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Sample records for activation state insights

  1. Cationic Membrane Peptides: Atomic-Level Insight of Structure-Activity Relationships from Solid-State NMR

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yongchao; Li, Shenhui; Hong, Mei

    2012-01-01

    Many membrane-active peptides, such as cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), conduct their biological functions by interacting with the cell membrane. The interactions of charged residues with lipids and water facilitate membrane insertion, translocation or disruption of these highly hydrophobic species. In this mini-review we will summarize high-resolution structural and dynamic findings towards the understanding of the structure-activity relationship of lipid membrane-bound CPPs and AMPs, as examples of the current development of solid-state NMR (SSNMR) techniques for studying membrane peptides. We will present the most recent atomic-resolution structure of the guanidinium-phosphate complex, as constrained from experimentally measured site-specific distances. These SSNMR results will be valuable specifically for understanding the intracellular translocation pathway of CPPs and antimicrobial mechanism of AMPs, and more generally broaden our insight into how cationic macromolecules interact with and cross the lipid membrane. PMID:23108593

  2. Sport for All? Insight into Stratification and Compensation Mechanisms of Sporting Activity in the 27 European Union Member States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Tuyckom, Charlotte; Scheerder, Jeroen

    2010-01-01

    Physical activity is an important public health issue and the benefits of an active lifestyle in relation to well-being and health have been strongly emphasised in recent years in Europe, as well as in most parts of the world. However, previous research has shown that physical activity within Europe and its member states is stratified. The present…

  3. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics.

    PubMed

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R; Bickford, Paula C; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M

    2015-12-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells. PMID:26424600

  4. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics*

    PubMed Central

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E.; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M.; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R.; Bickford, Paula C.; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M.

    2015-01-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells. PMID:26424600

  5. Kiss1 neurons drastically change their firing activity in accordance with the reproductive state: insights from a seasonal breeder.

    PubMed

    Hasebe, Masaharu; Kanda, Shinji; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Akazome, Yasuhisa; Abe, Hideki; Oka, Yoshitaka

    2014-12-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss) neurons show drastic changes in kisspeptin expression in response to the serum sex steroid concentration in various vertebrate species. Thus, according to the reproductive states, kisspeptin neurons are suggested to modulate various neuronal activities, including the regulation of GnRH neurons in mammals. However, despite their reproductive state-dependent regulation, there is no physiological analysis of kisspeptin neurons in seasonal breeders. Here we generated the first kiss1-enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic line of a seasonal breeder, medaka, for histological and electrophysiological analyses using a whole-brain in vitro preparation in which most synaptic connections are intact. We found histologically that Kiss1 neurons in the nucleus ventralis tuberis (NVT) projected to the preoptic area, hypothalamus, pituitary, and ventral telencephalon. Therefore, NVT Kiss1 neurons may regulate various homeostatic functions and innate behaviors. Electrophysiological analyses revealed that they show various firing patterns, including bursting. Furthermore, we found that their firings are regulated by the resting membrane potential. However, bursting was not induced from the other firing patterns with a current injection, suggesting that it requires some chronic modulations of intrinsic properties such as channel expression. Finally, we found that NVT Kiss1 neurons drastically change their neuronal activities according to the reproductive state and the estradiol levels. Taken together with the previous reports, we here conclude that the breeding condition drastically alters the Kiss1 neuron activities in both gene expression and firing activities, the latter of which is strongly related to Kiss1 release, and the Kiss1 peptides regulate the activities of various neural circuits through their axonal projections. PMID:25247469

  6. Light activation of rhodopsin: insights from molecular dynamics simulations guided by solid-state NMR distance restraints

    PubMed Central

    Hornak, Viktor; Ahuja, Shivani; Eilers, Markus; Goncalves, Joseph A.; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J.; Smith, Steven O.

    2009-01-01

    Structural restraints provided by solid-state NMR measurements of the metarhodopsin II intermediate are combined with molecular dynamics simulations to help visualize the structural changes in the light activation of rhodopsin. Since the time scale for the formation of the metarhodopsin II intermediate (> 1 ms) is beyond that readily accessible by molecular dynamics, we use NMR distance restraints derived from 13C dipolar recoupling measurements to guide the simulations. The simulations yield a working model for how photoisomerization of the 11-cis retinylidene chromophore bound within the interior of rhodopsin is coupled to transmembrane helix motion and receptor activation. The mechanism of activation that emerges is that multiple switches on the extracellular (or intradiscal) side of rhodopsin trigger structural changes that converge to disrupt the ionic lock between helices H3 and H6 on the intracellular side of the receptor. PMID:20004206

  7. X-ray-induced catalytic active-site reduction of a multicopper oxidase: structural insights into the proton-relay mechanism and O2-reduction states.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Centeno-Leija, Sara; Rojas-Trejo, Sonia Patricia; Rodríguez-Almazán, Claudia; Stojanoff, Vivian; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique

    2015-12-01

    During X-ray data collection from a multicopper oxidase (MCO) crystal, electrons and protons are mainly released into the system by the radiolysis of water molecules, leading to the X-ray-induced reduction of O2 to 2H2O at the trinuclear copper cluster (TNC) of the enzyme. In this work, 12 crystallographic structures of Thermus thermophilus HB27 multicopper oxidase (Tth-MCO) in holo, apo and Hg-bound forms and with different X-ray absorbed doses have been determined. In holo Tth-MCO structures with four Cu atoms, the proton-donor residue Glu451 involved in O2 reduction was found in a double conformation: Glu451a (∼7 Å from the TNC) and Glu451b (∼4.5 Å from the TNC). A positive peak of electron density above 3.5σ in an Fo - Fc map for Glu451a O(ℇ2) indicates the presence of a carboxyl functional group at the side chain, while its significant absence in Glu451b strongly suggests a carboxylate functional group. In contrast, for apo Tth-MCO and in Hg-bound structures neither the positive peak nor double conformations were observed. Together, these observations provide the first structural evidence for a proton-relay mechanism in the MCO family and also support previous studies indicating that Asp106 does not provide protons for this mechanism. In addition, eight composite structures (Tth-MCO-C1-8) with different X-ray-absorbed doses allowed the observation of different O2-reduction states, and a total depletion of T2Cu at doses higher than 0.2 MGy showed the high susceptibility of this Cu atom to radiation damage, highlighting the importance of taking radiation effects into account in biochemical interpretations of an MCO structure. PMID:26627648

  8. Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    People sometimes solve problems with a unique process called insight, accompanied by an “Aha!” experience. It has long been unclear whether different cognitive and neural processes lead to insight versus noninsight solutions, or if solutions differ only in subsequent subjective feeling. Recent behavioral studies indicate distinct patterns of performance and suggest differential hemispheric involvement for insight and noninsight solutions. Subjects solved verbal problems, and after each correct solution indicated whether they solved with or without insight. We observed two objective neural correlates of insight. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (Experiment 1) revealed increased activity in the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus for insight relative to noninsight solutions. The same region was active during initial solving efforts. Scalp electroencephalogram recordings (Experiment 2) revealed a sudden burst of high-frequency (gamma-band) neural activity in the same area beginning 0.3 s prior to insight solutions. This right anterior temporal area is associated with making connections across distantly related information during comprehension. Although all problem solving relies on a largely shared cortical network, the sudden flash of insight occurs when solvers engage distinct neural and cognitive processes that allow them to see connections that previously eluded them. PMID:15094802

  9. Polarization insights for active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonucci, Robert

    Optical spectropolarimetry and broadband polarimetry in other wavebands has been a key to understanding many diverse aspects of AGN. In some cases polarization is due to synchrotron radiation, and in other cases it's due to scattering. Recognition of relativistically beamed optical synchrotron emission by polarization was vital for understanding blazars (BL Lacs and Optically Violently Variable quasars), both physically and geometrically. Radio polarimetry of quiescent AGN is equally important, again for both purposes. Scattering polarization was central to the Unified Model for Seyferts, Radio Galaxies and (high ionization) Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies. It provides a periscope for viewing AGN from other directions. Finally, if we could understand its message, polarization would also provide major insights regarding the nature of the AGN "Featureless Continuum" and Broad (emission) Line Region. I point out that high ionization ULIRGs have all the exact right properties to the called Quasar 2s. Mid-IR observations generally don't penetrate to the nucleus, greatly reducing their ability to diagnose the energy source. In particular, LINER ULIRGs aren't necessarily starburst-dominated, as has been claimed.

  10. Orbitofrontal activation restores insight lost after cocaine use.

    PubMed

    Lucantonio, Federica; Takahashi, Yuji K; Hoffman, Alexander F; Chang, Chun Yun; Bali-Chaudhary, Sheena; Shaham, Yavin; Lupica, Carl R; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2014-08-01

    Addiction is characterized by a lack of insight into the likely outcomes of one's behavior. Insight, or the ability to imagine outcomes, is evident when outcomes have not been directly experienced. Using this concept, work in both rats and humans has recently identified neural correlates of insight in the medial and orbital prefrontal cortices. We found that these correlates were selectively abolished in rats by cocaine self-administration. Their abolition was associated with behavioral deficits and reduced synaptic efficacy in orbitofrontal cortex, the reversal of which by optogenetic activation restored normal behavior. These results provide a link between cocaine use and problems with insight. Deficits in these functions are likely to be particularly important for problems such as drug relapse, in which behavior fails to account for likely adverse outcomes. As such, our data provide a neural target for therapeutic approaches to address these defining long-term effects of drug use. PMID:25042581

  11. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

    The voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Structurally, BK channels are homologous to voltage- and ligand-gated K+ channels, having a voltage sensor and pore as the membrane-spanning domain and a cytosolic domain containing metal binding sites. Recently published electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel provided the first look into the assembly of these domains, corroborating the close interactions among these domains during channel gating that have been suggested by functional studies. This review discusses these latest findings and an emerging new understanding about BK channel gating and implications for diseases such as epilepsy, in which mutations in BK channel genes have been associated. PMID:20663573

  12. Insights into the "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Ye, De-Kai; Wang, Yun-Yi; Lu, Tao; Xia, Xing-Hua

    2013-04-21

    The investigation of enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfined spaces mimicking the conditions in living systems is of great significance. Here, a nanofluidics chip integrated with an electrochemical detector has been designed for studying "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement. The nanofluidics chip is fabricated using the UV-ablation technique developed in our group. The enzyme and substrate solutions are simultaneously supplied from two single streams into a nanochannel through a Y-shaped junction. The laminar flow forms in the front of the nanochannel, then the two liquids fully mix at their downstream where a homogeneous enzyme reaction occurs. The "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement can thus be investigated in this laminar flow based nanofluidics device. For demonstration, glucose oxidase (GOx) is chosen as the model enzyme, which catalyzes the oxidation of beta-d-glucose. The reaction product hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can be electrochemically detected by a microelectrode aligning to the end of nanochannel. The steady-state electrochemical current responding to various glucose concentrations is used to evaluate the activity of the "free state" GOx under nanoconfinement conditions. The effect of liquid flow rate, enzyme concentration, and nanoconfinement on reaction kinetics has been studied in detail. Results show that the "free state" GOx activity increases significantly compared to the immobilized enzyme and bath system, and the GOx reaction rate in the nanochannel is two-fold faster than that in bulk solution, demonstrating the importance of "free state" and spatial confinement for the enzyme reaction kinetics. The present approach provides an effective method for exploiting the "free state" enzyme activity in nanospatial confinement. PMID:23429726

  13. MAPK-Activated Protein Kinases (MKs): Novel Insights and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gaestel, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Downstream of MAPKs, such as classical/atypical ERKs and p38 MAPKs, but not of JNKs, signaling is often mediated by protein kinases which are phosphorylated and activated by MAPKs and, therefore, designated MAPK-activated protein kinases (MAPKAPKs). Recently, novel insights into the specificity of the assembly of MAPK/MAPKAPK hetero-dimeric protein kinase signaling complexes have been gained. In addition, new functional aspects of MKs have been described and established functions have been challenged. This short review will summarize recent developments including the linear motif (LM) in MKs, the ERK-independent activation of RSK, the RSK-independent effects of some RSK-inhibitors and the challenged role of MK5/PRAK in tumor suppression. PMID:26779481

  14. MAPK-Activated Protein Kinases (MKs): Novel Insights and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Gaestel, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Downstream of MAPKs, such as classical/atypical ERKs and p38 MAPKs, but not of JNKs, signaling is often mediated by protein kinases which are phosphorylated and activated by MAPKs and, therefore, designated MAPK-activated protein kinases (MAPKAPKs). Recently, novel insights into the specificity of the assembly of MAPK/MAPKAPK hetero-dimeric protein kinase signaling complexes have been gained. In addition, new functional aspects of MKs have been described and established functions have been challenged. This short review will summarize recent developments including the linear motif (LM) in MKs, the ERK-independent activation of RSK, the RSK-independent effects of some RSK-inhibitors and the challenged role of MK5/PRAK in tumor suppression. PMID:26779481

  15. Insights on activation enthalpy for non-Schmid slip in body-centered cubic metals

    SciTech Connect

    Hale, Lucas M.; Lim, Hojun; Zimmerman, Jonathan A.; Battaile, Corbett C.; Weinberger, Christopher R.

    2014-12-18

    We use insights gained from atomistic simulation to develop an activation enthalpy model for dislocation slip in body-centered cubic iron. Furthermore, using a classical potential that predicts dislocation core stabilities consistent with ab initio predictions, we quantify the non-Schmid stress-dependent effects of slip. The kink-pair activation enthalpy is evaluated and a model is identified as a function of the general stress state. Thus, our model enlarges the applicability of the classic Kocks activation enthalpy model to materials with non-Schmid behavior.

  16. An allolactose trapped at the lacZ β-galactosidase active site with its galactosyl moiety in a (4)H3 conformation provides insights into the formation, conformation, and stabilization of the transition state.

