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Sample records for rapidly evolving protein

  1. Snake venoms are integrated systems, but abundant venom proteins evolve more rapidly.

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    Aird, Steven D; Aggarwal, Shikha; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Tin, Mandy Man-Ying; Terada, Kouki; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2015-08-28

    While many studies have shown that extracellular proteins evolve rapidly, how selection acts on them remains poorly understood. We used snake venoms to understand the interaction between ecology, expression level, and evolutionary rate in secreted protein systems. Venomous snakes employ well-integrated systems of proteins and organic constituents to immobilize prey. Venoms are generally optimized to subdue preferred prey more effectively than non-prey, and many venom protein families manifest positive selection and rapid gene family diversification. Although previous studies have illuminated how individual venom protein families evolve, how selection acts on venoms as integrated systems, is unknown. Using next-generation transcriptome sequencing and mass spectrometry, we examined microevolution in two pitvipers, allopatrically separated for at least 1.6 million years, and their hybrids. Transcriptomes of parental species had generally similar compositions in regard to protein families, but for a given protein family, the homologs present and concentrations thereof sometimes differed dramatically. For instance, a phospholipase A2 transcript comprising 73.4 % of the Protobothrops elegans transcriptome, was barely present in the P. flavoviridis transcriptome (king cobra genome, suggesting that rapid evolution of abundant proteins may be generally true for snake venoms. Looking more broadly at Protobothrops, we show that rapid evolution of the most abundant components is due to positive selection, suggesting an interplay between abundance and adaptation. Given log-scale differences in toxin abundance, which are likely correlated with biosynthetic costs, we hypothesize that as a result of natural selection, snakes optimize return on energetic investment by producing more of venom proteins that increase their fitness. Natural selection then acts on the additive genetic variance of these components, in proportion to their contributions to overall fitness. Adaptive

  2. Rapidly evolving zona pellucida domain proteins are a major component of the vitelline envelope of abalone eggs

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    Aagaard, Jan E.; Yi, Xianhua; MacCoss, Michael J.; Swanson, Willie J.

    2006-01-01

    Proteins harboring a zona pellucida (ZP) domain are prominent components of vertebrate egg coats. Although less well characterized, the egg coat of the non-vertebrate marine gastropod abalone (Haliotis spp.) is also known to contain a ZP domain protein, raising the possibility of a common molecular basis of metazoan egg coat structures. Egg coat proteins from vertebrate as well as non-vertebrate taxa have been shown to evolve under positive selection. Studied most extensively in the abalone system, coevolution between adaptively diverging egg coat and sperm proteins may contribute to the rapid development of reproductive isolation. Thus, identifying the pattern of evolution among egg coat proteins is important in understanding the role these genes may play in the speciation process. The purpose of the present study is to characterize the constituent proteins of the egg coat [vitelline envelope (VE)] of abalone eggs and to provide preliminary evidence regarding how selection has acted on VE proteins during abalone evolution. A proteomic approach is used to match tandem mass spectra of peptides from purified VE proteins with abalone ovary EST sequences, identifying 9 of 10 ZP domain proteins as components of the VE. Maximum likelihood models of codon evolution suggest positive selection has acted among a subset of amino acids for 6 of these genes. This work provides further evidence of the prominence of ZP proteins as constituents of the egg coat, as well as the prominent role of positive selection in diversification of these reproductive proteins. PMID:17085584

  3. Delineating slowly and rapidly evolving fractions of the Drosophila genome.

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    Keith, Jonathan M; Adams, Peter; Stephen, Stuart; Mattick, John S

    2008-05-01

    Evolutionary conservation is an important indicator of function and a major component of bioinformatic methods to identify non-protein-coding genes. We present a new Bayesian method for segmenting pairwise alignments of eukaryotic genomes while simultaneously classifying segments into slowly and rapidly evolving fractions. We also describe an information criterion similar to the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) for determining the number of classes. Working with pairwise alignments enables detection of differences in conservation patterns among closely related species. We analyzed three whole-genome and three partial-genome pairwise alignments among eight Drosophila species. Three distinct classes of conservation level were detected. Sequences comprising the most slowly evolving component were consistent across a range of species pairs, and constituted approximately 62-66% of the D. melanogaster genome. Almost all (>90%) of the aligned protein-coding sequence is in this fraction, suggesting much of it (comprising the majority of the Drosophila genome, including approximately 56% of non-protein-coding sequences) is functional. The size and content of the most rapidly evolving component was species dependent, and varied from 1.6% to 4.8%. This fraction is also enriched for protein-coding sequence (while containing significant amounts of non-protein-coding sequence), suggesting it is under positive selection. We also classified segments according to conservation and GC content simultaneously. This analysis identified numerous sub-classes of those identified on the basis of conservation alone, but was nevertheless consistent with that classification. Software, data, and results available at www.maths.qut.edu.au/-keithj/. Genomic segments comprising the conservation classes available in BED format.

  4. Rapidly Evolving Transients in the Dark Energy Survey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pursiainen, M.; et al.

    2018-03-13

    We present the results of a search for rapidly evolving transients in the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Programme. These events are characterized by fast light curve evolution (rise to peak in $\\lesssim 10$ d and exponential decline in $\\lesssim30$ d after peak). We discovered 72 events, including 37 transients with a spectroscopic redshift from host galaxy spectral features. The 37 events increase the total number of rapid optical transients by more than factor of two. They are found at a wide range of redshifts ($0.05M_\\mathrm{g}>-22.25$). The multiband photometry is well fit by a blackbody up to few weeks after peak. The events appear to be hot ($T\\approx10000-30000$ K) and large ($R\\approx 10^{14}-2\\cdot10^{15}$ cm) at peak, and generally expand and cool in time, though some events show evidence for a receding photosphere with roughly constant temperature. Spectra taken around peak are dominated by a blue featureless continuum consistent with hot, optically thick ejecta. We compare our events with a previously suggested physical scenario involving shock breakout in an optically thick wind surrounding a core-collapse supernova (CCSNe), we conclude that current models for such a scenario might need an additional power source to describe the exponential decline. We find these transients tend to favor star-forming host galaxies, which could be consistent with a core-collapse origin. However, more detailed modeling of the light curves is necessary to determine their physical origin.

  5. A rapidly evolving secretome builds and patterns a sea shell

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    Green Kathryn

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Instructions to fabricate mineralized structures with distinct nanoscale architectures, such as seashells and coral and vertebrate skeletons, are encoded in the genomes of a wide variety of animals. In mollusks, the mantle is responsible for the extracellular production of the shell, directing the ordered biomineralization of CaCO3 and the deposition of architectural and color patterns. The evolutionary origins of the ability to synthesize calcified structures across various metazoan taxa remain obscure, with only a small number of protein families identified from molluskan shells. The recent sequencing of a wide range of metazoan genomes coupled with the analysis of gene expression in non-model animals has allowed us to investigate the evolution and process of biomineralization in gastropod mollusks. Results Here we show that over 25% of the genes expressed in the mantle of the vetigastropod Haliotis asinina encode secreted proteins, indicating that hundreds of proteins are likely to be contributing to shell fabrication and patterning. Almost 85% of the secretome encodes novel proteins; remarkably, only 19% of these have identifiable homologues in the full genome of the patellogastropod Lottia scutum. The spatial expression profiles of mantle genes that belong to the secretome is restricted to discrete mantle zones, with each zone responsible for the fabrication of one of the structural layers of the shell. Patterned expression of a subset of genes along the length of the mantle is indicative of roles in shell ornamentation. For example, Has-sometsuke maps precisely to pigmentation patterns in the shell, providing the first case of a gene product to be involved in molluskan shell pigmentation. We also describe the expression of two novel genes involved in nacre (mother of pearl deposition. Conclusion The unexpected complexity and evolvability of this secretome and the modular design of the molluskan mantle enables

  6. Intrinsic immunogenicity of rapidly-degradable polymers evolves during degradation.

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    Andorko, James I; Hess, Krystina L; Pineault, Kevin G; Jewell, Christopher M

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies reveal many biomaterial vaccine carriers are able to activate immunostimulatory pathways, even in the absence of other immune signals. How the changing properties of polymers during biodegradation impact this intrinsic immunogenicity is not well studied, yet this information could contribute to rational design of degradable vaccine carriers that help direct immune response. We use degradable poly(beta-amino esters) (PBAEs) to explore intrinsic immunogenicity as a function of the degree of polymer degradation and polymer form (e.g., soluble, particles). PBAE particles condensed by electrostatic interaction to mimic a common vaccine approach strongly activate dendritic cells, drive antigen presentation, and enhance T cell proliferation in the presence of antigen. Polymer molecular weight strongly influences these effects, with maximum stimulation at short degradation times--corresponding to high molecular weight--and waning levels as degradation continues. In contrast, free polymer is immunologically inert. In mice, PBAE particles increase the numbers and activation state of cells in lymph nodes. Mechanistic studies reveal that this evolving immunogenicity occurs as the physicochemical properties and concentration of particles change during polymer degradation. This work confirms the immunological profile of degradable, synthetic polymers can evolve over time and creates an opportunity to leverage this feature in new vaccines. Degradable polymers are increasingly important in vaccination, but how the inherent immunogenicity of polymers changes during degradation is poorly understood. Using common rapidly-degradable vaccine carriers, we show that the activation of immune cells--even in the absence of other adjuvants--depends on polymer form (e.g., free, particulate) and the extent of degradation. These changing characteristics alter the physicochemical properties (e.g., charge, size, molecular weight) of polymer particles, driving changes in

  7. Towards resolving Lamiales relationships: insights from rapidly evolving chloroplast sequences

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    Heubl Günther

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the large angiosperm order Lamiales, a diverse array of highly specialized life strategies such as carnivory, parasitism, epiphytism, and desiccation tolerance occur, and some lineages possess drastically accelerated DNA substitutional rates or miniaturized genomes. However, understanding the evolution of these phenomena in the order, and clarifying borders of and relationships among lamialean families, has been hindered by largely unresolved trees in the past. Results Our analysis of the rapidly evolving trnK/matK, trnL-F and rps16 chloroplast regions enabled us to infer more precise phylogenetic hypotheses for the Lamiales. Relationships among the nine first-branching families in the Lamiales tree are now resolved with very strong support. Subsequent to Plocospermataceae, a clade consisting of Carlemanniaceae plus Oleaceae branches, followed by Tetrachondraceae and a newly inferred clade composed of Gesneriaceae plus Calceolariaceae, which is also supported by morphological characters. Plantaginaceae (incl. Gratioleae and Scrophulariaceae are well separated in the backbone grade; Lamiaceae and Verbenaceae appear in distant clades, while the recently described Linderniaceae are confirmed to be monophyletic and in an isolated position. Conclusions Confidence about deep nodes of the Lamiales tree is an important step towards understanding the evolutionary diversification of a major clade of flowering plants. The degree of resolution obtained here now provides a first opportunity to discuss the evolution of morphological and biochemical traits in Lamiales. The multiple independent evolution of the carnivorous syndrome, once in Lentibulariaceae and a second time in Byblidaceae, is strongly supported by all analyses and topological tests. The evolution of selected morphological characters such as flower symmetry is discussed. The addition of further sequence data from introns and spacers holds promise to eventually obtain a

  8. Towards resolving Lamiales relationships: insights from rapidly evolving chloroplast sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background In the large angiosperm order Lamiales, a diverse array of highly specialized life strategies such as carnivory, parasitism, epiphytism, and desiccation tolerance occur, and some lineages possess drastically accelerated DNA substitutional rates or miniaturized genomes. However, understanding the evolution of these phenomena in the order, and clarifying borders of and relationships among lamialean families, has been hindered by largely unresolved trees in the past. Results Our analysis of the rapidly evolving trnK/matK, trnL-F and rps16 chloroplast regions enabled us to infer more precise phylogenetic hypotheses for the Lamiales. Relationships among the nine first-branching families in the Lamiales tree are now resolved with very strong support. Subsequent to Plocospermataceae, a clade consisting of Carlemanniaceae plus Oleaceae branches, followed by Tetrachondraceae and a newly inferred clade composed of Gesneriaceae plus Calceolariaceae, which is also supported by morphological characters. Plantaginaceae (incl. Gratioleae) and Scrophulariaceae are well separated in the backbone grade; Lamiaceae and Verbenaceae appear in distant clades, while the recently described Linderniaceae are confirmed to be monophyletic and in an isolated position. Conclusions Confidence about deep nodes of the Lamiales tree is an important step towards understanding the evolutionary diversification of a major clade of flowering plants. The degree of resolution obtained here now provides a first opportunity to discuss the evolution of morphological and biochemical traits in Lamiales. The multiple independent evolution of the carnivorous syndrome, once in Lentibulariaceae and a second time in Byblidaceae, is strongly supported by all analyses and topological tests. The evolution of selected morphological characters such as flower symmetry is discussed. The addition of further sequence data from introns and spacers holds promise to eventually obtain a fully resolved plastid tree of

  9. Evolvability of thermophilic proteins from archaea and bacteria.

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    Takano, Kazufumi; Aoi, Atsushi; Koga, Yuichi; Kanaya, Shigenori

    2013-07-16

    Proteins from thermophiles possess high thermostability. The stabilization mechanisms differ between archaeal and bacterial proteins, whereby archaeal proteins are mainly stabilized via hydrophobic interactions and bacterial proteins by ion pairs. High stability is an important factor in promoting protein evolution, but the precise means by which different stabilization mechanisms affect the evolution process remain unclear. In this study, we investigated a random mutational drift of esterases from thermophilic archaea and bacteria at high temperatures. Our results indicate that mutations in archaeal proteins lead to improved function with no loss of stability, while mutant bacterial proteins are largely destabilized with decreased activity at high temperatures. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that archaeal proteins possess higher "evolvability" than bacterial proteins under temperature selection and are additionally able to evolve into eukaryotic proteins.

  10. Clustering evolving proteins into homologous families.

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    Chan, Cheong Xin; Mahbob, Maisarah; Ragan, Mark A

    2013-04-08

    Clustering sequences into groups of putative homologs (families) is a critical first step in many areas of comparative biology and bioinformatics. The performance of clustering approaches in delineating biologically meaningful families depends strongly on characteristics of the data, including content bias and degree of divergence. New, highly scalable methods have recently been introduced to cluster the very large datasets being generated by next-generation sequencing technologies. However, there has been little systematic investigation of how characteristics of the data impact the performance of these approaches. Using clusters from a manually curated dataset as reference, we examined the performance of a widely used graph-based Markov clustering algorithm (MCL) and a greedy heuristic approach (UCLUST) in delineating protein families coded by three sets of bacterial genomes of different G+C content. Both MCL and UCLUST generated clusters that are comparable to the reference sets at specific parameter settings, although UCLUST tends to under-cluster compositionally biased sequences (G+C content 33% and 66%). Using simulated data, we sought to assess the individual effects of sequence divergence, rate heterogeneity, and underlying G+C content. Performance decreased with increasing sequence divergence, decreasing among-site rate variation, and increasing G+C bias. Two MCL-based methods recovered the simulated families more accurately than did UCLUST. MCL using local alignment distances is more robust across the investigated range of sequence features than are greedy heuristics using distances based on global alignment. Our results demonstrate that sequence divergence, rate heterogeneity and content bias can individually and in combination affect the accuracy with which MCL and UCLUST can recover homologous protein families. For application to data that are more divergent, and exhibit higher among-site rate variation and/or content bias, MCL may often be the better

  11. Sex as a strategy against rapidly evolving parasites.

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    Auld, Stuart K J R; Tinkler, Shona K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    2016-12-28

    Why is sex ubiquitous when asexual reproduction is much less costly? Sex disrupts coadapted gene complexes; it also causes costs associated with mate finding and the production of males who do not themselves bear offspring. Theory predicts parasites select for host sex, because genetically variable offspring can escape infection from parasites adapted to infect the previous generations. We examine this using a facultative sexual crustacean, Daphnia magna, and its sterilizing bacterial parasite, Pasteuria ramosa We obtained sexually and asexually produced offspring from wild-caught hosts and exposed them to contemporary parasites or parasites isolated from the same population one year later. We found rapid parasite adaptation to replicate within asexual but not sexual offspring. Moreover, sexually produced offspring were twice as resistant to infection as asexuals when exposed to parasites that had coevolved alongside their parents (i.e. the year two parasite). This fulfils the requirement that the benefits of sex must be both large and rapid for sex to be favoured by selection. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. EVOLVE

    CERN Document Server

    Deutz, André; Schütze, Oliver; Legrand, Pierrick; Tantar, Emilia; Tantar, Alexandru-Adrian

    2017-01-01

    This book comprises nine selected works on numerical and computational methods for solving multiobjective optimization, game theory, and machine learning problems. It provides extended versions of selected papers from various fields of science such as computer science, mathematics and engineering that were presented at EVOLVE 2013 held in July 2013 at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The internationally peer-reviewed papers include original work on important topics in both theory and applications, such as the role of diversity in optimization, statistical approaches to combinatorial optimization, computational game theory, and cell mapping techniques for numerical landscape exploration. Applications focus on aspects including robustness, handling multiple objectives, and complex search spaces in engineering design and computational biology.

  13. Foldability of a Natural De Novo Evolved Protein.

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    Bungard, Dixie; Copple, Jacob S; Yan, Jing; Chhun, Jimmy J; Kumirov, Vlad K; Foy, Scott G; Masel, Joanna; Wysocki, Vicki H; Cordes, Matthew H J

    2017-11-07

    The de novo evolution of protein-coding genes from noncoding DNA is emerging as a source of molecular innovation in biology. Studies of random sequence libraries, however, suggest that young de novo proteins will not fold into compact, specific structures typical of native globular proteins. Here we show that Bsc4, a functional, natural de novo protein encoded by a gene that evolved recently from noncoding DNA in the yeast S. cerevisiae, folds to a partially specific three-dimensional structure. Bsc4 forms soluble, compact oligomers with high β sheet content and a hydrophobic core, and undergoes cooperative, reversible denaturation. Bsc4 lacks a specific quaternary state, however, existing instead as a continuous distribution of oligomer sizes, and binds dyes indicative of amyloid oligomers or molten globules. The combination of native-like and non-native-like properties suggests a rudimentary fold that could potentially act as a functional intermediate in the emergence of new folded proteins de novo. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Genome-Wide Analysis in Three Fusarium Pathogens Identifies Rapidly Evolving Chromosomes and Genes Associated with Pathogenicity

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    Sperschneider, Jana; Gardiner, Donald M.; Thatcher, Louise F.; Lyons, Rebecca; Singh, Karam B.; Manners, John M.; Taylor, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens and hosts are in an ongoing arms race and genes involved in host–pathogen interactions are likely to undergo diversifying selection. Fusarium plant pathogens have evolved diverse infection strategies, but how they interact with their hosts in the biotrophic infection stage remains puzzling. To address this, we analyzed the genomes of three Fusarium plant pathogens for genes that are under diversifying selection. We found a two-speed genome structure both on the chromosome and gene group level. Diversifying selection acts strongly on the dispensable chromosomes in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici and on distinct core chromosome regions in Fusarium graminearum, all of which have associations with virulence. Members of two gene groups evolve rapidly, namely those that encode proteins with an N-terminal [SG]-P-C-[KR]-P sequence motif and proteins that are conserved predominantly in pathogens. Specifically, 29 F. graminearum genes are rapidly evolving, in planta induced and encode secreted proteins, strongly pointing toward effector function. In summary, diversifying selection in Fusarium is strongly reflected as genomic footprints and can be used to predict a small gene set likely to be involved in host–pathogen interactions for experimental verification. PMID:25994930

  15. Origins of Allostery and Evolvability in Proteins: A Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Arjun S; White, K Ian; Ranganathan, Rama

    2016-07-14

    Proteins display the capacity for adaptation to new functions, a property critical for evolvability. But what structural principles underlie the capacity for adaptation? Here, we show that adaptation to a physiologically distinct class of ligand specificity in a PSD95, DLG1, ZO-1 (PDZ) domain preferentially occurs through class-bridging intermediate mutations located distant from the ligand-binding site. These mutations provide a functional link between ligand classes and demonstrate the principle of "conditional neutrality" in mediating evolutionary adaptation. Structures show that class-bridging mutations work allosterically to open up conformational plasticity at the active site, permitting novel functions while retaining existing function. More generally, the class-bridging phenotype arises from mutations in an evolutionarily conserved network of coevolving amino acids in the PDZ family (the sector) that connects the active site to distant surface sites. These findings introduce the concept that allostery in proteins could have its origins not in protein function but in the capacity to adapt. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. A fibre based triature interferometer for measuring rapidly evolving, ablatively driven plasma densities

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    Macdonald, J.; Bland, S. N.; Threadgold, J.

    2015-08-01

    We report on the first use of a fibre interferometer incorporating triature analysis for measuring rapidly evolving plasma densities of ne ˜ 1013/cm3 and above, such as those produced by simple coaxial plasma guns. The resultant system is extremely portable, easy to field in experiments, relatively cheap to produce, and—with the exception of a small open area in which the plasma is sampled—safe in operation as all laser light is enclosed.

  17. De novo ORFs in Drosophila are important to organismal fitness and evolved rapidly from previously non-coding sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josephine A Reinhardt

    Full Text Available How non-coding DNA gives rise to new protein-coding genes (de novo genes is not well understood. Recent work has revealed the origins and functions of a few de novo genes, but common principles governing the evolution or biological roles of these genes are unknown. To better define these principles, we performed a parallel analysis of the evolution and function of six putatively protein-coding de novo genes described in Drosophila melanogaster. Reconstruction of the transcriptional history of de novo genes shows that two de novo genes emerged from novel long non-coding RNAs that arose at least 5 MY prior to evolution of an open reading frame. In contrast, four other de novo genes evolved a translated open reading frame and transcription within the same evolutionary interval suggesting that nascent open reading frames (proto-ORFs, while not required, can contribute to the emergence of a new de novo gene. However, none of the genes arose from proto-ORFs that existed long before expression evolved. Sequence and structural evolution of de novo genes was rapid compared to nearby genes and the structural complexity of de novo genes steadily increases over evolutionary time. Despite the fact that these genes are transcribed at a higher level in males than females, and are most strongly expressed in testes, RNAi experiments show that most of these genes are essential in both sexes during metamorphosis. This lethality suggests that protein coding de novo genes in Drosophila quickly become functionally important.

  18. Spatiotemporal reconstruction of the Aquilegia rapid radiation through next-generation sequencing of rapidly evolving cpDNA regions.

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    Fior, Simone; Li, Mingai; Oxelman, Bengt; Viola, Roberto; Hodges, Scott A; Ometto, Lino; Varotto, Claudio

    2013-04-01

    Aquilegia is a well-known model system in the field of evolutionary biology, but obtaining a resolved and well-supported phylogenetic reconstruction for the genus has been hindered by its recent and rapid diversification. Here, we applied 454 next-generation sequencing to PCR amplicons of 21 of the most rapidly evolving regions of the plastome to generate c. 24 kb of sequences from each of 84 individuals from throughout the genus. The resulting phylogeny has well-supported resolution of the main lineages of the genus, although recent diversification such as in the European taxa remains unresolved. By producing a chronogram of the whole Ranunculaceae family based on published data, we inferred calibration points for dating the Aquilegia radiation. The genus originated in the upper Miocene c. 6.9 million yr ago (Ma) in Eastern Asia, and diversification occurred c. 4.8 Ma with the split of two main clades, one colonizing North America, and the other Western Eurasia through the mountains of Central Asia. This was followed by a back-to-Asia migration, originating from the European stock using a North Asian route. These results provide the first backbone phylogeny and spatiotemporal reconstruction of the Aquilegia radiation, and constitute a robust framework to address the adaptative nature of speciation within the group. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Distinct Mechanism Evolved for Mycobacterial RNA Polymerase and Topoisomerase I Protein-Protein Interaction.

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    Banda, Srikanth; Cao, Nan; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2017-09-15

    We report here a distinct mechanism of interaction between topoisomerase I and RNA polymerase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis that has evolved independently from the previously characterized interaction between bacterial topoisomerase I and RNA polymerase. Bacterial DNA topoisomerase I is responsible for preventing the hyper-negative supercoiling of genomic DNA. The association of topoisomerase I with RNA polymerase during transcription elongation could efficiently relieve transcription-driven negative supercoiling. Our results demonstrate a direct physical interaction between the C-terminal domains of topoisomerase I (TopoI-CTDs) and the β' subunit of RNA polymerase of M. smegmatis in the absence of DNA. The TopoI-CTDs in mycobacteria are evolutionarily unrelated in amino acid sequence and three-dimensional structure to the TopoI-CTD found in the majority of bacterial species outside Actinobacteria, including Escherichia coli. The functional interaction between topoisomerase I and RNA polymerase has evolved independently in mycobacteria and E. coli, with distinctively different structural elements of TopoI-CTD utilized for this protein-protein interaction. Zinc ribbon motifs in E. coli TopoI-CTD are involved in the interaction with RNA polymerase. For M. smegmatis TopoI-CTD, a 27-amino-acid tail that is rich in basic residues at the C-terminal end is responsible for the interaction with RNA polymerase. Overexpression of recombinant TopoI-CTD in M. smegmatis competed with the endogenous topoisomerase I for protein-protein interactions with RNA polymerase. The TopoI-CTD overexpression resulted in decreased survival following treatment with antibiotics and hydrogen peroxide, supporting the importance of the protein-protein interaction between topoisomerase I and RNA polymerase during stress response of mycobacteria. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Specificity and evolvability in eukaryotic protein interaction networks.

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    Pedro Beltrao

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Progress in uncovering the protein interaction networks of several species has led to questions of what underlying principles might govern their organization. Few studies have tried to determine the impact of protein interaction network evolution on the observed physiological differences between species. Using comparative genomics and structural information, we show here that eukaryotic species have rewired their interactomes at a fast rate of approximately 10(-5 interactions changed per protein pair, per million years of divergence. For Homo sapiens this corresponds to 10(3 interactions changed per million years. Additionally we find that the specificity of binding strongly determines the interaction turnover and that different biological processes show significantly different link dynamics. In particular, human proteins involved in immune response, transport, and establishment of localization show signs of positive selection for change of interactions. Our analysis suggests that a small degree of molecular divergence can give rise to important changes at the network level. We propose that the power law distribution observed in protein interaction networks could be partly explained by the cell's requirement for different degrees of protein binding specificity.

  1. InterMap3D: predicting and visualizing co-evolving protein residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveira, Rodrigo Gouveia; Roque, francisco jose sousa simôes almeida; Wernersson, Rasmus

    2009-01-01

    InterMap3D predicts co-evolving protein residues and plots them on the 3D protein structure. Starting with a single protein sequence, InterMap3D automatically finds a set of homologous sequences, generates an alignment and fetches the most similar 3D structure from the Protein Data Bank (PDB......). It can also accept a user-generated alignment. Based on the alignment, co-evolving residues are then predicted using three different methods: Row and Column Weighing of Mutual Information, Mutual Information/Entropy and Dependency. Finally, InterMap3D generates high-quality images of the protein...

  2. Cancer immunotherapy: Opportunities and challenges in the rapidly evolving clinical landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emens, Leisha A; Ascierto, Paolo A; Darcy, Phillip K; Demaria, Sandra; Eggermont, Alexander M M; Redmond, William L; Seliger, Barbara; Marincola, Francesco M

    2017-08-01

    Cancer immunotherapy is now established as a powerful way to treat cancer. The recent clinical success of immune checkpoint blockade (antagonists of CTLA-4, PD-1 and PD-L1) highlights both the universal power of treating the immune system across tumour types and the unique features of cancer immunotherapy. Immune-related adverse events, atypical clinical response patterns, durable responses, and clear overall survival benefit distinguish cancer immunotherapy from cytotoxic cancer therapy. Combination immunotherapies that transform non-responders to responders are under rapid development. Current challenges facing the field include incorporating immunotherapy into adjuvant and neoadjuvant cancer therapy, refining dose, schedule and duration of treatment and developing novel surrogate endpoints that accurately capture overall survival benefit early in treatment. As the field rapidly evolves, we must prioritise the development of biomarkers to guide the use of immunotherapies in the most appropriate patients. Immunotherapy is already transforming cancer from a death sentence to a chronic disease for some patients. By making smart, evidence-based decisions in developing next generation immunotherapies, cancer should become an imminently treatable, curable and even preventable disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Proteins evolve on the edge of supramolecular self-assembly

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    Garcia-Seisdedos, Hector; Empereur-Mot, Charly; Elad, Nadav; Levy, Emmanuel D.

    2017-08-01

    The self-association of proteins into symmetric complexes is ubiquitous in all kingdoms of life. Symmetric complexes possess unique geometric and functional properties, but their internal symmetry can pose a risk. In sickle-cell disease, the symmetry of haemoglobin exacerbates the effect of a mutation, triggering assembly into harmful fibrils. Here we examine the universality of this mechanism and its relation to protein structure geometry. We introduced point mutations solely designed to increase surface hydrophobicity among 12 distinct symmetric complexes from Escherichia coli. Notably, all responded by forming supramolecular assemblies in vitro, as well as in vivo upon heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Remarkably, in four cases, micrometre-long fibrils formed in vivo in response to a single point mutation. Biophysical measurements and electron microscopy revealed that mutants self-assembled in their folded states and so were not amyloid-like. Structural examination of 73 mutants identified supramolecular assembly hot spots predictable by geometry. A subsequent structural analysis of 7,471 symmetric complexes showed that geometric hot spots were buffered chemically by hydrophilic residues, suggesting a mechanism preventing mis-assembly of these regions. Thus, point mutations can frequently trigger folded proteins to self-assemble into higher-order structures. This potential is counterbalanced by negative selection and can be exploited to design nanomaterials in living cells.

  4. Rapid divergence and convergence of life-history in experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Molly K; Barter, Thomas T; Cabral, Larry G; Kezos, James N; Phillips, Mark A; Rutledge, Grant A; Phung, Kevin H; Chen, Richard H; Nguyen, Huy D; Mueller, Laurence D; Rose, Michael R

    2016-09-01

    Laboratory selection experiments are alluring in their simplicity, power, and ability to inform us about how evolution works. A longstanding challenge facing evolution experiments with metazoans is that significant generational turnover takes a long time. In this work, we present data from a unique system of experimentally evolved laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster that have experienced three distinct life-history selection regimes. The goal of our study was to determine how quickly populations of a certain selection regime diverge phenotypically from their ancestors, and how quickly they converge with independently derived populations that share a selection regime. Our results indicate that phenotypic divergence from an ancestral population occurs rapidly, within dozens of generations, regardless of that population's evolutionary history. Similarly, populations sharing a selection treatment converge on common phenotypes in this same time frame, regardless of selection pressures those populations may have experienced in the past. These patterns of convergence and divergence emerged much faster than expected, suggesting that intermediate evolutionary history has transient effects in this system. The results we draw from this system are applicable to other experimental evolution projects, and suggest that many relevant questions can be sufficiently tested on shorter timescales than previously thought. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. The rapidly evolving centromere-specific histone has stringent functional requirements in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, Maruthachalam; Kwong, Pak N; Menorca, Ron M G; Valencia, Joel T; Ramahi, Joseph S; Stewart, Jodi L; Tran, Robert K; Sundaresan, Venkatesan; Comai, Luca; Chan, Simon W-L

    2010-10-01

    Centromeres control chromosome inheritance in eukaryotes, yet their DNA structure and primary sequence are hypervariable. Most animals and plants have megabases of tandem repeats at their centromeres, unlike yeast with unique centromere sequences. Centromere function requires the centromere-specific histone CENH3 (CENP-A in human), which replaces histone H3 in centromeric nucleosomes. CENH3 evolves rapidly, particularly in its N-terminal tail domain. A portion of the CENH3 histone-fold domain, the CENP-A targeting domain (CATD), has been previously shown to confer kinetochore localization and centromere function when swapped into human H3. Furthermore, CENP-A in human cells can be functionally replaced by CENH3 from distantly related organisms including Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have used cenh3-1 (a null mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana) to replace endogenous CENH3 with GFP-tagged variants. A H3.3 tail domain-CENH3 histone-fold domain chimera rescued viability of cenh3-1, but CENH3's lacking a tail domain were nonfunctional. In contrast to human results, H3 containing the A. thaliana CATD cannot complement cenh3-1. GFP-CENH3 from the sister species A. arenosa functionally replaces A. thaliana CENH3. GFP-CENH3 from the close relative Brassica rapa was targeted to centromeres, but did not complement cenh3-1, indicating that kinetochore localization and centromere function can be uncoupled. We conclude that CENH3 function in A. thaliana, an organism with large tandem repeat centromeres, has stringent requirements for functional complementation in mitosis.

  6. Biobanks in the United States: how to identify an undefined and rapidly evolving population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Gregory J; Whipple, Warren; Cadigan, R Jean; Henderson, Gail E

    2012-12-01

    As part of a larger organizational study, we sought to survey biobanks in the United States. However, we encountered two problems with this population. First, no common definition of biobanks exists. Second, no census is available of these facilities from which to sample in order to implement a survey. In light of these problems, we employed a multifaceted approach using electronic searches of PubMed, RePORTER, and Google. In addition, we systematically searched for biobanks housed within universities that have NIH-designated Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). We expanded this part of the search by looking for biobanks among all members of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Finally, we added banks to our database found previously by other researchers and banks found via correspondence with our colleagues. Our search strategy produced a database of 624 biobanks for which we were able to confirm contact information in order to conduct our online survey. Another 140 biobanks were identified but did not respond to our requests to confirm their existence or contact information. In order to maximize both the uniqueness of banks found and the greatest return on effort for each search, we suggest targeting resources that are already organized. In our work, these included the CTSA, AAMC, and part of the Google searches. We contend that our search provides a model for analysis of new fields of research and/or rapidly evolving industries. Furthermore, our approach demonstrates that with the appropriate tools it is possible to develop a systematic and comprehensive database to investigate undefined populations.

  7. Duplicate Abalone Egg Coat Proteins Bind Sperm Lysin Similarly, but Evolve Oppositely, Consistent with Molecular Mimicry at Fertilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aagaard, Jan E.; Springer, Stevan A.; Soelberg, Scott D.; Swanson, Willie J.

    2013-01-01

    Sperm and egg proteins constitute a remarkable paradigm in evolutionary biology: despite their fundamental role in mediating fertilization (suggesting stasis), some of these molecules are among the most rapidly evolving ones known, and their divergence can lead to reproductive isolation. Because of strong selection to maintain function among interbreeding individuals, interacting fertilization proteins should also exhibit a strong signal of correlated divergence among closely related species. We use evidence of such molecular co-evolution to target biochemical studies of fertilization in North Pacific abalone (Haliotis spp.), a model system of reproductive protein evolution. We test the evolutionary rates (d N/d S) of abalone sperm lysin and two duplicated egg coat proteins (VERL and VEZP14), and find a signal of co-evolution specific to ZP-N, a putative sperm binding motif previously identified by homology modeling. Positively selected residues in VERL and VEZP14 occur on the same face of the structural model, suggesting a common mode of interaction with sperm lysin. We test this computational prediction biochemically, confirming that the ZP-N motif is sufficient to bind lysin and that the affinities of VERL and VEZP14 are comparable. However, we also find that on phylogenetic lineages where lysin and VERL evolve rapidly, VEZP14 evolves slowly, and vice versa. We describe a model of sexual conflict that can recreate this pattern of anti-correlated evolution by assuming that VEZP14 acts as a VERL mimic, reducing the intensity of sexual conflict and slowing the co-evolution of lysin and VERL. PMID:23408913

  8. Duplicate abalone egg coat proteins bind sperm lysin similarly, but evolve oppositely, consistent with molecular mimicry at fertilization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan E Aagaard

    Full Text Available Sperm and egg proteins constitute a remarkable paradigm in evolutionary biology: despite their fundamental role in mediating fertilization (suggesting stasis, some of these molecules are among the most rapidly evolving ones known, and their divergence can lead to reproductive isolation. Because of strong selection to maintain function among interbreeding individuals, interacting fertilization proteins should also exhibit a strong signal of correlated divergence among closely related species. We use evidence of such molecular co-evolution to target biochemical studies of fertilization in North Pacific abalone (Haliotis spp., a model system of reproductive protein evolution. We test the evolutionary rates (d(N/d(S of abalone sperm lysin and two duplicated egg coat proteins (VERL and VEZP14, and find a signal of co-evolution specific to ZP-N, a putative sperm binding motif previously identified by homology modeling. Positively selected residues in VERL and VEZP14 occur on the same face of the structural model, suggesting a common mode of interaction with sperm lysin. We test this computational prediction biochemically, confirming that the ZP-N motif is sufficient to bind lysin and that the affinities of VERL and VEZP14 are comparable. However, we also find that on phylogenetic lineages where lysin and VERL evolve rapidly, VEZP14 evolves slowly, and vice versa. We describe a model of sexual conflict that can recreate this pattern of anti-correlated evolution by assuming that VEZP14 acts as a VERL mimic, reducing the intensity of sexual conflict and slowing the co-evolution of lysin and VERL.

  9. Analysis of expression in the Anopheles gambiae developing testes reveals rapidly evolving lineage-specific genes in mosquitoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzywinski Jaroslaw

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood and are not involved in delivery of pathogens to humans. Consequently, they are seldom the subjects of research, which results in a very poor understanding of their biology. To gain insights into male developmental processes we sought to identify genes transcribed exclusively in the reproductive tissues of male Anopheles gambiae pupae. Results Using a cDNA subtraction strategy, five male-specifically or highly male-biased expressed genes were isolated, four of which remain unannotated in the An. gambiae genome. Spatial and temporal expression patterns suggest that each of these genes is involved in the mid-late stages of spermatogenesis. Their sequences are rapidly evolving; however, two genes possess clear homologs in a wide range of taxa and one of these probably acts in a sperm motility control mechanism conserved in many organisms, including humans. The other three genes have no match to sequences from non-mosquito taxa, thus can be regarded as orphans. RNA in situ hybridization demonstrated that one of the orphans is transcribed in spermatids, which suggests its involvement in sperm maturation. Two other orphans have unknown functions. Expression analysis of orthologs of all five genes indicated that male-biased transcription was not conserved in the majority of cases in Aedes and Culex. Conclusion Discovery of testis-expressed orphan genes in mosquitoes opens new prospects for the development of innovative control methods. The orphan encoded proteins may represent unique targets of selective anti-mosquito sterilizing agents that will not affect non-target organisms.

  10. Analysis of expression in the Anopheles gambiae developing testes reveals rapidly evolving lineage-specific genes in mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzywinska, Elzbieta; Krzywinski, Jaroslaw

    2009-07-06

    Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood and are not involved in delivery of pathogens to humans. Consequently, they are seldom the subjects of research, which results in a very poor understanding of their biology. To gain insights into male developmental processes we sought to identify genes transcribed exclusively in the reproductive tissues of male Anopheles gambiae pupae. Using a cDNA subtraction strategy, five male-specifically or highly male-biased expressed genes were isolated, four of which remain unannotated in the An. gambiae genome. Spatial and temporal expression patterns suggest that each of these genes is involved in the mid-late stages of spermatogenesis. Their sequences are rapidly evolving; however, two genes possess clear homologs in a wide range of taxa and one of these probably acts in a sperm motility control mechanism conserved in many organisms, including humans. The other three genes have no match to sequences from non-mosquito taxa, thus can be regarded as orphans. RNA in situ hybridization demonstrated that one of the orphans is transcribed in spermatids, which suggests its involvement in sperm maturation. Two other orphans have unknown functions. Expression analysis of orthologs of all five genes indicated that male-biased transcription was not conserved in the majority of cases in Aedes and Culex. Discovery of testis-expressed orphan genes in mosquitoes opens new prospects for the development of innovative control methods. The orphan encoded proteins may represent unique targets of selective anti-mosquito sterilizing agents that will not affect non-target organisms.

  11. The apolipoprotein L family of programmed cell death and immunity genes rapidly evolved in primates at discrete sites of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eric E; Malik, Harmit S

    2009-05-01

    Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) is a human protein that confers immunity to Trypanosoma brucei infections but can be countered by a trypanosome-encoded antagonist SRA. APOL1 belongs to a family of programmed cell death genes whose proteins can initiate host apoptosis or autophagic death. We report here that all six members of the APOL gene family (APOL1-6) present in humans have rapidly evolved in simian primates. APOL6, furthermore, shows evidence of an adaptive sweep during recent human evolution. In each APOL gene tested, we found rapidly evolving codons in or adjacent to the SRA-interacting protein domain (SID), which is the domain of APOL1 that interacts with SRA. In APOL6, we also found a rapidly changing 13-amino-acid cluster in the membrane-addressing domain (MAD), which putatively functions as a pH sensor and regulator of cell death. We predict that APOL genes are antagonized by pathogens by at least two distinct mechanisms: SID antagonists, which include SRA, that interact with the SID of various APOL proteins, and MAD antagonists that interact with the MAD hinge base of APOL6. These antagonists either block or prematurely cause APOL-mediated programmed cell death of host cells to benefit the infecting pathogen. These putative interactions must occur inside host cells, in contrast to secreted APOL1 that trafficks to the trypanosome lysosome. Hence, the dynamic APOL gene family appears to be an important link between programmed cell death of host cells and immunity to pathogens.

  12. Evolving trends in biosciences: Multi-purpose proteins - GFP and GFP-like proteins

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishna, K.; Ingole, B.S.

    The sea is considered as holding a clue to many known and unknown biologically active compounds. A family of protein named Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFP)-like proteins, initially isolated from marine organisms, started a trend in biotechnological...

  13. Rapid comparison of properties on protein surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sael, Lee; La, David; Li, Bin; Rustamov, Raif; Kihara, Daisuke

    2008-10-01

    The mapping of physicochemical characteristics onto the surface of a protein provides crucial insights into its function and evolution. This information can be further used in the characterization and identification of similarities within protein surface regions. We propose a novel method which quantitatively compares global and local properties on the protein surface. We have tested the method on comparison of electrostatic potentials and hydrophobicity. The method is based on 3D Zernike descriptors, which provides a compact representation of a given property defined on a protein surface. Compactness and rotational invariance of this descriptor enable fast comparison suitable for database searches. The usefulness of this method is exemplified by studying several protein families including globins, thermophilic and mesophilic proteins, and active sites of TIM beta/alpha barrel proteins. In all the cases studied, the descriptor is able to cluster proteins into functionally relevant groups. The proposed approach can also be easily extended to other surface properties. This protein surface-based approach will add a new way of viewing and comparing proteins to conventional methods, which compare proteins in terms of their primary sequence or tertiary structure.

  14. Evolved Escherichia coli strains for amplified, functional expression of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gul, Nadia; Linares, Daniel M; Ho, Franz Y; Poolman, Bert

    2014-01-09

    The major barrier to the physical characterization and structure determination of membrane proteins is low protein yield and/or low functionality in recombinant expression. The enteric bacterium Escherichia coli is the most widely employed organism for producing recombinant proteins. Beside several advantages of this expression host, one major drawback is that the protein of interest does not always adopt its native conformation and may end up in large insoluble aggregates. We describe a robust strategy to increase the likelihood of overexpressing membrane proteins in a functional state. The method involves fusion in tandem of green fluorescent protein and the erythromycin resistance protein (23S ribosomal RNA adenine N-6 methyltransferase, ErmC) to the C-terminus of a target membrane protein. The fluorescence of green fluorescent protein is used to report the folding state of the target protein, whereas ErmC is used to select for increased expression. By gradually increasing the erythromycin concentration of the medium and testing different membrane protein targets, we obtained a number of evolved strains of which four (NG2, NG3, NG5 and NG6) were characterized and their genome was fully sequenced. Strikingly, each of the strains carried a mutation in the hns gene, whose product is involved in genome organization and transcriptional silencing. The degree of expression of (membrane) proteins correlates with the severity of the hns mutation, but cells in which hns was deleted showed an intermediate expression performance. We propose that (partial) removal of the transcriptional silencing mechanism changes the levels of proteins essential for the functional overexpression of membrane proteins. © 2013.

  15. Sensationalistic journalism and tales of snakebite: are rattlesnakes rapidly evolving more toxic venom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, William K; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2010-03-01

    Recent reports in the lay press have suggested that bites by rattlesnakes in the last several years have been more severe than those in the past. The explanation, often citing physicians, is that rattlesnakes are evolving more toxic venom, perhaps in response to anthropogenic causes. We suggest that other explanations are more parsimonious, including factors dependent on the snake and factors associated with the bite victim's response to envenomation. Although bites could become more severe from an increased proportion of bites from larger or more provoked snakes (ie, more venom injected), the venom itself evolves much too slowly to explain the severe symptoms occasionally seen. Increased snakebite severity could also result from a number of demographic changes in the victim profile, including age and body size, behavior toward the snake (provocation), anatomical site of bite, clothing, and general health including asthma prevalence and sensitivity to foreign antigens. Clinical management of bites also changes perpetually, rendering comparisons of snakebite severity over time tenuous. Clearly, careful study taking into consideration many factors will be essential to document temporal changes in snakebite severity or venom toxicity. Presently, no published evidence for these changes exists. The sensationalistic coverage of these atypical bites and accompanying speculation is highly misleading and can produce many detrimental results, such as inappropriate fear of the outdoors and snakes, and distraction from proven snakebite management needs, including a consistent supply of antivenom, adequate health care, and training. We urge healthcare providers to avoid propagating misinformation about snakes and snakebites. Copyright (c) 2010 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Nonsynonymous substitution rate (Ka is a relatively consistent parameter for defining fast-evolving and slow-evolving protein-coding genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Lei

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mammalian genome sequence data are being acquired in large quantities and at enormous speeds. We now have a tremendous opportunity to better understand which genes are the most variable or conserved, and what their particular functions and evolutionary dynamics are, through comparative genomics. Results We chose human and eleven other high-coverage mammalian genome data–as well as an avian genome as an outgroup–to analyze orthologous protein-coding genes using nonsynonymous (Ka and synonymous (Ks substitution rates. After evaluating eight commonly-used methods of Ka and Ks calculation, we observed that these methods yielded a nearly uniform result when estimating Ka, but not Ks (or Ka/Ks. When sorting genes based on Ka, we noticed that fast-evolving and slow-evolving genes often belonged to different functional classes, with respect to species-specificity and lineage-specificity. In particular, we identified two functional classes of genes in the acquired immune system. Fast-evolving genes coded for signal-transducing proteins, such as receptors, ligands, cytokines, and CDs (cluster of differentiation, mostly surface proteins, whereas the slow-evolving genes were for function-modulating proteins, such as kinases and adaptor proteins. In addition, among slow-evolving genes that had functions related to the central nervous system, neurodegenerative disease-related pathways were enriched significantly in most mammalian species. We also confirmed that gene expression was negatively correlated with evolution rate, i.e. slow-evolving genes were expressed at higher levels than fast-evolving genes. Our results indicated that the functional specializations of the three major mammalian clades were: sensory perception and oncogenesis in primates, reproduction and hormone regulation in large mammals, and immunity and angiotensin in rodents. Conclusion Our study suggests that Ka calculation, which is less biased compared to Ks and Ka

  17. Selective Advantage of Recombination in Evolving Protein Populations:. a Lattice Model Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paul D.; Pollock, David D.; Goldstein, Richard A.

    Recent research has attempted to clarify the contributions of several mutational processes, such as substitutions or homologous recombination. Simplistic, tractable protein models, which determine the compact native structure phenotype from the sequence genotype, are well-suited to such studies. In this paper, we use a lattice-protein model to examine the effects of point mutation and homologous recombination on evolving populations of proteins. We find that while the majority of mutation and recombination events are neutral or deleterious, recombination is far more likely to be beneficial. This results in a faster increase in fitness during evolution, although the final fitness level is not significantly changed. This transient advantage provides an evolutionary advantage to subpopulations that undergo recombination, allowing fixation of recombination to occur in the population.

  18. The thermal dependency of locomotor performance evolves rapidly within an invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosmala, Georgia K; Brown, Gregory P; Christian, Keith A; Hudson, Cameron M; Shine, Richard

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions can stimulate rapid shifts in organismal performance, via both plasticity and adaptation. We can distinguish between these two proximate mechanisms by rearing offspring from populations under identical conditions and measuring their locomotor abilities in standardized trials. We collected adult cane toads ( Rhinella marina ) from invasive populations that inhabit regions of Australia with different climatic conditions. We bred those toads and raised their offspring under common-garden conditions before testing their locomotor performance. At high (but not low) temperatures, offspring of individuals from a hotter location (northwestern Australia) outperformed offspring of conspecifics from a cooler location (northeastern Australia). This disparity indicates that, within less than 100 years, thermal performance in cane toads has adapted to the novel abiotic challenges that cane toads have encountered during their invasion of tropical Australia.

  19. Co-regulation of a large and rapidly evolving repertoire of odorant receptor genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lane Robert P

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The olfactory system meets niche- and species-specific demands by an accelerated evolution of its odorant receptor repertoires. In this review, we describe evolutionary processes that have shaped olfactory and vomeronasal receptor gene families in vertebrate genomes. We emphasize three important periods in the evolution of the olfactory system evident by comparative genomics: the adaptation to land in amphibian ancestors, the decline of olfaction in primates, and the delineation of putative pheromone receptors concurrent with rodent speciation. The rapid evolution of odorant receptor genes, the sheer size of the repertoire, as well as their wide distribution in the genome, presents a developmental challenge: how are these ever-changing odorant receptor repertoires coordinated within the olfactory system? A central organizing principle in olfaction is the specialization of sensory neurons resulting from each sensory neuron expressing only ~one odorant receptor allele. In this review, we also discuss this mutually exclusive expression of odorant receptor genes. We have considered several models to account for co-regulation of odorant receptor repertoires, as well as discussed a new hypothesis that invokes important epigenetic properties of the system.

  20. Rapid evolution of the sequences and gene repertoires of secreted proteins in bacteria.

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    Teresa Nogueira

    Full Text Available Proteins secreted to the extracellular environment or to the periphery of the cell envelope, the secretome, play essential roles in foraging, antagonistic and mutualistic interactions. We hypothesize that arms races, genetic conflicts and varying selective pressures should lead to the rapid change of sequences and gene repertoires of the secretome. The analysis of 42 bacterial pan-genomes shows that secreted, and especially extracellular proteins, are predominantly encoded in the accessory genome, i.e. among genes not ubiquitous within the clade. Genes encoding outer membrane proteins might engage more frequently in intra-chromosomal gene conversion because they are more often in multi-genic families. The gene sequences encoding the secretome evolve faster than the rest of the genome and in particular at non-synonymous positions. Cell wall proteins in Firmicutes evolve particularly fast when compared with outer membrane proteins of Proteobacteria. Virulence factors are over-represented in the secretome, notably in outer membrane proteins, but cell localization explains more of the variance in substitution rates and gene repertoires than sequence homology to known virulence factors. Accordingly, the repertoires and sequences of the genes encoding the secretome change fast in the clades of obligatory and facultative pathogens and also in the clades of mutualists and free-living bacteria. Our study shows that cell localization shapes genome evolution. In agreement with our hypothesis, the repertoires and the sequences of genes encoding secreted proteins evolve fast. The particularly rapid change of extracellular proteins suggests that these public goods are key players in bacterial adaptation.

  1. Consumer Health Informatics: Past, Present, and Future of a Rapidly Evolving Domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demiris, G

    2016-05-20

    Consumer Health Informatics (CHI) is a rapidly growing domain within the field of biomedical and health informatics. The objective of this paper is to reflect on the past twenty five years and showcase informatics concepts and applications that led to new models of care and patient empowerment, and to predict future trends and challenges for the next 25 years. We discuss concepts and systems based on a review and analysis of published literature in the consumer health informatics domain in the last 25 years. The field was introduced with the vision that one day patients will be in charge of their own health care using informatics tools and systems. Scientific literature in the field originally focused on ways to assess the quality and validity of available printed health information, only to grow significantly to cover diverse areas such as online communities, social media, and shared decision-making. Concepts such as home telehealth, mHealth, and the quantified-self movement, tools to address transparency of health care organizations, and personal health records and portals provided significant milestones in the field. Consumers are able to actively participate in the decision-making process and to engage in health care processes and decisions. However, challenges such as health literacy and the digital divide have hindered us from maximizing the potential of CHI tools with a significant portion of underserved populations unable to access and utilize them. At the same time, at a global scale consumer tools can increase access to care for underserved populations in developing countries. The field continues to grow and emerging movements such as precision medicine and the sharing economy will introduce new opportunities and challenges.

  2. Rapidly evolving marmoset MSMB genes are differently expressed in the male genital tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceder Yvonne

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Beta-microseminoprotein, an abundant component in prostatic fluid, is encoded by the potential tumor suppressor gene MSMB. Some New World monkeys carry several copies of this gene, in contrast to most mammals, including humans, which have one only. Here we have investigated the background for the species difference by analyzing the chromosomal organization and expression of MSMB in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus. Methods Genes were identified in the Callithrix jacchus genome database using bioinformatics and transcripts were analyzed by RT-PCR and quantified by real time PCR in the presence of SYBR green. Results The common marmoset has five MSMB: one processed pseudogene and four functional genes. The latter encompass homologous genomic regions of 32-35 kb, containing the genes of 12-14 kb and conserved upstream and downstream regions of 14-19 kb and 3-4 kb. One gene, MSMB1, occupies the same position on the chromosome as the single human gene. On the same chromosome, but several Mb away, is another MSMB locus situated with MSMB2, MSMB3 and MSMB4 arranged in tandem. Measurements of transcripts demonstrated that all functional genes are expressed in the male genital tract, generating very high transcript levels in the prostate. The transcript levels in seminal vesicles and testis are two and four orders of magnitude lower. A single gene, MSMB3, accounts for more than 90% of MSMB transcripts in both the prostate and the seminal vesicles, whereas in the testis around half of the transcripts originate from MSMB2. These genes display rapid evolution with a skewed distribution of mutated nucleotides; in MSMB2 they affect nucleotides encoding the N-terminal Greek key domain, whereas in MSMB3 it is the C-terminal MSMB-unique domain that is affected. Conclusion Callitrichide monkeys have four functional MSMB that are all expressed in the male genital tract, but the product from one gene, MSMB3, will predominate in seminal

  3. Linking rapid magma reservoir assembly and eruption trigger mechanisms at evolved Yellowstone-type supervolcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wotzlaw, J.F.; Bindeman, I.N.; Watts, Kathryn E.; Schmitt, A.K.; Caricchi, L.; Schaltegger, U.

    2014-01-01

    The geological record contains evidence of volcanic eruptions that were as much as two orders of magnitude larger than the most voluminous eruption experienced by modern civilizations, the A.D. 1815 Tambora (Indonesia) eruption. Perhaps nowhere on Earth are deposits of such supereruptions more prominent than in the Snake River Plain–Yellowstone Plateau (SRP-YP) volcanic province (northwest United States). While magmatic activity at Yellowstone is still ongoing, the Heise volcanic field in eastern Idaho represents the youngest complete caldera cycle in the SRP-YP, and thus is particularly instructive for current and future volcanic activity at Yellowstone. The Heise caldera cycle culminated 4.5 Ma ago in the eruption of the ∼1800 km3 Kilgore Tuff. Accessory zircons in the Kilgore Tuff display significant intercrystalline and intracrystalline oxygen isotopic heterogeneity, and the vast majority are 18O depleted. This suggests that zircons crystallized from isotopically distinct magma batches that were generated by remelting of subcaldera silicic rocks previously altered by low-δ18O meteoric-hydrothermal fluids. Prior to eruption these magma batches were assembled and homogenized into a single voluminous reservoir. U-Pb geochronology of isotopically diverse zircons using chemical abrasion–isotope dilution–thermal ionization mass spectrometry yielded indistinguishable crystallization ages with a weighted mean 206Pb/238U date of 4.4876 ± 0.0023 Ma (MSWD = 1.5; n = 24). These zircon crystallization ages are also indistinguishable from the sanidine 40Ar/39Ar dates, and thus zircons crystallized close to eruption. This requires that shallow crustal melting, assembly of isolated batches into a supervolcanic magma reservoir, homogenization, and eruption occurred extremely rapidly, within the resolution of our geochronology (103–104 yr). The crystal-scale image of the reservoir configuration, with several isolated magma batches, is very similar to the

  4. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inui, Ken; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Miyata, Keita; Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Suzuki, Tomonori; Shikamori, Yasuyuki; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi; Watanabe, Toshihiro

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. ► NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. ► NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. ► Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X 35 -D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  5. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inui, Ken [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Sagane, Yoshimasa [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Miyata, Keita [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Suzuki, Tomonori [Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Shikamori, Yasuyuki [Agilent Technologies International Japan, Ltd. Takaura-cho 9-1, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0033 (Japan); Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Watanabe, Toshihiro, E-mail: t-watana@bioindustry.nodai.ac.jp [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan)

    2012-03-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X{sub 35}-D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  6. Patient with rapidly evolving neurological disease with neuropathological lesions of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Lewy body dementia, chronic subcortical vascular encephalopathy and meningothelial meningioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vita, Maria Gabriella; Tiple, Dorina; Bizzarro, Alessandra; Ladogana, Anna; Colaizzo, Elisa; Capellari, Sabina; Rossi, Marcello; Parchi, Piero; Masullo, Carlo; Pocchiari, Maurizio

    2017-04-01

    We report a case of rapidly evolving neurological disease in a patient with neuropathological lesions of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Lewy body dementia (LBD), chronic subcortical vascular encephalopathy and meningothelial meningioma. The coexistence of severe multiple pathologies in a single patient strengthens the need to perform accurate clinical differential diagnoses in rapidly progressive dementias. © 2016 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

  7. Rapid identification of DNA-binding proteins by mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordhoff, E.; Korgsdam, A.-M.; Jørgensen, H.F.

    1999-01-01

    We report a protocol for the rapid identification of DNA-binding proteins. Immobilized DNA probes harboring a specific sequence motif are incubated with cell or nuclear extract. Proteins are analyzed directly off the solid support by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass...... was validated by the identification of known prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins, and its use provided evidence that poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase exhibits DNA sequence-specific binding to DNA....

  8. Targeted disruption in mice of a neural stem cell-maintaining, KRAB-Zn finger-encoding gene that has rapidly evolved in the human lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan-Chieh Chien

    Full Text Available Understanding the genetic basis of the physical and behavioral traits that separate humans from other primates is a challenging but intriguing topic. The adaptive functions of the expansion and/or reduction in human brain size have long been explored. From a brain transcriptome project we have identified a KRAB-Zn finger protein-encoding gene (M003-A06 that has rapidly evolved since the human-chimpanzee separation. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of different human tissues indicates that M003-A06 expression is enriched in the human fetal brain in addition to the fetal heart. Furthermore, analysis with use of immunofluorescence staining, neurosphere culturing and Western blotting indicates that the mouse ortholog of M003-A06, Zfp568, is expressed mainly in the embryonic stem (ES cells and fetal as well as adult neural stem cells (NSCs. Conditional gene knockout experiments in mice demonstrates that Zfp568 is both an NSC maintaining- and a brain size-regulating gene. Significantly, molecular genetic analyses show that human M003-A06 consists of 2 equilibrated allelic types, H and C, one of which (H is human-specific. Combined contemporary genotyping and database mining have revealed interesting genetic associations between the different genotypes of M003-A06 and the human head sizes. We propose that M003-A06 is likely one of the genes contributing to the uniqueness of the human brain in comparison to other higher primates.

  9. Hydrophobic Collapse of Ubiquitin Generates Rapid Protein-Water Motions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirtz, Hanna; Schäfer, Sarah; Hoberg, Claudius; Reid, Korey M; Leitner, David M; Havenith, Martina

    2018-06-04

    We report time-resolved measurements of the coupled protein-water modes of solvated ubiquitin during protein folding. Kinetic terahertz absorption (KITA) spectroscopy serves as a label-free technique for monitoring large scale conformational changes and folding of proteins subsequent to a sudden T-jump. We report here KITA measurements at an unprecedented time resolution of 500 ns, a resolution 2 orders of magnitude better than those of any previous KITA measurements, which reveal the coupled ubiquitin-solvent dynamics even in the initial phase of hydrophobic collapse. Complementary equilibrium experiments and molecular simulations of ubiquitin solutions are performed to clarify non-equilibrium contributions and reveal the molecular picture upon a change in structure, respectively. On the basis of our results, we propose that in the case of ubiquitin a rapid (<500 ns) initial phase of the hydrophobic collapse from the elongated protein to a molten globule structure precedes secondary structure formation. We find that these very first steps, including large-amplitude changes within the unfolded manifold, are accompanied by a rapid (<500 ns) pronounced change of the coupled protein-solvent response. The KITA response upon secondary structure formation exhibits an opposite sign, which indicates a distinct effect on the solvent-exposed surface.

  10. Field-Evolved Resistance in Corn Earworm to Cry Proteins Expressed by Transgenic Sweet Corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dively, Galen P.; Finkenbinder, Chad

    2016-01-01

    Background Transgenic corn engineered with genes expressing insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) are now a major tool in insect pest management. With its widespread use, insect resistance is a major threat to the sustainability of the Bt transgenic technology. For all Bt corn expressing Cry toxins, the high dose requirement for resistance management is not achieved for corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), which is more tolerant to the Bt toxins. Methodology/Major Findings We present field monitoring data using Cry1Ab (1996–2016) and Cry1A.105+Cry2Ab2 (2010–2016) expressing sweet corn hybrids as in-field screens to measure changes in field efficacy and Cry toxin susceptibility to H. zea. Larvae successfully damaged an increasing proportion of ears, consumed more kernel area, and reached later developmental stages (4th - 6th instars) in both types of Bt hybrids (Cry1Ab—event Bt11, and Cry1A.105+Cry2Ab2—event MON89034) since their commercial introduction. Yearly patterns of H. zea population abundance were unrelated to reductions in control efficacy. There was no evidence of field efficacy or tissue toxicity differences among different Cry1Ab hybrids that could contribute to the decline in control efficacy. Supportive data from laboratory bioassays demonstrate significant differences in weight gain and fitness characteristics between the Maryland H. zea strain and a susceptible strain. In bioassays with Cry1Ab expressing green leaf tissue, Maryland H. zea strain gained more weight than the susceptible strain at all concentrations tested. Fitness of the Maryland H. zea strain was significantly lower than that of the susceptible strain as indicated by lower hatch rate, longer time to adult eclosion, lower pupal weight, and reduced survival to adulthood. Conclusions/Significance After ruling out possible contributing factors, the rapid change in field efficacy in recent years and decreased susceptibility of H. zea to Bt

  11. Rapid and reliable protein structure determination via chemical shift threading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafsa, Noor E; Berjanskii, Mark V; Arndt, David; Wishart, David S

    2018-01-01

    Protein structure determination using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can be both time-consuming and labor intensive. Here we demonstrate how chemical shift threading can permit rapid, robust, and accurate protein structure determination using only chemical shift data. Threading is a relatively old bioinformatics technique that uses a combination of sequence information and predicted (or experimentally acquired) low-resolution structural data to generate high-resolution 3D protein structures. The key motivations behind using NMR chemical shifts for protein threading lie in the fact that they are easy to measure, they are available prior to 3D structure determination, and they contain vital structural information. The method we have developed uses not only sequence and chemical shift similarity but also chemical shift-derived secondary structure, shift-derived super-secondary structure, and shift-derived accessible surface area to generate a high quality protein structure regardless of the sequence similarity (or lack thereof) to a known structure already in the PDB. The method (called E-Thrifty) was found to be very fast (often chemical shift refinement, these results suggest that protein structure determination, using only NMR chemical shifts, is becoming increasingly practical and reliable. E-Thrifty is available as a web server at http://ethrifty.ca .

  12. Association of protein C23 with rapidly labeled nucleolar RNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herrera, A.H.; Olson, M.O.

    1986-01-01

    The association of nucleolar phosphoprotein C23 with preribosomal ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles was examined in Novikoff hepatoma nucleoli. RNA was labeled with [ 3 H]uridine for various times in cell suspensions, and RNP particles were extracted from isolated nucleoli and fractionated by sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation. The majority of protein C23 cosedimented with fractions containing rapidly labeled RNA (RL fraction). To determine whether there was a direct association of RNA with protein C23, the RL fraction was exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light (254 nm) for short periods of time. After 2 min of exposure there was a 50% decrease in C23 as measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analyses, with no significant further decrease at longer times. When UV-treated fractions were subjected to phenol/chloroform extractions, as much as 30% of the labeled RNA was found in the phenol (protein) layer, indicating that RNA became cross-linked to protein. Similarly, there was an increase in protein C23 extracted into the water layer after irradiation. By SDS-PAGE analyses the cross-linked species migrated more slowly than protein C23, appearing as a smear detected either by [ 3 H]uridine radioactivity or by anti-C23 antibody. With anti-C23 antibodies, up to 25% of the labeled RNA was precipitated from the RL fraction. Dot-blot hybridizations, using cloned rDNA fragments as probes, indicated that the RNA in the RL fraction and the immunoprecipitated RNA contained sequences from 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA

  13. Small acid soluble proteins for rapid spore identification.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Branda, Steven S.; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Jokerst, Amanda S.

