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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. Understanding the mechanisms of amorphous creep through molecular simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-26

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

  4. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the interfacial self-healing of supramolecular rubbers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bose, R.K.; Garcia Espallargas, S.J.; Van der Zwaag, S.

    2013-01-01

    Supramolecular rubbers based on 2-aminoethylimidazolidone and fatty acids with epoxy crosslinks have been shown to self-heal via multiple hydrogen bonding sites. In this work, several tools are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms taking place at the interface to understand cohesive healing

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Mechanical Response of Thaumasite under Temperature and Strain Rate Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajilar, Shahin; Shafei, Behrouz; Cheng, Tao; Jaramillo-Botero, Andres

    2017-06-22

    Understanding the structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of thaumasite is of great interest to the cement industry, mainly because it is the phase responsible for the aging and deterioration of civil infrastructures made of cementitious materials attacked by external sources of sulfate. Despite the importance, effects of temperature and strain rate on the mechanical response of thaumasite had remained unexplored prior to the current study, in which the mechanical properties of thaumasite are fully characterized using the reactive molecular dynamics (RMD) method. With employing a first-principles based reactive force field, the RMD simulations enable the description of bond dissociation and formation under realistic conditions. From the stress-strain curves of thaumasite generated in the x, y, and z directions, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain are determined for the three orthogonal directions. During the course of each simulation, the chemical bonds undergoing tensile deformations are monitored to reveal the bonds responsible for the mechanical strength of thaumasite. The temperature increase is found to accelerate the bond breaking rate and consequently the degradation of mechanical properties of thaumasite, while the strain rate only leads to a slight enhancement of them for the ranges considered in this study.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28776039

  11. Understanding the molecular mechanism(s) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced interferon resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qashqari, Hanadi; Al-Mars, Amany; Chaudhary, Adeel; Abuzenadah, Adel; Damanhouri, Ghazi; Alqahtani, Mohammed; Mahmoud, Maged; El Sayed Zaki, Maysaa; Fatima, Kaneez; Qadri, Ishtiaq

    2013-10-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the foremost causes of chronic liver disease affecting over 300 million globally. HCV contains a positive-stranded RNA of ~9600 nt and is surrounded by the 5' and 3'untranslated regions (UTR). The only successful treatment regimen includes interferon (IFN) and ribavirin. Like many other viruses, HCV has also evolved various mechanisms to circumvent the IFN response by blocking (1) downstream signaling actions via STAT1, STAT2, IRF9 and JAK-STAT pathways and (2) repertoire of IFN Stimulatory Genes (ISGs). Several studies have identified complex host demographic and genetic factors as well as viral genetic heterogeneity associated with outcomes of IFN therapy. The genetic predispositions of over 2000 ISGS may render the patients to become resistant, thus identification of such parameters within a subset of population are necessary for management corollary. The ability of various HCV genotypes to diminish IFN antiviral responses plays critical role in the establishment of chronic infection at the acute stage of infection, thus highlighting importance of the resistance in HCV treated groups. The recently defined role of viral protein such as C, E2, NS3/NS4 and NS5A proteins in inducing the IFN resistance are discussed in this article. How the viral and host genetic composition and epistatic connectivity among polymorphic genomic sites synchronizes the evolutionary IFN resistance trend remains under investigation. However, these signals may have the potential to be employed for accurate prediction of therapeutic outcomes. In this review article, we accentuate the significance of host and viral components in IFN resistance with the aim to determine the successful outcome in patients. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Molecular Targets of Antihypertensive Peptides: Understanding the Mechanisms of Action Based on the Pathophysiology of Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaustav Majumder

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There is growing interest in using functional foods or nutraceuticals for the prevention and treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. Although numerous preventive and therapeutic pharmacological interventions are available on the market, unfortunately, many patients still suffer from poorly controlled hypertension. Furthermore, most pharmacological drugs, such as inhibitors of angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE, are often associated with significant adverse effects. Many bioactive food compounds have been characterized over the past decades that may contribute to the management of hypertension; for example, bioactive peptides derived from various food proteins with antihypertensive properties have gained a great deal of attention. Some of these peptides have exhibited potent in vivo antihypertensive activity in both animal models and human clinical trials. This review provides an overview about the complex pathophysiology of hypertension and demonstrates the potential roles of food derived bioactive peptides as viable interventions targeting specific pathways involved in this disease process. This review offers a comprehensive guide for understanding and utilizing the molecular mechanisms of antihypertensive actions of food protein derived peptides.

  13. 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.

  14. New Insight in Understanding the mechanical responses of polymer glasses using molecular dynamic simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    The Kremer-Grest bead-spring model has been the standard model in molecular dynamics simulation of polymer glasses. However, due to current computational limitations in accessing relevant time scales in polymer glasses in a reasonable amount of CPU time, simulation of mechanical response of polymer glasses in molecular dynamic simulations requires a much higher quenching rate and deformation rate than used in experiments. Despite several orders of magnitude difference in time scale between simulation and experiment, previous studies have shown that simulations can produce meaningful results that can be directly compared with experimental results. In this work we show that by tuning the quenching rate and deformation rate relative to the segmental relaxation times, a reasonable mechanical response shows up in the glassy state. Specifically, we show a younger glass prepared with a faster quenching rate shows glassy responses only when the imposed deformation rate is proportionally higher. the National Science Foundation (DMR-1444859 and DMR-1609977).

  15. Towards a Better Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Sunlight-Induced Melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Mandy

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Although much less prevalent than its nonmelanoma skin cancer counterparts, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM is the most lethal human skin cancer. Epidemiological and biological studies have established a strong link between lifetime exposure to ultraviolet (UV light, particularly sunburn in childhood, and the development of melanoma. However, the specific molecular targets of this environmental carcinogen are not known. Data obtained from genetic and molecular studies over the last few years have identified the INK4a/ARF locus as the “gatekeeper” melanoma suppressor, encoding two tumour suppressor proteins in human, p16 INK4a and p14 ARF . Recent developments in molecular biotechnology and research using laboratory animals have made a significant gene breakthrough identifying the components of the p16 INK4a /Rb pathway as the principal and rate-limiting targets of UV radiation actions in melanoma formation. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in melanoma development and its relationship to sunlight UV radiation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Diabetic retinopathy: Proteomic approaches to help the differential diagnosis and to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csősz, Éva; Deák, Eszter; Kalló, Gergő; Csutak, Adrienne; Tőzsér, József

    2017-01-06

    Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness among patients with diabetes. The appearance and the severity of the symptoms correlate with the duration of diabetes and poor blood glucose level management. Diabetic retinopathy is also categorized as a chronic low-level inflammatory disease; the high blood glucose level promotes the accumulation of the advanced glycation end products and leads to the stimulation of monocytes and macrophages. Examination of protein level alterations in tears using state-of the art proteomics techniques have identified several proteins as possible biomarkers for the different stages of the diabetic retinopathy. Some of the differentially expressed tear proteins have a role in the barrier function of tears linking the diabetic retinopathy with another eye complication of diabetes, namely the diabetic keratopathy resulting in impaired wound healing. Understanding the molecular events leading to the eye complications caused by hyperglycemia may help the identification of novel biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets in order to improve quality of life of diabetic patients. Diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness among diabetic patients can develop without any serious symptoms therefore the early detection is crucial. Because of the increasing prevalence there is a high need for improved screening methods able to diagnose DR as soon as possible. The non-invasive collection and the relatively high protein concentration make the tear fluid a good source for biomarker discovery helping the early diagnosis. In this work we have reviewed the administration of advanced proteomics techniques used in tear biomarker studies and the identified biomarkers with potential to improve the already existing screening methods for DR detection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Molecular and genetic approach to understanding the mechanisms by which fractionated X-irradiation induces leukemia in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meruelo, D; Rossomando, A

    1986-01-01

    The authors laboratory's approach to try to shed light on the question of a viral etiology for radiation-induced leukemia has focused on defining, localizing and understanding the mode of action of genes involved in susceptibility to fractionated x-irradiation-(FXI) induced disease. These studies have indicated that multiple genes control the process of leukemogenesis. Not every mouse strain which shows some susceptibility to FXI-induced leukemia carries the susceptible gene at each of the multiple loci involved in the disease process. It is plausible to conclude that more than one mechanism of leukemogenesis can be triggered by FXI. Studies have focused on the mode of action of one such locus Ril-1. Several reagents have been developed to help clone and characterize this locus. Currently chromosomal ''walking'' and ''hopping'' techniques are being used in conjunction with an RFLP molecular probe which is adjacent to Ril-1. In addition a cDNA library has been prepared from a radiation-induced thymoma and substraction hybridization analysis is being used in the search for Ril-1.

  1. A molecular and genetic approach to understanding the mechanisms by which fractionated X-irradiation induces leukemia in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meruelo, D.; Rossomando, A.

    1986-01-01

    The authors laboratory's approach to try to shed light on the question of a viral etiology for radiation-induced leukemia has focused on defining, localizing and understanding the mode of action of genes involved in susceptibility to fractionated x-irradiation-(FXI) induced disease. These studies have indicated that multiple genes control the process of leukemogenesis. Not every mouse strain which shows some susceptibility to FXI-induced leukemia carries the susceptible gene at each of the multiple loci involved in the disease process. It is plausible to conclude that more than one mechanism of leukemogenesis can be triggered by FXI. Studies have focused on the mode of action of one such locus Ril-1. Several reagents have been developed to help clone and characterize this locus. Currently chromosomal ''walking'' and ''hopping'' techniques are being used in conjunction with an RFLP molecular probe which is adjacent to Ril-1. In addition a cDNA library has been prepared from a radiation-induced thymoma and substraction hybridization analysis is being used in the search for Ril-1. (author)

  2. Genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance in Frankia strains isolated from Casuarina trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshone, Rediet; Ngom, Mariama; Chu, Feixia; Mansour, Samira; Sy, Mame Ourèye; Champion, Antony; Tisa, Louis S

    2017-08-18

    Soil salinization is a worldwide problem that is intensifying because of the effects of climate change. An effective method for the reclamation of salt-affected soils involves initiating plant succession using fast growing, nitrogen fixing actinorhizal trees such as the Casuarina. The salt tolerance of Casuarina is enhanced by the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis that they form with the actinobacterium Frankia. Identification and molecular characterization of salt-tolerant Casuarina species and associated Frankia is imperative for the successful utilization of Casuarina trees in saline soil reclamation efforts. In this study, salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive Casuarina associated Frankia strains were identified and comparative genomics, transcriptome profiling, and proteomics were employed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of salt and osmotic stress tolerance. Salt-tolerant Frankia strains (CcI6 and Allo2) that could withstand up to 1000 mM NaCl and a salt-sensitive Frankia strain (CcI3) which could withstand only up to 475 mM NaCl were identified. The remaining isolates had intermediate levels of salt tolerance with MIC values ranging from 650 mM to 750 mM. Comparative genomic analysis showed that all of the Frankia isolates from Casuarina belonged to the same species (Frankia casuarinae). Pangenome analysis revealed a high abundance of singletons among all Casuarina isolates. The two salt-tolerant strains contained 153 shared single copy genes (most of which code for hypothetical proteins) that were not found in the salt-sensitive(CcI3) and moderately salt-tolerant (CeD) strains. RNA-seq analysis of one of the two salt-tolerant strains (Frankia sp. strain CcI6) revealed hundreds of genes differentially expressed under salt and/or osmotic stress. Among the 153 genes, 7 and 7 were responsive to salt and osmotic stress, respectively. Proteomic profiling confirmed the transcriptome results and identified 19 and 8 salt and/or osmotic stress-responsive proteins in the

  3. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Towards a molecular understanding of cellulose dissolution in ionic liquids: anion/cation effect, synergistic mechanism and physicochemical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yao; Wang, Jianji; Liu, Xiaomin; Zhang, Suojiang

    2018-05-07

    Cellulose is one of the most abundant bio-renewable materials on the earth and its conversion to biofuels provides an appealing way to satisfy the increasing global energy demand. However, before carrying out the process of enzymolysis to glucose or polysaccharides, cellulose needs to be pretreated to overcome its recalcitrance. In recent years, a variety of ionic liquids (ILs) have been found to be effective solvents for cellulose, providing a new, feasible pretreatment strategy. A lot of experimental and computational studies have been carried out to investigate the dissolution mechanism. However, many details are not fully understood, which highlights the necessity to overview the current knowledge of cellulose dissolution and identify the research trend in the future. This perspective summarizes the mechanistic studies and microscopic insights of cellulose dissolution in ILs. Recent investigations of the synergistic effect of cations/anions and the distinctive structural changes of cellulose microfibril in ILs are also reviewed. Besides, understanding the factors controlling the dissolution process, such as the structure of anions/cations, viscosity of ILs, pretreatment temperature, heating rate, etc. , has been discussed from a structural and physicochemical viewpoint. At the end, the existing problems are discussed and future prospects are given. We hope this article would be helpful for deeper understanding of the cellulose dissolution process in ILs and the rational design of more efficient and recyclable ILs.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Vitoratos

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Understand quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omnes, R.

    2000-01-01

    The author presents the interpretation of quantum mechanics in a simple and direct way. This book may be considered as a complement of specialized books whose aim is to present the mathematical developments of quantum mechanics. As early as the beginning of quantum theory, Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli proposed the basis of what is today called the interpretation of Copenhagen. This interpretation is still valid but 2 important discoveries have led to renew some aspects of the interpretation of Copenhagen. The first one was the discovery of the decoherence phenomenon which is responsible for the absence of quantum interferences in the macroscopic world. The second discovery was the achievement of the complete derivation of classical physics from quantum physics, it means that the classical determinism fits in the framework of quantum probabilism. A short summary ends each chapter. (A.C.)

