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Sample records for presynaptic neurotoxins biochemistry

  1. Presynaptic Neurotoxins: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Immunology and Other Exploratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-04-01

    analysis (Bieber). Primary sequences have also been determined for two myotoxins from the venom of Bothrops asper . One, a potent PLA2 with 67% sequence...fieldi, myotoxin II from Bothrops asper , PLA 2 from C. atrox) as opposed to monomeric PLA 2s. Once our MacQuadra 800 computer becomes available, we...on the isolation of Bothrops asper phospholipase A2s, we observed that these venoms also have metal-ion dependent proteases and high concentrations of

  2. Control of autophagosome axonal retrograde flux by presynaptic activity unveiled using botulinum neurotoxin type a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tong; Martin, Sally; Papadopulos, Andreas; Harper, Callista B; Mavlyutov, Timur A; Niranjan, Dhevahi; Glass, Nick R; Cooper-White, Justin J; Sibarita, Jean-Baptiste; Choquet, Daniel; Davletov, Bazbek; Meunier, Frédéric A

    2015-04-15

    Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that elicits flaccid paralysis by enzymatic cleavage of the exocytic machinery component SNAP25 in motor nerve terminals. However, recent evidence suggests that the neurotoxic activity of BoNT/A is not restricted to the periphery, but also reaches the CNS after retrograde axonal transport. Because BoNT/A is internalized in recycling synaptic vesicles, it is unclear which compartment facilitates this transport. Using live-cell confocal and single-molecule imaging of rat hippocampal neurons cultured in microfluidic devices, we show that the activity-dependent uptake of the binding domain of the BoNT/A heavy chain (BoNT/A-Hc) is followed by a delayed increase in retrograde axonal transport of BoNT/A-Hc carriers. Consistent with a role of presynaptic activity in initiating transport of the active toxin, activity-dependent uptake of BoNT/A in the terminal led to a significant increase in SNAP25 cleavage detected in the soma chamber compared with nonstimulated neurons. Surprisingly, most endocytosed BoNT/A-Hc was incorporated into LC3-positive autophagosomes generated in the nerve terminals, which then underwent retrograde transport to the cell soma, where they fused with lysosomes both in vitro and in vivo. Blocking autophagosome formation or acidification with wortmannin or bafilomycin A1, respectively, inhibited the activity-dependent retrograde trafficking of BoNT/A-Hc. Our data demonstrate that both the presynaptic formation of autophagosomes and the initiation of their retrograde trafficking are tightly regulated by presynaptic activity. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356179-16$15.00/0.

  3. Isolation and characterization of a presynaptic neurotoxin, P-elapitoxin-Bf1a from Malaysian Bungarus fasciatus venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Yee, Tee Ting; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Hodgson, Wayne C; Othman, Iekhsan

    2014-10-01

    Presynaptic neurotoxins are one of the major components in Bungarus venom. Unlike other Bungarus species that have been studied, β-bungarotoxin has never been isolated from Bungarus fasciatus venom. It was hypothesized that the absence of β-bungarotoxin in this species was due to divergence during evolution prior to evolution of β-bungarotoxin. In this study, we have isolated a β-bungarotoxin isoform we named P-elapitoxin-Bf1a by using gel filtration, cation-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography from Malaysian B. fasciatus venom. The toxin consists of two heterogeneous subunits, subunit A and subunit B. LCMS/MS data showed that subunit A was homologous to acidic phospholipase A2 subunit A3 from Bungarus candidus and B. multicinctus venoms, whereas subunit B was homologous with subunit B1 from B. fasciatus venom that was previously detected by cDNA cloning. The toxin showed concentration- and time-dependent reduction of indirect-twitches without affecting contractile responses to ACh, CCh or KCl at the end of experiment in the chick biventer preparation. Toxin modification with 4-BPB inhibited the neurotoxic effect suggesting the importance of His-48. Tissue pre-incubation with monovalent B. fasciatus (BFAV) or neuro-polyvalent antivenom (NPV), at the recommended titer, was unable to inhibit the twitch reduction induced by the toxin. This study indicates that Malaysian B. fasciatus venom has a unique β-bungarotoxin isoform which was not neutralized by antivenoms. This suggests that there might be other presynaptic neurotoxins present in the venom and there is a variation in the enzymatic neurotoxin composition in venoms from different localities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Biochemistry of snake venom neurotoxins and their application to the study of synapse. [Neurotoxins isolated from venom of the Formosan banded krait

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanley, M.R.

    1978-11-01

    The crude venom of the Formosan banded krait, Bungarus multicinctus, was separated into eleven lethal protein fractions. Nine fractions were purified to final homogeneous toxins, designated ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 7, 8, 9A, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Three of the toxins, ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, 7, and 8, were identified as post-synaptic curarimimetic neurotoxins. The remaining toxins were identified as pre-synaptic neurotoxins. ..cap alpha..-Bungarotoxin, toxin 7, and toxin 8 are all highly stable basic polypeptides of approx. 8000 daltons molecular weight. The pre-synaptic toxins fell into two structural groups: toxin 9A and 14 which were single basic chains of approx. 14,000 daltons, and ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 11 thru 13 which were composed of two chains of approx. 8000 and approx. 13,000 daltons covalently linked by disulfides. All the pre-synaptic neurotoxins were shown to have intrinsic calcium-dependent phospholipase A activities. Under certain conditions, intact synaptic membranes were hydrolyzed more rapidly than protein-free extracted synaptic-lipid liposomes which, in turn, were hydrolyzed more rapidly than any other tested liposomes. It was speculated that cell-surface arrays of phosphatidyl serine/glycolipids created high affinity target sites for ..beta..-bungarotoxin. Single-chain toxins were found to be qualitatively different from the two-chain toxins in their ability to block the functioning of acetylcholine receptors, and were quantitatively different in their enzymatic and membrane disruptive activities. ..beta..-Bungarotoxin was shown to be an extremely potent neuronal lesioning agent. There was no apparent selectivity for cholinergic over non-cholinergic neurons, nor for nerve terminals over cell bodies. It was suggested that ..beta..-bungarotoxin can be considered a useful new histological tool, which may exhibit some regional selectivity.

  5. Detection of marine neurotoxins and characterization of the presynaptic activity of iotrochotin from the sponge Iotrochota birotulata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, J.V.

    1987-01-01

    In order to detect novel presynaptic neurotoxins, a total of 766 extracts from marine organisms collected during expeditions of the research vessel Alpha Helix around the peninsula of Baja Mexico in 1974 and through the Caribbean in 1978 were tested for activity in a synaptosomal assay for the release of acetylcholine (ACh). To eliminate from consideration sample extracts which lysed the synaptosomal membrane, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was measured as a cytoplasmic marker. On the basis of the screening studies the extract of the sponge lotrochota birotulata was chosen for more detailed characterization. The active factor, iotrochotin (IOT), was sensitive to thermal inactivation, was partially activated by trypsin treatment and had a molecular weight of 12,000-13,000. The activity of IOT was found to be complete by one minute. The maximal release of radioactivity from synaptosomes preloaded with [ 3 H]choline was found to be dependent on the concentration of IOT irrespective of the time of further incubation. The concentration-response curve of IOT activity showed a sigmoid shape which did not fit the Hill equation. IOT caused release of both ACh and choline. Of the radioactivity released by IOT from synaptosomes preloaded with [ 3 H]choline, 50-60% was [ 3 H]ACh. IOT also released [ 3 H]GABA and [ 3 H]norepinephrine from synaptosomes preincubated with these labeled neurotransmitters. The activity of IOT was only minimally sensitive to reduction in Na + or Ca 2+ levels, and was not sensitive to tetrodotoxin. IOT did not dramatically change the fluorescence of synaptosomes incubated with a depolarization-indicating dye. However, depolarization of synaptosomes with high concentrations of K + was still detectable by this method in the presence of IOT

  6. Neurotoxicity in Sri Lankan Russell's Viper (Daboia russelii) Envenoming is Primarily due to U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a, a Pre-Synaptic Neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Anjana; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Othman, Iekhsan; Goode, Robert J A; Hodgson, Wayne C; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2017-01-01

    Russell's vipers are snakes of major medical importance in Asia. Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) envenoming in Sri Lanka and South India leads to a unique, mild neuromuscular paralysis, not seen in other parts of the world where the snake is found. This study aimed to identify and pharmacologically characterise the major neurotoxic components of Sri Lankan Russell's viper venom. Venom was fractionated using size exclusion chromatography and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). In vitro neurotoxicities of the venoms, fractions and isolated toxins were measured using chick biventer and rat hemidiaphragm preparations. A phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2 ) toxin, U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a (13.6 kDa), which constitutes 19.2 % of the crude venom, was isolated and purified using HPLC. U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a produced concentration-dependent in vitro neurotoxicity abolishing indirect twitches in the chick biventer nerve-muscle preparation, with a t 90 of 55 ± 7 min only at 1 μM. The toxin did not abolish responses to acetylcholine and carbachol indicating pre-synaptic neurotoxicity. Venom, in the absence of U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a, did not induce in vitro neurotoxicity. Indian polyvalent antivenom, at the recommended concentration, only partially prevented the neurotoxic effects of U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a was the basic S-type PLA 2 toxin previously identified from this venom (NCBI-GI: 298351762; SwissProt: P86368). The present study demonstrates that neurotoxicity following Sri Lankan Russell's viper envenoming is primarily due to the pre-synaptic neurotoxin U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a. Mild neurotoxicity observed in severely envenomed Sri Lankan Russell's viper bites is most likely due to the low potency of U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a, despite its high relative abundance in the venom.

  7. Mechanism of Action of Presynaptic Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

    other intracellular compartments via a low * - mediated translocation from endocytotic vesicles, there is no clear P idence at this time that these... lGTb 1Db. gnlisde RE-105 cells and their structures were verified by partial hydrolysis studies performed by the principal Investigator in...Schmitt et al. (1981) have postulated a temperature mediated internalization step precedes tetanus toxin induced blockade of neurotransmission in

  8. [Botulinum neurotoxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulain, B

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin is a multi-molecular complex comprised of a neuro-active moiety (i.e. botulinum neurotoxin) and several associated non-toxic proteins. The toxin dissociates rapidly at plasmatic pH, thereby releasing neurotoxin. Nerve terminals only take up the neurotoxin. In the peripheral nerve system, the neurotoxin mainly blocks acetylcholine release. When acting at the neuromuscular junctions, this results in paralysis of the muscle fibers. The duration of the neurotoxin action is mainly determined by the life-time of neurotoxin molecules inside the nerve terminals. Inhibition of cholinergic transmission induces rapid atrophy of the muscle fibres, and, sometimes, sprouting from poisoned nerve terminals. These effects, as well as the acetylcholine release blockade are entirely reversible. When injected in the periphery, a direct action of botulinum neurotoxin in the central nervous system remains unlikely despite its retrograde ascent demonstrated in animal models. However, indirect effects are numerous. The constituting proteins of the toxin complex can lead to immunisation against the non-toxic associated proteins and neurotoxin. Only the antibodies directed against neurotoxin are potentially neutralizing. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. Biochemistry Facility

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Biochemistry Facility provides expert services and consultation in biochemical enzyme assays and protein purification. The facility currently features 1) Liquid...

  10. On botulinum neurotoxin variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montecucco, Cesare; Rasotto, Maria Berica

    2015-01-06

    The rapidly growing number of botulinum neurotoxin sequences poses the problem of the possible evolutionary significance of the variability of these superpotent neurotoxins for toxin-producing Clostridium species. To progress in the understanding of this remarkable phenomenon, we suggest that researchers should (i) abandon an anthropocentric view of these neurotoxins as human botulism-causing agents or as human therapeutics, (ii) begin to investigate in depth the role of botulinum neurotoxins in animal botulism in the wilderness, and (iii) devote large efforts to next-generation sequencing of soil samples to identify novel botulinum neurotoxins. In order to compare the fitness of the different toxins, we suggest that assays of all the steps from toxin production to animal death should be performed. Copyright © 2015 Montecucco and Rasotto.

  11. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Special Events Faces of Dystonia Donate Donate Online Membership Find an Event Donor Bill of Rights About Dystonia Symptoms & Diagnosis Forms of Dystonia Genetics Glossary Treatment Find a Doctor Oral Medications Botulinum Neurotoxin Neurosurgery ...

  12. Nutritional Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of the effects that space flight has on humans nutritional biochemistry. Particular attention is devoted to the study of protein breakdown, inflammation, hypercatabolism, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, urine, folate and nutrient stability of certain vitamins, the fluid shift and renal stone risk, acidosis, iron/hematology, and the effects on bone of dietary protein, potassium. inflammation, and omega-3 fatty acids

  13. MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY OF CLOSTRIDIAL TOXINS - EXPRESSION OF MESSENGER-RNAS ENCODING TETANUS AND BOTULINUM NEUROTOXINS IN APLYSIA NEURONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MOCHIDA, S; POULAIN, B; EISEL, U; BINZ, T; KURAZONO, H; NIEMANN, H; TAUC, L

    1990-01-01

    mRNAs encoding the light chain of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins were transcribed, in vitro, from the cloned and specifically truncated genes of Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum, respectively, and injected into presynaptic identified cholinergic neurons of the buccal ganglia of

  14. Biochemistry engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jang, Ho Nam

    1993-01-01

    This deals with biochemistry engineering with nine chapters. It explains bionics on development and prospect, basics of life science on classification and structure, enzyme and metabolism, fundamentals of chemical engineering on viscosity, shear rate, PFR, CSTR, mixing, dispersion, measurement and response, Enzyme kinetics, competitive inhibition, pH profile, temperature profile, stoichiometry and fermentation kinetics, bio-reactor on Enzyme-reactor and microorganism-reactor, measurement and processing on data acquisition and data processing, separation and purification, waste water treatment and economics of bionics process.

  15. [Neurotoxin of the black widow spider and its interaction with receptors from the rat brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushkarev, Iu A; Grishin, E V

    1986-01-01

    A presynaptic neurotoxin isolated from the venom of the Central Asia spider karakurt (Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus) is shown to consist of two identical subunits of mol. weight about 118 kDa. The iodinated neurotoxin binds to the rat brain synaptosomal plasma membranes with Kd 0.1 nM (Bmax 0.1 pmol/mg of protein) at 37 degrees C, and with Kd 0.35 nM (Bmax 0.2 pmol/mg of protein) at 5 degrees C. At intermediate temperatures both types of receptors are detectable. It is supposed that the dimeric form of the toxin interacts with a single class of receptors possessing lateral mobility in the membrane. By the use of different bifunctional reagents it is revealed that the neurotoxin interacts with a presynaptic membrane protein of mol. weight 95 kDa. A protein of the same size accompanied by a 71 kDa protein was isolated by the affinity chromatography of solubilized synaptosomal membranes on the absorbent, containing immobilized neurotoxin.

  16. Botulinum neurotoxins: mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tighe, Ann P; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2013-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are used clinically for conditions characterized by hyperexcitability of peripheral nerve terminals and hypersecretory syndromes. These neurotoxins are synthesized as precursor proteins with low activity, but their effects are mediated by the active form of the neurotoxin through a multistep mechanism. Following a high-affinity interaction with a protein receptor and polysialogangliosides on the synaptic membrane, botulinum neurotoxins enter the neuron and causes a sustained inhibition of synaptic transmission. The active neurotoxin is part of a high-molecular-weight complex that protects the neurotoxin from proteolytic degradation. Although complexing proteins do not affect diffusion of therapeutic neurotoxin, they may lead to the development of neutralizing antibodies that block responsiveness to it. Nerve terminal intoxication is reversible and its duration varies for different BoNT serotypes. Although it was previously assumed that botulinum neurotoxins exert effects only on the peripheral synapses, such as the neuromuscular junction, there is now substantial evidence that these neurotoxins affect neurotransmission at distal central nervous system sites as well. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Antipruritic effects of botulinum neurotoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gazerani, Parisa

    2018-01-01

    This review explores current evidence to demonstrate that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exert antipruritic effects. Both experimental and clinical conditions in which botulinum neurotoxins have been applied for pruritus relief will be presented and significant findings will be highlighted. Potent....... Potential mechanisms underlying antipruritic effects will also be discussed and ongoing challenges and unmet needs will be addressed.......This review explores current evidence to demonstrate that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exert antipruritic effects. Both experimental and clinical conditions in which botulinum neurotoxins have been applied for pruritus relief will be presented and significant findings will be highlighted...

  18. What is the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2014-06-01

    Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al(3+) (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans. Aluminium is present in the human brain and it accumulates with age. The most recent research demonstrates that a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain. What are the symptoms of chronic aluminium intoxication in humans? What if neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are the manifestation of the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? How might such an (outrageous) hypothesis be tested?

  19. Snake and Spider Toxins Induce a Rapid Recovery of Function of Botulinum Neurotoxin Paralysed Neuromuscular Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Duregotti

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs and some animal neurotoxins (β-Bungarotoxin, β-Btx, from elapid snakes and α-Latrotoxin, α-Ltx, from black widow spiders are pre-synaptic neurotoxins that paralyse motor axon terminals with similar clinical outcomes in patients. However, their mechanism of action is different, leading to a largely-different duration of neuromuscular junction (NMJ blockade. BoNTs induce a long-lasting paralysis without nerve terminal degeneration acting via proteolytic cleavage of SNARE proteins, whereas animal neurotoxins cause an acute and complete degeneration of motor axon terminals, followed by a rapid recovery. In this study, the injection of animal neurotoxins in mice muscles previously paralyzed by BoNT/A or /B accelerates the recovery of neurotransmission, as assessed by electrophysiology and morphological analysis. This result provides a proof of principle that, by causing the complete degeneration, reabsorption, and regeneration of a paralysed nerve terminal, one could favour the recovery of function of a biochemically- or genetically-altered motor axon terminal. These observations might be relevant to dying-back neuropathies, where pathological changes first occur at the neuromuscular junction and then progress proximally toward the cell body.

  20. Snake and Spider Toxins Induce a Rapid Recovery of Function of Botulinum Neurotoxin Paralysed Neuromuscular Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duregotti, Elisa; Zanetti, Giulia; Scorzeto, Michele; Megighian, Aram; Montecucco, Cesare; Pirazzini, Marco; Rigoni, Michela

    2015-12-08

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and some animal neurotoxins (β-Bungarotoxin, β-Btx, from elapid snakes and α-Latrotoxin, α-Ltx, from black widow spiders) are pre-synaptic neurotoxins that paralyse motor axon terminals with similar clinical outcomes in patients. However, their mechanism of action is different, leading to a largely-different duration of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) blockade. BoNTs induce a long-lasting paralysis without nerve terminal degeneration acting via proteolytic cleavage of SNARE proteins, whereas animal neurotoxins cause an acute and complete degeneration of motor axon terminals, followed by a rapid recovery. In this study, the injection of animal neurotoxins in mice muscles previously paralyzed by BoNT/A or /B accelerates the recovery of neurotransmission, as assessed by electrophysiology and morphological analysis. This result provides a proof of principle that, by causing the complete degeneration, reabsorption, and regeneration of a paralysed nerve terminal, one could favour the recovery of function of a biochemically- or genetically-altered motor axon terminal. These observations might be relevant to dying-back neuropathies, where pathological changes first occur at the neuromuscular junction and then progress proximally toward the cell body.

  1. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2002-01-01

    The toxicity of chemically reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to make a significant contribution to the death of nerve cells caused by many neurotoxins as well as in stroke and Parkinson's disease...

  2. The Beginning of Biochemistry

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. Fermentation; enzymes; catalysis; proteins; biochemistry. Author Affiliations. T Ramasarma1. INSA Honorary Scientist Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit and Department of Biochemistry Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012, India. Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Current Issue : Vol.

  3. Biochemistry Instrumentation Core Technology Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The UCLA-DOE Biochemistry Instrumentation Core Facility provides the UCLA biochemistry community with easy access to sophisticated instrumentation for a wide variety...

  4. Presynaptic calcium signalling in cerebellar mossy fibres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Louiza Bohn; Jörntell, Henrik; Midtgaard, Jens

    2010-01-01

    affected burst firing in mossy fibres; this paired-pulse depression was reduced by GABA B antagonists. While our results indicated that a presynaptic rosette electrophysiologically functioned as a unit, topical GABA application showed that calcium signals in the branches of complex rosettes could......Whole-cell recordings were obtained from mossy fibre terminals in adult turtles in order to characterize the basic membrane properties. Calcium imaging of presynaptic calcium signals was carried out in order to analyse calcium dynamics and presynaptic GABA B inhibition. A tetrodotoxin (TTX......)-sensitive fast Na(+) spike faithfully followed repetitive depolarizing pulses with little change in spike duration or amplitude, while a strong outward rectification dominated responses to long-lasting depolarizations. High-threshold calcium spikes were uncovered following addition of potassium channel blockers...

  5. Reproduction, physiology and biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter summarizes fundamental knowledge and recent discoveries about the reproduction, physiology and biochemistry of plant-parasitic nematodes. Various types of reproduction are reviewed, including sexual reproduction and mitotic and meiotic parthenogenesis. Although much is known about the p...

  6. Exocytosis: using amperometry to study presynaptic mechanisms of neurotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, R.H.S.

    2004-01-01

    The development of carbon fiber microelectrode amperometry enabled detailed investigation of the presynaptic response at the single cell level with single vesicle resolution. Consequently, amperometry allowed for detailed studies into the presynaptic mechanisms underlying neurotoxicity. This review

  7. Modulation of neurotransmitter release in the region of the caudate nucleus by diet and neurotoxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurstjens, N.P.

    1987-01-01

    In this thesis the effects of dietary manipulation, ethanol and neurotoxins on the basal and electrically evoked release of dopamine and acetylcholine from the caudate nucleus of mature animals are presented together with an evaluation of the presynaptic acetylcholine and dopamine receptors controlling acetylcholine and dopamine release. A standardised superfusion technique was used to monitor the effect of apomorphine, in the presence of (R-S)- sulpiride or haloperidol, on the electrically induced release of ( 3 H)-acetylcholine in slices of rat corpus striatum. The effect of ethanol and dietary manipulation on the basal and electrically evoke release of ( 3 H)-acetylfholine from rat striatal slices, in the presence of specific agonists and antagonists was evaluated. From this study it is possible to deduce that diet and neurotoxins exerted a measurable effect on the mechanisms controlling release of neurotransmitters in the region of the caudate nucleus. These changes were determined in mature animals previously considered to have cerebral activity, which was not subject to dietary fluctuaations. No changes in the activity of the presynaptic dopamine receptor of the acetylcholine nerve terminals of the striatal slice could be measured

  8. History of biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Parduman; Batra, H S; Naithani, Manisha

    2004-01-01

    Biochemistry in broad terms is the study of the chemical composition of the living matter and the biochemical processes that underlie life activities during growth and maintenance. This article is an attempt to explore the metamorphosis of biochemistry from a pupa entwined in its own cocoon to a vibrantly colored phenomenon. Studies pertaining to this discipline of science began with Biochemistry interfaces with biology and chemistry even before nineteenth century with studies concerned with the chemical processes that take place within living cells. Modern biochemistry developed out of and largely came to replace what in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was called physiological chemistry, which dealt more with extra cellular chemistry, such as the chemistry of digestion and of body fluids. The name Biochemistry was coined in 1903 by a German chemist named Carl Neuber. However, work in this very living, aspect of chemistry had started much earlier. Claude Bernard is accredited with the Sirehood of Biochemistry. During the later part of the nineteenth century eminent scientists contributed a great deal to the elucidation of the chemistry of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. At this period some very fundamental aspects of enzymology were under close scrutiny. Study of nucleic acid is central to the knowledge of life but its fusion with biochemistry started with works of Fredrick Sanger and Har Gobind Khurana. Their experiments involved a subtle bland of enzymology and chemistry that few would have thought possible to combine. The scientists were busy removing the mist that was mitigating the light of knowledge but they still lacked an insight into the cell. In 1990's research turned to finding the structural details of cell. The field of molecular biochemistry was also progressing at an almost unstoppable speed having expanded its horizons beyond human imagination with the introduction of PCR, creating waves of appreciation from every field of medicine

  9. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatla, Kamalakar; Gaunt, Patricia S.; Petrie-Hanson, Lora; Ford, Lorelei; Hanson, Larry A.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight) at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg)/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins. PMID:27153088

  10. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamalakar Chatla

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins.

  11. A Freshman Biochemistry Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Toma, Francis J.; Campbell, Mary K.

    1982-01-01

    A one-semester biochemistry course was developed as an alternative to traditional freshman chemistry. Lecture topics and laboratory exercises focus on the course's unifying theme of the origin and early stages of the evolution of life on earth. (Author/SK)

  12. Isolation and characterization of α-elapitoxin-Bf1b, a postsynaptic neurotoxin from Malaysian Bungarus fasciatus venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Tee, Ting Yee; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Othman, Iekhsan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-03-15

    Bungarus fasciatus is one of three species of krait found in Malaysia. Envenoming by B. fasciatus results in neurotoxicity due to the presence of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins. Antivenom, either monovalent or polyvalent, is the treatment of choice in systemically envenomed patients. In this study, we have isolated a postsynaptic neurotoxin which we named α-elapitoxin-Bf1b. This toxin has an approximate molecular weight of 6.9 kDa, with LCMS/MS data showing that it is highly homologous with Neurotoxin 3FTx-RI, a toxin identified in the Bungarus fasciatus venom gland transcriptome. α-Elapitoxin-Bf1b also shared similarity with short-chain neurotoxins from Laticauda colubrina and Pseudechis australis. α-Elapitoxin-Bf1b produced concentration- and time-dependent neurotoxicity in the indirectly-stimulated chick biventer cervicis muscle preparation, an effect partially reversible by repetitive washing of the preparation. The pA2 value for α-elapitoxin-Bf1b of 9.17 ± 0.64, determined by examining the effects of the toxin on cumulative carbacol concentration-response curves, indicated that the toxin is more potent than tubocurarine and α-bungarotoxin. Pre-incubation of Bungarus fasciatus monovalent and neuro polyvalent antivenom failed to prevent the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Bf1b in the chick biventer cervicis muscle preparation. In conclusion, the isolation of a postsynaptic neurotoxin that cannot be neutralized by either monovalent and polyvalent antivenoms may indicate the presence of isoforms of postsynaptic neurotoxins in Malaysian B. fasciatus venom. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Presynaptic molecular determinants of quantal size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeo eTakamori

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The quantal hypothesis for the release of neurotransmitters at the chemical synapse has gained wide acceptance since it was first worked out at the motor endplate in frog skeletal muscle in the 1950s. Considering the morphological identification of synaptic vesicles at the nerve terminals that appeared to be homogeneous in size, the hypothesis proposed that signal transduction at synapses is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters packed in synaptic vesicles that are individually uniform in size; the amount of transmitter in a synaptic vesicle is called a quantum. Although quantal size – the amplitude of the postsynaptic response elicited by the release of neurotransmitters from a single vesicle – clearly depends on the number and sensitivity of the postsynaptic receptors, accumulating evidence has also indicated that the amount of neurotransmitters stored in synaptic vesicles can be altered by various presynaptic factors. Here, I provide an overview of the concepts and underlying presynaptic molecular underpinnings that may regulate quantal size.

  14. Emerging opportunities for serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng Chen, Zhongxing; Morris, J Glenn; Rodriguez, Ramon L; Shukla, Aparna Wagle; Tapia-Núñez, John; Okun, Michael S

    2012-11-07

    Two decades ago, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) type A was introduced to the commercial market. Subsequently, the toxin was approved by the FDA to address several neurological syndromes, involving muscle, nerve, and gland hyperactivity. These syndromes have typically been associated with abnormalities in cholinergic transmission. Despite the multiplicity of botulinal serotypes (designated as types A through G), therapeutic preparations are currently only available for BoNT types A and B. However, other BoNT serotypes are under study for possible clinical use and new clinical indications; To review the current research on botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A-G, and to analyze potential applications within basic science and clinical settings; The increasing understanding of botulinal neurotoxin pathophysiology, including the neurotoxin's effects on specific neuronal populations, will help us in tailoring treatments for specific diagnoses, symptoms and patients. Scientists and clinicians should be aware of the full range of available data involving neurotoxin subtypes A-G.

  15. Culture collections and biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cánovas, Manuel; Iborra, José L

    2003-06-01

    This review describes the relationships and links between culture collections, which act as sources of genomes, transcriptomes, proteome, and metabolomes, and fields of research biochemistry that demand their support and help. In addition, the invaluable but not always rewarded efforts of these organizations as a source and conservator of organism diversity is discussed. Biological waste-water treatment, ethanol as a non-finite source of energy, Rhodococcus fascians as the source of a citrus-juice debittering agent, the sporulation of filamentous fungi in liquid medium, and biotransformation with growing and resting cells are processes developed by the authors that demonstrate some of the applications of organisms from culture collections in the general field of biotechnology and related areas, including industrial biochemistry and biocatalytic synthesis.

  16. Presynaptic inhibition of synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampus by activation of muscarinic receptors: involvement of presynaptic calcium influx

    OpenAIRE

    Qian, Jing; Saggau, Peter

    1997-01-01

    Modulation of presynaptic voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) by muscarinic receptors at the CA3–CA1 synapse of rat hippocampal slices was investigated by using the calcium indicator fura-2. Stimulation-evoked presynaptic calcium transients ([Capre]t) and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fe.p.s.ps) were simultaneously recorded. The relationship between presynaptic calcium influx and synaptic transmission was studied.Activation of muscarinic receptors inhibited [Capre]t, thereb...

  17. Thiol biochemistry of prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahey, Robert C.

    1986-01-01

    The present studies have shown that GSH metabolism arose in the purple bacteria and cyanobacteria where it functions to protect against oxygen toxicity. Evidence was obtained indicating that GSH metabolism was incorporated into eucaryotes via the endosymbiosis giving rise to mitochrondria and chloroplasts. Aerobic bacteria lacking GSH utilize other thiols for apparently similar functions, the thiol being coenzyme A in Gram positive bacteria and chi-glutamylcysteine in the halobacteria. The thiol biochemistry of prokaryotes is thus seen to be much more highly diversified than that of eucaryotes and much remains to be learned about this subject.

  18. Action potential broadening in a presynaptic channelopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begum, Rahima; Bakiri, Yamina; Volynski, Kirill E.; Kullmann, Dimitri M.

    2016-07-01

    Brain development and interictal function are unaffected in many paroxysmal neurological channelopathies, possibly explained by homoeostatic plasticity of synaptic transmission. Episodic ataxia type 1 is caused by missense mutations of the potassium channel Kv1.1, which is abundantly expressed in the terminals of cerebellar basket cells. Presynaptic action potentials of small inhibitory terminals have not been characterized, and it is not known whether developmental plasticity compensates for the effects of Kv1.1 dysfunction. Here we use visually targeted patch-clamp recordings from basket cell terminals of mice harbouring an ataxia-associated mutation and their wild-type littermates. Presynaptic spikes are followed by a pronounced afterdepolarization, and are broadened by pharmacological blockade of Kv1.1 or by a dominant ataxia-associated mutation. Somatic recordings fail to detect such changes. Spike broadening leads to increased Ca2+ influx and GABA release, and decreased spontaneous Purkinje cell firing. We find no evidence for developmental compensation for inherited Kv1.1 dysfunction.

  19. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins (Addendum)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2003-01-01

    The toxicity of chemically reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to make a significant contribution to the death of nerve cells caused by many neurotoxins as well as in stroke and Parkinson's disease...

  20. Molecular Analysis of Neurotoxin-Induced Apoptosis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    D'Mello, Santosh R

    2006-01-01

    Apoptosis is a cell-suicide process that is required for the normal development of the nervous system, but that can be aberrantly activated in neurodegenerative diseases and following exposure to neurotoxins...

  1. The Biochemistry of Mitosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieser, Samuel; Pines, Jonathon

    2015-01-01

    In this article, we will discuss the biochemistry of mitosis in eukaryotic cells. We will focus on conserved principles that, importantly, are adapted to the biology of the organism. It is vital to bear in mind that the structural requirements for division in a rapidly dividing syncytial Drosophila embryo, for example, are markedly different from those in a unicellular yeast cell. Nevertheless, division in both systems is driven by conserved modules of antagonistic protein kinases and phosphatases, underpinned by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, which create molecular switches to drive each stage of division forward. These conserved control modules combine with the self-organizing properties of the subcellular architecture to meet the specific needs of the cell. Our discussion will draw on discoveries in several model systems that have been important in the long history of research on mitosis, and we will try to point out those principles that appear to apply to all cells, compared with those in which the biochemistry has been specifically adapted in a particular organism. PMID:25663668

  2. Factors affecting autocatalysis of botulinum A neurotoxin light chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, S Ashraf; Ludivico, Matthew L; Smith, Leonard A

    2004-10-01

    The light chain of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A undergoes autocatalytic fragmentation into two major peptides during purification and storage (Ahmed S. A. et al. 2001, J. Protein Chem. 20:221-231) by both intermolecular and intramolecular mechanisms (Ahmed S. A. et al. 2003, Biochemistry 42:12539 12549). In this study, we investigated the effects of buffers and salts on this autocatalytic reaction in the presence and absence of zinc chloride. In the presence of zinc chloride, the fragmentation reaction was enhanced in each of acetate, MES, HEPES and phosphate buffers with maximum occurring in acetate when compared to those in the absence of zinc chloride. Adding sodium chloride in phosphate buffer in the presence of zinc chloride increased the extent of proteolysis. Irrespective of the presence of zinc chloride, adding sodium chloride or potassium chloride in phosphate buffer elicited an additional proteolytic reaction. Higher concentrations of sodium phosphate buffer enhanced the autocatalytic reaction in the absence of zinc chloride. In contrast, in the presence of zinc chloride, higher concentrations of sodium phosphate decreased the autocatalytic reaction. Optimum pH of autocatalysis was not affected significantly by the absence or presence of zinc chloride. Like zinc chloride, other chlorides of divalent metals, such as magnesium, cobalt, iron and calcium also enhanced the autocatalytic reaction. Polyols such as ethylene glycol protected the light chain from fragmentation. Exposure of light chain to UV radiation led to enhanced fragmentation. In order to avoid fragmentation, the protein should be stored frozen in a low concentration buffer of neutral or higher pH devoid of any metal. Our results provide a choice of buffers and salts for isolation, purification and storage of intact botulinum neurotoxin serotype A light chain.

  3. Learning Biochemistry by Chocolate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.C Guedes

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Both sensations and biochemical reactions taken place or promoted during ingestion of chocolate were the motivation for  investigating  the  organic  compounds  present  in  this  source.  Cocoa  and  chocolate  are  composed  by  several substances , among them, aminoacids and alkaloids.The objective of this investigation was to purpose a contextured approach  of  biochemistry  through  the  sensations  and  reactions  involving  aminoacids,  theobromine  and  hormones. Methodology: 1. Theoretical part:  constituted  by theoretical  and tutorial classes  about aminoacids, theobromine and hormones  involved  at  the  metabolism;  2.  Questionary:  ten  questions  based  upon  theoretical  classes,  personal sensations  and  general  aspects  of chocolate;  3.Lecture:  Cientific  articles  searched  in  periodics  by  own  students  as well  as  newspaper  reports;  4.  Experimental:  Laboratory  experiments  including  extraction,  characterization, spectrometric quantification  after  specific reactions  and identification by  Rf  comparison with  standards  on TLC  from cocoa  almonds  and  both  powder  cocoa  and  chocolate.  The  study  was  applied  in  30  students  from  a  chemistry college. Results: The results pointed out to a higher frequency of the students and to a increased interest  from them by   biochemistry  issues  and  cientific  lectures,  as  well  as  a  satisfactory  acquirement  of  theoretical  and  practice knowledge of aminoacids and hormones, spectrometry and chromatography. Conclusion: A contextured approach is quite positive for learning biochemistry to chemists.

  4. PRESYNAPTIC DOPAMINE MODULATION BY STIMULANT SELF ADMINISTRATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    España, Rodrigo A.; Jones, Sara R.

    2013-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is an essential participant in the initiation and modulation of various forms of goal-directed behavior, including drug reinforcement and addiction processes. Dopamine neurotransmission is increased by acute administration of all drugs of abuse, including the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Chronic exposure to these drugs via voluntary self-administration provides a model of stimulant abuse that is useful in evaluating potential behavioral and neurochemical adaptations that occur during addiction. This review describes commonly used methodologies to measure dopamine and baseline parameters of presynaptic dopamine regulation, including exocytotic release and reuptake through the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens core, as well as dramatic adaptations in dopamine neurotransmission and drug sensitivity that occur with acute non-contingent and chronic, contingent self-administration of cocaine and amphetamine. PMID:23277050

  5. Engineering Botulinum Neurotoxin C1 as a Molecular Vehicle for Intra-Neuronal Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez-Cintron, Edwin J; Beske, Phillip H; Tenezaca, Luis; Tran, Bao Q; Oyler, Jonathan M; Glotfelty, Elliot J; Angeles, Christopher A; Syngkon, Aurelia; Mukherjee, Jean; Kalb, Suzanne R; Band, Philip A; McNutt, Patrick M; Shoemaker, Charles B; Ichtchenko, Konstantin

    2017-02-21

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds to and internalizes its light chain into presynaptic compartments with exquisite specificity. While the native toxin is extremely lethal, bioengineering of BoNT has the potential to eliminate toxicity without disrupting neuron-specific targeting, thereby creating a molecular vehicle capable of delivering therapeutic cargo into the neuronal cytosol. Building upon previous work, we have developed an atoxic derivative (ad) of BoNT/C1 through rationally designed amino acid substitutions in the metalloprotease domain of wild type (wt) BoNT/C1. To test if BoNT/C1 ad retains neuron-specific targeting without concomitant toxic host responses, we evaluated the localization, activity, and toxicity of BoNT/C1 ad in vitro and in vivo. In neuronal cultures, BoNT/C1 ad light chain is rapidly internalized into presynaptic compartments, but does not cleave SNARE proteins nor impair spontaneous neurotransmitter release. In mice, systemic administration resulted in the specific co-localization of BoNT/C1 ad with diaphragmatic motor nerve terminals. The mouse LD 50 of BoNT/C1 ad is 5 mg/kg, with transient neurological symptoms emerging at sub-lethal doses. Given the low toxicity and highly specific neuron-targeting properties of BoNT/C1 ad, these data suggest that BoNT/C1 ad can be useful as a molecular vehicle for drug delivery to the neuronal cytoplasm.

  6. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  7. Biochemistry (by Jochanan Stenesh)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasfeld, Arthur

    1999-06-01

    Plenum: New York, 1998. Hardcover, ISBN 0 306-45732-6. 95. Paperback, ISBN 0 306 45733 4. 55 (set of 3). Solutions manual and transparencies available. According to the promotional materials accompanying this text, its intended audience is students in one-semester undergraduate biochemistry courses. At just over 500 pages, the book is shorter than the norm of well over 1000 pages. The challenge, then, is to present the subject in a coherent and compelling fashion while necessarily omitting a large fraction of the material that one normally finds in more inclusive texts. That kind of editing is obviously going to lead to squawking from some quarters, so I should put my prejudices on the table. I teach a one-semester course in biochemical structure, and I have a long-standing interest in using molecular models to explain biochemical behavior, both in research and in teaching. The editing performed by Professor Stenesh is likely to trouble someone with a structural or mechanistic background. Rather than selectively excluding some topics, Stenesh has created a table of contents that looks like it's from a much longer text. The usual chapters on biochemical structure, catalysis, metabolism and molecular genetics are included here. The ax fell elsewhere, and most obvious to my eye are the omissions of structure and chemical mechanism beyond those few chapters that are dedicated to them. A brief presentation on the structure and function of hemoglobin is given in the chapter on proteins, and the catalytic mechanism of chymotrypsin is briefly presented in the chapter on catalysis. But in chapters on metabolism, the structures of substrates and products are shown while mechanisms of conversion are omitted. For example, in the description of aldolase, we're informed that the enzyme catalyzes a reverse aldol condensation, but the reader isn't shown how the aldol condensation relates to the chemical conversion we see in the figure. (Part of the problem may be that the text

  8. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer H K; Luczak, Vincent; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and

  9. Signal regulatory proteins (SIRPS) are secreted presynaptic organizing molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemori, Hisashi; Sanes, Joshua R

    2008-12-05

    Formation of chemical synapses requires exchange of organizing signals between the synaptic partners. Using synaptic vesicle aggregation in cultured neurons as a marker of presynaptic differentiation, we purified candidate presynaptic organizers from mouse brain. A major bioactive species was the extracellular domain of signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRP-alpha), a transmembrane immunoglobulin superfamily member concentrated at synapses. The extracellular domain of SIRP-alpha is cleaved and shed in a developmentally regulated manner. The presynaptic organizing activity of SIRP-alpha is mediated in part by CD47. SIRP-alpha homologues, SIRP-beta and -gamma also have synaptic vesicle clustering activity. The effects of SIRP-alpha are distinct from those of another presynaptic organizer, FGF22: the two proteins induced vesicle clusters of different sizes, differed in their ability to promote neurite branching, and acted through different receptors and signaling pathways. SIRP family proteins may act together with other organizing molecules to pattern synapses.

  10. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jähne, Sebastian, E-mail: sebastian.jaehne1@stud.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Rizzoli, Silvio O. [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); Helm, Martin S., E-mail: martin.helm@med.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures.

  11. Stereoselectivity of presynaptic autoreceptors modulating dopamine release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arbilla, S.; Langer, S.Z.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of the (R)- and (S)-enantiomers of sulpiride and butaclamol were studied on the spontaneous and field stimulation-evoked release of total radioactivity from slices of rabbit caudate nucleus prelabelled with [ 3 H]dopamine. (S)-Sulpiride in concentrations ranging from 0.01-1μM enhanced the electrically evoked release of [ 3 H]dopamine while (R)-sulpiride was 10 times less potent than (S)-sulpiride. Exposure to (S)-butaclamol (0.1-1 μM) but not to (R)-butaclamol (0.1-10μM) enhanced the field-stimulated release of [ 3 H]dopamine. The facilitatory effects of (S)- and (R)-sulpiride and (S)-butaclamol on the stimulated release of the labelled neurotransmitter were observed under conditions in which these drugs did not modify the spontaneous outflow of radioactivity. Only the active enantiomers of sulpiride and butaclamol antagonized the inhibition by apomorphine (1μM) of the stimulated release of [ 3 H]dopamine. Our results indicate that the presynaptic inhibitory dopamine autoreceptors modulating the stimulation-evoked release of [ 3 H]dopamine in the caudate nucleus are, like the classical postsynaptic dopamine receptors, chemically stereoselective. (Auth.)

  12. Shaping Neuronal Network Activity by Presynaptic Mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayal Lavi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal microcircuits generate oscillatory activity, which has been linked to basic functions such as sleep, learning and sensorimotor gating. Although synaptic release processes are well known for their ability to shape the interaction between neurons in microcircuits, most computational models do not simulate the synaptic transmission process directly and hence cannot explain how changes in synaptic parameters alter neuronal network activity. In this paper, we present a novel neuronal network model that incorporates presynaptic release mechanisms, such as vesicle pool dynamics and calcium-dependent release probability, to model the spontaneous activity of neuronal networks. The model, which is based on modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, generates spontaneous network activity patterns, which are similar to experimental data and robust under changes in the model's primary gain parameters such as excitatory postsynaptic potential and connectivity ratio. Furthermore, it reliably recreates experimental findings and provides mechanistic explanations for data obtained from microelectrode array recordings, such as network burst termination and the effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. The model demonstrates how elevated asynchronous release, but not spontaneous release, synchronizes neuronal network activity and reveals that asynchronous release enhances utilization of the recycling vesicle pool to induce the network effect. The model further predicts a positive correlation between vesicle priming at the single-neuron level and burst frequency at the network level; this prediction is supported by experimental findings. Thus, the model is utilized to reveal how synaptic release processes at the neuronal level govern activity patterns and synchronization at the network level.

  13. Postmortem Biochemistry and Toxicology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Flanagan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of postmortem biochemistry and toxicology is either to help establish the cause of death, or to gain information on events immediately before death. If self-poisoning is suspected, the diagnosis may be straightforward and all that could be required is confirmation of the agents involved. However, if the cause of death is not immediately obvious then suspicion of possible poisoning or of conditions such as alcoholic ketoacidosis is of course crucial. On the other hand, it may be important to investigate adherence to prescribed therapy, for example with anticonvulsants or antipsychotics, hence sensitive methods are required. Blood sampling (needle aspiration, peripheral vein, for example femoral, ideally after proximal ligation before opening the body minimizes the risk of sample contamination with, for example, gut contents or urine. Other specimens (stomach contents, urine, liver, vitreous humor may also be valuable and may be needed to corroborate unexpected or unusual findings in the absence of other evidence. The site of sampling should always be recorded. The availability of antemortem specimens should not necessarily preclude postmortem sampling. Appropriate sample preservation, transport, and storage are mandatory. Interpretation of analytical toxicology results must take into account what is known of the pharmacokinetics and toxicology of the agent(s in question, the circumstances under which death occurred including the mechanism of exposure, and other factors such as the stability of the analyte(s and the analytical methods used. It is important to realise that changes may occur in the composition of body fluids, even peripheral blood, after death. Such changes are likely to be greater after attempted resuscitation, and with centrally-acting drugs with large volumes of distribution given chronically, and may perhaps be minimised by prompt refrigeration of the body and performing the autopsy quickly.

  14. [Research activity in clinical biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, H.L.; Larsen, B.; Ingwersen, P.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Quantitative bibliometric measurements of research activity are frequently used, e.g. for evaluating applicants for academic positions. The purpose of this investigation is to assess research activity within the medical speciality of Clinical Biochemistry by comparing it with a matched...... Clinical Biochemistry, 57 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Each of these 57 was matched according to medical title with two randomly chosen specialists from other specialities, totaling 114. Using Medline and the Web of Science, the number of publications and the number of citations were then ascertained....... RESULTS: 25% of the 11,691 specialists held a PhD degree or doctoral degree, DMSci, (Clinical Biochemistry: 61%). The 171 specialists included in the study had 9,823 papers in Medline and 10,140 papers in the Web of Science. The number of Medline papers per specialist was 71 for Clinical Biochemistry...

  15. Medical Biochemistry – Clinical Cases

    OpenAIRE

    Gustavo Henrique Cavalcante; Carla Rhuama de Freitas Araújo; Felipe Sales de Lima; Marcel Setúbal Costa; Hannaly Wana Bezerra Pereira; Iara Dantas de Souza; Jéssyca Tamires da Fonseca; Sara Ester de Lima Costa; Daniel Carlos Ferreira Lanza

    2017-01-01

    The presentation of situations that exemplifies the practical application of the biochemical concepts is one of the main challenges in the development of didactic materials for the teaching of biochemistry. So far, there are a small number of materials, especially in Portuguese language, that present practical situations exemplifying the application of the several biochemical concepts in the area of human health. The Medical Biochemistry-Clinical Cases app/ebook is intended to enable the inte...

  16. The neurotoxin BMAA in aquatic systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication is a major water quality issue and in many aquatic systems, it leads to the proliferation of toxic phytoplankton species. The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is one of the compounds that can be present in phytoplankton. BMAA has been suggested to play a role in

  17. BOTDB: A Database for the Clostridial Neurotoxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lebeda, Frank J

    2003-01-01

    ...) neurotoxins and to track a variety of basic and applied research efforts. The AceDB management system was chosen for this project because of its flexibility in manipulating semi-structured data sets and for its information retrieval query languages...

  18. Glycolysis selectively shapes the presynaptic action potential waveform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lujan, Brendan; Kushmerick, Christopher; Banerjee, Tania Das; Dagda, Ruben K; Renden, Robert

    2016-12-01

    Mitochondria are major suppliers of cellular energy in neurons; however, utilization of energy from glycolysis vs. mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) in the presynaptic compartment during neurotransmission is largely unknown. Using presynaptic and postsynaptic recordings from the mouse calyx of Held, we examined the effect of acute selective pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis or mitochondrial OxPhos on multiple mechanisms regulating presynaptic function. Inhibition of glycolysis via glucose depletion and iodoacetic acid (1 mM) treatment, but not mitochondrial OxPhos, rapidly altered transmission, resulting in highly variable, oscillating responses. At reduced temperature, this same treatment attenuated synaptic transmission because of a smaller and broader presynaptic action potential (AP) waveform. We show via experimental manipulation and ion channel modeling that the altered AP waveform results in smaller Ca 2+ influx, resulting in attenuated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). In contrast, inhibition of mitochondria-derived ATP production via extracellular pyruvate depletion and bath-applied oligomycin (1 μM) had no significant effect on Ca 2+ influx and did not alter the AP waveform within the same time frame (up to 30 min), and the resultant EPSC remained unaffected. Glycolysis, but not mitochondrial OxPhos, is thus required to maintain basal synaptic transmission at the presynaptic terminal. We propose that glycolytic enzymes are closely apposed to ATP-dependent ion pumps on the presynaptic membrane. Our results indicate a novel mechanism for the effect of hypoglycemia on neurotransmission. Attenuated transmission likely results from a single presynaptic mechanism at reduced temperature: a slower, smaller AP, before and independent of any effect on synaptic vesicle release or receptor activity. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  19. Medical Biochemistry – Clinical Cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Henrique Cavalcante

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The presentation of situations that exemplifies the practical application of the biochemical concepts is one of the main challenges in the development of didactic materials for the teaching of biochemistry. So far, there are a small number of materials, especially in Portuguese language, that present practical situations exemplifying the application of the several biochemical concepts in the area of human health. The Medical Biochemistry-Clinical Cases app/ebook is intended to enable the integrated vision of the basic knowledge in biochemistry and its practical application in day-to-day situations of human health professionals. The biochemical concepts are presented as clinical cases, making possible the exercise of the analytical attitude and decision-making to solve problems based on real situations. The app is available on the internet for free, facilitating both, the access and the use of the material as a supplementary source.

  20. Synapse-specific and compartmentalized expression of presynaptic homeostatic potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun; Dickman, Dion K

    2018-04-05

    Postsynaptic compartments can be specifically modulated during various forms of synaptic plasticity, but it is unclear whether this precision is shared at presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic Homeostatic Plasticity (PHP) stabilizes neurotransmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release compensates for diminished postsynaptic receptor functionality. To test the specificity of PHP induction and expression, we have developed a genetic manipulation to reduce postsynaptic receptor expression at one of the two muscles innervated by a single motor neuron. We find that PHP can be induced and expressed at a subset of synapses, over both acute and chronic time scales, without influencing transmission at adjacent release sites. Further, homeostatic modulations to CaMKII, vesicle pools, and functional release sites are compartmentalized and do not spread to neighboring pre- or post-synaptic structures. Thus, both PHP induction and expression mechanisms are locally transmitted and restricted to specific synaptic compartments. © 2018, Li et al.

  1. Medical Countermeasure Models. Volume 8. Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-12

    neurotoxin is produced primarily by the bacterial species Clostridium botulinum , although Clostridium baratii and Clostridium butyricum are also capable of...varied from study to study and ranged from 0.02 IU/ml to 0.2 IU/ml. 54 Fiock MA et al., “Studies of Immunity to Toxins of Clostridium Botulinum . IX... Clostridium Botulinum . IX. Immunologic Response of Man to Purified Pentavalent ABCDE Botulinum Toxoid.” The Journal of Immunology. 90(5). 1962. 66 Siegel

  2. Unique Ganglioside Recognition Strategies for Clostridial Neurotoxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, Marc A.; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Baldwin, Michael R. (MCW); (UMC)

    2012-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin are the causative agents of the paralytic diseases botulism and tetanus, respectively. The potency of the clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) relies primarily on their highly specific binding to nerve terminals and cleavage of SNARE proteins. Although individual CNTs utilize distinct proteins for entry, they share common ganglioside co-receptors. Here, we report the crystal structure of the BoNT/F receptor-binding domain in complex with the sugar moiety of ganglioside GD1a. GD1a binds in a shallow groove formed by the conserved peptide motif E ... H ... SXWY ... G, with additional stabilizing interactions provided by two arginine residues. Comparative analysis of BoNT/F with other CNTs revealed several differences in the interactions of each toxin with ganglioside. Notably, exchange of BoNT/F His-1241 with the corresponding lysine residue of BoNT/E resulted in increased affinity for GD1a and conferred the ability to bind ganglioside GM1a. Conversely, BoNT/E was not able to bind GM1a, demonstrating a discrete mechanism of ganglioside recognition. These findings provide a structural basis for ganglioside binding among the CNTs and show that individual toxins utilize unique ganglioside recognition strategies.

  3. The Zinc-Dependent Protease Activity of the Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeda, Frank J.; Cer, Regina Z.; Mudunuri, Uma; Stephens, Robert; Singh, Bal Ram; Adler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT, serotypes A-G) are some of the most toxic proteins known and are the causative agents of botulism. Following exposure, the neurotoxin binds and enters peripheral cholinergic nerve endings and specifically and selectively cleaves one or more SNARE proteins to produce flaccid paralysis. This review centers on the kinetics of the Zn-dependent proteolytic activities of these neurotoxins, and briefly describes inhibitors, activators and factors underlying persistence of toxin action. Some of the structural, enzymatic and inhibitor data that are discussed here are available at the botulinum neurotoxin resource, BotDB (http://botdb.abcc.ncifcrf.gov). PMID:22069621

  4. Commentary: Biochemistry Re-Natured

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    In his last commentary on "Biochemistry Denatured," this author dealt with his perception that college students today have spent too little of their childhood years playing outside in nature and as a consequence have not learned basic things about the world from personal experience. This "nature-deficit disorder" removes many opportunities for…

  5. Multitracers in chemistry and biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambe, F.

    2000-01-01

    The multitracer technique using heavy-ion reactions has successfully developed in the last decade and is expected to widen its application in chemistry, biochemistry and other fields with technical improvement in future. Several examples of recent application are reviewed and development in the coming century is forecast. (author)

  6. The Biochemistry of Alcohol Toxicity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 9; Issue 10. The Biochemistry of Alochol Toxicity. B Ramachandra Murty. General Article Volume 9 Issue 10 October 2004 pp 41-47. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/009/10/0041-0047 ...

  7. The Biochemistry of Human Senescence

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 11; Issue 2. The Biochemistry of Human Senescence. B Ramachandra Murty. General Article Volume 11 Issue 2 February 2006 pp 17-26. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/011/02/0017-0026 ...

  8. Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    The 4th edition of Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry Edited by Eldor Paul continues in the vein of the 3rd edition by providing an excellent, broad-reaching introduction to soil biology. The new edition improves on the previous by providing extensive supplementary materials, links to outs...

