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Sample records for vesicle structures insights

  1. Vesicles and vesicle gels - structure and dynamics of formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gradzielski, M

    2003-01-01

    Vesicles constitute an interesting morphology formed by self-aggregating amphiphilic molecules. They exhibit a rich structural variety and are of interest both from a fundamental point of view (for studying closed bilayer systems) and from a practical point of view (whenever one is interested in the encapsulation of active molecules). In many circumstances vesicular structures have to be formed by external forces, but of great interest are amphiphilic systems, where they form spontaneously. Here the question arises of whether this means that they are also thermodynamically stable structures, which at least in some systems appears to be the case. If such vesicles are well defined in size, it is possible to pack them densely and thereby form vesicle gels that possess highly elastic properties even for relatively low volume fractions of amphiphile. Conditions for the formation and the microstructure of such vesicle gels have been studied in some detail for the case of unilamellar vesicles. Another important and topical issue is the dynamics of vesicle formation/breakdown, as the understanding of the transition process will open the way to a deeper understanding of their stability and also allow controlling of the structures formed, by means of their formation processes. Significant progress in the study of the transformation processes has been achieved, in particular by means of time-resolved scattering experiments. (topical review)

  2. Irregular bilayer structure in vesicles prepared from Halobacterium cutirubrum lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanyi, J. K.

    1974-01-01

    Fluorescent probes were used to study the structure of the cell envelope of Halobacterium cutirubrum, and, in particular, to explore the effect of the heterogeneity of the lipids in this organism on the structure of the bilayers. The fluorescence polarization of perylene was followed in vesicles of unfractionated lipids and polar lipids as a function of temperature in 3.4 M solutions of NaCl, NaNO3, and KSCN, and it was found that vesicles of unfractionated lipids were more perturbed by chaotropic agents than polar lipids. The dependence of the relaxation times of perylene on temperature was studied in cell envelopes and in vesicles prepared from polar lipids, unfractionated lipids, and mixtures of polar and neutral lipids.

  3. Removal of Vesicle Structures from Transmission Electron Microscope Images

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Katrine Hommelhoff; Sigworth, Fred; Brandt, Sami Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we address the problem of imaging membrane proteins for single-particle cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the isolated protein structure. More precisely, we propose a method for learning and removing the interfering vesicle signals from the micrograph, prior to reconstruct...

  4. Structural Disorder Provides Increased Adaptability for Vesicle Trafficking Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompa, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Vesicle trafficking systems play essential roles in the communication between the organelles of eukaryotic cells and also between cells and their environment. Endocytosis and the late secretory route are mediated by clathrin-coated vesicles, while the COat Protein I and II (COPI and COPII) routes stand for the bidirectional traffic between the ER and the Golgi apparatus. Despite similar fundamental organizations, the molecular machinery, functions, and evolutionary characteristics of the three systems are very different. In this work, we compiled the basic functional protein groups of the three main routes for human and yeast and analyzed them from the structural disorder perspective. We found similar overall disorder content in yeast and human proteins, confirming the well-conserved nature of these systems. Most functional groups contain highly disordered proteins, supporting the general importance of structural disorder in these routes, although some of them seem to heavily rely on disorder, while others do not. Interestingly, the clathrin system is significantly more disordered (∼23%) than the other two, COPI (∼9%) and COPII (∼8%). We show that this structural phenomenon enhances the inherent plasticity and increased evolutionary adaptability of the clathrin system, which distinguishes it from the other two routes. Since multi-functionality (moonlighting) is indicative of both plasticity and adaptability, we studied its prevalence in vesicle trafficking proteins and correlated it with structural disorder. Clathrin adaptors have the highest capability for moonlighting while also comprising the most highly disordered members. The ability to acquire tissue specific functions was also used to approach adaptability: clathrin route genes have the most tissue specific exons encoding for protein segments enriched in structural disorder and interaction sites. Overall, our results confirm the general importance of structural disorder in vesicle trafficking and

  5. Structure formation in binary mixtures of lipids and detergents: self-assembly and vesicle division.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2013-01-14

    Self-assembly dynamics in binary surfactant mixtures and structure changes of lipid vesicles induced by detergent solution are studied using coarse-grained molecular simulations. Disk-shaped micelles, the bicelles, are stabilized by detergents surrounding the rim of a bilayer disk of lipids. The self-assembled bicelles are considerably smaller than bicelles formed from vesicle rupture, and their size is determined by the concentrations of lipids and detergents and the interactions between the two species. The detergent-adsorption induces spontaneous curvature of the vesicle bilayer and results in vesicle division into two vesicles or vesicle rupture into worm-like micelles. The division occurs mainly via the inverse pathway of the modified stalk model. For large spontaneous curvature of the monolayers of the detergents, a pore is often opened, thereby leading to vesicle division or worm-like micelle formation.

  6. Primary vesicles, vesicle-rich segregation structures and recognition of primary and secondary porosities in lava flows from the Paraná igneous province, southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreto, Carla Joana S.; de Lima, Evandro F.; Goldberg, Karin

    2017-04-01

    This study focuses on a volcanic succession of pāhoehoe to rubbly lavas of the Paraná-Etendeka Province exposed in a single road profile in southernmost Brazil. This work provides an integrated approach for examining primary vesicles and vesicle-rich segregation structures at the mesoscopic scale. In addition, this study provides a quantitative analysis of pore types in thin section. We documented distinct distribution patterns of vesicle and vesicle-rich segregation structures according to lava thickness. In compound pāhoehoe lavas, the cooling allows only vesicles (pipe vesicles to be frozen into place. In inflated pāhoehoe lavas, vesicles of different sizes are common, including pipe vesicles, and also segregation structures such as proto-cylinders, cylinders, cylinder sheets, vesicle sheets, and pods. In rubbly lavas, only vesicles of varying sizes occur. Gas release from melt caused the formation of primary porosity, while hydrothermal alteration and tectonic fracturing are the main processes that generated secondary porosity. Although several forms of porosity were created in the basaltic lava flows, the precipitation of secondary minerals within the pores has tended to reduce the original porosities. Late-stage fractures could create efficient channel networks for possible hydrocarbon/groundwater migration and entrapment owing to their ability to connect single pores. Quantitative permeability data should be gathered in future studies to confirm the potential of these lavas for store hydrocarbons or groundwater.

  7. Gold nanoparticles covalently assembled onto vesicle structures as possible biosensing platform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Fátima Barroso

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In this contribution a strategy is shown to covalently immobilize gold nanoparticles (AuNPs onto vesicle bilayers with the aim of using this nanomaterial as platform for the future design of immunosensors. A novel methodology for the self-assembly of AuNPs onto large unilamellar vesicle structures is described. The vesicles were formed with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC and 1-undecanethiol (SH. After, the AuNPs photochemically synthesized in pure glycerol were mixed and anchored onto SH–DOPC vesicles. The data provided by voltammetry, spectrometry and microscopy techniques indicated that the AuNPs were successfully covalently anchored onto the vesicle bilayer and decorated vesicles exhibit a spherical shape with a size of 190 ± 10 nm. The developed procedure is easy, rapid and reproducible to start designing a possible immunosensor by using environmentally friendly procedures.

  8. Hyperons: Insights into baryon structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lach, J.

    1991-08-01

    The baryon octet is composed mainly of hyperons. Modern high energy hyperon beams provide a tool for the study of hyperon static properties and interactions. Experiments with these beams have provided new insights into hyperon rare decays, magnetic moments, and interactions. These experiments provide us with insights into the strong, weak, and electromagnetic structure of the baryons. 65 refs., 45 figs., 5 tabs

  9. A method for analysis of lipid vesicle domain structure from confocal image data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husen, Peter Rasmussen; Fidorra, Matthias; Hartel, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    Quantitative characterization of the lateral structure of curved membranes based on fluorescence microscopy requires knowledge of the fluorophore distribution on the surface. We present an image analysis approach for extraction of the fluorophore distribution on a spherical lipid vesicle from...... confocal imaging stacks. The technique involves projection of volumetric image data onto a triangulated surface mesh representation of the membrane, correction of photoselection effects and global motion of the vesicle during image acquisition and segmentation of the surface into domains using histograms...

  10. Structure factor of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine unilamellar vesicles: small-angle x-ray scattering study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiselev, M.A.; Aksenov, V.L.; Lombardo, D.; Kisselev, A.M.; Lesieur, P.

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments have been performed on dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) unilamellar vesicles in 40% aqueous sucrose solution. Model of separated form factors was applied for the evaluation of SAXS curves from large unilamellar vesicles. For the first time vesicle structure factor, polydispersity, average radius and membrane thickness were calculated simultaneously from the SAXS curves at T=30 deg C for DMPC concentrations in the range from 15 to 75 mM (1-5% w/w). Structure factor correction to the scattering curve was shown to be negligibly small for the lipid concentration of 15 mM (1% w/w). It was proved to be necessary to introduce structure factor correction to the scattering curves for lipid concentrations ≥ 30 mM (2% w/w)

  11. Structure Factor of Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine Unilamellar Vesicles Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering Study

    CERN Document Server

    Kiselev, M A; Kisselev, A M; Lesieur, P; Aksenov, V L

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments have been performed on dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) unilamellar vesicles in 40 % aqueous sucrose solution. Model of separated form factors was applied for the evaluation of SAXS curves from large unilamellar vesicles. For the first time vesicle structure factor, polydispersity, average radius and membrane thickness were calculated simultaneously from the SAXS curves at T=306{\\circ}C for DMPC concentrations in the range from 15 to 75 mM (1-5 % w/w). Structure factor correction to the scattering curve was shown to be negligibly small for the lipid concentration of 15 mM (1 % w/w). It was proved to be necessary to introduce structure factor correction to the scattering curves for lipid concentrations {\\ge}30 mM (2 % w/w).

  12. Cell Secretion: Current Structural and Biochemical Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Trikha

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential physiological functions in eukaryotic cells, such as release of hormones and digestive enzymes, neurotransmission, and intercellular signaling, are all achieved by cell secretion. In regulated (calcium-dependent secretion, membrane-bound secretory vesicles dock and transiently fuse with specialized, permanent, plasma membrane structures, called porosomes or fusion pores. Porosomes are supramolecular, cup-shaped lipoprotein structures at the cell plasma membrane that mediate and control the release of vesicle cargo to the outside of the cell. The sizes of porosomes range from 150nm in diameter in acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas to 12nm in neurons. In recent years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the porosome and the cellular activities required for cell secretion, such as membrane fusion and swelling of secretory vesicles. The discovery of the porosome complex and the molecular mechanism of cell secretion are summarized in this article.

  13. Structure of unilamellar vesicles: Numerical analysis based on small-angle neutron scattering data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zemlyanaya, E. V.; Kiselev, M. A.; Zbytovska, J.; Almasy, L.; Aswal, V. K.; Strunz, P.; Wartewig, S.; Neubert, R.

    2006-01-01

    The structure of polydispersed populations of unilamellar vesicles is studied by small-angle neutron scattering for three types of lipid systems, namely, single-, two-and four-component vesicular systems. Results of the numerical analysis based on the separated-form-factor model are reported

  14. What can we learn about the lipid vesicle structure from the small angle neutron scattering experiment?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiselev, M.A.; Zemlyanaya, E.V.; Aswal, V.K.; Neubert, R.H.H.

    2005-01-01

    Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) on the unilamellar vesicle populations (diameter of 500 and 1000 Armstrong) was used to characterize lipid vesicles from dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) in three phases (gel, ripple, and liquid). Parameters of vesicle populations and internal structure of the DMPC bilayer were characterized on the basis of the Separated Form Factor (SFF) model. Vesicle shape changes from about spherical in liquid phase to elliptical in ripple and gel phases for vesicles prepared via extrusion through pores with the diameter of 500 Armstrong. Parameters of the internal bilayer structure (membrane thickness, thickness of the hydrophobic core, hydration, and surface area of lipid molecule) were determined on the basis of the Hydrophobic-Hydrophilic (HH) approximation of neutron scattering length density across the bilayer ρ(x) and on the basis of the Step Function (SF) approximation of ρ(x). It was demonstrated in the framework of HH approximation that DMPC membrane thickness in the liquid phase (T = 30 deg C) depends on the membrane curvature. Vesicle population prepared via extrusion through pores with the diameter of 500 Armstrong is characterized by an average radius of 275.6 ± 0.5 Armstrong, polydispersity of 27%, membrane thickness of 47.8 ± 0.2 Armstrong, thickness of hydrophobic core of 20.5 ± 0.3 Armstrong, surface area per DMPC molecule of 61.0 ± 0.4 A 2 Armstrong, and the number of water molecules per DMPC molecule of 11.9 ± 0.3. Vesicles prepared via extrusion through pores with the diameter of 1000 Armstrong have a polydispersity of 48%, and a membrane thickness of 45.6 ± 0.2 Armstrong. SF approximation was used to describe the DMPC membrane structure in gel (T 10 deg C) and ripple (T = 20 deg C) phases. DMPC vesicles prepared via extrusion through 1000- Armstrong pores have a membrane thickness of 49.6 ± 0.5 Armstrong in the gel phase and 48.3 ± 0.6 Armstrong in the ripple phase. The dependence of the DMPC membrane

  15. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forouhar,F.; Kuzin, A.; Seetharaman, J.; Lee, I.; Zhou, W.; Abashidze, M.; Chen, Y.; Montelione, G.; Tong, L.; et al

    2007-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF{_}0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP{_}1951), and a 12-stranded {beta}-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  16. Structure-directing star-shaped block copolymers: supramolecular vesicles for the delivery of anticancer drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chuan; Liu, Shao Qiong; Venkataraman, Shrinivas; Gao, Shu Jun; Ke, Xiyu; Chia, Xin Tian; Hedrick, James L; Yang, Yi Yan

    2015-06-28

    Amphiphilic polycarbonate/PEG copolymer with a star-like architecture was designed to facilitate a unique supramolecular transformation of micelles to vesicles in aqueous solution for the efficient delivery of anticancer drugs. The star-shaped amphipilic block copolymer was synthesized by initiating the ring-opening polymerization of trimethylene carbonate (TMC) from methyl cholate through a combination of metal-free organo-catalytic living ring-opening polymerization and post-polymerization chain-end derivatization strategies. Subsequently, the self-assembly of the star-like polymer in aqueous solution into nanosized vesicles for anti-cancer drug delivery was studied. DOX was physically encapsulated into vesicles by dialysis and drug loading level was significant (22.5% in weight) for DOX. Importantly, DOX-loaded nanoparticles self-assembled from the star-like copolymer exhibited greater kinetic stability and higher DOX loading capacity than micelles prepared from cholesterol-initiated diblock analogue. The advantageous disparity is believed to be due to the transformation of micelles (diblock copolymer) to vesicles (star-like block copolymer) that possess greater core space for drug loading as well as the ability of such supramolecular structures to encapsulate DOX. DOX-loaded vesicles effectively inhibited the proliferation of 4T1, MDA-MB-231 and BT-474 cells, with IC50 values of 10, 1.5 and 1.0mg/L, respectively. DOX-loaded vesicles injected into 4T1 tumor-bearing mice exhibited enhanced accumulation in tumor tissue due to the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. Importantly, DOX-loaded vesicles demonstrated greater tumor growth inhibition than free DOX without causing significant body weight loss or cardiotoxicity. The unique ability of the star-like copolymer emanating from the methyl cholate core provided the requisite modification in the block copolymer interfacial curvature to generate vesicles of high loading capacity for DOX with significant

  17. The structure of the COPII transport-vesicle coat assembled on membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanetti, Giulia; Prinz, Simone; Daum, Sebastian; Meister, Annette; Schekman, Randy; Bacia, Kirsten; Briggs, John A G

    2013-09-17

    Coat protein complex II (COPII) mediates formation of the membrane vesicles that export newly synthesised proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. The inner COPII proteins bind to cargo and membrane, linking them to the outer COPII components that form a cage around the vesicle. Regulated flexibility in coat architecture is essential for transport of a variety of differently sized cargoes, but structural data on the assembled coat has not been available. We have used cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to determine the structure of the complete, membrane-assembled COPII coat. We describe a novel arrangement of the outer coat and find that the inner coat can assemble into regular lattices. The data reveal how coat subunits interact with one another and with the membrane, suggesting how coordinated assembly of inner and outer coats can mediate and regulate packaging of vesicles ranging from small spheres to large tubular carriers. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00951.001.

  18. Efficient encapsulation of antisense oligonucleotides in lipid vesicles using ionizable aminolipids: formation of novel small multilamellar vesicle structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semple, S C; Klimuk, S K; Harasym, T O; Dos Santos, N; Ansell, S M; Wong, K F; Maurer, N; Stark, H; Cullis, P R; Hope, M J; Scherrer, P

    2001-02-09

    Typical methods used for encapsulating antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) and plasmid DNA in lipid vesicles result in very low encapsulation efficiencies or employ cationic lipids that exhibit unfavorable pharmacokinetic and toxicity characteristics when administered intravenously. In this study, we describe and characterize a novel formulation process that utilizes an ionizable aminolipid (1,2-dioleoyl-3-dimethylammonium propane, DODAP) and an ethanol-containing buffer system for encapsulating large quantities (0.15--0.25 g ODN/g lipid) of polyanionic ODN in lipid vesicles. This process requires the presence of up to 40% ethanol (v/v) and initial formulation at acidic pH values where the DODAP is positively charged. In addition, the presence of a poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid was required during the formulation process to prevent aggregation. The 'stabilized antisense-lipid particles' (SALP) formed are stable on adjustment of the external pH to neutral pH values and the formulation process allows encapsulation efficiencies of up to 70%. ODN encapsulation was confirmed by nuclease protection assays and (31)P NMR measurements. Cryo-electron microscopy indicated that the final particles consisted of a mixed population of unilamellar and small multilamellar vesicles (80--140 nm diameter), the relative proportion of which was dependent on the initial ODN to lipid ratio. Finally, SALP exhibited significantly enhanced circulation lifetimes in mice relative to free antisense ODN, cationic lipid/ODN complexes and SALP prepared with quaternary aminolipids. Given the small particle sizes and improved encapsulation efficiency, ODN to lipid ratios, and circulation times of this formulation compared to others, we believe SALP represent a viable candidate for systemic applications involving nucleic acid therapeutics.

  19. Construction of vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductors photocatalysts with improved photocatalytic activity: Enhanced photo induced carriers separation efficiency and mechanism insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Jiangsu; Ma, Changchang; Huo, Pengwei; Liu, Xinlin; Wei, Maobin; Liu, Yang; Yao, Xin; Ma, Zhongfei; Yan, Yongsheng

    2017-10-01

    Visible-light-driven photocatalysis as a green technology has attracted a lot of attention due to its potential applications in environmental remediation. Vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductor photocatalyst are successfully prepared by a gas template method and characterized by a variety of methods. The vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductors display enhanced photocatalytic performance for the degradation of tetracycline hydrochloride, the photodegradation rate of 78.824% was achieved by vesicle CdSe, which exhibited an increase of 31.779% compared to granular CdSe. Such an exceptional photocatalytic capability can be attributed to the unique structure of the vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductor with enhanced light absorption ability and excellent carrier transport capability. Meanwhile, the large surface area of the vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductor can increase the contact probability between catalyst and target and provide more surface-active centers. The photocatalytic mechanisms are analyzed by active species quenching. It indicates that h + and O 2 - are the main active species which play a major role in catalyzing environmental toxic pollutants. Simultaneously, the vesicle CdSe nano-semiconductor had high efficiency and stability. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Thermodynamics and Structural Evolution during a Reversible Vesicle-Micelle Transition of a Vitamin-Derived Bolaamphiphile Induced by Sodium Cholate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jun-Nan; Ge, Bing-Qiang; Shen, Yun-Feng; He, Yu-Xuan; Chen, Zhong-Xiu

    2016-03-09

    Interaction of endogenous sodium cholate (SC) with dietary amphiphiles would induce structural evolution of the self-assembled aggregates, which inevitably affects the hydrolysis of fat in the gut. Current work mainly focused on the interaction of bile salts with classical double-layered phospholipid vesicles. In this paper, the thermodynamics and structural evolution during the interaction of SC with novel unilamellar vesicles formed from vitamin-derived zwitterionic bolaamphiphile (DDO) were characterized. It was revealed that an increased temperature and the presence of NaCl resulted in narrowed micelle-vesicle coexistence and enlarged the vesicle region. The coexistence of micelles and vesicles mainly came from the interaction of monomeric SC with DDO vesicles, whereas micellar SC contributed to the total solubilization of DDO vesicles. This research may enrich the thermodynamic mechanism behind the structure transition of the microaggregates formed by amphiphiles in the gut. It will also contribute to the design of food formulation and drug delivery system.

  1. Insight into the template effect of vesicles on the laccase-catalyzed oligomerization of N-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine from Raman spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ležaić, Aleksandra Janoševic; Luginbühl, Sandra; Bajuk-Bogdanović, Danica; Pašti, Igor; Kissner, Reinhard; Rakvin, Boris; Walde, Peter; Ćirić-Marjanović, Gordana

    2016-08-01

    We report about the first Raman spectroscopy study of a vesicle-assisted enzyme-catalyzed oligomerization reaction. The aniline dimer N-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (= p-aminodiphenylamine, PADPA) was oxidized and oligomerized with Trametes versicolor laccase and dissolved O2 in the presence of sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate (AOT) vesicles (80-100 nm diameter) as templates. The conversion of PADPA into oligomeric products, poly(PADPA), was monitored during the reaction by in situ Raman spectroscopy. The results obtained are compared with UV/vis/NIR and EPR measurements. All three complementary methods indicate that at least some of the poly(PADPA) products, formed in the presence of AOT vesicles, resemble the conductive emeraldine salt form of polyaniline (PANI-ES). The Raman measurements also show that structural units different from those of “ordinary” PANI-ES are present too. Without vesicles PANI-ES-like products are not obtained. For the first time, the as-prepared stable poly(PADPA)-AOT vesicle suspension was used directly to coat electrodes (without product isolation) for investigating redox activities of poly(PADPA) by cyclic voltammetry (CV). CV showed that poly(PADPA) produced with vesicles is redox active not only at pH 1.1-as expected for PANI-ES-but also at pH 6.0, unlike PANI-ES and poly(PADPA) synthesized without vesicles. This extended pH range of the redox activity of poly(PADPA) is important for applications.

  2. Structural and Genetic Studies Demonstrate Neurologic Dysfunction in Triosephosphate Isomerase Deficiency Is Associated with Impaired Synaptic Vesicle Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roland, Bartholomew P.; Zeccola, Alison M.; Larsen, Samantha B.; Amrich, Christopher G.; Talsma, Aaron D.; Stuchul, Kimberly A.; Heroux, Annie; Levitan, Edwin S.; VanDemark, Andrew P.; Palladino, Michael J.; Pallanck, Leo J.

    2016-03-31

    Triosephosphate isomerase (TPI) deficiency is a poorly understood disease characterized by hemolytic anemia, cardiomyopathy, neurologic dysfunction, and early death. TPI deficiency is one of a group of diseases known as glycolytic enzymopathies, but is unique for its severe patient neuropathology and early mortality. The disease is caused by missense mutations and dysfunction in the glycolytic enzyme, TPI. Previous studies have detailed structural and catalytic changes elicited by disease-associated TPI substitutions, and samples of patient erythrocytes have yielded insight into patient hemolytic anemia; however, the neuropathophysiology of this disease remains a mystery. This study combines structural, biochemical, and genetic approaches to demonstrate that perturbations of the TPI dimer interface are sufficient to elicit TPI deficiency neuropathogenesis. The present study demonstrates that neurologic dysfunction resulting from TPI deficiency is characterized by synaptic vesicle dysfunction, and can be attenuated with catalytically inactive TPI. Collectively, our findings are the first to identify, to our knowledge, a functional synaptic defect in TPI deficiency derived from molecular changes in the TPI dimer interface.

  3. Structural insights into transcription complexes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berger, I.; Blanco, A.G.; Boelens, R.; Cavarelli, J.; Coll, M.; Folkers, G.E.; Nie, Y.; Pogenberg, V.; Schultz, P.; Wilmanns, M.; Moras, D.; Poterszman, A.

    2011-01-01

    Control of transcription allows the regulation of cell activity in response to external stimuli and research in the field has greatly benefited from efforts in structural biology. In this review, based on specific examples from the European SPINE2-COMPLEXES initiative, we illustrate the impact of

  4. Structure formation in binary mixtures of surfactants: vesicle opening-up to bicelles and octopus-like micelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    Micelle formation in binary mixtures of surfactants is studied using a coarse-grained molecular simulation. When a vesicle composed of lipid and detergent types of molecules is ruptured, a disk-shaped micelle, the bicelle, is typically formed. It is found that cup-shaped vesicles and bicelles connected with worm-like micelles are also formed depending on the surfactant ratio and critical micelle concentration. The obtained octopus shape of micelles agree with those observed in the cryo-TEM images reported in [S. Jain and F. S. Bates, Macromol. 37, 1511 (2004).]. Two types of connection structures between the worm-like micelles and the bicelles are revealed.

  5. Molecular dynamics simulation of the formation, structure, and dynamics of small phospholipid vesicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marrink, SJ; Mark, AE

    2003-01-01

    Here, we use coarse grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the spontaneous aggregation of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) lipids into small unilamellar vesicles. We show that the aggregation process occurs on a nanosecond time scale, with bicelles and cuplike vesicles formed at

  6. IPE data base structure and insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehner, J.; Youngblood, R.

    1993-01-01

    A data base (the ''IPE Insights Data Base''), has been developed that stores data obtained from the Individual Plant Examinations (IPEs) which licensees of nuclear power plants are conducting in response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Generic Letter GL88-20. The data base, which is a collection of linked dbase files, stores information about individual plant designs, core damage frequency, and containment performance in a uniform, structured way. This data base can be queried and used as a computational tool to derive insights regarding the plants for which data is stored. This paper sets out the objectives of the IPE Insights Data Base, describes its structure and contents, illustrates sample queries, and discusses possible future uses

  7. IPE data base structure and insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehner, J.; Youngblood, R.

    1994-01-01

    A data base (the open-quotes IPE Insights Data Baseclose quotes), has been developed that stores data obtained from the Individual Plant Examinations (IPEs) which licensees of nuclear power plants are conducting in response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Generic Letter GL88-20. The data base, which is a collection of linked dBase files, stores information about individual plant designs, core damage frequency, and containment performance in a uniform, structured way. This data base can be queried and used as a computational tool to derive insights regarding the plants for which data is stored. This paper sets out the objectives of the IPE Insights Data Base, describes its structure and contents, illustrates sample queries, and discusses possible future uses

  8. Synthesis of magnetic core-shell structure Fe3O4@MCM-41 nanoparticle by vesicles in aqueous solutions☆

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weiming Song; Xuesong Liu; Ying Yang; Xuejia Han; Qigang Deng

    2015-01-01

    In this study, magnetic core–shel structure Fe3O4@MCM-41 nanoparticles were synthesized with vesicles as soft templates. In the preparation, FeCl2 and tetraethy orthosilicate (TEOS) were selected as Fe processor and Si pre-cursor, respectively. Stable vesicles first formed in 0.03 mol·L−1 1:2 mixture of anionic surfactant sodium dode-cyl sulfate and cationic surfactant cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide. Then, TEOS was added in the vesicle aqueous solution, leading to a highly dispersed solution. After high-temperature calcination, Fe3O4@MCM-41 nanoparticles were obtained. Their structure and morphology were characterized by Saturn Digisizer, transmis-sion electron microscope and vibrating sample magneto-meter. The results indicate that the vesicles are spherical and their size could be tuned between 20 and 50 nm. The average grain diameter of synthesize magnetic core–shel Fe3O4@MCM-41 particles is 100–150 nm and most of them are in el iptical shape. The dispersion of magnet-ic particles is very good and magnetization values are up to 33.44 emu·g−1, which are superior to that of other Fe3O4 materials reported.

  9. Transcriptome analysis of the Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus in vivo provides insights into how its apoptosis inhibitors and caspase promote increased synthesis of viral vesicles and virion progeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaghloul, Heba; Hice, Robert; Arensburger, Peter; Federici, Brian A

    2017-09-27

    that continue to produce virions. Our transcriptome analysis of genome expression in vivo by the Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus shows that inhibitors of apoptosis are expressed first enabling viral replication to proceed, after which the SfAV-1a caspase is synthesized, leading to viral vesicle synthesis and subsequent extensive production of progeny virions. Moreover, we detected numerous bicistronic and tricistronic mRNA messages in the ascovirus transcriptome, implying ascoviruses use other non-canonical translational mechanisms such as Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES). These results provide the first insights into the molecular biology of a unique coordinated gene expression pattern in which cell architecture is markedly modified, more than in any other known eukaryotic virus, to promote viral reproduction and transmission. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  10. Structure and function of ABCG2-rich extracellular vesicles mediating multidrug resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicky Goler-Baron

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Multidrug resistance (MDR is a major impediment to curative cancer chemotherapy. The ATP-Binding Cassette transporters ABCG2, ABCB1 and ABCC2 form a unique defense network against multiple structurally and functionally distinct chemotherapeutics, thereby resulting in MDR. Thus, deciphering novel mechanisms of MDR and their overcoming is a major goal of cancer research. Recently we have shown that overexpression of ABCG2 in the membrane of novel extracellular vesicles (EVs in breast cancer cells results in mitoxantrone resistance due to its dramatic sequestration in EVs. However, nothing is known about EVs structure, biogenesis and their ability to concentrate multiple antitumor agents. To this end, we here found that EVs are structural and functional homologues of bile canaliculi, are apically localized, sealed structures reinforced by an actin-based cytoskeleton and secluded from the extracellular milieu by the tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1. Apart from ABCG2, ABCB1 and ABCC2 were also selectively targeted to the membrane of EVs. Moreover, Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin protein complex selectively localized to the border of the EVs membrane, suggesting a key role for the tethering of MDR pumps to the actin cytoskeleton. The ability of EVs to concentrate and sequester different antitumor drugs was also explored. Taking advantage of the endogenous fluorescence of anticancer drugs, we found that EVs-forming breast cancer cells display high level resistance to topotecan, imidazoacridinones and methotrexate via efficient intravesicular drug concentration hence sequestering them away from their cellular targets. Thus, we identified a new modality of anticancer drug compartmentalization and resistance in which multiple chemotherapeutics are actively pumped from the cytoplasm and highly concentrated within the lumen of EVs via a network of MDR transporters differentially targeted to the EVs membrane. We propose a composite model for the structure and

  11. Structure of clathrin-coated vesicles from small-angle scattering experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, J.S.

    1993-01-01

    Previously published small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering data from coated vesicles, reassembled coats, and stripped vesicles have been analyzed in terms of one common model. The neutron data sets include contrast variation measurements at three different D2O solvent concentrations. The model...... used for interpreting the data has spherical symmetry and explicitly takes into account polydispersity, which is described by a Gaussian distribution. A constant thickness of the clathrin coats is assumed. The fitting of the model shows that the coated vesicles consist of a low-density outer protein....... Thus, the membrane and the high-density protein shell overlap in space, which shows that the lipid membrane contains protein. The molecular mass of the average particle is 27 x 10(6) Da. The coated vesicles consist, on average, of approximately 85% protein and 15% lipids. About 40% of the protein mass...

  12. Statistical thermodynamics of association colloids : the equilibrium structure of micelles, vesicles, and bilayer membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leermakers, F.A.M.

    1988-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to unravel the general equilibrium physical properties of lipid bilayer membranes. We consider four major questions:
    1. What determines the morphology of the association colloids (micelles, membranes, vesicles) in general?
    2. Do the

  13. Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen San Martín

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Adenovirus (AdV capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25, but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies.

  14. Structural insights into microtubule doublet interactions inaxonemes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, Kenneth H.; Sui, Haixin

    2007-06-06

    Coordinated sliding of microtubule doublets, driven by dynein motors, produces periodic beating of the axoneme. Recent structural studies of the axoneme have used cryo-electron tomography to reveal new details of the interactions among some of the multitude of proteins that form the axoneme and regulate its movement. Connections among the several sets of dyneins, in particular, suggest ways in which their actions may be coordinated. Study of the molecular architecture of isolated doublets has provided a structural basis for understanding the doublet's mechanical properties that are related to the bending of the axoneme, and has also offered insight into its potential role in the mechanism of dynein activity regulation.

  15. Structural basis for recognition of synaptic vesicle protein 2C by botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Roger M.; Frey, Daniel; Hilbert, Manuel; Kevenaar, Josta T.; Wieser, Mara M.; Stirnimann, Christian U.; McMillan, David; Ceska, Tom; Lebon, Florence; Jaussi, Rolf; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Schertler, Gebhard F. X.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) belongs to the most dangerous class of bioweapons. Despite this, BoNT/A is used to treat a wide range of common medical conditions such as migraines and a variety of ocular motility and movement disorders. BoNT/A is probably best known for its use as an antiwrinkle agent in cosmetic applications (including Botox and Dysport). BoNT/A application causes long-lasting flaccid paralysis of muscles through inhibiting the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by cleaving synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) within presynaptic nerve terminals. Two types of BoNT/A receptor have been identified, both of which are required for BoNT/A toxicity and are therefore likely to cooperate with each other: gangliosides and members of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) family, which are putative transporter proteins that are predicted to have 12 transmembrane domains, associate with the receptor-binding domain of the toxin. Recently, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) has also been reported to be a potential BoNT/A receptor. In SV2 proteins, the BoNT/A-binding site has been mapped to the luminal domain, but the molecular details of the interaction between BoNT/A and SV2 are unknown. Here we determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the BoNT/A receptor-binding domain (BoNT/A-RBD) in complex with the SV2C luminal domain (SV2C-LD). SV2C-LD consists of a right-handed, quadrilateral β-helix that associates with BoNT/A-RBD mainly through backbone-to-backbone interactions at open β-strand edges, in a manner that resembles the inter-strand interactions in amyloid structures. Competition experiments identified a peptide that inhibits the formation of the complex. Our findings provide a strong platform for the development of novel antitoxin agents and for the rational design of BoNT/A variants with improved therapeutic properties.

  16. An insight of in vitro transport of PEGylated non-ionic surfactant vesicles (NSVs) across the intestinal polarized enterocyte monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Primavera, Rosita; Palumbo, Paola; Celia, Christian; Cinque, Benedetta; Carata, Elisabetta; Carafa, Maria; Paolino, Donatella; Cifone, Maria Grazia; Di Marzio, Luisa

    2018-06-01

    PEGylated non-ionic surfactant-based vesicles (NSVs) are promising drug delivery systems for the local, oral and systemic administrations of therapeutics. The aim of this study was to test the cellular biocompatibility and transport of Nile Red-loaded NSVs (NR-NSVs) across the Caco-2-cell monolayers, which represent an in vitro model of human intestinal epithelium. The NR-NSVs assumed a spherical shape with a mean size of 140 nm, and a narrow size distribution. The NR-NSVs did not modify Caco-2 cell viability, which remained unaltered in vitro up to a concentration of 1 mM. The transport studies demonstrated that the NR-NSVs moved across the Caco-2 monolayers without affecting the transepithelial electrical resistance. These results were supported by flow cytometry analysis, which demonstrated that NR-NSVs were internalized inside the Caco-2 cells. Nanoparticle tracking and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analysis showed the presence of NR-NSVs in the basolateral side of the Caco-2 monolayers. TEM images also showed that NSVs were transported intact across the Caco-2 monolayers, thus demonstrating a predominant transcytosis mechanism of transport through endocytosis. The NSVs did not affect the integrity of the membrane barrier in vitro, and can potentially be used in clinics to increase the oral bioavailability and delivery of therapeutics. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Vesicle electrohydrodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalbe, Jonathan T; Vlahovska, Petia M; Miksis, Michael J

    2011-04-01

    A small amplitude perturbation analysis is developed to describe the effect of a uniform electric field on the dynamics of a lipid bilayer vesicle in a simple shear flow. All media are treated as leaky dielectrics and fluid motion is described by the Stokes equations. The instantaneous vesicle shape is obtained by balancing electric, hydrodynamic, bending, and tension stresses exerted on the membrane. We find that in the absence of ambient shear flow, it is possible that an applied stepwise uniform dc electric field could cause the vesicle shape to evolve from oblate to prolate over time if the encapsulated fluid is less conducting than the suspending fluid. For a vesicle in ambient shear flow, the electric field damps the tumbling motion, leading to a stable tank-treading state.

  18. Secretory vesicles in live cells are not free-floating but tethered to filamentous structures: A study using photonic force microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abu-Hamdah, Rania; Cho, Won Jin; Hoerber, J.K.H.; Jena, Bhanu P.

    2006-01-01

    It is well established that actin and microtubule cytoskeletal systems are involved in organelle transport and membrane trafficking in cells. This is also true for the transport of secretory vesicles in neuroendocrine cells and neurons. It was however unclear whether secretory vesicles remain free-floating, only to associate with such cytoskeletal systems when needing transport. This hypothesis was tested using live pancreatic acinar cells in physiological buffer solutions, using the photonic force microscope (PFM). When membrane-bound secretory vesicles (0.2-1.2 μm in diameter) in live pancreatic acinar cells were trapped at the laser focus of the PFM and pulled, they were all found tethered to filamentous structures. Mild exposure of cells to nocodazole and cytochalasin B, disrupts the tether. Immunoblot analysis of isolated secretory vesicles, further demonstrated the association of actin, myosin V, and kinesin. These studies demonstrate for the first time that secretory vesicles in live pancreatic acinar cells are tethered and not free-floating, suggesting that following vesicle biogenesis, they are placed on their own railroad track, ready to be transported to their final destination within the cell when required. This makes sense, since precision and regulation are the hallmarks of all cellular process, and therefore would hold true for the transport and localization of subcellular organelles such as secretory vesicles

  19. Secretory vesicles in live cells are not free-floating but tethered to filamentous structures: A study using photonic force microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abu-Hamdah, Rania [Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201 (United States); Cho, Won Jin [Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201 (United States); Hoerber, J.K.H. [Department of Physics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD (United Kingdom); Jena, Bhanu P. [Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201 (United States)]. E-mail: bjena@med.wayne.edu

    2006-06-15

    It is well established that actin and microtubule cytoskeletal systems are involved in organelle transport and membrane trafficking in cells. This is also true for the transport of secretory vesicles in neuroendocrine cells and neurons. It was however unclear whether secretory vesicles remain free-floating, only to associate with such cytoskeletal systems when needing transport. This hypothesis was tested using live pancreatic acinar cells in physiological buffer solutions, using the photonic force microscope (PFM). When membrane-bound secretory vesicles (0.2-1.2 {mu}m in diameter) in live pancreatic acinar cells were trapped at the laser focus of the PFM and pulled, they were all found tethered to filamentous structures. Mild exposure of cells to nocodazole and cytochalasin B, disrupts the tether. Immunoblot analysis of isolated secretory vesicles, further demonstrated the association of actin, myosin V, and kinesin. These studies demonstrate for the first time that secretory vesicles in live pancreatic acinar cells are tethered and not free-floating, suggesting that following vesicle biogenesis, they are placed on their own railroad track, ready to be transported to their final destination within the cell when required. This makes sense, since precision and regulation are the hallmarks of all cellular process, and therefore would hold true for the transport and localization of subcellular organelles such as secretory vesicles.

  20. Emergence and stability of intermediate open vesicles in disk-to-vesicle transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianfeng; Zhang, Hongdong; Qiu, Feng; Shi, An-Chang

    2013-07-01

    The transition between two basic structures, a disk and an enclosed vesicle, of a finite membrane is studied by examining the minimum energy path (MEP) connecting these two states. The MEP is constructed using the string method applied to continuum elastic membrane models. The results reveal that, besides the commonly observed disk and vesicle, open vesicles (bowl-shaped vesicles or vesicles with a pore) can become stable or metastable shapes. The emergence, stability, and probability distribution of these open vesicles are analyzed. It is demonstrated that open vesicles can be stabilized by higher-order elastic energies. The estimated probability distribution of the different structures is in good agreement with available experiments.

  1. Structure formation of lipid membranes: Membrane self-assembly and vesicle opening-up to octopus-like micelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2013-02-01

    We briefly review our recent studies on self-assembly and vesicle rupture of lipid membranes using coarse-grained molecular simulations. For single component membranes, lipid molecules self-assemble from random gas states to vesicles via disk-shaped clusters. Clusters aggregate into larger clusters, and subsequently the large disks close into vesicles. The size of vesicles are determined by kinetics than by thermodynamics. When a vesicle composed of lipid and detergent types of molecules is ruptured, a disk-shaped micelle called bicelle can be formed. When both surfactants have negligibly low critical micelle concentration, it is found that bicelles connected with worm-like micelles are also formed depending on the surfactant ratio and spontaneous curvature of the membrane monolayer.

  2. Methods for the physical characterization and quantification of extracellular vesicles in biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupert, Déborah L M; Claudio, Virginia; Lässer, Cecilia; Bally, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Our body fluids contain a multitude of cell-derived vesicles, secreted by most cell types, commonly referred to as extracellular vesicles. They have attracted considerable attention for their function as intercellular communication vehicles in a broad range of physiological processes and pathological conditions. Extracellular vesicles and especially the smallest type, exosomes, have also generated a lot of excitement in view of their potential as disease biomarkers or as carriers for drug delivery. In this context, state-of-the-art techniques capable of comprehensively characterizing vesicles in biological fluids are urgently needed. This review presents the arsenal of techniques available for quantification and characterization of physical properties of extracellular vesicles, summarizes their working principles, discusses their advantages and limitations and further illustrates their implementation in extracellular vesicle research. The small size and physicochemical heterogeneity of extracellular vesicles make their physical characterization and quantification an extremely challenging task. Currently, structure, size, buoyant density, optical properties and zeta potential have most commonly been studied. The concentration of vesicles in suspension can be expressed in terms of biomolecular or particle content depending on the method at hand. In addition, common quantification methods may either provide a direct quantitative measurement of vesicle concentration or solely allow for relative comparison between samples. The combination of complementary methods capable of detecting, characterizing and quantifying extracellular vesicles at a single particle level promises to provide new exciting insights into their modes of action and to reveal the existence of vesicle subpopulations fulfilling key biological tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Insight into nucleon structure from generalized parton distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.W. Negele; R.C. Brower; P. Dreher; R. Edwards; G. Fleming; Ph. Hagler; Th. Lippert; A.V.Pochinsky; D.B. Renner; D. Richards; K. Schilling; W. Schroers

    2004-01-01

    The lowest three moments of generalized parton distributions are calculated in full QCD and provide new insight into the behavior of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, the origin of the nucleon spin, and the transverse structure of the nucleon

  4. FIJI Macro 3D ART VeSElecT: 3D Automated Reconstruction Tool for Vesicle Structures of Electron Tomograms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Verena Kaltdorf

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Automatic image reconstruction is critical to cope with steadily increasing data from advanced microscopy. We describe here the Fiji macro 3D ART VeSElecT which we developed to study synaptic vesicles in electron tomograms. We apply this tool to quantify vesicle properties (i in embryonic Danio rerio 4 and 8 days past fertilization (dpf and (ii to compare Caenorhabditis elegans N2 neuromuscular junctions (NMJ wild-type and its septin mutant (unc-59(e261. We demonstrate development-specific and mutant-specific changes in synaptic vesicle pools in both models. We confirm the functionality of our macro by applying our 3D ART VeSElecT on zebrafish NMJ showing smaller vesicles in 8 dpf embryos then 4 dpf, which was validated by manual reconstruction of the vesicle pool. Furthermore, we analyze the impact of C. elegans septin mutant unc-59(e261 on vesicle pool formation and vesicle size. Automated vesicle registration and characterization was implemented in Fiji as two macros (registration and measurement. This flexible arrangement allows in particular reducing false positives by an optional manual revision step. Preprocessing and contrast enhancement work on image-stacks of 1nm/pixel in x and y direction. Semi-automated cell selection was integrated. 3D ART VeSElecT removes interfering components, detects vesicles by 3D segmentation and calculates vesicle volume and diameter (spherical approximation, inner/outer diameter. Results are collected in color using the RoiManager plugin including the possibility of manual removal of non-matching confounder vesicles. Detailed evaluation considered performance (detected vesicles and specificity (true vesicles as well as precision and recall. We furthermore show gain in segmentation and morphological filtering compared to learning based methods and a large time gain compared to manual segmentation. 3D ART VeSElecT shows small error rates and its speed gain can be up to 68 times faster in comparison to manual

  5. New insights into apoptosome structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorstyn, Loretta; Akey, Christopher W; Kumar, Sharad

    2018-05-15

    The apoptosome is a platform that activates apical procaspases in response to intrinsic cell death signals. Biochemical and structural studies in the past two decades have extended our understanding of apoptosome composition and structure, while illuminating the requirements for initiator procaspase activation. A number of studies have now provided high-resolution structures for apoptosomes from C. elegans (CED-4), D. melanogaster (Dark), and H. sapiens (Apaf-1), which define critical protein interfaces, including intra and interdomain interactions. This work also reveals interactions of apoptosomes with their respective initiator caspases, CED-3, Dronc and procaspase-9. Structures of the human apoptosome have defined the requirements for cytochrome c binding, which triggers the conversion of inactive Apaf-1 molecules to an extended, assembly competent state. While recent data have provided a detailed understanding of apoptosome formation and procaspase activation, they also highlight important evolutionary differences with functional implications for caspase activation. CARD/CARD interactions in the CED-4, Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes. Type I, II and III interfaces that stabilize CARD-CARD interactions are indicated (left column). Note that the Type I interface appears to be unique to Apaf-1/pc-9 CARD interactions. Middle column shows cartoons of the active states of the CARD-CARD disks, illustrating the two CED-4 tetrameric ring layers (top) and the recruitment of 8 Dronc CARDs and between 3-4 pc-9 CARDs, to the Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes respectively (middle and lower panels). Ribbon diagrams of the CED-4, Dark and Apaf-1 apoptosomes are shown (right column).

  6. The Structure of the Mouse Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor in Lipid Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudryashev, Mikhail; Castaño-Díez, Daniel; Deluz, Cédric; Hassaine, Gherici; Grasso, Luigino; Graf-Meyer, Alexandra; Vogel, Horst; Stahlberg, Henning

    2016-01-05

    The function of membrane proteins is best understood if their structure in the lipid membrane is known. Here, we determined the structure of the mouse serotonin 5-HT3 receptor inserted in lipid bilayers to a resolution of 12 Å without stabilizing antibodies by cryo electron tomography and subtomogram averaging. The reconstruction reveals protein secondary structure elements in the transmembrane region, the extracellular pore, and the transmembrane channel pathway, showing an overall similarity to the available X-ray model of the truncated 5-HT3 receptor determined in the presence of a stabilizing nanobody. Structural analysis of the 5-HT3 receptor embedded in a lipid bilayer allowed the position of the membrane to be determined. Interactions between the densely packed receptors in lipids were visualized, revealing that the interactions were maintained by the short horizontal helices. In combination with methodological improvements, our approach enables the structural analysis of membrane proteins in response to voltage and ligand gating. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Ultrasound-responsive ultrathin multiblock copolyamide vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lei; Yu, Chunyang; Huang, Tong; Xu, Shuting; Bai, Yongping; Zhou, Yongfeng

    2016-02-01

    This study reports the self-assembly of novel polymer vesicles from an amphiphilic multiblock copolyamide, and the vesicles show a special structure with an ultrathin wall thickness of about 4.5 nm and a combined bilayer and monolayer packing model. Most interestingly, the vesicles are ultrasound-responsive and can release the encapsulated model drugs in response to ultrasonic irradiation.This study reports the self-assembly of novel polymer vesicles from an amphiphilic multiblock copolyamide, and the vesicles show a special structure with an ultrathin wall thickness of about 4.5 nm and a combined bilayer and monolayer packing model. Most interestingly, the vesicles are ultrasound-responsive and can release the encapsulated model drugs in response to ultrasonic irradiation. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of experiments and characterization, and FT-IR, TEM, DPD, FL and micro-DSC results. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr08596a

  8. Structural modification of unilamellar and multilamellar vesicles in the presence of vitamin D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devarajan, A.; Raouf, Y. A.; Rashid, S.; Law, R. L.; Stojanoff, V.; Isakovic, A. F.; Gater, D. L.

    Chronic vitamin D deficiency is increasingly associated with a range of health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Our report contributes to a mechanistic understanding of these associations. Vitamin D is a lipophilic compound that is synthesized in the skin by the action of UV light on 7-dehydrocholesterol and obtained from dietary sources. We look at how vitamin D could be extracted from either skin membranes or therapeutic liposomes and transported through the body by its associated proteins. A variety of physical techniques (FTIR, DLS, UV-Vis spectroscopy, NMR, XRD) are brought to investigate: (a) the behavior of vitamin D in model membranes, and (b) the effect of vitamin D-associated proteins on membrane structure. Our results include: (1) vitamin D can be incorporated into DOPC membranes up to 40mol% with only minor changes in the dynamics of the lipid acyl chains; (2) liposomes containing larger quantities of vitamin D may have reduced stability over time; (3) the vitamin D binding protein and the vitamin D receptor do associate with and alter the behavior of model membranes, including systems that do not contain vitamin D. We acknowledge the support from KU-KAIST collaborative Grant program, and support from BNL staff.

  9. Insights into the structural biology of Gaucher disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laura; Mullin, Stephen; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2017-12-01

    Gaucher disease, the most common lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the acid-β-glucosidase lysosomal hydrolase enzyme that cleaves glucocerebroside into glucose and ceramide. Reduced enzyme activity and impaired structural stability arise due to >300 known disease-causing mutations. Several of these mutations have also been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson disease (PD). Since the discovery of the acid-β-glucosidase X-ray structure, there have been major advances in our understanding of the structural properties of the protein. Analysis of specific residues has provided insight into their functional and structural importance and provided insight into the pathogenesis of Gaucher disease and the contribution to PD. Disease-causing mutations are positioned throughout the acid-β-glucosidase structure, with many located far from the active site and thus retaining some enzymatic activity however, thus far no clear relationship between mutation location and disease severity has been established. Here, we review the crystal structure of acid-β-glucosidase, while highlighting important structural aspects of the protein in detail. This review discusses the structural stability of acid-β-glucosidase, which can be altered by pH and glycosylation, and explores the relationship between known Gaucher disease and PD mutations, structural stability and disease severity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Insights into the Diagnostic Potential of Extracellular Vesicles and Their miRNA Signature from Liquid Biopsy as Early Biomarkers of Diabetic Micro/Macrovascular Complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Valeria; Fierabracci, Alessandra

    2017-09-14

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent a heterogeneous population of small vesicles, consisting of a phospholipidic bilayer surrounding a soluble interior cargo. Almost all cell types release EVs, thus they are naturally present in all body fluids. Among the several potential applications, EVs could be used as drug delivery vehicles in disease treatment, in immune therapy because of their immunomodulatory properties and in regenerative medicine. In addition to general markers, EVs are characterized by the presence of specific biomarkers (proteins and miRNAs) that allow the identification of their cell or tissue origin. For these features, they represent a potential powerful diagnostic tool to monitor state and progression of specific diseases. A large body of studies supports the idea that endothelial derived (EMPs) together with platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) are deeply involved in the pathogenesis of diseases characterized by micro- and macrovascular damages, including diabetes. Existing literature suggests that the detection of circulating EMPs and PMPs and their specific miRNA profile may represent a very useful non-invasive signature to achieve information on the onset of peculiar disease manifestations. In this review, we discuss the possible utility of EVs in the early diagnosis of diabetes-associated microvascular complications, specifically related to kidney.

  11. Trafficking of astrocytic vesicles in hippocampal slices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potokar, Maja; Kreft, Marko; Lee, So-Young; Takano, Hajime; Haydon, Philip G.; Zorec, Robert

    2009-01-01

    The increasingly appreciated role of astrocytes in neurophysiology dictates a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying the communication between astrocytes and neurons. In particular, the uptake and release of signaling substances into/from astrocytes is considered as crucial. The release of different gliotransmitters involves regulated exocytosis, consisting of the fusion between the vesicle and the plasma membranes. After fusion with the plasma membrane vesicles may be retrieved into the cytoplasm and may continue to recycle. To study the mobility implicated in the retrieval of secretory vesicles, these structures have been previously efficiently and specifically labeled in cultured astrocytes, by exposing live cells to primary and secondary antibodies. Since the vesicle labeling and the vesicle mobility properties may be an artifact of cell culture conditions, we here asked whether the retrieving exocytotic vesicles can be labeled in brain tissue slices and whether their mobility differs to that observed in cell cultures. We labeled astrocytic vesicles and recorded their mobility with two-photon microscopy in hippocampal slices from transgenic mice with fluorescently tagged astrocytes (GFP mice) and in wild-type mice with astrocytes labeled by Fluo4 fluorescence indicator. Glutamatergic vesicles and peptidergic granules were labeled by the anti-vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGlut1) and anti-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) antibodies, respectively. We report that the vesicle mobility parameters (velocity, maximal displacement and track length) recorded in astrocytes from tissue slices are similar to those reported previously in cultured astrocytes.

  12. Are calcifying matrix vesicles in atherosclerotic lesions of cellular origin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobryshev, Yuri V; Killingsworth, Murray C; Huynh, Thuan G; Lord, Reginald S A; Grabs, Anthony J; Valenzuela, Stella M

    2007-03-01

    Over recent years, the role of matrix vesicles in the initial stages of arterial calcification has been recognized. Matrix calcifying vesicles have been isolated from atherosclerotic arteries and the biochemical composition of calcified vesicles has been studied. No studies have yet been carried out to examine the fine structure of matrix vesicles in order to visualize the features of the consequent stages of their calcification in arteries. In the present work, a high resolution ultrastructural analysis has been employed and the study revealed that matrix vesicles in human atherosclerotic lesions are heterogeneous with two main types which we classified. Type I calcified vesicles were presented by vesicles surrounded by two electron-dense layers and these vesicles were found to be resistant to the calcification process in atherosclerotic lesions in situ. Type II matrix vesicles were presented by vesicles surrounded by several electron-dense layers and these vesicles were found to represent calcifying vesicles in atherosclerotic lesions. To test the hypothesis that calcification of matrix vesicles surrounded by multilayer sheets may occur simply as a physicochemical process, independently from the cell regulation, we produced multilamellar liposomes and induced their calcification in vitro in a manner similar to that occurring in matrix vesicles in atherosclerotic lesions in situ.

  13. Physically-insightful equivalent circuit models for electromagnetic periodic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, F.; Rodríguez-Berral, R.; Medina, F.

    2018-02-01

    In this presentation it will be discussed how to obtain analytical or quasi-analytical equivalent circuits to deal with periodic structures such as frequency selective surfaces and/or metasurfaces. Both the topology and the values of the involved elements of these circuits are obtained from a basic rationale to solve the corresponding integral equation. This procedure, besides providing a very efficient analysis/design tool, allows for a good physical insight into the operating mechanisms of the structure in contrast with the almost blind numerical scheme of commercial simulators.

  14. Structural insights into the intertwined dimer of fyn SH2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huculeci, Radu; Garcia-Pino, Abel; Buts, Lieven; Lenaerts, Tom; van Nuland, Nico

    2015-12-01

    Src homology 2 domains are interaction modules dedicated to the recognition of phosphotyrosine sites incorporated in numerous proteins found in intracellular signaling pathways. Here we provide for the first time structural insight into the dimerization of Fyn SH2 both in solution and in crystalline conditions, providing novel crystal structures of both the dimer and peptide-bound structures of Fyn SH2. Using nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift analysis, we show how the peptide is able to eradicate the dimerization, leading to monomeric SH2 in its bound state. Furthermore, we show that Fyn SH2's dimer form differs from other SH2 dimers reported earlier. Interestingly, the Fyn dimer can be used to construct a completed dimer model of Fyn without any steric clashes. Together these results extend our understanding of SH2 dimerization, giving structural details, on one hand, and suggesting a possible physiological relevance of such behavior, on the other hand. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  15. Supramolecular Langmuir monolayers and multilayered vesicles of self-assembling DNA–lipid surface structures and their further implications in polyelectrolyte-based cell transfections

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirsoy, Fatma Funda Kaya [Ankara University, The Central Laboratory of The Institute of Biotechnology (Turkey); Eruygur, Nuraniye [Gazi University, Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy (Turkey); Süleymanoğlu, Erhan, E-mail: erhans@mail.ru [Gazi University, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy (Turkey)

    2015-01-15

    The basic interfacial characteristics of DNA–lipid recognitions have been studied. The complex structures of individual unbound DNA molecules and their binary and ternary complexes with zwitterionic lipids and divalent cations were followed by employing lipid monolayers at the air–liquid interfaces, as well as by performing various microscopic, spectroscopic, and thermodynamic measurements with multilayered vesicles. The pressure-area isotherms depicted that Mg{sup 2+}-ions increase the surface pressure of lipid films and thus give rise to electrostatic and hydrophobic lipid–DNA interactions in terms of DNA adsorption, adhesion, and compaction. These features were further approached by using multilamellar vesicles with a mean diameter of 850 nm, where a metal ion-directed nucleic acid compaction and condensation effects were shown. The data obtained show the effectiveness of Langmuir monolayers and lipid multilayers in studying nucleic acid–lipid recognitions. The data provide with further details and support previous reports on mainly structural features of these recognitions. Biomolecular surface recognition events were presented in direct link with spectral and thermodynamic features of lipid vesicle–polynucleotide complex formations. The results serve to build a theoretical model considering the use of neutral lipids in lipoplex designs as a polyelectrolyte alternatives to the currently employed cytotoxic cationic liposomes. The supramolecular structures formed and their possible roles in interfacial electrostatic and hydrophobic mechanisms of endosomal escape in relevant cell transfection assays are particularly emphasized.

  16. Supramolecular Langmuir monolayers and multilayered vesicles of self-assembling DNA–lipid surface structures and their further implications in polyelectrolyte-based cell transfections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirsoy, Fatma Funda Kaya; Eruygur, Nuraniye; Süleymanoğlu, Erhan

    2015-01-01

    The basic interfacial characteristics of DNA–lipid recognitions have been studied. The complex structures of individual unbound DNA molecules and their binary and ternary complexes with zwitterionic lipids and divalent cations were followed by employing lipid monolayers at the air–liquid interfaces, as well as by performing various microscopic, spectroscopic, and thermodynamic measurements with multilayered vesicles. The pressure-area isotherms depicted that Mg 2+ -ions increase the surface pressure of lipid films and thus give rise to electrostatic and hydrophobic lipid–DNA interactions in terms of DNA adsorption, adhesion, and compaction. These features were further approached by using multilamellar vesicles with a mean diameter of 850 nm, where a metal ion-directed nucleic acid compaction and condensation effects were shown. The data obtained show the effectiveness of Langmuir monolayers and lipid multilayers in studying nucleic acid–lipid recognitions. The data provide with further details and support previous reports on mainly structural features of these recognitions. Biomolecular surface recognition events were presented in direct link with spectral and thermodynamic features of lipid vesicle–polynucleotide complex formations. The results serve to build a theoretical model considering the use of neutral lipids in lipoplex designs as a polyelectrolyte alternatives to the currently employed cytotoxic cationic liposomes. The supramolecular structures formed and their possible roles in interfacial electrostatic and hydrophobic mechanisms of endosomal escape in relevant cell transfection assays are particularly emphasized

  17. Thermodynamics and kinetics of vesicles formation processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guida, Vincenzo

    2010-12-15

    Vesicles are hollow aggregates, composed of bilayers of amphiphilic molecules, dispersed into and filled with a liquid solvent. These aggregates can be formed either as equilibrium or as out of equilibrium meta-stable structures and they exhibit a rich variety of different morphologies. The surprising richness of structures, the vast range of industrial applications and the presence of vesicles in a number of biological systems have attracted the interest of numerous researchers and scientists. In this article, we review both the thermodynamics and the kinetics aspects of the phenomena of formation of vesicles. We start presenting the thermodynamics of bilayer membranes formation and deformation, with the aim of deriving the conditions for the existence of equilibrium vesicles. Specifically, we use the results from continuum thermodynamics to discuss the possibility of formation of stable equilibrium vesicles, from both mixed amphiphiles and single component systems. We also link the bilayer membrane properties to the molecular structure of the starting amphiphiles. In the second part of this article, we focus on the dynamics and kinetics of vesiculation. We review the process of vesicles formation both from planar lamellar phase under shear and from isotropic micelles. In order to clarify the physical mechanisms of vesicles formation, we continuously draw a parallel between emulsification and vesiculation processes. Specifically, we compare the experimental results, the driving forces and the relative scaling laws identified for the two processes. Describing the dynamics of vesicles formation, we also discuss why non equilibrium vesicles can be formed by kinetics control and why they are meta-stable. Understanding how to control the properties, the stability and the formation process of vesicles is of fundamental importance for a vast number of industrial applications. Copyright © 2009. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. New insight in magnetic saturation behavior of nickel hierarchical structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ji; Zhang, Jianxing; Liu, Chunting; Chen, Kezheng

    2017-09-01

    It is unanimously accepted that non-ferromagnetic inclusions in a ferromagnetic system will lower down total saturation magnetization in unit of emu/g. In this study, ;lattice strain; was found to be another key factor to have critical impact on magnetic saturation behavior of the system. The lattice strain determined assembling patterns of primary nanoparticles in hierarchical structures and was intimately related with the formation process of these architectures. Therefore, flower-necklace-like and cauliflower-like nickel hierarchical structures were used as prototype systems to evidence the relationship between assembling patterns of primary nanoparticles and magnetic saturation behaviors of these architectures. It was found that the influence of lattice strain on saturation magnetization outperformed that of non-ferromagnetic inclusions in these hierarchical structures. This will enable new insights into fundamental understanding of related magnetic effects.

  19. Taurocholate transport by brush-border membrane vesicles from the developing rabbit ileum: Structure/function relationships

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwarz, S.M.; Watkins, J.B.; Ling, S.C.