    PubMed

    Wheatley, Robert W; Huber, Reuben E

    2015-12-01

    When lactose was incubated with G794A-β-galactosidase (a variant with a "closed" active site loop that binds transition state analogs well) an allolactose was trapped with its Gal moiety in a (4)H3 conformation, similar to the oxocarbenium ion-like conformation expected of the transition state. The numerous interactions formed between the (4)H3 structure and β-galactosidase indicate that this structure is representative of the transition state. This conformation is also very similar to that of d-galactono-1,5-lactone, a good transition state analog. Evidence indicates that substrates take up the (4)H3 conformation during migration from the shallow to the deep mode. Steric forces utilizing His418 and other residues are important for positioning the O1 leaving group into a quasi-axial position. An electrostatic interaction between the O5 of the distorted Gal and Tyr503 as well as C-H-π bonds with Trp568 are also significant. Computational studies of the energy of sugar ring distortion show that the β-galactosidase reaction itinerary is driven by energetic considerations in utilization of a (4)H3 transition state with a novel (4)C1-(4)H3-(4)C1 conformation itinerary. To our knowledge, this is the first X-ray crystallographic structural demonstration that the transition state of a natural substrate of a glycosidase has a (4)H3 conformation. PMID:26291713

  17. Mechanisms of inflammasome activation: recent advances and novel insights

    PubMed Central

    Vanaja, Sivapriya; Rathinam, Vijay K.

    2015-01-01

    Inflammasomes are cytosolic multiprotein platforms assembled in response to invading pathogens and other danger signals. Typically inflammasome complexes contain a sensor protein, an adaptor protein and a zymogen, procaspase-1. Formation of inflammasome assembly results in processing of inactive procasase-1 into an active cysteine protease enzyme, caspase-1, which subsequently activates proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β and IL-18, and induces pyroptosis, a highly pyrogenic inflammatory form of cell death. Studies over the last year have unveiled exciting new players and regulatory pathways that are involved in traditional inflammasome signaling, some of them even challenging the existing dogma. This review outlines these new insights in inflammasome research and discusses areas that warrant further exploration. PMID:25639489

  18. Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogner, Donna, Ed.

    1988-01-01

    Describes two methods to teach radioactive decay to secondary students with wide ranging abilities. Activities are designed to follow classroom discussions of atomic structure, transmutation, half life, and nuclear decay. Includes "The Tasmanian Empire: A Radioactive Dating Activity" and an exercise to teach concepts of half life without using…

  19. Receptor Activity-Modifying Proteins (RAMPs): New Insights and Roles.

    PubMed

    Hay, Debbie L; Pioszak, Augen A

    2016-01-01

    It is now recognized that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), once considered largely independent functional units, have a far more diverse molecular architecture. Receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) provide an important example of proteins that interact with GPCRs to modify their function. RAMPs are able to act as pharmacological switches and chaperones, and they can regulate signaling and/or trafficking in a receptor-dependent manner. This review covers recent discoveries in the RAMP field and summarizes the known GPCR partners and functions of RAMPs. We also discuss the first peptide-bound structures of RAMP-GPCR complexes, which give insight into the molecular mechanisms that enable RAMPs to alter the pharmacology and signaling of GPCRs. PMID:26514202

  20. Update: Influenza Activity - United States.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sophie; Blanton, Lenee; Kniss, Krista; Mustaquim, Desiree; Steffens, Craig; Reed, Carrie; Bramley, Anna; Flannery, Brendan; Fry, Alicia M; Grohskopf, Lisa A; Bresee, Joseph; Wallis, Teresa; Garten, Rebecca; Xu, Xiyan; Elal, Anwar Isa Abd; Gubareva, Larisa; Barnes, John; Wentworth, David E; Burns, Erin; Katz, Jacqueline; Jernigan, Daniel; Brammer, Lynnette

    2015-12-11

    CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes data on influenza activity year-round in the United States. The influenza season generally begins in the fall and continues through the winter and spring months; however, the timing and severity of circulating influenza viruses can vary by geographic location and season. Influenza activity in the United States remained low through October and November in 2015. Influenza A viruses have been most frequently identified, with influenza A (H3) viruses predominating. This report summarizes U.S. influenza activity for the period October 4-November 28, 2015. PMID:26656182

  1. On the time to steady state: insights from numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goren, L.; Willett, S.; McCoy, S. W.; Perron, J.

    2013-12-01

    How fast do fluvial landscapes approach steady state after an application of tectonic or climatic perturbation? While theory and some numerical models predict that the celerity of the advective wave (knickpoint) controls the response time for perturbations, experiments and other landscape evolution models demonstrate that the time to steady state is much longer than the theoretically predicted response time. We posit that the longevity of transient features and the time to steady state are controlled by the stability of the topology and geometry of channel networks. Evolution of a channel network occurs by a combination of discrete capture events and continuous migration of water divides, processes, which are difficult to represent accurately in landscape evolution models. We therefore address the question of the time to steady state using the DAC landscape evolution model that solves accurately for the location of water divides, using a combination of analytical solution for hillslopes and low-order channels together with a numerical solution for higher order channels. DAC also includes an explicit capture criterion. We have tested fundamental predictions from DAC and show that modeled networks reproduce natural network characteristics such as the Hack's exponent and coefficient and the fractal dimension. We define two steady-state criteria: a topographic steady state, defined by global, pointwise steady elevation, and a topological steady state defined as the state in which no further reorganization of the drainage network takes place. Analyzing block uplift simulations, we find that the time to achieve either topographic or topological steady state exceeds by an order of magnitude the theoretical response time of the fluvial network. The longevity of the transient state is the result of the area feedback, by which, migration of a divide changes the local contributing area. This change propagates downstream as a slope adjustment, forcing further divide migrations

  2. New insight into the physical state of galaxies and quasars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, R. F.

    1981-01-01

    Data from the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite have revolutionized many concepts in extragalactic astronomy. These include the physical processes at work in the emitting gas characteristic of active objects, the nature of the continuum source itself in those objects, and the constituent hot stellar and gaseous components of normal galaxies. Several problems of extragalactic research investigated with IUE were reviewed.

  3. Building Capacity for Tracking Human Capital Development and Its Mobility across State Lines. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prescott, Brian T.

    2014-01-01

    This issue of "Policy Insights" provides a review of the past five years of the cost and value of higher education, which have gained increased policymaker, consumer, and media attention. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has worked with four of its member states (Hawai'i, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) to…

  4. Constitutive Activation of G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Diseases: Insights into Mechanisms of Activation and Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Ya-Xiong

    2008-01-01

    The existence of constitutive activity for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) was first described in 1980s. In 1991, the first naturally occurring constitutively active mutations in GPCRs that cause diseases were reported in rhodopsin. Since then, numerous constitutively active mutations that cause human diseases were reported in several additional receptors. More recently, loss of constitutive activity was postulated to also cause diseases. Animal models expressing some of these mutants confirmed the roles of these mutations in the pathogenesis of the diseases. Detailed functional studies of these naturally occurring mutations, combined with homology modeling using rhodopsin crystal structure as the template, lead to important insights into the mechanism of activation in the absence of crystal structure of GPCRs in active state. Search for inverse agonists on these receptors will be critical for correcting the diseases cause by activating mutations in GPCRs. Theoretically, these inverse agonists are better therapeutics than neutral antagonists in treating genetic diseases caused by constitutively activating mutations in GPCRs. PMID:18768149

  5. Design Insights for Tuning the Electrocatalytic Activity of Perovskite Oxides for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Malkhandi, S; Trinh, P; Manohar, AK; Manivannan, A; Balasubramanian, M; Prakash, GKS; Narayanan, SR

    2015-04-16

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries and water electrolyzers based on aqueous alkaline electrolytes hold the potential to be sustainable solutions to address the challenge of storing large amounts of electrical energy generated from solar and wind resources. For these batteries and electrolyzers to be economically viable, it is essential to have efficient, durable, and inexpensive electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction. In this article, we describe new insights for predicting and tuning the activity of inexpensive transition metal oxides for designing efficient and inexpensive electrocatalysts. We have focused on understanding the factors determining the electrocatalytic activity for oxygen evolution in a strong alkaline medium. To this end, we have conducted a systematic investigation of nanophase calcium-doped lanthanum cobalt manganese oxide, an example of a mixed metal oxide that can be tuned for its electrocatalytic activity by varying the transition metal composition. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electrochemical polarization experiments, and analysis of mechanisms, we have identified the key determinants of electrocatalytic activity. We have found that the Tafel slopes are determined by the oxidation states and the bond energy of the surface intermediates of Mn-OH and Co-OH bonds while the catalytic activity increased with the average d-electron occupancy of the sigma* orbital of the M-OH bond. We anticipate that such understanding will be very useful in predicting the behavior of other transition metal oxide catalysts.

  6. THE STATE TOBACCO ACTIVITIES TRACKING AND EVALUATION (STATE) SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System is an electronic data warehouse containing up-to-date and historical state-level data on tobacco use prevention and control. The STATE System is designed to integrate many data sources to provide comprehensive su...

  7. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Yuting; Gao, Yuefeng; Xu, Quanbin; Wang, Feng; Zhu, Songcheng; Old, William; Resing, Katheryn; Ahn, Natalie; Lei, Ming; Liu, Xuedong

    2010-11-05

    Mps1 is one of the several essential kinases whose activation is required for robust mitotic spindle checkpoint signalling. The activity of Mps1 is tightly regulated and increases dramatically during mitosis or in response to spindle damage. To understand the molecular mechanism underlying Mps1 regulation, we determined the crystal structure of the kinase domain of Mps1. The 2.7-{angstrom}-resolution crystal structure shows that the Mps1 kinase domain adopts a unique inactive conformation. Intramolecular interactions between the key Glu residue in the {alpha}C helix of the N-terminal lobe and the backbone amides in the catalytic loop lock the kinase in the inactive conformation. Autophosphorylation appears to be a priming event for kinase activation. We identified Mps1 autophosphorylation sites in the activation and the P+1 loops. Whereas activation loop autophosphorylation enhances kinase activity, autophosphorylation at the P+1 loop (T686) is associated with the active kinase. Mutation of T686 autophosphorylation site impairs both autophosphorylation and transphosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that phosphorylation of T676 may be a priming event for phosphorylation at T686. Finally, we identified two critical lysine residues in the loop between helices {alpha}EF and {alpha}F that are essential for substrate recruitment and maintaining high levels of kinase activity. Our studies reveal critical biochemical mechanisms for Mps1 kinase regulation.

  8. Sodium channel activation mechanisms. Insights from deuterium oxide substitution

    SciTech Connect

    Alicata, D.A.; Rayner, M.D.; Starkus, J.G. )

    1990-04-01

    Schauf and Bullock, using Myxicola giant axons, demonstrated that solvent substitution with deuterium oxide (D2O) significantly affects both sodium channel activation and inactivation kinetics without corresponding changes in gating current or tail current rates. They concluded that (a) no significant component of gating current derives from the final channel opening step, and (b) channels must deactivate (during tail currents) by a different pathway from that used in channel opening. By contrast, Oxford found in squid axons that when a depolarizing pulse is interrupted by a brief (approximately 100 microseconds) return to holding potential, subsequent reactivation (secondary activation) is very rapid and shows almost monoexponential kinetics. Increasing the interpulse interval resulted in secondary activation rate returning towards control, sigmoid (primary activation) kinetics. He concluded that channels open and close (deactivate) via the same pathway. We have repeated both sets of observations in crayfish axons, confirming the results obtained in both previous studies, despite the apparently contradictory conclusions reached by these authors. On the other hand, we find that secondary activation after a brief interpulse interval (50 microseconds) is insensitive to D2O, although reactivation after longer interpulse intervals (approximately 400 microseconds) returns towards a D2O sensitivity similar to that of primary activation. We conclude that D2O-sensitive primary activation and D2O-insensitive tail current deactivation involve separate pathways. However, D2O-insensitive secondary activation involves reversal of the D2O-insensitive deactivation step. These conclusions are consistent with parallel gate models, provided that one gating particle has a substantially reduced effective valence.

  9. Insight into the Mechanism of Intramolecular Inhibition of the Catalytic Activity of Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jinyu; Flick, Franziska; Verheugd, Patricia; Carloni, Paolo; Lüscher, Bernhard; Rossetti, Giulia

    2015-01-01

    Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) is a NAD+-dependent deacetylase that has been associated with neurodegeneration and cancer. SIRT2 is composed of a central catalytic domain, the structure of which has been solved, and N- and C-terminal extensions that are thought to control SIRT2 function. However structural information of these N- and C-terminal regions is missing. Here, we provide the first full-length molecular models of SIRT2 in the absence and presence of NAD+. We also predict the structural alterations associated with phosphorylation of SIRT2 at S331, a modification that inhibits catalytic activity. Bioinformatics tools and molecular dynamics simulations, complemented by in vitro deacetylation assays, provide a consistent picture based on which the C-terminal region of SIRT2 is suggested to function as an autoinhibitory region. This has the capacity to partially occlude the NAD+ binding pocket or stabilize the NAD+ in a non-productive state. Furthermore, our simulations suggest that the phosphorylation at S331 causes large conformational changes in the C-terminal region that enhance the autoinhibitory activity, consistent with our previous findings that phosphorylation of S331 by cyclin-dependent kinases inhibits SIRT2 catalytic activity. The molecular insight into the role of the C-terminal region in controlling SIRT2 function described in this study may be useful for future design of selective inhibitors targeting SIRT2 for therapeutic applications. PMID:26407304

  10. Unraveling the actions of AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic diseases: Systemic to molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Weikel, Karen A; Ruderman, Neil B; Cacicedo, José M

    2016-05-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a critical role both in sensing and regulating cellular energy state. In experimental animals, its activation has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes-related co-morbidities such as insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, in humans, AMPK activation alone often does not completely resolve these conditions. Thus, an improved understanding of AMPK action and regulation in metabolic and other diseases is needed. Herein, we provide a brief description of the enzymatic regulation of AMPK and review its role in maintaining energy homeostasis. We then discuss tissue-specific actions of AMPK that become distorted during such conditions as obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Finally, we explore recent findings regarding the interactions of AMPK with mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and the lysosome and discuss how changes in these relationships during overnutrition may lead to AMPK dysfunction. A more thorough understanding of AMPK's molecular interactions during diseases of overnutrition may provide key insights for the development of AMPK-based combinatorial treatments for metabolic disease. PMID:27085772

  11. Valsalva maneuver: Insights into baroreflex modulation of human sympathetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Michael L.; Eckberg, Dwain L.; Fritsch, Janice M.; Beightol, Larry A.; Ellenbogen, Kenneth A.