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia

    OpenAIRE

    N. Vitoratos; D. Hassiakos; C. Iavazzo

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-20

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

  12. 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

  13. A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Alcoholic Liver Disease Molecular Mechanism: The Development of Static and Dynamic Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafaghati, Leila; Razaghi-Moghadam, Zahra; Mohammadnejad, Javad

    2017-11-01

    Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a complex disease characterized by damages to the liver and is the consequence of excessive alcohol consumption over years. Since this disease is associated with several pathway failures, pathway reconstruction and network analysis are likely to explicit the molecular basis of the disease. To this aim, in this paper, a network medicine approach was employed to integrate interactome (protein-protein interaction and signaling pathways) and transcriptome data to reconstruct both a static network of ALD and a dynamic model for it. Several data sources were exploited to assemble a set of ALD-associated genes which further was used for network reconstruction. Moreover, a comprehensive literature mining reveals that there are four signaling pathways with crosstalk (TLR4, NF- [Formula: see text]B, MAPK and Apoptosis) which play a major role in ALD. These four pathways were exploited to reconstruct a dynamic model of ALD. The results assure that these two models are consistent with a number of experimental observations. The static network of ALD and its dynamic model are the first models provided for ALD which offer potentially valuable information for researchers in this field.

  14. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Molecular mechanisms of fluoride toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-05

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

  17. How to understand quantum mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Ralston, John P

    2018-01-01

    How to Understand Quantum Mechanics presents an accessible introduction to understanding quantum mechanics in a natural and intuitive way, which was advocated by Erwin Schroedinger and Albert Einstein. A theoretical physicist reveals dozens of easy tricks that avoid long calculations, makes complicated things simple, and bypasses the worthless anguish of famous scientists who died in angst. The author's approach is light-hearted, and the book is written to be read without equations, however all relevant equations still appear with explanations as to what they mean. The book entertainingly rejects quantum disinformation, the MKS unit system (obsolete), pompous non-explanations, pompous people, the hoax of the 'uncertainty principle' (it is just a math relation), and the accumulated junk-DNA that got into the quantum operating system by misreporting it. The order of presentation is new and also unique by warning about traps to be avoided, while separating topics such as quantum probability to let the Schroeding...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Junqian; Chen, Haimei; Guo, Baolin; Liu, Chang

    2017-01-01

    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, including 31

  6. 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

  7. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  8. 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. 

  9. Placebo analgesia: understanding the mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Medoff, Zev M; Colloca, Luana

    2015-01-01

    Expectations of pain relief drive placebo analgesia. Understanding how expectations of improvement trigger distinct biological systems to shape therapeutic analgesic outcomes has been the focus of recent pharmacologic and neuroimaging studies in the field of pain. Recent findings indicate that placebo effects can imitate the actions of real painkillers and promote the endogenous release of opioids and nonopioids in humans. Social support and observational learning also contribute to placebo a...

  10. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia ? The Molecular Mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Induced Pluripotency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-28

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

  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 Mechanisms in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Golbidi

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular mechanism of Danshensu on platelet antiaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  2. Understanding charge transport in molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushmerick, J J; Pollack, S K; Yang, J C; Naciri, J; Holt, D B; Ratner, M A; Shashidhar, R

    2003-12-01

    For molecular electronics to become a viable technology the factors that control charge transport across a metal-molecule-metal junction need to be elucidated. We use an experimentally simple crossed-wire tunnel junction to interrogate how factors such as metal-molecule coupling, molecular structure, and the choice of metal electrode influence the current-voltage characteristics of a molecular junction.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Molecular mechanisms in radiation damage to DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1991-01-01

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

  7. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eDavila

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes - with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling - in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions.

  8. Understanding the plant-microbe interaction molecular mechanisms for better exploitation of bio-control agents to enhance sustainable agricultural practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indu Kumari

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Trichoderma spp. are well-known bio-control agents which promote the plant growth and suppress the pathogen infection. The beneficial effects are attributed to the production of phytohormones, antibiotics, siderophores and secondary metabolites (SM. Trichodermin and Harzianum A, SMs have documented anti-fungal activities as well. Tri5 gene encodes for trichodiene synthase (TS contains a terpene fold and involved at the initial step of the biosynthetic pathway of these molecules. Furthermore, domain analysis of proteins from diverse organisms showed that the terpene fold has functional diversity with diverse applications in agriculture, medicine and applied biotechnology. These proteins can be classified into single and multi-domains based on their structures. It was observed that multi-domain proteins carry additional helices which may regulate the catalytic efficiency. Further, activity enhancing mutations with potentially higher catalytic activities were screened. In an offshoot to the above work, we have analyzed binding of Trichodermin with the 25S rRNA that constitutes the petidyltransferase centre (PTC. The trichodermin resistance protein (60S ribosomal protein L3 was reported to overcome the inhibitory effects of trichothecene compounds. Normal mode analysis and MD of trichodermin resistance protein and 25S consisting of PTC showed that the W-finger region of the protein may move towards 25S rRNA and may block the binding pocket of the trichodermin. These results may lead to develop strategies for higher TS activity and the mechanism of action of these molecules involved in plant-microbe interactions. These may be further exploited for enhancing the efficiency of these biotechnological agents used in sustainable agriculture.

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular mechanics calculations on cobalt phthalocyanine dimers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Fanconi Anemia Core Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Hodson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fanconi Anemia (FA is a genetic disorder characterized by the inability of patient cells to repair DNA damage caused by interstrand crosslinking agents. There are currently 14 verified FA genes, where mutation of any single gene prevents repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs. The accumulation of ICL damage results in genome instability and patients having a high predisposition to cancers. The key event of the FA pathway is dependent on an eight-protein core complex (CC, required for the monoubiquitination of each member of the FANCD2-FANCI complex. Interestingly, the majority of patient mutations reside in the CC. The molecular mechanisms underlying the requirement for such a large complex to carry out a monoubiquitination event remain a mystery. This paper documents the extensive efforts of researchers so far to understand the molecular roles of the CC proteins with regard to its main function in the FA pathway, the monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and FANCI.

  12. Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Fanconi Anemia Core Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodson, Charlotte; Walden, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Fanconi Anemia (FA) is a genetic disorder characterized by the inability of patient cells to repair DNA damage caused by interstrand crosslinking agents. There are currently 14 verified FA genes, where mutation of any single gene prevents repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). The accumulation of ICL damage results in genome instability and patients having a high predisposition to cancers. The key event of the FA pathway is dependent on an eight-protein core complex (CC), required for the monoubiquitination of each member of the FANCD2-FANCI complex. Interestingly, the majority of patient mutations reside in the CC. The molecular mechanisms underlying the requirement for such a large complex to carry out a monoubiquitination event remain a mystery. This paper documents the extensive efforts of researchers so far to understand the molecular roles of the CC proteins with regard to its main function in the FA pathway, the monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and FANCI. PMID:22675617

  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. Molecular mechanisms of NCAM function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Engaging with Molecular Form to Understand Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nicola C.; Stark, Louisa A.

    2014-01-01

    Cells are bustling factories with diverse and prolific arrays of molecular machinery. Remarkably, this machinery self-organizes to carry out the complex biochemical activities characteristic of life. When Watson and Crick published the structure of DNA, they noted that DNA base pairing creates a double-stranded form that provides a means of…

  16. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-19

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

  17. 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, ...

  18. 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.

  19. Respiratory mechanics to understand ARDS and guide mechanical ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauri, Tommaso; Lazzeri, Marta; Bellani, Giacomo; Zanella, Alberto; Grasselli, Giacomo

    2017-11-30

    As precision medicine is becoming a standard of care in selecting tailored rather than average treatments, physiological measurements might represent the first step in applying personalized therapy in the intensive care unit (ICU). A systematic assessment of respiratory mechanics in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) could represent a step in this direction, for two main reasons. Approach and Main results: On the one hand, respiratory mechanics are a powerful physiological method to understand the severity of this syndrome in each single patient. Decreased respiratory system compliance, for example, is associated with low end expiratory lung volume and more severe lung injury. On the other hand, respiratory mechanics might guide protective mechanical ventilation settings. Improved gravitationally dependent regional lung compliance could support the selection of positive end-expiratory pressure and maximize alveolar recruitment. Moreover, the association between driving airway pressure and mortality in ARDS patients potentially underlines the importance of sizing tidal volume on respiratory system compliance rather than on predicted body weight. The present review article aims to describe the main alterations of respiratory mechanics in ARDS as a potent bedside tool to understand severity and guide mechanical ventilation settings, thus representing a readily available clinical resource for ICU physicians.

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, T.

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Molecular mechanisms of crystal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pina, C. M.

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Molecular mechanisms of induced pluripotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ischemic Conditioning Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Modeling of Drug Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetnyak, Vasiliy Ivanovich

    2013-01-01

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

  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. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  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. Toward a quantitative understanding of mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dao, M.; Lu, L.; Asaro, R.J.; Hosson, J.T.M. de; Ma, E.

    2007-01-01

    Focusing on nanocrystalline (nc) pure face-centered cubic metals, where systematic experimental data are available, this paper presents a brief overview of the recent progress made in improving mechanical properties of nc materials, and in quantitatively and mechanistically understanding the underlying mechanisms. The mechanical properties reviewed include strength, ductility, strain rate and temperature dependence, fatigue and tribological properties. The highlighted examples include recent experimental studies in obtaining both high strength and considerable ductility, the compromise between enhanced fatigue limit and reduced crack growth resistance, the stress-assisted dynamic grain growth during deformation, and the relation between rate sensitivity and possible deformation mechanisms. The recent advances in obtaining quantitative and mechanics-based models, developed in line with the related transmission electron microscopy and relevant molecular dynamics observations, are discussed with particular attention to mechanistic models of partial/perfect-dislocation or deformation-twin-mediated deformation processes interacting with grain boundaries, constitutive modeling and simulations of grain size distribution and dynamic grain growth, and physically motivated crystal plasticity modeling of pure Cu with nanoscale growth twins. Sustained research efforts have established a group of nanocrystalline and nanostructured metals that exhibit a combination of high strength and considerable ductility in tension. Accompanying the gradually deepening understanding of the deformation mechanisms and their relative importance, quantitative and mechanisms-based constitutive models that can realistically capture experimentally measured and grain-size-dependent stress-strain behavior, strain-rate sensitivity and even ductility limit are becoming available. Some outstanding issues and future opportunities are listed and discussed

  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. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity: An Expanding Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Quantum mechanics - a key to understanding magnetism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Vleck, J.H.

    1978-01-01

    A translation is presented of J.H. van Vleck's lecture read at the 1977 Nobel Prize avarding ceremony. The basic results obtained using quantum mechanics in solving the problems of magnetism and especially paramagnetism are chronologically arranged. (Z.J.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyoung Kang

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Measuring the mechanical properties of molecular conformers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hao; Liu, Haiyan

    2013-05-30

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

  8. 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

  9. Understanding the Synthesis and Properties of Molecular Silver Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashenfelter, Brian A.

    Molecular nanoparticles have emerged as an interesting class of materials whose atomically precise structures and discrete properties set them apart from their larger counterparts. Molecular silver nanoparticles are of particular interest because they provide a host of advantages as optical materials for possible use in sensing and imaging applications. However, relatively little is known about molecular silver nanoparticles including the details of their formation and their optical and mechanical properties. Size control remains a longstanding challenge in the production of glutathionate (SG) protected silver nanoparticles. Singular Ag:SG nanoparticle products have been difficult to obtain directly, but size focusing of larger distributions through attrition has been found to lead to useful isolation of particular species. Here, we present a methodology for controlling the size of Ag:SG molecular nanoparticles that leverages the stability of the most robust species. These results were then used to develop a facile approach for achieving two of the most stable species in the Ag:SG system. Molecular metal nanoparticles are known to be much more fluorescent than larger plasmonic nanoparticles, however the nature and origin of this fluorescence are not fully understood. Fluorescence can originate from either the quantum states within the metal core or mixed ligand states at the inorganic-organic interface. We have presented compelling evidence that fluorescence from molecular silver glutathionate nanoparticles has its origin in interfacial electronic states. Fluorescence spectra were found to be independent of size, with very similar wavelength and bandwidth, although the quantum yield was not. Excitation spectra indicated that the strongest fluorescence had its origin in that part of the spectrum that is dominated by ligand-related states. Further, excitations to strictly core states and to higher lying d-band states had little to no contribution to the fluorescence

  10. Understanding gene functions and disease mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuchs, Helmut; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan Antonio; Amarie, Oana V.

    2018-01-01

    Since decades, model organisms have provided an important approach for understanding the mechanistic basis of human diseases. The German Mouse Clinic (GMC) was the first phenotyping facility that established a collaboration-based platform for phenotype characterization of mouse lines. In order...... to address individual projects by a tailor-made phenotyping strategy, the GMC advanced in developing a series of pipelines with tests for the analysis of specific disease areas. For a general broad analysis, there is a screening pipeline that covers the key parameters for the most relevant disease areas...

