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Sample records for rapidly evolving proteins

  1. Protein coalitions in a core mammalian biochemical network linked by rapidly evolving proteins

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    Tsoka Sophia

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cellular ATP levels are generated by glucose-stimulated mitochondrial metabolism and determine metabolic responses, such as glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS from the β-cells of pancreatic islets. We describe an analysis of the evolutionary processes affecting the core enzymes involved in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in mammals. The proteins involved in this system belong to ancient enzymatic pathways: glycolysis, the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Results We identify two sets of proteins, or protein coalitions, in this group of 77 enzymes with distinct evolutionary patterns. Members of the glycolysis, TCA cycle, metabolite transport, pyruvate and NADH shuttles have low rates of protein sequence evolution, as inferred from a human-mouse comparison, and relatively high rates of evolutionary gene duplication. Respiratory chain and glutathione pathway proteins evolve faster, exhibiting lower rates of gene duplication. A small number of proteins in the system evolve significantly faster than co-pathway members and may serve as rapidly evolving adapters, linking groups of co-evolving genes. Conclusions Our results provide insights into the evolution of the involved proteins. We find evidence for two coalitions of proteins and the role of co-adaptation in protein evolution is identified and could be used in future research within a functional context.

  2. 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 (venoms. Protein evolutionary rates were positively correlated with transcriptomic and proteomic abundances, and the most abundant proteins showed positive selection. This pattern holds with the addition of four other published crotaline transcriptomes, from two more genera, and also for the recently published 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

  3. Developing Collective Learning Extension for Rapidly Evolving Information System Courses

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    Agarwal, Nitin; Ahmed, Faysal

    2017-01-01

    Due to rapidly evolving Information System (IS) technologies, instructors find themselves stuck in the constant game of catching up. On the same hand students find their skills obsolete almost as soon as they graduate. As part of IS curriculum and education, we need to emphasize more on teaching the students "how to learn" while keeping…

  4. Evolvability of Amyloidogenic Proteins in Human Brain

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    Hashimoto, Makoto; Ho, Gilbert; Sugama, Shuei; Takamatsu, Yoshiki; Shimizu, Yuka; Takenouchi, Takato; Waragai, Masaaki; Masliah, Eliezer

    2018-01-01

     Currently, the physiological roles of amyloidogenic proteins (APs) in human brain, such as amyloid-β and α-synuclein, are elusive. Given that many APs arose by gene duplication and have been resistant against the pressures of natural selection, APs may be associated with some functions that are advantageous for survival of offspring. Nonetheless, evolvability is the sole physiological quality of APs that has been characterized in microorganisms such as yeast. Since yeast and human brain may share similar strategies in coping with diverse range of critical environmental stresses, the objective of this paper was to discuss the potential role of evolvability of APs in aging-associated neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Given the heterogeneity of APs in terms of structure and cytotoxicity, it is argued that APs might be involved in preconditioning against diverse stresses in human brain. It is further speculated that these stress-related APs, most likely protofibrillar forms, might be transmitted to offspring via the germline, conferring preconditioning against forthcoming stresses. Thus, APs might represent a vehicle for the inheritance of the acquired characteristics against environmental stresses. Curiously, such a characteristic of APs is reminiscent of Charles Darwin’s ‘gemmules’, imagined molecules of heritability described in his pangenesis theory. We propose that evolvability might be a physiological function of APs during the reproductive stage and neurodegenerative diseases could be a by-product effect manifested later in aging. Collectively, our evolvability hypothesis may play a complementary role in the pathophysiology of APs with the conventional amyloid cascade hypothesis. PMID:29439348

  5. A Rapidly Evolving Active Region NOAA 8032 observed on April ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    1997-04-15

    The active region NOAA 8032 of April 15, 1997 was observed to evolve rapidly. The GOES X-ray data showed a number of sub-flares and two C-class flares during the 8-9 hours of its evolution. The magnetic evolution of this region is studied to ascertain its role in flare production. Large changes were observed in magnetic ...

  6. ON THE NATURE OF RAPIDLY ROTATING SINGLE EVOLVED STARS

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    Da Silva, R. Rodrigues; Canto Martins, B. L.; De Medeiros, J. R., E-mail: renan@dfte.ufrn.br [Departamento de Física Teórica e Experimental, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Campus Universitário, Natal RN (Brazil)

    2015-03-01

    We present an analysis of the nature of the rapidly rotating, apparently single giant based on rotational and radial velocity measurements carried out by the CORAVEL spectrometers. From the analyzed sample, composed of 2010 spectroscopic, apparently single, evolved stars of luminosity classes IV, III, II, and Ib with spectral types G and K, we classified 30 stars that presented unusual, moderate to rapid rotation. This work reports, for the first time, the presence of these abnormal rotators among subgiant, bright giant, and Ib supergiant stars. To date, this class of stars was reported only among giant stars of luminosity class III. Most of these abnormal rotators present an IRAS infrared excess, which, in principle, can be related to dust around these stars.

  7. Microsatellites evolve more rapidly in humans than in chimpanzees

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    Rubinsztein, D.C.; Leggo, J.; Amos, W. [Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)

    1995-12-10

    Microsatellites are highly polymorphic markers consisting of varying numbers of tandem repeats. At different loci, these repeats can consist of one to five nucleotides. Microsatellites have been used in many fields of genetics, including genetic mapping, linkage disequilibrium analyses, forensic studies, and population genetics. It is important that we understand their mutational processes better so that they can be exploited optimally for studies of human diversity and evolutionary genetics. We have analyzed 24 microsatellite loci in chimpanzees, East Anglians, and Sub-Saharan Africans. The stepwise-weighted genetic distances between the humans and the chimpanzees and between the two human populations were calculated according to the method described by Deka et al. The ratio of the genetic distances between the chimpanzees and the humans relative to that between the Africans and the East Anglians was more than 10 times smaller than expected. This suggests that microsatellites have evolved more rapidly in humans than in chimpanzees. 12 refs., 1 tab.

  8. Histone variant innovation in a rapidly evolving chordate lineage

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    Jansen Pascal WTC

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Histone variants alter the composition of nucleosomes and play crucial roles in transcription, chromosome segregation, DNA repair, and sperm compaction. Modification of metazoan histone variant lineages occurs on a background of genome architecture that shows global similarities from sponges to vertebrates, but the urochordate, Oikopleura dioica, a member of the sister group to vertebrates, exhibits profound modification of this ancestral architecture. Results We show that a histone complement of 47 gene loci encodes 31 histone variants, grouped in distinct sets of developmental expression profiles throughout the life cycle. A particularly diverse array of 15 male-specific histone variants was uncovered, including a testes-specific H4t, the first metazoan H4 sequence variant reported. Universal histone variants H3.3, CenH3, and H2A.Z are present but O. dioica lacks homologs of macroH2A and H2AX. The genome encodes many H2A and H2B variants and the repertoire of H2A.Z isoforms is expanded through alternative splicing, incrementally regulating the number of acetylatable lysine residues in the functionally important N-terminal "charge patch". Mass spectrometry identified 40 acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation posttranslational modifications (PTMs and showed that hallmark PTMs of "active" and "repressive" chromatin were present in O. dioica. No obvious reduction in silent heterochromatic marks was observed despite high gene density in this extraordinarily compacted chordate genome. Conclusions These results show that histone gene complements and their organization differ considerably even over modest phylogenetic distances. Substantial innovation among all core and linker histone variants has evolved in concert with adaptation of specific life history traits in this rapidly evolving chordate lineage.

  9. Multivariate sexual selection in a rapidly evolving speciation phenotype.

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    Oh, Kevin P; Shaw, Kerry L

    2013-06-22

    Estimating the fitness surface of rapidly evolving secondary sexual traits can elucidate the origins of sexual isolation and thus speciation. Evidence suggests that sexual selection is highly complex in nature, often acting on multivariate sexual characters that sometimes include non-heritable components of variation, thus presenting a challenge for predicting patterns of sexual trait evolution. Laupala crickets have undergone an explosive species radiation marked by divergence in male courtship song and associated female preferences, yet patterns of sexual selection that might explain this diversification remain unknown. We used female phonotaxis trials to estimate the fitness surface for acoustic characters within one population of Laupala cerasina, a species with marked geographical variation in male song and female preferences. Results suggested significant directional sexual selection on three major song traits, while canonical rotation of the matrix of nonlinear selection coefficients (γ) revealed the presence of significant convex (stabilizing) sexual selection along combinations of characters. Analysis of song variation within and among males indicated significantly higher repeatability along the canonical axis of greatest stabilizing selection than along the axis of greatest linear selection. These results are largely consistent with patterns of song divergence that characterize speciation and suggest that different song characters have the potential to indicate distinct information to females during courtship.

  10. Reproductive behaviour evolves rapidly when intralocus sexual conflict is removed.

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    Stéphanie Bedhomme

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Intralocus sexual conflict can inhibit the evolution of each sex towards its own fitness optimum. In a previous study, we confirmed this prediction through the experimental removal of female selection pressures in Drosophila melanogaster, achieved by limiting the expression of all major chromosomes to males. Compared to the control populations (C(1-4 where the genomes are exposed to selection in both sexes, the populations with male-limited genomes (ML(1-4 showed rapid increases in male fitness, whereas the fitness of females expressing ML-evolved chromosomes decreased. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we examine the behavioural phenotype underlying this sexual antagonism. We show that males expressing the ML genomes have a reduced courtship level but acquire the same number of matings. On the other hand, our data suggest that females expressing the ML genomes had reduced attractiveness, stimulating a lower rate of courtship from males. Moreover, females expressing ML genomes tend to display reduced yeast-feeding behaviour, which is probably linked to the reduction of their fecundity. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that reproductive behaviour is shaped by opposing selection on males and females, and that loci influencing attractiveness and foraging were polymorphic for alleles with sexually antagonistic expression patterns prior to ML selection. Hence, intralocus sexual conflict appears to play a role in the evolution of a wide range of fitness-related traits and may be a powerful mechanism for the maintenance of genetic variation in fitness.

  11. Protein structural modularity and robustness are associated with evolvability.

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    Rorick, Mary M; Wagner, Günter P

    2011-01-01

    Theory suggests that biological modularity and robustness allow for maintenance of fitness under mutational change, and when this change is adaptive, for evolvability. Empirical demonstrations that these traits promote evolvability in nature remain scant however. This is in part because modularity, robustness, and evolvability are difficult to define and measure in real biological systems. Here, we address whether structural modularity and/or robustness confer evolvability at the level of proteins by looking for associations between indices of protein structural modularity, structural robustness, and evolvability. We propose a novel index for protein structural modularity: the number of regular secondary structure elements (helices and strands) divided by the number of residues in the structure. We index protein evolvability as the proportion of sites with evidence of being under positive selection multiplied by the average rate of adaptive evolution at these sites, and we measure this as an average over a phylogeny of 25 mammalian species. We use contact density as an index of protein designability, and thus, structural robustness. We find that protein evolvability is positively associated with structural modularity as well as structural robustness and that the effect of structural modularity on evolvability is independent of the structural robustness index. We interpret these associations to be the result of reduced constraints on amino acid substitutions in highly modular and robust protein structures, which results in faster adaptation through natural selection.

  12. Protein Biophysics Explains Why Highly Abundant Proteins Evolve Slowly

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    Adrian W.R. Serohijos

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The consistent observation across all kingdoms of life that highly abundant proteins evolve slowly demonstrates that cellular abundance is a key determinant of protein evolutionary rate. However, other empirical findings, such as the broad distribution of evolutionary rates, suggest that additional variables determine the rate of protein evolution. Here, we report that under the global selection against the cytotoxic effects of misfolded proteins, folding stability (ΔG, simultaneous with abundance, is a causal variable of evolutionary rate. Using both theoretical analysis and multiscale simulations, we demonstrate that the anticorrelation between the premutation ΔG and the arising mutational effect (ΔΔG, purely biophysical in origin, is a necessary requirement for abundance–evolutionary rate covariation. Additionally, we predict and demonstrate in bacteria that the strength of abundance–evolutionary rate correlation depends on the divergence time separating reference genomes. Altogether, these results highlight the intrinsic role of protein biophysics in the emerging universal patterns of molecular evolution.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. How rapidly does the human mitochondrial genome evolve?

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    Howell, N.; Kubacka, I. [Univ. of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX (United States); Mackey, D.A. [Univ. of Melbourne (Australia)]|[Univ. of Tasmania, Launceston (Australia)

    1996-09-01

    The results of an empirical nucleotide-sequencing approach indicate that the evolution of the human mitochondrial noncoding D-loop is both more rapid and more complex than is revealed by standard phylogenetic approaches. The nucleotide sequence of the D-loop region of the mitochondrial genome was determined for 45 members of a large matrilineal Leber hereditary optic neuropathy pedigree. Two germ-line mutations have arisen in members of one branch of the family, thereby leading to triplasmic descendants with three mitochondrial genotypes. Segregation toward the homoplasmic state can occur within a single generation in some of these descendants, a result that suggests rapid fixation of mitochondrial mutations as a result of developmental bottlenecking. However, slow segregation was observed in other offspring, and therefore no single or simple pattern of segregation can be generalized from the available data. Evidence for rare mtDNA recombination within the D-loop was obtained for one family member. In addition to these germ-line mutations, a somatic mutation was found in the D-loop of one family member. When this genealogical approach was applied to the nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial coding regions, the results again indicated a very rapid rate of evolution. 44 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  16. Genetic basis for rapidly evolved tolerance in the wild ...

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    Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) residing in some urban and industrialized estuaries of the US eastern seaboard demonstrate recently evolved and extreme tolerance to toxic aryl hydrocarbon pollutants, characterized as dioxin-like compounds (DLCs). Here we provide an unusually comprehensive accounting (69%) through Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) analysis of the genetic basis for DLC tolerance in killifish inhabiting an urban estuary contaminated with PCB congeners, the most toxic of which are DLCs. Consistent with mechanistic knowledge of DLC toxicity in fish and other vertebrates, the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (ahr2) region accounts for 17% of trait variation; however, QTLs on independent linkage groups and their interactions have even greater explanatory power (44%). QTLs interpreted within the context of recently available Fundulus genomic resources and shared synteny among fish species suggest adaptation via inter-acting components of a complex stress response network. Some QTLs were also enriched in other killifish populations characterized as DLC tolerant and residing in distant urban estuaries contaminated with unique mixtures of pollutants. Together, our results suggest that DLC tolerance in killifish represents an emerging example of parallel contemporary evolution that has been driven by intense human-mediated selection on natural populations. This manuscript describes experimental studies that contribute to our understanding of the ecological

  17. Tissue Microarray: A rapidly evolving diagnostic and research tool

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    Jawhar, Nazar M.T.

    2009-01-01

    Tissue microarray is a recent innovation in the field of pathology. A microarray contains many small representative tissue samples from hundreds of different cases assembled on a single histologic slide, and therefore allows high throughput analysis of multiple specimens at the same time. Tissue microarrays are paraffin blocks produced by extracting cylindrical tissue cores from different paraffin donor blocks and re-embedding these into a single recipient (microarray) block at defined array coordinates. Using this technique, up to 1000 or more tissue samples can be arrayed into a single paraffin block. It can permit simultaneous analysis of molecular targets at the DNA, mRNA, and protein levels under identical, standardized conditions on a single glass slide, and also provide maximal preservation and use of limited and irreplaceable archival tissue samples. This versatile technique, in which data analysis is automated facilitates retrospective and prospective human tissue studies. It is a practical and effective tool for high-throughput molecular analysis of tissues that is helping to identify new diagnostic and prognostic markers and targets in human cancers, and has a range of potential applications in basic research, prognostic oncology and drug discovery. This article summarizes the technical aspects of tissue microarray construction and sectioning, advantages, application, and limitations. PMID:19318744

  18. Rodent-specific alternative exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in paralogs

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    Mironov Andrey A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing is an important mechanism for generating functional and evolutionary diversity of proteins in eukaryotes. Here, we studied the frequency and functionality of recently gained, rodent-specific alternative exons. Results We projected the data about alternative splicing of mouse genes to the rat, human, and dog genomes, and identified exons conserved in the rat genome, but missing in more distant genomes. We estimated the frequency of rodent-specific exons while controlling for possible residual conservation of spurious exons. The frequency of rodent-specific exons is higher among predominantly skipped exons and exons disrupting the reading frame. Separation of all genes by the rate of sequence evolution and by gene families has demonstrated that rodent-specific cassette exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in rodent-specific paralogs. Conclusion Thus we demonstrated that recently gained exons tend to occur in fast-evolving genes, and their inclusion rate tends to be lower than that of older exons. This agrees with the theory that gain of alternative exons is one of the major mechanisms of gene evolution.

  19. 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.

  20. Quantifying protein modularity and evolvability: a comparison of different techniques.

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    Rorick, Mary

    2012-10-01

    Modularity increases evolvability by reducing constraints on adaptation and by allowing preexisting parts to function in new contexts for novel uses. Protein evolution provides an excellent context to study the causes and consequences of biological modularity. In order to address such questions, however, an index for protein modularity is necessary. This paper proposes a simple index for protein modularity-"module density"-which is the number of evolutionarily independent modules that compose a protein divided by the number of amino acids in the protein. The decomposition of proteins into constituent modules can be accomplished by either of two classes of methods. The first class of methods relies on "suppositional" criteria to assign amino acids to modules, whereas the second class of methods relies on "coevolutionary" criteria for this task. One simple and practical method from the first class consists of approximating the number of modules in a protein as the number of regular secondary structure elements (i.e., helices and sheets). Methods based on coevolutionary criteria require more elaborate data, but they have the advantage of being able to specify modules without prior assumptions about why they exist. Given the increasing availability of datasets sampling protein mutational spectra (e.g., from comparative genomics, experimental evolution, and computational prediction), methods based on coevolutionary criteria will likely become more promising in the near future. The ability to meaningfully quantify protein modularity via simple indices has the potential to aid future efforts to understand protein evolutionary rate determinants, improve molecular evolution models and engineer novel proteins. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. Cloning of novel rice blast resistance genes from two rapidly evolving NBS-LRR gene families in rice.

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    Guo, Changjiang; Sun, Xiaoguang; Chen, Xiao; Yang, Sihai; Li, Jing; Wang, Long; Zhang, Xiaohui

    2016-01-01

    Most rice blast resistance genes (R-genes) encode proteins with nucleotide-binding site (NBS) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains. Our previous study has shown that more rice blast R-genes can be cloned in rapidly evolving NBS-LRR gene families. In the present study, two rapidly evolving R-gene families in rice were selected for cloning a subset of genes from their paralogs in three resistant rice lines. A total of eight functional blast R-genes were identified among nine NBS-LRR genes, and some of these showed resistance to three or more blast strains. Evolutionary analysis indicated that high nucleotide diversity of coding regions served as important parameters in the determination of gene resistance. We also observed that amino-acid variants (nonsynonymous mutations, insertions, or deletions) in essential motifs of the NBS domain contribute to the blast resistance capacity of NBS-LRR genes. These results suggested that the NBS regions might also play an important role in resistance specificity determination. On the other hand, different splicing patterns of introns were commonly observed in R-genes. The results of the present study contribute to improving the effectiveness of R-gene identification by using evolutionary analysis method and acquisition of novel blast resistance genes.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Specificity and evolvability in eukaryotic protein interaction networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Navigating the Perfect Storm: Research Strategies for Socialecological Systems in a Rapidly Evolving World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dearing, John A.; Bullock, Seth; Costanza, Robert; Dawson, Terry P.; Edwards, Mary E.; Poppy, Guy M.; Smith, Graham M.

    2012-04-01

    The `Perfect Storm' metaphor describes a combination of events that causes a surprising or dramatic impact. It lends an evolutionary perspective to how social-ecological interactions change. Thus, we argue that an improved understanding of how social-ecological systems have evolved up to the present is necessary for the modelling, understanding and anticipation of current and future social-ecological systems. Here we consider the implications of an evolutionary perspective for designing research approaches. One desirable approach is the creation of multi-decadal records produced by integrating palaeoenvironmental, instrument and documentary sources at multiple spatial scales. We also consider the potential for improved analytical and modelling approaches by developing system dynamical, cellular and agent-based models, observing complex behaviour in social-ecological systems against which to test systems dynamical theory, and drawing better lessons from history. Alongside these is the need to find more appropriate ways to communicate complex systems, risk and uncertainty to the public and to policy-makers.

  11. From Rapid to Delayed and Remote Postconditioning: the Evolving Concept of Ischemic Postconditioning in Brain Ischemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Heng; Ren, Chuancheng; Chen, Xingmiao; Shen, Jiangang

    2012-01-01

    Ischemic postconditioning is a concept originally defined to contrast with that of ischemic preconditioning. While both preconditioning and postconditioning confer a neuroprotective effect on brain ischemia, preconditioning is a sublethal insult performed in advance of brain ischemia, and postconditioning, which conventionally refers to a series of brief occlusions and reperfusions of the blood vessels, is conducted after ischemia/reperfusion. In this article, we first briefly review the history of preconditioning, including the experimentation that initially uncovered its neuroprotective effects and later revealed its underlying mechanisms-of-action. We then discuss how preconditioning research evolved into that of postconditioning – a concept that now represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, remote postconditioning – and its underlying protective mechanisms involving the Akt, MAPK, PKC and KATP channel cell-signaling pathways. Because the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning, and both share some common protective mechanisms, we also discuss whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone. PMID:22204317

  12. Origin of a rapidly evolving homeostatic control system programming testis function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bu, Pengli; Yagi, Shintaro; Shiota, Kunio; Alam, S M Khorshed; Vivian, Jay L; Wolfe, Michael W; Rumi, M A Karim; Chakraborty, Damayanti; Kubota, Kaiyu; Dhakal, Pramod; Soares, Michael J

    2017-08-01

    Mammals share common strategies for regulating reproduction, including a conserved hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis; yet, individual species exhibit differences in reproductive performance. In this report, we describe the discovery of a species-restricted homeostatic control system programming testis growth and function. Prl3c1 is a member of the prolactin gene family and its protein product (PLP-J) was discovered as a uterine cytokine contributing to the establishment of pregnancy. We utilized mouse mutagenesis of Prl3c1 and revealed its involvement in the regulation of the male reproductive axis. The Prl3c1-null male reproductive phenotype was characterized by testiculomegaly and hyperandrogenism. The larger testes in the Prl3c1-null mice were associated with an expansion of the Leydig cell compartment. Prl3c1 locus is a template for two transcripts (Prl3c1-v1 and Prl3c1-v2) expressed in a tissue-specific pattern. Prl3c1-v1 is expressed in uterine decidua, while Prl3c1-v2 is expressed in Leydig cells of the testis. 5'RACE, chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNA methylation analyses were used to define cell-specific promoter usage and alternative transcript expression. We examined the Prl3c1 locus in five murid rodents and showed that the testicular transcript and encoded protein are the result of a recent retrotransposition event at the Mus musculus Prl3c1 locus. Prl3c1-v1 encodes PLP-J V1 and Prl3c1-v2 encodes PLP-J V2. Each protein exhibits distinct intracellular targeting and actions. PLP-J V2 possesses Leydig cell-static actions consistent with the Prl3c1-null testicular phenotype. Analysis of the biology of the Prl3c1 gene has provided insight into a previously unappreciated homeostatic setpoint control system programming testicular growth and function. © 2017 Society for Endocrinology.

  13. Expression of human A53T alpha-synuclein in the rat substantia nigra using a novel AAV1/2 vector produces a rapidly evolving pathology with protein aggregation, dystrophic neurite architecture and nigrostriatal degeneration with potential to model the pathology of Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Xuan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD include the presence of alpha-synuclein (α-syn rich Lewy bodies and neurites and the loss of dopaminergic (DA neurons of the substantia nigra (SN. Animal models of PD based on viral vector-mediated over-expression of α-syn have been developed and show evidence of DA toxicity to varying degrees depending on the type of virus used, its concentration, and the serotype of vector employed. To date these models have been variable, difficult to reproduce, and slow in their evolution to achieve a desired phenotype, hindering their use as a model for testing novel therapeutics. To address these issues we have taken a novel vector in this context, that can be prepared in high titer and which possesses an ability to produce neuronally-directed expression, with expression dynamics optimised to provide a rapid rise in gene product expression. Thus, in the current study, we have used a high titer chimeric AAV1/2 vector, to express human A53T α-syn, an empty vector control (EV, or green fluorescent protein (GFP, the latter to control for the possibility that high levels of protein in themselves might contribute to damage. Results We show that following a single 2 μl injection into the rat SN there is near complete coverage of the structure and expression of A53T α-syn or GFP appears throughout the striatum. Within 3 weeks of SN delivery of their respective vectors, aggregations of insoluble α-syn were observed in SN DA neurons. The numbers of DA neurons in the SN were significantly reduced by expression of A53T α-syn (52%, and to a lesser extent by GFP (24%, compared to EV controls (both P P Conclusions In the current implementation of the model, we recapitulate the primary pathological hallmarks of PD, although a proportion of the SN damage may relate to general protein overload and may not be specific for A53T α-syn. Future studies will thus be required to optimise the dose of

  14. Expression of human A53T alpha-synuclein in the rat substantia nigra using a novel AAV1/2 vector produces a rapidly evolving pathology with protein aggregation, dystrophic neurite architecture and nigrostriatal degeneration with potential to model the pathology of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koprich, James B; Johnston, Tom H; Reyes, M Gabriela; Sun, Xuan; Brotchie, Jonathan M

    2010-10-28

    The pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD) include the presence of alpha-synuclein (α-syn) rich Lewy bodies and neurites and the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra (SN). Animal models of PD based on viral vector-mediated over-expression of α-syn have been developed and show evidence of DA toxicity to varying degrees depending on the type of virus used, its concentration, and the serotype of vector employed. To date these models have been variable, difficult to reproduce, and slow in their evolution to achieve a desired phenotype, hindering their use as a model for testing novel therapeutics. To address these issues we have taken a novel vector in this context, that can be prepared in high titer and which possesses an ability to produce neuronally-directed expression, with expression dynamics optimised to provide a rapid rise in gene product expression. Thus, in the current study, we have used a high titer chimeric AAV1/2 vector, to express human A53T α-syn, an empty vector control (EV), or green fluorescent protein (GFP), the latter to control for the possibility that high levels of protein in themselves might contribute to damage. We show that following a single 2 μl injection into the rat SN there is near complete coverage of the structure and expression of A53T α-syn or GFP appears throughout the striatum. Within 3 weeks of SN delivery of their respective vectors, aggregations of insoluble α-syn were observed in SN DA neurons. The numbers of DA neurons in the SN were significantly reduced by expression of A53T α-syn (52%), and to a lesser extent by GFP (24%), compared to EV controls (both P AAV1/2-A53T α-syn injection produced dystrophic neurites and a significant reduction in tyrosine hydroxylase levels (by 53%, P AAV1/2-GFP condition. In the current implementation of the model, we recapitulate the primary pathological hallmarks of PD, although a proportion of the SN damage may relate to general protein overload and

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The Genomics, Epigenomics, and Transcriptomics of HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer--Understanding the Basis of a Rapidly Evolving Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechner, M; Fenton, T R

    2016-01-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been shown to represent a major independent risk factor for head and neck squamous cell cancer, in particular for oropharyngeal carcinoma. This type of cancer is rapidly evolving in the Western world, with rising trends particularly in the young, and represents a distinct epidemiological, clinical, and molecular entity. It is the aim of this review to give a detailed description of genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and posttranscriptional changes that underlie the phenotype of this deadly disease. The review will also link these changes and examine what is known about the interactions between the host genome and viral genome, and investigate changes specific for the viral genome. These data are then integrated into an updated model of HPV-induced head and neck carcinogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    organisms, from corals to jellyfish. Chromophore in these proteins is composed of three amino acid residues, Ser65–Try66–Gly67, and requires molecular oxygen for its maturation. Its applications include use in in vivo imaging as well as in plant biology...

  1. Rapid emergence and predominance of a broadly recognizing and fast-evolving norovirus GII.17 variant in late 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Martin C. W.; Lee, Nelson; Hung, Tin-Nok; Kwok, Kirsty; Cheung, Kelton; Tin, Edith K. Y.; Lai, Raymond W. M.; Nelson, E. Anthony S.; Leung, Ting F.; Chan, Paul K. S.

    2015-01-01

    Norovirus genogroup II genotype 4 (GII.4) has been the predominant cause of viral gastroenteritis since 1996. Here we show that during the winter of 2014–2015, an emergent variant of a previously rare norovirus GII.17 genotype, Kawasaki 2014, predominated in Hong Kong and outcompeted contemporary GII.4 Sydney 2012 in hospitalized cases. GII.17 cases were significantly older than GII.4 cases. Root-to-tip and Bayesian BEAST analyses estimate GII.17 viral protein 1 (VP1) evolves one order of magnitude faster than GII.4 VP1. Residue substitutions and insertion occur in four of five inferred antigenic epitopes, suggesting immune evasion. Sequential GII.4-GII.17 infections are noted, implicating a lack of cross-protection. Virus bound to saliva of secretor histo-blood groups A, B and O, indicating broad susceptibility. This fast-evolving, broadly recognizing and probably immune-escaped emergent GII.17 variant causes severe gastroenteritis and hospitalization across all age groups, including populations who were previously less vulnerable to GII.4 variants; therefore, the global spread of GII.17 Kawasaki 2014 needs to be monitored. PMID:26625712

  2. 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.

  3. No simple dependence between protein evolution rate and the number of protein-protein interactions: only the most prolific interactors tend to evolve slowly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koonin Eugene V

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been suggested that rates of protein evolution are influenced, to a great extent, by the proportion of amino acid residues that are directly involved in protein function. In agreement with this hypothesis, recent work has shown a negative correlation between evolutionary rates and the number of protein-protein interactions. However, the extent to which the number of protein-protein interactions influences evolutionary rates remains unclear. Here, we address this question at several different levels of evolutionary relatedness. Results Manually curated data on the number of protein-protein interactions among Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins was examined for possible correlation with evolutionary rates between S. cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologs. Only a very weak negative correlation between the number of interactions and evolutionary rate of a protein was observed. Furthermore, no relationship was found between a more general measure of the evolutionary conservation of S. cerevisiae proteins, based on the taxonomic distribution of their homologs, and the number of protein-protein interactions. However, when the proteins from yeast were assorted into discrete bins according to the number of interactions, it turned out that 6.5% of the proteins with the greatest number of interactions evolved, on average, significantly slower than the rest of the proteins. Comparisons were also performed using protein-protein interaction data obtained with high-throughput analysis of Helicobacter pylori proteins. No convincing relationship between the number of protein-protein interactions and evolutionary rates was detected, either for comparisons of orthologs from two completely sequenced H. pylori strains or for comparisons of H. pylori and Campylobacter jejuni orthologs, even when the proteins were classified into bins by the number of interactions. Conclusion The currently available comparative-genomic data do not

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordhoff, E; Krogsdam, A M; Jorgensen, 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....

  5. Congenic strain analysis reveals genes that are rapidly evolving components of a prezygotic isolation mechanism mediating incipient reinforcement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina M Laukaitis

    Full Text Available Two decades ago, we developed a congenic strain of Mus musculus, called b-congenic, by replacing the androgen-binding protein Abpa27(a allele in the C3H/HeJ genome with the Abpa27(b allele from DBA/2J. We and other researchers used this b-congenic strain and its C3H counterpart, the a-congenic strain, to test the hypothesis that, given the choice between signals from two strains with different a27 alleles on the same genetic background, test subjects would prefer the homosubspecific one. It was our purpose in undertaking this study to characterize the segment transferred from DBA to the C3H background in producing the b-congenic strain on which a role for ABPA27 in behavior has been predicated. We determined the size of the chromosome 7 segment transferred from DBA and the genes it contains that might influence preference. We found that the "functional" DBA segment is about 1% the size of the mouse haploid genome and contains at least 29 genes expressed in salivary glands, however, only three of these encode proteins identified in the mouse salivary proteome. At least two of the three genes Abpa27, Abpbg26 and Abpbg27 encoding the subunits of androgen-binding protein ABP dimers evolved under positive selection and the third one may have also. In the sense that they are subunits of the same two functional entities, the ABP dimers, we propose that their evolutionary histories might not be independent of each other.

  6. Rapid formation of plasma protein corona critically affects nanoparticle pathophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenzer, Stefan; Docter, Dominic; Kuharev, Jörg; Musyanovych, Anna; Fetz, Verena; Hecht, Rouven; Schlenk, Florian; Fischer, Dagmar; Kiouptsi, Klytaimnistra; Reinhardt, Christoph; Landfester, Katharina; Schild, Hansjörg; Maskos, Michael; Knauer, Shirley K.; Stauber, Roland H.

    2013-10-01

    In biological fluids, proteins bind to the surface of nanoparticles to form a coating known as the protein corona, which can critically affect the interaction of the nanoparticles with living systems. As physiological systems are highly dynamic, it is important to obtain a time-resolved knowledge of protein-corona formation, development and biological relevancy. Here we show that label-free snapshot proteomics can be used to obtain quantitative time-resolved profiles of human plasma coronas formed on silica and polystyrene nanoparticles of various size and surface functionalization. Complex time- and nanoparticle-specific coronas, which comprise almost 300 different proteins, were found to form rapidly (<0.5 minutes) and, over time, to change significantly in terms of the amount of bound protein, but not in composition. Rapid corona formation is found to affect haemolysis, thrombocyte activation, nanoparticle uptake and endothelial cell death at an early exposure time.

  7. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil C Devoe

    Full Text Available The abundant larval transcript (ALT-2 protein is present in all members of the Filarioidea, and has been reported as a potential candidate antigen for a subunit vaccine against lymphatic filariasis. To assess the potential for vaccine escape or heterologous protection, we examined the evolutionary selection acting on ALT-2. The ratios of nonsynonymous (K(a to synonymous (K(s mutation frequencies (ω were calculated for the alt-2 genes of the lymphatic filariasis agents Brugia malayi and Wuchereria bancrofti and the agents of river blindness and African eyeworm disease Onchocerca volvulus and Loa loa. Two distinct Bayesian models of sequence evolution showed that ALT-2 of W. bancrofti and L. loa were under significant (P<0.05; P < 0.001 diversifying selection, while ALT-2 of B. malayi and O. volvulus were under neutral to stabilizing selection. Diversifying selection as measured by ω values was notably strongest on the region of ALT-2 encoding the signal peptide of L. loa and was elevated in the variable acidic domain of L. loa and W. bancrofti. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the ALT-2 consensus sequences formed three clades: the first consisting of B. malayi, the second consisting of W. bancrofti, and the third containing both O. volvulus and L. loa. ALT-2 selection was therefore not predictable by phylogeny or pathology, as the two species parasitizing the eye were selected differently, as were the two species parasitizing the lymphatic system. The most immunogenic regions of L. loa and W. bancrofti ALT-2 sequence as modeled by antigenicity prediction analysis did not correspond with elevated levels of diversifying selection, and were not selected differently than predicted antigenic epitopes in B. malayi and O. volvulus. Measurements of ALT-2 evolvability made by χ2 analysis between alleles that were stable (O. volvulus and B. malayi and those that were under diversifying selection (W. bancrofti and L. loa indicated significant (P<0

  8. Phylogenetic utility of rapidly evolving DNA at high taxonomical levels: contrasting matK, trnT-F, and rbcL in basal angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Kai F; Borsch, Thomas; Hilu, Khidir W

    2006-10-01

    The prevailing view in molecular systematics is that relationships among distantly related taxa should be inferred using DNA segments with low rates of evolution. However, recent analyses of sequences from the rapidly evolving matK and trnT-trnF regions yielded well resolved and highly supported trees for early diverging angiosperms. We compare here the phylogenetic structure in matK, trnT-F, and rbcL datasets for the same 42, primarily basal angiosperm taxa. Phylogenetic trees based on matK or trnT-F are far more robust than those based on rbcL. Combined analysis of the rapidly evolving regions provides support for higher-level relationships stronger than that derived from analyses of multi-gene datasets of up to several fold the number of characters analyzed here. In addition to displaying a higher percentage of parsimony-informative characters, the average phylogenetic signal per informative character is significantly higher in the datasets from rapidly evolving DNA than in the more slowly evolving rbcL, as detected using resampling of identical numbers of parsimony-informative characters from the data matrices and subjecting different statistics for overall tree robustness and phylogenetic signal to significance tests. Automated via a set of scripts, the method used here should be easily extendable to comparisons of a broader range of genomic regions for varying taxon samplings. The relative performance of markers correlates not only with a lower mean homoplasy in matK and trnT-trnF compared to rbcL, but in particular correlates negatively with the percentage of sites exhibiting maximum or close to maximum homoplasy. A likelihood ratio test confirms that the rapidly evolving gene matK evolves significantly closer to neutrality, which may be one of the underlying factors for lower levels of overall homoplasy. Our results are in line with evidence from simulation studies suggesting that the deleterious effect of multiple hits in using rapidly evolving DNA at

  9. 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.

  10. Rapidly Evolving Genes Are Key Players in Host Specialization and Virulence of the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici (Mycosphaerella graminicola.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Poppe

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The speciation of pathogens can be driven by divergent host specialization. Specialization to a new host is possible via the acquisition of advantageous mutations fixed by positive selection. Comparative genome analyses of closely related species allows for the identification of such key substitutions via inference of genome-wide signatures of positive selection. We previously used a comparative genomics framework to identify genes that have evolved under positive selection during speciation of the prominent wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici (synonym Mycosphaerella graminicola. In this study, we conducted functional analyses of four genes exhibiting strong signatures of positive selection in Z. tritici. We deleted the four genes in Z. tritici and confirm a virulence-related role of three of the four genes ΔZt80707, ΔZt89160 and ΔZt103264. The two mutants ΔZt80707 and ΔZt103264 show a significant reduction in virulence during infection of wheat; the ΔZt89160 mutant causes a hypervirulent phenotype in wheat. Mutant phenotypes of ΔZt80707, ΔZt89160 and ΔZt103264 can be restored by insertion of the wild-type genes. However, the insertion of the Zt80707 and Zt89160 orthologs from Z. pseudotritici and Z. ardabiliae do not restore wild-type levels of virulence, suggesting that positively selected substitutions in Z. tritici may relate to divergent host specialization. Interestingly, the gene Zt80707 encodes also a secretion signal that targets the protein for cell secretion. This secretion signal is however only transcribed in Z. tritici, suggesting that Z. tritici-specific substitutions relate to a new function of the protein in the extracellular space of the wheat-Z. tritici interaction. Together, the results presented here highlight that Zt80707, Zt103264 and Zt89160 represent key genes involved in virulence and host-specific disease development of Z. tritici. Our findings illustrate that evolutionary predictions provide a powerful tool

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dively, Galen P; Venugopal, P Dilip; Finkenbinder, Chad

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. After ruling out possible contributing factors, the rapid change in field efficacy in recent years and decreased susceptibility of H. zea to Bt sweet corn provide strong evidence of field-evolved resistance in H

  12. 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

  13. Identification of co-evolving sites in the ligand binding domain of G protein-coupled receptors using mutual information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatakia, Sarosh N.; Costanzi, Stefano; Chow, Carson C.

    2008-03-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest superfamily of membrane proteins in humans. They are involved in signal transduction in numerous cellular processes and are the most common target for pharmacological intervention via activation or inhibition. Identification of functionally important sites is relevant for better understanding the ligand-receptor interaction and therefore for drug delivery. In a superfamily of proteins, functionally important but co-evolving sites are not easily identified in a multiple sequence alignment (MSA). Using a MSA of trans-membrane (TM) domains of GPCR superfamily, we identify sites which co-evolve, and may therefore be functionally important. Assigning the TM site as a node and the MI of site pairs as an inverse inter-node distance, a MI graph is established. Co-evolving sites are then identified via this graph. Nodes characterized by high connectivity are located within the commonly accepted ligand binding site of GPCRs, suggesting that concerted co-evolution of a number of neighboring residues gave rise to a multitude of subfamilies each recognizing a specific set of ligands. MI and graph analysis may serve as a tool for the identification of topologically conserved binding pockets in the families of evolutionarily related proteins.

  14. Method for Rapid Protein Identification in a Large Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenli Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Protein identification is an integral part of proteomics research. The available tools to identify proteins in tandem mass spectrometry experiments are not optimized to face current challenges in terms of identification scale and speed owing to the exponential growth of the protein database and the accelerated generation of mass spectrometry data, as well as the demand for nonspecific digestion and post-modifications in complex-sample identification. As a result, a rapid method is required to mitigate such complexity and computation challenges. This paper thus aims to present an open method to prevent enzyme and modification specificity on a large database. This paper designed and developed a distributed program to facilitate application to computer resources. With this optimization, nearly linear speedup and real-time support are achieved on a large database with nonspecific digestion, thus enabling testing with two classical large protein databases in a 20-blade cluster. This work aids in the discovery of more significant biological results, such as modification sites, and enables the identification of more complex samples, such as metaproteomics samples.

  15. Rapidly evolving genes in pathogens: methods for detecting positive selection and examples among fungi, bacteria, viruses and protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguileta, Gabriela; Refrégier, Guislaine; Yockteng, Roxana; Fournier, Elisabeth; Giraud, Tatiana

    2009-07-01

    The ongoing coevolutionary struggle between hosts and pathogens, with hosts evolving to escape pathogen infection and pathogens evolving to escape host defences, can generate an 'arms race', i.e., the occurrence of recurrent selective sweeps that each favours a novel resistance or virulence allele that goes to fixation. Host-pathogen coevolution can alternatively lead to a 'trench warfare', i.e., balancing selection, maintaining certain alleles at loci involved in host-pathogen recognition over long time scales. Recently, technological and methodological progress has enabled detection of footprints of selection directly on genes, which can provide useful insights into the processes of coevolution. This knowledge can also have practical applications, for instance development of vaccines or drugs. Here we review the methods for detecting genes under positive selection using divergence data (i.e., the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates, d(N)/d(S)). We also review methods for detecting selection using polymorphisms, such as methods based on F(ST) measures, frequency spectrum, linkage disequilibrium and haplotype structure. In the second part, we review examples where targets of selection have been identified in pathogens using these tests. Genes under positive selection in pathogens have mostly been sought among viruses, bacteria and protists, because of their paramount importance for human health. Another focus is on fungal pathogens owing to their agronomic importance. We finally discuss promising directions in pathogen studies, such as detecting selection in non-coding regions.

  16. 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

    2017-12-01

    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 structure) and to significantly outperform other shift-based or threading-based structure determination methods (in terms of top template model accuracy)-with an average TM-score performance of 0.68 (vs. 0.50-0.62 for other methods). Coupled with recent developments in 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 .

  17. 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.