    2006-12-01

    This one year LDRD addressed the problem of rapid characterization of bacterial spores such as those from the genus Bacillus, the group that contains pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis. In this effort we addressed the feasibility of using a proteomics based approach to spore characterization using a subset of conserved spore proteins known as the small acid soluble proteins or SASPs. We proposed developing techniques that built on our previous expertise in microseparations to rapidly characterize or identify spores. An alternative SASP extraction method was developed that was amenable to both the subsequent fluorescent labeling required for laser-induced fluorescence detection and the low ionic strength requirements for isoelectric focusing. For the microseparations, both capillary isoelectric focusing and chip gel electrophoresis were employed. A variety of methods were evaluated to improve the molecular weight resolution for the SASPs, which are in a molecular weight range that is not well resolved by the current methods. Isoelectric focusing was optimized and employed to resolve the SASPs using UV absorbance detection. Proteomic signatures of native wild type Bacillus spores and clones genetically engineered to produce altered SASP patterns were assessed by slab gel electrophoresis, capillary isoelectric focusing with absorbance detection as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection.

  14. Evolved Escherichia coli Strains for Amplified, Functional Expression of Membrane Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gul, Nadia; Linares, Daniel M.; Ho, Franz Y.; Poolman, Bert

    2014-01-01

    The major barrier to the physical characterization and structure determination of membrane proteins is low protein yield and/or low functionality in recombinant expression. The enteric bacterium Escherichia coli is the most widely employed organism for producing recombinant proteins. Beside several

  15. Evolved Lactococcus lactis Strains for Enhanced Expression of Recombinant Membrane Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martinez Linares, Daniel; Geertsma, Eric R.; Poolman, Bert

    2010-01-01

    The production of complex multidomain (membrane) proteins is a major hurdle in structural genomics and a generic approach for optimizing membrane protein expression is still lacking. We have devised a selection method to isolate mutant strains with improved functional expression of recombinant

  16. The NBS-LRR architectures of plant R-proteins and metazoan NLRs evolved in independent events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbach, Jonathan M; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2017-01-31

    There are intriguing parallels between plants and animals, with respect to the structures of their innate immune receptors, that suggest universal principles of innate immunity. The cytosolic nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) resistance proteins of plants (R-proteins) and the so-called NOD-like receptors of animals (NLRs) share a domain architecture that includes a STAND (signal transduction ATPases with numerous domains) family NTPase followed by a series of LRRs, suggesting inheritance from a common ancestor with that architecture. Focusing on the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins, animal NLRs, and their homologs that represent the NB-ARC (nucleotide-binding adaptor shared by APAF-1, certain R gene products and CED-4) and NACHT (named for NAIP, CIIA, HET-E, and TEP1) subfamilies of the STAND NTPases, we analyzed the phylogenetic distribution of the NBS-LRR domain architecture, used maximum-likelihood methods to infer a phylogeny of the NTPase domains of R-proteins, and reconstructed the domain structure of the protein containing the common ancestor of the STAND NTPase domain of R-proteins and NLRs. Our analyses reject monophyly of plant R-proteins and NLRs and suggest that the protein containing the last common ancestor of the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins and animal NLRs (and, by extension, all NB-ARC and NACHT domains) possessed a domain structure that included a STAND NTPase paired with a series of tetratricopeptide repeats. These analyses reject the hypothesis that the domain architecture of R-proteins and NLRs was inherited from a common ancestor and instead suggest the domain architecture evolved at least twice. It remains unclear whether the NBS-LRR architectures were innovations of plants and animals themselves or were acquired by one or both lineages through horizontal gene transfer.

  17. Cell Surface Properties of Lactococcus lactis Reveal Milk Protein Binding Specifically Evolved in Dairy Isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariya Tarazanova

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Surface properties of bacteria are determined by the molecular composition of the cell wall and they are important for interactions of cells with their environment. Well-known examples of bacterial interactions with surfaces are biofilm formation and the fermentation of solid materials like food and feed. Lactococcus lactis is broadly used for the fermentation of cheese and buttermilk and it is primarily isolated from either plant material or the dairy environment. In this study, we characterized surface hydrophobicity, charge, emulsification properties, and the attachment to milk proteins of 55 L. lactis strains in stationary and exponential growth phases. The attachment to milk protein was assessed through a newly developed flow cytometry-based protocol. Besides finding a high degree of biodiversity, phenotype-genotype matching allowed the identification of candidate genes involved in the modification of the cell surface. Overexpression and gene deletion analysis allowed to verify the predictions for three identified proteins that altered surface hydrophobicity and attachment of milk proteins. The data also showed that lactococci isolated from a dairy environment bind higher amounts of milk proteins when compared to plant isolates. It remains to be determined whether the alteration of surface properties also has potential to alter starter culture functionalities.

  18. Cell Surface Properties of Lactococcus lactis Reveal Milk Protein Binding Specifically Evolved in Dairy Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarazanova, Mariya; Huppertz, Thom; Beerthuyzen, Marke; van Schalkwijk, Saskia; Janssen, Patrick; Wels, Michiel; Kok, Jan; Bachmann, Herwig

    2017-01-01

    Surface properties of bacteria are determined by the molecular composition of the cell wall and they are important for interactions of cells with their environment. Well-known examples of bacterial interactions with surfaces are biofilm formation and the fermentation of solid materials like food and feed. Lactococcus lactis is broadly used for the fermentation of cheese and buttermilk and it is primarily isolated from either plant material or the dairy environment. In this study, we characterized surface hydrophobicity, charge, emulsification properties, and the attachment to milk proteins of 55 L. lactis strains in stationary and exponential growth phases. The attachment to milk protein was assessed through a newly developed flow cytometry-based protocol. Besides finding a high degree of biodiversity, phenotype-genotype matching allowed the identification of candidate genes involved in the modification of the cell surface. Overexpression and gene deletion analysis allowed to verify the predictions for three identified proteins that altered surface hydrophobicity and attachment of milk proteins. The data also showed that lactococci isolated from a dairy environment bind higher amounts of milk proteins when compared to plant isolates. It remains to be determined whether the alteration of surface properties also has potential to alter starter culture functionalities. PMID:28936202

  19. A Plastid Protein That Evolved from Ubiquitin and Is Required for Apicoplast Protein Import in Toxoplasma gondii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin D. Fellows

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexan parasites cause a variety of important infectious diseases, including malaria, toxoplasma encephalitis, and severe diarrhea due to Cryptosporidium. Most apicomplexans depend on an organelle called the apicoplast which is derived from a red algal endosymbiont. The apicoplast is essential for the parasite as the compartment of fatty acid, heme, and isoprenoid biosynthesis. The majority of the approximate 500 apicoplast proteins are nucleus encoded and have to be imported across the four membranes that surround the apicoplast. Import across the second outermost membrane of the apicoplast, the periplastid membrane, depends on an apicoplast-specific endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD complex and on enzymes of the associated ubiquitination cascade. However, identification of an apicoplast ubiquitin associated with this machinery has long been elusive. Here we identify a plastid ubiquitin-like protein (PUBL, an apicoplast protein that is derived from a ubiquitin ancestor but that has significantly changed in its primary sequence. PUBL is distinct from known ubiquitin-like proteins, and phylogenomic analyses suggest a clade specific to apicomplexans. We demonstrate that PUBL and the AAA ATPase CDC48AP both act to translocate apicoplast proteins across the periplastid membrane during protein import. Conditional null mutants and genetic complementation show that both proteins are critical for this process and for parasite survival. PUBL residues homologous to those that are required for ubiquitin conjugation onto target proteins are essential for this function, while those required for polyubiquitination and preprotein processing are dispensable. Our experiments provide a mechanistic understanding of the molecular machinery that drives protein import across the membranes of the apicoplast.

  20. HIV-TRACE (Transmission Cluster Engine): a tool for large scale molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 and other rapidly evolving pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L; Weaver, Steven; Leigh Brown, Andrew J; Wertheim, Joel O

    2018-01-31

    In modern applications of molecular epidemiology, genetic sequence data are routinely used to identify clusters of transmission in rapidly evolving pathogens, most notably HIV-1. Traditional 'shoeleather' epidemiology infers transmission clusters by tracing chains of partners sharing epidemiological connections (e.g., sexual contact). Here, we present a computational tool for identifying a molecular transmission analog of such clusters: HIV-TRACE (TRAnsmission Cluster Engine). HIV-TRACE implements an approach inspired by traditional epidemiology, by identifying chains of partners whose viral genetic relatedness imply direct or indirect epidemiological connections. Molecular transmission clusters are constructed using codon-aware pairwise alignment to a reference sequence followed by pairwise genetic distance estimation among all sequences. This approach is computationally tractable and is capable of identifying HIV-1 transmission clusters in large surveillance databases comprising tens or hundreds of thousands of sequences in near real time, i.e., on the order of minutes to hours. HIV-TRACE is available at www.hivtrace.org and from github.com/veg/hivtrace, along with the accompanying result visualization module from github.com/veg/hivtrace-viz. Importantly, the approach underlying HIV-TRACE is not limited to the study of HIV-1 and can be applied to study outbreaks and epidemics of other rapidly evolving pathogens. © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Toxin structures as evolutionary tools: Using conserved 3D folds to study the evolution of rapidly evolving peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F

    2016-06-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) structures have been used to explore the evolution of proteins for decades, yet they have rarely been utilized to study the molecular evolution of peptides. Here, we highlight areas in which 3D structures can be particularly useful for studying the molecular evolution of peptide toxins. Although we focus our discussion on animal toxins, including one of the most widespread disulfide-rich peptide folds known, the inhibitor cystine knot, our conclusions should be widely applicable to studies of the evolution of disulfide-constrained peptides. We show that conserved 3D folds can be used to identify evolutionary links and test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin of peptides with extremely low sequence identity; construct accurate multiple sequence alignments; and better understand the evolutionary forces that drive the molecular evolution of peptides. Also watch the video abstract. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Evolving Transcription Factor Binding Site Models From Protein Binding Microarray Data

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Ka-Chun; Peng, Chengbin; Li, Yue

    2016-01-01

    Protein binding microarray (PBM) is a high-throughput platform that can measure the DNA binding preference of a protein in a comprehensive and unbiased manner. In this paper, we describe the PBM motif model building problem. We apply several evolutionary computation methods and compare their performance with the interior point method, demonstrating their performance advantages. In addition, given the PBM domain knowledge, we propose and describe a novel method called kmerGA which makes domain-specific assumptions to exploit PBM data properties to build more accurate models than the other models built. The effectiveness and robustness of kmerGA is supported by comprehensive performance benchmarking on more than 200 datasets, time complexity analysis, convergence analysis, parameter analysis, and case studies. To demonstrate its utility further, kmerGA is applied to two real world applications: 1) PBM rotation testing and 2) ChIP-Seq peak sequence prediction. The results support the biological relevance of the models learned by kmerGA, and thus its real world applicability.

  3. Evolving Transcription Factor Binding Site Models From Protein Binding Microarray Data

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Ka-Chun

    2016-02-02

    Protein binding microarray (PBM) is a high-throughput platform that can measure the DNA binding preference of a protein in a comprehensive and unbiased manner. In this paper, we describe the PBM motif model building problem. We apply several evolutionary computation methods and compare their performance with the interior point method, demonstrating their performance advantages. In addition, given the PBM domain knowledge, we propose and describe a novel method called kmerGA which makes domain-specific assumptions to exploit PBM data properties to build more accurate models than the other models built. The effectiveness and robustness of kmerGA is supported by comprehensive performance benchmarking on more than 200 datasets, time complexity analysis, convergence analysis, parameter analysis, and case studies. To demonstrate its utility further, kmerGA is applied to two real world applications: 1) PBM rotation testing and 2) ChIP-Seq peak sequence prediction. The results support the biological relevance of the models learned by kmerGA, and thus its real world applicability.

  4. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Christopher J; Ros, Vera I D; Stevenson, Brian; Sniegowski, Paul D; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios) and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish chronic infections.

  5. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Graves

    Full Text Available The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish

  6. Rapid production of functionalized recombinant proteins: marrying ligation independent cloning and in vitro protein ligation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushnir, Susanna; Marsac, Yoann; Breitling, Reinhard; Granovsky, Igor; Brok-Volchanskaya, Vera; Goody, Roger S; Becker, Christian F W; Alexandrov, Kirill

    2006-01-01

    Functional genomics and proteomics have been very active fields since the sequencing of several genomes was completed. To assign a physiological role to the newly discovered coding genes with unknown function, new generic methods for protein production, purification, and targeted functionalization are needed. This work presents a new vector, pCYSLIC, that allows rapid generation of Escherichia coli expression constructs via ligation-independent cloning (LIC). The vector is designed to facilitate protein purification by either Ni-NTA or GSH affinity chromatography. Subsequent proteolytic removal of affinity tags liberates an N-terminal cysteine residue that is then used for covalent modification of the target protein with different biophysical probes via protein ligation. The described system has been tested on 36 mammalian Rab GTPases, and it was demonstrated that recombinant GTPases produced with pCYSLIC could be efficiently modified with fluorescein or biotin in vitro. Finally, LIC was compared with the recently developed In-Fusion cloning method, and it was demonstrated that In-Fusion provides superior flexibility in choice of expression vector. By the application of In-Fusion cloning Cys-Rab6A GTPase with an N-terminal cysteine residue was generated employing unmodified pET30a vector and TVMV protease.

  7. Rapid method for protein quantitation by Bradford assay after elimination of the interference of polysorbate 80.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yongfeng; Wei, Haiming; Sun, Rui; Tian, Zhigang; Zheng, Xiaodong

    2016-02-01

    Bradford assay is one of the most common methods for measuring protein concentrations. However, some pharmaceutical excipients, such as detergents, interfere with Bradford assay even at low concentrations. Protein precipitation can be used to overcome sample incompatibility with protein quantitation. But the rate of protein recovery caused by acetone precipitation is only about 70%. In this study, we found that sucrose not only could increase the rate of protein recovery after 1 h acetone precipitation, but also did not interfere with Bradford assay. So we developed a method for rapid protein quantitation in protein drugs even if they contained interfering substances. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Rapid Sampling of Hydrogen Bond Networks for Computational Protein Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Jack B; Boyken, Scott E; Baker, David; Kuhlman, Brian

    2018-05-08

    Hydrogen bond networks play a critical role in determining the stability and specificity of biomolecular complexes, and the ability to design such networks is important for engineering novel structures, interactions, and enzymes. One key feature of hydrogen bond networks that makes them difficult to rationally engineer is that they are highly cooperative and are not energetically favorable until the hydrogen bonding potential has been satisfied for all buried polar groups in the network. Existing computational methods for protein design are ill-equipped for creating these highly cooperative networks because they rely on energy functions and sampling strategies that are focused on pairwise interactions. To enable the design of complex hydrogen bond networks, we have developed a new sampling protocol in the molecular modeling program Rosetta that explicitly searches for sets of amino acid mutations that can form self-contained hydrogen bond networks. For a given set of designable residues, the protocol often identifies many alternative sets of mutations/networks, and we show that it can readily be applied to large sets of residues at protein-protein interfaces or in the interior of proteins. The protocol builds on a recently developed method in Rosetta for designing hydrogen bond networks that has been experimentally validated for small symmetric systems but was not extensible to many larger protein structures and complexes. The sampling protocol we describe here not only recapitulates previously validated designs with performance improvements but also yields viable hydrogen bond networks for cases where the previous method fails, such as the design of large, asymmetric interfaces relevant to engineering protein-based therapeutics.

  9. Thermodynamic properties of an extremely rapid protein folding reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, T; Schmid, F X

    1996-12-24

    The cold-shock protein CspB from Bacillus subtilis is a very small beta-barrel protein, which folds with a time constant of 1 ms (at 25 degrees C) in a U reversible N two-state reaction. To elucidate the energetics of this extremely fast reaction we investigated the folding kinetics of CspB as a function of both temperature and denaturant concentration between 2 and 45 degrees C and between 1 and 8 M urea. Under all these conditions unfolding and refolding were reversible monoexponential reactions. By using transition state theory, data from 327 kinetic curves were jointly analyzed to determine the thermodynamic activation parameters delta H H2O++, delta S H2O++, delta G H2O++, and delta C p H2O++ for unfolding and refolding and their dependences on the urea concentration. 90% of the total change in heat capacity and 96% of the change in the m value (m = d delta G/d[urea]) occur between the unfolded state and the activated state. This suggests that for CspB the activated state of folding is unusually well structured and almost equivalent to the native protein in its interactions with the solvent. As a consequence of this native-like activated state a strong temperature-dependent enthalpy/entropy compensation is observed for the refolding kinetics, and the barrier to refolding shifts from being largely enthalpic at low temperature to largely entropic at high temperature. This shift originates not from the changes in the folding protein chains itself, but from the changes in the protein-solvent interactions. We speculate that the absence of intermediates and the native-like activated state in the folding of CspB are correlated with the small size and the structural type of this protein. The stabilization of a small beta-sheet as in CspB requires extensive non-local interactions, and therefore incomplete sheets are unstable. As a consequence, the critical activated state is reached only very late in folding. The instability of partially folded structure is a means to

  10. Rapid and efficient protein enzymatic digestion: An experimental comparison

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dyčka, Filip; Bobáľ, P.; Mazanec, Karel; Bobálová, Janette

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 2 (2012), s. 288-295 ISSN 0173-0835 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0570; GA MŠk 1M06030; GA AV ČR IAA600040701 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40310501 Keywords : in-gel digestion * MALDI - TOF MS * protein Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 3.261, year: 2012

  11. Rapid mapping of protein functional epitopes by combinatorial alanine scanning

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, GA; Watanabe, CK; Zhong, A; Goddard, A; Sidhu, SS

    2000-01-01

    A combinatorial alanine-scanning strategy was used to determine simultaneously the functional contributions of 19 side chains buried at the interface between human growth hormone and the extracellular domain of its receptor. A phage-displayed protein library was constructed in which the 19 side chains were preferentially allowed to vary only as the wild type or alanine. The library pool was subjected to binding selections to isolate functional clones, and DNA sequencing was used to determine ...

  12. A discrete event simulation to model the cost-utility of fingolimod and natalizumab in rapidly evolving severe relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen M; Maruszczak, Maciej J; Slater, David; Kusel, Jeanette; Nicholas, Richard; Adlard, Nicholas

    2017-05-01

    Two disease-modifying therapies are licensed in the EU for use in rapidly-evolving severe (RES) relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), fingolimod and natalizumab. Here a discrete event simulation (DES) model to analyze the cost-effectiveness of natalizumab and fingolimod in the RES population, from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, is reported. A DES model was developed to track individual RES patients, based on Expanded Disability Status Scale scores. Individual patient characteristics were taken from the RES sub-groups of the pivotal trials for fingolimod. Utility data were in line with previous models. Published costs were inflated to NHS cost year 2015. Owing to the confidential patient access scheme (PAS) discount applied to fingolimod in the UK, a range of discount levels were applied to the fingolimod list price, to capture the likelihood of natalizumab being cost-effective in a real-world setting. At the lower National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) threshold of £20,000/quality-adjusted life year (QALY), fingolimod only required a discount greater than 0.8% of list price to be cost-effective. At the upper threshold of £30,000/QALY employed by the NICE, fingolimod was cost-effective if the confidential discount is greater than 2.5%. Sensitivity analyses conducted using fingolimod list-price showed the model to be most sensitive to changes in the cost of each drug, particularly fingolimod. The DES model shows that only a modest discount to the UK fingolimod list-price is required to make fingolimod a more cost-effective option than natalizumab in RES RRMS.

  13. NCYM, a Cis-antisense gene of MYCN, encodes a de novo evolved protein that inhibits GSK3β resulting in the stabilization of MYCN in human neuroblastomas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Suenaga

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The rearrangement of pre-existing genes has long been thought of as the major mode of new gene generation. Recently, de novo gene birth from non-genic DNA was found to be an alternative mechanism to generate novel protein-coding genes. However, its functional role in human disease remains largely unknown. Here we show that NCYM, a cis-antisense gene of the MYCN oncogene, initially thought to be a large non-coding RNA, encodes a de novo evolved protein regulating the pathogenesis of human cancers, particularly neuroblastoma. The NCYM gene is evolutionally conserved only in the taxonomic group containing humans and chimpanzees. In primary human neuroblastomas, NCYM is 100% co-amplified and co-expressed with MYCN, and NCYM mRNA expression is associated with poor clinical outcome. MYCN directly transactivates both NCYM and MYCN mRNA, whereas NCYM stabilizes MYCN protein by inhibiting the activity of GSK3β, a kinase that promotes MYCN degradation. In contrast to MYCN transgenic mice, neuroblastomas in MYCN/NCYM double transgenic mice were frequently accompanied by distant metastases, behavior reminiscent of human neuroblastomas with MYCN amplification. The NCYM protein also interacts with GSK3β, thereby stabilizing the MYCN protein in the tumors of the MYCN/NCYM double transgenic mice. Thus, these results suggest that GSK3β inhibition by NCYM stabilizes the MYCN protein both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the survival of MYCN transgenic mice bearing neuroblastoma was improved by treatment with NVP-BEZ235, a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor shown to destabilize MYCN via GSK3β activation. In contrast, tumors caused in MYCN/NCYM double transgenic mice showed chemo-resistance to the drug. Collectively, our results show that NCYM is the first de novo evolved protein known to act as an oncopromoting factor in human cancer, and suggest that de novo evolved proteins may functionally characterize human disease.

  14. Candidate protein biomarkers as rapid indicators of radiation exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, Simon, E-mail: sjh.horn@gmail.com [Health Protection Agency, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Chilton, Oxfordshire OX11 0RQ (United Kingdom); Queen' s University Belfast, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Belfast BT9 7BL (United Kingdom); Rothkamm, Kai [Health Protection Agency, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Chilton, Oxfordshire OX11 0RQ (United Kingdom)

    2011-09-15

    For large scale exposures of the human population to ionising radiation, there is a need for cost-effective high throughput assessment of radiation exposure levels from biological samples to allow triage decisions to be made. Here we assess the usefulness of H2AX phosphorylation, 53BP1 foci formation, p53 induction and caspase activation as tools for biological dosimetry. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from healthy donors were isolated and exposed to X-rays. Cells were fixed, permeabilised and then stained with primary antibodies for {gamma}-H2AX and/or 53BP1, p53 or FLICA caspase detection kit followed by fluorescently tagged secondary antibodies. Cell nuclei were DAPI or propidium iodide counterstained for microscopy or cytometry respectively. Average {gamma}-H2AX/53BP1 foci numbers and {gamma}-H2AX fluorescence intensities increased with dose. Foci loss occurred over a period of 24 h post exposure with foci levels remaining above baseline levels for at least 24 h following exposure to 0.5 Gy or more of X-rays. p53 levels increased with dose and over time, peaking at 48 h post exposure. Apoptotic cells were highlighted with greatly increased levels of activated caspases. A single dose of 4 Gy increased the percentage of apoptotic lymphocytes to over 60% at 96 h post exposure. The finding that the biomarkers analysed here have different temporal dynamics following radiation exposure suggests that they could be combined to enable detection of exposures over a period of hours to several days after a radiation incident to help facilitate rapid triage.

  15. Rapid identification of sequences for orphan enzymes to power accurate protein annotation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin R Ramkissoon

    Full Text Available The power of genome sequencing depends on the ability to understand what those genes and their proteins products actually do. The automated methods used to assign functions to putative proteins in newly sequenced organisms are limited by the size of our library of proteins with both known function and sequence. Unfortunately this library grows slowly, lagging well behind the rapid increase in novel protein sequences produced by modern genome sequencing methods. One potential source for rapidly expanding this functional library is the "back catalog" of enzymology--"orphan enzymes," those enzymes that have been characterized and yet lack any associated sequence. There are hundreds of orphan enzymes in the Enzyme Commission (EC database alone. In this study, we demonstrate how this orphan enzyme "back catalog" is a fertile source for rapidly advancing the state of protein annotation. Starting from three orphan enzyme samples, we applied mass-spectrometry based analysis and computational methods (including sequence similarity networks, sequence and structural alignments, and operon context analysis to rapidly identify the specific sequence for each orphan while avoiding the most time- and labor-intensive aspects of typical sequence identifications. We then used these three new sequences to more accurately predict the catalytic function of 385 previously uncharacterized or misannotated proteins. We expect that this kind of rapid sequence identification could be efficiently applied on a larger scale to make enzymology's "back catalog" another powerful tool to drive accurate genome annotation.

  16. Rapid Identification of Sequences for Orphan Enzymes to Power Accurate Protein Annotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Sunil; Watson, Douglas S.; Bomar, Martha G.; Galande, Amit K.; Shearer, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    The power of genome sequencing depends on the ability to understand what those genes and their proteins products actually do. The automated methods used to assign functions to putative proteins in newly sequenced organisms are limited by the size of our library of proteins with both known function and sequence. Unfortunately this library grows slowly, lagging well behind the rapid increase in novel protein sequences produced by modern genome sequencing methods. One potential source for rapidly expanding this functional library is the “back catalog” of enzymology – “orphan enzymes,” those enzymes that have been characterized and yet lack any associated sequence. There are hundreds of orphan enzymes in the Enzyme Commission (EC) database alone. In this study, we demonstrate how this orphan enzyme “back catalog” is a fertile source for rapidly advancing the state of protein annotation. Starting from three orphan enzyme samples, we applied mass-spectrometry based analysis and computational methods (including sequence similarity networks, sequence and structural alignments, and operon context analysis) to rapidly identify the specific sequence for each orphan while avoiding the most time- and labor-intensive aspects of typical sequence identifications. We then used these three new sequences to more accurately predict the catalytic function of 385 previously uncharacterized or misannotated proteins. We expect that this kind of rapid sequence identification could be efficiently applied on a larger scale to make enzymology’s “back catalog” another powerful tool to drive accurate genome annotation. PMID:24386392

  17. Rapid degradation of abnormal proteins in vacuoles from Acer pseudoplatanus L. cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Canut, H.; Alibert, G.; Carrasco, A.; Boudet, A.M.

    1986-01-01

    In Acer pseudoplatanus cells, the proteins synthesized in the presence of an amino acid analog ([ 14 C]p-fluorophenylalanine), were degraded more rapidly than normal ones ([ 14 C]phenylalanine as precursor). The degradation of an important part of these abnormal proteins occurred inside the vacuoles. The degradation process was not apparently associated to a specific proteolytic system but was related to a preferential transfer of these aberrant proteins from the cytoplasm to the vacuole

  18. Rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment.

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Matz, Mikhail V; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Buschiazzo, Emmanuel; Desalvo, Michael K; Lindquist, Erika; Szmant, Alina M; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mó nica

    2011-01-01

    Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably.

  19. Rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment.

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.

    2011-05-25

    Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably.

  20. The visualCMAT: A web-server to select and interpret correlated mutations/co-evolving residues in protein families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suplatov, Dmitry; Sharapova, Yana; Timonina, Daria; Kopylov, Kirill; Švedas, Vytas

    2018-04-01

    The visualCMAT web-server was designed to assist experimental research in the fields of protein/enzyme biochemistry, protein engineering, and drug discovery by providing an intuitive and easy-to-use interface to the analysis of correlated mutations/co-evolving residues. Sequence and structural information describing homologous proteins are used to predict correlated substitutions by the Mutual information-based CMAT approach, classify them into spatially close co-evolving pairs, which either form a direct physical contact or interact with the same ligand (e.g. a substrate or a crystallographic water molecule), and long-range correlations, annotate and rank binding sites on the protein surface by the presence of statistically significant co-evolving positions. The results of the visualCMAT are organized for a convenient visual analysis and can be downloaded to a local computer as a content-rich all-in-one PyMol session file with multiple layers of annotation corresponding to bioinformatic, statistical and structural analyses of the predicted co-evolution, or further studied online using the built-in interactive analysis tools. The online interactivity is implemented in HTML5 and therefore neither plugins nor Java are required. The visualCMAT web-server is integrated with the Mustguseal web-server capable of constructing large structure-guided sequence alignments of protein families and superfamilies using all available information about their structures and sequences in public databases. The visualCMAT web-server can be used to understand the relationship between structure and function in proteins, implemented at selecting hotspots and compensatory mutations for rational design and directed evolution experiments to produce novel enzymes with improved properties, and employed at studying the mechanism of selective ligand's binding and allosteric communication between topologically independent sites in protein structures. The web-server is freely available at https

  1. Biospecific protein immobilization for rapid analysis of weak protein interactions using self-interaction nanoparticle spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengali, Aditya N; Tessier, Peter M

    2009-10-01

    "Reversible" protein interactions govern diverse biological behavior ranging from intracellular transport and toxic protein aggregation to protein crystallization and inactivation of protein therapeutics. Much less is known about weak protein interactions than their stronger counterparts since they are difficult to characterize, especially in a parallel format (in contrast to a sequential format) necessary for high-throughput screening. We have recently introduced a highly efficient approach of characterizing protein self-association, namely self-interaction nanoparticle spectroscopy (SINS; Tessier et al., 2008; J Am Chem Soc 130:3106-3112). This approach exploits the separation-dependent optical properties of gold nanoparticles to detect weak self-interactions between proteins immobilized on nanoparticles. A limitation of our previous work is that differences in the sequence and structure of proteins can lead to significant differences in their affinity to adsorb to nanoparticle surfaces, which complicates analysis of the corresponding protein self-association behavior. In this work we demonstrate a highly specific approach for coating nanoparticles with proteins using biotin-avidin interactions to generate protein-nanoparticle conjugates that report protein self-interactions through changes in their optical properties. Using lysozyme as a model protein that is refractory to characterization by conventional SINS, we demonstrate that surface Plasmon wavelengths for gold-avidin-lysozyme conjugates over a range of solution conditions (i.e., pH and ionic strength) are well correlated with lysozyme osmotic second virial coefficient measurements. Since SINS requires orders of magnitude less protein and time than conventional methods (e.g., static light scattering), we envision this approach will find application in large screens of protein self-association aimed at either preventing (e.g., protein aggregation) or promoting (e.g., protein crystallization) these

  2. Sensitive rapid analysis of iodine-labelled protein mixture on flat substrates with high spatial resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zanevskij, Yu.V.; Ivanov, A.B.; Movchan, S.A.; Peshekhonov, V.D.; Chan Dyk Tkhan'; Chernenko, S.P.; Kaminir, L.B.; Krejndlin, Eh.Ya.; Chernyj, A.A.

    1983-01-01

    Usability of rapid analysis by electrophoresis of the admixture of I 125 -labelled proteins on flat samples by means of URAN type installation developed using a multiwire proportional chamber is studied. The sensitivity of the method is better than 200 cpm/cm 2 and the spatial resolution is approximately 1 mm. The procedure of the rapid analysis is no longer than several tens of minutes

  3. Fluorescent in situ folding control for rapid optimization of cell-free membrane protein synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Müller-Lucks

    Full Text Available Cell-free synthesis is an open and powerful tool for high-yield protein production in small reaction volumes predestined for high-throughput structural and functional analysis. Membrane proteins require addition of detergents for solubilization, liposomes, or nanodiscs. Hence, the number of parameters to be tested is significantly higher than with soluble proteins. Optimization is commonly done with respect to protein yield, yet without knowledge of the protein folding status. This approach contains a large inherent risk of ending up with non-functional protein. We show that fluorophore formation in C-terminal fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP indicates the folding state of a membrane protein in situ, i.e. within the cell-free reaction mixture, as confirmed by circular dichroism (CD, proteoliposome reconstitution and functional assays. Quantification of protein yield and in-gel fluorescence intensity imply suitability of the method for membrane proteins of bacterial, protozoan, plant, and mammalian origin, representing vacuolar and plasma membrane localization, as well as intra- and extracellular positioning of the C-terminus. We conclude that GFP-fusions provide an extension to cell-free protein synthesis systems eliminating the need for experimental folding control and, thus, enabling rapid optimization towards membrane protein quality.

  4. A multi-directional rapidly exploring random graph (mRRG) for protein folding

    KAUST Repository

    Nath, Shuvra Kanti; Thomas, Shawna; Ekenna, Chinwe; Amato, Nancy M.

    2012-01-01

    Modeling large-scale protein motions, such as those involved in folding and binding interactions, is crucial to better understanding not only how proteins move and interact with other molecules but also how proteins misfold, thus causing many devastating diseases. Robotic motion planning algorithms, such as Rapidly Exploring Random Trees (RRTs), have been successful in simulating protein folding pathways. Here, we propose a new multi-directional Rapidly Exploring Random Graph (mRRG) specifically tailored for proteins. Unlike traditional RRGs which only expand a parent conformation in a single direction, our strategy expands the parent conformation in multiple directions to generate new samples. Resulting samples are connected to the parent conformation and its nearest neighbors. By leveraging multiple directions, mRRG can model the protein motion landscape with reduced computational time compared to several other robotics-based methods for small to moderate-sized proteins. Our results on several proteins agree with experimental hydrogen out-exchange, pulse-labeling, and F-value analysis. We also show that mRRG covers the conformation space better as compared to the other computation methods. Copyright © 2012 ACM.

  5. Rapid directed evolution of stabilized proteins with cellular high-throughput encapsulation solubilization and screening (CHESS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, K J; Scott, D J

    2015-03-01

    Directed evolution is a powerful method for engineering proteins towards user-defined goals and has been used to generate novel proteins for industrial processes, biological research and drug discovery. Typical directed evolution techniques include cellular display, phage display, ribosome display and water-in-oil compartmentalization, all of which physically link individual members of diverse gene libraries to their translated proteins. This allows the screening or selection for a desired protein function and subsequent isolation of the encoding gene from diverse populations. For biotechnological and industrial applications there is a need to engineer proteins that are functional under conditions that are not compatible with these techniques, such as high temperatures and harsh detergents. Cellular High-throughput Encapsulation Solubilization and Screening (CHESS), is a directed evolution method originally developed to engineer detergent-stable G proteins-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for structural biology. With CHESS, library-transformed bacterial cells are encapsulated in detergent-resistant polymers to form capsules, which serve to contain mutant genes and their encoded proteins upon detergent mediated solubilization of cell membranes. Populations of capsules can be screened like single cells to enable rapid isolation of genes encoding detergent-stable protein mutants. To demonstrate the general applicability of CHESS to other proteins, we have characterized the stability and permeability of CHESS microcapsules and employed CHESS to generate thermostable, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) resistant green fluorescent protein (GFP) mutants, the first soluble proteins to be engineered using CHESS. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. A Rapid Method for Determining the Concentration of Recombinant Protein Secreted from Pichia pastoris

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, L W; Zhao, Y; Jiang, R; Song, Y; Feng, H; Feng, K; Niu, L P; Qi, C

    2011-01-01

    Pichia secretive expression system is one of powerful eukaryotic expression systems in genetic engineering, which is especially suitable for industrial utilization. Because of the low concentration of the target protein in initial experiment, the methods and conditions for expression of the target protein should be optimized according to the protein yield repetitively. It is necessary to set up a rapid, simple and convenient analysis method for protein expression levels instead of the generally used method such as ultrafiltration, purification, dialysis, lyophilization and so on. In this paper, acetone precipitation method was chosen to concentrate the recombinant protein firstly after comparing with four different protein precipitation methods systematically, and then the protein was analyzed by SDS-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis. The recombinant protein was determined with the feature of protein band by the Automated Image Capture and 1-D Analysis Software directly. With this method, the optimized expression conditions of basic fibroblast growth factor secreted from pichia were obtained, which is as the same as using traditional methods. Hence, a convenient tool to determine the optimized conditions for the expression of recombinant proteins in Pichia was established.

  7. Rapid Diagnostic Assay for Intact Influenza Virus Using a High Affinity Hemagglutinin Binding Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Caitlin E; Holstein, Carly A; Strauch, Eva-Maria; Bennett, Steven; Chevalier, Aaron; Nelson, Jorgen; Fu, Elain; Baker, David; Yager, Paul

    2017-06-20

    Influenza is a ubiquitous and recurring infection that results in approximately 500 000 deaths globally each year. Commercially available rapid diagnostic tests are based upon detection of the influenza nucleoprotein, which are limited in that they are unable to differentiate by species and require an additional viral lysis step. Sample preprocessing can be minimized or eliminated by targeting the intact influenza virus, thereby reducing assay complexity and leveraging the large number of hemagglutinin proteins on the surface of each virus. Here, we report the development of a paper-based influenza assay that targets the hemagglutinin protein; the assay employs a combination of antibodies and novel computationally designed, recombinant affinity proteins as the capture and detection agents. This system leverages the customizability of recombinant protein design to target the conserved receptor-binding pocket of the hemagglutinin protein and to match the trimeric nature of hemagglutinin for improved avidity. Using this assay, we demonstrate the first instance of intact influenza virus detection using a combination of antibody and affinity proteins within a porous network. The recombinant head region binder based assays yield superior analytical sensitivity as compared to the antibody based assay, with lower limits of detection of 3.54 × 10 7 and 1.34 × 10 7 CEID 50 /mL for the mixed and all binder stacks, respectively. Not only does this work describe the development of a novel influenza assay, it also demonstrates the power of recombinant affinity proteins for use in rapid diagnostic assays.

  8. Positive selection and propeptide repeats promote rapid interspecific divergence of a gastropod sperm protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellberg, M E; Moy, G W; Vacquier, V D

    2000-03-01

    Male-specific proteins have increasingly been reported as targets of positive selection and are of special interest because of the role they may play in the evolution of reproductive isolation. We report the rapid interspecific divergence of cDNA encoding a major acrosomal protein of unknown function (TMAP) of sperm from five species of teguline gastropods. A mitochondrial DNA clock (calibrated by congeneric species divided by the Isthmus of Panama) estimates that these five species diverged 2-10 MYA. Inferred amino acid sequences reveal a propeptide that has diverged rapidly between species. The mature protein has diverged faster still due to high nonsynonymous substitution rates (> 25 nonsynonymous substitutions per site per 10(9) years). cDNA encoding the mature protein (89-100 residues) shows evidence of positive selection (Dn/Ds > 1) for 4 of 10 pairwise species comparisons. cDNA and predicted secondary-structure comparisons suggest that TMAP is neither orthologous nor paralogous to abalone lysin, and thus marks a second, phylogenetically independent, protein subject to strong positive selection in free-spawning marine gastropods. In addition, an internal repeat in one species (Tegula aureotincta) produces a duplicated cleavage site which results in two alternatively processed mature proteins differing by nine amino acid residues. Such alternative processing may provide a mechanism for introducing novel amino acid sequence variation at the amino-termini of proteins. Highly divergent TMAP N-termini from two other tegulines (Tegula regina and Norrisia norrisii) may have originated by such a mechanism.

  9. A rapid, ensemble and free energy based method for engineering protein stabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naganathan, Athi N

    2013-05-02

    Engineering the conformational stabilities of proteins through mutations has immense potential in biotechnological applications. It is, however, an inherently challenging problem given the weak noncovalent nature of the stabilizing interactions. In this regard, we present here a robust and fast strategy to engineer protein stabilities through mutations involving charged residues using a structure-based statistical mechanical model that accounts for the ensemble nature of folding. We validate the method by predicting the absolute changes in stability for 138 experimental mutations from 16 different proteins and enzymes with a correlation of 0.65 and importantly with a success rate of 81%. Multiple point mutants are predicted with a higher success rate (90%) that is validated further by comparing meosphile-thermophile protein pairs. In parallel, we devise a methodology to rapidly engineer mutations in silico which we benchmark against experimental mutations of ubiquitin (correlation of 0.95) and check for its feasibility on a larger therapeutic protein DNase I. We expect the method to be of importance as a first and rapid step to screen for protein mutants with specific stability in the biotechnology industry, in the construction of stability maps at the residue level (i.e., hot spots), and as a robust tool to probe for mutations that enhance the stability of protein-based drugs.

  10. Rapid detection and purification of sequence specific DNA binding proteins using magnetic separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TIJANA SAVIC

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a method for the rapid identification and purification of sequence specific DNA binding proteins based on magnetic separation is presented. This method was applied to confirm the binding of the human recombinant USF1 protein to its putative binding site (E-box within the human SOX3 protomer. It has been shown that biotinylated DNA attached to streptavidin magnetic particles specifically binds the USF1 protein in the presence of competitor DNA. It has also been demonstrated that the protein could be successfully eluted from the beads, in high yield and with restored DNA binding activity. The advantage of these procedures is that they could be applied for the identification and purification of any high-affinity sequence-specific DNA binding protein with only minor modifications.

  11. A robust and rapid method of producing soluble, stable, and functional G-protein coupled receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina Corin

    Full Text Available Membrane proteins, particularly G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, are notoriously difficult to express. Using commercial E. coli cell-free systems with the detergent Brij-35, we could rapidly produce milligram quantities of 13 unique GPCRs. Immunoaffinity purification yielded receptors at >90% purity. Secondary structure analysis using circular dichroism indicated that the purified receptors were properly folded. Microscale thermophoresis, a novel label-free and surface-free detection technique that uses thermal gradients, showed that these receptors bound their ligands. The secondary structure and ligand-binding results from cell-free produced proteins were comparable to those expressed and purified from HEK293 cells. Our study demonstrates that cell-free protein production using commercially available kits and optimal detergents is a robust technology that can be used to produce sufficient GPCRs for biochemical, structural, and functional analyses. This robust and simple method may further stimulate others to study the structure and function of membrane proteins.

  12. Microtubule protein ADP-ribosylation in vitro leads to assembly inhibition and rapid depolymerization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scaife, R.M. (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA (United States)); Wilson, L. (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)); Purich, D.L. (Univ. of Florida, Gainesville (United States))

    1992-01-14

    Bovine brain microtubule protein, containing both tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins, undergoes ADP-ribosylation in the presence of ({sup 14}C)NAD{sup +} and a turkey erythrocyte mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase in vitro. The modification reaction could be demonstrated in crude brain tissue extracts where selective ADP-ribosylation of both the {alpha} and {beta} chains of tubulin and of the high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein MAP-2 occurred. In experiments with purified microtubule protein, tubulin dimer, the high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein MAP-2, and another high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein which may be a MAP-1 species were heavily labeled. Tubulin and MAP-2 incorporated ({sup 14}C)ADP-ribose to an average extent of approximately 2.4 and 30 mol of ADP-ribose/mol of protein, respectively. Assembly of microtubule protein into microtubules in vitro was inhibited by ADP-ribosylation, and incubation of assembled steady-state microtubules with ADP-ribosyltransferase and NAD{sup +} resulted in rapid depolymerization of the microtubules. Thus, the eukaryotic enzyme can ADP-ribosylate tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins to much greater extents than previously observed with cholera and pertussis toxins, and the modification can significantly modulate microtubule assembly and disassembly.

  13. Rapid changes in protein phosphorylation associated with gravity perception in corn roots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McFadden, J.J.; Poovaiah, B.W.

    1987-01-01

    A previous paper from this laboratory showed calcium- and calmodulin-dependent in vivo protein phosphorylation in corn root tips. The authors show that rapid changes in calcium-dependent protein phosphorylation are involved in light-dependent graviperception in corn root tips. Corn seedlings (Zea mays L, cv Merit) were grown in the dark for 3 d, then apical root segments were harvested in dim green light to measure in vivo protein phosphorylation. Segments were incubated with 0.5 mCi 32 P for 1 h, then immediately frozen in liquid N 2 or first treated with either 7 min light, or 7 min light plus 1 mM EGTA and 10 μM A23187. Labeled proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis and detected by autoradiography. Light caused rapid and specific promotion of phosphorylation of 5 polypeptides. The increases in protein phosphorylation were reversed by treating with EGTA and A23187. The authors postulate that these changes in protein phosphorylation are an essential part of the light-dependent gravity response in Merit roots

  14. Rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voolstra, Christian R; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Matz, Mikhail V; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Buschiazzo, Emmanuel; Desalvo, Michael K; Lindquist, Erika; Szmant, Alina M; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mónica

    2011-01-01

    Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably. We screened a set of 2,604 putative orthologs from EST-based sequence datasets of the coral species Acropora millepora and Acropora palmata to determine the fraction and identity of proteins that may experience adaptive evolution. 7% of the orthologs show elevated rates of evolution. Taxonomically-restricted (i.e. lineage-specific) genes show a positive selection signature more frequently than genes that are found across many animal phyla. The class of proteins that displayed elevated evolutionary rates was significantly enriched for proteins involved in immunity and defense, reproduction, and sensory perception. We also found elevated rates of evolution in several other functional groups such as management of membrane vesicles, transmembrane transport of ions and organic molecules, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress response. Proteins in these processes might be related to the endosymbiotic relationship corals maintain with dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. This study provides a birds-eye view of the processes potentially underlying coral adaptation, which will serve as a foundation for future work to elucidate the rates, patterns, and mechanisms of corals' evolutionary response to global climate change.

  15. Rapid outer-surface protein C DNA tattoo vaccination protects against Borrelia afzelii infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagemakers, A; Mason, L M K; Oei, A; de Wever, B; van der Poll, T; Bins, A D; Hovius, J W R

    2014-12-01

    Borrelia afzelii is the predominant Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis in Europe. Currently there is no human vaccine against Lyme borreliosis, and most research focuses on recombinant protein vaccines against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. DNA tattooing is a novel vaccination method that can be applied in a rapid vaccination schedule. We vaccinated C3H/HeN mice with B. afzelii strain PKo OspC (outer-surface protein C) using a codon-optimized DNA vaccine tattoo and compared this with recombinant protein vaccination in a 0-2-4 week vaccination schedule. We also assessed protection by DNA tattoo in a 0-3-6 day schedule. DNA tattoo and recombinant OspC vaccination induced comparable total IgG responses, with a lower IgG1/IgG2a ratio after DNA tattoo. Two weeks after syringe-challenge with 5 × 10(5) B. afzelii spirochetes most vaccinated mice had negative B. afzelii tissue DNA loads and all were culture negative. Furthermore, DNA tattoo vaccination in a 0-3-6 day regimen also resulted in negative Borrelia loads and cultures after challenge. To conclude, DNA vaccination by tattoo was fully protective against B. afzelii challenge in mice in a rapid vaccination protocol, and induces a favorable humoral immunity compared to recombinant protein vaccination. Rapid DNA tattoo is a promising vaccination strategy against spirochetes.

  16. Insulin receptors mediate growth effects in cultured fetal neurons. I. Rapid stimulation of protein synthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heidenreich, K.A.; Toledo, S.P.

    1989-01-01

    In this study we have examined the effects of insulin on protein synthesis in cultured fetal chick neurons. Protein synthesis was monitored by measuring the incorporation of [3H]leucine (3H-leu) into trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-precipitable protein. Upon addition of 3H-leu, there was a 5-min lag before radioactivity occurred in protein. During this period cell-associated radioactivity reached equilibrium and was totally recovered in the TCA-soluble fraction. After 5 min, the incorporation of 3H-leu into protein was linear for 2 h and was inhibited (98%) by the inclusion of 10 micrograms/ml cycloheximide. After 24 h of serum deprivation, insulin increased 3H-leu incorporation into protein by approximately 2-fold. The stimulation of protein synthesis by insulin was dose dependent (ED50 = 70 pM) and seen within 30 min. Proinsulin was approximately 10-fold less potent than insulin on a molar basis in stimulating neuronal protein synthesis. Insulin had no effect on the TCA-soluble fraction of 3H-leu at any time and did not influence the uptake of [3H]aminoisobutyric acid into neurons. The isotope ratio of 3H-leu/14C-leu in the leucyl tRNA pool was the same in control and insulin-treated neurons. Analysis of newly synthesized proteins by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that insulin uniformly increased the incorporation of 14C-leu into all of the resolved neuronal proteins. We conclude from these data that (1) insulin rapidly stimulates overall protein synthesis in fetal neurons independent of amino acid uptake and aminoacyl tRNA precursor pools; (2) stimulation of protein synthesis is mediated by the brain subtype of insulin receptor; and (3) insulin is potentially an important in vivo growth factor for fetal central nervous system neurons

  17. Maintaining evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, James F

    2008-12-01

    Although molecular methods, such as QTL mapping, have revealed a number of loci with large effects, it is still likely that the bulk of quantitative variability is due to multiple factors, each with small effect. Typically, these have a large additive component. Conventional wisdom argues that selection, natural or artificial, uses up additive variance and thus depletes its supply. Over time, the variance should be reduced, and at equilibrium be near zero. This is especially expected for fitness and traits highly correlated with it. Yet, populations typically have a great deal of additive variance, and do not seem to run out of genetic variability even after many generations of directional selection. Long-term selection experiments show that populations continue to retain seemingly undiminished additive variance despite large changes in the mean value. I propose that there are several reasons for this. (i) The environment is continually changing so that what was formerly most fit no longer is. (ii) There is an input of genetic variance from mutation, and sometimes from migration. (iii) As intermediate-frequency alleles increase in frequency towards one, producing less variance (as p --> 1, p(1 - p) --> 0), others that were originally near zero become more common and increase the variance. Thus, a roughly constant variance is maintained. (iv) There is always selection for fitness and for characters closely related to it. To the extent that the trait is heritable, later generations inherit a disproportionate number of genes acting additively on the trait, thus increasing genetic variance. For these reasons a selected population retains its ability to evolve. Of course, genes with large effect are also important. Conspicuous examples are the small number of loci that changed teosinte to maize, and major phylogenetic changes in the animal kingdom. The relative importance of these along with duplications, chromosome rearrangements, horizontal transmission and polyploidy

  18. Rapid, room-temperature synthesis of amorphous selenium/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shikuo; Shen, Yuhua; Xie, Anjian; Yu, Xuerong; Zhang, Xiuzhen; Yang, Liangbao; Li, Chuanhao

    2007-10-01

    We describe the formation of amorphous selenium (α-Se)/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract to reduce selenium ions (SeO32-) at room temperature. The reaction occurs rapidly and the process is simple and easy to handle. A protein with a molecular weight of 30 kDa extracted from Capsicum annuum L not only reduces the SeO32- ions to Se0, but also controls the nucleation and growth of Se0, and even participates in the formation of α-Se/protein composites. The size and shell thickness of the α-Se/protein composites increases with high Capsicum annuum L extract concentration, and decreases with low reaction solution pH. The results suggest that this eco-friendly, biogenic synthesis strategy could be widely used for preparing inorganic/organic biocomposites. In addition, we also discuss the possible mechanism of the reduction of SeO32- ions by Capsicum annuum L extract.

  19. A rapid and cost-effective fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT) method to analyze protein phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xiao; Gou, Jin-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications catalyzed by protein kinases in living organisms. The advance of genome sequencing provided the information of protein kinase families in many organisms, including both model and non-model plants. The development of proteomics technologies also enabled scientists to efficiently reveal a large number of protein phosphorylations of an organism. However, kinases and phosphorylation targets are still to be connected to illustrate the complicated network in life. Here we adapted Pro-Q ® Diamond (Pro-Q ® Diamond Phosphoprotein Gel Stain), a widely used phosphoprotein gel-staining fluorescence dye, to establish a rapid, economical and non-radioactive fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT) method to analyze phosphorylated proteins. Taking advantages of high sensitivity and specificity of Pro-Q ® diamond, the FDIT method is also demonstrated to be rapid and reliable, with a suitable linear range for in vitro protein phosphorylation. A significant and satisfactory protein kinase reaction was detected as fast as 15 min from Wheat Kinase START 1.1 (WKS1.1) on a thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase (tAPX), an established phosphorylation target in our earlier study. The FDIT method saves up to 95% of the dye consumed in a gel staining method. The FDIT method is remarkably quick, highly reproducible, unambiguous and capable to be scaled up to dozens of samples. The FDIT method could serve as a simple and sensitive alternative procedure to determine protein kinase reactions with zero radiation exposure, as a supplementation to other widely used radioactive and in-gel assays.

  20. A rapid and cost-effective fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT method to analyze protein phosphorylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Jin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications catalyzed by protein kinases in living organisms. The advance of genome sequencing provided the information of protein kinase families in many organisms, including both model and non-model plants. The development of proteomics technologies also enabled scientists to efficiently reveal a large number of protein phosphorylations of an organism. However, kinases and phosphorylation targets are still to be connected to illustrate the complicated network in life. Results Here we adapted Pro-Q® Diamond (Pro-Q® Diamond Phosphoprotein Gel Stain, a widely used phosphoprotein gel-staining fluorescence dye, to establish a rapid, economical and non-radioactive fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT method to analyze phosphorylated proteins. Taking advantages of high sensitivity and specificity of Pro-Q® diamond, the FDIT method is also demonstrated to be rapid and reliable, with a suitable linear range for in vitro protein phosphorylation. A significant and satisfactory protein kinase reaction was detected as fast as 15 min from Wheat Kinase START 1.1 (WKS1.1 on a thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase (tAPX, an established phosphorylation target in our earlier study. Conclusion The FDIT method saves up to 95% of the dye consumed in a gel staining method. The FDIT method is remarkably quick, highly reproducible, unambiguous and capable to be scaled up to dozens of samples. The FDIT method could serve as a simple and sensitive alternative procedure to determine protein kinase reactions with zero radiation exposure, as a supplementation to other widely used radioactive and in-gel assays.

  1. Rapid and label-free detection of protein a by aptamer-tethered porous silicon nanostructures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urmann, Katharina; Reich, Peggy; Walter, Johanna-Gabriela; Beckmann, Dieter; Segal, Ester; Scheper, Thomas

    2017-09-10

    Protein A, which is secreted by and displayed on the cell membrane of Staphylococcus aureus is an important biomarker for S. aureus. Thus, its rapid and specific detection may facilitate the pathogen identification and initiation of proper treatment. Herein, we present a simple, label-free and rapid optical biosensor enabling specific detection of protein A. Protein A-binding aptamer serves as the capture probe and is immobilized onto a nanostructured porous silicon thin film, which serves as the optical transducer element. We demonstrate high sensitivity of the biosensor with a linear detection range between 8 and 23μM. The apparent dissociation constant was determined as 13.98μM and the LoD is 3.17μM. Harnessing the affinity between protein A and antibodies, a sandwich assay format was developed to amplify the optical signal associated with protein A capture by the aptamer. Using this approach, we increase the sensitivity of the biosensor, resulting in a three times lower LoD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Rapid microscale in-gel processing and digestion of proteins using surface acoustic waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Ketav P; Ramarathinam, Sri H; Friend, James; Yeo, Leslie; Purcell, Anthony W; Perlmutter, Patrick

    2010-06-21

    A new method for in-gel sample processing and tryptic digestion of proteins is described. Sample preparation, rehydration, in situ digestion and peptide extraction from gel slices are dramatically accelerated by treating the gel slice with surface acoustic waves (SAWs). Only 30 minutes total workflow time is required for this new method to produce base peak chromatograms (BPCs) of similar coverage and intensity to those observed for traditional processing and overnight digestion. Simple set up, good reproducibility, excellent peptide recoveries, rapid turnover of samples and high confidence protein identifications put this technology at the fore-front of the next generation of proteomics sample processing tools.

  3. Rapid and accurate processing method for amide proton exchange rate measurement in proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koskela, Harri; Heikkinen, Outi; Kilpelaeinen, Ilkka; Heikkinen, Sami

    2007-01-01

    Exchange between protein backbone amide hydrogen and water gives relevant information about solvent accessibility and protein secondary structure stability. NMR spectroscopy provides a convenient tool to study these dynamic processes with saturation transfer experiments. Processing of this type of NMR spectra has traditionally required peak integration followed by exponential fitting, which can be tedious with large data sets. We propose here a computer-aided method that applies inverse Laplace transform in the exchange rate measurement. With this approach, the determination of exchange rates can be automated, and reliable results can be acquired rapidly without a need for manual processing

  4. The Ever-Evolving Concept of the Gene: The Use of RNA/Protein Experimental Techniques to Understand Genome Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cipriano

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The completion of the human genome sequence together with advances in sequencing technologies have shifted the paradigm of the genome, as composed of discrete and hereditable coding entities, and have shown the abundance of functional noncoding DNA. This part of the genome, previously dismissed as “junk” DNA, increases proportionally with organismal complexity and contributes to gene regulation beyond the boundaries of known protein-coding genes. Different classes of functionally relevant nonprotein-coding RNAs are transcribed from noncoding DNA sequences. Among them are the long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs, which are thought to participate in the basal regulation of protein-coding genes at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Although knowledge of this field is still limited, the ability of lncRNAs to localize in different cellular compartments, to fold into specific secondary structures and to interact with different molecules (RNA or proteins endows them with multiple regulatory mechanisms. It is becoming evident that lncRNAs may play a crucial role in most biological processes such as the control of development, differentiation and cell growth. This review places the evolution of the concept of the gene in its historical context, from Darwin's hypothetical mechanism of heredity to the post-genomic era. We discuss how the original idea of protein-coding genes as unique determinants of phenotypic traits has been reconsidered in light of the existence of noncoding RNAs. We summarize the technological developments which have been made in the genome-wide identification and study of lncRNAs and emphasize the methodologies that have aided our understanding of the complexity of lncRNA-protein interactions in recent years.

  5. Rapid Determination of Protein Solubility and Stability Conditions for NMR Studies Using Incomplete Factorial Design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ducat, Thierry; Declerck, Nathalie; Gostan, Thierry; Kochoyan, Michel; Demene, Helene

    2006-01-01

    Sample preparation constitutes a crucial and limiting step in structural studies of proteins by NMR. The determination of the solubility and stability (SAS) conditions of biomolecules at millimolar concentrations stays today empirical and hence time- and material-consuming. Only few studies have been recently done in this field and they have highlighted the interest of using crystallogenesis tools to optimise sample conditions. In this study, we have adapted a method based on incomplete factorial design and making use of crystallisation plates to quantify the influence of physico-chemical parameters such as buffer pH and salts on protein SAS. A description of the experimental set up and an evaluation of the method are given by case studies on two functional domains from the bacterial regulatory protein LicT as well as two other proteins. Using this method, we could rapidly determine optimised conditions for extracting soluble proteins from bacterial cells and for preparing purified protein samples sufficiently concentrated and stable for NMR characterisation. The drastic reduction in the time and number of experiments required for searching protein SAS conditions makes this method particularly well-adapted for a systematic investigation on a large range of physico-chemical parameters

  6. An evolved ribosome-inactivating protein targets and kills human melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green David E

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Few treatment options exist for patients with metastatic melanoma, resulting in poor prognosis. One standard treatment, dacarbazine (DTIC, shows low response rates ranging from 15 to 25 percent with an 8-month median survival time. The development of targeted therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action may improve patient outcome. Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs such as Shiga-like Toxin 1 (SLT-1 represent powerful scaffolds for developing selective anticancer agents. Here we report the discovery and properties of a single chain ribosome-inactivating protein (scRIP derived from the cytotoxic A subunit of SLT-1 (SLT-1A, harboring the 7-amino acid peptide insertion IYSNKLM (termed SLT-1AIYSNKLM allowing the toxin variant to selectively target and kill human melanoma cells. Results SLT-1AIYSNKLM was able to kill 7 of 8 human melanoma cell lines. This scRIP binds to 518-A2 human melanoma cells with a dissociation constant of 18 nM, resulting in the blockage of protein synthesis and apoptosis in such cells. Biodistribution and imaging studies of radiolabeled SLT-1AIYSNKLM administered intravenously into SCID mice bearing a human melanoma xenograft indicate that SLT-1AIYSNKLM readily accumulates at the tumor site as opposed to non-target tissues. Furthermore, the co-administration of SLT-1AIYSNKLM with DTIC resulted in tumor regression and greatly increased survival in this mouse xenograft model in comparison to DTIC or SLT-1AIYSNKLM treatment alone (115 day median survival versus 46 and 47 days respectively; P values IYSNKLM is stable in serum and its intravenous administration resulted in modest immune responses following repeated injections in CD1 mice. Conclusions These results demonstrate that the evolution of a scRIP template can lead to the discovery of novel cancer cell-targeted compounds and in the case of SLT-1AIYSNKLM can specifically kill human melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo.

  7. Bicistronic expression plasmid for the rapid production of recombinant fused proteins in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yero, Daniel; Pajón, Rolando; Niebla, Olivia; Sardiñas, Gretel; Vivar, Isbel; Perera, Yasser; García, Darien; Delgado, Maité; Cobas, Karem

    2006-04-01

    In the post-genomic era, every aspect of the production of proteins must be accelerated. In this way, several vectors are currently exploited for rapid production of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli. N-terminal fusions to the first 47 amino acids of the LpdA (dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase A) protein of Neisseria meningitidis have been shown to increase the expression of recombinant proteins. Consequently, we have constructed a modified N-terminal LpdA fusion vector, introducing the blue/white colony selection by exploiting a bicistronic gene organization. In the new vector, the sequence encoding the first 47 amino acids of meningococcal LpdA and the alpha-peptide sequence of beta-galactosidase were connected via a ribosome-binding site, and two MCSs (multiple cloning sites) were located surrounding the latter, allowing efficient cloning by colour selection of recombinants. The vector was also improved with the addition of a C-terminal polyhistidine tag, and an EKS (enterokinase recognition sequence) immediately after the LpdA fusion sequence. The new plasmid was employed in the expression and purification of six different bacterial polypeptides. One of these recombinant proteins, P6 protein from Haemophilus influenzae, was used as a model and its N-terminal fusion sequence was totally removed from the recombinant version after incubation with the enterokinase protease, while the polyhistidine tail successfully allowed the purification of the unfused protein from the protease reaction. Two completely new neisserial vaccine candidates, NMB0088 and NMB1126 proteins, were cloned, expressed and purified using this system. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of the cloning and expression of these proteins in E. coli.

  8. Super: a web server to rapidly screen superposable oligopeptide fragments from the protein data bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, James H.; Lesk, Arthur M.; Garcia de la Banda, Maria; Konagurthu, Arun S.

    2012-01-01

    Searching for well-fitting 3D oligopeptide fragments within a large collection of protein structures is an important task central to many analyses involving protein structures. This article reports a new web server, Super, dedicated to the task of rapidly screening the protein data bank (PDB) to identify all fragments that superpose with a query under a prespecified threshold of root-mean-square deviation (RMSD). Super relies on efficiently computing a mathematical bound on the commonly used structural similarity measure, RMSD of superposition. This allows the server to filter out a large proportion of fragments that are unrelated to the query; >99% of the total number of fragments in some cases. For a typical query, Super scans the current PDB containing over 80 500 structures (with ∼40 million potential oligopeptide fragments to match) in under a minute. Super web server is freely accessible from: http://lcb.infotech.monash.edu.au/super. PMID:22638586

  9. Flow induced dispersion analysis rapidly quantifies proteins in human plasma samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Nicklas N; Andersen, Nina Z; Østergaard, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    Rapid and sensitive quantification of protein based biomarkers and drugs is a substantial challenge in diagnostics and biopharmaceutical drug development. Current technologies, such as ELISA, are characterized by being slow (hours), requiring relatively large amounts of sample and being subject...... to cumbersome and expensive assay development. In this work a new approach for quantification based on changes in diffusivity is presented. The apparent diffusivity of an indicator molecule interacting with the protein of interest is determined by Taylor Dispersion Analysis (TDA) in a hydrodynamic flow system...... in a blood plasma matrix), fully automated, and being subject to a simple assay development. FIDA is demonstrated for quantification of the protein Human Serum Albumin (HSA) in human plasma as well as for quantification of an antibody against HSA. The sensitivity of the FIDA assay depends on the indicator...

  10. A Simple and Rapid Method for Preparing a Cell-Free Bacterial Lysate for Protein Synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitzan Krinsky

    Full Text Available Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS systems are important laboratory tools that are used for various synthetic biology applications. Here, we present a simple and inexpensive laboratory-scale method for preparing a CFPS system from E. coli. The procedure uses basic lab equipment, a minimal set of reagents, and requires less than one hour to process the bacterial cell mass into a functional S30-T7 extract. BL21(DE3 and MRE600 E. coli strains were used to prepare the S30-T7 extract. The CFPS system was used to produce a set of fluorescent and therapeutic proteins of different molecular weights (up to 66 kDa. This system was able to produce 40-150 μg-protein/ml, with variations depending on the plasmid type, expressed protein and E. coli strain. Interestingly, the BL21-based CFPS exhibited stability and increased activity at 40 and 45°C. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most rapid and affordable lab-scale protocol for preparing a cell-free protein synthesis system, with high thermal stability and efficacy in producing therapeutic proteins.

