WorldWideScience

Sample records for reveal molecular mechanisms

  1. Submillisecond elastic recoil reveals molecular origins of fibrin fiber mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O'Brien, E Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Falvo, Michael R

    2013-06-18

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin's elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin's mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Submillisecond Elastic Recoil Reveals Molecular Origins of Fibrin Fiber Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nathan E.; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O’Brien, E. Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V.; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Falvo, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin’s elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin’s mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. PMID:23790375

  3. Molecular mechanism of allosteric communication in Hsp70 revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Chiappori

    Full Text Available Investigating ligand-regulated allosteric coupling between protein domains is fundamental to understand cell-life regulation. The Hsp70 family of chaperones represents an example of proteins in which ATP binding and hydrolysis at the Nucleotide Binding Domain (NBD modulate substrate recognition at the Substrate Binding Domain (SBD. Herein, a comparative analysis of an allosteric (Hsp70-DnaK and a non-allosteric structural homolog (Hsp110-Sse1 of the Hsp70 family is carried out through molecular dynamics simulations, starting from different conformations and ligand-states. Analysis of ligand-dependent modulation of internal fluctuations and local deformation patterns highlights the structural and dynamical changes occurring at residue level upon ATP-ADP exchange, which are connected to the conformational transition between closed and open structures. By identifying the dynamically responsive protein regions and specific cross-domain hydrogen-bonding patterns that differentiate Hsp70 from Hsp110 as a function of the nucleotide, we propose a molecular mechanism for the allosteric signal propagation of the ATP-encoded conformational signal.

  4. Mechanism of the Glycosidic Bond Cleavage of Mismatched Thymine in Human Thymine DNA Glycosylase Revealed by Classical Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaan, Natalia; Crehuet, Ramon; Imhof, Petra

    2015-09-24

    Base excision of mismatched or damaged nucleotides catalyzed by glycosylase enzymes is the first step of the base excision repair system, a machinery preserving the integrity of DNA. Thymine DNA glycosylase recognizes and removes mismatched thymine by cleaving the C1'-N1 bond between the base and the sugar ring. Our quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of this reaction in human thymine DNA glycosylase reveal a requirement for a positive charge in the active site to facilitate C1'-N1 bond scission: protonation of His151 significantly lowers the free energy barrier for C1'-N1 bond dissociation compared to the situation with neutral His151. Shuttling a proton from His151 to the thymine base further reduces the activation free energy for glycosidic bond cleavage. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of the H151A mutant suggest that the mutation to the smaller, neutral, residue increases the water accessibility of the thymine base, rendering direct proton transfer from the bulk feasible. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of the glycosidic bond cleavage reaction in the H151A mutant show that the activation free energy is slightly lower than in the wild-type enzyme, explaining the experimentally observed higher reaction rates in this mutant.

  5. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A

    2016-07-01

    A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that link different POPs to common metabolic diseases. Environ

  6. Endogenous molecular network reveals two mechanisms of heterogeneity within gastric cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Site; Zhu, Xiaomei; Liu, Bingya; Wang, Gaowei; Ao, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Intratumor heterogeneity is a common phenomenon and impedes cancer therapy and research. Gastric cancer (GC) cells have generally been classified into two heterogeneous cellular phenotypes, the gastric and intestinal types, yet the mechanisms of maintaining two phenotypes and controlling phenotypic transition are largely unknown. A qualitative systematic framework, the endogenous molecular network hypothesis, has recently been proposed to understand cancer genesis and progression. Here, a minimal network corresponding to such framework was found for GC and was quantified via a stochastic nonlinear dynamical system. We then further extended the framework to address the important question of intratumor heterogeneity quantitatively. The working network characterized main known features of normal gastric epithelial and GC cell phenotypes. Our results demonstrated that four positive feedback loops in the network are critical for GC cell phenotypes. Moreover, two mechanisms that contribute to GC cell heterogeneity were identified: particular positive feedback loops are responsible for the maintenance of intestinal and gastric phenotypes; GC cell progression routes that were revealed by the dynamical behaviors of individual key components are heterogeneous. In this work, we constructed an endogenous molecular network of GC that can be expanded in the future and would broaden the known mechanisms of intratumor heterogeneity. PMID:25962957

  7. Revealing Atomic-Level Mechanisms of Protein Allostery with Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Hertig

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Molecular dynamics (MD simulations have become a powerful and popular method for the study of protein allostery, the widespread phenomenon in which a stimulus at one site on a protein influences the properties of another site on the protein. By capturing the motions of a protein's constituent atoms, simulations can enable the discovery of allosteric binding sites and the determination of the mechanistic basis for allostery. These results can provide a foundation for applications including rational drug design and protein engineering. Here, we provide an introduction to the investigation of protein allostery using molecular dynamics simulation. We emphasize the importance of designing simulations that include appropriate perturbations to the molecular system, such as the addition or removal of ligands or the application of mechanical force. We also demonstrate how the bidirectional nature of allostery-the fact that the two sites involved influence one another in a symmetrical manner-can facilitate such investigations. Through a series of case studies, we illustrate how these concepts have been used to reveal the structural basis for allostery in several proteins and protein complexes of biological and pharmaceutical interest.

  8. Signature gene expression reveals novel clues to the molecular mechanisms of dimorphic transition in Penicillium marneffei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ence Yang

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Systemic dimorphic fungi cause more than one million new infections each year, ranking them among the significant public health challenges currently encountered. Penicillium marneffei is a systemic dimorphic fungus endemic to Southeast Asia. The temperature-dependent dimorphic phase transition between mycelium and yeast is considered crucial for the pathogenicity and transmission of P. marneffei, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we re-sequenced P. marneffei strain PM1 using multiple sequencing platforms and assembled the genome using hybrid genome assembly. We determined gene expression levels using RNA sequencing at the mycelial and yeast phases of P. marneffei, as well as during phase transition. We classified 2,718 genes with variable expression across conditions into 14 distinct groups, each marked by a signature expression pattern implicated at a certain stage in the dimorphic life cycle. Genes with the same expression patterns tend to be clustered together on the genome, suggesting orchestrated regulations of the transcriptional activities of neighboring genes. Using qRT-PCR, we validated expression levels of all genes in one of clusters highly expressed during the yeast-to-mycelium transition. These included madsA, a gene encoding MADS-box transcription factor whose gene family is exclusively expanded in P. marneffei. Over-expression of madsA drove P. marneffei to undergo mycelial growth at 37°C, a condition that restricts the wild-type in the yeast phase. Furthermore, analyses of signature expression patterns suggested diverse roles of secreted proteins at different developmental stages and the potential importance of non-coding RNAs in mycelium-to-yeast transition. We also showed that RNA structural transition in response to temperature changes may be related to the control of thermal dimorphism. Together, our findings have revealed multiple molecular mechanisms that may underlie the dimorphic transition

  9. Nullspace Sampling with Holonomic Constraints Reveals Molecular Mechanisms of Protein Gαs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitar V Pachov

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Proteins perform their function or interact with partners by exchanging between conformational substates on a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. Structurally characterizing these exchanges is challenging, both experimentally and computationally. Large, diffusional motions are often on timescales that are difficult to access with molecular dynamics simulations, especially for large proteins and their complexes. The low frequency modes of normal mode analysis (NMA report on molecular fluctuations associated with biological activity. However, NMA is limited to a second order expansion about a minimum of the potential energy function, which limits opportunities to observe diffusional motions. By contrast, kino-geometric conformational sampling (KGS permits large perturbations while maintaining the exact geometry of explicit conformational constraints, such as hydrogen bonds. Here, we extend KGS and show that a conformational ensemble of the α subunit Gαs of heterotrimeric stimulatory protein Gs exhibits structural features implicated in its activation pathway. Activation of protein Gs by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs is associated with GDP release and large conformational changes of its α-helical domain. Our method reveals a coupled α-helical domain opening motion while, simultaneously, Gαs helix α5 samples an activated conformation. These motions are moderated in the activated state. The motion centers on a dynamic hub near the nucleotide-binding site of Gαs, and radiates to helix α4. We find that comparative NMA-based ensembles underestimate the amplitudes of the motion. Additionally, the ensembles fall short in predicting the accepted direction of the full activation pathway. Taken together, our findings suggest that nullspace sampling with explicit, holonomic constraints yields ensembles that illuminate molecular mechanisms involved in GDP release and protein Gs activation, and further establish conformational coupling between key

  10. Metatranscriptomics reveals the molecular mechanism of large granule formation in granular anammox reactor

    KAUST Repository

    Bagchi, Samik

    2016-06-20

    Granules enriched with anammox bacteria are essential in enhancing the treatment of ammonia-rich wastewater, but little is known about how anammox bacteria grow and multiply inside granules. Here, we combined metatranscriptomics, quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing to study the changes in community composition, metabolic gene content and gene expression in a granular anammox reactor with the objective of understanding the molecular mechanism of anammox growth and multiplication that led to formation of large granules. Size distribution analysis revealed the spatial distribution of granules in which large granules having higher abundance of anammox bacteria (genus Brocadia) dominated the bottom biomass. Metatranscriptomics analysis detected all the essential transcripts for anammox metabolism. During the later stage of reactor operation, higher expression of ammonia and nitrite transport proteins and key metabolic enzymes mainly in the bottom large granules facilitated anammox bacteria activity. The high activity resulted in higher growth and multiplication of anammox bacteria and expanded the size of the granules. This conceptual model for large granule formation proposed here may assist in the future design of anammox processes for mainstream wastewater treatment.

  11. mRNA-Seq Reveals Novel Molecular Mechanisms and a Robust Fingerprint in Graves' Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachidanandam, Ravi; Morshed, Syed; Latif, Rauf; Shi, Ruijin; Davies, Terry F.

    2014-01-01

    Context: The immune response in autoimmune thyroid disease has been shown to occur primarily within the thyroid gland in which the most abundant antigens can be found. A variety of capture molecules are known to be expressed by thyroid epithelial cells and serve to attract and help retain an intrathyroidal immune infiltrate. Objective: To explore the entire repertoire of expressed genes in human thyroid tissue, we have deep sequenced the transcriptome (referred to as mRNA-Seq). Design and Patients: We applied mRNA-Seq to thyroid tissue from nine patients with Graves' disease subjected to total thyroidectomy and compared the data with 12 samples of normal thyroid tissue obtained from patients having a thyroid nodule removed. The expression for each gene was calculated from the sequencing data by taking the median of the coverage across the length of the gene. The expression levels were quantile normalized and a gene signature was derived from these. Results: On comparison of expression levels in tissues derived from Graves' patients and controls, there was clear evidence for overexpression of the antigen presentation pathway consisting of HLA and associated genes. We also found a robust disease signature and discovered active innate and adaptive immune signaling networks. Conclusions: These data reveal an active immune defense system in Graves' disease, which involves novel molecular mechanisms in its pathogenesis and development. PMID:24971664

  12. The gating mechanism of the human aquaporin 5 revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorant Janosi

    Full Text Available Aquaporins are protein channels located across the cell membrane with the role of conducting water or other small sugar alcohol molecules (aquaglyceroporins. The high-resolution X-ray structure of the human aquaporin 5 (HsAQP5 shows that HsAQP5, as all the other known aquaporins, exhibits tetrameric structure. By means of molecular dynamics simulations we analyzed the role of spontaneous fluctuations on the structural behavior of the human AQP5. We found that different conformations within the tetramer lead to a distribution of monomeric channel structures, which can be characterized as open or closed. The switch between the two states of a channel is a tap-like mechanism at the cytoplasmic end which regulates the water passage through the pore. The channel is closed by a translation of the His67 residue inside the pore. Moreover, water permeation rate calculations revealed that the selectivity filter, located at the other end of the channel, regulates the flow rate of water molecules when the channel is open, by locally modifying the orientation of His173. Furthermore, the calculated permeation rates of a fully open channel are in good agreement with the reported experimental value.

  13. Unfolding mechanism of thrombin-binding aptamer revealed by molecular dynamics simulation and Markov State Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiaojun; Zhang, Liyun; Xiao, Xiuchan; Jiang, Yuanyuan; Guo, Yanzhi; Yu, Xinyan; Pu, Xuemei; Li, Menglong

    2016-04-05

    Thrombin-binding aptamer (TBA) with the sequence 5'GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG3' could fold into G-quadruplex, which correlates with functionally important genomic regionsis. However, unfolding mechanism involved in the structural stability of G-quadruplex has not been satisfactorily elucidated on experiments so far. Herein, we studied the unfolding pathway of TBA by a combination of molecular dynamics simulation (MD) and Markov State Model (MSM). Our results revealed that the unfolding of TBA is not a simple two-state process but proceeds along multiple pathways with multistate intermediates. One high flux confirms some observations from NMR experiment. Another high flux exhibits a different and simpler unfolding pathway with less intermediates. Two important intermediate states were identified. One is similar to the G-triplex reported in the folding of G-quadruplex, but lack of H-bonding between guanines in the upper plane. More importantly, another intermediate state acting as a connector to link the folding region and the unfolding one, was the first time identified, which exhibits higher population and stability than the G-triplex-like intermediate. These results will provide valuable information for extending our understanding the folding landscape of G-quadruplex formation.

  14. Molecular interaction of 2-mercaptobenzimidazole with catalase reveals a potentially toxic mechanism of the inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Yue; Zou, Luyi; Huang, Ming; Zong, Wansong

    2014-12-01

    2-Mercaptobenzimidazole (MBI) is widely utilized as a corrosion inhibitor, copper-plating brightener and rubber accelerator. The residue of MBI in the environment possesses a potential risk to human health. In this work, the toxic interaction of MBI with the important antioxidant enzyme catalase (CAT) was investigated using spectroscopic and molecular docking methods under physiological conditions. MBI can spontaneously bind with CAT with one binding site through hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces to form MBI-CAT complex. The molecular docking study revealed that MBI bound into the CAT interface of chains B and C, which led to some conformational and microenvironmental changes of CAT and further resulted in the inhibition of CAT activity. This present study provides direct evidence at a molecular level to show that exposure to MBI could induce changes in the structure and function of the enzyme CAT. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Integrated network analysis reveals potentially novel molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets of refractory epilepsies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongwei Chu

    Full Text Available Epilepsy is a complex neurological disorder and a significant health problem. The pathogenesis of epilepsy remains obscure in a significant number of patients and the current treatment options are not adequate in about a third of individuals which were known as refractory epilepsies (RE. Network medicine provides an effective approach for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying complex diseases. Here we integrated 1876 disease-gene associations of RE and located those genes to human protein-protein interaction (PPI network to obtain 42 significant RE-associated disease modules. The functional analysis of these disease modules showed novel molecular pathological mechanisms of RE, such as the novel enriched pathways (e.g., "presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors", "signaling by insulin receptor". Further analysis on the relationships between current drug targets and the RE-related disease genes showed the rational mechanisms of most antiepileptic drugs. In addition, we detected ten potential novel drug targets (e.g., KCNA1, KCNA4-6, KCNC3, KCND2, KCNMA1, CAMK2G, CACNB4 and GRM1 located in three RE related disease modules, which might provide novel insights into the new drug discovery for RE therapy.

  16. Active mechanics in living oocytes reveal molecular-scale force kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Wylie; Fodor, Etienne; Almonacid, Maria; Bussonnier, Matthias; Verlhac, Marie-Helene; Gov, Nir; Visco, Paolo; van Wijland, Frederic; Betz, Timo

    Unlike traditional materials, living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as cell division. Single molecule studies have uncovered the detailed force kinetics of isolated motor proteins in-vitro, however their behavior in-vivo has been elusive due to the complex environment inside the cell. Here, we quantify active forces and intracellular mechanics in living oocytes using in-vivo optical trapping and laser interferometry of endogenous vesicles. We integrate an experimental and theoretical framework to connect mesoscopic measurements of nonequilibrium properties to the underlying molecular- scale force kinetics. Our results show that force generation by myosin-V drives the cytoplasmic-skeleton out-of-equilibrium (at frequencies below 300 Hz) and actively softens the environment. In vivo myosin-V activity generates a force of F ~ 0 . 4 pN, with a power-stroke of length Δx ~ 20 nm and duration τ ~ 300 μs, that drives vesicle motion at vv ~ 320 nm/s. This framework is widely applicable to characterize living cells and other soft active materials.

  17. Revealing molecular mechanisms by integrating high-dimensional functional screens with protein interaction data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Simeone

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Functional genomics screens using multi-parametric assays are powerful approaches for identifying genes involved in particular cellular processes. However, they suffer from problems like noise, and often provide little insight into molecular mechanisms. A bottleneck for addressing these issues is the lack of computational methods for the systematic integration of multi-parametric phenotypic datasets with molecular interactions. Here, we present Integrative Multi Profile Analysis of Cellular Traits (IMPACT. The main goal of IMPACT is to identify the most consistent phenotypic profile among interacting genes. This approach utilizes two types of external information: sets of related genes (IMPACT-sets and network information (IMPACT-modules. Based on the notion that interacting genes are more likely to be involved in similar functions than non-interacting genes, this data is used as a prior to inform the filtering of phenotypic profiles that are similar among interacting genes. IMPACT-sets selects the most frequent profile among a set of related genes. IMPACT-modules identifies sub-networks containing genes with similar phenotype profiles. The statistical significance of these selections is subsequently quantified via permutations of the data. IMPACT (1 handles multiple profiles per gene, (2 rescues genes with weak phenotypes and (3 accounts for multiple biases e.g. caused by the network topology. Application to a genome-wide RNAi screen on endocytosis showed that IMPACT improved the recovery of known endocytosis-related genes, decreased off-target effects, and detected consistent phenotypes. Those findings were confirmed by rescreening 468 genes. Additionally we validated an unexpected influence of the IGF-receptor on EGF-endocytosis. IMPACT facilitates the selection of high-quality phenotypic profiles using different types of independent information, thereby supporting the molecular interpretation of functional screens.

  18. Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Statistics Analysis Reveals the Defense Response Mechanism in Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhichao; Zhao, Yunjie; Zeng, Chen; Computational Biophysics Lab Team

    As the main protein of the bacterial flagella, flagellin plays an important role in perception and defense response. The newly discovered locus, FLS2, is ubiquitously expressed. FLS2 encodes a putative receptor kinase and shares many homologies with some plant resistance genes and even with some components of immune system of mammals and insects. In Arabidopsis, FLS2 perception is achieved by the recognition of epitope flg22, which induces FLS2 heteromerization with BAK1 and finally the plant immunity. Here we use both analytical methods such as Direct Coupling Analysis (DCA) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulations to get a better understanding of the defense mechanism of FLS2. This may facilitate a redesign of flg22 or de-novo design for desired specificity and potency to extend the immune properties of FLS2 to other important crops and vegetables.

  19. Comparative proteomic and metabolomic analysis reveal the antiosteoporotic molecular mechanism of icariin from Epimedium brevicornu maxim.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Liming; Jiang, Yiping; Han, Ting; Zhang, Naidan; Qin, Luping; Xin, Hailiang; Zhang, Qiaoyan

    2016-11-04

    Icariin, a principal flavonoid glycoside of Epimedium brevicornu Maxim, has been widely proved to possess antiosteoporotic activity with promoting bone formation and decreasing bone resorption. However, the involving mechanisms remain unclear. To clear a global insight of signal pathways involved in anti-osteoporotic mechanism of icariin at proteins and metabolites level by integrating the proteomics and NMR metabonomics, in a systems biology approach. Mice were divided into sham, OVX model and icariin-treated OVX group, after 90 days treatment, difference gel electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF proteomics analysis on bone femur and serum metabolomics were carried out for monitor intracellular processes and elucidate anti-osteoporotic mechanism of icariin. Osteoblast and osteoclast were applied to evaluate the potential signal pathways. Twenty three proteins in bone femur, and 8 metabolites in serum, were significantly altered and identified, involving in bone remodeling, energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, lipid metabolism, MAPK signaling, Ca 2+ signaling et, al. Furthermore, animal experiment show icariin could enhance the BMD and BMC, decrease CTX-I level in ovariectomized mice. The mitochondrial membrane potential and the intracellular ATP levels were increased significantly, and the cytoskeleton were improved in icariin-treatment osteoblast and osteoclast. Icariin also increased mRNA expression of Runx2 and osterix of OB, decreased CTR and CAII mRNA expression and protein expression of P38 and JNK. However, icariin did not reveal any inhibition of the collagenolytic activity of cathepsin K, mRNA expression of MMP-9 and protein expression of ERK in osteoclast. we consider icariin as multi-targeting compounds for treating with osteoporosis, involve initiating osteoblastogenesis, inhibiting adipogenesis, and preventing osteoclast differentiation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Structures of the NLRP14 pyrin domain reveal a conformational switch mechanism regulating its molecular interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eibl, Clarissa; Hessenberger, Manuel; Wenger, Julia; Brandstetter, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Pyrin domains (PYDs) recruit downstream effector molecules in NLR signalling. A specific charge-relay system suggests a the formation of a signalling complex involving a PYD dimer. The cytosolic tripartite NLR receptors serve as important signalling platforms in innate immunity. While the C-terminal domains act as sensor and activation modules, the N-terminal death-like domain, e.g. the CARD or pyrin domain, is thought to recruit downstream effector molecules by homotypic interactions. Such homotypic complexes have been determined for all members of the death-domain superfamily except for pyrin domains. Here, crystal structures of human NLRP14 pyrin-domain variants are reported. The wild-type protein as well as the clinical D86V mutant reveal an unexpected rearrangement of the C-terminal helix α6, resulting in an extended α5/6 stem-helix. This reordering mediates a novel symmetric pyrin-domain dimerization mode. The conformational switching is controlled by a charge-relay system with a drastic impact on protein stability. How the identified charge relay allows classification of NLRP receptors with respect to distinct recruitment mechanisms is discussed

  1. Metatranscriptomics reveals the molecular mechanism of large granule formation in granular anammox reactor

    KAUST Repository

    Bagchi, Samik; Lamendella, Regina; Strutt, Steven; Van Loosdrecht, Mark C. M.; Saikaly, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    to formation of large granules. Size distribution analysis revealed the spatial distribution of granules in which large granules having higher abundance of anammox bacteria (genus Brocadia) dominated the bottom biomass. Metatranscriptomics analysis detected all

  2. Azadirachtin(A) distinctively modulates subdomain 2 of actin - novel mechanism to induce depolymerization revealed by molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravin Kumar, R; Roopa, L; Sudheer Mohammed, M M; Kulkarni, Naveen

    2016-12-01

    Azadirachtin(A) (AZA), a potential insecticide from neem, binds to actin and induces depolymerization in Drosophila. AZA binds to the pocket same as that of Latrunculin A (LAT), but LAT inhibits actin polymerization by stiffening the actin structure and affects the ADP-ATP exchange. The mechanism by which AZA induces actin depolymerization is not clearly understood. Therefore, different computational experiments were conducted to delineate the precise mechanism of AZA-induced actin depolymerization. Molecular dynamics studies showed that AZA strongly interacted with subdomain 2 and destabilized the interactions between subdomain 2 of one actin and subdomains 1 and 4 of the adjacent actin, causing the separation of actin subunits. The separation was observed between subdomain 3 of subunit n and subdomain 4 of subunit n + 2. However, the specific triggering point for the separation of the subunits was the destabilization of direct interactions between subdomain 2 of subunit n (Arg39, Val45, Gly46 and Arg62) and subdomain 4 of subunit n + 2 (Asp286, Ile287, Asp288, Ile289, Asp244 and Lys291). These results reveal a unique mechanism of an actin filament modulator that induces depolymerization. This mechanism of AZA can be used to design similar molecules against mammalian actins for cancer therapy.

  3. Revealing the mechanisms of protein disorder and N-glycosylation in CD44-hyaluronan binding using molecular simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olgun eGuvench

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular N-terminal hyaluronan binding domain (HABD of CD44 is a small globular domain that confers hyaluronan (HA binding functionality to this large transmembrane glycoprotein. When recombinantly expressed by itself, HABD exists as a globular water-soluble protein that retains the capacity to bind HA. This has enabled atomic-resolution structural biology experiments that have revealed the structure of HABD and its binding mode with oligomeric HA. Such experiments have also pointed to an order-to-disorder transition in HABD that is associated with HA binding. However, it had remained unclear how this structural transition was involved in binding since it occurs in a region of HABD distant from the HA-binding site. Furthermore, HABD is known to be N-glycosylated, and such glycosylation can diminish HA binding when the associated N-glycans are capped with sialic acid residues. The intrinsic flexibility of disordered proteins and of N-glycans makes it difficult to apply experimental structural biology approaches to probe the molecular mechanisms of how the order-to-disorder transition and N-glycosylation can modulate HA binding by HABD. We review recent results from molecular dynamics simulations that provide atomic-resolution mechanistic understanding of such modulation to help bridge gaps between existing experimental binding and structural biology data. Findings from these simulations include: Tyr42 may function as a molecular switch that converts the HA binding site from a low affinity to a high affinity state; in the partially-disordered form of HABD, basic amino acids in the C-terminal region can gain sufficient mobility to form direct contacts with bound HA to further stabilize binding; and terminal sialic acids on covalently-attached N-glycans can form charge-paired hydrogen bonding interactions with basic amino acids that could otherwise bind to HA, thereby blocking HA binding to glycosylated CD44 HABD.

  4. A dissociative quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulation and infrared experiments reveal characteristics of the strongly hydrolytic arsenic(III).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canaval, Lorenz R; Lutz, Oliver M D; Weiss, Alexander K H; Huck, Christian W; Hofer, Thomas S

    2014-11-17

    This work presents a hybrid ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulation at the RI-MP2 level of theory investigating the hydrolysis process of arsenic(III), ultimately leading to arsenous acid (H3AsO3). A newly implemented dissociative water model has been applied to treat the interactions in the classical region, which is capable of describing non-neutral water species such as hydroxide and oxonium ions. Three stages of hydrolysis have been observed during the simulation and besides profound dynamical considerations, detailed insights into structural changes and atomic partial charge shifts are presented. In particular, the geometrical properties of H-bonds involved in each of the three proton transfer events and subsequent proton hopping reactions are discussed. A Laguerre tessellation analysis has been employed to estimate the molecular volume of H3AsO3. Estimations of pKa values of the arsenic(III)-aquo-complexes have been obtained at the G4 and CBS-Q//B3 levels of theory using a thermodynamic cycle, whereas rate constants for the final hydrolysis step have been determined via reaction path optimization and transition state theory. Newly recorded Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy measurements have been compared to power spectra obtained from the simulation data, confirming its quality. The simulation findings, as well as results from computational spectroscopic calculations utilizing the PT2-VSCF methodology, proved valuable for the interpretation of the experimental FT-IR data, elucidating the particularities of the strongly observed IR Raman noncoincidence effect.

  5. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V.; Graf, Michael; Innis, C. Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2016-07-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation.

  6. Structure of the CaMKIIdelta/calmodulin complex reveals the molecular mechanism of CaMKII kinase activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Rellos

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP, a long-lasting enhancement in communication between neurons, is considered to be the major cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. LTP triggers high-frequency calcium pulses that result in the activation of Calcium/Calmodulin (CaM-dependent kinase II (CaMKII. CaMKII acts as a molecular switch because it remains active for a long time after the return to basal calcium levels, which is a unique property required for CaMKII function. Here we describe the crystal structure of the human CaMKIIdelta/Ca2+/CaM complex, structures of all four human CaMKII catalytic domains in their autoinhibited states, as well as structures of human CaMKII oligomerization domains in their tetradecameric and physiological dodecameric states. All four autoinhibited human CaMKIIs were monomeric in the determined crystal structures but associated weakly in solution. In the CaMKIIdelta/Ca2+/CaM complex, the inhibitory region adopted an extended conformation and interacted with an adjacent catalytic domain positioning T287 into the active site of the interacting protomer. Comparisons with autoinhibited CaMKII structures showed that binding of calmodulin leads to the rearrangement of residues in the active site to a conformation suitable for ATP binding and to the closure of the binding groove for the autoinhibitory helix by helix alphaD. The structural data, together with biophysical interaction studies, reveals the mechanism of CaMKII activation by calmodulin and explains many of the unique regulatory properties of these two essential signaling molecules.This article can also be viewed as an enhanced version in which the text of the article is integrated with interactive 3-D representations and animated transitions. Please note that a web plugin is required to access this enhanced functionality. Instructions for the installation and use of the Web plugin are available in Text S1.

  7. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Latex Reveals Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Increased Rubber Yield in Hevea brasiliensis Self-Rooting Juvenile Clones

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Hui-Liang; Guo, Dong; Zhu, Jia-Hong; Wang, Ying; Chen, Xiong-Ting; Peng, Shi-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) self-rooting juvenile clones (JCs) are promising planting materials for rubber production. In a comparative trial between self-rooting JCs and donor clones (DCs), self-rooting JCs exhibited better performance in rubber yield. To study the molecular mechanism associated with higher rubber yield in self-rooting JCs, we sequenced and comparatively analyzed the latex of rubber tree self-rooting JCs and DCs at the transcriptome level. Total raw reads of 34,632,012 ...

  8. Mechanism of enhanced conversion of 1,2,3-trichloropropane by mutant haloalkane dehalogenase revealed by molecular modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banáš, Pavel; Otyepka, Michal; Jeřábek, Petr; Petřek, Martin; Damborský, Jiří

    2006-06-01

    1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) is a highly toxic, recalcitrant byproduct of epichlorohydrin manufacture. Haloalkane dehalogenase (DhaA) from Rhodococcus sp. hydrolyses the carbon-halogen bond in various halogenated compounds including TCP, but with low efficiency ( k cat/ K m = 36 s-1 M-1). A Cys176Tyr-DhaA mutant with a threefold higher catalytic efficiency for TCP dehalogenation has been previously obtained by error-prone PCR. We have used molecular simulations and quantum mechanical calculations to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the improved catalysis of the mutant, and enantioselectivity of DhaA toward TCP. The Cys176Tyr mutation modifies the protein access and export routes. Substitution of the Cys residue by the bulkier Tyr narrows the upper tunnel, making the second tunnel "slot" the preferred route. TCP can adopt two major orientations in the DhaA enzyme, in one of which the halide-stabilizing residue Asn41 forms a hydrogen bond with the terminal halogen atom of the TCP molecule, while in the other it bonds with the central halogen atom. The differences in these binding patterns explain the preferential formation of the ( R)- over the ( S)-enantiomer of 2,3-dichloropropane-1-ol in the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme.

  9. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Latex Reveals Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Increased Rubber Yield in Hevea brasiliensis Self-Rooting Juvenile Clones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Liang; Guo, Dong; Zhu, Jia-Hong; Wang, Ying; Chen, Xiong-Ting; Peng, Shi-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) self-rooting juvenile clones (JCs) are promising planting materials for rubber production. In a comparative trial between self-rooting JCs and donor clones (DCs), self-rooting JCs exhibited better performance in rubber yield. To study the molecular mechanism associated with higher rubber yield in self-rooting JCs, we sequenced and comparatively analyzed the latex of rubber tree self-rooting JCs and DCs at the transcriptome level. Total raw reads of 34,632,012 and 35,913,020 bp were obtained from the library of self-rooting JCs and DCs, respectively, by using Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencing technology. De novo assemblies yielded 54689 unigenes from the library of self-rooting JCs and DCs. Among 54689 genes, 1716 genes were identified as differentially expressed between self-rooting JCs and DCs via comparative transcript profiling. Functional analysis showed that the genes related to the mass of categories were differentially enriched between the two clones. Several genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism and reactive oxygen species scavenging were up-regulated in self-rooting JCs, suggesting that the self-rooting JCs provide sufficient molecular basis for the increased rubber yielding, especially in the aspects of improved latex metabolisms and latex flow. Some genes encoding epigenetic modification enzymes were also differentially expressed between self-rooting JCs and DCs. Epigenetic modifications may lead to gene differential expression between self-rooting JCs and DCs. These data will provide new cues to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the improved rubber yield of H. brasiliensis self-rooting clones.

  10. Mechanical influences on morphogenesis of the knee joint revealed through morphological, molecular and computational analysis of immobilised embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen A Roddy

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Very little is known about the regulation of morphogenesis in synovial joints. Mechanical forces generated from muscle contractions are required for normal development of several aspects of normal skeletogenesis. Here we show that biophysical stimuli generated by muscle contractions impact multiple events during chick knee joint morphogenesis influencing differential growth of the skeletal rudiment epiphyses and patterning of the emerging tissues in the joint interzone. Immobilisation of chick embryos was achieved through treatment with the neuromuscular blocking agent Decamethonium Bromide. The effects on development of the knee joint were examined using a combination of computational modelling to predict alterations in biophysical stimuli, detailed morphometric analysis of 3D digital representations, cell proliferation assays and in situ hybridisation to examine the expression of a selected panel of genes known to regulate joint development. This work revealed the precise changes to shape, particularly in the distal femur, that occur in an altered mechanical environment, corresponding to predicted changes in the spatial and dynamic patterns of mechanical stimuli and region specific changes in cell proliferation rates. In addition, we show altered patterning of the emerging tissues of the joint interzone with the loss of clearly defined and organised cell territories revealed by loss of characteristic interzone gene expression and abnormal expression of cartilage markers. This work shows that local dynamic patterns of biophysical stimuli generated from muscle contractions in the embryo act as a source of positional information guiding patterning and morphogenesis of the developing knee joint.

  11. Mechanical Influences on Morphogenesis of the Knee Joint Revealed through Morphological, Molecular and Computational Analysis of Immobilised Embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roddy, Karen A.; Prendergast, Patrick J.; Murphy, Paula

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known about the regulation of morphogenesis in synovial joints. Mechanical forces generated from muscle contractions are required for normal development of several aspects of normal skeletogenesis. Here we show that biophysical stimuli generated by muscle contractions impact multiple events during chick knee joint morphogenesis influencing differential growth of the skeletal rudiment epiphyses and patterning of the emerging tissues in the joint interzone. Immobilisation of chick embryos was achieved through treatment with the neuromuscular blocking agent Decamethonium Bromide. The effects on development of the knee joint were examined using a combination of computational modelling to predict alterations in biophysical stimuli, detailed morphometric analysis of 3D digital representations, cell proliferation assays and in situ hybridisation to examine the expression of a selected panel of genes known to regulate joint development. This work revealed the precise changes to shape, particularly in the distal femur, that occur in an altered mechanical environment, corresponding to predicted changes in the spatial and dynamic patterns of mechanical stimuli and region specific changes in cell proliferation rates. In addition, we show altered patterning of the emerging tissues of the joint interzone with the loss of clearly defined and organised cell territories revealed by loss of characteristic interzone gene expression and abnormal expression of cartilage markers. This work shows that local dynamic patterns of biophysical stimuli generated from muscle contractions in the embryo act as a source of positional information guiding patterning and morphogenesis of the developing knee joint. PMID:21386908

  12. Confocal imaging of whole vertebrate embryos reveals novel insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of organ development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadel, Diana M.; Keller, Bradley B.; Sandell, Lisa L.

    2014-03-01

    Confocal microscopy has been an invaluable tool for studying cellular or sub-cellular biological processes. The study of vertebrate embryology is based largely on examination of whole embryos and organs. The application of confocal microscopy to immunostained whole mount embryos, combined with three dimensional (3D) image reconstruction technologies, opens new avenues for synthesizing molecular, cellular and anatomical analysis of vertebrate development. Optical cropping of the region of interest enables visualization of structures that are morphologically complex or obscured, and solid surface rendering of fluorescent signal facilitates understanding of 3D structures. We have applied these technologies to whole mount immunostained mouse embryos to visualize developmental morphogenesis of the mammalian inner ear and heart. Using molecular markers of neuron development and transgenic reporters of neural crest cell lineage we have examined development of inner ear neurons that originate from the otic vesicle, along with the supporting glial cells that derive from the neural crest. The image analysis reveals a previously unrecognized coordinated spatial organization between migratory neural crest cells and neurons of the cochleovestibular nerve. The images also enable visualization of early cochlear spiral nerve morphogenesis relative to the developing cochlea, demonstrating a heretofore unknown association of neural crest cells with extending peripheral neurite projections. We performed similar analysis of embryonic hearts in mouse and chick, documenting the distribution of adhesion molecules during septation of the outflow tract and remodeling of aortic arches. Surface rendering of lumen space defines the morphology in a manner similar to resin injection casting and micro-CT.

  13. Gene expression profiling reveals underlying molecular mechanisms of the early stages of tamoxifen-induced rat hepatocarcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pogribny, Igor P.; Bagnyukova, Tetyana V.; Tryndyak, Volodymyr P.; Muskhelishvili, Levan; Rodriguez-Juarez, Rocio; Kovalchuk, Olga; Han Tao; Fuscoe, James C.; Ross, Sharon A.; Beland, Frederick A.

    2007-01-01

    Tamoxifen is a widely used anti-estrogenic drug for chemotherapy and, more recently, for the chemoprevention of breast cancer. Despite the indisputable benefits of tamoxifen in preventing the occurrence and re-occurrence of breast cancer, the use of tamoxifen has been shown to induce non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a life-threatening fatty liver disease with a risk of progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In recent years, the high-throughput microarray technology for large-scale analysis of gene expression has become a powerful tool for increasing the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and for identifying new biomarkers with diagnostic and predictive values. In the present study, we used the high-throughput microarray technology to determine the gene expression profiles in the liver during early stages of tamoxifen-induced rat hepatocarcinogenesis. Female Fisher 344 rats were fed a 420 ppm tamoxifen containing diet for 12 or 24 weeks, and gene expression profiles were determined in liver of control and tamoxifen-exposed rats. The results indicate that early stages of tamoxifen-induced liver carcinogenesis are characterized by alterations in several major cellular pathways, specifically those involved in the tamoxifen metabolism, lipid metabolism, cell cycle signaling, and apoptosis/cell proliferation control. One of the most prominent changes during early stages of tamoxifen-induced hepatocarcinogenesis is dysregulation of signaling pathways in cell cycle progression from the G 1 to S phase, evidenced by the progressive and sustained increase in expression of the Pdgfc, Calb3, Ets1, and Ccnd1 genes accompanied by the elevated level of the PI3K, p-PI3K, Akt1/2, Akt3, and cyclin B, D1, and D3 proteins. The early appearance of these alterations suggests their importance in the mechanism of neoplastic cell transformation induced by tamoxifen

  14. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Mechanisms of Drought-Stress-Induced Decreases in Camellia sinensis Leaf Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Weidong; Xin, Huahong; Wang, Mingle; Ma, Qingping; Wang, Le; Kaleri, Najeeb A.; Wang, Yuhua; Li, Xinghui

    2016-01-01

    The tea plant [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important commercial crop rich in bioactive ingredients, especially catechins, caffeine, theanine and other free amino acids, which the quality of tea leaves depends on. Drought is the most important environmental stress affecting the yield and quality of this plant. In this study, the effects of drought stress on the phenotype, physiological characteristics and major bioactive ingredients accumulation of C. sinensis leaves were examined, and the results indicated that drought stress resulted in dehydration and wilt of the leaves, and significant decrease in the total polyphenols and free amino acids and increase in the total flavonoids. In addition, HPLC analysis showed that the catechins, caffeine, theanine and some free amino acids in C. sinensis leaves were significantly reduced in response to drought stress, implying that drought stress severely decreased the quality of C. sinensis leaves. Furthermore, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to amino acid metabolism and secondary metabolism were identified and quantified in C. sinensis leaves under drought stress using high-throughput Illumina RNA-Seq technology, especially the key regulatory genes of the catechins, caffeine, and theanine biosynthesis pathways. The expression levels of key regulatory genes were consistent with the results from the HPLC analysis, which indicate a potential molecular mechanism for the above results. Taken together, these data provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying the change in the quality of C. sinensis leaves under environmental stress, which involve changes in the accumulation of major bioactive ingredients, especially catechins, caffeine, theanine and other free amino acids. PMID:27066035

  15. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I.; Taylor, Kent D.; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O.

    2015-01-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS. PMID:26305227

  16. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle R Jones

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Genome wide association studies (GWAS have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS, a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  17. Systems Genetics Reveals the Functional Context of PCOS Loci and Identifies Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michelle R; Brower, Meredith A; Xu, Ning; Cui, Jinrui; Mengesha, Emebet; Chen, Yii-Der I; Taylor, Kent D; Azziz, Ricardo; Goodarzi, Mark O

    2015-08-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 11 independent risk loci for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in young women characterized by androgen excess and oligomenorrhea. To put these risk loci and the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) therein into functional context, we measured DNA methylation and gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to identify PCOS-specific alterations. Two genes from the LHCGR region, STON1-GTF2A1L and LHCGR, were overexpressed in PCOS. In analysis stratified by obesity, LHCGR was overexpressed only in non-obese PCOS women. Although not differentially expressed in the entire PCOS group, INSR was underexpressed in obese PCOS subjects only. Alterations in gene expression in the LHCGR, RAB5B and INSR regions suggest that SNPs in these loci may be functional and could affect gene expression directly or indirectly via epigenetic alterations. We identified reduced methylation in the LHCGR locus and increased methylation in the INSR locus, changes that are concordant with the altered gene expression profiles. Complex patterns of meQTL and eQTL were identified in these loci, suggesting that local genetic variation plays an important role in gene regulation. We propose that non-obese PCOS women possess significant alterations in LH receptor expression, which drives excess androgen secretion from the ovary. Alternatively, obese women with PCOS possess alterations in insulin receptor expression, with underexpression in metabolic tissues and overexpression in the ovary, resulting in peripheral insulin resistance and excess ovarian androgen production. These studies provide a genetic and molecular basis for the reported clinical heterogeneity of PCOS.

  18. Molecular modeling reveals the novel inhibition mechanism and binding mode of three natural compounds to staphylococcal α-hemolysin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiazhang Qiu

    Full Text Available α-Hemolysin (α-HL is a self-assembling, channel-forming toxin that is produced as a soluble monomer by Staphylococcus aureus strains. Until now, α-HL has been a significant virulence target for the treatment of S. aureus infection. In our previous report, we demonstrated that some natural compounds could bind to α-HL. Due to the binding of those compounds, the conformational transition of α-HL from the monomer to the oligomer was blocked, which resulted in inhibition of the hemolytic activity of α-HL. However, these results have not indicated how the binding of the α-HL inhibitors influence the conformational transition of the whole protein during the oligomerization process. In this study, we found that three natural compounds, Oroxylin A 7-O-glucuronide (OLG, Oroxin A (ORA, and Oroxin B (ORB, when inhibiting the hemolytic activity of α-HL, could bind to the "stem" region of α-HL. This was completed using conventional Molecular Dynamics (MD simulations. By interacting with the novel binding sites of α-HL, the ligands could form strong interactions with both sides of the binding cavity. The results of the principal component analysis (PCA indicated that because of the inhibitors that bind to the "stem" region of α-HL, the conformational transition of α-HL from the monomer to the oligomer was restricted. This caused the inhibition of the hemolytic activity of α-HL. This novel inhibition mechanism has been confirmed by both the steered MD simulations and the experimental data obtained from a deoxycholate-induced oligomerization assay. This study can facilitate the design of new antibacterial drugs against S. aureus.

  19. Revealing the Molecular Structure and the Transport Mechanism at the Base of Primary Cilia Using Superresolution STED Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tung-Lin

    the width of the basal body, distant from the potential Y-links region of the TZ. Moreover, IFT88 was intriguingly distributed in two distinct patterns, forming three puncta or a Y shape at the ciliary base found in human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE), human fibroblasts (HFF), mouse inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We hypothesize that the two distribution states of IFT88 correspond to the open and closed gating states of the TZ, where IFT particles aggregate to form three puncta when the gate is closed, and move to form the branches of the Y-shape pattern when the gate is open. Two reservoirs of IFT particles, correlating with phases of ciliary growth, were localized relative to the internal structure of the TZ. These subdiffraction images reveal unprecedented architectural details of the TZ, providing a basic structural framework for future functional studies. To visualize the dynamic movement of IFT particles within primary cilia, we further conducted superresolution live-cell imaging of IFT88 fused to EYFP in IMCD cells. Our findings, in particular, show IFT88 particles pass through the TZ at a reduced speed by approximately 50%, implying the gating mechanism is involved at this region to slow down IFT trafficking. Finally, we report the distinct transport pathways of IFT88 and Smo (Smoothened), an essential player to hedgehog signaling, to support our hypothesis that two proteins are transported in different mechanisms at the ciliary base, based on dual-color superresolution imaging.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Vitoratos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity/mortality. The pathogenesis of preeclampsia is still under investigation. The aim of this paper is to present the molecular mechanisms implicating in the pathway leading to preeclampsia.

  1. Single-Cell Analyses of ESCs Reveal Alternative Pluripotent Cell States and Molecular Mechanisms that Control Self-Renewal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitri Papatsenko

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Analyses of gene expression in single mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs cultured in serum and LIF revealed the presence of two distinct cell subpopulations with individual gene expression signatures. Comparisons with published data revealed that cells in the first subpopulation are phenotypically similar to cells isolated from the inner cell mass (ICM. In contrast, cells in the second subpopulation appear to be more mature. Pluripotency Gene Regulatory Network (PGRN reconstruction based on single-cell data and published data suggested antagonistic roles for Oct4 and Nanog in the maintenance of pluripotency states. Integrated analyses of published genomic binding (ChIP data strongly supported this observation. Certain target genes alternatively regulated by OCT4 and NANOG, such as Sall4 and Zscan10, feed back into the top hierarchical regulator Oct4. Analyses of such incoherent feedforward loops with feedback (iFFL-FB suggest a dynamic model for the maintenance of mESC pluripotency and self-renewal.

  2. Domain activities of PapC usher reveal the mechanism of action of an Escherichia coli molecular machine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkan, Ender; Ford, Bradley A; Pinkner, Jerome S; Dodson, Karen W; Henderson, Nadine S; Thanassi, David G; Waksman, Gabriel; Hultgren, Scott J

    2012-06-12

    P pili are prototypical chaperone-usher pathway-assembled pili used by Gram-negative bacteria to adhere to host tissues. The PapC usher contains five functional domains: a transmembrane β-barrel, a β-sandwich Plug, an N-terminal (periplasmic) domain (NTD), and two C-terminal (periplasmic) domains, CTD1 and CTD2. Here, we delineated usher domain interactions between themselves and with chaperone-subunit complexes and showed that overexpression of individual usher domains inhibits pilus assembly. Prior work revealed that the Plug domain occludes the pore of the transmembrane domain of a solitary usher, but the chaperone-adhesin-bound usher has its Plug displaced from the pore, adjacent to the NTD. We demonstrate an interaction between the NTD and Plug domains that suggests a biophysical basis for usher gating. Furthermore, we found that the NTD exhibits high-affinity binding to the chaperone-adhesin (PapDG) complex and low-affinity binding to the major tip subunit PapE (PapDE). We also demonstrate that CTD2 binds with lower affinity to all tested chaperone-subunit complexes except for the chaperone-terminator subunit (PapDH) and has a catalytic role in dissociating the NTD-PapDG complex, suggesting an interplay between recruitment to the NTD and transfer to CTD2 during pilus initiation. The Plug domain and the NTD-Plug complex bound all of the chaperone-subunit complexes tested including PapDH, suggesting that the Plug actively recruits chaperone-subunit complexes to the usher and is the sole recruiter of PapDH. Overall, our studies reveal the cooperative, active roles played by periplasmic domains of the usher to initiate, grow, and terminate a prototypical chaperone-usher pathway pilus.

  3. Transcriptomics and metabolite analysis reveals the molecular mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis branch pathway in different Senecio cruentus cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuehua Jin

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The cyanidin (Cy, pelargonidin (Pg and delphinidin (Dp pathways are the three major branching anthocyanin biosynthesis pathways that regulate flavonoid metabolic flux and are responsible for red, orange and blue flower colors, respectively. Different species have evolved to develop multiple regulation mechanisms that form the branched pathways. In the current study, five Senecio cruentus cultivars with different colors were investigated. We found that the white and yellow cultivars do not accumulate anthocyanin and that the blue, pink and carmine cultivars mainly accumulate Dp, Pg and Cy in differing densities. Subsequent transcriptome analysis determined that there were 43 unigenes encoding anthocyanin biosynthesis genes in the blue cultivar. We also combined chemical and transcriptomic analyses to investigate the major metabolic pathways that are related to the observed differences in flower pigmentation in the series of S. cruentus. The results showed that mutations of the ScbHLH17 and ScCHI1/2 coding regions abolish anthocyanin formation in the white and the yellow cultivars; the competition of the ScF3’H1, ScF3’5’H and ScDFR1/2 genes for naringenin determines the differences in branching metabolic flux of the Cy, Dp and Pg pathways. Our findings provide new insights into the regulation of anthocyanin branching and also supplement gene resources (including ScF3’5’H, ScF3’H and ScDFRs for flower color modification of ornamentals.

  4. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculated reactivity networks reveal how cytochrome P450cam and Its T252A mutant select their oxidation pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Binju; Li, Chunsen; Dubey, Kshatresh Dutta; Shaik, Sason

    2015-06-17

    Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations address the longstanding-question of a "second oxidant" in P450 enzymes wherein the proton-shuttle, which leads to formation of the "primary-oxidant" Compound I (Cpd I), was severed by mutating the crucial residue (in P450cam: Threonine-252-to-Alanine, hence T252A). Investigating the oxidant candidates Cpd I, ferric hydroperoxide, and ferric hydrogen peroxide (Fe(III)(O2H2)), and their reactions, generates reactivity networks which enable us to rule out a "second oxidant" and at the same time identify an additional coupling pathway that is responsible for the epoxidation of 5-methylenylcamphor by the T252A mutant. In this "second-coupling pathway", the reaction starts with the Fe(III)(O2H2) intermediate, which transforms to Cpd I via a O-O homolysis/H-abstraction mechanism. The persistence of Fe(III)(O2H2) and its oxidative reactivity are shown to be determined by interplay of substrate and protein. The substrate 5-methylenylcamphor prevents H2O2 release, while the protein controls the Fe(III)(O2H2) conversion to Cpd I by nailing-through hydrogen-bonding interactions-the conformation of the HO(•) radical produced during O-O homolysis. This conformation prevents HO(•) attack on the porphyrin's meso position, as in heme oxygenase, and prefers H-abstraction from Fe(IV)OH thereby generating H2O + Cpd I. Cpd I then performs substrate oxidations. Camphor cannot prevent H2O2 release and hence the T252A mutant does not oxidize camphor. This "second pathway" transpires also during H2O2 shunting of the cycle of wild-type P450cam, where the additional hydrogen-bonding with Thr252 prevents H2O2 release, and contributes to a successful Cpd I formation. The present results lead to a revised catalytic cycle of Cytochrome P450cam.

  5. Transcriptional analysis and molecular dynamics simulations reveal the mechanism of toxic metals removal and efflux pumps in Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.31

    KAUST Repository

    Shaw, Dario Rangel

    2017-11-23

    Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain OT4b.31 is a bacterium widely applied in bioremediation processes of hydrocarbon and metal polluted environments. In this study, we identified the molecular mechanism underlying the Pb2+ and Cr6+ resistance. Metal uptake and temporal transcription patterns of metal resistance operons were evaluated using reverse-transcribed quantitative PCR amplification. The function of the resistance determinants was studied applying docking and in silico mutagenesis methods. The results revealed that the adaptation of Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.31 to elevated levels of lead and chromium involves the pbr and chr operons which comprise a transcriptional regulatory component (pbrR and chrB) and efflux ATPases (pbrA and chrA) to expel ions from the cytoplasm. Expression of metal resistance genes was constitutive and specifically inducible to the exposure of Pb2+ and Cr6+. The simultaneous presence of cations didn\\'t affect the bioaccumulation of metals, evidencing the multimetal resistance of L. sphaericus. Docking analysis revealed the key metal-protein interactions and the conformational changes after metal or ATP binding. Results showed that residues with aromatic rings or imidazole in the catalytic domain are crucial for metal binding and achievement of the function. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a specific mechanism for lead and chromium resistance in Lysinibacillus genus. From the findings of this study, it is possible to suggest the bacterium as a suitable candidate for rapid toxic metals bioremediation processes.

  6. Transcriptional analysis and molecular dynamics simulations reveal the mechanism of toxic metals removal and efflux pumps in Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.31

    KAUST Repository

    Shaw, Dario Rangel; Dussan, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain OT4b.31 is a bacterium widely applied in bioremediation processes of hydrocarbon and metal polluted environments. In this study, we identified the molecular mechanism underlying the Pb2+ and Cr6+ resistance. Metal

  7. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allinger, Norman L

    2011-04-01

    Molecular mechanics gives us a well known model of molecular structure. It is less widely recognized that valence bond theory gives us structures which offer a direct interpretation of molecular mechanics formulations and parameters. The electronic effects well-known in physical organic chemistry can be directly interpreted in terms of valence bond structures, and hence quantitatively calculated and understood. The basic theory is outlined in this paper, and examples of the effects, and their interpretation in illustrative examples is presented.

  8. A transcriptomic computational analysis of mastic oil-treated Lewis lung carcinomas reveals molecular mechanisms targeting tumor cell growth and survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roussos Charis

    2009-12-01

    expression profile. Promoter analysis in a representative cluster revealed shared putative cis-elements suggesting a common regulatory transcription mechanism. Conclusions Present results provide novel evidence on the molecular basis of tumor growth inhibition mediated by mastic oil and set a rational basis for application of genomics and bioinformatic methodologies in the screening of natural compounds with potential cancer chemopreventive activities.

  9. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    Glioma, and in particular high-grade astrocytoma termed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the most common primary tumor of the brain. Primarily because of its diffuse nature, there is no effective treatment for GBM, and relatively little is known about the processes by which it develops. Therefore......, in order to design novel therapies and treatments for GBM, research has recently intensified to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to GBM formation. Modeling of astrocytomas by genetic manipulation of mice suggests that deregulation of the pathways that control gliogenesis during normal...... brain development, such as the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into astrocytes, might contribute to GBM formation. These pathways include growth factor-induced signal transduction routes and processes that control cell cycle progression, such as the p16-CDK4-RB and the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathways...

  10. Molecular dynamics simulation reveals insights into the mechanism of unfolding by the A130T/V mutations within the MID1 zinc-binding Bbox1 domain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunjie Zhao

    Full Text Available The zinc-binding Bbox1 domain in protein MID1, a member of the TRIM family of proteins, facilitates the ubiquitination of the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A and alpha4, a protein regulator of PP2A. The natural mutation of residue A130 to a valine or threonine disrupts substrate recognition and catalysis. While NMR data revealed the A130T mutant Bbox1 domain failed to coordinate both structurally essential zinc ions and resulted in an unfolded structure, the unfolding mechanism is unknown. Principle component analysis revealed that residue A130 served as a hinge point between the structured β-strand-turn-β-strand (β-turn-β and the lasso-like loop sub-structures that constitute loop1 of the ββα-RING fold that the Bbox1 domain adopts. Backbone RMSD data indicate significant flexibility and departure from the native structure within the first 5 ns of the molecular dynamics (MD simulation for the A130V mutant (>6 Å and after 30 ns for A130T mutant (>6 Å. Overall RMSF values were higher for the mutant structures and showed increased flexibility around residues 125 and 155, regions with zinc-coordinating residues. Simulated pKa values of the sulfhydryl group of C142 located near A130 suggested an increased in value to ~9.0, paralleling the increase in the apparent dielectric constants for the small cavity near residue A130. Protonation of the sulfhydryl group would disrupt zinc-coordination, directly contributing to unfolding of the Bbox1. Together, the increased motion of residues of loop 1, which contains four of the six zinc-binding cysteine residues, and the increased pKa of C142 could destabilize the structure of the zinc-coordinating residues and contribute to the unfolding.

  11. Structure-function analyses reveal the molecular architecture and neutralization mechanism of a bacterial HEPN-MNT toxin-antitoxin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xuanyan; Yao, Jianyun; Gao, Zengqiang; Liu, Guangfeng; Dong, Yu-Hui; Wang, Xiaoxue; Zhang, Heng

    2018-05-04

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) loci in bacteria are small genetic modules that regulate various cellular activities, including cell growth and death. The two-gene module encoding a HEPN (higher eukaryotes and prokaryotes nucleotide-binding) domain and a cognate MNT (minimal nucleotidyltransferase) domain have been predicted to represent a novel type II TA system prevalent in archaea and bacteria. However, the neutralization mechanism and cellular targets of the TA family remain unclear. The toxin SO_3166 having a HEPN domain and its cognate antitoxin SO_3165 with an MNT domain constitute a typical type II TA system that regulates cell motility and confers plasmid stability in the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis Here, we report the crystal structure and solution conformation of the SO_3166-SO_3165 pair, representing the first complex structures in this TA family. The structures revealed that SO_3165 and SO_3166 form a tight heterooctamer (at a 2:6 ratio), an organization that is very rare in other TA systems. We also observed that SO_3166 dimerization enables the formation of a deep cleft at the HEPN-domain interface harboring a composite R X 4-6H active site that functions as an RNA-cleaving RNase. SO_3165 bound SO_3166 mainly through its two α-helices (α2 and α4), functioning as molecular recognition elements. Moreover, their insertion into the SO_3166 cleft sterically blocked the R X 4-6H site or narrowed the cleft to inhibit RNA substrate binding. Structure-based mutagenesis confirmed the important roles of these α-helices in SO_3166 binding and inhibition. Our structure-function analysis provides first insights into the neutralization mechanism of the HEPN-MNT TA family. © 2018 Jia et al.

  12. Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals different molecular mechanisms of Bacillus coagulans 2-6 response to sodium lactate and calcium lactate during lactic acid production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiayang Qin

    Full Text Available Lactate production is enhanced by adding calcium carbonate or sodium hydroxide during fermentation. However, Bacillus coagulans 2-6 can produce more than 180 g/L L-lactic acid when calcium lactate is accumulated, but less than 120 g/L L-lactic acid when sodium lactate is formed. The molecular mechanisms by which B. coagulans responds to calcium lactate and sodium lactate remain unclear. In this study, comparative transcriptomic methods based on high-throughput RNA sequencing were applied to study gene expression changes in B. coagulans 2-6 cultured in non-stress, sodium lactate stress and calcium lactate stress conditions. Gene expression profiling identified 712 and 1213 significantly regulated genes in response to calcium lactate stress and sodium lactate stress, respectively. Gene ontology assignments of the differentially expressed genes were performed. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that 'ATP-binding cassette transporters' were significantly affected by calcium lactate stress, and 'amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism' was significantly affected by sodium lactate stress. It was also found that lactate fermentation was less affected by calcium lactate stress than by sodium lactate stress. Sodium lactate stress had negative effect on the expression of 'glycolysis/gluconeogenesis' genes but positive effect on the expression of 'citrate cycle (TCA cycle' genes. However, calcium lactate stress had positive influence on the expression of 'glycolysis/gluconeogenesis' genes and had minor influence on 'citrate cycle (TCA cycle' genes. Thus, our findings offer new insights into the responses of B. coagulans to different lactate stresses. Notably, our RNA-seq dataset constitute a robust database for investigating the functions of genes induced by lactate stress in the future and identify potential targets for genetic engineering to further improve L-lactic acid production by B. coagulans.