  18. Rapidly evolving asymptomatic eosinophilia in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma causes cognitive disturbance and respiratory insufficiency: Case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Cheng-Hsiang; Jen, Yee-Min; Tsai, Wen-Chiuan; Chung, Ping-Ying; Kao, Woei-Yau

    2013-02-01

    Paraneoplastic eosinophilia is an unusual manifestation that usually remains asymptomatic. In this report, we presented the case of an 82-year-old patient with poorly differentiated lung adenocarcinoma and asymptomatic eosinophilia. The patient's condition worsened rapidly over a week, with episodes of cognitive disturbance, shortness of breath and acute kidney dysfunction. These symptoms were associated with a 4-fold increase in circulating eosinophil counts. The poor condition hindered further anticancer treatment. Treatment of the eosinophilia with corticosteroids and hydroxyurea significantly reduced circulating eosinophil counts to below the initial levels. Results of this case report suggested that lung cancer patients should be monitored closely for rapidly worsening symptoms of cognitive disturbance and respiratory insufficiency as signs of life-threatening asymptomatic eosinophilia, in order to initiate corticosteroid treatment.

  19. Rapid kinetic BRET measurements to monitor G protein activation by GPCR and non-GPCR proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maziarz, Marcin; Garcia-Marcos, Mikel

    2017-01-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins are central hubs of signal transduction whose activity is controlled by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as well as by a complex network of regulatory proteins. Recently, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based assays have been used to monitor real-time activation of heterotrimeric G proteins in cells. Here we describe the use of a previously established BRET assay to monitor G protein activation upon GPCR stimulation and its adaptation to measure G protein activation by non-GPCR proteins, such as by cytoplasmic guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) like GIV/Girdin. The BRET assay monitors the release of free Gβγ from Gα-Gβγ heterotrimers as a readout of G protein activation, which is readily observable upon agonist stimulation of GPCRs. To control the signal input for non-GPCR activators, we describe the use of a chemically induced dimerization strategy to promote rapid membrane translocation of proteins containing the Gα-binding and -activating (GBA) motif found in some nonreceptor GEFs. The assay described here allows the kinetic measurement of G protein activation with subsecond temporal resolution and to compare the levels of activation induced by GPCR agonists vs those induced by the membrane recruitment of nonreceptor G protein signaling activators. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The NLP toxin family in Phytophthora sojae includes rapidly evolving groups that lack necrosis-inducing activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Suomeng; Kong, Guanghui; Qutob, Dinah; Yu, Xiaoli; Tang, Junli; Kang, Jixiong; Dai, Tingting; Wang, Hai; Gijzen, Mark; Wang, Yuanchao

    2012-07-01

    Necrosis- and ethylene-inducing-like proteins (NLP) are widely distributed in eukaryotic and prokaryotic plant pathogens and are considered to be important virulence factors. We identified, in total, 70 potential Phytophthora sojae NLP genes but 37 were designated as pseudogenes. Sequence alignment of the remaining 33 NLP delineated six groups. Three of these groups include proteins with an intact heptapeptide (Gly-His-Arg-His-Asp-Trp-Glu) motif, which is important for necrosis-inducing activity, whereas the motif is not conserved in the other groups. In total, 19 representative NLP genes were assessed for necrosis-inducing activity by heterologous expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. Surprisingly, only eight genes triggered cell death. The expression of the NLP genes in P. sojae was examined, distinguishing 20 expressed and 13 nonexpressed NLP genes. Real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction results indicate that most NLP are highly expressed during cyst germination and infection stages. Amino acid substitution ratios (Ka/Ks) of 33 NLP sequences from four different P. sojae strains resulted in identification of positive selection sites in a distinct NLP group. Overall, our study indicates that expansion and pseudogenization of the P. sojae NLP family results from an ongoing birth-and-death process, and that varying patterns of expression, necrosis-inducing activity, and positive selection suggest that NLP have diversified in function.

  3. Three functionally diverged major White Spot Syndrome Virus structural proteins evolved by gene duplication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulten, van M.C.W.; Goldbach, R.W.; Vlak, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is an invertebrate virus causing considerable mortality in penaeid shrimp. The oval-to-bacilliform shaped virions, isolated from infected Penaeus monodon, contain four major proteins: VP28, VP26, VP24 and VP19 (28, 26, 24 and 19 kDa, respectively). VP26 and VP24 are

  4. Visualizing Protein Interactions and Dynamics: Evolving a Visual Language for Molecular Animation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkinson, Jodie; McGill, Gael

    2012-01-01

    Undergraduate biology education provides students with a number of learning challenges. Subject areas that are particularly difficult to understand include protein conformational change and stability, diffusion and random molecular motion, and molecular crowding. In this study, we examined the relative effectiveness of three-dimensional…

  5. A history into genetic and epigenetic evolution of food tolerance: how humanity rapidly evolved by drinking milk and eating wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Carine

    2017-12-01

    Human exposure to wheat and milk is almost global worldwide. Yet the introduction of milk and wheat is very recent (5000-10 000 years) when compared to the human evolution. The last 4 decades have seen a rise in food allergy and food intolerance to milk and wheat. Often described as plurifactorial, the cause of allergic diseases is the result from an interplay between genetic predisposition and epigenetic in the context of environmental changes. Genetic and epigenetic understanding and their contribution to allergy or other antigen-driven diseases have considerably advanced in the last few years. Yet, environmental factors are also quite difficult to identify and associate with disease risk. Can we rethink our old findings and learn from human history and recent genetic studies? More than one million years separate Homo habilis to today's mankind, more than 1 million years to develop abilities to obtain food by foraging in diverse environments. One million year to adjust and fine-tune our genetic code and adapt; and only 1% of this time, 10 000 years, to face the three biggest revolutions of the human kind: the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution and the postindustrial revolution. With big and rapid environmental changes come adaptation but with no time for fine-tuning. Today tolerance and adverse reactions to food may be a testimony of adaptation successes and mistakes.

  6. A rapid and affordable screening platform for membrane protein trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joshua C; Pack, Thomas F; Rochelle, Lauren K; Chakraborty, Subhasish K; Zhang, Ming; Eaton, Andrew W; Bai, Yushi; Ernst, Lauren A; Barak, Larry S; Waggoner, Alan S; Caron, Marc G

    2015-12-17

    Membrane proteins regulate a diversity of physiological processes and are the most successful class of targets in drug discovery. However, the number of targets adequately explored in chemical space and the limited resources available for screening are significant problems shared by drug-discovery centers and small laboratories. Therefore, a low-cost and universally applicable screen for membrane protein trafficking was developed. This high-throughput screen (HTS), termed IRFAP-HTS, utilizes the recently described MarsCy1-fluorogen activating protein and the near-infrared and membrane impermeant fluorogen SCi1. The cell surface expression of MarsCy1 epitope-tagged receptors can be visualized by simple addition of SCi1. User-friendly, rapid, and quantitative detection occurs on a standard infrared western-blotting scanner. The reliability and robustness of IRFAP-HTS was validated by confirming human vasopressin-2 receptor and dopamine receptor-2 trafficking in response to agonist or antagonist. The IRFAP-HTS screen was deployed against the leucine-rich G protein-coupled receptor-5 (Lgr5). Lgr5 is expressed in stem cells, modulates Wnt/ß-catenin signaling, and is therefore a promising drug target. However, small molecule modulators have yet to be reported. The constitutive internalization of Lgr5 appears to be one primary mode through which its function is regulated. Therefore, IRFAP-HTS was utilized to screen 11,258 FDA-approved and drug-like small molecules for those that antagonize Lgr5 internalization. Glucocorticoids were found to potently increase Lgr5 expression at the plasma membrane. The IRFAP-HTS platform provides a versatile solution for screening more targets with fewer resources. Using only a standard western-blotting scanner, we were able to screen 5,000 compounds per hour in a robust and quantitative assay. Multi-purposing standardly available laboratory equipment eliminates the need for idiosyncratic and more expensive high-content imaging systems

  7. 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.

  8. Visualizing Protein Interactions and Dynamics: Evolving a Visual Language for Molecular Animation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkinson, Jodie; McGill, Gaël

    2012-01-01

    Undergraduate biology education provides students with a number of learning challenges. Subject areas that are particularly difficult to understand include protein conformational change and stability, diffusion and random molecular motion, and molecular crowding. In this study, we examined the relative effectiveness of three-dimensional visualization techniques for learning about protein conformation and molecular motion in association with a ligand–receptor binding event. Increasingly complex versions of the same binding event were depicted in each of four animated treatments. Students (n = 131) were recruited from the undergraduate biology program at University of Toronto, Mississauga. Visualization media were developed in the Center for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics at Harvard Medical School. Stem cell factor ligand and cKit receptor tyrosine kinase were used as a classical example of a ligand-induced receptor dimerization and activation event. Each group completed a pretest, viewed one of four variants of the animation, and completed a posttest and, at 2 wk following the assessment, a delayed posttest. Overall, the most complex animation was the most effective at fostering students' understanding of the events depicted. These results suggest that, in select learning contexts, increasingly complex representations may be more desirable for conveying the dynamic nature of cell binding events. PMID:22383622

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The evolving impact of g protein-coupled receptor kinases in cardiac health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Priscila Y; Chuprun, J Kurt; Schwartz, Mathew; Koch, Walter J

    2015-04-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important regulators of various cellular functions via activation of intracellular signaling events. Active GPCR signaling is shut down by GPCR kinases (GRKs) and subsequent β-arrestin-mediated mechanisms including phosphorylation, internalization, and either receptor degradation or resensitization. The seven-member GRK family varies in their structural composition, cellular localization, function, and mechanism of action (see sect. II). Here, we focus our attention on GRKs in particular canonical and novel roles of the GRKs found in the cardiovascular system (see sects. III and IV). Paramount to overall cardiac function is GPCR-mediated signaling provided by the adrenergic system. Overstimulation of the adrenergic system has been highly implicated in various etiologies of cardiovascular disease including hypertension and heart failure. GRKs acting downstream of heightened adrenergic signaling appear to be key players in cardiac homeostasis and disease progression, and herein we review the current data on GRKs related to cardiac disease and discuss their potential in the development of novel therapeutic strategies in cardiac diseases including heart failure. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Evaluation of the synergistic effects of milk proteins in a rapid viscosity analyzer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stephani, Rodrigo; Borges de Souza, Alisson; Leal de Oliveira, Marcone Augusto; Perrone, Ítalo Tuler; Fernandes de Carvalho, Antônio; Cappa de Oliveira, Luiz Fernando

    2015-01-01

    .... Here, using a rapid viscosity analyzer, we observed the rheological changes in the startup viscosities of 5 PS obtained by combining varying proportions of milk protein concentrate and whey protein...

  13. Accessible surfaces of beta proteins increase with increasing protein molecular mass more rapidly than those of other proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna V Glyakina

    Full Text Available Here we present a systematic analysis of accessible surface areas and hydrogen bonds of 2554 globular proteins from four structural classes (all-α, all-β, α/β and α+β proteins that is aimed to learn in which structural class the accessible surface area increases with increasing protein molecular mass more rapidly than in other classes, and what structural peculiarities are responsible for this effect. The beta structural class of proteins was found to be the leader, with the following possible explanations of this fact. First, in beta structural proteins, the fraction of residues not included in the regular secondary structure is the largest, and second, the accessible surface area of packaged elements of the beta-structure increases more rapidly with increasing molecular mass in comparison with the alpha-structure. Moreover, in the beta structure, the probability of formation of backbone hydrogen bonds is higher than that in the alpha helix for all residues of α+β proteins (the average probability is 0.73±0.01 for the beta-structure and 0.60±0.01 for the alpha-structure without proline and α/β proteins, except for asparagine, aspartic acid, glycine, threonine, and serine (0.70±0.01 for the beta-structure and 0.60±0.01 for the alpha-structure without the proline residue. There is a linear relationship between the number of hydrogen bonds and the number of amino acid residues in the protein (Number of hydrogen bonds=0.678·number of residues-3.350.

  14. Rapid cloning and purification of proteins: gateway vectors for protein purification by self-cleaving tags.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Alison R; Hsii, Judy F; Oak, Seachol; Wood, David W

    2008-10-01

    We have combined Invitrogen's Gateway cloning technology with self-cleaving purification tags to generate a new system for rapid production of recombinant protein products. To accomplish this, we engineered our previously reported DeltaI-CM cleaving intein to include a Gateway cloning recognition sequence, and demonstrated that the resulting Gateway-competent intein is unaffected. This intein can therefore be used in several previously reported purification methods, while at the same time being compatible with Gateway cloning. We have incorporated this intein into a set of Gateway vectors, which include self-cleaving elastin-like polypeptide (ELP), chitin binding domain (CBD), phasin (polyhydroxybutyrate-binding), or maltose binding domain (MBD) tags. These vectors were verified by Gateway cloning of TEM-1 beta-lactamase and Escherichia coli catalase genes, and the expressed target proteins were purified using the four methods encoded on the vectors. The purification methods were unaffected by replacing the DeltaI-CM intein with the Gateway intein. It was observed that some purification methods were more appropriate for each target than others, suggesting utility of this technology for rapid process identification and optimization. The modular design of the Gateway system and intein purification method suggests that any tag and promoter can be trivially added to this system for the development of additional expression vectors. This technology could greatly facilitate process optimization, allowing several targets and methods to be tested in a high-throughput manner.

  15. SLiMFinder: a probabilistic method for identifying over-represented, convergently evolved, short linear motifs in proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Edwards

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Short linear motifs (SLiMs in proteins are functional microdomains of fundamental importance in many biological systems. SLiMs typically consist of a 3 to 10 amino acid stretch of the primary protein sequence, of which as few as two sites may be important for activity, making identification of novel SLiMs extremely difficult. In particular, it can be very difficult to distinguish a randomly recurring "motif" from a truly over-represented one. Incorporating ambiguous amino acid positions and/or variable-length wildcard spacers between defined residues further complicates the matter. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this paper we present two algorithms. SLiMBuild identifies convergently evolved, short motifs in a dataset of proteins. Motifs are built by combining dimers into longer patterns, retaining only those motifs occurring in a sufficient number of unrelated proteins. Motifs with fixed amino acid positions are identified and then combined to incorporate amino acid ambiguity and variable-length wildcard spacers. The algorithm is computationally efficient compared to alternatives, particularly when datasets include homologous proteins, and provides great flexibility in the nature of motifs returned. The SLiMChance algorithm estimates the probability of returned motifs arising by chance, correcting for the size and composition of the dataset, and assigns a significance value to each motif. These algorithms are implemented in a software package, SLiMFinder. SLiMFinder default settings identify known SLiMs with 100% specificity, and have a low false discovery rate on random test data. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The efficiency of SLiMBuild and low false discovery rate of SLiMChance make SLiMFinder highly suited to high throughput motif discovery and individual high quality analyses alike. Examples of such analyses on real biological data, and how SLiMFinder results can help direct future discoveries, are provided. SLiMFinder is freely

  16. SNARE proteins synaptobrevin, SNAP-25 and syntaxin are involved in rapid and slow endocytosis at synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianhua; Luo, Fujun; Zhang, Zhen; Xue, Lei; Wu, Xinsheng; Chiang, Hsueh-Cheng; Shin, Wonchul; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2013-01-01

    Rapid endocytosis, which takes only a few seconds, is widely observed in secretory cells. Although it is more efficient in recycling vesicles than slow clathrin-mediated endocytosis, its underlying mechanism, thought to be clathrin-independent, is largely unclear. Here we reported that cleavage of three SNARE proteins essential for exocytosis, including synaptobrevin, SNAP-25 and syntaxin, inhibited rapid endocytosis at the calyx of Held nerve terminal, suggesting the involvement of three SNARE proteins in rapid endocytosis. These SNARE proteins were also involved in slow endocytosis. In addition, SNAP-25 and syntaxin facilitated vesicle mobilization to the readily releasable pool, likely via their roles in endocytosis and/or exocytosis. We concluded that both rapid and slow endocytosis share the involvement of SNARE proteins. The dual role of three SNARE proteins in exo- and endocytosis suggests that SNARE proteins may be molecular substrates contributing to the exo-endocytosis coupling, which maintains exocytosis in secretory cells. PMID:23643538

  17. Ultra-Rapid 2-D and 3-D Laser Microprinting of Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Mark Andrew

    When viewed under the microscope, biological tissues reveal an exquisite microarchitecture. These complex patterns arise during development, as cells interact with a multitude of chemical and mechanical cues in the surrounding extracellular matrix. Tissue engineers have sought for decades to repair or replace damaged tissue, often relying on porous scaffolds as an artificial extracellular matrix to support cell development. However, these grafts are unable to recapitulate the complexity of the in vivo environment, limiting our ability to regenerate functional tissue. Biomedical engineers have developed several methods for printing two- and three-dimensional patterns of proteins for studying and directing cell development. Of these methods, laser microprinting of proteins has shown the most promise for printing sub-cellular resolution gradients of cues, but the photochemistry remains too slow to enable large-scale applications for screening and therapeutics In this work, we demonstrate a novel high-speed photochemistry based on multi-photon photobleaching of fluorescein, and we build the fastest 2-D and 3-D laser microprinter for proteins to date. First, we show that multiphoton photobleaching of a deoxygenated solution of biotin-4-fluorescein onto a PEG monolayer with acrylate end-group can enable print speeds of almost 20 million pixels per second at 600 nanometer resolution. We discovered that the mechanism of fluorescein photobleaching evolves from a 2-photon to 3- and 4-photon regime at higher laser intensities, unlocking faster printing kinetics. Using this 2-D printing system, we develop a novel triangle-ratchet method for directing the polarization of single hippocampal neurons. This ability to determine which neurite becomes an axon, and which neuritis become dendrites is an essential step for developing defined in vitro neural networks. Next, we modify our multiphoton photobleaching system to print in three dimensions. For the first time, we demonstrate 3

  18. Defective folding and rapid degradation of mutant proteins is a common disease mechanism in genetic disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gregersen, N; Bross, P; Jørgensen, M M

    2000-01-01

    Many disease-causing point mutations do not seriously compromise synthesis of the affected polypeptide but rather exert their effects by impairing subsequent protein folding or stability of the folded protein. This often results in rapid degradation of the affected protein. The concepts...

  19. Defective folding and rapid degradation of mutant proteins is a common disease mechanism in genetic disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gregersen, Niels; Bross, Peter; Jørgensen, Malene Munk

    2000-01-01

    Many disease-causing point mutations do not seriously compromise synthesis of the affected polypeptides but rather exert their effects by impairing subsequent protein folding or stability of the folded protein. This often results in rapid degradation of the affected protein. The concepts...

  20. A novel microfluidic system for the rapid analysis of protein thermal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xin; Liu, Jia; Xie, Ye Lei; Wang, Yang; Ying, Hong; Wu, Qiong; Huang, Wei; Jenkins, Gareth

    2014-06-07

    We describe a simple microfluidic device for the rapid analysis of protein thermal stability using a novel imaging method. The change in UV absorption upon thermal denaturation or aggregation of proteins is used to get a spatial image of proteins' folding or aggregation state along a linear temperature gradient.

  1. 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.

  2. SAGA: rapid automatic mainchain NMR assignment for large proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crippen, Gordon M., E-mail: gcrippen@umich.ed [University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy (United States); Rousaki, Aikaterini [University of Michigan, LSA Biophysics (United States); Revington, Matthew [University of Windsor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Canada); Zhang Yongbo [Northwestern University, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology (United States); Zuiderweg, Erik R. P., E-mail: zuiderwe@umich.ed [University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry (United States)

    2010-04-15

    Here we describe a new algorithm for automatically determining the mainchain sequential assignment of NMR spectra for proteins. Using only the customary triple resonance experiments, assignments can be quickly found for not only small proteins having rather complete data, but also for large proteins, even when only half the residues can be assigned. The result of the calculation is not the single best assignment according to some criterion, but rather a large number of satisfactory assignments that are summarized in such a way as to help the user identify portions of the sequence that are assigned with confidence, vs. other portions where the assignment has some correlated alternatives. Thus very imperfect initial data can be used to suggest future experiments.

  3. Diversity and evolution of bacterial twin arginine translocase protein, TatC, reveals a protein secretion system that is evolving to fit its environmental niche.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenico Simone

    Full Text Available The twin-arginine translocation (Tat protein export system enables the transport of fully folded proteins across a membrane. This system is composed of two integral membrane proteins belonging to TatA and TatC protein families and in some systems a third component, TatB, a homolog of TatA. TatC participates in substrate protein recognition through its interaction with a twin arginine leader peptide sequence.The aim of this study was to explore TatC diversity, evolution and sequence conservation in bacteria to identify how TatC is evolving and diversifying in various bacterial phyla. Surveying bacterial genomes revealed that 77% of all species possess one or more tatC loci and half of these classes possessed only tatC and tatA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of diverse TatC homologues showed that they were primarily inherited but identified a small subset of taxonomically unrelated bacteria that exhibited evidence supporting lateral gene transfer within an ecological niche. Examination of bacilli tatCd/tatCy isoform operons identified a number of known and potentially new Tat substrate genes based on their frequent association to tatC loci. Evolutionary analysis of these Bacilli isoforms determined that TatCy was the progenitor of TatCd. A bacterial TatC consensus sequence was determined and highlighted conserved and variable regions within a three dimensional model of the Escherichia coli TatC protein. Comparative analysis between the TatC consensus sequence and Bacilli TatCd/y isoform consensus sequences revealed unique sites that may contribute to isoform substrate specificity or make TatA specific contacts. Synonymous to non-synonymous nucleotide substitution analyses of bacterial tatC homologues determined that tatC sequence variation differs dramatically between various classes and suggests TatC specialization in these species.TatC proteins appear to be diversifying within particular bacterial classes and its specialization may be driven by

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Cell-free expression of protein kinase a for rapid activity assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leippe, Donna M; Zhao, Kate Qin; Hsiao, Kevin; Slater, Michael R

    2010-05-19

    Functional protein analysis often calls for lengthy, laborious in vivo protein expression and purification, and can be complicated by the lack of stability of the purified protein. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of a simplified procedure for functional protein analysis on magnetic particles using cell-free protein synthesis of the catalytic subunit of human cAMP-dependent protein kinase as a HaloTag((R)) fusion protein. The cell-free protein synthesis systems provide quick access to the protein of interest, while the HaloTag technology provides efficient, covalent protein immobilization of the fusion protein, eliminating the need for further protein purification and minimizing storage-related stability issues. The immobilized cPKA fusion protein is assayed directly on magnetic beads and can be used in inhibitor analyses. The combination of rapid protein synthesis and capture technologies can greatly facilitate the process of protein expression and activity screening, and therefore, can become a valuable tool for functional proteomics studies.

  9. Cell-Free Expression of Protein Kinase a for Rapid Activity Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna M. Leippe

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional protein analysis often calls for lengthy, laborious in vivo protein expression and purification, and can be complicated by the lack of stability of the purified protein. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of a simplified procedure for functional protein analysis on magnetic particles using cell-free protein synthesis of the catalytic subunit of human cAMP-dependent protein kinase as a HaloTag ® fusion protein. The cell-free protein synthesis systems provide quick access to the protein of interest, while the HaloTag technology provides efficient, covalent protein immobilization of the fusion protein, eliminating the need for further protein purification and minimizing storage-related stability issues. The immobilized cPKA fusion protein is assayed directly on magnetic beads and can be used in inhibitor analyses. The combination of rapid protein synthesis and capture technologies can greatly facilitate the process of protein expression and activity screening, and therefore, can become a valuable tool for functional proteomics studies.

  10. Cell-Free Expression of Protein Kinase A for Rapid Activity Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna M. Leippe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Functional protein analysis often calls for lengthy, laborious in vivo protein expression and purification, and can be complicated by the lack of stability of the purified protein. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of a simplified procedure for functional protein analysis on magnetic particles using cell-free protein synthesis of the catalytic subunit of human cAMP-dependent protein kinase as a HaloTag® fusion protein. The cell-free protein synthesis systems provide quick access to the protein of interest, while the HaloTag technology provides efficient, covalent protein immobilization of the fusion protein, eliminating the need for further protein purification and minimizing storage-related stability issues. The immobilized cPKA fusion protein is assayed directly on magnetic beads and can be used in inhibitor analyses. The combination of rapid protein synthesis and capture technologies can greatly facilitate the process of protein expression and activity screening, and therefore, can become a valuable tool for functional proteomics studies.

  11. Influence of the 33 kDa Manganese-Stabilizing Protein on the Structure and Substrate Accessibility of the Oxygen-Evolving Complex of Photosystem II†

    OpenAIRE

    Gregor, Wolfgang; Cinco, Roehl M.; Yu, Hui; Yachandra, Vittal K.; Britt, R. David

    2005-01-01

    The 33 kDa manganese-stabilizing extrinsic protein binds to the lumenal side of photosystem II (PS II) close to the Mn4Ca cluster of the oxygen-evolving complex, where it limits access of small molecules to the metal site. Our previous finding that the removal of this protein did not alter the magnetic coupling regime within the manganese cluster, measured by electron spin-echo envelope modulation [Gregor, W., and Britt, R. D. (2000) Photosynth. Res. 65, 175–185], prompted us to examine wh...

  12. Rapid Identification and Characterization of Formulated Protein Products by Raman Spectroscopy Coupled with Discriminant Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xiaolin; Zhou, Dan; Loussaert, James A; Meriage, David S; Levine, Joseph D; Gabrielson, John P; Wen, Zai-Qing

    2016-01-01

    The rapid identification of protein drug products for packaging and receiving can significantly reduce disposition cycle time, and thereby improve the efficiency and productivity of the supply chain to better meet the needs of patients. In this feasibility study, we demonstrate a novel methodology that combines Raman spectroscopy with discriminant analysis that can be used for rapid identification or verification of finished products. With this methodology, Raman spectra of formulated therapeutic proteins were collected non-invasively with the samples either in a quartz cuvette or in the original glass vials, and analyzed without subtraction of buffer or placebo solutions. The algorithm used for the discriminant analysis was Mahalanobis distance by principal component analysis with residuals. In addition to product identification, the methodology has the potential to be used for characterizing formulated proteins when exposed to external stresses based on the changes of Mahalanobis distances. The rapid identification of protein drug products for packaging and receiving can significantly reduce disposition cycle time, and thereby improve the efficiency and productivity of the supply chain. In this study, we demonstrate a novel methodology that combines Raman spectroscopy with discriminant analysis to rapidly identify formulated proteins non-invasively. © PDA, Inc. 2016.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Nath, Shuvra Kanti

    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.

  14. NS4A protein as a marker of HCV history suggests that different HCV genotypes originally evolved from genotype 1b

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The 9.6 kb long RNA genome of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is under the control of RNA dependent RNA polymerase, an error-prone enzyme, for its transcription and replication. A high rate of mutation has been found to be associated with RNA viruses like HCV. Based on genetic variability, HCV has been classified into 6 different major genotypes and 11 different subtypes. However this classification system does not provide significant information about the origin of the virus, primarily due to high mutation rate at nucleotide level. HCV genome codes for a single polyprotein of about 3011 amino acids which is processed into structural and non-structural proteins inside host cell by viral and cellular proteases. Results We have identified a conserved NS4A protein sequence for HCV genotype 3a reported from four different continents of the world i.e. Europe, America, Australia and Asia. We investigated 346 sequences and compared amino acid composition of NS4A protein of different HCV genotypes through Multiple Sequence Alignment and observed amino acid substitutions C22, V29, V30, V38, Q46 and Q47 in NS4A protein of genotype 1b. Furthermore, we observed C22 and V30 as more consistent members of NS4A protein of genotype 1a. Similarly Q46 and Q47 in genotype 5, V29, V30, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 4, C22, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 6, C22, V38, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 3 and C22 in genotype 2 as more consistent members of NS4A protein of these genotypes. So the different amino acids that were introduced as substitutions in NS4A protein of genotype 1 subtype 1b have been retained as consistent members of the NS4A protein of other known genotypes. Conclusion These observations indicate that NS4A protein of different HCV genotypes originally evolved from NS4A protein of genotype 1 subtype 1b, which in turn indicate that HCV genotype 1 subtype 1b established itself earlier in human population and all other known genotypes evolved later as a result of mutations in HCV genotype 1b

  15. NS4A protein as a marker of HCV history suggests that different HCV genotypes originally evolved from genotype 1b

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asad Sultan

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 9.6 kb long RNA genome of Hepatitis C virus (HCV is under the control of RNA dependent RNA polymerase, an error-prone enzyme, for its transcription and replication. A high rate of mutation has been found to be associated with RNA viruses like HCV. Based on genetic variability, HCV has been classified into 6 different major genotypes and 11 different subtypes. However this classification system does not provide significant information about the origin of the virus, primarily due to high mutation rate at nucleotide level. HCV genome codes for a single polyprotein of about 3011 amino acids which is processed into structural and non-structural proteins inside host cell by viral and cellular proteases. Results We have identified a conserved NS4A protein sequence for HCV genotype 3a reported from four different continents of the world i.e. Europe, America, Australia and Asia. We investigated 346 sequences and compared amino acid composition of NS4A protein of different HCV genotypes through Multiple Sequence Alignment and observed amino acid substitutions C22, V29, V30, V38, Q46 and Q47 in NS4A protein of genotype 1b. Furthermore, we observed C22 and V30 as more consistent members of NS4A protein of genotype 1a. Similarly Q46 and Q47 in genotype 5, V29, V30, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 4, C22, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 6, C22, V38, Q46 and Q47 in genotype 3 and C22 in genotype 2 as more consistent members of NS4A protein of these genotypes. So the different amino acids that were introduced as substitutions in NS4A protein of genotype 1 subtype 1b have been retained as consistent members of the NS4A protein of other known genotypes. Conclusion These observations indicate that NS4A protein of different HCV genotypes originally evolved from NS4A protein of genotype 1 subtype 1b, which in turn indicate that HCV genotype 1 subtype 1b established itself earlier in human population and all other known genotypes evolved later as a result of

  16. 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

  17. A bacterial two-hybrid system that utilizes Gateway cloning for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karna, S L Rajasekhar; Zogaj, Xhavit; Barker, Jeffrey R; Seshu, Janakiram; Dove, Simon L; Klose, Karl E

    2010-11-01

    Comprehensive clone sets representing the entire genome now exist for a large number of organisms. The Gateway entry clone sets are a particularly useful means to study gene function, given the ease of introduction into any Gateway-suitable destination vector. We have adapted a bacterial two-hybrid system for use with Gateway entry clone sets, such that potential interactions between proteins encoded within these clone sets can be determined by new destination vectors. We show that utilizing the Gateway clone sets for Francisella tularensis and Vibrio cholerae, known interactions between F. tularensis IglA and IglB and V. cholerae VipA and VipB could be confirmed with these destination vectors. Moreover, the introduction of unique tags into each vector allowed for visualization of the expressed hybrid proteins via Western immunoblot. This Gateway-suitable bacterial two-hybrid system provides a new tool for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Rapidly evolving skin manifestations due to progressive thrombosis in a patient with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria resolved with prompt initiation of eculizumab

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otters, E.F.M.; Zarafonitis, G.; Steenbergen, E.J.; Valk, P.G.M. van der; Muus, P.

    2014-01-01

    Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare acquired clonal disorder of the haematopoietic stem cell. PNH arises from mutations in the PIG-A gene encoding glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored proteins consequently resulting in deficiency of GPI-anchored proteins the cell membranes.1

  1. Structural Basis for Recognizing Phosphoarginine and Evolving Residue-Specific Protein Phosphatases in Gram-Positive Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Fuhrmann

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Many cellular pathways are regulated by the competing activity of protein kinases and phosphatases. The recent identification of arginine phosphorylation as a protein modification in bacteria prompted us to analyze the molecular basis of targeting phospho-arginine. In this work, we characterize an annotated tyrosine phosphatase, YwlE, that counteracts the protein arginine kinase McsB. Strikingly, structural studies of YwlE reaction intermediates provide a direct view on a captured arginine residue. Together with biochemical data, the crystal structures depict the evolution of a highly specific phospho-arginine phosphatase, with the use of a size-and-polarity filter for distinguishing phosphorylated arginine from other phosphorylated side chains. To confirm the proposed mechanism, we performed bioinformatic searches for phosphatases, employing a similar selectivity filter, and identified a protein in Drosophila melanogaster exhibiting robust arginine phosphatase activity. In sum, our findings uncover the molecular framework for specific targeting of phospho-arginine and suggest that protein arginine (dephosphorylation may be relevant in eukaryotes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Plasmonic Thermal Decomposition/Digestion of Proteins: A Rapid On-Surface Protein Digestion Technique for Mass Spectrometry Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Rong; Basile, Franco

    2017-09-05

    A method based on plasmon surface resonance absorption and heating was developed to perform a rapid on-surface protein thermal decomposition and digestion suitable for imaging mass spectrometry (MS) and/or profiling. This photothermal process or plasmonic thermal decomposition/digestion (plasmonic-TDD) method incorporates a continuous wave (CW) laser excitation and gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) to induce known thermal decomposition reactions that cleave peptides and proteins specifically at the C-terminus of aspartic acid and at the N-terminus of cysteine. These thermal decomposition reactions are induced by heating a solid protein sample to temperatures between 200 and 270 °C for a short period of time (10-50 s per 200 μm segment) and are reagentless and solventless, and thus are devoid of sample product delocalization. In the plasmonic-TDD setup the sample is coated with Au-NPs and irradiated with 532 nm laser radiation to induce thermoplasmonic heating and bring about site-specific thermal decomposition on solid peptide/protein samples. In this manner the Au-NPs act as nanoheaters that result in a highly localized thermal decomposition and digestion of the protein sample that is independent of the absorption properties of the protein, making the method universally applicable to all types of proteinaceous samples (e.g., tissues or protein arrays). Several experimental variables were optimized to maximize product yield, and they include heating time, laser intensity, size of Au-NPs, and surface coverage of Au-NPs. Using optimized parameters, proof-of-principle experiments confirmed the ability of the plasmonic-TDD method to induce both C-cleavage and D-cleavage on several peptide standards and the protein lysozyme by detecting their thermal decomposition products with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The high spatial specificity of the plasmonic-TDD method was demonstrated by using a mask to digest designated sections of

  5. Automation of plasma protein binding assay using rapid equilibrium dialysis device and Tecan workstation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhengqi; Zetterberg, Craig; Gao, Hong

    2017-06-05

    Binding of drug molecules to plasma proteins is an important parameter in assessing drug ADME properties. Plasma protein binding (PPB) assays are routinely performed during drug discovery and development. A fully automated PPB assay was developed using rapid equilibrium dialysis (RED) device and Tecan workstation coupled to an automated incubator. The PPB assay was carried out in unsealed RED plates which allowed the assay to be fully automated. The plasma pH was maintained at 7.4 during the 6-h dialysis under 2% CO2 condition. The samples were extracted with acetonitrile and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The percent bound results of 10 commercial drugs in plasma protein binding were very similar between the automated and manual assays, and were comparable to literature values. The automated assay increases laboratory productivity and is applicable to high-throughput screening of drug protein binding in drug discovery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Affinity purification of Car9-tagged proteins on silica matrices: Optimization of a rapid and inexpensive protein purification technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Rodríguez, Jessica; Coyle, Brandon L; Samuelson, Ariana; Aravagiri, Kannan; Baneyx, François

    2017-07-01

    Car9, a dodecapeptide identified by cell surface display for its ability to bind to the edge of carbonaceous materials, also binds to silica with high affinity. The interaction can be disrupted with l-lysine or l-arginine, enabling a broad range of technological applications. Previously, we reported that C-terminal Car9 extensions support efficient protein purification on underivatized silica. Here, we show that the Car9 tag is functional and TEV protease-excisable when fused to the N-termini of target proteins, and that it supports affinity purification under denaturing conditions, albeit with reduced yields. We further demonstrate that capture of Car9-tagged proteins is enhanced on small particle size silica gels with large pores, that the concomitant problem of nonspecific protein adsorption can be solved by lysing cells in the presence of 0.3% Tween 20, and that efficient elution is achieved at reduced l-lysine concentrations under alkaline conditions. An optimized small-scale purification kit incorporating the above features allows Car9-tagged proteins to be inexpensively recovered in minutes with better than 90% purity. The Car9 affinity purification technology should prove valuable for laboratory-scale applications requiring rapid access to milligram-quantities of proteins, and for preparative scale purification schemes where cost and productivity are important factors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Rapid Design of Knowledge-Based Scoring Potentials for Enrichment of Near-Native Geometries in Protein-Protein Docking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Sasse

    Full Text Available Protein-protein docking protocols aim to predict the structures of protein-protein complexes based on the structure of individual partners. Docking protocols usually include several steps of sampling, clustering, refinement and re-scoring. The scoring step is one of the bottlenecks in the performance of many state-of-the-art protocols. The performance of scoring functions depends on the quality of the generated structures and its coupling to the sampling algorithm. A tool kit, GRADSCOPT (GRid Accelerated Directly SCoring OPTimizing, was designed to allow rapid development and optimization of different knowledge-based scoring potentials for specific objectives in protein-protein docking. Different atomistic and coarse-grained potentials can be created by a grid-accelerated directly scoring dependent Monte-Carlo annealing or by a linear regression optimization. We demonstrate that the scoring functions generated by our approach are similar to or even outperform state-of-the-art scoring functions for predicting near-native solutions. Of additional importance, we find that potentials specifically trained to identify the native bound complex perform rather poorly on identifying acceptable or medium quality (near-native solutions. In contrast, atomistic long-range contact potentials can increase the average fraction of near-native poses by up to a factor 2.5 in the best scored 1% decoys (compared to existing scoring, emphasizing the need of specific docking potentials for different steps in the docking protocol.

  9. Rapid Design of Knowledge-Based Scoring Potentials for Enrichment of Near-Native Geometries in Protein-Protein Docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasse, Alexander; de Vries, Sjoerd J.; Schindler, Christina E. M.; de Beauchêne, Isaure Chauvot

    2017-01-01

    Protein-protein docking protocols aim to predict the structures of protein-protein complexes based on the structure of individual partners. Docking protocols usually include several steps of sampling, clustering, refinement and re-scoring. The scoring step is one of the bottlenecks in the performance of many state-of-the-art protocols. The performance of scoring functions depends on the quality of the generated structures and its coupling to the sampling algorithm. A tool kit, GRADSCOPT (GRid Accelerated Directly SCoring OPTimizing), was designed to allow rapid development and optimization of different knowledge-based scoring potentials for specific objectives in protein-protein docking. Different atomistic and coarse-grained potentials can be created by a grid-accelerated directly scoring dependent Monte-Carlo annealing or by a linear regression optimization. We demonstrate that the scoring functions generated by our approach are similar to or even outperform state-of-the-art scoring functions for predicting near-native solutions. Of additional importance, we find that potentials specifically trained to identify the native bound complex perform rather poorly on identifying acceptable or medium quality (near-native) solutions. In contrast, atomistic long-range contact potentials can increase the average fraction of near-native poses by up to a factor 2.5 in the best scored 1% decoys (compared to existing scoring), emphasizing the need of specific docking potentials for different steps in the docking protocol. PMID:28118389

  10. 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

  11. Novel methods for improving rapid paper-based protein assays with gold nanoparticle detection

    OpenAIRE

    Lama, Lara

    2017-01-01

    This thesis describes methods for improving sensitivity in rapid singleplex and multiplex microarray assays. The assays utilize the optical characteristics of colloidal gold nanoparticles for the colorimetric detection of proteins. Multiplexed detection in sandwich immunoassays is limited by cross-reactivity between different detection antibodies. The cross-reactivity between antibodies can contribute to increased background noise - decreasing the Limit-of-Detection of the assay - or generate...

  12. Engineering split intein DnaE from Nostoc punctiforme for rapid protein purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Miguel; Valdes, Najla; Guan, Dongli; Chen, Zhilei

    2013-03-01

    We report the engineering of a DnaE intein able to catalyze rapid C-terminal cleavage in the absence of N-terminal cleavage. A single mutation in DnaE intein from Nostoc punctiforme PCC73102 (NpuDnaE), Asp118Gly, was introduced based on sequence alignment with a previously engineered C-terminal cleaving intein mini-MtuRecA. This mutation was able to both suppress N-terminal cleavage and significantly elevate C-terminal cleavage efficiency. Molecular modeling suggests that in NpuDnaE Asp118 forms a hydrogen bond with the penultimate Asn, preventing its spontaneous cyclization prior to N-terminal cleavage. Mutation of Asp118 to Gly essentially abolishes this restriction leading to subsequent C-terminal cleavage in the absence of N-terminal cleavage. The Gly118 NpuDnaE mutant exhibits rapid thio-dependent C-terminal cleavage kinetics with 80% completion within 3 h at room temperature. We used this newly engineered intein to develop both column-free and chromatography-based protein purification methods utilizing the elastin-like-polypeptide and chitin-binding protein as removable purification tags, respectively. We demonstrate rapid target protein purification to electrophoretic purity at yields up to 84 mg per liter of Escherichia coli culture.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...... conotoxin-specific PDIs, significantly and differentially accelerate the kinetics of disulfide-bond formation of several conotoxins. Our results are consistent with a unique biological scenario associated with protein folding: The diversification of a family of foldases can be correlated with the rapid...

  15. Use of bacteriophage cell wall-binding proteins for rapid diagnostics of Listeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelcher, Mathias; Loessner, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    Diagnostic protocols for food-borne bacterial pathogens such as Listeria need to be sensitive, specific, rapid, and inexpensive. Conventional culture methods are hampered by lengthy enrichment and incubation steps. Bacteriophage-derived high-affinity binding molecules (cell wall-binding domains, CBDs) specific for Listeria cells have recently been introduced as tools for detection and differentiation of this pathogen in foods. When coupled with magnetic separation, these proteins offer advantages in sensitivity and speed compared to the standard diagnostic methods. Furthermore, fusion of CBDs to differently colored fluorescent reporter proteins enables differentiation of Listeria strains in mixed cultures. This chapter provides protocols for detection of Listeria in food by CBD-based magnetic separation and subsequent multiplexed identification of strains of different serotypes with reporter-CBD fusion proteins.

  16. 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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    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. 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. 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. PMID:21633702

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian R Voolstra

    Full Text Available 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. 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. 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.