  9. A protein chip membrane-capture assay for botulinum neurotoxin activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marconi, Severine; Ferracci, Geraldine; Berthomieu, Maelys; Kozaki, Shunji; Miquelis, Raymond; Boucraut, Jose; Seagar, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins A and B (BoNT/A and B) are neuromuscular blocking agents which inhibit neurotransmission by cleaving the intra-cellular presynaptic SNARE proteins SNAP-25 and VAMP2, localized respectively in plasma membrane and synaptic vesicles. These neurotoxins are both dangerous pathogens and powerful therapeutic agents with numerous clinical and cosmetic applications. Consequently there is a need for in vitro assays of their biological activity to screen for potential inhibitors and to replace the widely used in vivo mouse assay. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to measure membrane vesicle capture by antibodies against SNAP-25 and VAMP2. Substrate cleavage by BoNTs modified capture providing a method to assay toxin activity. Firstly using synaptic vesicles as a substrate, a comparison of the EC 50 s for BoNT/B obtained by SPR, ELISA or flow cytometry indicated similar sensitivity although SPR assays were more rapid. Sonication of brain or neuronal cultures generated plasma membrane fragments with accessible intra-cellular epitopes adapted to measurement of BoNT/A activity. SPR responses were proportional to antigen concentration permitting detection of as little as 4 pM SNAP-25 in crude lysates. BoNT/A activity was assayed using monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize a SNAP-25 epitope generated by the proteolytic action of the toxin. Incubation of intact primary cultured neurons with BoNT/A yielded an EC 50 of 0.5 pM. The SPR biosensor method was sensitive enough to monitor BoNT/A and B activity in cells cultured in a 96-well format providing an alternative to experimental animals for toxicological assays

  10. Label-Free (XIC) Quantification of Venom Procoagulant and Neurotoxin Expression in Related Australian Elapid Snakes Gives Insight into Venom Toxicity Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejic, Jure; Steer, David L; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2015-11-06

    This study demonstrates a direct role of venom protein expression alteration in the evolution of snake venom toxicity. Avian skeletal muscle contractile response to exogenously administered acetylcholine is completely inhibited upon exposure to South Australian and largely preserved following exposure to Queensland eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis venom, indicating potent postsynaptic neurotoxicity of the former and lack thereof of the latter venom. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals extremely large differences in the expression of postsynaptic three-finger α-neurotoxins in these venoms, explaining the difference in the muscle contractile response and suggesting that the type of toxicity induced by venom can be modified by altered expression of venom proteins. Furthermore, the onset of neuromuscular paralysis in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation occurs sooner upon exposure to the venom (10 μg/mL) with high expression of α-neurotoxins than the venoms containing predominately presynaptic β-neurotoxins. The study also finds that the onset of rat plasma coagulation is faster following exposure to the venoms with higher expression of venom prothrombin activator subunits. This is the first quantitative proteomic study that uses extracted ion chromatogram peak areas (MS1 XIC) of distinct homologous tryptic peptides to directly show the differences in the expression of venom proteins.

  11. Does breast feeding influence liver biochemistry?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Marianne Hørby; Ott, Peter; Juul, Anders

    2003-01-01

    It is assumed that early feeding can affect liver biochemistry because breast-fed infants have a higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia than formula-fed infants. The authors sought to determine how feeding mode affected liver biochemistry in healthy term infants.......It is assumed that early feeding can affect liver biochemistry because breast-fed infants have a higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia than formula-fed infants. The authors sought to determine how feeding mode affected liver biochemistry in healthy term infants....

  12. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer Hk; Luczak, Vince; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-10-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory because PKA also regulates presynaptic transmitter release. Here, we examine this issue using genetic and pharmacological application of Ht31, a PKA anchoring disrupting peptide. At the hippocampal Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, Ht31 treatment elicits a rapid decay of synaptic responses to repetitive stimuli, indicating a fast depletion of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The interaction between PKA and proteins involved in producing this pool of synaptic vesicles is supported by biochemical assays showing that synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2), Rim1, and SNAP25 are components of a complex that interacts with cAMP. Moreover, acute treatment with Ht31 reduces the levels of SV2. Finally, experiments with transgenic mouse lines, which express Ht31 in excitatory neurons at the Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, highlight a requirement for presynaptically anchored PKA in pathway-specific synaptic tagging and long-term contextual fear memory. These results suggest that a presynaptically compartmentalized PKA is critical for synaptic plasticity and memory by regulating the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, J.F.

    1975-01-01

    The contributions of the group consist of six reports. The first is concerned with recent developments in the isolation and characterization of subcellular components of mammalian cells: the inhibition by imipramine of digitonin-induced lysis of mitochondrial membranes; age-dependent changes in mitochondrial sedimentability; peroxisomal enzymes; and collaborative studies on near-uv effects on bacterial respiration, radiation effects on mouse heart mitochondria, and toxicity and distribution of liposome-encapsulated drugs. Plant physiology is the theme of the next two reports. The first describes progress in a NASA-supported program on the involvement of organelles, especially dictyosomes, in the georesponse of roots, and the second covers work principally supported by ERDA on the interaction of light and gravity on differential growth of corn roots. Progress in liposome encapsulation of drugs is presented in three contributions. The first deals with studies on the toxicity, distribution, therapeutic action, and mechanism of encapsulated cancer chemotherapeutic agents; the second with morphologic studies, based principally on electron microscopy; and the third with alteration of liposomal surface properties by varying the lipid composition, in order to modify tissue distribution

  14. A substrate sensor chip to assay the enzymatic activity of Botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lévêque, Christian; Ferracci, Géraldine; Maulet, Yves; Grand-Masson, Chloé; Blanchard, Marie-Pierre; Seagar, Michael; El Far, Oussama

    2013-11-15

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) induces muscle paralysis by enzymatically cleaving the presynaptic SNARE protein SNAP-25, which results in lasting inhibition of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. A rapid and sensitive in vitro assay for BoNT/A is required to replace the mouse lethality assay (LD50) in current use. We have developed a fully automated sensor to assay the endoprotease activity of BoNT/A. We produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognize SNAP-25 neo-epitopes specifically generated by BoNT/A action. Recombinant SNAP-25 was coupled to the sensor surface of a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) system and samples containing BoNT/A were injected over the substrate sensor. Online substrate cleavage was monitored by measuring binding of mAb10F12 to a SNAP-25 neo-epitope. The SNAP-25-chip assay was toxin serotype-specific and detected 55 fM BoNT/A (1 LD50/ml) in 5 min and 0.4 fM (0.01 LD50/ml) in 5h. Time-course and dose-response curves were linear, yielding a limit of quantification of 0.03 LD50/ml. This label-free method is 100 times more sensitive than the mouse assay, potentially providing rapid read-out of small amounts of toxin for environmental surveillance and the quality control of pharmaceutical preparations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Botulinum neurotoxin D uses synaptic vesicle protein SV2 and gangliosides as receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisheng Peng

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs include seven bacterial toxins (BoNT/A-G that target presynaptic terminals and act as proteases cleaving proteins required for synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Here we identified synaptic vesicle protein SV2 as the protein receptor for BoNT/D. BoNT/D enters cultured hippocampal neurons via synaptic vesicle recycling and can bind SV2 in brain detergent extracts. BoNT/D failed to bind and enter neurons lacking SV2, which can be rescued by expressing one of the three SV2 isoforms (SV2A/B/C. Localization of SV2 on plasma membranes mediated BoNT/D binding in both neurons and HEK293 cells. Furthermore, chimeric receptors containing the binding sites for BoNT/A and E, two other BoNTs that use SV2 as receptors, failed to mediate the entry of BoNT/D suggesting that BoNT/D binds SV2 via a mechanism distinct from BoNT/A and E. Finally, we demonstrated that gangliosides are essential for the binding and entry of BoNT/D into neurons and for its toxicity in vivo, supporting a double-receptor model for this toxin.

  16. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Carmel M; Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2016-02-29

    Taipans (Oxyuranus spp.) are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β) and postsynaptic (α) neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan), a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da), a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1-1 µM) produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL) delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM) and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM). α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA₂ value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a) as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87%) with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  17. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel M. Barber

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Taipans (Oxyuranus spp. are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β and postsynaptic (α neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan, a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da, a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1–1 µM produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA2 value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87% with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  18. Insights into the evolutionary origins of clostridial neurotoxins from analysis of the Clostridium botulinum strain A neurotoxin gene cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxey, Andrew C; Lynch, Michael D J; Müller, Kirsten M; Meiering, Elizabeth M; McConkey, Brendan J

    2008-11-14

    Clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are the most deadly toxins known and causal agents of botulism and tetanus neuroparalytic diseases. Despite considerable progress in understanding CNT structure and function, the evolutionary origins of CNTs remain a mystery as they are unique to Clostridium and possess a sequence and structural architecture distinct from other protein families. Uncovering the origins of CNTs would be a significant contribution to our understanding of how pathogens evolve and generate novel toxin families. The C. botulinum strain A genome was examined for potential homologues of CNTs. A key link was identified between the neurotoxin and the flagellin gene (CBO0798) located immediately upstream of the BoNT/A neurotoxin gene cluster. This flagellin sequence displayed the strongest sequence similarity to the neurotoxin and NTNH homologue out of all proteins encoded within C. botulinum strain A. The CBO0798 gene contains a unique hypervariable region, which in closely related flagellins encodes a collagenase-like domain. Remarkably, these collagenase-containing flagellins were found to possess the characteristic HEXXH zinc-protease motif responsible for the neurotoxin's endopeptidase activity. Additional links to collagenase-related sequences and functions were detected by further analysis of CNTs and surrounding genes, including sequence similarities to collagen-adhesion domains and collagenases. Furthermore, the neurotoxin's HCRn domain was found to exhibit both structural and sequence similarity to eukaryotic collagen jelly-roll domains. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the neurotoxin and adjacent genes evolved from an ancestral collagenase-like gene cluster, linking CNTs to another major family of clostridial proteolytic toxins. Duplication, reshuffling and assembly of neighboring genes within the BoNT/A neurotoxin gene cluster may have lead to the neurotoxin's unique architecture. This work provides new insights into the evolution of C

  19. RIM genes differentially contribute to organizing presynaptic release sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S; Deng, Lunbin; Fan, Mingming; Südhof, Thomas C

    2012-07-17

    Tight coupling of Ca(2+) channels to the presynaptic active zone is critical for fast synchronous neurotransmitter release. RIMs are multidomain proteins that tether Ca(2+) channels to active zones, dock and prime synaptic vesicles for release, and mediate presynaptic plasticity. Here, we use conditional knockout mice targeting all RIM isoforms expressed by the Rims1 and Rims2 genes to examine the contributions and mechanism of action of different RIMs in neurotransmitter release. We show that acute single deletions of each Rims gene decreased release and impaired vesicle priming but did not alter the extracellular Ca(2+)-responsiveness of release (which for Rims gene mutants is a measure of presynaptic Ca(2+) influx). Moreover, single deletions did not affect the synchronization of release (which depends on the close proximity of Ca(2+) channels to release sites). In contrast, deletion of both Rims genes severely impaired the Ca(2+) responsiveness and synchronization of release. RIM proteins may act on Ca(2+) channels in two modes: They tether Ca(2+) channels to active zones, and they directly modulate Ca(2+)-channel inactivation. The first mechanism is essential for localizing presynaptic Ca(2+) influx to nerve terminals, but the role of the second mechanism remains unknown. Strikingly, we find that although the RIM2 C(2)B domain by itself significantly decreased Ca(2+)-channel inactivation in transfected HEK293 cells, it did not rescue any aspect of the RIM knockout phenotype in cultured neurons. Thus, RIMs primarily act in release as physical Ca(2+)-channel tethers and not as Ca(2+)-channel modulators. Different RIM proteins compensate for each other in recruiting Ca(2+) channels to active zones, but contribute independently and incrementally to vesicle priming.

  20. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  1. Presynaptic active zone density during development and synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gwenaëlle L Clarke

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS, active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  2. Coupling of exocytosis and endocytosis at the presynaptic active zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maritzen, Tanja; Haucke, Volker

    2018-02-01

    Brain function depends on the ability of neurons to communicate with each other via the regulated exocytosis of neurotransmitter-containing synaptic vesicles (SVs) at specialized presynaptic release sites termed active zones (AZs). The presynaptic AZ comprises an assembly of large multidomain proteins that link the machinery for vesicle fusion to sites of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ entry. Following SV fusion at AZ release sites SV membranes are retrieved by compensatory endocytosis, and SVs are reformed. Recent data suggest that Ca 2+ -triggered SV exocytosis at AZs and endocytic retrieval of SVs may be functionally and physically linked. Here we discuss the evidence supporting such exo-endocytic coupling as well as possible modes and mechanisms that may underlie coupling of exocytosis and endocytosis at and around AZs in presynaptic nerve terminals. As components of the exo-endocytic machinery at synapses have been linked to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, understanding the mechanisms that couple exocytosis and endocytosis at AZs may be of importance for developing novel therapies to treat these diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Genetic diversity within the botulinum neurotoxin-producing bacteria and their neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, K K; Xie, G; Foley, B T; Smith, T J

    2015-12-01

    The recent availability of multiple Clostridium botulinum genomic sequences has initiated a new genomics era that strengthens our understanding of the bacterial species that produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). Analysis of the genomes has reinforced the historical Group I-VI designations and provided evidence that the bont genes can be located within the chromosome, phage or plasmids. The sequences provide the opportunity to examine closely the variation among the toxin genes, the composition and organization of the toxin complex, the regions flanking the toxin complex and the location of the toxin within different bacterial strains. These comparisons provide evidence of horizontal gene transfer and site-specific insertion and recombination events that have contributed to the variation observed among the neurotoxins. Here, examples that have contributed to the variation observed in serotypes A-H strains are presented to illustrate the mechanisms that have contributed to their variation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ultrasound Guidance for Botulinum Neurotoxin Chemodenervation Procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alter, Katharine E; Karp, Barbara I

    2017-12-28

    Injections of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are prescribed by clinicians for a variety of disorders that cause over-activity of muscles; glands; pain and other structures. Accurately targeting the structure for injection is one of the principle goals when performing BoNTs procedures. Traditionally; injections have been guided by anatomic landmarks; palpation; range of motion; electromyography or electrical stimulation. Ultrasound (US) based imaging based guidance overcomes some of the limitations of traditional techniques. US and/or US combined with traditional guidance techniques is utilized and or recommended by many expert clinicians; authors and in practice guidelines by professional academies. This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of available guidance techniques including US as well as technical aspects of US guidance and a focused literature review related to US guidance for chemodenervation procedures including BoNTs injection.

  5. A sensitive radioimmunoassay of scorpion neurotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tessier, M.; Delori, P.; Bechis, G.; Rochat, H.

    1978-01-01

    Scorpion neurotoxins form a family of homologous proteins which are basic and have approx. mol. wt. 7000. They consist of a single peptide chain crosslinked by four disulfide bridges. The complete amino acid sequences of some of them as well as the N-terminal of others, have been determined: their comparison has led to a classification into four groups. They have been shown to affect the conduction of ions through membrane channels and are thus good tools for the study of these structures on the molecular level. Toxins I and II of Androctonus australis Hector have been labelled with 125 I and specific radioactivities up to 2000 Ci/mmol have been obtained. Here the setting up of a radioimmunoassay allowing a sensitive and specific detection of toxin I of Androctonus australis Hector is reported

  6. Structure elucidation of two neurotoxins from Albizia tanganyicensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steyn, P.S.; Vleggaar, R.

    1987-01-01

    The structures of two neurotoxins isolated from Albizia tanganyicensis were determined by application of 1 H and 13 C n.m.r. spectroscopy as 3-hydroxy-5-hydroxymethyl-4-methoxymethyl-2-methylpyridine and the 5-acetoxymethyl derivative respectively

  7. Rational Design of Therapeutic and Diagnostic Against Botulinum Neurotoxin

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chan, N. W; Wang, Y; Tenn, C. C; Weiss, Ten; Hancock, J. R; Chenler, C. L; Lee, W. E; Dickinson-Laing, T; Yin, J; Gebremedhin, M. G; Mah, D. C

    2006-01-01

    .... In spite of botulinum neurotoxin being the most poisonous material, little is known about its mechanism of binding, effective drugs are lacking, and correct diagnosis of botulinum poisoning is slow...

  8. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    SWAMINATHAN, S.; ESWARAMOORTHY, S.

    2001-01-01

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases[1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD(sub 50) for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg(sup -1)[2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and(gamma)-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization[3

  9. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SWAMINATHAN,S.; ESWARAMOORTHY,S.

    2001-11-19

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases [1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD{sub 50} for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg{sup -1} [2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization [3].

  10. Teaching Biochemistry Online at Oregon State University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahern, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    A strategy for growing online biochemistry courses is presented based on successes in ecampus at Oregon State University. Four free drawing cards were key to the effort--YouTube videos, iTunes U online free course content, an Open Educational Resource textbook--Biochemistry Free and Easy, and a fun set of educational songs known as the Metabolic…

  11. Does breast feeding influence liver biochemistry?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Marianne Hørby; Ott, Peter; Juul, Anders

    2003-01-01

    It is assumed that early feeding can affect liver biochemistry because breast-fed infants have a higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia than formula-fed infants. The authors sought to determine how feeding mode affected liver biochemistry in healthy term infants....

  12. Symposium 19: The contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bayardo Baptista Torres

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available K-Education(Portuguese Chair: V. Trindade Bayardo Torres; Clovis Wannmacher; Denise MacedoThe contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching.O ensino de Bioquímica nos últimos 20 anosBayardo B. TorresDepartamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, USP. São Paulo, Brazil.Among the contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP one must recall:1. Winter school for graduate studentsThis course, now at the ninth edition, is intended for students in the final stage of their Masters or PhD in Biochemistry or related areas from any institution of higher education.Modern and important techniques are offered as possible support to help the student’s projects.2. Summer courses for undergraduate studentsThe Department offers every year, since 1999, complementary courses for undergraduate students to extend their knowledge in biochemical subjects not ordinarily treated in introductory courses. Some examples:Plant Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Diseases, Biochemistry of Mind, Biochemistry of Ageing, Cancer Biochemistry, Nutrition and Sports, Biochemistry of Beauty, Biochemistry of the Envenomation Response, etc.3. Summer courses for high school teachers. Some examples:Biochemistry of Nutrition, DNA – Techniques and Applications, Biochemistry in the kitchen.4. Software developmentMany software for biochemistry teaching/learning were developed and are freely available at the Biblioteca Digital de Ciências [http://www.bdc.ib.unicamp.br/bdc/index.php]. Some examples:Oxygen consumption by mitochondria, Muscle contraction, Electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation, Free radicals, Enzyme kinetics, cAMP signalization, Interactive study of protein structure, Leptin, Insulin and Obesity.5. A Biochemistry textbook. 

  13. Axonal and presynaptic RNAs are locally transcribed in glial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Chun, Jong Tai; Eyman, Maria; Cefaliello, Carolina; Bruno, Anna Paola; Crispino, Marianna

    2007-01-01

    In the last few years, the long-standing opinion that axonal and presynaptic proteins are exclusively derived from the neuron cell body has been substantially modified by the demonstration that active systems of protein synthesis are present in axons and nerve terminals. These observations have raised the issue of the cellular origin of the involved RNAs, which has been generally attributed to the neuron soma. However, data gathered in a number of model systems indicated that axonal RNAs are synthesized in the surrounding glial cells. More recent experiments on the perfused squid giant axon have definitively proved that axoplasmic RNAs are transcribed in periaxonal glia. Their delivery to the axon occurs by a modulatory mechanism based on the release of neurotransmitters from the stimulated axon and on their binding to glial receptors. In additional experiments on squid optic lobe synaptosomes, presynaptic RNA has been also shown to be synthesized locally, presumably in nearby glia. Together with a wealth of literature data, these observations indicate that axons and nerve terminals are endowed with a local system of gene expression that supports the maintenance and plasticity of these neuronal domains.

  14. Does human presynaptic striatal dopamine function predict social conformity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Paul R A; Benecke, Aaf; Puraite, Julita; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Shotbolt, Paul; Reeves, Suzanne J; Lingford-Hughes, Anne R; Howes, Oliver; Egerton, Alice

    2014-03-01

    Socially desirable responding (SDR) is a personality trait which reflects either a tendency to present oneself in an overly positive manner to others, consistent with social conformity (impression management (IM)), or the tendency to view one's own behaviour in an overly positive light (self-deceptive enhancement (SDE)). Neurochemical imaging studies report an inverse relationship between SDR and dorsal striatal dopamine D₂/₃ receptor availability. This may reflect an association between SDR and D₂/₃ receptor expression, synaptic dopamine levels or a combination of the two. In this study, we used a [¹⁸F]-DOPA positron emission tomography (PET) image database to investigate whether SDR is associated with presynaptic dopamine function. Striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA uptake, (k(i)(cer), min⁻¹), was determined in two independent healthy participant cohorts (n=27 and 19), by Patlak analysis using a cerebellar reference region. SDR was assessed using the revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) Lie scale, and IM and SDE were measured using the Paulhus Deception Scales. No significant associations were detected between Lie, SDE or IM scores and striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA k(i)(cer). These results indicate that presynaptic striatal dopamine function is not associated with social conformity and suggests that social conformity may be associated with striatal D₂/₃ receptor expression rather than with synaptic dopamine levels.

  15. SNAP-25, a known presynaptic protein with emerging postsynaptic functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia eAntonucci

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A hallmark of synaptic specializations is their dependence on highly organized complexes of proteins that interact with each other. The loss or modification of key synaptic proteins directly affects the properties of such networks, ultimately impacting synaptic function. SNAP-25 is a component of the SNARE complex, which is central to synaptic vesicle exocytosis, and, by directly interacting with different calcium channels subunits, it negatively modulates neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels, thus regulating intracellular calcium dynamics. The SNAP-25 gene has been associated with distinct brain diseases, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, indicating that the protein may act as a shared biological substrate among different synaptopathies. The mechanisms by which alterations in SNAP-25 may concur to these psychiatric diseases are still undefined, although alterations in neurotransmitter release have been indicated as potential causative processes. This review summarizes recent work showing that SNAP-25 not only controls exo/endocytic processes at the presynaptic terminal, but also regulates postsynaptic receptor trafficking, spine morphogenesis and plasticity, thus opening the possibility that SNAP-25 defects may contribute to psychiatric diseases by impacting not only presynaptic but also postsynaptic functions.

  16. Searching for Alien Life Having Unearthly Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry

    2003-01-01

    The search for alien life in the solar system should include exploring unearth-like environments for life having an unearthly biochemistry. We expect alien life to conform to the same basic chemical and ecological constraints as terrestrial life, since inorganic chemistry and the laws of ecosystems appear to be universal. Astrobiologists usually assume alien life will use familiar terrestrial biochemistry and therefore hope to find alien life by searching near water or by supplying hydrocarbons. The assumption that alien life is likely to be based on carbon and water is traditional and plausible. It justifies high priority for missions to search for alien life on Mars and Europa, but it unduly restricts the search for alien life. Terrestrial carbon-water biochemistry is not possible on most of the bodies of our solar system, but all alien life is not necessarily based on terrestrial biochemistry. If alien life has a separate origin from Earth life, and if can survive in an environment extremely different from Earth's, then alien life may have unearthly biochemistry. There may be other solvents than water that support alien life and other elements than carbon that form complex life enabling chain molecules. Rather than making the exploration-restricting assumption that all life requires carbon, water, and terrestrial biochemistry, we should make the exploration-friendly assumption that indigenous, environmentally adapted, alien life forms might flourish using unearthly biochemistry in many places in the solar system. Alien life might be found wherever there is free energy and a physical/chemical system capable of using that energy to build living structures. Alien life may be discovered by the detection of some general non-equilibrium chemistry rather than of terrestrial biochemistry. We should explore all the potential abodes of life in the solar system, including those where life based on terrestrial biochemistry can not exist.

  17. Botulinum neurotoxin: a marvel of protein design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montal, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of botulism, is acknowledged to be the most poisonous protein known. BoNT proteases disable synaptic vesicle exocytosis by cleaving their cytosolic SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) substrates. BoNT is a modular nanomachine: an N-terminal Zn(2+)-metalloprotease, which cleaves the SNAREs; a central helical protein-conducting channel, which chaperones the protease across endosomes; and a C-terminal receptor-binding module, consisting of two subdomains that determine target specificity by binding to a ganglioside and a protein receptor on the cell surface and triggering endocytosis. For BoNT, functional complexity emerges from its modular design and the tight interplay between its component modules--a partnership with consequences that surpass the simple sum of the individual component's action. BoNTs exploit this design at each step of the intoxication process, thereby achieving an exquisite toxicity. This review summarizes current knowledge on the structure of individual modules and presents mechanistic insights into how this protein machine evolved to this level of sophistication. Understanding the design principles underpinning the function of such a dynamic modular protein remains a challenging task.

  18. Structures of engineered Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin derivatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masuyer, Geoffrey; Stancombe, Patrick; Chaddock, John A.; Acharya, K. Ravi

    2011-01-01

    The crystal structures of engineered C. botulinum neurotoxin–SNARE derivatives have been and exhibit strong stability of the LHn fragment. Targeted secretion inhibitors (TSIs) are a new class of engineered biopharmaceutical molecules derived from the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). They consist of the metalloprotease light chain (LC) and translocation domain (Hn) of BoNT; they thus lack the native toxicity towards motor neurons but are able to target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment receptor (SNARE) proteins. These functional fragment (LHn) derivatives are expressed as single-chain proteins and require post-translational activation into di-chain molecules for function. A range of BoNT derivatives have been produced to demonstrate the successful use of engineered SNARE substrate peptides at the LC–Hn interface that gives these molecules self-activating capabilities. Alternatively, recognition sites for specific exoproteases can be engineered to allow controlled activation. Here, the crystal structures of three LHn derivatives are reported between 2.7 and 3.0 Å resolution. Two of these molecules are derivatives of serotype A that contain a SNARE peptide. Additionally, a third structure corresponds to LHn serotype B that includes peptide linkers at the exoprotease activation site. In all three cases the added engineered segments could not be modelled owing to disorder. However, these structures highlight the strong interactions holding the LHn fold together despite the inclusion of significant polypeptide sequences at the LC–Hn interface

  19. Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgaine McKibben, S.; Peterson, William; Wood, A. Michelle; Trainer, Vera L.; Hunter, Matthew; White, Angelicque E.

    2017-01-01

    Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish over the past 20 y in the Northern California Current regime is shown. The timing of elevated domoic acid is strongly related to warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Oceanic Niño Index, an indicator of El Niño events. Ocean conditions in the northeast Pacific that are associated with warm phases of these indices, including changes in prevailing currents and advection of anomalously warm water masses onto the continental shelf, are hypothesized to contribute to increases in this toxin. We present an applied domoic acid risk assessment model for the US West Coast based on combined climatic and local variables. Evidence of regional- to basin-scale controls on domoic acid has not previously been presented. Our findings have implications in coastal zones worldwide that are affected by this toxin and are particularly relevant given the increased frequency of anomalously warm ocean conditions.

  20. Positive regulation of botulinum neurotoxin gene expression by CodY in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhen; Dahlsten, Elias; Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia

    2014-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin, produced mainly by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is the most poisonous biological substance known. Here, we show that CodY, a global regulator conserved in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria, positively regulates the botulinum neurotoxin gene expression. Inactivation of codY resulted in decreased expression of botA, encoding the neurotoxin, as well as in reduced neurotoxin synthesis. Complementation of the codY mutation in trans rescued neurotoxin synthesis, and overexpression of codY in trans caused elevated neurotoxin production. Recombinant CodY was found to bind to a 30-bp region containing the botA transcription start site, suggesting regulation of the neurotoxin gene transcription through direct interaction. GTP enhanced the binding affinity of CodY to the botA promoter, suggesting that CodY-dependent neurotoxin regulation is associated with nutritional status. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Intra-axonal Synthesis of SNAP25 Is Required for the Formation of Presynaptic Terminals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia F.R. Batista

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Localized protein synthesis is a mechanism for developing axons to react acutely and in a spatially restricted manner to extracellular signals. As such, it is important for many aspects of axonal development, but its role in the formation of presynapses remains poorly understood. We found that the induced assembly of presynaptic terminals required local protein synthesis. Newly synthesized proteins were detectable at nascent presynapses within 15 min of inducing synapse formation in isolated axons. The transcript for the t-SNARE protein SNAP25, which is required for the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, was recruited to presynaptic sites and locally translated. Inhibition of intra-axonal SNAP25 synthesis affected the clustering of SNAP25 and other presynaptic proteins and interfered with the release of synaptic vesicles from presynaptic sites. This study reveals a critical role for the axonal synthesis of SNAP25 in the assembly of presynaptic terminals.

  2. Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-02-01

    structure1. Introduction Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) produced by Clostridium tetani and the seven antigenically distinct botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A-G...2-0011 TITLE: Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug...DATES COVERED (From - To) 28 Jan 2005 – 27 Jan 2006 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed

  3. The biochemistry and physiology of Tetrahymena

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hill, Donald L

    1972-01-01

    ...). DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECTS OF THE CELL CYCLE, 1971 Gary L. Whitson. CONCEPTS Donald L. HYMEN In Hill. THE A, 1972 preparation IN RADIATION Kwang W. Jeon. THE BIOCHEMISTRY BIOLOGY OF AND CELL BIOLOG...

  4. Podcasts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane Matte

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Teaching Biochemistry and Molecular Biology represents a big challenge in the undergraduate courses. The topics are complex and integrate knowledge that will be essential for the development of several professional activities. In the classroom, we have a very heterogeneous audience, which may respond better to visual or auditory stimuli. In addition, we need to consider the universal access to information, considering the possibility of having visually impaired students. In this context, we developed a new teaching methodology through the creation and use of podcasts that deal with the content of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. We selected the most complex subjects in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, according to the students' performance in the tests to do the podcasts: synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids, nucleic acid metabolism and protein synthesis. We believe the development of podcasts can contribute effectively to the learning of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  5. Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    TITLE:Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug Design PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr...JAN 2009 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium botulinum 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors... Clostridium , botulinum , neurotoxin, zinc chelators, inhibitors, macromolecular crystallography, 3D structure 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17

  6. In vivo imaging of human biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, L.D.

    1983-01-01

    Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an extremely powerful method for studying aspects of the biochemistry of defined regions of the human body, literally 'in-vivo' biochemistry. To place this technique in the broader perspective of medical diagnostic methods an introduction is given to some of the more important imaging methods which are already widely used clinically. A brief summary of the most recently developed imaging method, which is based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, is also included

  7. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  8. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  9. Presynaptic G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Gatekeepers of Addiction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari A Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Drug abuse and addiction cause widespread social and public health problems, and the neurobiology underlying drug actions and drug use and abuse is an area of intensive research. Drugs of abuse alter synaptic transmission, and these actions contribute to acute intoxication as well as the chronic effects of abused substances. Transmission at most mammalian synapses involves neurotransmitter activation of two receptor subtypes, ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast synaptic responses, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs that have slower neuromodulatory actions. The GPCRs represent a large proportion of neurotransmitter receptors involved in almost all facets of nervous system function. In addition, these receptors are targets for many pharmacotherapeutic agents. Drugs of abuse directly or indirectly affect neuromodulation mediated by GPCRs, with important consequences for intoxication, drug taking and responses to prolonged drug exposure, withdrawal and addiction. Among the GPCRs are several subtypes involved in presynaptic inhibition, most of which are coupled to the Gi/o class of G protein. There is increasing evidence that these presynaptic Gi/o-coupled GPCRs have important roles in the actions of drugs of abuse, as well as behaviors related to these drugs. This topic will be reviewed, with particular emphasis on receptors for three neurotransmitters, dopamine (D1- and D2-like receptors, endocannabinoids (CB1 receptors and glutamate (group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu receptors. The focus is on recent evidence from laboratory animal models (and some evidence in humans implicating these receptors in the acute and chronic effects of numerous abused drugs, as well as in the control of drug seeking and taking. The ability of drugs targeting these receptors to modify drug seeking behavior has raised the possibility of using compounds targeting these receptors for addiction pharmacotherapy. This topic is also discussed, with emphasis on

  10. INTERNET ASSISTED LEARNING OF BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.M. Lima

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available The revolution  in information  technology  has included the INTERNET to the available  resources for biochemical  education.  There  is a great  deal of biochemical  information, and  the  amount is increas- ing rapidly,  indeed  exponentially.  The  aim of this work is to analyze  the  biochemical  issues cellular respiration, photosynthesis and membrane  transport available  in web pages, taking  into account con- tents  quality,  trustworthiness and effectiveness. Firstly  1st secondary level students were inquired by a questionnaire on their use of INTERNET resources.  More then 80 percent of them were regular users. The  results  confirm the  already  known  potential of INTERNET in education.  Fourteen sites  were analyzed  regarding  to contents, presence  of bibliographical, references,  authorship, titles  responsible and adequacy  to the target public.  In relation  to contents, presence of conceptual  errors, illustrations and other  stimulatory elements  were analyzed.  The great  majority  did not mention  bibliographic  ref- erences and target public.  Less than  half divulged responsible  names and/or their  graduation status. Some sites contained critical  conceptual  errors,  as the mention  of, as examples:  during  the cell active transport process, of energy (ATP waste (desperdício by the cell; the yeast is a pluricellular  fungal; and  the  oxygen is essential  for anaerobic  respiration.  However,  one of the  sites,  where  such  errors were found, was the only one to mention  enzymes and regulation  steps of cellular respiration. Half of the sites present identical  texts  and figures. None of the analyzed  sites thus  was considered excellent. Our data  strenghthen the need for rigorous evaluation concerning of scholarly research  of biochemical theme  on the web.INTERNET ASSISTED LEARNING OF  BIOCHEMISTRY

  11. Camelid-derived heavy-chain nanobody against Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin E in Pichia pastoris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baghban, Roghayyeh; Gargari, Seyed Latif Mousavi; Rajabibazl, Masoumeh; Nazarian, Shahram; Bakherad, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) result in severe and often fatal disease, botulism. Common remedial measures such as equine antitoxin and human botulism immunoglobulin in turn are problematic and time-consuming. Therefore, diagnosis and therapy of BoNTs are vital. The variable domain of heavy-chain antibodies (VHH) has unique features, such as the ability to identify and bind specifically to target epitopes and ease of production in bacteria and yeast. The Pichia pastoris is suitable for expression of recombinant antibody fragments. Disulfide bond formation and correct folds of protein with a high yield are some of the advantages of this eukaryotic host. In this study, we have expressed and purified the camelid VHH against BoNT/E in P. pastoris. The final yield of P. pastoris-expressed antibody was estimated to be 16 mg/l, which is higher than that expressed by Escherichia coli. The nanobody expressed in P. pastoris neutralized 4LD50 of the BoNT/E upon i.p. injection in 25% of mice. The nanobody expressed in E. coli extended the mice's survival to 1.5-fold compared to the control. This experiment indicated that the quality of expressed protein in the yeast is superior to that of the bacterial expression. Favorable protein folding by P. pastoris seems to play a role in its better toxin-binding property. © 2014 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. THE BACHELOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY IN BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. G. Cordeiro

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The economic and social development of Brazil in the last decade has contributed to the installation of new graduate and undergraduate programs, as are the case with bachelor degrees in Biochemistry at UFV, UFSJ and UEM. These graduates are prepared to work in industry, research institutes and universities in areas of knowledge involving Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This is happening in developed countries since the first half of the last century, surprising and late is the implementation of bachelor of Biochemistry in Brazil. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to perform a comparative analysis of the Bachelor in Biochemistry in Brazil from the perspective of the main difficulties of implementing and courses maintenance. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a descriptive research with a qualitative approach. Interviews were conducted with undergraduate students, graduates, professors, staff and managers from bachelor degrees in Biochemistry at UFV, UFSJ and UEM. The sampling procedure was non probabilistic for judgment (choice of the subjects involved and interested in the course of biochemistry to undergraduate students, graduates, professors and staff and non probabilistic for convenience to managers. The qualitative assessment to depict the representative keywords was performed using words cloud by WordleTM. RESULTS: The study included 5 managers, 24 professors, 12 staff, 25 undergraduate students, 5 graduates. For the students the main reason for the course selection should be scientific vocation and affinity with chemistry and biology; most cited positive parameters were faculty and great structure, practical classes and broad playing field; most cited negatives were high mandatory disciplines, little student free time and lack of sophisticated equipment. Despite the conception of the programs have happened in different contexts and regions we noted similarities deficiencies and distresses. CONCLUSION: Difficulties must be

  13. The Biochemistry Tetrahedron and the Development of the Taxonomy of Biochemistry External Representations (TOBER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towns, Marcy H.; Raker, Jeffrey R.; Becker, Nicole; Harle, Marissa; Sutcliffe, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Visual literacy, the ability to interpret and create external representations (ERs), is essential to success in biochemistry. Studies have been conducted that describe students' abilities to use and interpret specific types of ERs. However, a framework for describing ERs derived through a naturalistic inquiry of biochemistry classrooms has not…

  14. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections to Treat Spasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your family understand the use of BoNT for treatment of spasticity, a disorder following injury to the brain or ... available evidence on the effect of BoNT for treatment of spasticity. What is botulinum neurotoxin and how does it ...

  15. Prediction of antigenic epitopes and MHC binders of neurotoxin ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The potassium channel inhibitor alpha-KTx 3.8, a 38-residue peptide was isolated from the venom of Mesobuthus tamulus sindicus. In this assay we have predicted the binding affinity of alpha-KTx 3.8 having 38 amino acids, which shows 30 nonamers. Peptide fragments of the neurotoxin can be used to select nonamers for ...

  16. Synthesis of tritium labelled DSP 4, a selective noradrenaline neurotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahlberg, Christer; Gawell, Lars

    1985-01-01

    DSP 4 (N-(2-Chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine) is a neurotoxin, selective for neuronal noradrenaline (NA). Tritium labelled DSP 4 with a specific activity of 105 mCi/mmol was prepared. The key step in the synthesis is a reduction of the aminoester with activated sodium boro[ 3 H]hydride thus forming the alcohol. (author)

  17. Molecular mechanisms of effects of botulinus and tetanus neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutsenko, V. K.

    1982-10-01

    The physiochemical properties of toxin molecules, significance of different amino acids to toxicity and role of ganglio-sides in chemical reception of toxins are discussed. The distinctions of presynaptic effects on the central and peripheral synapses are analyzed. Effects of toxins on main processes involved in synaptic transmission are evaluated.

  18. BOREAS TE-9 NSA Canopy Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Curd, Shelaine (Editor); Margolis, Hank; Charest, Martin; Sy, Mikailou

    2000-01-01

    The BOREAS TE-9 team collected several data sets related to chemical and photosynthetic properties of leaves. This data set contains canopy biochemistry data collected in 1994 in the NSA at the YJP, OJR, OBS, UBS, and OA sites, including biochemistry lignin, nitrogen, cellulose, starch, and fiber concentrations. These data were collected to study the spatial and temporal changes in the canopy biochemistry of boreal forest cover types and how a high-resolution radiative transfer model in the mid-infrared could be applied in an effort to obtain better estimates of canopy biochemical properties using remote sensing. The data are available in tabular ASCII files. The data files are available on a CD-ROM (see document number 20010000884), or from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

  19. Presynaptic localization of histamine H3-receptors in rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujimoto, K.; Mizuguchi, H.; Fukui, H.; Wada, H. (Osaka Univ. (Japan))

    1991-06-28

    The localization of histamine H3-receptors in subcellular fractions from the rat brain was examined in a (3H) (R) alpha-methylhistamine binding assay and compared with those of histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1- and alpha 2-receptors. Major (3H)(R) alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities ((3H)ligand binding vs. protein amount) were recovered from the P2 fraction by differential centrifugation. Minor (3H)(R)alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities were also detected in the P3 fraction. Further subfractionation of the P2 fraction by discontinuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed major recoveries of (3H)(R)alpha-methylhistamine binding in myelin (MYE) and synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) fractions. A further increase in specific activity was observed in the MYE fraction, but the SPM fraction showed no significant increase in specific activity. Adrenaline alpha 2-receptors, the pre-synaptic autoreceptors, in a (3H) yohimbine binding assay showed distribution patterns similar to histamine H3-receptors. On the other hand, post-synaptic histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1-receptors were closely localized and distributed mainly in the SPM fraction with increased specific activity. Only a negligible amount was recovered in the MYE fraction, unlike the histamine H3- and adrenaline alpha 2-receptors.

  20. Dishevelled proteins are associated with olfactory sensory neuron presynaptic terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego J Rodriguez-Gil

    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs project their axons from the olfactory epithelium toward the olfactory bulb (OB in a heterogeneous and unsorted arrangement. However, as the axons approach the glomerular layer of the OB, axons from OSNs expressing the same odorant receptor (OR sort and converge to form molecularly homogeneous glomeruli. Axon guidance cues, cell adhesion molecules, and OR induced activity have been implicated in the final targeting of OSN axons to specific glomeruli. Less understood, and often controversial, are the mechanisms used by OSN axons to initially navigate from the OE toward the OB. We previously demonstrated a role for Wnt and Frizzled (Fz molecules in OSN axon extension and organization within the olfactory nerve. Building on that we now turned our attention to the downstream signaling cascades from Wnt-Fz interactions. Dishevelled (Dvl is a key molecule downstream of Fz receptors. Three isoforms of Dvl with specific as well as overlapping functions are found in mammals. Here, we show that Dvl-1 expression is restricted to OSNs in the dorsal recess of the nasal cavity, and labels a unique subpopulation of glomeruli. Dvl-2 and Dvl-3 have a widespread distribution in both the OE and OB. Both Dvl-1 and Dvl-2 are associated with intra-glomerular pre-synaptic OSN terminals, suggesting a role in synapse formation/stabilization. Moreover, because Dvl proteins were observed in all OSN axons, we hypothesize that they are important determinants of OSN cell differentiation and axon extension.

  1. The presynaptic machinery at the synapse of C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calahorro, Fernando; Izquierdo, Patricia G

    2018-03-12

    Synapses are specialized contact sites that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. Important physical interactions across the synapse are mediated by synaptic adhesion molecules. These adhesions regulate formation of synapses during development and play a role during mature synaptic function. Importantly, genes regulating synaptogenesis and axon regeneration are conserved across the animal phyla. Genetic screens in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have identified a number of molecules required for synapse patterning and assembly. C. elegans is able to survive even with its neuronal function severely compromised. This is in comparison with Drosophila and mice where increased complexity makes them less tolerant to impaired function. Although this fact may reflect differences in the function of the homologous proteins in the synapses between these organisms, the most likely interpretation is that many of these components are equally important, but not absolutely essential, for synaptic transmission to support the relatively undemanding life style of laboratory maintained C. elegans. Here, we review research on the major group of synaptic proteins, involved in the presynaptic machinery in C. elegans, showing a strong conservation between higher organisms and highlight how C. elegans can be used as an informative tool for dissecting synaptic components, based on a simple nervous system organization.

  2. Presynaptic localization of histamine H3-receptors in rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimoto, K.; Mizuguchi, H.; Fukui, H.; Wada, H.

    1991-01-01

    The localization of histamine H3-receptors in subcellular fractions from the rat brain was examined in a [3H] (R) alpha-methylhistamine binding assay and compared with those of histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1- and alpha 2-receptors. Major [3H](R) alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities ([3H]ligand binding vs. protein amount) were recovered from the P2 fraction by differential centrifugation. Minor [3H](R)alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities were also detected in the P3 fraction. Further subfractionation of the P2 fraction by discontinuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed major recoveries of [3H](R)alpha-methylhistamine binding in myelin (MYE) and synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) fractions. A further increase in specific activity was observed in the MYE fraction, but the SPM fraction showed no significant increase in specific activity. Adrenaline alpha 2-receptors, the pre-synaptic autoreceptors, in a [3H] yohimbine binding assay showed distribution patterns similar to histamine H3-receptors. On the other hand, post-synaptic histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1-receptors were closely localized and distributed mainly in the SPM fraction with increased specific activity. Only a negligible amount was recovered in the MYE fraction, unlike the histamine H3- and adrenaline alpha 2-receptors

  3. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of neurotoxin gene from an environmental isolate of Clostridium sp.: comparison with other clostridial neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Aparna; Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Singh, Lokendra

    2006-07-01

    A Clostridium sp. isolated from intestine of decaying fish exhibited 99% sequence identity with C. tetani at 16S rRNA level. It produced a neurotoxin that was neutralized by botulinum antitoxin (A+B+E) as well as tetanus antitoxin. The gene fragments for light chain, C-terminal and N-terminal regions of the heavy chain of the toxin were amplified using three reported primer sets for tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT). The neurotoxin gene fragments were cloned in Escherichia coli and sequenced. The sequences obtained exhibited approximately 98, 99 and 98% sequence identity with reported gene sequences of TeNT/LC, TeNT/HC and TeNT/HN, respectively. The phylogenetic interrelationship between the neurotoxin gene of Clostridium sp. with previously reported gene sequences of Clostridium botulinum A to G and C. tetani was examined by analysis of differences in the nucleotide sequences. Six amino acids were substituted at four different positions in the light chain of neurotoxin from the isolate when compared with the reported closest sequence of TeNT. Of these, four were located in the beta15 motif at a solvent inaccessible, buried region of the protein molecule. One of these substitutions were on the solvent accessible surface residue of alpha1 motif, previously shown to have strong sequence conservation. A substitution of two amino acids observed in N-terminal region of heavy chain were buried residues, located in the beta21 and beta37 motifs showing variability in other related sequences. The C-terminal region responsible for binding to receptor was conserved, showing no changes in the amino acid sequence.

  4. Blood biochemistry responses of chickens experimentally infected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the blood biochemistry responses of cockerels experimentally infected with a velogenic Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain, KUDU 113. One hundred Isa white cockerels were used for the study. The cockerels were obtained at day-old and randomly divided into groups A- vaccinated and infected, ...

  5. A Kinetic Experiment for the Biochemistry Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Richard E.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the use of specific reactions of metabolic pathways to make measurements in the laboratory. Describes an adaptation of an experiment used in undergraduate biochemistry laboratories involving the induction of an enzyme in E. coli, as well as its partial purification and characterization. (TW)

  6. Modern trends in biochemistry and biotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    On the conference 'Modern trends in biochemistry and biotechnology' several lectures concerned influence of ionizing radiation on the animal cells. Changes in the cell division caused by radiation induced DNA damage were discussed. Application of single cell gel electrophoresis assay (comet assay) in assessment of DNA damages was the subject of dedicated session

  7. Identification of Threshold Concepts for Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loertscher, Jennifer; Green, David; Lewis, Jennifer E.; Lin, Sara; Minderhout, Vicky

    2014-01-01

    Threshold concepts (TCs) are concepts that, when mastered, represent a transformed understanding of a discipline without which the learner cannot progress. We have undertaken a process involving more than 75 faculty members and 50 undergraduate students to identify a working list of TCs for biochemistry. The process of identifying TCs for…

  8. Biochemistry of Tungstoenzymes from Pyrococcus furiosus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bol, E.

    2007-01-01

    The cell uses a variety of transition metals to provide greater catalytic diversity than could be achieved using only the functional groups of amino acids. The biochemistry of molybdenum and tungsten is unusual: they are the only 4d and 5d metal ions with established biological role(s). This thesis

  9. Assessment of Molecular Construction in Undergraduate Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Deborah; Bateman, Robert C., Jr.; Sirochman, Rudy; Richardson, David C.; Richardson, Jane S.; Weiner, Steven W.; Farwell, Mary; Putnam-Evans, Cindy

    2005-01-01

    White and group used a two question, open-ended tests to separately evaluate students' learning of specific biochemical concepts in the general biology lecture and laboratory, in the first performance assessment of molecular visualization in teaching biochemistry. Two studies were devoted to protein structure using globins followed by one…

  10. There is No Overkill in Biochemistry

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 17; Issue 12. There is No Overkill in Biochemistry - Har Gobind Khorana, a Pioneer in Membrane Biology. Sadashiva Karnik Sriram Subramaniam. General Article Volume 17 Issue 12 December 2012 pp 1157-1164 ...

  11. Changes in haematology, plasma biochemistry and erythrocyte ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The haematology, plasma biochemistry and erythrocyte osmotic fragility of the Nigerian laughing dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) were studied after 4 and 8 weeks in captivity. At 8 weeks, there was a normocytic hypochromic anaemia characterized by reduced values for packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell count ...

  12. Biochemistry in the idea of graduation students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. F. Escoto et al

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary area that allows us to study chemical phenomena in live organisms. That way, its study is of extreme importance, in all levels, to enlarge the comprehension of natural phenomena. However, it is barely explored in the basic education and often fragmented in the higher education, or in graduation degrees that contemplate this area. Especially in the teacher training, where the fragmentation of knowledge can contribute to form wrong concepts. Based on that, this work aims to identify the concept of Biochemistry according to the future teachers of Natural Science. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The work was developed with 3º, 5º and 9º semesters students of the natural science degree on Universidade Federal do Pampa. 50 students, from 18 to 56 years old, were interviewed. The data was obtained through a semi-structured questionnaire. The methodology of categorization and analysis of content with emergent categories of speech was chosen for the analysis. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Initially, 11 categories were chosen by content similarity. In descending order: chemical reactions in organisms, chemistry area, chemistry of life, cell metabolism, the study of living beings, origin of life, biology area, organic balance, chemical-biological study. The reports made possible to identify that most students do understand with clarity the goal of studying biochemistry. Although, we can see that there are some students that fragment the area, what means, they try to discriminate chemistry from biology. This way, they demonstrate a difficulty to comprehend biochemistry as interdisciplinary, what makes it hard to contextualize the built knowledge. It is important to develop strategies to overcome the fragmentation of knowledge, so that biochemistry can be comprehended in its fullness and help on the teaching processes that will be developed by the future teachers.

  13. Whereas Short-Term Facilitation Is Presynaptic, Intermediate-Term Facilitation Involves Both Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Protein Kinases and Protein Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Iksung; Kandel, Eric R.; Hawkins, Robert D.

    2011-01-01

    Whereas short-term plasticity involves covalent modifications that are generally restricted to either presynaptic or postsynaptic structures, long-term plasticity involves the growth of new synapses, which by its nature involves both pre- and postsynaptic alterations. In addition, an intermediate-term stage of plasticity has been identified that…

  14. Commentary: PhDs in Biochemistry Education--5 Years Later

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G.; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Osgood, Marcy

    2014-01-01

    In this commentary, the discussion of PhDs in biochemistry education research is expanded to explore a number of diverse pathways leading to a competitive research program in biochemistry education research.

  15. Botulinum neurotoxin homologs in non-Clostridium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Michael J; Adams, Jeremy B; Doxey, Andrew C

    2015-01-30

    Clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are the deadliest toxins known and the causative agents of botulism and tetanus. Despite their structural and functional complexity, no CNT homologs are currently known outside Clostridium. Here, we report the first homologs of Clostridium CNTs within the genome of the rice fermentation organism Weissella oryzae SG25. One gene in W. oryzae S25 encodes a protein with a four-domain architecture and HExxH protease motif common to botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). An adjacent gene with partial similarity to CNTs is also present, and both genes seem to have been laterally transferred into the W. oryzae genome from an unknown source. Identification of mobile, CNT-related genes outside of Clostridium has implications for our understanding of the evolution of this important toxin family. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Characterization of Clostridium sp. RKD producing botulinum-like neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Aparna; Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Singh, Lokendra

    2005-07-01

    A Gram positive, motile, rod-shaped, strictly anaerobic bacterium isolated from intestine of decaying fish was identified as Clostridium sp. RKD and produced a botulinum type B-like neurotoxin as suggested by mouse bioassay and protection with anti botulinum antibodies. The neurotoxicity was functionally characterized by the phrenic nerve hemi-diaphragm assay. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequence, placed it at a different position from the reported strains of Clostridium botulinum. The strain exhibited differences from both Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani with respect to morphological, biochemical and chemotaxonomic characteristics. Botulinum group specific and serotype specific primers amplified the DNA fragments of 260 and 727 bp, respectively, indicating presence of botulinum type 'B' toxin gene. Sequence of nearly 700 bp amplified using primers specific for botulinum neurotoxin type B gene, did not show any significant match in the database when subjected to BLAST search.

  17. Effects of propofol and pentobarbital on calcium concentration in presynaptic boutons on a rat hippocampal neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Shinichi; Sugiyama, Hitomi; Kitahara, Seiko; Ikemoto, Yoshimi; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2011-10-01

    Numerous reports suggest that intravenously administered (IV) anesthetics affect postsynaptic events in the central nervous system. However, there is little evidence about how general anesthetics influence the presynaptic processes. The level of presynaptic calcium (Ca(2+)) concentration ([Ca(2+)](pre)) regulates neurotransmitter release. In this study, we investigated the effects of anesthetic propofol IV and the barbiturate pentobarbital on neurotransmitter release by measuring [Ca(2+)](pre) in the presynaptic nerve terminals (boutons) on a dissociated single hippocampal rat neuron. Sprague-Dawley rats 10-14 days old were decapitated under pentobarbital anesthesia, and brain slices were prepared. The hippocampal CA1 area was touched with a fire-polished glass pipette, which vibrated horizontally, and neurons were dissociated, along with the attached presynaptic boutons. The presynaptic boutons were visualized under a confocal laser-scanning microscope after staining with FM1-43 dye, and [Ca(2+)](pre) was measured with acetoxymethyl ester of fluo-3 (fluo-3 AM). High potassium (K(+)) (15-90 mM) increased the [Ca(2+)](pre) in the Ca(2+)-containing solution in a concentration-dependent manner. Whereas propofol (10 μM) and pentobarbital (300 μM) suppressed the high K(+) (60 mM)-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](pre) in the boutons attached to the dendrite, they did not affect [Ca(2+)](pre) in the boutons attached to the soma or dendrite base. As a large majority of excitatory synapses are located on dendritic spines, these agents may affect Ca(2+) mobilization in the excitatory presynaptic boutons. Propofol and pentobarbital may affect neurotransmitter release from the excitatory presynaptic nerve terminals due to inhibition of increase in [Ca(2+)](pre).

  18. Mass spectrometry-based methods for detection and differentiation of botulinum neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jurgen G [Los Alamos, NM; Boyer, Anne E [Atlanta, GA; Kalb, Suzanne R [Atlanta, GA; Moura, Hercules [Tucker, GA; Barr, John R [Suwannee, GA; Woolfitt, Adrian R [Atlanta, GA

    2009-11-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for detecting the presence of clostridial neurotoxins in a sample by mixing a sample with a peptide that can serve as a substrate for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin; and measuring for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin by a mass spectroscopy technique. In one embodiment, the peptide can have an affinity tag attached at two or more sites.

  19. Rational Design of Therapeutic and Diagnostic Against Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    Gram-positive bacilli bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, which can be found worldwide in soil. Clostridium tetani is a similar bacterium to C...B: Biological Sciences, 354, 259-268. 6. Nantel, A.J. (1999). Clostridium Botulinum. WHO international programme on chemical safety poisons...of Clostridium botulinum C1 neurotoxin. Nucleic Acids Research, 18, 4924. 20. Binz, T., Kurazono, H., Popoff, M.R., Eklund, M.W., Sakaguchi, G

  20. Commentary: PhDs in biochemistry education-5 years later.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G; Momsen, Jennifer L; Osgood, Marcy

    2014-01-01

    In this commentary, the discussion of PhDs in biochemistry education research is expanded to explore a number of diverse pathways leading to a competitive research program in biochemistry education research. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  1. Television Medical Dramas as Case Studies in Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, Julie T.

    2009-01-01

    Several case studies from popular television medical dramas are described for use in an undergraduate biochemistry course. These cases, which illustrate fundamental principles of biochemistry, are used as the basis for problems that can be discussed further in small groups. Medical cases provide an interesting context for biochemistry with video…

  2. Injectable neurotoxins and fillers: there is no free lunch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Jason; Waldorf, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    Injection of neurotoxins and filling agents for the treatment of facial aesthetics has increased dramatically during the past few decades due to an increased interest in noninvasive aesthetic improvements. An aging but still youth-oriented population expects effective treatments with minimal recovery time and limited risk of complications. Injectable neurotoxins and soft tissue stimulators and fillers have filled this niche of "lunch-time" procedures. As demand for these procedures has increased, supply has followed with more noncore cosmetic specialty physicians, as well as unsupervised ancillary staff, becoming providers and advertising them as easy fixes. Despite an excellent record of safety and efficacy demonstrated in scores of published studies, injectable agents do carry risks of complications. These procedures require a physician with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and injection techniques to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. In general, adverse events are preventable and technique-dependent. Although most adverse events are minor and temporary, more serious complications can occur. The recognition, management, and treatment of poor outcomes are as important as obtaining the best aesthetic results. This review addresses important considerations regarding the complications of injectable neurotoxins and fillers used for "lunch-time" injectable procedures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Laser Raman spectroscopy of snake venom neurotoxins: conformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, A T; Jo, B H; Yu, N T

    1976-01-01

    Laser Raman spectra of neurotoxins of Pelamis platurus (yellow-bellied sea snake) and Laticauda semifasciata (broad-banded blue sea snake) were investigated. The amide I band appeared at 1672 cm-1 for both toxins, which presents an indication of anti-parallel beta structure. Since this agrees well with the result from the CD-ORD studies of snake neurotoxin, it was concluded that snake neurotoxins mainly consist of beta structure. The amide III band appeared at 1245 cm-1 for P. platurus toxin and 1248 cm-1 for L. semifasciata toxin. The four disulfide bonds present in the toxin have a very similar geometry. After vigorous heat treatment, the backbone configuration of the toxin molecule basically remained the same although it was partially denatured. The major peak at 512 cm-1 was not altered by the heat treatment but a new shoulder appeared at 546 cm-1. This suggests that a new type of S-S stretching vibration (trans-gauche-trans) was produced as a result of heat treatment. However, the majority of the S-S vibrations remained in the gauche-gauche-gauche orientation. A substantial change in the interactions between a tyrosine aromatic ring and neighboring residues was apparently the alteration caused by the heat treatment.