    1990-01-01

    To examine the ontogenesis of bile acid transport in the rabbit ileum, brush-border membrane vesicles (12- to 20-fold purified) were prepared from 14- to 49-day-old animals. Taurocholate uptake was characterized by the emergence of secondary active, Na(+)-dependent transport at the start of weaning (21 days). Transient intravesicular accumulation (overshoot) of taurocholate occurred at 5-10 s of incubation, and the overshoot maximum increased significantly from 21 days (349.2 +/- 22.4 nmol/mg protein) to 35 days (569.0 +/- 84.3 nmol/mg protein; p less than 0.001), without further increase at maturity (49 days, not equal to 607.6 +/- 136.7 nmol/mg protein). No significant taurocholate active uptake component was noted at 14 days; however, ileal vesicles from sucklings showed carrier-mediated, Na+ D-glucose cotransport. In greater than or equal to 35-day-old rabbits, osmolarity studies at 20 s of incubation showed that only approximately 12% of [14C]taurocholate uptake was secondary to bile acid-to-membrane binding. Conversely, at 20 min, greater than 95% of radiolabel incorporation represented solute bound to the external and/or internal membrane surface. Arrhenius plots establish brush-border membrane taurocholate uptake as an intrinsic, lipid-dependent process, with a slope discontinuity between 24 and 28 degrees C, similar to the membrane lipid thermotropic transition region. Steady-state fluorescence polarization studies (1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene) demonstrate a temporal association between the maturation of taurocholate uptake and age-related decreases in ileal brush-border membrane fluidity. These data indicate that maturation of bile acid secondary active transport in the rabbit ileum may be regulated, at least in part, by changes in brush-border membrane lipid dynamics

  20. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications. (paper)

  1. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  2. Oligomeric protein structure networks: insights into protein-protein interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brinda KV

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein-protein association is essential for a variety of cellular processes and hence a large number of investigations are being carried out to understand the principles of protein-protein interactions. In this study, oligomeric protein structures are viewed from a network perspective to obtain new insights into protein association. Structure graphs of proteins have been constructed from a non-redundant set of protein oligomer crystal structures by considering amino acid residues as nodes and the edges are based on the strength of the non-covalent interactions between the residues. The analysis of such networks has been carried out in terms of amino acid clusters and hubs (highly connected residues with special emphasis to protein interfaces. Results A variety of interactions such as hydrogen bond, salt bridges, aromatic and hydrophobic interactions, which occur at the interfaces are identified in a consolidated manner as amino acid clusters at the interface, from this study. Moreover, the characterization of the highly connected hub-forming residues at the interfaces and their comparison with the hubs from the non-interface regions and the non-hubs in the interface regions show that there is a predominance of charged interactions at the interfaces. Further, strong and weak interfaces are identified on the basis of the interaction strength between amino acid residues and the sizes of the interface clusters, which also show that many protein interfaces are stronger than their monomeric protein cores. The interface strengths evaluated based on the interface clusters and hubs also correlate well with experimentally determined dissociation constants for known complexes. Finally, the interface hubs identified using the present method correlate very well with experimentally determined hotspots in the interfaces of protein complexes obtained from the Alanine Scanning Energetics database (ASEdb. A few predictions of interface hot

  3. Vesicles Are Persistent Features of Different Plastids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Emelie; Solymosi, Katalin; Aronsson, Henrik

    2016-10-01

    Peripheral vesicles in plastids have been observed repeatedly, primarily in proplastids and developing chloroplasts, in which they are suggested to function in thylakoid biogenesis. Previous observations of vesicles in mature chloroplasts have mainly concerned low temperature pretreated plants occasionally treated with inhibitors blocking vesicle fusion. Here, we show that such vesicle-like structures occur not only in chloroplasts and proplastids, but also in etioplasts, etio-chloroplasts, leucoplasts, chromoplasts and even transforming desiccoplasts without any specific pretreatment. Observations are made both in C3 and C4 species, in different cell types (meristematic, epidermis, mesophyll, bundle sheath and secretory cells) and different organs (roots, stems, leaves, floral parts and fruits). Until recently not much focus has been given to the idea that vesicle transport in chloroplasts could be mediated by proteins, but recent data suggest that the vesicle system of chloroplasts has similarities with the cytosolic coat protein complex II system. All current data taken together support the idea of an ongoing, active and protein-mediated vesicle transport not only in chloroplasts but also in other plastids, obviously occurring regardless of chemical modifications, temperature and plastid developmental stage. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Structural and dynamical insights into the membrane-bound α-synuclein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Jain

    Full Text Available Membrane-induced disorder-to-helix transition of α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein, has been implicated in a number of important neuronal functions as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease. In order to obtain structural insights of membrane-bound α-synuclein at the residue-specific resolution, we took advantage of the fact that the protein is devoid of tryptophan and incorporated single tryptophan at various residue positions along the sequence. These tryptophans were used as site-specific markers to characterize the structural and dynamical aspects of α-synuclein on the negatively charged small unilamellar lipid vesicles. An array of site-specific fluorescence readouts, such as the spectral-shift, quenching efficiency and anisotropy, allowed us to discern various features of the conformational rearrangements occurring at different locations of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane. In order to define the spatial localization of various regions of the protein near the membrane surface, we utilized a unique and sensitive indicator, namely, red-edge excitation shift (REES, which originates when a fluorophore is located in a highly ordered micro-environment. The extent of REES observed at different residue positions allowed us to directly identify the residues that are localized at the membrane-water interface comprising a thin (∼ 15 Å layer of motionally restrained water molecules and enabled us to construct a dynamic hydration map of the protein. The combination of site-specific fluorescence readouts allowed us to unravel the intriguing molecular details of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane in a direct model-free fashion. Additionally, the combination of methodologies described here are capable of distinguishing subtle but important structural alterations of α-synuclein bound to different negatively charged lipids with varied head-group chemistry. We believe that the structural modulations of α-synuclein on the membrane could

  5. Cargo Release from Polymeric Vesicles under Shear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingying Guo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we study the release of cargo from polymeric nano-carriers under shear. Vesicles formed by two star block polymers— A 12 B 6 C 2 ( A B C and A 12 B 6 A 2 ( A B A —and one linear block copolymer— A 14 B 6 ( A B , are investigated using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD simulations. A - and C -blocks are solvophobic and B -block is solvophilic. The three polymers form vesicles of different structures. The vesicles are subjected to shear both in bulk and between solvophobic walls. In bulk shear, the mechanisms of cargo release are similar for all vesicles, with cargo travelling through vesicle membrane with no preferential release location. When sheared between walls, high cargo release rate is only observed with A B C vesicle after it touches the wall. For A B C vesicle, the critical condition for high cargo release rate is the formation of wall-polymersome interface after which the effect of shear rate in promoting cargo release is secondary. High release rate is achieved by the formation of solvophilic pathway allowing cargo to travel from the vesicle cavity to the vesicle exterior. The results in this paper show that well controlled target cargo release using polymersomes can be achieved with polymers of suitable design and can potentially be very useful for engineering applications. As an example, polymersomes can be used as carriers for surface active friction reducing additives which are only released at rubbing surfaces where the additives are needed most.

  6. Fusion of Nonionic Vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bulut, Sanja; Oskolkova, M. Z.; Schweins, R.

    2010-01-01

    We present an experimental study of vesicle fusion using light and neutron scattering to monitor fusion events. Vesicles are reproducibly formed with an extrusion procedure using an single amphiphile triethylene glycol mono-n-decyl ether in water. They show long-term stability for temperatures ar...... a barrier to fusion changing from 15 k(B)T at T = 26 degrees C to 10k(H) T at T = 35 degrees C. These results are compatible with the theoretical predictions using the stalk model of vesicle fusion....

  7. Structural Insights into Arl1-Mediated Targeting of the Arf-GEF BIG1 to the trans-Golgi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Galindo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The GTPase Arf1 is the major regulator of vesicle traffic at both the cis- and trans-Golgi. Arf1 is activated at the cis-Golgi by the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF GBF1 and at the trans-Golgi by the related GEF BIG1 or its paralog, BIG2. The trans-Golgi-specific targeting of BIG1 and BIG2 depends on the Arf-like GTPase Arl1. We find that Arl1 binds to the dimerization and cyclophilin binding (DCB domain in BIG1 and report a crystal structure of human Arl1 bound to this domain. Residues in the DCB domain that bind Arl1 are required for BIG1 to locate to the Golgi in vivo. DCB domain-binding residues in Arl1 have a distinct conformation from those in known Arl1-effector complexes, and this plasticity allows Arl1 to interact with different effectors of unrelated structure. The findings provide structural insight into how Arf1 GEFs, and hence active Arf1, achieve their correct subcellular distribution.

  8. Insight into the Disciplinary Structure of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunjuan Luan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper aims to gain an insight into the disciplinary structure of nanoscience & nanotechnology (N&N: What is the disciplinary network of N&N like? Which disciplines are being integrated into N&N over time? For a specific discipline, how many other disciplines have direct or indirect connections with it? What are the distinct subgroups of N&N at different evolutionary stages? Such critical issues are to be addressed in this paper. Design/methodology/approach: We map the disciplinary network structure of N&N by employing the social network analysis tool, Netdraw, identifying which Web of Science Categories (WCs mediate nbetweenness centrality in different stages of nano development. Cliques analysis embedded in the Ucinet program is applied to do the disciplinary cluster analysis in the study according to the path of “Network-Subgroup-Cliques,” and a tree diagram is selected as the visualizing type. Findings: The disciplinary network structure reveals the relationships among different disciplines in the N&N developing process clearly, and it is easy for us to identify which disciplines are connected with the core “N&N” directly or indirectly. The tree diagram showing N&N related disciplines provides an interesting perspective on nano research and development (R&D structure. Research limitations: The matrices used to draw the N&N disciplinary network are the original ones, and normalized matrix could be tried in future similar studies. Practical implications: Results in this paper can help us better understand the disciplinary structure of N&N, and the dynamic evolution of N&N related disciplines over time. The findings could benefit R&D decision making. It can support policy makers from government agencies engaging in science and technology (S&T management or S&T strategy planners to formulate efficient decisions according to a perspective of converging sciences and technologies. Originality/value: The novelty of this study

  9. Hybrid, Nanoscale Phospholipid/Block Copolymer Vesicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Liedberg

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Hybrid phospholipid/block copolymer vesicles, in which the polymeric membrane is blended with phospholipids, display interesting self-assembly behavior, incorporating the robustness and chemical versatility of polymersomes with the softness and biocompatibility of liposomes. Such structures can be conveniently characterized by preparing giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs via electroformation. Here, we are interested in exploring the self-assembly and properties of the analogous nanoscale hybrid vesicles (ca. 100 nm in diameter of the same composition prepared by film-hydration and extrusion. We show that the self-assembly and content-release behavior of nanoscale polybutadiene-b-poly(ethylene oxide (PB-PEO/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC hybrid phospholipid/block copolymer vesicles can be tuned by the mixing ratio of the amphiphiles. In brief, these hybrids may provide alternative tools for drug delivery purposes and molecular imaging/sensing applications and clearly open up new avenues for further investigation.

  10. Insights into structural variations and genome rearrangements in prokaryotic genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Periwal, Vinita; Scaria, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    Structural variations (SVs) are genomic rearrangements that affect fairly large fragments of DNA. Most of the SVs such as inversions, deletions and translocations have been largely studied in context of genetic diseases in eukaryotes. However, recent studies demonstrate that genome rearrangements can also have profound impact on prokaryotic genomes, leading to altered cell phenotype. In contrast to single-nucleotide variations, SVs provide a much deeper insight into organization of bacterial genomes at a much better resolution. SVs can confer change in gene copy number, creation of new genes, altered gene expression and many other functional consequences. High-throughput technologies have now made it possible to explore SVs at a much refined resolution in bacterial genomes. Through this review, we aim to highlight the importance of the less explored field of SVs in prokaryotic genomes and their impact. We also discuss its potential applicability in the emerging fields of synthetic biology and genome engineering where targeted SVs could serve to create sophisticated and accurate genome editing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. MiRNAs and piRNAs from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell extracellular vesicles induce cell survival and inhibit cell differentiation of cord blood hematopoietic stem cells: a new insight in transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Luciana; Trino, Stefania; Laurenzana, Ilaria; Simeon, Vittorio; Calice, Giovanni; Raimondo, Stefania; Podestà, Marina; Santodirocco, Michele; Di Mauro, Lazzaro; La Rocca, Francesco; Caivano, Antonella; Morano, Annalisa; Frassoni, Francesco; Cilloni, Daniela; Del Vecchio, Luigi; Musto, Pellegrino

    2016-02-09

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), including umbilical cord blood CD34+ stem cells (UCB-CD34+), are used for the treatment of several diseases. Although different studies suggest that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) support hematopoiesis, the exact mechanism remains unclear. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been described as a novel avenue of cell communication, which may mediate BM-MSC effect on HSC. In this work, we studied the interaction between UCB-CD34+ cells and BM-MSC derived EVs. First, by sequencing EV derived miRNAs and piRNAs we found that EVs contain RNAs able to influence UCB-CD34+ cell fate. Accordingly, a gene expression profile of UCB-CD34+ cells treated with EVs, identified about 100 down-regulated genes among those targeted by EV-derived miRNAs and piRNAs (e.g. miR-27b/MPL, miR-21/ANXA1, miR-181/EGR2), indicating that EV content was able to modify gene expression profile of receiving cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that UCB-CD34+ cells, exposed to EVs, significantly changed different biological functions, becoming more viable and less differentiated. UCB-CD34+ gene expression profile also identified 103 up-regulated genes, most of them codifying for chemokines, cytokines and their receptors, involved in chemotaxis of different BM cells, an essential function of hematopoietic reconstitution. Finally, the exposure of UCB-CD34+ cells to EVs caused an increased expression CXCR4, paralleled by an in vivo augmented migration from peripheral blood to BM niche in NSG mice. This study demonstrates the existence of a powerful cross talk between BM-MSC and UCB-CD34+ cells, mediated by EVs, providing new insight in the biology of cord blood transplantation.

  12. Hierarchical unilamellar vesicles of controlled compositional heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maik Hadorn

    Full Text Available Eukaryotic life contains hierarchical vesicular architectures (i.e. organelles that are crucial for material production and trafficking, information storage and access, as well as energy production. In order to perform specific tasks, these compartments differ among each other in their membrane composition and their internal cargo and also differ from the cell membrane and the cytosol. Man-made structures that reproduce this nested architecture not only offer a deeper understanding of the functionalities and evolution of organelle-bearing eukaryotic life but also allow the engineering of novel biomimetic technologies. Here, we show the newly developed vesicle-in-water-in-oil emulsion transfer preparation technique to result in giant unilamellar vesicles internally compartmentalized by unilamellar vesicles of different membrane composition and internal cargo, i.e. hierarchical unilamellar vesicles of controlled compositional heterogeneity. The compartmentalized giant unilamellar vesicles were subsequently isolated by a separation step exploiting the heterogeneity of the membrane composition and the encapsulated cargo. Due to the controlled, efficient, and technically straightforward character of the new preparation technique, this study allows the hierarchical fabrication of compartmentalized giant unilamellar vesicles of controlled compositional heterogeneity and will ease the development of eukaryotic cell mimics that resemble their natural templates as well as the fabrication of novel multi-agent drug delivery systems for combination therapies and complex artificial microreactors.

  13. Determination of the unilamellar dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine vesicle structure from the small-angle scattering data in the framework of a model of separated form-factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zemlyanaya, E.V.; Kiselev, M.A.

    2002-01-01

    On the basis of the model of separated form-factors, a code for fitting of small-angle neutron scattering spectra of the polydispersed vesicle population has been developed with corrections to the resolution function of the YuMO spectrometer. Vesicle and membrane bilayer parameters have been analyzed for various hierarchical models of the neutron scattering length density across the membrane. It was shown that hydration of vesicle can be described by the linear distribution function of water molecules. For the first time from the small-angle experiment, without additional methods, the average radius and polydispersity of the vesicle population, thickness of the membrane bilayer, thickness of hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts of bilayer, water distribution function and number of water molecules in the hydrophilic part have been calculated. (author)

  14. Seminal vesicle cycts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alpern, M.B.; Dorfman, R.E.; Gross, B.H.; Gottlieb, C.A.; Sandler, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    PURPOSE: Adult polycystic kidney disease (APKCD), an autosomal dominant disorder, causes cyst formation in the kidney, liver, pancreas, esophagus, ovaries, uterus, and brain. This paper describes four APKCD patients with CT evidence of seminal vesicle cysts (SVCs). Four patients (aged 45-65 years) underwent abdominal/pelvic CT with oral and intravenous contrast material. Three were evaluated for possible renal transplantation and one for sepsis material. All seminal vesicles contained cystic masses with fluid that measured between 0 and 30 HU. Seminal vesicle thickness was 3-4 cm (normal, 1.5 cm). High-density walls separated the 3-12-mm diameter cysts. All patients demonstrated typical renal stigmata of APKCD. One patient had hepatic cysts, and none had cysts elsewhere. Postmortem examination in one patient confirmed the SVCs

  15. Modeling Insight into Battery Electrolyte Electrochemical Stability and Interfacial Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodin, Oleg; Ren, Xiaoming; Vatamanu, Jenel; von Wald Cresce, Arthur; Knap, Jaroslaw; Xu, Kang

    2017-12-19

    Electroactive interfaces distinguish electrochemistry from chemistry and enable electrochemical energy devices like batteries, fuel cells, and electric double layer capacitors. In batteries, electrolytes should be either thermodynamically stable at the electrode interfaces or kinetically stable by forming an electronically insulating but ionically conducting interphase. In addition to a traditional optimization of electrolytes by adding cosolvents and sacrificial additives to preferentially reduce or oxidize at the electrode surfaces, knowledge of the local electrolyte composition and structure within the double layer as a function of voltage constitutes the basis of manipulating an interphase and expanding the operating windows of electrochemical devices. In this work, we focus on how the molecular-scale insight into the solvent and ion partitioning in the electrolyte double layer as a function of applied potential could predict changes in electrolyte stability and its initial oxidation and reduction reactions. In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, highly concentrated lithium aqueous and nonaqueous electrolytes were found to exclude the solvent molecules from directly interacting with the positive electrode surface, which provides an additional mechanism for extending the electrolyte oxidation stability in addition to the well-established simple elimination of "free" solvent at high salt concentrations. We demonstrate that depending on their chemical structures, the anions could be designed to preferentially adsorb or desorb from the positive electrode with increasing electrode potential. This provides additional leverage to dictate the order of anion oxidation and to effectively select a sacrificial anion for decomposition. The opposite electrosorption behaviors of bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide (TFSI) and trifluoromethanesulfonate (OTF) as predicted by MD simulation in highly concentrated aqueous electrolytes were confirmed by surface enhanced infrared

  16. Vesicle-based rechargeable batteries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanish, I.; Singh, A. [Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Lowy, D.A. [Nova Research, Inc., 1900 Elkin St., Alexandria, VA 22308 (United States); Hung, C.W. [Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2005-05-02

    Vesicle-based rechargeable batteries can be fabricated by mounting polymerized vesicles filled with ferrocyanide or ferricyanide to a conductive surface. The potential can be adjusted by changing the concentration ratio of hydroquinone and benzoquinone bound to the vesicle membranes. These batteries show promise as a means of supplying portable power for future autonomous nanosystems. (Abstract Copyright [2005], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  17. The freezing process of small lipid vesicles at molecular resolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Risselada, H. Jelger; Marrink, Siewert J.

    2009-01-01

    At present very little is known about the kinetic barriers which a small vesicle will face during the transformation from the liquid-crystalline to the gel phase, and what the structure of frozen vesicles looks like at the molecular level. The formation of gel domains in the strongly curved bilayer

  18. Interaction of a potyviral VPg with anionic phospholipid vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rantalainen, Kimmo I.; Christensen, Peter A.; Hafren, Anders; Otzen, Daniel E.; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Maekinen, Kristiina

    2009-01-01

    The viral genome-linked protein (VPg) of Potato virus A (PVA) is a multifunctional protein that belongs to a class of intrinsically disordered proteins. Typically, this type of protein gains a more stable structure upon interactions or posttranslational modifications. In a membrane lipid strip overlay binding assay, PVA VPg was found to bind phosphatidylserine (PS), but not phosphatidylcholine (PC). According to circular dichroism spectroscopy, the secondary structure of PVA VPg was stabilized upon interactions with PS and phosphatidylglycerol (PG), but not with PC vesicles. It is possible that this stabilization favored the formation of α-helical structures. Limited tryptic digestion showed that the interaction with anionic vesicles protected certain, otherwise accessible, trypsin cleavage sites. An electron microscopy study revealed that interaction with VPg substantially increased the vesicle diameter and caused the formation of pore or plaque-like electron dense spots on the vesicle surface, which gradually led to disruption of the vesicles.

  19. EXTRACELLULAR VESICLES: CLASSIFICATION, FUNCTIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Oberemko

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This review presents a generalized definition of vesicles as bilayer extracellular organelles of all celular forms of life: not only eu-, but also prokaryotic. The structure and composition of extracellular vesicles, history of research, nomenclature, their impact on life processes in health and disease are discussed. Moreover, vesicles may be useful as clinical instruments for biomarkers, and they are promising as biotechnological drug. However, many questions in this area are still unresolved and need to be addressed in the future. The most interesting from the point of view of practical health care represents a direction to study the effect of exosomes and microvesicles in the development and progression of a particular disease, the possibility of adjusting the pathological process by means of extracellular vesicles of a particular type, acting as an active ingredient. Relevant is the further elucidation of the role and importance of exosomes to the surrounding cells, tissues and organs at the molecular level, the prospects for the use of non-cellular vesicles as biomarkers of disease.

  20. New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins : A comparative characterisation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Constant, Sandra|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/374650519; Wienk, Hans L J|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/203884884; Frissen, Augustinus E.; Peinder, Peter De|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325810818; Boelens, Rolf|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/070151407; Van Es, Daan S.; Grisel, Ruud J H; Weckhuysen, Bert M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/285484397; Huijgen, Wouter J J; Gosselink, Richard J A; Bruijnincx, Pieter C A|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/33799529X

    2016-01-01

    Detailed insight into the structure and composition of industrial (technical) lignins is needed to devise efficient thermal, bio- or chemocatalytic valorisation strategies. Six such technical lignins covering three main industrial pulping methods (Indulin AT Kraft, Protobind 1000 soda lignin and

  1. New insights into the structure and composition of technical lignins: a comparative characterisation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Constant, Sandra; Wienk, Hans L.J.; Frissen, A.E.; Peinder, de Peter; Boelens, Rolf; Es, van D.S.; Grisel, Ruud J.H.; Weckhuysen, Bert M.; Huijgen, W.J.J.; Gosselink, R.J.A.; Bruijnincx, Pieter C.A.

    2016-01-01

    Detailed insight into the structure and composition of industrial (technical) lignins is needed to devise efficient thermal, bio- or chemocatalytic valorisation strategies. Six such technical lignins covering three main industrial pulping methods (Indulin AT Kraft, Protobind 1000 soda lignin and

  2. FAT/CD36 is localized in sarcolemma and in vesicle-like structures in subsarcolemma regions but not in mitochondria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, Jacob; Mogensen, Martin; Prats, Clara

    2010-01-01

    was performed on single muscle fibers dissected from soleus muscle of lean and obese Zucker rats and from the vastus lateralis muscle from humans. Co-staining against FAT/CD36 and MitoNEET clearly show that FAT/CD36 is highly present in sarcolemma and it also associates with some vesicle-like intracellular...

  3. Insights into Chromatin Structure and Dynamics in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Rosa

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The packaging of chromatin into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell requires an extraordinary degree of compaction and physical organization. In recent years, it has been shown that this organization is dynamically orchestrated to regulate responses to exogenous stimuli as well as to guide complex cell-type-specific developmental programs. Gene expression is regulated by the compartmentalization of functional domains within the nucleus, by distinct nucleosome compositions accomplished via differential modifications on the histone tails and through the replacement of core histones by histone variants. In this review, we focus on these aspects of chromatin organization and discuss novel approaches such as live cell imaging and photobleaching as important tools likely to give significant insights into our understanding of the very dynamic nature of chromatin and chromatin regulatory processes. We highlight the contribution plant studies have made in this area showing the potential advantages of plants as models in understanding this fundamental aspect of biology.

  4. Electron Microscopy Structural Insights into CPAP Oligomeric Behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alvarez-Cabrera, Ana L; Delgado, Sandra; Gil-Carton, David

    2017-01-01

    Centrosomal P4.1-associated protein (CPAP) is a cell cycle regulated protein fundamental for centrosome assembly and centriole elongation. In humans, the region between residues 897-1338 of CPAP mediates interactions with other proteins and includes a homodimerization domain. CPAP mutations cause...... into clearly different regular 3D maps (putatively corresponding to dimers and tetramers) and direct observation of individual images representing other complexes of HsCPAP(897-1338) (i.e., putative flexible monomers and higher-order multimers), we report a dynamic oligomeric behavior of this protein, where...... of different oligomers of CPAP, suggesting further insights to understand how this protein works, contributing to the elucidation of control mechanisms for centriole biogenesis....

  5. Freeze-thaw cycles induce content exchange between cell-sized lipid vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litschel, Thomas; Ganzinger, Kristina A.; Movinkel, Torgeir; Heymann, Michael; Robinson, Tom; Mutschler, Hannes; Schwille, Petra

    2018-05-01

    Early protocells are commonly assumed to consist of an amphiphilic membrane enclosing an RNA-based self-replicating genetic system and a primitive metabolism without protein enzymes. Thus, protocell evolution must have relied on simple physicochemical self-organization processes within and across such vesicular structures. We investigate freeze-thaw (FT) cycling as a potential environmental driver for the necessary content exchange between vesicles. To this end, we developed a conceptually simple yet statistically powerful high-throughput procedure based on nucleic acid-containing giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) as model protocells. GUVs are formed by emulsion transfer in glass bottom microtiter plates and hence can be manipulated and monitored by fluorescence microscopy without additional pipetting and sample handling steps. This new protocol greatly minimizes artefacts, such as unintended GUV rupture or fusion by shear forces. Using DNA-encapsulating phospholipid GUVs fabricated by this method, we quantified the extent of content mixing between GUVs under different FT conditions. We found evidence of nucleic acid exchange in all detected vesicles if fast freezing of GUVs at ‑80 °C is followed by slow thawing at room temperature. In contrast, slow freezing and fast thawing both adversely affected content mixing. Surprisingly, and in contrast to previous reports for FT-induced content mixing, we found that the content is not exchanged through vesicle fusion and fission, but that vesicles largely maintain their membrane identity and even large molecules are exchanged via diffusion across the membranes. Our approach supports efficient screening of prebiotically plausible molecules and environmental conditions, to yield universal mechanistic insights into how cellular life may have emerged.

  6. Structural insight into catalytic mechanism of PET hydrolase

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Xu; Liu, Weidong; Huang, Jian-Wen; Ma, Jiantao; Zheng, Yingying; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Xu, Limin; Cheng, Ya-Shan; Chen, Chun-Chi; Guo, Rey-Ting

    2017-01-01

    PET hydrolase (PETase), which hydrolyzes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into soluble building blocks, provides an attractive avenue for the bioconversion of plastics. Here we present the structures of a novel PETase from the PET-consuming microbe Ideonella sakaiensis in complex with substrate and product analogs. Through structural analyses, mutagenesis, and activity measurements, a substrate-binding mode is proposed, and several features critical for catalysis are elucidated.

  7. Structural insight into catalytic mechanism of PET hydrolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xu; Liu, Weidong; Huang, Jian-Wen; Ma, Jiantao; Zheng, Yingying; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Xu, Limin; Cheng, Ya-Shan; Chen, Chun-Chi; Guo, Rey-Ting

    2017-12-13

    PET hydrolase (PETase), which hydrolyzes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into soluble building blocks, provides an attractive avenue for the bioconversion of plastics. Here we present the structures of a novel PETase from the PET-consuming microbe Ideonella sakaiensis in complex with substrate and product analogs. Through structural analyses, mutagenesis, and activity measurements, a substrate-binding mode is proposed, and several features critical for catalysis are elucidated.

  8. New Insight into Carbon Nanotube Electronic Structure Selectivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sumpter, Bobby G [ORNL; Meunier, Vincent [ORNL; Jiang, Deen [ORNL

    2009-01-01

    The fundamental role of aryl diazonium salts for post synthesis selectivity of carbon nanotubes is investigated using extensive electronic structure calculations. The resulting understanding for diazonium salt based selective separation of conducting and semiconducting carbon nanotubes shows how the primary contributions come from the interplay between the intrinsic electronic structure of the carbon nanotubes and that of the anion of the salt. We demonstrate how the electronic transport properties change upon the formation of charge transfer complexes and upon their conversion into covalently attached functional groups. Our results are found to correlate well with experiments and provide for the first time an atomistic description for diazonium salt based chemical separation of carbon nanotubes

  9. Structural insight into the UNC-45–myosin complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fratev, Filip; Jonsdottir, Svava Osk; Pajeva, Ilza

    2013-01-01

    The UNC-45 chaperone protein interacts with and affects the folding, stability, and the ATPase activity of myosins. It plays a critical role in the cardiomyopathy development and in the breast cancer tumor growth. Here we propose the first structural model of the UNC-45–myosin complex using various...... is mainly stabilized by electrostatic interactions. Remarkably, the contact surface area is similar to that of the myosinactin complex. A significant interspecies difference in the myosin binding epitope is observed. Our results reveal the structural basis of MYH7 exons 15–16 hypertrophic cardiomyopathy...... mutations and provide directions for drug targeting. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc....

  10. Plane partition vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rensburg, E J Janse van; Ma, J

    2006-01-01

    We examine partitions and their natural three-dimensional generalizations, plane partitions, as models of vesicles undergoing an inflation-deflation transition. The phase diagrams of these models include a critical point corresponding to an inflation-deflation transition, and exhibits multicritical scaling in the vicinity of a multicritical point located elsewhere on the critical curve. We determine the locations of the multicritical points by analysing the generating functions using analytic and numerical means. In addition, we determine the numerical values of the multicritical scaling exponents associated with the multicritical scaling regimes in these models

  11. New insight on bismuth cuprates with incommensurate modulated structures

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mironov, A. V.; Petříček, Václav; Khasanova, N. R.; Antipov, E. V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 72, č. 3 (2016), s. 395-403 ISSN 2052-5206 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : modulated structure * high Tc superconductor * superspace approach Subject RIV: BM - Solid Matter Physics ; Magnetism Impact factor: 2.032, year: 2016

  12. Structural insight into the mechanism of synergistic autoinhibition of SAD kinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jing-Xiang; Cheng, Yun-Sheng; Wang, Jue; Chen, Lei; Ding, Mei; Wu, Jia-Wei

    2015-12-02

    The SAD/BRSK kinases participate in various important life processes, including neural development, cell cycle and energy metabolism. Like other members of the AMPK family, SAD contains an N-terminal kinase domain followed by the characteristic UBA and KA1 domains. Here we identify a unique autoinhibitory sequence (AIS) in SAD kinases, which exerts autoregulation in cooperation with UBA. Structural studies of mouse SAD-A revealed that UBA binds to the kinase domain in a distinct mode and, more importantly, AIS nestles specifically into the KD-UBA junction. The cooperative action of AIS and UBA results in an 'αC-out' inactive kinase, which is conserved across species and essential for presynaptic vesicle clustering in C. elegans. In addition, the AIS, along with the KA1 domain, is indispensable for phospholipid binding. Taken together, these data suggest a model for synergistic autoinhibition and membrane activation of SAD kinases.

  13. Structural Insights Into The Bacterial Carbon-Phosphorus Lyase Machinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodersen, Ditlev Egeskov

    the proteins encoded in the phn operon act in concert to catabolise phosphonate remain unknown. We have determined the crystal structure of a 240 kDa Escherichia coli carbon-phosphorus lyase core complex at 1.7 Å and show that it comprises a highly intertwined network of subunits with several unexpected......Phosphonate compounds act as a nutrient source for some microorganisms when phosphate is limiting but require a specialised enzymatic machinery due to the presence of the highly stable carbon-phosphorus bond. Despite the fundamental importance to microbial metabolism, the details of how...... structural features. The complex contains at least two different active sites and suggest a revision of current models of carbon-phosphorus bond cleavage. Using electron microscopy, we map the binding site of an additional protein subunit, which may use ATP for driving conformational changes during...

  14. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K. (Michigan); (NIH); (Michigan-Med)

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  15. Insight into the Geothermal Structure in Chingshui, Ilan, Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Lun-Tao Tong; Shoung Ouyang; Tai-Rong Guo; Ching-Ray Lee; Kou-Hsin Hu; Chun-Li Lee; Chun-Jao Wang

    2008-01-01

    The Chingshui geothermal field is the largest known productive geothermal area in Taiwan. The purpose of this paper is to delineate this geothermal structure by integrating geophysical data and borehole information. The existence of a magma chamber in the shallow crust and shallow intrusive igneous rock results in a high heat flow and geothermal gradient; furthermore, the NE deep fault system within the meta-sandstones provides meteoric recharge from a higher elevation to artesianally drive t...

  16. Insight into mitochondrial structure and function from electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, T G; Renken, C W; Perkins, G A

    2002-09-10

    In recent years, electron tomography has provided detailed three-dimensional models of mitochondria that have redefined our concept of mitochondrial structure. The models reveal an inner membrane consisting of two components, the inner boundary membrane (IBM) closely apposed to the outer membrane and the cristae membrane that projects into the matrix compartment. These two components are connected by tubular structures of relatively uniform size called crista junctions. The distribution of crista junction sizes and shapes is predicted by a thermodynamic model based upon the energy of membrane bending, but proteins likely also play a role in determining the conformation of the inner membrane. Results of structural studies of mitochondria during apoptosis demonstrate that cytochrome c is released without detectable disruption of the outer membrane or extensive swelling of the mitochondrial matrix, suggesting the formation of an outer membrane pore large enough to allow passage of holo-cytochrome c. The possible compartmentation of inner membrane function between the IBM and the cristae membrane is also discussed.

  17. Hyperactive antifreeze proteins from longhorn beetles: some structural insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristiansen, Erlend; Wilkens, Casper; Vincents, Bjarne; Friis, Dennis; Lorentzen, Anders Blomkild; Jenssen, Håvard; Løbner-Olesen, Anders; Ramløv, Hans

    2012-11-01

    This study reports on structural characteristics of hyperactive antifreeze proteins (AFPs) from two species of longhorn beetles. In Rhagium mordax, eight unique mRNAs coding for five different mature AFPs were identified from cold-hardy individuals. These AFPs are apparently homologues to a previously characterized AFP from the closely related species Rhagium inquisitor, and consist of six identifiable repeats of a putative ice binding motif TxTxTxT spaced irregularly apart by segments varying in length from 13 to 20 residues. Circular dichroism spectra show that the AFPs from both species have a high content of β-sheet and low levels of α-helix and random coil. Theoretical predictions of residue-specific secondary structure locate these β-sheets within the putative ice-binding motifs and the central parts of the segments separating them, consistent with an overall β-helical structure with the ice-binding motifs stacked in a β-sheet on one side of the coil. Molecular dynamics models based on these findings show that these AFPs would be energetically stable in a β-helical conformation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Amyloid Structure and Assembly: Insights from Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldsbury, C.; Wall, J.; Baxa, U.; Simon, M. N.; Steven, A. C.; Engel, A.; Aebi, U.; Muller, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  19. Structural insights into the recognition of phosphopeptide by the FHA domain of kanadaptin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Qingping; Deller, Marc C; Nielsen, Tine K

    2014-01-01

    with a phosphopeptide mimic derived from a peptide segment from the N-terminus of a symmetry-related molecule as well as a sulfate bound to the structurally conserved phosphothreonine recognition cleft. This structure provides insights into the molecular recognition features utilized by this family of proteins...

  20. Structural insight into the Clostridium difficile ethanolamine utilisation microcompartment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison C Pitts

    Full Text Available Bacterial microcompartments form a protective proteinaceous barrier around metabolic enzymes that process unstable or toxic chemical intermediates. The genome of the virulent, multidrug-resistant Clostridium difficile 630 strain contains an operon, eut, encoding a bacterial microcompartment with genes for the breakdown of ethanolamine and its utilisation as a source of reduced nitrogen and carbon. The C. difficile eut operon displays regulatory genetic elements and protein encoding regions in common with homologous loci found in the genomes of other bacteria, including the enteric pathogens Salmonella enterica and Enterococcus faecalis. The crystal structures of two microcompartment shell proteins, CD1908 and CD1918, and an uncharacterised protein with potential enzymatic activity, CD1925, were determined by X-ray crystallography. CD1908 and CD1918 display the same protein fold, though the order of secondary structure elements is permuted in CD1908 and this protein displays an N-terminal β-strand extension. These proteins form hexamers with molecules related by crystallographic and non-crystallographic symmetry. The structure of CD1925 has a cupin β-barrel fold and a putative active site that is distinct from the metal-ion dependent catalytic cupins. Thin-section transmission electron microscopy of Escherichia coli over-expressing eut proteins indicates that CD1918 is capable of self-association into arrays, suggesting an organisational role for CD1918 in the formation of this microcompartment. The work presented provides the basis for further study of the architecture and function of the C. difficile eut microcompartment, its role in metabolism and the wider consequences of intestinal colonisation and virulence in this pathogen.

  1. Structural insights into the bacterial carbon - phosphorus lyase machinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seweryn, Paulina; Van, Lan Bich; Kjeldgaard, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus is required for all life and microorganisms can extract it from their environment through several metabolic pathways. When phosphate is in limited supply, some bacteria are able to use phosphonate compounds, which require specialized enzymatic machinery to break the stable carbon......–phosphorus (C–P) bond. Despite its importance, the details of how this machinery catabolizes phosphonates remain unknown. Here we determine the crystal structure of the 240-kilodalton Escherichia coli C–P lyase core complex (PhnG–PhnH–PhnI–PhnJ; PhnGHIJ), and show that it is a two-fold symmetric hetero...

  2. Structural insights into the β-xylosidase from Trichoderma reesei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojas, Adriana L.; Fischer, Hannes; Polikarpov, Igor; Craievich, Aldo Felix

    2005-01-01

    Xylan is a major structural polysaccharide in plant cells, and is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, accounting for approximately one-third of all renewable organic carbon on earth. Xylan together with cellulose (1,4-β-glucan) and lignin (a complex polyphenolic compound) make up the major polymeric constituents of plant cell walls, recently, there was a significant industrial interest in Xylan and its hydrolytic enzymatic complex, as a supplement in animal feed, for the manufacture of bread, food and drinks, textiles, bleaching of cellulose pulp, ethanol and xylitol production. (author)

  3. Structural insights into the {beta}-xylosidase from Trichoderma reesei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojas, Adriana L.; Fischer, Hannes; Polikarpov, Igor [Sao Paulo Univ. (USP), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica; Eneiskaya, Elena V.; Kulminskaya, Anna A.; Shabalin, Konstantin A.; Neustroev, Kirill N.; Golubev, Alexander M. [Petersburg Nuclear Physics Inst., Moskow (Russian Federation); Craievich, Aldo Felix [Sao Paulo Univ. (USP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica

    2005-07-01

    Xylan is a major structural polysaccharide in plant cells, and is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, accounting for approximately one-third of all renewable organic carbon on earth. Xylan together with cellulose (1,4-{beta}-glucan) and lignin (a complex polyphenolic compound) make up the major polymeric constituents of plant cell walls, recently, there was a significant industrial interest in Xylan and its hydrolytic enzymatic complex, as a supplement in animal feed, for the manufacture of bread, food and drinks, textiles, bleaching of cellulose pulp, ethanol and xylitol production. (author)

  4. Structural and Functional Insights into Foamy Viral Integrase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cha-Gyun Shin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Successful integration of retroviral DNA into the host chromosome is an essential step for viral replication. The process is mediated by virally encoded integrase (IN and orchestrated by 3'-end processing and the strand transfer reaction. In vitro reaction conditions, such as substrate specificity, cofactor usage, and cellular binding partners for such reactions by the three distinct domains of prototype foamy viral integrase (PFV-IN have been described well in several reports. Recent studies on the three‑dimensional structure of the interacting complexes between PFV-IN and DNA, cofactors, binding partners, or inhibitors have explored the mechanistic details of such interactions and shown its utilization as an important target to develop anti-retroviral drugs. The presence of a potent, non-transferable nuclear localization signal in the PFV C-terminal domain extends its use as a model for investigating cellular trafficking of large molecular complexes through the nuclear pore complex and also to identify novel cellular targets for such trafficking. This review focuses on recent advancements in the structural analysis and in vitro functional aspects of PFV-IN.

  5. Artemin Crystal Structure Reveals Insights into Heparan Sulfate Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvian,L.; Jin, P.; Carmillo, P.; Boriack-Sjodin, P.; Pelletier, C.; Rushe, M.; Gong, B.; Sah, D.; Pepinsky, B.; Rossomando, A.

    2006-01-01

    Artemin (ART) promotes the growth of developing peripheral neurons by signaling through a multicomponent receptor complex comprised of a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (cRET) and a specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked co-receptor (GFR{alpha}3). Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signals through a similar ternary complex but requires heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for full activity. HSPG has not been demonstrated as a requirement for ART signaling. We crystallized ART in the presence of sulfate and solved its structure by isomorphous replacement. The structure reveals ordered sulfate anions bound to arginine residues in the pre-helix and amino-terminal regions that were organized in a triad arrangement characteristic of heparan sulfate. Three residues in the pre-helix were singly or triply substituted with glutamic acid, and the resulting proteins were shown to have reduced heparin-binding affinity that is partly reflected in their ability to activate cRET. This study suggests that ART binds HSPGs and identifies residues that may be involved in HSPG binding.

  6. Insight into the Geothermal Structure in Chingshui, Ilan, Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lun-Tao Tong

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The Chingshui geothermal field is the largest known productive geothermal area in Taiwan. The purpose of this paper is to delineate this geothermal structure by integrating geophysical data and borehole information. The existence of a magma chamber in the shallow crust and shallow intrusive igneous rock results in a high heat flow and geothermal gradient; furthermore, the NE deep fault system within the meta-sandstones provides meteoric recharge from a higher elevation to artesianally drive the geothermal system. There is evidence that geothermal fluid deeply circulated within the fracture zone and was heated by a deeply located body of hot rock. The geothermal reservoir of the Chingshui geothermal field might be related to the fracture zone of the Chingshuihsi fault. It is bounded by the C-fault in the north and Xiaonanao fault in the south. Based on information obtained from geophysical interpretations and well logs, a 3-D geothermal conceptual model is constructed in this study. Further, the geothermal reservoir is confined to an area that is 260 m in width, N21°W, 1.5 km in length, and has an 80° dip toward the NE. Ahigh-temperature zone is found in the SE region of the reservoir, which is about 500 m in length; this zone is located near the intersection of the Chingshuihsi and Xiaonanao faults. An area on the NE side of the high-temperature zone has been recommended for the drilling of production wells for future geothermal development.

  7. Structural insights into central hypertension regulation by human aminopeptidase A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-08-30

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3' subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors.

  8. Structural Insights into Central Hypertension Regulation by Human Aminopeptidase A*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-01-01

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3′ subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors. PMID:23888046

  9. Structures and functions in the crowded nucleus: new biophysical insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHancock

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Concepts and methods from the physical sciences have catalysed remarkable progress in understanding the cell nucleus in recent years. To share this excitement with physicists and encourage their interest in this field, this review offers an overview of how the physics which underlies structures and functions in the nucleus is becoming more clear thanks to methods which have been developed to simulate and study macromolecules, polymers, and colloids. The environment in the nucleus is very crowded with macromolecules, making entropic (depletion forces major determinants of interactions. Simulation and experiments are consistent with their key role in forming membraneless compartments such as nucleoli, PML and Cajal bodies, and discrete territories for chromosomes. The chromosomes, giant linear polyelectrolyte polymers, exist in vivo in a state like a polymer melt. Looped conformations are predicted in crowded conditions, and have been confirmed experimentally and are central to the regulation of gene expression. Polymer theory has revealed how the chromosomes are so highly compacted in the nucleus, forming a crumpled globule with fractal properties which avoids knots and entanglements in DNA while allowing facile accessibility for its replication and transcription. Entropic repulsion between looped polymers can explain the confinement of each chromosome to a discrete region of the nucleus. Crowding and looping are predicted to facilitate finding the specific targets of factors which modulate activities of DNA. Simulation shows that entropic effects contribute to finding and repairing potentially lethal double-strand breaks in DNA by increasing the mobility of the broken ends, favouring their juxtaposition for repair. Signaling pathways are strongly influenced by crowding, which favours a processive mode of response (consecutive reactions without releasing substrates. This new information contributes to understanding the sometimes counter

  10. Insight, self-stigma and psychosocial outcomes in Schizophrenia: a structural equation modelling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Y-J; Chang, H-A; Kao, Y-C; Tzeng, N-S; Lu, C-W; Loh, C-H

    2018-04-01

    Poor insight is prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and has been associated with acute illness severity, medication non-adherence and poor treatment outcomes. Paradoxically, high insight has been associated with various undesirable outcomes, including low self-esteem, depression and low subjective quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Despite the growing body of studies conducted in Western countries supporting the pernicious effects of improved insight in psychosis, which bases on the level of self-stigma, the effects are unclear in non-Western societies. The current study examined the role of self-stigma in the relationship between insight and psychosocial outcomes in a Chinese population. A total of 170 outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were recruited from two general university hospitals. Sociodemographic data and clinical variables were recorded and self-report scales were employed to measure self-stigma, depression, insight, self-esteem and subjective QoL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the cross-sectional data. High levels of self-stigma were reported by 39% of the participants (n = 67). The influences of insight, self-stigma, self-esteem and depression on subjective QoL were confirmed by the SEM results. Our model with the closest fit to the data (χ 2 = 33.28; df = 20; p = 0.03; χ 2/df = 1.66; CFI = 0.98; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.06) demonstrated that self-stigma might fully mediate the association of insight with low self-esteem, depression and poor subjective QoL. High insight into illness contributed to self-stigma, which caused low self-esteem and depression and, consequently, low QoL. Notably, insight did not directly affect self-esteem, depression or QoL. Furthermore, the association of insight with poor psychosocial outcomes was not moderated by self-stigma. Our findings support the mediating model of insight relevant to the poor psychosocial outcomes of individuals diagnosed with

  11. Vesicles and vesicle fusion: coarse-grained simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shillcock, Julian C.

    2010-01-01

    of vesicles that is crucial for this transport is their ability to fuse to target membranes and release their contents to the distal side. In industry, some personal care products contain vesicles to help transport reagents across the skin, and research on drug formulation shows that packaging active......Biological cells are highly dynamic, and continually move material around their own volume and between their interior and exterior. Much of this transport encapsulates the material inside phospholipid vesicles that shuttle to and fro, fusing with, and budding from, other membranes. A feature...

  12. Packing states of multilamellar vesicles in a nonionic surfactant system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Le, T.D.; Olsson, U.; Mortensen, K.

    2001-01-01

    -alpha(*) phase using the noninvasive small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) technique, one while heating and the other while cooling the sample. Data from the heating and cooling cycles were used to demonstrate reversibility of the system. Three states of packing can be identified from the scattering profiles......Lyotropic lamellar phases under shear flow have been shown to form multilamellar vesicles (MLVs), an onion-like structure. The size of the vesicles is governed by the shear imposed on the sample. Previously, we studied the structural transformation from multilamellar vesicles to lamellae to sponge...... under shear. Here, we focused only in the MLV region, L-alpha(*), of a temperature sensitive surfactant system (C12E4-water) to investigate the packing of multilamellar vesicles as a function of temperature under constant shear. Two sets of temperature scan experiments were performed in the L...

  13. High energy irradiation of bacterial membrane vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De La Rosa, M.A.M.

    1977-01-01

    The interactions of membrane components and two well-defined transport systems in the E. coli ML 308-225 membrane vesicles with 60 Co gamma radiation were investigated. The results presented show that gamma radiation can monitor membrane components and functions of varying radiosensitivities. The possible application of high-energy radiation as a physical probe of membrane structure and functions is indeed promising

  14. Giant lipid vesicles under electric field pulses assessed by non invasive imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauroy, Chloé; Portet, Thomas; Winterhalder, Martin; Bellard, Elisabeth; Blache, Marie-Claire; Teissié, Justin; Zumbusch, Andreas; Rols, Marie-Pierre

    2012-10-01

    We present experimental results regarding the effects of electric pulses on giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). We have used phase contrast and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy as relevant optical approaches to gain insight into membrane changes under electropermeabilization. No addition of exogenous molecules (lipid analogue, fluorescent dye) was needed. Therefore, experiments were performed on pure lipid systems avoiding possible artefacts linked to their use. Structural membrane changes were assessed by loss of contrast inside the GUVs due to sucrose and glucose mixing. Our observations, performed at the single vesicle level, indicate these changes are under the control of the number of pulses and field intensity. Larger number of pulses enhances membrane alterations. A threshold value of the field intensity must be applied to allow exchange of molecules between GUVs and the external medium. This threshold depends on the size of the vesicles, the larger GUVs being affected at lower electric field strengths than the smaller ones. Our experimental data are well described by a simple model in which molecule entry is driven by direct exchange. The CARS microscopic study of the effect of pulse duration confirms that pulses, in the ms time range, induce loss of lipids and membrane deformations facing the electrodes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  16. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2017-10-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

  17. SNX9 - a prelude to vesicle release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundmark, Richard; Carlsson, Sven R

    2009-01-01

    The sorting nexin SNX9 has, in the past few years, been singled out as an important protein that participates in fundamental cellular activities. SNX9 binds strongly to dynamin and is partly responsible for the recruitment of this GTPase to sites of endocytosis. SNX9 also has a high capacity for modulation of the membrane and might therefore participate in the formation of the narrow neck of endocytic vesicles before scission occurs. Once assembled on the membrane, SNX9 stimulates the GTPase activity of dynamin to facilitate the scission reaction. It has also become clear that SNX9 has the ability to activate the actin regulator N-WASP in a membrane-dependent manner to coordinate actin polymerization with vesicle release. In this Commentary, we summarize several aspects of SNX9 structure and function in the context of membrane remodeling, discuss its interplay with various interaction partners and present a model of how SNX9 might work in endocytosis.

  18. Sub-Tg enthalpy relaxation in an unstable oxide glass former: insights into the structural heterogeneity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yue, Yuanzheng; Zhang, Yanfei

    Structural heterogeneity plays a crucial role in determining functionality of glasses. In this work we have found that the sub-Tg enthalpy relaxation pattern in a hyperquenched glass is highly sensitive to structural heterogeneity. As a consequence, the former can be used as an effective approach...... to detect and quantify the structural heterogeneity in glass-forming liquids. However, the chemical nature of structural heterogeneity should be revealed by other means such as high resolution microscopic and spectroscopic methods. To study the impact of the structural heterogeneity on the sub-Tg relaxation...... chemical features and degrees of structural heterogeneity in glass-forming liquids. This finding contributes to the microscopic origin of both the primary and secondary relaxation in terms of structural heterogeneity. Finally the results provide insights into the relation between structural heterogeneity...

  19. Understanding crumpling lipid vesicles at the gel phase transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirst, Linda; Ossowski, Adam; Fraser, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    Wrinkling and crumpling transitions in different membrane types have been studied extensively in recent years both theoretically and computationally. There has also been very interesting recent work on defects in liquid crystalline shells. Lipid bilayer vesicles, widely used in biophysical research can be considered as a single layer smectic shell in the liquid crystalline phase. On cooling the lipid vesicle a transition to the gel phase may take place in which the lipid chains tilt and assume a more ordered packing arrangement. We observe large scale morphological changes in vesicles close to this transition point using fluorescence microscopy and investigate the possible mechanisms for this transition. Confocal microscopy is used to map 3D vesicle shape and crumpling length-scales. We also employ the molecular tilt sensitive dye, Laurdan to investigate the role of tilt domain formation on macroscopic structure. Funded by NSF CAREER award (DMR - BMAT #0852791).

  20. Plasma membrane aquaporins mediates vesicle stability in broccoli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Del Carmen Martínez-Ballesta

    Full Text Available The use of in vitro membrane vesicles is attractive because of possible applications in therapies. Here we aimed to compare the stability and functionality of plasma membrane vesicles extracted from control and salt-treated broccoli. The impact of the amount of aquaporins was related to plasma membrane osmotic water permeability and the stability of protein secondary structure. Here, we describe for first time an increase in plant aquaporins acetylation under high salinity. Higher osmotic water permeability in NaCl vesicles has been related to higher acetylation, upregulation of aquaporins, and a more stable environment to thermal denaturation. Based on our findings, we propose that aquaporins play an important role in vesicle stability.

  1. A pilot study of cognitive insight and structural covariance in first-episode psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Corin; Buchy, Lisa; Barbato, Mariapaola; Makowski, Carolina; MacMaster, Frank P; Bray, Signe; Deighton, Stephanie; Addington, Jean

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive insight is described as a balance between one's self-reflectiveness (recognition and correction of dysfunctional reasoning), and self-certainty (overconfidence). Neuroimaging studies have linked the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to cognitive insight in people with psychosis. However, the relationship between cognitive insight and structural connectivity between the VLPFC and other brain areas is unknown. Here, we investigated the modulation of cognitive insight on structural covariance networks involving the VLPFC in a first-episode psychosis sample. Fifteen patients with a first-episode psychosis provided magnetic resonance (MR) scans and completed the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS). MR scans were also available for 15 historical controls. Seed-based analysis of structural covariance was conducted using the Mapping Anatomical Correlations Across the Cerebral Cortex (MACACC) methodology, whereby Pearson correlation coefficients were extracted between seed regions in left and right VLPFC and cortical thickness across the brain. Structural covariance maps between groups were compared at each vertex. In first-episode subjects, we evaluated the modulation of BCIS scores on cortical covariance between VLPFC and every other vertex. Findings showed no significant group difference between first-episode psychosis subjects and controls in thickness covariance seeded from left or right VLPFC. However, in first-episode psychosis subjects, a positive association with self-certainty was found in networks seeded from both left and right VLPFC with thickness in medial frontal cortex and right pars triangularis. No significant associations were found for self-reflectiveness. These results suggest that self-certainty, but not self-reflectiveness, positively modulated cortical covariance in a frontal network in patients with a first-episode psychosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. New Insights about Enzyme Evolution from Large Scale Studies of Sequence and Structure Relationships*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Shoshana D.; Babbitt, Patricia C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes. PMID:25210038

  3. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Shoshana D; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2014-10-31

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Insight into DEG/ENaC channel gating from genetics and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, Amy L; Goodman, Miriam B

    2012-10-01

    The founding members of the superfamily of DEG/ENaC ion channel proteins are C. elegans proteins that form mechanosensitive channels in touch and pain receptors. For more than a decade, the research community has used mutagenesis to identify motifs that regulate gating. This review integrates insight derived from unbiased in vivo mutagenesis screens with recent crystal structures to develop new models for activation of mechanically gated DEGs.

  5. New insights into the structural organization of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cytoskeletons using cryo-electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuerner, Julia; Medalia, Ohad; Linaroudis, Alexandros A.; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an emerging imaging technology that combines the potential of three-dimensional (3-D) imaging at molecular resolution (<5 nm) with a close-to-life preservation of the specimen. In conjunction with pattern recognition techniques, it enables us to map the molecular landscape inside cells. The application of cryo-ET to intact cells provides novel insights into the structure and the spatial organization of the cytoskeleton in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

  6. Crystal structures from the Plasmodium peroxiredoxins: new insights into oligomerization and product binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wei; Dong, Aiping; Pizarro, Juan C; Botchkarsev, Alexei; Min, Jinrong; Wernimont, Amy K; Hills, Tanya; Hui, Raymond; Artz, Jennifer D

    2012-03-19

    Plasmodium falciparum is the protozoan parasite primarily responsible for more than one million malarial deaths, annually, and is developing resistance to current therapies. Throughout its lifespan, the parasite is subjected to oxidative attack, so Plasmodium antioxidant defences are essential for its survival and are targets for disease control. To further understand the molecular aspects of the Plasmodium redox system, we solved 4 structures of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins (Prx). Our study has confirmed PvTrx-Px1 to be a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-sensitive peroxiredoxin. We have identified and characterized the novel toroid octameric oligomer of PyTrx-Px1, which may be attributed to the interplay of several factors including: (1) the orientation of the conserved surface/buried arginine of the NNLA(I/L)GRS-loop; and (2) the C-terminal tail positioning (also associated with the aforementioned conserved loop) which facilitates the intermolecular hydrogen bond between dimers (in an A-C fashion). In addition, a notable feature of the disulfide bonds in some of the Prx crystal structures is discussed. Finally, insight into the latter stages of the peroxiredoxin reaction coordinate is gained. Our structure of PyPrx6 is not only in the sulfinic acid (RSO2H) form, but it is also with glycerol bound in a way (not previously observed) indicative of product binding. The structural characterization of Plasmodium peroxiredoxins provided herein provides insight into their oligomerization and product binding which may facilitate the targeting of these antioxidant defences. Although the structural basis for the octameric oligomerization is further understood, the results yield more questions about the biological implications of the peroxiredoxin oligomerization, as multiple toroid configurations are now known. The crystal structure depicting the product bound active site gives insight into the overoxidation of the active site and allows further characterization of the leaving group

  7. Self-assembly of poly(ionic liquid) (PIL)-based amphiphilic homopolymers into vesicles and supramolecular structures with dyes and silver nanoparticles

    KAUST Repository

    Manojkumar, Kasina

    2017-04-27

    The incorporation of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments in homopolymers leads to their self-assembly into nanostructures in selective solvents, owing to their amphiphilic character. Here we report the RAFT polymerization of N-imidazole-3-propylmethacrylamide and the further quaternization of the resulting polymer with different alkyl bromides of a varying chain length, which afforded well-defined polymeric ionic liquids (PILs) 1-4. These PILs are characterized by the presence of both hydrophobic alkyl chains and hydrophilic ionic moieties, allowing their spontaneous self-assembly in water, forming distinct polymeric vesicles (= polymersomes) the size of which can be varied as a function of alkyl chain length. As demonstrated by the dye-encapsulation study, a particular organic-soluble PIL, 3, consisting of a dodecyl side-chain enabled the transfer of the water-soluble Rose Bengal dye, from an aqueous solution to the organic phase. In addition, polymersomes obtained from a PIL (2) featuring butyl side chains were used as templates and polymeric stabilizers of silver nanoparticles (NPs), i.e. leading to AgNP@PIL hybrids, as observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that the extent of functionalization of polymersomes by the Ag-based NPs varied greatly before and after the end-group removal of the PIL. Altogether, this report emphasizes the facile synthesis of amphiphilic homoPILs and their manipulation in water for dye encapsulation and for stabilization of silver NPs.

  8. Self-assembly of poly(ionic liquid) (PIL)-based amphiphilic homopolymers into vesicles and supramolecular structures with dyes and silver nanoparticles

    KAUST Repository

    Manojkumar, Kasina; Mecerreyes, David; Taton, Daniel; Gnanou, Yves; Vijayakrishna, Kari

    2017-01-01

    The incorporation of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments in homopolymers leads to their self-assembly into nanostructures in selective solvents, owing to their amphiphilic character. Here we report the RAFT polymerization of N-imidazole-3-propylmethacrylamide and the further quaternization of the resulting polymer with different alkyl bromides of a varying chain length, which afforded well-defined polymeric ionic liquids (PILs) 1-4. These PILs are characterized by the presence of both hydrophobic alkyl chains and hydrophilic ionic moieties, allowing their spontaneous self-assembly in water, forming distinct polymeric vesicles (= polymersomes) the size of which can be varied as a function of alkyl chain length. As demonstrated by the dye-encapsulation study, a particular organic-soluble PIL, 3, consisting of a dodecyl side-chain enabled the transfer of the water-soluble Rose Bengal dye, from an aqueous solution to the organic phase. In addition, polymersomes obtained from a PIL (2) featuring butyl side chains were used as templates and polymeric stabilizers of silver nanoparticles (NPs), i.e. leading to AgNP@PIL hybrids, as observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that the extent of functionalization of polymersomes by the Ag-based NPs varied greatly before and after the end-group removal of the PIL. Altogether, this report emphasizes the facile synthesis of amphiphilic homoPILs and their manipulation in water for dye encapsulation and for stabilization of silver NPs.

  9. Structural insight to mutation effects uncover a common allosteric site in class C GPCRs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kasper; Boesgaard, Michael W; Munk, Christian

    2017-01-01

    MOTIVATION: Class C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate important physiological functions and allosteric modulators binding to the transmembrane domain constitute an attractive and, due to a lack of structural insight, a virtually unexplored potential for therapeutics and the food industry....... Combining pharmacological site-directed mutagenesis data with the recent class C GPCR experimental structures will provide a foundation for rational design of new therapeutics. RESULTS: We uncover one common site for both positive and negative modulators with different amino acid layouts that can...

  10. Recent density functional studies of hydrodesulfurization catalysts: insight into structure and mechanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinnemann, Berit; Moses, Poul Georg; Noerskov, Jens K

    2008-01-01

    The present article will highlight some recent density functional theory (DFT) studies of hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts. It will be summarized how DFT in combination with experimental studies can give a detailed picture of the structure of the active phase. Furthermore, we have used DFT to investigate the reaction pathway for thiophene HDS, and we find that the reaction entails a complex interplay of different active sites, depending on reaction conditions. An investigation of pyridine inhibition confirmed some of these results. These fundamental insights constitute a basis for rational improvement of HDS catalysts, as they have provided important structure-activity relationships

  11. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olal

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  12. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G.; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching (Takeda Cali)

    2016-07-01

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction.

  13. Extracellular vesicles: Exosomes, microvesicles, and friends

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raposo, G.; Stoorvogel, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074352385

    2013-01-01

    Cells release into the extracellular environment diverse types of membrane vesicles of endosomal and plasma membrane origin called exosomes and microvesicles, respectively. These extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent an important mode of intercellular communication by serving as vehicles for

  14. Spontaneous charged lipid transfer between lipid vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richens, Joanna L; Tyler, Arwen I I; Barriga, Hanna M G; Bramble, Jonathan P; Law, Robert V; Brooks, Nicholas J; Seddon, John M; Ces, Oscar; O'Shea, Paul

    2017-10-03

    An assay to study the spontaneous charged lipid transfer between lipid vesicles is described. A donor/acceptor vesicle system is employed, where neutrally charged acceptor vesicles are fluorescently labelled with the electrostatic membrane probe Fluoresceinphosphatidylethanolamine (FPE). Upon addition of charged donor vesicles, transfer of negatively charged lipid occurs, resulting in a fluorescently detectable change in the membrane potential of the acceptor vesicles. Using this approach we have studied the transfer properties of a range of lipids, varying both the headgroup and the chain length. At the low vesicle concentrations chosen, the transfer follows a first-order process where lipid monomers are transferred presumably through the aqueous solution phase from donor to acceptor vesicle. The rate of transfer decreases with increasing chain length which is consistent with energy models previously reported for lipid monomer vesicle interactions. Our assay improves on existing methods allowing the study of a range of unmodified lipids, continuous monitoring of transfer and simplified experimental procedures.

  15. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-01-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases

  16. Mechanical collapse of confined fluid membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rim, Jee E; Purohit, Prashant K; Klug, William S

    2014-11-01

    Compact cylindrical and spherical invaginations are common structural motifs found in cellular and developmental biology. To understand the basic physical mechanisms that produce and maintain such structures, we present here a simple model of vesicles in confinement, in which mechanical equilibrium configurations are computed by energy minimization, balancing the effects of curvature elasticity, contact of the membrane with itself and the confining geometry, and adhesion. For cylindrical confinement, the shape equations are solved both analytically and numerically by finite element analysis. For spherical confinement, axisymmetric configurations are obtained numerically. We find that the geometry of invaginations is controlled by a dimensionless ratio of the adhesion strength to the bending energy of an equal area spherical vesicle. Larger adhesion produces more concentrated curvatures, which are mainly localized to the "neck" region where the invagination breaks away from its confining container. Under spherical confinement, axisymmetric invaginations are approximately spherical. For extreme confinement, multiple invaginations may form, bifurcating along multiple equilibrium branches. The results of the model are useful for understanding the physical mechanisms controlling the structure of lipid membranes of cells and their organelles, and developing tissue membranes.

  17. U6+ minerals and inorganic compounds: insights into an expanded structural hierarchy of crystal structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burns, P.C.

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structures of uranyl minerals and inorganic uranyl compounds are important for understanding the genesis of U deposits, the interaction of U mine and mill tailings with the environment, transport of actinides in soils and the vadose zone, the performance of geological repositories for nuclear waste, and for the development of advanced materials with novel applications. Over the past decade, the number of inorganic uranyl compounds (including minerals) with known structures has more than doubled, and reconsideration of the structural hierarchy of uranyl compounds is warranted. Here, 368 inorganic crystal structures that contain essential U 6+ are considered (of which 89 are minerals). They are arranged on the basis of the topological details of their structural units, which are formed by the polymerization of polyhedra containing higher-valence cations. Overarching structural categories correspond to those based upon isolated polyhedra (8), finite clusters (43), chains (57), sheets (204), and frameworks (56) of polyhedra. Within these categories, structures are organized and compared upon the basis of either their graphical representations, or in the case of sheets involving sharing of edges of polyhedra, upon the topological arrangement of anions within the sheets. (author)

  18. Impermeability effects in three-dimensional vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biscari, P; Canevese, S M; Napoli, G

    2004-01-01

    We analyse the effects of the impermeability constraint on the equilibrium shapes of a three-dimensional vesicle hosting a rigid inclusion. A given alteration of the inclusion and/or vesicle parameters leads to shape modifications of different orders of magnitude, when applied to permeable or impermeable vesicles. Moreover, the enclosed-volume constraint wrecks the uniqueness of stationary equilibrium shapes, and gives rise to pear-shaped or stomatocyte-like vesicles

  19. Membrane Trafficking and Vesicle Fusion

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 19; Issue 5. Membrane Trafficking and Vesicle Fusion: Post-Palade Era Researchers Win the Nobel Prize. Riddhi Atul Jani Subba Rao Gangi Setty. General Article Volume 19 Issue 5 May 2014 pp 421-445 ...

  20. Structural insights into FRS2α PTB domain recognition by neurotrophin receptor TrkB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Lei; Kuti, Miklos; Mujtaba, Shiraz; Zhou, Ming-Ming

    2014-07-01

    The fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) substrate 2 (FRS2) family proteins function as scaffolding adapters for receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The FRS2α proteins interact with RTKs through the phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain and transfer signals from the activated receptors to downstream effector proteins. Here, we report the nuclear magnetic resonance structure of the FRS2α PTB domain bound to phosphorylated TrkB. The structure reveals that the FRS2α-PTB domain is comprised of two distinct but adjacent pockets for its mutually exclusive interaction with either nonphosphorylated juxtamembrane region of the FGFR, or tyrosine phosphorylated peptides TrkA and TrkB. The new structural insights suggest rational design of selective small molecules through targeting of the two conjunct pockets in the FRS2α PTB domain. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. The role of extracellular vesicles in parasite-host interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna Gatkowska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs, initially considered cell debris, were soon proved to be an essential tool of intercellular communication enabling the exchange of information without direct contact of the cells. At present EVs are the subject of extensive research due to their universal presence in single- and multi-cell organisms, regardless of their systematic position, and their substantial role in cell-to-cell communication. EVs seem to be released by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under natural (in vivo and laboratory (in vitro conditions. Even purified fractions of isolated EVs comprise various membrane-derived structures. However, EVs can be classified into general groups based primarily on their size and origin. EVs may carry various materials, and ongoing research investigations give new insight into their potenti participation in critical biological processes, e.g. carcinogenesis. This paper presents current knowledge on the EVs’ involvement in host–parasite interactions including the invasion process, the maintenance of the parasite infection and modulation of the host immune response to parasite antigenic stimulation, as well as perspectives of the potential use of EVs as immunoprophylactic and diagnostic tools for controlling parasite infections. The most numerous literature data concern protozoan parasites, especially those of the greatest medical and social importance worldwide. However, available information about the EVs’ contribution to helminth invasion has also been included.