  2. Influence of the 33 kDa manganese-stabilizing protein on the structure and substrate accessibility of the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregor, Wolfgang; Cinco, Roehl M; Yu, Hui; Yachandra, Vittal K; Britt, R David

    2005-06-21

    The 33 kDa manganese-stabilizing extrinsic protein binds to the lumenal side of photosystem II (PS II) close to the Mn(4)Ca cluster of the oxygen-evolving complex, where it limits access of small molecules to the metal site. Our previous finding that the removal of this protein did not alter the magnetic coupling regime within the manganese cluster, measured by electron spin-echo envelope modulation [Gregor, W., and Britt, R. D. (2000) Photosynth. Res. 65, 175-185], prompted us to examine whether this accessibility control is also true for substrate water, using the same pulsed EPR technique. Comparing the deuteron modulation of the S(2)-state multiline signal of PS II membranes, equilibrated with deuterated water (D(2)O) after removal or retention of the 33 kDa protein, we observed no change in the number and the distance of deuterons magnetically coupled to manganese, indicating that the number and distance of water molecules bound to the manganese cluster are independent of bound 33 kDa protein in the S(1) state, in which the sample was poised prior to cryogenic illumination. A simple modulation depth analysis revealed a distance of 2.5-2.6 A between the closest deuteron and manganese. These results are in agreement with our refined X-ray absorption analysis. The manganese K-edge positions, reflecting their oxidation states, and the extended X-ray absorption fine structure amplitudes and distances between the manganese ions and their oxygen and nitrogen ligands (1.8, 2.7, and 3.3-3.4 A) were independent of bound 33 kDa protein.

  3. Influence of the 33 kDa Manganese-Stabilizing Protein on the Structure and Substrate Accessibility of the Oxygen-Evolving Complex of Photosystem II†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregor, Wolfgang; Cinco, Roehl M.; Yu, Hui; Yachandra, Vittal K.; Britt, R. David

    2014-01-01

    The 33 kDa manganese-stabilizing extrinsic protein binds to the lumenal side of photosystem II (PS II) close to the Mn4Ca cluster of the oxygen-evolving complex, where it limits access of small molecules to the metal site. Our previous finding that the removal of this protein did not alter the magnetic coupling regime within the manganese cluster, measured by electron spin-echo envelope modulation [Gregor, W., and Britt, R. D. (2000) Photosynth. Res. 65, 175–185], prompted us to examine whether this accessibility control is also true for substrate water, using the same pulsed EPR technique. Comparing the deuteron modulation of the S2-state multiline signal of PS II membranes, equilibrated with deuterated water (D2O) after removal or retention of the 33 kDa protein, we observed no change in the number and the distance of deuterons magnetically coupled to manganese, indicating that the number and distance of water molecules bound to the manganese cluster are independent of bound 33 kDa protein in the S1 state, in which the sample was poised prior to cryogenic illumination. A simple modulation depth analysis revealed a distance of 2.5–2.6 Å between the closest deuteron and manganese. These results are in agreement with our refined X-ray absorption analysis. The manganese K-edge positions, reflecting their oxidation states, and the extended X-ray absorption fine structure amplitudes and distances between the manganese ions and their oxygen and nitrogen ligands (1.8, 2.7, and 3.3–3.4 Å) were independent of bound 33 kDa protein. PMID:15952788

  4. Rapid and Adaptable Measurement of Protein Thermal Stability by Differential Scanning Fluorimetry: Updating a Common Biochemical Laboratory Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, R. Jeremy; Savas, Christopher J.; Kartje, Zachary; Hoops, Geoffrey C.

    2014-01-01

    Measurement of protein denaturation and protein folding is a common laboratory technique used in undergraduate biochemistry laboratories. Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) provides a rapid, sensitive, and general method for measuring protein thermal stability in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory. In this method, the thermal…

  5. HYPOTHESIS: PARALOG FORMATION FROM PROGENITOR PROTEINS AND PARALOG MUTAGENESIS SPUR THE RAPID EVOLUTION OF TELOMERE BINDING PROTEINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur J Lustig

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Through elegant studies in fungal cells and complex organisms, we propose a unifying paradigm for the rapid evolution of telomere binding proteins (TBPs that associate with either (or both telomeric DNA and telomeric proteins. TBPs protect and regulate telomere structure and function. Four critical factors are involved. First, TBPs that commonly bind to telomeric DNA include the c-Myb binding proteins, OB-fold single-stranded binding proteins, and G-G base paired Hoogsteen structure (G4 binding proteins. Each contributes independently or, in some cases, cooperatively, to provide a minimum level of telomere function. As a result of these minimal requirements and the great abundance of homologs of these motifs in the proteome, DNA telomere-binding activity may be generated more easily than expected. Second, telomere dysfunction gives rise to genome instability, through the elevation of recombination rates, genome ploidy, and the frequency of gene mutations. The formation of paralogs that diverge from their progenitor proteins ultimately can form a high frequency of altered TBPs with altered functions. Third, TBPs that assemble into complexes (e.g. mammalian shelterin derive benefits from the novel emergent functions. Fourth, a limiting factor in the evolution of TBP complexes is the formation of mutually compatible interaction surfaces amongst the TBPs. These factors may have different degrees of importance in the evolution of different phyla, illustrated by the apparently simpler telomeres in complex plants. Selective pressures that can utilize the mechanisms of paralog formation and mutagenesis to drive TBP evolution along routes dependent on the requisite physiologic changes.

  6. Evaluation of the synergistic effects of milk proteins in a rapid viscosity analyzer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephani, Rodrigo; Borges de Souza, Alisson; Leal de Oliveira, Marcone Augusto; Perrone, Ítalo Tuler; Fernandes de Carvalho, Antônio; Cappa de Oliveira, Luiz Fernando

    2015-12-01

    Protein systems (PS) are routinely used by companies from Brazil and around the globe to improve the texture, yield, and palatability of processed foods. Understanding the synergistic behavior among the different protein structures of these systems during thermal treatment under the influence of pH can help to better define optimum conditions for products and processes. The interpretation of the reactions and interactions that occur simultaneously among the protein constituents of these systems as dispersions during thermal processing is still a major challenge. Here, using a rapid viscosity analyzer, we observed the rheological changes in the startup viscosities of 5 PS obtained by combining varying proportions of milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate under different conditions of pH (5.0, 6.5, and 7.0) and heat processing (85°C/15min and 95°C/5min). The solutions were standardized to 25% of total solids and 17% of protein. Ten analytical parameters were used to characterize each of the startup-viscosity ramps for 35 experiments conducted in a 2×3 × 5 mixed planning matrix, using principal component analysis to interpret behavioral similarities. The study showed the clear influence of pH 5.5 in the elevation of the initial temperature of the PS startup viscosity by at least 5°C, as well as the effect of different milk protein concentrate:whey protein concentrate ratios above 15:85 at pH 7.0 on the viscographic profile curves. These results suggested that the primary agent driving the changes was the synergism among the reactions and interactions of casein with whey proteins during processing. This study reinforces the importance of the rapid viscosity analyzer as an analytical tool for the simulation of industrial processes involving PS, and the use of the startup viscosity ramp as a means of interpreting the interactions of system components with respect to changes related to the treatment temperature. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science

  7. Orbital and physical parameters of eclipsing binaries from the All-Sky Automated Survey catalogue. III. Two new low-mass systems with rapidly evolving spots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hełminiak, K. G.; Konacki, M.; Złoczewski, K.; Ratajczak, M.; Reichart, D. E.; Ivarsen, K. M.; Haislip, J. B.; Crain, J. A.; Foster, A. C.; Nysewander, M. C.; Lacluyze, A. P.

    2011-03-01

    Aims: We present the results of our spectroscopic and photometric analysis of two newly discovered low-mass detached eclipsing binaries found in the All-Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) catalogue: ASAS J093814-0104.4 and ASAS J212954-5620.1. Methods: Using the Grating Instrument for Radiation Analysis with a Fibre-Fed Echelle (GIRAFFE) on the 1.9-m Radcliffe telescope at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the University College London Echelle Spectrograph (UCLES) on the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope, we obtained high-resolution spectra of both objects and derived their radial velocities (RVs) at various orbital phases. The RVs of both objects were measured with the two-dimensional cross-correlation technique (TODCOR) using synthetic template spectra as references. We also obtained V and I band photometry using the 1.0-m Elizabeth telescope at SAAO and the 0.4-m Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes (PROMPT) located at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). The orbital and physical parameters of the systems were derived with PHOEBE and JKTEBOP codes. We compared our results with several sets of widely-used isochrones. Results: Our multi-epoch photometric observations demonstrate that both objects show significant out-of-eclipse modulations, which vary in time. We believe that this effect is caused by stellar spots, which evolve on time scales of tens of days. For this reason, we constructed our models on the basis of photometric observations spanning short time scales (less than a month). Our modeling indicates that (1) ASAS J093814-0104.04 is a main sequence active system with nearly-twin components with masses of M1 = 0.771 ± 0.033 M⊙, M2 = 0.768 ± 0.021 M⊙ and radii of R1 = 0.772 ± 0.012 R⊙ and R2 = 0.769 ± 0.013 R⊙. (2) ASAS J212954-5620.1 is a main sequence active binary with component masses of M1 = 0.833 ± 0.017 M⊙, M2 = 0.703 ± 0.013 M⊙ and radii of R1 = 0.845 ± 0.012 R⊙ and R2

  8. Rapid activation of inwardly rectifying potassium channels by immobile G-protein-coupled receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lober, Robert M; Pereira, Miguel A; Lambert, Nevin A

    2006-11-29

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate slow synaptic transmission and many other effects of small molecule and peptide neurotransmitters. In the standard model of GPCR signaling, receptors and G-proteins diffuse laterally within the plane of the plasma membrane and encounter each other by random collision. This model predicts that signaling will be most efficient if both GPCRs and G-proteins are free to diffuse, thus maximizing collision frequency. However, neuronal GPCRs are often recruited to and enriched at specific synaptic locations, suggesting receptor mobility is restricted in these cells. Here, we test the hypothesis that restricting GPCR mobility impairs signaling in neurons by limiting the frequency of collisions between receptors and G-proteins. Mu-opioid receptors (MORs) were immobilized on the surface of cerebellar granule neurons by avidin-mediated cross-linking, and inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels were used as rapid indicators of G-protein activation. Mobile and immobile MORs activated GIRK channels with the same onset kinetics and agonist sensitivity in these neurons. In a heterologous expression system, GFP (green fluorescent protein)-tagged G alpha(oA) subunits remained mobile after cross-linking, but their mobility was reduced in the presence of immobile MORs, suggesting that these receptors and subunits were transiently precoupled. In addition, channel activation could be reconstituted with immobile GPCRs, G-protein heterotrimers, and GIRK channels. These results show that collision frequency is not rate-limiting for G-protein activation in CNS neurons, and are consistent with the idea that signaling components are compartmentalized or preassembled.

  9. 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

    2015-01-01

    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-Ni2+-nitrilotriacetate (Ni-NTA) system in protein purification, there is significant interest in fluorescent Ni2+-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 Ni2+ ions. The probe, driven by Ni2+-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. PMID:25713372

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1981-03-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1981-03-01

    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.

  12. Rapid modification of proteins using a rapamycin-inducible tobacco etch virus protease system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian J Williams

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The ability to disrupt the function of a specific protein on a rapid time scale provides a powerful tool for biomedical research. Specific proteases provide a potential method to selectively cleave a chosen protein, but rapid control of protease activity is difficult.A heterologous expression system for rapid target-directed proteolysis in mammalian cells was developed. The system consists of an inducible NIa protease from the tobacco etch virus (TEVp and a chosen protein into which a TEVp substrate recognition sequence (TRS has been inserted. Inducible activity was conferred to the TEVp using rapamycin-controlled TEVp fragment complementation. TEVp activity was assayed using a FRET-based reporter construct. TEVp expression was well tolerated by mammalian cells and complete cleavage of the substrate was possible. Cleavage at 37 degrees C proceeded exponentially with a time constant of approximately 150 minutes. Attempts to improve cleavage efficiency were hampered by substantial background activity, which was attributed to inherent affinity between the TEVp fragments. A second TEVp assay, based on changes in inactivation of a modified K(V3.4 channel, showed that functional properties of a channel can be using altered using an inducible TEVp system. Similar levels of background activity and variability were observed in both electrophysiological and FRET assays.The results suggested that an optimum level of TEVp expression leading to sufficient inducible activity (with minimal background activity exists but the variability in expression levels between cells makes the present system rather impractical for single cell experiments. The system is likely to be more suitable for experiments in which the cell-to-cell variability is less of an issue; for example, in experiments involving large populations of cells.

  13. Rapid detection of milk adulteration using intact protein flow injection mass spectrometric fingerprints combined with chemometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Lijuan; Lu, Weiying; Cai, Zhenzhen Julia; Bao, Lei; Hartmann, Christoph; Gao, Boyan; Yu, Liangli Lucy

    2018-02-01

    Flow injection mass spectrometry (FIMS) combined with chemometrics was evaluated for rapidly detecting economically motivated adulteration (EMA) of milk. Twenty-two pure milk and thirty-five counterparts adulterated with soybean, pea, and whey protein isolates at 0.5, 1, 3, 5, and 10% (w/w) levels were analyzed. The principal component analysis (PCA), partial least-squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), and support vector machine (SVM) classification models indicated that the adulterated milks could successfully be classified from the pure milks. FIMS combined with chemometrics might be an effective method to detect possible EMA in milk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ras GTPase-like protein MglA, a controller of bacterial social-motility in Myxobacteria, has evolved to control bacterial predation by Bdellovibrio.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Milner

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus invade Gram-negative bacteria in a predatory process requiring Type IV pili (T4P at a single invasive pole, and also glide on surfaces to locate prey. Ras-like G-protein MglA, working with MglB and RomR in the deltaproteobacterium Myxococcus xanthus, regulates adventurous gliding and T4P-mediated social motility at both M. xanthus cell poles. Our bioinformatic analyses suggested that the GTPase activating protein (GAP-encoding gene mglB was lost in Bdellovibrio, but critical residues for MglA(Bd GTP-binding are conserved. Deletion of mglA(Bd abolished prey-invasion, but not gliding, and reduced T4P formation. MglA(Bd interacted with a previously uncharacterised tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR domain protein Bd2492, which we show localises at the single invasive pole and is required for predation. Bd2492 and RomR also interacted with cyclic-di-GMP-binding receptor CdgA, required for rapid prey-invasion. Bd2492, RomR(Bd and CdgA localize to the invasive pole and may facilitate MglA-docking. Bd2492 was encoded from an operon encoding a TamAB-like secretion system. The TamA protein and RomR were found, by gene deletion tests, to be essential for viability in both predatory and non-predatory modes. Control proteins, which regulate bipolar T4P-mediated social motility in swarming groups of deltaproteobacteria, have adapted in evolution to regulate the anti-social process of unipolar prey-invasion in the "lone-hunter" Bdellovibrio. Thus GTP-binding proteins and cyclic-di-GMP inputs combine at a regulatory hub, turning on prey-invasion and allowing invasion and killing of bacterial pathogens and consequent predatory growth of Bdellovibrio.

  17. Rapid identification of novel immunodominant proteins and characterization of a specific linear epitope of Campylobacter jejuni.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Hoppe

    Full Text Available Campylobacter jejuni remains one of the major gut pathogens of our time. Its zoonotic nature and wide-spread distribution in industrialized countries calls for a quick and reliable diagnostic tool. Antibody-based detection presents a suitable means to identify pathogenic bacteria. However, the knowledge about immunodominant targets is limited. Thus, an approach is presented, which allows for the rapid screening of numerous cDNA derived expression clones to identify novel antigens. The deeper understanding of immunodominant proteins assists in the design of diagnostic tools and furthers the insight into the bacterium's pathogenicity as well as revealing potential candidates for vaccination. We have successfully screened 1536 clones of an expression library to identify 22 proteins that have not been described as immunodominant before. After subcloning the corresponding 22 genes and expression of full-length proteins, we investigated the immunodominant character by microarrays and ELISA. Subsequently, seven proteins were selected for epitope mapping. For cj0669 and cj0920c linear epitopes were identified. For cj0669, specificity assays revealed a specific linear epitope site. Consequently, an eleven amino acid residue sequence TLIKELKRLGI was analyzed via alanine scan, which revealed the glycine residue to be significant for binding of the antibody. The innovative approach presented herein of generating cDNAs of prokaryotes in combination with a microarray platform rendering time-consuming purification steps obsolete has helped to illuminate novel immunodominant proteins of C.jejuni. The findings of a specific linear epitope pave the way for a plethora of future research and the potential use in diagnostic applications such as serological screenings. Moreover, the current approach is easily adaptable to other highly relevant bacteria making it a formidable tool for the future discovery of antigens and potential biomarkers. Consequently, it is

  18. STRAP PTM: Software Tool for Rapid Annotation and Differential Comparison of Protein Post-Translational Modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Jean L; Bhatia, Vivek N; Whelan, Stephen A; Costello, Catherine E; McComb, Mark E

    2013-12-01

    The identification of protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) is an increasingly important component of proteomics and biomarker discovery, but very few tools exist for performing fast and easy characterization of global PTM changes and differential comparison of PTMs across groups of data obtained from liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry experiments. STRAP PTM (Software Tool for Rapid Annotation of Proteins: Post-Translational Modification edition) is a program that was developed to facilitate the characterization of PTMs using spectral counting and a novel scoring algorithm to accelerate the identification of differential PTMs from complex data sets. The software facilitates multi-sample comparison by collating, scoring, and ranking PTMs and by summarizing data visually. The freely available software (beta release) installs on a PC and processes data in protXML format obtained from files parsed through the Trans-Proteomic Pipeline. The easy-to-use interface allows examination of results at protein, peptide, and PTM levels, and the overall design offers tremendous flexibility that provides proteomics insight beyond simple assignment and counting.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olijve, Luuk L C; Meister, Konrad; DeVries, Arthur L; Duman, John G; Guo, Shuaiqi; Bakker, Huib J; Voets, Ilja K

    2016-04-05

    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 commonly used colligative antifreezes such as salts and alcohols, the advantage of using AFPs as an additive is that they do not alter the physicochemical properties of the water-based material. Here, we report the first comprehensive evaluation of thermal hysteresis (TH) and ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) activity of all major classes of AFPs using cryoscopy, sonocrystallization, and recrystallization assays. The results show that TH activities determined by cryoscopy and sonocrystallization differ markedly, and that TH and IRI activities are not correlated. The absence of a distinct correlation in antifreeze activity points to a mechanistic difference in ice growth inhibition by the different classes of AFPs: blocking fast ice growth requires rapid nonbasal plane adsorption, whereas basal plane adsorption is only relevant at long annealing times and at small undercooling. These findings clearly demonstrate that biomimetic analogs of antifreeze (glyco)proteins should be tailored to the specific requirements of the targeted application.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, Nicklas N; Andersen, Nina Z; Østergaard, Jesper; Zhuang, Guisheng; Petersen, Nickolaj J; Jensen, Henrik

    2015-07-07

    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 the presence of the analyte the apparent diffusivity of the indicator changes due to complexation. This change in diffusivity is used to quantify the analyte. This approach, termed Flow Induced Dispersion Analysis (FIDA), is characterized by being fast (minutes), selective (quantification is possible 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-analyte dissociation constant which in favourable cases is in the sub-nanomolar to picomolar range for antibody-antigen interactions.

  1. Electrochemical Sensing for a Rapidly Evolving World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, Max Robertson

    This dissertation focuses on three projects involving the development of harsh environment gas sensors. The first project discusses the development of a multipurpose oxygen sensor electrode for use in sealing with the common electrolyte yttria stabilized zirconia. The purpose of the sealing function is to produce an internal reference environment maintained by a metal/metal oxide mixture, a criteria for miniaturization of potentiometric oxygen sensing technology. This sensor measures a potential between the internal reference and a sensing environment. The second project discusses the miniaturization of an oxygen sensor and the fabrication of a more generalized electrochemical sensing platform. The third project discusses the discovery of a new mechanism in the electrochemical sensing of ammonia through molecular recognition and the utilization of a sensor taking advantage of the new mechanism. An initial study involving the development of a microwave synthesized La0.8Sr0.2Al0.9Mn0.1O3 sensor electrode material illustrates the ability of the material developed to meet ionic and electronic conducting requirements for effective and Nernstian oxygen sensing. In addition the material deforms plastically under hot isostatic pressing conditions in a similar temperature and pressure regime with yttria stabilized zirconia to produce a seal and survive temperatures up to 1350 °C. In the second project we show novel methods to seal an oxygen environment inside a device cavity to produce an electrochemical sensor body using room temperature plasma-activated bonding and low temperature and pressure assisted plasma-activated bonding with silicon bodies, both in a clean room environment. The evolution from isostatic hot pressing methods towards room temperature complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatible technologies using single crystal silicon substrates in the clean room allows the sealing of devices on a much larger scale. Through this evolution in bonding technology we move from performing non-scalable experiments to produce one sensor at a time to scalable experiments producing six. The bonding methods we use are compatible with wafer scale processing. Practically speaking this means that the oxygen sensor design is scalable to produce thousands of sensors from one single bond. Using this bonding technology we develop a generalized sensing platform that could be used for a variety of sensing applications, including oxygen sensing, but also potentially involving CO2 or NOx as well. Future efforts will involve completing of O2 sensor construction and adaption of the design for CO2 and NOx sensing. The final project focuses on a novel ammonia sensor and sensing mechanism in Ag loaded zeolite Y. The sensor resistance changes upon exposure to ammonia due to the molecular recognition of Ag+ and ammonia, producing Ag(NH3)x+ species. The sensing mechanism is a Grothuss like mechanism based on the hoping of Ag+ centers. The hopping frequency of Ag+ changes upon introduction of ammonia due to the reduced electrostatic interactions between Ag+ and the negatively charged zeolite framework upon formation of Ag(NH3) x+. The change in hopping frequency results in a measurable change in impedance.

  2. Characterizing rapid, activity-linked conformational transitions in proteins via sub-second hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resetca, Diana; Wilson, Derek J

    2013-11-01

    This review outlines the application of time-resolved electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (TRESI-MS) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) to study rapid, activity-linked conformational transitions in proteins. The method is implemented on a microfluidic chip which incorporates all sample-handling steps required for a 'bottom-up' HDX workflow: a capillary mixer for sub-second HDX labeling, a static mixer for HDX quenching, a microreactor for rapid protein digestion, and on-chip electrospray. By combining short HDX labeling pulses with rapid digestion, this approach provides a detailed characterization of the structural transitions that occur during protein folding, ligand binding, post-translational modification and catalytic turnover in enzymes. This broad spectrum of applications in areas largely inaccessible to conventional techniques means that microfluidics-enabled TRESI-MS/HDX is a unique and powerful approach for investigating the dynamic basis of protein function. © 2013 FEBS.

  3. A Rapid and Reliable Method for Total Protein Extraction from Succulent Plants for Proteomic Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lledías, Fernando; Hernández, Felipe; Rivas, Viridiana; García-Mendoza, Abisaí; Cassab, Gladys I; Nieto-Sotelo, Jorge

    2017-08-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism plants have some morphological features, such as succulent and reduced leaves, thick cuticles, and sunken stomata that help them prevent excessive water loss and irradiation. As molecular constituents of these morphological adaptations to xeric environments, succulent plants produce a set of specific compounds such as complex polysaccharides, pigments, waxes, and terpenoids, to name a few, in addition to uncharacterized proteases. Since all these compounds interfere with the analysis of proteins by electrophoretic techniques, preparation of high quality samples from these sources represents a real challenge. The absence of adequate protocols for protein extraction has restrained the study of this class of plants at the molecular level. Here, we present a rapid and reliable protocol that could be accomplished in 1 h and applied to a broad range of plants with reproducible results. We were able to obtain well-resolved SDS/PAGE protein patterns in extracts from different members of the subfamilies Agavoideae (Agave, Yucca, Manfreda, and Furcraea), Nolinoideae (Dasylirion and Beucarnea), and the Cactaceae family. This method is based on the differential solubility of contaminants and proteins in the presence of acetone and pH-altered solutions. We speculate about the role of saponins and high molecular weight carbohydrates to produce electrophoretic-compatible samples. A modification of the basic protocol allowed the analysis of samples by bidimensional electrophoresis (2DE) for proteomic analysis. Furostanol glycoside 26-O-β-glucosidase (an enzyme involved in steroid saponin synthesis) was successfully identified by mass spectrometry analysis and de novo sequencing of a 2DE spot from an Agave attenuata sample.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changhua; Mao, Mao; Yuan, Hang; Shen, Huaibin; Wu, Feng; Ma, Lan; Li, Lin Song

    2013-09-01

    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 °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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A rapid, maskless 3D prototyping for fabrication of capillary circuits: Toward urinary protein detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Sheng; Zhu, Yuanqing; Tang, Shi-Yang; Li, Yuxing; Zhao, Qianbin; Yuan, Dan; Yun, Guolin; Zhang, Jun; Zhang, Shiwu; Li, Weihua

    2018-01-02

    Proteinuria is an established risk marker for progressive renal function loss and patients would significantly benefit from a point-of-care testing. Although extensive work has been done to develop the microfluidic devices for the detection of urinary protein, they need the complicated operation and bulky peripherals. Here, we present a rapid, maskless 3D prototyping for fabrication of capillary fluidic circuits using laser engraving. The capillary circuits can be fabricated in a short amount of time (<10 min) without the requirements of clean-room facilities and photomasks. The advanced capillary components (e.g., trigger valves, retention valves and retention bursting valves) were fabricated, enabling the sequential liquid delivery and sample-reagent mixing. With the integration of smartphone-based detection platform, the microfluidic device can quantify the urinary protein via a colorimetric analysis. By eliminating the bulky and expensive equipment, this smartphone-based detection platform is portable for on-site quantitative detection. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. [Rapid selection of recombinant orf virus expression vectors using green fluorescent protein].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiachun; Guo, Xianfeng; Zhang, Min; Wu, Feifan; Peng, Yongzheng

    2016-01-01

    To construct a universal, highly attenuated orf virus expression vector for exogenous genes using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as the reporter gene. The flanking regions of the ORFV132 of orf virus DNA were amplified by PCR to construct the shuttle plasmid pSPV-132LF-EGFP-132RF. The shuttle plasmid was transfected into OFTu cells and GFP was incorporated into orf virus IA82Delta 121 by homologous recombination. The recombinant IA82Delta121-V was selected by green fluorescent signal. The deletion gene was identified by PCR and sequencing. The effects of ORFV132 knockout were evaluated by virus titration and by observing the proliferation of the infected vascular endothelial cells in vitro. The recombinant orf virus IA82Delta121-V was obtained successfully and quickly, and the deletion of ORFV132 did not affect the replication of the virus in vitro but reduced its virulence. Green fluorescent protein is a selectable marker for rapid, convenient and stable selection of the recombinant viruses. Highly attenuated recombinant orf virus IA82Delta121-V can serve as a new expression vector for exogenous genes.

  10. Rapid cell-surface prion protein conversion revealed using a novel cell system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goold, R.; Rabbanian, S.; Sutton, L.; Andre, R.; Arora, P.; Moonga, J.; Clarke, A.R.; Schiavo, G.; Jat, P.; Collinge, J.; Tabrizi, S.J.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders with unique transmissible properties. The infectious and pathological agent is thought to be a misfolded conformer of the prion protein. Little is known about the initial events in prion infection because the infecting prion source has been immunologically indistinguishable from normal cellular prion protein (PrPC). Here we develop a unique cell system in which epitope-tagged PrPC is expressed in a PrP knockdown (KD) neuroblastoma cell line. The tagged PrPC, when expressed in our PrP-KD cells, supports prion replication with the production of bona fide epitope-tagged infectious misfolded PrP (PrPSc). Using this epitope-tagged PrPSc, we study the earliest events in cellular prion infection and PrP misfolding. We show that prion infection of cells is extremely rapid occurring within 1 min of prion exposure, and we demonstrate that the plasma membrane is the primary site of prion conversion. PMID:21505437

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid recognition and functional analysis of membrane proteins on human cancer cells using atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mi; Xiao, Xiubin; Liu, Lianqing; Xi, Ning; Wang, Yuechao

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the physicochemical properties of cell surface signalling molecules is important for us to uncover the underlying mechanisms that guide the cellular behaviors. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become a powerful tool for detecting the molecular interactions on individual cells with nanometer resolution. In this paper, AFM peak force tapping (PFT) imaging mode was applied to rapidly locate and visually map the CD20 molecules on human lymphoma cells using biochemically sensitive tips. First, avidin-biotin system was used to test the effectiveness of using PFT imaging mode to probe the specific molecular interactions. The adhesion images obtained on avidin-coated mica using biotin-tethered tips obviously showed the recognition spots which corresponded to the avidins in the simultaneously obtained topography images. The experiments confirmed the specificity and reproducibility of the recognition results. Then, the established procedure was applied to visualize the nanoscale organization of CD20s on the surface of human lymphoma Raji cells using rituximab (a monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody)-tethered tips. The experiments showed that the recognition spots in the adhesion images corresponded to the specific CD20-rituximab interactions. The cluster sizes of CD20s on lymphoma Raji cells were quantitatively analyzed from the recognition images. Finally, under the guidance of fluorescence recognition, the established procedure was applied to cancer cells from a clinical lymphoma patient. The results showed that there were significant differences between the adhesion images obtained on cancer cells and on normal cells (red blood cell). The CD20 distributions on ten cancer cells from the patient were quantified according to the adhesion images. The experimental results demonstrate the capability of applying PFT imaging to rapidly investigate the nanoscale biophysical properties of native membrane proteins on the cell surface, which is of potential significance in

  13. Rapid addition of unlabeled silent solubility tags to proteins using a new substrate-fused sortase reagent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amer, Brendan R.; Macdonald, Ramsay; Jacobitz, Alex W.; Liauw, Brandon; Clubb, Robert T., E-mail: rclubb@mbi.ucla.edu [University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (United States)

    2016-03-15

    Many proteins can’t be studied using solution NMR methods because they have limited solubility. To overcome this problem, recalcitrant proteins can be fused to a more soluble protein that functions as a solubility tag. However, signals arising from the solubility tag hinder data analysis because they increase spectral complexity. We report a new method to rapidly and efficiently add a non-isotopically labeled Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier protein (SUMO) solubility tag to an isotopically labeled protein. The method makes use of a newly developed SUMO-Sortase tagging reagent in which SUMO and the Sortase A (SrtA) enzyme are present within the same polypeptide. The SUMO-Sortase reagent rapidly attaches SUMO to any protein that contains the sequence LPXTG at its C-terminus. It modifies proteins at least 15-times faster than previously described approaches, and does not require active dialysis or centrifugation during the reaction to increase product yields. In addition, silently tagged proteins are readily purified using the well-established SUMO expression and purification system. The utility of the SUMO-Sortase tagging reagent is demonstrated using PhoP and green fluorescent proteins, which are ~90 % modified with SUMO at room temperature within four hours. SrtA is widely used as a tool to construct bioconjugates. Significant rate enhancements in these procedures may also be achieved by fusing the sortase enzyme to its nucleophile substrate.

  14. 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.

  15. Comparative proteomic analysis of egg white proteins during the rapid embryonic growth period by combinatorial peptide ligand libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yijun; Qiu, Ning; Ma, Meihu

    2015-10-01

    Egg white proteins provide essential nutrients and antimicrobial protection during embryonic development. Although various biological functions of major egg white proteins have been investigated via embryogenesis, understanding of global changes in low-abundance proteins has been limited. In the current study, a proteomic analysis of low-abundance egg white proteins was conducted using combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLL), two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight with two mass analyzers for tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS/MS) during the rapid embryonic growth period. Significant increases in the relative abundance of 88 protein spots (P ≤ 0.05), of which 47 spots were found to correspond to 10 proteins from 8 protein families were identified over 16 d incubation. During this developmental process, the protein concentration increased and the amount of albumin solid material decreased in the residual egg white. Clusterin precursors were observed over a wide range of pH values and the tenp protein increased continuously during embryonic development. Low-abundance proteins were identified in a comparison of optimal incubation conditions to the altered conditions of 2 control groups to better understand the function of these proteins in egg whites. Collectively, these findings provide insight into the supportive role of the egg white during embryonic development, enabling a broader understanding of chick embryogenesis. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  16. G1 cyclin degradation: the PEST motif of yeast Cln2 is necessary, but not sufficient, for rapid protein turnover.

    OpenAIRE

    Salama, S R; Hendricks, K B; Thorner, J

    1994-01-01

    The 545-residue Cln2 protein, like the other G1 cyclins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a very unstable protein. This instability is thought to play a critical role in regulating cell cycle progression. The carboxyl-terminal domains of Cln2 and the other G1 cyclins contain sequences rich in Pro, Glu (and Asp), Ser, and Thr (so-called PEST motifs) that have been postulated to make up the signals that are responsible for the rapid degradation of these and other unstable proteins. To test this h...

  17. Rapid inducible protein displacement in Plasmodium in vivo and in vitro using knocksideways technology [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie R. Hughes

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available A deeper understanding of the biology of the Plasmodium parasite is essential in order to identify targets for interventions, with the ultimate aim of eliminating malaria. Determining the function(s of essential proteins in Plasmodium has, until recently, been hampered by the lack of efficient conditional systems to abrogate proteins. We report the adaptation of a conditional technology, knocksideways (KS, for use in Plasmodium berghei, which can potentially rapidly inactivate proteins of interest through relocalisation. The system is induced using rapamycin, which allows for KS both in vitro and in vivo and is effective more rapidly than any other reported system. KS utilises pairs of fluorescent tags that facilitate live imaging and allows for rapid confirmation of efficient protein redistribution on live parasites, allowing for streamlined workflows. We demonstrate the characteristics of the system using transgenically expressed cytoplasmic GFP and provide proof of principle by inducibly redistributing a number of proteins with different native, subcellular locations.  We also demonstrate that KS can be applied to both mammalian and insect stages of Plasmodium. KS expands the range of (conditional technologies for genetic manipulation of malaria parasites and offers the potential to be further developed for medium throughput phenotype screens.

  18. Analysis of the hybrid proline-rich protein families from seven plant species suggests rapid diversification of their sequences and expression patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fischer Lukáš

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant hybrid proline-rich proteins (HyPRPs are putative cell wall proteins consisting, usually, of a repetitive proline-rich (PR N-terminal domain and a conserved eight-cysteine motif (8 CM C-terminal domain. Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of HyPRPs might provide not only insight into their so far elusive function, but also a model for other large protein families in plants. Results We have performed a phylogenetic analysis of HyPRPs from seven plant species, including representatives of gymnosperms and both monocot and dicot angiosperms. Every species studied possesses a large family of 14–52 HyPRPs. Angiosperm HyPRPs exhibit signs of recent major diversification involving, at least in Arabidopsis and rice, several independent tandem gene multiplications. A distinct subfamily of relatively well-conserved C-type HyPRPs, often with long hydrophobic PR domains, has been identified. In most of gymnosperm (pine HyPRPs, diversity appears within the C-type group while angiosperms have only a few of well-conserved C-type representatives. Atypical (glycine-rich or extremely short N-terminal domains apparently evolved independently in multiple lineages of the HyPRP family, possibly via inversion or loss of sequences encoding proline-rich domains. Expression profiles of potato and Arabidopsis HyPRP genes exhibit instances of both overlapping and complementary organ distribution. The diversified non-C-type HyPRP genes from recently amplified chromosomal clusters in Arabidopsis often share their specialized expression profiles. C-type genes have broader expression patterns in both species (potato and Arabidopsis, although orthologous genes exhibit some differences. Conclusion HyPRPs represent a dynamically evolving protein family apparently unique to seed plants. We suggest that ancestral HyPRPs with long proline-rich domains produced the current diversity through ongoing gene duplications accompanied by shortening

  19. A new way to rapidly create functional, fluorescent fusion proteins: random insertion of GFP with an in vitro transposition reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakobsdottir Klara B

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP can be inserted into the middle of another protein to produce a functional, fluorescent fusion protein. Finding permissive sites for insertion, however, can be difficult. Here we describe a transposon-based approach for rapidly creating libraries of GFP fusion proteins. Results We tested our approach on the glutamate receptor subunit, GluR1, and the G protein subunit, αs. All of the in-frame GFP insertions produced a fluorescent protein, consistent with the idea that GFP will fold and form a fluorophore when inserted into virtually any domain of another protein. Some of the proteins retained their signaling function, and the random nature of the transposition process revealed permissive sites for insertion that would not have been predicted on the basis of structural or functional models of how that protein works. Conclusion This technique should greatly speed the discovery of functional fusion proteins, genetically encodable sensors, and optimized fluorescence resonance energy transfer pairs.

  20. Selective labeling of polypeptides using protein farnesyltransferase via rapid oxime ligation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashidian, Mohammad; Dozier, Jonathan K; Lenevich, Stepan; Distefano, Mark D

    2010-12-21

    An aldehyde-containing alternative substrate for protein farnesyltransferase was prepared and shown to be enzymatically incorporated into a peptide and a protein. The protein was subsequently immobilized onto aminooxy-functionalized agarose beads or labeled with a fluorophore. This method for protein modification provides an alternative to the commonly employed Cu(I)-catalyzed click reaction.

  1. DNA evolved to minimize frameshift mutations

    OpenAIRE

    Agoni, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Point mutations can surely be dangerous but what is worst than to lose the reading frame?! Does DNA evolved a strategy to try to limit frameshift mutations?! Here we investigate if DNA sequences effectively evolved a system to minimize frameshift mutations analyzing the transcripts of proteins with high molecular weights.

  2. Rapid hydrolysis of proteins and peptides by means of microwave technology and its application to amino acid analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S T; Chiou, S H; Chu, Y H; Wang, K T

    1987-10-01

    A rapid heating method of hydrolysis by the use of microwave oven has been applied to amino acid analysis of proteins and peptides. This convenient method has been compared with the conventional 6 N HCl hydrolysis at 110 degrees for 24 h. The advantages of this new method are its expedition and the accurate and comparable results as compared to the tedious conventional technique. The method provides a rapid processing of multiple samples within minutes instead of days and inexpensive access to the important data of amino acid compositions of proteins by the commonly used microwave oven. The necessary change in the design of hydrolysis vials and the safety precautions accompanying this novel use of microwave acid-digestion method are also described.

  3. Reduced Dimensionality tailored HN(C)N Pulse Sequences for Efficient Backbone Resonance Assignment of Proteins through Rapid Identification of Sequential HSQC peaks

    CERN Document Server

    Kumar, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    Two novel reduced dimensionality (RD) experiments -(4,3)D-hNCOcaNH and (4,3)D-hNcoCANH- have been presented here to facilitate the backbone resonance assignment of proteins both in terms of its accuracy and speed. The experiments basically represent an improvisation of previously reported HN(C)N experiment [Panchal et. al., J. Biomol. NMR. (2002), 20 (2), 135-147] and exploit the simple reduced dimensionality NMR concept [Szyperski et. al. (2002), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99(12), 8009-8014] to achieve (a) higher dispersion and resolution along the co-evolved F1 dimension and (b) rapid identification of sequential HSQC peaks on its F2(15N)- F3(1H) planes. The current implementation is based on the fact that the linear combination of 15N and 13CO/13Ca chemical shifts offers relatively better dispersion and randomness compared to the individual chemical shifts; thus enables the assignment of crowded HSQC spectra by resolving the ambiguities generally encountered in HNCN based assignment protocol because of ...

  4. Rapid aminoacidemia enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis and anabolic intramuscular signaling responses after resistance exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Daniel W D; Burd, Nicholas A; Coffey, Vernon G; Baker, Steven K; Burke, Louise M; Hawley, John A; Moore, Daniel R; Stellingwerff, Trent; Phillips, Stuart M

    2011-09-01

    Ingestion of whey or casein yields divergent patterns of aminoacidemia that influence whole-body and skeletal muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) after exercise. Direct comparisons of the effects of contrasting absorption rates exhibited by these proteins are confounded by their differing amino acid contents. Our objective was to determine the effect of divergent aminoacidemia by manipulating ingestion patterns of whey protein alone on MPS and anabolic signaling after resistance exercise. In separate trials, 8 healthy men consumed whey protein either as a single bolus (BOLUS; 25-g dose) or as repeated, small, "pulsed" drinks (PULSE; ten 2.5-g drinks every 20 min) to mimic a more slowly digested protein. MPS and phosphorylation of signaling proteins involved in protein synthesis were measured at rest and after resistance exercise. BOLUS increased blood essential amino acid (EAA) concentrations above those of PULSE (162% compared with 53%, P protein fed in small pulses that mimic a more slowly digested protein. A pronounced peak aminoacidemia after exercise enhances protein synthesis. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01319513.

  5. Lipid Extract of Mycoplasma penetrans Proteinase K-Digested Lipid-Associated Membrane Proteins Rapidly Activates NF-κB and Activator Protein 1

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Shaw-Huey; Lo, Shyh-Ching

    1999-01-01

    Lipid-associated membrane proteins (LAMPs) of Mycoplasma penetrans rapidly induced macrophages to produce proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Our analysis showed that the macrophage-stimulating activity of TNF-α production was mainly attributable to a lipid extractable component(s) in the LAMP preparation. Since induction of gene expression is normally preceded by activation of transcriptional factors that bind to their specific recognition elements located ...

  6. The Achilles' Heel of "Ultrastable" Hyperthermophile Proteins: Submillimolar Concentrations of SDS Stimulate Rapid Conformational Change, Aggregation, and Amyloid Formation in Proteins Carrying Overall Positive Charge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Javed M; Sharma, Prerna; Arora, Kanika; Kishor, Nitin; Kaila, Pallavi; Guptasarma, Purnananda

    2016-07-19

    Low concentrations (SDS) have been shown to induce the formation of amyloid fibers in more than 20 different mesophile-derived proteins in the cationic state. It is not known whether SDS has similar effects on hyperthermophile-derived proteins, which are otherwise thought to be "ultrastable" and inordinately resistant to structural perturbations at room temperature. Here, we show that low (SDS rapidly induce the formation of aggregates and amyloid fibers in five different ultrastable Pyrococcus furiosus proteins in the cationic state. We also show that amyloid formation is accompanied by the development of a characteristic, negative circular dichroism band at ∼230 nm. These effects are not seen if the proteins have a net negative charge or when higher concentrations of SDS are used (which induce helix formation instead). Our results appear to reveal a potential weakness or "Achilles' heel" in ultrastable proteins from hyperthermophiles. They also provide very strong support for the view that SDS initially interacts with proteins through electrostatic interactions, and not hydrophobic interactions, eliciting similar effects entirely regardless of protein molecular weight, or structural features such as quaternary structure or tertiary structural stability.

  7. Vaccinia virus proteins A52 and B14 Share a Bcl-2-like fold but have evolved to inhibit NF-kappaB rather than apoptosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen C Graham

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Vaccinia virus (VACV, the prototype poxvirus, encodes numerous proteins that modulate the host response to infection. Two such proteins, B14 and A52, act inside infected cells to inhibit activation of NF-kappaB, thereby blocking the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We have solved the crystal structures of A52 and B14 at 1.9 A and 2.7 A resolution, respectively. Strikingly, both these proteins adopt a Bcl-2-like fold despite sharing no significant sequence similarity with other viral or cellular Bcl-2-like proteins. Unlike cellular and viral Bcl-2-like proteins described previously, A52 and B14 lack a surface groove for binding BH3 peptides from pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-like proteins and they do not modulate apoptosis. Structure-based phylogenetic analysis of 32 cellular and viral Bcl-2-like protein structures reveals that A52 and B14 are more closely related to each other and to VACV N1 and myxoma virus M11 than they are to other viral or cellular Bcl-2-like proteins. This suggests that a progenitor poxvirus acquired a gene encoding a Bcl-2-like protein and, over the course of evolution, gene duplication events have allowed the virus to exploit this Bcl-2 scaffold for interfering with distinct host signalling pathways.