    1991-01-01

    Valsalva's maneuver, voluntary forced expiration against a closed glottis, is a well-characterized research tool, used to assess the integrity of human autonomic cardiovascular control. Valsalva straining provokes a stereotyped succession of alternating positive and negative arterial pressure and heart rate changes mediated in part by arterial baroreceptors. Arterial pressure changes result primarily from fluctuating levels of venous return to the heart and changes of sympathetic nerve activity. Muscle sympathetic activity was measured directly in nine volunteers to explore quantitatively the relation between arterial pressure and human sympathetic outflow during pressure transients provoked by controlled graded Valsalva maneuvers. Our results underscore several properties of sympathetic regulation during Valsalva straining. First, muscle sympathetic nerve activity changes as a mirror image of changes in arterial pressure. Second, the magnitude of sympathetic augmentation during Valsalva straining predicts phase 4 arterial pressure elevations. Third, post-Valsalva sympathetic inhibition persists beyond the return of arterial and right atrial pressures to baseline levels which reflects an alteration of the normal relation between arterial pressure and muscle sympathetic activity. Therefore, Valsalva straining may have some utility for investigating changes of reflex control of sympathetic activity after space flight; however, measurement of beat-to-beat arterial pressure is essential for this use. The utility of this technique in microgravity can not be determined from these data. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether these relations are affected by the expansion of intrathoracic blood volume associated with microgravity.

  12. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Lawson, Gareth L

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function. PMID:26515810

  13. More insights into a human adipose tissue GPAT activity assay

    PubMed Central

    Morgan-Bathke, Maria; Chen, Liang; Oberschneider, Elisabeth; Harteneck, Debra; Jensen, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Adipose tissue fatty acid storage varies according to sex, adipose tissue depot and degree of fat gain. However, the mechanism(s) for these variations is not completely understood. We recently published findings based on the glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) enzyme activity assay we optimized for use with human adipose tissue. These findings include a decrease in total GPAT and GPAT1 as a function of adipocyte size in both omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue and a strong, positive correlations between ACS, GPAT, and DGAT activities for both sexes and depots and between these storage factors and palmitate storage rates into TAG. The aim of this commentary is to expand upon the data from our recent publication. We describe here additional details on the optimization of the GPAT enzyme activity assay, a correlation between DGAT and percentage palmitate in the diacylglycerol fraction, and sex differences in fatty acid storage factors and storage rates into TAG at high palmitate concentrations. PMID:27144101

  14. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Lawson, Gareth L.

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function.

  15. Recent insight into the biological activities of synthetic xanthone derivatives.

    PubMed

    Shagufta; Ahmad, Irshad

    2016-06-30

    Xanthones are a class of oxygen containing heterocyclic compounds with a broad range of biological activities, and they have prominent significance in the field of medicinal chemistry. Xanthone is an attractive scaffold for the design and development of new drugs due to its promising biological activities, primarily as anticancer, antimalarial, antimicrobial, anti-HIV, anticonvulsant, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and as inhibitors of several enzymes like α-glycosidase, topoisomerase, protein kinase, aromatase, etc. In this review, we have compiled and discussed recent developments on the pharmacological profile of synthetic xanthone derivatives for different therapeutic targets. The review highlights the therapeutic significance of xanthones and offers support in the development of new xanthone derivatives as therapeutic agents. PMID:27111599

  16. Insight in the Chemistry of Laser-Activated Dental Bleaching

    PubMed Central

    De Moor, Roeland Jozef Gentil; Meire, Maarten August; De Coster, Peter Jozef; Walsh, Laurence James

    2015-01-01

    The use of optical radiation for the activation of bleaching products has not yet been completely elucidated. Laser light is suggested to enhance the oxidizing effect of hydrogen peroxide. Different methods of enhancing hydrogen peroxide based bleaching are possible. They can be classified into six groups: alkaline pH environment, thermal enhancement and photothermal effect, photooxidation effect and direct photobleaching, photolysis effect and photodissociation, Fenton reaction and photocatalysis, and photodynamic effect. PMID:25874251

  17. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase.

    PubMed

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A; Norman, Richard A; Scott, Andrew D; Higazi, Daniel R; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S; Breeze, Alexander L

    2015-01-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp-Phe-Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called 'DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a 'DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and 'molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1. PMID:26203596

  18. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J.; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A.; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A.; Norman, Richard A.; Scott, Andrew D.; Higazi, Daniel R.; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S.; Breeze, Alexander L.

    2015-07-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp-Phe-Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called `DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a `DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and `molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1.

  19. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J.; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A.; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A.; Norman, Richard A.; Scott, Andrew D.; Higazi, Daniel R.; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S.; Breeze, Alexander L.

    2015-01-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp–Phe–Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called ‘DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a ‘DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and ‘molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1. PMID:26203596

  20. Proteomics reliability for micropollutants degradation insight into activated sludge systems.

    PubMed

    Buttiglieri, Gianluigi; Collado, Neus; Casas, Nuria; Comas, Joaquim; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available on pharmaceutical trace compounds degradation pathways in wastewater. The potential of the proteomics approach has been evaluated to extract information on activated sludge microbial metabolism in degrading a trace concentration of a pharmaceutical compound (ibuprofen). Ibuprofen is one of the most consumed pharmaceuticals, measured in wastewater at very high concentrations and, despite its high removal rates, found in different environmental compartments. Aerated and completely mixed activated sludge batch tests were spiked with ibuprofen at 10 and 1,000 μg L(-1). Ibuprofen concentrations were determined in the liquid phase: 100% removal was observed and the kinetics were estimated. The solid phase was sampled for proteomics purposes. The first objective was to apply proteomics to evaluate protein profile variations in a complex matrix such as activated sludge. The second objective was to determine, at different ibuprofen concentrations, which proteins followed pre-defined trends. No newly expressed proteins were found. Nonetheless, the obtained results suggest that proteomics itself is a promising methodology to be applied in this field. Statistical and comparative studies analyses provided, in fact, useful information on biological reproducibility and permitted us to detect 62 proteins following coherent and plausible expected trends in terms of presence and intensity change. PMID:26360747

  1. Structural insights into μ-opioid receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Weijiao; Manglik, Aashish; Venkatakrishnan, A. J.; Laeremans, Toon; Feinberg, Evan N.; Sanborn, Adrian L.; Kato, Hideaki E.; Livingston, Kathryn E.; Thorsen, Thor S.; Kling, Ralf; Granier, Sébastien; Gmeiner, Peter; Husbands, Stephen M.; Traynor, John R.; Weis, William I.; Steyaert, Jan; Dror, Ron O.; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Activation of the μ-opioid receptor (μOR) is responsible for the efficacy of the most effective analgesics. To understand the structural basis for μOR activation, we obtained a 2.1 Å X-ray crystal structure of the μOR bound to the morphinan agonist BU72 and stabilized by a G protein-mimetic camelid-antibody fragment. The BU72-stabilized changes in the μOR binding pocket are subtle and differ from those observed for agonist-bound structures of the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) and the M2 muscarinic receptor (M2R). Comparison with active β2AR reveals a common rearrangement in the packing of three conserved amino acids in the core of the μOR, and molecular dynamics simulations illustrate how the ligand-binding pocket is conformationally linked to this conserved triad. Additionally, an extensive polar network between the ligand-binding pocket and the cytoplasmic domains appears to play a similar role in signal propagation for all three GPCRs. PMID:26245379

  2. New insights into the behavior of muscle during active lengthening.

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, D L

    1990-01-01

    A muscle fiber was modeled as a series-connected string of sarcomeres, using an A. V. Hill type model for each sarcomere and allowing for some random variation in the properties of the sarcomeres. Applying stretches to this model led to the prediction that lengthening of active muscle on or beyond the plateau of the length tension curve will take place very nonuniformly, essentially by rapid, uncontrolled elongation of individual sarcomeres, one at a time, in order from the weakest toward the strongest. Such a "popped" sarcomere, at least in a single fiber, will be stretched to a length where there is no overlap between thick and thin filaments, and the tension is borne by passive components. This prediction allows modeling of many results that have previously been inexplicable, notably the permanent extra tension after stretch on the descending limb of the length tension curve, and the continued rise of tension during a continued stretch. PMID:2317547

  3. State Court Law-Related Education Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Bar Association, Chicago, IL. Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship.

    This document lists the law-related education activities conducted by state courts. The listings are arranged by state. Entries list the name of the court, a list of activities provided, descriptions of unusual programs, guidelines for programs that some of the courts have developed, and the name, title or committee, address, and phone number of a…

  4. Small Molecule Activation by Constrained Phosphorus Compounds: Insights from Theory.

    PubMed

    Pal, Amrita; Vanka, Kumar

    2016-01-19

    An exciting new development in main group chemistry has been the use of a constrained, "flat", phosphorus-based complex to mediate in reactions such as the dehydrogenation of ammonia borane (AB), and the activation of the N-H bond in primary amines. Its importance is based on the fact that it shows that main group compounds, when properly designed, can be as effective as transition metal complexes for doing significant chemical transformations. What the current computational study, employing density functional theory (DFT), reveals is that a common, general mechanism exists that accounts for the behavior of the flat phosphorus compound in the different reactions that have been experimentally reported to date. This mechanism, which involves the mediation by a base as a proton transfer agent, is simpler and energetically more favorable than the previous mechanisms that have been proposed for the same reactions in the literature. It is likely that the knowledge gained from the current work about the chemical behavior of this phosphorus compound can be utilized to design new constrained phosphorus-based compounds. PMID:26700074

  5. An Insightful Steady-State Performance of a Squirrel Cage Induction Generator Enhanced with STATCOM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojo, Olorunfemi; Khayamy, Mehdy; Bule, Mehari

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents the regulation of the terminal voltage and reactive power of a grid-connected squirrel cage induction generator. A shunt connected voltage source inverter (VSI) with a capacitor in the DC side operating as a Static Compensator (STATCOM) and a shunt capacitor are used for regulating the generator terminal voltage and limit the reactive power demand from the grid. Simulation results for steady-state operation for a wide variation of speed in the super-synchronous region are presented as well as the dynamic stability of the system. Closed-form steady-state characteristics equations for the system are used to determine key variables and to demonstrate how the operation of the system depends on various parameters. This characteristics curve which contains all of the equations of the system provides the all in one insightful view to the inherent characteristics of the system and the effect of the parameter variation on the terminal voltage plane.

  6. Structural Insights into the Catalytic Active Site and Activity of Human Nit2/ω-Amidase

    PubMed Central

    Chien, Chin-Hsiang; Gao, Quan-Ze; Cooper, Arthur J. L.; Lyu, Jyun-Hong; Sheu, Sheh-Yi

    2012-01-01

    Human nitrilase-like protein 2 (hNit2) is a putative tumor suppressor, recently identified as ω-amidase. hNit2/ω-amidase plays a crucial metabolic role by catalyzing the hydrolysis of α-ketoglutaramate (the α-keto analog of glutamine) and α-ketosuccinamate (the α-keto analog of asparagine), yielding α-ketoglutarate and oxaloacetate, respectively. Transamination between glutamine and α-keto-γ-methiolbutyrate closes the methionine salvage pathway. Thus, hNit2/ω-amidase links sulfur metabolism to the tricarboxylic acid cycle. To elucidate the catalytic specificity of hNit2/ω-amidase, we performed molecular dynamics simulations on the wild type enzyme and its mutants to investigate enzyme-substrate interactions. Binding free energies were computed to characterize factors contributing to the substrate specificity. The predictions resulting from these computations were verified by kinetic analyses and mutational studies. The activity of hNit2/ω-amidase was determined with α-ketoglutaramate and succinamate as substrates. We constructed three catalytic triad mutants (E43A, K112A, and C153A) and a mutant with a loop 116–128 deletion to validate the role of key residues and the 116–128 loop region in substrate binding and turnover. The molecular dynamics simulations successfully verified the experimental trends in the binding specificity of hNit2/ω-amidase toward various substrates. Our findings have revealed novel structural insights into the binding of substrates to hNit2/ω-amidase. A catalytic triad and the loop residues 116–128 of hNit2 play an essential role in supporting the stability of the enzyme-substrate complex, resulting in the generation of the catalytic products. These observations are predicted to be of benefit in the design of new inhibitors or activators for research involving cancer and hyperammonemic diseases. PMID:22674578

  7. Mechanistic insights into metal ion activation and operator recognition by the ferric uptake regulator

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Zengqin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Zhao; Zhang, Manfeng; Machado, Ana Carolina Dantas; Chiu, Tsu-Pei; Feng, Chong; Zhang, Qi; Yu, Lin; Qi, Lei; Zheng, Jiangge; Wang, Xu; Huo, XinMei; Qi, Xiaoxuan; Li, Xiaorong; Wu, Wei; Rohs, Remo; Li, Ying; Chen, Zhongzhou

    2015-01-01

    Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays a key role in the iron homeostasis of prokaryotes, such as bacterial pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms and structural basis of Fur–DNA binding remain incompletely understood. Here, we report high-resolution structures of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 Fur in four different states: apo-Fur, holo-Fur, the Fur–feoAB1 operator complex and the Fur–Pseudomonas aeruginosa Fur box complex. Apo-Fur is a transition metal ion-independent dimer whose binding induces profound conformational changes and confers DNA-binding ability. Structural characterization, mutagenesis, biochemistry and in vivo data reveal that Fur recognizes DNA by using a combination of base readout through direct contacts in the major groove and shape readout through recognition of the minor-groove electrostatic potential by lysine. The resulting conformational plasticity enables Fur binding to diverse substrates. Our results provide insights into metal ion activation and substrate recognition by Fur that suggest pathways to engineer magnetotactic bacteria and antipathogenic drugs. PMID:26134419

  8. Mechanistic insights into metal ion activation and operator recognition by the ferric uptake regulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Zengqin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Zhao; Zhang, Manfeng; Machado, Ana Carolina Dantas; Chiu, Tsu-Pei; Feng, Chong; Zhang, Qi; Yu, Lin; Qi, Lei; Zheng, Jiangge; Wang, Xu; Huo, Xinmei; Qi, Xiaoxuan; Li, Xiaorong; Wu, Wei; Rohs, Remo; Li, Ying; Chen, Zhongzhou

    2015-07-01

    Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays a key role in the iron homeostasis of prokaryotes, such as bacterial pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms and structural basis of Fur-DNA binding remain incompletely understood. Here, we report high-resolution structures of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 Fur in four different states: apo-Fur, holo-Fur, the Fur-feoAB1 operator complex and the Fur-Pseudomonas aeruginosa Fur box complex. Apo-Fur is a transition metal ion-independent dimer whose binding induces profound conformational changes and confers DNA-binding ability. Structural characterization, mutagenesis, biochemistry and in vivo data reveal that Fur recognizes DNA by using a combination of base readout through direct contacts in the major groove and shape readout through recognition of the minor-groove electrostatic potential by lysine. The resulting conformational plasticity enables Fur binding to diverse substrates. Our results provide insights into metal ion activation and substrate recognition by Fur that suggest pathways to engineer magnetotactic bacteria and antipathogenic drugs.