  13. Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals different molecular mechanisms of Bacillus coagulans 2-6 response to sodium lactate and calcium lactate during lactic acid production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Jiayang; Wang, Xiuwen; Wang, Landong; Zhu, Beibei; Zhang, Xiaohua; Yao, Qingshou; Xu, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Lactate production is enhanced by adding calcium carbonate or sodium hydroxide during fermentation. However, Bacillus coagulans 2-6 can produce more than 180 g/L L-lactic acid when calcium lactate is accumulated, but less than 120 g/L L-lactic acid when sodium lactate is formed. The molecular mechanisms by which B. coagulans responds to calcium lactate and sodium lactate remain unclear. In this study, comparative transcriptomic methods based on high-throughput RNA sequencing were applied to study gene expression changes in B. coagulans 2-6 cultured in non-stress, sodium lactate stress and calcium lactate stress conditions. Gene expression profiling identified 712 and 1213 significantly regulated genes in response to calcium lactate stress and sodium lactate stress, respectively. Gene ontology assignments of the differentially expressed genes were performed. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that 'ATP-binding cassette transporters' were significantly affected by calcium lactate stress, and 'amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism' was significantly affected by sodium lactate stress. It was also found that lactate fermentation was less affected by calcium lactate stress than by sodium lactate stress. Sodium lactate stress had negative effect on the expression of 'glycolysis/gluconeogenesis' genes but positive effect on the expression of 'citrate cycle (TCA cycle)' genes. However, calcium lactate stress had positive influence on the expression of 'glycolysis/gluconeogenesis' genes and had minor influence on 'citrate cycle (TCA cycle)' genes. Thus, our findings offer new insights into the responses of B. coagulans to different lactate stresses. Notably, our RNA-seq dataset constitute a robust database for investigating the functions of genes induced by lactate stress in the future and identify potential targets for genetic engineering to further improve L-lactic acid production by B. coagulans.

  14. RNA-Seq reveals the molecular mechanism of trapping and killing of root-knot nematodes by nematode-trapping fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Ramesh; Patel, Reena; Patel, Namrata; Bhatt, Vaibhav; Joshi, Chaitanya; Singh, Pawan Kumar; Kunjadia, Anju

    2017-04-01

    Nematode-trapping fungi are well known for their inherent potential to trap and kill nematodes using specialized trapping devices. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the trapping and subsequent processes are still unclear. Therefore, in this study, we examined differential genes expression in two nematode-trapping fungi after baiting with nematode extracts. In Arthrobotrys conoides, 809 transcripts associated with diverse functions such as signal transduction, morphogenesis, stress response and peroxisomal proteins, proteases, chitinases and genes involved in the host-pathogen interaction showed differential expression with fold change (>±1.5 fold) in the presence of nematode extract with FDR (p-value nematode-trapping fungi for its host. The findings illustrate the molecular mechanism of fungal parasitism in A. conoides which may be helpful in developing a potential biocontrol agent against parasitic nematodes.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Weber, Georg F

    2007-01-01

    ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Section I. General Mechanisms of Transformation 1. Theories of Carcinogenesis...

  16. RNA-Seq transcriptomics and pathway analyses reveal potential regulatory genes and molecular mechanisms in high- and low-residual feed intake in Nordic dairy cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salleh, M. S.; Mazzoni, G.; Höglund, J. K.

    2017-01-01

    -throughput RNA sequencing data of liver biopsies from 19 dairy cows were used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between high- and low-FE groups of cows (based on Residual Feed Intake or RFI). Subsequently, a profile of the pathways connecting the DEGs to FE was generated, and a list of candidate...... genes and biomarkers was derived for their potential inclusion in breeding programmes to improve FE. The bovine RNA-Seq gene expression data from the liver was analysed to identify DEGs and, subsequently, identify the molecular mechanisms, pathways and possible candidate biomarkers of feed efficiency....... On average, 57 million reads (short reads or short mRNA sequences ...

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; C. Iavazzo

    2012-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in ...

  18. Proteomics analysis of maize (Zea mays L.) grain based on iTRAQ reveals molecular mechanisms of poor grain filling in inferior grains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Tao; Li, Geng; Liu, Peng; Dong, Shuting; Zhang, Jiwang; Zhao, Bin

    2017-06-01

    In maize, inferior grains (IG) located on the upper part of the ear have poor grain filling process compared to superior grains (SG) located on the middle and lower parts of the ear. This difference limits satisfactory yield and quality; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Here, using the isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) technology, the proteomes of IG and SG during early and middle grain filling stages were investigated. In total, 4720 proteins were identified in maize grain and 305 differentially accumulated proteins (DiAPs) were detected between IG and SG. These DiAPs were involved in diverse cellular and metabolic processes with preferred distribution in protein synthesis/destination and metabolism. Compared to SG, DiAPs related to cell growth/division and starch synthesis were lag-accumulated and down-regulated in IG, respectively, resulting in smaller sink sizes and lower sink activities in IG. Meanwhile, impediment of the glycolysis pathway in IG may lead to reduce energy supply and building materials for substance synthesis. Additionally, reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis and the defense system were disturbed in IG, which might lead to reduce protection against various environmental stresses. The present study provides new information on the proteomic differences between IG and SG, and explains possible molecular mechanisms for poor grain filling in IG. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S Ananth

    2015-08-20

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, Tammy; Cerdeira, Ana Sofia; Karumanchi, S. Ananth

    2015-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by new onset hypertension and proteinuria after 20 wk of gestation. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Exciting discoveries in the last decade have contributed to a better understanding of the molecular basis of this disease. Epidemiological, experimental, and therapeutic studies from several laboratories have provided compelling evidence that an antiangiogenic state owing to alterations in circulating angiogenic factors leads to preeclampsia. In this review, we highlight the role of key circulating antiangiogenic factors as pathogenic biomarkers and in the development of novel therapies for preeclampsia. PMID:26292986

  1. Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, E.J.

    1997-01-01

    The possibility that chromosomal changes are responsible for neoplasia was proposed in the early years of this century. A combination of improved cytogenetics and the advent of recombinant technology has settled the issue. As recently as 20 years ago, however, the genetic and molecular basis of familiar predisposition to cancer were a mystery, and it is only in the last few years that light has been shed on a few specific types of malignancies. As the genetic basis of human cancer had been documented, a number of genes have been identified as functioning either as oncogenes which act in a dominant fashion to promote tumor growth when mutated, or as tumor suppressor genes which act in a recessive fashion

  2. Genome-Wide Transcription and Functional Analyses Reveal Heterogeneous Molecular Mechanisms Driving Pyrethroids Resistance in the Major Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus Across Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riveron, Jacob M; Ibrahim, Sulaiman S; Mulamba, Charles; Djouaka, Rousseau; Irving, Helen; Wondji, Murielle J; Ishak, Intan H; Wondji, Charles S

    2017-06-07

    Pyrethroid resistance in malaria vector, An. funestus is increasingly reported across Africa, threatening the sustainability of pyrethroid-based control interventions, including long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). Managing this problem requires understanding of the molecular basis of the resistance from different regions of the continent, to establish whether it is being driven by a single or independent selective events. Here, using a genome-wide transcription profiling of pyrethroid resistant populations from southern (Malawi), East (Uganda), and West Africa (Benin), we investigated the molecular basis of resistance, revealing strong differences between the different African regions. The duplicated cytochrome P450 genes ( CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b ) which were highly overexpressed in southern Africa are not the most upregulated in other regions, where other genes are more overexpressed, including GSTe2 in West (Benin) and CYP9K1 in East (Uganda). The lack of directional selection on both CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b in Uganda in contrast to southern Africa further supports the limited role of these genes outside southern Africa. However, other genes such as the P450 CYP9J11 are commonly overexpressed in all countries across Africa. Here, CYP9J11 is functionally characterized and shown to confer resistance to pyrethroids and moderate cross-resistance to carbamates (bendiocarb). The consistent overexpression of GSTe2 in Benin is coupled with a role of allelic variation at this gene as GAL4-UAS transgenic expression in Drosophila flies showed that the resistant 119F allele is highly efficient in conferring both DDT and permethrin resistance than the L119. The heterogeneity in the molecular basis of resistance and cross-resistance to insecticides in An. funestus populations throughout sub-Saharan African should be taken into account in designing resistance management strategies. Copyright © 2017 Riveron et al.

  3. Genome-Wide Transcription and Functional Analyses Reveal Heterogeneous Molecular Mechanisms Driving Pyrethroids Resistance in the Major Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus Across Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riveron, Jacob M.; Ibrahim, Sulaiman S.; Mulamba, Charles; Djouaka, Rousseau; Irving, Helen; Wondji, Murielle J.; Ishak, Intan H.; Wondji, Charles S.

    2017-01-01

    Pyrethroid resistance in malaria vector, An. funestus is increasingly reported across Africa, threatening the sustainability of pyrethroid-based control interventions, including long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). Managing this problem requires understanding of the molecular basis of the resistance from different regions of the continent, to establish whether it is being driven by a single or independent selective events. Here, using a genome-wide transcription profiling of pyrethroid resistant populations from southern (Malawi), East (Uganda), and West Africa (Benin), we investigated the molecular basis of resistance, revealing strong differences between the different African regions. The duplicated cytochrome P450 genes (CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b) which were highly overexpressed in southern Africa are not the most upregulated in other regions, where other genes are more overexpressed, including GSTe2 in West (Benin) and CYP9K1 in East (Uganda). The lack of directional selection on both CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b in Uganda in contrast to southern Africa further supports the limited role of these genes outside southern Africa. However, other genes such as the P450 CYP9J11 are commonly overexpressed in all countries across Africa. Here, CYP9J11 is functionally characterized and shown to confer resistance to pyrethroids and moderate cross-resistance to carbamates (bendiocarb). The consistent overexpression of GSTe2 in Benin is coupled with a role of allelic variation at this gene as GAL4-UAS transgenic expression in Drosophila flies showed that the resistant 119F allele is highly efficient in conferring both DDT and permethrin resistance than the L119. The heterogeneity in the molecular basis of resistance and cross-resistance to insecticides in An. funestus populations throughout sub-Saharan African should be taken into account in designing resistance management strategies. PMID:28428243

  4. Transcriptome classification reveals molecular subtypes in psoriasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ainali Chrysanthi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease characterised by chronically elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, leading to aberrant keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. Although certain clinical phenotypes, such as plaque psoriasis, are well defined, it is currently unclear whether there are molecular subtypes that might impact on prognosis or treatment outcomes. Results We present a pipeline for patient stratification through a comprehensive analysis of gene expression in paired lesional and non-lesional psoriatic tissue samples, compared with controls, to establish differences in RNA expression patterns across all tissue types. Ensembles of decision tree predictors were employed to cluster psoriatic samples on the basis of gene expression patterns and reveal gene expression signatures that best discriminate molecular disease subtypes. This multi-stage procedure was applied to several published psoriasis studies and a comparison of gene expression patterns across datasets was performed. Conclusion Overall, classification of psoriasis gene expression patterns revealed distinct molecular sub-groups within the clinical phenotype of plaque psoriasis. Enrichment for TGFb and ErbB signaling pathways, noted in one of the two psoriasis subgroups, suggested that this group may be more amenable to therapies targeting these pathways. Our study highlights the potential biological relevance of using ensemble decision tree predictors to determine molecular disease subtypes, in what may initially appear to be a homogenous clinical group. The R code used in this paper is available upon request.

  5. Topics in molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Essen, H.

    1979-05-01

    This report is a personal review of theoretical research concerning molecules. Here one finds some mathematical background from tensor calculus and Lie group theory. The most general transformations of the 3N-dimensional Laplacian, including transformations to group operators, are also presented. I discuss kinematical questions, especially those behind the separations of electronic and nuclear and of vibrational and rotational motion. One also finds discussions of the dynamics of the former separation. Classical atom-diatomic molecule scattering and quasiclassical transition probabilities are touched upon. I present a general discussion of approximate separation schemes, especially adiabatic, and discuss predissociations with special reference to one in SiO. Finally, a simple model is presented which reveals what happens when inversion doubling is connected with decay. (author)

  6. Structure of CC Chemokine Receptor 5 with a Potent Chemokine Antagonist Reveals Mechanisms of Chemokine Recognition and Molecular Mimicry by HIV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Yi; Han, Gye Won; Abagyan, Ruben; Wu, Beili; Stevens, Raymond C.; Cherezov, Vadim; Kufareva, Irina; Handel, Tracy M. (USC); (Chinese Aca. Sci.); (UCSD)

    2017-06-01

    CCR5 is the primary chemokine receptor utilized by HIV to infect leukocytes, whereas CCR5 ligands inhibit infection by blocking CCR5 engagement with HIV gp120. To guide the design of improved therapeutics, we solved the structure of CCR5 in complex with chemokine antagonist [5P7]CCL5. Several structural features appeared to contribute to the anti-HIV potency of [5P7]CCL5, including the distinct chemokine orientation relative to the receptor, the near-complete occupancy of the receptor binding pocket, the dense network of intermolecular hydrogen bonds, and the similarity of binding determinants with the FDA-approved HIV inhibitor Maraviroc. Molecular modeling indicated that HIV gp120 mimicked the chemokine interaction with CCR5, providing an explanation for the ability of CCR5 to recognize diverse ligands and gp120 variants. Our findings reveal that structural plasticity facilitates receptor-chemokine specificity and enables exploitation by HIV, and provide insight into the design of small molecule and protein inhibitors for HIV and other CCR5-mediated diseases.

  7. Targeted impairment of thymidine kinase 2 expression in cells induces mitochondrial DNA depletion and reveals molecular mechanisms of compensation of mitochondrial respiratory activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villarroya, Joan; Lara, Mari-Carmen; Dorado, Beatriz; Garrido, Marta; Garcia-Arumi, Elena; Meseguer, Anna; Hirano, Michio; Vila, Maya R.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → We impaired TK2 expression in Ost TK1 - cells via siRNA-mediated interference (TK2 - ). → TK2 impairment caused severe mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion in quiescent cells. → Despite mtDNA depletion, TK2 - cells show high cytochrome oxidase activity. → Depletion of mtDNA occurs without imbalance in the mitochondrial dNTP pool. → Nuclear-encoded ENT1, DNA-pol γ, TFAM and TP gene expression is lowered in TK2 - cells. -- Abstract: The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndrome comprises a clinically heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by reductions of the mtDNA abundance, without associated point mutations or rearrangements. We have developed the first in vitro model to study of mtDNA depletion due to reduced mitochondrial thymidine kinase 2 gene (TK2) expression in order to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in mtDNA depletion syndrome due to TK2 mutations. Small interfering RNA targeting TK2 mRNA was used to decrease TK2 expression in Ost TK1 - cells, a cell line devoid of endogenous thymidine kinase 1 (TK1). Stable TK2-deficient cell lines showed a reduction of TK2 levels close to 80%. In quiescent conditions, TK2-deficient cells showed severe mtDNA depletion, also close to 80% the control levels. However, TK2-deficient clones showed increased cytochrome c oxidase activity, higher cytochrome c oxidase subunit I transcript levels and higher subunit II protein expression respect to control cells. No alterations of the deoxynucleotide pools were found, whereas a reduction in the expression of genes involved in nucleoside/nucleotide homeostasis (human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1, thymidine phosphorylase) and mtDNA maintenance (DNA-polymerase γ, mitochondrial transcription factor A) was observed. Our findings highlight the importance of cellular compensatory mechanisms that enhance the expression of respiratory components to ensure respiratory activity despite profound depletion in mtDNA levels.

  8. Multiple bio-analytical methods to reveal possible molecular mechanisms of developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos/larvae exposed to tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Zhihua; Wang, Qiangwei; Fu, Jie; Chen, Hongshan; Zhao, Ye; Zhou, Bingsheng; Gong, Zhiyuan; Wei, Si; Li, Jun; Liu, Hongling; Zhang, Xiaowei; Liu, Chunsheng; Yu, Hongxia

    2014-05-01

    The flame retardant tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) is a frequently detected contaminant in the environment, wildlife and human milk. The potentially toxic effects of TBEP and their underlying molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentrations of TBEP from 4 hours of post-fertilization (hpf) to 120 hpf, and effects on embryonic development and global protein expression patterns examined. Our results demonstrate that treatment with TBEP (0.8-100mg/L) causes a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in embryonic survival and the hatching percentage. The median lethal concentration was 10.7 mg/L at 120 hpf. Furthermore, exposure to 150 or 800 μg/L TBEP inhibited the degradation and utilization of vitellogenins and down-regulated the expression of proteins related to cation binding, and lipid transport, uptake and metabolism, accompanied by a decrease in heart rate and body length. Exposure to TBEP (150 or 800 μg/L) also decreased the expression of proteins involved in cell proliferation and DNA repair, and led to an increased number of apoptotic cells in the tail region. Collectively, our results suggest that exposure to TBEP causes toxicity in the developing zebrafish by inhibiting the degradation and utilization of nutrients from the mother and inducing apoptosis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. STATINS AND MYOPATHY: MOLECULAR MECHANISMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. M. Drapkina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The safety of statin therapy is considered. In particular the reasons of a complication such as myopathy are discussed in detail. The molecular mechanisms of statin myopathy , as well as its risk factors are presented. The role of coenzyme Q10 in the myopathy development and coenzyme Q10 application for the prevention of this complication are considered. 

  10. Molecular dynamics analysis reveals structural insights into mechanism of nicotine N-demethylation catalyzed by tobacco cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Wang

    Full Text Available CYP82E4, a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, has nicotine N-demethylase (NND activity, which mediates the bioconversion of nicotine into nornicotine in senescing tobacco leaves. Nornicotine is a precursor of the carcinogen, tobacco-specific nitrosamine. CYP82E3 is an ortholog of CYP82E4 with 95% sequence identity, but it lacks NND activity. A recent site-directed mutagenesis study revealed that a single amino acid substitution, i.e., cysteine to tryptophan at the 330 position in the middle of protein, restores the NND activity of CYP82E3 entirely. However, the same amino acid change caused the loss of the NND activity of CYP82E4. To determine the mechanism of the functional turnover of the two molecules, four 3D structures, i.e., the two molecules and their corresponding cys-trp mutants were modeled. The resulting structures exhibited that the mutation site is far from the active site, which suggests that no direct interaction occurs between the two sites. Simulation studies in different biological scenarios revealed that the mutation introduces a conformation drift with the largest change at the F-G loop. The dynamics trajectories analysis using principal component analysis and covariance analysis suggests that the single amino acid change causes the opening and closing of the transfer channels of the substrates, products, and water by altering the motion of the F-G and B-C loops. The motion of helix I is also correlated with the motion of both the F-G loop and the B-C loop and; the single amino acid mutation resulted in the curvature of helix I. These results suggest that the single amino acid mutation outside the active site region may have indirectly mediated the flexibility of the F-G and B-C loops through helix I, causing a functional turnover of the P450 monooxygenase.

  11. Multiple bio-analytical methods to reveal possible molecular mechanisms of developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos/larvae exposed to tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Zhihua; Wang, Qiangwei; Fu, Jie; Chen, Hongshan; Zhao, Ye; Zhou, Bingsheng; Gong, Zhiyuan; Wei, Si; Li, Jun; Liu, Hongling; Zhang, Xiaowei; Liu, Chunsheng; Yu, Hongxia

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • TBEP exposure decreased the survival of zebrafish embryos/larvae. • TBEP exposure led to its bioconcentration in zebrafish lavare. • TBEP caused developmental toxicity by inhibiting the degradation and utilization of nutrients. • TBEP exposure caused developmental toxicity by inducing apoptosis. - Abstract: The flame retardant tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) is a frequently detected contaminant in the environment, wildlife and human milk. The potentially toxic effects of TBEP and their underlying molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentrations of TBEP from 4 hours of post-fertilization (hpf) to 120 hpf, and effects on embryonic development and global protein expression patterns examined. Our results demonstrate that treatment with TBEP (0.8–100 mg/L) causes a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in embryonic survival and the hatching percentage. The median lethal concentration was 10.7 mg/L at 120 hpf. Furthermore, exposure to 150 or 800 μg/L TBEP inhibited the degradation and utilization of vitellogenins and down-regulated the expression of proteins related to cation binding, and lipid transport, uptake and metabolism, accompanied by a decrease in heart rate and body length. Exposure to TBEP (150 or 800 μg/L) also decreased the expression of proteins involved in cell proliferation and DNA repair, and led to an increased number of apoptotic cells in the tail region. Collectively, our results suggest that exposure to TBEP causes toxicity in the developing zebrafish by inhibiting the degradation and utilization of nutrients from the mother and inducing apoptosis

  12. Multiple bio-analytical methods to reveal possible molecular mechanisms of developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos/larvae exposed to tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Zhihua [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Wang, Qiangwei [State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China); Fu, Jie [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Chen, Hongshan [State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, School of the Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024 (China); Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (Singapore); Zhao, Ye [Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (Singapore); Zhou, Bingsheng [State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072 (China); Gong, Zhiyuan [Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (Singapore); Wei, Si; Li, Jun; Liu, Hongling; Zhang, Xiaowei [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Liu, Chunsheng, E-mail: liuchunshengidid@126.com [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (Singapore); College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070 (China); Yu, Hongxia, E-mail: yuhx@nju.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse and School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China)

    2014-05-01

    Highlights: • TBEP exposure decreased the survival of zebrafish embryos/larvae. • TBEP exposure led to its bioconcentration in zebrafish lavare. • TBEP caused developmental toxicity by inhibiting the degradation and utilization of nutrients. • TBEP exposure caused developmental toxicity by inducing apoptosis. - Abstract: The flame retardant tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) is a frequently detected contaminant in the environment, wildlife and human milk. The potentially toxic effects of TBEP and their underlying molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentrations of TBEP from 4 hours of post-fertilization (hpf) to 120 hpf, and effects on embryonic development and global protein expression patterns examined. Our results demonstrate that treatment with TBEP (0.8–100 mg/L) causes a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in embryonic survival and the hatching percentage. The median lethal concentration was 10.7 mg/L at 120 hpf. Furthermore, exposure to 150 or 800 μg/L TBEP inhibited the degradation and utilization of vitellogenins and down-regulated the expression of proteins related to cation binding, and lipid transport, uptake and metabolism, accompanied by a decrease in heart rate and body length. Exposure to TBEP (150 or 800 μg/L) also decreased the expression of proteins involved in cell proliferation and DNA repair, and led to an increased number of apoptotic cells in the tail region. Collectively, our results suggest that exposure to TBEP causes toxicity in the developing zebrafish by inhibiting the degradation and utilization of nutrients from the mother and inducing apoptosis.

  13. Chain networking revealed by molecular dynamics simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yexin; Tsige, Mesfin; Wang, Shi-Qing

    Based on Kremer-Grest model for entangled polymer melts, we demonstrate how the response of a polymer glass depends critically on the chain length. After quenching two melts of very different chain lengths (350 beads per chain and 30 beads per chain) into deeply glassy states, we subject them to uniaxial extension. Our MD simulations show that the glass of long chains undergoes stable necking after yielding whereas the system of short chains is unable to neck and breaks up after strain localization. During ductile extension of the polymer glass made of long chain significant chain tension builds up in the load-bearing strands (LBSs). Further analysis is expected to reveal evidence of activation of the primary structure during post-yield extension. These results lend support to the recent molecular model 1 and are the simulations to demonstrate the role of chain networking. This work is supported, in part, by a NSF Grant (DMR-EAGER-1444859)

  14. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia ? The Molecular Mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Nessa, Azizun; Rahman, Sofia A.; Hussain, Khalid

    2016-01-01

    Under normal physiological conditions, pancreatic β-cells secrete insulin to maintain fasting blood glucose levels in the range 3.5–5.5 mmol/L. In hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH), this precise regulation of insulin secretion is perturbed so that insulin continues to be secreted in the presence of hypoglycemia. HH may be due to genetic causes (congenital) or secondary to certain risk factors. The molecular mechanisms leading to HH involve defects in the key genes regulating insulin secretio...

  15. Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbier, Olivier; Arreola-Mendoza, Laura; Del Razo, Luz María

    2010-11-05

    Halfway through the twentieth century, fluoride piqued the interest of toxicologists due to its deleterious effects at high concentrations in human populations suffering from fluorosis and in in vivo experimental models. Until the 1990s, the toxicity of fluoride was largely ignored due to its "good reputation" for preventing caries via topical application and in dental toothpastes. However, in the last decade, interest in its undesirable effects has resurfaced due to the awareness that this element interacts with cellular systems even at low doses. In recent years, several investigations demonstrated that fluoride can induce oxidative stress and modulate intracellular redox homeostasis, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyl content, as well as alter gene expression and cause apoptosis. Genes modulated by fluoride include those related to the stress response, metabolic enzymes, the cell cycle, cell-cell communications and signal transduction. The primary purpose of this review is to examine recent findings from our group and others that focus on the molecular mechanisms of the action of inorganic fluoride in several cellular processes with respect to potential physiological and toxicological implications. This review presents an overview of the current research on the molecular aspects of fluoride exposure with emphasis on biological targets and their possible mechanisms of involvement in fluoride cytotoxicity. The goal of this review is to enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which fluoride affects cells, with an emphasis on tissue-specific events in humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Roland; Melk, Anette

    2017-09-01

    Epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular evidence suggest that aging is a major contributor to the increasing incidence of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The aging kidney undergoes complex changes that predispose to renal pathology. The underlying molecular mechanisms could be the target of therapeutic strategies in the future. Here, we summarize recent insight into cellular and molecular processes that have been shown to contribute to the renal aging phenotype.The main clinical finding of renal aging is the decrease in glomerular filtration rate, and its structural correlate is the loss of functioning nephrons. Mechanistically, this has been linked to different processes, such as podocyte hypertrophy, glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, and gradual microvascular rarefaction. Renal functional recovery after an episode of acute kidney injury is significantly worse in elderly patients. This decreased regenerative potential, which is a hallmark of the aging process, may be caused by cellular senescence. Accumulation of senescent cells could explain insufficient repair and functional loss, a view that has been strengthened by recent studies showing that removal of senescent cells results in attenuation of renal aging. Other potential mechanisms are alterations in autophagy as an important component of a disturbed renal stress response and functional differences in the inflammatory system. Promising therapeutic measures to counteract these age-related problems include mimetics of caloric restriction, pharmacologic renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibition, and novel strategies of senotherapy with the goal of reducing the number of senescent cells to decrease aging-related disease in the kidney. Copyright © 2017 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular Mechanism of Somite Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulfidan Coskun

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available From third week of gestation, notochord and the neural folds begin to gather at the center of the embryo to form the paraxial mesoderm. Paraxial mesoderm separates into blocks of cells called somitomers at the lateral sides of the neural tube of the head region. At the beginning of the third week somitomeres take ring shapes and form blocks of somites from occipital region to caudal region. Although somites are transient structures, they are extremely important in organizing the segmental pattern of vertebrate embryos. Somites give rise to the cells that form the vertebrae and ribs, the dermis of the dorsal skin, the skeletal muscles of the back, and the skeletal muscles of the body wall and limbs. Somitogenesis are formed by a genetic mechanism that is regulated by cyclical expression of genes in the Notch, Wnt and fibroblast growth factor signaling pathways. The prevailing model of the mechanism governing somitogenesis is the “clock and wave front”. Somitogenesis has components of periodicity, separation, epithelialization and axial specification. According to this model, the clock causes cells to undergo repeated oscillations, with a particular phase of each oscillation defining the competency of cells in the presomitic mesoderm to form a somite. Any disruption in this mechanism can be cause of severe segmentation defects of the vertebrae and congenital anomalies. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying the somitogenesis which is an important part of morphogenesis. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2013; 22(3.000: 362-376

  19. Molecular mechanisms of crystal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pina, C. M.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper I present an example of the research that the Mineral Surface Group of the Munster University is conducting in the field of Crystal Growth. Atomic Force Microscopy (Am) in situ observations of different barite (BaSO4) faces growing from aqueous solutions, in combination with computer simulations of the surface attachment of growth units allows us to test crystal growth models. Our results demonstrate the strong structural control that a crystal can exert on its own growth, revealing also the limitation of the classical crystal growth theories (two dimensional nucleation and spiral growth models) in providing a complete explanation for the growth behaviour at a molecular scale. (Author) 6 refs

  20. Comparison of gene co-networks reveals the molecular mechanisms of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) response to Rhizoctonia solani AG1 IA infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinfeng; Zhao, Wenjuan; Fu, Rong; Fu, Chenglin; Wang, Lingxia; Liu, Huainian; Li, Shuangcheng; Deng, Qiming; Wang, Shiquan; Zhu, Jun; Liang, Yueyang; Li, Ping; Zheng, Aiping

    2018-05-05

    Rhizoctonia solani causes rice sheath blight, an important disease affecting the growth of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Attempts to control the disease have met with little success. Based on transcriptional profiling, we previously identified more than 11,947 common differentially expressed genes (TPM > 10) between the rice genotypes TeQing and Lemont. In the current study, we extended these findings by focusing on an analysis of gene co-expression in response to R. solani AG1 IA and identified gene modules within the networks through weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). We compared the different genes assigned to each module and the biological interpretations of gene co-expression networks at early and later modules in the two rice genotypes to reveal differential responses to AG1 IA. Our results show that different changes occurred in the two rice genotypes and that the modules in the two groups contain a number of candidate genes possibly involved in pathogenesis, such as the VQ protein. Furthermore, these gene co-expression networks provide comprehensive transcriptional information regarding gene expression in rice in response to AG1 IA. The co-expression networks derived from our data offer ideas for follow-up experimentation that will help advance our understanding of the translational regulation of rice gene expression changes in response to AG1 IA.

  1. Structure-Activity Relationship and Molecular Mechanics Reveal the Importance of Ring Entropy in the Biosynthesis and Activity of a Natural Product.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Hai L; Lexa, Katrina W; Julien, Olivier; Young, Travis S; Walsh, Christopher T; Jacobson, Matthew P; Wells, James A

    2017-02-22

    Macrocycles are appealing drug candidates due to their high affinity, specificity, and favorable pharmacological properties. In this study, we explored the effects of chemical modifications to a natural product macrocycle upon its activity, 3D geometry, and conformational entropy. We chose thiocillin as a model system, a thiopeptide in the ribosomally encoded family of natural products that exhibits potent antimicrobial effects against Gram-positive bacteria. Since thiocillin is derived from a genetically encoded peptide scaffold, site-directed mutagenesis allows for rapid generation of analogues. To understand thiocillin's structure-activity relationship, we generated a site-saturation mutagenesis library covering each position along thiocillin's macrocyclic ring. We report the identification of eight unique compounds more potent than wild-type thiocillin, the best having an 8-fold improvement in potency. Computational modeling of thiocillin's macrocyclic structure revealed a striking requirement for a low-entropy macrocycle for activity. The populated ensembles of the active mutants showed a rigid structure with few adoptable conformations while inactive mutants showed a more flexible macrocycle which is unfavorable for binding. This finding highlights the importance of macrocyclization in combination with rigidifying post-translational modifications to achieve high-potency binding.

  2. STRUCTURED MOLECULAR GAS REVEALS GALACTIC SPIRAL ARMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sawada, Tsuyoshi [Joint ALMA Office, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago 763-0355 (Chile); Hasegawa, Tetsuo [NAOJ Chile Observatory, Joaquin Montero 3000 Oficina 702, Vitacura, Santiago 763-0409 (Chile); Koda, Jin, E-mail: sawada.tsuyoshi@nao.ac.jp [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800 (United States)

    2012-11-01

    We explore the development of structures in molecular gas in the Milky Way by applying the analysis of the brightness distribution function and the brightness distribution index (BDI) in the archival data from the Boston University-Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory {sup 13}CO J = 1-0 Galactic Ring Survey. The BDI measures the fractional contribution of spatially confined bright molecular emission over faint emission extended over large areas. This relative quantity is largely independent of the amount of molecular gas and of any conventional, pre-conceived structures, such as cores, clumps, or giant molecular clouds. The structured molecular gas traced by higher BDI is located continuously along the spiral arms in the Milky Way in the longitude-velocity diagram. This clearly indicates that molecular gas changes its structure as it flows through the spiral arms. Although the high-BDI gas generally coincides with H II regions, there is also some high-BDI gas with no/little signature of ongoing star formation. These results support a possible evolutionary sequence in which unstructured, diffuse gas transforms itself into a structured state on encountering the spiral arms, followed by star formation and an eventual return to the unstructured state after the spiral arm passage.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Induced Pluripotency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchkaeva, I.A.; Dashinimaev, E.B.; Terskikh, V.V.; Sukhanov, Y.V.; Vasiliev, A.V.

    2012-01-01

    In this review the distinct aspects of somatic cell reprogramming are discussed. The molecular mechanisms of generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells via the introduction of transcription factors into adult somatic cells are considered. Particular attention is focused on the generation of iPS cells without genome modifications via the introduction of the mRNA of transcription factors or the use of small molecules. Furthermore, the strategy of direct reprogramming of somatic cells omitting the generation of iPS cells is considered. The data concerning the differences between ES and iPS cells and the problem of epigenetic memory are also discussed. In conclusion, the possibility of using iPS cells in regenerative medicine is considered. PMID:22708059

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Thilo Martin

    Cautious optimism has arisen over recent decades with respect to the long struggle against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This has been offset, however, by a fatal complacency stemming from previous successes such as the development of antimicrobial drugs, the eradication of smallpox, and global immunization programs. Infectious diseases nevertheless remain the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million persons annually [61]. Diarrheal diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae or Shigella dysenteriae kill about 3 million persons every year, most of them young children: Another 4 million die of tuberculosis or tetanus. Outbreaks of diphtheria in Eastern Europe threatens the population with a disease that had previously seemed to be overcome. Efforts to control infectious diseases more comprehensively are undermined not only by socioeconomic conditions but also by the nature of the pathogenic organisms itself; some isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter have become so resistant to drugs by horizontal gene transfer that they are almost untreatable. In addition, the mechanism of genetic variability helps pathogens to evade the human immune system, thus compromising the development of powerful vaccines. Therefore detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity is absolutely necessary to develop new strategies against infectious diseases and thus to lower their impact on human health and social development.

  5. Measuring the mechanical properties of molecular conformers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, S. P.; Taylor, S.; Baran, J. D.; Champness, N. R.; Larsson, J. A.; Moriarty, P.

    2015-09-01

    Scanning probe-actuated single molecule manipulation has proven to be an exceptionally powerful tool for the systematic atomic-scale interrogation of molecular adsorbates. To date, however, the extent to which molecular conformation affects the force required to push or pull a single molecule has not been explored. Here we probe the mechanochemical response of two tetra(4-bromophenyl)porphyrin conformers using non-contact atomic force microscopy where we find a large difference between the lateral forces required for manipulation. Remarkably, despite sharing very similar adsorption characteristics, variations in the potential energy surface are capable of prohibiting probe-induced positioning of one conformer, while simultaneously permitting manipulation of the alternative conformational form. Our results are interpreted in the context of dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations which reveal significant differences in the diffusion barriers for each conformer. These results demonstrate that conformational variation significantly modifies the mechanical response of even simple porpyhrins, potentially affecting many other flexible molecules.

  6. Recombination rate plasticity: revealing mechanisms by design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefick, Stephen; Rushton, Chase

    2017-01-01

    For over a century, scientists have known that meiotic recombination rates can vary considerably among individuals, and that environmental conditions can modify recombination rates relative to the background. A variety of external and intrinsic factors such as temperature, age, sex and starvation can elicit ‘plastic’ responses in recombination rate. The influence of recombination rate plasticity on genetic diversity of the next generation has interesting and important implications for how populations evolve. Further, many questions remain regarding the mechanisms and molecular processes that contribute to recombination rate plasticity. Here, we review 100 years of experimental work on recombination rate plasticity conducted in Drosophila melanogaster. We categorize this work into four major classes of experimental designs, which we describe via classic studies in D. melanogaster. Based on these studies, we highlight molecular mechanisms that are supported by experimental results and relate these findings to studies in other systems. We synthesize lessons learned from this model system into experimental guidelines for using recent advances in genotyping technologies, to study recombination rate plasticity in non-model organisms. Specifically, we recommend (1) using fine-scale genome-wide markers, (2) collecting time-course data, (3) including crossover distribution measurements, and (4) using mixed effects models to analyse results. To illustrate this approach, we present an application adhering to these guidelines from empirical work we conducted in Drosophila pseudoobscura. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evolutionary causes and consequences of recombination rate variation in sexual organisms’. PMID:29109222

  7. Biological Applications of Hybrid Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyoung Kang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since in most cases biological macromolecular systems including solvent water molecules are remarkably large, the computational costs of performing ab initio calculations for the entire structures are prohibitive. Accordingly, QM calculations that are jointed with MM calculations are crucial to evaluate the long-range electrostatic interactions, which significantly affect the electronic structures of biological macromolecules. A UNIX-shell-based interface program connecting the quantum mechanics (QMs and molecular mechanics (MMs calculation engines, GAMESS and AMBER, was developed in our lab. The system was applied to a metalloenzyme, azurin, and PU.1-DNA complex; thereby, the significance of the environmental effects on the electronic structures of the site of interest was elucidated. Subsequently, hybrid QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD simulation using the calculation system was employed for investigation of mechanisms of hydrolysis (editing reaction in leucyl-tRNA synthetase complexed with the misaminoacylated tRNALeu, and a novel mechanism of the enzymatic reaction was revealed. Thus, our interface program can play a critical role as a powerful tool for state-of-the-art sophisticated hybrid ab initio QM/MM MD simulations of large systems, such as biological macromolecules.

  8. Molecular toxicity mechanism of nanosilver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle McShan

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Silver is an ancient antibiotic that has found many new uses due to its unique properties on the nanoscale. Due to its presence in many consumer products, the toxicity of nanosilver has become a hot topic. This review summarizes recent advances, particularly the molecular mechanism of nanosilver toxicity. The surface of nanosilver can easily be oxidized by O2 and other molecules in the environmental and biological systems leading to the release of Ag+, a known toxic ion. Therefore, nanosilver toxicity is closely related to the release of Ag+. In fact, it is difficult to determine what portion of the toxicity is from the nano-form and what is from the ionic form. The surface oxidation rate is closely related to the nanosilver surface coating, coexisting molecules, especially thiol-containing compounds, lighting conditions, and the interaction of nanosilver with nucleic acids, lipid molecules, and proteins in a biological system. Nanosilver has been shown to penetrate the cell and become internalized. Thus, nanosilver often acts as a source of Ag+ inside the cell. One of the main mechanisms of toxicity is that it causes oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species and causes damage to cellular components including DNA damage, activation of antioxidant enzymes, depletion of antioxidant molecules (e.g., glutathione, binding and disabling of proteins, and damage to the cell membrane. Several major questions remain to be answered: (1 the toxic contribution from the ionic form versus the nano-form; (2 key enzymes and signaling pathways responsible for the toxicity; and (3 effect of coexisting molecules on the toxicity and its relationship to surface coating.

  9. Conformation analysis of trehalose. Molecular dynamics simulation and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnamaira, M.C.; Howard, E.I.; Grigera, J.R.

    1992-09-01

    Conformational analysis of the disaccharide trehalose is done by molecular dynamics and molecular mechanics. In spite of the different force fields used in each case, comparison between the molecular dynamics trajectories of the torsional angles of glycosidic linkage and energy conformational map shows a good agreement between both methods. By molecular dynamics it is observed a moderate mobility of the glycosidic linkage. The demands of computer time is comparable in both cases. (author). 6 refs, 4 figs

  10. Molecular mechanics calculations on cobalt phthalocyanine dimers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuts, J.P.A.; Schipper, E.T.W.M.; Piet, P.; German, A.L.

    1995-01-01

    In order to obtain insight into the structure of cobalt phthalocyanine dimers, molecular mechanics calculations were performed on dimeric cobalt phthalocyanine species. Molecular mechanics calculations are first presented on monomeric cobalt(II) phthalocyanine. Using the Tripos force field for the

  11. Molecular mechanisms of NCAM function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hinsby, Anders M; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2004-01-01

    receptor that responds to both homophilic and heterophilic cues, as well as a mediator of cell-cell adhesion. This review describes NCAM function at the molecular level. We discuss recent models for extracellular ligand-interactions of NCAM, and the intracellular signaling cascade that follows to define...

  12. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Review Article. ,. Molecular ... This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and ... insulin action from receptor to the alteration of blood glucose. Hence, in ... the first protein to have its amino acid sequence determined;2 ... an integral membrane glycoprotein composed of two subunits, a and 13 ...

  13. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cieplak, Piotr [Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92120 (United States); Dupradeau, Francois-Yves [UMR CNRS 6219-Faculte de Pharmacie, Universite de Picardie Jules Verne, 1 rue des Louvels, F-80037 Amiens (France); Duan, Yong [Genome Center and Department of Applied Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Wang Junmei, E-mail: pcieplak@burnham.or [Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6001 Forest Park Boulevard, ND9.136, Dallas, TX 75390-9050 (United States)

    2009-08-19

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component-polarization energy-and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. (topical review)

  14. Molecular mechanism of insulin resistance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Free fatty acids are known to play a key role in promoting loss of insulin sensitivity, thereby causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying mechanism involved is still unclear. In searching for the cause of the mechanism, it has been found that palmitate inhibits insulin receptor (IR) gene expression, ...

  15. Semiclassical mechanics with molecular applications

    CERN Document Server

    Child, M S

    2014-01-01

    Semiclassical mechanics, which stems from the old quantum theory, has seen a remarkable revival in recent years as a physically intuitive and computationally accurate scheme for the interpretation of modern experiments. The main text concentrates less on the mathematical foundations than on the global influence of the classical phase space structures on the quantum mechanical observables. Further mathematical detail is contained in the appendices. Worked problem sets are included as an aid to the student.

  16. Molecular biological mechanism II. Molecular mechanisms of cell cycle regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, T.

    2000-01-01

    The cell cycle in eukaryotes is regulated by central cell cycle controlling protein kinase complexes. These protein kinase complexes consist of a catalytic subunit from the cyclin-dependent protein kinase family (CDK), and a regulatory subunit from the cyclin family. Cyclins are characterised by their periodic cell cycle related synthesis and destruction. Each cell cycle phase is characterised by a specific set of CDKs and cyclins. The activity of CDK/cyclin complexes is mainly regulated on four levels. It is controlled by specific phosphorylation steps, the synthesis and destruction of cyclins, the binding of specific inhibitor proteins, and by active control of their intracellular localisation. At several critical points within the cell cycle, named checkpoints, the integrity of the cellular genome is monitored. If damage to the genome or an unfinished prior cell cycle phase is detected, the cell cycle progression is stopped. These cell cycle blocks are of great importance to secure survival of cells. Their primary importance is to prevent the manifestation and heritable passage of a mutated genome to daughter cells. Damage sensing, DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis are closely linked cellular defence mechanisms to secure genome integrity. Disregulation in one of these defence mechanisms are potentially correlated with an increased cancer risk and therefore in at least some cases with an increased radiation sensitivity. (orig.) [de

  17. Molecular mechanism of the Syk activation switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Emily; Giannetti, Anthony M; Shaw, David; Dinh, Marie; Tse, Joyce K Y; Gandhi, Shaan; Ho, Hoangdung; Wang, Sandra; Papp, Eva; Bradshaw, J Michael

    2008-11-21

    Many immune signaling pathways require activation of the Syk tyrosine kinase to link ligation of surface receptors to changes in gene expression. Despite the central role of Syk in these pathways, the Syk activation process remains poorly understood. In this work we quantitatively characterized the molecular mechanism of Syk activation in vitro using a real time fluorescence kinase assay, mutagenesis, and other biochemical techniques. We found that dephosphorylated full-length Syk demonstrates a low initial rate of substrate phosphorylation that increases during the kinase reaction due to autophosphorylation. The initial rate of Syk activity was strongly increased by either pre-autophosphorylation or binding of phosphorylated immune tyrosine activation motif peptides, and each of these factors independently fully activated Syk. Deletion mutagenesis was used to identify regions of Syk important for regulation, and residues 340-356 of the SH2 kinase linker region were identified to be important for suppression of activity before activation. Comparison of the activation processes of Syk and Zap-70 revealed that Syk is more readily activated by autophosphorylation than Zap-70, although both kinases are rapidly activated by Src family kinases. We also studied Syk activity in B cell lysates and found endogenous Syk is also activated by phosphorylation and immune tyrosine activation motif binding. Together these experiments show that Syk functions as an "OR-gate" type of molecular switch. This mechanism of switch-like activation helps explain how Syk is both rapidly activated after receptor binding but also sustains activity over time to facilitate longer term changes in gene expression.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of induced pluripotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulcenty, Katarzyna; Wróblewska, Joanna; Mazurek, Sylwia; Liszewska, Ewa; Jaworski, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Growing knowledge concerning transcriptional control of cellular pluripotency has led to the discovery that the fate of differentiated cells can be reversed, which has resulted in the generation, by means of genetic manipulation, of induced pluripotent stem cells. Overexpression of just four pluripotency-related transcription factors, namely Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (Yamanaka factors, OKSM), in fibroblasts appears sufficient to produce this new cell type. Currently, we know that these factors induce several changes in genetic program of differentiated cells that can be divided in two general phases: the initial one is stochastic, and the subsequent one is highly hierarchical and organised. This review briefly discusses the molecular events leading to induction of pluripotency in response to forced presence of OKSM factors in somatic cells. We also discuss other reprogramming strategies used thus far as well as the advantages and disadvantages of laboratory approaches towards pluripotency induction in different cell types.

  19. Molecular pathogenesis and mechanisms of thyroid cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignancy. There has been exciting progress in understanding its molecular pathogenesis in recent years, as best exemplified by the elucidation of the fundamental role of several major signalling pathways and related molecular derangements. Central to these mechanisms are the genetic and epigenetic alterations in these pathways, such as mutation, gene copy-number gain and aberrant gene methylation. Many of these molecular alterations represent novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers and therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer, which provide unprecedented opportunities for further research and clinical development of novel treatment strategies for this cancer. PMID:23429735

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ischemic Conditioning Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kierulf-Lassen, Casper; Nieuwenhuijs-Moeke, Gertrude J; Krogstrup, Nicoline V

    2015-01-01

    summarizes research on the molecular mechanisms underlying both local and remote ischemic pre-, per- and postconditioning of the kidney. The different types of conditioning strategies in the kidney recruit similar powerful pro-survival mechanisms. Likewise, renal ischemic conditioning mobilizes many...

  1. Molecular mechanisms of thyroid tumorigenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krause, K.; Fuehrer, D.

    2008-01-01

    Thyroid nodules are the most frequent endocrine disorder and occur in approximately 30% of the German population. Thyroid nodular disease constitutes a very heterogeneous entity. A striking diversity of possible functional and morphological features of a thyroid tumour derived from the same thyroid ancestor cell, is a hallmark of thyroid tumorigenesis and is due to specific genetic alterations. Defects in known candidate genes can be found in up to 70% of differentiated thyroid carcinomas and determine the respective cancer phenotype. Papillary thyroid cancers (PTC) harbour BRAF (or much less frequently RAS) mutations in sporadically occurring tumours, while radiation-induced PTC display chromosomal rearrangements such as RET, TRK, APR9 / BRAF. These genetic events results in constitutive MAPKinase activation. Follicular thyroid cancers (FTC) harbour RAS mutations or PAX8/ PPARγ rearrangements, both of which, however have also been identified in follicular adenoma. In addition, recent studies show, that activation of PI3K/AKT signalling occurs with high frequency in follicular thyroid tumours. Undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancers (ATC) display genetic features of FTC or PTC, in addition to aberant activation of multiple tyrosinkinase pathways (overexpression or mutations in PI3K and MAPK pathways). This underscores the concept of a sequential evolution of ATC from differentiated thyroid cancer, a process widely conceived to be triggered by p53 inactivation. In contrast, the molecular pathogenesis of benign thyroid tumours, in particular cold thyroid nodules is less known, except for toxic thyroid nodules, which arise from constitutive activation of cAMP signalling, predominantly through TSHR mutations. (orig.)

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Hee Yu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of obesity has been rapidly increasing worldwide over the last several decades and has become a major health problem in developed countries. The brain, especially the hypothalamus, plays a key role in the control of food intake by sensing metabolic signals from peripheral organs and modulating feeding behaviors. To accomplish these important roles, the hypothalamus communicates with other brain areas such as the brainstem and reward-related limbic pathways. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin and pancreatic β-cell-derived insulin inform adiposity to the hypothalamus. Gut hormones such as cholecystokinin, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and oxyntomodulin transfer satiety signals to the brain and ghrelin relays hunger signals. The endocannabinoid system and nutrients are also involved in the physiological regulation of food intake. In this article, we briefly review physiological mechanisms of appetite regulation.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21Cip1 and p16INK4a/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.

  4. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Starrs, S.M

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA){sub n} and (GA){sub n}, and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a

  5. Molecular mechanisms of DNA photodamage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starrs, S.M.

    2000-05-01

    Photodamage in DNA, caused by ultraviolet (UV) light, can occur by direct excitation of the nucleobases or indirectly via the action of photosensitisers. Such, DNA photodamage can be potentially mutagenic or lethal. Among the methods available for detecting UV-induced DNA damage, gel sequencing protocols, utilising synthetic oligodeoxyribonucleotides as targets for UV radiation, allow photolesions to be mapped at nucleotide resolution. This approach has been applied to investigate both DNA damage mechanisms. Following a general overview of DNA photoreactivity, and a description of the main experimental procedures, Chapter 3 identifies the origin of an anomalous mobility shift observed in purine chemical sequence ladders that can confuse the interpretation of DNA cleavage results; measures to abolish this shift are also described. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the alkali-labile DNA damage photosensitised by representative nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Suprofen was the most photoactive NSAID studied, producing different patterns of guanine-specific damage in single-stranded and duplex DNA. Uniform modification of guanine bases, typifying attack by singlet oxygen, was observed in single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides. In duplex molecules, modification was limited to the 5'-G of GG doublets, which is indicative of an electron transfer. The effect of quenchers and photoproduct analysis substantiated these findings. The quinolone, nalidixic acid, behaves similarly. The random base cleavage photosensitised by the fluoroquinolones, has been attributed to free radicals produced during their photodecomposition. Chapter 6 addresses the photoreactivity of purines within unusual DNA structures formed by the repeat sequences (GGA) n and (GA) n , and a minihairpin. There was no definitive evidence for enhanced purine reactivity caused by direct excitation. Finally, Chapter 7 investigates the mutagenic potential of a dimeric

  6. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lonsdale, Richard; Fort, Rachel M; Rydberg, Patrik

    2016-01-01

    )-mexiletine in CYP1A2 with hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods, providing a more detailed and realistic model. Multiple reaction barriers have been calculated at the QM(B3LYP-D)/MM(CHARMM27) level for the direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound mechanisms. Our calculated barriers......The mechanism of cytochrome P450(CYP)-catalyzed hydroxylation of primary amines is currently unclear and is relevant to drug metabolism; previous small model calculations have suggested two possible mechanisms: direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound. We have modeled the N-hydroxylation of (R...... indicate that the direct N-oxidation mechanism is preferred and proceeds via the doublet spin state of Compound I. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the presence of an ordered water molecule in the active site assists in the binding of mexiletine in the active site...

  7. Single Turnover at Molecular Polymerization Catalysts Reveals Spatiotemporally Resolved Reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Easter, Quinn T; Blum, Suzanne A

    2017-10-23

    Multiple active individual molecular ruthenium catalysts have been pinpointed within growing polynorbornene, thereby revealing information on the reaction dynamics and location that is unavailable through traditional ensemble experiments. This is the first single-turnover imaging of a molecular catalyst by fluorescence microscopy and allows detection of individual monomer reactions at an industrially important molecular ruthenium ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) catalyst under synthetically relevant conditions (e.g. unmodified industrial catalyst, ambient pressure, condensed phase, ca. 0.03 m monomer). These results further establish the key fundamentals of this imaging technique for characterizing the reactivity and location of active molecular catalysts even when they are the minor components. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Bell trajectories for revealing quantum control mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dennis, Eric; Rabitz, Herschel

    2003-01-01

    The dynamics induced while controlling quantum systems by optimally shaped laser pulses have often been difficult to understand in detail. A method is presented for quantifying the importance of specific sequences of quantum transitions involved in the control process. The method is based on a ''beable'' formulation of quantum mechanics due to John Bell that rigorously maps the quantum evolution onto an ensemble of stochastic trajectories over a classical state space. Detailed mechanism identification is illustrated with a model seven-level system. A general procedure is presented to extract mechanism information directly from closed-loop control experiments. Application to simulated experimental data for the model system proves robust with up to 25% noise

  9. Molecular machines with bio-inspired mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Marcos, Vanesa; Leigh, David A

    2018-02-26

    The widespread use of molecular-level motion in key natural processes suggests that great rewards could come from bridging the gap between the present generation of synthetic molecular machines-which by and large function as switches-and the machines of the macroscopic world, which utilize the synchronized behavior of integrated components to perform more sophisticated tasks than is possible with any individual switch. Should we try to make molecular machines of greater complexity by trying to mimic machines from the macroscopic world or instead apply unfamiliar (and no doubt have to discover or invent currently unknown) mechanisms utilized by biological machines? Here we try to answer that question by exploring some of the advances made to date using bio-inspired machine mechanisms.

  10. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. DNA damage; double-strand break; genomic instability; infertility; MMEJ; NHEJ; pesticides. Abstract. Endosulfan is a broad-spectrum organochlorine pesticide, speculated to be detrimental to human health in areas ofactive exposure. However, the molecular insights to its mechanism of action remain poorly ...

  11. [Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and molecular mechanisms of jaundice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirsa, M; Sticová, E

    2013-07-01

    The introductory summarises the classical path of heme degradation and classification of jaundice. Subsequently, a description of neonatal types of jaundice is given, known as Crigler Najjar, Gilberts, DubinJohnson and Rotor syndromes, emphasising the explanation of the molecular mechanisms of these metabolic disorders. Special attention is given to a recently discovered molecular mechanism of the Rotor syndrome. The mechanism is based on the inability of the liver to retrospectively uptake the conjugated bilirubin fraction primarily excreted into the blood, not bile. A reduced ability of the liver to uptake the conjugated bilirubin contributes to the development of hyperbilirubinemia in common disorders of the liver and bile ducts and to the toxicity of xenobiotics and drugs using transport proteins for conjugated bilirubin.

  12. Sampling Molecular Conformers in Solution with Quantum Mechanical Accuracy at a Nearly Molecular-Mechanics Cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Marta; Micciarelli, Marco; Laio, Alessandro; Baroni, Stefano

    2016-09-13

    We introduce a method to evaluate the relative populations of different conformers of molecular species in solution, aiming at quantum mechanical accuracy, while keeping the computational cost at a nearly molecular-mechanics level. This goal is achieved by combining long classical molecular-dynamics simulations to sample the free-energy landscape of the system, advanced clustering techniques to identify the most relevant conformers, and thermodynamic perturbation theory to correct the resulting populations, using quantum-mechanical energies from density functional theory. A quantitative criterion for assessing the accuracy thus achieved is proposed. The resulting methodology is demonstrated in the specific case of cyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) in water solution.

  13. Discriminative topological features reveal biological network mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levovitz Chaya

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent genomic and bioinformatic advances have motivated the development of numerous network models intending to describe graphs of biological, technological, and sociological origin. In most cases the success of a model has been evaluated by how well it reproduces a few key features of the real-world data, such as degree distributions, mean geodesic lengths, and clustering coefficients. Often pairs of models can reproduce these features with indistinguishable fidelity despite being generated by vastly different mechanisms. In such cases, these few target features are insufficient to distinguish which of the different models best describes real world networks of interest; moreover, it is not clear a priori that any of the presently-existing algorithms for network generation offers a predictive description of the networks inspiring them. Results We present a method to assess systematically which of a set of proposed network generation algorithms gives the most accurate description of a given biological network. To derive discriminative classifiers, we construct a mapping from the set of all graphs to a high-dimensional (in principle infinite-dimensional "word space". This map defines an input space for classification schemes which allow us to state unambiguously which models are most descriptive of a given network of interest. Our training sets include networks generated from 17 models either drawn from the literature or introduced in this work. We show that different duplication-mutation schemes best describe the E. coli genetic network, the S. cerevisiae protein interaction network, and the C. elegans neuronal network, out of a set of network models including a linear preferential attachment model and a small-world model. Conclusions Our method is a first step towards systematizing network models and assessing their predictability, and we anticipate its usefulness for a number of communities.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity: An Expanding Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

    Biochemical processes in synapses and other neuronal compartments underlie neuroplasticity (functional and structural alterations in the brain enabling adaptation to the environment, learning, memory, as well as rehabilitation after brain injury). This basic molecular level of brain plasticity covers numerous specific proteins (enzymes, receptors, structural proteins, etc.) participating in many coordinated and interacting signal and metabolic processes, their modulation forming a molecular basis for brain plasticity. The articles in this issue are focused on different "hot points" in the research area of biochemical mechanisms supporting neuroplasticity.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of curcumin action: gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishodia, Shishir

    2013-01-01

    Curcumin derived from the tropical plant Curcuma longa has a long history of use as a dietary agent, food preservative, and in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used for centuries to treat biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Extensive research over several decades has attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms of curcumin action. Curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets by altering their gene expression, signaling pathways, or through direct interaction. Curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1), growth factors (e.g., VEGF, EGF, FGF), growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER-2, AR), enzymes (e.g., COX-2, LOX, MMP9, MAPK, mTOR, Akt), adhesion molecules (e.g., ELAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1), apoptosis related proteins (e.g., Bcl-2, caspases, DR, Fas), and cell cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). Curcumin modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, AP-1, STAT) and their signaling pathways. Based on its ability to affect multiple targets, curcumin has the potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases including cancers, arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative disease, hepatic disorders, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of modulation of gene expression by curcumin. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltzius, Jed J. W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2013-01-01

    Strains are phenotypic variants, encoded by nucleic acid sequences in chromosomal inheritance and by protein “conformations” in prion inheritance and transmission. But how is a protein “conformation” stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms? Here new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins offer structural mechanisms for prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packings (polymorphs) of β-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in a second mechanism, segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct β-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring “conformations,” capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of information by nucleic acid inheritance, including sequence specificity and recognition by non-covalent bonds. PMID:19684598

  17. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561

  18. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2011-10-28

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenser, Teresa; Theißen, Günter

    2013-12-01

    Domestication has helped to understand evolution. We argue that, vice versa, novel insights into evolutionary principles could provide deeper insights into domestication. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that convergent phenotypic evolution is often based on molecular changes in orthologous genes or pathways. Recent studies have revealed that during plant domestication the causal mutations for convergent changes in key traits are likely to be located in particular genes. These insights may contribute to defining candidate genes for genetic improvement during the domestication of new plant species. Such efforts may help to increase the range of arable crops available, thus increasing crop biodiversity and food security to help meet the predicted demands of the continually growing global population under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Golbidi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Physical inactivity is increasingly recognized as modifiable behavioral risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. A partial list of proposed mechanisms for exercise-induced cardioprotection include induction of heat shock proteins, increase in cardiac antioxidant capacity, expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins, anatomical and physiological changes in the coronary arteries, changes in nitric oxide production, adaptational changes in cardiac mitochondria, increased autophagy, and improved function of sarcolemmal and/or mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels. It is currently unclear which of these protective mechanisms are essential for exercise-induced cardioprotection. However, most investigations focus on sarcolemmal KATP channels, NO production, and mitochondrial changes although it is very likely that other mechanisms may also exist. This paper discusses current information about these aforementioned topics and does not consider potentially important adaptations within blood or the autonomic nervous system. A better understanding of the molecular basis of exercise-induced cardioprotection will help to develop better therapeutic strategies.

