in relation to their crystal structure and microstructure. Compositional gradient samples allow us to determine the intrinsic perm

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Functional expression, purification, characterization, and membrane reconstitution of non-structural protein 2 from hepatitis C virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogeron, Marie-Laure; Paul, David; Jirasko, Vlastimil; Montserret, Roland; Lacabanne, Denis; Molle, Jennifer; Badillo, Aurélie; Boukadida, Célia; Georgeault, Sonia; Roingeard, Philippe; Martin, Annette; Bartenschlager, Ralf; Penin, François; Böckmann, Anja

    2015-12-01

    Non-structural protein 2 (NS2) of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an integral membrane protein that contains a cysteine protease and that plays a central organizing role in assembly of infectious progeny virions. While the crystal structure of the protease domain has been solved, the NS2 full-length form remains biochemically and structurally uncharacterized because recombinant NS2 could not be prepared in sufficient quantities from cell-based systems. We show here that functional NS2 in the context of the NS2-NS3pro precursor protein, ensuring NS2-NS3 cleavage, can be efficiently expressed by using a wheat germ cell-free expression system. In this same system, we subsequently successfully produce and purify milligram amounts of a detergent-solubilized form of full-length NS2 exhibiting the expected secondary structure content. Furthermore, immuno-electron microscopy analyses of reconstituted proteoliposomes demonstrate NS2 association with model membranes.

  6. 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.

  7. Nanopods: a new bacterial structure and mechanism for deployment of outer membrane vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ameesha Shetty

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMV are packets of periplasmic material that, via the proteins and other molecules they contain, project metabolic function into the environment. While OMV production is widespread in proteobacteria, they have been extensively studied only in pathogens, which inhabit fully hydrated environments. However, many (arguably most bacterial habitats, such as soil, are only partially hydrated. In the latter, water is characteristically distributed as films on soil particles that are, on average thinner, than are typical OMV (ca. ≤10 nm water film vs. 20 to >200 nm OMV;. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have identified a new bacterial surface structure, termed a "nanopod", that is a conduit for projecting OMV significant distances (e.g., ≥6 µm from the cell. Electron cryotomography was used to determine nanopod three-dimensional structure, which revealed chains of vesicles within an undulating, tubular element. By using immunoelectron microscopy, proteomics, heterologous expression and mutagenesis, the tubes were determined to be an assembly of a surface layer protein (NpdA, and the interior structures identified as OMV. Specific metabolic function(s for nanopods produced by Delftia sp. Cs1-4 are not yet known. However, a connection with phenanthrene degradation is a possibility since nanopod formation was induced by growth on phenanthrene. Orthologs of NpdA were identified in three other genera of the Comamonadaceae family, and all were experimentally verified to form nanopods. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Nanopods are new bacterial organelles, and establish a new paradigm in the mechanisms by which bacteria effect long-distance interactions with their environment. Specifically, they create a pathway through which cells can effectively deploy OMV, and the biological activity these transmit, in a diffusion-independent manner. Nanopods would thus allow environmental bacteria to expand their metabolic

  8. Nanopods: a new bacterial structure and mechanism for deployment of outer membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Ameesha; Chen, Shicheng; Tocheva, Elitza I; Jensen, Grant J; Hickey, William J

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMV) are packets of periplasmic material that, via the proteins and other molecules they contain, project metabolic function into the environment. While OMV production is widespread in proteobacteria, they have been extensively studied only in pathogens, which inhabit fully hydrated environments. However, many (arguably most) bacterial habitats, such as soil, are only partially hydrated. In the latter, water is characteristically distributed as films on soil particles that are, on average thinner, than are typical OMV (ca. ≤10 nm water film vs. 20 to >200 nm OMV;). We have identified a new bacterial surface structure, termed a "nanopod", that is a conduit for projecting OMV significant distances (e.g., ≥6 µm) from the cell. Electron cryotomography was used to determine nanopod three-dimensional structure, which revealed chains of vesicles within an undulating, tubular element. By using immunoelectron microscopy, proteomics, heterologous expression and mutagenesis, the tubes were determined to be an assembly of a surface layer protein (NpdA), and the interior structures identified as OMV. Specific metabolic function(s) for nanopods produced by Delftia sp. Cs1-4 are not yet known. However, a connection with phenanthrene degradation is a possibility since nanopod formation was induced by growth on phenanthrene. Orthologs of NpdA were identified in three other genera of the Comamonadaceae family, and all were experimentally verified to form nanopods. Nanopods are new bacterial organelles, and establish a new paradigm in the mechanisms by which bacteria effect long-distance interactions with their environment. Specifically, they create a pathway through which cells can effectively deploy OMV, and the biological activity these transmit, in a diffusion-independent manner. Nanopods would thus allow environmental bacteria to expand their metabolic sphere of influence in a manner previously unknown for these organisms.