  8. Rapid and systemic accumulation of chloroplast mRNA-binding protein transcripts after flame stimulus in tomato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vian, A.; Henry-Vian, C.; Davies, E.

    1999-01-01

    It has been shown that tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) plants respond to flame wounding and electrical stimulation by a rapid (15 min) and systemic up-regulation of proteinase inhibitor (pin) genes. To find other genes having a similar expression pattern, we used subtractive cDNA screening between flamed and control plants to select clones up-regulated by flame wounding. We report the characterization of one of them, a chloroplast mRNA-binding protein encoded by a single gene and expressed preferentially in the leaves. Systemic gene expression in response to flaming in the youngest terminal leaf exhibited three distinct phases: a rapid and transient increase (5-15 min) in transcript accumulation, a decline to basal levels (15-45 min), and then a second, more prolonged increase (60-90 min). In contrast, after a mechanical wound the rapid, transient increase (5 min) was followed by a rapid decline to basal levels but no later, prolonged accumulation. In the petiole, the initial flame-wound-evoked transient increase (15 min) was followed by a continuous decline for 3 h. The nature of the wound signal(s) causing such rapid changes in transcript abundance is discussed in relation to electrical signaling, which has recently been implicated in plant responses to wounding.

  9. Rapid calculation of protein chemical shifts using bond polarization theory and its application to protein structure refinement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovkin, Igor; Klipfel, Marco; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Ulrich, Anne S; Luy, Burkhard; Sternberg, Ulrich

    2012-09-21

    Although difficult to analyze, NMR chemical shifts provide detailed information on protein structure. We have adapted the semi-empirical bond polarization theory (BPT) to protein chemical shift calculation and chemical shift driven protein structure refinement. A new parameterization for BPT amide nitrogen chemical shift calculation has been derived from MP2 ab initio calculations and successfully evaluated using crystalline tripeptides. We computed the chemical shifts of the small globular protein ubiquitin, demonstrating that BPT calculations can match the results obtained at the DFT level of theory at very low computational cost. In addition to the calculation of chemical shift tensors, BPT allows the calculation of chemical shift gradients and consequently chemical shift driven geometry optimizations. We applied chemical shift driven protein structure refinement to the conformational analysis of a set of Trypanosoma brucei (the causative agent of African sleeping sickness) tryparedoxin peroxidase Px III structures. We found that the interaction of Px III with its reaction partner Tpx seems to be governed by conformational selection rather than by induced fit.

  10. Elevation of urinary adipsin in preeclampsia: correlation with urine protein concentration and the potential use for a rapid diagnostic test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Zhou, Rong; Gao, Linbo; Wang, Yanyun; Song, Changping; Gong, Yunhui; Jia, Jin; Xiong, Wei; Dai, Li; Zhang, Lin; Hu, Huaizhong

    2014-10-01

    Early diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia are essential for prevention of seizure development and fetus maturation. Although various methods have been developed for predicting or monitoring the onset of preeclampsia, a simple assay that can be used as a home or point of care test remains unavailable. We attempted to find a urinary protein that could be used as a biomarker for developing such a test. Urinary samples were collected from 124 preeclampsia and 135 healthy pregnant women for screening using a protein array technology and quantification by ELISA. A urinary protein, adipsin, was found significantly increased, and the adipsin creatinine ratio was closely correlated with the urinary 24-hour protein in patients with preeclampsia. When combined with the increased diastolic blood pressure (≥90 mm Hg), the sensitivity was 90.3% and the specificity reached 100.0% for preeclampsia diagnosis. We then developed a laminar flow immunoassay for rapid diagnosis, and the sensitivity and specificity were 89.04% and 100%, respectively, when combined with increased diastolic blood pressure. Because of the easiness of sample collection, assay conduction, and result interpretation, this urine test can be potentially used as a home test for monitoring preeclampsia onset for high-risk pregnant women and as a rapid test for a preliminary diagnosis for emergency patients at hospitals. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  11. Rapid characterization of binding specificity and cross-reactivity of antibodies using recombinant human protein arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kijanka, Gregor; Ipcho, Simon; Baars, Sabine; Chen, Hong; Hadley, Katie; Beveridge, Allan; Gould, Edith; Murphy, Derek

    2009-01-30

    Antibodies are routinely used as research tools, in diagnostic assays and increasingly as therapeutics. Ideally, these applications require antibodies with high sensitivity and specificity; however, many commercially available antibodies are limited in their use as they cross-react with non-related proteins. Here we describe a novel method to characterize antibody specificity. Six commercially available monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies were screened on high-density protein arrays comprising of ~10,000 recombinant human proteins (Imagenes). Two of the six antibodies examined; anti-pICln and anti-GAPDH, bound exclusively to their target antigen and showed no cross-reactivity with non-related proteins. However, four of the antibodies, anti-HSP90, anti-HSA, anti-bFGF and anti-Ro52, showed strong cross-reactivity with other proteins on the array. Antibody-antigen interactions were readily confirmed using Western immunoblotting. In addition, the redundant nature of the protein array used, enabled us to define the epitopic region within HSP90 of the anti-HSP90 antibody, and identify possible shared epitopes in cross-reacting proteins. In conclusion, high-density protein array technology is a fast and effective means for determining the specificity of antibodies and can be used to further improve the accuracy of antibody applications.

  12. [A rapid method for the quantitative determination of protein in urine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kariagina, I Iu; Slepysheva, V V; Kozlov, A V

    1996-01-01

    A simple, economic, and available method for measuring protein in the urine is proposed. It is based on the capacity of bromophenol blue stain to form a complex with proteins in acid medium, which is characterized by absorption maximum at a wave-length of 597 nm. The proposed method is compared with the sulfosalicylic acid test and the Biuret method.

  13. 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...... infection in pigs. The lung infection was established with the pig specific respiratory pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Quantitative real-time PCR based expression analysis were performed on samples from liver, tracheobronchial lymph node, tonsils, spleen and on blood leukocytes, supplemented...... 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...

  14. A cleavable silica-binding affinity tag for rapid and inexpensive protein purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyle, Brandon L; Baneyx, François

    2014-10-01

    We describe a new affinity purification tag called Car9 that confers proteins to which it is fused micromolar affinity for unmodified silica. When appended to the C-terminus of GFPmut2 through a flexible linker, Car9 promotes efficient adsorption to silica gel and the fusion protein can be released from the particles by incubation with L-lysine. Using a silica gel column and the lysine elution approach in fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) mode, Car9-tagged versions of GFPmut2, mCherry and maltose binding protein (MBP) can be recovered from clarified lysates with a purity of 80-90%. Capitalizing on silica's ability to handle large pressure drops, we further show that it is possible to go from cell lysates to purified protein in less than 15 min using a fully disposable device. Finally, we demonstrate that the linker-Car9 region is susceptible to proteolysis by E. coli OmpT and take advantage of this observation to excise the C-terminal extension of GFPmut2-Car9 by incubating purified fusion protein with cells that overproduce the outer membrane protease OmpT. The set of strategies described herein, should reduce the cost of affinity purification by at least 10-fold, cut down purification times to minutes, and allow for the production of proteins with native (or nearly native) termini from their C-terminally-tagged versions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Method for rapid optimization of recombinant GPCR protein expression and stability using virus-like particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Thao T; Nguyen, Jasmine T; Liu, Juping; Stanczak, Pawel; Thompson, Aaron A; Yan, Yingzhuo G; Chen, Jasmine; Allerston, Charles K; Dillard, Charles L; Xu, Hao; Shoger, Nicholas J; Cameron, Jill S; Massari, Mark E; Aertgeerts, Kathleen

    2017-05-01

    Recent innovative approaches to stabilize and crystallize GPCRs have resulted in an unprecedented breakthrough in GPCR crystal structures as well as application of the purified receptor protein in biophysical and biochemical ligand binding assays. However, the protein optimization process to enable these technologies is lengthy and requires iterative overexpression, solubilization, purification and functional analysis of tens to hundreds of protein variants. Here, we report a new and versatile method to screen in parallel hundreds of GPCR variants in HEK293 produced virus-like particles (VLPs) for protein yield, stability, functionality and ligand binding. This approach reduces the time and resources during GPCR construct optimization by eliminating lengthy protein solubilization and purification steps and by its adaptability to many binding assay formats (label or label-free detection). We exemplified the robustness of our VLP method by screening 210 GALR3-VLP variants in a radiometric agonist-based binding assay and a subset of 88 variants in a label-free antagonist-based assay. The resulting GALR3 agonist or antagonist stabilizing variants were then further used for recombinant protein expression in transfected insect cells. The final purified protein variants were successfully immobilized on a biosensor chip and used in a surface plasmon resonance binding assay. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A convenient method for rapid determination of proteins in rices and rice products

    OpenAIRE

    光永, 俊郎; 安藤, ひとみ

    1990-01-01

    [Author abstract]In the biuret determination of protein in rices and rice products, starch and lipids extractable with an alkaline solution such as biuret reagent were found to interfere with the biuret method. Comparative evaluation of their effects revealed that starch, a major component of rice, has the most significant effect on the biuret method. In the presence of starch, the correlation between Kjeldahl protein and the optical density of biuret was poor. It was found that several perha...

  19. Rapid procedure for coupling of protein antigens to red cells to be used in plaque assays by prewashing in chromium chloride

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Savelkoul, H.F.J.; Greeve, A.A.M.; Rijkers, G.T.; Marwitz, P.A.; Benner, R.

    1988-01-01

    A rapid and efficient procedure is described for the coupling of proteins (protein A, provalbumin, albumin and chicken gamma globulin) to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) to be used in antigen-specific or protein A plaque assays. This modification of the original procedure has three distinct features:

  20. 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.

  1. An easy, rapid method to isolate RPE cell protein from the mouse eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hong; Xun, Zixian; Granado, Herta; Wu, Angela; Handa, James T

    2016-04-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is essential for maintaining the health of the neural retina. RPE cell dysfunction plays a critical role in many common blinding diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal dystrophies. Mouse models of ocular disease are commonly used to study these blinding diseases. Since isolating the RPE from the choroid has been challenging, most techniques separate the RPE from the retina, but not the choroid. As a result, the protein signature actually represents a heterogeneous population of cells that may not accurately represent the RPE response. Herein, we describe a method for separating proteins from the RPE that is free from retinal and choroidal contamination. After removing the anterior segment and retina from enucleated mouse eyes, protein from the RPE was extracted separately from the choroid by incubating the posterior eyecup with a protein lysis buffer for 10 min. Western blot analysis identified RPE65, an RPE specific protein in the RPE lysates, but not in choroidal lysates. The RPE lysates were devoid of rhodopsin and collagen VI, which are abundant in the retina and choroid, respectively. This technique will be very helpful for measuring the protein signal from the RPE without retinal or choroidal contamination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Rapid refinement of protein interfaces incorporating solvation: application to the docking problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, R M; Gabb, H A; Sternberg, M J

    1998-02-13

    A computationally tractable strategy has been developed to refine protein-protein interfaces that models the effects of side-chain conformational change, solvation and limited rigid-body movement of the subunits. The proteins are described at the atomic level by a multiple copy representation of side-chains modelled according to a rotamer library on a fixed peptide backbone. The surrounding solvent environment is described by "soft" sphere Langevin dipoles for water that interact with the protein via electrostatic, van der Waals and field-dependent hydrophobic terms. Energy refinement is based on a two-step process in which (1) a probability-based conformational matrix of the protein side-chains is refined iteratively by a mean field method. A side-chain interacts with the protein backbone and the probability-weighted average of the surrounding protein side-chains and solvent molecules. The resultant protein conformations then undergo (2) rigid-body energy minimization to relax the protein interface. Steps (1) and (2) are repeated until convergence of the interaction energy. The influence of refinement on side-chain conformation starting from unbound conformations found improvement in the RMSD of side-chains in the interface of protease-inhibitor complexes, and shows that the method leads to an improvement in interface geometry. In terms of discriminating between docked structures, the refinement was applied to two classes of protein-protein complex: five protease-protein inhibitor and four antibody-antigen complexes. A large number of putative docked complexes have already been generated for the test systems using our rigid-body docking program, FTDOCK. They include geometries that closely resemble the crystal complex, and therefore act as a test for the refinement procedure. In the protease-inhibitors, geometries that resemble the crystal complex are ranked in the top four solutions for four out of five systems when solvation is included in the energy function

  4. Evolving digital ecological networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Fortuna

    Full Text Available "It is hard to realize that the living world as we know it is just one among many possibilities" [1]. Evolving digital ecological networks are webs of interacting, self-replicating, and evolving computer programs (i.e., digital organisms that experience the same major ecological interactions as biological organisms (e.g., competition, predation, parasitism, and mutualism. Despite being computational, these programs evolve quickly in an open-ended way, and starting from only one or two ancestral organisms, the formation of ecological networks can be observed in real-time by tracking interactions between the constantly evolving organism phenotypes. These phenotypes may be defined by combinations of logical computations (hereafter tasks that digital organisms perform and by expressed behaviors that have evolved. The types and outcomes of interactions between phenotypes are determined by task overlap for logic-defined phenotypes and by responses to encounters in the case of behavioral phenotypes. Biologists use these evolving networks to study active and fundamental topics within evolutionary ecology (e.g., the extent to which the architecture of multispecies networks shape coevolutionary outcomes, and the processes involved.

  5. Nile Red fluorescence spectrum decomposition enables rapid screening of large protein aggregates in complex biopharmaceutical formulations like influenza vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Ziya; Akkoc, Senem; Neeleman, Ronald; Haines, Jonathan; Kayser, Veysel

    2017-05-25

    The extensive presence of large (high molecular weight) protein aggregates in biopharmaceutical formulations is a concern for formulation stability and possibly safety. Tests to screen large aggregate content in such bioformulations are therefore needed for rapid and reliable quality control in industrial settings. Herein, non-commercial seasonal influenza split-virus vaccine samples, produced using various strains and extracted from selected industrial processing steps, were used as model complex bioformulations. Orthogonal characterization through transmission electron microscopy, UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography and single-radial immunodiffusion revealed that large, amorphous protein aggregates are formed after virus splitting and their presence is linked mainly, albeit not only, to surfactant (Triton X-100) content in a sample. Importantly, the presence of large virus aggregates in purified whole virus samples and large protein aggregates in vaccine samples was found to correlate with broadening/shouldering in Nile Red fluorescence spectra. Accordingly, decomposition of Nile Red spectra into components allowed the development of a novel, rapid, reliable and user-friendly test with high-throughput potential for screening large aggregate content in influenza split-virus vaccines. The test can be adapted for screening other complex biopharmaceutical formulations, provided relevant controls are done for informed decomposition of fluorescence spectra into their components. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Rapid photochemical surface patterning of proteins in thiol-ene based microfluidic devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lafleur, Josiane P.; Kwapiszewski, Radoslaw; Jensen, Thomas G.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to immobilize biomolecules at specific locations on the surface of solid supports is central to many biochip applications. This paper reports the rapid one-step photochemical surface patterning of biomolecules in thiol-ene microfluidic chips. Adjusting the stoichiometric ratio of "thi...... photolithography. We also present quantitative data on the number of functional groups available for surface modification on thiol-ene substrates and their stability....

  8. A low cost and palm-size analyzer for rapid and sensitive protein detection by AC electrokinetics capacitive sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaozhu; Cheng, Cheng; Wu, Jayne; Eda, Shigetoshi; Guo, Yongcai

    2017-04-15

    Specific detection of protein biomarkers has a wide range of applications in areas such as medical science, diagnostics, and pharmacology. Quantitative detection of protein biomarkers in biological media, such as serum, is critically important in detecting disease or physiological malfunction, or tracking disease progression. Among various detection methods, electrical detection is particularly well suited for point-of-care (POC) specific protein detection, being of low cost, light weight and small form factor. A portable system for sensitive and quantitative detection of protein biomarkers will be highly valuable in controlling and preventing diseases outbreaks. Recently, an alternating current electrokinetic (ACEK) capacitive sensing method has been reported to demonstrate very promising performance on rapid and sensitive detection of specific protein from serum. In this work, a low cost and portable analyzer with good accuracy is developed to use with ACEK capacitive sensing to produce a true POC technology. The development of a board-level capacitance readout system is presented, as well as the adaption of the protocol for use with ACEK capacitive sensing. Results showed that the developed system could achieve a limit of detection of 10ng/mL, comparable to a sophisticated benchtop instrument. With its small size and light-weight similar to a smart phone, the developed system is ready to be applicable to POC diagnostics. Further, the readout system can be readily expanded for multichannel monitoring and telecommunication capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. A force-activated trip switch triggers rapid dissociation of a colicin from its immunity protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver E Farrance

    Full Text Available 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 (K(d ≈ 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 (<20 pN increases the rate of complex dissociation 10(6-fold, to a timescale (lifetime ≈ 10 ms compatible with intoxication. We term this catastrophic 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.

  12. Rapid Temporal Control of Foxp3 Protein Degradation by Sirtuin-1

    OpenAIRE

    Van Loosdregt, J; Brunen, D; Fleskens, V; Pals, CEGM; Lam, EWF; Coffer, PJ

    2011-01-01

    Maintenance of Foxp3 protein expression in regulatory T cells (Treg) is crucial for a balanced immune response. We have previously demonstrated that Foxp3 protein stability can be regulated through acetylation, however the specific mechanisms underlying this observation remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that SIRT1 a member of the lysine deacetylase Sirtuin (SIRT) family, but not the related SIRTs 2–7, co-localize with Foxp3 in the nucleus. Ectopic expression of SIRT1, but not SIRTs 2–7 resu...

  13. 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

  14. A Computational Library Design Protocol for Rapid Improvement of Protein Stability : FRESCO

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijma, Hein; Fürst, Maximilian; Janssen, Dick; Clifton, N.J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to stabilize enzymes and other proteins has wide-ranging applications. Most protocols for enhancing enzyme stability require multiple rounds of high-throughput screening of mutant libraries and provide only modest improvements of stability. Here, we describe a computational library

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJL

    2012-05-15

    May 15, 2012 ... Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South. China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, China. Accepted 30 March, 2012. Conventional Coomassie brilliant blue (CBB) staining is widely used in protein detection ...

  16. Protein-Adsorbed Magnetic-Nanoparticle-Mediated Assay for Rapid Detection of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowger, Taku A; Yang, Yaping; Rink, David E; Todd, Trever; Chen, Hongmin; Shen, Ye; Yan, Yajun; Xie, Jin

    2017-04-19

    Antibiotic susceptibility tests have been used for years as a crucial diagnostic tool against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, due to a lack of biomarkers specific to resistant types, these approaches are often time-consuming, inaccurate, and inflexible in drug selections. Here, we present a novel susceptibility test method named protein-adsorbed nanoparticle-mediated matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, or PANMS. Briefly, we adsorb five different proteins (β-casein, α-lactalbumin, human serum albumin, fibrinogen, and avidin) onto the surface of Fe3O4. Upon interaction with bacteria surface, proteins were displaced from the nanoparticle surface, the amounts of which were quantified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. We find that the protein displacement profile was different distinctive among different bacteria strains and, in particular, between wild-type and drug-resistant strains. More excitingly, we observe bacteria resistant to drugs of the same mechanisms share similar displacement profiles on a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) map. This suggests the possibility of using PANMS to identify the type of mechanism behind antibiotic resistance, which was confirmed in a blind test. Given that PANMS is free of drug incubation and the whole procedure takes less than 50 min, it holds great potential as a high-throughput, low-cost, and accurate drug susceptibility test in the clinic.

  17. 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

    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...

  18. Seamless bead to microarray screening: rapid identification of the highest affinity protein ligands from large combinatorial libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astle, John M; Simpson, Levi S; Huang, Yong; Reddy, M Muralidhar; Wilson, Rosemary; Connell, Steven; Wilson, Johnnie; Kodadek, Thomas

    2010-01-29

    Several approaches have been developed for screening combinatorial libraries or collections of synthetic molecules for agonists or antagonists of protein function, each with its own advantages and limitations. In this report, we describe an experimental platform that seamlessly couples massively parallel bead-based screening of one-bead one-compound combinatorial libraries with microarray-based quantitative comparisons of the binding affinities of the many hits isolated from the bead library. Combined with other technical improvements, this technique allows the rapid identification of the best protein ligands in combinatorial libraries containing millions of compounds without the need for labor-intensive resynthesis of the hits. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Rapid photochemical surface patterning of proteins in thiol-ene based microfluidic devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lafleur, Josiane P.; Kwapiszewski, Radoslaw; Jensen, Thomas Glasdam

    2013-01-01

    The suitable optical properties of thiol–ene polymers combined with the ease of modifying their surface for the attachment of recognition molecules make them ideal candidates in many biochip applications. This paper reports the rapid one-step photochemical surface patterning of biomolecules...... ! 17 SH nm"2. Biotin alkyne was patterned directly inside thiol–ene microchannels prior to conjugation with fluorescently labelled streptavidin. The surface bound conjugates were detected by evanescent waveinduced fluorescence (EWIF), demonstrating the success of the grafting procedure and its...... potential for biochip applications....

  20. A Stimuli-Responsive, Binary Reagent System for Rapid Isolation of Protein Biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehilla, Barrett J; Hill, John J; Srinivasan, Selvi; Chen, Yen-Chi; Schulte, Thomas H; Stayton, Patrick S; Lai, James J

    2016-11-01

    Magnetic microbeads exhibit rapid separation characteristics and are widely employed for biomolecule and cell isolations in research laboratories, clinical diagnostics assays, and cell therapy manufacturing. However, micrometer particle diameters compromise biomarker recognition, which leads to long incubation times and significant reagent demands. Here, a stimuli-responsive binary reagent system is presented that combines the nanoscale benefits of efficient biomarker recognition and the microscale benefits of rapid magnetic separation. This system comprises magnetic nanoparticles and polymer-antibody (Ab) conjugates that transition from hydrophilic nanoscale reagents to microscale aggregates in response to temperature stimuli. The binary reagent system was benchmarked against Ab-labeled Dynabeads in terms of biomarker isolation kinetics, assay speed, and reagent needs. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements showed that polymer conjugation did not significantly alter the Ab's binding affinity or kinetics. ELISA analysis showed that the unconjugated Ab, polymer-Ab conjugates, and Ab-labeled Dynabeads exhibited similar equilibrium dissociation constants (K d ), ∼2 nM. However, the binary reagent system isolated HIV p24 antigen from spiked serum specimens (150 pg/mL) much more quickly than Dynabeads, which resulted in shorter binding times by tens of minutes, or about 30-50% shorter overall assay times. The binary reagent system showed improved performance because the Ab molecules were not conjugated to large, solid microparticle surfaces. This stimuli-responsive binary reagent system illustrates the potential advantages of nanoscale reagents in molecule and cell isolations for both research and clinical applications.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A Computational Library Design Protocol for Rapid Improvement of Protein Stability: FRESCO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijma, Hein J; Fürst, Maximilian J L J; Janssen, Dick B

    2018-01-01

    The ability to stabilize enzymes and other proteins has wide-ranging applications. Most protocols for enhancing enzyme stability require multiple rounds of high-throughput screening of mutant libraries and provide only modest improvements of stability. Here, we describe a computational library design protocol that can increase enzyme stability by 20-35 °C with little experimental screening, typically fewer than 200 variants. This protocol, termed FRESCO, scans the entire protein structure to identify stabilizing disulfide bonds and point mutations, explores their effect by molecular dynamics simulations, and provides mutant libraries with variants that have a good chance (>10%) to exhibit enhanced stability. After experimental verification, the most effective mutations are combined to produce highly robust enzymes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantelius, Jesper; Bass, Tarek; Sjöberg, Ronald; Nilsson, Peter; Andersson-Svahn, Helene

    2011-01-01

    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 (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. PMID:22174629

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Takano Tetsuo; Liu Shenkui; Tsugama Daisuke

    2011-01-01

    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+ ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Measurably evolving populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drummond, Alexei James; Pybus, Oliver George; Rambaut, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    processes through time. Populations for which such studies are possible � measurably evolving populations (MEPs) � are characterized by sufficiently long or numerous sampled sequences and a fast mutation rate relative to the available range of sequence sampling times. The impact of sequences sampled through...... understanding of evolutionary processes in diverse organisms, from viruses to vertebrates....

  11. Rapid DNA Synthesis During EarlyDrosophilaEmbryogenesis 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blaszczak, L.C.; Halligan, N.G. (Lilly (Eli) and Co., Indianapolis, IN (USA). Lilly Research Labs.); Seitz, D.E. (Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ., Indianapolis, IN (USA). School of Medicine)

    1989-04-01

    Radioiodination of p-(trimethylstannyl)penicillin V with ({sup 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-({sup 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 ({sup 3}H)-penicillin G or ({sup 14}C)-penicillin G for these experiments. (author).

  13. Lipid Extract of Mycoplasma penetrans Proteinase K-Digested Lipid-Associated Membrane Proteins Rapidly Activates NF-κB and Activator Protein 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shaw-Huey; Lo, Shyh-Ching

    1999-01-01

    Lipid-associated membrane proteins (LAMPs) of Mycoplasma penetrans rapidly induced macrophages to produce proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Our analysis showed that the macrophage-stimulating activity of TNF-α production was mainly attributable to a lipid extractable component(s) in the LAMP preparation. Since induction of gene expression is normally preceded by activation of transcriptional factors that bind to their specific recognition elements located in the upstream promoter region, we examined the activity of transcriptional factors, namely, NF-κB and activator protein 1 (AP-1), in thioglycolate exudate peritoneal (TEP) macrophages treated with M. penetrans lipid extract of proteinase K (PK)-digested LAMPs. Initially, in the nuclei of unstimulated TEP cells, there was only a low basal level of active AP-1, and the active form of NF-κB could not be detected. M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs activated both NF-κB and AP-1 in TEP macrophages within 15 min. The markedly increased activities of both factors gradually declined and dissipated after 2 h. Parallel to the rapid increase of NF-κB and AP-1, the TNF-α transcript also increased significantly 15 min after the stimulation. The high-level expression of TNF-α persisted over 2 h. Dexamethasone blocked the activation of both NF-κB and AP-1 and suppressed the production of TNF-α in TEP macrophages stimulated by M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs. Our study demonstrates that the M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMP is a potent activator for NF-κB and AP-1 in murine TEP macrophages. Our results also suggest that high-level expression of TNF-α in cells induced by M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs is associated with rapid activation of transcriptional factors NF-κB and AP-1. PMID:10338504

  14. Lipid extract of Mycoplasma penetrans proteinase K-digested lipid-associated membrane proteins rapidly activates NF-kappaB and activator protein 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, S H; Lo, S C

    1999-06-01

    Lipid-associated membrane proteins (LAMPs) of Mycoplasma penetrans rapidly induced macrophages to produce proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Our analysis showed that the macrophage-stimulating activity of TNF-alpha production was mainly attributable to a lipid extractable component(s) in the LAMP preparation. Since induction of gene expression is normally preceded by activation of transcriptional factors that bind to their specific recognition elements located in the upstream promoter region, we examined the activity of transcriptional factors, namely, NF-kappaB and activator protein 1 (AP-1), in thioglycolate exudate peritoneal (TEP) macrophages treated with M. penetrans lipid extract of proteinase K (PK)-digested LAMPs. Initially, in the nuclei of unstimulated TEP cells, there was only a low basal level of active AP-1, and the active form of NF-kappaB could not be detected. M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs activated both NF-kappaB and AP-1 in TEP macrophages within 15 min. The markedly increased activities of both factors gradually declined and dissipated after 2 h. Parallel to the rapid increase of NF-kappaB and AP-1, the TNF-alpha transcript also increased significantly 15 min after the stimulation. The high-level expression of TNF-alpha persisted over 2 h. Dexamethasone blocked the activation of both NF-kappaB and AP-1 and suppressed the production of TNF-alpha in TEP macrophages stimulated by M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs. Our study demonstrates that the M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMP is a potent activator for NF-kappaB and AP-1 in murine TEP macrophages. Our results also suggest that high-level expression of TNF-alpha in cells induced by M. penetrans lipid extract of PK-digested LAMPs is associated with rapid activation of transcriptional factors NF-kappaB and AP-1.

  15. Evidence for Field-Evolved Resistance of Striacosta albicosta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to Cry1F Bacillus thuringiensis Protein and Transgenic Corn Hybrids in Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J L; Lepping, M D; Rule, D M; Farhan, Y; Schaafsma, A W

    2017-10-01

    Western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a pest of corn (Zea mays L.) that has recently expanded its range into Ontario, Canada. Control of S. albicosta damage to corn hybrids containing event TC1507-expressing Cry1F Bacillus thuringiensis protein alone or pyramided with event MON 89034 expressing Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 Bt proteins was tested in 2011-2015 in Ontario in small- and large-scale field plots with natural infestation. In 2011, significantly lower incidence and severity of kernel damage was sustained by Cry1F × Cry1A.105 + Cry2Ab2 corn compared with a non-Bt near-isogenic hybrid. However, from 2012 to 2015, there was no difference in incidence or severity of damage comparing non-Bt hybrids with Cry1F hybrids alone or pyramided with Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 planted as a pure stand or with an integrated refuge (95% Bt: 5% non-Bt seeds). In 2015, neonate larvae derived from Ontario field-collections were tested in concentration-response diet-overlay bioassays with lyophilized Cry1F protein at concentrations up to 75 µg cm-2. The concentrations at which mortality of 50% (LC50) of the collections occurred ranged from approximately 10 µg cm-2 (F0) to >28 µg cm-2 (F1) in a 7-d bioassay, indicating relative insensitivity to Cry1F. Results from field experiments, laboratory bioassays, and the history of exposure to Cry1F in corn show that S. albicosta in Ontario are not controlled by Cry1F-expressing corn hybrids and provide evidence for the conclusion that the evolution of resistance to Cry1F has occurred. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Accuracy of commercially available c-reactive protein rapid tests in the context of undifferentiated fevers in rural Laos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phommasone, Koukeo; Althaus, Thomas; Souvanthong, Phonesavanh; Phakhounthong, Khansoudaphone; Soyvienvong, Laxoy; Malapheth, Phatthaphone; Mayxay, Mayfong; Pavlicek, Rebecca L; Paris, Daniel H; Dance, David; Newton, Paul; Lubell, Yoel

    2016-02-04

    C-Reactive Protein (CRP) has been shown to be an accurate biomarker for discriminating bacterial from viral infections in febrile patients in Southeast Asia. Here we investigate the accuracy of existing rapid qualitative and semi-quantitative tests as compared with a quantitative reference test to assess their potential for use in remote tropical settings. Blood samples were obtained from consecutive patients recruited to a prospective fever study at three sites in rural Laos. At each site, one of three rapid qualitative or semi-quantitative tests was performed, as well as a corresponding quantitative NycoCard Reader II as a reference test. We estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the three tests against a threshold of 10 mg/L and kappa values for the agreement of the two semi-quantitative tests with the results of the reference test. All three tests showed high sensitivity, specificity and kappa values as compared with the NycoCard Reader II. With a threshold of 10 mg/L the sensitivity of the tests ranged from 87-98 % and the specificity from 91-98 %. The weighted kappa values for the semi-quantitative tests were 0.7 and 0.8. The use of CRP rapid tests could offer an inexpensive and effective approach to improve the targeting of antibiotics in remote settings where health facilities are basic and laboratories are absent. This study demonstrates that accurate CRP rapid tests are commercially available; evaluations of their clinical impact and cost-effectiveness at point of care is warranted.

  17. 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.

  18. Rapid optimization of protein freeze-drying formulations using ultra scale-down and factorial design of experiment in microplates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Yitzchak; Matejtschuk, Paul; Dalby, Paul A

    2009-12-01

    Retaining biopharmaceutical proteins in a stable form is critical to their safety and efficacy, and is a major factor for optimizing the final product. Freeze-dried formulations offer one route for improved stability. Currently the optimization of formulations for freeze-drying is an empirical process that requires many time-consuming experiments and also uses large quantities of product material. Here we describe a generic framework for the rapid identification and optimization of formulation excipients to prevent loss of protein activity during a lyophilization process. Using factorial design of experiment (DOE) methods combined with lyophilization in microplates a range of optimum formulations were rapidly identified that stabilized lactose dehydrogenase (derived from Lactobacillus leichmanii) during freeze-drying. The procedure outlined herein involves two rounds of factorially designed experiments-an initial screen to identify key excipients and potential interactions followed by a central composite face designed optimization experiment. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and lactose were shown to have significant effects on maintaining protein stability at the screening stage and optimization resulted in an accurate model that was used to plot a window of operation. The variation of freezing temperatures and rates of sublimation that occur across a microplate during freeze-drying have been characterized also. The optimum formulation was then freeze-dried in stoppered vials to verify that the microscale data was relevant to the effects observed at larger pilot scales. This work provides a generic approach to biopharmaceutical formulation screening where possible excipients can be screened for single and interactive effects thereby increasing throughput while reducing costs in terms of time and materials.

  19. [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.

  20. A combined cell-free transcription-translation system from Saccharomyces cerevisiae for rapid and robust protein synthe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Rui; Jewett, Michael C

    2014-05-01

    Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) provides a valuable platform for understanding, using, and expanding the capabilities of the translation apparatus. For example, high-throughput CFPS is helping to address the increasing discrepancy between genome sequence data and their translation products. Here, we report the development of a combined cell-free transcription-translation (Tx/Tl) system from Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is suitable for such efforts. First, we show the ability to enable translation initiation in a cap-independent manner. The performance of various genetic elements was assessed, including 5'-UTR, 3'-UTR, and length of poly(A) tail. A specific vector harboring the 5'-UTR fragment of the Ω sequence from the tobacco mosaic virus and a poly(A) tail of 50 nucleotides led to optimal performance. Second, we developed a simple, two-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for high-throughput production of linear templates for yeast CFPS. This procedure allows all functional elements needed for Tx/Tl to be added to an open-reading frame directly by overlap extension PCR. Our two-step PCR method was successfully applied to three reporter proteins: luciferase, green fluorescence protein, and chloramphenicol acetyl transferase, yielding 7 to 12.5 μg mL-1 active protein after 1.5-h batch reactions. Surprisingly, the linear templates outperformed plasmid DNA by up to 60%. Hence, the presented CFPS method has the potential to rapidly prepare tens to thousands of DNA templates without time-consuming cloning work. Further, it holds promise for fast and convenient optimization of expression constructs, study of internal ribosome entry site, and production of protein libraries for genome-scale studies. See accompanying commentary by Russ and Dueber DOI: 10.1002/biot.201400071. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. The fumarate sensor DcuS: progress in rapid protein fold elucidation by combining protein structure prediction methods with NMR spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiler, Jens; Baker, David

    2005-04-01

    We illustrate how moderate resolution protein structures can be rapidly obtained by interlinking computational prediction methodologies with un- or partially assigned NMR data. To facilitate the application of our recently described method of ranking and subsequent refining alternative structural models using unassigned NMR data [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100 (2003) 15404] for such "structural genomics"-type experiments it is combined with protein models from several prediction techniques, enhanced to utilize partial assignments, and applied on a protein with an unknown structure and fold. From the original NMR spectra obtained for the 140 residue fumarate sensor DcuS, 1100 1H, 13C, and 15N chemical shift signals, 3000 1H- 1H NOESY cross peak intensities, and 209 backbone residual dipolar couplings were extracted and used to rank models produced by de novo structure prediction and comparative modeling methods. The ranking proceeds in two steps: first, an optimal assignment of the NMR peaks to atoms is found for each model independently, and second, the models are ranked based on the consistency between the NMR data and the model assuming these optimal assignments. The low-resolution model selected using this ranking procedure had the correct overall fold and a global backbone RMSD of 6.0Å, and was subsequently refined to 3.7 Å RMSD. With the incorporation of a small number of NOE and residual dipolar coupling constraints available very early in the traditional spectral assignment process, a model with an RMSD of 2.8 Å could rapidly be built. The ability to generate moderate resolution models within days of NMR data collection should facilitate large scale NMR structure determination efforts.

  2. 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 PrPSc, 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

  3. Rapidly light-activated surgical protein glue inspired by mussel adhesion and insect structural crosslinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Eun Young; Hwang, Byeong Hee; Yang, Yun Jung; Kim, Bum Jin; Choi, Bong-Hyuk; Jung, Gyu Yong; Cha, Hyung Joon

    2015-10-01

    Currently approved surgical tissue glues do not satisfy the requirements for ideal bioadhesives due to limited adhesion in wet conditions and severe cytotoxicity. Herein, we report a new light-activated, mussel protein-based bioadhesive (LAMBA) inspired by mussel adhesion and insect dityrosine crosslinking chemistry. LAMBA exhibited substantially stronger bulk wet tissue adhesion than commercially available fibrin glue and good biocompatibility in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Besides, the easily tunable, light-activated crosslinking enabled an effective on-demand wound closure and facilitated wound healing. Based on these outstanding properties, LAMBA holds great potential as an ideal surgical tissue glue for diverse medical applications, including sutureless wound closures of skin and internal organs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yanwei; Zhang, Yimin; Liang, Rongrong; Ren, Lulu; Zhu, He; Li, Ke; Zhu, Lixian; Luo, Xin

    2012-08-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Valproate protein binding following rapid intravenous administration of high doses of valproic acid in patients with epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, S; Faught, E; Limdi, N A

    2007-08-01

    To characterize protein binding in patients with epilepsy who achieve transient high (>150 mg/L) total plasma concentrations following rapid valproate infusion at very high doses. Patients with epilepsy (n = 40) were administered 20 or 30 mg/kg loading doses (6 or 10 mg/kg/min) of undiluted valproate sodium injection. Total and unbound valproic acid (VPA) concentrations were used to assess VPA binding to plasma albumin. One- and two-binding site models were explored in a nonlinear mixed effects population analysis framework. The relative importance of weight, age, sex, race and enzyme-inducing comedications on the binding site association constant (K) was examined using the likelihood ratio test. Intersubject and intrasubject variabilities were characterized using exponential or proportional error models. Optimal characterization of the data was achieved using the one-binding site model. Population binding parameter estimates (standard error) for number of binding sites (N) and K were 1.98 (0.0865) and 15.5 [2.28 (1/mM)], respectively. No significant covariates were identified for VPA protein binding. The intersubject and intrasubject coefficients of variation were 32% and 14%, respectively. A one-binding site model without any significant covariates for binding constants optimally described VPA protein binding. As the estimated dissociation constant (1/K, 64.5 microm or 9.3 mg/L) was within the therapeutic range (5-15 mg/L) for unbound VPA concentrations, protein binding was nonlinear. Although the range of unbound fraction and VPA concentrations were much higher than previous studies, the dissociation constant was consistent with historical data in normal healthy adults and epilepsy patients receiving lower doses.

  12. Rapid, easy and economical dot EIA for detection of antibodies to HIV-1 using recombinant env- and gag-proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, R; Glathe, H; Lang, H; Simon, H; Clausnitzer, R; Petzold, G; Dittmann, S

    1991-01-01

    A rapid and simple screening test for antibodies to HIV-1 was designed on the principle of dot-EIA. Recombinant HIV-1 env and gag polypeptides are fixed on nitrocellulose sheets. Peroxidase conjugated protein A is used for detection of bound antibodies. After addition of hydrogen peroxide and 2-bromo-1-naphtol antigen-antibody complexes are visualized as discrete blue coloured spots. The test is completed within 15 min. Out of 111 sera positive by commercial EIA and Western blot analysis 110 were recognized by dot-EIA (sensitivity: 99.1%). False positive results compared with commercial EIA were found in 2 of 423 healthy blood donors (specificity: 99.5%).

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikkas, Ingrid; Mallone, Roberto; Larger, Etienne; Volland, Hervé; Morel, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    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.

  15. The evolvability of programmable hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Karthik; Wagner, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    In biological systems, individual phenotypes are typically adopted by multiple genotypes. Examples include protein structure phenotypes, where each structure can be adopted by a myriad individual amino acid sequence genotypes. These genotypes form vast connected ‘neutral networks’ in genotype space. The size of such neutral networks endows biological systems not only with robustness to genetic change, but also with the ability to evolve a vast number of novel phenotypes that occur near any one neutral network. Whether technological systems can be designed to have similar properties is poorly understood. Here we ask this question for a class of programmable electronic circuits that compute digital logic functions. The functional flexibility of such circuits is important in many applications, including applications of evolutionary principles to circuit design. The functions they compute are at the heart of all digital computation. We explore a vast space of 1045 logic circuits (‘genotypes’) and 1019 logic functions (‘phenotypes’). We demonstrate that circuits that compute the same logic function are connected in large neutral networks that span circuit space. Their robustness or fault-tolerance varies very widely. The vicinity of each neutral network contains circuits with a broad range of novel functions. Two circuits computing different functions can usually be converted into one another via few changes in their architecture. These observations show that properties important for the evolvability of biological systems exist in a commercially important class of electronic circuitry. They also point to generic ways to generate fault-tolerant, adaptable and evolvable electronic circuitry. PMID:20534598

  16. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belondrade, Maxime; Nicot, Simon; Béringue, Vincent; Coste, Joliette; Lehmann, Sylvain; Bougard, Daisy

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26800081

  17. 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.