  9. Diversity of Active States in TMT Opsins

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Kazumi; Yamashita, Takahiro; Imamoto, Yasushi; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    Opn3/TMT opsins belong to one of the opsin groups with vertebrate visual and non-visual opsins, and are widely distributed in eyes, brains and other internal organs in various vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrate Opn3/TMT opsins are further classified into four groups on the basis of their amino acid identities. However, there is limited information about molecular properties of these groups, due to the difficulty in preparing the recombinant proteins. Here, we successfully expressed recombinant proteins of TMT1 and TMT2 opsins of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) in cultured cells and characterized their molecular properties. Spectroscopic and biochemical studies demonstrated that TMT1 and TMT2 opsins functioned as blue light-sensitive Gi/Go-coupled receptors, but exhibited spectral properties and photo-convertibility of the active state different from each other. TMT1 opsin forms a visible light-absorbing active state containing all-trans-retinal, which can be photo-converted to 7-cis- and 9-cis-retinal states in addition to the original 11-cis-retinal state. In contrast, the active state of TMT2 opsin is a UV light-absorbing state having all-trans-retinal and does not photo-convert to any other state, including the original 11-cis-retinal state. Thus, TMT opsins are diversified so as to form a different type of active state, which may be responsible for their different functions. PMID:26491964

  10. Light activated solid-state opening switches

    SciTech Connect

    Petr, R.A.; Kachen, G.I.; Reilly, J.P.; Schaefer, R.B. ); Heyse, M.W. )

    1993-01-01

    Light-activated solid-state opening switches are shown to be a viable approach for switching inductive circuits. Measured photoswitch performance indicates that light-activated opening switches have the power density ratings needed to develop compact inductive power systems.

  11. Light activated solid-state opening switches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petr, R. A.; Kachen, G. I.; Reilly, J. P.; Schaefer, R. B.; Heyse, M. W.

    1993-01-01

    The paper shows light-activated solid-state opening switches to be a viable approach for switching inductive circuits. Measured photoswitch performance indicates that light-activated opening switches have the power density ratings required to develop compact inductive power systems.

  12. Toward understanding the active SETI debate: Insights from risk communication and perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korbitz, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Insights from the robust field of risk communication and perception have to date been almost totally absent from the policy debate regarding the relative risks and merits of Active SETI or Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI). For many years, the practice (or proposed practice) of Active SETI has generated a vigorous and sometimes heated policy debate within the scientific community. There have also been some negative reactions in the media toward the activities of those engaged in Active SETI. Risk communication is a scientific approach to communication regarding situations involving potentially sensitive or controversial situations in which there may be high public concern and low public trust. The discipline has found wide acceptance and utility in fields such as public health, industrial regulation and environmental protection. Insights from the scientific field of risk communication (such as omission bias, loss aversion, the availability heuristic, probability neglect, and the general human preference for voluntary over involuntary risks) may help those who have participated in either side of the debate over Active SETI to better understand why the debate has taken on this posture. Principles of risk communication and risk perception may also help those engaged in Active SETI to communicate more effectively with other scientists, the public, with the media, and with policy makers regarding their activities and to better understand and respond to concerns expressed regarding the activity.

  13. Political contexts and maternal health policy: insights from a comparison of south Indian states.

    PubMed

    Smith, Stephanie L

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 300,000 women die from pregnancy-related complications each year. One-fifth of these deaths occur in India. Maternal survival rose on India's national policy agenda in the mid-2000s, but responsibility for health policy and implementation in the federal system is largely devolved to the state level where priority for the issue and maternal health outcomes vary. This study investigates sources of variation in maternal health policy and implementation sub-nationally in India. The study is guided by four analytical categories drawn from policy process literature: constitutional, governing and social structures; political contexts; actors and ideas. The experiences of two south Indian states-Tamil Nadu a leader and Karnataka a relatively slow mover-are examined. Process-tracing, a case study methodology that helps to identify roles of complex historical events in causal processes, was employed to investigate the research question in each state. The study is informed by interviews with public health policy experts and service delivery professionals, observation of implementation sites and archival document analysis. Historical legacies-Tamil Nadu's non-Brahmin social movement and Karnataka's developmental disparities combined with decentralization-shape the states' political contexts, affecting variation in maternal health policy and implementation. Competition to advance consistent political priorities across regimes in Tamil Nadu offers fertile ground for policy entrepreneurship and strong public health system administration facilitates progress. Inconsistent political priorities and relatively weak public health system administration frustrate progress in Karnataka. These variations offer insights to the ways in which sub-national political and administrative contexts shape health policy and implementation. PMID:24444838

  14. The role of alpha-rhythm states in perceptual learning: insights from experiments and computational models

    PubMed Central

    Sigala, Rodrigo; Haufe, Sebastian; Roy, Dipanjan; Dinse, Hubert R.; Ritter, Petra

    2014-01-01

    During the past two decades growing evidence indicates that brain oscillations in the alpha band (~10 Hz) not only reflect an “idle” state of cortical activity, but also take a more active role in the generation of complex cognitive functions. A recent study shows that more than 60% of the observed inter-subject variability in perceptual learning can be ascribed to ongoing alpha activity. This evidence indicates a significant role of alpha oscillations for perceptual learning and hence motivates to explore the potential underlying mechanisms. Hence, it is the purpose of this review to highlight existent evidence that ascribes intrinsic alpha oscillations a role in shaping our ability to learn. In the review, we disentangle the alpha rhythm into different neural signatures that control information processing within individual functional building blocks of perceptual learning. We further highlight computational studies that shed light on potential mechanisms regarding how alpha oscillations may modulate information transfer and connectivity changes relevant for learning. To enable testing of those model based hypotheses, we emphasize the need for multidisciplinary approaches combining assessment of behavior and multi-scale neuronal activity, active modulation of ongoing brain states and computational modeling to reveal the mathematical principles of the complex neuronal interactions. In particular we highlight the relevance of multi-scale modeling frameworks such as the one currently being developed by “The Virtual Brain” project. PMID:24772077

  15. Antimicrobial activity of human α-defensin 6 analogs: insights into the physico-chemical reasons behind weak bactericidal activity of HD6 in vitro.

    PubMed

    Mathew, Basil; Nagaraj, Ramakrishnan

    2015-11-01

    Human α-defensin 6 (HD6), unlike other mammalian defensins, does not exhibit bactericidal activity, particularly against aerobic bacteria. Monomeric HD6 has a tertiary structure similar to other α-defensins in the crystalline state. However, the physico-chemical reasons behind the lack of antibacterial activity of HD6 are yet to be established unequivocally. In this study, we have investigated the antimicrobial activity of HD6 analogs. A linear analog of HD6, in which the distribution of arginine residues was similar to active α-defensins, shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, indicating that atypical distribution of arginine residues contributes to the inactivity of HD6. Peptides spanning the N-terminal cationic segment were active against a wide range of organisms. Antimicrobial potency of these shorter analogs was further enhanced when myristic acid was conjugated at the N-terminus. Cytoplasmic localization of the analogs without fatty acylation was observed to be necessary for bacterial killing, while they exhibited fungicidal activity by permeabilizing Candida albicans membranes. Myristoylated analogs and the linear full-length arginine analog exhibited activity by permeabilizing bacterial and fungal membranes. Our study provides insights into the lack of bactericidal activity of HD6 against aerobic bacteria. PMID:26400692

  16. Metabolic Restructuring during Energy-Limited States: Insights from Artemia franciscana Embryos and Other Animals

    PubMed Central

    Hand, Steven C.; Menze, Michael A.; Borcar, Apu; Patil, Yuvraj; Covi, Joseph A.; Reynolds, Julie A.; Toner, Mehmet

    2011-01-01

    Many life history stages of animals that experience environmental insults enter developmental arrested states that are characterized by reduced cellular proliferation, with or without a concurrent reduction in overall metabolism. In the case of the most profound metabolic arrest reported in invertebrates, i.e., anaerobic quiescence in Artemia franciscana embryos, acidification of the intracellular milieu is a major factor governing catabolic and anabolic downregulation. Release of ion gradients from intracellular compartments is the source for approximately 50% of the proton equivalents needed for the 1.5 unit acidification that is observed. Recovery from the metabolic arrest requires re-sequestration of the protons with a vacuolar-type ATPase (V-ATPase). The remarkable facet of this mechanism is the ability of embryonic cells to survive the dissipation of intracellular ion gradients. Across many diapause-like states, the metabolic reduction and subsequent matching of energy demand is accomplished by shifting energy metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis. Molecular pathways that are activated to induce these resilient hypometabolic states include stimulation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and insulin signaling via suite of daf (dauer formation) genes for diapause-like states in nematodes and insects. Contributing factors for other metabolically-depressed states involve hypoxia-inducible factor-1 and downregulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Metabolic similarities between natural states of stasis and some cancer phenotypes are noteworthy. Reduction of flux through oxidative phosphorylation helps prevent cell death in certain cancer types, similar to the way it increases viability of dauer stages in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mechanisms that underlie natural stasis are being used to precondition mammalian cells prior to cell biostabilization and storage. PMID:21335009

  17. Differences in EEG Alpha Activity between Gifted and Non-Identified Individuals: Insights into Problem Solving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert

    1997-01-01

    This study examined differences in electroencephalography (EEG) alpha activity between gifted and nongifted Slovenian student-teachers (N=17 each). Gifted students showed greater left hemisphere activation than nongifted subjects in relaxed states, but lower activation during problem solving. The same pattern was observed in overall hemispheric…

  18. X-ray Raman Scattering at Extreme Conditions: Insights to Local Structure, Oxidation and Spin state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, M.; Sternemann, C.; Sahle, C.; Spiekermann, G.; Nyrow, A.; Weis, C.; Cerantola, V.; Schmidt, C.; Yavas, H.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decades, X-ray spectroscopic techniques using very intense synchrotron radiation (SR) have become indispensable tools for studying geomaterials. Due to the rather low absorption of hard X-rays, SR opens up the possibility to perform measurements in high-pressure, high temperature cells. The range of elements accessible by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS) techniques in these cells is limited by the absorption of X-rays due to the sample environment, i.e. the diamond windows. The indirect measurement of XAFS spectra by inelastic X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) provides a workaround to access absorption edges at low energies (e.g. low Z elements). Therefore, XRS enables measurements that are similar to electron energy loss spectroscopy but offer to measure at in-situ conditions and not just in vacuum. Measurements of the O K-edge of H2O from ambient to supercritical PT-conditions (up to 600°C @ 134 MPa; 400°C @ 371 MPa) were used to trace structural changes of the hydrogen-bonded network, which controls many physical and chemical properties of H2O [1]. The Fe M3,2-edge measured by XRS were used to characterize the oxidation state and local structure in crystalline compounds and glasses [2]. Furthermore, the M3,2 yields detailed insight to the crystal-field splitting and electronic spin state. In a reconnaissance study, the pressure-induced high-spin to low-spin transition of Fe in FeS between 6 and 8 GPa was measured. By multiplet calculations of the spectra for octahedral Fe2+, a difference in crystal field splitting between the two states of ca. 1.7 eV was estimated [3]. Finally, we successfully assessed the electronic structure of Fe in siderite by measurements of M and L-edge up to 50 GPa, covering the spin transition between 40 and 45 GPa. [1] Sahle et al. (2013) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220301110.. [2] Nyrow et al. (2014) Contrib Mineral Petrol 167, 1012. [3] Nyrow et al. (2014) Appl Phys Lett 104, 262408.