  11. Mechanically controllable break junctions for molecular electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-20

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

  12. Molecular mechanisms of action of bacterial exotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, J; Rautenberg, P; Ullmann, U

    1996-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Physical mechanisms of biological molecular motors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu H

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular response to biophysical cues using synthetic biology approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denning, Denise; Roos, Wouter H

    2016-01-01

    The use of synthetic surfaces and materials to influence and study cell behavior has vastly progressed our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cellular response to physicochemical and biophysical cues. Reconstituting cytoskeletal proteins and interfacing them with a

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Mouse Skin Tumor Promotion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundhaug, Joyce E.; Fischer, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular mechanism of the Syk activation switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-21

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

  11. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aortic stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetkin, Ertan; Waltenberger, Johannes

    2009-06-12

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Understanding Molecular Conduction: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Avik

    2007-03-01

    Molecules provide an opportunity to test our understanding of fundamental non-equilibrium transport processes, as well as explore new device possibilities. We have developed a unified approach to nanoscale conduction, coupling bandstructure and electrostatics of the channel and contacts with a quantum kinetic theory of current flow. This allows us to describe molecular conduction at various levels of detail, -- from quantum corrected compact models, to semi-empirical models for quick physical insights, and `first-principles' calculations of current-voltage (I-V) characteristics with no adjustable parameters. Using this suite of tools, we can quantitatively explain various experimental I-Vs, including complex reconstructed silicon substrates. We find that conduction in most molecules is contact dominated, and limited by fundamental electrostatic and thermodynamic restrictions quite analogous to those faced by the silicon industry, barring a few interesting exceptions. The distinction between molecular and silicon electronics must therefore be probed at a more fundamental level. Ultra-short molecules are unique in that they possess large Coulomb energies as well as anomalous vibronic couplings with current flow -- in other words, strong non-equilibrium electron-electron and electron-phonon correlations. These effects yield prominent experimental signatures, but require a completely different modeling approach -- in fact, popular approaches to include correlation typically do not work for non-equilibrium. Molecules exhibit rich physics, including the ability to function both as weakly interacting current conduits (quantum wires) as well as strongly correlated charge storage centers (quantum dots). Theoretical treatment of the intermediate coupling regime is particularly challenging, with a large `fine structure constant' for transport that negates orthodox theories of Coulomb Blockade and phonon-assisted tunneling. It is in this regime that the scientific and

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Castillo, Julio Cesar

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Molecular mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurugubelli Krishna, Rao; Vishnu Bhat, B

    2017-07-10

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

  6. 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

  7. Molecular mechanism of radiosensitization by nitro compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Survival Strategies in Extreme Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Migliardo

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, R.

    1994-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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......, and the significant added value that one would gain by bridging molecular simulations with experiments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Tools to study lipid functions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......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...

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce, Richard A; Hillier, Ian H

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Radiative and mechanical feedback into the molecular gas of NGC 253

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kazandjian, M. V.; van der Werf, P. P.; Israel, F. P.; Meijerink, R.; Weiß, A.; Requena-Torres, M. A.; Güsten, R.

    Starburst galaxies are galaxies or regions of galaxies undergoing intense periods of star formation. Understanding the heating and cooling mechanisms in these galaxies can give us insight to the driving mechanisms that fuel the starburst. Molecular emission lines play a crucial role in the cooling

  5. 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.

  6. The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Mathieu

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigemura, Noriatsu; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Oligodendroglioma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.)

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Superantigen Function

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sadegh-Nasseri, Scheherazade

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 associated neurodegeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of plant competition: neighbour detection and response strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, R.; Mommer, L.; Voesenek, L.A.C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Plant competition determines the diversity and species abundance of natural communities as well as potential yields in agricultural systems. Understanding the mechanisms of plant competition is instrumental to understanding plant performance in true vegetations. In this review, we will address

  7. The molecular mechanism of gene-radiotherapy of tumor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xian

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Molecular mechanisms of canalization: Hsp90 and beyond

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhu Sudhan

    2007-03-26

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

  9. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo calculations in statistical mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio M. Mastroianni

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of metformin: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Neuronal and molecular mechanisms of sleep homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donlea, Jeffrey M

    2017-12-01

    Sleep is necessary for survival, and prolonged waking causes a homeostatic increase in the need for recovery sleep. Homeostasis is a core component of sleep regulation and has been tightly conserved across evolution from invertebrates to man. Homeostatic sleep regulation was first identified among insects in cockroaches several decades ago, but the characterization of sleep rebound in Drosophila melanogaster opened the use of insect model species to understand homeostatic functions and regulation of sleep. This review describes circuits in two neuropil structures, the central complex and mushroom bodies, that influence sleep homeostasis and neuromodulatory systems that influence the accrual of homeostatic sleep need. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Intact and Impaired Mechanisms of Action Understanding in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; McCormick, Carolyn; Young, Gregory S.; Abucayan, Floridette; Hatt, Naomi; Nadig, Aparna; Ozonoff, Sally; Rogers, Sally J.

    2016-01-01

    Typically developing children understand and predict others’ behavior by extracting and processing relevant information such as the logic of their actions within the situational constraints and the intentions conveyed by their gaze direction and emotional expressions. Children with autism have difficulties understanding and predicting others’ actions. With the use of eye tracking and behavioral measures, we investigated action understanding mechanisms used by 18 children with autism and a well-matched group of 18 typically developing children. Results showed that children with autism (a) consider situational constraints in order to understand the logic of an agent’s action and (b) show typical usage of the agent’s emotional expressions to infer his or her intentions. We found (c) subtle atypicalities in the way children with autism respond to an agent’s direct gaze and (d) marked impairments in their ability to attend to and interpret referential cues such as a head turn for understanding an agent’s intentions. PMID:21401220

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of buprofezin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-14

    . However, the molecular mechanism and genetic determinants of microbial degradation of buprofezin has not been well identified. This work revealed that gene cluster bfzBA3A4A1A2C is responsible for the upstream catabolic pathway of buprofezin in R. qingshengii YL-1. The products of bfzBA3A4A1A2C could also degrade bifenthrin, a widely used pyrethroid insecticide. These findings enhance our understanding of the microbial degradation mechanism of buprofezin and benefit the application of strain YL-1 and bfzBA3A4A1A2C in the bioremediation of buprofezin contamination. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Cellular and molecular mechanisms coordinating pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Mahmoud A A

    2011-10-24

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-08-01

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

  2. Molecular mechanism for generation of antibody memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-12

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

  3. 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.

  4. Student understanding of time dependence in quantum mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J. Emigh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] 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 the key role of the energy eigenbasis in determining the time dependence of wave functions. Through analysis of student responses to a set of four interrelated tasks, we categorize some of the difficulties that underlie common errors. The conceptual and reasoning difficulties that have been identified are illustrated through student responses to four sets of questions administered at different points in a junior-level course on quantum mechanics. Evidence is also given that the problems persist throughout undergraduate instruction and into the graduate level.

  5. Understanding the length dependence of molecular junction thermopower

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlström, Sven Olov Harald; Strange, Mikkel; Solomon, Gemma

    2014-01-01

    Thermopower of molecular junctions is sensitive to details in the junction and may increase, decrease, or saturate with increasing chain length, depending on the system. Using McConnell's theory for exponentially suppressed transport together with a simple and easily interpretable tight binding...... model, we show how these different behaviors depend on the molecular backbone and its binding to the contacts. We distinguish between resonances from binding groups or undercoordinated electrode atoms, and those from the periodic backbone. It is demonstrated that while the former gives a length......-independent contribution to the thermopower, possibly changing its sign, the latter determines its length dependence. This means that the question of which orbitals from the periodic chain that dominate the transport should not be inferred from the sign of the thermopower but from its length dependence. We find...

  6. Molecular Modeling of Enzyme Dynamics Towards Understanding Solvent Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wedberg, Nils Hejle Rasmus Ingemar

    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...... 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...... integration, while for small systems, it seems to be even better. The method is applied to compute the excess Gibbs energy of the mixtures of water and organic solvents used in the simulations of CALB. This allows to determine the water activity of the simulated systems and thus to compare protein properties...

  7. Survivin-T34A: molecular mechanism and therapeutic potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan R Aspe

    2010-12-01

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

  8. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Tummala, Naga Rajesh; Bruner, Christopher; Risko, Chad; Bredas, Jean-Luc; Dauskardt, Reinhold H.

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Towards a Molecular Understanding of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services , Directorate for Information Operations and Reports (0704-0188), 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway...Distribution Unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The purpose of this project is to generate the cell type-specific molecular blueprint of changes in...in hair cells, support cells and whole inner ears, 6 and 24 hours after noise exposure; (c) Collected and processed most of the tissue for TTS

  11. Recent progress on understanding the mechanisms of amyloid nucleation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatani, Eri; Yamamoto, Naoki

    2018-04-01

    Amyloid fibrils are supramolecular protein assemblies with a fibrous morphology and cross-β structure. The formation of amyloid fibrils typically follows a nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism, in which a one-step nucleation scheme has widely been accepted. However, a variety of oligomers have been identified in early stages of fibrillation, and a nucleated conformational conversion (NCC) mechanism, in which oligomers serve as a precursor of amyloid nucleation and convert to amyloid nuclei, has been proposed. This development has raised the need to consider more complicated multi-step nucleation processes in addition to the simplest one-step process, and evidence for the direct involvement of oligomers as nucleation precursors has been obtained both experimentally and theoretically. Interestingly, the NCC mechanism has some analogy with the two-step nucleation mechanism proposed for inorganic and organic crystals and protein crystals, although a more dramatic conformational conversion of proteins should be considered in amyloid nucleation. Clarifying the properties of the nucleation precursors of amyloid fibrils in detail, in comparison with those of crystals, will allow a better understanding of the nucleation of amyloid fibrils and pave the way to develop techniques to regulate it.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-09-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Molecular Mechanisms in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Ankit; Tiwari, Subodh C.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya; Kalia, Rajiv; CACS Team

    Experimental and first principle computational studies on FOX 7 have either involved a very small system consisting of a few atoms or they did not take into account the decomposition mechanisms under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. We have performed a large-scale reactive MD simulation using ReaxFF-lg force field to study the shock decomposition of FOX 7. The chemical composition of the principal decomposition products correlates well with experimental observations. Furthermore, we observed that the production of N2 and H2O was inter molecular in nature and was through different chemical pathways. Moreover, the production of CO and CO2 was delayed due to production of large stable C,O atoms cluster. These critical insights into the initial processes involved in the shock induced decomposition of FOX-7 will greatly help in understanding the factors playing an important role in the insensitiveness of this high energy material. This research is supported by AFOSR Award No. FA9550-16-1-0042.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Molecular genetics of glioblastomas: defining subtypes and understanding the biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Ilana Zalcberg; Golgher, Denise

    2015-02-01

    Despite comprehensive therapy, which includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the prognosis of glioblastoma multiforme is very poor. Diagnosed individuals present an average of 12 to 18 months of life. This article provides an overview of the molecular genetics of these tumors. Despite the overwhelming amount of data available, so far little has been translated into real benefits for the patient. Because this is such a complex topic, the goal is to point out the main alterations in the biological pathways that lead to tumor formation, and how this can contribute to the development of better therapies and clinical care. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Mechanisms influencing student understanding on an outdoor guided field trip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caskey, Nourah Al-Rashid

    Field trips are a basic and important, yet often overlooked part of the student experience. They provide the opportunity to integrate real world knowledge with classroom learning and student previous personal experiences. Outdoor guided field trips leave students with an increased understanding, awareness and interest and in science. However, the benefits of this experience are ambiguous at best (Falk and Balling, 1982; Falk and Dierking, 1992; Kisiel, 2006.) Students on an outdoor guided field trip to a local nature park experienced a significant increase in their understanding of the rock cycle. The changes in the pre-field trip test and the post-field trip test as well as their answers in interviews showed a profound change in the students' understanding and in their interest in the subject matter. The use of the "student's voice" (Bamberger and Tal, 2008) was the motivation for data analysis. By using the students' voice, I was able to determine the mechanisms that might influence their understanding of a subject. The central concepts emerging from the data were: the outdoor setting; the students' interest; the social interaction. From these central concepts, a conceptual model was developed. The outdoor setting allows for the freedom to explore, touch, smell and movement. This, in turn, leads to an increased interest in subject matter. As the students are exploring, they are enjoying themselves and become more open to learning. Interest leads to a desire to learn (Dewey, 1975). In addition to allowing the freedom to explore and move, the outdoor setting creates the condition for social interaction. The students talk to each other as they walk; they have in-depth discourse regarding the subject matter---with the teachers, each other and with the guides. The guides have an extremely important role in the students' learning. The more successful guides not only act as experts, but also adjust to the students' needs and act or speak accordingly. The

  2. 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.

  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.

    2017-06-01

    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.

  4. Tumour biology of obesity-related cancers: understanding the molecular concept for better diagnosis and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teoh, Seong Lin; Das, Srijit

    2016-11-01

    Obesity continues to be a major global problem. Various cancers are related to obesity and proper understanding of their aetiology, especially their molecular tumour biology is important for early diagnosis and better treatment. Genes play an important role in the development of obesity. Few genes such as leptin, leptin receptor encoded by the db (diabetes), pro-opiomelanocortin, AgRP and NPY and melanocortin-4 receptors and insulin-induced gene 2 were linked to obesity. MicroRNAs control gene expression via mRNA degradation and protein translation inhibition and influence cell differentiation, cell growth and cell death. Overexpression of miR-143 inhibits tumour growth by suppressing B cell lymphoma 2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase-5 activities and KRAS oncogene. Cancers of the breast, uterus, renal, thyroid and liver are also related to obesity. Any disturbance in the production of sex hormones and insulin, leads to distortion in the balance between cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. The possible mechanism linking obesity to cancer involves alteration in the level of adipokines and sex hormones. These mediators act as biomarkers for cancer progression and act as targets for cancer therapy and prevention. Interestingly, many anti-cancerous drugs are also beneficial in treating obesity and vice versa. We also reviewed the possible link in the mechanism of few drugs which act both on cancer and obesity. The present review may be important for molecular biologists, oncologists and clinicians treating cancers and also pave the way for better therapeutic options.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Gu; Garcia, A.E.; Schoenborn, B.P. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natsuki, Toshiaki; Natsuki, Jun

    2017-01-01

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

  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 ce...... 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 quantum mechanics by measuring the properties of mesoscopic devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webb, R.

