WorldWideScience

Sample records for understand molecular mechanisms

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: the next evolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Paul; Bredy, Timothy W.

    2016-07-01

    A complete understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory continues to elude neuroscientists. Although many important discoveries have been made, the question of how memories are encoded and maintained at the molecular level remains. So far, this issue has been framed within the context of one of the most dominant concepts in molecular biology, the central dogma, and the result has been a protein-centric view of memory. Here, we discuss the evidence supporting a role for neuroepigenetic mechanisms, which constitute dynamic and reversible, state-dependent modifications at all levels of control over cellular function, and their role in learning and memory. This neuroepigenetic view suggests that DNA, RNA and protein each influence one another to produce a holistic cellular state that contributes to the formation and maintenance of memory, and predicts a parallel and distributed system for the consolidation, storage and retrieval of the engram.

  4. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

  5. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. © 2016 K. Southard et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  6. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of human microtia via a pig model of HOXA1 syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruimin Qiao

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Microtia is a congenital malformation of the outer ears. Although both genetic and environmental components have been implicated in microtia, the genetic causes of this innate disorder are poorly understood. Pigs have naturally occurring diseases comparable to those in humans, providing exceptional opportunity to dissect the molecular mechanism of human inherited diseases. Here we first demonstrated that a truncating mutation in HOXA1 causes a monogenic disorder of microtia in pigs. We further performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq analysis on affected and healthy pig embryos (day 14.25. We identified a list of 337 differentially expressed genes (DEGs between the normal and mutant samples, shedding light on the transcriptional network involving HOXA1. The DEGs are enriched in biological processes related to cardiovascular system and embryonic development, and neurological, renal and urological diseases. Aberrant expressions of many DEGs have been implicated in human innate deformities corresponding to microtia-associated syndromes. After applying three prioritizing algorithms, we highlighted appealing candidate genes for human microtia from the 337 DEGs. We searched for coding variants of functional significance within six candidate genes in 147 microtia-affected individuals. Of note, we identified one EVC2 non-synonymous mutation (p.Asp1174Asn as a potential disease-implicating variant for a human microtia-associated syndrome. The findings advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human microtia, and provide an interesting example of the characterization of human disease-predisposing variants using pig models.

  7. Understanding the molecular mechanism of pulse current charging for stable lithium-metal batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Tan, Shen; Li, Linlin; Lu, Yingying; He, Yi

    2017-07-01

    High energy and safe electrochemical storage are critical components in multiple emerging fields of technologies. Rechargeable lithium-metal batteries are considered to be promising alternatives for current lithium-ion batteries, leading to as much as a 10-fold improvement in anode storage capacity (from 372 to 3860 mAh g -1 ). One of the major challenges for commercializing lithium-metal batteries is the reliability and safety issue, which is often associated with uneven lithium electrodeposition (lithium dendrites) during the charging stage of the battery cycling process. We report that stable lithium-metal batteries can be achieved by simply charging cells with square-wave pulse current. We investigated the effects of charging period and frequency as well as the mechanisms that govern this process at the molecular level. Molecular simulations were performed to study the diffusion and the solvation structure of lithium cations (Li + ) in bulk electrolyte. The model predicts that loose association between cations and anions can enhance the transport of Li + and eventually stabilize the lithium electrodeposition. We also performed galvanostatic measurements to evaluate the cycling behavior and cell lifetime under pulsed electric field and found that the cell lifetime can be more than doubled using certain pulse current waveforms. Both experimental and simulation results demonstrate that the effectiveness of pulse current charging on dendrite suppression can be optimized by choosing proper time- and frequency-dependent pulses. This work provides a molecular basis for understanding the mechanisms of pulse current charging to mitigating lithium dendrites and designing pulse current waveforms for stable lithium-metal batteries.

  8. Laboratory Activities to Support Student Understanding of 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 and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…

  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. Combating mutations in genetic disease and drug resistance: understanding molecular mechanisms to guide drug design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanaz, Amanda T S; Rodrigues, Carlos H M; Pires, Douglas E V; Ascher, David B

    2017-06-01

    Mutations introduce diversity into genomes, leading to selective changes and driving evolution. These changes have contributed to the emergence of many of the current major health concerns of the 21st century, from the development of genetic diseases and cancers to the rise and spread of drug resistance. The experimental systematic testing of all mutations in a system of interest is impractical and not cost-effective, which has created interest in the development of computational tools to understand the molecular consequences of mutations to aid and guide rational experimentation. Areas covered: Here, the authors discuss the recent development of computational methods to understand the effects of coding mutations to protein function and interactions, particularly in the context of the 3D structure of the protein. Expert opinion: While significant progress has been made in terms of innovative tools to understand and quantify the different range of effects in which a mutation or a set of mutations can give rise to a phenotype, a great gap still exists when integrating these predictions and drawing causality conclusions linking variants. This often requires a detailed understanding of the system being perturbed. However, as part of the drug development process it can be used preemptively in a similar fashion to pharmacokinetics predictions, to guide development of therapeutics to help guide the design and analysis of clinical trials, patient treatment and public health policy strategies.

  11. Nonlinear Hamiltonian mechanics applied to molecular dynamics theory and computational methods for understanding molecular spectroscopy and chemical reactions

    CERN Document Server

    Farantos, Stavros C

    2014-01-01

    This brief presents numerical methods for describing and calculating invariant phase space structures, as well as solving the classical and quantum equations of motion for polyatomic molecules. Examples covered include simple model systems to realistic cases of molecules spectroscopically studied. Vibrationally excited and reacting molecules are nonlinear dynamical systems, and thus, nonlinear mechanics is the proper theory to elucidate molecular dynamics by investigating invariant structures in phase space. Intramolecular energy transfer, and the breaking and forming of a chemical bond have now found a rigorous explanation by studying phase space structures.

  12. Recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanism of chloroplast photorelocation movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Sam-Geun; Wada, Masamitsu

    2014-04-01

    Plants are photosynthetic organisms that have evolved unique systems to adapt fluctuating environmental light conditions. In addition to well-known movement responses such as phototropism, stomatal opening, and nastic leaf movements, chloroplast photorelocation movement is one of the essential cellular responses to optimize photosynthetic ability and avoid photodamage. For these adaptations, chloroplasts accumulate at the areas of cells illuminated with low light (called accumulation response), while they scatter from the area illuminated with strong light (called avoidance response). Plant-specific photoreceptors (phototropin, phytochrome, and/or neochrome) mediate these dynamic directional movements in response to incident light position and intensity. Several factors involved in the mechanisms underlying the processes from light perception to actin-based movements have also been identified through molecular genetic approach. This review aims to discuss recent findings in the field relating to how chloroplasts move at molecular levels. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Toward an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of barnacle larval settlement: A comparative transcriptomic approach

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Zhang-Fan

    2011-07-29

    Background: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed biofouler and a model species in intertidal ecology and larval settlement studies. However, a lack of genomic information has hindered the comprehensive elucidation of the molecular mechanisms coordinating its larval settlement. The pyrosequencing-based transcriptomic approach is thought to be useful to identify key molecular changes during larval settlement. Methodology and Principal Findings: Using 454 pyrosequencing, we collected totally 630,845 reads including 215,308 from the larval stages and 415,537 from the adults; 23,451 contigs were generated while 77,785 remained as singletons. We annotated 31,720 of the 92,322 predicted open reading frames, which matched hits in the NCBI NR database, and identified 7,954 putative genes that were differentially expressed between the larval and adult stages. Of these, several genes were further characterized with quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization, revealing some key findings: 1) vitellogenin was uniquely expressed in late nauplius stage, suggesting it may be an energy source for the subsequent non-feeding cyprid stage; 2) the locations of mannose receptors suggested they may be involved in the sensory system of cyprids; 3) 20 kDa-cement protein homologues were expressed in the cyprid cement gland and probably function during attachment; and 4) receptor tyrosine kinases were expressed higher in cyprid stage and may be involved in signal perception during larval settlement. Conclusions: Our results provide not only the basis of several new hypotheses about gene functions during larval settlement, but also the availability of this large transcriptome dataset in B. amphitrite for further exploration of larval settlement and developmental pathways in this important marine species. © 2011 Chen et al.

  14. Understanding unusual thermal transport behavior in soft materials under mechanical strain - A molecular dynamics study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murad, Sohail; Puri, Ishwar K.

    2015-04-01

    Experiments have shown a dependence of the thermal conductivity of soft polymer materials on shear stress, which is common to several applications, such as film processing, fiber spinning, blow molding, and vacuum forming. Experiments reveal that the conductivity initially decreases with shear, but then increases as additional shear rate is applied. Based on molecular principles, we hypothesize that when molecules are initially placed under tension and extended, they disentangle, which reduces the number of points of interaction and diminishes the heat flux. Further molecular stretching increases this flux because the molecules are now better axially aligned. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm this competition and reproduce the inflection in the flux-strain relationship, which has not been previously explained.

  15. Toward understanding the anticorrosive mechanism of some thiourea derivatives for carbon steel corrosion: A combined DFT and molecular dynamics investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lei; Kaya, Savaş; Obot, Ime Bassey; Zheng, Xingwen; Qiang, Yujie

    2017-11-15

    The mutually corroborated density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation methodology were employed to evaluate the inhibition performance of three thiourea derivatives (Inh1, Inh2, and Inh3) on carbon steel corrosion. Experimental results have shown that the corrosion rate follows the order: Inh3>Inh2>Inh1. Quantum chemical descriptors such as the frontier orbital energies (E HOMO and E LUMO ), the energy gap between E LUMO and E HOMO (ΔE), dipole moment (μ), and Fukui index have been calculated and discussed. Some significant factors such as solvent, temperature, and coverage have been considered when investigating the adsorption of aforementioned thiourea derivatives on Fe(110) surface. Our results provide important atomic/molecular insights into the anticorrosive mechanism of inhibitor molecules, which could help in understanding the organic-metal interface and designing more appropriate organic corrosion inhibitors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. MADS interactomics : towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of plant MADS-domain transcription factor function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smaczniak, C.D.

    2013-01-01

    Protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions are essential for the molecular action of transcription factors. By combinatorial binding to target gene promoters, transcription factors are able to up- or down-regulate the expression of these genes. MADS-domain proteins comprise a large family of

  17. Computational Design of a pH Stable Enzyme: Understanding Molecular Mechanism of Penicillin Acylase's Adaptation to Alkaline Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suplatov, Dmitry; Panin, Nikolay; Kirilin, Evgeny; Shcherbakova, Tatyana; Kudryavtsev, Pavel; Švedas, Vytas

    2014-01-01

    Protein stability provides advantageous development of novel properties and can be crucial in affording tolerance to mutations that introduce functionally preferential phenotypes. Consequently, understanding the determining factors for protein stability is important for the study of structure-function relationship and design of novel protein functions. Thermal stability has been extensively studied in connection with practical application of biocatalysts. However, little work has been done to explore the mechanism of pH-dependent inactivation. In this study, bioinformatic analysis of the Ntn-hydrolase superfamily was performed to identify functionally important subfamily-specific positions in protein structures. Furthermore, the involvement of these positions in pH-induced inactivation was studied. The conformational mobility of penicillin acylase in Escherichia coli was analyzed through molecular modeling in neutral and alkaline conditions. Two functionally important subfamily-specific residues, Gluβ482 and Aspβ484, were found. Ionization of these residues at alkaline pH promoted the collapse of a buried network of stabilizing interactions that consequently disrupted the functional protein conformation. The subfamily-specific position Aspβ484 was selected as a hotspot for mutation to engineer enzyme variant tolerant to alkaline medium. The corresponding Dβ484N mutant was produced and showed 9-fold increase in stability at alkaline conditions. Bioinformatic analysis of subfamily-specific positions can be further explored to study mechanisms of protein inactivation and to design more stable variants for the engineering of homologous Ntn-hydrolases with improved catalytic properties. PMID:24959852

  18. Computational design of a pH stable enzyme: understanding molecular mechanism of penicillin acylase's adaptation to alkaline conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry Suplatov

    Full Text Available Protein stability provides advantageous development of novel properties and can be crucial in affording tolerance to mutations that introduce functionally preferential phenotypes. Consequently, understanding the determining factors for protein stability is important for the study of structure-function relationship and design of novel protein functions. Thermal stability has been extensively studied in connection with practical application of biocatalysts. However, little work has been done to explore the mechanism of pH-dependent inactivation. In this study, bioinformatic analysis of the Ntn-hydrolase superfamily was performed to identify functionally important subfamily-specific positions in protein structures. Furthermore, the involvement of these positions in pH-induced inactivation was studied. The conformational mobility of penicillin acylase in Escherichia coli was analyzed through molecular modeling in neutral and alkaline conditions. Two functionally important subfamily-specific residues, Gluβ482 and Aspβ484, were found. Ionization of these residues at alkaline pH promoted the collapse of a buried network of stabilizing interactions that consequently disrupted the functional protein conformation. The subfamily-specific position Aspβ484 was selected as a hotspot for mutation to engineer enzyme variant tolerant to alkaline medium. The corresponding Dβ484N mutant was produced and showed 9-fold increase in stability at alkaline conditions. Bioinformatic analysis of subfamily-specific positions can be further explored to study mechanisms of protein inactivation and to design more stable variants for the engineering of homologous Ntn-hydrolases with improved catalytic properties.

  19. Understanding Defense Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Phebe

    2015-12-01

    Understanding defense mechanisms is an important part of psychotherapy. In this article, we trace the history of the concept of defense, from its origin with Freud to current views. The issue of defense as an unconscious mechanism is examined. The question of whether defenses are pathological, as well as their relation to pathology, is discussed. The effect of psychotherapy on the use of defenses, and their relation to a therapeutic alliance is explored. A series of empirical research studies that demonstrate the functioning of defense mechanisms and that support the theory is presented. Research also shows that as part of normal development, different defenses emerge at different developmental periods, and that gender differences in defense use occur.

  20. Understanding the Mechanism of the Hydrogen Abstraction from Arachidonic Acid Catalyzed by the Human Enzyme 15-Lipoxygenase-2. A Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Free Energy Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suardíaz, Reynier; Jambrina, Pablo G; Masgrau, Laura; González-Lafont, Àngels; Rosta, Edina; Lluch, José M

    2016-04-12

    . Overall, a different binding mode from the one accepted for 15-LOX-1 is proposed, which provides a molecular basis for 15-LOX-2 exclusive 15-HPETE production in front of the double (although highly 15-) 12/15 regiospecificity of 15-LOX-1. Understanding how these different isoenzymes achieve their regiospecificity is expected to help in specific inhibitor design.

  1. Molecular-level understanding of the adsorption mechanism of a graphite-binding peptide at the water/graphite interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, M J; Mijajlovic, M; Tamerler, C; Biggs, M J

    2015-07-14

    The association of proteins and peptides with inorganic material has vast technological potential. An understanding of the adsorption of peptides at liquid/solid interfaces on a molecular-level is fundamental to fully realising this potential. Combining our prior work along with the statistical analysis of 100+ molecular dynamics simulations of adsorption of an experimentally identified graphite binding peptide, GrBP5, at the water/graphite interface has been used here to propose a model for the adsorption of a peptide at a liquid/solid interface. This bottom-up model splits the adsorption process into three reversible phases: biased diffusion, anchoring and lockdown. Statistical analysis highlighted the distinct roles played by regions of the peptide studied here throughout the adsorption process: the hydrophobic domain plays a significant role in the biased diffusion and anchoring phases suggesting that the initial impetus for association between the peptide and the interface may be hydrophobic in origin; aromatic residues dominate the interaction between the peptide and the surface in the adsorbed state and the polar region in the middle of the peptide affords a high conformational flexibility allowing strongly interacting residues to maximise favourable interactions with the surface. Reversible adsorption was observed here, unlike in our prior work focused on a more strongly interacting surface. However, this reversibility is unlikely to be seen once the peptide-surface interaction exceeds 10 kcal mol(-1).

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; C. Iavazzo

    2012-01-01

    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.

  3. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    , 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......-scale genomics and proteomics in combination with relevant mouse models will most likely provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying glioma formation and will hopefully lead to development of treatment modalities for GBM....

  4. Quantitative Fermi level tuning in amorphous organic semiconductor by molecular doping: Toward full understanding of the doping mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jin-Peng, E-mail: yangjp@yzu.edu.cn, E-mail: uenon@faculty.chiba-u.jp; Wang, Wen-Qing; Cheng, Li-Wen; Zeng, Xiang-Hua [College of Physical Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225009 (China); Bussolotti, Fabio [Institute for Molecular Science, Okazaki 444-8585 (Japan); Li, Yan-Qing; Tang, Jian-Xin [Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); Kera, Satoshi [Institute for Molecular Science, Okazaki 444-8585 (Japan); Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263–8522 (Japan); Ueno, Nobuo, E-mail: yangjp@yzu.edu.cn, E-mail: uenon@faculty.chiba-u.jp [Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263–8522 (Japan)

    2016-08-29

    The doping mechanism in organic-semiconductor films has been quantitatively studied via ultrahigh-sensitivity ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy of N,N-bis(1-naphthyl)-N,N-diphenyl-1,1-biphenyl-4,4-diamine (α-NPD) films doped with hexaazatriphenylene-hexacarbonitrile [HAT(CN){sub 6}]. We observed that HOMO of α-NPD shifts to the Fermi level (E{sub F}) in two different rates with the doping concentration of HAT(CN){sub 6}, but HOMO distributions of both pristine and doped amorphous α-NPD films are excellently approximated with a same Gaussian distribution without exponential tail states over ∼5 × 10{sup 18} cm{sup −3} eV{sup −1}. From the theoretical simulation of the HAT(CN){sub 6}-concentration dependence of the HOMO in doped films, we show that the passivation of Gaussian-distributed hole traps, which peak at 1.1 eV above the HOMO onset, occurs at ultralow doping [HAT(CN){sub 6} molecular ratio (MR) < 0.01], leading to a strong HOMO shift of ∼0.40 eV towards E{sub F}, and MR dependence of HOMO changes abruptly at MR ∼ 0.01 to a weaker dependence for MR > 0.01 due to future of the dopant acceptor level.

  5. Understanding mechanical ventilators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatburn, Robert L

    2010-12-01

    The respiratory care academic community has not yet adopted a standardized system for classifying and describing modes of ventilation. As a result, there is enough confusion that patient care, clinician education and even ventilator sales are all put at risk. This article summarizes a ventilator mode taxonomy that has been extensively published over the last 15 years. Specifically, the classification system has three components: a description of the control variables within breath; a description of the sequence of mandatory and spontaneous breaths; and a specification for the targeting scheme. This three-level specification provides scalability of detail to make the mode description appropriate for the particular need. At the bedside, we need only refer to a mode briefly using the first or perhaps first and second components. To distinguish between similar modes and brand names, we would need to include all components. This taxonomy uses the equation of motion for the respiratory system as the underlying theoretical framework. All terms relevant to describing modes of mechanical ventilation are defined in an extensive appendix.

  6. NEMS Oscillators as Sensors and Actuators: Understanding the Mechanical Properties of Nanoresonators and Their Applications for Molecular Sensing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Development of nanotechnology and enhancement of nanostructures for future applications requires a good understanding of a material's behavior at the nanoscale, as...

  7. Understanding the adsorptive interactions of arsenate-iron nanoparticles with curved fullerene-like sheets in activated carbon using a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics computational approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Nguyen Ngoc; Cam, Le Minh; Ha, Nguyen Thi Thu; Goh, Bee-Min; Saunders, Martin; Jiang, Zhong-Tao; Altarawneh, Mohammednoor; Dlugogorski, Bogdan Z; El-Harbawi, Mohanad; Yin, Chun-Yang

    2017-06-07

    The prevalence of global arsenic groundwater contamination has driven widespread research on developing effective treatment systems including adsorption using various sorbents. The uptake of arsenic-based contaminants onto established sorbents such as activated carbon (AC) can be effectively enhanced via immobilization/impregnation of iron-based elements on the porous AC surface. Recent suggestions that AC pores structurally consist of an eclectic mix of curved fullerene-like sheets may affect the arsenic adsorption dynamics within the AC pores and is further complicated by the presence of nano-sized iron-based elements. We have therefore, attempted to shed light on the adsorptive interactions of arsenate-iron nanoparticles with curved fullerene-like sheets by using hybridized quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QMMM) calculations and microscopy characterization. It is found that, subsequent to optimization, chemisorption between HAsO 4 2- and the AC carbon sheet (endothermic process) is virtually non-existent - this observation is supported by experimental results. Conversely, the incorporation of iron nanoparticles (FeNPs) into the AC carbon sheet greatly facilitates chemisorption of HAsO 4 2- . Our calculation implies that iron carbide is formed at the junction between the iron and the AC interface and this tightly chemosorbed layer prevents detachment of the FeNPs on the AC surface. Other aspects including electronic structure/properties, carbon arrangement defects and rate of adsorptive interaction, which are determined using the Climbing-Image NEB method, are also discussed.

  8. Understanding the binding of inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases by molecular docking, quantum mechanical calculations, molecular dynamics simulations, and a MMGBSA/MMBappl study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Tanya; Adekoya, Olayiwola Adedotun; Jayaram, B

    2015-04-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) consist of a class of proteins required for normal tissue function. Their over expression is associated with many disease states and hence the interest in MMPs as drug targets. Almost all MMP inhibitors have been reported to fail in clinical trials due to lack of specificity. Zinc in the binding site of metalloproteinases performs essential biological functions and contributes to the binding affinity of inhibitors. The multiple possibilities for coordination geometry and the consequent charge on the zinc atom indicate that parameters developed are not directly transferable across different families of zinc metalloproteinases with different zinc coordination geometries, active sites and ligand architectures which makes it difficult to evaluate metal-ligand interactions. In order to assist in drug design endeavors for MMP targets, a computationally tractable pathway is presented, comprising docking of small molecule inhibitors against the target MMPs, derivation of quantum mechanical charges on the zinc ion in the active site and the amino acids coordinating with zinc including the inhibitor molecule, molecular dynamics simulations on the docked ligand-MMP complexes and evaluation of binding affinities of the ligand-MMP complexes via an accurate scoring function for zinc containing metalloprotein-ligand complexes. The above pathway was applied to study the interaction of inhibitor Batimastat with MMPs, which resulted in a high correlation between the predicted binding free energies and experiment, suggesting the potential applicability of the pathway. We then proceeded to formulate a few design principles which identify the key protein residues for generating molecules with high affinity and specificity against each of the MMPs.

  9. 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

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Nickel Allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Masako; Arakaki, Rieko; Yamada, Akiko; Tsunematsu, Takaaki; Kudo, Yasusei; Ishimaru, Naozumi

    2016-02-02

    Allergic contact hypersensitivity to metals is a delayed-type allergy. Although various metals are known to produce an allergic reaction, nickel is the most frequent cause of metal allergy. Researchers have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of metal allergy using animal models and human patients. Here, the immunological and molecular mechanisms of metal allergy are described based on the findings of previous studies, including those that were recently published. In addition, the adsorption and excretion of various metals, in particular nickel, is discussed to further understand the pathogenesis of metal allergy.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Nickel Allergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Saito

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Allergic contact hypersensitivity to metals is a delayed-type allergy. Although various metals are known to produce an allergic reaction, nickel is the most frequent cause of metal allergy. Researchers have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of metal allergy using animal models and human patients. Here, the immunological and molecular mechanisms of metal allergy are described based on the findings of previous studies, including those that were recently published. In addition, the adsorption and excretion of various metals, in particular nickel, is discussed to further understand the pathogenesis of metal allergy.

  12. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    , 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...

  13. Understanding molecular simulation: from algorithms to applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frenkel, D.; Smit, B.

    2002-01-01

    Second and revised edition Understanding Molecular Simulation: From Algorithms to Applications explains the physics behind the "recipes" of molecular simulation for materials science. Computer simulators are continuously confronted with questions concerning the choice of a particular technique

  14. Understanding molecular simulation from algorithms to applications

    CERN Document Server

    Frenkel, Daan

    2001-01-01

    Understanding Molecular Simulation: From Algorithms to Applications explains the physics behind the ""recipes"" of molecular simulation for materials science. Computer simulators are continuously confronted with questions concerning the choice of a particular technique for a given application. A wide variety of tools exist, so the choice of technique requires a good understanding of the basic principles. More importantly, such understanding may greatly improve the efficiency of a simulation program. The implementation of simulation methods is illustrated in pseudocodes and their practic

  15. Understanding the mechanisms of lung mechanical stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.S.N.B. Garcia

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Physical forces affect both the function and phenotype of cells in the lung. Bronchial, alveolar, and other parenchymal cells, as well as fibroblasts and macrophages, are normally subjected to a variety of passive and active mechanical forces associated with lung inflation and vascular perfusion as a result of the dynamic nature of lung function. These forces include changes in stress (force per unit area or strain (any forced change in length in relation to the initial length and shear stress (the stress component parallel to a given surface. The responses of cells to mechanical forces are the result of the cell's ability to sense and transduce these stimuli into intracellular signaling pathways able to communicate the information to its interior. This review will focus on the modulation of intracellular pathways by lung mechanical forces and the intercellular signaling. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which lung cells transduce physical forces into biochemical and biological signals is of key importance for identifying targets for the treatment and prevention of physical force-related disorders.

  16. 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...

  17. Molecular mechanisms of cryptococcal meningitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tong-Bao; Perlin, David; Xue, Chaoyang

    2012-01-01

    Fungal meningitis is a serious disease caused by a fungal infection of the central nervous system (CNS) mostly in individuals with immune system deficiencies. Fungal meningitis is often fatal without proper treatment, and the mortality rate remains unacceptably high even with antifungal drug interventions. Currently, cryptococcal meningitis is the most common fungal meningitis in HIV-1/AIDS, and its disease mechanism has been extensively studied. The key steps for fungi to infect brain and cause meningitis after establishment of local infection are the dissemination of fungal cells to the bloodstream and invasion through the blood brain barrier to reach the CNS. In this review, we use cryptococcal CNS infection as an example to describe the current molecular understanding of fungal meningitis, including the establishment of the infection, dissemination, and brain invasion. Host and microbial factors that contribute to these infection steps are also discussed. PMID:22460646

  18. 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

  19. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance

    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 ...

  20. 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

  1. Understanding the Catalytic Mechanism and the Nature of the Transition State of an Attractive Drug-Target Enzyme (Shikimate Kinase) by Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Jianzhuang; Wang, Xia; Luo, Haixia; Gu, Pengfei

    2017-11-16

    Shikimate kinase (SK) is the fifth bacterial enzyme involved in the shikimate pathway for biosynthesis of life-indispensable components, such as aromatic amino acids. The absence of the shikimate pathway in humans makes SK an attractive target for the rational design of drugs aimed at pathogenesis bacteria, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Helicobacter pylori. However, an effective inhibitor of SK (e.g., a transition-state analogue) is still not available on the market due, at least in part, to a lack of knowledge on the catalytic mechanism and the nature of the rate-limiting transition state. Herein, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) reaction coordinate, molecular dynamics (MD), and free-energy simulations have been performed to answer these questions. The results presented herein demonstrate that the phosphoryl-transfer process, which is the rate-limiting step of SK-catalyzed phosphorylation of shikimic acid (SKM), is a concerted one-step reaction proceeding through a loose transition state. The computational results agree well with those of experimental studies, specifically NMR results, X-ray crystal structure observation, and activation free-energy barrier. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of light intensity on flavonoid production by RNA-seq analysis in Epimedium pseudowushanense B.L.Guo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junqian Pan

    Full Text Available Epimedium pseudowushanense B.L.Guo, a light-demanding shade herb, is used in traditional medicine to increase libido and strengthen muscles and bones. The recognition of the health benefits of Epimedium has increased its market demand. However, its resource recycling rate is low and environmentally dependent. Furthermore, its natural sources are endangered, further increasing prices. Commercial culture can address resource constraints of it.Understanding the effects of environmental factors on the production of its active components would improve the technology for cultivation and germplasm conservation. Here, we studied the effects of light intensities on the flavonoid production and revealed the molecular mechanism using RNA-seq analysis. Plants were exposed to five levels of light intensity through the periods of germination to flowering, the flavonoid contents were measured using HPLC. Quantification of epimedin A, epimedin B, epimedin C, and icariin showed that the flavonoid contents varied with different light intensity levels. And the largest amount of epimedin C was produced at light intensity level 4 (I4. Next, the leaves under the treatment of three light intensity levels ("L", "M" and "H" with the largest differences in the flavonoid content, were subjected to RNA-seq analysis. Transcriptome reconstruction identified 43,657 unigenes. All unigene sequences were annotated by searching against the Nr, Gene Ontology, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG databases. In total, 4008, 5260, and 3591 significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified between the groups L vs. M, M vs. H and L vs. H. Particularly, twenty-one full-length genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis were identified. The expression levels of the flavonol synthase, chalcone synthase genes were strongly associated with light-induced flavonoid abundance with the highest expression levels found in the H group. Furthermore, 65 transcription factors

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Parturition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Ferré

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available The initial signal for triggering human parturition might be fetal but of trophoblastic origin. Concomitantly, this placental signal would have as its target not only the uterus but also the fetus by activating its hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. The latter would represent a second fetal signal which, at the fetomaternal interface, would amplify and define in time the mechanisms responsible for the onset of labor, implying changes in the myometrial and cervical extracellular matrix associated with the accession of the contractile phenotype for myometrial cells. At each phase of these processes in the utero-feto-placental system, the nature of these signals remains to be identified. Is there a single substance, or rather, and more likely, a combination of several?

  4. Understanding Bohmian mechanics: A dialogue

    OpenAIRE

    Tumulka, Roderich

    2004-01-01

    This paper is an introduction to the ideas of Bohmian mechanics, an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which the observer plays no fundamental role. Bohmian mechanics describes, instead of probabilities of measurement results, objective microscopic events. In recent years, Bohmian mechanics has attracted increasing attention by researchers. The form of a dialogue allows me to address questions about the Bohmian view that often arise.

  5. Molecular dynamics simulation on the interaction mechanism ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Investigation on the microscopic interaction between polymer inhibitors and calcium phosphate contributes to the understanding of their scale inhibition mechanism. The results obtained may provide a theoretical guidance to developing new scale inhibitors. In this study, molecular dynamics simulations have been ...

  6. Molecular mechanisms of rosacea pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davydova A.M.

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The article presents possible molecular mechanisms for rosacea pathogenesis from current domestic and foreign clinical observations and laboratory research: regulation and expression defects of antimicrobial peptides, vascular endothelial growth factor, the effect of serine proteases, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species and ferritin on the occurrence and course of rosacea. New developments in molecular biology and genetics are advanced for researching the interaction of multiple factors involved in rosacea pathogenesis, as well as providing the bases for potentially new therapies.

  7. Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases with Molecular Simulations: Understanding the Roles of Artificial and Pathological Missense Mutations in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Related to Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orkid Coskuner-Weber

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid-β and α-synuclein are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs, which are at the center of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease pathologies, respectively. These IDPs are extremely flexible and do not adopt stable structures. Furthermore, both amyloid-β and α-synuclein can form toxic oligomers, amyloid fibrils and other type of aggregates in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Experimentalists face challenges in investigating the structures and thermodynamic properties of these IDPs in their monomeric and oligomeric forms due to the rapid conformational changes, fast aggregation processes and strong solvent effects. Classical molecular dynamics simulations complement experiments and provide structural information at the atomic level with dynamics without facing the same experimental limitations. Artificial missense mutations are employed experimentally and computationally for providing insights into the structure-function relationships of amyloid-β and α-synuclein in relation to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Furthermore, there are several natural genetic variations that play a role in the pathogenesis of familial cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, which are related to specific genetic defects inherited in dominant or recessive patterns. The present review summarizes the current understanding of monomeric and oligomeric forms of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, as well as the impacts of artificial and pathological missense mutations on the structural ensembles of these IDPs using molecular dynamics simulations. We also emphasize the recent investigations on residual secondary structure formation in dynamic conformational ensembles of amyloid-β and α-synuclein, such as β-structure linked to the oligomerization and fibrillation mechanisms related to the pathologies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This information represents an important foundation for the successful and

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Nickel Allergy

    OpenAIRE

    Saito, Masako; Arakaki, Rieko; Yamada, Akiko; Tsunematsu, Takaaki; Kudo, Yasusei; Ishimaru, Naozumi

    2016-01-01

    Allergic contact hypersensitivity to metals is a delayed-type allergy. Although various metals are known to produce an allergic reaction, nickel is the most frequent cause of metal allergy. Researchers have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of metal allergy using animal models and human patients. Here, the immunological and molecular mechanisms of metal allergy are described based on the findings of previous studies, including those that were recently published. In addition, the adsorptio...

  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 Mechanism of Heterogeneous Catalysis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 13; Issue 6. Molecular Mechanism of Heterogeneous Catalysis - The 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. R S Swathi K L Sebastian. General Article Volume 13 Issue 6 June 2008 pp 548-560 ...

  11. Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maisonneuve, Etienne; Gerdes, Kenn

    2014-01-01

    All bacteria form persisters, cells that are multidrug tolerant and therefore able to survive antibiotic treatment. Due to the low frequencies of persisters in growing bacterial cultures and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms, the phenomenon has been challenging to study. However, recent...

  12. The bitter barricading of prostaglandin biosynthesis pathway: understanding the molecular mechanism of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition by amarogentin, a secoiridoid glycoside from Swertia chirayita.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shantanu Shukla

    Full Text Available Swertia chirayita, a medicinal herb inhabiting the challenging terrains and high altitudes of the Himalayas, is a rich source of essential phytochemical isolates. Amarogentin, a bitter secoiridoid glycoside from S. chirayita, shows varied activity in several patho-physiological conditions, predominantly in leishmaniasis and carcinogenesis. Experimental analysis has revealed that amarogentin downregulates the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2 activity and helps to curtail skin carcinogenesis in mouse models; however, there exists no account on selective inhibition of the inducible cyclooxygenase (COX isoform by amarogentin. Hence the computer-aided drug discovery methods were used to unravel the COX-2 inhibitory mechanism of amarogentin and to check its selectivity for the inducible isoform over the constitutive one. The generated theoretical models of both isoforms were subjected to molecular docking analysis with amarogentin and twenty-one other Food and Drug Authority (FDA approved lead molecules. The post-docking binding energy profile of amarogentin was comparable to the binding energy profiles of the FDA approved selective COX-2 inhibitors. Subsequent molecular dynamics simulation analysis delineated the difference in the stability of both complexes, with amarogentin-COX-2 complex being more stable after 40ns simulation. The total binding free energy calculated by MMGBSA for the amarogentin-COX-2 complex was -52.35 KCal/mol against a binding free energy of -8.57 KCal/mol for amarogentin-COX-1 complex, suggesting a possible selective inhibition of the COX-2 protein by the natural inhibitor. Amarogentin achieves this potential selectivity by small, yet significant, structural differences inherent to the binding cavities of the two isoforms. Hypothetically, it might block the entry of the natural substrates in the hydrophobic binding channel of the COX-2, inhibiting the cyclooxygenation step. To sum up briefly, this work highlights the mechanism of the

  13. Molecular mechanisms of membrane interaction at implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Lien M; Coward, Kevin

    2016-03-01

    Successful pregnancy is dependent upon the implantation of a competent embryo into a receptive endometrium. Despite major advancement in our understanding of reproductive medicine over the last few decades, implantation failure still occurs in both normal pregnancies and those created artificially by assisted reproductive technology (ART). Consequently, there is significant interest in elucidating the etiology of implantation failure. The complex multistep process of implantation begins when the developing embryo first makes contact with the plasma membrane of epithelial cells within the uterine environment. However, although this biological interaction marks the beginning of a fundamental developmental process, our knowledge of the intricate physiological and molecular processes involved remains sparse. In this synopsis, we aim to provide an overview of our current understanding of the morphological changes which occur to the plasma membrane of the uterine endothelium, and the molecular mechanisms that control communication between the early embryo and the endometrium during implantation. A multitude of molecular factors have been implicated in this complex process, including endometrial integrins, extracellular matrix molecules, adhesion molecules, growth factors, and ion channels. We also explore the development of in vitro models for embryo implantation to help researchers investigate mechanisms which may underlie implantation failure. Understanding the precise molecular pathways associated with implantation failure could help us to generate new prognostic/diagnostic biomarkers, and may identify novel therapeutic targets. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Understanding Mechanical Design with Respect to Manufacturability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondell, Skyler

    2010-01-01

    At the NASA Prototype Development Laboratory in Kennedy Space Center, Fl, several projects concerning different areas of mechanical design were undertaken in order to better understand the relationship between mechanical design and manufacturabiIity. The assigned projects pertained specifically to the NASA Space Shuttle, Constellation, and Expendable Launch Vehicle programs. During the work term, mechanical design practices relating to manufacturing processes were learned and utilized in order to obtain an understanding of mechanical design with respect to manufacturability.

  15. Understanding Mechanisms of Radiological Contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rick Demmer; John Drake; Ryan James, PhD

    2014-03-01

    Over the last 50 years, the study of radiological contamination and decontamination has expanded significantly. This paper addresses the mechanisms of radiological contamination that have been reported and then discusses which methods have recently been used during performance testing of several different decontamination technologies. About twenty years ago the Idaho Nuclear Technology Engineering Center (INTEC) at the INL began a search for decontamination processes which could minimize secondary waste. In order to test the effectiveness of these decontamination technologies, a new simulated contamination, termed SIMCON, was developed. SIMCON was designed to replicate the types of contamination found on stainless steel, spent fuel processing equipment. Ten years later, the INL began research into methods for simulating urban contamination resulting from a radiological dispersal device (RDD). This work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and included the initial development an aqueous application of contaminant to substrate. Since 2007, research sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advanced that effort and led to the development of a contamination method that simulates particulate fallout from an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND). The IND method diverges from previous efforts to create tenacious contamination by simulating a reproducible “loose” contamination. Examining these different types of contamination (and subsequent decontamination processes), which have included several different radionuclides and substrates, sheds light on contamination processes that occur throughout the nuclear industry and in the urban environment.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Understanding biochar mechanisms for practical implementation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glaser, Bruno [Halle-Wittenberg Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Agrar- und Ernaehrungeswissenschaften Bodenbiogeochemie; Kammann, Claudia [Arbeitskreis zur Nutzung von Sekundaerrohstoffen und fuer Klimaschutz (ANS) e.V., Braunschweig (Germany). Fachausschuss Biokohle; Hochschule Geisenheim Univ. (Germany). Klimafolgenforschung-Klimawandel in Spezialkulturen; Loewen, Achim (ed.) [Arbeitskreis zur Nutzung von Sekundaerrohstoffen und fuer Klimaschutz (ANS) e.V., Braunschweig (Germany); HAWK Hochschule fuer Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim, Holzminden, Goettingen (Germany). Fachgebiet Nachhaltige Energie- und Umwelttechnik NEUtec

    2015-07-01

    The conference on ''understanding biochar mechanisms for practical implementation'' 2015 at the Geisenheim University aims at understanding biochar mechanism, that are crucial for beneficial and safety biochar technology implementation. Further issues are ecotoxicology, biochar in agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry. Practical issues concern analysis and characterization of technological processes, sustainable uses and certification, regulation and marketing aspects. The Conference is structured in 10 sessions.