  1. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    Animals utilize photoperiodic changes as a calendar to regulate seasonal reproduction. Birds have highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanisms and functional genomics analysis in quail uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating avian seasonal reproduction. Birds detect light with deep brain photoreceptors. Long day (LD) stimulus induces secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. PT-derived TSH locally activates thyroid hormone (TH) in the hypothalamus, which induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and hence gonadotropin secretion. However, during winter, low temperatures increase serum TH for adaptive thermogenesis, which accelerates germ cell apoptosis by activating the genes involved in metamorphosis. Therefore, TH has a dual role in the regulation of seasonal reproduction. Studies using TSH receptor knockout mice confirmed the involvement of PT-derived TSH in mammalian seasonal reproduction. In addition, studies in mice revealed that the tissue-specific glycosylation of TSH diversifies its function in the circulation to avoid crosstalk. In contrast to birds and mammals, one of the molecular machineries necessary for the seasonal reproduction of fish are localized in the saccus vasculosus from the photoreceptor to the neuroendocrine output. Thus, comparative analysis is a powerful tool to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental properties in various organisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular dynamics of CYP2D6 polymorphisms in the absence and presence of a mechanism-based inactivator reveals changes in local flexibility and dominant substrate access channels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parker W de Waal

    Full Text Available Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs represent an important enzyme superfamily involved in metabolism of many endogenous and exogenous small molecules. CYP2D6 is responsible for ∼ 15% of CYP-mediated drug metabolism and exhibits large phenotypic diversity within CYPs with over 100 different allelic variants. Many of these variants lead to functional changes in enzyme activity and substrate selectivity. Herein, a molecular dynamics comparative analysis of four different variants of CYP2D6 was performed. The comparative analysis included simulations with and without SCH 66712, a ligand that is also a mechanism-based inactivator, in order to investigate the possible structural basis of CYP2D6 inactivation. Analysis of protein stability highlighted significantly altered flexibility in both proximal and distal residues from the variant residues. In the absence of SCH 66712, *34, *17-2, and *17-3 displayed more flexibility than *1, and *53 displayed more rigidity. SCH 66712 binding reversed flexibility in *17-2 and *17-3, through *53 remained largely rigid. Throughout simulations with docked SCH 66712, ligand orientation within the heme-binding pocket was consistent with previously identified sites of metabolism and measured binding energies. Subsequent tunnel analysis of substrate access, egress, and solvent channels displayed varied bottle-neck radii. Taken together, our results indicate that SCH 66712 should inactivate these allelic variants, although varied flexibility and substrate binding-pocket accessibility may alter its interaction abilities.

  3. Molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet antiaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Geng, Feng; Fan, Hua-Ying; Luan, Hai-Yun; Liu, Yue; Ji, Kai; Fu, Feng-Hua

    2018-04-01

    In this study, we detected the effect of Danshensu on PARs-PLCβsignaling pathway to elucidate molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet anti-aggregation. Our results demonstrate that Danshensu is able to decrease the levels of IP3, Ca2+ and AA secretion, which indicate that Danshensu may involve in PARs-PLCβ signaling pathways. Molecular docking study shows that Danshesu has similar polar interactions with PAR1 receptors as BMS200261 at the same position. The findings from our study enable a better understanding of Danshensu biological properties, which could ultimately lead to the development of multi-target antiplatelet natural medicine for the treatment and/or prevention of some thrombotic diseases.

  4. Pitfall in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulation of small solutes in solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hao; Liu, Haiyan

    2013-05-30

    Developments in computing hardware and algorithms have made direct molecular dynamics simulation with the combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical methods affordable for small solute molecules in solution, in which much improved accuracy can be obtained via the quantum mechanical treatment of the solute molecule and even sometimes water molecules in the first solvation shell. However, unlike the conventional molecular mechanical simulations of large molecules, e.g., proteins, in solutions, special care must be taken in the technical details of the simulation, including the thermostat of the solute/solvent system, so that the conformational space of the solute molecules can be properly sampled. We show here that the common setup for classical molecular mechanical molecular dynamics simulations, such as the Berendsen or single Nose-Hoover thermostat, and/or rigid water models could lead to pathological sampling of the solutes' conformation. In the extreme example of a methanol molecule in aqueous solution, improper and sluggish setups could generate two peaks in the distribution of the O-H bond length. We discuss the factors responsible for this somewhat unexpected result and evoke a simple and ancient technical fix-up to resolve this problem.

  5. Mechanically controllable break junctions for molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Dong; Jeong, Hyunhak; Lee, Takhee; Mayer, Dirk

    2013-09-20

    A mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) represents a fundamental technique for the investigation of molecular electronic junctions, especially for the study of the electronic properties of single molecules. With unique advantages, the MCBJ technique has provided substantial insight into charge transport processes in molecules. In this review, the techniques for sample fabrication, operation and the various applications of MCBJs are introduced and the history, challenges and future of MCBJs are discussed. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of action of bacterial exotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, J; Rautenberg, P; Ullmann, U

    1996-07-01

    Toxins are one of the inventive strategies that bacteria have developed in order to survive. As virulence factors, they play a major role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Recent discoveries have once more highlighted the effectiveness of these precisely adjusted bacterial weapons. Furthermore, toxins have become an invaluable tool in the investigation of fundamental cell processes, including regulation of cellular functions by various G proteins, cytoskeletal dynamics and neural transmission. In this review, the bacterial toxins are presented in a rational classification based on the molecular mechanisms of action.

  7. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Simulation with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbault, Florent; Maurel, François

    2015-10-01

    Biological macromolecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, are (still) molecules and thus they follow the same chemical rules that any simple molecule follows, even if their size generally renders accurate studies unhelpful. However, in the context of drug discovery, a detailed analysis of ligand association is required for understanding or predicting their interactions and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computations are relevant tools to help elucidate this process. In this review, the authors explore the use of QM/MM for drug discovery. After a brief description of the molecular mechanics (MM) technique, the authors describe the subtractive and additive techniques for QM/MM computations. The authors then present several application cases in topics involved in drug discovery. QM/MM have been widely employed during the last decades to study chemical processes such as enzyme-inhibitor interactions. However, despite the enthusiasm around this area, plain MM simulations may be more meaningful than QM/MM. To obtain reliable results, the authors suggest fixing several keystone parameters according to the underlying chemistry of each studied system.

  9. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1991-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypothesis regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alternation in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  10. Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Labeur

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This review highlights the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. Most effects of glucocorticoids are mediated by the intracellular GR which is present in almost every tissue and controls transcriptional activation via direct and indirect mechanisms. Nevertheless the glucocorticoid responses are tissue -and gene- specific. GR associates selectively with corticosteroid ligands produced in the adrenal gland in response to changes of humoral homeostasis. Ligand interaction with GR promotes either GR binding to genomic glucocorticoid response elements, in turn modulating gene transcription, or interaction of GR monomers with other transcription factors activated by other signalling pathways leading to transrepression. The GR regulates a broad spectrum of physiological functions, including cell differentiation, metabolism and inflammatory responses. Thus, disruption or dysregulation of GR function will result in severe impairments in the maintenance of homeostasis and the control of adaptation to stress.

  11. Multiscale Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations with Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Wu, Jingheng; Yang, Weitao

    2016-10-11

    Molecular dynamics simulation with multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods is a very powerful tool for understanding the mechanism of chemical and biological processes in solution or enzymes. However, its computational cost can be too high for many biochemical systems because of the large number of ab initio QM calculations. Semiempirical QM/MM simulations have much higher efficiency. Its accuracy can be improved with a correction to reach the ab initio QM/MM level. The computational cost on the ab initio calculation for the correction determines the efficiency. In this paper we developed a neural network method for QM/MM calculation as an extension of the neural-network representation reported by Behler and Parrinello. With this approach, the potential energy of any configuration along the reaction path for a given QM/MM system can be predicted at the ab initio QM/MM level based on the semiempirical QM/MM simulations. We further applied this method to three reactions in water to calculate the free energy changes. The free-energy profile obtained from the semiempirical QM/MM simulation is corrected to the ab initio QM/MM level with the potential energies predicted with the constructed neural network. The results are in excellent accordance with the reference data that are obtained from the ab initio QM/MM molecular dynamics simulation or corrected with direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies. Compared with the correction using direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies, our method shows a speed-up of 1 or 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the neural network method combined with the semiempirical QM/MM calculation can be an efficient and reliable strategy for chemical reaction simulations.

  12. Programmed necrosis and necroptosis – molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Giżycka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Programmed necrosis has been proven vital for organism development and homeostasis maintenance. Its regulatory effects on functional activity of the immune system, as well as on pathways regulating the death mechanisms in cells with diminished apoptotic activity, including malignant cells, have been confirmed. There is also increasing evidence indicating necrosis involvement in many human pathologies. Contrary to previous beliefs, necrosis is not only a passive, pathological, gene-independent process. However, the current knowledge regarding molecular regulation of programmed necrosis is scarce. In part this is due to the multiplicity and complexity of signaling pathways involved in programmed necrosis, as well as the absence of specific cellular markers identifying this process, but also the ambiguous and imprecise international terminology. This review presents the current state of the art on molecular mechanisms of programmed necrosis. In particular, its specific and frequent form, necroptosis, is discussed. The role of RIP1 and RIP3 kinases in this process is presented, as well as the diverse pathways induced by ligation of tumor necrosis factor α, to its receptor, TNFR1, i.e. cell survival, apoptosis or necroptosis.

  13. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krause, Marie N. [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); University Hospital of Würzburg, Department of Pediatrics, 2 Josef-Schneiderstrasse, 97080 Würzburg (Germany); Sancho-Martinez, Ignacio [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States); Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King' s College London, 28th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy' s Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London (United Kingdom); Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos, E-mail: belmonte@salk.edu [Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037, CA (United States)

    2016-05-06

    Despite the profound and rapid advancements in reprogramming technologies since the generation of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006[1], the molecular basics of the process and its implications are still not fully understood. Recent work has suggested that a subset of TFs, so called “Pioneer TFs”, play an important role during the stochastic phase of iPSC reprogramming [2–6]. Pioneer TFs activities differ from conventional transcription factors in their mechanism of action. They bind directly to condensed chromatin and elicit a series of chromatin remodeling events that lead to opening of the chromatin. Chromatin decondensation by pioneer factors progressively occurs during cell division and in turn exposes specific gene promoters in the DNA to which TFs can now directly bind to promoters that are readily accessible[2, 6]. Here, we will summarize recent advancements on our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming to iPSC as well as the implications that pioneer Transcription Factor activities might play during different lineage conversion processes. - Highlights: • Pioneer transcription factor activity underlies the initial steps of iPSC generation. • Reprogramming can occur by cis- and/or trans- reprogramming events. • Cis-reprogramming implies remodeling of the chromatin for enabling TF accessibility. • Trans-reprogramming encompasses direct binding of Tfs to their target gene promoters.

  14. HERSCHEL OBSERVATIONS REVEAL ANOMALOUS MOLECULAR ABUNDANCES TOWARD THE GALACTIC CENTER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonnentrucker, P. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Neufeld, D. A.; Indriolo, N. [Physics and Astronomy Department, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Gerin, M.; De Luca, M. [LERMA-LRA, UMR 8112 du CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, Ecole Normale Superieure, UPMC and UCP, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231, Paris Cedex 05 (France); Lis, D. C. [Astronomy Department, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Goicoechea, J. R., E-mail: sonnentr@stsci.edu [Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC/INTA, E-28850, Madrid (Spain)

    2013-01-20

    We report the Herschel detections of hydrogen fluoride (HF) and para-water (p-H{sub 2}O) in gas intercepting the sight lines to two well-studied molecular clouds in the vicinity of the Sgr A complex: G-0.02-0.07 (the {sup +}50 km s{sup -1} cloud{sup )} and G-0.13-0.08 (the {sup +}20 km s{sup -1} cloud{sup )}. Toward both sight lines, HF and water absorption components are detected over a wide range of velocities covering {approx}250 km s{sup -1}. For all velocity components with V{sub LSR} > -85 km s{sup -1}, we find that the HF and water abundances are consistent with those measured toward other sight lines probing the Galactic disk gas. The velocity components with V{sub LSR} {<=} -85 km s{sup -1}, which are known to trace gas residing within {approx}200 pc of the Galactic center, however, exhibit water vapor abundances with respect to HF at least a factor three higher than those found in the Galactic disk gas. Comparison with CH data indicates that our observations are consistent with a picture where HF and a fraction of the H{sub 2}O absorption arise in diffuse molecular clouds showing Galactic disk-like abundances while the bulk of the water absorption arises in warmer (T {>=} 400 K) diffuse molecular gas for V{sub LSR} {<=} -85 km s{sup -1}. This diffuse Interstellar Medium (ISM) phase has also been recently revealed through observations of CO, HF, H{sup +}{sub 3}, and H{sub 3}O{sup +} absorption toward other sight lines probing the Galactic center inner region.

  15. Internal force corrections with machine learning for quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingheng; Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2017-10-28

    Ab initio quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulation is a useful tool to calculate thermodynamic properties such as potential of mean force for chemical reactions but intensely time consuming. In this paper, we developed a new method using the internal force correction for low-level semiempirical QM/MM molecular dynamics samplings with a predefined reaction coordinate. As a correction term, the internal force was predicted with a machine learning scheme, which provides a sophisticated force field, and added to the atomic forces on the reaction coordinate related atoms at each integration step. We applied this method to two reactions in aqueous solution and reproduced potentials of mean force at the ab initio QM/MM level. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. The present work reveals great potentials for machine learning in QM/MM simulations to study complex chemical processes.

  16. The Physical Mechanism of Frictional Aging Revealed by Nanoindentation Creep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, C.; Carpick, R. W.; Goldsby, D. L.

    2017-12-01

    A classical observation from rock friction experiments is that friction increases linearly with the logarithm of the time of stationary contact, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as aging. Aging is most often attributed to an increase in the real area of contact due to asperity creep. However, recent atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments and molecular dynamics simulations suggest that time-dependent siloxane (Si—O—Si) bonding gives rise to aging in silica-silica contacts in the absence of plastic deformation. Determining whether an increase in contact `quantity' (due to creep), contact `quality' (due to chemical bonding), or another unknown mechanism causes aging is a challenging experimental task, despite its importance for developing a physical basis for rate and state friction laws. An intriguing observation is that aging is absent in friction experiments on quartz rocks and gouge at humidities water on asperity creep (via hydrolytic weakening) or on the adhesive strength of contacts. To discern between these possibilities, we have conducted nanoindentation experiments on single crystals of quartz to measure their indentation hardness and creep behavior at humidities of 2% to 50%, and in vacuum. Samples were loaded at 1000 mN/s to a peak load of 15, 40, or 400 mN, which was then held constant for 10 s. After the peak load is reached, the tip sinks into the material with time due to creep of the indentation contact. Our experiments reveal that there is no effect of varying humidity on either indentation hardness or indentation creep behavior over the full range of humidities investigated. If asperity creep were the dominant mechanism of frictional aging for quartz in the experiments cited above, then significant increases in hardness and decreases in the growth rate of indentation contacts at low humidities is expected, in stark contrast with our nanoindentation data. Our experiments indicate that asperity creep cannot be the cause of aging in quartz

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Mouse Skin Tumor Promotion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundhaug, Joyce E.; Fischer, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple molecular mechanisms are involved in the promotion of skin carcinogenesis. Induction of sustained proliferation and epidermal hyperplasia by direct activation of mitotic signaling pathways or indirectly in response to chronic wounding and/or inflammation, or due to a block in terminal differentiation or resistance to apoptosis is necessary to allow clonal expansion of initiated cells with DNA mutations to form skin tumors. The mitotic pathways include activation of epidermal growth factor receptor and Ras/Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Chronic inflammation results in inflammatory cell secretion of growth factors and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukins, as well as production of reactive oxygen species, all of which can stimulate proliferation. Persistent activation of these pathways leads to tumor promotion

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Neonatal Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Thornton

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fetal/neonatal brain injury is an important cause of neurological disability. Hypoxia-ischemia and excitotoxicity are considered important insults, and, in spite of their acute nature, brain injury develops over a protracted time period during the primary, secondary, and tertiary phases. The concept that most of the injury develops with a delay after the insult makes it possible to provide effective neuroprotective treatment after the insult. Indeed, hypothermia applied within 6 hours after birth in neonatal encephalopathy reduces neurological disability in clinical trials. In order to develop the next generation of treatment, we need to know more about the pathophysiological mechanism during the secondary and tertiary phases of injury. We review some of the critical molecular events related to mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis during the secondary phase and report some recent evidence that intervention may be feasible also days-weeks after the insult.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Replication Checkpoint Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bénédicte Recolin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The major challenge of the cell cycle is to deliver an intact, and fully duplicated, genetic material to the daughter cells. To this end, progression of DNA synthesis is monitored by a feedback mechanism known as replication checkpoint that is untimely linked to DNA replication. This signaling pathway ensures coordination of DNA synthesis with cell cycle progression. Failure to activate this checkpoint in response to perturbation of DNA synthesis (replication stress results in forced cell division leading to chromosome fragmentation, aneuploidy, and genomic instability. In this review, we will describe current knowledge of the molecular determinants of the DNA replication checkpoint in eukaryotic cells and discuss a model of activation of this signaling pathway crucial for maintenance of genomic stability.

  20. "Gear mechanism" of bariatric interventions revealed by untargeted metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samczuk, Paulina; Luba, Magdalena; Godzien, Joanna; Mastrangelo, Annalaura; Hady, Hady Razak; Dadan, Jacek; Barbas, Coral; Gorska, Maria; Kretowski, Adam; Ciborowski, Michal

    2018-03-20

    Mechanisms responsible for metabolic gains after bariatric surgery are not entirely clear. The purpose of this study was evaluation of metabolic changes after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in semi-annual follow up. The study participants were selected from obese patients with T2DM who underwent one of the mentioned bariatric procedures. Serum metabolic fingerprinting by use of liquid and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection was performed on samples obtained from studied patients before, one, and six months post-surgery. Performed analyses resulted in 49 significant and identified metabolites. Comparison of the two described procedures has allowed to detect metabolites linked with numerous pathways, processes and diseases. Based on the metabolites detected and pathways affected, we propose a "gear mechanism" showing molecular changes evoked by both bariatric procedures. Critical evaluation of clinical data and obtained metabolomics results enables us to conclude that both procedures are very similar in terms of general clinical outcome, but they strongly differ from each other in molecular mechanisms leading to the final effect. For the first time general metabolic effect of bariatric procedures is described. New hypotheses concerning molecular mechanisms induced by bariatric surgeries and new gut microbiota modulations are presented. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The mechanism of selective molecular capture in carbon nanotube networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yu; Guan, Jun; Yang, Xudong; Zheng, Quanshui; Xu, Zhiping

    2014-07-28

    Recently, air pollution issues have drawn significant attention to the development of efficient air filters, and one of the most promising materials for this purpose is nanofibers. We explore here the mechanism of selective molecular capture of volatile organic compounds in carbon nanotube networks by performing atomistic simulations. The results are discussed with respect to the two key parameters that define the performance of nanofiltration, i.e. the capture efficiency and flow resistance, which demonstrate the advantages of carbon nanotube networks with high surface-to-volume ratio and atomistically smooth surfaces. We also reveal the important roles of interfacial adhesion and diffusion that govern selective gas transport through the network.

  2. Molecular mechanism of extreme mechanostability in a pathogen adhesin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milles, Lukas F; Schulten, Klaus; Gaub, Hermann E; Bernardi, Rafael C

    2018-03-30

    High resilience to mechanical stress is key when pathogens adhere to their target and initiate infection. Using atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy, we explored the mechanical stability of the prototypical staphylococcal adhesin SdrG, which targets a short peptide from human fibrinogen β. Steered molecular dynamics simulations revealed, and single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments confirmed, the mechanism by which this complex withstands forces of over 2 nanonewtons, a regime previously associated with the strength of a covalent bond. The target peptide, confined in a screwlike manner in the binding pocket of SdrG, distributes forces mainly toward the peptide backbone through an intricate hydrogen bond network. Thus, these adhesins can attach to their target with exceptionally resilient mechanostability, virtually independent of peptide side chains. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  3. Exact and Optimal Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Qiming; Chan, Garnet Kin-Lic

    2014-09-09

    Motivated by recent work in density matrix embedding theory, we define exact link orbitals that capture all quantum mechanical (QM) effects across arbitrary quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) boundaries. Exact link orbitals are rigorously defined from the full QM solution, and their number is equal to the number of orbitals in the primary QM region. Truncating the exact set yields a smaller set of link orbitals optimal with respect to reproducing the primary region density matrix. We use the optimal link orbitals to obtain insight into the limits of QM/MM boundary treatments. We further analyze the popular general hybrid orbital (GHO) QM/MM boundary across a test suite of molecules. We find that GHOs are often good proxies for the most important optimal link orbital, although there is little detailed correlation between the detailed GHO composition and optimal link orbital valence weights. The optimal theory shows that anions and cations cannot be described by a single link orbital. However, expanding to include the second most important optimal link orbital in the boundary recovers an accurate description. The second optimal link orbital takes the chemically intuitive form of a donor or acceptor orbital for charge redistribution, suggesting that optimal link orbitals can be used as interpretative tools for electron transfer. We further find that two optimal link orbitals are also sufficient for boundaries that cut across double bonds. Finally, we suggest how to construct "approximately" optimal link orbitals for practical QM/MM calculations.

  4. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetkin, Ertan; Waltenberger, Johannes

    2009-06-12

    Calcific aortic stenosis is the most common cause of aortic valve replacement in developed countries, and this condition increases in prevalence with advancing age. The fibrotic thickening and calcification are common eventual endpoint in both non-rheumatic calcific and rheumatic aortic stenoses. New observations in human aortic valves support the hypothesis that degenerative valvular aortic stenosis is the result of active bone formation in the aortic valve, which may be mediated through a process of osteoblast-like differentiation in these tissues. Additionally histopathologic evidence suggests that early lesions in aortic valves are not just a disease process secondary to aging, but an active cellular process that follows the classical "response to injury hypothesis" similar to the situation in atherosclerosis. Although there are similarities with the risk factor and as well as with the process of atherogenesis, not all the patients with coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis have calcific aortic stenosis. This review mainly focuses on the potential vascular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of aortic valve stenosis. Namely extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, inflammation, and eventually osteoblast-like differentiation resulting in bone formation have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of calcific aortic stenosis. Several mediators related to underlying mechanisms, including growth factors especially transforming growth factor-beta1 and vascular endothelial growth factors, angiogenesis, cathepsin enzymes, adhesion molecules, bone regulatory proteins and matrix metalloproteinases have been demonstrated, however the target to be attacked is not defined yet.

  5. Substrate channel in nitrogenase revealed by a molecular dynamics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dayle; Danyal, Karamatullah; Raugei, Simone; Seefeldt, Lance C

    2014-04-15

    Mo-dependent nitrogenase catalyzes the biological reduction of N2 to two NH3 molecules at FeMo-cofactor buried deep inside the MoFe protein. Access of substrates, such as N2, to the active site is likely restricted by the surrounding protein, requiring substrate channels that lead from the surface to the active site. Earlier studies on crystallographic structures of the MoFe protein have suggested three putative substrate channels. Here, we have utilized submicrosecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to allow the nitrogenase MoFe protein to explore its conformational space in an aqueous solution at physiological ionic strength, revealing a putative substrate channel. The viability of this observed channel was tested by examining the free energy of passage of N2 from the surface through the channel to FeMo-cofactor, resulting in the discovery of a very low energy barrier. These studies point to a viable substrate channel in nitrogenase that appears during thermal motions of the protein in an aqueous environment and that approaches a face of FeMo-cofactor earlier implicated in substrate binding.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vsevolod Arsen'evich Tkachuk

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance (IR is a phenomenon associated with an impaired ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake by target cells and to reduce the blood glucose level. A response increase in insulin secretion by the pancreas and hyperinsulinemia are compensatory reactions of the body. The development of IR leads to the inability of target cells to respond to insulin that results in developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM and metabolic syndrome. For this reason, the metabolic syndrome is defined in practice as a combination of IR with one or more pathologies such as T2DM, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and some others. However, a combination of high blood glucose and insulin levels always serves as its physiological criterion.IR should be considered as a systemic failure of the endocrine regulation in the body. Physiological causes of IR are diverse. The main ones are nutritional overload and accumulation of certain lipids and their metabolites in cells, low physical activity, chronic inflammation and stress of various nature, including oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress (impairment of damaged protein degradation in the cell. Recent studies have demonstrated that these physiological mechanisms likely act through a single intracellular scenario. This is the impairment of signal transduction from the insulin receptor to its targets via the negative feedback mechanism in intracellular insulin-dependent signaling cascades.This review describes the physiological and intracellular mechanisms of insulin action and focuses on their abnormalities upon IR development. Finally, feasible trends in early molecular diagnosis and therapy of IR are discussed.

  7. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biyikli, Emre; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-01-01

    Atomistic/continuum coupling methods combine accurate atomistic methods and efficient continuum methods to simulate the behavior of highly ordered crystalline systems. Coupled methods utilize the advantages of both approaches to simulate systems at a lower computational cost, while retaining the accuracy associated with atomistic methods. Many concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling methods have been proposed in the past; however, their true computational efficiency has not been demonstrated. The present work presents an efficient implementation of a concurrent coupling method called the Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) for serial, parallel, and adaptive analysis. First, we present the features of the software implemented along with the associated technologies. The scalability of the software implementation is demonstrated, and the competing effects of multiscale modeling and parallelization are discussed. Then, the algorithms contributing to the efficiency of the software are presented. These include algorithms for eliminating latent ghost atoms from calculations and measurement-based dynamic balancing of parallel workload. The efficiency improvements made by these algorithms are demonstrated by benchmark tests. The efficiency of the software is found to be on par with LAMMPS, a state-of-the-art Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation code, when performing full atomistic simulations. Speed-up of the MMM method is shown to be directly proportional to the reduction of the number of the atoms visited in force computation. Finally, an adaptive MMM analysis on a nanoindentation problem, containing over a million atoms, is performed, yielding an improvement of 6.3–8.5 times in efficiency, over the full atomistic MD method. For the first time, the efficiency of a concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling method is comprehensively investigated and demonstrated.

  8. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  9. [Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astratenkova, I V; Rogozkin, V A

    2014-06-01

    Enzymes Akt, AMPK, mTOR, S6K and PGC-1a coactivator take part in skeletal muscles in the regulation of synthesis of proteins. The expression of these proteins is regulated by growth factors, hormones, nutrients, mechanical loading and leads to an increase in muscle mass and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The review presents the results of studies published in the past four years, which expand knowledge on the effects of various factors on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The attention is focused on the achievements that reveal and clarify the signaling pathways involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The central place is taken by mTOR enzyme which controls and regulates the main stages of the cascade of reactions of muscle proteins providing synthesis in the conditions of human life. coactivator PGC-1a.

  10. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA and oleanolic acid (OA at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0 to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139 μM, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurugubelli Krishna, Rao; Vishnu Bhat, B

    2017-07-10

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a pregnancy specific disease characterized by decreased growth rate of fetus than the normal growth potential at particular gestational age. In the current scenario it is a leading cause of fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. In the last decade exhilarating experimental studies from several laboratories have provided fascinating proof for comprehension of molecular basis of IUGR. Atypical expression of enzymes governed by TGFβ causes the placental apoptosis and altered expression of TGFβ due to hyper alimentation causes impairment of lung function. Crosstalk of cAMP with protein kinases plays a prominent role in the regulation of cortisol levels. Increasing levels of NOD1 proteins leads to development of IUGR by increasing the levels of inflammatory mediators. Increase in leptin synthesis in placental trophoblast cells is associated with IUGR. In this review, we emphasize on the regulatory mechanisms of IUGR and its associated diseases. They may help improve the in-utero fetal growth and provide a better therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of IUGR.

  12. Molecular and genetic mechanisms of environmental mutagens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kubitschek, H.E.; Derstine, P.L.; Griego, V.M.; Matsushita, T.; Peak, J.G.; Peak, M.J.; Reynolds, P.R.; Webb, R.B.; Williams-Hill, D.

    1981-01-01

    This program is primarily concerned with elucidation of the nature of DNA lesions produced by environmental and energy related mutagens, their mechanisms of action, and their repair. The main focus is on actions of chemical mutagens and electromagnetic radiations. Synergistic interactions between mutagens and the mutational processes that lead to synergism are being investigated. Mutagens are chosen for study on the basis of their potential for analysis of mutation (as genetic probes), for development of procedures for reducing mutational damage, for their potential importance to risk assessment, and for development of improved mutagen testing systems. Bacterial cells are used because of the rapidity and clarity of scientific results that can be obtained, the detailed genetic maps, and the many well-defined mutand strains available. The conventional tools of microbial and molecular genetics are used, along with intercomparison of genetically related strains. Advantage is taken of tcollective dose commitment will result in more attention being paid to potential releases of radionuclides at relatively short times after disposal

  13. Molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by nitro compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kagiya, T.; Wada, T.; Nishimoto, S.I.

    1984-01-01

    In this chapter a molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by electron-affinic nitro compounds is discussed, mainly on the basis of the results of the radiation-induced chemical studies of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions. In Section II the general aspects of the radiation chemistry of organic compounds in the absence and presence of oxygen in aqueous solution are shown in order to demonstrate characteristic differences between radiation chemical reactions in hypoxic and oxic cells. The effects of nitro compounds on the radiolysis yields of DNA-related compounds in aqueous solutions are described in Section III. In Section IV the retardation effects of misonidazole on the radiation chemical processes of DNA-related compounds are shown along with the reaction characteristics of misonidazole with hydroxyl radical ( . OH) and hydrated electron (e/sub aq/-bar) produced by the radiolysis of water. The promotion of radiation-induced oxidation of thymine into thymine glycol (TG) by nitro radiosensitizers in deoxygenated solution and the relations between the activity of nitro compound for the thymine glycol formation and the enhancement activity measured in vitro are described in Section V. Finally, the protection against radiation-induced damage of thymine by a sulfhydryl compound of glutathione and the ability of electron-affinic compounds to decompose the intracellular radioprotector are described in Section VI

  14. Separating grain boundary migration mechanisms in molecular dynamics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulomek, Felix; Mohles, Volker

    2016-01-01

    In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of grain boundary (GB) migration it is quite common to find a temperature dependence of GB mobility that deviates strongly from an Arrhenius-type dependence. This usually indicates that more than one mechanism is actually active. With the goal to separate different GB migration mechanisms we investigate a Σ7 <111> 38.2° GB by MD using an EAM potential for aluminium. To drive the GB with a well-known and adjustable force, the energy conserving orientational driving force (ECO DF) is used that had been introduced recently. The magnitude of the DF and the temperature are varied. This yielded a high and a low temperature range for the GB velocity, with a transition temperature that depends on the magnitude of the DF. A method is introduced which allows both a visual and a statistical characterization of GB motion on a per atom basis. These analyses reveal that two mechanisms are active in this GB, a shuffling mechanism and its initiation. These mechanisms operate in a sequential, coupled manner. Based on this, a simple model is introduced that describes all simulated GB velocities (and hence the mobility) very well, including the transition between the dominating mechanisms.

  15. Spiers Memorial Lecture. Molecular mechanics and molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckman, Robert; Beverly, Kris; Boukai, Akram; Bunimovich, Yuri; Choi, Jang Wook; DeIonno, Erica; Green, Johnny; Johnston-Halperin, Ezekiel; Luo, Yi; Sheriff, Bonnie; Stoddart, Fraser; Heath, James R

    2006-01-01

    We describe our research into building integrated molecular electronics circuitry for a diverse set of functions, and with a focus on the fundamental scientific issues that surround this project. In particular, we discuss experiments aimed at understanding the function of bistable rotaxane molecular electronic switches by correlating the switching kinetics and ground state thermodynamic properties of those switches in various environments, ranging from the solution phase to a Langmuir monolayer of the switching molecules sandwiched between two electrodes. We discuss various devices, low bit-density memory circuits, and ultra-high density memory circuits that utilize the electrochemical switching characteristics of these molecules in conjunction with novel patterning methods. We also discuss interconnect schemes that are capable of bridging the micrometre to submicrometre length scales of conventional patterning approaches to the near-molecular length scales of the ultra-dense memory circuits. Finally, we discuss some of the challenges associated with fabricated ultra-dense molecular electronic integrated circuits.

  16. Sexual polyploidization in plants--cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-05-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. © 2013 Ghent University. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. A Practical Quantum Mechanics Molecular Mechanics Method for the Dynamical Study of Reactions in Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús I; Marcos-Alcalde, Iñigo; Trabada, Daniel G; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Ortega, José; Mendieta, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are excellent tools for the modeling of biomolecular reactions. Recently, we have implemented a new QM/MM method (Fireball/Amber), which combines an efficient density functional theory method (Fireball) and a well-recognized molecular dynamics package (Amber), offering an excellent balance between accuracy and sampling capabilities. Here, we present a detailed explanation of the Fireball method and Fireball/Amber implementation. We also discuss how this tool can be used to analyze reactions in biomolecules using steered molecular dynamics simulations. The potential of this approach is shown by the analysis of a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase (TIM). The conformational space and energetic landscape for this reaction are analyzed without a priori assumptions about the protonation states of the different residues during the reaction. The results offer a detailed description of the reaction and reveal some new features of the catalytic mechanism. In particular, we find a new reaction mechanism that is characterized by the intramolecular proton transfer from O1 to O2 and the simultaneous proton transfer from Glu 165 to C2. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. [Molecular Biology on the Mechanisms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Clinical Psychiatrists].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makinodan, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    While, in general, a certain number of clinical psychiatrists might not be familiar with molecular biology, the mechanisms of mental illnesses have been uncovered by molecular biology for decades. Among mental illnesses, even biological psychiatrists and neuroscientists have paid less attention to the biological treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia since ASD has been regarded as a developmental disorder that was seemingly untreatable. However, multifaceted methods of molecular biology have revealed the mechanisms that would lead to the medication of ASD. In this article, how molecular biology dissects the pathobiology of ASD is described in order to announce the possibilities of biological treatment for clinical psychiatrists.

  19. Molecular mechanisms in radiation carcinogenesis: introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Setlow, R.B.

    1975-01-01

    Molecular studies of radiation carcinogenesis are discussed in relation to theories for extrapolating from cellular and animal models to man. Skin cancer is emphasized because of sunlight-induced photochemical damage to DNA. It is emphasized that cellular and animal models are needed as well as molecular theories for quantitative evaluation of hazardous environmental agents. (U.S.)

  20. A genetic analysis of segregation distortion revealed by molecular ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Journal of Genetics, Vol. 90, No. ... Segregation analysis was based on 64 molecular markers, including 26 .... FHB of RIL populations was controlled by quantitative trait ... The authors acknowledge financial support by the National Basic.

  1. Anticancer Chemodiversity of Ranunculaceae Medicinal Plants: Molecular Mechanisms and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Da-Cheng; He, Chun-Nian; Shen, Jie; Xiao, Pei-Gen

    2017-02-01

    The buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, comprising more than 2,200 species in at least 62 genera, mostly herbs, has long been used in folk medicine and worldwide ethnomedicine since the beginning of human civilization. Various medicinal phytometabolites have been found in Ranunculaceae plants, many of which, such as alkaloids, terpenoids, saponins, and polysaccharides, have shown anti-cancer activities in vitro and in vivo. Most concerns have been raised for two epiphany molecules, the monoterpene thymoquinone and the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine. At least 17 genera have been enriched with anti-cancer phytometabolites. Some Ranunculaceae phytometabolites induce the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells or enhance immune activities, while others inhibit the proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis, or reverse the multi-drug resistance of cancer cells thereby regulating all known hallmarks of cancer. These phytometabolites could exert their anti-cancer activities via multiple signaling pathways. In addition, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion/toxicity properties and structure/activity relationships of some phytometabolites have been revealed assisting in the early drug discovery and development pipelines. However, a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms and functions of Ranunculaceae anti-cancer phytometabolites is lacking. Here, we summarize the recent progress of the anti-cancer chemo- and pharmacological diversity of Ranunculaceae medicinal plants, focusing on the emerging molecular machineries and functions of anti-cancer phytometabolites. Gene expression profiling and relevant omics platforms (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) could reveal differential effects of phytometabolites on the phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cells.

  2. Shapiro like steps reveals molecular nanomagnets’ spin dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdollahipour, Babak; Abouie, Jahanfar; Ebrahimi, Navid

    2015-01-01

    We present an accurate way to detect spin dynamics of a nutating molecular nanomagnet by inserting it in a tunnel Josephson junction and studying the current voltage (I-V) characteristic. The spin nutation of the molecular nanomagnet is generated by applying two circularly polarized magnetic fields. We demonstrate that modulation of the Josephson current by the nutation of the molecular nanomagnet’s spin appears as a stepwise structure like Shapiro steps in the I-V characteristic of the junction. Width and heights of these Shapiro-like steps are determined by two parameters of the spin nutation, frequency and amplitude of the nutation, which are simply tuned by the applied magnetic fields

  3. Quantum chemical approaches: semiempirical molecular orbital and hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce, Richard A; Hillier, Ian H

    2014-01-01

    The use of computational quantum chemical methods to aid drug discovery is surveyed. An overview of the various computational models spanning ab initio, density function theory, semiempirical molecular orbital (MO), and hybrid quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) methods is given and their strengths and weaknesses are highlighted, focussing on the challenge of obtaining the accuracy essential for them to make a meaningful contribution to drug discovery. Particular attention is given to hybrid QM/MM and semiempirical MO methods which have the potential to yield the necessary accurate predictions of macromolecular structure and reactivity. These methods are shown to have advanced the study of many aspects of substrate-ligand interactions relevant to drug discovery. Thus, the successful parametrization of semiempirical MO methods and QM/MM methods can be used to model noncovalent substrate-protein interactions, and to lead to improved scoring functions. QM/MM methods can be used in crystal structure refinement and are particularly valuable for modelling covalent protein-ligand interactions and can thus aid the design of transition state analogues. An extensive collection of examples from the areas of metalloenzyme structure, enzyme inhibition, and ligand binding affinities and scoring functions are used to illustrate the power of these techniques.

  4. Molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of buprofezin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-07-14

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and non-target insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon and energy for growth. In this study, the upstream catabolic pathway in strain YL-1 was identified using tandem mass spectrometry. Buprofezin is composed of a benzene ring and a heterocyclic ring. The degradation is initiated by the dihydroxylation of the benzene ring and continues via dehydrogenation, aromatic ring cleavage, breaking of an amide bond and the release of the heterocyclic ring 2- tert -butylimino-3-isopropyl-1,3,5-thiadiazinan-4-one (2-BI). A buprofezin degradation-deficient mutant strain YL-0 was isolated. Comparative genomic analysis combined with gene deletion and complementation experiments revealed that the gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin. bfzA3A4A1A2 encodes a novel Rieske non-heme iron oxygenase (RHO) system that is responsible for the dihydroxylation of buprofezin at the benzene ring; bfzB is involved in dehydrogenation, and bfzC is in charge of benzene ring cleavage. Furthermore, the products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C can also catalyze dihydroxylation, dehydrogenation and aromatic ring cleavage of biphenyl, flavanone, flavone and bifenthrin. In addition, a transcriptional study revealed that bfzBA3A4A1A2C is organized in one transcriptional unit that is constitutively expressed in strain YL-1. Importance There is an increasing concern about the residue and environmental fate of buprofezin. Microbial metabolism is an important mechanism responsible for the buprofezin degradation in natural environment

  5. Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Signaling and Modifying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigemura, Noriatsu; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2016-01-01

    The sense of taste conveys crucial information about the quality and nutritional value of foods before it is ingested. Taste signaling begins with taste cells via taste receptors in oral cavity. Activation of these receptors drives the transduction systems in taste receptor cells. Then particular transmitters are released from the taste cells and activate corresponding afferent gustatory nerve fibers. Recent studies have revealed that taste sensitivities are defined by distinct taste receptors and modulated by endogenous humoral factors in a specific group of taste cells. Such peripheral taste generations and modifications would directly influence intake of nutritive substances. This review will highlight current understanding of molecular mechanisms for taste reception, signal transduction in taste bud cells, transmission between taste cells and nerves, regeneration from taste stem cells, and modification by humoral factors at peripheral taste organs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Molecular mechanism for inhibition of twinfilin by phosphoinositides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hakala, Markku; Kalimeri, Maria; Enkavi, Giray

    2018-01-01

    actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-like ADF homology domains of twinfilin bind phosphoinositides only with low affinity. Mutagenesis and biochemical experiments combined with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the C-terminal tail of twinfilin interacts with membranes through......Membrane phosphoinositides control organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton by regulating the activities of several key actin-binding proteins. Twinfilin is an evolutionarily conserved protein that contributes to cytoskeletal dynamics by interacting with actin monomers, filaments......, and the heterodimeric capping protein. Twinfilin also binds phosphoinositides, which inhibit its interactions with actin, but the underlying mechanism has remained unknown. Here, we show that the high-affinity binding site of twinfilin for phosphoinositides is located at the C-terminal tail region, whereas the two...

  7. Sequence analysis of serum albumins reveals the molecular evolution of ligand recognition properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanali, Gabriella; Ascenzi, Paolo; Bernardi, Giorgio; Fasano, Mauro

    2012-01-01

    Serum albumin (SA) is a circulating protein providing a depot and carrier for many endogenous and exogenous compounds. At least seven major binding sites have been identified by structural and functional investigations mainly in human SA. SA is conserved in vertebrates, with at least 49 entries in protein sequence databases. The multiple sequence analysis of this set of entries leads to the definition of a cladistic tree for the molecular evolution of SA orthologs in vertebrates, thus showing the clustering of the considered species, with lamprey SAs (Lethenteron japonicum and Petromyzon marinus) in a separate outgroup. Sequence analysis aimed at searching conserved domains revealed that most SA sequences are made up by three repeated domains (about 600 residues), as extensively characterized for human SA. On the contrary, lamprey SAs are giant proteins (about 1400 residues) comprising seven repeated domains. The phylogenetic analysis of the SA family reveals a stringent correlation with the taxonomic classification of the species available in sequence databases. A focused inspection of the sequences of ligand binding sites in SA revealed that in all sites most residues involved in ligand binding are conserved, although the versatility towards different ligands could be peculiar of higher organisms. Moreover, the analysis of molecular links between the different sites suggests that allosteric modulation mechanisms could be restricted to higher vertebrates.

  8. The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Mathieu

    2013-12-01

    The use of physical models of molecular structures as research tools has been central to the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. Intriguingly, it has received little attention from scholars of science. In this paper, I argue that these physical models are not mere three-dimensional representations but that they are in fact very special research tools: they are cognitive augmentations. Despite the fact that they are external props, these models serve as cognitive tools that augment and extend the modeler's cognitive capacities and performance in molecular modeling tasks. This cognitive enhancement is obtained because of the way the modeler interacts with these models, the models' materiality contributing to the solving of the molecule's structure. Furthermore, I argue that these material models and their component parts were designed, built and used specifically to serve as cognitive facilitators and cognitive augmentations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Quantum mechanics of molecular rate processes

    CERN Document Server

    Levine, Raphael D

    1999-01-01

    This survey of applications of the theory of collisions and rate processes to molecular problems explores collisions of molecules with internal structure, generalized Ehrenfest theorem, theory of reactive collisions, and role of symmetry. It also reviews partitioning technique, equivalent potentials and quasibound states, theory of direct reactions, more. 1969 edition.

  10. Oligodendroglioma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesseling, P.; Bent, M. van den; Perry, A.

    2015-01-01

    For nearly a century, the diagnosis and grading of oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas has been based on histopathology alone. Roughly 20 years ago, the first glioma-associated molecular signature was found with complete chromosome 1p and 19q codeletion being particularly common in

  11. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Study of the Sialyltransferase Reaction Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamada, Yojiro; Kanematsu, Yusuke; Tachikawa, Masanori

    2016-10-11

    The sialyltransferase is an enzyme that transfers the sialic acid moiety from cytidine 5'-monophospho-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid (CMP-NeuAc) to the terminal position of glycans. To elucidate the catalytic mechanism of sialyltransferase, we explored the potential energy surface along the sialic acid transfer reaction coordinates by the hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method on the basis of the crystal structure of sialyltransferase CstII. Our calculation demonstrated that CstII employed an S N 1-like reaction mechanism via the formation of a short-lived oxocarbenium ion intermediate. The computational barrier height was 19.5 kcal/mol, which reasonably corresponded with the experimental reaction rate. We also found that two tyrosine residues (Tyr156 and Tyr162) played a vital role in stabilizing the intermediate and the transition states by quantum mechanical interaction with CMP.

  12. Geometric Mechanics Reveals Optimal Complex Terrestrial Undulation Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Chaohui; Astley, Henry; Schiebel, Perrin; Dai, Jin; Travers, Matthew; Goldman, Daniel; Choset, Howie; CMU Team; GT Team

    Geometric mechanics offers useful tools for intuitively analyzing biological and robotic locomotion. However, utility of these tools were previously restricted to systems that have only two internal degrees of freedom and in uniform media. We show kinematics of complex locomotors that make intermittent contacts with substrates can be approximated as a linear combination of two shape bases, and can be represented using two variables. Therefore, the tools of geometric mechanics can be used to analyze motions of locomotors with many degrees of freedom. To demonstrate the proposed technique, we present studies on two different types of snake gaits which utilize combinations of waves in the horizontal and vertical planes: sidewinding (in the sidewinder rattlesnake C. cerastes) and lateral undulation (in the desert specialist snake C. occipitalis). C. cerastes moves by generating posteriorly traveling body waves in the horizontal and vertical directions, with a relative phase offset equal to +/-π/2 while C. occipitalismaintains a π/2 offset of a frequency doubled vertical wave. Geometric analysis reveals these coordination patterns enable optimal movement in the two different styles of undulatory terrestrial locomotion. More broadly, these examples demonstrate the utility of geometric mechanics in analyzing realistic biological and robotic locomotion.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of induced-mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kato, Takeshi

    1985-01-01

    The outcome of recent studies on mechanisms of induced-mutations is outlined with particular emphasis on the dependence of recA gene function in Escherichia coli. Genes involved in spontaneous mutation and x-ray- and chemical-induced mutation and genes involved in adaptive response are presented. As for SOS mutagenesis, SOS-induced regulation mechanisms and mutagenic routes are described. Furthermore, specificity of mutagens themselves are discussed in relation to mechanisms of base substitution, frameshift, and deletion mutagenesis. (Namekawa, K.)

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Superantigen Function

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sadegh-Nasseri, Scheherazade

    2004-01-01

    ...) Vb domains and can result in systemic shock and death. Rational design of strategies for prevention or treatments of such diseases may only be possible if we have insights into the mechanisms of T cell activation by SEs...

  15. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    progressive multiple symptoms of motor, cognitive dys- function and behavioural ..... using different types of neurons such as rodent cortical, hippocampal and ..... in the neocortex of rat via a mechanism involving CXCR4 chemokine receptor ...

  16. Mechanically magnified imaging of molecular interferograms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stibor, A.; Stefanov, A.; Goldfarb, F.; Reiger, E.; Arndt, M.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: Imaging of surface adsorbed molecules is presented as a valuable detection method for matter interferometry with fluorescent particles. A mechanical magnification scheme is implemented to circumvent the optical resolution limit. Mechanically magnified fluorescence imaging turns out to be an excellent tool for recording quantum interference patterns with high visibility. A unique advantage of this technique is its scalability: for certain classes of nanosized objects, the detection sensitivity will even increase significantly with increasing size of the particle. (author)

  17. Molecular biological mechanisms I. DNA repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedl, A.A.

    2000-01-01

    Cells of all living systems possess a variety of mechanisms that allow to repair spontaneous and exogeneously induced DNA damage. DNA repair deficiencies may invoke enhanced sensitivity towards DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. They may also enhance the risk of cancer development, both spontaneously or after induction. This article reviews several DNA repair mechanisms, especially those dealing with DNA double-strand breaks, and describes hereditary diseases associated with DNA repair defects. (orig.) [de

  18. Prediction of Sliding Friction Coefficient Based on a Novel Hybrid Molecular-Mechanical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaogang; Zhang, Yali; Wang, Jianmei; Sheng, Chenxing; Li, Zhixiong

    2018-08-01

    Sliding friction is a complex phenomenon which arises from the mechanical and molecular interactions of asperities when examined in a microscale. To reveal and further understand the effects of micro scaled mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient on overall frictional behavior, a hybrid molecular-mechanical model is developed to investigate the effects of main factors, including different loads and surface roughness values, on the sliding friction coefficient in a boundary lubrication condition. Numerical modelling was conducted using a deterministic contact model and based on the molecular-mechanical theory of friction. In the contact model, with given external loads and surface topographies, the pressure distribution, real contact area, and elastic/plastic deformation of each single asperity contact were calculated. Then asperity friction coefficient was predicted by the sum of mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficient. The mechanical component was mainly determined by the contact width and elastic/plastic deformation, and the molecular component was estimated as a function of the contact area and interfacial shear stress. Numerical results were compared with experimental results and a good agreement was obtained. The model was then used to predict friction coefficients in different operating and surface conditions. Numerical results explain why applied load has a minimum effect on the friction coefficients. They also provide insight into the effect of surface roughness on the mechanical and molecular components of friction coefficients. It is revealed that the mechanical component dominates the friction coefficient when the surface roughness is large (Rq > 0.2 μm), while the friction coefficient is mainly determined by the molecular component when the surface is relatively smooth (Rq < 0.2 μm). Furthermore, optimal roughness values for minimizing the friction coefficient are recommended.

  19. Transcriptional profiling at whole population and single cell levels reveals somatosensory neuron molecular diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Isaac M; Barrett, Lee B; Williams, Erika K; Strochlic, David E; Lee, Seungkyu; Weyer, Andy D; Lou, Shan; Bryman, Gregory S; Roberson, David P; Ghasemlou, Nader; Piccoli, Cara; Ahat, Ezgi; Wang, Victor; Cobos, Enrique J; Stucky, Cheryl L; Ma, Qiufu; Liberles, Stephen D; Woolf, Clifford J

    2014-01-01

    The somatosensory nervous system is critical for the organism's ability to respond to mechanical, thermal, and nociceptive stimuli. Somatosensory neurons are functionally and anatomically diverse but their molecular profiles are not well-defined. Here, we used transcriptional profiling to analyze the detailed molecular signatures of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. We used two mouse reporter lines and surface IB4 labeling to purify three major non-overlapping classes of neurons: 1) IB4+SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, 2) IB4−SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, and 3) Parv-Cre/TdTomato+ cells, encompassing the majority of nociceptive, pruriceptive, and proprioceptive neurons. These neurons displayed distinct expression patterns of ion channels, transcription factors, and GPCRs. Highly parallel qRT-PCR analysis of 334 single neurons selected by membership of the three populations demonstrated further diversity, with unbiased clustering analysis identifying six distinct subgroups. These data significantly increase our knowledge of the molecular identities of known DRG populations and uncover potentially novel subsets, revealing the complexity and diversity of those neurons underlying somatosensation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04660.001 PMID:25525749

  20. The molecular mechanism of gene-radiotherapy of tumor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xian

    2004-01-01

    Gene-radiotherapy of tumor is a new method which is induced by ionizing radiation. The molecular mechanism is to activate various molecular target by many ways and induce the apoptosis of tumor cell. It is a gene therapy based on the radiation-inducible property of the Egr-1 gene. It has good application prospect in therapy of tumor

  1. Molecular mechanisms of canalization: Hsp90 and beyond

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhu Sudhan

    2007-03-26

    Mar 26, 2007 ... clients are essential nodes in signal transduction pathways and regulatory circuits, accounting for the .... respective contributions of genetics versus epigenetics ... authors succeeded in elucidating the molecular mechanism.

  2. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents

  3. What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    What molecular mechanism is adapted by plants during salt stress tolerance? ... Salt stress harmfully shocks agricultural yield throughout the world affecting production whether it is for subsistence or economic outcomes. ... from 32 Countries:.

  4. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents. (ERB)

  5. Molecular Dynamics Simulations with Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics and Adaptive Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2018-03-13

    Direct molecular dynamics (MD) simulation with ab initio quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods is very powerful for studying the mechanism of chemical reactions in a complex environment but also very time-consuming. The computational cost of QM/MM calculations during MD simulations can be reduced significantly using semiempirical QM/MM methods with lower accuracy. To achieve higher accuracy at the ab initio QM/MM level, a correction on the existing semiempirical QM/MM model is an attractive idea. Recently, we reported a neural network (NN) method as QM/MM-NN to predict the potential energy difference between semiempirical and ab initio QM/MM approaches. The high-level results can be obtained using neural network based on semiempirical QM/MM MD simulations, but the lack of direct MD samplings at the ab initio QM/MM level is still a deficiency that limits the applications of QM/MM-NN. In the present paper, we developed a dynamic scheme of QM/MM-NN for direct MD simulations on the NN-predicted potential energy surface to approximate ab initio QM/MM MD. Since some configurations excluded from the database for NN training were encountered during simulations, which may cause some difficulties on MD samplings, an adaptive procedure inspired by the selection scheme reported by Behler [ Behler Int. J. Quantum Chem. 2015 , 115 , 1032 ; Behler Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2017 , 56 , 12828 ] was employed with some adaptions to update NN and carry out MD iteratively. We further applied the adaptive QM/MM-NN MD method to the free energy calculation and transition path optimization on chemical reactions in water. The results at the ab initio QM/MM level can be well reproduced using this method after 2-4 iteration cycles. The saving in computational cost is about 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the QM/MM-NN with direct MD simulations has great potentials not only for the calculation of thermodynamic properties but also for the characterization of

  6. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo calculations in statistical mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, W.W.; Erpenbeck, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics calculations on statistical mechanical systems is reviewed giving some of the more significant recent developments. It is noted that the term molecular dynamics refers to the time-averaging technique for hard-core and square-well interactions and for continuous force-law interactions. Ergodic questions, methodology, quantum mechanical, Lorentz, and one-dimensional, hard-core, and square and triangular-well systems, short-range soft potentials, and other systems are included. 268 references

  7. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and remodeling of the lung architecture. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is considered the most common and severe form of the disease, with a median survival of approximately three years and no proven effective therapy. Despite the fact that effective treatments are absent and the precise mechanisms that drive fibrosis in most patients remain incompletely understood, an extensive body of scientific literature regarding pulmonary fibrosis has accumulated over the past 35 years. In this review, we discuss three broad areas which have been explored that may be responsible for the combination of altered lung fibroblasts, loss of alveolar epithelial cells, and excessive accumulation of ECM: inflammation and immune mechanisms, oxidative stress and oxidative signaling, and procoagulant mechanisms. We discuss each of these processes separately to facilitate clarity, but certainly significant interplay will occur amongst these pathways in patients with this disease. PMID:22824096

  8. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waisberg, Michael; Joseph, Pius; Hale, Beverley; Beyersmann, Detmar

    2003-01-01

    Cadmium is a heavy metal, which is widely used in industry, affecting human health through occupational and environmental exposure. In mammals, it exerts multiple toxic effects and has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Cadmium affects cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and other cellular activities. Cd 2+ does not catalyze Fenton-type reactions because it does not accept or donate electrons under physiological conditions, and it is only weakly genotoxic. Hence, indirect mechanisms are implicated in the carcinogenicity of cadmium. In this review multiple mechanisms are discussed, such as modulation of gene expression and signal transduction, interference with enzymes of the cellular antioxidant system and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibition of DNA repair and DNA methylation, role in apoptosis and disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Cadmium affects both gene transcription and translation. The major mechanisms of gene induction by cadmium known so far are modulation of cellular signal transduction pathways by enhancement of protein phosphorylation and activation of transcription and translation factors. Cadmium interferes with antioxidant defense mechanisms and stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species, which may act as signaling molecules in the induction of gene expression and apoptosis. The inhibition of DNA repair processes by cadmium represents a mechanism by which cadmium enhances the genotoxicity of other agents and may contribute to the tumor initiation by this metal. The disruption of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by cadmium probably further stimulates the development of tumors. It becomes clear that there exist multiple mechanisms which contribute to the carcinogenicity of cadmium, although the relative weights of these contributions are difficult to estimate

  9. Opto-acoustic microscopy reveals adhesion mechanics of single cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abi Ghanem, Maroun; Dehoux, Thomas; Liu, Liwang; Le Saux, Guillaume; Plawinski, Laurent; Durrieu, Marie-Christine; Audoin, Bertrand

    2018-01-01

    Laser-generated GHz-ultrasonic-based technologies have shown the ability to image single cell adhesion and stiffness simultaneously. Using this new modality, we here demonstrate quantitative indicators to investigate contact mechanics and adhesion processes of the cell. We cultured human cells on a rigid substrate, and we used an inverted pulsed opto-acoustic microscope to generate acoustic pulses containing frequencies up to 100 GHz in the substrate. We map the reflection of the acoustic pulses at the cell-substrate interface to obtain images of the acoustic impedance of the cell, Zc, as well as of the stiffness of the interface, K, with 1 μm lateral resolution. Our results show that the standard deviation ΔZc reveals differences between different cell types arising from the multiplicity of local conformations within the nucleus. From the distribution of K-values within the nuclear region, we extract a mean interfacial stiffness, Km, that quantifies the average contact force in areas of the cell displaying weak bonding. By analogy with classical contact mechanics, we also define the ratio of the real to nominal contact areas, Sr/St. We show that Km can be interpreted as a quantitative indicator of passive contact at metal-cell interfaces, while Sr/St is sensitive to active adhesive processes in the nuclear region. The ability to separate the contributions of passive and active adhesion processes should allow gaining insight into cell-substrate interactions, with important applications in tissue engineering.

  10. Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, James B; Anderson, T Michael; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Adler, Peter B; Harpole, W Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Pärtel, Meelis; Bakker, Jonathan D; Buckley, Yvonne M; Crawley, Michael J; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Hector, Andy; Knops, Johannes M H; MacDougall, Andrew S; Melbourne, Brett A; Morgan, John W; Orrock, John L; Prober, Suzanne M; Smith, Melinda D

    2016-01-21

    How ecosystem productivity and species richness are interrelated is one of the most debated subjects in the history of ecology. Decades of intensive study have yet to discern the actual mechanisms behind observed global patterns. Here, by integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model and using data from 1,126 grassland plots spanning five continents, we detect the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking productivity and richness. We find that an integrative model has substantially higher explanatory power than traditional bivariate analyses. In addition, the specific results unveil several surprising findings that conflict with classical models. These include the isolation of a strong and consistent enhancement of productivity by richness, an effect in striking contrast with superficial data patterns. Also revealed is a consistent importance of competition across the full range of productivity values, in direct conflict with some (but not all) proposed models. The promotion of local richness by macroecological gradients in climatic favourability, generally seen as a competing hypothesis, is also found to be important in our analysis. The results demonstrate that an integrative modelling approach leads to a major advance in our ability to discern the underlying processes operating in ecological systems.