    1993-01-01

    Measurements of the electrical transport and magnetic properties of micron-size scale insulators, metals, semi-metals, and semiconductors at low temperatures have uncovered a wealth of unexpected phenomena. The only way to understand these new properties is by invoking many of the postulates of quantum mechanics. The author has confirmed that the electron acts as a long-range phase-coherent wave and conventional classical forces are not as important as scalar and vector potentials in determining the response of the electron as it moves through its environment. This talk will focus on the measurement of the Aharonov-Bohm self-interference effects, nonlocal transport phenomena, and persistent currents in normal metal ring structures that have been observed in these nanostructures

  11. Our Evolving Understanding of the Mechanism of Quinolones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnaud Gutierrez

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance of DNA supercoiling is essential for the proper regulation of a plethora of biological processes. As a consequence of this mode of regulation, ahead of the replication fork, DNA replication machinery is prone to introducing supercoiled regions into the DNA double helix. Resolution of DNA supercoiling is essential to maintain DNA replication rates that are amenable to life. This resolution is handled by evolutionarily conserved enzymes known as topoisomerases. The activity of topoisomerases is essential, and therefore constitutes a prime candidate for targeting by antibiotics. In this review, we present hallmark investigations describing the mode of action of quinolones, one of the antibacterial classes targeting the function of topoisomerases in bacteria. By chronologically analyzing data gathered on the mode of action of this imperative antibiotic class, we highlight the necessity to look beyond primary drug-target interactions towards thoroughly understanding the mechanism of quinolones at the level of the cell.

  12. Molecular mechanisms underlying the emergence of bacterial pathogens: an ecological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartoli, Claudia; Roux, Fabrice; Lamichhane, Jay Ram

    2016-02-01

    The rapid emergence of new bacterial diseases negatively affects both human health and agricultural productivity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying these disease emergences are shared between human- and plant-pathogenic bacteria, not much effort has been made to date to understand disease emergences caused by plant-pathogenic bacteria. In particular, there is a paucity of information in the literature on the role of environmental habitats in which plant-pathogenic bacteria evolve and on the stress factors to which these microbes are unceasingly exposed. In this microreview, we focus on three molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenicity in bacteria, namely mutations, genomic rearrangements and the acquisition of new DNA sequences through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We briefly discuss the role of these mechanisms in bacterial disease emergence and elucidate how the environment can influence the occurrence and regulation of these molecular mechanisms by directly impacting disease emergence. The understanding of such molecular evolutionary mechanisms and their environmental drivers will represent an important step towards predicting bacterial disease emergence and developing sustainable management strategies for crops. © 2015 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Elucidation of Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of Norrie Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Luhmann, Ulrich F.O.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-22

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swygenhoven, H. van; Caro, A.

    1997-01-01

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

  16. Radiotracer studies on molecular mechanisms of death and resuscitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  17. Molecular Mechanism and Genetic Determinants of Buprofezin Degradation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesner, Richard A

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monties, B

    1985-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mustard, Julie A.

    2013-01-01

    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 an...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-03

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: This project was superseded and replaced by another ARO-funded project of the same name, which is still continuing. The goal...cooled atoms," IOTA -COST Workshop on molecular ions, Arosa, Switzerland. 5. E.R. Hudson, "Sympathetic cooling of molecules with laser cooled

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-21

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

  7. Understanding molecular motor walking along a microtubule: a themosensitive asymmetric Brownian motor driven by bubble formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Noriyoshi; Yasuoka, Kenji; Koishi, Takahiro; Ebisuzaki, Toshikazu; Zeng, Xiao Cheng

    2013-06-12

    The "asymmetric Brownian ratchet model", a variation of Feynman's ratchet and pawl system, is invoked to understand the kinesin walking behavior along a microtubule. The model system, consisting of a motor and a rail, can exhibit two distinct binding states, namely, the random Brownian state and the asymmetric potential state. When the system is transformed back and forth between the two states, the motor can be driven to "walk" in one direction. Previously, we suggested a fundamental mechanism, that is, bubble formation in a nanosized channel surrounded by hydrophobic atoms, to explain the transition between the two states. In this study, we propose a more realistic and viable switching method in our computer simulation of molecular motor walking. Specifically, we propose a thermosensitive polymer model with which the transition between the two states can be controlled by temperature pulses. Based on this new motor system, the stepping size and stepping time of the motor can be recorded. Remarkably, the "walking" behavior observed in the newly proposed model resembles that of the realistic motor protein. The bubble formation based motor not only can be highly efficient but also offers new insights into the physical mechanism of realistic biomolecule motors.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Xiao-Xiang; Wang Chong-Yu

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Comparative analysis of the molecular mechanisms of recombination in hepatitis C virus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galli, Andrea; Bukh, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Genetic recombination is an important evolutionary mechanism for RNA viruses. The significance of this phenomenon for hepatitis C virus (HCV) has recently become evident, with the identification of circulating recombinant forms in HCV-infected individuals and by novel data from studies permitted...... by advances in HCV cell culture systems and genotyping protocols. HCV is readily able to produce viable recombinants, using replicative and non-replicative molecular mechanisms. However, our knowledge of the required molecular mechanisms remains limited. Understanding how HCV recombines might be instrumental...... for a better monitoring of global epidemiology, to clarify the virus evolution, and evaluate the impact of recombinant forms on the efficacy of oncoming combination drug therapies. For the latter, frequency and location of recombination events could affect the efficacy of multidrug regimens. This review...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Molecular dynamics as a method to gain understanding in questions concerning montmorillonite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seppaelae, A.; Vaari, J.; Puhakka, E.; Tanhua-Tyrkkoe, M.; Olin, M.; Kasa, S.

    2012-01-01

    Document available in extended abstract form only. Bentonite is one of the main material components to be used in the KBS-3 concept for safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The functional material in bentonite giving its beneficial properties is montmorillonite mineral. Montmorillonite consists of two completely different components: one nano-metre thick and approximately 200-400 nano-metres wide mineral layers carrying constant charge and charge compensating cations very near the mineral surfaces. The first component is more of a passive component while the second can absorb water molecules and change the cationic composition. In addition to montmorillonite bentonite usually contains some salts dissolved into water and accessory minerals. Any bulk bentonite is formed from these components via many scales of which structure is not yet fully known to science. Therefore the beneficial macroscopic properties of bentonite are assumed to follow from the nano-level structure and reactions. In safety studies of spent fuel disposal the time span to be considered extends beyond a hundred thousand years making any straightforward experimenting impossible. However, by modelling it is possible to study even very long periods of time. Unfortunately the model data and reactions are at least implicitly based on our short term experiments and may therefore be biased in some way. One possible solution to this may be the application of molecular chemistry or dynamics to construct the basis for our modelling studies. We have applied molecular chemistry on surface properties of kaolinite clay and biotite mineral but molecular dynamics is a new type of modelling for us. We believe that (during the coming ten years) molecular dynamics could make it easier to understand for example the following topics: How do charge compensating (exchanged) and aqueous cations interact? Why does water expand montmorillonite during wetting? Exact mechanism? How does water leave montmorillonite during

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-06

    2012): 0. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.223002 Kuang Chen, Scott T. Sullivan, Wade G. Rellergert, Eric R. Hudson. Measurement of the Coulomb Logarithm...or fellowships for further studies in science, mathematics, engineering or technology fields: Student Metrics This section only applies to graduating...clouds of Ba+ ions and Ca atoms. Due to the strong Coulomb interaction, the Ba+ ions quickly cool the molecular ion translation motion, while the

  13. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-19

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

  15. Deformation mechanisms in nanotwinned copper by molecular dynamics simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-27

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-30

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Molecular dynamics simulations of graphoepitaxy of organic semiconductors, sexithiophene, and pentacene: Molecular-scale mechanisms of organic graphoepitaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Susumu

    2018-03-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the organic semiconductors α-sexithiophene (6T) and pentacene were carried out to clarify the mechanism of organic graphoepitaxy at the molecular level. First, the models of the grooved substrates were made and the surfaces of the inside of the grooves were modified with -OH or -OSi(CH3)3, making the surfaces hydrophilic or hydrophobic. By the MD simulations of 6T, it was found that three stable azimuthal directions exist (0, ˜45, and 90° the angle that the c-axis makes with the groove), being consistent with experimental results. MD simulations of deposition processes of 6T and pentacene were also carried out, and pentacene molecules showed the spontaneous formation of herringbone packing during deposition. Some pentacene molecules stood on the surface and formed a cluster whose a-axis was parallel to the groove. It is expected that a deep understanding of the molecular-scale mechanisms will lead graphoepitaxy to practical applications, improving the performance of organic devices.

  7. Using molecular mechanics to predict bulk material properties of fibronectin fibers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J Bradshaw

    Full Text Available The structural proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM form fibers with finely tuned mechanical properties matched to the time scales of cell traction forces. Several proteins such as fibronectin (Fn and fibrin undergo molecular conformational changes that extend the proteins and are believed to be a major contributor to the extensibility of bulk fibers. The dynamics of these conformational changes have been thoroughly explored since the advent of single molecule force spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations but remarkably, these data have not been rigorously applied to the understanding of the time dependent mechanics of bulk ECM fibers. Using measurements of protein density within fibers, we have examined the influence of dynamic molecular conformational changes and the intermolecular arrangement of Fn within fibers on the bulk mechanical properties of Fn fibers. Fibers were simulated as molecular strands with architectures that promote either equal or disparate molecular loading under conditions of constant extension rate. Measurements of protein concentration within micron scale fibers using deep ultraviolet transmission microscopy allowed the simulations to be scaled appropriately for comparison to in vitro measurements of fiber mechanics as well as providing estimates of fiber porosity and water content, suggesting Fn fibers are approximately 75% solute. Comparing the properties predicted by single molecule measurements to in vitro measurements of Fn fibers showed that domain unfolding is sufficient to predict the high extensibility and nonlinear stiffness of Fn fibers with surprising accuracy, with disparately loaded fibers providing the best fit to experiment. This work shows the promise of this microstructural modeling approach for understanding Fn fiber properties, which is generally applicable to other ECM fibers, and could be further expanded to tissue scale by incorporating these simulated fibers into three dimensional

  8. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Separating grain boundary migration mechanisms in molecular dynamics simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulomek, Felix; Mohles, Volker

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Conduction mechanism of nitronyl-nitroxide molecular magnetic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-10

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

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

  7. Using Pre-Assessment and In-Class Questions to Change Student Understanding of Molecular Movements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Shi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how different types of molecules move through cell membranes is a fundamental part of cell biology. To identify and address student misconceptions surrounding molecular movement through cell membranes, we surveyed student understanding on this topic using pre-class questions, in-class clicker questions, and subsequent exam questions in a large introductory biology course. Common misconceptions identified in student responses to the pre-class assessment questions were used to generate distractors for clicker questions. Two-tier diagnostic clicker questions were used to probe incoming common student misconceptions (first tier and their reasoning (second tier. Two subsequent lectures with assessment clicker questions were used to help students construct a new framework to understand molecular movement through cell membranes. Comparison of pre-assessment and post-assessment (exam performance showed dramatic improvement in students’ understanding of molecular movement: student answers to exam questions were 74.6% correct with correct reasoning while only 1.3% of the student answers were correct with correct reasoning on the pre-class assessment. Our results show that students’ conceptual understanding of molecular movement through cell membranes progressively increases through discussions of a series of clicker questions and suggest that this clicker-based teaching strategy was highly effective in correcting common student misconceptions on this topic.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-07

    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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Bacillus subtilis as a Platform for Molecular Characterisation of Regulatory Mechanisms of Enterococcus faecalis Resistance against Cell Wall Antibiotics

    OpenAIRE

    Fang, Chong; Stiegeler, Emanuel; Cook, Gregory M.; Mascher, Thorsten; Gebhard, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    To combat antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus faecalis, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms, particularly of antibiotic detection, signal transduction and gene regulation is needed. Because molecular studies in this bacterium can be challenging, we aimed at exploiting the genetically highly tractable Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis as a heterologous host. Two fundamentally different regulators of E. faecalis resistance against cell wall antibiotics, the bacitra...