  18. Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, John H.; Hedgecock, Jud; Nienaber, Terry; Cooper, Bonnie; Allen, Carlton; Ming, Doug

    2000-01-01

    The Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA) is a high-temperature furnace and mass spectrometer instrument for determining the mineralogical composition and reactivity of soil samples. REGA provides key mineralogical and reactivity data that is needed to understand the soil chemistry of an asteroid, which then aids in determining in-situ which materials should be selected for return to earth. REGA is capable of conducting a number of direct soil measurements that are unique to this instrument. These experimental measurements include: (1) Mass spectrum analysis of evolved gases from soil samples as they are heated from ambient temperature to 900 C; and (2) Identification of liberated chemicals, e.g., water, oxygen, sulfur, chlorine, and fluorine. REGA would be placed on the surface of a near earth asteroid. It is an autonomous instrument that is controlled from earth but does the analysis of regolith materials automatically. The REGA instrument consists of four primary components: (1) a flight-proven mass spectrometer, (2) a high-temperature furnace, (3) a soil handling system, and (4) a microcontroller. An external arm containing a scoop or drill gathers regolith samples. A sample is placed in the inlet orifice where the finest-grained particles are sifted into a metering volume and subsequently moved into a crucible. A movable arm then places the crucible in the furnace. The furnace is closed, thereby sealing the inner volume to collect the evolved gases for analysis. Owing to the very low g forces on an asteroid compared to Mars or the moon, the sample must be moved from inlet to crucible by mechanical means rather than by gravity. As the soil sample is heated through a programmed pattern, the gases evolved at each temperature are passed through a transfer tube to the mass spectrometer for analysis and identification. Return data from the instrument will lead to new insights and discoveries including: (1) Identification of the molecular masses of all of the gases

  19. Engineering and rapid selection of a low-affinity glucose/galactose-binding protein for a glucose biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiss, Terry J; Sherman, Douglas B; Nycz, Colleen M; Andaluz, Sandra A; Pitner, J Bruce

    2007-11-01

    Periplasmic expression screening is a selection technique used to enrich high-affinity proteins in Escherichia coli. We report using this screening method to rapidly select a mutated D-glucose/D-galactose-binding protein (GGBP) having low affinity to glucose. Wild-type GGBP has an equilibrium dissociation constant of 0.2 microM and mediates the transport of glucose within the periplasm of E. coli. The protein undergoes a large conformational change on binding glucose and, when labeled with an environmentally sensitive fluorophore, GGBP can relay glucose concentrations, making it of potential interest as a biosensor for diabetics. This use necessitates altering the glucose affinity of GGBP, bringing it into the physiologically relevant range for monitoring glucose in humans (1.7-33 mM). To accomplish this a focused library was constructed using structure-based site-saturation mutagenesis to randomize amino acids in the binding pocket of GGBP at or near direct H-bonding sites and screening the library within the bacterial periplasm. After selection, equilibrium dissociation constants were confirmed by glucose titration and fluorescence monitoring of purified mutants labeled site-specifically at E149C with the fluorophore IANBD (N,N'-dimethyl-N-(iodoacetyl)-N'-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)ethylene-diamine). The screening identified a single mutation A213R that lowers GGBP glucose affinity 5000-fold to 1 mM. Computational modeling suggested the large decrease in affinity was accomplished by the arginine side chain perturbing H-bonding and increasing the entropic barrier to the closed conformation. Overall, these experiments demonstrate the ability of structure-based site-saturation mutagenesis and periplasmic expression screening to discover low-affinity GGBP mutants having potential utility for measuring glucose in humans.

  20. Evolving haloalkane dehalogenases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, D.B.

    Mechanistic insight into the biochemistry of carbon–halogen bond cleavage is rapidly growing because of recent structural, biochemical and computational studies that have provided further insight into how haloalkane dehalogenases achieve their impressive catalytic activity. An occluded water-free

  1. How the first biopolymers could have evolved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abkevich, V I; Gutin, A M; Shakhnovich, E I

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we discuss a possible origin of the first biopolymers with stable unique structures. We suggest that at the prebiotic stage of evolution, long organic polymers had to be compact to avoid hydrolysis and had to be soluble and thus must not be exceedingly hydrophobic. We present an algorithm that generates such sequences for model proteins. The evolved sequences turn out to have a stable unique structure, into which they quickly fold. This result illustrates the idea that the unique three-dimensional native structures of first biopolymers could have evolved as a side effect of nonspecific physicochemical factors acting at the prebiotic stage of evolution. PMID:8570645

  2. Rapid acclimation of juvenile corals to CO2 -mediated acidification by upregulation of heat shock protein and Bcl-2 genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya, A; Huisman, L; Forêt, S; Gattuso, J-P; Hayward, D C; Ball, E E; Miller, D J

    2015-01-01

    Corals play a key role in ocean ecosystems and carbonate balance, but their molecular response to ocean acidification remains unclear. The only previous whole-transcriptome study (Moya et al. Molecular Ecology, 2012; 21, 2440) documented extensive disruption of gene expression, particularly of genes encoding skeletal organic matrix proteins, in juvenile corals (Acropora millepora) after short-term (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2 . In this study, whole-transcriptome analysis was used to compare the effects of such 'acute' (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2 with a longer ('prolonged'; 9 d) period of exposure beginning immediately post-fertilization. Far fewer genes were differentially expressed under the 9-d treatment, and although the transcriptome data implied wholesale disruption of metabolism and calcification genes in the acute treatment experiment, expression of most genes was at control levels after prolonged treatment. There was little overlap between the genes responding to the acute and prolonged treatments, but heat shock proteins (HSPs) and heat shock factors (HSFs) were over-represented amongst the genes responding to both treatments. Amongst these was an HSP70 gene previously shown to be involved in acclimation to thermal stress in a field population of another acroporid coral. The most obvious feature of the molecular response in the 9-d treatment experiment was the upregulation of five distinct Bcl-2 family members, the majority predicted to be anti-apoptotic. This suggests that an important component of the longer term response to elevated CO2 is suppression of apoptosis. It therefore appears that juvenile A. millepora have the capacity to rapidly acclimate to elevated pCO2 , a process mediated by upregulation of specific HSPs and a suite of Bcl-2 family members. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Rapid Changes of mRNA-binding Protein Levels following Glucose and 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine Stimulation of Insulinoma INS-1 Cells *S⃞

    Science.gov (United States)

    Süss, Christin; Czupalla, Cornelia; Winter, Christof; Pursche, Theresia; Knoch, Klaus-Peter; Schroeder, Michael; Hoflack, Bernard; Solimena, Michele

    2009-01-01

    Glucose and cAMP-inducing agents such as 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) rapidly change the expression profile of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells mostly through post-transcriptional mechanisms. A thorough analysis of these changes, however, has not yet been performed. By combining two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, we identified 165 spots, corresponding to 78 proteins, whose levels significantly change after stimulation of the β-cell model INS-1 cells with 25 mm glucose + 1 mm IBMX for 2 h. Changes in the expression of selected proteins were verified by one- and two-dimensional immunoblotting. Most of the identified proteins are novel targets of rapid regulation in β-cells. The transcription inhibitor actinomycin D failed to block changes in two-thirds of the spots, supporting their post-transcriptional regulation. More spots changed in response to IBMX than to glucose alone conceivably because of phosphorylation. Fourteen mRNA- binding proteins responded to stimulation, thus representing the most prominent class of rapidly regulated proteins. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the mRNA 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions of 22 regulated proteins contain potential binding sites for polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1, which promotes mRNA stability and translation in stimulated β-cells. Overall our findings support the idea that mRNA-binding proteins play a major role in rapid adaptive changes in insulin-producing cells following their stimulation with glucose and cAMP-elevating agents. PMID:18854578

  4. Lateral flow assay with pressure meter readout for rapid point-of-care detection of disease-associated protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Bingqian; Guan, Zhichao; Song, Yanling; Song, Eunyeong; Lu, Zifei; Liu, Dan; An, Yuan; Zhu, Zhi; Zhou, Leiji; Yang, Chaoyong

    2018-02-26

    Paper-based assays such as lateral flow assays are good candidates for portable diagnostics owing to their user-friendly format and low cost. In terms of analytical detection, lateral flow assays usually require dedicated instruments to obtain quantitative results. Here we demonstrate a lateral flow assay with handheld pressure meter readout for the rapid detection of disease-related protein with high sensitivity and selectivity. Based on the pressure change produced by the catalytic reaction of Pt nanoparticles related to the concentration of the target, a quantitative reaction platform was established. During the lateral flow assay, the Pt nanoparticles are aggregated in the test line to form a gray band by biomolecular recognition and finally convert the recognition signal into highly sensitive pressure readout for quantitative analysis. Without sophisticated instrumentation and complicated operations, the whole detection process can be completed within 20 minutes. The limit of detection for myoglobin (2.9 ng mL -1 in diluted serum samples) meets the requirements of clinical monitoring. With the advantages of low cost, ease of operation, high sensitivity and selectivity, the method represents a versatile platform for point-of-care testing of disease biomarkers.

  5. HIV-1 Tat activates neuronal ryanodine receptors with rapid induction of the unfolded protein response and mitochondrial hyperpolarization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Norman

    Full Text Available Neurologic disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1 is ultimately refractory to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART because of failure of complete virus eradication in the central nervous system (CNS, and disruption of normal neural signaling events by virally induced chronic neuroinflammation. We have previously reported that HIV-1 Tat can induce mitochondrial hyperpolarization in cortical neurons, thus compromising the ability of the neuron to buffer calcium and sustain energy production for normal synaptic communication. In this report, we demonstrate that Tat induces rapid loss of ER calcium mediated by the ryanodine receptor (RyR, followed by the unfolded protein response (UPR and pathologic dilatation of the ER in cortical neurons in vitro. RyR antagonism attenuated both Tat-mediated mitochondrial hyperpolarization and UPR induction. Delivery of Tat to murine CNS in vivo also leads to long-lasting pathologic ER dilatation and mitochondrial morphologic abnormalities. Finally, we performed ultrastructural studies that demonstrated mitochondria with abnormal morphology and dilated endoplasmic reticulum (ER in brain tissue of patients with HIV-1 inflammation and neurodegeneration. Collectively, these data suggest that abnormal RyR signaling mediates the neuronal UPR with failure of mitochondrial energy metabolism, and is a critical locus for the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 in the CNS.

  6. Rapid and sensitive homogenous detection of the Ibaraki virus non-structural protein using magnetic modulation biosensing system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielli, Amos; Porat, Noga; Arie, Ady; Ehrlich, Marcelo

    2010-02-01

    Magnetic modulation biosensing (MMB) system rapidly and homogeneously detected coding sequences of the nonstructural Ibaraki virus protein 3 (NS3) complementary DNA (cDNA). A novel fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based probe discriminated the target DNA from the control. When the target sequence is detected, the FRETbased probe is cleaved using Taq-polymerase activity and upon excitation with a laser beam fluorescent light is produced. The biotinylated probes are attached to streptavidin-coupled superparamagnetic beads and are maneuvered into oscillatory motion by applying an alternating magnetic field gradient. The beads are condensed into the detection area and their movement in and out of an orthogonal laser beam produces a periodic fluorescent signal that is demodulated using synchronous detection. Condensation of the beads from the entire volume increases the signal while modulation separates the signal from the background noise of the non-magnetized solution. 1.9 picomolar of the Ibaraki virus NS3 cDNA was detected in homogeneous solution within 18 minutes without separation or washing steps. In this paper we will review the magnetic modulation system and present its capability in specific DNA sequences detection.

  7. Rapid yeast estrogen bioassays stably expressing human estrogen receptors alpha and beta, and green fluorescent protein: a comparison of different compounds on both receptor types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bovee, T.F.H.; Helsdingen, J.R.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Keijer, J.; Hoogenboom, L.A.P.

    2004-01-01

    Previously, we described the construction of a rapid yeast bioassay stably expressing human estrogen receptor (hER) and yeast enhanced green fluorescent protein (yEGFP) in response to estrogens. In the present study, the properties of this assay were further studied by testing a series of estrogenic

  8. Rapid synthesis of the X-linked mental retardation protein OPHN1 mediates mGluR-dependent LTD through interaction with the endocytic machinery.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nadif Kasri, N.; Nakano-Kobayashi, A.; Aelst, L. Van

    2011-01-01

    Activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors leads to long-term depression (mGluR-LTD). Alterations in this form of plasticity have been linked to drug addiction and cognitive disorders. A key characteristic of mGluR-LTD is its dependence on rapid protein synthesis; however, the identities

  9. 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.

  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. Evolving endoscopic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Paulo; Faintuch, Joel

    2014-06-01

    Since the days of Albukasim in medieval Spain, natural orifices have been regarded not only as a rather repugnant source of bodily odors, fluids and excreta, but also as a convenient invitation to explore and treat the inner passages of the organism. However, surgical ingenuity needed to be matched by appropriate tools and devices. Lack of technologically advanced instrumentation was a strong deterrent during almost a millennium until recent decades when a quantum jump materialized. Endoscopic surgery is currently a vibrant and growing subspecialty, which successfully handles millions of patients every year. Additional opportunities lie ahead which might benefit millions more, however, requiring even more sophisticated apparatuses, particularly in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and tissue repair (surgical suturing). This is a particularly exciting and worthwhile challenge, namely of larger and safer endoscopic interventions, followed by seamless and scarless recovery. In synthesis, the future is widely open for those who use together intelligence and creativity to develop new prototypes, new accessories and new techniques. Yet there are many challenges in the path of endoscopic surgery. In this new era of robotic endoscopy, one will likely need a virtual simulator to train and assess the performance of younger doctors. More evidence will be essential in multiple evolving fields, particularly to elucidate whether more ambitious and complex pathways, such as intrathoracic and intraperitoneal surgery via natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), are superior or not to conventional techniques. © 2014 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  12. Asymmetric evolving random networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulomb, S.; Bauer, M.

    2003-10-01

    We generalize the Poissonian evolving random graph model of M. Bauer and D. Bernard (2003), to deal with arbitrary degree distributions. The motivation comes from biological networks, which are well-known to exhibit non Poissonian degree distributions. A node is added at each time step and is connected to the rest of the graph by oriented edges emerging from older nodes. This leads to a statistical asymmetry between incoming and outgoing edges. The law for the number of new edges at each time step is fixed but arbitrary. Thermodynamical behavior is expected when this law has a large time limit. Although (by construction) the incoming degree distributions depend on this law, this is not the case for most qualitative features concerning the size distribution of connected components, as long as the law has a finite variance. As the variance grows above 1/4, the average being < 1/2, a giant component emerges, which connects a finite fraction of the vertices. Below this threshold, the distribution of component sizes decreases algebraically with a continuously varying exponent. The transition is of infinite order, in sharp contrast with the case of static graphs. The local-in-time profiles for the components of finite size allow to give a refined description of the system.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...... expression systems were measured and monitored from whole cells and growth media, thus providing an alternative to time-consuming traditional methods for screening and monitoring of protein expression. The methods described here involve minimal processing of samples and are therefore relevant to high...

  16. Bifunctional recombinant fusion proteins for rapid detection of antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in whole blood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaudhary Vijay K

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Availability of accurate diagnostic tests has been helpful in curtailing the spread of HIV infection. Among these, simple, point of care, inexpensive tests which require only a drop of blood from finger-prick and give reliable results within minutes are a must for expansion of testing services and for reaching mobile and marginalised populations. Such tests will not only be a boon for the infrastructure-starved developing and underdeveloped countries but will also be extremely useful in developed countries where post-testing compliance is a major problem. Our laboratory has been involved in developing reagents for heamagglutination-based rapid detection of antibodies to HIV in whole blood using recombinant molecules specific for either HIV-1 or HIV-2. Since it is not required of a screening test to differentially detect HIV and HIV-2, it would useful to create a single molecule capable of simultaneous detection of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in a drop of blood. Results The present paper describes designing, high-level expression and large-scale purification of new molecules comprising recombinant anti-RBC Fab fused to immunodominant regions of envelope sequences from both gp41 of HIV-1 and gp36 of HIV-2. These immunodominant regions of HIV envelope contain cysteine residues, which make disulfide bond and can interfere with the assembly of light chain and heavy chain fragment to make Fab molecule in vitro. To circumvent this problem, a series of fusion proteins having different combinations of native and mutant envelope sequences were constructed, purified and evaluated for their efficacy in detecting antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. A chimeric molecule comprising native envelope sequence of gp41 of HIV-1 and modified envelope sequence of gp36 of HIV-2 gave good production yield and also detected both HIV-1 and HIV-2 samples with high sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion The new bifunctional antibody fusion protein identified in

  17. Quantitative and rapid detection of C-reactive protein using quantum dot-based lateral flow test strip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ruili; Zhou, Shuai; Chen, Ting; Li, Jinjie; Shen, Huaibin; Chai, Yujuan; Li, Lin Song

    2018-05-30

    A novel QD-based immunoassay on a paper-based lateral flow system has been developed to quantitatively detect C-reactive protein (CRP). Different standard CRP antigens from 1 to 200 μg mL -1 were diluted 200-fold and only 60 μL diluted sample were needed to load onto the sample pad. The QD fluorescence signals on the test line and the control line were able to be observed within 3 min after the initiation of assay, and the limit of detection was as sensitive as 0.30 ng mL -1  by measuring the fluorescence intensity immediately afterwards with fluorescence immunoassay analyzer. The linearity on the detection of QD fluorescence signals has been established well in the range of 0.5 ng mL -1 and 1 μg mL -1 for CRP. The precision of the assay has been confirmed for low coefficient of variation (CV), satisfying less than 15% (intra-assay and inter-assay), and the accuracy of assay meets the requirements with the mean recovery of the control was 102.63%. These results indicated that such newly developed platform was reliable with high sensitivity, rapidness, and could cover a broad range of target concentrations. Furthermore, a total of 135 human serum clinical samples with inflammation or infection with the concentration of CRP from 0.2 to 200 μg mL -1  has been used to check the performance of this QD-based LFIA, it correlated very well with Roche Tina-quant CRP (Latex) (r = 0.966, n = 135). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Protein Biomarker Using a Portable Fluorescence Biosensor based on Quantum Dots and a Lateral Flow Test Strip

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zhaohui; Wang, Ying; Wang, Jun; Tang, Zhiwen; Pounds, Joel G.; Lin, Yuehe

    2010-08-15

    A portable fluorescence biosensor with rapid and ultrasensitive response for trace protein has been built up with quantum dots and lateral flow test strip. The superior signal brightness and high photostability of quantum dots are combined with the promising advantages of lateral flow test strip and resulted in high sensitivity, selectivity and speedy for protein detection. Nitrated ceruloplasmin, a significant biomarker for cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and stress response to smoking, was used as model protein to demonstrate the good performances of this proposed Qdot-based lateral flow test strip. Quantitative detection of nitrated ceruloplasmin was realized by recording the fluorescence intensity of quantum dots captured on the test line. Under optimal conditions, this portable fluorescence biosensor displays rapid responses for nitrated ceruloplasmin in wide dynamic range with a detection limit of 0.1ng/mL (S/N=3). Furthermore, the biosensor was successfully utilized for spiked human plasma sample detection with the concentration as low as 1ng/mL. The results demonstrate that the quantum dot-based lateral flow test strip is capable for rapid, sensitive, and quantitative detection of nitrated ceruloplasmin and hold a great promise for point-of-care and in field analysis of other protein biomarkers.

  20. A reversible Renilla luciferase protein complementation assay for rapid identification of protein-protein interactions reveals the existence of an interaction network involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis in the plant Golgi apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Christian H; Bromley, Jennifer R; Stenbæk, Anne; Rasmussen, Randi E; Scheller, Henrik V; Sakuragi, Yumiko

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that protein-protein interactions (PPIs) occur amongst glycosyltransferases (GTs) required for plant glycan biosynthesis (e.g. cell wall polysaccharides and N-glycans) in the Golgi apparatus, and may control the functions of these enzymes. However, identification of PPIs in the endomembrane system in a relatively fast and simple fashion is technically challenging, hampering the progress in understanding the functional coordination of the enzymes in Golgi glycan biosynthesis. To solve the challenges, we adapted and streamlined a reversible Renilla luciferase protein complementation assay (Rluc-PCA), originally reported for use in human cells, for transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. We tested Rluc-PCA and successfully identified luminescence complementation amongst Golgi-localizing GTs known to form a heterodimer (GAUT1 and GAUT7) and those which homooligomerize (ARAD1). In contrast, no interaction was shown between negative controls (e.g. GAUT7, ARAD1, IRX9). Rluc-PCA was used to investigate PPIs amongst Golgi-localizing GTs involved in biosynthesis of hemicelluloses. Although no PPI was identified among six GTs involved in xylan biosynthesis, Rluc-PCA confirmed three previously proposed interactions and identified seven novel PPIs amongst GTs involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis. Notably, three of the novel PPIs were confirmed by a yeast-based split-ubiquitin assay. Finally, Gateway-enabled expression vectors were generated, allowing rapid construction of fusion proteins to the Rluc reporters and epitope tags. Our results show that Rluc-PCA coupled with transient expression in N. benthamiana is a fast and versatile method suitable for analysis of PPIs between Golgi resident proteins in an easy and mid-throughput fashion in planta. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Evolving virtual creatures and catapults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaumont, Nicolas; Egli, Richard; Adami, Christoph

    2007-01-01

    We present a system that can evolve the morphology and the controller of virtual walking and block-throwing creatures (catapults) using a genetic algorithm. The system is based on Sims' work, implemented as a flexible platform with an off-the-shelf dynamics engine. Experiments aimed at evolving Sims-type walkers resulted in the emergence of various realistic gaits while using fairly simple objective functions. Due to the flexibility of the system, drastically different morphologies and functions evolved with only minor modifications to the system and objective function. For example, various throwing techniques evolved when selecting for catapults that propel a block as far as possible. Among the strategies and morphologies evolved, we find the drop-kick strategy, as well as the systematic invention of the principle behind the wheel, when allowing mutations to the projectile.

  4. 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.

  5. A Rapidly Evolving Active Region NOAA 8032 observed on April ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tribpo

    1997-04-15

    Apr 15, 1997 ... The GOES X-ray data showed a number of sub-flares and two C-class flares during the 8-9 hours of its evolution. ... (1991), where they observed X-class flares near the sites of. EFR. Wang & Shi (1993) suggested that ... region using the USΟ video magnetograph (Mathew et al. 1998). The active region. 233 ...

  6. The Rapidly Evolving Concept of Whole Heart Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Iop

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Whole heart engineering represents an incredible journey with as final destination the challenging aim to solve end-stage cardiac failure with a biocompatible and living organ equivalent. Its evolution started in 2008 with rodent organs and is nowadays moving closer to clinical application thanks to scaling-up strategies to human hearts. This review will offer a comprehensive examination on the important stages to be reached for the bioengineering of the whole heart, by describing the approaches of organ decellularization, repopulation, and maturation so far applied and the novel technologies of potential interest. In addition, it will carefully address important demands that still need to be satisfied in order to move to a real clinical translation of the whole bioengineering heart concept.

  7. "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…

  8. Cost-effective and rapid lysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells for quantitative western blot analysis of proteins, including phosphorylated eIF2α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Su Jung; Ramesh, Rashmi; de Boor, Valerie; Gebler, Jan M; Silva, Richard C; Sattlegger, Evelyn

    2017-09-01

    The common method for liberating proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells involves mechanical cell disruption using glass beads and buffer containing inhibitors (protease, phosphatase and/or kinase inhibitors), followed by centrifugation to remove cell debris. This procedure requires the use of costly inhibitors and is laborious, in particular when many samples need to be processed. Also, enzymatic reactions can still occur during harvesting and cell breakage. As a result low-abundance and labile proteins may be degraded, and enzymes such as kinases and phosphatases may still modify proteins during and after cell lysis. We believe that our rapid sample preparation method helps overcome the above issues and offers the following advantages: (a) it is cost-effective, as no inhibitors and breaking buffer are needed; (b) cell breakage is fast (about 15 min) since it only involves a few steps; (c) the use of formaldehyde inactivates endogenous proteases prior to cell lysis, dramatically reducing the risk of protein degradation; (d) centrifugation steps only occur prior to cell lysis, circumventing the problem of losing protein complexes, in particular if cells were treated with formaldehyde intended to stabilize and capture large protein complexes; and (e) since formaldehyde has the potential to instantly terminate protein activity, this method also allows the study of enzymes in live cells, i.e. in their true physiological environment, such as the short-term effect of a drug on enzyme activity. Taken together, the rapid sample preparation procedure provides a more accurate snapshot of the cell's protein content at the time of harvesting. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. 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.

  10. A rapid one-step kinetics-based immunoassay procedure for the highly-sensitive detection of C-reactive protein

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2014-01-01

    Authors: Sandeep Kumar Vashist, Gregor Czilwik, Thomas van Oordt, Felix von Stetten, Roland Zengerle, E. Marion Schneider & John H.T. Luong ### Abstract A rapid one-step kinetics-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) procedure has been developed for highly-sensitive detection of C-reactive protein (CRP) in less than 30 min. With minimal process steps, the procedure is highly simplified and cost-effective. The analysis only involves sequentially the formation of a sandwic...

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid antidepressants stimulate the decoupling of GABAB receptors from GIRK/Kir3 channels through increased protein stability of 14-3-3η

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workman, E R; Haddick, P C G; Bush, K; Dilly, G A; Niere, F; Zemelman, B V; Raab-Graham, K F

    2015-01-01

    A single injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists produces a rapid antidepressant response. Lasting changes in the synapse structure and composition underlie the effectiveness of these drugs. We recently discovered that rapid antidepressants cause a shift in the γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABABR) signaling pathway, such that GABABR activation shifts from opening inwardly rectifiying potassium channels (Kir/GIRK) to increasing resting dendritic calcium signal and mammalian Target of Rapamycin activity. However, little is known about the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that initiate this shift. Herein, we show that GABABR signaling to Kir3 (GIRK) channels decreases with NMDAR blockade. Blocking NMDAR signaling stabilizes the adaptor protein 14-3-3η, which decouples GABABR signaling from Kir3 and is required for the rapid antidepressant efficacy. Consistent with these results, we find that key proteins involved in GABABR signaling bidirectionally change in a depression model and with rapid antidepressants. In socially defeated rodents, a model for depression, GABABR and 14-3-3η levels decrease in the hippocampus. The NMDAR antagonists AP5 and Ro-25-6981, acting as rapid antidepressants, increase GABABR and 14-3-3η expression and decrease Kir3.2. Taken together, these data suggest that the shift in GABABR function requires a loss of GABABR-Kir3 channel activity mediated by 14-3-3η. Our findings support a central role for 14-3-3η in the efficacy of rapid antidepressants and define a critical molecular mechanism for activity-dependent alterations in GABABR signaling. PMID:25560757

  13. Rapid antidepressants stimulate the decoupling of GABA(B) receptors from GIRK/Kir3 channels through increased protein stability of 14-3-3η.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workman, E R; Haddick, P C G; Bush, K; Dilly, G A; Niere, F; Zemelman, B V; Raab-Graham, K F

    2015-03-01

    A single injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists produces a rapid antidepressant response. Lasting changes in the synapse structure and composition underlie the effectiveness of these drugs. We recently discovered that rapid antidepressants cause a shift in the γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABABR) signaling pathway, such that GABABR activation shifts from opening inwardly rectifiying potassium channels (Kir/GIRK) to increasing resting dendritic calcium signal and mammalian Target of Rapamycin activity. However, little is known about the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that initiate this shift. Herein, we show that GABABR signaling to Kir3 (GIRK) channels decreases with NMDAR blockade. Blocking NMDAR signaling stabilizes the adaptor protein 14-3-3η, which decouples GABABR signaling from Kir3 and is required for the rapid antidepressant efficacy. Consistent with these results, we find that key proteins involved in GABABR signaling bidirectionally change in a depression model and with rapid antidepressants. In socially defeated rodents, a model for depression, GABABR and 14-3-3η levels decrease in the hippocampus. The NMDAR antagonists AP5 and Ro-25-6981, acting as rapid antidepressants, increase GABABR and 14-3-3η expression and decrease Kir3.2. Taken together, these data suggest that the shift in GABABR function requires a loss of GABABR-Kir3 channel activity mediated by 14-3-3η. Our findings support a central role for 14-3-3η in the efficacy of rapid antidepressants and define a critical molecular mechanism for activity-dependent alterations in GABABR signaling.

  14. Rapid development of sensitive, high-throughput, quantitative and highly selective mass spectrometric targeted immunoassays for clinically important proteins in human plasma and serum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krastins, Bryan; Prakash, Amol; Sarracino, David A.; Nedelkov, Dobrin; Niederkofler, Eric E.; Kiernan, Urban A.; Nelson, Randall; Vogelsang, Maryann S.; Vadali, Gouri; Garces, Alejandra; Sutton, Jennifer N.; Peterman, Scott; Byram, Gregory; Darbouret, Bruno; Pérusse, Joëlle R.; Seidah, Nabil G.; Coulombe, Benoit; Gobom, Johan; Portelius, Erik; Pannee, Josef; Blennow, Kaj; Kulasingam, Vathany; Couchman, Lewis; Moniz, Caje; Lopez, Mary F.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to develop high-throughput, quantitative and highly selective mass spectrometric, targeted immunoassays for clinically important proteins in human plasma or serum. Design and methods The described method coupled mass spectrometric immunoassay (MSIA), a previously developed technique for immunoenrichment on a monolithic microcolumn activated with an anti-protein antibody and fixed in a pipette tip, to selected reaction monitoring (SRM) detection and accurate quantification of targeted peptides, including clinically relevant sequence or truncated variants. Results In this report, we demonstrate the rapid development of MSIA-SRM assays for sixteen different target proteins spanning seven different clinically important areas (including neurological, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, endocrine function, cancer and other diseases) and ranging in concentration from pg/mL to mg/mL. The reported MSIA-SRM assays demonstrated high sensitivity (within published clinical ranges), precision, robustness and high-throughput as well as specific detection of clinically relevant isoforms for many of the target proteins. Most of the assays were tested with bona-fide clinical samples. In addition, positive correlations, (R2 0.67–0.87, depending on the target peptide), were demonstrated for MSIA-SRM assay data with clinical analyzer measurements of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and insulin growth factor 1 (IGF1) in clinical sample cohorts. Conclusions We have presented a practical and scalable method for rapid development and deployment of MS-based SRM assays for clinically relevant proteins and measured levels of the target analytes in bona fide clinical samples. The method permits the specific quantification of individual protein isoforms and addresses the difficult problem of protein heterogeneity in clinical proteomics applications. PMID:23313081

  15. 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.

  16. Rapid detection of the addition of soybean proteins to cheese and other dairy products by reversed-phase perfusion chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, M C; Marina, M L

    2006-04-01

    The undeclared addition of soybean proteins to milk products is forbidden and a method is needed for food control and enforcement. This paper reports the development of a chromatographic method for routine analysis enabling the detection of the addition of soybean proteins to dairy products. A perfusion chromatography column and a linear binary gradient of acetonitrile-water-0.1% (v/v) trifluoroacetic acid at a temperature of 60 degrees C were used. A very simple sample treatment consisting of mixing the sample with a suitable solvent (Milli-Q water or bicarbonate buffer (pH=11)) and centrifuging was used. The method enabled the separation of soybean proteins from milk proteins in less than 4 min (at a flow-rate of 3 ml/min). The method has been successfully applied to the detection of soybean proteins in milk, cheese, yogurt, and enteral formula. The correct quantitation of these vegetable proteins has also been possible in milk adulterated at origin with known sources of soybean proteins. The application of the method to samples adulterated at origin also leads to interesting conclusions as to the effect of the processing conditions used for the preparation of each dairy product on the determination of soybean proteins.

  17. When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Roger Buick

    2008-01-01

    ...2.4 Ga ago, but when the photosynthetic oxygen production began is debatable. However, geological and geochemical evidence from older sedimentary rocks indicates that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before this oxygenation event...

  18. Marshal: Maintaining Evolving Models Project

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. Anthrax lethal toxin rapidly reduces c-Jun levels by inhibiting c-Jun gene transcription and promoting c-Jun protein degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Weiming; Guo, Pengfei; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2017-10-27

    Anthrax is a life-threatening disease caused by infection with Bacillus anthracis , which expresses lethal factor and the receptor-binding protective antigen. These two proteins combine to form anthrax lethal toxin (LT), whose proximal targets are mitogen-activated kinase kinases (MKKs). However, the downstream mediators of LT toxicity remain elusive. Here we report that LT exposure rapidly reduces the levels of c-Jun, a key regulator of cell proliferation and survival. Blockade of proteasome-dependent protein degradation with the 26S proteasome inhibitor MG132 largely restored c-Jun protein levels, suggesting that LT promotes degradation of c-Jun protein. Using the MKK1/2 inhibitor U0126, we further show that MKK1/2-Erk1/2 pathway inactivation similarly reduces c-Jun protein, which was also restored by MG132 pre-exposure. Interestingly, c-Jun protein rebounded to normal levels 4 h following U0126 exposure but not after LT exposure. The restoration of c-Jun in U0126-exposed cells was associated with increased c-Jun mRNA levels and was blocked by inactivation of the JNK1/2 signaling pathway. These results indicate that LT reduces c-Jun both by promoting c-Jun protein degradation via inactivation of MKK1/2-Erk1/2 signaling and by blocking c-Jun gene transcription via inactivation of MKK4-JNK1/2 signaling. In line with the known functions of c-Jun, LT also inhibited cell proliferation. Ectopic expression of LT-resistant MKK2 and MKK4 variants partially restored Erk1/2 and JNK1/2 signaling in LT-exposed cells, enabling the cells to maintain relatively normal c-Jun protein levels and cell proliferation. Taken together, these findings indicate that LT reduces c-Jun protein levels via two distinct mechanisms, thereby inhibiting critical cell functions, including cellular proliferation.

  1. Rapid increase in fibroblast growth factor 21 in protein malnutrition and its impact on growth and lipid metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozaki, Yori; Saito, Kenji; Nakazawa, Kyoko; Konishi, Morichika; Itoh, Nobuyuki; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro; Kato, Hisanori; Takenaka, Asako

    2015-11-14

    Protein malnutrition promotes hepatic steatosis, decreases insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I production and retards growth. To identify new molecules involved in such changes, we conducted DNA microarray analysis on liver samples from rats fed an isoenergetic low-protein diet for 8 h. We identified the fibroblast growth factor 21 gene (Fgf21) as one of the most strongly up-regulated genes under conditions of acute protein malnutrition (P<0·05, false-discovery rate<0·001). In addition, amino acid deprivation increased Fgf21 mRNA levels in rat liver-derived RL-34 cells (P<0·01). These results suggested that amino acid limitation directly increases Fgf21 expression. FGF21 is a polypeptide hormone that regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. FGF21 also promotes a growth hormone-resistance state and suppresses IGF-I in transgenic mice. Therefore, to determine further whether Fgf21 up-regulation causes hepatic steatosis and growth retardation after IGF-I decrease in protein malnutrition, we fed an isoenergetic low-protein diet to Fgf21-knockout (KO) mice. Fgf21-KO did not rescue growth retardation and reduced plasma IGF-I concentration in these mice. Fgf21-KO mice showed greater epididymal white adipose tissue weight and increased hepatic TAG and cholesterol levels under protein malnutrition conditions (P<0·05). Overall, the results showed that protein deprivation directly increased Fgf21 expression. However, growth retardation and decreased IGF-I were not mediated by increased FGF21 expression in protein malnutrition. Furthermore, FGF21 up-regulation rather appears to have a protective effect against obesity and hepatic steatosis in protein-malnourished animals.

  2. The Amyloid Precursor Protein is rapidly transported from the Golgi apparatus to the lysosome and where it is processed into beta-amyloid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by cerebral deposition of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Aβ is produced by sequential cleavage of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) by β- and γ-secretases. Many studies have demonstrated that the internalization of APP from the cell surface can regulate Aβ production, although the exact organelle in which Aβ is produced remains contentious. A number of recent studies suggest that intracellular trafficking also plays a role in regulating Aβ production, but these pathways are relatively under-studied. The goal of this study was to elucidate the intracellular trafficking of APP, and to examine the site of intracellular APP processing. Results We have tagged APP on its C-terminal cytoplasmic tail with photoactivatable Green Fluorescent Protein (paGFP). By photoactivating APP-paGFP in the Golgi, using the Golgi marker Galactosyltranferase fused to Cyan Fluorescent Protein (GalT-CFP) as a target, we are able to follow a population of nascent APP molecules from the Golgi to downstream compartments identified with compartment markers tagged with red fluorescent protein (mRFP or mCherry); including rab5 (early endosomes) rab9 (late endosomes) and LAMP1 (lysosomes). Because γ-cleavage of APP releases the cytoplasmic tail of APP including the photoactivated GFP, resulting in loss of fluorescence, we are able to visualize the cleavage of APP in these compartments. Using APP-paGFP, we show that APP is rapidly trafficked from the Golgi apparatus to the lysosome; where it is rapidly cleared. Chloroquine and the highly selective γ-secretase inhibitor, L685, 458, cause the accumulation of APP in lysosomes implying that APP is being cleaved by secretases in the lysosome. The Swedish mutation dramatically increases the rate of lysosomal APP processing, which is also inhibited by chloroquine and L685, 458. By knocking down adaptor protein 3 (AP-3; a heterotetrameric protein complex required for trafficking many proteins to

  3. Rapid and ultrasensitive detection of active thrombin based on the Vmh2 hydrophobin fused to a Green Fluorescent Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piscitelli, Alessandra; Pennacchio, Anna; Cicatiello, Paola; Politi, Jane; De Stefano, Luca; Giardina, Paola

    2017-01-15

    A fusion protein designed in order to combine the fluorescence emission of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) with the adhesion ability of the class I hydrophobin Vmh2 was heterologously produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The Vmh2-GFP fusion protein has proven to be a smart and effective tool for the study of Vmh2 self-assembling. Since the two proteins were linked by the specific cutting site of the thrombin, the fusion protein was used as the active biological element in the realization of a thrombin biosensor. When the thrombin present in the target solution specifically hydrolyzed its cleavage sequence, a consequent decrease in the fluorescence intensity of the sample could be observed. The Vmh2-GFP based assay allowed quantification of thrombin in solution with a detection limit of 2.27aM. The specificity of the assay with respect to other proteases and proteins granted the measurement of thrombin added to healthy human plasma with same high sensitivity and a limit of detection of 2.3aM. Further advantages of the developed biosensor are the simplicity of its design and preparation, and the low requirements in terms of samples, reagents and time. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Identification of Staphylococcus aureus α-hemolysin as a protein drug that is secreted by anticancer bacteria and rapidly kills cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swofford, Charles A; St Jean, Adam T; Panteli, Jan T; Brentzel, Zachary J; Forbes, Neil S

    2014-06-01

    Targeted bacterial delivery of anticancer proteins has the ability to overcome therapeutic resistance in tumors that limits the efficacy of chemotherapeutics. The ability of bacteria to specifically target tumors allows for delivery of aggressive proteins that directly kill cancer cells and cannot be administered systemically. However, few proteins have been tested for this purpose. To identify effective molecules, we systematically sorted proteins that have been shown to cause mammalian cell death. The genes for five proteins were selected and cloned into Escherichia coli and Salmonella. Supernatant from cultures of the transformed bacteria was applied to flasks of MCF-7 mammary carcinoma cells to identify proteins that (1) were expressed, (2) secreted, and (3) rapidly killed cancer cells. Time-lapse images were taken to visualize mammalian cell morphology. Of the investigated proteins, α-hemolysin from Staphylococcus aureus (SAH) was the most promising because it was secreted, caused trauma to cellular membranes, and induced oncosis in 18 min. After exposure for 6 h, SAH decreased cell viability by 90%. In comparison, the positive control, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A (PEA), required 11 days to achieve a similar effect, when administered at 3,000 times its LC50 . The maximum death rate induced by SAH was calculated to be a reduction in cell viability of 7.1% per min, which was 200-fold faster than the PEA control. Two proteins, Dermonecrotic Toxin and Phospholipase C were active when extracted from the bacterial cytoplasm but were not secreted. This investigation revealed for the first time SAH as a potent anticancer drug for delivery by bacteria because of its ability to be secreted in a fully functional form and aggressively kill cancer cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. 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.

  6. Rapid growth reduces cold resistance: evidence from latitudinal variation in growth rate, cold resistance and stress proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoks, Robby; De Block, Marjan

    2011-02-24

    Physiological costs of rapid growth may contribute to the observation that organisms typically grow at submaximal rates. Although, it has been hypothesized that faster growing individuals would do worse in dealing with suboptimal temperatures, this type of cost has never been explored empirically. Furthermore, the mechanistic basis of the physiological costs of rapid growth is largely unexplored. Larvae of the damselfly Ischnura elegans from two univoltine northern and two multivoltine southern populations were reared at three temperatures and after emergence given a cold shock. Cold resistance, measured by chill coma recovery times in the adult stage, was lower in the southern populations. The faster larval growth rates in the southern populations contributed to this latitudinal pattern in cold resistance. In accordance with their assumed role in cold resistance, Hsp70 levels were lower in the southern populations, and faster growing larvae had lower Hsp70 levels. Yet, individual variation in Hsp70 levels did not explain variation in cold resistance. WE PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR A NOVEL COST OF RAPID GROWTH: reduced cold resistance. Our results indicate that the reduced cold resistance in southern populations of animals that change voltinism along the latitudinal gradient may not entirely be explained by thermal selection per se but also by the costs of time constraint-induced higher growth rates. This also illustrates that stressors imposed in the larval stage may carry over and shape fitness in the adult stage and highlights the importance of physiological costs in the evolution of life-histories at macro-scales.

  7. Rapid and sensitive determination of proteins with Eriochrome Red in the presence of anionic surfactant by multi-spectroscopic methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Yongru; Cai, Changqun; Gong, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming

    2010-10-01

    A new high-sensitivity detection of protein assay at the nanogram level is proposed based on multi-spectroscopic methods including resonance light scattering (RLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), ultraviolet spectra (UV) and fluorescence spectra etc. Under the optimum conditions, the amplified RLS signals of anionic azo dyes Eriochrome Red B (ERB) in the presence of anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphonate (SDS) was in proportion to the concentration of proteins in the range of 0.0-3.5 mg L -1 and 3.5-12.5 mg L -1 for bovine serum albumin (BSA), 0.0-2.0 mg L -1 and 2.0-8.0 mg L -1 for human serum albumin (HSA). The detection limits were 4.2 ng mL -1 and 2.7 ng mL -1, respectively. The method was satisfactorily applied to the measurement of total protein in human serum samples and a high-sensitivity was achieved.

  8. 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.

  9. Kappa-alpha plot derived structural alphabet and BLOSUM-like substitution matrix for rapid search of protein structure database

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    We present a novel protein structure database search tool, 3D-BLAST, that is useful for analyzing novel structures and can return a ranked list of alignments. This tool has the features of BLAST (for example, robust statistical basis, and effective and reliable search capabilities) and employs a kappa-alpha (κ, α) plot derived structural alphabet and a new substitution matrix. 3D-BLAST searches more than 12,000 protein structures in 1.2 s and yields good results in zones with low sequence similarity. PMID:17335583

  10. Development of a dehalogenase-based protein fusion tag capable of rapid, selective and covalent attachment to customizable ligands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encell, Lance P; Friedman Ohana, Rachel; Zimmerman, Kris; Otto, Paul; Vidugiris, Gediminas; Wood, Monika G; Los, Georgyi V; McDougall, Mark G; Zimprich, Chad; Karassina, Natasha; Learish, Randall D; Hurst, Robin; Hartnett, James; Wheeler, Sarah; Stecha, Pete; English, Jami; Zhao, Kate; Mendez, Jacqui; Benink, Hélène A; Murphy, Nancy; Daniels, Danette L; Slater, Michael R; Urh, Marjeta; Darzins, Aldis; Klaubert, Dieter H; Bulleit, Robert F; Wood, Keith V

    2012-01-01

    Our fundamental understanding of proteins and their biological significance has been enhanced by genetic fusion tags, as they provide a convenient method for introducing unique properties to proteins so that they can be examinedin isolation. Commonly used tags satisfy many of the requirements for applications relating to the detection and isolation of proteins from complex samples. However, their utility at low concentration becomes compromised if the binding affinity for a detection or capture reagent is not adequate to produce a stable interaction. Here, we describe HaloTag® (HT7), a genetic fusion tag based on a modified haloalkane dehalogenase designed and engineered to overcome the limitation of affinity tags by forming a high affinity, covalent attachment to a binding ligand. HT7 and its ligand have additional desirable features. The tag is relatively small, monomeric, and structurally compatible with fusion partners, while the ligand is specific, chemically simple, and amenable to modular synthetic design. Taken together, the design features and molecular evolution of HT7 have resulted in a superior alternative to common tags for the overexpression, detection, and isolation of target proteins.