  19. Molecular and structural determinants of adamantyl susceptibility to HLA-DRs allelic variants: an in silico approach to understand the mechanism of MLEs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaheer-ul-Haq; Khan, Waqasuddin

    2011-01-01

    Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC II) molecules as expressed by antigen-presenting cells are heterodimeric cell-surface glycoprotein receptors that are fundamental in initiating and propagating an immune response by presenting tumor-associated antigenic peptides to CD4+/TH cells. The loading efficiency of such peptides can be improved by small organic compounds (MHC Loading Enhancers—MLEs), that convert the non-receptive peptide conformation of MHC II to a peptide-receptive conformation. In a reversible reaction, these compounds open up the binding site of MHC II molecules by specific interactions with a yet undefined pocket. Here, we performed molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies of adamantyl compounds on the predicted cavity around the P1 pocket of 2 allelic variants of HLA-DRs. The purpose was to investigate the suitability of adamantyl compounds as MLEs at the dimorphic β86 position. Docking studies revealed that besides numerous molecular interactions formed by the adamantyl compounds, Asnβ82, Tyrβ83, and Thrβ90 are the crucial amino acid residues that are characterized as the "sensors" of peptide loading. Molecular dynamics simulation studies exposed the dynamical structural changes that HLA-DRs adopted as a response to binding of 3-(1-adamantyl)-5-hydrazidocarbonyl-1H-pyrazole (AdCaPy). The conformations of AdCaPy complexed with the Glyβ86 HLA-DR allelic variant are well correlated with the stabilized form of peptide-loaded HLA-DRs, further confirming the role of AdCaPy as a MLE. Hydrogen bonding interaction analysis clearly demonstrated that after making suitable contacts with AdCaPy, HLA-DR changes its local conformation. However, AdCaPy complexed with HLA-DR having Valβ86 at the dimorphic position did not accommodate AdCaPy as MLE due to steric hindrance caused by the valine.

  20. [Molecular mechanism of hereditary spherocytosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogusławska, Dzamila M; Heger, Elzbieta; Sikorski, Aleksander F

    2006-01-01

    Hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is a common inherited anaemia in northern Europe characterized by the presence of spherocytic red cells and by heterogeneous clinical presentation, and heterogeneous molecular basis and inheritance. The primary molecular defects reside in the red blood cell membrane, particularly in proteins involved in the vertical interactions between the membrane skeleton and the lipid bilayer. Defects in these interactions lead to the loss of red cell surface area and to the spheroidal shape of the erythrocyte in particular loss of the membrane elasticity and mechanical stability. Severe HS is often associated with a substantial reduction of, and (or) dysfunction of, the affected membrane protein(s). Hereditary spherocytosis stems from mutations in one of the genes encoding ankyrin-1 (ANKI), alpha spectrin (SPTA1) and beta spectrin (SPTB), the anion exchanger 1 (SLC4A 1), and protein 4.2 (EPB42). Inheritance of HS is usually (75%) autosomal, dominant. Recessive and nondominant cases are mostly found in HS associated with ANK1, SPTA1 and SPTB genes.

  1. Molecular mechanism of sweetness sensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuBois, Grant E

    2016-10-01

    The current understanding of peripheral molecular events involved in sweet taste sensation in humans is reviewed. Included are discussions of the sweetener receptor T1R2/T1R3, its agonists, antagonists, positive allosteric modulators, the transduction of its activation in taste bud cells and the coding of its signaling to the CNS. Areas of incomplete understanding include 1) signal communication with afferent nerve fibers, 2) contrasting concentration/response (C/R) functions for high-potency (HP) sweeteners (hyperbolic) and carbohydrate (CHO) sweeteners (linear), 3) contrasting temporal profiles for HP sweeteners (delayed onset and extinction) and CHO sweeteners (rapid onset and extinction) and 4) contrasting adaptation behaviors for HP sweeteners (moderate to strong adaptation) and CHO sweeteners (low adaptation). Evidence based on the sweet water aftertastes of several novel sweetness inhibitors is presented providing new support for constitutive activity in T1R2/T1R3. And a model is developed to rationalize the linear C/R functions of CHO sweeteners and hyperbolic C/R functions of HP sweeteners, where the former may activate T1R2/T1R3 by both binding and constitutive activity modulation (i.e., without binding) and the latter activate T1R2/T1R3 only by binding. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. Molecular mechanisms of inner ear development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Doris K; Kelley, Matthew W

    2012-08-01

    The inner ear is a structurally complex vertebrate organ built to encode sound, motion, and orientation in space. Given its complexity, it is not surprising that inner ear dysfunction is a relatively common consequence of human genetic mutation. Studies in model organisms suggest that many genes currently known to be associated with human hearing impairment are active during embryogenesis. Hence, the study of inner ear development provides a rich context for understanding the functions of genes implicated in hearing loss. This chapter focuses on molecular mechanisms of inner ear development derived from studies of model organisms.

  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. Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciamak Ghazaei

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species.

  6. Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2018-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species. PMID:29445617

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Cardioprotective Actions of Tanshinones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyou-Ju Jin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Tanshinones are lipophilic compounds derived from Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen that has been widely used to treat coronary heart diseases in China. The cardioprotective actions of tanshinones have been extensively studied in various models of myocardial infarction, cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury, cardiac hypertrophy, atherosclerosis, hypoxia, and cardiomyopathy. This review outlines the recent development in understanding the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in the cardioprotective actions of tanshinones, in particular on mitochondrial apoptosis, calcium, nitric oxide, ROS, TNF-α, PKC, PI3K/Akt, IKK/NF-κB, and TGF-β1/Smad mechanisms, which highlights the potential of these compounds as therapeutic agents for treating cardiovascular diseases.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular mechanism of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases

    OpenAIRE

    Hedegård, Erik D.; Ryde, Ulf

    2018-01-01

    The lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are copper metalloenzymes that can enhance polysaccharide depolymerization through an oxidative mechanism and hence boost generation of biofuel from e.g. cellulose. By employing density functional theory in a combination of quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM), we report the complete description of the molecular mechanism of LPMOs. The QM/MM scheme allows us to describe all reaction steps with a detailed protein environment and we s...

  12. Molecular mechanisms involved in taste learning and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Molero-Chamizo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Taste learning, and particularly conditioned taste aversion (CTA, is an adaptive learning involving complex brain mechanisms and molecular pathways. Taste learning and CTA are critical behaviors for survival, and the knowledge of the molecular bases involved in the acquisition, retention and extinction of CTA can help to understand the brain mechanisms of normal and altered taste learning. The aim of this review is to describe recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of taste learning, from the genetic, receptors, and intracellular and extracellular signaling biological levels. We can conclude that some molecular pathways and processes for the acquisition of taste learning and the formation of taste memories are well identified. However, new molecular, neurobiological and behavioral studies are needed to thoroughly elucidate the complexity of the taste system and the neural mechanisms of CTA.

  13. 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.

  14. Diabetic Nephropathy: Perspective on Novel Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnudi, Luigi; Coward, Richard J M; Long, David A

    2016-11-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) globally, and novel treatments are urgently needed. Current therapeutic approaches for diabetic nephropathy (DN) are focussing on blood pressure control with inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, on glycaemic and lipid control, and life-style changes. In this review, we highlight new molecular insights aiding our understanding of the initiation and progression of DN, including glomerular insulin resistance, dysregulation of cellular substrate utilisation, podocyte-endothelial communication, and inhibition of tubular sodium coupled glucose reabsorption. We believe that these mechanisms offer new therapeutic targets that can be exploited to develop important renoprotective treatments for DN over the next decade. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Dissociation mechanisms of photoexcited molecular ions

    CERN Document Server

    Inglis, L C

    2003-01-01

    Photoionisation of gas phase molecules, in the energy range 8 - 40 eV, and the subsequent dissociation mechanisms have been investigated using threshold photoelectron spectroscopy and ion time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The excitation source used was monochromatic radiation, delivered by station 3.2 at the Daresbury Laboratory Synchrotron Radiation Source. These two techniques have also been combined in threshold photoelectron-photoion coincidence experiments, in order to record coincidence time-of-flight mass spectra and thereby determine breakdown curves. Such curves display the ion fragmentation as a function of internal energy. In addition, computer modelling techniques have been employed to gain some understanding of the unimolecular dissociations of energy selected molecular ions by establishing theoretical breakdown graphs, appearance energies, fragmentation pathways and dissociation rates. Ab initio quantum chemistry calculations have been carried out, generating ionisation and appearance energies, ...

  16. 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, ...

  17. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2011-03-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is especially challenging, in part due to the abstract nature of the subject. We have been conducting investigations of the difficulties that students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) as well as tools for peer-instruction. The goal of QuILTs and peer-instruction tools is to actively engage students in the learning process and to help them build links between the formalism and the conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They focus on helping students integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding, confront and resolve their misconceptions and difficulties, and discriminate between concepts that are often confused. In this talk, I will give examples from my research in physics education of how students' prior knowledge relevant for quantum mechanics can be assessed, and how learning tools can be designed to help students develop a robust knowledge structure and critical thinking skills. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  18. Molecular understanding of curcumin in diabetic nephropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soetikno, Vivian; Suzuki, Kenji; Veeraveedu, Punniyakoti T; Arumugam, Somasundaram; Lakshmanan, Arun P; Sone, Hirohito; Watanabe, Kenichi

    2013-08-01

    Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by a plethora of signaling abnormalities. Recent trials have suggested that intensive glucose-lowering treatment leads to hypoglycemic events, which can be dangerous. Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, which has been widely used in many countries for centuries to treat numerous diseases. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we highlight the renoprotective role of curcumin in diabetes mellitus (DM) with an emphasis on the molecular basis of this effect. We also briefly discuss the numerous approaches that have been undertaken to improve the pharmacokinetics of curcumin. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 understood. In two recentstudies, our group investigated the physiological and molecular aspects of endosulfan ...

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Progression

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Shawn E; Elmore, Lynne W

    2005-01-01

    In studies to define the mechanisms involved in the progression of immortal, non-tumorigenic prostate cells to a tumorigenic state, we have found that molecular chaperones are elevated, which causes...

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Progression

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Shawn

    2004-01-01

    In studios to define the mechanisms involved in the progression of immortal non tumorigenic prostate cells to a tumorigenic state, we have found that molecular chaperones are elevated along with telomerase activity...

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Progression

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Shawn

    2003-01-01

    In studies to define the mechanisms involved in the progression of immortal, non-tumorigenic prostate cells to a tumorigenic state, we have found that molecular chaperones are elevated along with telomerase activity...

  4. Molecular mechanisms of oxygen activation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hayaishi, Osamu

    1974-01-01

    ... OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPY, RECORDING, OR ANY INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER. ACADEMIC PRESS, INC. I l l Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10003 United Kingdom ACADEMIC Edition PRESS, publis...

  5. Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic interventions in sarcopenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Sup Park

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of muscle mass and function with aging. Recently sarcopenia was recognized as a clinical disease by the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision, Clinical Modification. An imbalance between protein synthesis and degradation causes a gradual loss of muscle mass, resulting in a decline of muscle function as a progress of sarcopenia. Many mechanisms involved in the onset of sarcopenia include age-related factors as well as activity-, disease-, and nutrition-related factors. The stage of sarcopenia reflecting the severity of conditions assists clinical management of sarcopenia. It is important that systemic descriptions of the disease conditions include age, sex, and other environmental risk factors as well as levels of physical function. To develop a new therapeutic intervention needed is the detailed understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which apoptosis, autophagy, atrophy, and hypertrophy occur in the muscle stem cells, myotubes, and/or neuromuscular junction. The new strategy to managing sarcopenia will be signal-modulating small molecules, natural compounds, repurposing of old drugs, and muscle-specific microRNAs.

  6. Molecular Technique to Understand Deep Microbial Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.

    2012-01-01

    Current sequencing-based and DNA microarray techniques to study microbial diversity are based on an initial PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification step. However, a number of factors are known to bias PCR amplification and jeopardize the true representation of bacterial diversity. PCR amplification of the minor template appears to be suppressed by the exponential amplification of the more abundant template. It is widely acknowledged among environmental molecular microbiologists that genetic biosignatures identified from an environment only represent the most dominant populations. The technological bottleneck has overlooked the presence of the less abundant minority population, and underestimated their role in the ecosystem maintenance. To generate PCR amplicons for subsequent diversity analysis, bacterial l6S rRNA genes are amplified by PCR using universal primers. Two distinct PCR regimes are employed in parallel: one using normal and the other using biotinlabeled universal primers. PCR products obtained with biotin-labeled primers are mixed with streptavidin-labeled magnetic beads and selectively captured in the presence of a magnetic field. Less-abundant DNA templates that fail to amplify in this first round of PCR amplification are subjected to a second round of PCR using normal universal primers. These PCR products are then subjected to downstream diversity analyses such as conventional cloning and sequencing. A second round of PCR amplified the minority population and completed the deep diversity picture of the environmental sample.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of cryptococcal meningitis

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Tong-Bao; Perlin, David; Xue, Chaoyang

    2012-01-01

    Fungal meningitis is a serious disease caused by a fungal infection of the central nervous system (CNS) mostly in individuals with immune system deficiencies. Fungal meningitis is often fatal without proper treatment, and the mortality rate remains unacceptably high even with antifungal drug interventions. Currently, cryptococcal meningitis is the most common fungal meningitis in HIV-1/AIDS, and its disease mechanism has been extensively studied. The key steps for fungi to infect brain and ca...

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Accelerated orthodontic tooth movement: molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hechang; Williams, Ray C; Kyrkanides, Stephanos

    2014-11-01

    Accelerating orthodontic tooth movement can significantly reduce treatment duration and risks of side effects. The rate of orthodontic tooth movement is chiefly determined by the remodeling of tissues surrounding the roots; this in turn is under the control of molecular mechanisms regulating cellular behaviors in the alveolar bone and periodontal ligament. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying accelerated orthodontic tooth movement, and the clinical and experimental methods that accelerate orthodontic tooth movement with possible molecular mechanisms. The review also shows directions for future studies to develop more clinically applicable methods to accelerate orthodontic tooth movement. Copyright © 2014 American Association of Orthodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. The molecular mechanism of cholestatic pruritus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oude Elferink, Ronald P. J.; Kremer, Andreas E.; Martens, Job J. W. W.; Beuers, Ulrich H.

    2011-01-01

    Pruritus is a frequent symptom in patients with cholestatic liver diseases. Pruritus can be excruciating and, in rare cases, become a primary indication for liver transplantation. The molecular mechanism of itch signal transduction is largely unclear. It was our hypothesis that compounds which

  16. [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.

  17. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...... are useful for understanding drug metabolism....

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding molecular interactions between scavenger receptor A and its natural product inhibitors through molecular modeling studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagare, Piyusha P; Zaidi, Saheem A; Zhang, Xiaomei; Li, Xia; Yu, Xiaofei; Wang, Xiang-Yang; Zhang, Yan

    2017-10-01

    Scavenger receptor A (SRA), as an immune regulator, has been shown to play important roles in lipid metabolism, cardiovascular diseases, and pathogen recognition. Several natural product inhibitors of SRA have been studied for their potential application in modulating SRA functions. To understand the binding mode of these inhibitors on SRA, we conducted systematic molecular modeling studies in order to identify putative binding domain(s) that may be responsible for their recognition to the receptor as well as their inhibitory activity. Treatment of SRA with one of the natural product inhibitors, rhein, led to significant dissociation of SRA oligomers to its trimer and dimer forms, which further supported our hypothesis on their putative mechanism of action. Such information is believed to shed light on design of more potent inhibitors for the receptor in order to develop potential therapeutics through immune system modulation. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The epidemiology of supernumerary teeth and the associated molecular mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xi; Yu, Fang; Liu, Junjun; Cai, Wenping; Zhao, Yumei; Zhao, Shouliang; Liu, Shangfeng

    2017-07-03

    Supernumerary teeth are common clinical dental anomalies. Although various studies have provided abundant information regarding genes and signaling pathways involved in tooth morphogenesis, which include Wnt, FGF, BMP, and Shh, the molecular mechanism of tooth formation, especially for supernumerary teeth, is still unclear. In the population, some cases of supernumerary teeth are sporadic, while others are syndrome-related with familial hereditary. The prompt and accurate diagnosis of syndrome related supernumerary teeth is quite important for some distinctive disorders. Mice are the most commonly used model system for investigating supernumerary teeth. The upregulation of Wnt and Shh signaling in the dental epithelium results in the formation of multiple supernumerary teeth in mice. Understanding the molecular mechanism of supernumerary teeth is also a component of understanding tooth formation in general and provides clinical guidance for early diagnosis and treatment in the future.

  3. Understanding Kinetic Energy paradox in Quantum Mechanics

    OpenAIRE

    Kornyushin, Yuri

    2008-01-01

    A concept of Kinetic Energy in Quantum Mechanics is analyzed. Kinetic Energy is not zero in many cases where there are no motion and flux. This paradox can be understood, using expansion of the wave function in Fourier integral, that is on the basis of virtual plane waves.

  4. Understanding Neurological Disease Mechanisms in the Era of Epigenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    The burgeoning field of epigenetics is making a significant impact on our understanding of brain evolution, development, and function. In fact, it is now clear that epigenetic mechanisms promote seminal neurobiological processes, ranging from neural stem cell maintenance and differentiation to learning and memory. At the molecular level, epigenetic mechanisms regulate the structure and activity of the genome in response to intracellular and environmental cues, including the deployment of cell type–specific gene networks and those underlying synaptic plasticity. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of epigenetic factors can, in turn, induce remarkable changes in neural cell identity and cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Not surprisingly, it is also becoming apparent that epigenetics is intimately involved in neurological disease pathogenesis. Herein, we highlight emerging paradigms for linking epigenetic machinery and processes with neurological disease states, including how (1) mutations in genes encoding epigenetic factors cause disease, (2) genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors modify disease risk, (3) abnormalities in epigenetic factor expression, localization, or function are involved in disease pathophysiology, (4) epigenetic mechanisms regulate disease-associated genomic loci, gene products, and cellular pathways, and (5) differential epigenetic profiles are present in patient-derived central and peripheral tissues. PMID:23571666

  5. 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.

  6. Perioperative Pain: Molecular Mechanisms and Future Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Talebi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Acute perioperative pain is seen in more than 80% of patients undergoing surgery, with almost 75% of them experiencing moderate, severe, or extreme pain; adequate postoperative pain management is not achieved in a satisfactory manner. This styudy was desined ana performed to assess the molecular mechanisms of acute pain management in order to find novel future perspectives.Materials and Methods: In this narrative review, molecular mechanisms of currently available pain controlling agents were assessed based on 3 steps: preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative phases. Drugs used in each phase and potential novel agents were assessed separately.Results: many currently available clinical agents were discussed and meanwhile, other potential drugs that could be among the future choices are discussed.Conclusion: cellular and molecular medicine could open new windows in order to discover novel agents for management of pain; we will have possibly many new agents that will be available in future while they will be different from currently used clinical pain killers.

  7. Understanding ion association states and molecular dynamics using infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masser, Hanqing

    A molecular level understanding of the ion transport mechanism within polymer electrolytes is crucial to the further development for advanced energy storage applications. This can be achieved by the identification and quantitative measurement of different ion species in the system and further relating them to the ion conductivity. In the first part of this thesis, research is presented towards understanding the ion association states (free ions, ion pairs and ion aggregates) in ionomer systems, and the correlation of ion association states, ion conduction, polymer dynamics, and morphology. Ion conductivity in ionomers can be improved by lowering glass transition temperature, increasing polymer ion solvation ability, and adjusting ionomer structural variables such as ion content, cation type and side chain structure. These effects are studied in three ionomer systems respectively, using a combination of characterization methods. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) identifies and quantifies the ion association states. Dielectric Spectroscopy (DRS) characterizes ion conductivity and polymer and ion dynamics. X-ray scattering reveals changes in morphology. The influence of a cation solvating plasticizer on a polyester ionomer is systematically investigated with respect to ion association states, ion and polymer dynamics and morphology. A decrease in the number ratio of ion aggregates with increased plasticizer content and a slight increase at elevated temperature are observed in FTIR. Similar results are also detected by X-ray scattering. As determined from dielectric spectroscopy, ion conductivity increases with plasticizer content, in accordance with the decrease in glass transition temperature. Research on copolymer of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and poly(tetramethylene oxide) (PTMO) based ionomers further develops an understanding of the trade-off between ion solvation and segmental dynamics. Upon the incorporation of PTMO, the majority of the PTMO

  8. Molecular mechanics conformational analysis of tylosin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Petko M.

    1998-01-01

    The conformations of the 16-membered macrolide antibiotic tylosin were studied with molecular mechanics (AMBER∗ force field) including modelling of the effect of the solvent on the conformational preferences (GB/SA). A Monte Carlo conformational search procedure was used for finding the most probable low-energy conformations. The present study provides complementary data to recently reported analysis of the conformations of tylosin based on NMR techniques. A search for the low-energy conformations of protynolide, a 16-membered lactone containing the same aglycone as tylosin, was also carried out, and the results were compared with the observed conformation in the crystal as well as with the most probable conformations of the macrocyclic ring of tylosin. The dependence of the results on force field was also studied by utilizing the MM3 force field. Some particular conformations were computed with the semiempirical molecular orbital methods AM1 and PM3.

  9. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K.E.; Kuhl, E.

    2016-01-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena–both in isolation and in interaction–to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions. PMID:28603326

  10. Immobilized enzymes: understanding enzyme - surface interactions at the molecular level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoarau, Marie; Badieyan, Somayesadat; Marsh, E Neil G

    2017-11-22

    Enzymes immobilized on solid supports have important and industrial and medical applications. However, their uses are limited by the significant reductions in activity and stability that often accompany the immobilization process. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular level interactions between proteins and supporting surfaces that contribute to changes in stability and activity. This understanding has been facilitated by the application of various surface-sensitive spectroscopic techniques that allow the structure and orientation of enzymes at the solid/liquid interface to be probed, often with monolayer sensitivity. An appreciation of the molecular interactions between enzyme and surface support has allowed the surface chemistry and method of enzyme attachement to be fine-tuned such that activity and stability can be greatly enhanced. These advances suggest that a much wider variety of enzymes may eventually be amenable to immobilization as green catalysts.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of robustness in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lempe, Janne; Lachowiec, Jennifer; Sullivan, Alessandra M; Queitsch, Christine

    2013-02-01

    Robustness, the ability of organisms to buffer phenotypes against perturbations, has drawn renewed interest among developmental biologists and geneticists. A growing body of research supports an important role of robustness in the genotype to phenotype translation, with far-reaching implications for evolutionary processes and disease susceptibility. Similar to animals and fungi, plant robustness is a function of genetic network architecture. Most perturbations are buffered; however, perturbation of network hubs destabilizes many traits. Here, we review recent advances in identifying molecular robustness mechanisms in plants that have been enabled by a combination of classical genetics and population genetics with genome-scale data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Molecular and regulatory mechanisms controlling floral organ development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Darragh; Graciet, Emmanuelle; Wellmer, Frank

    2016-05-01

    The genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie the formation of angiosperm flowers have been studied extensively for nearly three decades. This work has led to detailed insights into the gene regulatory networks that control this vital developmental process in plants. Here, we review some of the key findings in the field of flower development and discuss open questions that must be addressed in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of flower formation. In particular, we focus on the specification of the different types of floral organs and on how the morphogenesis of these organs is controlled to give rise to mature flowers. Central to this process are the floral organ identity genes, which encode members of the family of MADS-domain transcription factors. We summarize what is currently known about the functions of these master regulators and discuss a working model for the molecular mechanism that may underlie their activities. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of antidepressant action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    A long-standing theory is that brain monoamine signalling is critically involved in the mechanisms of antidepressant drug treatment. Theories on the nature of these mechanisms commenced with ideas developed in the 1960s that the drugs act simply by increasing monoamine availability in the synapse. However, this thinking has advanced remarkably in the last decade to concepts which position that antidepressant drug action on monoamine signalling is just the starting point for a complex sequence of neuroadaptive molecular and cellular changes that bring about the therapeutic effect. These changes include activation of one or more programmes of gene expression that leads to the strengthening of synaptic efficacy and connectivity, and even switching neural networks into a more immature developmental state. It is thought that through this increase in plasticity, key neural circuits within the limbic system are more easily remodelled by incoming emotionally relevant stimuli. This article attempts to bring together previous and current knowledge of antidepressant drug action on monoamine signalling at molecular and cellular levels, and introduces current thinking that these changes interact with neuropsychological processes ultimately to elevate mood.

  19. Molecular inhibitory mechanism of tricin on tyrosinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Yan; Li, Lin; Hu, Song-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Tricin was evaluated as a type of tyrosinase inhibitor with good efficacy compared to arbutin. Tricin functioned as a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase, with an equilibrium constant of 2.30 mmol/L. The molecular mechanisms underlying the inhibition of tyrosinase by tricin were investigated by means of circular dichroism spectra, fluorescence quenching and molecular docking. These assays demonstrated that the interactions between tricin and tyrosinase did not change the secondary structure. The interaction of tricin with residues in the hydrophobic pocket of tyrosinase was revealed by fluorescence quenching; the complex was stabilized by hydrophobic associations and hydrogen bonding (with residues Asn80 and Arg267). Docking results implied that the possible inhibitory mechanisms may be attributed to the stereospecific blockade effects of tricin on substrates or products and flexible conformation alterations in the tyrosinase active center caused by weak interactions between tyrosinase and tricin. The application of this type of flavonoid as a tyrosinase inhibitor will lead to significant advances in the field of depigmentation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Malignant Catarrhal Fever: Understanding Molecular Diagnostics in Context of Epidemiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Li

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF is a frequently fatal disease, primarily of ruminants, caused by a group of gammaherpesviruses. Due to complexities of pathogenesis and epidemiology in various species, which are either clinically-susceptible or reservoir hosts, veterinary clinicians face significant challenges in laboratory diagnostics. The recent development of specific assays for viral DNA and antibodies has expanded and improved the inventory of laboratory tests and opened new opportunities for use of MCF diagnostics. Issues related to understanding and implementing appropriate assays for specific diagnostic needs must be addressed in order to take advantage of molecular diagnostics in the laboratory.

  3. Cardiac channelopathies: genetic and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abriel, Hugues; Zaklyazminskaya, Elena V

    2013-03-15

    Channelopathies are diseases caused by dysfunctional ion channels, due to either genetic or acquired pathological factors. Inherited cardiac arrhythmic syndromes are among the most studied human disorders involving ion channels. Since seminal observations made in 1995, thousands of mutations have been found in many of the different genes that code for cardiac ion channel subunits and proteins that regulate the cardiac ion channels. The main phenotypes observed in patients carrying these mutations are congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), Brugada syndrome (BrS), catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), short QT syndrome (SQTS) and variable types of conduction defects (CD). The goal of this review is to present an update of the main genetic and molecular mechanisms, as well as the associated phenotypes of cardiac channelopathies as of 2012. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular mechanics calculations on muscarinic agonists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooijman, Huub; Kanters, Jan A.; Kroon, Jan

    1990-10-01

    Molecular mechanics calculations have been performed on the conformation freedom with respect to the torsion angles OCCN and COCC of acetylcholine, α( R-methylacetylcholine,β( S)-methylacetylcholine, α( R),β( S)-diemthylacetylcholine and muscarine, in order to obtain information about the active conformation and its interaction with the muscarinic cholinergic receptor. Muscarine has a rather flexible ring system, which makes modelling of the receptor site on the active conformation of this particular ligand a difficult problem. A common minimum for these compounds was found at {+ gauche,anti}), which is identified with the active conformation. However, OCCN angles of up to 120° can be accommodated in the receptor site. The reduced cholinergic activity of the α-methyl derivatives is probably caused by unfavourable interactions between the α-methyl group and the receptor site. The apparent contradictory high activity of the 2-acetyloxycyclopropylammonium ion can be explained by the distorted geometry of α substitution.

  6. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of heterotopic ossification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Diana M; Ramirez, Melissa R; Reginato, Anthony M; Medici, Damian

    2014-10-01

    Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a debilitating condition in which cartilage and bone forms in soft tissues such as muscle, tendon, and ligament causing immobility. This process is induced by inflammation associated with traumatic injury. In an extremely rare genetic disorder called fibrodysplasia ossificans progessiva (FOP), a combination of inflammation associated with minor soft tissue injuries and a hereditary genetic mutation causes massive HO that progressively worsens throughout the patients' lifetime leading to the formation of an ectopic skeleton. An activating mutation in the BMP type I receptor ALK2 has been shown to contribute to the heterotopic lesions in FOP patients, yet recent studies have shown that other events are required to stimulate HO including activation of sensory neurons, mast cell degranulation, lymphocyte infiltration, skeletal myocyte cell death, and endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). In this review, we discuss the recent evidence and mechanistic data that describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms that give rise to heterotopic bone.

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of spatial protein quality control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberti, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Evidence is now accumulating that damaged proteins are not randomly distributed but often concentrated in microscopically visible and functionally distinct inclusion bodies. How misfolded proteins are organized into these compartments, however, is still unknown. We have recently begun to investigate stress-inducible protein quality control (PQC) bodies in yeast cells. Surprisingly, we found that protein misfolding and aggregation were not sufficient to trigger body formation under mild heat stress conditions. Rather, compartment assembly also required the concerted action of molecular chaperones, protein-sorting factors and protein-sequestration factors, thus defining a minimal machinery for spatial PQC. Expression of this machinery was limited to times of acute stress through rapid changes in mRNA abundance and a proteasomal feedback mechanism. These findings demonstrate that yeast cells can control the amount of soluble misfolded proteins through regulated phase transitions in the cytoplasm, thus allowing them to rapidly adapt to changing environmental conditions.

  9. Plant regeneration: cellular origins and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeuchi, Momoko; Ogawa, Yoichi; Iwase, Akira; Sugimoto, Keiko

    2016-05-01

    Compared with animals, plants generally possess a high degree of developmental plasticity and display various types of tissue or organ regeneration. This regenerative capacity can be enhanced by exogenously supplied plant hormones in vitro, wherein the balance between auxin and cytokinin determines the developmental fate of regenerating organs. Accumulating evidence suggests that some forms of plant regeneration involve reprogramming of differentiated somatic cells, whereas others are induced through the activation of relatively undifferentiated cells in somatic tissues. We summarize the current understanding of how plants control various types of regeneration and discuss how developmental and environmental constraints influence these regulatory mechanisms. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27354763

  12. [Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance: An Update].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Rodelo, Citlaly; Roura-Guiberna, Adriana; Olivares-Reyes, Jesús Alberto

    The biological actions of insulin are initiated by activating its membrane receptor, which triggers multiple signaling pathways to mediate their biological actions. Due to the importance of metabolic regulation and promoting functions of cell growth and proliferation, insulin actions are highly regulated to promote proper metabolic functioning and energy balance. If these mechanisms are altered, this can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance, which is the consequence of a deficient insulin signaling caused by mutations or post-translational modifications of the receptor or effector molecules located downstream. Insulin resistance is one of the main characteristics of pathological manifestations associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, one of the leading causes of death in Mexico and worldwide. In recent years, it has been found that conditions such as inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction promote insulin resistance. The aim of this review is to elucidate the molecular aspects of insulin resistance and the mechanisms involved in regulating its effects, with particular emphasis on the role of inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

  13. Advanced understanding on electronic structure of molecular semiconductors and their interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akaike, Kouki

    2018-03-01

    Understanding the electronic structure of organic semiconductors and their interfaces is critical to optimizing functionalities for electronics applications, by rational chemical design and appropriate combination of device constituents. The unique electronic structure of a molecular solid is characterized as (i) anisotropic electrostatic fields that originate from molecular quadrupoles, (ii) interfacial energy-level lineup governed by simple electrostatics, and (iii) weak intermolecular interactions that make not only structural order but also energy distributions of the frontier orbitals sensitive to atmosphere and interface growth. This article shows an overview on these features with reference to the improved understanding of the orientation-dependent electronic structure, comprehensive mechanisms of molecular doping, and energy-level alignment. Furthermore, the engineering of ionization energy by the control of the electrostatic fields and work function of practical electrodes by contact-induced doping is briefly described for the purpose of highlighting how the electronic structure impacts the performance of organic devices.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of secondary sexual trait development in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Anupama; Monteiro, Antónia

    2016-10-01

    Secondary sexual traits are those traits other than the primary gametes that distinguish the sexes of a species. The development of secondary sexual traits occurs when sexually dimorphic factors, that is, molecules differentially produced by primary sex determination systems in males and females, are integrated into the gene regulatory networks responsible for sexual trait development. In insects, these molecular asymmetric factors were always considered to originate inside the trait-building cells, but recent work points to external factors, such as hormones, as potential candidates mediating secondary sexual trait development. Here, we review examples of the different molecular mechanisms producing sexually dimorphic traits in insects, and suggest a need to revise our understanding of secondary sexual trait development within the insect lineage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The molecular mechanism for nuclear transport and its application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yun Hak; Han, Myoung-Eun; Oh, Sae-Ock

    2017-06-01

    Transportation between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm is critical for many physiological and pathophysiological processes including gene expression, signal transduction, and oncogenesis. So, the molecular mechanism for the transportation needs to be studied not only to understand cell physiological processes but also to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Recent progress in the research of the nuclear transportation (import and export) via nuclear pore complex and four important factors affecting nuclear transport (nucleoporins, Ran, karyopherins, and nuclear localization signals/nuclear export signals) will be discussed. Moreover, the clinical significance of nuclear transport and its application will be reviewed. This review will provide some critical insight for the molecular design of therapeutics which need to be targeted inside the nucleus.

  18. The challenges of understanding glycolipid functions: An open outlook based on molecular simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manna, M.; Rog, T.; Vattulainen, I.

    2014-01-01

    and molecular simulations can be used to shed light on the role of glycolipids in membrane structure and dynamics, receptor function, and other phenomena related to emergence of diseases such as Parkinson's. The cases we discuss highlight the challenge to understand how glycolipids function in cell membranes......Glycolipids are the most complex lipid type in cell membranes, characterized by a great diversity of different structures and functions. The underlying atomistic/molecular interactions and mechanisms associated with these functions are not well understood. Here we discuss how atomistic...

  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. The MM2QM tool for combining docking, molecular dynamics, molecular mechanics, and quantum mechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowosielski, Marcin; Hoffmann, Marcin; Kuron, Aneta; Korycka-Machala, Malgorzata; Dziadek, Jaroslaw

    2013-04-05

    The use of the MM2QM tool in a combined docking + molecular dynamics (MD) + molecular mechanics (MM) + quantum mechanical (QM) binding affinity prediction study is presented, and the tool itself is discussed. The system of interest is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) pantothenate synthetase in complexes with three highly similar sulfonamide inhibitors, for which crystal structures are available. Starting from the structure of MTB pantothenate synthetase in the "open" conformation and following the combined docking + MD + MM + QM procedure, we were able to capture the closing of the enzyme binding pocket and to reproduce the position of the ligands with an average root mean square deviation of 1.6 Å. Protein-ligand interaction energies were reproduced with an average error lower than 10%. The discussion on the MD part and a protein flexibility importance is carried out. The presented approach may be useful especially for finding analog inhibitors or improving drug candidates. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of Escherichia coli pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croxen, Matthew A; Finlay, B Brett

    2010-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a remarkable and diverse organism. This normally harmless commensal needs only to acquire a combination of mobile genetic elements to become a highly adapted pathogen capable of causing a range of diseases, from gastroenteritis to extraintestinal infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and central nervous system. The worldwide burden of these diseases is staggering, with hundreds of millions of people affected annually. Eight E. coli pathovars have been well characterized, and each uses a large arsenal of virulence factors to subvert host cellular functions to potentiate its virulence. In this Review, we focus on the recent advances in our understanding of the different pathogenic mechanisms that are used by various E. coli pathovars and how they cause disease in humans.

  2. Anemia: Progress in molecular mechanisms and therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankaran, Vijay G.; Weiss, Mitchell J.

    2015-01-01

    Anemia is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Here we review recent insights into how red blood cells (RBCs) are produced, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying various forms of anemia, and novel therapies derived from these findings. It is likely that these new insights, mainly arising from basic scientific studies, will contribute immensely to understanding frequently debilitating forms of anemia and the ability to treat affected patients. Major worldwide diseases that may stand to benefit from the new advances include the hemoglobinopathies (β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease), rare genetic disorders of red blood cell production, and anemias associated with chronic kidney disease, inflammation, and cancer. Promising new treatment approaches include drugs that target recently defined pathways in red blood cell production, iron metabolism, and fetal globin gene expression, as well as gene therapies using improved viral vectors and newly developed genome editing technologies. PMID:25742458

  3. Anemia: progress in molecular mechanisms and therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankaran, Vijay G; Weiss, Mitchell J

    2015-03-01

    Anemia is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Here we review recent insights into how red blood cells (RBCs) are produced, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying various forms of anemia, and novel therapies derived from these findings. It is likely that these new insights, mainly arising from basic scientific studies, will contribute immensely to both the understanding of frequently debilitating forms of anemia and the ability to treat affected patients. Major worldwide diseases that are likely to benefit from new advances include the hemoglobinopathies (β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease); rare genetic disorders of RBC production; and anemias associated with chronic kidney disease, inflammation, and cancer. Promising new approaches to treatment include drugs that target recently defined pathways in RBC production, iron metabolism, and fetal globin-family gene expression, as well as gene therapies that use improved viral vectors and newly developed genome editing technologies.

  4. Understanding the biological mechanisms of Zika virus disease ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    This project will use advanced biomolecular, genomics and proteomics techniques to explain the molecular mechanisms by which the Zika virus infects and persists in the human body, how it affects the human reproductive and central nervous system, and how the risk of fetal abnormalities can be better predicted in infected ...

  5. The mechanics-modulated tunneling spectrum and low-pass effect of viscoelastic molecular monolayer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yun; Zhang, Xiaoyue; Shao, Jian; Yu, Jing; Wang, Biao; Zheng, Yue

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the force-induced conductance fluctuation in molecules is essential for building molecular devices with high stability. While stiffness of molecule is usually considered to be desirable for stable conductance, we demonstrate mechanical dragging in viscoelastic molecules integrates both noise resistance and mechanical controllability to molecular conductance. Via conductive atomic force microscope measurement and theoretical modeling, it's found that viscoelastic Azurin monolayer has spectrum-like pattern of conductance corresponding to the duration and strength of applied mechanical pulse under low-frequency excitation. Conductance fluctuation is prevented under high-frequency excitation by dragging dissipation, which qualifies molecular junction with electric robustness against mechanical noise.

  6. Decomposition of Amino Diazeniumdiolates (NONOates): Molecular Mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shaikh, Nizamuddin; Valiev, Marat; Lymar, Sergei V.