  11. Electrostatic mechanism of nucleosomal array folding revealed by computer simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jian; Zhang, Qing; Schlick, Tamar

    2005-06-07

    Although numerous experiments indicate that the chromatin fiber displays salt-dependent conformations, the associated molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here, we apply an irregular Discrete Surface Charge Optimization (DiSCO) model of the nucleosome with all histone tails incorporated to describe by Monte Carlo simulations salt-dependent rearrangements of a nucleosomal array with 12 nucleosomes. The ensemble of nucleosomal array conformations display salt-dependent condensation in good agreement with hydrodynamic measurements and suggest that the array adopts highly irregular 3D zig-zag conformations at high (physiological) salt concentrations and transitions into the extended "beads-on-a-string" conformation at low salt. Energy analyses indicate that the repulsion among linker DNA leads to this extended form, whereas internucleosome attraction drives the folding at high salt. The balance between these two contributions determines the salt-dependent condensation. Importantly, the internucleosome and linker DNA-nucleosome attractions require histone tails; we find that the H3 tails, in particular, are crucial for stabilizing the moderately folded fiber at physiological monovalent salt.

  12. Mechanical unfolding reveals stable 3-helix intermediates in talin and α-catenin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasyl V Mykuliak

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical stability is a key feature in the regulation of structural scaffolding proteins and their functions. Despite the abundance of α-helical structures among the human proteome and their undisputed importance in health and disease, the fundamental principles of their behavior under mechanical load are poorly understood. Talin and α-catenin are two key molecules in focal adhesions and adherens junctions, respectively. In this study, we used a combination of atomistic steered molecular dynamics (SMD simulations, polyprotein engineering, and single-molecule atomic force microscopy (smAFM to investigate unfolding of these proteins. SMD simulations revealed that talin rod α-helix bundles as well as α-catenin α-helix domains unfold through stable 3-helix intermediates. While the 5-helix bundles were found to be mechanically stable, a second stable conformation corresponding to the 3-helix state was revealed. Mechanically weaker 4-helix bundles easily unfolded into a stable 3-helix conformation. The results of smAFM experiments were in agreement with the findings of the computational simulations. The disulfide clamp mutants, designed to protect the stable state, support the 3-helix intermediate model in both experimental and computational setups. As a result, multiple discrete unfolding intermediate states in the talin and α-catenin unfolding pathway were discovered. Better understanding of the mechanical unfolding mechanism of α-helix proteins is a key step towards comprehensive models describing the mechanoregulation of proteins.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Particle Ration Induced Apoptosis in Lymphocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yufang

    Space radiation, composed of high-energy charged nuclei (HZE particles) and protons, has been previously shown to severely impact immune homeostasis in mice. To determine the molecular mechanisms that mediate acute lymphocyte depletion following exposure to HZE particle radiation mice were exposed to particle radiation beams at Brookhaven National Laboratory. We found that mice given whole body 5 6Fe particle irradiation (1GeV /n) had dose-dependent losses in total lymphocyte numbers in the spleen and thymus (using 200, 100 and 50 cGy), with thymocytes being more sensitive than splenocytes. All phenotypic subsets were reduced in number. In general, T cells and B cells were equally sensitive, while CD8+ T cells were more senstive than CD4+ T cells. In the thymus, immature CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes were exquisitely sensitive to radiation-induced losses, single-positive CD4 or CD8 cells were less sensitive, and the least mature double negative cells were resistant. Irradiation of mice deficient in genes encoding essential apoptosis-inducing proteins revealed that the mechanism of lymphocyte depletion is independent of Fas ligand and TRAIL (TNF-ralated apoptosis-inducing ligand), in contrast to γ-radiation-induced lymphocyte losses which require the Fas-FasL pathway. Using inhibitors in vitro, lymphocyte apoptosis induced by HZE particle radiation was found to be caspase dependent, and not involve nitric oxide or oxygen free radicals.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. Xenon preconditioning: molecular mechanisms and biological effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Wenwu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.

  16. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Timothy J.; Gilmore, Aprile; Ward, Karen; Vowell, Courtney

    Medical studies established that vancomycin and other related macrocyclic antibiotics have an enhanced antimicrobial activity when they are associated as dimers. The carbohydrate units attached to the vancomycin basket have an essential role in the dimerization reaction. Covalently synthesized dimers were found active against vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains. A great similarity between antibiotic potential and enantioselectivity was established. A covalent vancomycin dimer was studied in capillary electrophoresis producing excellent chiral separation of dansyl amino acids. Balhimycin is a macrocyclic glycopeptide structurally similar to vancomycin. The small differences are, however, responsible for drastic differences in enantioselectivity in the same experimental conditions. Contributions from studies examining vancomycin's mechanism for antimicrobial activity have substantially aided our understanding of its mechanism in chiral recognition.

  17. The structure of Lactococcus lactis thioredoxin reductase reveals molecular features of photo-oxidative damage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skjoldager, Nicklas; Bang, Maria Blanner; Rykær, Martin

    2017-01-01

    The NADPH-dependent homodimeric flavoenzyme thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) provides reducing equivalents to thioredoxin, a key regulator of various cellular redox processes. Crystal structures of photo-inactivated thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis have...... been determined. These structures reveal novel molecular features that provide further insight into the mechanisms behind the sensitivity of this enzyme toward visible light. We propose that a pocket on the si-face of the isoalloxazine ring accommodates oxygen that reacts with photo-excited FAD...... thus be a widespread feature among bacterial TrxR with the described characteristics, which affords applications in clinical photo-therapy of drug-resistant bacteria....

  18. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, John H. Jr. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)], E-mail: jhmiller@uh.edu; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Claycomb, James R. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States); Department of Mathematics and Physics, Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77074-3298 (United States); Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T. [Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Ste. 617 SR1 Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors.

  19. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, John H. Jr.; Vajrala, Vijayanand; Infante, Hans L.; Claycomb, James R.; Palanisami, Akilan; Fang Jie; Mercier, George T.

    2009-01-01

    Biological motors generally fall into two categories: (1) those that convert chemical into mechanical energy via hydrolysis of a nucleoside triphosphate, usually adenosine triphosphate, regarded as life's chemical currency of energy and (2) membrane bound motors driven directly by an ion gradient and/or membrane potential. Here we argue that electrostatic interactions play a vital role for both types of motors and, therefore, the tools of physics can greatly contribute to understanding biological motors

  20. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Bonaldo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle is a plastic organ that is maintained by multiple pathways regulating cell and protein turnover. During muscle atrophy, proteolytic systems are activated, and contractile proteins and organelles are removed, resulting in the shrinkage of muscle fibers. Excessive loss of muscle mass is associated with poor prognosis in several diseases, including myopathies and muscular dystrophies, as well as in systemic disorders such as cancer, diabetes, sepsis and heart failure. Muscle loss also occurs during aging. In this paper, we review the key mechanisms that regulate the turnover of contractile proteins and organelles in muscle tissue, and discuss how impairments in these mechanisms can contribute to muscle atrophy. We also discuss how protein synthesis and degradation are coordinately regulated by signaling pathways that are influenced by mechanical stress, physical activity, and the availability of nutrients and growth factors. Understanding how these pathways regulate muscle mass will provide new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of muscle atrophy in metabolic and neuromuscular diseases.

  1. Episodic sexual transmission of HIV revealed by molecular phylodynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fraser Lewis

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The structure of sexual contact networks plays a key role in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections, and their reconstruction from interview data has provided valuable insights into the spread of infection. For HIV, the long period of infectivity has made the interpretation of contact networks more difficult, and major discrepancies have been observed between the contact network and the transmission network revealed by viral phylogenetics. The high rate of HIV evolution in principle allows for detailed reconstruction of links between virus from different individuals, but often sampling has been too sparse to describe the structure of the transmission network. The aim of this study was to analyze a high-density sample of an HIV-infected population using recently developed techniques in phylogenetics to infer the short-term dynamics of the epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM.Sequences of the protease and reverse transcriptase coding regions from 2,126 patients, predominantly MSM, from London were compared: 402 of these showed a close match to at least one other subtype B sequence. Nine large clusters were identified on the basis of genetic distance; all were confirmed by Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov chain (MCMC phylogenetic analysis. Overall, 25% of individuals with a close match with one sequence are linked to 10 or more others. Dated phylogenies of the clusters using a relaxed clock indicated that 65% of the transmissions within clusters took place between 1995 and 2000, and 25% occurred within 6 mo after infection. The likelihood that not all members of the clusters have been identified renders the latter observation conservative.Reconstruction of the HIV transmission network using a dated phylogeny approach has revealed the HIV epidemic among MSM in London to have been episodic, with evidence of multiple clusters of transmissions dating to the late 1990s, a period when HIV prevalence is known to have doubled in this

  2. Molecular analysis of sourdough reveals Lactobacillus mindensis sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrmann, Matthias A; Müller, Martin R A; Vogel, Rudi F

    2003-01-01

    Genotypic fingerprinting to analyse the bacterial flora of an industrial sourdough revealed a coherent group of strains which could not be associated with a valid species. Comparative 16S rDNA sequence analysis showed that these strains formed a homogeneous cluster distinct from their closest relatives, Lactobacillus farciminis, Lactobacillus alimentarius and Lactobacillus kimchii. To characterize them further, physiological (sugar fermentation, formation of DL-lactate, hydrolysis of arginine, growth temperature, CO2 production) and chemotaxonomic properties have been determined. The DNA G +C content was 37.5 0.2 mol%. The peptidoglycan was of the lysine-D-iso-asparagine (L-Lys-D-Asp) type. The strains were homofermentative, Gram-positive, catalase-negative, non-spore-forming, non-motile rods. They were found as a major stable component of a rye flour sourdough fermentation. Physiological, biochemical as well as genotypic data suggested them to be a new species of the genus Lactobacillus. This was confirmed by DNA-DNA hybridization of genomic DNA, and the name Lactobacillus mindensis is proposed. The type strain of this species is DSM 14500T (=LMG 21508T).

  3. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1996-01-01

    The objectives of this work were to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that were responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The studies were based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA

  4. Opto-acoustic microscopy reveals adhesion mechanics of single cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abi Ghanem, Maroun; Dehoux, Thomas; Liu, Liwang; Le Saux, Guillaume; Plawinski, Laurent; Durrieu, Marie-Christine; Audoin, Bertrand

    2018-01-01

    Laser-generated GHz-ultrasonic-based technologies have shown the ability to image single cell adhesion and stiffness simultaneously. Using this new modality, we here demonstrate quantitative indicators to investigate contact mechanics and adhesion processes of the cell. We cultured human cells on a rigid substrate, and we used an inverted pulsed opto-acoustic microscope to generate acoustic pulses containing frequencies up to 100 GHz in the substrate. We map the reflection of the acoustic pulses at the cell-substrate interface to obtain images of the acoustic impedance of the cell, Z c , as well as of the stiffness of the interface, K, with 1 μm lateral resolution. Our results show that the standard deviation ΔZ c reveals differences between different cell types arising from the multiplicity of local conformations within the nucleus. From the distribution of K-values within the nuclear region, we extract a mean interfacial stiffness, K m , that quantifies the average contact force in areas of the cell displaying weak bonding. By analogy with classical contact mechanics, we also define the ratio of the real to nominal contact areas, S r /S t . We show that K m can be interpreted as a quantitative indicator of passive contact at metal-cell interfaces, while S r /S t is sensitive to active adhesive processes in the nuclear region. The ability to separate the contributions of passive and active adhesion processes should allow gaining insight into cell-substrate interactions, with important applications in tissue engineering.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanello, S. B.; Boyle, R.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of both vertebrates and invertebrates follows internal rhythms coordinated in phase with the 24-hour daily light cycle. This circadian clock is governed by a central pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. However, peripheral circadian clocks or oscillators have been identified in most tissues. How the central and peripheral oscillators are synchronized is still being elucidated. Light is the main environmental cue that entrains the circadian clock. Under the absence of a light stimulus, the clock continues its oscillation in a free-running condition. In general, three functional compartments of the circadian clock are defined. The vertebrate retina contains endogenous clocks that control many aspects of retinal physiology, including retinal sensitivity to light, neurohormone synthesis (melatonin and dopamine), rod disk shedding, signalling pathways and gene expression. Neurons with putative local circadian rhythm generation are found among all the major neuron populations in the mammalian retina. In the mouse, clock genes and function are more localized to the inner retinal and ganglion cell layers. The photoreceptor, however, secrete melatonin which may still serve a an important circadian signal. The reception and transmission of the non-visual photic stimulus resides in a small subpopulation (1-3%) or retinal ganglion cells (RGC) that express the pigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are called intrisically photoreceptive RGC (ipRGC). Melanopsin peak absorption is at 420 nm and all the axons of the ipRGC reach the SCN. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate the risk of fatigue and health and performance decrement due to circadian rhythm disruption. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ip

  6. Mechanism of the superior mechanical strength of nanometer-sized metal single crystals revealed

    KAUST Repository

    Afify, N. D.

    2013-10-01

    Clear understanding of the superior mechanical strength of nanometer-sized metal single crystals is required to derive advanced mechanical components retaining such superiority. Although high quality studies have been reported on nano-crystalline metals, the superiority of small single crystals has neither been fundamentally explained nor quantified to this date. Here we present a molecular dynamics study of aluminum single crystals in the size range from 4.1 nm to 40.5 nm. We show that the ultimate mechanical strength deteriorates exponentially as the single crystal size increases. The small crystals superiority is explained by their ability to continuously form vacancies and to recover them. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Molecular cytotoxic mechanisms of anticancer hydroxychalcones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabzevari, Omid; Galati, Giuseppe; Moridani, Majid Y; Siraki, Arno; O'Brien, Peter J

    2004-06-30

    Chalcones are being considered as anticancer agents as they are natural compounds that are particularly cytotoxic towards K562 leukemia or melanoma cells. In this study, we have investigated phloretin, isoliquiritigenin, and 10 other hydroxylated chalcones for their cytotoxic mechanisms towards isolated rat hepatocytes. All hydroxychalcones partly depleted hepatocyte GSH and oxidized GSH to GSSG. These chalcones also caused a collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased oxygen uptake. Furthermore, glycolytic or citric acid cycle substrates prevented cytotoxicity and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. The highest pKa chalcones were the most effective at collapsing the mitochondrial membrane potential which suggests that the cytotoxic activity of hydroxychalcones are likely because of their ability to uncouple mitochondria.

  8. Molecular and neuroendocrine mechanisms of cancer cachexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Maria Carolina S; Pimentel, Gustavo D; Costa, Felipe O; Carvalheira, José B C

    2015-09-01

    Cancer and its morbidities, such as cancer cachexia, constitute a major public health problem. Although cancer cachexia has afflicted humanity for centuries, its underlying multifactorial and complex physiopathology has hindered the understanding of its mechanism. During the last few decades we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the understanding of cancer cachexia pathophysiology. Anorexia and muscle and adipose tissue wasting are the main features of cancer cachexia. These apparently independent symptoms have humoral factors secreted by the tumor as a common cause. Importantly, the hypothalamus has emerged as an organ that senses the peripheral signals emanating from the tumoral environment, and not only elicits anorexia but also contributes to the development of muscle and adipose tissue loss. Herein, we review the roles of factors secreted by the tumor and its effects on the hypothalamus, muscle and adipose tissue, as well as highlighting the key targets that are being exploited for cancer cachexia treatment. © 2015 Society for Endocrinology.

  9. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins constitute a family of growth factors that play a key role in the regulation of the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. A common feature of all the neurotrophins is their synthesis in cells as long precursors (pre-pro-neurotrophins) that contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a following propeptide and the mature neurotrophin. Although the signal peptide functions have been well studied, the role of neurotrophin propeptides is not so clear. Here, we briefly summarize the biochemistry of neurotrophin propeptides, including their role as folding-assistants for the mature factor and their role in processing and in secretion of neurotrophins. In the main part of the review we summarize our current state of knowledge of the biological activity of neurotrophin propeptides, their possible mechanisms of action, and their potential influence on the activity of the mature neurotrophins.

  10. Cellular and molecular mechanisms coordinating pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastidas-Ponce, Aimée; Scheibner, Katharina; Lickert, Heiko; Bakhti, Mostafa

    2017-08-15

    The pancreas is an endoderm-derived glandular organ that participates in the regulation of systemic glucose metabolism and food digestion through the function of its endocrine and exocrine compartments, respectively. While intensive research has explored the signaling pathways and transcriptional programs that govern pancreas development, much remains to be discovered regarding the cellular processes that orchestrate pancreas morphogenesis. Here, we discuss the developmental mechanisms and principles that are known to underlie pancreas development, from induction and lineage formation to morphogenesis and organogenesis. Elucidating such principles will help to identify novel candidate disease genes and unravel the pathogenesis of pancreas-related diseases, such as diabetes, pancreatitis and cancer. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Performance assessment of semiempirical molecular orbital methods in describing halogen bonding: quantum mechanical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical-molecular dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Mahmoud A A

    2011-10-24

    The performance of semiempirical molecular-orbital methods--MNDO, MNDO-d, AM1, RM1, PM3 and PM6--in describing halogen bonding was evaluated, and the results were compared with molecular mechanical (MM) and quantum mechanical (QM) data. Three types of performance were assessed: (1) geometrical optimizations and binding energy calculations for 27 halogen-containing molecules complexed with various Lewis bases (Two of the tested methods, AM1 and RM1, gave results that agree with the QM data.); (2) charge distribution calculations for halobenzene molecules, determined by calculating the solvation free energies of the molecules relative to benzene in explicit and implicit generalized Born (GB) solvents (None of the methods gave results that agree with the experimental data.); and (3) appropriateness of the semiempirical methods in the hybrid quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) scheme, investigated by studying the molecular inhibition of CK2 protein by eight halobenzimidazole and -benzotriazole derivatives using hybrid QM/MM molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations with the inhibitor described at the QM level by the AM1 method and the rest of the system described at the MM level. The pure MM approach with inclusion of an extra point of positive charge on the halogen atom approach gave better results than the hybrid QM/MM approach involving the AM1 method. Also, in comparison with the pure MM-GBSA (generalized Born surface area) binding energies and experimental data, the calculated QM/MM-GBSA binding energies of the inhibitors were improved by replacing the G(GB,QM/MM) solvation term with the corresponding G(GB,MM) term.

  12. Molecular mechanisms for sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanematsu, Keisuke; Kusakabe, Yuko; Shigemura, Noriatsu; Hirokawa, Takatsugu; Nakamura, Seiji; Imoto, Toshiaki; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2014-09-12

    Gymnemic acids are triterpene glycosides that selectively suppress taste responses to various sweet substances in humans but not in mice. This sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids is diminished by rinsing the tongue with γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids and the interaction between gymnemic acids versus sweet taste receptor and/or γ-CD. To investigate whether gymnemic acids directly interact with human (h) sweet receptor hT1R2 + hT1R3, we used the sweet receptor T1R2 + T1R3 assay in transiently transfected HEK293 cells. Similar to previous studies in humans and mice, gymnemic acids (100 μg/ml) inhibited the [Ca(2+)]i responses to sweet compounds in HEK293 cells heterologously expressing hT1R2 + hT1R3 but not in those expressing the mouse (m) sweet receptor mT1R2 + mT1R3. The effect of gymnemic acids rapidly disappeared after rinsing the HEK293 cells with γ-CD. Using mixed species pairings of human and mouse sweet receptor subunits and chimeras, we determined that the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 was mainly required for the sweet-suppressing effect of gymnemic acids. Directed mutagenesis in the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 revealed that the interaction site for gymnemic acids shared the amino acid residues that determined the sensitivity to another sweet antagonist, lactisole. Glucuronic acid, which is the common structure of gymnemic acids, also reduced sensitivity to sweet compounds. In our models, gymnemic acids were predicted to dock to a binding pocket within the transmembrane domain of hT1R3. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Molecular mechanism for generation of antibody memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivarov, Velizar; Shinkura, Reiko; Doi, Tomomitsu; Begum, Nasim A; Nagaoka, Hitoshi; Okazaki, Il-Mi; Ito, Satomi; Nonaka, Taichiro; Kinoshita, Kazuo; Honjo, Tasuku

    2009-03-12

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is the essential enzyme inducing the DNA cleavage required for both somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) of the immunoglobulin gene. We originally proposed the RNA-editing model for the mechanism of DNA cleavage by AID. We obtained evidence that fulfils three requirements for CSR by this model, namely (i) AID shuttling between nucleus and cytoplasm, (ii) de novo protein synthesis for CSR, and (iii) AID-RNA complex formation. The alternative hypothesis, designated as the DNA-deamination model, assumes that the in vitro DNA deamination activity of AID is representative of its physiological function in vivo. Furthermore, the resulting dU was removed by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) to generate a basic site, followed by phosphodiester bond cleavage by AP endonuclease. We critically examined each of these provisional steps. We identified a cluster of mutants (H48A, L49A, R50A and N51A) that had particularly higher CSR activities than expected from their DNA deamination activities. The most striking was the N51A mutant that had no ability to deaminate DNA in vitro but retained approximately 50 per cent of the wild-type level of CSR activity. We also provide further evidence that UNG plays a non-canonical role in CSR, namely in the repair step of the DNA breaks. Taking these results together, we favour the RNA-editing model for the function of AID in CSR.

  14. Insight into the molecular switch mechanism of human Rab5a from molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jing-Fang, E-mail: jfwang@gordonlifescience.org [Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology, 100 Qinzhou Road, Shanghai 200235 (China); Gordon Life Science Institute, 13784 Torrey Del Mar Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (United States); Chou, Kuo-Chen [Gordon Life Science Institute, 13784 Torrey Del Mar Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (United States)

    2009-12-18

    Rab5a is currently a most interesting target because it is responsible for regulating the early endosome fusion in endocytosis and possibly the budding process. We utilized longtime-scale molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the internal motion of the wild-type Rab5a and its A30P mutant. It was observed that, after binding with GTP, the global flexibility of the two proteins is increasing, while the local flexibility in their sensitive sites (P-loop, switch I and II regions) is decreasing. Also, the mutation of Ala30 to Pro30 can cause notable flexibility variations in the sensitive sites. However, this kind of variations is dramatically reduced after binding with GTP. Such a remarkable feature is mainly caused by the water network rearrangements in the sensitive sites. These findings might be of use for revealing the profound mechanism of the displacements of Rab5a switch regions, as well as the mechanism of the GDP dissociation and GTP association.

  15. Understanding the mechanisms of amorphous creep through molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Penghui; Short, Michael P; Yip, Sidney

    2017-12-26

    Molecular processes of creep in metallic glass thin films are simulated at experimental timescales using a metadynamics-based atomistic method. Space-time evolutions of the atomic strains and nonaffine atom displacements are analyzed to reveal details of the atomic-level deformation and flow processes of amorphous creep in response to stress and thermal activations. From the simulation results, resolved spatially on the nanoscale and temporally over time increments of fractions of a second, we derive a mechanistic explanation of the well-known variation of creep rate with stress. We also construct a deformation map delineating the predominant regimes of diffusional creep at low stress and high temperature and deformational creep at high stress. Our findings validate the relevance of two original models of the mechanisms of amorphous plasticity: one focusing on atomic diffusion via free volume and the other focusing on stress-induced shear deformation. These processes are found to be nonlinearly coupled through dynamically heterogeneous fluctuations that characterize the slow dynamics of systems out of equilibrium.

  16. Molecular Theory of the Living Cell Concepts, Molecular Mechanisms, and Biomedical Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Ji, Sungchul

    2012-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive molecular theory of the living cell based on over thirty concepts, principles and laws imported from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, informatics, computer science, linguistics, semiotics, and philosophy. The author formulates physically, chemically and enzymologically realistic molecular mechanisms to account for the basic living processes such as ligand-receptor interactions, protein folding, single-molecule enzymic catalysis, force-generating mechanisms in molecular motors, signal transduction, regulation of the genome-wide RNA metabolism, morphogenesis, the micro-macro coupling in coordination dynamics, the origin of life, and the mechanisms of biological evolution itself. Possible solutions to basic and practical problems facing contemporary biology and biomedical sciences have been suggested, including pharmacotheragnostics and personalized medicine.

  17. Mini-review: Molecular mechanisms of antifouling compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2013-04-01

    Various antifouling (AF) coatings have been developed to protect submerged surfaces by deterring the settlement of the colonizing stages of fouling organisms. A review of the literature shows that effective AF compounds with specific targets are ones often considered non-toxic. Such compounds act variously on ion channels, quorum sensing systems, neurotransmitters, production/release of adhesive, and specific enzymes that regulate energy production or primary metabolism. In contrast, AF compounds with general targets may or may not act through toxic mechanisms. These compounds affect a variety of biological activities including algal photosynthesis, energy production, stress responses, genotoxic damage, immunosuppressed protein expression, oxidation, neurotransmission, surface chemistry, the formation of biofilms, and adhesive production/release. Among all the targets, adhesive production/release is the most common, possibly due to a more extensive research effort in this area. Overall, the specific molecular targets and the molecular mechanisms of most AF compounds have not been identified. Thus, the information available is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the types of molecular targets to be used as sensitive biomarkers for future design and screening of compounds with AF potential. In this review, the relevant advantages and disadvantages of the molecular tools available for studying the molecular targets of AF compounds are highlighted briefly and the molecular mechanisms of the AF compounds, which are largely a source of speculation in the literature, are discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  18. Graph-drawing algorithms geometries versus molecular mechanics in fullereness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, M.; Pisanski, T.; Lukman, D.; Borštnik, B.; Graovac, A.

    1996-09-01

    The algorithms of Kamada-Kawai (KK) and Fruchterman-Reingold (FR) have been recently generalized (Pisanski et al., Croat. Chem. Acta 68 (1995) 283) in order to draw molecular graphs in three-dimensional space. The quality of KK and FR geometries is studied here by comparing them with the molecular mechanics (MM) and the adjacency matrix eigenvectors (AME) algorithm geometries. In order to compare different layouts of the same molecule, an appropriate method has been developed. Its application to a series of experimentally detected fullerenes indicates that the KK, FR and AME algorithms are able to reproduce plausible molecular geometries.

  19. Charge-dependent conformations and dynamics of pamam dendrimers revealed by neutron scattering and molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bin

    spatial instrumental scales, understanding experimental results involves extensive and difficult data analysis based on liquid theory and condensed matter physics. Therefore, a model that successfully describes the inter- and intra-dendrimer correlations is crucial in obtaining and delivering reliable information. On the other hand, making meaningful comparisons between molecular dynamics and neutron scattering is a fundamental challenge to link simulations and experiments at the nano-scale. This challenge stems from our approach to utilize MD simulation to explain the underlying mechanism of experimental observation. The SANS measurements were conducted on a series of SANS spectrometers including the Extended Q-Range Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Diffractometer (EQ-SANS) and the General-Purpose Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Diffractometer (GP-SANS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and NG7 Small Angle Neutron Scattering Spectrometer at National Institute of Standards (NIST) and Technology in U.S.A., large dynamic range small-angle diffractometer D22 at Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in France, and 40m-SANS Spectrometer at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) in Korea. On the other hand, the Amber molecular dynamics simulation package is utilized to carry out the computational study. In this dissertation, the following observations have been revealed. The previously developed theoretical model for polyelectrolyte dendrimers are adopted to analyze SANS measurements and superb model fitting quality is found. Coupling with advanced contrast variation small angle neutron scattering (CVSANS) data analysis scheme reported recently, the intra-dendrimer hydration and hydrocarbon components distributions are revealed experimentally. The results indeed indicate that the maximum density is located in the molecular center rather than periphery, which is consistent to previous SANS studies and the back-folding picture of PAMAM dendrimers. According to this picture

  20. Lung eQTLs to Help Reveal the Molecular Underpinnings of Asthma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hao, Ke; Bosse, Yohan; Nickle, David C.; Pare, Peter D.; Postma, Dirkje S.; Laviolette, Michel; Sandford, Andrew; Hackett, Tillie L.; Daley, Denise; Hogg, James C.; Elliott, W. Mark; Couture, Christian; Lamontagne, Maxime; Brandsma, Corry-Anke; van den Berge, Maarten; Koppelman, Gerard; Reicin, Alise S.; Nicholson, Donald W.; Malkov, Vladislav; Derry, Jonathan M.; Suver, Christine; Tsou, Jeffrey A.; Kulkarni, Amit; Zhang, Chunsheng; Vessey, Rupert; Opiteck, Greg J.; Curtis, Sean P.; Timens, Wim; Sin, Don D.

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified loci reproducibly associated with pulmonary diseases; however, the molecular mechanism underlying these associations are largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to discover genetic variants affecting gene expression in human lung

  1. Molecular determinants of juvenile hormone action as revealed by 3D QSAR analysis in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denisa Liszeková

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Postembryonic development, including metamorphosis, of many animals is under control of hormones. In Drosophila and other insects these developmental transitions are regulated by the coordinate action of two principal hormones, the steroid ecdysone and the sesquiterpenoid juvenile hormone (JH. While the mode of ecdysone action is relatively well understood, the molecular mode of JH action remains elusive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To gain more insights into the molecular mechanism of JH action, we have tested the biological activity of 86 structurally diverse JH agonists in Drosophila melanogaster. The results were evaluated using 3D QSAR analyses involving CoMFA and CoMSIA procedures. Using this approach we have generated both computer-aided and species-specific pharmacophore fingerprints of JH and its agonists, which revealed that the most active compounds must possess an electronegative atom (oxygen or nitrogen at both ends of the molecule. When either of these electronegative atoms are replaced by carbon or the distance between them is shorter than 11.5 A or longer than 13.5 A, their biological activity is dramatically decreased. The presence of an electron-deficient moiety in the middle of the JH agonist is also essential for high activity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The information from 3D QSAR provides guidelines and mechanistic scope for identification of steric and electrostatic properties as well as donor and acceptor hydrogen-bonding that are important features of the ligand-binding cavity of a JH target protein. In order to refine the pharmacophore analysis and evaluate the outcomes of the CoMFA and CoMSIA study we used pseudoreceptor modeling software PrGen to generate a putative binding site surrogate that is composed of eight amino acid residues corresponding to the defined molecular interactions.

  2. Insights into the catalytic mechanism of dehydrogenase BphB: A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruiming; Shi, Xiangli; Sun, Yanhui; Zhang, Qingzhu; Wang, Wenxing

    2018-05-17

    The present study delineated the dehydrogenation mechanism of cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (2,3-DDBPH) and cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxy-4,4'-dichlorobiphenyl (2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH) by Pandoraea pnomenusa strain B-356 cis-2,3-dihydro-2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl dehydrogenase (BphB) in atomistic detail. The enzymatic process was investigated by a combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. Five different snapshots were extracted and calculated, which revealed that the Boltzmann-weighted average barriers of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH dehydrogenation processes are 10.7 and 11.5 kcal mol -1 , respectively. The established dehydrogenation mechanism provides new insight into the degradation processes of other chlorinated 2,3-DDBPH. In addition to Asn115, Ser142, and Lys149, the importance of Ile 89, Asn143, Pro184, Met 187, Thr189, and Lue 191 during the dehydrogenation process of 2,3-DDBPH and 2,3-DD-4,4'-DBPH were also highlighted to search for promising mutation targets for improving the catalytic efficiency of BphB. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Reaction Mechanism of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Glutamine Synthetase Using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cátia; Ramos, Maria J; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino

    2016-06-27

    This paper is devoted to the understanding of the reaction mechanism of mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase (mtGS) with atomic detail, using computational quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods at the ONIOM M06-D3/6-311++G(2d,2p):ff99SB//B3LYP/6-31G(d):ff99SB level of theory. The complete reaction undergoes a three-step mechanism: the spontaneous transfer of phosphate from ATP to glutamate upon ammonium binding (ammonium quickly loses a proton to Asp54), the attack of ammonia on phosphorylated glutamate (yielding protonated glutamine), and the deprotonation of glutamine by the leaving phosphate. This exothermic reaction has an activation free energy of 21.5 kcal mol(-1) , which is consistent with that described for Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase (15-17 kcal mol(-1) ). The participating active site residues have been identified and their role and energy contributions clarified. This study provides an insightful atomic description of the biosynthetic reaction that takes place in this enzyme, opening doors for more accurate studies for developing new anti-tuberculosis therapies. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetnyak, Vasiliy Ivanovich

    2013-01-01

    This review considers the physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation. The composition of bile and structure of a bile canaliculus, biosynthesis and conjugation of bile acids, bile phospholipids, formation of bile micellar structures, and enterohepatic circulation of bile acids are described. In general, the review focuses on the molecular physiology of the transporting systems of the hepatocyte sinusoidal and apical membranes. Knowledge of physiological and biochemical basis of bile formation has implications for understanding the mechanisms of development of pathological processes, associated with diseases of the liver and biliary tract. PMID:24259965

  5. Time-Series Analyses of Transcriptomes and Proteomes Reveal Molecular Networks Underlying Oil Accumulation in Canola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Huafang; Cui, Yixin; Ding, Yijuan; Mei, Jiaqin; Dong, Hongli; Zhang, Wenxin; Wu, Shiqi; Liang, Ying; Zhang, Chunyu; Li, Jiana; Xiong, Qing; Qian, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the regulation of lipid metabolism is vital for genetic engineering of canola ( Brassica napus L.) to increase oil yield or modify oil composition. We conducted time-series analyses of transcriptomes and proteomes to uncover the molecular networks associated with oil accumulation and dynamic changes in these networks in canola. The expression levels of genes and proteins were measured at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after pollination (WAP). Our results show that the biosynthesis of fatty acids is a dominant cellular process from 2 to 6 WAP, while the degradation mainly happens after 6 WAP. We found that genes in almost every node of fatty acid synthesis pathway were significantly up-regulated during oil accumulation. Moreover, significant expression changes of two genes, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and acyl-ACP desaturase, were detected on both transcriptomic and proteomic levels. We confirmed the temporal expression patterns revealed by the transcriptomic analyses using quantitative real-time PCR experiments. The gene set association analysis show that the biosynthesis of fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids are the most significant biological processes from 2-4 WAP and 4-6 WAP, respectively, which is consistent with the results of time-series analyses. These results not only provide insight into the mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism, but also reveal novel candidate genes that are worth further investigation for their values in the genetic engineering of canola.

  6. Attention: Reaction Time and Accuracy Reveal Different Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinzmetal, William; McCool, Christin; Park, Samuel

    2005-01-01

    The authors propose that there are 2 different mechanisms whereby spatial cues capture attention. The voluntary mechanism is the strategic allocation of perceptual resources to the location most likely to contain the target. The involuntary mechanism is a reflexive orienting response that occurs even when the spatial cue does not indicate the…

  7. Molecular mechanism of APC/C activation by mitotic phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Suyang; Chang, Leifu; Alfieri, Claudio; Zhang, Ziguo; Yang, Jing; Maslen, Sarah; Skehel, Mark; Barford, David

    2016-05-12

    In eukaryotes, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C, also known as the cyclosome) regulates the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of specific cell-cycle proteins to coordinate chromosome segregation in mitosis and entry into the G1 phase. The catalytic activity of the APC/C and its ability to specify the destruction of particular proteins at different phases of the cell cycle are controlled by its interaction with two structurally related coactivator subunits, Cdc20 and Cdh1. Coactivators recognize substrate degrons, and enhance the affinity of the APC/C for its cognate E2 (refs 4-6). During mitosis, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) and polo-like kinase (Plk) control Cdc20- and Cdh1-mediated activation of the APC/C. Hyperphosphorylation of APC/C subunits, notably Apc1 and Apc3, is required for Cdc20 to activate the APC/C, whereas phosphorylation of Cdh1 prevents its association with the APC/C. Since both coactivators associate with the APC/C through their common C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs, the mechanism underlying this differential regulation is unclear, as is the role of specific APC/C phosphorylation sites. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical analysis, we define the molecular basis of how phosphorylation of human APC/C allows for its control by Cdc20. An auto-inhibitory segment of Apc1 acts as a molecular switch that in apo unphosphorylated APC/C interacts with the C-box binding site and obstructs engagement of Cdc20. Phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment displaces it from the C-box-binding site. Efficient phosphorylation of the auto-inhibitory segment, and thus relief of auto-inhibition, requires the recruitment of Cdk-cyclin in complex with a Cdk regulatory subunit (Cks) to a hyperphosphorylated loop of Apc3. We also find that the small-molecule inhibitor, tosyl-l-arginine methyl ester, preferentially suppresses APC/C(Cdc20) rather than APC/C(Cdh1), and interacts with the binding sites of both the C-box and Ile-Arg tail motifs. Our

  8. Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Leaf Color Regulation Mechanism in Chimera Hosta "Gold Standard" Leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Juanjuan; Zhang, Jinzheng; Zhao, Qi; Liu, Yuelu; Chen, Sixue; Guo, Hongliang; Shi, Lei; Dai, Shaojun

    2016-03-08

    Leaf color change of variegated leaves from chimera species is regulated by fine-tuned molecular mechanisms. Hosta "Gold Standard" is a typical chimera Hosta species with golden-green variegated leaves, which is an ideal material to investigate the molecular mechanisms of leaf variegation. In this study, the margin and center regions of young and mature leaves from Hosta "Gold Standard", as well as the leaves from plants after excess nitrogen fertilization were studied using physiological and comparative proteomic approaches. We identified 31 differentially expressed proteins in various regions and development stages of variegated leaves. Some of them may be related to the leaf color regulation in Hosta "Gold Standard". For example, cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GS1), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), and chloroplastic elongation factor G (cpEF-G) were involved in pigment-related nitrogen synthesis as well as protein synthesis and processing. By integrating the proteomics data with physiological results, we revealed the metabolic patterns of nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis, energy supply, as well as chloroplast protein synthesis, import and processing in various leaf regions at different development stages. Additionally, chloroplast-localized proteoforms involved in nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis and protein processing implied that post-translational modifications were crucial for leaf color regulation. These results provide new clues toward understanding the mechanisms of leaf color regulation in variegated leaves.

  9. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki [Shinshu University, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Ueda (Japan); Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan); Natsuki, Jun [Shinshu University, Institute of Carbon Science and Technology, Nagano (Japan)

    2017-04-15

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  10. Prediction of mechanical properties for hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets using molecular mechanics model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki; Natsuki, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials are not easy to be evaluated in the laboratory because of their extremely small size and difficulty controlling. Thus, a suitable model for the estimation of the mechanical properties for nanomaterials becomes very important. In this study, the elastic properties of boron nitride (BN) nanosheets, including the elastic modulus, the shear modulus, and the Poisson's ratio, are predicted using a molecular mechanics model. The molecular mechanics force filed is established to directly incorporate the Morse potential function into the constitutive model of nanostructures. According to the molecular mechanics model, the chirality effect of hexagonal BN nanosheets on the elastic modulus is investigated through a closed-form solution. The simulated result shows that BN nanosheets exhibit an isotropic elastic property. The present analysis yields a set of very simple formulas and is able to be served as a good approximation on the mechanical properties for the BN nanosheets. (orig.)

  11. Resveratrol and Calcium Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey E. McCalley

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound contributing to cellular defense mechanisms in plants. Its use as a nutritional component and/or supplement in a number of diseases, disorders, and syndromes such as chronic diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases has prompted great interest in the underlying molecular mechanisms of action. The present review focuses on resveratrol, specifically its isomer trans-resveratrol, and its effects on intracellular calcium signaling mechanisms. As resveratrol’s mechanisms of action are likely pleiotropic, its effects and interactions with key signaling proteins controlling cellular calcium homeostasis are reviewed and discussed. The clinical relevance of resveratrol’s actions on excitable cells, transformed or cancer cells, immune cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells are contrasted with a review of the molecular mechanisms affecting calcium signaling proteins on the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria. The present review emphasizes the correlation between molecular mechanisms of action that have recently been identified for resveratrol and their clinical implications.

  12. Advance of Mechanically Controllable Break Junction for Molecular Electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Wang, Ling; Zhang, Lei; Xiang, Dong

    2017-06-01

    Molecular electronics stands for the ultimate size of functional elements, keeping up with an unstoppable trend over the past few decades. As a vital component of molecular electronics, single molecular junctions have attracted significant attention from research groups all over the world. Due to its pronounced superiority, the mechanically controllable break junctions (MCBJ) technique has been widely applied to characterize the dynamic performance of single molecular junctions. This review presents a system analysis for single-molecule junctions and offers an overview of four test-beds for single-molecule junctions, thus offering more insight into the mechanisms of electron transport. We mainly focus on the development of state-of-the-art mechanically controlled break junctions. The three-terminal gated MCBJ approaches are introduced to manipulate the electron transport of molecules, and MCBJs are combined with characterization techniques. Additionally, applications of MCBJs and remarkable properties of single molecules are addressed. Finally, the challenges and perspective for the mechanically controllable break junctions technique are provided.

  13. Survival under stress: molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies in my laboratory are analysing the molecular mechanisms and regulatory events that underlie transitions to and from hypometabolic states In systems including anoxia-tolerant turtles and molluscs, estivating snails and toads, hibernating small mammals, and freeze tolerant frogs and insects. Our newest research ...

  14. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed structural differences among WRKY domain-DNA interaction in barley (Hordeum vulgare).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bharati; Grover, Abhinav; Sharma, Pradeep

    2018-02-12

    The WRKY transcription factors are a class of DNA-binding proteins involved in diverse plant processes play critical roles in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Genome-wide divergence analysis of WRKY gene family in Hordeum vulgare provided a framework for molecular evolution and functional roles. So far, the crystal structure of WRKY from barley has not been resolved; moreover, knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of WRKY domain is pre-requisites for exploring the protein-DNA recognition mechanisms. Homology modelling based approach was used to generate structures for WRKY DNA binding domain (DBD) and its variants using AtWRKY1 as a template. Finally, the stability and conformational changes of the generated model in unbound and bound form was examined through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for 100 ns time period. In this study, we investigated the comparative binding pattern of WRKY domain and its variants with W-box cis-regulatory element using molecular docking and dynamics (MD) simulations assays. The atomic insight into WRKY domain exhibited significant variation in the intermolecular hydrogen bonding pattern, leading to the structural anomalies in the variant type and differences in the DNA-binding specificities. Based on the MD analysis, residual contribution and interaction contour, wild-type WRKY (HvWRKY46) were found to interact with DNA through highly conserved heptapeptide in the pre- and post-MD simulated complexes, whereas heptapeptide interaction with DNA was missing in variants (I and II) in post-MD complexes. Consequently, through principal component analysis, wild-type WRKY was also found to be more stable by obscuring a reduced conformational space than the variant I (HvWRKY34). Lastly, high binding free energy for wild-type and variant II allowed us to conclude that wild-type WRKY-DNA complex was more stable relative to variants I. The results of our study revealed complete dynamic and structural information

  15. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations Identify the Ring-Opening Mechanism of Creatininase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitonnom, Jitrayut; Mujika, Jon I; van der Kamp, Marc W; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2017-12-05

    Creatininase catalyzes the conversion of creatinine (a biosensor for kidney function) to creatine via a two-step mechanism: water addition followed by ring opening. Water addition is common to other known cyclic amidohydrolases, but the precise mechanism for ring opening is still under debate. The proton donor in this step is either His178 or a water molecule bound to one of the metal ions, and the roles of His178 and Glu122 are unclear. Here, the two possible reaction pathways have been fully examined by means of combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations at the SCC-DFTB/CHARMM22 level of theory. The results indicate that His178 is the main catalytic residue for the whole reaction and explain its role as proton shuttle during the ring-opening step. In the first step, His178 provides electrostatic stabilization to the gem-diolate tetrahedral intermediate. In the second step, His178 abstracts the hydroxyl proton of the intermediate and delivers it to the cyclic amide nitrogen, leading to ring opening. The latter is the rate-limiting step with a free energy barrier of 18.5 kcal/mol, in agreement with the experiment. We find that Glu122 must be protonated during the enzyme reaction, so that it can form a stable hydrogen bond with its neighboring water molecule. Simulations of the E122Q mutant showed that this replacement disrupts the H-bond network formed by three conserved residues (Glu34, Ser78, and Glu122) and water, increasing the energy barrier. Our computational studies provide a comprehensive explanation for previous structural and kinetic observations, including why the H178A mutation causes a complete loss of activity but the E122Q mutation does not.

  16. Mechanistic insights into Mg2+-independent prenylation by CloQ from classical molecular mechanics and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-05

    Understanding the mechanism of prenyltransferases is important to the design of engineered proteins capable of synthesizing derivatives of naturally occurring therapeutic agents. CloQ is a Mg(2+)-independent aromatic prenyltransferase (APTase) that transfers a dimethylallyl group to 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate in the biosynthetic pathway for clorobiocin. APTases consist of a common ABBA fold that defines a β-barrel containing the reaction cavity. Positively charged basic residues line the inside of the β-barrel of CloQ to activate the pyrophosphate leaving group to replace the function of the Mg(2+) cofactor in other APTases. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of CloQ, its E281G and F68S mutants, and the related NovQ were used to explore the binding of the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate (4HPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate substrates in the reactive cavity and the role of various conserved residues. Hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential of mean force (PMF) calculations show that the effect of the replacement of the Mg(2+) cofactor with basic residues yields a similar activation barrier for prenylation to Mg(2+)-dependent APTases like NphB. The topology of the binding pocket for 4HPP is important for selective prenylation at the ortho position of the ring. Methylation at this position alters the conformation of the substrate for O-prenylation at the phenol group. Further, a two-dimensional PMF scan shows that a "reverse" prenylation product may be a possible target for protein engineering.

  17. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models.

  18. Comparative genomic analysis of isoproturon-mineralizing sphingomonads reveals the isoproturon catabolic mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xin; Gu, Tao; Yi, Zhongquan; Huang, Junwei; Liu, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ji; Xu, Xihui; Xin, Zhihong; Hong, Qing; He, Jian; Spain, Jim C; Li, Shunpeng; Jiang, Jiandong

    2016-12-01

    The worldwide use of the phenylurea herbicide, isoproturon (IPU), has resulted in considerable concern about its environmental fate. Although many microbial metabolites of IPU are known and IPU-mineralizing bacteria have been isolated, the molecular mechanism of IPU catabolism has not been elucidated yet. In this study, complete genes that encode the conserved IPU catabolic pathway were revealed, based on comparative analysis of the genomes of three IPU-mineralizing sphingomonads and subsequent experimental validation. The complete genes included a novel hydrolase gene ddhA, which is responsible for the cleavage of the urea side chain of the IPU demethylated products; a distinct aniline dioxygenase gene cluster adoQTA1A2BR, which has a broad substrate range; and an inducible catechol meta-cleavage pathway gene cluster adoXEGKLIJC. Furthermore, the initial mono-N-demethylation genes pdmAB were further confirmed to be involved in the successive N-demethylation of the IPU mono-N-demethylated product. These IPU-catabolic genes were organized into four transcription units and distributed on three plasmids. They were flanked by multiple mobile genetic elements and highly conserved among IPU-mineralizing sphingomonads. The elucidation of the molecular mechanism of IPU catabolism will enhance our understanding of the microbial mineralization of IPU and provide insights into the evolutionary scenario of the conserved IPU-catabolic pathway. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Molecular mechanism of reduction in pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bose, Mahuya; Whittal, Randy M.; Gairola, C. Gary; Bose, Himangshu S.

    2008-01-01

    Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) facilitates the movement of cholesterol from the outer to inner mitochondrial membrane for the synthesis of pregnenolone. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of the reduction of pregnenolone synthesis by cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). Pre-exposure or post-exposure of cells with CSC led to reduced pregnenolone synthesis, in a fashion similar to its effect on isolated mitochondria. However, there was no difference in the expression of 30 kDa StAR in cells treated with moderately concentrated CSC by either regimen. The active form of 37 kDa StAR is degraded easily suggesting that the continuous presence of CSC reduces StAR expression. Mitochondrial import of 35 S-methionine-labeled StAR followed by extraction of the StAR-mitochondrial complex with 1% digitonin showed similarly sized complexes in the CSC-treated and untreated mitochondria. Further analysis by sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed a specific complex, 'complex 2', in the untreated mitochondria but absent in the CSC-treated mitochondria. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that complex 2 is the outer mitochondrial protein, VDAC1. Knockdown of VDAC1 expression by siRNA followed by co-transfection with StAR resulted in a lack of pregnenolone synthesis and 37 kDa StAR expression with reduced expression of the intermediate, 32 kDa StAR. Taken together, these results suggest that in the absence of VDAC1, active StAR expression is reduced indicating that VDAC1 expression is essential for StAR activity. In the absence of VDAC1-StAR interaction, cholesterol cannot be transported into mitochondria; thus the interaction with VDAC1 is a mandatory step for initiating steroidogenesis

  20. Substrate binding and catalytic mechanism in phospholipase C from Bacillus cereus. a molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Graça Thrige, D; Buur, J R; Jørgensen, Flemming Steen

    1997-01-01

    cereus including a docked substrate molecule was subjected to a stepwise molecular mechanics energy minimization. Second, the location of the nucleophilic water molecule in the active site of the fully relaxed enzyme-substrate complex was determined by evaluation of nonbonded interaction energies between...... water molecule was verified during a 100 ps molecular dynamics simulation. During the simulation the substrate undergoes a conformational change, but retains its localization in the active site. The contacts between the enzyme, the substrate, and the nucleophilic water molecule display some fluctuations...... the strong electrostatic interactions in the active site realistically during energy minimization, delocalization of the charges from the three zinc ions was considered. Therefore, quantum mechanics calculations on the zinc ions and the zinc-coordinating residues were carried out prior to the molecular...

  1. Transcriptome profiling in engrailed-2 mutant mice reveals common molecular pathways associated with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgadò, Paola; Provenzano, Giovanni; Dassi, Erik; Adami, Valentina; Zunino, Giulia; Genovesi, Sacha; Casarosa, Simona; Bozzi, Yuri

    2013-12-19

    Transcriptome analysis has been used in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to unravel common pathogenic pathways based on the assumption that distinct rare genetic variants or epigenetic modifications affect common biological pathways. To unravel recurrent ASD-related neuropathological mechanisms, we took advantage of the En2-/- mouse model and performed transcriptome profiling on cerebellar and hippocampal adult tissues. Cerebellar and hippocampal tissue samples from three En2-/- and wild type (WT) littermate mice were assessed for differential gene expression using microarray hybridization followed by RankProd analysis. To identify functional categories overrepresented in the differentially expressed genes, we used integrated gene-network analysis, gene ontology enrichment and mouse phenotype ontology analysis. Furthermore, we performed direct enrichment analysis of ASD-associated genes from the SFARI repository in our differentially expressed genes. Given the limited number of animals used in the study, we used permissive criteria and identified 842 differentially expressed genes in En2-/- cerebellum and 862 in the En2-/- hippocampus. Our functional analysis revealed that the molecular signature of En2-/- cerebellum and hippocampus shares convergent pathological pathways with ASD, including abnormal synaptic transmission, altered developmental processes and increased immune response. Furthermore, when directly compared to the repository of the SFARI database, our differentially expressed genes in the hippocampus showed enrichment of ASD-associated genes significantly higher than previously reported. qPCR was performed for representative genes to confirm relative transcript levels compared to those detected in microarrays. Despite the limited number of animals used in the study, our bioinformatic analysis indicates the En2-/- mouse is a valuable tool for investigating molecular alterations related to ASD.

  2. Subsurface damage mechanism of high speed grinding process in single crystal silicon revealed by atomistic simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Jia; Fang, Qihong; Zhang, Liangchi; Liu, Youwen

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Molecular dynamic model of nanoscale high speed grinding of silicon workpiece has been established. • The effect of grinding speed on subsurface damage and grinding surface integrity by analyzing the chip, dislocation movement, and phase transformation during high speed grinding process are thoroughly investigated. • Subsurface damage is studied by the evolution of surface area at first time for more obvious observation on transition from ductile to brittle. • The hydrostatic stress and von Mises stress by the established analytical model are studied subsurface damage mechanism during nanoscale grinding. - Abstract: Three-dimensional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to investigate the nanoscale grinding process of single crystal silicon using diamond tool. The effect of grinding speed on subsurface damage and grinding surface integrity by analyzing the chip, dislocation movement, and phase transformation are studied. We also establish an analytical model to calculate several important stress fields including hydrostatic stress and von Mises stress for studying subsurface damage mechanism, and obtain the dislocation density on the grinding subsurface. The results show that a higher grinding velocity in machining brittle material silicon causes a larger chip and a higher temperature, and reduces subsurface damage. However, when grinding velocity is above 180 m s −1 , subsurface damage thickness slightly increases because a higher grinding speed leads to the increase in grinding force and temperature, which accelerate dislocation nucleation and motion. Subsurface damage is studied by the evolution of surface area at first time for more obvious observation on transition from ductile to brittle, that provides valuable reference for machining nanometer devices. The von Mises stress and the hydrostatic stress play an important role in the grinding process, and explain the subsurface damage though dislocation mechanism under high

  3. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism: Mexiletine N-Hydroxylation by Cytochrome P450 1A2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsdale, Richard; Fort, Rachel M; Rydberg, Patrik; Harvey, Jeremy N; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2016-06-20

    The mechanism of cytochrome P450(CYP)-catalyzed hydroxylation of primary amines is currently unclear and is relevant to drug metabolism; previous small model calculations have suggested two possible mechanisms: direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound. We have modeled the N-hydroxylation of (R)-mexiletine in CYP1A2 with hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods, providing a more detailed and realistic model. Multiple reaction barriers have been calculated at the QM(B3LYP-D)/MM(CHARMM27) level for the direct N-oxidation and H-abstraction/rebound mechanisms. Our calculated barriers indicate that the direct N-oxidation mechanism is preferred and proceeds via the doublet spin state of Compound I. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the presence of an ordered water molecule in the active site assists in the binding of mexiletine in the active site, but this is not a prerequisite for reaction via either mechanism. Several active site residues play a role in the binding of mexiletine in the active site, including Thr124 and Phe226. This work reveals key details of the N-hydroxylation of mexiletine and further demonstrates that mechanistic studies using QM/MM methods are useful for understanding drug metabolism.

  4. Transcriptome profiling reveals regulatory mechanisms underlying Corolla Senescence in Petunia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic regulatory mechanisms that govern petal natural senescence in petunia is complicated and unclear. To identify key genes and pathways that regulate the process, we initiated a transcriptome analysis in petunia petals at four developmental time points, including petal opening without anthesis ...

  5. A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study on the hydrolysis mechanism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kongkai; Lu, Junyan; Liang, Zhongjie; Kong, Xiangqian; Ye, Fei; Jin, Lu; Geng, Heji; Chen, Yong; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang; Li, Jun-Qian; Luo, Cheng

    2013-03-01

    New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) has emerged as a major global threat to human health for its rapid rate of dissemination and ability to make pathogenic microbes resistant to almost all known β-lactam antibiotics. In addition, effective NDM-1 inhibitors have not been identified to date. In spite of the plethora of structural and kinetic data available, the accurate molecular characteristics of and details on the enzymatic reaction of NDM-1 hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics remain incompletely understood. In this study, a combined computational approach including molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations was performed to characterize the catalytic mechanism of meropenem catalyzed by NDM-1. The quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics results indicate that the ionized D124 is beneficial to the cleavage of the C-N bond within the β-lactam ring. Meanwhile, it is energetically favorable to form an intermediate if no water molecule coordinates to Zn2. Moreover, according to the molecular dynamics results, the conserved residue K211 plays a pivotal role in substrate binding and catalysis, which is quite consistent with previous mutagenesis data. Our study provides detailed insights into the catalytic mechanism of NDM-1 hydrolyzing meropenem β-lactam antibiotics and offers clues for the discovery of new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strains in clinical studies.

  6. Cytotoxicity of polycations: Relationship of molecular weight and the hydrolytic theory of the mechanism of toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnery, Bryn D; Wright, Michael; Cavill, Rachel; Hoogenboom, Richard; Shaunak, Sunil; Steinke, Joachim H G; Thanou, Maya

    2017-04-15

    The mechanism of polycation cytotoxicity and the relationship to polymer molecular weight is poorly understood. To gain an insight into this important phenomenon a range of newly synthesised uniform (near monodisperse) linear polyethylenimines, commercially available poly(l-lysine)s and two commonly used PEI-based transfectants (broad 22kDa linear and 25kDa branched) were tested for their cytotoxicity against the A549 human lung carcinoma cell line. Cell membrane damage assays (LDH release) and cell viability assays (MTT) showed a strong relationship to dose and polymer molecular weight, and increasing incubation times revealed that even supposedly "non-toxic" low molecular weight polymers still damage cell membranes. The newly proposed mechanism of cell membrane damage is acid catalysed hydrolysis of lipidic phosphoester bonds, which was supported by observations of the hydrolysis of DOPC liposomes. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Advances on molecular mechanism of the adaptive evolution of Chiroptera (bats).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunpeng, Liang; Li, Yu

    2015-01-01

    As the second biggest animal group in mammals, Chiroptera (bats) demonstrates many unique adaptive features in terms of flight, echolocation, auditory acuity, feeding habit, hibernation and immune defense, providing an excellent system for understanding the molecular basis of how organisms adapt to the living environments encountered. In this review, we summarize the researches on the molecular mechanism of the adaptive evolution of Chiroptera, especially the recent researches at the genome levels, suggesting a far more complex evolutionary pattern and functional diversity than previously thought. In the future, along with the increasing numbers of Chiroptera species genomes available, new evolutionary patterns and functional divergence will be revealed, which can promote the further understanding of this animal group and the molecular mechanism of adaptive evolution.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Behind the Chemopreventive Effects of Anthocyanidins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Xing Hou

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthocyanins are polyphenolic ring-based flavonoids, and are widespread in fruits and vegetables of red-blue color. Epidemiological investigations and animal experiments have indicated that anthocyanins may contribute to cancer chemoprevention. The studies on the mechanism have been done recently at molecular level. This review summarizes current molecular bases for anthocyanidins on several key steps involved in cancer chemoprevention: (i inhibition of anthocyanidins in cell transformation through targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathway and activator protein 1 (AP-1 factor; (ii suppression of anthocyanidins in inflammation and carcinogenesis through targeting nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB pathway and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2 gene; (iii apoptotic induction of cancer cells by anthocyanidins through reactive oxygen species (ROS / c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK-mediated caspase activation. These data provide a first molecular view of anthocyanidins contributing to cancer chemoprevention.

  9. Understanding flocculation mechanism of graphene oxide for organic dyes from water: Experimental and molecular dynamics simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Liu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Flocculation treatment processes play an important role in water and wastewater pretreatment. Here we investigate experimentally and theoretically the possibility of using graphene oxide (GO as a flocculant to remove methylene blue (MB from water. Experimental results show that GO can remove almost all MB from aqueous solutions at its optimal dosages and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that MB cations quickly congregate around GO in water. Furthermore, PIXEL energy contribution analysis reveals that most of the strong interactions between GO and MB are of a van der Waals (London dispersion character. These results offer new insights for shedding light on the molecular mechanism of interaction between GO and organic pollutants.