  11. A Simple and Rapid Method for Preparing a Cell-Free Bacterial Lysate for Protein Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaduri, Maya; Shainsky-Roitman, Janna; Goldfeder, Mor; Ivanir, Eran; Benhar, Itai; Shoham, Yuval; Schroeder, Avi

    2016-01-01

    Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) systems are important laboratory tools that are used for various synthetic biology applications. Here, we present a simple and inexpensive laboratory-scale method for preparing a CFPS system from E. coli. The procedure uses basic lab equipment, a minimal set of reagents, and requires less than one hour to process the bacterial cell mass into a functional S30-T7 extract. BL21(DE3) and MRE600 E. coli strains were used to prepare the S30-T7 extract. The CFPS system was used to produce a set of fluorescent and therapeutic proteins of different molecular weights (up to 66 kDa). This system was able to produce 40–150 μg-protein/ml, with variations depending on the plasmid type, expressed protein and E. coli strain. Interestingly, the BL21-based CFPS exhibited stability and increased activity at 40 and 45°C. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most rapid and affordable lab-scale protocol for preparing a cell-free protein synthesis system, with high thermal stability and efficacy in producing therapeutic proteins. PMID:27768741

  12. Covalently coating dextran on macroporous polyglycidyl methacrylate microsphere enabled rapid protein chromatographic separation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Rongyue; Li, Qiang; Li, Juan; Zhou, Weiqing; Ye, Peili; Gao, Yang; Ma, Guanghui, E-mail: ghma@home.ipe.ac.cn; Su, Zhiguo

    2012-12-01

    Protein denaturation and nonspecific adsorption on polymer media as a chromatographic support have been a problem which needs to be overcome. Macroporous poly(glycidyl methacrylate-divinylbezene) (PGMA-DVB) microspheres prepared in this study were firstly covalently coated with dextran through a three-step method. The dextran was firstly adsorbed onto the microspheres and then covalently bound to the PGMA-DVB microsphere through ether bonds which were formed by hydroxyl group reacting with epoxy group at the presence of 4-(Dimethylamino) pyridine. Finally, the coating dextran layer was crosslinked by ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether to form the continuous network coating. The coated microspheres were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra, scanning electron microscope, mercury porosimetry measurements, laser scanning confocal microscope, and protein adsorption experiments. Results showed that PGMA-DVB microspheres coated with dextran successfully maintained the macroporous structure and high permeability. The backpressure was only 1.69 MPa at a high flow rate of 2891 cm/h. Consequently, the hydrophilicity and biocompatibility of modified microspheres were greatly improved, and the contact angle decreased from 184 Degree-Sign to 13 Degree-Sign , and nonspecific adsorption of proteins was decreased to little or none. The clad dextran coating with large amounts of hydroxyl group was easily derived to be various functional groups. The derived media have great potential applications in rapid protein chromatography. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Macroporous PGMA-DVB microspheres were covalently coated with dextran. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The hydrophilicity of the coated microspheres was significantly improved. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The irreversible adsorption of proteins was reduced to zero. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The coated microspheres can maintain the macropore structure. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The coated microspheres

  13. Covalently coating dextran on macroporous polyglycidyl methacrylate microsphere enabled rapid protein chromatographic separation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Rongyue; Li, Qiang; Li, Juan; Zhou, Weiqing; Ye, Peili; Gao, Yang; Ma, Guanghui; Su, Zhiguo

    2012-01-01

    Protein denaturation and nonspecific adsorption on polymer media as a chromatographic support have been a problem which needs to be overcome. Macroporous poly(glycidyl methacrylate–divinylbezene) (PGMA–DVB) microspheres prepared in this study were firstly covalently coated with dextran through a three-step method. The dextran was firstly adsorbed onto the microspheres and then covalently bound to the PGMA–DVB microsphere through ether bonds which were formed by hydroxyl group reacting with epoxy group at the presence of 4-(Dimethylamino) pyridine. Finally, the coating dextran layer was crosslinked by ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether to form the continuous network coating. The coated microspheres were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra, scanning electron microscope, mercury porosimetry measurements, laser scanning confocal microscope, and protein adsorption experiments. Results showed that PGMA–DVB microspheres coated with dextran successfully maintained the macroporous structure and high permeability. The backpressure was only 1.69 MPa at a high flow rate of 2891 cm/h. Consequently, the hydrophilicity and biocompatibility of modified microspheres were greatly improved, and the contact angle decreased from 184° to 13°, and nonspecific adsorption of proteins was decreased to little or none. The clad dextran coating with large amounts of hydroxyl group was easily derived to be various functional groups. The derived media have great potential applications in rapid protein chromatography. - Highlights: ► Macroporous PGMA–DVB microspheres were covalently coated with dextran. ► The hydrophilicity of the coated microspheres was significantly improved. ► The irreversible adsorption of proteins was reduced to zero. ► The coated microspheres can maintain the macropore structure. ► The coated microspheres were applied to rapid protein separation.

  14. The NS3 proteins of global strains of bluetongue virus evolve into regional topotypes through negative (purifying) selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasuriya, U B R; Nadler, S A; Wilson, W C; Pritchard, L I; Smythe, A B; Savini, G; Monaco, F; De Santis, P; Zhang, N; Tabachnick, W J; Maclachlan, N J

    2008-01-01

    Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of the genes (S10) encoding the NS3 protein of 137 strains of bluetongue virus (BTV) from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and the Mediterranean Basin showed limited variation. Common to all NS3 sequences were potential glycosylation sites at amino acid residues 63 and 150 and a cysteine at residue 137, whereas a cysteine at residue 181 was not conserved. The PPXY and PS/TAP late-domain motifs were conserved in all but three of the viruses. Phylogenetic analyses of these same sequences yielded two principal clades that grouped the viruses irrespective of their serotype or year of isolation (1900-2003). All viruses from Asia and Australia were grouped in one clade, whereas those from the other regions were present in both clades. Each clade segregated into distinct subclades that included viruses from single or multiple regions, and the S10 genes of some field viruses were identical to those of live-attenuated BTV vaccines. There was no evidence of positive selection on the S10 gene as assessed by reconstruction of ancestral codon states on the phylogeny, rather the functional constraints of the NS3 protein are expressed through substantial negative (purifying) selection.

  15. Variability among the Most Rapidly Evolving Plastid Genomic Regions is Lineage-Specific: Implications of Pairwise Genome Comparisons in Pyrus (Rosaceae) and Other Angiosperms for Marker Choice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter-Voskanyan, Hasmik; Allgaier, Martin; Borsch, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Plastid genomes exhibit different levels of variability in their sequences, depending on the respective kinds of genomic regions. Genes are usually more conserved while noncoding introns and spacers evolve at a faster pace. While a set of about thirty maximum variable noncoding genomic regions has been suggested to provide universally promising phylogenetic markers throughout angiosperms, applications often require several regions to be sequenced for many individuals. Our project aims to illuminate evolutionary relationships and species-limits in the genus Pyrus (Rosaceae)—a typical case with very low genetic distances between taxa. In this study, we have sequenced the plastid genome of Pyrus spinosa and aligned it to the already available P. pyrifolia sequence. The overall p-distance of the two Pyrus genomes was 0.00145. The intergenic spacers between ndhC–trnV, trnR–atpA, ndhF–rpl32, psbM–trnD, and trnQ–rps16 were the most variable regions, also comprising the highest total numbers of substitutions, indels and inversions (potentially informative characters). Our comparative analysis of further plastid genome pairs with similar low p-distances from Oenothera (representing another rosid), Olea (asterids) and Cymbidium (monocots) showed in each case a different ranking of genomic regions in terms of variability and potentially informative characters. Only two intergenic spacers (ndhF–rpl32 and trnK–rps16) were consistently found among the 30 top-ranked regions. We have mapped the occurrence of substitutions and microstructural mutations in the four genome pairs. High AT content in specific sequence elements seems to foster frequent mutations. We conclude that the variability among the fastest evolving plastid genomic regions is lineage-specific and thus cannot be precisely predicted across angiosperms. The often lineage-specific occurrence of stem-loop elements in the sequences of introns and spacers also governs lineage-specific mutations

  16. Variability among the most rapidly evolving plastid genomic regions is lineage-specific: implications of pairwise genome comparisons in Pyrus (Rosaceae and other angiosperms for marker choice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Korotkova

    Full Text Available Plastid genomes exhibit different levels of variability in their sequences, depending on the respective kinds of genomic regions. Genes are usually more conserved while noncoding introns and spacers evolve at a faster pace. While a set of about thirty maximum variable noncoding genomic regions has been suggested to provide universally promising phylogenetic markers throughout angiosperms, applications often require several regions to be sequenced for many individuals. Our project aims to illuminate evolutionary relationships and species-limits in the genus Pyrus (Rosaceae-a typical case with very low genetic distances between taxa. In this study, we have sequenced the plastid genome of Pyrus spinosa and aligned it to the already available P. pyrifolia sequence. The overall p-distance of the two Pyrus genomes was 0.00145. The intergenic spacers between ndhC-trnV, trnR-atpA, ndhF-rpl32, psbM-trnD, and trnQ-rps16 were the most variable regions, also comprising the highest total numbers of substitutions, indels and inversions (potentially informative characters. Our comparative analysis of further plastid genome pairs with similar low p-distances from Oenothera (representing another rosid, Olea (asterids and Cymbidium (monocots showed in each case a different ranking of genomic regions in terms of variability and potentially informative characters. Only two intergenic spacers (ndhF-rpl32 and trnK-rps16 were consistently found among the 30 top-ranked regions. We have mapped the occurrence of substitutions and microstructural mutations in the four genome pairs. High AT content in specific sequence elements seems to foster frequent mutations. We conclude that the variability among the fastest evolving plastid genomic regions is lineage-specific and thus cannot be precisely predicted across angiosperms. The often lineage-specific occurrence of stem-loop elements in the sequences of introns and spacers also governs lineage-specific mutations. Sequencing

  17. Rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian R Voolstra

    Full Text Available Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures, pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably.We screened a set of 2,604 putative orthologs from EST-based sequence datasets of the coral species Acropora millepora and Acropora palmata to determine the fraction and identity of proteins that may experience adaptive evolution. 7% of the orthologs show elevated rates of evolution. Taxonomically-restricted (i.e. lineage-specific genes show a positive selection signature more frequently than genes that are found across many animal phyla. The class of proteins that displayed elevated evolutionary rates was significantly enriched for proteins involved in immunity and defense, reproduction, and sensory perception. We also found elevated rates of evolution in several other functional groups such as management of membrane vesicles, transmembrane transport of ions and organic molecules, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress response. Proteins in these processes might be related to the endosymbiotic relationship corals maintain with dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium.This study provides a birds-eye view of the processes potentially underlying coral adaptation, which will serve as a foundation for future work to elucidate the rates, patterns, and mechanisms of corals' evolutionary response to global climate change.

  18. Rapid Evolution of Coral Proteins Responsible for Interaction with the Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voolstra, Christian R.; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Matz, Mikhail V.; Bayer, Till; Aranda, Manuel; Buschiazzo, Emmanuel; DeSalvo, Michael K.; Lindquist, Erika; Szmant, Alina M.; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Monica

    2011-01-31

    Background: Corals worldwide are in decline due to climate change effects (e.g., rising seawater temperatures), pollution, and exploitation. The ability of corals to cope with these stressors in the long run depends on the evolvability of the underlying genetic networks and proteins, which remain largely unknown. A genome-wide scan for positively selected genes between related coral species can help to narrow down the search space considerably. Methodology/Principal Findings: We screened a set of 2,604 putative orthologs from EST-based sequence datasets of the coral species Acropora millepora and Acropora palmata to determine the fraction and identity of proteins that may experience adaptive evolution. 7percent of the orthologs show elevated rates of evolution. Taxonomically-restricted (i.e. lineagespecific) genes show a positive selection signature more frequently than genes that are found across many animal phyla. The class of proteins that displayed elevated evolutionary rates was significantly enriched for proteins involved in immunity and defense, reproduction, and sensory perception. We also found elevated rates of evolution in several other functional groups such as management of membrane vesicles, transmembrane transport of ions and organic molecules, cell adhesion, and oxidative stress response. Proteins in these processes might be related to the endosymbiotic relationship corals maintain with dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Conclusion/Relevance: This study provides a birds-eye view of the processes potentially underlying coral adaptation, which will serve as a foundation for future work to elucidate the rates, patterns, and mechanisms of corals? evolutionary response to global climate change.

  19. Rapid labeling of intracellular His-tagged proteins in living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Yau-Tsz; Chang, Yuen-Yan; Hu, Ligang; Yang, Ya; Chao, Ailun; Du, Zhi-Yan; Tanner, Julian A; Chye, Mee-Len; Qian, Chengmin; Ng, Kwan-Ming; Li, Hongyan; Sun, Hongzhe

    2015-03-10

    Small molecule-based fluorescent probes have been used for real-time visualization of live cells and tracking of various cellular events with minimal perturbation on the cells being investigated. Given the wide utility of the (histidine)6-Ni(2+)-nitrilotriacetate (Ni-NTA) system in protein purification, there is significant interest in fluorescent Ni(2+)-NTA-based probes. Unfortunately, previous Ni-NTA-based probes suffer from poor membrane permeability and cannot label intracellular proteins. Here, we report the design and synthesis of, to our knowledge, the first membrane-permeable fluorescent probe Ni-NTA-AC via conjugation of NTA with fluorophore and arylazide followed by coordination with Ni(2+) ions. The probe, driven by Ni(2+)-NTA, binds specifically to His-tags genetically fused to proteins and subsequently forms a covalent bond upon photoactivation of the arylazide, leading to a 13-fold fluorescence enhancement. The arylazide is indispensable not only for fluorescence enhancement, but also for strengthening the binding between the probe and proteins. Significantly, the Ni-NTA-AC probe can rapidly enter different types of cells, even plant tissues, to target His-tagged proteins. Using this probe, we visualized the subcellular localization of a DNA repair protein, Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA122), which is known to be mainly enriched in the nucleus. We also demonstrated that the probe can image a genetically engineered His-tagged protein in plant tissues. This study thus offers a new opportunity for in situ visualization of large libraries of His-tagged proteins in various prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  20. Specific changes in rapidly transported proteins during regeneration of the goldfish optic nerve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benowitz, L.I.; Shashoua, V.E.; Yoon, M.G.

    1981-01-01

    Double labeling methods were used to identify changes in the complement of proteins synthesized in the retinal ganglion cells and transported down the optic nerve during the process of axonal regeneration. Eight to 62 days after goldfish underwent a unilateral optic nerve crush, one eye was labeled with [3H]-, the other with [14C]proline. Control and regenerating optic nerves were dissected out and homogenized together after 5 hr, a time which allowed us to examine selectively membrane-bound components which migrate in the rapid phase of axoplasmic transport. Proteins from the two sides were so-purified and separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Analysis of the 3H and 14C incorporation patterns along the gels revealed a radical shift away from the normal labeling spectrum during regeneration, with selective changes in labeling at particular molecular weights varying over a 3-fold range. Eight days after crushing the optic nerve, the greatest increases in labeling were seen for material with apparent molecular weights of 24,000 to 27,000, 44,000, and 210,000 daltons. These peaks declined thereafter, and on days 29 to 39, the most prominent increases were at 110,000 to 140,000 daltons. These studies indicate a continuously changing pattern in the synthesis and/or degradation of proteins that are rapidly transported down the optic nerve during regeneration and point to molecular species potential significance in the establishment of the visual map upon the brain

  1. Rapid, Labile, and Protein Synthesis– Independent Short-Term Memory in Conditioned Taste Aversion

    OpenAIRE

    Houpt, Thomas A.; Berlin, RoseAnn

    1999-01-01

    Short-term memory is a rapid, labile, and protein-synthesis-independent phase of memory. The existence of short-term memory in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) learning has not been demonstrated formally. To determine the earliest time at which a CTA is expressed, we measured intraoral intake of sucrose at 15 min, 1 hr, 6 hr, or 48 h after contingent pairing of an intraoral infusion of 5% sucrose (6.6 ml over 6 min) and toxic lithium chloride injection (76 mg/kg). Rats were implanted with int...

  2. Cell-free protein synthesis enabled rapid prototyping for metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihong Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have facilitated the manufacturing of many valuable-added compounds and commodity chemicals using microbial cell factories in the past decade. However, due to complexity of cellular metabolism, the optimization of metabolic pathways for maximal production represents a grand challenge and an unavoidable barrier for metabolic engineering. Recently, cell-free protein synthesis system (CFPS has been emerging as an enabling alternative to address challenges in biomanufacturing. This review summarizes the recent progresses of CFPS in rapid prototyping of biosynthetic pathways and genetic circuits (biosensors to speed up design-build-test (DBT cycles of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Keywords: Cell-free protein synthesis, Metabolic pathway optimization, Genetic circuits, Metabolic engineering, Synthetic biology

  3. Direct, Specific and Rapid Detection of Staphylococcal Proteins and Exotoxins Using a Multiplex Antibody Microarray.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Stieber

    Full Text Available S. aureus is a pathogen in humans and animals that harbors a wide variety of virulence factors and resistance genes. This bacterium can cause a wide range of mild to life-threatening diseases. In the latter case, fast diagnostic procedures are important. In routine diagnostic laboratories, several genotypic and phenotypic methods are available to identify S. aureus strains and determine their resistances. However, there is a demand for multiplex routine diagnostic tests to directly detect staphylococcal toxins and proteins.In this study, an antibody microarray based assay was established and validated for the rapid detection of staphylococcal markers and exotoxins. The following targets were included: staphylococcal protein A, penicillin binding protein 2a, alpha- and beta-hemolysins, Panton Valentine leukocidin, toxic shock syndrome toxin, enterotoxins A and B as well as staphylokinase. All were detected simultaneously within a single experiment, starting from a clonal culture on standard media. The detection of bound proteins was performed using a new fluorescence reading device for microarrays.110 reference strains and clinical isolates were analyzed using this assay, with a DNA microarray for genotypic characterization performed in parallel. The results showed a general high concordance of genotypic and phenotypic data. However, genotypic analysis found the hla gene present in all S. aureus isolates but its expression under given conditions depended on the clonal complex affiliation of the actual isolate.The multiplex antibody assay described herein allowed a rapid and reliable detection of clinically relevant staphylococcal toxins as well as resistance- and species-specific markers.

  4. Rapid alterations of cell cycle control proteins in human T lymphocytes in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiel Cora S

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In our study we aimed to identify rapidly reacting gravity-responsive mechanisms in mammalian cells in order to understand if and how altered gravity is translated into a cellular response. In a combination of experiments using "functional weightlessness" provided by 2D-clinostats and real microgravity provided by several parabolic flight campaigns and compared to in-flight-1g-controls, we identified rapid gravity-responsive reactions inside the cell cycle regulatory machinery of human T lymphocytes. In response to 2D clinorotation, we detected an enhanced expression of p21 Waf1/Cip1 protein within minutes, less cdc25C protein expression and enhanced Ser147-phosphorylation of cyclinB1 after CD3/CD28 stimulation. Additionally, during 2D clinorotation, Tyr-15-phosphorylation occurred later and was shorter than in the 1 g controls. In CD3/CD28-stimulated primary human T cells, mRNA expression of the cell cycle arrest protein p21 increased 4.1-fold after 20s real microgravity in primary CD4+ T cells and 2.9-fold in Jurkat T cells, compared to 1 g in-flight controls after CD3/CD28 stimulation. The histone acetyltransferase (HAT inhibitor curcumin was able to abrogate microgravity-induced p21 mRNA expression, whereas expression was enhanced by a histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor. Therefore, we suppose that cell cycle progression in human T lymphocytes requires Earth gravity and that the disturbed expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins could contribute to the breakdown of the human immune system in space.

  5. Rapid measurement of residual dipolar couplings for fast fold elucidation of proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasia, Rodolfo M. [Jean-Pierre Ebel CNRS/CEA/UJF, Institut de Biologie Structurale (France); Lescop, Ewen [CNRS, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (France); Palatnik, Javier F. [Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Rosario, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquimicas y Farmaceuticas (Argentina); Boisbouvier, Jerome, E-mail: jerome.boisbouvier@ibs.fr; Brutscher, Bernhard, E-mail: Bernhard.brutscher@ibs.fr [Jean-Pierre Ebel CNRS/CEA/UJF, Institut de Biologie Structurale (France)

    2011-11-15

    It has been demonstrated that protein folds can be determined using appropriate computational protocols with NMR chemical shifts as the sole source of experimental restraints. While such approaches are very promising they still suffer from low convergence resulting in long computation times to achieve accurate results. Here we present a suite of time- and sensitivity optimized NMR experiments for rapid measurement of up to six RDCs per residue. Including such an RDC data set, measured in less than 24 h on a single aligned protein sample, greatly improves convergence of the Rosetta-NMR protocol, allowing for overnight fold calculation of small proteins. We demonstrate the performance of our fast fold calculation approach for ubiquitin as a test case, and for two RNA-binding domains of the plant protein HYL1. Structure calculations based on simulated RDC data highlight the importance of an accurate and precise set of several complementary RDCs as additional input restraints for high-quality de novo structure determination.

  6. Rapid, room-temperature synthesis of amorphous selenium/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Shikuo; Shen Yuhua; Xie Anjian; Yu Xuerong; Zhang Xiuzhen; Yang Liangbao; Li Chuanhao [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230039 (China)

    2007-10-10

    We describe the formation of amorphous selenium ({alpha}-Se)/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract to reduce selenium ions (SeO{sub 3}{sup 2-}) at room temperature. The reaction occurs rapidly and the process is simple and easy to handle. A protein with a molecular weight of 30 kDa extracted from Capsicum annuum L not only reduces the SeO{sub 3}{sup 2-} ions to Se{sup 0}, but also controls the nucleation and growth of Se{sup 0}, and even participates in the formation of {alpha}-Se/protein composites. The size and shell thickness of the {alpha}-Se/protein composites increases with high Capsicum annuum L extract concentration, and decreases with low reaction solution pH. The results suggest that this eco-friendly, biogenic synthesis strategy could be widely used for preparing inorganic/organic biocomposites. In addition, we also discuss the possible mechanism of the reduction of SeO{sub 3}{sup 2-} ions by Capsicum annuum L extract.

  7. Rapid, room-temperature synthesis of amorphous selenium/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Shikuo; Shen Yuhua; Xie Anjian; Yu Xuerong; Zhang Xiuzhen; Yang Liangbao; Li Chuanhao

    2007-01-01

    We describe the formation of amorphous selenium (α-Se)/protein composites using Capsicum annuum L extract to reduce selenium ions (SeO 3 2- ) at room temperature. The reaction occurs rapidly and the process is simple and easy to handle. A protein with a molecular weight of 30 kDa extracted from Capsicum annuum L not only reduces the SeO 3 2- ions to Se 0 , but also controls the nucleation and growth of Se 0 , and even participates in the formation of α-Se/protein composites. The size and shell thickness of the α-Se/protein composites increases with high Capsicum annuum L extract concentration, and decreases with low reaction solution pH. The results suggest that this eco-friendly, biogenic synthesis strategy could be widely used for preparing inorganic/organic biocomposites. In addition, we also discuss the possible mechanism of the reduction of SeO 3 2- ions by Capsicum annuum L extract

  8. Imaging metals in proteins by combining electrophoresis with rapid x-ray fluorescence mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finney, L.; Chishti, Y.; Khare, T.; Giometti, C.; Levina, A.; Lay, P.A.; Vogt, S.

    2010-01-01

    Growing evidence points toward a very dynamic role for metals in biology. This suggests that physiological circumstance may mandate metal ion redistribution among ligands. This work addresses a critical need for technology that detects, identifies, and measures the metal-containing components of complex biological matrixes. We describe a direct, user-friendly approach for identifying and quantifying metal?protein adducts in complex samples using native- or SDS-PAGE, blotting, and rapid synchrotron X-ray fluorescence mapping with micro-XANES (X-ray absorption near-edge structure) of entire blots. The identification and quantification of each metal bound to a protein spot has been demonstrated, and the technique has been applied in two exemplary cases. In the first, the speciation of the in vitro binding of exogenous chromium to blood serum proteins was influenced markedly by both the oxidation state of chromium exposed to the serum proteins and the treatment conditions, which is of relevance to the biochemistry of Cr dietary supplements. In the second case, in vivo changes in endogenous metal speciation were examined to probe the influence of oxygen depletion on iron speciation in Shewanella oneidensis.

  9. Rapid identification of fluorochrome modification sites in proteins by LC ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikwar, Prakash; Zimmerman, Tahl; Blanco, Francisco J; Williams, Todd D; Siahaan, Teruna J

    2011-07-20

    Conjugation of either a fluorescent dye or a drug molecule to the ε-amino groups of lysine residues of proteins has many applications in biology and medicine. However, this type of conjugation produces a heterogeneous population of protein conjugates. Because conjugation of fluorochrome or drug molecule to a protein may have deleterious effects on protein function, the identification of conjugation sites is necessary. Unfortunately, the identification process can be time-consuming and laborious; therefore, there is a need to develop a rapid and reliable way to determine the conjugation sites of the fluorescent label or drug molecule. In this study, the sites of conjugation of fluorescein-5'-isothiocyanate and rhodamine-B-isothiocyanate to free amino groups on the insert-domain (I-domain) protein derived from the α-subunit of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) were determined by electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF MS) along with peptide mapping using trypsin digestion. A reporter fragment of the fluorochrome moiety that is generated in the collision cell of the Q-TOF without explicit MS/MS precursor selection was used to identify the conjugation site. Selected ion plots of the reporter ion readily mark modified peptides in chromatograms of the complex digest. Interrogation of theses spectra reveals a neutral loss/precursor pair that identifies the modified peptide. The results show that one to seven fluorescein molecules or one to four rhodamine molecules were attached to the lysine residue(s) of the I-domain protein. No modifications were found in the metal ion-dependent adhesion site (MIDAS), which is an important binding region of the I-domain.

  10. TRDistiller: a rapid filter for enrichment of sequence datasets with proteins containing tandem repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, François D; Kajava, Andrey V

    2014-06-01

    The dramatic growth of sequencing data evokes an urgent need to improve bioinformatics tools for large-scale proteome analysis. Over the last two decades, the foremost efforts of computer scientists were devoted to proteins with aperiodic sequences having globular 3D structures. However, a large portion of proteins contain periodic sequences representing arrays of repeats that are directly adjacent to each other (so called tandem repeats or TRs). These proteins frequently fold into elongated fibrous structures carrying different fundamental functions. Algorithms specific to the analysis of these regions are urgently required since the conventional approaches developed for globular domains have had limited success when applied to the TR regions. The protein TRs are frequently not perfect, containing a number of mutations, and some of them cannot be easily identified. To detect such "hidden" repeats several algorithms have been developed. However, the most sensitive among them are time-consuming and, therefore, inappropriate for large scale proteome analysis. To speed up the TR detection we developed a rapid filter that is based on the comparison of composition and order of short strings in the adjacent sequence motifs. Tests show that our filter discards up to 22.5% of proteins which are known to be without TRs while keeping almost all (99.2%) TR-containing sequences. Thus, we are able to decrease the size of the initial sequence dataset enriching it with TR-containing proteins which allows a faster subsequent TR detection by other methods. The program is available upon request. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Comparative sequence analysis of Solanum and Arabidopsis in a hot spot for pathogen resistance on potato chromosome V reveals a patchwork of conserved and rapidly evolving genome segments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruggmann Rémy

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quantitative phenotypic variation of agronomic characters in crop plants is controlled by environmental and genetic factors (quantitative trait loci = QTL. To understand the molecular basis of such QTL, the identification of the underlying genes is of primary interest and DNA sequence analysis of the genomic regions harboring QTL is a prerequisite for that. QTL mapping in potato (Solanum tuberosum has identified a region on chromosome V tagged by DNA markers GP21 and GP179, which contains a number of important QTL, among others QTL for resistance to late blight caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans and to root cyst nematodes. Results To obtain genomic sequence for the targeted region on chromosome V, two local BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome contigs were constructed and sequenced, which corresponded to parts of the homologous chromosomes of the diploid, heterozygous genotype P6/210. Two contiguous sequences of 417,445 and 202,781 base pairs were assembled and annotated. Gene-by-gene co-linearity was disrupted by non-allelic insertions of retrotransposon elements, stretches of diverged intergenic sequences, differences in gene content and gene order. The latter was caused by inversion of a 70 kbp genomic fragment. These features were also found in comparison to orthologous sequence contigs from three homeologous chromosomes of Solanum demissum, a wild tuber bearing species. Functional annotation of the sequence identified 48 putative open reading frames (ORF in one contig and 22 in the other, with an average of one ORF every 9 kbp. Ten ORFs were classified as resistance-gene-like, 11 as F-box-containing genes, 13 as transposable elements and three as transcription factors. Comparing potato to Arabidopsis thaliana annotated proteins revealed five micro-syntenic blocks of three to seven ORFs with A. thaliana chromosomes 1, 3 and 5. Conclusion Comparative sequence analysis revealed highly conserved collinear regions

  12. Rapid and Efficient Protein Digestion using Trypsin Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles under Pressure Cycles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Byoungsoo; Lopez-Ferrer, Daniel; Kim, Byoung Chan; Na, Hyon Bin; Park, Yong Il; Weitz, Karl K.; Warner, Marvin G.; Hyeon, Taeghwan; Lee, Sang-Won; Smith, Richard D.; Kim, Jungbae

    2011-01-01

    Trypsin-coated magnetic nanoparticles (EC-TR/NPs), prepared via a simple crosslinking of the enzyme to magnetic nanoparticles, were highly stable and could be easily captured using a magnet after the digestion was complete. EC-TR/NPs showed a negligible loss of trypsin activity after multiple uses and continuous shaking, while a control sample of covalently-attached trypsin on NPs resulted in a rapid inactivation under the same conditions due to the denaturation and autolysis of trypsin. Digestions were carried out on a single model protein, a five protein mixture, and a whole mouse brain proteome, and also compared for digestion at atmospheric pressure and 37 ºC for 12 h, and in combination with pressure cycling technology (PCT) at room temperature for 1 min. In all cases, the EC-TR/NPs performed equally as well or better than free trypsin in terms of the number of peptide/protein identifications and reproducibility across technical replicates. However, the concomitant use of EC-TR/NPs and PCT resulted in very fast (~1 min) and more reproducible digestions.

  13. Rapid generation of protein aerosols and nanoparticles via surface acoustic wave atomization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez, Mar; Friend, James; Yeo, Leslie Y

    2008-01-01

    We describe the fabrication of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) atomizer and show its ability to generate monodisperse aerosols and particles for drug delivery applications. In particular, we demonstrate the generation of insulin liquid aerosols for pulmonary delivery and solid protein nanoparticles for transdermal and gastrointestinal delivery routes using 20 MHz SAW devices. Insulin droplets around 3 μm were obtained, matching the optimum range for maximizing absorption in the alveolar region. A new approach is provided to explain these atomized droplet diameters by returning to fundamental physical analysis and considering viscous-capillary and inertial-capillary force balance rather than employing modifications to the Kelvin equation under the assumption of parametric forcing that has been extended to these frequencies in past investigations. In addition, we consider possible mechanisms by which the droplet ejections take place with the aid of high-speed flow visualization. Finally, we show that nanoscale protein particles (50-100 nm in diameter) were obtained through an evaporative process of the initial aerosol, the final size of which could be controlled merely by modifying the initial protein concentration. These results illustrate the feasibility of using SAW as a novel method for rapidly producing particles and droplets with a controlled and narrow size distribution.

  14. Rapid micro-scale proteolysis of proteins for MALDI-MS peptide mapping using immobilized trypsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobom, Johan; Nordhoff, Eckhard; Ekman, Rolf; Roepstorff, Peter

    1997-12-01

    In this study we present a rapid method for tryptic digestion of proteins using micro-columns with enzyme immobilized on perfusion chromatography media. The performance of the method is exemplified with acyl-CoA-binding protein and reduced carbamidomethylated bovine serum albumin. The method proved to be significantly faster and yielded a better sequence coverage and an improved signal-to-noise ratio for the MALDI-MS peptide maps, compared to in-solution- and on-target digestion. Only a single sample transfer step is required, and therefore sample loss due to adsorption to surfaces is reduced, which is a critical issue when handling low picomole to femtomole amounts of proteins. An example is shown with on-column proteolytic digestion and subsequent elution of the digest into a reversed-phase micro-column. This is useful if the sample contains large amounts of salt or is too diluted for MALDI-MS analysis. Furthermore, by step-wise elution from the reversedphase column, a complex digest can be fractionated, which reduces signal suppression and facilitates data interpretation in the subsequent MS-analysis. The method also proved useful for consecutive digestions with enzymes of different cleavage specificity. This is exemplified with on-column tryptic digestion, followed by reversed-phase step-wise elution, and subsequent on-target V8 protease digestion.

  15. Vibratory Reaction Unit for the Rapid Analysis of Proteins and Glycochains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukie Sasakura

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available A protein digestion system using immobilized enzymes for protein identification and glycochain analyses has been developed, and a vibration reaction unit for micro-scale sample convection on an enzyme-immobilized solid surface was constructed. BSA as a model substrate was digested by this unit, and was successfully identified by mass spectrometry (MS analyses. Compared to the conventional liquid-phase digestion, the reaction unit increased the number of matched peptides from 9 to 26, protein score from 455 to 1247, and sequence coverage from 21% to 48%. Glycopeptidase F (NGF, an enzyme that cleaves N-glycans from glycoproteins, was also immobilized and used to remove the glycochains from human immunoglobulin G (IgG. Trypsin and NGF were immobilized on the same solid surface and used to remove glycochains from IgG in single-step. Glycochains were labeled with fluorescent reagent and analyzed by HPLC. Several peaks corresponding to the glycochains of IgG were detected. These results suggested that the single-step digestion system, by immobilized multiple enzymes (trypsin and NGF would be effective for the rapid structural analysis of glycoproteins.Abbreviations: BSA: bovine serum albumin; MS: mass spectrometry; NGF: glycopeptidase F; IgG: immunoglobulin G; PTM: post-translational modification; HPLC: high-performance liquid chromatography; PBS: phosphate-buffered saline; EDTA: ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; DTT: dithiothreitol; RT: retention time; ABOE: p-aminobenzoic acid octyl ester; PDMS: polydimethylsiloxane; ArgC: endoprotease Arginine C.

  16. Rapid, labile, and protein synthesis-independent short-term memory in conditioned taste aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houpt, T A; Berlin, R

    1999-01-01

    Short-term memory is a rapid, labile, and protein-synthesis-independent phase of memory. The existence of short-term memory in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) learning has not been demonstrated formally. To determine the earliest time at which a CTA is expressed, we measured intraoral intake of sucrose at 15 min, 1 hr, 6 hr, or 48 h after contingent pairing of an intraoral infusion of 5% sucrose (6.6 ml over 6 min) and toxic lithium chloride injection (76 mg/kg). Rats were implanted with intraoral catheters to allow presentation of taste solutions at arbitrary times. Intraoral intake was measured under conditions of long-delay, single-trial learning typical of CTA. Rats decreased intraoral intake of sucrose at 15 min after contingent pairing of sucrose and LiCl, but not after noncontingent LiCl or sucrose. Thus CTA learning can be expressed rapidly. To determine if short-term CTA memory is labile and decays in the absence of long-term memory, we measured intraoral intake of sucrose after pairing sucrose with low doses of LiCl. Rats received an intraoral infusion of 5% sucrose (6 ml/6 min); 30 min later LiCl was injected at three different doses (19, 38, or 76 mg/kg). A second intraoral infusion of sucrose was administered 15 min, 1 hr, 3 hr, 4.5 hr, 6 hr, or 48 hr later. The formation of long-term CTA memory was dependent on the dose of LiCl paired with sucrose during acquisition. Low doses of LiCl induced a CTA that decayed within 6 hr after pairing. Central administration of the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide prior to LiCl injection blocked long-term CTA expression at 6 and 48 hr, but not short-term CTA expression at 1 hr. Thus, short-term memory for CTA learning exists that is acquired rapidly and independent of protein synthesis, but labile in the absence of long-term memory formation.

  17. ER Stress Causes Rapid Loss of Intestinal Epithelial Stemness through Activation of the Unfolded Protein Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarom Heijmans

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Stem cells generate rapidly dividing transit-amplifying cells that have lost the capacity for self-renewal but cycle for a number of times until they exit the cell cycle and undergo terminal differentiation. We know very little of the type of signals that trigger the earliest steps of stem cell differentiation and mediate a stem cell to transit-amplifying cell transition. We show that in normal intestinal epithelium, endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress and activity of the unfolded protein response (UPR are induced at the transition from stem cell to transit-amplifying cell. Induction of ER stress causes loss of stemness in a Perk-eIF2α-dependent manner. Inhibition of Perk-eIF2α signaling results in stem cell accumulation in organoid culture of primary intestinal epithelium. Our findings show that the UPR plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal epithelial stem cell differentiation.

  18. Genome-Wide Tuning of Protein Expression Levels to Rapidly Engineer Microbial Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Emily F; Winkler, James D; Weiss, Sophie J; Garst, Andrew D; Mutalik, Vivek K; Arkin, Adam P; Knight, Rob; Gill, Ryan T

    2015-11-20

    The reliable engineering of biological systems requires quantitative mapping of predictable and context-independent expression over a broad range of protein expression levels. However, current techniques for modifying expression levels are cumbersome and are not amenable to high-throughput approaches. Here we present major improvements to current techniques through the design and construction of E. coli genome-wide libraries using synthetic DNA cassettes that can tune expression over a ∼10(4) range. The cassettes also contain molecular barcodes that are optimized for next-generation sequencing, enabling rapid and quantitative tracking of alleles that have the highest fitness advantage. We show these libraries can be used to determine which genes and expression levels confer greater fitness to E. coli under different growth conditions.

  19. Fluorescent QDs-polystyrene composite nanospheres for highly efficient and rapid protein antigen detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Changhua; Mao, Mao [Henan University, Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of the Ministry of Education (China); Yuan, Hang [Tsinghua University, Life Science Division, Graduate School at Shenzhen (China); Shen, Huaibin [Henan University, Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of the Ministry of Education (China); Wu, Feng; Ma, Lan, E-mail: malan@sz.tsinghua.edu.cn [Tsinghua University, Life Science Division, Graduate School at Shenzhen (China); Li, Lin Song, E-mail: lsli@henu.edu.cn [Henan University, Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials of the Ministry of Education (China)

    2013-09-15

    In this paper, high-quality carboxyl-functionalized fluorescent (red, green, and blue emitting) nanospheres (46-103 nm) consisting of hydrophobic quantum dots (QDs) and polystyrene were prepared by a miniemulsion polymerization approach. This miniemulsion polymerization approach induced a homogeneous distribution and high aqueous-phase transport efficiency of fluorescent QDs in composite nanospheres, which proved the success of our encoding QDs strategy. The obtained fluorescent nanospheres exhibited high stability in aqueous solution under a wide range of pH, different salt concentrations, PBS buffer, and thermal treatment at 80 Degree-Sign C. Based on the red emitting composite nanosphere, we performed fluorescent lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) strips for high-sensitivity and rapid alpha-fetal protein detection. The detection limit reached 0.1 ng/mL, which was 200 times higher than commercial colloidal gold-labeled LFIA strips, and it reached similar detection level in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.

  20. Dual-Quantum-Dots-Labeled Lateral Flow Strip Rapidly Quantifies Procalcitonin and C-reactive Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, XiaoPing; Huang, YunYe; Lin, ZhongShi; Xu, Liang; Yu, Hao

    2016-03-01

    In the article, a dual-quantum-dots-labeled (dual-QDs-labeled) lateral flow strip (LFS) method was developed for the simultaneous and rapid quantitative detection of procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. Two QD-antibody conjugates with different fluorescence emission spectra were produced and sprayed on the LFS to capture PCT and CRP in the blood. Furthermore, a double antibody sandwich method for PCT and, meanwhile, a competitive inhibition method for CRP were employed in the LFS. For PCT and CRP in serum assayed by the dual-QDs-labeled LFS, their detection sensitivities reached 0.1 and 1 ng/mL, respectively, and their linear quantitative detection ranges were from 0.3 to 200 ng/mL and from 50 to 250 μg/mL, respectively. There was little evidence that the PCT and CRP assays would be interfered with each other. The correlations for testing CRP and PCT in clinical samples were 99.75 and 97.02 %, respectively, between the dual-QDs-labeled LFS we developed and commercial methods. The rapid quantification of PCT and CRP on dual-QDs-labeled LFS is of great clinical value to distinguish inflammation, bacterial infection, or viral infection and to provide guidance for the use of antibiotics or other medicines.

  1. A rapid chemical method for lysing Arabidopsis cells for protein analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takano Tetsuo

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein extraction is a frequent procedure in biological research. For preparation of plant cell extracts, plant materials usually have to be ground and homogenized to physically break the robust cell wall, but this step is laborious and time-consuming when a large number of samples are handled at once. Results We developed a chemical method for lysing Arabidopsis cells without grinding. In this method, plants are boiled for just 10 minutes in a solution containing a Ca2+ chelator and detergent. Cell extracts prepared by this method were suitable for SDS-PAGE and immunoblot analysis. This method was also applicable to genomic DNA extraction for PCR analysis. Our method was applied to many other plant species, and worked well for some of them. Conclusions Our method is rapid and economical, and allows many samples to be prepared simultaneously for protein analysis. Our method is useful not only for Arabidopsis research but also research on certain other species.

  2. Rapid and quantitative detection of C-reactive protein based on quantum dots and immunofiltration assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang PF

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Pengfei Zhang,1,* Yan Bao,1,* Mohamed Shehata Draz,2,3,* Huiqi Lu,1 Chang Liu,1 Huanxing Han11Center for Translational Medicine, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Zhejiang-California International Nanosystems Institute, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 3Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: Convenient and rapid immunofiltration assays (IFAs enable on-site “yes” or “no” determination of disease markers. However, traditional IFAs are commonly qualitative or semi-quantitative and are very limited for the efficient testing of samples in field diagnostics. Here, we overcome these limitations by developing a quantum dots (QDs-based fluorescent IFA for the quantitative detection of C-reactive proteins (CRP. CRP, the well-known diagnostic marker for acute viral and bacterial infections, was used as a model analyte to demonstrate performance and sensitivity of our developed QDs-based IFA. QDs capped with both polyethylene glycol (PEG and glutathione were used as fluorescent labels for our IFAs. The presence of the surface PEG layer, which reduced the non-specific protein interactions, in conjunction with the inherent optical properties of QDs, resulted in lower background signal, increased sensitivity, and ability to detect CRP down to 0.79 mg/L with only 5 µL serum sample. In addition, the developed assay is simple, fast and can quantitatively detect CRP with a detection limit up to 200 mg/L. Clinical test results of our QD-based IFA are well correlated with the traditional latex enhance immune-agglutination aggregation. The proposed QD-based fluorescent IFA is very promising, and potentially will be adopted for multiplexed immunoassay and in field point-of-care test.Keywords: C-reactive proteins, point-of-care test, Glutathione capped QDs, PEGylation

  3. Rapid label-free profiling of oral cancer biomarker proteins using nano-UPLC-Q-TOF ion mobility mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassar, Ala F; Williams, Brad J; Yaworksy, Dustin C; Patel, Vyomesh; Rusling, James F

    2016-03-01

    It has become quite clear that single cancer biomarkers cannot in general provide high sensitivity and specificity for reliable clinical cancer diagnostics. This paper explores the feasibility of rapid detection of multiple biomarker proteins in model oral cancer samples using label-free protein relative quantitation. MS-based label-free quantitative proteomics offer a rapid alternative that bypasses the need for stable isotope containing compounds to chemically bind and label proteins. Total protein content in oral cancer cell culture conditioned media was precipitated, subjected to proteolytic digestion, and then analyzed using a nano-UPLC (where UPLC is ultra-performance liquid chromatography) coupled to a hybrid Q-Tof ion-mobility mass spectrometry (MS). Rapid, simultaneous identification and quantification of multiple possible cancer biomarker proteins was achieved. In a comparative study between cancer and noncancer samples, approximately 952 proteins were identified using a high-throughput 1D ion mobility assisted data independent acquisition (IM-DIA) approach. As we previously demonstrated that interleukin-8 (IL-8) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) were readily detected in oral cancer cell conditioned media(1), we targeted these biomarker proteins to validate our approach. Target biomarker protein IL-8 was found between 3.5 and 8.8 fmol, while VEGF-A was found at 1.45 fmol in the cancer cell media. Overall, our data suggest that the nano-UPLC-IM-DIA bioassay is a feasible approach to identify and quantify proteins in complex samples without the need for stable isotope labeling. These results have significant implications for rapid tumor diagnostics and prognostics by monitoring proteins such as IL-8 and VEGF-A implicated in cancer development and progression. The analysis in tissue or plasma is not possible at this time, but the subsequent work would be needed for validation. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Specific interaction between hnRNP H and HPV16 L1 proteins: Implications for late gene auto-regulation enabling rapid viral capsid protein production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Zi-Zheng; Sun, Yuan-Yuan; Zhao, Min; Huang, Hui [National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); Zhang, Jun; Xia, Ning-Shao [National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); Miao, Ji, E-mail: jmiao@xmu.edu.cn [National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); Zhao, Qinjian, E-mail: qinjian_zhao@xmu.edu.cn [National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China); School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005 (China)

    2013-01-18

    Highlights: ► The RNA-binding hnRNP H regulates late viral gene expression. ► hnRNP H activity was inhibited by a late viral protein. ► Specific interaction between HPV L1 and hnRNP H was demonstrated. ► Co-localization of HPV L1 and hnRNP H inside cells was observed. ► Viral capsid protein production, enabling rapid capsid assembly, was implicated. -- Abstract: Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), including hnRNP H, are RNA-binding proteins that function as splicing factors and are involved in downstream gene regulation. hnRNP H, which binds to G triplet regions in RNA, has been shown to play an important role in regulating the staged expression of late proteins in viral systems. Here, we report that the specific association between hnRNP H and a late viral capsid protein, human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 protein, leads to the suppressed function of hnRNP H in the presence of the L1 protein. The direct interaction between the L1 protein and hnRNP H was demonstrated by complex formation in solution and intracellularly using a variety of biochemical and immunochemical methods, including peptide mapping, specific co-immunoprecipitation and confocal fluorescence microscopy. These results support a working hypothesis that a late viral protein HPV16 L1, which is down regulated by hnRNP H early in the viral life cycle may provide an auto-regulatory positive feedback loop that allows the rapid production of HPV capsid proteins through suppression of the function of hnRNP H at the late stage of the viral life cycle. In this positive feedback loop, the late viral gene products that were down regulated earlier themselves disable their suppressors, and this feedback mechanism could facilitate the rapid production of capsid proteins, allowing staged and efficient viral capsid assembly.

  5. Rapid and quantitative detection of C-reactive protein using quantum dots and immunochromatographic test strips

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng X

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Xianglin Cheng,1,* Xu Pu,2,* Pen Jun,3 XiaoBo Zhu,3 Di Zhu,4 Ming Chen1 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Yangtze University, Jingzhou, 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, RenMin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, 3Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA *These authors contributed equally to this study and share first authorship Background: Rapid immunochromatographic tests can detect disease markers in 10–15 minutes, which facilitates clinical diagnosis and treatment programs. However, most immunochromatographic tests employ gold nanoparticles as reporters, and these have only moderate sensitivity and act as qualitative methods for analyzing high biomarker concentrations. Methods: In this study, we introduce quantum dots (QDs as fluorescent probes and immunochromatographic strips to develop quantitative fluorescence point-of-care tests (QF-POCT to analyze C-reactive protein (CRP levels. Goat anti-rabbit IgG and rabbit IgG were used as control antibodies, and mouse monoclonal CRP antibody pairs were used for disease marker detection. One monoclonal CRP antibody was conjugated with QDs and served as a signal antibody, and the other monoclonal CRP antibody was dispensed onto the nitrocellulose membrane and served as a capturing antibody. In the presence of CRP, the fluorescence intensity of the monoclonal antibody-CRP-monoclonal antibody sandwich complex captured on the nitrocellulose membrane was determined using the fluorescence strip reader. Results: QF-POCT assays could quantitatively analyze the concentration of CRP in 15 minutes had a detection limit of 0.25 mg/L, and had a wide detection linearity range (0.5–300 mg/L. The intra-assay and interassay

  6. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  7. EzMol: A Web Server Wizard for the Rapid Visualization and Image Production of Protein and Nucleic Acid Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Christopher R; Islam, Suhail A; Sternberg, Michael J E

    2018-01-31

    EzMol is a molecular visualization Web server in the form of a software wizard, located at http://www.sbg.bio.ic.ac.uk/ezmol/. It is designed for easy and rapid image manipulation and display of protein molecules, and is intended for users who need to quickly produce high-resolution images of protein molecules but do not have the time or inclination to use a software molecular visualization system. EzMol allows the upload of molecular structure files in PDB format to generate a Web page including a representation of the structure that the user can manipulate. EzMol provides intuitive options for chain display, adjusting the color/transparency of residues, side chains and protein surfaces, and for adding labels to residues. The final adjusted protein image can then be downloaded as a high-resolution image. There are a range of applications for rapid protein display, including the illustration of specific areas of a protein structure and the rapid prototyping of images. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Protein folding kinetics by combined use of rapid mixing techniques and NMR observation of individual amide protons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roder, H.; Wuethrich, K.

    1986-01-01

    A method to be used for experimental studies of protein folding introduced by Schmid and Baldwin, which is based on the competition between amide hydrogen exchange and protein refolding, was extended by using rapid mixing techniques and 1 H NMR to provide site-resolved kinetic information on the early phases of protein structure acquisition. In this method, a protonated solution of the unfolded protein is rapidly mixed with a deuterated buffer solution at conditions assuring protein refolding in the mixture. This simultaneously initiates the exchange of unprotected amide protons with solvent deuterium and the refolding of protein segments which can protect amide groups from further exchange. After variable reaction times the amide proton exchange is quenched while folding to the native form continues to completion. By using 1 H NMR, the extent of exchange at individual amide sites is then measured in the refolded protein. Competition experiments at variable reaction times or variable pH indicate the time at which each amide group is protected in the refolding process. This technique was applied to the basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, for which sequence-specific assignments of the amide proton NMR lines had previously been obtained. For eight individual amide protons located in the beta-sheet and the C-terminal alpha-helix of this protein, apparent refolding rates in the range from 15 s-1 to 60 s-1 were observed. These rates are on the time scale of the fast folding phase observed with optical probes

  9. Light activation of the LOV protein Vivid generates a rapidly exchanging dimer†‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoltowski, Brian D.; Crane, Brian R.

    2009-01-01

    The fungal photoreceptor Vivid (VVD) plays an important role in the adaptation of blue-light responses in Neurospora crassa. VVD, an FAD-binding LOV (Light, Oxygen, Voltage) protein, couples light-induced cysteinyl-adduct formation at the flavin ring to conformational changes in the N-terminal cap (Ncap) of the VVD PAS domain. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), equilibrium ultracentrifugation, and static and dynamic light scattering show that these conformational changes generate a rapidly exchanging VVD dimer, with an expanded hydrodynamic radius. A three-residue N-terminal β-turn that assumes two different conformations in a crystal structure of a VVD C71V variant is essential for light-state dimerization. Residue substitutions at a critical hinge between the Ncap and PAS core can inhibit or enhance dimerization, whereas a Tyr to Trp substitution at the Ncap-to-PAS interface stabilizes the light-state dimer. Cross-linking through engineered disulfides indicates that the light-state dimer differs considerably from the dark-state dimer found in VVD crystal structures. These results verify the role of Ncap conformational changes in gating the photic response of Neurospora crassa, and indicate that LOV:LOV homo or hetero dimerization may be a mechanism for regulating light-activated gene expression. PMID:18553928

  10. Light activation of the LOV protein vivid generates a rapidly exchanging dimer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoltowski, Brian D; Crane, Brian R

    2008-07-08

    The fungal photoreceptor Vivid (VVD) plays an important role in the adaptation of blue-light responses in Neurospora crassa. VVD, an FAD-binding LOV (light, oxygen, voltage) protein, couples light-induced cysteinyl adduct formation at the flavin ring to conformational changes in the N-terminal cap (Ncap) of the VVD PAS domain. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), equilibrium ultracentrifugation, and static and dynamic light scattering show that these conformational changes generate a rapidly exchanging VVD dimer, with an expanded hydrodynamic radius. A three-residue N-terminal beta-turn that assumes two different conformations in a crystal structure of a VVD C71V variant is essential for light-state dimerization. Residue substitutions at a critical hinge between the Ncap and PAS core can inhibit or enhance dimerization, whereas a Tyr to Trp substitution at the Ncap-PAS interface stabilizes the light-state dimer. Cross-linking through engineered disulfides indicates that the light-state dimer differs considerably from the dark-state dimer found in VVD crystal structures. These results verify the role of Ncap conformational changes in gating the photic response of N. crassa and indicate that LOV-LOV homo- or heterodimerization may be a mechanism for regulating light-activated gene expression.

  11. An efficient and rapid method for protein detection with an example ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJL

    2012-05-15

    May 15, 2012 ... protein expressed in Esherichia coli by staining and destaining in under 30 min. The CMW method .... the saturated solutions reached a state of dynamic ... M, Protein molecular marker; 1, the control vector; 2, the SQR protein.

  12. Thermolysin damages animal life through degradation of plasma proteins enhanced by rapid cleavage of serpins and activation of proteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Lulu; Lu, Anrui; Guan, Jingmin; Yang, Bing; Li, Muwang; Hillyer, Julián F; Ramarao, Nalini; Söderhäll, Kenneth; Liu, Chaoliang; Ling, Erjun

    2015-01-01

    Thermolysin, a metallopeptidase secreted by pathogenic microbes, is concluded as an important virulence factor due to cleaving purified host proteins in vitro. Using the silkworm Bombyx mori as a model system, we found that thermolysin injection into larvae induces the destruction of the coagulation response and the activation of hemolymph melanization, which results in larval death. Thermolysin triggers the rapid degradation of insect and mammalian plasma proteins at a level that is considerably greater than expected in vitro and/or in vivo. To more specifically explore the mechanism, thermolysin-induced changes to key proteins belonging to the insect melanization pathway were assessed as a window for observing plasma protein cleavage. The application of thermolysin induced the rapid cleavage of the melanization negative regulator serpin-3, but did not directly activate the melanization rate-limiting enzyme prophenoloxidase (PPO) or the terminal serine proteases responsible for PPO activation. Terminal serine proteases of melanization are activated indirectly after thermolysin exposure. We hypothesize that thermolysin induces the rapid degradation of serpins and the activation of proteases directly or indirectly, boosting uncontrolled plasma protein degradation in insects and mammalians. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Nanodisc-Tm: Rapid functional assessment of nanodisc reconstituted membrane proteins by CPM assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashok, Yashwanth; Jaakola, Veli-Pekka

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are generally unstable in detergents. Therefore, biochemical and biophysical studies of membrane proteins in lipidic environments provides a near native-like environment suitable for membrane proteins. However, manipulation of proteins embedded in lipid bilayer has remained difficult. Methods such as nanodiscs and lipid cubic phase have been developed for easy manipulation of membrane proteins and have yielded significant insights into membrane proteins. Traditionally functional reconstitution of receptors in nanodiscs has been studied with radioligands. We present a simple and faster method for studying the functionality of reconstituted membrane proteins for routine characterization of protein batches after initial optimization of suitable conditions using radioligands. The benefits of the method are •Faster and generic method to assess functional reconstitution of membrane proteins.•Adaptable in high throughput format (≥96 well format).•Stability measurement in near-native lipid environment and lipid dependent melting temperatures.

  14. P-proteins in Arabidopsis are heteromeric structures involved in rapid sieve tube sealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jekat, Stephan B; Ernst, Antonia M; von Bohl, Andreas; Zielonka, Sascia; Twyman, Richard M; Noll, Gundula A; Prüfer, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Structural phloem proteins (P-proteins) are characteristic components of the sieve elements in all dicotyledonous and many monocotyledonous angiosperms. Tobacco P-proteins were recently confirmed to be encoded by the widespread sieve element occlusion (SEO) gene family, and tobacco SEO proteins were shown to be directly involved in sieve tube sealing thus preventing the loss of photosynthate. Analysis of the two Arabidopsis SEO proteins (AtSEOa and AtSEOb) indicated that the corresponding P-protein subunits do not act in a redundant manner. However, there are still pending questions regarding the interaction properties and specific functions of AtSEOa and AtSEOb as well as the general function of structural P-proteins in Arabidopsis. In this study, we characterized the Arabidopsis P-proteins in more detail. We used in planta bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays to confirm the predicted heteromeric interactions between AtSEOa and AtSEOb. Arabidopsis mutants depleted for one or both AtSEO proteins lacked the typical P-protein structures normally found in sieve elements, underlining the identity of AtSEO proteins as P-proteins and furthermore providing the means to determine the role of Arabidopsis P-proteins in sieve tube sealing. We therefore developed an assay based on phloem exudation. Mutants with reduced AtSEO expression levels lost twice as much photosynthate following injury as comparable wild-type plants, confirming that Arabidopsis P-proteins are indeed involved in sieve tube sealing.

  15. P-proteins in Arabidopsis are heteromeric structures involved in rapid sieve tube sealing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan B Jekat

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Structural phloem proteins (P-proteins are characteristic components of the sieve elements in all dicotyledonous and many monocotyledonous angiosperms. Tobacco P-proteins were recently evidenced to be encoded by the widespread SEO gene family, and tobacco SEO proteins were shown to be directly involved in sieve tube sealing thus preventing the loss of photosynthate. Analysis of the two Arabidopsis SEO proteins (AtSEOa and AtSEOb indicated that the corresponding P-protein subunits do not act in a redundant manner. However, there are still pending questions regarding the interaction properties and specific functions of AtSEOa and AtSEOb as well as the general function of structural P-proteins in Arabidopsis. In this study, we characterized the Arabidopsis P-proteins in more detail. We used in planta bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays to confirm the predicted heteromeric interactions between AtSEOa and AtSEOb. Arabidopsis mutants depleted for one or both AtSEO proteins lacked the typical P-protein structures normally found in sieve elements, underlining the identity of AtSEO proteins as P-proteins and furthermore providing the means to determine the role of Arabidopsis P-proteins in sieve tube sealing. We therefore developed an assay based on phloem exudation. Mutants with reduced AtSEO expression levels lost twice as much photosynthate following injury as comparable wild-type plants, confirming that Arabidopsis P-proteins are indeed involved in sieve tube sealing. 

  16. Rapid protein production from stable CHO cell pools using plasmid vector and the cumate gene-switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulain, Adeline; Perret, Sylvie; Malenfant, Félix; Mullick, Alaka; Massie, Bernard; Durocher, Yves

    2017-08-10

    To rapidly produce large amounts of recombinant proteins, the generation of stable Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell pools represents a useful alternative to large-scale transient gene expression (TGE). We have developed a cell line (CHO BRI/rcTA ) allowing the inducible expression of recombinant proteins, based on the cumate gene switch. After the identification of optimal plasmid DNA topology (supercoiled vs linearized plasmid) for PEIpro™ mediated transfection and of optimal conditions for methionine sulfoximine (MSX) selection, we were able to generate CHO BRI/rcTA pools producing high levels of recombinant proteins. Volumetric productivities of up to 900mg/L were reproducibly achieved for a Fc fusion protein and up to 350mg/L for an antibody after 14days post-induction in non-optimized fed-batch cultures. In addition, we show that CHO pool volumetric productivities are not affected by a freeze-thaw cycle or following maintenance in culture for over one month in the presence of MSX. Finally, we demonstrate that volumetric protein production with the CR5 cumate-inducible promoter is three- to four-fold higher than with the human CMV or hybrid EF1α-HTLV constitutive promoters. These results suggest that the cumate-inducible CHO BRI/rcTA stable pool platform is a powerful and robust system for the rapid production of gram amounts of recombinant proteins. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. MFPred: Rapid and accurate prediction of protein-peptide recognition multispecificity using self-consistent mean field theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliza B Rubenstein

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Multispecificity-the ability of a single receptor protein molecule to interact with multiple substrates-is a hallmark of molecular recognition at protein-protein and protein-peptide interfaces, including enzyme-substrate complexes. The ability to perform structure-based prediction of multispecificity would aid in the identification of novel enzyme substrates, protein interaction partners, and enable design of novel enzymes targeted towards alternative substrates. The relatively slow speed of current biophysical, structure-based methods limits their use for prediction and, especially, design of multispecificity. Here, we develop a rapid, flexible-backbone self-consistent mean field theory-based technique, MFPred, for multispecificity modeling at protein-peptide interfaces. We benchmark our method by predicting experimentally determined peptide specificity profiles for a range of receptors: protease and kinase enzymes, and protein recognition modules including SH2, SH3, MHC Class I and PDZ domains. We observe robust recapitulation of known specificities for all receptor-peptide complexes, and comparison with other methods shows that MFPred results in equivalent or better prediction accuracy with a ~10-1000-fold decrease in computational expense. We find that modeling bound peptide backbone flexibility is key to the observed accuracy of the method. We used MFPred for predicting with high accuracy the impact of receptor-side mutations on experimentally determined multispecificity of a protease enzyme. Our approach should enable the design of a wide range of altered receptor proteins with programmed multispecificities.

  18. Blocking rapid ice crystal growth through nonbasal plane adsorption of antifreeze proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olijve, L.L.C.; Meister, K.; DeVries, A.L.; Duman, J.G.; Guo, S.; Bakker, H.J.; Voets, I.K.

    2016-01-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are a unique class of proteins that bind to growing ice crystal surfaces and arrest further ice growth. AFPs have gained a large interest for their use in antifreeze formulations for water-based materials, such as foods, waterborne paints, and organ transplants. Instead of

  19. Peptide fragments induce a more rapid immune response than intact proteins in earthworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanusová, R; Tucková, L; Halada, P; Bezouska, K; Bilej, M

    1999-01-01

    The effect of in vivo proteolytic processing of protein antigen was studied in Eisenia foetida earthworms. Parenteral administration of the protein antigen induces elevated levels of an antigen-binding protein (ABP) which recognizes the protein used for stimulation. When the protein antigen is administered simultaneously with nontoxic serine proteinase inhibitor, ABP levels remain close to background. On the other hand, the in vivo adaptive response of earthworms to peptide fragments obtained by coelomic fluid digestion of the foreign antigen occurs even in the presence of proteinase inhibitor and, moreover, is significantly faster as compared to the response to intact antigen. These findings confirm the role of proteolytic processing in earthworms. MALDI mass spectrometric analysis of the fragments after coelomic fluid digestion has revealed the presence of the peptide fragments with molecular weights in the mass range 700-1100 Da.

  20. Rapid and widely disseminated acute phase protein response after experimental bacterial infection of pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Kerstin; Mortensen, Shila; Boye, Mette

    2009-01-01

    The acute phase protein response is a well-described generalized early host response to tissue injury, inflammation and infection, observed as pronounced changes in the concentrations of a number of circulating serum proteins. The biological function of this response and its interplay with other...... parts of innate host defence reactions remain somewhat elusive. In order to gain new insight into this early host defence response in the context of bacterial infection we studied gene expression changes in peripheral lymphoid tissues as compared to hepatic expression changes, 14-18 h after lung...... with measurements of interleukin-6 and selected acute phase proteins in serum. C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A were clearly induced 14-18 h after infection. Extrahepatic expression of acute phase proteins was found to be dramatically altered as a result of the lung infection with an extrahepatic acute phase...

  1. Measurement of Rapid Protein Diffusion in the Cytoplasm by Photo-Converted Intensity Profile Expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rotem Gura Sadovsky

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The fluorescence microscopy methods presently used to characterize protein motion in cells infer protein motion from indirect observables, rather than measuring protein motion directly. Operationalizing these methods requires expertise that can constitute a barrier to their broad utilization. Here, we have developed PIPE (photo-converted intensity profile expansion to directly measure the motion of tagged proteins and quantify it using an effective diffusion coefficient. PIPE works by pulsing photo-convertible fluorescent proteins, generating a peaked fluorescence signal at the pulsed region, and analyzing the spatial expansion of the signal. We demonstrate PIPE’s success in measuring accurate diffusion coefficients in silico and in vitro and compare effective diffusion coefficients of native cellular proteins and free fluorophores in vivo. We apply PIPE to measure diffusion anomality in the cell and use it to distinguish free fluorophores from native cellular proteins. PIPE’s direct measurement and ease of use make it appealing for cell biologists.

  2. A cost-effective device for the rapid transfer of gel-separated proteins onto membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Hann W; Huang, Yu-Chen; Tam, Ming F

    2009-03-01

    We describe here the fabrication of a cost-effective semi-dry blotting apparatus for the transfer of proteins onto membranes. Graphite sheets were used as electrodes. Protein mixtures were separated on NuPAGE 4% to 12% polyacrylamide gradient gels. With a Tris-bicine buffer, we demonstrated that close to 80% of the proteins with apparent molecular mass of 80kDa or less were removed from the gels after 8min of blotting. The process is much faster than the techniques reported previously in the literature.

  3. Rapid Analysis of Protein Farnesyltransferase Substrate Specificity Using Peptide Libraries and Isoprenoid Diphosphate Analogues

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yen-Chih; Dozier, Jonathan K.; Beese, Lorena S.; Distefano, Mark D.

    2014-01-01

    Protein farnesytransferase (PFTase) catalyzes the farnesylation of proteins with a carboxy-terminal tetrapeptide sequence denoted as a Ca1a2X box. To explore the specificity of this enzyme, an important therapeutic target, solid-phase peptide synthesis in concert with a peptide inversion strategy was used to prepare two libraries, each containing 380 peptides. The libraries were screened using an alkyne-containing isoprenoid analogue followed by click chemistry with biotin azide and subsequen...