    2014-08-23

    Although diazeniumdiolates (X[N(O)NO]-) are extensively used in biochemical, physiological, and pharmacological studies due to their ability to slowly release NO and/or its congeneric nitroxyl, the mechanisms of these processes remain obscure. In this work, we used a combination of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational techniques to arrive at a qualitatively consistent molecular mechanism for decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (amino NONOates: R2N[N(O)NO]-, where R = -N(C2H5)2 (1), -N(C3H4NH2)2 (2), or -N(C2H4NH2)2 (3)). Decomposition of these NONOates is triggered by protonation of their [NN(O)NO]- group with apparent pKa and decomposition rate constants of 4.6 and 1 s-1 for 1-H, 3.5 and 83 x 10-3 s-1 for 2-H, and 3.8 and 3.3 x 10-3 s-1 for 3-H. Although protonation occurs mainly on the O atoms of the functional group, only the minor R2N(H)N(O)NO tautomer (population ~0.01%, for 1) undergoes the N-N heterolytic bond cleavage (k ~102 s-1 for 1) leading to amine and NO. Decompositions of protonated amino NONOates are strongly temperature-dependent; activation enthalpies are 20.4 and 19.4 kcal/mol for 1 and 2, respectively, which includes contributions from both the tautomerization and bond cleavage. The bond cleavage rates exhibit exceptional sensitivity to the nature of R substituents which strongly modulate activation entropy. At pH < 2, decompositions of all these NONOates are subject to additional acid catalysis that occurs through di-protonation of the [NN(O)NO]- group.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Proteoglycans remodeling in cancer: Underlying molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theocharis, Achilleas D; Karamanos, Nikos K

    2017-11-08

    Extracellular matrix is a highly dynamic macromolecular network. Proteoglycans are major components of extracellular matrix playing key roles in its structural organization and cell signaling contributing to the control of numerous normal and pathological processes. As multifunctional molecules, proteoglycans participate in various cell functions during morphogenesis, wound healing, inflammation and tumorigenesis. Their interactions with matrix effectors, cell surface receptors and enzymes enable them with unique properties. In malignancy, extensive remodeling of tumor stroma is associated with marked alterations in proteoglycans' expression and structural variability. Proteoglycans exert diverse functions in tumor stroma in a cell-specific and context-specific manner and they mainly contribute to the formation of a permissive provisional matrix for tumor growth affecting tissue organization, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and tumor cell signaling. Proteoglycans also modulate cancer cell phenotype and properties, the development of drug resistance and tumor stroma angiogenesis. This review summarizes the proteoglycans remodeling and their novel biological roles in malignancies with particular emphasis to the underlying molecular mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Molecular mechanics applied to single-walled carbon nanotubes

    OpenAIRE

    Ávila,Antonio Ferreira; Lacerda,Guilherme Silveira Rachid

    2008-01-01

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes, with stiffness of 1.0 TPa and strength of 60 GPa, are a natural choice for high strength materials. A problem, however, arises when experimental data are compiled. The large variability of experimental data leads to the development of numerical models denominated molecular mechanics, which is a "symbiotic" association of molecular dynamics and solid mechanics. This paper deals with molecular mechanics simulations of single-walled carbon nanotubes. To be able to...

  11. Simulation and understanding of atomic and molecular quantum crystals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazorla, Claudio; Boronat, Jordi

    2017-07-01

    Quantum crystals abound in the whole range of solid-state species. Below a certain threshold temperature the physical behavior of rare gases (He 4 and Ne), molecular solids (H2 and CH4 ), and some ionic (LiH), covalent (graphite), and metallic (Li) crystals can be explained only in terms of quantum nuclear effects (QNE). A detailed comprehension of the nature of quantum solids is critical for achieving progress in a number of fundamental and applied scientific fields such as planetary sciences, hydrogen storage, nuclear energy, quantum computing, and nanoelectronics. This review describes the current physical understanding of quantum crystals formed by atoms and small molecules, as well as the wide palette of simulation techniques that are used to investigate them. Relevant aspects in these materials such as phase transformations, structural properties, elasticity, crystalline defects, and the effects of reduced dimensionality are discussed thoroughly. An introduction to quantum Monte Carlo techniques, which in the present context are the simulation methods of choice, and other quantum simulation approaches (e.g., path-integral molecular dynamics and quantum thermal baths) is provided. The overarching objective of this article is twofold: first, to clarify in which crystals and physical situations the disregard of QNE may incur in important bias and erroneous interpretations. And second, to promote the study and appreciation of QNE, a topic that traditionally has been treated in the context of condensed matter physics, within the broad and interdisciplinary areas of materials science.

  12. Combined 3D-QSAR and molecular docking study on 7,8-dialkyl-1,3-diaminopyrrolo-[3,2-f] Quinazoline series compounds to understand the binding mechanism of DHFR inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aouidate, Adnane; Ghaleb, Adib; Ghamali, Mounir; Chtita, Samir; Choukrad, M'barek; Sbai, Abdelouahid; Bouachrine, Mohammed; Lakhlifi, Tahar

    2017-07-01

    A series of nineteen DHFR inhibitors was studied based on the combination of two computational techniques namely, three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship (3D-QSAR) and molecular docking. The comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA) were developed using 19 molecules having pIC50 ranging from 9.244 to 5.839. The best CoMFA and CoMSIA models show conventional determination coefficients R2 of 0.96 and 0.93 as well as the Leave One Out cross-validation determination coefficients Q2 of 0.64 and 0.72, respectively. The predictive ability of those models was evaluated by the external validation using a test set of five compounds with predicted determination coefficients R2test of 0.92 and 0.94, respectively. The binding mode between this kind of compounds and the DHFR enzyme in addition to the key amino acid residues were explored by molecular docking simulation. Contour maps and molecular docking identified that the R1 and R2 natures at the pyrazole moiety are the important features for the optimization of the binding affinity to the DHFR receptor. According to the good concordance between the CoMFA/CoMSIA contour maps and docking results, the obtained information was explored to design novel molecules.

  13. Venom Resistance as a Model for Understanding the Molecular Basis of Complex Coevolutionary Adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Drabeck, Danielle H; Jansa, Sharon A; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-11-01

    SynopsisVenom and venom resistance are molecular phenotypes widely considered to have diversified through coevolution between predators and prey. However, while evolutionary and functional studies on venom have been extensive, little is known about the molecular basis, variation, and complexity of venom resistance. We review known mechanisms of venom resistance and relate these mechanisms to their predicted impact on coevolutionary dynamics with venomous enemies. We then describe two conceptual approaches which can be used to examine venom/resistance systems. At the intraspecific level, tests of local adaptation in venom and resistance phenotypes can identify the functional mechanisms governing the outcomes of coevolution. At deeper evolutionary timescales, the combination of phylogenetically informed analyses of protein evolution coupled with studies of protein function promise to elucidate the mode and tempo of evolutionary change on potentially coevolving genes. We highlight case studies that use each approach to extend our knowledge of these systems as well as address larger questions about coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that resistance and venom are phenotypic traits which hold exceptional promise for investigating the mechanisms, dynamics, and outcomes of coevolution at the molecular level. Furthermore, extending the understanding of single gene-for-gene interactions to the whole resistance and venom phenotypes may provide a model system for examining the molecular and evolutionary dynamics of complex multi-gene interactions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. 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

  16. Therapeutics in Osteoarthritis Based on an Understanding of Its Molecular Pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju-Ryoung Kim

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA is the most prevalent joint disease in older people and is characterized by the progressive destruction of articular cartilage, synovial inflammation, changes in subchondral bone and peri-articular muscle, and pain. Because our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of OA remains incomplete, we haven’t discovered a cure for OA yet. This review appraises novel therapeutics based on recent progress in our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of OA, including pro-inflammatory and pro-catabolic mediators and the relevant signalling mechanisms. The changes in subchondral bone and peri-articular muscle accompanying cartilage damage are also reviewed.

  17. The molecular mechanisms controlling morphogenesis and wiring of the habenula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Ewoud R E; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen

    2017-11-01

    The habenula is an evolutionarily conserved brain region comprising bilaterally paired nuclei that plays a key role in processing reward information and mediating aversive responses to negative stimuli. An important aspect underlying habenula function is relaying information between forebrain and mid- and hindbrain areas. This is mediated by its complex organization into multiple subdomains and corresponding complexity in circuit organization. Additionally, in many species habenular nuclei display left-right differences at the anatomical and functional level. In order to ensure proper functional organization of habenular circuitry, sophisticated molecular programs control the morphogenesis and wiring of the habenula during development. Knowledge of how these mechanisms shape the habenula is crucial for obtaining a complete understanding of this brain region and can provide invaluable tools to study habenula evolution and function. In this review we will discuss how these molecular mechanisms pattern the early embryonic nervous system and control the formation of the habenula, how they shape its asymmetric organization, and how these mechanisms ensure proper wiring of the habenular circuit. Finally, we will address unexplored aspects of habenula development and how these may direct future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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…

  19. Silica Synthesis by Sponges: Unanticipated Molecular Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, D. E.; Weaver, J. C.

    2001-12-01

    substitutions of specific amino acid sidechains, in conjunction with computer-assisted molecular modeling and biomimetic synthesis, allowed us to probe the determinants of catalytic activity and confirm the identification of the amino acid sidechains required for hydrolysis of the silicon alkoxides. If, as suggested by the data of others, silicic acid is conjugated with organic moieties after its transport into the cell, the catalytic mechanism described here may be important in biosilicification by sponges. As is often the case, we have been better able to answer mechanistic questions about "how" silica can be formed biologically, than "why" the diversity of structures is elaborated. Studies of spicule formation during cellular regeneration in Tethya aurantia reveal that synthesis of the larger silica needles (megascleres) and smaller starburst-shaped microscleres may be independently regulated, presumably at the genetic level. The spatial segregation of these morphologically-distinct spicule types within the sponge further suggests an adaptive significance of the different skeletal elements.

  20. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: understanding its molecular biology at a fine scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Prosenjit; Deka, Himangshu; Malakar, Arup K; Halder, Binata; Chakraborty, Supriyo

    2018-01-01

    Among all cancers, the incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is quite high in the endemic regions. NPC is a head and neck cancer with poor survival rate, and is rare throughout most of the world but common in certain geographic areas, like southern Asia and some regions of North East India (Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram). A clear understanding of its etiology is still lacking, but NPC is widely suspected to be the result of both genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental factors or Epstein-Barr virus infection. Diagnosis in the early stages needs a high index of clinical acumen, and, although most cross-sectional imaging investigations show the tumor with precision, confirmation is dependent on histology. This article reviews all related research reports on NPC histopathological classifications worldwide that have been published within the past 20 years. Genome-wide association studies suggested that there might be common disease mechanisms between that disease and NPC. Personalized management rules, quality assessment of life in patients, and an understanding of the essential mechanisms of recurrence could be directed toward research into recurrent NPC. Hence, this literature would offer otolaryngologists a deeper insight into the etiological and management aspects of NPC.

  1. Relations among fields: Mendelian, cytological and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darden, Lindley

    2005-06-01

    Philosophers have proposed various kinds of relations between Mendelian genetics and molecular biology: reduction, replacement, explanatory extension. This paper argues that the two fields are best characterized as investigating different, serially integrated, hereditary mechanisms. The mechanisms operate at different times and contain different working entities. The working entities of the mechanisms of Mendelian heredity are chromosomes, whose movements serve to segregate alleles and independently assort genes in different linkage groups. The working entities of numerous mechanisms of molecular biology are larger and smaller segments of DNA plus related molecules. Discovery of molecular DNA mechanisms filled black boxes that were noted, but unilluminated, by Mendelian genetics.

  2. 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.)

  3. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  4. Actinides and environmental interfaces: striving for molecular-level understanding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heino Nitsche

    2005-01-01

    Actinides can undergo a variety of complex chemical reactions in the environment. In addition to the formation of solid precipitates, colloids and dissolved solution species common to aqueous systems, actinide ions can interact with the surrounding geo and biomedia to change oxidation states or sorb on surfaces and colloids. The rate of migration is determined by aqueous solubility, and interactions with solid surfaces such as minerals, soils, natural organic matter, and soil microorganisms Sorption of aqueous actinide species on biological and geological matrices can be quantitatively described by a surface complexation or site-binding model. The disadvantage of this model is the difficulty in the experimental determination of the model parameters and surface reaction constants. Usually, a set of surface reactions and species are proposed based on knowledge of the solution speciation of the solute, and the reaction constants are usually derived by fitting computer-calculated absorption curves to experimental data. Because this process typically involves a large number of potentially adjustable parameters, it is likely to lead to non-unique parameter fitting and does not always result in a consistent set of parameters for the same systems. A fundamental molecular-level understanding of sorption processes of actinides on environmental surfaces is required to better understand and predict their transport behavior in nature. Several different surface spectroscopic techniques have been applied to the characterization of the adsorbed species and surface reactions and a direct determination of the sorbed species and surface reactions has become possible. The non-linear optical techniques of second harmonic and sum frequency generation (SHG and SFG) are ideally suited to study surfaces and interfaces of mineral oxides, biosurfactants and biopolymers, organic adlayers adsorbed on solid/mineral surfaces and soil organic matter, including humic and fulvic acids. Resonant

  5. A Molecular-Scale Understanding of Cohesion and Fracture in P3HT:Fullerene Blends

    KAUST Repository

    Tummala, Naga Rajesh

    2015-04-21

    Quantifying cohesion and understanding fracture phenomena in thin-film electronic devices are necessary for improved materials design and processing criteria. For organic photovoltaics (OPVs), the cohesion of the photoactive layer portends its mechanical flexibility, reliability, and lifetime. Here, the molecular mechanism for the initiation of cohesive failure in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) OPV active layers derived from the semiconducting polymer poly-(3-hexylthiophene) [P3HT] and two mono-substituted fullerenes is examined experimentally and through molecular-dynamics simulations. The results detail how, under identical conditions, cohesion significantly changes due to minor variations in the fullerene adduct functionality, an important materials consideration that needs to be taken into account across fields where soluble fullerene derivatives are used.

  6. Molecular Understanding of Organic Solar Cells: The Challenges

    KAUST Repository

    Brédas, Jean-Luc

    2009-11-17

    (Figure presented) Our objective in this Account is 3-fold. First, we provide an overview of the optical and electronic processes that take place in a solid-state organic solar cell, which we define as a cell in which the semiconducting materials between the electrodes are organic, be them polymers, oligomers, or small molecules; this discussion is also meant to set the conceptual framework in which many of the contributions to this Special Issue on Photovoltaics can We viewed. We successively turn our attention to (i) optical absorption and exciton formation, (ii) exciton migration to the donor - acceptor interface, (iii) exciton dissociation into charge carriers, resulting in the appearance of holes in the donor and electrons in the acceptor, (iv) charge-carrier mobility, and (v) charge collection at the electrodes. For each of these processes, we also describe the theoretical challenges that need to be overcome to gain a comprehensive understanding at the molecular level. Finally, we highlight recent theoretical advances, in particular regarding the determination of the energetics and dynamics at organic - organic interfaces, and underline that the right balance needs to be found for the optimization of material parameters that often result in opposite effects on the photovoltaic performance. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

  7. Understanding the Molecular Aspects of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol as Antioxidants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Káthia M. Honório

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available An antioxidant mechanism of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and cannabidiol (CBD were compared with a simplified model of α-tocopherol, butylhydroxytoluene and hydroxytoluene in order to understand the antioxidant nature of THC and CBD molecules using DFT. The following electronic properties were evaluated: frontier orbitals nature, ionization potential, O-H bond dissociation energy (BDEOH, stabilization energy, and spin density distribution. An important factor that shows an influence in the antioxidant property of THC is the electron abstraction at the phenol position. Our data indicate that the decrease of the HOMO values and the highest ionization potential values are related to phenol, ether, and alkyl moieties. On the other hand, BDEOH in molecules with the cyclohexenyl group at ortho position of phenol are formed from lower energies than the molecules with an ether group at the meta position. In the light of our results, the properties calculated here predict that THC has a sightly higher antioxidant potential than CBD.

  8. 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)

  9. Understanding Mechanism of Photocatalytic Microbial Decontamination of Environmental Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chhabilal Regmi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Several photocatalytic nanoparticles are synthesized and studied for potential application for the degradation of organic and biological wastes. Although these materials degrade organic compounds by advance oxidation process, the exact mechanisms of microbial decontamination remains partially known. Understanding the real mechanisms of these materials for microbial cell death and growth inhibition helps to fabricate more efficient semiconductor photocatalyst for large-scale decontamination of environmental wastewater or industries and hospitals/biomedical labs generating highly pathogenic bacteria and toxic molecules containing liquid waste by designing a reactor. Recent studies on microbial decontamination by photocatalytic nanoparticles and their possible mechanisms of action is highlighted with examples in this mini review.

  10. AUTOMOTIVE DIESEL MAINTENANCE 2. UNIT I, UNDERSTANDING MECHANICAL CLUTCHES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minnesota State Dept. of Education, St. Paul. Div. of Vocational and Technical Education.

    ONE OF A 25-MODULE COURSE DESIGNED TO UPGRADE THE JOB SKILLS AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE OF DIESEL MAINENANCE MECHANICS THIS MATERIAL WAS DEVELOPED BY INDUSTRIAL TRAINING AND SUBJECT-MATTER SPECIALISTS AND TESTED IN INDUSTRIAL TRAINING SITUATIONS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS FIRST UNIT IS TO DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF COMPONENTS, OPERATION, AND ADJUSTMENTS…

  11. Student Understanding of Time Dependence in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emigh, Paul J.; Passante, Gina; Shaffer, Peter S.

    2015-01-01

    The time evolution of quantum states is arguably one of the more difficult ideas in quantum mechanics. In this article, we report on results from an investigation of student understanding of this topic after lecture instruction. We demonstrate specific problems that students have in applying time dependence to quantum systems and in recognizing…

  12. Advanced waterflooding in chalk reservoirs: Understanding of underlying mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zahid, Adeel; Sandersen, Sara Bülow; Stenby, Erling Halfdan

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recove...... of a microemulsion phase could be the possible reasons for the observed increase in oil recovery with sulfate ions at high temperature in chalk reservoirs besides the mechanism of the rock wettability alteration, which has been reported in most previous studies.......Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recovery...

  13. Generic Transport Mechanisms for Molecular Traffic in Cellular Protrusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Isabella R; Frey, Erwin

    2017-03-24

    Transport of molecular motors along protein filaments in a half-closed geometry is a common feature of biologically relevant processes in cellular protrusions. Using a lattice-gas model we study how the interplay between active and diffusive transport and mass conservation leads to localized domain walls and tip localization of the motors. We identify a mechanism for task sharing between the active motors (maintaining a gradient) and the diffusive motion (transport to the tip), which ensures that energy consumption is low and motor exchange mostly happens at the tip. These features are attributed to strong nearest-neighbor correlations that lead to a strong reduction of active currents, which we calculate analytically using an exact moment identity, and might prove useful for the understanding of correlations and active transport also in more elaborate systems.

  14. Generic Transport Mechanisms for Molecular Traffic in Cellular Protrusions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Isabella R.; Frey, Erwin

    2017-03-01

    Transport of molecular motors along protein filaments in a half-closed geometry is a common feature of biologically relevant processes in cellular protrusions. Using a lattice-gas model we study how the interplay between active and diffusive transport and mass conservation leads to localized domain walls and tip localization of the motors. We identify a mechanism for task sharing between the active motors (maintaining a gradient) and the diffusive motion (transport to the tip), which ensures that energy consumption is low and motor exchange mostly happens at the tip. These features are attributed to strong nearest-neighbor correlations that lead to a strong reduction of active currents, which we calculate analytically using an exact moment identity, and might prove useful for the understanding of correlations and active transport also in more elaborate systems.

  15. Understanding Molecular Interactions within Chemically Selective Layered Polymer Assemblies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gary J. Blanchard

    2009-06-30

    This work focuses on two broad issues. These are (1) the molecular origin of the chemical selectivity achieved with ultrathin polymer multilayers, and (2) how the viscoelastic properties of the polymer layers are affected by exposure to solvent and analytes. These issues are inter-related, and to understand them we need to design experiments that probe both the energetic and kinetic aspects of interfacial adsorption processes. This project focuses on controling the chemical structure, thickness, morphology and sequential ordering of polymer layers bound to interfaces using maleimide-vinyl ether and closely related alternating copolymerization chemistry and efficient covalent cross-linking reactions that allow for layer-by-layer polymer deposition. This chemistry has been developed during the funding cycle of this Grant. We have measure the equilibrium constants for interactions between specific layers within the polymer interfaces and size-controlled, surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles. The ability to control both size and functionality of gold nanoparticle model analytes allows us to evaluate the average “pore size” that characterizes our polymer films. We have measured the “bulk” viscosity and shear modulus of the ultrathin polymer films as a function of solvent overlayer identity using quartz crystal microbalance complex impedance measurements. We have measured microscopic viscosity at specific locations within the layered polymer interfaces with time-resolved fluorescence lifetime and depolarization techniques. We combine polymer, cross-linking and nanoparticle synthetic expertise with a host of characterization techniques, including QCM gravimetry and complex impedance analysis, steady state and time-resolved spectroscopies.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Deciphering the Molecular Mechanism of Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shiekhattar, Ramin

    2004-01-01

    .... Although the genetic approaches have been successful in defining the genes that are mutated in breast cancer, functional understanding of the protein product of these genes requires biochemical studies...

  2. Toward a molecular understanding of psychostimulant actions using genetically engineered dopamine receptor knockout mice as model systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J; Xu, M

    2001-01-01

    A major focus in studying the progression and prevention of addictive diseases has been to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying drug addiction. The brain dopaminergic system plays a central role in reward and motivation and is thought to be the main neural substrate for the actions of abusive drugs. We have used the gene targeting technology to generate dopamine D1 and D3 receptor knockout mice and used these mice as model systems to gain a molecular understanding of acute effects of psychostimulants cocaine and amphetamine. The use of a combined approach involving behavioral, electrophysiological as well as molecular studies has allowed us to define initially the roles of dopamine D1 and D3 receptors in the acute effects of psychostimulants and will enable us to understand mechanisms underlying their chronic actions in the future.

  3. Advances in the understanding of crystal growth mechanisms

    CERN Document Server

    Nishinaga, T; Harada, J; Sasaki, A; Takei, H

    1997-01-01

    This book contains the results of a research project entitled Crystal Growth Mechanisms on an Atomic Scale, which was carried out for 3 years by some 72 reseachers. Until recently in Japan, only the technological aspects of crystal growth have been emphasized and attention was paid only to its importance in industry. However the scientific aspects also need to be considered so that the technology of crystal growth can be developed even further. This project therefore aimed at understanding crystal growth and the emphasis was on finding growth mechanisms on an atomic scale.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Crude Oil Developmental Toxicity in Fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incardona, John P

    2017-07-01

    With major oil spills in Korea, the United States, and China in the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of studies characterizing the developmental toxicity of crude oil and its associated polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). The use of model fish species with associated tools for genetic manipulation, combined with high throughput genomics techniques in nonmodel fish species, has led to significant advances in understanding the cellular and molecular bases of functional and morphological defects arising from embryonic exposure to crude oil. Following from the identification of the developing heart as the primary target of crude oil developmental toxicity, studies on individual PACs have revealed a diversity of cardiotoxic mechanisms. For some PACs that are strong agonists of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), defects in heart development arise in an AHR-dependent manner, which has been shown for potent organochlorine agonists, such as dioxins. However, crude oil contains a much larger fraction of compounds that have been found to interfere directly with cardiomyocyte physiology in an AHR-independent manner. By comparing the cellular and molecular responses to AHR-independent and AHR-dependent toxicity, this review focuses on new insights into heart-specific pathways underlying both acute and secondary adverse outcomes to crude oil exposure during fish development.

  9. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies. © 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Molecular mechanisms of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleckenstein, James M; Hardwidge, Philip R; Munson, George P; Rasko, David A; Sommerfelt, Halvor; Steinsland, Hans

    2010-02-01

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are a major cause of diarrheal illness in developing countries, and perennially the most common cause of traveller's diarrhea. ETEC constitute a diverse pathotype that elaborate heat-labile and/or heat-stable enterotoxins. Recent molecular pathogenesis studies reveal sophisticated pathogen-host interactions that might be exploited in efforts to prevent these important infections. While vaccine development for these important pathogens remains a formidable challenge, extensive efforts that attempt to exploit new genomic and proteomic technology platforms in discovery of novel targets are presently ongoing. Published by Elsevier SAS.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Approximately, 60% of HIV-infected people show some form of neurological impairment, and neuropathological changes are found in 90% of autopsied cases. Approximately 30% of untreated HIV-infected persons may develop dementia. The mechanisms behind these pathological changes are still not understood.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Action of BPA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Acconcia

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bisphenol A (BPA exposure has been associated with serious endocrine-disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. Toxicological and epidemiological studies evidenced that BPA increases body mass index and disrupts normal cardiovascular physiology by interfering with endogenous hormones in rodents, nonhuman primates, and cell culture test systems. The BPA concentration derived from these experiments were used by government regulatory agencies to determine the safe exposure levels of BPA in humans. However, accumulating literature in vivo and in vitro indicate that at concentrations lower than that reported in toxicological studies, BPA could elicit a different endocrine-disrupting capacity. To further complicate this picture, BPA effects rely on several and diverse mechanisms that converge upon endocrine and reproductive systems. If all or just few of these mechanisms concur to the endocrine-disrupting potential of low doses of BPA is at present still unclear. Thus, taking into account that the incidence and/or prevalence of health problems associated with endocrine disruption have increased worldwide, the goal of the present review is to give an overview of the many mechanisms of BPA action in order to decipher whether different mechanisms are at the root of the effect of low dose of BPA on endocrine system.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Action of BPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acconcia, Filippo; Pallottini, Valentina; Marino, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure has been associated with serious endocrine-disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. Toxicological and epidemiological studies evidenced that BPA increases body mass index and disrupts normal cardiovascular physiology by interfering with endogenous hormones in rodents, nonhuman primates, and cell culture test systems. The BPA concentration derived from these experiments were used by government regulatory agencies to determine the safe exposure levels of BPA in humans. However, accumulating literature in vivo and in vitro indicate that at concentrations lower than that reported in toxicological studies, BPA could elicit a different endocrine-disrupting capacity. To further complicate this picture, BPA effects rely on several and diverse mechanisms that converge upon endocrine and reproductive systems. If all or just few of these mechanisms concur to the endocrine-disrupting potential of low doses of BPA is at present still unclear. Thus, taking into account that the incidence and/or prevalence of health problems associated with endocrine disruption have increased worldwide, the goal of the present review is to give an overview of the many mechanisms of BPA action in order to decipher whether different mechanisms are at the root of the effect of low dose of BPA on endocrine system.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Understanding and imitating unfamiliar actions: distinct underlying mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana C Carmo

    Full Text Available The human "mirror neuron system" has been proposed to be the neural substrate that underlies understanding and, possibly, imitating actions. However, since the brain activity with mirror properties seems insufficient to provide a good description for imitation of actions outside one's own repertoire, the existence of supplementary processes has been proposed. Moreover, it is unclear whether action observation requires the same neural mechanisms as the explicit access to their meaning. The aim of this study was two-fold as we investigated whether action observation requires different processes depending on 1 whether the ultimate goal is to imitate or understand the presented actions and 2 whether the to-be-imitated actions are familiar or unfamiliar to the subject. Participants were presented with both meaningful familiar actions and meaningless unfamiliar actions that they had to either imitate or discriminate later. Event-related Potentials were used as differences in brain activity could have been masked by the use of other techniques with lower temporal resolution. In the imitation task, a sustained left frontal negativity was more pronounced for meaningless actions than for meaningful ones, starting from an early time-window. Conversely, observing unfamiliar versus familiar actions with the intention of discriminating them led to marked differences over right centro-posterior scalp regions, in both middle and latest time-windows. These findings suggest that action imitation and action understanding may be sustained by dissociable mechanisms: while imitation of unfamiliar actions activates left frontal processes, that are likely to be related to learning mechanisms, action understanding involves dedicated operations which probably require right posterior regions, consistent with their involvement in social interactions.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Inner Ear Development

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Doris K.; Kelley, Matthew W.

    2012-01-01

    The inner ear is a structurally complex vertebrate organ built to encode sound, motion, and orientation in space. Given its complexity, it is not surprising that inner ear dysfunction is a relatively common consequence of human genetic mutation. Studies in model organisms suggest that many genes currently known to be associated with human hearing impairment are active during embryogenesis. Hence, the study of inner ear development provides a rich context for understanding the functions of gen...

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding mechanisms of toxicity: Insights from drug discovery research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houck, Keith A.; Kavlock, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Toxicology continues to rely heavily on use of animal testing for prediction of potential for toxicity in humans. Where mechanisms of toxicity have been elucidated, for example endocrine disruption by xenoestrogens binding to the estrogen receptor, in vitro assays have been developed as surrogate assays for toxicity prediction. This mechanistic information can be combined with other data such as exposure levels to inform a risk assessment for the chemical. However, there remains a paucity of such mechanistic assays due at least in part to lack of methods to determine specific mechanisms of toxicity for many toxicants. A means to address this deficiency lies in utilization of a vast repertoire of tools developed by the drug discovery industry for interrogating the bioactivity of chemicals. This review describes the application of high-throughput screening assays as experimental tools for profiling chemicals for potential for toxicity and understanding underlying mechanisms. The accessibility of broad panels of assays covering an array of protein families permits evaluation of chemicals for their ability to directly modulate many potential targets of toxicity. In addition, advances in cell-based screening have yielded tools capable of reporting the effects of chemicals on numerous critical cell signaling pathways and cell health parameters. Novel, more complex cellular systems are being used to model mammalian tissues and the consequences of compound treatment. Finally, high-throughput technology is being applied to model organism screens to understand mechanisms of toxicity. However, a number of formidable challenges to these methods remain to be overcome before they are widely applicable. Integration of successful approaches will contribute towards building a systems approach to toxicology that will provide mechanistic understanding of the effects of chemicals on biological systems and aid in rationale risk assessments

  5. The Electrical Response to Injury: Molecular Mechanisms and Wound Healing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Brian; Zhao, Min

    2014-01-01

    Significance: Natural, endogenous electric fields (EFs) and currents arise spontaneously after wounding of many tissues, especially epithelia, and are necessary for normal healing. This wound electrical activity is a long-lasting and regulated response. Enhancing or inhibiting this electrical activity increases or decreases wound healing, respectively. Cells that are responsible for wound closure such as corneal epithelial cells or skin keratinocytes migrate directionally in EFs of physiological magnitude. However, the mechanisms of how the wound electrical response is initiated and regulated remain unclear. Recent Advances: Wound EFs and currents appear to arise by ion channel up-regulation and redistribution, which are perhaps triggered by an intracellular calcium wave or cell depolarization. We discuss the possibility of stimulation of wound healing via pharmacological enhancement of the wound electric signal by stimulation of ion pumping. Critical Issues: Chronic wounds are a major problem in the elderly and diabetic patient. Any strategy to stimulate wound healing in these patients is desirable. Applying electrical stimulation directly is problematic, but pharmacological enhancement of the wound signal may be a promising strategy. Future Directions: Understanding the molecular regulation of wound electric signals may reveal some fundamental mechanisms in wound healing. Manipulating fluxes of ions and electric currents at wounds might offer new approaches to achieve better wound healing and to heal chronic wounds. PMID:24761358

  6. 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.

  7. Investigation of a metal-organic interface. Realization and understanding of a molecular switch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neucheva, Olga [Forschungszentrum Juelich (DE). Institute of Bio- and Nanosystems (IBN), Functional Nanostructures at Surfaces (IBN-3)

    2010-07-01

    The field of molecular organic electronics is an emerging and very dynamic area. The continued trend to miniaturisation, combined with increasing complexity and cost of production in conventional semiconductor electronics, forces companies to turn their attention to alternatives that promise the next levels of scale at significantly lower cost. After consumer electronic devices based on organic transistors, such as TVs and book readers, have already been presented, molecular electronics is expected to offer the next breakthrough in feature size. Unfortunately, most of the organic/metal interfaces contain intrinsic defects that break the homogeneity of the interface properties. In this thesis, the electronic and structural properties of such defects were examined in order to understand the influence of the inhomogeneities on the quality of the interface layer. However, the main focus of this work was the investigation of the local properties of a single molecule. Taking advantage of the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope's (STM's) ability to act as a local probe, a single molecular switch was realized and studied. Moreover, in close collaboration with theory groups, the underlying mechanism driving the switching process was identified and described. Besides the investigation of the switching process, the ability of the STM to build nanostructures of different shapes from large organic molecules was shown. Knowing the parameters for realization and control of the switching process and for building the molecular corrals, the results of this investigation enable the reconstruction of the studied molecular ensemble and its deployment in electric molecular circuits, constituting a next step towards further miniaturization of electronic devices. (orig.)

  8. ROS signalling in a destabilised world: A molecular understanding of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmody, Melanie; Waszczak, Cezary; Idänheimo, Niina; Saarinen, Timo; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko

    2016-09-20

    Climate change results in increased intensity and frequency of extreme abiotic and biotic stress events. In plants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulate in proportion to the level of stress and are major signalling and regulatory metabolites coordinating growth, defence, acclimation and cell death. Our knowledge of ROS homeostasis, sensing, and signalling is therefore key to understanding the impacts of climate change at the molecular level. Current research is uncovering new insights into temporal-spatial, cell-to-cell and systemic ROS signalling pathways, particularly how these affect plant growth, defence, and more recently acclimation mechanisms behind stress priming and long term stress memory. Understanding the stabilising and destabilising factors of ROS homeostasis and signalling in plants exposed to extreme and fluctuating stress will concomitantly reveal how to address future climate change challenges in global food security and biodiversity management. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    smith, jeremy

    2014-04-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a major global pollutant arising from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Defining the factors that determine the relative affinities of different ligands for the mercuric ion, Hg2+, is critical to understanding its speciation, transformation, and bioaccumulation in the environment. Here, we used quantum chemistry to dissect the relative binding free energies for a series of inorganic anion complexes of Hg2+. The results show that, whereas in the gas phase the binding affinity of two identical anionic ligands (forming HgL2) increases with ligand (L–) hardness, in contrast, in the aqueous phase the affinity increases with ligand softness. This switch in affinity upon hydration is shown to result mostly from interactions with only a small number (e.g. one or two) of water molecules. The results yield a clear, robust periodic trend within the chalcogenide and halide groups and are in agreement with the well-known experimentally observed preference of Hg2+ for soft ligands. By comparing the Hg2+ binding of one with two anions, the gas phase preferences are found to arise from the enhancement of reactivity of the cationic complex (HgL+) with the hardness of L–. The approach establishes a theoretical basis for understanding Hg speciation in the biosphere.

  10. Recent developments in the molecular genetic understanding of breast cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Devilee, P.; Schuuring, E.; van de Vijver, M. J.; Cornelisse, C. J.

    1994-01-01

    The molecular genetic characterization of breast cancer has implicated or identified the involvement of at least 10 distinct gene alterations in the genesis or progression of this disease. The genes involved fall into three distinct classes, possibly reflecting their particular function in the

  11. Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer: molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussein, Mahmoud R

    2005-03-01

    Every living organism on the surface of the earth is exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) fraction of the sunlight. This electromagnetic energy has both life-giving and life-endangering effects. UV radiation can damage DNA and thus mutagenize several genes involved in the development of the skin cancer. The presence of typical signature of UV-induced mutations on these genes indicates that the ultraviolet-B part of sunlight is responsible for the evolution of cutaneous carcinogenesis. During this process, variable alterations of the oncogenic, tumor-suppressive, and cell-cycle control signaling pathways occur. These pathways include (a) mutated PTCH (in the mitogenic Sonic Hedgehog pathway) and mutated p53 tumor-suppressor gene in basal cell carcinomas, (b) an activated mitogenic ras pathway and mutated p53 in squamous cell carcinomas, and (c) an activated ras pathway, inactive p16, and p53 tumor suppressors in melanomas. This review presents background information about the skin optics, UV radiation, and molecular events involved in photocarcinogenesis.

  12. Molecular mechanism of acrylamide neurotoxicity: lessons learned from organic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoPachin, Richard M; Gavin, Terrence

    2012-12-01

    Acrylamide (ACR) produces cumulative neurotoxicity in exposed humans and laboratory animals through a direct inhibitory effect on presynaptic function. In this review, we delineate how knowledge of chemistry provided an unprecedented understanding of the ACR neurotoxic mechanism. We also show how application of the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory led to the recognition that the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl structure of ACR is a soft electrophile that preferentially forms covalent bonds with soft nucleophiles. In vivo proteomic and in chemico studies demonstrated that ACR formed covalent adducts with highly nucleophilic cysteine thiolate groups located within active sites of presynaptic proteins. Additional research showed that resulting protein inactivation disrupted nerve terminal processes and impaired neurotransmission. ACR is a type-2 alkene, a chemical class that includes structurally related electrophilic environmental pollutants (e.g., acrolein) and endogenous mediators of cellular oxidative stress (e.g., 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal). Members of this chemical family produce toxicity via a common molecular mechanism. Although individual environmental concentrations might not be toxicologically relevant, exposure to an ambient mixture of type-2 alkene pollutants could pose a significant risk to human health. Furthermore, environmentally derived type-2 alkenes might act synergistically with endogenously generated unsaturated aldehydes to amplify cellular damage and thereby accelerate human disease/injury processes that involve oxidative stress. These possibilities have substantial implications for environmental risk assessment and were realized through an understanding of ACR adduct chemistry. The approach delineated here can be broadly applied because many toxicants of different chemical classes are electrophiles that produce toxicity by interacting with cellular proteins.

  13. 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

  14. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chikungunya pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lum, Fok-Moon; Ng, Lisa F P

    2015-08-01

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus that causes chikungunya fever, a disease characterized by the onset of fever and rashes, with arthralgia as its hallmark symptom. CHIKV has re-emerged over the past decade, causing numerous outbreaks around the world. Since late 2013, CHIKV has reached the shores of the Americas, causing more than a million cases of infection. Despite concentrated efforts to understand the pathogenesis of the disease, further outbreaks remain a threat. This review highlights important findings regarding CHIKV-associated immunopathogenesis and offers important insights into future directions. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "Chikungunya discovers the New World." Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Understanding the mechanism of nanoparticle formation in wire explosion process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bora, B.; Wong, C.S.; Bhuyan, H.; Lee, Y.S.; Yap, S.L.; Favre, M.

    2013-01-01

    The mechanism of nanoparticle formation by wire explosion process has been investigated by optical emission spectroscopy in Antony et al. 2010 [2] [J Quant Spectrosc Radiat Transfer 2010; 111:2509]. It was reported that the size of the nanoparticles formed in Ar ambience increases with increasing pressure, while an opposite trend was observed for the nanoparticles produced in N 2 and He ambiences. However, the physics behind this opposite trend seems unclear. In this work, we have investigated the probable mechanism behind the opposite trend in particle size with pressure of different gases and understand the mechanism of nanoparticle formation in wire explosion process. The experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of ambient gas species (Ar and N 2 ) and pressure on arc plasma formation and its corresponding effects on the characteristics of the produced nanoparticles in wire explosion process. Our results show that the arc plasma formation is probably the mechanism that may account for the opposite trend of particle size with pressure of different gases. -- Highlights: ► Cu nanoparticles have been synthesized by wire explosion technique. ► Investigate the effect of the ambient gas species and pressure. ► Arc plasma formation in wire explosion process is investigated. ► Arc plasma formation plays a crucial role in characteristic of the nanoparticles

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. An Insight towards Conceptual Understanding: Looking into the Molecular Structures of Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyulgan, Melis Arzu; Akkuzu, Nalan

    2016-01-01

    The subject of molecular structures is one of the most important and complex subject in chemistry which a majority of the undergraduate students have difficulties to understand its concepts and characteristics correctly. To comprehend the molecular structures and their characteristics the students need to understand related subjects such as Lewis…

  1. Molecular Modeling of Enzyme Dynamics Towards Understanding Solvent Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wedberg, Nils Hejle Rasmus Ingemar

    ) in water and organic solvents. The effects of solvent on structural and dynamical enzyme properties are studied, and special attention is given to how enzyme properties in organic solvents are affected by the hydration level, which is shown to be related to the water activity. In experimental studies...... of enzyme kinetics in non-aqueous media, it has been a fruitful approach to fix the enzyme hydration level by controlling the water activity of the medium. In this work, a protocol is therefore developed for determining the water activity in non-aqueous protein simulations. The method relies on determining......This thesis describes the development of a molecular simulation methodology to study properties of enzymes in non-aqueous media at fixed thermodynamic water activities. The methodology is applied in a molecular dynamics study of the industrially important enzyme Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB...