  10. Atomistic insight into the catalytic mechanism of glycosyltransferases by combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

    Glycosyltransferases catalyze the formation of glycosidic bonds by assisting the transfer of a sugar residue from donors to specific acceptor molecules. Although structural and kinetic data have provided insight into mechanistic strategies employed by these enzymes, molecular modeling studies are essential for the understanding of glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions at the atomistic level. For such modeling, combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods have emerged as crucial. These methods allow the modeling of enzymatic reactions by using quantum mechanical methods for the calculation of the electronic structure of the active site models and treating the remaining enzyme environment by faster molecular mechanics methods. Herein, the application of QM/MM methods to glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions is reviewed, and the insight from modeling of glycosyl transfer into the mechanisms and transition states structures of both inverting and retaining glycosyltransferases are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A coordinated molecular 'fishing' mechanism in heterodimeric kinesin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou, Ruizheng; Wang, Zhisong

    2010-01-01

    Kar3 is a kinesin motor that facilitates chromosome segregation during cell division. Unlike many members of the kinesin superfamily, Kar3 forms a heterodimer with non-motor protein Vik1 or Cik1 in vivo. The heterodimers show ATP-driven minus-end directed motility along a microtubule (MT) lattice, and also serve as depolymerase at the MT ends. The molecular mechanisms behind this dual functionality remain mysterious. Here, a molecular mechanical model for the Kar3/Vik1 heterodimer based on structural, kinetic and motility data reveals a long-range chemomechanical transmission mechanism that resembles a familiar fishing tactic. By this molecular 'fishing', ATP-binding to Kar3 dissociates catalytically inactive Vik1 off MT to facilitate minus-end sliding of the dimer on the MT lattice. When the dimer binds the frayed ends of MT, the fishing channels ATP hydrolysis energy into MT deploymerization by a mechanochemical effect. The molecular fishing thus provides a unified mechanistic ground for Kar3's dual functionality. The fishing-promoted depolymerization differs from the depolymerase mechanisms found in homodimeric kinesins. The fishing also enables intermolecular coordination with a chemomechanical coupling feature different from the paradigmatic pattern of homodimeric motors. This study rationalizes some puzzling experimental observation, and suggests new experiments for further elucidation of the fishing mechanism

  12. Mechanistic Insights on Human Phosphoglucomutase Revealed by Transition Path Sampling and Molecular Dynamics Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brás, Natércia F; Fernandes, Pedro A; Ramos, Maria J; Schwartz, Steven D

    2018-02-06

    Human α-phosphoglucomutase 1 (α-PGM) catalyzes the isomerization of glucose-1-phosphate into glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) through two sequential phosphoryl transfer steps with a glucose-1,6-bisphosphate (G16P) intermediate. Given that the release of G6P in the gluconeogenesis raises the glucose output levels, α-PGM represents a tempting pharmacological target for type 2 diabetes. Here, we provide the first theoretical study of the catalytic mechanism of human α-PGM. We performed transition-path sampling simulations to unveil the atomic details of the two catalytic chemical steps, which could be key for developing transition state (TS) analogue molecules with inhibitory properties. Our calculations revealed that both steps proceed through a concerted S N 2-like mechanism, with a loose metaphosphate-like TS. Even though experimental data suggests that the two steps are identical, we observed noticeable differences: 1) the transition state ensemble has a well-defined TS region and a late TS for the second step, and 2) larger coordinated protein motions are required to reach the TS of the second step. We have identified key residues (Arg23, Ser117, His118, Lys389), and the Mg 2+ ion that contribute in different ways to the reaction coordinate. Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the G16P intermediate may reorient without leaving the enzymatic binding pocket, through significant conformational rearrangements of the G16P and of specific loop regions of the human α-PGM. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Chromium in Alleviating Insulin Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Yinan; Clark, Suzanne; Ren, Jun; Sreejayan, Nair

    2011-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular anomalies and is a major health problem approaching global epidemic proportions. Insulin resistance, a prediabetic condition, precedes the onset of frank type 2 diabetes and offers potential avenues for early intervention to treat the disease. Although lifestyle modifications and exercise can reduce the incidence of diabetes, compliance has proved to be difficult, warranting pharmacological interventions. However, most of the currently available drugs that improve insulin sensitivity have adverse effects. Therefore, attractive strategies to alleviate insulin resistance include dietary supplements. One such supplement is chromium, which has been shown reduce insulin resistance in some, but not all, studies. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance remain elusive. This review examines emerging reports on the effect of chromium, as well as molecular and cellular mechanisms by which chromium may provide beneficial effects in alleviating insulin resistance. PMID:22423897

  14. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu H

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Haiyan Zhu, Hui Luo, Wenwen Zhang, Zhaojun Shen, Xiaoli Hu, Xueqiong Zhu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%–20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer. Keywords: cisplatin, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, microRNA, molecular mechanism, resistance

  15. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Hedgehog-Gli (HH-GLI), specific roles mediated by cell surface markers and micro-environmental factors are involved in the regulation of self-renewal. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind self-renewal may lead to the development of novel targeted interventions for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

  16. Elucidation of Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of Norrie Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Luhmann, Ulrich F.O.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Norrie disease (ND) is a rare X-linked recessive congenital blindness, sometimes associated with deafness and mental retardation. In this thesis the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of this syndrome should be elucidated using the Ndph knockout mouse model. Gene expression studies but also histology and protein biochemistry were used to characterize the affected organs, eye and brain. Gene expression analyses of eyes at p21 using cDNA subtrac...

  17. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swygenhoven, H. van [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Caro, A. [Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina). Centro Atomico Bariloche

    1997-09-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young`s modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  18. Unraveling the mechanism of molecular doping in organic semiconductors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mityashin, Alexander; Olivier, Yoann; Van Regemorter, Tanguy; Rolin, Cedric; Verlaak, Stijn; Martinelli, Nicolas G; Beljonne, David; Cornil, Jérôme; Genoe, Jan; Heremans, Paul

    2012-03-22

    The mechanism by which molecular dopants donate free charge carriers to the host organic semiconductor is investigated and is found to be quite different from the one in inorganic semiconductors. In organics, a strong correlation between the doping concentration and its charge donation efficiency is demonstrated. Moreover, there is a threshold doping level below which doping simply has no electrical effect. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline nickel: structure and mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swygenhoven, H. van; Caro, A.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular dynamics computer simulations of low temperature elastic and plastic deformation of Ni nanophase samples (3-7 nm) are performed. The samples are polycrystals nucleated from different seeds, with random locations and orientations. Bulk and Young's modulus, onset of plastic deformation and mechanism responsible for the plastic behaviour are studied and compared with the behaviour of coarse grained samples. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs

  20. Radiotracer studies on molecular mechanisms of death and resuscitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikulin, V.J.; Pogossova, A.V.; Konikova, A.S.

    1980-01-01

    Tracer techniques and artificial circulation were applied to rabbits after death by anoxia and deep hypothermia in order to study molecular mechanisms. 60 min after death the biosynthesis and disintegration of protein RNA and DNA practically stopped in all organs. In animals cooled post mortem the process of biosynthesis and degradation of protein, RNA and DNA, as well as the physiological functions of the whole organism, were restored. (author)

  1. Molecular Mechanism and Genetic Determinants of Buprofezin Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Xueting; Ji, Junbin; Zhao, Leizhen; Qiu, Jiguo; Dai, Chen; Wang, Weiwu; He, Jian; Jiang, Jiandong; Hong, Qing; Yan, Xin

    2017-01-01

    Buprofezin is a widely used insect growth regulator whose residue has been frequently detected in the environment, posing a threat to aquatic organisms and nontarget insects. Microorganisms play an important role in the degradation of buprofezin in the natural environment. However, the relevant catabolic pathway has not been fully characterized, and the molecular mechanism of catabolism is still completely unknown. Rhodococcus qingshengii YL-1 can utilize buprofezin as a sole source of carbon...

  2. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth facto...

  3. Combined quantum and molecular mechanics (QM/MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesner, Richard A

    2004-12-01

    We describe the current state of the art of mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methodology, with a particular focus on modeling of enzymatic reactions. Over the past decade, the effectiveness of these methods has increased dramatically, based on improved quantum chemical methods, advances in the description of the QM/MM interface, and reductions in the cost/performance of computing hardware. Two examples of pharmaceutically relevant applications, cytochrome P450 and class C β-lactamase, are presented.: © 2004 Elsevier Ltd . All rights reserved.

  4. Lignin biodegradation: experimental evidence, molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monties, B

    1985-01-01

    A critical review is presented of English, French and some German language literature, mainly from 1983 onwards. It examines experimental evidence on the behaviour as barriers to biodegradation of lignins and phenolic polymers such as tannins and suberins. The different molecular mechanisms of lignolysis by fungi (mainly), actinomycetes and bacteria are examined. A new biochemical approach to the physiological mechanism of regulation of lignolytic activities is suggested based on the discoveries of ligniolytic enzymes: effects of nitrogen, oxygen and substrate are discussed. It is concluded that a better knowledge of the structure and reactivity of phenolic barriers is needed in order to control the process of lignolysis.

  5. Energetic changes caused by antigenic module insertion in a virus-like particle revealed by experiment and molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Zhang

    Full Text Available The success of recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs for human papillomavirus and hepatitis B demonstrates the potential of VLPs as safe and efficacious vaccines. With new modular designs emerging, the effects of antigen module insertion on the self-assembly and structural integrity of VLPs should be clarified so as to better enabling improved design. Previous work has revealed insights into the molecular energetics of a VLP subunit, capsomere, comparing energetics within various solution conditions known to drive or inhibit self-assembly. In the present study, molecular dynamics (MD simulations coupled with the molecular mechanics-Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA method were performed to examine the molecular interactions and energetics in a modular capsomere of a murine polyomavirus (MPV VLP designed to protect against influenza. Insertion of an influenza antigenic module is found to lower the binding energy within the capsomere, and a more active state is observed in Assembly Buffer as compared with that in Stabilization Buffer, which has been experimentally validated through measurements using differential scanning calorimetry. Further in-depth analysis based on free-energy decomposition indicates that destabilized binding can be attributed to electrostatic interaction induced by the chosen antigen module. These results provide molecular insights into the conformational stability of capsomeres and their abilities to be exploited for antigen presentation, and are expected to be beneficial for the biomolecular engineering of VLP vaccines.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saif Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease with a high incidence and is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is primarily characterized by degeneration of the spinal motor neurons that leads to skeletal muscle atrophy followed by symmetric limb paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. In humans, mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1 gene shifts the load of expression of SMN protein to the SMN2 gene that produces low levels of full-length SMN protein because of alternative splicing, which are sufficient for embryonic development and survival but result in SMA. The molecular mechanisms of the (a regulation of SMN gene expression and (b degeneration of motor neurons caused by low levels of SMN are unclear. However, some progress has been made in recent years that have provided new insights into understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of SMA pathogenesis. In this review, we have briefly summarized recent advances toward understanding of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of SMN levels and signaling mechanisms that mediate neurodegeneration in SMA.

  7. Automatic generation of predictive dynamic models reveals nuclear phosphorylation as the key Msn2 control mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunnåker, Mikael; Zamora-Sillero, Elias; Dechant, Reinhard; Ludwig, Christina; Busetto, Alberto Giovanni; Wagner, Andreas; Stelling, Joerg

    2013-05-28

    Predictive dynamical models are critical for the analysis of complex biological systems. However, methods to systematically develop and discriminate among systems biology models are still lacking. We describe a computational method that incorporates all hypothetical mechanisms about the architecture of a biological system into a single model and automatically generates a set of simpler models compatible with observational data. As a proof of principle, we analyzed the dynamic control of the transcription factor Msn2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, specifically the short-term mechanisms mediating the cells' recovery after release from starvation stress. Our method determined that 12 of 192 possible models were compatible with available Msn2 localization data. Iterations between model predictions and rationally designed phosphoproteomics and imaging experiments identified a single-circuit topology with a relative probability of 99% among the 192 models. Model analysis revealed that the coupling of dynamic phenomena in Msn2 phosphorylation and transport could lead to efficient stress response signaling by establishing a rate-of-change sensor. Similar principles could apply to mammalian stress response pathways. Systematic construction of dynamic models may yield detailed insight into nonobvious molecular mechanisms.

  8. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V; Voth, Gregory A

    2018-01-07

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  9. Quantum mechanics/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinitskiy, Anton V.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2018-01-01

    Numerous molecular systems, including solutions, proteins, and composite materials, can be modeled using mixed-resolution representations, of which the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach has become the most widely used. However, the QM/MM approach often faces a number of challenges, including the high cost of repetitive QM computations, the slow sampling even for the MM part in those cases where a system under investigation has a complex dynamics, and a difficulty in providing a simple, qualitative interpretation of numerical results in terms of the influence of the molecular environment upon the active QM region. In this paper, we address these issues by combining QM/MM modeling with the methodology of "bottom-up" coarse-graining (CG) to provide the theoretical basis for a systematic quantum-mechanical/coarse-grained molecular mechanics (QM/CG-MM) mixed resolution approach. A derivation of the method is presented based on a combination of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, leading to an equation for the effective Hamiltonian of the QM part, a central concept in the QM/CG-MM theory. A detailed analysis of different contributions to the effective Hamiltonian from electrostatic, induction, dispersion, and exchange interactions between the QM part and the surroundings is provided, serving as a foundation for a potential hierarchy of QM/CG-MM methods varying in their accuracy and computational cost. A relationship of the QM/CG-MM methodology to other mixed resolution approaches is also discussed.

  10. Calcium transport mechanism in molting crayfish revealed by microanalysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizuhira, V.; Ueno, M.

    1983-01-01

    Crayfish provide a good model in which to study the transport mechanism of Ca ions. During the molting stage, decalcified Ca ions are transferred into the blood and accumulate in the gastrolith epithelium, after which a gastrolith is formed on the surface of the epithelium. The gastrolith is dissolved in the stomach after molting, and the Ca is reabsorbed and redistributed throughout the newly formed exoskeleton. We studied the mechanism of Ca transport by cytochemical precipitation of Ca ions and by electron microanalysis, including X-ray microanalysis (EDX) and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), with a computer. In EDX analysis, the fine precipitates of K-antimonate in the gastrolith mitochondria clearly defined Ca with antimony; we also observed a large amount of Ca-oxalate in the mitochondria, and Ca-K X-ray pulses were clearly defined. Ca-K X-rays were also detected from fresh freeze-substituted mitochondria. Finally, we succeeded in taking a Ca-L EELS image from the mitochondria of fresh freeze-substituted thin sections. Only a very small amount of Ca was detected from the cell membrane and other organelles. Ca-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) and Mg-ATPase activity was also very clearly demonstrated in the mitochondria. These enzymes may play an important role in Ca metabolism

  11. Transcriptional Dysregulation of MYC Reveals Common Enhancer-Docking Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuijers, Jurian; Manteiga, John Colonnese; Weintraub, Abraham Selby; Day, Daniel Sindt; Zamudio, Alicia Viridiana; Hnisz, Denes; Lee, Tong Ihn; Young, Richard Allen

    2018-04-10

    Transcriptional dysregulation of the MYC oncogene is among the most frequent events in aggressive tumor cells, and this is generally accomplished by acquisition of a super-enhancer somewhere within the 2.8 Mb TAD where MYC resides. We find that these diverse cancer-specific super-enhancers, differing in size and location, interact with the MYC gene through a common and conserved CTCF binding site located 2 kb upstream of the MYC promoter. Genetic perturbation of this enhancer-docking site in tumor cells reduces CTCF binding, super-enhancer interaction, MYC gene expression, and cell proliferation. CTCF binding is highly sensitive to DNA methylation, and this enhancer-docking site, which is hypomethylated in diverse cancers, can be inactivated through epigenetic editing with dCas9-DNMT. Similar enhancer-docking sites occur at other genes, including genes with prominent roles in multiple cancers, suggesting a mechanism by which tumor cell oncogenes can generally hijack enhancers. These results provide insights into mechanisms that allow a single target gene to be regulated by diverse enhancer elements in different cell types. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Transcriptional Dysregulation of MYC Reveals Common Enhancer-Docking Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurian Schuijers

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Transcriptional dysregulation of the MYC oncogene is among the most frequent events in aggressive tumor cells, and this is generally accomplished by acquisition of a super-enhancer somewhere within the 2.8 Mb TAD where MYC resides. We find that these diverse cancer-specific super-enhancers, differing in size and location, interact with the MYC gene through a common and conserved CTCF binding site located 2 kb upstream of the MYC promoter. Genetic perturbation of this enhancer-docking site in tumor cells reduces CTCF binding, super-enhancer interaction, MYC gene expression, and cell proliferation. CTCF binding is highly sensitive to DNA methylation, and this enhancer-docking site, which is hypomethylated in diverse cancers, can be inactivated through epigenetic editing with dCas9-DNMT. Similar enhancer-docking sites occur at other genes, including genes with prominent roles in multiple cancers, suggesting a mechanism by which tumor cell oncogenes can generally hijack enhancers. These results provide insights into mechanisms that allow a single target gene to be regulated by diverse enhancer elements in different cell types. : Schuijers et al. show that a conserved CTCF site at the promoter of the MYC oncogene plays an important role in enhancer-promoter looping with tumor-specific super-enhancers. Perturbation of this site provides a potential therapeutic vulnerability. Keywords: gene regulation, super-enhancers, chromosome structure, enhancer docking

  13. A pseudobond parametrization for improved electrostatics in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations of enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Jerry M; Hu, Hao; Cohen, Aron J; Yang, Weitao

    2008-10-21

    The pseudobond method is used in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations in which a covalent bond connects the quantum mechanical and classical subsystems. In this method, the molecular mechanical boundary atom is replaced by a special quantum mechanical atom with one free valence that forms a bond with the rest of the quantum mechanical subsystem. This boundary atom is modified through the use of a parametrized effective core potential and basis set. The pseudobond is designed to reproduce the properties of the covalent bond that it has replaced, while invoking as small a perturbation as possible on the system. Following the work of Zhang [J. Chem. Phys. 122, 024114 (2005)], we have developed new pseudobond parameters for use in the simulation of enzymatic systems. Our parameters yield improved electrostatics and deprotonation energies, while at the same time maintaining accurate geometries. We provide parameters for C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(3)), C(ps)(sp(3))-C(sp(2),carbonyl), and C(ps)(sp(3))-N(sp(3)) pseudobonds, which allow the interface between the quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical subsystems to be constructed at either the C(alpha)-C(beta) bond of a given amino acid residue or along the peptide backbone. In addition, we demonstrate the efficiency of our parametrization method by generating residue-specific pseudobond parameters for a single amino acid. Such an approach may enable higher accuracy than general purpose parameters for specific QM/MM applications.

  14. Comparative proteomics and codon substitution analysis reveal mechanisms of differential resistance to hypoxia in congeneric snails

    KAUST Repository

    Mu, Huawei; Sun, Jin; Cheung, Siu Gin; Fang, Ling; Zhou, Haiyun; Luan, Tiangang; Zhang, Huoming; Wong, Chris K.C.; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2017-01-01

    Although high-throughput proteomics has been widely applied to study mechanisms of environmental adaptation, the conclusions from studies that are based on one species can be confounded by phylogeny. We compare the freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata (a notorious invasive species) and its congener Pomacea diffusa (a non-invasive species) to understand the molecular mechanisms of their differential resistance to hypoxia. A 72-h acute exposure experiment showed that P. canaliculata is more tolerant to hypoxia than P. diffusa. The two species were then exposed to three levels of dissolved oxygen (6.7, 2.0 and 1.0mgL−1) for 8h, and their gill proteins were analyzed using iTRAQ-coupled LC-MS/MS. The two species showed striking differences in protein expression profiles, with the more hypoxia tolerant P. canaliculata having more up-regulated proteins in signal transduction and down-regulated proteins in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Evolutionary analysis revealed five orthologous genes encoding differentially expressed proteins having clear signal of positive selection, indicating selection has acted on some of the hypoxia responsive genes. Our case study has highlighted the potential of integrated proteomics and comparative evolutionary analysis for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to global environmental change in non-model species. SignificanceRapid globalization in recent decades has greatly facilitated species introduction around the world. Successfully established introduced species, so-called invasive species, have threatened the invaded ecosystems. There has been substantial interest in studying how invasive species respond to extreme environmental conditions because the results can help not only predict their range of expansion and manage their impact, but also may reveal the adaptive mechanisms underlying their invasiveness. Our study has adopted a comparative approach to study the differential physiological and proteomic

  15. Comparative proteomics and codon substitution analysis reveal mechanisms of differential resistance to hypoxia in congeneric snails

    KAUST Repository

    Mu, Huawei

    2017-11-06

    Although high-throughput proteomics has been widely applied to study mechanisms of environmental adaptation, the conclusions from studies that are based on one species can be confounded by phylogeny. We compare the freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata (a notorious invasive species) and its congener Pomacea diffusa (a non-invasive species) to understand the molecular mechanisms of their differential resistance to hypoxia. A 72-h acute exposure experiment showed that P. canaliculata is more tolerant to hypoxia than P. diffusa. The two species were then exposed to three levels of dissolved oxygen (6.7, 2.0 and 1.0mgL−1) for 8h, and their gill proteins were analyzed using iTRAQ-coupled LC-MS/MS. The two species showed striking differences in protein expression profiles, with the more hypoxia tolerant P. canaliculata having more up-regulated proteins in signal transduction and down-regulated proteins in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Evolutionary analysis revealed five orthologous genes encoding differentially expressed proteins having clear signal of positive selection, indicating selection has acted on some of the hypoxia responsive genes. Our case study has highlighted the potential of integrated proteomics and comparative evolutionary analysis for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to global environmental change in non-model species. SignificanceRapid globalization in recent decades has greatly facilitated species introduction around the world. Successfully established introduced species, so-called invasive species, have threatened the invaded ecosystems. There has been substantial interest in studying how invasive species respond to extreme environmental conditions because the results can help not only predict their range of expansion and manage their impact, but also may reveal the adaptive mechanisms underlying their invasiveness. Our study has adopted a comparative approach to study the differential physiological and proteomic

  16. Knowing beans: Human mirror mechanisms revealed through motor adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur M Glenberg

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Human mirror mechanisms (MMs respond during both performed and observed action and appear to underlie action goal recognition. We introduce a behavioral procedure for discovering and clarifying functional MM properties: Blindfolded participants repeatedly move beans either toward or away from themselves to induce motor adaptation. Then, the bias for perceiving direction of ambiguous visual movement in depth is measured. Bias is affected by a number of beans moved, b movement direction, and c similarity of the visual stimulus to the hand used to move beans. This cross-modal adaptation pattern supports both the validity of human MMs and functionality of our testing instrument. We also discuss related work that extends the motor adaptation paradigm to investigate contributions of MMs to speech perception and language comprehension.

  17. Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Mechanics Study of the Catalytic Mechanism of Human AMSH-LP Domain Deubiquitinating Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenyou; Liu, Yongjun; Ling, Baoping

    2015-08-25

    Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) catalyze the cleavage of the isopeptide bond in polyubiquitin chains to control and regulate the deubiquitination process in all known eukaryotic cells. The human AMSH-LP DUB domain specifically cleaves the isopeptide bonds in the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains. In this article, the catalytic mechanism of AMSH-LP has been studied using a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics method. Two possible hydrolysis processes (Path 1 and Path 2) have been considered. Our calculation results reveal that the activation of Zn(2+)-coordinated water molecule is the essential step for the hydrolysis of isopeptide bond. In Path 1, the generated hydroxyl first attacks the carbonyl group of Gly76, and then the amino group of Lys63 is protonated, which is calculated to be the rate limiting step with an energy barrier of 13.1 kcal/mol. The energy barrier of the rate limiting step and the structures of intermediate and product are in agreement with the experimental results. In Path 2, the protonation of amino group of Lys63 is prior to the nucleophilic attack of activated hydroxyl. The two proton transfer processes in Path 2 correspond to comparable overall barriers (33.4 and 36.1 kcal/mol), which are very high for an enzymatic reaction. Thus, Path 2 can be ruled out. During the reaction, Glu292 acts as a proton transfer mediator, and Ser357 mainly plays a role in stabilizing the negative charge of Gly76. Besides acting as a Lewis acid, Zn(2+) also influences the reaction by coordinating to the reaction substrates (W1 and Gly76).

  18. Multiscale simulations in face-centered cubic metals: A method coupling quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Xiao-Xiang; Wang Chong-Yu

    2013-01-01

    An effective multiscale simulation which concurrently couples the quantum-mechanical and molecular-mechanical calculations based on the position continuity of atoms is presented. By an iterative procedure, the structure of the dislocation core in face-centered cubic metal is obtained by first-principles calculation and the long-range stress is released by molecular dynamics relaxation. Compared to earlier multiscale methods, the present work couples the long-range strain to the local displacements of the dislocation core in a simpler way with the same accuracy. (condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties)

  19. Molecular mechanisms of fertilization: the role of male factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Maria Kratz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fertilization, the fusion of male and female gametes, is an incompletely known, multistep, complex process, in which many factors participate. Fertilization is a precisely regulated, species-specific process, but some cellular mechanisms are similar for many mammal species. The studies of mechanisms of male and female gamete production enable understanding of fertilization issues and, as a result, make the analysis of the causes of infertility possible. Male and female infertility is a progressive phenomenon. The development of laboratory medicine enables the analysis of molecular aspects of the reactions between gametes, which may result in better diagnosis of many infertility cases and indicate the direction of therapeutic management. The fertilization process is accompanied by many biochemical reactions, in which glycoproteins present in human ejaculate play a very important role. Glycan structures enable glycoproteins to participate in the interactions between cells, including those between gametes. The analysis of the glycosylation profile and degree of ejaculate glycoproteins not only contributes to deepening the knowledge about mechanisms accompanying the fertilization process, but also may be useful as an additional diagnostic marker of male infertility.The aim of the present review is to approach selected molecular mechanisms occurring in the male genital tract, related to the fertilization process, as well as to analyze their influence on male fertility.

  20. Molecular models of zinc phthalocyanines: semi-empirical molecular orbital computations and physicochemical properties studied by molecular mechanics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gantchev, Tsvetan G.; van Lier, Johan E.; Hunting, Darel J.

    2005-01-01

    To build 3D-molecular models of Zinc-phthalocyanines (ZnPc) and to study their diverse chemical and photosensitization properties, we performed quantum mechanical molecular orbital (MO) semi-empirical (AM1) computations of the ground, excited singlet and triplet states as well as free radical (ionic) species. RHF and UHF (open shell) geometry optimizations led to near-perfect symmetrical ZnPc. Predicted ionization potentials (IP), electron affinities (EA) and lowest electronic transitions of ZnPc are in good agreement with the published experimental and theoretical data. The computation-derived D 4h /D 2h -symmetry 3D-structures of ground and excited states and free radicals of ZnPc, together with the frontier orbital energies and Mulliken electron population analysis enabled us to build robust molecular models. These models were used to predict important chemical-reactivity entities such as global electronegativity (χ), hardness (η) and local softness based on Fukui-functions analysis. Examples of molecular mechanics (MM) applications of the 3D-molecular models are presented as approaches to evaluate solvation free energy (ΔG 0 ) solv and to estimate ground- and excited- state oxidation/reduction potentials as well as intermolecular interactions and stability of ground and excited state dimers (exciplexes) and radical ion-pairs

  1. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathiazhagan, S., E-mail: smathi.research@gmail.com; Anup, S., E-mail: anupiist@gmail.com

    2016-08-19

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  2. Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned copper by molecular dynamics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xing [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China); Lu, Cheng, E-mail: chenglu@uow.edu.au [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Tieu, Anh Kiet; Pei, Linqing; Zhang, Liang; Su, Lihong [School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 (Australia); Zhan, Lihua [State Key Laboratory of High Performance Complex Manufacturing, Central South University, Changsha 410083 (China)

    2017-02-27

    Nanotwinned materials exhibit simultaneous ultrahigh strength and high ductility which is attributed to the interactions between dislocations and twin boundaries but the specific deformation mechanisms are rarely seen in experiments at the atomic level. Here we use large scale molecular dynamics simulations to explore this intricate interplay during the plastic deformation of nanotwinned Cu. We demonstrate that the dominant deformation mechanism transits dynamically from slip transfer to twin boundary migration to slip-twin interactions as the twin boundary orientation changes from horizontal to slant, and then to a vertical direction. Building on the fundamental physics of dislocation processes from computer simulations and combining the available experimental investigations, we unravel the underlying deformation mechanisms for nanotwinned Cu, incorporating all three distinct dislocation processes. Our results give insights into systematically engineering the nanoscale twins to fabricate nanotwinned metals or alloys that have high strength and considerable ductility.

  3. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-01-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models. - Highlights: • The deformation behaviour of staggered nanocomposites is studied. • Stair-wise staggered model has high stiffness and strength, but low toughness. • Rapid crack growth in overlap region causes this low toughness. • Toughness could be enhanced by arresting interfacial crack in the overlap.

  4. Dual transcriptomics reveals co-evolutionary mechanisms of intestinal parasite infections in blue mussels Mytilus edulis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feis, M.E.; John, U.; Lokmer, A.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Wegner, K.M.

    2018-01-01

    On theoretical grounds, antagonistic co-evolution between hosts and their parasitesshould be a widespread phenomenon but only received little empirical support sofar. Consequently, the underlying molecular mechanisms and evolutionary stepsremain elusive, especially in nonmodel systems. Here, we

  5. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  6. Homeostasis-altering molecular processes as mechanisms of inflammasome activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liston, Adrian; Masters, Seth L

    2017-03-01

    The innate immune system uses a distinct set of germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to initiate downstream inflammatory cascades. This recognition system is in stark contrast to the adaptive immune system, which relies on highly variable, randomly generated antigen receptors. A key limitation of the innate immune system's reliance on fixed PRRs is its inflexibility in responding to rapidly evolving pathogens. Recent advances in our understanding of inflammasome activation suggest that the innate immune system also has sophisticated mechanisms for responding to pathogens for which there is no fixed PRR. This includes the recognition of debris from dying cells, known as danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which can directly activate PRRs in a similar manner to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Distinct from this, emerging data for the inflammasome components NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing 3) and pyrin suggest that they do not directly detect molecular patterns, but instead act as signal integrators that are capable of detecting perturbations in cytoplasmic homeostasis, for example, as initiated by infection. Monitoring these perturbations, which we term 'homeostasis-altering molecular processes' (HAMPs), provides potent flexibility in the capacity of the innate immune system to detect evolutionarily novel infections; however, HAMP sensing may also underlie the sterile inflammation that drives chronic inflammatory diseases.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of aging and immune system regulation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Castillo, Julio Cesar

    2012-01-01

    Aging is a complex process that involves the accumulation of deleterious changes resulting in overall decline in several vital functions, leading to the progressive deterioration in physiological condition of the organism and eventually causing disease and death. The immune system is the most important host-defense mechanism in humans and is also highly conserved in insects. Extensive research in vertebrates has concluded that aging of the immune function results in increased susceptibility to infectious disease and chronic inflammation. Over the years, interest has grown in studying the molecular interaction between aging and the immune response to pathogenic infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for dissecting the genetic and genomic basis of important biological processes, such as aging and the innate immune system, and deciphering parallel mechanisms in vertebrate animals. Here, we review the recent advances in the identification of key players modulating the relationship between molecular aging networks and immune signal transduction pathways in the fly. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in aging and immune system regulation will potentially lead to the development of strategies for decreasing the impact of age-related diseases, thus improving human health and life span.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis determined by the recombinant DNA technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    A study of the alteration of the DNA in the mutant gene can determine mechanisms of mutation by distinguishing between mutations induced by transition, transversion, frameshifts of a single base and deletions involving many base pairs. The association of a specific pattern of response with a mutagen will permit detecting mutants induced by the mutagen with a reduced background by removing mutations induced by other mechanisms from the pool of potential mutants. From analyses of studies that have been conducted, it is quite apparent that there are substantial differences among mutagens in their modes of action. Of 31 x-ray induced mutants, 20 were large deletions while only 3 showed normal Southern blots. Only one mutant produced a sub-unit polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge in the in vivo test whereas in vitro synthesis produced a second one. In contrast, nine of thirteen EMS induced mutants produced cross-reacting proteins with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weights equivalent to wild type. Two of three ENU induced mutants recently analyzed in our laboratory produced protein with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weight and electrical charge similar to the wild type stock in which the mutants were induced. One ENU induced mutation is a large deletion. 21 refs., 1 fig

  9. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  10. Epidemiological bases and molecular mechanisms linking obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Salmerón, María; Chocarro-Calvo, Ana; García-Martínez, José Manuel; de la Vieja, Antonio; García-Jiménez, Custodia

    2017-02-01

    The association between diabetes and cancer was hypothesized almost one century ago. Today, a vast number of epidemiological studies support that obese and diabetic populations are more likely to experience tissue-specific cancers, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Obesity, diabetes, and cancer share many hormonal, immune, and metabolic changes that may account for the relationship between diabetes and cancer. In addition, antidiabetic treatments may have an impact on the occurrence and course of some cancers. Moreover, some anticancer treatments may induce diabetes. These observations aroused a great controversy because of the ethical implications and the associated commercial interests. We report an epidemiological update from a mechanistic perspective that suggests the existence of many common and differential individual mechanisms linking obesity and type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus to certain cancers. The challenge today is to identify the molecular links responsible for this association. Classification of cancers by their molecular signatures may facilitate future mechanistic and epidemiological studies. Copyright © 2016 SEEN. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  11. Postischemic revascularization: from cellular and molecular mechanisms to clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, Jean-Sébastien; Smadja, David M; Lévy, Bernard I

    2013-10-01

    After the onset of ischemia, cardiac or skeletal muscle undergoes a continuum of molecular, cellular, and extracellular responses that determine the function and the remodeling of the ischemic tissue. Hypoxia-related pathways, immunoinflammatory balance, circulating or local vascular progenitor cells, as well as changes in hemodynamical forces within vascular wall trigger all the processes regulating vascular homeostasis, including vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, arteriogenesis, and collateral growth, which act in concert to establish a functional vascular network in ischemic zones. In patients with ischemic diseases, most of the cellular (mainly those involving bone marrow-derived cells and local stem/progenitor cells) and molecular mechanisms involved in the activation of vessel growth and vascular remodeling are markedly impaired by the deleterious microenvironment characterized by fibrosis, inflammation, hypoperfusion, and inhibition of endogenous angiogenic and regenerative programs. Furthermore, cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, and aging, constitute a deleterious macroenvironment that participates to the abrogation of postischemic revascularization and tissue regeneration observed in these patient populations. Thus stimulation of vessel growth and/or remodeling has emerged as a new therapeutic option in patients with ischemic diseases. Many strategies of therapeutic revascularization, based on the administration of growth factors or stem/progenitor cells from diverse sources, have been proposed and are currently tested in patients with peripheral arterial disease or cardiac diseases. This review provides an overview from our current knowledge regarding molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in postischemic revascularization, as well as advances in the clinical application of such strategies of therapeutic revascularization.

  12. Dynamic zebrafish interactome reveals transcriptional mechanisms of dioxin toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey Alexeyenko

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to generate hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (dioxin causes toxicity, we analyzed global gene expression changes in developing zebrafish embryos exposed to this potent toxicant in the context of a dynamic gene network. For this purpose, we also computationally inferred a zebrafish (Danio rerio interactome based on orthologs and interaction data from other eukaryotes.Using novel computational tools to analyze this interactome, we distinguished between dioxin-dependent and dioxin-independent interactions between proteins, and tracked the temporal propagation of dioxin-dependent transcriptional changes from a few genes that were altered initially, to large groups of biologically coherent genes at later times. The most notable processes altered at later developmental stages were calcium and iron metabolism, embryonic morphogenesis including neuronal and retinal development, a variety of mitochondria-related functions, and generalized stress response (not including induction of antioxidant genes. Within the interactome, many of these responses were connected to cytochrome P4501A (cyp1a as well as other genes that were dioxin-regulated one day after exposure. This suggests that cyp1a may play a key role initiating the toxic dysregulation of those processes, rather than serving simply as a passive marker of dioxin exposure, as suggested by earlier research.Thus, a powerful microarray experiment coupled with a flexible interactome and multi-pronged interactome tools (which are now made publicly available for microarray analysis and related work suggest the hypothesis that dioxin, best known in fish as a potent cardioteratogen, has many other targets. Many of these types of toxicity have been observed in mammalian species and are potentially caused by alterations to cyp1a.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. PMID:23847533

  14. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration.

  15. Molecular mechanisms in compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide/Polyvinyl alcohol blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Qinghua; Wang, Yanen; Che, Yu; Yang, Mingming; Li, Xinpei; Zhang, Yingfeng

    2017-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to develop a computational model based on molecular dynamics technique to investigate the compatibility and mechanical properties of Polyacrylamide (PAM)/Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) blends. Five simulation models of PAM/PVA with different composition ratios (4/0, 3/1, 2/2, 1/3, 0/4) were constructed and simulated by using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The interaction mechanisms of molecular chains in PAM/PVA blend system were elaborated from the aspects of the compatibility, mechanical properties, binding energy and pair correlation function, respectively. The computed values of solubility parameters for PAM and PVA indicate PAM has a good miscibility with PVA. The results of the static mechanical analysis, based on the equilibrium structures of blends with differing component ratios, shows us that the elastic coefficient, engineering modulus, and ductility are increased with the addition of PVA content, which is 4/0 PAM/PVAPVAPVAPVAPVA. Moreover, binding energy results indicate that a stronger interaction exists among PVA molecular chains comparing with PAM molecular chains, which is why the mechanical properties of blend system increasing with the addition of PVA content. Finally, the results of pair correlation functions (PCFs) between polar functional groups and its surrounding hydrogen atoms, indicated they interact with each other mainly by hydrogen bonds, and the strength of three types of polar functional groups has the order of O(-OH)>O(-C=O)>N(-NH 2 ). This further elaborates the root reason why the mechanical properties of blend system increase with the addition of PVA content. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Quantum Interactomics and Cancer Molecular Mechanisms: I. Report Outline

    CERN Document Server

    Baianu, I C

    2004-01-01

    Single cell interactomics in simpler organisms, as well as somatic cell interactomics in multicellular organisms, involve biomolecular interactions in complex signalling pathways that were recently represented in modular terms by quantum automata with ‘reversible behavior’ representing normal cell cycling and division. Other implications of such quantum automata, modular modeling of signaling pathways and cell differentiation during development are in the fields of neural plasticity and brain development leading to quantum-weave dynamic patterns and specific molecular processes underlying extensive memory, learning, anticipation mechanisms and the emergence of human consciousness during the early brain development in children. Cell interactomics is here represented for the first time as a mixture of ‘classical’ states that determine molecular dynamics subject to Boltzmann statistics and ‘steady-state’, metabolic (multi-stable) manifolds, together with ‘configuration’ spaces of metastable quant...

  17. Conduction mechanism of nitronyl-nitroxide molecular magnetic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotti, N.; Heintze, E.; Slota, M.; Hübner, R.; Wang, F.; Nuss, J.; Dressel, M.; Bogani, L.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the conduction mechanisms of nitronyl-nitroxide (NIT) molecular radicals, as useful for the creation of nanoscopic molecular spintronic devices, finding that it does not correspond to standard Mott behavior, as previously postulated. We provide a complete investigation using transport measurements, low-energy, sub-THz spectroscopy and introducing differently substituted phenyl appendages. We show that a nontrivial surface-charge-limited regime is present in addition to the standard low-voltage Ohmic conductance. Scaling analysis allows one to determine all the main transport parameters for the compounds and highlights the presence of charge-trapping effects. Comparison among the different compounds shows the relevance of intermolecular stacking between the aromatic ring of the phenyl appendix and the NIT motif in the creation of useful electron transport channels. The importance of intermolecular pathways is further highlighted by electronic structure calculations, which clarify the nature of the electronic channels and their effect on the Mott character of the compounds.

  18. The molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tominaga, Motoki; Ito, Kohji

    2015-10-01

    Cytoplasmic streaming occurs widely in plants ranging from algae to angiosperms. However, the molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming have long remained unelucidated. Recent molecular genetic approaches have identified specific myosin members (XI-2 and XI-K as major and XI-1, XI-B, and XI-I as minor motive forces) for the generation of cytoplasmic streaming among 13 myosin XIs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Simultaneous knockout of these myosin XI members led to a reduced velocity of cytoplasmic streaming and marked defects of plant development. Furthermore, the artificial modifications of myosin XI-2 velocity changed plant and cell sizes along with the velocity of cytoplasmic streaming. Therefore, we assume that cytoplasmic streaming is one of the key regulators in determining plant size. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Cartilaginous Metabolomic Study Reveals Potential Mechanisms of Osteophyte Formation in Osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhongwei; Chen, Tingmei; Luo, Jiao; Ding, Shijia; Gao, Sichuan; Zhang, Jian

    2017-04-07

    Osteophyte is one of the inevitable consequences of progressive osteoarthritis with the main characteristics of cartilage degeneration and endochondral ossification. The pathogenesis of osteophyte formation is not fully understood to date. In this work, metabolomic approaches were employed to explore potential mechanisms of osteophyte formation by detecting metabolic variations between extracts of osteophyte cartilage tissues (n = 32) and uninvolved control cartilage tissues (n = 34), based on the platform of ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, as well as the use of multivariate statistic analysis and univariate statistic analysis. The osteophyte group was significantly separated from the control group by the orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis models, indicating that metabolic state of osteophyte cartilage had been changed. In total, 28 metabolic variations further validated by mass spectrum (MS) match, tandom mass spectrum (MS/MS) match, and standards match mainly included amino acids, sulfonic acids, glycerophospholipids, and fatty acyls. These metabolites were related to some specific physiological or pathological processes (collagen dissolution, boundary layers destroyed, self-restoration triggered, etc.) which might be associated with the procedure of osteophyte formation. Pathway analysis showed phenylalanine metabolism (PI = 0.168, p = 0.004) was highly correlative to this degenerative process. Our findings provided a direction for targeted metabolomic study and an insight into further reveal the molecular mechanisms of ostophyte formation.

  20. Transcriptome profiling of a curdlan-producing Agrobacterium reveals conserved regulatory mechanisms of exopolysaccharide biosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruffing Anne M

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to synthesize exopolysaccharides (EPS is widespread among microorganisms, and microbial EPS play important roles in biofilm formation, pathogen persistence, and applications in the food and medical industries. Although it is well established that EPS synthesis is invariably in response to environmental cues, it remains largely unknown how various environmental signals trigger activation of the biochemical synthesis machinery. Results We report here the transcriptome profiling of Agrobacterium sp. ATCC 31749, a microorganism that produces large amounts of a glucose polymer known as curdlan under nitrogen starvation. Transcriptome analysis revealed a nearly 100-fold upregulation of the curdlan synthesis operon upon transition to nitrogen starvation, thus establishing the prominent role that transcriptional regulation plays in the EPS synthesis. In addition to known mechanisms of EPS regulation such as activation by c-di-GMP, we identify novel mechanisms of regulation in ATCC 31749, including RpoN-independent NtrC regulation and intracellular pH regulation by acidocalcisomes. Furthermore, we show evidence that curdlan synthesis is also regulated by conserved cell stress responses, including polyphosphate accumulation and the stringent response. In fact, the stringent response signal, pppGpp, appears to be indispensible for transcriptional activation of curdlan biosynthesis. Conclusions This study identifies several mechanisms regulating the synthesis of curdlan, an EPS with numerous applications. These mechanisms are potential metabolic engineering targets for improving the industrial production of curdlan from Agrobacterium sp. ATCC 31749. Furthermore, many of the genes identified in this study are highly conserved across microbial genomes, and we propose that the molecular elements identified in this study may serve as universal regulators of microbial EPS synthesis.

  1. Data integration reveals key homeostatic mechanisms following low dose radiation exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tilton, Susan C.; Matzke, Melissa M. [Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99338 (United States); Sowa, Marianne B.; Stenoien, David L.; Weber, Thomas J. [Health Impacts and Exposure Science, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99338 (United States); Morgan, William F. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99338 (United States); Waters, Katrina M., E-mail: katrina.waters@pnnl.gov [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99338 (United States)

    2015-05-15

    The goal of this study was to define pathways regulated by low dose radiation to understand how biological systems respond to subtle perturbations in their environment and prioritize pathways for human health assessment. Using an in vitro 3-D human full thickness skin model, we have examined the temporal response of dermal and epidermal layers to 10 cGy X-ray using transcriptomic, proteomic, phosphoproteomic and metabolomic platforms. Bioinformatics analysis of each dataset independently revealed potential signaling mechanisms affected by low dose radiation, and integrating data shed additional insight into the mechanisms regulating low dose responses in human tissue. We examined direct interactions among datasets (top down approach) and defined several hubs as significant regulators, including transcription factors (YY1, MYC and CREB1), kinases (CDK2, PLK1) and a protease (MMP2). These data indicate a shift in response across time — with an increase in DNA repair, tissue remodeling and repression of cell proliferation acutely (24–72 h). Pathway-based integration (bottom up approach) identified common molecular and pathway responses to low dose radiation, including oxidative stress, nitric oxide signaling and transcriptional regulation through the SP1 factor that would not have been identified by the individual data sets. Significant regulation of key downstream metabolites of nitrative stress was measured within these pathways. Among the features identified in our study, the regulation of MMP2 and SP1 was experimentally validated. Our results demonstrate the advantage of data integration to broadly define the pathways and networks that represent the mechanisms by which complex biological systems respond to perturbation. - Highlights: • Low dose ionizing radiation altered homeostasis in 3D skin tissue model. • Global gene/protein/metabolite data integrated using complementary statistical approaches • Time and location-specific change in matrix regulation

  2. Latent memory facilitates relearning through molecular signaling mechanisms that are distinct from original learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menges, Steven A; Riepe, Joshua R; Philips, Gary T

    2015-09-01

    A highly conserved feature of memory is that it can exist in a latent, non-expressed state which is revealed during subsequent learning by its ability to significantly facilitate (savings) or inhibit (latent inhibition) subsequent memory formation. Despite the ubiquitous nature of latent memory, the mechanistic nature of the latent memory trace and its ability to influence subsequent learning remains unclear. The model organism Aplysia californica provides the unique opportunity to make strong links between behavior and underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Using Aplysia, we have studied the mechanisms of savings due to latent memory for a prior, forgotten experience. We previously reported savings in the induction of three distinct temporal domains of memory: short-term (10min), intermediate-term (2h) and long-term (24h). Here we report that savings memory formation utilizes molecular signaling pathways that are distinct from original learning: whereas the induction of both original intermediate- and long-term memory in naïve animals requires mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and ongoing protein synthesis, 2h savings memory is not disrupted by inhibitors of MAPK or protein synthesis, and 24h savings memory is not dependent on MAPK activation. Collectively, these findings reveal that during forgetting, latent memory for the original experience can facilitate relearning through molecular signaling mechanisms that are distinct from original learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Drugs meeting the molecular basis of diabetic kidney disease: bridging from molecular mechanism to personalized medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambers Heerspink, Hiddo J; Oberbauer, Rainer; Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Mayer, Gert; Mayer, Bernd

    2015-08-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a complex, multifactorial disease and is associated with a high risk of renal and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes recommend essentially identical treatments for all patients without taking into account how the individual responds to the instituted therapy. Yet, individuals vary widely in how they respond to medications and therefore optimal therapy differs between individuals. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of variability in drug response will help tailor optimal therapy. Polymorphisms in genes related to drug pharmacokinetics have been used to explore mechanisms of response variability in DKD, but with limited success. The complex interaction between genetic make-up and environmental factors on the abundance of proteins and metabolites renders pharmacogenomics alone insufficient to fully capture response variability. A complementary approach is to attribute drug response variability to individual variability in underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of disease. The interplay of different processes (e.g. inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, oxidative stress) appears to drive disease progression, but the individual contribution of each process varies. Drugs at the other hand address specific targets and thereby interfere in certain disease-associated processes. At this level, biomarkers may help to gain insight into which specific pathophysiological processes are involved in an individual followed by a rational assessment whether a specific drug's mode of action indeed targets the relevant process at hand. This article describes the conceptual background and data-driven workflow developed by the SysKid consortium aimed at improving characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying DKD at the interference of the molecular impact of individual drugs in order to tailor optimal therapy to individual patients. © The Author 2015. Published by

  4. Molecular mechanisms of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, M A; Liñares, J; Martín, R

    1997-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are among the most common nosocomial pathogens. The most significant mechanism of resistance to methicillin in this-species is the acquisition of a genetic determinant (mecA gene). However, resistance seems to have a more complex molecular basis, since additional chromosomal material is involved in such resistance. Besides, overproduction of penicillinase and/or alterations in the PBPs can contribute to the formation of resistance phenotypes. Genetic and environmental factors leading to MRSA are reviewed.

  5. Mixed 2D molecular systems: Mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beno, Juraj [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Weis, Martin [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)], E-mail: Martin.Weis@stuba.sk; Dobrocka, Edmund [Department of Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Institute of Electrical Engineering, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 841 04-SK Bratislava (Slovakia); Hasko, Daniel [International Laser Centre, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19-SK Bratislava (Slovakia)

    2008-08-15

    Study of Langmuir monolayers consisting of stearic acid (SA) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) molecules was done by surface pressure-area isotherms ({pi}-A), the Maxwell displacement current (MDC) measurement, X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the selected mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties based on orientational structure of monolayers. On the base of {pi}-A isotherms analysis we explain the creation of stable structures and found optimal monolayer composition. The dielectric properties represented by MDC generated monolayers were analyzed in terms of excess dipole moment, proposing the effect of dipole-dipole interaction. XRR and AFM results illustrate deposited film structure and molecular ordering.

  6. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

    Long-term transplant outcome is importantly influenced by the age of the organ donor. The mechanisms how age carries out its pathophysiological impact on graft survival are still not understood. One major contributing factor for the observed poor performance of old donor kidneys seems in particular the age-related loss in renal regenerative capacity. In this review, we will summarize recent findings about the molecular basis of renal aging with specific focus on the potential role of somatic cellular senescence and mitochondrial aging in renal transplant outcome. © Copyright 2012 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Haiyan; Luo, Hui; Zhang, Wenwen; Shen, Zhaojun; Hu, Xiaoli; Zhu, Xueqiong

    2016-01-01

    Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%-20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer.

  8. A molecular dynamics investigation into the mechanisms of alectinib resistance of three ALK mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Muyang; Li, Weikang; Zheng, Qingchuan; Zhang, Hongxing

    2018-01-11

    Alectinib, a highly selective next-genetation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, has demonstrated promising antitumor activity in patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). However, the therapeutic benefits of alectinib is inescapably hampered by the development of acquired resistant mutations in ALK. Despite the availability of ample experimental mutagenesis data, the molecular origin and the structural motifs under alectinib binding affinity deficiencies are still ambiguous. Here, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and molecular mechanics generalized born surface area (MM-GBSA) calculation approaches were employed to elucidate the mechanisms of alectinib resistance induced by the mutations I1171N, V1180L, and L1198F. The MD results reveal that the studied mutations could trigger the dislocation of alectinib as well as conformational changes at the inhibitor binding site, thus induce the interactional changes between alectinib and mutants. The most influenced regions are the ligand binding entrance and the hinge region, which are considered to be the dominant binding motifs accounting for the binding affinity loss in mutants. The "key and lock mechanism" between the ethyl group at position 9 of alectinib and a recognition cavity in the hinge region of ALK is presented to illustrate the major molecular origin of drug resistance. Our results provide mechanistic insight into the effect of ALK mutations resistant to alectinib, which could contribute to further rational design of inhibitors to combat the acquired resistance. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Molecular and Microbial Mechanisms Increasing Soil C Storage Under Future Rates of Anthropogenic N Deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald R. [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2017-11-17

    A growing body of evidence reveals that anthropogenic N deposition can reduce the microbial decay of plant detritus and increase soil C storage across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. This aspect of global change has the potential to constrain the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, and hence slow the pace of climate warming. The molecular and microbial mechanisms underlying this biogeochemical response are not understood, and they are not a component of any coupled climate-biogeochemical model estimating ecosystem C storage, and hence, the future climate of an N-enriched Earth. Here, we report the use of genomic-enabled approaches to identify the molecular underpinnings of the microbial mechanisms leading to greater soil C storage in response to anthropogenic N deposition, thereby enabling us to better anticipate changes in soil C storage.

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Survival Strategies in Extreme Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Migliardo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Today, one of the major challenges in biophysics is to disclose the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes. In such a frame, the understanding of the survival strategies in extreme conditions received a lot of attention both from the scientific and applicative points of view. Since nature provides precious suggestions to be applied for improving the quality of life, extremophiles are considered as useful model-systems. The main goal of this review is to present an overview of some systems, with a particular emphasis on trehalose playing a key role in several extremophile organisms. The attention is focused on the relation among the structural and dynamic properties of biomolecules and bioprotective mechanisms, as investigated by complementary spectroscopic techniques at low- and high-temperature values.

  11. HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Thomas; Budzinska, Magdalena A.; Shackel, Nicholas A.; Urban, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite this form being a replicative dead-end for the virus. The frequent finding of somatic integration of viral DNA suggests an evolutionary benefit for the virus; however, the mechanism of integration, its functions, and the clinical implications remain unknown. Here we review the current body of knowledge of HBV DNA integration, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms and its clinical implications (including the possible consequences of replication-independent antigen expression and its possible role in hepatocellular carcinoma). HBV DNA integration is likely to influence HBV replication, persistence, and pathogenesis, and so deserves greater attention in future studies. PMID:28394272

  12. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

    . Even though a range of mechanisms contributing to polyQ diseases have been uncovered, there is still no treatment available. One of the more common polyQ diseases is SCA3, which is caused by a polyQ expansion in the ataxin-3 protein that normally functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme involved...... in protein quality control. In SCA3 patients polyQ expanded ataxin-3 forms intranuclear inclusions in various brain areas, but why the polyQ expansion of ataxin-3 leads to neuronal dysfunction is still not well understood. This thesis describes molecular biological investigations of ataxin-3 biology, aimed...... at furthering our understanding of SCA3 disease mechanisms. In manuscript I, we investigated if post-translational modifications of ataxin-3 were changed by the polyQ expansion. The ubiquitin chain topology and ubiquitination pattern of ataxin-3 were unaltered by the polyQ expansion. In contrast...

  13. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA. Progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for radiation-induced DNA damage. The overall goal is to understand the relationship between the chemical and structural changes produced by ionizing radiation in DNA and the resulting impairment of biological function expressed as carcinogenesis or cell death. The studies are based on theoretical explorations of possible mechanisms that link initial radiation damage in the form of base and sugar damage to conformational changes in DNA. These mechanistic explorations should lead to the formulation of testable hypotheses regarding the processes of impairment of regulation of gene expression, alteration in DNA repair, and damage to DNA structure involved in cell death or cancer

  14. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of platelet P2Y(12) receptor regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Margaret R; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J

    2013-02-01

    Platelets are critical for haemostasis, however inappropriate activation can lead to the development of arterial thrombosis, which can result in heart attack and stroke. ADP is a key platelet agonist that exerts its actions via stimulation of two surface GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). Similar to most GPCRs, P2Y receptor activity is tightly regulated by a number of complex mechanisms including receptor desensitization, internalization and recycling. In the present article, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor regulation, with particular emphasis on the structural motifs within the P2Y(12) receptor, which are required to maintain regulatory protein interaction. The implications of these findings for platelet responsiveness are also discussed.

  16. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases through Network Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose A. Santiago

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases are rarely caused by a mutation in a single gene but rather influenced by a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. Emerging high-throughput technologies such as RNA sequencing have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular landscape of neurodegenerative diseases, however, the interpretation of such large amounts of data remains a challenge. Network biology has become a powerful platform to integrate multiple omics data to comprehensively explore the molecular networks in the context of health and disease. In this review article, we highlight recent advances in network biology approaches with an emphasis in brain-networks that have provided insights into the molecular mechanisms leading to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s (AD, Parkinson’s (PD and Huntington’s diseases (HD. We discuss how integrative approaches using multi-omics data from different tissues have been valuable for identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In addition, we discuss the challenges the field of network medicine faces toward the translation of network-based findings into clinically actionable tools for personalized medicine applications.

  17. DMPD: Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 18086388 Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Ko....csml) Show Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. PubmedID 18086388 Title ...Molecular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. Authors K

  18. Molecular mechanism and potential targets for bone metastasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iguchi, Haruo

    2007-01-01

    The incidence of bone metastasis has been increasing in all cancers in recent years. Bone metastasis is associated with substantial morbidity, including bone pain, pathological fracture, neurological deficit and/or hypercalcemia. Thus, the management of bone metastasis in patients is a clinically significant issue. In the process of bone metastasis, the primary mechanism responsible for bone destruction is cancer cell-mediated stimulation of osteoclastic bone resorption, which results in osteolysis and release of various growth factors from the bone matrix. These growth factors are prerequisites for successful colonization and subsequent invasive growth of cancer cells in bone, which is called a 'vicious cycle.' Thus, it is important to elucidate what molecules are involved in this step of bone destruction, and the understanding of these molecular mechanisms could lead to develop molecular-target therapies for bone metastasis. Bisphosphonates introduced in the treatment for bone metastasis have been shown to reduce skeletal morbidity. In Japan, the most potent bisphosphonate, zoledronate (ZOMETA), was introduced in this past April, and a phase III clinical trial of humanized anti-receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) monoclonal antibody (Denosumab) against bone metastasis is under way as a global study. These new agents, which are targeted to osteoclasts, are considered to be standard management in the care of bone metastasis patients in combination with chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. (author)

  19. Molecular structure of self-assembled chiral nanoribbons and nanotubules revealed in the hydrated state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oda, Reiko; Artzner, Franck; Laguerre, Michel; Huc, Ivan

    2008-11-05

    A detailed molecular organization of racemic 16-2-16 tartrate self-assembled multi-bilayer ribbons in the hydrated state is proposed where 16-2-16 amphiphiles, tartrate ions, and water molecules are all accurately positioned by comparing experimental X-ray powder diffraction and diffraction patterns derived from modeling studies. X-ray diffuse scattering studies show that molecular organization is not fundamentally altered when comparing the flat ribbons of the racemate to chirally twisted or helical ribbons of the pure tartrate enantiomer. Essential features of the three-dimensional molecular organizations of these structures include interdigitation of alkyl chains within each bilayer and well-defined networks of ionic and hydrogen bonds between cations, anions, and water molecules between bilayers. The detailed study of diffraction patterns also indicated that the gemini headgroups are oriented parallel to the long edge of the ribbons. The structure thus possesses a high cohesion and good crystallinity, and for the first time, we could relate the packing of the chiral molecules to the expression of the chirality at a mesoscopic scale. The organization of the ribbons at the molecular level sheds light on a number of their macroscopic features. Among these are the reason why enantiomerically pure 16-2-16 tartrate forms ribbons that consist of exactly two bilayers, and a plausible mechanism by which a chirally twisted or helical shape may emerge from the packing of chiral tartrate ions. Importantly, the distinction between commonly observed helical and twisted morphologies could be related to a subtle symmetry breaking. These results demonstrate that accurately solving the molecular structure of self-assembled soft materials--a process rarely achieved--is within reach, that it is a valid approach to correlate molecular parameters to macroscopic properties, and thus that it offers opportunities to modulate properties through molecular design.