  4. Cross-linking by protein oxidation in the rapidly setting gel-based glues of slugs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Andrew; Salt, Michael; Bell, Ashley; Zeitler, Matt; Litra, Noelle; Smith, Andrew M.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The terrestrial slug Arion subfuscus secretes a glue that is a dilute gel with remarkable adhesive and cohesive strength. The function of this glue depends on metals, raising the possibility that metal-catalyzed oxidation plays a role. The extent and time course of protein oxidation was measured by immunoblotting to detect the resulting carbonyl groups. Several proteins, particularly one with a relative molecular mass (Mr) of 165×103, were heavily oxidized. Of the proteins known to distinguish the glue from non-adhesive mucus, only specific size variants were oxidized. The oxidation appears to occur within the first few seconds of secretion. Although carbonyls were detected by 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) in denatured proteins, they were not easily detected in the native state. The presence of reversible cross-links derived from carbonyls was tested for by treatment with sodium borohydride, which would reduce uncross-linked carbonyls to alcohols, but stabilize imine bonds formed by carbonyls and thus lead to less soluble complexes. Consistent with imine bond formation, sodium borohydride led to a 20–35% decrease in the amount of soluble protein with a Mr of 40–165 (×103) without changing the carbonyl content per protein. In contrast, the nucleophile hydroxylamine, which would competitively disrupt imine bonds, increased protein solubility in the glue. Finally, the primary amine groups on a protein with a Mr of 15×103 were not accessible to acid anhydrides. The results suggest that cross-links between aldehydes and primary amines contribute to the cohesive strength of the glue. PMID:21525316

  5. Virtual target screening to rapidly identify potential protein targets of natural products in drug discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Pevzner

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Inherent biological viability and diversity of natural products make them a potentially rich source for new therapeutics. However, identification of bioactive compounds with desired therapeutic effects and identification of their protein targets is a laborious, expensive process. Extracts from organism samples may show desired activity in phenotypic assays but specific bioactive compounds must be isolated through further separation methods and protein targets must be identified by more specific phenotypic and in vitro experimental assays. Still, questions remain as to whether all relevant protein targets for a compound have been identified. The desire is to understand breadth of purposing for the compound to maximize its use and intellectual property, and to avoid further development of compounds with insurmountable adverse effects. Previously we developed a Virtual Target Screening system that computationally screens one or more compounds against a collection of virtual protein structures. By scoring each compound-protein interaction, we can compare against averaged scores of synthetic drug-like compounds to determine if a particular protein would be a potential target of a compound of interest. Here we provide examples of natural products screened through our system as we assess advantages and shortcomings of our current system in regards to natural product drug discovery.

  6. Virtual target screening to rapidly identify potential protein targets of natural products in drug discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Pevzner

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Inherent biological viability and diversity of natural products make them a potentially rich source for new therapeutics. However, identification of bioactive compounds with desired therapeutic effects and identification of their protein targets is a laborious, expensive process. Extracts from organism samples may show desired activity in phenotypic assays but specific bioactive compounds must be isolated through further separation methods and protein targets must be identified by more specific phenotypic and in vitro experimental assays. Still, questions remain as to whether all relevant protein targets for a compound have been identified. The desire is to understand breadth of purposing for the compound to maximize its use and intellectual property, and to avoid further development of compounds with insurmountable adverse effects. Previously we developed a Virtual Target Screening system that computationally screens one or more compounds against a collection of virtual protein structures. By scoring each compound-protein interaction, we can compare against averaged scores of synthetic drug-like compounds to determine if a particular protein would be a potential target of a compound of interest. Here we provide examples of natural products screened through our system as we assess advantages and shortcomings of our current system in regards to natural product drug discovery.

  7. Evolved osmotolerant Escherichia coli mutants frequently exhibit defective N-acetylglucosamine catabolism and point mutations in cell shape-regulating protein MreB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, James D; Garcia, Carlos; Olson, Michelle; Callaway, Emily; Kao, Katy C

    2014-06-01

    Biocatalyst robustness toward stresses imposed during fermentation is important for efficient bio-based production. Osmotic stress, imposed by high osmolyte concentrations or dense populations, can significantly impact growth and productivity. In order to better understand the osmotic stress tolerance phenotype, we evolved sexual (capable of in situ DNA exchange) and asexual Escherichia coli strains under sodium chloride (NaCl) stress. All isolates had significantly improved growth under selection and could grow in up to 0.80 M (47 g/liter) NaCl, a concentration that completely inhibits the growth of the unevolved parental strains. Whole genome resequencing revealed frequent mutations in genes controlling N-acetylglucosamine catabolism (nagC, nagA), cell shape (mrdA, mreB), osmoprotectant uptake (proV), and motility (fimA). Possible epistatic interactions between nagC, nagA, fimA, and proV deletions were also detected when reconstructed as defined mutations. Biofilm formation under osmotic stress was found to be decreased in most mutant isolates, coupled with perturbations in indole secretion. Transcriptional analysis also revealed significant changes in ompACGL porin expression and increased transcription of sulfonate uptake systems in the evolved mutants. These findings expand our current knowledge of the osmotic stress phenotype and will be useful for the rational engineering of osmotic tolerance into industrial strains in the future. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. The rapid determination of fat and protein content in fresh raw milk using the laser light scattering technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Qi; Zhi Ling, Hou; Jian Long, Tian; Zhu, Yu

    2006-08-01

    The aim was to develop a simple and rapid method for determination of fat and protein content in milk. Based on the laser light scattering theory, the ratio of the scattered light (at 90±0.05° scattering angles) intensity to the transmitted light intensity, which is called scattered-transmitted-ratio method, is adopted as the optical parameter representing the milk fat content and the protein content. In this way, the influence of the fluctuation of the power of the light source is eliminated and the accuracy of determination is improved accordingly. The system we use is real-time and can satisfy the challenging requirements of dairy farming. Results of this study indicate the feasibility of using this technology for fresh milk fat and protein analysis. The fat contents and protein contents of 50 milk samples determined by this method were consistent with the values obtained by the reference methods based on Rose-Gottlieb method and Kjeldahl determination of N method. In this paper, the operating principle of the instrument is introduced and the influence of the environmental conditions, such as the homogenization pressure and homogenization temperature, etc. on the result of the test is analyzed. Through data analysis, the concrete schemes for testing the fat using the curve fitting and testing the protein using the surface fitting technique are determined. Finally, the difference from the reference values of the test is discussed.

  9. A rapid method for selecting suitable animal species for studying pathogen interactions with plasma protein ligands in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naudin, Clément; Schumski, Ariane; Salo-Ahen, Outi M H; Herwald, Heiko; Smeds, Emanuel

    2017-05-01

    Species tropism constitutes a serious problem for developing relevant animal models of infection. Human pathogens can express virulence factors that show specific selectivity to human proteins, while their affinity for orthologs from other species can vary significantly. Suitable animal species must be used to analyse whether virulence factors are potential targets for drug development. We developed an assay that rapidly predicts applicable animal species for studying virulence factors binding plasma proteins. We used two well-characterized Staphylococcus aureus proteins, SSL7 and Efb, to develop an ELISA-based inhibition assay using plasma from different animal species. The interaction between SSL7 and human C5 and the binding of Efb to human fibrinogen and human C3 was studied. Affinity experiments and Western blot analyses were used to validate the assay. Human, monkey and cat plasma interfered with binding of SSL7 to human C5. Binding of Efb to human fibrinogen was blocked in human, monkey, gerbil and pig plasma, while human, monkey, gerbil, rabbit, cat and guinea pig plasma inhibited the binding of Efb to human C3. These results emphasize the importance of choosing correct animal models, and thus, our approach is a rapid and cost-effective method that can be used to prevent unnecessary animal experiments. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. A Rapid, Onsite, Ultrasensitive Melamine Quantitation Method for Protein Beverages Using Time-Resolved Fluorescence Detection Paper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guanghua; Wang, Du; Zhou, Aijun; Sun, Yimin; Zhang, Qi; Poapolathep, Amnart; Zhang, Li; Fan, Zhiyong; Zhang, Zhaowei; Li, Peiwu

    2018-05-02

    To ensure protein beverage safety and prevent illegal melamine use to artificially increase protein content, a rapid, onsite, ultrasensitive detection method for melamine must be developed because melamine is detrimental to human health and life. Herein, an ultrasensitive time-resolved fluorescence detection paper (TFDP) was developed to detect melamine in protein beverages within 15 min using a one-step sample preparation. The lower limits of detection were 0.89, 0.94, and 1.05 ng/mL, and the linear ranges were 2.67-150, 2.82-150, and 3.15-150 ng/mL (R2>0.982) for peanut, walnut, and coconut beverages, respectively. The recovery rates were 85.86-110.60% with a coefficient of variation beverage samples, the TFDP and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS) results were consistent. This method is a promising alternative for rapid, onsite detection of melamine in beverages.

  11. Immobilization methods for the rapid total chemical synthesis of proteins on microtiter plates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zitterbart, Robert; Krumrey, Michael; Seitz, Oliver

    2017-07-01

    The chemical synthesis of proteins typically involves the solid-phase peptide synthesis of unprotected peptide fragments that are stitched together in solution by native chemical ligation (NCL). The process is slow, and throughput is limited because of the need for repeated high performance liquid chromatography purification steps after both solid-phase peptide synthesis and NCL. With an aim to provide faster access to functional proteins and to accelerate the functional analysis of synthetic proteins by parallelization, we developed a method for the high performance liquid chromatography-free synthesis of proteins on the surface of microtiter plates. The method relies on solid-phase synthesis of unprotected peptide fragments, immobilization of the C-terminal fragment and on-surface NCL with an unprotected peptide thioester in crude form. Herein, we describe the development of a suitable immobilization chemistry. We compared (i) formation of nickel(II)-oligohistidine complexes, (ii) Cu-based [2 + 3] alkine-azide cycloaddition and (iii) hydrazone ligation. The comparative study identified the hydrazone ligation as most suitable. The sequence of immobilization via hydrazone ligation, on-surface NCL and radical desulfurization furnished the targeted SH3 domains in near quantitative yield. The synthetic proteins were functional as demonstrated by an on-surface fluorescence-based saturation binding analysis. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Rapid Synthesis of Calcium Phosphates: Structural Control and Application in Protein Adsorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Zhu-Yun; Peng, Fan; Zi, Yun-Peng; Chen, Feng; Qian, Qi-Rong

    2015-07-31

    Synthetic calcium phosphate (CaP)-based materials have attracted much attention in the biomedical field. In this study, we have investigated the effect of pH values on CaP nanostructures prepared using a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. The hierarchical nanosheet-assembled hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanostructure was prepared under weak acidic conditions (pH 5), while the HAP nanorod was prepared under neutral (pH 7) and weak alkali (pH 9) condition. However, when the pH value increases to 11, a mixed product of HAP nanorod and tri-calcium phosphate nanoparticle was obtained. The results indicated that the pH value of the initial reaction solution played an important role in the phase and structure of the CaP. Furthermore, the protein adsorption and release performance of the as-prepared CaP nanostructures were investigated by using hemoglobin (Hb) as a model protein. The sample that was prepared at pH = 11 and consisted of mixed morphologies of nanorods and nanoprisms showed a higher Hb protein adsorption capacity than the sample prepared at pH 5, which could be explained by its smaller size and dispersed structure. The results revealed the relatively high protein adsorption capacity of the as-prepared CaP nanostructures, which show promise for applications in various biomedical fields such as drug delivery and protein adsorption.

  13. Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Rapid Synthesis of Calcium Phosphates: Structural Control and Application in Protein Adsorption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu-Yun Cai

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic calcium phosphate (CaP-based materials have attracted much attention in the biomedical field. In this study, we have investigated the effect of pH values on CaP nanostructures prepared using a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. The hierarchical nanosheet-assembled hydroxyapatite (HAP nanostructure was prepared under weak acidic conditions (pH 5, while the HAP nanorod was prepared under neutral (pH 7 and weak alkali (pH 9 condition. However, when the pH value increases to 11, a mixed product of HAP nanorod and tri-calcium phosphate nanoparticle was obtained. The results indicated that the pH value of the initial reaction solution played an important role in the phase and structure of the CaP. Furthermore, the protein adsorption and release performance of the as-prepared CaP nanostructures were investigated by using hemoglobin (Hb as a model protein. The sample that was prepared at pH = 11 and consisted of mixed morphologies of nanorods and nanoprisms showed a higher Hb protein adsorption capacity than the sample prepared at pH 5, which could be explained by its smaller size and dispersed structure. The results revealed the relatively high protein adsorption capacity of the as-prepared CaP nanostructures, which show promise for applications in various biomedical fields such as drug delivery and protein adsorption.

  14. Modified procedure for rapid labelling of low concentrations of bioactive proteins with indium-111

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zoghbi, S S; Neumann, R D; Gottschalk, A

    1985-01-01

    The authors describe the conjugation of DTPA to 100-500 g of protein in concentrations of 0.6-1.0 mg mL utilizing the mixed anhydride method. Free DTPA is removed by minicolumn gel filtration and centrifugation with minimal protein dilution. Radiolabelling process can be monitored by instant thin layer chromatography. Any radiochemical impurity detected can be eliminated either by additional minicolumn filtration of further chelation with more conjugated protein. In citrate buffer at pH 6 with minicolumn gel chromatography the authors prepared In-DTPA-D3 (3.0 Ci g) monoclonal antibody and used it to image hepatocarcinoma in guinea pigs. 13 references, 5 figures, 2 tables.

  15. Rapid evaluation of seed vigor by the absolute content of protein in seed within the same crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Daxing; Hou, Hongcun; Meng, Aiju; Meng, Jie; Xie, Liuyong; Zhang, Chunqing

    2018-04-03

    Seed vigor, an important index of seed quality, determines the potential for rapid and uniform emergence of plants. The objective of this study was to explore a rapid method for evaluating seed vigor. To analyze the correlation of seed traits and seedling traits related to seed vigor, we designed five experiments including nitrogen fertilizer, irrigation and seed sorting treatments in wheat. The results showed that only the absolute content of protein (ACP) in wheat seed was significantly correlated with plant dry weight in five experiments. Subsequently, another experiment including 30 wheat seed lots was used to validate the above results. Although 100-grain weight was also correlated with plant dry weight (R = 0.799, p vigor and could potentially be used for processing and screening high vigor seeds.

  16. A Force-Activated Trip Switch Triggers Rapid Dissociation of a Colicin from Its Immunity Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrance, Oliver E.; Hann, Eleanore; Kaminska, Renata; Housden, Nicholas G.; Derrington, Sasha R.; Kleanthous, Colin; Radford, Sheena E.; Brockwell, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Colicins are protein antibiotics synthesised by Escherichia coli strains to target and kill related bacteria. To prevent host suicide, colicins are inactivated by binding to immunity proteins. Despite their high avidity (Kd≈fM, lifetime ≈4 days), immunity protein release is a pre-requisite of colicin intoxication, which occurs on a timescale of minutes. Here, by measuring the dynamic force spectrum of the dissociation of the DNase domain of colicin E9 (E9) and immunity protein 9 (Im9) complex using an atomic force microscope we show that application of low forces (force-triggered increase in off-rate a trip bond. Using mutational analysis, we elucidate the mechanism of this switch in affinity. We show that the N-terminal region of E9, which has sparse contacts with the hydrophobic core, is linked to an allosteric activator region in E9 (residues 21–30) whose remodelling triggers immunity protein release. Diversion of the force transduction pathway by the introduction of appropriately positioned disulfide bridges yields a force resistant complex with a lifetime identical to that measured by ensemble techniques. A trip switch within E9 is ideal for its function as it allows bipartite complex affinity, whereby the stable colicin:immunity protein complex required for host protection can be readily converted to a kinetically unstable complex whose dissociation is necessary for cellular invasion and competitor death. More generally, the observation of two force phenotypes for the E9:Im9 complex demonstrates that force can re-sculpt the underlying energy landscape, providing new opportunities to modulate biological reactions in vivo; this rationalises the commonly observed discrepancy between off-rates measured by dynamic force spectroscopy and ensemble methods. PMID:23431269

  17. Rapid expansion of the protein disulfide isomerase gene family facilitates the folding of venom peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Li, Qing; Jackson, Ronneshia L.

    2016-01-01

    Formation of correct disulfide bonds in the endoplasmic reticulum is a crucial step for folding proteins destined for secretion. Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) play a central role in this process. We report a previously unidentified, hypervariable family of PDIs that represents the most...... diverse gene family of oxidoreductases described in a single genus to date. These enzymes are highly expressed specifically in the venom glands of predatory cone snails, animals that synthesize a remarkably diverse set of cysteine-rich peptide toxins (conotoxins). Enzymes in this PDI family, termed...

  18. Highly sensitive rapid fluorescence detection of protein residues on surgical instruments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kovalev, Valeri I; Bartona, James S; Richardson, Patricia R; Jones, Anita C

    2006-01-01

    There is a risk of contamination of surgical instruments by infectious protein residues, in particular, prions which are the agents for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. They are exceptionally resistant to conventional sterilization, therefore it is important to detect their presence as contaminants so that alternative cleaning procedures can be applied. We describe the development of an optimized detection system for fluorescently labelled protein, suitable for in-hospital use. We show that under optimum conditions the technique can detect ∼10 attomole/cm 2 with a scan speed of ∼3-10 cm 2 /s of the test instrument's surface. A theoretical analysis and experimental measurements will be discussed

  19. Functional genomics in zebrafish permits rapid characterization of novel platelet membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Marie N; Salles, Isabelle I; Cvejic, Ana; Watkins, Nicholas A; Walker, Adam; Garner, Stephen F; Jones, Chris I; Macaulay, Iain C; Steward, Michael; Zwaginga, Jaap-Jan; Bray, Sarah L; Dudbridge, Frank; de Bono, Bernard; Goodall, Alison H; Deckmyn, Hans; Stemple, Derek L; Ouwehand, Willem H

    2009-05-07

    In this study, we demonstrate the suitability of the vertebrate Danio rerio (zebrafish) for functional screening of novel platelet genes in vivo by reverse genetics. Comparative transcript analysis of platelets and their precursor cell, the megakaryocyte, together with nucleated blood cell elements, endothelial cells, and erythroblasts, identified novel platelet membrane proteins with hitherto unknown roles in thrombus formation. We determined the phenotype induced by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO)-based knockdown of 5 of these genes in a laser-induced arterial thrombosis model. To validate the model, the genes for platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb and the coagulation protein factor VIII were targeted. MO-injected fish showed normal thrombus initiation but severely impaired thrombus growth, consistent with the mouse knockout phenotypes, and concomitant knockdown of both resulted in spontaneous bleeding. Knockdown of 4 of the 5 novel platelet proteins altered arterial thrombosis, as demonstrated by modified kinetics of thrombus initiation and/or development. We identified a putative role for BAMBI and LRRC32 in promotion and DCBLD2 and ESAM in inhibition of thrombus formation. We conclude that phenotypic analysis of MO-injected zebrafish is a fast and powerful method for initial screening of novel platelet proteins for function in thrombosis.

  20. Rapid outer-surface protein C DNA tattoo vaccination protects against Borrelia afzelii infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagemakers, A.; Mason, L. M. K.; Oei, A.; de Wever, B.; van der Poll, T.; Bins, A. D.; Hovius, J. W. R.

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia afzelii is the predominant Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis in Europe. Currently there is no human vaccine against Lyme borreliosis, and most research focuses on recombinant protein vaccines against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. DNA tattooing is a novel vaccination method

  1. Fabrication of protein microarrays for alpha fetoprotein detection by using a rapid photo-immobilization process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirasa Yodmongkol

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, protein microarrays based on sandwich immunoassays are generated to quantify the amount of alpha fetoprotein (AFP in blood serum. For chip generation a mixture of capture antibody and a photoactive copolymer consisting of N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMAA, methacryloyloxy benzophenone (MaBP, and Na-4-styrenesulfonate (SSNa was spotted onto unmodified polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA substrates. Subsequently to printing of the microarray, the polymer and protein were photochemically cross-linked and the forming, biofunctionalized hydrogels simultaneously bound to the chip surface by short UV- irradiation. The obtained biochip was incubated with AFP antigen, followed by biotinylated AFP antibody and streptavidin-Cy5 and the fluorescence signal read-out. The developed microarray biochip covers the range of AFP in serum samples such as maternal serum in the range of 5 and 100 ng/ml. The chip production process is based on a fast and simple immobilization process, which can be applied to conventional plastic surfaces. Therefore, this protein microarray production process is a promising method to fabricate biochips for AFP screening processes. Keywords: Photo-immobilization, Protein microarray, Alpha fetoprotein, Hydrogel, 3D surface, Down syndrome

  2. SIMULATING PROTEIN DIGESTION ON TROUT A RAPID AND INEXPENSIVE METHOD FOR DOCUMENTING FISH MEAL QUALITY AND SCREENING NOVEL PROTEIN SOURCES FOR USE IN AQUAFEEDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Bassompierre

    1997-10-01

    Full Text Available A novel in vitro digestion system, which simulated rainbow trout gastric and intestinal digestion was developed. The method was employed to evaluate the impact of the gastric phase of digestion upon degradation of three fish meals od differing quality. Results illustrated that two-phase gastric-intestinal digestion increased the discriminatory powers of the system when compared to one-step intestinal digestion. A comparison of the system with pH-STAT methods demonstrated that the in vitro technique was superior. The presented method provides an ethical and cost effective means for rapid evaluation of fish meals and potentially, alternative protein sources for aquafeeds.

  3. Rapid concentration and dialysis of proteins with single hollow fibers: possible applications in analysis of protein secretion by isolated cells and steroid radioimmunoassays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rommerts, F.F.G.; Clotscher, W.F.; Van der Molen, H.J.

    1977-01-01

    Single hollow fibers were used in specially made cells for fast concentration and dialysis of solutions containing macromolecules. Volumes on the order of 5 ml of diluted protein solutions could be concentrated to 50--100 μl or less within 7 min with a protein recovery of 60--80%. More than 99% of the molecules with a molecular weight less than 500 could be removed in less than 1 hr. A possible application of the rapid dialysis method for the mechanization of radioimmunoassays is indicated. It was shown that in the radioimmunoassay of steriods the unbound steroids could be removed after incubation with antiserum, within 10 min and without a change in volume

  4. Ranking in evolving complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Hao; Mariani, Manuel Sebastian; Medo, Matúš; Zhang, Yi-Cheng; Zhou, Ming-Yang

    2017-05-01

    Complex networks have emerged as a simple yet powerful framework to represent and analyze a wide range of complex systems. The problem of ranking the nodes and the edges in complex networks is critical for a broad range of real-world problems because it affects how we access online information and products, how success and talent are evaluated in human activities, and how scarce resources are allocated by companies and policymakers, among others. This calls for a deep understanding of how existing ranking algorithms perform, and which are their possible biases that may impair their effectiveness. Many popular ranking algorithms (such as Google's PageRank) are static in nature and, as a consequence, they exhibit important shortcomings when applied to real networks that rapidly evolve in time. At the same time, recent advances in the understanding and modeling of evolving networks have enabled the development of a wide and diverse range of ranking algorithms that take the temporal dimension into account. The aim of this review is to survey the existing ranking algorithms, both static and time-aware, and their applications to evolving networks. We emphasize both the impact of network evolution on well-established static algorithms and the benefits from including the temporal dimension for tasks such as prediction of network traffic, prediction of future links, and identification of significant nodes.

  5. Population Divergence in Venom Bioactivities of Elapid Snake Pseudonaja textilis: Role of Procoagulant Proteins in Rapid Rodent Prey Incapacitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejić, Jure; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2013-01-01

    This study looked at how toxic proteins in venoms of adult Australian eastern Brown snakes Pseudonaja textilis from South Australian and Queensland populations interact with physiological functions of the lab SD rat Rattus norvegicus. Circulatory collapse and incoagulable blood occurred instantly after injection of venom under the dorsal skin of anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated rats in an imitation of a P. textilis bite. Intravenous injection of purified P. textilis (Mackay, QLD) venom prothrombin activator proteins caused instant failure of circulation, testifying of high toxicity of these proteins and suggesting their role in rapid incapacitation of rodent prey. The hypothesis is further supported by circulatory collapse occurring instantly despite artificial respiration in envenomed rats and the finding of extremely high venom procoagulant potency in rat plasma. LC-MS and physiology assays revealed divergent venom composition and biological activity of South Australian (Barossa locality) and Queensland (Mackay locality) populations, which may be driven by selection for different prey. The Queensland venom of P. textilis was found to be more procoagulant and to exhibit predominately presynaptic neurotoxicity, while the South Australian venom contained diverse postsynaptic type II and III α-neurotoxins in addition to the presynaptic neurotoxins and caused significantly faster onset of neuromuscular blockade in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. LC-MS analysis found evidence of multiple coagulation factor X-like proteins in P. textilis venoms, including a match to P. textilis coagulation factor X isoform 2, previously known to be expressed only in the liver. PMID:23691135

  6. Population divergence in venom bioactivities of elapid snake Pseudonaja textilis: role of procoagulant proteins in rapid rodent prey incapacitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure Skejić

    Full Text Available This study looked at how toxic proteins in venoms of adult Australian eastern Brown snakes Pseudonaja textilis from South Australian and Queensland populations interact with physiological functions of the lab SD rat Rattus norvegicus. Circulatory collapse and incoagulable blood occurred instantly after injection of venom under the dorsal skin of anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated rats in an imitation of a P. textilis bite. Intravenous injection of purified P. textilis (Mackay, QLD venom prothrombin activator proteins caused instant failure of circulation, testifying of high toxicity of these proteins and suggesting their role in rapid incapacitation of rodent prey. The hypothesis is further supported by circulatory collapse occurring instantly despite artificial respiration in envenomed rats and the finding of extremely high venom procoagulant potency in rat plasma. LC-MS and physiology assays revealed divergent venom composition and biological activity of South Australian (Barossa locality and Queensland (Mackay locality populations, which may be driven by selection for different prey. The Queensland venom of P. textilis was found to be more procoagulant and to exhibit predominately presynaptic neurotoxicity, while the South Australian venom contained diverse postsynaptic type II and III α-neurotoxins in addition to the presynaptic neurotoxins and caused significantly faster onset of neuromuscular blockade in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. LC-MS analysis found evidence of multiple coagulation factor X-like proteins in P. textilis venoms, including a match to P. textilis coagulation factor X isoform 2, previously known to be expressed only in the liver.

  7. Transcription and expression of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich proteins in different stages and strains: implications for rapid diagnostic tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne Baker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs for Plasmodium falciparum infection that target histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP2 are generally sensitive, their performance has been reported to be variable. One possible explanation for variable test performance is differences in expression level of PfHRP in different parasite isolates. METHODS: Total RNA and protein were extracted from synchronised cultures of 7 P. falciparum lines over 5 time points of the life cycle, and from synchronised ring stages of 10 falciparum lines. Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis and ELISA we investigated variations in the transcription and protein levels of pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and PfHRP respectively in the different parasite lines, over the parasite intraerythrocytic life cycle. RESULTS: Transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 in different parasite lines over the parasite life cycle was observed to vary relative to the control parasite K1. In some parasite lines very low transcription of these genes was observed. The peak transcription was observed in ring-stage parasites. Pfhrp2 transcription was observed to be consistently higher than pfhrp3 transcription within parasite lines. The intraerythrocytic lifecycle stage at which the peak level of protein was present varied across strains. Total protein levels were more constant relative to total mRNA transcription, however a maximum 24 fold difference in expression at ring-stage parasites relative to the K1 strain was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The levels of transcription of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3, and protein expression of PfHRP varied between different P. falciparum strains. This variation may impact on the detection sensitivity of PfHRP2-detecting RDTs.

  8. A Lateral Flow Protein Microarray for Rapid and Sensitive Antibody Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helene Andersson-Svahn

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Protein microarrays are useful tools for highly multiplexed determination of presence or levels of clinically relevant biomarkers in human tissues and biofluids. However, such tools have thus far been restricted to laboratory environments. Here, we present a novel 384-plexed easy to use lateral flow protein microarray device capable of sensitive (< 30 ng/mL determination of antigen-specific antibodies in ten minutes of total assay time. Results were developed with gold nanobeads and could be recorded by a cell-phone camera or table top scanner. Excellent accuracy with an area under curve (AUC of 98% was achieved in comparison with an established glass microarray assay for 26 antigen-specific antibodies. We propose that the presented framework could find use in convenient and cost-efficient quality control of antibody production, as well as in providing a platform for multiplexed affinity-based assays in low-resource or mobile settings.

  9. Highly sensitive rapid fluorescence detection of protein residues on surgical instruments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kovalev, Valeri I [School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS (United Kingdom); Bartona, James S [School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS (United Kingdom); Richardson, Patricia R [School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JJ (United Kingdom); Jones, Anita C [School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JJ (United Kingdom)

    2006-07-15

    There is a risk of contamination of surgical instruments by infectious protein residues, in particular, prions which are the agents for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. They are exceptionally resistant to conventional sterilization, therefore it is important to detect their presence as contaminants so that alternative cleaning procedures can be applied. We describe the development of an optimized detection system for fluorescently labelled protein, suitable for in-hospital use. We show that under optimum conditions the technique can detect {approx}10 attomole/cm{sup 2} with a scan speed of {approx}3-10 cm{sup 2}/s of the test instrument's surface. A theoretical analysis and experimental measurements will be discussed.

  10. Rapid detection, classification and accurate alignment of up to a million or more related protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuwald, Andrew F

    2009-08-01

    The patterns of sequence similarity and divergence present within functionally diverse, evolutionarily related proteins contain implicit information about corresponding biochemical similarities and differences. A first step toward accessing such information is to statistically analyze these patterns, which, in turn, requires that one first identify and accurately align a very large set of protein sequences. Ideally, the set should include many distantly related, functionally divergent subgroups. Because it is extremely difficult, if not impossible for fully automated methods to align such sequences correctly, researchers often resort to manual curation based on detailed structural and biochemical information. However, multiply-aligning vast numbers of sequences in this way is clearly impractical. This problem is addressed using Multiply-Aligned Profiles for Global Alignment of Protein Sequences (MAPGAPS). The MAPGAPS program uses a set of multiply-aligned profiles both as a query to detect and classify related sequences and as a template to multiply-align the sequences. It relies on Karlin-Altschul statistics for sensitivity and on PSI-BLAST (and other) heuristics for speed. Using as input a carefully curated multiple-profile alignment for P-loop GTPases, MAPGAPS correctly aligned weakly conserved sequence motifs within 33 distantly related GTPases of known structure. By comparison, the sequence- and structurally based alignment methods hmmalign and PROMALS3D misaligned at least 11 and 23 of these regions, respectively. When applied to a dataset of 65 million protein sequences, MAPGAPS identified, classified and aligned (with comparable accuracy) nearly half a million putative P-loop GTPase sequences. A C++ implementation of MAPGAPS is available at http://mapgaps.igs.umaryland.edu. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  11. Rapid changes in plasma membrane protein phosphorylation during initiation of cell wall digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blowers, D.P.; Boss, W.F.; Trewavas, A.J.

    1988-01-01

    Plasma membrane vesicles from wild carrot cells grown in suspension culture were isolated by aqueous two-phase partitioning, and ATP-dependent phosphorylation was measured with [γ- 32 P]ATP in the presence and absence of calcium. Treatment of the carrot cells with the cell wall digestion enzymes, driselase, in a sorbitol osmoticum for 1.5 min altered the protein phosphorylation pattern compared to that of cells treated with sorbitol alone. Driselase treatment resulted in decreased phosphorylation of a band of M r 80,000 which showed almost complete calcium dependence in the osmoticum treated cells; decreased phosphorylation of a band of M r 15,000 which showed little calcium activation, and appearance of a new band of calcium-dependent phosphorylation at M r 22,000. However, protein phosphorylation was decreased. Adding driselase to the in vitro reaction mixture caused a general decrease in the membrane protein phosphorylation either in the presence or absence of calcium which did not mimic the in vivo response. Cells labeled in vivo with inorganic 32 P also showed a response to the Driselase treatment. An enzymically active driselas preparation was required for the observed responses

  12. Rapid DNA Synthesis During Early Drosophila Embryogenesis Is Sensitive to Maternal Humpty Dumpty Protein Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesly, Shera; Bandura, Jennifer L; Calvi, Brian R

    2017-11-01

    Problems with DNA replication cause cancer and developmental malformations. It is not fully understood how DNA replication is coordinated with development and perturbed in disease. We had previously identified the Drosophila gene humpty dumpty ( hd ), and showed that null alleles cause incomplete DNA replication, tissue undergrowth, and lethality. Animals homozygous for the missense allele, hd 272-9 , were viable, but adult females had impaired amplification of eggshell protein genes in the ovary, resulting in the maternal effects of thin eggshells and embryonic lethality. Here, we show that expression of an hd transgene in somatic cells of the ovary rescues amplification and eggshell synthesis but not embryo viability. The germline of these mothers remain mutant for the hd 272-9 allele, resulting in reduced maternal Hd protein and embryonic arrest during mitosis of the first few S/M nuclear cleavage cycles with chromosome instability and chromosome bridges. Epistasis analysis of hd with the rereplication mutation plutonium indicates that the chromosome bridges of hd embryos are the result of a failed attempt to segregate incompletely replicated sister chromatids. This study reveals that maternally encoded Humpty dumpty protein is essential for DNA replication and genome integrity during the little-understood embryonic S/M cycles. Moreover, the two hd 272-9 maternal-effect phenotypes suggest that ovarian gene amplification and embryonic cleavage are two time periods in development that are particularly sensitive to mild deficits in DNA replication function. This last observation has broader relevance for interpreting why mild mutations in the human ortholog of humpty dumpty and other DNA replication genes cause tissue-specific malformations of microcephalic dwarfisms. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Radioiododestannylation. Convenient synthesis of a stable penicillin derivative for rapid penicillin binding protein (PBP) assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blaszczak, L.C.; Halligan, N.G.; Seitz, D.E.

    1989-01-01

    Radioiodination of p-(trimethylstannyl)penicillin V with [ 125 I]Na using a modification of the chloramine-T method is simple, high yielding, and site-specific. The structure and penicillin binding protein (PBP) affinity of p-[ 125 I]-penicillin V (IPV) are similar to penicillin G and the product can be used directly without purification in the PBP assay. Because of the high degree of stability toward autoradiolysis and equivalent PBP binding affinity, IPV can be used in place of [ 3 H]-penicillin G or [ 14 C]-penicillin G for these experiments. (author)

  14. Rapid and accurate prediction and scoring of water molecules in protein binding sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory A Ross

    Full Text Available Water plays a critical role in ligand-protein interactions. However, it is still challenging to predict accurately not only where water molecules prefer to bind, but also which of those water molecules might be displaceable. The latter is often seen as a route to optimizing affinity of potential drug candidates. Using a protocol we call WaterDock, we show that the freely available AutoDock Vina tool can be used to predict accurately the binding sites of water molecules. WaterDock was validated using data from X-ray crystallography, neutron diffraction and molecular dynamics simulations and correctly predicted 97% of the water molecules in the test set. In addition, we combined data-mining, heuristic and machine learning techniques to develop probabilistic water molecule classifiers. When applied to WaterDock predictions in the Astex Diverse Set of protein ligand complexes, we could identify whether a water molecule was conserved or displaced to an accuracy of 75%. A second model predicted whether water molecules were displaced by polar groups or by non-polar groups to an accuracy of 80%. These results should prove useful for anyone wishing to undertake rational design of new compounds where the displacement of water molecules is being considered as a route to improved affinity.

  15. [A hydroponic cultivation system for rapid high-yield transient protein expression in Nicotiana plants under laboratory conditions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Qianzhen; Mai, Rongjia; Yang, Zhixiao; Chen, Minfang; Yang, Tiezhao; Lai, Huafang; Yang, Peiliang; Chen, Qiang; Zhou, Xiaohong

    2012-06-01

    To develop a hydroponic Nicotiana cultivation system for rapid and high-yield transient expression of recombinant proteins under laboratory conditions. To establish the hydroponic cultivation system, several parameters were examined to define the optimal conditions for the expression of recombinant proteins in plants. We used the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the geminiviral plant transient expression vector as the model protein/expression vector. We examined the impact of Nicotiana species, the density and time of Agrobacterium infiltration, and the post-infiltration growth period on the accumulation of GFP. The expression levels of GFP in Nicotiana leaves were then examined by Western blotting and ELISA. Our data indicated that a hydroponic Nicotiana cultivation system with a light intensity of 9000 LX/layer, a light cycle of 16 h day/8 h night, a temperature regime of 28 degrees celsius; day/21 degrees celsius; night, and a relative humidity of 80% could support the optimal plant growth and protein expression. After agroinfiltration with pBYGFPDsRed.R/LBA4404, high levels of GFP expression were observed in both N. benthamiana and N. tobaccum (cv. Yuyan No.5) plants cultured with this hydroponic cultivation system. An optimal GFP expression was achieved in both Nicotiana species leaves 4 days after infiltration by Agrobacterium with an OD(600) of 0.8. At a given time point, the average biomass of N. tobaccum (cv. Yuyan No.5) was significantly higher than that of N. benthamiana. The leaves from 6-week-old N. benthamiana plants and 5-week-old N. tobaccum (cv. Yuyan No.5) plants could be the optimal material for agroinfiltration. We have established a hydroponic cultivation system that allows robust growth of N. benthamiana and N. tobaccum (cv. Yuyan No.5) plants and the optimal GFP expression in the artificial climate box.

  16. Guinea Pig Prion Protein Supports Rapid Propagation of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Saltzberg, Daniel J; Dugger, Brittany N; Patel, Smita; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Sali, Andrej; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2016-11-01

    The biochemical and neuropathological properties of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) prions are faithfully maintained upon transmission to guinea pigs. However, primary and secondary transmissions of BSE and vCJD in guinea pigs result in long incubation periods of ∼450 and ∼350 days, respectively. To determine if the incubation periods of BSE and vCJD prions could be shortened, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing guinea pig prion protein (GPPrP). Inoculation of Tg(GPPrP) mice with BSE and vCJD prions resulted in mean incubation periods of 210 and 199 days, respectively, which shortened to 137 and 122 days upon serial transmission. In contrast, three different isolates of sporadic CJD prions failed to transmit disease to Tg(GPPrP) mice. Many of the strain-specified biochemical and neuropathological properties of BSE and vCJD prions, including the presence of type 2 protease-resistant PrP Sc , were preserved upon propagation in Tg(GPPrP) mice. Structural modeling revealed that two residues near the N-terminal region of α-helix 1 in GPPrP might mediate its susceptibility to BSE and vCJD prions. Our results demonstrate that expression of GPPrP in Tg mice supports the rapid propagation of BSE and vCJD prions and suggest that Tg(GPPrP) mice may serve as a useful paradigm for bioassaying these prion isolates. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions are two of the prion strains most relevant to human health. However, propagating these strains in mice expressing human or bovine prion protein has been difficult because of prolonged incubation periods or inefficient transmission. Here, we show that transgenic mice expressing guinea pig prion protein are fully susceptible to vCJD and BSE prions but not to sporadic CJD prions. Our results suggest that the guinea pig prion protein is a better, more rapid substrate than either bovine or human prion protein for

  17. Rapid RNase L-driven arrest of protein synthesis in the dsRNA response without degradation of translation machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Jesse; Rath, Sneha; Kolet-Mandrikov, David; Korennykh, Alexei

    2017-11-01

    Mammalian cells respond to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) by activating a translation-inhibiting endoribonuclease, RNase L. Consensus in the field indicates that RNase L arrests protein synthesis by degrading ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs). However, here we provide evidence for a different and far more efficient mechanism. By sequencing abundant RNA fragments generated by RNase L in human cells, we identify site-specific cleavage of two groups of noncoding RNAs: Y-RNAs, whose function is poorly understood, and cytosolic tRNAs, which are essential for translation. Quantitative analysis of human RNA cleavage versus nascent protein synthesis in lung carcinoma cells shows that RNase L stops global translation when tRNAs, as well as rRNAs and mRNAs, are still intact. Therefore, RNase L does not have to degrade the translation machinery to stop protein synthesis. Our data point to a rapid mechanism that transforms a subtle RNA cleavage into a cell-wide translation arrest. © 2017 Donovan et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  18. Protein tethering enables rapid and label-free SERS platform for screening drugs of abuse (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddhanta, Soumik; Wróbel, Maciej S.; Barman, Ishan

    2017-02-01

    A quick, cost-effective method for detection of drugs of abuse in biological fluids would be of great value in healthcare, law enforcement, and home testing applications. The alarming rise in narcotics abuse has led to considerable focus on developing potent and versatile analytical tools that can address this societal problem. While laboratory testing plays a key role in the current detection of drug misuse and the evaluation of patients with drug induced intoxication, these typically require expensive reagents and trained personnel, and may take hours to complete. Thus, a significant unmet need is to engineer a facile method that can rapidly detect drugs with little sample preparation, especially the bound fraction that is typically dominant in the blood stream. Here we report an approach that combines the exquisite sensitivity of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and a facile protein tethering mechanism to reliably detect four different classes of drugs, barbiturate, benzodiazepine, amphetamine and benzoylecgonine. The proposed approach harnesses the reliable and specific attachment of proteins to both drugs and nanoparticle to facilitate the enhancement of spectral markers that are sensitive to the presence of the drugs. In conjunction with chemometric tools, we have shown the ability to quantify these drugs lower than levels achievable by existing clinical immunoassays. Through molecular docking simulations, we also probe the mechanistic underpinnings of the protein tethering approach, opening the door to detection of a broad class of narcotics in biological fluids within a few minutes as well as for groundwater analysis and toxin detection.

  19. Effect of Rapid Chilling on Beef Quality and Cytoskeletal Protein Degradation in of Chinese Yellow Crossbred Bulls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanwei Mao

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of rapid chilling (RC on beef quality and the degradation of cytoskeletal proteins. Twenty Chinese Yellow crossbred bulls were selected and randomly divided into two groups. RC and conventional chilling (CC were applied to left and right sides of the carcasses respectively after slaughtering. To determine whether electrical stimulation (ES treatment can alleviate the potential hazard of RC on meat quality, ES was applied to one group. The effects of RC and ES were determined by meat color, shear force and cytoskeletal protein degradation postmortem (PM. The results showed that RC decreased beef tenderness at 1 d and 3 d postmortem, but had no detrimental effect on meat color. Western blotting showed that RC decreased the degradation rate of desmin and troponin-T, but the effects weakened gradually as postmortem aging extended. Degradation rates of both desmin and troponin-T were accelerated by ES. The combination of RC and ES could improve beef color, accelerate degradation rate of cytoskeletal protein and improve beef tenderness.

  20. A rapid screening method to monitor expression of various recombinant proteins from prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jebanathirajah, J.A.; Andersen, S.; Blagoev, B.

    2002-01-01

    Rapid methods using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry to monitor recombinant protein expression from various prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell culture systems were devised. Intracellular as well as secreted proteins from both induced and constitutive...

  1. Rapid bursts of androgen-binding protein (Abp) gene duplication occurred independently in diverse mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laukaitis, Christina M; Heger, Andreas; Blakley, Tyler D; Munclinger, Pavel; Ponting, Chris P; Karn, Robert C

    2008-02-12

    The draft mouse (Mus musculus) genome sequence revealed an unexpected proliferation of gene duplicates encoding a family of secretoglobin proteins including the androgen-binding protein (ABP) alpha, beta and gamma subunits. Further investigation of 14 alpha-like (Abpa) and 13 beta- or gamma-like (Abpbg) undisrupted gene sequences revealed a rich diversity of developmental stage-, sex- and tissue-specific expression. Despite these studies, our understanding of the evolution of this gene family remains incomplete. Questions arise from imperfections in the initial mouse genome assembly and a dearth of information about the gene family structure in other rodents and mammals. Here, we interrogate the latest 'finished' mouse (Mus musculus) genome sequence assembly to show that the Abp gene repertoire is, in fact, twice as large as reported previously, with 30 Abpa and 34 Abpbg genes and pseudogenes. All of these have arisen since the last common ancestor with rat (Rattus norvegicus). We then demonstrate, by sequencing homologs from species within the Mus genus, that this burst of gene duplication occurred very recently, within the past seven million years. Finally, we survey Abp orthologs in genomes from across the mammalian clade and show that bursts of Abp gene duplications are not specific to the murid rodents; they also occurred recently in the lagomorph (rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus) and ruminant (cattle, Bos taurus) lineages, although not in other mammalian taxa. We conclude that Abp genes have undergone repeated bursts of gene duplication and adaptive sequence diversification driven by these genes' participation in chemosensation and/or sexual identification.

  2. A rapid generation of adenovirus vector with a genetic modification in hexon protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Bingyan; Mao, Qinwen; Zhao, Junli; Li, Xing; Wang, Dongyang; Xia, Haibin

    2012-02-10

    The generation of hexon-modified adenovirus vector has proven difficult. In this paper, we developed a novel method for rapid generation of hexon-modified adenoviral vector via one step ligation in vitro followed by quick white/blue color screening. The new system has the following features. First, eGFP expression driven by the CMV promoter in E1 region functions as a reporter to evaluate the tropism of hexon-modified adenovirus in vitro. Second, it has two unique restriction enzyme sites with sticky ends located in the hexon HVR5 region. Third, a lacZ expression cassette under the control of plac promoter is placed between the two restriction enzyme sites, which allows recombinants to be selected using blue/white screening. To prove the principle of the method, genetically modified adenoviruses were successfully produced by insertion of NGR, RGD or Tat PTD peptide into hexon HVR5. Furthermore, the transduction efficiency of the Tat PTD modified virus was shown to be a significant enhancement in A172 and CHO-K1 cells. In conclusion, the novel system makes the production of truly retargeted vectors more promising, which would be of substantial benefit for cancer gene therapy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Mentoring: An Evolving Relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Michelle; Florczak, Kristine L

    2017-04-01

    The column concerns itself with mentoring as an evolving relationship between mentor and mentee. The collegiate mentoring model, the transformational transcendence model, and the humanbecoming mentoring model are considered in light of a dialogue with mentors at a Midwest university and conclusions are drawn.

  4. Methods Evolved by Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montessori, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Montessori's idea of the child's nature and the teacher's perceptiveness begins with amazing simplicity, and when she speaks of "methods evolved," she is unveiling a methodological system for observation. She begins with the early childhood explosion into writing, which is a familiar child phenomenon that Montessori has written about…

  5. Rapid and Highly Sensitive Detection of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Abnormal Prion Protein on Steel Surfaces by Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification: Application to Prion Decontamination Studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime Belondrade

    Full Text Available The prevalence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD in the population remains uncertain, although it has been estimated that 1 in 2000 people in the United Kingdom are positive for abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE by a recent survey of archived appendix tissues. The prominent lymphotropism of vCJD prions raises the possibility that some surgical procedures may be at risk of iatrogenic vCJD transmission in healthcare facilities. It is therefore vital that decontamination procedures applied to medical devices before their reprocessing are thoroughly validated. A current limitation is the lack of a rapid model permissive to human prions. Here, we developed a prion detection assay based on protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA technology combined with stainless-steel wire surfaces as carriers of prions (Surf-PMCA. This assay allowed the specific detection of minute quantities (10-8 brain dilution of either human vCJD or ovine scrapie PrPTSE adsorbed onto a single steel wire, within a two week timeframe. Using Surf-PMCA we evaluated the performance of several reference and commercially available prion-specific decontamination procedures. Surprisingly, we found the efficiency of several marketed reagents to remove human vCJD PrPTSE was lower than expected. Overall, our results demonstrate that Surf-PMCA can be used as a rapid and ultrasensitive assay for the detection of human vCJD PrPTSE adsorbed onto a metallic surface, therefore facilitating the development and validation of decontamination procedures against human prions.

  6. A rapid lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of tyrosine phosphatase-like protein IA-2 autoantibodies in human serum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Kikkas

    Full Text Available Type 1 diabetes (T1D results from the destruction of pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells and is strongly associated with the presence of islet autoantibodies. Autoantibodies to tyrosine phosphatase-like protein IA-2 (IA-2As are considered to be highly predictive markers of T1D. We developed a novel lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA based on a bridging format for the rapid detection of IA-2As in human serum samples. In this assay, one site of the IA-2As is bound to HA-tagged-IA-2, which is subsequently captured on the anti-HA-Tag antibody-coated test line on the strip. The other site of the IA-2As is bound to biotinylated IA-2, allowing the complex to be visualized using colloidal gold nanoparticle-conjugated streptavidin. For this study, 35 serum samples from T1D patients and 44 control sera from non-diabetic individuals were analyzed with our novel assay and the results were correlated with two IA-2A ELISAs. Among the 35 serum samples from T1D patients, the IA-2A LFIA, the in-house IA-2A ELISA and the commercial IA-2A ELISA identified as positive 21, 29 and 30 IA-2A-positive sera, respectively. The major advantages of the IA-2A LFIA are its rapidity and simplicity.

  7. Nanobodies: site-specific labeling for super-resolution imaging, rapid epitope-mapping and native protein complex isolation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleiner, Tino; Bates, Mark; Trakhanov, Sergei; Lee, Chung-Tien; Schliep, Jan Erik; Chug, Hema; Böhning, Marc; Stark, Holger; Urlaub, Henning; Görlich, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Nanobodies are single-domain antibodies of camelid origin. We generated nanobodies against the vertebrate nuclear pore complex (NPC) and used them in STORM imaging to locate individual NPC proteins with nanobody sequence and labeled the resulting proteins with fluorophore-maleimides. As nanobodies are normally stabilized by disulfide-bonded cysteines, this appears counterintuitive. Yet, our analysis showed that this caused no folding problems. Compared to traditional NHS ester-labeling of lysines, the cysteine-maleimide strategy resulted in far less background in fluorescence imaging, it better preserved epitope recognition and it is site-specific. We also devised a rapid epitope-mapping strategy, which relies on crosslinking mass spectrometry and the introduced ectopic cysteines. Finally, we used different anti-nucleoporin nanobodies to purify the major NPC building blocks – each in a single step, with native elution and, as demonstrated, in excellent quality for structural analysis by electron microscopy. The presented strategies are applicable to any nanobody and nanobody-target. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11349.001 PMID:26633879

  8. Efficiency of histidine rich protein II-based rapid diagnostic tests for monitoring malaria transmission intensities in an endemic area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modupe, Dokunmu Titilope; Iyabo, Olasehinde Grace; Oladoke, Oladejo David; Oladeji, Olanrewaju; Abisola, Akinbobola; Ufuoma, Adjekukor Cynthia; Faith, Yakubu Omolara; Humphrey, Adebayo Abiodun

    2018-04-01

    In recent years there has been a global decrease in the prevalence of malaria due to scaling up of control measures, hence global control efforts now target elimination and eradication of the disease. However, a major problem associated with elimination is asymptomatic reservoir of infection especially in endemic areas. This study aims to determine the efficiency of histidine rich protein II (HRP-2) based rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for monitoring transmission intensities in an endemic community in Nigeria during the pre-elimination stage. Plasmodium falciparum asymptomatic malaria infection in healthy individuals and symptomatic cases were detected using HRP-2. RDT negative tests were re-checked by microscopy and by primer specific PCR amplification of merozoite surface protein 2 (msp-2) for asexual parasites and Pfs25 gene for gametocytes in selected samples to detect low level parasitemia undetectable by microscopy. The mean age of the study population (n=280) was 6.12 years [95% CI 5.16 - 7.08, range 0.5 - 55], parasite prevalence was 44.6% and 36.3% by microscopy and RDT respectively (p =0.056). The parasite prevalence of 61.5% in children aged >2 - 10 years was significantly higher than 3.7% rate in adults >18years (p malaria in endemic areas.

  9. EVOLVE 2014 International Conference

    CERN Document Server

    Tantar, Emilia; Sun, Jian-Qiao; Zhang, Wei; Ding, Qian; Schütze, Oliver; Emmerich, Michael; Legrand, Pierrick; Moral, Pierre; Coello, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    This volume encloses research articles that were presented at the EVOLVE 2014 International Conference in Beijing, China, July 1–4, 2014.The book gathers contributions that emerged from the conference tracks, ranging from probability to set oriented numerics and evolutionary computation; all complemented by the bridging purpose of the conference, e.g. Complex Networks and Landscape Analysis, or by the more application oriented perspective. The novelty of the volume, when considering the EVOLVE series, comes from targeting also the practitioner’s view. This is supported by the Machine Learning Applied to Networks and Practical Aspects of Evolutionary Algorithms tracks, providing surveys on new application areas, as in the networking area and useful insights in the development of evolutionary techniques, from a practitioner’s perspective. Complementary to these directions, the conference tracks supporting the volume, follow on the individual advancements of the subareas constituting the scope of the confe...

  10. Evolving Procurement Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bals, Lydia; Laine, Jari; Mugurusi, Godfrey

    Procurement has to find further levers and advance its contribution to corporate goals continuously. This places pressure on its organization in order to facilitate its performance. Therefore, procurement organizations constantly have to evolve in order to match these demands. A conceptual model...... and external contingency factors and having a more detailed look at the structural dimensions chosen, beyond the well-known characteristics of centralization, formalization, participation, specialization, standardization and size. From a theoretical perspective, it opens up insights that can be leveraged...

  11. Symbiotic Composition and Evolvability

    OpenAIRE

    Watson, Richard A.; Pollack, Jordan B.

    2001-01-01

    Several of the Major Transitions in natural evolution, such as the symbiogenic origin of eukaryotes from prokaryotes, share the feature that existing entities became the components of composite entities at a higher level of organisation. This composition of pre-adapted extant entities into a new whole is a fundamentally different source of variation from the gradual accumulation of small random variations, and it has some interesting consequences for issues of evolvability. In this paper we p...

  12. Evolvable Neural Software System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs may have a ruler NBF, which in turn communicates with other sets of NBFs. These sets of NBFs may function as nodes to a ruler node, which are also NBF constructs. In this manner, the synthetic neural system can exhibit the complexity, three-dimensional connectivity, and adaptability of biological neural systems. An added advantage of ENSS over a natural neural system is its ability to modify its core genetic code in response to environmental changes as reflected in needs and requirements. The neural system is fully adaptive and evolvable and is trainable before release. It continues to rewire itself while on the job. The NBF is a unique, bilevel intelligence neural system composed of a higher-level heuristic neural system (HNS) and a lower-level, autonomic neural system (ANS). Taken together, the HNS and the ANS give each NBF the complete capabilities of a biological neural system to match sensory inputs to actions. Another feature of the NBF is the Evolvable Neural Interface (ENI), which links the HNS and ANS. The ENI solves the interface problem between these two systems by actively adapting and evolving from a primitive initial state (a Neural Thread) to a complicated, operational ENI and successfully adapting to a training sequence of sensory input. This simulates the adaptation of a biological neural system in a developmental phase. Within the greater multi-NBF and multi-node ENSS, self-similar ENI s provide the basis for inter-NBF and inter-node connectivity.

  13. Evolved H II regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Churchwell, E.

    1975-01-01

    A probable evolutionary sequence of H II regions based on six distinct types of observed objects is suggested. Two examples which may deviate from this idealized sequence, are discussed. Even though a size-mean density relation of H II regions can be used as a rough indication of whether a nebula is very young or evolved, it is argued that such a relation is not likely to be useful for the quantitative assignment of ages to H II regions. Evolved H II regions appear to fit into one of four structural types: rings, core-halos, smooth structures, and irregular or filamentary structures. Examples of each type are given with their derived physical parameters. The energy balance in these nebulae is considered. The mass of ionized gas in evolved H II regions is in general too large to trace the nebula back to single compact H II regions. Finally, the morphological type of the Galaxy is considered from its H II region content. 2 tables, 2 figs., 29 refs

  14. Fluorescent protein-tagged Vpr dissociates from HIV-1 core after viral fusion and rapidly enters the cell nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Tanay M; Marin, Mariana; Sood, Chetan; Shi, Jiong; Nawaz, Fatima; Aiken, Christopher; Melikyan, Gregory B

    2015-10-29

    HIV-1 Vpr is recruited into virions during assembly and appears to remain associated with the viral core after the reverse transcription and uncoating steps of entry. This feature has prompted the use of fluorescently labeled Vpr to visualize viral particles and to follow trafficking of post-fusion HIV-1 cores in the cytoplasm. Here, we tracked single pseudovirus entry and fusion and observed that fluorescently tagged Vpr gradually dissociates from post-fusion viral cores over the course of several minutes and accumulates in the nucleus. Kinetics measurements showed that fluorescent Vpr released from the cores very rapidly entered the cell nucleus. More than 10,000 Vpr molecules can be delivered into the cell nucleus within 45 min of infection by HIV-1 particles pseudotyped with the avian sarcoma and leukosis virus envelope glycoprotein. The fraction of Vpr from cell-bound viruses that accumulated in the nucleus was proportional to the extent of virus-cell fusion and was fully blocked by viral fusion inhibitors. Entry of virus-derived Vpr into the nucleus occurred independently of envelope glycoproteins or target cells. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy revealed two forms of nuclear Vpr-monomers and very large complexes, likely involving host factors. The kinetics of viral Vpr entering the nucleus after fusion was not affected by point mutations in the capsid protein that alter the stability of the viral core. The independence of Vpr shedding of capsid stability and its relatively rapid dissociation from post-fusion cores suggest that this process may precede capsid uncoating, which appears to occur on a slower time scale. Our results thus demonstrate that a bulk of fluorescently labeled Vpr incorporated into HIV-1 particles is released shortly after fusion. Future studies will address the question whether the quick and efficient nuclear delivery of Vpr derived from incoming viruses can regulate subsequent steps of HIV-1 infection.

  15. Efficacy of Corrected Rapid Turnover Protein Increment Index (CRII) for Early Detection of Improvement of Nutrition Status in Patients with Malnutrition

    OpenAIRE

    Suyama, Yohji; Adachi, Kyoichi; Notsu, Yoshitomo; Satoh, Emi; Nariai, Yukiko; Hashimoto, Yohko; Sumi, Asako; Kawaguchi, Mikiko; Ishimura, Norihisa

    2009-01-01

    Serum prealbumin level is useful for assessment of changes in nutritional status but it is markedly affected by the inflammation. In this study, we examined the efficacy of the corrected rapid turnover protein increment index (CRII) for prealbumin, which is calculated as [prealbumin level/C-reactive protein (CRP) level on the assessment day]/[prealbumin level/CRP level on the day of starting nutritional care], for prediction of improvement of nutritional status in patients with malnutrition. ...

  16. A rapid radioimmunoassay using 125I-labeled staphylococcal protein A for antibody to varicella-zoster virus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richman, D.D.; Cleveland, P.H.; Oxman, M.N.; Zaia, J.A.

    1981-01-01

    A sensitive radioimmunoassay for serum antibody to varicella-zoster virus is described; it uses 125I-labeled staphylococcal protein A and a specially designed immunofiltration apparatus. The assay accurately distinguishes between individuals who are susceptible and those who are immune to infection with varicella-zoster virus. In addition, it can detect passive antibody in recipients of varicella-zoster immune globulin. This radioimmunoassay also detects the heterologous antibody responses that occasionally occur in patients infected with herpes simplex virus, which also have been detected by other antibody assays. The particular advantages of this assay are the use of noninfectious reagents, the speed of execution (less than 3 hr), the requirement for only small quantities of serum (30 microliters), the objectivity of end-point determination, and the capability of screening large numbers of sera. Consequently, this radioimmunoassay is especially useful for the rapid identification of susceptible individuals, which is essential for the appropriate management of patients and hospital personnel after exposure to varicella

  17. How Genes Evolve

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    focus on ecological and evolutionary genetics of ... construction of phylogenetic trees from molecular data. More recently, use of ... 500 MVA- Bony fishes. Ca 100 MVA - .... functional or structural domain of the proteins e.g. tropomysine chain ...

  18. Development of an automated on-line pepsin digestion-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry configuration for the rapid analysis of protein adducts of chemical warfare agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carol-Visser, J.; van der Schans, M.; Fidder, A.; Huist, A.G.; van Baar, B.L.M.; Irth, H.; Noort, D.

    2008-01-01

    Rapid monitoring and retrospective verification are key issues in protection against and non-proliferation of chemical warfare agents (CWA). Such monitoring and verification are adequately accomplished by the analysis of persistent protein adducts of these agents. Liquid chromatography-mass

  19. Evolving Procurement Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bals, Lydia; Laiho, Aki; Laine, Jari

    Procurement has to find further levers and advance its contribution to corporate goals continuously. This places pressure on its organization in order to facilitate its performance. Therefore, Procurement organizations constantly have to evolve in order to match these demands. A conceptual model...... is presented and results of a first case study discussed. The findings highlight the importance of taking a contingency perspective on Procurement organization, understanding the internal and internal contingency factors. From a theoretical perspective, it opens up insights that can be furthermore leveraged...... in future studies in the fields of hybrid procurement organizations, global sourcing organizations as well as international procurement offices (IPOs). From a practical standpoint, an assessment of external and internal contingencies provides the opportunity to consciously match organization to its...

  20. Diffusion between evolving interfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juntunen, Janne; Merikoski, Juha

    2010-01-01

    Diffusion in an evolving environment is studied by continuous-time Monte Carlo simulations. Diffusion is modeled by continuous-time random walkers on a lattice, in a dynamic environment provided by bubbles between two one-dimensional interfaces driven symmetrically towards each other. For one-dimensional random walkers constrained by the interfaces, the bubble size distribution dominates diffusion. For two-dimensional random walkers, it is also controlled by the topography and dynamics of the interfaces. The results of the one-dimensional case are recovered in the limit where the interfaces are strongly driven. Even with simple hard-core repulsion between the interfaces and the particles, diffusion is found to depend strongly on the details of the dynamical rules of particles close to the interfaces.

  1. Glucocorticoid acts on a putative G protein-coupled receptor to rapidly regulate the activity of NMDA receptors in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanmin; Sheng, Hui; Qi, Jinshun; Ma, Bei; Sun, Jihu; Li, Shaofeng; Ni, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) have been demonstrated to act through both genomic and nongenomic mechanisms. The present study demonstrated that corticosterone rapidly suppressed the activity of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in cultured hippocampal neurons. The effect was maintained with corticosterone conjugated to bovine serum albumin and blocked by inhibition of G protein activity with intracellular GDP-β-S application. Corticosterone increased GTP-bound G(s) protein and cyclic AMP (cAMP) production, activated phospholipase Cβ(3) (PLC-β(3)), and induced inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate (IP(3)) production. Blocking PLC and the downstream cascades with PLC inhibitor, IP(3) receptor antagonist, Ca(2+) chelator, and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors prevented the actions of corticosterone. Blocking adenylate cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) caused a decrease in NMDA-evoked currents. Application of corticosterone partly reversed the inhibition of NMDA currents caused by blockage of AC and PKA. Intracerebroventricular administration of corticosterone significantly suppressed long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus within 30 min in vivo, implicating the possibly physiological significance of rapid effects of GC on NMDA receptors. Taken together, our results indicate that GCs act on a putative G protein-coupled receptor to activate multiple signaling pathways in hippocampal neurons, and the rapid suppression of NMDA activity by GCs is dependent on PLC and downstream signaling.

  2. Organic conjugated small molecule materials based optical probe for rapid, colorimetric and UV-vis spectral detection of phosphorylated protein in placental tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanfang; Yang, Na; Liu, Yi

    2018-04-05

    A novel organic small molecule with D-Pi-A structure was prepared, which was found to be a promising colorimetric and ratiometric UV-vis spetral probe for detection of phosphorylated proteins with the help of tetravalent zirconium ion. Such optical probe based on chromophore WYF-1 shows a rapid response (within 10s) and high selectivity and sensitivity for phosphorylated proteins, giving distinct colorimetric and ratiometric UV-vis changes at 720 and 560nm. The detection limit for phosphorylated proteins was estimated to be 100nM. In addition, detection of phosphorylated proteins in placental tissue samples with this probe was successfully applied, which indicates that this probe holds great potential for phosphorylated proteins detection. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Why did heterospory evolve?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Kurt B; Burd, Martin

    2017-08-01

    The primitive land plant life cycle featured the production of spores of unimodal size, a condition called homospory. The evolution of bimodal size distributions with small male spores and large female spores, known as heterospory, was an innovation that occurred repeatedly in the history of land plants. The importance of desiccation-resistant spores for colonization of the land is well known, but the adaptive value of heterospory has never been well established. It was an addition to a sexual life cycle that already involved male and female gametes. Its role as a precursor to the evolution of seeds has received much attention, but this is an evolutionary consequence of heterospory that cannot explain the transition from homospory to heterospory (and the lack of evolutionary reversal from heterospory to homospory). Enforced outcrossing of gametophytes has often been mentioned in connection to heterospory, but we review the shortcomings of this argument as an explanation of the selective advantage of heterospory. Few alternative arguments concerning the selective forces favouring heterospory have been proposed, a paucity of attention that is surprising given the importance of this innovation in land plant evolution. In this review we highlight two ideas that may lead us to a better understanding of why heterospory evolved. First, models of optimal resource allocation - an approach that has been used for decades in evolutionary ecology to help understand parental investment and other life-history patterns - suggest that an evolutionary increase in spore size could reach a threshold at which small spores yielding small, sperm-producing gametophytes would return greater fitness per unit of resource investment than would large spores and bisexual gametophytes. With the advent of such microspores, megaspores would evolve under frequency-dependent selection. This argument can account for the appearance of heterospory in the Devonian, when increasingly tall and complex

  4. Assessing SfM-Photogrammetry potential at micro-scale on a rapidly evolving mud-bank: case study on a mesocosm study within pioneer mangroves in French Guiana (South America)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleury, Jules; Brunier, Guillaume; Michaud, Emma; Anthony, Edward; Dussouillez, Philippe; Morvan, Sylvain

    2016-04-01

    Mud banks are the loci of rich bio-geo-chemical processes occuring rapidly at infra-tide frequency. Their surface topography is commonly affected by many of these processes, including bioturbation, water drainage or dessication. Quantifying surface morphology and changes on a mud bank at the micro-scale is a challenging task due to a number of issues. First, the water-saturated nature of the soil makes it difficult to measure High Resolution Topography (HRT) with classical methods. Second, setting up an instrumented experiment without disrupting the signal being studied is hardly achieved at micro-scale. Finally, the highly mobile nature of this environment enhancing strong spatio-temporal heterogeneity is hard to capture. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and SfM (Surface from Motion)-Photogrammetry are two techniques that enable mapping of micro-scale features, but the first technique is not suitable because of the poor quality of the backscattered laser signal on wet surfaces and the need to set up several measuring stations on a complex, unstable substrate. Thus, we set up an experiment to assess the feasibility and the accuracy of SfM in such a context. We took the opportunity of the installation of a pontoon dedicated to the study of bio-geochemical processes within benthic mesocosms installed on a mud bank inhabited by pioneer mangroves trees to develop an adapted photogrammetry protocol based on a full-frame remotely triggered camera sensor mounted on a pole. The incident light on the surface was also controlled with a light-diffusing device. We obtained sub-millimetric resolution 3D-topography and visible imagery. Surveys were carried out every 2 hours at low tide to detect surface changes due to water content variation as well as bioturbation mainly caused by crabs digging galleries and feeding on sediment surface. Both the qualitative and quantitative results seem very promising and lead us to expect new insights into heterogeneous surface processes on a

  5. Evolving Capabilities for Virtual Globes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glennon, A.

    2006-12-01

    Though thin-client spatial visualization software like Google Earth and NASA World Wind enjoy widespread popularity, a common criticism is their general lack of analytical functionality. This concern, however, is rapidly being addressed; standard and advanced geographic information system (GIS) capabilities are being developed for virtual globes--though not centralized into a single implementation or software package. The innovation is mostly originating from the user community. Three such capabilities relevant to the earth science, education, and emergency management communities are modeling dynamic spatial phenomena, real-time data collection and visualization, and multi-input collaborative databases. Modeling dynamic spatial phenomena has been facilitated through joining virtual globe geometry definitions--like KML--to relational databases. Real-time data collection uses short scripts to transform user-contributed data into a format usable by virtual globe software. Similarly, collaborative data collection for virtual globes has become possible by dynamically referencing online, multi-person spreadsheets. Examples of these functions include mapping flows within a karst watershed, real-time disaster assessment and visualization, and a collaborative geyser eruption spatial decision support system. Virtual globe applications will continue to evolve further analytical capabilities, more temporal data handling, and from nano to intergalactic scales. This progression opens education and research avenues in all scientific disciplines.