  2. Understanding the Molecular Genetics of Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pellegrini

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Basal cell carcinoma (BCC is the most common human cancer and represents a growing public health care problem. Several tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes have been implicated in BCC pathogenesis, including the key components of the Hedgehog pathway, PTCH1 and SMO, the TP53 tumor suppressor, and members of the RAS proto-oncogene family. Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog pathway represents the molecular driver in basal cell carcinoma pathogenesis, with the majority of BCCs carrying somatic point mutations, mainly ultraviolet (UV-induced, and/or copy-loss of heterozygosis in the PTCH1 gene. Recent advances in sequencing technology allowed genome-scale approaches to mutation discovery, identifying new genes and pathways potentially involved in BCC carcinogenesis. Mutational and functional analysis suggested PTPN14 and LATS1, both effectors of the Hippo–YAP pathway, and MYCN as new BCC-associated genes. In addition, emerging reports identified frequent non-coding mutations within the regulatory promoter sequences of the TERT and DPH3-OXNAD1 genes. Thus, it is clear that a more complex genetic network of cancer-associated genes than previously hypothesized is involved in BCC carcinogenesis, with a potential impact on the development of new molecular targeted therapies. This article reviews established knowledge and new hypotheses regarding the molecular genetics of BCC pathogenesis.

  3. Understanding the Molecular Genetics of Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maturo, Maria Giovanna; Ciciarelli, Valeria; Gutiérrez García-Rodrigo, Carlota; Fargnoli, Maria Concetta

    2017-01-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common human cancer and represents a growing public health care problem. Several tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes have been implicated in BCC pathogenesis, including the key components of the Hedgehog pathway, PTCH1 and SMO, the TP53 tumor suppressor, and members of the RAS proto-oncogene family. Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog pathway represents the molecular driver in basal cell carcinoma pathogenesis, with the majority of BCCs carrying somatic point mutations, mainly ultraviolet (UV)-induced, and/or copy-loss of heterozygosis in the PTCH1 gene. Recent advances in sequencing technology allowed genome-scale approaches to mutation discovery, identifying new genes and pathways potentially involved in BCC carcinogenesis. Mutational and functional analysis suggested PTPN14 and LATS1, both effectors of the Hippo–YAP pathway, and MYCN as new BCC-associated genes. In addition, emerging reports identified frequent non-coding mutations within the regulatory promoter sequences of the TERT and DPH3-OXNAD1 genes. Thus, it is clear that a more complex genetic network of cancer-associated genes than previously hypothesized is involved in BCC carcinogenesis, with a potential impact on the development of new molecular targeted therapies. This article reviews established knowledge and new hypotheses regarding the molecular genetics of BCC pathogenesis. PMID:29165358

  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. Preeclampsia: from epidemiological observations to molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. López-Jaramillo

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available Preeclampsia is the main cause of maternal mortality and is associated with a five-fold increase in perinatal mortality in developing countries. In spite of this, the etiology of preeclampsia is unknown. The present article analyzes the contradictory results of the use of calcium supplementation in the prevention of preeclampsia, and tries to give an explanation of these results. The proposal of an integrative model to explain the clinical manifestations of preeclampsia is discussed. In this proposal we suggest that preeclampsia is caused by nutritional, environmental and genetic factors that lead to the creation of an imbalance between the free radicals nitric oxide, superoxide and peroxynitrate in the vascular endothelium. The adequate interpretation of this model would allow us to understand that the best way of preventing preeclampsia is the establishment of an adequate prenatal control system involving adequate antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplementation, adequate diagnosis and early treatment of asymptomatic urinary and vaginal infections. The role of infection in the genesis of preeclampsia needs to be studied in depth because it may involve a fundamental change in the prevention and treatment of preeclampsia.

  6. Understanding the thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of epoxy nanocomposites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarathi, R.; Sahu, R.K.; Rajeshkumar, P.

    2007-01-01

    In the present work, the electrical, mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy nanocomposite materials were studied. The electrical insulation characteristics were analyzed through short time breakdown voltage test, accelerated electrical ageing test, and by tracking test. The breakdown voltage increases with increase in nano-clay content up to 5 wt%, under AC and DC voltages. The volume resistivity, permittivity and tan(δ) of the epoxy nanocomposites were measured. The Weibull studies indicate that addition of nanoclay upto 5 wt% enhances the characteristic life of epoxy nanocomposite insulation material. The tracking test results indicate that the tracking time is high with epoxy nanocomposites as compared to pure epoxy. Ageing studies were carried out to understand the surface characteristic variation through contact angle measurement. The hydrophobicity of the insulating material was analysed through contact angle measurement. The diffusion coefficients of the material with different percentage of clay in epoxy nanocomposites were calculated. The exfoliation characteristics in epoxy nanocomposites were analyzed through wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) studies. The thermal behaviour of the epoxy nanocomposites was analyzed by carrying out thermo gravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) studies. Heat deflection temperature of the material was measured to understand the stability of the material for intermittent temperature variation. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) results indicated that storage modulus of the material increases with small amount of clay in epoxy resin. The activation energy of the material was calculated from the DMA results

  7. Molecular Mechanism of Apoptosis and Necrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulfidan Coskun

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Organismal homeostasis depends on an intricate balance between cell death and renewal. Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death that plays a critical role in some normal and pathologic conditions beginning from embryologic development and ends at death. Apoptosis is initiated by morphological changes at the cell membrane, surface organels and nucleus. Apoptosis starts with death signals coming from outside or inside of the cell and continue to activate the mechanisms of apoptosis via cell death receptor or mitochondrial pathways. During apoptosis a group proteases are activated which cause DNA fragmentation, cytoplasmic shrinkage and membrane blebbing. Apoptotic cells divide into apoptotic bodies and then these apoptotic bodies are removed from tissue by phagocytes and adjacent cells In contrast to the “programmed” nature of apoptosis, necrotic cell death has always been believed to be a random, uncontrolled process that leads to death of the cell. Also necrosis, which is an other type of cell death, came to be used to describe pathologic cell death which cause inflamation. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2011; 20(3.000: 145-158

  8. 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 friction coefficient are recommended.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Summers, Anne O. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Dept. of Microbiology; Smith, Jeremy C. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology

    2016-04-25

    Hg is of special interest to DOE due to past intensive use in manufacture of nuclear weapons at the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Because of its facile oxidation/reduction [Hg(II)/Hg(0)] chemistry, ability to bond to carbon [as in highly toxic methylmercury: MeHg(I)] and its unique physical properties [e.g., volatility of Hg(0)], Hg has a complex environmental cycle involving soils, sediments, waterways and the atmosphere and including biotic and abiotic chemical and physical transport and transformations. Understanding such processes well enough to design stewardship plans that minimize negative impacts in diverse ecological settings requires rich knowledge of the contributing abiotic and biotic processes. Prokaryotes are major players in the global Hg cycle. Facultative and anaerobic bacteria can form MeHg(I) with consequent intoxication of wildlife and humans. Sustainable stewardship of Hg-contaminated sites requires eliminating not only MeHg(I) but also the Hg(II) substrate for methylation. Fortunately, a variety of mercury resistant (HgR) aerobic and facultative bacteria and archaea can do both things. Prokaryotes harboring narrow or broad Hg resistance (mer) loci detoxify Hg(II) or RHg(I), respectively, to relatively inert, less toxic, volatile Hg(0). HgR microbes are enriched in highly contaminated sites and extensive field data show they depress levels of MeHg >500-fold in such zones. So, enhancing the natural capacity of indigenous HgR microbes to remove Hg(II) and RHg(I) from soils, sediments and waterways is a logical component of a comprehensive plan for clean up and stewardship of contaminated sites.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Molecular Quantum Mechanics: Analytic Gradients and Beyond - Program and Abstracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-03

    Section: Dynamics and Reactions (Star Auditorium) 9:00-9:20 H4 Gabriel Balint -Kurti (Bristol, United Kingdom) Chair: Michael E. Robb (London, United...calculations provided a unifying theme to theoretical and empirical approaches to molecular force fields. Molecular Quantum Dynamics Gabriel G. Balint ...reactive scattering will be given [3-5]. References: [1] J. P. Cole and G. G. Balint -Kurti, "A statistical, ab initio, quantum mechanical study of

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular tools in understanding the evolution of Vibrio cholerae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahaman, Md. Habibur; Islam, Tarequl; Colwell, Rita R.; Alam, Munirul

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, has been a scourge for centuries. Cholera remains a serious health threat for developing countries and has been responsible for millions of deaths globally over the past 200 years. Identification of V. cholerae has been accomplished using a variety of methods, ranging from phenotypic strategies to DNA based molecular typing and currently whole genomic approaches. This array of methods has been adopted in epidemiological investigations, either singly or in the aggregate, and more recently for evolutionary analyses of V. cholerae. Because the new technologies have been developed at an ever increasing pace, this review of the range of fingerprinting strategies, their relative advantages and limitations, and cholera case studies was undertaken. The task was challenging, considering the vast amount of the information available. To assist the study, key references representative of several areas of research are provided with the intent to provide readers with a comprehensive view of recent advances in the molecular epidemiology of V. cholerae. Suggestions for ways to obviate many of the current limitations of typing techniques are also provided. In summary, a comparative report has been prepared that includes the range from traditional typing to whole genomic strategies. PMID:26500613

  15. 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.

  16. The molecular mechanisms, diagnosis and management of congenital hyperinsulinism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senthil Senniappan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI is the result of unregulated insulin secretion from the pancreatic β-cells leading to severe hypoglycaemia. In these patients it is important to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate the appropriate management so as to avoid hypoglycemic episodes and prevent the potentially associated complications like epilepsy, neurological impairment and cerebral palsy. At a genetic level abnormalities in eight different genes (ABCC8, KCNJ11, GLUD1, GCK, HADH, SLC16A1, HNF4A and UCP2 have been reported with CHI. Loss of function mutations in ABCC8/KCNJ11 lead to the most severe forms of CHI which are usually medically unresponsive. At a histological level there are two major subgroups, diffuse and focal, each with a different genetic etiology. The focal form is sporadic in inheritance and is localized to a small region of the pancreas whereas the diffuse form is inherited in an autosomal recessive (or dominant manner. Imaging using a specialized positron emission tomography scan with the isotope fluroine-18 L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenyalanine (18F-DOPA-PET-CT is used to accurately locate the focal lesion pre-operatively and if removed can cure the patient from hypoglycemia. Understanding the molecular mechanisms, the histological basis, improvements in imaging modalities and surgical techniques have all improved the management of patients with CHI.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular mechanics force-field development for amino acid zwitterions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirschner, K N; Lewin, A H; Bowen, J P

    2003-01-15

    Understanding the conformational flexibility of amino acid zwitterions (ZWs) and their associated conformational energies is crucial for predicting their interactions in biological systems. Gas-phase ab initio calculations of ZWs are intractable. Molecular mechanics (MM), on the other hand, is able to handle large systems but lacks the necessary force field parameters to model ZWs. To develop force field parameters that are able to correctly model ZW geometries and energetics we used a novel combinatorial approach: amino acid ZWs were broken down structurally into key functional components, which were parameterized separately. Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation calculations on small carboxylates, on the glycine cation, and on novel hydrogen bonded systems, coupled with available experimental data, were used to generate MM3(2000) ZW parameters (Allinger N. L.; Yuh, Y. H.; Lii, J.-H. J Am Chem Soc 1989, 111, 8551). The MM3 results from this combinatorial approach gave geometries that are in good agreement with neutron diffraction experiments, plus their frequencies and energies appear to be reasonably modeled. Current limitations and future development of MM force fields are discussed briefly. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem 24: 111-128, 2003

  19. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemberger, Patrick; Custodis, Victoria B. F.; Bodi, Andras; Gerber, Thomas; van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.

    2017-06-01

    Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising way to convert lignin into fine chemicals and fuels, but current approaches lack selectivity and yield unsatisfactory conversion. Understanding the pyrolysis reaction mechanism at the molecular level may help to make this sustainable process more economic. Reactive intermediates are responsible for product branching and hold the key to unveiling these mechanisms, but are notoriously difficult to detect isomer-selectively. Here, we investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of guaiacol, a lignin model compound, using photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, which allows for isomer-selective detection of reactive intermediates. In combination with ambient pressure pyrolysis, we identify fulvenone as the central reactive intermediate, generated by catalytic demethylation to catechol and subsequent dehydration. The fulvenone ketene is responsible for the phenol formation. This technique may open unique opportunities for isomer-resolved probing in catalysis, and holds the potential for achieving a mechanistic understanding of complex, real-life catalytic processes.

  3. Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemberger, Patrick; Custodis, Victoria B. F.; Bodi, Andras; Gerber, Thomas; van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.

    2017-01-01

    Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising way to convert lignin into fine chemicals and fuels, but current approaches lack selectivity and yield unsatisfactory conversion. Understanding the pyrolysis reaction mechanism at the molecular level may help to make this sustainable process more economic. Reactive intermediates are responsible for product branching and hold the key to unveiling these mechanisms, but are notoriously difficult to detect isomer-selectively. Here, we investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of guaiacol, a lignin model compound, using photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, which allows for isomer-selective detection of reactive intermediates. In combination with ambient pressure pyrolysis, we identify fulvenone as the central reactive intermediate, generated by catalytic demethylation to catechol and subsequent dehydration. The fulvenone ketene is responsible for the phenol formation. This technique may open unique opportunities for isomer-resolved probing in catalysis, and holds the potential for achieving a mechanistic understanding of complex, real-life catalytic processes. PMID:28660882

  4. [Progress in researches of molecular mechanism of schistosome cercariae infection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Xiaofeng; Ju, Chuan; Hu, Wei

    2013-12-01

    Schistosome cercariae must penetrate skin as an initial step to successfully infect the final host. Proteolytic enzymes secreted from the acetabular glands of cercariae contribute significantly to the invasion process. Nowadays, the researches of molecular mechanism of schistosome infection mainly focus on the cercarial secretions including serine protease and cysteine protease. Previous researches already showed that Schistosoma mansoni penetrates the skin mainly depend on cercarial elastease secreted by cercariae while Schistosoma japonicum penetrates the skin chiefly by cathepsin B2. The illustration of molecular mechanism of schistosome cecariae infection will accelerate the identification of novel vaccines and drug targets.

  5. 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.

  6. Exploring the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor action from sensitivity to resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramamoorthy, Sivapriya; Cidlowski, John A

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids regulate a variety of physiological processes, and are commonly used to treat disorders of inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Glucocorticoid action is predominantly mediated through the classic glucocorticoid receptor (GR), but sensitivity to glucocorticoids varies among individuals, and even within different tissues from the same individual. The molecular basis of this phenomenon can be partially explained through understanding the process of generating bioavailable ligand and the molecular heterogeneity of the GR. The molecular mechanisms that regulate glucocorticoid action highlight the dynamic nature of hormone signaling and provide novel insights into genomic glucocorticoid actions and glucocorticoid sensitivity. Although glucocorticoids are highly effective for therapeutic purposes, long-term and/or high-dose glucocorticoid administration often leads to reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity or resistance. Here, we summarize our current understanding of the mechanisms that modulate glucocorticoid sensitivity and resistance with a focus on GR-mediated signaling. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Understanding water: Molecular dynamics simulations of solubilized and crystallized myoglobin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Gu; Garcia, A.E.; Schoenborn, B.P.

    1994-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed on CO myoglobin to evaluate the stability of the bound water molecules as determined in a neutron diffraction analysis. The myoglobin structure derived from the neutron analysis provided the starting coordinate set used in the simulations. The simulations show that only a few water molecules are tightly bound to protein atoms, while most solvent molecules are labile, breaking and reforming hydrogen bonds. Comparison between myoglobin in solution and in a single crystal highlighted some of the packing effects on the solvent structure and shows that water solvent plays an indispensable role in protein dynamics and structural stability. The described observations explain some of the differences in the experimental results of protein hydration as observed in NMR, neutron and X-ray diffraction studies

  8. Understanding the kinetic mechanism of RNA single base pair formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaojun; Yu, Tao; Chen, Shi-Jie

    2016-01-05

    RNA functions are intrinsically tied to folding kinetics. The most elementary step in RNA folding is the closing and opening of a base pair. Understanding this elementary rate process is the basis for RNA folding kinetics studies. Previous studies mostly focused on the unfolding of base pairs. Here, based on a hybrid approach, we investigate the folding process at level of single base pairing/stacking. The study, which integrates molecular dynamics simulation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulation, and master equation methods, uncovers two alternative dominant pathways: Starting from the unfolded state, the nucleotide backbone first folds to the native conformation, followed by subsequent adjustment of the base conformation. During the base conformational rearrangement, the backbone either retains the native conformation or switches to nonnative conformations in order to lower the kinetic barrier for base rearrangement. The method enables quantification of kinetic partitioning among the different pathways. Moreover, the simulation reveals several intriguing ion binding/dissociation signatures for the conformational changes. Our approach may be useful for developing a base pair opening/closing rate model.

  9. Towards understanding the molecular basis of bacterial DNA segregation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leonard, Thomas A.; Møller-Jensen, Jakob; Löwe, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Bacteria ensure the fidelity of genetic inheritance by the coordinated control of chromosome segregation and cell division. Here, we review the molecules and mechanisms that govern the correct subcellular positioning and rapid separation of newly replicated chromosomes and plasmids towards the cell...... poles and, significantly, the emergence of mitotic-like machineries capable of segregating plasmid DNA. We further describe surprising similarities between proteins involved in DNA partitioning (ParA/ParB) and control of cell division (MinD/MinE), suggesting a mechanism for intracellular positioning...... common to the two processes. Finally, we discuss the role that the bacterial cytoskeleton plays in DNA partitioning and the missing link between prokaryotes and eukaryotes that is bacterial mechano-chemical motor proteins. Udgivelsesdato: Mar 29...

  10. Understanding Liver Regeneration: From Mechanisms to Regenerative Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilgenkrantz, Hélène; Collin de l'Hortet, Alexandra

    2018-04-16

    Liver regeneration is a complex and unique process. When two-thirds of a mouse liver is removed, the remaining liver recovers its initial weight in approximately 10 days. The understanding of the mechanisms responsible for liver regeneration may help patients needing large liver resections or transplantation and may be applied to the field of regenerative medicine. All differentiated hepatocytes are capable of self-renewal, but different subpopulations of hepatocytes seem to have distinct proliferative abilities. In the setting of chronic liver diseases, a ductular reaction ensues in which liver progenitor cells (LPCs) proliferate in the periportal region. Although these LPCs have the capacity to differentiate into hepatocytes and biliary cells in vitro, their ability to participate in liver regeneration is far from clear. Their expansion has even been associated with increased fibrosis and poorer prognosis in chronic liver diseases. Controversies also remain on their origin: lineage studies in experimental mouse models of chronic injury have recently suggested that these LPCs originate from hepatocyte dedifferentiation, whereas in other situations, they seem to come from cholangiocytes. This review summarizes data published in the past 5 years in the liver regeneration field, discusses the mechanisms leading to regeneration disruption in chronic liver disorders, and addresses the potential use of novel approaches for regenerative medicine. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.)

  12. Molecular mechanisms controlling the cell cycle in embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelalim, Essam M

    2013-12-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells are originated from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst stage embryo. They can proliferate indefinitely, maintain an undifferentiated state (self-renewal), and differentiate into any cell type (pluripotency). ES cells have an unusual cell cycle structure, consists mainly of S phase cells, a short G1 phase and absence of G1/S checkpoint. Cell division and cell cycle progression are controlled by mechanisms ensuring the accurate transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. Therefore, control of cell cycle is a complicated process, involving several signaling pathways. Although great progress has been made on the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of ES cell cycle, many regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms regulating the cell cycle of ES cells and describes the relationship existing between cell cycle progression and the self-renewal.

  13. Cystic fibrosis genetics: from molecular understanding to clinical application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutting, Garry R.

    2015-01-01

    The availability of the human genome sequence and tools for interrogating individual genomes provide an unprecedented opportunity to apply genetics to medicine. Mendelian conditions, which are caused by dysfunction of a single gene, offer powerful examples that illustrate how genetics can provide insights into disease. Cystic fibrosis, one of the more common lethalautosomal recessive Mendelian disorders, is presented here as an example. Recent progress in elucidating disease mechanism and causes of phenotypic variation, as well as in the development of treatments, demonstrates that genetics continues to play an important part in cystic fibrosis research 25 years after the d iscove1y of the disease-causing gene. PMID:25404111

  14. Applications of molecular quantum mechanics to problems in chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, H.F. III

    1983-03-01

    The past decade has witnessed remarkable progress in the development of rigorous quantum mechanical methods for the study of molecular electronic structure. Key developments include the emergence of large scale configuration interaction methods (including more than one million variational parameters) and of analytic first and second energy derivative techniques. These advances have greatly increased the scope of current applications of quantun mechanics to chemistry. Present and anticipated future developments with respect to the fields of physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry are surveyed.

  15. Antigenic variation: Molecular and genetic mechanisms of relapsing disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruse, J.M.; Lewis, R.E.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 10 chapters. They are: Contemporary Concepts of Antigenic Variation; Antigenic Variation in the Influenza Viruses; Mechanisms of Escape of Visna Lentiviruses from Immunological Control; A Review of Antigenic Variation by the Equine Infectious Anemia Virus; Biologic and Molecular Variations in AIDS Retrovirus Isolates; Rabies Virus Infection: Genetic Mutations and the Impact on Viral Pathogenicity and Immunity; Immunobiology of Relapsing Fever; Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes; Antigenic Variation and Antigenic Diversity in Malaria; and Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Schistosomiasis.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Audrey E. McCalley; Simon Kaja; Andrew J. Payne; Peter Koulen

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  17. Understanding DNA Under Oxidative Stress and Sensitization: The Role of Molecular Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio eMonari

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available DNA is constantly exposed to damaging threats coming from oxidative stress, i.e. from the presence of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Sensitization from exogenous and endogenous compounds that strongly enhance the frequency of light-induced lesions also plays an important role. The experimental determination of DNA lesions, though a difficult subject, is somehow well established and allows to elucidate even extremely rare DNA lesions. In parallel, molecular modeling has become fundamental to clearly understand the fine mechanisms related to DNA defects induction. Indeed, it offers an unprecedented possibility to get access to an atomistic or even electronic resolution. Ab initio molecular dynamics may also describe the time-evolution of the molecular system and its reactivity. Yet the modeling of DNA (photo-reactions does necessitate elaborate multi-scale methodologies to tackle a damage induction reactivity that takes place in a complex environment. The double-stranded DNA environment is first characterized by a very high flexibility, that dynamical effects are to be taken into account, but also a strongly inhomogeneous electrostatic embedding. Additionally, one aims at capturing more subtle effects, such as the sequence selectivity which is of critical important for DNA damage. The structure and dynamics of the DNA/sensitizers complexes, as well as the photo-induced electron- and energy-transfer phenomena taking place upon sensitization, should be carefully modeled. Finally the factors inducing different repair ratios for different lesions should also be rationalized.In this review we will critically analyze the different computational strategies used to model DNA lesions. A clear picture of the complex interplay between reactivity and structural factors will be sketched. The use of proper multi-scale modeling leads to the in-depth comprehension of DNA lesions mechanism and also to the rational design of new chemo-therapeutic agents.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of novel regulators in cytokine signal transduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiaofei, Zhang

    2013-01-01

    By identifying and studying novel regulators, the studies described in this thesis give substantive insights into the molecular mechanisms and different levels of control of TGF-β/BMP, IL-1β and Wnt signaling pathways. Crucially, our work for the first time demonstrated the monoubiquitination of an

  20. Molecular mechanisms of disease in hereditary red blood cell enzymopathies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, Henricus Anthonius van

    2004-01-01

    Metabolically defective red blood cells are old before their time, and suffer from metabolic progeria. The focus of this thesis was to identify the molecular mechanisms by which inherited enzymopathies of the red blood cell lead to impaired enzyme function and, consequently, shorten red blood cell

  1. Molecular mechanisms of epithelial host defense in the airways

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, Joost Bastiaan

    2007-01-01

    Airway epithelial cells are indispensable for the host defense system in the lungs. Various strategies by which epithelial cells protect the lungs against inhaled pathogens have been described. In spite of that, the molecular mechanisms by which epithelial cells initiate and control the host defense

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. A Molecular Mechanics Study of Monensin B Ion Selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    well known knot theorist working with Jon Simon under the math part of the ONR stereochemical topology project. 2) The 5-rung THYME diol-ditosylate has...trefoil knot, which will posses 100 atoms in the ring. 3) The first molecular mechanics studies on the THYME system have been accomplished. 4) Preliminary

  5. Integrating Classical with Emerging Concepts for Better Understanding of Salinity Stress Tolerance Mechanisms in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navdeep Kaur

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Rice is an important cereal crop responsible for world's food security. The sensitivity of rice plants toward a range of abiotic stresses is a prime challenge for its overall growth and productivity. Among these, salinity is a major stress which results in a significant loss of global rice yield annually. For finding straightforward and strict future solutions in order to assure the food security to growing world population, understanding of the various mechanisms responsible for salt stress tolerance in rice is of paramount importance. In classical studies, identification of salt tolerant cultivars and the genetic markers linked to salt tolerance and breeding approaches have been given emphasis. It further affirmed on the identification of various pathways regulating the complex process of salt stress adaptation. However, only limited success has been achieved in these approaches as salt tolerance is a complex process and is governed by multiple factors. Hence, for better understanding of salt tolerance mechanisms, a comprehensive approach involving physiological, biochemical and molecular studies is much warranted. Modern experimental and genetic resources have provided a momentum in this direction and have provided molecular insights into different salt stress responsive pathways at the signaling and regulatory level. The integrative knowledge of classical and modern research of the understanding of salt stress adaptive pathways can help the researchers for designing effective strategies to fight against salt stress. Hence, the present review is focused on the understanding of the salt stress tolerance mechanisms in rice through the consolidative knowledge of classical and modern concepts. It further highlights the emerging new trends of salt stress adaptive pathways in rice.

  6. 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.

  7. Using STOQS to Understand Molecular Biology and Oceanographic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, M. P.; Ryan, J. P.; Messié, M.; Harvey, J.; Cline, D.; Michisaki, R.

    2014-12-01

    Advances in technology enable us to collect massive amounts of diverse data. With the ability to collect more data, the problem of comparative analysis becomes increasing difficult. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) designed the Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) to create new capabilities for scientists to gain insight from data collected by oceanographic platforms. STOQS uses a geospatial database and a web-based user interface (UI) to allow scientists to explore large collections of data. The UI is optimized to provide a quick overview of data in spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as in parameter and platform space. A user may zoom into a feature of interest and select it, initiating a filter operation updating the UI with an overview of all the data in the new filtered selection. When details are desired, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected to generate a number of different types of visualizations. These include color-filled temporal section plots, parameter-parameter plots, and both 2D and 3D spatial visualizations. The ISO/IEC 19775-1, Extensible 3D (X3D) standard provides the technology for presenting 3D data in a web browser. STOQS has been in use at MBARI for four years and is helping us manage and visualize data from month-long multi-platform observational campaigns. These campaigns produce tens of millions of diverse measurements. These volumes are too great to really understand - even with an effective data exploration UI. Effective management of these diverse data in STOQS is achieved through a two-step harmonization process: 1) conversion of all data to OGC CF-NetCDF Discrete Sampling Geometry feature types and 2) loading all data into the STOQS data model. Having all of the data easily accessible via this data model made development of the UI possible. This same method of access is also being used for development of visualization and analysis programs for tasks that cannot be executed within the UI

  8. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Fanni

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD is a chronic lung disease occurring in preterm infants, typically before 28 weeks of gestational age, characterized by a prolonged need for supplemental oxygen or positive pressure ventilation. The normal stages of lung development and their relation to the timing of preterm birth is strategic in order to understand the pathogenesis of BPD. In embryonic and pseudoglandular stages the lungs arise from the anterior foregut as a bud where the branching morphogenesis generate a tree-like network of airways. The canalicular stage is characterized by increasing proliferation of distal lung epithelial cells and rapid expansion of the intra-acinar capillaries. The complexity of the airways increases, secondary crests begin to form and full maturation of the alveolus occurs during the saccular and the alveolar stages. Mesechyme components, expecially elastin and myofibroblast, display a major role in normal lung development. BPD is thought to result after an acute insult to the neonatal lung following therapy with oxygen supplementation and mechanical ventilation. Chorioamnionitis, infections and genetic susceptibly are hypothesized to contribute to the injury that affect the normal human lung development. Abnormalities in the mesenchyme were consistently seen in association with inhibition of alveolarization. The pathological features that characterize BPD are complex and differ according with the disease progression. Alveolar simplification, interstitial fibrosis, septal thickness, large airways, smooth muscle hypertrophy, fetal artery persistance and decrease in the arterial number can be histologically observed. In conclusion, in order to reach a complete clinical-pathological diagnosis, the correlation of the pathological features with the fundamental steps of lung morphogenesis and a strict dialogue between the neonatologist and the perinatal pathologist are required. Given these conditions, in our experience, a

  9. Understanding the mechanisms behind coking pressure: Relationship to pore structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John J. Duffy; M. Castro Diaz; Colin E. Snape; Karen M. Steel; Merrick R. Mahoney [University of Nottingham, Nottingham (United Kingdom). Nottingham Fuel and Energy Centre, School of Chemical, Environmental and Mining Engineering

    2007-09-15

    Three low volatile coals A, B and C with oven wall pressures of 100 kPa, 60 kPa and 20 kPa respectively were investigated using high-temperature rheometry, {sup 1}H NMR, thermogravimetric analysis and SEM, with the primary aim to better understand the mechanisms behind the coking pressure phenomenon. Rheometer plate displacement measurements ({Delta}L) have shown differences in the expansion and contraction behaviour of the three coals, which seem to correlate with changes in rheological properties; while SEM images have shown that the expansion process coincides with development of pore structure. It is considered that the point of maximum plate height ({Delta}L{sub max}) prior to contraction may be indicative of a cell opening or pore network forming process, based on analogies with other foam systems. Such a process may be considered important for coking pressure since it provides a potential mechanism for volatile escape, relieving internal gas pressure and inducing charge contraction. For coal C, which has the highest fluidity {delta}L{sub max} occurs quite early in the softening process and consequently a large degree of contraction is observed; while for the lower fluidity coal B, the process is delayed since pore development and consequently wall thinning progress at a slower rate. When {Delta}L{sub max} is attained, a lower degree of contraction is observed because the event occurs closer to resolidification where the increasing viscosity/elasticity can stabilise the expanded pore structure. For coal A which is relatively high fluidity, but also high coking pressure, a greater degree of swelling is observed prior to cell rupture, which may be due to greater fluid elasticity during the expansion process. This excessive expansion is considered to be a potential reason for its high coking pressure. 58 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Understanding sleep-wake mechanisms and drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Equihua-Benítez, Ana Clementina; Guzmán-Vásquez, Khalil; Drucker-Colín, René

    2017-07-01

    Although not discernible at first glance, sleep is a highly active and regulated brain state. Although we spend practically one third of our lifetimes in this stage, its importance is often taken for granted. Sleep loss can lead to disease, error and economic loss. Our understanding of how sleep is achieved has greatly advanced in recent years, and with that, the management of sleep disorders has improved. There is still room for improvement and recently many new compounds have reached clinical trials with a few being approved for commercial use. Areas covered: In this review, the authors make the case of sleep disorders as a matter of public health. The mechanisms of sleep transition are discussed emphasizing the wake and sleep promoting interaction of different brain regions. Finally, advances in pharmacotherapy are examined in the context of chronic insomnia and narcolepsy. Expert opinion: The orexinergic system is an example of a breakthrough in sleep medicine that has catalyzed drug development. Nevertheless, sleep is a topic still with many unanswered questions. That being said, the melanin-concentrating hormone system is becoming increasingly relevant and we speculate it will be the next target of sleep medication.

  11. Molecular Approaches to Understanding C & N Dynamics in MArine Sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arturo Massol; James Tiedje; Jizhong Zhou; Allan Devol

    2007-05-16

    Continental margin sediments constitute only about 10% of the total sediment surface area in the world’s oceans, nevertheless they are the dominant sites of nitrogen (N) cycling. Recent studies suggest that the oceanic nitrogen budget is unbalanced, primarily due to a higher nitrogen removal rate in contrast to the fixation rate, and it has been suggested that denitrification activity contributes significantly to this imbalance. Although denitrification in marine environments has been studied intensively at the process level, little is known about the species abundance, composition, distribution, and functional differences of the denitrifying population. Understanding the diversity of microbial populations in marine environments, their responses to various environmental factors such as NO3-, and how this impact the rate of denitrification is critical to predict global N dynamics. Environmental Microbiology has the prompt to study the influence of each microbial population on a biogeochemical process within a given ecosystem. Culture-dependent and –independent techniques using nucleic acid probes can access the identity and activity of cultured and uncultured microorganisms. Nucleic acid probes can target distintict genes which set phylogenetic relationships, such as rDNA 16S, DNA gyrase (gyrB) and RNA polymerase sigma 70 factor (rpoD). In the other hand, the genetic capabilities and their expression could be tracked using probes that target several functional genes, such as nirS, nirK, nosZ, and nifH, which are genes involved in denitrification. Selective detection of cells actively expressing functional genes within a community using In Situ Reverse Transcription-PCR (ISRT-PCR) could become a powerful culture-independent technique in microbial ecology. Here we describe an approach to study the expression of nirS genes in denitrifying bacteria. Pure cultures of Pseudomonas stutzeri and Paracoccus denitrificans, as well as co-cultures with non

  12. What Is Our Current Understanding of PrPSc-Associated Neurotoxicity and Its Molecular Underpinnings?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Daniel; Halliday, Mark

    2017-12-01

    The prion diseases are a collection of fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative diseases that cause rapid onset dementia and ultimately death. Uniquely, the infectious agent is a misfolded form of the endogenous cellular prion protein, termed PrP Sc . Despite the identity of the molecular agent remaining the same, PrP Sc can cause a range of diseases with hereditary, spontaneous or iatrogenic aetiologies. However, the link between PrP Sc and toxicity is complex, with subclinical cases of prion disease discovered, and prion neurodegeneration without obvious PrP Sc deposition. The toxic mechanisms by which PrP Sc causes the extensive neuropathology are still poorly understood, although recent advances are beginning to unravel the molecular underpinnings, including oxidative stress, disruption of proteostasis and induction of the unfolded protein response. This review will discuss the diseases caused by PrP Sc toxicity, the nature of the toxicity of PrP Sc , and our current understanding of the downstream toxic signaling events triggered by the presence of PrP Sc .

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Understanding ozone mechanisms to alleviate ceramic membrane fouling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Irma Giovanna Llamosas

    Ceramic membranes are a strong prospect as an advanced treatment in the drinking water domain. But their high capital cost and the lack of specific research on their performance still discourage their application in this field. Thus, knowing that fouling is the main drawback experienced in filtration processes, this bench-scale study was aimed to assess the impact of an ozonation pre-treatment on the alleviation of the fouling of UF ceramic membranes. Preozonation and filtration steps were performed under two different pH and ozone doses. Chosen pH values were at the limits of natural surface waters range (6.5 and 8.5) to keep practicability. Raw water from the Thousand Isle's river at Quebec-Canada was used for the tests. The filtration setup involved an unstirred dead-end filtration cell operated at constant flux. Results showed that pre-oxidation by ozone indeed reduced the fouling degree of the membranes according to the dose applied (up to 60 and 85% for membranes 8 and 50 kDa, respectively). Direct NOM oxidation was found responsible for this effect as the presence of molecular ozone was not essential to achieve these results. In the context of this experiment, however, pH showed to be more effective than the ozonation pre-treatment to keep fouling at low levels: 70% lower at pH 6.5 than at pH 8.5 for un-ozonated waters, which was contrary to most of the literature found on the topic (Changwon, 2013; De Angelis & Fidalgo, 2013; Karnik et al., 2005; S. Lee & Kim, 2014). This behaviour results mainly from the operation mode used in the experiment, the electrical repulsions between MON molecules at basic pH that led to the accumulation of material on the feed side of the membranes (concentration polarisation) and ulterior cake formation. In addition, solution pH showed an influence in the definition of fouling mechanisms. At solution pH 6.5, which was precisely the isoelectric point of the membranes (+/-6.5), the blocking fouling mode was frequently detected

  16. Understanding the mechanism of base development of hydrogen silsesquioxane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Chao, Weilun; Liang, Xiaogan; Griedel, Brian D.; Olynick, Deirdre L

    2009-01-09

    There have been numerous studies of electron beam exposed hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) development conditions in order to improve the developer contrast. For TMAH based development, improvements were made by going to higher TMAH normalities and heating the developer. Yang and Berggren showed development of electron beam exposed (HSQ) by NaOH with added Na salts (various anions) significantly improves the contrast. Here, we study the contrast and etching rates of 100 keV exposed HSQ in NaOH in the presence of LiCl, NaCl, and KCl salts and use this as a segway to understand the mechanisms governing contrast during development HSQ development. The basic mechanism of development of HSQ can be understood by comparing to etching of quartz in basic solutions. Hydroxide ions act as nucleophiles which attack silicon. When a silicon-oxygen bond of the Si-O-Si matrix is broken, Si-O{sup -} and Si-OH are formed which can reversibly react to form the original structure. When a Si-H bond is broken via reaction with hydroxide, Si-O{sup -} and H{sub 2} gas are formed. Salts can change the etching rates as a function of dose in a non-linear fashion to increase etch contrast. Figs. 1, 2, and 3 show contrast curves for HSQ developed in 0.25 N sodium hydroxide and with the addition of NaCl, LiCl and KCl salts at several concentrations. NaCl addition resulted in the highest contrast. Contrast improves with additional salt concentration while sensitivity decreases. Interestingly enough, addition of salt decreases the removal of material of NaOH alone at higher doses while increasing the rate at lower concentrations. Addition of LiCl salts improves contrast over NaOH alone. Furthermore, the sensitivity at all doses increases as the LiCl concentration increases, a salting out effect. Similar to NaCl salt behavior, the addition of KCl salts, improves contrast at the expense of sensitivity. However, unlike NaCl, even at very high doses, KCl addition increases removal rate of HSQ. We

  17. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axonal Regeneration After Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Niekerk, Erna A; Tuszynski, Mark H; Lu, Paul; Dulin, Jennifer N

    2016-02-01

    Following axotomy, a complex temporal and spatial coordination of molecular events enables regeneration of the peripheral nerve. In contrast, multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the general failure of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system. In this review, we examine the current understanding of differences in protein expression and post-translational modifications, activation of signaling networks, and environmental cues that may underlie the divergent regenerative capacity of central and peripheral axons. We also highlight key experimental strategies to enhance axonal regeneration via modulation of intraneuronal signaling networks and the extracellular milieu. Finally, we explore potential applications of proteomics to fill gaps in the current understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration, and to provide insight into the development of more effective approaches to promote axonal regeneration following injury to the nervous system. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular phenology in plants: in natura systems biology for the comprehensive understanding of seasonal responses under natural environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    Phenology refers to the study of seasonal schedules of organisms. Molecular phenology is defined here as the study of the seasonal patterns of organisms captured by molecular biology techniques. The history of molecular phenology is reviewed briefly in relation to advances in the quantification technology of gene expression. High-resolution molecular phenology (HMP) data have enabled us to study phenology with an approach of in natura systems biology. I review recent analyses of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a temperature-responsive repressor of flowering, along the six steps in the typical flow of in natura systems biology. The extensive studies of the regulation of FLC have made this example a successful case in which a comprehensive understanding of gene functions has been progressing. The FLC-mediated long-term memory of past temperatures creates time lags with other seasonal signals, such as photoperiod and short-term temperature. Major signals that control flowering time have a phase lag between them under natural conditions, and hypothetical phase lag calendars are proposed as mechanisms of season detection in plants. Transcriptomic HMP brings a novel strategy to the study of molecular phenology, because it provides a comprehensive representation of plant functions. I discuss future perspectives of molecular phenology from the standpoints of molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology. © 2015 The Author. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Tissue organization by cadherin adhesion molecules: dynamic molecular and cellular mechanisms of morphogenetic regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niessen, Carien M.; Leckband, Deborah; Yap, Alpha S.