  6. Modeling and Proposed Molecular Mechanism of Hydroxyurea Through Docking and Molecular Dynamic Simulation to Curtail the Action of Ribonucleotide Reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iman, Maryam; Khansefid, Zeynab; Davood, Asghar

    2016-01-01

    Ribonucleotide Reductase (RNR) is an important anticancer chemotherapy target. It has main key role in DNA synthesis and cell growth. Therefore several RNR inhibitors, such as hydroxyurea, have entered the clinical trials. Based on our proposed mechanism, radical site of RNR protein reacts with hydroxyurea in which hydroxyurea is converted into its oxidized form compound III, and whereby the tyrosyl radical is converted into a normal tyrosine residue. In this study, docking and molecular dynamics simulations were used for proposed molecular mechanism of hydroxyurea in RNR inhibition as anticancer agent. The binding affinity of hydroxyurea and compound III to RNR was studied by docking method. The docking study was performed for the crystal structure of human RNR with the radical scavenger Hydroxyurea and its oxidized form to inhibit the human RNR. hydroxyurea and compound III bind at the active site with Tyr-176, which are essential for free radical formation. This helps to understand the functional aspects and also aids in the development of novel inhibitors for the human RNR2. To confirm the binding mode of inhibitors, the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed using GROMACS 4.5.5, based upon the docked conformation of inhibitors. Both of the studied compounds stayed in the active site. The results of MD simulations confirmed the binding mode of ligands, accuracy of docking and the reliability of active conformations which were obtained by AutoDock. MD studies confirm our proposed mechanism in which compound III reacts with the active site residues specially Tyr-176, and inhibits the radical generation and subsequently inhibits the RNR enzyme.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-03

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. The Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Axon Guidance in Mossy Fiber Sprouting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuta Koyama

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The question of whether mossy fiber sprouting is epileptogenic has not been resolved; both sprouting-induced recurrent excitatory and inhibitory circuit hypotheses have been experimentally (but not fully supported. Therefore, whether mossy fiber sprouting is a potential therapeutic target for epilepsy remains under debate. Moreover, the axon guidance mechanisms of mossy fiber sprouting have attracted the interest of neuroscientists. Sprouting of mossy fibers exhibits several uncommon axonal growth features in the basically non-plastic adult brain. For example, robust branching of axonal collaterals arises from pre-existing primary mossy fiber axons. Understanding the branching mechanisms in adulthood may contribute to axonal regeneration therapies in neuroregenerative medicine in which robust axonal re-growth is essential. Additionally, because granule cells are produced throughout life in the neurogenic dentate gyrus, it is interesting to examine whether the mossy fibers of newly generated granule cells follow the pre-existing trajectories of sprouted mossy fibers in the epileptic brain. Understanding these axon guidance mechanisms may contribute to neuron transplantation therapies, for which the incorporation of transplanted neurons into pre-existing neural circuits is essential. Thus, clarifying the axon guidance mechanisms of mossy fiber sprouting could lead to an understanding of central nervous system (CNS network reorganization and plasticity. Here, we review the molecular and cellular mechanisms of axon guidance in mossy fiber sprouting by discussing mainly in vitro studies.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Molecular Mechanism: ERK Signaling, Drug Addiction, and Behavioral Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei-Lun; Quizon, Pamela M; Zhu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Addiction to psychostimulants has been considered as a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by craving and compulsive drug seeking and use. Over the past two decades, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that repeated drug exposure causes long-lasting neurochemical and cellular changes that result in enduring neuroadaptation in brain circuitry and underlie compulsive drug consumption and relapse. Through intercellular signaling cascades, drugs of abuse induce remodeling in the rewarding circuitry that contributes to the neuroplasticity of learning and memory associated with addiction. Here, we review the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, and its related intracellular signaling pathways in drug-induced neuroadaptive changes that are associated with drug-mediated psychomotor activity, rewarding properties and relapse of drug seeking behaviors. We also discuss the neurobiological and behavioral effects of pharmacological and genetic interferences with ERK-associated molecular cascades in response to abused substances. Understanding the dynamic modulation of ERK signaling in response to drugs may provide novel molecular targets for therapeutic strategies to drug addiction. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Molecular mechanisms in lithium-associated renal disease: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rej, Soham; Pira, Shamira; Marshe, Victoria; Do, André; Elie, Dominique; Looper, Karl J; Herrmann, Nathan; Müller, Daniel J

    2016-11-01

    Lithium is an essential treatment in bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression; however, its use has been limited by concerns regarding its renal adverse effects. An improved understanding of potential molecular mechanisms can help develop prevention and treatment strategies for lithium-associated renal disease. We conducted a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, Embase, and PsychINFO including English-language original research articles published prior to November 2015 that specifically investigated lithium's effects on nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), using molecular markers. From a total of 3510 records, 71 pre-clinical studies and two relevant clinical studies were identified. Molecular alterations were reported in calcium signaling, inositol monophosphate, extracellular-regulated, prostaglandin, sodium/solute transport, G-protein-coupled receptors, nitric oxide, vasopressin/aquaporin, and inflammation-related pathways in lithium-associated renal disease. The majority of studies found that these mechanisms were implicated in NDI, while few studies had examined CKD. Future studies will have to focus on (1) validating the present findings in human subjects and (2) examining CKD, which is the most clinically relevant lithium-associated renal effect. This will improve our understanding of lithium's biological effects, as well as inform a personalized medicine approach, which could lead to safer lithium prescribing and less renal adverse events.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Hongyun

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Quantum mechanical force fields for condensed phase molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, Timothy J.; York, Darrin M.

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  5. Molecular mechanisms of maternal vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulopoulou, Styliani; Davidge, Sandra T

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Sergio; Méndez, Juan

    2017-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-22

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

  13. Molecular mechanisms of water transport in the eye

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamann, Steffen

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Molecular mechanism for inhibition of twinfilin by phosphoinositides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hakala, Markku; Kalimeri, Maria; Enkavi, Giray

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Temperature Compensation of the Circadian Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narasimamurthy, Rajesh; Virshup, David M

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaan, Natalia; Crehuet, Ramon; Imhof, Petra

    2015-09-24

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

  19. Understanding mechanisms to predict and optimize biochar for agrochemical sorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kathleen; Gámiz, Beatriz; Cox, Lucia; Spokas, Kurt; Koskinen, William

    2017-04-01

    The ability of biochars to bind various organic compounds has been widely studied due to the potential effects on pesticide fate in soil and interest in the adoption of biochar as a "low-cost" filter material. However, the sorptive behaviors of biochars are extremely variable and much of the reported data is limited to specific biochar-chemical interactions. The lack of knowledge regarding biochar sorption mechanisms limits our current ability to predict and optimize biochar's use. This work unveils mechanistic drivers of organic pesticide sorption on biochars through targeted alteration of biochar surface chemistry. Changes in the quantity and type of functional groups on biochars and other black carbon materials were achieved through treatments with H2O2, and CO2, and characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM/EDX). The sorption capacities of these treated biochars were subsequently measured to evaluate the effects of different surface moieties on the binding of target herbicides cyhalofop acid ((R)-2-[4-(4-cyano-2-fluorophenoxy)phenoxy]propionic acid) and clomazone (2-[(2-chlorophenyl)methyl]-4,4-dimethyl-1,2-oxazolidin-3-one). Sorption of both herbicides on the studied biochars increased following H2O2 activation; however, the influence of the H2O2 activation on sorption was more pronounced for cyhalofop acid (pKa = 3.9) than clomazone, which is non-ionizable. Increased cyhalofop acid sorption on H2O2 treated biochars can be attributed to the increase in oxygen containing functional groups as well as the decrease in biochar pH. In contrast, CO2 activation reduced the sorption of cyhalofop acid compared to untreated biochar. FTIR data suggest the reduced sorption on CO2 -treated biochar was due to the removal of surface carboxyl groups, further supporting the role of specific functionality in the sorption of ionizable herbicides. Results from this work offer insight into the mechanisms of sorption and

  20. Azobenzene as a photoregulator covalently attached to RNA: a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics-surface hopping dynamics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Padmabati; Granucci, Giovanni; Rastädter, Dominique; Persico, Maurizio; Burghardt, Irene

    2018-05-28

    The photoregulation of nucleic acids by azobenzene photoswitches has recently attracted considerable interest in the context of emerging biotechnological applications. To understand the mechanism of photoinduced isomerisation and conformational control in these complex biological environments, we employ a Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) approach in conjunction with nonadiabatic Surface Hopping (SH) dynamics. Two representative RNA-azobenzene complexes are investigated, both of which contain the azobenzene chromophore covalently attached to an RNA double strand via a β-deoxyribose linker. Due to the pronounced constraints of the local RNA environment, it is found that trans -to- cis isomerization is slowed down to a time scale of ∼10-15 picoseconds, in contrast to 500 femtoseconds in vacuo , with a quantum yield reduced by a factor of two. By contrast, cis -to- trans isomerization remains in a sub-picosecond regime. A volume-conserving isomerization mechanism is found, similarly to the pedal-like mechanism previously identified for azobenzene in solution phase. Strikingly, the chiral RNA environment induces opposite right-handed and left-handed helicities of the ground-state cis -azobenzene chromophore in the two RNA-azobenzene complexes, along with an almost completely chirality conserving photochemical pathway for these helical enantiomers.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-10-05

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

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  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. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Surface effects in nanoscale materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  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. Neisseria gonorrhoeae molecular typing for understanding sexual networks and antimicrobial resistance transmission: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Town, Katy; Bolt, Hikaru; Croxford, Sara; Cole, Michelle; Harris, Simon; Field, Nigel; Hughes, Gwenda

    2018-06-01

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is a significant global public health concern due to rising diagnoses rates and antimicrobial resistance. Molecular combined with epidemiological data have been used to understand the distribution and spread of NG, as well as relationships between cases in sexual networks, but the public health value gained from these studies is unclear. We conducted a systematic review to examine how molecular epidemiological studies have informed understanding of sexual networks and NG transmission, and subsequent public health interventions. Five research databases were systematically searched up to 31st March 2017 for studies that used sequence-based DNA typing methods, including whole genome sequencing, and linked molecular data to patient-level epidemiological data. Data were extracted and summarised to identify common themes. Of the 49 studies included, 82% used NG Multi-antigen Sequence Typing. Gender and sexual orientation were commonly used to characterise sexual networks that were inferred using molecular clusters; clusters predominantly of one patient group often contained a small number of isolates from other patient groups. Suggested public health applications included using these data to target interventions at specific populations, confirm outbreaks, and inform partner management, but these were mainly untested. Combining molecular and epidemiological data has provided insight into sexual mixing patterns, and dissemination of NG, but few studies have applied these findings to design or evaluate public health interventions. Future studies should focus on the application of molecular epidemiology in public health practice to provide evidence for how to prevent and control NG. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

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

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    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. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-11-01

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

  16. 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…

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

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    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

  18. 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

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Diabetes

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-12

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

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of White Spot Syndrome Virus Infection and Perspectives on Treatments

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    Bas Verbruggen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Since its emergence in the 1990s, White Spot Disease (WSD has had major economic and societal impact in the crustacean aquaculture sector. Over the years shrimp farming alone has experienced billion dollar losses through WSD. The disease is caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV, a large dsDNA virus and the only member of the Nimaviridae family. Susceptibility to WSSV in a wide range of crustacean hosts makes it a major risk factor in the translocation of live animals and in commodity products. Currently there are no effective treatments for this disease. Understanding the molecular basis of disease processes has contributed significantly to the treatment of many human and animal pathogens, and with a similar aim considerable efforts have been directed towards understanding host–pathogen molecular interactions for WSD. Work on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in aquatic crustaceans has been restricted by a lack of sequenced and annotated genomes for host species. Nevertheless, some of the key host–pathogen interactions have been established: between viral envelope proteins and host cell receptors at initiation of infection, involvement of various immune system pathways in response to WSSV, and the roles of various host and virus miRNAs in mitigation or progression of disease. Despite these advances, many fundamental knowledge gaps remain; for example, the roles of the majority of WSSV proteins are still unknown. In this review we assess current knowledge of how WSSV infects and replicates in its host, and critique strategies for WSD treatment.

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

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    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.

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

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    Saskia Decuypere

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

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

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    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.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Microcystin Toxicity in Animal Cells

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    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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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

    2013-11-01

    Dietary fat is one of the most important energy sources of all the nutrients. Fatty acids, stored as triacylglycerols (also called triglycerides) in the body, are an important reservoir of stored energy and derived primarily from animal fats and vegetable oils. 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, that is, fatty acid transporters on the apical membrane of enterocytes. 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. 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. © 2013 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of circulatory dysfunction in cirrhotic portal hypertension

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms and New Treatment Paradigm for Atrial Fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirish, Padmini; Li, Ning; Timofeyev, Valeriy; Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Wang, Lianguo; Yang, Jun; Lee, Kin Sing Stephen; Bettaieb, Ahmed; Ma, Sin Mei; Lee, Jeong Han; Su, Demetria; Lau, Victor C; Myers, Richard E; Lieu, Deborah K; López, Javier E; Young, J Nilas; Yamoah, Ebenezer N; Haj, Fawaz; Ripplinger, Crystal M; Hammock, Bruce D; Chiamvimonvat, Nipavan

    2016-05-01

    Atrial fibrillation represents the most common arrhythmia leading to increased morbidity and mortality, yet, current treatment strategies have proven inadequate. Conventional treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs carries a high risk for proarrhythmias. The soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of anti-inflammatory epoxy fatty acids, including epoxyeicosatrienoic acids from arachidonic acid to the corresponding proinflammatory diols. Therefore, the goal of the study is to directly test the hypotheses that inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme can result in an increase in the levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, leading to the attenuation of atrial structural and electric remodeling and the prevention of atrial fibrillation. For the first time, we report findings that inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase reduces inflammation, oxidative stress, atrial structural, and electric remodeling. Treatment with soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor significantly reduces the activation of key inflammatory signaling molecules, including the transcription factor nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and transforming growth factor-β. This study provides insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to atrial fibrillation by inflammation and represents a paradigm shift from conventional antiarrhythmic drugs, which block downstream events to a novel upstream therapeutic target by counteracting the inflammatory processes in atrial fibrillation. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  12. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced osteopenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Yao; Liu, Yitong; Chen, Hui; Shi, Songtao; Liu, Yi

    2017-12-01

    Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed, resulting in a staggering economic cost in different social and cultural settings. Types of alcohol consumption vary from light occasional to heavy, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol abuse at all ages. In general, heavy alcohol consumption is widely recognized as a major epidemiological risk factor for chronic diseases and is detrimental to many organs and tissues, including bones. Indeed, recent findings demonstrate that alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect in promoting imbalanced bone remodeling. This imbalance eventually results in osteopenia, an established risk factor for osteoporosis. Decreased bone mass and strength are major hallmarks of osteopenia, which is predominantly attributed not only to inhibition of bone synthesis but also to increased bone resorption through direct and indirect pathways. In this review, we present knowledge to elucidate the epidemiology, potential pathogenesis, and major molecular mechanisms and cellular effects that underlie alcoholism-induced bone loss in osteopenia. Novel therapeutic targets for correcting alcohol-induced osteopenia are also reviewed, such as modulation of proinflammatory cytokines and Wnt and mTOR signaling and the application of new drugs.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of Ebola virus pathogenesis: focus on cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, L; Agrati, C; Petrosillo, N; Di Caro, A; Capobianchi, M R; Ippolito, G; Piacentini, M

    2015-08-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) belongs to the Filoviridae family and is responsible for a severe disease characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise accompanied by other non-specific signs and symptoms; in 30-50% of cases hemorrhagic symptoms are present. Multiorgan dysfunction occurs in severe forms with a mortality up to 90%. The EBOV first attacks macrophages and dendritic immune cells. The innate immune reaction is characterized by a cytokine storm, with secretion of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induces a huge number of contradictory signals and hurts the immune cells, as well as other tissues. Other highly pathogenic viruses also trigger cytokine storms, but Filoviruses are thought to be particularly lethal because they affect a wide array of tissues. In addition to the immune system, EBOV attacks the spleen and kidneys, where it kills cells that help the body to regulate its fluid and chemical balance and that make proteins that help the blood to clot. In addition, EBOV causes liver, lungs and kidneys to shut down their functions and the blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissues. In this review, we analyze the molecular mechanisms at the basis of Ebola pathogenesis with a particular focus on the cell death pathways induced by the virus. We also discuss how the treatment of the infection can benefit from the recent experience of blocking/modulating cell death in human degenerative diseases.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluation of carbohydrate molecular mechanical force fields by quantum mechanical calculations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmingsen, Lars Bo Stegeager; Madsen, D.E.; Esbensen, A.L.