  2. Structural Insights into the Coupling of Virion Assembly and Rotavirus Replication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trask, Shane D.; McDonald, Sarah M.; Patton, John T.

    2013-01-01

    Preface Viral replication is rapid and robust, but it is far from a chaotic process. Instead, successful production of infectious progeny requires that events occur in the correct place and at the correct time. Rotavirus, a segmented double-stranded RNA virus of the Reoviridae family, seems to govern its replication through ordered disassembly and assembly of a triple-layered icosahedral capsid. In recent years, high-resolution structural data have provided unprecedented insight into these events. In this Review, we explore the current understanding of rotavirus replication and how it compares to other Reoviridae family members. PMID:22266782

  3. Isolation and characterization of urinary extracellular vesicles: implications for biomarker discovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Merchant, M.L.; Rood, I.M.; Deegens, J.K.J.; Klein, J.B.

    2017-01-01

    Urine is a valuable diagnostic medium and, with the discovery of urinary extracellular vesicles, is viewed as a dynamic bioactive fluid. Extracellular vesicles are lipid-enclosed structures that can be classified into three categories: exosomes, microvesicles (or ectosomes) and apoptotic bodies.

  4. Deep transcriptome sequencing provides new insights into the structural and functional organization of the wheat genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingault, Lise; Choulet, Frédéric; Alberti, Adriana; Glover, Natasha; Wincker, Patrick; Feuillet, Catherine; Paux, Etienne

    2015-02-10

    Because of its size, allohexaploid nature, and high repeat content, the bread wheat genome is a good model to study the impact of the genome structure on gene organization, function, and regulation. However, because of the lack of a reference genome sequence, such studies have long been hampered and our knowledge of the wheat gene space is still limited. The access to the reference sequence of the wheat chromosome 3B provided us with an opportunity to study the wheat transcriptome and its relationships to genome and gene structure at a level that has never been reached before. By combining this sequence with RNA-seq data, we construct a fine transcriptome map of the chromosome 3B. More than 8,800 transcription sites are identified, that are distributed throughout the entire chromosome. Expression level, expression breadth, alternative splicing as well as several structural features of genes, including transcript length, number of exons, and cumulative intron length are investigated. Our analysis reveals a non-monotonic relationship between gene expression and structure and leads to the hypothesis that gene structure is determined by its function, whereas gene expression is subject to energetic cost. Moreover, we observe a recombination-based partitioning at the gene structure and function level. Our analysis provides new insights into the relationships between gene and genome structure and function. It reveals mechanisms conserved with other plant species as well as superimposed evolutionary forces that shaped the wheat gene space, likely participating in wheat adaptation.

  5. Structural characterisation of Tpx from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals insights into the binding of salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mads Gabrielsen

    Full Text Available Thiol peroxidase, Tpx, has been shown to be a target protein of the salicylidene acylhydrazide class of antivirulence compounds. In this study we present the crystal structures of Tpx from Y. pseudotuberculosis (ypTpx in the oxidised and reduced states, together with the structure of the C61S mutant. The structures solved are consistent with previously solved atypical 2-Cys thiol peroxidases, including that for "forced" reduced states using the C61S mutant. In addition, by investigating the solution structure of ypTpx using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, we have confirmed that reduced state ypTpx in solution is a homodimer. The solution structure also reveals flexibility around the dimer interface. Notably, the conformational changes observed between the redox states at the catalytic triad and at the dimer interface have implications for substrate and inhibitor binding. The structural data were used to model the binding of two salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds to the oxidised structure of ypTpx. Overall, the study provides insights into the binding of the salicylidene acylhydrazides to ypTpx, aiding our long-term strategy to understand the mode of action of this class of compounds.

  6. Structural insights into the mycobacteria transcription initiation complex from analysis of X-ray crystal structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hubin, Elizabeth A.; Lilic, Mirjana; Darst, Seth A.; Campbell, Elizabeth A.

    2017-07-13

    The mycobacteria RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a target for antimicrobials against tuberculosis, motivating structure/function studies. Here we report a 3.2 Å-resolution crystal structure of a Mycobacterium smegmatis (Msm) open promoter complex (RPo), along with structural analysis of the Msm RPo and a previously reported 2.76 Å-resolution crystal structure of an Msm transcription initiation complex with a promoter DNA fragment. We observe the interaction of the Msm RNAP α-subunit C-terminal domain (αCTD) with DNA, and we provide evidence that the αCTD may play a role in Mtb transcription regulation. Our results reveal the structure of an Actinobacteria-unique insert of the RNAP β' subunit. Finally, our analysis reveals the disposition of the N-terminal segment of Msm σA, which may comprise an intrinsically disordered protein domain unique to mycobacteria. The clade-specific features of the mycobacteria RNAP provide clues to the profound instability of mycobacteria RPo compared with E. coli.

  7. Isolation and characterization of urinary extracellular vesicles: implications for biomarker discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Michael L; Rood, Ilse M; Deegens, Jeroen K J; Klein, Jon B

    2017-12-01

    Urine is a valuable diagnostic medium and, with the discovery of urinary extracellular vesicles, is viewed as a dynamic bioactive fluid. Extracellular vesicles are lipid-enclosed structures that can be classified into three categories: exosomes, microvesicles (or ectosomes) and apoptotic bodies. This classification is based on the mechanisms by which membrane vesicles are formed: fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membranes (exosomes), budding of vesicles directly from the plasma membrane (microvesicles) or those shed from dying cells (apoptotic bodies). During their formation, urinary extracellular vesicles incorporate various cell-specific components (proteins, lipids and nucleic acids) that can be transferred to target cells. The rigour needed for comparative studies has fueled the search for optimal approaches for their isolation, purification, and characterization. RNA, the newest extracellular vesicle component to be discovered, has received substantial attention as an extracellular vesicle therapeutic, and compelling evidence suggests that ex vivo manipulation of microRNA composition may have uses in the treatment of kidney disorders. The results of these studies are building the case that urinary extracellular vesicles act as mediators of renal pathophysiology. As the field of extracellular vesicle studies is burgeoning, this Review focuses on primary data obtained from studies of human urine rather than on data from studies of laboratory animals or cultured immortalized cells.

  8. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder

  9. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S. [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Schreiber, Kathrin [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); Pröpper, Kevin [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Becker, Stefan [Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Usón, Isabel [Instituto de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (IBMB–CSIC), Barcelona Science Park, Baldiri Reixach 15, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), (Spain); Sheldrick, George M. [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de; Steinfeld, Robert, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany)

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  10. Overall energy conversion efficiency of a photosynthetic vesicle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sener, Melih [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Strumpfer, Johan [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Singharoy, Abhishek [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Hunter, C. Neil [Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom; Schulten, Klaus [Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States; Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States

    2016-08-26

    The chromatophore of purple bacteria is an intracellular spherical vesicle that exists in numerous copies in the cell and that efficiently converts sunlight into ATP synthesis, operating typically under low light conditions. Building on an atomic-level structural model of a low-light-adapted chromatophore vesicle from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, we investigate the cooperation between more than a hundred protein complexes in the vesicle. The steady-state ATP production rate as a function of incident light intensity is determined after identifying quinol turnover at the cytochrome bc1 complex (cytbc1) as rate limiting and assuming that the quinone/quinol pool of about 900 molecules acts in a quasi-stationary state. For an illumination condition equivalent to 1% of full sunlight, the vesicle exhibits an ATP production rate of 82 ATP molecules/s. The energy conversion efficiency of ATP synthesis at illuminations corresponding to 1%–5% of full sunlight is calculated to be 0.12-0.04, respectively. The vesicle stoichiometry, evolutionarily adapted to the low light intensities in the habitat of purple bacteria, is suboptimal for steady-state ATP turnover for the benefit of protection against over-illumination.

  11. Models for randomly distributed nanoscopic domains on spherical vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anghel, Vinicius N. P.; Bolmatov, Dima; Katsaras, John

    2018-06-01

    The existence of lipid domains in the plasma membrane of biological systems has proven controversial, primarily due to their nanoscopic size—a length scale difficult to interrogate with most commonly used experimental techniques. Scattering techniques have recently proven capable of studying nanoscopic lipid domains populating spherical vesicles. However, the development of analytical methods able of predicting and analyzing domain pair correlations from such experiments has not kept pace. Here, we developed models for the random distribution of monodisperse, circular nanoscopic domains averaged on the surface of a spherical vesicle. Specifically, the models take into account (i) intradomain correlations corresponding to form factors and interdomain correlations corresponding to pair distribution functions, and (ii) the analytical computation of interdomain correlations for cases of two and three domains on a spherical vesicle. In the case of more than three domains, these correlations are treated either by Monte Carlo simulations or by spherical analogs of the Ornstein-Zernike and Percus-Yevick (PY) equations. Importantly, the spherical analog of the PY equation works best in the case of nanoscopic size domains, a length scale that is mostly inaccessible by experimental approaches such as, for example, fluorescent techniques and optical microscopies. The analytical form factors and structure factors of nanoscopic domains populating a spherical vesicle provide a new and important framework for the quantitative analysis of experimental data from commonly studied phase-separated vesicles used in a wide range of biophysical studies.

  12. Structure of uracil-DNA glycosylase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: insights into interactions with ligands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaushal, Prem Singh; Talawar, Ramappa K.; Varshney, Umesh; Vijayan, M.

    2010-01-01

    The molecule of uracil-DNA glycosylase from M. tuberculosis exhibits domain motion on binding to DNA or a proteinaceous inhibitor. The highly conserved DNA-binding region interacts with a citrate ion in the structure. Uracil N-glycosylase (Ung) is the most thoroughly studied of the group of uracil DNA-glycosylase (UDG) enzymes that catalyse the first step in the uracil excision-repair pathway. The overall structure of the enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is essentially the same as that of the enzyme from other sources. However, differences exist in the N- and C-terminal stretches and some catalytic loops. Comparison with appropriate structures indicate that the two-domain enzyme closes slightly when binding to DNA, while it opens slightly when binding to the proteinaceous inhibitor Ugi. The structural changes in the catalytic loops on complexation reflect the special features of their structure in the mycobacterial protein. A comparative analysis of available sequences of the enzyme from different sources indicates high conservation of amino-acid residues in the catalytic loops. The uracil-binding pocket in the structure is occupied by a citrate ion. The interactions of the citrate ion with the protein mimic those of uracil, in addition to providing insights into other possible interactions that inhibitors could be involved in

  13. Insights into the role of protein molecule size and structure on interfacial properties using designed sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Mirjana Dimitrijev; He, Lizhong; James, Michael; Nelson, Andrew; Middelberg, Anton P. J.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of a large, structured protein with a smaller, unstructured component are inherently complex and hard to characterize at interfaces, leading to difficulties in understanding their interfacial behaviours and, therefore, formulation optimization. Here, we investigated interfacial properties of such a mixed system. Simplicity was achieved using designed sequences in which chemical differences had been eliminated to isolate the effect of molecular size and structure, namely a short unstructured peptide (DAMP1) and its longer structured protein concatamer (DAMP4). Interfacial tension measurements suggested that the size and bulk structuring of the larger molecule led to much slower adsorption kinetics. Neutron reflectometry at equilibrium revealed that both molecules adsorbed as a monolayer to the air–water interface (indicating unfolding of DAMP4 to give a chain of four connected DAMP1 molecules), with a concentration ratio equal to that in the bulk. This suggests the overall free energy of adsorption is equal despite differences in size and bulk structure. At small interfacial extensional strains, only molecule packing influenced the stress response. At larger strains, the effect of size became apparent, with DAMP4 registering a higher stress response and interfacial elasticity. When both components were present at the interface, most stress-dissipating movement was achieved by DAMP1. This work thus provides insights into the role of proteins' molecular size and structure on their interfacial properties, and the designed sequences introduced here can serve as effective tools for interfacial studies of proteins and polymers. PMID:23303222

  14. Further insights on the French WISC-IV factor structure through Bayesian structural equation modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golay, Philippe; Reverte, Isabelle; Rossier, Jérôme; Favez, Nicolas; Lecerf, Thierry

    2013-06-01

    The interpretation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) is based on a 4-factor model, which is only partially compatible with the mainstream Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence measurement. The structure of cognitive batteries is frequently analyzed via exploratory factor analysis and/or confirmatory factor analysis. With classical confirmatory factor analysis, almost all cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are fixed to zero in order to allow the model to be identified. However, inappropriate zero cross-loadings can contribute to poor model fit, distorted factors, and biased factor correlations; most important, they do not necessarily faithfully reflect theory. To deal with these methodological and theoretical limitations, we used a new statistical approach, Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM), among a sample of 249 French-speaking Swiss children (8-12 years). With BSEM, zero-fixed cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are replaced by approximate zeros, based on informative, small-variance priors. Results indicated that a direct hierarchical CHC-based model with 5 factors plus a general intelligence factor better represented the structure of the WISC-IV than did the 4-factor structure and the higher order models. Because a direct hierarchical CHC model was more adequate, it was concluded that the general factor should be considered as a breadth rather than a superordinate factor. Because it was possible for us to estimate the influence of each of the latent variables on the 15 subtest scores, BSEM allowed improvement of the understanding of the structure of intelligence tests and the clinical interpretation of the subtest scores. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Kinetic partitioning between aggregation and vesicle permeabilization by modified ADan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nesgaard, Lise W.; Vad, Brian; Christiansen, Gunna

    2009-01-01

    The neurodegenerative illness Familial Danish Dementia (FDD) is linked to formation and aggregation of the 34-residue ADan peptide, whose cytotoxicity may be mediated by membrane interactions. Here we characterize the derived peptide SerADan, in which the two cysteines found in ADan have been....... Aggregation is prevented at neutral/acidic pH and low ionic strength by anionic lipid vesicles. These vesicles are permeabilized by monomeric SerADan assembling on the membrane to form stable beta-sheet structures which are different from the solution aggregates. In contrast, solution ageing of SerADan first...

  16. Lipids, lipid bilayers and vesicles as seen by neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seto, Hideki

    2011-01-01

    Lipid molecules self-assemble into bilayers in water with their hydrocarbon chains facing inward due to their amphiphilic nature. The structural and dynamical properties of lipids and lipid bilayers have been studied by neutron scattering intensively. In this article, 3 topics are shown as typical examples. 1) a time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering on uni-lamellar vesicles composed of deuterated and protonated lipids to determine lipid kinetics, 2) small-angle neutron scattering to investigate spontaneous formation of nanopores on uni-lamellar vesicles, and 3) neutron spin echo study to determine bending modulus of lipid bilayers. (author)

  17. Design Principles for the Atomic and Electronic Structure of Halide Perovskite Photovoltaic Materials: Insights from Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Robert F

    2018-02-09

    In the current decade, perovskite solar cell research has emerged as a remarkably active, promising, and rapidly developing field. Alongside breakthroughs in synthesis and device engineering, halide perovskite photovoltaic materials have been the subject of predictive and explanatory computational work. In this Minireview, we focus on a subset of this computation: density functional theory (DFT)-based work highlighting the ways in which the electronic structure and band gap of this class of materials can be tuned via changes in atomic structure. We distill this body of computational literature into a set of underlying design principles for the band gap engineering of these materials, and rationalize these principles from the viewpoint of band-edge orbital character. We hope that this perspective provides guidance and insight toward the rational design and continued improvement of perovskite photovoltaics. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  19. Structure, dynamics, and function of the monooxygenase P450 BM-3: insights from computer simulations studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roccatano, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    The monooxygenase P450 BM-3 is a NADPH-dependent fatty acid hydroxylase enzyme isolated from soil bacterium Bacillus megaterium. As a pivotal member of cytochrome P450 superfamily, it has been intensely studied for the comprehension of structure–dynamics–function relationships in this class of enzymes. In addition, due to its peculiar properties, it is also a promising enzyme for biochemical and biomedical applications. However, despite the efforts, the full understanding of the enzyme structure and dynamics is not yet achieved. Computational studies, particularly molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have importantly contributed to this endeavor by providing new insights at an atomic level regarding the correlations between structure, dynamics, and function of the protein. This topical review summarizes computational studies based on MD simulations of the cytochrome P450 BM-3 and gives an outlook on future directions. (topical review)

  20. Formation of Oligovesicular Vesicles by Micromanipulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukihisa Okumura

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Cell-sized lipid bilayer membrane vesicles (giant vesicles, GVs or semi-vesicles were formed from egg yolk phosphatidylcholine on a platinum electrode under applied electric voltage by electroformation. Micromanipulation of the semi-vesicle by first pressing its membrane with a glass microneedle and then withdrawing the needle left a GV in the interior of the vesicle. During the process, an aqueous solution of Ficoll that filled the needle was introduced into the newly formed inner vesicle and remained encapsulated. Approximately 50% of attempted micromanipulation resulted in the formation of an inner daughter vesicle, “microvesiculation”. By repeating the microvesiculation process, multiple inner GVs could be formed in a single parent semi-vesicle. A semi-vesicle with inner GVs could be detached from the electrode by scraping with a microneedle, yielding an oligovesicular vesicle (OVV with desired inner aqueous contents. Microvesiculation of a GV held on the tip of a glass micropipette was also possible, and this also produced an OVV. Breaking the membrane of the parent semi-vesicle by micromanipulation with a glass needle after microvesiculation, released the inner GVs. This protocol may be used for controlled formation of GVs with desired contents.

  1. New Insights Toward Quantitative Relationships between Lignin Reactivity to Monomers and Their Structural Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ruoshui; Zhang, Xiumei; Wang, Yi; Zhang, Xiao

    2018-04-27

    The heterogeneous and complex structural characteristics of lignin present a significant challenge to predict its processability (e.g. depolymerization, modifications etc) to valuable products. This study provides a detailed characterization and comparison of structural properties of seven representative biorefinery lignin samples derived from forest and agricultural residues, which were subjected to representative pretreatment methods. A range of wet chemistry and spectroscopy methods were applied to determine specific lignin structural characteristics such as functional groups, inter-unit linkages and peak molecular weight. In parallel, oxidative depolymerization of these lignin samples to either monomeric phenolic compounds or dicarboxylic acids were conducted, and the product yields were quantified. Based on these results (lignin structural characteristics and monomer yields), we demonstrated for the first time to apply multiple-variable linear estimations (MVLE) approach using R statistics to gain insight toward a quantitative correlation between lignin structural properties and their conversion reactivity toward oxidative depolymerization to monomers. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Structural insights into the anti-HIV activity of the Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin homolog lectin family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koharudin, Leonardus M I; Kollipara, Sireesha; Aiken, Christopher; Gronenborn, Angela M

    2012-09-28

    Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin homolog (OAAH) proteins belong to a recently discovered lectin family. All members contain a sequence repeat of ~66 amino acids, with the number of repeats varying among different family members. Apart from data for the founding member OAA, neither three-dimensional structures, information about carbohydrate binding specificities, nor antiviral activity data have been available up to now for any other members of the OAAH family. To elucidate the structural basis for the antiviral mechanism of OAAHs, we determined the crystal structures of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Myxococcus xanthus lectins. Both proteins exhibit the same fold, resembling the founding family member, OAA, with minor differences in loop conformations. Carbohydrate binding studies by NMR and x-ray structures of glycan-lectin complexes reveal that the number of sugar binding sites corresponds to the number of sequence repeats in each protein. As for OAA, tight and specific binding to α3,α6-mannopentaose was observed. All the OAAH proteins described here exhibit potent anti-HIV activity at comparable levels. Altogether, our results provide structural details of the protein-carbohydrate interaction for this novel lectin family and insights into the molecular basis of their HIV inactivation properties.

  3. Structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of myasthenia gravis and their therapeutic implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noridomi, Kaori; Watanabe, Go; Hansen, Melissa N.; Han, Gye Won; Chen, Lin (USC)

    2017-04-25

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a major target of autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease that causes neuromuscular transmission dysfunction. Despite decades of research, the molecular mechanisms underlying MG have not been fully elucidated. Here, we present the crystal structure of the nAChR α1 subunit bound by the Fab fragment of mAb35, a reference monoclonal antibody that causes experimental MG and competes with ~65% of antibodies from MG patients. Our structures reveal for the first time the detailed molecular interactions between MG antibodies and a core region on nAChR α1. These structures suggest a major nAChR-binding mechanism shared by a large number of MG antibodies and the possibility to treat MG by blocking this binding mechanism. Structure-based modeling also provides insights into antibody-mediated nAChR cross-linking known to cause receptor degradation. Our studies establish a structural basis for further mechanistic studies and therapeutic development of MG.

  4. Structure of the Aeropyrum pernix L7Ae multifunctional protein and insight into its extreme thermostability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhuiya, Mohammad Wadud; Suryadi, Jimmy; Zhou, Zholi; Brown, Bernard Andrew II

    2013-01-01

    The crystal structure of A. pernix L7Ae is reported, providing insight into the extreme thermostability of this protein. Archaeal ribosomal protein L7Ae is a multifunctional RNA-binding protein that directs post-transcriptional modification of archaeal RNAs. The L7Ae protein from Aeropyrum pernix (Ap L7Ae), a member of the Crenarchaea, was found to have an extremely high melting temperature (>383 K). The crystal structure of Ap L7Ae has been determined to a resolution of 1.56 Å. The structure of Ap L7Ae was compared with the structures of two homologs: hyperthermophilic Methanocaldococcus jannaschii L7Ae and the mesophilic counterpart mammalian 15.5 kD protein. The primary stabilizing feature in the Ap L7Ae protein appears to be the large number of ion pairs and extensive ion-pair network that connects secondary-structural elements. To our knowledge, Ap L7Ae is among the most thermostable single-domain monomeric proteins presently observed

  5. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. An Insight into the Pharmacophores of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors from Synthetic and Crystal Structural Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen,G.; Wang, H.; Robinson, H.; Cai, J.; Wan, Y.; Ke, H.

    2008-01-01

    Selective inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) have been used as drugs for treatment of male erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. An insight into the pharmacophores of PDE5 inhibitors is essential for development of second generation of PDE5 inhibitors, but has not been completely illustrated. Here we report the synthesis of a new class of the sildenafil derivatives and a crystal structure of the PDE5 catalytic domain in complex with 5-(2-ethoxy-5-(sulfamoyl)-3-thienyl)-1-methyl-3-propyl-1, 6-dihydro-7H-pyrazolo[4, 3-d]pyrimidin-7-one (12). Inhibitor 12 induces conformational change of the H-loop (residues 660-683), which is different from any of the known PDE5 structures. The pyrazolopyrimidinone groups of 12 and sildenafil are well superimposed, but their sulfonamide groups show a positional difference of as much as 1.5 Angstroms . The structure-activity analysis suggests that a small hydrophobic pocket and the H-loop of PDE5 are important for the inhibitor affinity, in addition to two common elements for binding of almost all the PDE inhibitors: the stack against the phenylalanine and the hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine. However, the PDE5-12 structure does not provide a full explanation to affinity changes of the inhibitors. Thus alternatives such as conformational change of the M-loop are open and further structural study is required.

  7. Apolipoprotein L1 confers pH-switchable ion permeability to phospholipid vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Jonathan; Pozzi, Nicola; Oliva, Jonathan; Edwards, John C

    2017-11-03

    Apolipoprotein L1 (ApoL1) is a human serum protein conferring resistance to African trypanosomes, and certain ApoL1 variants increase susceptibility to some progressive kidney diseases. ApoL1 has been hypothesized to function like a pore-forming colicin and has been reported to have permeability effects on both intracellular and plasma membranes. Here, to gain insight into how ApoL1 may function in vivo , we used vesicle-based ion permeability, direct membrane association, and intrinsic fluorescence to study the activities of purified recombinant ApoL1. We found that ApoL1 confers chloride-selective permeability to preformed phospholipid vesicles and that this selectivity is strongly pH-sensitive, with maximal activity at pH 5 and little activity above pH 7. When ApoL1 and lipid were allowed to interact at low pH and were then brought to neutral pH, chloride permeability was suppressed, and potassium permeability was activated. Both chloride and potassium permeability linearly correlated with the mass of ApoL1 in the reaction mixture, and both exhibited lipid selectivity, requiring the presence of negatively charged lipids for activity. Potassium, but not chloride, permease activity required the presence of calcium ions in both the association and activation steps. Direct assessment of ApoL1-lipid associations confirmed that ApoL1 stably associates with phospholipid vesicles, requiring low pH and the presence of negatively charged phospholipids for maximal binding. Intrinsic fluorescence of ApoL1 supported the presence of a significant structural transition when ApoL1 is mixed with lipids at low pH. This pH-switchable ion-selective permeability may explain the different effects of ApoL1 reported in intracellular and plasma membrane environments. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Phospholipid Vesicles in Materials Science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granick, Steve [Univ. of Illinois, Champaign, IL (United States)

    2016-05-11

    The objective of this research was to develop the science basis needed to deploy phospholipid vesicles as functional materials in energy contexts. Specifically, we sought to: (1) Develop an integrated molecular-level understanding of what determines their dynamical shape, spatial organization, and responsiveness to complex, time-varying environments; and (2) Develop understanding of their active transportation in crowded environments, which our preliminary measurements in cells suggest may hold design principles for targeting improved energy efficiency in new materials systems. The methods to do this largely involved fluorescence imaging and other spectroscopy involving single particles, vesicles, particles, DNA, and endosomes. An unexpected importance outcome was a new method to image light-emitting diodes during actual operation using super-resolution spectroscopy.

  9. Neurocognition, insight and medication nonadherence in schizophrenia: a structural equation modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Boyer

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the complex relationships among neurocognition, insight and nonadherence in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS: DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Diagnosis of schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria. DATA COLLECTION: Neurocognition was assessed using a global approach that addressed memory, attention, and executive functions; insight was analyzed using the multidimensional 'Scale to assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder;' and nonadherence was measured using the multidimensional 'Medication Adherence Rating Scale.' ANALYSIS: Structural equation modeling (SEM was applied to examine the non-straightforward relationships among the following latent variables: neurocognition, 'awareness of positive symptoms' and 'negative symptoms', 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-nine patients were enrolled. The final testing model showed good fit, with normed χ(2 = 1.67, RMSEA = 0.063, CFI = 0.94, and SRMR = 0.092. The SEM revealed significant associations between (1 neurocognition and 'awareness of symptoms,' (2 'awareness of symptoms' and 'awareness of mental disorder' and (3 'awareness of mental disorder' and nonadherence, mainly in the 'attitude toward taking medication' dimension. In contrast, there were no significant links between neurocognition and nonadherence, neurocognition and 'awareness of mental disorder,' and 'awareness of symptoms' and nonadherence. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that neurocognition influences 'awareness of symptoms,' which must be integrated into a higher level of insight (i.e., the 'awareness of mental disorder' to have an impact on nonadherence. These findings have important implications for the development of effective strategies to enhance medication adherence.

  10. Structural insights into viral determinants of nematode mediated Grapevine fanleaf virus transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Schellenberger

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Many animal and plant viruses rely on vectors for their transmission from host to host. Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV, a picorna-like virus from plants, is transmitted specifically by the ectoparasitic nematode Xiphinema index. The icosahedral capsid of GFLV, which consists of 60 identical coat protein subunits (CP, carries the determinants of this specificity. Here, we provide novel insight into GFLV transmission by nematodes through a comparative structural and functional analysis of two GFLV variants. We isolated a mutant GFLV strain (GFLV-TD poorly transmissible by nematodes, and showed that the transmission defect is due to a glycine to aspartate mutation at position 297 (Gly297Asp in the CP. We next determined the crystal structures of the wild-type GFLV strain F13 at 3.0 Å and of GFLV-TD at 2.7 Å resolution. The Gly297Asp mutation mapped to an exposed loop at the outer surface of the capsid and did not affect the conformation of the assembled capsid, nor of individual CP molecules. The loop is part of a positively charged pocket that includes a previously identified determinant of transmission. We propose that this pocket is a ligand-binding site with essential function in GFLV transmission by X. index. Our data suggest that perturbation of the electrostatic landscape of this pocket affects the interaction of the virion with specific receptors of the nematode's feeding apparatus, and thereby severely diminishes its transmission efficiency. These data provide a first structural insight into the interactions between a plant virus and a nematode vector.

  11. A perspective on extracellular vesicles proteomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa-Fernandes, Livia; Rocha, Victória Bombarda; Carregari, Victor Corasolla; Urbani, Andrea; Palmisano, Giuseppe

    2017-11-01

    Increasing attention has been given to secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the past decades, especially in the portrayal of their molecular cargo and role as messengers in both homeostasis and pathophysiological conditions. This review presents the state-of-the-art proteomic technologies to identify and quantify EVs proteins along with their PTMs, interacting partners and structural details. The rapid growth of mass spectrometry-based analytical strategies for protein sequencing, PTMs and structural characterization has improved the level of molecular details that can be achieve from limited amount of EVs isolated from different biological sources. Here we will provide a perspective view on the achievements and challenges on EVs proteome characterization using mass spectrometry. A detailed bioinformatics approach will help us to picture the molecular fingerprint of EVs and understand better their pathophysiological function.

  12. Enhanced dewaterability of sludge during anaerobic digestion with thermal hydrolysis pretreatment: New insights through structure evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingsi; Li, Ning; Dai, Xiaohu; Tao, Wenquan; Jenkinson, Ian R; Li, Zhuo

    2017-12-19

    Comprehensive insights into the sludge digestate dewaterability were gained through porous network structure of sludge. We measured the evolution of digestate dewaterability, represented by the solid content of centrifugally dewatered cake, in high-solids sequencing batch digesters with and without thermal hydrolysis pretreatment (THP). The results show that the dewaterability of the sludge after digestion was improved by 3.5% (±0.5%) for unpretreated sludge and 5.1% (±0.4%) for thermally hydrolyzed sludge. Compared to the unpretreated sludge digestate, thermal hydrolysis pretreatment eventually resulted in an improvement of dewaterability by 4.6% (±0.5%). Smaller particle size and larger surface area of sludge were induced by thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion treatments. The structure strength and compactness of sludge, represented by elastic modulus and fractal dimension respectively, decreased with increase of digestion time. The porous network structure was broken up by thermal hydrolysis pretreatment and was further weakened during anaerobic digestion, which correspondingly improved the dewaterability of digestates. The logarithm of elastic modulus increased linearly with fractal dimension regardless of the pretreatment. Both fractal dimension and elastic modulus showed linear relationship with dewaterability. The rheological characterization combined with the analysis of fractal dimension of sewage sludge porous network structure was found applicable in quantitative evaluation of sludge dewaterability, which depended positively on both thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca2+, which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca2+ levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca2+ sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca2+. The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs responding to Ca2+ fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

  14. Effect of the achondroplasia mutation on FGFR3 dimerization and FGFR3 structural response to fgf1 and fgf2: A quantitative FRET study in osmotically derived plasma membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabipour, Sarvenaz; Hristova, Kalina

    2016-07-01

    The G380R mutation in the transmembrane domain of FGFR3 is a germline mutation responsible for most cases of Achondroplasia, a common form of human dwarfism. Here we use quantitative Fӧster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and osmotically derived plasma membrane vesicles to study the effect of the achondroplasia mutation on the early stages of FGFR3 signaling in response to the ligands fgf1 and fgf2. Using a methodology that allows us to capture structural changes on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane in response to ligand binding to the extracellular domain of FGFR3, we observe no measurable effects of the G380R mutation on FGFR3 ligand-bound dimer configurations. Instead, the most notable effect of the achondroplasia mutation is increased propensity for FGFR3 dimerization in the absence of ligand. This work reveals new information about the molecular events that underlie the achondroplasia phenotype, and highlights differences in FGFR3 activation due to different single amino-acid pathogenic mutations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Composition Effect of the Outer Layer on the Vesicle Fusion Catalyzed by Phospholipase D

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Jin Won [Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-09-15

    Phospholipase D (PLD) catalyzed the generation of phosphatidic acid (PA) from phosphatidylcholine (PC) at the outer layer of the vesicles prepared through layer by layer via a double emulsion technique. The generation induced a curvature change in the vesicles, which eventually led them to fuse each other. The ratio of two-fattyacid-tail ethanolamine (PE) to one-fatty-acid-tail ethanolamine (PE) was found to acquire the condition where the mixed-phospholipid vesicles were stable identically with pure two-fatty-acid-tail PC. The effect of the outer-layer mixture on the PLD-induced vesicle fusion was investigated using the fluorescence intensity change. 8-Aminonaph- thalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid disodium salt (ANTS) and p-Xylene-bis(N-pyridinium bromide) (DPX) were encapsulated in the vesicles, respectively, for the quantification of the fusion. The fluorescence scale was calibrated with the fluorescence of a 1/1 mixture of ANTS and DPX vesicles in NaCl buffer taken as 100% fluorescence (0% fusion) and the vesicles containing both ANTS and DPX as 0% fluorescence (100% fusion), considering the leakage into the medium studied directly in a separate experiment using vesicles containing both ANTS and DPX. The fusion data for each composition were acquired with the subtraction of the leakage from the quenching. From the monitoring, the vesicle fusion caused by the PLD reaction seems dominantly to occur rather than the vesicle lysis, because the composition effect on the fusion was observed identically with that on the change in the vesicle structure. Furthermore, the diameter measurements also support the fusion dominancy.

  16. Endocytic vesicle rupture is a conserved mechanism of cellular invasion by amyloid proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flavin, William P; Bousset, Luc; Green, Zachary C; Chu, Yaping; Skarpathiotis, Stratos; Chaney, Michael J; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Melki, Ronald; Campbell, Edward M

    2017-10-01

    Numerous pathological amyloid proteins spread from cell to cell during neurodegenerative disease, facilitating the propagation of cellular pathology and disease progression. Understanding the mechanism by which disease-associated amyloid protein assemblies enter target cells and induce cellular dysfunction is, therefore, key to understanding the progressive nature of such neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we utilized an imaging-based assay to monitor the ability of disease-associated amyloid assemblies to rupture intracellular vesicles following endocytosis. We observe that the ability to induce vesicle rupture is a common feature of α-synuclein (α-syn) assemblies, as assemblies derived from WT or familial disease-associated mutant α-syn all exhibited the ability to induce vesicle rupture. Similarly, different conformational strains of WT α-syn assemblies, but not monomeric or oligomeric forms, efficiently induced vesicle rupture following endocytosis. The ability to induce vesicle rupture was not specific to α-syn, as amyloid assemblies of tau and huntingtin Exon1 with pathologic polyglutamine repeats also exhibited the ability to induce vesicle rupture. We also observe that vesicles ruptured by α-syn are positive for the autophagic marker LC3 and can accumulate and fuse into large, intracellular structures resembling Lewy bodies in vitro. Finally, we show that the same markers of vesicle rupture surround Lewy bodies in brain sections from PD patients. These data underscore the importance of this conserved endocytic vesicle rupture event as a damaging mechanism of cellular invasion by amyloid assemblies of multiple neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins, and suggest that proteinaceous inclusions such as Lewy bodies form as a consequence of continued fusion of autophagic vesicles in cells unable to degrade ruptured vesicles and their amyloid contents.

  17. Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Ion Mobility Reveals Structural Insight into Eicosanoid Product Ion Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giovanni, James P; Barkley, Robert M; Jones, David N M; Hankin, Joseph A; Murphy, Robert C

    2018-04-23

    Ion mobility measurements of product ions were used to characterize the collisional cross section (CCS) of various complex lipid [M-H] - ions using traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMS). TWIMS analysis of various product ions derived after collisional activation of mono- and dihydroxy arachidonate metabolites was found to be more complex than the analysis of intact molecular ions and provided some insight into molecular mechanisms involved in product ion formation. The CCS observed for the molecular ion [M-H] - and certain product ions were consistent with a folded ion structure, the latter predicted by the proposed mechanisms of product ion formation. Unexpectedly, product ions from [M-H-H 2 O-CO 2 ] - and [M-H-H 2 O] - displayed complex ion mobility profiles suggesting multiple mechanisms of ion formation. The [M-H-H 2 O] - ion from LTB 4 was studied in more detail using both nitrogen and helium as the drift gas in the ion mobility cell. One population of [M-H-H 2 O] - product ions from LTB 4 was consistent with formation of covalent ring structures, while the ions displaying a higher CCS were consistent with a more open-chain structure. Using molecular dynamics and theoretical CCS calculations, energy minimized structures of those product ions with the open-chain structures were found to have a higher CCS than a folded molecular ion structure. The measurement of product ion mobility can be an additional and unique signature of eicosanoids measured by LC-MS/MS techniques. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  18. Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Ion Mobility Reveals Structural Insight into Eicosanoid Product Ion Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giovanni, James P.; Barkley, Robert M.; Jones, David N. M.; Hankin, Joseph A.; Murphy, Robert C.

    2018-04-01

    Ion mobility measurements of product ions were used to characterize the collisional cross section (CCS) of various complex lipid [M-H]- ions using traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIMS). TWIMS analysis of various product ions derived after collisional activation of mono- and dihydroxy arachidonate metabolites was found to be more complex than the analysis of intact molecular ions and provided some insight into molecular mechanisms involved in product ion formation. The CCS observed for the molecular ion [M-H]- and certain product ions were consistent with a folded ion structure, the latter predicted by the proposed mechanisms of product ion formation. Unexpectedly, product ions from [M-H-H2O-CO2]- and [M-H-H2O]- displayed complex ion mobility profiles suggesting multiple mechanisms of ion formation. The [M-H-H2O]- ion from LTB4 was studied in more detail using both nitrogen and helium as the drift gas in the ion mobility cell. One population of [M-H-H2O]- product ions from LTB4 was consistent with formation of covalent ring structures, while the ions displaying a higher CCS were consistent with a more open-chain structure. Using molecular dynamics and theoretical CCS calculations, energy minimized structures of those product ions with the open-chain structures were found to have a higher CCS than a folded molecular ion structure. The measurement of product ion mobility can be an additional and unique signature of eicosanoids measured by LC-MS/MS techniques. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  19. Insights on synergy of materials and structures in biomimetic platelet-matrix composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakhavand, Navid; Shahsavari, Rouzbeh

    2018-01-01

    Hybrid materials such as biomimetic platelet-matrix composites are in high demand to confer low weight and multifunctional mechanical properties. This letter reports interfacial-bond regulated assembly of polymers on cement-an archetype model with significant infrastructure applications. We demonstrate a series of 20+ molecular dynamics studies on decoding and optimizing the complex interfacial interactions including the role and types of various heterogeneous, competing interfacial bonds that are key to adhesion and interfacial strength. Our results show an existence of an optimum overlap length scale (˜15 nm) between polymers and cement crystals, exhibiting the best balance of strength, toughness, stiffness, and ductility for the composite. This finding, combined with the fundamental insights into the nature of interfacial bonds, provides key hypotheses for selection and processing of constituents to deliberate the best synergy in the structure and materials of platelet-matrix composites.

  20. Structural insights into human Kif7, a kinesin involved in Hedgehog signalling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klejnot, Marta, E-mail: m.klejnot@beatson.gla.ac.uk; Kozielski, Frank, E-mail: m.klejnot@beatson.gla.ac.uk [The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Glasgow G61 1BD, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2012-02-01

    The human Kif7 motor domain structure provides insights into a kinesin of medical significance. Kif7, a member of the kinesin 4 superfamily, is implicated in a variety of diseases including Joubert, hydrolethalus and acrocallosal syndromes. It is also involved in primary cilium formation and the Hedgehog signalling pathway and may play a role in cancer. Its activity is crucial for embryonic development. Kif7 and Kif27, a closely related kinesin in the same subfamily, are orthologues of the Drosophila melano@@gaster kinesin-like protein Costal-2 (Cos2). In vertebrates, they work together to fulfil the role of the single Cos2 gene in Drosophila. Here, the high-resolution structure of the human Kif7 motor domain is reported and is compared with that of conventional kinesin, the founding member of the kinesin superfamily. These data are a first step towards structural characterization of a kinesin-4 family member and of this interesting molecular motor of medical significance.

  1. Revealing New Structural Insights from Surfactant Micelles through DLS, Microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samiul Amin

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The correlation between molecular changes and microstructural evolution of rheological properties has been demonstrated for the first time in a mixed anionic/zwitterionic surfactant-based wormlike micellar system. Utilizing a novel combination of DLS-microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy, the effect of electrostatic screening on these properties of anionic (SLES and zwitterionic (CapB surfactant mixtures was studied by modulating the NaCl concentration. As Raman Spectroscopy delivers information about the molecular structure and DLS-microrheology characterizes viscoelastic properties, the combination of data delivered allows for a deeper understanding of the molecular changes underlying the viscoelastic ones. The high frequency viscoelastic response obtained through DLS-microrheology has shown the persistence of the Maxwell fluid response for low viscosity solutions at high NaCl concentrations. The intensity of the Raman band at 170 cm−1 exhibits very strong correlation with the viscosity variation. As this Raman band is assigned to hydrogen bonding, its variation with NaCl concentration additionally indicates differences in water structuring due to potential microstructural differences at low and high NaCl concentrations. The microstructural differences at low and high NaCl concentrations are further corroborated by persistence of a slow mode at the higher NaCl concentrations as seen through DLS measurements. The study illustrates the utility of the combined DLS, DLS-optical microrheology and Raman Spectroscopy in providing new molecular structural insights into the self-assembly process in complex fluids.

  2. The narrative structure as a way to gain insight into peoples' experiences: one methodological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejnö, Åsa; Berg, Linda; Danielson, Ella

    2014-09-01

    The narrative method is used in healthcare research, mostly in data collection but also in the analysis. Narrative approaches draw attention to how people tell about and create meaning of experiences. The aim of the article was to examine the narrative structure, the elements in the structure and their function and how these can be used in research to gain insights into experiences. Examples are taken from a material of narratives from a study where next of kin were asked to narrate their experiences of sudden and unexpected death from stroke. The narratives had a clear beginning, midpoint and ending. In the beginning, orientation of the narrated events was given. The narrated events were told to have a turning point constituted of complicating actions that lead to a resolution that solved the narrated event. The narratives were built up by multiple recaps into the narrated events and also consisted of asides - side narratives and flashbacks - events back in time. Use of a narrative structure can contribute with valuable information that might be missed with other analysis. The analysis can be used on its own, as a complement to other narrative analysis or even as a complement to other qualitative analysis. © 2013 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  3. Insights into Caco-2 cell culture structure using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saarinen, Jukka; Sözeri, Erkan; Fraser-Miller, Sara J; Peltonen, Leena; Santos, Hélder A; Isomäki, Antti; Strachan, Clare J

    2017-05-15

    We have used coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy as a novel and rapid, label-free and non-destructive imaging method to gain structural insights into live intestinal epithelial cell cultures used for drug permeability testing. Specifically we have imaged live Caco-2 cells in (bio)pharmaceutically relevant conditions grown on membrane inserts. Imaging conditions were optimized, including evaluation of suitable membrane materials and media solutions, as well as tolerable laser powers for non-destructive imaging of the live cells. Lipid structures, in particular lipid droplets, were imaged within the cells on the insert membranes. The size of the individual lipid droplets increased substantially over the 21-day culturing period up to approximately 10% of the volume of the cross section of individual cells. Variation in lipid content has important implications for intestinal drug permeation testing during drug development but has received limited attention to date due to a lack of suitable analytical techniques. CARS microscopy was shown to be well suited for such analysis with the potential for in situ imaging of the same individual cell-cultures that are used for permeation studies. Overall, the method may be used to provide important information about cell monolayer structure to better understand drug permeation results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Functional Diversity of Haloacid Dehalogenase Superfamily Phosphatases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: BIOCHEMICAL, STRUCTURAL, AND EVOLUTIONARY INSIGHTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Ekaterina; Nocek, Boguslaw; Brown, Greg; Makarova, Kira S; Flick, Robert; Wolf, Yuri I; Khusnutdinova, Anna; Evdokimova, Elena; Jin, Ke; Tan, Kemin; Hanson, Andrew D; Hasnain, Ghulam; Zallot, Rémi; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; Babu, Mohan; Savchenko, Alexei; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Edwards, Aled M; Koonin, Eugene V; Yakunin, Alexander F

    2015-07-24

    The haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzymes comprise a large superfamily of phosphohydrolases present in all organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome encodes at least 19 soluble HADs, including 10 uncharacterized proteins. Here, we biochemically characterized 13 yeast phosphatases from the HAD superfamily, which includes both specific and promiscuous enzymes active against various phosphorylated metabolites and peptides with several HADs implicated in detoxification of phosphorylated compounds and pseudouridine. The crystal structures of four yeast HADs provided insight into their active sites, whereas the structure of the YKR070W dimer in complex with substrate revealed a composite substrate-binding site. Although the S. cerevisiae and Escherichia coli HADs share low sequence similarities, the comparison of their substrate profiles revealed seven phosphatases with common preferred substrates. The cluster of secondary substrates supporting significant activity of both S. cerevisiae and E. coli HADs includes 28 common metabolites that appear to represent the pool of potential activities for the evolution of novel HAD phosphatases. Evolution of novel substrate specificities of HAD phosphatases shows no strict correlation with sequence divergence. Thus, evolution of the HAD superfamily combines the conservation of the overall substrate pool and the substrate profiles of some enzymes with remarkable biochemical and structural flexibility of other superfamily members. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Structural Insights into DD-Fold Assembly and Caspase-9 Activation by the Apaf-1 Apoptosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tsung-Wei; Yang, Chao-Yu; Kao, Wen-Pin; Kuo, Bai-Jiun; Lin, Shan-Meng; Lin, Jung-Yaw; Lo, Yu-Chih; Lin, Su-Chang

    2017-03-07

    Death domain (DD)-fold assemblies play a crucial role in regulating the signaling to cell survival or death. Here we report the crystal structure of the caspase recruitment domain (CARD)-CARD disk of the human apoptosome. The structure surprisingly reveals that three 1:1 Apaf-1:procaspase-9 CARD protomers form a novel helical DD-fold assembly on the heptameric wheel-like platform of the apoptosome. The small-angle X-ray scattering and multi-angle light scattering data also support that three protomers could form an oligomeric complex similar to the crystal structure. Interestingly, the quasi-equivalent environment of CARDs could generate different quaternary CARD assemblies. We also found that the type II interaction is conserved in all DD-fold complexes, whereas the type I interaction is found only in the helical DD-fold assemblies. This study provides crucial insights into the caspase activation mechanism, which is tightly controlled by a sophisticated and highly evolved CARD assembly on the apoptosome, and also enables better understanding of the intricate DD-fold assembly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Structural insights into the binding mechanism of IDO1 with hydroxylamidine based inhibitor INCB14943

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, You; Xu, Tingting; Liu, Jinsong; Ding, Ke; Xu, Jinxin

    2017-01-01

    IDO1 (indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase 1), a well characterized immunosuppressive enzyme, has attracted growing attention as a potential target for cancer immunotherapy. Hydroxylamidine compounds INCB024360 and INCB14943 (INCB024360 analogue) are highly effective IDO1 inhibitors. INCB024360 is undergoing clinical trials for treatment of various types of human cancer. Here, we determined the co-crystal structure of IDO1 and INCB14943, and elucidate the detailed binding mode. INCB14943 binds to heme iron in IDO1 protein through the oxime nitrogen. Further analysis also reveals that a halogen bonding interaction between the chlorine atom (3-Cl) of INCB14943 and the sulphur atom of C129 significantly improves the inhibition activity against IDO1. Comparing with the other reported inhibitors, the oxime nitrogen and halogen bond interaction are identified as the unique features of INCB14943 among the IDO1 inhibitors. Thus, our study provides novel insights into the interaction between a small molecule inhibitor INCB14943 and IDO1 protein. The structural information will facilitate future IDO1 inhibitor design. - Highlights: • This is the first co-crystal structure of IDO1 with hydroxylamidine compound. • INCB14943 binds to heme iron through oxime nitrogen instead of imidazole nitrogen. • Halogen bond interaction with C129 is another unique feature of INCB14943.

  7. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rost, Benjamin R; Schneider, Franziska; Grauel, M Katharina; Wozny, Christian; Bentz, Claudia; Blessing, Anja; Rosenmund, Tanja; Jentsch, Thomas J; Schmitz, Dietmar; Hegemann, Peter; Rosenmund, Christian

    2015-12-01

    Acidification is required for the function of many intracellular organelles, but methods to acutely manipulate their intraluminal pH have not been available. Here we present a targeting strategy to selectively express the light-driven proton pump Arch3 on synaptic vesicles. Our new tool, pHoenix, can functionally replace endogenous proton pumps, enabling optogenetic control of vesicular acidification and neurotransmitter accumulation. Under physiological conditions, glutamatergic vesicles are nearly full, as additional vesicle acidification with pHoenix only slightly increased the quantal size. By contrast, we found that incompletely filled vesicles exhibited a lower release probability than full vesicles, suggesting preferential exocytosis of vesicles with high transmitter content. Our subcellular targeting approach can be transferred to other organelles, as demonstrated for a pHoenix variant that allows light-activated acidification of lysosomes.

  8. Structure and stability insights into tumour suppressor p53 evolutionary related proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pagano

    Full Text Available The p53 family of genes and their protein products, namely, p53, p63 and p73, have over one billion years of evolutionary history. Advances in computational biology and genomics are enabling studies of the complexities of the molecular evolution of p53 protein family to decipher the underpinnings of key biological conditions spanning from cancer through to various metabolic and developmental disorders and facilitate the design of personalised medicines. However, a complete understanding of the inherent nature of the thermodynamic and structural stability of the p53 protein family is still lacking. This is due, to a degree, to the lack of comprehensive structural information for a large number of homologous proteins and to an incomplete knowledge of the intrinsic factors responsible for their stability and how these might influence function. Here we investigate the thermal stability, secondary structure and folding properties of the DNA-binding domains (DBDs of a range of proteins from the p53 family using biophysical methods. While the N- and the C-terminal domains of the p53 family show sequence diversity and are normally targets for post-translational modifications and alternative splicing, the central DBD is highly conserved. Together with data obtained from Molecular Dynamics simulations in solution and with structure based homology modelling, our results provide further insights into the molecular properties of evolutionary related p53 proteins. We identify some marked structural differences within the p53 family, which could account for the divergence in biological functions as well as the subtleties manifested in the oligomerization properties of this family.

  9. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Christophe; Cioci, Gianluca; Iannello, Marina; Laffly, Emmanuelle; Chouquet, Anne; Ferreira, Arturo; Thielens, Nicole M; Gaboriaud, Christine

    2016-11-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant 'eat-me' prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi , Entamoeba histolytica , Taenia solium , Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni . Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences.

  10. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Moreau

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Calreticulin (CRT is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant `eat-me' prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences.

  11. Structural and molecular insights into novel surface-exposed mucus adhesins from Lactobacillus reuteri human strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzold, Sabrina; MacKenzie, Donald A; Jeffers, Faye; Walshaw, John; Roos, Stefan; Hemmings, Andrew M; Juge, Nathalie

    2014-05-01

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal tract is the first point of contact of the intestinal microbiota with the host. Cell surface macromolecules are critical for adherence of commensal bacteria to mucus but structural information is scarce. Here we report the first molecular and structural characterization of a novel cell-surface protein, Lar_0958 from Lactobacillus reuteri JCM 1112(T) , mediating adhesion of L. reuteri human strains to mucus. Lar_0958 is a modular protein of 133 kDa containing six repeat domains, an N-terminal signal sequence and a C-terminal anchoring motif (LPXTG). Lar_0958 homologues are expressed on the cell-surface of L. reuteri human strains, as shown by flow-cytometry and immunogold microscopy. Adhesion of human L. reuteri strains to mucus in vitro was significantly reduced in the presence of an anti-Lar_0958 antibody and Lar_0958 contribution to adhesion was further confirmed using a L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 lar_0958 KO mutant (6475-KO). The X-ray crystal structure of a single Lar_0958 repeat, determined at 1.5 Å resolution, revealed a divergent immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich fold, sharing structural homology with the Ig-like inter-repeat domain of internalins of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. These findings provide unique structural insights into cell-surface protein repeats involved in adhesion of Gram-positive bacteria to the intestine. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. X-ray structure reveals a new class and provides insight into evolution of alkaline phosphatases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhash C Bihani

    Full Text Available The alkaline phosphatase (AP is a bi-metalloenzyme of potential applications in biotechnology and bioremediation, in which phosphate monoesters are nonspecifically hydrolysed under alkaline conditions to yield inorganic phosphate. The hydrolysis occurs through an enzyme intermediate in which the catalytic residue is phosphorylated. The reaction, which also requires a third metal ion, is proposed to proceed through a mechanism of in-line displacement involving a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. Stabilizing the transition state by bidentate hydrogen bonding has been suggested to be the reason for conservation of an arginine residue in the active site. We report here the first crystal structure of alkaline phosphatase purified from the bacterium Sphingomonas. sp. Strain BSAR-1 (SPAP. The crystal structure reveals many differences from other APs: 1 the catalytic residue is a threonine instead of serine, 2 there is no third metal ion binding pocket, and 3 the arginine residue forming bidentate hydrogen bonding is deleted in SPAP. A lysine and an aspargine residue, recruited together for the first time into the active site, bind the substrate phosphoryl group in a manner not observed before in any other AP. These and other structural features suggest that SPAP represents a new class of APs. Because of its direct contact with the substrate phosphoryl group, the lysine residue is proposed to play a significant role in catalysis. The structure is consistent with a mechanism of in-line displacement via a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. The structure provides important insights into evolutionary relationships between members of AP superfamily.

  13. Binding and Fusion of Extracellular Vesicles to the Plasma Membrane of Their Cell Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-08-09

    Exosomes and ectosomes, extracellular vesicles of two types generated by all cells at multivesicular bodies and the plasma membrane, respectively, play critical roles in physiology and pathology. A key mechanism of their function, analogous for both types of vesicles, is the fusion of their membrane to the plasma membrane of specific target cells, followed by discharge to the cytoplasm of their luminal cargo containing proteins, RNAs, and DNA. Here we summarize the present knowledge about the interactions, binding and fusions of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane. The sequence initiates with dynamic interactions, during which vesicles roll over the plasma membrane, followed by the binding of specific membrane proteins to their cell receptors. Membrane binding is then converted rapidly into fusion by mechanisms analogous to those of retroviruses. Specifically, proteins of the extracellular vesicle membranes are structurally rearranged, and their hydrophobic sequences insert into the target cell plasma membrane which undergoes lipid reorganization, protein restructuring and membrane dimpling. Single fusions are not the only process of vesicle/cell interactions. Upon intracellular reassembly of their luminal cargoes, vesicles can be regenerated, released and fused horizontally to other target cells. Fusions of extracellular vesicles are relevant also for specific therapy processes, now intensely investigated.

  14. Single-vesicle imaging reveals different transport mechanisms between glutamatergic and GABAergic vesicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farsi, Z.; Preobraschenski, J.; Bogaart, G. van den; Riedel, D.; Jahn, R.; Woehler, A.

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic transmission is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters, which involves exo-endocytotic cycling of synaptic vesicles. To maintain synaptic function, synaptic vesicles are refilled with thousands of neurotransmitter molecules within seconds after endocytosis, using the energy provided

  15. Transcriptome of extracellular vesicles released by hepatocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Royo

    Full Text Available The discovery that the cells communicate through emission of vesicles has opened new opportunities for better understanding of physiological and pathological mechanisms. This discovery also provides a novel source for non-invasive disease biomarker research. Our group has previously reported that hepatocytes release extracellular vesicles with protein content reflecting the cell-type of origin. Here, we show that the extracellular vesicles released by hepatocytes also carry RNA. We report the messenger RNA composition of extracellular vesicles released in two non-tumoral hepatic models: primary culture of rat hepatocytes and a progenitor cell line obtained from a mouse foetal liver. We describe different subpopulations of extracellular vesicles with different densities and protein and RNA content. We also show that the RNA cargo of extracellular vesicles released by primary hepatocytes can be transferred to rat liver stellate-like cells and promote their activation. Finally, we provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that liver-damaging drugs galactosamine, acetaminophen, and diclofenac modify the RNA content of these vesicles. To summarize, we show that the extracellular vesicles secreted by hepatocytes contain various RNAs. These vesicles, likely to be involved in the activation of stellate cells, might become a new source for non-invasive identification of the liver toxicity markers.

  16. Extracellular Vesicles in Hematological Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anat Aharon

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs, comprised of exosomes, microparticles, apoptotic bodies, and other microvesicles, are shed from a variety of cells upon cell activation or apoptosis. EVs promote clot formation, mediate pro-inflammatory processes, transfer proteins and miRNA to cells, and induce cell signaling that regulates cell differentiation, proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis. This paper will review the contribution of EVs in hematological disorders, including hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease, thalassemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and hematological malignancies (lymphomas, myelomas, and acute and chronic leukemias.

  17. Gas Vesicle Nanoparticles for Antigen Display

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiladitya DasSarma

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms like the halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 produce gas-filled buoyant organelles, which are easily purified as protein nanoparticles (called gas vesicles or GVNPs. GVNPs are non-toxic, exceptionally stable, bioengineerable, and self-adjuvanting. A large gene cluster encoding more than a dozen proteins has been implicated in their biogenesis. One protein, GvpC, found on the exterior surface of the nanoparticles, can accommodate insertions near the C-terminal region and results in GVNPs displaying the inserted sequences on the surface of the nanoparticles. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on GVNP structure and biogenesis as well as available studies on immunogenicity of pathogenic viral, bacterial, and eukaryotic proteins and peptides displayed on the nanoparticles. Recent improvements in genetic tools for bioengineering of GVNPs are discussed, along with future opportunities and challenges for development of vaccines and other applications.

  18. The International Society for Extracellular Vesicles launches the first massive open online course on extracellular vesicles

    OpenAIRE

    L?sser, Cecilia; Th?ry, Clotilde; Buz?s, Edit I.; Mathivanan, Suresh; Zhao, Weian; Gho, Yong Song; L?tvall, Jan

    2016-01-01

    The International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) has organised its first educational online course for students and beginners in the field of extracellular vesicles (EVs). This course, “Basics of Extracellular Vesicles,” uses recorded lectures from experts in the field and will be open for an unlimited number of participants. The course is divided into 5 modules and can be accessed at www.coursera.org/learn/extracellular-vesicles. The first module is an introduction to the field co...

  19. Structural insights into lipid-dependent reversible dimerization of human GLTP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samygina, Valeria R.; Ochoa-Lizarralde, Borja; Popov, Alexander N.; Cabo-Bilbao, Aintzane; Goni-de-Cerio, Felipe; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.; Malinina, Lucy

    2013-01-01

    It is shown that dimerization is promoted by glycolipid binding to human GLTP. The importance of dimer flexibility in wild-type protein is manifested by point mutation that ‘locks’ the dimer while diversifying ligand/protein adaptations. Human glycolipid transfer protein (hsGLTP) forms the prototypical GLTP fold and is characterized by a broad transfer selectivity for glycosphingolipids (GSLs). The GLTP mutation D48V near the ‘portal entrance’ of the glycolipid binding site has recently been shown to enhance selectivity for sulfatides (SFs) containing a long acyl chain. Here, nine novel crystal structures of hsGLTP and the SF-selective mutant complexed with short-acyl-chain monoSF and diSF in different crystal forms are reported in order to elucidate the potential functional roles of lipid-mediated homodimerization. In all crystal forms, the hsGLTP–SF complexes displayed homodimeric structures supported by similarly organized intermolecular interactions. The dimerization interface always involved the lipid sphingosine chain, the protein C-terminus (C-end) and α-helices 6 and 2, but the D48V mutant displayed a ‘locked’ dimer conformation compared with the hinge-like flexibility of wild-type dimers. Differences in contact angles, areas and residues at the dimer interfaces in the ‘flexible’ and ‘locked’ dimers revealed a potentially important role of the dimeric structure in the C-end conformation of hsGLTP and in the precise positioning of the key residue of the glycolipid recognition centre, His140. ΔY207 and ΔC-end deletion mutants, in which the C-end is shifted or truncated, showed an almost complete loss of transfer activity. The new structural insights suggest that ligand-dependent reversible dimerization plays a role in the function of human GLTP

  20. Structural insights into methanol-stable variants of lipase T6 from Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dror, Adi; Kanteev, Margarita; Kagan, Irit; Gihaz, Shalev; Shahar, Anat; Fishman, Ayelet

    2015-11-01

    Enzymatic production of biodiesel by transesterification of triglycerides and alcohol, catalyzed by lipases, offers an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to the chemically catalyzed process while using low-grade feedstocks. Methanol is utilized frequently as the alcohol in the reaction due to its reactivity and low cost. However, one of the major drawbacks of the enzymatic system is the presence of high methanol concentrations which leads to methanol-induced unfolding and inactivation of the biocatalyst. Therefore, a methanol-stable lipase is of great interest for the biodiesel industry. In this study, protein engineering was applied to substitute charged surface residues with hydrophobic ones to enhance the stability in methanol of a lipase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6. We identified a methanol-stable variant, R374W, and combined it with a variant found previously, H86Y/A269T. The triple mutant, H86Y/A269T/R374W, had a half-life value at 70 % methanol of 324 min which reflects an 87-fold enhanced stability compared to the wild type together with elevated thermostability in buffer and in 50 % methanol. This variant also exhibited an improved biodiesel yield from waste chicken oil compared to commercial Lipolase 100L® and Novozyme® CALB. Crystal structures of the wild type and the methanol-stable variants provided insights regarding structure-stability correlations. The most prominent features were the extensive formation of new hydrogen bonds between surface residues directly or mediated by structural water molecules and the stabilization of Zn and Ca binding sites. Mutation sites were also characterized by lower B-factor values calculated from the X-ray structures indicating improved rigidity.