  6. Evolving a photosynthetic organelle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakayama Takuro

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria is believed to represent a singularity in the history of life. The enigmatic amoeba Paulinella and its 'recently' acquired photosynthetic inclusions provide a fascinating system through which to gain fresh insight into how endosymbionts become organelles. The plastids, or chloroplasts, of algae and plants evolved from cyanobacteria by endosymbiosis. This landmark event conferred on eukaryotes the benefits of photosynthesis - the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy - and in so doing had a huge impact on the course of evolution and the climate of Earth 1. From the present state of plastids, however, it is difficult to trace the evolutionary steps involved in this momentous development, because all modern-day plastids have fully integrated into their hosts. Paulinella chromatophora is a unicellular eukaryote that bears photosynthetic entities called chromatophores that are derived from cyanobacteria and has thus received much attention as a possible example of an organism in the early stages of organellogenesis. Recent studies have unlocked the genomic secrets of its chromatophore 23 and provided concrete evidence that the Paulinella chromatophore is a bona fide photosynthetic organelle 4. The question is how Paulinella can help us to understand the process by which an endosymbiont is converted into an organelle.

  7. Fat: an evolving issue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Speakman

    2012-09-01

    Work on obesity is evolving, and obesity is a consequence of our evolutionary history. In the space of 50 years, we have become an obese species. The reasons why can be addressed at a number of different levels. These include separating between whether the primary cause lies on the food intake or energy expenditure side of the energy balance equation, and determining how genetic and environmental effects contribute to weight variation between individuals. Opinion on whether increased food intake or decreased energy expenditure drives the obesity epidemic is still divided, but recent evidence favours the idea that food intake, rather than altered expenditure, is most important. There is more of a consensus that genetics explains most (probably around 65% of weight variation between individuals. Recent advances in genome-wide association studies have identified many polymorphisms that are linked to obesity, yet much of the genetic variance remains unexplained. Finding the causes of this unexplained variation will be an impetus of genetic and epigenetic research on obesity over the next decade. Many environmental factors – including gut microbiota, stress and endocrine disruptors – have been linked to the risk of developing obesity. A better understanding of gene-by-environment interactions will also be key to understanding obesity in the years to come.

  8. Evolving a photosynthetic organelle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Takuro; Archibald, John M

    2012-04-24

    The evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria is believed to represent a singularity in the history of life. The enigmatic amoeba Paulinella and its 'recently' acquired photosynthetic inclusions provide a fascinating system through which to gain fresh insight into how endosymbionts become organelles.The plastids, or chloroplasts, of algae and plants evolved from cyanobacteria by endosymbiosis. This landmark event conferred on eukaryotes the benefits of photosynthesis--the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy--and in so doing had a huge impact on the course of evolution and the climate of Earth 1. From the present state of plastids, however, it is difficult to trace the evolutionary steps involved in this momentous development, because all modern-day plastids have fully integrated into their hosts. Paulinella chromatophora is a unicellular eukaryote that bears photosynthetic entities called chromatophores that are derived from cyanobacteria and has thus received much attention as a possible example of an organism in the early stages of organellogenesis. Recent studies have unlocked the genomic secrets of its chromatophore 23 and provided concrete evidence that the Paulinella chromatophore is a bona fide photosynthetic organelle 4. The question is how Paulinella can help us to understand the process by which an endosymbiont is converted into an organelle.

  9. Communicability across evolving networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grindrod, Peter; Parsons, Mark C; Higham, Desmond J; Estrada, Ernesto

    2011-04-01

    Many natural and technological applications generate time-ordered sequences of networks, defined over a fixed set of nodes; for example, time-stamped information about "who phoned who" or "who came into contact with who" arise naturally in studies of communication and the spread of disease. Concepts and algorithms for static networks do not immediately carry through to this dynamic setting. For example, suppose A and B interact in the morning, and then B and C interact in the afternoon. Information, or disease, may then pass from A to C, but not vice versa. This subtlety is lost if we simply summarize using the daily aggregate network given by the chain A-B-C. However, using a natural definition of a walk on an evolving network, we show that classic centrality measures from the static setting can be extended in a computationally convenient manner. In particular, communicability indices can be computed to summarize the ability of each node to broadcast and receive information. The computations involve basic operations in linear algebra, and the asymmetry caused by time's arrow is captured naturally through the noncommutativity of matrix-matrix multiplication. Illustrative examples are given for both synthetic and real-world communication data sets. We also discuss the use of the new centrality measures for real-time monitoring and prediction.

  10. Evolving Concepts of Asthma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Anuradha; Wenzel, Sally E.

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of asthma has evolved over time from a singular disease to a complex of various phenotypes, with varied natural histories, physiologies, and responses to treatment. Early therapies treated most patients with asthma similarly, with bronchodilators and corticosteroids, but these therapies had varying degrees of success. Similarly, despite initial studies that identified an underlying type 2 inflammation in the airways of patients with asthma, biologic therapies targeted toward these type 2 pathways were unsuccessful in all patients. These observations led to increased interest in phenotyping asthma. Clinical approaches, both biased and later unbiased/statistical approaches to large asthma patient cohorts, identified a variety of patient characteristics, but they also consistently identified the importance of age of onset of disease and the presence of eosinophils in determining clinically relevant phenotypes. These paralleled molecular approaches to phenotyping that developed an understanding that not all patients share a type 2 inflammatory pattern. Using biomarkers to select patients with type 2 inflammation, repeated trials of biologics directed toward type 2 cytokine pathways saw newfound success, confirming the importance of phenotyping in asthma. Further research is needed to clarify additional clinical and molecular phenotypes, validate predictive biomarkers, and identify new areas for possible interventions. PMID:26161792

  11. UKAEA'S evolving contract philosophy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicol, R. D.

    2003-01-01

    The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has gone through fundamental change over the last ten years. At the heart of this change has been UKAEA's relationship with the contracting and supply market. This paper describes the way in which UKAEA actively developed the market to support the decommissioning programme, and how the approach to contracting has evolved as external pressures and demands have changed. UKAEA's pro-active approach to industry has greatly assisted the development of a healthy, competitive market for services supporting decommissioning in the UK. There have been difficult changes and many challenges along the way, and some retrenchment was necessary to meet regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, UKAEA has sustained a high level of competition - now measured in terms of competed spend as a proportion of competable spend - with annual out-turns consistently over 80%. The prime responsibility for market development will pass to the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2005, as the owner, on behalf of the Government, of the UK's civil nuclear liabilities. The preparatory work for the NDA indicates that the principles established by UKAEA will be carried forward. (author)

  12. Meiosis evolves: adaptation to external and internal environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomblies, Kirsten; Higgins, James D; Yant, Levi

    2015-10-01

    306 I. 306 II. 307 III. 312 IV. 317 V. 318 319 References 319 SUMMARY: Meiosis is essential for the fertility of most eukaryotes and its structures and progression are conserved across kingdoms. Yet many of its core proteins show evidence of rapid or adaptive evolution. What drives the evolution of meiosis proteins? How can constrained meiotic processes be modified in response to challenges without compromising their essential functions? In surveying the literature, we found evidence of two especially potent challenges to meiotic chromosome segregation that probably necessitate adaptive evolutionary responses: whole-genome duplication and abiotic environment, especially temperature. Evolutionary solutions to both kinds of challenge are likely to involve modification of homologous recombination and synapsis, probably via adjustments of core structural components important in meiosis I. Synthesizing these findings with broader patterns of meiosis gene evolution suggests that the structural components of meiosis coevolve as adaptive modules that may change in primary sequence and function while maintaining three-dimensional structures and protein interactions. The often sharp divergence of these genes among species probably reflects periodic modification of entire multiprotein complexes driven by genomic or environmental changes. We suggest that the pressures that cause meiosis to evolve to maintain fertility may cause pleiotropic alterations of global crossover rates. We highlight several important areas for future research. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Rapid protein disappearance rates along the small intestine advantage poultry performance and influence the post-enteral availability of amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Ha H; Chrystal, Peter V; Moss, Amy F; Selle, Peter H; Liu, Sonia Yun

    2017-12-01

    A foundation diet, an intermediate blend and a summit diet were formulated with different levels of soyabean meal, casein and crystalline amino acids to compare 'slow' and 'rapid' protein diets. The diets were offered to male Ross 308 chicks from 7 to 28 d post-hatch and assessed parameters included growth performance, nutrient utilisation, apparent digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of starch and protein (N) in four small intestinal segments. Digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of sixteen amino acids in three small intestinal segments and amino acid concentrations in plasma from portal and systemic circulations from the foundation and summit diets were determined. The dietary transition significantly accelerated protein (N) disappearance rates in the distal jejunum and ileum. The transition from foundation to summit diets significantly increased starch digestibility coefficients in the ileum and disappearance rates in all four small intestinal segments. These starch responses were associated with significant enhancements in nutrient utilisation. The dietary transition linearly increased digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates of amino acids in the majority of cases. The summit diet increased plasma concentrations of five amino acids but decreased those of four amino acids relative to the foundation diet to significant extents. Plasma concentrations of free amino acids were higher in the portal than systemic circulations. Rapid protein disappearance rates advantaged poultry performance and influenced post-enteral availability of amino acids. If the underlying mechanisms are to be identified, further research into the impact of protein digestive dynamics on broiler performance is required but appears justified.

  14. Quantification of whey proteins by reversed phase-HPLC and effectiveness of mid-infrared spectroscopy for their rapid prediction in sweet whey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturaro, Alba; De Marchi, Massimo; Masi, Antonio; Cassandro, Martino

    2016-01-01

    In the dairy industry, membrane filtration is used to reduce the amount of whey waste and, simultaneously, to recover whey proteins (WP). The composition of WP can strongly affect the filtration treatment of whey, and rapid determination of WP fractions would be of interest for dairy producers to monitor WP recovery. This study aimed to develop mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIRS) prediction models for the rapid quantification of protein in sweet whey, using a validated rapid reversed phase (RP)-HPLC as a reference method. Quantified WP included α-lactalbumin (α-LA), β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) A and B, bovine serum albumin, caseinomacropeptides, and proteose peptone. Validation of RP-HPLC was performed by calculating the relative standard deviation (RSD) in repeatability and reproducibility tests for WP retention time and peak areas. Samples of liquid whey (n=187) were analyzed by RP-HPLC and scanned through MIRS to collect spectral information (900 to 4,000 cm(-1)); statistical analysis was carried out through partial least squares regression and random cross-validation procedure. Retention times in RP-HPLC method were stable (RSD between 0.03 and 0.80%), whereas the RSD of peak area (from 0.25 to 8.48%) was affected by WP relative abundance. Higher coefficients of determination in validation for MIRS model were obtained for protein fractions present in whey in large amounts, such as β-LG (0.58), total identified WP (0.58), and α-LA (0.56). Results of this study suggest that MIRS is an easy method for rapid quantification of detail protein in sweet whey, even if better resolution was achieved with the method based on RP-HPLC. The prediction of WP in sweet whey by MIRS might be used for screening and for classifying sweet whey according to its total and individual WP contents. Copyright © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Biosynthesis of intestinal microvillar proteins. Rapid expression of cytoskeletal components in microvilli of pig small intestinal mucosal explants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cowell, G M; Danielsen, E M

    1984-01-01

    Using alkaline extraction to separate cytoskeletal and membrane proteins of intestinal microvilli, the kinetics of assembly of these two microvillar protein compartments was studied by pulse-chase labelling of pig small intestinal mucosal explants, kept in organ culture. Following a 10 min pulse...... of [35S]methionine, the membrane proteins did not appear in the microvillar fraction until after 40-60 min of chase. In contrast, the cytoskeletal components, of which the 110-kDa protein and villin were immunologically identified, were expressed in the microvillar fraction immediately after the 10 min...

  16. Cell-Free Expression and In Situ Immobilization of Parasite Proteins from Clonorchis sinensis for Rapid Identification of Antigenic Candidates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy Catherine

    Full Text Available Progress towards genetic sequencing of human parasites has provided the groundwork for a post-genomic approach to develop novel antigens for the diagnosis and treatment of parasite infections. To fully utilize the genomic data, however, high-throughput methodologies are required for functional analysis of the proteins encoded in the genomic sequences. In this study, we investigated cell-free expression and in situ immobilization of parasite proteins as a novel platform for the discovery of antigenic proteins. PCR-amplified parasite DNA was immobilized on microbeads that were also functionalized to capture synthesized proteins. When the microbeads were incubated in a reaction mixture for cell-free synthesis, proteins expressed from the microbead-immobilized DNA were instantly immobilized on the same microbeads, providing a physical linkage between the genetic information and encoded proteins. This approach of in situ expression and isolation enables streamlined recovery and analysis of cell-free synthesized proteins and also allows facile identification of the genes coding antigenic proteins through direct PCR of the microbead-bound DNA.

  17. Disgust: Evolved function and structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tybur, J.M.; Lieberman, D.; Kurzban, R.; DeScioli, P.

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and

  18. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graves, C.J.; Ros, V.I.D.; Stevenson, B.; Sniegowski, P.D.; Brisson, D.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide

  19. "Reinventing Life": Introductory Biology for a Rapidly Evolving World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Jeffrey Scott

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary concepts are essential for a scientific understanding of most issues surrounding modern medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and the environment. If the mantra for biology education in the 20th century was, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," the mantra for the 21st century must be, "Nothing in biology…

  20. Rapidly Evolving Distributed Systems by Bridging the Deployment Gap

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolf, Alexander

    2000-01-01

    .... The University of Colorado EDCS project has been successful in achieving its objective: producing innovative, useful, and interesting research results in the areas of software configuration and deployment...

  1. Rapidly Evolving Distributed Systems by Bridging the Deployment Gap

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolf, Alexander

    2001-01-01

    .... The University of Colorado EDCS project has been successful in achieving its objective; producing innovative, useful and interesting research results in the areas of software configuration and deployment...

  2. Emerging Zika Virus Infection: A Rapidly Evolving Situation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordi, Licia; Avsic-Zupanc, Tatjana; Lalle, Eleonora; Vairo, Francesco; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; da Costa Vasconcelos, Pedro Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, firstly identified in Uganda and responsible for sporadic human cases in Africa and Asia until recently, when large outbreak occurred in Pacific Ocean and the Americas. Since the main vectors during its spread outside of Africa have been Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti mosquitoes, which are widely distributed all over the world, there is urgent need for a coordinated response for prevention and spread of ZIKV epidemics.Despite clinical manifestation of Zika virus infection are usually mild and self limiting, there are reports suggesting, during the recent epidemic, an association of ZIKV infection with severe consequences, including fetal/newborn microcephaly, due to vertical in utero transmission, autoimmune-neurological presentations including cranial nerve dysfunction, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome in adults. The primary mode of transmission of Zika virus between humans is through the bite of an infected female mosquito of the Aedes genus, but also sexual and blood transfusion transmission may occur. Moreover, a case of non-sexual spread from one person to another has been described, indicating that we still have more to learn about Zika transmission.Biological basis for pathogenetic effects are under investigation. Laboratory diagnosis is challenging since, so far, there are no "gold standard" diagnostic tools, and the low and short viremia in the acute phase, and together with the high cross-reactivity among the members of flavivirus genus are the most challenging aspects to be overcome.

  3. Rapid Assessment of Resistance to Antibiotic Inhibitors of Protein Synthesis in the Gram-Positive Pathogens, Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, Based on Evaluation of the Lytic Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Fátima; Tamayo, María; Santiso, Rebeca; Gosálvez, Jaime; Bou, Germán; Fernández, José Luis

    2017-04-01

    A novel assay for rapid determination of resistance to antibiotic inhibitors of protein synthesis was developed for the gram-positive pathogens, Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. To this purpose, a lytic response was obtained by a brief incubation with lysozyme or a mixture of lysozyme, Triton X-100, and EDTA for E. faecalis (n = 82) and S. pneumoniae (n = 51), respectively. Lysis was quantified by visualizing the released nucleoids. Antibiotic-susceptible bacteria treated with Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) breakpoint doses of erythromycin, azithromycin, or doxycycline that inhibited protein synthesis demonstrated a large reduction of lysed cells with respect to the control, that is, without antibiotics. However, cell lysis prevention was much lower in nonsusceptible strains, with unsuccessful inhibition of protein synthesis. ROC analysis showed that a reduction value of ≥35.6% and ≥40.4% discriminates susceptible and nonsusceptible strains for erythromycin and for doxycycline, respectively, in E. faecalis, whereas ≥20.0% is adequate for both macrolides and doxycycline in S. pneumoniae. Resistant stains were identified in 90-120 min with sensitivity and specificity between 91.7% and 100%. This is a proof of concept that evaluation of the lytic response may be a rapid and efficient test for determination of resistance to antibiotic inhibitors of protein synthesis.

  4. Design and synthesis of new fluorescent probe for rapid and highly sensitive detection of proteins via electrophoretic gel stain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Yoshio; Takagi, Nobuyuki; Chimuro, Tomoyuki; Shinohara, Atsushi; Sakaguchi, Nao; Hiratsuka, Atsunori; Yokoyama, Kenji

    2011-06-01

    A new fluorescent molecular probe, 2,2'-(1E,1'E)-2,2'-(4-(dicyanomethylene)-4H-pyrane-2,6-diyl)bis(ethene-2,1-diyl)bis(sodium benzenesulfonate) salt (1), possessing the cyanopyranyl moieties and two benzene sulfonic acid groups was designed and synthesized to detect proteins in solution and for high-throughput SDS-PAGE. Compound 1 exhibited no fluorescence in the absence of proteins; however, it exhibited strong fluorescence on the addition of bovine serum albumin as a result of intramolecular charge transfer. Compared with the conventional protocols for in-gel protein staining, such as SYPRO Ruby and silver staining, 1 achieves higher sensitivity, even though it offers a simplified, higher throughput protocol. In fact, the total time required for protein staining was 60-90 min under optimum conditions much shorter than that required by the less-sensitive silver staining or SYPRO Ruby staining protocols. Moreover, 1 was successfully applied to protein identification by mass spectrometry via in-gel tryptic digestion, Western blotting, and native PAGE together with protein staining by 1, which is a modified protocol of blue native PAGE (BN-PAGE). Thus, 1 may facilitate high-sensitivity protein detection, and it may be widely applicable as a convenient tool in various scientific and medical fields. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Sex and estrous cycle-dependent rapid protein kinase signaling actions of estrogen in distal colonic cells.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Mahony, Fiona

    2008-10-01

    Previous studies from our laboratory demonstrated that 17beta-estradiol (E2) rapidly inhibits Cl(-) secretion in rat and human distal colonic epithelium. The inhibition has been shown to occur via targeting of a basolateral K(+) channel identified as the KCNQ1 (KvLQT1) channel. E2 indirectly modulates the channel activity via a cascade of second messengers which are rapidly phosphorylated in response to E2. The anti-secretory mechanism may be the manner by which E2 induces fluid retention in the intestine during periods of high circulating plasma E2. Here we review the sex-dependent and estrous cycle regulation of this novel rapid response to E2. The inhibition of KCNQ1 channel activity and Cl(-) secretion will be of interest in the future in the investigation of the retentive effects of estrogen in female tissue and also in the study of secretory disorders and drugable targets of the intestine.

  6. Evolving artificial metalloenzymes via random mutagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Swartz, Alan M.; Park, Hyun June; Srivastava, Poonam; Ellis-Guardiola, Ken; Upp, David M.; Lee, Gihoon; Belsare, Ketaki; Gu, Yifan; Zhang, Chen; Moellering, Raymond E.; Lewis, Jared C.

    2018-03-01

    Random mutagenesis has the potential to optimize the efficiency and selectivity of protein catalysts without requiring detailed knowledge of protein structure; however, introducing synthetic metal cofactors complicates the expression and screening of enzyme libraries, and activity arising from free cofactor must be eliminated. Here we report an efficient platform to create and screen libraries of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) via random mutagenesis, which we use to evolve highly selective dirhodium cyclopropanases. Error-prone PCR and combinatorial codon mutagenesis enabled multiplexed analysis of random mutations, including at sites distal to the putative ArM active site that are difficult to identify using targeted mutagenesis approaches. Variants that exhibited significantly improved selectivity for each of the cyclopropane product enantiomers were identified, and higher activity than previously reported ArM cyclopropanases obtained via targeted mutagenesis was also observed. This improved selectivity carried over to other dirhodium-catalysed transformations, including N-H, S-H and Si-H insertion, demonstrating that ArMs evolved for one reaction can serve as starting points to evolve catalysts for others.

  7. Complement and the control of HIV infection: an evolving story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Michael M; Hester, Christopher; Jiang, Haixiang

    2014-05-01

    Thirty years ago, investigators isolated and later determined the structure of HIV-1 and its envelope proteins. Using techniques that were effective with other viruses, they prepared vaccines designed to generate antibody or T-cell responses, but they were ineffective in clinical trials. In this article, we consider the role of complement in host defense against enveloped viruses, the role it might play in the antibody response and why complement has not controlled HIV-1 infection. Complement consists of a large group of cell-bound and plasma proteins that are an integral part of the innate immune system. They provide a first line of defense against microbes and also play a role in the immune response. Here we review the studies of complement-mediated HIV destruction and the role of complement in the HIV antibody response. HIV-1 has evolved a complex defense to prevent complement-mediated killing reviewed here. As part of these studies, we have discovered that HIV-1 envelope, on administration into animals, is rapidly broken down into small peptides that may prove to be very inefficient at provident the type of antigenic stimulation that leads to an effective immune response. Improving complement binding and stabilizing envelope may improve the vaccine response.

  8. Rapid, large-scale purification and characterization of Ada protein (O sup 6 methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) of E. coli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharyya, D.; Tano, K.; Bunick, G.J.; Uberbacher, E.C.; Mitra, S. (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (USA)); Behnke, W.D. (Univ. of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH (USA))

    1988-07-25

    The E. coli Ada protein (O{sup 6}-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) has been purified using a high-level expression vector with a yield of about 3 mg per liter of E. coli culture. The 39-kDa protein has an extinction coefficient (E{sup 280nm}{sub 1%}) of 5.3. Its isoelectric point of 7.1 is lower than that predicted from the amino acid content. The homogeneous Ada protein is fully active as a methyl acceptor from O{sup 6}-methylguanine in DNA. Its reaction with O{sup 6}-methylguanine in a synthetic DNA has a second-order rate constant of 1.1 {times} 10{sup 9} M{sup {minus}1} min{sup {minus}1} at 0{degree}C. Both the native form and the protein methylated at Cys-69 are monomeric. The CD spectrum suggests a low {alpha}-helical content and the radius of gyration of 23 {angstrom} indicates a compact, globular shape. The middle region of the protein is sensitive to a variety of proteases, including an endogenous activity in E. coli, suggesting that the protein is composed of N-terminal and C-terminal domains connected by a hinge region. E. coli B has a higher level of this protease than does K12.

  9. SynPAnal: software for rapid quantification of the density and intensity of protein puncta from fluorescence microscopy images of neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Danielson

    Full Text Available Continuous modification of the protein composition at synapses is a driving force for the plastic changes of synaptic strength, and provides the fundamental molecular mechanism of synaptic plasticity and information storage in the brain. Studying synaptic protein turnover is not only important for understanding learning and memory, but also has direct implication for understanding pathological conditions like aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric disorders. Proteins involved in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity are typically concentrated at synapses of neurons and thus appear as puncta (clusters in immunofluorescence microscopy images. Quantitative measurement of the changes in puncta density, intensity, and sizes of specific proteins provide valuable information on their function in synaptic transmission, circuit development, synaptic plasticity, and synaptopathy. Unfortunately, puncta quantification is very labor intensive and time consuming. In this article, we describe a software tool designed for the rapid semi-automatic detection and quantification of synaptic protein puncta from 2D immunofluorescence images generated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The software, dubbed as SynPAnal (for Synaptic Puncta Analysis, streamlines data quantification for puncta density and average intensity, thereby increases data analysis throughput compared to a manual method. SynPAnal is stand-alone software written using the JAVA programming language, and thus is portable and platform-free.

  10. Rapid Diminution in the Level and Activity of DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase in Cancer Cells by a Reactive Nitro-Benzoxadiazole Compound

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane A. O. Silva

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The expression and activity of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK is related to DNA repair status in the response of cells to exogenous and endogenous factors. Recent studies indicate that Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR is involved in modulating DNA-PK. It has been shown that a compound 4-nitro-7-[(1-oxidopyridin-2-ylsulfanyl]-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole (NSC, bearing a nitro-benzoxadiazole (NBD scaffold, enhances tyrosine phosphorylation of EGFR and triggers downstream signaling pathways. Here, we studied the behavior of DNA-PK and other DNA repair proteins in prostate cancer cells exposed to compound NSC. We showed that both the expression and activity of DNA-PKcs (catalytic subunit of DNA-PK rapidly decreased upon exposure of cells to the compound. The decline in DNA-PKcs was associated with enhanced protein ubiquitination, indicating the activation of cellular proteasome. However, pretreatment of cells with thioglycerol abolished the action of compound NSC and restored the level of DNA-PKcs. Moreover, the decreased level of DNA-PKcs was associated with the production of intracellular hydrogen peroxide by stable dimeric forms of Cu/Zn SOD1 induced by NSC. Our findings indicate that reactive oxygen species and electrophilic intermediates, generated and accumulated during the redox transformation of NBD compounds, are primarily responsible for the rapid modulation of DNA-PKcs functions in cancer cells.

  11. Spacetimes containing slowly evolving horizons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kavanagh, William; Booth, Ivan

    2006-01-01

    Slowly evolving horizons are trapping horizons that are ''almost'' isolated horizons. This paper reviews their definition and discusses several spacetimes containing such structures. These include certain Vaidya and Tolman-Bondi solutions as well as (perturbatively) tidally distorted black holes. Taking into account the mass scales and orders of magnitude that arise in these calculations, we conjecture that slowly evolving horizons are the norm rather than the exception in astrophysical processes that involve stellar-scale black holes

  12. Estradiol attenuates EGF-induced rapid uPAR mobilization and cell migration via the G-protein-coupled receptor 30 in ovarian cancer cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henic, Emir; Noskova, Vera; Høyer-Hansen, Gunilla

    2009-01-01

    : rapid mobilization of uPAR from detergent-resistant domains, increased mRNA, and decreased degradation. G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) is a newly identified membrane estrogen receptor (ER).The objective of this study was to explore the effects of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on uPAR expression...... for ERalpha, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Estradiol attenuates the stimulatory effect of EGF on cell migration and uPAR expression. Specifically, E(2) reduces the very rapid increase of detergent extractable uPAR, which occurs within minutes of EGF stimulation and probably represents...... agonist G1, mimicked the effect of E(2) on uPAR expression and cell migration. OVCAR-3 cells express mRNA for GPR30.Estradiol attenuates EGF-induced mobilization of ligated uPAR from detergent-resistant domains and subsequent migration in ovarian cancer cells. The response to various ER ligands indicates...

  13. A protein microarray for the rapid screening of patients suspected of infection with various food-borne helminthiases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-Xu Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Food-borne helminthiases (FBHs have become increasingly important due to frequent occurrence and worldwide distribution. There is increasing demand for developing more sensitive, high-throughput techniques for the simultaneous detection of multiple parasitic diseases due to limitations in differential clinical diagnosis of FBHs with similar symptoms. These infections are difficult to diagnose correctly by conventional diagnostic approaches including serological approaches. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, antigens obtained from 5 parasite species, namely Cysticercus cellulosae, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Paragonimus westermani, Trichinella spiralis and Spirometra sp., were semi-purified after immunoblotting. Sera from 365 human cases of helminthiasis and 80 healthy individuals were assayed with semi-purified antigens by both a protein microarray and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. The sensitivity, specificity and simplicity of each test for the end-user were evaluated. The specificity of the tests ranged from 97.0% (95% confidence interval (CI: 95.3-98.7% to 100.0% (95% CI: 100.0% in the protein microarray and from 97.7% (95% CI: 96.2-99.2% to 100.0% (95% CI: 100.0% in ELISA. The sensitivity varied from 85.7% (95% CI: 75.1-96.3% to 92.1% (95% CI: 83.5-100.0% in the protein microarray, while the corresponding values for ELISA were 82.0% (95% CI: 71.4-92.6% to 92.1% (95% CI: 83.5-100.0%. Furthermore, the Youden index spanned from 0.83 to 0.92 in the protein microarray and from 0.80 to 0.92 in ELISA. For each parasite, the Youden index from the protein microarray was often slightly higher than the one from ELISA even though the same antigen was used. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The protein microarray platform is a convenient, versatile, high-throughput method that can easily be adapted to massive FBH screening.

  14. [Rapid expression and preparation of the recombinant fusion protein sTNFRII-gAD by adenovirus vector system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yue; Liu, Dan; Zhang, Xiaoren; Liu, Xuerong; Shen, Wei; Zheng, Gang; Liu, Yunfan; Dong, Xiaoyan; Wu, Xiaobing; Gao, Jimin

    2011-08-01

    We expressed and prepared the recombinant fusion protein sTNFRII-gAD consisted of soluble TNF receptor II and the globular domain of adiponectin by Adenovirus Vector System in mammalian BHK21c022 cells. First we used the adenovirus vector containing EGFP gene (rAd5-EGFP) to infect BHK21c022 cells at different MOI (from 0 to 1 000), and then evaluated their transduction efficiency and cytotoxicity. Similarly, we constructed the replication-deficient adenovirus type 5-sTNFRII-gAD (rAd5-sTNFRII-gAD). We collected the supernatants for Western blotting to determine the optimal MOI by comparing the expression levels of sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein, 48 h after the BHK21c022 cells were infected by rAd5-sTNFRII-gAD at different MOIs (from 0 to 1 000). Then, we chose rAd5-sTNFRII-gAD at MOI 100 to infect five bottles of BHK21c022 cells in 100 mL of serum-free chemically defined media 100 mL, harvested the supernatant every 48 h for 6 times, and condense and purify sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein by ammonium sulfate salt-out and size-exclusion chromatography, respectively. Finally, we analyzed anti-TNFalpha activity of sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein on L929 cells in vitro. The results showed that the number of BHK21c022 cells expressing EGFP protein was increased significantly with the increase of MOI. However, some cells died at MOI of 1 000 while there was no significant cytotoxicity at MOI from 0 to 100. Western blotting analysis showed that the more adenoviruses, the higher expression of sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein in the supernatant with the highest expression at MOI 1 000. We successfully obtained about 11 mg bioactive and purified sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein at last. The in vitro assay demonstrated that the sTNFRII-gAD fusion protein was potent to antagonize TNFalpha's cytotoxicity to L929 cells. Put together, we established a recombinant adenovirus vector/BHK21 cell expression system, characteristic of the efficient serum-free culture and easy scaling-up.

  15. The apoptotic response in HCT116BAX-/- cancer cells becomes rapidly saturated with increasing expression of a GFP-BAX fusion protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semaan, Sheila J; Nickells, Robert W

    2010-01-01

    Many chemotherapeutic agents promote tumor cell death by activating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Intrinsic apoptosis involves permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and the release of cytochrome c, a process that is controlled by proteins of the BCL2 gene family. Chemoresistance is often associated with abnormalities in concentrations of BCL2 family proteins. Although stoichiometirc interactions between anti-apoptotic and BH3-only BCL2 family proteins have been well documented as affecting cell death, the association between changes in BAX concentration and intrinsic apoptosis are poorly understood. Exogenous GFP-murine Bax fusion constructs were transfected into BAX-deficient HCT116 cells. To titrate the expression of the fusion protein, GFP-BAX was cloned into a tetracycline sensitive expression cassette and cotransfected with a plasmid expressing the rtTA transcription factor into HCT116 BAX-/- cells. Linear expression of the fusion gene was induced with doxycycline and monitored by quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. Cell death was assayed by DAPI staining cells after exposure to indomethacin, and scoring nuclei for condensed chromatin and fragmented nuclei. HCT116 BAX-/- cells were resistant to indomethacin, but susceptibility could be recovered in cells expressing a GFP-BAX fusion protein. Titration of GFP-BAX expression revealed that the concentration of BAX required to induce a saturating apoptosis response from baseline, was rapidly achieved. Increased levels of GFP-BAX were unable to stimulate higher levels of cell death. Examination of GFP-BAX distribution before and after indomethacin treatment indicated that BAX protein did not form aggregates when present at sub-lethal concentrations. Within the limitations of this experimental system, BAX-dependent apoptosis in HCT116 cells exhibits an all-or-none response depending on the level of BAX protein present. The lack of BAX aggregation at sub-saturation levels suggests that the

  16. The apoptotic response in HCT116BAX-/- cancer cells becomes rapidly saturated with increasing expression of a GFP-BAX fusion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semaan Sheila J

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many chemotherapeutic agents promote tumor cell death by activating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Intrinsic apoptosis involves permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and the release of cytochrome c, a process that is controlled by proteins of the BCL2 gene family. Chemoresistance is often associated with abnormalities in concentrations of BCL2 family proteins. Although stoichiometirc interactions between anti-apoptotic and BH3-only BCL2 family proteins have been well documented as affecting cell death, the association between changes in BAX concentration and intrinsic apoptosis are poorly understood. Methods Exogenous GFP-murine Bax fusion constructs were transfected into BAX-deficient HCT116 cells. To titrate the expression of the fusion protein, GFP-BAX was cloned into a tetracycline sensitive expression cassette and cotransfected with a plasmid expressing the rtTA transcription factor into HCT116BAX-/- cells. Linear expression of the fusion gene was induced with doxycycline and monitored by quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. Cell death was assayed by DAPI staining cells after exposure to indomethacin, and scoring nuclei for condensed chromatin and fragmented nuclei. Results HCT116BAX-/- cells were resistant to indomethacin, but susceptibility could be recovered in cells expressing a GFP-BAX fusion protein. Titration of GFP-BAX expression revealed that the concentration of BAX required to induce a saturating apoptosis response from baseline, was rapidly achieved. Increased levels of GFP-BAX were unable to stimulate higher levels of cell death. Examination of GFP-BAX distribution before and after indomethacin treatment indicated that BAX protein did not form aggregates when present at sub-lethal concentrations. Conclusion Within the limitations of this experimental system, BAX-dependent apoptosis in HCT116 cells exhibits an all-or-none response depending on the level of BAX protein present. The lack of

  17. Rapid heating of Alaska pollock and chicken breast myofibrillar protein gels as affecting water-holding properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Clinton D; Liu, Wenjie; Lanier, Tyre C

    2012-10-10

    The gelation response of salted muscle minces to rapid versus slow heating rates is thought to differ between homeotherm and poikilotherm species. This study investigated water-holding (WH) properties of pastes prepared from refined myofibrils, at equal pH, of chicken breast versus Alaska pollock both during [cook loss (CL)] and following [expressible water (EW)] their cooking by rapid [microwave (MW)] versus slow [water bath (WB)] heating and whether such properties were related to gel matrix structure parameters and water mobility. Results did not confirm the industrial experience that pastes of meat from homeotherms benefit from slower cooking. Gels of equally high WH ability (low CL or EW) were made by rapid heating when the holding time did not exceed 5 min prior to cooling, which was sufficient for completion of gelation. Reduced CL and EW correlated with larger and smaller amplitudes of T21 and T22 water pools, respectively, measured by time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR).

  18. Rapid detection of DNA-interstrand and DNA-protein cross-links in mammalian cells by gravity-flow alkaline elution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hincks, J.R.; Coulombe, R.A. Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Alkaline elution is a sensitive and commonly used technique to detect cellular DNA damage in the form of DNA strand breaks and DNA cross-links. Conventional alkaline elution procedures have extensive equipment requirements and are tedious to perform. Our laboratory recently presented a rapid, simplified, and sensitive modification of the alkaline elution technique to detect carcinogen-induced DNA strand breaks. In the present study, we have further modified this technique to enable the rapid characterization of chemically induced DNA-interstrand and DNA-protein associated cross-links in cultured epithelial cells. Cells were exposed to three known DNA cross-linking agents, nitrogen mustard (HN 2 ), mitomycin C (MMC), or ultraviolet irradiation (UV). One hour exposures of HN 2 at 0.25, 1.0, and 4.0 microM or of MMC at 20, 40, and 60 microM produced a dose-dependent induction of total DNA cross-links by these agents. Digestion with proteinase K revealed that HN 2 and MMC induced both DNA-protein cross-links and DNA-interstrand cross-links. Ultraviolet irradiation induced both DNA cross-links and DNA strand breaks, the latter of which were either protein and nonprotein associated. The results demonstrate that gravity-flow alkaline elution is a sensitive and accurate method to characterize the molecular events of DNA cross-linking. Using this procedure, elution of DNA from treated cells is completed in 1 hr, and only three fractions per sample are analyzed. This method may be useful as a rapid screening assay for genotoxicity and/or as an adjunct to other predictive assays for potential mutagenic or carcinogenic agents

  19. Validation of a rapid, non-radioactive method to quantify internalisation of G-protein coupled receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongsma, Maikel; Florczyk, Urszula M.; Hendriks-Balk, Marieelle C.; Michel, Martin C.; Peters, Stephan L. M.; Alewijnse, Astrid E.

    2007-01-01

    Agonist exposure can cause internalisation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which may be a part of desensitisation but also of cellular signaling. Previous methods to study internalisation have been tedious or only poorly quantitative. Therefore, we have developed and validated a quantitative

  20. Rapid capillary coating by epoxy-poly-(dimethylacrylamide): Performance in capillary zone electrophoresis of protein and polystyrene carboxylate

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chiari, M.; Cretich, M.; Šťastná, Miroslava; Radko, S. P.; Chrambach, A.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 4 (2001), s. 656-659 ISSN 0173-0835 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4031919 Keywords : capillary coating * capillary zone electrophoresis * proteins Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 4.282, year: 2001

  1. An emergency brake for protein synthesis The integrated stress response is able to rapidly shut down the synthesis of proteins in eukaryotic cells.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hronová, Vladislava; Valášek, Leoš

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 6, APR 25 (2017), s. 1-3, č. článku e27085. ISSN 2050-084X Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : synthesis of proteins * eukaryotic cells * eIF2 Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 7.725, year: 2016

  2. Insulin rapidly stimulates phosphorylation of a 46-kDa membrane protein on tyrosine residues as well as phosphorylation of several soluble proteins in intact fat cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haering, H.U.; White, M.F.; Machicao, F.; Ermel, B.; Schleicher, E.; Obermaier, B.

    1987-01-01

    It is speculated that the transmission of an insulin signal across the plasma membrane of cells occurs through activation of the tyrosine-specific receptor kinase, autophosphorylation of the receptor, and subsequent phosphorylation of unidentified substrates in the cell. In an attempt to identify possible substrates, the authors labeled intact rat fat cells with [ 32 P]orthophosphate and used an antiphosphotyrosine antibody to identify proteins that become phosphorylated on tyrosine residues in an insulin-stimulated way. In the membrane fraction of the fat cells, they found, in addition to the 95-kDa β-subunit of the receptor, a 46-kDa phosphoprotein that is phosphorylated exclusively on tyrosine residues. This protein is not immunoprecipitated by antibodies against different regions of the insulin receptor and its HPLC tryptic peptide map is different from the tryptic peptide map of the insulin receptor, suggesting that it is not derived from the receptor β-subunit. Insulin stimulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of the 46-kDa protein within 150 sec in the intact cell 3- to 4-fold in a dose-dependent way at insulin concentrations between 0.5 nM and 100 nM. Insulin (0.5 nM, 100 nM) stimulated within 2 min the 32 P incorporation into a 116-kDa band, a 62 kDa band, and three bands between 45 kDa and 50 kDa 2- to 10-fold. They suggest that the 46-kDa membrane protein and possibly also the soluble proteins are endogenous substrates of the receptor tyrosine kinase in fat cells and that their phosphorylation is an early step in insulin signal transmission

  3. Robustness to Faults Promotes Evolvability: Insights from Evolving Digital Circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milano, Nicola; Nolfi, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate how the need to cope with operational faults enables evolving circuits to find more fit solutions. The analysis of the results obtained in different experimental conditions indicates that, in absence of faults, evolution tends to select circuits that are small and have low phenotypic variability and evolvability. The need to face operation faults, instead, drives evolution toward the selection of larger circuits that are truly robust with respect to genetic variations and that have a greater level of phenotypic variability and evolvability. Overall our results indicate that the need to cope with operation faults leads to the selection of circuits that have a greater probability to generate better circuits as a result of genetic variation with respect to a control condition in which circuits are not subjected to faults.

  4. Evolved Minimal Frustration in Multifunctional Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Konstantin; Wales, David J

    2018-05-25

    Protein folding is often viewed in terms of a funnelled potential or free energy landscape. A variety of experiments now indicate the existence of multifunnel landscapes, associated with multifunctional biomolecules. Here, we present evidence that these systems have evolved to exhibit the minimal number of funnels required to fulfil their cellular functions, suggesting an extension to the principle of minimum frustration. We find that minimal disruptive mutations result in additional funnels, and the associated structural ensembles become more diverse. The same trends are observed in an atomic cluster. These observations suggest guidelines for rational design of engineered multifunctional biomolecules.

  5. Labelling of pneumococcal penicillin-binding proteins with [3H]propionyl-ampicillin. A rapid method for monitoring penicillin-binding activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakenbeck, R.; Kohiyama, M.

    1982-01-01

    Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane components ubiquitous to all bacteria examined so far. Some of them are present in only a few copies per cell. The conventional method of visualizing these proteins consists in binding of radioactive penicillin to the fractions containing PBPs followed by SDS-PAGE and finally fluorography. Although this procedure is laborious, it is necessary for the determination of the identity as well as for the quantification of each PBP. On the other hand, when penicillin-binding conditions are to be examined or binding activity has to be followed through fractionation and purification of PBPs, no fast monitoring device for these proteins has been available. The authors developed a rapid and easy assay for penicillin-binding activity with a filter-binding technique using [ 3 H]propionyl ampicillin ( 3 H-PA) of high specific activity. As little 2μg of crude membranes obtained from the highly penicillin-sensitive, β-lactamase-negative organism Streptococcus pneumoniae, are sufficient to detect binding activity. In this paper they describe optimum conditions for the assay of PBPs and show that this binding activity correlates with the presence of native penicillin-binding proteins. (Auth.)

  6. Rapid Conformational Analysis of Protein Drugs in Formulation by Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esmail Nazari, Zeinab; van de Weert, Marco; Bou-Assaf, George

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange coupled to Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) has become an established method for analysis of protein higher-order structure. Here, we use HDX-MS methodology based on manual Solid-Phase Extraction (SPE) to allow fast and simplified conformational analysis of proteins under...... pharmaceutically relevant formulation conditions. Of significant practical utility, the methodology allows global HDX-MS analyses to be performed without refrigeration or external cooling of the setup. In Mode 1, we used DMSO-containing solvents for SPE, allowing the HDX-MS analysis to be performed at acceptable...... in formulation, using an internal HDX reference peptide (P7I) to control for any sample-to-sample variations in back exchange. Advantages of the methodology include low sample use, optimized excipient removal using multiple solvents, and fast data acquisition. Our results indicate that the SPE-HDX-MS system can...

  7. A simple electroelution method for rapid protein purification: isolation and antibody production of alpha toxin from Clostridium septicum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Vázquez-Iglesias

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium septicum produces a number of diseases in human and farm animals which, in most of the cases, are fatal without clinical intervention. Alpha toxin is an important agent and the unique lethal virulent factor produced by Clostridium septicum. This toxin is haemolytic, highly lethal and necrotizing activities but is being used as an antigen to develop animal vaccines. The aim of this study was to isolate the alpha toxin of Clostridium septicum and produce highly specific antibodies against it. In this work, we have developed a simple and efficient method for alpha toxin purification, based on electroelution that can be used as a time-saving method for purifying proteins. This technique avoids contamination by other proteins that could appear during other protein purification techniques such chromatography. The highly purified toxin was used to produce polyclonal antibodies. The specificity of the antibodies was tested by western blot and these antibodies can be applied to the quantitative determination of alpha toxin by slot blot.

  8. Ionic responses rapidly elicited by activation of protein kinase C in quiescent Swiss 3T3 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vara, F.; Schneider, J.A.; Rozengurt, E.

    1985-01-01

    Diacylglycerol and phorbol esters activate protein kinase C in intact cells. The authors report here that addition of the synthetic diacylglycerol 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol (OAG) to quiescent cultures of Swiss 3T3 cells caused a marked increase in the rate of ouabain-sensitive 86 Rb + uptake, a measure of the activity of the Na + /K + pump. The effect was dose-dependent and could be detected after 1 min of exposure to the diacylglycerol. OAG stimulated Na + influx via an amiloride-sensitive pathway and increased intracellular pH by 0.15 pH unit. Phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PBt 2 ) also enhanced ouabain sensitive 86 Rb + uptake and amiloride-sensitive 22 Na + influx. Prolonged treatment (40 hr) of 3T3 cells with PBt 2 at a saturating dose, which reduces the number of PBt 2 binding sites and protein kinase C activity, abolished the ionic response of the cells to a subsequent addition of either OAG or PBt 2 . They suggest that activation of protein kinase C elicits, either directly or indirectly, enhanced Na + /H + antiport activity, which, in turn, leads to Na + influx, intracellular pH modulation, and stimulation of the Na + /K + pump

  9. ELISA-PLA: A novel hybrid platform for the rapid, highly sensitive and specific quantification of proteins and post-translational modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Qing-He; Tao, Tao; Xie, Li-Qi; Lu, Hao-Jie

    2016-06-15

    Detection of low-abundance proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs) remains a great challenge. A conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is not sensitive enough to detect low-abundance PTMs and suffers from nonspecific detection. Herein, a rapid, highly sensitive and specific platform integrating ELISA with a proximity ligation assay (PLA), termed ELISA-PLA, was developed. Using ELISA-PLA, the specificity was improved by the simultaneous and proximate recognition of targets through multiple probes, and the sensitivity was significantly improved by rolling circle amplification (RCA). For GFP, the limit of detection (LOD) was decreased by two orders of magnitude compared to that of ELISA. Using site-specific phospho-antibody and pan-specific phospho-antibody, ELISA-PLA was successfully applied to quantify the phosphorylation dynamics of ERK1/2 and the overall tyrosine phosphorylation level of ERK1/2, respectively. ELISA-PLA was also used to quantify the O-GlcNAcylation of AKT, c-Fos, CREB and STAT3, which is faster and more sensitive than the conventional immunoprecipitation and western blotting (IP-WB) method. As a result, the sample consumption of ELISA-PLA was reduced 40-fold compared to IP-WB. Therefore, ELISA-PLA could be a promising platform for the rapid, sensitive and specific detection of proteins and PTMs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. A neighbourhood evolving network model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao, Y.J.; Wang, G.Z.; Jiang, Q.Y.; Han, Z.X.

    2006-01-01

    Many social, technological, biological and economical systems are best described by evolved network models. In this short Letter, we propose and study a new evolving network model. The model is based on the new concept of neighbourhood connectivity, which exists in many physical complex networks. The statistical properties and dynamics of the proposed model is analytically studied and compared with those of Barabasi-Albert scale-free model. Numerical simulations indicate that this network model yields a transition between power-law and exponential scaling, while the Barabasi-Albert scale-free model is only one of its special (limiting) cases. Particularly, this model can be used to enhance the evolving mechanism of complex networks in the real world, such as some social networks development

  11. Rapid response systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Patrick G; Edelson, Dana P; Churpek, Matthew M

    2018-07-01

    Rapid response systems are commonly employed by hospitals to identify and respond to deteriorating patients outside of the intensive care unit. Controversy exists about the benefits of rapid response systems. We aimed to review the current state of the rapid response literature, including evolving aspects of afferent (risk detection) and efferent (intervention) arms, outcome measurement, process improvement, and implementation. Articles written in English and published in PubMed. Rapid response systems are heterogeneous, with important differences among afferent and efferent arms. Clinically meaningful outcomes may include unexpected mortality, in-hospital cardiac arrest, length of stay, cost, and processes of care at end of life. Both positive and negative interventional studies have been published, although the two largest randomized trials involving rapid response systems - the Medical Early Response and Intervention Trial (MERIT) and the Effect of a Pediatric Early Warning System on All-Cause Mortality in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients (EPOCH) trial - did not find a mortality benefit with these systems, albeit with important limitations. Advances in monitoring technologies, risk assessment strategies, and behavioral ergonomics may offer opportunities for improvement. Rapid responses may improve some meaningful outcomes, although these findings remain controversial. These systems may also improve care for patients at the end of life. Rapid response systems are expected to continue evolving with novel developments in monitoring technologies, risk prediction informatics, and work in human factors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Rapid changes in the serum total protein and globulin levels in complications caused by facultatively pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrás, G; Kiss, S; Juraszek, J; Merétey, K

    1978-01-01

    The changes in the levels of total protein and four globulin fractions were followed up throughout the entire course of complications caused by Gram-negative facultative pathogens in 37 acute cases of respiratory insufficiency accompanying different underlying illnesses and in 9 chronic, bedridden patients given artificial ventilation. At the onset of the infectious complications, in the first place in septic shock, the levels of various globulin fractions showed a decrease corresponding to a half-life of 2 to 4 days. Neither the increased catabolism, nor the protein losses by the urine and tracheal secretions offer a sufficient explanation for the escape of globulins of this extent from the plasma. It seems that this is a consequence of the increase in capillary permeability due to the effect of antigen-antibody reactions and that of endotoxin. As a result, in the critical phase of the infectious complications, at the point of culmination, e.g. in septic shock, diminished amount of different globulins is transported to the site of utilization, that is, to the inflammatory area.

  13. CRISPR/Cas9 allows efficient and complete knock-in of a destabilization domain-tagged essential protein in a human cell line, allowing rapid knockdown of protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Arnold; Won, Sohui T; Pentecost, Mickey; Bartkowski, Wojciech; Lee, Benhur

    2014-01-01

    Although modulation of protein levels is an important tool for study of protein function, it is difficult or impossible to knockdown or knockout genes that are critical for cell growth or viability. For such genes, a conditional knockdown approach would be valuable. The FKBP protein-based destabilization domain (DD)-tagging approach, which confers instability to the tagged protein in the absence of the compound Shield-1, has been shown to provide rapid control of protein levels determined by Shield-1 concentration. Although a strategy to knock-in DD-tagged protein at the endogenous loci has been employed in certain parasite studies, partly due to the relative ease of knock-in as a result of their mostly haploid lifecycles, this strategy has not been demonstrated in diploid or hyperploid mammalian cells due to the relative difficulty of achieving complete knock-in in all alleles. The recent advent of CRISPR/Cas9 homing endonuclease-mediated targeted genome cleavage has been shown to allow highly efficient homologous recombination at the targeted locus. We therefore assessed the feasibility of using CRISPR/Cas9 to achieve complete knock-in to DD-tag the essential gene Treacher Collins-Franceschetti syndrome 1 (TCOF1) in human 293T cells. Using a double antibiotic selection strategy to select clones with at least two knock-in alleles, we obtained numerous complete knock-in clones within three weeks of initial transfection. DD-TCOF1 expression in the knock-in cells was Shield-1 concentration-dependent, and removal of Shield-1 resulted in destabilization of DD-TCOF1 over the course of hours. We further confirmed that the tagged TCOF1 retained the nucleolar localization of the wild-type untagged protein, and that destabilization of DD-TCOF1 resulted in impaired cell growth, as expected for a gene implicated in ribosome biogenesis. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination to completely knock-in a DD tag likely represents a generalizable and efficient strategy to

  14. Evidence that viral RNAs have evolved for efficient, two-stage packaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodavka, Alexander; Tuma, Roman; Stockley, Peter G

    2012-09-25

    Genome packaging is an essential step in virus replication and a potential drug target. Single-stranded RNA viruses have been thought to encapsidate their genomes by gradual co-assembly with capsid subunits. In contrast, using a single molecule fluorescence assay to monitor RNA conformation and virus assembly in real time, with two viruses from differing structural families, we have discovered that packaging is a two-stage process. Initially, the genomic RNAs undergo rapid and dramatic (approximately 20-30%) collapse of their solution conformations upon addition of cognate coat proteins. The collapse occurs with a substoichiometric ratio of coat protein subunits and is followed by a gradual increase in particle size, consistent with the recruitment of additional subunits to complete a growing capsid. Equivalently sized nonviral RNAs, including high copy potential in vivo competitor mRNAs, do not collapse. They do support particle assembly, however, but yield many aberrant structures in contrast to viral RNAs that make only capsids of the correct size. The collapse is specific to viral RNA fragments, implying that it depends on a series of specific RNA-protein interactions. For bacteriophage MS2, we have shown that collapse is driven by subsequent protein-protein interactions, consistent with the RNA-protein contacts occurring in defined spatial locations. Conformational collapse appears to be a distinct feature of viral RNA that has evolved to facilitate assembly. Aspects of this process mimic those seen in ribosome assembly.

  15. canEvolve: a web portal for integrative oncogenomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Kemal Samur

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Genome-wide profiles of tumors obtained using functional genomics platforms are being deposited to the public repositories at an astronomical scale, as a result of focused efforts by individual laboratories and large projects such as the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Consequently, there is an urgent need for reliable tools that integrate and interpret these data in light of current knowledge and disseminate results to biomedical researchers in a user-friendly manner. We have built the canEvolve web portal to meet this need. RESULTS: canEvolve query functionalities are designed to fulfill most frequent analysis needs of cancer researchers with a view to generate novel hypotheses. canEvolve stores gene, microRNA (miRNA and protein expression profiles, copy number alterations for multiple cancer types, and protein-protein interaction information. canEvolve allows querying of results of primary analysis, integrative analysis and network analysis of oncogenomics data. The querying for primary analysis includes differential gene and miRNA expression as well as changes in gene copy number measured with SNP microarrays. canEvolve provides results of integrative analysis of gene expression profiles with copy number alterations and with miRNA profiles as well as generalized integrative analysis using gene set enrichment analysis. The network analysis capability includes storage and visualization of gene co-expression, inferred gene regulatory networks and protein-protein interaction information. Finally, canEvolve provides correlations between gene expression and clinical outcomes in terms of univariate survival analysis. CONCLUSION: At present canEvolve provides different types of information extracted from 90 cancer genomics studies comprising of more than 10,000 patients. The presence of multiple data types, novel integrative analysis for identifying regulators of oncogenesis, network

  16. Formalin-induced behavioural hypersensitivity and neuronal hyperexcitability are mediated by rapid protein synthesis at the spinal level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Curtis O; Wallace, Victoria C; Dickenson, Anthony H

    2009-01-01

    Background The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key regulator of mRNA translation whose action can be inhibited by the drug rapamycin. Forms of long-term plasticity require protein synthesis and evidence indicates that mRNA in dendrites, axon terminals and cell bodies is essential for long-term synaptic plasticity. Specific to pain, shifts in pain thresholds and responsiveness are an expression of neuronal plasticity and this likely contributes to persistent pain. We investigated this by inhibiting the activity of mTOR with rapamycin at the spinal level, of rats that were subjected to the formalin test, using both behavioural and electrophysiological techniques. Results For in vivo electrophysiology, Sprague Dawley rats were fully anaesthetised and single-unit extracellular recordings were obtained from lamina V wide dynamic range (WDR) dorsal horn spinal neurones at the region where input is received from the hind paw. Neuronal responses from naive rats showed that rapamycin-sensitive pathways were important in nociceptive-specific C-fibre mediated transmission onto WDR neurones as well mechanically-evoked responses since rapamycin was effective in attenuating these measures. Formalin solution was injected into the hind paw prior to which, rapamycin or vehicle was applied directly onto the exposed spinal cord. When rapamycin was applied to the spinal cord prior to hind paw formalin injection, there was a significant attenuation of the prolonged second phase of the formalin test, which comprises continuing afferent input to the spinal cord, neuronal hyperexcitability and an activated descending facilitatory drive from the brainstem acting on spinal neurones. In accordance with electrophysiological data, behavioural studies showed that rapamycin attenuated behavioural hypersensitivity elicited by formalin injection into the hind paw. Conclusion We conclude that mTOR has a role in maintaining persistent pain states via mRNA translation and thus protein

  17. Formalin-induced behavioural hypersensitivity and neuronal hyperexcitability are mediated by rapid protein synthesis at the spinal level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wallace Victoria C

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR is a key regulator of mRNA translation whose action can be inhibited by the drug rapamycin. Forms of long-term plasticity require protein synthesis and evidence indicates that mRNA in dendrites, axon terminals and cell bodies is essential for long-term synaptic plasticity. Specific to pain, shifts in pain thresholds and responsiveness are an expression of neuronal plasticity and this likely contributes to persistent pain. We investigated this by inhibiting the activity of mTOR with rapamycin at the spinal level, of rats that were subjected to the formalin test, using both behavioural and electrophysiological techniques. Results For in vivo electrophysiology, Sprague Dawley rats were fully anaesthetised and single-unit extracellular recordings were obtained from lamina V wide dynamic range (WDR dorsal horn spinal neurones at the region where input is received from the hind paw. Neuronal responses from naive rats showed that rapamycin-sensitive pathways were important in nociceptive-specific C-fibre mediated transmission onto WDR neurones as well mechanically-evoked responses since rapamycin was effective in attenuating these measures. Formalin solution was injected into the hind paw prior to which, rapamycin or vehicle was applied directly onto the exposed spinal cord. When rapamycin was applied to the spinal cord prior to hind paw formalin injection, there was a significant attenuation of the prolonged second phase of the formalin test, which comprises continuing afferent input to the spinal cord, neuronal hyperexcitability and an activated descending facilitatory drive from the brainstem acting on spinal neurones. In accordance with electrophysiological data, behavioural studies showed that rapamycin attenuated behavioural hypersensitivity elicited by formalin injection into the hind paw. Conclusion We conclude that mTOR has a role in maintaining persistent pain states via m

  18. Different protein kinase C isoenzymes mediate inhibition of cardiac rapidly activating delayed rectifier K+ current by different G-protein coupled receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xueli; Wang, Yuhong; Zhang, Hua; Shen, Li; Xu, Yanfang

    2017-12-01

    Elevated angiotensin II (Ang II) and sympathetic activity contributes to a high risk of ventricular arrhythmias in heart disease. The rapidly activating delayed rectifier K + current (I Kr ) carried by the hERG channels plays a critical role in cardiac repolarization, and decreased I Kr is involved in increased cardiac arrhythmogenicity. Stimulation of α 1A -adrenoreceptors or angiotensin II AT 1 receptors is known to inhibit I Kr via PKC. Here, we have identified the PKC isoenzymes mediating the inhibition of I Kr by activation of these two different GPCRs. The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to record I Kr in guinea pig cardiomyocytes and HEK293 cells co-transfected with hERG and α 1A -adrenoreceptor or AT 1 receptor genes. A broad spectrum PKC inhibitor Gö6983 (not inhibiting PKCε), a selective cPKC inhibitor Gö6976 and a PKCα-specific inhibitor peptide, blocked the inhibition of I Kr by the α 1A -adrenoreceptor agonist A61603. However, these inhibitors did not affect the reduction of I Kr by activation of AT 1 receptors, whereas the PKCε-selective inhibitor peptide did block the effect. The effects of angiotensin II and the PKCε activator peptide were inhibited in mutant hERG channels in which 17 of the 18 PKC phosphorylation sites were deleted, whereas a deletion of the N-terminus of the hERG channels selectively prevented the inhibition elicited by A61603 and the cPKC activator peptide. Our results indicated that inhibition of I Kr by activation of α 1A -adrenoreceptors or AT 1 receptors were mediated by PKCα and PKCε isoforms respectively, through different molecular mechanisms. © 2017 The British Pharmacological Society.

  19. Spontaneous generation of rapidly transmissible prions in transgenic mice expressing wild-type bank vole prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Stöhr, Jan; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Grillo, Sunny K; Patel, Smita; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-02-28

    Currently, there are no animal models of the most common human prion disorder, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), in which prions are formed spontaneously from wild-type (WT) prion protein (PrP). Interestingly, bank voles (BV) exhibit an unprecedented promiscuity for diverse prion isolates, arguing that bank vole PrP (BVPrP) may be inherently prone to adopting misfolded conformations. Therefore, we constructed transgenic (Tg) mice expressing WT BVPrP. Tg(BVPrP) mice developed spontaneous CNS dysfunction between 108 and 340 d of age and recapitulated the hallmarks of prion disease, including spongiform degeneration, pronounced astrogliosis, and deposition of alternatively folded PrP in the brain. Brain homogenates of ill Tg(BVPrP) mice transmitted disease to Tg(BVPrP) mice in ∼35 d, to Tg mice overexpressing mouse PrP in under 100 d, and to WT mice in ∼185 d. Our studies demonstrate experimentally that WT PrP can spontaneously form infectious prions in vivo. Thus, Tg(BVPrP) mice may be useful for studying the spontaneous formation of prions, and thus may provide insight into the etiology of sporadic CJD.

  20. Validation of a rapid, non-radioactive method to quantify internalisation of G-protein coupled receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongsma, Maikel; Florczyk, Urszula M; Hendriks-Balk, Mariëlle C; Michel, Martin C; Peters, Stephan L M; Alewijnse, Astrid E

    2007-07-01

    Agonist exposure can cause internalisation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which may be a part of desensitisation but also of cellular signaling. Previous methods to study internalisation have been tedious or only poorly quantitative. Therefore, we have developed and validated a quantitative method using a sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor as a model. Because of a lack of suitable binding studies, it has been difficult to study S1P receptor internalisation. Using a N-terminal HisG-tag, S1P(1) receptors on the cell membrane can be visualised via immunocytochemistry with a specific anti-HisG antibody. S1P-induced internalisation was concentration dependent and was quantified using a microplate reader, detecting either absorbance, a fluorescent or luminescent signal, depending on the antibodies used. Among those, the fluorescence detection method was the most convenient to use. The relative ease of this method makes it suitable to measure a large number of data points, e.g. to compare the potency and efficacy of receptor ligands.

  1. Rapid colorimetric detection of p53 protein function using DNA-gold nanoconjugates with applications for drug discovery and cancer diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assah, Enock; Goh, Walter; Zheng, Xin Ting; Lim, Ting Xiang; Li, Jun; Lane, David; Ghadessy, Farid; Tan, Yen Nee

    2018-05-05

    The tumor suppressor protein p53 plays a central role in preventing cancer through interaction with DNA response elements (REs) to regulate target gene expression in cells. Due to its significance in cancer biology, relentless efforts have been directed toward understanding p53-DNA interactions for the development of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. In this paper, we report a rapid, label-free and versatile colorimetric assay to detect wildtype p53 DNA-binding function in complex solutions. The assay design is based on a concept that alters interparticle-distances between RE-AuNPs from a crosslinking effect induced through tetramerization of wildtype p53 protein (p53-WT) upon binding to canonical DNA motifs modified on gold nanoparticles (RE-AuNPs). This leads to a visible solution color change from red to blue, which is quantifiable by the UV- visible absorption spectra with a detection limit of 5 nM. Contrastingly, no color change was observed for the binding-deficient p53 mutants and non-specific proteins due to their inability to crosslink RE-AuNPs. Based on this sensing principle, we further demonstrate its utility for fast detection of drug-induced DNA binding function to cancer-associated Y220C mutant p53 protein using well-established reactivating compounds. By exploiting the dominant-negative property of mutant p53 over p53-WT and interactions with RE-AuNPs, this assay is configurable to detect low numbers of mutant p53 expressing cells in miniscule sample fractions obtained from typical core needle biopsy-sized tissues without signal attrition, alluding to the potential for biopsy sampling in cancer diagnostics or for defining cancer margins. This nanogold enabled colorimetric assay provides a facile yet robust method for studying important parameters influencing p53-DNA interactions with great promises for clinically pertinent applications. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Rapid determination of collagen in meat-based foods by microwave hydrolysis of proteins and HPAEC-PAD analysis of 4-hydroxyproline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messia, M C; Di Falco, T; Panfili, G; Marconi, E

    2008-10-01

    A rapid microwave procedure for protein hydrolysis coupled with High Performance Anion Exchange Chromatography and Pulsed Amperometric Detection (HPAEC-PAD) was developed to quantify the amino acid 4-hydroxyproline in meat and meat-based products. This innovative approach was successfully applied to determine collagen content (4-hydroxyproline×8) as the index quality of meat material employed in the preparation of typical meat sausages ("Mortadella di Bologna PGI" and "Salamini italiani alla cacciatora PDO") and fresh filled pastas. Microwave hydrolysis showed a precision and accuracy similar to traditional hydrolysis (RSD% from 0.0 to 6.4; relative error 1.4-10.0%) with a reduction in the hydrolysis time from 24h to 20min. HPAEC-PAD allowed detection of 4-hydroxyproline without pre or post-column derivatization and the use of non-toxic eluents.