  11. The Evolving Status of Photojournalism Education. ERIC Digest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cookman, Claude

    Noting that new technologies are resulting in extensive changes in the field of photojournalism, both as it is practiced and taught, this Digest reviews this rapidly evolving field of education and professional practice. It discusses what digital photography is; the history of digital photography; how digital photography has changed…

  12. Rapid growth reduces cold resistance: evidence from latitudinal variation in growth rate, cold resistance and stress proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robby Stoks

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Physiological costs of rapid growth may contribute to the observation that organisms typically grow at submaximal rates. Although, it has been hypothesized that faster growing individuals would do worse in dealing with suboptimal temperatures, this type of cost has never been explored empirically. Furthermore, the mechanistic basis of the physiological costs of rapid growth is largely unexplored. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: Larvae of the damselfly Ischnura elegans from two univoltine northern and two multivoltine southern populations were reared at three temperatures and after emergence given a cold shock. Cold resistance, measured by chill coma recovery times in the adult stage, was lower in the southern populations. The faster larval growth rates in the southern populations contributed to this latitudinal pattern in cold resistance. In accordance with their assumed role in cold resistance, Hsp70 levels were lower in the southern populations, and faster growing larvae had lower Hsp70 levels. Yet, individual variation in Hsp70 levels did not explain variation in cold resistance. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: WE PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR A NOVEL COST OF RAPID GROWTH: reduced cold resistance. Our results indicate that the reduced cold resistance in southern populations of animals that change voltinism along the latitudinal gradient may not entirely be explained by thermal selection per se but also by the costs of time constraint-induced higher growth rates. This also illustrates that stressors imposed in the larval stage may carry over and shape fitness in the adult stage and highlights the importance of physiological costs in the evolution of life-histories at macro-scales.

  13. 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 Impact factor: 7.725, year: 2016

  14. Labelling of pneumococcal penicillin-binding proteins with (/sup 3/H)propionyl-ampicillin. A rapid method for monitoring penicillin-binding activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hakenbeck, R. (Max-Planck-Institut fuer Molekulare Genetik, Berlin (Germany, F.R.)); Kohiyama, M. (Paris-7 Univ., 75 (France). Inst. de Biologie Moleculaire)

    1982-08-01

    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 (/sup 3/H)propionyl ampicillin (/sup 3/H-PA) of high specific activity. As little 2..mu..g of crude membranes obtained from the highly penicillin-sensitive, ..beta..-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.

  15. Rapid and individual-specific glycoprofiling of the low abundance N-glycosylated protein tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thaysen-Andersen, Morten; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Nielsen, Hans Jørgen

    2007-01-01

    was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization MS and MS/MS. The method proved to be fast and sensitive and furthermore yielded a comprehensive site-specific glycan analysis, allowing a differentiation of the glycoprofiles of the two sources of recombinant protein, both comprising N......-glycans of a highly heterogeneous nature. To test the potential of the method, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1), a secreted low abundance N-glycosylated protein and a cancer marker, was purified in an individual-specific manner from plasma of five healthy individuals using IgG depletion...... and immunoaffinity chromatography. The corresponding TIMP-1 glycoprofiles were determined to be highly similar, comprising mainly bi- and triantennary complex oligosaccharides. Additionally it was shown that platelet-derived TIMP-1 displayed a similar glycoprofile. This is the first study to investigate...

  16. Trichloroacetic acid treatment as a tricky way for rapid purification of 1N/4R tau protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asadollahi, Kazem; Rafiee, Saharnaz; Riazi, Gholam Hossein; Pooyan, Shahriar; Afrasiabi, Ali

    2016-02-01

    Tau protein consists of six different isoforms and each one has particular physiological roles. In order to analyze the specific function of each single isoforms, large quantity of highly purified tau isoforms is essential. Many studies have been done to purify tau isoforms by heat treatment, followed by perchloric acid and glycerol precipitation. We found out that 1N/4R tau is soluble in glycerol, that is why mentioned methods do not work for purifying this isoform. In this study, large amounts of active and highly purified (97%) 1N/4R tau protein has been prepared by utilization of trichloroacetic acid as precipitating agent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Negatively charged food additive dye "Allura Red" rapidly induces SDS-soluble amyloid fibril in beta-lactoglobulin protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Shabib, Nasser Abdulatif; Khan, Javed Masood; Malik, Ajamaluddin; Alsenaidy, Abdulrahman M; Alsenaidy, Mohammad A; Husain, Fohad Mabood; Shamsi, Monis Bilal; Hidayathulla, Syed; Khan, Rizwan Hasan

    2018-02-01

    Recent studies have led to an increased interest to categorize small molecular inhibitors of protein fibrillation. In this study, we used spectroscopy, microscopy and gel electrophoresis techniques that provides an elaborated description of the Allura Red-induced amyloid fibrillation in the β-LG protein at two pHs (7.4 and 3.5). The spectroscopy results show that β-LG protein form aggregates in the presence of Allura Red (0.04-15.0mM) at pH 3.5 due to electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. However, at pH 7.4, the β-LG does not interact electrostatically with Allura Red and therefore no aggregation occurred. The Allura Red-induced aggregates have an amyloid-like structure that was confirmed by far-UV CD, Congo Red and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The CD spectrum of β-LG contains single minima at ∼218nm, which shifts towards higher wavelength minima at ∼225nm in the presence of Allura Red, characteristics of the cross β-sheet structure. The TEM results suggest that β-LG form long straight fibril when exposed to Allura Red at pH 3.5. The Allura Red-induced amyloid fibril is SDS-soluble confirmed by SDS-PAGE techniques. A far UV CD result shows the conversion of Allura Red induced cross β-sheet structure into alpha-helical structure in the presence of increasing concentration of SDS. The results of this study suggest that the electrostatic, as well as hydrophobic interactions play an important role during Allura Red-induced β-LG fibrillation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Probing the Boundaries of Orthology: The Unanticipated Rapid Evolution of Drosophila centrosomin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisman, Robert C.; Kaufman, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    The rapid evolution of essential developmental genes and their protein products is both intriguing and problematic. The rapid evolution of gene products with simple protein folds and a lack of well-characterized functional domains typically result in a low discovery rate of orthologous genes. Additionally, in the absence of orthologs it is difficult to study the processes and mechanisms underlying rapid evolution. In this study, we have investigated the rapid evolution of centrosomin (cnn), an essential gene encoding centrosomal protein isoforms required during syncytial development in Drosophila melanogaster. Until recently the rapid divergence of cnn made identification of orthologs difficult and questionable because Cnn violates many of the assumptions underlying models for protein evolution. To overcome these limitations, we have identified a group of insect orthologs and present conserved features likely to be required for the functions attributed to cnn in D. melanogaster. We also show that the rapid divergence of Cnn isoforms is apparently due to frequent coding sequence indels and an accelerated rate of intronic additions and eliminations. These changes appear to be buffered by multi-exon and multi-reading frame maximum potential ORFs, simple protein folds, and the splicing machinery. These buffering features also occur in other genes in Drosophila and may help prevent potentially deleterious mutations due to indels in genes with large coding exons and exon-dense regions separated by small introns. This work promises to be useful for future investigations of cnn and potentially other rapidly evolving genes and proteins. PMID:23749319

  20. Use of peak decay analysis and affinity microcolumns containing silica monoliths for rapid determination of drug-protein dissociation rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Michelle J; Hage, David S

    2011-04-15

    This report examined the use of silica monoliths in affinity microcolumns containing human serum albumin (HSA) to measure the dissociation rates for various drugs from this protein. Immobilized HSA and control monolith columns with dimensions of 1 mm × 4.6 mm i.d. were prepared for this work and used with a noncompetitive peak decay method. Several drugs known to bind HSA were examined, such as warfarin, diazepam, imipramine, acetohexamide, and tolbutamide. Items that were studied and optimized in this method included the sample volume, sample concentration, and elution flow rate. It was found that flow rates up to 10 mL/min could be used in this approach. Work with HSA silica monoliths at these high flow rates made it possible to provide dissociation rate constants for drugs such as warfarin in less than 40s. The dissociation rate constants that were measured gave good agreement with values reported in the literature or that had been obtained with other solutes that had similar binding affinities for HSA. This approach is a general one that should be useful in examining the dissociation of other drugs from HSA and in providing a high-throughput method for screening drug-protein interactions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. A method for rapid production of heteromultimeric protein complexes in plants: assembly of protective bluetongue virus-like particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuenemann, Eva C; Meyers, Ann E; Verwey, Jeanette; Rybicki, Edward P; Lomonossoff, George P

    2013-09-01

    Plant expression systems based on nonreplicating virus-based vectors can be used for the simultaneous expression of multiple genes within the same cell. They therefore have great potential for the production of heteromultimeric protein complexes. This work describes the efficient plant-based production and assembly of Bluetongue virus-like particles (VLPs), requiring the simultaneous expression of four distinct proteins in varying amounts. Such particles have the potential to serve as a safe and effective vaccine against Bluetongue virus (BTV), which causes high mortality rates in ruminants and thus has a severe effect on the livestock trade. Here, VLPs produced and assembled in Nicotiana benthamiana using the cowpea mosaic virus-based HyperTrans (CPMV-HT) and associated pEAQ plant transient expression vector system were shown to elicit a strong antibody response in sheep. Furthermore, they provided protective immunity against a challenge with a South African BTV-8 field isolate. The results show that transient expression can be used to produce immunologically relevant complex heteromultimeric structures in plants in a matter of days. The results have implications beyond the realm of veterinary vaccines and could be applied to the production of VLPs for human use or the coexpression of multiple enzymes for the manipulation of metabolic pathways. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Evaluation of several protein a resins for application to multicolumn chromatography for the rapid purification of fed-batch bioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbold, Nicolas-Julian; Le Saoût, Xavier; Valery, Eric; Muhr, Laurence; Souquet, Jonathan; Lamproye, Alain; Broly, Hervé

    2017-07-01

    Most of the existing production capacity is based on fed-batch bioreactors. Thanks to the development of more efficient cell lines and the development of high-performance culture media, cell productivity dramatically increased. In a manufacturing perspective, it is necessary to clear as quickly as possible the protein A capture step to respect the manufacturing agenda. This article describes the methodology applied for the design of a multicolumn chromatography process with the objective of purifying as quickly as possible 1,000 and 15,000 L fed-batch bioreactors. Several recent and reference protein A resins are compared based on characteristic values obtained from breakthrough curves. The importance and relevance of resin parameters are explained, and purposely simple indicators are proposed to quickly evaluate the potential of each candidate. Based on simulation data, the optimum BioSC systems associated with each resin are then compared. The quality of the elution delivered by each resin is also compared to complete the assessment. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 33:941-953, 2017. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  3. The Evolving Resource Metadata Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biemesderfer, Chris

    The search and discovery mechanisms that will facilitate and simplify systematic research on the Internet depend on systematic classifications of resources, as well as on standardized access to such metadata. The principles and technologies that will make this possible are evolving in the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force and the digital library initiatives, among others. The desired outcome is a set of standards, tools, and practices that permits both cataloging and retrieval to be comprehensive and efficient.

  4. Expression of prion protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Parkinson's disease complicated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, W J; Shang, X L; Peng, J; Zhou, M H; Sun, W J

    2017-01-23

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases and mainly manifests with decreasing numbers of dopaminergic neurons. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) has an incidence of 15-47% in all PD patients. Prion proteins (PrPs), which are expressed in both neurons and glial cells of the brain, are believed to be correlated with abnormal neurological functions, although their role in PD-related sleeping disorders remains unclear. We therefore investigated the expressional profiles of PrP in PD patients with RBD. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein levels of PrP, respectively, in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of PD patients with RBD, PD patients without sleeping disorder, and healthy people (N = 23 each). We investigated the correlation between the CSF PrP level and sleeping behavior in PD patients. Patients with PD complicated with RBD had significantly elevated CSF PrP expression levels (both mRNA and protein) compared with either PD patients without sleeping disorder or healthy individuals (P < 0.05 in both cases). There is elevated expression of PrP in the CSF of PD patients with RBD. This may benefit the diagnosis of PD-related RBD.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    Reversed-phase liquid chromatography interfaced to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) allows analysis of very complex peptide mixtures at great sensitivity, but it can be very time-consuming, typically using 60 min, or more, per sample analysis. We recently introduced...... 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...... for efficient analysis of peptide samples in proteomics research. The system performance of SPE-LC-MS/MS was evaluated in terms of sensitivity and efficiency for the analysis of tryptic peptide digests obtained from samples consisting of up to 12 standard proteins. The practical utility of the analytical setup...

  8. FLOWERING LOCUS C EXPRESSOR family proteins regulate FLOWERING LOCUS C expression in both winter-annual and rapid-cycling Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Lei; Kim, Sang Yeol; Michaels, Scott D

    2013-09-01

    Many naturally occurring Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) are very late flowering, unless flowering is promoted by a prolonged period of cold (e.g. winter) known as vernalization. In these winter-annual strains, flowering prior to winter is blocked by the synergistic interaction of FRIGIDA (FRI) and FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). FLC acts as a strong floral inhibitor, and FRI is required for high levels of FLC expression. Vernalization, in turn, leads to an epigenetic down-regulation of FLC expression. Most rapid-cycling Arabidopsis carry loss-of-function mutations in FRI, leading to low levels of FLC and rapid flowering in the absence of vernalization. Recent work has shown that FRI acts as a scaffolding protein for the assembly of a FRI complex (FRI-C) that includes both general transcription and chromatin-modifying factors, as well as FRI-specific components such as FRI-LIKE1, FRI ESSENTIAL1 (FES1), SUPPRESSOR OF FRI4 (SUF4), and FLC EXPRESSOR (FLX). Here, we show that FLX-LIKE4 (FLX4) is a novel component of the FRI-C and is essential for the activation of FLC by FRI. Both FLX and FLX4 contain leucine zipper domains that facilitate interaction with FRI. In addition, FLX and FLX4 interact with each other and show synergistic transcription activation activity. Interestingly, we show that FLX, FLX4, FES1, and SUF4 are required for basal levels of FLC expression in the absence of FRI. Thus, components of the FRI-C play a role in the regulation of FLC expression in both FRI-containing winter annuals, as well as fri-null rapid-cycling strains.

  9. 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.

  10. Rapid identification of clinical mycobacterial isolates by protein profiling using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, A; Kurapati, S; Samantaray, J C; Myneedu, V P; Verma, A; Srinivasan, A; Ahmad, H; Behera, D; Singh, U B

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis which is often plagued with ambiguity. It is a time consuming process requiring 4-8 weeks after culture positivity, thereby delaying therapeutic intervention. For a successful treatment and disease management, timely diagnosis is imperative. We evaluated a rapid, proteomic based technique for identification of clinical mycobacterial isolates by protein profiling using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Freshly grown mycobacterial isolates were used. Acetonitrile/trifluoroacetic acid extraction procedure was carried out, following which cinnamic acid charged plates were subjected to identification by MALDI-TOF MS. A comparative analysis of 42 clinical mycobacterial isolates using the MALDI-TOF MS and conventional techniques was carried out. Among these, 97.61% were found to corroborate with the standard methods at genus level and 85.36% were accurate till the species level. One out of 42 was not in accord with the conventional assays because MALDI-TOF MS established it as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (log (score)>2.0) and conventional methods established it to be non-tuberculous Mycobacterium. MALDI-TOF MS was found to be an accurate, rapid, cost effective and robust system for identification of mycobacterial species. This innovative approach holds promise for early therapeutic intervention leading to better patient care.

  11. Rapid migration in gel filtration of the Cf-4 and Cf-9 resistance proteins is an intrinsic property of Cf proteins and not because of their association with high-molecular-weight proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoorn, van der R.A.L.; Rivas, S.; Wulff, B.B.H.; Jones, J.D.G.; Joosten, M.H.A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Gel filtration is frequently used to study the behaviour and composition of protein complexes. In previous studies, gel filtration analysis of solubilised membranes containing the tomato Cf-4 and Cf-9 resistance proteins indicated that these Cf proteins are present in an approximately 400- and

  12. Sustaining protein synthesis in the absence of rapid cell division: an investigation of plasmid-encoded protein expression in Escherichia coli during very slow growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flickinger, M C; Rouse, M P

    1993-01-01

    filamentous cells appeared. The appearance of filamentous cells could be reversed by increasing the dilution rate. These data are evidence that when plasmid copy number is stabilized by chloramphenicol resistance, a minimum dilution rate exists below which stringent regulation of protein synthesis dramatically reduces gene expression.

  13. 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.

  14. The Silk-protein Sericin Induces Rapid Melanization of Cultured Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells by Activating the NF-κB Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eidet, J R; Reppe, S; Pasovic, L; Olstad, O K; Lyberg, T; Khan, A Z; Fostad, I G; Chen, D F; Utheim, T P

    2016-03-04

    Restoration of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent further loss of vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration represents a promising novel treatment modality. Development of RPE transplants, however, requires up to 3 months of cell differentiation. We explored whether the silk protein sericin can induce maturation of primary human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that sericin up-regulated RPE-associated transcripts (RPE65 and CRALBP). Upstream analysis identified the NF-κB pathway as one of the top sericin-induced regulators. ELISA confirmed that sericin stimulates the main NF-κB pathway. Increased levels of RPE-associated proteins (RPE65 and the pigment melanin) in the sericin-supplemented cultures were confirmed by western blot, spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy. Sericin also increased cell density and reduced cell death following serum starvation in culture. Inclusion of NF-κB agonists and antagonists in the culture medium showed that activation of the NF-κB pathway appears to be necessary, but not sufficient, for sericin-induced RPE pigmentation. We conclude that sericin promotes pigmentation of cultured primary hRPE cells by activating the main NF-κB pathway. Sericin's potential role in culture protocols for rapid differentiation of hRPE cells derived from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells should be investigated.

  15. Analysis of Proteins That Rapidly Change Upon Mechanistic/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) Repression Identifies Parkinson Protein 7 (PARK7) as a Novel Protein Aberrantly Expressed in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niere, Farr; Namjoshi, Sanjeev; Song, Ehwang; Dilly, Geoffrey A; Schoenhard, Grant; Zemelman, Boris V; Mechref, Yehia; Raab-Graham, Kimberly F

    2016-02-01

    Many biological processes involve the mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Thus, the challenge of deciphering mTORC1-mediated functions during normal and pathological states in the central nervous system is challenging. Because mTORC1 is at the core of translation, we have investigated mTORC1 function in global and regional protein expression. Activation of mTORC1 has been generally regarded to promote translation. Few but recent works have shown that suppression of mTORC1 can also promote local protein synthesis. Moreover, excessive mTORC1 activation during diseased states represses basal and activity-induced protein synthesis. To determine the role of mTORC1 activation in protein expression, we have used an unbiased, large-scale proteomic approach. We provide evidence that a brief repression of mTORC1 activity in vivo by rapamycin has little effect globally, yet leads to a significant remodeling of synaptic proteins, in particular those proteins that reside in the postsynaptic density. We have also found that curtailing the activity of mTORC1 bidirectionally alters the expression of proteins associated with epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and autism spectrum disorder-neurological disorders that exhibit elevated mTORC1 activity. Through a protein-protein interaction network analysis, we have identified common proteins shared among these mTORC1-related diseases. One such protein is Parkinson protein 7, which has been implicated in Parkinson's disease, yet not associated with epilepsy, Alzheimers disease, or autism spectrum disorder. To verify our finding, we provide evidence that the protein expression of Parkinson protein 7, including new protein synthesis, is sensitive to mTORC1 inhibition. Using a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex, a disease that displays both epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder phenotypes and has overactive mTORC1 signaling, we show that Parkinson protein 7 protein is elevated in the dendrites and colocalizes

  16. An Immunoassay to Rapidly Measure Acetaminophen Protein Adducts Accurately Identifies Patients With Acute Liver Injury or Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Dean W; Lee, William M; Hinson, Jack A; Bai, Shasha; Swearingen, Christopher J; Stravitz, R Todd; Reuben, Adrian; Letzig, Lynda; Simpson, Pippa M; Rule, Jody; Fontana, Robert J; Ganger, Daniel; Reddy, K Rajender; Liou, Iris; Fix, Oren; James, Laura P

    2017-04-01

    A rapid and reliable point-of-care assay to detect acetaminophen protein adducts in the serum of patients with acute liver injury could improve diagnosis and management. AcetaSTAT is a competitive immunoassay used to measure acetaminophen protein adducts formed by toxic metabolites in serum samples from patients. We compared the accuracy of AcetaSTAT vs high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC; a sensitive and specific quantitative analytic assay) to detect acetaminophen protein adducts. We collected serum samples from 19 healthy individuals (no liver injury, no recent acetaminophen use), 29 patients without acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury, and 33 patients with acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury participating in the Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry. Each serum sample was analyzed by AcetaSTAT (reported as test band amplitude) and HPLC-EC (the reference standard). We also collected data on patient age, sex, weight, level of alanine aminotransferase on test day and peak values, concentration of acetaminophen, diagnoses (by site investigator and causality review committee), and outcome after 21 days. Differences between groups were analyzed using the Fisher exact test for categoric variables and the Kruskal-Wallis test or rank-sum test for continuous variables. AcetaSTAT discriminated between patients with and without acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury; the median AcetaSTAT test band amplitude for patients with acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury was 584 (range, 222-1027) vs 3678 (range, 394-8289) for those without (P acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury with 100% sensitivity, 86.2% specificity, a positive predictive value of 89.2%, and a negative predictive value of 100%. Results from AcetaSTAT were positive in 4 subjects who received a causality review committee diagnosis of non-acetaminophen-associated acute liver injury; HPLC-EC and biochemical profiles were consistent with

  17. Oxytocin Rapidly Changes Astrocytic GFAP Plasticity by Differentially Modulating the Expressions of pERK 1/2 and Protein Kinase A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Wang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of astrocytes to normal brain functions and neurological diseases has been extensively recognized; however, cellular mechanisms underlying functional and structural plasticities of astrocytes remain poorly understood. Oxytocin (OT is a neuropeptide that can rapidly change astrocytic plasticity in association with lactation, as indicated in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP in the supraoptic nucleus (SON. Here, we used OT-evoked changes in GFAP expression in astrocytes of male rat SON as a model to explore the cellular mechanisms underlying GFAP plasticity. The results showed that OT significantly reduced the expression of GFAP filaments and proteins in SON astrocytes in brain slices. In lysates of the SON, OT receptors (OTRs were co-immunoprecipitated with GFAP; vasopressin (VP, a neuropeptide structurally similar to OT, did not significantly change GFAP protein level; OT-evoked depolarization of astrocyte membrane potential was sensitive to a selective OTR antagonist (OTRA but not to tetanus toxin, a blocker of synaptic transmission. The effects of OT on GFAP expression and on astrocyte uptake of Bauer-Peptide, an astrocyte-specific dye, were mimicked by isoproterenol (IPT; β-adrenoceptor agonist, U0126 or PD98059, inhibitors of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK 1/2 kinase and blocked by the OTRA or KT5720, a protein kinase A (PKA inhibitor. The effect of OT on GFAP expressions and its association with these kinases were simulated by mSIRK, an activator of Gβγ subunits. Finally, suckling increased astrocytic expression of the catalytic subunit of PKA (cPKA at astrocytic processes while increasing the molecular associations of GFAP with cPKA and phosphorylated ERK (pERK 1/2. Upon the occurrence of the milk-ejection reflex, spatial co-localization of the cPKA with GFAP filaments further increased, which was accompanied with increased molecular association of GFAP with pERK 1/2 but not with

  18. Analysis of Proteins That Rapidly Change Upon Mechanistic/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) Repression Identifies Parkinson Protein 7 (PARK7) as a Novel Protein Aberrantly Expressed in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niere, Farr; Namjoshi, Sanjeev; Song, Ehwang; Dilly, Geoffrey A.; Schoenhard, Grant; Zemelman, Boris V.; Mechref, Yehia; Raab-Graham, Kimberly F.

    2016-01-01

    Many biological processes involve the mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Thus, the challenge of deciphering mTORC1-mediated functions during normal and pathological states in the central nervous system is challenging. Because mTORC1 is at the core of translation, we have investigated mTORC1 function in global and regional protein expression. Activation of mTORC1 has been generally regarded to promote translation. Few but recent works have shown that suppression of mTORC1 can also promote local protein synthesis. Moreover, excessive mTORC1 activation during diseased states represses basal and activity-induced protein synthesis. To determine the role of mTORC1 activation in protein expression, we have used an unbiased, large-scale proteomic approach. We provide evidence that a brief repression of mTORC1 activity in vivo by rapamycin has little effect globally, yet leads to a significant remodeling of synaptic proteins, in particular those proteins that reside in the postsynaptic density. We have also found that curtailing the activity of mTORC1 bidirectionally alters the expression of proteins associated with epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and autism spectrum disorder—neurological disorders that exhibit elevated mTORC1 activity. Through a protein–protein interaction network analysis, we have identified common proteins shared among these mTORC1-related diseases. One such protein is Parkinson protein 7, which has been implicated in Parkinson's disease, yet not associated with epilepsy, Alzheimers disease, or autism spectrum disorder. To verify our finding, we provide evidence that the protein expression of Parkinson protein 7, including new protein synthesis, is sensitive to mTORC1 inhibition. Using a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex, a disease that displays both epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder phenotypes and has overactive mTORC1 signaling, we show that Parkinson protein 7 protein is elevated in the dendrites and

  19. Primordial evolvability: Impasses and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasas, Vera; Fernando, Chrisantha; Szilágyi, András; Zachár, István; Santos, Mauro; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-09-21

    While it is generally agreed that some kind of replicating non-living compounds were the precursors of life, there is much debate over their possible chemical nature. Metabolism-first approaches propose that mutually catalytic sets of simple organic molecules could be capable of self-replication and rudimentary chemical evolution. In particular, the graded autocatalysis replication domain (GARD) model, depicting assemblies of amphiphilic molecules, has received considerable interest. The system propagates compositional information across generations and is suggested to be a target of natural selection. However, evolutionary simulations indicate that the system lacks selectability (i.e. selection has negligible effect on the equilibrium concentrations). We elaborate on the lessons learnt from the example of the GARD model and, more widely, on the issue of evolvability, and discuss the implications for similar metabolism-first scenarios. We found that simple incorporation-type chemistry based on non-covalent bonds, as assumed in GARD, is unlikely to result in alternative autocatalytic cycles when catalytic interactions are randomly distributed. An even more serious problem stems from the lognormal distribution of catalytic factors, causing inherent kinetic instability of such loops, due to the dominance of efficiently catalyzed components that fail to return catalytic aid. Accordingly, the dynamics of the GARD model is dominated by strongly catalytic, but not auto-catalytic, molecules. Without effective autocatalysis, stable hereditary propagation is not possible. Many repetitions and different scaling of the model come to no rescue. Despite all attempts to show the contrary, the GARD model is not evolvable, in contrast to reflexively autocatalytic networks, complemented by rare uncatalyzed reactions and compartmentation. The latter networks, resting on the creation and breakage of chemical bonds, can generate novel ('mutant') autocatalytic loops from a given set of

  20. 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.

  1. Extreme evolved solar systems (EESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2017-08-01

    In just 20 years, we went from not knowing if the solar system is a fluke of Nature to realising that it is totally normal for stars to have planets. More remarkably, it is now clear that planet formation is a robust process, as rich multi-planet systems are found around stars more massive and less massive than the Sun. More recently, planetary systems have been identified in increasingly complex architectures, including circumbinary planets, wide binaries with planets orbiting one or both stellar components, and planets in triple stellar systems.We have also learned that many planetary systems will survive the evolution of their host stars into the white dwarf phase. Small bodies are scattered by unseen planets into the gravitational field of the white dwarfs, tidally disrupt, form dust discs, and eventually accrete onto the white dwarf, where they can be spectroscopically detected. HST/COS has played a critical role in the study these evolved planetary systems, demonstrating that overall the bulk composition of the debris is rocky and resembles in composition the inner the solar system, including evidence for water-rich planetesimals. Past observations of planetary systems at white dwarfs have focused on single stars with main-sequence progenitors of 1.5 to 2.5Msun. Here we propose to take the study of evolved planetary systems into the extremes of parameter ranges to answer questions such as: * How efficient is planet formation around 4-10Msun stars? * What are the metallicities of the progenitors of debris-accreting white dwarfs?* What is the fate of circumbinary planets?* Can star-planet interactions generate magnetic fields in the white dwarf host?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Emergence of a Norovirus GII.4 Strain Correlates with Changes in Evolving Blockade Epitopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindesmith, Lisa C.; Costantini, Verónica; Swanstrom, Jesica; Debbink, Kari; Donaldson, Eric F.; Vinjé, Jan

    2013-01-01

    The major capsid protein of norovirus GII.4 strains is evolving rapidly, resulting in epidemic strains with altered antigenicity. GII.4.2006 Minerva strains circulated at pandemic levels in 2006 and persisted at lower levels until 2009. In 2009, a new GII.4 variant, GII.4.2009 New Orleans, emerged and since then has become the predominant strain circulating in human populations. To determine whether changes in evolving blockade epitopes correlate with the emergence of the GII.4.2009 New Orleans strains, we compared the antibody reactivity of a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against GII.4.2006 and GII.4.2009 virus-like particles (VLPs). Both anti-GII.4.2006 and GII.4.2009 MAbs effectively differentiated the two strains by VLP-carbohydrate ligand blockade assay. Most of the GII.4.2006 MAbs preferentially blocked GII.4.2006, while all of the GII.4.2009 MAbs preferentially blocked GII.4.2009, although 8 of 12 tested blockade MAbs blocked both VLPs. Using mutant VLPs designed to alter predicted antigenic epitopes, binding of seven of the blockade MAbs was impacted by alterations in epitope A, identifying residues 294, 296, 297, 298, 368, and 372 as important antigenic sites in these strains. Convalescent-phase serum collected from a GII.4.2009 outbreak confirmed the immunodominance of epitope A, since alterations of epitope A affected serum reactivity by 40%. These data indicate that the GII.4.2009 New Orleans variant has evolved a key blockade epitope, possibly allowing for at least partial escape from protective herd immunity and provide epidemiological support for the utility of monitoring changes in epitope A in emergent strain surveillance. PMID:23269783

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A FABP-ulous 'rule out' strategy? Heart fatty acid binding protein and troponin for rapid exclusion of acute myocardial infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Body, Richard; McDowell, Garry; Carley, Simon; Wibberley, Christopher; Ferguson, Jamie; Mackway-Jones, Kevin

    2011-08-01

    Many Emergency Departments (EDs) utilise 'triple marker' testing with CK-MB, myoglobin and troponin I (cTnI) to exclude acute myocardial infarction (AMI) within hours of presentation. We evaluated the ability of 8 biomarkers to rapidly exclude AMI at the point of presentation and investigated whether 'triple marker' testing represents the optimal multimarker strategy. We recruited patients who presented to the ED with suspected cardiac chest pain occurring within 24 h. Blood was drawn at the time of presentation. Diagnostic value was assessed by calculating the area under the ROC curve (AUC) and a multivariate model was constructed by logistic regression. The primary outcome was a diagnosis of AMI, established by ≥12-h troponin testing in all patients. 705 included patients underwent venepuncture a median of 3.5 h after symptom onset. Heart fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) had an AUC of 0.86 (95% CI 0.82-0.90), which was significantly higher than any other biomarker including cTnI. While no single biomarker could enable exclusion of AMI, multivariate analysis identified cTnI and H-FABP as the optimal biomarker combination. Combined with clinical risk stratification, this strategy had a sensitivity of 96.9%, specificity of 54.7%, PPV 32.4% and NPV 98.8%. We have derived an algorithm that would enable AMI to be immediately excluded in 315 (44.7%) patients at the cost of missing 6 AMIs per 1000 patients treated. While the risk is likely to be unacceptable for clinical implementation, we have highlighted an area for future development using serial testing and increasingly sensitive assays. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Evolution of hydra, a recently evolved testis-expressed gene with nine alternative first exons in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shou-Tao Chen

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available We describe here the Drosophila gene hydra that appears to have originated de novo in the melanogaster subgroup and subsequently evolved in both structure and expression level in Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species. D. melanogaster hydra encodes a predicted protein of approximately 300 amino acids with no apparent similarity to any previously known proteins. The syntenic region flanking hydra on both sides is found in both D. ananassae and D. pseudoobscura, but hydra is found only in melanogaster subgroup species, suggesting that it originated less than approximately 13 million y ago. Exon 1 of hydra has undergone recurrent duplications, leading to the formation of nine tandem alternative exon 1s in D. melanogaster. Seven of these alternative exons are flanked on their 3' side by the transposon DINE-1 (Drosophila interspersed element-1. We demonstrate that at least four of the nine duplicated exon 1s can function as alternative transcription start sites. The entire hydra locus has also duplicated in D. simulans and D. sechellia. D. melanogaster hydra is expressed most intensely in the proximal testis, suggesting a role in late-stage spermatogenesis. The coding region of hydra has a relatively high Ka/Ks ratio between species, but the ratio is less than 1 in all comparisons, suggesting that hydra is subject to functional constraint. Analysis of sequence polymorphism and divergence of hydra shows that it has evolved under positive selection in the lineage leading to D. melanogaster. The dramatic structural changes surrounding the first exons do not affect the tissue specificity of gene expression: hydra is expressed predominantly in the testes in D. melanogaster, D. simulans, and D. yakuba. However, we have found that expression level changed dramatically (approximately >20-fold between D. melanogaster and D. simulans. While hydra initially evolved in the absence of nearby transposable element insertions, we suggest that the subsequent

  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. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Crumbly, Christopher M.; Robinson, Kimerly F.

    2016-01-01

    A foundational capability for international human deep-space exploration, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle represents a new spaceflight infrastructure asset, creating opportunities for mission profiles and space systems that cannot currently be executed. While the primary purpose of SLS, which is making rapid progress towards initial launch readiness in two years, will be to support NASA's Journey to Mars, discussions are already well underway regarding other potential utilization of the vehicle's unique capabilities. In its initial Block 1 configuration, capable of launching 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), SLS is capable of propelling the Orion crew vehicle to cislunar space, while also delivering small CubeSat-class spacecraft to deep-space destinations. With the addition of a more powerful upper stage, the Block 1B configuration of SLS will be able to deliver 105 t to LEO and enable more ambitious human missions into the proving ground of space. This configuration offers opportunities for launching co-manifested payloads with the Orion crew vehicle, and a class of secondary payloads, larger than today's CubeSats. Further upgrades to the vehicle, including advanced boosters, will evolve its performance to 130 t in its Block 2 configuration. Both Block 1B and Block 2 also offer the capability to carry 8.4- or 10-m payload fairings, larger than any contemporary launch vehicle. With unmatched mass-lift capability, payload volume, and C3, SLS not only enables spacecraft or mission designs currently impossible with contemporary EELVs, it also offers enhancing benefits, such as reduced risk, operational costs and/or complexity, shorter transit time to destination or launching large systems either monolithically or in fewer components. This paper will discuss both the performance and capabilities of Space Launch System as it evolves, and the current state of SLS utilization planning.

  13. Conversion of photosystem II dimer to monomers during photoinhibition is tightly coupled with decrease in oxygen-evolving activity in the diatom Chaetoceros gracilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Ryo; Tomo, Tatsuya; Narikawa, Rei; Enami, Isao; Ikeuchi, Masahiko

    2016-12-01

    The rapid turnover of photosystem II (PSII) in diatoms is thought to be at an exceptionally high rate compared with other oxyphototrophs; however, its molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we examined the photodamage and repair processes of PSII in the marine centric diatom Chaetoceros gracilis incubated at 30 or 300 μmol photons m -2  s -1 in the presence of a de novo protein-synthesis inhibitor. When de novo protein synthesis was blocked by chloramphenicol (Cm), oxygen-evolving activity gradually decreased even at 30 μmol photons m -2  s -1 and could not be detected at 12 h. PSII inactivation was enhanced by higher illumination. Using Cm-treated cells, the conversion of PSII dimer to monomers was observed by blue native PAGE. The rate of PSII monomerization was very similar to that of the decrease in oxygen-evolving activity under both light conditions. Immunological detection of D1 protein in the Cm-treated cells showed that the rate of D1 degradation was slower than that of the former two events, although it was more rapid than that observed in other oxyphototrophs. Thus, the three accelerated events, especially PSII monomerization, appear to cause the unusually high rate of PSII turnover in diatoms.

  14. Evolving strategies for cancer and autoimmunity: back to the future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter John Lane

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Although current thinking has focused on genetic variation between individuals and environmental influences as underpinning susceptibility to both autoimmunity and cancer, an alternative view is that human susceptibility to these diseases is a consequence of the way the immune system evolved. It is important to remember that the immunological genes that we inherit and the systems that they control were shaped by the drive for reproductive success rather than for individual survival. It is our view that human susceptibility to autoimmunity and cancer are the evolutionarily acceptable side effects of the immune adaptations that evolved in early placental mammals to accommodate a fundamental change in reproductive strategy. Studies of immune function in mammals shows that high affinity antibodies and CD4 memory, along with its regulation, co-evolved with placentation. By dissection of the immunologically active genes and proteins that evolved to regulate this step change in the mammalian immune system, clues have emerged that may reveal ways of detuning both effector and regulatory arms of the immune system to abrogate autoimmune responses whilst preserving protection against infection. Paradoxically, it appears that such a detuned and deregulated immune system is much better equipped to mount anti-tumor immune responses against cancers.

  15. The HaloTag: Improving Soluble Expression and Applications in Protein Functional Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    N Peterson, Scott; Kwon, Keehwan

    2012-01-01

    Technological and methodological advances have been critical for the rapidly evolving field of proteomics. The development of fusion tag systems is essential for purification and analysis of recombinant proteins. The HaloTag is a 34 KDa monomeric protein derived from a bacterial haloalkane dehalogenase. The majority of fusion tags in use today utilize a reversible binding interaction with a specific ligand. The HaloTag system is unique in that it forms a covalent linkage to its chloroalkane l...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Acquisition: Acquisition of the Evolved SEASPARROW Missile

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    .... The Evolved SEASPARROW Missile, a Navy Acquisition Category II program, is an improved version of the RIM-7P SEASPARROW missile that will intercept high-speed maneuvering, anti-ship cruise missiles...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, David A

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Cyberspace Operations: Influence Upon Evolving War Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-18

    St ra te gy R es ea rc h Pr oj ec t CYBERSPACE OPERATIONS: INFLUENCE UPON EVOLVING WAR THEORY BY COLONEL KRISTIN BAKER United States...DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Cyberspace Operations: Influence Upon Evolving War Theory 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER... Leadership 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 9. SPONSORING / MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    One hallmark of natural organisms is their significant evolvability, i.e.,their increased potential for further evolution. However, reproducing such evolvability in artificial evolution remains a challenge, which both reduces the performance of evolutionary algorithms and inhibits the study...... 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...

  6. Evolved atmospheric entry corridor with safety factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Zixuan; Ren, Zhang; Li, Qingdong

    2018-02-01

    Atmospheric entry corridors are established in previous research based on the equilibrium glide condition which assumes the flight-path angle to be zero. To get a better understanding of the highly constrained entry flight, an evolved entry corridor that considers the exact flight-path angle is developed in this study. Firstly, the conventional corridor in the altitude vs. velocity plane is extended into a three-dimensional one in the space of altitude, velocity, and flight-path angle. The three-dimensional corridor is generated by a series of constraint boxes. Then, based on a simple mapping method, an evolved two-dimensional entry corridor with safety factor is obtained. The safety factor is defined to describe the flexibility of the flight-path angle for a state within the corridor. Finally, the evolved entry corridor is simulated for the Space Shuttle and the Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) to demonstrate the effectiveness of the corridor generation approach. Compared with the conventional corridor, the evolved corridor is much wider and provides additional information. Therefore, the evolved corridor would benefit more to the entry trajectory design and analysis.

  7. Environmental noise, genetic diversity and the evolution of evolvability and robustness in model gene networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher F Steiner

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Interactively Evolving Compositional Sound Synthesis Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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......, CPPNs can theoretically compute any function and can build on those present in traditional synthesizers (e.g. square, sawtooth, triangle, and sine waves functions) to produce completely novel timbres. Evolved with NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT), the aim of this paper is to explore...... 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...

  9. Quantifying evolvability in small biological networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nemenman, Ilya [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mugler, Andrew [COLUMBIA UNIV; Ziv, Etay [COLUMBIA UNIV; Wiggins, Chris H [COLUMBIA UNIV

    2008-01-01

    The authors introduce a quantitative measure of the capacity of a small biological network to evolve. The measure is applied to a stochastic description of the experimental setup of Guet et al. (Science 2002, 296, pp. 1466), treating chemical inducers as functional inputs to biochemical networks and the expression of a reporter gene as the functional output. The authors take an information-theoretic approach, allowing the system to set parameters that optimise signal processing ability, thus enumerating each network's highest-fidelity functions. All networks studied are highly evolvable by the measure, meaning that change in function has little dependence on change in parameters. Moreover, each network's functions are connected by paths in the parameter space along which information is not significantly lowered, meaning a network may continuously change its functionality without completely losing it along the way. This property further underscores the evolvability of the networks.