  20. MATCH: An Atom- Typing Toolset for Molecular Mechanics Force Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesselman, Joseph D.; Price, Daniel J.; Knight, Jennifer L.; Brooks, Charles L.

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a toolset of program libraries collectively titled MATCH (Multipurpose Atom-Typer for CHARMM) for the automated assignment of atom types and force field parameters for molecular mechanics simulation of organic molecules. The toolset includes utilities for the conversion from multiple chemical structure file formats into a molecular graph. A general chemical pattern-matching engine using this graph has been implemented whereby assignment of molecular mechanics atom types, charges and force field parameters is achieved by comparison against a customizable list of chemical fragments. While initially designed to complement the CHARMM simulation package and force fields by generating the necessary input topology and atom-type data files, MATCH can be expanded to any force field and program, and has core functionality that makes it extendable to other applications such as fragment-based property prediction. In the present work, we demonstrate the accurate construction of atomic parameters of molecules within each force field included in CHARMM36 through exhaustive cross validation studies illustrating that bond increment rules derived from one force field can be transferred to another. In addition, using leave-one-out substitution it is shown that it is also possible to substitute missing intra and intermolecular parameters with ones included in a force field to complete the parameterization of novel molecules. Finally, to demonstrate the robustness of MATCH and the coverage of chemical space offered by the recent CHARMM CGENFF force field (Vanommeslaeghe, et al., JCC., 2010, 31, 671–690), one million molecules from the PubChem database of small molecules are typed, parameterized and minimized. PMID:22042689

  1. BATMAN-TCM: a Bioinformatics Analysis Tool for Molecular mechANism of Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhongyang; Guo, Feifei; Wang, Yong; Li, Chun; Zhang, Xinlei; Li, Honglei; Diao, Lihong; Gu, Jiangyong; Wang, Wei; Li, Dong; He, Fuchu

    2016-02-01

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with a history of thousands of years of clinical practice, is gaining more and more attention and application worldwide. And TCM-based new drug development, especially for the treatment of complex diseases is promising. However, owing to the TCM’s diverse ingredients and their complex interaction with human body, it is still quite difficult to uncover its molecular mechanism, which greatly hinders the TCM modernization and internationalization. Here we developed the first online Bioinformatics Analysis Tool for Molecular mechANism of TCM (BATMAN-TCM). Its main functions include 1) TCM ingredients’ target prediction; 2) functional analyses of targets including biological pathway, Gene Ontology functional term and disease enrichment analyses; 3) the visualization of ingredient-target-pathway/disease association network and KEGG biological pathway with highlighted targets; 4) comparison analysis of multiple TCMs. Finally, we applied BATMAN-TCM to Qishen Yiqi dripping Pill (QSYQ) and combined with subsequent experimental validation to reveal the functions of renin-angiotensin system responsible for QSYQ’s cardioprotective effects for the first time. BATMAN-TCM will contribute to the understanding of the “multi-component, multi-target and multi-pathway” combinational therapeutic mechanism of TCM, and provide valuable clues for subsequent experimental validation, accelerating the elucidation of TCM’s molecular mechanism. BATMAN-TCM is available at http://bionet.ncpsb.org/batman-tcm.

  2. Radiation toxins: molecular mechanisms of action and radiomimetic properties .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Vecheslav

    Introduction: Acute Radiation Disease (ARD) or Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) were defined as a toxic poisonous with development of the acute pathological processes in irradi-ated animals: systemic inflammatory response syndrome(SIRS), toxic multiple organ injury (TMOI), toxic multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (TMOD), toxic multiple organ failure (TMOF). However, the nature of radiation toxins, their mechanisms of formation, molecular structure, and mechanism of actions remain uncertain. Moderate and high doses of radiation induce apoptotic necrosis of radiosensitive cells with formation of Radiation Toxins and in-flammation development. Mild doses of radiation induce apoptosis or controlled programmed death of radiosensitive cells without Radiation Toxins formation and development of inflam-mation processes. Only radiation induced apoptotic necrosis initiates formation of Radiation Toxins(RT). Radiation Toxins are playing an important role as the trigger mechanisms for in-flammation development and cell lysis. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome after radiation involves an influence of various endogenous agents and mediators of inflammation such as bradykinin, histamine, serotonin and phospholipases activation, prostaglandins biosyn-thesis. Although, formation of non-specific toxins such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is an important pathological process at mild or high doses of radiation. Reactive Oxygen Species play an important role in molecules damage and development of peroxidation of lipids and pro-teins which are the structural parts of cell and mitochondrial membranes. ROS and bio-radicals induce damage of DNA and RNA and peroxidation of their molecules. But high doses of radia-tion, severe and extremely severe physiological stress, result in cells death by apoptotic necrosis and could be defined as the neuroimmune acute disease. Excitotoxicity is an important patho-logical mechanism which damages the central nervous system. We postulate that

  3. Mechanism of the superior mechanical strength of nanometer-sized metal single crystals revealed

    KAUST Repository

    Afify, N. D.; Salem, H. G.; Yavari, A.; El Sayed, Tamer S.

    2013-01-01

    Clear understanding of the superior mechanical strength of nanometer-sized metal single crystals is required to derive advanced mechanical components retaining such superiority. Although high quality studies have been reported on nano

  4. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-03

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches.

  5. Using vibrational molecular spectroscopy to reveal association of steam-flaking induced carbohydrates molecular structural changes with grain fractionation, biodigestion and biodegradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ningning; Liu, Jianxin; Yu, Peiqiang

    2018-04-01

    Advanced vibrational molecular spectroscopy has been developed as a rapid and non-destructive tool to reveal intrinsic molecular structure conformation of biological tissues. However, this technique has not been used to systematically study flaking induced structure changes at a molecular level. The objective of this study was to use vibrational molecular spectroscopy to reveal association between steam flaking induced CHO molecular structural changes in relation to grain CHO fractionation, predicted CHO biodegradation and biodigestion in ruminant system. The Attenuate Total Reflectance Fourier-transform Vibrational Molecular Spectroscopy (ATR-Ft/VMS) at SRP Key Lab of Molecular Structure and Molecular Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Chair Program (SRP, University of Saskatchewan) was applied in this study. The fractionation, predicted biodegradation and biodigestion were evaluated using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate Protein System. The results show that: (1) The steam flaking induced significant changes in CHO subfractions, CHO biodegradation and biodigestion in ruminant system. There were significant differences between non-processed (raw) and steam flaked grain corn (P R2 = 0.87, RSD = 0.74, P R2 = 0.87, RSD = 0.24, P < .01). In summary, the processing induced molecular CHO structure changes in grain corn could be revealed by the ATR-Ft/VMS vibrational molecular spectroscopy. These molecular structure changes in grain were potentially associated with CHO biodegradation and biodigestion.

  6. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Milne

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  7. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A., E-mail: thomas.milne@imm.ox.ac.uk [MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS (United Kingdom)

    2012-09-10

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis.

  8. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis

  9. Translational analysis of mouse and human placental protein and mRNA reveals distinct molecular pathologies in human preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Brian; Sharma, Parveen; Evangelou, Andreas I; Whiteley, Kathie; Ignatchenko, Vladimir; Ignatchenko, Alex; Baczyk, Dora; Czikk, Marie; Kingdom, John; Rossant, Janet; Gramolini, Anthony O; Adamson, S Lee; Kislinger, Thomas

    2011-12-01

    Preeclampsia (PE) adversely impacts ~5% of pregnancies. Despite extensive research, no consistent biomarkers or cures have emerged, suggesting that different molecular mechanisms may cause clinically similar disease. To address this, we undertook a proteomics study with three main goals: (1) to identify a panel of cell surface markers that distinguish the trophoblast and endothelial cells of the placenta in the mouse; (2) to translate this marker set to human via the Human Protein Atlas database; and (3) to utilize the validated human trophoblast markers to identify subgroups of human preeclampsia. To achieve these goals, plasma membrane proteins at the blood tissue interfaces were extracted from placentas using intravascular silica-bead perfusion, and then identified using shotgun proteomics. We identified 1181 plasma membrane proteins, of which 171 were enriched at the maternal blood-trophoblast interface and 192 at the fetal endothelial interface with a 70% conservation of expression in humans. Three distinct molecular subgroups of human preeclampsia were identified in existing human microarray data by using expression patterns of trophoblast-enriched proteins. Analysis of all misexpressed genes revealed divergent dysfunctions including angiogenesis (subgroup 1), MAPK signaling (subgroup 2), and hormone biosynthesis and metabolism (subgroup 3). Subgroup 2 lacked expected changes in known preeclampsia markers (sFLT1, sENG) and uniquely overexpressed GNA12. In an independent set of 40 banked placental specimens, GNA12 was overexpressed during preeclampsia when co-incident with chronic hypertension. In the current study we used a novel translational analysis to integrate mouse and human trophoblast protein expression with human microarray data. This strategy identified distinct molecular pathologies in human preeclampsia. We conclude that clinically similar preeclampsia patients exhibit divergent placental gene expression profiles thus implicating divergent

  10. Molecular medicine of fragile X syndrome: based on known molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Shi-Yu; Wu, Ling-Qian; Duan, Ran-Hui

    2016-02-01

    Extensive research on fragile X mental retardation gene knockout mice and mutant Drosophila models has largely expanded our knowledge on mechanism-based treatment of fragile X syndrome (FXS). In light of these findings, several clinical trials are now underway for therapeutic translation to humans. Electronic literature searches were conducted using the PubMed database and ClinicalTrials.gov. The search terms included "fragile X syndrome", "FXS and medication", "FXS and therapeutics" and "FXS and treatment". Based on the publications identified in this search, we reviewed the neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS patients and the potential pathogenic mechanisms to monitor the progress of FXS research, from basic studies to clinical trials. The pathological mechanisms of FXS were categorized on the basis of neuroanatomy, synaptic structure, synaptic transmission and fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) loss of function. The neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS were described to motivate extensive research into the region-specific pathologies in the brain responsible for FXS behavioural manifestations. Mechanism-directed molecular medicines were classified according to their target pathological mechanisms, and the most recent progress in clinical trials was discussed. Current mechanism-based studies and clinical trials have greatly contributed to the development of FXS pharmacological therapeutics. Research examining the extent to which these treatments provided a rescue effect or FMRP compensation for the developmental impairments in FXS patients may help to improve the efficacy of treatments.

  11. Cis-to- Trans Isomerization of Azobenzene Derivatives Studied with Transition Path Sampling and Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Molecular Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muždalo, Anja; Saalfrank, Peter; Vreede, Jocelyne; Santer, Mark

    2018-04-10

    Azobenzene-based molecular photoswitches are becoming increasingly important for the development of photoresponsive, functional soft-matter material systems. Upon illumination with light, fast interconversion between a more stable trans and a metastable cis configuration can be established resulting in pronounced changes in conformation, dipole moment or hydrophobicity. A rational design of functional photosensitive molecules with embedded azo moieties requires a thorough understanding of isomerization mechanisms and rates, especially the thermally activated relaxation. For small azo derivatives considered in the gas phase or simple solvents, Eyring's classical transition state theory (TST) approach yields useful predictions for trends in activation energies or corresponding half-life times of the cis isomer. However, TST or improved theories cannot easily be applied when the azo moiety is part of a larger molecular complex or embedded into a heterogeneous environment, where a multitude of possible reaction pathways may exist. In these cases, only the sampling of an ensemble of dynamic reactive trajectories (transition path sampling, TPS) with explicit models of the environment may reveal the nature of the processes involved. In the present work we show how a TPS approach can conveniently be implemented for the phenomenon of relaxation-isomerization of azobenzenes starting with the simple examples of pure azobenzene and a push-pull derivative immersed in a polar (DMSO) and apolar (toluene) solvent. The latter are represented explicitly at a molecular mechanical (MM) and the azo moiety at a quantum mechanical (QM) level. We demonstrate for the push-pull azobenzene that path sampling in combination with the chosen QM/MM scheme produces the expected change in isomerization pathway from inversion to rotation in going from a low to a high permittivity (explicit) solvent model. We discuss the potential of the simulation procedure presented for comparative calculation of

  12. Optimization and benchmarking of a perturbative Metropolis Monte Carlo quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldt, Jonas; Miranda, Sebastião; Pratas, Frederico; Roma, Nuno; Tomás, Pedro; Mata, Ricardo A

    2017-12-28

    In this work, we present an optimized perturbative quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method for use in Metropolis Monte Carlo simulations. The model adopted is particularly tailored for the simulation of molecular systems in solution but can be readily extended to other applications, such as catalysis in enzymatic environments. The electrostatic coupling between the QM and MM systems is simplified by applying perturbation theory to estimate the energy changes caused by a movement in the MM system. This approximation, together with the effective use of GPU acceleration, leads to a negligible added computational cost for the sampling of the environment. Benchmark calculations are carried out to evaluate the impact of the approximations applied and the overall computational performance.

  13. Diagnostics of the molecular component of photon-dominated regions with mechanical heating. II. Line intensities and ratios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kazandjian, M.; Meijerink, R.; Pelupessy, F.I.; Israel, F.P.; Spaans, M.

    2015-01-01

    CO observations in active galactic nuclei and starbursts reveal high kinetic temperatures. Those environments are thought to be very turbulent due to dynamic phenomena, such as outflows and high supernova rates. We investigate the effect of mechanical heating on atomic fine-structure and molecular

  14. Molecular mechanisms of radioadaptive responses in human lymphoblastoid cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kakimoto, Ayana; Taki, Keiko; Nakajima, Tetsuo

    2008-01-01

    Radioadaptive response is a biodefensive response observed in a variety of mammalian cells and animals where exposure to low dose radiation induces resistance against the subsequent high dose radiation. Elucidation of its mechanisms is important for risk estimation of low dose radiation because the radioadaptive response implies that low dose radiation affects cells/individuals in a different manner from high dose radiation. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in human lymphoblastoid cells AHH-1 in terms of mutation at the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene locus. First we observed that preexposure to the priming dose in the range from 0.02 Gy to 0.2 Gy significantly reduced mutation frequency at HPRT gene locus after irradiation with 3 Gy of X rays. As no significant adaptive response was observed with the priming dose of 0.005 Gy, it was indicated that the lower limit of the priming dose to induce radioadaptive response may be between 0.005 Gy and 0.02 Gy. Second, we examined the effect of 3-amino-benzamide (3AB), an inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase1, which has been reported to inhibit the radioadaptive response in terms of chromosome aberration. However we could observe significant radioadaptive responses in terms of mutation even in the presence of 3AB. These findings suggested that molecular mechanisms of the radioadaptive response in terms of mutation may be different from that for radioadaptive responses in terms of chromosomal aberration, although we could not exclude a possibility that the differential effects of 3AB was due to cell type difference. Finally, by performing a comprehensive analysis of alterations in gene expression using high coverage expression profiling (HiCEP), we could identify 17 genes whose expressions were significantly altered 6 h after irradiation with 0.02 Gy. We also found 17 and 20 genes, the expressions of which were different with or without priming

  15. Mechanism of crack healing at room temperature revealed by atomistic simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, J.; Fang, Q.H.; Liu, B.; Liu, Y.; Liu, Y.W.; Wen, P.H.

    2015-01-01

    Three dimensional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are systematically carried out to reveal the mechanism of the crack healing at room temperature, in terms of the dislocation shielding and the atomic diffusion to control the crack closure, in a copper (Cu) plate suffering from a shear loading. The results show that the process of the crack healing is actualized through the dislocation emission at a crack tip accompanied with intrinsic stacking faults ribbon forming in the crack tip wake, the dislocation slipping in the matrix and the dislocation annihilation in the free surface. Dislocation included stress compressing the crack tip is examined from the MD simulations and the analytical models, and then the crack closes rapidly due to the assistance of the atomic diffusion induced by the thermal activation when the crack opening displacement is less than a threshold value. This phenomenon is very different from the previous results for the crack propagation under the external load applied because of the crack healing (advancing) largely dependent on the crystallographic orientations of crack and the directions of external loading. Furthermore, based on the energy characteristic and considering the crack size effect, a theoretical model is established to predict the relationships between the crack size and the shear stress which qualitatively agree well with that obtained in the MD simulations

  16. Floral reversion mechanism in longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) revealed by proteomic and anatomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Xiangrong; Wang, Lingxia; Liang, Wenyu; Gai, Yonghong; Wang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Wei

    2012-02-02

    Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) was used to analyze the proteins related to floral reversion in Dimocarpus longan Lour. Proteins were extracted from buds undergoing the normal process of flowering and from those undergoing floral reversion in three developing stages in D. longan. Differentially expressed proteins were identified from the gels after 2-DE analysis, which were confirmed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flying-mass spectroscopy and protein database search. A total of 39 proteins, including 18 up-regulated and 21 down-regulated proteins, were classified into different categories, such as energy and substance metabolism, protein translation, secondary metabolism, phytohormone, cytoskeleton structure, regulation, and stress tolerance. Among these, the largest functional class was associated with primary metabolism. Down-regulated proteins were involved in photosynthesis, transcription, and translation, whereas up-regulated proteins were involved in respiration. Decreased flavonoid synthesis and up-regulated GA20ox might be involved in the floral reversion process. Up-regulated 14-3-3 proteins played a role in the regulation of floral reversion in D. longan by responding to abiotic stress. Observations via transmission electron microscopy revealed the ultrastructure changes in shedding buds undergoing floral reversion. Overall, the results provided insights into the molecular basis for the floral reversion mechanism in D. longan. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  18. Chemical and mechanical efficiencies of molecular motors and implications for motor mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Hongyun

    2005-01-01

    Molecular motors operate in an environment dominated by viscous friction and thermal fluctuations. The chemical reaction in a motor may produce an active force at the reaction site to directly move the motor forward. Alternatively a molecular motor may generate a unidirectional motion by rectifying thermal fluctuations using free energy barriers established in the chemical reaction. The reaction cycle has many occupancy states, each having a different effect on the motor motion. The average effect of the chemical reaction on the motor motion can be characterized by the motor potential profile. The biggest advantage of studying the motor potential profile is that it can be reconstructed from the time series of motor positions measured in single-molecule experiments. In this paper, we use the motor potential profile to express the Stokes efficiency as the product of the chemical efficiency and the mechanical efficiency. We show that both the chemical and mechanical efficiencies are bounded by 100% and, thus, are properly defined efficiencies. We discuss implications of high efficiencies for motor mechanisms: a mechanical efficiency close to 100% implies that the motor potential profile is close to a constant slope; a chemical efficiency close to 100% implies that (i) the chemical transitions are not slower than the mechanical motion and (ii) the equilibrium constant of each chemical transition is close to one

  19. Natural agents: cellular and molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afaq, Farrukh

    2011-04-15

    The skin is the largest organ of the body that produces a flexible and self-repairing barrier and protects the body from most common potentially harmful physical, environmental, and biological insults. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major environmental insults to the skin and causes multi-tiered cellular and molecular events eventually leading to skin cancer. The past decade has seen a surge in the incidence of skin cancer due to changes in life style patterns that have led to a significant increase in the amount of UV radiation that people receive. Reducing excessive exposure to UV radiation is desirable; nevertheless this approach is not easy to implement. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel strategies to reduce the adverse biological effects of UV radiation on the skin. A wide variety of natural agents have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have elucidated that natural agents act by several cellular and molecular mechanisms to delay or prevent skin cancer. In this review article, we have summarized and discussed some of the selected natural agents for skin photoprotection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Nai-Kui; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Acute spinal cord injury initiates a complex cascade of molecular events termed ‘secondary injury’, which leads to progressive degeneration ranging from early neuronal apoptosis at the lesion site to delayed degeneration of intact white matter tracts, and, ultimately, expansion of the initial injury. These secondary injury processes include, but are not limited to, inflammation, free radical-induced cell death, glutamate excitotoxicity, phospholipase A2 activation, and induction of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, which are important targets in developing neuroprotective strategies for treatment of spinal cord injury. Recently, a number of studies have shown promising results on neuroprotection and recovery of function in rodent models of spinal cord injury using treatments that target secondary injury processes including inflammation, phospholipase A2 activation, and manipulation of the PTEN-Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The present review outlines our ongoing research on the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental spinal cord injury and briefly summarizes our earlier findings on the therapeutic potential of pharmacological treatments in spinal cord injury. PMID:25624837

  1. Nanoparticles and potential neurotoxicity: focus on molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Lovisolo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The last decades have seen an explosive increase in the development of nanoparticles and in their use in consumer, industrial and medical applications. Their fast diffusion has also raised widespread concern about the potential toxic effects on living organisms, including humans: at the nanoscale, they can interact with subcellular components such as membranes, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, thus inducing unpredicted functional perturbations in cells and tissues. The nervous tissue is a particular sensitive target, because its cellular components (mainly neurons and glial cells are tightly regulated and metabolically exigent biological entities. While the literature on the potential toxicity of nanoparticles has grown in parallel with their utilization, the available data on neurotoxicity are less abundant. In particular, information on the neuronal molecular targets of nanoparticles is still largely incomplete. A better understanding of this issue is highly relevant for the rational and controlled design of nanoparticles, both for their general utilization and more specifically for their use in the promising field of nanoneuromedicine. In this review, we will discuss the available information on the mechanisms involved in the interaction between nanoobjects and cells of the nervous system, focusing on the known molecular actors, both at the plasma membrane and in intracellular compartments.

  2. Quantum mechanical force fields for condensed phase molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, Timothy J.; York, Darrin M.

    2017-09-01

    Molecular simulations are powerful tools for providing atomic-level details into complex chemical and physical processes that occur in the condensed phase. For strongly interacting systems where quantum many-body effects are known to play an important role, density-functional methods are often used to provide the model with the potential energy used to drive dynamics. These methods, however, suffer from two major drawbacks. First, they are often too computationally intensive to practically apply to large systems over long time scales, limiting their scope of application. Second, there remain challenges for these models to obtain the necessary level of accuracy for weak non-bonded interactions to obtain quantitative accuracy for a wide range of condensed phase properties. Quantum mechanical force fields (QMFFs) provide a potential solution to both of these limitations. In this review, we address recent advances in the development of QMFFs for condensed phase simulations. In particular, we examine the development of QMFF models using both approximate and ab initio density-functional models, the treatment of short-ranged non-bonded and long-ranged electrostatic interactions, and stability issues in molecular dynamics calculations. Example calculations are provided for crystalline systems, liquid water, and ionic liquids. We conclude with a perspective for emerging challenges and future research directions.

  3. Molecular mechanisms of maternal vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulopoulou, Styliani; Davidge, Sandra T

    2015-02-01

    In preeclampsia, as a heterogeneous syndrome, multiple pathways have been proposed for both the causal as well as the perpetuating factors leading to maternal vascular dysfunction. Postulated mechanisms include imbalance in the bioavailability and activity of endothelium-derived contracting and relaxing factors and oxidative stress. Studies have shown that placenta-derived factors [antiangiogenic factors, microparticles (MPs), cell-free nucleic acids] are released into the maternal circulation and act on the vascular wall to modify the secretory capacity of endothelial cells and alter the responsiveness of vascular smooth muscle cells to constricting and relaxing stimuli. These molecules signal their deleterious effects on the maternal vascular wall via pathways that provide the molecular basis for novel and effective therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. DNA replication stress: from molecular mechanisms to human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Sergio; Méndez, Juan

    2017-02-01

    The genome of proliferating cells must be precisely duplicated in each cell division cycle. Chromosomal replication entails risks such as the possibility of introducing breaks and/or mutations in the genome. Hence, DNA replication requires the coordinated action of multiple proteins and regulatory factors, whose deregulation causes severe developmental diseases and predisposes to cancer. In recent years, the concept of "replicative stress" (RS) has attracted much attention as it impinges directly on genomic stability and offers a promising new avenue to design anticancer therapies. In this review, we summarize recent progress in three areas: (1) endogenous and exogenous factors that contribute to RS, (2) molecular mechanisms that mediate the cellular responses to RS, and (3) the large list of diseases that are directly or indirectly linked to RS.

  5. The molecular mechanisms of offspring effects from obese pregnancy.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Dowling, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat \\/ high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  6. Recent Advances in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity Mechanisms and Its Molecular Pathophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaobin Yu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is a sympathomimetic amine that belongs to phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, which are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, METH produces persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin release in nerve terminals, gliosis, and apoptosis. This review summarized the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excessive dopamine, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, protein nitration, endoplasmic reticulum stress, p53 expression, inflammatory molecular, D3 receptor, microtubule deacetylation, and HIV-1 Tat protein that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. In addition, the feasible therapeutic strategies according to recent studies were also summarized ranging from drug and protein to gene level.

  7. Quantum-Mechanical Calculations on Molecular Substructures Involved in Nanosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Szefler

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, four ideas are discussed: (a aromaticity of fullerenes patched with flowers of 6-and 8-membered rings, optimized at the HF and DFT levels of theory, in terms of HOMA and NICS criteria; (b polybenzene networks, from construction to energetic and vibrational spectra computations; (c quantum-mechanical calculations on the repeat units of various P-type crystal networks and (d construction and stability evaluation, at DFTB level of theory, of some exotic allotropes of diamond D5, involved in hyper-graphenes. The overall conclusion was that several of the yet hypothetical molecular nanostructures herein described are serious candidates to the status of real molecules.

  8. Complement Involvement in Periodontitis: Molecular Mechanisms and Rational Therapeutic Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis.

  9. A Hybrid Imperative and Functional Molecular Mechanics Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Deboni

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Molecular mechanics applications model the interactions among large ensembles of discrete particles. They are used where probabilistic methods are inadequate, such as drug chemistry. This methodology is difficult to parallelize with good performance, due to its poor locality, uneven partitions, and dynamic behavior. Imperative programs have been written that attempt this on shared and distributed memory machines. Given such a program, the computational kernel can be rewritten in Sisal, a functional programming language, and integrated with the rest of the imperative program under the Sisal Foreign Language Interface. This allows minimal effort and maximal return from parallelization work, and leaves the work appropriate to imperative implementation in its original form. We describe such an effort, focusing on the parts of the application that are appropriate for Sisal implementation, the specifics of mixed-language programming, and the complex performance behavior of the resulting hybrid code.

  10. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of water transport in the eye

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamann, Steffen

    2002-01-01

    The four major sites for ocular water transport, the corneal epithelium and endothelium, the ciliary epithelium, and the retinal pigment epithelium, are reviewed. The cornea has an inherent tendency to swell, which is counteracted by its two surface cell layers, the corneal epithelium...... and endothelium. The bilayered ciliary epithelium secretes the aqueous humor into the posterior chamber, and the retinal pigment epithelium transports water from the retinal to the choroidal site. For each epithelium, ion transport mechanisms are associated with fluid transport, but the exact molecular coupling...... sites between ion and water transport remain undefined. In the retinal pigment epithelium, a H+-lactate cotransporter transports water. This protein could be the site of coupling between salt and water in this epithelium. The distribution of aquaporins does not suggest a role for these proteins...

  12. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashy, Elshahat H. A.; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins.

  13. The extent of the glass transition from molecular simulation revealing an overcrank effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godey, François; Fleury, Alexandre; Ghoufi, Aziz; Soldera, Armand

    2018-02-15

    A deep understanding of the transition between rubber and amorphous state characterized by a glass transition temperature, T g , is still a source of discussions. In this work, we highlight the role of molecular simulation in revealing explicitly this temperature dependent behavior. By reporting the specific volume, the thermal expansion coefficient and the heat capacity versus the temperature, we actually show that the glass transition domain extends to a greater range of temperature, compared with experiments. This significant enlargement width is due to the fast cooling rate, and actually explains the difficulty to locate T g . This result is the manifestation of an overcranking effect used by high-speed cameras to reveal slow-motion. Accordingly, atomistic simulation offers the significant opportunity to show that the transition from the rubber state to the glass phase should be detailed in terms of the degrees of freedom freeze. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Fibrillation mechanism of a model intrinsically disordered protein revealed by 2D correlation deep UV resonance Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikirzhytski, Vitali; Topilina, Natalya I; Takor, Gaius A; Higashiya, Seiichiro; Welch, John T; Uversky, Vladimir N; Lednev, Igor K

    2012-05-14

    Understanding of numerous biological functions of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is of significant interest to modern life science research. A large variety of serious debilitating diseases are associated with the malfunction of IDPs including neurodegenerative disorders and systemic amyloidosis. Here we report on the molecular mechanism of amyloid fibrillation of a model IDP (YE8) using 2D correlation deep UV resonance Raman spectroscopy. YE8 is a genetically engineered polypeptide, which is completely unordered at neutral pH yet exhibits all properties of a fibrillogenic protein at low pH. The very first step of the fibrillation process involves structural rearrangements of YE8 at the global structure level without the detectable appearance of secondary structural elements. The formation of β-sheet species follows the global structural changes and proceeds via the simultaneous formation of turns and β-strands. The kinetic mechanism revealed is an important new contribution to understanding of the general fibrillation mechanism proposed for IDP.

  15. Lung eQTLs to help reveal the molecular underpinnings of asthma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Hao

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies (GWAS have identified loci reproducibly associated with pulmonary diseases; however, the molecular mechanism underlying these associations are largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to discover genetic variants affecting gene expression in human lung tissue, to refine susceptibility loci for asthma identified in GWAS studies, and to use the genetics of gene expression and network analyses to find key molecular drivers of asthma. We performed a genome-wide search for expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL in 1,111 human lung samples. The lung eQTL dataset was then used to inform asthma genetic studies reported in the literature. The top ranked lung eQTLs were integrated with the GWAS on asthma reported by the GABRIEL consortium to generate a Bayesian gene expression network for discovery of novel molecular pathways underpinning asthma. We detected 17,178 cis- and 593 trans- lung eQTLs, which can be used to explore the functional consequences of loci associated with lung diseases and traits. Some strong eQTLs are also asthma susceptibility loci. For example, rs3859192 on chr17q21 is robustly associated with the mRNA levels of GSDMA (P = 3.55 × 10(-151. The genetic-gene expression network identified the SOCS3 pathway as one of the key drivers of asthma. The eQTLs and gene networks identified in this study are powerful tools for elucidating the causal mechanisms underlying pulmonary disease. This data resource offers much-needed support to pinpoint the causal genes and characterize the molecular function of gene variants associated with lung diseases.

  16. MMP-13 In-Vivo Molecular Imaging Reveals Early Expression in Lung Adenocarcinoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Salaün

    Full Text Available Several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs are overexpressed in lung cancer and may serve as potential targets for the development of bioactivable probes for molecular imaging.To characterize and monitor the activity of MMPs during the progression of lung adenocarcinoma.K-rasLSL-G12D mice were imaged serially during the development of adenocarcinomas using fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT and a probe specific for MMP-2, -3, -9 and -13. Lung tumors were identified using FMT and MRI co-registration, and the probe concentration in each tumor was assessed at each time-point. The expression of Mmp2, -3, -9, -13 was quantified by qRT-PCR using RNA isolated from microdissected tumor cells. Immunohistochemical staining of overexpressed MMPs in animals was assessed on human lung tumors.In mice, 7 adenomas and 5 adenocarcinomas showed an increase in fluorescent signal on successive FMT scans, starting between weeks 4 and 8. qRT-PCR assays revealed significant overexpression of only Mmp-13 in mice lung tumors. In human tumors, a high MMP-13 immunostaining index was found in tumor cells from invasive lesions (24/27, but in none of the non-invasive (0/4 (p=0.001.MMP-13 is detected in early pulmonary invasive adenocarcinomas and may be a potential target for molecular imaging of lung cancer.

  17. MMP-13 In-Vivo Molecular Imaging Reveals Early Expression in Lung Adenocarcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salaün, Mathieu; Peng, Jing; Hensley, Harvey H.; Roder, Navid; Flieder, Douglas B.; Houlle-Crépin, Solène; Abramovici-Roels, Olivia; Sabourin, Jean-Christophe; Thiberville, Luc; Clapper, Margie L.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are overexpressed in lung cancer and may serve as potential targets for the development of bioactivable probes for molecular imaging. Objective To characterize and monitor the activity of MMPs during the progression of lung adenocarcinoma. Methods K-rasLSL-G12D mice were imaged serially during the development of adenocarcinomas using fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) and a probe specific for MMP-2, -3, -9 and -13. Lung tumors were identified using FMT and MRI co-registration, and the probe concentration in each tumor was assessed at each time-point. The expression of Mmp2, -3, -9, -13 was quantified by qRT-PCR using RNA isolated from microdissected tumor cells. Immunohistochemical staining of overexpressed MMPs in animals was assessed on human lung tumors. Results In mice, 7 adenomas and 5 adenocarcinomas showed an increase in fluorescent signal on successive FMT scans, starting between weeks 4 and 8. qRT-PCR assays revealed significant overexpression of only Mmp-13 in mice lung tumors. In human tumors, a high MMP-13 immunostaining index was found in tumor cells from invasive lesions (24/27), but in none of the non-invasive (0/4) (p=0.001). Conclusion MMP-13 is detected in early pulmonary invasive adenocarcinomas and may be a potential target for molecular imaging of lung cancer. PMID:26193700

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Liver Fibrosis in HIV/HCV Coinfection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio M. Mastroianni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. Several studies have shown that HIV infection promotes accelerated HCV hepatic fibrosis progression, even with HIV replication under full antiretroviral control. The pathogenesis of accelerated hepatic fibrosis among HIV/HCV coinfected individuals is complex and multifactorial. The most relevant mechanisms involved include direct viral effects, immune/cytokine dysregulation, altered levels of matrix metalloproteinases and fibrosis biomarkers, increased oxidative stress and hepatocyte apoptosis, HIV-associated gut depletion of CD4 cells, and microbial translocation. In addition, metabolic alterations, heavy alcohol use, as well drug use, may have a potential role in liver disease progression. Understanding the pathophysiology and regulation of liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV co-infection may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for the management of all patients with ongoing liver disease. In this review, we therefore discuss the evidence and potential molecular mechanisms involved in the accelerated liver fibrosis seen in patients coinfected with HIV and HCV.

  19. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-10-05

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is paid to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of metformin: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viollet, Benoit; Guigas, Bruno; Sanz Garcia, Nieves; Leclerc, Jocelyne; Foretz, Marc; Andreelli, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    Considerable efforts have been made since the 1950s to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of metformin, a potent antihyperglycemic agent now recommended as the first line oral therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main effect of this drug from the biguanide family is to acutely decrease hepatic glucose production, mostly through a mild and transient inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory-chain complex 1. In addition, the resulting decrease in hepatic energy status activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a cellular metabolic sensor, providing a generally accepted mechanism for metformin action on hepatic gluconeogenic program. The demonstration that the respiratory-chain complex 1, but not AMPK, is the primary target of metformin was recently strengthened by showing that the metabolic effect of the drug is preserved in liver-specific AMPK-deficient mice. Beyond its effect on glucose metabolism, metformin was reported to restore ovarian function in polycystic ovary syndrome, reduce fatty liver and to lower microvascular and macrovascular complications associated with T2D. Its use was also recently suggested as an adjuvant treatment for cancer or gestational diabetes, and for the prevention in pre-diabetic populations. These emerging new therapeutic areas for metformin will be reviewed together with recent data from pharmacogenetic studies linking genetic variations to drug response, a promising new step towards personalized medicine in the treatment of T2D. PMID:22117616

  1. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is given to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. PMID:25058905

  2. Large scale aggregate microarray analysis reveals three distinct molecular subclasses of human preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leavey, Katherine; Bainbridge, Shannon A; Cox, Brian J

    2015-01-01

    Preeclampsia (PE) is a life-threatening hypertensive pathology of pregnancy affecting 3-5% of all pregnancies. To date, PE has no cure, early detection markers, or effective treatments short of the removal of what is thought to be the causative organ, the placenta, which may necessitate a preterm delivery. Additionally, numerous small placental microarray studies attempting to identify "PE-specific" genes have yielded inconsistent results. We therefore hypothesize that preeclampsia is a multifactorial disease encompassing several pathology subclasses, and that large cohort placental gene expression analysis will reveal these groups. To address our hypothesis, we utilized known bioinformatic methods to aggregate 7 microarray data sets across multiple platforms in order to generate a large data set of 173 patient samples, including 77 with preeclampsia. Unsupervised clustering of these patient samples revealed three distinct molecular subclasses of PE. This included a "canonical" PE subclass demonstrating elevated expression of known PE markers and genes associated with poor oxygenation and increased secretion, as well as two other subclasses potentially representing a poor maternal response to pregnancy and an immunological presentation of preeclampsia. Our analysis sheds new light on the heterogeneity of PE patients, and offers up additional avenues for future investigation. Hopefully, our subclassification of preeclampsia based on molecular diversity will finally lead to the development of robust diagnostics and patient-based treatments for this disorder.

  3. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Surface effects in nanoscale materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Qingcheng, E-mail: qiy9@pitt.edu; To, Albert C., E-mail: albertto@pitt.edu

    2017-05-01

    Surface effects have been observed to contribute significantly to the mechanical response of nanoscale structures. The newly proposed energy-based coarse-grained atomistic method Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) (Yang, To (2015), ) is applied to capture surface effect for nanosized structures by designing a surface summation rule SR{sup S} within the framework of MMM. Combined with previously proposed bulk summation rule SR{sup B}, the MMM summation rule SR{sup MMM} is completed. SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are consistently formed within SR{sup MMM} for general finite element shape functions. Analogous to quadrature rules in finite element method (FEM), the key idea to the good performance of SR{sup MMM} lies in that the order or distribution of energy for coarse-grained atomistic model is mathematically derived such that the number, position and weight of quadrature-type (sampling) atoms can be determined. Mathematically, the derived energy distribution of surface area is different from that of bulk region. Physically, the difference is due to the fact that surface atoms lack neighboring bonding. As such, SR{sup S} and SR{sup B} are employed for surface and bulk domains, respectively. Two- and three-dimensional numerical examples using the respective 4-node bilinear quadrilateral, 8-node quadratic quadrilateral and 8-node hexahedral meshes are employed to verify and validate the proposed approach. It is shown that MMM with SR{sup MMM} accurately captures corner, edge and surface effects with less 0.3% degrees of freedom of the original atomistic system, compared against full atomistic simulation. The effectiveness of SR{sup MMM} with respect to high order element is also demonstrated by employing the 8-node quadratic quadrilateral to solve a beam bending problem considering surface effect. In addition, the introduced sampling error with SR{sup MMM} that is analogous to numerical integration error with quadrature rule in FEM is very small. - Highlights:

  4. Molecular mechanisms controlling proton pumping by bacteriorhodopsin. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crouch, Rosalie K.; Ebrey, Thomas G.

    2000-02-10

    Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is the simplest biological system for the transduction of light energy. Light energy is directly converted to transmembrane proton gradient by a single, small membrane protein. The extraordinary stability of bR makes it an outstanding subject for bioenergetic studies. This project has focused on the role of interactions between key residues of the pigment involved in light-induced proton transfer. Methods to estimate the strength of these interactions and their correlation with the rate and efficiency of proton transfer have been developed. The concept of the coupling of the protonation states of key groups has been applied to individual steps of the proton transfer with the ultimate goal of understanding on the molecular level the driving forces for proton transport and the pathway of the transported proton in bT. The mechanism of light-induced proton release, uptake and the mechanism of recovery of initial state of bT has been examined. The experiments were performed with genetically engineered, site-specific mutants of bR. This has enabled us to characterize the role of individual amino acid residues in bR. Time resolved and low temperature absorption spectroscopy and light-induced photocurrent measurements were used in order to study the photochemical cycle and proton transfer in mutant pigments. Chemical modification and crosslinking of both the specific amino acids to the chromophore or to other amino acids were used to elucidate the role of light-induced conformational changes in the photocycle and the structure of the protein in the ground state. The results of this project provided new knowledge on the architecture of the proton transfer pathways inside the protein, on the mechanism of proton release in bR, and on the role of specific amino acid residues in the structure and function of bR.

  5. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aldosterone producing adenoma development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheerazed eBoulkroun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Primary aldosteronism (PA is the most common form of secondary hypertension with an estimated prevalence of ~10% in referred patients. PA occurs as a result of a dysregulation of the normal mechanisms controlling adrenal aldosterone production. It is characterized by hypertension with low plasma renin and elevated aldosterone and often associated with hypokalemia. The two major causes of PA are unilateral aldosterone producing adenoma (APA and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, accounting together for ~95% of cases. In addition to the well-characterized effect of excess mineralocorticoids on blood pressure, high levels of aldosterone also have cardiovascular, renal and metabolic consequences. Hence, long-term consequences of PA include increased risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Despite recent progress in the management of patients with PA, critical issues related to diagnosis, subtype differentiation and treatment of non-surgically correctable forms still persist. A better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease should lead to the identification of more reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for a more sensitive and specific screening and new therapeutic options. In this review we will summarize our current knowledge on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of APA development. On one hand, we will discuss how various animal models have improved our understanding of the pathophysiology of excess aldosterone production. On the other hand, we will summarize the major advances made during the last few years in the genetics of APA due to transcriptomic studies and whole exome sequencing. The identification of recurrent and somatic mutations in genes coding for ion channels (KCNJ5 and CACNA1D and ATPases (ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 allowed highlighting the central role of calcium signaling in autonomous aldosterone production by the adrenal.

  6. The Molecular Architecture of Cell Adhesion: Dynamic Remodeling Revealed by Videonanoscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnauld eSergé

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The plasma membrane delimits the cell, which is the basic unit of living organisms, and is also a privileged site for cell communication with the environment. Cell adhesion can occur through cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts. Adhesion proteins such as integrins and cadherins also constitute receptors for inside-out and outside-in signaling within proteolipidic platforms. Adhesion molecule targeting and stabilization relies on specific features such as preferential segregation by the sub-membrane cytoskeleton meshwork and within membrane proteolipidic microdomains. This review presents an overview of the recent insights brought by the latest developments in microscopy, to unravel the molecular remodeling occurring at cell contacts. The dynamic aspect of cell adhesion was recently highlighted by super-resolution videomicroscopy, also named videonanoscopy. By circumventing the diffraction limit of light, nanoscopy has allowed the monitoring of molecular localization and behavior at the single-molecule level, on fixed and living cells. Accessing molecular-resolution details such as quantitatively monitoring components entering and leaving cell contacts by lateral diffusion and reversible association has revealed an unexpected plasticity. Adhesion structures can be highly specialized, such as focal adhesion in motile cells, as well as immune and neuronal synapses. Spatiotemporal reorganization of adhesion molecules, receptors and adaptors directly relates to structure/function modulation. Assembly of these supramolecular complexes is continuously balanced by dynamic events, remodeling adhesions on various timescales, notably by molecular conformation switches, lateral diffusion within the membrane and endo/exocytosis. Pathological alterations in cell adhesion are involved in cancer evolution, through cancer stem cell interaction with stromal niches, growth, extravasation and metastasis.

  7. Survivin-T34A: molecular mechanism and therapeutic potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R Aspe

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Jonathan R Aspe, Nathan R WallCenter for Health Disparities Research and Molecular Medicine, Division of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USAAbstract: The inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin's threonine 34 to alanine (T34A mutation abolishes a phosphorylation site for p34(cdc2–cyclin B1, resulting in initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in cancer cells; however, it has little known direct effects on normal cells. The possibility that targeting survivin in this way may provide a novel approach for selective cancer gene therapy has yet to be fully evaluated. Although a flurry of work was undertaken in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only minor advances on this mutant have recently taken place. We recently described that cells generated to express a stable form of the mutant protein released this survivin-T34A to the conditioned medium. When this conditioned medium was collected and deposited on naive tumor cells, conditioned medium T34A was as effective as some chemotherapeutics in the induction of tumor cell apoptosis, and when combined with other forms of genotoxic stressors potentiated their killing effects. We hope with this review to revitalize the T34A field, as there is still much that needs to be investigated. In addition to determining the therapeutic dose and the duration of drug therapy required at the disease site, a better understanding of other key factors is also important. These include knowledge of target cell populations, cell-surface receptors, changes that occur in the target tissue at the molecular and cellular level with progression of the disease, and the mechanism and site of therapeutic action.Keywords: survivin, T34A, apoptosis, proliferation, therapy

  8. Phosphorus physiological ecology and molecular mechanisms in marine phytoplankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Senjie; Litaker, Richard Wayne; Sunda, William G

    2016-02-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for marine phytoplankton and indeed all life forms. Current data show that P availability is growth-limiting in certain marine systems and can impact algal species composition. Available P occurs in marine waters as dissolved inorganic phosphate (primarily orthophosphate [Pi]) or as a myriad of dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) compounds. Despite numerous studies on P physiology and ecology and increasing research on genomics in marine phytoplankton, there have been few attempts to synthesize information from these different disciplines. This paper is aimed to integrate the physiological and molecular information on the acquisition, utilization, and storage of P in marine phytoplankton and the strategies used by these organisms to acclimate and adapt to variations in P availability. Where applicable, we attempt to identify gaps in our current knowledge that warrant further research and examine possible metabolic pathways that might occur in phytoplankton from well-studied bacterial models. Physical and chemical limitations governing cellular P uptake are explored along with physiological and molecular mechanisms to adapt and acclimate to temporally and spatially varying P nutrient regimes. Topics covered include cellular Pi uptake and feedback regulation of uptake systems, enzymatic utilization of DOP, P acquisition by phagotrophy, P-limitation of phytoplankton growth in oceanic and coastal waters, and the role of P-limitation in regulating cell size and toxin levels in phytoplankton. Finally, we examine the role of P and other nutrients in the transition of phytoplankton communities from early succession species (diatoms) to late succession ones (e.g., dinoflagellates and haptophytes). © 2015 Phycological Society of America.

  9. Molecular nucleation mechanisms and control strategies for crystal polymorph selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Driessche, Alexander E. S.; van Gerven, Nani; Bomans, Paul H. H.; Joosten, Rick R. M.; Friedrich, Heiner; Gil-Carton, David; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M.; Sleutel, Mike

    2018-04-01

    The formation of condensed (compacted) protein phases is associated with a wide range of human disorders, such as eye cataracts, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sickle cell anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, condensed protein phases have their uses: as crystals, they are harnessed by structural biologists to elucidate protein structures, or are used as delivery vehicles for pharmaceutical applications. The physiochemical properties of crystals can vary substantially between different forms or structures (‘polymorphs’) of the same macromolecule, and dictate their usability in a scientific or industrial context. To gain control over an emerging polymorph, one needs a molecular-level understanding of the pathways that lead to the various macroscopic states and of the mechanisms that govern pathway selection. However, it is still not clear how the embryonic seeds of a macromolecular phase are formed, or how these nuclei affect polymorph selection. Here we use time-resolved cryo-transmission electron microscopy to image the nucleation of crystals of the protein glucose isomerase, and to uncover at molecular resolution the nucleation pathways that lead to two crystalline states and one gelled state. We show that polymorph selection takes place at the earliest stages of structure formation and is based on specific building blocks for each space group. Moreover, we demonstrate control over the system by selectively forming desired polymorphs through site-directed mutagenesis, specifically tuning intermolecular bonding or gel seeding. Our results differ from the present picture of protein nucleation, in that we do not identify a metastable dense liquid as the precursor to the crystalline state. Rather, we observe nucleation events that are driven by oriented attachments between subcritical clusters that already exhibit a degree of crystallinity. These insights suggest ways of controlling macromolecular phase transitions, aiding the development of protein

  10. Functioning and nonfunctioning thyroid adenomas involve different molecular pathogenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonacchera, M; Vitti, P; Agretti, P; Ceccarini, G; Perri, A; Cavaliere, R; Mazzi, B; Naccarato, A G; Viacava, P; Miccoli, P; Pinchera, A; Chiovato, L

    1999-11-01

    The molecular biology of follicular cell growth in thyroid nodules is still poorly understood. Because gain-of-function (activating) mutations of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TShR) and/or Gs alpha genes may confer TSh-independent growth advantage to neoplastic thyroid cells, we searched for somatic mutations of these genes in a series of hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas specifically selected for their homogeneous gross anatomy (single nodule in an otherwise normal thyroid gland). TShR gene mutations were identified by direct sequencing of exons 9 and 10 of the TShR gene in genomic DNA obtained from surgical specimens. Codons 201 and 227 of the Gs alpha gene were also analyzed. At histology, all hyperfunctioning nodules and 13 of 15 nonfunctioning nodules were diagnosed as follicular adenomas. Two nonfunctioning thyroid nodules, although showing a prevalent microfollicular pattern of growth, had histological features indicating malignant transformation (a minimally invasive follicular carcinoma and a focal papillary carcinoma). Activating mutations of the TShR gene were found in 12 of 15 hyperfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. In one hyperfunctioning adenoma, which was negative for TShR mutations, a mutation in codon 227 of the Gs alpha gene was identified. At variance with hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas, no mutation of the TShR or Gs alpha genes was detected in nonfunctioning thyroid nodules. In conclusion, our findings clearly define a different molecular pathogenetic mechanism in hyperfunctioning and nonfunctioning follicular thyroid adenomas. Activation of the cAMP cascade, which leads to proliferation but maintains differentiation of follicular thyroid cells, typically occurs in hyperfunctioning thyroid adenomas. Oncogenes other than the TShR and Gs alpha genes are probably involved in nonfunctioning follicular adenomas.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in natural Leishmania populations vary with genetic background.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Decuypere

    Full Text Available The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L. donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread

  12. Anti-inflammatory activity and molecular mechanism of delphinidin 3-sambubioside, a Hibiscus anthocyanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogo, Takayuki; Terahara, Norihiko; Hisanaga, Ayami; Kumamoto, Takuma; Yamashiro, Takaaki; Wu, Shusong; Sakao, Kozue; Hou, De-Xing

    2015-01-01

    Delphinidin 3-sambubioside (Dp3-Sam), a Hibiscus anthocyanin, was isolated from the dried calices of Hibiscus sabdariffa L, which has been used for folk beverages and herbal medicine although the molecular mechanisms are poorly defined. Based on the properties of Dp3-Sam and the information of inflammatory processes, we investigated the anti-inflammatory activity and molecular mechanisms in both cell and animal models in the present study. In the cell model, Dp3-Sam and Delphinidin (Dp) reduced the levels of inflammatory mediators including iNOS, NO, IL-6, MCP-1, and TNF-α induced by LPS. Cellular signaling analysis revealed that Dp3-Sam and Dp downregulated NF-κB pathway and MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signaling. In animal model, Dp3-Sam and Dp reduced the production of IL-6, MCP-1 and TNF-α and attenuated mouse paw edema induced by LPS. Our in vitro and in vivo data demonstrated that Hibiscus Dp3-Sam possessed potential anti-inflammatory properties. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  13. Instant Update: Considering the Molecular Mechanisms of Mutation & Natural Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    The molecular basis of evolution is an important concept to understand but one that students and teachers often find challenging. This article provides training and guidance for teachers on how to present molecular evolution concepts so that students will associate molecular changes with the evolution of form and function in organisms. Included…

  14. Molecular mechanism of bacterial Hsp90 pH-dependent ATPase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yi; Hoxie, Reyal S; Street, Timothy O

    2017-06-01

    Hsp90 is a dimeric molecular chaperone that undergoes an essential and highly regulated open-to-closed-to-open conformational cycle upon ATP binding and hydrolysis. Although it has been established that a large energy barrier to closure is responsible for Hsp90's low ATP hydrolysis rate, the specific molecular contacts that create this energy barrier are not known. Here we discover that bacterial Hsp90 (HtpG) has a pH-dependent ATPase activity that is unique among other Hsp90 homologs. The underlying mechanism is a conformation-specific electrostatic interaction between a single histidine, H255, and bound ATP. H255 stabilizes ATP only while HtpG adopts a catalytically inactive open configuration, resulting in a striking anti-correlation between nucleotide binding affinity and chaperone activity over a wide range of pH. Linkage analysis reveals that the H255-ATP salt bridge contributes 1.5 kcal/mol to the energy barrier of closure. This energetic contribution is structurally asymmetric, whereby only one H255-ATP salt-bridge per dimer of HtpG controls ATPase activation. We find that a similar electrostatic mechanism regulates the ATPase of the endoplasmic reticulum Hsp90, and that pH-dependent activity can be engineered into eukaryotic cytosolic Hsp90. These results reveal site-specific energetic information about an evolutionarily conserved conformational landscape that controls Hsp90 ATPase activity. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  15. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry imaging reveals molecular level changes in ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene joint implants in correlation with lipid adsorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröhlich, Sophie M; Archodoulaki, Vasiliki-Maria; Allmaier, Günter; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina

    2014-10-07

    Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (PE-UHMW), a material with high biocompatibility and excellent mechanical properties, is among the most commonly used materials for acetabular cup replacement in artificial joint systems. It is assumed that the interaction with synovial fluid in the biocompartment leads to significant changes relevant to material failure. In addition to hyaluronic acid, lipids are particularly relevant for lubrication in an articulating process. This study investigates synovial lipid adsorption on two different PE-UHMW materials (GUR-1050 and vitamin E-doped) in an in vitro model system by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). Lipids were identified by high performance thin layer chromatography (HP-TLC) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis, with an analytical focus on phospholipids and cholesterol, both being species of high importance for lubrication. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was applied in the study to correlate molecular information with PE-UHMW material qualities. It is demonstrated that lipid adsorption preferentially occurs in rough or oxidized polymer regions. Polymer modifications were colocalized with adsorbed lipids and found with high density in regions identified by SEM. Explanted, the in vivo polymer material showed comparable and even more obvious polymer damage and lipid adsorption when compared with the static in vitro model. A three-dimensional reconstruction of MSI data from consecutive PE-UHMW slices reveals detailed information about the diffusion process of lipids in the acetabular cup and provides, for the first time, a promising starting point for future studies correlating molecular information with commonly used techniques for material analysis (e.g., Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, nanoindentation).

  16. RNA-Seq and molecular docking reveal multi-level pesticide resistance in the bed bug

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamidala Praveen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius are hematophagous nocturnal parasites of humans that have attained high impact status due to their worldwide resurgence. The sudden and rampant resurgence of C. lectularius has been attributed to numerous factors including frequent international travel, narrower pest management practices, and insecticide resistance. Results We performed a next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq experiment to find differentially expressed genes between pesticide-resistant (PR and pesticide-susceptible (PS strains of C. lectularius. A reference transcriptome database of 51,492 expressed sequence tags (ESTs was created by combining the databases derived from de novo assembled mRNA-Seq tags (30,404 ESTs and our previous 454 pyrosequenced database (21,088 ESTs. The two-way GLMseq analysis revealed ~15,000 highly significant differentially expressed ESTs between the PR and PS strains. Among the top 5,000 differentially expressed ESTs, 109 putative defense genes (cuticular proteins, cytochrome P450s, antioxidant genes, ABC transporters, glutathione S-transferases, carboxylesterases and acetyl cholinesterase involved in penetration resistance and metabolic resistance were identified. Tissue and development-specific expression of P450 CYP3 clan members showed high mRNA levels in the cuticle, Malpighian tubules, and midgut; and in early instar nymphs, respectively. Lastly, molecular modeling and docking of a candidate cytochrome P450 (CYP397A1V2 revealed the flexibility of the deduced protein to metabolize a broad range of insecticide substrates including DDT, deltamethrin, permethrin, and imidacloprid. Conclusions We developed significant molecular resources for C. lectularius putatively involved in metabolic resistance as well as those participating in other modes of insecticide resistance. RNA-Seq profiles of PR strains combined with tissue-specific profiles and molecular docking revealed multi-level insecticide

  17. Molecular mechanisms of responses to radiation through protein kinase C

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakajima, Tetsuo

    2005-01-01

    Described are the activation and cascade of the protein kinase C (PKC) which mediating the control of radiation-induced apoptosis. PKC is a family of c-, n- and a-subtypes and plays a major role in responding to the radiation exposure for DNA repair, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The author has conducted studies of mouse thymic lymphoma cells which have a property to respond even to low dose radiation, and has showed that, in the highly radiosensitive cell strain, 3SBH5 where apoptosis occurs in 50 and 90% post 0.5 and 2 Gy exposure, respectively, cPKC works as a surviving signal without intracellular movement after irradiation. In contrast, PKC has been alternatively shown to participate in apoptosis induction, showing that different enzyme species in the subtypes work specifically depending on passing time. Comparison with the radio-resistant cell strain, XR223, has revealed that the difference in the localization controls of PKCδ in the cell determines the radiosensitivity, however, the control mechanism is found to be separate from Atm pathway by which PKCδ is usually regulated. Recent studies have revealed that PKC performs the intracellular cross-talk in various phosphorylation cascades. Studies of PKC can be toward their uses for radiation effect assessment, radiotherapy and medicare for urgent exposure. (S.I.)

  18. [Interactions of DNA bases with individual water molecules. Molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics computation results vs. experimental data].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, E; Lino, J; Deriabina, A; Herrera, J N F; Poltev, V I

    2013-01-01

    To elucidate details of the DNA-water interactions we performed the calculations and systemaitic search for minima of interaction energy of the systems consisting of one of DNA bases and one or two water molecules. The results of calculations using two force fields of molecular mechanics (MM) and correlated ab initio method MP2/6-31G(d, p) of quantum mechanics (QM) have been compared with one another and with experimental data. The calculations demonstrated a qualitative agreement between geometry characteristics of the most of local energy minima obtained via different methods. The deepest minima revealed by MM and QM methods correspond to water molecule position between two neighbor hydrophilic centers of the base and to the formation by water molecule of hydrogen bonds with them. Nevertheless, the relative depth of some minima and peculiarities of mutual water-base positions in' these minima depend on the method used. The analysis revealed insignificance of some differences in the results of calculations performed via different methods and the importance of other ones for the description of DNA hydration. The calculations via MM methods enable us to reproduce quantitatively all the experimental data on the enthalpies of complex formation of single water molecule with the set of mono-, di-, and trimethylated bases, as well as on water molecule locations near base hydrophilic atoms in the crystals of DNA duplex fragments, while some of these data cannot be rationalized by QM calculations.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Microcystin Toxicity in Animal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Campos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Microcystins (MC are potent hepatotoxins produced by the cyanobacteria of the genera Planktothrix, Microcystis, Aphanizomenon, Nostoc and Anabaena. These cyclic heptapeptides have strong affinity to serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PPs thereby acting as an inhibitor of this group of enzymes. Through this interaction a cascade of events responsible for the MC cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in animal cells may take place. Moreover MC induces oxidative stress in animal cells and together with the inhibition of PPs, this pathway is considered to be one of the main mechanisms of MC toxicity. In recent years new insights on the key enzymes involved in the signal-transduction and toxicity have been reported demonstrating the complexity of the interaction of these toxins with animal cells. Key proteins involved in MC up-take, biotransformation and excretion have been identified, demonstrating the ability of aquatic animals to metabolize and excrete the toxin. MC have shown to interact with the mitochondria. The consequences are the dysfunction of the organelle, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS and cell apoptosis. MC activity leads to the differential expression/activity of transcriptional factors and protein kinases involved in the pathways of cellular differentiation, proliferation and tumor promotion activity. This activity may result from the direct inhibition of the protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A. This review aims to summarize the increasing data regarding the molecular mechanisms of MC toxicity in animal systems, reporting for direct MC interacting proteins and key enzymes in the process of toxicity biotransformation/excretion of these cyclic peptides.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Curcumin Renoprotection in Experimental Acute Renal Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youling Fan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As a highly perfused organ, the kidney is especially sensitive to ischemia and reperfusion. Ischemia-reperfusion (IR-induced acute kidney injury (AKI has a high incidence during the perioperative period in the clinic and is an important link in ischemic acute renal failure (IARF. Therefore, IR-induced AKI has important clinical significance and it is necessary to explore to develop drugs to prevent and alleviate IR-induced AKI. Curcumin [diferuloylmethane, 1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxiphenyl-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione] is a polyphenol compound derived from Curcuma longa (turmeric and was shown to have a renoprotective effect on ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI in a previous study. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the protective role of curcumin in IR-induced AKI are not completely understood. APPL1 is a protein coding gene that has been shown to be involved in the crosstalk between the adiponectin-signaling and insulin-signaling pathways. In the study, to investigate the molecular mechanisms of curcumin effects in kidney ischemia/reperfusion model, we observed the effect of curcumin in experimental models of IR-induced AKI and we found that curcumin treatment significantly increased the expression of APPL1 and inhibited the activation of Akt after IR treatment in the kidney. Our in vitro results showed that apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells was exacerbated with hypoxia-reoxygenation (HR treatment compared to sham control cells. Curcumin significantly decreased the rate of apoptosis in renal tubular epithelial cells with HR treatment. Moreover, knockdown of APPL1 activated Akt and subsequently aggravated apoptosis in HR-treated renal tubular epithelial cells. Conversely, inhibition of Akt directly reversed the effects of APPL1 knockdown. In summary, our study demonstrated that curcumin mediated upregulation of APPL1 protects against ischemia reperfusion induced AKI by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation.