  1. Transdermal delivery of flurbiprofen from surfactant-based vesicles: particle characterization and the effect of water on in vitro transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchino, Tomonobu; Matsumoto, Yuiko; Murata, Akiko; Oka, Toshihiko; Miyazaki, Yasunori; Kagawa, Yoshiyuki

    2014-04-10

    Flurbiprofen loaded rigid and elastic vesicles comprising the bilayer-forming surfactant sucrose-ester laurate were prepared by the film rehydration and extrusion method. The charge-inducing agent sodium dodecyl sulfate, and the micelle-forming surfactants, sorbitan monolaurate, polyethylene glycol monolaurate, and polysorbate 20, were used to enhance elasticity. Vesicle formulations were evaluated for size, zeta potential, (1)H and (19)F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra, and in vitro skin permeation across Yucatan micropig (YMP) skin. Vesicle formulations were stable for 2 weeks and their mean sizes were 95-135 nm. NMR spectroscopy showed that flurbiprofen molecular mobility was restricted by interaction with vesicle components because of entrapment in vesicle bilayers. Moreover, sorbitan monolaurate-containing vesicles strongly retained flurbiprofen molecules. After non-occlusive application to YMP skin, flurbiprofen transport from all vesicle formulations was superior to that of flurbiprofen alone and remarkably decreased after water vaporization. Polarization microscopy and small-angle X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the vesicle formulation was transferred to liquid crystalline state. Suppression of vesicle transition to the liquid crystalline state was observed with applications of both large quantities and diluted samples. The presence of water in the formulations was associated with maintenance of the vesicle structure and greater flurbiprofen transport across YMP skin. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The structure of psychological life satisfaction: insights from farmers and a general community sample in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Psychological life satisfaction is a robust predictor of wellbeing. Public health measures to improve wellbeing would benefit from an understanding of how overall life satisfaction varies as a function of satisfaction with multiple life domains, an area that has been little explored. We examine a sample of drought-affected Australian farmers and a general community sample of Australians to investigate how domain satisfaction combines to form psychological satisfaction. In particular, we introduce a way of statistically testing for the presence of “supra-domains” of satisfaction to propose a novel way of examining the composition of psychological life satisfaction to gain insights for health promotion and policy. Methods Covariance between different perceptions of life domain satisfaction was identified by conducting correlation, regression, and exploratory factor analyses on responses to the Personal Wellbeing Index. Structural equations modelling was then used to (a) validate satisfaction supra-domain constructs emerging from different perceptions of life domain satisfaction, and (b) model relationships between supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction. Results Perceived satisfaction with eight different life domains loaded onto a single unitary satisfaction construct adequately in each sample. However, in both samples, different domains better loaded onto two separate but correlated constructs (‘supra-domains’): “satisfaction with connectedness” and “satisfaction with efficacy”. Modelling reciprocal pathways between these supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction revealed that efficacy mediated the link between connectedness and psychological satisfaction. Conclusions If satisfaction with connectedness underlies satisfaction with efficacy (and thus psychological satisfaction), a novel insight for health policy emerges: psychological life satisfaction, a vital part of

  3. The structure of psychological life satisfaction: insights from farmers and a general community sample in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OBrien Léan V

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Psychological life satisfaction is a robust predictor of wellbeing. Public health measures to improve wellbeing would benefit from an understanding of how overall life satisfaction varies as a function of satisfaction with multiple life domains, an area that has been little explored. We examine a sample of drought-affected Australian farmers and a general community sample of Australians to investigate how domain satisfaction combines to form psychological satisfaction. In particular, we introduce a way of statistically testing for the presence of “supra-domains” of satisfaction to propose a novel way of examining the composition of psychological life satisfaction to gain insights for health promotion and policy. Methods Covariance between different perceptions of life domain satisfaction was identified by conducting correlation, regression, and exploratory factor analyses on responses to the Personal Wellbeing Index. Structural equations modelling was then used to (a validate satisfaction supra-domain constructs emerging from different perceptions of life domain satisfaction, and (b model relationships between supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction. Results Perceived satisfaction with eight different life domains loaded onto a single unitary satisfaction construct adequately in each sample. However, in both samples, different domains better loaded onto two separate but correlated constructs (‘supra-domains’: “satisfaction with connectedness” and “satisfaction with efficacy”. Modelling reciprocal pathways between these supra-domains and an explicit measure of psychological life satisfaction revealed that efficacy mediated the link between connectedness and psychological satisfaction. Conclusions If satisfaction with connectedness underlies satisfaction with efficacy (and thus psychological satisfaction, a novel insight for health policy emerges: psychological life satisfaction

  4. Kinetic and Structural Insights into the Mechanism of AMPylation by VopS Fic Domain*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Phi; Kinch, Lisa N.; Brautigam, Chad A.; Grishin, Nick V.; Tomchick, Diana R.; Orth, Kim

    2010-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen Vibrio parahemeolyticus manipulates host signaling pathways during infections by injecting type III effectors into the cytoplasm of the target cell. One of these effectors, VopS, blocks actin assembly by AMPylation of a conserved threonine residue in the switch 1 region of Rho GTPases. The modified GTPases are no longer able to interact with downstream effectors due to steric hindrance by the covalently linked AMP moiety. Herein we analyze the structure of VopS and its evolutionarily conserved catalytic residues. Steady-state analysis of VopS mutants provides kinetic understanding on the functional role of each residue for AMPylation activity by the Fic domain. Further mechanistic analysis of VopS with its two substrates, ATP and Cdc42, demonstrates that VopS utilizes a sequential mechanism to AMPylate Rho GTPases. Discovery of a ternary reaction mechanism along with structural insight provides critical groundwork for future studies for the family of AMPylators that modify hydroxyl-containing residues with AMP. PMID:20410310

  5. Kinetic and Structural Insights into the Mechanism of AMPylation by VopS Fic Domain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luong, Phi; Kinch, Lisa N.; Brautigam, Chad A.; Grishin, Nick V.; Tomchick, Diana R.; Orth, Kim (UTSMC)

    2010-07-19

    The bacterial pathogen Vibrio parahemeolyticus manipulates host signaling pathways during infections by injecting type III effectors into the cytoplasm of the target cell. One of these effectors, VopS, blocks actin assembly by AMPylation of a conserved threonine residue in the switch 1 region of Rho GTPases. The modified GTPases are no longer able to interact with downstream effectors due to steric hindrance by the covalently linked AMP moiety. Herein we analyze the structure of VopS and its evolutionarily conserved catalytic residues. Steady-state analysis of VopS mutants provides kinetic understanding on the functional role of each residue for AMPylation activity by the Fic domain. Further mechanistic analysis of VopS with its two substrates, ATP and Cdc42, demonstrates that VopS utilizes a sequential mechanism to AMPylate Rho GTPases. Discovery of a ternary reaction mechanism along with structural insight provides critical groundwork for future studies for the family of AMPylators that modify hydroxyl-containing residues with AMP.

  6. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elias, Mikael; Liebschner, Dorothee; Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated

  7. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elias, Mikael, E-mail: mikael.elias@weizmann.ac.il [Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel); Liebschner, Dorothee [CRM2, Nancy Université (France); Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric [AFMB, Université Aix-Marseille II (France)

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated.

  8. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R. (Sanofi Aventis); (UMASS, Amherst)

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  9. Insight into the biological effects of acupuncture points by X-ray absorption fine structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenglin; Liu, Qinghua; Zhang, Dongming; Liu, Wei; Yan, Xiaohui; Zhang, Xinyi; Oyanagi, Hiroyuki; Pan, Zhiyun; Hu, Fengchun; Wei, Shiqiang

    2018-06-02

    Exploration of the biological effects of transition metal ions in acupuncture points is essential to clarify the functional mechanism of acupuncture treatment. Here we show that in the SP6 acupuncture point (Sanyinjiao) the Fe ions are in a high-spin state of approximately t 2g 4.5 e g 1.5 in an Fe-N(O) octahedral crystal field. The Fe K-edge synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption fine structure results reveal that the Fe-N and Fe-O bond lengths in the SP6 acupuncture point are 2.05 and 2.13 Å, respectively, and are 0.05-0.10 Å longer than those in the surrounding tissue. The distorted atomic structure reduces the octahedral symmetry and weakens the crystal field around the Fe ions by approximately 0.3 eV, leading to the high-spin configuration of the Fe ions, which is favorable for strengthening the magnetotransport and oxygen transportation properties in the acupuncture point by the enhanced spin coherence. This finding might provide some insight into the microscopic effect of the atomic and electronic interactions of transition metal ions in the acupuncture point. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  10. Identification and characterisation of a novel acylpeptide hydrolase from Sulfolobus solfataricus: structural and functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Gogliettino

    Full Text Available A novel acylpeptide hydrolase, named APEH-3(Ss, was isolated from the hypertermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. APEH is a member of the prolyl oligopeptidase family which catalyzes the removal of acetylated amino acid residues from the N terminus of oligopeptides. The purified enzyme shows a homotrimeric structure, unique among the associate partners of the APEH cluster and, in contrast to the archaeal APEHs which show both exo/endo peptidase activities, it appears to be a "true" aminopeptidase as exemplified by its mammalian counterparts, with which it shares a similar substrate specificity. Furthermore, a comparative study on the regulation of apeh gene expression, revealed a significant but divergent alteration in the expression pattern of apeh-3(Ss and apeh(Ss (the gene encoding the previously identified APEH(Ss from S. solfataricus, which is induced in response to various stressful growth conditions. Hence, both APEH enzymes can be defined as stress-regulated proteins which play a complementary role in enabling the survival of S. solfataricus cells under different conditions. These results provide new structural and functional insights into S. solfataricus APEH, offering a possible explanation for the multiplicity of this enzyme in Archaea.

  11. Base pairing and structural insights into the 5-formylcytosine in RNA duplex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Luo, Zhipu; He, Kaizhang; Delaney, Michael O.; Chen, Doris; Sheng, Jia

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 5-Formylcytidine (f5C), a previously discovered natural nucleotide in the mitochondrial tRNA of many species including human, has been recently detected as the oxidative product of 5-methylcytidine (m5C) through 5-hydroxymethylcytidine (hm5C) in total RNA of mammalian cells. The discovery indicated that these cytosine derivatives in RNA might also play important epigenetic roles similar as in DNA, which has been intensively investigated in the past few years. In this paper, we studied the base pairing specificity of f5C in different RNA duplex contexts. We found that the 5-formyl group could increase duplex thermal stability and enhance base pairing specificity. We present three high-resolution crystal structures of an octamer RNA duplex [5′-GUA(f5C)GUAC-3′]2 that have been solved under three crystallization conditions with different buffers and pH values. Our results showed that the 5-formyl group is located in the same plane as the cytosine base and forms an intra-residue hydrogen bond with the amino group in the N4 position. In addition, this modification increases the base stacking between the f5C and the neighboring bases while not causing significant global and local structure perturbations. This work provides insights into the effects of 5-formylcytosine on RNA duplex. PMID:27079978

  12. Vesicle fluctuation analysis of the effects of sterols on membrane bending rigidity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Jonas Rosager; Rowat, Amy C.; Ipsen, John H.

    2004-01-01

    Sterols are regulators of both biological function and structure. The role of cholesterol in promoting the structural and mechanical stability of membranes is widely recognized. Knowledge of how the related sterols, lanosterol and ergosterol, affect membrane mechanical properties is sparse. This ...... on vesicle behaviour are also discussed. These recent modifications render vesicle fluctuation analysis an efficient and accurate method for determining how cholesterol, lanosterol, and ergosterol increase membrane bending rigidity....

  13. Lubrication synergy: Mixture of hyaluronan and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raj, Akanksha; Wang, Min; Zander, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    consisting of non-homogeneous phospholipid bilayer with hyaluronan/DPPC aggregates on top. The presence of these aggregates generates a long-range repulsive surface force as two such surfaces are brought together. However, the aggregates are easily deformed, partly rearranged into multilayer structures......Phospholipids and hyaluronan have been implied to fulfil important roles in synovial joint lubrication. Since both components are present in synovial fluid, self-assembly structures formed by them should also be present. We demonstrate by small angle X-ray scattering that hyaluronan associates...... with the outer shell of dipalmitoylphophatidylcholine (DPPC) vesicles in bulk solution. Further, we follow adsorption to silica from mixed hyaluronan/DPPC vesicle solution by Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation measurements. Atomic Force Microscope imaging visualises the adsorbed layer structure...

  14. Extracellular plasma RNA from colon cancer patients is confined in a vesicle-like structure and is mRNA-enriched

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, José Miguel; García, Vanesa; Peña, Cristina; Domínguez, Gemma; Silva, Javier; Diaz, Raquel; Espinosa, Pablo; Citores, Maria Jesús; Collado, Manuel; Bonilla, Félix

    2008-01-01

    Little is yet known about the origin and protective mechanism of free nucleic acids in plasma. We investigated the possibility of these free nucleic acids being particle associated. Plasma samples from colon cancer patients and cell culture media were subjected to various antibody incubations, ultracentrifugation, and RNA extraction protocols for total RNA, epithelial RNA, and mRNA. Flow cytometry using a Ber-EP4 antibody and confocal laser microscopy after staining with propidium iodide were also performed. mRNA levels of the LISCH7 and SDHA genes were determined in cells and in culture media. Ber-EP4 antibody and polystyrene beads coated with oligo dT sequences were employed. We observed that, after incubation, total RNA and mRNA were always detected after membrane digestion, and that epithelial RNA was detected before this procedure. In ultracentrifugation, mRNA was caught in the supernatant only if a former lysis mediated or in the pellet if there was no previous digestion. Flow cytometry determinations showed that antibody-coated microbeads keep acellular structures bearing epithelial antigens apart. Confocal laser microscopy made 1- to 2-μm-diameter particles perceptible in the vicinity of magnetic polystyrene beads. Relevant differences were observed between mRNA of cells and culture media, as there was a considerable difference in LISCH7 mRNA levels between HT29 and IMR90 cell co-cultures and their culture media. Our results support the view that extracellular RNA found in plasma from cancer patients circulates in association with or is protected in a multiparticle complex, and that an active release mechanism by tumor cells may be a possible origin. PMID:18456845

  15. Crystal Structures of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domains of Kinesin Light Chains: Insight into Cargo Recognition Mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Haizhong; Lee, Han Youl; Tong, Yufeng; Hong, Bum-Soo; Kim, Kyung-Phil; Shen, Yang; Lim, Kyung Jik; Mackenzie, Farrell; Tempel, Wolfram; Park, Hee-Won (SGC-Toronto); (PPCS); (Toronto)

    2012-10-23

    Kinesin-1 transports various cargos along the axon by interacting with the cargos through its light chain subunit. Kinesin light chains (KLC) utilize its tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain to interact with over 10 different cargos. Despite a high sequence identity between their TPR domains (87%), KLC1 and KLC2 isoforms exhibit differential binding properties towards some cargos. We determined the structures of human KLC1 and KLC2 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains using X-ray crystallography and investigated the different mechanisms by which KLCs interact with their cargos. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we attributed the specific interaction between KLC1 and JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) cargo to residue N343 in the fourth TRP repeat. Structurally, the N343 residue is adjacent to other asparagines and lysines, creating a positively charged polar patch within the groove of the TPR domain. Whereas, KLC2 with the corresponding residue S328 did not interact with JIP1. Based on these finding, we propose that N343 of KLC1 can form 'a carboxylate clamp' with its neighboring asparagine to interact with JIP1, similar to that of HSP70/HSP90 organizing protein-1's (HOP1) interaction with heat shock proteins. For the binding of cargos shared by KLC1 and KLC2, we propose a different site located within the groove but not involving N343. We further propose a third binding site on KLC1 which involves a stretch of polar residues along the inter-TPR loops that may form a network of hydrogen bonds to JIP3 and JIP4. Together, these results provide structural insights into possible mechanisms of interaction between KLC TPR domains and various cargo proteins.

  16. Structures of foot and mouth disease virus pentamers: Insight into capsid dissociation and unexpected pentamer reassociation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayab Malik

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV belongs to the Aphthovirus genus of the Picornaviridae, a family of small, icosahedral, non-enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses. It is a highly infectious pathogen and is one of the biggest hindrances to the international trade of animals and animal products. FMDV capsids (which are unstable below pH6.5 release their genome into the host cell from an acidic compartment, such as that of an endosome, and in the process dissociate into pentamers. Whilst other members of the family (enteroviruses have been visualized to form an expanded intermediate capsid with holes from which inner capsid proteins (VP4, N-termini (VP1 and RNA can be released, there has been no visualization of any such state for an aphthovirus, instead the capsid appears to simply dissociate into pentamers. Here we present the 8-Å resolution structure of isolated dissociated pentamers of FMDV, lacking VP4. We also found these pentamers to re-associate into a rigid, icosahedrally symmetric assembly, which enabled their structure to be solved at higher resolution (5.2 Å. In this assembly, the pentamers unexpectedly associate 'inside out', but still with their exposed hydrophobic edges buried. Stabilizing interactions occur between the HI loop of VP2 and its symmetry related partners at the icosahedral 3-fold axes, and between the BC and EF loops of VP3 with the VP2 βB-strand and the CD loop at the 2-fold axes. A relatively extensive but subtle structural rearrangement towards the periphery of the dissociated pentamer compared to that in the mature virus provides insight into the mechanism of dissociation of FMDV and the marked difference in antigenicity.

  17. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Amyloglucosidase enzymatic reactivity inside lipid vesicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Jin-Woo

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Efficient functioning of enzymes inside liposomes would open new avenues for applications in biocatalysis and bioanalytical tools. In this study, the entrapment of amyloglucosidase (AMG (EC 3.2.1.3 from Aspergillus niger into dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC multilamellar vesicles (MLVs and large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs was investigated. Negative-stain, freeze-fracture, and cryo-transmission electron microscopy images verified vesicle formation in the presence of AMG. Vesicles with entrapped AMG were isolated from the solution by centrifugation, and vesicle lamellarity was identified using fluorescence laser confocal microscopy. The kinetics of starch hydrolysis by AMG was modeled for two different systems, free enzyme in aqueous solution and entrapped enzyme within vesicles in aqueous suspension. For the free enzyme system, intrinsic kinetics were described by a Michaelis-Menten kinetic model with product inhibition. The kinetic constants, Vmax and Km, were determined by initial velocity measurements, and Ki was obtained by fitting the model to experimental data of glucose concentration-time curves. Predicted concentration-time curves using these kinetic constants were in good agreement with experimental measurements. In the case of the vesicles, the time-dependence of product (glucose formation was experimentally determined and simulated by considering the kinetic behavior of the enzyme and the permeation of substrate into the vesicle. Experimental results demonstrated that entrapped enzymes were much more stable than free enyzme. The entrapped enzyme could be recycled with retention of 60% activity after 3 cycles. These methodologies can be useful in evaluating other liposomal catalysis operations.

  19. Elastic vesicles for transdermal drug delivery of hydrophilic drugs: a comparison of important physicochemical characteristics of different vesicle types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntimenou, Vassiliki; Fahr, Alfred; Antimisiaris, Sophia G

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the influence of different lipid vesicular systems on the skin permeation ability of hydrophilic molecules, and understand if and which vesicle physicochemical properties may be used as predictive tools. Calcein and carboxyfluorescein were used as hydrophilic drug models. All vesicles (conventional liposomes [CLs], transfersomes [TRs] and invasomes [INVs]), were characterized for particle size distribution, zeta-potential, vesicular shape and morphology, encapsulation efficiency, integrity, colloidal stability, elasticity and finally in vitro human skin permeation. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) defined that almost all vesicles had spherical structure, low polydispersity (PI Elasticity values (measured by extrusion through membranes) were in the order INVs > TRs > CLs. Three vesicle types were selected (having different elasticity) and in vitro skin permeation experiments demonstrated that calcein permeation was minimal from an aqueous solution, slightly enhanced from CLs, and enhanced by 1.8 and 7.2 times from TRs and INVs, respectively. Permeation and elasticity values were correlated by rank order but not linearly, indicating that elasticity can be used as a crude predictive tool for enhancement of skin transport. Drug encapsulation efficiency was not found to be an important factor in the current study.

  20. Mechanism-based Inhibitors of the Human Sirtuin 5 Deacylase: Structure-Activity Relationship, Biostructural, and Kinetic Insight

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rajabi, Nima; Auth, Marina; Troelsen, Kathrin Rentzius

    2017-01-01

    to date. We provide rationalization of the mode of binding by solving co-crystal structures of selected inhibitors in complex with both human and zebrafish SIRT5, which provide insight for future optimization of inhibitors with more "drug-like" properties. Importantly, enzyme kinetic evaluation revealed...

  1. Responsive Polydiacetylene Vesicles for Biosensing Microorganisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estelle Lebègue

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Polydiacetylene (PDA inserted in films or in vesicles has received increasing attention due to its property to undergo a blue-to-red colorimetric transition along with a change from non-fluorescent to fluorescent upon application of various stimuli. In this review paper, the principle for the detection of various microorganisms (bacteria, directly detected or detected through the emitted toxins or through their DNA, and viruses and of antibacterial and antiviral peptides based on these responsive PDA vesicles are detailed. The analytical performances obtained, when vesicles are in suspension or immobilized, are given and compared to those of the responsive vesicles mainly based on the vesicle encapsulation method. Many future challenges are then discussed.

  2. Structural Insights into Diversity and n-Alkane Biodegradation Mechanisms of Alkane Hydroxylases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurui eJi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental microbes utilize four degradation pathways for the oxidation of n-alkanes. Although the enzymes degrading n-alkanes in different microbes may vary, enzymes functioning in the first step in the aerobic degradation of alkanes all belong to the alkane hydroxylases. Alkane hydroxylases are a class of enzymes that insert oxygen atoms derived from molecular oxygen into different sites of the alkane terminus (or termini depending on the type of enzymes. In this review, we summarize the different types of alkane hydroxylases, their degrading steps and compare typical enzymes from various classes with regard to their three dimensional structures, in order to provide insights into how the enzymes mediate their different roles in the degradation of n-alkanes and what determines their different substrate ranges. Through the above analyses, the degrading mechanisms of enzymes can be elucidated and molecular biological methods can be utilized to expand their catalytic roles in the petrochemical industry or in bioremediation of oil-contaminated environments.

  3. Composition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in acanthamoeba castellanii: structural and evolutionary insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawryluk, Ryan M R; Chisholm, Kenneth A; Pinto, Devanand M; Gray, Michael W

    2012-11-01

    The mitochondrion, derived in evolution from an α-proteobacterial progenitor, plays a key metabolic role in eukaryotes. Mitochondria house the electron transport chain (ETC) that couples oxidation of organic substrates and electron transfer to proton pumping and synthesis of ATP. The ETC comprises several multiprotein enzyme complexes, all of which have counterparts in bacteria. However, mitochondrial ETC assemblies from animals, plants and fungi are generally more complex than their bacterial counterparts, with a number of 'supernumerary' subunits appearing early in eukaryotic evolution. Little is known, however, about the ETC of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), which are key to understanding the evolution of mitochondria and the ETC. We present an analysis of the ETC proteome from Acanthamoeba castellanii, an ecologically, medically and evolutionarily important member of Amoebozoa (sister to Opisthokonta). Data obtained from tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analyses of purified mitochondria as well as ETC complexes isolated via blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis are combined with the results of bioinformatic queries of sequence databases. Our bioinformatic analyses have identified most of the ETC subunits found in other eukaryotes, confirming and extending previous observations. The assignment of proteins as ETC subunits by MS/MS provides important insights into the primary structures of ETC proteins and makes possible, through the use of sensitive profile-based similarity searches, the identification of novel constituents of the ETC along with the annotation of highly divergent but phylogenetically conserved ETC subunits. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The sights and insights of examiners in objective structured clinical examinations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Chong

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE is considered to be one of the most robust methods of clinical assessment. One of its strengths lies in its ability to minimise the effects of examiner bias due to the standardisation of items and tasks for each candidate. However, OSCE examiners’ assessment scores are influenced by several factors that may jeopardise the assumed objectivity of OSCEs. To better understand this phenomenon, the current review aims to determine and describe important sources of examiner bias and the factors affecting examiners’ assessments. Methods We performed a narrative review of the medical literature using Medline. All articles meeting the selection criteria were reviewed, with salient points extracted and synthesised into a clear and comprehensive summary of the knowledge in this area. Results OSCE examiners’ assessment scores are influenced by factors belonging to 4 different domains: examination context, examinee characteristics, examinee-examiner interactions, and examiner characteristics. These domains are composed of several factors including halo, hawk/dove and OSCE contrast effects; the examiner’s gender and ethnicity; training; lifetime experience in assessing; leadership and familiarity with students; station type; and site effects. Conclusion Several factors may influence the presumed objectivity of examiners’ assessments, and these factors need to be addressed to ensure the objectivity of OSCEs. We offer insights into directions for future research to better understand and address the phenomenon of examiner bias.

  5. Cyclotide Evolution: Insights from the Analyses of Their Precursor Sequences, Structures and Distribution in Violets (Viola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungkyu Park

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Cyclotides are a family of plant proteins that are characterized by a cyclic backbone and a knotted disulfide topology. Their cyclic cystine knot (CCK motif makes them exceptionally resistant to thermal, chemical, and enzymatic degradation. By disrupting cell membranes, the cyclotides function as host defense peptides by exhibiting insecticidal, anthelmintic, antifouling, and molluscicidal activities. In this work, we provide the first insight into the evolution of this family of plant proteins by studying the Violaceae, in particular species of the genus Viola. We discovered 157 novel precursor sequences by the transcriptomic analysis of six Viola species: V. albida var. takahashii, V. mandshurica, V. orientalis, V. verecunda, V. acuminata, and V. canadensis. By combining these precursor sequences with the phylogenetic classification of Viola, we infer the distribution of cyclotides across 63% of the species in the genus (i.e., ~380 species. Using full precursor sequences from transcriptomes, we show an evolutionary link to the structural diversity of the cyclotides, and further classify the cyclotides by sequence signatures from the non-cyclotide domain. Also, transcriptomes were compared to cyclotide expression on a peptide level determined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the novel cyclotides discovered were associated with the emergence of new biological functions.

  6. Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Stephen K; Bock, Tobias; Hering, Vanessa; Owens, Rebecca A; Jones, Gary W; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Doyle, Sean

    2017-02-01

    Gliotoxin is an epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class toxin, contains a disulfide bridge that mediates its toxic effects via redox cycling and is produced by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus Self-resistance against gliotoxin is effected by the gliotoxin oxidase GliT, and attenuation of gliotoxin biosynthesis is catalysed by gliotoxin S -methyltransferase GtmA. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structures of GtmA-apo (1.66 Å), GtmA complexed to S -adenosylhomocysteine (1.33 Å) and GtmA complexed to S -adenosylmethionine (2.28 Å), providing mechanistic insights into this important biotransformation. We further reveal that simultaneous elimination of the ability of A. fumigatus to dissipate highly reactive dithiol gliotoxin, via deletion of GliT and GtmA, results in the most significant hypersensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin observed to date. Indeed, quantitative proteomic analysis of Δ gliT ::Δ gtmA reveals an uncontrolled over-activation of the gli -cluster upon gliotoxin exposure. The data presented herein reveal, for the first time, the extreme risk associated with intracellular dithiol gliotoxin biosynthesis-in the absence of an efficient dismutation capacity. Significantly, a previously concealed protective role for GtmA and functionality of ETP bis -thiomethylation as an ancestral protection strategy against dithiol compounds is now evident. © 2017 The Authors.

  7. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously measured tropical forest plots is presented. Long-term measurements, 72 years at the leeward site, and 25 years at windward site, of stem density are similar to initial and pre-hurricane values at both sites. For 10 years post-hurricane Hugo (1989, stem density increased at both sites. Following that increase period, stem density has remained at 1400 to 1600 stems/ha in the leeward site, and at 1200 stems/ha in the windward site. The forests had similar basal area values before hurricane Hugo in 1989, but these sites are following different patterns of basal area accumulation. The leeward forest site continues to accumulate and increase basal area with each successive measurement, currently above 50 m2/ha. The windward forest site maintains its basal area values close to an asymptote of 35 m2/ha. Currently, the most abundant species at both sites is the sierra palm. Ordinations to explore variation in tree species composition through time present the leeward site with a trajectory of directional change, while at the windward site, the composition of species seems to be converging to pre-hurricane conditions. The observed differences in forest structure and composition from sites differently affected by hurricane disturbance provide insight into how particular forest characteristics respond at shorter or longer time scales in relation to previous site conditions and intensity of disturbance effects.

  8. Insight into structural phase transitions from the decoupled anharmonic mode approximation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Donat J; Passerone, Daniele

    2016-08-03

    We develop a formalism (decoupled anharmonic mode approximation, DAMA) that allows calculation of the vibrational free energy using density functional theory even for materials which exhibit negative curvature of the potential energy surface with respect to atomic displacements. We investigate vibrational modes beyond the harmonic approximation and approximate the potential energy surface with the superposition of the accurate potential along each normal mode. We show that the free energy can stabilize crystal structures at finite temperatures which appear dynamically unstable at T  =  0. The DAMA formalism is computationally fast because it avoids statistical sampling through molecular dynamics calculations, and is in principle completely ab initio. It is free of statistical uncertainties and independent of model parameters, but can give insight into the mechanism of a structural phase transition. We apply the formalism to the perovskite cryolite, and investigate the temperature-driven phase transition from the P21/n to the Immm space group. We calculate a phase transition temperature between 710 and 950 K, in fair agreement with the experimental value of 885 K. This can be related to the underestimation of the interaction of the vibrational states. We also calculate the main axes of the thermal ellipsoid and can explain the experimentally observed increase of its volume for the fluorine by 200-300% throughout the phase transition. Our calculations suggest the appearance of tunneling states in the high temperature phase. The convergence of the vibrational DOS and of the critical temperature with respect of reciprocal space sampling is investigated using the polarizable-ion model.

  9. Spontaneous transfer of gangliotetraosylceramide between phospholipid vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, R.E.; Sugar, I.P.; Thompson, T.E.

    1985-01-01

    The transfer kinetics of the neutral glycosphingolipid gangliotetraosylceramide (asialo-GM1) were investigated by monitoring tritiated asialo-GM1 movement from donor to acceptor vesicles. Two different methods were employed to separate donor and acceptor vesicles at desired time intervals. In one method, a negative charge was imparted to dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine donor vesicles by including 10 mol% dipalmitoylphosphatidic acid. Donors were separated from neutral dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine acceptor vesicles by ion-exchange chromatography. In the other method, small, unilamellar donor vesicles and large, unilamellar acceptor vesicles were coincubated at 45 degrees C and then separated at desired time intervals by molecular sieve chromatography. The majority of asialo-GM1 transfer to acceptor vesicles occurred as a slow first-order process with a half-time of about 24 days assuming that the relative concentration of asialo-GM1 in the phospholipid matrix was identical in each half of the donor bilayer and that no glycolipid flip-flop occurred. Asialo-GM1 net transfer was calculated relative to that of [ 14 C]cholesteryl oleate, which served as a nontransferable marker in the donor vesicles. A nearly identical transfer half-time was obtained when the phospholipid matrix was changed from dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine to palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine. Varying the acceptor vesicle concentration did not significantly alter the asialo-GM1 transfer half-time. This result is consistent with a transfer mechanism involving diffusion of glycolipid through the aqueous phase rather than movement of glycolipid following formation of collisional complexes between donor and acceptor vesicles. (Abstract Truncated)

  10. Intact deposition of cationic vesicles on anionic cellulose fibers: Role of vesicle size, polydispersity, and substrate roughness studied via streaming potential measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Abhijeet; Gilson, Laurent; Henrich, Franziska; Dahl, Verena; Kleinen, Jochen; Gambaryan-Roisman, Tatiana; Venzmer, Joachim

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the mechanism of intact vesicle deposition on solid surfaces is important for effective utilization of vesicles as active ingredient carriers in applications such as drug delivery and fabric softening. In this study, the deposition of large (davg=12μm) and small (davg=0.27μm) cationic vesicles of ditallowethylester dimethylammonium chloride (DEEDMAC) on smooth and rough anionic cellulose fibers is investigated. The deposition process is studied quantitatively using streaming potential measurements and spectrophotometric determination of DEEDMAC concentrations. Natural and regenerated cellulose fibers, namely cotton and viscose, having rough and smooth surfaces, respectively, are used as adsorbents. Equilibrium deposition data and profiles of substrate streaming potential variation with deposition are used to gain insights into the fate of vesicles upon deposition and the deposition mechanism. Intact deposition of DEEDMAC vesicles is ascertained based on streaming potential variation with deposition in the form of characteristic saturating profiles which symbolize particle-like deposition. The same is also confirmed by confocal fluorescence microscopy. Substrate roughness is found to considerably influence the deposition mechanism which, in a novel application of electrokinetic methods, is elucidated via streaming potential measurements. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The role of extracellular vesicles in phenotypic cancer transformation:

    OpenAIRE

    Kralj-Iglič, Veronika; Ogorevc, Eva; Veranič, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Background. Cancer has traditionally been considered as a disease resulting from gene mutations. New findings in biology are challenging gene-centered explanations of cancer progression and redirecting them to the non-genetic origins of tumorigenicity. It has become clear that intercellular communication plays a crucial role in cancer progression. Among the most intriguing ways of intercellular communication is that via extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane structures released from v...

  12. Single-crystal structure determination of hydrous minerals and insights into a wet deep lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Yuan, H.; Meng, Y.; Popov, D.

    2017-12-01

    Water enters the Earth's interior through hydrated subducting slabs. How deep within the lower mantle (670-2900 km depth) can water be transported down and stored depends upon the availability of hydrous phases that is thermodynamically stable under the high P-T conditions and have a sufficiently high density to sink through the lower mantle. Phase H [MgSiH2O4] (1) and the δ-AlOOH (2) form solid solutions that are stable in the deep lower mantle (3), but the solid solution phase is 10% lighter than the corresponding lower mantle. Recent experimental discoveries of the pyrite (Py) structured FeO2 and FeOOH (4-6) suggest that these Fe-enriched phases can be transported to the deepest lower mantle owing to their high density. We have further discovered a very dense hydrous phase in (Fe,Al)OOH with a previously unknown hexagonal symmetry and this phase is stable relative to the Py-phase under extreme high P-T conditions in the deep lower mantle. Through in situ multigrain analysis (7) and single-crystal structure determination of the hydrous minerals at P-Tconditions of the deep lower mantle, we can obtain detailed structure information of the hydrous phases and therefore provide insights into the hydration mechanism in the deep lower mantle. These highly stable hydrous minerals extend the water cycle at least to the depth of 2900 km. 1. M. Nishi et al., Nature Geoscience 7, 224-227 (2014). 2. E. Ohtani, K. Litasov, A. Suzuki, T. Kondo, Geophysical Research Letters 28, 3991-3993 (2001). 3. I. Ohira et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters 401, 12-17 (2014). 4. Q. Hu et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, 1498-1501 (2017). 5. M. Nishi, Y. Kuwayama, J. Tsuchiya, T. Tsuchiya, Nature 547, 205-208 (2017). 6. Q. Hu et al., Nature 534, 241-244 (2016). 7. L. Zhang et al., American Mineralogist 101, 231-234 (2016).

  13. On the Computing Potential of Intracellular Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayne, Richard; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Collision-based computing (CBC) is a form of unconventional computing in which travelling localisations represent data and conditional routing of signals determines the output state; collisions between localisations represent logical operations. We investigated patterns of Ca2+-containing vesicle distribution within a live organism, slime mould Physarum polycephalum, with confocal microscopy and observed them colliding regularly. Vesicles travel down cytoskeletal 'circuitry' and their collisions may result in reflection, fusion or annihilation. We demonstrate through experimental observations that naturally-occurring vesicle dynamics may be characterised as a computationally-universal set of Boolean logical operations and present a 'vesicle modification' of the archetypal CBC 'billiard ball model' of computation. We proceed to discuss the viability of intracellular vesicles as an unconventional computing substrate in which we delineate practical considerations for reliable vesicle 'programming' in both in vivo and in vitro vesicle computing architectures and present optimised designs for both single logical gates and combinatorial logic circuits based on cytoskeletal network conformations. The results presented here demonstrate the first characterisation of intracelluar phenomena as collision-based computing and hence the viability of biological substrates for computing.

  14. MR imaging of the seminal vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edson, S.B.; Hricak, H.; Chun-Fang Chang, Y.

    1987-01-01

    The seminal vesicles of 56 healthy males and 23 males with pathologic conditions were studied with a .35-T magnet and spin-echo (SE) techniques (repetition time/echo time [msec] = 500/30 and 2,000/60). The authors analyzed (1) the size and relative signal intensity of seminal vesicles compared to surrounding fat, muscle, or urine; (2) the effect of aging on the size and signal intensity of the vesicles, and (3) the appearance of the seminal vesicles in different pathologic conditions. In the transverse plane, the normal seminal vesicle measures 31 +- 7 mm in length and 17 +- 4 mm in width. Its size or signal intensity did not change significantly with age. On SE = 500/30 images the seminal vesicles were isointense with muscle; on SE = 2,000/60 images they were isointense or slightly hypointense relative to fat. MR imaging was highly sensitive for displaying seminal vesicle pathology, based on asymmetry in size and changes in signal intensities. MR imaging provides unique information but its role in pathologic conditions needs to be further explored

  15. B-GATA transcription factors - insights into their structure, regulation and role in plant development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claus eSchwechheimer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available GATA transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved transcriptional regulators that recognize promoter elements with a G-A-T-A core sequence. In comparison to animal genomes, the GATA transcription factor family in plants is comparatively large with approximately 30 members. In spite of a long-standing interest of plant molecular biologists in GATA factors, only research conducted in the last years has led to reliable insights into their functions during plant development. Here, we review the current knowledge on B-GATAs, one of four GATA factor subfamilies from Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that B-GATAs can be subdivided based on structural features and their biological function into family members with a C-terminal LLM- (leucine-leucine-methionine domain or an N-terminal HAN- (HANABA TARANU domain. The paralogous GNC (GATA, NITRATE-INDUCIBLE, CARBON-METABOLISM INVOLVED and CGA1/GNL (CYTOKININ-INDUCED GATA1/GNC-LIKE are introduced as LLM-domain containing B-GATAs from Arabidopsis that control germination, greening, senescence and flowering time downstream from several growth regulatory signals including light and the hormones gibberellin, auxin, and cytokinin. Arabidopsis HAN and its monocot-specific paralogs from rice (NECK LEAF1, maize (TASSEL SHEATH1, and barley (THIRD OUTER GLUME are HAN-domain-containing B-GATAs with a predominant role in embryo development and floral development. We also review GATA23, a regulator of lateral root initiation from Arabidopsis, that is closely related to GNC and GNL but has a degenerate LLM-domain that is seemingly specific for the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae-specific GATA23 together with the above-mentioned monocot-specific HAN-domain GATAs provide evidence that neofunctionalization of the B-GATAs was used during plant evolution to expand the functional repertoire of these transcription factors.

  16. CYANOMETHANIMINE ISOMERS IN COLD INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS: INSIGHTS FROM ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE AND KINETIC CALCULATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazart, Fanny; Latouche, Camille; Skouteris, Dimitrios; Barone, Vincenzo [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56125 Pisa (Italy); Balucani, Nadia [Dipartimento di Chimica, Biologia e Biotecnologie, Universitá degli Studi di Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, I-06123 Perugia (Italy)

    2015-09-10

    New insights into the formation of interstellar cyanomethanimine, a species of great relevance in prebiotic chemistry, are provided by electronic structure and kinetic calculations for the reaction CN + CH{sub 2} = NH. This reaction is a facile formation route of Z,E-C-cyanomethanimine, even under the extreme conditions of density and temperature typical of cold interstellar clouds. E-C-cyanomethanimine has been recently identified in Sgr B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey by P. Zaleski et al. and no efficient formation routes have been envisaged so far. The rate coefficient expression for the reaction channel leading to the observed isomer E-C-cyanomethanimine is 3.15 × 10-10 × (T/300){sup 0.152} × e{sup (−0.0948/T)}. According to the present study, the more stable Z-C-cyanomethanimine isomer is formed with a slightly larger yield (4.59 × 10{sup −10} × (T/300){sup 0.153} × e{sup (−0.0871/T)}. As the detection of E-isomer is favored due to its larger dipole moment, the missing detection of the Z-isomer can be due to the sensitivity limit of the GBT PRIMOS survey and the detection of the Z-isomer should be attempted with more sensitive instrumentation. The CN + CH{sub 2} = NH reaction can also play a role in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan where the cyanomethanimine products can contribute to the buildup of the observed nitrogen-rich organic aerosols that cover the moon.

  17. Structural insights into mechanisms for inhibiting amyloid β42 aggregation by non-catechol-type flavonoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanaki, Mizuho; Murakami, Kazuma; Akagi, Ken-ichi; Irie, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-15

    The prevention of 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) aggregation is promising for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We previously described the site-specific inhibitory mechanism for Aβ42 aggregation by a catechol-type flavonoid, (+)-taxifolin, targeting Lys16,28 after its autoxidation. In contrast, non-catechol-type flavonoids (morin, datiscetin, and kaempferol) inhibited Aβ42 aggregation without targeting Lys16,28 with almost similar potencies to that of (+)-taxifolin. We herein provided structural insights into their mechanisms for inhibiting Aβ42 aggregation. Physicochemical analyses revealed that their inhibition did not require autoxidation. The (1)H-(15)N SOFAST-HMQC NMR of Aβ42 in the presence of morin and datiscetin revealed the significant perturbation of chemical shifts of His13,14 and Gln15, which were close to the intermolecular β-sheet region, Gln15-Ala21. His13,14 also played a role in radical formation at Tyr10, thereby inducing the oxidation of Met35, which has been implicated in Aβ42 aggregation. These results suggest the direct interaction of morin and datiscetin with the Aβ42 monomer. Although only kaempferol was oxidatively-degraded during incubation, its degradation products as well as kaempferol itself suppressed Aβ42 aggregation. However, neither kaempferol nor its decomposed products perturbed the chemical shifts of the Aβ42 monomer. Aggregation experiments using 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol-treated Aβ42 demonstrated that kaempferol and its degradation products inhibited the elongation rather than nucleation phase, implying that they interacted with small aggregates of Aβ42, but not with the monomer. In contrast, morin and datiscetin inhibited both phases. The position and number of hydroxyl groups on the B-ring of non-catechol-type flavonoids could be important for their inhibitory potencies and mechanisms against Aβ42 aggregation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 3D-structured illumination microscopy provides novel insight into architecture of human centrosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina F. Sonnen

    2012-08-01

    Centrioles are essential for the formation of cilia and flagella. They also form the core of the centrosome, which organizes microtubule arrays important for cell shape, polarity, motility and division. Here, we have used super-resolution 3D-structured illumination microscopy to analyse the spatial relationship of 18 centriole and pericentriolar matrix (PCM components of human centrosomes at different cell cycle stages. During mitosis, PCM proteins formed extended networks with interspersed γ-Tubulin. During interphase, most proteins were arranged at specific distances from the walls of centrioles, resulting in ring staining, often with discernible density masses. Through use of site-specific antibodies, we found the C-terminus of Cep152 to be closer to centrioles than the N-terminus, illustrating the power of 3D-SIM to study protein disposition. Appendage proteins showed rings with multiple density masses, and the number of these masses was strongly reduced during mitosis. At the proximal end of centrioles, Sas-6 formed a dot at the site of daughter centriole assembly, consistent with its role in cartwheel formation. Plk4 and STIL co-localized with Sas-6, but Cep135 was associated mostly with mother centrioles. Remarkably, Plk4 formed a dot on the surface of the mother centriole before Sas-6 staining became detectable, indicating that Plk4 constitutes an early marker for the site of nascent centriole formation. Our study provides novel insights into the architecture of human centrosomes and illustrates the power of super-resolution microscopy in revealing the relative localization of centriole and PCM proteins in unprecedented detail.

  19. A study of the enhanced sensitizing capacity of a contact allergen in lipid vesicle formulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simonsson, Carl; Madsen, Jakob Torp; Graneli, Annette; Andersen, Klaus E.; Karlberg, Ann-Therese; Jonsson, Charlotte A.; Ericson, Marica B.

    2011-01-01

    The growing focus on nanotechnology and the increased use of nano-sized structures, e.g. vesicles, in topical formulations has led to safety concerns. We have investigated the sensitizing capacity and penetration properties of a fluorescent model compound, rhodamine B isothiocyanate (RBITC), when administered in micro- and nano-scale vesicle formulations. The sensitizing capacity of RBITC was studied using the murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) and the skin penetration properties were compared using diffusion cells in combination with two-photon microscopy (TPM). The lymph node cell proliferation, an indicator of a compounds sensitizing capacity, increased when RBITC was applied in lipid vesicles as compared to an ethanol:water (Et:W) solution. Micro-scale vesicles showed a slightly higher cell proliferative response compared to nano-scale vesicles. TPM imaging revealed that the vesicle formulations improved the skin penetration of RBITC compared to the Et:W solution. A strong fluorescent region in the stratum corneum and upper epidermis implies elevated association of RBITC to these skin layers when formulated in lipid vesicles. In conclusion, the results indicate that there could be an elevated risk of sensitization when haptens are delivered in vehicles containing lipid vesicles. Although the size of the vesicles seems to be of minor importance, further studies are needed before a more generalized conclusion can be drawn. It is likely that the enhanced sensitizing capacity is a consequence of the improved penetration and increased formation of hapten-protein complexes in epidermis when RBITC is delivered in ethosomal formulations. - Graphical Abstract: Display Omitted

  20. Insight into the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction through first-principles study of chiral magnetic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandratskii, L. M.

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of the paper is to gain deeper insight into microscopic formation of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI). The paper aims at the development of the physical picture able to address apparently contradicting conclusions of recent studies concerning the location of the DMI energy in the real and reciprocal spaces as well as the relation between values of the atomic moments and the DMI strength. The main tools of our study are the first-principles calculations of the energies of the spiral magnetic states with opposite chiralities. We suggest a method of the calculation of the spiral structures with account for the spin-orbit coupling (SOC). It is based on the application of the generalized Bloch theorem and generalized Bloch functions and allows to reduce the consideration of arbitrary incommensurate spiral to small chemical unit cell. The method neglects the anisotropy in the plane orthogonal to the rotation axis of the spirals that does not influence importantly the DMI energy. For comparison, the supercell calculation with full account for the SOC is performed. The concrete calculations are performed for the Co/Pt bilayer. We consider the distribution of the DMI energy in both real and reciprocal spaces and the dependence of the DMI on the number of electrons. The results of the calculations reveal a number of energy compensations in the formation of the DMI. Thus, the partial atomic contributions as functions of the spiral wave vector q are nonmonotonic and have strongly varying slopes. However, in the total DMI energy these atom-related features compensate each other, resulting in a smooth q dependence. The reason for the peculiar form of the partial DMI contributions is a q -dependent difference in the charge distribution between q and -q spirals. The strongly q -dependent relation between atomic contributions shows that the real-space distribution of the DMI energy obtained for a selected q value cannot be considered as a general

  1. Vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes exhibit differential responses to the cell-penetrating peptide Pep-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almarwani, Bashiyar; Phambu, Esther Nzuzi; Alexander, Christopher; Nguyen, Ha Aimee T; Phambu, Nsoki; Sunda-Meya, Anderson

    2018-06-01

    The cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) Pep-1 presents a great potential in drug delivery due to its intrinsic property to cross plasma membrane. However, its mechanism of entry into the cell remains unresolved. In this study, we compare the selectivity of Pep-1 towards vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes. The interaction was performed in a wide range of peptide-to-lipid molar ratios using infrared (IR), fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques. At low peptide concentration, fluorescence experiments show that lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) seems to enable Pep-1 translocation into cancer cell membrane as evidenced by the blue shift of its maximal emission wavelength. DSC data show that Pep-1 induces segregation of lipids. At high peptide concentration, IR data indicate that the interaction of Pep-1 is relatively stronger with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the phosphate groups, while the interaction is weaker with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the carbonyl groups. TGA and DSC data reveal that vesicles of normal cell membrane are thermally more stable than vesicles of cancer cell membrane. This suggests that the additional lipid PS included in cancer cell membrane has a destabilizing effect on the membrane structure. SEM images reveal that Pep-1 form superstructures including spherical particles and fibrils in the presence of both model membranes. PS seems to enhance peptide transport across cellular membranes. The biophysical techniques in this study provide valuable insights into the properties of CPPs in drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Size control of giant unilamellar vesicles prepared from inverted emulsion droplets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Kazuya; Suzuki, Hiroaki; Toyota, Taro; Yomo, Tetsuya

    2012-06-15

    The production of giant lipid vesicles with controlled size and structure will be an important technology in the design of quantitative biological assays in cell-mimetic microcompartments. For establishing size control of giant vesicles, we investigated the vesicle formation process, in which inverted emulsion droplets are transformed into giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) when they pass through an oil/water interface. The relationship between the size of the template emulsion and the converted GUVs was studied using inverted emulsion droplets with a narrow size distribution, which were prepared by microfluidics. We successfully found an appropriate centrifugal acceleration condition to obtain GUVs that had a desired size and narrow-enough size distribution with an improved yield so that emulsion droplets can become the template for GUVs. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Transfer of oleic acid between albumin and phospholipid vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, J.A.; Cistola, D.P.

    1986-01-01

    The net transfer of oleic acid between egg phosphatidylcholine unilamellar vesicles and bovine serum albumin has been monitored by 13 C NMR spectroscopy and 90% isotopically substituted [1- 13 C]oleic acid. The carboxyl chemical shifts of oleic acid bound to albumin were different from those for oleic acid in phospholipid vesicles. Therefore, in mixtures of donor particles, the equilibrium distribution of oleic acid was determined from chemical shift and peak intensity data without separation of donor and acceptor particles. In a system containing equal masses of albumin and phospholipid and a stoichiometry of 4-5 mol of oleic acid per mol of albumin, the oleic acid distribution was pH dependent, with ≥80% of the oleic acid associated with albumin at pH 7.4; association was ≥90% at pH 8.0. Decreasing the pH below 7.4 markedly decreased the proportion of fatty acid bound to albumin. The distribution was reversible with pH and was independent of whether vesicles or albumin acted as a donor. These data suggest that pH may strongly influence the partitioning of fatty acid between cellular membranes and albumin. The 13 C NMR method is also advantageous because it provides information about the structural environments of oleic acid bound to albumin or phospholipid, the ionization state of oleic acid in each environment, and the structural integrity of the vesicles. In addition, minimum and maximum limits for the exchange rates of oleic acid among different environments were obtained from the NMR data

  4. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmission in complex animals depends on a choir of functionally distinct synapses releasing neurotransmitters in a highly coordinated manner. During synaptic signaling, vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents. The rate of vesicle fusion is high and can exceed the rate at which synaptic vesicles can be re-supplied by distant sources. Thus, local compensatory endocytosis is needed to replenish the synaptic vesicle pools. Over the last four decades, various experimental methods and model systems have been used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycle. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is thought to be the predominant mechanism for synaptic vesicle recycling. However, recent studies suggest significant contribution from other modes of endocytosis, including fast compensatory endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis, ultrafast endocytosis, as well as kiss-and-run. Currently, it is not clear whether a universal model of vesicle recycling exist for all types of synapses. It is possible that each synapse type employs a particular mode of endocytosis. Alternatively, multiple modes of endocytosis operate at the same synapse, and the synapse toggles between different modes depending on its activity level. Here we compile review and research articles based on well-characterized model systems: frog neuromuscular junctions, C. elegans neuromuscular junctions, Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, lamprey reticulospinal giant axons, goldfish retinal ribbon synapses, the calyx of Held, and rodent hippocampal synapses. We will compare these systems in terms of their known modes and kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, as well as the underlying molecular machineries. We will also provide the future development of this field.

  5. SnoRNAs from the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa: structural, functional and evolutionary insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Chun-Long

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SnoRNAs represent an excellent model for studying the structural and functional evolution of small non-coding RNAs involved in the post-transcriptional modification machinery for rRNAs and snRNAs in eukaryotic cells. Identification of snoRNAs from Neurospora crassa, an important model organism playing key roles in the development of modern genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology will provide insights into the evolution of snoRNA genes in the fungus kingdom. Results Fifty five box C/D snoRNAs were identified and predicted to guide 71 2'-O-methylated sites including four sites on snRNAs and three sites on tRNAs. Additionally, twenty box H/ACA snoRNAs, which potentially guide 17 pseudouridylations on rRNAs, were also identified. Although not exhaustive, the study provides the first comprehensive list of two major families of snoRNAs from the filamentous fungus N. crassa. The independently transcribed strategy dominates in the expression of box H/ACA snoRNA genes, whereas most of the box C/D snoRNA genes are intron-encoded. This shows that different genomic organizations and expression modes have been adopted by the two major classes of snoRNA genes in N. crassa . Remarkably, five gene clusters represent an outstanding organization of box C/D snoRNA genes, which are well conserved among yeasts and multicellular fungi, implying their functional importance for the fungus cells. Interestingly, alternative splicing events were found in the expression of two polycistronic snoRNA gene hosts that resemble the UHG-like genes in mammals. Phylogenetic analysis further revealed that the extensive separation and recombination of two functional elements of snoRNA genes has occurred during fungus evolution. Conclusion This is the first genome-wide analysis of the filamentous fungus N. crassa snoRNAs that aids in understanding the differences between unicellular fungi and multicellular fungi. As compared with two yeasts, a more complex

  6. The Human Pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes Releases Lipoproteins as Lipoprotein-rich Membrane Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biagini, Massimiliano; Garibaldi, Manuela; Aprea, Susanna; Pezzicoli, Alfredo; Doro, Francesco; Becherelli, Marco; Taddei, Anna Rita; Tani, Chiara; Tavarini, Simona; Mora, Marirosa; Teti, Giuseppe; D'Oro, Ugo; Nuti, Sandra; Soriani, Marco; Margarit, Immaculada; Rappuoli, Rino; Grandi, Guido; Norais, Nathalie

    2015-08-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins are attractive vaccine candidates because they represent a major class of cell surface-exposed proteins in many bacteria and are considered as potential pathogen-associated molecular patterns sensed by Toll-like receptors with built-in adjuvanticity. Although Gram-negative lipoproteins have been extensively characterized, little is known about Gram-positive lipoproteins. We isolated from Streptococcus pyogenes a large amount of lipoproteins organized in vesicles. These vesicles were obtained by weakening the bacterial cell wall with a sublethal concentration of penicillin. Lipid and proteomic analysis of the vesicles revealed that they were enriched in phosphatidylglycerol and almost exclusively composed of lipoproteins. In association with lipoproteins, a few hypothetical proteins, penicillin-binding proteins, and several members of the ExPortal, a membrane microdomain responsible for the maturation of secreted proteins, were identified. The typical lipidic moiety was apparently not necessary for lipoprotein insertion in the vesicle bilayer because they were also recovered from the isogenic diacylglyceryl transferase deletion mutant. The vesicles were not able to activate specific Toll-like receptor 2, indicating that lipoproteins organized in these vesicular structures do not act as pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In light of these findings, we propose to name these new structures Lipoprotein-rich Membrane Vesicles. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  7. Electron tomography of fusiform vesicles and their organization in urothelial cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samo Hudoklin

    Full Text Available The formation of fusiform vesicles (FVs is one of the most distinctive features in the urothelium of the urinary bladder. FVs represent compartments for intracellular transport of urothelial plaques, which modulate the surface area of the superficial urothelial (umbrella cells during the distension-contraction cycle. We have analysed the three-dimensional (3D structure of FVs and their organization in umbrella cells of mouse urinary bladders. Compared to chemical fixation, high pressure freezing gave a new insight into the ultrastructure of urothelial cells. Electron tomography on serial sections revealed that mature FVs had a shape of flattened discs, with a diameter of up to 1.2 µm. The lumen between the two opposing asymmetrically thickened membranes was very narrow, ranging from 5 nm to 10 nm. Freeze-fracturing and immunolabelling confirmed that FVs contain two opposing urothelial plaques connected by a hinge region that made an omega shaped curvature. In the central cytoplasm, 4-15 FVs were often organized into stacks. In the subapical cytoplasm, FVs were mainly organized as individual vesicles. Distension-contraction cycles did not affect the shape of mature FVs; however, their orientation changed from parallel in distended to perpendicular in contracted bladder with respect to the apical plasma membrane. In the intermediate cells, shorter and more dilated immature FVs were present. The salient outcome from this research is the first comprehensive, high resolution 3D view of the ultrastructure of FVs and how they are organized differently depending on their location in the cytoplasm of umbrella cells. The shape of mature FVs and their organization into tightly packed stacks makes them a perfect storage compartment, which transports large amounts of urothelial plaques while occupying a small volume of umbrella cell cytoplasm.

  8. Insight into Evolution, Processing and Performance of Multi-length-scale Structures in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Ching; Tsao, Cheng-Si; Cho, Yi-Ju; Chen, Kuan-Chen; Chiang, Kai-Ming; Hsiao, Sheng-Yi; Chen, Chang-Wen; Su, Chun-Jen; Jeng, U-Ser; Lin, Hao-Wu

    2015-09-04

    The structural characterization correlated to the processing control of hierarchical structure of planar heterojunction perovskite layer is still incomplete due to the limitations of conventional microscopy and X-ray diffraction. This present study performed the simultaneously grazing-incidence small-angle scattering and wide-angle scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) techniques to quantitatively probe the hierarchical structure of the planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells. The result is complementary to the currently microscopic study. Correlation between the crystallization behavior, crystal orientation, nano- and meso-scale internal structure and surface morphology of perovskite film as functions of various processing control parameters is reported for the first time. The structural transition from the fractal pore network to the surface fractal can be tuned by the chloride percentage. The GISAXS/GIWAXS measurement provides the comprehensive understanding of concurrent evolution of the film morphology and crystallization correlated to the high performance. The result can provide the insight into formation mechanism and rational synthesis design.

  9. Insight into Evolution, Processing and Performance of Multi-length-scale Structures in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Ching; Tsao, Cheng-Si; Cho, Yi-Ju; Chen, Kuan-Chen; Chiang, Kai-Ming; Hsiao, Sheng-Yi; Chen, Chang-Wen; Su, Chun-Jen; Jeng, U.-Ser; Lin, Hao-Wu

    2015-09-01

    The structural characterization correlated to the processing control of hierarchical structure of planar heterojunction perovskite layer is still incomplete due to the limitations of conventional microscopy and X-ray diffraction. This present study performed the simultaneously grazing-incidence small-angle scattering and wide-angle scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) techniques to quantitatively probe the hierarchical structure of the planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells. The result is complementary to the currently microscopic study. Correlation between the crystallization behavior, crystal orientation, nano- and meso-scale internal structure and surface morphology of perovskite film as functions of various processing control parameters is reported for the first time. The structural transition from the fractal pore network to the surface fractal can be tuned by the chloride percentage. The GISAXS/GIWAXS measurement provides the comprehensive understanding of concurrent evolution of the film morphology and crystallization correlated to the high performance. The result can provide the insight into formation mechanism and rational synthesis design.

  10. Synaptic vesicle dynamic changes in a model of fragile X.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broek, Jantine A C; Lin, Zhanmin; de Gruiter, H Martijn; van 't Spijker, Heleen; Haasdijk, Elize D; Cox, David; Ozcan, Sureyya; van Cappellen, Gert W A; Houtsmuller, Adriaan B; Willemsen, Rob; de Zeeuw, Chris I; Bahn, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a single-gene disorder that is the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). FXS is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats in the promoter region of the fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1). This leads to a lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which regulates translation of a wide range of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The extent of expression level alterations of synaptic proteins affected by FMRP loss and their consequences on synaptic dynamics in FXS has not been fully investigated. Here, we used an Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS by monitoring protein expression changes using shotgun label-free liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(E)) in brain tissue and synaptosome fractions. FXS-associated candidate proteins were validated using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in synaptosome fractions for targeted protein quantification. Furthermore, functional alterations in synaptic release and dynamics were evaluated using live-cell imaging, and interpretation of synaptic dynamics differences was investigated using electron microscopy. Key findings relate to altered levels of proteins involved in GABA-signalling, especially in the cerebellum. Further exploration using microscopy studies found reduced synaptic vesicle unloading of hippocampal neurons and increased vesicle unloading in cerebellar neurons, which suggests a general decrease of synaptic transmission. Our findings suggest that FMRP is a regulator of synaptic vesicle dynamics, which supports the role of FMRP in presynaptic functions. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the molecular changes associated with FXS.

  11. New Insights into HTLV-1 Particle Structure, Assembly, and Gag-Gag Interactions in Living Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolene L. Johnson

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1 has a reputation for being extremely difficult to study in cell culture. The challenges in propagating HTLV-1 has prevented a rigorous analysis of how these viruses replicate in cells, including the detailed steps involved in virus assembly. The details for how retrovirus particle assembly occurs are poorly understood, even for other more tractable retroviral systems. Recent studies on HTLV-1 using state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy and fluorescence-based biophysical approaches explored questions related to HTLV-1 particle size, Gag stoichiometry in virions, and Gag-Gag interactions in living cells. These results provided new and exciting insights into fundamental aspects of HTLV-1 particle assembly—which are distinct from those of other retroviruses, including HIV-1. The application of these and other novel biophysical approaches promise to provide exciting new insights into HTLV-1 replication.

  12. Absolute Molecular Orientation of Isopropanol at Ceria (100) Surfaces: Insight into Catalytic Selectivity from the Interfacial Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doughty, Benjamin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Goverapet Srinivasan, Sriram [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Indian Inst. of Technology (IIT), Rajasthan (India); Bryantsev, Vyacheslav S. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lee, Dongkyu [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lee, Ho Nyung [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Ma, Ying-Zhong [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lutterman, Daniel A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-06-12

    The initial mechanistic steps underlying heterogeneous chemical catalysis can be described in a framework where the composition, structure, and orientation of molecules adsorbed to reactive interfaces are known. However, extracting this vital information is the limiting step in most cases due in part to challenges in probing the interfacial monolayer with enough chemical specificity to characterize the surface molecular constituents. These challenges are exacerbated at complex or spatially heterogeneous interfaces where competing processes and a distribution of local environments can uniquely drive chemistry. To address these limitations, this work presents a distinctive combination of materials synthesis, surface specific optical experiments, and theory to probe and understand molecular structure at catalytic interfaces. Specifically, isopropanol was adsorbed to surfaces of the model CeO2 catalyst that were synthesized with only the (100) facet exposed. Vibrational sum-frequency generation was used to probe the molecular monolayer, and with the guidance of density functional theory calculations, was used to extract the structure and absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol at the CeO2 (100) surface. Our results show that isopropanol is readily deprotonated at the surface, and through the measured absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol, we obtain new insight into the selectivity of the (100) surface to form propylene. Our findings reveal key insight into the chemical and physical phenomena taking place at pristine interfaces thereby pointing to intuitive structural arguments to describe catalytic selectivity in more complex systems.

  13. Placental Nano-vesicles Target to Specific Organs and Modulate Vascular Tone In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Mancy; Stanley, Joanna L; Chen, Q; James, Joanna L; Stone, Peter R; Chamley, Larry W

    2017-11-01

    pregnant women, pregnant CD1 mice were used as a model of pregnancy. This is the first study to report the localization of placental nano-vesicles and their vascular effects in vivo. This work provides new insight into how the dramatic maternal cardiovascular adaptations to pregnancy may occur and indicates that placental extracellular vesicles may be important mediators of feto-maternal communication in a healthy pregnancy. This research was supported by the Faculty of Medical and Health Science (FMHS) School of Medicine PBRF research fund to L.W.C. M.T. is a recipient of a University of Auckland Health Research Doctoral Scholarship and the Freemasons Postgraduate Scholarship. No authors have any competing interests to disclose. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  14. Astrocytic Vesicle Mobility in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Zorec

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are no longer considered subservient to neurons, and are, instead, now understood to play an active role in brain signaling. The intercellular communication of astrocytes with neurons and other non-neuronal cells involves the exchange of molecules by exocytotic and endocytotic processes through the trafficking of intracellular vesicles. Recent studies of single vesicle mobility in astrocytes have prompted new views of how astrocytes contribute to information processing in nervous tissue. Here, we review the trafficking of several types of membrane-bound vesicles that are specifically involved in the processes of (i intercellular communication by gliotransmitters (glutamate, adenosine 5'-triphosphate, atrial natriuretic peptide, (ii plasma membrane exchange of transporters and receptors (EAAT2, MHC-II, and (iii the involvement of vesicle mobility carrying aquaporins (AQP4 in water homeostasis. The properties of vesicle traffic in astrocytes are discussed in respect to networking with neighboring cells in physiologic and pathologic conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and states in which astrocytes contribute to neuroinflammatory conditions.

  15. A scenario for a genetically controlled fission of artificial vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bönzli, Eva; Hadorn, Maik; Jørgensen, Mikkel Girke

    2011-01-01

    to vesicles (Hanczyc et al. 2003). In the present work, we developed a scenario how a genetically controlled fission of vesicles may be achieved by the synthesis of a special class of viral proteins within artificial vesicles. Because the authors already have a lot of experience in the water-in-oil emulsion...... be incorporated into vesicles, and therefore allow the synthesis of a large number of proteins (Noireaux et al. 2005). However, vesicle fission remains one of the upcoming challenges in the artificial cell project (Noireaux et al. 2011). So far, vesicle fission is implemented by applying mechanical stress...

  16. Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Meier

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In dilute aqueous solutions certain amphiphilic block copolymers self-assemble into vesicles that enclose a small pool of water with a membrane. Such polymersomes have promising applications ranging from targeted drug-delivery devices, to biosensors, and nanoreactors. Interactions between block copolymer membranes and their surroundings are important factors that determine their potential biomedical applications. Such interactions are influenced predominantly by the membrane surface. We review methods to functionalize block copolymer vesicle surfaces by chemical means with ligands such as antibodies, adhesion moieties, enzymes, carbohydrates and fluorophores. Furthermore, surface-functionalization can be achieved by self-assembly of polymers that carry ligands at their chain ends or in their hydrophilic blocks. While this review focuses on the strategies to functionalize vesicle surfaces, the applications realized by, and envisioned for, such functional polymersomes are also highlighted.