  4. A Novel Inhibitor Prevents the Peripheral Neuroparalysis of Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Leka, Oneda; Lista, Florigio; Fillo, Silvia; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C.; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare; Paradisi, Cristina; Mattarei, Andrea; Pirazzini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a large class of potent and deadly neurotoxins. Given their growing number, it is of paramount importance to discover novel inhibitors targeting common steps of their intoxication process. Recently, EGA was shown to inhibit the action of bacterial toxins and viruses exhibiting a pH-dependent translocation step in mammalian cells, by interfering with their entry route. As BoNTs act in the cytosol of nerve terminals, the entry into an appropriate compartment wherefrom they translocate the catalytic moiety is essential for toxicity. Herein we propose an optimized procedure to synthesize EGA and we show that, in vitro, it prevents the neurotoxicity of different BoNT serotypes by interfering with their trafficking. Furthermore, in mice, EGA mitigates botulism symptoms induced by BoNT/A and significantly decreases the lethality of BoNT/B and BoNT/D. This opens the possibility of using EGA as a lead compound to develop novel inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:26670952

  5. Substrate Binding Mode and Its Implication on Drug Design for Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kumaran, Desigan; Rawat, Richa; Ahmed, S. A; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE...

  6. Structural basis for recognition of synaptic vesicle protein 2C by botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Roger M.; Frey, Daniel; Hilbert, Manuel; Kevenaar, Josta T.; Wieser, Mara M.; Stirnimann, Christian U.; McMillan, David; Ceska, Tom; Lebon, Florence; Jaussi, Rolf; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Schertler, Gebhard F. X.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) belongs to the most dangerous class of bioweapons. Despite this, BoNT/A is used to treat a wide range of common medical conditions such as migraines and a variety of ocular motility and movement disorders. BoNT/A is probably best known for its use as an antiwrinkle agent in cosmetic applications (including Botox and Dysport). BoNT/A application causes long-lasting flaccid paralysis of muscles through inhibiting the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by cleaving synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) within presynaptic nerve terminals. Two types of BoNT/A receptor have been identified, both of which are required for BoNT/A toxicity and are therefore likely to cooperate with each other: gangliosides and members of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) family, which are putative transporter proteins that are predicted to have 12 transmembrane domains, associate with the receptor-binding domain of the toxin. Recently, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) has also been reported to be a potential BoNT/A receptor. In SV2 proteins, the BoNT/A-binding site has been mapped to the luminal domain, but the molecular details of the interaction between BoNT/A and SV2 are unknown. Here we determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the BoNT/A receptor-binding domain (BoNT/A-RBD) in complex with the SV2C luminal domain (SV2C-LD). SV2C-LD consists of a right-handed, quadrilateral β-helix that associates with BoNT/A-RBD mainly through backbone-to-backbone interactions at open β-strand edges, in a manner that resembles the inter-strand interactions in amyloid structures. Competition experiments identified a peptide that inhibits the formation of the complex. Our findings provide a strong platform for the development of novel antitoxin agents and for the rational design of BoNT/A variants with improved therapeutic properties.

  7. Degeneracy in the regulation of short-term plasticity and synaptic filtering by presynaptic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukunda, Chinmayee L; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2017-04-15

    We develop a new biophysically rooted, physiologically constrained conductance-based synaptic model to mechanistically account for short-term facilitation and depression, respectively through residual calcium and transmitter depletion kinetics. We address the specific question of how presynaptic components (including voltage-gated ion channels, pumps, buffers and release-handling mechanisms) and interactions among them define synaptic filtering and short-term plasticity profiles. Employing global sensitivity analyses (GSAs), we show that near-identical synaptic filters and short-term plasticity profiles could emerge from disparate presynaptic parametric combinations with weak pairwise correlations. Using virtual knockout models, a technique to address the question of channel-specific contributions within the GSA framework, we unveil the differential and variable impact of each ion channel on synaptic physiology. Our conclusions strengthen the argument that parametric and interactional complexity in biological systems should not be viewed from the limited curse-of-dimensionality standpoint, but from the evolutionarily advantageous perspective of providing functional robustness through degeneracy. Information processing in neurons is known to emerge as a gestalt of pre- and post-synaptic filtering. However, the impact of presynaptic mechanisms on synaptic filters has not been quantitatively assessed. Here, we developed a biophysically rooted, conductance-based model synapse that was endowed with six different voltage-gated ion channels, calcium pumps, calcium buffer and neurotransmitter-replenishment mechanisms in the presynaptic terminal. We tuned our model to match the short-term plasticity profile and band-pass structure of Schaffer collateral synapses, and performed sensitivity analyses to demonstrate that presynaptic voltage-gated ion channels regulated synaptic filters through changes in excitability and associated calcium influx. These sensitivity analyses

  8. Effects of intensive mariculture on sediment biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Mirto, Simone

    2007-01-01

    The exponential growth of off-shore mariculture that has occurred worldwide over the last 10 years has raised concern about the impact of the waste produced by this industry on the ecological integrity of the sea bottom. Investigations into this potential source of impact on the biochemistry...... of the sea floor have provided contrasting results, and no compelling explanations for these discrepancies have been provided to date. To quantify the impact of fish-farm activities on the biochemistry of sediments, we have investigated the quantity and biochemical composition of sediment organic matter...... with increasing distance from the fish-farm cages, but with different patterns in the four regions. Our results indicate that quantitative and qualitative changes in the organic loads of the sediments that arise from intensive aquaculture are dependent upon the ecological context and are not predictable only...

  9. Biochemistry and Physiology of Vitamins in Euglena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Fumio; Yoshimura, Kazuya; Shigeoka, Shigeru

    2017-01-01

    Euglena gracilis Z requires vitamins B1 and B12 for growth. It takes up and accumulates large amounts of these exogenous vitamins through energy-dependent active transport systems. Except for these essential vitamins, E. gracilis Z has the ability to synthesize all human vitamins. Euglena synthesizes high levels of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E, and, thus, are used as nutritional supplements for humans and domestic animals. Methods to effectively produce vitamins in Euglena have been investigated.Previous biochemical studies indicated that E. gracilis Z contains several vitamin-related novel synthetic enzymes and metabolic pathways which suggests that it is a highly suitable organism for elucidating the physiological functions of vitamins in comparative biochemistry and biological evolution. E. gracilis Z has an unusual biosynthetic pathway for vitamin C, a hybrid of the pathways found in animals and plants. This chapter presents up-to-date information on the biochemistry and physiological functions of vitamins in this organism.

  10. Deficits in the activity of presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type B receptors contribute to altered neuronal excitability in fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Ji-Yong; Chadchankar, Jayashree; Vien, Thuy N; Mighdoll, Michelle I; Hyde, Thomas M; Mather, Robert J; Deeb, Tarek Z; Pangalos, Menelas N; Brandon, Nicholas J; Dunlop, John; Moss, Stephen J

    2017-04-21

    The behavioral and anatomical deficits seen in fragile X syndrome (FXS) are widely believed to result from imbalances in the relative strengths of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Although modified neuronal excitability is thought to be of significance, the contribution that alterations in GABAergic inhibition play in the pathophysiology of FXS are ill defined. Slow sustained neuronal inhibition is mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABA B ) receptors, which are heterodimeric G-protein-coupled receptors constructed from R1a and R2 or R1b and R2 subunits. Via the activation of G i/o , they limit cAMP accumulation, diminish neurotransmitter release, and induce neuronal hyperpolarization. Here we reveal that selective deficits in R1a subunit expression are seen in Fmr1 knock-out mice (KO) mice, a widely used animal model of FXS, but the levels of the respective mRNAs were unaffected. Similar trends of R1a expression were seen in a subset of FXS patients. GABA B receptors (GABA B Rs) exert powerful pre- and postsynaptic inhibitory effects on neurotransmission. R1a-containing GABA B Rs are believed to mediate presynaptic inhibition in principal neurons. In accordance with this result, deficits in the ability of GABA B Rs to suppress glutamate release were seen in Fmr1-KO mice. In contrast, the ability of GABA B Rs to suppress GABA release and induce postsynaptic hyperpolarization was unaffected. Significantly, this deficit contributes to the pathophysiology of FXS as the GABA B R agonist ( R )-baclofen rescued the imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission evident in Fmr1-KO mice. Collectively, our results provided evidence that selective deficits in the activity of presynaptic GABA B Rs contribute to the pathophysiology of FXS. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. RIM determines Ca2+ channel density and vesicle docking at the presynaptic active zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yunyun; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Südhof, Thomas C.; Schneggenburger, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    At presynaptic active zones, neurotransmitter release is initiated by the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels close to docked vesicles. The mechanisms that enrich Ca2+ channels at active zones are, however, largely unknown, possibly because of the limited presynaptic accessibility of most synapses. Here, we have established a Cre-lox based conditional knock-out approach at a presynaptically accessible CNS synapse, the calyx of Held, to directly study the functions of RIM proteins. Removal of all RIM1/2 isoforms strongly reduced the presynaptic Ca2+ channel density, revealing a new role of RIM proteins in Ca2+ channel targeting. Removal of RIMs also reduced the readily-releasable pool, paralleled by a similar reduction of the number of docked vesicles, and the Ca2+ channel - vesicle coupling was decreased. Thus, RIM proteins co-ordinately regulate key functions for fast transmitter release: enabling a high presynaptic Ca2+ channel density, and vesicle docking at the active zone. PMID:21262468

  12. Role of the Wnt receptor Frizzled-1 in presynaptic differentiation and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvarez Alejandra R

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Wnt signaling pathway regulates several fundamental developmental processes and recently has been shown to be involved in different aspects of synaptic differentiation and plasticity. Some Wnt signaling components are localized at central synapses, and it is thus possible that this pathway could be activated at the synapse. Results We examined the distribution of the Wnt receptor Frizzled-1 in cultured hippocampal neurons and determined that this receptor is located at synaptic contacts co-localizing with presynaptic proteins. Frizzled-1 was found in functional synapses detected with FM1-43 staining and in synaptic terminals from adult rat brain. Interestingly, overexpression of Frizzled-1 increased the number of clusters of Bassoon, a component of the active zone, while treatment with the extracellular cysteine-rich domain (CRD of Frizzled-1 decreased Bassoon clustering, suggesting a role for this receptor in presynaptic differentiation. Consistent with this, treatment with the Frizzled-1 ligand Wnt-3a induced presynaptic protein clustering and increased functional presynaptic recycling sites, and these effects were prevented by co-treatment with the CRD of Frizzled-1. Moreover, in synaptically mature neurons Wnt-3a was able to modulate the kinetics of neurotransmitter release. Conclusion Our results indicate that the activation of the Wnt pathway through Frizzled-1 occurs at the presynaptic level, and suggest that the synaptic effects of the Wnt signaling pathway could be modulated by local activation through synaptic Frizzled receptors.

  13. [Scientific and practical activity of the Department of Muscle Biochemistry of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vynogradova, R P; Danilova, V M; Yurasova, S P

    2017-01-01

    The article focuses on scientific and practical activity of the Department of Muscle Biochemistry of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine in the context of its foundation and development. Main findings and practical achievements in the area of muscle biochemistry are summarized and discussed.

  14. Closing the gap: long-term presynaptic plasticity in brain function and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monday, Hannah R; Castillo, Pablo E

    2017-08-01

    Synaptic plasticity is critical for experience-dependent adjustments of brain function. While most research has focused on the mechanisms that underlie postsynaptic forms of plasticity, comparatively little is known about how neurotransmitter release is altered in a long-term manner. Emerging research suggests that many of the features of canonical 'postsynaptic' plasticity, such as associativity, structural changes and bidirectionality, also characterize long-term presynaptic plasticity. Recent studies demonstrate that presynaptic plasticity is a potent regulator of circuit output and function. Moreover, aberrant presynaptic plasticity is a convergent factor of synaptopathies like schizophrenia, addiction, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and may be a potential target for treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Phospho-dependent Accumulation of GABABRs at Presynaptic Terminals after NMDAR Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Saad; Gerrow, Kim; Triller, Antoine; Smart, Trevor G

    2016-08-16

    Here, we uncover a mechanism for regulating the number of active presynaptic GABAB receptors (GABABRs) at nerve terminals, an important determinant of neurotransmitter release. We find that GABABRs gain access to axon terminals by lateral diffusion in the membrane. Their relative accumulation is dependent upon agonist activation and the presence of the two distinct sushi domains that are found only in alternatively spliced GABABR1a subunits. Following brief activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) using glutamate, GABABR diffusion is reduced, causing accumulation at presynaptic terminals in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner that involves phosphorylation of GABABR2 subunits at Ser783. This signaling cascade indicates how synaptically released glutamate can initiate, via a feedback mechanism, increased levels of presynaptic GABABRs that limit further glutamate release and excitotoxicity. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Phospho-dependent Accumulation of GABABRs at Presynaptic Terminals after NMDAR Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saad Hannan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Here, we uncover a mechanism for regulating the number of active presynaptic GABAB receptors (GABABRs at nerve terminals, an important determinant of neurotransmitter release. We find that GABABRs gain access to axon terminals by lateral diffusion in the membrane. Their relative accumulation is dependent upon agonist activation and the presence of the two distinct sushi domains that are found only in alternatively spliced GABABR1a subunits. Following brief activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs using glutamate, GABABR diffusion is reduced, causing accumulation at presynaptic terminals in a Ca2+-dependent manner that involves phosphorylation of GABABR2 subunits at Ser783. This signaling cascade indicates how synaptically released glutamate can initiate, via a feedback mechanism, increased levels of presynaptic GABABRs that limit further glutamate release and excitotoxicity.

  17. Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits stem cell-derived neuron networks prior to network silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip H Beske

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are extremely potent toxins that specifically cleave SNARE proteins in peripheral synapses, preventing neurotransmitter release. Neuronal responses to BoNT intoxication are traditionally studied by quantifying SNARE protein cleavage in vitro or monitoring physiological paralysis in vivo. Consequently, the dynamic effects of intoxication on synaptic behaviors are not well understood. We have reported that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs are highly sensitive to BoNT based on molecular readouts of intoxication. Here we study the time-dependent changes in synapse- and network-level behaviors following addition of BoNT/A to spontaneously active networks of glutamatergic and GABAergic ESNs. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings indicated that BoNT/A rapidly blocked synaptic neurotransmission, confirming that ESNs replicate the functional pathophysiology responsible for clinical botulism. Quantitation of spontaneous neurotransmission in pharmacologically isolated synapses revealed accelerated silencing of GABAergic synapses compared to glutamatergic synapses, which was consistent with the selective accumulation of cleaved SNAP-25 at GAD1+ presynaptic terminals at early timepoints. Different latencies of intoxication resulted in complex network responses to BoNT/A addition, involving rapid disinhibition of stochastic firing followed by network silencing. Synaptic activity was found to be highly sensitive to SNAP-25 cleavage, reflecting the functional consequences of the localized cleavage of the small subpopulation of SNAP-25 that is engaged in neurotransmitter release in the nerve terminal. Collectively these findings illustrate that use of synaptic function assays in networked neurons cultures offers a novel and highly sensitive approach for mechanistic studies of toxin:neuron interactions and synaptic responses to BoNT.

  18. Expression of presynaptic markers in a neurodevelopmental animal model with relevance to schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anna S; Kaalund, Sanne Simone; Møller, Morten

    2013-01-01

    Administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) to rat pups at postnatal day (PND) 7, 9, and 11 [neonatal PCP (neoPCP) model] induces cognitive deficits similar to those observed in schizophrenia. Expression of presynaptic SNARE protein, synaptosomal......-associated protein of 25 kDa (Snap25), has been shown to be downregulated in postmortem brains from patients with schizophrenia. The present study was designed to investigate the long-term effects of neoPCP administration on expression of presynaptic markers altered in schizophrenia. Using radioactive in...

  19. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Kaplan, Barry B; van Minnen, Jan; Alvarez, Jaime; Koenig, Edward

    2002-08-01

    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal -- yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins. To dispel this lingering neglect, we now present the wealth of recent observations bearing on this central idea, and consider their impact on our understanding of the biology of the neuron. We demonstrate that extrasomatic translation sites, which are now well recognized in dendrites, are also present in axonal and presynaptic compartments.

  20. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs). The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presenc...

  1. Probiotic microorganisms inhibit epithelial cell internalization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) complex (holotoxin with neurotoxin-associated proteins) bind and transit through the intestinal...

  2. Coupling the Torpedo microplate-receptor binding assay with mass spectrometry to detect cyclic imine neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2012-12-04

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility.

  3. Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foodborne botulism is caused by the ingestion of foods containing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). Currently, the only accepted assay to detect active C. botulinum neurotoxin is an in vivo mouse bioassay, which raises ethical concerns with regard to the use of experimental animals. Therefore, there is...

  4. Writing throughout the biochemistry curriculum: Synergistic inquiry-based writing projects for biochemistry students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Pamela; Streu, Craig

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a synergistic two-semester writing sequence for biochemistry courses. In the first semester, students select a putative protein and are tasked with researching their protein largely through bioinformatics resources. In the second semester, students develop original ideas and present them in the form of a research grant proposal. Both projects involve multiple drafts and peer review. The complementarity of the projects increases student exposure to bioinformatics and literature resources, fosters higher-order thinking skills, and develops teamwork and communication skills. Student feedback and responses on perception surveys demonstrated that the students viewed both projects as favorable learning experiences. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  5. Pharmacological characterization of α-elapitoxin-Al2a from the venom of the Australian pygmy copperhead (Austrelaps labialis): an atypical long-chain α-neurotoxin with only weak affinity for α7 nicotinic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcon, Francesca; Leblanc, Mathieu; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M

    2012-09-15

    Despite the in vivo lethality of venom, neurotoxicity has not previously been considered a significant complication of envenoming by the Australian pygmy copperhead (Austrelaps labialis). However, recent evidence has emerged demonstrating that this venom contains potent presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxicity. The present study describes the isolation and pharmacological characterization of the first postsynaptic neurotoxin, α-EPTX-Al2a, from the venom of A. labialis. α-EPTX-Al2a (8072.77 Da) caused a concentration-dependent block of twitch contractions and a complete block of responses to cholinergic agonists in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. This action is consistent with postjunctional neurotoxicity. Monovalent tiger snake antivenom prevented the onset of neurotoxicity if applied prior to toxin administration, but was only able to partially reverse neurotoxicity once muscle paralysis had developed. α-EPTX-Al2a produced a potent pseudo-irreversible antagonism of chick muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), with an estimated pA(2) value of 7.902 (K(B) = 12.5 nM). Interestingly, the toxin only produced a modest block of neuronal α7 nAChRs, with an IC(50) of 1.2 μM, and failed to inhibit ganglionic α3β2/α3β4 nAChRs in a fluorescence-based FLIPR assay using SH-SY5Y cells. α-EPTX-Al2a contained 75 amino acid residues with five disulfide bonds that had significant homology to classical long-chain α-neurotoxins. While α-EPTX-Al2a retains most pharmacophore residues critical for binding to muscle-type (α1)(2)βγδ nAChRs it lacks the key Ala(28) and Arg(36) residues important for α7 nAChR affinity. Given that A. labialis venom contains both irreversible presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins, clinicians need to be aware of potential neurotoxic complications associated with pygmy copperhead envenomation. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I and Group II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Andrew T; Peck, Michael W

    2015-05-01

    Recent developments in whole genome sequencing have made a substantial contribution to understanding the genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I (proteolytic C. botulinum) and C. botulinum Group II (non-proteolytic C. botulinum). Two different approaches are used to study genomics in these bacteria; comparative whole genome microarrays and direct comparison of complete genome DNA sequences. The properties of the different types of neurotoxin formed, and different neurotoxin gene clusters found in C. botulinum Groups I and II are explored. Specific examples of botulinum neurotoxin genes are chosen for an in-depth discussion of neurotoxin gene evolution. The most recent cases of foodborne botulism are summarised. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.. All rights reserved.

  7. BIOCHEMISTRY TEACHING WITH VIRTUAL DYNAMIC METABOLIC DIAGRAMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. B. Lazzarotto

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a game like educational software (courseware to study metabolic pathways, calledDiagrama Metabolico Din^amico Virtual (DMDV of Krebs Cycle. The experience acquired teachingwith the logical sequence tray games in the FFFCMPAs Biochemistry Course provides the beddingswith the use of this model as education method. With DMDV, students can assembly the sequenceof reactions that describe the desired metabolic pathway, create situational models which can guidehis/her choices, reduce the subject complexity of the scheme in knowledge construction presentingin a graphical way the current interrelations. Biochemistry teachers can use the present software inclassroom as well as distance classes. This product integrates multimedia resources extensively andis distributed in CD-ROM format. The virtual environment will make possible interaction of thestudent with the environment and with colleagues and teachers, through tools as chats and forum.Experience with the use of this method was carried through with two distinct groups of students.The rst group was composed by 11 students, who were more familiar with the content and answereda specic questionnaire to previously evaluate the software. The second group was formed by 24students regularly registered in the FFFCMPAs Biochemistry Course, who used the software as astudy method. The rst group considered DMDV of easy and pleasant navigation. The knowledgeevaluation of the second group students was made by a written test and the analysis of three conceptualmaps constructed by each one of them: one map before initiating the study with the DMDV, thesecond just after the study and the third one two months later. Every conceptual maps producedafter DMDV method showed an expansion of valid concepts if compared with the rst maps. Simplevisual comparison of maps shows that new elements where added. All students who passed throughthe experiment reached a greater than ve grade in the subjects written

  8. Molecular Structures and Functional Relationships in Clostridial Neurotoxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swaminathan S.

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here.

  9. BIOCHEMISTRY OF SOME PERSPECTIVE TABLE GRAPES

    OpenAIRE

    Burlakov M. M.; Rodionova L. Y.; Troshin L. P.; Chausov V. M.

    2015-01-01

    The article contains results of the study of biochemistry of some perspective table grape varieties: Aniuta, Vodograi, Nizina and Jubilee Novocherkasska, yield in 2013 from the Central zone of Krasnodar region. At the time of redy yield the combination of sweetness and acidity of fruits were favorable. The ratio of fructose to glucose was 1.69; 1.36; 2.00; 1.13, respectively, in grapes Aniuta, Vodograi, Nisina, Jubilee Novocherkasska. According to the percentage of fructose in fruit juice var...

  10. Radioactive isotopes in biochemistry (historical essay)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanko, M.A.; Shamin, A.N.

    1988-01-01

    A large volume of facts, including little-known biobibliographic data on the the first reserchers who applied the method, are used in the study. The main attention is paid to the use of the method of labelled atoms, when considering intermediate exchange of substances and creating metabolic ways maps (the end of 30-ies - beginning of 50-ies). Using as an example the history of creation of the labelled atom method and its introduction into biochemistry, the problem of the research methods transfer from one branch of science to another is considered

  11. Regioselective synthesis of deuterated analogs of the neurotoxin MPTP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mabic, Stephane; Castagnoli, N. Jr.

    1996-01-01

    1-Methyl-4-phenyl-2-pyridone has been used as starting material for the efficient and regioselective synthesis of deuterated analogues of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MPTP-2,2-d 2 MPTP-6,6-d 2 and MPTP-2,2,6,6-d 4 were obtained in good yield through a combination of alkaline deuterium exchange and selective LiAlH 4 and LiAlD 4 reduction reactions. (author)

  12. Writing throughout the Biochemistry Curriculum: Synergistic Inquiry-Based Writing Projects for Biochemistry Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Pamela; Streu, Craig

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a synergistic two-semester writing sequence for biochemistry courses. In the first semester, students select a putative protein and are tasked with researching their protein largely through bioinformatics resources. In the second semester, students develop original ideas and present them in the form of a research grant…

  13. Concept mapping enhances learning of biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surapaneni, Krishna M; Tekian, Ara

    2013-03-05

    Teaching basic science courses is challenging in undergraduate medical education because of the ubiquitous use of didactic lectures and reward for recall of factual information during examinations. The purpose of this study is to introduce concept maps with clinical cases (the innovative program) to improve learning of biochemistry course content. Participants were first year medical students (n=150) from Saveetha Medical College and Hospital (India); they were randomly divided into two groups of 75, one group attending the traditional program, the other the innovative program. Student performance was measured using three written knowledge tests (each with a maximum score of 20). The students also evaluated the relevance of the learning process using a 12-item questionnaire. Students in the innovative program using concept mapping outperformed those in the traditional didactic program (means of 7.13-8.28 vs. 12.33-13.93, pbiochemistry to clinical practice, and to enhance their reasoning and learning skills, as well as their deeper understanding for biochemistry.

  14. Identification of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a protein receptor for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitte P S Jacky

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A causes transient muscle paralysis by entering motor nerve terminals (MNTs where it cleaves the SNARE protein Synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP25206 to yield SNAP25197. Cleavage of SNAP25 results in blockage of synaptic vesicle fusion and inhibition of the release of acetylcholine. The specific uptake of BoNT/A into pre-synaptic nerve terminals is a tightly controlled multistep process, involving a combination of high and low affinity receptors. Interestingly, the C-terminal binding domain region of BoNT/A, HC/A, is homologous to fibroblast growth factors (FGFs, making it a possible ligand for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs. Here we present data supporting the identification of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a high affinity receptor for BoNT/A in neuronal cells. HC/A binds with high affinity to the two extra-cellular loops of FGFR3 and acts similar to an agonist ligand for FGFR3, resulting in phosphorylation of the receptor. Native ligands for FGFR3; FGF1, FGF2, and FGF9 compete for binding to FGFR3 and block BoNT/A cellular uptake. These findings show that FGFR3 plays a pivotal role in the specific uptake of BoNT/A across the cell membrane being part of a larger receptor complex involving ganglioside- and protein-protein interactions.

  15. Calcium Assists Dopamine Release by Preventing Aggregation on the Inner Leaflet of Presynaptic Vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mokkila, Sini; Postila, Pekka A.; Rissanen, Sami

    2017-01-01

    . The inner leaflets of presynaptic vesicles, which are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft, are mainly composed of neutral lipids such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. The neutrality of the lipid head group region, enhanced by a low pH level, should limit...

  16. Presynaptic mechanisms of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia: the findings, the debate, the therapeutic implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Angela eCenci

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The dopamine precursor L-DOPA has been the most effective treatment for Parkinson´s disease (PD for over 40 years. However, the response to this treatment changes during the progression of PD, and most patients develop dyskinesias (abnormal involuntary movements and motor fluctuations within a few years of L-DOPA therapy. There is wide consensus that these motor complications depend on both pre- and post-synaptic disturbances of nigrostriatal dopamine transmission. Several presynaptic mechanisms converge to generate large dopamine swings in the brain concomitant with the peaks-and-troughs of plasma L-DOPA levels, while post-synaptic changes engender abnormal functional responses in dopaminoceptive neurons. While this general picture is well-accepted, the relative contribution of different factors remains a matter of debate. A particularly animated debate has been growing around putative players on the presynaptic side of the cascade. To what extent do presynaptic disturbances in dopamine transmission depend on deficiency/dysfunction of the dopamine transporter, aberrant release of dopamine from serotonin neurons, or gliovascular mechanisms? And does noradrenaline (which is synthetized from dopamine play a role? This review article will summarize key findings, controversies, and pending questions regarding the presynaptic mechanisms of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Intriguingly, the debate around these mechanisms has spurred research into previously unexplored facets of brain plasticity that have far-reaching implications to the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.

  17. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giuditta, A.; Kaplan, B.B.; van Minnen, J.; Alvarez, J.; Koenig, E.

    2002-01-01

    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal - yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins.

  18. Presynaptic Glycine Receptors Increase GABAergic Neurotransmission in Rat Periaqueductal Gray Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwi-Hyung Choi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The periaqueductal gray (PAG is involved in the central regulation of nociceptive transmission by affecting the descending inhibitory pathway. In the present study, we have addressed the functional role of presynaptic glycine receptors in spontaneous glutamatergic transmission. Spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs were recorded in mechanically dissociated rat PAG neurons using a conventional whole-cell patch recording technique under voltage-clamp conditions. The application of glycine (100 µM significantly increased the frequency of sEPSCs, without affecting the amplitude of sEPSCs. The glycine-induced increase in sEPSC frequency was blocked by 1 µM strychnine, a specific glycine receptor antagonist. The results suggest that glycine acts on presynaptic glycine receptors to increase the probability of glutamate release from excitatory nerve terminals. The glycine-induced increase in sEPSC frequency completely disappeared either in the presence of tetrodotoxin or Cd2+, voltage-gated Na+, or Ca2+ channel blockers, suggesting that the activation of presynaptic glycine receptors might depolarize excitatory nerve terminals. The present results suggest that presynaptic glycine receptors can regulate the excitability of PAG neurons by enhancing glutamatergic transmission and therefore play an important role in the regulation of various physiological functions mediated by the PAG.

  19. Neto Auxiliary Subunits Regulate Interneuron Somatodendritic and Presynaptic Kainate Receptors to Control Network Inhibition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan S. Wyeth

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Although Netos are considered auxiliary subunits critical for kainate receptor (KAR function, direct evidence for their regulation of native KARs is limited. Because Neto KAR regulation is GluK subunit/Neto isoform specific, such regulation must be determined in cell-type-specific contexts. We demonstrate Neto1/2 expression in somatostatin (SOM-, cholecystokinin/cannabinoid receptor 1 (CCK/CB1-, and parvalbumin (PV-containing interneurons. KAR-mediated excitation of these interneurons is contingent upon Neto1 because kainate yields comparable effects in Neto2 knockouts and wild-types but fails to excite interneurons or recruit inhibition in Neto1 knockouts. In contrast, presynaptic KARs in CCK/CB1 interneurons are dually regulated by both Neto1 and Neto2. Neto association promotes tonic presynaptic KAR activation, dampening CCK/CB1 interneuron output, and loss of this brake in Neto mutants profoundly increases CCK/CB1 interneuron-mediated inhibition. Our results confirm that Neto1 regulates endogenous somatodendritic KARs in diverse interneurons and demonstrate Neto regulation of presynaptic KARs in mature inhibitory presynaptic terminals.

  20. Bioquim4x: an educational game to review biochemistry concepts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Farkuh

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry is usually characterized by students as a difficult subject. Therefore, several educational approaches have been developed in order to overcome students difficulties. Among these methodologies are the educational games that allow a balance between playing and the improvement of learning and students interest. The game Bioquim4x is an alternative proposal for teaching Biochemistry. The objectives of this game are to review concepts transmitted in classroom, to stimulate various skills of students, such as their creativity, and to correlate Biochemistry with daily events. The game was tested with Biochemistry students and the results highlighted its potential as an educational and ludic activity available for students and teachers.

  1. Labile neurotoxin in serum of calves with "nervous" coccidiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isler, C M; Bellamy, J E; Wobeser, G A

    1987-01-01

    Mouse inoculation was used to test for the presence of a toxin in the serum, cerebrospinal fluid, and intestinal contents collected from cases of bovine enteric coccidiosis, with and without neurological signs, and from control calves. Intravenous inoculation of mice with 10 mL/kg of serum from calves showing nervous signs caused effects significantly different from those caused by the inoculation of serum from calves not showing nervous signs and from control calves. The effect was particularly evident in female mice. At this dosage severe neurological signs such as loss of righting reflex, seizures and death occurred only with serum from calves with "nervous coccidiosis". The results suggest that serum from the calves with neurological signs contains a neurotoxin. This toxin appears to be highly labile. It was not present in the cerebrospinal fluid at levels comparable to those in the serum. The significance of this labile neurotoxin with respect to the pathogenesis of the neurological signs associated with bovine enteric coccidiosis is unknown. PMID:2955865

  2. Dolichospermum and Aphanizomenon as neurotoxins producers in some Russian freshwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernova, Ekaterina; Sidelev, Sergey; Russkikh, Iana; Voyakina, Ekaterina; Babanazarova, Olga; Romanov, Roman; Kotovshchikov, Anton; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna

    2017-05-01

    Last decades, cyanobacterial blooms have been commonly reported in Russia. Among the boom-forming species, potential toxin producers have been identified. The aim of this paper was to study the presence of neurotoxic compounds - saxitoxins and anatoxin-a - in water bodies from different regions of Russia. We also made attempts to identify the neurotoxin-producing genera. The good convergence of the results obtained by light microscopy, PCR and LC-MS/MS analyses indicated the presence of active neurotoxin producing species in all investigated water bodies. Saxitoxin was detected in phytoplankton from 4 water bodies in Central European Russia and West Siberia, including lake and reservoirs used as a source for potable water. The water bodies differed with the respect of saxitoxin producers which belonged to Aphanizomenon and/or Dolichospermum genera. For the first time, we obtained quantitative data on the intracellular saxitoxin concentration in Russian freshwaters using LC-MS/MS. Anatoxin-a was detected only in lakes of Northwestern Russia. In the eutrophic shallow Lower Suzdal Lake, Aphanizomenon was the stated anatoxin-a-producing genus. In the large shallow artificial hypertrophic Sestroretskij Razliv Lake, it was very likely that both dominant species - Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Dolichospermum planctonicum - were anatoxin-a producers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Intersession reliability of Hoffmann reflex gain and presynaptic inhibition in the human soleus muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Bradley T; Hicks-Little, Charlie A; Harter, Rod A; Widrick, Jeffrey J; Hoffman, Mark A

    2009-12-01

    Hayes BT, Hicks-Little CA, Harter RA, Widrick JJ, Hoffman MA. Intersession reliability of Hoffmann reflex gain and presynaptic inhibition in the human soleus muscle. To determine the day-to-day reliability of Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) gain and presynaptic inhibition of spinal reflexes in the human soleus muscle. Controlled trial. Research laboratory. Volunteers (N=30; mean +/- SD age, 23.4+/-3.9y; height, 175.64+/-10.87cm; mass, 84.50+/-24.18kg) with no history of lower extremity pathology and/or injury participated. Subjects lay prone with the head, shoulders, arms, and hips supported in a static position by a massage body pillow and the ankle positioned at 90 degrees . Recording electrodes were placed over the soleus and tibialis anterior muscle bellies, and the stimulating electrodes were positioned over the tibial nerve in the popliteal space and the common peroneal nerve near the fibular head. The H-reflex and motor wave recruitment curves were then measured and recorded. Presynaptic inhibition was also assessed in the soleus muscle, and a conditioning stimulation of the common peroneal nerve (1 x motor threshold = motor threshold) was used prior to soleus H-reflex measurement. Two testing sessions took place between 2 and 7 days, and each session occurred at the same time of day. Assessments of H-reflex gain and presynaptic inhibition yielded test-retest reliability of R equal to . 95 and .91, respectively. Measures of presynaptic inhibition and H-reflex gain (H slope/M slope) in the human soleus muscle are consistent and reliable day to day.

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin type A in the masseter muscle: effects on incisor eruption in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Alfonso L; Rafferty, Katherine L; Liu, Zi Jun; Ye, Wenmin; Greenlee, Geoffrey M; Herring, Susan W

    2013-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for the paralytic food poisoning, botulism. Commercial formulations such as botulinum neurotoxin type A are increasingly used for various conditions, including cosmetic recontouring of the lower face by injection of the large masseter muscles. The paralysis of a major muscle of mastication lowers occlusal force and thus might affect tooth eruption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of unilateral masseter muscle injection of botulinum neurotoxin type A on the rate of eruption of incisors in a rabbit model. We hypothesized that the teeth would overerupt in an underloaded environment. Forty rabbits were injected with either botulinum neurotoxin type A or saline solution in 1 masseter muscle. Mastication and muscle force production were monitored, and incisor eruption rate was assessed by caliper measurement of grooved teeth. The injection of saline solution had no effect. The masseter muscle injected with botulinum neurotoxin type A showed a dramatic loss of force 3 weeks after injection despite apparently normal mastication. Incisor eruption rate was significantly decreased for the botulinum neurotoxin type A group, an effect attributed to decreased attrition. This study has implications for orthodontics. Although findings from ever-growing rabbit incisors cannot be extrapolated to human teeth, it is clear that botulinum neurotoxin type A caused a decrease in bite force that could influence dental eruption. Copyright © 2013 American Association of Orthodontists. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The presynaptic microtubule cytoskeleton in physiological and pathological conditions: lessons from Fragile X Syndrome and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Bodaleo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The capacity of the nervous system to generate neuronal networks relies on the establishment and maintenance of synaptic contacts. Synapses are composed of functionally different presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. An appropriate synaptic architecture is required to provide the structural basis that supports synaptic transmission, a process involving changes in cytoskeletal dynamics. Actin microfilaments are the main cytoskeletal components present at both presynaptic and postsynaptic terminals in glutamatergic synapses. However, in the last few years it has been demonstrated that microtubules (MTs transiently invade dendritic spines, promoting their maturation. Nevertheless, the presence and functions of MTs at the presynaptic site are still a matter of debate. Early electron microscopy (EM studies revealed that MTs are present in the presynaptic terminals of the central nervous system (CNS where they interact with synaptic vesicles (SVs and reach the active zone. These observations have been reproduced by several EM protocols; however, there is empirical heterogeneity in detecting presynaptic MTs, since they appear to be both labile and unstable. Moreover, increasing evidence derived from studies in the fruit fly neuromuscular junction proposes different roles for MTs in regulating presynaptic function in physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we summarize the main findings that support the presence and roles of MTs at presynaptic terminals, integrating descriptive and biochemical analyses, and studies performed in invertebrate genetic models.

  6. A model for short alpha-neurotoxin bound to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordvintsev, Dmitry Y; Polyak, Yakov L; Kuzmine, Dmitry A; Levtsova, Olga V; Tourleigh, Yegor V; Kasheverov, Igor E

    2006-01-01

    Short- and long-chain alpha-neurotoxins from snake venoms are potent blockers of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Short alpha-neurotoxins consist of 60-62 amino acid residues and include 4 disulfide bridges, whereas long alpha-neurotoxins have 66-75 residues and 5 disulfides. The spatial structure of these toxins is built by three loops, I-III "fingers," confined by four disulfide bridges; the fifth disulfide of long-chain alpha-neurotoxins is situated close to the tip of central loop II. An accurate knowledge of the mode of alpha-neurotoxin-nAChR interaction is important for rational design of new nAChR agonists and antagonists for medical purposes. Ideas on the topography of toxin-nAChR complexes were based until recently on nAChR interactions with selectively labeled alpha-neurotoxins, mutations in toxins, nAChR, or both. Recently, crystal structures have been solved for the Torpedo marmorata nAChR (4A[Unwin, 2005]) and for the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) complexed with mollusk alpha-conotoxin (2.4 A[Celie et al., 2005]) or alpha-cobratoxin, long-chain alpha-neurotoxin (4 A [Bourne et al., 2005]). However, there were no angstrom-resolution models for complexes of short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Here, we report the model of the Torpedo californica nAChR extracellular domain complexed to a short-chain alpha-neurotoxin II (NTII) from Naja oxiana cobra venom.

  7. Restriction Enzymes in Microbiology, Biotechnology and Biochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey G. Wilson

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery in the nineteen-seventies, a collection of simple enzymes termed Type II restriction endonucleases, made by microbes to ward off viral infections, have transformed molecular biology, spawned the multi-billion dollar Biotechnology industry, and yielded fundamental insights into the biochemistry of life, health and disease. In this article we describe how these enzymes were discovered, and we review their properties, organizations and genetics. We summarize current ideas about the mechanism underlying their remarkable ability to recognize and bind to specific base pair sequences in DNA, and we discuss why these ideas might not be correct. We conclude by proposing an alternative explanation for sequence-recognition that resolves certain inconsistencies and provides, in our view, a more satisfactory account of the mechanism.

  8. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, J.K.M.; Jardetzky, O.

    1985-01-01

    This chapter aims to provide an orienting overview of the main directions in which the field of biological application of NMR has developed, the kinds of biochemical or biological questions which can be studied by NMR, and the major specific NMR techniques useful for this purpose. This discussion is preceded by a brief exposition of the elementary concepts of NMR and supplemented by references to the literature that treats each topic in greater depth. Applications of NMR of interest in biochemistry are treated in three major categories: (1) determination of the structure of biologically active compounds - especially new natural products; (2) studies of biochemical reactions, or processes, especially in vivo; and (3) studies of macromolecular structure and dynamics. 122 refs.; 35 figs.; 3 tabs

  9. Dyslipidemias as generating issue in Biochemistry classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Lima

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The traditional didactic model is based on the transmission of the teacher's encyclopedic knowledge. In this model, the teaching of Science aims at the transmission of dominant values, regarded as absolute truths. The teacher is seen is an expert on scientific contents who transmits them to students without motivating them, and without taking into consideration their previous ideas and life experience. This model contributes to the formation of professionals who accept those values uncritically. An effective approach to break up this traditional teaching model in Biochemistry is the use of a generating issue. A Generating Issue is the starting point to the knowledge construction process which, in turn, replaces traditional models. Thus, this study aimed at developing a lesson for a 12th grade class at IF Fluminense on the following content: alcohol, carboxylic acid, ester, and esterification reaction, using dyslipidemias as the Generating Issue. To verify the value of such methodology in Biochemistry classroom, data was collected by applying a questionnaire and images with texts produced by students. In addition, they had a class based on the methodology known as Three Pedagogical Moments, proposed by Delizoicov et al. (2007. Several didactic resources designed by the authors were used, such as slide presentation, tridimensional molecular models, and a roulette game named “Bioquimicados”, based on the Facebook game “Perguntados” ("Trivia Crack". After this, students developed more grounded scientific concepts, making use of terms common in scientific language. This suggests that the use of the Generating Issue in a lesson based on problematization, and supported by a ludic activity, provided a meaningful contribution to improve the students' understanding of the scientific content. This type of non-traditional class promotes greater student motivation, resulting in meaningful learning.

  10. Biochemistry for Nutrition/Dietetics Students: Course Content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirota, Lorraine Handler

    1984-01-01

    Surveyed dietetics directors (N=186) and biochemistry instructors (N=153) on topics emphasized in biochemistry courses for dietetics and nutrition students. Results indicate a consistent pattern of variation in topics emphasized and that this variation is influenced by whether students in other major fields are also in a course. (JN)

  11. Lactation performance and serum biochemistry of dairy cows fed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2011-09-05

    Sep 5, 2011 ... ISSN 1684–5315 © 2011 Academic Journals. Full Length ... This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of supplemental chromium on performance and blood serum biochemistry of dairy ... Serum biochemistry concentrations (serum glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, total protein, and cortisol and insulin ...

  12. Using Pamphlets to Teach Biochemistry: A Service-Learning Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Melinda A.; Dunbar, David; Lopatto, David

    2013-01-01

    A service-learning project appropriate for a biochemistry or advanced biochemistry course was designed and implemented. The project involved students partnering with a homeless shelter to design informational pamphlets to be displayed at the shelter for the clients' use. The pamphlet topics were based on diseases studied within the course.…

  13. Commentary: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Educators Launch National Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Cheryl; Bell, Ellis; Johnson, Margaret; Mattos, Carla; Sears, Duane; White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    The American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has launched an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 5 year project to support biochemistry and molecular biology educators learning what and how students learn. As a part of this initiative, hundreds of life scientists will plan and develop a rich central resource for…

  14. Blended Learning in Biochemistry Education: Analysis of Medical Students' Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardenski, Rosilaine de Fatima; de Espindola, Marina Bazzo; Struchiner, Miriam; Giannella, Tais Rabetti

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze first-year UFRJ medical students' perceptions about the implementation of a blended learning (BL) experience in their Biochemistry I course. During the first semester of 2009, three Biochemistry professors used the Constructore course management system to develop virtual learning environments (VLEs) for…

  15. Serum biochemistry profile of Nigerian horses ( Equus Caballus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study evaluated the serum biochemistry profile of apparently healthy Nigerian horses and determined the influence of age, sex and season on the serum biochemistry parameters. A total of 61 apparently healthy horses of varied ages and either sex were studied during a six-month period [three months of dry season ...

  16. Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy: Enhancing a Traditional Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Russell L.; Seal, Erin L.; Lorts, Aimee R.; Stewart, Amanda L.

    2017-01-01

    The undergraduate biochemistry laboratory curriculum is designed to provide students with experience in protein isolation and purification protocols as well as various data analysis techniques, which enhance the biochemistry lecture course and give students a broad range of tools upon which to build in graduate level laboratories or once they…

  17. A 13-Week Research-Based Biochemistry Laboratory Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefurgy, Scott T.; Mundorff, Emily C.

    2017-01-01

    Here, we present a 13-week research-based biochemistry laboratory curriculum designed to provide the students with the experience of engaging in original research while introducing foundational biochemistry laboratory techniques. The laboratory experience has been developed around the directed evolution of an enzyme chosen by the instructor, with…

  18. A National Comparison of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Capstone Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the "American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end,…

  19. Universal and specific quantitative detection of botulinum neurotoxin genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnon Stephen S

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clostridium botulinum, an obligate anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, produces seven antigenic variants of botulinum toxin that are distinguished serologically and termed "serotypes". Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions resulting in flaccid paralysis. The potential lethality of the disease warrants a fast and accurate means of diagnosing suspected instances of food contamination or human intoxication. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA-accepted assay to detect and type botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs is the mouse protection bioassay. While specific and sensitive, this assay requires the use of laboratory animals, may take up to four days to achieve a diagnosis, and is unsuitable for high-throughput analysis. We report here a two-step PCR assay that identifies all toxin types, that achieves the specificity of the mouse bioassay while surpassing it in equivalent sensitivity, that has capability for high-throughput analysis, and that provides quantitative results within hours. The first step of our assay consists of a conventional PCR that detects the presence of C. botulinum regardless of the neurotoxin type. The second step uses quantitative PCR (qPCR technology to determine the specific serotype of the neurotoxin. Results We assayed purified C. botulinum DNA and crude toxin preparations, as well as food and stool from healthy individuals spiked with purified BoNT DNA, and one stool sample from a case of infant botulism for the presence of the NTNH gene, which is part of the BoNT gene cluster, and for the presence of serotype-specific BoNT genes. The PCR surpassed the mouse bioassay both in specificity and sensitivity, detecting positive signals in BoNT preparations containing well below the 1 LD50 required for detection via the mouse bioassay. These results were type-specific and we were reliably able to quantify as few as 10 genomic copies. Conclusions While other studies

  20. Structural Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type G Receptor Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitt, John; Karalewitz, Andrew; Benefield, Desire A.; Mushrush, Darren J.; Pruitt, Rory N.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Lacy, D. Borden (Vanderbilt); (MCW)

    2010-10-19

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds peripheral neurons at the neuromuscular junction through a dual-receptor mechanism that includes interactions with ganglioside and protein receptors. The receptor identities vary depending on BoNT serotype (A-G). BoNT/B and BoNT/G bind the luminal domains of synaptotagmin I and II, homologous synaptic vesicle proteins. We observe conditions under which BoNT/B binds both Syt isoforms, but BoNT/G binds only SytI. Both serotypes bind ganglioside G{sub T1b}. The BoNT/G receptor-binding domain crystal structure provides a context for examining these binding interactions and a platform for understanding the physiological relevance of different Syt receptor isoforms in vivo.

  1. Peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin by mRNA display

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yiadom, Kwabena P.A.B.; Muhie, Seid; Yang, David C.H.

    2005-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely toxic. The metalloproteases associated with the toxins cleave proteins essential for neurotransmitter secretion. Inhibitors of the metalloprotease are currently sought to control the toxicity of BoNTs. Toward that goal, we produced a synthetic cDNA for the expression and purification of the metalloprotease of BoNT/A in Escherichia coli as a biotin-ubiquitin fusion protein, and constructed a combinatorial peptide library to screen for BoNT/A light chain inhibitors using mRNA display. A protease assay was developed using immobilized intact SNAP-25 as the substrate. The new peptide inhibitors showed a 10-fold increase in affinity to BoNT/A light chain than the parent peptide. Interestingly, the sequences of the new peptide inhibitors showed abundant hydrophobic residues but few hydrophilic residues. The results suggest that mRNA display may provide a general approach in developing peptide inhibitors of BoNTs

  2. Botulinum Neurotoxin Is Shielded by NTNHA in an Interlocked Complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gu, Shenyan; Rumpel, Sophie; Zhou, Jie; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Bigalke, Hans; Perry, Kay; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng (Cornell); (Tufts); (Hannover-MED); (Sanford-Burnham)

    2012-03-28

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstroms. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.

  3. Regulation of Myocyte Enhancer Factor-2 Transcription Factors by Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Hua; Mao, Zixu

    2011-01-01

    Various isoforms of myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF2) constitute a group of nuclear proteins found to play important roles in increasing types of cells. In neurons, MEF2s are required to regulate neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, as well as survival. MEF2s promote the survival of several types of neurons under different conditions. In cellular models, negative regulation of MEF2s by stress and toxic signals contributes to neuronal death. In contrast, enhancing MEF2 activity not only protects cultured primary neurons from death in vitro but also attenuates the loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta in a 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. In this work, the mechanisms of regulation of MEF2 function by several well-known neurotoxins and their implications in various neurodegenerative diseases are reviewed. PMID:21741404

  4. Molecular Methods for Identification of Clostridium tetani by Targeting Neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagoba, Basavraj; Dharne, Mahesh; Gohil, Kushal N

    2017-01-01

    Tetanus is a potentially fatal muscle spasm disease. It is an important public health problem, especially in rural/tribal areas of developing countries. Tetanus toxin, a neurotoxin (tetanospasmin ), is the most important virulence factor that plays a key role in the pathogenicity of tetanus . Confirmation of virulence by confirming the production of tetanospasmin by infecting species forms the most important part in the diagnosis of tetanus . Various molecular methods have been devised for confirmation of diagnosis by targeting different genes. The most common molecular methods are tetanospasmin producing (TetX) gene-targeted methods using TetX-specific primers. Here, we describe various molecular methods targeting TetX gene such as polymerase chain reaction, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, Southern blotting, loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay, etc. to confirm the virulence of Cl. tetani.

  5. Quinolinic Acid: An Endogenous Neurotoxin with Multiple Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Lugo-Huitrón

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Quinolinic acid (QUIN, a neuroactive metabolite of the kynurenine pathway, is normally presented in nanomolar concentrations in human brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and is often implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of human neurological diseases. QUIN is an agonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor, and it has a high in vivo potency as an excitotoxin. In fact, although QUIN has an uptake system, its neuronal degradation enzyme is rapidly saturated, and the rest of extracellular QUIN can continue stimulating the NMDA receptor. However, its toxicity cannot be fully explained by its activation of NMDA receptors it is likely that additional mechanisms may also be involved. In this review we describe some of the most relevant targets of QUIN neurotoxicity which involves presynaptic receptors, energetic dysfunction, oxidative stress, transcription factors, cytoskeletal disruption, behavior alterations, and cell death.

  6. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin Producing Clostridial Strains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svennson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2006-07-06

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore forming rod-shaped bacteria which have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and even death in humans and various other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains were examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A-G). Analysis of the16S rRNA sequences confirmed earlier reports of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (Groups I-IV) each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT serotypes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution, and can be used to further subdivide the four groups into sub-groups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from serotypes A, B and E in multiple strains confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes, and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven serotypes of BoNT were compared and show varying degrees of interrelatedness and recombination as has been previously noted for the NTNH gene which is linked to BoNT. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for treatment of botulism.

  7. Structural Studies on Intact Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxins Complexed with Inhibitors Leading to Drug Design

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2006-01-01

    .... Accordingly it must be possible to design a common drug for all of them. We have determined the structure of the C fragment of botulinum neurotoxin type B and found that the N-terminal helix reorients...

  8. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress as a Mediator of Neurotoxin-Induced Dopamine Neuron Death

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Burke, Robert E

    2006-01-01

    .... We have demonstrated that CHOP is universally expressed in neurotoxin models of parkinsonism. Assessment of the functional significance of CHOP expression by study of CHOP null mice has shown that in the adult 6OHDA model there is diminished apoptosis...

  9. DYSFUNCTIONAL PRESYNAPTIC ALPHA-2-ADRENOCEPTORS EXPOSE FACILITATORY BETA-2-ADRENOCEPTORS IN THE VASCULATURE OF SPONTANEOUSLY HYPERTENSIVE RATS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    REMIE, R; VANROSSUM, JXM; COPPES, RP; ZAAGSMA, J

    1992-01-01

    Previous studies on spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have yielded inconsistent information about functional aberrations of the presynaptic alpha(2)- and beta(2)-adrenoceptor-mediated modulation of sympathetic neurotransmitter release. In the present investigation we studied the capacity of

  10. Presynaptic Ionotropic Receptors Controlling and Modulating the Rules for Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs B. Verhoog

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout life, activity-dependent changes in neuronal connection strength enable the brain to refine neural circuits and learn based on experience. In line with predictions made by Hebb, synapse strength can be modified depending on the millisecond timing of action potential firing (STDP. The sign of synaptic plasticity depends on the spike order of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, such as NMDA receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, are intimately involved in setting the rules for synaptic strengthening and weakening. In addition, timing rules for STDP within synapses are not fixed. They can be altered by activation of ionotropic receptors located at, or close to, synapses. Here, we will highlight studies that uncovered how network actions control and modulate timing rules for STDP by activating presynaptic ionotropic receptors. Furthermore, we will discuss how interaction between different types of ionotropic receptors may create “timing” windows during which particular timing rules lead to synaptic changes.

  11. Immobilization induces changes in presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in healthy humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2008-01-01

    Neural plasticity occurs throughout adult life in response to maturation, use and disuse. Recent studies have documented that H-reflex amplitudes increase following a period of immobilization. To elucidate the mechanisms contributing to the increase in H-reflex size following immobilization we...... immobilized the left foot and ankle joint for 2 weeks in 12 able-bodied subjects. Disynaptic reciprocal inhibition of soleus (SOL) motoneurones and presynaptic control of SOL group Ia afferents was measured before and after the immobilization as well as following 2 weeks of recovery. Following immobilization...... inhibition of SOL Ia afferents and taken together suggest that GABAergic presynaptic inhibition of the SOL Ia afferents is decreased following 2 weeks of immobilization. The depression of the SOL H-reflex when evoked at intervals shorter than 10 s (homosynaptic post-activation depression) also decreased...

  12. Online Communication Tools in Biochemistry Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. O. Ferreira

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The  online  communication  tools  enable  new  ways  of  learning, especially  the  forums  in the context of online courses, and the understanding of interactions and collaborations in the  forums  can  improve  them.  The  study  aimed  to  analyze  the  online relationships,  as well  as  obtaining  evidence  of  the  use of  other  learning  tools in  a  biochemistry  subject, focusing on how students use the tool forum and its contribution to learning. The study was  carried  out  from  data  pre  and  post  course  questionnaires  as  well  as  log  of environment  access  and  discussion  forum.  The  forums  have  been  restructured  and systematized  for  analysis  and  creating  discursive  flows  between  statements.  The questionnaires showed the central role of forum and wiki for learning,  the importance of interactions, which was highlighted by the forum analysis. The results indicate that one of the ways to improve online biochemistry teaching is to stimulate interactive activities, participatory  moderation  and  pedagogical  support  by  tutors  and  mentors,  also encouraging  and  creating  strategies  to  collaboration  of  students  to  solve problems  and to collaborative knowledge construction.