  10. Evolution of evolvability in gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton Crombach

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory networks are perhaps the most important organizational level in the cell where signals from the cell state and the outside environment are integrated in terms of activation and inhibition of genes. For the last decade, the study of such networks has been fueled by large-scale experiments and renewed attention from the theoretical field. Different models have been proposed to, for instance, investigate expression dynamics, explain the network topology we observe in bacteria and yeast, and for the analysis of evolvability and robustness of such networks. Yet how these gene regulatory networks evolve and become evolvable remains an open question. An individual-oriented evolutionary model is used to shed light on this matter. Each individual has a genome from which its gene regulatory network is derived. Mutations, such as gene duplications and deletions, alter the genome, while the resulting network determines the gene expression pattern and hence fitness. With this protocol we let a population of individuals evolve under Darwinian selection in an environment that changes through time. Our work demonstrates that long-term evolution of complex gene regulatory networks in a changing environment can lead to a striking increase in the efficiency of generating beneficial mutations. We show that the population evolves towards genotype-phenotype mappings that allow for an orchestrated network-wide change in the gene expression pattern, requiring only a few specific gene indels. The genes involved are hubs of the networks, or directly influencing the hubs. Moreover, throughout the evolutionary trajectory the networks maintain their mutational robustness. In other words, evolution in an alternating environment leads to a network that is sensitive to a small class of beneficial mutations, while the majority of mutations remain neutral: an example of evolution of evolvability.

  11. 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

  12. Actin filament-associated protein 1 (AFAP-1) is a key mediator in inflammatory signaling-induced rapid attenuation of intrinsic P-gp function in human brain capillary endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshi, Yutaro; Uchida, Yasuo; Tachikawa, Masanori; Ohtsuki, Sumio; Terasaki, Tetsuya

    2017-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify regulatory molecule(s) involved in the inflammatory signaling-induced decrease in P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux function at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that may occur in brain diseases. We confirmed that in vivo P-gp efflux activity at the BBB was decreased without any change in P-gp protein expression level in a mouse model of acute inflammation induced by 3 mg/kg lipopolysaccharide. In a human BBB model cell line (human brain capillary endothelial cells; hCMEC/D3), 1-h treatment with 10 ng/mL tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α; an inflammatory mediator) rapidly reduced P-gp efflux activity, but had no effect on P-gp protein expression level. To clarify the non-transcriptional mechanism that causes the decrease in intrinsic efflux activity of P-gp in acute inflammation, we applied comprehensive quantitative phosphoproteomics to compare hCMEC/D3 cells treated with TNF-α and vehicle (control). Actin filament-associated protein-1 (AFAP-1), MAPK1, and transcription factor AP-1 (AP-1) were significantly phosphorylated in TNF-α-treated cells, and were selected as candidate proteins. In validation experiments, knockdown of AFAP-1 expression blocked the reduction in P-gp efflux activity by TNF-α treatment, whereas inhibition of MAPK function or knockdown of AP-1 expression did not. Quantitative targeted absolute proteomics revealed that the reduction in P-gp activity by TNF-α did not require any change in P-gp protein expression levels in the plasma membrane. Our results demonstrate that AFAP-1 is a key mediator in the inflammatory signaling-induced, translocation-independent rapid attenuation of P-gp efflux activity in human brain capillary endothelial cells. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  13. Automated Sample Preparation (ASP): Development of a Rapid Method to Sequentially Isolate Nucleic Acids and Protein from Any Sample Type by a Cartridge-Based System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-27

    by the buffer solution. For instance, the DNAPro appears to perform better when the diluent was Joint Portal Shield Buffer. This relationship did...spores and comparison of DNA yields from spores and spiked environmental samples. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2009. 76(1): p. 30-37. 3...time PCR. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 2008. 27(2): p. 109-114. 4. Boom, R., et al., Rapid and simple method

  14. 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

  15. Simulated evolution of protein-protein interaction networks with realistic topology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, G Jack; Pressé, Steve; Peterson, Kristin S; Dill, Ken A

    2012-01-01

    We model the evolution of eukaryotic protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. In our model, PPI networks evolve by two known biological mechanisms: (1) Gene duplication, which is followed by rapid diversification of duplicate interactions. (2) Neofunctionalization, in which a mutation leads to a new interaction with some other protein. Since many interactions are due to simple surface compatibility, we hypothesize there is an increased likelihood of interacting with other proteins in the target protein's neighborhood. We find good agreement of the model on 10 different network properties compared to high-confidence experimental PPI networks in yeast, fruit flies, and humans. Key findings are: (1) PPI networks evolve modular structures, with no need to invoke particular selection pressures. (2) Proteins in cells have on average about 6 degrees of separation, similar to some social networks, such as human-communication and actor networks. (3) Unlike social networks, which have a shrinking diameter (degree of maximum separation) over time, PPI networks are predicted to grow in diameter. (4) The model indicates that evolutionarily old proteins should have higher connectivities and be more centrally embedded in their networks. This suggests a way in which present-day proteomics data could provide insights into biological evolution.

  16. Design and synthesis of a novel fluorescent protein probe for easy and rapid electrophoretic gel staining by using a commonly available UV-based fluorescent imaging system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Yoshio; Takagi, Nobuyuki; Sano, Takuma; Chimuro, Tomoyuki

    2013-09-01

    A new fluorescent molecular probe, methyl 3-(3,5-bis((bis(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)amino)-methyl)-4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-(5-(dimethylamino)naphthalene-1-sulfonamido) propanoate, dizinc(II) chloride salt (Dansyl-1-Zn(II)), which possesses Zn(II) complexes and a dansyl group, was designed and synthesized to enable the detection of proteins in solution and in high-throughput electrophoresis by using a UV-based detection system. Dansyl-1-Zn(II) exhibited weak fluorescence in the absence of proteins and strong green fluorescence at approximately 510 nm in the presence of BSA upon irradiation with light at a wavelength of 345 nm. Compared with conventional protocols for in-gel SDS-PAGE protein staining (e.g. silver staining, SYPRO Ruby, and Oriole), the operating times of which range from 90 min to overnight, Dansyl-1-Zn(II) allowed 1-step protein staining (SDS-PAGE →Staining →Detection) and shortened the operating time (35 min) with high sensitivity (LOD: 1 ng or less) under 312-nm or 365-nm light excitation with orange or red emission filters, respectively. Moreover, Dansyl-1-Zn(II) was successfully applied to protein identification by MS via in-gel tryptic digestion, Western blotting, and Native-PAGE. Accordingly, Dansyl-1-Zn(II) may facilitate highly sensitive and high-throughput protein detection, and it may be widely applicable as a convenient tool in various scientific and medical fields. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer Illustration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This is a computer-aided drawing of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  18. Apollo 16 Evolved Lithology Sodic Ferrogabbro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, Ryan; Jolliff, B. L.; Korotev, R. L.

    2014-01-01

    Evolved lunar igneous lithologies, often referred to as the alkali suite, are a minor but important component of the lunar crust. These evolved samples are incompatible-element rich samples, and are, not surprisingly, most common in the Apollo sites in (or near) the incompatible-element rich region of the Moon known as the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT). The most commonly occurring lithologies are granites (A12, A14, A15, A17), monzogabbro (A14, A15), alkali anorthosites (A12, A14), and KREEP basalts (A15, A17). The Feldspathic Highlands Terrane is not entirely devoid of evolved lithologies, and rare clasts of alkali gabbronorite and sodic ferrogabbro (SFG) have been identified in Apollo 16 station 11 breccias 67915 and 67016. Curiously, nearly all pristine evolved lithologies have been found as small clasts or soil particles, exceptions being KREEP basalts 15382/6 and granitic sample 12013 (which is itself a breccia). Here we reexamine the petrography and geochemistry of two SFG-like particles found in a survey of Apollo 16 2-4 mm particles from the Cayley Plains 62283,7-15 and 62243,10-3 (hereafter 7-15 and 10-3 respectively). We will compare these to previously reported SFG samples, including recent analyses on the type specimen of SFG from lunar breccia 67915.

  19. Rapid Prototyping

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    Javelin, a Lone Peak Engineering Inc. Company has introduced the SteamRoller(TM) System as a commercial product. The system was designed by Javelin during a Phase II NASA funded small commercial product. The purpose of the invention was to allow automated-feed of flexible ceramic tapes to the Laminated Object Manufacturing rapid prototyping equipment. The ceramic material that Javelin was working with during the Phase II project is silicon nitride. This engineered ceramic material is of interest for space-based component.

  20. The use of 15N-labeled dietary proteins for determining true ileal amino acid digestibilities is limited by their rapid recycling in the endogenous secretions of pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leterme, P.; Théwis, A.; François, E.; Leeuwen, P. van; Wathelet, B.; Huisman, J.

    1996-01-01

    We assessed the use of 15N-labeled dietary proteins as a possible tool for the determination of the true ileal amino acid (AA) digestibility in pigs. The first experiment was designed to study the dietary N excretion pattern at the ileum subsequent to the ingestion of a single 15N-labeled meal. In a

  1. Why, when, and how did yeast evolve alcoholic fermentation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dashko, Sofia; Zhou, Nerve; Compagno, Concetta; Piškur, Jure

    2014-09-01

    The origin of modern fruits brought to microbial communities an abundant source of rich food based on simple sugars. Yeasts, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae, usually become the predominant group in these niches. One of the most prominent and unique features and likely a winning trait of these yeasts is their ability to rapidly convert sugars to ethanol at both anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Why, when, and how did yeasts remodel their carbon metabolism to be able to accumulate ethanol under aerobic conditions and at the expense of decreasing biomass production? We hereby review the recent data on the carbon metabolism in Saccharomycetaceae species and attempt to reconstruct the ancient environment, which could promote the evolution of alcoholic fermentation. We speculate that the first step toward the so-called fermentative lifestyle was the exploration of anaerobic niches resulting in an increased metabolic capacity to degrade sugar to ethanol. The strengthened glycolytic flow had in parallel a beneficial effect on the microbial competition outcome and later evolved as a "new" tool promoting the yeast competition ability under aerobic conditions. The basic aerobic alcoholic fermentation ability was subsequently "upgraded" in several lineages by evolving additional regulatory steps, such as glucose repression in the S. cerevisiae clade, to achieve a more precise metabolic control. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Yeast Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  2. IR Spectroscopy of Gasses Evolved During Roasting Coffee Beans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clain, Alexander; Capaldi, Xavier; Amanuel, Samuel

    2014-03-01

    We measured the IR spectra of the gasses that evolve during roasting of coffee beans. The spectra recorded at different temperature revealed that the intensity of certain IR bands increase as the temperature increases. For instance, the intensity of the CO2 band increased by a factor of four and reached a plateau as the roasting temperature approached 200°C. The intensity further increased as the temperature increased above 200°C, however, in two steps. Similarly the intensity of the OH bands monotonically increased until 200°C and then increased further in two rapid steps above 200°C. The temperature ranges where IR intensities change in two steps coincides with the temperature ranges where typically commercial roasting is done and where the first and second ``cracks'' are heard during roasting.

  3. The Silk-protein Sericin Induces Rapid Melanization of Cultured Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells by Activating the NF-κB Pathway

    OpenAIRE

    J. R. Eidet; Reppe, S.; Pasovic, L.; Olstad, O K; Lyberg, T; Khan, A. Z.; Fostad, I. G.; D. F. Chen; Utheim, T. P.

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent further loss of vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration represents a promising novel treatment modality. Development of RPE transplants, however, requires up to 3 months of cell differentiation. We explored whether the silk protein sericin can induce maturation of primary human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that sericin up-regulated RPE-associated transcripts (RPE6...

  4. Positive selection drives rapid evolution of certain amino acid residues in an evolutionarily highly conserved interferon-inducible antiviral protein of fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padhi, Abinash

    2013-01-01

    Viperin, an evolutionarily highly conserved interferon-inducible multifunctional protein, has previously been reported to exhibit antiviral activity against a wide range of DNA and RNA viruses. Utilizing the complete nucleotide coding sequence data of fish viperin antiviral genes, and employing the maximum likelihood-based codon substitution models, the present study reports the pervasive role of positive selection in the evolution of viperin antiviral protein in fishes. The overall rate of nonsynonymous (dN) to synonymous (dS) substitutions (dN/dS) for the three functional domains of viperin (N-terminal, central domain and C-terminal) were 1.1, 0.12, and 0.24, respectively. Codon-by-codon substitution analyses have revealed that while most of the positively selected sites were located at the N-terminal amphipathic α-helix domain, few amino acid residues at the C-terminal domain were under positive selection. However, none of the sites in the central domain were under positive selection. These results indicate that, although viperin is evolutionarily highly conserved, the three functional domains experienced differential selection pressures. Taken together with the results of previous studies, the present study suggests that the persistent antagonistic nature of surrounding infectious viral pathogens might be the likely cause for such adaptive evolutionary changes of certain amino acids in fish viperin antiviral protein.

  5. Escape from bacterial iron piracy through rapid evolution of transferrin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Matthew F.; Elde, Nels C.

    2015-01-01

    Iron sequestration provides an innate defense termed nutritional immunity, leading pathogens to scavenge iron from hosts. Although the molecular basis of this battle for iron is established, its potential as a force for evolution at host-pathogen interfaces is unknown. We show that the iron transport protein transferrin is engaged in ancient and ongoing evolutionary conflicts with TbpA, a transferrin surface receptor from bacteria. Single substitutions in transferrin at rapidly evolving sites reverse TbpA binding, providing a mechanism to counteract bacterial iron piracy among great apes. Furthermore, the C2 transferrin polymorphism in humans evades TbpA variants from Haemophilus influenzae, revealing a functional basis for standing genetic variation. These findings identify a central role for nutritional immunity in the persistent evolutionary conflicts between primates and bacterial pathogens. PMID:25504720

  6. 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

  7. Evolving wormhole geometries within nonlinear electrodynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arellano, Aaron V B [Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, El Cerrillo, Piedras Blancas, CP 50200, Toluca (Mexico); Lobo, Francisco S N [Centro de Astronomia e Astrofisica da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Ed C8 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal)

    2006-10-21

    In this work, we explore the possibility of evolving (2 + 1) and (3 + 1)-dimensional wormhole spacetimes, conformally related to the respective static geometries, within the context of nonlinear electrodynamics. For (3 + 1)-dimensional spacetime, it is found that the Einstein field equation imposes a contracting wormhole solution and the obedience of the weak energy condition. Nevertheless, in the presence of an electric field, the latter presents a singularity at the throat; however, for a pure magnetic field the solution is regular. For (2 + 1)-dimensional case, it is also found that the physical fields are singular at the throat. Thus, taking into account the principle of finiteness, which states that a satisfactory theory should avoid physical quantities becoming infinite, one may rule out evolving (3 + 1)-dimensional wormhole solutions, in the presence of an electric field, and (2 + 1)-dimensional case coupled to nonlinear electrodynamics.

  8. 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 (ENT......) approach is able to perform one-shot learning in a reinforcement learning task without catastrophic forgetting of previously stored associations.......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...

  9. 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 a...... to a REDO of design education, to further research and the future fashion and textile industry.......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...... a range of potential fashion futures that decouple from declining resources. In the first part literature on 'Past and Present' historical and current aspects of sustainability in fashion and textiles are presented. In the second part, three exploratory case studies are described: Two projects by students...

  10. Antibody therapeutics - the evolving patent landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petering, Jenny; McManamny, Patrick; Honeyman, Jane

    2011-09-01

    The antibody patent landscape has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years, particularly in areas of technology relating to antibody modification to reduce immunogenicity in humans or improve antibody function. In some cases antibody techniques that were developed in the 1980s are still the subject of patent protection in the United States or Canada. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Directional Communication in Evolved Multiagent Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-10

    networks. Artificial Life, 15(2):185– 212, 2009. [23] K. O. Stanley and R. Miikkulainen. Evolving neural networks through augmenting topologies ...paper. 2.2 Neuroevolution of Augmenting Topologies The HyperNEAT approach is itself an extension of the original NEAT (Neu- roevolution of Augmenting ...Gauci and K. O. Stanley. Autonomous evolution of topographic regu- larities in artificial neural networks. Neural Computation, 22(7):1860–1898, 2010

  13. 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.

  14. Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia evolving to hemicrania continua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porzukowiak, Tina Renae

    2015-04-01

    Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia is most commonly characterized as deep, boring, nonpulsatile, severe, unilateral facial and head pain in the distribution of the V1 area combined with ipsilateral oculosympathetic palsy and autonomic symptoms. Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia evolving into hemicrania continua, a rare primary, chronic headache syndrome characterized by unilateral pain and response to indomethacin, has rarely been documented. The purpose of this case report is to contribute to the medical literature a single case of Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia presenting as multiple cranial nerve palsies that evolved into hemicrania continua that was successfully treated with onabotulinumtoxinA. A 52-year-old white woman presented to the emergency department with the complaint of severe, aching, constant eye pain radiating to the V1 area for 1 week with associated ptosis and photophobia of the left eye. Ocular examination revealed involvement of cranial nerves II, III, V, and VI. Additional symptoms included ipsilateral lacrimation, eyelid edema, and rhinorrhea. Extensive medical work-up showed normal results. Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia was diagnosed with multiple cranial nerve involvement; the headache component became chronic with periodic exacerbations of autonomic symptoms evolving to a diagnosis of hemicrania continua. The patient was intolerant to traditional indomethacin treatment, and the headache was successfully treated with onabotulinumtoxinA injections. Recognition of ipsilateral signs such as miosis, ptosis, hydrosis, eyelid edema, hyperemia, rhinorrhea, or nasal congestion is useful in the differential diagnosis of painful ophthalmoplegia, particularly in the diagnosis of Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia and hemicrania continua. This case study illustrates a rare presentation of Raeder paratrigeminal neuralgia evolving into hemicrania continua presenting as a painful ophthalmoplegia with multiple cranial nerve involvement. The example supports the

  15. A possible molecular metric for biological evolvability

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Proteins manifest themselves as phenotypic traits, retained or lost in living systems via evolutionary pressures. Simply put, survival is essentially the ability of a living system to synthesize a functional protein that allows for a response to environmental perturbations (adaptation). Loss of functional proteins leads to extinction.

  16. Simultaneous gene transfer of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP -2 and BMP-7 by in vivo electroporation induces rapid bone formation and BMP-4 expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyazaki Jun-ichi

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcutaneous in vivo electroporation is expected to be an effective gene-transfer method for promoting bone regeneration using the BMP-2 plasmid vector. To promote enhanced osteoinduction using this method, we simultaneously transferred cDNAs for BMP-2 and BMP-7, as inserts in the non-viral vector pCAGGS. Methods First, an in vitro study was carried out to confirm the expression of BMP-2 and BMP-7 following the double-gene transfer. Next, the individual BMP-2 and BMP-7 plasmids or both together were injected into rat calf muscles, and transcutaneous electroporation was applied 8 times at 100 V, 50 msec. Results In the culture system, the simultaneous transfer of the BMP-2 and BMP-7 genes led to a much higher ALP activity in C2C12 cells than did the transfer of either gene alone. In vivo, ten days after the treatment, soft X-ray analysis showed that muscles that received both pCAGGS-BMP-2 and pCAGGS-BMP-7 had better-defined opacities than those receiving a single gene. Histological examination showed advanced ossification in calf muscles that received the double-gene transfer. BMP-4 mRNA was also expressed, and RT-PCR showed that its level increased for 3 days in a time-dependent manner in the double-gene transfer group. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that BMP-4-expressing cells resided in the matrix between muscle fibers. Conclusion The simultaneous transfer of BMP-2 and BMP-7 genes using in vivo electroporation induces more rapid bone formation than the transfer of either gene alone, and the increased expression of endogenous BMP-4 suggests that the rapid ossification is related to the induction of BMP-4.

  17. High-order evolving surface finite element method for parabolic problems on evolving surfaces

    OpenAIRE

    Kovács, Balázs

    2016-01-01

    High-order spatial discretisations and full discretisations of parabolic partial differential equations on evolving surfaces are studied. We prove convergence of the high-order evolving surface finite element method, by showing high-order versions of geometric approximation errors and perturbation error estimates and by the careful error analysis of a modified Ritz map. Furthermore, convergence of full discretisations using backward difference formulae and implicit Runge-Kutta methods are als...

  18. Genotypic Variation under Fe Deficiency Results in Rapid Changes in Protein Expressions and Genes Involved in Fe Metabolism and Antioxidant Mechanisms in Tomato Seedlings (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muneer, Sowbiya; Jeong, Byoung Ryong

    2015-01-01

    To investigate Fe deficiency tolerance in tomato cultivars, quantification of proteins and genes involved in Fe metabolism and antioxidant mechanisms were performed in “Roggusanmaru” and “Super Doterang”. Fe deficiency (Moderate, low and –Fe) significantly decreased the biomass, total, and apoplastic Fe concentration of “Roggusanmaru”, while a slight variation was observed in “Super Doterang” cultivar. The quantity of important photosynthetic pigments such as total chlorophyll and carotenoid contents significantly decreased in “Roggusanmaru” than “Super Doterang” cultivar. The total protein profile in leaves and roots determines that “Super Doterang” exhibited an optimal tolerance to Fe deficiency compared to “Roggusanmaru” cultivar. A reduction in expression of PSI (photosystem I), PSII (photosystem II) super-complexes and related thylakoid protein contents were detected in “Roggusanmaru” than “Super Doterang” cultivar. Moreover, the relative gene expression of SlPSI and SlPSII were well maintained in “Super Doterang” than “Roggusanmaru” cultivar. The relative expression of genes involved in Fe-transport (SlIRT1 and SlIRT2) and Fe(III) chelates reductase oxidase (SlFRO1) were relatively reduced in “Roggusanmaru”, while increased in “Super Doterang” cultivar under Fe deficient conditions. The H+-ATPase relative gene expression (SlAHA1) in roots were maintained in “Super Doterang” compared to “Roggusanmaru”. Furthermore, the gene expressions involved in antioxidant defense mechanisms (SlSOD, SlAPX and SlCAT) in leaves and roots showed that these genes were highly increased in “Super Doterang”, whereas decreased in “Roggusanmaru” cultivar under Fe deficiency. The present study suggested that “Super Doterang” is better tomato cultivar than “Roggusanmaru” for calcareous soils. PMID:26602920

  19. Simulating DNA coding sequence evolution with EvolveAGene 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Barry G

    2008-04-01

    Phylogenetic reconstruction based upon multiple alignments of molecular sequences is important to most branches of modern biology and is central to molecular evolution. Understanding the historical relationships among macromolecules depends upon computer programs that implement a variety of analytical methods. Because it is impossible to know those historical relationships with certainty, assessment of the accuracy of methods and the programs that implement them requires the use of programs that realistically simulate the evolution of DNA sequences. EvolveAGene 3 is a realistic coding sequence simulation program that separates mutation from selection and allows the user to set selection conditions, including variable regions of selection intensity within the sequence and variation in intensity of selection over branches. Variation includes base substitutions, insertions, and deletions. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only program available that simulates the evolution of intact coding sequences. Output includes the true tree and true alignments of the resulting coding sequence and corresponding protein sequences. A log file reports the frequencies of each kind of base substitution, the ratio of transition to transversion substitutions, the ratio of indel to base substitution mutations, and the numbers of silent and amino acid replacement mutations. The realism of the data sets has been assessed by comparing the d(N)/d(S) ratio, the ratio of transition to transversion substitutions, and the ratio of indel to base substitution mutations of the simulated data sets with those parameters of real data sets from the "gold standard" BaliBase collection of structural alignments. Results show that the data sets produced by EvolveAGene 3 are very similar to real data sets, and EvolveAGene 3 is therefore a realistic simulation program that can be used to evaluate a variety of programs and methods in molecular evolution.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Validation of a rapid enzyme immunoassay for the quantitation of retinol-binding protein to assess vitamin A status within populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hix, J; Rasca, P; Morgan, J; Denna, S; Panagides, D; Tam, M; Shankar, A H

    2006-11-01

    To compare the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) among Cambodian preschool children as determined by the retinol-binding protein-enzyme immunoassay (RBP-EIA) and direct measurement of serum retinol by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Sera from 359 children were randomly selected from archived specimens collected in a national VAD prevalence survey in Cambodia. Sera were first analyzed for retinol content by HPLC and then subjected to analysis using RBP-EIA to determine serum RBP concentrations. National Institute of Standards and Technology and control sera were used to ensure quality and accuracy for each set of analyses. To classify VAD, the same cutoff point of programs in resource-poor settings.

  3. 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.

  4. Survivability is more fundamental than evolvability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Palmer

    Full Text Available For a lineage to survive over long time periods, it must sometimes change. This has given rise to the term evolvability, meaning the tendency to produce adaptive variation. One lineage may be superior to another in terms of its current standing variation, or it may tend to produce more adaptive variation. However, evolutionary outcomes depend on more than standing variation and produced adaptive variation: deleterious variation also matters. Evolvability, as most commonly interpreted, is not predictive of evolutionary outcomes. Here, we define a predictive measure of the evolutionary success of a lineage that we call the k-survivability, defined as the probability that the lineage avoids extinction for k generations. We estimate the k-survivability using multiple experimental replicates. Because we measure evolutionary outcomes, the initial standing variation, the full spectrum of generated variation, and the heritability of that variation are all incorporated. Survivability also accounts for the decreased joint likelihood of extinction of sub-lineages when they 1 disperse in space, or 2 diversify in lifestyle. We illustrate measurement of survivability with in silico models, and suggest that it may also be measured in vivo using multiple longitudinal replicates. The k-survivability is a metric that enables the quantitative study of, for example, the evolution of 1 mutation rates, 2 dispersal mechanisms, 3 the genotype-phenotype map, and 4 sexual reproduction, in temporally and spatially fluctuating environments. Although these disparate phenomena evolve by well-understood microevolutionary rules, they are also subject to the macroevolutionary constraint of long-term survivability.

  5. Present weather and climate: evolving conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoerling, Martin P; Dettinger, Michael; Wolter, Klaus; Lukas, Jeff; Eischeid, Jon K.; Nemani, Rama; Liebmann, Brant; Kunkel, Kenneth E.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter assesses weather and climate variability and trends in the Southwest, using observed climate and paleoclimate records. It analyzes the last 100 years of climate variability in comparison to the last 1,000 years, and links the important features of evolving climate conditions to river flow variability in four of the region’s major drainage basins. The chapter closes with an assessment of the monitoring and scientific research needed to increase confidence in understanding when climate episodes, events, and phenomena are attributable to human-caused climate change.

  6. f( R) gravity solutions for evolving wormholes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Subhra; Chakraborty, Subenoy

    2017-08-01

    The scalar-tensor f( R) theory of gravity is considered in the framework of a simple inhomogeneous space-time model. In this research we use the reconstruction technique to look for possible evolving wormhole solutions within viable f( R) gravity formalism. These f( R) models are then constrained so that they are consistent with existing experimental data. Energy conditions related to the matter threading the wormhole are analyzed graphically and are in general found to obey the null energy conditions (NEC) in regions around the throat, while in the limit f(R)=R, NEC can be violated at large in regions around the throat.

  7. Information theory, evolutionary innovations and evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Andreas

    2017-12-05

    How difficult is it to 'discover' an evolutionary adaptation or innovation? I here suggest that information theory, in combination with high-throughput DNA sequencing, can help answer this question by quantifying a new phenotype's information content. I apply this framework to compute the phenotypic information associated with novel gene regulation and with the ability to use novel carbon sources. The framework can also help quantify how DNA duplications affect evolvability, estimate the complexity of phenotypes and clarify the meaning of 'progress' in Darwinian evolution.This article is part of the themed issue 'Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. 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....

  9. 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.

  10. hnCOcaNH and hncoCANH pulse sequences for rapid and unambiguous backbone assignment in (13C, 15N) labeled proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Dinesh; Reddy, Jithender G; Hosur, Ramakrishna V

    2010-09-01

    Time-saving in data acquisition is a major thrust of NMR pulse sequence development in the context of structural proteomics research. The conventional HNCA and HN(CA)CO pulse sequences, routinely used for sequential backbone assignment, have the limitation that they cannot distinguish inter- and intra-residue correlations. In order to remove this ambiguity, one has to record HNCO and HN(CO)CA or sequential HNCA experiments which provide unambiguous information of sequential correlations. However, this almost doubles the experimental time. Besides, they require repeated scanning through the (15)N planes to search for the matching peaks along the carbon dimension. In this background, we present here two pulse sequences, termed as hncoCANH and hnCOcaNH that lead to spectra equivalent to HNCA and HN(CA)CO spectra, respectively, but with direct distinction of inter- and intra-residue peaks; these occur with opposite signs in the new experiments. The two pulse sequences have been derived by simple modification of the previously described HN(C)N pulse sequence [Panchal et al., J. Biomol. NMR 20 (2001) 135-147] to frequency-label (13)C(alpha) or (13)C' instead of (15)N during the t(1) period. Like HN(C)N, these spectra also exhibit special patterns of self and sequential peaks around glycines and prolines, which enable direct identification of certain triplets of residues and thus provide internal checks during the sequential assignment walk. The spectra enable rapid and unambiguous assignment of H(N), (15)N and (13)C(alpha) (or (13)C') in a single experiment, and thus would be of great value in high-throughput structural proteomics. (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid, Fully Automated Digital Immunoassay for p24 Protein with the Sensitivity of Nucleic Acid Amplification for Detecting Acute HIV Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrera, Carlos; Chang, Lei; Stone, Mars; Busch, Michael; Wilson, David H

    2015-11-01

    Nucleic acid testing (NAT) has become the standard for high sensitivity in detecting low levels of virus. However, adoption of NAT can be cost prohibitive in low-resource settings where access to extreme sensitivity could be clinically advantageous for early detection of infection. We report development and preliminary validation of a simple, low-cost, fully automated digital p24 antigen immunoassay with the sensitivity of quantitative NAT viral load (NAT-VL) methods for detection of acute HIV infection. We developed an investigational 69-min immunoassay for p24 capsid protein for use on a novel digital analyzer on the basis of single-molecule-array technology. We evaluated the assay for sensitivity by dilution of standardized preparations of p24, cultured HIV, and preseroconversion samples. We characterized analytical performance and concordance with 2 NAT-VL methods and 2 contemporary p24 Ag/Ab combination immunoassays with dilutions of viral isolates and samples from the earliest stages of HIV infection. Analytical sensitivity was 0.0025 ng/L p24, equivalent to 60 HIV RNA copies/mL. The limit of quantification was 0.0076 ng/L, and imprecision across 10 runs was 4000-fold greater sensitivity than contemporary immunoassays for p24 and sensitivity equivalent to that of NAT methods for early detection of HIV. The data indicate that NAT-level sensitivity for acute HIV infection is possible with a simple, low-cost digital immunoassay. © 2015 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

  13. Origins of fluorescence in evolved bacteriophytochromes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bhattacharya, Shyamosree; Auldridge, Michele E.; Lehtivuori, Heli; Ihalainen, Janne A.; Forest, Katrina T.

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Netgram: Visualizing Communities in Evolving Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raghvendra Mall

    Full Text Available Real-world complex networks are dynamic in nature and change over time. The change is usually observed in the interactions within the network over time. Complex networks exhibit community like structures. A key feature of the dynamics of complex networks is the evolution of communities over time. Several methods have been proposed to detect and track the evolution of these groups over time. However, there is no generic tool which visualizes all the aspects of group evolution in dynamic networks including birth, death, splitting, merging, expansion, shrinkage and continuation of groups. In this paper, we propose Netgram: a tool for visualizing evolution of communities in time-evolving graphs. Netgram maintains evolution of communities over 2 consecutive time-stamps in tables which are used to create a query database using the sql outer-join operation. It uses a line-based visualization technique which adheres to certain design principles and aesthetic guidelines. Netgram uses a greedy solution to order the initial community information provided by the evolutionary clustering technique such that we have fewer line cross-overs in the visualization. This makes it easier to track the progress of individual communities in time evolving graphs. Netgram is a generic toolkit which can be used with any evolutionary community detection algorithm as illustrated in our experiments. We use Netgram for visualization of topic evolution in the NIPS conference over a period of 11 years and observe the emergence and merging of several disciplines in the field of information processing systems.

  15. Evolving MEMS Resonator Designs for Fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornby, Gregory S.; Kraus, William F.; Lohn, Jason D.

    2008-01-01

    Because of their small size and high reliability, microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices have the potential to revolution many areas of engineering. As with conventionally-sized engineering design, there is likely to be a demand for the automated design of MEMS devices. This paper describes our current status as we progress toward our ultimate goal of using an evolutionary algorithm and a generative representation to produce designs of a MEMS device and successfully demonstrate its transfer to an actual chip. To produce designs that are likely to transfer to reality, we present two ways to modify evaluation of designs. The first is to add location noise, differences between the actual dimensions of the design and the design blueprint, which is a technique we have used for our work in evolving antennas and robots. The second method is to add prestress to model the warping that occurs during the extreme heat of fabrication. In future we expect to fabricate and test some MEMS resonators that are evolved in this way.

  16. Netgram: Visualizing Communities in Evolving Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mall, Raghvendra; Langone, Rocco; Suykens, Johan A. K.

    2015-01-01

    Real-world complex networks are dynamic in nature and change over time. The change is usually observed in the interactions within the network over time. Complex networks exhibit community like structures. A key feature of the dynamics of complex networks is the evolution of communities over time. Several methods have been proposed to detect and track the evolution of these groups over time. However, there is no generic tool which visualizes all the aspects of group evolution in dynamic networks including birth, death, splitting, merging, expansion, shrinkage and continuation of groups. In this paper, we propose Netgram: a tool for visualizing evolution of communities in time-evolving graphs. Netgram maintains evolution of communities over 2 consecutive time-stamps in tables which are used to create a query database using the sql outer-join operation. It uses a line-based visualization technique which adheres to certain design principles and aesthetic guidelines. Netgram uses a greedy solution to order the initial community information provided by the evolutionary clustering technique such that we have fewer line cross-overs in the visualization. This makes it easier to track the progress of individual communities in time evolving graphs. Netgram is a generic toolkit which can be used with any evolutionary community detection algorithm as illustrated in our experiments. We use Netgram for visualization of topic evolution in the NIPS conference over a period of 11 years and observe the emergence and merging of several disciplines in the field of information processing systems. PMID:26356538

  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. Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein-2 diversity and the implications for PfHRP 2: based malaria rapid diagnostic tests in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoah, Linda Eva; Abankwa, Joana; Oppong, Akua

    2016-02-18

    Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) play a key role in malaria management and control. The PfHRP-2 based RDT is the most widely used RDT for malaria diagnosis in Ghana. Deletion of pfhrp2 in Plasmodium falciparum parasites affect the diagnostic accuracy of PfHRP-2 based RDT kits. Identifying the prevalence and distribution of P. falciparum parasites with deleted pfhrp2 is important for malaria control. The purpose of this study was to identify and confirm the prevalence of pfhrp2 deletant P. falciparum parasites circulating within different regions of Ghana. DNA was extracted from the membrane of spent CareStart™ PfHRP-2 RDT kits and dried filter paper blood blots using Chelex-100. Exon 2 of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), resolved by agarose gel electrophoresis and visualized under UV light. Microscopic analysis of blood smears from samples that were PfHRP-2 RDT positive revealed a parasite prevalence of 54/114 (47.4 %) and 2/26 (7.7 %) in Accra and Cape Coast, respectively. PCR analysis increased parasite prevalence in the RDT positive samples to 94/114 (82.5 %) and 6/26 (23.1 %) in Accra and Cape Coast respectively. The exon 2 of the pfhrp2 gene was deleted in 18/54 (33.3 %) of the microscopy confirmed and 36.2 % (34/94) of the PCR confirmed RDT positive samples collected in Accra. No RDT sample, confirmed to contain parasites by either PCR or microscopy was negative by pfhrp2 exon 2 PCR in Cape Coast. A survey of an additional 558 DBS revealed that 22.4 % (46/205) and 40 % (44/110) of PCR positive samples in Accra and Cape Coast, respectively, lacked the exon 2 region of pfhrp2 and possibly the entire pfhrp2 gene. A high number of P. falciparum parasites, which lack pfhrp2 exon 2 gene have been identified in two communities in Ghana. Continuous nationwide monitoring of the prevalence of pfhrp2 deletant parasites would be essential to malaria control. The use of RDT kits that are effective at malaria diagnosis

  19. A simple and rapid PCR-based method to isolate complete small macronuclear minichromosomes from hypotrich ciliates: 5S rDNA and S26 ribosomal protein gene of Oxytricha (Sterkiella) nova.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callejas, Sergio; Gutiérrez, Juan Carlos

    2002-06-01

    Hypotrich ciliates present a macronuclear genome consisting of gene-sized instead of chromosome-sized DNA molecules. Exploiting this unique eukaryotic genome feature, we introduce, for the first time in ciliates, a rapid and easy PCR method using telomeric primers to isolate small complete macronuclear DNA molecules or minichromosomes. Two presumably abundant macronuclear DNA molecules, containing ribosomal genes, were amplified from the Oxytricha (Sterkiella) nova complete genome after using this method, and then were cloned and sequenced. The 5S rDNA sequence of O. (S.) nova is the third one reported among hypotrich ciliates; its primary and secondary structure is compared with other eukaryotic 5S rRNAs. The ribosomal protein S26 gene is the first one reported among ciliates. This "End-End-PCR" method might be useful to obtain similar gene-sized macronuclear molecules from other hypotrich ciliates, and, therefore, to increase our knowledge on ribosomal genes in these eukaryotic microorganisms.

  20. 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.

  1. NASA's Space Launch System: An Evolving Capability for Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Robinson, Kimberly F.

    2016-01-01

    A foundational capability for international human deep-space exploration, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle represents a new spaceflight infrastructure asset, creating opportunities for mission profiles and space systems that cannot currently be executed. While the primary purpose of SLS, which is making rapid progress towards initial launch readiness in two years, will be to support NASA's Journey to Mars, discussions are already well underway regarding other potential utilization of the vehicle's unique capabilities. In its initial Block 1 configuration, capable of launching 70 metric tons (t) to low Earth orbit (LEO), SLS will propel the Orion crew vehicle to cislunar space, while also delivering small CubeSat-class spacecraft to deep-space destinations. With the addition of a more powerful upper stage, the Block 1B configuration of SLS will be able to deliver 105 t to LEO and enable more ambitious human missions into the proving ground of space. This configuration offers opportunities for launching co-manifested payloads with the Orion crew vehicle, and a class of secondary payloads, larger than today's CubeSats. Further upgrades to the vehicle, including advanced boosters, will evolve its performance to 130 t in its Block 2 configuration. Both Block 1B and Block 2 also offer the capability to carry 8.4- or 10-m payload fairings, larger than any contemporary launch vehicle. With unmatched mass-lift capability, payload volume, and C3, SLS not only enables spacecraft or mission designs currently impossible with contemporary EELVs, it also offers enhancing benefits, such as reduced risk, operational costs and/or complexity, shorter transit time to destination or launching large systems either monolithically or in fewer components. This paper will discuss both the performance and capabilities of Space Launch System as it evolves, and the current state of SLS utilization planning.

  2. Counseling and Family Therapy in India: Evolving Professions in a Rapidly Developing Nation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, David K.; Jain, Sachin; Ramirez, Sylvia

    2009-01-01

    Outpatient counseling is a relatively new concept and form of clinical practice in India. This article provides an overview of the need for and current status of counseling and family therapy in India. Examples of training programs are presented, and future prospects for the counseling and family therapy professions are highlighted. The authors…

  3. The Information Technology Program Manager’s Dilemma: Rapidly Evolving Technology and Stagnant Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    information technology systems. The current DoDI 5000.02 leaves IT project and program managers wondering how the current process applies to them, as the guidance is fairly rigid and does not allow for the flexibility required to appropriately manage IT programs. Until very recently, in comparison to the development of a traditional weapons system, IT programs seemed to have been viewed as a utility or service instead of a critical component to national security. Perhaps that is because data passing through cables cannot be observed with the naked senses and therefore an

  4. 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.

  5. Development of rapidly evolving intron markers to estimate multilocus species trees of rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rodríguez-Prieto

    Full Text Available One of the major challenges in the analysis of closely related species, speciation and phylogeography is the identification of variable sequence markers that allow the determination of genealogical relationships in multiple genomic regions using coalescent and species tree approaches. Rodent species represent nearly half of the mammalian diversity, but so far no systematic study has been carried out to detect suitable informative markers for this group. Here, we used a bioinformatic pipeline to extract intron sequences from rodent genomes available in databases and applied a series of filters that allowed the identification of 208 introns that adequately fulfilled several criteria for these studies. The main required characteristics of the introns were that they had the maximum possible mutation rates, that they were part of single-copy genes, that they had an appropriate sequence length for amplification, and that they were flanked by exons with suitable regions for primer design. In addition, in order to determine the validity of this approach, we chose ten of these introns for primer design and tested them in a panel of eleven rodent species belonging to different representative families. We show that all these introns can be amplified in the majority of species and that, overall, 79% of the amplifications worked with minimum optimization of the annealing temperature. In addition, we confirmed for a pair of sister species the relatively high level of sequence divergence of these introns. Therefore, we provide here a set of adequate intron markers that can be applied to different species of Rodentia for their use in studies that require significant sequence variability.

  6. The rapidly evolving therapies for advanced melanoma--Towards immunotherapy, molecular targeted therapy, and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ziqiang; Liu, Wei; Gotlieb, Vladimir

    2016-03-01

    The incidence of melanoma in both males and females continues to rise during the past 40 years despite the stable or declining trends for most cancer types. Due to the tremendous advance in immunobiology and molecular biology, breakthroughs in both immunotherapies and molecular targeted therapies have recently revolutionized the standard of care for patients with advanced melanoma. In 2011, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ipilimumab, an anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) antibody for metastatic melanoma therapy. Since then, novel drugs including antibodies to programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab (both approved in 2014), selective BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib (approved in 2011), dabrafenib (approved in 2013); and MEK inhibitor trametinib (approved in 2013), have greatly extended the potential of immunotherapy and molecular targeted therapy for advanced melanoma. All of which have been demonstrated a significant increase in overall survival rate, and long-term benefits in multiple large clinical trials. Several new agents and novel therapies are currently under phase III clinical trials with the hope of being approved in the near future. We already entered a golden era in oncology that are providing significant survival improvement. In the meantime, new challenges for clinicians also started to emerge. In this review, we presented the existing evidence for the newest treatments for advanced melanoma, including CTLA-4, PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors and BRAF, MEK inhibitors. We also discussed the strengths, limitations and challenges of using these novel therapies, and potential solutions as well as highlighted the areas requiring further research. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapidly evolving circularly polarized emission during the 1994 outburst of GRO J1655-40

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macquart, JP; Wu, K; Sault, RJ; Hannikainen, DC

    2002-01-01

    We report the detection of circular polarization during the 1994 outburst of the Galactic microquasar GRO J1655-40. The circular polarization is clearly detected at 1.4 and 2.4 GHz, but not at 4.8 and 8.4 GHz, where its magnitude never exceeds 5 mJy. Both the sign and magnitude of the circular

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    of the human brain. We devised a ranking of regions in the human genome that show significant evolutionary acceleration. Here we report that the most dramatic of these 'human accelerated regions', HAR1, is part of a novel RNA gene (HAR1F) that is expressed specifically in Cajal-Retzius neurons...