  17. A quorum-sensing molecule acts as a morphogen controlling gas vesicle organelle biogenesis and adaptive flotation in an enterobacterium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsay, Joshua P.; Williamson, Neil R.; Spring, David R.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2011-01-01

    Gas vesicles are hollow intracellular proteinaceous organelles produced by aquatic Eubacteria and Archaea, including cyanobacteria and halobacteria. Gas vesicles increase buoyancy and allow taxis toward air–liquid interfaces, enabling subsequent niche colonization. Here we report a unique example of gas vesicle-mediated flotation in an enterobacterium; Serratia sp. strain ATCC39006. This strain is a member of the Enterobacteriaceae previously studied for its production of prodigiosin and carbapenem antibiotics. Genes required for gas vesicle synthesis mapped to a 16.6-kb gene cluster encoding three distinct homologs of the main structural protein, GvpA. Heterologous expression of this locus in Escherichia coli induced copious vesicle production and efficient cell buoyancy. Gas vesicle morphogenesis in Serratia enabled formation of a pellicle-like layer of highly vacuolated cells, which was dependent on oxygen limitation and the expression of ntrB/C and cheY-like regulatory genes within the gas-vesicle gene cluster. Gas vesicle biogenesis was strictly controlled by intercellular chemical signaling, through an N-acyl homoserine lactone, indicating that in this system the quorum-sensing molecule acts as a morphogen initiating organelle development. Flagella-based motility and gas vesicle morphogenesis were also oppositely regulated by the small RNA-binding protein, RsmA, suggesting environmental adaptation through physiological control of the choice between motility and flotation as alternative taxis modes. We propose that gas vesicle biogenesis in this strain represents a distinct mechanism of mobility, regulated by oxygen availability, nutritional status, the RsmA global regulatory system, and the quorum-sensing morphogen. PMID:21873216

  18. A quorum-sensing molecule acts as a morphogen controlling gas vesicle organelle biogenesis and adaptive flotation in an enterobacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsay, Joshua P; Williamson, Neil R; Spring, David R; Salmond, George P C

    2011-09-06

    Gas vesicles are hollow intracellular proteinaceous organelles produced by aquatic Eubacteria and Archaea, including cyanobacteria and halobacteria. Gas vesicles increase buoyancy and allow taxis toward air-liquid interfaces, enabling subsequent niche colonization. Here we report a unique example of gas vesicle-mediated flotation in an enterobacterium; Serratia sp. strain ATCC39006. This strain is a member of the Enterobacteriaceae previously studied for its production of prodigiosin and carbapenem antibiotics. Genes required for gas vesicle synthesis mapped to a 16.6-kb gene cluster encoding three distinct homologs of the main structural protein, GvpA. Heterologous expression of this locus in Escherichia coli induced copious vesicle production and efficient cell buoyancy. Gas vesicle morphogenesis in Serratia enabled formation of a pellicle-like layer of highly vacuolated cells, which was dependent on oxygen limitation and the expression of ntrB/C and cheY-like regulatory genes within the gas-vesicle gene cluster. Gas vesicle biogenesis was strictly controlled by intercellular chemical signaling, through an N-acyl homoserine lactone, indicating that in this system the quorum-sensing molecule acts as a morphogen initiating organelle development. Flagella-based motility and gas vesicle morphogenesis were also oppositely regulated by the small RNA-binding protein, RsmA, suggesting environmental adaptation through physiological control of the choice between motility and flotation as alternative taxis modes. We propose that gas vesicle biogenesis in this strain represents a distinct mechanism of mobility, regulated by oxygen availability, nutritional status, the RsmA global regulatory system, and the quorum-sensing morphogen.

  19. Influences of the Living World on Architectural Structures: An Analytical Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gülcan MİNSOLMAZ YELER

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Structures in the nature motivate innovation in architectural and engineering disciplines in termsof aesthetical, functional and structural advantages. Using efficient, lightweight structural forms similar tothose in nature reduces material and energy usage and waste amount. In this sense, it can be clearly seenthat based on learning from nature in relation to meeting gradually increasing and changing requirementsthrough limited resources and creating modern structural designs, biomimicry will provide much morecontribution on architecture and related fields. In this direction, in the study based on comprehensiveliterature research, lots of varying living organisms in the nature have been analyzed in terms of structure;architectural structures developed by inspiring from natural structures have been sampled and influencesof solutions inspired from nature on architectural environment have been focused.

  20. Irradiation-induced fusion between giant vesicles and photoresponsive large unilamellar vesicles containing malachite green derivative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uda, Ryoko M; Yoshikawa, Yuki; Kitaba, Moe; Nishimoto, Noriko

    2018-07-01

    Light-initiated fusion between vesicles has attracted much attention in the research community. In particular, fusion between photoresponsive and non-photoresponsive vesicles has been of much interest in the development of systems for the delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. We have performed fusion between giant vesicles (GVs) and photoresponsive smaller vesicles containing malachite green (MG) derivative, which undergoes ionization to afford a positive charge on the molecule by irradiation. The fusion proceeds as the concentration of GV lipid increases toward equimolarity with the lipid of the smaller vesicle. It is also dependent on the molar percentage of photoionized MG in the lipid of the smaller vesicle. On the other hand, the fusion is hardly affected by the anionic component of the GV. The photoinduced fusion was characterized by two methods, involving the mixing of lipid membranes and of aqueous contents. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that irradiation triggered the fusion of a single GV with the smaller vesicles containing MG. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Structural insights into the backbone-circularized granulocyte colony-stimulating factor containing a short connector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyafusa, Takamitsu; Shibuya, Risa; Honda, Shinya

    2018-06-02

    Backbone circularization is a powerful approach for enhancing the structural stability of polypeptides. Herein, we present the crystal structure of the circularized variant of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in which the terminal helical region was circularized using a short, two-amino acid connector. The structure revealed that the N- and C-termini were indeed connected by a peptide bond. The local structure of the C-terminal region transited from an α helix to 3 10 helix with a bend close to the N-terminal region, indicating that the structural change offset the insufficient length of the connector. This is the first-ever report of a crystal structure of the backbone of a circularized protein. It will facilitate the development of backbone circularization methodology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Insights into function of PSI domains from structure of the Met receptor PSI domain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozlov, Guennadi; Perreault, Audrey; Schrag, Joseph D.; Park, Morag; Cygler, Miroslaw; Gehring, Kalle; Ekiel, Irena

    2004-01-01

    PSI domains are cysteine-rich modules found in extracellular fragments of hundreds of signaling proteins, including plexins, semaphorins, integrins, and attractins. Here, we report the solution structure of the PSI domain from the human Met receptor, a receptor tyrosine kinase critical for proliferation, motility, and differentiation. The structure represents a cysteine knot with short regions of secondary structure including a three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and two α-helices. All eight cysteines are involved in disulfide bonds with the pattern consistent with that for the PSI domain from Sema4D. Comparison with the Sema4D structure identifies a structurally conserved core comprising the N-terminal half of the PSI domain. Interestingly, this part links adjacent SEMA and immunoglobulin domains in the Sema4D structure, suggesting that the PSI domain serves as a wedge between propeller and immunoglobulin domains and is responsible for the correct positioning of the ligand-binding site of the receptor

  3. Bile salts-containing vesicles: promising pharmaceutical carriers for oral delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs and peptide/protein-based therapeutics or vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aburahma, Mona Hassan

    2016-07-01

    Most of the new drugs, biological therapeutics (proteins/peptides) and vaccines have poor performance after oral administration due to poor solubility or degradation in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Though, vesicular carriers exemplified by liposomes or niosomes can protect the entrapped agent to a certain extent from degradation. Nevertheless, the harsh GIT environment exemplified by low pH, presence of bile salts and enzymes limits their capabilities by destabilizing them. In response to that, more resistant bile salts-containing vesicles (BS-vesicles) were developed by inclusion of bile salts into lipid bilayers constructs. The effectiveness of orally administrated BS-vesicles in improving the performance of vesicles has been demonstrated in researches. Yet, these attempts did not gain considerable attention. This is the first review that provides a comprehensive overview of utilizing BS-vesicles as a promising pharmaceutical carrier with a special focus on their successful applications in oral delivery of therapeutic macromolecules and vaccines. Insights on the possible mechanisms by which BS-vesicles improve the oral bioavailability of the encapsulated drug or immunological response of entrapped vaccine are explained. In addition, methods adopted to prepare and characterize BS-vesicles are described. Finally, the gap in the scientific researches tackling BS-vesicles that needs to be addressed is highlighted.

  4. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly......, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted....

  5. Exploring the potential of a structural alphabet-based tool for mining multiple target conformations and target flexibility insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regad, Leslie; Chéron, Jean-Baptiste; Triki, Dhoha; Senac, Caroline; Flatters, Delphine; Camproux, Anne-Claude

    2017-01-01

    Protein flexibility is often implied in binding with different partners and is essential for protein function. The growing number of macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank entries and their redundancy has become a major source of structural knowledge of the protein universe. The analysis of structural variability through available redundant structures of a target, called multiple target conformations (MTC), obtained using experimental or modeling methods and under different biological conditions or different sources is one way to explore protein flexibility. This analysis is essential to improve the understanding of various mechanisms associated with protein target function and flexibility. In this study, we explored structural variability of three biological targets by analyzing different MTC sets associated with these targets. To facilitate the study of these MTC sets, we have developed an efficient tool, SA-conf, dedicated to capturing and linking the amino acid and local structure variability and analyzing the target structural variability space. The advantage of SA-conf is that it could be applied to divers sets composed of MTCs available in the PDB obtained using NMR and crystallography or homology models. This tool could also be applied to analyze MTC sets obtained by dynamics approaches. Our results showed that SA-conf tool is effective to quantify the structural variability of a MTC set and to localize the structural variable positions and regions of the target. By selecting adapted MTC subsets and comparing their variability detected by SA-conf, we highlighted different sources of target flexibility such as induced by binding partner, by mutation and intrinsic flexibility. Our results support the interest to mine available structures associated with a target using to offer valuable insight into target flexibility and interaction mechanisms. The SA-conf executable script, with a set of pre-compiled binaries are available at http://www.mti.univ-paris-diderot.fr/recherche/plateformes/logiciels.

  6. Exploring the potential of a structural alphabet-based tool for mining multiple target conformations and target flexibility insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Regad

    Full Text Available Protein flexibility is often implied in binding with different partners and is essential for protein function. The growing number of macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank entries and their redundancy has become a major source of structural knowledge of the protein universe. The analysis of structural variability through available redundant structures of a target, called multiple target conformations (MTC, obtained using experimental or modeling methods and under different biological conditions or different sources is one way to explore protein flexibility. This analysis is essential to improve the understanding of various mechanisms associated with protein target function and flexibility. In this study, we explored structural variability of three biological targets by analyzing different MTC sets associated with these targets. To facilitate the study of these MTC sets, we have developed an efficient tool, SA-conf, dedicated to capturing and linking the amino acid and local structure variability and analyzing the target structural variability space. The advantage of SA-conf is that it could be applied to divers sets composed of MTCs available in the PDB obtained using NMR and crystallography or homology models. This tool could also be applied to analyze MTC sets obtained by dynamics approaches. Our results showed that SA-conf tool is effective to quantify the structural variability of a MTC set and to localize the structural variable positions and regions of the target. By selecting adapted MTC subsets and comparing their variability detected by SA-conf, we highlighted different sources of target flexibility such as induced by binding partner, by mutation and intrinsic flexibility. Our results support the interest to mine available structures associated with a target using to offer valuable insight into target flexibility and interaction mechanisms. The SA-conf executable script, with a set of pre-compiled binaries are available at

  7. Structural insights into RISC assembly facilitated by dsRNA-binding domains of human RNA helicase A (DHX9).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qinqin; Yuan, Y Adam

    2013-03-01

    Intensive research interest has focused on small RNA-processing machinery and the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), key cellular machines in RNAi pathways. However, the structural mechanism regarding RISC assembly, the primary step linking small RNA processing and RNA-mediated gene silencing, is largely unknown. Human RNA helicase A (DHX9) was reported to function as an RISC-loading factor, and such function is mediated mainly by its dsRNA-binding domains (dsRBDs). Here, we report the crystal structures of human RNA helicase A (RHA) dsRBD1 and dsRBD2 domains in complex with dsRNAs, respectively. Structural analysis not only reveals higher siRNA duplex-binding affinity displayed by dsRBD1, but also identifies a crystallographic dsRBD1 pair of physiological significance in cooperatively recognizing dsRNAs. Structural observations are further validated by isothermal titration calorimetric (ITC) assay. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) assay coupled with mutagenesis demonstrated that both dsRBDs are required for RISC association, and such association is mediated by dsRNA. Hence, our structural and functional efforts have revealed a potential working model for siRNA recognition by RHA tandem dsRBDs, and together they provide direct structural insights into RISC assembly facilitated by RHA.

  8. Neutron irradiation effects in fusion or spallation structural materials: Some recent insights related to neutron spectra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garner, F.A.; Greenwood, L.R.

    1998-01-01

    A review is presented of recent insights on the role of transmutation in the development of radiation-induced changes in dimension or radiation-induced changes in physical or mechanical properties. It is shown that, in some materials and some neutron spectra, transmutation can significantly affect or even dominate a given property change process. When the process under study is also sensitive to displacement rate, and especially if it involves radiation-induced segregation and precipitation, it becomes much more difficult to separate the transmutation and displacement rate dependencies. This complicates the application of data derived from 'surrogate' spectra to predictions in other flux-spectra environments. It is also shown in this paper that one must be sensitive to the impact of previously -ignored 'small' variations in neutron spectra within a given reactor. In some materials these small variations have major consequences. (author)

  9. Water versus DNA: new insights into proton track-structure modelling in radiobiology and radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champion, C; Quinto, M A; Monti, J M; Galassi, M E; Weck, P F; Fojón, O A; Hanssen, J; Rivarola, R D

    2015-10-21

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence-expressed in terms of total cross sections-as well as their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies.

  10. Focus on Extracellular Vesicles: Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Zhang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The intense research focus on stem and progenitor cells could be attributed to their differentiation potential to generate new cells to replace diseased or lost cells in many highly intractable degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, and heart diseases. However, experimental and clinical studies have increasingly attributed the therapeutic efficacy of these cells to their secretion. While stem and progenitor cells secreted many therapeutic molecules, none of these molecules singly or in combination could recapitulate the functional effects of stem cell transplantations. Recently, it was reported that extracellular vesicles (EVs could recapitulate the therapeutic effects of stem cell transplantation. Based on the observations reported thus far, the prevailing hypothesis is that stem cell EVs exert their therapeutic effects by transferring biologically active molecules such as proteins, lipids, mRNA, and microRNA from the stem cells to injured or diseased cells. In this respect, stem cell EVs are similar to EVs from other cell types. They are both primarily vehicles for intercellular communication. Therefore, the differentiating factor is likely due to the composition of their cargo. The cargo of EVs from different cell types are known to include a common set of proteins and also proteins that reflect the cell source of the EVs and the physiological or pathological state of the cell source. Hence, elucidation of the stem cell EV cargo would provide an insight into the multiple physiological or biochemical changes necessary to affect the many reported stem cell-based therapeutic outcomes in a variety of experimental models and clinical trials.

  11. Local Fine Structural Insight into Mechanism of Electrochemical Passivation of Titanium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Yu, Hongying; Wang, Ke; Xu, Haisong; Wang, Shaoyang; Sun, Dongbai

    2016-07-20

    Electrochemically formed passive film on titanium in 1.0 M H2SO4 solution and its thickness, composition, chemical state, and local fine structure are examined by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and X-ray absorption fine structure. AES analysis reveals that the thickness and composition of oxide film are proportional to the reciprocal of current density in potentiodynamic polarization. XPS depth profiles of the chemical states of titanium exhibit the coexistence of various valences cations in the surface. Quantitative X-ray absorption near edge structure analysis of the local electronic structure of the topmost surface (∼5.0 nm) shows that the ratio of [TiO2]/[Ti2O3] is consistent with that of passivation/dissolution of electrochemical activity. Theoretical calculation and analysis of extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectra at Ti K-edge indicate that both the structures of passivation and dissolution are distorted caused by the appearance of two different sites of Ti-O and Ti-Ti. And the bound water in the topmost surface plays a vital role in structural disorder confirmed by XPS. Overall, the increase of average Ti-O coordination causes the electrochemical passivation, and the dissolution is due to the decrease of average Ti-Ti coordination. The structural variations of passivation in coordination number and interatomic distance are in good agreement with the prediction of point defect model.

  12. 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…

  13. The vaccinia virus DNA polymerase structure provides insights into the mode of processivity factor binding

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tarbouriech, N.; Ducournau, C.; Hutin, S.; Mas, P.J.; Man, Petr; Forest, E.; Hart, D.J.; Peyrefitte, Ch.N.; Burmeister, W.P.; Iseni, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, NOV 13 (2017), s. 1-12, č. článku 1455. ISSN 2041-1723 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LQ1604 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : PROTEIN SECONDARY STRUCTURE * CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE * GENETIC-CHARACTERIZATION Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology Impact factor: 12.124, year: 2016

  14. The effect of spontaneous curvature on a two-phase vesicle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cox, Geoffrey; Lowengrub, John

    2015-01-01

    Vesicles are membrane-bound structures commonly known for their roles in cellular transport and the shape of a vesicle is determined by its surrounding membrane (lipid bilayer). When the membrane is composed of different lipids, it is natural for the lipids of similar molecular structure to migrate towards one another (via spinodal decomposition), creating a multi-phase vesicle. In this article, we consider a two-phase vesicle model which is driven by nature's propensity to maintain a minimal state of elastic energy. The model assumes a continuum limit, thereby treating the membrane as a closed three-dimensional surface. The main purpose of this study is to reveal the complexity of the Helfrich two-phase vesicle model with non-zero spontaneous curvature and provide further evidence to support the relevance of spontaneous curvature as a modelling parameter. In this paper, we illustrate the complexity of the Helfrich two-phase model by providing multiple examples of undocumented solutions and energy hysteresis. We also investigate the influence of spontaneous curvature on morphological effects and membrane phenomena such as budding and fusion. (paper)

  15. Anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics: a new insight into the structure of nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshiko, Kanada-En'yo; Masaaki, Kimura; Hisashi, Horiuchi

    2003-01-01

    The AMD (anti-symmetrized molecular dynamics) theory for nuclear structure is explained by showing its actual applications. First the formulation of AMD including various refined versions is briefly presented and its characteristics are discussed, putting a stress on its nature as an 'ab initio' theory. Then we demonstrate fruitful applications to various structure problems in stable nuclei, in order to explicitly verify the 'ab initio' nature of AMD, especially the ability to describe both mean-field-type structure and cluster structure. Finally, we show the results of applications of AMD to unstable nuclei, from which we see that AMD is powerful in elucidating and understanding various types of nuclear structure of unstable nuclei. (authors)

  16. Insight into the microscopic structure of an AdS black hole from a thermodynamical phase transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Shao-Wen; Liu, Yu-Xiao

    2015-09-11

    Comparing with an ordinary thermodynamic system, we investigate the possible microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole completely from the thermodynamic viewpoint. The number density of the black hole molecules is introduced to measure the microscopic degrees of freedom of the black hole. We found that the number density suffers a sudden change accompanied by a latent heat when the black hole system crosses the small-large black hole coexistence curve, while when the system passes the critical point, it encounters a second-order phase transition with a vanishing latent heat due to the continuous change of the number density. Moreover, the thermodynamic scalar curvature suggests that there is a weak attractive interaction between two black hole molecules. These phenomena might cast new insight into the underlying microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole.

  17. Characterizing structures on borehole images and logging data of the Nankai trough accretionary prism: new insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurado, Maria Jose

    2016-04-01

    IODP has extensively used the D/V Chikyu to drill the Kumano portion of the Nankai Trough, including two well sites within the Kumano Basin. IODP Expeditions 338 and 348 drilled deep into the inner accretionary prism south of the Kii Peninsula collecting a suite of LWD data, including natural gamma ray, electrical resistivity logs and borehole images, suitable to characterize structures (fractures and faults) inside the accretionary prism. Structural interpretation and analysis of logging-while-drilling data in the deep inner prism revealed intense deformation of a generally homogenous lithology characterized by bedding that dips steeply (60-90°) to the NW, intersected by faults and fractures. Multiple phases of deformation are characterized. IODP Expedition borehole images and LWD data acquired in the last decade in previous and results of NantroSEIZE IODP Expeditions (314, 319) were also analyzed to investigate the internal geometries and structures of the Nankai Trough accretionary prism. This study focused mainly on the characterization of the different types of structures and their specific position within the accretionary prism structures. New structural constraints and methodologies as well as a new approach to the characterization of study of active structures inside the prism will be presented.

  18. Functional transferred DNA within extracellular vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai, Jin; Wu, Gengze; Jose, Pedro A.; Zeng, Chunyu

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane vesicles including exosomes and shedding vesicles that mediated a cell-to-cell communication. EVs are released from almost all cell types under both physiological and pathological conditions and incorporate nuclear and cytoplasmic molecules for intercellular delivery. Besides protein, mRNA, and microRNA of these molecules, as recent studies show, specific DNA are prominently packaged into EVs. It appears likely that some of exosomes or shedding vesicles, bearing nuclear molecules are released upon bubble-like blebs. Specific interaction of EVs with susceptible recipients performs the uptake of EVs into the target cells, discharging their cargo including nuclear and cytoplasmic macromolecules into the cytosol. These findings expand the nucleic acid content of EVs to include increased levels of specific DNA. Thus, EVs contain a repertoire of genetic information available for horizontal gene transfer and potential use as blood biomarkers for cancer and atherosclerosis. In this review, the focus is on the characteristics, biological functions, and roles in diseases of DNA within EVs. - Highlights: • This review is focused on the DNA within EVs including its characteristics, biological functions, and roles in diseases. • It is clear that DNA within EVs might have important physiological and pathological roles in various diseases. • Knowledge in this area may provides us alternative methods for disease diagnosis or therapy in the future.

  19. Extracellular vesicles: fundamentals and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wael Nassar

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available All types of cells of eukaryotic organisms produce and release small nanovesicles into their extracellular environment. Early studies have described these vesicles as ′garbage bags′ only to remove obsolete cellular molecules. Valadi and colleagues, in 2007, were the first to discover the capability of circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs to horizontally transfer functioning gene information between cells. These extracellular vesicles express components responsible for angiogenesis promotion, stromal remodeling, chemoresistance, genetic exchange, and signaling pathway activation through growth factor/receptor transfer. EVs represent an important mode of intercellular communication by serving as vehicles for transfer between cells of membrane and cytosolic proteins, lipids, signaling proteins, and RNAs. They contribute to physiology and pathology, and they have a myriad of potential clinical applications in health and disease. Moreover, vesicles can pass the blood-brain barrier and may perhaps even be considered as naturally occurring liposomes. These cell-derived EVs not only represent a central mediator of the disease microenvironment, but their presence in the peripheral circulation may serve as a surrogate for disease biopsies, enabling real-time diagnosis and disease monitoring. In this review, we′ll be addressing the characteristics of different types of extracellular EVs, as well as their clinical relevance and potential as diagnostic markers, and also define therapeutic options.

  20. Functional transferred DNA within extracellular vesicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cai, Jin [Department of Cardiology, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042 (China); Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Jiangsu Province (China); Wu, Gengze [Department of Cardiology, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042 (China); Jose, Pedro A. [Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine and Physiology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Zeng, Chunyu, E-mail: Chunyuzeng01@163.com [Department of Cardiology, Daping Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042 (China)

    2016-11-15

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane vesicles including exosomes and shedding vesicles that mediated a cell-to-cell communication. EVs are released from almost all cell types under both physiological and pathological conditions and incorporate nuclear and cytoplasmic molecules for intercellular delivery. Besides protein, mRNA, and microRNA of these molecules, as recent studies show, specific DNA are prominently packaged into EVs. It appears likely that some of exosomes or shedding vesicles, bearing nuclear molecules are released upon bubble-like blebs. Specific interaction of EVs with susceptible recipients performs the uptake of EVs into the target cells, discharging their cargo including nuclear and cytoplasmic macromolecules into the cytosol. These findings expand the nucleic acid content of EVs to include increased levels of specific DNA. Thus, EVs contain a repertoire of genetic information available for horizontal gene transfer and potential use as blood biomarkers for cancer and atherosclerosis. In this review, the focus is on the characteristics, biological functions, and roles in diseases of DNA within EVs. - Highlights: • This review is focused on the DNA within EVs including its characteristics, biological functions, and roles in diseases. • It is clear that DNA within EVs might have important physiological and pathological roles in various diseases. • Knowledge in this area may provides us alternative methods for disease diagnosis or therapy in the future.

  1. Vesicle dynamics in shear and capillary flows

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi; Gompper, Gerhard

    2005-01-01

    The deformation of vesicles in flow is studied by a mesoscopic simulation technique, which combines multi-particle collision dynamics for the solvent with a dynamically triangulated surface model for the membrane. Shape transitions are investigated both in simple shear flows and in cylindrical capillary flows. We focus on reduced volumes, where the discocyte shape of fluid vesicles is stable, and the prolate shape is metastable. In simple shear flow at low membrane viscosity, the shear induces a transformation from discocyte to prolate with increasing shear rate, while at high membrane viscosity, the shear induces a transformation from prolate to discocyte, or tumbling motion accompanied by oscillations between these two morphologies. In capillary flow, at small flow velocities the symmetry axis of the discocyte is found not to be oriented perpendicular to the cylinder axis. With increasing flow velocity, a transition to a prolate shape occurs for fluid vesicles, while vesicles with shear-elastic membranes (like red blood cells) transform into a coaxial parachute-like shape

  2. Theory of Disk-to-Vesicle Transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianfeng; Shi, An-Chang

    2009-03-01

    Self-assembled membranes from amphiphilic molecules, such as lipids and block copolymers, can assume a variety of morphologies dictated by energy minimization of system. The membrane energy is characterized by a bending modulus (κ), a Gaussian modulus (κG), and the line tension (γ) of the edge. Two basic morphologies of membranes are flat disks that minimize the bending energy at the cost of the edge energy, and enclosed vesicles that minimize the edge energy at the cost of bending energy. In our work, the transition from disk to vesicle is studied theoretically using the string method, which is designed to find the minimum energy path (MEP) or the most probable transition path between two local minima of an energy landscape. Previous studies of disk-to-vesicle transition usually approximate the transitional states by a series of spherical cups, and found that the spherical cups do not correspond to stable or meta-stable states of the system. Our calculation demonstrates that the intermediate shapes along the MEP are very different from spherical cups. Furthermore, some of these transitional states can be meta-stable. The disk-to-vesicle transition pathways are governed by two scaled parameters, κG/κ and γR0/4κ, where R0 is the radius of the disk. In particular, a meta-stable intermediate state is predicted, which may correspond to the open morphologies observed in experiments and simulations.

  3. Compartmentalization and Transport in Synthetic Vesicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine eSchmitt

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Nano-scale vesicles have become a popular tool in life sciences. Besides liposomes that are generated from phospholipids of natural origin, polymersomes fabricated of synthetic block copolymers enjoy increasing popularity, as they represent more versatile membrane building blocks that can be selected based on their specific physicochemical properties, like permeability, stability or chemical reactivity.In this review, we focus on the application of simple and nested artificial vesicles in synthetic biology. First, we provide an introduction into the utilization of multi-compartmented vesosomes as compartmentalized nano-scale bioreactors. In the bottom-up development of protocells from vesicular nano-reactors, the specific exchange of pathway intermediates across compartment boundaries represents a bottleneck for future studies. To date, most compartmented bioreactors rely on unspecific exchange of substrates and products. This is either based on changes in permeability of the coblock polymer shell by physicochemical triggers or by the incorporation of unspecific porin proteins into the vesicle membrane. Since the incorporation of membrane transport proteins into simple and nested artificial vesicles offers the potential for specific exchange of substances between subcompartments, it opens new vistas in the design of protocells. Therefore we devote the main part of the review to summarize the technical advances in the use of phospholipids and block copolymers for the reconstitution of membrane proteins.

  4. The Bretherton Problem for a Vesicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barakat, Joseph; Spann, Andrew; Shaqfeh, Eric

    2016-11-01

    The motion of a lipid bilayer vesicle through a circular tube is investigated by singular perturbation theory in the limit of vanishing clearance. The vesicle is treated as a sac of fluid enclosed by a thin, elastic sheet that admits a bending stiffness. It is assumed that the vesicle is axisymmetric and swollen to a near-critical volume such that the clearance "e" between the membrane and the tube wall is very small. In this limit, bending resistance is of negligible importance compared to the isotropic tension, allowing the vesicle to be treated as a "no-slip bubble." The effective membrane tension is found to scale inversely with "e" raised to the 3/2 power with a comparatively weak Marangoni gradient. The extra pressure drop is found to have a leading contribution due to the cylindrical midsection, which scales inversely with "e," as well as a correction due to the end caps, which scales inversely with the square root of "e." The apparent viscosity is predicted as a unique function of the geometry. The theory exhibits excellent agreement with a simplified, "quasi-parallel" theory and with direct numerical simulations using the boundary element method. The results of this work are compared to those for bubbles, rigid particles, and red blood cells in confined flows.

  5. Nanoplasmonic ruler to measure lipid vesicle deformation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jackman, J.A.; Špačková, Barbora; Linardy, E.; Kim, M.C.; Yoon, B.K.; Homola, Jiří; Cho, N.J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 1 (2016), s. 76-79 ISSN 1359-7345 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP205/12/G118 Institutional support: RVO:67985882 Keywords : nanomaterial * silicon * lipid vesicle Subject RIV: JA - Electronics ; Optoelectronics, Electrical Engineering Impact factor: 6.319, year: 2016

  6. Expression, purification and insights into structure and folding of the ADAM22 pro domain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Hans Peter; Jacobsen, Jonas; Nielbo, Steen

    2008-01-01

    . To understand the functions of human ADAM pro domains and to determine three-dimensional structures, we have screened promising targets for expression and purification properties when using Escherichia coli as the host. The pro domain of ADAM22 (ADAM22-P) expressed in E. coli was folded, as determined by CD...... and NMR spectroscopy. An ADAM22-P fragment encoding residues 26-199 could be expressed in high amounts, remained soluble above 1 mM, and was suitable for structural studies by NMR spectroscopy. CD spectroscopy and predictions suggest that the secondary structure in ADAM22-P consists of beta...

  7. New insight into the solution structures of wheat gluten proteins from Raman optical activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blanch, E.W.; Kasarda, D.D.; Hecht, L.

    2003-01-01

    Vibrational Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra of the wheat proteins a-gliadin (A-gliadin), omega-liadin, and a 30 kDa peptide called T-A-1 from the high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) Dx5 were measured to obtain new information about their solution structures. The spectral data show...... that, under the conditions investigated, A-gliadin contains a considerable amount of hydrated alpha-helix, most of which probably lies within a relatively structured C-terminal domain. Smaller quantities of beta-structure and poly(L-proline) II (PPII) helix were also identified. Addition of methanol...

  8. Single-vesicle imaging reveals different transport mechanisms between glutamatergic and GABAergic vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsi, Zohreh; Preobraschenski, Julia; van den Bogaart, Geert; Riedel, Dietmar; Jahn, Reinhard; Woehler, Andrew

    2016-02-26

    Synaptic transmission is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters, which involves exo-endocytotic cycling of synaptic vesicles. To maintain synaptic function, synaptic vesicles are refilled with thousands of neurotransmitter molecules within seconds after endocytosis, using the energy provided by an electrochemical proton gradient. However, it is unclear how transmitter molecules carrying different net charges can be efficiently sequestered while maintaining charge neutrality and osmotic balance. We used single-vesicle imaging to monitor pH and electrical gradients and directly showed different uptake mechanisms for glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) operating in parallel. In contrast to glutamate, GABA was exchanged for protons, with no other ions participating in the transport cycle. Thus, only a few components are needed to guarantee reliable vesicle filling with different neurotransmitters. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Molecular details of secretory phospholipase A2 from flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) provide insight into its structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Payal; Dash, Prasanta K

    2017-09-11

    Secretory phospholipase A 2 (sPLA 2 ) are low molecular weight proteins (12-18 kDa) involved in a suite of plant cellular processes imparting growth and development. With myriad roles in physiological and biochemical processes in plants, detailed analysis of sPLA 2 in flax/linseed is meagre. The present work, first in flax, embodies cloning, expression, purification and molecular characterisation of two distinct sPLA 2 s (I and II) from flax. PLA 2 activity of the cloned sPLA 2 s were biochemically assayed authenticating them as bona fide phospholipase A 2 . Physiochemical properties of both the sPLA 2 s revealed they are thermostable proteins requiring di-valent cations for optimum activity.While, structural analysis of both the proteins revealed deviations in the amino acid sequence at C- & N-terminal regions; hydropathic study revealed LusPLA 2 I as a hydrophobic protein and LusPLA 2 II as a hydrophilic protein. Structural analysis of flax sPLA 2 s revealed that secondary structure of both the proteins are dominated by α-helix followed by random coils. Modular superimposition of LusPLA 2 isoforms with rice sPLA 2 confirmed monomeric structural preservation among plant phospholipase A 2 and provided insight into structure of folded flax sPLA 2 s.

  10. The structural flexibility of the human copper chaperone Atox1: Insights from combined pulsed EPR studies and computations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Ariel R; Turgeman, Meital; Gevorkyan-Aiapetov, Lada; Ruthstein, Sharon

    2017-08-01

    Metallochaperones are responsible for shuttling metal ions to target proteins. Thus, a metallochaperone's structure must be sufficiently flexible both to hold onto its ion while traversing the cytoplasm and to transfer the ion to or from a partner protein. Here, we sought to shed light on the structure of Atox1, a metallochaperone involved in the human copper regulation system. Atox1 shuttles copper ions from the main copper transporter, Ctr1, to the ATP7b transporter in the Golgi apparatus. Conventional biophysical tools such as X-ray or NMR cannot always target the various conformational states of metallochaperones, owing to a requirement for crystallography or low sensitivity and resolution. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has recently emerged as a powerful tool for resolving biological reactions and mechanisms in solution. When coupled with computational methods, EPR with site-directed spin labeling and nanoscale distance measurements can provide structural information on a protein or protein complex in solution. We use these methods to show that Atox1 can accommodate at least four different conformations in the apo state (unbound to copper), and two different conformations in the holo state (bound to copper). We also demonstrate that the structure of Atox1 in the holo form is more compact than in the apo form. Our data provide insight regarding the structural mechanisms through which Atox1 can fulfill its dual role of copper binding and transfer. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  11. Insights from the structure of a smallpox virus topoisomerase-DNA transition state mimic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Kay; Hwang, Young; Bushman, Frederic D.; Van Duyne, Gregory D.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Poxviruses encode their own type IB topoisomerases (TopIBs) which release superhelical tension generated by replication and transcription of their genomes. To investigate the reaction catalyzed viral TopIBs, we have determined the structure of a variola virus topoisomerase-DNA complex trapped as a vanadate transition state mimic. The structure reveals how the viral TopIB enzymes are likely to position the DNA duplex for ligation following relaxation of supercoils and identifies the sources of friction observed in single molecule experiments that argue against free rotation. The structure also identifies a conformational change in the leaving group sugar that must occur prior to cleavage and reveals a mechanism for promoting ligation following relaxation of supercoils that involves a novel Asp-minor groove interaction. Overall, the new structural data support a common catalytic mechanism for the TopIB superfamily but indicate distinct methods for controlling duplex rotation in the small vs. large enzyme subfamilies. PMID:20152159

  12. New Insight into the Toughening Mechanisms of Seashell: From Arch Shape to Multilayer Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A seashell is a closed three-dimensional curved surface formed by two symmetrical open shells. Three-point bending is performed on a pure aragonite straight beam (PASB model and a multilayer structure curved beam (MSCB model to elucidate the structure-property relationships of seashells. The integrity of the PASB is broken because of the introduction of a soft layer, but this drawback is compensated by the peculiar arch shape and the internal multilayer structure. The effective modulus, stiffness, and fracture energy of MSCB increase with an increase in volume fraction, aspect ratio of aragonite platelet, overlap ratio of hard layers, and ratio of the elastic modulus of the hard layer to the shear modulus of the soft layer. New design disciplines drawn from the MSCB model are peculiar arch shape, internal multilayer structure of larger volume fraction, and aspect ratio of hard layers and nanoscaled soft layers.

  13. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships

    OpenAIRE

    Babbitt, Patricia; Brown, SD; Babbitt, PC

    2014-01-01

    © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfami

  14. Optimized expression and purification of NavAb provide the structural insight into the voltage dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irie, Katsumasa; Haga, Yukari; Shimomura, Takushi; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2018-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are crucial for electro-signalling in living systems. Analysis of the molecular mechanism requires both fine electrophysiological evaluation and high-resolution channel structures. Here, we optimized a dual expression system of NavAb, which is a well-established standard of prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channels, for E. coli and insect cells using a single plasmid vector to analyse high-resolution protein structures and measure large ionic currents. Using this expression system, we evaluated the voltage dependence and determined the crystal structures of NavAb wild-type and two mutants, E32Q and N49K, whose voltage dependence were positively shifted and essential interactions were lost in voltage sensor domain. The structural and functional comparison elucidated the molecular mechanisms of the voltage dependence of prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channels. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  15. Insights into Brain Glycogen Metabolism: THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN BRAIN GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieu, Cécile; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Ines; Duval, Romain; Xu, Ximing; Cocaign, Angélique; Léger, Thibaut; Woffendin, Gary; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Etchebest, Catherine; Haouz, Ahmed; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2016-08-26

    Brain glycogen metabolism plays a critical role in major brain functions such as learning or memory consolidation. However, alteration of glycogen metabolism and glycogen accumulation in the brain contributes to neurodegeneration as observed in Lafora disease. Glycogen phosphorylase (GP), a key enzyme in glycogen metabolism, catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glycogen mobilization. Moreover, the allosteric regulation of the three GP isozymes (muscle, liver, and brain) by metabolites and phosphorylation, in response to hormonal signaling, fine-tunes glycogenolysis to fulfill energetic and metabolic requirements. Whereas the structures of muscle and liver GPs have been known for decades, the structure of brain GP (bGP) has remained elusive despite its critical role in brain glycogen metabolism. Here, we report the crystal structure of human bGP in complex with PEG 400 (2.5 Å) and in complex with its allosteric activator AMP (3.4 Å). These structures demonstrate that bGP has a closer structural relationship with muscle GP, which is also activated by AMP, contrary to liver GP, which is not. Importantly, despite the structural similarities between human bGP and the two other mammalian isozymes, the bGP structures reveal molecular features unique to the brain isozyme that provide a deeper understanding of the differences in the activation properties of these allosteric enzymes by the allosteric effector AMP. Overall, our study further supports that the distinct structural and regulatory properties of GP isozymes contribute to the different functions of muscle, liver, and brain glycogen. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Research resource: novel structural insights bridge gaps in glycoprotein hormone receptor analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreuchwig, Annika; Kleinau, Gunnar; Krause, Gerd

    2013-08-01

    The first version of a glycoprotein hormone receptor (GPHR) information resource was designed to link functional with structural GPHR information, in order to support sequence-structure-function analysis of the LH, FSH, and TSH receptors (http://ssfa-gphr.de). However, structural information on a binding- and signaling-sensitive extracellular fragment (∼100 residues), the hinge region, had been lacking. A new FSHR crystal structure of the hormone-bound extracellular domain has recently been solved. The structure comprises the leucine-rich repeat domain and most parts of the hinge region. We have not only integrated the new FSHR/FSH structure and the derived homology models of TSHR/TSH, LHCGR/CG, and LHCGR/LH into our web-based information resource, but have additionally provided novel tools to analyze the advanced structural features, with the common characteristics and distinctions between GPHRs, in a more precise manner. The hinge region with its second hormone-binding site allows us to assign functional data to the new structural features between hormone and receptor, such as binding details of a sulfated tyrosine (conserved throughout the GPHRs) extending into a pocket of the hormone. We have also implemented a protein interface analysis tool that enables the identification and visualization of extracellular contact points between interaction partners. This provides a starting point for comparing the binding patterns of GPHRs. Together with the mutagenesis data stored in the database, this will help to decipher the essential residues for ligand recognition and the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, extending from the extracellular hormone-binding site toward the intracellular G protein-binding sites.

  17. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alén, Begoña O; Nieto, Lidia; Gurriarán-Rodríguez, Uxía; Mosteiro, Carlos S; Álvarez-Pérez, Juan C; Otero-Alén, María; Camiña, Jesús P; Gallego, Rosalía; García-Caballero, Tomás; Martín-Pastor, Manuel; Casanueva, Felipe F; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Pazos, Yolanda

    2012-01-01

    The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1). Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2) and the fragment peptides (6-23)-obestatin (3), (11-23)-obestatin (4), and (16-23)-obestatin (5) have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS). Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation). Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size) and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively) at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  18. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  19. Thermodynamic heuristics with case-based reasoning: combined insights for RNA pseudoknot secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khatib, Ra'ed M; Rashid, Nur'Aini Abdul; Abdullah, Rosni

    2011-08-01

    The secondary structure of RNA pseudoknots has been extensively inferred and scrutinized by computational approaches. Experimental methods for determining RNA structure are time consuming and tedious; therefore, predictive computational approaches are required. Predicting the most accurate and energy-stable pseudoknot RNA secondary structure has been proven to be an NP-hard problem. In this paper, a new RNA folding approach, termed MSeeker, is presented; it includes KnotSeeker (a heuristic method) and Mfold (a thermodynamic algorithm). The global optimization of this thermodynamic heuristic approach was further enhanced by using a case-based reasoning technique as a local optimization method. MSeeker is a proposed algorithm for predicting RNA pseudoknot structure from individual sequences, especially long ones. This research demonstrates that MSeeker improves the sensitivity and specificity of existing RNA pseudoknot structure predictions. The performance and structural results from this proposed method were evaluated against seven other state-of-the-art pseudoknot prediction methods. The MSeeker method had better sensitivity than the DotKnot, FlexStem, HotKnots, pknotsRG, ILM, NUPACK and pknotsRE methods, with 79% of the predicted pseudoknot base-pairs being correct.

  20. Model representations of kerogen structures: An insight from density functional theory calculations and spectroscopic measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weck, Philippe F; Kim, Eunja; Wang, Yifeng; Kruichak, Jessica N; Mills, Melissa M; Matteo, Edward N; Pellenq, Roland J-M

    2017-08-01

    Molecular structures of kerogen control hydrocarbon production in unconventional reservoirs. Significant progress has been made in developing model representations of various kerogen structures. These models have been widely used for the prediction of gas adsorption and migration in shale matrix. However, using density functional perturbation theory (DFPT) calculations and vibrational spectroscopic measurements, we here show that a large gap may still remain between the existing model representations and actual kerogen structures, therefore calling for new model development. Using DFPT, we calculated Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra for six most widely used kerogen structure models. The computed spectra were then systematically compared to the FTIR absorption spectra collected for kerogen samples isolated from Mancos, Woodford and Marcellus formations representing a wide range of kerogen origin and maturation conditions. Limited agreement between the model predictions and the measurements highlights that the existing kerogen models may still miss some key features in structural representation. A combination of DFPT calculations with spectroscopic measurements may provide a useful diagnostic tool for assessing the adequacy of a proposed structural model as well as for future model development. This approach may eventually help develop comprehensive infrared (IR)-fingerprints for tracing kerogen evolution.

  1. Novel complex MAD phasing and RNase H structural insights using selenium oligonucleotides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdur, Rob; Gerlits, Oksana O.; Gan, Jianhua; Jiang, Jiansheng; Salon, Jozef; Kovalevsky, Andrey Y.; Chumanevich, Alexander A.; Weber, Irene T.; Huang, Zhen, E-mail: huang@gsu.edu [Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303 (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Selenium-derivatized oligonucleotides may facilitate phase determination and high-resolution structure determination for protein–nucleic acid crystallography. The Se atom-specific mutagenesis (SAM) strategy may also enhance the study of nuclease catalysis. The crystal structures of protein–nucleic acid complexes are commonly determined using selenium-derivatized proteins via MAD or SAD phasing. Here, the first protein–nucleic acid complex structure determined using selenium-derivatized nucleic acids is reported. The RNase H–RNA/DNA complex is used as an example to demonstrate the proof of principle. The high-resolution crystal structure indicates that this selenium replacement results in a local subtle unwinding of the RNA/DNA substrate duplex, thereby shifting the RNA scissile phosphate closer to the transition state of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. It was also observed that the scissile phosphate forms a hydrogen bond to the water nucleophile and helps to position the water molecule in the structure. Consistently, it was discovered that the substitution of a single O atom by a Se atom in a guide DNA sequence can largely accelerate RNase H catalysis. These structural and catalytic studies shed new light on the guide-dependent RNA cleavage.

  2. Insights into the molecular mechanism of dehalogenation catalyzed by D-2-haloacid dehalogenase from crystal structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yayue; Feng, Yanbin; Cao, Xupeng; Liu, Yinghui; Xue, Song

    2018-01-23

    D-2-haloacid dehalogenases (D-DEXs) catalyse the hydrolytic dehalogenation of D-2-haloacids, releasing halide ions and producing the corresponding 2-hydroxyacids. A structure-guided elucidation of the catalytic mechanism of this dehalogenation reaction has not been reported yet. Here, we report the catalytic mechanism of a D-DEX, HadD AJ1 from Pseudomonas putida AJ1/23, which was elucidated by X-ray crystallographic analysis and the H 2 18 O incorporation experiment. HadD AJ1 is an α-helical hydrolase that forms a homotetramer with its monomer including two structurally axisymmetric repeats. The product-bound complex structure was trapped with L-lactic acid in the active site, which is framed by the structurally related helices between two repeats. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed the importance of the residues lining the binding pocket in stabilizing the enzyme-substrate complex. Asp205 acts as a key catalytic residue and is responsible for activating a water molecule along with Asn131. Then, the hydroxyl group of the water molecule directly attacks the C2 atom of the substrate to release the halogen ion instead of forming an enzyme-substrate ester intermediate as observed in L-2-haloacid dehalogenases. The newly revealed structural and mechanistic information on D-DEX may inspire structure-based mutagenesis to engineer highly efficient haloacid dehalogenases.

  3. Structural insights into substrate and inhibitor binding sites in human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis-Ballester, Ariel; Pham, Khoa N.; Batabyal, Dipanwita; Karkashon, Shay; Bonanno, Jeffrey B.; Poulos, Thomas L.; Yeh, Syun-Ru (Einstein); (UCI)

    2017-11-22

    Human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (hIDO1) is an attractive cancer immunotherapeutic target owing to its role in promoting tumoral immune escape. However, drug development has been hindered by limited structural information. Here, we report the crystal structures of hIDO1 in complex with its substrate, Trp, an inhibitor, epacadostat, and/or an effector, indole ethanol (IDE). The data reveal structural features of the active site (Sa) critical for substrate activation; in addition, they disclose a new inhibitor-binding mode and a distinct small molecule binding site (Si). Structure-guided mutation of a critical residue, F270, to glycine perturbs the Si site, allowing structural determination of an inhibitory complex, where both the Sa and Si sites are occupied by Trp. The Si site offers a novel target site for allosteric inhibitors and a molecular explanation for the previously baffling substrate-inhibition behavior of the enzyme. Taken together, the data open exciting new avenues for structure-based drug design.

  4. Insight into the structures and stabilities of Tc and Re DMSA complexes: A computational study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco González, Alejandro; Hernández Valdés, Daniel; García Fleitas, Ariel; Rodríguez Riera, Zalua; Jáuregui Haza, Ulises

    2016-01-01

    Meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is used in nuclear medicine as ligand for preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic and therapy. DMSA has been the subject of numerous investigations during the past three decades and new and significant information of the chemistry and pharmacology of DMSA complexes have emerged. In comparison to other ligands, the structure of some DMSA complexes is unclear up today. The structures and applications of DMSA complexes are strictly dependent on the chemical conditions of their preparation, especially pH and the ratio of components. A computational study of M-DMSA (M = Tc, Re) complexes has been performed using density functional theory. Different isomers for M(V) and M(III) complexes were study. The pH influence over ligand structures was taken into account and the solvent effect was evaluated using an implicit solvation model. The fully optimized complex syn-endo Re(V)-DMSA shows a geometry similar to the X-ray data and was used to validate the methodology. Moreover, new alternative structures for the renal agent 99mTc(III)-DMSA were proposed and computationally studied. For two complex structures, a larger stability respect to that proposed in the literature was obtained. Furthermore, Tc(V)-DMSA complexes are more stable than the Tc(III)-DMSA proposed structures. In general, Re complexes are more stables than the corresponding Tc ones. (author)

  5. Seismotectonics of Taiwan Shoal region in northeastern SCS: Insights from crustal structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiyuan, Wan; Jinlong, Sun; Shaohong, Xia; Xiaoling, Xie; Xiang, Zhang; Huilong, Xu; Jinghe, Cao

    2017-04-01

    A seismicity cluster and a great 16 September 1994 earthquake occur in the Taiwan Shoal region, outer rise of the Manila subduction zone. To understand what mechanisms control and generate the earthquake cluster, it is important to investigate the deep crustal structure of the Taiwan Shoal region. We present a 2-D seismic tomographic image of the crustal structure along the OBS2012 profile based on ocean bottom seismographic (OBS) data. The structure exhibits that a high velocity anomaly in the upper crust beneath the Taiwan Shoal is flanked by lower velocity anomalies. Based on the crustal structure, we study the 765 earthquakes, which occurred in the period 1991-2015. These epicenters, combined with the regional faults, and crustal structure, allow us to better understand the nature of the active tectonics in this region. The high velocity area is interpreted as representing stronger, defining major asperities where stress is concentrated corresponding to the location of the earthquake cluster. The earthquake cluster is influenced by the fault interactions. However, the 16 September 1994 earthquake is independents of the seismic activities but associated with the reactivation of the preexisting fault. In Taiwan region, the slab-pull was resisted by the exposed pre-collision accretionary prism and the resistive force caused the in-plane compressive stress accumulation. This condition may favor the triggering of future damaging earthquakes in this region. Key words: earthquake cluster; crustal structure; fault interactions; outer rise; Taiwan Shoal

  6. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-03-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses.

  7. Structural insight into the binding interactions of modeled structure of Arabidopsis thaliana urease with urea: an in silico study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yata, Vinod Kumar; Thapa, Arun; Mattaparthi, Venkata Satish Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Urease (EC 3.5.1.5., urea amidohydrolase) catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. Urease is present to a greater abundance in plants and plays significant role related to nitrogen recycling from urea. But little is known about the structure and function of the urease derived from the Arabidopsis thaliana, the model system of choice for research in plant biology. In this study, a three-dimensional structural model of A. thaliana urease was constructed using computer-aided molecular modeling technique. The characteristic structural features of the modeled structure were then studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation. It was observed that the modeled structure was stable and regions between residues index (50-80, 500-700) to be significantly flexible. From the docking studies, we detected the possible binding interactions of modeled urease with urea. Ala399, Ile675, Thr398, and Thr679 residues of A. thaliana urease were observed to be significantly involved in binding with the substrate urea. We also compared the docking studies of ureases from other sources such as Canavalia ensiformis, Helicobacter pylori, and Bacillus pasteurii. In addition, we carried out mutation analysis to find the highly mutable amino acid residues of modeled A. thaliana urease. In this particular study, we observed Met485, Tyr510, Ser786, Val426, and Lys765 to be highly mutable amino acids. These results are significant for the mutagenesis analysis. As a whole, this study expounds the salient structural features as well the binding interactions of the modeled structure of A. thaliana urease.

  8. Inertia-dependent dynamics of three-dimensional vesicles and red blood cells in shear flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zheng Yuan; Wang, Shu Qi; He, Long; Xu, Feng; Bai, Bo Feng

    2013-10-28

    A three-dimensional (3D) simulation study of the effect of inertia on the dynamics of vesicles and red blood cells (RBCs) has not been reported. Here, we developed a 3D model based on the front tracking method to investigate how inertia affects the dynamics of spherical/non-spherical vesicles and biconcave-shaped RBCs with the Reynolds number ranging from 0.1 to 10. The results showed that inertia induced non-spherical vesicles transitioned from tumbling to swinging, which was not observed in previous 2D models. The critical viscosity ratio of inner/outer fluids for the tumbling–swinging transition remarkably increased with an increasing Reynolds number. The deformation of vesicles was greatly enhanced by inertia, and the frequency of tumbling and tank-treading was significantly decreased by inertia. We also found that RBCs can transit from tumbling to steady tank-treading through the swinging regime when the Reynolds number increased from 0.1 to 10. These results indicate that inertia needs to be considered at moderate Reynolds number (Re ~ 1) in the study of blood flow in the human body and the flow of deformable particle suspension in inertial microfluidic devices. The developed 3D model provided new insights into the dynamics of RBCs under shear flow, thus holding great potential to better understand blood flow behaviors under normal/disease conditions.

  9. Structural Insights into the Molecular Design of Flutolanil Derivatives Targeted for Fumarate Respiration of Parasite Mitochondria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Ken Inaoka

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies on the respiratory chain of Ascaris suum showed that the mitochondrial NADH-fumarate reductase system composed of complex I, rhodoquinone and complex II plays an important role in the anaerobic energy metabolism of adult A. suum. The system is the major pathway of energy metabolism for adaptation to a hypoxic environment not only in parasitic organisms, but also in some types of human cancer cells. Thus, enzymes of the pathway are potential targets for chemotherapy. We found that flutolanil is an excellent inhibitor for A. suum complex II (IC50 = 0.058 μM but less effectively inhibits homologous porcine complex II (IC50 = 45.9 μM. In order to account for the specificity of flutolanil to A. suum complex II from the standpoint of structural biology, we determined the crystal structures of A. suum and porcine complex IIs binding flutolanil and its derivative compounds. The structures clearly demonstrated key interactions responsible for its high specificity to A. suum complex II and enabled us to find analogue compounds, which surpass flutolanil in both potency and specificity to A. suum complex II. Structures of complex IIs binding these compounds will be helpful to accelerate structure-based drug design targeted for complex IIs.

  10. Structural Insights into the Molecular Design of Flutolanil Derivatives Targeted for Fumarate Respiration of Parasite Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inaoka, Daniel Ken; Shiba, Tomoo; Sato, Dan; Balogun, Emmanuel Oluwadare; Sasaki, Tsuyoshi; Nagahama, Madoka; Oda, Masatsugu; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Ohmori, Junko; Honma, Teruki; Inoue, Masayuki; Kita, Kiyoshi; Harada, Shigeharu

    2015-07-07

    Recent studies on the respiratory chain of Ascaris suum showed that the mitochondrial NADH-fumarate reductase system composed of complex I, rhodoquinone and complex II plays an important role in the anaerobic energy metabolism of adult A. suum. The system is the major pathway of energy metabolism for adaptation to a hypoxic environment not only in parasitic organisms, but also in some types of human cancer cells. Thus, enzymes of the pathway are potential targets for chemotherapy. We found that flutolanil is an excellent inhibitor for A. suum complex II (IC50 = 0.058 μM) but less effectively inhibits homologous porcine complex II (IC50 = 45.9 μM). In order to account for the specificity of flutolanil to A. suum complex II from the standpoint of structural biology, we determined the crystal structures of A. suum and porcine complex IIs binding flutolanil and its derivative compounds. The structures clearly demonstrated key interactions responsible for its high specificity to A. suum complex II and enabled us to find analogue compounds, which surpass flutolanil in both potency and specificity to A. suum complex II. Structures of complex IIs binding these compounds will be helpful to accelerate structure-based drug design targeted for complex IIs.

  11. Protic ammonium carboxylate ionic liquids: insight into structure, dynamics and thermophysical properties by alkyl group functionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Th Dhileep N; Mallik, Bhabani S

    2017-04-19

    This study is aimed at characterising the structure, dynamics and thermophysical properties of five alkylammonium carboxylate ionic liquids (ILs) from classical molecular dynamics simulations. The structural features of these ILs were characterised by calculating the site-site radial distribution functions, g(r), spatial distribution functions and structure factors. The structural properties demonstrate that ILs show greater interaction between cations and anions when alkyl chain length increases on the cation or anion. In all ILs, spatial distribution functions show that the anion is close to the acidic hydrogen atoms of the ammonium cation. We determined the role of alkyl group functionalization of the charged entities, cations and anions, in the dynamical behavior and the transport coefficients of this family of ionic liquids. The dynamics of ILs are described by studying the mean square displacement (MSD) of the centres of mass of the ions, diffusion coefficients, ionic conductivities and hydrogen bonds as well as residence dynamics. The diffusion coefficients and ionic conductivity decrease with an increase in the size of the cation or anion. The effect of alkyl chain length on ionic conductivity calculated in this article is consistent with the findings of other experimental studies. Hydrogen bond lifetimes and residence times along with structure factors were also calculated, and are related to alkyl chain length.

  12. Insights into the Structures of DNA Damaged by Hydroxyl Radical: Crystal Structures of DNA Duplexes Containing 5-Formyluracil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru Tsunoda

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydroxyl radicals are potent mutagens that attack DNA to form various base and ribose derivatives. One of the major damaged thymine derivatives is 5-formyluracil (fU, which induces pyrimidine transition during replication. In order to establish the structural basis for such mutagenesis, the crystal structures of two kinds of DNA d(CGCGRATfUCGCG with R = A/G have been determined by X-ray crystallography. The fU residues form a Watson-Crick-type pair with A and two types of pairs (wobble and reversed wobble with G, the latter being a new type of base pair between ionized thymine base and guanine base. In silico structural modeling suggests that the DNA polymerase can accept the reversed wobble pair with G, as well as the Watson-Crick pair with A.

  13. Orientation of aromatic residues in amyloid cores: Structural insights into prion fiber diversity

    KAUST Repository

    Reymer, Anna

    2014-11-17

    Structural conversion of one given protein sequence into different amyloid states, resulting in distinct phenotypes, is one of the most intriguing phenomena of protein biology. Despite great efforts the structural origin of prion diversity remains elusive, mainly because amyloids are insoluble yet noncrystalline and therefore not easily amenable to traditional structural-biology methods. We investigate two different phenotypic prion strains, weak and strong, of yeast translation termination factor Sup35 with respect to angular orientation of tyrosines using polarized light spectroscopy. By applying a combination of alignment methods the degree of fiber orientation can be assessed, which allows a relatively accurate determination of the aromatic ring angles. Surprisingly, the strains show identical average orientations of the tyrosines, which are evenly spread through the amyloid core. Small variations between the two strains are related to the local environment of a fraction of tyrosines outside the core, potentially reflecting differences in fibril packing.

  14. Recognition of damaged DNA by Escherichia coli Fpg protein: insights from structural and kinetic data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zharkov, Dmitry O.; Ishchenko, Alexander A.; Douglas, Kenneth T.; Nevinsky, Georgy A.

    2003-01-01

    Formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg) excises oxidized purines from damaged DNA. The recent determination of the three-dimensional structure of the covalent complex of DNA with Escherichia coli Fpg, obtained by reducing the Schiff base intermediate formed during the reaction [Gilboa et al., J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002) 19811] has revealed a number of potential specific and non-specific interactions between Fpg and DNA. We analyze the structural data for Fpg in the light of the kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained by the method of stepwise increase in ligand complexity to estimate relative contributions of individual nucleotide units of lesion-containing DNA to its total affinity for this enzyme [Ishchenko et al., Biochemistry 41 (2002) 7540]. Stopped-flow kinetic analysis that has allowed the dissection of Fpg catalysis in time [Fedorova et al., Biochemistry 41 (2002) 1520] is also correlated with the structural data

  15. Investigating dynamical information transfer in the brain following a TMS pulse: Insights from structural architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amico, Enrico; Van Mierlo, Pieter; Marinazzo, Daniele; Laureys, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used for more than 20 years to investigate connectivity and plasticity in the human cortex. By combining TMS with high-density electroencephalography (hd-EEG), one can stimulate any cortical area and measure the effects produced by this perturbation in the rest of the cerebral cortex. The purpose of this paper is to investigate changes of information flow in the brain after TMS from a functional and structural perspective, using multimodal modeling of source reconstructed TMS/hd-EEG recordings and DTI tractography. We prove how brain dynamics induced by TMS is constrained and driven by its structure, at different spatial and temporal scales, especially when considering cross-frequency interactions. These results shed light on the function-structure organization of the brain network at the global level, and on the huge variety of information contained in it.

  16. Structure insight of GSDMD reveals the basis of GSDMD autoinhibition in cell pyroptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Siyun; Zheng, Jun; Yang, Hui; Li, Suhua; Duan, Shuyan; Shen, Yanfang; Ji, Chaoneng; Gan, Jianhua; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2017-10-03

    Recent findings have revealed that the protein gasdermin D (GSDMD) plays key roles in cell pyroptosis. GSDMD binds lipids and forms pore structures to induce pyroptosis upon microbial infection and associated danger signals. However, detailed structural information for GSDMD remains unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of human GSDMD (GSDMD-C) at 2.64-Å resolution. The first loop on GSDMD-C inserts into the N-terminal domain (GSDMD-N), which helps stabilize the conformation of the full-length GSDMD. Substitution of this region by a short linker sequence increased levels of cell death. Mutants F283A and F283R can increase protein heterogeneity in vitro and are capable of undergoing cell pyroptosis in 293T cells. The small-angle X-ray-scattering envelope of human GSDMD is consistent with the modeled GSDMD structure and mouse GSDMA3 structure, which suggests that GSDMD adopts an autoinhibited conformation in solution. The positive potential surface of GSDMD-N covered by GSDMD-C is exposed after being released from the autoinhibition state and can form high-order oligomers via a charge-charge interaction. Furthermore, by mapping different regions of GSDMD, we determined that one short segment is sufficient to kill bacteria in vitro and can efficiently inhibit cell growth in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium Smegmatis These findings reveal that GSDMD-C acts as an auto-inhibition executor and GSDMD-N could form pore structures via a charge-charge interaction upon cleavage by caspases during cell pyroptosis.

  17. Insights into the fold organization of TIM barrel from interaction energy based structure networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayabaskar, M S; Vishveshwara, Saraswathi

    2012-01-01

    There are many well-known examples of proteins with low sequence similarity, adopting the same structural fold. This aspect of sequence-structure relationship has been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically, however with limited success. Most of the studies consider remote homology or "sequence conservation" as the basis for their understanding. Recently "interaction energy" based network formalism (Protein Energy Networks (PENs)) was developed to understand the determinants of protein structures. In this paper we have used these PENs to investigate the common non-covalent interactions and their collective features which stabilize the TIM barrel fold. We have also developed a method of aligning PENs in order to understand the spatial conservation of interactions in the fold. We have identified key common interactions responsible for the conservation of the TIM fold, despite high sequence dissimilarity. For instance, the central beta barrel of the TIM fold is stabilized by long-range high energy electrostatic interactions and low-energy contiguous vdW interactions in certain families. The other interfaces like the helix-sheet or the helix-helix seem to be devoid of any high energy conserved interactions. Conserved interactions in the loop regions around the catalytic site of the TIM fold have also been identified, pointing out their significance in both structural and functional evolution. Based on these investigations, we have developed a novel network based phylogenetic analysis for remote homologues, which can perform better than sequence based phylogeny. Such an analysis is more meaningful from both structural and functional evolutionary perspective. We believe that the information obtained through the "interaction conservation" viewpoint and the subsequently developed method of structure network alignment, can shed new light in the fields of fold organization and de novo computational protein design.

  18. Structural insights into GDP-mediated regulation of a bacterial acyl-CoA thioesterase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandokar, Yogesh B; Srivastava, Parul; Cowieson, Nathan; Sarker, Subir; Aragao, David; Das, Shubagata; Smith, Kate M; Raidal, Shane R; Forwood, Jade K

    2017-12-15

    Thioesterases catalyze the cleavage of thioester bonds within many activated fatty acids and acyl-CoA substrates. They are expressed ubiquitously in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and are subdivided into 25 thioesterase families according to their catalytic active site, protein oligomerization, and substrate specificity. Although many of these enzyme families are well-characterized in terms of function and substrate specificity, regulation across most thioesterase families is poorly understood. Here, we characterized a TE6 thioesterase from the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis Structural analysis with X-ray crystallographic diffraction data to 2.0-Å revealed that each protein subunit harbors a hot dog-fold and that the TE6 enzyme forms a hexamer with D3 symmetry. An assessment of thioesterase activity against a range of acyl-CoA substrates revealed the greatest activity against acetyl-CoA, and structure-guided mutagenesis of putative active site residues identified Asn 24 and Asp 39 as being essential for activity. Our structural analysis revealed that six GDP nucleotides bound the enzyme in close proximity to an intersubunit disulfide bond interactions that covalently link thioesterase domains in a double hot dog dimer. Structure-guided mutagenesis of residues within the GDP-binding pocket identified Arg 93 as playing a key role in the nucleotide interaction and revealed that GDP is required for activity. All mutations were confirmed to be specific and not to have resulted from structural perturbations by X-ray crystallography. This is the first report of a bacterial GDP-regulated thioesterase and of covalent linkage of thioesterase domains through a disulfide bond, revealing structural similarities with ADP regulation in the human ACOT12 thioesterase. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Protein kinase CK2 in health and disease: Protein kinase CK2: from structures to insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niefind, K; Raaf, J; Issinger, Olaf-Georg

    2009-01-01

    the critical region of CK2alpha recruitment is pre-formed in the unbound state. In CK2alpha the activation segment - a key element of protein kinase regulation - adapts invariably the typical conformation of the active enzymes. Recent structures of human CK2alpha revealed a surprising plasticity in the ATP......Within the last decade, 40 crystal structures corresponding to protein kinase CK2 (former name 'casein kinase 2'), to its catalytic subunit CK2alpha and to its regulatory subunit CK2beta were published. Together they provide a valuable, yet by far not complete basis to rationalize the biochemical...