  19. Structural and Biochemical Insights into the Activation Mechanisms of Germinal Center Kinase OSR1*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chuanchuan; Feng, Miao; Shi, Zhubing; Hao, Qian; Song, Xiaomin; Wang, Wenjia; Zhao, Yun; Jiao, Shi; Zhou, Zhaocai

    2014-01-01

    The oxidative stress-responsive 1 (OSR1) kinase belongs to the mammalian STE20-like kinase family. OSR1 is activated by with no lysine [K] (WNKs) kinases, and then it phosphorylates cation-coupled Cl-cotransporters, regulating ion homeostasis and cell volume in mammalian cells. However, the specific mechanisms of OSR1 activation remains poorly defined, largely due to its extremely low basal activity. Here, we dissect in detail the regulatory mechanisms of OSR1 activation from the aspects of autoinhibition, upstream kinase WNK, and the newly identified master regulator mouse protein-25 (MO25). Based on our structural and biochemical studies, we propose a “double lock” model, accounting for the tight autoinhibition of OSR1, an effect that has to be removed by WNK before MO25 further activates OSR1. Particularly, the conserved C-terminal (CCT) domain and αAL helix act together to strongly suppress OSR1 basal activity. WNKs bind to the CCT and trigger its conformational rearrangement to release the kinase domain of OSR1, allowing for MO25 binding and full activation. Finally, the regulatory mechanisms of OSR1 activation were further corroborated by cellular studies of OSR1-regulated cell volume control through WNK-OSR1 signaling pathway. Collectively, these results provide insights into the OSR1 kinase activation to facilitate further functional study. PMID:25389294

  20. Activity of rhodium-catalyzed hydroformylation: added insight and predictions from theory.

    PubMed

    Sparta, Manuel; Børve, Knut J; Jensen, Vidar R

    2007-07-11

    We have performed a density functional theory investigation of hydroformylation of ethylene for monosubstituted rhodium-carbonyl catalysts, HRh(CO)3L, where the modifying ligand, L, is a phosphite (L = P(OMe)3, P(OPh)3, or P(OCH2CF3)3), a phosphine (L = PMe3, PEt3, PiPr3, or PPh3), or a N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) based on the tetrahydropyrimidine, imidazol, or tetrazol ring, respectively. The study follows the Heck and Breslow mechanism. Excellent correspondence between our calculations and existing experimental information is found, and the present results constitute the first example of a realistic quantum chemical description of the catalytic cycle of hydroformylation using ligand-modified rhodium carbonyl catalysts. This description explains the mechanistic and kinetic basis of the contemporary understanding of this class of reaction and offers unprecedented insight into the electronic and steric factors governing catalytic activity. The insight has been turned into structure-activity relationships and used as guidelines when also subjecting to calculation phosphite and NHC complexes that have yet to be reported experimentally. The latter calculations illustrate that it is possible to increase the electron-withdrawing capacity of both phosphite and NHC ligands compared to contemporary ligands through directed substitution. Rhodium complexes of such very electron-withdrawing ligands are predicted to be more active than contemporary catalysts for hydroformylation. PMID:17555314

  1. Structural insights into Ca(2+)-activated long-range allosteric channel gating of RyR1.

    PubMed

    Wei, Risheng; Wang, Xue; Zhang, Yan; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Zhang, Lei; Chen, Qiang; Huang, Xinrui; Jing, Shan; Liu, Congcong; Li, Shuang; Wang, Guangyu; Xu, Yaofang; Zhu, Sujie; Williams, Alan J; Sun, Fei; Yin, Chang-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are a class of giant ion channels with molecular mass over 2.2 mega-Daltons. These channels mediate calcium signaling in a variety of cells. Since more than 80% of the RyR protein is folded into the cytoplasmic assembly and the remaining residues form the transmembrane domain, it has been hypothesized that the activation and regulation of RyR channels occur through an as yet uncharacterized long-range allosteric mechanism. Here we report the characterization of a Ca(2+)-activated open-state RyR1 structure by cryo-electron microscopy. The structure has an overall resolution of 4.9 Å and a resolution of 4.2 Å for the core region. In comparison with the previously determined apo/closed-state structure, we observed long-range allosteric gating of the channel upon Ca(2+) activation. In-depth structural analyses elucidated a novel channel-gating mechanism and a novel ion selectivity mechanism of RyR1. Our work not only provides structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of channel gating and regulation of RyRs, but also sheds light on structural basis for channel-gating and ion selectivity mechanisms for the six-transmembrane-helix cation channel family. PMID:27573175

  2. Evolutionary history of assassin bugs (insecta: hemiptera: Reduviidae): insights from divergence dating and ancestral state reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Wei Song; Weirauch, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Assassin bugs are one of the most successful clades of predatory animals based on their species numbers (∼6,800 spp.) and wide distribution in terrestrial ecosystems. Various novel prey capture strategies and remarkable prey specializations contribute to their appeal as a model to study evolutionary pathways involved in predation. Here, we reconstruct the most comprehensive reduviid phylogeny (178 taxa, 18 subfamilies) to date based on molecular data (5 markers). This phylogeny tests current hypotheses on reduviid relationships emphasizing the polyphyletic Reduviinae and the blood-feeding, disease-vectoring Triatominae, and allows us, for the first time in assassin bugs, to reconstruct ancestral states of prey associations and microhabitats. Using a fossil-calibrated molecular tree, we estimated divergence times for key events in the evolutionary history of Reduviidae. Our results indicate that the polyphyletic Reduviinae fall into 11-14 separate clades. Triatominae are paraphyletic with respect to the reduviine genus Opisthacidius in the maximum likelihood analyses; this result is in contrast to prior hypotheses that found Triatominae to be monophyletic or polyphyletic and may be due to the more comprehensive taxon and character sampling in this study. The evolution of blood-feeding may thus have occurred once or twice independently among predatory assassin bugs. All prey specialists evolved from generalist ancestors, with multiple evolutionary origins of termite and ant specializations. A bark-associated life style on tree trunks is ancestral for most of the lineages of Higher Reduviidae; living on foliage has evolved at least six times independently. Reduviidae originated in the Middle Jurassic (178 Ma), but significant lineage diversification only began in the Late Cretaceous (97 Ma). The integration of molecular phylogenetics with fossil and life history data as presented in this paper provides insights into the evolutionary history of reduviids and clears

  3. Evolutionary History of Assassin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Insights from Divergence Dating and Ancestral State Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Wei Song; Weirauch, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Assassin bugs are one of the most successful clades of predatory animals based on their species numbers (∼6,800 spp.) and wide distribution in terrestrial ecosystems. Various novel prey capture strategies and remarkable prey specializations contribute to their appeal as a model to study evolutionary pathways involved in predation. Here, we reconstruct the most comprehensive reduviid phylogeny (178 taxa, 18 subfamilies) to date based on molecular data (5 markers). This phylogeny tests current hypotheses on reduviid relationships emphasizing the polyphyletic Reduviinae and the blood-feeding, disease-vectoring Triatominae, and allows us, for the first time in assassin bugs, to reconstruct ancestral states of prey associations and microhabitats. Using a fossil-calibrated molecular tree, we estimated divergence times for key events in the evolutionary history of Reduviidae. Our results indicate that the polyphyletic Reduviinae fall into 11–14 separate clades. Triatominae are paraphyletic with respect to the reduviine genus Opisthacidius in the maximum likelihood analyses; this result is in contrast to prior hypotheses that found Triatominae to be monophyletic or polyphyletic and may be due to the more comprehensive taxon and character sampling in this study. The evolution of blood-feeding may thus have occurred once or twice independently among predatory assassin bugs. All prey specialists evolved from generalist ancestors, with multiple evolutionary origins of termite and ant specializations. A bark-associated life style on tree trunks is ancestral for most of the lineages of Higher Reduviidae; living on foliage has evolved at least six times independently. Reduviidae originated in the Middle Jurassic (178 Ma), but significant lineage diversification only began in the Late Cretaceous (97 Ma). The integration of molecular phylogenetics with fossil and life history data as presented in this paper provides insights into the evolutionary history of reduviids and clears

  4. Polyomavirus T Antigens Activate an Antiviral State

    PubMed Central

    Giacobbi, Nicholas S.; Gupta, Tushar; Coxon, Andrew; Pipas, James M.

    2014-01-01

    Ectopic expression of Simian Virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen (LT) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) increased levels of mRNAs encoding interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). The mechanism by which T antigen increases levels of ISGs in MEFs remains unclear. We present evidence that expression of T antigen from SV40, Human Polyomaviruses BK (BKV) or JC (JCV) upregulate production of ISGs in MEFs, and subsequently result in an antiviral state, as determined by inhibition of VSV or EMCV growth. The first 136 amino acids of LT are sufficient for these activities. Furthermore, increased ISG expression and induction of the antiviral state requires STAT1. Finally, the RB binding motif of LT is necessary for activation of STAT1. We conclude that the induction of the STAT1 mediated innate immune response in MEFs is a common feature shared by SV40, BKV and JCV. PMID:25589241

  5. Insight in Psychiatry and Neurology: State of the Art, and Hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Landi, Paola; Marazziti, Donatella; Rutigliano, Grazia; Dell'Osso, Liliana

    2016-01-01

    In spite of the increasing number of studies on insight in psychiatry and also in neurology and psychology, its nature is still elusive. It encompasses at least three fundamental characteristics: the awareness of suffering from an illness, an understanding of the cause and source of this suffering, and an acknowledgment of the need for treatment. As such, insight is fundamental for patients' management, prognosis, and treatment. Not surprisingly, the majority of available data, which have been gathered on schizophrenia, show a relationship between low insight and poorer outcomes. For mood disorders, however, insight is associated with less positive results. For other psychiatric disorders, insight has rarely been investigated. In neurology, the impaired ability to recognize the presence of sensory, perceptual, motor, affective, or cognitive functioning-referred to as anosognosia-has been related to damage of specific brain regions. This article provides a comprehensive review of insight in different psychiatric and neurological disorders, with a special focus on brain areas and neurotransmitters that serve as the substrate for this complex phenomenon. PMID:27075815

  6. Body position alters human resting-state: Insights from multi-postural magnetoencephalography.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Robert T; Lifshitz, Michael; Raz, Amir

    2016-09-01

    Neuroimaging researchers tacitly assume that body-position scantily affects neural activity. However, whereas participants in most psychological experiments sit upright, many modern neuroimaging techniques (e.g., fMRI) require participants to lie supine. Sparse findings from electroencephalography and positron emission tomography suggest that body position influences cognitive processes and neural activity. Here we leverage multi-postural magnetoencephalography (MEG) to further unravel how physical stance alters baseline brain activity. We present resting-state MEG data from 12 healthy participants in three orthostatic conditions (i.e., lying supine, reclined at 45°, and sitting upright). Our findings demonstrate that upright, compared to reclined or supine, posture increases left-hemisphere high-frequency oscillatory activity over common speech areas. This proof-of-concept experiment establishes the feasibility of using MEG to examine the influence of posture on brain dynamics. We highlight the advantages and methodological challenges inherent to this approach and lay the foundation for future studies to further investigate this important, albeit little-acknowledged, procedural caveat. PMID:26409469

  7. An MENC Bicentennial Commission Report on State Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Music Educators Journal, 1976

    1976-01-01

    The MENC Bicentennial Commission requested each state chairman to submit a list of projects that were representative of the activities in that state. Included here are 27 states and the music activities appropriate for the Bicentennial year. (Editor/RK)

  8. Structure of the apoptosome: mechanistic insights into activation of an initiator caspase from Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Yuxuan; Bai, Xiao-chen; Yan, Chuangye; Hao, Qi; Chen, Zheqin; Wang, Jia-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is executed by a cascade of caspase activation. The autocatalytic activation of an initiator caspase, exemplified by caspase-9 in mammals or its ortholog, Dronc, in fruit flies, is facilitated by a multimeric adaptor complex known as the apoptosome. The underlying mechanism by which caspase-9 or Dronc is activated by the apoptosome remains unknown. Here we report the electron cryomicroscopic (cryo-EM) structure of the intact apoptosome from Drosophila melanogaster at 4.0 Å resolution. Analysis of the Drosophila apoptosome, which comprises 16 molecules of the Dark protein (Apaf-1 ortholog), reveals molecular determinants that support the assembly of the 2.5-MDa complex. In the absence of dATP or ATP, Dronc zymogen potently induces formation of the Dark apoptosome, within which Dronc is efficiently activated. At 4.1 Å resolution, the cryo-EM structure of the Dark apoptosome bound to the caspase recruitment domain (CARD) of Dronc (Dronc-CARD) reveals two stacked rings of Dronc-CARD that are sandwiched between two octameric rings of the Dark protein. The specific interactions between Dronc-CARD and both the CARD and the WD40 repeats of a nearby Dark protomer are indispensable for Dronc activation. These findings reveal important mechanistic insights into the activation of initiator caspase by the apoptosome. PMID:25644603

  9. Edge states in confined active fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souslov, Anton; Vitelli, Vincenzo

    Recently, topologically protected edge modes have been proposed and realized in both mechanical and acoustic metamaterials. In one class of such metamaterials, Time-Reversal Symmetry is broken, and, to achieve this TRS breaking in mechanical and acoustic systems, an external energy input must be used. For example, motors provide a driving force that uses energy and, thus, explicitly break TRS. As a result, motors have been used as an essential component in the design of topological metamaterials. By contrast, we explore the design of topological metamaterials that use a class of far-from-equilibrium liquids, called polar active liquids, that spontaneously break TRS. We thus envision the confinement of a polar active liquid to a prescribed geometry in order to realize topological order with broken time-reversal symmetry. We address the design of the requisite geometries, for example a regular honeycomb lattice composed of annular channels, in which the active liquid may be confined. We also consider the physical character of the active liquid that, when introduced into the prescribed geometry, will spontaneously form the flow pattern of a metamaterial with topologically protected edge states. Finally, we comment on potential experimental realizations of such metamaterials.

  10. Structural and functional insight into the different oxidation states of SAV1875 from Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyo Jung; Kwon, Ae-Ran; Lee, Bong-Jin

    2016-01-01

    The DJ-1/ThiJ/PfpI superfamily is a group of proteins found in diverse organisms. This superfamily includes versatile proteins, such as proteases, chaperones, heat-shock proteins and human Parkinson's disease protein. Most members of the DJ-1/ThiJ/PfpI superfamily are oligomers and are classified into subfamilies depending on discriminating quaternary structures (DJ-1, YhbO and Hsp types). SAV1875, a conserved protein from Staphylococcus aureus, is a member of the YhbO-type subfamily. However, its structure and function remain unknown. Thus, to understand the function and activity mechanism of this protein, the crystal structure of SAV1875 from S. aureus was determined. The overall fold of SAV1875 is similar to that observed for the DJ-1/ThiJ/PfpI superfamily. The cysteine residue located in the dimeric interface (Cys(105)) forms a catalytic triad with His(106) and Asp(77), and it is spontaneously oxidized to Cys(105)-SO2H in the crystal structure. To study the oxidative propensity of Cys(105) and the corresponding functional differences with changes in cysteine oxidation state, the crystal structures of SAV1875 variants E17N, E17D and C105D, and over-oxidized SAV1875 were determined. We identified SAV1875 as a novel member of the YhbO-type subfamily exhibiting chaperone function. However, if SAV1875 is over-oxidized further with H2O2, its chaperone activity is eliminated. On the basis of our study, we suggest that SAV1875 functions as a chaperone and the redox state of Cys(105) may play an important role. PMID:26487697

  11. The nature of inherent bactericidal activity: insights from the nanotopology of three species of dragonfly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainwaring, David E.; Nguyen, Song Ha; Webb, Hayden; Jakubov, Timur; Tobin, Mark; Lamb, Robert N.; Wu, Alex H.-F.; Marchant, Richard; Crawford, Russell J.; Ivanova, Elena P.