  13. Identification and Biochemical Characterization of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-01

    inhibitors of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A). Virtual screening was initially performed by computationally docking com- pounds of the...species Clostridium botulinum , C. baratii, and C. butyricum, consist of seven immunologically distinct serotypes (A to G). BoNTs are synthesized as 150...4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Identification and biochemical characterization of small-molecule inhibitors of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype

  14. Molecular Basis of Paraltyic Neurotoxin Action on Voltage-Sensitive Sodium Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-10-14

    by veratridine, batrachotoxin , and other neurc.oxins acting at receptor site 2 on the sodium channel through an allosteric mechanism (9). Since GPT...activation of sodium channels by neurotoxins acting at neurotoxin receptor site 2 such as veratridine and batrachotoxin . The value of KO.5 for activation by...of 70 nM, and is completely blocked by appropriate concentrations of unlabeled batrachotoxin , veratridine, and aconitine (19). Our ion flux experiments

  15. 123-I ioflupane (Datscan) presynaptic nigrostriatal imaging in patients with movement disorders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soriano Castrejon, Angel; Garcia Vicente, Ana Maria; Cortes Romera, Montserrat; Rodado Marina, Sonia; Poblete Garcia, Victor Manuel; Ruiz Solis, Sebastian Ruiz; Talavera Rubio, Maria del Prado; Vaamonde Cano, Julia

    2005-01-01

    123-I Ioflupane (Datscan) presynaptic imaging has been shown to have a significant utility in the assessment of patients with movement disorders 123 I Ioflupane SPECT is able to distinguish between Parkinson's disease (PD) and other forms of parkinsonism without degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, including a common movement disorder such as essential tremor, and to assess disease progression in PD and other neuro degenerative disorders involving the substantia nigra. (author)

  16. New Treatments for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy that Target Presynaptic Transmitter Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    and 280nm using a BioMate 5 UV- visible spectrophotometer (Thermo Spectronic, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA). The integrity of the extracted RNA was...presynaptic P/Q-type voltage-dependent calcium channel to reduce glutamate release. In a different study, local perfusion with LEV (10, 30 and 100M) alone...the brain was used for protein expression analysis (western blotting) as described above while the other hemisphere was used for mRNA extraction . As

  17. No consistent bioenergetic defects in presynaptic nerve terminals isolated from mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Sung W.; Gerencser, Akos A.; Ng, Ryan; Flynn, James M.; Melov, Simon; Danielson, Steven R.; Gibson, Bradford W.; Nicholls, David G.; Bredesen, Dale E.; Brand, Martin D.

    2012-01-01

    Depressed cortical energy supply and impaired synaptic function are predominant associations of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To test the hypothesis that presynaptic bioenergetic deficits are associated with the progression of AD pathogenesis, we compared bioenergetic variables of cortical and hippocampal presynaptic nerve terminals (synaptosomes) from commonly used mouse models with AD-like phenotypes (J20 age 6 months, Tg2576 age 16 months and APP/PS age 9 and 14 months) to ag...

  18. Presynaptic active zones of mammalian neuromuscular junctions: Nanoarchitecture and selective impairments in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawi, Yomna; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2018-02-01

    Neurotransmitter release occurs at active zones, which are specialized regions of the presynaptic membrane. A dense collection of proteins at the active zone provides a platform for molecular interactions that promote recruitment, docking, and priming of synaptic vesicles. At mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), muscle-derived laminin β2 interacts with presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels to organize active zones. The molecular architecture of presynaptic active zones has been revealed using super-resolution microscopy techniques that combine nanoscale resolution and multiple molecular identification. Interestingly, the active zones of adult NMJs are not stable structures and thus become impaired during aging due to the selective degeneration of specific active zone proteins. This review will discuss recent progress in the understanding of active zone nanoarchitecture and the mechanisms underlying active zone organization in mammalian NMJs. Furthermore, we will summarize the age-related degeneration of active zones at NMJs, and the role of exercise in maintaining active zones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Alternative Splicing of P/Q-Type Ca2+ Channels Shapes Presynaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnes Thalhammer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is prominent in the mammalian brain, where it is thought to expand proteome diversity. For example, alternative splicing of voltage-gated Ca2+ channel (VGCC α1 subunits can generate thousands of isoforms with differential properties and expression patterns. However, the impact of this molecular diversity on brain function, particularly on synaptic transmission, which crucially depends on VGCCs, is unclear. Here, we investigate how two major splice isoforms of P/Q-type VGCCs (Cav2.1[EFa/b] regulate presynaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons. We find that the efficacy of P/Q-type VGCC isoforms in supporting synaptic transmission is markedly different, with Cav2.1[EFa] promoting synaptic depression and Cav2.1[EFb] synaptic facilitation. Following a reduction in network activity, hippocampal neurons upregulate selectively Cav2.1[EFa], the isoform exhibiting the higher synaptic efficacy, thus effectively supporting presynaptic homeostatic plasticity. Therefore, the balance between VGCC splice variants at the synapse is a key factor in controlling neurotransmitter release and presynaptic plasticity.

  20. Local synthesis of axonal and presynaptic RNA in squid model systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyman, Maria; Cefaliello, Carolina; Ferrara, Eugenia; De Stefano, Rosanna; Lavina, Zeno Scotto; Crispino, Marianna; Squillace, Angela; van Minnen, Jan; Kaplan, Barry B; Giuditta, Antonio

    2007-01-01

    The presence of active systems of protein synthesis in axons and nerve endings raises the question of the cellular origin of the corresponding RNAs. Our present experiments demonstrate that, besides a possible derivation from neuronal cell bodies, axoplasmic RNAs originate in periaxonal glial cells and presynaptic RNAs derive from nearby cells, presumably glial cells. Indeed, in perfused squid giant axons, delivery of newly synthesized RNA to the axon perfusate is strongly stimulated by axonal depolarization or agonists of glial glutamate and acetylcholine receptors. Likewise, incubation of squid optic lobe slices with [3H]uridine leads to a marked accumulation of [3H]RNA in the large synaptosomes derived from the nerve terminals of retinal photoreceptor neurons. As the cell bodies of these neurons lie outside the optic lobe, the data demonstrate that presynaptic RNA is locally synthesized, presumably by perisynaptic glial cells. Overall, our results support the view that axons and presynaptic regions are endowed with local systems of gene expression which may prove essential for the maintenance and plasticity of these extrasomatic neuronal domains.

  1. Protein synthesizing units in presynaptic and postsynaptic domains of squid neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, R; Vaida, B; Bleher, R; Crispino, M; Giuditta, A

    1998-11-01

    Putative protein synthesizing domains, called plaques, are characterized in the squid giant synapse and axon and in terminals of squid photoreceptor neurons. Plaques are oval-shaped formations of about 1 microm in size, which (1) generate signals that have spectroscopic electron energy loss characteristics of ribosomes, (2) exhibit ribonuclease-sensitive binding of YOYO-1, a fluorescent RNA/DNA dye, and (3) in part hybridize with a poly(dT) oligonucleotide. In the giant synapse plaques are abundant in the postsynaptic area, but are absent in the presynaptic terminal. In the cortical layer of the optic lobes, plaques are localized in the large carrot-shaped presynaptic terminals of photoreceptor neurons, where they are surrounded by synaptic vesicles and mitochondria. Biochemical and autoradiographic data have documented that the protein synthetic activity of squid optic lobe synaptosomes is largely due to the presynaptic terminals of the photoreceptor neurons. The identification of ribosomes and poly(A+)-mRNA in the plaques indicates that these structures are sites of local protein synthesis in synaptic domains.

  2. Regarding the unitary theory of agonist and antagonist action at presynaptic adrenoceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalsner, S; Abdali, S A

    2001-06-01

    1. The linkage between potentiation of field stimulation-induced noradrenaline release and blockade of the presynaptic inhibitory effect of exogenous noradrenaline by a presynaptic antagonist was examined in superfused rabbit aorta preparations. 2. Rauwolscine clearly potentiated the release of noradrenaline in response to 100 pulses at 2 Hz but reduced the capacity of noradrenaline to inhibit transmitter release to a questionable extent, and then only when comparisons were made with untreated, rather then to rauwolscine-treated, controls. 3. Aortic preparations exposed for 60 min to rauwolscine followed by superfusion with antagonist-free Krebs for 60 min retained the potentiation of stimulation-induced transmitter release but no antagonism of the noradrenaline-induced inhibition could be detected at either of two noradrenaline concentrations when comparisons were made with rauwolscine treated controls. 4. Comparisons of the inhibitory effect of exogenous noradrenaline (1.8 x 10-6 M) on transmitter efflux in the presence and absence of rauwolscine pretreatment revealed that the antagonist enhanced rather than antagonized the presynaptic inhibition by noradrenaline. 5 It is concluded that the unitary hypothesis that asserts that antagonist enhancement of transmitter release and its blockade of noradrenaline induced inhibition are manifestations of a unitary event are not supportable.

  3. Monitoring single-synapse glutamate release and presynaptic calcium concentration in organised brain tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Thomas P; Zheng, Kaiyu; Tyurikova, Olga; Reynolds, James P; Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2017-06-01

    Brain function relies in large part on Ca 2+ -dependent release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate from neuronal axons. Establishing the causal relationship between presynaptic Ca 2+ dynamics and probabilistic glutamate release is therefore a fundamental quest across neurosciences. Its progress, however, has hitherto depended primarily on the exploration of either cultured nerve cells or giant central synapses accessible to direct experimental probing in situ. Here we show that combining patch-clamp with time-resolved imaging of Ca 2+ -sensitive fluorescence lifetime of Oregon Green BAPTA-1 (Tornado-FLIM) enables readout of single spike-evoked presynaptic Ca 2+ concentration dynamics, with nanomolar sensitivity, in individual neuronal axons in acute brain slices. In parallel, intensity Tornado imaging of a locally expressed extracellular optical glutamate sensor iGluSnFr provides direct monitoring of single-quantum, single-synapse glutamate releases in situ. These two methods pave the way for simultaneous registration of presynaptic Ca 2+ dynamics and transmitter release in an intact brain at the level of individual synapses. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia.

  5. Evidence against the unitary hypothesis of agonist and antagonist action at presynaptic adrenoceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalsner, S.

    1982-01-01

    1 The concept that presynaptic receptors regulate noradrenergic transmitter release via a system of inhibitory receptors mediating negative feedback relies on a supposed association between increases in stimulation-induced efflux of [3H]-noradrenaline by antagonists and blockade by them of the inhibitory effects of exogenous noradrenaline. 2 It was shown in guinea-pig ureter, that yohimbine (3 X 10(-7)M), a presumed selective presynaptic antagonist, increased transmitter efflux substantially at 1 Hz and 5 Hz with 100 pulses, purportedly representing antagonism of the inhibitory effect of locally released noradrenaline but did not reduce the inhibitory effect of exogenous noradrenaline (1.8 X 10(-6)M or 1.8 X 10(-7)M) except in one case. 3 Additionally, the inhibitory effect of oxymetazoline (1.0 X 10(-7)M or 1.0 X 10(-8)M) on stimulation-induced efflux was in no way antagonized by yohimbine (3 X 10(-7)M). 4 It is concluded that the increased efflux of [3H]-noradrenaline produced by antagonists and the decreased efflux produced by exogenous agonists may represent actions at different loci and that the hypothesis of presynaptic feedback regulatory sites is still not substantiated. PMID:6128040

  6. No consistent bioenergetic defects in presynaptic nerve terminals isolated from mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sung W; Gerencser, Akos A; Ng, Ryan; Flynn, James M; Melov, Simon; Danielson, Steven R; Gibson, Bradford W; Nicholls, David G; Bredesen, Dale E; Brand, Martin D

    2012-11-21

    Depressed cortical energy supply and impaired synaptic function are predominant associations of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To test the hypothesis that presynaptic bioenergetic deficits are associated with the progression of AD pathogenesis, we compared bioenergetic variables of cortical and hippocampal presynaptic nerve terminals (synaptosomes) from commonly used mouse models with AD-like phenotypes (J20 age 6 months, Tg2576 age 16 months, and APP/PS age 9 and 14 months) to age-matched controls. No consistent bioenergetic deficiencies were detected in synaptosomes from the three models; only APP/PS cortical synaptosomes from 14-month-old mice showed an increase in respiration associated with proton leak. J20 mice were chosen for a highly stringent investigation of mitochondrial function and content. There were no significant differences in the quality of the synaptosomal preparations or the mitochondrial volume fraction. Furthermore, respiratory variables, calcium handling, and membrane potentials of synaptosomes from symptomatic J20 mice under calcium-imposed stress were not consistently impaired. The recovery of marker proteins during synaptosome preparation was the same, ruling out the possibility that the lack of functional bioenergetic defects in synaptosomes from J20 mice was due to the selective loss of damaged synaptosomes during sample preparation. Our results support the conclusion that the intrinsic bioenergetic capacities of presynaptic nerve terminals are maintained in these symptomatic AD mouse models.

  7. Computational Biochemistry-Enzyme Mechanisms Explored.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culka, Martin; Gisdon, Florian J; Ullmann, G Matthias

    2017-01-01

    Understanding enzyme mechanisms is a major task to achieve in order to comprehend how living cells work. Recent advances in biomolecular research provide huge amount of data on enzyme kinetics and structure. The analysis of diverse experimental results and their combination into an overall picture is, however, often challenging. Microscopic details of the enzymatic processes are often anticipated based on several hints from macroscopic experimental data. Computational biochemistry aims at creation of a computational model of an enzyme in order to explain microscopic details of the catalytic process and reproduce or predict macroscopic experimental findings. Results of such computations are in part complementary to experimental data and provide an explanation of a biochemical process at the microscopic level. In order to evaluate the mechanism of an enzyme, a structural model is constructed which can be analyzed by several theoretical approaches. Several simulation methods can and should be combined to get a reliable picture of the process of interest. Furthermore, abstract models of biological systems can be constructed combining computational and experimental data. In this review, we discuss structural computational models of enzymatic systems. We first discuss various models to simulate enzyme catalysis. Furthermore, we review various approaches how to characterize the enzyme mechanism both qualitatively and quantitatively using different modeling approaches. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. BIOCHEMISTRY QUESTIONS ANALYSIS FROM NATIONAL EXAM OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE (ENADE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Paiva Dos Santos

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The Brazilian National Exam of Student Performance (ENADE is part of the National System of Higher Education Assessment (SINAES, that was created to evaluate the quality of undergraduate courses and higher education institutions throughout Brazil. Biochemistry is a discipline present in the basic curriculum of the health courses and many students complete their courses without a belief that the basic sciences they have studied will have much relevance to their day-to-day clinical practice. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work was to analyze the Biochemistry questions from ENADE of the health area courses and to propose an integrated approach that prepares students for lifelong learning. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This work was an exploratory research with a descriptive analysis of the Biochemistry questions of ENADE (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2013 applied for the courses of Physiotherapy, Medicine, Nutrition, Biomedicine, Physical Education, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Twenty-one tests were analyzed and the Biochemistry questions separated by course and according to their integrative view. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: 28 exams were analysed, It was selected 857 questions from specific component, from which 8.05% (69 questions were based on Biochemistry contents. Higher percentage of Biochemistry questions was found in exams of courses Nutrition (30.43%, followed by Biomedicine (28.98%, Pharmacy (20.28%, Physical Education (7.24%, Medicine (5.79%, Physiotherapy (4.34% and Nursing (2.89%. Forty-one percent of the questions analysed presented only basic concepts in Biochemistry, 26% were contextualized, and 33% were interdisciplinary. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrated the relevance of Biochemistry for the assessment of the quality of undergraduate courses in the health area in Brazil and suggested a profile questions that could be used in Biochemistry classes to introduce an active methodology approach.

  9. Neurotoxins from snake venoms and α-conotoxin ImI inhibit functionally active ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudryavtsev, Denis S; Shelukhina, Irina V; Son, Lina V; Ojomoko, Lucy O; Kryukova, Elena V; Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Zhmak, Maxim N; Dolgikh, Dmitry A; Ivanov, Igor A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Starkov, Vladislav G; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Sieghart, Werner; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-09-11

    Ionotropic receptors of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAAR) regulate neuronal inhibition and are targeted by benzodiazepines and general anesthetics. We show that a fluorescent derivative of α-cobratoxin (α-Ctx), belonging to the family of three-finger toxins from snake venoms, specifically stained the α1β3γ2 receptor; and at 10 μm α-Ctx completely blocked GABA-induced currents in this receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes (IC50 = 236 nm) and less potently inhibited α1β2γ2 ≈ α2β2γ2 > α5β2γ2 > α2β3γ2 and α1β3δ GABAARs. The α1β3γ2 receptor was also inhibited by some other three-finger toxins, long α-neurotoxin Ls III and nonconventional toxin WTX. α-Conotoxin ImI displayed inhibitory activity as well. Electrophysiology experiments showed mixed competitive and noncompetitive α-Ctx action. Fluorescent α-Ctx, however, could be displaced by muscimol indicating that most of the α-Ctx-binding sites overlap with the orthosteric sites at the β/α subunit interface. Modeling and molecular dynamic studies indicated that α-Ctx or α-bungarotoxin seem to interact with GABAAR in a way similar to their interaction with the acetylcholine-binding protein or the ligand-binding domain of nicotinic receptors. This was supported by mutagenesis studies and experiments with α-conotoxin ImI and a chimeric Naja oxiana α-neurotoxin indicating that the major role in α-Ctx binding to GABAAR is played by the tip of its central loop II accommodating under loop C of the receptors. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. The semiosis of students’ conceptual understanding of biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Musaeus, Peter; Mathiesen, Søren Læssøe; Dahl, Mads Ronald

    2013-01-01

    teaching including biochemistry teaching (Loertscher, 2011). The study seeks an answer to the problem of emergence in science students acquisition of concepts, not only how students form new sign hierarchies over time, but how say easy concepts suddenly change into a hard concepts(or vice versa) as new...... scales) of biochemical concepts were collected every week during a university semester. Archival data (e.g. biochemistry textbooks), diaries and a qualitative interview were collected with a biochemistry teacher. Methodological challenges are identified in studying conceptual change and the applicability...

  11. Hobby with Biochemistry: Use of active learning methodology in Biochemistry at the Medical School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. R.T. Prado

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction and objectives: The learning of Biochemistry is generally considered difficult by the graduates, because studies the molecular level the metabolism of living and it demands a great capacity for abstraction by students. Thus, researchers have tried alternative methods to provid an alternative study method. Materials and methods: 178 students of the School of Medicine, PUC-PR, that course the disciplines of Medical Biochemistry I and II, were divided into 50 groups, each with 3-4 students, and were have to draw up a hobby activity with a specific theme of the Biochemistry. The selected topics were, amino acids and proteins, enzymes, cellular respiration, glycogen metabolism, gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism, metabolic integration, dyslipidemia and atherogenesis, pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, mechanisms of diabetes mellitus complications. The hobby activities chosen were direct, duplex, self-defined, cryptogram, bugs game. Both issues such as the type of hobby was drawn between groups. The groups had to: elaborate hobby; presents it to class orally, applying the questions prepared; printing and expose the hobby at the wall in the University; answer an evaluation regarding the preparation of work; and all groups should get together and organize one titled magazine "Hobby with Biochemistry" and deliver it printed. Results and conclusions: According the groups, the greatest difficulty was the adequacy of the questions posed in the required format, once they had only one issue and restricted space for the responses. Furthermore, the formatting was also identified as a point very difficult in activity elaboration. On the topic of learning through the development of work, and/or a new skill groups assigned grades ranging between 7.0 and 10.0 and about 90% of the groups attributed note 10 on satisfaction of seeing the work done and its ability to produce it. According to the results, the activity proved to be

  12. [Inventive activity of the Department of Molecular Immunology of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danilova, V M; Vynogradova, R P; Torkhova, S G

    2016-01-01

    The article is devoted to the inventive activity of the Department of Molecular Immunology of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine in the context of the history of its inception, development and in the context of scholarly and organizational activities of Sergii Vasyl’ovych Komisarenko. This autumn marks 50th anniversary since young Sergii Komisarenko (now – Academician of NAS and NAMS of Ukraine, Dr. Biol. Sci., Professor) has joined the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, has completed all stages of the academic carrier from PhD student to Head of the Institute. He is the first in Ukraine who started the new branch of research – molecular immunology, created a strong scientific school, which earned worldwide acclaim and made significant contribution to finding solutions to current problems in human health sciences. S.V. Komisarenko was among those, who were first in the USSR to use immunoenzyme and flow cytofluometric assays, hybridoma technology for producing monoclonal antibodies and immunochemical assay of proteins, which became the basis for development of highly sensitive and highly specific immunodiagnostic systems, which are of high necessity in medicine, veterinary, development of immunotechnologies, environment monitoring, etc. Under his leadership the Department has made a series of important discoveries and developments including relating to antitumour immunotoxins, effects of low dose radiation on the immune system of Chernobyl liquidators, immunochemical structure of neurotoxin apamine, cytochrom c, fibrinogen and fibrin molecules at different stages of polymerization, diphtheria toxin and its receptor, tuberculosis causing micobacterium, roles of protease-activated receptors (PARs) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of lymphocytes, nature of polyreactive immunoglobulins (PRIGs), among other important scientific contributions. S.V. Komisarenko and his colleagues also hold numerous (more than 80) author’s certificates

  13. Biochemistry Teaching Through Food Label Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.L. Barbosa

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Traditional classes of Basic Biochemistry often rely on memorization of facts and concepts.  For  this  reason,  many  educators  have  evaluated  new  strategies  and tools  to  enrich  learning  and  motivate  undergraduate  students.  As  a  result  of different  methodologies  used  for  this  purpose,  several  commited  professors  are convinced  that  students  learn  more  effectively  if  the  knowledge  they  acquire  are inserted and contextualized in relevant real-life. This work aimed to report the use of  a  new  strategy  to  provide  first-semester  physiotherapy  students  with  a  more practical  and  interesting  approach  to  Biochemistry.The  method  consisted  in  the use  of  food  label  analysis  as  an  approach  to  study  the  structure  and  function  of biomolecules.The  activity  was  developed  at  Faculdade  Christus  (located  in Fortaleza  using  15h  of  extra  classes.  Firstly,  the  students  were  requested  to collect  food  labels  during  a  week.  Secondly,  they  were  teached  to  read  and interpret  a  food  label  according  the  dietary  recommendations  of  World  Health Organization  and  National  Health  Surveillance  Agency  -  Brazil,  contrasting different  types  of  foods  with  regard  to  their  calories  and  nutrient  content.  In  this activity, the analysis of structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins was made to support the understanding of basic concepts. The last activity aimed to organize a healthy breakfast, considering the concepts learned during the food label  analysis.  The  activities  were  evaluated  by  the  students  through  written questionaires  and  informal  conversations,  indicating  good  acceptance  and approval of this method and showing that this activity is a valid

  14. Recent perspectives into biochemistry of decavanadate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aureliano, Manuel

    2011-10-26

    The number of papers about decavanadate has doubled in the past decade. In the present review, new insights into decavanadate biochemistry, cell biology, and antidiabetic and antitumor activities are described. Decameric vanadate species (V(10)) clearly differs from monomeric vanadate (V(1)), and affects differently calcium pumps, and structure and function of myosin and actin. Only decavanadate inhibits calcium accumulation by calcium pump ATPase, and strongly inhibits actomyosin ATPase activity (IC(50) = 1.4 μmol/L, V(10)), whereas no such effects are detected with V(1) up to 150 μmol/L; prevents actin polymerization (IC(50) of 68 μmol/L, whereas no effects detected with up to 2 mmol/L V(1)); and interacts with actin in a way that induces cysteine oxidation and vanadate reduction to vanadyl. Moreover, in vivo decavanadate toxicity studies have revealed that acute exposure to polyoxovanadate induces different changes in antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress parameters, in comparison with vanadate. In vitro studies have clearly demonstrated that mitochondrial oxygen consumption is strongly affected by decavanadate (IC(50), 0.1 μmol/L); perhaps the most relevant biological effect. Finally, decavanadate (100 μmol/L) increases rat adipocyte glucose accumulation more potently than several vanadium complexes. Preliminary studies suggest that decavanadate does not have similar effects in human adipocytes. Although decavanadate can be a useful biochemical tool, further studies must be carried out before it can be confirmed that decavanadate and its complexes can be used as anticancer or antidiabetic agents.

  15. Natriuretic Peptides: Biochemistry, Physiology, Clinical Implication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. A. Kozlova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In the past years, the interest of theorists and clinicians has steadily increased in the myocardially secreted hormones – natriuretic peptides. At the Congress of the European Society of Anesthesiology (Munich, 2007, B-type natriuretic peptides were included into the list of the parameters of perioperative laboratory monitoring that is expedient in the practice of anesthetists and resuscitation specialists. The literature review shows the history of discovery and identification of different types of natriuretic peptides and considers the matters of their biochemistry. It also details information on the synthesis, secretion, and clearance of these peptides, as well as their receptor apparatus in various organs and tissues. The physiology of the regulatory system is described, as applied to the cardiovascular, excretory, central nervous systems, and the neuroendocrine one. Special attention is given to the current publications on the control of B-type natriuretic peptides as biomarkers of cardiac dysfunction. The diagnostic and prognostic values of peptides are analyzed in chronic circulatory insufficiency, coronary heart disease, and other car-diological and non-cardiological diseases. The prognostic value of elevated B-type natriuretic peptide levels in cardiac surgery is separately considered. It is concluded that the changes in the level of B-type natriuretic peptides in different clinical situations are the subject of numerous researches mainly made in foreign countries. The bulk of these researches are devoted to the study of peptides in cardiology and other areas of therapy. Studies on the use of peptides in reanimatology are relatively few and their results are rather discordant. The foregoing opens up wide prospects for studying the use of B-type natriuretic peptides in Russian intensive care and anesthesiology. Key words: natriuretic peptides, brain nautriuretic peptides, NT-proBNP.

  16. Haematology, plasma biochemistry and whole blood minerals of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Haematology, plasma biochemistry and whole blood minerals of the captive adult african grasscutter (thryonomys swinderianus, temminck). A.O. Ogunsanmi, P.C. Ozegbe, O. Ogunjobi, V.O. Taiwo, J.O. Adu ...

  17. Lactation performance and serum biochemistry of dairy cows fed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Serum biochemistry concentrations (serum glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, total protein, and cortisol and insulin concentration) and blood hematology (red blood cell, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration and percentage neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophiles, eosinophils and ratio of neutrophils to ...

  18. Can biochemistry drive drug discovery beyond simple potency measurements?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chène, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Among the fields of expertise required to develop drugs successfully, biochemistry holds a key position in drug discovery at the interface between chemistry, structural biology and cell biology. However, taking the example of protein kinases, it appears that biochemical assays are mostly used in the pharmaceutical industry to measure compound potency and/or selectivity. This limited use of biochemistry is surprising, given that detailed biochemical analyses are commonly used in academia to unravel molecular recognition processes. In this article, I show that biochemistry can provide invaluable information on the dynamics and energetics of compound-target interactions that cannot be obtained on the basis of potency measurements and structural data. Therefore, an extensive use of biochemistry in drug discovery could facilitate the identification and/or development of new drugs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Assessment of learning gains in a flipped biochemistry classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojennus, Deanna Dahlke

    2016-01-01

    The flipped classroom has become an increasingly popular pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. In this study, learning gains were assessed in a flipped biochemistry course and compared to gains in a traditional lecture. Although measured learning gains were not significantly different between the two courses, student perception of learning gains did differ and indicates a higher level of satisfaction with the flipped lecture format. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  20. Brain Biochemistry and Personality: A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study

    OpenAIRE

    Ryman, Sephira G.; Gasparovic, Chuck; Bedrick, Edward J.; Flores, Ranee A.; Marshall, Alison N.; Jung, Rex E.

    2011-01-01

    To investigate the biochemical correlates of normal personality we utilized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS). Our sample consisted of 60 subjects ranging in age from 18 to 32 (27 females). Personality was assessed with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). We measured brain biochemistry within the precuneus, the cingulate cortex, and underlying white matter. We hypothesized that brain biochemistry within these regions would predict individual differences across major domai...

  1. A biochemistry discipline designed for the nutrition course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A.G. Bianco

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry is widely considered an essential background in a Nutrition Course framework. At theFaculdade de Saude Publica, USP, it is a direct requirement to eight disciplines of the syllabus and anindirect requirement to another nine disciplines. Nevertheless, a previous interview study involvingNutrition students and Nutritionists revealed a contradictory image of Biochemistry. Although stu-dents and Nutritionists admitted the important role played by Biochemistry, most of the respondentsdeclared that they could not foresee any application of Biochemical contents in their professional life.Aiming to change this situation, a deep intervention in the Biochemistry discipline was carried on.The discipline was planned in such a way that all the contents to be taught was directly derived fromsubjects or situations matching the interests of nutrition students. Instead of a classical lecture basedcourse, collaborative learning was the methodological choice, taking advantage of practical activitiesinvolving educational software and laboratory work as well. The course was carried on in 180 hoursand a variety of strategies were employed, especially small group discussion and problem solving. Thestudents were given a booklet containing all the exercises and problems, which acted as course guide.At the end of the course, an evaluation survey was carried out. It is noticeable that, according tostudents answers: 100% agreed that Biochemistry was intimately linked to Nutrition; 83% appreciatedthe didactical methodologies employed; 89% would like to continue studying Biochemistry in a furtherdiscipline; 96% declared that the discipline has raised their interest in Biochemistry. In respect tothe assessment of the students, these results are in accordance with the opinion of teachers and TAsengaged in restructuring Biochemistry courses.

  2. Sri Lankan Medical Students’ preferences for Biochemistry Teaching Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FMMT Marikar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Biochemistry is extremely difficult in preclinical medical education because of the monotonous use of lectures, tutorials, practical and end of semester load with end of semester examination. Although several studies have been carried out on learning biochemistry in Europe and America, Asian studies are very few and literature in the Sri Lankan context is lacking. We aimed to assess the best teaching tool for teaching Biochemistry in Medical Faculty is the main objective of this study.Methods: In this study, 177 second-year medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Rajarata, Sri Lanka were enrolled. Using a self-administrated method, two non-compulsory evaluating questions were given to the candidates when they sat for the Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE in 2nd MBBS.Results: The students gave high positive ratings to the lectures. The preferred order of the teaching method included lectures followed by student-staff interaction, panel discussion and the least preference was seminar.Conclusions: The findings of our study highlight the large gap between lectures and seminars in teaching biochemistry.  In light of these questions, we discussed and recommended alternative approaches to teach using a hybrid method. Sri Lankan medical faculty will need to make an effort to change this learning attitude by improving proper teaching methods in biochemistry. Keywords: Biochemistry; Objective Structured Practical Examination; Teaching; Lecturer 

  3. Mechanisms of Botulinum Neurotoxin Induced Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hain, Brian A.

    Our previous research suggests that the mechanism of botulinum neurotoxintype A (BoNT/A)-induced atrophy does not occur via a NF-kappaB/Foxo-dependent process. We thus hypothesized that the primary mechanism would be activation of either the proteosomal or calpain pathways. BoNT/A injection induced elevations in proteolytic activity markers of the ubiquitin-proteasome-system (UPS) and calpain systems after 3 days of a single dose. Inhibition of the proteasome significantly attenuated BoNT/Ainduced atrophy 3-days post BoNT/A injection. Calpastatin overexpression prevented BoNT/A-induced calpain activity at 3 days, and but did not result in a significant attenuation of atrophy. Concurrent attenuation of the UPS and calpain systems was sufficient to attenuate all of the atrophy associated with BoNT/A induced atrophy. In conclusion, it appears that the UPS and calpain system work in an additive fashion with neurotoxin-induced muscle atrophy. Inhibiting both of these pathways while administering BoNT/A attenuates all of the observed muscle atrophy.

  4. Excellent storage stability and sensitive detection of neurotoxin quinolinic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ranjana; Kashyap, Sunayana; Kumar, Suveen; Abraham, Shiju; Gupta, Tejendra K; Kayastha, Arvind M; Malhotra, Bansi D; Saxena, Preeti Suman; Srivastava, Anchal; Singh, Ranjan K

    2017-04-15

    Quinolinic acid (QA) is a metabolite of tryptophan degradation obtained through kynurenine pathway, produced naturally in the mammalian brain as well as in the human cerebrospinal fluid. The presence of QA ~10-40µM is a clear indicator of many neurological disorders as well as deficiency of vitamin B 6 in human being. In the present work; rapid, sensitive and cost-effective bio-electrodes were prepared to detect the trace amount of endogenous neurotoxin (QA). Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) studies were carried out to measure the electrochemical response of the fabricated bio-electrodes as a function of QA concentrations. These devices were found to exhibit desirable sensitivity of ~7.86mAμM -1 cm -2 in wide concentration range (6.5μM-65mM). The lower detection limit of this device is as low as 6.5μM and it has excellent storage stability of ~30 days. The capability of the proposed electrochemical bio-sensor was also checked to detect QA in the real samples (human serum). These results reveal that the use of this electrochemical bio-sensor may provide a potential platform for the detection of QA in the real samples for the prior detection of many diseases. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Using llama derived single domain antibodies to target botulinum neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Marla D.; Anderson, George P.; Bernstein, Rachael D.; Liu, Jinny L.; Goldman, Ellen R.

    2010-04-01

    Llama serum contains both conventional IgG as well as unique forms of antibody that contain only heavy chains where antigen binding is mediated through a single variable domain. These variable domains can be expressed recombinantly and are referred to as single domain antibodies (sdAb). SdAb are among the smallest known naturally derived antigen binding fragments, possess good solubility, thermal stability, and can refold after heat and chemical denaturation. Llamas were immunized with either BoNT A or B toxoid and phage display libraries prepared. Single domain antibodies (sdAb) that were able to detect botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A and B were selected from their respective libraries. Here, the binders obtained by panning the BoNT B library on either BoNT B toxoid or BoNT B complex toxoid coated plates or BoNT B toxin coupled microspheres are described. Using these panning methods, we selected for binders that showed specificity for BoNT B. Phage displayed binders were screened, moved to a protein expression vector and soluble sdAb was produced. Using a Luminex flow cytometer binders were evaluated in direct binding assays. We have exploited the unique properties of sdAb and used them as biological recognition elements in immuno-based sensors that can detect BoNT B.

  6. Short-chain consensus alpha-neurotoxin: a synthetic 60-mer peptide with generic traits and enhanced immunogenic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Rosa, Guillermo; Corrales-García, Ligia L; Rodriguez-Ruiz, Ximena; López-Vera, Estuardo; Corzo, Gerardo

    2018-04-06

    The three-fingered toxin family and more precisely short-chain α-neurotoxins (also known as Type I α-neurotoxins) are crucial in defining the elapid envenomation process, but paradoxically, they are barely neutralized by current elapid snake antivenoms. This work has been focused on the primary structural identity among Type I neurotoxins in order to create a consensus short-chain α-neurotoxin with conserved characteristics. A multiple sequence alignment considering the twelve most toxic short-chain α-neurotoxins reported from the venoms of the elapid genera Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, Walterinnesia, Naja, Dendroaspis and Micrurus led us to propose a short-chain consensus α-neurotoxin, here named ScNtx. The synthetic ScNtx gene was de novo constructed and cloned into the expression vector pQE30 containing a 6His-Tag and an FXa proteolytic cleavage region. Escherichia coli Origami cells transfected with the pQE30/ScNtx vector expressed the recombinant consensus neurotoxin in a soluble form with a yield of 1.5 mg/L of culture medium. The 60-amino acid residue ScNtx contains canonical structural motifs similar to α-neurotoxins from African elapids and its LD 50 of 3.8 µg/mice is similar to the most toxic short-chain α-neurotoxins reported from elapid venoms. Furthermore, ScNtx was also able to antagonize muscular, but not neuronal, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Rabbits immunized with ScNtx were able to immune-recognize short-chain α-neurotoxins within whole elapid venoms. Type I neurotoxins are difficult to isolate and purify from natural sources; therefore, the heterologous expression of molecules such ScNtx, bearing crucial motifs and key amino acids, is a step forward to create common immunogens for developing cost-effective antivenoms with a wider spectrum of efficacy, quality and strong therapeutic value.

  7. The Biochemistry Show: a new and fun tool for learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.H Ono

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The traditional methods to teach biochemistry in most universities are based on the memorization of chemical structures,  biochemical  pathways  and  reagent  names,  which  is  many  times  dismotivating  for  the  students.  We presently describe an innovative, interactive and alternative method for teaching biochemistry to medical and nutrition undergraduate students, called the Biochemistry Show (BioBio Show.The Biobio show is based on active participation of the students. They are divided in groups and the groups face each other. One group faces another one group at a time, in a game based on true or false questions that involve subjects of applied biochemistry (exercise, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, free radicals, among others. The questions of the Show are previously elaborated by senior students. The Biobio Show has four phases, the first one is a selection exam, and from the second to the fourth phase, eliminatory confrontations happen. On a confrontation, the first group must select a certain quantity of questions for the opponent to answer.  The group who choses the questions must know how to answer and justify the selected questions. This procedure is repeated on all phases of the show. On the last phase, the questions used are taken from an exam previously performed by the students: either the 9-hour biochemistry exam (Sé et al. A 9-hour biochemistry exam. An iron man competition or a good way of evaluating undergraduate students? SBBq 2005, abstract K-6 or the True-or-False exam (TFE (Sé et al. Are tutor-students capable of writing good biochemistry exams? SBBq 2004, abstract K-18. The winner group receives an extra 0,5 point on the final grade. Over 70% of the students informed on a questionnaire that the Biobio Show is a valuable tool for learning biochemistry.    That is a new way to enrich the discussion of biochemistry in the classroom without the students getting bored. Moreover, learning

  8. The Biochemistry Over 20 Years In The High School Textbooks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. E.S. Rocha

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available   The Biochemistry Over 20 Years In The High School Textbooks   Rocha, C. E. S.1; Büttenbender, M. D.1; Denardin, E.L.G.2, Roehrs, R.1,2 1Grupo Interdisciplinar de Pesquisa em Práticas de Ensino, UNIPAMPA, RS. 2Laboratório de Estudos Físico Químicos e Produtos Naturais, UNIPAMPA, RS.   INTRODUCTION: Many teachers make use of textbook to lead content in the classroom. The chemistry books introduce concepts that should relate biochemistry to students in schools. It is important that this first contact turns out into an encouraging experience for the students, because once it worked as expected it arouses interest and makes the students see themselves curious to delve into the subject. The research aims to evaluate the presence of related concepts in biochemistry textbooks in chemistry in high school, over 20 years. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In order to perform this study, we analyzed the following content related to biochemistry: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in the books "Chemistry - Structure of Matter and Organic Chemistry" of the year 1993 and the book "Chemistry in approach to daily life" of the year 2012 with the purpose of verifying the changes in the content of biochemistry in the last 20 years. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: In the 90s, as used in the book, concepts and explanations are introduced in a very objective approach, making a total of 22 pages. The current largest is 23 pages with experiments and curiosities. Through analysis we found that current textbooks present the same issues related to biochemistry, however, a greater amount of data, bringing students to more examples and applications in everyday life. Today we see that the contents and processes are most exploited and that there is a concern on the importance of the study of issues that relate to biochemistry. CONCLUSIONS: The study of the biochemistry textbooks has been more attractive in recent years, contextualizing content with the daily life of

  9. Effective Laboratory Work in Biochemistry Subject: Students' and Lecturers' Perspective in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anwar, Yunita Arian Sani; Senam; Laksono F. X., Endang Widjajanti

    2017-01-01

    Biochemistry subject had problem in learning and teaching, especially in laboratory work. We explored laboratory learning implementation in Biochemistry subject. Participants of this research were 195 students who took biochemistry subject and 4 lecturers of biochemistry in three universities in Indonesia. We obtained data using questionnaires and…

  10. Local synthesis of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins in the presynaptic nerve terminal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gioio, A E; Eyman, M; Zhang, H; Lavina, Z S; Giuditta, A; Kaplan, B B

    2001-06-01

    One of the central tenets in neuroscience has been that the protein constituents of distal compartments of the neuron (e.g., the axon and nerve terminal) are synthesized in the nerve cell body and are subsequently transported to their ultimate sites of function. In contrast to this postulate, we have established previously that a heterogeneous population of mRNAs and biologically active polyribosomes exist in the giant axon and presynaptic nerve terminals of the photoreceptor neurons in squid. We report that these mRNA populations contain mRNAs for nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins to include: cytochrome oxidase subunit 17, propionyl-CoA carboxylase (EC 6.4.1.3), dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (EC 1.8.1.4), and coenzyme Q subunit 7. The mRNA for heat shock protein 70, a chaperone protein known to be involved in the import of proteins into mitochondria, has also been identified. Electrophoretic gel analysis of newly synthesized proteins in the synaptosomal fraction isolated from the squid optic lobe revealed that the large presynaptic terminals of the photoreceptor neuron contain a cytoplasmic protein synthetic system. Importantly, a significant amount of the cycloheximide resistant proteins locally synthesized in the terminal becomes associated with mitochondria. PCR analysis of RNA from synaptosomal polysomes establishes that COX17 and CoQ7 mRNAs are being actively translated. Taken together, these findings indicate that proteins required for the maintenance of mitochondrial function are synthesized locally in the presynaptic nerve terminal, and call attention to the intimacy of the relationship between the terminal and its energy generating system. J. Neurosci. Res. 64:447-453, 2001. Published 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. The amyloid precursor protein – a novel player within the molecular array of presynaptic nanomachines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie eLassek

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available More than 20 years ago the amyloid precursor protein (APP was identified as the precursor protein of the Aβ peptide, the main component of senile plaques in brains affected by Alzheimer´s disease. The pathophysiology of AD, characterized by a massive loss of synapses, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes was in principle attributed to the accumulation of Aβ. Within the last decades, much effort has gone into understanding the molecular basis of the progression of Alzheimer´s disease. However, little is known about the actual physiological function of amyloid precursor proteins. Allocating APP to the proteome of the structurally and functionally dynamic presynaptic active zone highlights APP as a hitherto unknown player within the setting of the presynapse. The molecular array of presynaptic nanomachines comprising the life cycle of synaptic vesicles, exo- and endocytosis, cytoskeletal rearrangements, and mitochondrial activity provides a balance between structural and functional maintenance and diversity. The generation of genetically designed mouse models further deciphered APP as an essential player in synapse formation and plasticity. Deletion of APP causes an age-dependent phenotype: while younger mice revealed almost no physiological impairments, this condition was changed in the elderly mice. Interestingly, the proteomic composition of neurotransmitter release sites already revealed substantial changes at young age. These changes point to a network that incorporates APP into a cluster of nanomachines. Currently, the underlying mechanism of how APP acts within these machines is still elusive. Within the scope of this review, we shall construct a network of APP interaction partners within the presynaptic active zone. Furthermore, we intend to outline how deletion of APP affects this network during space and time leading to impairments in learning and memory. These alterations may provide a molecular link to the pathogenesis of

  12. RIM proteins tether Ca2+-channels to presynaptic active zones via a direct PDZ-domain interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S.; Deng, Lunbin; Wang, Yun; Dulubova, Irina; Liu, Xinran; Rizo, Josep; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY At a synapse, fast synchronous neurotransmitter release requires localization of Ca2+-channels to presynaptic active zones. How Ca2+-channels are recruited to active zones, however, remains unknown. Using unbiased yeast two-hybrid screens, we here identify a direct interaction of the central PDZ-domain of the active-zone protein RIM with the C-termini of presynaptic N- and P/Q-type Ca2+-channels, but not L-type Ca2+-channels. To test the physiological significance of this interaction, we generated conditional knockout mice lacking all presynaptic RIM isoforms. Deletion of all RIMs ablated most neurotransmitter release by simultaneously impairing the priming of synaptic vesicles and by decreasing the presynaptic localization of Ca2+-channels. Strikingly, rescue of the decreased Ca2+-channel localization required the RIM PDZ-domain, whereas rescue of vesicle priming required the RIM N-terminus. We propose that RIMs tether N- and P/Q-type Ca2+-channels to presynaptic active zones via a direct PDZ-domain mediated interaction, thereby enabling fast, synchronous triggering of neurotransmitter release at a synapse. PMID:21241895

  13. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Kryukova, Elena V; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Shelukhina, Irina V; Starkov, Vladislav G; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Faure, Grazyna; Zouridakis, Marios; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which should be proved by

  14. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A Vulfius

    Full Text Available Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which

  15. An Integrated Biochemistry Laboratory, Including Molecular Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Adele J. Wolfson Mona L.; Branham, Thomas R.

    1996-11-01

    The dilemma of designing an advanced undergraduate laboratory lies in the desire to teach and reinforce basic principles and techniques while at the same time exposing students to the excitement of research. We report here on a one-semester, project-based biochemistry laboratory that combines the best features of a cookbook approach (high success rate, achievement of defined goals) with those of an investigative, discovery-based approach (student involvement in the experimental design, excitement of real research). Individual modules may be selected and combined to meet the needs of different courses and different institutions. The central theme of this lab is protein purification and design. This laboratory accompanies the first semester of biochemistry (Structure and Function of Macromolecules, a course taken mainly by junior and senior chemistry and biological chemistry majors). The protein chosen as the object of study is the enzyme lysozyme, which is utilized in all projects. It is suitable for a student lab because it is easily and inexpensively obtained from egg white and is extremely stable, and its high isoelectric point (pI = 11) allows for efficient separation from other proteins by ion-exchange chromatography. Furthermore, a literature search conducted by the resourceful student reveals a wealth of information, since lysozyme has been the subject of numerous studies. It was the first enzyme whose structure was determined by crystallography (1). Hendrickson et al. (2) have previously described an intensive one-month laboratory course centered around lysozyme, although their emphasis is on protein stability rather than purification and engineering. Lysozyme continues to be the focus of much exciting new work on protein folding and dynamics, structure and activity (3 - 5). This lab course includes the following features: (i) reinforcement of basic techniques, such as preparation of buffers, simple enzyme kinetics, and absorption spectroscopy; (ii

  16. PEG precipitation coupled with chromatography is a new and sufficient method for the purification of botulinum neurotoxin type B [corrected].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Zhao

    Full Text Available Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat a variety of neuro-muscular disorders, as well as in cosmetology. The increased demand requires efficient methods for the production and purification of these toxins. In this study, a new purification process was developed for purifying type B neurotoxin. The kinetics of C.botulinum strain growth and neurotoxin production were determined for maximum yield of toxin. The neurotoxin was purified by polyethylene glycol (PEG precipitation and chromatography. Based on design of full factorial experiment, 20% (w/v PEG-6000, 4 °C, pH 5.0 and 0.3 M NaCl were optimal conditions to obtain a high recovery rate of 87% for the type B neurotoxin complex, as indicated by a purification factor of 61.5 fold. Furthermore, residual bacterial cells, impurity proteins and some nucleic acids were removed by PEG precipitation. The following purification of neurotoxin was accomplished by two chromatography techniques using Sephacryl™ S-100 and phenyl HP columns. The neurotoxin was recovered with an overall yield of 21.5% and the purification factor increased to 216.7 fold. In addition, a mouse bioassay determined the purified neurotoxin complex possessed a specific toxicity (LD(50 of 4.095 ng/kg.

  17. 76 FR 29752 - Nomination of In Vitro Test Methods for Detection and Quantification of Botulinum Neurotoxins and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-23

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Nomination of In Vitro Test Methods for Detection and Quantification of Botulinum Neurotoxins and Detection of Non-Endotoxin Pyrogens; Data Request for Substances... detecting and quantifying botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and (2) an in vitro test method proposed for...

  18. Molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a natural neurotoxin from the star fruit: A computational study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichierri, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Using density functional theory calculations we investigate the molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a neurotoxin recently isolated from the star fruit Averroha carambola. Among the seven conformers that exist within an energy window of ∼16.0 kcal/mol, two of them are the most favored ones with an energy difference of less than 2.0 kcal/mol. The computed chemical shifts of these two low-energy conformers are in good agreement with the experimental values determined in deuterated dimethylsulfoxide thus confirming the 2D chemical structure assigned to the neurotoxin. A topological analysis of the theoretical electronic charge density of four caramboxin conformers reveals the existence of intramolecular CH⋯O/N interactions which, in addition to the classical OH⋯O/N H-bonding interactions, contribute to decrease the conformational freedom of the neurotoxin.

  19. Synthetic peptide antigens derived from long-chain alpha-neurotoxins: Immunogenicity effect against elapid venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Rosa, Guillermo; Pastor, Nina; Alagón, Alejandro; Corzo, Gerardo

    2017-02-01

    Three-finger toxins (3FTXs), especially α-neurotoxins, are the most poorly neutralized elapid snake toxins by current antivenoms. In this work, the conserved structural similarity and motif arrangements of long-chain α-neurotoxins led us to design peptides with consensus sequences. Eight long-chain α-neurotoxins (also known as Type II) were used to generate a consensus sequence from which two peptides were chemically synthesized, LCP1 and LCP2. Rabbit sera raised against them were able to generate partially-neutralizing antibodies, which delayed mice mortality in neutralization assays against Naja haje, Dendrospis polylepis and Ophiophagus hannah venoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium Botulinum Strain PS-5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ajay K; Sachdeva, Amita; Degrasse, Jeffrey A; Croley, Timothy R; Stanker, Larry H; Hodge, David; Sharma, Shashi K

    2013-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins. The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presence of NT genes was validated by PCR amplification of toxin specific fragments from genomic DNA of Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5 which indicated the presence of both serotype A and B genes on PS-5 genome. Further, TC was purified and characterized by Western blotting, Digoxin-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, endopeptidase activity assay, and Liquid chromatography-Mass spectrometry. The data showed the presence of serotype A specific neurotoxin. Based on the analysis of neurotoxin genes and characterization of TC, PS-5 strain appears as a serotype A (B) strain of C. botulinum which produces only serotype A specific TC in the cell culture medium.

  1. Presynaptic adenosine receptor-mediated regulation of diverse thalamocortical short-term plasticity in the mouse whisker pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni eFerrati

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP sets the sensitivity of a synapse to incoming activity and determines the temporal patterns that it best transmits. In driver thalamocortical (TC synaptic populations, STP is dominated by depression during stimulation from rest. However, during ongoing stimulation, lemniscal TC connections onto layer 4 neurons in mouse barrel cortex express variable STP. Each synapse responds to input trains with a distinct pattern of depression or facilitation around its mean steady-state response. As a result, in common with other synaptic populations, lemniscal TC synapses express diverse rather than uniform dynamics, allowing for a rich representation of temporally varying stimuli. Here we show that this STP diversity is regulated presynaptically. Presynaptic adenosine receptors of the A1R type, but not kainate receptors, modulate STP behavior. Blocking the receptors does not eliminate diversity, indicating that diversity is related to heterogeneous expression of multiple mechanisms in the pathway from presynaptic calcium influx to neurotransmitter release.

  2. Key modulatory role of presynaptic adenosine A2A receptors in cortical neurotransmission to the striatal direct pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroz, César; Luján, Rafael; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Simoes, Ana Patrícia; Lerner, Talia N; Borycz, Janusz; Kachroo, Anil; Canas, Paula M; Orru, Marco; Schwarzschild, Michael A; Rosin, Diane L; Kreitzer, Anatol C; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Watanabe, Masahiko; Ferré, Sergi

    2009-11-18

    Basal ganglia processing results from a balanced activation of direct and indirect striatal efferent pathways, which are controlled by dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, respectively. Adenosine A2A receptors are considered novel antiparkinsonian targets, based on their selective postsynaptic localization in the indirect pathway, where they modulate D2 receptor function. The present study provides evidence for the existence of an additional, functionally significant, segregation of A2A receptors at the presynaptic level. Using integrated anatomical, electrophysiological, and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that presynaptic A2A receptors are preferentially localized in cortical glutamatergic terminals that contact striatal neurons of the direct pathway, where they exert a selective modulation of corticostriatal neurotransmission. Presynaptic striatal A2A receptors could provide a new target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  3. Key Modulatory Role of Presynaptic Adenosine A2A Receptors in Cortical Neurotransmission to the Striatal Direct Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Quiroz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Basal ganglia processing results from a balanced activation of direct and indirect striatal efferent pathways, which are controlled by dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, respectively. Adenosine A2A receptors are considered novel antiparkinsonian targets, based on their selective postsynaptic localization in the indirect pathway, where they modulate D2 receptor function. The present study provides evidence for the existence of an additional, functionally significant, segregation of A2A receptors at the presynaptic level. Using integrated anatomical, electrophysiological, and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that presynaptic A2A receptors are preferentially localized in cortical glutamatergic terminals that contact striatal neurons of the direct pathway, where they exert a selective modulation of corticostriatal neurotransmission. Presynaptic striatal A2A receptors could provide a new target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  4. Blog construction as an effective tool in biochemistry active learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubas Rolim, Estêvão; Martins de Oliveira, Julia; Dalvi, Luana T; Moreira, Daniel C; Garcia Caldas, Natasha; Fernandes Lobo, Felipe; André Polli, Démerson; Campos, Élida G; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2017-05-01

    To boost active learning in undergraduate students, they were given the task of preparing blogs on topics of clinical biochemistry. This "experiment" lasted for 12 teaching-semesters (from 2008 to 2013), and included a survey on the blogs' usefulness at the end of each semester. The survey (applied in the 2008-2010 period) used a Likert-like questionnaire with eight questions and a 1-to-6 scale, from "totally disagree" to "fully agree." Answers of 428 students were analyzed and indicated overall approval of the blog activity: 86% and 35% of the responses scored 4-to-6 and 6, respectively. Considering the survey results, the high grades obtained by students on their blogs (averaging 8.3 in 2008-2010), and the significant increase in average grades of the clinical biochemistry exam after the beginning of the blog system (from 5.5 in 2007 to 6.4 in 2008-2010), we concluded that blogging activity on biochemistry is a promising tool for boosting active learning. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(3):205-215, 2017. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  5. FACEBOOK AS A MEDIATION TOOL IN BIOCHEMISTRY DISCIPLINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. X. Gomes

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The current students generation are daily connected to the Internet, wich encourages the use of mobile tools in education. Many of the students of Biochemistry feel apprehensive about the discipline and the use of facebook may contribute, among other factors, motivating them. Objectives: It was analyzed the use of facebook as a mediator and motivator in the discipline of Biochemistry, basing on socioconstrutivist interventions. Material and methods: This work was developed in the action-research perspective, using the quali-quantitative method. An investigative questionnaire was used, using Likert scale and open questions, to investigate the facebook use, as well as the preferences of students, focusing on Biochemistry group in the Biomedicine course.  The posts were analyzed identifying: frequency of the interaction`s types (post, comment, likes;  interaction's categories (question, answer, motivational; and the content itself of the post. Results: It was highlighted students' interest to search materials, answering questions, and especially seeking information about the discipline. It was emphasized that the group was motivating for learning Biochemistry, encouragement the group to study, with quick and easy access to the professor by chat. Conclusions: The results indicate a preference for students at facebook, with a great motivational potential, is at easy access to colleagues, professor and monitor, or even the ease of obtaining the materials and ask questions in real time, indicating that this tool as a possible way, still little explored, to enhance the teaching of Biochemistry.