  1. Molecular Mechanism for Various Pharmacological Activities of NSAIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohru Mizushima

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The anti-inflammatory action of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs is mediated through their inhibitory effects on cyclooxygenase (COX activity. On the other hand, NSAID use is often associated with gastrointestinal complications. The inhibition of COX by NSAIDs is not the sole explanation for the gastrointestinal side effects of NSAIDs. Furthermore, recent epidemiological studies have revealed that prolonged NSAID use reduces the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD and a COX-independent unknown mechanism is suggested to be involved in these activities of NSAIDs. In this article, I review our recent work on the COX-independent mechanism involved in NSAID-induced gastric lesions and anti-tumor and anti-AD activities of NSAIDs. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that NSAIDs affect expression of various genes in a COX-independent manner. We found that membrane permeabilization activity of NSAIDs and resulting NSAID-induced apoptosis are involved in NSAID-induced gastric lesions. On the other hand, induction of expression of tight junction-related genes and endoplasmic reticulum chaperones were suggested to be involved in anti-tumor and anti-AD, respectively, activities of NSAIDs. These results suggest that NSAIDs affect expression of various genes in a COX-independent manner, which is involved in various pharmacological activities of NSAIDs.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of circulatory dysfunction in cirrhotic portal hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Ling Ho

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Acute or chronic insults to the liver are usually followed by a tissue repairing process. Unfortunately, this action, in most cases, is not effective enough to restore the normal hepatic structure and function. Instead, fibrogenesis and regenerative nodules formation ensue, which are relatively nonfunctioning. The common final stage of the process is liver cirrhosis with increased intrahepatic resistance to portal venous blood flow. Throughout the entire course, the extrahepatic circulatory dysfunction, including increased splanchnic blood flow, elevated portal venous blood flow and pressure, decreased splanchnic and peripheral vascular resistance, tachycardia, and increased cardiac output, are noted and denoted as portal hypertension with hyperdynamic circulatory dysfunction. When such a condition is established, patients may suffer from fatal complications such as gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage, hepatic encephalopathy, or hepatorenal syndrome. The cause of such a circulatory dysfunction is not fully elucidated. Nevertheless, clarification of the pathophysiology definitely contributes to the control of portal hypertension-related complications. Herein, the molecular mechanism of this intriguing disaster is reviewed and discussed.

  3. Mechanical properties of irradiated nanowires – A molecular dynamics study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Figueroa, Emilio [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Matemática y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Santiago 7800002 (Chile); Tramontina, Diego [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad de Mendoza, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina); Gutiérrez, Gonzalo, E-mail: gonzalo@fisica.ciencias.uchile.cl [Grupo de NanoMateriales, Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla, 653 Santiago (Chile); Bringa, Eduardo [Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza (Argentina)

    2015-12-15

    In this work we study, by means of molecular dynamics simulation, the change in the mechanical properties of a gold nanowire with pre-existing radiation damage. The gold nanowire is used as a simple model for a nanofoam, made of connected nanowires. Radiation damage by keV ions leads to the formation of a stacking fault tetrahedron (SFT), and this defect leads to a reduced plastic threshold, as expected, when the nanowire is subjected to tension. We quantify dislocation and twin density during the deformation, and find that the early activation of the SFT as a dislocation source leads to reduced dislocation densities compared to the case without radiation damage. In addition, we observed a total destruction of the SFT, as opposed to a recent simulation study where it was postulated that SFTs might act as self-generating dislocation sources. The flow stress at large deformation is also found to be slightly larger for the irradiated case, in agreement with recent experiments. - Highlights: • Stacking Fault Tetrahedra (SFT) formation proceeds by cascades, containing typically a vacancy cluster and interstitials. • Applied tension leads to the destruction of the SFT, in contrast to a recently reported case of a SFT which soften the NW. • After the initial dislocation activity, strength is controlled by a few surviving dislocations.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ankit; Tiwari, Subodh C.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya; Kalia, Rajiv; CACS Team

    Experimental and first principle computational studies on FOX 7 have either involved a very small system consisting of a few atoms or they did not take into account the decomposition mechanisms under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. We have performed a large-scale reactive MD simulation using ReaxFF-lg force field to study the shock decomposition of FOX 7. The chemical composition of the principal decomposition products correlates well with experimental observations. Furthermore, we observed that the production of N2 and H2O was inter molecular in nature and was through different chemical pathways. Moreover, the production of CO and CO2 was delayed due to production of large stable C,O atoms cluster. These critical insights into the initial processes involved in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7 will greatly help in understanding the factors playing an important role in the insensitiveness of this high energy material. This research is supported by AFOSR Award No. FA9550-16-1-0042.

  5. The Molecular Mechanisms of Offspring Effects from Obese Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Dowling

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of obesity, increased weight gain and the popularity of high-fat / high-sugar diets are seriously impacting upon the global population. Billions of individuals are affected, and although diet and lifestyle are of paramount importance to the development of adult obesity, compelling evidence is emerging which suggests that maternal obesity and related disorders may be passed on to the next generation by non-genetic means. The processes acting within the uteri of obese mothers may permanently predispose offspring to a diverse plethora of diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to psychiatric disorders. This review aims to summarise some of the molecular mechanisms and active processes currently known about maternal obesity and its effect on foetal and neonatal physiology and metabolism. Complex and multifactorial networks of molecules are intertwined and culminate in a pathologically synergistic manner to cause disruption and disorganisation of foetal physiology. This altered phenotype may potentiate the cycle of intergenerational transmission of obesity and related disorders.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms and New Treatment Paradigm for Atrial Fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirish, Padmini; Li, Ning; Timofeyev, Valeriy; Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Wang, Lianguo; Yang, Jun; Lee, Kin Sing Stephen; Bettaieb, Ahmed; Ma, Sin Mei; Lee, Jeong Han; Su, Demetria; Lau, Victor C; Myers, Richard E; Lieu, Deborah K; López, Javier E; Young, J Nilas; Yamoah, Ebenezer N; Haj, Fawaz; Ripplinger, Crystal M; Hammock, Bruce D; Chiamvimonvat, Nipavan

    2016-05-01

    Atrial fibrillation represents the most common arrhythmia leading to increased morbidity and mortality, yet, current treatment strategies have proven inadequate. Conventional treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs carries a high risk for proarrhythmias. The soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of anti-inflammatory epoxy fatty acids, including epoxyeicosatrienoic acids from arachidonic acid to the corresponding proinflammatory diols. Therefore, the goal of the study is to directly test the hypotheses that inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme can result in an increase in the levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, leading to the attenuation of atrial structural and electric remodeling and the prevention of atrial fibrillation. For the first time, we report findings that inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, atrial structural, and electric remodeling. Treatment with soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor significantly reduces the activation of key inflammatory signaling molecules, including the transcription factor nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and transforming growth factor-β. This study provides insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to atrial fibrillation by inflammation and represents a paradigm shift from conventional antiarrhythmic drugs, which block downstream events to a novel upstream therapeutic target by counteracting the inflammatory processes in atrial fibrillation. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  7. Final Report - Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation - UCSF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Susan M. [UCSF

    2014-04-24

    The bacterial mercury resistance (mer) operon functions in Hg biogeochemistry and bioremediation by converting reactive inorganic Hg(II) and organic [RHg(II)]1+ mercurials to relatively inert monoatomic mercury vapor, Hg(0). Its genes regulate operon expression (MerR, MerD, MerOP), import Hg(II) (MerT, MerP, and MerC), and demethylate (MerB) and reduce (MerA) mercurials. We focus on how these components interact with each other and with the host cell to allow cells to survive and detoxify Hg compounds. Understanding how this ubiquitous detoxification system fits into the biology and ecology of its bacterial host is essential to guide interventions that support and enhance Hg remediation. In the current overall project we focused on two aspects of this system: (1) investigations of the energetics of Hg(II)-ligand binding interactions, and (2) both experimental and computational approaches to investigating the molecular mechanisms of Hg(II) acquisition by MerA and intramolecular transfer of Hg(II) prior to reduction within the MerA enzyme active site. Computational work was led by Prof. Jeremy Smith and took place at the University of Tennessee, while experimental work on MerA was led by Prof. Susan Miller and took place at the University of California San Francisco.

  8. Unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of repetitive magnetic stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eMüller-Dahlhaus

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite numerous clinical studies, which have investigated the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS in various brain diseases, our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rTMS-based therapies remains limited. Thus, a deeper understanding of rTMS-induced neural plasticity is required to optimize current treatment protocols. Studies in small animals or appropriate in vitro preparations (including models of brain diseases provide highly useful experimental approaches in this context. State-of-the-art electrophysiological and live-cell imaging techniques that are well established in basic neuroscience can help answering some of the major questions in the field, such as (i which neural structures are activated during TMS, (ii how does rTMS induce Hebbian plasticity, and (iii are other forms of plasticity (e.g., metaplasticity, structural plasticity induced by rTMS? We argue that data gained from these studies will support the development of more effective and specific applications of rTMS in clinical practice.

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced osteopenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Yao; Liu, Yitong; Chen, Hui; Shi, Songtao; Liu, Yi

    2017-12-01

    Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed, resulting in a staggering economic cost in different social and cultural settings. Types of alcohol consumption vary from light occasional to heavy, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol abuse at all ages. In general, heavy alcohol consumption is widely recognized as a major epidemiological risk factor for chronic diseases and is detrimental to many organs and tissues, including bones. Indeed, recent findings demonstrate that alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect in promoting imbalanced bone remodeling. This imbalance eventually results in osteopenia, an established risk factor for osteoporosis. Decreased bone mass and strength are major hallmarks of osteopenia, which is predominantly attributed not only to inhibition of bone synthesis but also to increased bone resorption through direct and indirect pathways. In this review, we present knowledge to elucidate the epidemiology, potential pathogenesis, and major molecular mechanisms and cellular effects that underlie alcoholism-induced bone loss in osteopenia. Novel therapeutic targets for correcting alcohol-induced osteopenia are also reviewed, such as modulation of proinflammatory cytokines and Wnt and mTOR signaling and the application of new drugs.

  10. Quantum mechanical simulations of polymers for molecular electronics and photonics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupuis, M.; Villar, H.O.; Clementi, E.

    1987-01-01

    Ab initio quantum mechanical studies can play an important role in obtaining a detailed understanding of the electronic structure of existing materials, and in predicting the properties of new ones. In this article the authors give a general outline of their research activity in two areas dealing with new materials, specifically, conducting polymers and polymers with non-linear optical properties. The authors present the strategy followed for the study of these molecular systems, and an overview of their findings concerning the structure of the prototypical conducting polymer, i.e. pure and doped polyacetylene (PA). They focused attention on vibrational spectra and infrared and Raman intensities. The results of self-consistent-field (SCF) calculations on charged soliton-like molecules are consistent with experimental observation. In particular, they show that the theoretically established accidental mutual exclusion of infrared and Raman bands invalidates the requirement formulated on the basis of the interpretation of experimental data, that defects in PA must have local C/sub 2h/ symmetry. These conclusions are derived from extensive calculations for which supercomputer performance was imperative and carried out on the parallel supercomputer assembled at IBM-Kingston as a loosely coupled array of processors (LCAP). The authors briefly describe this computer system which has proven to be ideally suited to the methods of ab initio quantum chemistry

  11. Molecular mechanisms of Ebola virus pathogenesis: focus on cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, L; Agrati, C; Petrosillo, N; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Ippolito, G; Piacentini, M

    2015-08-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) belongs to the Filoviridae family and is responsible for a severe disease characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise accompanied by other non-specific signs and symptoms; in 30-50% of cases hemorrhagic symptoms are present. Multiorgan dysfunction occurs in severe forms with a mortality up to 90%. The EBOV first attacks macrophages and dendritic immune cells. The innate immune reaction is characterized by a cytokine storm, with secretion of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induces a huge number of contradictory signals and hurts the immune cells, as well as other tissues. Other highly pathogenic viruses also trigger cytokine storms, but Filoviruses are thought to be particularly lethal because they affect a wide array of tissues. In addition to the immune system, EBOV attacks the spleen and kidneys, where it kills cells that help the body to regulate its fluid and chemical balance and that make proteins that help the blood to clot. In addition, EBOV causes liver, lungs and kidneys to shut down their functions and the blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissues. In this review, we analyze the molecular mechanisms at the basis of Ebola pathogenesis with a particular focus on the cell death pathways induced by the virus. We also discuss how the treatment of the infection can benefit from the recent experience of blocking/modulating cell death in human degenerative diseases.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Anticancer Effects of Phytoestrogens in Breast Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Chia-Jung; Hsu, Ya-Ling; Huang, Ya-Fang; Tsai, Eing-Mei

    2018-01-01

    Phytoestrogens derived from plants exert estrogenic as well as antiestrogenic effects and multiple actions within breast cancer cells. Chemopreventive properties of phytoestrogens have emerged from epidemiological observations. In recent clinical research studies, phytoestrogens are safe and may even protect against breast cancer. In this brief review, the molecular mechanisms of phytoestrogens on regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, estrogen receptors, cell signaling pathways, and epigenetic modulations in relation to breast cancer are discussed. Phytoestrogens have a preferential affinity for estrogen receptor (ER)-β, which appears to be associated with antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic effects. Moreover, while phytoestrogens not only inhibit ER-positive but also ER-negative breast cancer cells, the possibility of epigenetic modulation playing an important role is also discussed. In conclusion, as there are multiple targets and actions of phytoestrogens, extensive research is still necessary. However, due to low toxicity, low cost, and easy availability, their potent chemoprevention effects deserve further study. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  13. Phase transition and mechanical properties of tungsten nanomaterials from molecular dynamic simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, L.; Fan, J. L.; Gong, H. R., E-mail: gonghr@csu.edu.cn [Central South University, State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy (China)

    2017-03-15

    Molecular dynamic simulation is used to systematically find out the effects of the size and shape of nanoparticles on phase transition and mechanical properties of W nanomaterials. It is revealed that the body-centered cubic (BCC) to face-centered cubic (FCC) phase transition could only happen in cubic nanoparticles of W, instead of the shapes of sphere, octahedron, and rhombic dodecahedron, and that the critical number to trigger the phase transition is 5374 atoms. Simulation also shows that the FCC nanocrystalline W should be prevented due to its much lower tensile strength than its BCC counterpart and that the octahedral and rhombic dodecahedral nanoparticles of W, rather than the cubic nanoparticles, should be preferred in terms of phase transition and mechanical properties. The derived results are discussed extensively through comparing with available observations in the literature to provide a deep understanding of W nanomaterials.

  14. Evaluation of carbohydrate molecular mechanical force fields by quantum mechanical calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmingsen, Lars Bo Stegeager; Madsen, D.E.; Esbensen, A.L.

    2004-01-01

    of the (gg, gt and tg) rotamers of methyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside are (0.13, 0.00, 0.15) and (0.64, 0.00, 0.77) kcal/mol. respectively. The results of the quantum mechanical calculations are compared with the results of calculations using the 20 second...... for monosaccharide carbohydrate benchmark systems. Selected results are: (i) The interaction energy of the alpha-D-alucopyranose-H2O heterodimer is estimated to be 4.9 kcal/mol, using a composite method including terms at highly correlated (CCSD(T)) level. Most molecular mechanics force fields are in error...

  15. Trends in nanoscale mechanics mechanics of carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanocomposites and molecular dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    2014-01-01

    This book contains a collection of the state-of-the-art reviews written by the leading researchers in the areas of nanoscale mechanics, molecular dynamics, nanoscale modeling of nanocomposites and mechanics of carbon nanotubes. No other book has reviews of the recent discoveries such as a nanoscale analog of the Pauli’s principle, i.e., effect of the spatial exclusion of electrons or the SEE effect, a new Registry Matrix Analysis for the nanoscale interfacial sliding and new data on the effective viscosity of interfacial electrons in nanoscale stiction at the interfaces. This volume is also an exceptional resource on the well tested nanoscale modeling of carbon nanotubes and nanocomposites, new nanoscale effects, unique evaluations of the effective thickness of carbon nanotubes under different loads, new data on which size of carbon nanotubes is safer and many other topics. Extensive bibliography concerning all these topics is included along with the lucid short reviews. Numerous illustrations are provided...

  16. Microscopic properties of ionic liquid/organic semiconductor interfaces revealed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokota, Yasuyuki; Miyamoto, Hiroo; Imanishi, Akihito; Takeya, Jun; Inagaki, Kouji; Morikawa, Yoshitada; Fukui, Ken-Ichi

    2018-05-09

    Electric double-layer transistors based on ionic liquid/organic semiconductor interfaces have been extensively studied during the past decade because of their high carrier densities at low operation voltages. Microscopic structures and the dynamics of ionic liquids likely determine the device performance; however, knowledge of these is limited by a lack of appropriate experimental tools. In this study, we investigated ionic liquid/organic semiconductor interfaces using molecular dynamics to reveal the microscopic properties of ionic liquids. The organic semiconductors include pentacene, rubrene, fullerene, and 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ). While ionic liquids close to the substrate always form the specific layered structures, the surface properties of organic semiconductors drastically alter the ionic dynamics. Ionic liquids at the fullerene interface behave as a two-dimensional ionic crystal because of the energy gain derived from the favorable electrostatic interaction on the corrugated periodic substrate.

  17. Fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy together with molecular simulations reveal amphiphilic characteristics of a Burkholderia biofilm exopolysaccharide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuttel, Michelle M; Cescutti, Paola; Distefano, Marco; Rizzo, Roberto

    2017-06-30

    Biofilms are a collective mode of bacterial life in which a self-produced matrix confines cells in close proximity to each other. Biofilms confer many advantages, including protection from chemicals (including antibiotics), entrapment of useful extracellular enzymes and nutrients, as well as opportunities for efficient recycling of molecules from dead cells. Biofilm matrices are aqueous gel-like structures composed of polysaccharides, proteins, and DNA stabilized by intermolecular interactions that may include non-polar connections. Recently, polysaccharides extracted from biofilms produced by species of the Burkholderia cepacia complex were shown to possess clusters of rhamnose, a 6-deoxy sugar with non-polar characteristics. Molecular dynamics simulations are well suited to characterizing the structure and dynamics of polysaccharides, but only relatively few such studies exist of their interaction with non-polar molecules. Here we report an investigation into the hydrophobic properties of the exopolysaccharide produced by Burkholderia multivorans strain C1576. Fluorescence experiments with two hydrophobic fluorescent probes established that this polysaccharide complexes hydrophobic species, and NMR experiments confirmed these interactions. Molecular simulations to model the hydrodynamics of the polysaccharide and the interaction with guest species revealed a very flexible, amphiphilic carbohydrate chain that has frequent dynamic interactions with apolar molecules; both hexane and a long-chain fatty acid belonging to the quorum-sensing system of B. multivorans were tested. A possible role of the non-polar domains of the exopolysaccharide in facilitating the diffusion of aliphatic species toward specific targets within the biofilm aqueous matrix is proposed. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Highly distinct chromosomal structures in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), as revealed by molecular cytogenetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata-Otsubo, Aiko; Lin, Jer-Young; Gill, Navdeep; Jackson, Scott A

    2016-05-01

    Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) is an important legume, particularly in developing countries. However, little is known about its genome or chromosome structure. We used molecular cytogenetics to characterize the structure of pachytene chromosomes to advance our knowledge of chromosome and genome organization of cowpea. Our data showed that cowpea has highly distinct chromosomal structures that are cytologically visible as brightly DAPI-stained heterochromatic regions. Analysis of the repetitive fraction of the cowpea genome present at centromeric and pericentromeric regions confirmed that two retrotransposons are major components of pericentromeric regions and that a 455-bp tandem repeat is found at seven out of 11 centromere pairs in cowpea. These repeats likely evolved after the divergence of cowpea from common bean and form chromosomal structure unique to cowpea. The integration of cowpea genetic and physical chromosome maps reveals potential regions of suppressed recombination due to condensed heterochromatin and a lack of pairing in a few chromosomal termini. This study provides fundamental knowledge on cowpea chromosome structure and molecular cytogenetics tools for further chromosome studies.

  19. Molecular analyses reveal high species diversity of trematodes in a sub-Arctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soldánová, Miroslava; Georgieva, Simona; Roháčováa, Jana; Knudsen, Rune; Kuhn, Jesper A.; Henriksen, Eirik H.; Siwertsson, Anna; Shaw, Jenny C.; Kuris, Armand M.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Scholz, Tomáš; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2017-01-01

    To identify trematode diversity and life-cycles in the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, Norway, we characterised 120 trematode isolates from mollusc first intermediate hosts, metacercariae from second intermediate host fishes and invertebrates, and adults from fish and invertebrate definitive hosts, using molecular techniques. Phylogenies based on nuclear and/or mtDNA revealed high species richness (24 species or species-level genetic lineages), and uncovered trematode diversity (16 putative new species) from five families typical in lake ecosystems (Allocreadiidae, Diplostomidae, Plagiorchiidae, Schistosomatidae and Strigeidae). Sampling potential invertebrate hosts allowed matching of sequence data for different stages, thus achieving molecular elucidation of trematode life-cycles and exploration of host-parasite interactions. Phylogenetic analyses also helped identify three major mollusc intermediate hosts (Radix balthica, Pisidium casertanum and Sphaerium sp.) in the lake. Our findings increase the known trematode diversity at the sub-Arctic Lake Takvatn, showing that digenean diversity is high in this otherwise depauperate sub-Arctic freshwater ecosystem, and indicating that sub-Arctic and Arctic ecosystems may be characterised by unique trematode assemblages.

  20. Structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of myasthenia gravis and their therapeutic implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noridomi, Kaori; Watanabe, Go; Hansen, Melissa N.; Han, Gye Won; Chen, Lin (USC)

    2017-04-25

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a major target of autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease that causes neuromuscular transmission dysfunction. Despite decades of research, the molecular mechanisms underlying MG have not been fully elucidated. Here, we present the crystal structure of the nAChR α1 subunit bound by the Fab fragment of mAb35, a reference monoclonal antibody that causes experimental MG and competes with ~65% of antibodies from MG patients. Our structures reveal for the first time the detailed molecular interactions between MG antibodies and a core region on nAChR α1. These structures suggest a major nAChR-binding mechanism shared by a large number of MG antibodies and the possibility to treat MG by blocking this binding mechanism. Structure-based modeling also provides insights into antibody-mediated nAChR cross-linking known to cause receptor degradation. Our studies establish a structural basis for further mechanistic studies and therapeutic development of MG.

  1. Animal Hairs as Water-stimulated Shape Memory Materials: Mechanism and Structural Networks in Molecular Assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xueliang; Hu, Jinlian

    2016-05-01

    Animal hairs consisting of α-keratin biopolymers existing broadly in nature may be responsive to water for recovery to the innate shape from their fixed deformation, thus possess smart behavior, namely shape memory effect (SME). In this article, three typical animal hair fibers were first time investigated for their water-stimulated SME, and therefrom to identify the corresponding net-points and switches in their molecular and morphological structures. Experimentally, the SME manifested a good stability of high shape fixation ratio and reasonable recovery rate after many cycles of deformation programming under water stimulation. The effects of hydration on hair lateral size, recovery kinetics, dynamic mechanical behaviors and structural components (crystal, disulfide and hydrogen bonds) were then systematically studied. SME mechanisms were explored based on the variations of structural components in molecular assemblies of such smart fibers. A hybrid structural network model with single-switch and twin-net-points was thereafter proposed to interpret the water-stimulated shape memory mechanism of animal hairs. This original work is expected to provide inspiration for exploring other natural materials to reveal their smart functions and natural laws in animals including human as well as making more remarkable synthetic smart materials.

  2. Molecular Mechanism of Terbinafine Resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leber, Regina; Fuchsbichler, Sandra; Klobučníková, Vlasta; Schweighofer, Natascha; Pitters, Eva; Wohlfarter, Kathrin; Lederer, Mojca; Landl, Karina; Ruckenstuhl, Christoph; Hapala, Ivan; Turnowsky, Friederike

    2003-01-01

    Ten mutants of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae resistant to the antimycotic terbinafine were isolated after chemical or UV mutagenesis. Molecular analysis of these mutants revealed single base pair exchanges in the ERG1 gene coding for squalene epoxidase, the target of terbinafine. The mutants did not show cross-resistance to any of the substrates of various pleiotropic drug resistance efflux pumps tested. The ERG1 mRNA levels in the mutants did not differ from those in the wild-type parent strains. Terbinafine resistance was transmitted with the mutated alleles in gene replacement experiments, proving that single amino acid substitutions in the Erg1 protein were sufficient to confer the resistance phenotype. The amino acid changes caused by the point mutations were clustered in two regions of the Erg1 protein. Seven mutants carried the amino acid substitutions F402L (one mutant), F420L (one mutant), and P430S (five mutants) in the C-terminal part of the protein; and three mutants carried an L251F exchange in the central part of the protein. Interestingly, all exchanges identified involved amino acids which are conserved in the squalene epoxidases of yeasts and mammals. Two mutations that were generated by PCR mutagenesis of the ERG1 gene and that conferred terbinafine resistance mapped in the same regions of the Erg1 protein, with one resulting in an L251F exchange and the other resulting in an F433S exchange. The results strongly indicate that these regions are responsible for the interaction of yeast squalene epoxidase with terbinafine. PMID:14638499

  3. Quantitative ligand and receptor binding studies reveal the mechanism of interleukin-36 (IL-36) pathway activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li; Todorovic, Viktor; Kakavas, Steve; Sielaff, Bernhard; Medina, Limary; Wang, Leyu; Sadhukhan, Ramkrishna; Stockmann, Henning; Richardson, Paul L; DiGiammarino, Enrico; Sun, Chaohong; Scott, Victoria

    2018-01-12

    IL-36 cytokines signal through the IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) and a shared subunit, IL-1RAcP (IL-1 receptor accessory protein). The activation mechanism for the IL-36 pathway is proposed to be similar to that of IL-1 in that an IL-36R agonist (IL-36α, IL-36β, or IL-36γ) forms a binary complex with IL-36R, which then recruits IL-1RAcP. Recent studies have shown that IL-36R interacts with IL-1RAcP even in the absence of an agonist. To elucidate the IL-36 activation mechanism, we considered all possible binding events for IL-36 ligands/receptors and examined these events in direct binding assays. Our results indicated that the agonists bind the IL-36R extracellular domain with micromolar affinity but do not detectably bind IL-1RAcP. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we found that IL-1RAcP also does not bind IL-36R when no agonist is present. In the presence of IL-36α, however, IL-1RAcP bound IL-36R strongly. These results suggested that the main pathway to the IL-36R·IL-36α·IL-1RAcP ternary complex is through the IL-36R·IL-36α binary complex, which recruits IL-1RAcP. We could not measure the binding affinity of IL-36R to IL-1RAcP directly, so we engineered a fragment crystallizable-linked construct to induce IL-36R·IL-1RAcP heterodimerization and predicted the binding affinity during a complete thermodynamic cycle to be 74 μm The SPR analysis also indicated that the IL-36R antagonist IL-36Ra binds IL-36R with higher affinity and a much slower off rate than the IL-36R agonists, shedding light on IL-36 pathway inhibition. Our results reveal the landscape of IL-36 ligand and receptor interactions, improving our understanding of IL-36 pathway activation and inhibition. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Quantitative proteomic analysis of human testis reveals system-wide molecular and cellular pathways associated with non-obstructive azoospermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alikhani, Mehdi; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Sabbaghian, Marjan; Parsamatin, Pouria; Karamzadeh, Razieh; Adib, Samane; Sodeifi, Niloofar; Gilani, Mohammad Ali Sadighi; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Parker, Lindsay; Wu, Yunqi; Gupta, Vivek; Haynes, Paul A; Gourabi, Hamid; Baharvand, Hossein; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2017-06-06

    Male infertility accounts for half of the infertility problems experienced by couples. Azoospermia, having no measurable level of sperm in seminal fluid, is one of the known conditions resulting in male infertility. In order to elucidate the complex molecular mechanisms causing male azoospermia, label-free quantitative shotgun proteomics was carried out on testicular tissue specimens from patients with obstructive azoospermia and non-obstructive azoospermia, including maturation arrest (MA) and Sertoli cell only syndrome (SCOS). The abundance of 520 proteins was significantly changed across three groups of samples. We were able to identify several functional biological pathways enriched in azoospermia samples and confirm selected differentially abundant proteins, using multiple histological methods. The results revealed that cell cycle and proteolysis, and RNA splicing were the most significant biological processes impaired by the substantial suppression of proteins related to the aforementioned categories in SCOS tissues. In the MA patient testes, generation of precursor metabolites and energy as well as oxidation-reduction were the most significantly altered processes. Novel candidate proteins identified in this study include key transcription factors, many of which have not previously been shown to be associated with azoospermia. Our findings can provide substantial insights into the molecular regulation of spermatogenesis and human reproduction. The obtained data showed a drastic suppression of proteins involved in spliceosome, cell cycle and proteasome proteins, as well as energy and metabolic production in Sertoli cell only syndrome testis tissue, and to a lesser extent in maturation arrest samples. Moreover, we identified new transcription factors that are highly down-regulated in SCOS and MA patients, thus helping to understand the molecular complexity of spermatogenesis in male infertility. Our findings provide novel candidate protein targets associated

  5. Molecular evolution and diversification of snake toxin genes, revealed by analysis of intron sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimi, T J; Nakajyo, T; Nishimura, E; Ogura, E; Tsuchiya, T; Tamiya, T

    2003-08-14

    The genes encoding erabutoxin (short chain neurotoxin) isoforms (Ea, Eb, and Ec), LsIII (long chain neurotoxin) and a novel long chain neurotoxin pseudogene were cloned from a Laticauda semifasciata genomic library. Short and long chain neurotoxin genes were also cloned from the genome of Laticauda laticaudata, a closely related species of L. semifasciata, by PCR. A putative matrix attached region (MAR) sequence was found in the intron I of the LsIII gene. Comparative analysis of 11 structurally relevant snake toxin genes (three-finger-structure toxins) revealed the molecular evolution of these toxins. Three-finger-structure toxin genes diverged from a common ancestor through two types of evolutionary pathways (long and short types), early in the course of evolution. At a later stage of evolution in each gene, the accumulation of mutations in the exons, especially exon II, by accelerated evolution may have caused the increased diversification in their functions. It was also revealed that the putative MAR sequence found in the LsIII gene was integrated into the gene after the species-level divergence.

  6. Lipid clustering correlates with membrane curvature as revealed by molecular simulations of complex lipid bilayers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Koldsø

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Cell membranes are complex multicomponent systems, which are highly heterogeneous in the lipid distribution and composition. To date, most molecular simulations have focussed on relatively simple lipid compositions, helping to inform our understanding of in vitro experimental studies. Here we describe on simulations of complex asymmetric plasma membrane model, which contains seven different lipids species including the glycolipid GM3 in the outer leaflet and the anionic lipid, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphophate (PIP2, in the inner leaflet. Plasma membrane models consisting of 1500 lipids and resembling the in vivo composition were constructed and simulations were run for 5 µs. In these simulations the most striking feature was the formation of nano-clusters of GM3 within the outer leaflet. In simulations of protein interactions within a plasma membrane model, GM3, PIP2, and cholesterol all formed favorable interactions with the model α-helical protein. A larger scale simulation of a model plasma membrane containing 6000 lipid molecules revealed correlations between curvature of the bilayer surface and clustering of lipid molecules. In particular, the concave (when viewed from the extracellular side regions of the bilayer surface were locally enriched in GM3. In summary, these simulations explore the nanoscale dynamics of model bilayers which mimic the in vivo lipid composition of mammalian plasma membranes, revealing emergent nanoscale membrane organization which may be coupled both to fluctuations in local membrane geometry and to interactions with proteins.

  7. Assessment of structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite through molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hajilar, Shahin, E-mail: shajilar@iastate.edu [Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1066 (United States); Shafei, Behrouz, E-mail: shafei@iastate.edu [Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1066 (United States)

    2016-12-15

    The structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite, the primary solid phase of ordinary hydrated cement paste, are investigated using the molecular dynamics method. To understand the effects of temperature on the structural properties of portlandite, the coefficients of thermal expansion of portlandite are determined in the current study and validated with what reported from the experimental tests. The atomic structure of portlandite equilibrated at various temperatures is then subjected to uniaxial tensile strains in the three orthogonal directions and the stress-strain curves are developed. Based on the obtained results, the effect of the direction of straining on the mechanical properties of portlandite is investigated in detail. Structural damage analysis is performed to reveal the failure mechanisms in different directions. The energies of the fractured surfaces are calculated in different directions and compared to those of the ideal surfaces available in the literature. The key mechanical properties, including tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain, are extracted from the stress-strain curves. The sensitivity of the obtained mechanical properties to temperature and strain rate is then explored in a systematic way. This leads to valuable information on how the structural and mechanical properties of portlandite are affected under various exposure conditions and loading rates. - Graphical abstract: Fracture mechanism of portlandite under uniaxial strain in the z-direction. - Highlights: • The structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite are investigated. • The coefficients of thermal expansion are determined. • The stress-strain relationships are studied in three orthogonal directions. • The effects of temperature and strain rate on mechanical properties are examined. • The plastic energy required for fracture in the crystalline structure is reported.

  8. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical study of the hydroxylation of phenol and halogeneted derivatives by phenol hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.J.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    2000-01-01

    A combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method (AM1/CHARMM) was used to investigate the mechanism of the aromatic hydroxylation of phenol by a flavin dependent phenol hydroxylase (PH), an essential reaction in the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds. The model

  9. Molecular Techniques Revealed Highly Diverse Microbial Communities in Natural Marine Biofilms on Polystyrene Dishes for Invertebrate Larval Settlement

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, On On

    2014-01-09

    Biofilm microbial communities play an important role in the larval settlement response of marine invertebrates. However, the underlying mechanism has yet to be resolved, mainly because of the uncertainties in characterizing members in the communities using traditional 16S rRNA gene-based molecular methods and in identifying the chemical signals involved. In this study, pyrosequencing was used to characterize the bacterial communities in intertidal and subtidal marine biofilms developed during two seasons. We revealed highly diverse biofilm bacterial communities that varied with season and tidal level. Over 3,000 operational taxonomic units with estimates of up to 8,000 species were recovered in a biofilm sample, which is by far the highest number recorded in subtropical marine biofilms. Nineteen phyla were found, of which Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria were the most dominant one in the intertidal and subtidal biofilms, respectively. Apart from these, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetes were the major groups recovered in both intertidal and subtidal biofilms, although their relative abundance varied among samples. Full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed for the four biofilm samples and showed similar bacterial compositions at the phylum level to those revealed by pyrosequencing. Laboratory assays confirmed that cyrids of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite preferred to settle on the intertidal rather than subtidal biofilms. This preference was independent of the biofilm bacterial density or biomass but was probably related to the biofilm community structure, particularly, the Proteobacterial and Cyanobacterial groups. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

  10. Multiple roles of integrin-linked kinase in epidermal development, maturation and pigmentation revealed by molecular profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Judah

    Full Text Available Integrin-linked kinase (ILK is an important scaffold protein that mediates a variety of cellular responses to integrin stimulation by extracellular matrix proteins. Mice with epidermis-restricted inactivation of the Ilk gene exhibit pleiotropic phenotypic defects, including impaired hair follicle morphogenesis, reduced epidermal adhesion to the basement membrane, compromised epidermal integrity, as well as wasting and failure to thrive leading to perinatal death. To better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that cause such a broad range of alterations, we investigated the impact of Ilk gene inactivation on the epidermis transcriptome. Microarray analysis showed over 700 differentially regulated mRNAs encoding proteins involved in multiple aspects of epidermal function, including keratinocyte differentiation and barrier formation, inflammation, regeneration after injury, and fundamental epidermal developmental pathways. These studies also revealed potential effects on genes not previously implicated in ILK functions, including those important for melanocyte and melanoblast development and function, regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics, and homeobox genes. This study shows that ILK is a critical regulator of multiple aspects of epidermal function and homeostasis, and reveals the previously unreported involvement of ILK not only in epidermal differentiation and barrier formation, but also in melanocyte genesis and function.

  11. Multiple roles of integrin-linked kinase in epidermal development, maturation and pigmentation revealed by molecular profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judah, David; Rudkouskaya, Alena; Wilson, Ryan; Carter, David E; Dagnino, Lina

    2012-01-01

    Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is an important scaffold protein that mediates a variety of cellular responses to integrin stimulation by extracellular matrix proteins. Mice with epidermis-restricted inactivation of the Ilk gene exhibit pleiotropic phenotypic defects, including impaired hair follicle morphogenesis, reduced epidermal adhesion to the basement membrane, compromised epidermal integrity, as well as wasting and failure to thrive leading to perinatal death. To better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that cause such a broad range of alterations, we investigated the impact of Ilk gene inactivation on the epidermis transcriptome. Microarray analysis showed over 700 differentially regulated mRNAs encoding proteins involved in multiple aspects of epidermal function, including keratinocyte differentiation and barrier formation, inflammation, regeneration after injury, and fundamental epidermal developmental pathways. These studies also revealed potential effects on genes not previously implicated in ILK functions, including those important for melanocyte and melanoblast development and function, regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics, and homeobox genes. This study shows that ILK is a critical regulator of multiple aspects of epidermal function and homeostasis, and reveals the previously unreported involvement of ILK not only in epidermal differentiation and barrier formation, but also in melanocyte genesis and function.

  12. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms of nitrogenase conformational protection against oxygen in diazotrophic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lery, Letícia M S; Bitar, Mainá; Costa, Mauricio G S; Rössle, Shaila C S; Bisch, Paulo M

    2010-12-22

    G. diazotrophicus and A. vinelandii are aerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Although oxygen is essential for the survival of these organisms, it irreversibly inhibits nitrogenase, the complex responsible for nitrogen fixation. Both microorganisms deal with this paradox through compensatory mechanisms. In A. vinelandii a conformational protection mechanism occurs through the interaction between the nitrogenase complex and the FeSII protein. Previous studies suggested the existence of a similar system in G. diazotrophicus, but the putative protein involved was not yet described. This study intends to identify the protein coding gene in the recently sequenced genome of G. diazotrophicus and also provide detailed structural information of nitrogenase conformational protection in both organisms. Genomic analysis of G. diazotrophicus sequences revealed a protein coding ORF (Gdia0615) enclosing a conserved "fer2" domain, typical of the ferredoxin family and found in A. vinelandii FeSII. Comparative models of both FeSII and Gdia0615 disclosed a conserved beta-grasp fold. Cysteine residues that coordinate the 2[Fe-S] cluster are in conserved positions towards the metallocluster. Analysis of solvent accessible residues and electrostatic surfaces unveiled an hydrophobic dimerization interface. Dimers assembled by molecular docking presented a stable behaviour and a proper accommodation of regions possibly involved in binding of FeSII to nitrogenase throughout molecular dynamics simulations in aqueous solution. Molecular modeling of the nitrogenase complex of G. diazotrophicus was performed and models were compared to the crystal structure of A. vinelandii nitrogenase. Docking experiments of FeSII and Gdia0615 with its corresponding nitrogenase complex pointed out in both systems a putative binding site presenting shape and charge complementarities at the Fe-protein/MoFe-protein complex interface. The identification of the putative FeSII coding gene in G. diazotrophicus genome

  13. ALMA REVEALS THE ANATOMY OF THE mm-SIZED DUST AND MOLECULAR GAS IN THE HD 97048 DISK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, Catherine; Maud, Luke T. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9531, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands); Juhász, Attila [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Meeus, Gwendolyn [Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Campus Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid (Spain); Dent, William R. F. [Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO), Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago (Chile); Aikawa, Yuri [Center for Computer Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 305-8577 Tsukuba (Japan); Millar, Tom J. [School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN (United Kingdom); Nomura, Hideko, E-mail: cwalsh@strw.leidenuniv.nl, E-mail: c.walsh1@leeds.ac.uk [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, 152-8551 Tokyo (Japan)

    2016-11-10

    Transitional disks show a lack of excess emission at infrared wavelengths due to a large dust cavity, that is often corroborated by spatially resolved observations at ∼ mm wavelengths. We present the first spatially resolved ∼ mm-wavelength images of the disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star, HD 97048. Scattered light images show that the disk extends to ≈640 au. ALMA data reveal a circular-symmetric dusty disk extending to ≈350 au, and a molecular disk traced in CO J = 3-2 emission, extending to ≈750 au. The CO emission arises from a flared layer with an opening angle ≈30°–40°. HD 97048 is another source for which the large (∼ mm-sized) dust grains are more centrally concentrated than the small (∼ μ m-sized) grains and molecular gas, likely due to radial drift. The images and visibility data modeling suggest a decrement in continuum emission within ≈50 au, consistent with the cavity size determined from mid-infrared imaging (34 ± 4 au). The extracted continuum intensity profiles show ring-like structures with peaks at ≈50, 150, and 300 au, with associated gaps at ≈100 and 250 au. This structure should be confirmed in higher-resolution images (FWHM ≈ 10–20 au). These data confirm the classification of HD 97048 as a transitional disk that also possesses multiple ring-like structures in the dust continuum emission. Additional data are required at multiple and well-separated frequencies to fully characterize the disk structure, and thereby constrain the mechanism(s) responsible for sculpting the HD 97048 disk.

  14. ALMA Reveals the Anatomy of the mm-sized Dust and Molecular Gas in the HD 97048 Disk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Catherine; Juhász, Attila; Meeus, Gwendolyn; Dent, William R. F.; Maud, Luke T.; Aikawa, Yuri; Millar, Tom J.; Nomura, Hideko

    2016-11-01

    Transitional disks show a lack of excess emission at infrared wavelengths due to a large dust cavity, that is often corroborated by spatially resolved observations at ˜ mm wavelengths. We present the first spatially resolved ˜ mm-wavelength images of the disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star, HD 97048. Scattered light images show that the disk extends to ≈640 au. ALMA data reveal a circular-symmetric dusty disk extending to ≈350 au, and a molecular disk traced in CO J = 3-2 emission, extending to ≈750 au. The CO emission arises from a flared layer with an opening angle ≈30°-40°. HD 97048 is another source for which the large (˜ mm-sized) dust grains are more centrally concentrated than the small (˜μm-sized) grains and molecular gas, likely due to radial drift. The images and visibility data modeling suggest a decrement in continuum emission within ≈50 au, consistent with the cavity size determined from mid-infrared imaging (34 ± 4 au). The extracted continuum intensity profiles show ring-like structures with peaks at ≈50, 150, and 300 au, with associated gaps at ≈100 and 250 au. This structure should be confirmed in higher-resolution images (FWHM ≈ 10-20 au). These data confirm the classification of HD 97048 as a transitional disk that also possesses multiple ring-like structures in the dust continuum emission. Additional data are required at multiple and well-separated frequencies to fully characterize the disk structure, and thereby constrain the mechanism(s) responsible for sculpting the HD 97048 disk.

  15. ALMA REVEALS THE ANATOMY OF THE mm-SIZED DUST AND MOLECULAR GAS IN THE HD 97048 DISK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, Catherine; Maud, Luke T.; Juhász, Attila; Meeus, Gwendolyn; Dent, William R. F.; Aikawa, Yuri; Millar, Tom J.; Nomura, Hideko

    2016-01-01

    Transitional disks show a lack of excess emission at infrared wavelengths due to a large dust cavity, that is often corroborated by spatially resolved observations at ∼ mm wavelengths. We present the first spatially resolved ∼ mm-wavelength images of the disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star, HD 97048. Scattered light images show that the disk extends to ≈640 au. ALMA data reveal a circular-symmetric dusty disk extending to ≈350 au, and a molecular disk traced in CO J = 3-2 emission, extending to ≈750 au. The CO emission arises from a flared layer with an opening angle ≈30°–40°. HD 97048 is another source for which the large (∼ mm-sized) dust grains are more centrally concentrated than the small (∼ μ m-sized) grains and molecular gas, likely due to radial drift. The images and visibility data modeling suggest a decrement in continuum emission within ≈50 au, consistent with the cavity size determined from mid-infrared imaging (34 ± 4 au). The extracted continuum intensity profiles show ring-like structures with peaks at ≈50, 150, and 300 au, with associated gaps at ≈100 and 250 au. This structure should be confirmed in higher-resolution images (FWHM ≈ 10–20 au). These data confirm the classification of HD 97048 as a transitional disk that also possesses multiple ring-like structures in the dust continuum emission. Additional data are required at multiple and well-separated frequencies to fully characterize the disk structure, and thereby constrain the mechanism(s) responsible for sculpting the HD 97048 disk.

  16. Stability mechanisms of a thermophilic laccase probed by molecular dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels J Christensen

    Full Text Available Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response to variable ionic strengths, temperatures, and glycosylation status. Near-physiological conditions provided excellent agreement with the crystal structure (average RMSD ∼0.92 Å and residual agreement with experimental B-factors. The persistence of backbone hydrogen bonds was identified as a key descriptor of structural response to environment, whereas solvent-accessibility, radius of gyration, and fluctuations were only locally relevant. Backbone hydrogen bonds decreased systematically with temperature in all simulations (∼9 per 50 K, probing structural changes associated with enthalpy-entropy compensation. Approaching T opt (∼350 K from 300 K, this change correlated with a beginning "unzipping" of critical β-sheets. 0 M ionic strength triggered partial denucleation of the C-terminal (known experimentally to be sensitive at 400 K, suggesting a general salt stabilization effect. In contrast, F(- (but not Cl(- specifically impaired secondary structure by formation of strong hydrogen bonds with backbone NH, providing a mechanism for experimentally observed small anion destabilization, potentially remedied by site-directed mutagenesis at critical intrusion sites. N-glycosylation was found to support structural integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F(- intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes.

  17. On The Molecular Mechanism Of Positive Novolac Resists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian-Ping; Kwei, T. K.; Reiser, Arnost

    1989-08-01

    A molecular mechanism for the dissolution of novolac is proposed, based on the idea of a critical degree of deprotonation as being the condition for the transfer of polymer into solution. The rate at which the critical deprotonation condition is achieved is controlled by the supply of developer into a thin penetration zone, and depends in particular on the rate of diffusion of the base cations which are the developer component with the lowest mobility. The penetration zone contains phenolate ions and ion-bound water, but it retains the structure of a rigid polymer membrane, as evidenced by the diffusion coefficient of cations in the pene;tration zone which is several orders of magnitude slower than in an open gel of the same material. When the critical degree of deprotonation is reached, the membrane structure unravels and all subsequent events, chain rearrangement and transfer into solution, occur rapidly. The supralinear dependence of dissolution rate on base concentration and the effect of the size of the base cation are plausibly interpreted by the model. The diffusion of developer components is assumed to occur preferentially via hydrophilic sites in the polymer matrix. These sites define a diffusion path which acts like a hydrophilic diffusion channel. Suitably designed hydrophobic molecules can block some of the channels and in this way alter the dissolution rate. They reduce in effect the diffusion crossect ion of the material. Hydrophilic additives, on the other hand, introduce additional channels into the system and promote dissolution. The concept of diffusion channels appears to provide a unified interpretation for a number of common observations.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  19. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling: cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Kurt R; Fagan, Karen A; Frid, Maria G

    2006-09-29

    Chronic hypoxic exposure induces changes in the structure of pulmonary arteries, as well as in the biochemical and functional phenotypes of each of the vascular cell types, from the hilum of the lung to the most peripheral vessels in the alveolar wall. The magnitude and the specific profile of the changes depend on the species, sex, and the developmental stage at which the exposure to hypoxia occurred. Further, hypoxia-induced changes are site specific, such that the remodeling process in the large vessels differs from that in the smallest vessels. The cellular and molecular mechanisms vary and depend on the cellular composition of vessels at particular sites along the longitudinal axis of the pulmonary vasculature, as well as on local environmental factors. Each of the resident vascular cell types (ie, endothelial, smooth muscle, adventitial fibroblast) undergo site- and time-dependent alterations in proliferation, matrix protein production, expression of growth factors, cytokines, and receptors, and each resident cell type plays a specific role in the overall remodeling response. In addition, hypoxic exposure induces an inflammatory response within the vessel wall, and the recruited circulating progenitor cells contribute significantly to the structural remodeling and persistent vasoconstriction of the pulmonary circulation. The possibility exists that the lung or lung vessels also contain resident progenitor cells that participate in the remodeling process. Thus the hypoxia-induced remodeling of the pulmonary circulation is a highly complex process where numerous interactive events must be taken into account as we search for newer, more effective therapeutic interventions. This review provides perspectives on each of the aforementioned areas.

  20. Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Mechanical Response of Thaumasite under Temperature and Strain Rate Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajilar, Shahin; Shafei, Behrouz; Cheng, Tao; Jaramillo-Botero, Andres

    2017-06-22

    Understanding the structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of thaumasite is of great interest to the cement industry, mainly because it is the phase responsible for the aging and deterioration of civil infrastructures made of cementitious materials attacked by external sources of sulfate. Despite the importance, effects of temperature and strain rate on the mechanical response of thaumasite had remained unexplored prior to the current study, in which the mechanical properties of thaumasite are fully characterized using the reactive molecular dynamics (RMD) method. With employing a first-principles based reactive force field, the RMD simulations enable the description of bond dissociation and formation under realistic conditions. From the stress-strain curves of thaumasite generated in the x, y, and z directions, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain are determined for the three orthogonal directions. During the course of each simulation, the chemical bonds undergoing tensile deformations are monitored to reveal the bonds responsible for the mechanical strength of thaumasite. The temperature increase is found to accelerate the bond breaking rate and consequently the degradation of mechanical properties of thaumasite, while the strain rate only leads to a slight enhancement of them for the ranges considered in this study.

  1. Mechanical feedback in the molecular ISM of luminous IR galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loenen, A. F.; Spaans, M.; Baan, W. A.; Meijerink, R.

    Aims. Molecular emission lines originating in the nuclei of luminous infra-red galaxies are used to determine the physical properties of the nuclear ISM in these systems. Methods. A large observational database of molecular emission lines is compared with model predictions that include heating by UV

  2. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Enzymatic Processes: Caveats and Breakthroughs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesne, Matthew G; Borowski, Tomasz; de Visser, Sam P

    2016-02-18

    Nature has developed large groups of enzymatic catalysts with the aim to transfer substrates into useful products, which enables biosystems to perform all their natural functions. As such, all biochemical processes in our body (we drink, we eat, we breath, we sleep, etc.) are governed by enzymes. One of the problems associated with research on biocatalysts is that they react so fast that details of their reaction mechanisms cannot be obtained with experimental work. In recent years, major advances in computational hardware and software have been made and now large (bio)chemical systems can be studied using accurate computational techniques. One such technique is the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) technique, which has gained major momentum in recent years. Unfortunately, it is not a black-box method that is easily applied, but requires careful set-up procedures. In this work we give an overview on the technical difficulties and caveats of QM/MM and discuss work-protocols developed in our groups for running successful QM/MM calculations. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Computing pKa Values with a Mixing Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Fan, Xiaoli; Jin, Yingdi; Hu, Xiangqian; Hu, Hao

    2013-09-10

    Accurate computation of the pKa value of a compound in solution is important but challenging. Here, a new mixing quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) Hamiltonian method is developed to simulate the free-energy change associated with the protonation/deprotonation processes in solution. The mixing Hamiltonian method is designed for efficient quantum mechanical free-energy simulations by alchemically varying the nuclear potential, i.e., the nuclear charge of the transforming nucleus. In pKa calculation, the charge on the proton is varied in fraction between 0 and 1, corresponding to the fully deprotonated and protonated states, respectively. Inspired by the mixing potential QM/MM free energy simulation method developed previously [H. Hu and W. T. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 041102], this method succeeds many advantages of a large class of λ-coupled free-energy simulation methods and the linear combination of atomic potential approach. Theory and technique details of this method, along with the calculation results of the pKa of methanol and methanethiol molecules in aqueous solution, are reported. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data.

  4. Microarray Analysis Reveals the Molecular Basis of Antiarthritic Activity of Huo-Luo-Xiao-Ling Dan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Yu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA is a chronic inflammatory disease of autoimmune origin. Huo-luo-xiao-ling dan (HLXL is an herbal mixture that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine over several decades to treat chronic inflammatory diseases including RA. However, the mechanism of the anti-arthritic action of this herbal remedy is poorly understood at the molecular level. In this study, we determined by microarray analysis the effects of HLXL on the global gene expression profile of the draining lymph node cells (LNC in the rat adjuvant arthritis (AA model of human RA. In LNC restimulated in vitro with the disease-related antigen mycobacterial heat-shock protein 65 (Bhsp65, 84 differentially expressed genes (DEG (64 upregulated and 20 downregulated versus 120 DEG (94 upregulated and 26 downregulated were identified in HLXL-treated versus vehicle (Water-treated rats, respectively, and 62 DEG (45 upregulated and 17 downregulated were shared between the two groups. The most affected pathways in response to HLXL treatment included immune response, inflammation, cellular proliferation and apoptosis, and metabolic processes, many of which are directly relevant to arthritis pathogenesis. These results would advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anti-arthritic activity of HLXL.

  5. Mass spectral chemical fingerprints reveal the molecular dependence of exhaust particulate matters on engine speeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhang, Hua; Zhao, Zongshan; Tian, Yong; Liu, Kun; Jie, Feifan; Zhu, Liang; Chen, Huanwen

    2018-05-01

    Particulate matters (PMs) emitted by automobile exhaust contribute to a significant fraction of the global PMs. Extractive atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (EAPCI-MS) was developed to explore the molecular dependence of PMs collected from exhaust gases produced at different vehicle engine speeds. The mass spectral fingerprints of the organic compounds embedded in differentially sized PMs (e.g., 0.22-0.45, 0.45-1.00, 1.00-2.00, 2.00-3.00, 3.00-5.00, and 5.00-10.00μm) generated at different engine speeds (e.g., 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, and 3000r/min) were chemically profiled in the mass range of mass to charge ratio (m/z) 50-800. Organic compounds, including alcohols, aldehydes, and esters, were detected in all the PMs tested, with varied concentration levels for each individual PM sample. At relatively low engine speeds (≤1500r/min), the total amount of organic species embedded in PMs of 0.22-1.00μm was greater than in PMs of other sizes, while more organic species were found in PMs of 5.00-10.00μm at high engine speeds (≥3000r/min), indicating that the organic compounds distributed in different sizes of PMs strongly correlated with the engine speed. The experimental data showed that the EAPCI-MS technique enables molecular characterization of PMs in exhaust, revealing the chemical dependence of PMs on the engine speeds (i.e., the combustion conditions) of automobiles. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Rapid molecular evolution of human bocavirus revealed by Bayesian coalescent inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehender, Gianguglielmo; De Maddalena, Chiara; Canuti, Marta; Zappa, Alessandra; Amendola, Antonella; Lai, Alessia; Galli, Massimo; Tanzi, Elisabetta

    2010-03-01

    Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a linear single-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Parvoviridae family that has recently been isolated from the upper respiratory tract of children with acute respiratory infection. All of the strains observed so far segregate into two genotypes (1 and 2) with a low level of polymorphism. Given the recent description of the infection and the lack of epidemiological and molecular data, we estimated the virus's rates of molecular evolution and population dynamics. A dataset of forty-nine dated VP2 sequences, including also eight new isolates obtained from pharyngeal swabs of Italian patients with acute respiratory tract infections, was submitted to phylogenetic analysis. The model parameters, evolutionary rates and population dynamics were co-estimated using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, and site-specific positive and negative selection was also investigated. Recombination was investigated by seven different methods and one suspected recombinant strain was excluded from further analysis. The estimated mean evolutionary rate of HBoV was 8.6x10(-4)subs/site/year, and that of the 1st+2nd codon positions was more than 15 times less than that of the 3rd codon position. Viral population dynamics analysis revealed that the two known genotypes diverged recently (mean tMRCA: 24 years), and that the epidemic due to HBoV genotype 2 grew exponentially at a rate of 1.01year(-1). Selection analysis of the partial VP2 showed that 8.5% of sites were under significant negative pressure and the absence of positive selection. Our results show that, like other parvoviruses, HBoV is characterised by a rapid evolution. The low level of polymorphism is probably due to a relatively recent divergence between the circulating genotypes and strong purifying selection acting on viral antigens.