    2016-03-01

    While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy to be similar across these activity differences. Modelling the interaction between bacterial cells and the wing surface lipids of 3 species of dragonflies, that inhabit similar environments, but with distinctly different behavioural repertoires, provided the relationship between surface structure and antibacterial functionality. In doing so, these principal behavioural patterns correlated with the demands for antimicrobial efficiency dictated by differences in their foraging strategies. This work now reveals a new feature in the design elegance of natural multi-functional surfaces as well providing insights into the bactericidal mechanism underlying inherently antimicrobial materials, while suggesting that nanotopology is related to the evolutionary development of a species through the demands of its behavioural repertoire. The underlying relationship between the processes of wetting, adhesion and capillarity of the lipid nanopillars and bactericidal efficiency suggests new prospects for purely mechano-responsive antibacterial surfaces.While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron

  12. Short-term meditation modulates brain activity of insight evoked with solution cue

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Cao, Chen; Deng, Yuqin; Wang, Yan; Xin, Xiu; Posner, Michael I.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been shown to improve creativity in some situation. However, little is known about the brain systems underling insight into a problem when the person fails to solve the problem. Here, we examined the neural correlation using Chinese Remote Association Test, as a measure of creativity. We provide a solution following the failure of the participant to provide one. We examine how meditation in comparison with relaxation influences the reaction of the participant to a correct solution. The event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging showed greater activity, mainly distributed in the right cingulate gyrus (CG), insula, putamen, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and the bilateral middle frontal gyrus (MFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG). This pattern of activation was greater following 5 h of meditation training than the same amount of relaxation. Based on prior research, we speculate on the function of this pattern of brain activity: (i) CG may be involved in detecting conflict and breaking mental set, (ii) MFG/IFG may play an important role in restructuring of the problem representation, (iii) insula, IPL and STG may be associated with error detection, problem understanding or general attentive control and (iv) putamen may be activated by ‘Aha’ feeling. PMID:24532700

  13. Short-term meditation modulates brain activity of insight evoked with solution cue.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Cao, Chen; Deng, Yuqin; Wang, Yan; Xin, Xiu; Posner, Michael I

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been shown to improve creativity in some situation. However, little is known about the brain systems underling insight into a problem when the person fails to solve the problem. Here, we examined the neural correlation using Chinese Remote Association Test, as a measure of creativity. We provide a solution following the failure of the participant to provide one. We examine how meditation in comparison with relaxation influences the reaction of the participant to a correct solution. The event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging showed greater activity, mainly distributed in the right cingulate gyrus (CG), insula, putamen, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and the bilateral middle frontal gyrus (MFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG). This pattern of activation was greater following 5 h of meditation training than the same amount of relaxation. Based on prior research, we speculate on the function of this pattern of brain activity: (i) CG may be involved in detecting conflict and breaking mental set, (ii) MFG/IFG may play an important role in restructuring of the problem representation, (iii) insula, IPL and STG may be associated with error detection, problem understanding or general attentive control and (iv) putamen may be activated by 'Aha' feeling. PMID:24532700

  14. The Active Site of Oligogalacturonate Lyase Provides Unique Insights into Cytoplasmic Oligogalacturonate β-Elimination*

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, D. Wade; Gilbert, Harry J.; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2010-01-01

    Oligogalacturonate lyases (OGLs; now also classified as pectate lyase family 22) are cytoplasmic enzymes found in pectinolytic members of Enterobacteriaceae, such as the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. OGLs utilize a β-elimination mechanism to preferentially catalyze the conversion of saturated and unsaturated digalacturonate into monogalacturonate and the 4,5-unsaturated monogalacturonate-like molecule, 5-keto-4-deoxyuronate. To provide mechanistic insights into the specificity of this enzyme activity, we have characterized the OGL from Y. enterocolitica, YeOGL, on oligogalacturonides and determined its three-dimensional x-ray structure to 1.65 Å. The model contains a Mn2+ atom in the active site, which is coordinated by three histidines, one glutamine, and an acetate ion. The acetate mimics the binding of the uronate group of galactourono-configured substrates. These findings, in combination with enzyme kinetics and metal supplementation assays, provide a framework for modeling the active site architecture of OGL. This enzyme appears to contain a histidine for the abstraction of the α-proton in the −1 subsite, a residue that is highly conserved throughout the OGL family and represents a unique catalytic base among pectic active lyases. In addition, we present a hypothesis for an emerging relationship observed between the cellular distribution of pectate lyase folding and the distinct metal coordination chemistries of pectate lyases. PMID:20851883

  15. Insights into properties of activated carbons prepared from different raw precursors by pyrophosphoric acid activation.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuan; Yue, Qinyan; Gao, Baoyu

    2016-03-01

    Low-cost activated carbons (ACs) were prepared from four kinds of solid wastes: petroleum coke, Enteromorpha prolifera, lignin from papermaking black liquid and hair, by pyrophosphoric acid (H4P2O7) activation. Thermo-gravimetric analysis of the pyrolysis of H4P2O7-precursor mixtures implied that H4P2O7 had different influences on the pyrolysis behavior of the four raw materials. N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and adsorption capacities for dyes were used to characterize the prepared activated carbons. AC derived from E. prolifera exhibited the highest surface area (1094m(2)/g) and maximum monolayer adsorption capacity for malachite green (1250mg/g). Kinetic studies showed that the experimental data were in agreement with the pseudo-second-order model. The adsorption isotherms were well described by the Langmuir isotherm model, indicating the adsorption of dye onto the ACs proceeded by monolayers. PMID:26969070

  16. New Insights into Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay: Serum Dilution Factor as a Crucial Parameter

    PubMed Central

    Jońca, Joanna; Żuk, Monika; Wasąg, Bartosz; Janaszak-Jasiecka, Anna; Lewandowski, Krzysztof; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Waleron, Krzysztof; Jasiecki, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity assay and inhibitor phenotyping can help to identify patients at risk of prolonged paralysis following the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. The assay plays an important role in clinical chemistry as a good diagnostic marker for intoxication with pesticides and nerve agents. Furthermore, the assay is also commonly used for in vitro characterization of cholinesterases, their toxins and drugs. There is still lack of standardized procedure for measurement of BChE activity and many laboratories use different substrates at various concentrations. The purpose of this study was to validate the BChE activity assay to determine the best dilution of human serum and the most optimal concentration of substrates and inhibitors. Serum BChE activity was measured using modified Ellman’s method applicable for a microplate reader. We present our experience and new insights into the protocol for high-throughput routine assays of human plasma cholinesterase activities adapted to a microplate reader. During our routine assays used for the determination of BChE activity, we have observed that serum dilution factor influences the results obtained. We show that a 400-fold dilution of serum and 5mM S-butyrylthiocholine iodide can be successfully used for the accurate measurement of BChE activity in human serum. We also discuss usage of various concentrations of dibucaine and fluoride in BChE phenotyping. This study indicates that some factors of such a multicomponent clinical material like serum can influence kinetic parameters of the BChE. The observed inhibitory effect is dependent on serum dilution factor used in the assay. PMID:26444431

  17. New Insights into Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay: Serum Dilution Factor as a Crucial Parameter.

    PubMed

    Jońca, Joanna; Żuk, Monika; Wasąg, Bartosz; Janaszak-Jasiecka, Anna; Lewandowski, Krzysztof; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Waleron, Krzysztof; Jasiecki, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity assay and inhibitor phenotyping can help to identify patients at risk of prolonged paralysis following the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. The assay plays an important role in clinical chemistry as a good diagnostic marker for intoxication with pesticides and nerve agents. Furthermore, the assay is also commonly used for in vitro characterization of cholinesterases, their toxins and drugs. There is still lack of standardized procedure for measurement of BChE activity and many laboratories use different substrates at various concentrations. The purpose of this study was to validate the BChE activity assay to determine the best dilution of human serum and the most optimal concentration of substrates and inhibitors. Serum BChE activity was measured using modified Ellman's method applicable for a microplate reader. We present our experience and new insights into the protocol for high-throughput routine assays of human plasma cholinesterase activities adapted to a microplate reader. During our routine assays used for the determination of BChE activity, we have observed that serum dilution factor influences the results obtained. We show that a 400-fold dilution of serum and 5mM S-butyrylthiocholine iodide can be successfully used for the accurate measurement of BChE activity in human serum. We also discuss usage of various concentrations of dibucaine and fluoride in BChE phenotyping. This study indicates that some factors of such a multicomponent clinical material like serum can influence kinetic parameters of the BChE. The observed inhibitory effect is dependent on serum dilution factor used in the assay. PMID:26444431

  18. Faster than their prey: new insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps.

    PubMed

    Poppinga, Simon; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Plants move in very different ways and for different reasons, but some active carnivorous plants perform extraordinary motion: Their snap-, catapult- and suction traps perform very fast and spectacular motions to catch their prey after receiving mechanical stimuli. Numerous investigations have led to deeper insights into the physiology and biomechanics of these trapping devices, but they are far from being fully understood. We review concisely how plant movements are classified and how they follow principles that bring together speed, actuation and architecture of the moving organ. In particular, we describe and discuss how carnivorous plants manage to execute fast motion. We address open questions and assess the prospects for future studies investigating potential universal mechanisms that could be the basis of key characteristic features in plant movement such as stimulus transduction, post-stimulatory mechanical answers, and organ formation. PMID:23613360

  19. Structural Insights into the Anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Activity of Ceftobiprole*

    PubMed Central

    Lovering, Andrew L.; Gretes, Michael C.; Safadi, Susan S.; Danel, Franck; de Castro, Liza; Page, Malcolm G. P.; Strynadka, Natalie C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant strain of S. aureus afflicting hospitals and communities worldwide. Of greatest concern is its development of resistance to current last-line-of-defense antibiotics; new therapeutics are urgently needed to combat this pathogen. Ceftobiprole is a recently developed, latest generation cephalosporin and has been the first to show activity against MRSA by inhibiting essential peptidoglycan transpeptidases, including the β-lactam resistance determinant PBP2a, from MRSA. Here we present the structure of the complex of ceftobiprole bound to PBP2a. This structure provides the first look at the molecular details of an effective β-lactam-resistant PBP interaction, leading to new insights into the mechanism of ceftobiprole efficacy against MRSA. PMID:22815485

  20. Making Personalized Health Care Even More Personalized: Insights From Activities of the IOM Genomics Roundtable

    PubMed Central

    David, Sean P.; Johnson, Samuel G.; Berger, Adam C.; Feero, W. Gregory; Terry, Sharon F.; Green, Larry A.; Phillips, Robert L.; Ginsburg, Geoffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic research has generated much new knowledge into mechanisms of human disease, with the potential to catalyze novel drug discovery and development, prenatal and neonatal screening, clinical pharmacogenomics, more sensitive risk prediction, and enhanced diagnostics. Genomic medicine, however, has been limited by critical evidence gaps, especially those related to clinical utility and applicability to diverse populations. Genomic medicine may have the greatest impact on health care if it is integrated into primary care, where most health care is received and where evidence supports the value of personalized medicine grounded in continuous healing relationships. Redesigned primary care is the most relevant setting for clinically useful genomic medicine research. Taking insights gained from the activities of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health, we apply lessons learned from the patient-centered medical home national experience to implement genomic medicine in a patient-centered, learning health care system. PMID:26195686

  1. Structural Insights into the Tetrameric State of Aspartate-β-semialdehyde Dehydrogenases from Fungal Species.

    PubMed

    Li, Qinqin; Mu, Zhixia; Zhao, Rong; Dahal, Gopal; Viola, Ronald E; Liu, Tao; Jin, Qi; Cui, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Aspartate-β-semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ASADH) catalyzes the second reaction in the aspartate pathway, a pathway required for the biosynthesis of one fifth of the essential amino acids in plants and microorganisms. Microarray analysis of a fungal pathogen T. rubrum responsible for most human dermatophytoses identified the upregulation of ASADH (trASADH) expression when the fungus is exposed to human skin, underscoring its potential as a drug target. Here we report the crystal structure of trASADH, revealing a tetrameric ASADH with a GAPDH-like fold. The tetramerization of trASADH was confirmed by sedimentation and SAXS experiments. Native PAGE demonstrated that this ASADH tetramerization is apparently universal in fungal species, unlike the functional dimer that is observed in all bacterial ASADHs. The helical subdomain in dimeric bacteria ASADH is replaced by the cover loop in archaeal/fungal ASADHs, presenting the determinant for this altered oligomerization. Mutations that disrupt the tetramerization of trASADH also abolish the catalytic activity, suggesting that the tetrameric state is required to produce the active fungal enzyme form. Our findings provide a basis to categorize ASADHs into dimeric and tetrameric enzymes, adopting a different orientation for NADP binding and offer a structural framework for designing drugs that can specifically target the fungal pathogens. PMID:26869335

  2. Structural Insights into the Tetrameric State of Aspartate-β-semialdehyde Dehydrogenases from Fungal Species

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qinqin; Mu, Zhixia; Zhao, Rong; Dahal, Gopal; Viola, Ronald E.; Liu, Tao; Jin, Qi; Cui, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Aspartate-β-semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ASADH) catalyzes the second reaction in the aspartate pathway, a pathway required for the biosynthesis of one fifth of the essential amino acids in plants and microorganisms. Microarray analysis of a fungal pathogen T. rubrum responsible for most human dermatophytoses identified the upregulation of ASADH (trASADH) expression when the fungus is exposed to human skin, underscoring its potential as a drug target. Here we report the crystal structure of trASADH, revealing a tetrameric ASADH with a GAPDH-like fold. The tetramerization of trASADH was confirmed by sedimentation and SAXS experiments. Native PAGE demonstrated that this ASADH tetramerization is apparently universal in fungal species, unlike the functional dimer that is observed in all bacterial ASADHs. The helical subdomain in dimeric bacteria ASADH is replaced by the cover loop in archaeal/fungal ASADHs, presenting the determinant for this altered oligomerization. Mutations that disrupt the tetramerization of trASADH also abolish the catalytic activity, suggesting that the tetrameric state is required to produce the active fungal enzyme form. Our findings provide a basis to categorize ASADHs into dimeric and tetrameric enzymes, adopting a different orientation for NADP binding and offer a structural framework for designing drugs that can specifically target the fungal pathogens. PMID:26869335

  3. Scrutinizing the Noninnocence of Quinone Ligands in Ruthenium Complexes: Insights from Structural, Electronic, Energy, and Effective Oxidation State Analyses.