    2013-01-01

    This review addresses the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cadherin-based tissue morphogenesis. Tissue physiology is profoundly influenced by the distinctive organizations of cells in organs and tissues. In metazoa, adhesion receptors of the classical cadherin family play important roles in establishing and maintaining such tissue organization. Indeed, it is apparent that cadherins participate in a range of morphogenetic events that range from support of tissue integrity to dynamic cellular rearrangements. A comprehensive understanding of cadherin-based morphogenesis must then define the molecular and cellular mechanisms that support these distinct cadherin biologies. Here we focus on four key mechanistic elements: the molecular basis for adhesion through cadherin ectodomains; the regulation of cadherin expression at the cell surface; cooperation between cadherins and the actin cytoskeleton; and regulation by cell signaling. We discuss current progress and outline issues for further research in these fields. PMID:21527735

  1. Crystal Adaptronics: Mechanically Reconfigurable Elastic and Superelastic Molecular Crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Ejaz; Karothu, Durga Prasad; Naumov, Pance

    2018-04-06

    Mechanically reconfigurable molecular crystals-ordered materials that can adapt to variable operating and environmental conditions by deformation, whereby they attain motility or perform work-are quickly shaping up a new research direction in materials science, crystal adaptronics. Properties such as elasticity, superelasticity and ferroelasticity that are normally related to inorganic materials, and phenomena such as shape-memory and self-healing effects which are well established for soft materials, are increasingly reported for molecular crystals, yet their mechanism, quantification, and relation to the crystal structure in organic crystals are not immediately intelligible to the chemistry and materials science research communities. This Minireview provides a condensed topical overview of the elastic, superelastic and ferroelastic molecular crystals, emerging new classes of materials that bridge the gap between the soft matter and inorganic materials. The occurrence and detection of these unconventional properties, and the underlying structural features of the related molecular materials are discussed and highlighted together with selected prominent recent examples. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. 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

  3. Molecular Mechanism of hTERT Function in Mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-20

    that nuclear and mitochondrial telomerases have different cellular functions . (a) Papers published in peer-reviewed journals (N/A for none) Enter List...Molecular mechanism of hTERT function in mitochondria (x) Material has been given an OPSEC review and it has been determined to be non sensitive and...transcriptase (hTERT) is localized to mitochondria, as well as the nucleus, but details about its biology and function in the organelle remain largely

  4. Molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of septic shock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Bojórquez, Lucia Nikolaia; Dehesa, Alejandro Zentella; Reyes-Terán, Gustavo

    2004-01-01

    Pathogenesis of the development of sepsis is highly complex and has been the object of study for many years. The inflammatory phenomena underlying septic shock are described in this review, as well as the enzymes and genes involved in the cellular activation that precedes this condition. The most important molecular aspects are discussed, ranging from the cytokines involved and their respective transduction pathways to the cellular mechanisms related to accelerated catabolism and multi-organic failure.

  5. 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.

  6. Towards understanding the molecular basis of ion channel modulation by lipids: Mechanistic models and current paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poveda, José A; Marcela Giudici, A; Lourdes Renart, M; Morales, Andrés; González-Ros, José M

    2017-09-01

    Research on ion channel modulation has become a hot topic because of the key roles these membrane proteins play in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. In this respect, lipid modulation adds to the overall modulatory mechanisms as a potential via to find new pharmacological targets for drug design based on interfering with lipid/channel interactions. However, our knowledge in this field is scarce and often circumscribed to the sites where lipids bind and/or its final functional consequences. To fully understand this process it is necessary to improve our knowledge on its molecular basis, from the binding sites to the signalling pathways that derive in structural and functional effects on the ion channel. In this review, we have compiled information about such mechanisms and established a classification into four different modes of action. Afterwards, we have revised in more detail the lipid modulation of Cys-loop receptors and of the potassium channel KcsA, which were chosen as model channels modulated by specific lipids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  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. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: Integrated molecular dynamics—Statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capar, M. Ilk; Nar, A.; Ferrarini, A.; Frezza, E.; Greco, C.; Zakharov, A. V.; Vakulenko, A. A.

    2013-03-01

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio.

  10. Understanding human action: integrating meanings, mechanisms, causes, and contexts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keestra, M.; Repko, A.F.; Newell, W.H.; Szostak, R.

    2012-01-01

    Humans are capable of understanding an incredible variety of actions performed by other humans. Even though these range from primary biological actions like eating and fleeing, to acts in parliament or in poetry, humans generally can make sense of each other’s actions. Understanding other people’s

  11. Understanding Molecular Ion-Neutral Atom Collisions for the Production of Ultracold Molecular Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-06

    grant for Education , Research and Engineering: The number of undergraduates funded by your agreement who graduated during this period and intend to work...40Ca magneto-optical trap ( MOT ) co- located with a linear quadrupole radio- frequency ion trap (LQT) system. The 40Ca MOT laser...the linear quadrupole trap, while ultracold atoms are collected in a MOT . The ultracold atoms quickly cool the atomic/molecular ion’s

  12. Towards Understanding the Catalytic Mechanism of Human Paraoxonase 1: Experimental and In Silico Mutagenesis Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathy, Rajan K; Aggarwal, Geetika; Bajaj, Priyanka; Kathuria, Deepika; Bharatam, Prasad V; Pande, Abhay H

    2017-08-01

    Human paraoxonase 1 (h-PON1) is a ~45-kDa serum enzyme that can hydrolyze a variety of substrates, including organophosphate (OP) compounds. It is a potential candidate for the development of antidote against OP poisoning in humans. However, insufficient OP-hydrolyzing activity of native enzyme affirms the urgent need to develop improved variant(s) having enhanced OP-hydrolyzing activity. The crystal structure of h-PON1 remains unsolved, and the molecular details of how the enzyme catalyses hydrolysis of different types of substrates are also not clear. Understanding the molecular details of the catalytic mechanism of h-PON1 is essential to engineer better variant(s) of enzyme. In this study, we have used a random mutagenesis approach to increase the OP-hydrolyzing activity of recombinant h-PON1. The mutants not only showed a 10-340-fold increased OP-hydrolyzing activity against different OP substrates but also exhibited differential lactonase and arylesterase activities. In order to investigate the mechanistic details of the effect of observed mutations on the hydrolytic activities of enzyme, molecular docking studies were performed with selected mutants. The results suggested that the observed mutations permit differential binding of substrate/inhibitor into the enzyme's active site. This may explain differential hydrolytic activities of the enzyme towards different substrates.

  13. Understanding the mechanism of base development of HSQ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Chao, Weilun; Griedel, Brian; Liang, Xiaogan; Lewis, Mark; Hilken, Dawn; Olynick, Deirdre

    2009-06-16

    We study the dissolution mechanism of HSQ (hydrogen silsesquioxane) in base solutions with the addition of chloride salts to elucidate the development mechanism. Reaction mechanisms are proposed based on the dissolution mechanism of quartz. Development kinetics points to two dose-dependent development mechanisms. Considering ion sizes, both hydrated and non-hydrated, and ion exchange, we propose that a combination of a surface dominated reaction at higher doses and a matrix dominated reaction at lower doses accounts for the high development contrast with a NaOH base/NaCl salt mixture. The interplay between the hydrated and non-hydrated ion size leads to higher contrast developers, such as tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH) with NaCl.

  14. Review on Molecular Mechanisms of Antifouling Compounds: An Update since 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lianguo; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2017-08-28

    Better understanding of the mechanisms of antifouling compounds is recognized to be of high value in establishing sensitive biomarkers, allowing the targeted optimization of antifouling compounds and guaranteeing environmental safety. Despite vigorous efforts to find new antifouling compounds, information about the mechanisms of antifouling is still scarce. This review summarizes the progress into understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying antifouling activity since 2012. Non-toxic mechanisms aimed at specific targets, including inhibitors of transmembrane transport, quorum sensing inhibitors, neurotransmission blockers, adhesive production/release inhibitors and enzyme/protein inhibitors, are put forward for natural antifouling products or shelf-stable chemicals. Several molecular targets show good potential for use as biomarkers in future mechanistic screening, such as acetylcholine esterase for neurotransmission, phenoloxidase/tyrosinase for the formation of adhesive plaques, N -acyl homoserine lactone for quorum sensing and intracellular Ca 2+ levels as second messenger. The studies on overall responses to challenges by antifoulants can be categorized as general targets, including protein expression/metabolic activity regulators, oxidative stress inducers, neurotransmission blockers, surface modifiers, biofilm inhibitors, adhesive production/release inhibitors and toxic killing. Given the current situation and the knowledge gaps regarding the development of alternative antifoulants, a basic workflow is proposed that covers the indispensable steps, including preliminary mechanism- or bioassay-guided screening, evaluation of environmental risks, field antifouling performance, clarification of antifouling mechanisms and the establishment of sensitive biomarkers, which are combined to construct a positive feedback loop.

  15. Cancer Chemoprevention and Piperine: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafiq A. Rather

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cancer is a genetic disease characterized by unregulated growth and dissemination of malignantly transformed neoplastic cells. The process of cancer development goes through several stages of biochemical and genetic alterations in a target cell. Several dietary alkaloids have been found to inhibit the molecular events and signaling pathways associated with various stages of cancer development and therefore are useful in cancer chemoprevention. Cancer chemoprevention has long been recognized as an important prophylactic strategy to reduce the burden of cancer on health care system. Cancer chemoprevention assumes the use of one or more pharmacologically active agents to block, suppress, prevent, or reverse the development of invasive cancer. Piperine is an active alkaloid with an excellent spectrum of therapeutic activities such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-asthmatic, anti-convulsant, anti-mutagenic, antimycobacterial, anti-amoebic, and anti-cancer activities. In this article, we made an attempt to sum up the current knowledge on piperine that supports the chemopreventive potential of this dietary phytochemical. Many mechanisms have been purported to understand the chemopreventive action of piperine. Piperine has been reported to inhibit the proliferation and survival of many types of cancer cells through its influence on activation of apoptotic signaling and inhibition of cell cycle progression. Piperine is known to affect cancer cells in variety of other ways such as influencing the redox homeostasis, inhibiting cancer stem cell (CSC self-renewal and modulation of ER stress and autophagy. Piperine can modify activity of many enzymes and transcription factors to inhibit invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Piperine is a potent inhibitor of p-glycoprotein (P-gp and has a significant effect on the drug metabolizing enzyme (DME system. Because of its inhibitory influence on P-gp activity, piperine can reverse

  16. Molecular mechanism of free fatty acids-induced insulin resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-zhe CAO

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance (IR is a complex metabolic disorder related to several diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2DM, hypertension and dyslipidemia. These diseases are all independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Lipid metabolism disorder has toxic effects on cells and may cause or aggravate IR in performance of elevated plasma levels of triglyceride (TG and free fatty acids (FFA, the last one is an independent risk factor for IR. It has been clear that FFA may induce IR by endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress, oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation, although the specific mechanisms remained unknown. The present paper summarizes the related molecules involved in the pathogenic process of IR and its mechanism, might provide a theoretical basis for the molecular mechanism of IR caused by FFA, and therapeutic reference for clinical treatment of IR and prevention of T2DM. DOI: 10.11855/j.issn.0577-7402.2017.01.16

  17. Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned copper by molecular dynamics simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Xing; Lu, Cheng; Tieu, Anh Kiet; Pei, Linqing; Zhang, Liang; Su, Lihong; Zhan, Lihua

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms Modulating the Phenotype of Macrophages and Microglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Amici

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Macrophages and microglia play crucial roles during central nervous system development, homeostasis and acute events such as infection or injury. The diverse functions of tissue macrophages and microglia are mirrored by equally diverse phenotypes. A model of inflammatory/M1 versus a resolution phase/M2 macrophages has been widely used. However, the complexity of macrophage function can only be achieved by the existence of varied, plastic and tridimensional macrophage phenotypes. Understanding how tissue macrophages integrate environmental signals via molecular programs to define pathogen/injury inflammatory responses provides an opportunity to better understand the multilayered nature of macrophages, as well as target and modulate cellular programs to control excessive inflammation. This is particularly important in MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases, where chronic inflammatory macrophage and microglial responses may contribute to pathology. Here, we perform a comprehensive review of our current understanding of how molecular pathways modulate tissue macrophage phenotype, covering both classic pathways and the emerging role of microRNAs, receptor-tyrosine kinases and metabolism in macrophage phenotype. In addition, we discuss pathway parallels in microglia, novel markers helpful in the identification of peripheral macrophages versus microglia and markers linked to their phenotype.

  1. 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.

  2. Soy Isoflavones and Prostate Cancer: A Review of Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoud, Abeer M.; Yang, Wancai; Bosland, Maarten C.

    2014-01-01

    Soy isoflavones are dietary components for which an association has been demonstrated with reduced risk of prostate cancer (PCa) in Asian populations. However, the exact mechanism by which these isoflavones may prevent the development or progression of PCa is not completely understood. There are a growing number of animal and in vitro studies that have attempted to elucidate these mechanisms. The predominant and most biologically active isoflavones in soy products, genistein, daidzein, equol, and glycetin, inhibit prostate carcinogenesis in some animal models. Cell-based studies show that soy isoflavones regulate genes that control cell cycle and apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the literature relevant to the molecular events that may account for the benefit of soy isoflavones in PCa prevention or treatment. These reports show that although soy isoflavone-induced growth arrest and apoptosis of PCa cells are plausible mechanisms, other chemo protective mechanisms are also worthy of consideration. These possible mechanisms include antioxidant defense, DNA repair, inhibition of angiogenesis and metastasis, potentiation of radio- and chemotherapeutic agents, and antagonism of estrogen- and androgen-mediated signaling pathways. Moreover, other cells in the cancer milieu, such as the fibroblastic stromal cells, endothelial cells, and immune cells, may be targeted by soy isoflavones, which may contribute to soy-mediated prostate cancer prevention. In this review, these mechanisms are discussed along with considerations about the doses and the preclinical models that have been used. PMID:24373791

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Is the microscopic stress computed from molecular simulations in mechanical equilibrium?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Sánchez, Alejandro; Vanegas, Juan M.; Arroyo, Marino

    The microscopic stress field connects atomistic simulations with the mechanics of materials at the nano-scale through statistical mechanics. However, its definition remains ambiguous. In a recent work we showed that this is not only a theoretical problem, but rather that it greatly affects local stress calculations from molecular simulations. We find that popular definitions of the local stress, which are continuously being employed to understand the mechanics of various systems at the nanoscale, violate the continuum statements of mechanical equilibrium. We exemplify these facts in local stress calculations of defective graphene, lipid bilayers, and fibrous proteins. Furthermore, we propose a new physical and sound definition of the microscopic stress that satisfies the continuum equations of balance, irrespective of the many-body nature of the inter-atomic potential. Thus, our proposal provides an unambiguous link between discrete-particle models and continuum mechanics at the nanoscale.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Mechanisms of Helicobacter pylori antibiotic resistance and molecular testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshihiro eNishizawa

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori is the main factor affecting the efficacy of current treatment methods against infection caused by this organism. The traditional culture methods for testing bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics are expensive and require 10 to 14 days. Since resistance to clarithromycin, fluoroquinolone, and tetracycline seems to be exclusively caused by specific mutations in a small region of the responsible gene, molecular methods offer an attractive alternative to the above-mentioned techniques. The technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR is an accurate and rapid method for the detection of mutations that confer antibiotic resistance. This review highlights the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in H. pylori and the molecular methods for antibiotic susceptibility testing.

  9. Alginate Biosynthesis in Azotobacter vinelandii: Overview of Molecular Mechanisms in Connection with the Oxygen Availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivette Pacheco-Leyva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii can synthetize the biopolymer alginate that has material properties appropriate for plenty of applications in industry as well as in medicine. In order to settle the foundation for improving alginate production without compromising its quality, a better understanding of the polymer biosynthesis and the mechanism of regulation during fermentation processes is necessary. This knowledge is crucial for the development of novel production strategies. Here, we highlight the key aspects of alginate biosynthesis that can lead to producing an alginate with specific material properties with particular focus on the role of oxygen availability linked with the molecular mechanisms involved in the alginate production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingheng; Shen, Lin; Yang, Weitao

    2017-10-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Zika Virus-Induced Microcephaly and Its Possible Molecular Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faizan, Md Imam; Abdullah, Mohd; Ali, Sher; Naqvi, Irshad H; Ahmed, Anwar; Parveen, Shama

    2016-01-01

    Zika virus is an arthropod-borne re-emerging pathogen associated with the global pandemic of 2015-2016. The devastating effect of Zika viral infection is reflected by its neurological manifestations such as microcephaly in newborns. This scenario evoked our interest to uncover the neurotropic localization, multiplication of the virus, and the mechanism of microcephaly. The present report provides an overview of a possible molecular mechanism of Zika virus-induced microcephaly based on recent publications. Transplacental transmission of Zika viral infection from mother to foetus during the first trimester of pregnancy results in propagation of the virus in human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs), where entry is facilitated by the receptor (AXL protein) leading to the alteration of signalling and immune pathways in host cells. Further modification of the viral-induced TLR3-mediated immune network in the infected hNPCs affects viral replication. Downregulation of neurogenesis and upregulation of apoptosis in hNPCs leads to cell cycle arrest and death of the developing neurons. In addition, it is likely that the environmental, physiological, immunological, and genetic factors that determine in utero transmission of Zika virus are also involved in neurotropism. Despite the global concern regarding the Zika-mediated epidemic, the precise molecular mechanism of neuropathogenesis remains elusive. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. [Novel drug composition ameliorating thrombosis and its molecular mechanisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Meng; Huang, Jing-Hui; Zhang, Yan-Fang; Cui, Wen-Yu; Wang, Hai

    2014-03-01

    To investigate the antithrombotic effects and its molecular mechanisms of prazosin combined with anisodamine (Ani). Isolated rat tail artery rings model was employed to evaluate the vasodilative effects of drugs, mice tail thrombosis model induced by carrageenan was used to study the antithrombotic effects and its molecular mechanisms of the drug composition. Among alpha1-adrenoreceptor antagonists, prazosin(Pra) had the greatest relaxation rate, which was (82.6 +/- 8.9)%, and the EC50 value was 0.44 micromol/L. The drug composition of anisodamine and prazosin of different doses could decrease the length of the tail thrombosis from (24.6 +/- 4.6)mm to (6.9 +/- 2.7)mm, and the rate of thrombosis was decreased from 86.6% to 50.0%. The drug composition could prolong the prothrombin time (PT) distinctively, but it had no effect on the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). It also could restrain the decrease of serum levels of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and 6- Keto -PGF1alpha as well as the increase of type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) in the mice. The drug composition formed by anisodamine and prazosin has good effects of relaxing extremities tiny blood vessels and it can fight against thrombosis, its antithrombotic mechanisms may be related to the influence of the extrinsic coagulation pathway, inhibition of platelet activation functions and the promotion of fibrinolysis function.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of dominance evolution in Müllerian mimicry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llaurens, V; Joron, M; Billiard, S

    2015-12-01

    Natural selection acting on dominance between adaptive alleles at polymorphic loci can be sufficiently strong for dominance to evolve. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such evolution are generally unknown. Here, using Müllerian mimicry as a case-study for adaptive morphological variation, we present a theoretical analysis of the invasion of dominance modifiers altering gene expression through different molecular mechanisms. Toxic species involved in Müllerian mimicry exhibit warning coloration, and converge morphologically with other toxic species of the local community, due to positive frequency-dependent selection acting on these colorations. Polymorphism in warning coloration may be maintained by migration-selection balance with fine scale spatial heterogeneity. We modeled a dominance modifier locus altering the expression of the warning coloration locus, targeting one or several alleles, acting in cis or trans, and either enhancing or repressing expression. We confirmed that dominance could evolve when balanced polymorphism was maintained at the color locus. Dominance evolution could result from modifiers enhancing one allele specifically, irrespective of their linkage with the targeted locus. Nonspecific enhancers could also persist in populations, at frequencies tightly depending on their linkage with the targeted locus. Altogether, our results identify which mechanisms of expression alteration could lead to dominance evolution in polymorphic mimicry. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. 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

    2018-03-09

    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

  17. Recent advances in the molecular mechanisms causing primary generalized glucocorticoid resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaides, Nicolas; Lamprokostopoulou, Agaristi; Sertedaki, Amalia; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2016-01-01

    Primary Generalized Glucocorticoid Resistance is a rare condition characterized by generalized, partial, target tissue insensitivity to glucocorticoids owing to inactivating mutations, insertions or deletions in the human glucocorticoid receptor (hGR) gene (NR3C1). Recent advances in molecular and structural biology have enabled us to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of action of the mutant receptors and to understand how certain conformational alterations of the defective hGRs result in generalized glucocorticoid resistance. Furthermore, our ever-increasing understanding of the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid action indicates that the glucocorticoid signaling pathway is a stochastic system that plays a fundamental role in maintaining both basal and stress-related homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the clinical manifestations and molecular pathogenesis of Primary Generalized Glucocorticoid Resistance, we present our recent findings from the functional characterization of three novel heterozygous point mutations in the NR3C1 gene, and we discuss the diagnostic approach and therapeutic management of the condition. When the condition is suspected, we recommend sequencing analysis of the NR3C1 gene as well as of other genes encoding proteins involved in the glucocorticoid signal transduction. The tremendous progress of next-generation sequencing will undoubtedly uncover novel hGR partners or cofactors.

  18. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Qiantao; Ren, Pengyu, E-mail: pren@mail.utexas.edu [Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States); Wang, Lee-Ping; Pande, Vijay S. [Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 (United States)

    2015-07-07

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms Linking Exercise to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hojman, Pernille; Gehl, Julie; Christensen, Jesper F.

    2018-01-01

    The benefits of exercise training for cancer patients are becoming increasingly evident. Physical exercise has been shown to reduce cancer incidence and inhibit tumor growth. Here we provide the status of the current molecular understanding of the effect of exercise on cancer. We propose...... that exercise has a role in controlling cancer progression through a direct effect on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of anti-cancer treatment efficacy. These findings have wide-ranging societal implications......, as this understanding may lead to changes in cancer treatment strategies. Hojman et al. discuss the role of exercise in controlling cancer progression through direct effects on tumor-intrinsic factors, interplay with whole-body exercise effects, alleviation of cancer-related adverse events, and improvement of cancer...

  20. Theoretical Characterization of the Spectral Density of the Water-Soluble Chlorophyll-Binding Protein from Combined Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosnik, Andreana M; Curutchet, Carles

    2015-12-08

    Over the past decade, both experimentalists and theorists have worked to develop methods to describe pigment-protein coupling in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes in order to understand the molecular basis of quantum coherence effects observed in photosynthesis. Here we present an improved strategy based on the combination of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and excited-state calculations to predict the spectral density of electronic-vibrational coupling. We study the water-soluble chlorophyll-binding protein (WSCP) reconstituted with Chl a or Chl b pigments as the system of interest and compare our work with data obtained by Pieper and co-workers from differential fluorescence line-narrowing spectra (Pieper et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115 (14), 4042-4052). Our results demonstrate that the use of QM/MM MD simulations where the nuclear positions are still propagated at the classical level leads to a striking improvement of the predicted spectral densities in the middle- and high-frequency regions, where they nearly reach quantitative accuracy. This demonstrates that the so-called "geometry mismatch" problem related to the use of low-quality structures in QM calculations, not the quantum features of pigments high-frequency motions, causes the failure of previous studies relying on similar protocols. Thus, this work paves the way toward quantitative predictions of pigment-protein coupling and the comprehension of quantum coherence effects in photosynthesis.

  1. The Nobel Prize for understanding autophagy, a cellular mechanism ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2016, was awarded to Prof Yoshinori Ohsumi from TokyoInstitute of Technology, Yokohoma, Japan, for his work that helped in understanding the molecularmechanisms of autophagy, a process used by most eukaryotic cells to degrade a portion of cytoplasmincluding damaged ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular markers in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: New insights into mechanisms and prognosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behfar Ehdaie

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urothelial carcinoma is potentially life-threatening and expensive to treat since for many patients, the diagnosis entails a lifetime of surveillance to detect recurrent disease. Advancements in technology have provided an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and defined distinct pathways in tumorigenesis and progression. At the molecular level, urothelial carcinoma is being seen as a disease with distinct pathways of carcinogenesis and progression and thus markers of these processes should be used as both diagnostics and predictors of progression and patient outcome. Herein we present a selective overview of the molecular underpinning of urothelial carcinogenesis and progression and discuss the potential for proteins involved in these processes to serve as biomarkers. The discovery of biomarkers has enabled the elucidation of targets for novel therapeutic agents to disrupt the deregulation underlying the development and progression of urothelial carcinogenesis.

  7. Rosacea: Molecular Mechanisms and Management of a Chronic Cutaneous Inflammatory Condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Yu Ri; Lim, Ji Hong; Cho, Dae Ho; Park, Hyun Jeong

    2016-09-15

    Rosacea is a chronic cutaneous inflammatory disease that affects the facial skin. Clinically, rosacea can be categorized into papulopustular, erythematotelangiectatic, ocular, and phymatous rosacea. However, the phenotypic presentations of rosacea are more heterogeneous. Although the pathophysiology of rosacea remains to be elucidated, immunologic alterations and neurovascular dysregulation are thought to have important roles in initiating and strengthening the clinical manifestations of rosacea. In this article, we present the possible molecular mechanisms of rosacea based on recent laboratory and clinical studies. We describe the genetic predisposition for rosacea along with its associated diseases, triggering factors, and suggested management options in detail based on the underlying molecular biology. Understanding the molecular pathomechanisms of rosacea will likely aid toward better comprehending its complex pathogenesis.

  8. Rosacea: Molecular Mechanisms and Management of a Chronic Cutaneous Inflammatory Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Ri Woo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rosacea is a chronic cutaneous inflammatory disease that affects the facial skin. Clinically, rosacea can be categorized into papulopustular, erythematotelangiectatic, ocular, and phymatous rosacea. However, the phenotypic presentations of rosacea are more heterogeneous. Although the pathophysiology of rosacea remains to be elucidated, immunologic alterations and neurovascular dysregulation are thought to have important roles in initiating and strengthening the clinical manifestations of rosacea. In this article, we present the possible molecular mechanisms of rosacea based on recent laboratory and clinical studies. We describe the genetic predisposition for rosacea along with its associated diseases, triggering factors, and suggested management options in detail based on the underlying molecular biology. Understanding the molecular pathomechanisms of rosacea will likely aid toward better comprehending its complex pathogenesis.

  9. Understanding "Understanding" Flow for Network-Centric Warfare: Military Knowledge-Flow Mechanics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nissen, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Network-centric warfare (NCW) emphasizes information superiority for battlespace efficacy, but it is clear that the mechanics of how knowledge flows are just as important as those pertaining to the networks and communication...

  10. Understanding the Role and Mechanism of Metformin in Obesity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Metformin, a biguanide, is a widely used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug also found to be beneficial in other class of diseases like obesity but its role and mechanism of action in obesity is still not well established. A literature survey was done in order to evaluate the evidence supporting metformin ...

  11. Understanding the Mechanism behind Maternal Imprisonment and Adolescent School Dropout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Rosa M.

    2011-01-01

    This study empirically tested 3 mechanisms commonly suggested to disadvantage youths whose mothers are incarcerated in prison. An event history analysis of school dropout was conducted on a sample of 6,008 adolescents in a large city created by merging several Illinois state administrative data. Findings revealed that adolescents are indeed at…

  12. 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

  13. HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Tu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Molecular Targets Related Drug Resistance Mechanisms in MDR-, XDR-, and TDR-Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. M. Adnan Hameed

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis (TB is a formidable infectious disease that remains a major cause of death worldwide today. Escalating application of genomic techniques has expedited the identification of increasing number of mutations associated with drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Unfortunately the prevalence of bacillary resistance becomes alarming in many parts of the world, with the daunting scenarios of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB and total drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB, due to number of resistance pathways, alongside some apparently obscure ones. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular/ genetic basis of drug targets and drug resistance mechanisms have been steadily made. Intriguing findings through whole genome sequencing and other molecular approaches facilitate the further understanding of biology and pathology of M. tuberculosis for the development of new therapeutics to meet the immense challenge of global health.

  15. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axonal Regeneration After Spinal Cord Injury*

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Niekerk, Erna A.; Tuszynski, Mark H.; Lu, Paul; Dulin, Jennifer N.

    2016-01-01

    Following axotomy, a complex temporal and spatial coordination of molecular events enables regeneration of the peripheral nerve. In contrast, multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the general failure of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system. In this review, we examine the current understanding of differences in protein expression and post-translational modifications, activation of signaling networks, and environmental cues that may underlie the divergent regenerative capacity of central and peripheral axons. We also highlight key experimental strategies to enhance axonal regeneration via modulation of intraneuronal signaling networks and the extracellular milieu. Finally, we explore potential applications of proteomics to fill gaps in the current understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration, and to provide insight into the development of more effective approaches to promote axonal regeneration following injury to the nervous system. PMID:26695766

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Diabetes

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Jiezhong; Huang, Xu-Feng; Shao, Renfu; Chen, Chen; Deng, Chao

    2017-01-01

    Antipsychotic drugs (APDs) are widely prescribed to control various mental disorders. As mental disorders are chronic diseases, these drugs are often used over a life-time. However, APDs can cause serious glucometabolic side-effects including type 2 diabetes and hyperglycaemic emergency, leading to medication non-compliance. At present, there is no effective approach to overcome these side-effects. Understanding the mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes should be helpful in prevention and treat...

  17. Molecular Mechanics of the Moisture Effect on Epoxy/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lik-ho Tam

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The strong structural integrity of polymer nanocomposite is influenced in the moist environment; but the fundamental mechanism is unclear, including the basis for the interactions between the absorbed water molecules and the structure, which prevents us from predicting the durability of its applications across multiple scales. In this research, a molecular dynamics model of the epoxy/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT nanocomposite is constructed to explore the mechanism of the moisture effect, and an analysis of the molecular interactions is provided by focusing on the hydrogen bond (H-bond network inside the nanocomposite structure. The simulations show that at low moisture concentration, the water molecules affect the molecular interactions by favorably forming the water-nanocomposite H-bonds and the small cluster, while at high concentration the water molecules predominantly form the water-water H-bonds and the large cluster. The water molecules in the epoxy matrix and the epoxy-SWCNT interface disrupt the molecular interactions and deteriorate the mechanical properties. Through identifying the link between the water molecules and the nanocomposite structure and properties, it is shown that the free volume in the nanocomposite is crucial for its structural integrity, which facilitates the moisture accumulation and the distinct material deteriorations. This study provides insights into the moisture-affected structure and properties of the nanocomposite from the nanoscale perspective, which contributes to the understanding of the nanocomposite long-term performance under the moisture effect.

  18. Molecular Mechanics of the Moisture Effect on Epoxy/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Lik-Ho; Wu, Chao

    2017-10-13

    The strong structural integrity of polymer nanocomposite is influenced in the moist environment; but the fundamental mechanism is unclear, including the basis for the interactions between the absorbed water molecules and the structure, which prevents us from predicting the durability of its applications across multiple scales. In this research, a molecular dynamics model of the epoxy/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) nanocomposite is constructed to explore the mechanism of the moisture effect, and an analysis of the molecular interactions is provided by focusing on the hydrogen bond (H-bond) network inside the nanocomposite structure. The simulations show that at low moisture concentration, the water molecules affect the molecular interactions by favorably forming the water-nanocomposite H-bonds and the small cluster, while at high concentration the water molecules predominantly form the water-water H-bonds and the large cluster. The water molecules in the epoxy matrix and the epoxy-SWCNT interface disrupt the molecular interactions and deteriorate the mechanical properties. Through identifying the link between the water molecules and the nanocomposite structure and properties, it is shown that the free volume in the nanocomposite is crucial for its structural integrity, which facilitates the moisture accumulation and the distinct material deteriorations. This study provides insights into the moisture-affected structure and properties of the nanocomposite from the nanoscale perspective, which contributes to the understanding of the nanocomposite long-term performance under the moisture effect.

  19. 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.

  20. How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works?: Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Amit; Kar, Sujita Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a time tested treatment modality for the management of various psychiatric disorders. There have been a lot of modifications in the techniques of delivering ECT over decades. Despite lots of criticisms encountered, ECT has still been used commonly in clinical practice due to its safety and efficacy. Research evidences found multiple neuro-biological mechanisms for the therapeutic effect of ECT. ECT brings about various neuro-physiological as well as neuro-chemical changes in the macro- and micro-environment of the brain. Diverse changes involving expression of genes, functional connectivity, neurochemicals, permeability of blood-brain-barrier, alteration in immune system has been suggested to be responsible for the therapeutic effects of ECT. This article reviews different neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the therapeutic efficacy of ECT. PMID:28783929

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Phosphorus Metabolism and Transport during Leaf Senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigter, Kyla A; Plaxton, William C

    2015-12-16

    Leaf senescence, being the final developmental stage of the leaf, signifies the transition from a mature, photosynthetically active organ to the attenuation of said function and eventual death of the leaf. During senescence, essential nutrients sequestered in the leaf, such as phosphorus (P), are mobilized and transported to sink tissues, particularly expanding leaves and developing seeds. Phosphorus recycling is crucial, as it helps to ensure that previously acquired P is not lost to the environment, particularly under the naturally occurring condition where most unfertilized soils contain low levels of soluble orthophosphate (Pi), the only form of P that roots can directly assimilate from the soil. Piecing together the molecular mechanisms that underpin the highly variable efficiencies of P remobilization from senescing leaves by different plant species may be critical for devising effective strategies for improving overall crop P-use efficiency. Maximizing Pi remobilization from senescing leaves using selective breeding and/or biotechnological strategies will help to generate P-efficient crops that would minimize the use of unsustainable and polluting Pi-containing fertilizers in agriculture. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms whereby P is remobilized from senescing leaves and transported to sink tissues, which encompasses the action of hormones, transcription factors, Pi-scavenging enzymes, and Pi transporters.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro C Ucero

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alvaro C Ucero1,*, Sara Gonçalves2,*, Alberto Benito-Martin1, Beatriz Santamaría1, Adrian M Ramos1, Sergio Berzal1, Marta Ruiz-Ortega1, Jesus Egido1, Alberto Ortiz11Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Fundación Renal Iñigo Alvarez de Toledo, Madrid, Spain; 2Nefrologia e Transplantação Renal, Hospital de Santa Maria EPE, Lisbon, Portugal *Both authors contributed equally to the manuscriptAbstract: 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.Keywords: urinary tract obstruction, renal injury, fluid mechanics, molecular cell biology

  3. Molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis clinical isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Dong-Ya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis (MH clinical strains isolated from urogenital specimens. 15 MH clinical isolates with different phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones antibiotics were screened for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE in comparison with the reference strain PG21, which is susceptible to fluoroquinolones antibiotics. 15 MH isolates with three kinds of quinolone resistance phenotypes were obtained. Thirteen out of these quinolone-resistant isolates were found to carry nucleotide substitutions in either gyrA or parC. There were no alterations in gyrB and no mutations were found in the isolates with a phenotype of resistance to Ofloxacin (OFX, intermediate resistant to Levofloxacin (LVX and Sparfloxacin (SFX, and those susceptible to all three tested antibiotics. The molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolone resistance in clinical isolates of MH was reported in this study. The single amino acid mutation in ParC of MH may relate to the resistance to OFX and LVX and the high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones for MH is likely associated with mutations in both DNA gyrase and the ParC subunit of topoisomerase IV.

  4. Molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis clinical isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Dong-Ya; Sun, Chang-Jian; Yu, Jing-Bo; Ma, Jun; Xue, Wen-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis (MH) clinical strains isolated from urogenital specimens. 15 MH clinical isolates with different phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones antibiotics were screened for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE) in comparison with the reference strain PG21, which is susceptible to fluoroquinolones antibiotics. 15 MH isolates with three kinds of quinolone resistance phenotypes were obtained. Thirteen out of these quinolone-resistant isolates were found to carry nucleotide substitutions in either gyrA or parC. There were no alterations in gyrB and no mutations were found in the isolates with a phenotype of resistance to Ofloxacin (OFX), intermediate resistant to Levofloxacin (LVX) and Sparfloxacin (SFX), and those susceptible to all three tested antibiotics. The molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolone resistance in clinical isolates of MH was reported in this study. The single amino acid mutation in ParC of MH may relate to the resistance to OFX and LVX and the high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones for MH is likely associated with mutations in both DNA gyrase and the ParC subunit of topoisomerase IV.

  5. 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

  6. Electroporation of Skin Stratum Corneum Lipid Bilayer and Molecular Mechanism of Drug Transport: A Molecular Dynamics Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Rakesh; Rai, Beena

    2018-04-30

    Skin electroporation has been used significantly to increase the drug permeation. However, molecular mechanism, which resulted in enhancement of flux through skin, is still not known. In this study, extensive atomistic molecular dynamics simulation of skin lipids (made up of ceramide (CER), cholesterol (CHOL) and free fatty acid (FFA)) have been performed at various external electric field. We show for the first time the pore formation in the skin lipid bilayer during the electroporation. We show the effect of applied external electrical field on the pore formation dynamics in lipid bilayer of different size and composition. The pore formation and resealing kinetics were different and was found to be highly dependent on the composition of skin lipid bilayer. The pore formation time decreased with increase in the bilayer size. The pore sustaining electric field was found to be in the range of 0.20-0.25 V/nm for equimolar CER, CHOL and FFA lipid bilayer. The skin lipid bilayer (1:1:1), sealed itself within 20 ns after the removal of external electric field. We also present the molecular mechanism of enhancement of drug permeation in the presence of external field as compared to the passive diffusion. The molecular level understanding obtained here could help in optimizing/designing the electroporation experiments for effective drug delivery. For a given skin composition and size of drug molecule, the combination of pore formation time and pore growth model can be used to know aproiri the desired electric field and time for application of electric field.