  20. Epoxide hydrolase-lasalocid a structure provides mechanistic insight into polyether natural product biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Fong T; Hotta, Kinya; Chen, Xi; Fang, Minyi; Watanabe, Kenji; Kim, Chu-Young

    2015-01-14

    Biosynthesis of some polyether natural products involves a kinetically disfavored epoxide-opening cyclic ether formation, a reaction termed anti-Baldwin cyclization. One such example is the biosynthesis of lasalocid A, an ionophore antibiotic polyether. During lasalocid A biosynthesis, an epoxide hydrolase, Lsd19, converts the bisepoxy polyketide intermediate into the tetrahydrofuranyl-tetrahydropyran product. We report the crystal structure of Lsd19 in complex with lasalocid A. The structure unambiguously shows that the C-terminal domain of Lsd19 catalyzes the intriguing anti-Baldwin cyclization. We propose a general mechanism for epoxide selection by ionophore polyether epoxide hydrolases.

  1. Structural and Functional Insights into the Pilotin-Secretin Complex of the Type II Secretion System

    OpenAIRE

    Gu, Shuang; Rehman, Saima; Wang, Xiaohui; Shevchik, Vladimir E.; Pickersgill, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    Gram-negative bacteria secrete virulence factors and assemble fibre structures on their cell surface using specialized secretion systems. Three of these, T2SS, T3SS and T4PS, are characterized by large outer membrane channels formed by proteins called secretins. Usually, a cognate lipoprotein pilot is essential for the assembly of the secretin in the outer membrane. The structures of the pilotins of the T3SS and T4PS have been described. However in the T2SS, the molecular mechanism of this pr...

  2. Role of charged lipids in membrane structuresInsight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

    Lipids and proteins are the main components of cell membranes. It is becoming increasingly clear that lipids, in addition to providing an environment for proteins to work in, are in many cases also able to modulate the structure and function of those proteins. Particularly charged lipids...... to fruitful directions. In this paper, we review studies that have utilized molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the roles of charged lipids in membrane structures. We focus on lipids as active constituents of the membranes, affecting both general membrane properties as well as non-lipid membrane...

  3. Mechanistic insights into validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate synthesis by VldE using the structure of the entire product complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Cavalier

    Full Text Available The pseudo-glycosyltransferase VldE catalyzes non-glycosidic C-N coupling between an unsaturated cyclitol and a saturated aminocyclitol with the conservation of the stereochemical configuration of the substrates to form validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate, the biosynthetic precursor of the antibiotic validamycin A. To study the molecular basis of its mechanism, the three-dimensional structures of VldE from Streptomyces hygroscopicus subsp. limoneus was determined in apo form, in complex with GDP, in complex with GDP and validoxylamine A 7'-phosphate, and in complex with GDP and trehalose. The structure of VldE with the catalytic site in both an "open" and "closed" conformation is also described. With these structures, the preferred binding of the guanine moiety by VldE, rather than the uracil moiety as seen in OtsA could be explained. The elucidation of the VldE structure in complex with the entirety of its products provides insight into the internal return mechanism by which catalysis occurs with a net retention of the stereochemical configuration of the donated cyclitol.

  4. Insights into structural and dynamical features of water at halloysite interfaces probed by DFT and classical molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presti, Davide; Pedone, Alfonso; Mancini, Giordano; Duce, Celia; Tiné, Maria Rosaria; Barone, Vincenzo

    2016-01-21

    Density functional theory calculations and classical molecular dynamics simulations have been used to investigate the structure and dynamics of water molecules on kaolinite surfaces and confined in the interlayer of a halloysite model of nanometric dimension. The first technique allowed us to accurately describe the structure of the tetrahedral-octahedral slab of kaolinite in vacuum and in interaction with water molecules and to assess the performance of two widely employed empirical force fields to model water/clay interfaces. Classical molecular dynamics simulations were used to study the hydrogen bond network structure and dynamics of water adsorbed on kaolinite surfaces and confined in the halloysite interlayer. The results are in nice agreement with the few experimental data available in the literature, showing a pronounced ordering and reduced mobility of water molecules at the hydrophilic octahedral surfaces of kaolinite and confined in the halloysite interlayer, with respect to water interacting with the hydrophobic tetrahedral surfaces and in the bulk. Finally, this investigation provides new atomistic insights into the structural and dynamical properties of water-clay interfaces, which are of fundamental importance for both natural processes and industrial applications.

  5. Structural insights into the elevator-like mechanism of the sodium/citrate symporter CitS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Won; Kim, Subin; Kim, Songwon; Lee, Haerim; Lee, Jie-Oh; Jin, Mi Sun

    2017-05-31

    The sodium-dependent citrate transporter of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpCitS) belongs to the 2-hydroxycarboxylate transporter (2-HCT) family and allows the cell to use citrate as sole carbon and energy source in anaerobic conditions. Here we present crystal structures of KpCitS in citrate-bound outward-facing, citrate-bound asymmetric, and citrate-free inward-facing state. The structures reveal that the KpCitS dimerization domain remains stationary throughout the transport cycle due to a hydrogen bond network as well as extensive hydrophobic interactions. In contrast, its transport domain undergoes a ~35° rigid-body rotation and a ~17 Å translocation perpendicular to the membrane to expose the substrate-binding site alternately to either side of the membrane. Furthermore, homology models of two other 2-HCT proteins based on the KpCitS structure offer structural insights into their differences in substrate specificity at a molecular level. On the basis of our results and previous biochemical data, we propose that the activity of the 2-HCT CitS involves an elevator-like movement in which the transport domain itself traverses the lipid bilayer, carrying the substrate into the cell in a sodium-dependent manner.

  6. Structural insights of the ssDNA binding site in the multifunctional endonuclease AtBFN2 from Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsung-Fu Yu

    Full Text Available The multi S1/P1 nuclease AtBFN2 (EC 3.1.30.1 encoded by the Arabidopsis thaliana At1g68290 gene is a glycoprotein that digests RNA, ssDNA, and dsDNA. AtBFN2 depends on three zinc ions for cleaving DNA and RNA at 3'-OH to yield 5'-nucleotides. In addition, AtBFN2's enzymatic activity is strongly glycan dependent. Plant Zn(2+-dependent endonucleases present a unique fold, and belong to the Phospholipase C (PLC/P1 nuclease superfamily. In this work, we present the first complete, ligand-free, AtBFN2 crystal structure, along with sulfate, phosphate and ssDNA co-crystal structures. With these, we were able to provide better insight into the glycan structure and possible enzymatic mechanism. In comparison with other nucleases, the AtBFN2/ligand-free and AtBFN2/PO4 models suggest a similar, previously proposed, catalytic mechanism. Our data also confirm that the phosphate and vanadate can inhibit the enzyme activity by occupying the active site. More importantly, the AtBFN2/A5T structure reveals a novel and conserved secondary binding site, which seems to be important for plant Zn(2+-dependent endonucleases. Based on these findings, we propose a rational ssDNA binding model, in which the ssDNA wraps itself around the protein and the attached surface glycan, in turn, reinforces the binding complex.

  7. Crystal Structure of the FGFR4/LY2874455 Complex Reveals Insights into the Pan-FGFR Selectivity of LY2874455.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daichao; Guo, Ming; Philips, Michael A; Qu, Lingzhi; Jiang, Longying; Li, Jun; Chen, Xiaojuan; Chen, Zhuchu; Chen, Lin; Chen, Yongheng

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant FGFR4 signaling has been documented abundantly in various human cancers. The majority of FGFR inhibitors display significantly reduced potency toward FGFR4 compared to FGFR1-3. However, LY2874455 has similar inhibition potency for FGFR1-4 with IC50 less than 6.4 nM. To date, there is no published crystal structure of LY2874455 in complex with any kinase. To better understand the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455, we have determined the crystal structure of the FGFR4 kinase domain bound to LY2874455 at a resolution of 2.35 Å. LY2874455, a type I inhibitor for FGFR4, binds to the ATP-binding pocket of FGFR4 in a DFG-in active conformation with three hydrogen bonds and a number of van der Waals contacts. After alignment of the kinase domain sequence of 4 FGFRs, and superposition of the ATP binding pocket of 4 FGFRs, our structural analyses reveal that the interactions of LY2874455 to FGFR4 are largely conserved in 4 FGFRs, explaining at least partly, the broad inhibitory activity of LY2874455 toward 4 FGFRs. Consequently, our studies reveal new insights into the pan-FGFR selectivity of LY2874455 and provide a structural basis for developing novel FGFR inhibitors that target FGFR1-4 broadly.

  8. Structure of EspB from the ESX-1 type VII secretion system and insights into its export mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomonson, Matthew; Setiaputra, Dheva; Makepeace, Karl A T; Lameignere, Emilie; Petrotchenko, Evgeniy V; Conrady, Deborah G; Bergeron, Julien R; Vuckovic, Marija; DiMaio, Frank; Borchers, Christoph H; Yip, Calvin K; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2015-03-03

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) uses the ESX-1 type VII secretion system to export virulence proteins across its lipid-rich cell wall, which helps permeabilize the host's macrophage phagosomal membrane, facilitating the escape and cell-to-cell spread of Mtb. ESX-1 membranolytic activity depends on a set of specialized secreted Esp proteins, the structure and specific roles of which are not currently understood. Here, we report the X-ray and electron microscopic structures of the ESX-1-secreted EspB. We demonstrate that EspB adopts a PE/PPE-like fold that mediates oligomerization with apparent heptameric symmetry, generating a barrel-shaped structure with a central pore that we propose contributes to the macrophage killing functions of EspB. Our structural data also reveal unexpected direct interactions between the EspB bipartite secretion signal sequence elements that form a unified aromatic surface. These findings provide insight into how specialized proteins encoded within the ESX-1 locus are targeted for secretion, and for the first time indicate an oligomerization-dependent role for Esp virulence factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Structural Insights into the Mechanisms of Action of Short-Peptide HIV-1 Fusion Inhibitors Targeting the Gp41 Pocket

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiujuan Zhang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The deep hydrophobic pocket of HIV-1 gp41 has been considered a drug target, but short-peptides targeting this site usually lack potent antiviral activity. By applying the M-T hook structure, we previously generated highly potent short-peptide fusion inhibitors that specifically targeted the pocket site, such as MT-SC22EK, HP23L, and LP-11. Here, the crystal structures of HP23L and LP-11 bound to the target mimic peptide N36 demonstrated the critical intrahelical and interhelical interactions, especially verifying that the hook-like conformation was finely adopted while the methionine residue was replaced by the oxidation-less prone residue leucine, and that addition of an extra glutamic acid significantly enhanced the binding and inhibitory activities. The structure of HP23L bound to N36 with two mutations (E49K and L57R revealed the critical residues and motifs mediating drug resistance and provided new insights into the mechanism of action of inhibitors. Therefore, the present data help our understanding for the structure-activity relationship (SAR of HIV-1 fusion inhibitors and facilitate the development of novel antiviral drugs.

  10. Communication: Supramolecular structures in monohydroxy alcohols: Insights from shear-mechanical studies of a systematic series of octanol structural isomers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hecksher, Tina; Jakobsen, Bo

    2014-01-01

    response, also has a mechanical signature. In this work, we apply broadband shear-mechanical spectroscopy to a systematic series of octanol structural isomers, x-methyl-3-heptanol (with x ranging from 2 to 6). We find that the characteristics of the mechanical signature overall follow the systematic...

  11. Biochemical and structural insights into xylan utilization by the thermophilic bacterium Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yejun; Agarwal, Vinayak; Dodd, Dylan; Kim, Jason; Bae, Brian; Mackie, Roderick I; Nair, Satish K; Cann, Isaac K O

    2012-10-12

    Hemicellulose is the next most abundant plant cell wall component after cellulose. The abundance of hemicellulose such as xylan suggests that their hydrolysis and conversion to biofuels can improve the economics of bioenergy production. In an effort to understand xylan hydrolysis at high temperatures, we sequenced the genome of the thermophilic bacterium Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus. Analysis of the partial genome sequence revealed a gene cluster that contained both hydrolytic enzymes and also enzymes key to the pentose-phosphate pathway. The hydrolytic enzymes in the gene cluster were demonstrated to convert products from a large endoxylanase (Xyn10A) predicted to anchor to the surface of the bacterium. We further use structural and calorimetric studies to demonstrate that the end products of Xyn10A hydrolysis of xylan are recognized and bound by XBP1, a putative solute-binding protein, likely for transport into the cell. The XBP1 protein showed preference for xylo-oligosaccharides as follows: xylotriose > xylobiose > xylotetraose. To elucidate the structural basis for the oligosaccharide preference, we solved the co-crystal structure of XBP1 complexed with xylotriose to a 1.8-Å resolution. Analysis of the biochemical data in the context of the co-crystal structure reveals the molecular underpinnings of oligosaccharide length specificity.

  12. Structure of active IspH enzyme from escherichia coli provides mechanistic insights into substrate reduction

    KAUST Repository

    Grä wert, Tobias; Rohdich, Felix; Span, Lngrid; Backer, Adelbert; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Eppinger, Jö rg; Groll, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The terminal step of the non-mevalonate pathway of terpene biosynthesis is catalyzed by IspH (see scheme). In the crystal structure of IspH from E. coli, a bound inorganic diphosphate ligand occupies the position of the diphosphate residue

  13. Hierarchical population structure in greater sage-grouse provides insight into management boundary delineation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd B. Cross; David E. Naugle; John C. Carlson; Michael K. Schwartz

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population structure is important for guiding ongoing conservation and restoration efforts. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of concern distributed across 1.2 million km2 of western North America. We genotyped 1499 greater sagegrouse from 297 leks across Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota using a 15 locus...

  14. GPCR engineering yields high-resolution structural insights into beta2-adrenergic receptor function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenbaum, Daniel M; Cherezov, Vadim; Hanson, Michael A

    2007-01-01

    The beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) is a well-studied prototype for heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that respond to diffusible hormones and neurotransmitters. To overcome the structural flexibility of the beta2AR and to facilitate its cr...

  15. Structural insights into human peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta (PPAR-delta selective ligand binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda A H Batista

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs δ, α and γ are closely related transcription factors that exert distinct effects on fatty acid and glucose metabolism, cardiac disease, inflammatory response and other processes. Several groups developed PPAR subtype specific modulators to trigger desirable effects of particular PPARs without harmful side effects associated with activation of other subtypes. Presently, however, many compounds that bind to one of the PPARs cross-react with others and rational strategies to obtain highly selective PPAR modulators are far from clear. GW0742 is a synthetic ligand that binds PPARδ more than 300-fold more tightly than PPARα or PPARγ but the structural basis of PPARδ:GW0742 interactions and reasons for strong selectivity are not clear. Here we report the crystal structure of the PPARδ:GW0742 complex. Comparisons of the PPARδ:GW0742 complex with published structures of PPARs in complex with α and γ selective agonists and pan agonists suggests that two residues (Val312 and Ile328 in the buried hormone binding pocket play special roles in PPARδ selective binding and experimental and computational analysis of effects of mutations in these residues confirms this and suggests that bulky substituents that line the PPARα and γ ligand binding pockets as structural barriers for GW0742 binding. This analysis suggests general strategies for selective PPARδ ligand design.

  16. New insights into structure and function of the different types of fatty acid-binding protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zimmerman, Augusta Wilhelmina

    2002-01-01

    Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytosolic proteins with virtually identical backbone structures that facilitate the solubility and intracellular transport of fatty acids. They may also modulate the effect of fatty acids on various metabolic enzymes and receptors and on cellular

  17. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-01-01

    The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously...

  18. Structural and mechanistic insight into Holliday-junction dissolution by topoisomerase IIIα and RMI1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bocquet, Nicolas; Bizard, Anna H; Abdulrahman, Wassim

    2014-01-01

    to TopIIIα influences it to behave as a hemicatenane dissolvase, rather than as an enzyme that relaxes DNA topology, is unknown. Here, we present the crystal structure of human TopIIIα complexed to the first oligonucleotide-binding domain (OB fold) of RMI1. TopIII assumes a toroidal type 1A topoisomerase...

  19. Structural insights into leishmanolysins encoded on chromosome 10 of Leishmania (Viannia braziliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Sutter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND Leishmanolysins have been described as important parasite virulence factors because of their roles in the infection of promastigotes and resistance to host’s defenses. Leishmania (Viannia braziliensis contains several leishmanolysin genes in its genome, especially in chromosome 10. However, the functional impact of such diversity is not understood, but may be attributed partially to the lack of structural data for proteins from this parasite. OBJECTIVES This works aims to compare leishmanolysin sequences from L. (V. braziliensis and to understand how the diversity impacts in their structural and dynamic features. METHODS Leishmanolysin sequences were retrieved from GeneDB. Subsequently, 3D models were built using comparative modeling methods and their dynamical behavior was studied using molecular dynamic simulations. FINDINGS We identified three subgroups of leishmanolysins according to sequence variations. These differences directly affect the electrostatic properties of leishmanolysins and the geometry of their active sites. We identified two levels of structural heterogeneity that might be related to the ability of promastigotes to interact with a broad range of substrates. MAIN CONCLUSION Altogether, the structural plasticity of leishmanolysins may constitute an important evolutionary adaptation rarely explored when considering the virulence of L. (V. braziliensis parasites.

  20. Ascent of atomic force microscopy as a nanoanalytical tool for exosomes and other extracellular vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, S.; LeClaire, M.; Gimzewski, J. K.

    2018-04-01

    Over the last 30 years, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has made several significant contributions to the field of biology and medicine. In this review, we draw our attention to the recent applications and promise of AFM as a high-resolution imaging and force sensing technology for probing subcellular vesicles: exosomes and other extracellular vesicles. Exosomes are naturally occurring nanoparticles found in several body fluids such as blood, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, amniotic fluid and urine. Exosomes mediate cell-cell communication, transport proteins and genetic content between distant cells, and are now known to play important roles in progression of diseases such as cancers, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases. Because exosomes are smaller than 100 nm (about 30-120 nm), the structural and molecular characterization of these vesicles at the individual level has been challenging. AFM has revealed a new degree of complexity in these nanosized vesicles and generated growing interest as a nanoscale tool for characterizing the abundance, morphology, biomechanics, and biomolecular make-up of exosomes. With the recent interest in exosomes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, AFM-based characterization promises to contribute towards improved understanding of these particles at the single vesicle and sub-vesicular levels. When coupled with complementary methods like optical super resolution STED and Raman, AFM could further unlock the potential of exosomes as disease biomarkers and as therapeutic agents.

  1. Extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products-biology and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilija Krstova Krajnc

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular membrane vesicles are fragments shed from plasma membranes off all cell types that are undergoing apoptosis or are being subjected to various types of stimulation or stress.  Even in the process of programmed cell death (apoptosis, cell fall apart of varying size vesicles. They expose phosphatidylserine (PS on the outer leaflet of their membrane, and bear surface membrane antigens reflecting their cellular origin. Extracellular membrane vesicles have been isolated from many types of biological fluids, including serum, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, saliva, tears and conditioned culture medium. Flow cytometry is one of the many different methodological approaches that have been used to analyze EMVs. The method attempts to characterize the EMVs cellular origin, size, population, number, and structure. EMVs are present and accumulate in blood products (erythrocytes, platelets as well as in fresh frozen plasma during storage. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of extracellular vesicles as a cell-to-cell communication system and the role in the pathogenesis of different diseases. Special emphasis will be given to the implication of extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products and their clinical relevance. Although our understanding of the role of  EMVs in disease is far from comprehensive, they display promise as biomarkers for different diseases in the future and also as a marker of quality and safety in the quality control of blood products.

  2. Raman spectroscopy of single extracellular vesicles reveals subpopulations with varying membrane content (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Zachary J.; Lee, Changwon; Rojalin, Tatu; Carney, Randy P.; Hazari, Sidhartha; Knudson, Alisha; Lam, Kit S.; Saari, Heikki; Lazaro Ibañez, Elisa; Viitala, Tapani; Laaksonen, Timo; Yliperttula, Marjo; Wachsmann-Hogiu, Sebastian

    2016-03-01

    Exosomes are small (~100nm) membrane bound vesicles excreted by cells as part of their normal biological processes. These extracellular vesicles are currently an area of intense research, since they were recently found to carry functional mRNA that allows transfer of proteins and other cellular instructions between cells. Exosomes have been implicated in a wide range of diseases, including cancer. Cancer cells are known to have increased exosome production, and may use those exosomes to prepare remote environments for metastasis. Therefore, there is a strong need to develop characterization methods to help understand the structure and function of these vesicles. However, current techniques, such as proteomics and genomics technologies, rely on aggregating a large amount of exosome material and reporting on chemical content that is averaged over many millions of exosomes. Here we report on the use of laser-tweezers Raman spectroscopy (LTRS) to probe individual vesicles, discovering distinct heterogeneity among exosomes both within a cell line, as well as between different cell lines. Through principal components analysis followed by hierarchical clustering, we have identified four "subpopulations" of exosomes shared across seven cell lines. The key chemical differences between these subpopulations, as determined by spectral analysis of the principal component loadings, are primarily related to membrane composition. Specifically, the differences can be ascribed to cholesterol content, cholesterol to phospholipid ratio, and surface protein expression. Thus, we have shown LTRS to be a powerful method to probe the chemical content of single extracellular vesicles.

  3. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52Å resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel β-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over α-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Genetic diversity and population structure in Polygonum cespitosum: insights to an ongoing plant invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Matesanz

    Full Text Available Molecular markers can help elucidate how neutral evolutionary forces and introduction history contribute to genetic variation in invaders. We examined genetic diversity, population structure and colonization patterns in the invasive Polygonum cespitosum, a highly selfing, tetraploid Asian annual introduced to North America. We used nine diploidized polymorphic microsatellite markers to study 16 populations in the introduced range (northeastern North America, via the analyses of 516 individuals, and asked the following questions: 1 Do populations have differing levels of within-population genetic diversity? 2 Do populations form distinct genetic clusters? 3 Does population structure reflect either geographic distances or habitat similarities? We found low heterozygosity in all populations, consistent with the selfing mating system of P. cespitosum. Despite the high selfing levels, we found substantial genetic variation within and among P. cespitosum populations, based on the percentage of polymorphic loci, allelic richness, and expected heterozygosity. Inferences from individual assignment tests (Bayesian clustering and pairwise FST values indicated high among-population differentiation, which indicates that the effects of gene flow are limited relative to those of genetic drift, probably due to the high selfing rates and the limited seed dispersal ability of P. cespitosum. Population structure did not reflect a pattern of isolation by distance nor was it related to habitat similarities. Rather, population structure appears to be the result of the random movement of propagules across the introduced range, possibly associated with human dispersal. Furthermore, the high population differentiation, genetic diversity, and fine-scale genetic structure (populations founded by individuals from different genetic sources in the introduced range suggest that multiple introductions to this region may have occurred. High genetic diversity may further

  5. Plant Biodiversity Drivers in Brazilian Campos Rupestres: Insights from Phylogenetic Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zappi, Daniela C; Moro, Marcelo F; Meagher, Thomas R; Nic Lughadha, Eimear

    2017-01-01

    Old, climate-buffered infertile landscapes (Ocbils) have attracted increasing levels of interest in recent years because of their exceptionally diverse plant communities. Brazil's campos rupestres (rupestrian grasslands) are home to almost 15% of Brazil's native flora in less than 0.8% of Brazil's territory: an ideal study system for exploring variation in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure in sites differing in geology and phytophysiognomy. We found significant differences in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure across a range of study sites encompassing open vegetation and forest on quartzite (FQ) and on ironstone substrates, commonly termed canga . Substrate and physiognomy were key in structuring floristic diversity in the Espinhaço and physiognomy was more important than substrate in structuring phylogenetic diversity, with neither substrate nor its interaction with physiognomy accounting for significant variation in phylogenetic structure. Phylogenetic clustering was significant in open vegetation on both canga and quartzite, reflecting the potential role of environmental filtering in these exposed montane communities adapted to multiple environmental stressors. In forest communities, phylogenetic clustering was significant only at relatively deep nodes of the phylogeny in FQ while no significant phylogenetic clustering was detected across forest on canga (FC), which may be attributable to proximity to the megadiverse Atlantic forest biome and/or comparatively benign environmental conditions in FC with relatively deep, nutrient-rich soils and access to edaphic water reliable in comparison to those for open vegetation on canga and open or forest communities on quartzite. Clades representing relatively old lineages are significantly over-represented in campos rupestres on quartzite, consistent with the Gondwanan Heritage Hypothesis of Ocbil theory. In contrast, forested sites on canga are recognized as Yodfels. To be effective

  6. Plant Biodiversity Drivers in Brazilian Campos Rupestres: Insights from Phylogenetic Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela C. Zappi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Old, climate-buffered infertile landscapes (Ocbils have attracted increasing levels of interest in recent years because of their exceptionally diverse plant communities. Brazil’s campos rupestres (rupestrian grasslands are home to almost 15% of Brazil’s native flora in less than 0.8% of Brazil’s territory: an ideal study system for exploring variation in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure in sites differing in geology and phytophysiognomy. We found significant differences in floristic diversity and phylogenetic structure across a range of study sites encompassing open vegetation and forest on quartzite (FQ and on ironstone substrates, commonly termed canga. Substrate and physiognomy were key in structuring floristic diversity in the Espinhaço and physiognomy was more important than substrate in structuring phylogenetic diversity, with neither substrate nor its interaction with physiognomy accounting for significant variation in phylogenetic structure. Phylogenetic clustering was significant in open vegetation on both canga and quartzite, reflecting the potential role of environmental filtering in these exposed montane communities adapted to multiple environmental stressors. In forest communities, phylogenetic clustering was significant only at relatively deep nodes of the phylogeny in FQ while no significant phylogenetic clustering was detected across forest on canga (FC, which may be attributable to proximity to the megadiverse Atlantic forest biome and/or comparatively benign environmental conditions in FC with relatively deep, nutrient-rich soils and access to edaphic water reliable in comparison to those for open vegetation on canga and open or forest communities on quartzite. Clades representing relatively old lineages are significantly over-represented in campos rupestres on quartzite, consistent with the Gondwanan Heritage Hypothesis of Ocbil theory. In contrast, forested sites on canga are recognized as Yodfels. To be

  7. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52 angstrom resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over alpha-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria.

  8. Genetically Controlled Fusion, Exocytosis and Fission of Artificial Vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bönzli, Eva; Hadorn, Maik; De Lucrezia, Davide

    if a special class of viral proteins, termed fusogenic peptides, were added to the external medium. In the present work, we intend to develop genetically controlled fusion, fission and exocytosis of vesicles by the synthesis of peptides within vesicles. First, we enclosed synthesized peptides in vesicles...... to induce in a next step fusion of adjacent vesicles, fission and exocytosis of nested vesicles. Second, we will replace the peptides by an enclosed cell-free expression system to internally synthesize fusion peptides. To control the gene expression, different mechanisms are available, e.g. addition...... fusion, fission and exocytosis....

  9. New Insights on the Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone from Amphibious Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, Helen Anne

    A new onshore-offshore seismic dataset from the Cascadia subduction zone was used to characterize mantle lithosphere structure from the ridge to the volcanic arc, and plate interface structure offshore within the seismogenic zone. The Cascadia Initiative (CI) covered the Juan de Fuca plate offshore the northwest coast of the United States with an ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) array for four years; this was complemented by a simultaneous onshore seismic array. Teleseismic data recorded by this array allows the unprecedented imaging of an entire tectonic plate from its creation at the ridge through subduction initiation and back beyond the volcanic arc along the entire strike of the Cascadia subduction zone. Higher frequency active source seismic data also provides constraints on the crustal structure along the plate interface offshore. Two seismic datasets were used to image the plate interface structure along a line extending 100 km offshore central Washington. These are wide-angle reflections from ship-to-shore seismic data from the Ridge-To-Trench seismic cruise and receiver functions calculated from a densely spaced CI OBS focus array in a similar region. Active source seismic observations are consistent with reflections from the plate interface offshore indicating the presence of a P-wave velocity discontinuity. Until recently, there has been limited success in using the receiver function technique on OBS data. I avoid these traditional challenges by using OBS constructed with shielding deployed in shallow water on the continental shelf. These data have quieter horizontals and avoid water- and sediment-multiple contamination at the examined frequencies. The receiver functions are consistently modeled with a velocity structure that has a low velocity zone (LVZ) with elevated P to S-wave velocity ratios at the plate interface. A similar LVZ structure has been observed onshore and interpreted as a combination of elevated pore-fluid pressures or metasediments

  10. Crystal structure of bassetite and saleeite. New insight into autunite-group minerals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dal Bo, Fabrice; Hatert, Frederic [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Lab. de Mineralogie; Mees, Florias [Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren (Belgium); Philippo, Simon [Musee National d' Histoire Naturelle, Luxembourg (Luxembourg). Section Mineralogie; Baijot, Maxime; Fontaine, Francois [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Dept. de Geologie

    2016-06-15

    The crystal structures of two autunite-group minerals have been solved recently. The crystal structure of bassetite, Fe{sup 2+}[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2}(H{sub 2}O){sub 10}, from the type locality in Cornwall, United Kingdom (Basset Mines) was solved for the first time. Bassetite is monoclinic, space group P2{sub 1}/n, a = 6.961(1), b = 20.039(2), c = 6.974(1) Aa and β = 90.46(1) . The crystal structure of saleeite, Mg[(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sub 2}(H{sub 2}O){sub 10}, from Shinkolobwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, was also solved. Saleeite is monoclinic, space group P2{sub 1}/n, a = 6.951(1), b = 19.942(1), c = 6.967(1) Aa and β = 90.58(1) . The crystal structure investigation of bassetite (R{sub 1} = 0.0658 for 1879 observed reflections with vertical stroke F{sub o} vertical stroke ≥ 4σ{sub F}) and saleeite (R{sub 1} = 0.0307 for 1990 observed reflections with vertical stroke F{sub o} vertical stroke ≥ 4σ{sub F}) confirms that both minerals are topologically identical and that bassetite contains ten water molecules per formula unit. Their structure contains autunite-type sheets, [(UO{sub 2})(PO{sub 4})]{sup -}, consisting of corner-sharing UO{sub 6} square bipyramids and PO{sub 4} tetrahedra. Iron and magnesium are surrounded by water molecules to form Fe(H{sub 2}O){sub 6} or Mg(H{sub 2}O){sub 6} octahedra located in interlayer, between the autunite-type sheets. Two isolated independent water molecules are also located in interlayer. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis confirmed the chemical composition obtained from structure refinement. These new data prompt a re-assessment of minerals of the autunite and meta-autunite groups.

  11. Functionalization of Fatty Acid Vesicles through Newly Synthesized Bolaamphiphile-DNA Conjugates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wamberg, M. C.; Wieczorek, R.; Brier, S. B.

    2014-01-01

    The surface functionalization of fatty acid vesicles will allow their use as nanoreactors for complex chemistry. In this report, the tethering of several DNA conjugates to decanoic acid vesicles for molecular recognition and synthetic purposes was explored. Due to the highly dynamic nature......), and consists of a single hydrocarbon chain of 20 carbons having on one end a triazole group linked to the S'-phosphate of the nucleic acid and on the other side a hydroxyl-group. Its insertion was so effective that a fluorescent label on the DNA complementary to the conjugate could be used to visualize fatty...... acid structures....

  12. Contraction and AICAR Stimulate IL-6 Vesicle Depletion From Skeletal Muscle Fibers In Vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Hans P M M; Brandauer, Josef; Schjerling, Peter

    2013-01-01

    muscle fibers and in live animals in vivo. Using confocal imaging to visualize endogenous IL-6 protein in fixed muscle fibers, we found IL-6 in small vesicle structures distributed throughout the fibers under basal (resting) conditions. To determine the kinetics of IL-6 secretion, intact quadriceps...... muscles were transfected with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged IL-6 (IL-6-EGFP), and 5 days later anesthetized mice were imaged before and after muscle contractions in situ. Contractions decreased IL-6-EGFP-containing vesicles and protein by 62% (P

  13. Cross-over between discrete and continuous protein structure space: insights into automatic classification and networks of protein structures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Pascual-García

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural classifications of proteins assume the existence of the fold, which is an intrinsic equivalence class of protein domains. Here, we test in which conditions such an equivalence class is compatible with objective similarity measures. We base our analysis on the transitive property of the equivalence relationship, requiring that similarity of A with B and B with C implies that A and C are also similar. Divergent gene evolution leads us to expect that the transitive property should approximately hold. However, if protein domains are a combination of recurrent short polypeptide fragments, as proposed by several authors, then similarity of partial fragments may violate the transitive property, favouring the continuous view of the protein structure space. We propose a measure to quantify the violations of the transitive property when a clustering algorithm joins elements into clusters, and we find out that such violations present a well defined and detectable cross-over point, from an approximately transitive regime at high structure similarity to a regime with large transitivity violations and large differences in length at low similarity. We argue that protein structure space is discrete and hierarchic classification is justified up to this cross-over point, whereas at lower similarities the structure space is continuous and it should be represented as a network. We have tested the qualitative behaviour of this measure, varying all the choices involved in the automatic classification procedure, i.e., domain decomposition, alignment algorithm, similarity score, and clustering algorithm, and we have found out that this behaviour is quite robust. The final classification depends on the chosen algorithms. We used the values of the clustering coefficient and the transitivity violations to select the optimal choices among those that we tested. Interestingly, this criterion also favours the agreement between automatic and expert classifications

  14. From DNA to proteins via the ribosome: Structural insights into the workings of the translation machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agirrezabala Xabier

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Understanding protein synthesis in bacteria and humans is important for understanding the origin of many human diseases and devising treatments for them. Over the past decade, the field of structural biology has made significant advances in the visualisation of the molecular machinery involved in protein synthesis. It is now possible to discern, at least in outline, the way that interlocking ribosomal components and factors adapt their conformations throughout this process. The determination of structures in various functional contexts, along with the application of kinetic and fluorescent resonance energy transfer approaches to the problem, has given researchers the frame of reference for what remains as the greatest challenge: the complete dynamic portrait of protein synthesis in the cell.

  15. Designer biomass for next-generation biorefineries: leveraging recent insights into xylan structure and biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Peter J; Wang, Hsin-Tzu; York, William S; Peña, Maria J; Urbanowicz, Breeanna R

    2017-01-01

    Xylans are the most abundant noncellulosic polysaccharides in lignified secondary cell walls of woody dicots and in both primary and secondary cell walls of grasses. These polysaccharides, which comprise 20-35% of terrestrial biomass, present major challenges for the efficient microbial bioconversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to fuels and other value-added products. Xylans play a significant role in the recalcitrance of biomass to degradation, and their bioconversion requires metabolic pathways that are distinct from those used to metabolize cellulose. In this review, we discuss the key differences in the structural features of xylans across diverse plant species, how these features affect their interactions with cellulose and lignin, and recent developments in understanding their biosynthesis. In particular, we focus on how the combined structural and biosynthetic knowledge can be used as a basis for biomass engineering aimed at developing crops that are better suited as feedstocks for the bioconversion industry.

  16. Collagenolytic Matrix Metalloproteinase Structure-Function Relationships: Insights From Molecular Dynamics Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabencheva-Christova, Tatyana G; Christov, Christo Z; Fields, Gregg B

    2017-01-01

    Several members of the zinc-dependent matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family catalyze collagen degradation. Experimental data reveal a collaboration between different MMP domains in order to achieve efficient collagenolysis. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been utilized to provide atomistic details of the collagenolytic process. The triple-helical structure of collagen exhibits local regions of flexibility, with modulation of interchain salt bridges and water bridges contributing to accessibility of individual chains by the enzyme. In turn, the hemopexin-like (HPX) domain of the MMP initially binds the triple helix and facilitates the presentation of individual strands to active site in the catalytic (CAT) domain. Extensive positive and negative correlated motions are observed between the CAT and HPX domains when collagen is bound. Ultimately, the MD simulation studies have complemented structural (NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography) and kinetic analyses to provide a more detailed mechanistic view of MMP-catalyzed collagenolysis. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. First principles insight into the α-glucan structures of starch

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damager, Iben; Engelsen, Søren Balling; Blennow, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    A study was conducted to demonstrate the synthesis, conformation, and hydration of the α-glucan structures of starch. Starch and glycogen were synthesized by sets of specific enzyme activities that directly determined their molecular structures and physical properties. It was demonstrated...... that the extent of crystallinity, aggregation and hydration was of fundamental importance for starch and its human analogue glycogen. Starch was deposited in the plant as a stable form in highly organized and semicrystalline granules having specific crystalline polymorphs as determined by powder X......-ray crystallography. The investigations mainly focused on the bottom-up approach of synthesis, conformation, and hydration of starch. Starch and glycogen were found to be polymers that were built up from a single monomer, D-glucopyranose, or for short D-glucose....

  18. Linker histones: novel insights into structure-specific recognition of the nucleosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter, Amber R; Hayes, Jeffrey J

    2017-04-01

    Linker histones (H1s) are a primary component of metazoan chromatin, fulfilling numerous functions, both in vitro and in vivo, including stabilizing the wrapping of DNA around the nucleosome, promoting folding and assembly of higher order chromatin structures, influencing nucleosome spacing on DNA, and regulating specific gene expression. However, many molecular details of how H1 binds to nucleosomes and recognizes unique structural features on the nucleosome surface remain undefined. Numerous, confounding studies are complicated not only by experimental limitations, but the use of different linker histone isoforms and nucleosome constructions. This review summarizes the decades of research that has resulted in several models of H1 association with nucleosomes, with a focus on recent advances that suggest multiple modes of H1 interaction in chromatin, while highlighting the remaining questions.

  19. Designing Probes for Immunodiagnostics: Structural Insights into an Epitope Targeting Burkholderia Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, Riccardo; Matterazzo, Elena; Amabili, Marco; Peri, Claudio; Gori, Alessandro; Gagni, Paola; Chiari, Marcella; Lertmemongkolchai, Ganjana; Cretich, Marina; Bolognesi, Martino; Colombo, Giorgio; Gourlay, Louise J

    2017-10-13

    Structure-based epitope prediction drives the design of diagnostic peptidic probes to reveal specific antibodies elicited in response to infections. We previously identified a highly immunoreactive epitope from the peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (Pal) antigen from Burkholderia pseudomallei, which could also diagnose Burkholderia cepacia infections. Here, considering the high phylogenetic conservation within Burkholderia species, we ask whether cross-reactivity can be reciprocally displayed by the synthetic epitope from B. cenocepacia. We perform comparative analyses of the conformational preferences and diagnostic performances of the corresponding epitopes from the two Burkholderia species when presented in the context of the full-length proteins or as isolated peptides. The effects of conformation on the diagnostic potential and cross-reactivity of Pal peptide epitopes are rationalized on the basis of the 1.8 Å crystal structure of B. cenocepacia Pal and through computational analyses. Our results are discussed in the context of designing new diagnostic molecules for the early detection of infectious diseases.

  20. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis in hippocampal synaptosomes correlates directly with total mitochondrial volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivannikov, Maxim V.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in many regions of the central nervous system leads to the continuous adjustment of synaptic strength, which is essential for learning and memory. In this study, we show by visualizing synaptic vesicle release in mouse hippocampal synaptosomes that presynaptic mitochondria and specifically, their capacities for ATP production are essential determinants of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and its magnitude. Total internal reflection microscopy of FM1-43 loaded hippocampal synaptosomes showed that inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation reduces evoked synaptic release. This reduction was accompanied by a substantial drop in synaptosomal ATP levels. However, cytosolic calcium influx was not affected. Structural characterization of stimulated hippocampal synaptosomes revealed that higher total presynaptic mitochondrial volumes were consistently associated with higher levels of exocytosis. Thus, synaptic vesicle release is linked to the presynaptic ability to regenerate ATP, which itself is a utility of mitochondrial density and activity. PMID:22772899

  1. Small angle neutron scattering and calorimetric studies of large unilamellar vesicles of the phospholipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, P.C.; Gaulin, B.D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M1 (CANADA); Epand, R.M. [Department of Biochemistry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5 (CANADA); Wignall, G.D.; Lin, J.S. [Center for Small-Angle Scattering Research, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831 (United States)

    1999-03-01

    High-resolution differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments have been conducted on large unilamellar vesicles (LUV{close_quote}s) of the phospholipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) in excess water. The DSC results indicate a phase transition at temperatures corresponding to the gel (L{sub {beta}{sup {prime}}}) to ripple (P{sub {beta}{sup {prime}}}) phase transition seen in multilamellar vesicles of DPPC while the SANS experiments provide direct evidence for the formation of the P{sub {beta}{sup {prime}}} phase in these systems. In addition, it is shown that SANS is an effective technique for extracting structural parameters such as vesicle radius and thickness in LUV model membrane systems. {copyright} {ital 1999} {ital The American Physical Society}

  2. Insights on Structural Characteristics and Ligand Binding Mechanisms of CDK2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Li

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2 is a crucial regulator of the eukaryotic cell cycle. However it is well established that monomeric CDK2 lacks regulatory activity, which needs to be aroused by its positive regulators, cyclins E and A, or be phosphorylated on the catalytic segment. Interestingly, these activation steps bring some dynamic changes on the 3D-structure of the kinase, especially the activation segment. Until now, in the monomeric CDK2 structure, three binding sites have been reported, including the adenosine triphosphate (ATP binding site (Site I and two non-competitive binding sites (Site II and III. In addition, when the kinase is subjected to the cyclin binding process, the resulting structural changes give rise to a variation of the ATP binding site, thus generating an allosteric binding site (Site IV. All the four sites are demonstrated as being targeted by corresponding inhibitors, as is illustrated by the allosteric binding one which is targeted by inhibitor ANS (fluorophore 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonate. In the present work, the binding mechanisms and their fluctuations during the activation process attract our attention. Therefore, we carry out corresponding studies on the structural characterization of CDK2, which are expected to facilitate the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of kinase proteins. Besides, the binding mechanisms of CDK2 with its relevant inhibitors, as well as the changes of binding mechanisms following conformational variations of CDK2, are summarized and compared. The summary of the conformational characteristics and ligand binding mechanisms of CDK2 in the present work will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating the bioactivities of CDK2.

  3. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    OpenAIRE

    Tamara Heartsill Scalley

    2017-01-01

    The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously measured tropical forest plots is presented. Long-term measurements, 72 years at the leeward site, and 25 years at windward site, o...

  4. Structural insights into SUN-KASH complexes across the nuclear envelope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenjia Wang; Zhaocai Zhou; Zhubing Shi; Shi Jiao; Cuicui Chen; Huizhen Wang; Guoguang Liu; Qiang Wang; Yun Zhao; Mark I Greene

    2012-01-01

    Linker of the nucleoskeleton and the cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes are composed of SUN and KASH domaincontaining proteins and bridge the inner and outer membranes of the nuclear envelope.LINC complexes play critical roles in nuclear positioning,cell polarization and cellular stiffness.Previously,we reported the homotrimeric structure of human SUN2.We have now determined the crystal structure of the human SUN2-KASH complex.In the complex structure,the SUN domain homotrimer binds to three independent "hook"-like KASH peptides.The overall conformation of the SUN domain in the complex closely resembles the SUN domain in its apo state.A major conformational change involves the AA'-loop of KASH-bound SUN domain,which rearranges to form a mini β-sheet that interacts with the KASH peptide.The PPPT motif of the KASH domain fits tightly into a hydrophobic pocket on the homotrimeric interface of the SUN domain,which we termed the BI-pocket.Moreover,two adjacent protomers of the SUN domain homotrimer sandwich the KASH domain by hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bonding.Mutations of these binding sites disrupt or reduce the association between the SUN and KASH domains in vitro.In addition,transfection of wild-type,but not mutant,SUN2 promotes cell migration in Ovcar-3 cells.These results provide a structural model of the LINC complex,which is essential for additional study of the physical and functional coupling between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm.

  5. Structural insight into mechanism and diverse substrate selection strategy of L-ribulokinase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agarwal R.; Swaminathan S.; Burley, S. K.

    2012-01-01

    The araBAD operon encodes three different enzymes required for catabolism of L-arabinose, which is one of the most abundant monosaccharides in nature. L-ribulokinase, encoded by the araB gene, catalyzes conversion of L-ribulose to L-ribulose-5-phosphate, the second step in the catabolic pathway. Unlike other kinases, ribulokinase exhibits diversity in substrate selectivity and catalyzes phosphorylation of all four 2-ketopentose sugars with comparable k{sub cat} values. To understand ribulokinase recognition and phosphorylation of a diverse set of substrates, we have determined the X-ray structure of ribulokinase from Bacillus halodurans bound to L-ribulose and investigated its substrate and ATP co-factor binding properties. The polypeptide chain is folded into two domains, one small and the other large, with a deep cleft in between. By analogy with related sugar kinases, we identified {sup 447}{und GG}LPQ{und K}{sup 452} as the ATP-binding motif within the smaller domain. L-ribulose binds in the cleft between the two domains via hydrogen bonds with the side chains of highly conserved Trp126, Lys208, Asp274, and Glu329 and the main chain nitrogen of Ala96. The interaction of L-ribulokinase with L-ribulose reveals versatile structural features that help explain recognition of various 2-ketopentose substrates and competitive inhibition by L-erythrulose. Comparison of our structure to that of the structures of other sugar kinases revealed conformational variations that suggest domain-domain closure movements are responsible for establishing the observed active site environment.

  6. Structure of active IspH enzyme from escherichia coli provides mechanistic insights into substrate reduction

    KAUST Repository

    Gräwert, Tobias

    2009-07-20

    The terminal step of the non-mevalonate pathway of terpene biosynthesis is catalyzed by IspH (see scheme). In the crystal structure of IspH from E. coli, a bound inorganic diphosphate ligand occupies the position of the diphosphate residue of the substrate. Together with mutation studies and theoretical calculations, these data support a mechanism which is analogous to the Birch reduction of allylic alcohols. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

  7. Metabolic activation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids: insights into the structural and enzymatic basis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Jianqing; Yang, Mengbi; Fu, Peter; Ye, Yang; Lin, Ge

    2014-06-16

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are natural toxins widely distributed in plants. The toxic potencies of different PAs vary significantly. PAs are mono- or diesters of necine acids with a necine base. On the basis of the necine bases, PAs are classified into three types: retronecine-type, otonecine-type, and platynecine-type. Hepatotoxic PAs contain an unsaturated necine base. PAs exert hepatotoxicity through metabolic activation by hepatic cytochromes P450s (CYPs) to generate reactive intermediates which form pyrrole-protein adducts. These adducts provide a mechanism-based biomarker to assess PA toxicity. In the present study, metabolic activation of 12 PAs from three structural types was investigated first in mice to demonstrate significant variations in hepatic metabolic activation of different PAs. Subsequently, the structural and enzymatic factors affecting metabolic activation of these PAs were further investigated by using human liver microsomes and recombinant human CYPs. Pyrrole-protein adducts were detected in the liver and blood of mice and the in vitro systems treated with toxic retronecine-type and otonecine-type PAs having unsaturated necine bases but not with a platynecine-type PA containing a saturated necine base. Retronecine-type PAs produced more pyrrole-protein adducts than otonecine-type PAs with similar necine acids, demonstrating that the structure of necine base affected PA toxic potency. Among retronecine-type PAs, open-ring diesters generated the highest amount of pyrrole-protein adducts, followed by macrocyclic diesters, while monoesters produced the least. Only CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 activated otonecine-type PAs, while all 10 CYPs studied showed the ability to activate retronecine-type PAs. Moreover, the contribution of major CYPs involved also varied significantly among retronecine-type PAs. In conclusion, our findings provide a scientific basis for predicting the toxicities of individual PAs in biological systems based on PA structural

  8. Extended and structurally supported insights into extracellular hormone binding, signal transduction and organization of the thyrotropin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd Krause

    Full Text Available The hormone thyrotropin (TSH and its receptor (TSHR are crucial for the growth and function of the thyroid gland. The TSHR is evolutionary linked with the receptors of follitropin (FSHR and lutropin/choriogonadotropin (LHR and their sequences and structures are similar. The extracellular region of TSHR contains more than 350 amino acids and binds hormone and antibodies. Several important questions related to functions and mechanisms of TSHR are still not comprehensively understood. One major reason for these open questions is the lack of any structural information about the extracellular segment of TSHR that connects the N-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain (LRRD with the transmembrane helix (TMH 1, the hinge region. It has been shown experimentally that this segment is important for fine tuning of signaling and ligand interactions. A new crystal structure containing most of the extracellular hFSHR region in complex with hFSH has recently been published. Now, we have applied these new structural insights to the homologous TSHR and have generated a structural model of the TSHR LRRD/hinge-region/TSH complex. This structural model is combined and evaluated with experimental data including hormone binding (bTSH, hTSH, thyrostimulin, super-agonistic effects, antibody interactions and signaling regulation. These studies and consideration of significant and non-significant amino acids have led to a new description of mechanisms at the TSHR, including ligand-induced displacements of specific hinge region fragments. This event triggers conformational changes at a convergent center of the LRRD and the hinge region, activating an "intramolecular agonistic unit" close to the transmembrane domain.

  9. Extended and structurally supported insights into extracellular hormone binding, signal transduction and organization of the thyrotropin receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Gerd; Kreuchwig, Annika; Kleinau, Gunnar

    2012-01-01

    The hormone thyrotropin (TSH) and its receptor (TSHR) are crucial for the growth and function of the thyroid gland. The TSHR is evolutionary linked with the receptors of follitropin (FSHR) and lutropin/choriogonadotropin (LHR) and their sequences and structures are similar. The extracellular region of TSHR contains more than 350 amino acids and binds hormone and antibodies. Several important questions related to functions and mechanisms of TSHR are still not comprehensively understood. One major reason for these open questions is the lack of any structural information about the extracellular segment of TSHR that connects the N-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain (LRRD) with the transmembrane helix (TMH) 1, the hinge region. It has been shown experimentally that this segment is important for fine tuning of signaling and ligand interactions. A new crystal structure containing most of the extracellular hFSHR region in complex with hFSH has recently been published. Now, we have applied these new structural insights to the homologous TSHR and have generated a structural model of the TSHR LRRD/hinge-region/TSH complex. This structural model is combined and evaluated with experimental data including hormone binding (bTSH, hTSH, thyrostimulin), super-agonistic effects, antibody interactions and signaling regulation. These studies and consideration of significant and non-significant amino acids have led to a new description of mechanisms at the TSHR, including ligand-induced displacements of specific hinge region fragments. This event triggers conformational changes at a convergent center of the LRRD and the hinge region, activating an "intramolecular agonistic unit" close to the transmembrane domain.

  10. Structural insight into maintenance methylation by mouse DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeshita, Kohei; Suetake, Isao; Yamashita, Eiki; Suga, Michihiro; Narita, Hirotaka; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Tajima, Shoji

    2011-01-01

    Methylation of cytosine in DNA plays a crucial role in development through inheritable gene silencing. The DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 is responsible for the propagation of methylation patterns to the next generation via its preferential methylation of hemimethylated CpG sites in the genome; however, how Dnmt1 maintains methylation patterns is not fully understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the large fragment (291–1620) of mouse Dnmt1 and its complexes with cofactor S-adenosyl-L-methionine and its product S-adenosyl-L-homocystein. Notably, in the absence of DNA, the N-terminal domain responsible for targeting Dnmt1 to replication foci is inserted into the DNA-binding pocket, indicating that this domain must be removed for methylation to occur. Upon binding of S-adenosyl-L-methionine, the catalytic cysteine residue undergoes a conformation transition to a catalytically competent position. For the recognition of hemimethylated DNA, Dnmt1 is expected to utilize a target recognition domain that overhangs the putative DNA-binding pocket. Taking into considerations the recent report of a shorter fragment structure of Dnmt1 that the CXXC motif positions itself in the catalytic pocket and prevents aberrant de novo methylation, we propose that maintenance methylation is a multistep process accompanied by structural changes. PMID:21518897

  11. Insights into nuclear structure and the fission process from spontaneous fission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, J.H.; Butler-Moore, K.; Ramayya, A.V. [Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)] [and others

    1993-12-31

    The {gamma}-rays emitted following spontaneous and induced fission are rich sources of information about the structure of neutron-rich nuclei and about the fission process itself. The study of spontaneous fissioning isotopes with large Ge detector arrays are providing a wealth of such information as seen, for example, in recent reports. In this paper we present some of our most recent results on nuclear structure studies and conclusions on the fission process itself. In our work, we have employed in spontaneous fission, a triple gamma coincidence study for the first time and a high resolution, X-ray detector-{gamma}-coincidence study. These data provide powerful ways of separating the gamma rays which belong to a particular nucleus. The triple coincidence technique was used to uniquely identify the levels in {sup 136}Te and higher spin states in its N=84 isotones, {sup 138}Xe and {sup 140}Ba{sup 171}. Some other examples of the level structures observed in the low and high mass partners are presented, including a detailed analysis of the backbending of the moment of inertia in {sup 112,114,116}Pd. Finally, we present the first examples of how our analysis allows one to extract a detailed picture of the dependence of the angular momentum on the mass and atomic numbers of the fission fragments and of the long-sought neutron multiplicity distribution from zero-n to ten-n as a function of the charge and mass asymmetry.

  12. Structural Insight into the Core of CAD, the Multifunctional Protein Leading De Novo Pyrimidine Biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Morcillo, María; Grande-García, Araceli; Ruiz-Ramos, Alba; Del Caño-Ochoa, Francisco; Boskovic, Jasminka; Ramón-Maiques, Santiago

    2017-06-06

    CAD, the multifunctional protein initiating and controlling de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines in animals, self-assembles into ∼1.5 MDa hexamers. The structures of the dihydroorotase (DHO) and aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATC) domains of human CAD have been previously determined, but we lack information on how these domains associate and interact with the rest of CAD forming a multienzymatic unit. Here, we prove that a construct covering human DHO and ATC oligomerizes as a dimer of trimers and that this arrangement is conserved in CAD-like from fungi, which holds an inactive DHO-like domain. The crystal structures of the ATC trimer and DHO-like dimer from the fungus Chaetomium thermophilum confirm the similarity with the human CAD homologs. These results demonstrate that, despite being inactive, the fungal DHO-like domain has a conserved structural function. We propose a model that sets the DHO and ATC complex as the central element in the architecture of CAD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Feline coronavirus: Insights into viral pathogenesis based on the spike protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes, Javier A; Whittaker, Gary R

    2018-04-01

    Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is an etiological agent that causes a benign enteric illness and the fatal systemic disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The FCoV spike (S) protein is considered the viral regulator for binding and entry to the cell. This protein is also involved in FCoV tropism and virulence, as well as in the switch from enteric disease to FIP. This regulation is carried out by spike's major functions: receptor binding and virus-cell membrane fusion. In this review, we address important aspects in FCoV genetics, replication and pathogenesis, focusing on the role of S. To better understand this, FCoV S protein models were constructed, based on the human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) S structure. We describe the specific structural characteristics of the FCoV S, in comparison with other coronavirus spikes. We also revise the biochemical events needed for FCoV S activation and its relation to the structural features of the protein. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Structural insights from a novel invertebrate triosephosphate isomerase from Litopenaeus vannamei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Zavala, Alonso A.; Carrasco-Miranda, Jesus S.; Ramirez-Aguirre, Claudia D.; López-Hidalgo, Marisol; Benitez-Cardoza, Claudia G.; Ochoa-Leyva, Adrian; Cardona-Felix, Cesar S.; Diaz-Quezada, Corina; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Sotelo-Mundo, Rogerio R.; Brieba, Luis G.

    2016-01-01

    Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM; EC 5.3.1.1) is a key enzyme involved in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Glycolysis is one of the most regulated metabolic pathways, however little is known about the structural mechanisms for its regulation in non-model organisms, like crustaceans. To understand the structure and function of this enzyme in invertebrates, we obtained the crystal structure of triosephosphate isomerase from the marine Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, LvTIM) in complex with its inhibitor 2-phosphogyceric acid (2-PG) at 1.7 Å resolution. LvTIM assembles as a homodimer with residues 166-176 covering the active site and residue Glu166 interacting with the inhibitor. We found that LvTIM is the least stable TIM characterized to date, with the lowest range of melting temperatures, and with the lowest activation enthalpy associated with the thermal unfolding process reported. In TIMs dimer stabilization is maintained by an interaction of loop 3 by a set of hydrophobic contacts between subunits. Within these contacts, the side chain of a hydrophobic residue of one subunit fits into a cavity created by a set of hydrophobic residues in the neighboring subunit, via a "ball and socket" interaction. LvTIM presents a Cys47 at the "ball" inter-subunit contact indicating that the character of this residue is responsible for the decrease in dimer stability. Mutational studies show that this residue plays a role in dimer stability but is not a solely determinant for dimer formation. PMID:27614148

  15. Insights into the Structural Changes Occurring upon Photoconversion in the Orange Carotenoid Protein from Broadband Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Re, Eleonora; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Leverenz, Ryan L.; Huxter, Vanessa M.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Mathies, Richard A.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2014-05-22

    Carotenoids play an essential role in photoprotection, interacting with other pigments to safely dissipate excess absorbed energy as heat. In cyanobacteria, the short time scale photoprotective mechanisms involve the photoactive orange carotenoid protein (OCP), which binds a single carbonyl carotenoid. Blue-green light induces the photoswitching of OCP from its ground state form (OCPO) to a metastable photoproduct (OCPR). OCPR can bind to the phycobilisome antenna and induce fluorescence quenching. The photoswitching is accompanied by structural and functional changes at the level of the protein and of the bound carotenoid. In this study, we use broadband two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to look at the differences in excited state dynamics of the carotenoid in the two forms of OCP. Our results provide insight into the origin of the pronounced vibrational lineshape and oscillatory dynamics observed in linear absorption and 2D electronic spectroscopy of OCPO and the large inhomogeneous broadening in OCPR, with consequences for the chemical function of the two forms.

  16. NMR structure of temporin-1 ta in lipopolysaccharide micelles: mechanistic insight into inactivation by outer membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rathi Saravanan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs play important roles in the innate defense mechanism. The broad spectrum of activity of AMPs requires an efficient permeabilization of the bacterial outer and inner membranes. The outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria is made of a specialized lipid called lipopolysaccharide (LPS. The LPS layer is an efficient permeability barrier against anti-bacterial agents including AMPs. As a mode of protection, LPS can induce self associations of AMPs rendering them inactive. Temporins are a group of short-sized AMPs isolated from frog skin, and many of them are inactive against Gram negative bacteria as a result of their self-association in the LPS-outer membrane. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using NMR spectroscopy, we have determined atomic resolution structure and characterized localization of temporin-1Ta or TA (FLPLIGRVLSGIL-amide in LPS micelles. In LPS micelles, TA adopts helical conformation for residues L4-I12, while residues F1-L3 are found to be in extended conformations. The aromatic sidechain of residue F1 is involved in extensive packing interactions with the sidechains of residues P3, L4 and I5. Interestingly, a number of long-range NOE contacts have been detected between the N-terminal residues F1, P3 with the C-terminal residues S10, I12, L13 of TA in LPS micelles. Saturation transfer difference (STD NMR studies demonstrate close proximity of residues including F1, L2, P3, R7, S10 and L13 with the LPS micelles. Notably, the LPS bound structure of TA shows differences with the structures of TA determined in DPC and SDS detergent micelles. SIGNIFICANCE: We propose that TA, in LPS lipids, forms helical oligomeric structures employing N- and C-termini residues. Such oligomeric structures may not be translocated across the outer membrane; resulting in the inactivation of the AMP. Importantly, the results of our studies will be useful for the development of antimicrobial agents with a

  17. STRUCTURAL INSIGHTS INTO SUBSTRATE BINDING AND STEREOSELECTIVITY OF GIARDIA FRUCTOSE-1,6-BISPHOSPHATE ALDOLASE*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galkin, Andrey; Li, Zhimin; Li, Ling; Kulakova, Liudmila; Pal, Lipika R.; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra; Herzberg, Osnat

    2009-01-01

    Giardia lamblia fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBPA)1 is a member of the Class II zinc-dependent aldolase family that catalyzes the cleavage of D-fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) into dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P). In addition to the active site zinc, the catalytic apparatus of FBPA employs an aspartic acid, Asp83 in the G. lamblia enzyme, which when replaced by an alanine residue renders the enzyme inactive. A comparison of the crystal structures of the D83A FBPA in complex with FBP and of the wild-type FBPA in the unbound state revealed a substrate induced conformational transition of loops in the vicinity of the active site and a shift in the location of Zn2+. Upon FBP binding, the Zn2+ shifts up to 4.6 Å towards the catalytic Asp83, which brings the metal within coordination distance to the Asp83 carboxylate group. In addition, the structure of wild-type FBPA was determined in complex with the competitive inhibitor D-tagatose 1,6-bisphosphate (TBP), a FBP stereoisomer. In this structure, the zinc binds in a site close to that previously seen in the structure of FBPA in complex with phosphoglycolohydroxamate, an analog of the postulated DHAP ene-diolate intermediate. Together, the ensemble of structures suggests that the zinc mobility is necessary to orient the Asp83 side chain and to polarize the substrate for proton transfer from the FBP C(4) hydroxyl group to the Asp83 carboxyl group. In the absence of FBP, the alternative zinc position is too remote for coordinating the Asp83. We propose a modification of the catalytic mechanism that incorporates the novel features observed in the FBPA/FBP structure. The mechanism invokes coordination and co-planarity of the Zn2+ with the FBP’s O-C(3)-C(4)-O concomitant with coordination of Asp83 carboxylic group. Catalysis is accompanied by movement of Zn2+ to a site co-planar with the O-C(2)-C(3)-O of the DHAP. glFBPA exhibit strict substrate specificity towards FBP and

  18. 3D imaging of vesicles in hyaloclastic fragments - clues to syn-eruptive shear conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helo, C.; Flaws, A.; Hess, K.; Franz, A.; Clague, D. A.; Dingwell, D. B.

    2011-12-01

    3D imaging of stretched vesicles in hyaloclastic fragments has been used to investigate the shear environment of mild pyroclastic eruptions at mid-ocean ridges. X-ray computed tomography offers an attractive non-invasive method to investigate geomaterials at a high resolution for the geometry of the different phases. In this study, we have imaged vesicles within two types of basaltic glass fragments. Stretched, ellipsoid-shaped vesicles in thin limu o Pele and tubular vesicles in a pumiceous fragment. Both types originate from pyroclastic activity on Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca ridge. Rapid quenching of the glass has prevented extensive bubble relaxation and information about syn-eruptive shear and differential stress conditions is stored, as the dimensions of a stretched bubble directly relates to the extent and mode of shearing. The X-ray tomography data was processed using a set of codes based on edge detection and ellipsoid fitting to acquire quantitative information on the shape of the stretched vesicles. Preliminary results demonstrate, that the geometry of the stretched vesicles, e.g., the elongation of the vesicle with respect to the calculated undeformed radius, is in accordance with simple shear scenarios. Stored differential stress ranges from 5 kPa to 90 kPa with shear rates between 3.2x102 s-1 and 5.7x3 s-1 within a single limu o Pele fragment. This range may be explained by either variable time available for relaxation as the cooling front proceeds through the fragment, complex interplay in space and time between fragmentation and quenching, bubble clusters mutually inhibiting each others extend of deformation, or any combination of these. Bubble relaxation time scales are less then 0.005 s providing constraints on the timeframe for cooling to the glass transition. Qualitative analyses of the tube pumice indicates that the tubular structures grow in length by coalescence of vertically aligned ellipsoid-shaped vesicles, and in width by coalescence of

  19. Structural and functional insights into the malaria parasite moving junction complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Vulliez-Le Normand

    Full Text Available Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which include the malaria parasite Plasmodium, share many features in their invasion mechanism in spite of their diverse host cell specificities and life cycle characteristics. The formation of a moving junction (MJ between the membranes of the invading apicomplexan parasite and the host cell is common to these intracellular pathogens. The MJ contains two key parasite components: the surface protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1 and its receptor, the Rhoptry Neck Protein (RON complex, which is targeted to the host cell membrane during invasion. In particular, RON2, a transmembrane component of the RON complex, interacts directly with AMA1. Here, we report the crystal structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with a peptide derived from the extracellular region of PfRON2, highlighting clear specificities of the P. falciparum RON2-AMA1 interaction. The receptor-binding site of PfAMA1 comprises the hydrophobic groove and a region that becomes exposed by displacement of the flexible Domain II loop. Mutations of key contact residues of PfRON2 and PfAMA1 abrogate binding between the recombinant proteins. Although PfRON2 contacts some polymorphic residues, binding studies with PfAMA1 from different strains show that these have little effect on affinity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the PfRON2 peptide inhibits erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and that this strong inhibitory potency is not affected by AMA1 polymorphisms. In parallel, we have determined the crystal structure of PfAMA1 in complex with the invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 derived by phage display, revealing an unexpected structural mimicry of the PfRON2 peptide. These results identify the key residues governing the interactions between AMA1 and RON2 in P. falciparum and suggest novel approaches to antimalarial therapeutics.

  20. Dome Structures Above Sills and Saucer-Shaped Sills: Insights From Experimental Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planke, S.; Galland, O.; Malthe-Sørenssen, A.