  6. Progress in Cell Based Assays for Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent human toxins known and the causative agent of botulism, and are widely used as valuable pharmaceuticals. The BoNTs are modular proteins consisting of a heavy chain and a light chain linked by a disulfide bond. Intoxication of neuronal cells by BoNTs is a multi-step process including specific cell binding, endocytosis, conformational change in the endosome, translocation of the enzymatic light chain into the cells cytosol, and SNARE target cleavage. The quantitative and reliable potency determination of fully functional BoNTs produced as active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) requires an assay that considers all steps in the intoxication pathway. The in vivo mouse bioassay has for years been the ‘gold standard’ assay used for this purpose, but it requires the use of large numbers of mice and thus causes associated costs and ethical concerns. Cell-based assays are currently the only in vitro alternative that detect fully functional BoNTs in a single assay and have been utilized for years for research purposes. Within the last 5 years, several cell-based BoNT detection assays have been developed that are able to quantitatively determine BoNT potency with similar or greater sensitivity than the mouse bioassay. These assays now offer an alternative method for BoNT potency determination. Such quantitative and reliable BoNT potency determination is a crucial step in basic research, in the development of pharmaceutical BoNTs, and in the quantitative detection of neutralizing antibodies. PMID:23239357

  7. Botulinum Neurotoxins and Botulism: A Novel Therapeutic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2011-01-01

    Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma) together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably by blocking the binding of receptor binding (R) domain to the neuronal receptors; thus inhibiting cellular entry of the holo-BoNT. The antibody cannot neutralize the intracellular toxin. Moreover, a conventional antibody with relatively large molecular size (150 kDa) is not accessible to the enzymatic groove and, thus, cannot directly inhibit the BoNT zinc metalloprotease activity. Recently, a 15–20 kDa single domain antibody (VHH) that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage display library. The VHH has high sequence homology (>80%) to the human VH and could block the enzymatic activity of the BoNT. Molecular docking revealed not only the interface binding between the VHH and the toxin but also an insertion of the VHH CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the VHH to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP), the CPP-VHH fusion protein would be able to traverse the hydrophobic cell membrane into the cytoplasm and inhibit the intracellular BoNT. This presents a novel and safe immunotherapeutic strategy for botulism by using a cell penetrating, humanized-single domain antibody that inhibits the BoNT by means of a direct blockade of the groove of the menace enzyme. PMID:22069720

  8. Botulinum Neurotoxins and Botulism: A Novel Therapeutic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanpen Chaicumpa

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably by blocking the binding of receptor binding (R domain to the neuronal receptors; thus inhibiting cellular entry of the holo-BoNT. The antibody cannot neutralize the intracellular toxin. Moreover, a conventional antibody with relatively large molecular size (150 kDa is not accessible to the enzymatic groove and, thus, cannot directly inhibit the BoNT zinc metalloprotease activity. Recently, a 15–20 kDa single domain antibody (VHH that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage display library. The VHH has high sequence homology (>80% to the human VH and could block the enzymatic activity of the BoNT. Molecular docking revealed not only the interface binding between the VHH and the toxin but also an insertion of the VHH CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the VHH to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP, the CPP-VHH fusion protein would be able to traverse the hydrophobic cell membrane into the cytoplasm and inhibit the intracellular BoNT. This presents a novel and safe immunotherapeutic strategy for botulism by using a cell penetrating, humanized-single domain antibody that inhibits the BoNT by means of a direct blockade of the groove of the menace enzyme.

  9. Protein synthesis in presynaptic endings from squid brain: modulation by calcium ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benech, J C; Crispino, M; Kaplan, B B; Giuditta, A

    1999-03-15

    Previous biochemical, autoradiographic, and ultrastructural data have shown that, in the synaptosomal fraction of the squid optic lobe, protein synthesis is largely due to the presynaptic terminals of the retinal photoreceptor neurons (Crispino et al. [1993a] Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 4:366-374; Crispino et al. [1993b] J. Neurochem. 61:1144-1146; Crispino et al. [1997] J. Neurosci. 17:7694-7702). We now report that this process is close to its maximum at the basal concentration of cytosolic Ca++, and is markedly inhibited when the concentration of this ion is either decreased or increased. This conclusion is supported by the results of experiments with: 1) compounds known to increase the level of cytosolic Ca++, such as A23187, ionomycin, thapsigargin, and caffeine; 2) compounds sequestering cytosolic calcium ions such as BAPTA-AM; and 3) agents that block the role of Ca++ as second messenger, such as TFP and W7, which inhibit calmodulin, and calphostin, which inhibits protein kinase C. We conclude that variations in the level of cytosolic Ca++ induced in presynaptic terminals by neuronal activity may contribute to the modulation of the local synthesis of protein.

  10. Deformation of attractor landscape via cholinergic presynaptic modulations: a computational study using a phase neuron model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Kanamaru

    Full Text Available Corticopetal acetylcholine (ACh is released transiently from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM into the cortical layers and is associated with top-down attention. Recent experimental data suggest that this release of ACh disinhibits layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons (PYRs via muscarinic presynaptic effects on inhibitory synapses. Together with other possible presynaptic cholinergic effects on excitatory synapses, this may result in dynamic and temporal modifications of synapses associated with top-down attention. However, the system-level consequences and cognitive relevance of such disinhibitions are poorly understood. Herein, we propose a theoretical possibility that such transient modifications of connectivity associated with ACh release, in addition to top-down glutamatergic input, may provide a neural mechanism for the temporal reactivation of attractors as neural correlates of memories. With baseline levels of ACh, the brain returns to quasi-attractor states, exhibiting transitive dynamics between several intrinsic internal states. This suggests that top-down attention may cause the attention-induced deformations between two types of attractor landscapes: the quasi-attractor landscape (Q-landscape, present under low-ACh, non-attentional conditions and the attractor landscape (A-landscape, present under high-ACh, top-down attentional conditions. We present a conceptual computational model based on experimental knowledge of the structure of PYRs and interneurons (INs in cortical layers 1 and 2/3 and discuss the possible physiological implications of our results.

  11. Presynaptic serotonin 2A receptors modulate thalamocortical plasticity and associative learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barre, Alexander; Berthoux, Coralie; De Bundel, Dimitri; Valjent, Emmanuel; Bockaert, Joël; Marin, Philippe; Bécamel, Carine

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level cognitive processes strongly depend on a complex interplay between mediodorsal thalamus nuclei and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Alteration of thalamofrontal connectivity has been involved in cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. Prefrontal serotonin (5-HT)2A receptors play an essential role in cortical network activity, but the mechanism underlying their modulation of glutamatergic transmission and plasticity at thalamocortical synapses remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that 5-HT2A receptor activation enhances NMDA transmission and gates the induction of temporal-dependent plasticity mediated by NMDA receptors at thalamocortical synapses in acute PFC slices. Expressing 5-HT2A receptors in the mediodorsal thalamus (presynaptic site) of 5-HT2A receptor-deficient mice, but not in the PFC (postsynaptic site), using a viral gene-delivery approach, rescued the otherwise absent potentiation of NMDA transmission, induction of temporal plasticity, and deficit in associative memory. These results provide, to our knowledge, the first physiological evidence of a role of presynaptic 5-HT2A receptors located at thalamocortical synapses in the control of thalamofrontal connectivity and the associated cognitive functions. PMID:26903620

  12. Presynaptic GABAB Receptors Regulate Hippocampal Synapses during Associative Learning in Behaving Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Teresa Jurado-Parras

    Full Text Available GABAB receptors are the G-protein-coupled receptors for GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Pharmacological activation of GABAB receptors regulates neurotransmission and neuronal excitability at pre- and postsynaptic sites. Electrophysiological activation of GABAB receptors in brain slices generally requires strong stimulus intensities. This raises the question as to whether behavioral stimuli are strong enough to activate GABAB receptors. Here we show that GABAB1a-/- mice, which constitutively lack presynaptic GABAB receptors at glutamatergic synapses, are impaired in their ability to acquire an operant learning task. In vivo recordings during the operant conditioning reveal a deficit in learning-dependent increases in synaptic strength at CA3-CA1 synapses. Moreover, GABAB1a-/- mice fail to synchronize neuronal activity in the CA1 area during the acquisition process. Our results support that activation of presynaptic hippocampal GABAB receptors is important for acquisition of a learning task and for learning-associated synaptic changes and network dynamics.

  13. Pre-synaptic control of remote fear extinction in the neocortex

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    Gisella eVetere

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of remote memory enhances immediate early genes induction (IEGs, augments the expression of the presynaptic growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43, and increases the density and size of dendritic spines in anterior cingulate (aCC and infra-limbic (ILC cortices. Remote memory extinction, however, does not uniformly alter consolidation-induced structural changes. In the aCC, the density, but not the size, of spines is reset to pseudo-conditioning levels while novel thin spines are formed in the ILC. Whether IEGs and GAP-43 also undergo region-specific changes upon remote memory extinction is undetermined. Here we confirm in the same batch of mice that c-Fos induction and GAP-43 expression are increased in both the aCC and the ILC 36 days after contextual fear conditioning. We then show that, in both regions, remote memory extinction is associated with decrease of c-Fos induction but no change in GAP-43 expression thus revealing similar, although protein-specific, pre-synaptic adaptations in aCC and ILC neurons. These observations, in addition to our previous report of region-specific post-synaptic structural changes, disclose a complex pattern of extinction-driven neocortical alterations suitable to support erasure or reinstatement of fear according to the environment demand.

  14. Optogenetic probing and manipulation of the calyx-type presynaptic terminal in the embryonic chick ciliary ganglion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egawa, Ryo; Hososhima, Shoko; Hou, Xubin; Katow, Hidetaka; Ishizuka, Toru; Nakamura, Harukazu; Yawo, Hiromu

    2013-01-01

    The calyx-type synapse of chick ciliary ganglion (CG) has been intensively studied for decades as a model system for the synaptic development, morphology and physiology. Despite recent advances in optogenetics probing and/or manipulation of the elementary steps of the transmitter release such as membrane depolarization and Ca(2+) elevation, the current gene-manipulating methods are not suitable for targeting specifically the calyx-type presynaptic terminals. Here, we evaluated a method for manipulating the molecular and functional organization of the presynaptic terminals of this model synapse. We transfected progenitors of the Edinger-Westphal (EW) nucleus neurons with an EGFP expression vector by in ovo electroporation at embryonic day 2 (E2) and examined the CG at E8-14. We found that dozens of the calyx-type presynaptic terminals and axons were selectively labeled with EGFP fluorescence. When a Brainbow construct containing the membrane-tethered fluorescent proteins m-CFP, m-YFP and m-RFP, was introduced together with a Cre expression construct, the color coding of each presynaptic axon facilitated discrimination among inter-tangled projections, particularly during the developmental re-organization period of synaptic connections. With the simultaneous expression of one of the chimeric variants of channelrhodopsins, channelrhodopsin-fast receiver (ChRFR), and R-GECO1, a red-shifted fluorescent Ca(2+)-sensor, the Ca(2+) elevation was optically measured under direct photostimulation of the presynaptic terminal. Although this optically evoked Ca(2+) elevation was mostly dependent on the action potential, a significant component remained even in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+). It is suggested that the photo-activation of ChRFR facilitated the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular Ca(2+) stores directly or indirectly. The above system, by facilitating the molecular study of the calyx-type presynaptic terminal, would provide an experimental platform for unveiling

  15. Optogenetic probing and manipulation of the calyx-type presynaptic terminal in the embryonic chick ciliary ganglion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryo Egawa

    Full Text Available The calyx-type synapse of chick ciliary ganglion (CG has been intensively studied for decades as a model system for the synaptic development, morphology and physiology. Despite recent advances in optogenetics probing and/or manipulation of the elementary steps of the transmitter release such as membrane depolarization and Ca(2+ elevation, the current gene-manipulating methods are not suitable for targeting specifically the calyx-type presynaptic terminals. Here, we evaluated a method for manipulating the molecular and functional organization of the presynaptic terminals of this model synapse. We transfected progenitors of the Edinger-Westphal (EW nucleus neurons with an EGFP expression vector by in ovo electroporation at embryonic day 2 (E2 and examined the CG at E8-14. We found that dozens of the calyx-type presynaptic terminals and axons were selectively labeled with EGFP fluorescence. When a Brainbow construct containing the membrane-tethered fluorescent proteins m-CFP, m-YFP and m-RFP, was introduced together with a Cre expression construct, the color coding of each presynaptic axon facilitated discrimination among inter-tangled projections, particularly during the developmental re-organization period of synaptic connections. With the simultaneous expression of one of the chimeric variants of channelrhodopsins, channelrhodopsin-fast receiver (ChRFR, and R-GECO1, a red-shifted fluorescent Ca(2+-sensor, the Ca(2+ elevation was optically measured under direct photostimulation of the presynaptic terminal. Although this optically evoked Ca(2+ elevation was mostly dependent on the action potential, a significant component remained even in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+. It is suggested that the photo-activation of ChRFR facilitated the release of Ca(2+ from intracellular Ca(2+ stores directly or indirectly. The above system, by facilitating the molecular study of the calyx-type presynaptic terminal, would provide an experimental platform for

  16. Safety and administration of treatment with botulinum neurotoxin for sialorrhoea in ALS patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stokholm, Morten Gersel; Bisgård, Carsten; Vilholm, Ole Jakob

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a second-line treatment of sialorrhoea in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patients. This article is a review of the published literature concerning safety and administration of this treatment to ALS patients. A PubMed search was performed. All original publicati......Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a second-line treatment of sialorrhoea in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patients. This article is a review of the published literature concerning safety and administration of this treatment to ALS patients. A PubMed search was performed. All original...

  17. My Lifelong Passion for Biochemistry and Anaerobic Microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thauer, Rudolf Kurt

    2015-01-01

    Early parental influence led me first to medical school, but after developing a passion for biochemistry and sensing the need for a deeper foundation, I changed to chemistry. During breaks between semesters, I worked in various biochemistry labs to acquire a feeling for the different areas of investigation. The scientific puzzle that fascinated me most was the metabolism of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium kluyveri, which I took on in 1965 in Karl Decker's lab in Freiburg, Germany. I quickly realized that little was known about the biochemistry of strict anaerobes such as clostridia, methanogens, acetogens, and sulfate-reducing bacteria and that these were ideal model organisms to study fundamental questions of energy conservation, CO2 fixation, and the evolution of metabolic pathways. My passion for anaerobes was born then and is unabated even after 50 years of study.

  18. Using augmented reality to teach and learn biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Garzón, Juan Carlos; Magrini, Marcio Luiz; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-09-01

    Understanding metabolism and metabolic pathways constitutes one of the central aims for students of biological sciences. Learning metabolic pathways should be focused on the understanding of general concepts and core principles. New technologies such Augmented Reality (AR) have shown potential to improve assimilation of biochemistry abstract concepts because students can manipulate 3D molecules in real time. Here we describe an application named Augmented Reality Metabolic Pathways (ARMET), which allowed students to visualize the 3D molecular structure of substrates and products, thus perceiving changes in each molecule. The structural modification of molecules shows students the flow and exchange of compounds and energy through metabolism. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):417-420, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  19. Role of neurotoxin associated proteins in the low pH induced structural changes in the botulinum neurotoxin complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellappan, Gowri; Kumar, Raj; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal Ram

    2014-12-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT) produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum as a complex with NAPs causes botulism. It has been known that the NAPs protect the toxin from both extremes of pHs and proteases of the GI tract. In an attempt to emulate the physiological conditions encountered by the toxin, we examined BoNT/A, BoNT/A complex, and NAPs under different pH conditions and monitored their structural characteristics by far-UV CD and thermal denaturation analysis. BoNT/A complex showed the maximum CD signal with a mean residue weight ellipticity of -1.8 × 10(5)° cm(2)/dmol at 222 nm at both acidic and neutral pHs. Thermal denaturation analysis revealed NAPs to be the most stable amongst the three protein samples examined. Interestingly and quite uniquely, at pH 2.5, there was an increase in CD signal for BoNT complex as a function of temperature, which correlated with the NAPs profile, indicating a shielding effect of NAPs on BoNT complex at low pH. Calculation of the weighted mean of the ellipticities at the Tm for thermal unfolding of toxin and NAPs at neutral and acidic pHs showed variation with that of BoNT complex, suggesting structural reorganization in BoNT complex upon the association of NAPs and BoNT. In conclusion, this study reveals the structural behavior of BoNT complex and NAPs with pH changes substantially, which could be quite relevant for BoNT survival under extreme pH conditions in vivo.

  20. Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Research Report 1996-1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    Scientific interests of the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences have evolved from classical biochemistry, biophysics and physiological chemistry to up-to-date molecular biology. Research interests are focussed on replication, mutagenesis and repair of DNA; regulation of gene expression at various levels; biosynthesis and post-translational modifications of proteins; gene sequencing and functional analysis of open reading frames; structure, function and regulation of enzymes; conformation of proteins and peptides; modelling of structures and prediction of functions of proteins; mechanisms of electron transfer in polypeptides

  1. Teaching of biochemistry: analyze of works presented in Congress the Society Brazilian Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - SBBq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.F. Escoto

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In recent decades the strategies to improve science education has grown exponentially. Thus, the scientific production in the area is also growing, with the purpose of identifying parameters and methodologies that contribute to their qualification. The teaching of biochemistry is intimately linked to that context. However, it is still little explored in basic education and with character technicist in higher education. The aim of this study was identify areas that received most attention in the scientific literature about teaching and education in biochemistry that were presented at the Congress of the Brazilian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 2004 to 2012. Material and Methods: To conduct the survey were analyzed summaries available on the website of the Brazilian Journal of Education for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology published in the proceedings of the event, where they were encontrados176 summaries. For expression of results was used categorization from the content analysis. Results and Discussion: The results observed to establish nine categories based on the analysis of the titles and content of the work, which, in descending order, were: information and communication technologies, alternative methods teaching and learning, biochemistry in Elementary Education and / or Medium, experiential activities, teacher training, dissemination of science, proposition and evaluation of content and / or science curricular and History and Philosophy. It is noticed that the three most important categories were consolidated along editions. In education, however, there was a significant decrease in the number of abstracts submitted abstracts for the past five years. Conclusions: We conclude that all categories listed seeking alternatives to improve teaching practices and promote education of biochemistry in different contexts.

  2. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) have the unique capacity to cross epithelial barriers, target neuromuscular junctions, and translocate active metalloprotease component to the cytosol of motor neurons. We have taken advantage of the molecular carriers responsible for this trafficking to create a family ...

  3. Development of a quail embryo model for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clostridium botulinum is a ubiquitous microorganism that under anaerobic conditions produces botulinum neurotoxins. In regards to both food-borne illness and the potential use of botulinum toxin as a biological weapon, the capability to assess the amount of toxin in a food or environmental sample e...

  4. Innovative mode of action based in vitro assays for detection of marine neurotoxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.

    2015-01-01

    Innovative mode of action based in vitro assays for detection of marine neurotoxins

    J. Nicolas, P.J.M. Hendriksen, T.F.H. Bovee, I.M.C.M. Rietjens

    Marine biotoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by particular phytoplankton species. These toxins often accumulate in

  5. Mechanism of Action of Botulinum Neurotoxin and Overview of Medical Countermeasures for Intoxication

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    a recent study from our laboratory, TVL was injected locally in the rat extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle 30 min before a local injection of 0.6...1996. Effect of 3,4-diaminopyridine on rat extensor digitorum longus muscle paralyzed by local injection of botulinum neurotoxin. Toxieon 34:237-249

  6. Trans generational effects of the neurotoxin BMAA on the aquatic grazer Daphnia magna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, Elisabeth J.; García-Altares, María; Mendes e Mello, Mariana; Lürling, Miquel

    2015-01-01

    Abstract β-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin that is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA has been detected in phytoplankton and globally, the main exposure routes for humans to BMAA are

  7. Oligosaccharide composition of the neurotoxin responsive Na+ channel and the requirement of sialic acid for activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negishi, M.; Shaw, G.W.; Glick, M.C.

    1986-01-01

    The neurotoxin responsive Na + channel was purified to homogeneity in an 18% yield from a clonal cell line of mouse neuroblastoma, N-18, metabolically labeled with L-[ 3 H]fucose. The Na + channel, a glycoprotein, M/sub r/=200,000 (gradient 7-14% PAGE) was digested with Pronase and the glycopeptides were characterized by serial lectin affinity chromatography. greater than 90% of the oligosaccharides contained sialic acid and 18% were biantennary, 39% were triantennary and 30% tetraantennary. The glycoprotein was reconstituted into artificial phospholipid vesicles and 86 Rb flux was stimulated (65%) by 200 μM veratridine and 1.2 μg of scorpion venom and was inhibited (95%) by 5 μM tetrodotoxin. The requirement of sialic acid for Na + channel activity was demonstrated since neuraminidase (0.01 U) treatment of the reconstituted glycoprotein eliminated the response of 86 Rb flux to the stimulating neurotoxins. In other experiments, treatment of N-18 cells with 10 μM swainsonine, an inhibitor of glycoprotein processing, altered the oligosaccharide composition of the Na + channel. When the abnormally glycosylated Na + channel was reconstituted into artificial phospholipid vesicles, 86 Rb flux in response to neurotoxins was impaired. Thus, glycosylation of the polypeptide with oligosaccharides of specific composition and structure is essential for expression of the biological activity of the neurotoxin responsive Na + channel

  8. Eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EDN) levels in commercial human urinary preparations of glycoprotein hormones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kauffman, HF; Hovenga, H; de Bruijn, HWA; Beintema, JJ

    Eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EDN) is a ubiquitous human ribonuclease, occurring not only in eosinophils, but also in many tissues and body fluids. It may be a contaminant of commercial human urinary preparations of chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and other glycoprotein hormones. Here we describe the

  9. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Ozbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-04-07

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones.

  10. A comparative study on three analytical methods for the determination of the neurotoxin BMAA in cyanobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.; Gillissen, F.; Lürling, M.

    2012-01-01

    The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been considered a serious health threat because of its putative role in multiple neurodegenerative diseases. First reports on BMAA concentrations in cyanobacteria were alarming: nearly all cyanobacteria were assumed to contain high

  11. Presence of the neurotoxin BMAA in aquatic ecosystems: What do we really know?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.

    2014-01-01

    The neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. BMAA production by cyanobacteria has been reported and contact with cyanobacteria infested waters or consumption of

  12. Trans generational effects of the neurotoxin BMAA on the aquatic grazer Daphnia magna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.; Garcia-Altares, M.; Mendes e Mello, M.; Lurling, M.F.L.L.W.

    2015-01-01

    ß-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxin that is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA has been detected in phytoplankton and globally, the main exposure routes for humans to BMAA are through

  13. [Isolation and properties of insect-specific neurotoxins from venoms of the spider Lactodectus mactans tredecimguttatus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnoperov, V G; Shamotienko, O G; Grishin, E V

    1990-08-01

    A method has been developed for isolating five insect-specific neurotoxins and alpha-latrotoxin from venom of the Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus spider by means of ion exchange chromatography on Mono Q and Mono S columns and chromatography on hydroxylapatite column. LD 50 of all the toxins are determined.

  14. [A crustacean-specific neurotoxin from the venom of the black widow spider Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnoperov, V G; Shamotienko, O G; Grishin, E V

    1990-11-01

    A method of the isolation of a crustacea-specific neurotoxin from the venom of the Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus spider by means of ion exchange chromatography on Mono Q and Mono S columns and hydrophobic chromatography on Phenyl-Superose column has been developed. LD50 of the toxin has been elucidated.

  15. [Structure of tryptic fragments of a neurotoxin from black widow spider venom].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkova, T M; Galkina, T G; Kudelin, A B; Grishin, E V

    1991-04-01

    The N-terminal amino acid sequence of a neurotoxin from the venom of Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus (alpha-latrotoxin) was determined. Latrotoxin was subjected to the tryptic cleavage and total or partial amino acid sequences of 25 peptides were established. In total the tryptic fragments contained 252 amino acid residues. Essential structural information on cloning of the latrotoxin structural gene was obtained.

  16. Organization and regulation of the neurotoxin genes in Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffestin, Stéphanie; Marvaud, Jean Christophe; Cerrato, Rosario; Dupuy, Bruno; Popoff, Michel R

    2004-04-01

    Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins are structurally and functionally related 150 kDa proteins that are potent inhibitors of neuroexocytosis. Botulinum neurotoxin associates with non-toxic proteins to form complexes of various sizes. The botulinum neurotoxin and non-toxic protein genes are clustered in a DNA segment called the botulinum locus. This locus is probably located on a mobile or degenerate mobile element, which accounts for the various genomic localizations (chromosome, plasmid, phage) in different Clostridium botulinum types. The botulinum neurotoxin and non-toxic protein genes are organized in two polycistronic operons (ntnh-bont and ha operons) transcribed in opposite orientations. The gene that separates the two operons of the botulinum locus in C. botulinum A encodes a 21 kDa protein BotR/A, which is a positive regulator of the expression of the botulinum locus genes. Similarly, in Clostridium tetani, the gene located immediately upstream of the tetanus toxin gene, encodes a positive regulatory protein, TetR. BotR and TetR are possibly alternative sigma factors related to TxeR and UviA, which regulate C. difficile toxin and C. perfringens bacteriocin production, respectively. TxeR and UviA define a new sub-group of the sigma(70) family of RNA polymerase initiation factors. In addition, the C. botulinum genome contains predicted two-component system genes, some of which are possibly involved in regulation of toxinogenesis.

  17. Rapid multiplex immunoassay to distinguish botulinum neurotoxin serotypes on a single lateral flow device(Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT/A–G). The potency of these toxins result in a high mortality rate with BoNT/A and /B accounting for most of the naturally occurring outbreaks. The ease of BoNT production and their potential use as bi...

  18. Acute desensitization of presynaptic GABA(B)-mediated inhibition and induction of epileptiform discharges in the neonatal rat hippocampus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tosetti, P; Bakels, R; Colin-Le Brun, [No Value; Ferrand, N; Gaiarsa, JL; Caillard, O

    The consequences of sustained activation of GABA(B) receptors on GABA(B)-mediated inhibition and network activity were investigated in the neonatal rat hippocampus using whole-cell and extracellular field recordings. GABA(B)-mediated presynaptic control of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release

  19. Blood and serum biochemistry of omentopexed West African Dwarf ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the blood and serum biochemistry following peritoneum sutured and not sutured techniques of laparotomy sutures in omentopexed WAD goats. Twentyfive male WAD goats were randomly divided into 5 groups (A – E). In group A, peritoneum was not sutured, while in group B, the peritoneum was ...

  20. Using Augmented Reality to Teach and Learn Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Garzón, Juan Carlos; Magrini, Marcio Luiz; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Understanding metabolism and metabolic pathways constitutes one of the central aims for students of biological sciences. Learning metabolic pathways should be focused on the understanding of general concepts and core principles. New technologies such Augmented Reality (AR) have shown potential to improve assimilation of biochemistry abstract…

  1. Differentiating Biochemistry Course Laboratories Based on Student Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakubowski, Henry V.

    2011-01-01

    Content and emphases in undergraduate biochemistry courses can be readily tailored to accommodate the standards of the department in which they are housed, as well as the backgrounds of the students in the courses. A more challenging issue is how to construct laboratory experiences for a class with both chemistry majors, who usually have little or…

  2. Blog Construction as an Effective Tool in Biochemistry Active Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubas Rolim, Estêvão; Martins de Oliveira, Julia; Dalvi, Luana T.; Moreira, Daniel C.; Garcia Caldas, Natasha; Fernandes Lobo, Felipe; André Polli, Démerson; Campos, Élida G.; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2017-01-01

    To boost active learning in undergraduate students, they were given the task of preparing blogs on topics of clinical biochemistry. This "experiment" lasted for 12 teaching-semesters (from 2008 to 2013), and included a survey on the blogs' usefulness at the end of each semester. The survey (applied in the 2008-2010 period) used a…

  3. Undergraduate Performance in Solving Ill-Defined Biochemistry Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensibaugh, Cheryl A.; Madrid, Nathaniel J.; Choi, Hye-Jeong; Anderson, William L.; Osgood, Marcy P.

    2017-01-01

    With growing interest in promoting skills related to the scientific process, we studied performance in solving ill-defined problems demonstrated by graduating biochemistry majors at a public, minority-serving university. As adoption of techniques for facilitating the attainment of higher-order learning objectives broadens, so too does the need to…

  4. Biochemistry Instructors' Perceptions of Analogies and Their Classroom Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, MaryKay; Bussey, Thomas J.; Bodner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Biochemistry education relies heavily on students' abilities to conceptualize abstract cellular and molecular processes, mechanisms, and components. From a constructivist standpoint, students build their understandings of these abstract processes by connecting, expanding, or revising their prior conceptions and experiences. As such, biochemistry…

  5. Raising Environmental Awareness through Applied Biochemistry Laboratory Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salman Ashraf, S.

    2013-01-01

    Our environment is under constant pressure and threat from various sources of pollution. Science students, in particular chemistry students, must not only be made aware of these issues, but also be taught that chemistry (and science) can provide solutions to such real-life issues. To this end, a newly developed biochemistry laboratory experiment…

  6. Assessment of Learning Gains in a Flipped Biochemistry Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojennus, Deanna Dahlke

    2016-01-01

    The flipped classroom has become an increasingly popular pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. In this study, learning gains were assessed in a flipped biochemistry course and compared to gains in a traditional lecture. Although measured learning gains were not significantly different between the two courses, student perception of…

  7. Imaging spectroscopy of foliar biochemistry in forestry environments ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper aims to give an overview of the state of the art of foliar biochemistry assessment in general and, where possible, attention is given to: (1) Eucalyptus forest environments, (2) use of hyperspectral remote sensing or imaging spectroscopy, and (3) the challenges towards operational application of such assessments.

  8. An "in Silico" DNA Cloning Experiment for the Biochemistry Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins, Kelly M.

    2011-01-01

    This laboratory exercise introduces students to concepts in recombinant DNA technology while accommodating a major semester project in protein purification, structure, and function in a biochemistry laboratory for junior- and senior-level undergraduate students. It is also suitable for forensic science courses focused in DNA biology and advanced…

  9. Aspects of the serum biochemistry, carcass quality and organoleptic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... 62.4% in broilers diets did not produce serous adverse affects on performance, serum biochemistry, carcass and eating quality of broilers. Keywords: Date pits, alkali-treatment, broilers. Animal Production Research Advances Vol. 1(2) 2005: 76-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/apra.v1i2.36296 · AJOL African Journals Online.

  10. Phosphinic acid compounds in biochemistry, biology and medicine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Collinsová, Michaela; Jiráček, Jiří

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 7, - (2000), s. 629-647 ISSN 0929-8673 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/97/0039; GA AV ČR KSK2055603 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 4.909, year: 2000

  11. Retraction 1 | Soliman | Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 34, No 1-2 (2016) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  12. Haematology, serum biochemistry and organ weight changes of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A total of fifty Wistar albino rats weighing 50-60g were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments in a completely randomized design to investigate the haematology, serum biochemistry and organ weight changes on diets containing processed dehulled jack bean. Four diets containing 10% crude protein were formulated ...

  13. Semen quality, biochemistry and mineral content of five strains of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted to evaluate the genetic effect on semen quality, biochemistry and mineral content of three strains of Nigerian indigenous and two exotic cocks. One hundred (100) adult local breeding cocks comprising 20 normal, 20 frizzle and 20 naked necks, 20 dominant black and 20 dominant blue feather were ...

  14. Retraction 2 | Shafik | Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Value of co-peptin/ plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 axis in early diagnosis of preterm labor risk among pre-eclamptic Egyptian women. Noha M. Shafik1, Soha S. Zakaria1, Ahmed M. Hagras2 and Ghada M. Abou-Fard3 Departments of Medical Biochemistry1, Gynecology2 and Physiology3, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta ...

  15. Haematology and serum biochemistry of laying hens fed red pepper ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The hematology and serum biochemistry of ISA brown laying hens fed red pepper (Capsicum annum. L.) as feed additive in their diet was studied. Sixty (60) laying birds (in their 32nd week) were randomly allotted to four different dietary treatments with graded levels of red pepper (Capsicum annum. L.) as additive.

  16. Physiology and biochemistry of recalcitrant Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristina F. Connor; F.T. Bonner

    1998-01-01

    Investigations of recalcitrant, or desiccation-sensitive, seeds have as yet failed to identify the causes of this phenomenon. Experiments with Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer (American muskwood) were initiated to determine the effects of desiccation on the physiology and biochemistry of the seeds of this tropical tree species. Seeds were air-dried at...

  17. Three enzymatically active neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum strain Af84: BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Baudys, Jakub; Smith, Theresa J; Smith, Leonard A; Barr, John R

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by various species of clostridia and are potent neurotoxins which cause the disease botulism, by cleaving proteins needed for successful nerve transmission. There are currently seven confirmed serotypes of BoNTs, labeled A-G, and toxin-producing clostridia typically only produce one serotype of BoNT. There are a few strains (bivalent strains) which are known to produce more than one serotype of BoNT, producing either both BoNT/A and /B, BoNT/A and /F, or BoNT/B and /F, designated as Ab, Ba, Af, or Bf. Recently, it was reported that Clostridium botulinum strain Af84 has three neurotoxin gene clusters: bont/A2, bont/F4, and bont/F5. This was the first report of a clostridial organism containing more than two neurotoxin gene clusters. Using a mass spectrometry based proteomics approach, we report here that all three neurotoxins, BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5, are produced by C. botulinum Af84. Label free MS(E) quantification of the three toxins indicated that toxin composition is 88% BoNT/A2, 1% BoNT/F4, and 11% BoNT/F5. The enzymatic activity of all three neurotoxins was assessed by examining the enzymatic activity of the neurotoxins upon peptide substrates, which mimic the toxins' natural targets, and monitoring cleavage of the substrates by mass spectrometry. We determined that all three neurotoxins are enzymatically active. This is the first report of three enzymatically active neurotoxins produced in a single strain of Clostridium botulinum.

  18. Presynaptic inhibition of spontaneous acetylcholine release induced by adenosine at the mouse neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lorenzo, Silvana; Veggetti, Mariela; Muchnik, Salomón; Losavio, Adriana

    2004-05-01

    1. At the mouse neuromuscular junction, adenosine (AD) and the A(1) agonist 2-chloro-N(6)-cyclopentyl-adenosine (CCPA) induce presynaptic inhibition of spontaneous acetylcholine (ACh) release by activation of A(1) AD receptors through a mechanism that is still unknown. To evaluate whether the inhibition is mediated by modulation of the voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) associated with tonic secretion (L- and N-type VDCCs), we measured the miniature end-plate potential (mepp) frequency in mouse diaphragm muscles. 2. Blockade of VDCCs by Cd(2+) prevented the effect of the CCPA. Nitrendipine (an L-type VDCC antagonist) but not omega-conotoxin GVIA (an N-type VDCC antagonist) blocked the action of CCPA, suggesting that the decrease in spontaneous mepp frequency by CCPA is associated with an action on L-type VDCCs only. 3. As A(1) receptors are coupled to a G(i/o) protein, we investigated whether the inhibition of PKA or the activation of PKC is involved in the presynaptic inhibition mechanism. Neither N-(2[p-bromocinnamylamino]-ethyl)-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide (H-89, a PKA inhibitor), nor 1-(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methyl-piperazine (H-7, a PKC antagonist), nor phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PHA, a PKC activator) modified CCPA-induced presynaptic inhibition, suggesting that these second messenger pathways are not involved. 4. The effect of CCPA was eliminated by the calmodulin antagonist N-(6-aminohexil)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W-7) and by ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid-acetoxymethyl ester epsilon6TDelta-BM, which suggests that the action of CCPA to modulate L-type VDCCs may involve Ca(2+)-calmodulin. 5. To investigate the action of CCPA on diverse degrees of nerve terminal depolarization, we studied its effect at different external K(+) concentrations. The effect of CCPA on ACh secretion evoked by 10 mm K(+) was prevented by the P/Q-type VDCC antagonist omega-agatoxin IVA. 6. CCPA failed to

  19. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

  20. Changes in presynaptic release, but not reuptake, of bioamines induced by long-term antidepressant treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolzhenko, A.T.; Komissarov, I.V.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes an investigation into the effect of long-term administration of antidepressants on neuronal uptake of NA and 5-HT and on their release, induced by electrical stimulation, in rat brain slices. The effects of the test substances on neuronal uptake of 14 C-NA and 3 H-5-HT by the slices was investigated. Values of IC 50 and EC 2 were found and compared in the experiments and control. The inhibitory effect of clonidine (10 -4 M) and of 5-HT (10 -5 M) on presynaptic release of 14 C-NA and 3 H-5-HT also was studied in brain slices from intact rats and rats treated for two weeks with antidepressants

  1. Mutations in STX1B, encoding a presynaptic protein, cause fever-associated epilepsy syndromes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schubert, J.; Siekierska, A.; Langlois, M.

    2014-01-01

    Febrile seizures affect 2-4% of all children(1) and have a strong genetic component(2). Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2)(3-5) have been identified that cause febrile seizures with or without epilepsy. Here we report the identification of mutations in STX1B, encoding...... syntaxin-1B(6), that are associated with both febrile seizures and epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing in independent large pedigrees(7,8) identified cosegregating STX1B mutations predicted to cause an early truncation or an in-frame insertion or deletion. Three additional nonsense or missense mutations....... Wild-type human syntaxin-1B but not a mutated protein rescued the effects of stx1b knockdown in zebrafish. Our results thus implicate STX1B and the presynaptic release machinery in fever-associated epilepsy syndromes....

  2. A model for short alpha-neurotoxin bound to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica: comparison with long-chain alpha-neurotoxins and alpha-conotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordvintsev, D Yu; Polyak, Ya L; Levtsova, O V; Tourleigh, Ye V; Kasheverov, I E; Shaitan, K V; Utkin, Yu N; Tsetlin, V I

    2005-12-01

    Short-chain alpha-neurotoxins from snakes are highly selective antagonists of the muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Although their spatial structures are known and abundant information on topology of binding to nAChR is obtained by labeling and mutagenesis studies, the accurate structure of the complex is not yet known. Here, we present a model for a short alpha-neurotoxin, neurotoxin II from Naja oxiana (NTII), bound to Torpedo californica nAChR. It was built by comparative modeling, docking and molecular dynamics using 1H NMR structure of NTII, cross-linking and mutagenesis data, cryoelectron microscopy structure of Torpedo marmorata nAChR [Unwin, N., 2005. Refined structure of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at 4A resolution. J. Mol. Biol. 346, 967-989] and X-ray structures of acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) with agonists [Celie, P.H., van Rossum-Fikkert, S.E., van Dijk, W.J., Brejc, K., Smit, A.B., Sixma, T.K., 2004. Nicotine and carbamylcholine binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as studied in AChBP crystal structures. Neuron 41 (6), 907-914] and antagonists: alpha-cobratoxin, a long-chain alpha-neurotoxin [Bourne, Y., Talley, T.T., Hansen, S.B., Taylor, P., Marchot, P., 2005. Crystal structure of Cbtx-AChBP complex reveals essential interactions between snake alpha-neurotoxins and nicotinic receptors. EMBO J. 24 (8), 1512-1522] and alpha-conotoxin [Celie, P.H., Kasheverov, I.E., Mordvintsev, D.Y., Hogg, R.C., van Nierop, P., van Elk, R., van Rossum-Fikkert, S.E., Zhmak, M.N., Bertrand, D., Tsetlin, V., Sixma, T.K., Smit, A.B., 2005. Crystal structure of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor homolog AChBP in complex with an alpha-conotoxin PnIA variant. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 12 (7), 582-588]. In complex with the receptor, NTII was located at about 30 A from the membrane surface, the tip of its loop II plunges into the ligand-binding pocket between the alpha/gamma or alpha/delta nAChR subunits, while the loops I and III

  3. The presynaptic Munc13-1 binds alcohol and modulates alcohol self-administration in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Joydip; Xu, Shiyu; Pany, Satyabrata; Guillory, Ashley; Shah, Vrutant; Roman, Gregg W.

    2013-01-01

    Munc13-1 is a presynaptic active-zone protein essential for neurotransmitter release and involved in presynaptic plasticity in brain. Ethanol, butanol and octanol quenched the intrinsic fluorescence of the C1 domain of Munc13-1 with EC50s of 52 mM, 26 mM and 0.7 mM, respectively. Photoactive azialcohols photolabeled Munc13-1 C1 exclusively at Glu-582, which was identified by mass spectrometry. Mutation of Glu-582 to alanine, leucine and histidine reduced the alcohol binding two- to five-fold. Circular dichroism studies suggested that binding of alcohol increased the stability of the wild type Munc13-1 compared with the mutants. If Munc13-1 plays some role in the neural effects of alcohol in vivo, changes in the activity of this protein should produce differences in the behavioral responses to ethanol. We tested this prediction with a loss-of-function mutation in the conserved Dunc-13 in Drosophila melanogaster. The Dunc-13P84200/+ heterozygotes have 50% wild type levels of Dunc-13 mRNA and display a very robust increase in ethanol self-administration. This phenotype is reversed by the expression of the rat Munc13-1 protein within the Drosophila nervous system. The present studies indicate that Munc13-1 C1 has binding site(s) for alcohols and Munc13-1 activity is sufficient to restore normal self-administration to Drosophila mutants deficient in Dunc-13 activity. PMID:23692447

  4. Electrical receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells: Influence of presynaptic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maturana, Matias I; Apollo, Nicholas V; Garrett, David J; Kameneva, Tatiana; Cloherty, Shaun L; Grayden, David B; Burkitt, Anthony N; Ibbotson, Michael R; Meffin, Hamish

    2018-02-01

    Implantable retinal stimulators activate surviving neurons to restore a sense of vision in people who have lost their photoreceptors through degenerative diseases. Complex spatial and temporal interactions occur in the retina during multi-electrode stimulation. Due to these complexities, most existing implants activate only a few electrodes at a time, limiting the repertoire of available stimulation patterns. Measuring the spatiotemporal interactions between electrodes and retinal cells, and incorporating them into a model may lead to improved stimulation algorithms that exploit the interactions. Here, we present a computational model that accurately predicts both the spatial and temporal nonlinear interactions of multi-electrode stimulation of rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The model was verified using in vitro recordings of ON, OFF, and ON-OFF RGCs in response to subretinal multi-electrode stimulation with biphasic pulses at three stimulation frequencies (10, 20, 30 Hz). The model gives an estimate of each cell's spatiotemporal electrical receptive fields (ERFs); i.e., the pattern of stimulation leading to excitation or suppression in the neuron. All cells had excitatory ERFs and many also had suppressive sub-regions of their ERFs. We show that the nonlinearities in observed responses arise largely from activation of presynaptic interneurons. When synaptic transmission was blocked, the number of sub-regions of the ERF was reduced, usually to a single excitatory ERF. This suggests that direct cell activation can be modeled accurately by a one-dimensional model with linear interactions between electrodes, whereas indirect stimulation due to summated presynaptic responses is nonlinear.

  5. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

  6. Prophylactic versus Therapeutic Fingolimod: Restoration of Presynaptic Defects in Mice Suffering from Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

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    Tommaso Bonfiglio

    Full Text Available Fingolimod, the first oral, disease-modifying therapy for MS, has been recently proposed to modulate glutamate transmission in the central nervous system (CNS of mice suffering from Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE and in MS patients. Our study aims at investigating whether oral fingolimod recovers presynaptic defects that occur at different stages of disease in the CNS of EAE mice. In vivo prophylactic (0.3 mg/kg for 14 days, from the 7th day post immunization, d.p.i, the drug dissolved in the drinking water fingolimod significantly reduced the clinical symptoms and the anxiety-related behaviour in EAE mice. Spinal cord inflammation, demyelination and glial cell activation are markers of EAE progression. These signs were ameliorated following oral fingolimod administration. Glutamate exocytosis was shown to be impaired in cortical and spinal cord terminals isolated from EAE mice at 21 ± 1 d.p.i., while GABA alteration emerged only at the spinal cord level. Prophylactic fingolimod recovered these presynaptic defects, restoring altered glutamate and GABA release efficiency. The beneficial effect occurred in a dose-dependent, region-specific manner, since lower (0.1-0.03 mg/kg doses restored, although to a different extent, synaptic defects in cortical but not spinal cord terminals. A delayed reduction of glutamate, but not of GABA, exocytosis was observed in hippocampal terminals of EAE mice at 35 d.p.i. Therapeutic (0.3 mg/kg, from 21 d.p.i. for 14 days fingolimod restored glutamate exocytosis in the cortex and in the hippocampus of EAE mice at 35 ± 1 d.p.i. but not in the spinal cord, where also GABAergic defects remained unmodified. These results improve our knowledge of the molecular events accounting for the beneficial effects elicited by fingolimod in demyelinating disorders.

  7. Sepsis causes presynaptic histamine H3 and alpha2-adrenergic dysfunction in canine myocardium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zao-Qin; Bose, Deepak; Jacobs, Han; Light, R Bruce; Mink, Steven N

    2002-11-01

    Histamine H3 receptors and alpha2-adrenoceptors are presynaptic receptors that modulate norepinephrine (NE) release from sympathetic nerves innervating the cardiovascular system. We previously showed that cardiac H3 receptors are activated in sepsis, and that this activation leads to a decrease in the adrenergic response (AR) [J. Appl. Physiol. 85 (1998) 1693-1701] H3-receptors and alpha2-receptors appear to be coupled to GTP binding regulatory proteins (G) that modulate transmitter release by reducing calcium current into the nerve terminals through neuronal calcium channels. There may also be interaction between H3-receptors and alpha2-receptors on AR that may occur either at the receptor or a more downstream level. In the present study, we examined the effect of septic plasma on AR in a canine ventricular preparation in which field stimulation was used to produce AR. We determined whether there was interaction between H(3)-receptors and alpha2-adrenoceptors and tested whether H3 activation would attenuate the alpha2-agonist and alpha2-antagonist effects of clonidine and yohimbine, respectively. We also determined whether the mechanism by which septic plasma decreases the adrenergic response involves inactivation of an inhibitory G protein and used pertussis toxin (PTX) to assess this effect. We found that septic plasma attenuated AR produced by field stimulation, and that this decrease was mediated by a PTX sensitive inhibitory G protein. H3 activation also attenuated the alpha2-agonist and alpha2-antagonist effects on adrenergic activation as compared with nonseptic plasma. We conclude that presynaptic sympathetic dysfunction may contribute to cardiovascular collapse in sepsis.

  8. Effects of the aminoglycoside antibiotics, streptomycin and neomycin, on neuromuscular transmission. I. Presynaptic considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiekers, J F

    1983-06-01

    The effects of two aminoglycoside antibiotics, streptomycin and neomycin, were studied in voltage-clamped transected twitch fibers of the costocutaneous muscles of garter snakes (species Thamnophis). The concentration-dependent effects of each antibiotic were quantitated by measuring miniature end-plate currents (mepcs) and evoked end-plate currents (epcs) in a single fiber before and in the presence of a wide range of concentrations of each antibiotic. The amplitude and the kinetics of these currents were studied and estimates of the quantal content of evoked transmitter release determined by the direct method of mean ratios, epc/mepc. A distinct separation was obtained between the concentrations of each antibiotic which demonstrated either pre- or postsynaptic actions. Both streptomycin and neomycin produced a concentration-dependent reduction in epc amplitude at concentrations which did not reduce mepc amplitude. Thus, the primary site of action for these antibiotics was considered of presynaptic origin. Streptomycin was approximately one-tenth as active as neomycin in reducing quantal release of acetylcholine. The marked depression in epc amplitude and quantal content produced by high concentrations of each antibiotic were reversed by elevating the external calcium concentration. Double logarithmic plots of the relationship between external calcium concentration and epc amplitude yielded a slope of approximately 3.8 in control physiological solution. In the presence of blocking concentrations of each antibiotic, increasing the external calcium concentration caused a parallel shift to the right of this relationship. These results suggest that the major mechanism for the neuromuscular depression produced by these aminoglycoside antibiotics is a competitive antagonism with calcium for a common presynaptic site required for evoked transmitter release.

  9. Independent evolution of neurotoxin and flagellar genetic loci in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum

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    Twine Susan M

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum is the causative agent of botulism, a severe neuroparalytic illness. Given the severity of botulism, surprisingly little is known of the population structure, biology, phylogeny or evolution of C. botulinum. The recent determination of the genome sequence of C. botulinum has allowed comparative genomic indexing using a DNA microarray. Results Whole genome microarray analysis revealed that 63% of the coding sequences (CDSs present in reference strain ATCC 3502 were common to all 61 widely-representative strains of proteolytic C. botulinum and the closely related C. sporogenes tested. This indicates a relatively stable genome. There was, however, evidence for recombination and genetic exchange, in particular within the neurotoxin gene and cluster (including transfer of neurotoxin genes to C. sporogenes, and the flagellar glycosylation island (FGI. These two loci appear to have evolved independently from each other, and from the remainder of the genetic complement. A number of strains were atypical; for example, while 10 out of 14 strains that formed type A1 toxin gave almost identical profiles in whole genome, neurotoxin cluster and FGI analyses, the other four strains showed divergent properties. Furthermore, a new neurotoxin sub-type (A5 has been discovered in strains from heroin-associated wound botulism cases. For the first time, differences in glycosylation profiles of the flagella could be linked to differences in the gene content of the FGI. Conclusion Proteolytic C. botulinum has a stable genome backbone containing specific regions of genetic heterogeneity. These include the neurotoxin gene cluster and the FGI, each having evolved independently of each other and the remainder of the genetic complement. Analysis of these genetic components provides a high degree of discrimination of strains of proteolytic C. botulinum, and is suitable for clinical and forensic investigations of botulism

  10. Structure- and Substrate- Based Inhibitor Design for Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A*

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumaran,D.; Rawat, R.; Ludivico, M.; Ahmed, S.; Swaminathan, S.

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins cleave specific soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex proteins and block the release of neurotransmitters that cause flaccid paralysis and are considered potential bioweapons. Botulinum neurotoxin type A is the most potent among the clostridial neurotoxins, and to date there is no post-exposure therapeutic intervention available. To develop inhibitors leading to drug design, it is imperative that critical interactions between the enzyme and the substrate near the active site are known. Although enzyme-substrate interactions at exosites away from the active site are mapped in detail for botulinum neurotoxin type A, information about the active site interactions is lacking. Here, we present the crystal structures of botulinum neurotoxin type A catalytic domain in complex with four inhibitory substrate analog tetrapeptides, viz. RRGC, RRGL, RRGI, and RRGM at resolutions of 1.6-1.8 Angstroms . These structures show for the first time the interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site and delineate residues important for substrate stabilization and catalytic activity. We show that OH of Tyr366 and NH2 of Arg363 are hydrogen-bonded to carbonyl oxygens of P1 and P1' of the substrate analog and position it for catalytic activity. Most importantly, the nucleophilic water is replaced by the amino group of the N-terminal residue of the tetrapeptide. Furthermore, the S1' site is formed by Phe194, Thr215, Thr220, Asp370, and Arg363. The Ki of the best inhibitory tetrapeptide is 157 nm.

  11. Defensin-neurotoxin dyad in a basally branching metazoan sea anemone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chan-Hee; Lee, Ye Jin; Go, Hye-Jin; Oh, Hye Young; Lee, Tae Kwan; Park, Ji Been; Park, Nam Gyu

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies suggest that vertebrate and invertebrate defensins have evolved from two independent ancestors, and that both defensins could share origins with animal toxins. Here, we purified novel sea anemone neurotoxin (BDS)-like antimicrobial peptides (AMPs)-Crassicorin-I and its putative homolog (Crassicorin-II)-from the pharynx extract of an anthozoan sea anemone (Urticina crassicornis). Based on structural analyses and cDNA cloning, mature Crassicorin-I represents a cationic AMP likely generated from a precursor and comprising 40 amino acid residues, including six cysteines forming three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Recombinant Crassicorin-I produced in a heterologous bacterial-expression system displayed antimicrobial activity against both a gram-positive bacterium (Bacillus subtilis) and gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica). The Crassicorin-I transcript was upregulated by immune challenge, suggesting its involvement in defense mechanisms against infectious pathogens in sea anemone. Sequence alignment and three-dimensional molecular modeling revealed that Crassicorin-I exhibits high degrees of structural similarity to sea anemone neurotoxins that share β-defensin fold which is found in vertebrate defensins and invertebrate big-defensins. Consistent with its structural similarity to neurotoxins, Crassicorin-I exhibited paralytic activity toward a crustacean. These findings motivated our investigation and subsequent discovery of antimicrobial activity from other known sea anemone neurotoxins, such as APETx1 and ShK. Collectively, our work signified that Crassicorin-I is the first AMP identified from a sea anemone and provided evidence of a functional linkage between AMPs and neurotoxins in a basally branching metazoan. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  12. Presynaptic selectivity of a ligand for serotonin 1A receptors revealed by in vivo PET assays of rat brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeaki Saijo

    Full Text Available A novel investigational antidepressant with high affinity for the serotonin transporter and the serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A receptor, called Wf-516 (structural formula: (2S-1-[4-(3,4-dichlorophenylpiperidin-1-yl]-3-[2-(5-methyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-ylbenzo[b]furan-4-yloxy]propan-2-ol monohydrochloride, has been found to exert a rapid therapeutic effect, although the mechanistic basis for this potential advantage remains undetermined. We comparatively investigated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Wf-516 and pindolol by positron emission tomographic (PET and autoradiographic assays of rat brains in order to elucidate their molecular interactions with presynaptic and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A receptors. In contrast to the full receptor occupancy by pindolol in PET measurements, the binding of Wf-516 to 5-HT(1A receptors displayed limited capacity, with relatively high receptor occupancy being achieved in regions predominantly containing presynaptic receptors. This selectivity was further proven by PET scans of neurotoxicant-treated rats deficient in presynaptic 5-HT(1A receptors. In addition, [(35S]guanosine 5'-O-[γ-thio]triphosphate autoradiography indicated a partial agonistic ability of Wf-516 for 5-HT(1A receptors. This finding has lent support to reports that diverse partial agonists for 5-HT(1A receptors exert high sensitivity for presynaptic components. Thus, the present PET data suggest a relatively high capacity of presynaptic binding sites for partial agonists. Since our in vitro and ex vivo autoradiographies failed to illustrate these distinct features of Wf-516, in vivo PET imaging is considered to be, thus far, the sole method capable of pharmacokinetically demonstrating the unique actions of Wf-516 and similar new-generation antidepressants.