  7. Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy: An analytical technique to understand therapeutic responses at the molecular level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmodia, Sushma; Parameswaran, Sowmya; Yang, Wenrong; Barrow, Colin J; Krishnakumar, Subramanian

    2015-11-16

    Rapid monitoring of the response to treatment in cancer patients is essential to predict the outcome of the therapeutic regimen early in the course of the treatment. The conventional methods are laborious, time-consuming, subjective and lack the ability to study different biomolecules and their interactions, simultaneously. Since; mechanisms of cancer and its response to therapy is dependent on molecular interactions and not on single biomolecules, an assay capable of studying molecular interactions as a whole, is preferred. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has become a popular technique in the field of cancer therapy with an ability to elucidate molecular interactions. The aim of this study, was to explore the utility of the FTIR technique along with multivariate analysis to understand whether the method has the resolution to identify the differences in the mechanism of therapeutic response. Towards achieving the aim, we utilized the mouse xenograft model of retinoblastoma and nanoparticle mediated targeted therapy. The results indicate that the mechanism underlying the response differed between the treated and untreated group which can be elucidated by unique spectral signatures generated by each group. The study establishes the efficiency of non-invasive, label-free and rapid FTIR method in assessing the interactions of nanoparticles with cellular macromolecules towards monitoring the response to cancer therapeutics.

  8. Dynamics of ligand exchange mechanism at Cu(II) in water: An ab initio quantum mechanical charge field molecular dynamics study with extended quantum mechanical region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moin, Syed Tarique; Hofer, Thomas S.; Weiss, Alexander K. H.; Rode, Bernd M.

    2013-01-01

    Ab initio quantum mechanical charge field molecular dynamics (QMCF-MD) were successfully applied to Cu(II) embedded in water to elucidate structure and to understand dynamics of ligand exchange mechanism. From the simulation studies, it was found that using an extended large quantum mechanical region including two shells of hydration is required for a better description of the dynamics of exchanging water molecules. The structural features characterized by radial distribution function, angular distribution function and other analytical parameters were consistent with experimental data. The major outcome of this study was the dynamics of exchange mechanism and reactions in the first hydration shell that could not be studied so far. The dynamical data such as mean residence time of the first shell water molecules and other relevant data from the simulations are close to the results determined experimentally. Another major characteristic of hydrated Cu(II) is the Jahn-Teller distortion which was also successfully reproduced, leading to the final conclusion that the dominating aqua complex is a 6-coordinated species. The ab initio QMCF-MD formalism proved again its capabilities of unraveling even ambiguous properties of hydrated species that are far difficult to explore by any conventional quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach or experiment

  9. Molecular analysis of Hsp70 mechanisms in plants and their function in response to stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usman, Magaji G; Rafii, Mohd Y; Martini, Mohammad Y; Yusuff, Oladosu A; Ismail, Mohd R; Miah, Gous

    2017-04-01

    Studying the strategies of improving abiotic stress tolerance is quite imperative and research under this field will increase our understanding of response mechanisms to abiotic stress such as heat. The Hsp70 is an essential regulator of protein having the tendency to maintain internal cell stability like proper folding protein and breakdown of unfolded proteins. Hsp70 holds together protein substrates to help in movement, regulation, and prevent aggregation under physical and or chemical pressure. However, this review reports the molecular mechanism of heat shock protein 70 kDa (Hsp70) action and its structural and functional analysis, research progress on the interaction of Hsp70 with other proteins and their interaction mechanisms as well as the involvement of Hsp70 in abiotic stress responses as an adaptive defense mechanism.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Probing molecular mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone: biophysical modeling identifies key regulators of functional dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Anshuman; Verkhivker, Gennady M

    2012-01-01

    Deciphering functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery is an important objective in cancer biology aiming to facilitate discovery of targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite significant advances in understanding structure and function of molecular chaperones, organizing molecular principles that control the relationship between conformational diversity and functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 activity lack a sufficient quantitative characterization. We combined molecular dynamics simulations, principal component analysis, the energy landscape model and structure-functional analysis of Hsp90 regulatory interactions to systematically investigate functional dynamics of the molecular chaperone. This approach has identified a network of conserved regions common to the Hsp90 chaperones that could play a universal role in coordinating functional dynamics, principal collective motions and allosteric signaling of Hsp90. We have found that these functional motifs may be utilized by the molecular chaperone machinery to act collectively as central regulators of Hsp90 dynamics and activity, including the inter-domain communications, control of ATP hydrolysis, and protein client binding. These findings have provided support to a long-standing assertion that allosteric regulation and catalysis may have emerged via common evolutionary routes. The interaction networks regulating functional motions of Hsp90 may be determined by the inherent structural architecture of the molecular chaperone. At the same time, the thermodynamics-based "conformational selection" of functional states is likely to be activated based on the nature of the binding partner. This mechanistic model of Hsp90 dynamics and function is consistent with the notion that allosteric networks orchestrating cooperative protein motions can be formed by evolutionary conserved and sparsely connected residue clusters. Hence, allosteric signaling through a small network of distantly connected residue clusters may be

  13. Probing molecular mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone: biophysical modeling identifies key regulators of functional dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anshuman Dixit

    Full Text Available Deciphering functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery is an important objective in cancer biology aiming to facilitate discovery of targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite significant advances in understanding structure and function of molecular chaperones, organizing molecular principles that control the relationship between conformational diversity and functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 activity lack a sufficient quantitative characterization. We combined molecular dynamics simulations, principal component analysis, the energy landscape model and structure-functional analysis of Hsp90 regulatory interactions to systematically investigate functional dynamics of the molecular chaperone. This approach has identified a network of conserved regions common to the Hsp90 chaperones that could play a universal role in coordinating functional dynamics, principal collective motions and allosteric signaling of Hsp90. We have found that these functional motifs may be utilized by the molecular chaperone machinery to act collectively as central regulators of Hsp90 dynamics and activity, including the inter-domain communications, control of ATP hydrolysis, and protein client binding. These findings have provided support to a long-standing assertion that allosteric regulation and catalysis may have emerged via common evolutionary routes. The interaction networks regulating functional motions of Hsp90 may be determined by the inherent structural architecture of the molecular chaperone. At the same time, the thermodynamics-based "conformational selection" of functional states is likely to be activated based on the nature of the binding partner. This mechanistic model of Hsp90 dynamics and function is consistent with the notion that allosteric networks orchestrating cooperative protein motions can be formed by evolutionary conserved and sparsely connected residue clusters. Hence, allosteric signaling through a small network of distantly connected

  14. The impact of molecular data on our understanding of bee phylogeny and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danforth, Bryan N; Cardinal, Sophie; Praz, Christophe; Almeida, Eduardo A B; Michez, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Our understanding of bee phylogeny has improved over the past fifteen years as a result of new data, primarily nucleotide sequence data, and new methods, primarily model-based methods of phylogeny reconstruction. Phylogenetic studies based on single or, more commonly, multilocus data sets have helped resolve the placement of bees within the superfamily Apoidea; the relationships among the seven families of bees; and the relationships among bee subfamilies, tribes, genera, and species. In addition, molecular phylogenies have played an important role in inferring evolutionary patterns and processes in bees. Phylogenies have provided the comparative framework for understanding the evolution of host-plant associations and pollen specialization, the evolution of social behavior, and the evolution of parasitism. In this paper, we present an overview of significant discoveries in bee phylogeny based primarily on the application of molecular data. We review the phylogenetic hypotheses family-by-family and then describe how the new phylogenetic insights have altered our understanding of bee biology.

  15. 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.

  16. Advances in understanding Giardia: determinants and mechanisms of chronic sequelae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartor, R. Balfour

    2015-01-01

    Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan that is the most common cause of intestinal parasitic infection in children living in resource-limited settings. The pathogenicity of Giardia has been debated since the parasite was first identified, and clinical outcomes vary across studies. Among recent perplexing findings are diametrically opposed associations between Giardia and acute versus persistent diarrhea and a poorly understood potential for long-term sequelae, including impaired child growth and cognitive development. The mechanisms driving these protean clinical outcomes remain elusive, but recent advances suggest that variability in Giardia strains, host nutritional status, the composition of microbiota, co-infecting enteropathogens, host genetically determined mucosal immune responses, and immune modulation by Giardia are all relevant factors influencing disease manifestations after Giardia infection. PMID:26097735

  17. Understanding the molecular behavior of organotin compounds to design their effective use as agrochemicals: exploration via quantum chemistry and experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Teodorico C; Rocha, Marcus V J; da Cunha, Elaine F F; Oliveira, Luiz C A; Carvalho, Kele T C

    2010-10-01

    The high frequency of contamination by herbicides suggests the need for more active and selective agrochemicals. Organotin compounds are the active component of some herbicides, such as Du-Ter and Brestan, which is also a potent inhibitor of the F1Fo ATP Synthase. That is a key enzyme, because the ATP production is one of the major chemical reactions in living organisms. Thus ATP Synthase is regarded as a prime target for organotin compounds. In this line, molecular modeling studies and DFT calculations were performed in order to understand the molecular behavior of those compounds in solution. In addition, we investigated the reaction mechanism by ESI-MS analyses of the diphenyltin dichloride. Our findings indicate that an unstable key-intermediate generated in situ might take place in the reaction with ATP Synthase.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Cannabis Signaling in the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, Patrick J; Wongngamnit, Narin; Beresford, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Research for decades was focused on understanding the mechanisms of an illegal/addictive drug. This led to the discovery of the vast endocannabinoid system. Research has now shifted to understanding fundamental biological questions related to one of the most widespread signaling systems in both the brain and the body. Our understanding of cannabinoid signaling has advanced significantly in the last two decades. In this review, we discuss the state of knowledge on mechanisms of Cannabis signaling in the brain and the modulation of key brain neurotransmitter systems involved in both brain reward/addiction and psychiatric disorders. It is highly probable that various cannabinoids will be found to be efficacious in the treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders. However, while there is clearly much potential, marijuana has not been properly vetted by the medical-scientific evaluation process and there are clearly a range of potentially adverse side-effects-including addiction. We are at crossroads for research on endocannabinoid function and therapeutics (including the use of exogenous treatments such as Cannabis). With over 100 cannabinoid constituents, the majority of which have not been studied, there is much Cannabis research yet to be done. With more states legalizing both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana the rigorous scientific investigation into cannabinoid signaling is imperative. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. 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.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Characterizing Cardiac Molecular Mechanisms of Mammalian Hibernation via Quantitative Proteogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermillion, Katie L; Jagtap, Pratik; Johnson, James E; Griffin, Timothy J; Andrews, Matthew T

    2015-11-06

    This study uses advanced proteogenomic approaches in a nonmodel organism to elucidate cardioprotective mechanisms used during mammalian hibernation. Mammalian hibernation is characterized by drastic reductions in body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and oxygen consumption. These changes pose significant challenges to the physiology of hibernators, especially for the heart, which maintains function throughout the extreme conditions, resembling ischemia and reperfusion. To identify novel cardioadaptive strategies, we merged large-scale RNA-seq data with large-scale iTRAQ-based proteomic data in heart tissue from 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) throughout the circannual cycle. Protein identification and data analysis were run through Galaxy-P, a new multiomic data analysis platform enabling effective integration of RNA-seq and MS/MS proteomic data. Galaxy-P uses flexible, modular workflows that combine customized sequence database searching and iTRAQ quantification to identify novel ground squirrel-specific protein sequences and provide insight into molecular mechanisms of hibernation. This study allowed for the quantification of 2007 identified cardiac proteins, including over 350 peptide sequences derived from previously uncharacterized protein products. Identification of these peptides allows for improved genomic annotation of this nonmodel organism, as well as identification of potential splice variants, mutations, and genome reorganizations that provides insights into novel cardioprotective mechanisms used during hibernation.

  3. Molecular mechanisms involved in Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mielich-Süss, Benjamin; Lopez, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Summary Biofilms are the predominant lifestyle of bacteria in natural environments, and they severely impact our societies in many different fashions. Therefore, biofilm formation is a topic of growing interest in microbiology, and different bacterial models are currently studied to better understand the molecular strategies that bacteria undergo to build biofilms. Among those, biofilms of the soil-dwelling bacterium Bacillus subtilis are commonly used for this purpose. Bacillus subtilis biofilms show remarkable architectural features that are a consequence of sophisticated programs of cellular specialization and cell-cell communication within the community. Many laboratories are trying to unravel the biological role of the morphological features of biofilms, as well as exploring the molecular basis underlying cellular differentiation. In this review, we present a general perspective of the current state of knowledge of biofilm formation in B. subtilis. In particular, a special emphasis is placed on summarizing the most recent discoveries in the field and integrating them into the general view of these truly sophisticated microbial communities. PMID:24909922

  4. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of REM Sleep Homeostatic Drive: A Plausible Component for Behavioral Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subimal Datta

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic regulation of REM sleep drive, as measured by an increase in the number of REM sleep transitions, plays a key role in neuronal and behavioral plasticity (i.e., learning and memory. Deficits in REM sleep homeostatic drive (RSHD are implicated in the development of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this RSHD remain to be incomplete. To further our understanding of this mechanism, the current study was performed on freely moving rats to test a hypothesis that a positive interaction between extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2 activity and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF signaling in the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT is a causal factor for the development of RSHD. Behavioral results of this study demonstrated that a short period (<90 min of selective REM sleep restriction (RSR exhibited a strong RSHD. Molecular analyses revealed that this increased RSHD increased phosphorylation and activation of ERK1/2 and BDNF expression in the PPT. Additionally, pharmacological results demonstrated that the application of the ERK1/2 activation inhibitor U0126 into the PPT prevented RSHD and suppressed BDNF expression in the PPT. These results, for the first time, suggest that the positive interaction between ERK1/2 and BDNF in the PPT is a casual factor for the development of RSHD. These findings provide a novel direction in understanding how RSHD-associated specific molecular changes can facilitate neuronal plasticity and memory processing.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy, General Preventive Strategies, and Novel Therapeutic Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Sher Zaman; Kumar, Selva; Ismail, Ikram Shah Bin

    2014-01-01

    The growing number of people with diabetes worldwide suggests that diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) will continue to be sight threatening factors. The pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy is a widespread cause of visual impairment in the world and a range of hyperglycemia-linked pathways have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this condition. Despite understanding the polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C (KPC) isoforms, increased hexosamine pathway flux, and increased advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes induced vision loss are not fully understood. The purpose of this paper is to review molecular mechanisms that regulate cell survival and apoptosis of retinal cells and discuss new and exciting therapeutic targets with comparison to the old and inefficient preventive strategies. This review highlights the recent advancements in understanding hyperglycemia-induced biochemical and molecular alterations, systemic metabolic factors, and aberrant activation of signaling cascades that ultimately lead to activation of a number of transcription factors causing functional and structural damage to retinal cells. It also reviews the established interventions and emerging molecular targets to avert diabetic retinopathy and its associated risk factors. PMID:25105142

  6. Understanding mechanisms of autoimmunity through translational research in vitiligo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strassner, James P; Harris, John E

    2016-01-01

    Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease of the skin that leads to life-altering depigmentation and remains difficult to treat. However, clinical observations and translational studies over 30-40 years have led to the development of an insightful working model of disease pathogenesis: Genetic risk spanning both immune and melanocyte functions is pushed over a threshold by known and suspected environmental factors to initiate autoimmune T cell-mediated killing of melanocytes. While under cellular stress, melanocytes appear to signal innate immunity to activate T cells. Once the autoimmune T cell response is established, the IFN-γ-STAT1-CXCL10 signaling axis becomes the primary inflammatory pathway driving both progression and maintenance of vitiligo. This pathway is a tempting target for both existing and developing pharmaceuticals, but further detailing how melanocytes signal their own demise may also lead to new therapeutic targets. Research in vitiligo may be the future key to understand the pathogenesis of organ-specific autoimmunity, as vitiligo is common, reversible, progresses over the life of the individual, has been relatively well-defined, and is quite easy to study using translational and clinical approaches. What is revealed in these studies can lead to innovative treatments and also help elucidate the principles that underlie similar organ-specific autoimmune diseases, especially in cases where the target organ is less accessible. PMID:27764715

  7. A molecular dynamics study of the role of molecular water on the structure and mechanics of amorphous geopolymer binders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadat, Mohammad Rafat; Bringuier, Stefan; Asaduzzaman, Abu; Muralidharan, Krishna; Zhang, Lianyang

    2016-10-07

    In this paper, molecular dynamics simulations are used to study the effect of molecular water and composition (Si/Al ratio) on the structure and mechanical properties of fully polymerized amorphous sodium aluminosilicate geopolymer binders. The X-ray pair distribution function for the simulated geopolymer binder phase showed good agreement with the experimentally determined structure in terms of bond lengths of the various atomic pairs. The elastic constants and ultimate tensile strength of the geopolymer binders were calculated as a function of water content and Si/Al ratio; while increasing the Si/Al ratio from one to three led to an increase in the respective values of the elastic stiffness and tensile strength, for a given Si/Al ratio, increasing the water content decreased the stiffness and strength of the binder phase. An atomic-scale analysis showed a direct correlation between water content and diffusion of alkali ions, resulting in the weakening of the AlO 4 tetrahedral structure due to the migration of charge balancing alkali ions away from the tetrahedra, ultimately leading to failure. In the presence of water molecules, the diffusion behavior of alkali cations was found to be particularly anomalous, showing dynamic heterogeneity. This paper, for the first time, proves the efficacy of atomistic simulations for understanding the effect of water in geopolymer binders and can thus serve as a useful design tool for optimizing composition of geopolymers with improved mechanical properties.

  8. Understanding the mechanisms of glutamine action in critically ill patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele P. Oliveira

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Glutamine (Gln is an important energy source and has been used as a supplementary energy substrate. Furthermore, Gln is an essential component for numerous metabolic functions, including acid-base homeostasis, gluconeogenesis, nitrogen transport and synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids. Therefore, glutamine plays a significant role in cell homeostasis and organ metabolism. This article aims to review the mechanisms of glutamine action during severe illnesses. In critically ill patients, the increase in mortality was associated with a decreased plasma Gln concentration. During catabolic stress, Gln consumption rate exceeds the supply, and both plasma and skeletal muscle pools of free Gln are severely reduced. The dose and route of Gln administration clearly influence its effectiveness: high-dose parenteral appears to be more beneficial than low-dose enteral administration. Experimental studies reported that Gln may protect cells, tissues, and whole organisms from stress and injury through the following mechanisms: attenuation of NF (nuclear factor-kB activation, a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, reduction in neutrophil accumulation, improvement in intestinal integrity and immune cell function, and enhanced of heat shock protein expression. In conclusion, high-doses of parenteral Gln (>0.50 g/kg/day demonstrate a greater potential to benefit in critically ill patients, although Gln pathophysiological mechanisms requires elucidation.A glutamina (Gln é uma importante fonte de energia e tem sido usada como substrato energético suplementar. Além disso, a Gln é um componente essencial para numerosas funções metabólicas tais como: homeostase ácido-base, gliconeogênese, transporte de nitrogênio e síntese de proteínas e ácidos nucléicos. Portanto, a glutamina desempenha um papel importante na homeostase celular e no metabolismo dos órgãos. Esse artigo objetiva rever os mecanismos de ação da glutamina na doen

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms for the bone response to mechanical loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, S. A.

    2001-01-01

    To define the cellular and molecular mechanisms for the osteogenic response of bone to increased loading, several key steps must be defined: sensing of the mechanical signal by cells in bone, transduction of the mechanical signal to a biochemical one, and transmission of that biochemical signal to effector cells. Osteocytes are likely to serve as sensors of loading, probably via interstitial fluid flow produced during loading. Evidence is presented for the role of integrins, the cell's actin cytoskeleton, G proteins, and various intracellular signaling pathways in transducing that mechanical signal to a biochemical one. Nitric oxide, prostaglandins, and insulin-like growth factors all play important roles in these pathways. There is growing evidence for modulation of these mechanotransduction steps by endocrine factors, particularly parathyroid hormone and estrogen. The efficiency of this process is also impaired in the aged animal, yet what remains undefined is at what step mechanotransduction is affected.

  10. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Sporulation in the Filamentous Fungus Ashbya gossypii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wasserstrom, Lisa

    , which is regulated by the pheromone response pathway. Most ascomycetes have been reported to produce meiotic spores, however, a sexual cycle has not yet been identified in the filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii. The main focus of my doctoral thesis has therefore been to understand the mechanisms behind...... sporulation in this fungus.  The lifecycle of A. gossypii starting with a haploid spore that matures into spore-containing mycelia can be completed without the need for a mating partner. Spores in A. gossypii are thought to be derived sexually like all other Saccharomycetaceae species, but the sexual cycle...... suggesting that other proteins generate DSBs in this fungus. In summary, this work has led to better understanding of the components regulating sporulation in A. gossypii and their hierarchical organization....

  11. A cascade of recently discovered molecular mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeed, Muhammad; Dahab, Abdel hafiz Adam; Wangzhen, Guo; Tianzhen, Zhang

    2012-04-01

    Today, agriculture is facing a tremendous threat from the climate change menace. As human survival is dependent on a constant supply of food from plants as the primary producers, we must aware of the underlying molecular mechanisms that plants have acquired as a result of molecular evolution to cope this rapidly changing environment. This understanding will help us in designing programs aimed at developing crop plant cultivars best suited to our needs of a sustainable agriculture. The field of systems biology is rapidly progressing, and new insight is coming out about the molecular mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance. There is a cascade of changes in transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome of plants during these stress responses. We have tried to cover most pronounced recent developments in the field of "omics" related to abiotic stress tolerance of plants. These changes are very coordinated, and often there is crosstalk between different components of stress tolerance. The functions of various molecular entities are becoming more clear and being associated with more precise biological phenomenon.

  12. Exploring the peptide retention mechanism in molecularly imprinted polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetti, Cecilia; Ore, Odd Gøran; Sellergren, Börje; Halvorsen, Trine Grønhaug; Reubsaet, Léon

    2017-09-01

    Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) have been used as useful sorbents in solid-phase extraction for a wide range of molecules and sample matrices. Their unique selectivity can be fine-tuned in the imprinting process and is crucial for the extraction of macromolecules from complex matrices such as serum. A relevant example of this is the application of MIPs to peptides in diagnostic assays. In this article the selectivity of MIPs, previously implemented in a quantitative mass-spectrometric assay for the biomarker pro-gastrin-releasing peptide, is investigated. Partial least squares regression was used to generate models for the evaluation and prediction of the retention mechanism of MIPs. A hypothesis on interactions of MIPs with the target peptide was verified by ad hoc experiments considering the relevant peptide physicochemical properties highlighted from the multivariate analysis. Novel insights into and knowledge of the driving forces responsible for the MIP selectivity have been obtained and can be directly used for further optimization of MIP imprinting strategies. Graphical Abstract Applied analytical strategy: the Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) of digested Bovin Serum Albumin (BSA), using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIP), is followed by the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis for the identification of the retained peptides. The further application of multivariate analysis allows setting up a Partial Least Square (PLS) model, which describes the peptide retention into the MIP and gives additional knowledge to be used in the optimization of the MIP and the whole SPE method.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Redox Control of Leukemia: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Mary E.; Rivera-Del Valle, Nilsa

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play both positive and negative roles in the proliferation and survival of a cell. This dual nature has been exploited by leukemia cells to promote growth, survival, and genomic instability—some of the hallmarks of the cancer phenotype. In addition to altered ROS levels, many antioxidants are dysregulated in leukemia cells. Together, the production of ROS and the expression and activity of antioxidant enzymes make up the primary redox control of leukemia cells. By manipulating this system, leukemia cells gain proliferative and survival advantages, even in the face of therapeutic insults. Standard treatment options have improved leukemia patient survival rates in recent years, although relapse and the development of resistance are persistent challenges. Therapies targeting the redox environment show promise for these cases. This review highlights the molecular mechanisms that control the redox milieu of leukemia cells. In particular, ROS production by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidoreductase, and cytochrome P450 will be addressed. Expression and activation of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, heme oxygenase, glutathione, thioredoxin, and peroxiredoxin are perturbed in leukemia cells, and the functional consequences of these molecular alterations will be described. Lastly, we delve into how these pathways can be potentially exploited therapeutically to improve treatment regimens and promote better outcomes for leukemia patients. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1349–1383. PMID:22900756

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26306443

  18. 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.

  19. Curcumin and endometriosis: Review on potential roles and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arablou, Tahereh; Kolahdouz-Mohammadi, Roya

    2018-01-01

    Endometriosis, an estrogen-dependent inflammatory disease, is one of the most common chronic gynecological disorders affecting women in reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. The exact pathophysiology of endometriosis is not still well-known, but the immune system and inflammation have been considered as pivotal factors in disease progression. Turmeric, an important spice all around the world, is obtained from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It has been used in the prevention and treatment of many diseases since ancient times. Curcumin is the principal polyphenol isolated from turmeric. Several evidences have shown the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-angiogenesis, and anti-metastatic activities of curcumin. In this review, relevant articles on the effect of curcumin on endometriosis and possible molecular mechanisms are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Virshup

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available An approximately 24-h biological timekeeping mechanism called the circadian clock is present in virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans. The clock system regulates our sleep–wake cycle, feeding–fasting, hormonal secretion, body temperature, and many other physiological functions. Signals from the master circadian oscillator entrain peripheral clocks using a variety of neural and hormonal signals. Even centrally controlled internal temperature fluctuations can entrain the peripheral circadian clocks. But, unlike other chemical reactions, the output of the clock system remains nearly constant with fluctuations in ambient temperature, a phenomenon known as temperature compensation. In this brief review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the posttranslational modifications, especially a phosphoswitch mechanism controlling the stability of PER2 and its implications for the regulation of temperature compensation.

  3. Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress (“hormetic stress”). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses (“toxic stress”) and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. PMID:24833580

  4. Stress biology and aging mechanisms: toward understanding the deep connection between adaptation to stress and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epel, Elissa S; Lithgow, Gordon J

    2014-06-01

    The rate of biological aging is modulated in part by genes interacting with stressor exposures. Basic research has shown that exposure to short-term stress can strengthen cellular responses to stress ("hormetic stress"). Hormetic stress promotes longevity in part through enhanced activity of molecular chaperones and other defense mechanisms. In contrast, prolonged exposure to stress can overwhelm compensatory responses ("toxic stress") and shorten lifespan. One key question is whether the stressors that are well understood in basic models of aging can help us understand psychological stressors and human health. The psychological stress response promotes regulatory changes important in aging (e.g., increases in stress hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin). The negative effects of severe stress are well documented in humans. Potential positive effects of acute stress (stress resistance) are less studied, especially at the cellular level. Can stress resistance slow the rate of aging in humans, as it does in model organisms? If so, how can we promote stress resistance in humans? We urge a new research agenda embracing the continuum from cellular stress to psychological stress, using basic and human research in tandem. This will require interdisciplinary novel approaches that hold much promise for understanding and intervening in human chronic disease. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Molecular investigations into the mechanics of actin in different nucleotide states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji Y; Iverson, Tyler M; Dima, Ruxandra I

    2011-01-13

    Actin plays crucial roles in the mechanical response of cells to applied forces. For example, during cell adhesion, under the action of forces transmitted through integrins, actin filaments (F-actin) induce intracellular mechanical movements leading to changes in the cell shape. Muscle contraction results from the interaction of F-actin with the molecular motor myosin. Thus, understanding the origin of actin's mechanical flexibility is required to understand the basis of fundamental cellular processes. F-actin results from the polymerization of globular actin (G-actin), which contains one tightly bound nucleotide (ATP or ADP). Experiments revealed that G-actin is more flexible than F-actin, but no molecular-level understanding of this differential behavior exists. To probe the basis of the mechanical behavior of actin, we study the force response of G-actin bound with ATP (G-ATP) or ADP (G-ADP). We investigate the global unfolding of G-actin under forces applied at its ends and its mechanical resistance along the actin-actin and actin-myosin bonds in F-actin. Our study reveals that the nucleotide plays an important role in the global unfolding of actin, leading to multiple unfolding scenarios which emphasize the differences between the G-ATP and G-ADP states. Furthermore, our simulations show that G-ATP is more flexible than G-ADP and that the actin-myosin interaction surface responds faster to force than the actin-actin interaction surface. The deformation of G-actin under tension revealed in our simulations correlates very well with experimental data on G-actin domain flexibility.

  6. Understanding cracking failures of coatings: A fracture mechanics approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sung-Ryong

    A fracture mechanics analysis of coating (paint) cracking was developed. A strain energy release rate (G(sub c)) expression due to the formation of a new crack in a coating was derived for bending and tension loadings in terms of the moduli, thicknesses, Poisson's ratios, load, residual strain, etc. Four-point bending and instrumented impact tests were used to determine the in-situ fracture toughness of coatings as functions of increasing baking (drying) time. The system used was a thin coating layer on a thick substrate layer. The substrates included steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), and Noryl. The coatings included newly developed automotive paints. The four-point bending configuration promoted nice transversed multiple coating cracks on both steel and polymeric substrates. The crosslinked type automotive coatings on steel substrates showed big cracks without microcracks. When theoretical predictions for energy release rate were compared to experimental data for coating/steel substrate samples with multiple cracking, the agreement was good. Crosslinked type coatings on polymeric substrates showed more cracks than theory predicted and the G(sub c)'s were high. Solvent evaporation type coatings on polymeric substrates showed clean multiple cracking and the G(sub c)'s were higher than those obtained by tension analysis of tension experiments with the same substrates. All the polymeric samples showed surface embrittlement after long baking times using four-point bending tests. The most apparent surface embrittlement was observed in the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) substrate system. The impact properties of coatings as a function of baking time were also investigated. These experiments were performed using an instrumented impact tester. There was a rapid decrease in G(sub c) at short baking times and convergence to a constant value at long baking times. The surface embrittlement conditions and an embrittlement toughness

  7. Understanding valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory using origami molecular models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endah Saraswati, Teguh; Saputro, Sulistyo; Ramli, Murni; Praseptiangga, Danar; Khasanah, Nurul; Marwati, Sri

    2017-01-01

    Valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory is conventionally used to predict molecular geometry. However, it is difficult to explore the full implications of this theory by simply drawing chemical structures. Here, we introduce origami modelling as a more accessible approach for exploration of the VSEPR theory. Our technique is simple, readily accessible and inexpensive compared with other sophisticated methods such as computer simulation or commercial three-dimensional modelling kits. This method can be implemented in chemistry education at both the high school and university levels. We discuss the example of a simple molecular structure prediction for ammonia (NH3). Using the origami model, both molecular shape and the scientific justification can be visualized easily. This ‘hands-on’ approach to building molecules will help promote understanding of VSEPR theory.

  8. Understanding valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory using origami molecular models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saraswati, Teguh Endah; Saputro, Sulistyo; Ramli, Murni; Praseptiangga, Danar; Khasanah, Nurul; Marwati, Sri

    2017-01-01

    Valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory is conventionally used to predict molecular geometry. However, it is difficult to explore the full implications of this theory by simply drawing chemical structures. Here, we introduce origami modelling as a more accessible approach for exploration of the VSEPR theory. Our technique is simple, readily accessible and inexpensive compared with other sophisticated methods such as computer simulation or commercial three-dimensional modelling kits. This method can be implemented in chemistry education at both the high school and university levels. We discuss the example of a simple molecular structure prediction for ammonia (NH_3). Using the origami model, both molecular shape and the scientific justification can be visualized easily. This ‘hands-on’ approach to building molecules will help promote understanding of VSEPR theory. (paper)

  9. "Intelligent" design of molecular materials: Understanding the concepts of design in supramolecular synthesis of network solids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulton, Brian D.

    This work endeavors to delineate modern paradigms for crystal engineering, i.e. the design and supramolecular synthesis of functional molecular materials. Paradigms predicated on an understanding of the geometry of polygons and polyhedra are developed. The primary focus is on structural determination by single crystal X-ray crystallography, structural interpretation using a suite of graphical visualization and molecular modeling software, and on the importance of proper graphical representation in the presentation and explanation of crystal structures. A detailed analysis of a selected series of crystal structures is presented. The reduction of these molecular networks to schematic representations that illustrate their fundamental connectivity facilitates the understanding of otherwise complex supramolecular solids. Circuit symbols and Schlafli notation are used to describe the network topologies, which enables networks of different composition and metrics to be easily compared. This reveals that molecular orientations in the crystals and networks are commensurate with networks that can be derived from spherical close packed lattices. The development of a logical design strategy for a new class of materials based on our understanding of the chemical composition and topology of these networks is described. The synthesis and crystal structure of a series of new materials generated by exploitation of this design strategy is presented, in addition to a detailed analysis of the topology of these materials and their relationship to a 'parent' structure. In summary, this dissertation demonstrates that molecular polygons can self-assemble at their vertexes to produce molecular architectures and crystal structures that are consistent with long established geometric dogma. The design strategy represents a potentially broad ranging approach to the design of nanoporous structures from a wide range of chemical components that are based on molecular shape rather than chemical

  10. The buzz on caffeine in invertebrates: effects on behavior and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, Julie A

    2014-04-01

    A number of recent studies from as diverse fields as plant-pollinator interactions, analyses of caffeine as an environmental pollutant, and the ability of caffeine to provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases have generated interest in understanding the actions of caffeine in invertebrates. This review summarizes what is currently known about the effects of caffeine on behavior and its molecular mechanisms in invertebrates. Caffeine appears to have similar effects on locomotion and sleep in both invertebrates and mammals. Furthermore, as in mammals, caffeine appears to have complex effects on learning and memory. However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects may differ between invertebrates and vertebrates. While caffeine's ability to cause release of intracellular calcium stores via ryanodine receptors and its actions as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor have been clearly established in invertebrates, its ability to interact with invertebrate adenosine receptors remains an important open question. Initial studies in insects and mollusks suggest an interaction between caffeine and the dopamine signaling pathway; more work needs to be done to understand the mechanisms by which caffeine influences signaling via biogenic amines. As of yet, little is known about whether other actions of caffeine in vertebrates, such as its effects on GABAA and glycine receptors, are conserved. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetics of caffeine remains to be elucidated. Overall behavioral responses to caffeine appear to be conserved amongst organisms; however, we are just beginning to understand the mechanisms underlying its effects across animal phyla.

  11. The buzz on caffeine in invertebrates: effects on behavior and molecular mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, Julie A.

    2014-01-01

    A number of recent studies from as diverse fields as plant-pollinator interactions, analyses of caffeine as an environmental pollutant, and the ability of caffeine to provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases have generated interest in understanding the actions of caffeine in invertebrates. This review summarizes what is currently known about the effects of caffeine on behavior and its molecular mechanisms in invertebrates. Caffeine appears to have similar effects on locomotion and sleep in both invertebrates and mammals. Furthermore, as in mammals, caffeine appears to have complex effects on learning and memory. However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects may differ between invertebrates and vertebrates. While caffeine’s ability to cause release of intracellular calcium stores via ryanodine receptors and its actions as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor have been clearly established in invertebrates, its ability to interact with invertebrate adenosine receptors remains an important open question. Initial studies in insects and mollusks suggest an interaction between caffeine and the dopamine signaling pathway; more work needs to be done to understand the mechanisms by which caffeine influences signaling via biogenic amines. As of yet, little is known about whether other actions of caffeine in vertebrates, such as its effects on GABAA and glycine receptors, are conserved. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetics of caffeine remains to be elucidated. Overall behavioral responses to caffeine appear to be conserved amongst organisms; however, we are just beginning to understand the mechanisms underlying its effects across animal phyla. PMID:24162934

  12. DP 71 AND BETA DYSTROGLYCAN INTERACTION: A MOLECULAR MODELING APPROACH TO UNDERSTAND DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simanti Bhattacharya,

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Dp 71 is the most prevalent and widely expressed non muscle isoform of dystrophin (Dp and its mutations are associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe form of muscular disorder. Dp 71 deviates from the canonical Dp by means of its truncated N terminal which also has abolished certain amino acids that comprise WW domain in the canonical form. This WW domain is very crucial for Dp’s interaction with partner proteins to establish a bridge between extra cellular matrices and cellular cytoskeleton. In our current study we have employed molecular modeling technique to understand the structural architecture of the N terminal region of Dp 71 and its deviation from the canonical form. We have further extended our studies to analyze the interaction probabilities between Dp 71 and β-DG applying molecular docking. Our studies for the first time have revealed that in spite of the underlying differences in terms of amino acids and structural organization, Dp 71 can interact with β-DG with its N terminal region which shares the similar molecular surface with the canonical form of Dp. These findings have opened up a platform to investigate the molecular interactions, spatio temporal orientations of the amino acids of Dp 71 and β-DG to understand the onset of DMD in much more greater detail

  13. 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...varik P, Sauer I, Schaljo B. Immunobiology. 2007;212(9-10):895-901. Epub 2007 Nov 8. (.png) (.svg) (.html) (.csml) Show Molecular... mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory functions of interferons. PubmedID 18086388 Title Molecular

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in mast cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppong, Emmanuel; Flink, Nesrin; Cato, Andrew C B

    2013-11-05

    Glucocorticoids are compounds that have successfully been used over the years in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. They are known to exhibit their effects through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) that acts to downregulate the action of proinflammatory transcription factors such as AP-1 and NF-κB. The GR also exerts anti-inflammatory effects through activation of distinct genes. In addition to their anti-inflammatory actions, glucocorticoids are also potent antiallergic compounds that are widely used in conditions such as asthma and anaphylaxis. Nevertheless the mechanism of action of this hormone in these disorders is not known. In this article, we have reviewed reports on the effects of glucocorticoids in mast cells, one of the important immune cells in allergy. Building on the knowledge of the molecular action of glucocorticoids and the GR in the treatment of inflammation in other cell types, we have made suggestions as to the likely mechanisms of action of glucocorticoids in mast cells. We have further identified some important questions and research directions that need to be addressed in future studies to improve the treatment of allergic disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. Sixth-Grade Students' Progress in Understanding the Mechanisms of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visintainer, Tammie; Linn, Marcia

    2015-01-01

    Developing solutions for complex issues such as global climate change requires an understanding of the mechanisms involved. This study reports on the impact of a technology-enhanced unit designed to improve understanding of global climate change, its mechanisms, and their relationship to everyday energy use. Global Climate Change, implemented in…

  18. 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

    phosphatidylcholine, in phospholipase C. This catalytically essential water molecule, after being activated by an acidic residue (Asp55), performs the nucleophilic attack on the phosphorus atom in the substrate, leading to a trigonal bipyramidal pentacoordinated intermediate (and structurally similar transition state...... 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...... the complex and a water molecule. The nucleophilic water molecule is positioned at a distance (3.8 A) from the phosphorus atom in the substrate, which is in good agreement with experimentally observed distances. Finally, the stability of the complex between phospholipase C, the substrate, and the nucleophilic...

  19. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms behind cellulase production in Trichoderma reesei, the hyper-cellulolytic filamentous fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shida, Yosuke; Furukawa, Takanori; Ogasawara, Wataru

    2016-09-01

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is a potent cellulase producer and the best-studied cellulolytic fungus. A lot of investigations not only on glycoside hydrolases produced by T. reesei, but also on the machinery controlling gene expression of these enzyme have made this fungus a model organism for cellulolytic fungi. We have investigated the T. reesei strain including mutants developed in Japan in detail to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the cellulase gene expression, the biochemical and morphological aspects that could favor this phenotype, and have attempted to generate novel strains that may be appropriate for industrial use. Subsequently, we developed recombinant strains by combination of these insights and the heterologous-efficient saccharifing enzymes. Resulting enzyme preparations were highly effective for saccharification of various biomass. In this review, we present some of the salient findings from the recent biochemical, morphological, and molecular analyses of this remarkable cellulase hyper-producing fungus.