    2007-12-01

    Saucer-shaped magma and sand intrusions are common features in sedimentary basins. They result from fundamental processes for the emplacement of fluids in shallow sedimentary basins. Seismic data show that the overburden above saucer-shaped intrusions is usually deformed and exhibits a dome-like structure. The formation of such structures, and the associated deformation, are of primary importance in the evolution of petroleum systems. In this presentation, we report on experimental investigation of the deformation processes associated with the intrusion of saucer-shaped intrusions into sedimentary basins. The experimental setup consists of molten low-viscosity oil injected into fine-grained silica flour (see Galland et al., this session). It properly simulates the emplacement of saucer-shaped intrusions and the deformation of the country rock. During experiments, the surface of the model is digitalized through a structured light technique based on moiré projection principle. Such a tool provides topographic maps of the model and allows a periodic (every 1.5 s) monitoring of the model surface. When the model magma starts intruding, a symetrical dome rises above the inlet. As injection proceeds, the dome inflates and widens. Subsequently, the dome evolves to a plateau-like feature, with nearly flat surface and steep edges. The plateau keeps lifting up, but nearly stoppes widening. At the end of the experiments, the intruding liquid erupts at the edge of the plateau. The intrusion formed in the experiment is a typical saucer-shaped sill. The evolution of the deforming surface reflects the evolution of the intrusion. We infer that the first doming phase corresponds to the emplacement of a horizontal basal sill by open fracturing. The dome-to-plateau transition corresponds to a transition of the liquid emplacement mechanism from basal sill to inclined sheet. We suggest that the emplacement of the inclined sheets results from shear fracturing at the dome edge.

  1. Multiple amino acid sequence alignment nitrogenase component 1: insights into phylogenetics and structure-function relationships.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James B Howard

    Full Text Available Amino acid residues critical for a protein's structure-function are retained by natural selection and these residues are identified by the level of variance in co-aligned homologous protein sequences. The relevant residues in the nitrogen fixation Component 1 α- and β-subunits were identified by the alignment of 95 protein sequences. Proteins were included from species encompassing multiple microbial phyla and diverse ecological niches as well as the nitrogen fixation genotypes, anf, nif, and vnf, which encode proteins associated with cofactors differing at one metal site. After adjusting for differences in sequence length, insertions, and deletions, the remaining >85% of the sequence co-aligned the subunits from the three genotypes. Six Groups, designated Anf, Vnf , and Nif I-IV, were assigned based upon genetic origin, sequence adjustments, and conserved residues. Both subunits subdivided into the same groups. Invariant and single variant residues were identified and were defined as "core" for nitrogenase function. Three species in Group Nif-III, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, Desulfotomaculum kuznetsovii, and Thermodesulfatator indicus, were found to have a seleno-cysteine that replaces one cysteinyl ligand of the 8Fe:7S, P-cluster. Subsets of invariant residues, limited to individual groups, were identified; these unique residues help identify the gene of origin (anf, nif, or vnf yet should not be considered diagnostic of the metal content of associated cofactors. Fourteen of the 19 residues that compose the cofactor pocket are invariant or single variant; the other five residues are highly variable but do not correlate with the putative metal content of the cofactor. The variable residues are clustered on one side of the cofactor, away from other functional centers in the three dimensional structure. Many of the invariant and single variant residues were not previously recognized as potentially critical and their identification

  2. Structural Basis for a Ribofuranosyl Binding Protein: Insights into the Furanose Specific Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bagaria, A.; Swaminathan, S.; Kumaran, D.; Burley, S. K.

    2011-04-01

    The ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC-transporters) are members of one of the largest protein superfamilies, with representatives in all extant phyla. These integral membrane proteins utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to carry out certain biological processes, including translocation of various substrates across membranes and non-transport related processes such as translation of RNA and DNA repair. Typically, such transport systems in bacteria consist of an ATP binding component, a transmembrane permease, and a periplasmic receptor or binding protein. Soluble proteins found in the periplasm of gram-negative bacteria serve as the primary receptors for transport of many compounds, such as sugars, small peptides, and some ions. Ligand binding activates these periplasmic components, permitting recognition by the membrane spanning domain, which supports for transport and, in some cases, chemotaxis. Transport and chemotaxis processes appear to be independent of one another, and a few mutants of bifunctional periplasmic components reveal the absence of one or the other function. Previously published high-resolution X-ray structures of various periplasmic ligand binding proteins include Arabinose binding protein (ABP), Allose binding protein (ALBP), Glucose-galactose binding protein (GBP) and Ribose binding protein (RBP). Each of these proteins consists of two structurally similar domains connected by a three-stranded hinge region, with ligand buried between the domains. Upon ligand binding and release, various conformational changes have been observed. For RBP, open (apo) and closed (ligand bound) conformations have been reported and so for MBP. The closed/active form of the protein interacts with the integral membrane component of the system in both transport and chemotaxis. Herein, we report 1.9{angstrom} resolution X-ray structure of the R{sub f}BP periplasmic component of an ABC-type sugar transport system from Hahella chejuensis (UniProt Id Q2S7D2) bound to

  3. Structural insights into the metabolism of 2-chlorodibenzofuran by an evolved biphenyl dioxygenase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Pravindra [Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247667 (India); Mohammadi, Mahmood [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier), Laval, QC, Canada H7V 1B7 (Canada); Dhindwal, Sonali [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247667 (India); Pham, Thi Thanh My [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier), Laval, QC, Canada H7V 1B7 (Canada); Bolin, Jeffrey T. [Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Sylvestre, Michel, E-mail: Michel.Sylvestre@iaf.inrs.ca [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier), Laval, QC, Canada H7V 1B7 (Canada)

    2012-05-18

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Regiospecificity of BphAE{sub RR41} toward dibenzofuran and 2-chlorodibenzofuran differs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We compared the structures of the substrate-bound forms of the enzyme with both substrates. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Dibenzofuran is compelled to move during the catalytic reaction. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Ser283 contact with 2-chlorodibenzofuran helps prevent substrate movement during the reaction. -- Abstract: The biphenyl dioxygenase of Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 (BphAE{sub LB400}) is a Rieske-type oxygenase that catalyzes the stereospecific oxygenation of many heterocyclic aromatics including dibenzofuran. In a previous work, we evolved BphAE{sub LB400} and obtained BphAE{sub RR41}. This variant metabolizes dibenzofuran and 2-chlorodibenzofuran more efficiently than BphAE{sub LB400}. However, the regiospecificity of BphAE{sub RR41} toward these substrates differs. Dibenzofuran is metabolized principally through a lateral dioxygenation whereas 2-chlorodibenzofuran is metabolized principally through an angular dioxygenation. In order to explain this difference, we examined the crystal structures of both substrate-bound forms of BphAE{sub RR41} obtained under anaerobic conditions. This structure analysis, in combination with biochemical data for a Ser283Gly mutant provided evidences that the substrate is compelled to move after oxygen-binding in BphAE{sub RR41}:dibenzofuran. In BphAE{sub RR41}:2-chlorodibenzofuran, the chlorine atom is close to the side chain of Ser283. This contact is missing in the BphAE{sub RR41}:dibenzofuran, and strong enough in the BphAE{sub RR41}:2-chlorodibenzofuran to help prevent substrate movement during the catalytic reaction.

  4. Structural insights into the metabolism of 2-chlorodibenzofuran by an evolved biphenyl dioxygenase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Pravindra; Mohammadi, Mahmood; Dhindwal, Sonali; Pham, Thi Thanh My; Bolin, Jeffrey T.; Sylvestre, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Regiospecificity of BphAE RR41 toward dibenzofuran and 2-chlorodibenzofuran differs. ► We compared the structures of the substrate-bound forms of the enzyme with both substrates. ► Dibenzofuran is compelled to move during the catalytic reaction. ► Ser283 contact with 2-chlorodibenzofuran helps prevent substrate movement during the reaction. -- Abstract: The biphenyl dioxygenase of Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 (BphAE LB400 ) is a Rieske-type oxygenase that catalyzes the stereospecific oxygenation of many heterocyclic aromatics including dibenzofuran. In a previous work, we evolved BphAE LB400 and obtained BphAE RR41 . This variant metabolizes dibenzofuran and 2-chlorodibenzofuran more efficiently than BphAE LB400 . However, the regiospecificity of BphAE RR41 toward these substrates differs. Dibenzofuran is metabolized principally through a lateral dioxygenation whereas 2-chlorodibenzofuran is metabolized principally through an angular dioxygenation. In order to explain this difference, we examined the crystal structures of both substrate-bound forms of BphAE RR41 obtained under anaerobic conditions. This structure analysis, in combination with biochemical data for a Ser283Gly mutant provided evidences that the substrate is compelled to move after oxygen-binding in BphAE RR41 :dibenzofuran. In BphAE RR41 :2-chlorodibenzofuran, the chlorine atom is close to the side chain of Ser283. This contact is missing in the BphAE RR41 :dibenzofuran, and strong enough in the BphAE RR41 :2-chlorodibenzofuran to help prevent substrate movement during the catalytic reaction.

  5. Morphodynamics and sedimentary structures of bedforms under supercritical-flow conditions: new insights from flume experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartigny, Matthieu; Ventra, Dario; Postma, George; Van den Berg, Jan H.

    2014-05-01

    Supercritical-flow phenomena are fairly common in modern sedimentary environments, yet their recognition remains subordinate in the rock record. This is commonly ascribed to the poor preservation potential of deposits from supercritical flows. However, the number of documented flume datasets on supercritical-flow dynamics and sedimentary structures is very limited in comparison with available data from subcritical-flow experiments, and our inability to identify and interpret such deposits might also be due to insufficient knowledge. This article describes the results of systematic experiments spanning the full range of supercritical-flow bedforms (antidunes, chutes-and-pools, cyclic steps) developed over mobile sand beds of variable grain sizes. Flow character and related bedform patterns are constrained through time-series measurements of the bed configuration, flow depth, flow velocity and Froude number. The results allow the refinement and extension of current bedform stability diagrams in the supercritical-flow domain. The experimental dataset and the stability diagram clarify morphodynamic relationships between antidune and cyclic steps. The onset of antidunes is controlled by the flow passing a threshold value of the Froude parameter. The transition from antidunes to cyclic steps instead is completed at a threshold value of the mobility parameter, and this transition spans a wider range of values for the mobility parameter as grain size increases. Sedimentary structures associated with the development of supercritical bedforms under variable aggradation rates are revealed by means of a synthetic aggradation technique and compared with examples from field and flume studies. Aggradation rate bears an important influence on the geometry of supercritical structures, and it should be held in consideration for the identification and mutual distinction of supercritical-flow bedforms in the stratigraphic record.

  6. Insights into soybean transcriptome reconfiguration under hypoxic stress: Functional, regulatory, structural, and compositional characterization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago J Nakayama

    Full Text Available Soybean (Glycine max is one of the major crops worldwide and flooding stress affects the production and expansion of cultivated areas. Oxygen is essential for mitochondrial aerobic respiration to supply the energy demand of plant cells. Because oxygen diffusion in water is 10,000 times lower than in air, partial (hypoxic or total (anoxic oxygen deficiency is important component of flooding. Even when oxygen is externally available, oxygen deficiency frequently occurs in bulky, dense or metabolically active tissues such as phloem, meristems, seeds, and fruits. In this study, we analyzed conserved and divergent root transcriptional responses between flood-tolerant Embrapa 45 and flood-sensitive BR 4 soybean cultivars under hypoxic stress conditions with RNA-seq. To understand how soybean genes evolve and respond to hypoxia, stable and differentially expressed genes were characterized structurally and compositionally comparing its mechanistic relationship. Between cultivars, Embrapa 45 showed less up- and more down-regulated genes, and stronger induction of phosphoglucomutase (Glyma05g34790, unknown protein related to N-terminal protein myristoylation (Glyma06g03430, protein suppressor of phyA-105 (Glyma06g37080, and fibrillin (Glyma10g32620. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis of non-symbiotic hemoglobin (Glyma11g12980 indicated divergence in gene structure between cultivars. Transcriptional changes for genes in amino acids and derivative metabolic process suggest involvement of amino acids metabolism in tRNA modifications, translation accuracy/efficiency, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in both cultivars under hypoxia. Gene groups differed in promoter TATA box, ABREs (ABA-responsive elements, and CRT/DREs (C-repeat/dehydration-responsive elements frequency. Gene groups also differed in structure, composition, and codon usage, indicating biological significances. Additional data suggests that cis-acting ABRE elements can mediate gene expression

  7. Insights into soybean transcriptome reconfiguration under hypoxic stress: Functional, regulatory, structural, and compositional characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Thiago J; Rodrigues, Fabiana A; Neumaier, Norman; Marcolino-Gomes, Juliana; Molinari, Hugo B C; Santiago, Thaís R; Formighieri, Eduardo F; Basso, Marcos F; Farias, José R B; Emygdio, Beatriz M; de Oliveira, Ana C B; Campos, Ângela D; Borém, Aluízio; Harmon, Frank G; Mertz-Henning, Liliane M; Nepomuceno, Alexandre L

    2017-01-01

    Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the major crops worldwide and flooding stress affects the production and expansion of cultivated areas. Oxygen is essential for mitochondrial aerobic respiration to supply the energy demand of plant cells. Because oxygen diffusion in water is 10,000 times lower than in air, partial (hypoxic) or total (anoxic) oxygen deficiency is important component of flooding. Even when oxygen is externally available, oxygen deficiency frequently occurs in bulky, dense or metabolically active tissues such as phloem, meristems, seeds, and fruits. In this study, we analyzed conserved and divergent root transcriptional responses between flood-tolerant Embrapa 45 and flood-sensitive BR 4 soybean cultivars under hypoxic stress conditions with RNA-seq. To understand how soybean genes evolve and respond to hypoxia, stable and differentially expressed genes were characterized structurally and compositionally comparing its mechanistic relationship. Between cultivars, Embrapa 45 showed less up- and more down-regulated genes, and stronger induction of phosphoglucomutase (Glyma05g34790), unknown protein related to N-terminal protein myristoylation (Glyma06g03430), protein suppressor of phyA-105 (Glyma06g37080), and fibrillin (Glyma10g32620). RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis of non-symbiotic hemoglobin (Glyma11g12980) indicated divergence in gene structure between cultivars. Transcriptional changes for genes in amino acids and derivative metabolic process suggest involvement of amino acids metabolism in tRNA modifications, translation accuracy/efficiency, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in both cultivars under hypoxia. Gene groups differed in promoter TATA box, ABREs (ABA-responsive elements), and CRT/DREs (C-repeat/dehydration-responsive elements) frequency. Gene groups also differed in structure, composition, and codon usage, indicating biological significances. Additional data suggests that cis-acting ABRE elements can mediate gene expression independent of ABA

  8. Cationic Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine and Dioleoyloxytrimethylammonium Propane Lipid Bilayers: Atomistic Insight for Structure and Dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, W.; Gurtovenko, A. A.; Vattulainen, I.

    2012-01-01

    We performed atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of lipid bilayers consisting of a mixture of cationic dioleoyloxytrimethylammonium propane (DOTAP) and zwitterionic dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) lipids at different DOTAP fractions. Our primary focus was the specific effects...... of unsaturated lipid chains on structural and dynamic properties of mixed cationic bilayers. The bilayer area, as well as the ordering of lipid tails, shows a pronounced nonmonotonic behavior when TAP lipid fraction increases. The minimum in area (maximum in ordering) was observed for a bilayer with TAP fraction...... lipids, which were found to form PC-PC and PC-TAP pairs, and the formation of lipid clusters....

  9. Crystal Structure of Methylornithine Synthase (PylB): Insights into the Pyrrolysine Biosynthesis

    KAUST Repository

    Quitterer, Felix

    2011-11-16

    Made by the barrel load: The biosynthetic pathway of the recently discovered 22nd amino acid, pyrrolysine, starts with an isomerization of lysine to methylornithine, catalyzed by PylB. The X-ray crystal structure of PylB is determined (see picture) and shows it has a TIM barrel fold. The sealed central cavity contains a [4Fe-4S] cluster, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and methylornithine, whose 2R,3R configuration could be confirmed. The data suggest a fragmentation-recombination mechanism via a glycyl radical intermediate. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Structural and functional insights of β-glucosidases identified from the genome of Aspergillus fumigatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodda, Subba Reddy; Aich, Aparajita; Sarkar, Nibedita; Jain, Piyush; Jain, Sneha; Mondal, Sudipa; Aikat, Kaustav; Mukhopadhyay, Sudit S.

    2018-03-01

    Thermostable glucose tolerant β-glucosidase from Aspergillus species has attracted worldwide interest for their potentiality in industrial applications and bioethanol production. A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus (AfNITDGPKA3) identified by our laboratory from straw retting ground showed higher cellulase activity, specifically the β-glucosidase activity, compared to other contemporary strains. Though A. fumigatus has been known for high cellulase activity, detailed identification and characterization of the cellulase genes from their genome is yet to be done. In this work we have been analyzed the cellulase genes from the genome sequence database of Aspergillus fumigatus (Af293). Genome analysis suggests two cellobiohydrolase, eleven endoglucanase and seventeen β-glucosidase genes present. β-Glucosidase genes belong to either Glycohydro1 (GH1 or Bgl1) or Glycohydro3 (GH3 or Bgl3) family. The sequence similarity suggests that Bgl1 and Bgl3 of A. fumagatus are phylogenetically close to those of A. fisheri and A. oryzae. The modelled structure of the Bgl1 predicts the (β/α)8 barrel type structure with deep and narrow active site, whereas, Bgl3 shows the (α/β)8 barrel and (α/β)6 sandwich structure with shallow and open active site. Docking results suggest that amino acids Glu544, Glu466, Trp408,Trp567,Tyr44,Tyr222,Tyr770,Asp844,Asp537,Asn212,Asn217 of Bgl3 and Asp224,Asn242,Glu440, Glu445, Tyr367, Tyr365,Thr994,Trp435,Trp446 of Bgl1 are involved in the hydrolysis. Binding affinity analyses suggest that Bgl3 and Bgl1 enzymes are more active on the substrates like 4-methylumbelliferyl glycoside (MUG) and p-nitrophenyl-β-D-1, 4-glucopyranoside (pNPG) than on cellobiose. Further docking with glucose suggests that Bgl1 is more glucose tolerant than Bgl3. Analysis of the Aspergillus fumigatus genome may help to identify a β-glucosidase enzyme with better property and the structural information may help to develop an engineered recombinant enzyme.

  11. Insights into the role of hydration in protein structure and stability obtained through hydrostatic pressure studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.A. Royer

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available A thorough understanding of protein structure and stability requires that we elucidate the molecular basis for the effects of both temperature and pressure on protein conformational transitions. While temperature effects are relatively well understood and the change in heat capacity upon unfolding has been reasonably well parameterized, the state of understanding of pressure effects is much less advanced. Ultimately, a quantitative parameterization of the volume changes (at the basis of pressure effects accompanying protein conformational transitions will be required. The present report introduces a qualitative hypothesis based on available model compound data for the molecular basis of volume change upon protein unfolding and its dependence on temperature.

  12. The Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway: structural and functional insights into a complex disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walden, Helen; Deans, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in any of at least sixteen FANC genes (FANCA-Q) cause Fanconi anemia, a disorder characterized by sensitivity to DNA interstrand crosslinking agents. The clinical features of cytopenia, developmental defects, and tumor predisposition are similar in each group, suggesting that the gene products participate in a common pathway. The Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway consists of an anchor complex that recognizes damage caused by interstrand crosslinks, a multisubunit ubiquitin ligase that monoubiquitinates two substrates, and several downstream repair proteins including nucleases and homologous recombination enzymes. We review progress in the use of structural and biochemical approaches to understanding how each FANC protein functions in this pathway.

  13. Adsorption and structure of water on kaolinite surfaces: possible insight into ice nucleation from grand canonical monte carlo calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croteau, T; Bertram, A K; Patey, G N

    2008-10-30

    Grand canonical Monte Carlo calculations are used to determine water adsorption and structure on defect-free kaolinite surfaces as a function of relative humidity at 235 K. This information is then used to gain insight into ice nucleation on kaolinite surfaces. Results for both the SPC/E and TIP5P-E water models are compared and demonstrate that the Al-surface [(001) plane] and both protonated and unprotonated edges [(100) plane] strongly adsorb at atmospherically relevant relative humidities. Adsorption on the Al-surface exhibits properties of a first-order process with evidence of collective behavior, whereas adsorption on the edges is essentially continuous and appears dominated by strong water lattice interactions. For the protonated and unprotonated edges no structure that matches hexagonal ice is observed. For the Al-surface some of the water molecules formed hexagonal rings. However, the a o lattice parameter for these rings is significantly different from the corresponding constant for hexagonal ice ( Ih). A misfit strain of 14.0% is calculated between the hexagonal pattern of water adsorbed on the Al-surface and the basal plane of ice Ih. Hence, the ring structures that form on the Al-surface are not expected to be good building-blocks for ice nucleation due to the large misfit strain.

  14. Structural Insights into Triglyceride Storage Mediated by Fat Storage-Inducing Transmembrane (FIT) Protein 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, David A.; Snapp, Erik L.; Silver, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Fat storage-Inducing Transmembrane proteins 1 & 2 (FIT1/FITM1 and FIT2/FITM2) belong to a unique family of evolutionarily conserved proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum that are involved in triglyceride lipid droplet formation. FIT proteins have been shown to mediate the partitioning of cellular triglyceride into lipid droplets, but not triglyceride biosynthesis. FIT proteins do not share primary sequence homology with known proteins and no structural information is available to inform on the mechanism by which FIT proteins function. Here, we present the experimentally-solved topological models for FIT1 and FIT2 using N-glycosylation site mapping and indirect immunofluorescence techniques. These methods indicate that both proteins have six-transmembrane-domains with both N- and C-termini localized to the cytosol. Utilizing this model for structure-function analysis, we identified and characterized a gain-of-function mutant of FIT2 (FLL(157-9)AAA) in transmembrane domain 4 that markedly augmented the total number and mean size of lipid droplets. Using limited-trypsin proteolysis we determined that the FLL(157-9)AAA mutant has enhanced trypsin cleavage at K86 relative to wild-type FIT2, indicating a conformational change. Taken together, these studies indicate that FIT2 is a 6 transmembrane domain-containing protein whose conformation likely regulates its activity in mediating lipid droplet formation. PMID:20520733

  15. Insights into cell wall structure of Sida hermaphrodita and its influence on recalcitrance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damm, Tatjana; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Günl, Markus; Jablonowski, Nicolai David; O'Neill, Malcolm; Grün, Katharina Susanne; Grande, Philipp Michael; Leitner, Walter; Schurr, Ulrich; Usadel, Björn; Klose, Holger

    2017-07-15

    The perennial plant Sida hermaphrodita (Sida) is attracting attention as potential energy crop. Here, the first detailed view on non-cellulosic Sida cell wall polysaccharide composition, structure and architecture is given. Cell walls were prepared from Sida stems and sequentially extracted with aqueous buffers and alkali. The structures of the quantitatively predominant polysaccharides present in each fraction were determined by biochemical characterization, glycome profiling and mass spectrometry. The amounts of glucose released by Accellerase-1500 ® treatment of the cell wall and the cell wall residue remaining after each extraction were used to assess the roles of pectin and hemicellulose in the recalcitrance of Sida biomass. 4-O-Methyl glucuronoxylan with a low proportion of side substitutions was identified as the major non-cellulosic glycan component of Sida stem cell walls. Pectic polysaccharides and xylans were found to be associated with lignin, suggesting that these polysaccharides have roles in Sida cell wall recalcitrance to enzymatic hydrolysis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The emergence of embedded structure: insights from Kafr Qasem Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastner, Itamar; Meir, Irit; Sandler, Wendy; Dachkovsky, Svetlana

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces data from Kafr Qasem Sign Language (KQSL), an as-yet undescribed sign language, and identifies the earliest indications of embedding in this young language. Using semantic and prosodic criteria, we identify predicates that form a constituent with a noun, functionally modifying it. We analyze these structures as instances of embedded predicates, exhibiting what can be regarded as very early stages in the development of subordinate constructions, and argue that these structures may bear directly on questions about the development of embedding and subordination in language in general. Deutscher (2009) argues persuasively that nominalization of a verb is the first step—and the crucial step—toward syntactic embedding. It has also been suggested that prosodic marking may precede syntactic marking of embedding (Mithun, 2009). However, the relevant data from the stage at which embedding first emerges have not previously been available. KQSL might be the missing piece of the puzzle: a language in which a noun can be modified by an additional predicate, forming a proposition within a proposition, sustained entirely by prosodic means. PMID:24917837

  17. Structural insights into triglyceride storage mediated by fat storage-inducing transmembrane (FIT protein 2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Gross

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fat storage-Inducing Transmembrane proteins 1 & 2 (FIT1/FITM1 and FIT2/FITM2 belong to a unique family of evolutionarily conserved proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum that are involved in triglyceride lipid droplet formation. FIT proteins have been shown to mediate the partitioning of cellular triglyceride into lipid droplets, but not triglyceride biosynthesis. FIT proteins do not share primary sequence homology with known proteins and no structural information is available to inform on the mechanism by which FIT proteins function. Here, we present the experimentally-solved topological models for FIT1 and FIT2 using N-glycosylation site mapping and indirect immunofluorescence techniques. These methods indicate that both proteins have six-transmembrane-domains with both N- and C-termini localized to the cytosol. Utilizing this model for structure-function analysis, we identified and characterized a gain-of-function mutant of FIT2 (FLL(157-9AAA in transmembrane domain 4 that markedly augmented the total number and mean size of lipid droplets. Using limited-trypsin proteolysis we determined that the FLL(157-9AAA mutant has enhanced trypsin cleavage at K86 relative to wild-type FIT2, indicating a conformational change. Taken together, these studies indicate that FIT2 is a 6 transmembrane domain-containing protein whose conformation likely regulates its activity in mediating lipid droplet formation.

  18. Structural insights into methyltransferase KsgA function in 30S ribosomal subunit biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehringer, Daniel; O'Farrell, Heather C; Rife, Jason P; Ban, Nenad

    2012-03-23

    The assembly of the ribosomal subunits is facilitated by ribosome biogenesis factors. The universally conserved methyltransferase KsgA modifies two adjacent adenosine residues in the 3'-terminal helix 45 of the 16 S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). KsgA recognizes its substrate adenosine residues only in the context of a near mature 30S subunit and is required for the efficient processing of the rRNA termini during ribosome biogenesis. Here, we present the cryo-EM structure of KsgA bound to a nonmethylated 30S ribosomal subunit. The structure reveals that KsgA binds to the 30S platform with the catalytic N-terminal domain interacting with substrate adenosine residues in helix 45 and the C-terminal domain making extensive contacts to helix 27 and helix 24. KsgA excludes the penultimate rRNA helix 44 from adopting its position in the mature 30S subunit, blocking the formation of the decoding site and subunit joining. We suggest that the activation of methyltransferase activity and subsequent dissociation of KsgA control conformational changes in helix 44 required for final rRNA processing and translation initiation.

  19. Structural Insights into Methyltransferase KsgA Function in 30S Ribosomal Subunit Biogenesis*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehringer, Daniel; O'Farrell, Heather C.; Rife, Jason P.; Ban, Nenad

    2012-01-01

    The assembly of the ribosomal subunits is facilitated by ribosome biogenesis factors. The universally conserved methyltransferase KsgA modifies two adjacent adenosine residues in the 3′-terminal helix 45 of the 16 S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). KsgA recognizes its substrate adenosine residues only in the context of a near mature 30S subunit and is required for the efficient processing of the rRNA termini during ribosome biogenesis. Here, we present the cryo-EM structure of KsgA bound to a nonmethylated 30S ribosomal subunit. The structure reveals that KsgA binds to the 30S platform with the catalytic N-terminal domain interacting with substrate adenosine residues in helix 45 and the C-terminal domain making extensive contacts to helix 27 and helix 24. KsgA excludes the penultimate rRNA helix 44 from adopting its position in the mature 30S subunit, blocking the formation of the decoding site and subunit joining. We suggest that the activation of methyltransferase activity and subsequent dissociation of KsgA control conformational changes in helix 44 required for final rRNA processing and translation initiation. PMID:22308031

  20. Insights into structural features determining odorant affinities to honey bee odorant binding protein 14.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwaighofer, Andreas; Pechlaner, Maria; Oostenbrink, Chris; Kotlowski, Caroline; Araman, Can; Mastrogiacomo, Rosa; Pelosi, Paolo; Knoll, Wolfgang; Nowak, Christoph; Larisika, Melanie

    2014-04-18

    Molecular interactions between odorants and odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are of major importance for understanding the principles of selectivity of OBPs towards the wide range of semiochemicals. It is largely unknown on a structural basis, how an OBP binds and discriminates between odorant molecules. Here we examine this aspect in greater detail by comparing the C-minus OBP14 of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) to a mutant form of the protein that comprises the third disulfide bond lacking in C-minus OBPs. Affinities of structurally analogous odorants featuring an aromatic phenol group with different side chains were assessed based on changes of the thermal stability of the protein upon odorant binding monitored by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Our results indicate a tendency that odorants show higher affinity to the wild-type OBP suggesting that the introduced rigidity in the mutant protein has a negative effect on odorant binding. Furthermore, we show that OBP14 stability is very sensitive to the position and type of functional groups in the odorant. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Structural insights into drug development strategy targeting EGFR T790M/C797S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Su-Jie; Zhao, Peng; Yang, Jiao; Ma, Rui; Yan, Xiao-E; Yang, Sheng-Yong; Yang, Jing-Wen; Yun, Cai-Hong

    2018-03-02

    Treatment of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) harboring primary EGFR oncogenic mutations such as L858R and exon 19 deletion delE746_A750 (Del-19) using gefitinib/erlotinib ultimately fails due to the emergence of T790M mutation. Though WZ4002/CO-1686/AZD9291 are effective in overcoming EGFR T790M by targeting Cys797 via covalent bonding, their efficacy is again limited due to the emergence of C797S mutation. New agents effectively inhibiting EGFR T790M without covalent linkage through Cys 797 may solve this problem. We presented here crystal structures of EGFR activating/drug-resistant mutants in complex with a panel of reversible inhibitors along with mutagenesis and enzyme kinetic data. These data revealed a previously un-described hydrophobic clamp structure in the EGFR kinase which may be exploited to facilitate development of next generation drugs targeting EGFR T790M with or without concomitant C797S. Interestingly, mutations in the hydrophobic clamp that hinder drug binding often also weaken ATP binding and/or abolish kinase activity, thus do not readily result in resistance to the drugs.

  2. Structural insights into Rhino-Deadlock complex for germline piRNA cluster specification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Bowen; Lin, Yu An; Parhad, Swapnil S; Jin, Zhaohui; Ma, Jinbiao; Theurkauf, William E; Zhang, Zz Zhao; Huang, Ying

    2018-06-01

    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) silence transposons in germ cells to maintain genome stability and animal fertility. Rhino, a rapidly evolving heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) family protein, binds Deadlock in a species-specific manner and so defines the piRNA-producing loci in the Drosophila genome. Here, we determine the crystal structures of Rhino-Deadlock complex in Drosophila melanogaster and simulans In both species, one Rhino binds the N-terminal helix-hairpin-helix motif of one Deadlock protein through a novel interface formed by the beta-sheet in the Rhino chromoshadow domain. Disrupting the interface leads to infertility and transposon hyperactivation in flies. Our structural and functional experiments indicate that electrostatic repulsion at the interaction interface causes cross-species incompatibility between the sibling species. By determining the molecular architecture of this piRNA-producing machinery, we discover a novel HP1-partner interacting mode that is crucial to piRNA biogenesis and transposon silencing. We thus explain the cross-species incompatibility of two sibling species at the molecular level. © 2018 The Authors.

  3. Structural insight into molecular mechanism of poly(ethylene terephthalate) degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Seongjoon; Cho, In Jin; Seo, Hogyun; Son, Hyeoncheol Francis; Sagong, Hye-Young; Shin, Tae Joo; Choi, So Young; Lee, Sang Yup; Kim, Kyung-Jin

    2018-01-26

    Plastics, including poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), possess many desirable characteristics and thus are widely used in daily life. However, non-biodegradability, once thought to be an advantage offered by plastics, is causing major environmental problem. Recently, a PET-degrading bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, was identified and suggested for possible use in degradation and/or recycling of PET. However, the molecular mechanism of PET degradation is not known. Here we report the crystal structure of I. sakaiensis PETase (IsPETase) at 1.5 Å resolution. IsPETase has a Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad at its active site and contains an optimal substrate binding site to accommodate four monohydroxyethyl terephthalate (MHET) moieties of PET. Based on structural and site-directed mutagenesis experiments, the detailed process of PET degradation into MHET, terephthalic acid, and ethylene glycol is suggested. Moreover, other PETase candidates potentially having high PET-degrading activities are suggested based on phylogenetic tree analysis of 69 PETase-like proteins.

  4. Structural insights into the neuroprotective-acting carbonyl reductase Sniffer of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgraja, Tanja; Ulschmid, Julia; Becker, Katja; Schneuwly, Stephan; Klebe, Gerhard; Reuter, Klaus; Heine, Andreas

    2004-10-01

    In vivo studies with the fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster have shown that the Sniffer protein prevents age-dependent and oxidative stress-induced neurodegenerative processes. Sniffer is a NADPH-dependent carbonyl reductase belonging to the enzyme family of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDRs). The crystal structure of the homodimeric Sniffer protein from Drosophila melanogaster in complex with NADP+ has been determined by multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion and refined to a resolution of 1.75 A. The observed fold represents a typical dinucleotide-binding domain as detected for other SDRs. With respect to the cofactor-binding site and the region referred to as substrate-binding loop, the Sniffer protein shows a striking similarity to the porcine carbonyl reductase (PTCR). This loop, in both Sniffer and PTCR, is substantially shortened compared to other SDRs. In most enzymes of the SDR family this loop adopts a well-defined conformation only after substrate binding and remains disordered in the absence of any bound ligands or even if only the dinucleotide cofactor is bound. In the structure of the Sniffer protein, however, the conformation of this loop is well defined, although no substrate is present. Molecular modeling studies provide an idea of how binding of substrate molecules to Sniffer could possibly occur.

  5. Structural Insights into the Allosteric Operation of the Lon AAA+ Protease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chien-Chu; Su, Shih-Chieh; Su, Ming-Yuan; Liang, Pi-Hui; Feng, Chia-Cheng; Wu, Shih-Hsiung; Chang, Chung-I

    2016-05-03

    The Lon AAA+ protease (LonA) is an evolutionarily conserved protease that couples the ATPase cycle into motion to drive substrate translocation and degradation. A hallmark feature shared by AAA+ proteases is the stimulation of ATPase activity by substrates. Here we report the structure of LonA bound to three ADPs, revealing the first AAA+ protease assembly where the six protomers are arranged alternately in nucleotide-free and bound states. Nucleotide binding induces large coordinated movements of conserved pore loops from two pairs of three non-adjacent protomers and shuttling of the proteolytic groove between the ATPase site and a previously unknown Arg paddle. Structural and biochemical evidence supports the roles of the substrate-bound proteolytic groove in allosteric stimulation of ATPase activity and the conserved Arg paddle in driving substrate degradation. Altogether, this work provides a molecular framework for understanding how ATP-dependent chemomechanical movements drive allosteric processes for substrate degradation in a major protein-destruction machine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Structural insights into the p97-Ufd1-Npl4 complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pye, Valerie E.; Beuron, Fabienne; Keetch, Catherine A.; McKeown, Ciaran; Robinson, Carol V.; Meyer, Hemmo H.; Zhang, Xiaodong; Freemont, Paul S.

    2007-01-01

    p97/VCP (Cdc48 in yeast) is an essential and abundant member of the AAA+ family of ATPases and is involved in a number of diverse cellular pathways through interactions with different adaptor proteins. The two most characterized adaptors for p97 are p47 and the Ufd1 (ubiquitin fusion degradation 1)-Npl4 (nuclear protein localization 4) complex. p47 directs p97 to membrane fusion events and has been shown to be involved in protein degradation. The Ufd1-Npl4 complex directs p97 to an essential role in endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation and an important role in mitotic spindle disassembly postmitosis. Here we describe the structural features of the Ufd1-Npl4 complex and its interaction with p97 with the aid of EM and other biophysical techniques. The Ufd1-Npl4 heterodimer has an elongated bilobed structure that is ≈80 × 30 Å in dimension. One Ufd1-Npl4 heterodimer is shown to interact with one p97 hexamer to form the p97-Ufd1-Npl4 complex. The Ufd1-Npl4 heterodimer emanates from one region on the periphery of the N-D1 plane of the p97 hexamer. Intriguingly, the p97-p47 and the p97-Ufd1-Npl4 complexes are significantly different in stoichiometry, symmetry, and quaternary arrangement, reflecting their specific actions and their ability to interact with additional cofactors that cooperate with p97 in diverse cellular pathways. PMID:17202270

  7. Insights on the structural control of a Neogene forearc basin in Northern Chile: A geophysical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pérez, Tiaren; Marquardt, Carlos; Yáñez, Gonzalo; Cembrano, José; Gomila, Rodrigo; Santibañez, Isabel; Maringue, José

    2018-06-01

    The comprehensive study of intramountain basins located in the Coastal Cordillera of the continental emergent Andean forearc in Northern Chile, enables the better understanding of the nature and evolution of the upper crustal deformation during the Neogene and Quaternary. A case study is the extensive extensional half-graben Alto Hospicio basin. The basin is cut by the Coastal Cliff, which exposes the deformed Neogene basin fill. Also exposed are several structural systems, some of which affect Quaternary surfaces. The results of the integrated geophysical surveys (Electromagnetic Transient and Gravity) allow us to fully constrain the geometry of the Alto Hospicio basin and the lithological relationship between the subsurface geological units. The structural geology analysis assesses the deformation regimes affecting the faults present in the basin and surrounding area. Altogether evidence a change in the deformation regime from an EW extensional deformation during the Miocene-Pliocene to a NS compression in the Quaternary as is presented in this study. We suggest this deformation change is related to a small change in the convergence vector orientation during the Pliocene.

  8. Structural insights into the metabolism of 2-chlorodibenzofuran by an evolved biphenyl dioxygenase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Pravindra; Mohammadi, Mahmood; Dhindwal, Sonali; Pham, Thi Thanh My; Bolin, Jeffrey T.; Sylvestre, Michel (INRS); (IIT-India); (Purdue)

    2012-06-28

    The biphenyl dioxygenase of Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 (BphAE{sub LB400}) is a Rieske-type oxygenase that catalyzes the stereospecific oxygenation of many heterocyclic aromatics including dibenzofuran. In a previous work, we evolved BphAE{sub LB400} and obtained BphAE{sub RR41}. This variant metabolizes dibenzofuran and 2-chlorodibenzofuran more efficiently than BphAE{sub LB400}. However, the regiospecificity of BphAE{sub RR41} toward these substrates differs. Dibenzofuran is metabolized principally through a lateral dioxygenation whereas 2-chlorodibenzofuran is metabolized principally through an angular dioxygenation. In order to explain this difference, we examined the crystal structures of both substrate-bound forms of BphAE{sub RR41} obtained under anaerobic conditions. This structure analysis, in combination with biochemical data for a Ser283Gly mutant provided evidences that the substrate is compelled to move after oxygen-binding in BphAE{sub RR41}:dibenzofuran. In BphAE{sub RR41}:2-chlorodibenzofuran, the chlorine atom is close to the side chain of Ser283. This contact is missing in the BphAE{sub RR41}:dibenzofuran, and strong enough in the BphAE{sub RR41}:2-chlorodibenzofuran to help prevent substrate movement during the catalytic reaction.

  9. Structural insights into RNA processing by the human RISC-loading complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong-Wei; Noland, Cameron; Siridechadilok, Bunpote; Taylor, David W; Ma, Enbo; Felderer, Karin; Doudna, Jennifer A; Nogales, Eva

    2009-11-01

    Targeted gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) requires loading of a short guide RNA (small interfering RNA (siRNA) or microRNA (miRNA)) onto an Argonaute protein to form the functional center of an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). In humans, Argonaute2 (AGO2) assembles with the guide RNA-generating enzyme Dicer and the RNA-binding protein TRBP to form a RISC-loading complex (RLC), which is necessary for efficient transfer of nascent siRNAs and miRNAs from Dicer to AGO2. Here, using single-particle EM analysis, we show that human Dicer has an L-shaped structure. The RLC Dicer's N-terminal DExH/D domain, located in a short 'base branch', interacts with TRBP, whereas its C-terminal catalytic domains in the main body are proximal to AGO2. A model generated by docking the available atomic structures of Dicer and Argonaute homologs into the RLC reconstruction suggests a mechanism for siRNA transfer from Dicer to AGO2.

  10. Rotating structures in low temperature magnetized plasmas - Insight from particle simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre eBoeuf

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The EXB configuration of various low temperature plasma devices is often responsible for the formation of rotating structures and instabilities leading to anomalous electron transport across the magnetic field. In these devices, electrons are strongly magnetized while ions are weakly or not magnetized and this leads to specific physical phenomena that are not present in fusion plasmas where both electrons and ions are strongly magnetized. In this paper we describe basic phenomena involving rotating plasma structures in simple configurations of low temperature EXB plasma devices on the basis of PIC-MCC (Particle-In-Cell Monte Carlo Collisions simulations. We focus on three examples: rotating electron vortices and rotating spokes in cylindrical magnetrons, and azimuthal electron-cyclotron drift instability in Hall thrusters. The simulations are not intended to give definite answers to the many physics issues related to low temperature EXB plasma devices but are used to illustrate and discuss some of the basic questions that need further studies.

  11. Structural Insights into l-Tryptophan Dehydrogenase from a Photoautotrophic Cyanobacterium, Nostoc punctiforme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakamatsu, Taisuke; Sakuraba, Haruhiko; Kitamura, Megumi; Hakumai, Yuichi; Fukui, Kenji; Ohnishi, Kouhei; Ashiuchi, Makoto; Ohshima, Toshihisa

    2017-01-15

    l-Tryptophan dehydrogenase from Nostoc punctiforme NIES-2108 (NpTrpDH), despite exhibiting high amino acid sequence identity (>30%)/homology (>50%) with NAD(P) + -dependent l-Glu/l-Leu/l-Phe/l-Val dehydrogenases, exclusively catalyzes reversible oxidative deamination of l-Trp to 3-indolepyruvate in the presence of NAD + Here, we determined the crystal structure of the apo form of NpTrpDH. The structure of the NpTrpDH monomer, which exhibited high similarity to that of l-Glu/l-Leu/l-Phe dehydrogenases, consisted of a substrate-binding domain (domain I, residues 3 to 133 and 328 to 343) and an NAD + /NADH-binding domain (domain II, residues 142 to 327) separated by a deep cleft. The apo-NpTrpDH existed in an open conformation, where domains I and II were apart from each other. The subunits dimerized themselves mainly through interactions between amino acid residues around the β-1 strand of each subunit, as was observed in the case of l-Phe dehydrogenase. The binding site for the substrate l-Trp was predicted by a molecular docking simulation and validated by site-directed mutagenesis. Several hydrophobic residues, which were located in the active site of NpTrpDH and possibly interacted with the side chain of the substrate l-Trp, were arranged similarly to that found in l-Leu/l-Phe dehydrogenases but fairly different from that of an l-Glu dehydrogenase. Our crystal structure revealed that Met-40, Ala-69, Ile-74, Ile-110, Leu-288, Ile-289, and Tyr-292 formed a hydrophobic cluster around the active site. The results of the site-directed mutagenesis experiments suggested that the hydrophobic cluster plays critical roles in protein folding, l-Trp recognition, and catalysis. Our results provide critical information for further characterization and engineering of this enzyme. In this study, we determined the three-dimensional structure of l-Trp dehydrogenase, analyzed its various site-directed substitution mutants at residues located in the active site, and obtained the

  12. Stem cell extracellular vesicles and kidney injury

    OpenAIRE

    Grange, Cristina; Iampietro, Corinne; Bussolati, Benedetta

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) appear as a new promising cell-free therapy for acute and chronic renal diseases. EVs retain characteristics of the cell of origin and those derived from stem cells may mimic their regenerative properties per se. In fact, EVs contain many active molecules such as proteins and RNA species that act on target cells through different mechanisms, stimulating proliferation and angiogenesis and reducing apoptosis and inflammation. There are several reports that demonstra...

  13. Endothelial microparticles: Sophisticated vesicles modulating vascular function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Anne M; Edelberg, Jay; Jonas, Rebecca; Rogers, Wade T; Moore, Jonni S; Syed, Wajihuddin; Mohler, Emile R

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) belong to a family of extracellular vesicles that are dynamic, mobile, biological effectors capable of mediating vascular physiology and function. The release of EMPs can impart autocrine and paracrine effects on target cells through surface interaction, cellular fusion, and, possibly, the delivery of intra-vesicular cargo. A greater understanding of the formation, composition, and function of EMPs will broaden our understanding of endothelial communication and may expose new pathways amenable for therapeutic manipulation. PMID:23892447

  14. INVESTIGATION OF LITHOSPHERIC STRUCTURE IN MONGOLIA: INSIGHTS FROM INSAR OBSERVATIONS AND MODELLING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Jing

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The western Mongolia is a seismically active intracontinental region, with ongoing tectonic deformation and widespread seismicity related to the far-field effects of India-Eurasia collision. During the 20th century, four earthquakes with the magnitude larger than 8 occurred in the western Mongolia and its surrounding regions, providing a unique opportunity to study the geodynamics of intracontinental tectonic deformations. The 1957 magnitude 8.3 Gobi-Altai earthquake is one of the largest seismic events. The deformation pattern of rupture zone associated with this earthquake is complex, involving left-lateral strike-slip and reverse dip-slip faulting on several distinct geological structures in a 264 × 40 km wide zone. To understand the relationship between the observed postseismic surface deformation and the rheological structure of the upper lithosphere, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR data are used to study the 1957 earthquake. Then we developed a postseismic model in a spherical, radially layered elastic-viscoelastic Earth based on InSAR results, and further analysed the dominant contribution to the surface deformation. This work is important for understanding not only the regional tectonics, but also the structure and dynamics of the lithosphere. SAR data were acquired from the ERS1/2 and Envisat from 1996 to 2010. Using the Repeat Orbit Interferometry Package (ROI_PAC, 124 postseismic interferograms are produced on four adjacent tracks. By stacking these interferograms, the maximum InSAR line-of-sight deformation rate along the Gobi-Altai fault zone is obtained. The main results are as follows: (1 The maximum InSAR line-of-sight deformation velocity along this large fault zone is about 6 mm/yr; (2 The modelled surface deformation suggests that the viscoelastic relaxation is the most reasonable mechanism to explain the observed surface motion; (3 The optimal model cover the Gobi-Altai seismogenic thickness is 10

  15. Insight on an arginine synthesis metabolon from the tetrameric structure of yeast acetylglutamate kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Cima, Sergio; Gil-Ortiz, Fernando; Crabeel, Marjolaine; Fita, Ignacio; Rubio, Vicente

    2012-01-01

    N-acetyl-L-glutamate kinase (NAGK) catalyzes the second, generally controlling, step of arginine biosynthesis. In yeasts, NAGK exists either alone or forming a metabolon with N-acetyl-L-glutamate synthase (NAGS), which catalyzes the first step and exists only within the metabolon. Yeast NAGK (yNAGK) has, in addition to the amino acid kinase (AAK) domain found in other NAGKs, a ~150-residue C-terminal domain of unclear significance belonging to the DUF619 domain family. We deleted this domain, proving that it stabilizes yNAGK, slows catalysis and modulates feed-back inhibition by arginine. We determined the crystal structures of both the DUF619 domain-lacking yNAGK, ligand-free as well as complexed with acetylglutamate or acetylglutamate and arginine, and of complete mature yNAGK. While all other known arginine-inhibitable NAGKs are doughnut-like hexameric trimers of dimers of AAK domains, yNAGK has as central structure a flat tetramer formed by two dimers of AAK domains. These dimers differ from canonical AAK dimers in the -110° rotation of one subunit with respect to the other. In the hexameric enzymes, an N-terminal extension, found in all arginine-inhibitable NAGKs, forms a protruding helix that interlaces the dimers. In yNAGK, however, it conforms a two-helix platform that mediates interdimeric interactions. Arginine appears to freeze an open inactive AAK domain conformation. In the complete yNAGK structure, two pairs of DUF619 domains flank the AAK domain tetramer, providing a mechanism for the DUF619 domain modulatory functions. The DUF619 domain exhibits the histone acetyltransferase fold, resembling the catalytic domain of bacterial NAGS. However, the putative acetyl CoA site is blocked, explaining the lack of NAGS activity of yNAGK. We conclude that the tetrameric architecture is an adaptation to metabolon formation and propose an organization for this metabolon, suggesting that yNAGK may be a good model also for yeast and human NAGSs.

  16. Insight on an arginine synthesis metabolon from the tetrameric structure of yeast acetylglutamate kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio de Cima

    Full Text Available N-acetyl-L-glutamate kinase (NAGK catalyzes the second, generally controlling, step of arginine biosynthesis. In yeasts, NAGK exists either alone or forming a metabolon with N-acetyl-L-glutamate synthase (NAGS, which catalyzes the first step and exists only within the metabolon. Yeast NAGK (yNAGK has, in addition to the amino acid kinase (AAK domain found in other NAGKs, a ~150-residue C-terminal domain of unclear significance belonging to the DUF619 domain family. We deleted this domain, proving that it stabilizes yNAGK, slows catalysis and modulates feed-back inhibition by arginine. We determined the crystal structures of both the DUF619 domain-lacking yNAGK, ligand-free as well as complexed with acetylglutamate or acetylglutamate and arginine, and of complete mature yNAGK. While all other known arginine-inhibitable NAGKs are doughnut-like hexameric trimers of dimers of AAK domains, yNAGK has as central structure a flat tetramer formed by two dimers of AAK domains. These dimers differ from canonical AAK dimers in the -110° rotation of one subunit with respect to the other. In the hexameric enzymes, an N-terminal extension, found in all arginine-inhibitable NAGKs, forms a protruding helix that interlaces the dimers. In yNAGK, however, it conforms a two-helix platform that mediates interdimeric interactions. Arginine appears to freeze an open inactive AAK domain conformation. In the complete yNAGK structure, two pairs of DUF619 domains flank the AAK domain tetramer, providing a mechanism for the DUF619 domain modulatory functions. The DUF619 domain exhibits the histone acetyltransferase fold, resembling the catalytic domain of bacterial NAGS. However, the putative acetyl CoA site is blocked, explaining the lack of NAGS activity of yNAGK. We conclude that the tetrameric architecture is an adaptation to metabolon formation and propose an organization for this metabolon, suggesting that yNAGK may be a good model also for yeast and human NAGSs.

  17. Viscoelastic deformation of lipid bilayer vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shao-Hua; Sankhagowit, Shalene; Biswas, Roshni; Wu, Shuyang; Povinelli, Michelle L; Malmstadt, Noah

    2015-10-07

    Lipid bilayers form the boundaries of the cell and its organelles. Many physiological processes, such as cell movement and division, involve bending and folding of the bilayer at high curvatures. Currently, bending of the bilayer is treated as an elastic deformation, such that its stress-strain response is independent of the rate at which bending strain is applied. We present here the first direct measurement of viscoelastic response in a lipid bilayer vesicle. We used a dual-beam optical trap (DBOT) to stretch 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Upon application of a step optical force, the vesicle membrane deforms in two regimes: a fast, instantaneous area increase, followed by a much slower stretching to an eventual plateau deformation. From measurements of dozens of GUVs, the average time constant of the slower stretching response was 0.225 ± 0.033 s (standard deviation, SD). Increasing the fluid viscosity did not affect the observed time constant. We performed a set of experiments to rule out heating by laser absorption as a cause of the transient behavior. Thus, we demonstrate here that the bending deformation of lipid bilayer membranes should be treated as viscoelastic.

  18. Routes and mechanisms of extracellular vesicle uptake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Ann Mulcahy

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs are small vesicles released by donor cells that can be taken up by recipient cells. Despite their discovery decades ago, it has only recently become apparent that EVs play an important role in cell-to-cell communication. EVs can carry a range of nucleic acids and proteins which can have a significant impact on the phenotype of the recipient. For this phenotypic effect to occur, EVs need to fuse with target cell membranes, either directly with the plasma membrane or with the endosomal membrane after endocytic uptake. EVs are of therapeutic interest because they are deregulated in diseases such as cancer and they could be harnessed to deliver drugs to target cells. It is therefore important to understand the molecular mechanisms by which EVs are taken up into cells. This comprehensive review summarizes current knowledge of EV uptake mechanisms. Cells appear to take up EVs by a variety of endocytic pathways, including clathrin-dependent endocytosis, and clathrin-independent pathways such as caveolin-mediated uptake, macropinocytosis, phagocytosis, and lipid raft–mediated internalization. Indeed, it seems likely that a heterogeneous population of EVs may gain entry into a cell via more than one route. The uptake mechanism used by a given EV may depend on proteins and glycoproteins found on the surface of both the vesicle and the target cell. Further research is needed to understand the precise rules that underpin EV entry into cells.

  19. Insight into the structure of photosynthetic LH2 aggregate from spectroscopy simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rancova, Olga; Sulskus, Juozas; Abramavicius, Darius

    2012-07-12

    Using the electrostatic model of intermolecular interactions, we obtain the Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian parameters for the chlorophyll Qy band of a photosynthetic peripheral light harvesting complex LH2 of a purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas acidophila from structural data. The intermolecular couplings are mostly determined by the chlorophyll relative positions, whereas the molecular transition energies are determined by the background charge distribution of the whole complex. The protonation pattern of titratable residues is used as a tunable parameter. By studying several protonation state scenarios for distinct protein groups and comparing the simulated absorption and circular dichroism spectra to experiment, we determine the most probable configuration of the protonation states of various side groups of the protein.

  20. Spectroelectrochemical insights into structural and redox properties of immobilized endonuclease III and its catalytically inactive mutant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moe, Elin; Rollo, Filipe; Silveira, Célia M.; Sezer, Murat; Hildebrandt, Peter; Todorovic, Smilja

    2018-01-01

    Endonuclease III is a Fe-S containing bifunctional DNA glycosylase which is involved in the repair of oxidation damaged DNA. Here we employ surface enhanced IR spectroelectrochemistry and electrochemistry to study the enzyme from the highly radiation- and desiccation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans (DrEndoIII2). The experiments are designed to shed more light onto specific parameters that are currently proposed to govern damage search and recognition by endonucleases III. We demonstrate that electrostatic interactions required for the redox activation of DrEndoIII2 may result in high electric fields that alter its structural and thermodynamic properties. Analysis of inactive DrEndoIII2 (K132A/D150A double mutant) interacting with undamaged DNA, and the active enzyme interacting with damaged DNA also indicate that the electron transfer is modulated by subtle differences in the protein-DNA complex.

  1. Structural insights into photocatalytic performance of carbon nitrides for degradation of organic pollutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Junghoon; Shim, Yeonjun; Lee, Soomin; Park, Sunghee; Jang, Dawoon; Shin, Yunseok; Ohn, Saerom; Kim, Jeongho; Park, Sungjin

    2018-02-01

    Degradation of organic pollutants has a large environmental impact, with graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) being a promising metal-free, low cost, and environment-friendly photocatalyst well suited for this purpose. Herein, we investigate the photocatalytic performance of g-C3N4-based materials and correlate it with their structural properties, using three different precursors (dicyandiamide, melamine, and urea) and two heating processes (direct heating at 550 °C and sequential heating at 300 and 550 °C) to produce the above photocatalysts. We further demonstrate that sequential heating produces photocatalysts with grain sizes and activities larger than those of the catalysts produced by direct heating and that the use of urea as a precursor affords photocatalysts with larger surface areas, allowing efficient rhodamine B degradation under visible light.

  2. The computational route from bilayer membranes to vesicle fusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shillcock, Julian C; Lipowsky, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    Biological membranes are examples of 'smart' materials whose properties and behaviour emerge from the propagation across many scales of the molecular characteristics of their constituents. Artificial smart materials, such as drug delivery vehicles and biosensors, often rely on modifying naturally occurring soft matter, such as polymers and lipid vesicles, so that they possess useful behaviour. However, the complexity of natural membranes, both in their static properties, exemplified in their phase behaviour, and in their dynamic properties, as in the kinetics of their formation and interactions, hinders their rational modification. Mesoscopic simulations, such as dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), allow in silico experiments to be easily and cheaply performed on complex, soft materials requiring as input only the molecular structure of the constituents at a coarse-grained level. They can therefore act as a guide to experimenters prior to performing costly assays. Additionally, mesoscopic simulations provide the only currently feasible window on the length- and timescales relevant to important biophysical processes such as vesicle fusion. We review here the development of computational models of bilayer membranes, and in particular the use of mesoscopic simulations to follow the molecular rearrangements that occur during membrane fusion

  3. Electroformation of Giant Vesicles on a Polymer Mesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukihisa Okumura

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Electroformation of cell-sized lipid membrane vesicles (giant vesicles, GVs from egg yolk phosphatidylcholine under applied electric voltage was examined on a substrate of a polymer mesh placed between two planar indium tin oxide coated glass electrodes. Under appropriate conditions, GVs were formed in good yield on meshes of various polymer materials, namely, hydrophobic poly(propylene, poly(ethylene terephthalate, a carbon fiber/nylon composite, and relatively hydrophilic nylon. Arranging threads in a mesh structure with appropriate openings improved GV formation compared to simply increasing the number of threads. For optimal electroformation of GVs, the size and shape of a mesh opening were crucial. With a too large opening, GV formation deteriorated. When the sides of an opening were partially missing, GV formation did not occur efficiently. With an adequate opening, a deposited lipid solution could fill the opening, and a relatively uniform lipid deposit formed on the surface of threads after evaporation of the solvent. This could supply a sufficient amount of lipids to the opening and also prevent a lipid deposit from becoming too thick for electroformation. As a result, good GV formation was often observed in openings filled with swelled lipid.

  4. Structural insights, protein-ligand interactions and spectroscopic characterization of isoformononetin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Anubha; Singh, Harshita; Mishra, Rashmi; Dev, Kapil; Tandon, Poonam; Maurya, Rakesh

    2017-04-01

    Isoformononetin, a methoxylated isoflavone present in medicinal plants, has non-estrogenic bone forming effect via differential mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Spectroscopic (FT-Raman, FT-IR, UV-vis and NMR spectra) and quantum chemical calculations using density functional theory (DFT) and 6-311++G(d,p) as a large basis set have been employed to study the structural and electronic properties of isoformononetin. A detailed conformational analysis is performed to determine the stability among conformers and the various possibilities of intramolecular hydrogen bonding formation. Molecular docking studies with different protein kinases were performed on isoformononetin and previously studied isoflavonoid, formononetin in order to understand their inhibitory nature and the effect of functional groups on osteogenic or osteoporosis associated proteins. It is found that the oxygen atoms of methoxy, hydroxyl groups attached to phenyl rings R1, R3 and carbonyl group attached to pyran ring R2, play a major role in binding with the protein kinases that is responsible for the osteoporosis; however, no hydrophobic interactions are observed between rings of ligand and protein. The electronic properties such as HOMO and LUMO energies were determined by time-dependent TD-DFT which predict that conformer II is a little bit more stable and chemically low reactive than conformer I of isoformononetin. To estimate the structure-activity relationship, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) surface map, and reactivity descriptors are calculated from the optimized geometry of the molecule. From these results, it is also found that isoformononetin is kinetically more stable, less toxic, weak electrophile and chemically less reactive than formononetin. The atoms in molecules and natural bond orbital analysis are applied for the detailed analysis of intra and intermolecular hydrogen bonding interactions.

  5. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into the Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-Nitrobenzoate 2-Nitroreductase NbaA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Hak; Song, Wooseok; Kim, Jin-Sik; Jiao, Li; Lee, Kangseok; Ha, Nam-Chul

    2015-08-01

    The bacterial 2-nitroreductase NbaA is the primary enzyme initiating the degradation of 2-nitrobenzoate (2-NBA), and its activity is controlled by posttranslational modifications. To date, the structure of NbaA remains to be elucidated. In this study, the crystal structure of a Cys194Ala NbaA mutant was determined to a 1.7-Å resolution. The substrate analog 2-NBA methyl ester was used to decipher the substrate binding site by inhibition of the wild-type NbaA protein. Tandem mass spectrometry showed that 2-NBA methyl ester produced a 2-NBA ester bond at the Tyr193 residue in the wild-type NbaA but not residues in the Tyr193Phe mutant. Moreover, covalent binding of the 2-NBA methyl ester to Tyr193 reduced the reactivity of the Cys194 residue on the peptide link. The Tyr193 hydroxyl group was shown to be essential for enzyme catalysis, as a Tyr193Phe mutant resulted in fast dissociation of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) from the protein with the reduced reactivity of Cys194. FMN binding to NbaA varied with solution NaCl concentration, which was related to the catalytic activity but not to cysteine reactivity. These observations suggest that the Cys194 reactivity is negatively affected by a posttranslational modification of the adjacent Tyr193 residue, which interacts with FMN and the substrate in the NbaA catalytic site. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Structure of a Human Astrovirus Capsid-Antibody Complex and Mechanistic Insights into Virus Neutralization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogdanoff, Walter A.; Campos, Jocelyn; Perez, Edmundo I.; Yin, Lu; Alexander, David L.; DuBois, Rebecca M. (UCSC)

    2016-11-02

    ABSTRACT

    Human astroviruses (HAstVs) are a leading cause of viral diarrhea in young children, the immunocompromised, and the elderly. There are no vaccines or antiviral therapies against HAstV disease. Several lines of evidence point to the presence of protective antibodies in healthy adults as a mechanism governing protection against reinfection by HAstV. However, development of anti-HAstV therapies is hampered by the gap in knowledge of protective antibody epitopes on the HAstV capsid surface. Here, we report the structure of the HAstV capsid spike domain bound to the neutralizing monoclonal antibody PL-2. The antibody uses all six complementarity-determining regions to bind to a quaternary epitope on each side of the dimeric capsid spike. We provide evidence that the HAstV capsid spike is a receptor-binding domain and that the antibody neutralizes HAstV by blocking virus attachment to cells. We identify patches of conserved amino acids that overlap the antibody epitope and may comprise a receptor-binding site. Our studies provide a foundation for the development of therapies to prevent and treat HAstV diarrheal disease.

    IMPORTANCEHuman astroviruses (HAstVs) infect nearly every person in the world during childhood and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Despite the prevalence of this virus, little is known about how antibodies in healthy adults protect them against reinfection. Here, we determined the crystal structure of a complex of the HAstV capsid protein and a virus-neutralizing antibody. We show that the antibody binds to the outermost spike domain of the capsid, and we provide evidence that the antibody blocks virus attachment to human cells. Importantly, our findings suggest that a subunit-based vaccine focusing the immune system on the HAstV capsid spike domain could be effective in protecting children against HAstV disease.

  7. Insights into the Structure of the Vip3Aa Insecticidal Protein by Protease Digestion Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda Bel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Vip3 proteins are secretable proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis whose mode of action is still poorly understood. In this study, the activation process for Vip3 proteins was closely examined in order to better understand the Vip3Aa protein stability and to shed light on its structure. The Vip3Aa protoxin (of 89 kDa was treated with trypsin at concentrations from 1:100 to 120:100 (trypsin:Vip3A, w:w. If the action of trypsin was not properly neutralized, the results of SDS-PAGE analysis (as well as those with Agrotis ipsilon midgut juice equivocally indicated that the protoxin could be completely processed. However, when the proteolytic reaction was efficiently stopped, it was revealed that the protoxin was only cleaved at a primary cleavage site, regardless of the amount of trypsin used. The 66 kDa and the 19 kDa peptides generated by the proteases co-eluted after gel filtration chromatography, indicating that they remain together after cleavage. The 66 kDa fragment was found to be extremely resistant to proteases. The trypsin treatment of the protoxin in the presence of SDS revealed the presence of secondary cleavage sites at S-509, and presumably at T-466 and V-372, rendering C-terminal fragments of approximately 29, 32, and 42 kDa, respectively. The fact that the predicted secondary structure of the Vip3Aa protein shows a cluster of beta sheets in the C-terminal region of the protein might be the reason behind the higher stability to proteases compared to the rest of the protein, which is mainly composed of alpha helices.