    2004-01-01

    of the (gg, gt and tg) rotamers of methyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside and methyl alpha-D-galactopyranoside are (0.13, 0.00, 0.15) and (0.64, 0.00, 0.77) kcal/mol. respectively. The results of the quantum mechanical calculations are compared with the results of calculations using the 20 second...... for monosaccharide carbohydrate benchmark systems. Selected results are: (i) The interaction energy of the alpha-D-alucopyranose-H2O heterodimer is estimated to be 4.9 kcal/mol, using a composite method including terms at highly correlated (CCSD(T)) level. Most molecular mechanics force fields are in error...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular mechanisms of peripheral nerve regeneration: Emerging roles of microRNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Di eWu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that suppress gene expression through target mRNA degradation or translation repression. Recent studies suggest that miRNA plays an important role in multiple physiological and pathological processes in the nervous system. In this review article, we described what is currently known about the mechanisms in peripheral nerve regeneration on the cellular and molecular levels. Recently, changes in microRNA expression profiles have been detected in different injury models, and emerging evidence strongly indicates that these changes promote neurons to survive and shift their physiology from maintaining a structure and supporting synaptic transmission toward a regenerative phenotype. We reviewed the putative mechanisms involved in miRNA mediated post-transcriptional regulation and pointed out several areas where future research is necessary to advance our understanding of how targeting miRNA machinery can be used as a therapeutic approach for treating nerve injuries.

  19. Phase transition and mechanical properties of tungsten nanomaterials from molecular dynamic simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, L.; Fan, J. L.; Gong, H. R., E-mail: gonghr@csu.edu.cn [Central South University, State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy (China)

    2017-03-15

    Molecular dynamic simulation is used to systematically find out the effects of the size and shape of nanoparticles on phase transition and mechanical properties of W nanomaterials. It is revealed that the body-centered cubic (BCC) to face-centered cubic (FCC) phase transition could only happen in cubic nanoparticles of W, instead of the shapes of sphere, octahedron, and rhombic dodecahedron, and that the critical number to trigger the phase transition is 5374 atoms. Simulation also shows that the FCC nanocrystalline W should be prevented due to its much lower tensile strength than its BCC counterpart and that the octahedral and rhombic dodecahedral nanoparticles of W, rather than the cubic nanoparticles, should be preferred in terms of phase transition and mechanical properties. The derived results are discussed extensively through comparing with available observations in the literature to provide a deep understanding of W nanomaterials.

  20. 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.

  1. Dual fluorescence of excited state intra-molecular proton transfer of HBFO: mechanistic understanding, substituent and solvent effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wenjing; Chen, Xuebo

    2014-03-07

    A combined approach of the multiconfigurational perturbation theory with the Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus methodology has been employed to calculate the minimum potential energy profiles and the rates of excited state intra-molecular proton transfer (ESIPT) for the WOLED material molecule of HBFO and its four meta- or para-substituted compounds in gas phase, acetonitrile and cyclohexane solvents. The kinetic control for these reactions is quantitatively determined and extensively studied on the basis of the accurate potential energy surfaces when the thermodynamic factor associated with the free energy change becomes negligible in the case of the existence of a significant barrier in the ESIPT process. These computational efforts contribute to a deep understanding of the ESIPT mechanism, dual emission characteristics, kinetic controlling factor, substituent and solvent effects for these material molecules. The white light emission is generated by the establishment of dynamic equilibrium between enol and keto forms in the charge transfer excited SCT((1)ππ*) state. The performance of white light emission is quantitatively demonstrated to be mainly sensitive to the molecular tailoring approach of the electronic properties of meta- or para- substituents by the modulation of the forward/backward ESIPT rate ratio. The quality of white light emission is slightly tunable through its surrounding solvent environment. These computational results will provide a useful strategy for the molecular design of OLED and WOLED materials.

  2. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-12-18

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

  4. The Role of Mechanical Force in Molecular and Cellular during Orthodontic Tooth Movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ida Bagus Narmada

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Application of mechanical force on abnormally positioned tooth, cause changes in tooth location and transmitted to the bone ia the periodontal ligament (PDL produce orthodontic tooth movement. This force application is further way that remodeling in the area occurs. In order to develop biological strategies for enhancing this movement of teeth in bone, the underlying mechanisms of bone resorption and apposition should be understood in detail. Analysis of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF may be a good means of examining the on going molecular and cellular process associated with gingival and bone turnover during orthodontic tooth movement. If it could be possible to biologically monitor and predict the outcome of orthodontic force, then the appliance management could be based on dividual tissue response and the effectiveness of the treatment could be improved and understanding their biology is critical to finding ways to modify bone biology to move teeth faster. The present article reviewed a short introduction to some mayors advanced mechanical force in molecular and cellular biology during orthodontic tooth movement.DOI: 10.14693/jdi.v15i3.30

  5. Molecular mechanism of adsorption/desorption hysteresis: dynamics of shale gas in nanopores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jie; Wang, FengChao; Liu, He; Wu, HengAn

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the adsorption and desorption behavior of methane has received considerable attention since it is one of the crucial aspects of the exploitation of shale gas. Unexpectedly, obvious hysteresis is observed from the ideally reversible physical sorption of methane in some experiments. However, the underlying mechanism still remains an open problem. In this study, Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to explore the molecular mechanisms of adsorption/desorption hysteresis. First, a detailed analysis about the capillary condensation of methane in micropores is presented. The influence of pore width, surface strength, and temperature on the hysteresis loop is further investigated. It is found that a disappearance of hysteresis occurs above a temperature threshold. Combined with the phase diagram of methane, we explicitly point out that capillary condensation is inapplicable for the hysteresis of shale gas under normal temperature conditions. Second, a new mechanism, variation of pore throat size, is proposed and studied. For methane to pass through the throat, a certain energy is required due to the repulsive interaction. The required energy increases with shrinkage of the throat, such that the originally adsorbed methane cannot escape through the narrowed throat. These trapped methane molecules account for the hysteresis. Furthermore, the hysteresis loop is found to increase with the increasing pressure and decreasing temperature. We suggest that the variation of pore throat size can explain the adsorption/desorption hysteresis of shale gas. Our conclusions and findings are of great significance for guiding the efficient exploitation of shale gas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. EXPLORING THE DESIGN AND USE OF MOLECULAR ANIMATIONS THAT CONFLICT FOR UNDERSTANDING CHEMICAL REACTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Resa M. Kelly

    Full Text Available Understanding chemical reactions conceptually involves recognizing characteristics of observable phenomena and envisioning how atoms, ions and molecules move and interact to cause the macroscopic changes. Our research focuses on the development of effective strategies for designing and presenting visualizations (videos and animations to assist students with making connections between macroscopic and molecular level behaviors of chemical reactions. Specifically, we study how students, who view videos of a redox reaction that exhibits obvious signs of macroscopic chemical change, can determine which molecular animation of a set of contrasting animations is best supported by its fit with experimental evidence. Herein we describe how we develop our videos and animations, and how students are learning from this animation task. Students who select inaccurate animation models are often enticed by a model that is easier to explain and fits with their understanding of reaction equations. We note that even though students indicate a preference for one animation over another, they often revise their drawn representations to fit with features from multiple animations. With the assistance of eye tracking research, we are gaining a better understanding of what students view and how they make sense of it.

  9. The contribution of solid-state NMR spectroscopy to understanding biomineralization: Atomic and molecular structure of bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duer, Melinda J.

    2015-04-01

    Solid-state NMR spectroscopy has had a major impact on our understanding of the structure of mineralized tissues, in particular bone. Bone exemplifies the organic-inorganic composite structure inherent in mineralized tissues. The organic component of the extracellular matrix in bone is primarily composed of ordered fibrils of collagen triple-helical molecules, in which the inorganic component, calcium phosphate particles, composed of stacks of mineral platelets, are arranged around the fibrils. This perspective argues that key factors in our current structural model of bone mineral have come about through NMR spectroscopy and have yielded the primary information on how the mineral particles interface and bind with the underlying organic matrix. The structure of collagen within the organic matrix of bone or any other structural tissue has yet to be determined, but here too, this perspective shows there has been real progress made through application of solid-state NMR spectroscopy in conjunction with other techniques. In particular, NMR spectroscopy has highlighted the fact that even within these structural proteins, there is considerable dynamics, which suggests that one should be cautious when using inherently static structural models, such as those arising from X-ray diffraction analyses, to gain insight into molecular roles. It is clear that the NMR approach is still in its infancy in this area, and that we can expect many more developments in the future, particularly in understanding the molecular mechanisms of bone diseases and ageing.

  10. Laboratory Molecular Astrophysics as an Invaluable Tool in understanding Astronomical Observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Helen Jane

    2015-08-01

    We are entering the decade of molecular astrochemistry: spectroscopic data pertaining to the interactions between baryonic matter and electromagnetic radiation are now at the forefront of astronomical observations. Elucidating such data is reliant on inputs from laboratory experiments, modeling, and theoretical chemistry / physics, a field that is intended to be a key focus for the proposed new commission in Laboratory Astrophysics.Here, we propose a “tour de force” review of some recent successes since the last GA in molecular astrophysics, particularly those that have been directly facilitated by laboratory data in Astrochemistry. It is vital to highlight to the astronomers that the absence of laboratory data from the literature would otherwise have precluded advances in our astronomical understanding, e.g:the detection of gas-phase water deep in pre-stellar cores,the detection of water and other molecular species in gravitationally lensed galaxies at z~6“Jumps” in the appearance or disappearance of molecules, including the very recent detection of the first branched organic molecule in the ISM, iso-propyl-cyanide,disentangling dense spectroscopic features in the sub-mm as measured by ALMA, Herschel and SOFIA, the so-called “weeds” and “flowers”,the first ''image'' of a CO snow-line in a protoplanetary disk.Looking forward, the advent of high spatial and spectral resolution telescopes, particularly ALMA, SKA E-ELT and JWST, will continue to drive forward the needs and interests of laboratory astrochemistry in the coming decade. We will look forward to five key areas where advances are expected, and both observational and laboratory techniques are evolving:-(a) understanding star forming regions at very high spatial and spectral senstivity and resolution(b) extragalactic astrochemistry(c) (exo-)planetary atmospheres, surfaces and Solar System sample return - linkinginterstellar and planetary chemistry(d) astrobiology - linking simple molecular

  11. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical study of the hydroxylation of phenol and halogeneted derivatives by phenol hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.J.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    2000-01-01

    A combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method (AM1/CHARMM) was used to investigate the mechanism of the aromatic hydroxylation of phenol by a flavin dependent phenol hydroxylase (PH), an essential reaction in the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds. The model

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. On The Molecular Mechanism Of Positive Novolac Resists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian-Ping; Kwei, T. K.; Reiser, Arnost

    1989-08-01

    A molecular mechanism for the dissolution of novolac is proposed, based on the idea of a critical degree of deprotonation as being the condition for the transfer of polymer into solution. The rate at which the critical deprotonation condition is achieved is controlled by the supply of developer into a thin penetration zone, and depends in particular on the rate of diffusion of the base cations which are the developer component with the lowest mobility. The penetration zone contains phenolate ions and ion-bound water, but it retains the structure of a rigid polymer membrane, as evidenced by the diffusion coefficient of cations in the pene;tration zone which is several orders of magnitude slower than in an open gel of the same material. When the critical degree of deprotonation is reached, the membrane structure unravels and all subsequent events, chain rearrangement and transfer into solution, occur rapidly. The supralinear dependence of dissolution rate on base concentration and the effect of the size of the base cation are plausibly interpreted by the model. The diffusion of developer components is assumed to occur preferentially via hydrophilic sites in the polymer matrix. These sites define a diffusion path which acts like a hydrophilic diffusion channel. Suitably designed hydrophobic molecules can block some of the channels and in this way alter the dissolution rate. They reduce in effect the diffusion crossect ion of the material. Hydrophilic additives, on the other hand, introduce additional channels into the system and promote dissolution. The concept of diffusion channels appears to provide a unified interpretation for a number of common observations.