    PubMed

    Skara, Gabriella; Gimferrer, Marti; De Proft, Frank; Salvador, Pedro; Pinter, Balazs

    2016-03-01

    The most relevant manifestations of ligand noninnocence of quinone and bipyridine derivatives are thoroughly scrutinized and discussed through an extensive and systematic set of octahedral ruthenium complexes, [(en)2RuL](z), in four oxidation states (z = +3, +2, +1, and 0). The characteristic structural deformation of ligands upon coordination/noninnocence is put into context with the underlying electronic structure of the complexes and its change upon reduction. In addition, by means of decomposing the corresponding reductions into electron transfer and structural relaxation subprocesses, the energetic contribution of these structural deformations to the redox energetics is revealed. The change of molecular electron density upon metal- and ligand-centered reductions is also visualized and shown to provide novel insights into the corresponding redox processes. Moreover, the charge distribution of the π-subspace is straightforwardly examined and used as indicator of ligand noninnocence in the distinct oxidation states of the complexes. The aromatization/dearomatization processes of ligand backbones are also monitored using magnetic (NICS) and electronic (PDI) indicators of aromaticity, and the consequences to noninnocent behavior are discussed. Finally, the recently developed effective oxidation state (EOS) analysis is utilized, on the one hand, to test its applicability for complexes containing noninnocent ligands, and, on the other hand, to provide new insights into the magnitude of state mixings in the investigated complexes. The effect of ligand substitution, nature of donor atom, ligand frame modification on these manifestations, and measures is discussed in an intuitive and pedagogical manner. PMID:26866981

  4. The nature of inherent bactericidal activity: insights from the nanotopology of three species of dragonfly.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, David E; Nguyen, Song Ha; Webb, Hayden; Jakubov, Timur; Tobin, Mark; Lamb, Robert N; Wu, Alex H-F; Marchant, Richard; Crawford, Russell J; Ivanova, Elena P

    2016-03-28

    While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy to be similar across these activity differences. Modelling the interaction between bacterial cells and the wing surface lipids of 3 species of dragonflies, that inhabit similar environments, but with distinctly different behavioural repertoires, provided the relationship between surface structure and antibacterial functionality. In doing so, these principal behavioural patterns correlated with the demands for antimicrobial efficiency dictated by differences in their foraging strategies. This work now reveals a new feature in the design elegance of natural multi-functional surfaces as well providing insights into the bactericidal mechanism underlying inherently antimicrobial materials, while suggesting that nanotopology is related to the evolutionary development of a species through the demands of its behavioural repertoire. The underlying relationship between the processes of wetting, adhesion and capillarity of the lipid nanopillars and bactericidal efficiency suggests new prospects for purely mechano-responsive antibacterial surfaces. PMID:26935293

  5. Pterostilbene-mediated Nrf2 activation: Mechanistic insights on Keap1:Nrf2 interface.

    PubMed

    Bhakkiyalakshmi, Elango; Dineshkumar, Kesavan; Karthik, Suresh; Sireesh, Dornadula; Hopper, Waheeta; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy; Ramkumar, Kunka Mohanram

    2016-08-15

    The discovery of Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) inhibitors has become a promising strategy to develop novel lead molecules against variety of stress. Hence, Keap1-Nrf2 system plays an important role in oxidative/electrophilic stress associated disorders. Our earlier studies identified pterostilbene (PTS), a natural analogue of resveratrol, as a potent Nrf2 activator and Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibitor as assessed by luciferase complementation assay. In this study, we further identified the potential of PTS in Nrf2 activation and ARE-driven downstream target genes expression by nuclear translocation experiments and ARE-luciferase reporter assay, respectively. Further, the luciferase complementation assay identified that PTS inhibits Keap1-Nrf2 PPI in both dose and time-dependent manner. Computational studies using molecular docking and dynamic simulation revealed that PTS directly interacts with the basic amino acids of kelch domain of Keap1 and perturb Keap1-Nrf2 interaction pattern. This manuscript not only shows the binding determinants of Keap1-Nrf2 proteins but also provides mechanistic insights on Nrf2 activation potential of PTS. PMID:27312421

  6. Insights into GATA-1 Mediated Gene Activation versus Repression via Genome-wide Chromatin Occupancy Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ming; Riva, Laura; Xie, Huafeng; Schindler, Yocheved; Moran, Tyler B.; Cheng, Yong; Yu, Duonan; Hardison, Ross; Weiss, Mitchell J; Orkin, Stuart H.; Bernstein, Bradley E.; Fraenkel, Ernest; Cantor, Alan B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The transcription factor GATA-1 is required for terminal erythroid maturation and functions as an activator or repressor depending on gene context. Yet its in vivo site selectivity and ability to distinguish between activated versus repressed genes remain incompletely understood. In this study, we performed GATA-1 ChIP-seq in erythroid cells and compared it to GATA-1 induced gene expression changes. Bound and differentially expressed genes contain a greater number of GATA binding motifs, a higher frequency of palindromic GATA sites, and closer occupancy to the transcriptional start site versus non-differentially expressed genes. Moreover, we show that the transcription factor Zbtb7a occupies GATA-1 bound regions of some direct GATA-1 target genes, that the presence of SCL/TAL1 helps distinguish transcriptional activation versus repression, and that Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) is involved in epigenetic silencing of a subset of GATA-1 repressed genes. These data provide insights into GATA-1 mediated gene regulation in vivo. PMID:19941827

  7. Mechanistic insights into the first Lygus-active β-pore forming protein.

    PubMed

    Jerga, Agoston; Chen, Danqi; Zhang, Chunfen; Fu, Jinping; Kouadio, Jean-Louis K; Wang, Yanfei; Duff, Stephen M G; Howard, Jennifer E; Rydel, Timothy J; Evdokimov, Artem G; Ramaseshadri, Parthasarathy; Evans, Adam; Bolognesi, Renata; Park, Yoonseong; Haas, Jeffrey A

    2016-06-15

    The cotton pests Lygus hesperus and Lygus lineolaris can be controlled by expressing Cry51Aa2.834_16 in cotton. Insecticidal activity of pore-forming proteins is generally associated with damage to the midgut epithelium due to pores, and their biological specificity results from a set of key determinants including proteolytic activation and receptor binding. We conducted mechanistic studies to gain insight into how the first Lygus-active β-pore forming protein variant functions. Biophysical characterization revealed that the full-length Cry51Aa2.834_16 was a stable dimer in solution, and when exposed to Lygus saliva or to trypsin, the protein underwent proteolytic cleavage at the C-terminus of each of the subunits, resulting in dissociation of the dimer to two separate monomers. The monomer showed tight binding to a specific protein in Lygus brush border membranes, and also formed a membrane-associated oligomeric complex both in vitro and in vivo. Chemically cross-linking the β-hairpin to the Cry51Aa2.834_16 body rendered the protein inactive, but still competent to compete for binding sites with the native protein in vivo. Our study suggests that disassociation of the Cry51Aa2.834_16 dimer into monomeric units with unoccupied head-region and sterically unhindered β-hairpin is required for brush border membrane binding, oligomerization, and the subsequent steps leading to insect mortality. PMID:27001423

  8. Active State Model for Autonomous Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Han; Chien, Steve; Zak, Michail; James, Mark; Mackey, Ryan; Fisher, Forest

    2003-01-01

    The concept of the active state model (ASM) is an architecture for the development of advanced integrated fault-detection-and-isolation (FDI) systems for robotic land vehicles, pilotless aircraft, exploratory spacecraft, or other complex engineering systems that will be capable of autonomous operation. An FDI system based on the ASM concept would not only provide traditional diagnostic capabilities, but also integrate the FDI system under a unified framework and provide mechanism for sharing of information between FDI subsystems to fully assess the overall health of the system. The ASM concept begins with definitions borrowed from psychology, wherein a system is regarded as active when it possesses self-image, self-awareness, and an ability to make decisions itself, such that it is able to perform purposeful motions and other transitions with some degree of autonomy from the environment. For an engineering system, self-image would manifest itself as the ability to determine nominal values of sensor data by use of a mathematical model of itself, and selfawareness would manifest itself as the ability to relate sensor data to their nominal values. The ASM for such a system may start with the closed-loop control dynamics that describe the evolution of state variables. As soon as this model was supplemented with nominal values of sensor data, it would possess self-image. The ability to process the current sensor data and compare them with the nominal values would represent self-awareness. On the basis of self-image and self-awareness, the ASM provides the capability for self-identification, detection of abnormalities, and self-diagnosis.

  9. Trait and State Attributes of Insight in First Episodes of Early-Onset Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Parellada, Mara; Boada, Leticia; Fraguas, David; Reig, Santiago; Castro-Fornieles, Josefina; Moreno, Dolores; Gonzalez-Pinto, Ana; Otero, Soraya; Rapado-Castro, Marta; Graell, Montserrat; Baeza, Inmaculada; Arango, Celso

    2011-01-01

    Background: Increasing evidence supports the important role of illness state and individual characteristics in insight. Methods: Insight, as measured with the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder, over the first 2 years of early-onset first-episode psychosis and its correlations with clinical, socio-demographic, cognitive, and structural brain variables are studied. Results: (1) insight at 2 years is poorer in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) than in subjects with other psychoses; (2) the more severe the psychosis, the worse the insight. In SSD, depressive symptoms, poorer baseline executive functioning, lower IQ, longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), and poorer premorbid infancy adjustment are associated with poorer insight; frontal and parietal gray matter (GM) reductions at baseline correlate with worse insight into having psychotic symptoms at 2 years; (3) insight into having a mental disorder (Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder [SUMD]1) at 1 year, DUP, and baseline IQ are the most consistent variables explaining different aspects of insight at 2 years in SSD patients. IQ and SUMD1 at 1 year, together with left frontal and parietal GM volumes, explain 80% of the variance of insight into having specific psychotic symptoms in SSD patients (adjusted R2 = 0.795, F = 15.576, P < .001). Conclusion: Insight is a complex phenomenon that depends both on severity of psychopathology and also on disease and subject characteristics, such as past adjustment, IQ, DUP, cognitive functioning, frontal and parietal GM volumes, and age, gender, and ethnicity. PMID:20884756

  10. New Insights in 4f(12)5d(1) Excited States of Tm(2+) through Excited State Excitation Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Mathijs; Biner, Daniel; Krämer, Karl W; Barandiarán, Zoila; Seijo, Luis; Meijerink, Andries

    2016-07-21

    Optical excitation of ions or molecules typically leads to an expansion of the equilibrium bond lengths in the excited electronic state. However, for 4f(n-1)5d(1) excited states in lanthanide ions both expansion and contraction relative to the 4f(n) ground state have been reported, depending on the crystal field and nature of the 5d state. To probe the equilibrium distance offset between different 4f(n-1)5d(1) excited states, we report excited state excitation (ESE) spectra for Tm(2+) doped in CsCaBr3 and CsCaCl3 using two-color excited state excitation spectroscopy. The ESE spectra reveal sharp lines at low energies, confirming a similar distance offset for 4f(n-1)5d(t2g)(1) states. At higher energies, broader bands are observed, which indicate the presence of excited states with a different offset. On the basis of ab initio embedded-cluster calculations, the broad bands are assigned to two-photon d-d absorption from the excited state. In this work, we demonstrate that ESE is a powerful spectroscopic tool, giving access to information which cannot be obtained through regular one-photon spectroscopy. PMID:27347766

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

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26928635

  12. Structural Insights into Proteasome Activation by the 19S Regulatory Particle

    PubMed Central

    Ehlinger, Aaron; Walters, Kylie J.

    2013-01-01

    Since its discovery in the late 1970s, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has become recognized as the major pathway for regulated cellular proteolysis. Processes ranging from cell cycle control, pathogen resistance, and protein quality control rely on selective protein degradation at the proteasome for homeostatic function. Perhaps as a consequence of the importance of this pathway, and the genesis of severe diseases upon its dysregulation, protein degradation by the UPS is highly controlled from the level of substrate recognition to proteolysis. Technological advances over the last decade have created an explosion of structural and mechanistic information that has underscored the complexity of the proteasome and its upstream regulatory factors. Significant insights have come from study of the 19S proteasome regulatory particle (RP) responsible for recognition and processing of ubiquitinated substrates destined for proteolysis. Established as a highly dynamic proteasome activator, a large number of both permanent and transient RP components with specialized functional roles are critical for proteasome function. In this review, we highlight recent mechanistic developments in the study of proteasome activation by the RP and how they provide context to our current understanding of the UPS. PMID:23672618

  13. Structural Insights into the Anti-HIV Activity of the Oscillatoria agardhii Agglutinin Homolog Lectin Family*

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22865886

  14. The Structure of Bipartite Quantum States - Insights from Group Theory and Cryptography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christandl, Matthias

    2006-04-01

    This thesis presents a study of the structure of bipartite quantum states. In the first part, the representation theory of the unitary and symmetric groups is used to analyse the spectra of quantum states. In particular, it is shown how to derive a one-to-one relation between the spectra of a bipartite quantum state and its reduced states, and the Kronecker coefficients of the symmetric group. In the second part, the focus lies on the entanglement of bipartite quantum states. Drawing on an analogy between entanglement distillation and secret-key agreement in classical cryptography, a new entanglement measure, `squashed entanglement', is introduced.