  9. An Impact Vibration Experimental Research on the Pretension Rectangular Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianjun Guo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The pretension of the membrane is applied with biaxial tension bracket; the digital dynamometer is used for measuring the change of the tension; the concentrated impact load is applied on the surface of rectangular membrane; the displacement change of each feature point on the membrane surface is measured by noncontact laser displacement sensor. Through this experiment, the vibration displacement-time curve of the rectangular membrane under the fixed boundary condition is obtained. Further, the vibration frequency is given, according to the power spectral density function. The results of the experimental research are used to verify and correct theoretical formula and make the foundation for further theoretical research.

  10. Zinc-nanosystem-structure formation using anodic-oxidized aluminum membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornyushchenko, A. S.; Perekrestov, V. I.; Natalich, V. V.; Zagaiko, I. V.

    2017-02-01

    We propose a new method for the formation of zinc nanosystems by condensation of a weakly supersaturated Zn vapor in pores of the anodic-oxidized aluminum membrane (AOA)-silicon substrate system. For this purpose, a weak Zn vapor flow is created by magnetron sputtering of Zn target in a high-purity inert gas atmosphere and maintaining a temperature of the porous AOA membrane outer surface higher than that of the substrate. This drives a directional Zn vapor flow inward membrane parallel to the pore generatrix and favors effective penetration of Zn vapor into the membrane.

  11. 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.

  12. The conundrum of functional brain networks: small-world or fractal modularity

    CERN Document Server

    Gallos, Lazaros K; Sigman, Mariano

    2011-01-01

    The human brain is organized in functional modules. Such an organization poses a conundrum: modules ought to be sufficiently independent to guarantee functional specialization and sufficiently connected to bind multiple processors for efficient information transfer. It is commonly accepted that small-world architecture may solve this problem. However, there is intrinsic tension between shortcuts generating small-worlds and the persistence of modules. Here we provide a solution to this puzzle. We show that the functional brain network formed by percolation of strong links is highly modular. Contrary to the common view, modules are self-similar and therefore are very far from being small-world. Incorporating the weak ties to the network converts it into a small-world preserving an underlying backbone of well-defined modules. Weak ties are organized precisely as predicted by theory maximizing information transfer with minimal wiring costs. This trade-off architecture is reminiscent of the "strength of weak ties"...

  13. Simulations of the Pore Structures for a M2GlyR Derived Channel Forming Peptide in Different Membrane Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Rawi, A.; Herrera, A.; Tomich, J.; Rahman, T.

    2007-03-01

    As part of an effort to develop a peptide-based compound suitable for clinical use as a channel replacement therapeutic for treating channelopathies such as cystic fibrosis, we present a reductionist model that appears to grasp the characteristics of ion channeling peptides. In particular we present the observed changes in the functional characteristics of NK4-M2GlyR p22 (KKKKPARVGLGITTVLTMTTQS), a M2 GlyR derived channel forming peptide. Starting with a structure determined by multidimensional NMR (800 MHz) in SDS, a potential from CHARMM force-field was used to relax the structure of NK4-M2GlyR p22. Following the relaxation, numerous pore structures were generated for the symmetric five-helix assembly with geometries varying from cylindrical to conical. As it is difficult a priori to assign accurately the orientation of the hydrophilic portion of M2GlyR derived amphipath towards the inside of the pore, we tilted and rotated the helical structure by five different angles about the backbone axis before forming the pore. Energy minimization of the channel was performed in vacuum, in phosphotidylcholine (POPC) membrane, and 60% POPC 30% phosphotidylethanolamine (POPE) in order to determine the effect of the environment surrounding on the structure on its energy minimization. We will present the various pore assemblies, in the different membrane environments, used to predict the most probably membrane bound structure.

  14. Global analysis of steady-state energy transfer measurements in membranes: resolution of structural and binding parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domanov, Yegor A; Gorbenko, Galina P; Molotkovsky, Julian G

    2004-01-01

    A method has been developed allowing structural and binding parameters to be recovered by global analysis of two-dimensional array of steady-state RET data in the special case where energy acceptors distribute between aqueous and lipid phases while donors are embedded in the membrane at a known depth. To test the validity of this approach, correlation and error analyses have been performed using simulated data. To exemplify the method application to the membrane studies, energy transfer from anthrylvinyl-labeled phosphatidylcholine incorporated into mixed phosphatidylcholine/cardiolipin unilamellar vesicles to heme group of cytochrome c is analyzed.