  3. Tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 activate hypothalamic G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 to rapidly facilitate lordosis in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Nathan; Long, Bertha; Mana, Asma; Le, Dream; Nguyen, Lam; Chokr, Sima; Sinchak, Kevin

    2017-03-01

    In the female rat, sexual receptivity (lordosis) can be facilitated by sequential activation of estrogen receptor (ER) α and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER) by estradiol. In the estradiol benzoate (EB) primed ovariectomized (OVX) rat, EB initially binds to ERα in the plasma membrane that complexes with and transactivates metabotropic glutamate receptor 1a to activate β-endorphin neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) that project to the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN). This activates MPN μ-opioid receptors (MOP), inhibiting lordosis. Infusion of non-esterified 17β-estradiol into the ARH rapidly reduces MPN MOP activation and facilitates lordosis via GPER. Tamoxifen (TAM) and ICI 182,780 (ICI) are selective estrogen receptor modulators that activate GPER. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that TAM and ICI rapidly facilitate lordosis via activation of GPER in the ARH. Our first experiment demonstrated that injection of TAM intraperitoneal, or ICI into the lateral ventricle, deactivated MPN MOP and facilitated lordosis in EB-primed rats. We then tested whether TAM and ICI were acting rapidly through a GPER dependent pathway in the ARH. In EB-primed rats, ARH infusion of either TAM or ICI facilitated lordosis and reduced MPN MOP activation within 30min compared to controls. These effects were blocked by pretreatment with the GPER antagonist, G15. Our findings demonstrate that TAM and ICI deactivate MPN MOP and facilitate lordosis in a GPER dependent manner. Thus, TAM and ICI may activate GPER in the CNS to produce estrogenic actions in neural circuits that modulate physiology and behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Rapid reduction of hepatitis C virus-Core protein in the peripheral blood improve the immunological response in chronic hepatitis C patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Yasuteru; Ueno, Yoshiyuki; Wakui, Yuta; Ninomiya, Masashi; Kakazu, Eiji; Inoue, Jun; Kobayashi, Koju; Obara, Noriyuki; Shimosegawa, Tooru

    2011-12-01

      The extracellular hepatitis C virus (HCV)-antigen, including HCV-Core protein, can suppress immune cells. Recently, the efficacy of double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) was reported. However, the mechanism of efficacy of DFPP might not be only the reduction of HCV but also the effect of immune cells via direct and/or indirect mechanisms. The aim of this study is to analyze the virological and immunological parameters of difficult-to-treat HCV patients treated with DFPP combined with Peg-interferon and RBV (DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV) therapy.   Twelve CHC patients were enrolled and treated with DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV therapy. The immunological, virological and genetic parameters were studied.   All patients (4/4) treated with the major IL28B allele (T/T) could achieve complete early virological response (EVR). The amounts of HCV-Core antigen in the peripheral blood of EVR patients treated with DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV rapidly declined in comparison to those of late virological response (LVR) patients treated with DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV and EVR patients treated with Peg-IFN and RBV (Peg-IFN/RBV). The amount of IFN-γ produced from peripheral blood gradually increased. On the other hand, the amount of IL10 gradually decreased in the EVR patients. The frequencies of HCV-Core binding on CD3+ T cells rapidly declined in EVR patients treated with DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV therapy. Moreover, the distributions of activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and CD16-CD56 high natural killer cells were significantly changed between before and after DFPP.   The rapid reduction of HCV-Core antigens and changes in the distribution of lymphoid cells could contribute to the favorable immunological response during DFPP/Peg-IFN/RBV therapy. © 2011 The Japan Society of Hepatology.

  5. Evolving phenotypic networks in silico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Evolved gene networks are constrained by natural selection. Their structures and functions are consequently far from being random, as exemplified by the multiple instances of parallel/convergent evolution. One can thus ask if features of actual gene networks can be recovered from evolutionary first principles. I review a method for in silico evolution of small models of gene networks aiming at performing predefined biological functions. I summarize the current implementation of the algorithm, insisting on the construction of a proper "fitness" function. I illustrate the approach on three examples: biochemical adaptation, ligand discrimination and vertebrate segmentation (somitogenesis). While the structure of the evolved networks is variable, dynamics of our evolved networks are usually constrained and present many similar features to actual gene networks, including properties that were not explicitly selected for. In silico evolution can thus be used to predict biological behaviours without a detailed knowledge of the mapping between genotype and phenotype. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. A rapid and accurate method for determining protein content in dairy products based on asynchronous-injection alternating merging zone flow-injection spectrophotometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Qin-Qin; Li, Yong-Sheng

    2013-12-01

    An accurate and rapid method and a system to determine protein content using asynchronous-injection alternating merging zone flow-injection spectrophotometry based on reaction between coomassie brilliant blue G250 (CBBG) and protein was established. Main merit of our approach is that it can avoid interferences of other nitric-compounds in samples, such as melamine and urea. Optimized conditions are as follows: Concentrations of CBBG, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), NaCl and HCl are 150 mg/l, 30 mg/l, 0.1 mol/l and 1.0% (v/v), respectively; volumes of the sample and reagent are 150 μl and 30 μl, respectively; length of a reaction coil is 200 cm; total flow rate is 2.65 ml/min. The linear range of the method is 0.5-15 mg/l (BSA), its detection limit is 0.05 mg/l, relative standard deviation is less than 1.87% (n=11), and analytical speed is 60 samples per hour. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Membrane Proteins Are Dramatically Less Conserved than Water-Soluble Proteins across the Tree of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sojo, Victor; Dessimoz, Christophe; Pomiankowski, Andrew; Lane, Nick

    2016-11-01

    Membrane proteins are crucial in transport, signaling, bioenergetics, catalysis, and as drug targets. Here, we show that membrane proteins have dramatically fewer detectable orthologs than water-soluble proteins, less than half in most species analyzed. This sparse distribution could reflect rapid divergence or gene loss. We find that both mechanisms operate. First, membrane proteins evolve faster than water-soluble proteins, particularly in their exterior-facing portions. Second, we demonstrate that predicted ancestral membrane proteins are preferentially lost compared with water-soluble proteins in closely related species of archaea and bacteria. These patterns are consistent across the whole tree of life, and in each of the three domains of archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes. Our findings point to a fundamental evolutionary principle: membrane proteins evolve faster due to stronger adaptive selection in changing environments, whereas cytosolic proteins are under more stringent purifying selection in the homeostatic interior of the cell. This effect should be strongest in prokaryotes, weaker in unicellular eukaryotes (with intracellular membranes), and weakest in multicellular eukaryotes (with extracellular homeostasis). We demonstrate that this is indeed the case. Similarly, we show that extracellular water-soluble proteins exhibit an even stronger pattern of low homology than membrane proteins. These striking differences in conservation of membrane proteins versus water-soluble proteins have important implications for evolution and medicine. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  8. The 'E' factor -- evolving endodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, M J

    2013-03-01

    Endodontics is a constantly developing field, with new instruments, preparation techniques and sealants competing with trusted and traditional approaches to tooth restoration. Thus general dental practitioners must question and understand the significance of these developments before adopting new practices. In view of this, the aim of this article, and the associated presentation at the 2013 British Dental Conference & Exhibition, is to provide an overview of endodontic methods and constantly evolving best practice. The presentation will review current preparation techniques, comparing rotary versus reciprocation, and question current trends in restoration of the endodontically treated tooth.

  9. Rapid detection of hypoxia-inducible factor-1-active tumours: pretargeted imaging with a protein degrading in a mechanism similar to hypoxia-inducible factor-1{alpha}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueda, Masashi [Kyoto University, Radioisotopes Research Laboratory, Kyoto University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Kyoto University, Department of Patho-Functional Bioanalysis, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto (Japan); Kudo, Takashi; Konishi, Hiroaki; Miyano, Azusa; Ono, Masahiro; Saji, Hideo [Kyoto University, Department of Patho-Functional Bioanalysis, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto (Japan); Kuge, Yuji [Kyoto University, Department of Patho-Functional Bioanalysis, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto (Japan); Hokkaido University, Central Institute of Isotope Science, Sapporo (Japan); Mukai, Takahiro [Kyushu University, Department of Biomolecular Recognition Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka (Japan); Tanaka, Shotaro; Kizaka-Kondoh, Shinae; Hiraoka, Masahiro [Kyoto University, Department of Radiation Oncology and Image-applied Therapy, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan)

    2010-08-15

    Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) plays an important role in malignant tumour progression. For the imaging of HIF-1-active tumours, we previously developed a protein, POS, which is effectively delivered to and selectively stabilized in HIF-1-active cells, and a radioiodinated biotin derivative, (3-{sup 123}I-iodobenzoyl)norbiotinamide ({sup 123}I-IBB), which can bind to the streptavidin moiety of POS. In this study, we aimed to investigate the feasibility of the pretargeting method using POS and {sup 123}I-IBB for rapid imaging of HIF-1-active tumours. Tumour-implanted mice were pretargeted with POS. After 24 h, {sup 125}I-IBB was administered and subsequently, the biodistribution of radioactivity was investigated at several time points. In vivo planar imaging, comparison between {sup 125}I-IBB accumulation and HIF-1 transcriptional activity, and autoradiography were performed at 6 h after the administration of {sup 125}I-IBB. The same sections that were used in autoradiographic analysis were subjected to HIF-1{alpha} immunohistochemistry. {sup 125}I-IBB accumulation was observed in tumours of mice pretargeted with POS (1.6%ID/g at 6 h). This result is comparable to the data derived from {sup 125}I-IBB-conjugated POS-treated mice (1.4%ID/g at 24 h). In vivo planar imaging provided clear tumour images. The tumoral accumulation of {sup 125}I-IBB significantly correlated with HIF-1-dependent luciferase bioluminescence (R=0.84, p<0.01). The intratumoral distribution of {sup 125}I-IBB was heterogeneous and was significantly correlated with HIF-1{alpha}-positive regions (R=0.58, p<0.0001). POS pretargeting with {sup 123}I-IBB is a useful technique in the rapid imaging and detection of HIF-1-active regions in tumours. (orig.)

  10. Rapid and Specific Detection of Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli Using SYBR Green-Based Real-Time PCR Amplification of the YD-Repeat Protein Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Min Seok; Park, Duck Hwan; Ahn, Tae-Young; Park, Dong Suk

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a SYBR Green-based real-time PCR assay for the rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli, which causes bacterial fruit blotch (BFB), a serious disease of cucurbit plants. The molecular and serological methods currently available for the detection of this pathogen are insufficiently sensitive and specific. Thus, a novel SYBR Green-based real-time PCR assay targeting the YD-repeat protein gene of A. avenae subsp. citrulli was developed. The specificity of the primer set was evaluated using DNA purified from 6 isolates of A. avenae subsp. citrulli, 7 other Acidovorax species, and 22 of non-targeted strains, including pathogens and non-pathogens. The AC158F/R primer set amplified a single band of the expected size from genomic DNA obtained from the A. avenae subsp. citrulli strains but not from the genomic DNA of other Acidovorax species, including that of other bacterial genera. Using this assay, it was possible to detect at least one genomeequivalents of the cloned amplified target DNA using 5 × 10(0) fg/μl of purified genomic DNA per reaction or using a calibrated cell suspension, with 6.5 colony-forming units per reaction being employed. In addition, this assay is a highly sensitive and reliable method for identifying and quantifying the target pathogen in infected samples that does not require DNA extraction. Therefore, we suggest that this approach is suitable for the rapid and efficient diagnosis of A. avenae subsp. citrulli contaminations of seed lots and plants.

  11. Rapid kinetics of iron responsive element (IRE) RNA/iron regulatory protein 1 and IRE-RNA/eIF4F complexes respond differently to metal ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mateen A; Ma, Jia; Walden, William E; Merrick, William C; Theil, Elizabeth C; Goss, Dixie J

    2014-06-01

    Metal ion binding was previously shown to destabilize IRE-RNA/IRP1 equilibria and enhanced IRE-RNA/eIF4F equilibria. In order to understand the relative importance of kinetics and stability, we now report rapid rates of protein/RNA complex assembly and dissociation for two IRE-RNAs with IRP1, and quantitatively different metal ion response kinetics that coincide with the different iron responses in vivo. kon, for FRT IRE-RNA binding to IRP1 was eight times faster than ACO2 IRE-RNA. Mn(2+) decreased kon and increased koff for IRP1 binding to both FRT and ACO2 IRE-RNA, with a larger effect for FRT IRE-RNA. In order to further understand IRE-mRNA regulation in terms of kinetics and stability, eIF4F kinetics with FRT IRE-RNA were determined. kon for eIF4F binding to FRT IRE-RNA in the absence of metal ions was 5-times slower than the IRP1 binding to FRT IRE-RNA. Mn(2+) increased the association rate for eIF4F binding to FRT IRE-RNA, so that at 50 µM Mn(2+) eIF4F bound more than 3-times faster than IRP1. IRP1/IRE-RNA complex has a much shorter life-time than the eIF4F/IRE-RNA complex, which suggests that both rate of assembly and stability of the complexes are important, and that allows this regulatory system to respond rapidly to change in cellular iron. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  12. cGMP-dependent protein kinase Iα associates with the antidepressant-sensitive serotonin transporter and dictates rapid modulation of serotonin uptake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steiner Jennifer A

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Na+/Cl--dependent serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT transporter (SERT is a critical element in neuronal 5-HT signaling, being responsible for the efficient elimination of 5-HT after release. SERTs are not only targets for exogenous addictive and therapeutic agents but also can be modulated by endogenous, receptor-linked signaling pathways. We have shown that neuronal A3 adenosine receptor activation leads to enhanced presynaptic 5-HT transport in vitro and an increased rate of SERT-mediated 5-HT clearance in vivo. SERT stimulation by A3 adenosine receptors derives from an elevation of cGMP and subsequent activation of both cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. PKG activators such as 8-Br-cGMP are known to lead to transporter phosphorylation, though how this modification supports SERT regulation is unclear. Results In this report, we explore the kinase isoform specificity underlying the rapid stimulation of SERT activity by PKG activators. Using immortalized, rat serotonergic raphe neurons (RN46A previously shown to support 8-Br-cGMP stimulation of SERT surface trafficking, we document expression of PKGI, and to a lower extent, PKGII. Quantitative analysis of staining profiles using permeabilized or nonpermeabilized conditions reveals that SERT colocalizes with PKGI in both intracellular and cell surface domains of RN46A cell bodies, and exhibits a more restricted, intracellular pattern of colocalization in neuritic processes. In the same cells, SERT demonstrates a lack of colocalization with PKGII in either intracellular or surface membranes. In keeping with the ability of the membrane permeant kinase inhibitor DT-2 to block 8-Br-cGMP stimulation of SERT, we found that DT-2 treatment eliminated cGMP-dependent kinase activity in PKGI-immunoreactive extracts resolved by liquid chromatography. Similarly, treatment of SERT-transfected HeLa cells with small interfering RNAs targeting

  13. Peripartum hysterectomy: an evolving picture.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Turner, Michael J

    2012-02-01

    Peripartum hysterectomy (PH) is one of the obstetric catastrophes. Evidence is emerging that the role of PH in modern obstetrics is evolving. Improving management of postpartum hemorrhage and newer surgical techniques should decrease PH for uterine atony. Rising levels of repeat elective cesarean deliveries should decrease PH following uterine scar rupture in labor. Increasing cesarean rates, however, have led to an increase in the number of PHs for morbidly adherent placenta. In the case of uterine atony or rupture where PH is required, a subtotal PH is often sufficient. In the case of pathological placental localization involving the cervix, however, a total hysterectomy is required. Furthermore, the involvement of other pelvic structures may prospectively make the diagnosis difficult and the surgery challenging. If resources permit, PH for pathological placental localization merits a multidisciplinary approach. Despite advances in clinical practice, it is likely that peripartum hysterectomy will be more challenging for obstetricians in the future.

  14. Infrared spectroscopy of evolved objects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aitken, D.K.; Roche, P.F.

    1984-01-01

    In this review, the authors are concerned with spectroscopic observations of evolved objects made in the wavelength range 1-300μm. Spectroscopic observations can conveniently be divided into studies of narrow lines, bands and broader continua. The vibrational frequencies of molecular groups fall mainly in this spectral region and appear as vibration-rotation bands from the gas phase, and as less structured, but often broader, features from the solid state. Many ionic lines, including recombination lines of abundant species and fine structure lines of astrophysically important ions also appear in this region. The continuum can arise from a number of mechanisms - photospheric emission, radiation from dust, free-free transitions in ionized gas and non-thermal processes. (Auth.)

  15. Characterization of a rapid, blue light-mediated change in detectable phosphorylation of a plasma membrane protein from etiolated pea (Pisum sativum L.) seedlings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Short, T.W.; Briggs, W.R.

    1990-01-01

    When crude microsomal membranes from apical stem segments of etiolated Pisum sativum L. cv Alaska are mixed in vitro with γ-[ 32 P]ATP, a phosphorylated band of apparent molecular mass 120 kilodaltons can be detected on autoradiographs of sodium dodecyl sulfate electrophoresis gels. If the stem sections are exposed to blue light immediately prior to membrane isolation, this band is not evident. Comparisons of the kinetics, tissue distribution, and dark recovery of the phosphorylation response with those published for blue light mediated phototropism or rapid growth inhibition indicate that the phosphorylation could be linked to one or both of the reactions described. However, the fluence-response relationships for the change in detectable phosphorylation match quite closely those reported for phototropism but not those for growth inhibition. Blue light has also been found to regulate the capacity for in vitro phosphorylation of a second protein. It has an apparent molecular mass of 84 kilodaltons and is localized primarily in basal stem sections

  16. Characterization of Plasmodium Lactate Dehydrogenase and Histidine-Rich Protein 2 Clearance Patterns via Rapid On-Bead Detection from a Single Dried Blood Spot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markwalter, Christine F.; Gibson, Lauren E.; Mudenda, Lwiindi; Kimmel, Danielle W.; Mbambara, Saidon; Thuma, Philip E.; Wright, David W.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract. A rapid, on-bead enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) and Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) was adapted for use with dried blood spot (DBS) samples. This assay detected both biomarkers from a single DBS sample with only 45 minutes of total incubation time and detection limits of 600 ± 500 pM (pLDH) and 69 ± 30 pM (HRP2), corresponding to 150 and 24 parasites/μL, respectively. This sensitive and reproducible on-bead detection method was used to quantify pLDH and HRP2 in patient DBS samples from rural Zambia collected at multiple time points after treatment. Biomarker clearance patterns relative to parasite clearance were determined; pLDH clearance followed closely with parasite clearance, whereas most patients maintained detectable levels of HRP2 for 35–52 days after treatment. Furthermore, weak-to-moderate correlations between biomarker concentration and parasite densities were found for both biomarkers. This work demonstrates the utility of the developed assay for epidemiological study and surveillance of malaria. PMID:29557342

  17. The evolving war on cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Daniel A; Gray, Nathanael S; Baselga, Jose

    2011-04-01

    Building on years of basic scientific discovery, recent advances in the fields of cancer genetics and medicinal chemistry are now converging to revolutionize the treatment of cancer. Starting with serendipitous observations in rare subsets of cancer, a paradigm shift in clinical research is poised to ensure that new molecular insights are rapidly applied to shape emerging cancer therapies. Could this mark a turning point in the "War on Cancer"? Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Direct detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from blood cultures using an immunochromatographic immunoassay-based MRSA rapid kit for the detection of penicillin-binding protein 2a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Kyeong Seob; Song, Hyung Geun; Kim, Haejung; Yoon, Sangsun; Hong, Seung Bok; Koo, Sun Hoe; Kim, Jimyung; Kim, Jongwan; Roh, Kyoung Ho

    2010-07-01

    Using an EZ-Step MRSA rapid kit, a novel screening test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that detects penicillin-binding protein 2a, 34 of 36 MRSA-positive clinical blood culture samples were positive on direct testing (sensitivity, 94.4%), whereas 21 of 21 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus-positive samples were negative (specificity, 100%).

  19. Orbital Decay in Binaries with Evolved Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Meng; Arras, Phil; Weinberg, Nevin N.; Troup, Nicholas; Majewski, Steven R.

    2018-01-01

    Two mechanisms are often invoked to explain tidal friction in binary systems. The ``dynamical tide” is the resonant excitation of internal gravity waves by the tide, and their subsequent damping by nonlinear fluid processes or thermal diffusion. The ``equilibrium tide” refers to non-resonant excitation of fluid motion in the star’s convection zone, with damping by interaction with the turbulent eddies. There have been numerous studies of these processes in main sequence stars, but less so on the subgiant and red giant branches. Motivated by the newly discovered close binary systems in the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE-1), we have performed calculations of both the dynamical and equilibrium tide processes for stars over a range of mass as the star’s cease core hydrogen burning and evolve to shell burning. Even for stars which had a radiative core on the main sequence, the dynamical tide may have very large amplitude in the newly radiative core in post-main sequence, giving rise to wave breaking. The resulting large dynamical tide dissipation rate is compared to the equilibrium tide, and the range of secondary masses and orbital periods over which rapid orbital decay may occur will be discussed, as well as applications to close APOGEE binaries.

  20. CERN internal communication is evolving

    CERN Multimedia

    2016-01-01

    CERN news will now be regularly updated on the CERN People page (see here).      Dear readers, All over the world, communication is becoming increasingly instantaneous, with news published in real time on websites and social networks. In order to keep pace with these changes, CERN's internal communication is evolving too. From now on, you will be informed of what’s happening at CERN more often via the “CERN people” page, which will frequently be updated with news. The Bulletin is following this trend too: twice a month, we will compile the most important articles published on the CERN site, with a brand-new layout. You will receive an e-mail every two weeks as soon as this new form of the Bulletin is available. If you have interesting news or stories to share, tell us about them through the form at: https://communications.web.cern.ch/got-story-cern-website​. You can also find out about news from CERN in real time...

  1. Economies Evolve by Energy Dispersal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Salthe

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Economic activity can be regarded as an evolutionary process governed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The universal law, when formulated locally as an equation of motion, reveals that a growing economy develops functional machinery and organizes hierarchically in such a way as to tend to equalize energy density differences within the economy and in respect to the surroundings it is open to. Diverse economic activities result in flows of energy that will preferentially channel along the most steeply descending paths, leveling a non-Euclidean free energy landscape. This principle of 'maximal energy dispersal‘, equivalent to the maximal rate of entropy production, gives rise to economic laws and regularities. The law of diminishing returns follows from the diminishing free energy while the relation between supply and demand displays a quest for a balance among interdependent energy densities. Economic evolution is dissipative motion where the driving forces and energy flows are inseparable from each other. When there are multiple degrees of freedom, economic growth and decline are inherently impossible to forecast in detail. Namely, trajectories of an evolving economy are non-integrable, i.e. unpredictable in detail because a decision by a player will affect also future decisions of other players. We propose that decision making is ultimately about choosing from various actions those that would reduce most effectively subjectively perceived energy gradients.

  2. Recommendation in evolving online networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Zeng, An; Shang, Ming-Sheng

    2016-02-01

    Recommender system is an effective tool to find the most relevant information for online users. By analyzing the historical selection records of users, recommender system predicts the most likely future links in the user-item network and accordingly constructs a personalized recommendation list for each user. So far, the recommendation process is mostly investigated in static user-item networks. In this paper, we propose a model which allows us to examine the performance of the state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms in evolving networks. We find that the recommendation accuracy in general decreases with time if the evolution of the online network fully depends on the recommendation. Interestingly, some randomness in users' choice can significantly improve the long-term accuracy of the recommendation algorithm. When a hybrid recommendation algorithm is applied, we find that the optimal parameter gradually shifts towards the diversity-favoring recommendation algorithm, indicating that recommendation diversity is essential to keep a high long-term recommendation accuracy. Finally, we confirm our conclusions by studying the recommendation on networks with the real evolution data.

  3. High performance of histidine-rich protein 2 based rapid diagnostic tests in French Guiana are explained by the absence of pfhrp2 gene deletion in P. falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Trouvay

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Care for malaria patients in endemic areas has been improved through the increasing use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs. Most RDTs target the histidine-rich protein-2 antigen (PfHRP2 to detect P. falciparum, as it is abundant and shows great heat stability. However, their use in South America has been widely questioned following a recent publication that pinpoints the high prevalence of Peruvian field isolates lacking the gene encoding this protein. In the remote rural health centers of French Guiana, RDTs are the main diagnosis tools. Therefore, a study of PfHRP2 RDT performances and pfhrp2 genotyping was conducted to determine whether a replacement of the current pLDH-based kit could be considered. METHODS: The performance study compared the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® kit with the current gold standard diagnosis by microscopy. The prevalence of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deletions were evaluated from 221 P. falciparum isolates collected between 2009 and 2011 in French Guiana. RESULTS: Between January 2010 and August 2011, 960 suspected cases of malaria were analyzed using microscopy and RDTs. The sensitivity of the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® for detection of P. falciparum was 96.8% (95% CI: 90.9-99.3, and 86.0% (95% CI: 78.9-91.5 for the detection of P. vivax. No isolates (95% CI: 0-4.5 lacking either exon of the pfhrp2 gene were identified among the 221 P. falciparum isolates analyzed, but 7.4% (95% CI: 2.8-15.4 lacked the exon 2 part of the pfhrp3 gene. CONCLUSIONS: Field isolates lacking either exon of the pfhrp2 gene are absent in this western part of South America. Despite its sensibility to detect P. vivax, the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® kit is a satisfying alternative to microscopy in remote health centers, where it is difficult to provide highly skilled microscopists and to maintain the necessary equipment.

  4. The Exploitation of Evolving Resources

    CERN Document Server

    McGlade, Jacqueline; Law, Richard

    1993-01-01

    The impact of man on the biosphere is profound. Quite apart from our capacity to destroy natural ecosystems and to drive species to extinction, we mould the evolution of the survivors by the selection pressures we apply to them. This has implications for the continued health of our natural biological resources and for the way in which we seek to optimise yield from those resources. Of these biological resources, fish stocks are particularly important to mankind as a source of protein. On a global basis, fish stocks provide the major source of protein for human consumption from natural ecosystems, amounting to some seventy million tonnes in 1970. Although fisheries management has been extensively developed over the last century, it has not hitherto considered the evolutionary consequences of fishing activity. While this omission may not have been serious in the past, the ever increasing intensity of exploitation and the deteriorating health of fish stocks has generated an urgent need for a better understanding...

  5. A Rapid Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Mouse Model for B-cell Lymphomas Driven by Epstein-Barr Virus Protein LMP1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ba, Zhaoqing; Meng, Fei-Long; Gostissa, Monica; Huang, Pei-Yi; Ke, Qiang; Wang, Zhe; Dao, Mai N; Fujiwara, Yuko; Rajewsky, Klaus; Zhang, Baochun; Alt, Frederick W

    2015-06-01

    The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) contributes to oncogenic human B-cell transformation. Mouse B cells conditionally expressing LMP1 are not predisposed to B-cell malignancies, as LMP1-expressing B cells are eliminated by T cells. However, mice with conditional B-cell LMP1 expression and genetic elimination of α/β and γ/δ T cells ("CLT" mice) die early in association with B-cell lymphoproliferation and lymphomagenesis. Generation of CLT mice involves in-breeding multiple independently segregating alleles. Thus, although introduction of additional activating or knockout mutations into the CLT model is desirable for further B-cell expansion and immunosurveillance studies, doing such experiments by germline breeding is time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes unfeasible. To generate a more tractable model, we generated clonal CLT embryonic stem (ES) cells from CLT embryos and injected them into RAG2-deficient blastocysts to generate chimeric mice, which, like germline CLT mice, harbor splenic CLT B cells and lack T cells. CLT chimeric mice generated by this RAG2-deficient blastocyst complementation ("RDBC") approach die rapidly in association with B-cell lymphoproliferation and lymphoma. Because CLT lymphomas routinely express the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) antibody diversifier, we tested potential AID roles by eliminating the AID gene in CLT ES cells and testing them via RDBC. We found that CLT and AID-deficient CLT ES chimeras had indistinguishable phenotypes, showing that AID is not essential for LMP1-induced lymphomagenesis. Beyond expanding accessibility and utility of CLT mice as a cancer immunotherapy model, our studies provide a new approach for facilitating generation of genetically complex mouse cancer models. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  6. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: evolving concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Jay H; Moua, Teng; Daniels, Craig E; Hartman, Thomas E; Yi, Eunhee S; Utz, James P; Limper, Andrew H

    2014-08-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) occurs predominantly in middle-aged and older adults and accounts for 20% to 30% of interstitial lung diseases. It is usually progressive, resulting in respiratory failure and death. Diagnostic criteria for IPF have evolved over the years, and IPF is currently defined as a disease characterized by the histopathologic pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia occurring in the absence of an identifiable cause of lung injury. Understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF has shifted away from chronic inflammation and toward dysregulated fibroproliferative repair in response to alveolar epithelial injury. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is likely a heterogeneous disorder caused by various interactions between genetic components and environmental exposures. High-resolution computed tomography can be diagnostic in the presence of typical findings such as bilateral reticular opacities associated with traction bronchiectasis/bronchiolectasis in a predominantly basal and subpleural distribution, along with subpleural honeycombing. In other circumstances, a surgical lung biopsy may be needed. The clinical course of IPF can be unpredictable and may be punctuated by acute deteriorations (acute exacerbation). Although progress continues in unraveling the mechanisms of IPF, effective therapy has remained elusive. Thus, clinicians and patients need to reach informed decisions regarding management options including lung transplant. The findings in this review were based on a literature search of PubMed using the search terms idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and usual interstitial pneumonia, limited to human studies in the English language published from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2013, and supplemented by key references published before the year 2000. Copyright © 2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Directed evolution to re-adapt a co-evolved network within an enzyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strafford, John; Payongsri, Panwajee; Hibbert, Edward G; Morris, Phattaraporn; Batth, Sukhjeet S; Steadman, David; Smith, Mark E B; Ward, John M; Hailes, Helen C; Dalby, Paul A

    2012-01-01

    We have previously used targeted active-site saturation mutagenesis to identify a number of transketolase single mutants that improved activity towards either glycolaldehyde (GA), or the non-natural substrate propionaldehyde (PA). Here, all attempts to recombine the singles into double mutants led to unexpected losses of specific activity towards both substrates. A typical trade-off occurred between soluble expression levels and specific activity for all single mutants, but many double mutants decreased both properties more severely suggesting a critical loss of protein stability or native folding. Statistical coupling analysis (SCA) of a large multiple sequence alignment revealed a network of nine co-evolved residues that affected all but one double mutant. Such networks maintain important functional properties such as activity, specificity, folding, stability, and solubility and may be rapidly disrupted by introducing one or more non-naturally occurring mutations. To identify variants of this network that would accept and improve upon our best D469 mutants for activity towards PA, we created a library of random single, double and triple mutants across seven of the co-evolved residues, combining our D469 variants with only naturally occurring mutations at the remaining sites. A triple mutant cluster at D469, E498 and R520 was found to behave synergistically for the specific activity towards PA. Protein expression was severely reduced by E498D and improved by R520Q, yet variants containing both mutations led to improved specific activity and enzyme expression, but with loss of solubility and the formation of inclusion bodies. D469S and R520Q combined synergistically to improve k(cat) 20-fold for PA, more than for any previous transketolase mutant. R520Q also doubled the specific activity of the previously identified D469T to create our most active transketolase mutant to date. Our results show that recombining active-site mutants obtained by saturation mutagenesis

  8. Introduction to protein blotting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurien, Biji T; Scofield, R Hal

    2009-01-01

    Protein blotting is a powerful and important procedure for the immunodetection of proteins following electrophoresis, particularly proteins that are of low abundance. Since the inception of the protocol for protein transfer from an electrophoresed gel to a membrane in 1979, protein blotting has evolved greatly. The scientific community is now confronted with a variety of ways and means to carry out this transfer.

  9. Evolving expectations from international organisations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiz Lopez, C.

    2008-01-01

    The author stated that implementation of the geological disposal concept requires a strategy that provides national decision makers with sufficient confidence in the level of long-term safety and protection ultimately achieved. The concept of protection against harm has a broader meaning than radiological protection in terms of risk and dose. It includes the protection of the environment and socio-economic interests of communities. She recognised that a number of countries have established regulatory criteria already, and others are now discussing what constitutes a proper regulatory test and suitable time frame for judging the safety of long-term disposal. Each regulatory programme seeks to define reasonable tests of repository performance, using protection criteria and safety approaches consistent with the culture, values and expectations of the citizens of the country concerned. This means that there are differences in how protection and safety are addressed in national approaches to regulation and in the bases used for that. However, as was recognised in the Cordoba Workshop, it would be important to reach a minimum level of consistency and be able to explain the differences. C. Ruiz-Lopez presented an overview of the development of international guidance from ICRP, IAEA and NEA from the Cordoba workshop up to now, and positions of independent National Advisory Bodies. The evolution of these guidelines over time demonstrates an evolving understanding of long-term implications, with the recognition that dose and risk constraints should not be seen as measures of detriment beyond a few hundred years, the emphasis on sound engineering practices, and the introduction of new concepts and approaches which take into account social and economical aspects (e.g. constrained optimisation, BAT, managerial principles). In its new recommendations, ICRP (draft 2006) recognizes. in particular, that decision making processes may depend on other societal concerns and considers

  10. Evolving fuzzy rules for relaxed-criteria negotiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Kwang Mong

    2008-12-01

    In the literature on automated negotiation, very few negotiation agents are designed with the flexibility to slightly relax their negotiation criteria to reach a consensus more rapidly and with more certainty. Furthermore, these relaxed-criteria negotiation agents were not equipped with the ability to enhance their performance by learning and evolving their relaxed-criteria negotiation rules. The impetus of this work is designing market-driven negotiation agents (MDAs) that not only have the flexibility of relaxing bargaining criteria using fuzzy rules, but can also evolve their structures by learning new relaxed-criteria fuzzy rules to improve their negotiation outcomes as they participate in negotiations in more e-markets. To this end, an evolutionary algorithm for adapting and evolving relaxed-criteria fuzzy rules was developed. Implementing the idea in a testbed, two kinds of experiments for evaluating and comparing EvEMDAs (MDAs with relaxed-criteria rules that are evolved using the evolutionary algorithm) and EMDAs (MDAs with relaxed-criteria rules that are manually constructed) were carried out through stochastic simulations. Empirical results show that: 1) EvEMDAs generally outperformed EMDAs in different types of e-markets and 2) the negotiation outcomes of EvEMDAs generally improved as they negotiated in more e-markets.

  11. Evolving Deep Networks Using HPC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, Steven R. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Rose, Derek C. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Johnston, Travis [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Heller, William T. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Karnowski, thomas P. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Potok, Thomas E. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Patton, Robert M. [ORNL, Oak Ridge; Perdue, Gabriel [Fermilab; Miller, Jonathan [Santa Maria U., Valparaiso

    2017-01-01

    While a large number of deep learning networks have been studied and published that produce outstanding results on natural image datasets, these datasets only make up a fraction of those to which deep learning can be applied. These datasets include text data, audio data, and arrays of sensors that have very different characteristics than natural images. As these “best” networks for natural images have been largely discovered through experimentation and cannot be proven optimal on some theoretical basis, there is no reason to believe that they are the optimal network for these drastically different datasets. Hyperparameter search is thus often a very important process when applying deep learning to a new problem. In this work we present an evolutionary approach to searching the possible space of network hyperparameters and construction that can scale to 18, 000 nodes. This approach is applied to datasets of varying types and characteristics where we demonstrate the ability to rapidly find best hyperparameters in order to enable practitioners to quickly iterate between idea and result.

  12. Evolving approaches to the ethical management of genomic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, Jean E; Boyer, Joy T; Sun, Kathie Y

    2013-06-01

    The ethical landscape in the field of genomics is rapidly shifting. Plummeting sequencing costs, along with ongoing advances in bioinformatics, now make it possible to generate an enormous volume of genomic data about vast numbers of people. The informational richness, complexity, and frequently uncertain meaning of these data, coupled with evolving norms surrounding the sharing of data and samples and persistent privacy concerns, have generated a range of approaches to the ethical management of genomic information. As calls increase for the expanded use of broad or even open consent, and as controversy grows about how best to handle incidental genomic findings, these approaches, informed by normative analysis and empirical data, will continue to evolve alongside the science. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Evolving Technologies: A View to Tomorrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamarkin, Molly; Rodrigo, Shelley

    2011-01-01

    Technology leaders must participate in strategy creation as well as operational delivery within higher education institutions. The future of higher education--the view to tomorrow--is irrevocably integrated and intertwined with evolving technologies. This article focuses on two specific evolving technologies: (1) alternative IT sourcing; and (2)…

  14. A rapid chemical method of labelling human plasma proteins with sup(99m)Tc-pertechnetate at pH 7.4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wong, D.W.; Mishkin, F.; Lee, T.

    1978-01-01

    A successful method for labelling human plasma proteins with sup(99m)Tc-pertechnetate by chemical means is described. The labelling methodology involves the production of Sup(99m)Tc-(Sn)citrate complex species with high protein binding capacity at pH 7.4 condition following initial chemical reduction of sodium sup(99m)Tc-pertechnetate by stannous chloride. A combined labelling efficiency range of 95-99% for sup(99m)Tc-labelled fibrinogen, immune gamma globulin and serum albumin is achieved. The actual amount of labelled protein content in the product is found to be 85-95% when assayed by ITLC and 74-85% by TCAA protein precipitation. In vitro experimental data indicate that sup(99m)Tc-fibrinogen contains an average of 85% clottable protein with an average clottability of 95%. This strongly suggests that the radioactive proteins retain much of their biological and physiological activities after the labelling process. (author)

  15. Evolvability Search: Directly Selecting for Evolvability in order to Study and Produce It

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mengistu, Henok; Lehman, Joel Anthony; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    of evolvable digital phenotypes. Although some types of selection in evolutionary computation indirectly encourage evolvability, one unexplored possibility is to directly select for evolvability. To do so, we estimate an individual's future potential for diversity by calculating the behavioral diversity of its...... immediate offspring, and select organisms with increased offspring variation. While the technique is computationally expensive, we hypothesized that direct selection would better encourage evolvability than indirect methods. Experiments in two evolutionary robotics domains confirm this hypothesis: in both...... domains, such Evolvability Search produces solutions with higher evolvability than those produced with Novelty Search or traditional objective-based search algorithms. Further experiments demonstrate that the higher evolvability produced by Evolvability Search in a training environment also generalizes...

  16. Rapid protein fold determination using secondary chemical shifts and cross-hydrogen bond 15N-13C’ scalar couplings (3hbJNC’)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonvin, A.M.J.J.; Houben, K.; Guenneugues, M.N.L.; Kaptein, R.; Boelens, R.

    2001-01-01

    The possibility of generating protein folds at the stage of backbone assignment using structural restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond scalar couplings and secondary chemical shift information is investigated using as a test case the small alpha/beta protein

  17. Sex determination: ways to evolve a hermaphrodite.

    OpenAIRE

    Braendle , Christian; Félix , Marie-Anne

    2006-01-01

    Most species of the nematode genus Caenorhabditis reproduce through males and females; C. elegans and C. briggsae, however, produce self-fertile hermaphrodites instead of females. These transitions to hermaphroditism evolved convergently through distinct modifications of germline sex determination mechanisms.

  18. WSC-07: Evolving the Web Services Challenge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blake, M. Brian; Cheung, William K.W.; Jaeger, Michael C.; Wombacher, Andreas

    Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is an evolving architectural paradigm where businesses can expose their capabilities as modular, network-accessible software services. By decomposing capabilities into modular services, organizations can share their offerings at multiple levels of granularity

  19. Marshal: Maintaining Evolving Models, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — SIFT proposes to design and develop the Marshal system, a mixed-initiative tool for maintaining task models over the course of evolving missions. Marshal-enabled...

  20. Satcom access in the Evolved Packet Core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cano Soveri, M.D.; Norp, A.H.J.; Popova, M.P.

    2011-01-01

    Satellite communications (Satcom) networks are increasingly integrating with terrestrial communications networks, namely Next Generation Networks (NGN). In the area of NGN the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a new network architecture that can support multiple access technologies. When Satcom is

  1. Satcom access in the evolved packet core

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cano, M.D.; Norp, A.H.J.; Popova, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    Satellite communications (Satcom) networks are increasingly integrating with terrestrial communications networks, namely Next Generation Networks (NGN). In the area of NGN the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a new network architecture that can support multiple access technologies. When Satcom is

  2. Biomimetic molecular design tools that learn, evolve, and adapt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Winkler

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A dominant hallmark of living systems is their ability to adapt to changes in the environment by learning and evolving. Nature does this so superbly that intensive research efforts are now attempting to mimic biological processes. Initially this biomimicry involved developing synthetic methods to generate complex bioactive natural products. Recent work is attempting to understand how molecular machines operate so their principles can be copied, and learning how to employ biomimetic evolution and learning methods to solve complex problems in science, medicine and engineering. Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary algorithms are now converging to generate what might broadly be called in silico-based adaptive evolution of materials. These methods are being applied to organic chemistry to systematize reactions, create synthesis robots to carry out unit operations, and to devise closed loop flow self-optimizing chemical synthesis systems. Most scientific innovations and technologies pass through the well-known “S curve”, with slow beginning, an almost exponential growth in capability, and a stable applications period. Adaptive, evolving, machine learning-based molecular design and optimization methods are approaching the period of very rapid growth and their impact is already being described as potentially disruptive. This paper describes new developments in biomimetic adaptive, evolving, learning computational molecular design methods and their potential impacts in chemistry, engineering, and medicine.

  3. Biomimetic molecular design tools that learn, evolve, and adapt

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    A dominant hallmark of living systems is their ability to adapt to changes in the environment by learning and evolving. Nature does this so superbly that intensive research efforts are now attempting to mimic biological processes. Initially this biomimicry involved developing synthetic methods to generate complex bioactive natural products. Recent work is attempting to understand how molecular machines operate so their principles can be copied, and learning how to employ biomimetic evolution and learning methods to solve complex problems in science, medicine and engineering. Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary algorithms are now converging to generate what might broadly be called in silico-based adaptive evolution of materials. These methods are being applied to organic chemistry to systematize reactions, create synthesis robots to carry out unit operations, and to devise closed loop flow self-optimizing chemical synthesis systems. Most scientific innovations and technologies pass through the well-known “S curve”, with slow beginning, an almost exponential growth in capability, and a stable applications period. Adaptive, evolving, machine learning-based molecular design and optimization methods are approaching the period of very rapid growth and their impact is already being described as potentially disruptive. This paper describes new developments in biomimetic adaptive, evolving, learning computational molecular design methods and their potential impacts in chemistry, engineering, and medicine. PMID:28694872

  4. Higher rates of sex evolve in spatially heterogeneous environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becks, Lutz; Agrawal, Aneil F

    2010-11-04

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction has puzzled biologists for decades. Although this field is rich in hypotheses, experimental evidence is scarce. Some important experiments have demonstrated differences in evolutionary rates between sexual and asexual populations; other experiments have documented evolutionary changes in phenomena related to genetic mixing, such as recombination and selfing. However, direct experiments of the evolution of sex within populations are extremely rare (but see ref. 12). Here we use the rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus, which is capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction, to test recent theory predicting that there is more opportunity for sex to evolve in spatially heterogeneous environments. Replicated experimental populations of rotifers were maintained in homogeneous environments, composed of either high- or low-quality food habitats, or in heterogeneous environments that consisted of a mix of the two habitats. For populations maintained in either type of homogeneous environment, the rate of sex evolves rapidly towards zero. In contrast, higher rates of sex evolve in populations experiencing spatially heterogeneous environments. The data indicate that the higher level of sex observed under heterogeneity is not due to sex being less costly or selection against sex being less efficient; rather sex is sufficiently advantageous in heterogeneous environments to overwhelm its inherent costs. Counter to some alternative theories for the evolution of sex, there is no evidence that genetic drift plays any part in the evolution of sex in these populations.

  5. Evolving effective incremental SAT solvers with GP

    OpenAIRE

    Bader, Mohamed; Poli, R.

    2008-01-01

    Hyper-Heuristics could simply be defined as heuristics to choose other heuristics, and it is a way of combining existing heuristics to generate new ones. In a Hyper-Heuristic framework, the framework is used for evolving effective incremental (Inc*) solvers for SAT. We test the evolved heuristics (IncHH) against other known local search heuristics on a variety of benchmark SAT problems.

  6. Recovery of insulin sensitivity and optimal body composition after rapid weight loss in obese dogs fed a high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, A; Leriche, I; Chaix, G; Thorin, C; Burger, M; Nguyen, P

    2017-06-01

    This study investigated the effects of an experimental high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet (protein level, 46% metabolizable energy, ME). First, postprandial plasma glucose and insulin kinetics were determined in steady-state overweight/obese Beagle dogs (28%-41% excess body weight) for an experimental high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet (protein level, 46% ME) and a commercial high-carbohydrate medium-protein diet (protein level, 24%ME) in obese dogs. Secondly, all the dogs were included in a weight loss programme. They were fed the high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet, and the energy allocation was gradually reduced until they reached their optimal body weight. Insulin sensitivity and body composition were evaluated before and after weight loss using a euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp and the deuterium oxide dilution technique respectively. For statistical analysis, linear mixed effect models were used with a significance level of 5%. Postprandial plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were substantially lower with the high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet than the high-carbohydrate medium-protein diet. These differences can be explained mainly by the difference in carbohydrate content between the two diets. Energy restriction (35% lower energy intake than in the obese state) resulted in a 2.23 ± 0.05% loss in body weight/week, and the dogs reached their optimal body weight in 12-16 weeks. Weight loss was associated with a significant increase in insulin sensitivity. The high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet allowed fat-free mass preservation despite a relatively high rate of weekly weight loss. The increase in insulin sensitivity indicated improved control of carbohydrate metabolism, possible due to weight loss and to the nature of the diet. Thus, a high-protein medium-carbohydrate diet is a good nutritional solution for managing the weight of overweight dogs. This diet may improve glycaemic control, which could be beneficial for preventing or

  7. Quantitative Non-canonical Amino Acid Tagging (QuaNCAT) Proteomics Identifies Distinct Patterns of Protein Synthesis Rapidly Induced by Hypertrophic Agents in Cardiomyocytes, Revealing New Aspects of Metabolic Remodeling*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rui; Kenney, Justin W.; Manousopoulou, Antigoni; Johnston, Harvey E.; Kamei, Makoto; Woelk, Christopher H.; Xie, Jianling; Schwarzer, Michael; Proud, Christopher G.

    2016-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes undergo growth and remodeling in response to specific pathological or physiological conditions. In the former, myocardial growth is a risk factor for cardiac failure and faster protein synthesis is a major factor driving cardiomyocyte growth. Our goal was to quantify the rapid effects of different pro-hypertrophic stimuli on the synthesis of specific proteins in ARVC and to determine whether such effects are caused by alterations on mRNA abundance or the translation of specific mRNAs. Cardiomyocytes have very low rates of protein synthesis, posing a challenging problem in terms of studying changes in the synthesis of specific proteins, which also applies to other nondividing primary cells. To study the rates of accumulation of specific proteins in these cells, we developed an optimized version of the Quantitative Noncanonical Amino acid Tagging LC/MS proteomic method to label and selectively enrich newly synthesized proteins in these primary cells while eliminating the suppressive effects of pre-existing and highly abundant nonisotope-tagged polypeptides. Our data revealed that a classical pathologic (phenylephrine; PE) and the recently identified insulin stimulus that also contributes to the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy (insulin), both increased the synthesis of proteins involved in, e.g. glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and beta-oxidation, and sarcomeric components. However, insulin increased synthesis of many metabolic enzymes to a greater extent than PE. Using a novel validation method, we confirmed that synthesis of selected candidates is indeed up-regulated by PE and insulin. Synthesis of all proteins studied was up-regulated by signaling through mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 without changes in their mRNA levels, showing the key importance of translational control in the rapid effects of hypertrophic stimuli. Expression of PKM2 was up-regulated in rat hearts following TAC. This isoform possesses specific regulatory

  8. Isocratic Solid Phase Extraction-Liquid Chromatography (SPE-LC) Interfaced to High-Performance Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Rapid Protein Identification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hørning, Ole B; Kjeldsen, Frank; Theodorsen, Søren

    2008-01-01

    the isocratic solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography (SPE-LC) technology for rapid separation ( approximately 8 min) of simple peptide samples. We now extend these studies to demonstrate the potential of SPE-LC separation in combination with a hybrid linear ion trap-Orbitrap tandem mass spectrometer...

  9. Occurrence and characterisation of the hydrogen-evolving enzyme in Frankia sp.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohapatra, A.; Leul, M.; Sellstedt, A. [Umeaa Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant Physiology, Umeaa University, S-901 87 Umeaa (Sweden); Sandstroem, G. [Karolinska Institutet, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Bacteriology, Karelinska University Hospital, Huddinge, S-141 86 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2006-09-15

    An increase in hydrogen evolution from the hydrogen-evolving enzyme in the actinomycete Frankia was recorded in the presence of nickel. Immunogold localisation analysis of the intracellular distribution of hydrogenase proteins indicated that they were evenly distributed in the membranes and cytosol of both hyphae and vesicles. In addition, molecular characterisation of the hydrogen-evolving enzyme at the proteomic level, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry, confirmed that the Frankia hydrogen-evolving enzyme is similar to the cyanobacterial bidirectional hydrogenase of Anabena siamensis. (author)

  10. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase rapidly suppresses multiple pro-inflammatory pathways in adipocytes including IL-1 receptor-associated kinase-4 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mancini, Sarah J; White, Anna D; Bijland, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Inflammation of adipose tissue in obesity is associated with increased IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α secretion and proposed to contribute to insulin resistance. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates nutrient metabolism and is reported to have anti-inflammatory actions in adipose tissue, yet the m...

  11. Evaluation of an Immunochromatographic Assay for Rapid Detection of Penicillin-Binding Protein 2a in Human and Animal Staphylococcus intermedius Group, Staphylococcus lugdunensis, and Staphylococcus schleiferi Clinical Isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, A R; Burnham, C-A D; Ford, B A; Lawhon, S D; McAllister, S K; Lonsway, D; Albrecht, V; Jerris, R C; Rasheed, J K; Limbago, B; Burd, E M; Westblade, L F

    2016-03-01

    The performance of a rapid penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) detection assay, the Alere PBP2a culture colony test, was evaluated for identification of PBP2a-mediated beta-lactam resistance in human and animal clinical isolates of Staphylococcus intermedius group, Staphylococcus lugdunensis, and Staphylococcus schleiferi. The assay was sensitive and specific, with all PBP2a-negative and PBP2a-positive strains testing negative and positive, respectively. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Hydroxyapatite hierarchically nanostructured porous hollow microspheres: rapid, sustainable microwave-hydrothermal synthesis by using creatine phosphate as an organic phosphorus source and application in drug delivery and protein adsorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Chao; Zhu, Ying-Jie; Lu, Bing-Qiang; Zhao, Xin-Yu; Zhao, Jing; Chen, Feng; Wu, Jin

    2013-04-22

    Hierarchically nanostructured porous hollow microspheres of hydroxyapatite (HAP) are a promising biomaterial, owing to their excellent biocompatibility and porous hollow structure. Traditionally, synthetic hydroxyapatite is prepared by using an inorganic phosphorus source. Herein, we report a new strategy for the rapid, sustainable synthesis of HAP hierarchically nanostructured porous hollow microspheres by using creatine phosphate disodium salt as an organic phosphorus source in aqueous solution through a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. The as-obtained products are characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform IR (FTIR) spectroscopy, SEM, TEM, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) nitrogen sorptometry, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). SEM and TEM micrographs show that HAP hierarchically nanostructured porous hollow microspheres consist of HAP nanosheets or nanorods as the building blocks and DLS measurements show that the diameters of HAP hollow microspheres are within the range 0.8-1.5 μm. The specific surface area and average pore size of the HAP porous hollow microspheres are 87.3 m(2) g(-1) and 20.6 nm, respectively. The important role of creatine phosphate disodium salt and the influence of the experimental conditions on the products were systematically investigated. This method is facile, rapid, surfactant-free and environmentally friendly. The as-prepared HAP porous hollow microspheres show a relatively high drug-loading capacity and protein-adsorption ability, as well as sustained drug and protein release, by using ibuprofen as a model drug and hemoglobin (Hb) as a model protein, respectively. These experiments indicate that the as-prepared HAP porous hollow microspheres are promising for applications in biomedical fields, such as drug delivery and protein adsorption. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Evolving Intelligent Systems Methodology and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Angelov, Plamen; Kasabov, Nik

    2010-01-01

    From theory to techniques, the first all-in-one resource for EIS. There is a clear demand in advanced process industries, defense, and Internet and communication (VoIP) applications for intelligent yet adaptive/evolving systems. Evolving Intelligent Systems is the first self- contained volume that covers this newly established concept in its entirety, from a systematic methodology to case studies to industrial applications. Featuring chapters written by leading world experts, it addresses the progress, trends, and major achievements in this emerging research field, with a strong emphasis on th

  14. Interactively Evolving Compositional Sound Synthesis Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jónsson, Björn Þór; Hoover, Amy K.; Risi, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    the space of potential sounds that can be generated through such compositional sound synthesis networks (CSSNs). To study the effect of evolution on subjective appreciation, participants in a listener study ranked evolved timbres by personal preference, resulting in preferences skewed toward the first......While the success of electronic music often relies on the uniqueness and quality of selected timbres, many musicians struggle with complicated and expensive equipment and techniques to create their desired sounds. Instead, this paper presents a technique for producing novel timbres that are evolved...

  15. Network Analysis of Earth's Co-Evolving Geosphere and Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, R. M.; Eleish, A.; Liu, C.; Morrison, S. M.; Meyer, M.; Consortium, K. D.

    2017-12-01

    A fundamental goal of Earth science is the deep understanding of Earth's dynamic, co-evolving geosphere and biosphere through deep time. Network analysis of geo- and bio- `big data' provides an interactive, quantitative, and predictive visualization framework to explore complex and otherwise hidden high-dimension features of diversity, distribution, and change in the evolution of Earth's geochemistry, mineralogy, paleobiology, and biochemistry [1]. Networks also facilitate quantitative comparison of different geological time periods, tectonic settings, and geographical regions, as well as different planets and moons, through network metrics, including density, centralization, diameter, and transitivity.We render networks by employing data related to geographical, paragenetic, environmental, or structural relationships among minerals, fossils, proteins, and microbial taxa. An important recent finding is that the topography of many networks reflects parameters not explicitly incorporated in constructing the network. For example, networks for minerals, fossils, and protein structures reveal embedded qualitative time axes, with additional network geometries possibly related to extinction and/or other punctuation events (see Figure). Other axes related to chemical activities and volatile fugacities, as well as pressure and/or depth of formation, may also emerge from network analysis. These patterns provide new insights into the way planets evolve, especially Earth's co-evolving geosphere and biosphere. 1. Morrison, S.M. et al. (2017) Network analysis of mineralogical systems. American Mineralogist 102, in press. Figure Caption: A network of Phanerozoic Era fossil animals from the past 540 million years includes blue, red, and black circles (nodes) representing family-level taxa and grey lines (links) between coexisting families. Age information was not used in the construction of this network; nevertheless an intrinsic timeline is embedded in the network topology. In

  16. Reproductive protein evolution in two cryptic species of marine chordate

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Reproductive character displacement (RCD) is a common and taxonomically widespread pattern. In marine broadcast spawning organisms, behavioral and mechanical isolation are absent and prezygotic barriers between species often operate only during the fertilization process. Such barriers are usually a consequence of differences in the way in which sperm and egg proteins interact, so RCD can be manifest as faster evolution of these proteins between species in sympatry than allopatry. Rapid evolution of these proteins often appears to be a consequence of positive (directional) selection. Here, we identify a set of candidate gamete recognition proteins (GRPs) in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and showed that these GRPs evolve more rapidly than control proteins (those not involved in gamete recognition). Choosing a subset of these gamete recognition proteins that show evidence of positive selection (CIPRO37.40.1, CIPRO60.5.1, CIPRO100.7.1), we then directly test the RCD hypothesis by comparing divergence (omega) and polymorphism (McDonald-Kreitman, Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D and F, Fay and Wu's H) statistics in sympatric and allopatric populations of two distinct forms of C. intestinalis (Types A and B) between which there are strong post-zygotic barriers. Results Candidate gamete recognition proteins from two lineages of C. intestinalis (Type A and B) are evolving more rapidly than control proteins, consistent with patterns seen in insects and mammals. However, ω (dN/dS) is not significantly different between the sympatric and allopatric populations, and none of the polymorphism statistics show significant differences between sympatric and allopatric populations. Conclusions Enhanced prezygotic isolation in sympatry has become a well-known feature of gamete recognition proteins in marine broadcast spawners. But in most cases the evolutionary process or processes responsible for this pattern have not been identified. Although gamete recognition proteins in C

  17. Reproductive protein evolution in two cryptic species of marine chordate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harrison Richard G

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reproductive character displacement (RCD is a common and taxonomically widespread pattern. In marine broadcast spawning organisms, behavioral and mechanical isolation are absent and prezygotic barriers between species often operate only during the fertilization process. Such barriers are usually a consequence of differences in the way in which sperm and egg proteins interact, so RCD can be manifest as faster evolution of these proteins between species in sympatry than allopatry. Rapid evolution of these proteins often appears to be a consequence of positive (directional selection. Here, we identify a set of candidate gamete recognition proteins (GRPs in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and showed that these GRPs evolve more rapidly than control proteins (those not involved in gamete recognition. Choosing a subset of these gamete recognition proteins that show evidence of positive selection (CIPRO37.40.1, CIPRO60.5.1, CIPRO100.7.1, we then directly test the RCD hypothesis by comparing divergence (omega and polymorphism (McDonald-Kreitman, Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D and F, Fay and Wu's H statistics in sympatric and allopatric populations of two distinct forms of C. intestinalis (Types A and B between which there are strong post-zygotic barriers. Results Candidate gamete recognition proteins from two lineages of C. intestinalis (Type A and B are evolving more rapidly than control proteins, consistent with patterns seen in insects and mammals. However, ω (dN/dS is not significantly different between the sympatric and allopatric populations, and none of the polymorphism statistics show significant differences between sympatric and allopatric populations. Conclusions Enhanced prezygotic isolation in sympatry has become a well-known feature of gamete recognition proteins in marine broadcast spawners. But in most cases the evolutionary process or processes responsible for this pattern have not been identified. Although gamete

  18. On the Benefits of Divergent Search for Evolved Representations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Risi, Sebastian; Stanley, Kenneth O

    2012-01-01

    Evolved representations in evolutionary computation are often fragile, which can impede representation-dependent mechanisms such as self-adaptation. In contrast, evolved representations in nature are robust, evolvable, and creatively exploit available representational features. This paper provide...

  19. Preface: evolving rotifers, evolving science: Proceedings of the XIV International Rotifer Symposium

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Fontaneto, D.; Jersabek, Ch.D.; Welch, D.B.M.; May, L.; Walsh, E.J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 796, č. 1 (2017), s. 1-6 ISSN 0018-8158 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : evolving rotifers * 14th International Rotifer Symposium * evolving science Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 2.056, year: 2016

  20. An oxygen-rich dust disk surrounding an evolved star in the Red Rectangle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waters, LBFM; Waelkens, C; van Winckel, H; Molster, FJ; Tielens, AGGM; van Loon, JT; Morris, PW; Cami, J; Bouwman, J; de Koter, A; de Jong, T; de Graauw, T

    1998-01-01

    The Red Rectangle(1) is the prototype of a class of carbon-rich reflection nebulae surrounding low-mass stars in the final stages of evolution. The central star of this nebula has ejected most of its layers (during the red-giant phase), which now form the surrounding cloud, and is rapidly evolving

  1. Views on Evolvability of Embedded Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laar, P. van de; Punter, T.

    2011-01-01

    Evolvability, the ability to respond effectively to change, represents a major challenge to today's high-end embedded systems, such as those developed in the medical domain by Philips Healthcare. These systems are typically developed by multi-disciplinary teams, located around the world, and are in

  2. Views on evolvability of embedded systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laar, van de P.J.L.J.; Punter, H.T.

    2011-01-01

    Evolvability, the ability to respond effectively to change, represents a major challenge to today's high-end embedded systems, such as those developed in the medical domain by Philips Healthcare. These systems are typically developed by multi-disciplinary teams, located around the world, and are in

  3. Designing Garments to Evolve Over Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisberg, Vibeke; Grose, Lynda

    2017-01-01

    This paper proposes a REDO of the current fashion paradigm by investigating how garments might be designed to evolve over time. The purpose is to discuss ways of expanding the traditional role of the designer to include temporal dimensions of creating, producing and using clothes and to suggest...... to a REDO of design education, to further research and the future fashion and textile industry....

  4. EVOLVING AN EMPIRICAL METHODOLOGY DOR DETERMINING ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The uniqueness of this approach, is that it can be applied to any forest or dynamic feature on the earth, and can enjoy universal application as well. KEY WORDS: Evolving empirical methodology, innovative mathematical model, appropriate interval, remote sensing, forest environment planning and management. Global Jnl ...

  5. Continual Learning through Evolvable Neural Turing Machines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lüders, Benno; Schläger, Mikkel; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Continual learning, i.e. the ability to sequentially learn tasks without catastrophic forgetting of previously learned ones, is an important open challenge in machine learning. In this paper we take a step in this direction by showing that the recently proposed Evolving Neural Turing Machine (ENTM...

  6. Did Language Evolve Like the Vertebrate Eye?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botha, Rudolf P.

    2002-01-01

    Offers a critical appraisal of the way in which the idea that human language or some of its features evolved like the vertebrate eye by natural selection is articulated in Pinker and Bloom's (1990) selectionist account of language evolution. Argues that this account is less than insightful because it fails to draw some of the conceptual…

  7. Performance of VITEK mass spectrometry V3.0 for rapid identification of clinical Aspergillus fumigatus in different culture conditions based on ribosomal proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou L

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Longrong Zhou, Yongquan Chen, Yuanhong Xu Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Anhui, Hefei, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Fast and accurate discrimination of Aspergillus fumigatus is significant, since misidentification may lead to inappropriate clinical therapy. This study assessed VITEK mass spectrometry (MS V3.0 for A. fumigatus identification using extracted fungal ribosomal proteins. A total of 52 isolates preliminarily identified as A. fumigatus by traditional morphological methods were inoculated in three different culture media and cultured at two different temperatures. The specific spectral fingerprints of different culture time points (48, 72, 96, and 120 h were obtained. Of all strains, 88.5% (46/52 were discriminated as A. fumigatus, while the remaining 11.5% (6/52 produced results inconsistent with morphological analysis. Molecular sequencing, as a reference method for species identification, was used to validate the morphological analysis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight MS. Chi-square tests (Χ2 test, P=0.05 demonstrated that the culture medium and incubation temperature had no effects on identification accuracy; however, identification accuracy of the strains in the 48-h group was lower than that in other groups. In addition, we found that ribosomal proteins extracted from A. fumigatus can be stored in different environments for at least 1 week, with their profiles remaining stable and strain identification results showing no change. This is beneficial for medical institutions with no mass spectrometer at hand. Overall, this study showed the powerful ability of VITEK MS V 3.0 in identifying A. fumigatus. Keywords: VITEK MS V 3.0, Aspergillus fumigatus, identification, ribosomal protein, spectral fingerprints, fungal, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, MALDI-TOF MS

  8. Cellular strategies to cope with protein aggregation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scior, Annika; Juenemann, Katrin; Kirstein, Janine

    2016-01-01

    Nature has evolved several mechanisms to detoxify intracellular protein aggregates that arise upon proteotoxic challenges. These include the controlled deposition of misfolded proteins at distinct cellular sites, the protein disaggregation and refolding by molecular chaperones and/or degradation of

  9. Performance of VITEK mass spectrometry V3.0 for rapid identification of clinical Aspergillus fumigatus in different culture conditions based on ribosomal proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Longrong; Chen, Yongquan; Xu, Yuanhong

    2017-01-01

    Fast and accurate discrimination of Aspergillus fumigatus is significant, since misidentification may lead to inappropriate clinical therapy. This study assessed VITEK mass spectrometry (MS) V3.0 for A. fumigatus identification using extracted fungal ribosomal proteins. A total of 52 isolates preliminarily identified as A. fumigatus by traditional morphological methods were inoculated in three different culture media and cultured at two different temperatures. The specific spectral fingerprints of different culture time points (48, 72, 96, and 120 h) were obtained. Of all strains, 88.5% (46/52) were discriminated as A. fumigatus , while the remaining 11.5% (6/52) produced results inconsistent with morphological analysis. Molecular sequencing, as a reference method for species identification, was used to validate the morphological analysis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight MS. Chi-square tests ( χ 2 test, P =0.05) demonstrated that the culture medium and incubation temperature had no effects on identification accuracy; however, identification accuracy of the strains in the 48-h group was lower than that in other groups. In addition, we found that ribosomal proteins extracted from A. fumigatus can be stored in different environments for at least 1 week, with their profiles remaining stable and strain identification results showing no change. This is beneficial for medical institutions with no mass spectrometer at hand. Overall, this study showed the powerful ability of VITEK MS V 3.0 in identifying A. fumigatus .