  11. 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,…

  12. Evolving chromosomes and gene regulatory networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Aswin

    Many processes change genomes. Koonin and Wolf. 2008. Page 5 .. including horizontal gene transfer. Koonin and Wolf. 2008. Page 6. Horizontal gene transfer. Drastic modification of genetic material. Rapid exploration of ne niches and phenot pes. Page 7. Horizontal gene transfer regulates. New selective forces for gene ...

  13. Duplicated genes evolve independently in allopolyploid cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard C. Cronn; Randall L. Small; Jonathan F. Wendel

    1999-01-01

    Of the many processes that generate gene duplications, polyploidy is unique in that entire genomes are duplicated. This process has been important in the evolution of many eukaryotic groups, and it occurs with high frequency in plants. Recent evidence suggests that polyploidization may be accompanied by rapid genomic changes, but the evolutionary fate of discrete loci...

  14. Evolving water science in the Anthropocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Savenije, H.H.G.; Hoekstra, A.Y.; Van der Zaag, P.

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Evolving water science in the Anthropocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Savenije, H.H.G.; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert; 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

  16. 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.

  17. Tracking correlated, simultaneously evolving target populations, II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahler, Ronald

    2017-05-01

    This paper is the sixth in a series aimed at weakening the independence assumptions that are typically presumed in multitarget tracking. Earlier papers investigated Bayes …lters that propagate the correlations between two evolving multitarget systems. Last year at this conference we attempted to derive PHD …lter-type approximations that account for both spatial correlation and cardinality correlation (i.e., correlation between the target numbers of the two systems). Unfortunately, this approach required heuristic models of both clutter and target appearance in order to incorporate both spatial and cardinality correlation. This paper describes a fully rigorous approach- provided, however, that spatial correlation between the two populations is ignored and only their cardinality correlations are taken into account. We derive the time-update and measurement-update equations for a CPHD …lter describing the evolution of such correlated multitarget populations.

  18. 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.

  19. A local-world evolving hypernetwork model

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Epidemic spreading on evolving signed networks

    CERN Document Server

    Saeedian, M; Jafari, G R; Kertesz, J

    2016-01-01

    Most studies of disease spreading consider the underlying social network as obtained without the contagion, though epidemic influences peoples willingness to contact others: A friendly contact may be turned to unfriendly to avoid infection. We study the susceptible-infected (SI) disease spreading model on signed networks, in which each edge is associated with a positive or negative sign representing the friendly or unfriendly relation between its end nodes. In a signed network, according to Heiders theory, edge signs evolve such that finally a state of structural balance is achieved, corresponding to no frustration in physics terms. However, the danger of infection affects the evolution of its edge signs. To describe the coupled problem of the sign evolution and disease spreading, we generalize the notion of structural balance by taking into account the state of the nodes. We introduce an energy function and carry out Monte-Carlo simulations on complete networks to test the energy landscape, where we find loc...

  2. Finch: A System for Evolving Java (Bytecode)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlov, Michael; Sipper, Moshe

    The established approach in genetic programming (GP) involves the definition of functions and terminals appropriate to the problem at hand, after which evolution of expressions using these definitions takes place. We have recently developed a system, dubbed FINCH (Fertile Darwinian Bytecode Harvester), to evolutionarily improve actual, extant software, which was not intentionally written for the purpose of serving as a GP representation in particular, nor for evolution in general. This is in contrast to existing work that uses restricted subsets of the Java bytecode instruction set as a representation language for individuals in genetic programming. The ability to evolve Java programs will hopefully lead to a valuable new tool in the software engineer's toolkit.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolving Nonthermal Electron Distributions in Simulations of Sgr A*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chael, Andrew; Narayan, Ramesh

    2018-01-01

    The accretion flow around Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the black hole at the Galactic Center, produces strong variability from the radio to X-rays on timescales of minutes to hours. This rapid, powerful variability is thought to be powered by energetic particle acceleration by plasma processes like magnetic reconnection and shocks. These processes can accelerate particles into non-thermal distributions which do not quickly isothermal in the low densities found around hot accretion flows. Current state-of-the-art simulations of accretion flows around black holes assume either a single-temperature gas or, at best, a two-temperature gas with thermal ions and electrons. We present results from incorporating the self-consistent evolution of a non-thermal electron population in a GRRMHD simulation of Sgr A*. The electron distribution is evolved across space, time, and Lorentz factor in parallel with background thermal ion, electron, and radiation fluids. Energy injection into the non-thermal distribution is modeled with a sub-grid prescription based on results from particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection. The energy distribution of the non-thermal electrons shows strong variability, and the spectral shape traces the complex interplay between the local viscous heating rate, magnetic field strength, and fluid velocity. Results from these simulations will be used in interpreting forthcoming data from the Event Horizon Telescope that resolves Sgr A*'s sub-mm variability in both time and space.

  9. No surviving evolved companions of the progenitor of SN 1006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Hernández, Jonay I; Ruiz-Lapuente, Pilar; Tabernero, Hugo M; Montes, David; Canal, Ramon; Méndez, Javier; Bedin, Luigi R

    2012-09-27

    Type Ia supernovae are thought to occur when a white dwarf made of carbon and oxygen accretes sufficient mass to trigger a thermonuclear explosion. The accretion could be slow, from an unevolved (main-sequence) or evolved (subgiant or giant) star (the single-degenerate channel), or rapid, as the primary star breaks up a smaller orbiting white dwarf (the double-degenerate channel). A companion star will survive the explosion only in the single-degenerate channel. Both channels might contribute to the production of type Ia supernovae, but the relative proportions of their contributions remain a fundamental puzzle in astronomy. Previous searches for remnant companions have revealed one possible case for SN 1572 (refs 8, 9), although that has been questioned. More recently, observations have restricted surviving companions to be small, main-sequence stars, ruling out giant companions but still allowing the single-degenerate channel. Here we report the results of a search for surviving companions of the progenitor of SN 1006 (ref. 14). None of the stars within 4 arc minutes of the apparent site of the explosion is associated with the supernova remnant, and we can firmly exclude all giant and subgiant stars from being companions of the progenitor. In combination with previous results, our findings indicate that fewer than 20 per cent of type Ia supernovae occur through the single-degenerate channel.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. On the Discovery of Evolving Truth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yaliang; Li, Qi; Gao, Jing; Su, Lu; Zhao, Bo; Fan, Wei; Han, Jiawei

    2015-08-01

    In the era of big data, information regarding the same objects can be collected from increasingly more sources. Unfortunately, there usually exist conflicts among the information coming from different sources. To tackle this challenge, truth discovery, i.e., to integrate multi-source noisy information by estimating the reliability of each source, has emerged as a hot topic. In many real world applications, however, the information may come sequentially, and as a consequence, the truth of objects as well as the reliability of sources may be dynamically evolving. Existing truth discovery methods, unfortunately, cannot handle such scenarios. To address this problem, we investigate the temporal relations among both object truths and source reliability, and propose an incremental truth discovery framework that can dynamically update object truths and source weights upon the arrival of new data. Theoretical analysis is provided to show that the proposed method is guaranteed to converge at a fast rate. The experiments on three real world applications and a set of synthetic data demonstrate the advantages of the proposed method over state-of-the-art truth discovery methods.

  15. Sexual regret: evidence for evolved sex differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galperin, Andrew; Haselton, Martie G; Frederick, David A; Poore, Joshua; von Hippel, William; Buss, David M; Gonzaga, Gian C

    2013-10-01

    Regret and anticipated regret enhance decision quality by helping people avoid making and repeating mistakes. Some of people's most intense regrets concern sexual decisions. We hypothesized evolved sex differences in women's and men's experiences of sexual regret. Because of women's higher obligatory costs of reproduction throughout evolutionary history, we hypothesized that sexual actions, particularly those involving casual sex, would be regretted more intensely by women than by men. In contrast, because missed sexual opportunities historically carried higher reproductive fitness costs for men than for women, we hypothesized that poorly chosen sexual inactions would be regretted more by men than by women. Across three studies (Ns = 200, 395, and 24,230), we tested these hypotheses using free responses, written scenarios, detailed checklists, and Internet sampling to achieve participant diversity, including diversity in sexual orientation. Across all data sources, results supported predicted psychological sex differences and these differences were localized in casual sex contexts. These findings are consistent with the notion that the psychology of sexual regret was shaped by recurrent sex differences in selection pressures operating over deep time.

  16. Extracting evolving pathologies via spectral clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardis, Elena; Pohl, Kilian M; Davatzikos, Christos

    2013-01-01

    A bottleneck in the analysis of longitudinal MR scans with white matter brain lesions is the temporally consistent segmentation of the pathology. We identify pathologies in 3D+t(ime) within a spectral graph clustering framework. Our clustering approach simultaneously segments and tracks the evolving lesions by identifying characteristic image patterns at each time-point and voxel correspondences across time-points. For each 3D image, our method constructs a graph where weights between nodes capture the likeliness of two voxels belonging to the same region. Based on these weights, we then establish rough correspondences between graph nodes at different time-points along estimated pathology evolution directions. We combine the graphs by aligning the weights to a reference time-point, thus integrating temporal information across the 3D images, and formulate the 3D+t segmentation problem as a binary partitioning of this graph. The resulting segmentation is very robust to local intensity fluctuations and yields better results than segmentations generated for each time-point.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Evolving application of biomimetic nanostructured hydroxyapatite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roveri, Norberto; Iafisco, Michele

    2010-11-09

    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.

  1. Epidemic spreading on evolving signed networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeedian, M.; Azimi-Tafreshi, N.; Jafari, G. R.; Kertesz, J.

    2017-02-01

    Most studies of disease spreading consider the underlying social network as obtained without the contagion, though epidemic influences people's willingness to contact others: A "friendly" contact may be turned to "unfriendly" to avoid infection. We study the susceptible-infected disease-spreading model on signed networks, in which each edge is associated with a positive or negative sign representing the friendly or unfriendly relation between its end nodes. In a signed network, according to Heider's theory, edge signs evolve such that finally a state of structural balance is achieved, corresponding to no frustration in physics terms. However, the danger of infection affects the evolution of its edge signs. To describe the coupled problem of the sign evolution and disease spreading, we generalize the notion of structural balance by taking into account the state of the nodes. We introduce an energy function and carry out Monte Carlo simulations on complete networks to test the energy landscape, where we find local minima corresponding to the so-called jammed states. We study the effect of the ratio of initial friendly to unfriendly connections on the propagation of disease. The steady state can be balanced or a jammed state such that a coexistence occurs between susceptible and infected nodes in the system.

  2. UKAEA'S evolving contract philosophy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicol, R. D. [UK Atomic Energy Authority, UKAEA, Harwell, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)

    2003-07-01

    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)

  3. 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.

  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. Implementation of rapid diagnostics with antimicrobial stewardship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minejima, Emi; Wong-Beringer, Annie

    2016-11-01

    Antimicrobial stewardship (ASP) is an intervention-based program to improve patient outcomes to infection while limiting spread of resistance and unintended consequences. Many rapid diagnostic tools are now FDA cleared for clinical use, with three evaluated across multiple settings: Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry, Verigene, and FilmArray. Areas covered: This review will focus on studies published that evaluated ASP intervention with rapid diagnostic implementation on outcomes of infection. A description of the key ASP personnel, rapid diagnostic notification methods, hours of notification, and scope of ASP intervention is summarized. Expert commentary: It is critical that ASPs continually re-evaluate and evolve with technological advances. Rapid diagnostic tools are powerful in their ability to identify organisms quickly. A trained clinician is needed to evaluate the results and interact with the providers to educate them on result interpretation and optimal antimicrobial selection to maximize treatment success.

  6. Nuclear translocation of the 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS (membrane associated rapid response to steroids) receptor protein and NF{kappa}B in differentiating NB4 leukemia cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Wenqing; Beilhartz, Greg; Roy, Yvette; Richard, Cynthia L.; Curtin, Maureen; Brown, Lauren; Cadieux, Danielle [Departments of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 (Canada); Coppolino, Marc [Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 (Canada); Farach-Carson, Mary C. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Nemere, Ilka [Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Center for Integrated BioSystems, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 8700 (United States); Meckling, Kelly A., E-mail: kmecklin@uoguelph.ca [Departments of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G2W1 (Canada)

    2010-04-15

    1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D{sub 3} (1,25D{sub 3}) primes NB4 promyelocytic leukemia cells to differentiate along the monocyte/macrophage lineage through a non-genomic mechanism. Here we show that NB4 cells express high levels of the recently identified membrane receptor for 1,25D{sub 3}, which is a distinct gene product from the classical nuclear vitamin D receptor. This 57 kDa protein, named 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS (Membrane Activated Rapid Response to Steroids)/ERp57/PIA3 appears to associate in a complex with the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF{kappa}B). In unstimulated cells, 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS can be co-immunoprecipitated with antibodies directed at NF{kappa}B, and NF{kappa}B is co-precipitated when antibodies against 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS or ERp57 are used. Confocal microscopy and subcellular fractionation studies demonstrate that both 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS and NF{kappa}B begin translocating to the nucleus within minutes of co-stimulation with 1,25D{sub 3} and phorbol ester. The predominant nuclear localization of both proteins precedes the expression of the monocyte/macrophage phenotype and suggests that this event may be critical to the differentiation pathway. This suggests a role for 1,25D{sub 3}-MARRS in the nucleus as a regulator of gene expression. Here it may also regulate the activity of NF{kappa}B and other factors with which it may be interacting.

  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. The evolving role of tiotropium in asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McIvor ER

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Emma R McIvor,1 R Andrew McIvor2 1Queen’s University, Belfast, UK; 2Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Abstract: Tiotropium is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA that exerts its bronchodilatory effect by blocking endogenous acetylcholine receptors in the airways. Its safety and efficacy are well established for the treatment of COPD, and it is now being recognized for its role in improving lung function and control in asthma. This review discusses the evolving role of tiotropium delivered by the Respimat® in patients across the range of asthma severities and ages, and provides an overview of safety and efficacy data. Tiotropium is the only LAMA currently approved for the treatment of asthma, and evidence from a large-scale clinical trial program, including several Phase III studies in adults, has demonstrated that tiotropium improves lung function and asthma control, with a safety profile comparable with that of placebo. Clinical trials in adolescent patients (aged 12–17 years have also shown improvements in lung function and trends toward improved asthma control. Of note, the efficacy and safety profiles are consistent regardless of baseline characteristics and phenotype. Given the large and growing body of evidence, it is likely that as clinical experience with tiotropium increases, this treatment may possibly emerge as the key choice for add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-agonists, and in patients who do not tolerate long-acting bronchodilators or other medications, in the future. Keywords: tiotropium, anticholinergics, asthma, efficacy

  9. Emergent spacetime in stochastically evolving dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Afshordi, Niayesh [Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline St. N., Waterloo, ON, N2L 2Y5 (Canada); Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1 (Canada); HEPCOS, Department of Physics, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-1500 (United States); Stojkovic, Dejan, E-mail: ds77@buffalo.edu [Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline St. N., Waterloo, ON, N2L 2Y5 (Canada); HEPCOS, Department of Physics, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-1500 (United States)

    2014-12-12

    Changing the dimensionality of the space–time at the smallest and largest distances has manifold theoretical advantages. If the space is lower dimensional in the high energy regime, then there are no ultraviolet divergencies in field theories, it is possible to quantize gravity, and the theory of matter plus gravity is free of divergencies or renormalizable. If the space is higher dimensional at cosmological scales, then some cosmological problems (including the cosmological constant problem) can be attacked from a completely new perspective. In this paper, we construct an explicit model of “evolving dimensions” in which the dimensions open up as the temperature of the universe drops. We adopt the string theory framework in which the dimensions are fields that live on the string worldsheet, and add temperature dependent mass terms for them. At the Big Bang, all the dimensions are very heavy and are not excited. As the universe cools down, dimensions open up one by one. Thus, the dimensionality of the space we live in depends on the energy or temperature that we are probing. In particular, we provide a kinematic Brandenberger–Vafa argument for how a discrete causal set, and eventually a continuum (3+1)-dim spacetime along with Einstein gravity emerges in the Infrared from the worldsheet action. The (3+1)-dim Planck mass and the string scale become directly related, without any compactification. Amongst other predictions, we argue that LHC might be blind to new physics even if it comes at the TeV scale. In contrast, cosmic ray experiments, especially those that can register the very beginning of the shower, and collisions with high multiplicity and density of particles, might be sensitive to the dimensional cross-over.

  10. Emergent spacetime in stochastically evolving dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afshordi, Niayesh; Stojkovic, Dejan

    2014-12-01

    Changing the dimensionality of the space-time at the smallest and largest distances has manifold theoretical advantages. If the space is lower dimensional in the high energy regime, then there are no ultraviolet divergencies in field theories, it is possible to quantize gravity, and the theory of matter plus gravity is free of divergencies or renormalizable. If the space is higher dimensional at cosmological scales, then some cosmological problems (including the cosmological constant problem) can be attacked from a completely new perspective. In this paper, we construct an explicit model of ;evolving dimensions; in which the dimensions open up as the temperature of the universe drops. We adopt the string theory framework in which the dimensions are fields that live on the string worldsheet, and add temperature dependent mass terms for them. At the Big Bang, all the dimensions are very heavy and are not excited. As the universe cools down, dimensions open up one by one. Thus, the dimensionality of the space we live in depends on the energy or temperature that we are probing. In particular, we provide a kinematic Brandenberger-Vafa argument for how a discrete causal set, and eventually a continuum (3 + 1)-dim spacetime along with Einstein gravity emerges in the Infrared from the worldsheet action. The (3 + 1)-dim Planck mass and the string scale become directly related, without any compactification. Amongst other predictions, we argue that LHC might be blind to new physics even if it comes at the TeV scale. In contrast, cosmic ray experiments, especially those that can register the very beginning of the shower, and collisions with high multiplicity and density of particles, might be sensitive to the dimensional cross-over.

  11. Emergent spacetime in stochastically evolving dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niayesh Afshordi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Changing the dimensionality of the space–time at the smallest and largest distances has manifold theoretical advantages. If the space is lower dimensional in the high energy regime, then there are no ultraviolet divergencies in field theories, it is possible to quantize gravity, and the theory of matter plus gravity is free of divergencies or renormalizable. If the space is higher dimensional at cosmological scales, then some cosmological problems (including the cosmological constant problem can be attacked from a completely new perspective. In this paper, we construct an explicit model of “evolving dimensions” in which the dimensions open up as the temperature of the universe drops. We adopt the string theory framework in which the dimensions are fields that live on the string worldsheet, and add temperature dependent mass terms for them. At the Big Bang, all the dimensions are very heavy and are not excited. As the universe cools down, dimensions open up one by one. Thus, the dimensionality of the space we live in depends on the energy or temperature that we are probing. In particular, we provide a kinematic Brandenberger–Vafa argument for how a discrete causal set, and eventually a continuum (3+1-dim spacetime along with Einstein gravity emerges in the Infrared from the worldsheet action. The (3+1-dim Planck mass and the string scale become directly related, without any compactification. Amongst other predictions, we argue that LHC might be blind to new physics even if it comes at the TeV scale. In contrast, cosmic ray experiments, especially those that can register the very beginning of the shower, and collisions with high multiplicity and density of particles, might be sensitive to the dimensional cross-over.

  12. Evolvable Cryogenics (ECRYO) Pressure Transducer Calibration Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Carlos E., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides a summary of the findings of recent activities conducted by Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) In-Space Propulsion Branch and MSFC's Metrology and Calibration Lab to assess the performance of current "state of the art" pressure transducers for use in long duration storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants. A brief historical narrative in this paper describes the Evolvable Cryogenics program and the relevance of these activities to the program. This paper also provides a review of three separate test activities performed throughout this effort, including: (1) the calibration of several pressure transducer designs in a liquid nitrogen cryogenic environmental chamber, (2) the calibration of a pressure transducer in a liquid helium Dewar, and (3) the calibration of several pressure transducers at temperatures ranging from 20 to 70 degrees Kelvin (K) using a "cryostat" environmental chamber. These three separate test activities allowed for study of the sensors along a temperature range from 4 to 300 K. The combined data shows that both the slope and intercept of the sensor's calibration curve vary as a function of temperature. This homogeneous function is contrary to the linearly decreasing relationship assumed at the start of this investigation. Consequently, the data demonstrates the need for lookup tables to change the slope and intercept used by any data acquisition system. This ultimately would allow for more accurate pressure measurements at the desired temperature range. This paper concludes with a review of a request for information (RFI) survey conducted amongst different suppliers to determine the availability of current "state of the art" flight-qualified pressure transducers. The survey identifies requirements that are most difficult for the suppliers to meet, most notably the capability to validate the sensor's performance at temperatures below 70 K.

  13. Adaptation to Stressors by Systemic Protein Amyloidogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audas, Timothy E; Audas, Danielle E; Jacob, Mathieu D; Ho, J J David; Khacho, Mireille; Wang, Miling; Perera, J Kishan; Gardiner, Caroline; Bennett, Clay A; Head, Trajen; Kryvenko, Oleksandr N; Jorda, Mercé; Daunert, Sylvia; Malhotra, Arun; Trinkle-Mulcahy, Laura; Gonzalgo, Mark L; Lee, Stephen

    2016-10-24

    The amyloid state of protein organization is typically associated with debilitating human neuropathies and is seldom observed in physiology. Here, we uncover a systemic program that leverages the amyloidogenic propensity of proteins to regulate cell adaptation to stressors. On stimulus, cells assemble the amyloid bodies (A-bodies), nuclear foci containing heterogeneous proteins with amyloid-like biophysical properties. A discrete peptidic sequence, termed the amyloid-converting motif (ACM), is capable of targeting proteins to the A-bodies by interacting with ribosomal intergenic noncoding RNA (rIGSRNA). The pathological β-amyloid peptide, involved in Alzheimer's disease, displays ACM-like activity and undergoes stimuli-mediated amyloidogenesis in vivo. Upon signal termination, elements of the heat-shock chaperone pathway disaggregate the A-bodies. Physiological amyloidogenesis enables cells to store large quantities of proteins and enter a dormant state in response to stressors. We suggest that cells have evolved a post-translational pathway that rapidly and reversibly converts native-fold proteins to an amyloid-like solid phase. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Current and Evolving Therapies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Adamska

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC, which constitutes 90% of pancreatic cancers, is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Due to the broad heterogeneity of genetic mutations and dense stromal environment, PDAC belongs to one of the most chemoresistant cancers. Most of the available treatments are palliative, with the objective of relieving disease-related symptoms and prolonging survival. Currently, available therapeutic options are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and use of targeted drugs. However, thus far, therapies targeting cancer-associated molecular pathways have not given satisfactory results; this is due in part to the rapid upregulation of compensatory alternative pathways as well as dense desmoplastic reaction. In this review, we summarize currently available therapies and clinical trials, directed towards a plethora of pathways and components dysregulated during PDAC carcinogenesis. Emerging trends towards targeted therapies as the most promising approach will also be discussed.

  15. Studies of a viral suppressor of RNA silencing p19-CFP fusion protein: a FRET-based probe for sensing double-stranded fluorophore tagged small RNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koukiekolo, Roger; Jakubek, Zygmunt J; Cheng, Jenny; Sagan, Selena M; Pezacki, John Paul

    2009-08-01

    Eukaryotes have evolved complex cellular responses to double-stranded RNA. One response that is highly conserved across many species is the RNA silencing pathway. Tombusviruses have evolved a mechanism to evade the RNA silencing pathway that involves a small protein, p19, that acts as a suppressor of RNA silencing. This protein binds specifically to small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) with nanomolar affinity in a sequence-independent manner and with size selectivity. Here we demonstrate a new approach for rapidly determining the quantities of siRNA using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the Carnation Italian ringspot virus (CIRV) p19-CFP fusion protein and Cy3-labeled siRNA. The CIRV p19 fusion protein binds double-stranded siRNAs with nanomolar affinity as determined by FRET. [corrected

  16. Therapeutic Antibodies to Ganglioside GD2 Evolved from Highly Selective Germline Antibodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Sterner

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Antibodies play a crucial role in host defense and are indispensable research tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Antibody generation involves binding of genomically encoded germline antibodies followed by somatic hypermutation and in vivo selection to obtain antibodies with high affinity and selectivity. Understanding this process is critical for developing monoclonal antibodies, designing effective vaccines, and understanding autoantibody formation. Prior studies have found that antibodies to haptens, peptides, and proteins evolve from polyspecific germline antibodies. The immunological evolution of antibodies to mammalian glycans has not been studied. Using glycan microarrays, protein microarrays, cell binding studies, and molecular modeling, we demonstrate that therapeutic antibodies to the tumor-associated ganglioside GD2 evolved from highly specific germline precursors. The results have important implications for developing vaccines and monoclonal antibodies that target carbohydrate antigens. In addition, they demonstrate an alternative pathway for antibody evolution within the immune system that is distinct from the polyspecific germline pathway.

  17. Paradoxical (REM) Sleep Deprivation Causes a Large and Rapidly Reversible Decrease in Long-Term Potentiation, Synaptic Transmission, Glutamate Receptor Protein Levels, and ERK/MAPK Activation in the Dorsal Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravassard, Pascal; Pachoud, Bastien; Comte, Jean-Christophe; Mejia-Perez, Camila; Scoté-Blachon, Céline; Gay, Nadine; Claustrat, Bruno; Touret, Monique; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Salin, Paul Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Study Objectives: It has been shown that wake (W) and slow wave sleep (SWS) modulate synaptic transmission in neocortical projections. However the impact of paradoxical sleep (PS) quantities on synaptic transmission remains unknown. We examined whether PS modulated the excitatory transmission and expression of glutamate receptor subtypes and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (p-ERK1/2). Design: PS deprivation (PSD) was carried out with the multiple platforms method on adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. LTP, late-LTP, and synaptic transmission were studied in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of controls, 75-h PSD and 150-min PS rebound (PSR). GluR1 and NR1 protein and mRNA expression were evaluated by western blot and real-time PCR. P-ERK1/2 level was quantified by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Measurement and Results: PSD decreased synaptic transmission and LTP selectively in dorsal CA1 and PSR rescued these deficits. PSD-induced synaptic modifications in CA1 were associated with a decrease in GluR1, NR1, and p-ERK1/2 levels in dorsal CA1 without change in GluR1 and NR1 mRNA expression. Regression analysis shows that LTP is positively correlated with both PS quantities and SWS episodes duration, whereas synaptic transmission and late-LTP are positively correlated with PS quantities and negatively correlated with SWS quantities. Conclusions: These findings unveil previously unrecognized roles of PSD on synaptic transmission and LTP in the dorsal, but not in the ventral, hippocampus. The fact that the decrease in protein expression of GluR1 and NR1 was not associated with a change in mRNA expression of these receptors suggests that a sleep-induced modulation of translational mechanisms occurs in dorsal CA1. Citation: Ravassard P; Pachoud B; Comte JC; Mejia-Perez C; Scoté-Blachon C; Gay N; Claustrat B; Touret M; Luppi PH; Salin PA. Paradoxical (REM) sleep deprivation causes a large and rapidly reversible decrease in long-term potentiation

  18. Orthogonally Evolved AI to Improve Difficulty Adjustment in Video Games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hintze, Arend; Olson, Randal; Lehman, Joel Anthony

    2016-01-01

    (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...... opponents. Furthermore, human interaction can modulate (and be informed by) the performance and behavior of collaborating agents. In this way, orthogonally evolved AI both facilitates smoother difficulty adjustment and enables new game experiences....

  19. 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.

  20. Regulation of protein function by ‘microProteins'

    OpenAIRE

    Staudt, Annica-Carolin; Wenkel, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    Elegant post-translational regulation is achieved by ‘microProteins', which form homotypic dimers with their targets and act through the dominant–negative suppression of protein complex function. The recent identification of new microProteins suggests their role is general and has evolved in both the plant and animal kingdoms.

  1. Evolving water science in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 continuously improve our understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the water system. The paper starts by demonstrating that hydrology and the science of managing water resources have played key roles in human and economic development throughout history; yet these roles have often been marginalised or obscured. Knowledge of 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 conscious of such mechanisms, exemplified by several concepts that try to incorporate them - integrated water resources management, eco-hydrology, socio-hydrology. We have reached a stage at which a more systemic understanding of scale interdependencies can inform the sustainable governance of water systems, using new concepts like precipitation sheds, virtual water transfers, water footprints, and water value flow.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Altered stoichiometry of an evolved RNA aptamer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohuchi, Shoji; Suess, Beatrix

    2017-12-28

    Inhibitory aptamers against a protein are promising as antagonistic reagents and repressive genetic components. Typically, improvement of such aptamers is achieved by acquiring higher binding affinity. Here, we report an alternative mechanism for the improvement of aptamer activity. Recently, we reported a transcriptional activator based on an inhibitory RNA aptamer against lambda cI repressor. We improved the aptamer through in vitro selection (SELEX) from a randomly mutagenized aptamer pool, followed by in vivo screening and truncation. Biochemical analyses indicated that the activity improvement was achieved by alteration of the complex formation stoichiometry, rather than by higher affinity or expression. Our results suggest an alternative strategy for improving aptamer activity. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  5. Evolving Techniques for Surgical Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Tubaro

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The management of lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH is one of the most topical areas in urology. Although most patients are adequately managed conservatively, many still require surgery to reduce bladder outlet obstruction or relieve symptoms by removing the inflamed adenomatous tissue. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP remains the gold standard treatment in all national and international guidelines, with open prostatectomy and laser enucleation reserved for patients with a prostate >80 ml. The current trend in the surgical management of BPH is threefold: replacing open prostatectomy with transurethral enucleation of the adenoma, managing high-risk patients by photoselective vaporisation of the prostate thus minimising blood loss, and moving BPH surgery to ambulatory day surgery and one-day surgery units in selected patients. Laser enucleation has been pioneered using the Holmium laser, although the GreenLightTM laser has been recently proposed as an alternative approach. The absence of any bleeding in photovaporisation of the prostate allows surgery to be performed in a growing population of patients on anti-aggregant and anticoagulant medications. Randomised trials of the GreenLight XPSTM laser with the MoXy™ fibre versus TURP proved the effectiveness of photovaporisation in the surgical management of BPH and suggested that 50% of patients could be discharged within 24 hours. The demand for BPH surgery remains high and urologists have rapidly adapted to the increasing demand for minimally invasive surgery. Prostate surgery evolved from a heroic procedure that remained in the memories of the entire patient family for life into a day-case procedure, and the future hopefully holds ejaculation-sparing surgery.

  6. 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

  7. Novel Drugs of Abuse: A Snapshot of an Evolving Marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandrey, Ryan; Johnson, Matthew W.; Johnson, Patrick S.; Khalil, Miral A.

    2014-01-01

    Background & objectives Over the past decade, non-medical use of novel drugs has proliferated worldwide. In most cases these are synthetic drugs first synthesized in academic or pharmaceutical laboratories for research or drug development purposes, but also include naturally occurring substances that do not fit the typical pharmacological or behavioral profile of traditional illicit substances. Perhaps most unique to this generation of new drugs is that they are being sold over the counter and on the Internet as “legal highs” or substitutes for traditional illicit drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA, and LSD. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of novel drugs in current use, including the epidemiology of use and toxicologic and pharmacological properties, and to offer some guidelines to clinicians who see patients experiencing adverse effects from these drugs. Method We review the known scientific literature on recently introduced synthetic drug types, synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones, and the hallucinogen Salvia divinorum. Results These substances comprise part of a rapidly evolving and controversial drug market that has challenged definitions of what is legal and illegal, has benefitted from open commercial sales without regulatory oversight, and is noteworthy for the pace at which new substances are introduced. Conclusions This emerging trend in substance use presents significant and unique public health and criminal justice challenges. At this time, these substances are not detected in routine drug screens and substance-specific treatment for cases of use-related toxicity are not available. Clinicians are encouraged to learn characteristic signs associated with misuse of novel drugs to recognize cases in their practice, and are recommended to use a symptom-specific approach for treatment in each case. PMID:24921061

  8. Loops and autonomy promote evolvability of ecosystem networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jianxi

    2014-09-29

    The structure of ecological networks, in particular food webs, determines their ability to evolve further, i.e. evolvability. The knowledge about how food web evolvability is determined by the structures of diverse ecological networks can guide human interventions purposefully to either promote or limit evolvability of ecosystems. However, the focus of prior food web studies was on stability and robustness; little is known regarding the impact of ecological network structures on their evolvability. To correlate ecosystem structure and evolvability, we adopt the NK model originally from evolutionary biology to generate and assess the ruggedness of fitness landscapes of a wide spectrum of model food webs with gradual variation in the amount of feeding loops and link density. The variation in network structures is controlled by linkage rewiring. Our results show that more feeding loops and lower trophic link density, i.e. higher autonomy of species, of food webs increase the potential for the ecosystem to generate heritable variations with improved fitness. Our findings allow the prediction of the evolvability of actual food webs according to their network structures, and provide guidance to enhancing or controlling the evolvability of specific ecosystems.

  9. 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.

  10. Rapid selective sweep of pre-existing polymorphisms and slow fixation of new mutations in experimental evolution of Desulfovibrio vulgaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Aifen; Hillesland, Kristina L; He, Zhili; Schackwitz, Wendy; Tu, Qichao; Zane, Grant M; Ma, Qiao; Qu, Yuanyuan; Stahl, David A; Wall, Judy D; Hazen, Terry C; Fields, Matthew W; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2015-11-01

    To investigate the genetic basis of microbial evolutionary adaptation to salt (NaCl) stress, populations of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DvH), a sulfate-reducing bacterium important for the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur, carbon and nitrogen, and potentially the bioremediation of toxic heavy metals and radionuclides, were propagated under salt stress or non-stress conditions for 1200 generations. Whole-genome sequencing revealed 11 mutations in salt stress-evolved clone ES9-11 and 14 mutations in non-stress-evolved clone EC3-10. Whole-population sequencing data suggested the rapid selective sweep of the pre-existing polymorphisms under salt stress within the first 100 generations and the slow fixation of new mutations. Population genotyping data demonstrated that the rapid selective sweep of pre-existing polymorphisms was common in salt stress-evolved populations. In contrast, the selection of pre-existing polymorphisms was largely random in EC populations. Consistently, at 100 generations, stress-evolved population ES9 showed improved salt tolerance, namely increased growth rate (2.0-fold), higher biomass yield (1.8-fold) and shorter lag phase (0.7-fold) under higher salinity conditions. The beneficial nature of several mutations was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. All four tested mutations contributed to the shortened lag phases under higher salinity condition. In particular, compared with the salt tolerance improvement in ES9-11, a mutation in a histidine kinase protein gene lytS contributed 27% of the growth rate increase and 23% of the biomass yield increase while a mutation in hypothetical gene DVU2472 contributed 24% of the biomass yield increase. Our results suggested that a few beneficial mutations could lead to dramatic improvements in salt tolerance.

  11. Replacing antibodies: engineering new binding proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banta, Scott; Dooley, Kevin; Shur, Oren

    2013-01-01

    Nature's reliance on proteins to carry out nearly all biological processes has led to the evolution of biomolecules that exhibit a seemingly endless range of functions. Much research has been devoted toward advancing this process in the laboratory in order to create new proteins with improved or unique capabilities. The protein-engineering field has rapidly evolved from pioneering studies in engineering protein stability and activity to an application-driven powerhouse on the forefront of emerging technologies in biomedical engineering and biotechnology. A classic protein-engineering technique in the medical field has focused on manipulating antibodies and antibody fragments for various applications. New classes of alternative scaffolds have recently challenged this paradigm, and these structures have been successfully engineered for applications including targeted cancer therapy, regulated drug delivery, in vivo imaging, and a host of others. This review aims to capture recent advances in the engineering of nonimmunoglobulin scaffolds as well as some of the applications for these molecular recognition elements in the biomedical field.

  12. Expression of human A53T alpha-synuclein in the rat substantia nigra using a novel AAV1/2 vector produces a rapidly evolving pathology with protein aggregation, dystrophic neurite architecture and nigrostriatal degeneration with potential to model the pathology of Parkinson's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Sun Xuan; Reyes M Gabriela; Johnston Tom H; Koprich James B; Brotchie Jonathan M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background The pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD) include the presence of alpha-synuclein (α-syn) rich Lewy bodies and neurites and the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantia nigra (SN). Animal models of PD based on viral vector-mediated over-expression of α-syn have been developed and show evidence of DA toxicity to varying degrees depending on the type of virus used, its concentration, and the serotype of vector employed. To date these models have been ...

  13. 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.

  14. Transcription Factor IIB (TFIIB)-Related Protein (pBrp), a Plant-Specific Member of the TFIIB-Related Protein Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagrange, Thierry; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali; Pontier, Dominique; Courtois, Florence; Alcaraz, Jean Pierre; Grunwald, Didier; Lam, Eric; Lerbs-Mache, Silva

    2003-01-01

    Although it is now well documented that metazoans have evolved general transcription factor (GTF) variants to regulate their complex patterns of gene expression, there is so far no information regarding the existence of specific GTFs in plants. Here we report the characterization of a ubiquitously expressed gene that encodes a bona fide novel transcription factor IIB (TFIIB)-related protein in Arabidopsis thaliana. We have shown that this protein is the founding member of a plant-specific TFIIB-related protein family named pBrp (for plant-specific TFIIB-related protein). Surprisingly, in contrast to common GTFs that are localized in the nucleus, the bulk of pBrp proteins are bound to the cytoplasmic face of the plastid envelope, suggesting an organelle-specific function for this novel class of TFIIB-related protein. We show that pBrp proteins harbor conditional proteolytic signals that can target these proteins for rapid turnover by the proteasome-mediated protein degradation pathway. Interestingly, under conditions of proteasome inhibition, pBrp proteins accumulate in the nucleus. Together, our results suggest a possible involvement of these proteins in an intracellular signaling pathway between plastids and the nucleus. Our data provide the first evidence for an organelle-related evolution of the eukaryotic general transcription machinery. PMID:12697827

  15. Evidence for the principle of minimal frustration in the evolution of protein folding landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzul, Franco O; Vasilchuk, Daniel; Makhatadze, George I

    2017-02-28

    Theoretical and experimental studies have firmly established that protein folding can be described by a funneled energy landscape. This funneled energy landscape is the result of foldable protein sequences evolving following the principle of minimal frustration, which allows proteins to rapidly fold to their native biologically functional conformations. For a protein family with a given functional fold, the principle of minimal frustration suggests that, independent of sequence, all proteins within this family should fold with similar rates. However, depending on the optimal living temperature of the organism, proteins also need to modulate their thermodynamic stability. Consequently, the difference in thermodynamic stability should be primarily caused by differences in the unfolding rates. To test this hypothesis experimentally, we performed comprehensive thermodynamic and kinetic analyses of 15 different proteins from the thioredoxin family. Eight of these thioredoxins were extant proteins from psychrophilic, mesophilic, or thermophilic organisms. The other seven protein sequences were obtained using ancestral sequence reconstruction and can be dated back over 4 billion years. We found that all studied proteins fold with very similar rates but unfold with rates that differ up to three orders of magnitude. The unfolding rates correlate well with the thermodynamic stability of the proteins. Moreover, proteins that unfold slower are more resistant to proteolysis. These results provide direct experimental support to the principle of minimal frustration hypothesis.

  16. Exploiting fluorescence for multiplex immunoassays on protein microarrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbáth, Melinda; Papp, Krisztián; Balogh, Andrea; Matkó, János; Prechl, József

    2014-09-01

    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.

  17. A review of protein function prediction under machine learning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardes, Juliana S; Pedreira, Carlos E

    2013-08-01

    Protein function prediction is one of the most challenging problems in the post-genomic era. The number of newly identified proteins has been exponentially increasing with the advances of the high-throughput techniques. However, the functional characterization of these new proteins was not incremented in the same proportion. To fill this gap, a large number of computational methods have been proposed in the literature. Early approaches have explored homology relationships to associate known functions to the newly discovered proteins. Nevertheless, these approaches tend to fail when a new protein is considerably different (divergent) from previously known ones. Accordingly, more accurate approaches, that use expressive data representation and explore sophisticate computational techniques are required. Regarding these points, this review provides a comprehensible description of machine learning approaches that are currently applied to protein function prediction problems. We start by defining several problems enrolled in understanding protein function aspects, and describing how machine learning can be applied to these problems. We aim to expose, in a systematical framework, the role of these techniques in protein function inference, sometimes difficult to follow up due to the rapid evolvement of the field. With this purpose in mind, we highlight the most representative contributions, the recent advancements, and provide an insightful categorization and classification of machine learning methods in functional proteomics.

  18. A Perspective on the Evolving Landscape in Male Reproductive Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Shalender

    2016-03-01

    Men's health and aging are emerging as important areas of research opportunity because of advances in reproductive biology and the recognition of men's health as a unique and important aspect of public health. A perspective of the evolving landscape in male reproductive medicine. Remarkable discoveries in reproductive biology have greatly advanced the treatment of erectile dysfunction, androgen deficiency, infertility, hormone sensitive cancers, and prostate diseases. Although the off-label use of testosterone in middle-aged and older men has grown, the management of androgen deficiency syndromes remains suboptimal. There is a pressing need for wider adoption of accurate testosterone assays and harmonized reference ranges and large randomized trials of testosterone's efficacy and cardiovascular and prostate safety. The transformation in idealized body image towards greater muscularity has contributed to increasing prevalence of body image disorders and the use of muscle building drugs in men. Therapeutic options for fertility regulation in men remain limited, the pathophysiologic basis of infertility in a vast majority of infertile men remains unknown, and assisted reproductive technologies remain inaccessible to many infertile men. Much of the dogma on testosterone's binding to its binding proteins remains inaccurate, and the role of free and albumin-bound testosterone poorly understood. The reproductive health of cancer survivors and the availability of wider contraceptive choices for men are other areas of unmet need. Suboptimal care of transgender persons has framed transgender medicine as an important healthcare disparities issue. Transformative changes in societal attitudes towards men's sexual health, body image, and gender identity, and in the economics of reproductive healthcare services, offer extraordinary opportunities for translational science that is patient focused, mechanism based, and integrated with healthcare.

  19. IGSF9 Family Proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Maria; Walmod, Peter Schledermann

    2013-01-01

    The Drosophila protein Turtle and the vertebrate proteins immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF), member 9 (IGSF9/Dasm1) and IGSF9B are members of an evolutionarily ancient protein family. A bioinformatics analysis of the protein family revealed that invertebrates contain only a single IGSF9 family gene......, whereas vertebrates contain two to four genes. In cnidarians, the gene appears to encode a secreted protein, but transmembrane isoforms of the protein have also evolved, and in many species, alternative splicing facilitates the expression of both transmembrane and secreted isoforms. In most species......, the longest isoforms of the proteins have the same general organization as the neural cell adhesion molecule family of cell adhesion molecule proteins, and like this family of proteins, IGSF9 family members are expressed in the nervous system. A review of the literature revealed that Drosophila Turtle...