  8. Novel insights on the structure and composition of pseudostomata of Sphagnum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merced, Amelia

    2015-03-01

    The occurrence of stomata on sporophytes of mosses and hornworts is congruent with a single origin in land plants. Although true stomata are absent in early-divergent mosses, Sphagnum has specialized epidermal cells, pseudostomata, that partially separate but do not open to the inside. This research examined two competing hypotheses that explain the origin of pseudostomata: (1) they are modified stomata, or (2) they evolved from epidermal cells independently from stomata.• Capsule anatomy and ultrastructure of pseudostomata were studied using light and electron microscopy, including immunolocalization of pectins.• Cell walls in pseudostomata are thin, two-layered, and rich in pectins, similar to young moss stomata, including the presence of cuticle on exterior walls. Outer and ventral walls have a thick cuticle that suggests that initial separation of ventral walls involves cuticle deposition as in true stomata. Further mechanical separation between ventral walls does not form a pore and occurs as the capsule dries.• As in moss stomata, pseudostomata wall architecture and behavior facilitate capsule dehydration, shape change, and dehiscence, supporting a common function. The divergent structure and fate of pseudostomata may be explained by the retention of Sphagnum sporophytes within protective leaves until nearly mature. Ultrastructural and immunocytological data suggest that pseudostomata are related to stomata but do not conclusively support either hypothesis. Solving the relationship of early land plants is critical to understanding stomatal evolution. Pseudostomata are structurally and anatomically unique, but their relationship to true stomata remains to be determined. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  9. Structural insights into the cubic-hexagonal phase transition kinetics of monoolein modulated by sucrose solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Caleb W; Strango, Zachariah I; Dell, Zachary R; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Harper, Paul E

    2015-04-14

    Using DSC (differential scanning calorimetry), we measure the kinetics of the cubic-HII phase transition of monoolein in bulk sucrose solutions. We find that the transition temperature is dramatically lowered, with each 1 mol kg(-1) of sucrose concentration dropping the transition by 20 °C. The kinetics of this transition also slow greatly with increasing sucrose concentration. For low sucrose concentrations, the kinetics are asymmetric, with the cooling (HII-cubic) transition taking twice as long as the heating (cubic-HII) transition. This asymmetry in transition times is reduced for higher sucrose concentrations. The cooling transition exhibits Avrami exponents in the range of 2 to 2.5 and the heating transition shows Avrami exponents ranging from 1 to 3. A classical Avrami interpretation would be that these processes occur via a one or two dimensional pathway with variable nucleation rates. A non-classical perspective would suggest that these exponents reflect the time dependence of pore formation (cooling) and destruction (heating). New density measurements of monoolein show that the currently accepted value is about 5% too low; this has substantial implications for electron density modeling. Structural calculations indicate that the head group area and lipid length in the cubic-HII transition shrink by about 12% and 4% respectively; this reduction is practically the same as that seen in a lipid with a very different molecular structure (rac-di-12:0 β-GlcDAG) that makes the same transition. Thermodynamic considerations suggest there is a hydration shell about one water molecule thick in front of the lipid head groups in both the cubic and HII phases.

  10. Structural insight into activity enhancement and inhibition of H64A carbonic anhydrase II by imidazoles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayank Aggarwal

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Human carbonic anhydrases (CAs are zinc metalloenzymes that catalyze the hydration and dehydration of CO2 and HCO3−, respectively. The reaction follows a ping-pong mechanism, in which the rate-limiting step is the transfer of a proton from the zinc-bound solvent (OH−/H2O in/out of the active site via His64, which is widely believed to be the proton-shuttling residue. The decreased catalytic activity (∼20-fold lower with respect to the wild type of a variant of CA II in which His64 is replaced with Ala (H64A CA II can be enhanced by exogenous proton donors/acceptors, usually derivatives of imidazoles and pyridines, to almost the wild-type level. X-ray crystal structures of H64A CA II in complex with four imidazole derivatives (imidazole, 1-methylimidazole, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole have been determined and reveal multiple binding sites. Two of these imidazole binding sites have been identified that mimic the positions of the `in' and `out' rotamers of His64 in wild-type CA II, while another directly inhibits catalysis by displacing the zinc-bound solvent. The data presented here not only corroborate the importance of the imidazole side chain of His64 in proton transfer during CA catalysis, but also provide a complete structural understanding of the mechanism by which imidazoles enhance (and inhibit when used at higher concentrations the activity of H64A CA II.

  11. Structural insight into the role of Streptococcus parasanguinis Fap1 within oral biofilm formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garnett, James A.; Simpson, Peter J.; Taylor, Jonathan; Benjamin, Stefi V.; Tagliaferri, Camille; Cota, Ernesto [Department of Biological Sciences, Centre for Structural Biology, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Chen, Yi-Ywan M. [Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Research Center for Pathogenic Bacteria, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan (China); Wu, Hui [Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Dentistry, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Matthews, Stephen, E-mail: s.j.matthews@imperial.ac.uk [Department of Biological Sciences, Centre for Structural Biology, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)

    2012-01-06

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Crystal structure of Streptococcus parasanguinis Fap1-NR{sub {alpha}} at pH 5.0. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer pH-dependent conformational changes mediated through electrostatic potential of Fap1-NR{sub {alpha}}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Fap1 facilitates pH-dependent biofilms. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We model inter-Fap1 biofilm interactions. -- Abstract: The fimbriae-associated protein 1 (Fap1) is a major adhesin of Streptococcus parasanguinis, a primary colonizer of the oral cavity that plays an important role in the formation of dental plaque. Fap1 is an extracellular adhesive surface fibre belonging to the serine-rich repeat protein (SRRP) family, which plays a central role in the pathogenesis of streptococci and staphylococci. The N-terminal adhesive region of Fap1 (Fap1-NR) is composed of two domains (Fap1-NR{sub {alpha}} and Fap1-NR{sub {beta}}) and is projected away from the bacterial surface via the extensive serine-rich repeat region, for adhesion to the salivary pellicle. The adhesive properties of Fap1 are modulated through a pH switch in which a reduction in pH results in a rearrangement between the Fap1-NR{sub {alpha}} and Fap1-NR{sub {beta}} domains, which assists in the survival of S. parasanguinis in acidic environments. We have solved the structure of Fap1-NR{sub {alpha}} at pH 5.0 at 3.0 A resolution and reveal how subtle rearrangements of the 3-helix bundle combined with a change in electrostatic potential mediates 'opening' and activation of the adhesive region. Further, we show that pH-dependent changes are critical for biofilm formation and present an atomic model for the inter-Fap1-NR interactions which have been assigned an important role in the biofilm formation.

  12. Structural insight into the role of Streptococcus parasanguinis Fap1 within oral biofilm formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnett, James A.; Simpson, Peter J.; Taylor, Jonathan; Benjamin, Stefi V.; Tagliaferri, Camille; Cota, Ernesto; Chen, Yi-Ywan M.; Wu, Hui; Matthews, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Crystal structure of Streptococcus parasanguinis Fap1-NR α at pH 5.0. ► pH-dependent conformational changes mediated through electrostatic potential of Fap1-NR α . ► Fap1 facilitates pH-dependent biofilms. ► We model inter-Fap1 biofilm interactions. -- Abstract: The fimbriae-associated protein 1 (Fap1) is a major adhesin of Streptococcus parasanguinis, a primary colonizer of the oral cavity that plays an important role in the formation of dental plaque. Fap1 is an extracellular adhesive surface fibre belonging to the serine-rich repeat protein (SRRP) family, which plays a central role in the pathogenesis of streptococci and staphylococci. The N-terminal adhesive region of Fap1 (Fap1-NR) is composed of two domains (Fap1-NR α and Fap1-NR β ) and is projected away from the bacterial surface via the extensive serine-rich repeat region, for adhesion to the salivary pellicle. The adhesive properties of Fap1 are modulated through a pH switch in which a reduction in pH results in a rearrangement between the Fap1-NR α and Fap1-NR β domains, which assists in the survival of S. parasanguinis in acidic environments. We have solved the structure of Fap1-NR α at pH 5.0 at 3.0 A resolution and reveal how subtle rearrangements of the 3-helix bundle combined with a change in electrostatic potential mediates ‘opening’ and activation of the adhesive region. Further, we show that pH-dependent changes are critical for biofilm formation and present an atomic model for the inter-Fap1-NR interactions which have been assigned an important role in the biofilm formation.

  13. Quantitative proteomics unravels that the post-transcriptional regulator Crc modulates the generation of vesicles and secreted virulence determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reales-Calderón, Jose Antonio; Corona, Fernando; Monteoliva, Lucía; Gil, Concha; Martínez, Jose Luis

    2015-09-08

    Recent research indicates that the post-transcriptional regulator Crc modulates susceptibility to antibiotics and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several P. aeruginosa virulence factors are secreted or engulfed in vesicles. To decipher the Crc modulation of P. aeruginosa virulence, we constructed a crc deficient mutant and measure the proteome associated extracellular vesicles and the vesicle-free secretome using iTRAQ. Fifty vesicle-associated proteins were more abundant and 14 less abundant in the crc-defective strain, whereas 37 were more abundant and 17 less abundant in the vesicle-free secretome. Among them, virulence determinants, such as ToxA, protease IV, azurin, chitin-binding protein, PlcB and Hcp1, were less abundant in the crc-defective mutant. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that some of the observed changes were post-transcriptional and, thus, could be attributed to a direct Crc regulatory role; whereas, for other differentially secreted proteins, the regulatory role was likely indirect. We also observed that the crc mutant presented an impaired vesicle-associated secretion of quorum sensing signal molecules and less cytotoxicity than its wild-type strain. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Crc regulates P. aeruginosa virulence, through the modulation of vesicle formation and secretion of both virulence determinants and quorum sensing signals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: HUPO 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Insights into the Mechanism of Deubiquitination by JAMM Deubiquitinases from Cocrystal Structures of the Enzyme with the Substrate and Product

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    AMSH, a conserved zinc metallo deubiquitinase, controls downregulation and degradation of cell-surface receptors mediated by the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) machinery. It displays high specificity toward the Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chain, which is used as a signal for ESCRT-mediated endosomal–lysosomal sorting of receptors. Herein, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of AMSH orthologue Sst2 from fission yeast, its ubiquitin (product)-bound form, and its Lys63-linked diubiquitin (substrate)-bound form at 1.45, 1.7, and 2.3 Å, respectively. The structures reveal that the P-side product fragment maintains nearly all the contacts with the enzyme as seen with the P portion (distal ubiquitin) of the Lys63-linked diubiquitin substrate, with additional coordination of the Gly76 carboxylate group of the product with the active-site Zn2+. One of the product-bound structures described herein is the result of an attempt to cocrystallize the diubiquitin substrate bound to an active site mutant presumed to render the enzyme inactive, instead yielding a cocrystal structure of the enzyme bound to the P-side ubiquitin fragment of the substrate (distal ubiquitin). This fragment was generated in situ from the residual activity of the mutant enzyme. In this structure, the catalytic water is seen placed between the active-site Zn2+ and the carboxylate group of Gly76 of ubiquitin, providing what appears to be a snapshot of the active site when the product is about to depart. Comparison of this structure with that of the substrate-bound form suggests the importance of dynamics of a flexible flap near the active site in catalysis. The crystal structure of the Thr319Ile mutant of the catalytic domain of Sst2 provides insight into structural basis of microcephaly capillary malformation syndrome. Isothermal titration calorimetry yields a dissociation constant (KD) of 10.2 ± 0.6 μM for the binding of ubiquitin to the enzyme, a value

  15. New structural, hydrogeological and hydrothermal insights on Cumbre Vieja (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barde-Cabusson, S.; Finizola, A.; Torres, P.; Víctor Villasante-Marcos, V.; Abella, R.; Aragó, S.; Berthod, C.; Ibarra, P.; Geyer Traver, A.

    2013-12-01

    Determining the link between shallow structure and volcanism is a topic of interest in Volcanology. We carried out a geophysical study devoted to the characterization of the major structural limits influencing volcanic hydrothermal activity and underground meteoric circulations in La Palma (Canary Islands). Since 1 Ma volcanic activity concentrates at the southern half of the island, on the Cumbre Vieja volcanic rift-zone. During the 1949 eruption a N-S fault system, facing west, developed in the summit area of Cumbre Vieja. This was interpreted as the surface expression of an incipient deformation zone on the western flank. The distribution of the recent activity and faulting indicate that a discontinuity may be present beneath the western flank of Cumbre Vieja, along which a future collapse may occur. Our study, which combines the application of self-potential and soil temperature measurements, provides new information to characterize and locate the limits guiding upward or downward fluid circulation and possibly associated to future failures and potential landslides on the Cumbre Vieja rift-zone. We found a clear asymmetry of the self-potential signal between the eastern and the western flanks of Cumbre Vieja. Strong infiltration of meteoric water seems to affect most of the summit axis while we observe poor variation in the self-potential values on the western flank. This could be explained by a constant thickness of the vadose zone on this flank, i.e., the presence of an impermeable layer at constant depth. This layer could correspond to the landslide interface associated to the previous Cumbre Nueva edifice destruction, on which Cumbre Vieja is currently growing. This constant self-potential pattern is interrupted by at least one other main infiltration zone, near Tajuya volcano, at 1200 m a.s.l. on the western flank, where field observation allowed identifying a small horst-graben system. However it is not clear if this fault system results from local

  16. New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Jacqueline M.; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Emmons, Gavin; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd; LePre, Larry; Leonard, Kolbe; SanMiguel, Phillip; Westerman, Rick; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundManagement requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie falcon (F. mexicanus) and it is unclear how much genetic variation and population structure exists across the species’ range. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationship of F. mexicanus relative to other falcon species is contested. We utilized a genomics approach (i.e., genome sequencing and assembly followed by single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping) to rapidly address these gaps in knowledge.ResultsWe sequenced the genome of a single female prairie falcon and generated a 1.17 Gb (gigabases) draft genome assembly. We generated maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees using complete mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear protein-coding genes. This process provided evidence that F. mexicanus is an outgroup to the clade that includes the peregrine falcon and members of the subgenus Hierofalco. We annotated > 16,000 genes and almost 600,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nuclear genome, providing the raw material for a SNP assay design featuring > 140 gene-associated markers and a molecular-sexing marker. We subsequently genotyped ~ 100 individuals from California (including the San Francisco East Bay Area, Pinnacles National Park and the Mojave Desert) and Idaho (Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area). We tested for population structure and found evidence that individuals sampled in California and Idaho represent a single panmictic population.ConclusionsOur study illustrates how genomic resources can rapidly shed light on genetic variability in understudied species and resolve phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, we found evidence of a single, randomly mating

  17. Crystal structure of the botulinum neurotoxin type G binding domain: insight into cell surface binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Pål; Dong, Min; Dupuy, Jérôme; Chapman, Edwin R; Stevens, Raymond C

    2010-04-16

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) typically bind the neuronal cell surface via dual interactions with both protein receptors and gangliosides. We present here the 1.9-A X-ray structure of the BoNT serotype G (BoNT/G) receptor binding domain (residues 868-1297) and a detailed view of protein receptor and ganglioside binding regions. The ganglioside binding motif (SxWY) has a conserved structure compared to the corresponding regions in BoNT serotype A and BoNT serotype B (BoNT/B), but several features of interactions with the hydrophilic face of the ganglioside are absent at the opposite side of the motif in the BoNT/G ganglioside binding cleft. This may significantly reduce the affinity between BoNT/G and gangliosides. BoNT/G and BoNT/B share the protein receptor synaptotagmin (Syt) I/II. The Syt binding site has a conserved hydrophobic plateau located centrally in the proposed protein receptor binding interface (Tyr1189, Phe1202, Ala1204, Pro1205, and Phe1212). Interestingly, only 5 of 14 residues that are important for binding between Syt-II and BoNT/B are conserved in BoNT/G, suggesting that the means by which BoNT/G and BoNT/B bind Syt diverges more than previously appreciated. Indeed, substitution of Syt-II Phe47 and Phe55 with alanine residues had little effect on the binding of BoNT/G, but strongly reduced the binding of BoNT/B. Furthermore, an extended solvent-exposed hydrophobic loop, located between the Syt binding site and the ganglioside binding cleft, may serve as a third membrane association and binding element to contribute to high-affinity binding to the neuronal membrane. While BoNT/G and BoNT/B are homologous to each other and both utilize Syt-I/Syt-II as their protein receptor, the precise means by which these two toxin serotypes bind to Syt appears surprisingly divergent. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Structure and Mechanism of Styrene Monooxygenase Reductase: New Insight into the FAD–Transfer Reaction†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Eliot; Kantz, Auric; Gassner, George T.; Sazinsky, Matthew H.

    2013-01-01

    The two–component flavoprotein styrene monooxygenase (SMO) from Pseudomonas putida S12 catalyzes the NADH– and FAD–dependent epoxidation of styrene to styrene oxide. In this study we investigate the mechanism of flavin reduction and transfer from the reductase (SMOB) to epoxidase (NSMOA) component and report our findings in light of the 2.2–Å crystal structure of SMOB. Upon rapidly mixing with NADH, SMOB forms an NADH→FADox charge–transfer intermediate and catalyzes a hydride–transfer reaction from NADH to FAD, with a rate constant of 49.1 ± 1.4 s−1, in a step that is coupled to the rapid dissociation of NAD+. Electrochemical and equilibrium–binding studies indicate that NSMOA binds FADhq ~13–times more tightly than SMOB, which supports a vectoral transfer of FADhq from the reductase to the epoxidase. After binding to NSMOA, FADhq rapidly reacts with molecular oxygen to form a stable C(4a)–hydroperoxide intermediate. The half–life of apoSMOB generated in the FAD–transfer reaction is increased ~21–fold, supporting the model of a protein–protein interaction between apoSMOB and NSMOA with the peroxide intermediate. The mechanisms of FAD–dissociation and transport from SMOB to NSMOA were probed by monitoring the competitive reduction of cytochrome c in the presence and absence of pyridine nucleotides. Based on these studies, we propose a model in which reduced FAD binds to SMOB in equilibrium between an unreactive, sequestered state (S–state) and more reactive, transfer state (T–state). Dissociation of NAD+ after the hydride transfer–reaction transiently populates the T–state, promoting the transfer of FADhq to NSMOA. The binding of pyridine nucleotides to SMOB–FADhq shifts the FADhq–binding equilibrium from the T–state to the S–state. Additionally, the 2.2–Å crystal structure of SMOB–FADox reported in this work is discussed in light of the pyridine nucleotide–gated flavin–transfer and electron

  19. Joint small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering data analysis of asymmetric lipid vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eicher, Barbara; Heberle, Frederick A.; Marquardt, Drew T.

    2017-01-01

    Low- and high-resolution models describing the internal transbilayer structure of asymmetric lipid vesicles have been developed. These models can be used for the joint analysis of small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering data. The models describe the underlying scattering length density/electron density profiles either in terms of slabs or through the so-called scattering density profile, previously applied to symmetric lipid vesicles. Both models yield structural details of asymmetric membranes, such as the individual area per lipid, and the hydrocarbon thickness of the inner and outer bilayer leaflets. The scattering density profile model, however, comes at a cost of increased computational effort but results in greater structural resolution, showing a slightly lower packing of lipids in the outer bilayer leaflet of ~120 nm diameter palmitoyloleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) vesicles, compared to the inner leaflet. Here, analysis of asymmetric dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine/POPC vesicles did not reveal evidence of transbilayer coupling between the inner and outer leaflets at 323 K,i.e.above the melting transition temperature of the two lipids.

  20. Structural Insights into RNA Recognition by the Alternate-Splicing Regulator CUG-Binding Protein 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M Teplova; J Song; H Gaw; A Teplov; D Patel

    2011-12-31

    CUG-binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) regulates multiple aspects of nuclear and cytoplasmic mRNA processing, with implications for onset of myotonic dystrophy. CUGBP1 harbors three RRM domains and preferentially targets UGU-rich mRNA elements. We describe crystal structures of CUGBP1 RRM1 and tandem RRM1/2 domains bound to RNAs containing tandem UGU(U/G) elements. Both RRM1 in RRM1-RNA and RRM2 in RRM1/2-RNA complexes use similar principles to target UGU(U/G) elements, with recognition mediated by face-to-edge stacking and water-mediated hydrogen-bonding networks. The UG step adopts a left-handed Z-RNA conformation, with the syn guanine recognized through Hoogsteen edge-protein backbone hydrogen-bonding interactions. NMR studies on the RRM1/2-RNA complex establish that both RRM domains target tandem UGUU motifs in solution, whereas filter-binding assays identify a preference for recognition of GU over AU or GC steps. We discuss the implications of CUGBP1-mediated targeting and sequestration of UGU(U/G) elements on pre-mRNA alternative-splicing regulation, translational regulation, and mRNA decay.

  1. Structural Insight into the interaction of Flavonoids with Human Telomeric Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawani, Arpita; Kumar, Amit

    2015-01-01

    Flavonoids are a group of naturally available compounds that are an attractive source for drug discovery. Their potential to act as anti-tumourigenic and anti-proliferative agents has been reported previously but is not yet fully understood. Targeting human telomeric G-quadruplex DNA could be one of the mechanisms by which these flavonoids exert anticancer activity. We have performed detailed biophysical studies for the interaction of four representative flavonoids, Luteolin, Quercetin, Rutin and Genistein, with the human telomeric G-quadruplex sequence tetramolecular d-(T2AG3T) (Tel7). In addition, we used NMR spectroscopy to derive the first model for the complex formed between Quercetin and G-quadruplex sequence. The model showed that Quercetin stabilises the G-quadruplex structure and does not open the G-tetrad. It interacts with the telomeric sequence through π-stacking at two sites: between T1pT2 and between G6pT7. Based on our findings, we suggest that Quercetin could be a potent candidate for targeting the telomere and thus, act as a potent anti-cancer agent. PMID:26627543

  2. Novel Escherichia coli umuD′ Mutants: Structure-Function Insights into SOS Mutagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLenigan, Mary; Peat, Thomas S.; Frank, Ekaterina G.; McDonald, John P.; Gonzalez, Martín; Levine, Arthur S.; Hendrickson, Wayne A.; Woodgate, Roger

    1998-01-01

    Although it has been 10 years since the discovery that the Escherichia coli UmuD protein undergoes a RecA-mediated cleavage reaction to generate mutagenically active UmuD′, the function of UmuD′ has yet to be determined. In an attempt to elucidate the role of UmuD′ in SOS mutagenesis, we have utilized a colorimetric papillation assay to screen for mutants of a hydroxylamine-treated, low-copy-number umuD′ plasmid that are unable to promote SOS-dependent spontaneous mutagenesis. Using such an approach, we have identified 14 independent umuD′ mutants. Analysis of these mutants revealed that two resulted from promoter changes which reduced the expression of wild-type UmuD′, three were nonsense mutations that resulted in a truncated UmuD′ protein, and the remaining nine were missense alterations. In addition to the hydroxylamine-generated mutants, we have subcloned the mutations found in three chromosomal umuD1, umuD44, and umuD77 alleles into umuD′. All 17 umuD′ mutants resulted in lower levels of SOS-dependent spontaneous mutagenesis but varied in the extent to which they promoted methyl methanesulfonate-induced mutagenesis. We have attempted to correlate these phenotypes with the potential effect of each mutation on the recently described structure of UmuD′. PMID:9721309

  3. Structural insights into mechanisms of the small RNA methyltransferase HEN1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Ying; Ji, Lijuan; Huang, Qichen; Vassylyev, Dmitry G.; Chen, Xuemei; Ma, Jin-Biao; (UAB); (UCR)

    2010-02-22

    RNA silencing is a conserved regulatory mechanism in fungi, plants and animals that regulates gene expression and defence against viruses and transgenes. Small silencing RNAs of {approx}20-30 nucleotides and their associated effector proteins, the Argonaute family proteins, are the central components in RNA silencing. A subset of small RNAs, such as microRNAs and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in plants, Piwi-interacting RNAs in animals and siRNAs in Drosophila, requires an additional crucial step for their maturation; that is, 2'-O-methylation on the 3' terminal nucleotide. A conserved S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent RNA methyltransferase, HUA ENHANCER 1 (HEN1), and its homologues are responsible for this specific modification. Here we report the 3.1 {angstrom} crystal structure of full-length HEN1 from Arabidopsis in complex with a 22-nucleotide small RNA duplex and cofactor product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine. Highly cooperative recognition of the small RNA substrate by multiple RNA binding domains and the methyltransferase domain in HEN1 measures the length of the RNA duplex and determines the substrate specificity. Metal ion coordination by both 2' and 3' hydroxyls on the 3'-terminal nucleotide and four invariant residues in the active site of the methyltransferase domain suggests a novel Mg{sup 2+}-dependent 2'-O-methylation mechanism.

  4. Structure and organization of drug-target networks: insights from genomic approaches for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janga, Sarath Chandra; Tzakos, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Recent years have seen an explosion in the amount of "omics" data and the integration of several disciplines, which has influenced all areas of life sciences including that of drug discovery. Several lines of evidence now suggest that the traditional notion of "one drug-one protein" for one disease does not hold any more and that treatment for most complex diseases can best be attempted using polypharmacological approaches. In this review, we formalize the definition of a drug-target network by decomposing it into drug, target and disease spaces and provide an overview of our understanding in recent years about its structure and organizational principles. We discuss advances made in developing promiscuous drugs following the paradigm of polypharmacology and reveal their advantages over traditional drugs for targeting diseases such as cancer. We suggest that drug-target networks can be decomposed to be studied at a variety of levels and argue that such network-based approaches have important implications in understanding disease phenotypes and in accelerating drug discovery. We also discuss the potential and scope network pharmacology promises in harnessing the vast amount of data from high-throughput approaches for therapeutic advantage.

  5. Electronic structure of graphene nanoribbons doped with nitrogen atoms: a theoretical insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, A E; Fomine, S

    2015-04-28

    The electronic structure of graphene nanoribbons doped with a graphitic type of nitrogen atoms has been studied using B3LYP, B2PLYP and CAS methods. In all but one case the restricted B3LYP solutions were unstable and the CAS calculations provided evidence for the multiconfigurational nature of the ground state with contributions from two dominant configurations. The relative stability of the doped nanoribbons depends mostly on the mutual position of the dopant atoms and notably less on the position of nitrogen atoms within the nanoribbon. N-graphitic doping affects cationic states much more than anionic ones due the participation of the nitrogen atoms in the stabilization of the positive charge, resulting in a drop in ionization energies (IPs) for N-graphitic doped systems. Nitrogen atoms do not participate in the negative charge stabilization of anionic species and, therefore, the doping does not affect the electron affinities (EAs). The unrestricted B3LYP method is the method of choice for the calculation of IPs and EAs. Restricted B3LYP and B2PLYP produces unreliable results for both IPs and EAs while CAS strongly underestimates the electron affinities. This is also true for the reorganization energies where restricted B3LYP produces qualitatively incorrect results. Doping changes the reorganization energy of the nanoribbons; the hole reorganization energy is generally higher than the corresponding electron reorganization energy due to the participation of nitrogen atoms in the stabilization of the positive charge.

  6. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Mei; Su, Yongchao

    2011-01-01

    Many membrane peptides and protein domains contain functionally important cationic Arg and Lys residues, whose insertion into the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer encounters significant energy barriers. To understand how these cationic molecules overcome the free energy barrier to insert into the lipid membrane, we have used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to determine the membrane-bound topology of these peptides. A versatile array of solid-state NMR experiments now readily yields the conformation, dynamics, orientation, depth of insertion, and site-specific protein–lipid interactions of these molecules. We summarize key findings of several Arg-rich membrane peptides, including β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, unstructured cell-penetrating peptides, and the voltage-sensing helix of voltage-gated potassium channels. Our results indicate the central role of guanidinium-phosphate and guanidinium-water interactions in dictating the structural topology of these cationic molecules in the lipid membrane, which in turn account for the mechanisms of this functionally diverse class of membrane peptides. PMID:21344534

  7. Biochemical and Structural Insights into the Mechanism of DNA Recognition by Arabidopsis ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinghui Song

    Full Text Available Gaseous hormone ethylene regulates numerous stress responses and developmental adaptations in plants by controlling gene expression via transcription factors ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3 and EIN3-Like1 (EIL1. However, our knowledge regarding to the accurate definition of DNA-binding domains (DBDs within EIN3 and also the mechanism of specific DNA recognition by EIN3 is limited. Here, we identify EIN3 82-352 and 174-306 as the optimal and core DBDs, respectively. Results from systematic biochemical analyses reveal that both the number of EIN3-binding sites (EBSs and the spacing length between two EBSs affect the binding affinity of EIN3; accordingly, a new DNA probe which has higher affinity with EIN3 than ERF1 is also designed. Furthermore, we show that palindromic repeat sequences in ERF1 promoter are not necessary for EIN3 binding. Finally, we provide, to our knowledge, the first crystal structure of EIN3 core DBD, which contains amino acid residues essential for DNA binding and signaling. Collectively, these data suggest the detailed mechanism of DNA recognition by EIN3 and provide an in-depth view at molecular level for the transcriptional regulation mediated by EIN3.

  8. Has snake fang evolution lost its bite? New insights from a structural mechanics viewpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckhoven, Chris; du Plessis, Anton

    2017-08-01

    Venomous snakes-the pinnacle of snake evolution-are characterized by their possession of venom-conducting fangs ranging from grooved phenotypes characterizing multiple lineages of rear-fanged taxa to tubular phenotypes present in elapids, viperids and atractaspidines. Despite extensive research, controversy still exists on the selective pressures involved in fang phenotype diversification. Here, we test the hypothesis that larger fangs and consequently a shift to an anterior position in the maxilla evolved to compensate for the costs of structural changes, i.e. higher stress upon impact in tubular fangs compared to grooved fangs. Direct voxel-based stress simulations conducted on high-resolution µCT scans, analysed within a phylogenetic framework, showed no differences in stress distribution between the three fang phenotypes, despite differences in (relative) fang length. These findings suggest that additional compensatory mechanisms are responsible for the biomechanical optimization and that fang length might instead be related to differential striking behaviour strategies. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. XPD Helicase Structures and Activities: Insights into the Cancer and Aging Phenotypes from XPD Mutations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tainer, John; Fan, Li; Fuss, Jill O.; Cheng, Quen J.; Arvai, Andrew S.; Hammel, Michal; Roberts, Victoria A.; Cooper, Priscilla K.; Tainer, John A.

    2008-06-02

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  10. XPD Helicase Structures And Activities: Insights Into the Cancer And Aging Phenotypes From XPD Mutations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, L.; Fuss, J.O.; Cheng, Q.J.; Arvai, A.S.; Hammel, M.; Roberts, V.A.; Cooper, P.K.; Tainer, J.A.

    2009-05-18

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  11. Release of canine parvovirus from endocytic vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suikkanen, Sanna; Antila, Mia; Jaatinen, Anne; Vihinen-Ranta, Maija; Vuento, Matti

    2003-01-01

    Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a small nonenveloped virus with a single-stranded DNA genome. CPV enters cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis and requires an acidic endosomal step for productive infection. Virion contains a potential nuclear localization signal as well as a phospholipase A 2 like domain in N-terminus of VP1. In this study we characterized the role of PLA 2 activity on CPV entry process. PLA 2 activity of CPV capsids was triggered in vitro by heat or acidic pH. PLA 2 inhibitors inhibited the viral proliferation suggesting that PLA 2 activity is needed for productive infection. The N-terminus of VP1 was exposed during the entry, suggesting that PLA 2 activity might have a role during endocytic entry. The presence of drugs modifying endocytosis (amiloride, bafilomycin A 1 , brefeldin A, and monensin) caused viral proteins to remain in endosomal/lysosomal vesicles, even though the drugs were not able to inhibit the exposure of VP1 N-terminal end. These results indicate that the exposure of N-terminus of VP1 alone is not sufficient to allow CPV to proliferate. Some other pH-dependent changes are needed for productive infection. In addition to blocking endocytic entry, amiloride was able to block some postendocytic steps. The ability of CPV to permeabilize endosomal membranes was demonstrated by feeding cells with differently sized rhodamine-conjugated dextrans together with the CPV in the presence or in the absence of amiloride, bafilomycin A 1 , brefeldin A, or monensin. Dextran with a molecular weight of 3000 was released from vesicles after 8 h of infection, while dextran with a molecular weight of 10,000 was mainly retained in vesicles. The results suggest that CPV infection does not cause disruption of endosomal vesicles. However, the permeability of endosomal membranes apparently changes during CPV infection, probably due to the PLA 2 activity of the virus. These results suggest that parvoviral PLA 2 activity is essential for productive infection and

  12. Functional and structural insights revealed by molecular dynamics simulations of an essential RNA editing ligase in Trypanosoma brucei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rommie E Amaro

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available RNA editing ligase 1 (TbREL1 is required for the survival of both the insect and bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite responsible for the devastating tropical disease African sleeping sickness. The type of RNA editing that TbREL1 is involved in is unique to the trypanosomes, and no close human homolog is known to exist. In addition, the high-resolution crystal structure revealed several unique features of the active site, making this enzyme a promising target for structure-based drug design. In this work, two 20 ns atomistic molecular dynamics (MD simulations are employed to investigate the dynamics of TbREL1, both with and without the ATP substrate present. The flexibility of the active site, dynamics of conserved residues and crystallized water molecules, and the interactions between TbREL1 and the ATP substrate are investigated and discussed in the context of TbREL1's function. Differences in local and global motion upon ATP binding suggest that two peripheral loops, unique to the trypanosomes, may be involved in interdomain signaling events. Notably, a significant structural rearrangement of the enzyme's active site occurs during the apo simulations, opening an additional cavity adjacent to the ATP binding site that could be exploited in the development of effective inhibitors directed against this protozoan parasite. Finally, ensemble averaged electrostatics calculations over the MD simulations reveal a novel putative RNA binding site, a discovery that has previously eluded scientists. Ultimately, we use the insights gained through the MD simulations to make several predictions and recommendations, which we anticipate will help direct future experimental studies and structure-based drug discovery efforts against this vital enzyme.

  13. Food-web structure and ecosystem services: insights from the Serengeti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy

    2009-06-27

    The central organizing theme of this paper is to discuss the dynamics of the Serengeti grassland ecosystem from the perspective of recent developments in food-web theory. The seasonal rainfall patterns that characterize the East African climate create an annually oscillating, large-scale, spatial mosaic of feeding opportunities for the larger ungulates in the Serengeti; this in turn creates a significant annual variation in the food available for their predators. At a smaller spatial scale, periodic fires during the dry season create patches of highly nutritious grazing that are eaten in preference to the surrounding older patches of less palatable vegetation. The species interactions between herbivores and plants, and carnivores and herbivores, are hierarchically nested in the Serengeti food web, with the largest bodied consumers on each trophic level having the broadest diets that include species from a large variety of different habitats in the ecosystem. The different major habitats of the Serengeti are also used in a nested fashion; the highly nutritious forage of the short grass plains is available only to the larger migratory species for a few months each year. The longer grass areas, the woodlands and kopjes (large partially wooded rocky islands in the surrounding mosaic of grassland) contain species that are resident throughout the year; these species often have smaller body size and more specialized diets than the migratory species. Only the larger herbivores and carnivores obtain their nutrition from all the different major habitat types in the ecosystem. The net effect of this is to create a nested hierarchy of subchains of energy flow within the larger Serengeti food web; these flows are seasonally forced by rainfall and operate at different rates in different major branches of the web. The nested structure that couples sequential trophic levels together interacts with annual seasonal variation in the fast and slow chains of nutrient flow in a way that

  14. Insights on the lithospheric structure of the Zagros mountain belt from seismological data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, A.; Kaviani, A.; Vergne, J.; Hatzfeld, D.; Mokhtari, M.

    2003-04-01

    As part of a French-Iranian collaboration, we installed a temporary seismological network across the Zagros for 4.5 months in 2000-2001 to investigate the lithospheric structure of the mountain belt. The network included 65 stations located along a 600-km long line (average spacing of ˜10 km) from the coast of the Persian Gulf to the stable block of Central Iran. A migrated depth cross-section computed from radial receiver functions displays clear P-to-S conversions at the Moho beneath most of the profile. The average Moho depth is 45 to 50 km beneath the folded belt. It deepens rather abruptly beneath the suture zone of the MZT (Main Zagros Thrust) and the Sanandaj-Sirjan (SS) metamorphic zone. The maximum crustal thickness of ˜65 km is reached 50 km NE of the surface trace of the MZT. The region of over-thickened crust is shifted to the NE with respect to the areas of highest elevations and the strongest negative Bouguer anomaly. To the NE, the crust of the block of Central Iran is 40-km thick on average. Two patches of Ps converted energy can be seen below the Moho in the northern half of the transect that cannot be attributed to multiple reflections. Teleseismic P residual travel time curves display lateral variations as large as 1.5 s with both long (faster arrivals in the SW than in the NE) and short-scale variations (in the MZT region). They were inverted for variations of P wave velocity with the ACH technique. The crustal layer exhibits rather strong lateral variations of Vp with lower velocities under the MZT and the Urumieh-Dokhtar magmatic assemblage, and faster velocities under the SS zone. In the mantle, a clear difference appears between the faster P wave velocities of the Arabian craton and the relatively lower velocities of the mantle of Central Iran.

  15. Structural Biology Insight for the Design of Sub-type Selective Aurora Kinase Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarvagalla, Sailu; Coumar, Mohane Selvaraj

    2015-01-01

    Aurora kinase A, B and C, are key regulators of mitosis and are over expressed in many of the human cancers, making them an ideal drug target for cancer chemotherapy. Currently, over a dozen of Aurora kinase inhibitors are in various phases of clinical development. The majority of the inhibitors (VX-680/MK-0457, PHA-739358, CYC116, SNS-314, AMG 900, AT-9283, SCH- 1473759, ABT-348, PF-03814735, R-763/AS-703569, KW-2449 and TAK-901) are pan-selective (isoform non-selective) and few are Aurora A (MLN8054, MLN8237, VX-689/MK5108 and ENMD 2076) and Aurora B (AZD1152 and GSK1070916) sub-type selective. Despite the intensive research efforts in the past decade, no Aurora kinase inhibitor has reached the market. Recent evidence suggests that the sub-type selective Aurora kinase A inhibitor could possess advantages over pan-selective Aurora inhibitors, by avoiding Aurora B mediated neutropenia. However, sub-type selective Aurora kinase A inhibitor design is very challenging due to the similarity in the active site among the isoforms. Structural biology and computational aspects pertaining to the design of Aurora kinase inhibitors were analyzed and found that a possible means to develop sub-type selective inhibitor is by targeting Aurora A specific residues (Leu215, Thr217 and Arg220) or Aurora B specific residues (Arg159, Glu161 and Lys164), near the solvent exposed region of the protein. Particularly, a useful strategy for the design of sub-type selective Aurora A inhibitor could be by targeting Thr217 residue as in the case of MLN8054. Further preclinical and clinical studies with the sub-type selective Aurora inhibitors could help bring them to the market for the treatment of cancer.

  16. Linking habitat structure to life history strategy: Insights from a Mediterranean killifish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavraro, Francesco; Daouti, Irini; Leonardos, Ioannis; Torricelli, Patrizia; Malavasi, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Modern theories of life history evolution deal with finding links between environmental factors, demographic structure of animal populations and the optimal life history strategy. Small-sized teleost fish, occurring in fragmented populations under contrasting environments, have been widely used as study models to investigate these issues. In the present study, the Mediterranean killifish Aphanius fasciatus was used to investigate the relationships between some habitat features and life history strategy. We selected four sites in the Venice lagoon inhabited by this species, exhibiting different combinations of two factors: overall adult mortality, related to intertidal water coverage and a consequent higher level of predator exposure, and the level of sediment organic matter, as indicator of habitat trophic richness. Results showed that these were the two most important factors influencing demography and life history traits in the four sites. Fish from salt marshes with high predator pressure were smaller and produced a higher number of eggs, whereas bigger fish and a lower reproductive investment were found in the two closed, not tidally influenced habitats. Habitat richness was positively related with population density, but negatively related with growth rate. In particular the synergy between high resources and low predation level was found to be important in shaping peculiar life history traits. Results were discussed in the light of the interactions between selective demographic forces acting differentially on age/size classes, such as predation, and habitat trophic richness that may represent an important energetic constraint on life history traits. The importance to link habitat productivity and morphology to demographic factors for a better understanding of the evolution of life history strategy under contrasting environments was finally suggested.

  17. San Miguel Volcanic Seismic and Structure in Central America: Insight into the Physical Processes of Volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patlan, E.; Velasco, A.; Konter, J. G.

    2010-12-01

    The San Miguel volcano lies near the city of San Miguel, El Salvador (13.43N and - 88.26W). San Miguel volcano, an active stratovolcano, presents a significant natural hazard for the city of San Miguel. In general, the internal state and activity of volcanoes remains an important component to understanding volcanic hazard. The main technology for addressing volcanic hazards and processes is through the analysis of data collected from the deployment of seismic sensors that record ground motion. Six UTEP seismic stations were deployed around San Miguel volcano from 2007-2008 to define the magma chamber and assess the seismic and volcanic hazard. We utilize these data to develop images of the earth structure beneath the volcano, studying the volcanic processes by identifying different sources, and investigating the role of earthquakes and faults in controlling the volcanic processes. We initially locate events using automated routines and focus on analyzing local events. We then relocate each seismic event by hand-picking P-wave arrivals, and later refine these picks using waveform cross correlation. Using a double difference earthquake location algorithm (HypoDD), we identify a set of earthquakes that vertically align beneath the edifice of the volcano, suggesting that we have identified a magma conduit feeding the volcano. We also apply a double-difference earthquake tomography approach (tomoDD) to investigate the volcano’s plumbing system. Our preliminary results show the extent of the magma chamber that also aligns with some horizontal seismicity. Overall, this volcano is very active and presents a significant hazard to the region.

  18. The biological and structural characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis UvrA provides novel insights into its mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Franca; Khanduja, Jasbeer Singh; Bortoluzzi, Alessio; Houghton, Joanna; Sander, Peter; Güthlein, Carolin; Davis, Elaine O; Springer, Burkhard; Böttger, Erik C; Relini, Annalisa; Penco, Amanda; Muniyappa, K; Rizzi, Menico

    2011-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an extremely well adapted intracellular human pathogen that is exposed to multiple DNA damaging chemical assaults originating from the host defence mechanisms. As a consequence, this bacterium is thought to possess highly efficient DNA repair machineries, the nucleotide excision repair (NER) system amongst these. Although NER is of central importance to DNA repair in M. tuberculosis, our understanding of the processes in this species is limited. The conserved UvrABC endonuclease represents the multi-enzymatic core in bacterial NER, where the UvrA ATPase provides the DNA lesion-sensing function. The herein reported genetic analysis demonstrates that M. tuberculosis UvrA is important for the repair of nitrosative and oxidative DNA damage. Moreover, our biochemical and structural characterization of recombinant M. tuberculosis UvrA contributes new insights into its mechanism of action. In particular, the structural investigation reveals an unprecedented conformation of the UvrB-binding domain that we propose to be of functional relevance. Taken together, our data suggest UvrA as a potential target for the development of novel anti-tubercular agents and provide a biochemical framework for the identification of small-molecule inhibitors interfering with the NER activity in M. tuberculosis.

  19. Insights into the genome structure and copy-number variation of Eimeria tenella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lim Lik-Sin

    2012-08-01

    method to improve the assembly of the genome of E. tenella from shotgun data, and to help reveal its overall structure. A preliminary assessment of copy-number variation (extra or missing copies of genomic segments between strains of E. tenella was also carried out. The emerging picture is of a very unusual genome architecture displaying inter-strain copy-number variation. We suggest that these features may be related to the known ability of this parasite to rapidly develop drug resistance.

  20. Insights into Earth's Accretion and Mantle Structure from Neon and Xenon in Icelandic Basalt (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2010-12-01

    The noble gases provide important constraints for planet accretion models and understanding mantle structure and dynamics. Recent work based on continental well gases indicate that the MORB source 20Ne/22Ne ratio is similar to the Ne-B component in chondrites [1,2]. However, ratios higher than Ne-B have been reported in plume-derived Devonian rocks form the Kola Peninsula [3]. Here I report high-precision noble gas data in an Icelandic basaltic glass that demonstrate plumes have a different 20Ne/22Ne ratio than the MORB source. The highest measured 20Ne/22Ne ratio from Iceland is ~12.9, very similar to values in the Kola plume, but quite distinct from the convecting upper mantle as constrained from the well gases [1,2]. Hence, the Icelandic and Kola plume data indicate that OIBs and MORBs have different 20Ne/22Ne ratios. Since 20Ne/22Ne ratios in the mantle cannot change, Earth must have accreted volatiles from at least two separate reservoirs. The differences in 20Ne/22Ne ratios between OIBs and MORBs further indicate that early heterogeneities in the Earth’s mantle have not been wiped away by 4.5 Gyrs of mantle convection, placing strong constraints on mixing and mass flow in the mantle. The requirement of limited direct mixing between plumes and MORB source is supported by 129Xe, formed through radioactive decay of now extinct 129I. Combined He, Ne, and Xe measurements demonstrate that the Iceland plume has a lower 129Xe/130Xe ratio than MORBs because it evolved with a I/Xe ratio distinct from the MORB source and not because of recycled atmosphere (which has low 129/130Xe) in the plume source. Since 129I became extinct 80 Myrs after solar system formation, limited mixing between plume and MORB source is a stringent requirement. Additionally, the high-precision Xe measurements reveal for the first time that the Iceland plume source has significantly higher proportion of plutonium derived fission xenon than MORBs, requiring the plume source to be less degassed

  1. Transformation from Multilamellar to Unilamellar Vesicles by Addition of a Cationic Lipid to PEGylated Liposomes Explored with Synchrotron Small Angle X-ray Scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakuragi, Mina; Sakurai, Kazuo; Koiwai, Kazunori; Nakamura, Kouji; Masunaga, Hiroyasu; Ogawa, Hiroki

    2011-01-01

    PEGylated liposomes composed of a benzamidine derivative (TRX), hydrogenated soybean phosphatidylcholine (HSPC), and N-(monomethoxy-polyethyleneglycolcarbamyl) distearoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (PEG-PE) were examined in terms of how the addition of TRX affects their structures with small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) as well as transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM images showed the presence of unilamella vesicles for both with and without TRX, though a small amount of multilamella vesicles were observed in absence of TRX. We analyzed SAXS profiles at contained TRX composition combined with contrast variation technique by adding PEG solution and unilamella vesicle model could be reproduced. Subsequently, we analyzed SAXS profiles at no TRX composition. The mixture model of unilamella and multilamella vesicle was reconstructed and we estimated about 10 % multilamella vesicles from a fitting parameter.

  2. Magnetotelluric 2D Modelling Provides Insight on the Structural Characteristics of the Guadalajara (Mexico) Triple Junction Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arboleda Zapata, M. D. J., Sr.; Arzate-Flores, J.; Guevara Betancourt, R. E., Sr.

    2017-12-01

    The Jalisco Block is a continental microplate produced by the extension along three large structures: the Tepic-Zacoalco rift (TZR), the Colima rift (CR) and the Chapala rift that converge in a triple junction 50 km southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico, with orientation NW-SE, N-S, and E-W respectively. The present study focuses on investigating the deep structure of the north Colima and eastern Zacoalco grabens close to the Guadalajara triple junction (GTJ). This is a first study of its type that provide insight on the grabens structures and crustal characteristics underneath. We measured along two magnetotellurics (MT) profiles that cut perpendicularly the TZR (profile ZAC), and the northern CR (profile SAY) comprising a total of 24 broad band MT soundings. The ZAC profile has 11 stations and has a NE orientation, and the SAY profile has 14 station aligned E-W. Standard processing and editing procedures were completed, and distortion analysis was applied to the data set in order to define the dimensionality and electric strike of the separated profiles. Static shift was corrected using geology information to distinguish the different types of soundings and later averaging for those soundings located over the same lithology. The Bahr dimensionality parameters showed that the medium is mainly 3D for the SAY profile and 2D for the ZAC profile; furthermore, the regional geoelectric strike azimuth calculated with Bahr methodology were -4° and -48° respectively, with good concordance with the main surface structures. The tipper analysis permitted validated these results, as the real induction vectors were nearly perpendicular to main fault structures. All soundings were rotated to the respective regional strike and a 2D simultaneous inversion of the transverse electric (TE) mode, the transvers magnetic (TM) mode and the Tipper was completed. The RMS fitting error yield 3.2% for ZAC profile and 3.7% for SAY profile. Both profiles show a shallow conductive zone at north of

  3. Characterization of yeast extracellular vesicles: evidence for the participation of different pathways of cellular traffic in vesicle biogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora L Oliveira

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles in yeast cells are involved in the molecular traffic across the cell wall. In yeast pathogens, these vesicles have been implicated in the transport of proteins, lipids, polysaccharide and pigments to the extracellular space. Cellular pathways required for the biogenesis of yeast extracellular vesicles are largely unknown.We characterized extracellular vesicle production in wild type (WT and mutant strains of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae using transmission electron microscopy in combination with light scattering analysis, lipid extraction and proteomics. WT cells and mutants with defective expression of Sec4p, a secretory vesicle-associated Rab GTPase essential for Golgi-derived exocytosis, or Snf7p, which is involved in multivesicular body (MVB formation, were analyzed in parallel. Bilayered vesicles with diameters at the 100-300 nm range were found in extracellular fractions from yeast cultures. Proteomic analysis of vesicular fractions from the cells aforementioned and additional mutants with defects in conventional secretion pathways (sec1-1, fusion of Golgi-derived exocytic vesicles with the plasma membrane; bos1-1, vesicle targeting to the Golgi complex or MVB functionality (vps23, late endosomal trafficking revealed a complex and interrelated protein collection. Semi-quantitative analysis of protein abundance revealed that mutations in both MVB- and Golgi-derived pathways affected the composition of yeast extracellular vesicles, but none abrogated vesicle production. Lipid analysis revealed that mutants with defects in Golgi-related components of the secretory pathway had slower vesicle release kinetics, as inferred from intracellular accumulation of sterols and reduced detection of these lipids in vesicle fractions in comparison with WT cells.Our results suggest that both conventional and unconventional pathways of secretion are required for biogenesis of extracellular vesicles, which demonstrate the

  4. An insight into structural and functional characteristics of 3-hydoxy 3-methyl glutarylCoA reductase from Ocimum species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shilpi Bansal

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Secondary metabolites, the biological compounds secreted by plants as an aid to support their growth and development under stress conditions or as a part of their defense mechanism, now hold equal importance for mankind who employs it immensely for medication, flavorings, aroma, etc. Wide applicability of these compounds instigates one to understand the biosynthesis, structure and regulation of these bioactive molecules. Terpenoids form the largest group of secondary metabolites which comprise of a wide range of structurally and functionally distinct metabolites synthesized either via mevalonate pathway or non-mevalonate pathway. Targeting a key regulatory enzyme of this pathway, modulation of which would alter the carbon flux would be beneficial to enhance our knowledge about the above issue. For this the transcriptome (from SRA of different Ocimum species was mined out for important pathway genes using various bioinformatics approaches. Amongst them 3-hydoxy 3-methyl glutaryl CoA reductase (HMGR was selected which is the rate limiting enzyme in mevalonate pathway which controls the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonic acid. Isolation, cloning, protein expression, purification, etc. would be discussed in detail in the meeting. Full length protein was also characterized through bioinformatics tools to study its structure, properties, conserved domains, etc. Increase in secondary metabolite production by alteration of HMGR pool along with transcript modulation studies in planta revealed that HMGR gene governs the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Transcriptome mapping of different HMGR homologs which on comparison within member of same genus revealed its divergent nature which could account to its multifunctional role in different plants. Besides, providing a deep insight about the enzyme function combination of such molecular, transgenic and bioinformatics tools would help to develop strategies to engineer the HMGR mediated flux and also

  5. A holistic evolutionary and structural study of flaviviridae provides insights into the function and inhibition of HCV helicase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Vlachakis

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Viral RNA helicases are involved in duplex unwinding during the RNA replication of the virus. It is suggested that these helicases represent very promising antiviral targets. Viruses of the flaviviridae family are the causative agents of many common and devastating diseases, including hepatitis, yellow fever and dengue fever. As there is currently no available anti-Flaviviridae therapy, there is urgent need for the development of efficient anti-viral pharmaceutical strategies. Herein, we report the complete phylogenetic analysis across flaviviridae alongside a more in-depth evolutionary study that revealed a series of conserved and invariant amino acids that are predicted to be key to the function of the helicase. Structural molecular modelling analysis revealed the strategic significance of these residues based on their relative positioning on the 3D structures of the helicase enzymes, which may be used as pharmacological targets. We previously reported a novel series of highly potent HCV helicase inhibitors, and we now re-assess their antiviral potential using the 3D structural model of the invariant helicase residues. It was found that the most active compound of the series, compound C4, exhibited an IC50 in the submicromolar range, whereas its stereoisomer (compound C12 was completely inactive. Useful insights were obtained from molecular modelling and conformational search studies via molecular dynamics simulations. C12 tends to bend and lock in an almost “U” shape conformation, failing to establish vital interactions with the active site of HCV. On the contrary, C4 spends most of its conformational time in a straight, more rigid formation that allows it to successfully block the passage of the oligonucleotide in the ssRNA channel of the HCV helicase. This study paves the way and provides the necessary framework for the in-depth analysis required to enable the future design of new and potent anti-viral agents.

  6. Structural Insights into the Methylation of C1402 in 16S rRNA by Methyltransferase RsmI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohan Zhao

    Full Text Available RsmI and RsmH are conserved S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet-dependent methyltransferases (MTases that are responsible for the 2'-O-methylation and N4-methylation of C1402 in bacterial 16S rRNA, respectively. Methylation of m4Cm1402 plays a role in fine-tuning the shape and functions of the P-site to increase the decoding fidelity, and was recently found to contribute to the virulence of Staphylococcus aureus in host animals. Here we report the 2.20-Å crystal structure of homodimeric RsmI from Escherichia coli in complex with the cofactor AdoMet. RsmI consists of an N-terminal putative RNA-binding domain (NTD and a C-terminal catalytic domain (CTD with a Rossmann-like fold, and belongs to the class III MTase family. AdoMet is specifically bound into a negatively charged deep pocket formed by both domains by making extensive contacts. Structure-based mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC assays revealed Asp100 and Ala124 are vital for AdoMet-binding. Although the overall fold of RsmI shows remarkable similarities to the characterized MTases involved in vitamin B12 biosynthesis, it exhibits a distinct charge distribution especially around the AdoMet-binding pocket because of different substrate specificity. The docking model of RsmI-AdoMet-RNA ternary complex suggested a possible base-flipping mechanism of the substrate RNA that has been observed in several known RNA MTases. Our structural and biochemical studies provide novel insights into the catalytic mechanism of C1402 methylation in 16S rRNA.

  7. Structural and functional insight into the carbohydrate receptor binding of F4 fimbriae-producing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moonens, Kristof; Van den Broeck, Imke; De Kerpel, Maia; Deboeck, Francine; Raymaekers, Hanne; Remaut, Han; De Greve, Henri

    2015-03-27

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are important causes of intestinal disease in humans and lead to severe production losses in animal farming. A range of fimbrial adhesins in ETEC strains determines host and tissue tropism. ETEC strains expressing F4 fimbriae are associated with neonatal and post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. Three naturally occurring variants of F4 fimbriae (F4ab, F4ac, and F4ad) exist that differ in the primary sequence of their major adhesive subunit FaeG, and each features a related yet distinct receptor binding profile. Here the x-ray structure of FaeGad bound to lactose provides the first structural insight into the receptor specificity and mode of binding by the poly-adhesive F4 fimbriae. A small D'-D″-α1-α2 subdomain grafted on the immunoglobulin-like core of FaeG hosts the carbohydrate binding site. Two short amino acid stretches Phe(150)-Glu(152) and Val(166)-Glu(170) of FaeGad bind the terminal galactose in the lactosyl unit and provide affinity and specificity to the interaction. A hemagglutination-based assay with E. coli expressing mutant F4ad fimbriae confirmed the elucidated co-complex structure. Interestingly, the crucial D'-α1 loop that borders the FaeGad binding site adopts a different conformation in the two other FaeG variants and hints at a heterogeneous binding pocket among the FaeG serotypes. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Effect of preparation processes and structural insight into the supermolecular system: Bisacodyl and β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Shanshan; Zhai, Yuanming; Yan, Jin; Wang, Lili; Xu, Kailin; Li, Hui

    2016-01-01

    In this study, β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and bisacodyl were chosen as model host and guest molecule to explore the effect of preparation processes on the physicochemical properties of inclusion complexes (ICs) and to gain an insight into the structure of ICs. The influence of temperature and pH on complexation was studied by multiple temperature–pH phase solubility analysis. The most favorable conformation was predicted by molecular modeling using AutoDock. "1H nuclear magnetic resonance and rotating frame nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy further confirmed the structure. Moreover, bisacodyl·β-CD ICs in solid state were successfully prepared via three different procedures (co-crystallization, co-evaporation, and co-grinding) and fully characterized by several solid-state techniques, namely, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that acid solution and low temperature were unfavorable for formation of bisacodyl·β-CD. The pyridine moiety was suggested to be enclosed in the hydrophobic cavity of β-CD. The complexes prepared using co-crystallization showed properties similar to those prepared using co-evaporation. Moreover, ICs obtained by co-evaporation and co-grinding had higher loading efficiency, water solubility, and dissolution rate than ICs obtained by co-crystallization. - Highlights: • The structure of inclusion complex-bisacodyl·β-CD was determined. • Thermodynamic behaviors of complexation under different conditions were discussed. • Products from three different preparation methods were systemically compared. • Co-crystallization and co-evaporation produced similar complexes. • Co-evaporation and co-grinding had better effects than co-crystallization.

  9. Effect of preparation processes and structural insight into the supermolecular system: Bisacodyl and β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Shanshan [College of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China); Zhai, Yuanming [Analytical and Testing Center, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064 (China); Yan, Jin; Wang, Lili; Xu, Kailin [College of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China); Li, Hui, E-mail: lihuilab@sina.com [College of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065 (China)

    2016-01-01

    In this study, β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and bisacodyl were chosen as model host and guest molecule to explore the effect of preparation processes on the physicochemical properties of inclusion complexes (ICs) and to gain an insight into the structure of ICs. The influence of temperature and pH on complexation was studied by multiple temperature–pH phase solubility analysis. The most favorable conformation was predicted by molecular modeling using AutoDock. {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance and rotating frame nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy further confirmed the structure. Moreover, bisacodyl·β-CD ICs in solid state were successfully prepared via three different procedures (co-crystallization, co-evaporation, and co-grinding) and fully characterized by several solid-state techniques, namely, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that acid solution and low temperature were unfavorable for formation of bisacodyl·β-CD. The pyridine moiety was suggested to be enclosed in the hydrophobic cavity of β-CD. The complexes prepared using co-crystallization showed properties similar to those prepared using co-evaporation. Moreover, ICs obtained by co-evaporation and co-grinding had higher loading efficiency, water solubility, and dissolution rate than ICs obtained by co-crystallization. - Highlights: • The structure of inclusion complex-bisacodyl·β-CD was determined. • Thermodynamic behaviors of complexation under different conditions were discussed. • Products from three different preparation methods were systemically compared. • Co-crystallization and co-evaporation produced similar complexes. • Co-evaporation and co-grinding had better effects than co-crystallization.

  10. Structural analysis and implicit 3D modelling of Jwaneng Mine: Insights into deformation of the Transvaal Supergroup in SE Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creus, P. K.; Basson, I. J.; Stoch, B.; Mogorosi, O.; Gabanakgosi, K.; Ramsden, F.; Gaegopolwe, P.

    2018-01-01

    Country rock at Jwaneng Diamond Mine provides a rare insight into the deformational history of the Transvaal Supergroup in southern Botswana. The ca. 235 Ma kimberlite diatremes intruded into late Archaean to Early Proterozoic, mixed, siliciclastic-carbonate sediments, that were subjected to at least three deformational events. The first deformational event (D1), caused by NW-SE directed compression, is responsible for NE-trending, open folds (F1) with associated diverging, fanning, axial planar cleavage. The second deformational event (D2) is probably progressive, involving a clockwise rotation of the principal stress to NE-SW trends. Early D2, which was N-S directed, involved left-lateral, oblique shearing along cleavage planes that developed around F1 folds, along with the development of antithetic structures. Progressive clockwise rotation of far-field forces saw the development of NW-trending folds (F2) and its associated, weak, axial planar cleavage. D3 is an extensional event in which normal faulting, along pre-existing cleavage planes, created a series of rhomboid-shaped, fault-bounded blocks. Normal faults, which bound these blocks, are the dominant structures at Jwaneng Mine. Combined with block rotation and NW-dipping bedding, a horst-like structure on the northwestern limb of a broad, gentle, NE-trending anticline is indicated. The early compressional and subsequent extensional events are consistent throughout the Jwaneng-Ramotswa-Lobatse-Thabazimbi area, suggesting that a large area records the same fault geometry and, consequently, deformational history. It is proposed that Jwaneng Mine is at or near the northernmost limit of the initial, northwards-directed compressional event.

  11. Supplementary Material for: Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel

  12. Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-03-23

    Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel resistance

  13. Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Jenny I; Dunn, Matthew; Mingote, Susana; Karam, Caline S; Farino, Zachary J; Sonders, Mark S; Choi, Se Joon; Grygoruk, Anna; Zhang, Yuchao; Cela, Carolina; Choi, Ben Jiwon; Flores, Jorge; Freyberg, Robin J; McCabe, Brian D; Mosharov, Eugene V; Krantz, David E; Javitch, Jonathan A; Sulzer, David; Sames, Dalibor; Rayport, Stephen; Freyberg, Zachary

    2017-08-30

    The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Deformation of phospholipid vesicles in an optical stretcher

    OpenAIRE

    Delabre , Ulysse; Feld , Kasper; Crespo , Eleonore; Whyte , Graeme; Sykes , Cecile; Seifert , Udo; Guck , Jochen

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Phospholipid vesicles are common model systems for cell membranes. Important aspects of the membrane function relate to its mechanical properties. Here we have investigated the deformation behaviour of phospholipid vesicles in a dual-beam laser trap, also called an optical stretcher. This study explicitly makes use of the inherent heating present in such traps to investigate the dependence of vesicle deformation on temperature. By using lasers with different wavelength...

  15. Spin State As a Probe of Vesicle Self-Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sanghoon; Bellouard, Christine; Eastoe, Julian; Canilho, Nadia; Rogers, Sarah E; Ihiawakrim, Dris; Ersen, Ovidiu; Pasc, Andreea

    2016-03-02

    A novel system of paramagnetic vesicles was designed using ion pairs of iron-containing surfactants. Unilamellar vesicles (diameter ≈ 200 nm) formed spontaneously and were characterized by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and light and small-angle neutron scattering. Moreover, for the first time, it is shown that magnetization measurements can be used to investigate self-assembly of such functionalized systems, giving information on the vesicle compositions and distribution of surfactants between the bilayers and the aqueous bulk.

  16. Spin State As a Probe of Vesicle Self-Assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Sanghoon; Bellouard, Christine; Eastoe, Julian; Canilho, Nadia; Rogers, Sarah E; Ihiawakrim, Dris; Ersen, Ovidiu; Pasc, Andreea

    2016-01-01

    A novel system of paramagnetic vesicles was designed using ion pairs of iron-containing surfactants. Unilamellar vesicles (diameter ≈ 200 nm) formed spontaneously and were characterized by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and light and small-angle neutron scattering. Moreover, for the first time, it is shown that magnetization measurements can be used to investigate self-assembly of such functionalized systems, giving information on the vesicle compo...

  17. ABC Triblock Copolymer Vesicles with Mesh-like Morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Russell, Thomas; Grason, Gregory

    2010-03-01

    Polymer vesicles can be made from poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b-2-vinylpyridene) (PI-b-PS-b-P2VP) triblock copolymer under the confinement of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane. It was found that these vesicles have well-defined, nanoscopic size and a microphase-separated hydrophobic core, comprised of PS and PI blocks. Vesicle formation was tracked using both transmission and scanning electron microscopy. A mesh-like morphology formed in the core at a well-defined composition of three blocks. Confinement played an important role in generating these vesicles with such an unusual morphology.

  18. Giant plasma membrane vesicles: models for understanding membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levental, Kandice R; Levental, Ilya

    2015-01-01

    The organization of eukaryotic membranes into functional domains continues to fascinate and puzzle cell biologists and biophysicists. The lipid raft hypothesis proposes that collective lipid interactions compartmentalize the membrane into coexisting liquid domains that are central to membrane physiology. This hypothesis has proven controversial because such structures cannot be directly visualized in live cells by light microscopy. The recent observations of liquid-liquid phase separation in biological membranes are an important validation of the raft hypothesis and enable application of the experimental toolbox of membrane physics to a biologically complex phase-separated membrane. This review addresses the role of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) in refining the raft hypothesis and expands on the application of GPMVs as an experimental model to answer some of key outstanding problems in membrane biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Structural and functional insights from the metagenome of an acidic hot spring microbial planktonic community in the Colombian Andes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Javier Jiménez

    Full Text Available A taxonomic and annotated functional description of microbial life was deduced from 53 Mb of metagenomic sequence retrieved from a planktonic fraction of the Neotropical high Andean (3,973 meters above sea level acidic hot spring El Coquito (EC. A classification of unassembled metagenomic reads using different databases showed a high proportion of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (in total read affiliation, and through taxonomic affiliation of 16S rRNA gene fragments we observed the pr