  10. Rapid protein fold determination using secondary chemical shifts and cross-hydrogen bond 15N-13C' scalar couplings (3hbJNC')

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonvin, Alexandre M.J.J.; Houben, Klaartje; Guenneugues, Marc; Kaptein, Robert; Boelens, Rolf [Utrecht University, Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research, NMR Spectroscopy (Netherlands)

    2001-11-15

    The possibility of generating protein folds at the stage of backbone assignment using structural restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond scalar couplings and secondary chemical shift information is investigated using as a test case the small {alpha}/{beta} protein chymotrypsin inhibitor 2. Dihedral angle restraints for the {phi} and {psi} angles of 32 out of 64 residues could be obtained from secondary chemical shift analysis with the TALOS program (Corneliscu et al., 1999a). This information was supplemented by 18 hydrogen-bond restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond {sup 3hb}J{sub NC'} coupling constants. These experimental data were sufficient to generate structures that are as close as 1.0 A backbone rmsd from the crystal structure. The fold is, however, not uniquely defined and several solutions are generated that cannot be distinguished on the basis of violations or energetic considerations. Correct folds could be identified by combining clustering methods with knowledge-based potentials derived from structural databases.

  11. Evolving technologies drive the new roles of Biomedical Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, P H; St Germain, J; Lui, W

    2008-01-01

    Rapidly changing technology coupled with the financial impact of organized health care, has required hospital Biomedical Engineering organizations to augment their traditional operational and business models to increase their role in developing enhanced clinical applications utilizing new and evolving technologies. The deployment of these technology based applications has required Biomedical Engineering organizations to re-organize to optimize the manner in which they provide and manage services. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has implemented a strategy to explore evolving technologies integrating them into enhanced clinical applications while optimally utilizing the expertise of the traditional Biomedical Engineering component (Clinical Engineering) to provide expanded support in technology / equipment management, device repair, preventive maintenance and integration with legacy clinical systems. Specifically, Biomedical Engineering is an integral component of the Medical Physics Department which provides comprehensive and integrated support to the Center in advanced physical, technical and engineering technology. This organizational structure emphasizes the integration and collaboration between a spectrum of technical expertise for clinical support and equipment management roles. The high cost of clinical equipment purchases coupled with the increasing cost of service has driven equipment management responsibilities to include significant business and financial aspects to provide a cost effective service model. This case study details the dynamics of these expanded roles, future initiatives and benefits for Biomedical Engineering and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

  12. Rapid and simultaneous detection of human hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus antibodies based on a protein chip assay using nano-gold immunological amplification and silver staining method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan Zhixiang

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Viral hepatitis due to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are major public health problems all over the world. Traditional detection methods including polymerase chain reaction (PCR-based assays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA are expensive and time-consuming. In our assay, a protein chip assay using Nano-gold Immunological Amplification and Silver Staining (NIASS method was applied to detect HBV and HCV antibodies rapidly and simultaneously. Methods Chemically modified glass slides were used as solid supports (named chip, on which several antigens, including HBsAg, HBeAg, HBcAg and HCVAg (a mixture of NS3, NS5 and core antigens were immobilized respectively. Colloidal nano-gold labelled staphylococcal protein A (SPA was used as an indicator and immunogold silver staining enhancement technique was applied to amplify the detection signals, producing black image on array spots, which were visible with naked eyes. To determine the detection limit of the protein chip assay, a set of model arrays in which human IgG was spotted were structured and the model arrays were incubated with different concentrations of anti-IgG. A total of 305 serum samples previously characterized with commercial ELISA were divided into 4 groups and tested in this assay. Results We prepared mono-dispersed, spherical nano-gold particles with an average diameter of 15 ± 2 nm. Colloidal nano-gold-SPA particles observed by TEM were well-distributed, maintaining uniform and stable. The optimum silver enhancement time ranged from 8 to 12 minutes. In our assay, the protein chips could detect serum antibodies against HBsAg, HBeAg, HBcAg and HCVAg with the absence of the cross reaction. In the model arrays, the anti-IgG as low as 3 ng/ml could be detected. The data for comparing the protein chip assay with ELISA indicated that no distinct difference (P > 0.05 existed between the results determined by our assay and ELISA respectively. Conclusion

  13. High speed capillary zone electrophoresis-mass spectrometry via an electrokinetically pumped sheath flow interface for rapid analysis of amino acids and a protein digest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiavone, Nicole M; Sarver, Scott A; Sun, Liangliang; Wojcik, Roza; Dovichi, Norman J

    2015-06-01

    While capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) has been used to produce very rapid and efficient separations, coupling these high-speed separations with mass spectrometry (MS) has been challenging. Now, with much faster and sensitive mass spectrometers, it is possible to take full advantage of the CZE speed and reconstruct the fast migrating peaks. Here are three high-speed CZE-MS analyses via an electrokinetically pumped sheath-flow interface. The first separation demonstrates CZE-ESI-MS of an amino acid mixture with a 2-min separation, >50,000 theoretical plates, low micromolar concentration detection limits, and subfemtomole mass detection limits (LTQ XL mass spectrometer). The second separation with our recently improved third-generation CE-MS interface illustrates a 20 amino acid separation in ∼7min with an average over 200,000 plate counts, and results in almost-baseline resolution of structural isomers, leucine and isoleucine. The third separation is of a BSA digest with a reproducible CZE separation and mass spectrometry detection in 2min. CZE-MS/MS analysis of the BSA digest identified 31 peptides, produced 52% sequence coverage, and generated a peak capacity of ∼40 across the 1-min separation window (Q-Exactive mass spectrometer). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Population level analysis of evolved mutations underlying improvements in plant hemicellulose and cellulose fermentation by Clostridium phytofermentans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supratim Mukherjee

    Full Text Available The complexity of plant cell walls creates many challenges for microbial decomposition. Clostridium phytofermentans, an anaerobic bacterium isolated from forest soil, directly breaks down and utilizes many plant cell wall carbohydrates. The objective of this research is to understand constraints on rates of plant decomposition by Clostridium phytofermentans and identify molecular mechanisms that may overcome these limitations.Experimental evolution via repeated serial transfers during exponential growth was used to select for C. phytofermentans genotypes that grow more rapidly on cellobiose, cellulose and xylan. To identify the underlying mutations an average of 13,600,000 paired-end reads were generated per population resulting in ∼300 fold coverage of each site in the genome. Mutations with allele frequencies of 5% or greater could be identified with statistical confidence. Many mutations are in carbohydrate-related genes including the promoter regions of glycoside hydrolases and amino acid substitutions in ABC transport proteins involved in carbohydrate uptake, signal transduction sensors that detect specific carbohydrates, proteins that affect the export of extracellular enzymes, and regulators of unknown specificity. Structural modeling of the ABC transporter complex proteins suggests that mutations in these genes may alter the recognition of carbohydrates by substrate-binding proteins and communication between the intercellular face of the transmembrane and the ATPase binding proteins.Experimental evolution was effective in identifying molecular constraints on the rate of hemicellulose and cellulose fermentation and selected for putative gain of function mutations that do not typically appear in traditional molecular genetic screens. The results reveal new strategies for evolving and engineering microorganisms for faster growth on plant carbohydrates.

  15. Environmental Noise, Genetic Diversity and the Evolution of Evolvability and Robustness in Model Gene Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Christopher F.

    2012-01-01

    The ability of organisms to adapt and persist in the face of environmental change is accepted as a fundamental feature of natural systems. More contentious is whether the capacity of organisms to adapt (or “evolvability”) can itself evolve and the mechanisms underlying such responses. Using model gene networks, I provide evidence that evolvability emerges more readily when populations experience positively autocorrelated environmental noise (red noise) compared to populations in stable or randomly varying (white noise) environments. Evolvability was correlated with increasing genetic robustness to effects on network viability and decreasing robustness to effects on phenotypic expression; populations whose networks displayed greater viability robustness and lower phenotypic robustness produced more additive genetic variation and adapted more rapidly in novel environments. Patterns of selection for robustness varied antagonistically with epistatic effects of mutations on viability and phenotypic expression, suggesting that trade-offs between these properties may constrain their evolutionary responses. Evolution of evolvability and robustness was stronger in sexual populations compared to asexual populations indicating that enhanced genetic variation under fluctuating selection combined with recombination load is a primary driver of the emergence of evolvability. These results provide insight into the mechanisms potentially underlying rapid adaptation as well as the environmental conditions that drive the evolution of genetic interactions. PMID:23284934

  16. The evolving definition of systemic arterial hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, C Venkata S; Giles, Thomas D

    2010-05-01

    Systemic hypertension is an important risk factor for premature cardiovascular disease. Hypertension also contributes to excessive morbidity and mortality. Whereas excellent therapeutic options are available to treat hypertension, there is an unsettled issue about the very definition of hypertension. At what level of blood pressure should we treat hypertension? Does the definition of hypertension change in the presence of co-morbid conditions? This article covers in detail the evolving concepts in the diagnosis and management of hypertension.

  17. The evolving epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shanahan, Fergus

    2009-07-01

    Epidemiologic studies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) include assessments of disease burden and evolving patterns of disease presentation. Although it is hoped that sound epidemiologic studies provide aetiological clues, traditional risk factor-based epidemiology has provided limited insights into either Crohn\\'s disease or ulcerative colitis etiopathogenesis. In this update, we will summarize how the changing epidemiology of IBD associated with modernization can be reconciled with current concepts of disease mechanisms and will discuss studies of clinically significant comorbidity in IBD.

  18. Development and the evolvability of human limbs

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Nathan M.; Wagner, Günter P.; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2010-01-01

    The long legs and short arms of humans are distinctive for a primate, the result of selection acting in opposite directions on each limb at different points in our evolutionary history. This mosaic pattern challenges our understanding of the relationship of development and evolvability because limbs are serially homologous and genetic correlations should act as a significant constraint on their independent evolution. Here we test a developmental model of limb covariation in anthropoid primate...

  19. Quantum games on evolving random networks

    OpenAIRE

    Pawela, Łukasz

    2015-01-01

    We study the advantages of quantum strategies in evolutionary social dilemmas on evolving random networks. We focus our study on the two-player games: prisoner's dilemma, snowdrift and stag-hunt games. The obtained result show the benefits of quantum strategies for the prisoner's dilemma game. For the other two games, we obtain regions of parameters where the quantum strategies dominate, as well as regions where the classical strategies coexist.

  20. The Evolving Leadership Path of Visual Analytics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kluse, Michael; Peurrung, Anthony J.; Gracio, Deborah K.

    2012-01-02

    This is a requested book chapter for an internationally authored book on visual analytics and related fields, coordianted by a UK university and to be published by Springer in 2012. This chapter is an overview of the leadship strategies that PNNL's Jim Thomas and other stakeholders used to establish visual analytics as a field, and how those strategies may evolve in the future.

  1. CMIP6 Data Citation of Evolving Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Stockhause

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Data citations have become widely accepted. Technical infrastructures as well as principles and recommendations for data citation are in place but best practices or guidelines for their implementation are not yet available. On the other hand, the scientific climate community requests early citations on evolving data for credit, e.g. for CMIP6 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6. The data citation concept for CMIP6 is presented. The main challenges lie in limited resources, a strict project timeline and the dependency on changes of the data dissemination infrastructure ESGF (Earth System Grid Federation to meet the data citation requirements. Therefore a pragmatic, flexible and extendible approach for the CMIP6 data citation service was developed, consisting of a citation for the full evolving data superset and a data cart approach for citing the concrete used data subset. This two citation approach can be implemented according to the RDA recommendations for evolving data. Because of resource constraints and missing project policies, the implementation of the second part of the citation concept is postponed to CMIP7.

  2. Rapid and Sensitive LC-MS/MS Method for the Determination of Metoprolol in Beagle Dog Plasma with a Simple Protein Precipitation Treatment and Its Pharmacokinetic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aihua Hong

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available : A rapid LC-MS/MS method with good accuracy and sensitivity was developed and validated for the pharmacokinetics study of metoprolol (MP in beagle dogs. The plasma samples were simply precipitated by methanol and then analyzed by LC-MS/MS. An Ultimate XB-C18 column (150 × 2.1 mm ID, 5 μm was used for separation, with methanol-water containing 0.2% formic acid (65:35, v/v as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min. Monitoring ions of MP and internal standard (hydroxypioglitazone were m/z 268.1/115.6 and m/z 373.1/150.2, respectively. The linear range was 3.03–416.35 ng/mL with an average correlation coefficient of 0.9996, and the limit of quantification was 3.03 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precision was less than 15%. At low, middle and high concentrations, the recovery, the matrix effect and the accuracy was in the range of 76.06%–95.25%, 93.67%–104.19% and 95.20%–99.96% respectively. The method was applied for the pharmacokinetics study of MP tartrate tablets (50 mg. The AUC0-t, Tmax and Cmax were respectively 919.88 ± 195.67 μg/L·h, 0.96 ± 0.33 h, 349.12 ± 78.04 ng/mL.

  3. The rapid and direct determination of ATPase activity by ion exchange chromatography and the application to the activity of heat shock protein-90.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolini, Manuela; Wainer, Irving W; Bertucci, Carlo; Andrisano, Vincenza

    2013-01-25

    Adenosine nucleotides are involved as substrates or co-factors in several biochemical reactions, catalyzed by enzymes, which modulate energy production, signal transduction and cell proliferation. We here report the development and optimization of an ion exchange liquid chromatography (LC) method for the determination of ATP, ADP and AMP. This method is specifically aimed at the determination of the ATP-ase activity of human heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a molecular chaperone that has emerged as target enzyme in cancer therapy. Separation of the three nucleotides was achieved in a 15-min run by using a disk shaped monolithic ethylene diamine stationary phase of small dimensions (2mm×6mm i.d.), under a three-solvent gradient elution mode and UV detection at 256nm. The described direct LC method resulted highly specific as a consequence of the baseline separation of the three adenosine nucleotides and could be applied to the determination of the enzymatic activity of ADP/ATP generating or consuming enzymes (such as kinases). Furthermore, comparison of the LOD and LOQ values of the LC method with those obtained with the malachite green assay, which is one of the most used indirect screening methodologies for ATP-ase activity, showed that the LC method has a similar range of application without presenting the drawbacks related to contamination by inorganic phosphate ions and glycerol, which are present in Hsp90 commercial samples. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Latex agglutination using the periplasmic proteins antigen of Brucella melitensis is a successful, rapid, and specific serodiagnostic test for ovine brucellosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismael, Alaa Bassuny; Swelum, Ayman Abdel-Aziz; Mostafa, Salama A-H; Alhumiany, Abdel-Rahman A

    2016-09-01

    Brucellosis, especially caused by Brucella melitensis, is considered the most-widespread zoonosis in the world, particularly in developing countries. This study was planned to develop an accurate test for diagnosis of ovine brucellosis using a specific hot saline extracted soluble Brucella melitensis periplasmic proteins (SBPPs). The efficacy of the latex agglutination test (LAT) using SBPPs compared to the Rose Bengal test (RBT), buffered plate agglutination test (BPAT), serum agglutination test (SAT), and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (i-ELISA) was evaluated in the field diagnosis of ovine brucellosis. The test performance was evaluated by estimating sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), disease prevalence (DP), positive likelihood ratio (PLR), and negative likelihood ratio (NLR) using test agreement and bacteriological culture in 1777 samples. The false-positive result was significantly (P ⩽0.05) lower in LAT than RBT, BPAT, SAT, and i-ELISA. With reference to test agreement, the Se, Sp, PPV, and PLR were highest (P ⩽0.05) in LAT 99.33%, 99.88%, 98.68%, and 827.25%, respectively. With reference to bacteriological culture, the LAT and i-ELISA tests showed a significant difference in Se with SAT. However, no significant difference in specificity was detected. The DP was 8.44% in the five tests. In conclusion, LAT using SBPPs of B. melitensis could be a suitable serodiagnostic field test for ovine brucellosis, with high sensitivity and specificity. © The Author(s) 2016.

  5. Rapid stalk elongation in tulip (Tulipa gesneriana L. cv. Apeldoorn) and the combined action of cold-induced invertase and the water-channel protein gammaTIP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balk, P A; de Boer, A D

    1999-09-01

    Many bulbous plants need a low-temperature treatment for flowering. Cold, for example, affects the elongation of the stalk, thereby influencing the quality of the cut flower. How the elongation of the stalk is promoted by cold and which physiological and biochemical mechanisms are involved have remained obscure. As invertase has been shown to be involved in the cold-induced elongation of the flower stalks of tulips (Lambrechts et al., 1994, Plant Physiol 104: 515-520), we further characterized this enzyme by cloning the cDNA and analysing its expression in various tissues of the tulip (Tulipa gesneriana L. cv. Apeldoorn) stalk. In addition, the role of sucrose synthase was investigated. Since turgor pressure is an important force driving cell elongation, the role of a water-channel protein (gammaTIP) was studied in relation to these two enzymes. The mRNA level of the invertase found was substantially up-regulated as a result of cold treatment. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of this invertase revealed the presence of a vacuolar targeting signal. Two different forms of sucrose synthase were found, the expression of one of them appeared to be restricted to the vascular tissue while the other form was present in the surrounding tissue. Both sucrose synthases were present in the stalk during the entire period of bulb storage and after planting, but their activities declined during stalk elongation. The expression of the gammaTIP gene was restricted mainly to the vascular tissue and its expression profile was identical to that of invertase. Simultaneous expression of invertase and gammaTIP possibly leads to an increase in osmotic potential and vacuolar water uptake, thus providing a driving force for stretching the stalk cells.

  6. Adaptive synonymous mutations in an experimentally evolved Pseudomonas fluorescens population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bailey, Susan; Hinz, Aaron; Kassen, Rees

    2014-01-01

    Conventional wisdom holds that synonymous mutations, nucleotide changes that do not alter the encoded amino acid, have no detectable effect on phenotype or fitness. However, a growing body of evidence from both comparative and experimental studies suggests otherwise. Synonymous mutations have been...... shown to impact gene expression, protein folding and fitness, however, direct evidence that they can be positively selected, and so contribute to adaptation, is lacking. Here we report the recovery of two beneficial synonymous single base pair changes that arose spontaneously and independently...... in an experimentally evolved population of Pseudomonas fluorescens. We show experimentally that these mutations increase fitness by an amount comparable to non-synonymous mutations and that the fitness increases stem from increased gene expression. These results provide unequivocal evidence that synonymous mutations...

  7. Insect sex determination: it all evolves around transformer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhulst, Eveline C; van de Zande, Louis; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2010-08-01

    Insects exhibit a variety of sex determining mechanisms including male or female heterogamety and haplodiploidy. The primary signal that starts sex determination is processed by a cascade of genes ending with the conserved switch doublesex that controls sexual differentiation. Transformer is the doublesex splicing regulator and has been found in all examined insects, indicating its ancestral function as a sex-determining gene. Despite this conserved function, the variation in transformer nucleotide sequence, amino acid composition and protein structure can accommodate a multitude of upstream sex determining signals. Transformer regulation of doublesex and its taxonomic distribution indicate that the doublesex-transformer axis is conserved among all insects and that transformer is the key gene around which variation in sex determining mechanisms has evolved.

  8. Expansion of protein domain repeats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asa K Björklund

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Many proteins, especially in eukaryotes, contain tandem repeats of several domains from the same family. These repeats have a variety of binding properties and are involved in protein-protein interactions as well as binding to other ligands such as DNA and RNA. The rapid expansion of protein domain repeats is assumed to have evolved through internal tandem duplications. However, the exact mechanisms behind these tandem duplications are not well-understood. Here, we have studied the evolution, function, protein structure, gene structure, and phylogenetic distribution of domain repeats. For this purpose we have assigned Pfam-A domain families to 24 proteomes with more sensitive domain assignments in the repeat regions. These assignments confirmed previous findings that eukaryotes, and in particular vertebrates, contain a much higher fraction of proteins with repeats compared with prokaryotes. The internal sequence similarity in each protein revealed that the domain repeats are often expanded through duplications of several domains at a time, while the duplication of one domain is less common. Many of the repeats appear to have been duplicated in the middle of the repeat region. This is in strong contrast to the evolution of other proteins that mainly works through additions of single domains at either terminus. Further, we found that some domain families show distinct duplication patterns, e.g., nebulin domains have mainly been expanded with a unit of seven domains at a time, while duplications of other domain families involve varying numbers of domains. Finally, no common mechanism for the expansion of all repeats could be detected. We found that the duplication patterns show no dependence on the size of the domains. Further, repeat expansion in some families can possibly be explained by shuffling of exons. However, exon shuffling could not have created all repeats.

  9. Rapid screening method to study the reactivity of UV filter substances towards skin proteins by high-performance thin-layer chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiefel, C; Schwack, W

    2013-12-01

    Most UV filters used in sunscreens and other cosmetic products contain carbonyl groups, which generally are able to react with peptides or free amino acids of the human skin. To estimate their reactivity, we studied different prominent UV filter substances, octocrylene, ethylhexyl salicylate, 4-t-butyl-4'-methoxydibenzoylmethane, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3, hydroxymethylbenzoyl sulphonic acid, octyldimethyl p-aminobenzoic acid, 3-benzylidene camphor, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, diethylhexyl butamido triazone and ethylhexyl triazone. A simple screening method using an amino HPTLC plate as protein model was established. The influence of different reaction conditions like heating and irradiation was determined. The ketones BP-3, HMBS and BM-DBM revealed the highest binding rates after both irradiation and heating. After 1 h of irradiation, 82%, 28% and 96%, respectively, were bonded to the amino phase, while heating resulted in values of 52%, 36% and 16%. For BP-3 and HMBS, even storage in the dark at room temperature resulted in a low binding. Contrarily, for the two camphor derivatives 3-BC and 4-MBC, only irradiation led to a slightly turnover. UV filters with ester groups also showed a different behaviour depending on their main skeleton. While OCR especially reacted under heating with the amino phase, resulting in 36% of bound species after one hour, UV irradiation particularly encouraged a reaction of the other esters. After 1 h irradiation, 15% of EHMC, 38% of EHS and 48% of OD-PABA were bonded to the amino groups of the HPTLC plate, whereas the reactivity of the two triazones, EHT and DEBT, was comparatively low. Especially the UV filters BP-3, BM-DBM, HMBS, EHMC or OCR, which are commonly known to cause contact dermatitis, showed a high tendency to form adducts with the amino layer. Thus, the amino plate seems to be a proper tool to screen for skin sensitizers. © 2013 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.

  10. Evolvability Is an Evolved Ability: The Coding Concept as the Arch-Unit of Natural Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janković, Srdja; Ćirković, Milan M

    2016-03-01

    Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite for its Darwinian evolution, driven by natural selection acting upon stochastically arising variations of the encoded information. The concept of evolvability attempts to define the total capacity of a system to evolve new encoded traits under appropriate conditions, i.e., the accessible section of total morphological space. Since this is dependent on previously evolved regulatory networks that govern information flow in the system, evolvability itself may be regarded as an evolved ability. The way information is physically written, read and modified in living cells (the "coding concept") has not changed substantially during the whole history of the Earth's biosphere. This biosphere, be it alone or one of many, is, accordingly, itself a product of natural selection, since the overall evolvability conferred by its coding concept (nucleic acids as information carriers with the "rulebook of meanings" provided by codons, as well as all the subsystems that regulate various conditional information-reading modes) certainly played a key role in enabling this biosphere to survive up to the present, through alterations of planetary conditions, including at least five catastrophic events linked to major mass extinctions. We submit that, whatever the actual prebiotic physical and chemical processes may have been on our home planet, or may, in principle, occur at some time and place in the Universe, a particular coding concept, with its respective potential to give rise to a biosphere, or class of biospheres, of a certain evolvability, may itself be regarded as a unit (indeed the arch-unit) of natural selection.

  11. Revealing evolved massive stars with Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, V. V.; Kniazev, A. Y.; Fabrika, S.

    2010-06-01

    Massive evolved stars lose a large fraction of their mass via copious stellar wind or instant outbursts. During certain evolutionary phases, they can be identified by the presence of their circumstellar nebulae. In this paper, we present the results of a search for compact nebulae (reminiscent of circumstellar nebulae around evolved massive stars) using archival 24-μm data obtained with the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer. We have discovered 115 nebulae, most of which bear a striking resemblance to the circumstellar nebulae associated with luminous blue variables (LBVs) and late WN-type (WNL) Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars in the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We interpret this similarity as an indication that the central stars of detected nebulae are either LBVs or related evolved massive stars. Our interpretation is supported by follow-up spectroscopy of two dozen of these central stars, most of which turn out to be either candidate LBVs (cLBVs), blue supergiants or WNL stars. We expect that the forthcoming spectroscopy of the remaining objects from our list, accompanied by the spectrophotometric monitoring of the already discovered cLBVs, will further increase the known population of Galactic LBVs. This, in turn, will have profound consequences for better understanding the LBV phenomenon and its role in the transition between hydrogen-burning O stars and helium-burning WR stars. We also report on the detection of an arc-like structure attached to the cLBV HD 326823 and an arc associated with the LBV R99 (HD 269445) in the LMC. Partially based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). E-mail: vgvaram@mx.iki.rssi.ru (VVG); akniazev@saao.ac.za (AYK); fabrika@sao.ru (SF)

  12. Evolving Random Forest for Preference Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abou-Zleikha, Mohamed; Shaker, Noor

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces a novel approach for pairwise preference learning through a combination of an evolutionary method and random forest. Grammatical evolution is used to describe the structure of the trees in the Random Forest (RF) and to handle the process of evolution. Evolved random forests ...... obtained for predicting pairwise self-reports of users for the three emotional states engagement, frustration and challenge show very promising results that are comparable and in some cases superior to those obtained from state-of-the-art methods....

  13. An evolving network model with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chunguang; Maini, Philip K

    2005-01-01

    Many social and biological networks consist of communities-groups of nodes within which connections are dense, but between which connections are sparser. Recently, there has been considerable interest in designing algorithms for detecting community structures in real-world complex networks. In this paper, we propose an evolving network model which exhibits community structure. The network model is based on the inner-community preferential attachment and inter-community preferential attachment mechanisms. The degree distributions of this network model are analysed based on a mean-field method. Theoretical results and numerical simulations indicate that this network model has community structure and scale-free properties

  14. Radio Imaging of Envelopes of Evolved Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Bill

    2018-04-01

    This talk will cover imaging of stellar envelopes using radio VLBI techniques; special attention will be paid to the technical differences between radio and optical/IR interferomery. Radio heterodyne receivers allow a straightforward way to derive spectral cubes and full polarization observations. Milliarcsecond resolution of very bright, i.e. non thermal, emission of molecular masers in the envelopes of evolved stars can be achieved using VLBI techniques with baselines of thousands of km. Emission from SiO, H2O and OH masers are commonly seen at increasing distance from the photosphere. The very narrow maser lines allow accurate measurements of the velocity field within the emitting region.

  15. Mobile computing acceptance grows as applications evolve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porn, Louis M; Patrick, Kelly

    2002-01-01

    Handheld devices are becoming more cost-effective to own, and their use in healthcare environments is increasing. Handheld devices currently are being used for e-prescribing, charge capture, and accessing daily schedules and reference tools. Future applications may include education on medications, dictation, order entry, and test-results reporting. Selecting the right handheld device requires careful analysis of current and future applications, as well as vendor expertise. It is important to recognize the technology will continue to evolve over the next three years.

  16. SALT Spectroscopy of Evolved Massive Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniazev, A. Y.; Gvaramadze, V. V.; Berdnikov, L. N.

    2017-06-01

    Long-slit spectroscopy with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) of central stars of mid-infrared nebulae detected with the Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) led to the discovery of numerous candidate luminous blue variables (cLBVs) and other rare evolved massive stars. With the recent advent of the SALT fiber-fed high-resolution echelle spectrograph (HRS), a new perspective for the study of these interesting objects is appeared. Using the HRS we obtained spectra of a dozen newly identified massive stars. Some results on the recently identified cLBV Hen 3-729 are presented.

  17. BOOK REVIEW: OPENING SCIENCE, THE EVOLVING GUIDE ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The way we get our funding, collaborate, do our research, and get the word out has evolved over hundreds of years but we can imagine a more open science world, largely facilitated by the internet. The movement towards this more open way of doing and presenting science is coming, and it is not taking hundreds of years. If you are interested in these trends, and would like to find out more about where this is all headed and what it means to you, consider downloding Opening Science, edited by Sönke Bartling and Sascha Friesike, subtitled The Evolving Guide on How the Internet is Changing Research, Collaboration, and Scholarly Publishing. In 26 chapters by various authors from a range of disciplines the book explores the developing world of open science, starting from the first scientific revolution and bringing us to the next scientific revolution, sometimes referred to as “Science 2.0”. Some of the articles deal with the impact of the changing landscape of how science is done, looking at the impact of open science on Academia, or journal publishing, or medical research. Many of the articles look at the uses, pitfalls, and impact of specific tools, like microblogging (think Twitter), social networking, and reference management. There is lots of discussion and definition of terms you might use or misuse like “altmetrics” and “impact factor”. Science will probably never be completely open, and Twitter will probably never replace the journal article,

  18. Evolving NASA's Earth Science Data Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, J.; Behnke, J.; Murphy, K. J.; Lowe, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System Project (ESDIS) is charged with managing, maintaining, and evolving NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) and is responsible for processing, archiving, and distributing NASA Earth science data. The system supports a multitude of missions and serves diverse science research and other user communities. Keeping up with ever-changing information technology and figuring out how to leverage those changes across such a large system in order to continuously improve and meet the needs of a diverse user community is a significant challenge. Maintaining and evolving the system architecture and infrastructure is a continuous and multi-layered effort. It requires a balance between a "top down" management paradigm that provides a coherent system view and maintaining the managerial, technological, and functional independence of the individual system elements. This presentation will describe some of the key elements of the current system architecture, some of the strategies and processes we employ to meet these challenges, current and future challenges, and some ideas for meeting those challenges.

  19. The Comet Cometh: Evolving Developmental Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Johannes; Laubichler, Manfred; Callebaut, Werner

    In a recent opinion piece, Denis Duboule has claimed that the increasing shift towards systems biology is driving evolutionary and developmental biology apart, and that a true reunification of these two disciplines within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) may easily take another 100 years. He identifies methodological, epistemological, and social differences as causes for this supposed separation. Our article provides a contrasting view. We argue that Duboule's prediction is based on a one-sided understanding of systems biology as a science that is only interested in functional, not evolutionary, aspects of biological processes. Instead, we propose a research program for an evolutionary systems biology, which is based on local exploration of the configuration space in evolving developmental systems. We call this approach-which is based on reverse engineering, simulation, and mathematical analysis-the natural history of configuration space. We discuss a number of illustrative examples that demonstrate the past success of local exploration, as opposed to global mapping, in different biological contexts. We argue that this pragmatic mode of inquiry can be extended and applied to the mathematical analysis of the developmental repertoire and evolutionary potential of evolving developmental mechanisms and that evolutionary systems biology so conceived provides a pragmatic epistemological framework for the EvoDevo synthesis.

  20. Evolving technology, shifting expectations : cultivating pedagogy for a rapidly changing GIS landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ricker, Britta; Thatcher, Jim

    2017-01-01

    AbstractAs humans and natural processes continuously reshape the surface of the Earth, there is an unceasing need to document and analyze them through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The public is gaining more access to spatial technologies that were once only available to highly

  1. INDIAN BUSINESSMEN IN FRANCE: AN INITIAL EXAMINATION OF THEIR ACTIVITIES IN A RAPIDLY-EVOLVING CONTEXT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasoodeven Vuddamalay

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to understand the implications of the recent economic and political evolution of Indian immigration in Europe, and specifically in France, their businesses and entrepreneurial groups, as well as their links with the countries of origin/welcoming countries and their transnational networks, using an historical and geoanthropological approach. The analysis also covers the essential links that the transnational entrepreneurs establish between France/Europe and the rest of the world, particularly with the emerging cities of Asia, the Middle East and, possibly, certain parts of Africa, such as South Africa, the Mascarene Islands and East Africa. To that end, the author begins by contextualising Indian business projects in France, before going on to examine the current situation of ethnic shops, the transnational companies of traditional trading communities and, to some extent, their Institute of Information Technology networks. The author also carries out a study of the “Mittal Case” as a new paradigm of research within the changing world economy, as the traditional North-South separation is undermined and the complexities of fields in research on trading and business groups is renewed. Finally, the author situates these debates within the growing world knowledge of the communities of Indian immigrants in France and their small ethnic businessmen and traders.

  2. Evolving Technology, Shifting Expectations: Cultivating Pedagogy for a Rapidly Changing GIS Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricker, Britta; Thatcher, Jim

    2017-01-01

    As humans and natural processes continuously reshape the surface of the Earth, there is an unceasing need to document and analyze them through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The public is gaining more access to spatial technologies that were once only available to highly trained professionals. With technological evolution comes a…

  3. Are randomised trials needed in the era of rapidly evolving technologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treasure, Tom

    2009-03-01

    New technologies are expensive. The health care budget cannot expand indefinitely so if new treatments are introduced they may have to displace other treatments, or prevent other new treatments coming into practice. This is not simply a money saving exercise; it is accepted that new high technology treatments may cost more to implement but they must be worth the money spent in comparison with other treatments. Therefore cardiothoracic surgeons must first demonstrate that our treatments are effective. Then we need evidence of cost effectiveness in comparison with other therapies.

  4. An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pollard, Katherine S; Salama, Sofie R; Lambert, Nelle

    2006-01-01

    in the developing human neocortex from 7 to 19 gestational weeks, a crucial period for cortical neuron specification and migration. HAR1F is co-expressed with reelin, a product of Cajal-Retzius neurons that is of fundamental importance in specifying the six-layer structure of the human cortex. HAR1 and the other...

  5. Transforming Research in Oceanography through Education, Ethnography and Rapidly Evolving Technologies: An NSF-INSPIRE project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, C. R.; Croff Bell, K. L.; Pallant, A.; Mirmalek, Z.; Jasanoff, S.; Rajan, K.

    2014-12-01

    This paper will discuss a new NSF-INSPIRE project that brings together research conducted in the fields of Ocean Sciences, Education & Human Resources and Computer and Information Science & Engineering. Specifically, our objective is to investigate new methods by which telepresence can be used to conduct cutting edge research and provide authentic educational experiences to undergraduate students, remotely. We choose to conduct this research in an Oceanographic context for two reasons: first with the move toward smaller research ships in the national Oceanographic research fleet, we anticipate that access to berth space at sea will continue to be at a premium. Any component of traditional oceanographic research that can be ported to shore without loss of effectiveness would be of immediate benefit to the Ocean Sciences. Equally, however, we argue that any improvements to work place and/or education practices that we can identify while delivering research and education from the bottom of the deep ocean should be readily mappable to any other scientific or engineering activities that seek to make use of telepresence in less extreme remote environments. Work on our TREET project, to-date, has included recruitment of 6 early career scientists keen to take advantage of the research opportunity provided, together with two senior science mentors with experience using Telepresence and a cohort of undergraduate students at three of the ECS partner Universities, spanning 4 time zones across the continental US. Following a 12-week synchronous on-line seminar series taught in Spring-Summer 2014, the entire team joined together at the Inner Space Center in Sept-Oct 2014 to participate, virtually, in a cruise of research and exploration to the Kick'Em Jenny underwater volcano and adjacent cold seep sites, conducted by the Ocean Exploration Trust's ROV Hercules aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus. Our presentation will include preliminary results from that cruise.

  6. Evolving water science in the Anthropocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Savenije, H.H.G.; Hoekstra, A.Y.; Van der Zaag, P.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews the changing relation between human beings and water since the Industrial Revolution, a period that has been called the Anthropocene because of the unprecedented scale at which humans have altered the planet during this time. We show how the rapidly changing world urges us to

  7. Distance Education: An Evolving Instructional Technology Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Francis

    1999-01-01

    Focuses on the several levels of questions that need to be considered before planning and implementing a distance education program. Discusses systems procedures to be followed in developing pilot lessons (modules) prior to "rapid prototyping." Concludes by providing a generic research plan for ensuring the development of sustained quality…

  8. Evolving Digital Publishing Opportunities across Composition Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawishler, Gail E.; Selfe, Cynthia L.

    2014-01-01

    In this article, the authors report since the early 1980s, the profession has seen plenty of changes in the arena of digital scholarly publishing: during this time, while the specific challenges have seldom remained the same, the presence and the pressures of rapid technological change endure. In fact, as an editorial team that has, in part,…

  9. Evolvability as a Quality Attribute of Software Architectures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciraci, S.; van den Broek, P.M.; Duchien, Laurence; D'Hondt, Maja; Mens, Tom

    We review the definition of evolvability as it appears on the literature. In particular, the concept of software evolvability is compared with other system quality attributes, such as adaptability, maintainability and modifiability.

  10. Evolving colon injury management: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, Lauren T; Gillern, Suzanne M; Vertrees, Amy E

    2013-02-01

    The colon is the second most commonly injured intra-abdominal organ in penetrating trauma. Management of traumatic colon injuries has evolved significantly over the past 200 years. Traumatic colon injuries can have a wide spectrum of severity, presentation, and management options. There is strong evidence that most non-destructive colon injuries can be successfully managed with primary repair or primary anastomosis. The management of destructive colon injuries remains controversial with most favoring resection with primary anastomosis and others favor colonic diversion in specific circumstances. The historical management of traumatic colon injuries, common mechanisms of injury, demographics, presentation, assessment, diagnosis, management, and complications of traumatic colon injuries both in civilian and military practice are reviewed. The damage control revolution has added another layer of complexity to management with continued controversy.

  11. Pulmonary Sporotrichosis: An Evolving Clinical Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aung, Ar K; Spelman, Denis W; Thompson, Philip J

    2015-10-01

    In recent decades, sporotrichosis, caused by thermally dimorphic fungi Sporothrix schenckii complex, has become an emerging infection in many parts of the world. Pulmonary infection with S. schenckii still remains relatively uncommon, possibly due to underrecognition. Pulmonary sporotrichosis presents with distinct clinical and radiological patterns in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts and can often result in significant morbidity and mortality despite treatment. Current understanding regarding S. schenckii biology, epidemiology, immunopathology, clinical diagnostics, and treatment options has been evolving in the recent years with increased availability of molecular sequencing techniques. However, this changing knowledge has not yet been fully translated into a better understanding of the clinical aspects of pulmonary sporotrichosis, as such current management guidelines remain unsupported by high-level clinical evidence. This article examines recent advances in the knowledge of sporotrichosis and its application to the difficult challenges of managing pulmonary sporotrichosis. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  12. Resiliently evolving supply-demand networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubido, Nicolás; Grebogi, Celso; Baptista, Murilo S.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to design a transport network such that commodities are brought from suppliers to consumers in a steady, optimal, and stable way is of great importance for distribution systems nowadays. In this work, by using the circuit laws of Kirchhoff and Ohm, we provide the exact capacities of the edges that an optimal supply-demand network should have to operate stably under perturbations, i.e., without overloading. The perturbations we consider are the evolution of the connecting topology, the decentralization of hub sources or sinks, and the intermittence of supplier and consumer characteristics. We analyze these conditions and the impact of our results, both on the current United Kingdom power-grid structure and on numerically generated evolving archetypal network topologies.

  13. Development and the evolvability of human limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Nathan M; Wagner, Günter P; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2010-02-23

    The long legs and short arms of humans are distinctive for a primate, the result of selection acting in opposite directions on each limb at different points in our evolutionary history. This mosaic pattern challenges our understanding of the relationship of development and evolvability because limbs are serially homologous and genetic correlations should act as a significant constraint on their independent evolution. Here we test a developmental model of limb covariation in anthropoid primates and demonstrate that both humans and apes exhibit significantly reduced integration between limbs when compared to quadrupedal monkeys. This result indicates that fossil hominins likely escaped constraints on independent limb variation via reductions to genetic pleiotropy in an ape-like last common ancestor (LCA). This critical change in integration among hominoids, which is reflected in macroevolutionary differences in the disparity between limb lengths, facilitated selection for modern human limb proportions and demonstrates how development helps shape evolutionary change.

  14. Evolving spiking networks with variable resistive memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Gerard; Bull, Larry; de Lacy Costello, Ben; Gale, Ella; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing is a brainlike information processing paradigm that requires adaptive learning mechanisms. A spiking neuro-evolutionary system is used for this purpose; plastic resistive memories are implemented as synapses in spiking neural networks. The evolutionary design process exploits parameter self-adaptation and allows the topology and synaptic weights to be evolved for each network in an autonomous manner. Variable resistive memories are the focus of this research; each synapse has its own conductance profile which modifies the plastic behaviour of the device and may be altered during evolution. These variable resistive networks are evaluated on a noisy robotic dynamic-reward scenario against two static resistive memories and a system containing standard connections only. The results indicate that the extra behavioural degrees of freedom available to the networks incorporating variable resistive memories enable them to outperform the comparative synapse types.

  15. Life cycle planning: An evolving concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, P.J.R.; Gorman, I.G.

    1994-01-01

    Life-cycle planning is an evolving concept in the management of oil and gas projects. BHP Petroleum now interprets this idea to include all development planning from discovery and field appraisal to final abandonment and includes safety, environmental, technical, plant, regulatory, and staffing issues. This article describes in the context of the Timor Sea, how despite initial successes and continuing facilities upgrades, BHPP came to perceive that current operations could be the victim of early development successes, particularly in the areas of corrosion and maintenance. The search for analogies elsewhere lead to the UK North Sea, including the experiences of Britoil and BP, both of which performed detailed Life of Field studies in the later eighties. These materials have been used to construct a format and content for total Life-cycle plans in general and the social changes required to ensure their successful application in Timor Sea operations and deployment throughout Australia

  16. Argentina and Brazil: an evolving nuclear relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Redick, J.R.

    1990-01-01

    Argentina and Brazil have Latin America's most advanced nuclear research and power programs. Both nations reject the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and have not formally embraced the Tlatelolco Treaty creating a regional nuclear-weapon-free zone. Disturbing ambiguities persist regarding certain indigenous nuclear facilities and growing nuclear submarine and missile capabilities. For these, and other reasons, the two nations are widely considered potential nuclear weapon states. However both nations have been active supporters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and have, in recent years, assumed a generally responsible position in regard to their own nuclear export activities (requiring IAEA safeguards). Most important, however, has been the advent of bilateral nuclear cooperation. This paper considers the evolving nuclear relationship in the context of recent and dramatic political change in Argentina and Brazil. It discusses current political and nuclear developments and the prospects for maintaining and expanding present bilateral cooperation into an effective non-proliferation arrangement. (author)

  17. NMR of unfolded proteins

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    2005-01-03

    Jan 3, 2005 ... covering all the systems, so far discovered.5,7,8,12. With the increasing ... Structural investigations on proteins by NMR are, currently ... rapid analysis of unfolded proteins. ...... and hence help in design of drugs against them.

  18. Divergence, recombination and retention of functionality during protein evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Yanlong O

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We have only a vague idea of precisely how protein sequences evolve in the context of protein structure and function. This is primarily because structural and functional contexts are not easily predictable from the primary sequence, and evaluating patterns of evolution at individual residue positions is also difficult. As a result of increasing biodiversity in genomics studies, progress is being made in detecting context-dependent variation in substitution processes, but it remains unclear exactly what context-dependent patterns we should be looking for. To address this, we have been simulating protein evolution in the context of structure and function using lattice models of proteins and ligands (or substrates. These simulations include thermodynamic features of protein stability and population dynamics. We refer to this approach as 'ab initio evolution' to emphasise the fact that the equilibrium details of fitness distributions arise from the physical principles of the system and not from any preconceived notions or arbitrary mathematical distributions. Here, we present results on the retention of functionality in homologous recombinants following population divergence. A central result is that protein structure characteristics can strongly influence recombinant functionality. Exceptional structures with many sequence options evolve quickly and tend to retain functionality -- even in highly diverged recombinants. By contrast, the more common structures with fewer sequence options evolve more slowly, but the fitness of recombinants drops off rapidly as homologous proteins diverge. These results have implications for understanding viral evolution, speciation and directed evolutionary experiments. Our analysis of the divergence process can also guide improved methods for accurately approximating folding probabilities in more complex but realistic systems.

  19. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism

    OpenAIRE

    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Zaman, Luis; Ofria, Charles; Wagner, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms fr...

  20. Evolving cellular automata for diversity generation and pattern recognition: deterministic versus random strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Menezes, Marcio Argollo; Brigatti, Edgardo; Schwämmle, Veit

    2013-01-01

    Microbiological systems evolve to fulfil their tasks with maximal efficiency. The immune system is a remarkable example, where the distinction between self and non-self is made by means of molecular interaction between self-proteins and antigens, triggering affinity-dependent systemic actions. Specificity of this binding and the infinitude of potential antigenic patterns call for novel mechanisms to generate antibody diversity. Inspired by this problem, we develop a genetic algorithm where agents evolve their strings in the presence of random antigenic strings and reproduce with affinity-dependent rates. We ask what is the best strategy to generate diversity if agents can rearrange their strings a finite number of times. We find that endowing each agent with an inheritable cellular automaton rule for performing rearrangements makes the system more efficient in pattern-matching than if transformations are totally random. In the former implementation, the population evolves to a stationary state where agents with different automata rules coexist. (paper)

  1. Genetic structure and evolved malaria resistance in Hawaiian honeycreepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, J.T.; Woodworth, B.L.; Eggert, L.E.; Hart, P.J.; Palmer, D.; Duffy, D.C.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2007-01-01

    Infectious diseases now threaten wildlife populations worldwide but population recovery following local extinction has rarely been observed. In such a case, do resistant individuals recolonize from a central remnant population, or do they spread from small, perhaps overlooked, populations of resistant individuals? Introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) has devastated low-elevation populations of native birds in Hawaii, but at least one species (Hawaii amakihi, Hemignathus virens) that was greatly reduced at elevations below about 1000 m tolerates malaria and has initiated a remarkable and rapid recovery. We assessed mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers from amakihi and two other Hawaiian honeycreepers, apapane (Himatione sanguinea) and iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea), at nine primary study sites from 2001 to 2003 to determine the source of re-establishing birds. In addition, we obtained sequences from tissue from amakihi museum study skins (1898 and 1948-49) to assess temporal changes in allele distributions. We found that amakihi in lowland areas are, and have historically been, differentiated from birds at high elevations and had unique alleles retained through time; that is, their genetic signature was not a subset of the genetic variation at higher elevations. We suggest that high disease pressure rapidly selected for resistance to malaria at low elevation, leaving small pockets of resistant birds, and this resistance spread outward from the scattered remnant populations. Low-elevation amakihi are currently isolated from higher elevations (> 1000 m) where disease emergence and transmission rates appear to vary seasonally and annually. In contrast to results from amakihi, no genetic differentiation between elevations was found in apapane and iiwi, indicating that slight variation in genetic or life-history attributes can determine disease resistance and population recovery. Determining the conditions that allow for the development of resistance to disease is

  2. The evolving energy budget of accretionary wedges

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBeck, Jessica; Cooke, Michele; Maillot, Bertrand; Souloumiac, Pauline

    2017-04-01

    The energy budget of evolving accretionary systems reveals how deformational processes partition energy as faults slip, topography uplifts, and layer-parallel shortening produces distributed off-fault deformation. The energy budget provides a quantitative framework for evaluating the energetic contribution or consumption of diverse deformation mechanisms. We investigate energy partitioning in evolving accretionary prisms by synthesizing data from physical sand accretion experiments and numerical accretion simulations. We incorporate incremental strain fields and cumulative force measurements from two suites of experiments to design numerical simulations that represent accretionary wedges with stronger and weaker detachment faults. One suite of the physical experiments includes a basal glass bead layer and the other does not. Two physical experiments within each suite implement different boundary conditions (stable base versus moving base configuration). Synthesizing observations from the differing base configurations reduces the influence of sidewall friction because the force vector produced by sidewall friction points in opposite directions depending on whether the base is fixed or moving. With the numerical simulations, we calculate the energy budget at two stages of accretion: at the maximum force preceding the development of the first thrust pair, and at the minimum force following the development of the pair. To identify the appropriate combination of material and fault properties to apply in the simulations, we systematically vary the Young's modulus and the fault static and dynamic friction coefficients in numerical accretion simulations, and identify the set of parameters that minimizes the misfit between the normal force measured on the physical backwall and the numerically simulated force. Following this derivation of the appropriate material and fault properties, we calculate the components of the work budget in the numerical simulations and in the

  3. Advances in the Study of Moving Sediments and Evolving Seabeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Alan G.; Thorne, Peter D.

    2008-01-01

    Sands and mud are continually being transported around the world’s coastal seas due to the action of tides, wind and waves. The transport of these sediments modifies the boundary between the land and the sea, changing and reshaping its form. Sometimes the nearshore bathymetry evolves slowly over long time periods, at other times more rapidly due to natural episodic events or the introduction of manmade structures at the shoreline. For over half a century we have been trying to understand the physics of sediment transport processes and formulate predictive models. Although significant progress has been made, our capability to forecast the future behaviour of the coastal zone from basic principles is still relatively poor. However, innovative acoustic techniques for studying the fundamentals of sediment movement experimentally are now providing new insights, and it is expected that such observations, coupled with developing theoretical works, will allow us to take further steps towards the goal of predicting the evolution of coastlines and coastal bathymetry. This paper presents an overview of our existing predictive capabilities, primarily in the field of non-cohesive sediment transport, and highlights how new acoustic techniques are enabling our modelling efforts to achieve greater sophistication and accuracy. The paper is aimed at coastal scientists and managers seeking to understand how detailed physical studies can contribute to the improvement of coastal area models and, hence, inform coastal zone management strategies.

  4. The evolving diagnostic and genetic landscapes of autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Nicholas Ziats

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome.

  5. The Evolving Diagnostic and Genetic Landscapes of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziats, Mark N; Rennert, Owen M

    2016-01-01

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous set of neurodevelopmental syndromes defined by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted social interaction, and the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD is rising, and the diagnostic criteria and clinical perspectives on the disorder continue to evolve in parallel. Although the majority of individuals with ASD will not have an identifiable genetic cause, almost 25% of cases have identifiable causative DNA variants. The rapidly improving ability to identify genetic mutations because of advances in next generation sequencing, coupled with previous epidemiological studies demonstrating high heritability of ASD, have led to many recent attempts to identify causative genetic mutations underlying the ASD phenotype. However, although hundreds of mutations have been identified to date, they are either rare variants affecting only a handful of ASD patients, or are common variants in the general population conferring only a small risk for ASD. Furthermore, the genes implicated thus far are heterogeneous in their structure and function, hampering attempts to understand shared molecular mechanisms among all ASD patients; an understanding that is crucial for the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. However, new work is beginning to suggest that the heterogeneous set of genes implicated in ASD may ultimately converge on a few common pathways. In this review, we discuss the parallel evolution of our diagnostic and genetic understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and highlight recent attempts to infer common biology underlying this complicated syndrome.

  6. Protein conservation and variation suggest mechanisms of cell type-specific modulation of signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin H Schaefer

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many proteins and signaling pathways are present in most cell types and tissues and yet perform specialized functions. To elucidate mechanisms by which these ubiquitous pathways are modulated, we overlaid information about cross-cell line protein abundance and variability, and evolutionary conservation onto functional pathway components and topological layers in the pathway hierarchy. We found that the input (receptors and the output (transcription factors layers evolve more rapidly than proteins in the intermediary transmission layer. In contrast, protein expression variability decreases from the input to the output layer. We observed that the differences in protein variability between the input and transmission layer can be attributed to both the network position and the tendency of variable proteins to physically interact with constitutively expressed proteins. Differences in protein expression variability and conservation are also accompanied by the tendency of conserved and constitutively expressed proteins to acquire somatic mutations, while germline mutations tend to occur in cell type-specific proteins. Thus, conserved core proteins in the transmission layer could perform a fundamental role in most cell types and are therefore less tolerant to germline mutations. In summary, we propose that the core signal transmission machinery is largely modulated by a variable input layer through physical protein interactions. We hypothesize that the bow-tie organization of cellular signaling on the level of protein abundance variability contributes to the specificity of the signal response in different cell types.

  7. On the Critical Role of Divergent Selection in Evolvability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Lehman

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available An ambitious goal in evolutionary robotics is to evolve increasingly complex robotic behaviors with minimal human design effort. Reaching this goal requires evolutionary algorithms that can unlock from genetic encodings their latent potential for evolvability. One issue clouding this goal is conceptual confusion about evolvability, which often obscures the aspects of evolvability that are important or desirable. The danger from such confusion is that it may establish unrealistic goals for evolvability that prove unproductive in practice. An important issue separate from conceptual confusion is the common misalignment between selection and evolvability in evolutionary robotics. While more expressive encodings can represent higher-level adaptations (e.g. sexual reproduction or developmental systems that increase long-term evolutionary potential (i.e. evolvability, realizing such potential requires gradients of fitness and evolvability to align. In other words, selection is often a critical factor limiting increasing evolvability. Thus, drawing from a series of recent papers, this article seeks to both (1 clarify and focus the ways in which the term evolvability is used within artificial evolution, and (2 argue for the importance of one type of selection, i.e. divergent selection, for enabling evolvability. The main argument is that there is a fundamental connection between divergent selection and evolvability (on both the individual and population level that does not hold for typical goal-oriented selection. The conclusion is that selection pressure plays a critical role in realizing the potential for evolvability, and that divergent selection in particular provides a principled mechanism for encouraging evolvability in artificial evolution.

  8. Approximating centrality in evolving graphs: toward sublinearity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Benjamin W.; Cybenko, George

    2017-05-01

    The identification of important nodes is a ubiquitous problem in the analysis of social networks. Centrality indices (such as degree centrality, closeness centrality, betweenness centrality, PageRank, and others) are used across many domains to accomplish this task. However, the computation of such indices is expensive on large graphs. Moreover, evolving graphs are becoming increasingly important in many applications. It is therefore desirable to develop on-line algorithms that can approximate centrality measures using memory sublinear in the size of the graph. We discuss the challenges facing the semi-streaming computation of many centrality indices. In particular, we apply recent advances in the streaming and sketching literature to provide a preliminary streaming approximation algorithm for degree centrality utilizing CountSketch and a multi-pass semi-streaming approximation algorithm for closeness centrality leveraging a spanner obtained through iteratively sketching the vertex-edge adjacency matrix. We also discuss possible ways forward for approximating betweenness centrality, as well as spectral measures of centrality. We provide a preliminary result using sketched low-rank approximations to approximate the output of the HITS algorithm.

  9. Functional Topology of Evolving Urban Drainage Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Soohyun; Paik, Kyungrock; McGrath, Gavan S.; Urich, Christian; Krueger, Elisabeth; Kumar, Praveen; Rao, P. Suresh C.

    2017-11-01

    We investigated the scaling and topology of engineered urban drainage networks (UDNs) in two cities, and further examined UDN evolution over decades. UDN scaling was analyzed using two power law scaling characteristics widely employed for river networks: (1) Hack's law of length (L)-area (A) [L∝Ah] and (2) exceedance probability distribution of upstream contributing area (δ) [P>(A≥δ>)˜aδ-ɛ]. For the smallest UDNs ((A≥δ>) plots for river networks are abruptly truncated, those for UDNs display exponential tempering [P>(A≥δ>)=aδ-ɛexp⁡>(-cδ>)]. The tempering parameter c decreases as the UDNs grow, implying that the distribution evolves in time to resemble those for river networks. However, the power law exponent ɛ for large UDNs tends to be greater than the range reported for river networks. Differences in generative processes and engineering design constraints contribute to observed differences in the evolution of UDNs and river networks, including subnet heterogeneity and nonrandom branching.

  10. An Evolving Worldview: Making Open Source Easy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Z.

    2017-12-01

    NASA Worldview is an interactive interface for browsing full-resolution, global satellite imagery. Worldview supports an open data policy so that academia, private industries and the general public can use NASA's satellite data to address Earth science related issues. Worldview was open sourced in 2014. By shifting to an open source approach, the Worldview application has evolved to better serve end-users. Project developers are able to have discussions with end-users and community developers to understand issues and develop new features. Community developers are able to track upcoming features, collaborate on them and make their own contributions. Developers who discover issues are able to address those issues and submit a fix. This reduces the time it takes for a project developer to reproduce an issue or develop a new feature. Getting new developers to contribute to the project has been one of the most important and difficult aspects of open sourcing Worldview. After witnessing potential outside contributors struggle, a focus has been made on making the installation of Worldview simple to reduce the initial learning curve and make contributing code easy. One way we have addressed this is through a simplified setup process. Our setup documentation includes a set of prerequisites and a set of straightforward commands to clone, configure, install and run. This presentation will emphasize our focus to simplify and standardize Worldview's open source code so that more people are able to contribute. The more people who contribute, the better the application will become over time.

  11. Extreme insular dwarfism evolved in a mammoth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herridge, Victoria L; Lister, Adrian M

    2012-08-22

    The insular dwarfism seen in Pleistocene elephants has come to epitomize the island rule; yet our understanding of this phenomenon is hampered by poor taxonomy. For Mediterranean dwarf elephants, where the most extreme cases of insular dwarfism are observed, a key systematic question remains unresolved: are all taxa phyletic dwarfs of a single mainland species Palaeoloxodon antiquus (straight-tusked elephant), or are some referable to Mammuthus (mammoths)? Ancient DNA and geochronological evidence have been used to support a Mammuthus origin for the Cretan 'Palaeoloxodon' creticus, but these studies have been shown to be flawed. On the basis of existing collections and recent field discoveries, we present new, morphological evidence for the taxonomic status of 'P'. creticus, and show that it is indeed a mammoth, most probably derived from Early Pleistocene Mammuthus meridionalis or possibly Late Pliocene Mammuthus rumanus. We also show that Mammuthus creticus is smaller than other known insular dwarf mammoths, and is similar in size to the smallest dwarf Palaeoloxodon species from Sicily and Malta, making it the smallest mammoth species known to have existed. These findings indicate that extreme insular dwarfism has evolved to a similar degree independently in two elephant lineages.

  12. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Evan L; Matthews, Luke J; Hare, Brian A; Nunn, Charles L; Anderson, Rindy C; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M; Emery, Nathan J; Haun, Daniel B M; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F; Platt, Michael L; Rosati, Alexandra G; Sandel, Aaron A; Schroepfer, Kara K; Seed, Amanda M; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P; Wobber, Victoria

    2012-03-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution.

  13. An evolving network model with modular growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zou Zhi-Yun; Liu Peng; Lei Li; Gao Jian-Zhi

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an evolving network model growing fast in units of module, according to the analysis of the evolution characteristics in real complex networks. Each module is a small-world network containing several interconnected nodes and the nodes between the modules are linked by preferential attachment on degree of nodes. We study the modularity measure of the proposed model, which can be adjusted by changing the ratio of the number of inner-module edges and the number of inter-module edges. In view of the mean-field theory, we develop an analytical function of the degree distribution, which is verified by a numerical example and indicates that the degree distribution shows characteristics of the small-world network and the scale-free network distinctly at different segments. The clustering coefficient and the average path length of the network are simulated numerically, indicating that the network shows the small-world property and is affected little by the randomness of the new module. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  14. How does cognition evolve? Phylogenetic comparative psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Luke J.; Hare, Brian A.; Nunn, Charles L.; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M.; Emery, Nathan J.; Haun, Daniel B. M.; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Platt, Michael L.; Rosati, Alexandra G.; Sandel, Aaron A.; Schroepfer, Kara K.; Seed, Amanda M.; Tan, Jingzhi; van Schaik, Carel P.; Wobber, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits, as well as the evolutionary processes that drove their evolution. PMID:21927850

  15. A local-world evolving hypernetwork model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Guang-Yong; Liu Jian-Guo

    2014-01-01

    Complex hypernetworks are ubiquitous in the real system. It is very important to investigate the evolution mechanisms. In this paper, we present a local-world evolving hypernetwork model by taking into account the hyperedge growth and local-world hyperedge preferential attachment mechanisms. At each time step, a newly added hyperedge encircles a new coming node and a number of nodes from a randomly selected local world. The number of the selected nodes from the local world obeys the uniform distribution and its mean value is m. The analytical and simulation results show that the hyperdegree approximately obeys the power-law form and the exponent of hyperdegree distribution is γ = 2 + 1/m. Furthermore, we numerically investigate the node degree, hyperedge degree, clustering coefficient, as well as the average distance, and find that the hypernetwork model shares the scale-free and small-world properties, which shed some light for deeply understanding the evolution mechanism of the real systems. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  16. Evolving autonomous learning in cognitive networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheneman, Leigh; Hintze, Arend

    2017-12-01

    There are two common approaches for optimizing the performance of a machine: genetic algorithms and machine learning. A genetic algorithm is applied over many generations whereas machine learning works by applying feedback until the system meets a performance threshold. These methods have been previously combined, particularly in artificial neural networks using an external objective feedback mechanism. We adapt this approach to Markov Brains, which are evolvable networks of probabilistic and deterministic logic gates. Prior to this work MB could only adapt from one generation to the other, so we introduce feedback gates which augment their ability to learn during their lifetime. We show that Markov Brains can incorporate these feedback gates in such a way that they do not rely on an external objective feedback signal, but instead can generate internal feedback that is then used to learn. This results in a more biologically accurate model of the evolution of learning, which will enable us to study the interplay between evolution and learning and could be another step towards autonomously learning machines.

  17. Diverticular Disease: Traditional and Evolving Paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamanna, Lenore; Moran, Patricia E

    Diverticular disease includes diverticulosis, which are sac protrusions of the intestinal mucosa, and diverticulitis, inflammation of the diverticula. Diverticular disease is listed as one of the top 10 leading physician diagnoses for gastrointestinal disorders in outpatient clinic visits in the United States. There are several classifications of diverticular disease ranging from asymptomatic diverticulosis to diverticulitis with complications. Several theories are linked to the development of diverticula which includes the physiology of the colon itself, collagen cross-linking, and recently challenged, low-fiber intake. The differential diagnoses of lower abdominal pain in addition to diverticular disease have overlapping signs and symptoms, which can make a diagnosis challenging. Identification of the distinct signs and symptoms of each classification will assist the practitioner in making the correct diagnosis and lead to appropriate management. The findings from recent studies have changed the paradigm of diverticular disease. The purpose of this article is to discuss traditional dogma and evolving concepts in the pathophysiology, prevention, and management of diverticular disease. Practitioners must be knowledgeable about diverticular disease for improved outcomes.

  18. Minority games, evolving capitals and replicator dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galla, Tobias; Zhang, Yi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    We discuss a simple version of the minority game (MG) in which agents hold only one strategy each, but in which their capitals evolve dynamically according to their success and in which the total trading volume varies in time accordingly. This feature is known to be crucial for MGs to reproduce stylized facts of real market data. The stationary states and phase diagram of the model can be computed, and we show that the ergodicity breaking phase transition common for MGs, and marked by a divergence of the integrated response, is present also in this simplified model. An analogous majority game turns out to be relatively void of interesting features, and the total capital is found to diverge in time. Introducing a restraining force leads to a model akin to the replicator dynamics of evolutionary game theory, and we demonstrate that here a different type of phase transition is observed. Finally we briefly discuss the relation of this model with one strategy per player to more sophisticated minority games with dynamical capitals and several trading strategies per agent

  19. An evolving model of online bipartite networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chu-Xu; Zhang, Zi-Ke; Liu, Chuang

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the structure and evolution of online bipartite networks is a significant task since they play a crucial role in various e-commerce services nowadays. Recently, various attempts have been tried to propose different models, resulting in either power-law or exponential degree distributions. However, many empirical results show that the user degree distribution actually follows a shifted power-law distribution, the so-called Mandelbrot’s law, which cannot be fully described by previous models. In this paper, we propose an evolving model, considering two different user behaviors: random and preferential attachment. Extensive empirical results on two real bipartite networks, Delicious and CiteULike, show that the theoretical model can well characterize the structure of real networks for both user and object degree distributions. In addition, we introduce a structural parameter p, to demonstrate that the hybrid user behavior leads to the shifted power-law degree distribution, and the region of power-law tail will increase with the increment of p. The proposed model might shed some lights in understanding the underlying laws governing the structure of real online bipartite networks.