  13. Super-resolution microscopy reveals presynaptic localization of the ALS / FTD related protein FUS in hippocampal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eSchoen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Fused in Sarcoma (FUS is a multifunctional RNA- / DNA-binding protein, which is involved in the pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD. A common hallmark of these disorders is the abnormal accumulation of mutated FUS protein in the cytoplasm. Under normal conditions FUS is confined to the nuclear compartment, in neurons however, additional somatodendritic localization can be observed. In this study, we carefully analyzed the subcellular localization of endogenous FUS at synaptic sites of hippocampal neurons which are among the most affected cell types in frontotemporal dementia with FUS pathology. We could confirm a strong nuclear localization of FUS as well as its prominent and widespread neuronal expression throughout the adult and developing rat brain, particularly in the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the outer layers of the cortex. Intriguingly, FUS was also consistently observed at synaptic sites as detected by neuronal subcellular fractionation as well as by immunolabeling. To define a pre- and / or postsynaptic localization of FUS, we employed super-resolution fluorescence localization microscopy. FUS was found to be localized within the axon terminal in close proximity to the presynaptic vesicle protein Synaptophysin1 and adjacent to the active zone protein Bassoon, but well separated from the postsynaptic protein PSD-95. Having shown the presynaptic localization of FUS in the nervous system, a novel extranuclear role of FUS at neuronal contact sites has to be considered. Since there is growing evidence that local presynaptic translation might also be an important mechanism for plasticity, FUS - like the fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP - might act as one of the presynaptic RNA-binding proteins regulating this machinery. Our observation of presynaptic FUS should foster further investigations to determine its role in neurodegenerative diseases such as

  14. Biochemistry on the Media: daily science in audio and video

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. P. Melo et al

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry on the Media: daily science in audio and video Melo,B. P1; Henriques, L. R1; Júnior, H. G2; Galvão, G. R2; Costa, M. M2; Silva, A. S3; Costa, M. P3; Barreto, L. P3; Almeida, A. A3; Fontes, P. P3; Meireles, L. M3; Costa, P. A3; Costa, C. B3; Monteiro, L. M. O3 Konig, I. M3; Dias, B. K. M1; Santos, R. C. V1; Bagno, F. F1; Fernandes, L1; Alves, P. R1; Sales, F. M1; Martins, T. C. N1; Moreira, V. J. V1; Marchiori, J. M1; Medeiros, L.4; Leite, J. P. V5; Moraes, G. H. K6.   1 Members of ETP-Biochemistry UFV; 2 Students of program Jovens Talentos para a Ciência UFV; 3 Graduating Students of ETP; 4 Coordinator in Espaço Ciência UFV; 5 Pharmaceutical, professor at Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department (BBD UFV, ETP’s tutor; 6 Agronomist, professor at BDD, work’s advisor.   INTRODUCTION: The Educational Tutorial Program in Biochemistry (ETP from UFV have worked in qualification of basic science teachers, offering courses about Biochemistry. In courses, was detected the necessity of a personal material to inspire them. To do it, ETP compiled some media spots in a box and have used it in qualification courses. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this work was construct a part of a permanent material to be used in courses to qualifications high school's teachers and evaluate it. METODOLOGY: Applying questionnaires to high school students, ETP's members had detected that these students don't have a solid idea about how is Biochemistry. Thus, themes about common Biochemistry daily things were elected to be transformed in spots to radio and television. Texts about shampoo composition, vegetable’s darkening, bread’s fermentation, etc, were written and a script done by Journalism’s students of Espaço Ciência(*. Finally, the spots were recorded and vehiculated on universitary channel. In 2013, the spots were compiled in a media box. It has been included in a permanent material used in qualification courses. According to ALBAGLI

  15. Two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 represses transcription from botulinum neurotoxin promoters in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhen; Korkeala, Hannu; Dahlsten, Elias; Sahala, Elina; Heap, John T; Minton, Nigel P; Lindström, Miia

    2013-03-01

    Blocking neurotransmission, botulinum neurotoxin is the most poisonous biological substance known to mankind. Despite its infamy as the scourge of the food industry, the neurotoxin is increasingly used as a pharmaceutical to treat an expanding range of muscle disorders. Whilst neurotoxin expression by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum appears tightly regulated, to date only positive regulatory elements, such as the alternative sigma factor BotR, have been implicated in this control. The identification of negative regulators has proven to be elusive. Here, we show that the two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 negatively regulates botulinum neurotoxin expression. Single insertional inactivation of cbo0787 encoding a sensor histidine kinase, or of cbo0786 encoding a response regulator, resulted in significantly elevated neurotoxin gene expression levels and increased neurotoxin production. Recombinant CBO0786 regulator was shown to bind to the conserved -10 site of the core promoters of the ha and ntnh-botA operons, which encode the toxin structural and accessory proteins. Increasing concentration of CBO0786 inhibited BotR-directed transcription from the ha and ntnh-botA promoters, demonstrating direct transcriptional repression of the ha and ntnh-botA operons by CBO0786. Thus, we propose that CBO0786 represses neurotoxin gene expression by blocking BotR-directed transcription from the neurotoxin promoters. This is the first evidence of a negative regulator controlling botulinum neurotoxin production. Understanding the neurotoxin regulatory mechanisms is a major target of the food and pharmaceutical industries alike.

  16. Biochemistry Students' Ideas about Shape and Charge in Enzyme-Substrate Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery

    2014-01-01

    Biochemistry is a visual discipline that requires students to develop an understanding of numerous representations. However, there is very little known about what students actually understand about the representations that are used to communicate ideas in biochemistry. This study investigated biochemistry students' understanding of multiple…

  17. Biochemistry - Open TG-GATEs | LSDB Archive [Life Science Database Archive metadata

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available tests. Data file File name: open_tggates_biochemistry.zip File URL: ftp://ftp.biosciencedbc.jp/archive/open-...tggates/LATEST/open_tggates_biochemistry.zip File size: 666 KB Simple search URL ...http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/open_tggates_biochemistry#en Data acquisition method - Data analy

  18. DMPD: Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 17502368 Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. de Wee...(.html) (.csml) Show Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. PubmedID 17502368 T...itle Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. Authors

  19. 78 FR 4170 - License Amendment Request for Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, MO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-18

    ... Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, MO AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION... Materials License No. 24-13365-01 issued to Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc. (the licensee), to... accession numbers are: 1. Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc., Licensee amendment request and...

  20. An Investigation of Immunogenicity of Chitosan-Based Botulinum Neurotoxin E Binding Domain Recombinant Candidate Vaccine via Mucosal Route

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    Mohammad Javad Bagheripour

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Botulism syndrome is caused by serotypes A-G of neurotoxins of Clostridium genus. Neurotoxin binding domain is an appropriate vaccine candidate due to its immunogenic activity. In this study, the immunogenicity of chitosan-based botulinum neurotoxin E binding domain recombinant candidate vaccine was investigated via mucosal route of administration. Methods: In this experimental study, chitosan nanoparticles containing rBoNT/E protein were synthesized by ionic gelation method and were administered orally and intranasally to mice. After each administration, IgG antibody titer was measured by ELISA method. Finally, all groups were challenged with active botulinum neurotoxin type E. Data were analyzed using Duncan and repeated ANOVA tests. The significance level was considered as p0.05, even intranasal route reduced the immunogenicity.

  1. A Potent Peptidomimetic Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A has a Very Different Conformation than SNAP-25 Substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-07

    inhibit other BoNT serotypes or thermolysin . 15. SUBJECT TERMS Clostridium botulinum, neurotoxin, serotype A, peptidomimetic inhibitor , light chain...20 0 BoNT/E SNAP-25, residues 1–206 20 0 BoNT/F VAMP residues 1–94 20 0 Thermolysin Synthetic peptidea 500 0 The inhibitor concentration was 4 mM. a...Structure ArticleA Potent Peptidomimetic Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Has a Very Different Conformation than SNAP-25 Substrate Jorge

  2. Discovery of a fluorene class of compounds as inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype E by virtual screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Agarwal, Rakhi; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2012-02-28

    Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most poisonous biological substances known to humans and present a potential bioterrorism threat. There are no therapeutic interventions developed so far. Here, we report the first small molecule non-peptide inhibitor for botulinum neurotoxin serotype E discovered by structure-based virtual screening and propose a mechanism for its inhibitory activity. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012

  3. Minimal Essential Domains Specifying Toxicity of the Light Chains of Tetanus Toxin and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kurazono, Hisao; Mochida, Sumiko; Binz, Thomas; Eisel, Ulrich; Quanz, Martin; Grebenstein, Oliver; Wernars, Karel; Poulain, Bernard; Tauc, Ladislav; Niemann, Heiner

    1992-01-01

    To define conserved domains within the light (L) chains of clostridial neurotoxins, we determined the sequence of botulinum neurotoxin type B (BoNT/B) and aligned it with those of tetanus toxin (TeTx) and BoNT/A, BoNT/Cl, BoNT/D, and BoNT/E. The L chains of BoNT/B and TeTx share 51.6% identical

  4. Differentiating Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridia with a Simple, Multiplex PCR Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Charles H D; Vazquez, Adam J; Hill, Karen; Smith, Theresa J; Nottingham, Roxanne; Stone, Nathan E; Sobek, Colin J; Cocking, Jill H; Fernández, Rafael A; Caballero, Patricia A; Leiser, Owen P; Keim, Paul; Sahl, Jason W

    2017-09-15

    Diverse members of the genus Clostridium produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which cause a flaccid paralysis known as botulism. While multiple species of clostridia produce BoNTs, the majority of human botulism cases have been attributed to Clostridium botulinum groups I and II. Recent comparative genomic studies have demonstrated the genomic diversity within these BoNT-producing species. This report introduces a multiplex PCR assay for differentiating members of C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Coding region sequences unique to each of the four species/subgroups were identified by in silico analyses of thousands of genome assemblies, and PCR primers were designed to amplify each marker. The resulting multiplex PCR assay correctly assigned 41 tested isolates to the appropriate species or subgroup. A separate PCR assay to determine the presence of the ntnh gene (a gene associated with the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster) was developed and validated. The ntnh gene PCR assay provides information about the presence or absence of the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster and the type of gene cluster present ( ha positive [ ha + ] or orfX + ). The increased availability of whole-genome sequence data and comparative genomic tools enabled the design of these assays, which provide valuable information for characterizing BoNT-producing clostridia. The PCR assays are rapid, inexpensive tests that can be applied to a variety of sample types to assign isolates to species/subgroups and to detect clostridia with botulinum neurotoxin gene ( bont ) clusters. IMPORTANCE Diverse clostridia produce the botulinum neurotoxin, one of the most potent known neurotoxins. In this study, a multiplex PCR assay was developed to differentiate clostridia that are most commonly isolated in connection with human botulism cases: C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Since Bo

  5. Brain biochemistry and personality: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryman, Sephira G; Gasparovic, Chuck; Bedrick, Edward J; Flores, Ranee A; Marshall, Alison N; Jung, Rex E

    2011-01-01

    To investigate the biochemical correlates of normal personality we utilized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS). Our sample consisted of 60 subjects ranging in age from 18 to 32 (27 females). Personality was assessed with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). We measured brain biochemistry within the precuneus, the cingulate cortex, and underlying white matter. We hypothesized that brain biochemistry within these regions would predict individual differences across major domains of personality functioning. Biochemical models were fit for all personality domains including Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Our findings involved differing concentrations of Choline (Cho), Creatine (Cre), and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in regions both within (i.e., posterior cingulate cortex) and white matter underlying (i.e., precuneus) the Default Mode Network (DMN). These results add to an emerging literature regarding personality neuroscience, and implicate biochemical integrity within the default mode network as constraining major personality domains within normal human subjects.

  6. Brain biochemistry and personality: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sephira G Ryman

    Full Text Available To investigate the biochemical correlates of normal personality we utilized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1H-MRS. Our sample consisted of 60 subjects ranging in age from 18 to 32 (27 females. Personality was assessed with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI. We measured brain biochemistry within the precuneus, the cingulate cortex, and underlying white matter. We hypothesized that brain biochemistry within these regions would predict individual differences across major domains of personality functioning. Biochemical models were fit for all personality domains including Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Our findings involved differing concentrations of Choline (Cho, Creatine (Cre, and N-acetylaspartate (NAA in regions both within (i.e., posterior cingulate cortex and white matter underlying (i.e., precuneus the Default Mode Network (DMN. These results add to an emerging literature regarding personality neuroscience, and implicate biochemical integrity within the default mode network as constraining major personality domains within normal human subjects.

  7. Myoglobin structure and function: A multiweek biochemistry laboratory project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstein, Todd P; Kirk, Sarah R; Meyer, Scott C; Holman, Karen L McFarlane

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a multiweek laboratory project in which students isolate myoglobin and characterize its structure, function, and redox state. The important laboratory techniques covered in this project include size-exclusion chromatography, electrophoresis, spectrophotometric titration, and FTIR spectroscopy. Regarding protein structure, students work with computer modeling and visualization of myoglobin and its homologues, after which they spectroscopically characterize its thermal denaturation. Students also study protein function (ligand binding equilibrium) and are instructed on topics in data analysis (calibration curves, nonlinear vs. linear regression). This upper division biochemistry laboratory project is a challenging and rewarding one that not only exposes students to a wide variety of important biochemical laboratory techniques but also ties those techniques together to work with a single readily available and easily characterized protein, myoglobin. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  8. How to Search for Life by the Detection of Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Davila, A.; Sun, H. J.

    2013-12-01

    We consider how to search for life by the detection of biochemistry in three relevance case: 1) in samples returned to Earth, 2) In situ in the organic rich plume of Enceladus, and 3) On Mars, following the discovery of organics. A search for organic biomarkers can address several questions including: 1) Evidence for present or past life, 2) Evidence for a second genesis of life, 3) Hazard assessment for human explorers and sample return and 4) Detection of bioload from Earth. Some useful analogs for the search for organic biomarkers on other worlds include 1) Ancient Earth sediment record, an example of a poorly preserved ancient biochemistry, 2) Modern environments including anoxic Antarctic sediments 3)Extreme cold desert surfaces in the High Antarctic Dry Valleys 4) Extremely dry soils such as the Atacama Desert 5) Evaporites. Sample preparation is a key issue, often unappreciated in past. Illustrated by the interference of perchlorate with organic detection on Viking and SAM.

  9. Current research in Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarachand, U.; Singh, B.B.

    1995-01-01

    The Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay has been engaged in research in the frontier areas of (i) radiation biology related to tumour therapy and injury caused by free radicals; (ii) molecular basis of diseases of physiological origin; (iii) molecular aspects of chemical carcinogenesis and (iv) structure of genome and genome related functions. The gist of research and development activities carried out in the Division during the last two years are documented

  10. A biochemistry laboratory course designed to enhance students autonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Silva

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Laboratory sessions are responsible for promoting instrumentation skills desirable in biochemistry and biochemistry related careers. They are traditionally based on experimental protocols that lead to the expected results, and students usually have not autonomy to plan and execute their experiments. GOALS: This work aimed to enhance a traditional biochemistry lab course, applying pre-lab quizzes on protein biochemistry and lab techniques in order to have students better prepared to plan, execute and interpret experiments. This approach also aims to bring the laboratory sessions into an inquiry-based environment capable to improve students’ independent capabilities in 2 autonomy domains: learning and communication. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Online quizzes are delivered one week before each laboratory session, containing questions regarding the experimental techniques and theoretical basis related to them. Laboratory activities are presented in an inquiry-based approach where the first class of each activity is dedicated to plan experiments in order to answer the research questions presented by instructors. Activities are also organized in order to enhance students’ autonomy. The first activity is the simplest and more instructor-controlled and the last one is the most complex and less driven, transferring gradually to students the responsibility for their decisions in laboratory, supporting students’ autonomy. RESULTS: Online quizzes allowed instructors to identify students’ difficulties and to timely intervene. Scientific reports presented by students at the end of each activity showed that they performed better on less driven activities in which autonomy support were more complex than in the instructor controlled activities. CONCLUSIONS: Scientific reports analysis reveals students capabilities related to different scopes of autonomy, such as: discuss different strategies; find multiple solutions to solve problems; make their

  11. The Effect of Chemodenervation by Botulinum Neurotoxin on the Degradation of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: An Experimental Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küçüker, İsmail; Aksakal, Ibrahim Alper; Polat, Ahmet Veysel; Engin, Murat Sinan; Yosma, Engin; Demir, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    Early degradation is a common complaint for hyaluronic acid fillers. Although the combination of hyaluronic acid fillers with botulinum neurotoxin type A presented improved clinical results, objective measurement of hyaluronic acid volumes has not been previously assessed. In this study, the authors have split the calvaria of the rabbit to mimic the glabellar region in humans. In this model, the authors applied hyaluronic acid alone to one side and hyaluronic acid combined with botulinum neurotoxin type A to the contralateral side. Two days and 3 months after the filler injection, magnetic resonance imaging was performed to assess the filler volumes. Average initial volume of filler only and filler combined with botulinum neurotoxin type A was 0.61 cm on both sides, and there was no difference between initial volumes of the two sides (p = 0.735). At the end of 3 months, average degraded volumes of filler-only and filler combined with botulinum neurotoxin sides were 0.33 cm and 0.19 cm, respectively, and the degradation difference was significant between the two groups (p = 0.001). End volumes for the filler-only and filler combined with botulinum neurotoxin sides were 0.28 cm and 0.42 cm, respectively, and end volumes between two sides were also statistically significant (p neurotoxin type A significantly decreases the degradation process and increases the remaining volume of the hyaluronic acid fillers at the end of the paralyzed period.

  12. Lecture-free biochemistry: A Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minderhout, Vicky; Loertscher, Jennifer

    2007-05-01

    Biochemistry courses at Seattle University have been taught exclusively using process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) without any traditional lecture component since 1997. In these courses, students participate in a structured learning environment, which includes a preparatory assignment, an in-class activity, and a follow-up skill exercise. Instructor-designed learning activities provide the content of the course while the cooperative learning structure provides the content-free procedures that promote development of critical process skills needed for learning. This format enables students to initially explore a topic independently, work together in groups to construct and refine knowledge, and eventually develop deep understanding of the essential concepts. These stages of exploration and concept development form the foundation for application to high level biochemical problems. At the end of this course, most students report feeling confident in their knowledge of biochemistry and report substantial gains in independence, critical thinking, and respect for others. Copyright © 2007 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. THE USE OF MULTIPLE TOOLS FOR TEACHING MEDICAL BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.B. Sé

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The pros and cons of Problem Based Learning (PBL have been extensivelydiscussed in the literature. We describe PBL-like strategies used at UnB (some ofthem since 1999 that may be useful elsewhere to improve undergraduatebiochemistry teaching with clinical applications. The main activities are: (i aseminar/poster system, (ii a true-or-false applied biochemistry exam (prepared bypeer tutors, (iii a 9-hour-exam on metabolism (based in actual papers, (iv anAdvanced Biochemistry course (directed to peer tutors, (v pizza-and-pasta (formetabolism teaching and free radicals (real science for students experiments,(vi the BioBio blog (http://www.biobio-unb.blogspot.com, (vii student lectures onhealth issues directed to the community, and (viii the BioBio Show. The mainobjective of these activities is providing students with a more practical andentertaining approach to biochemistry using philosophic PBL principles such asthe application of basic knowledge to real situations (diseases, experiments andscientific discoveries. We also emphasize (a the importance of peer-tutor activityfor optimized learning of students and peer tutors, (b the relevance of a closerinteraction between students and professors, and (c the necessity to initiatestudents precociously in actual basic/medical science and contact with the public.Most activities have been evaluated by the students through written questionnairesand informal conversations, for several semesters, indicating good acceptanceand approval of these methods.

  14. Game Development as Didactic Strategy for Biochemistry Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.G. Hornink

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that students and teachers have difficulties in learning and teaching Biochemistry due to its abstract and interconnected contents. This work proposes a didactic strategy in order to facilitate teaching and learning process in Biochemistry. The strategy was implemented with biological science undergraduate students. At first, the students were divided into groups with a specific topic to develop a game. During the semester, problem based learning cases, online activities like crossword puzzle, essay questions and educational softwares were used to present the content of each topic. The groups were oriented in classroom and online, to choose and organize contents and create ways to approach them in games. At the end of the course the groups played each other games, which were evaluated by teacher and students following some criteria like: creativity, content organization, interdisciplinarity, proposal coherence, instructions clarity, specific content. The game elaboration contributed to the development of social and cognitive functions, such as teamwork and troubleshooting, providing an interesting perspective to the student about knowledge construction process. The strategy showed up students' creativity and ability to reorganize their knowledge to a different education level. In an overview, the results indicate that the proposed didactic strategy is an effective way to enhance learning and to motivate students into Biochemistry topics.

  15. Are tutor-students capable of writing good biochemistry exams?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sé Alexandre B.

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available In a previous article we described the relevance of student seminars for the learning process of appliedbiochemistry for medical and nutrition students (Hermes-Lima et al., Biochem. Mol.Biol.Educ. 30:30-34,2002. First semester students of a basic biochemistry course (BioBio are divided in 10 groupsof 5 members, and each group is assigned to a specic topic (diabetes, cholesterol, etc under thesupervision of a tutor-student. The tutors have already coursed BioBio and are currently undertakingan advanced biochemistry course. In order to evaluate the learning of applied biochemistry for BioBiostudents a true or false exam (TFE is performed. This exam is made of 50 questions (5 on eachtopic elaborated by the tutors under the supervision of the teacher. The TFE corresponds to 10percent of the grade of BioBio and focus on clinical and/or applied biochemistry situations. At theend of the exam, BioBio students were asked to share their opinions about TFEs (n = 401, from2001/1 to 2003/2. When asked to give a 0-to-4 score regarding (a the diculty level of the test,(b the technical quality and (c if the exam makes an appropriate evaluation of applied biochemistryknowledge, the scores were 2.9, 3.4 and 2.9, respectively. BioBio students were also asked if they ndvalid to be evaluated by a tutor-made exam and if they would like to participate in the making ofTFEs; 96 and 58 percent answered yes, respectively.In another survey, we interviewed former BioBio students from the 2nd to the 7th semesters (n=95about TFEs (since 1999-1 regarding technical aspects, which included (1 clarity of questions, (2 levelof diculty, (3 clinical application and (4 thinking (as opposed to memorizing abilities demanded;the 0-to-4 scores were 3.1, 2.9, 2.6, and 2.5, respectively. Other four questions were on the validityof tutors writing TFEs and their capacity to perform such a task; the average score was 3.2. Oursurveys show the students good acceptance of the seminar system

  16. Injectable and topical neurotoxins in dermatology: Basic science, anatomy, and therapeutic agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordano, Cerrene N; Matarasso, Seth L; Ozog, David M

    2017-06-01

    Botulinum toxin is a potentially deadly anaerobic bacterial toxin that acts by inhibiting release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby inhibiting contraction of the exposed striated muscle. There are currently 4 botulinum toxin preparations approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA): onabotulinumtoxin, abobotulinumtoxin, incobotulinumtoxin and rimabotulinumtoxin. While significant overlap exists, each product has unique properties and specifications, including dosing, diffusion, and storage. Extensive physician knowledge of facial anatomy, coupled with key differences of the various neurotoxin types, is essential for safe and successful treatments. The first article in this continuing medical education series reviews key characteristics of each neurotoxin, including new and upcoming agents, and provides an anatomic overview of the most commonly injected cosmetic sites. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Architecture of the botulinum neurotoxin complex: a molecular machine for protection and delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Kwok-Ho; Jin, Rongsheng

    2015-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely poisonous protein toxins that cause the fatal paralytic disease botulism. They are naturally produced in bacteria with several nontoxic neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) and together they form a progenitor toxin complex (PTC), the largest bacterial toxin complex known. In foodborne botulism, the PTC functions as a molecular machine that helps BoNT breach the host defense in the gut. Here, we discuss the substantial recent advance in elucidating the atomic structures and assembly of the 14-subunit PTC, including structures of BoNT and four NAPs. These structural studies shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which BoNT is protected against the acidic environment and proteolytic destruction in the gastrointestinal tract, and how it is delivered across the intestinal epithelial barrier. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Investigations into Small Molecule Non-Peptidic Inhibitors of the Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čapková, Kateřina; Salzameda, Nicholas T.; Janda, Kim D.

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), proteins secreted by the bacteria genus Clostridium, represent a group of extremely lethal toxins and a potential bioterrorism threat. As the current therapeutic options are of a predominantly prophylactic nature and cannot be used en masse, new strategies and ultimately potential treatments are desperately needed to combat any widespread release of these neurotoxins. In these regards, our laboratory has been working on developing new alternatives to treat botulinum intoxication through the development of inhibitors of the light chain proteases, the etiological agent which causes BoNT intoxication. Such a strategy has required the construction of two high throughput screens and small molecule non-peptidic libraries; excitingly, inhibitors of the BoNT/A protease have been uncovered and are being optimized via structure activity relationship studies. PMID:19327377

  19. [The chromosomal genes for black widow spider neurotoxins do not contain introns].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danilevich, V N; Grishin, E V

    2000-12-01

    The overlapping fragments of the chromosomal DNA from black widow spider Latrodectus mactans carrying genes for high-molecular-mass protein neurotoxins, alpha- and delta-latroinsectotoxins (alpha-LIT and delta-LIT) and alpha-latrotoxin (alpha-LTX), were PCR-amplified and cloned. Restriction analysis of the PCR products showed that the distribution and sizes of the restriction fragments coincided with those deduced from the earlier sequencing of cDNAs of the corresponding genes. It thus followed that the alpha-LIT and delta-LIT genes are intronless. Along with our data on the structure of the alpha-latrocrustotoxin (alpha-LCT), this implies that the lack of introns is a common feature of the black widow spider genes encoding high molecular mass neurotoxins.

  20. Presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in relation to acquisition of a visuo-motor skill in healthy humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez, Monica A.; Lungholt, Bjarke K.S.; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2005-01-01

    Sensory information continuously converges on the spinal cord during a variety of motor behaviours. Here, we examined presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in relation to acquisition of a novel motor skill. We tested whether repetition of two motor tasks with different degrees of difficulty...... of the monosynaptic Ia facilitation of the soleus H-reflex evoked by femoral nerve stimulation. The D1 inhibition was increased and the femoral nerve facilitation was decreased following the visuo-motor skill task, suggesting an increase in presynaptic inhibition of Ia afferents. No changes were observed...... in the disynaptic reciprocal Ia inhibition. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) evoked by stimulation of the tibial nerve (TN) were also unchanged, suggesting that transmission in ascending pathways was unaltered following the visuo-motor skill task. Together these observations suggest that a selective...

  1. Substrate Binding Mode and its Implication on Drug Design for Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumaran, D.; Rawat, R; Ahmed, A; Swaminathan, S

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared them as Category A biowarfare agents. The most potent among them, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), cleaves its substrate synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). An efficient drug for botulism can be developed only with the knowledge of interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site. Here, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A with its uncleavable SNAP-25 peptide 197QRATKM202 and its variant 197RRATKM202 to 1.5 A and 1.6 A, respectively. This is the first time the structure of an uncleavable substrate bound to an active botulinum neurotoxin is reported and it has helped in unequivocally defining S1 to S5? sites. These substrate peptides make interactions with the enzyme predominantly by the residues from 160, 200, 250 and 370 loops. Most notably, the amino nitrogen and carbonyl oxygen of P1 residue (Gln197) chelate the zinc ion and replace the nucleophilic water. The P1?-Arg198, occupies the S1? site formed by Arg363, Thr220, Asp370, Thr215, Ile161, Phe163 and Phe194. The S2? subsite is formed by Arg363, Asn368 and Asp370, while S3? subsite is formed by Tyr251, Leu256, Val258, Tyr366, Phe369 and Asn388. P4?-Lys201 makes hydrogen bond with Gln162. P5?-Met202 binds in the hydrophobic pocket formed by the residues from the 250 and 200 loop. Knowledge of interactions between the enzyme and substrate peptide from these complex structures should form the basis for design of potent inhibitors for this neurotoxin.

  2. Substrate binding mode and its implication on drug design for botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desigan Kumaran

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC has declared them as Category A biowarfare agents. The most potent among them, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A, cleaves its substrate synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25. An efficient drug for botulism can be developed only with the knowledge of interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site. Here, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A with its uncleavable SNAP-25 peptide (197QRATKM(202 and its variant (197RRATKM(202 to 1.5 A and 1.6 A, respectively. This is the first time the structure of an uncleavable substrate bound to an active botulinum neurotoxin is reported and it has helped in unequivocally defining S1 to S5' sites. These substrate peptides make interactions with the enzyme predominantly by the residues from 160, 200, 250 and 370 loops. Most notably, the amino nitrogen and carbonyl oxygen of P1 residue (Gln197 chelate the zinc ion and replace the nucleophilic water. The P1'-Arg198, occupies the S1' site formed by Arg363, Thr220, Asp370, Thr215, Ile161, Phe163 and Phe194. The S2' subsite is formed by Arg363, Asn368 and Asp370, while S3' subsite is formed by Tyr251, Leu256, Val258, Tyr366, Phe369 and Asn388. P4'-Lys201 makes hydrogen bond with Gln162. P5'-Met202 binds in the hydrophobic pocket formed by the residues from the 250 and 200 loop. Knowledge of interactions between the enzyme and substrate peptide from these complex structures should form the basis for design of potent inhibitors for this neurotoxin.

  3. Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin: a novel biomarker for diagnosis and monitoring of asthma

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Chang-Keun

    2013-01-01

    Asthma is associated with increased levels of eosinophils in tissues, body fluids, and bone marrow. Elevated levels of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) have been noted in asthma patients. Higher levels of EDN and ECP are also associated with exacerbated asthmatic conditions. Thus, EDN, along with ECP, may aid the diagnosis and monitoring of asthma. Several groups have suggested that EDN is more useful than ECP in evaluating disease severity. This may p...

  4. Intra-Amniotic LPS Induced Region-Specific Changes in Presynaptic Bouton Densities in the Ovine Fetal Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eveline Strackx

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Rationale. Chorioamnionitis has been associated with increased risk for fetal brain damage. Although, it is now accepted that synaptic dysfunction might be responsible for functional deficits, synaptic densities/numbers after a fetal inflammatory challenge have not been studied in different regions yet. Therefore, we tested in this study the hypothesis that LPS-induced chorioamnionitis caused profound changes in synaptic densities in different regions of the fetal sheep brain. Material and Methods. Chorioamnionitis was induced by a 10 mg intra-amniotic LPS injection at two different exposure intervals. The fetal brain was studied at 125 days of gestation (term = 150 days either 2 (LPS2D group or 14 days (LPS14D group after LPS or saline injection (control group. Synaptophysin immunohistochemistry was used to quantify the presynaptic density in layers 2-3 and 5-6 of the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, entorhinal cortex, and piriforme cortex, in the nucleus caudatus and putamen and in CA1/2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Results. There was a significant reduction in presynaptic bouton densities in layers 2-3 and 5-6 of the motor cortex and in layers 2-3 of the entorhinal and the somatosensory cortex, in the nucleus caudate and putamen and the CA1/2 and CA3 of the hippocampus in the LPS2D compared to control animals. Only in the motor cortex and putamen, the presynaptic density was significantly decreased in the LPS14 D compared to the control group. No changes were found in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the piriforme cortex. Conclusion. We demonstrated that LPS-induced chorioamnionitis caused a decreased density in presynaptic boutons in different areas in the fetal brain. These synaptic changes seemed to be region-specific, with some regions being more affected than others, and seemed to be transient in some regions.

  5. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Lago

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of “fugu” is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains.

  6. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lago, Jorge; Rodríguez, Laura P; Blanco, Lucía; Vieites, Juan Manuel; Cabado, Ana G

    2015-10-19

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of "fugu" is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains.

  7. Occurrence of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin in chronic disease of dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyboldt, Christian; Discher, Sabrina; Jordan, Eva; Neubauer, Heinrich; Jensen, Katharina Charlotte; Campe, Amely; Kreienbrock, Lothar; Scheu, Theresa; Wichern, Anika; Gundling, Frieder; DoDuc, Phuong; Fohler, Svenja; Abdulmawjood, Amir; Klein, Günter; Hoedemaker, Martina

    2015-06-12

    Botulism caused by neurotoxins of Clostridium (C.) botulinum is a rare, but serious life-threatening disease in humans and animals. Botulism in livestock is usually caused by the oral uptake of C. botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) via contaminated feed and is characterized by flaccid paralysis. In the recent past a new syndrome caused by BoNT in dairy cattle was postulated. It was supposed that C. botulinum is able to colonize the lower intestine and may subsequently produce neurotoxin. The continuous resorption of small amounts of these BoNT may then provoke the so called syndrome of "chronic" or "visceral" botulism involving unspecific clinical symptoms, reduced performance of dairy cows and massive animal losses in the affected herd. To test this hypothesis a case-control study was conducted involving 92 affected farms and 47 control farms located in Northern Germany. Fecal samples of 1388 animals were investigated for the presence of BoNT to verify the key requirement of the hypothesis of chronic botulism. BoNT was not detected in any of the fecal samples using the most sensitive standard method for BoNT detection, the mouse bioassay. Therefore, the existence of "chronic" or "visceral" botulism could not be proven. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The Structure of the Neurotoxin- Associated Protein HA33/A from Clostridium botulinum Suggests a Reoccurring Beta-Trefoil Fold in the Progenitor Toxin Complex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Arndt, Joseph W; Gu, Jenny; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Hanson, Michael A; Lebeda, Frank L; Stevens, Raymond C

    2004-01-01

    The hemagglutinating protein HA33 from Clostridium botulinum is associated with the large botulinum neurotoxin secreted complexes and is critical in toxin protection, internalization, and possibly activation...

  9. Presynaptic inhibition of the release of multiple major central nervous system neurotransmitter types by the inhaled anaesthetic isoflurane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphalen, R. I.; Desai, K. M.; Hemmings, H. C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Presynaptic effects of general anaesthetics are not well characterized. We tested the hypothesis that isoflurane exhibits transmitter-specific effects on neurotransmitter release from neurochemically and functionally distinct isolated mammalian nerve terminals. Methods Nerve terminals from adult male rat brain were prelabelled with [3H]glutamate and [14C]GABA (cerebral cortex), [3H]norepinephrine (hippocampus), [14C]dopamine (striatum), or [3H]choline (precursor of [3H]acetylcholine; striatum). Release evoked by depolarizing pulses of 4-aminopyridine (4AP) or elevated KCl was quantified using a closed superfusion system. Results Isoflurane at clinical concentrations (neurotransmitters tested in a concentration-dependent manner. Isoflurane was a more potent inhibitor [expressed as IC50 (sem)] of glutamate release [0.37 (0.03) mM; Pneurotransmitters with selectivity for glutamate release, consistent with both widespread inhibition and nerve terminal-specific presynaptic effects. Glutamate release was most sensitive to inhibition compared with GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, and norepinephrine release due to presynaptic specializations in ion channel expression, regulation, and/or coupling to exocytosis. Reductions in neurotransmitter release by volatile anaesthetics could contribute to altered synaptic transmission, leading to therapeutic and toxic effects involving all major neurotransmitter systems. PMID:23213036

  10. Presynaptic Adenosine Receptor-Mediated Regulation of Diverse Thalamocortical Short-Term Plasticity in the Mouse Whisker Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrati, Giovanni; Martini, Francisco J.; Maravall, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) sets the sensitivity of a synapse to incoming activity and determines the temporal patterns that it best transmits. In “driver” thalamocortical (TC) synaptic populations, STP is dominated by depression during stimulation from rest. However, during ongoing stimulation, lemniscal TC connections onto layer 4 neurons in mouse barrel cortex express variable STP. Each synapse responds to input trains with a distinct pattern of depression or facilitation around its mean steady-state response. As a result, in common with other synaptic populations, lemniscal TC synapses express diverse rather than uniform dynamics, allowing for a rich representation of temporally varying stimuli. Here, we show that this STP diversity is regulated presynaptically. Presynaptic adenosine receptors of the A1R type, but not kainate receptors (KARs), modulate STP behavior. Blocking the receptors does not eliminate diversity, indicating that diversity is related to heterogeneous expression of multiple mechanisms in the pathway from presynaptic calcium influx to neurotransmitter release. PMID:26941610

  11. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2–mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets. PMID:27035941

  12. Quantal analysis reveals a functional correlation between presynaptic and postsynaptic efficacy in excitatory connections from rat neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardingham, Neil R; Read, Jenny C A; Trevelyan, Andrew J; Nelson, J Charmaine; Jack, J Julian B; Bannister, Neil J

    2010-01-27

    At many central synapses, the presynaptic bouton and postsynaptic density are structurally correlated. However, it is unknown whether this correlation extends to the functional properties of the synapses. To investigate this, we made recordings from synaptically coupled pairs of pyramidal neurons in rat visual cortex. The mean peak amplitude of EPSPs recorded from pairs of L2/3 neurons ranged between 40 microV and 2.9 mV. EPSP rise times were consistent with the majority of the synapses being located on basal dendrites; this was confirmed by full anatomical reconstructions of a subset of connected pairs. Over a third of the connections could be described using a quantal model that assumed simple binomial statistics. Release probability (P(r)) and quantal size (Q), as measured at the somatic recording site, showed considerable heterogeneity between connections. However, across the population of connections, values of P(r) and Q for individual connections were positively correlated with one another. This correlation also held for inputs to layer 5 pyramidal neurons from both layer 2/3 and neighboring layer 5 pyramidal neurons, suggesting that during development of cortical connections presynaptic and postsynaptic strengths are dependently scaled. For 2/3 to 2/3 connections, mean EPSP amplitude was correlated with both Q and P(r) values but uncorrelated with N, the number of functional release sites mediating the connection. The efficacy of a cortical connection is thus set by coordinated presynaptic and postsynaptic strength.

  13. Calcium microdomains at presynaptic active zones of vertebrate hair cells unmasked by stochastic deconvolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolozzi, Mario; Lelli, Andrea; Mammano, Fabio

    2008-08-01

    Signal transduction by auditory and vestibular hair cells involves an impressive ensemble of finely tuned control mechanisms, strictly dependent on the local intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). The study of Ca(2+) dynamics in hair cells typically combines Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent indicators (dyes), patch clamp and optical microscopy to produce images of the patterns of fluorescence of a Ca(2+) indicator following various stimulation protocols. Here we describe a novel method that combines electrophysiological recordings, fluorescence imaging and numerical simulations to effectively deconvolve Ca(2+) signals within cytoplasmic microdomains that would otherwise remain inaccessible to direct observation. The method relies on the comparison of experimental data with virtual signals derived from a Monte Carlo reaction-diffusion model based on a realistic reconstruction of the relevant cell boundaries in three dimensions. The model comprises Ca(2+) entry at individual presynaptic active zones followed by diffusion, buffering, extrusion and release of Ca(2+). Our results indicate that changes of the hair cell [Ca(2+)](i) during synaptic transmission are primarily controlled by the Ca(2+) endogenous buffers both at short (hair cell endogenous Ca(2+) buffers and Ca(2+)-ATPases. We finally show that experimental fluorescence data collected during Ca(2+) influx are not interpreted correctly if the [Ca(2+)](i) is estimated by assuming that Ca(2+) equilibrates instantly with its reactants. In our opinion, this approach is of potentially general interest as it can be easily adapted to the study of Ca(2+) dynamics in diverse biological systems.

  14. Relationship between presynaptic membrane potential and acetylcholine release in synaptosomes from Torpedo electric organ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, F M

    1984-01-01

    The membrane potential of purely cholinergic synaptosomes isolated from Torpedo electric organ was monitored with fluorescent carbocyanine dyes. An increased fluorescence was associated with depolarization and a quenching with hyperpolarization. Fluorescence data provided evidence that Torpedo synaptosomes have a membrane potential mainly driven by a K+ diffusion potential and a membrane potential of about -50 mV could be estimated after calibration of fluorescence signals with ionophore antibiotics. The release of acetylcholine (ACh) from Torpedo synaptosomes was monitored continuously by measuring the light emitted by a chemiluminescent method (Israël & Lesbats, 1981 a). Using fluorescence data, the release of ACh was expressed as a function of membrane potential. The relationship between presynaptic potential and transmitter release as determined by biochemical methods at cholinergic nerve endings showed striking similarities to that observed at the squid giant synapse. Several substances were also tested with regard to their depolarizing and releasing properties and it was found that the toxin isolated from the venom of the annelid Glycera convoluta, which induced a large increase in quantal release of transmitter (Manaranche, Thieffry, & Israël, 1980) promoted a depolarization of Torpedo synaptosomes in addition to ACh release. PMID:6207289

  15. 123-I ioflupane (Datscan® presynaptic nigrostriatal imaging in patients with movement disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Soriano Castrejón

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available 123-I Ioflupane (Datscan® presynaptic imaging has been shown to have a significant utility in the assessment of patients with movement disorders 123-I Ioflupane SPECT is able to distinguish between Parkinson’s disease (PD and other forms of parkinsonism without degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, including a common movement disorder such as essential tremor, and to assess disease progression in PD and other neurodegenerative disorders involving the substantia nigra.A imagem pré-sináptica através de 123-I Ioflupane (Datscan® tem mostrado um papel significante na avaliação de pacientes com distúrbios do movimento. 123-I Ioflupane SPECT é capaz de distinguir entre Mal de Parkinson (MP e outras formas de parkinsonismo sem degenerações da via nigroestriatal incluindo um distúrbio comum de movimento parecido com o tremor essencial e para medir a evolução da doença no Mal de Parkinson e outros distúrbios neurodegenerativos envolvendo a substantia nigra.

  16. A postsynaptic PI3K-cII dependent signaling controller for presynaptic homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauswirth, Anna G; Ford, Kevin J; Wang, Tingting; Fetter, Richard D; Tong, Amy

    2018-01-01

    Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity stabilizes information transfer at synaptic connections in organisms ranging from insect to human. By analogy with principles of engineering and control theory, the molecular implementation of PHP is thought to require postsynaptic signaling modules that encode homeostatic sensors, a set point, and a controller that regulates transsynaptic negative feedback. The molecular basis for these postsynaptic, homeostatic signaling elements remains unknown. Here, an electrophysiology-based screen of the Drosophila kinome and phosphatome defines a postsynaptic signaling platform that includes a required function for PI3K-cII, PI3K-cIII and the small GTPase Rab11 during the rapid and sustained expression of PHP. We present evidence that PI3K-cII localizes to Golgi-derived, clathrin-positive vesicles and is necessary to generate an endosomal pool of PI(3)P that recruits Rab11 to recycling endosomal membranes. A morphologically distinct subdivision of this platform concentrates postsynaptically where we propose it functions as a homeostatic controller for retrograde, trans-synaptic signaling. PMID:29303480

  17. Unique presynaptic alpha 2-receptor selectivity and specificity of the antihypertensive agent moxonidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armah, B I

    1988-10-01

    The characteristics of the alpha-receptor activating property of the new antihypertensive agent moxonidine (4-chloro-N-(4, 5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)-6-methyl-2-methyl-5-pyrimidinamine, BDF 5895) was studied using peripheral vasculature and brain membranes of various animals. Moxonidine exerted a full agonist effect in elevating diastolic blood pressure in the pithed rat. Activation of postsynaptic alpha 1- and alpha 2-receptors contribute to the vasoconstrictory effect in rats. In the vasculature of the rabbit, moxonidine was a full agonist at presynaptic alpha 2-receptors in inhibiting transmitter release induced by electrical stimulation of pulmonary artery strips. At postsynaptic sites, exogenously applied moxonidine was a full agonist at alpha 1-receptors in the isolated aorta, pulmonary artery and vena cava of the rabbit. Selectivity for alpha 2-receptors in the pulmonary artery was 106-fold. In rat brain membranes, moxonidine showed 288-fold greater selectivity for alpha 2-receptors, when the displacement of [3H]-rauwolscine was compared with the displacement of [3H]-prazosin. On the whole, clonidine exhibited greater potency than moxonidine on both alpha-receptor subtypes, but moxonidine consistently showed greater alpha 2-receptor selectivity than clonidine. In the guinea pig myocardium, moxonidine caused neither bradycardia nor tachycardia in the isolated right atrium and produced a negligible positive inotropic effect at 100 mumol/l in the isolated papillary muscle.

  18. Sensory transduction channel subunits, tax-4 and tax-2, modify presynaptic molecular architecture in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellman, Andrew B; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    During development, neural activity is important for forming proper connections in neural networks. The effect of activity on the gross morphology and synaptic strength of neurons has been well documented, but little is known about how activity affects different molecular components during development. Here, we examine the localization of four fluorescently-tagged presynaptic proteins, RAB-3, SNG-1/synaptogyrin, SYD-2/Liprin-α, and SAD-1/SAD kinase, in the C. elegans thermosensory neuron AFD. We show that tax-4 and tax-2, two genes that encode the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel necessary for sensory transduction in AFD, disrupt the localization of all four proteins. In wild-type animals, the synaptic vesicle (SV) markers RAB-3 and SNG-1 and the active zone markers SYD-2 and SAD-1 localize in a stereotyped, punctate pattern in the AFD axon. In tax-4 and tax-2 mutants, SV and SYD-2 puncta are more numerous and less intense. Interestingly, SAD-1 puncta are also less intense but do not increase in number. The change in puncta number can be rescued cell-autonomously in AFD. These results suggest that sensory transduction genes tax-4 and tax-2 are necessary for the proper assembly of presynapses.

  19. Sensory transduction channel subunits, tax-4 and tax-2, modify presynaptic molecular architecture in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew B Hellman

    Full Text Available During development, neural activity is important for forming proper connections in neural networks. The effect of activity on the gross morphology and synaptic strength of neurons has been well documented, but little is known about how activity affects different molecular components during development. Here, we examine the localization of four fluorescently-tagged presynaptic proteins, RAB-3, SNG-1/synaptogyrin, SYD-2/Liprin-α, and SAD-1/SAD kinase, in the C. elegans thermosensory neuron AFD. We show that tax-4 and tax-2, two genes that encode the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel necessary for sensory transduction in AFD, disrupt the localization of all four proteins. In wild-type animals, the synaptic vesicle (SV markers RAB-3 and SNG-1 and the active zone markers SYD-2 and SAD-1 localize in a stereotyped, punctate pattern in the AFD axon. In tax-4 and tax-2 mutants, SV and SYD-2 puncta are more numerous and less intense. Interestingly, SAD-1 puncta are also less intense but do not increase in number. The change in puncta number can be rescued cell-autonomously in AFD. These results suggest that sensory transduction genes tax-4 and tax-2 are necessary for the proper assembly of presynapses.

  20. Phagocytic clearance of presynaptic dystrophies by reactive astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Arboledas, Angela; Davila, Jose C; Sanchez-Mejias, Elisabeth; Navarro, Victoria; Nuñez-Diaz, Cristina; Sanchez-Varo, Raquel; Sanchez-Mico, Maria Virtudes; Trujillo-Estrada, Laura; Fernandez-Valenzuela, Juan Jose; Vizuete, Marisa; Comella, Joan X; Galea, Elena; Vitorica, Javier; Gutierrez, Antonia

    2018-03-01

    Reactive astrogliosis, a complex process characterized by cell hypertrophy and upregulation of components of intermediate filaments, is a common feature in brains of Alzheimer's patients. Reactive astrocytes are found in close association with neuritic plaques; however, the precise role of these glial cells in disease pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, using immunohistochemical techniques and light and electron microscopy, we report that plaque-associated reactive astrocytes enwrap, engulf and may digest presynaptic dystrophies in the hippocampus of amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) mice. Microglia, the brain phagocytic population, was apparently not engaged in this clearance. Phagocytic reactive astrocytes were present in 35% and 67% of amyloid plaques at 6 and 12 months of age, respectively. The proportion of engulfed dystrophic neurites was low, around 7% of total dystrophies around plaques at both ages. This fact, along with the accumulation of dystrophic neurites during disease course, suggests that the efficiency of the astrocyte phagocytic process might be limited or impaired. Reactive astrocytes surrounding and engulfing dystrophic neurites were also detected in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's patients by confocal and ultrastructural analysis. We posit that the phagocytic activity of reactive astrocytes might contribute to clear dysfunctional synapses or synaptic debris, thereby restoring impaired neural circuits and reducing the inflammatory impact of damaged neuronal parts and/or limiting the amyloid pathology. Therefore, potentiation of the phagocytic properties of reactive astrocytes may represent a potential therapy in Alzheimer's disease. © 2017 The Authors GLIA Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skadi Kull

    Full Text Available Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT. Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed

  2. TEACHING BIOCHEMISTRY USING EDUCATIONAL GAMES AND GAMIFICATION STRATEGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Rafael de Oliveira Silva

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Biotechnology is a new bachelor degree in UFPA, and has been stablished with excellency in the state of Pará. However, there is the need to promote comprehension and learning in Biochemistry, as well as interdisciplinarity, that is an essential part of biotechnology. OBJECTIVES:  To increase learning and interdisciplinarity, educational games were used as tools. The students were instigated to develop educational games in different topics of energy metabolism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The games were developed to be used in any teaching environment, since they were made with low-cost and accessible materials. This strategy was applied in three semesters in different Biochemistry classes, between 2012 and 2014. The best games in each class were used in following semesters. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: Since the first semester, the failing rates dropped 15% compared to the previous semester, in which educational games were not used. An increase in learning (by observation could be noticed, including comprehension of metabolic pathways and their conections. Twenty games were developed in three semesters, and four of them are still being improved and used in other classes. The participant students answered a questionnaire, in which 47% defined the games as “Relaxing and Instigating”, 33% said the games “Accomplished their didactic and educational role” and 54% said they would recommend the use of these games as a reviewing activity. At the moment, another approach is being used to teach Biochemistry – Gamification, which uses elements found in games, as conflict, cooperation, rules and fun, to improve students’ motivation and engagement. CONCLUSION: As a partial result, there was greater in-class interest and engagement, better comprehension of the course content and the activities gave the students the opportunity to work in groups, to think critically about the themes and to develop opinions based on interdisciplinar and formal

  3. A national comparison of biochemistry and molecular biology capstone experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end, ASBMB conducted a series of regional workshops to build a BMB Concept Inventory containing validated assessment tools, based on foundational and discipline-specific knowledge and essential skills, for the community to use. A culminating activity, which integrates the educational experience, is often part of undergraduate molecular life science programs. These "capstone" experiences are commonly defined as an attempt to measure student ability to synthesize and integrate acquired knowledge. However, the format, implementation, and approach to outcome assessment of these experiences are quite varied across the nation. Here we report the results of a nation-wide survey on BMB capstone experiences and discuss this in the context of published reports about capstones and the findings of the workshops driving the development of the BMB Concept Inventory. Both the survey results and the published reports reveal that, although capstone practices do vary, certain formats for the experience are used more frequently and similarities in learning objectives were identified. The use of rubrics to measure student learning is also regularly reported, but details about these assessment instruments are sparse in the literature and were not a focus of our survey. Finally, we outline commonalities in the current practice of capstones and suggest the next steps needed to elucidate best practices. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  4. Construction of Hypertexts in a Biochemistry Pos- Graduation Discipline

    OpenAIRE

    W.B. Maia; B.S. dos Santos; J.M. Martins; B.C. Araujo; A.A. Pimenta Filho; T.G. Araújo; M.C. Martins; C.R.F.C. Mota; A.L. Castro- Neto; V.L.M. Lima,

    2009-01-01

    Virtual reality is an innovating manner of comprehending and acting on how the world is and, also, considered a new way of intellectual exercise.  This work took place in a  biochemistry masters discipline (Advanced Formation in ScientificEducation) and had as its observation context the forum (on-line tool) viability, intending the construction of hypertexts (active  collaborative writing ) by the 15 registered students in the  discipline in 2008. The discipline was available on the web, in ...

  5. Hartmut Lichtenthaler: an authority on chloroplast structure and isoprenoid biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkey, Thomas D; Govindjee

    2016-05-01

    We pay tribute to Hartmut Lichtenthaler for making important contributions to the field of photosynthesis research. He was recently recognized for ground-breaking discoveries in chloroplast structure and isoprenoid biochemistry by the Rebeiz Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR; http://vlpbp.org/ ), receiving a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Photosynthesis. The ceremony, held in Champaign, Illinois, was attended by many prominent researchers in the photosynthesis field. We provide below a brief note on his education, and then describe some of the areas in which Hartmut Lichtenthaler has been a pioneer.

  6. A guide on instrument of biochemistry and molecular biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-10-01

    This book is about instrument on biochemistry and molecular biology, which consists of six chapters. It deals with introduction of advanced bio-instrument, common utilization and maintain, explanation of each instrument like capillary electrophoresis, interactive laser cytometer, personal computer and software, an electron microscope and DNA/RNS synthesis instrument, large equipment and special system like information system and network, analysis system for genome and large spectro graph, outside donation, examples for common utilization and appendix on data like application form for use.

  7. Construction of concept maps as tool for Biochemistry learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Lopes de Menezes

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The use of concept maps on the teaching of sciences has been object of worldwide research with different purposes: to detect the previous knowledge of the students on certain topics or to evaluate learning, among others. Based on Ausubel´s cognitive psychology, concept maps assume that the learning is accomplished by assimilation of new concepts and propositions to the students´ cognitive structure, contributing to establish links between the previous and new knowledge. It is especially interesting on the approach of interdisciplinary issues, as many studied in Biochemistry.The relevance of the use of concept maps on biochemistry learning was evaluated on a thirty-hour undergraduation optional course, with interdisciplinary topics, which are not usually included on introductory Biochemistry courses. The course Biochemistry of Animal Venoms was structured in seven module where the biochemical action mechanisms of the venoms of Crotalus sp (south american rattlesnake, Bothrops sp (jararaca, Loxosceles sp (brown spider, Tityus sp (yellow scorpion, Phoneutria sp (armed spider, Apis mellifera (honey bee and Latrodectus sp (black widowwere discussed. The students worked in small groups and, at each module, there were (1 an oriented study, guided by questions, texts and schemes, supervised by the teachers, (2 the construction of individual concept maps, where the local and systemic effects of the venoms should be predicted by their biochemical composition and (3 the construction of a new map by the group, incorporating the information of the individual maps. The difficulty level of these tasks was gradually increased throughout the course, with lesser time to carry out the tasks, lesser assistance during the oriented study and even lesser information on the venom effects.The course assessment was given by the number, quality and correction of the concepts relationship present in the concept maps, through a questionnaire and by the

  8. Effect of irradiation on biochemistry properties of shrimp allergen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gu Kefei; Gao Meixu; Li Chunhong; Li Shurong; Pan Jiarong

    2007-01-01

    Study on the effects of 60 Co γ-rays irradiation at the dose of 0,3,5,7,10 kGy on shrimp allergen biochemistry properties was conducted. The results indicated that the allergen protein molecule can be broken down to smaller molecules or coagulated to larger molecules by irradiation. The hydrophobicity and turbidity of irradiated allergen increased with the increase of absorbed dose. The results also show that allergen solution is more sensitive to irradiation than allergen in solid state or in the whole shrimp. (authors)

  9. A Distinct Functional Site in Ω-Neurotoxins: Novel Antagonists of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors from Snake Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan-Puttaswamy, Varuna; Adams, David J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2015-12-18

    Snake venom α-neurotoxins from the three-finger toxin (3FTx) family are competitive antagonists with nanomolar affinity and high selectivity for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Here, we report the characterization of a new group of competitive nAChR antagonists: Ω-neurotoxins. Although they belong to the 3FTx family, the characteristic functional residues of α-neurotoxins are not conserved. We evaluated the subtype specificity and structure-function relationships of Oh9-1, an Ω-neurotoxin from Ophiophagus hannah venom. Recombinant Oh9-1 showed reversible postsynaptic neurotoxicity in the micromolar range. Experiments with different nAChR subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes indicated Oh9-1 is selective for rat muscle type α1β1εδ (adult) and α1β1γδ (fetal) and rat neuronal α3β2 subtypes. However, Oh9-1 showed low or no affinity for other human and rat neuronal subtypes. Twelve individual alanine-scan mutants encompassing all three loops of Oh9-1 were evaluated for binding to α1β1εδ and α3β2 subtypes. Oh9-1's loop-II residues (M25, F27) were the most critical for interactions and formed the common binding core. Mutations at T23 and F26 caused a significant loss in activity at α1β1εδ receptors but had no effect on the interaction with the α3β2 subtype. Similarly, mutations at loop-II (H7, K22, H30) and -III (K45) of Oh9-1 had a distinctly different impact on its activity with these subtypes. Thus, Oh9-1 interacts with these nAChRs via distinct residues. Unlike α-neurotoxins, the tip of loop-II is not involved. We reveal a novel mode of interaction, where both sides of the β-strand of Oh9-1's loop-II interact with α1β1εδ, but only one side interacts with α3β2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed functional organization of the Ω-neurotoxins independent of α-neurotoxins. Thus, Ω-neurotoxin: Oh9-1 may be a new, structurally distinct class of 3FTxs that, like α-neurotoxins, antagonize nAChRs. However, Oh9-1 binds to the ACh

  10. Three-finger snake neurotoxins and Ly6 proteins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: pharmacological tools and endogenous modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsetlin, Victor I

    2015-02-01

    Snake venom neurotoxins and lymphocyte antigen 6 (Ly6) proteins, most of the latter being membrane tethered by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, have a variety of biological activities, but their three-finger (3F) folding combines them in one Ly6/neurotoxin family. Subsets of two groups, represented by α-neurotoxins and Lynx1, respectively, interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and, hence, are of therapeutic interest for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, pain, and cancer. Information on the mechanisms of action and 3D structure of the binding sites, which is required for drug design, is available from the 3D structure of α-neurotoxin complexes with nAChR models. Here, I compare the structural and functional features of α-neurotoxins versus Lynx1 and its homologs to get a clearer picture of Lynx1-nAChR interactions that is necessary for fundamental science and practical applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Presynaptic pH and vesicle fusion in Drosophila larvae neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Lesley; Harries, Peter; Sydlik, Sebastian; Schwiening, Christof J

    2013-11-01

    Both intracellular pH (pHi) and synaptic cleft pH change during neuronal activity yet little is known about how these pH shifts might affect synaptic transmission by influencing vesicle fusion. To address this we imaged pH- and Ca(2+) -sensitive fluorescent indicators (HPTS, Oregon green) in boutons at neuromuscular junctions. Electrical stimulation of motor nerves evoked presynaptic Ca(2+) i rises and pHi falls (∼0.1 pH units) followed by recovery of both Ca(2+) i and pHi. The plasma-membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) inhibitor, 5(6)-carboxyeosin diacetate, slowed both the calcium recovery and the acidification. To investigate a possible calcium-independent role for the pHi shifts in modulating vesicle fusion we recorded post-synaptic miniature end-plate potential (mEPP) and current (mEPC) frequency in Ca(2+) -free solution. Acidification by propionate superfusion, NH(4)(+) withdrawal, or the inhibition of acid extrusion on the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (NHE) induced a rise in miniature frequency. Furthermore, the inhibition of acid extrusion enhanced the rise induced by propionate addition and NH(4)(+) removal. In the presence of NH(4)(+), 10 out of 23 cells showed, after a delay, one or more rises in miniature frequency. These findings suggest that Ca(2+) -dependent pHi shifts, caused by the PMCA and regulated by NHE, may stimulate vesicle release. Furthermore, in the presence of membrane permeant buffers, exocytosed acid or its equivalents may enhance release through positive feedback. This hitherto neglected pH signalling, and the potential feedback role of vesicular acid, could explain some important neuronal excitability changes associated with altered pH and its buffering. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Presynaptic plasticity as a hallmark of rat stress susceptibility and antidepressant response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Nieto-Gonzalez

    Full Text Available Two main questions are important for understanding and treating affective disorders: why are certain individuals susceptible or resilient to stress, and what are the features of treatment response and resistance? To address these questions, we used a chronic mild stress (CMS rat model of depression. When exposed to stress, a fraction of rats develops anhedonic-like behavior, a core symptom of major depression, while another subgroup of rats is resilient to CMS. Furthermore, the anhedonic-like state is reversed in about half the animals in response to chronic escitalopram treatment (responders, while the remaining animals are resistant (non-responder animals. Electrophysiology in hippocampal brain slices was used to identify a synaptic hallmark characterizing these groups of animals. Presynaptic properties were investigated at GABAergic synapses onto single dentate gyrus granule cells. Stress-susceptible rats displayed a reduced probability of GABA release judged by an altered paired-pulse ratio of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs (1.48 ± 0.25 compared with control (0.81 ± 0.05 and stress-resilient rats (0.78 ± 0.03. Spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs occurred less frequently in stress-susceptible rats compared with control and resilient rats. Finally, a subset of stress-susceptible rats responding to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI treatment showed a normalization of the paired-pulse ratio (0.73 ± 0.06 whereas non-responder rats showed no normalization (1.2 ± 0.2. No changes in the number of parvalbumin-positive interneurons were observed. Thus, we provide evidence for a distinct GABAergic synaptopathy which associates closely with stress-susceptibility and treatment-resistance in an animal model of depression.