  15. 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.

  16. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling: cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Kurt R; Fagan, Karen A; Frid, Maria G

    2006-09-29

    Chronic hypoxic exposure induces changes in the structure of pulmonary arteries, as well as in the biochemical and functional phenotypes of each of the vascular cell types, from the hilum of the lung to the most peripheral vessels in the alveolar wall. The magnitude and the specific profile of the changes depend on the species, sex, and the developmental stage at which the exposure to hypoxia occurred. Further, hypoxia-induced changes are site specific, such that the remodeling process in the large vessels differs from that in the smallest vessels. The cellular and molecular mechanisms vary and depend on the cellular composition of vessels at particular sites along the longitudinal axis of the pulmonary vasculature, as well as on local environmental factors. Each of the resident vascular cell types (ie, endothelial, smooth muscle, adventitial fibroblast) undergo site- and time-dependent alterations in proliferation, matrix protein production, expression of growth factors, cytokines, and receptors, and each resident cell type plays a specific role in the overall remodeling response. In addition, hypoxic exposure induces an inflammatory response within the vessel wall, and the recruited circulating progenitor cells contribute significantly to the structural remodeling and persistent vasoconstriction of the pulmonary circulation. The possibility exists that the lung or lung vessels also contain resident progenitor cells that participate in the remodeling process. Thus the hypoxia-induced remodeling of the pulmonary circulation is a highly complex process where numerous interactive events must be taken into account as we search for newer, more effective therapeutic interventions. This review provides perspectives on each of the aforementioned areas.

  17. Assessment of structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite through molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hajilar, Shahin, E-mail: shajilar@iastate.edu [Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1066 (United States); Shafei, Behrouz, E-mail: shafei@iastate.edu [Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1066 (United States)

    2016-12-15

    The structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite, the primary solid phase of ordinary hydrated cement paste, are investigated using the molecular dynamics method. To understand the effects of temperature on the structural properties of portlandite, the coefficients of thermal expansion of portlandite are determined in the current study and validated with what reported from the experimental tests. The atomic structure of portlandite equilibrated at various temperatures is then subjected to uniaxial tensile strains in the three orthogonal directions and the stress-strain curves are developed. Based on the obtained results, the effect of the direction of straining on the mechanical properties of portlandite is investigated in detail. Structural damage analysis is performed to reveal the failure mechanisms in different directions. The energies of the fractured surfaces are calculated in different directions and compared to those of the ideal surfaces available in the literature. The key mechanical properties, including tensile strength, Young's modulus, and fracture strain, are extracted from the stress-strain curves. The sensitivity of the obtained mechanical properties to temperature and strain rate is then explored in a systematic way. This leads to valuable information on how the structural and mechanical properties of portlandite are affected under various exposure conditions and loading rates. - Graphical abstract: Fracture mechanism of portlandite under uniaxial strain in the z-direction. - Highlights: • The structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of portlandite are investigated. • The coefficients of thermal expansion are determined. • The stress-strain relationships are studied in three orthogonal directions. • The effects of temperature and strain rate on mechanical properties are examined. • The plastic energy required for fracture in the crystalline structure is reported.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms of nitrogenase conformational protection against oxygen in diazotrophic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lery, Letícia M S; Bitar, Mainá; Costa, Mauricio G S; Rössle, Shaila C S; Bisch, Paulo M

    2010-12-22

    represents a large step towards the understanding of the conformational protection mechanism of nitrogenase against oxygen. In addition, this is the first study regarding the structural complementarities of FeSII-nitrogenase interactions in diazotrophic bacteria. The combination of bioinformatic tools for genome analysis, comparative protein modeling, docking calculations and molecular dynamics provided a powerful strategy for the elucidation of molecular mechanisms and structural features of FeSII-nitrogenase interaction.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador J. Diaz-Cano

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Chronic Kidney Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Sandhya S.; Zhang, Liping; Mitch, William E.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin resistance refers to reduced sensitivity of organs to insulin-initiated biologic processes that result in metabolic defects. Insulin resistance is common in patients with end-stage renal disease but also occurs in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), even when the serum creatinine is minimally increased. Following insulin binding to its receptor, auto-phosphorylation of the insulin receptor is followed by kinase reactions that phosphorylate insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt. In fact, low levels of Akt phosphorylation (p-Akt) identifies the presence of the insulin resistance that leads to metabolic defects in insulin-initiated metabolism of glucose, lipids and muscle proteins. Besides CKD, other complex conditions (e.g., inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic acidosis, aging and excess angiotensin II) reduce p-Akt resulting in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance in each of these conditions is due to activation of different, E3 ubiquitin ligases which specifically conjugate ubiquitin to IRS-1 marking it for degradation in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Consequently, IRS-1 degradation suppresses insulin-induced intracellular signaling, causing insulin resistance. Understanding mechanisms of insulin resistance could lead to therapeutic strategies that improve the metabolism of patients with CKD. PMID:26444029

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Page, A J; Ding, F; Irle, S; Morokuma, K

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation—that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp 2 -carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon–metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area. (review article)

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-17

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

  6. Insights into the Thiamine Diphosphate Enzyme Activation Mechanism: Computational Model for Transketolase Using a Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauton, Lionel; Hélaine, Virgil; Théry, Vincent; Hecquet, Laurence

    2016-04-12

    We propose the first computational model for transketolase (TK), a thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent enzyme, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method on the basis of crystallographic TK structures from yeast and Escherichia coli, together with experimental kinetic data reported in the literature with wild-type and mutant TK. This model allowed us to define a new route for ThDP activation in the enzyme environment. We evidenced a strong interaction between ThDP and Glu418B of the TK active site, itself stabilized by Glu162A. The crucial point highlighted here is that deprotonation of ThDP C2 is not performed by ThDP N4' as reported in the literature, but by His481B, involving a HOH688A molecule bridge. Thus, ThDP N4' is converted from an amino form to an iminium form, ensuring the stabilization of the C2 carbanion or carbene. Finally, ThDP activation proceeds via an intermolecular process and not by an intramolecular one as reported in the literature. More generally, this proposed ThDP activation mechanism can be applied to some other ThDP-dependent enzymes and used to define the entire TK mechanism with donor and acceptor substrates more accurately.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2018-04-01

    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

  9. PDMS Network Structure-Property Relationships: Influence of Molecular Architecture on Mechanical and Wetting Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo, Matthew Joseph

    Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is one of the most common elastomers, with applications ranging from sealants and marine-antifouling coatings to medical devices and absorbents for water treatment. Fundamental understanding of how liquids spread on the surface of and absorb into and leach out of PDMS networks is of critical importance for the design and use in another application - microfluidic devices. The growing use of PDMS in microfluidic devices raises the concern that some researchers may use this material without fully understanding all of its advantages, drawbacks, and intricacies. The primary goal of this Ph.D. dissertation is to elucidate PDMS network molecular structure to macroscopic property relationships and to demonstrate how molecular architecture can alter dynamic mechanical and wetting characteristics. We prepare PDMS materials by using vinyl/ tetrakis(dimethylsiloxy)silane (TDSS) and silanol/ tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) combinations of PDMS end-groups and crosslinkers as two model systems. Under constant curing conditions, we systematically study the effects of polymer molecular weight, loading of crosslinker, and end-group chemical functionality on the extent of gelation and the dynamic mechanical and water wetting properties of end-linked PDMS networks. The extent of the gelation reaction is determined using the Soxhlet extraction to quantify the amount of material that did and did not participate in the crosslinking reactions, termed the gel and sol fractions, respectively. We use the Miller-Macosko model in conjunction with the gel fraction and precise chemical composition (i.e., stoichiometric ratio and molecular weight) to determine the fractions of elastic and pendant material, the molecular weight between chemical crosslinks, and the average effective functionality of the crosslinker molecule. Based on dynamic mechanical testing, we find that the maximum storage moduli are achieved at optimal stoichiometric conditions in the vinyl

  10. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pajeva Ilza

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection

  11. Communication: Understanding molecular representations in machine learning: The role of uniqueness and target similarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bing; von Lilienfeld, O. Anatole

    2016-10-01

    The predictive accuracy of Machine Learning (ML) models of molecular properties depends on the choice of the molecular representation. Inspired by the postulates of quantum mechanics, we introduce a hierarchy of representations which meet uniqueness and target similarity criteria. To systematically control target similarity, we simply rely on interatomic many body expansions, as implemented in universal force-fields, including Bonding, Angular (BA), and higher order terms. Addition of higher order contributions systematically increases similarity to the true potential energy and predictive accuracy of the resulting ML models. We report numerical evidence for the performance of BAML models trained on molecular properties pre-calculated at electron-correlated and density functional theory level of theory for thousands of small organic molecules. Properties studied include enthalpies and free energies of atomization, heat capacity, zero-point vibrational energies, dipole-moment, polarizability, HOMO/LUMO energies and gap, ionization potential, electron affinity, and electronic excitations. After training, BAML predicts energies or electronic properties of out-of-sample molecules with unprecedented accuracy and speed.

  12. Atomic and molecular excitation mechanisms in the interstellar medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sternberg, A.

    1986-01-01

    The detailed infrared response of dense molecular hydrogen gas to intense ultraviolet radiation fields in photodissociation regions is presented. The thermal and chemical structures of photodissociation regions are analyzed, and the relationship between the emission by molecular hydrogen and trace atomic and molecular species is explored. The ultraviolet spectrum of radiation generated by cosmic rays inside dense molecular clouds is presented, and the resulting rates of photodissociation for a variety of interstellar molecules are calculated. Effects of this radiation on the chemistry of dense molecular clouds are discussed, and it is argued that the cosmic ray induced photons will significantly inhibit the production of complex molecular species. It is argued that the annihilation of electrons and positrons at the galactic center may result in observable infrared line emission by atomic hydrogen. A correlation between the intensity variations of the 511 keV line and the hydrogen infrared lines emitted by the annihilation region is predicted. The observed infrared fluxes from compact infrared sources at the galactic center may be used to constrain theories of pair production there

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Congenital heart disease and genetic syndromes: new insights into molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagni, Giulio; Unolt, Marta; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Baban, Anwar; Versacci, Paolo; Tartaglia, Marco; Baldini, Antonio; Marino, Bruno

    2017-09-01

    Advances in genetics allowed a better definition of the role of specific genetic background in the etiology of syndromic congenital heart defects (CHDs). The identification of a number of disease genes responsible for different syndromes have led to the identification of several transcriptional regulators and signaling transducers and modulators that are critical for heart morphogenesis. Understanding the genetic background of syndromic CHDs allowed a better characterization of the genetic basis of non-syndromic CHDs. In this sense, the well-known association of typical CHDs in Down syndrome, 22q11.2 microdeletion and Noonan syndrome represent paradigms as chromosomal aneuploidy, chromosomal microdeletion and intragenic mutation, respectively. Area covered: For each syndrome the anatomical features, distinctive cardiac phenotype and molecular mechanisms are discussed. Moreover, the authors include recent genetic findings that may shed light on some aspects of still unclear molecular mechanisms of these syndromes. Expert commentary: Further investigations are needed to enhance the translational approach in the field of genetics of CHDs. When there is a well-established definition of genotype-phenotype (reverse medicine) and genotype-prognosis (predictive and personalized medicine) correlations, hopefully preventive medicine will make its way in this field. Subsequently a reduction will be achieved in the morbidity and mortality of children with CHDs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hanlun; Zhu, Lizhe; Héliou, Amélie; Gao, Xin; Bernauer, Julie; Huang, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Molecular mechanisms behind the antimicrobial activity of hop iso-α-acids in Lactobacillus brevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurr, Benjamin C; Hahne, Hannes; Kuster, Bernhard; Behr, Jürgen; Vogel, Rudi F

    2015-04-01

    The main bittering component in beer, hop iso-α-acids, have been characterised as weak acids, which act as ionophores impairing microbial cells' function under acidic conditions as present in beer. Besides medium pH, divalent cations play a central role regarding the efficacy of the antimicrobial effect. The iso-α-acids' non-bitter derivatives humulinic acids can be found in isomerised hop extracts and can be generated during hop storage. Therefore, they have been under investigation concerning their influence on beer sensory properties. This study sketches the molecular mechanism behind iso-α-acids' antimicrobial activity in Lactobacillus (L.) brevis regarding their ionophore activity versus the dependence of the inhibitory potential on manganese binding, and suggests humulinic acids as novel tasteless food preservatives. We designed and synthesised chemically modified iso-α-acids to enhance the basic understanding of the molecular mechanism of antimicrobial iso-α-acids. It could be observed that a manganese-binding dependent transmembrane redox reaction (oxidative stress) plays a crucial role in inhibition. Privation of an acidic hydroxyl group neither erased ionophore activity, nor did it entirely abolish antimicrobial activity. Humulinic acids proved to be highly inhibitory, even outperforming iso-α-acids. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Link between Imatinib Resistance and Kinase Conformational Dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Lovera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Due to its inhibition of the Abl kinase domain in the BCR-ABL fusion protein, imatinib is strikingly effective in the initial stage of chronic myeloid leukemia with more than 90% of the patients showing complete remission. However, as in the case of most targeted anti-cancer therapies, the emergence of drug resistance is a serious concern. Several drug-resistant mutations affecting the catalytic domain of Abl and other tyrosine kinases are now known. But, despite their importance and the adverse effect that they have on the prognosis of the cancer patients harboring them, the molecular mechanism of these mutations is still debated. Here by using long molecular dynamics simulations and large-scale free energy calculations complemented by in vitro mutagenesis and microcalorimetry experiments, we model the effect of several widespread drug-resistant mutations of Abl. By comparing the conformational free energy landscape of the mutants with those of the wild-type tyrosine kinases we clarify their mode of action. It involves significant and complex changes in the inactive-to-active dynamics and entropy/enthalpy balance of two functional elements: the activation-loop and the conserved DFG motif. What is more the T315I gatekeeper mutant has a significant impact on the binding mechanism itself and on the binding kinetics.