  20. The Evolving Classification of Pulmonary Hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foshat, Michelle; Boroumand, Nahal

    2017-05-01

    - An explosion of information on pulmonary hypertension has occurred during the past few decades. The perception of this disease has shifted from purely clinical to incorporate new knowledge of the underlying pathology. This transfer has occurred in light of advancements in pathophysiology, histology, and molecular medical diagnostics. - To update readers about the evolving understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension and to demonstrate how pathology has shaped the current classification. - Information presented at the 5 World Symposia on pulmonary hypertension held since 1973, with the last meeting occurring in 2013, was used in this review. - Pulmonary hypertension represents a heterogeneous group of disorders that are differentiated based on differences in clinical, hemodynamic, and histopathologic features. Early concepts of pulmonary hypertension were largely influenced by pharmacotherapy, hemodynamic function, and clinical presentation of the disease. The initial nomenclature for pulmonary hypertension segregated the clinical classifications from pathologic subtypes. Major restructuring of this disease classification occurred between the first and second symposia, which was the first to unite clinical and pathologic information in the categorization scheme. Additional changes were introduced in subsequent meetings, particularly between the third and fourth World Symposia meetings, when additional pathophysiologic information was gained. Discoveries in molecular diagnostics significantly progressed the understanding of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Continued advancements in imaging modalities, mechanistic pathogenicity, and molecular biomarkers will enable physicians to define pulmonary hypertension phenotypes based on the pathobiology and allow for treatment customization.

  1. Evolving application of biomimetic nanostructured hydroxyapatite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norberto Roveri

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Norberto Roveri, Michele IafiscoLaboratory of Environmental and Biological Structural Chemistry (LEBSC, Dipartimento di Chimica ‘G. Ciamician’, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna, ItalyAbstract: By mimicking Nature, we can design and synthesize inorganic smart materials that are reactive to biological tissues. These smart materials can be utilized to design innovative third-generation biomaterials, which are able to not only optimize their interaction with biological tissues and environment, but also mimic biogenic materials in their functionalities. The biomedical applications involve increasing the biomimetic levels from chemical composition, structural organization, morphology, mechanical behavior, nanostructure, and bulk and surface chemical–physical properties until the surface becomes bioreactive and stimulates cellular materials. The chemical–physical characteristics of biogenic hydroxyapatites from bone and tooth have been described, in order to point out the elective sides, which are important to reproduce the design of a new biomimetic synthetic hydroxyapatite. This review outlines the evolving applications of biomimetic synthetic calcium phosphates, details the main characteristics of bone and tooth, where the calcium phosphates are present, and discusses the chemical–physical characteristics of biomimetic calcium phosphates, methods of synthesizing them, and some of their biomedical applications.Keywords: hydroxyapatite, nanocrystals, biomimetism, biomaterials, drug delivery, remineralization

  2. Change and innovation: the evolving industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lay, K.L.

    1999-01-01

    The rapidly increasing demand for energy is creating significant opportunities for energy companies world wide but only those companies equipped to take early advantage of the new markets will profit. Some of the recent technological advances such as telephones, washing machines, air conditioning and the Internet are mentioned. Success will be largely judged by a company's ability to maximise technology and make life easier and more productive. The paper discusses competition in global markets, environmental concerns, how consumers are benefiting, and cleaner energy. It is suggested that with the right vision and innovation, man can achieve a cleaner and more cost-effective world. (uk)

  3. Rapid shallow breathing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachypnea; Breathing - rapid and shallow; Fast shallow breathing; Respiratory rate - rapid and shallow ... Shallow, rapid breathing has many possible medical causes, including: Asthma Blood clot in an artery in the ...

  4. Rapid serial visual presentation design for cognition

    CERN Document Server

    Spence, Robert

    2013-01-01

    A powerful new image presentation technique has evolved over the last twenty years, and its value demonstrated through its support of many and varied common tasks. Conceptually, Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) is basically simple, exemplified in the physical world by the rapid riffling of the pages of a book in order to locate a known image. Advances in computation and graphics processing allow RSVP to be applied flexibly and effectively to a huge variety of common tasks such as window shopping, video fast-forward and rewind, TV channel selection and product browsing. At its heart is a

  5. Innovations in scholarly publishing. Evolving trends in research communication in a digital age: examples from the BMJ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Anita

    2014-01-01

    As technology and communication evolve rapidly in this digital age, scholarly publishing is also undergoing a makeover to match the diverse needs of researchers and clinicians. The BMJ has been at the forefront of innovating the presentation of research to increase its readabillty and usefulness. This article presents some of recent formats used for research communication at the BMJ.

  6. Interstitial laser coagulation in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia using a diode laser system: results of an evolving technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mårtenson, A. C.; de la Rosette, J. J. M. C. H.

    1999-01-01

    Interstitial laser coagulation (ILC) treatment is a recent technique in the treatment of BPH that is evolving rapidly. The results of a prospective randomised study vs transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is presented as well as results of patients treated with a temperature sensing laser

  7. Quantum mechanics in an evolving Hilbert space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artacho, Emilio; O'Regan, David D.

    2017-03-01

    Many basis sets for electronic structure calculations evolve with varying external parameters, such as moving atoms in dynamic simulations, giving rise to extra derivative terms in the dynamical equations. Here we revisit these derivatives in the context of differential geometry, thereby obtaining a more transparent formalization, and a geometrical perspective for better understanding the resulting equations. The effect of the evolution of the basis set within the spanned Hilbert space separates explicitly from the effect of the turning of the space itself when moving in parameter space, as the tangent space turns when moving in a curved space. New insights are obtained using familiar concepts in that context such as the Riemann curvature. The differential geometry is not strictly that for curved spaces as in general relativity, a more adequate mathematical framework being provided by fiber bundles. The language used here, however, will be restricted to tensors and basic quantum mechanics. The local gauge implied by a smoothly varying basis set readily connects with Berry's formalism for geometric phases. Generalized expressions for the Berry connection and curvature are obtained for a parameter-dependent occupied Hilbert space spanned by nonorthogonal Wannier functions. The formalism is applicable to basis sets made of atomic-like orbitals and also more adaptative moving basis functions (such as in methods using Wannier functions as intermediate or support bases), but should also apply to other situations in which nonorthogonal functions or related projectors should arise. The formalism is applied to the time-dependent quantum evolution of electrons for moving atoms. The geometric insights provided here allow us to propose new finite-difference time integrators, and also better understand those already proposed.

  8. Public participation at Fernald: FERMCO's evolving role

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.B.; Fellman, R.W.; Brettschneider, D.J.

    1995-01-01

    In an effort to improve public involvement in the site restoration decision making process, the DOE has established site specific advisory boards, of which the Fernald Citizens Task Force is one. The Fernald Task Force is focused on making recommendations in four areas: (1) What should be the future use of the site? (2) Determinations of cleanup levels (how clean is clean?) (3) Where should the wastes be disposed of? (4) What should be the cleanup priorities? Because these questions are being asked very early in the decision-making process, the answers are necessarily qualified, and are based on a combination of preliminary data, assumptions, and professional judgment. The requirement to make progress in the absence of accurate data has necessitated FERMCO and the Task Force to employ an approach similar to sensitivity analysis, in which a range of possible data values are evaluated and the relative importance of the various factors is assessed. Because of its charter to provide recommendations of future site use, the Task Force has developed a sitewide perspective, compared to the more common operable unit specific focus of public participation under CERCLA. The relationship between FERMCO and the Task Force is evolving toward one of partnership with DOE in managing the obstacles and hidden opportunities for success. The Task Force likely will continue to participate in the Fernald project long after its initial recommendations have been made. DOE already has made the commitment that the process of public participation will extend into the Remedial Design phase. There is substantial reason for optimism that continuing the Task Force process through the design phase will assist in developing the appropriate balance of cost and engineered protectiveness

  9. Exploiting fluorescence for multiplex immunoassays on protein microarrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbáth, Melinda; Balogh, Andrea; Matkó, János; Papp, Krisztián; Prechl, József

    2014-01-01

    Protein microarray technology is becoming the method of choice for identifying protein interaction partners, detecting specific proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, or for characterizing protein interactions and serum antibodies in a massively parallel manner. Availability of the well-established instrumentation of DNA arrays and development of new fluorescent detection instruments promoted the spread of this technique. Fluorescent detection has the advantage of high sensitivity, specificity, simplicity and wide dynamic range required by most measurements. Fluorescence through specifically designed probes and an increasing variety of detection modes offers an excellent tool for such microarray platforms. Measuring for example the level of antibodies, their isotypes and/or antigen specificity simultaneously can offer more complex and comprehensive information about the investigated biological phenomenon, especially if we take into consideration that hundreds of samples can be measured in a single assay. Not only body fluids, but also cell lysates, extracted cellular components, and intact living cells can be analyzed on protein arrays for monitoring functional responses to printed samples on the surface. As a rapidly evolving area, protein microarray technology offers a great bulk of information and new depth of knowledge. These are the features that endow protein arrays with wide applicability and robust sample analyzing capability. On the whole, protein arrays are emerging new tools not just in proteomics, but glycomics, lipidomics, and are also important for immunological research. In this review we attempt to summarize the technical aspects of planar fluorescent microarray technology along with the description of its main immunological applications. (topical review)

  10. Evolving R Coronae Borealis Stars with MESA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Lauer, Amber; Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil; Frank, Juhan

    2018-01-01

    being a WD. Solving the mystery of how the RCB stars evolve will lead to a better understanding of other important types of stellar merger events such as Type Ia SNe.

  11. The evolving integrated vascular surgery residency curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Brigitte K; Greenberg, Jacob A; Mitchell, Erica L

    2014-10-01

    PDs voiced concern over the lack of standardization among the differing programs and most of the PDs agree that some degree of programmatic standardization is critical for the continued success of the 0 + 5 training paradigm. Qualitative evaluation of PD experiences with the development of 0 + 5 vascular surgery residency programs reveals the key factors that commonly influence program design. Programs continue to evolve in both structure and content as PDs respond to these influences. Learning from the collective experience of PDs and some standardization of the curricula may help current and future programs avoid common pitfalls in curricular development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Mechanics of evolving thin film structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jim

    In the Stranski-Krastanov system, the lattice mismatch between the film and the substrate causes the film to break into islands. During annealing, both the surface energy and the elastic energy drive the islands to coarsen. Motivated by several related studies, we suggest that stable islands should form when a stiff ceiling is placed at a small gap above the film. We show that the role of elasticity is reversed: with the ceiling, the total elastic energy stored in the system increases as the islands coarsen laterally. Consequently, the islands select an equilibrium size to minimize the combined elastic energy and surface energy. In lithographically-induced self-assembly, when a two-phase fluid confined between parallel substrates is subjected to an electric field, one phase can self-assemble into a triangular lattice of islands in another phase. We describe a theory of the stability of the island lattice. The islands select the equilibrium diameter to minimize the combined interface energy and electrostatic energy. Furthermore, we study compressed SiGe thin film islands fabricated on a glass layer, which itself lies on a silicon wafer. Upon annealing, the glass flows, and the islands relax. A small island relaxes by in-plane expansion. A large island, however, wrinkles at the center before the in-plane relaxation arrives. The wrinkles may cause significant tensile stress in the island, leading to fracture. We model the island by the von Karman plate theory and the glass layer by the Reynolds lubrication theory. Numerical simulations evolve the in-plane expansion and the wrinkles simultaneously. We determine the critical island size, below which in-plane expansion prevails over wrinkling. Finally, in devices that integrate dissimilar materials in small dimensions, crack extension in one material often accompanies inelastic deformation in another. We analyze a channel crack advancing in an elastic film under tension, while an underlayer creeps. We use a two

  13. Basal metabolic rate can evolve independently of morphological and behavioural traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathot, K J; Martin, K; Kempenaers, B; Forstmeier, W

    2013-09-01

    Quantitative genetic analyses of basal metabolic rate (BMR) can inform us about the evolvability of the trait by providing estimates of heritability, and also of genetic correlations with other traits that may constrain the ability of BMR to respond to selection. Here, we studied a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in which selection lines for male courtship rate have been established. We measure BMR in these lines to see whether selection on male sexual activity would change BMR as a potentially correlated trait. We find that the genetic correlation between courtship rate and BMR is practically zero, indicating that the two traits can evolve independently of each other. Interestingly, we find that the heritability of BMR in our population (h(2)=0.45) is markedly higher than was previously reported for a captive zebra finch population from Norway. A comparison of the two studies shows that additive genetic variance in BMR has been largely depleted in the Norwegian population, especially the genetic variance in BMR that is independent of body mass. In our population, the slope of BMR increase with body mass differs not only between the sexes but also between the six selection lines, which we tentatively attribute to genetic drift and/or founder effects being strong in small populations. Our study therefore highlights two things. First, the evolvability of BMR may be less constrained by genetic correlations and lack of independent genetic variation than previously described. Second, genetic drift in small populations can rapidly lead to different evolvabilities across populations.

  14. Coevolution of interacting fertilization proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathaniel L Clark

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive proteins are among the fastest evolving in the proteome, often due to the consequences of positive selection, and their rapid evolution is frequently attributed to a coevolutionary process between interacting female and male proteins. Such a process could leave characteristic signatures at coevolving genes. One signature of coevolution, predicted by sexual selection theory, is an association of alleles between the two genes. Another predicted signature is a correlation of evolutionary rates during divergence due to compensatory evolution. We studied female-male coevolution in the abalone by resequencing sperm lysin and its interacting egg coat protein, VERL, in populations of two species. As predicted, we found intergenic linkage disequilibrium between lysin and VERL, despite our demonstration that they are not physically linked. This finding supports a central prediction of sexual selection using actual genotypes, that of an association between a male trait and its female preference locus. We also created a novel likelihood method to show that lysin and VERL have experienced correlated rates of evolution. These two signatures of coevolution can provide statistical rigor to hypotheses of coevolution and could be exploited for identifying coevolving proteins a priori. We also present polymorphism-based evidence for positive selection and implicate recent selective events at the specific structural regions of lysin and VERL responsible for their species-specific interaction. Finally, we observed deep subdivision between VERL alleles in one species, which matches a theoretical prediction of sexual conflict. Thus, abalone fertilization proteins illustrate how coevolution can lead to reproductive barriers and potentially drive speciation.

  15. Studying Protein-Protein Interactions by Biotin AP-Tagged Pulldown and LTQ-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhongqiu; Jia, Yuemeng; Li, Hui

    2017-01-01

    The study of protein-protein interactions represents a key aspect of biological research. Identifying unknown protein binding partners using mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics has evolved into an indispensable strategy in drug discovery. The classic approach of immunoprecipitation with specific antibodies against the proteins of interest has limitations, such as the need for immunoprecipitation-qualified antibody. The biotin AP-tag pull-down system has the advantage of high specificity, ease of use, and no requirement for antibody. It is based on the high specificity, high affinity interaction between biotin and streptavidin. After pulldown, in-gel tryptic digestion and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) protein bands can be performed. In this work, we provide protocols that can be used for the identification of proteins that interact with FOXM1, a protein that has recently emerged as a potential biomarker and drug target in oncotherapy, as an example. We focus on the pull-down procedure and assess the efficacy of the pulldown with known FOXM1 interactors such as β-catenin. We use a high performance LTQ Orbitrap MSn system that combines rapid LTQ ion trap data acquisition with high mass accuracy Orbitrap analysis to identify the interacting proteins.

  16. Protein structure similarity from principle component correlation analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chou James

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Owing to rapid expansion of protein structure databases in recent years, methods of structure comparison are becoming increasingly effective and important in revealing novel information on functional properties of proteins and their roles in the grand scheme of evolutionary biology. Currently, the structural similarity between two proteins is measured by the root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD in their best-superimposed atomic coordinates. RMSD is the golden rule of measuring structural similarity when the structures are nearly identical; it, however, fails to detect the higher order topological similarities in proteins evolved into different shapes. We propose new algorithms for extracting geometrical invariants of proteins that can be effectively used to identify homologous protein structures or topologies in order to quantify both close and remote structural similarities. Results We measure structural similarity between proteins by correlating the principle components of their secondary structure interaction matrix. In our approach, the Principle Component Correlation (PCC analysis, a symmetric interaction matrix for a protein structure is constructed with relationship parameters between secondary elements that can take the form of distance, orientation, or other relevant structural invariants. When using a distance-based construction in the presence or absence of encoded N to C terminal sense, there are strong correlations between the principle components of interaction matrices of structurally or topologically similar proteins. Conclusion The PCC method is extensively tested for protein structures that belong to the same topological class but are significantly different by RMSD measure. The PCC analysis can also differentiate proteins having similar shapes but different topological arrangements. Additionally, we demonstrate that when using two independently defined interaction matrices, comparison of their maximum

  17. Origins of fluorescence in evolved bacteriophytochromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Shyamosree; Auldridge, Michele E; Lehtivuori, Heli; Ihalainen, Janne A; Forest, Katrina T

    2014-11-14

    Use of fluorescent proteins to study in vivo processes in mammals requires near-infrared (NIR) biomarkers that exploit the ability of light in this range to penetrate tissue. Bacteriophytochromes (BphPs) are photoreceptors that couple absorbance of NIR light to photoisomerization, protein conformational changes, and signal transduction. BphPs have been engineered to form NIR fluorophores, including IFP1.4, Wi-Phy, and the iRFP series, initially by replacement of Asp-207 by His. This position was suggestive because its main chain carbonyl is within hydrogen-bonding distance to pyrrole ring nitrogens of the biliverdin chromophore, thus potentially functioning as a crucial transient proton sink during photoconversion. To explain the origin of fluorescence in these phytofluors, we solved the crystal structures of IFP1.4 and a comparison non-fluorescent monomeric phytochrome DrCBDmon. Met-186 and Val-288 in IFP1.4 are responsible for the formation of a tightly packed hydrophobic hub around the biliverdin D ring. Met-186 is also largely responsible for the blue-shifted IFP1.4 excitation maximum relative to the parent BphP. The structure of IFP1.4 revealed decreased structural heterogeneity and a contraction of two surface regions as direct consequences of side chain substitutions. Unexpectedly, IFP1.4 with Asp-207 reinstalled (IFPrev) has a higher fluorescence quantum yield (∼9%) than most NIR phytofluors published to date. In agreement, fluorescence lifetime measurements confirm the exceptionally long excited state lifetimes, up to 815 ps, in IFP1.4 and IFPrev. Our research helps delineate the origin of fluorescence in engineered BphPs and will facilitate the wide-spread adoption of phytofluors as biomarkers. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Evolving Perspectives on Lyme Borreliosis in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperling, JLH; Middelveen, MJ; Klein, D; Sperling, FAH

    2012-01-01

    With cases now documented in every province, Lyme borreliosis (LB) is emerging as a serious public health risk in Canada. Controversy over the contribution of LB to the burden of chronic disease is maintained by difficulty in capturing accurate Canadian statistics, especially early clinical cases of LB. The use of dogs as sentinel species demon-strates that potential contact with Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes, as detected by C6 peptide, extends across the country. Dissemination of infected ticks by migratory birds and rapid establishment of significant levels of infection have been well described. Canadian public health response has focused on identification of established populations of the tick vectors, Ixodes scapularis and I. pacificus, on the assumption that these are the only important vectors of the disease across Canada. Strains of B. burgdorferi circulating in Canada and the full range of their reservoir species and coinfections remain to be explored. Ongoing surveys and historical records demonstrate that Borrelia-positive Ixodes species are regu-larly present in regions of Canada that have previously been considered to be outside of the ranges of these species in re-cent modeling efforts. We present data demonstrating that human cases of LB are found across the nation. Consequently, physician education and better early diagnoses are needed to prevent long term sequelae. An international perspective will be paramount for developing improved Canadian guidelines that recognize the complexity and diversity of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:23091570

  19. Evolving water science in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoekstra, A. Y.; van der Zaag, P.

    2013-06-01

    This paper reviews the changing relation between man and water since the industrial revolution, the period that has been called the Anthropocene because of the unprecedented scale at which humans have altered the planet. We show how the rapidly changing reality urges us to continuously improve our understanding of the complex interactions between man and the water system. The paper starts with demonstrating that hydrology and the science of water resources management have played key roles in human and economic development throughout history; yet these roles have often been marginalised or obscured. Knowledge on hydrology and water resources engineering and management helped to transform the landscape, and thus also the very hydrology within catchments itself. It is only fairly recent that water experts have become self-conscious of such mechanisms, exemplified by several concepts that try to internalise them (integrated water resources management, eco-hydrology, socio-hydrology). We have reached a stage where a more systemic understanding of scale interdependencies can inform the sustainable governance of water systems, using new concepts like precipitationsheds, virtual water transfers, water footprint and water value flow.

  20. On the mechanism of rapid postirradiation recovery of yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glazunov, A.V.; Kapul'tsevich, Yu.G.

    1983-01-01

    Rapid postirradiation recovery of diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is equally effective both in water and in a liquid nutrition medium. In the haploid strains, rapid recovery occurs more readily in the log phase than in the stationary phase of growth. In the diploid strains, rapid recovery is more effective in the log phase than in the stationary phase. Rapid recovery of yeast does not require an additional protein synthesis. Damages induced by UV-light are not sub ected to rapid recovery

  1. Adoption of Geospatial Systems towards evolving Sustainable Himalayan Mountain Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murthy, M. S. R.; Bajracharya, B.; Pradhan, S.; Shestra, B.; Bajracharya, R.; Shakya, K.; Wesselmann, S.; Ali, M.; Bajracharya, S.; Pradhan, S.

    2014-11-01

    Natural resources dependence of mountain communities, rapid social and developmental changes, disaster proneness and climate change are conceived as the critical factors regulating sustainable Himalayan mountain development. The Himalayan region posed by typical geographic settings, diverse physical and cultural diversity present a formidable challenge to collect and manage data, information and understands varied socio-ecological settings. Recent advances in earth observation, near real-time data, in-situ measurements and in combination of information and communication technology have transformed the way we collect, process, and generate information and how we use such information for societal benefits. Glacier dynamics, land cover changes, disaster risk reduction systems, food security and ecosystem conservation are a few thematic areas where geospatial information and knowledge have significantly contributed to informed decision making systems over the region. The emergence and adoption of near-real time systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), board-scale citizen science (crowd-sourcing), mobile services and mapping, and cloud computing have paved the way towards developing automated environmental monitoring systems, enhanced scientific understanding of geophysical and biophysical processes, coupled management of socio-ecological systems and community based adaptation models tailored to mountain specific environment. There are differentiated capacities among the ICIMOD regional member countries with regard to utilization of earth observation and geospatial technologies. The region can greatly benefit from a coordinated and collaborative approach to capture the opportunities offered by earth observation and geospatial technologies. The regional level data sharing, knowledge exchange, and Himalayan GEO supporting geospatial platforms, spatial data infrastructure, unique region specific satellite systems to address trans-boundary challenges would go a long way in

  2. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Fortuna

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms from a vast space of 10141 genotypes (instruction sequences, which can form 512 different phenotypes. These phenotypes are distinguished by different Boolean logic functions they can compute, as well as by the complexity of these functions. We observe several properties with parallels in natural systems, such as connected genotype networks and asymmetric phenotypic transitions. The likely common cause is robustness to genotypic change. We describe an intriguing tension between phenotypic complexity and evolvability that may have implications for biological evolution. On the one hand, genotypic change is more likely to yield novel phenotypes in more complex organisms. On the other hand, the total number of novel phenotypes reachable through genotypic change is highest for organisms with simple phenotypes. Artificial evolving systems can help us study aspects of biological evolvability that are not accessible in vastly more complex natural systems. They can also help identify properties, such as robustness, that are required for both human-designed artificial systems and synthetic biological systems to be evolvable.

  3. The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuna, Miguel A; Zaman, Luis; Ofria, Charles; Wagner, Andreas

    2017-02-01

    To understand how evolving systems bring forth novel and useful phenotypes, it is essential to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Artificial evolving systems can help us understand whether the genotype-phenotype maps of natural evolving systems are highly unusual, and it may help create evolvable artificial systems. Here we characterize the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms in Avida, a platform for digital evolution. We consider digital organisms from a vast space of 10141 genotypes (instruction sequences), which can form 512 different phenotypes. These phenotypes are distinguished by different Boolean logic functions they can compute, as well as by the complexity of these functions. We observe several properties with parallels in natural systems, such as connected genotype networks and asymmetric phenotypic transitions. The likely common cause is robustness to genotypic change. We describe an intriguing tension between phenotypic complexity and evolvability that may have implications for biological evolution. On the one hand, genotypic change is more likely to yield novel phenotypes in more complex organisms. On the other hand, the total number of novel phenotypes reachable through genotypic change is highest for organisms with simple phenotypes. Artificial evolving systems can help us study aspects of biological evolvability that are not accessible in vastly more complex natural systems. They can also help identify properties, such as robustness, that are required for both human-designed artificial systems and synthetic biological systems to be evolvable.

  4. An Evolving Asymmetric Game for Modeling Interdictor-Smuggler Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    ASYMMETRIC GAME FOR MODELING INTERDICTOR-SMUGGLER PROBLEMS by Richard J. Allain June 2016 Thesis Advisor: David L. Alderson Second Reader: W...DATES COVERED Master’s thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE AN EVOLVING ASYMMETRIC GAME FOR MODELING INTERDICTOR- SMUGGLER PROBLEMS 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6...NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA THESIS Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited AN EVOLVING

  5. Adaptation of Escherichia coli to glucose promotes evolvability in lactose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Kelly N; Castillo, Gerardo; Wünsche, Andrea; Cooper, Tim F

    2016-02-01

    The selective history of a population can influence its subsequent evolution, an effect known as historical contingency. We previously observed that five of six replicate populations that were evolved in a glucose-limited environment for 2000 generations, then switched to lactose for 1000 generations, had higher fitness increases in lactose than populations started directly from the ancestor. To test if selection in glucose systematically increased lactose evolvability, we started 12 replay populations--six from a population subsample and six from a single randomly selected clone--from each of the six glucose-evolved founder populations. These replay populations and 18 ancestral populations were evolved for 1000 generations in a lactose-limited environment. We found that replay populations were initially slightly less fit in lactose than the ancestor, but were more evolvable, in that they increased in fitness at a faster rate and to higher levels. This result indicates that evolution in the glucose environment resulted in genetic changes that increased the potential of genotypes to adapt to lactose. Genome sequencing identified four genes--iclR, nadR, spoT, and rbs--that were mutated in most glucose-evolved clones and are candidates for mediating increased evolvability. Our results demonstrate that short-term selective costs during selection in one environment can lead to changes in evolvability that confer longer term benefits. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. PCBA demand forecasting using an evolving Takagi-Sugeno system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rooijen, M.; Almeida, R.J.; Kaymak, U.

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the use of using an evolving fuzzy system for printed circuit board (PCBA) demand forecasting. The algorithm is based on the evolving Takagi-Sugeno (eTS) fuzzy system, which has the ability to incorporate new patterns by changing its internal structure in an on-line fashion.

  7. Homophyly/Kinship Model: Naturally Evolving Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Angsheng; Li, Jiankou; Pan, Yicheng; Yin, Xianchen; Yong, Xi

    2015-10-01

    It has been a challenge to understand the formation and roles of social groups or natural communities in the evolution of species, societies and real world networks. Here, we propose the hypothesis that homophyly/kinship is the intrinsic mechanism of natural communities, introduce the notion of the affinity exponent and propose the homophyly/kinship model of networks. We demonstrate that the networks of our model satisfy a number of topological, probabilistic and combinatorial properties and, in particular, that the robustness and stability of natural communities increase as the affinity exponent increases and that the reciprocity of the networks in our model decreases as the affinity exponent increases. We show that both homophyly/kinship and reciprocity are essential to the emergence of cooperation in evolutionary games and that the homophyly/kinship and reciprocity determined by the appropriate affinity exponent guarantee the emergence of cooperation in evolutionary games, verifying Darwin’s proposal that kinship and reciprocity are the means of individual fitness. We propose the new principle of structure entropy minimisation for detecting natural communities of networks and verify the functional module property and characteristic properties by a healthy tissue cell network, a citation network, some metabolic networks and a protein interaction network.

  8. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yilun Shang

    Full Text Available Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices.

  9. Laplacian Estrada and normalized Laplacian Estrada indices of evolving graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Yilun

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale time-evolving networks have been generated by many natural and technological applications, posing challenges for computation and modeling. Thus, it is of theoretical and practical significance to probe mathematical tools tailored for evolving networks. In this paper, on top of the dynamic Estrada index, we study the dynamic Laplacian Estrada index and the dynamic normalized Laplacian Estrada index of evolving graphs. Using linear algebra techniques, we established general upper and lower bounds for these graph-spectrum-based invariants through a couple of intuitive graph-theoretic measures, including the number of vertices or edges. Synthetic random evolving small-world networks are employed to show the relevance of the proposed dynamic Estrada indices. It is found that neither the static snapshot graphs nor the aggregated graph can approximate the evolving graph itself, indicating the fundamental difference between the static and dynamic Estrada indices.

  10. Structural insights into the evolution of a sexy protein: novel topology and restricted backbone flexibility in a hypervariable pheromone from the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Doty, Kari A; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions - such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake "three-finger" topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this unique

  11. Structural insights into the evolution of a sexy protein: novel topology and restricted backbone flexibility in a hypervariable pheromone from the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien B Wilburn

    Full Text Available In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions - such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake "three-finger" topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently

  12. Role of norepinephrine in the regulation of rapid eye movement sleep

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sleep and wakefulness are instinctive behaviours that are present across the animal species. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a unique biological phenomenon expressed during sleep. It evolved about 300 million years ago and is noticed in the more evolved animal species. Although it has been objectively identified ...

  13. Revisiting Robustness and Evolvability: Evolution in Weighted Genotype Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partha, Raghavendran; Raman, Karthik

    2014-01-01

    Robustness and evolvability are highly intertwined properties of biological systems. The relationship between these properties determines how biological systems are able to withstand mutations and show variation in response to them. Computational studies have explored the relationship between these two properties using neutral networks of RNA sequences (genotype) and their secondary structures (phenotype) as a model system. However, these studies have assumed every mutation to a sequence to be equally likely; the differences in the likelihood of the occurrence of various mutations, and the consequence of probabilistic nature of the mutations in such a system have previously been ignored. Associating probabilities to mutations essentially results in the weighting of genotype space. We here perform a comparative analysis of weighted and unweighted neutral networks of RNA sequences, and subsequently explore the relationship between robustness and evolvability. We show that assuming an equal likelihood for all mutations (as in an unweighted network), underestimates robustness and overestimates evolvability of a system. In spite of discarding this assumption, we observe that a negative correlation between sequence (genotype) robustness and sequence evolvability persists, and also that structure (phenotype) robustness promotes structure evolvability, as observed in earlier studies using unweighted networks. We also study the effects of base composition bias on robustness and evolvability. Particularly, we explore the association between robustness and evolvability in a sequence space that is AU-rich – sequences with an AU content of 80% or higher, compared to a normal (unbiased) sequence space. We find that evolvability of both sequences and structures in an AU-rich space is lesser compared to the normal space, and robustness higher. We also observe that AU-rich populations evolving on neutral networks of phenotypes, can access less phenotypic variation compared to

  14. Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naila O Alieva

    2008-07-01

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

  15. A rapid two step protocol of in vitro propagation of an important ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    chandrakant tiwari

    2013-03-06

    Mar 6, 2013 ... Attempts were made to evolve a rapid in vitro technology ..... Values are given as mean ± standard error (SE) of three replicates; each replicate consisted of 24 .... Seminar on Herbal Conservation, Cultivation, Marketing and.

  16. The evolving genetic risk for sporadic ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Summer B; Downie, Jonathan M; Tsetsou, Spyridoula; Feusier, Julie E; Figueroa, Karla P; Bromberg, Mark B; Jorde, Lynn B; Pulst, Stefan M

    2017-07-18

    To estimate the genetic risk conferred by known amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated genes to the pathogenesis of sporadic ALS (SALS) using variant allele frequencies combined with predicted variant pathogenicity. Whole exome sequencing and repeat expansion PCR of C9orf72 and ATXN2 were performed on 87 patients of European ancestry with SALS seen at the University of Utah. DNA variants that change the protein coding sequence of 31 ALS-associated genes were annotated to determine which were rare and deleterious as predicted by MetaSVM. The percentage of patients with SALS with a rare and deleterious variant or repeat expansion in an ALS-associated gene was calculated. An odds ratio analysis was performed comparing the burden of ALS-associated genes in patients with SALS vs 324 normal controls. Nineteen rare nonsynonymous variants in an ALS-associated gene, 2 of which were found in 2 different individuals, were identified in 21 patients with SALS. Further, 5 deleterious C9orf72 and 2 ATXN2 repeat expansions were identified. A total of 17.2% of patients with SALS had a rare and deleterious variant or repeat expansion in an ALS-associated gene. The genetic burden of ALS-associated genes in patients with SALS as predicted by MetaSVM was significantly higher than in normal controls. Previous analyses have identified SALS-predisposing variants only in terms of their rarity in normal control populations. By incorporating variant pathogenicity as well as variant frequency, we demonstrated that the genetic risk contributed by these genes for SALS is substantially lower than previous estimates. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  17. Probing binding hot spots at protein-RNA recognition sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barik, Amita; Nithin, Chandran; Karampudi, Naga Bhushana Rao; Mukherjee, Sunandan; Bahadur, Ranjit Prasad

    2016-01-29

    We use evolutionary conservation derived from structure alignment of polypeptide sequences along with structural and physicochemical attributes of protein-RNA interfaces to probe the binding hot spots at protein-RNA recognition sites. We find that the degree of conservation varies across the RNA binding proteins; some evolve rapidly compared to others. Additionally, irrespective of the structural class of the complexes, residues at the RNA binding sites are evolutionary better conserved than those at the solvent exposed surfaces. For recognitions involving duplex RNA, residues interacting with the major groove are better conserved than those interacting with the minor groove. We identify multi-interface residues participating simultaneously in protein-protein and protein-RNA interfaces in complexes where more than one polypeptide is involved in RNA recognition, and show that they are better conserved compared to any other RNA binding residues. We find that the residues at water preservation site are better conserved than those at hydrated or at dehydrated sites. Finally, we develop a Random Forests model using structural and physicochemical attributes for predicting binding hot spots. The model accurately predicts 80% of the instances of experimental ΔΔG values in a particular class, and provides a stepping-stone towards the engineering of protein-RNA recognition sites with desired affinity. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  18. Methods of rapid diagnosis for the etiology of meningitis in adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Nathan C; Boulware, David R

    2014-01-01

    Infectious meningitis may be due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal or viral agents. Diagnosis of meningitis must take into account numerous items of patient history and symptomatology along with regional epidemiology and basic cerebrospinal fluid testing (protein, etc.) to allow the clinician to stratify the likelihood of etiology possibilities and rationally select additional diagnostic tests. Culture is the mainstay for diagnosis in many cases, but technology is evolving to provide more rapid, reliable diagnosis. The cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay (Immuno-Mycologics) has revolutionized diagnosis of cryptococcosis and automated nucleic acid amplification assays hold promise for improving diagnosis of bacterial and mycobacterial meningitis. This review will focus on a holistic approach to diagnosis of meningitis as well as recent technological advances. PMID:25402579

  19. Atherosclerotic plaque rupture and thrombosis. Evolving concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuster, V; Stein, B; Ambrose, J A; Badimon, L; Badimon, J J; Chesebro, J H

    1990-09-01

    the coagulation cascade system and may lead to thrombotic reocclusion. Measurements aimed at reversing the process of atherosclerosis via cholesterol reduction and enhanced high density lipoprotein activity are encouraging. Active research is being focused on the development of new antithrombotic tools, such as inhibitors of thrombin, thromboxane, and serotonin receptor antagonists, and monoclonal antibodies aimed at blocking platelet membrane receptors or adhesive proteins. These compounds may prove useful when immediate and potent inhibition of the hemostatic system is desired. Intensive research is still needed in the areas of pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention in atherosclerosis.

  20. Rapidly Progressive Quadriplegia and Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynn, DonRaphael; McCorquodale, Donald; Peters, Angela; Juster-Switlyk, Kelsey; Smith, Gordon; Ansari, Safdar

    2016-11-01

    A woman aged 77 years was transferred to our neurocritical care unit for evaluation and treatment of rapidly progressive motor weakness and encephalopathy. Examination revealed an ability to follow simple commands only and abnormal movements, including myoclonus, tongue and orofacial dyskinesias, and opsoclonus. Imaging study findings were initially unremarkable, but when repeated, they demonstrated enhancement of the cauda equina nerve roots, trigeminal nerve, and pachymeninges. Cerebrospinal fluid examination revealed mildly elevated white blood cell count and protein levels. Serial electrodiagnostic testing demonstrated a rapidly progressive diffuse sensory motor axonopathy, and electroencephalogram findings progressed from generalized slowing to bilateral periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges. Critical details of her recent history prompted a diagnostic biopsy. Over time, the patient became completely unresponsive with no further abnormal movements and ultimately died. The differential diagnosis, pathological findings, and diagnosis are discussed with a brief review of a well-known yet rare diagnosis.

  1. Fermentation performance of engineered and evolved xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonderegger, M.; Jeppsson, M.; Larsson, C.

    2004-01-01

    Lignocellulose hydrolysate is an abundant substrate for bioethanol production. The ideal microorganism for such a fermentation process should combine rapid and efficient conversion of the available carbon sources to ethanol with high tolerance to ethanol and to inhibitory components in the hydrol......Lignocellulose hydrolysate is an abundant substrate for bioethanol production. The ideal microorganism for such a fermentation process should combine rapid and efficient conversion of the available carbon sources to ethanol with high tolerance to ethanol and to inhibitory components...... in the hydrolysate. A particular biological problem are the pentoses, which are not naturally metabolized by the main industrial ethanol producer Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Several recombinant, mutated, and evolved xylose fermenting S. cerevisiae strains have been developed recently. We compare here the fermentation...

  2. Project Seahorse evolves into major marine protector | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2012-10-29

    Oct 29, 2012 ... Project Seahorse evolves into major marine protector ... local people, have greatly improved the prospects of survival for threatened species. ... “We tackle issues on any political level or geographical scale, according to what ...

  3. Incremental Frequent Subgraph Mining on Large Evolving Graphs

    KAUST Repository

    Abdelhamid, Ehab; Canim, Mustafa; Sadoghi, Mohammad; Bhatta, Bishwaranjan; Chang, Yuan-Chi; Kalnis, Panos

    2017-01-01

    , such as social networks, utilize large evolving graphs. Mining these graphs using existing techniques is infeasible, due to the high computational cost. In this paper, we propose IncGM+, a fast incremental approach for continuous frequent subgraph mining problem

  4. Genetic Algorithms Evolve Optimized Transforms for Signal Processing Applications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moore, Frank; Babb, Brendan; Becke, Steven; Koyuk, Heather; Lamson, Earl, III; Wedge, Christopher

    2005-01-01

    .... The primary goal of the research described in this final report was to establish a methodology for using genetic algorithms to evolve coefficient sets describing inverse transforms and matched...

  5. Biofabrication : reappraising the definition of an evolving field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groll, Jürgen; Boland, Thomas; Blunk, Torsten; Burdick, Jason A; Cho, Dong-Woo; Dalton, Paul D; Derby, Brian; Forgacs, Gabor; Li, Qing; Mironov, Vladimir A; Moroni, Lorenzo; Nakamura, Makoto; Shu, Wenmiao; Takeuchi, Shoji; Vozzi, Giovanni; Woodfield, Tim B F; Xu, Tao; Yoo, James J; Malda, Jos|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412461099

    2016-01-01

    Biofabrication is an evolving research field that has recently received significant attention. In particular, the adoption of Biofabrication concepts within the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine has grown tremendously, and has been accompanied by a growing inconsistency in

  6. Biofabrication : Reappraising the definition of an evolving field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groll, Jürgen; Boland, Thomas; Blunk, Torsten; Burdick, Jason A.; Cho, Dong Woo; Dalton, Paul D.; Derby, Brian; Forgacs, Gabor; Li, Qing; Mironov, Vladimir A.; Moroni, Lorenzo; Nakamura, Makoto; Shu, Wenmiao; Takeuchi, Shoji; Vozzi, Giovanni; Woodfield, Tim B.F.; Xu, Tao; Yoo, James J.; Malda, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Biofabrication is an evolving research field that has recently received significant attention. In particular, the adoption of Biofabrication concepts within the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine has grown tremendously, and has been accompanied by a growing inconsistency in

  7. Orthogonally Evolved AI to Improve Difficulty Adjustment in Video Games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hintze, Arend; Olson, Randal; Lehman, Joel Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Computer games are most engaging when their difficulty is well matched to the player's ability, thereby providing an experience in which the player is neither overwhelmed nor bored. In games where the player interacts with computer-controlled opponents, the difficulty of the game can be adjusted...... not only by changing the distribution of opponents or game resources, but also through modifying the skill of the opponents. Applying evolutionary algorithms to evolve the artificial intelligence that controls opponent agents is one established method for adjusting opponent difficulty. Less-evolved agents...... (i.e. agents subject to fewer generations of evolution) make for easier opponents, while highly-evolved agents are more challenging to overcome. In this publication we test a new approach for difficulty adjustment in games: orthogonally evolved AI, where the player receives support from collaborating...

  8. Evolving the Evolving: Territory, Place and Rewilding in the California Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Milligan

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Current planning and legislation in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta call for the large-scale ecological restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These ecological mandates have emerged in response to the region’s infrastructural transformation and the Delta’s predominant use as the central logistical hub in the state’s vast water conveyance network. Restoration is an attempt to recover what was externalized by the logic and abstractions of this logistical infrastructure. However, based on findings from our research, which examined how people are using restored and naturalized landscapes in the Delta and how these landscapes are currently planned for, we argue that as mitigatory response, restoration planning continues some of the same spatial abstractions and inequities by failing to account for the Delta as an urbanized, cultural and unique place. In interpreting how these conditions have come to be, we give attention to a pluralistic landscape approach and a coevolutionary reading of planning, policy, science and landscapes to discuss the conservation challenges presented by “Delta as an Evolving Place”. We suggest that for rewilding efforts to be successful in the Delta, a range of proactive, opportunistic, grounded and participatory tactics will be required to shift towards a more socio-ecological approach.

  9. (N+1)-dimensional Lorentzian evolving wormholes supported by polytropic matter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cataldo, Mauricio [Universidad del Bio-Bio, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias, Concepcion (Chile); Arostica, Fernanda; Bahamonde, Sebastian [Universidad de Concepcion, Departamento de Fisica, Concepcion (Chile)

    2013-08-15

    In this paper we study (N+1)-dimensional evolving wormholes supported by energy satisfying a polytropic equation of state. The considered evolving wormhole models are described by a constant redshift function and generalizes the standard flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime. The polytropic equation of state allows us to consider in (3+1)-dimensions generalizations of the phantom energy and the generalized Chaplygin gas sources. (orig.)

  10. Climate in Context - How partnerships evolve in regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    In 2015, NOAA's RISA program will celebrate its 20th year of exploration in the development of usable climate information. In the mid-1990s, a vision emerged to develop interdisciplinary research efforts at the regional scale for several important reasons. Recognizable climate patterns, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), emerge at the regional level where our understanding of observations and models coalesce. Critical resources for society are managed in a context of regional systems, such as water supply and human populations. Multiple scales of governance (local, state, and federal) with complex institutional relationships can be examined across a region. Climate information (i.e. data, science, research etc) developed within these contexts has greater potential for use. All of this work rests on a foundation of iterative engagement between scientists and decision makers. Throughout these interactions, RISAs have navigated diverse politics, extreme events and disasters, socio-economic and ecological disruptions, and advances in both science and technology. Our understanding of information needs is evolving into a richer understanding of complex institutional, legal, political, and cultural contexts within which people can use science to make informed decisions. The outcome of RISA work includes both cases where climate information was used in decisions and cases where capacity for using climate information and making climate resilient decisions has increased over time. In addition to balancing supply and demand of scientific information, RISAs are engaged in a social process of reconciling climate information use with important drivers of society. Because partnerships are critical for sustained engagement, and because engagement is critically important to the use of science, the rapid development of new capacity in regionally-based science programs focused on providing climate decision support is both needed and challenging. New actors can bolster

  11. Modular Orbital Demonstration of an Evolvable Space Telescope (MODEST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldauf, Brian; Conti, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    The "Search for Life" via imaging of exoplanets is a mission that requires extremely stable telescopes with apertures in the 10 m to 20 m range. The High Definition Space Telescope (HDST) envisioned for this mission would have an aperture >10 m, which is a larger payload than what can be delivered to space using a single launch vehicle. Building and assembling the mirror segments enabling large telescopes will likely require multiple launches and assembly in space. Space-based telescopes with large apertures will require major changes to system architectures.The Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) for HDST is a primary mission cost driver. Enabling and affordable solutions for this next generation of large aperture space-based telescope are needed.This paper reports on the concept for the Modular Orbital Demonstration of an Evolvable Space Telescope (MODEST), which demonstrates on-orbit robotic and/or astronaut assembly of a precision optical telescope in space. It will also facilitate demonstration of active correction of phase and mirror shape. MODEST is proposed to be delivered to the ISS using standard Express Logistics Carriers (ELCs) and can mounted to one of a variety of ISS pallets. Post-assembly value includes space, ground, and environmental studies, and a testbed for new instruments. This demonstration program for next generation mirror technology provides significant risk reduction and demonstrates the technology in a six-mirror phased telescope. Other key features of the demonstration include the use of an active primary optical surface with wavefront feedback control that allows on-orbit optimization and demonstration of precise surface control to meet optical system wavefront and stability requirements.MODEST will also be used to evaluate advances in lightweight mirror and metering structure materials such as SiC or Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer that have excellent mechanical and thermal properties, e.g. high stiffness, high modulus, high thermal

  12. Rapid deuterium exchange-in time for probing conformational change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dharmasiri, K.; Smith, D.L.

    1995-01-01

    Isotopic exchange of protein backbone amide hydrogens has been used extensively as a sensitive probe of protein structure. One of the salient features of hydrogen exchange is the vast range of exchange rates in one protein. Isotopic exchange methods have been used to study the structural features including protein folding and unfolding (1), functionally different forms of proteins (2), protein-protein complexation (3), and protein stability parameter. Many backbone amide protons that are surface accessible and are not involved in hydrogen bonding undergo rapid deuterium exchange. In order to study, fast exchanging amide protons, fast exchange-in times are necessary

  13. A new evolutionary system for evolving artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, X; Liu, Y

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents a new evolutionary system, i.e., EPNet, for evolving artificial neural networks (ANNs). The evolutionary algorithm used in EPNet is based on Fogel's evolutionary programming (EP). Unlike most previous studies on evolving ANN's, this paper puts its emphasis on evolving ANN's behaviors. Five mutation operators proposed in EPNet reflect such an emphasis on evolving behaviors. Close behavioral links between parents and their offspring are maintained by various mutations, such as partial training and node splitting. EPNet evolves ANN's architectures and connection weights (including biases) simultaneously in order to reduce the noise in fitness evaluation. The parsimony of evolved ANN's is encouraged by preferring node/connection deletion to addition. EPNet has been tested on a number of benchmark problems in machine learning and ANNs, such as the parity problem, the medical diagnosis problems, the Australian credit card assessment problem, and the Mackey-Glass time series prediction problem. The experimental results show that EPNet can produce very compact ANNs with good generalization ability in comparison with other algorithms.

  14. The protein protocols handbook

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Walker, John M

    2002-01-01

    .... The new chapters cover with many rapidly developing areas, particularly the application of mass spectrometry in protein characterization, as well as the now well-established 2-D PAGE technique in proteomics...

  15. Extra pulmonary tuberculosis: Rapid identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis grown in Mycobacterium growth indicator tube 960 and Lowenstein-Jensen media, employing Standard diagnostics Bioline Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein 64 antigen detection kit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Kandhakumari

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Investigation of extra pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB in and around Pondicherry is being carried out since August 2011 in our tertiary care super specialty hospital. Objectives: To compare the rapid Kit SD Bio-Line MPT 64 Ag with conventional and time consuming biochemical tests. Confirmation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis at a reasonable time frame is the main thrust. Materials and Methods: Thirty three Mycobacterium tuberculosis and four Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM grown in MGIT960 system/Lowenstein-Jensen media (LJ were examined by the rapid MPT 64 antigen detection as well as a battery of conventional tests like niacin, nitrate reduction, paraminobenzoic acid susceptibility and cord formation. Results and Conclusion: . Both the rapid kit and conventional tests correctly identified 33 M.tuberculosis isolates. Keeping conventional identification as reference, sensitivity and specificity for rapid kit was 100%. Rapid kit which takes only 15 minutes is accurate, cost effective, and facilitates early treatment for these EPTB patients, whose clinical specimens are paucibacillary.

  16. Effective but costly, evolved mechanisms of defense against a virulent opportunistic pathogen in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixin H Ye

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila harbor substantial genetic variation for antibacterial defense, and investment in immunity is thought to involve a costly trade-off with life history traits, including development, life span, and reproduction. To understand the way in which insects invest in fighting bacterial infection, we selected for survival following systemic infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster over 10 generations. We then examined genome-wide changes in expression in the selected flies relative to unselected controls, both of which had been infected with the pathogen. This powerful combination of techniques allowed us to specifically identify the genetic basis of the evolved immune response. In response to selection, population-level survivorship to infection increased from 15% to 70%. The evolved capacity for defense was costly, however, as evidenced by reduced longevity and larval viability and a rapid loss of the trait once selection pressure was removed. Counter to expectation, we observed more rapid developmental rates in the selected flies. Selection-associated changes in expression of genes with dual involvement in developmental and immune pathways suggest pleiotropy as a possible mechanism for the positive correlation. We also found that both the Toll and the Imd pathways work synergistically to limit infectivity and that cellular immunity plays a more critical role in overcoming P. aeruginosa infection than previously reported. This work reveals novel pathways by which Drosophila can survive infection with a virulent pathogen that may be rare in wild populations, however, due to their cost.

  17. Whole-genome sequencing of a laboratory-evolved yeast strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunham Maitreya J

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Experimental evolution of microbial populations provides a unique opportunity to study evolutionary adaptation in response to controlled selective pressures. However, until recently it has been difficult to identify the precise genetic changes underlying adaptation at a genome-wide scale. New DNA sequencing technologies now allow the genome of parental and evolved strains of microorganisms to be rapidly determined. Results We sequenced >93.5% of the genome of a laboratory-evolved strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its ancestor at >28× depth. Both single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number amplifications were found, with specific gains over array-based methodologies previously used to analyze these genomes. Applying a segmentation algorithm to quantify structural changes, we determined the approximate genomic boundaries of a 5× gene amplification. These boundaries guided the recovery of breakpoint sequences, which provide insights into the nature of a complex genomic rearrangement. Conclusions This study suggests that whole-genome sequencing can provide a rapid approach to uncover the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptations, with further applications in the study of laboratory selections and mutagenesis screens. In addition, we show how single-end, short read sequencing data can provide detailed information about structural rearrangements, and generate predictions about the genomic features and processes that underlie genome plasticity.

  18. Rapid Prototyping Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The ARDEC Rapid Prototyping (RP) Laboratory was established in December 1992 to provide low cost RP capabilities to the ARDEC engineering community. The Stratasys,...

  19. Páramo is the world’s fastest evolving and coolest biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago eMadriñán

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes that cause speciation is a key aim of evolutionary biology. Lineages or biomes that exhibit recent and rapid diversification are ideal model systems for determining these processes. Species rich biomes reported to be of relatively recent origin, i.e., since the beginning of the Miocene, include Mediterranean ecosystems such as the California Floristic Province, oceanic islands such as the Hawaiian archipelago and the Neotropical high elevation ecosystem of the Páramos. Páramos constitute grasslands above the forest tree-line (at elevations of c. 2800–4700 m with high species endemism. Organisms that occupy this ecosystem are a likely product of unique adaptations to an extreme environment that evolved during the last three to five million years when the Andes reached an altitude that was capable of sustaining this type of vegetation. We compared net diversification rates of lineages in fast evolving biomes using 73 dated molecular phylogenies. Based on our sample, we demonstrate that average net diversification rates of Páramo plant lineages are faster than those of other reportedly fast evolving hotspots and that the faster evolving lineages are more likely to be found in Páramos than the other hotspots. Páramos therefore represent the ideal model system for studying diversification processes. Most of the speciation events that we observed in the Páramos (144 out of 177 occurred during the Pleistocene possibly due to the effects of species range contraction and expansion that may have resulted from the well-documented climatic changes during that period. Understanding these effects will assist with efforts to determine how future climatic changes will impact plant populations.

  20. ZP Domain Proteins in the Abalone Egg Coat Include a Paralog of VERL under Positive Selection That Binds Lysin and 18-kDa Sperm Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aagaard, Jan E.; Vacquier, Victor D.; MacCoss, Michael J.; Swanson, Willie J.

    2010-01-01

    Identifying fertilization molecules is key to our understanding of reproductive biology, yet only a few examples of interacting sperm and egg proteins are known. One of the best characterized comes from the invertebrate archeogastropod abalone (Haliotis spp.), where sperm lysin mediates passage through the protective egg vitelline envelope (VE) by binding to the VE protein vitelline envelope receptor for lysin (VERL). Rapid adaptive divergence of abalone lysin and VERL are an example of positive selection on interacting fertilization proteins contributing to reproductive isolation. Previously, we characterized a subset of the abalone VE proteins that share a structural feature, the zona pellucida (ZP) domain, which is common to VERL and the egg envelopes of vertebrates. Here, we use additional expressed sequence tag sequencing and shotgun proteomics to characterize this family of proteins in the abalone egg VE. We expand 3-fold the number of known ZP domain proteins present within the VE (now 30 in total) and identify a paralog of VERL (vitelline envelope zona pellucida domain protein [VEZP] 14) that contains a putative lysin-binding motif. We find that, like VERL, the divergence of VEZP14 among abalone species is driven by positive selection on the lysin-binding motif alone and that these paralogous egg VE proteins bind a similar set of sperm proteins including a rapidly evolving 18-kDa paralog of lysin, which may mediate sperm–egg fusion. This work identifies an egg coat paralog of VERL under positive selection and the candidate sperm proteins with which it may interact during abalone fertilization. PMID:19767347

  1. Rapid Tooling via Stereolithography

    OpenAIRE

    Montgomery, Eva

    2006-01-01

    Approximately three years ago, composite stereolithography (SL) resins were introduced to the marketplace, offering performance features beyond what traditional SL resins could offer. In particular, the high heat deflection temperatures and high stiffness of these highly filled resins have opened the door to several new rapid prototyping (RP) applications, including wind tunnel test modelling and, more recently, rapid tooling.

  2. Modeling and clustering users with evolving profiles in usage streams

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Chongsheng

    2012-09-01

    Today, there is an increasing need of data stream mining technology to discover important patterns on the fly. Existing data stream models and algorithms commonly assume that users\\' records or profiles in data streams will not be updated or revised once they arrive. Nevertheless, in various applications such asWeb usage, the records/profiles of the users can evolve along time. This kind of streaming data evolves in two forms, the streaming of tuples or transactions as in the case of traditional data streams, and more importantly, the evolving of user records/profiles inside the streams. Such data streams bring difficulties on modeling and clustering for exploring users\\' behaviors. In this paper, we propose three models to summarize this kind of data streams, which are the batch model, the Evolving Objects (EO) model and the Dynamic Data Stream (DDS) model. Through creating, updating and deleting user profiles, these models summarize the behaviors of each user as a profile object. Based upon these models, clustering algorithms are employed to discover interesting user groups from the profile objects. We have evaluated all the proposed models on a large real-world data set, showing that the DDS model summarizes the data streams with evolving tuples more efficiently and effectively, and provides better basis for clustering users than the other two models. © 2012 IEEE.

  3. Modeling and clustering users with evolving profiles in usage streams

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Chongsheng; Masseglia, Florent; Zhang, Xiangliang

    2012-01-01

    Today, there is an increasing need of data stream mining technology to discover important patterns on the fly. Existing data stream models and algorithms commonly assume that users' records or profiles in data streams will not be updated or revised once they arrive. Nevertheless, in various applications such asWeb usage, the records/profiles of the users can evolve along time. This kind of streaming data evolves in two forms, the streaming of tuples or transactions as in the case of traditional data streams, and more importantly, the evolving of user records/profiles inside the streams. Such data streams bring difficulties on modeling and clustering for exploring users' behaviors. In this paper, we propose three models to summarize this kind of data streams, which are the batch model, the Evolving Objects (EO) model and the Dynamic Data Stream (DDS) model. Through creating, updating and deleting user profiles, these models summarize the behaviors of each user as a profile object. Based upon these models, clustering algorithms are employed to discover interesting user groups from the profile objects. We have evaluated all the proposed models on a large real-world data set, showing that the DDS model summarizes the data streams with evolving tuples more efficiently and effectively, and provides better basis for clustering users than the other two models. © 2012 IEEE.

  4. Protein dimerization and oligomerization in biology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Matthews, Jacqueline M

    2012-01-01

    .... However, protein function is so often linked to both homo- and hetero-oligomerization and many heterologous interactions likely evolved from homologous interaction, so this volume also covers many...

  5. Rapid improvement teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemi, F; Moore, S; Headrick, L; Neuhauser, D; Hekelman, F; Kizys, N

    1998-03-01

    Suggestions, most of which are supported by empirical studies, are provided on how total quality management (TQM) teams can be used to bring about faster organizationwide improvements. Ideas are offered on how to identify the right problem, have rapid meetings, plan rapidly, collect data rapidly, and make rapid whole-system changes. Suggestions for identifying the right problem include (1) postpone benchmarking when problems are obvious, (2) define the problem in terms of customer experience so as not to blame employees nor embed a solution in the problem statement, (3) communicate with the rest of the organization from the start, (4) state the problem from different perspectives, and (5) break large problems into smaller units. Suggestions for having rapid meetings include (1) choose a nonparticipating facilitator to expedite meetings, (2) meet with each team member before the team meeting, (3) postpone evaluation of ideas, and (4) rethink conclusions of a meeting before acting on them. Suggestions for rapid planning include reducing time spent on flowcharting by focusing on the future, not the present. Suggestions for rapid data collection include (1) sample patients for surveys, (2) rely on numerical estimates by process owners, and (3) plan for rapid data collection. Suggestions for rapid organizationwide implementation include (1) change membership on cross-functional teams, (2) get outside perspectives, (3) use unfolding storyboards, and (4) go beyond self-interest to motivate lasting change in the organization. Additional empirical investigations of time saved as a consequence of the strategies provided are needed. If organizations solve their problems rapidly, fewer unresolved problems may remain.

  6. Plant MAPK cascades: Just rapid signaling modules?

    KAUST Repository

    Boudsocq, Marie; Danquah, Agyemang; Zé licourt, Axel de; Hirt, Heribert; Colcombet, Jean

    2015-01-01

    rapid MAPK activation, we showed that the activation of the new MAPK module is delayed and relies on the MAP3K protein synthesis. In this addendum, we discuss the role of this original and unexpected activation mechanism of MAPK cascades which suggests

  7. FY1995 evolvable hardware chip; 1995 nendo shinkasuru hardware chip

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    This project aims at the development of 'Evolvable Hardware' (EHW) which can adapt its hardware structure to the environment to attain better hardware performance, under the control of genetic algorithms. EHW is a key technology to explore the new application area requiring real-time performance and on-line adaptation. 1. Development of EHW-LSI for function level hardware evolution, which includes 15 DSPs in one chip. 2. Application of the EHW to the practical industrial applications such as data compression, ATM control, digital mobile communication. 3. Two patents : (1) the architecture and the processing method for programmable EHW-LSI. (2) The method of data compression for loss-less data, using EHW. 4. The first international conference for evolvable hardware was held by authors: Intl. Conf. on Evolvable Systems (ICES96). It was determined at ICES96 that ICES will be held every two years between Japan and Europe. So the new society has been established by us. (NEDO)

  8. Evolving Systems: An Outcome of Fondest Hopes and Wildest Dreams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Susan A.; Balas, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    New theory is presented for evolving systems, which are autonomously controlled subsystems that self-assemble into a new evolved system with a higher purpose. Evolving systems of aerospace structures often require additional control when assembling to maintain stability during the entire evolution process. This is the concept of Adaptive Key Component Control that operates through one specific component to maintain stability during the evolution. In addition, this control must often overcome persistent disturbances that occur while the evolution is in progress. Theoretical results will be presented for Adaptive Key Component control for persistent disturbance rejection. An illustrative example will demonstrate the Adaptive Key Component controller on a system composed of rigid body and flexible body modes.

  9. Qualitative Functional Decomposition Analysis of Evolved Neuromorphic Flight Controllers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjay K. Boddhu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the previous work, it was demonstrated that one can effectively employ CTRNN-EH (a neuromorphic variant of EH method methodology to evolve neuromorphic flight controllers for a flapping wing robot. This paper describes a novel frequency grouping-based analysis technique, developed to qualitatively decompose the evolved controllers into explainable functional control blocks. A summary of the previous work related to evolving flight controllers for two categories of the controller types, called autonomous and nonautonomous controllers, is provided, and the applicability of the newly developed decomposition analysis for both controller categories is demonstrated. Further, the paper concludes with appropriate discussion of ongoing work and implications for possible future work related to employing the CTRNN-EH methodology and the decomposition analysis techniques presented in this paper.

  10. Cosmic Biology How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Louis Neil

    2011-01-01

    It is very unlikely that little green humanoids are living on Mars. But what are the possible life forms that might exist in our Solar System and how might they have evolved? This uniquely authoritative and imaginative book on the possibilties for alien life addresses the intrinsic interest that we have about life on other worlds - reinforcing some of our assumptions and reshaping others. It introduces new possibilties that will enlarge our understanding of the issue overall, in particular the enormous range of environments and planetary conditions within which life might evolve. Cosmic Biology -discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might have evolved; -explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely that its alternatives, but is not the only possiblity; -applies the principles of planetary science and modern biology to evolutionary scenarios on other worlds; -looks at the future fates of living systems, including those on Earth.

  11. Computational Genetic Regulatory Networks Evolvable, Self-organizing Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Knabe, Johannes F

    2013-01-01

    Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs) in biological organisms are primary engines for cells to enact their engagements with environments, via incessant, continually active coupling. In differentiated multicellular organisms, tremendous complexity has arisen in the course of evolution of life on earth. Engineering and science have so far achieved no working system that can compare with this complexity, depth and scope of organization. Abstracting the dynamics of genetic regulatory control to a computational framework in which artificial GRNs in artificial simulated cells differentiate while connected in a changing topology, it is possible to apply Darwinian evolution in silico to study the capacity of such developmental/differentiated GRNs to evolve. In this volume an evolutionary GRN paradigm is investigated for its evolvability and robustness in models of biological clocks, in simple differentiated multicellularity, and in evolving artificial developing 'organisms' which grow and express an ontogeny starting fr...

  12. Development of a rapid in vitro protein refolding assay which discriminates between peptide-bound and peptide-free forms of recombinant porcine major histocompatibility class I complex (SLA-I)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oleksiewicz, M.B.; Kristensen, B.; Ladekjaer-Mikkelsen, A.S.

    2002-01-01

    The extracellular domains of swine leukocyte antigen class I (SLA-I, major histocompatibility complex protein class 1) were cloned and sequenced for two haplotypes (114 and H7) which do not share any alleles based on serological typing, and which are the most important in Danish farmed pigs....... The extracellular domain of SLA-I was connected to porcine beta2 microglobulin by glycine-rich linkers. The engineered sin.-le-chain proteins, consisting of fused SLA-I and beta2 microglobulin, were overexpressed as inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli. Also, variants were made of the single-chain proteins......, by linking them through glycine-rich linkers to peptides representing T-cell epitopes from classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). An in vitro refold assay was developed, using a monoclonal anti-SLA antibody (PT85A) to gauge refolding. The single best-defined, SLA...

  13. Genetic Correlations Greatly Increase Mutational Robustness and Can Both Reduce and Enhance Evolvability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam F Greenbury

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Mutational neighbourhoods in genotype-phenotype (GP maps are widely believed to be more likely to share characteristics than expected from random chance. Such genetic correlations should strongly influence evolutionary dynamics. We explore and quantify these intuitions by comparing three GP maps-a model for RNA secondary structure, the HP model for protein tertiary structure, and the Polyomino model for protein quaternary structure-to a simple random null model that maintains the number of genotypes mapping to each phenotype, but assigns genotypes randomly. The mutational neighbourhood of a genotype in these GP maps is much more likely to contain genotypes mapping to the same phenotype than in the random null model. Such neutral correlations can be quantified by the robustness to mutations, which can be many orders of magnitude larger than that of the null model, and crucially, above the critical threshold for the formation of large neutral networks of mutationally connected genotypes which enhance the capacity for the exploration of phenotypic novelty. Thus neutral correlations increase evolvability. We also study non-neutral correlations: Compared to the null model, i If a particular (non-neutral phenotype is found once in the 1-mutation neighbourhood of a genotype, then the chance of finding that phenotype multiple times in this neighbourhood is larger than expected; ii If two genotypes are connected by a single neutral mutation, then their respective non-neutral 1-mutation neighbourhoods are more likely to be similar; iii If a genotype maps to a folding or self-assembling phenotype, then its non-neutral neighbours are less likely to be a potentially deleterious non-folding or non-assembling phenotype. Non-neutral correlations of type i and ii reduce the rate at which new phenotypes can be found by neutral exp