  13. Presynaptic Inputs to Any CNS Projection Neuron Identified by Dual Recombinant Virus Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bráz, João M; Wang, Fan; Basbaum, Allan I

    2015-01-01

    Although neuroanatomical tracing studies have defined the origin and targets of major projection neurons (PN) of the central nervous system (CNS), there is much less information about the circuits that influence these neurons. Recently, genetic approaches that use Cre recombinase-dependent viral vectors have greatly facilitated such circuit analysis, but these tracing approaches are limited by the availability of Cre-expressing mouse lines and the difficulty in restricting Cre expression to discrete regions of the CNS. Here, we illustrate an alternative approach to drive Cre expression specifically in defined subsets of CNS projection neurons, so as to map both direct and indirect presynaptic inputs to these cells. The method involves a combination of Cre-dependent transneuronal viral tracers that can be used in the adult and that does not require genetically modified mice. To trigger Cre-expression we inject a Cre-expressing adenovirus that is retrogradely transported to the projection neurons of interest. The region containing the retrogradely labeled projection neurons is next injected with Cre-dependent pseudorabies or rabies vectors, which results in labeling of poly- and monosynaptic neuronal inputs, respectively. In proof-of-concept experiments, we used this novel tracing system to study the circuits that engage projection neurons of the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord and trigeminal nucleus caudalis, neurons of the parabrachial nucleus of the dorsolateral pons that project to the amygdala and cortically-projecting neurons of the lateral geniculate nucleus. Importantly, because this dual viral tracing method does not require genetically derived Cre-expressing mouse lines, inputs to almost any projection system can be studied and the analysis can be performed in larger animals, such as the rat.

  14. Presynaptic Inputs to Any CNS Projection Neuron Identified by Dual Recombinant Virus Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João M Bráz

    Full Text Available Although neuroanatomical tracing studies have defined the origin and targets of major projection neurons (PN of the central nervous system (CNS, there is much less information about the circuits that influence these neurons. Recently, genetic approaches that use Cre recombinase-dependent viral vectors have greatly facilitated such circuit analysis, but these tracing approaches are limited by the availability of Cre-expressing mouse lines and the difficulty in restricting Cre expression to discrete regions of the CNS. Here, we illustrate an alternative approach to drive Cre expression specifically in defined subsets of CNS projection neurons, so as to map both direct and indirect presynaptic inputs to these cells. The method involves a combination of Cre-dependent transneuronal viral tracers that can be used in the adult and that does not require genetically modified mice. To trigger Cre-expression we inject a Cre-expressing adenovirus that is retrogradely transported to the projection neurons of interest. The region containing the retrogradely labeled projection neurons is next injected with Cre-dependent pseudorabies or rabies vectors, which results in labeling of poly- and monosynaptic neuronal inputs, respectively. In proof-of-concept experiments, we used this novel tracing system to study the circuits that engage projection neurons of the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord and trigeminal nucleus caudalis, neurons of the parabrachial nucleus of the dorsolateral pons that project to the amygdala and cortically-projecting neurons of the lateral geniculate nucleus. Importantly, because this dual viral tracing method does not require genetically derived Cre-expressing mouse lines, inputs to almost any projection system can be studied and the analysis can be performed in larger animals, such as the rat.

  15. Reactive oxygen species contribute to the presynaptic action of extracellular ATP at the frog neuromuscular junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giniatullin, AR; Grishin, SN; Sharifullina, ER; Petrov, AM; Zefirov, AL; Giniatullin, RA

    2005-01-01

    During normal cell metabolism the production of intracellular ATP is associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which appear to be important signalling molecules. Both ATP and ROS can be released extracellularly by skeletal muscle during intense activity. Using voltage clamp recording combined with imaging and biochemical assay of ROS, we tested the hypothesis that at the neuromuscular junction extracellular ATP generates ROS to inhibit transmitter release from motor nerve endings. We found that ATP produced the presynaptic inhibitory action on multiquantal end-plate currents. The inhibitory action of ATP (but not that of adenosine) was significantly reduced by several antioxidants or extracellular catalase, which breaks down H2O2. Consistent with these data, the depressant effect of ATP was dramatically potentiated by the pro-oxidant Fe2+. Exogenous H2O2 reproduced the depressant effects of ATP and showed similar sensitivity to anti- and pro-oxidants. While NO also inhibited synaptic transmission, inhibitors of the NO-producing cascade did not prevent the depressant action of ATP. The ferrous oxidation in xylenol orange assay showed the increase of ROS production by ATP and 2-MeSADP but not by adenosine. Suramin, a non-selective antagonist of P2 receptors, and pertussis toxin prevented the action of ATP on ROS production. Likewise, imaging with the ROS-sensitive dye carboxy-2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein revealed increased production of ROS in the muscle treated with ATP or ADP while UTP or adenosine had no effect. Thus, generation of ROS contributed to the ATP-mediated negative feedback mechanism controlling quantal secretion of ACh from the motor nerve endings. PMID:15774519

  16. Active polysomes are present in the large presynaptic endings of the synaptosomal fraction from squid brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crispino, M; Kaplan, B B; Martin, R; Alvarez, J; Chun, J T; Benech, J C; Giuditta, A

    1997-10-15

    Previous data have suggested that the large nerve terminals present in the synaptosomal fraction from squid optic lobe are capable of protein synthesis (Crispino et al., 1993a,b). We have further examined this issue by comparing the translation products of synaptosomal and microsomal polysomes. Both preparations programmed an active process of translation, which was completely abolished by their previous treatment with EDTA. After immunoabsorption of the newly synthesized neurofilament (NF) proteins, the labeling ratio of the 60 and 70 kDa NF proteins was found to differ, in agreement with comparable differences obtained with intact synaptosomes. These observations indicate that the set of mRNAs translated by synaptosomes differs from that translated by nerve cell bodies. Hence, because NF proteins are neuron-specific, they support the view that the active synaptosomal polysomes are mostly localized in the large nerve terminals that represent the most abundant neuronal component of the fraction. This hypothesis was confirmed (1) by electron spectroscopic data demonstrating the presence of ribosomes and polysomes within the large nerve endings of the synaptosomal fraction, as well as in the carrot-like nerve endings of the retinal photoreceptors that constitute the only large terminals in the optic lobe, and (2) by light and high resolution autoradiography of synaptosomal samples incubated with [3H]leucine, showing that most labeled proteins are associated with the large nerve endings. This response was abolished by cycloheximide. Taken together, the data provide the first unequivocal demonstration that presynaptic nerve terminals are capable of protein synthesis.

  17. Presynaptic membrane receptors in acetylcholine release modulation in the neuromuscular synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Marta; Besalduch, Núria; Obis, Teresa; Priego, Mercedes; Hurtado, Erica

    2014-05-01

    Over the past few years, we have studied, in the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the local involvement in transmitter release of the presynaptic muscarinic ACh autoreceptors (mAChRs), purinergic adenosine autoreceptors (P1Rs), and trophic factor receptors (TFRs; for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during development and in the adult. At any given moment, the way in which a synapse works is largely the logical outcome of the confluence of these (and other) metabotropic signalling pathways on intracellular kinases, which phosphorylate protein targets and materialize adaptive changes. We propose an integrated interpretation of the complementary function of these receptors in the adult NMJ. The activity of a given receptor group can modulate a given combination of spontaneous, evoked, and activity-dependent release characteristics. For instance, P1Rs can conserve resources by limiting spontaneous quantal leak of ACh (an A1 R action) and protect synapse function, because stimulation with adenosine reduces the magnitude of depression during repetitive activity. The overall outcome of the mAChRs seems to contribute to upkeep of spontaneous quantal output of ACh, save synapse function by decreasing the extent of evoked release (mainly an M2 action), and reduce depression. We have also identified several links among P1Rs, mAChRs, and TFRs. We found a close dependence between mAChR and some TFRs and observed that the muscarinic group has to operate correctly if the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (trkB) is also to operate correctly, and vice versa. Likewise, the functional integrity of mAChRs depends on P1Rs operating normally. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS): a rare autoimmune presynaptic disorder often associated with cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoser, Benedikt; Eymard, Bruno; Datt, Joe; Mantegazza, Renato

    2017-09-01

    Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a rare autoimmune neuromuscular junction disorder that is related to the loss of functional P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) on presynaptic nerve terminals. Up to 60% of cases occur as a paraneoplastic disorder (SCLC-LEMS), most commonly in association with small cell lung cancer. The remaining cases have an idiopathic non-tumor etiology but are associated with underlying autoimmune disease (NT-LEMS). Patients with LEMS invariably experience progressive proximal muscle weakness, often accompanied by general fatigue and autonomic symptoms. Some LEMS clinical symptoms overlap with those of other myasthenic syndromes, most commonly myasthenia gravis, which can contribute to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Prognosis is related to the presence of cancer or autoimmune disease and the severity/distribution of muscle weakness. Cause of death in patients with SCLC-LEMS is typically tumor progression, whereas NT-LEMS does not reduce life expectancy. LEMS diagnosis is supported by a threefold approach: clinical features, electromyography, and anti-VGCC antibody serology. LEMS is a clinically important early indicator of possible cancer; therefore, a LEMS diagnosis should immediately prompt rigorous oncological screening and surveillance. Symptomatic treatment of LEMS typically involves medications that improve neurotransmission (e.g., the potassium channel blocker amifampridine [3,4-diaminopyridine]), with addition of immunosuppressants/modulators (e.g., prednisone plus azathioprine) in individuals with persistent symptoms. Where a tumor is identified, oncological treatment should take priority. It should be remembered, however, that LEMS has a significant impact on a patient's quality of life and ability to perform daily activities, and therefore warrants timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment in and of itself.

  19. Presynaptic [Ca2+] and GCAPs: aspects on the structure and function of photoreceptor ribbon synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eSchmitz

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Changes in intracellular calcium ions [Ca2+] play important roles in photoreceptor signalling. Consequently, intracellular [Ca2+] levels need to be tightly controlled. In the light-sensitive outer segments (OS of photoreceptors, Ca2+ regulates the activity of retinal guanylate cyclases (ret-GCs thus playing a central role in phototransduction and light-adaptation by restoring light-induced decreases in cGMP. In the synaptic terminals, changes of intracellular Ca2+ trigger various aspects of neurotransmission. Photoreceptors employ tonically active ribbon synapses that encode light-induced, graded changes of membrane potential into different rates of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. The active zones of ribbon synapses contain large electron-dense structures, synaptic ribbons, that are associated with large numbers of synaptic vesicles. Synaptic coding at ribbon synapses differs from synaptic coding at conventional (phasic synapses. Recent studies revealed new insights how synaptic ribbons are involved in this process. This review focuses on the regulation of [Ca2+] in presynaptic photoreceptor terminals and on the function of a particular Ca2+-regulated protein, the neuronal calcium sensor protein GCAP2 (guanylate cyclase-activating protein-2 in the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. GCAP2, an EF hand-containing protein plays multiple roles in the OS and in the photoreceptor synapse. In the OS, GCAP2 works as a Ca2+-sensor within a Ca2+-regulated feedback loop that adjusts cGMP levels. In the photoreceptor synapse, GCAP2 binds to RIBEYE, a component of synaptic ribbons, and mediates Ca2+-dependent plasticity at that site. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

  20. Distinct presynaptic control of dopamine release in striosomal and matrix areas of the cat caudate nucleus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kemel, M.L.; Desban, M.; Glowinski, J.; Gauchy, C.

    1989-01-01

    By use of a sensitive in vitro microsuperfusion method, the cholinergic presynaptic control of dopamine release was investigated in a prominent striosome (areas poor in acetylcholinesterase activity) located within the core of cat caudate nucleus and also in adjacent matrix area. The spontaneous release of [ 3 H]dopamine continuously synthesized from [ 3 H]tyrosine in the matrix area was found to be twice that in the striosomal area; the spontaneous and potassium-evoked releases of [ 3 H]dopamine were calcium-dependent in both compartments. With 10 -6 M tetrodotoxin, 5 x 10 -5 M acetylcholine stimulated [ 3 H]dopamine release in both striosomal and matrix areas, effects completely antagonized by atropine, thus showing the involvement of muscarinic receptors located on dopaminergic nerve terminals. Experiments without tetrodotoxin revealed a more complex regulation of dopamine release in the matrix: (i) in contrast to results seen in the striosome, acetylcholine induced only a transient stimulatory effect on matrix dopamine release. (ii) Although 10 -6 M atropine completely abolished the cholinergic stimulatory effect on [ 3 H]dopamine release in striosomal area, delayed and prolonged stimulation of [ 3 H] dopamine release was seen with atropine in the matrix. The latter effect was completely abolished by the nicotinic antagonist pempidine. Therefore, in the matrix, in addition to its direct (tetrodotoxin-insensitive) facilitatory action on [ 3 H]dopamine release, acetylcholine exerts two indirect (tetrodotoxin-sensitive) opposing effects: an inhibition and a stimulation of [ 3 H]dopamine release mediated by muscarinic and nicotinic receptors, respectively

  1. In vivo impact of presynaptic calcium channel dysfunction on motor axons in episodic ataxia type 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Susan E; Tan, S Veronica; Burke, David; Labrum, Robyn W; Haworth, Andrea; Gibbons, Vaneesha S; Sweeney, Mary G; Griggs, Robert C; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Bostock, Hugh; Hanna, Michael G

    2016-02-01

    Ion channel dysfunction causes a range of neurological disorders by altering transmembrane ion fluxes, neuronal or muscle excitability, and neurotransmitter release. Genetic neuronal channelopathies affecting peripheral axons provide a unique opportunity to examine the impact of dysfunction of a single channel subtype in detail in vivo. Episodic ataxia type 2 is caused by mutations in CACNA1A, which encodes the pore-forming subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated calcium channel Cav2.1. In peripheral motor axons, this channel is highly expressed at the presynaptic neuromuscular junction where it contributes to action potential-evoked neurotransmitter release, but it is not expressed mid-axon or thought to contribute to action potential generation. Eight patients from five families with genetically confirmed episodic ataxia type 2 underwent neurophysiological assessment to determine whether axonal excitability was normal and, if not, whether changes could be explained by Cav2.1 dysfunction. New mutations in the CACNA1A gene were identified in two families. Nerve conduction studies were normal, but increased jitter in single-fibre EMG studies indicated unstable neuromuscular transmission in two patients. Excitability properties of median motor axons were compared with those in 30 age-matched healthy control subjects. All patients had similar excitability abnormalities, including a high electrical threshold and increased responses to hyperpolarizing (P ataxia type 2 thus has unexpected effects on axon excitability, which may reflect an indirect effect of abnormal calcium current fluxes during development. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved.

  2. APP Is a Context-Sensitive Regulator of the Hippocampal Presynaptic Active Zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Laßek

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD are characterized by cognitive decline and behavioral changes. The most prominent brain region affected by the progression of AD is the hippocampal formation. The pathogenesis involves a successive loss of hippocampal neurons accompanied by a decline in learning and memory consolidation mainly attributed to an accumulation of senile plaques. The amyloid precursor protein (APP has been identified as precursor of Aβ-peptides, the main constituents of senile plaques. Until now, little is known about the physiological function of APP within the central nervous system. The allocation of APP to the proteome of the highly dynamic presynaptic active zone (PAZ highlights APP as a yet unknown player in neuronal communication and signaling. In this study, we analyze the impact of APP deletion on the hippocampal PAZ proteome. The native hippocampal PAZ derived from APP mouse mutants (APP-KOs and NexCreAPP/APLP2-cDKOs was isolated by subcellular fractionation and immunopurification. Subsequently, an isobaric labeling was performed using TMT6 for protein identification and quantification by high-resolution mass spectrometry. We combine bioinformatics tools and biochemical approaches to address the proteomics dataset and to understand the role of individual proteins. The impact of APP deletion on the hippocampal PAZ proteome was visualized by creating protein-protein interaction (PPI networks that incorporated APP into the synaptic vesicle cycle, cytoskeletal organization, and calcium-homeostasis. The combination of subcellular fractionation, immunopurification, proteomic analysis, and bioinformatics allowed us to identify APP as structural and functional regulator in a context-sensitive manner within the hippocampal active zone network.

  3. CUREs in biochemistry-where we are and where we should go.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jessica K; Eckdahl, Todd T; Hecht, David A; Killion, Patrick J; Latzer, Joachim; Mans, Tamara L; Provost, Joseph J; Rakus, John F; Siebrasse, Erica A; Ellis Bell, J

    2017-01-02

    Integration of research experience into classroom is an important and vital experience for all undergraduates. These course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have grown from independent instructor lead projects to large consortium driven experiences. The impact and importance of CUREs on students at all levels in biochemistry was the focus of a National Science Foundation funded think tank. The state of biochemistry CUREs and suggestions for moving biochemistry forward as well as a practical guide (supplementary material) are reported here. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(1):7-12, 2017. © 2016 The Authors Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  4. Common student misconceptions in exercise physiology and biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, James P; Doran, Dominic A; Maclaren, Don P M

    2008-06-01

    The present study represents a preliminary investigation designed to identify common misconceptions in students' understanding of physiological and biochemical topics within the academic domain of sport and exercise sciences. A specifically designed misconception inventory (consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions) was administered to a cohort of level 1, 2, and 3 undergraduate students enrolled in physiology and biochemistry-related modules of the BSc Sport Science degree at the authors' institute. Of the 10 misconceptions proposed by the authors, 9 misconceptions were confirmed. Of these nine misconceptions, only one misconception appeared to have been alleviated by the current teaching strategy employed during the progression from level 1 to 3 study. The remaining eight misconceptions prevailed throughout the course of the degree program, suggesting that students enter and leave university with the same misconceptions in certain areas of exercise physiology and biochemistry. The possible origins of these misconceptions are discussed, as are potential teaching strategies to prevent and/or remediate them for future years.

  5. Abstracts of the 27. Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    This meeting was about biochemistry and molecular biology. It was discussed topics related to bio energetic, channels, transports, biotechnology, metabolism, cellular biology, immunology, toxicology, photobiology and pharmacology

  6. Abstracts of the 26. Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    This meeting was about biochemistry and molecular biology. It was discussed topics related to bio energetic, channels, transports, biotechnology, metabolism, cellular biology, immunology, toxicology, photobiology and pharmacology

  7. Thioredoxin and Its Reductase Are Present on Synaptic Vesicles, and Their Inhibition Prevents the Paralysis Induced by Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Pirazzini

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins consist of a metalloprotease linked via a conserved interchain disulfide bond to a heavy chain responsible for neurospecific binding and translocation of the enzymatic domain in the nerve terminal cytosol. The metalloprotease activity is enabled upon disulfide reduction and causes neuroparalysis by cleaving the SNARE proteins. Here, we show that the thioredoxin reductase-thioredoxin protein disulfide-reducing system is present on synaptic vesicles and that it is functional and responsible for the reduction of the interchain disulfide of botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A, C, and E. Specific inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase or thioredoxin prevent intoxication of cultured neurons in a dose-dependent manner and are also very effective inhibitors of the paralysis of the neuromuscular junction. We found that this group of inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins is very effective in vivo. Most of them are nontoxic and are good candidates as preventive and therapeutic drugs for human botulism.

  8. Geochemical Legacies and the Future Health of Cities: An Analysis of two Neurotoxins in Urban Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippelli, G. M.; Risch, M.

    2015-12-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between geochemical processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are very poorly studied, yet have materialized as perhaps the greatest threat to large-scale population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But these legacy Pb sources are still around in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a pernicious and widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg), although very little work has been done to understand human exposures to low levels of this element in soils. The most documented human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for above average dietary Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Many aspects of the dose-response curves for individual elements and mixtures are poorly understood, especially at lower levels, leaving unanswered several interesting and provocative questions about environmental impacts on neurological and

  9. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel M. Filippelli

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between environmental processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are poorly studied, yet may pose a significant threat to population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb, a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But the legacy of these sources remains in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg. The greatest human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for toxic Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Overall, there is a paradigmatic shift from reaction to and remediation of acute exposures towards a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic cycling of persistent environmental contaminants with resultant widespread and chronic exposure of inner-city dwellers, leading to chronic toxic illness and disability at substantial human and social cost.

  10. Complementing theoretical biochemistry with the uso of computer aids (Symposium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Herrera

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Teaching  biochemistry  in  the  current  state  of  science  and  society  requires  a  special motivation for learning, especially for students where Biochemistry is one of the courses on  their  careers.  The  traditional  way  of  teaching,  based  on  the  teacher-student relationship,  mostly  unidirectional,  does  not  fulfil  the  needs  imposed  in  this  era. Considering  the  current  situation,  University  students  require  new  abilities  in  their training  and  the  use  of  computers  can  be  a  facility  for  discovering  and  research, enabling the experience of new and  diverse situations. The design of teaching material for undergraduate students who take biochemistry as complementary course should be seen  as  an  opportunity  to  complement  theoretical  aspect  on  the  current  courses.  We have used three different approaches: (I Modelling proteins indicating key motifs at the three-dimensional structure and residues where inhibitors can be attach. (II Generation of  activities  by  the  use  of  sensors.  And  (III  elaborating  active  quizzes  where  students can  be  drive  on  their  learning.  Building  knowledge  based  on  practical  experience  can improve  student’s  competence  on  basic  science  and  the  learning  process  can  be complemented in the use of dynamics models.

  11. A Review of the Disruptive Potential of Botulinum Neurotoxins as Chemical Warfare Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-01

    caused by ingestion of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) was first described as “ sausage poisoning” in 1820 and attributed to a bacterium in 1897 [1]. We...References. 1. Erbguth, F.J. and M. Naumann, Historical aspects of botulinum toxin: Justinus Kerner (1786-1862) and the " sausage poison...Liu, Analyzing a bioterror attack on the food supply: the case of botulinum toxin in milk. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2005. 102(28): p. 9984-9. 8

  12. Neutralisation of specific surface carboxylates speeds up translocation of botulinum neurotoxin type B enzymatic domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Henke, Tina; Rossetto, Ornella; Mahrhold, Stefan; Krez, Nadja; Rummel, Andreas; Montecucco, Cesare; Binz, Thomas

    2013-11-29

    Botulinum neurotoxins translocate their enzymatic domain across vesicular membranes. The molecular triggers of this process are unknown. Here, we tested the possibility that this is elicited by protonation of conserved surface carboxylates. Glutamate-48, glutamate-653 and aspartate-877 were identified as possible candidates and changed into amide. This triple mutant showed increased neurotoxicity due to faster cytosolic delivery of the enzymatic domain; membrane translocation could take place at less acidic pH. Thus, neutralisation of specific negative surface charges facilitates membrane contact permitting a faster initiation of the toxin membrane insertion. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Computer modeling of the neurotoxin binding site of acetylcholine receptor spanning residues 185 through 196

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garduno-Juarez, R.; Shibata, M.; Zielinski, T. J.; Rein, R.

    1987-01-01

    A model of the complex between the acetylcholine receptor and the snake neurotoxin, cobratoxin, was built by molecular model building and energy optimization techniques. The experimentally identified functionally important residues of cobratoxin and the dodecapeptide corresponding to the residues 185-196 of acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit were used to build the model. Both cis and trans conformers of cyclic L-cystine portion of the dodecapeptide were examined. Binding residues independently identified on cobratoxin are shown to interact with the dodecapeptide AChR model.

  14. Two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 represses transcription from botulinum neurotoxin promoters in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Zhang

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Blocking neurotransmission, botulinum neurotoxin is the most poisonous biological substance known to mankind. Despite its infamy as the scourge of the food industry, the neurotoxin is increasingly used as a pharmaceutical to treat an expanding range of muscle disorders. Whilst neurotoxin expression by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum appears tightly regulated, to date only positive regulatory elements, such as the alternative sigma factor BotR, have been implicated in this control. The identification of negative regulators has proven to be elusive. Here, we show that the two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 negatively regulates botulinum neurotoxin expression. Single insertional inactivation of cbo0787 encoding a sensor histidine kinase, or of cbo0786 encoding a response regulator, resulted in significantly elevated neurotoxin gene expression levels and increased neurotoxin production. Recombinant CBO0786 regulator was shown to bind to the conserved -10 site of the core promoters of the ha and ntnh-botA operons, which encode the toxin structural and accessory proteins. Increasing concentration of CBO0786 inhibited BotR-directed transcription from the ha and ntnh-botA promoters, demonstrating direct transcriptional repression of the ha and ntnh-botA operons by CBO0786. Thus, we propose that CBO0786 represses neurotoxin gene expression by blocking BotR-directed transcription from the neurotoxin promoters. This is the first evidence of a negative regulator controlling botulinum neurotoxin production. Understanding the neurotoxin regulatory mechanisms is a major target of the food and pharmaceutical industries alike.

  15. The Role of Cysteine String Protein α Phosphorylation at Serine 10 and 34 by Protein Kinase Cγ for Presynaptic Maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirafuji, Toshihiko; Ueyama, Takehiko; Adachi, Naoko; Yoshino, Ken-Ichi; Sotomaru, Yusuke; Uwada, Junsuke; Kaneoka, Azumi; Ueda, Taro; Tanaka, Shigeru; Hide, Izumi; Saito, Naoaki; Sakai, Norio

    2018-01-10

    Protein kinase Cγ (PKCγ) knock-out (KO) animals exhibit symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), including dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra. However, the PKCγ substrates responsible for the survival of dopaminergic neurons in vivo have not yet been elucidated. Previously, we found 10 potent substrates in the striatum of PKCγ-KO mice. Here, we focused on cysteine string protein α (CSPα), a protein from the heat shock protein (HSP) 40 cochaperone families localized on synaptic vesicles. We found that in cultured cells, PKCγ phosphorylates CSPα at serine (Ser) 10 and Ser34. Additionally, apoptosis was found to have been enhanced by the overexpression of a phosphorylation-null mutant of CSPα, CSPα(S10A/S34A). Compared with wild-type (WT) CSPα, the CSPα(S10A/S34A) mutant had a weaker interaction with HSP70. However, in sharp contrast, a phosphomimetic CSPα(S10D/S34D) mutant, compared with WT CSPα, had a stronger interaction with HSP70. In addition, total levels of synaptosomal-associated protein (SNAP) 25, a main downstream target of the HSC70/HSP70 chaperone complex, were found to have decreased by the CSPα(S10A/S34A) mutant through increased ubiquitination of SNAP25 in PC12 cells. In the striatum of 2-year-old male PKCγ-KO mice, decreased phosphorylation levels of CSPα and decreased SNAP25 protein levels were observed. These findings indicate the phosphorylation of CSPα by PKCγ may protect the presynaptic terminal from neurodegeneration. The PKCγ-CSPα-HSC70/HSP70-SNAP25 axis, because of its role in protecting the presynaptic terminal, may provide a new therapeutic target for the treatment of PD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cysteine string protein α (CSPα) is a protein belonging to the heat shock protein (HSP) 40 cochaperone families localized on synaptic vesicles, which maintain the presynaptic terminal. However, the function of CSPα phosphorylation by protein kinase C (PKC) for neuronal cell survival remains unclear. The experiments

  16. Xanomeline quasi-irreversibly bound to an ectopic site can stimulate presynaptic M2 receptors via the orthosteric binding site

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Machová, Eva; El-Fakahany, E. E.; Doležal, Vladimír

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 94, č. S2 (2005), s. 90-90 ISSN 0022-3042. [Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry and the European Society for Neurochemistry /20./. 21.08.2005-26.08.2005, Innsbruck] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA5011206; GA ČR(CZ) GA305/05/0452 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : xanomeline * presynaptic M2 receptor * acetylcholine release * brain cortex * wash-resistant binding Subject RIV: ED - Physiology

  17. $^{31}$Mg $\\beta$-NMR applied in chemistry and biochemistry

    CERN Multimedia

    Magnesium ions, Mg$^{2+}$, are essential in biological systems, taking part in practically all phosphate chemistry, in photosynthesis as an integral component of chlorophyll, and they are regulated via transport through selective membrane proteins. Nonetheless, the function of magnesium ions in biochemistry is difficult to characterize, as it is practically invisible to current experimental techniques. With this proposal we aim to advance the use of $^{31}$Mg $\\beta$-NMR to liquid samples, building on the experience from the successful Letter of Intent INTC-I-088 “$\\beta$-NMR as a novel technique for biological applications”. Initially a series of experiments will be conducted aiming to characterize the coordination chemistry of Mg$^{2+}$ in ionic liquids (ILs), demonstrating that it is possible within the lifetime of the radioisotope to achieve binding of Mg$^{2+}$ to a molecule dissolved in the IL. ILs are chosen as they display a very low vapor pressure, and are thus straightforwardly compatible with t...

  18. The construction and application of didactic models in Biochemistry teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano de Souza Zierer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This work describes how to build and use didactic models as a teaching resource to a more creative teaching in Biochemistry. Students are organized into groups to discuss the creation, planning and execution of models. Previously, the teacher guides the use of various materials for preparation and encourages the use of low cost materials. The day of the activity, held in the classroom, students build their models and are evaluated orally by the teacher about the functions or processes represented. At the end of class, we propose the presentation by each group, plus a general discussion about them. We find that that this methodology makes the classroom an environment highly conducive to creative expression, allowing students to develop their potential and making them effective learning, meaningful and longer lasting when compared to traditional teaching methods.

  19. Estimating foliar biochemistry from hyperspectral data in mixed forest canopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huber Gharib, Silvia; Kneubühler, Mathias; Psomas, Achilleas

    2008-01-01

    data to estimate the foliar concentration of nitrogen, carbon and water in three mixed forest canopies in Switzerland. With multiple linear regression models, continuum-removed and normalized HyMap spectra were related to foliar biochemistry on an individual tree level. The six spectral wavebands used...... in the regression models were selected using both an enumerative branch-and-bound (B&B) and a forward search algorithm. The models estimated foliar concentrations with adjusted R2 values between 0.47 and 0.63, based on the best-sampled study site. Regression models composed of wavebands selected by the B......&B algorithm always performed better than those developed with forward search. When extrapolating nitrogen concentrations from one to another study site, regression models solely based on causal wavebands (known from literature) mostly outperformed models based on all wavebands. The study demonstrates...

  20. Resistant Starch Regulates Gut Microbiota: Structure, Biochemistry and Cell Signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaoping; Darko, Kwame Oteng; Huang, Yanjun; He, Caimei; Yang, Huansheng; He, Shanping; Li, Jianzhong; Li, Jian; Hocher, Berthold; Yin, Yulong

    2017-01-01

    Starch is one of the most popular nutritional sources for both human and animals. Due to the variation of its nutritional traits and biochemical specificities, starch has been classified into rapidly digestible, slowly digestible and resistant starch. Resistant starch has its own unique chemical structure, and various forms of resistant starch are commercially available. It has been found being a multiple-functional regulator for treating metabolic dysfunction. Different functions of resistant starch such as modulation of the gut microbiota, gut peptides, circulating growth factors, circulating inflammatory mediators have been characterized by animal studies and clinical trials. In this mini-review, recent remarkable progress in resistant starch on gut microbiota, particularly the effect of structure, biochemistry and cell signaling on nutrition has been summarized, with highlights on its regulatory effect on gut microbiota. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Development of a virtual classroom to teach biochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.S. Rodrigues

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowing  the  difficulties to  teach  some biochemistry concepts  because  of their  dynamic  and  spatial characteristics, computers  have been adopted  to help in these  visualizations.  Pictures, three  dimen- sional structures and animations were built and used to display in classes and distributed to students. Behind  these  specific illustrations, an  informatics  environment has  been  developed  to  support bio- chemistry  teaching.    Based  in  free software,  it fits  in  a single CD  that works  independent of any software installed  on the computer, even the operating  system, and is compatible  with most hardware configurations.This technique is called live-CD. It is based on Linux architecture, which is not only free software but also more flexible to be configured.  After some tests with Linux distributions, Slackware has been chosen because of its easy manipulation and  because it makes the  best use of the hardware  allowing to be installed  in old or limited  equipments. It has been configured to make the best optimization of the computer  and have all software needed for most biochemistry classrooms.It  was installed:   an  Internet browser  compatible  with  a 3D molecule visualization plug-in,  text editor,  presentation editor,  picture  editor  and  some didactic  material  specific for biochemistry.  The interface was configured for people with no experience in the Linux environment.The  system  can  also work in an  intranet, where  a computer  would  be operated  by the  teacher and it would have some special control configurations  as: web site access control, power control of the others  machines  and  even an option  that would bring  the  desktop  of other  machine  to the  teacher´s what  allows him to make a straight orientation for a student from his screen.This new system,  which is a common platform  for other

  2. [Application of Postmortem Biochemistry in Forensic Diagnosis of Diabetic Ketoacidosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Y; Lu, Q; Hu, Y

    2016-08-01

    Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication results from the high blood levels of glucose and ketone in diabetes mellitus patients that cause metabolic overbalance. An analysis of postmortem biochemical indexes is needed in such cases without specific signs of the routine forensic medicine examination. Postmortem biochemistry is a kind of examinations that collecting the body fluids of the corpses to determine the metabolic state of their life time to estimate the cause of death. This paper reviews the basic features and signs of the forensic medicine examination in the dead cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, and emphatically analyzes the postmortem biochemical indexes of diabetic ketoacidosis, and summarizes new ideas of forensic medicine diagnosis in diabetic ketoacidosis death. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine.

  3. Plasma biochemistry in the horse during 3-day event competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, R J; Ilkiw, J E; Arnold, K S; Backhouse, J W; Sampson, D

    1980-07-01

    Blood samples were collected from 16 Thoroughbred horses before, during and after the second day of a 3-day event. Plasma osmolality, concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, urea, creatinine, glucose, bilirubin, iron, total protein, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, calcium, inorganic phosphate, uric acid, cholesterol, triglycerides and non-esterified fatty acids were measured. Significant differences from pre-event values were found in all parameters with the greatest changes being found after the cross-country phase. Most parameters showed significant rises following exercise, except calcium and chloride, which decreased. It was deduced from the changes in biochemistry that dehydration, reduced glomerular filtration rate, increased glycogenolysis and increased lipid metabolism, were a result of this form of competitive exercise.

  4. Dissolution of hypotheses in biochemistry: three case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Michael

    2016-12-01

    The history of biochemistry and molecular biology is replete with examples of erroneous theories that persisted for considerable lengths of time before they were rejected. This paper examines patterns of dissolution of three such erroneous hypotheses: The idea that nucleic acids are tetrads of the four nucleobases ('the tetranucleotide hypothesis'); the notion that proteins are collinear with their encoding genes in all branches of life; and the hypothesis that proteins are synthesized by reverse action of proteolytic enzymes. Analysis of these cases indicates that amassed contradictory empirical findings did not prompt critical experimental testing of the prevailing theories nor did they elicit alternative hypotheses. Rather, the incorrect models collapsed when experiments that were not purposely designed to test their validity exposed new facts.

  5. BIOCHEMISTRY PANEL REFERENCE INTERVALS FOR JUVENILE GOLDFISH (CARASSIUS AURATUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamovicz, Laura A; Trosclair, Macy R; Lewbart, Gregory A

    2017-09-01

    Reference intervals for diagnostic tests are vitally important for clinical decision making. Despite the popularity of pet goldfish (Carassius auratus), reference intervals have not been generated for routine biochemistry panel analytes in this species. This study establishes de novo reference intervals for packed cell volume and total solids, using 47 apparently healthy immature goldfish, and for 11 common chemistry panel analytes (albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, calcium, creatine kinase, globulin, blood glucose, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, total protein, and uric acid) using 39 immature goldfish. Robust reference intervals were generated following recommendations of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology. Linear regression was used to demonstrate a statistically significant relationship between body weight and calcium, albumin, total protein, potassium, packed cell volume, and total solids. The results of this study serve as a useful baseline for future reference interval generation in goldfish.

  6. Probing RNA-protein networks: biochemistry meets genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Zachary T; Wickens, Marvin

    2015-03-01

    RNA-protein interactions are pervasive. The specificity of these interactions dictates which RNAs are controlled by what protein. Here we describe a class of revolutionary new methods that enable global views of RNA-binding specificity in vitro, for both single proteins and multiprotein complexes. These methods provide insight into central issues in RNA regulation in living cells, including understanding the balance between free and bound components, the basis for exclusion of binding sites, detection of binding events in the absence of discernible regulatory elements, and new approaches to targeting endogenous transcripts by design. Comparisons of in vitro and in vivo binding provide a foundation for comprehensive understanding of the biochemistry of protein-mediated RNA regulatory networks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. DIABETES MELLITUS: GENERATING ISSUES FOR THE TEACHING OF BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Maciel Lima

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Current education has been grounded on traditional teaching practices; in other words, learning is regarded as an accumulation of knowledge given by the teachers. Use of resources such as videos and games can raise the interest of teachers since they are an attractive and less traditional alternative. Nevertheless, the use of generating issues stands out as it may help teachers to develop contextualized lessons. According to Freire (1987, this is the starting point in the process of constructing knowledge, replacing traditional practices and questioning the student’s previous knowledge of Biochemistry. OBJECTIVES: Thus, the aim of this study was to prepare and present a lesson to a 12th grade class at IF Fluminense on carbohydrates, diabetes mellitus, and isomerism based on the theme “Diabetes Mellitus”. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to collect data and check the validity of the use of such methodology in classes of Biochemistry, we used procedures such as: presentation of a video made by the authors about diabetes, a styrofoam model of a hepatic cell and biscuit models to show its metabolic functioning regarding metabolism of carbohydrates, styrofoam and toothpick molecular models aimed at explaining isomerism among main hexoses and, to finish the process, a roulette game named “Spinning with Biochemistry”, adapted from the television show Roda a Roda Jequiti, presented by SBT network. In addition, students had a class based on the “Three Pedagogical Moments” methodology proposed by Delizoicov et al. (2007. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: After this, students developed more grounded scientific concepts, making use of terms common in scientific language. This suggests that the use of a Generating Issues, in a class based on problem-solving methods supported by playful strategies, was a meaningful contribution to improve the understanding of scientific knowledge. CONCLUSION: This type of class grounded on less traditional

  8. The Use of Contextual Learning to Teach Biochemistry to Dietetic Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaulay, J. O.; Van Damme, M. -P.; Walker, K. Z.

    2009-01-01

    This article describes the use of contextualized and "blended" learning to teach biochemistry to dietetic students during the second year of their professional training in a 4-year undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics). Contextualized content was used to engage students and motivate them to learn biochemistry, which many…

  9. What Are the Appropriate Curriculum Contents for Biochemistry Courses in Veterinary Medicine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, A. A. D.; Correia, J. H. R. D.

    1995-01-01

    Presents an overview of the important items that the author's suggest should be included in a biochemistry course given to students in veterinary medicine. Presents a broad range of specific topics in biochemistry and strategies for covering as many topics as possible in one course. (LZ)

  10. Lignin biochemistry and soil N determine crop residue decomposition and soil priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropping history can affect soil properties, including available N, but little is known about the interactive effects of residue biochemistry, temperature and cropping history on residue decomposition. A laboratory incubation examined the role of residue biochemistry and temperature on the decomposi...

  11. Learning Effectiveness and Satisfaction of International Medical Students: Introducing a Hybrid-PBL Curriculum in Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qiu; Ma, Li; Zhu, Lina; Zhang, Wenli

    2017-01-01

    A biochemistry course is a fundamental but important subject in medical education in China. In recent years, the number of international medical students has increased. Curriculum reform in biochemistry teaching is needed because of the knowledge limitations of students, a close linkage of biochemical content with clinics, the shortcomings of…

  12. Vertical Integration of Biochemistry and Clinical Medicine Using a Near-Peer Learning Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallan, Alexander J.; Offner, Gwynneth D.; Symes, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Vertical integration has been extensively implemented across medical school curricula but has not been widely attempted in the field of biochemistry. We describe a novel curricular innovation in which a near-peer learning model was used to implement vertical integration in our medical school biochemistry course. Senior medical students developed…

  13. Biochemistry Students' Ideas about How an Enzyme Interacts with a Substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme-substrate interactions are a fundamental concept of biochemistry that is built upon throughout multiple biochemistry courses. Central to understanding enzyme-substrate interactions is specific knowledge of exactly how an enzyme and substrate interact. Within this narrower topic, students must understand the various binding sites on an…

  14. Teaching Arrangements of Carbohydrate Metabolism in Biochemistry Curriculum in Peking University Health Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Ni, Ju-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Biochemistry occupies a unique place in the medical school curricula, but the teaching of biochemistry presents certain challenges. One of these challenges is facilitating students' interest in and mastery of metabolism. The many pathways and modes of regulation can be overwhelming for students to learn and difficult for professors to teach in an…

  15. Developing and Supporting Students' Autonomy to Plan, Perform, and Interpret Inquiry-Based Biochemistry Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Thanuci; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Laboratory sessions are designed to develop the experimental skills and the acquaintance with instruments that may contribute to a successful career in Biochemistry and associated fields. This study is a report on improving a traditional Biochemistry course by devising the laboratory sessions as an inquiry-based environment to develop the…

  16. Reactivity II: A Second Foundation-Level Course in Integrated Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaller, Chris P.; Graham, Kate J.; McIntee, Edward J.; Jones, T. Nicholas; Johnson, Brian J.

    2016-01-01

    A foundation-level course is described that integrates material related to reactivity in organic, inorganic, and biochemistry. Designed for second-year students, the course serves majors in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, as well as prehealth-professions students. Building on an earlier course that developed concepts of nucleophiles and…

  17. Case Study of How Turkish University Students Improve Their Biochemistry Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadi, Özlem

    2013-01-01

    Biochemistry courses have an important place as a common subject in faculties of medicine, food engineering, biology and chemistry. MSLQ, Metacognitive Awareness Inventory and Learning Approach Questionnaire were used. The study also involves repeated observations of the same instructor in a biochemistry class over eight weeks to describe…

  18. Biochemistry Instructors' Views toward Developing and Assessing Visual Literacy in Their Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Holme, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Biochemistry instructors are inundated with various representations from which to choose to depict biochemical phenomena. Because of the immense amount of visual know-how needed to be an expert biochemist in the 21st century, there have been calls for instructors to develop biochemistry students' visual literacy. However, visual literacy has…

  19. Combining Content and Elements of Communication into an Upper-Level Biochemistry Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Carli P.; Pellock, Samuel J.; Cunningham, Rebecca L.; Cox, James R.

    2014-01-01

    This report describes how a science communication module was incorporated into an advanced biochemistry course. Elements of communication were taught synergistically with biochemistry content in this course in an effort to expose students to a variety of effective oral communication strategies. Students were trained to use these established…

  20. 75 FR 8147 - Notice of Consideration of Amendment Request for Decommissioning of Analytical Bio-Chemistry...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 030-05154; NRC-2010-0056] Notice of Consideration of Amendment Request for Decommissioning of Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc. Sanitary Lagoon... license amendment to Byproduct Material License No. 24- 13365-01 issued to Analytical Bio-Chemistry...

  1. Experiences from introduction of peer-to-peer teaching methods in Advanced Biochemistry E2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodersen, Ditlev; Etzerodt, Michael; Rasmussen, Jan Trige

    2012-01-01

    During the autumn semester 2010, we experimented with a range of active teaching methods on the course, Advanced Biochemistry, at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.......During the autumn semester 2010, we experimented with a range of active teaching methods on the course, Advanced Biochemistry, at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics....

  2. Domain Organization in Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Type E is Unique: Its Implication in Faster Translocation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumaran, D.; Eswaramoorthy, S; Furey, W; Navaza, J; Sax, M; Swaminathan, S

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct neurotoxins [C. botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) A-G] sharing a significant sequence homology. Based on sequence and functional similarity, it was believed that their three-dimensional structures will also be similar. Indeed, the crystal structures of BoNTs A and B exhibit similar fold and domain association where the translocation domain is flanked on either side by binding and catalytic domains. Here, we report the crystal structure of BoNT E holotoxin and show that the domain association is different and unique, although the individual domains are similar to those of BoNTs A and B. In BoNT E, both the binding domain and the catalytic domain are on the same side of the translocation domain, and all three have mutual interfaces. This unique association may have an effect on the rate of translocation, with the molecule strategically positioned in the vesicle for quick entry into cytosol. Botulism, the disease caused by BoNT E, sets in faster than any other serotype because of its speedy internalization and translocation, and the present structure offers a credible explanation. We propose that the translocation domain in other BoNTs follows a two-step process to attain translocation-competent conformation as in BoNT E. We also suggest that this translocation-competent conformation in BoNT E is a probable reason for its faster toxic rate compared to BoNT A. However, this needs further experimental elucidation.

  3. Identification and Funtional Characterization of Three Postsynaptic Short-chain Neurotoxins from Hydrophiinae, Lapemis hardwickii Gray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Xiao-Fen; Peng, Li-Sheng; Wu, Wen-Yan; Wei, Jian-Wen; Yang, Hong; Yang, Yan-Zhen; Xu, An-Long

    2001-01-01

    Three cDNA clones, sn12, sn36 and sn160, encoding isoforms of postsynaptic short-chain neurotoxins, were cloned by screening a cDNA library of the venom from Hydrophiinae, Lapemis hardwickii Gray. The sequences of three cDNA clones encoded proteins consisting of 60 amino acid residues. There was only one amino acid substitution among the three isoforms SN12, SN36 and SN160 at the position 46 of mature proteins, and they were Pro(46), His(46) and Arg(46), respectively. The three molecules were expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant proteins were characterized. Different LD(50) were obtained, namely 0.0956 mg/kg, 0.3467 mg/kg and 0.2192 mg/kg, when the SN12, SN36 and SN160 were injected into Kunming mice(i.p.). In analgesic effect assayed by the acetic acid-induced writhing method, SN12 and SN160 showed similar analgesic effect, but SN36 had effects significantly different with the other two. Our studies suggested that the amino acid residues on position 46 could affect the combination between the postsynaptic short-chain neurotoxins and the nicotinic acetylchoine receptor, since different amino acid substitution resulted in different biological activities.

  4. Identification of a Unique Ganglioside Binding Loop within Botulinum Neurotoxins C and D-SA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karalewitz, Andrew P.-A.; Kroken, Abby R.; Fu, Zhuji; Baldwin, Michael R.; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Barbieri, Joseph T. (MCW); (Missouri)

    2010-09-22

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent protein toxins for humans. There are seven serotypes of BoNTs (A-G) based on a lack of cross antiserum neutralization. BoNTs utilize gangliosides as components of the host receptors for binding and entry into neurons. Members of BoNT/C and BoNT/D serotypes include mosaic toxins that are organized in D/C and C/D toxins. One D/C mosaic toxin, BoNT/D-South Africa (BoNT/D-SA), was not fully neutralized by immunization with BoNT serotype C or D, which stimulated this study. Here the crystal structures of the receptor binding domains of BoNT/C, BoNT/D, and BoNT/D-SA are presented. Biochemical and cell binding studies show that BoNT/C and BoNT/D-SA possess unique mechanisms for ganglioside binding. These studies provide new information about how the BoNTs can enter host cells as well as a basis for understanding the immunological diversity of these neurotoxins.

  5. Acute Radiation Disease : Cutaneous Syndrome and Toxic properties of Radiomimetics -Radiation Neurotoxins and Hematotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Cutaneous injury is an important complication of a general or local acute irradiation. A type of a skin and tissues lesions depends on a type, intensity, and period of irradiation. Also, the clinical picture, signs, and manifestations of the cutaneous syndrome depend on a type of the radiation toxins circulated in lymph and blood of irradiated mammals. Radiation Toxins were isolated from lymph of the mammals that were irradiated and developed different forms of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) -Cerebrovascular, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, and Hematopoietic. Radiation Toxins can be divided into the two important types of toxins (Neu-rotoxins and Hematotoxins) or four groups. The effects of Radiation Neurotoxins include severe damages and cell death of brain, heart, gastrointestinal tissues and endothelial cells of blood and lymphatic vessels. The hematotoxicity of Hematotoxic Radiation Toxins includes lym-phopenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia in the blood circulation and transitory lymphocytosis and leukocytosis in the Central Lymphatic System. In all cases, administration of the Radiomimetics (Radiation Toxins) intramuscularly or intravenously to healthy, radiation naive mammals had induced and developed the typical clinical manifestations of the ARS. In all cases, administration of Radiomimetics by subtoxic doses had demonstrated development of typical clinical signs of the cutaneous syndrome such as hair loss, erythema, swelling, desqua-mation, blistering and skin necrosis. In animal-toxic models, we have activated development of the local skin and tissue injury after injection of Radiation Toxins with cytoxic properties.

  6. Unconventional amino acid sequence of the sun anemone (Stoichactis helianthus) polypeptide neurotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kem, W.; Dunn, B.; Parten, B.; Pennington, M.; Price, D.

    1986-01-01

    A 5000 dalton polypeptide neurotoxin (Sh-NI) purified by G50 Sephadex, P-cellulose, and SP-Sephadex chromatography was homogeneous by isoelectric focusing. Sh-NI was highly toxic to crayfish (LD 50 0.6 μg/kg) but without effect upon mice at 15,000 μg/kg (i.p. injection). The reduced, 3 H-carboxymethylated toxin and its fragments were subjected to automatic Edman degradation and the resulting PTH-amino acids were identified by HPLC, back hydrolysis, and scintillation counting. Peptides resulting from proteolytic (clostripain, staphylococcal protease) and chemical (tryptophan) cleavage were sequenced. The sequence is: AACKCDDEGPDIRTAPLTGTVDLGSCNAGWEKCASYYTIIADCCRKKK. This sequence differs considerably from the homologous Anemonia and Anthopleura toxins; many of the identical residues (6 half-cystines, G9, P10, R13, G19, G29, W30) are probably critical for folding rather than receptor recognition. However, the Sh-NI sequence closely resembles Radioanthus macrodactylus neurotoxin III and r. paumotensis II. The authors propose that Sh-NI and related Radioanthus toxins act upon a different site on the sodium channel

  7. Adaptive evolution of insect selective excitatory β-type sodium channel neurotoxins from scorpion venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wenlan; Li, Zhongjie; Ma, Yibao

    2017-06-01

    Insect selective excitatory β-type sodium channel neurotoxins from scorpion venom (β-NaScTxs) are composed of about 70-76 amino acid residues and share a common scaffold stabilized by four unique disulfide bonds. The phylogenetic analysis of these toxins was hindered by limited sequence data. In our recent study, two new insect selective excitatory β-NaScTxs, LmIT and ImIT, were isolated from Lychas mucronatus and Isometrus maculatus, respectively. With the sequences previously reported, we examined the adaptive molecular evolution of insect selective excitatory β-NaScTxs by estimating the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous rate ratio (ω=d N /d S ). The results revealed 12 positively selected sites in the genes of insect selective excitatory β-NaScTxs. Moreover, these positively selected sites match well with the sites important for interacting with sodium channels, as demonstrated in previous mutagenesis study. These results reveal that adaptive evolution after gene duplication is one of the most important genetic mechanisms of scorpion neurotoxin diversification. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A closer look to botulinum neurotoxin type A-induced analgesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Bao-Lin; Zheng, Chen-Xi; Sui, Bing-Dong; Li, Yun-Qing; Wang, Ya-Yun; Yang, Yan-Ling

    2013-09-01

    Chronic pain indicates a type of pain that lasts over time and is accompanied by diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties. It follows that treatment failures are common and patients roam from doctor to doctor in search of an effective care program. So there is an urgent need for long-acting and effective therapeutics to alleviate symptoms of the varied forms of chronic pain. During the past few years, a good success has been achieved with a derivative of a neurotoxin. It has been shown that administration of this toxin can block the release of neurotransmitters and pain mediators. Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) is well known as a treatment for neuromuscular conditions such as dystonia and spasticity. However, the clinical application for BoNT/A has continued to expand. Its analgesic effect has been used in clinical practice with satisfactory results. This review provides an introduction of a hypothesis for the mechanism by which BoNT/A eases chronic pain. It also summarizes the clinical therapeutic effects of BoNT/A in different types of chronic pain and its potential prospects. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. New Elements To Consider When Modeling the Hazards Associated with Botulinum Neurotoxin in Food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihekwaba, Adaoha E C; Mura, Ivan; Malakar, Pradeep K; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W; Barker, G C

    2016-01-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological substances known to mankind. BoNTs are the agents responsible for botulism, a rare condition affecting the neuromuscular junction and causing a spectrum of diseases ranging from mild cranial nerve palsies to acute respiratory failure and death. BoNTs are a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard, since outbreaks of foodborne botulism are caused by the ingestion of preformed BoNTs in food. Currently, mathematical models relating to the hazards associated with C. botulinum, which are largely empirical, make major contributions to botulinum risk assessment. Evaluated using statistical techniques, these models simulate the response of the bacterium to environmental conditions. Though empirical models have been successfully incorporated into risk assessments to support food safety decision making, this process includes significant uncertainties so that relevant decision making is frequently conservative and inflexible. Progression involves encoding into the models cellular processes at a molecular level, especially the details of the genetic and molecular machinery. This addition drives the connection between biological mechanisms and botulism risk assessment and hazard management strategies. This review brings together elements currently described in the literature that will be useful in building quantitative models of C. botulinum neurotoxin production. Subsequently, it outlines how the established form of modeling could be extended to include these new elements. Ultimately, this can offer further contributions to risk assessments to support food safety decision making. Copyright © 2015 Ihekwaba et al.