  1. Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical method for metal-organic frameworks: proton topologies of NU-1000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Ping; Gagliardi, Laura; Truhlar, Donald G

    2018-01-17

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are materials with applications in catalysis, gas separations, and storage. Quantum mechanical (QM) calculations can provide valuable guidance to understand and predict their properties. In order to make the calculations faster, rather than modeling these materials as periodic (infinite) systems, it is useful to construct finite models (called cluster models) and use subsystem methods such as fragment methods or combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods. Here we employ a QM/MM methodology to study one particular MOF that has been of widespread interest because of its wide pores and good solvent and thermal stability, namely NU-1000, which contains hexanuclear zirconium nodes and 1,3,6,8-tetrakis(p-benzoic acid)pyrene (TBAPy 4- ) linkers. A modified version of the Bristow-Tiana-Walsh transferable force field has been developed to allow QM/MM calculations on NU-1000; we call the new parametrization the NU1T force field. We consider isomeric structures corresponding to various proton topologies of the [Zr 6 (μ 3 -O) 8 O 8 H 16 ] 8+ node of NU-1000, and we compute their relative energies using a QM/MM scheme designed for the present kind of problem. We compared the results to full quantum mechanical (QM) energy calculations and found that the QM/MM models can reproduce the full QM relative energetics (which span a range of 334 kJ mol -1 ) with a mean unsigned deviation (MUD) of only 2 kJ mol -1 . Furthermore, we found that the structures optimized by QM/MM are nearly identical to their full QM optimized counterparts.

  2. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Ping; Gagliardi, Laura; Truhlar, Donald G

    2018-05-30

    Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM-MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM-MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM-MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  3. Parametrization of Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Methods: Bond-Tuned Link Atoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Ping Wu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM methods are the most powerful available methods for high-level treatments of subsystems of very large systems. The treatment of the QM−MM boundary strongly affects the accuracy of QM/MM calculations. For QM/MM calculations having covalent bonds cut by the QM−MM boundary, it has been proposed previously to use a scheme with system-specific tuned fluorine link atoms. Here, we propose a broadly parametrized scheme where the parameters of the tuned F link atoms depend only on the type of bond being cut. In the proposed new scheme, the F link atom is tuned for systems with a certain type of cut bond at the QM−MM boundary instead of for a specific target system, and the resulting link atoms are call bond-tuned link atoms. In principle, the bond-tuned link atoms can be as convenient as the popular H link atoms, and they are especially well adapted for high-throughput and accurate QM/MM calculations. Here, we present the parameters for several kinds of cut bonds along with a set of validation calculations that confirm that the proposed bond-tuned link-atom scheme can be as accurate as the system-specific tuned F link-atom scheme.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms for Age-Associated Mitochondrial Deficiency in Skeletal Muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira Wagatsuma

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The abundance, morphology, and functional properties of mitochondria decay in skeletal muscle during the process of ageing. Although the precise mechanisms remain to be elucidated, these mechanisms include decreased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA repair and mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondria possess their own protection system to repair mtDNA damage, which leads to defects of mtDNA-encoded gene expression and respiratory chain complex enzymes. However, mtDNA mutations have shown to be accumulated with age in skeletal muscle. When damaged mitochondria are eliminated by autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis plays an important role in sustaining energy production and physiological homeostasis. The capacity for mitochondrial biogenesis has shown to decrease with age in skeletal muscle, contributing to progressive mitochondrial deficiency. Understanding how these endogenous systems adapt to altered physiological conditions during the process of ageing will provide a valuable insight into the underlying mechanisms that regulate cellular homeostasis. Here we will summarize the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms responsible for age-associated mitochondrial deficiency in skeletal muscle. In particular, recent findings on the role of mtDNA repair and mitochondrial biogenesis in maintaining mitochondrial functionality in aged skeletal muscle will be highlighted.

  7. Identification of key genes and molecular mechanisms associated with dedifferentiated liposarcoma based on bioinformatic methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu H

    2017-06-01

    . Furthermore, the dysregulated PPI network of DDLPS was constructed, and 14 hub genes were identified. Characteristic of DDLPS, the genes CDK4 and MDM2 were universally found to be up-regulated and amplified in gene copy number.Conclusion: This study used bioinformatics to comprehensively mine DDLPS microarray data in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanism of DDLPS. Keywords: dedifferentiated liposarcoma, molecular mechanisms, microarray, bioinformatic methods

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Vecheslav

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoz, François; Champagne, Antoine; Degand, Hervé; Faber, Anne-Marie; Morsomme, Pierre; Foray, Vincent; Hance, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    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-2.3 T . 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-2.3 T 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of nematode-nematophagous microbe interactions: basis for biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Zou, Chenggang; Xu, Jianping; Ji, Xinglai; Niu, Xuemei; Yang, Jinkui; Huang, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2015-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes cause significant damage to a broad range of vegetables and agricultural crops throughout the world. As the natural enemies of nematodes, nematophagous microorganisms offer a promising approach to control the nematode pests. Some of these microorganisms produce traps to capture and kill the worms from the outside. Others act as internal parasites to produce toxins and virulence factors to kill the nematodes from within. Understanding the molecular basis of microbe-nematode interactions provides crucial insights for developing effective biological control agents against plant-parasitic nematodes. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the interactions between nematodes and nematophagous microorganisms, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms by which nematophagous microorganisms infect nematodes and on the nematode defense against pathogenic attacks. We conclude by discussing several key areas for future research and development, including potential approaches to apply our recent understandings to develop effective biocontrol strategies.

  12. A mechanical actuator driven electrochemically by artificial molecular muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juluri, Bala Krishna; Kumar, Ajeet S; Liu, Yi; Ye, Tao; Yang, Ying-Wei; Flood, Amar H; Fang, Lei; Stoddart, J Fraser; Weiss, Paul S; Huang, Tony Jun

    2009-02-24

    A microcantilever, coated with a monolayer of redox-controllable, bistable [3]rotaxane molecules (artificial molecular muscles), undergoes reversible deflections when subjected to alternating oxidizing and reducing electrochemical potentials. The microcantilever devices were prepared by precoating one surface with a gold film and allowing the palindromic [3]rotaxane molecules to adsorb selectively onto one side of the microcantilevers, utilizing thiol-gold chemistry. An electrochemical cell was employed in the experiments, and deflections were monitored both as a function of (i) the scan rate (+0.4 V) and reducing (artificial molecular muscles, were compared with (i) data from nominally bare microcantilevers precoated with gold and (ii) those coated with two types of control compounds, namely, dumbbell molecules to simulate the redox activity of the palindromic bistable [3]rotaxane molecules and inactive 1-dodecanethiol molecules. The comparisons demonstrate that the artificial molecular muscles are responsible for the deflections, which can be repeated over many cycles. The microcantilevers deflect in one direction following oxidation and in the opposite direction upon reduction. The approximately 550 nm deflections were calculated to be commensurate with forces per molecule of approximately 650 pN. The thermal relaxation that characterizes the device's deflection is consistent with the double bistability associated with the palindromic [3]rotaxane and reflects a metastable contracted state. The use of the cooperative forces generated by these self-assembled, nanometer-scale artificial molecular muscles that are electrically wired to an external power supply constitutes a seminal step toward molecular-machine-based nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS).

  13. Unit mechanisms of fission gas release: Current understanding and future needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonks, Michael; Andersson, David; Devanathan, Ram; Dubourg, Roland; El-Azab, Anter; Freyss, Michel; Iglesias, Fernando; Kulacsy, Katalin; Pastore, Giovanni; Phillpot, Simon R.; Welland, Michael

    2018-06-01

    Gaseous fission product transport and release has a large impact on fuel performance, degrading fuel and gap properties. While gaseous fission product behavior has been investigated with bulk reactor experiments and simplified analytical models, recent improvements in experimental and modeling approaches at the atomistic and mesoscales are beginning to reveal new understanding of the unit mechanisms that define fission product behavior. Here, existing research on the basic mechanisms of fission gas release during normal reactor operation are summarized and critical areas where work is needed are identified. This basic understanding of the fission gas behavior mechanisms has the potential to revolutionize our ability to predict fission product behavior and to design fuels with improved performance. In addition, this work can serve as a model on how a coupled experimental and modeling approach can be applied to understand the unit mechanisms behind other critical behaviors in reactor materials.

  14. Understanding the Growth Mechanism of GaN Epitaxial Layers on Mechanically Exfoliated Graphite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianbao; Liu, Chenyang; Zhang, Zhe; Yu, Bin; Dong, Hailiang; Jia, Wei; Jia, Zhigang; Yu, Chunyan; Gan, Lin; Xu, Bingshe; Jiang, Haiwei

    2018-04-27

    The growth mechanism of GaN epitaxial layers on mechanically exfoliated graphite is explained in detail based on classic nucleation theory. The number of defects on the graphite surface can be increased via O-plasma treatment, leading to increased nucleation density on the graphite surface. The addition of elemental Al can effectively improve the nucleation rate, which can promote the formation of dense nucleation layers and the lateral growth of GaN epitaxial layers. The surface morphologies of the nucleation layers, annealed layers and epitaxial layers were characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy, where the evolution of the surface morphology coincided with a 3D-to-2D growth mechanism. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to characterize the microstructure of GaN. Fast Fourier transform diffraction patterns showed that cubic phase (zinc-blend structure) GaN grains were obtained using conventional GaN nucleation layers, while the hexagonal phase (wurtzite structure) GaN films were formed using AlGaN nucleation layers. Our work opens new avenues for using highly oriented pyrolytic graphite as a substrate to fabricate transferable optoelectronic devices.

  15. Insights into the Reaction Mechanism of Aromatic Ring Cleavage by Homogentisate Dioxygenase: A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yue; Lu, Jiarui; Lai, Wenzhen

    2016-05-26

    To elucidate the reaction mechanism of the ring cleavage of homogentisate by homogentisate dioxygenase, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations were carried out by using two systems in different protonation states of the substrate C2 hydroxyl group. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is ionized (the ionized pathway), the superoxo attack on the substrate is the rate-limiting step in the catalytic cycle, with a barrier of 15.9 kcal/mol. Glu396 was found to play an important role in stabilizing the bridge species and its O-O cleavage product by donating a proton via a hydrogen-bonded water molecule. When the substrate C2 hydroxyl group is not ionized (the nonionized pathway), the O-O bond cleavage of the bridge species is the rate-limiting step, with a barrier of 15.3 kcal/mol. The QM/MM-optimized geometries for the dioxygen and alkylperoxo complexes using the nonionized model (for the C2 hydroxyl group) are in agreement with the experimental crystal structures, suggesting that the C2 hydroxyl group is more likely to be nonionized.

  16. Combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical reaction pathway calculation for aromatic hydroxylation by p-hydroxybenzoate-3-hydroxylase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, L.; Mulholland, A.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Vervoort, J.

    1999-01-01

    The reaction pathway for the aromatic 3-hydroxylation of p-hydroxybenzoate by the reactive C4a-hydroperoxyflavin cofactor intermediate in p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH) has been investigated by a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method. A structural model for the

  17. Failure of single electron descriptions of molecular orbital collision processes. [Electron promotion mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elston, S.B.

    1978-01-01

    Inner-shell excitation occurring in low and moderate (keV range) energy collisions between light atomic and ionic systems is frequently describable in terms of molecular promotion mechanisms, which were extensively explored both theoretically and experimentally. The bulk of such studies have concentrated on processes understandable through the use of single- and independent-electron models. Nonetheless, it is possible to find cases of inner-shell excitation in relatively simple collision systems which involve nearly simultaneous multiple-electron transitions and transitions induced by inherently two-electron interactions. Evidence for these many- and nonindependent-electron phenomena in inner-shell excitation processes and the importance of considering such effects in the interpretation of collisionally induced excitation spectra is discussed. 13 references.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  19. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Liver Injury and Hepatocarcinogenesis: Focusing on the Role of Stress-Activated MAPK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayato Nakagawa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC is the third most common cause of cancer mortality. Short-term prognosis of patients with HCC has improved recently due to advances in early diagnosis and treatment, but long-term prognosis is still unsatisfactory. Therefore, obtaining a further understanding of the molecular carcinogenic mechanisms and the unique pathogenic biology of HCC is important. The most characteristic process in hepatocarcinogenesis is underlying chronic liver injury, which leads to repeated cycles of hepatocyte death, inflammation, and compensatory proliferation and subsequently provides a mitogenic and mutagenic environment leading to the development of HCC. Recent in vivo studies have shown that the stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK cascade converging on c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK and p38 plays a central role in these processes, and it has attracted considerable attention as a therapeutic target. However, JNK and p38 have complex functions and a wide range of cellular effects. In addition, crosstalk with each other and the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway further complicate these functions. A full understanding is essential to bring these observations into clinical settings. In this paper, we discuss the latest findings regarding the mechanisms of liver injury and hepatocarcinogenesis focusing on the role of the stress-activated MAPK pathway.