  15. Human blood basophils display a unique phenotype including activation linked membrane structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stain, C; Stockinger, H; Scharf, M; Jäger, U; Gössinger, H; Lechner, K; Bettelheim, P

    1987-12-01

    To evaluate the membrane marker profile of human basophils a panel of well-established monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs, n = 60) was used for a combined toluidine/immunofluorescence staining procedure. Myeloid-associated MoAbs (particularly MoAbs against the LFA-1 family (CD11, CDw18), MoAbs directed against lactosylceramide (CDw17), anti-glycoprotein (gp) 150 MoAbs MCS 2 and MY 7 (CDw13), anti-gp 67 MoAb MY 9, anti Fc gamma-receptor (mol wt 40 kd) MoAb CIKM5, anti-CR 1 MoAb E 11, and the antiglycolipid MoAb VIM-2) were reactive with basophils, indicating a close relationship to other mature myeloid cells. Under normal conditions, basophils surprisingly express at least three activation-linked structures not detectable on mature neutrophils, ie, the p45 structure defined by MoAbs OKT-10 and VIP-2b, the p24 structure identified by the CD9 MoAb BA-2, and the receptor for interleukin 2 (IL 2) recognized by three different MoAbs (anti-TAC, IL2RI, anti-IL 2). Moreover, under short-term culture conditions basophils both in mononuclear cell (MNC) suspension and as purified fractions display the HLA-DR and T4 antigens. The neutrophilic/eosinophilic structure 3-fucosyl-N-acetyllactosamine is expressed on basophils only after neuraminidase treatment. Basophils were not stained at all by CD 16 MoAbs directed against the Fc gamma-receptor (mol wt 50 to 70 kd) of neutrophils, by the MoAb 63D3 (CDw12) recognizing the monocyte/granulocyte-associated p 200 antigen, and by the CDw 14 antibodies (VIM-13, Mo 2) defining the monocyte-specific structure p 55. Enriched basophils freshly obtained from chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL) patients yielded identical results in FACS analyses. In summary, these data indicate that basophils generate a unique combination of surface determinants and possibly represent an activated cell population.

  16. Solving the Martian meteorite age conundrum using micro-baddeleyite and launch-generated zircon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D E; Chamberlain, K R; Tait, K T; Schmitt, A K; Darling, J R; Barker, I R; Hyde, B C

    2013-07-25

    Invaluable records of planetary dynamics and evolution can be recovered from the geochemical systematics of single meteorites. However, the interpreted ages of the ejected igneous crust of Mars differ by up to four billion years, a conundrum due in part to the difficulty of using geochemistry alone to distinguish between the ages of formation and the ages of the impact events that launched debris towards Earth. Here we solve the conundrum by combining in situ electron-beam nanostructural analyses and U-Pb (uranium-lead) isotopic measurements of the resistant micromineral baddeleyite (ZrO2) and host igneous minerals in the highly shock-metamorphosed shergottite Northwest Africa 5298 (ref. 8), which is a basaltic Martian meteorite. We establish that the micro-baddeleyite grains pre-date the launch event because they are shocked, cogenetic with host igneous minerals, and preserve primary igneous growth zoning. The grains least affected by shock disturbance, and which are rich in radiogenic Pb, date the basalt crystallization near the Martian surface to 187 ± 33 million years before present. Primitive, non-radiogenic Pb isotope compositions of the host minerals, common to most shergottites, do not help us to date the meteorite, instead indicating a magma source region that was fractionated more than four billion years ago to form a persistent reservoir so far unique to Mars. Local impact melting during ejection from Mars less than 22 ± 2 million years ago caused the growth of unshocked, launch-generated zircon and the partial disturbance of baddeleyite dates. We can thus confirm the presence of ancient, non-convecting mantle beneath young volcanic Mars, place an upper bound on the interplanetary travel time of the ejected Martian crust, and validate a new approach to the geochronology of the inner Solar System.

  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. High quality NMR structures: a new force field with implicit water and membrane solvation for Xplor-NIH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Ye; Schwieters, Charles D; Opella, Stanley J; Marassi, Francesca M

    2017-01-01

    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

  19. Structure of anti-FLAG M2 Fab domain and its use in the stabilization of engineered membrane proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roosild, Tarmo P.; Castronovo, Samantha; Choe, Senyon, E-mail: choe@salk.edu [Structural Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037 (United States)

    2006-09-01

    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{sup +} 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.

  20. Membrane topology screen of secondary transport proteins in structural class ST[3] of the MemGen classification. Confirmation and structural diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Horst, Ramon; Lolkema, Juke S.

    2012-01-01

    The MemGen structural classification of membrane proteins groups families of proteins by hydropathy profile alignment. Class ST[3] of the MemGen classification contains 32 families of transporter proteins including the IT superfamily. Transporters from 19 different families in class ST[3] were evalu

  1. 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, T1D , were measured at 2.0 and 11.7 T. The amplitude of ihMT ratio (ihMTR) is positively correlated with T1D values. Both ihMTR and T1D 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 T1D 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.

  2. 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

    Poly (ether sulfone) (PES) 50 kDa membranes were surface modified by irradiation with UV light (254 nm) in the presence of N-vi