  10. Noradrenergic-Dopaminergic Interactions Due to DSP-4-MPTP Neurotoxin Treatments: Iron Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Trevor

    The investigations of noradrenergic lesions and dopaminergic lesions have established particular profiles of functional deficits and accompanying alterations of biomarkers in brain regions and circuits. In the present account, the focus of these lesions is directed toward the effects upon dopaminergic neurotransmission and expression that are associated with the movement disorders and psychosis-like behavior. In this context, it was established that noradrenergic denervation, through administration of the selective noradrenaline (NA) neurotoxin, DSP-4, should be performed prior to the depletion of dopamine (DA) with the selective neurotoxin, MPTP. Employing this regime, it was shown that (i) following DSP-4 (50 mg/kg) pretreatment of C57/Bl6 mice, both the functional and neurochemical (DA loss) effects of MPTP (2 × 20 and 2 × 40 mg/kg) were markedly exacerbated, and (ii) following postnatal iron (Fe(2+), 7.5 mg/kg, on postnatal days 19-12), pretreatment with DSP-4 followed by the lower 2 × 20 mg/kg MPTP dose induced even greater losses of motor behavior and striatal DA. As yet, the combination of NA-DA depletions, and even more so Fe(2+)-NA-DA depletion, has been considered to present a movement disorder aspect although studies exploring cognitive domains are lacking. With intrusion of iron overload into this formula, the likelihood of neuropsychiatric disorder, as well, unfolds.

  11. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Yu-Han Gary; Berger, William T; Nesbitt, Natasha M; Kumar, Kunal; Balius, Trent E; Rizzo, Robert C; Tonge, Peter J; Ojima, Iwao; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation into the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput in silico screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogs of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogs showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Protective Effects of Testosterone on Presynaptic Terminals against Oligomeric β-Amyloid Peptide in Primary Culture of Hippocampal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Fai Lau

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing lines of evidence support that testosterone may have neuroprotective effects. While observational studies reported an association between higher bioavailable testosterone or brain testosterone levels and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD, there is limited understanding of the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms. Previous studies demonstrated that testosterone could alleviate neurotoxicity induced by β-amyloid (Aβ, but these findings mainly focused on neuronal apoptosis. Since synaptic dysfunction and degeneration are early events during the pathogenesis of AD, we aim to investigate the effects of testosterone on oligomeric Aβ-induced synaptic changes. Our data suggested that exposure of primary cultured hippocampal neurons to oligomeric Aβ could reduce the length of neurites and decrease the expression of presynaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synaptotagmin, and synapsin-1. Aβ also disrupted synaptic vesicle recycling and protein folding machinery. Testosterone preserved the integrity of neurites and the expression of presynaptic proteins. It also attenuated Aβ-induced impairment of synaptic exocytosis. By using letrozole as an aromatase antagonist, we further demonstrated that the effects of testosterone on exocytosis were unlikely to be mediated through the estrogen receptor pathway. Furthermore, we showed that testosterone could attenuate Aβ-induced reduction of HSP70, which suggests a novel mechanism that links testosterone and its protective function on Aβ-induced synaptic damage. Taken together, our data provide further evidence on the beneficial effects of testosterone, which may be useful for future drug development for AD.

  13. Homeostatic Presynaptic Plasticity Is Specifically Regulated by P/Q-type Ca2+ Channels at Mammalian Hippocampal Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander F. Jeans

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VGCC represent the principal source of Ca2+ ions driving evoked neurotransmitter release at presynaptic boutons. In mammals, presynaptic Ca2+ influx is mediated mainly via P/Q-type and N-type VGCC, which differ in their properties. Changes in their relative contributions tune neurotransmission both during development and in Hebbian plasticity. However, whether this represents a functional motif also present in other forms of activity-dependent regulation is unknown. Here, we study the role of VGCC in homeostatic plasticity (HSP in mammalian hippocampal neurons using optical techniques. We find that changes in evoked Ca2+ currents specifically through P/Q-type, but not N-type, VGCC mediate bidirectional homeostatic regulation of both neurotransmitter release efficacy and the size of the major synaptic vesicle pools. Selective dependence of HSP on P/Q-type VGCC in mammalian terminals has important implications for phenotypes associated with P/Q-type channelopathies, including migraine and epilepsy.

  14. Release properties of individual presynaptic boutons expressed during homosynaptic depression and heterosynaptic facilitation of the Aplysia sensorimotor synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy eMalkinson

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Much of what we know about the mechanisms underlying Homosynaptic Depression (HSD and heterosynaptic facilitation is based on intracellular recordings of integrated postsynaptic potentials. This methodological approach views the presynaptic apparatus as a single compartment rather than taking a more realistic representation reflecting the fact that it is made up of tens to hundreds of individual and independent Presynaptic Release Boutons (PRBs. Using cultured Aplysia sensorimotor synapses, we reexamined HSD and its dishabituation by imaging the release properties of individual PRBs. We find that the PRB population is heterogeneous and can be clustered into three groups: approximately 25% of the PRBs consistently release neurotransmitter throughout the entire habituation paradigm (35 stimuli, 0.05Hz and have a relatively high quantal content, 36% of the PRBs display intermittent failures only after the tenth stimulation, and 39% are low quantal-content PRBs that exhibit intermittent release failures from the onset of the habituation paradigm. 5HT-induced synaptic dishabituation by a single 5HT application was generated by the enhanced recovery of the quantal content of the habituated PRBs and did not involve the recruitment of new release boutons. The characterization of the PRB population as heterogeneous in terms of its temporal pattern of release-probability and quantal content provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying HSD and its dishabituation.

  15. The channel-forming component of the Theridiidae spider venom neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usmanov, P B; Kazakov, I; Kalikulov, D; Atakuziev, B U; Yukelson LYa; Tashmukhamedov, B A

    1985-04-01

    It is known that Steatoda (Lityphantes) paykulliana and Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus spider venoms are toxic to mammals and insects. These venoms act presynaptically eliciting massive release of transmitters. They also form channels in bilayer lipid membranes (BLM) that are selective for cations. Venoms of both spider species were fractionated by gel filtration on a Sephadex G-100 column. The fraction obtained were tested on neuromuscular preparations of frog and locust and on BLM. A fraction of low molecular weight components (about 5000 daltons and less) was disclosed. This fraction showed presynaptic and channel-forming effects similar to those of crude venoms and of high molecular weight toxin fractions, obtained simultaneously from these venoms. It was shown that channels formed in BLM by crude venoms and its different fractions are identical. Also, it was found that the low molecular weight channel-forming component is a construction element of high molecular weight toxins. On the basis of data obtained a toxin structure model of the Theridiidae family spider venoms was proposed.

  16. Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome : Radiation Neurotoxins, Mechanisms of Toxicity, Neuroimmune Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome (CvARS) is an extremely severe in-jury of Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). CvARS can be induced by the high doses of neutron, heavy ions, or gamma radiation. The Syndrome clinical picture depends on a type, timing, and the doses of radiation. Four grades of the CvARS were defined: mild, moderate, severe, and extremely severe. Also, four stages of CvARS were developed: prodromal, latent, manifest, outcome -death. Duration of stages depends on the types, doses, and time of radiation. The CvARS clinical symptoms are: respiratory distress, hypotension, cerebral edema, severe disorder of cerebral blood microcirculation, and acute motor weakness. The radiation toxins, Cerebro-Vascular Radiation Neurotoxins (SvARSn), determine development of the acute radiation syndrome. Mechanism of action of the toxins: Though pathogenesis of radiation injury of CNS remains unknown, our concept describes the Cv ARS as a result of Neurotoxicity and Excitotoxicity, cell death through apoptotic necrosis. Neurotoxicity occurs after the high doses radiation exposure, formation of radiation neuro-toxins, possible bioradicals, or group of specific enzymes. Intracerebral hemorrhage can be a consequence of the damage of endothelial cells caused by radiation and the radiation tox-ins. Disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB)and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCFB)is possibly the most significant effect of microcirculation disorder and metabolic insufficiency. NMDA-receptors excitotoxic injury mediated by cerebral ischemia and cerebral hypoxia. Dam-age of the pyramidal cells in layers 3 and 5 and Purkinje cell layer the cerebral cortex , damage of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus occur as a result of cerebral ischemia and intracerebral bleeding. Methods: Radiation Toxins of CV ARS are defined as glycoproteins with the molec-ular weight of RT toxins ranges from 200-250 kDa and with high enzymatic activity

  17. The clinical benefit of imaging striatal dopamine transporters with [123I]FP-CIT SPET in differentiating patients with presynaptic parkinsonism from those with other forms of parkinsonism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Booij, J.; Speelman, J.DE.; Horstink, M. W.I.M.; Wolters, E.C.

    2001-01-01

    [ 123 I]FP-CIT (N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane) has been developed successfully as a radioligand for single-photon emission tomography (SPET) imaging of dopamine transporters, which are situated in the membrane of dopaminergic neurons. Imaging of these transporters has shown promise as a clinical tool to detect degeneration of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. Several ''presynaptic parkinsonian'' syndromes, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple system atrophy, are characterised by degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway. [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET imaging studies have shown the ability to detect loss of striatal dopamine transporters in such syndromes. However, in clinical practice it is sometimes difficult, but important, to discriminate patients with ''presynaptic parkinsonism'' from those with other forms of parkinsonism not characterised by loss of presynaptic dopaminergic cells (e.g. psychogenic parkinsonism or drug-induced postsynaptic parkinsonism). In these inconclusive cases, it may be of value to confirm or exclude the existence of degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic cells by using imaging techniques such as [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET. Using [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET, we have imaged the striatal dopamine transporters in a group of patients with inconclusive forms of parkinsonism, and, moreover, have been able to perform clinical follow-up of these patients 2-4 years after imaging. In 33 inconclusive cases, ratios of specific to non-specific binding were calculated for the caudate nucleus and putamen following [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET imaging and compared with ratios obtained in healthy controls. In nine of the patients, degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway was found scintigraphically and in all these cases, presynaptic parkinsonism was confirmed by clinical follow-up. In the other 24 subjects no degeneration was found scintigraphically. Forms of parkinsonism other than the presynaptic were confirmed at follow-up in 19 cases

  18. Rapid and simple neurotoxin-based distinction of Chinese and Japanese star anise by direct plant spray mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrage, M.M.; Shen, Y.; Claassen, F.W.; Zuilhof, H.; Nielen, M.W.F.; Chen, B.; Beek, van T.A.

    2013-01-01

    Ingestion of products containing Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) fruits contaminated or adulterated with Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) fruits can cause poisoning due to the neurotoxin anisatin that is present in Japanese star anise. Thus a rapid, simple and unambiguous distinction

  19. Oligosaccharide composition of the neurotoxin responsive Na/sup +/ channel and the requirement of sialic acid for activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negishi, M.; Shaw, G.W.; Glick, M.C.

    1986-05-01

    The neurotoxin responsive Na/sup +/ channel was purified to homogeneity in an 18% yield from a clonal cell line of mouse neuroblastoma, N-18, metabolically labeled with L-(/sup 3/H)fucose. The Na/sup +/ channel, a glycoprotein, M/sub r/=200,000 (gradient 7-14% PAGE) was digested with Pronase and the glycopeptides were characterized by serial lectin affinity chromatography. greater than 90% of the oligosaccharides contained sialic acid and 18% were biantennary, 39% were triantennary and 30% tetraantennary. The glycoprotein was reconstituted into artificial phospholipid vesicles and /sup 86/Rb flux was stimulated (65%) by 200 ..mu..M veratridine and 1.2 ..mu..g of scorpion venom and was inhibited (95%) by 5 ..mu..M tetrodotoxin. The requirement of sialic acid for Na/sup +/ channel activity was demonstrated since neuraminidase (0.01 U) treatment of the reconstituted glycoprotein eliminated the response of /sup 86/Rb flux to the stimulating neurotoxins. In other experiments, treatment of N-18 cells with 10 ..mu..M swainsonine, an inhibitor of glycoprotein processing, altered the oligosaccharide composition of the Na/sup +/ channel. When the abnormally glycosylated Na/sup +/ channel was reconstituted into artificial phospholipid vesicles, /sup 86/Rb flux in response to neurotoxins was impaired. Thus, glycosylation of the polypeptide with oligosaccharides of specific composition and structure is essential for expression of the biological activity of the neurotoxin responsive Na/sup +/ channel.

  20. Evaluation of a Commercial Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for the Determination of the Neurotoxin BMAA in Surface Waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.; Beekman-Lukassen, W.D.; Lurling, M.

    2013-01-01

    The neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Because BMAA seems to be produced by cyanobacteria, surface waters are screened for BMAA. However, reliable analysis of BMAA requires specialized

  1. A Potent Peptidomimetic Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A has a Very Different Conformation than SNAP-25 Substrate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zuniga, Jorge E; Schmidt, James J; Fenn, Timothy; Burnett, James C; Arac, Demet; Gussio, Rick; Stafford, Robert G; Badie, Shirin S; Bavari, Sina; Brunger, Axel T

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A is the most lethal of all known toxins. Here, we report the crystal structure, along with SAR data, of the zinc metalloprotease domain of BoNT/A bound to a potent peptidomimetic inhibitor (K(i)=41 nM...

  2. Saxitoxin - neurotoxin produkovaný sinicemi v povrchových vodách České republiky

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jančula, Daniel; Babica, Pavel; Straková, Lucie; Sadílek, Jan; Maršálek, Blahoslav

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 12 (2013), s. 406-409 ISSN 1211-0760 Grant - others:European Commission(XE) FP/2007-2013 no.2SGA2858 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : cyanobacterial toxins * neurotoxin * hazard Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  3. Botulinum neurotoxin treatment in children with cerebral palsy: validation of a needle placement protocol using passive muscle stretching and relaxing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warnink-Kavelaars, Jessica; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Buizer, Annemieke I.; Becher, Jules G.

    2016-01-01

    AimTo validate a detailed intramuscular needle placement protocol using passive muscle stretching and relaxing for botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) treatment in the lower extremity of children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP), with verification by electrical stimulation. MethodA prospective

  4. Oligosaccharide composition of the neurotoxin-responsive sodium channel of mouse neuroblastoma and requirement of sialic acid for biological activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliegenthart, J.F.G.; Negishi, M.; Kuik, J.A. van; Glick, M.C.

    1992-01-01

    A glycoprotein, Mr, 200000, which has the biological activity of the neurotoxin-responsive Na+ channel, was isolated from a clonal line of mouse neuroblastoma cells, N-18. The glycoprotein was purified to homogeneity in 18% yield by methods used to purify glycoproteins, which included metabolic

  5. Genotoxic and cytotoxic effects on the immune cells of the freshwater bivalve Dreissena polymorpha exposed to the environmental neurotoxin BMAA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lepoutre, Alexandra; Milliote, Nadia; Bonnard, Marc; Palos-Ladeiro, Mélissa; Rioult, Damien; Bonnard, Isabelle; Bastien, Fanny; Faassen, Elisabeth; Geffard, Alain; Lance, Emilie

    2018-01-01

    The environmental neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been pointed out to be involved in human neurodegenerative diseases. This molecule is known to be bioaccumulated by bivalves. However, little data about its toxic effects on freshwater mussels is available, particularly on the

  6. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.; Hendriksen, P.J.M.; Haan, de L.H.J.; Koning, R.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Bovee, T.F.H.

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on

  7. Destabilization of survival factor MEF2D mRNA by neurotoxin in models of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bao; Cai, Zhibiao; Lu, Fangfang; Li, Chen; Zhu, Xiaofei; Su, Linna; Gao, Guodong; Yang, Qian

    2014-09-01

    Progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantial nigra pars compacta (SNc) is an important pathological feature in Parkinson's disease (PD). Loss of transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D), a key neuronal survival factor, has been shown to underlie the loss of DA neurons in SNc and the pathogenic process of PD. It is known that PD-associated neurotoxins reduce the level of MEF2D protein to trigger neuronal death. Although neurotoxins clearly destabilize MEF2D by post-translational mechanisms, it is not known whether regulation of MEF2D mRNA contributes to neurotoxin-induced decrease in MEF2D protein. In this work, we showed that MPP(+), the toxic metabolite of MPTP, caused a significant decrease in the half-life and total level of MEF2D mRNA in a DA neuronal cell line, SN4741 cells. Quantitative PCR analysis of the SNc DA neurons captured by immune-laser capture microdissection showed that exposure to MPTP led to a marked reduction in the level of MEF2D mRNA in SNc DA neurons compared to controls. Down-regulation of MEF2D mRNA alone reduced the viability of SN4741 cells and sensitized the cells to MPP(+)-induced toxicity. These results suggest that destabilization and reduction in MEF2D mRNA is in part responsible for neurotoxin-induced decrease in MEF2D protein and neuronal viability. Myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) plays an important role in neuronal survival. How MEF2D mRNA is deregulated under toxic stress is unclear. We found that PD-associated neurotoxins destabilize MEF2D mRNA and reduce its level in vitro and in vivo. Reduction in MEF2D mRNA is sufficient to sensitize model cells to neurotoxin-induced toxicity, suggesting that destabilization of MEF2D mRNA is part of the mechanism by which neurotoxins trigger deregulation of neuronal survival. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. A DIDATIC EXPERIENCE IN BIOCHEMISTRY LABWORKS: THEORETICALVERSUS EXPERIMENTAL MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.C Rossi-Rodrigues

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry labworks are fundamental to both the instrumentation and  for  the  establishment of important concepts. The labworks of Basic  Biochemistry  (BB280 for Biology students at UNICAMP have gone through several  improvements. The labworks are  now  structured  from simple  activities to more complex ones, and aimed  to  the student’s  autonomy  development  in the experiments planning and execution  over  the teaching  semester. The first practical activity is on buffer systems, and   it is based  on  the confrontation of a theoretical model with the  lab experiments results.  First of all, the students  simulate  a Titration  in  a computational environment, where students lay a theoretical model from their knowledge. In the theoretical model the buffer parameters are set according to the teacher instructions, and the experiment conditions are also set and tested.  The simulation results are used for planning  the experiment and to compare with the experimental ones.  After having the simulations concluded and having the experiment planned the students  perform  the  in lab  Titration with the parameters established in the simulation. The results obtained by students are presented in a report. We analyzed the reports from 76 BB280’s students in 2007(night class and day class. The students identified as the main causes of the discrepancy between theoretical and experimental data: 1 experimental errors, related to the lack of technical skill 2 limitation of equipment used 3 unexpected behavior of the substances  used. In addition to the theoretical content related to  labwork, the confrontation between the  simulation and experimentation provided the students with ability  to identify the main aspects of which can influence the quality of the data obtained.

  9. The use of software in Biochemistry teaching classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.B. Büttenbender

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The rising of new technologies meant  to improve education could be considered a high advance to pedagogic methodologies. Software is defined as computer programs and may be considered educative when they present a methodology which assists and contextualizes the teaching-learning process. Specifically regarding Biochemistry, a knowledge area which explains physiological and pathological phenomena that occur in human beings, applying the use of software would turn out an easy way to observe suchphenomena. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In order to carry out this work, two free software designed to be used in Biochemistry area and developed at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (“Síntese Proteica” (Protein Synthesisand “A cinética da reação enzimática” (Kinetics of enzymatic reaction, were compared. Interface, how to work contents, advantages and disadvantages in the use of such kind of technology inside classroom were some of the evaluated parameters. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: Both programs present a fine graphic design, allowing easy command comprehension. At the beginning the objectives of the programs and the contents they hold are presented, showing also a brief introduction to the topic. The programs also  present instruction manuals that explain how the experiments work. They are small basic and simple programs that run easily where they are placed, not needing internet access after their download. “Kinetics of enzymatic reaction” presented more interactive options than the other, and its operation could be considered more intuitive. CONCLUSION: We considered “Kinetics of enzymatic reaction” a better software,cause it allows the student to observe the experiment and perform the calculationsproposed, improving the learning process in a significantly way. The use ofnew technologies inside classrooms should be encouraged as a way to attractthe attention and interest of students, since they are

  10. THE CYBERSPACE IN THE CONTINUED CLINICAL BIOCHEMISTRY EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.M. Martins

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The cybernetic spaces simulate the real world with interactive multimedia. This work  has been applied since January, 2007 on the curricular student’s apprenticeship at high school and graduation, in the site “bioq.educacao.biz/ULAB-HC-UFPE”. It has been developed to provide continuity to the technical-scientific learning of students and professionals, and also to improve their human social relations on the  labour  environment.  It’s comprises a virtual space, destined to communication and collective building of knowledge on the clinical biochemistry.   It’s about an interactive environment which allows the users registered as coordinator professor (professional  or the scientist student (trainee,  unlimited access to  posting contents (classes, texts, presentations, animations, consultations, non-synchronic discussions (on orkut, forums, e-mail and synchronic discussions (on chats, videoconferences. After a few live tutorials  about new  input in this environment, and the use of the new learning tool,  the collective building of knowledge on cyberspace begins. As a trainee’s program task, the scientist student would have to build a space of his own, under guidance and supervision of the coordinator teachers.  The cyberspace efficiency was evaluated from reports collected in February, 2008: the adherence to this  work was satisfactory, regarding this period, with 68 registered users, 870 accesses and 52 contents available on the several sections of the virtual laboratory. Our work is still being applied, and new adhesions are  happening everyday. We intend to amplify this cyber environment in order to make it a  permanent  continued education site on the health area.  From interest contracts and common knowledge,  the technological interfaces constitute an interaction, in which everyone is a potential author.  Keywords: Cyberspace, online biochemistry education, continued education.

  11. CONSTRUCTIVISM APPLIED TO THE DISCIPLINE: A¨ DVANCED EDUCATION ON BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. B. Maia

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Constructivism employs  models  that include  epistemological knowledge  and  strategies to  stimulate and motivate students so that they need to construct their own understanding of any subjetc  concept. Under  this  process,  the  primary  role of teaching  is not  to lecture,  explain,  or otherwise  attempt to´transferk´nowledge, but to create.  This principle was used in the Biochemistry Master Science Program of the  Universidade  Federal  de Pernambuco.  The  model applied  was divided  into  four phases:  (1 acquaintance of the student previous knowledge (using a pre-test; (2 presentation of the knowledge using a Science Teaching  CD-Rom;  (3 submission  of the  learned  content by the  student to teacher critical  analyis  and  (4  application of Interactionism (teacher/student/contents.   Each  phase  was individually  evaluated.  In the  first phase,  the  average  of correct  answers  of the  group  (13 students was 64%, whereas  the  second and  third  phases  presented  61% and  53%, respectively.   These  results reveal  a great  congnitive  unbalance  into  the  group.   They  also showed that the  previous  ideas and hypothesis  of the  students were in conflict  with  the  scientific  concepts.   After  teacher intervention (phase  four  the  group  presented  an increase  in the knowledge (86% of correct  answers.   Based  on these  results  one can conclude  that this  four-phase  model applied  and  based  on Constructivism  for acquiring  knowledge can be useful in Biochemistry  teaching.

  12. Evolution of Chromosomal Clostridium botulinum Type E Neurotoxin Gene Clusters: Evidence Provided by Their Rare Plasmid-Borne Counterparts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Andrew T; Austin, John W; Weedmark, Kelly A; Peck, Michael W

    2016-03-02

    Analysis of more than 150 Clostridium botulinum Group II type E genomes identified a small fraction (6%) where neurotoxin-encoding genes were located on plasmids. Seven closely related (134-144 kb) neurotoxigenic plasmids of subtypes E1, E3, and E10 were characterized; all carried genes associated with plasmid mobility via conjugation. Each plasmid contained the same 24-kb neurotoxin cluster cassette (six neurotoxin cluster and six flanking genes) that had split a helicase gene, rather than the more common chromosomal rarA. The neurotoxin cluster cassettes had evolved as separate genetic units which had either exited their chromosomal rarA locus in a series of parallel events, inserting into the plasmid-borne helicase gene, or vice versa. A single intact version of the helicase gene was discovered on a nonneurotoxigenic form of this plasmid. The observed low frequency for the plasmid location may reflect one or more of the following: 1) Less efficient recombination mechanism for the helicase gene target, 2) lack of suitable target plasmids, and 3) loss of neurotoxigenic plasmids. Type E1 and E10 plasmids possessed a Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats locus with spacers that recognized C. botulinum Group II plasmids, but not C. botulinum Group I plasmids, demonstrating their long-term separation. Clostridium botulinum Group II type E strains also carry nonneurotoxigenic plasmids closely related to C. botulinum Group II types B and F plasmids. Here, the absence of neurotoxin cassettes may be because recombination requires both a specific mechanism and specific target sequence, which are rarely found together. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  13. Inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by cobra venom α-neurotoxins: is there a perspective in lung cancer treatment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Alama

    Full Text Available Nicotine exerts its oncogenic effects through the binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and the activation of downstream pathways that block apoptosis and promote neo-angiogenesis. The nAChRs of the α7 subtype are present on a wide variety of cancer cells and their inhibition by cobra venom neurotoxins has been proposed in several articles and reviews as a potential innovative lung cancer therapy. However, since part of the published results was recently retracted, we believe that the antitumoral activity of cobra venom neurotoxins needs to be independently re-evaluated.We determined the activity of α-neurotoxins from Naja atra (short-chain neurotoxin, α-cobrotoxin and Naja kaouthia (long-chain neurotoxin, α-cobratoxin in vitro by cytotoxicity measurements in 5 lung cancer cell lines, by colony formation assay with α7nAChRs expressing and non-expressing cell lines and in vivo by assessing tumor growth in an orthotopic Non-Obese Diabetic/Severe Combined Immunodeficient (NOD/SCID mouse model system utilizing different treatment schedules and dosages.No statistically significant reduction in tumor growth was observed in the treatment arms in comparison to the control for both toxins. Paradoxically α-cobrotoxin from Naja atra showed the tendency to enhance tumor growth although, even in this case, the statistical significance was not reached.In conclusion our results show that, in contrast with other reports, the nAChR inhibitors α-cobratoxin from N. kaouthia and α-cobrotoxin from N. atra neither suppressed tumor growth nor prolonged the survival of the treated animals.

  14. Interaction of a dinoflagellate neurotoxin with voltage-activated ion channels in a marine diatom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Sheila A; Bourdelais, Andrea J; Taylor, Alison R

    2018-01-01

    The potent neurotoxins produced by the harmful algal bloom species Karenia brevis are activators of sodium voltage-gated channels (VGC) in animals, resulting in altered channel kinetics and membrane hyperexcitability. Recent biophysical and genomic evidence supports widespread presence of homologous sodium (Na + ) and calcium (Ca 2+ ) permeable VGCs in unicellular algae, including marine phytoplankton. We therefore hypothesized that VGCs of these phytoplankton may be an allelopathic target for waterborne neurotoxins produced by K. brevis blooms that could lead to ion channel dysfunction and disruption of signaling in a similar manner to animal Na + VGCs. We examined the interaction of brevetoxin-3 (PbTx-3), a K. brevis neurotoxin, with the Na + /Ca 2+ VGC of the non-toxic diatom Odontella sinensi s using electrophysiology. Single electrode current- and voltage- clamp recordings from O. sinensis in the presence of PbTx-3 were used to examine the toxin's effect on voltage gated Na + /Ca 2+ currents. In silico analysis was used to identify the putative PbTx binding site in the diatoms. We identified Na + /Ca 2+ VCG homologs from the transcriptomes and genomes of 12 diatoms, including three transcripts from O. sinensis and aligned them with site-5 of Na + VGCs, previously identified as the PbTx binding site in animals. Up to 1 µM PbTx had no effect on diatom resting membrane potential or membrane excitability. The kinetics of fast inward Na + /Ca 2+ currents that underlie diatom action potentials were also unaffected. However, the peak inward current was inhibited by 33%, delayed outward current was inhibited by 25%, and reversal potential of the currents shifted positive, indicating a change in permeability of the underlying channels. Sequence analysis showed a lack of conservation of the PbTx binding site in diatom VGC homologs, many of which share molecular features more similar to single-domain bacterial Na + /Ca 2+ VGCs than the 4-domain eukaryote channels

  15. A historical and proteomic analysis of botulinum neurotoxin type/G

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rees Jon

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clostridium botulinum is the taxonomic designation for at least six diverse species that produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs. There are seven known serotypes of BoNTs (/A through/G, all of which are potent toxins classified as category A bioterrorism agents. BoNT/G is the least studied of the seven serotypes. In an effort to further characterize the holotoxin and neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs, we conducted an in silico and proteomic analysis of commercial BoNT/G complex. We describe the relative quantification of the proteins present in the/G complex and confirm our ability to detect the toxin activity in vitro. In addition, we review previous literature to provide a complete description of the BoNT/G complex. Results An in-depth comparison of protein sequences indicated that BoNT/G shares the most sequence similarity with the/B serotype. A temperature-modified Endopep-MS activity assay was successful in the detection of BoNT/G activity. Gel electrophoresis and in gel digestions, followed by MS/MS analysis of/G complex, revealed the presence of four proteins in the complexes: neurotoxin (BoNT and three NAPs--nontoxic-nonhemagglutinin (NTNH and two hemagglutinins (HA70 and HA17. Rapid high-temperature in-solution tryptic digestions, coupled with MS/MS analysis, generated higher than previously reported sequence coverages for all proteins associated with the complex: BoNT 66%, NTNH 57%, HA70 91%, and HA17 99%. Label-free relative quantification determined that the complex contains 30% BoNT, 38% NTNH, 28% HA70, and 4% HA17 by weight comparison and 17% BoNT, 23% NTNH, 42% HA70, and 17% HA17 by molecular comparison. Conclusions The in silico protein sequence comparisons established that the/G complex is phenetically related to the other six serotypes of C. botulinum. Proteomic analyses and Endopep-MS confirmed the presence of BoNT and NAPs, along with the activity of the commercial/G complex. The use of data

  16. Exercise redox biochemistry: Conceptual, methodological and technical recommendations

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    James N. Cobley

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Exercise redox biochemistry is of considerable interest owing to its translational value in health and disease. However, unaddressed conceptual, methodological and technical issues complicate attempts to unravel how exercise alters redox homeostasis in health and disease. Conceptual issues relate to misunderstandings that arise when the chemical heterogeneity of redox biology is disregarded: which often complicates attempts to use redox-active compounds and assess redox signalling. Further, that oxidised macromolecule adduct levels reflect formation and repair is seldom considered. Methodological and technical issues relate to the use of out-dated assays and/or inappropriate sample preparation techniques that confound biochemical redox analysis. After considering each of the aforementioned issues, we outline how each issue can be resolved and provide a unifying set of recommendations. We specifically recommend that investigators: consider chemical heterogeneity, use redox-active compounds judiciously, abandon flawed assays, carefully prepare samples and assay buffers, consider repair/metabolism, use multiple biomarkers to assess oxidative damage and redox signalling. Keywords: Exercise, Oxidative stress, Free radical, Antioxidants, Redox signalling

  17. The physical basis of biochemistry the foundations of molecular biophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Bergethon, Peter R

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this book is to provide a unifying approach to the study of biophysical chemistry for the advanced undergraduate who has had a year of physics, organic chem­ istry, calculus, and biology. This book began as a revised edition of Biophysical Chemistry: Molecules to Membranes, which Elizabeth Simons and I coauthored. That short volume was written in an attempt to provide a concise text for a one-semester course in biophysical chemistry at the graduate level. The experience of teaching biophysical chemistry to bi­ ologically oriented students over the last decade has made it clear that the subject requires a more fundamental text that unifies the many threads of modem science: physics, chem­ istry, biology, mathematics, and statistics. This book represents that effort. This volume is not a treatment of modem biophysical chemistry with its rich history and many contro­ versies, although a book on that topic is also needed. The Physical Basis of Biochemistry is an introduction to the philosophy...

  18. Biochemistry and physiology of anabolic androgenic steroids doping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippi, G; Franchini, M; Banfi, G

    2011-05-01

    Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AASs) are chemical and pharmacological derivatives of the male hormone testosterone which are widely used for increasing burst and sprinting activities in sports. Although AASs are thought to be transversal to the plurality of sports disciplines, they are principally misused by bodybuilders, weightlifters, shot, hammer, discus or javelin throwers, rugby and American football players as well as by swimmers and runners. AAS exert a kaleidoscope of effects on human biology, principally through the 5-α-reductase-mediated conversion into dihydrotestosterone, the aromatase-mediated conversion into female sex hormones, a competitive antagonism to the glucocorticoid receptors, the potential stimulation of erythropoietin secretion as well as psychoactive effects on the brain. The influence of AASs on physical performance is still undefined, since the large number of studies published so far have described discordant and often contradictory outcomes. Nevertheless, animal and human investigations support the hypothesis that the administration of AASs might increase lean body mass, muscle mass, and maximal voluntary strength especially in men, so that they would represent an appealing form of doping for increasing power capacity, sustaining intensive training periods and, last but not least, as a cosmetic muscle makeover. The aim of this article is to review the biochemistry, physiology and the ergogenic effects of AASs.

  19. Virtual Biochemistry – pH effect on enzyme activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.N. Heidrich

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Protocols of laboratory experiments, followed by teacher's explanation, not always clearly translate to the student the dynamics to beadopted for the implementation of the proposed practice. One of these cases is related to the study of the effect of pH on enzyme activity. For better help the understanding of the technical procedure, a hypermedia was built based on a protocol adopted at the Department of Biochemistry, UFSC. The hypermedia shows how theeffect of variations in pH can be observed  in vitro. Taking as example salivary amylase and the consumption of starch (substrate by means of iodine staining, a set of pH buffers was tested to identify the best pH for this enzyme  activity. This hypermedia as introductory tool for such practice was tested on aNutrition course classroom. Students agree that the hypermedia provided a better understanding of the proposed activities. Teachers also notice a smallerreagents consumption and reduction of the time spent by the students in the achievement of the experiment.

  20. Engagement of students with lectures in biochemistry and pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Elizabeth Ann; Hodgson, Yvonne; Macaulay, Janet Olwyn

    2012-01-01

    Academic staff at universities have become concerned about the decrease in student attendance at lectures and the implication of this on student achievement and learning. Few studies have measured actual lecture attendance in a coherent or comprehensive way. The aim of this study was to measure actual lecture attendance of students over two year levels enrolled in two separate science disciplines, biochemistry and pharmacology. The study further sought to determine the factors that influence lecture attendance. Attendance at lectures in four units of study was monitored over a 12-week semester. Attendance at lectures decreased over the semester and was lower at early morning lectures (8 A.M.; 9 A.M.). A questionnaire surveying students about their preparation for lectures, their compensation for missed lectures and the factors influencing their nonattendance was administered at the end of the semester. Students reported that the major factors influencing their attendance at lectures related to timetable issues and the quality of lecturing. If students missed lectures, the majority read the lecture notes and listened to the online recordings. The availability of online recordings of lectures was not a major influence on attendance at lectures. In three of the four units studied there was no correlation between self-reported lecture attendance and exam performance. The results of the study indicate that universities should dedicate more resources to timetabling and to supporting staff to improve the quality of their lectures. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Visual Literacy and Biochemistry Learning: The role of external representations

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    V.J.S.V. Santos

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Visual Literacy can bedefined as people’s ability to understand, use, think, learn and express themselves through external representations (ER in a given subject. This research aims to investigate the development of abilities of ERs reading and interpretation by students from a Biochemistry graduate course of theFederal University of São João Del-Rei. In this way, Visual Literacy level was  assessed using a questionnaire validatedin a previous educational research. This diagnosis questionnaire was elaborated according to six visual abilitiesidentified as essential for the study of the metabolic pathways. The initial statistical analysis of data collectedin this study was carried out using ANOVA method. Results obtained showed that the questionnaire used is adequate for the research and indicated that the level of Visual Literacy related to the metabolic processes increased significantly with the progress of the students in the graduation course. There was also an indication of a possible interference in the student’s performancedetermined by the cutoff punctuation in the university selection process.

  2. Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-28

    on Vozrozhdeniye ( Renaissance ) Island in the Aral Sea. The Soviets were also believed to have attempted to use recombinant DNA technology to...inflammatory intestinal disease or surgery (Chia et al., 1986). In addition to the four naturally occurring forms of the disease described

  3. Neurotoxin Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    identified by mass spectrometry. Toxicol Sci 83: 303-312 Li H, Tong L , Schopfer LM, Masson P, Lockridge O (2008) Fast Affinity Purification Coupled with... ketone ; irreversible inhibitor of chymotrypsin UCSF University of California San Francisco UNMC University of Nebraska Medical Center Y single letter...equipment to look for OP metabolites in blood and urine . The fluoride reactivation method (Polhuijs et al., 1997; Adams et al., 2004; Degenhardt et al

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A when utilized in animals with trigeminal sensitization induced a antinociceptive effect

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    Elcio J Piovesan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Purpose of the study was evaluate the possible antinociceptive effect of botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A in an experimental model of trigeminal neuralgia. Method Neuropathic pain was induced by surgical constriction of the infraorbital nerve in rats. A control group underwent a sham procedure consisting of surgical exposure of the nerve. Subgroups of each group received either BoNT/A or isotonic saline solution. The clinical response was assessed with the -20°C test. Animals that underwent nerve constriction developed sensitization; the sham group did not. Results The sensitization was reversed by BoNT/A treatment evident 24 hours following application. Pronociceptive effect was observed in the sham group following BoNT/A. Conclusion BoNT/A has an antinociceptive effect in sensitized animals and a pronociceptive effect in non-sensitized animals.

  5. Excitatory amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine is a putative environmental neurotoxin

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    VLADIMIR NEDELJKOV

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA has been associated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex in three distinct western Pacific populations. The putative neurotoxin is produced by cyanobacteria, which live symbiotically in the roots of cycad trees. L-BMAA was thought to be a threat only to those few populations whose diet and medicines rely heavily on cycad seeds. However, the recent discovery that cyanobacteria from diverse terrestrial, freshwater, and saltwater ecosystems around the world produce the toxin requires a reassessment of whether it poses a larger health threat. Therefore, it is proposed that monitoring L-BMAA levels in cyanobacteria-contaminated water supplies might be prudent.

  6. Purification and chemical characterization of the major neurotoxin from the venom of Pelamis plautrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, A T; Lin, T S; Bieber, A L

    1975-07-29

    A major toxin was isolated from the venom of the sea snake Pelamis platurus (yellow-bellied sea snake) by Sephadex G-50 and carboxymethylcellulose column chromatography. The LD50 of the pure toxin (Pelamis toxin a) was 0.044 mug/g in mice representing a tenfold increase in toxicity after purification. The toxin was homogeneous in acrylamide disc gel electrophoresis and eluted as a single peak after isoelectric focusing in a sucrose density gradient column. The isoelectric point was 9.69; thus it is a highly basic protein. The toxin contained 55 amino acid residues with four disulfide linkages. When all disulfide linkages were reduced and alkylated, the toxic action of the pure toxin disappeared leading to the conclusion that the disulfide bonds of the neurotoxin were essential for toxic action.

  7. Acetylcholinesterase-reduced graphene oxide hybrid films for organophosphorus neurotoxin sensing via quartz crystal microbalance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Shi; Ma, Wenying; Xie, Guangzhong; Su, Yuanjie; Jiang, Yadong

    2016-09-01

    An acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-reduced graphene oxide (RGO) hybrid films based biosensor enabled by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) has been developed for the detection of organophosphorus neurotoxin in gas phase at room temperature. To improve the sensing performance, RGO was used to immobilize large quantities of enzyme and provide a favorable microenvironment to maintain the enzyme activity. The experimental results reveal that the response of AChE-RGO/glutaraldehyde based sensors is about 8 times larger than that of the AChE with the sensitivity of 1.583 Hz/mg/m3. 1.0 mg amount of RGO, 5% concentration of glutaraldehyde and pH 6.8 is the optimal condition of this biosensor.

  8. Substrate-based inhibitors exhibiting excellent protective and therapeutic effects against Botulinum Neurotoxin A intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jiubiao; Wang, Jinglin; Gao, Shan; Ji, Bin; Waichi Chan, Edward; Chen, Sheng

    2015-11-20

    Potent inhibitors to reverse Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) activity in neuronal cells are currently not available. A better understanding of the substrate recognition mechanism of BoNTs enabled us to design a novel class of peptide inhibitors which were derivatives of the BoNT/A substrate, SNAP25. Through a combination of in vitro, cellular based, and in vivo mouse assays, several potent inhibitors of approximately one nanomolar inhibitory strength both in vitro and in vivo have been identified. These compounds represent the first set of inhibitors that exhibited full protection against BoNT/A intoxication in mice model with undetectable toxicity. Our findings validated the hypothesis that a peptide inhibitor targeting the two BoNT structural regions which were responsible for substrate recognition and cleavage respectively could exhibit excellent inhibitory effect, thereby providing insight on future development of more potent inhibitors against BoNTs.

  9. Electrical conductance change of graphene-based devices upon surface modification for detecting botulinum neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Daehee; Kim, Ho-Jong; Shim, Seung-Bo; Jung, Suyong; Lee, Nam Hee; Nahm, Seung Hoon; Shin, Eui-Cheol; Yun, Wan Soo; Ha, Dong Han

    2017-06-01

    We report an electric conductance change in a graphene-based device upon molecular adsorption for detecting botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) using the antibody-antigen binding strategy. This device consists of a 400-µm-wide monolayer of graphene between the source and drain electrodes. As-fabricated devices exhibit p-type behaviors. After modifying graphene with linkers and antibodies, BoNT detection was performed by dropping a target solution and measuring the conductance change of the devices. The immobilization of linkers on graphene decreases the electrical conductance as a result of electron transfer from linkers to graphene. However, the conductance change caused by the adsorption of antibodies or BoNTs is ascribed to the top-gating effects of the molecules adsorbed on graphene. The normalized conductance change of the graphene-based device upon antibody-BoNT binding was greater than 5%.

  10. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin by Measuring its Activity in Serum and Milk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R.; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are bacterial protein toxins which are considered likely agents for bioterrorism due to their extreme toxicity and high availability. A new mass spectrometry based assay called Endopep MS detects and defines the toxin serotype in clinical and food matrices via toxin activity upon a peptide substrate which mimics the toxin's natural target. Furthermore, the subtype of the toxin is differentiated by employing mass spectrometry based proteomic techniques on the same sample. The Endopep-MS assay selectively detects active BoNT and defines the serotype faster and with sensitivity greater than the mouse bioassay. One 96-well plate can be analyzed in under 7 h. On higher level or "hot" samples, the subtype can then be differentiated in less than 2 h with no need for DNA.

  11. Diverse binding modes, same goal: The receptor recognition mechanism of botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Kwok-Ho; Yao, Guorui; Jin, Rongsheng

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most deadly toxins known. They act rapidly in a highly specific manner to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving the soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex at neuromuscular junctions. The extreme toxicity of BoNTs relies predominantly on their neurotropism that is accomplished by recognition of two host receptors, a polysialo-ganglioside and in the majority of cases a synaptic vesicle protein, through their receptor-binding domains. Two proteins, synaptotagmin and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2, have been identified as the receptors for various serotypes of BoNTs. Here, we review recent breakthroughs in the structural studies of BoNT-protein receptor recognitions that highlight a range of diverse mechanisms by which BoNTs manipulate host neuronal proteins for highly specific uptake at neuromuscular junctions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Identification of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 receptor binding site in botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strotmeier, Jasmin; Mahrhold, Stefan; Krez, Nadja; Janzen, Constantin; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D; Binz, Thomas; Rummel, Andreas

    2014-04-02

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release by hydrolysing SNARE proteins. The most important serotype BoNT/A employs the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) isoforms A-C as neuronal receptors. Here, we identified their binding site by blocking SV2 interaction using monoclonal antibodies with characterised epitopes within the cell binding domain (HC). The site is located on the backside of the conserved ganglioside binding pocket at the interface of the HCC and HCN subdomains. The dimension of the binding pocket was characterised in detail by site directed mutagenesis allowing the development of potent inhibitors as well as modifying receptor binding properties. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Novel Ganglioside-mediated Entry of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype D into Neurons

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    Kroken, Abby R.; Karalewitz, Andrew P.-A.; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Barbieri, Joseph T. (MCW)

    2012-02-07

    Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are organized into seven serotypes, A-G. Although several BoNT serotypes enter neurons through synaptic vesicle cycling utilizing dual receptors (a ganglioside and a synaptic vesicle-associated protein), the entry pathway of BoNT/D is less well understood. Although BoNT/D entry is ganglioside-dependent, alignment and structural studies show that BoNT/D lacks key residues within a conserved ganglioside binding pocket that are present in BoNT serotypes A, B, E, F, and G, which indicate that BoNT/D-ganglioside interactions may be unique. In this study BoNT/D is shown to have a unique association with ganglioside relative to the other BoNT serotypes, utilizing a ganglioside binding loop (GBL, residues Tyr-1235-Ala-1245) within the receptor binding domain of BoNT/D (HCR/D) via b-series gangliosides, including GT1b, GD1b, and GD2. HCR/D bound gangliosides and entered neurons dependent upon the aromatic ring of Phe-1240 within the GBL. This is the first BoNT-ganglioside interaction that is mediated by a phenylalanine. In contrast, Trp-1238, located near the N terminus of the ganglioside binding loop, was mostly solvent-inaccessible and appeared to contribute to maintaining the loop structure. BoNT/D entry and intoxication were enhanced by membrane depolarization via synaptic vesicle cycling, where HCR/D colocalized with synaptophysin, a synaptic vesicle marker, but immunoprecipitation experiments did not detect direct association with synaptic vesicle protein 2. Thus, BoNT/D utilizes unique associations with gangliosides and synaptic vesicles to enter neurons, which may facilitate new neurotoxin therapies.

  14. A newly discovered neurotoxin ADTIQ associated with hyperglycemia and Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Bingjie; Lin, Fankai; Ullah, Kaleem; Peng, Lei; Ding, Wei; Dai, Rongji; Qing, Hong; Deng, Yulin

    2015-04-10

    Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). Number of studies have suggested that methylglyoxal (MGO) induced by diabetes is related to PD. However, very little is known about its molecular mechanism. On other hand, 1-acetyl-6, 7- dihydroxyl-1, 2, 3, 4- Tetrahydroisoquinoline(ADTIQ) is a dopamine (DA)-derived tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ), a novel endogenous neurotoxins, which was first discovered in frozen Parkinson's disease human brain tissue. While ADTIQ precursor methylglyoxal was also found in diabetic patients related to the glucose metabolism and diabetic patients. LC-MS/MS, 1H NMR and infrared spectroscopy identified the structure of ADTIQ. The Annexin V-FITC/PI, MTT and western blot analysis were used to measure the neurotoxicity of ADTIQ. The levels of ADTIQ and methylglyoxal were detected by LC-MS/MS. Here we report the chemical synthesis of ADTIQ, demonstrate its biosynthesis in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line and investigate its role in the pathogenesis of PD. In addition, a significant increase in the level of ADTIQ was detected in the brains of transgenic mice expressing mutant forms (A53T or A30P) of α-synuclein. ADTIQ also reduced the cell viability and induced mitochondrial apoptosis in dopaminergic cells, suggesting that ADTIQ acts as an endogenous neurotoxin and potentially involved in the pathogenesis of PD. Methylglyoxal, a major byproduct of glucose metabolism and abnormalities in glucose metabolism could influence the levels of ADTIQ. Consistent with the hypothesis, increased levels of ADTIQ and methylglyoxal were detected in the striatum of diabetic rats and SH-SY5Y cells cultured in the presence of high glucose concentrations. Increased levels of ADTIQ could be related with Hyperglycemia and death of dopaminergic neurons. The increased levels of ADTIQ could be a reason of dopamine neuron dysfunction in diabetes. Therefore, ADTIQ may play a key role in increasing the risk for PD in patients with diabetes

  15. The functional interaction between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and Ly-6/neurotoxin proteins in Locusta migratoria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Haibo; Zhang, Yixi; Liu, Yang; Yu, Na; Liu, Zewen

    2017-09-01

    Failures in expressing insect nAChRs (nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) limit the understanding of their functional properties, although insect nAChRs have been developed as insecticide targets for decades. Some accessory proteins can modulate nAChRs, but only a few have been identified in insects, including lynx from Ly-6/neurotoxin superfamily. Until now, only one to three lynx were identified in one insect species. Here, 11 lynx were identified in Locusta migratoria with common features of Ly-6/neurotoxin members. The effects of these lynx on seven hybrid nAChRs functionally constructed in Xenopus oocytes were tested, in which each nAChR subtype contained one L. migratoria α subunit plus rat β2 subunit. One lynx could selectively modulate several nAChR subtypes to significantly increase the amplitude of epibatidine-evoked currents, while Loc-lynx10 acted on all test nAChRs. Among nine lynx with obvious modulation effects to increase inward currents, only four significantly increased the specific [ 3 H]epibatidine binding, and the binding increase existed in all modulated nAChRs by these lynx. The results indicated that the modulation mode was decided by the specific lynx and had nothing to do with nAChR subtypes. This study provides an approximate panorama for the functional interaction net between L. migratoria lynx and nAChRs, although some other nAChRs need further tests. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Metal Neurotoxins: An Important Role in Current Human Neural Epidemics?

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    Keith Schofield

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Many published studies have illustrated that several of the present day neurological epidemics (autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s cannot be correlated to any single neurotoxicant. However, the present scientific examination of the numerous global blood monitoring databases for adults that include the concentrations of the neurotoxic elements, aluminum (Al, arsenic (As, lead (Pb, manganese (Mn, mercury (Hg, and selenium (Se clearly indicate that, when considered in combination, for some, the human body may become easily over-burdened. This can be explained by changes in modern lifestyles. Similar data, solely for pregnant women, have been examined confirming this. All these elements are seen to be present in the human body and at not insignificant magnitudes. Currently suggested minimum risk levels (MRL for humans are discussed and listed together with averages of the reported distributions, together with their spread and maximum values. One observation is that many distributions for pregnant women are not too dissimilar from those of general populations. Women obviously have their individual baseline of neurotoxin values before pregnancy and any efforts to modify this to any significant degree is not yet clearly apparent. For any element, distribution shapes are reasonably similar showing broad distributions with extended tails with numerous outlier values. There are a certain fraction of people that lie well above the MRL values and may be at risk, especially if genetically susceptible. Additionally, synergistic effects between neurotoxins and with other trace metals are now also being reported. It appears prudent for women of child-bearing age to establish their baseline values well before pregnancy. Those at risk then can be better identified. Adequate instrumental testing now is commercially available for this. In addition, directives are necessary for vaccination programs to use only non-neurotoxic adjuvants, especially for

  17. Photoresponsive nanocapsulation of cobra neurotoxin and enhancement of its central analgesic effects under red light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Q

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Qian Yang, Chuang Zhao, Jun Zhao, Yong Ye Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Cobra neurotoxin (CNT, a peptide isolated from snake venom of Naja naja atra, shows central analgesic effects in our previous research. In order to help CNT pass through blood–brain barrier (BBB and improve its central analgesic effects, a new kind of CNT nanocapsules were prepared by double emulsification with soybean lecithin and cholesterol as the shell, and pheophorbide as the photosensitizer added to make it photoresponsive. The analgesic effects were evaluated by hot plate test and acetic acid-induced writhing in mice. The CNT nanocapsules had an average particle size of 229.55 nm, zeta potential of -53.00 mV, encapsulation efficiency of 84.81% and drug loading of 2.98%, when the pheophorbide content was 1% of lecithin weight. Pheophorbide was mainly distributed in outer layer of the CNT nanocapsules and increased the release of the CNT nanocapsules after 650 nm illumination. The central analgesic effects were improved after intraperitoneal injection of CNT at 25 and 50 µg·kg-1 under 650 nm irradiation for 30 min in the nasal cavity. Activation of pheophorbide by red light generated reactive oxygen species which opened the nanocapsules and BBB and helped the CNT enter the brain. This research provides a new drug delivery for treatment of central pain. Keywords: cobra neurotoxin, nanocapsules, photoresponsive, central analgesic effects, red light, drug delivery, photosensitizer

  18. Bortezomib induces neuropathic pain through protein kinase C-mediated activation of presynaptic NMDA receptors in the spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jing-Dun; Chen, Shao-Rui; Chen, Hong; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2017-09-01

    Chemotherapeutic drugs, including bortezomib, often cause painful peripheral neuropathy, which is a severe dose-limiting adverse effect experienced by many cancer patients. The glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) at the spinal cord level are critically involved in the synaptic plasticity associated with neuropathic pain. In this study, we determined whether treatment with bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, affects the NMDAR activity of spinal dorsal horn neurons. Systemic treatment with bortezomib in rats did not significantly affect postsynaptic NMDAR currents elicited by puff application of NMDA directly to dorsal horn neurons. Bortezomib treatment markedly increased the baseline frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), which was completely normalized by the NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5). AP5 also reduced the amplitude of monosynaptic EPSCs evoked by dorsal root stimulation in bortezomib-treated, but not vehicle-treated, rats. Furthermore, inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) with chelerythrine fully reversed the increased frequency of miniature EPSCs and the amplitude of evoked EPSCs in bortezomib-treated rats. Intrathecal injection of AP5 and chelerythrine both profoundly attenuated mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia induced by systemic treatment with bortezomib. In addition, treatment with bortezomib induced striking membrane translocation of PKC-βII, PKC-δ, and PKC-ε in the dorsal root ganglion. Our findings indicate that bortezomib treatment potentiates nociceptive input from primary afferent nerves via PKC-mediated tonic activation of presynaptic NMDARs. Targeting presynaptic NMDARs and PKC at the spinal cord level may be an effective strategy for treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Regulation of presynaptic Ca2+, synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning by a N-terminal β-amyloid fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A

    2014-10-22

    Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.

  20. Presynaptic localization of Smn and hnRNP R in axon terminals of embryonic and postnatal mouse motoneurons.

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    Benjamin Dombert

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is caused by deficiency of the ubiquitously expressed survival motoneuron (SMN protein. SMN is crucial component of a complex for the assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP particles. Other cellular functions of SMN are less characterized so far. SMA predominantly affects lower motoneurons, but the cellular basis for this relative specificity is still unknown. In contrast to nonneuronal cells where the protein is mainly localized in perinuclear regions and the nucleus, Smn is also present in dendrites, axons and axonal growth cones of isolated motoneurons in vitro. However, this distribution has not been shown in vivo and it is not clear whether Smn and hnRNP R are also present in presynaptic axon terminals of motoneurons in postnatal mice. Smn also associates with components not included in the classical SMN complex like RNA-binding proteins FUS, TDP43, HuD and hnRNP R which are involved in RNA processing, subcellular localization and translation. We show here that Smn and hnRNP R are present in presynaptic compartments at neuromuscular endplates of embryonic and postnatal mice. Smn and hnRNP R are localized in close proximity to each other in axons and axon terminals both in vitro and in vivo. We also provide new evidence for a direct interaction of Smn and hnRNP R in vitro and in vivo, particularly in the cytosol of motoneurons. These data point to functions of SMN beyond snRNP assembly which could be crucial for recruitment and transport of RNA particles into axons and axon terminals, a mechanism which may contribute to SMA pathogenesis.