  20. Integrating Survey and Molecular Approaches to Better Understand Wildlife Disease Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  1. Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan D Cowled

    Full Text Available Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design versus transmission (molecular case series study design and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%. The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%. Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Cardioprotective Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide in Heart Diseases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yaqi; Shen, Zhuqing; Luo, Shanshan; Guo, Wei; Zhu, Yi Zhun

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is now recognized as a third gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), though it was originally considered as a malodorous and toxic gas. H2S is produced endogenously from cysteine by three enzymes in mammalian tissues. An increasing body of evidence suggests the involvement of H2S in different physiological and pathological processes. Recent studies have shown that H2S has the potential to protect the heart against myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, hypertrophy, fibrosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart failure. Some mechanisms, such as antioxidative action, preservation of mitochondrial function, reduction of apoptosis, anti-inflammatory responses, angiogenic actions, regulation of ion channel, and interaction with NO, could be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of H2S. Although several mechanisms have been identified, there is a need for further research to identify the specific molecular mechanism of cardioprotection in different cardiac diseases. Therefore, insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying H2S action in the heart may promote the understanding of pathophysiology of cardiac diseases and lead to new therapeutic targets based on modulation of H2S production.

  5. The Cardioprotective Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide in Heart Diseases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaqi Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogen sulfide (H2S is now recognized as a third gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide (NO and carbon monoxide (CO, though it was originally considered as a malodorous and toxic gas. H2S is produced endogenously from cysteine by three enzymes in mammalian tissues. An increasing body of evidence suggests the involvement of H2S in different physiological and pathological processes. Recent studies have shown that H2S has the potential to protect the heart against myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, hypertrophy, fibrosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart failure. Some mechanisms, such as antioxidative action, preservation of mitochondrial function, reduction of apoptosis, anti-inflammatory responses, angiogenic actions, regulation of ion channel, and interaction with NO, could be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of H2S. Although several mechanisms have been identified, there is a need for further research to identify the specific molecular mechanism of cardioprotection in different cardiac diseases. Therefore, insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying H2S action in the heart may promote the understanding of pathophysiology of cardiac diseases and lead to new therapeutic targets based on modulation of H2S production.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiezhong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Antipsychotic drugs (APDs are widely prescribed to control various mental disorders. As mental disorders are chronic diseases, these drugs are often used over a life-time. However, APDs can cause serious glucometabolic side-effects including type 2 diabetes and hyperglycaemic emergency, leading to medication non-compliance. At present, there is no effective approach to overcome these side-effects. Understanding the mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes should be helpful in prevention and treatment of these side-effects of APDs and thus improve the clinical outcomes of APDs. In this review, the potential mechanisms for APD-induced diabetes are summarized so that novel approaches can be considered to relieve APD-induced diabetes. APD-induced diabetes could be mediated by multiple mechanisms: (1 APDs can inhibit the insulin signaling pathway in the target cells such as muscle cells, hepatocytes and adipocytes to cause insulin resistance; (2 APD-induced obesity can result in high levels of free fatty acids (FFA and inflammation, which can also cause insulin resistance. (3 APDs can cause direct damage to β-cells, leading to dysfunction and apoptosis of β-cells. A recent theory considers that both β-cell damage and insulin resistance are necessary factors for the development of diabetes. In high-fat diet-induced diabetes, the compensatory ability of β-cells is gradually damaged, while APDs cause direct β-cell damage, accounting for the severe form of APD-induced diabetes. Based on these mechanisms, effective prevention of APD-induced diabetes may need an integrated approach to combat various effects of APDs on multiple pathways.

  7. Reno-endocrinal disorders: A basic understanding of the molecular genetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhminder Jit Singh Bajwa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The successful management of endocrine diseases is greatly helped by the complete understanding of the underlying pathology. The knowledge about the molecular genetics contributes immensely in the appropriate identification of the causative factors of the diseases and their subsequent management. The fields of nephrology and endocrinology are also interrelated to a large extent. Besides performing the secretory functions, the renal tissue also acts as target organ for many hormones such as antidiuretic hormone (ADH, atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP, and aldosterone. Understanding the molecular genetics of these hormones is important because the therapeutic interventions in many of these conditions is related to shared renal and endocrine functions, including the anemia of renal disease, chronic kidney disease, mineral bone disorders, and hypertension related to chronic kidney disease. Their understanding and in-depth knowledge is very essential in designing and formulating the therapeutic plans and innovating new management strategies. However, we still have to go a long way in order to completely understand the various confounding causative relationships between the pathology and disease of these reno-endocrinal manifestations.

  8. Metabolic actions of FGF21: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Ge

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21 is an atypical member of the FGF family that functions as an endocrine factor. In obese animals, elevation of plasma FGF21 levels by either pharmacological or genetic approaches reduces body weight, decreases hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, alleviates fatty liver and increases insulin sensitivity. FGF21 exerts its pleiotropic metabolic effects through its actions on multiple targets, including adipose tissue, liver, brain and pancreas. The expression of FGF21 is under the control of both peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα. A growing body of evidence suggests that the metabolic benefits of these two nuclear receptors are mediated in part by induction of FGF21. In humans, plasma levels of FGF21 are elevated in obese subjects and patients with type 2 diabetes, but are reduced in patients with autoimmune diabetes. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding the physiological roles of FGF21 and the molecular pathways underlying its actions, and also discusses the future prospective of developing FGF21 or its agonists as therapeutic agents for obesity-related medical complications.

  9. A molecular mechanism for bacterial susceptibility to zinc.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A McDevitt

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Transition row metal ions are both essential and toxic to microorganisms. Zinc in excess has significant toxicity to bacteria, and host release of Zn(II at mucosal surfaces is an important innate defence mechanism. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Zn(II affords protection have not been defined. We show that in Streptococcus pneumoniae extracellular Zn(II inhibits the acquisition of the essential metal Mn(II by competing for binding to the solute binding protein PsaA. We show that, although Mn(II is the high-affinity substrate for PsaA, Zn(II can still bind, albeit with a difference in affinity of nearly two orders of magnitude. Despite the difference in metal ion affinities, high-resolution structures of PsaA in complex with Mn(II or Zn(II showed almost no difference. However, Zn(II-PsaA is significantly more thermally stable than Mn(II-PsaA, suggesting that Zn(II binding may be irreversible. In vitro growth analyses show that extracellular Zn(II is able to inhibit Mn(II intracellular accumulation with little effect on intracellular Zn(II. The phenotype of S. pneumoniae grown at high Zn(II:Mn(II ratios, i.e. induced Mn(II starvation, closely mimicked a ΔpsaA mutant, which is unable to accumulate Mn(II. S. pneumoniae infection in vivo elicits massive elevation of the Zn(II:Mn(II ratio and, in vitro, these Zn(II:Mn(II ratios inhibited growth due to Mn(II starvation, resulting in heightened sensitivity to oxidative stress and polymorphonuclear leucocyte killing. These results demonstrate that microbial susceptibility to Zn(II toxicity is mediated by extracellular cation competition and that this can be harnessed by the innate immune response.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Coumarins as Potential Antioxidant Agents Complemented with Suggested Mechanisms and Approved by Molecular Modeling Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasameen K. Al-Majedy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Syntheses of coumarins, which are a structurally interesting antioxidant activity, was done in this article. The modification of 7-hydroxycoumarin by different reaction steps was done to yield target compounds. Molecular structures were characterized by different spectroscopical techniques (Fourier transformation infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance. Antioxidant activities were performed by using various in vitro spectrophometric assays against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH radical and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2. All compounds exhibited high efficiency as antioxidants compared to ascorbic acid. The highest efficiency scavenging activity was found for compound 3 (91.0 ± 5.0, followed by compounds 2 and 4 (88.0 ± 2.00; and 87.0 ± 3.00. Ascorbic acid C was used as a standard drug with a percentage inhibition of 91.00 ± 1.5. The mechanism of the synthesized compounds as antioxidants was also studied. Hartree–Fock–based quantum chemical studies have been carried out with the basis set to 3-21G, in order to obtain information about the three-dimensional (3D geometries, electronic structure, molecular modeling, and electronic levels, namely HOMO (highest occupied molecular orbital and LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, to understand the antioxidant activity for the synthesized compounds.

  13. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tony Y.; Liu, Min; Portincasa, Piero; Wang, David Q.-H.

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary fat is the most important energy source of all the nutrients. Fatty acids, stored as triacylglycerols in the body, are an important reservoir of stored energy and derive primarily from animal fats and vegetable oils. Design Although the molecular mechanisms for the transport of water-insoluble amphipathic fatty acids across cell membranes have been debated for many years, it is now believed that the dominant means for intestinal fatty acid uptake is via membrane-associated fatty acid-binding proteins, i.e., fatty acid transporters on the apical membrane of enterocytes. Results These findings indicate that intestinal fatty acid absorption is a multistep process that is regulated by multiple genes at the enterocyte level, and intestinal fatty acid absorption efficiency could be determined by factors influencing intraluminal fatty acid molecules across the brush border membrane of enterocytes. To facilitate research on intestinal, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol metabolism, it is imperative to establish standard protocols for precisely and accurately measuring the efficiency of intestinal fatty acid absorption in humans and animal models. In this review, we will discuss the chemical structure and nomenclature of fatty acids and summarize recent progress in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the intestinal absorption of fatty acids, with a particular emphasis on the physical-chemistry of intestinal lipids and the molecular physiology of intestinal fatty acid transporters. Conclusions A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption should lead to novel approaches to the treatment and the prevention of fatty acid-related metabolic diseases that are prevalent worldwide. PMID:24102389

  14. The pDynamo Program for Molecular Simulations using Hybrid Quantum Chemical and Molecular Mechanical Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Martin J

    2008-07-01

    The pDynamo program has been developed for the simulation of molecular systems using hybrid quantum chemical (QC) and molecular mechanical (MM) potentials. pDynamo is written in a mixture of the computer languages Python and C and is a successor to the previous version of Dynamo, now denoted fDynamo, that was written in Fortran 90 (J. Comput. Chem. 2000, 21, 1088). The current version of Dynamo has a similar range of functionality to the older one but extends it in some significant ways, including the addition of a density functional theory QC capability. This paper gives a general description of pDynamo and outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages that have been encountered in switching computer languages. Some technical aspects of the implementation of pDynamo's algorithms are also discussed and illustrated with the results of example calculations. pDynamo is available on the Web at the address http://www.pdynamo.org and is released under the CeCILL license which is equivalent to the GNU general public license but conforms to the principles of French law.

  15. Choroid plexus papillomas: advances in molecular biology and understanding of tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaee, Michael; Oh, Michael C; Bloch, Orin; Sun, Matthew Z; Kaur, Gurvinder; Auguste, Kurtis I; Tihan, Tarik; Parsa, Andrew T

    2013-03-01

    Choroid plexus papillomas are rare, benign tumors originating from the choroid plexus. Although generally found within the ventricular system, they can arise ectopically in the brain parenchyma or disseminate throughout the neuraxis. We sought to review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular biology and oncogenic pathways associated with this disease. A comprehensive PubMed literature review was conducted to identify manuscripts discussing the clinical, molecular, and genetic features of choroid plexus papillomas. Articles concerning diagnosis, treatment, and long-term patient outcomes were also reviewed. The introduction of atypical choroid plexus papilloma as a distinct entity has increased the need for accurate histopathologic diagnosis. Advances in immunohistochemical staining have improved our ability to differentiate choroid plexus papillomas from other intracranial tumors or metastatic lesions using combinations of key markers and mitotic indices. Recent findings have implicated Notch3 signaling, the transcription factor TWIST1, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand pathway in choroid plexus papilloma tumorigenesis. A combination of commonly occurring chromosomal duplications and deletions has also been identified. Surgical resection remains the standard of care, although chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be considered for recurrent or metastatic lesions. While generally considered benign, these tumors possess a complex biology that sheds insight into other choroid plexus tumors, particularly malignant choroid plexus carcinomas. Improving our understanding of the molecular biology, genetics, and oncogenic pathways associated with this tumor will allow for the development of targeted therapies and improved outcomes for patients with this disease.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Origin and Diversification of the Angiosperm Flower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, Guenter; Melzer, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    Background Understanding the mode and mechanisms of the evolution of the angiosperm flower is a long-standing and central problem of evolutionary biology and botany. It has essentially remained unsolved, however. In contrast, considerable progress has recently been made in our understanding of the genetic basis of flower development in some extant model species. The knowledge that accumulated this way has been pulled together in two major hypotheses, termed the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’. These models explain how the identity of the different types of floral organs is specified during flower development by homeotic selector genes encoding transcription factors. Scope We intend to explain how the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’ are now guiding investigations that help to understand the origin and diversification of the angiosperm flower. Conclusions Investigation of orthologues of class B and class C floral homeotic genes in gymnosperms suggest that bisexuality was one of the first innovations during the origin of the flower. The transition from dimer to tetramer formation of floral homeotic proteins after establishment of class E proteins may have increased cooperativity of DNA binding of the transcription factors controlling reproductive growth. That way, we hypothesize, better ‘developmental switches’ originated that facilitated the early evolution of the flower. Expression studies of ABC genes in basally diverging angiosperm lineages, monocots and basal eudicots suggest that the ‘classical’ ABC system known from core eudicots originated from a more fuzzy system with fading borders of gene expression and gradual transitions in organ identity, by sharpening of ABC gene expression domains and organ borders. Shifting boundaries of ABC gene expression may have contributed to the diversification of the angiosperm flower many times independently, as may have changes in interactions between ABC genes and their target

  17. Molecular mechanisms that distinguish TFIID housekeeping from regulatable SAGA promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jonge, Wim J; O'Duibhir, Eoghan; Lijnzaad, Philip; van Leenen, Dik; Groot Koerkamp, Marian Ja; Kemmeren, Patrick; Holstege, Frank Cp

    2017-02-01

    An important distinction is frequently made between constitutively expressed housekeeping genes versus regulated genes. Although generally characterized by different DNA elements, chromatin architecture and cofactors, it is not known to what degree promoter classes strictly follow regulatability rules and which molecular mechanisms dictate such differences. We show that SAGA-dominated/TATA-box promoters are more responsive to changes in the amount of activator, even compared to TFIID/TATA-like promoters that depend on the same activator Hsf1. Regulatability is therefore an inherent property of promoter class. Further analyses show that SAGA/TATA-box promoters are more dynamic because TATA-binding protein recruitment through SAGA is susceptible to removal by Mot1. In addition, the nucleosome configuration upon activator depletion shifts on SAGA/TATA-box promoters and seems less amenable to preinitiation complex formation. The results explain the fundamental difference between housekeeping and regulatable genes, revealing an additional facet of combinatorial control: an activator can elicit a different response dependent on core promoter class. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of pancreatic stone formation in chronic pancreatitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru B.H. Ko

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Chronic pancreatitis (CP is a progressive inflammatory disease in which the pancreatic secretory parenchyma is destroyed and replaced by fibrosis. The presence of intraductal pancreatic stone(s is important for the diagnosis of CP; however, the precise molecular mechanisms of pancreatic stone formation in CP were left largely unknown. CFTR is a chloride channel expressed in the apical plasma membrane of pancreatic duct cells and plays a central role in HCO3- secretion. In previous studies, we have found that CFTR is largely mislocalized to the cytoplasm of pancreatic duct cells in all forms of CP and corticosteroids normalizes the localization of CFTR to the proper apical membrane at least in autoimmune pancreatitis. From these observations, we could conclude that the mislocalization of CFTR is a cause of protein plug formation in CP, subsequently resulting in pancreatic stone formation.Considering our observation that the mislocalization of CFTR also occurs in alcoholic or idiopathic CP, it is very likely that these pathological conditions can also be treated by corticosteroids, thereby preventing pancreatic stone formation in these patients. Further studies are definitely required to clarify these fundamental issues.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Viral Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleiss, Mark R.

    2013-01-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is responsible for approximately 40,000 congenital infections in the United States each year. Congenital CMV disease frequently produces serious neurodevelopmental disability, as well as vision impairment and sensorineural hearing loss. Development of a CMV vaccine is therefore considered to be a major public health priority. The mechanisms by which CMV injures the fetus are complex and likely include a combination of direct fetal injury induced by pathologic virally-encoded gene products, an inability of the maternal immune response to control infection, and the direct impact of infection on placental function. CMV encodes gene products that function, both at the RNA and the protein level, to interfere with many cellular processes. These include gene products that modify the cell cycle; interfere with apoptosis; induce an inflammatory response; mediate vascular injury; induce site-specific breakage of chromosomes; promote oncogenesis; dysregulate cellular proliferation; and facilitate evasion of host immune responses. This minireview summarizes current concepts regarding these aspects of the molecular virology of CMV and the potential pathogenic impact of viral gene expression on the developing fetus. Areas for potential development of novel therapeutic intervention are suggested for improving the outcome of this disabling congenital infection. PMID:21827434

  4. Molecular Mechanisms That Contribute to Bone Marrow Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason J. Ivanusic

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Pain associated a bony pathology puts a significant burden on individuals, society, and the health-care systems worldwide. Pathology that involves the bone marrow activates sensory nerve terminal endings of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors, and is the likely trigger for pain. This review presents our current understanding of how bone marrow nociceptors are influenced by noxious stimuli presented in pathology associated with bone marrow. A number of ion channels and receptors are emerging as important modulators of the activity of peripheral bone marrow nociceptors. Nerve growth factor (NGF sequestration has been trialed for the management of inflammatory bone pain (osteoarthritis, and there is significant evidence for interaction of NGF with bone marrow nociceptors. Activation of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 sensitizes bone marrow nociceptors and could contribute to increased sensitivity of patients to noxious stimuli in various bony pathologies. Acid-sensing ion channels sense changes to tissue pH in the bone marrow microenvironment and could be targeted to treat pathology that involves acidosis of the bone marrow. Piezo2 is a mechanically gated ion channel that has recently been reported to be expressed by most myelinated bone marrow nociceptors and might be a target for treatments directed against mechanically induced bone pain. These ion channels and receptors could be useful targets for the development of peripherally acting drugs to treat pain of bony origin.

  5. 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...

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of HIV Immune Evasion of the Innate Immune Response in Myeloid Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Mashiba

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The expression of intrinsic antiviral factors by myeloid cells is a recently recognized mechanism of restricting lentiviral replication. Viruses that enter these cells must develop strategies to evade cellular antiviral factors to establish a productive infection. By studying the cellular targets of virally encoded proteins that are necessary to infect myeloid cells, a better understanding of cellular intrinsic antiviral strategies has now been achieved. Recent findings have provided insight into how the lentiviral accessory proteins, Vpx, Vpr and Vif counteract antiviral factors found in myeloid cells including SAMHD1, APOBEC3G, APOBEC3A, UNG2 and uracil. Here we review our current understanding of the molecular basis of how cellular antiviral factors function and the viral countermeasures that antagonize them to promote viral transmission and spread.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of HIV immune evasion of the innate immune response in myeloid cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashiba, Mike; Collins, Kathleen L

    2012-12-21

    The expression of intrinsic antiviral factors by myeloid cells is a recently recognized mechanism of restricting lentiviral replication. Viruses that enter these cells must develop strategies to evade cellular antiviral factors to establish a productive infection. By studying the cellular targets of virally encoded proteins that are necessary to infect myeloid cells, a better understanding of cellular intrinsic antiviral strategies has now been achieved. Recent findings have provided insight into how the lentiviral accessory proteins, Vpx, Vpr and Vif counteract antiviral factors found in myeloid cells including SAMHD1, APOBEC3G, APOBEC3A, UNG2 and uracil. Here we review our current understanding of the molecular basis of how cellular antiviral factors function and the viral countermeasures that antagonize them to promote viral transmission and spread.

  8. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study of the catalytic cycle of water splitting in photosystem II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sproviero, Eduardo M; Gascón, José A; McEvoy, James P; Brudvig, Gary W; Batista, Victor S

    2008-03-19

    This paper investigates the mechanism of water splitting in photosystem II (PSII) as described by chemically sensible models of the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in the S0-S4 states. The reaction is the paradigm for engineering direct solar fuel production systems since it is driven by solar light and the catalyst involves inexpensive and abundant metals (calcium and manganese). Molecular models of the OEC Mn3CaO4Mn catalytic cluster are constructed by explicitly considering the perturbational influence of the surrounding protein environment according to state-of-the-art quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) hybrid methods, in conjunction with the X-ray diffraction (XRD) structure of PSII from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus. The resulting models are validated through direct comparisons with high-resolution extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic data. Structures of the S3, S4, and S0 states include an additional mu-oxo bridge between Mn(3) and Mn(4), not present in XRD structures, found to be essential for the deprotonation of substrate water molecules. The structures of reaction intermediates suggest a detailed mechanism of dioxygen evolution based on changes in oxidization and protonation states and structural rearrangements of the oxomanganese cluster and surrounding water molecules. The catalytic reaction is consistent with substrate water molecules coordinated as terminal ligands to Mn(4) and calcium and requires the formation of an oxyl radical by deprotonation of the substrate water molecule ligated to Mn(4) and the accumulation of four oxidizing equivalents. The oxyl radical is susceptible to nucleophilic attack by a substrate water molecule initially coordinated to calcium and activated by two basic species, including CP43-R357 and the mu-oxo bridge between Mn(3) and Mn(4). The reaction is concerted with water ligand exchange, swapping the activated water by a water molecule in the second coordination shell of

  9. Understanding the mechanisms of secondary nucleation for protein aggregation: an analytical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels, Thomas; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.

    2013-03-01

    Filamentous protein self-assembly is a general type of behaviour accessible to a wide range of different polypeptide sequences. This phenomenon underlies key molecular events both in normal and aberrant biology, but a general theory of the crucial nucleation steps that govern this process has remained elusive. In this talk we discuss our attempts to provide a general description of secondary nucleation in filamentous protein assembly based on the Becker-Döring kinetic scheme to describe cluster-catalytic effects. This systematic procedure allows extracting low-dimensional systems of equations out of the full kinetic model, in a master equation formalism typically consisting of infinitely many coupled non-linear equations. Using this procedure, we propose and discuss various mechanisms that can underlie the secondary nucleation process. Using data curve-fitting and analysis we show that the addition of a monomer to heterogeneous nuclei is effectively irreversible and discuss the implications of our framework for the more general understanding of the physics of multi-step nucleation phenomena in nature.

  10. Molecular mechanisms that mediate invasion and egress of malaria parasites from red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaganan, Aditi; Singh, Pallavi; Chitnis, Chetan E

    2017-05-01

    Malaria parasites invade and multiply in diverse host cells during their complex life cycle. Some blood stage parasites transform into male and female gametocytes that are transmitted by female anopheline mosquitoes. The gametocytes are activated in the mosquito midgut to form male and female gametes, which egress from RBCs to mate and form a zygote. Here, we will review our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that mediate invasion and egress by malaria parasites at different life cycle stages. A number of key effector molecules such as parasite protein ligands for receptor-engagement during invasion as well as proteases and perforin-like proteins that mediate egress have been identified. Interestingly, these parasite-encoded effectors are located in internal, vesicular organelles and are secreted in a highly regulated manner during invasion and egress. Here, we will review our current understanding of the functional roles of these effectors as well as the signaling pathways that regulate their timely secretion with accurate spatiotemporal coordinates. Understanding the molecular basis of key processes such as host cell invasion and egress by malaria parasites could provide novel targets for development of inhibitors to block parasite growth and transmission.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence in the monocyte-macrophage lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rohr Olivier

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The introduction of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART has greatly improved survival. However, these treatments fail to definitively cure the patients and unveil the presence of quiescent HIV-1 reservoirs like cells from monocyte-macrophage lineage. A purge, or at least a significant reduction of these long lived HIV-1 reservoirs will be needed to raise the hope of the viral eradication. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms responsible for viral persistence in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. Controversy on latency and/or cryptic chronic replication will be specifically evoked. In addition, since HIV-1 infected monocyte-macrophage cells appear to be more resistant to apoptosis, this obstacle to the viral eradication will be discussed. Understanding the intimate mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence is a prerequisite to devise new and original therapies aiming to achieve viral eradication.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae stress adaptation and programmed cell death in response to acetic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio eGiannattasio

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Beyond its classical biotechnological applications such as food and beverage production or as a cell factory, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model organism to study fundamental mechanisms of cell response to stressful environmental changes. Acetic acid is a physiological product of yeast fermentation and it is a well-known food preservative due to its antimicrobial action. Acetic acid has recently been shown to cause yeast cell death and aging. Here we shall focus on the molecular mechanisms of S. cerevisiae stress adaptation and programmed cell death in response to acetic acid. We shall elaborate on the intracellular signaling pathways involved in the cross-talk of pro-survival and pro-death pathways underlying the importance of understanding fundamental aspects of yeast cell homeostasis to improve the performance of a given yeast strain in biotechnological applications.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae stress adaptation and programmed cell death in response to acetic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannattasio, Sergio; Guaragnella, Nicoletta; Zdralević, Maša; Marra, Ersilia

    2013-01-01

    Beyond its classical biotechnological applications such as food and beverage production or as a cell factory, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model organism to study fundamental mechanisms of cell response to stressful environmental changes. Acetic acid is a physiological product of yeast fermentation and it is a well-known food preservative due to its antimicrobial action. Acetic acid has recently been shown to cause yeast cell death and aging. Here we shall focus on the molecular mechanisms of S. cerevisiae stress adaptation and programmed cell death in response to acetic acid. We shall elaborate on the intracellular signaling pathways involved in the cross-talk of pro-survival and pro-death pathways underlying the importance of understanding fundamental aspects of yeast cell homeostasis to improve the performance of a given yeast strain in biotechnological applications.

  14. Left ventricular remodeling in the post-infarction heart: a review of cellular, molecular mechanisms, and therapeutic modalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajarsa, Jason J; Kloner, Robert A

    2011-01-01

    As more patients survive myocardial infarctions, the incidence of heart failure increases. After an infarction, the human heart undergoes a series of structural changes, which are governed by cellular and molecular mechanisms in a pathological metamorphosis termed "remodeling." This review will discuss the current developments in our understanding of these molecular and cellular events in remodeling and the various pharmacological, cellular and device therapies used to treat, and potentially retard, this condition. Specifically, this paper will examine the neurohormonal activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis and its molecular effects on the heart. The emerging understanding of the extra-cellular matrix and the various active molecules within it, such as the matrix metalloproteinases, elicits new appreciation for their role in cardiac remodeling and as possible future therapeutic targets. Cell therapy with stem cells is another recent therapy with great potential in improving post-infarcted hearts. Lastly, the cellular and molecular effects of left ventricular assist devices on remodeling will be reviewed. Our increasing knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac remodeling enables us not only to better understand how our more successful therapies, like angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, work, but also to explore new therapies of the future.

  15. Structural basis of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm formation: mechanisms and molecular interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Henning; Mack, Dietrich; Rohde, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is a usually harmless commensal bacterium highly abundant on the human skin. Under defined predisposing conditions, most importantly implantation of a medical device, S. epidermidis, however, can switch from a colonizing to an invasive life style. The emergence of S. epidermidis as an opportunistic pathogen is closely linked to the biofilm forming capability of the species. During the past decades, tremendous advance regarding our understanding of molecular mechanisms contributing to surface colonization has been made, and detailed information is available for several factors active during the primary attachment, accumulative or dispersal phase of biofilm formation. A picture evolved in which distinct factors, though appearing to be redundantly organized, take over specific and exclusive functions during biofilm development. In this review, these mechanisms are described in molecular detail, with a highlight on recent insights into multi-functional S. epidermidis cell surface proteins contributing to surface adherence and intercellular adhesion. The integration of distinct biofilm-promoting factors into regulatory networks is summarized, with an emphasis on mechanism that could allow S. epidermidis to flexibly adapt to changing environmental conditions present during colonizing or invasive life-styles. PMID:25741476

  16. 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

  17. Mechanism by which DHA inhibits the aggregation of KLVFFA peptides: A molecular dynamics study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Hong; Liu, Shengtang; Shao, Qiwen; Ma, Dongfang; Yang, Zaixing; Zhou, Ruhong

    2018-03-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which has shown promising applications in lowering Aβ peptide neurotoxicity in vitro by preventing aggregation of Aβ peptides and relieving accumulation of Aβ fibrils. Unfortunately, the underlying molecular mechanisms of how DHA interferes with the aggregation of Aβ peptides remain largely enigmatic. Herein, aggregation behaviors of amyloid-β(Aβ)16-21 peptides (KLVFFA) with or without the presence of a DHA molecule were comparatively studied using extensive all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. We found that DHA could effectively suppress the aggregation of KLVFFA peptides by redirecting peptides to unstructured oligomers. The highly hydrophobic and flexible nature of DHA made it randomly but tightly entangled with Leu-17, Phe-19, and Phe-20 residues to form unstructured but stable complexes. These lower-ordered unstructured oligomers could eventually pass through energy barriers to form ordered β-sheet structures through large conformational fluctuations. This study depicts a microscopic picture for understanding the role and mechanism of DHA in inhibition of aggregation of Aβ peptides, which is generally believed as one of the important pathogenic mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of liver ischemia reperfusion injury: Insights from transgenic knockout models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Gourab; Fuller, Barry J; Davidson, Brian R

    2013-01-01

    Ischemia reperfusion injury is a major obstacle in liver resection and liver transplantation surgery. Understanding the mechanisms of liver ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) and developing strategies to counteract this injury will therefore reduce acute complications in hepatic resection and transplantation, as well as expanding the potential pool of usable donor grafts. The initial liver injury is initiated by reactive oxygen species which cause direct cellular injury and also activate a cascade of molecular mediators leading to microvascular changes, increased apoptosis and acute inflammatory changes with increased hepatocyte necrosis. Some adaptive pathways are activated during reperfusion that reduce the reperfusion injury. IRI involves a complex interplay between neutrophils, natural killer T-cells cells, CD4+ T cell subtypes, cytokines, nitric oxide synthases, haem oxygenase-1, survival kinases such as the signal transducer and activator of transcription, Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases/Akt and nuclear factor κβ pathways. Transgenic animals, particularly genetic knockout models, have become a powerful tool at elucidating mechanisms of liver ischaemia reperfusion injury and are complementary to pharmacological studies. Targeted disruption of the protein at the genetic level is more specific and maintained than pharmacological inhibitors or stimulants of the same protein. This article reviews the evidence from knockout models of liver IRI about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying liver IRI. PMID:23555157

  19. Emerging Cytotoxic Alkaloids in the Battle against Cancer: Overview of Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeina Habli

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Considered as the second deadliest disease globally, cancer has captured the attention of researchers who have been trying with perseverance to decode its hidden aspects, to find new prognosis methods, and to develop better and more effective treatments. Plants have continuously offered an excess of unique secondary metabolites with remarkable biological applications. Alkaloids, one of the most abundant metabolites, constitute a large conglomerate of basic heterocyclic nitrogen-containing natural compounds which are normally produced by plants as toxic substances. Out of the 27,000 different alkaloids, more than 17,000 have displayed diversified pharmacological properties including anticancer activities. These metabolites have been classified either according to their chemical structures or their taxonomic origin. None of the researched alkaloids have been classified according to their molecular mechanism of action against cancer. In fact, only a fraction of the tremendous number of anticancer alkaloids has been copiously mentioned in journals. Here, we aim to provide a summary of the literature on some of the promising anticancer alkaloids that have not been well discussed previously and to classify them according to their molecular mechanisms of action. This review will provide a better understanding of the anticancer mechanisms of these promising natural products that are a rich reservoir for drug discovery.

  20. Observing invisible machines with invisible light: The mechanics of molecular machines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panman, M.R.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past few decades, chemists have designed and constructed a large variety of artificial molecular machines. Understanding of the fundamental principles behind motion at the molecular scale is key to the development of such devices. Motion at the molecular level is very different from that

  1. Understanding mechanisms of raveling to extend open graded friction course (OGFC) service life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    To understand the mechanisms of raveling in open graded friction course (OGFC) mixtures, this project was divided into experimental measurements and finite element (FE) modeling. For the experimental part, mixtures with good and poor field performanc...

  2. 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.

  3. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1:e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting.

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms for Microbe Recognition and Defense by the Red SeaweedLaurencia dendroidea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Louisi Souza; Tschoeke, Diogo Antonio; Magalhães Lopes, Ana Carolina Rubem; Sudatti, Daniela Bueno; Meirelles, Pedro Milet; Thompson, Cristiane C; Pereira, Renato Crespo; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2017-01-01

    The ability to recognize and respond to the presence of microbes is an essential strategy for seaweeds to survive in the marine environment, but understanding of molecular seaweed-microbe interactions is limited. Laurencia dendroidea clones were inoculated with the marine bacterium Vibrio madracius . The seaweed RNA was sequenced, providing an unprecedentedly high coverage of the transcriptome of Laurencia , and the gene expression levels were compared between control and inoculated samples after 24, 48, and 72 h. Transcriptomic changes in L. dendroidea in the presence of V. madracius include the upregulation of genes that participate in signaling pathways described here for the first time as a response of seaweeds to microbes. Genes coding for defense-related transcription activators, reactive oxygen species metabolism, terpene biosynthesis, and energy conversion pathways were upregulated in inoculated samples of L. dendroidea , indicating an integrated defensive system in seaweeds. This report contributes significantly to the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in the highly dynamic seaweed-bacterium interactions. IMPORTANCE Marine bacteria are part of the healthy microbiota associated with seaweeds, but some species, such as Vibrio spp., are frequently associated with disease outbreaks, especially in economically valuable cultures. In this context, the ability of seaweeds to recognize microbes and, when necessary, activate defense mechanisms is essential for their survival. However, studies dedicated to understanding the molecular components of the immune response in seaweeds are rare and restricted to indirect stimulus. This work provides an unprecedentedly large-scale evaluation of the transcriptional changes involved in microbe recognition, cellular signaling, and defense in the red seaweed Laurencia dendroidea in response to the marine bacterium Vibrio madracius . By expanding knowledge about seaweed-bacterium interactions and about the

  6. Analyzing the molecular mechanism of lipoprotein localization in Brucella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolab, Shivani; Roth, Robyn L.; van Heerden, Henriette; Crampton, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins possess diverse structure and functionality, ranging from bacterial physiology to pathogenic processes. As such many lipoproteins, originating from Brucella are exploited as potential vaccines to countermeasure brucellosis infection in the host. These membrane proteins are translocated from the cytoplasm to the cell membrane where they are anchored peripherally by a multifaceted targeting mechanism. Although much research has focused on the identification and classification of Brucella lipoproteins and their potential use as vaccine candidates for the treatment of Brucellosis, the underlying route for the translocation of these lipoproteins to the outer surface of the Brucella (and other pathogens) outer membrane (OM) remains mostly unknown. This is partly due to the complexity of the organism and evasive tactics used to escape the host immune system, the variation in biological structure and activity of lipoproteins, combined with the complex nature of the translocation machinery. The biosynthetic pathway of Brucella lipoproteins involves a distinct secretion system aiding translocation from the cytoplasm, where they are modified by lipidation, sorted by the lipoprotein localization machinery pathway and thereafter equipped for export to the OM. Surface localized lipoproteins in Brucella may employ a lipoprotein flippase or the β-barrel assembly complex for translocation. This review provides an overview of the characterized Brucella OM proteins that form part of the OM, including a handful of other characterized bacterial lipoproteins and their mechanisms of translocation. Lipoprotein localization pathways in gram negative bacteria will be used as a model to identify gaps in Brucella lipoprotein localization and infer a potential pathway. Of particular interest are the dual topology lipoproteins identified in Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenza. The localization and topology of these lipoproteins from other gram negative bacteria

  7. Analyzing the molecular mechanism of lipoprotein localization in Brucella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolab, Shivani; Roth, Robyn L; van Heerden, Henriette; Crampton, Michael C

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins possess diverse structure and functionality, ranging from bacterial physiology to pathogenic processes. As such many lipoproteins, originating from Brucella are exploited as potential vaccines to countermeasure brucellosis infection in the host. These membrane proteins are translocated from the cytoplasm to the cell membrane where they are anchored peripherally by a multifaceted targeting mechanism. Although much research has focused on the identification and classification of Brucella lipoproteins and their potential use as vaccine candidates for the treatment of Brucellosis, the underlying route for the translocation of these lipoproteins to the outer surface of the Brucella (and other pathogens) outer membrane (OM) remains mostly unknown. This is partly due to the complexity of the organism and evasive tactics used to escape the host immune system, the variation in biological structure and activity of lipoproteins, combined with the complex nature of the translocation machinery. The biosynthetic pathway of Brucella lipoproteins involves a distinct secretion system aiding translocation from the cytoplasm, where they are modified by lipidation, sorted by the lipoprotein localization machinery pathway and thereafter equipped for export to the OM. Surface localized lipoproteins in Brucella may employ a lipoprotein flippase or the β-barrel assembly complex for translocation. This review provides an overview of the characterized Brucella OM proteins that form part of the OM, including a handful of other characterized bacterial lipoproteins and their mechanisms of translocation. Lipoprotein localization pathways in gram negative bacteria will be used as a model to identify gaps in Brucella lipoprotein localization and infer a potential pathway. Of particular interest are the dual topology lipoproteins identified in Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenza. The localization and topology of these lipoproteins from other gram negative bacteria

  8. College Chemistry Students' Understanding of Potential Energy in the Context of Atomic-Molecular Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nicole M.; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the energy changes that occur as atoms and molecules interact forms the foundation for understanding the macroscopic energy changes that accompany chemical processes. In order to identify ways to scaffold students' understanding of the connections between atomic-molecular and macroscopic energy perspectives, we conducted a…

  9. 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

  10. Molecular breakdown of corn starch by thermal and mechanical effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Einde, van den R.M.; Akkermans, C.; Goot, van der A.J.; Boom, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    The molecular weight reduction of corn starch at 30-43% moisture during thermal treatment at temperatures 90-160degreesC and during well-defined thermomechanical treatment at temperatures 90-140degreesC was investigated. Thermal treatment resulted, during the first 5 min in a decrease in molecular

  11. Understanding the mechanism(s) of mosaic trisomy 21 by using DNA polymorphism analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pangalos, C.; Abazis, D.; Avramopoulos, D.; Blouin, J.L.; Antonaraksi, S.E. (Univ. of Patras Medical School (Greece)); Raoul, O.; deBlois, M.C.; Prieur, M. (Cytogenetics Laboratory, Paris (France)); Schinzel, A.A.