  7. The Hidden Diversity of Zanclea Associated with Scleractinians Revealed by Molecular Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Montano

    Full Text Available Scleractinian reef corals have recently been acknowledged as the most numerous host group found in association with hydroids belonging to the Zanclea genus. However, knowledge of the molecular phylogenetic relationships among Zanclea species associated with scleractinians is just beginning. This study, using the nuclear 28S rDNA region and the fast-evolving mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI genes, provides the most comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus Zanclea with a particular focus on the genetic diversity among Zanclea specimens associated with 13 scleractinian genera. The monophyly of Zanclea associated with scleractinians was strongly supported in all nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenetic reconstructions. Furthermore, a combined mitochondrial 16S and COI phylogenetic tree revealed a multitude of hidden molecular lineages within this group (Clades I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII, suggesting the existence of both host-generalist and genus-specific lineages of Zanclea associated with scleractinians. In addition to Z. gallii living in association with the genus Acropora, we discovered four well-supported lineages (Clades I, II, III, and VII, each one forming a strict association with a single scleractinian genus, including sequences of Zanclea associated with Montipora from two geographically separated areas (Maldives and Taiwan. Two host-generalist Zanclea lineages were also observed, and one of them was formed by Zanclea specimens symbiotic with seven scleractinian genera (Clade VIII. We also found that the COI gene allows the recognition of separated hidden lineages in agreement with the commonly recommended mitochondrial 16S as a DNA barcoding gene for Hydrozoa and shows reasonable potential for phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses in the genus Zanclea. Finally, as no DNA sequences are available for the majority of the nominal Zanclea species known, we note that they will be necessary to elucidate the diversity of the

  8. The Hidden Diversity of Zanclea Associated with Scleractinians Revealed by Molecular Data

    KAUST Repository

    Montano, Simone

    2015-07-24

    Scleractinian reef corals have recently been acknowledged as the most numerous host group found in association with hydroids belonging to the Zanclea genus. However, knowledge of the molecular phylogenetic relationships among Zanclea species associated with scleractinians is just beginning. This study, using the nuclear 28S rDNA region and the fast-evolving mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI genes, provides the most comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus Zanclea with a particular focus on the genetic diversity among Zanclea specimens associated with 13 scleractinian genera. The monophyly of Zanclea associated with scleractinians was strongly supported in all nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenetic reconstructions. Furthermore, a combined mitochondrial 16S and COI phylogenetic tree revealed a multitude of hidden molecular lineages within this group (Clades I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII), suggesting the existence of both host-generalist and genus-specific lineages of Zanclea associated with scleractinians. In addition to Z. gallii living in association with the genus Acropora, we discovered four well-supported lineages (Clades I, II, III, and VII), each one forming a strict association with a single scleractinian genus, including sequences of Zanclea associated with Montipora from two geographically separated areas (Maldives and Taiwan). Two host-generalist Zanclea lineages were also observed, and one of them was formed by Zanclea specimens symbiotic with seven scleractinian genera (Clade VIII). We also found that the COI gene allows the recognition of separated hidden lineages in agreement with the commonly recommended mitochondrial 16S as a DNA barcoding gene for Hydrozoa and shows reasonable potential for phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses in the genus Zanclea. Finally, as no DNA sequences are available for the majority of the nominal Zanclea species known, we note that they will be necessary to elucidate the diversity of the Zanclea

  9. Comprehensive profiling of DNA methylation in colorectal cancer reveals subgroups with distinct clinicopathological and molecular features

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ang, Pei Woon; Soong, Richie; Loh, Marie; Liem, Natalia; Lim, Pei Li; Grieu, Fabienne; Vaithilingam, Aparna; Platell, Cameron; Yong, Wei Peng; Iacopetta, Barry

    2010-01-01

    Most previous studies of the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in colorectal cancer (CRC) have been conducted on a relatively small numbers of CpG sites. In the present study we performed comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of CRC with the aim of characterizing CIMP subgroups. DNA methylation at 1,505 CpG sites in 807 cancer-related genes was evaluated using the Illumina GoldenGate ® methylation array in 28 normal colonic mucosa and 91 consecutive CRC samples. Methylation data was analyzed using unsupervised hierarchical clustering. CIMP subgroups were compared for various clinicopathological and molecular features including patient age, tumor site, microsatellite instability (MSI), methylation at a consensus panel of CpG islands and mutations in BRAF and KRAS. A total of 202 CpG sites were differentially methylated between tumor and normal tissue. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of methylation data from these sites revealed the existence of three CRC subgroups referred to as CIMP-low (CIMP-L, 21% of cases), CIMP-mid (CIMP-M, 14%) and CIMP-high (CIMP-H, 65%). In comparison to CIMP-L tumors, CIMP-H tumors were more often located in the proximal colon and showed more frequent mutation of KRAS and BRAF (P < 0.001). Comprehensive DNA methylation profiling identified three CRC subgroups with distinctive clinicopathological and molecular features. This study suggests that both KRAS and BRAF mutations are involved with the CIMP-H pathway of CRC rather than with distinct CIMP subgroups

  10. Comprehensive profiling of DNA methylation in colorectal cancer reveals subgroups with distinct clinicopathological and molecular features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaithilingam Aparna

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most previous studies of the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP in colorectal cancer (CRC have been conducted on a relatively small numbers of CpG sites. In the present study we performed comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of CRC with the aim of characterizing CIMP subgroups. Methods DNA methylation at 1,505 CpG sites in 807 cancer-related genes was evaluated using the Illumina GoldenGate® methylation array in 28 normal colonic mucosa and 91 consecutive CRC samples. Methylation data was analyzed using unsupervised hierarchical clustering. CIMP subgroups were compared for various clinicopathological and molecular features including patient age, tumor site, microsatellite instability (MSI, methylation at a consensus panel of CpG islands and mutations in BRAF and KRAS. Results A total of 202 CpG sites were differentially methylated between tumor and normal tissue. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of methylation data from these sites revealed the existence of three CRC subgroups referred to as CIMP-low (CIMP-L, 21% of cases, CIMP-mid (CIMP-M, 14% and CIMP-high (CIMP-H, 65%. In comparison to CIMP-L tumors, CIMP-H tumors were more often located in the proximal colon and showed more frequent mutation of KRAS and BRAF (P Conclusions Comprehensive DNA methylation profiling identified three CRC subgroups with distinctive clinicopathological and molecular features. This study suggests that both KRAS and BRAF mutations are involved with the CIMP-H pathway of CRC rather than with distinct CIMP subgroups.

  11. Revealing the Differences Between Free and Complexed Enzyme Mechanisms and Factors Contributing to Cell Wall Recalcitrance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resch, Michael G.; Donohoe, Byron; Ciesielski, Peter; Nill, Jennifer; McKinney, Kellene; Mittal, Ashutosh; Katahira, Rui; Himmel, Michael; Biddy, Mary; Beckham, Gregg; Decker, Steve

    2014-09-08

    Enzymatic depolymerization of polysaccharides is a key step in the production of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass, and discovery of synergistic biomass-degrading enzyme paradigms will enable improved conversion processes. Historically, revealing insights into enzymatic saccharification mechanisms on plant cell walls has been hindered by uncharacterized substrates and low resolution.

  12. Molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical modeling of hexane soot structure and interactions with pyrene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kubicki JD

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Molecular simulations (energy minimizations and molecular dynamics of an n-hexane soot model developed by Smith and co-workers (M. S. Akhter, A. R. Chughtai and D. M. Smith, Appl. Spectrosc., 1985, 39, 143; ref. 1 were performed. The MM+ (N. L. Allinger, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1977, 395, 157; ref. 2 and COMPASS (H. Sun, J. Phys. Chem., 1998, 102, 7338; ref. 3 force fields were tested for their ability to produce realistic soot nanoparticle structure. The interaction of pyrene with the model soot was simulated. Quantum mechanical calculations on smaller soot fragments were carried out. Starting from an initial 2D structure, energy minimizations are not able to produce the observed layering within soot with either force field. Results of molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the COMPASS force field does a reasonably accurate job of reproducing observations of soot structure. Increasing the system size from a 683 to a 2732 atom soot model does not have a significant effect on predicted structures. Neither does the addition of water molecules surrounding the soot model. Pyrene fits within the soot structure without disrupting the interlayer spacing. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH, such as pyrene, may strongly partition into soot and have slow desorption kinetics because the PAH-soot bonding is similar to soot–soot interactions. Diffusion of PAH into soot micropores may allow the PAH to be irreversibly adsorbed and sequestered so that they partition slowly back into an aqueous phase causing dis-equilibrium between soil organic matter and porewater.

  13. Study of effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties of PHB and PHNV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fechine, Guilhermino J.M.; Terence, Mauro C.; Rabello, M.S.; Willen, Renate M.R.

    2011-01-01

    The effect of gamma radiation on molecular weight and mechanical properties (tensile and flexural) of PHB and PHBV samples was investigated. The values of stress and strain at the break point for both mechanical properties indicated that scission molecular reactions were predominant in PHB and PHBV samples submitted to gamma radiation. These results were confirmed by Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) analysis. (author)

  14. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  15. Forcefields based molecular modeling on the mechanical and physical properties of emeraldine base polyaniline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, X.; Yuan, C.A.; Wong, K.Y.; Zhang, G.Q.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) and molecular mechanical (MM) analysis are carried out to provide reliable and accurate model for emeraldine base polyaniline. This study validate the forcefields and model with the physical and mechanical properties of the polyaniline. The temperature effects on non-bond

  16. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M; Scherlis, Damián A

    2016-08-24

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  17. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, Diego; Scherlis, Damián A; Sanchez, Veronica M

    2016-01-01

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car–Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO 2 anatase (1 0 1) solid–liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H 2 O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces. (paper)

  18. Insights into the Thiamine Diphosphate Enzyme Activation Mechanism: Computational Model for Transketolase Using a Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauton, Lionel; Hélaine, Virgil; Théry, Vincent; Hecquet, Laurence

    2016-04-12

    We propose the first computational model for transketolase (TK), a thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method on the basis of crystallographic TK structures from yeast and Escherichia coli, together with experimental kinetic data reported in the literature with wild-type and mutant TK. This model allowed us to define a new route for ThDP activation in the enzyme environment. We evidenced a strong interaction between ThDP and Glu418B of the TK active site, itself stabilized by Glu162A. The crucial point highlighted here is that deprotonation of ThDP C2 is not performed by ThDP N4' as reported in the literature, but by His481B, involving a HOH688A molecule bridge. Thus, ThDP N4' is converted from an amino form to an iminium form, ensuring the stabilization of the C2 carbanion or carbene. Finally, ThDP activation proceeds via an intermolecular process and not by an intramolecular one as reported in the literature. More generally, this proposed ThDP activation mechanism can be applied to some other ThDP-dependent enzymes and used to define the entire TK mechanism with donor and acceptor substrates more accurately.

  19. Molecular Mechanism of Gastric Carcinogenesis in Helicobacter pylori-Infected Rodent Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Toyoda

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, many efforts have been made to establish animal models for the investigation of the pathological features and molecular mechanisms of gastric carcinogenesis. Among the animal models, Mongolian gerbils and mice are particularly useful for the analysis of H. pylori-associated inflammatory reactions and gastric cancer development. Inhibitors of oxidative stress, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2 and nuclear factor-κB, exert preventive effects on chronic gastritis and the development of adenocarcinomas in H. pylori-infected gerbils. Genetically-modified mouse models, including transgenic and knockout mice, have also revealed the importance of p53, COX-2/prostaglandin, Wnt/β-catenin, proinflammatory cytokines, gastrin and type III mucin in the molecular mechanisms of gastric carcinogenesis. Microarray technology is available for comprehensive gene analysis in the gastric mucosa of mouse models, and epigenetics, such as DNA methylation, could be an alternative approach to correlate the observations in animal models with the etiology in humans.

  20. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  1. Hydrated Electron Transfer to Nucleobases in Aqueous Solutions Revealed by Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jing; Wang, Mei; Fu, Aiyun; Yang, Hongfang; Bu, Yuxiang

    2015-08-03

    We present an ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulation study into the transfer dynamics of an excess electron from its cavity-shaped hydrated electron state to a hydrated nucleobase (NB)-bound state. In contrast to the traditional view that electron localization at NBs (G/A/C/T), which is the first step for electron-induced DNA damage, is related only to dry or prehydrated electrons, and a fully hydrated electron no longer transfers to NBs, our AIMD simulations indicate that a fully hydrated electron can still transfer to NBs. We monitored the transfer dynamics of fully hydrated electrons towards hydrated NBs in aqueous solutions by using AIMD simulations and found that due to solution-structure fluctuation and attraction of NBs, a fully hydrated electron can transfer to a NB gradually over time. Concurrently, the hydrated electron cavity gradually reorganizes, distorts, and even breaks. The transfer could be completed in about 120-200 fs in four aqueous NB solutions, depending on the electron-binding ability of hydrated NBs and the structural fluctuation of the solution. The transferring electron resides in the π*-type lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of the NB, which leads to a hydrated NB anion. Clearly, the observed transfer of hydrated electrons can be attributed to the strong electron-binding ability of hydrated NBs over the hydrated electron cavity, which is the driving force, and the transfer dynamics is structure-fluctuation controlled. This work provides new insights into the evolution dynamics of hydrated electrons and provides some helpful information for understanding the DNA-damage mechanism in solution. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Molecular Signatures of Luteoloside Accumulation in Senescing Leaves of Lonicera macranthoides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zexiong Chen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Lonicera macranthoides is an important medicinal plant widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. Luteoloside is a critical bioactive compound in L. macranthoides. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying luteoloside biosynthesis are still largely unknown. In this work, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC was employed to determine the luteoloside contents in leaves, stems, and flowers at different developmental stages. Results showed that senescing leaves can accumulate large amounts of luteoloside, extremely higher than that in young and semi-lignified leaves and other tissues. RNA-Seq analysis identified that twenty-four differentially expressed unigenes (DEGs associated with luteoloside biosynthesis were significantly up-regulated in senescing leaves, which are positively correlated with luteoloside accumulation. These DEGs include phenylalanine ammonia lyase 2, cinnamate 4-hydroxylase 2, thirteen 4-coumarate-CoA ligases, chalcone synthase 2, six flavonoid 3′-monooxygenase (F3′H and two flavone 7-O-β-glucosyltransferase (UFGT genes. Further analysis demonstrated that two F3′Hs (CL11828.Contig1 and CL11828.Contig2 and two UFGTs (Unigene2918 and Unigene97915 might play vital roles in luteoloside generation. Furthermore, several transcription factors (TFs related to flavonoid biosynthesis including MYB, bHLH and WD40, were differentially expressed during leaf senescence. Among these TFs, MYB12, MYB75, bHLH113 and TTG1 were considered to be key factors involved in the regulation of luteoloside biosynthesis. These findings provide insights for elucidating the molecular signatures of luteoloside accumulation in L. macranthoides.

  3. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pajeva Ilza

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection

  4. Benchmarking Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) Methods on the Thymidylate Synthase-Catalyzed Hydride Transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Świderek, Katarzyna; Arafet, Kemel; Kohen, Amnon; Moliner, Vicent

    2017-03-14

    Given the ubiquity of hydride-transfer reactions in enzyme-catalyzed processes, identifying the appropriate computational method for evaluating such biological reactions is crucial to perform theoretical studies of these processes. In this paper, the hydride-transfer step catalyzed by thymidylate synthase (TSase) is studied by examining hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) potentials via multiple semiempirical methods and the M06-2X hybrid density functional. Calculations of protium and tritium transfer in these reactions across a range of temperatures allowed calculation of the temperature dependence of kinetic isotope effects (KIE). Dynamics and quantum-tunneling effects are revealed to have little effect on the reaction rate, but are significant in determining the KIEs and their temperature dependence. A good agreement with experiments is found, especially when computed for RM1/MM simulations. The small temperature dependence of quantum tunneling corrections and the quasiclassical contribution term cancel each other, while the recrossing transmission coefficient seems to be temperature-independent over the interval of 5-40 °C.

  5. Atomic and molecular excitation mechanisms in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sternberg, A.

    1986-01-01

    The detailed infrared response of dense molecular hydrogen gas to intense ultraviolet radiation fields in photodissociation regions is presented. The thermal and chemical structures of photodissociation regions are analyzed, and the relationship between the emission by molecular hydrogen and trace atomic and molecular species is explored. The ultraviolet spectrum of radiation generated by cosmic rays inside dense molecular clouds is presented, and the resulting rates of photodissociation for a variety of interstellar molecules are calculated. Effects of this radiation on the chemistry of dense molecular clouds are discussed, and it is argued that the cosmic ray induced photons will significantly inhibit the production of complex molecular species. It is argued that the annihilation of electrons and positrons at the galactic center may result in observable infrared line emission by atomic hydrogen. A correlation between the intensity variations of the 511 keV line and the hydrogen infrared lines emitted by the annihilation region is predicted. The observed infrared fluxes from compact infrared sources at the galactic center may be used to constrain theories of pair production there

  6. A molecular dynamics investigation on the crizotinib resistance mechanism of C1156Y mutation in ALK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Hui-Yong; Ji, Feng-Qin

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► The study revealed the detailed resistance mechanism of the non-active mutation C1156Y in ALK. ► C1156Y leads to crizotinib displacement and conformational changes in the binding cavity. ► The conformations cause a decline in the vdW and electrostatic energy between crizotinib and ALK. -- Abstract: Crizotinib is an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor that has recently been approved in the US for the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Despite its outstanding safety and efficacy, several resistant mutations against crizotinib have been detected in the treatment of NSCLC. However, in contrast to the widely accepted mechanism of steric hindrance by mutations at the active site, the mechanism by which the C1156Y non-active site mutation confers resistance against crizotinib remains unclear. In the present study, the resistance mechanism of C1156Y in ALK was investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The results suggest that despite the non-active site mutation, C1156Y causes the dislocation of crizotinib as well as the indirect conformational changes in the binding cavity, which results in a marked decrease in the van der Waals and electrostatic interactions between crizotinib and ALK. The obtained results provide a detailed explanation of the resistance caused by C1156Y and may give a vital clue for the design of drugs to combat crizotinib resistance.

  7. A molecular dynamics investigation on the crizotinib resistance mechanism of C1156Y mutation in ALK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Hui-Yong [Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049 (China); Ji, Feng-Qin, E-mail: fengqinji@mail.hzau.edu.cn [National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070 (China); Center for Bioinformatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070 (China)

    2012-06-29

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The study revealed the detailed resistance mechanism of the non-active mutation C1156Y in ALK. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C1156Y leads to crizotinib displacement and conformational changes in the binding cavity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The conformations cause a decline in the vdW and electrostatic energy between crizotinib and ALK. -- Abstract: Crizotinib is an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor that has recently been approved in the US for the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Despite its outstanding safety and efficacy, several resistant mutations against crizotinib have been detected in the treatment of NSCLC. However, in contrast to the widely accepted mechanism of steric hindrance by mutations at the active site, the mechanism by which the C1156Y non-active site mutation confers resistance against crizotinib remains unclear. In the present study, the resistance mechanism of C1156Y in ALK was investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The results suggest that despite the non-active site mutation, C1156Y causes the dislocation of crizotinib as well as the indirect conformational changes in the binding cavity, which results in a marked decrease in the van der Waals and electrostatic interactions between crizotinib and ALK. The obtained results provide a detailed explanation of the resistance caused by C1156Y and may give a vital clue for the design of drugs to combat crizotinib resistance.

  8. Molecular authentication of Pargo fillets Lutjanus purpureus (Perciformes: Lutjanidae by DNA barcoding reveals commercial fraud

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Veneza

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Caribbean Red Snapper (Pargo Lutjanus purpureus is the most economically important snapper in Brazil, which is sold, among other forms, as frozen fillets. During the process of transformation into fillets there is the removal of the distinctive morphological traits, being able to favor the substitution by less valued species. In addition, there is no national legislation requiring the insertion of the specific name on the product label. However, according to a Normative Instruction (IN N ° 29/2015 MAPA that correlates the common and specific names of the products destined to the national trade, in Brazil only L. purpureus and L. campechanus can be denominated “Pargo”. Thus, the DNA barcode tool was used to identify the fillets sold in north of Brazil, labeled “Pargo”, with the aid of sequences from the public and control databases. The results showed that among 142 fillets examined, 78% was identified as L. purpureus and 22% as Rhomboplites aurorubens, a snapper with low commercial value in the country, revealing commercial fraud. The molecular identification method successfully used in this study to authenticate fillets snappers may also be used by surveillance authorities in the quality control of processed fish products, towards ensuring consumer rights.

  9. Genomic analysis reveals the molecular basis for capsule loss in the group B Streptococcus population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Rosini

    Full Text Available The human and bovine bacterial pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS expresses a thick polysaccharide capsule that constitutes a major virulence factor and vaccine target. GBS can be classified into ten distinct serotypes differing in the chemical composition of their capsular polysaccharide. However, non-typeable strains that do not react with anti-capsular sera are frequently isolated from colonized and infected humans and cattle. To gain a comprehensive insight into the molecular basis for the loss of capsule expression in GBS, a collection of well-characterized non-typeable strains was investigated by genome sequencing. Genome based phylogenetic analysis extended to a wide population of sequenced strains confirmed the recently observed high clonality among GBS lineages mainly containing human strains, and revealed a much higher degree of diversity in the bovine population. Remarkably, non-typeable strains were equally distributed in all lineages. A number of distinct mutations in the cps operon were identified that were apparently responsible for inactivation of capsule synthesis. The most frequent genetic alterations were point mutations leading to stop codons in the cps genes, and the main target was found to be cpsE encoding the portal glycosyl transferase of capsule biosynthesis. Complementation of strains carrying missense mutations in cpsE with a wild-type gene restored capsule expression allowing the identification of amino acid residues essential for enzyme activity.

  10. Potential Role of the Last Half Repeat in TAL Effectors Revealed by a Molecular Simulation Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Wan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available TAL effectors (TALEs contain a modular DNA-binding domain that is composed of tandem repeats. In all naturally occurring TALEs, the end of tandem repeats is invariantly a truncated half repeat. To investigate the potential role of the last half repeat in TALEs, we performed comparative molecular dynamics simulations for the crystal structure of DNA-bound TALE AvrBs3 lacking the last half repeat and its modeled structure having the last half repeat. The structural stability analysis indicates that the modeled system is more stable than the nonmodeled system. Based on the principle component analysis, it is found that the AvrBs3 increases its structural compactness in the presence of the last half repeat. The comparison of DNA groove parameters of the two systems implies that the last half repeat also causes the change of DNA major groove binding efficiency. The following calculation of hydrogen bond reveals that, by stabilizing the phosphate binding with DNA at the C-terminus, the last half repeat helps to adopt a compact conformation at the protein-DNA interface. It further mediates more contacts between TAL repeats and DNA nucleotide bases. Finally, we suggest that the last half repeat is required for the high-efficient recognition of DNA by TALE.

  11. Mechanical and molecular studies of biocomposites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches microfibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikmatin, S.; Saepulloh, D. R.; Irmansyah; Syafiuddin, A.

    2017-05-01

    The present work aims to investigate mechanical and molecular characteristics of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) composites filled with oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) microfibers. OPEFB microfibers were produced using mechanical milling. Composite granules were fabricated using single screw extruder. These composites were then used for fabricating helmet according to the Indonesian National Standard (SNI). Mechanical testing confirms that the helmet produced using this biocomposites are suitable to the SNI. Molecular interaction between matrix with OPEFB can be described using orbital hybridization theory. In general, this study has successfully investigated mechanical and molecular properties of the biocomposites.

  12. Reversal to air-driven sound production revealed by a molecular phylogeny of tongueless frogs, family Pipidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaw Frank

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary novelties often appear by conferring completely new functions to pre-existing structures or by innovating the mechanism through which a particular function is performed. Sound production plays a central role in the behavior of frogs, which use their calls to delimit territories and attract mates. Therefore, frogs have evolved complex vocal structures capable of producing a wide variety of advertising sounds. It is generally acknowledged that most frogs call by moving an air column from the lungs through the glottis with the remarkable exception of the family Pipidae, whose members share a highly specialized sound production mechanism independent of air movement. Results Here, we performed behavioral observations in the poorly known African pipid genus Pseudhymenochirus and document that the sound production in this aquatic frog is almost certainly air-driven. However, morphological comparisons revealed an indisputable pipid nature of Pseudhymenochirus larynx. To place this paradoxical pattern into an evolutionary framework, we reconstructed robust molecular phylogenies of pipids based on complete mitochondrial genomes and nine nuclear protein-coding genes that coincided in placing Pseudhymenochirus nested among other pipids. Conclusions We conclude that although Pseudhymenochirus probably has evolved a reversal to the ancestral non-pipid condition of air-driven sound production, the mechanism through which it occurs is an evolutionary innovation based on the derived larynx of pipids. This strengthens the idea that evolutionary solutions to functional problems often emerge based on previous structures, and for this reason, innovations largely depend on possibilities and constraints predefined by the particular history of each lineage.

  13. Molecular mechanism for differential recognition of membrane phosphatidylserine by the immune regulatory receptor Tim4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietjen, Gregory T; Gong, Zhiliang; Chen, Chiu-Hao; Vargas, Ernesto; Crooks, James E; Cao, Kathleen D; Heffern, Charles T R; Henderson, J Michael; Meron, Mati; Lin, Binhua; Roux, Benot; Schlossman, Mark L; Steck, Theodore L; Lee, Ka Yee C; Adams, Erin J

    2014-04-15

    Recognition of phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids exposed on the extracellular leaflet of plasma membranes is implicated in both apoptotic cell removal and immune regulation. The PS receptor T cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain-containing molecule 4 (Tim4) regulates T-cell immunity via phagocytosis of both apoptotic (high PS exposure) and nonapoptotic (intermediate PS exposure) activated T cells. The latter population must be removed at lower efficiency to sensitively control immune tolerance and memory cell population size, but the molecular basis for how Tim4 achieves this sensitivity is unknown. Using a combination of interfacial X-ray scattering, molecular dynamics simulations, and membrane binding assays, we demonstrate how Tim4 recognizes PS in the context of a lipid bilayer. Our data reveal that in addition to the known Ca(2+)-coordinated, single-PS binding pocket, Tim4 has four weaker sites of potential ionic interactions with PS lipids. This organization makes Tim4 sensitive to PS surface concentration in a manner capable of supporting differential recognition on the basis of PS exposure level. The structurally homologous, but functionally distinct, Tim1 and Tim3 are significantly less sensitive to PS surface density, likely reflecting the differences in immunological function between the Tim proteins. These results establish the potential for lipid membrane parameters, such as PS surface density, to play a critical role in facilitating selective recognition of PS-exposing cells. Furthermore, our multidisciplinary approach overcomes the difficulties associated with characterizing dynamic protein/membrane systems to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying Tim4's recognition properties, and thereby provides an approach capable of providing atomic-level detail to uncover the nuances of protein/membrane interactions.

  14. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Ping; Gagliardi, Laura; Truhlar, Donald G

    2018-05-30

    Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM-MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM-MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM-MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  15. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Ping Wu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM−MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM−MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM−MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  16. A mechanical actuator driven electrochemically by artificial molecular muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juluri, Bala Krishna; Kumar, Ajeet S; Liu, Yi; Ye, Tao; Yang, Ying-Wei; Flood, Amar H; Fang, Lei; Stoddart, J Fraser; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2009-02-24

    A microcantilever, coated with a monolayer of redox-controllable, bistable [3]rotaxane molecules (artificial molecular muscles), undergoes reversible deflections when subjected to alternating oxidizing and reducing electrochemical potentials. The microcantilever devices were prepared by precoating one surface with a gold film and allowing the palindromic [3]rotaxane molecules to adsorb selectively onto one side of the microcantilevers, utilizing thiol-gold chemistry. An electrochemical cell was employed in the experiments, and deflections were monitored both as a function of (i) the scan rate (+0.4 V) and reducing (artificial molecular muscles, were compared with (i) data from nominally bare microcantilevers precoated with gold and (ii) those coated with two types of control compounds, namely, dumbbell molecules to simulate the redox activity of the palindromic bistable [3]rotaxane molecules and inactive 1-dodecanethiol molecules. The comparisons demonstrate that the artificial molecular muscles are responsible for the deflections, which can be repeated over many cycles. The microcantilevers deflect in one direction following oxidation and in the opposite direction upon reduction. The approximately 550 nm deflections were calculated to be commensurate with forces per molecule of approximately 650 pN. The thermal relaxation that characterizes the device's deflection is consistent with the double bistability associated with the palindromic [3]rotaxane and reflects a metastable contracted state. The use of the cooperative forces generated by these self-assembled, nanometer-scale artificial molecular muscles that are electrically wired to an external power supply constitutes a seminal step toward molecular-machine-based nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS).

  17. Gene expression profiling reveals distinct molecular signatures associated with the rupture of intracranial aneurysm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakaoka, Hirofumi; Tajima, Atsushi; Yoneyama, Taku; Hosomichi, Kazuyoshi; Kasuya, Hidetoshi; Mizutani, Tohru; Inoue, Ituro

    2014-08-01

    The rupture of intracranial aneurysm (IA) causes subarachnoid hemorrhage associated with high morbidity and mortality. We compared gene expression profiles in aneurysmal domes between unruptured IAs and ruptured IAs (RIAs) to elucidate biological mechanisms predisposing to the rupture of IA. We determined gene expression levels of 8 RIAs, 5 unruptured IAs, and 10 superficial temporal arteries with the Agilent microarrays. To explore biological heterogeneity of IAs, we classified the samples into subgroups showing similar gene expression patterns, using clustering methods. The clustering analysis identified 4 groups: superficial temporal arteries and unruptured IAs were aggregated into their own clusters, whereas RIAs segregated into 2 distinct subgroups (early and late RIAs). Comparing gene expression levels between early RIAs and unruptured IAs, we identified 430 upregulated and 617 downregulated genes in early RIAs. The upregulated genes were associated with inflammatory and immune responses and phagocytosis including S100/calgranulin genes (S100A8, S100A9, and S100A12). The downregulated genes suggest mechanical weakness of aneurysm walls. The expressions of Krüppel-like family of transcription factors (KLF2, KLF12, and KLF15), which were anti-inflammatory regulators, and CDKN2A, which was located on chromosome 9p21 that was the most consistently replicated locus in genome-wide association studies of IA, were also downregulated. We demonstrate that gene expression patterns of RIAs were different according to the age of patients. The results suggest that macrophage-mediated inflammation is a key biological pathway for IA rupture. The identified genes can be good candidates for molecular markers of rupture-prone IAs and therapeutic targets. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  18. Insights into the Reaction Mechanism of Aromatic Ring Cleavage by Homogentisate Dioxygenase: A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yue; Lu, Jiarui; Lai, Wenzhen

    2016-05-26

    To elucidate the reaction mechanism of the ring cleavage of homogentisate by homogentisate dioxygenase, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were carried out by using two systems in different protonation states of the substrate C2 hydroxyl group. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is ionized (the ionized pathway), the superoxo attack on the substrate is the rate-limiting step in the catalytic cycle, with a barrier of 15.9 kcal/mol. Glu396 was found to play an important role in stabilizing the bridge species and its O-O cleavage product by donating a proton via a hydrogen-bonded water molecule. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is not ionized (the nonionized pathway), the O-O bond cleavage of the bridge species is the rate-limiting step, with a barrier of 15.3 kcal/mol. The QM/MM-optimized geometries for the dioxygen and alkylperoxo complexes using the nonionized model (for the C2 hydroxyl group) are in agreement with the experimental crystal structures, suggesting that the C2 hydroxyl group is more likely to be nonionized.

  19. Solid-state NMR Reveals the Carbon-based Molecular Architecture of Cryptococcus neoformans Fungal Eumelanins in the Cell Wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Subhasish; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Itin, Boris; Casadevall, Arturo; Stark, Ruth E

    2015-05-29

    Melanin pigments protect against both ionizing radiation and free radicals and have potential soil remediation capabilities. Eumelanins produced by pathogenic Cryptococcus neoformans fungi are virulence factors that render the fungal cells resistant to host defenses and certain antifungal drugs. Because of their insoluble and amorphous characteristics, neither the pigment bonding framework nor the cellular interactions underlying melanization of C. neoformans have yielded to comprehensive molecular-scale investigation. This study used the C. neoformans requirement of exogenous obligatory catecholamine precursors for melanization to produce isotopically enriched pigment "ghosts" and applied 2D (13)C-(13)C correlation solid-state NMR to reveal the carbon-based architecture of intact natural eumelanin assemblies in fungal cells. We demonstrated that the aliphatic moieties of solid C. neoformans melanin ghosts include cell-wall components derived from polysaccharides and/or chitin that are associated proximally with lipid membrane constituents. Prior to development of the mature aromatic fungal pigment, these aliphatic moieties form a chemically resistant framework that could serve as the scaffold for melanin synthesis. The indole-based core aromatic moieties show interconnections that are consistent with proposed melanin structures consisting of stacked planar assemblies, which are associated spatially with the aliphatic scaffold. The pyrrole aromatic carbons of the pigments bind covalently to the aliphatic framework via glycoside or glyceride functional groups. These findings establish that the structure of the pigment assembly changes with time and provide the first biophysical information on the mechanism by which melanin is assembled in the fungal cell wall, offering vital insights that can advance the design of bioinspired conductive nanomaterials and novel therapeutics. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. Exploring the mechanism of interaction between sulindac and human serum albumin: Spectroscopic and molecular modeling methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiao-Ping; Hou, Ya-He [Department of Material Engineering, Xuzhou College of Industrial Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221140 (China); Wang, Li [Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434023 (China); Zhang, Ye-Zhong, E-mail: zhangfluorescence@126.com [Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434023 (China); Liu, Yi, E-mail: prof.liuyi@263.net [Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434023 (China); College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)

    2013-06-15

    In the present study, a combination of fluorescence, molecular modeling and circular dichroism (CD) approaches had been employed to investigate the interaction between sulindac and human serum albumin (HSA). Results of mechanism discussion demonstrated that the fluorescence quenching of HSA by sulindac was a static quenching procedure. Binding parameters calculated from the modified Stern–Volmer equation showed that sulindac bound to HSA with the binding affinities in the order of 10{sup 5} L mol{sup −1}. The thermodynamic parameters (ΔH=−18.58 kJ mol{sup −1}; ΔS=37.26 J mol{sup −1} K{sup −1}) obtained by the van′t Hoff equation revealed that hydrophobic forces played a leading role in the formation of sulindac–HSA complex, but hydrogen bonds could not be omitted. Site marker competitive experiments revealed a displacement of warfarin by sulindac, which indicated that the binding site of sulindac to HSA located in the sub-domain IIA (Sudlow′s site I). The molecular docking study confirmed the specific binding mode and binding site obtained by fluorescence and site marker competitive experiments. CD and three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy were used to investigate the changes of HSA secondary structure and microenvironment in the presence of sulindac. Alterations of HSA conformation were observed with the reduction of α-helix from 60.1% (free HSA) to 57.3%, manifesting a slight unfolding of the polypeptides of protein. -- Highlights: ► The quenching mechanism between sulindac and HSA is a static process. ► The binding of sulindac to HSA takes place in sub-domain IIA (Sudlow′s site I). ► The binding is spontaneous and hydrophobic force plays major role in stabilizing the complex. ► CD and 3-D fluorescence spectra prove the change of the microenvironment and conformation of HSA.

  1. Molecular and Cellular Profiling of Scalp Psoriasis Reveals Differences and Similarities Compared to Skin Psoriasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruano, Juan; Suárez-Fariñas, Mayte; Shemer, Avner; Oliva, Margeaux

    2016-01-01

    Scalp psoriasis shows a variable clinical spectrum and in many cases poses a great therapeutic challenge. However, it remains unknown whether the immune response of scalp psoriasis differs from understood pathomechanisms of psoriasis in other skin areas. We sought to determine the cellular and molecular phenotype of scalp psoriasis by performing a comparative analysis of scalp and skin using lesional and nonlesional samples from 20 Caucasian subjects with untreated moderate to severe psoriasis and significant scalp involvement and 10 control subjects without psoriasis. Our results suggest that even in the scalp, psoriasis is a disease of the inter-follicular skin. The immune mechanisms that mediate scalp psoriasis were found to be similar to those involved in skin psoriasis. However, the magnitude of dysregulation, number of differentially expressed genes, and enrichment of the psoriatic genomic fingerprint were more prominent in skin lesions. Furthermore, the scalp transcriptome showed increased modulation of several gene-sets, particularly those induced by interferon-gamma, compared with that of skin psoriasis, which was mainly associated with activation of TNFα/L-17/IL-22-induced keratinocyte response genes. We also detected differences in expression of gene-sets involving negative regulation, epigenetic regulation, epidermal differentiation, and dendritic cell or Th1/Th17/Th22-related T-cell processes. PMID:26849645

  2. Structure and mechanism of calmodulin binding to a signaling sphingolipid reveal new aspects of lipid-protein interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Erika; Harmat, Veronika; Tóth, Judit; Vértessy, Beáta G.; Módos, Károly; Kardos, József; Liliom, Károly

    2010-01-01

    Lipid-protein interactions are rarely characterized at a structural molecular level due to technical difficulties; however, the biological significance of understanding the mechanism of these interactions is outstanding. In this report, we provide mechanistic insight into the inhibitory complex formation of the lipid mediator sphingosylphosphorylcholine with calmodulin, the most central and ubiquitous regulator protein in calcium signaling. We applied crystallographic, thermodynamic, kinetic, and spectroscopic approaches using purified bovine calmodulin and bovine cerebral microsomal fraction to arrive at our conclusions. Here we present 1) a 1.6-Å resolution crystal structure of their complex, in which the sphingolipid occupies the conventional hydrophobic binding site on calmodulin; 2) a peculiar stoichiometry-dependent binding process: at low or high protein-to-lipid ratio calmodulin binds lipid micelles or a few lipid molecules in a compact globular conformation, respectively, and 3) evidence that the sphingolipid displaces calmodulin from its targets on cerebral microsomes. We have ascertained the specificity of the interaction using structurally related lipids as controls. Our observations reveal the structural basis of selective calmodulin inhibition by the sphingolipid. On the basis of the crystallographic and biophysical characterization of the calmodulin–sphingosylphosphorylcholine interaction, we propose a novel lipid-protein binding model, which might be applicable to other interactions as well.—Kovacs, E., Harmat, V., Tóth, J., Vértessy, B. G., Módos, K., Kardos, J., Liliom, K. Structure and mechanism of calmodulin binding to a signaling sphingolipid reveal new aspects of lipid-protein interactions. PMID:20522785

  3. Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical reaction pathway calculation for aromatic hydroxylation by p-hydroxybenzoate-3-hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    1999-01-01

    The reaction pathway for the aromatic 3-hydroxylation of p-hydroxybenzoate by the reactive C4a-hydroperoxyflavin cofactor intermediate in p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH) has been investigated by a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method. A structural model for the

  4. Molecular basis of photochromism of a fluorescent protein revealed by direct 13C detection under laser illumination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizuno, Hideaki; Mal, Tapas Kumar; Waelchli, Markus; Fukano, Takashi; Ikura, Mitsuhiko; Miyawaki, Atsushi

    2010-01-01

    Dronpa is a green fluorescent protein homologue with a photochromic property. A green laser illumination reversibly converts Dronpa from a green-emissive bright state to a non-emissive dark state, and ultraviolet illumination converts it to the bright state. We have employed solution NMR to understand the underlying molecular mechanism of the photochromism. The detail characterization of Dronpa is hindered as it is metastable in the dark state and spontaneously converts to the bright state. To circumvent this issue, we have designed in magnet laser illumination device. By combining the device with a 150-mW argon laser at 514.5 nm, we have successfully converted and maintained Dronpa in the dark state in the NMR tube by continuous illumination during the NMR experiments. We have employed direct-detection of 13 C nuclei from the carbon skeleton of the chromophore for detailed characterization of chromophore in both states of Dronpa by using the Bruker TCI cryoprobe. The results from NMR data have provided direct evidence of the double bond formation between C α and C β of Y63 in the chromophore, the β-barrel structure in solution, and the ionized and protonated state of Y63 hydroxyl group in the bright and dark states, respectively. These studies have also revealed that a part of β-barrel around the chromophore becomes polymorphic only in the dark state, which may be critical to make the fluorescence dim by increasing the contribution of non-emissive vibrational relaxation pathways.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Ion-Specific Effects on Proteins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rembert, K. B.; Paterová, Jana; Heyda, Jan; Hilty, Ch.; Jungwirth, Pavel; Cremer, P. S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 134, č. 24 (2012), s. 10039-10046 ISSN 0002-7863 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/08/0114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : ions * proteins * molecular dynamics * NMR Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 10.677, year: 2012

  6. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance | Pillay | South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This review discusses recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of the insulin receptor and insulin action, and how these relate to the clinical aspects of insulin resistance associated with non-insulin-dependent diabetes and other disorders. Improved understanding of the molecular basis of insulin ...

  7. PDMS Network Structure-Property Relationships: Influence of Molecular Architecture on Mechanical and Wetting Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo, Matthew Joseph

    /TDSS and commercial PDMS-based Sylgard 184 composite, but only keep improving with additional crosslinker in the silanol/TEOS systems due to in situ TEOS aggregation. We relate molecular network topology to mechanical properties using outputs from the Miller-Macosko model in the vinyl/TDSS system. The elastic fraction and storage modulus correlate well, as do the pendant fraction and the loss tangent, demonstrating the importance of each fraction in bulk mechanical properties. By studying the dynamic behavior of water droplets wetting PDMS substrates, we observe non-linear wetting behaviors that are markedly different from linear behaviors seen on glassy polymer substrates. The non-linear behavior is only observed prior to extraction, while after extraction, both systems demonstrate behavior similar to glassy polymers. This reveals the dramatic role small amounts of uncrosslinked materials present in the sol fraction play in the surface wetting dynamics of PDMS materials. We further demonstrate the role of uncrosslinked material by adding silicone oils into otherwise fully crosslinked PDMS networks and study their wetting properties. Through careful formulation and preparation of PDMS materials, compared to simply mixing two formulations present in Sylgard 184, one can apply polymer network models to glean useful information about network topology. The benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. We stress the importance of performing Soxhlet extraction to remove unreacted components from PDMS materials, even when using optimal stoichiometry. These mobile molecules that remain after crosslinking can alter significantly wetting behavior and readily leach into liquid environments. However, it is equally important to stress that Soxhlet extraction will not remove all unreacted material. Some will always remain in PDMS, which is often the practice in preparing microfluidic devices. While Sylgard 184 is very well suited for some applications, the results presented in this

  8. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-07

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r(-1) term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN2 reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN2 reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical reactions.

  9. RNA-Seq reveals genotype-specific molecular responses to water deficit in eucalyptus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background In a context of climate change, phenotypic plasticity provides long-lived species, such as trees, with the means to adapt to environmental variations occurring within a single generation. In eucalyptus plantations, water availability is a key factor limiting productivity. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the adaptation of eucalyptus to water shortage remain unclear. In this study, we compared the molecular responses of two commercial eucalyptus hybrids during the dry season. Both hybrids differ in productivity when grown under water deficit. Results Pyrosequencing of RNA extracted from shoot apices provided extensive transcriptome coverage - a catalog of 129,993 unigenes (49,748 contigs and 80,245 singletons) was generated from 398 million base pairs, or 1.14 million reads. The pyrosequencing data enriched considerably existing Eucalyptus EST collections, adding 36,985 unigenes not previously represented. Digital analysis of read abundance in 14,460 contigs identified 1,280 that were differentially expressed between the two genotypes, 155 contigs showing differential expression between treatments (irrigated vs. non irrigated conditions during the dry season), and 274 contigs with significant genotype-by-treatment interaction. The more productive genotype displayed a larger set of genes responding to water stress. Moreover, stress signal transduction seemed to involve different pathways in the two genotypes, suggesting that water shortage induces distinct cellular stress cascades. Similarly, the response of functional proteins also varied widely between genotypes: the most productive genotype decreased expression of genes related to photosystem, transport and secondary metabolism, whereas genes related to primary metabolism and cell organisation were over-expressed. Conclusions For the most productive genotype, the ability to express a broader set of genes in response to water availability appears to be a key characteristic in the maintenance

  10. The bladed Bangiales (Rhodophyta) of the South Eastern Pacific: Molecular species delimitation reveals extensive diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillemin, Marie-Laure; Contreras-Porcia, Loretto; Ramírez, María Eliana; Macaya, Erasmo C; Contador, Cristian Bulboa; Woods, Helen; Wyatt, Christopher; Brodie, Juliet

    2016-01-01

    A molecular taxonomic study of the bladed Bangiales of the South Eastern Pacific (coast of Chile) was undertaken based on sequence data of the mitochondrial COI and chloroplast rbcL for 193 specimens collected from Arica (18°S) in the north to South Patagonia (53°S) in the south. The results revealed for the first time that four genera, Porphyra, Pyropia, Fuscifolium and Wildemania were present in the region. Species delimitation was determined based on a combination of a General Mixed Yule Coalescence model (GMYC) and Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) coupled with detection of monophyly in tree reconstruction. The overall incongruence between the species delimitation methods within each gene was 29%. The GMYC method led to over-splitting groups, whereas the ABGD method had a tendency to lump groups. Taking a conservative approach to the number of putative species, at least 18 were recognized and, with the exception of the recently described Pyropia orbicularis, all were new to the Chilean flora. Porphyra and Pyropia were the most diverse genera with eight 'species' each, whereas only a 'single' species each was found for Fuscifolium and Wildemania. There was also evidence of recently diverging groups: Wildemania sp. was distinct but very closely related to W. amplissima from the Northern Hemisphere and raises questions in relation to such disjunct distributions. Pyropia orbicularis was very closely related to two other species, making species delimitation very difficult but provides evidence of an incipient speciation. The difference between the 'species' discovered and those previously reported for the region is discussed in relation to the difficulty of distinguishing species based on morphological identification. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The occurrence of Toxocara species in naturally infected broiler chickens revealed by molecular approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zibaei, M; Sadjjadi, S M; Maraghi, S

    2017-09-01

    Consuming raw and undercooked meat is known to enhance the risk of human toxocariasis because Toxocara species have a wide range of paratenic hosts, including chickens. The aim of this study was to identify species of Toxocara in naturally infected broiler chickens using molecular approaches. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used for the differentiation of Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati larvae recovered from tissues and organs, and identified by microscopic observations. Thirty-three 35- to 47-day-old broiler chickens were used for examination of Toxocara larvae. The duodenum, liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, skeletal muscles and brain of each chicken were examined using the pepsin method, and DNA from each tissue was extracted as the template for PCR assay. The findings revealed that 5 of 33 (15.2%) broiler chickens were infected with Toxocara larvae. Larvae were recovered from the liver (n = 19), duodenum (n = 8), skeletal muscles (n = 8) and brain (n = 2) of broiler chickens naturally infected with Toxocara spp. The results showed that the frequencies of the species in the chickens were T. canis larvae (n = 5, 83.3%) and T. cati larvae (n = 1, 16.7%). Our data from the present study demonstrated the importance of broiler chickens as a paratenic host for the parasite's life cycle in the environment. The implementation of DNA amplification as a routine diagnostic technique is a specific and alternative method for identification of Toxocara larvae, and allowed the observation of specific species under field conditions within the locations where broiler chickens are typically raised and exposed to Toxocara spp. eggs or larvae.

  12. Thermodynamic coupling between activation and inactivation gating in potassium channels revealed by free energy molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Albert C; Cuello, Luis G; Perozo, Eduardo; Roux, Benoît

    2011-12-01

    The amount of ionic current flowing through K(+) channels is determined by the interplay between two separate time-dependent processes: activation and inactivation gating. Activation is concerned with the stimulus-dependent opening of the main intracellular gate, whereas inactivation is a spontaneous conformational transition of the selectivity filter toward a nonconductive state occurring on a variety of timescales. A recent analysis of multiple x-ray structures of open and partially open KcsA channels revealed the mechanism by which movements of the inner activation gate, formed by the inner helices from the four subunits of the pore domain, bias the conformational changes at the selectivity filter toward a nonconductive inactivated state. This analysis highlighted the important role of Phe103, a residue located along the inner helix, near the hinge position associated with the opening of the intracellular gate. In the present study, we use free energy perturbation molecular dynamics simulations (FEP/MD) to quantitatively elucidate the thermodynamic basis for the coupling between the intracellular gate and the selectivity filter. The results of the FEP/MD calculations are in good agreement with experiments, and further analysis of the repulsive, van der Waals dispersive, and electrostatic free energy contributions reveals that the energetic basis underlying the absence of inactivation in the F103A mutation in KcsA is the absence of the unfavorable steric interaction occurring with the large Ile100 side chain in a neighboring subunit when the intracellular gate is open and the selectivity filter is in a conductive conformation. Macroscopic current analysis shows that the I100A mutant indeed relieves inactivation in KcsA, but to a lesser extent than the F103A mutant.

  13. Study on the mechanism of chiral recognition with molecularly imprinted polymers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Yan; Li Chenxi; Zhang Hesheng; Liu Xiaohang

    2003-01-01

    This study aimed at elucidating the chiral recognition mechanism with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) in aqueous environment. The system used ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), methacrylic acid (MAA), and 4-L-phenylalanylamino-pyridine (4-L-PheNHPy) as the cross-linking monomer, functional monomer and template, respectively, to assemble the imprinted polymer. A self-assembly mechanism, which includes the pre-organizing functional monomers around template before polymerization process, was proposed. This mechanism was supported by 1 H NMR titration test. Interactions between functional monomer and template were observed using UV-Vis spectroscopy of solutions of these components as well. These studies indicated a 1:2 molecular complex dominantly formed between 4-L-PheNHPy and MAA. Association constant was estimated to be 97,000 M -2 . Based on these results, a model mainly involving two-spot interaction was proposed evolving from our reported concept of exact placement of functional group. Ionic interaction between the primary amino group of 4-L-PheNHPy and carboxylic acid group inside the microcavity on MIPs was believed to play a predominate role in the enantioselectivity as supported by the observation of the relationship between the retention factor of 4-L-PheNHPy and the pH of mobile phase. While thermodynamic study at different pH revealed that, the interaction between the pyridyl group of 4-L-PheNHPy and the carboxylic acid group on the MIPs is also strong, implying that it also plays a profound role in determining the highly chiral selectivity of MIPs

  14. Revealing Surface Waters on an Antifreeze Protein by Fusion Protein Crystallography Combined with Molecular Dynamic Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Tianjun; Gauthier, Sherry Y; Campbell, Robert L; Davies, Peter L

    2015-10-08

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) adsorb to ice through an extensive, flat, relatively hydrophobic surface. It has been suggested that this ice-binding site (IBS) organizes surface waters into an ice-like clathrate arrangement that matches and fuses to the quasi-liquid layer on the ice surface. On cooling, these waters join the ice lattice and freeze the AFP to its ligand. Evidence for the generality of this binding mechanism is limited because AFPs tend to crystallize with their IBS as a preferred protein-protein contact surface, which displaces some bound waters. Type III AFP is a 7 kDa globular protein with an IBS made up two adjacent surfaces. In the crystal structure of the most active isoform (QAE1), the part of the IBS that docks to the primary prism plane of ice is partially exposed to solvent and has clathrate waters present that match this plane of ice. The adjacent IBS, which matches the pyramidal plane of ice, is involved in protein-protein crystal contacts with few surface waters. Here we have changed the protein-protein contacts in the ice-binding region by crystallizing a fusion of QAE1 to maltose-binding protein. In this 1.9 Å structure, the IBS that fits the pyramidal plane of ice is exposed to solvent. By combining crystallography data with MD simulations, the surface waters on both sides of the IBS were revealed and match well with the target ice planes. The waters on the pyramidal plane IBS were loosely constrained, which might explain why other isoforms of type III AFP that lack the prism plane IBS are less active than QAE1. The AFP fusion crystallization method can potentially be used to force the exposure to solvent of the IBS on other AFPs to reveal the locations of key surface waters.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Cutaneous Inflammatory Disorder: Atopic Dermatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung Eun; Kim, Jong Sic; Cho, Dae Ho; Park, Hyun Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial inflammatory skin disease resulting from interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. The pathogenesis of AD is poorly understood, and the treatment of recalcitrant AD is still challenging. There is accumulating evidence for new gene polymorphisms related to the epidermal barrier function and innate and adaptive immunity in patients with AD. Newly-found T cells and dendritic cell subsets, cytokines, chemokines and signaling pathways have extended our understanding of the molecular pathomechanism underlying AD. Genetic changes caused by environmental factors have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. We herein present a review of the genetics, epigenetics, barrier dysfunction and immunological abnormalities in AD with a focus on updated molecular biology. PMID:27483258

  16. Molecular modeling of polycarbonate materials: Glass transition and mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palczynski, Karol; Wilke, Andreas; Paeschke, Manfred; Dzubiella, Joachim

    2017-09-01

    Linking the experimentally accessible macroscopic properties of thermoplastic polymers to their microscopic static and dynamic properties is a key requirement for targeted material design. Classical molecular dynamics simulations enable us to study the structural and dynamic behavior of molecules on microscopic scales, and statistical physics provides a framework for relating these properties to the macroscopic properties. We take a first step toward creating an automated workflow for the theoretical prediction of thermoplastic material properties by developing an expeditious method for parameterizing a simple yet surprisingly powerful coarse-grained bisphenol-A polycarbonate model which goes beyond previous coarse-grained models and successfully reproduces the thermal expansion behavior, the glass transition temperature as a function of the molecular weight, and several elastic properties.

  17. Molecular profiling of synchronous and metachronous cancers of the pancreas reveal molecular mimicry between samples from the same patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbott, Vanessa A; Yeo, Charles J; Brody, Jonathan R; Witkiewicz, Agnieszka K

    2012-07-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is rarely a survivable disease. In rare cases, separate synchronous tumors are discovered at the time of resection, while in others, patients present with a metachronous cancer after prior surgical resection. Studying molecular markers of synchronous and metachronous lesions may aid to clarify the biology of this often deadly disease. Two patients presented with synchronous tumors (each one with a tumor in the pancreatic head/neck and the other in the tail, designated patients A and B). An additional patient (patient C) underwent an R0 resection for PDA of the head and recurred 1.5 y later with PDA in the tail. Genomic DNA was laser capture microdissected (LCM) from the tumor and molecular analysis was performed. K-ras status and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) were determined from multiple specimens for each case. All samples from each patient harbored identical K-ras mutations. In patient A, the tumor at the head of the pancreas had more clonal genetic instability as reflected by LOH analysis over multiple LCM samples. Patient B had more genetic instability in the tail lesion compared with the neck. Patient C had virtually the identical molecular profile in both tumors, supporting the notion that both tumors were related. We conclude that the synchronous and metachronous tumors likely are initiated from identical precursor lesions and/or events (i.e., K-ras mutations). Future studies will need to investigate if these tumors will respond similarly to adjuvant therapies targeted against the clonal molecular events in the tumor. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular genetic features of polyploidization and aneuploidization reveal unique patterns for genome duplication in diploid Malus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Considine

    Full Text Available Polyploidization results in genome duplication and is an important step in evolution and speciation. The Malus genome confirmed that this genus was derived through auto-polyploidization, yet the genetic and meiotic mechanisms for polyploidization, particularly for aneuploidization, are unclear in this genus or other woody perennials. In fact the contribution of aneuploidization remains poorly understood throughout Plantae. We add to this knowledge by characterization of eupolyploidization and aneuploidization in 27,542 F₁ seedlings from seven diploid Malus populations using cytology and microsatellite markers. We provide the first evidence that aneuploidy exceeds eupolyploidy in the diploid crosses, suggesting aneuploidization is a leading cause of genome duplication. Gametes from diploid Malus had a unique combinational pattern; ova preserved euploidy exclusively, while spermatozoa presented both euploidy and aneuploidy. All non-reduced gametes were genetically heterozygous, indicating first-division restitution was the exclusive mode for Malus eupolyploidization and aneuploidization. Chromosome segregation pattern among aneuploids was non-uniform, however, certain chromosomes were associated for aneuploidization. This study is the first to provide molecular evidence for the contribution of heterozygous non-reduced gametes to fitness in polyploids and aneuploids. Aneuploidization can increase, while eupolyploidization may decrease genetic diversity in their newly established populations. Auto-triploidization is important for speciation in the extant Malus. The features of Malus polyploidization confer genetic stability and diversity, and present heterozygosity, heterosis and adaptability for evolutionary selection. A protocol using co-dominant markers was proposed for accelerating apple triploid breeding program. A path was postulated for evolution of numerically odd basic chromosomes. The model for Malus derivation was considerably revised

  19. Molecular genetic features of polyploidization and aneuploidization reveal unique patterns for genome duplication in diploid Malus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Considine, Michael J; Wan, Yizhen; D'Antuono, Mario F; Zhou, Qian; Han, Mingyu; Gao, Hua; Wang, Man

    2012-01-01

    Polyploidization results in genome duplication and is an important step in evolution and speciation. The Malus genome confirmed that this genus was derived through auto-polyploidization, yet the genetic and meiotic mechanisms for polyploidization, particularly for aneuploidization, are unclear in this genus or other woody perennials. In fact the contribution of aneuploidization remains poorly understood throughout Plantae. We add to this knowledge by characterization of eupolyploidization and aneuploidization in 27,542 F₁ seedlings from seven diploid Malus populations using cytology and microsatellite markers. We provide the first evidence that aneuploidy exceeds eupolyploidy in the diploid crosses, suggesting aneuploidization is a leading cause of genome duplication. Gametes from diploid Malus had a unique combinational pattern; ova preserved euploidy exclusively, while spermatozoa presented both euploidy and aneuploidy. All non-reduced gametes were genetically heterozygous, indicating first-division restitution was the exclusive mode for Malus eupolyploidization and aneuploidization. Chromosome segregation pattern among aneuploids was non-uniform, however, certain chromosomes were associated for aneuploidization. This study is the first to provide molecular evidence for the contribution of heterozygous non-reduced gametes to fitness in polyploids and aneuploids. Aneuploidization can increase, while eupolyploidization may decrease genetic diversity in their newly established populations. Auto-triploidization is important for speciation in the extant Malus. The features of Malus polyploidization confer genetic stability and diversity, and present heterozygosity, heterosis and adaptability for evolutionary selection. A protocol using co-dominant markers was proposed for accelerating apple triploid breeding program. A path was postulated for evolution of numerically odd basic chromosomes. The model for Malus derivation was considerably revised. Impacts of

  20. Immunogenomics reveal molecular circuits of diclofenac induced liver injury in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun-Hee; Oh, Jung-Hwa; Selvaraj, Saravanakumar; Park, Se-Myo; Choi, Mi-Sun; Spanel, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and its use can be associated with severe adverse reactions, notably myocardial infarction, stroke and drug-induced liver injury (DILI). In pursue of immune-mediated DILI mechanisms an immunogenomic study was carried out. Diclofenac treatment of mice at 30 mg/kg for 3 days caused significant serum ALT and AST elevations, hepatomegaly and degenerative changes including hepatic glycogen depletion, hydropic swelling, cholesterolosis and eosinophilic hepatocytes with one animal presenting subsegmental infarction due to portal vein thrombosis. Furthermore, portal/periportal induction of the rate limiting enzyme in ammonia detoxification, i.e. carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 was observed. The performed microarray studies informed on > 600 differential expressed genes of which 35, 37 and 50 coded for inflammation, 51, 44 and 61 for immune and 116, 129 and 169 for stress response, respectively after single and repeated dosing for 3 and 14 days. Bioinformatic analysis defined molecular circuits of hepatic inflammation with the growth hormone (Ghr)− and leptin receptor, the protein-tyrosine-phosphatase, selectin and the suppressor-of-cytokine-signaling (Socs) to function as key nodes in gene regulatory networks. Western blotting confirmed induction of fibronectin and M-CSF to hallmark tissue repair and differentiation of monocytes and macrophages. Transcript expression of the macrophage receptor with collagenous structure increased > 7-fold and immunohistochemistry of CD68 evidenced activation of tissue-resident macrophages. Importantly, diclofenac treatment prompted strong expression of phosphorylated Stat3 amongst individual animals and the associated 8- and 4-fold Soc3 and Il-6 induction reinforced Ghr degradation as evidenced by immunoblotting. Moreover, immunohistochemistry confirmed regulation of master regulatory proteins of diclofenac treated mice to suggest complex pro-and anti-inflammatory reactions in immune