    1994-03-01

    In order to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying mosaicism for trisomy 21, the authors genotyped 17 families with mosaic trisomy 21 probands, using 28 PCR-detectable DNA polymorphic markers that map in the pericentromeric region and long arm of chromosome 21. The percentage of cells with trisomy 21 in the probands' blood lymphocytes was 6%-94%. There were two classes of autoradiographic results: In class I, a third allele' of lower intensity was detected in the proband's DNA for at least two chromosome 21 markers. The interpretation of this result was that the proband had inherited three chromosomes 21 after meiotic nondisjunction (NDJ) (trisomy 21 zygote) and subsequently lost one because of mitotic (somatic) error, the lost chromosome 21 being that with the lowest-intensity polymorphic allele. The parental origin and the meiotic stage of NDJ could also be determined. In class II, a third allele' was never detected. In these cases, the mosaicism probably occurred either by a postzygotic, mitotic error in anormal zygote that followed a normal meiosis (class IIA mechanism); by premeiotic, mitotic NDJ yielding an aneusomic zygote after meiosis, and subsequent mitotic loss (class IIB mechanism); or by a meiosis II error with lack of crossover in the preceding meiosis I, followed by mitotic loss after fertilization (class IIC mechanism). Among class II mechanisms, the most likely is mechanism IIA, while IIC is the least likely. There were 10 cases of class I and 7 cases of class II results. Within class I, there were nine cases with maternal meitoic errors (six meiosis I and three meiosis II errors, on the basis of pericentromeric markers) and one with paternal meiosis I error. The postzygotic loss of chromosome 21 was determined in eight maternal class I cases, and it was maternally derived in five cases and paternally derived in three; this suggests that the postzygotic loss of chromosome 21 is probably random. 28 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of resistance to Rituximab and pharmacologic strategies for its circumvention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolz, Claudia; Schuler, Martin

    2009-06-01

    The introduction of Rituximab has greatly improved therapeutic options for patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). However, a substantial fraction of patients with aggressive B-NHL fails first-line therapy, and most patients with relapsing indolent B-NHL eventually acquire Rituximab resistance. Molecular understanding of the underlying mechanisms facilitates the development of pharmacologic strategies to overcome resistance. Rituximab exerts its activity on CD20-expressing B-cells by indirect and direct effector mechanisms. Indirect mechanisms are complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Direct activities, such as growth inhibition, induction of apoptosis and chemosensitisation, have been reported, but are less defined. Moreover, the relative contribution of CDC, ADCC and direct mechanisms to the activity of Rituximab in vivo is unclear. Down-regulation of CD20 and expression of complement inhibitors have been described as escape mechanisms in B-NHL. Recent reports suggest that deregulated phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt, mitogen-activated kinases (MAPK) and nuclear-factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), as well as up-regulation of anti-apoptotic proteins may determine the efficacy of Rituximab to kill B-NHL cells in vitro and in vivo. The latter signalling pathways are attractive targets for pharmacologic modulation of resistance to Rituximab. With the advent of new inhibitors and antibodies, rationally designed clinical trials addressing Rituximab resistance are feasible.

  13. Tumor Heterogeneity: Mechanisms and Bases for a Reliable Application of Molecular Marker Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Cano, Salvador J.

    2012-01-01

    Tumor heterogeneity is a confusing finding in the assessment of neoplasms, potentially resulting in inaccurate diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tests. This tumor heterogeneity is not always a random and unpredictable phenomenon, whose knowledge helps designing better tests. The biologic reasons for this intratumoral heterogeneity would then be important to understand both the natural history of neoplasms and the selection of test samples for reliable analysis. The main factors contributing to intratumoral heterogeneity inducing gene abnormalities or modifying its expression include: the gradient ischemic level within neoplasms, the action of tumor microenvironment (bidirectional interaction between tumor cells and stroma), mechanisms of intercellular transference of genetic information (exosomes), and differential mechanisms of sequence-independent modifications of genetic material and proteins. The intratumoral heterogeneity is at the origin of tumor progression and it is also the byproduct of the selection process during progression. Any analysis of heterogeneity mechanisms must be integrated within the process of segregation of genetic changes in tumor cells during the clonal expansion and progression of neoplasms. The evaluation of these mechanisms must also consider the redundancy and pleiotropism of molecular pathways, for which appropriate surrogate markers would support the presence or not of heterogeneous genetics and the main mechanisms responsible. This knowledge would constitute a solid scientific background for future therapeutic planning. PMID:22408433

  14. Molecular Mechanisms behind the Physiological Resistance to Intense Transient Warming in an Iconic Marine Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Guirao, Lazaro; Entrambasaguas, Laura; Dattolo, Emanuela; Ruiz, Juan M; Procaccini, Gabriele

    2017-01-01

    The endemic Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica is highly threatened by the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves. Meadows of the species offer a unique opportunity to unravel mechanisms marine plants activate to cope transient warming, since their wide depth distribution impose divergent heat-tolerance. Understanding these mechanisms is imperative for their conservation. Shallow and deep genotypes within the same population were exposed to a simulated heatwave in mesocosms, to analyze their transcriptomic and photo-physiological responses during and after the exposure. Shallow plants, living in a more unstable thermal environment, optimized phenotype variation in response to warming. These plants showed a pre-adaptation of genes in anticipation of stress. Shallow plants also showed a stronger activation of heat-responsive genes and the exclusive activation of genes involved in epigenetic mechanisms and in molecular mechanisms that are behind their higher photosynthetic stability and respiratory acclimation. Deep plants experienced higher heat-induced damage and activated metabolic processes for obtaining extra energy from sugars and amino acids, likely to support the higher protein turnover induced by heat. In this study we identify transcriptomic mechanisms that may facilitate persistence of seagrasses to anomalous warming events and we discovered that P. oceanica plants from above and below the mean depth of the summer thermocline have differential resilience to heat.

  15. Field-omics—understanding large-scale molecular data from field crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandersson, Erik; Jacobson, Dan; Vivier, Melané A.; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Andreasson, Erik

    2014-01-01

    The recent advances in gene expression analysis as well as protein and metabolite quantification enable genome-scale capturing of complex biological processes at the molecular level in crop field trials. This opens up new possibilities for understanding the molecular and environmental complexity of field-based systems and thus shedding light on the black box between genotype and environment, which in agriculture always is influenced by a multi-stress environment and includes management interventions. Nevertheless, combining different types of data obtained from the field and making biological sense out of large datasets remain challenging. Here we highlight the need to create a cross-disciplinary platform for innovative experimental design, sampling and subsequent analysis of large-scale molecular data obtained in field trials. For these reasons we put forward the term field-omics: “Field-omics strives to couple information from genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes and metagenomes to the long-established practice in crop science of conducting field trials as well as to adapt current strategies for recording and analysing field data to facilitate integration with ‘-omics’ data.” PMID:24999347

  16. The molecular mechanism and regulatory pathways of cancer stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Malignant cancer is among the top of the life-threatening conditions, challenging humanity for a long time. Traditional methods of cancer therapy include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, which aim to remove/destroy cancer cells. Although theoretically very promising, none of these methods can effectively eradicate cancer, the reason for which can be attributed to our incomplete understanding of the mechanism of cancer metastasis and recurrence. In recent years, researchers have proposed the theory of cancer stem cell (CSC. CSC is a small population of tumor cells that have unlimited self-renewal ability, exhibit a strong resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and have been proved to be the core reason of cancer metastasis and recurrence. CSC theory provides a deep insight into malignant tumorigenesis that brings new hope for tumor therapy. In this paper, we intend to discuss the development of CSC theory and summarize the regulatory pathways involved in CSC origin and self-renewal, which might be of assistance in the future development of malignant cancer therapy.

  17. An Updated Review of the Molecular Mechanisms in Drug Hypersensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Bing Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Drug hypersensitivity may manifest ranging from milder skin reactions (e.g., maculopapular exanthema and urticaria to severe systemic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS, or Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN. Current pharmacogenomic studies have made important strides in the prevention of some drug hypersensitivity through the identification of relevant genetic variants, particularly for genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and human leukocyte antigens (HLAs. The associations identified by these studies are usually drug, phenotype, and ethnic specific. The drug presentation models that explain how small drug antigens might interact with HLA and T cell receptor (TCR molecules in drug hypersensitivity include the hapten theory, the p-i concept, the altered peptide repertoire model, and the altered TCR repertoire model. The broad spectrum of clinical manifestations of drug hypersensitivity involving different drugs, as well as the various pathomechanisms involved, makes the diagnosis and management of it more challenging. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the predisposing factors, immune mechanisms, pathogenesis, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic approaches for drug hypersensitivity.

  18. An Updated Review of the Molecular Mechanisms in Drug Hypersensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Riichiro; Pan, Ren-You; Wang, Chuang-Wei

    2018-01-01

    Drug hypersensitivity may manifest ranging from milder skin reactions (e.g., maculopapular exanthema and urticaria) to severe systemic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS)/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS), or Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS)/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Current pharmacogenomic studies have made important strides in the prevention of some drug hypersensitivity through the identification of relevant genetic variants, particularly for genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). The associations identified by these studies are usually drug, phenotype, and ethnic specific. The drug presentation models that explain how small drug antigens might interact with HLA and T cell receptor (TCR) molecules in drug hypersensitivity include the hapten theory, the p-i concept, the altered peptide repertoire model, and the altered TCR repertoire model. The broad spectrum of clinical manifestations of drug hypersensitivity involving different drugs, as well as the various pathomechanisms involved, makes the diagnosis and management of it more challenging. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the predisposing factors, immune mechanisms, pathogenesis, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic approaches for drug hypersensitivity. PMID:29651444

  19. Testosterone deficiency syndrome: cellular and molecular mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruthers, Malcolm

    2013-02-01

    There is virtually no correlation between what are generally accepted to be the symptoms of deficient androgen in men and levels of androgens as measured in the laboratory. Now that androgen deficiency is being shown to play a part in conditions as diverse as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, a hypothesis is needed to explain this apparent discrepancy between measured androgen levels and our understanding of the symptoms of androgen deficiency. When the possible mechanisms for androgen actions are considered, one explanation emerges that androgen may act much like insulin in persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus: the degree of androgen resistance may be variable depending on the organs or systems considered. Therefore, the symptoms can result from altered or damaged synthesis of androgen synthesis or regulation, elevated androgen binding, a reduction in tissue response, or decreased as a result of polymorphism and aging. Genomic transcription and translation may also be affected. As with diabetes, in adult male androgen deficiency, it is suggested that the definition of androgen deficiency should be based on individual physiology, with the requirements of the individual at a particular stage of life setting the baseline against which any deficiency of androgens or androgen metabolites, either absolute or relative, is determined. This approach will affect the terminology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of androgen deficiency.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of acrolein toxicity: relevance to human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghe, Akshata; Ghare, Smita; Lamoreau, Bryan; Mohammad, Mohammad; Barve, Shirish; McClain, Craig; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2015-02-01

    Acrolein, a highly reactive unsaturated aldehyde, is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and its potential as a serious environmental health threat is beginning to be recognized. Humans are exposed to acrolein per oral (food and water), respiratory (cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and biocide use) and dermal routes, in addition to endogenous generation (metabolism and lipid peroxidation). Acrolein has been suggested to play a role in several disease states including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and neuro-, hepato-, and nephro-toxicity. On the cellular level, acrolein exposure has diverse toxic effects, including DNA and protein adduction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial disruption, membrane damage, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and immune dysfunction. This review addresses our current understanding of each pathogenic mechanism of acrolein toxicity, with emphasis on the known and anticipated contribution to clinical disease, and potential therapies. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. 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.

  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. Mass Spectrometry-Based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontes, Arthur H.; de Sousa, Marcelo V.

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language, and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have enabled the identification and quantification of thousands of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis. PMID:27790611

  4. Prospects of Understanding the Molecular Biology of Disease Resistance in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Kumar Singh

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rice is one of the important crops grown worldwide and is considered as an important crop for global food security. Rice is being affected by various fungal, bacterial and viral diseases resulting in huge yield losses every year. Deployment of resistance genes in various crops is one of the important methods of disease management. However, identification, cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes is a very tedious effort. To increase the life span of resistant cultivars, it is important to understand the molecular basis of plant host–pathogen interaction. With the advancement in rice genetics and genomics, several rice varieties resistant to fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens have been developed. However, resistance response of these varieties break down very frequently because of the emergence of more virulent races of the pathogen in nature. To increase the durability of resistance genes under field conditions, understanding the mechanismof resistance response and its molecular basis should be well understood. Some emerging concepts like interspecies transfer of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and transgenerational plant immunitycan be employed to develop sustainable broad spectrum resistant varieties of rice.

  5. Understanding the reaction of nuclear graphite with molecular oxygen: Kinetics, transport, and structural evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Joshua J.; Contescu, Cristian I.; Smith, Rebecca E.; Strydom, Gerhard; Windes, William E.

    2017-09-01

    For the next generation of nuclear reactors, HTGRs specifically, an unlikely air ingress warrants inclusion in the license applications of many international regulators. Much research on oxidation rates of various graphite grades under a number of conditions has been undertaken to address such an event. However, consequences to the reactor result from the microstructural changes to the graphite rather than directly from oxidation. The microstructure is inherent to a graphite's properties and ultimately degradation to the graphite's performance must be determined to establish the safety of reactor design. To understand the oxidation induced microstructural change and its corresponding impact on performance, a thorough understanding of the reaction system is needed. This article provides a thorough review of the graphite-molecular oxygen reaction in terms of kinetics, mass and energy transport, and structural evolution: all three play a significant role in the observed rate of graphite oxidation. These provide the foundations of a microstructurally informed model for the graphite-molecular oxygen reaction system, a model kinetically independent of graphite grade, and capable of describing both the observed and local oxidation rates under a wide range of conditions applicable to air-ingress.

  6. A New Take on John Maynard Smith's Concept of Protein Space for Understanding Molecular Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartl, Daniel L.

    2016-01-01

    Much of the public lacks a proper understanding of Darwinian evolution, a problem that can be addressed with new learning and teaching approaches to be implemented both inside the classroom and in less formal settings. Few analogies have been as successful in communicating the basics of molecular evolution as John Maynard Smith’s protein space analogy (1970), in which he compared protein evolution to the transition between the terms WORD and GENE, changing one letter at a time to yield a different, meaningful word (in his example, the preferred path was WORD → WORE → GORE → GONE → GENE). Using freely available computer science tools (Google Books Ngram Viewer), we offer an update to Maynard Smith’s analogy and explain how it might be developed into an exploratory and pedagogical device for understanding the basics of molecular evolution and, more specifically, the adaptive landscape concept. We explain how the device works through several examples and provide resources that might facilitate its use in multiple settings, ranging from public engagement activities to formal instruction in evolution, population genetics, and computational biology. PMID:27736867

  7. Mass Spectrometry-based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur Henriques Pontes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS have enable the identification and quantification of thousand of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis.

  8. Mass Spectrometry-based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontes, Arthur; de Sousa, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have enable the identification and quantification of thousand of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis.

  9. Analysis of molecular mechanisms of ATP synthesis from the standpoint of the principle of electrical neutrality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath, Sunil

    2017-05-01

    Theories of biological energy coupling in oxidative phosphorylation (OX PHOS) and photophosphorylation (PHOTO PHOS) are reviewed and applied to ATP synthesis by an experimental system containing purified ATP synthase reconstituted into liposomes. The theories are critically evaluated from the standpoint of the principle of electrical neutrality. It is shown that the obligatory requirement to maintain overall electroneutrality of bulk aqueous phases imposes strong constraints on possible theories of energy coupling and molecular mechanisms of ATP synthesis. Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory is found to violate the electroneutrality of bulk aqueous phases and is shown to be untenable on these grounds. Purely electroneutral mechanisms or mechanisms where the anion/countercation gradient is dissipated or simply flows through the lipid bilayer are also shown to be inadequate. A dynamically electrogenic but overall electroneutral mode of ion transport postulated by Nath's torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis is shown to be consistent both with the experimental findings and the principle of electrical neutrality. It is concluded that the ATP synthase functions as a proton-dicarboxylic acid anion cotransporter in OX PHOS or PHOTO PHOS. A logical chemical explanation for the selection of dicarboxylic acids as intermediates in OX PHOS and PHOTO PHOS is suggested based on the pioneering classical thermodynamic work of Christensen, Izatt, and Hansen. The nonequilibrium thermodynamic consequences for theories in which the protons originate from water vis-a-vis weak organic acids are compared and contrasted, and several new mechanistic and thermodynamic insights into biological energy transduction by ATP synthase are offered. These considerations make the new theory of energy coupling more complete, and lead to a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanism of ATP synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Desiccation stress and tolerance in green algae: consequences for ultrastructure, physiological and molecular mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzinger, Andreas; Karsten, Ulf

    2013-01-01

    Although most green algae typically occur in aquatic ecosystems, many species also live partly or permanently under aeroterrestrial conditions, where the cells are exposed to the atmosphere and hence regularly experience dehydration. The ability of algal cells to survive in an air-dried state is termed desiccation tolerance. The mechanisms involved in desiccation tolerance of green algae are still poorly understood, and hence the aim of this review is to summarize recent findings on the effects of desiccation and osmotic water loss. Starting from structural changes, physiological, and biochemical consequences of desiccation will be addressed in different green-algal lineages. The available data clearly indicate a range of strategies, which are rather different in streptophycean and non-streptophycean green algae. While members of the Trebouxiophyceae exhibit effective water loss-prevention mechanisms based on the biosynthesis and accumulation of particular organic osmolytes such as polyols, these compounds are so far not reported in representatives of the Streptophyta. In members of the Streptophyta such as Klebsormidium, the most striking observation is the appearance of cross-walls in desiccated samples, which are strongly undulating, suggesting a high degree of mechanical flexibility. This aids in maintaining structural integrity in the dried state and allows the cell to maintain turgor pressure for a prolonged period of time during the dehydration process. Physiological strategies in aeroterrestrial green algae generally include a rapid reduction of photosynthesis during desiccation, but also a rather quick recovery after rewetting, whereas aquatic species are sensitive to drying. The underlying mechanisms such as the affected molecular components of the photosynthetic machinery are poorly understood in green algae. Therefore, modern approaches based on transcriptomics, proteomics, and/or metabolomics are urgently needed to better understand the molecular

  11. Desiccation stress and tolerance in green algae: Consequences for ultrastructure, physiological and molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eHolzinger

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Although most green algae typically occur in aquatic ecosystems, many species also live partly or permanently under aeroterrestrial conditions, where the cells are exposed to the atmosphere and hence regularly experience dehydration. The ability of algal cells to survive in an air-dried state is termed desiccation tolerance. The mechanisms involved in desiccation tolerance of green algae are still poorly understood, and hence the aim of this review is to summarize recent findings on the effects of desiccation and osmotic water loss. Starting from structural changes, physiological and biochemical consequences of desiccation will be addressed in different green-algal lineages. The available data clearly indicate a range of strategies, which are rather different in streptophycean and non-streptophycean green algae. For example, Trebouxiophyceae exhibit effective water loss-prevention mechanisms based on the biosynthesis and accumulation of particular organic osmolytes such as polyols, these compounds are so far not reported in representatives of the Streptophyta. In members of the Streptophyta such as Klebsormidium, the most striking observation is the appearance of cross-walls in desiccated samples, which are strongly undulating, suggesting a high degree of mechanical flexibility. This allows the cell to maintain turgor pressure for a prolonged period of time during the dehydration process. Physiological strategies in aeroterrestrial green algae generally include a rapid reduction of photosynthesis during desiccation, but also a rather quick recovery after rewetting, whereas aquatic species are sensitive to drying. The underlying mechanisms such as the affected molecular components of the photosynthetic machinery are poorly understood in green algae. Therefore, modern approaches based on transcriptomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics are urgently needed to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in desiccation-stress physiology of

  12. The molecular biology of prostate cancer: current understanding and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Jason; Afridi, Adil; Vatsia, Sohrab; Joshi, Gargi; Joshi, Gunjan; Kaplan, Steven A; Smith, Noel L; Khan, Sardar Ali

    2017-12-27

    With continuous progress over the past few decades in understanding diagnosis, treatment, and genetics, much has been learned about the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. A comprehensive MEDLINE® and Google scholar literature search was conducted using keyword variations relating to the genetics of prostate cancer such as chromosomal alterations, androgen receptor, castration-resistant, inheritance, polymorphisms, oncogenes, metastasis, biomarkers, and immunotherapy. Traditionally, androgen receptors (AR) have been the focus of research. Recently, identification of recurrent chromosomal alterations that lead to either multiplication of regions (gain-of-function) or deletion of regions (loss-of-function) has opened the door to greater genetic accessibility. These chromosomal aberrations lead to variation in copy number and gene expression. Some of these chromosomal alterations are inherited, while others undergo somatic mutations during disease progression. Inherited gene mutations that make one susceptible to prostate cancer have been identified with familial-linked studies. Somatic genes that progress tumorigenesis have also been identified. Research on the molecular biology of prostate cancer has characterized these genes into tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes. Additionally, genome-wide assay studies have identified many high-risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms recurrent throughout the prostate cancer-diagnosed genome. Castration-resistant prostate cancer is the most aggressive form of prostate cancer, and its research has elucidated many types of mutations associated with AR itself, including enhanced expression and amplification, point mutations, and alternative splicing. Understanding the molecular biology of prostate cancer has permitted more accurate identification using advanced biomarkers and therapy for aggressive forms using immunotherapy. An age-related disease, prostate cancer commands profound attention. With increasing life expectancy and the

  13. Toward molecular mechanism of xenon anesthesia: a link to studies of xenon complexes with small aromatic molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrijchenko, Natalya N; Ermilov, Alexander Yu; Khriachtchev, Leonid; Räsänen, Markku; Nemukhin, Alexander V

    2015-03-19

    The present study illustrates the steps toward understanding molecular mechanism of xenon anesthesia by focusing on a link to the structures and spectra of intermolecular complexes of xenon with small aromatic molecules. A primary cause of xenon anesthesia is attributed to inhibition of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors by an unknown mechanism. Following the results of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) and molecular dynamics (MD) calculations we report plausible xenon action sites in the ligand binding domain of the NMDA receptor, which are due to interaction of xenon atoms with aromatic amino-acid residues. We rely in these calculations on computational protocols adjusted in combined experimental and theoretical studies of intermolecular complexes of xenon with phenol. Successful reproduction of vibrational shifts in molecular species upon complexation with xenon measured in low-temperature matrices allowed us to select a proper functional form in density functional theory (DFT) approach for use in QM subsystems, as well as to calibrate force field parameters for MD simulations. The results of molecular modeling show that xenon atoms can compete with agonists for a place in the corresponding protein cavity, thus indicating their active role in anesthetic action.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system-dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission

  15. Framework for Understanding the Patterns of Student Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-01-01

    Compared with introductory physics, relatively little is known about the development of expertise in advanced physics courses, especially in the case of quantum mechanics. Here, we describe a framework for understanding the patterns of student reasoning difficulties and how students develop expertise in quantum mechanics. The framework posits that…

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Molecular insights into the mechanism of sensing and signal transduction of the thermosensor DesK

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ballering, J.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to sense and respond to environmental signals is essential for cell survival. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying signaling processes remains a challenge, however. This thesis provides molecular insights into the mechanism of sensing and signal transduction of the thermosensor

  19. Study of the Molecular Mechanism of Anti-inflammatory Activity of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: Bee venom (BV) is traditionally used in many inflammatory chronic conditions but its mechanism of action at molecular level is not fully understood. This study was undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of action of bee venom at the molecular level Methods: We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in Raw ...

  20. Epigenetics: Behavioral Influences on Gene Function, Part II--Molecular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogren, Marilee P.; Lombroso, Paul J.

    2008-01-01

    A study presented on the effect of parenting on stress response and other behaviors show that animals exposed to a high degree of nurturing show a blunted response to stress. Molecular mechanisms responsible for these differences in the adult offspring as well as the molecular mechanisms by which epigenetic effects are propagated from one…

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Ovarian Cancer: Prevention, Detection and Treatment of the Disease and Its Recurrence. Molecular Mechanisms and Personalized Medicine Meeting Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modugno, Francesmary; Edwards, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To review the current understanding of the underlying molecular, biologic and genetic mechanisms involved in ovarian cancer development and how these mechanisms can be targets for prevention, detection and treatment of the disease and its recurrence. Methods In May 2012, we convened a meeting of researchers, clinicians and consumer advocates to review the state of current knowledge on molecular mechanisms and identify fruitful areas for further investigations. Results The meeting consisted of seven scientific sessions, ranging from Epidemiology, Early Detection, and Biology to Therapeutics and Quality of Life. Sessions consisted of talks and panel discussions by international leaders in ovarian cancer research. A special career-development session by the CDMRP Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Academy as well as an oral abstract and poster session showcased promising new research by junior scientists. Conclusions Technological advances in the last decade have increased our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in a host of biological activities related to ovarian cancer. Understanding the role these mechanisms play in cancer initiation and progression will help lead to the development of prevention and treatment modalities that can be personalized to each patient, thereby helping to overcome this highly-fatal malignancy. PMID:23013733

  7. Genome expression profiling predicts the molecular mechanism of peripheral myelination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoming

    2018-03-01

    The present study aimed to explore the molecular mechanism of myelination in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) based on genome expression profiles. Microarray data (GSE60345) was acquired from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were integrated and subsequently subjected to pathway and term enrichment analysis. A protein‑protein interaction network was constructed and the top 200 DEGs according to their degree value were further subjected to pathway enrichment analysis. A microRNA (miR)‑target gene regulatory network was constructed to explore the role of miRs associated with PNS myelination. A total of 783 upregulated genes and 307 downregulated genes were identified. The upregulated DEGs were significantly enriched in the biological function of complement and coagulation cascades, cytokine‑cytokine receptor interactions and cell adhesion molecules. Pathways significantly enriched by the downregulated DEGs included the cell cycle, oocyte meiosis and the p53 signaling pathway. In addition, the upregulated DEGs among the top 200 DEGs were significantly enriched in natural killer (NK) cell mediated cytotoxicity and the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway, in which Fc γ receptor (FCGR), ras‑related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 2 (RAC2) and 1‑phosphatidylinositol‑4,5‑bisphosphate phosphodiesterase γ‑2 (PLCG2) were involved. miR‑339‑5p, miR‑10a‑5p and miR‑10b‑5p were identified as having a high degree value and may regulate the target genes TOX high mobility group box family member 4 (Tox4), DNA repair protein XRCC2 (Xrcc2) and C5a anaphylatoxin chemotactic receptor C5a2 (C5ar2). NK cell mediated cytotoxicity and the BCR pathway may be involved in peripheral myelination by targeting FCGR, RAC2 and PLCG2. The downregulation of oocyte meiosis, the cell cycle and the cellular tumor antigen p53 signaling pathway suggests decreasing schwann cell proliferation following the initiation of

  8. Toward a better understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis: a comprehensive proteome map of a nascent insect symbiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Renoz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria are common in insects and can affect various aspects of their hosts’ biology. Although the effects of insect symbionts have been clarified for various insect symbiosis models, due to the difficulty of cultivating them in vitro, there is still limited knowledge available on the molecular features that drive symbiosis. Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts found in aphids. The recent findings of free-living strains that are considered as nascent partners of aphids provide the opportunity to examine the molecular mechanisms that a symbiont can deploy at the early stages of the symbiosis (i.e., symbiotic factors. In this work, a proteomic approach was used to establish a comprehensive proteome map of the free-living S. symbiotica strain CWBI-2.3T. Most of the 720 proteins identified are related to housekeeping or primary metabolism. Of these, 76 were identified as candidate proteins possibly promoting host colonization. Our results provide strong evidence that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T is well-armed for invading insect host tissues, and suggest that certain molecular features usually harbored by pathogenic bacteria are no longer present. This comprehensive proteome map provides a series of candidate genes for further studies to understand the molecular cross-talk between insects and symbiotic bacteria.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of differentiation of murine pro-inflammatory gamma-delta T cell subsets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eSilva-Santos

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Gamma-delta (gd T cells are unconventional innate-like lymphocytes that actively participate in protective immunity against tumors and infectious organisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites. However, gd T cells are also involved in the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. gd T cells are functionally characterized by very rapid production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while also impacting on (slower but long-lasting adaptive immune responses. This makes it crucial to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate  T cell effector functions. Although they share many similarities with ab T cells, our knowledge of the molecular pathways that control effector functions in gd T cells still lags significantly behind. In this review, we focus on the segregation of interferon-gamma versus interleukin-17 production in murine thymic-derived gd T cell subsets defined by CD27 and CCR6 expression levels. We summarize the most recent studies that disclose the specific epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms that govern the stability or plasticity of discrete pro-inflammatory gd T cell subsets, whose manipulation may be valuable for regulating (autoimmune responses.

  10. Elucidating Mechanisms of Molecular Recognition Between Human Argonaute and miRNA Using Computational Approaches

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Hanlun

    2016-12-06

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and Argonaute (AGO) protein together form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) that plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. Elucidating the underlying mechanism of AGO-miRNA recognition is thus of great importance not only for the in-depth understanding of miRNA function but also for inspiring new drugs targeting miRNAs. In this chapter we introduce a combined computational approach of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, Markov state models (MSMs), and protein-RNA docking to investigate AGO-miRNA recognition. Constructed from MD simulations, MSMs can elucidate the conformational dynamics of AGO at biologically relevant timescales. Protein-RNA docking can then efficiently identify the AGO conformations that are geometrically accessible to miRNA. Using our recent work on human AGO2 as an example, we explain the rationale and the workflow of our method in details. This combined approach holds great promise to complement experiments in unraveling the mechanisms of molecular recognition between large, flexible, and complex biomolecules.

  11. Providing a molecular mechanism for P-glycoprotein; why would I bother?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Richard

    2015-10-01

    It is almost 40 years since the drug efflux pump P-glycoprotein (permeability glycoprotein or P-gp) was shown to confer multi-drug resistance in cancer cells. This protein has been one of the most extensively investigated transport proteins due to its intriguing mechanism and its affect in oncology. P-gp is known to interact with over 300 compounds and the ability to achieve this has not yet been revealed. Following the binding of substrate and nucleotide, a complex series of conformational changes in the membrane and cytosolic domains translocates substrate across the membrane. Despite over 30 years of biochemical investigation, the availability of structural data and a plethora of chemical tools to modulate its function, the molecular mechanism remains a mystery. In addition, overcoming its activity in resistant cancer cells has not been achieved in the clinic, thereby garnering some degree of pessimism in the field. This review highlights the progress that has been achieved in understanding this complex protein and the value of undertaking molecular studies. © 2015 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of the yeast adaptive response and tolerance to stresses encountered during ethanol fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auesukaree, Choowong

    2017-08-01

    During ethanol fermentation, yeast cells encounter various stresses including sugar substrates-induced high osmolarity, increased ethanol concentration, oxygen metabolism-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS), and elevated temperature. To cope with these fermentation-associated stresses, appropriate adaptive responses are required to prevent stress-induced cellular dysfunctions and to acquire stress tolerances. This review will focus on the cellular effects of these stresses, molecular basis of the adaptive response to each stress, and the cellular mechanisms contributing to stress tolerance. Since a single stress can cause diverse effects, including specific and non-specific effects, both specific and general stress responses are needed for achieving comprehensive protection. For instance, the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway and the Yap1/Skn7-mediated pathways are specifically involved in responses to osmotic and oxidative stresses, respectively. On the other hand, due to the common effect of these stresses on disturbing protein structures, the upregulation of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and trehalose is induced upon exposures to all of these stresses. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying yeast tolerance to these fermentation-associated stresses is essential for improvement of yeast stress tolerance by genetic engineering approaches. Copyright © 2017 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Protein Machineries Involved in the Attachment of Heme to Cytochrome c: Protein Structures and Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Travaglini-Allocatelli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytochromes c (Cyt c are ubiquitous heme-containing proteins, mainly involved in electron transfer processes, whose structure and functions have been and still are intensely studied. Surprisingly, our understanding of the molecular mechanism whereby the heme group is covalently attached to the apoprotein (apoCyt in the cell is still largely unknown. This posttranslational process, known as Cyt c biogenesis or Cyt c maturation, ensures the stereospecific formation of the thioether bonds between the heme vinyl groups and the cysteine thiols of the apoCyt heme binding motif. To accomplish this task, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have evolved distinctive protein machineries composed of different proteins. In this review, the structural and functional properties of the main maturation apparatuses found in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells will be presented, dissecting the Cyt c maturation process into three functional steps: (i heme translocation and delivery, (ii apoCyt thioreductive pathway, and (iii apoCyt chaperoning and heme ligation. Moreover, current hypotheses and open questions about the molecular mechanisms of each of the three steps will be discussed, with special attention to System I, the maturation apparatus found in gram-negative bacteria.

  14. Molecular mechanism of allosteric modification of voltage-dependent sodium channels by local anesthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcisio-Miranda, Manoel; Muroi, Yukiko; Chowdhury, Sandipan; Chanda, Baron

    2010-11-01

    The hallmark of many intracellular pore blockers such as tetra-alkylammonium compounds and local anesthetics is their ability to allosterically modify the movement of the voltage sensors in voltage-dependent ion channels. For instance, the voltage sensor of domain III is specifically stabilized in the activated state when sodium currents are blocked by local anesthetics. The molecular mechanism underlying this long-range interaction between the blocker-binding site in the pore and voltage sensors remains poorly understood. Here, using scanning mutagenesis in combination with voltage clamp fluorimetry, we systematically evaluate the role of the internal gating interface of domain III of the sodium channel. We find that several mutations in the S4-S5 linker and S5 and S6 helices dramatically reduce the stabilizing effect of lidocaine on the activation of domain III voltage sensor without significantly altering use-dependent block at saturating drug concentrations. In the wild-type skeletal muscle sodium channel, local anesthetic block is accompanied by a 21% reduction in the total gating charge. In contrast, point mutations in this critical intracellular region reduce this charge modification by local anesthetics. Our analysis of a simple model suggests that these mutations in the gating interface are likely to disrupt the various coupling interactions between the voltage sensor and the pore of the sodium channel. These findings provide a molecular framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying allosteric interactions between a drug-binding site and voltage sensors.

  15. 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.

  16. Variational calculation of quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical free energy with electronic polarization of solvent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Takeshi

    2012-04-01

    Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) free energy calculation presents a significant challenge due to an excessive number of QM calculations. A useful approach for reducing the computational cost is that based on the mean field approximation to the QM subsystem. Here, we describe such a mean-field QM/MM theory for electronically polarizable systems by starting from the Hartree product ansatz for the total system and invoking a variational principle of free energy. The MM part is then recast to a classical polarizable model by introducing the charge response kernel. Numerical test shows that the potential of mean force (PMF) thus obtained agrees quantitatively with that obtained from a direct QM/MM calculation, indicating the utility of self-consistent mean-field approximation. Next, we apply the obtained method to prototypical reactions in several qualitatively different solvents and make a systematic comparison of polarization effects. The results show that in aqueous solution the PMF does not depend very much on the water models employed, while in nonaqueous solutions the PMF is significantly affected by explicit polarization. For example, the free energy barrier for a phosphoryl dissociation reaction in acetone and cyclohexane is found to increase by more than 10 kcal/mol when switching the solvent model from an empirical to explicitly polarizable one. The reason for this is discussed based on the parametrization of empirical nonpolarizable models.

  17. Unraveling the neurotoxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles: focusing on molecular mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Song

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs possess unique characteristics and are widely used in many fields. Numerous in vivo studies, exposing experimental animals to these NPs through systematic administration, have suggested that TiO2 NPs can accumulate in the brain and induce brain dysfunction. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs remain unclear. However, we have concluded from previous studies that these mechanisms mainly consist of oxidative stress (OS, apoptosis, inflammatory response, genotoxicity, and direct impairment of cell components. Meanwhile, other factors such as disturbed distributions of trace elements, disrupted signaling pathways, dysregulated neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity have also been shown to contribute to neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs. Recently, studies on autophagy and DNA methylation have shed some light on possible mechanisms of nanotoxicity. Therefore, we offer a new perspective that autophagy and DNA methylation could contribute to neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs. Undoubtedly, more studies are needed to test this idea in the future. In short, to fully understand the health threats posed by TiO2 NPs and to improve the bio-safety of TiO2 NPs-based products, the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs must be investigated comprehensively through studying every possible molecular mechanism.

  18. Deciphering spreading mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: clinical evidence and potential molecular processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradat, Pierre-François; Kabashi, Edor; Desnuelle, Claude

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this review is to refer to recent arguments supporting the existence of specific propagation mechanisms associated with spreading of neuron injury in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Misfolded ALS-linked protein accumulation can induce aggregation of their native equivalent isoforms through a mechanism analogous to the infectious prion proteins initiation and its propagation. Although ALS is clinically heterogeneous, a shared characteristic is the focal onset and the progressive extension to all body regions. Being viewed until now as just summation of the increased number of affected neurons, dispersion is now rather considered as the result of a seeded self-propagating process. A sequential regional spreading pattern is supported by the distribution of TDP-43 aggregates in ALS autopsy cases. Electrophysiology and advanced neuroimaging methods also recently provided some evidence for propagation of lesions both in the brain and spinal cord, more longitudinal studies being still needed. Lesions are supposed to spread cell-to-cell regionally or through connected neuronal pathway. At the molecular level, the prion-like spreading is an emerging mechanism hypothesis, but other machineries such as those that are in charge of dealing with misfolded proteins and secretion of deleterious peptides may be involved in the propagation of neuron loss. Deciphering the mechanisms underlying spreading of ALS symptoms is of crucial importance to better understand this neurodegenerative disease, build new and appropriate animal models and to define novel therapeutic targets.

  19. Recent insights into the role and molecular mechanisms of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene in autoimmunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierabracci, Alessandra

    2011-01-01

    Since many years immunologists have being tried to answer the tantalizing enigma of immunological tolerance. Complex mechanisms in both thymus (central tolerance) and peripheral lymphoid organs (peripheral tolerance) underly lymphocyte tolerance and its maintenance. The genesis of autoimmunity involves environmental and genetic mechanisms, both contributing to the disruption and deregulation of central and peripheral tolerance, allowing autoreactive pathogenetic T and B-cell clones arising. Among genetic factors the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene is one of the best candidates to understand the complex scenario of autoimmunity. Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy syndrome type 1 is a rare autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the AIRE gene. Therefore, the disorder has certainly been a powerful model to address the question concerning how a tolerant state is achieved or maintained and to explore how it has gone lost in the context of autoimmunity. AIRE has been proposed to function as a 'non classical' transcription factor, strongly implicated in the regulation of organ-specific antigen expression in thymic epithelial cells and in the imposition of T cell tolerance, thus regulating the negative selection of autoreactive T cell clones. A plethora of proposal have been suggested for AIRE's potential mechanism of action, thus regulating the negative selection of autoreactive T cells. In this review recent discoveries are presented into the role and molecular mechanisms of the AIRE protein in APECED and other autoimmune diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Mechanisms of molecular mimicry involving the microbiota in neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedland, Robert P

    2015-01-01

    The concept of molecular mimicry was established to explain commonalities of structure which developed in response to evolutionary pressures. Most examples of molecular mimicry in medicine have involved homologies of primary protein structure which cause disease. Molecular mimicry can be expanded beyond amino acid sequence to include microRNA and proteomic effects which are either pathogenic or salutogenic (beneficial) in regard to Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and related disorders. Viruses of animal or plant origin may mimic nucleotide sequences of microRNAs and influence protein expression. Both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases involve the formation of transmissible self-propagating prion-like proteins. However, the initiating factors responsible for creation of these misfolded nucleating factors are unknown. Amyloid patterns of protein folding are highly conserved through evolution and are widely distributed in the world. Similarities of tertiary protein structure may be involved in the creation of these prion-like agents through molecular mimicry. Cross-seeding of amyloid misfolding, altered proteostasis, and oxidative stress may be induced by amyloid proteins residing in bacteria in our microbiota in the gut and in the diet. Pathways of molecular mimicry induced processes induced by bacterial amyloid in neurodegeneration may involve TLR 2/1, CD14, and NFκB, among others. Furthermore, priming of the innate immune system by the microbiota may enhance the inflammatory response to cerebral amyloids (such as amyloid-β and α-synuclein). This paper describes the specific molecular pathways of these cross-seeding and neuroinflammatory processes. Evolutionary conservation of proteins provides the opportunity for conserved sequences and structures to influence neurological disease through molecular mimicry.