  15. Use of Google Insights for Search to track seasonal and geographic kidney stone incidence in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Breyer, Benjamin N.; Sen, Saunak; Aaronson, David S.; Stoller, Marshall L.; Erickson, Bradley A.; Eisenberg, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Objective To determine if internet search volume for kidney stones has seasonal and geographic distributions similar to known kidney stone incidence. Materials and Methods Google Insights for Search analyzes a portion of Google web searches from all Google domains to compute how many searches are performed for a given term relative to the total number of searches done over a specific time interval and geographic region. Selected terms related to kidney stones were examined to determine which most closely tracked kidney stone incidence. Google Insights for Search data was correlated with hospital admissions for the emergent treatment of nephrolithiasis found through the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Ambient temperature in Seattle and New York were compared to search volume for these regions to display qualitative relationships. Results The term “kidney stones” had the highest seasonal correlation of terms examined (r=0.81, p=0.0014). Google Insights for Search output and National Inpatient Sample admissions also correlated when regions were compared (r=.90, p=0.005). Qualitative relationships between ambient temperatures and kidney stone search volume do exist. Conclusion Internet search volume activity for kidney stones correlates with temporal and regional kidney stone insurance claims data. In the future, with improved modeling of search detection algorithms and increased internet usage, search volume has the potential to serve as a surrogate for kidney stone incidence. PMID:21459414

  16. Collective excitations and thermodynamics of disordered state: new insights into an old problem.

    PubMed

    Brazhkin, V V; Trachenko, K

    2014-10-01

    Disorder has been long considered as a formidable foe of theoretical physicists in their attempts to understand systems' behavior. Here, we review recently accumulated data and propose that, from the point of view of calculating thermodynamic properties, the problem of disorder may not be as severe as has been hitherto assumed. We particularly emphasize that, contrary to the long-held view, collective excitations do not decay in disordered systems. We subsequently discuss recent experimental, theoretical, and modeling results related to collective excitations in disordered media, and show how these results pave the way to understanding thermodynamics of disordered systems: glasses, liquids, supercritical fluids, and spin glasses. An interesting insight from the recent work is the realization that most important changes of thermodynamic properties of the disordered system are governed only by its fundamental length, the interatomic separation. We discuss how the proposed theory relates to the previous approaches based on a general many-body statistical mechanics framework. PMID:25180672

  17. Olanzapine Activates Hepatic Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: New Mechanistic Insight into Metabolic Dysregulation with Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Robin H.; Jokinen, Jenny D.; Massey, Veronica L.; Falkner, K. Cameron; Shi, Xue; Yin, Xinmin; Zhang, Xiang; Beier, Juliane I.

    2013-01-01

    Olanzapine (OLZ), an effective treatment of schizophrenia and other disorders, causes weight gain and metabolic syndrome. Most studies to date have focused on the potential effects of OLZ on the central nervous system’s mediation of weight; however, peripheral changes in liver or other key metabolic organs may also play a role in the systemic effects of OLZ. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of OLZ on hepatic metabolism in a mouse model of OLZ exposure. Female C57Bl/6J mice were administered OLZ (8 mg/kg per day) or vehicle subcutaneously by osmotic minipumps for 28 days. Liver and plasma were taken at sacrifice for biochemical analyses and for comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry metabolomics analysis. OLZ increased body weight, fat pad mass, and liver-to-body weight ratio without commensurate increase in food consumption, indicating that OLZ altered energy expenditure. Expression and biochemical analyses indicated that OLZ induced anaerobic glycolysis and caused a pseudo-fasted state, which depleted hepatic glycogen reserves. OLZ caused similar effects in cultured HepG2 cells, as determined by Seahorse analysis. Metabolomic analysis indicated that OLZ increased hepatic concentrations of amino acids that can alter metabolism via the mTOR pathway; indeed, hepatic mTOR signaling was robustly increased by OLZ. Interestingly, OLZ concomitantly activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling. Taken together, these data suggest that disturbances in glucose and lipid metabolism caused by OLZ in liver may be mediated, at least in part, via simultaneous activation of both catabolic (AMPK) and anabolic (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathways, which yields new insight into the metabolic side effects of this drug. PMID:23926289

  18. Crystal structure analysis of ornithine transcarbamylase from Thermus thermophilus --HB8 provides insights on the plasticity of the active site.

    PubMed

    Sundaresan, Ramya; Ebihara, Akio; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki; Kumarevel, Thirumananseri; Ponnuraj, Karthe

    2015-09-18

    The enzymatic biosynthesis of L-arginine involves complex, sequential action of many enzymes and ornithine transcarbamylase (OTCase) is one of the essential enzymes in the pathway. In mammals OTCase is part of the urea cycle. Arginine is used in a variety of pharmaceutical and industrial applications and therefore engineering arginine biosynthesis pathway for overproduction of arginine has gained importance. On the other hand, it was found that detrimental mutations in the human OTCase gene resulted clinical hyperammonemia, with subsequent neurological damage. Therefore a better understanding of the structure-function relationship of this enzyme from various sources could be useful for modifying its enzymatic action. Here we report the structure of ornithine transcarbamylase of Thermus thermophilus HB8 (aTtOTCase) at 2.0 Å resolution. On comparison with its homologs, aTtOTCase showed maximum variation at the substrate binding loops namely 80s and SMG/240s loops. The active site geometry of aTtOTCase is unique among its homologs where the side chain of certain residues (Leu57, Arg58 and Arg288) is oriented differently. To study the structural insights of substrate binding in aTtOTCase, docking of carbamoyl phosphate (CP) and ornithine (Orn) was carried out sequentially. Both substrates were unable to bind in a proper orientation in the active site pocket and this could be due to the differently oriented side chains. This suggests that the active site geometry should also undergo fine tuning besides the large structural changes as the enzyme switches from completely open to a substrate bound closed state. PMID:26210451

  19. Integrating State Systemic Reforms and Chapter 1 Programs: Insights from Early Initiatives. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pechman, Ellen M.; Turnbull, Brenda J.

    This report examines the effects of early efforts to link the Elementary Secondary Education Act's (ESEA's) Chapter 1 (now Title I) programs to state and district education reforms, which are standards-based. The report focuses on how Chapter 1 standards and accountability requirements connect with new state-level standards, curricula, and…

  20. Structural Insight into Tau Protein’s Paradox of Intrinsically Disordered Behavior, Self-Acetylation Activity, and Aggregation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Tau is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, tau proteins were discovered to be able to catalyze self-acetylation, which may promote its pathological aggregation. Understanding the paradox of tau’s random-like conformations, aggregation propensity, and enzymatic activity are challenging questions. We characterized the atomic structures of two truncated tau constructs, K18 and K19, consisting of, respectively, only the four- and three-repeats of tau protein, providing structural insights into tau’s paradox. Extensive 4.8 μs replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations of the tau proteins achieved quantitative correlation with experimental Cα chemical shifts. Our results revealed (1) dynamically ordered conformations with close lysine–cysteine distances essential for tau self-acetylation and (2) high β-sheet content and large hydrophobic surface exposure for the two critical hexapeptides (275VQIINK280 and 306VQIVYK311), crucial for tau aggregation. Together, they illuminate tau’s perplexing behavior of how its disordered state can accomplish both roles. PMID:25206938

  1. Structure of a nanobody-stabilized active state of the β2 adrenoceptor

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Søren G. F.; Choi, Hee-Jung; Fung, Juan Jose; Pardon, Els; Casarosa, Paola; Chae, Pil Seok; DeVree, Brian T.; Rosenbaum, Daniel M.; Thian, Foon Sun; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Schnapp, Andreas; Konetzki, Ingo; Sunahara, Roger K.; Gellman, Samuel H.; Pautsch, Alexander; Steyaert, Jan; Weis, William I.; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2010-01-01

    G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) exhibit a spectrum of functional behaviors in response to natural and synthetic ligands. Recent crystal structures provide insights into inactive states of several GPCRs. Efforts to obtain an agonist-bound active-state GPCR structure have proven difficult due to the inherent instability of this state in the absence of a G protein. We generated a camelid antibody fragment (nanobody) to the human β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) that exhibits G protein-like behavior, and obtained an agonist-bound, active-state crystal structure of the receptor-nanobody complex. Comparison with the inactive β2AR structure reveals subtle changes in the binding pocket; however, these small changes are associated with an 11Å outward movement of the cytoplasmic end of transmembrane segment 6, and rearrangements of transmembrane segments 5 and 7 that are remarkably similar to those observed in opsin, an active form of rhodopsin. This structure provides insights into the process of agonist binding and activation. PMID:21228869

  2. Insights into the structural nature of the transition state in the Kir channel gating pathway.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Philip W; Bollepalli, Murali K; Rapedius, Markus; Nematian-Ardestani, Ehsan; Shang, Lijun; Sansom, Mark Sp; Tucker, Stephen J; Baukrowitz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study we identified an extensive gating network within the inwardly rectifying Kir1.1 (ROMK) channel by combining systematic scanning mutagenesis and functional analysis with structural models of the channel in the closed, pre-open and open states. This extensive network appeared to stabilize the open and pre-open states, but the network fragmented upon channel closure. In this study we have analyzed the gating kinetics of different mutations within key parts of this gating network. These results suggest that the structure of the transition state (TS), which connects the pre-open and closed states of the channel, more closely resembles the structure of the pre-open state. Furthermore, the G-loop, which occurs at the center of this extensive gating network, appears to become unstructured in the TS because mutations within this region have a 'catalytic' effect upon the channel gating kinetics. PMID:25483285

  3. Insights into the structural nature of the transition state in the Kir channel gating pathway

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Philip W; Bollepalli, Murali K; Rapedius, Markus; Nematian-Ardestani, Ehsan; Shang, Lijun; Sansom, Mark SP; Tucker, Stephen J; Baukrowitz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study we identified an extensive gating network within the inwardly rectifying Kir1.1 (ROMK) channel by combining systematic scanning mutagenesis and functional analysis with structural models of the channel in the closed, pre-open and open states. This extensive network appeared to stabilize the open and pre-open states, but the network fragmented upon channel closure. In this study we have analyzed the gating kinetics of different mutations within key parts of this gating network. These results suggest that the structure of the transition state (TS), which connects the pre-open and closed states of the channel, more closely resembles the structure of the pre-open state. Furthermore, the G-loop, which occurs at the center of this extensive gating network, appears to become unstructured in the TS because mutations within this region have a ‘catalytic’ effect upon the channel gating kinetics. PMID:25483285

  4. Insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity through interrogation of cis elements disrupted in human erythroid disorders.

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Aoi; Ulirsch, Jacob C; Ludwig, Leif S; Fiorini, Claudia; Yasuda, Makiko; Choudhuri, Avik; McDonel, Patrick; Zon, Leonard I; Sankaran, Vijay G

    2016-04-19

    Whole-exome sequencing has been incredibly successful in identifying causal genetic variants and has revealed a number of novel genes associated with blood and other diseases. One limitation of this approach is that it overlooks mutations in noncoding regulatory elements. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which mutations in transcriptionalcis-regulatory elements result in disease remain poorly understood. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to interrogate three such elements harboring mutations in human erythroid disorders, which in all cases are predicted to disrupt a canonical binding motif for the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA1. Deletions of as few as two to four nucleotides resulted in a substantial decrease (>80%) in target gene expression. Isolated deletions of the canonical GATA1 binding motif completely abrogated binding of the cofactor TAL1, which binds to a separate motif. Having verified the functionality of these three GATA1 motifs, we demonstrate strong evolutionary conservation of GATA1 motifs in regulatory elements proximal to other genes implicated in erythroid disorders, and show that targeted disruption of such elements results in altered gene expression. By modeling transcription factor binding patterns, we show that multiple transcription factors are associated with erythroid gene expression, and have created predictive maps modeling putative disruptions of their binding sites at key regulatory elements. Our study provides insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity and may prove a useful resource for investigating the pathogenicity of noncoding variants in human erythroid disorders. PMID:27044088

  5. Insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity through interrogation of cis elements disrupted in human erythroid disorders

    PubMed Central

    Wakabayashi, Aoi; Ulirsch, Jacob C.; Ludwig, Leif S.; Fiorini, Claudia; Yasuda, Makiko; Choudhuri, Avik; McDonel, Patrick; Zon, Leonard I.; Sankaran, Vijay G.

    2016-01-01

    Whole-exome sequencing has been incredibly successful in identifying causal genetic variants and has revealed a number of novel genes associated with blood and other diseases. One limitation of this approach is that it overlooks mutations in noncoding regulatory elements. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which mutations in transcriptional cis-regulatory elements result in disease remain poorly understood. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to interrogate three such elements harboring mutations in human erythroid disorders, which in all cases are predicted to disrupt a canonical binding motif for the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA1. Deletions of as few as two to four nucleotides resulted in a substantial decrease (>80%) in target gene expression. Isolated deletions of the canonical GATA1 binding motif completely abrogated binding of the cofactor TAL1, which binds to a separate motif. Having verified the functionality of these three GATA1 motifs, we demonstrate strong evolutionary conservation of GATA1 motifs in regulatory elements proximal to other genes implicated in erythroid disorders, and show that targeted disruption of such elements results in altered gene expression. By modeling transcription factor binding patterns, we show that multiple transcription factors are associated with erythroid gene expression, and have created predictive maps modeling putative disruptions of their binding sites at key regulatory elements. Our study provides insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity and may prove a useful resource for investigating the pathogenicity of noncoding variants in human erythroid disorders. PMID:27044088

  6. Insights on Volcanic Activity - Self-Potential and Gravity surveys of Masaya volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams-Jones, G.; Mauri, G.; Saracco, G.

    2006-12-01

    For more than ten years, the activity of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua, has been surveyed annually in order to characterize the long term mass/density variations within the shallow magma chamber. However, the injection of new magma is a rapid process, requiring only several hours or days. Other cyclical short period phenomena may be present (e.g., hydrothermal systems) and responsible for noise in the measured signal during a typical dynamic gravity survey. In order to determine the origin and importance of this noise and fully characterize any short period variations, a continuous gravity survey was made from February 16, 2006 to March 12, 2006 in the summit crater of Masaya. During this period, a short term of gravity variation of 60 μGal was measured with a wavelength of 20 hours. Hydrothermal systems, which may or may not be well developed, are directly related to heat, gas and fluids coming from the shallow magma chamber and plumbing system. Others sources of fluids are rainfall and the local aquifer, notably at the caldera lake, Laguna Masaya. Movement of hydrothermal fluids, which will generate self-potential (SP) signals, are directly influenced by superficial dyke injection and fluctuations of magma in the shallow plumbing system. The depth and movement of large fluid cells can be localized by self- potential data when processed by continuous wavelet transform. To characterize the shape and position of the hydrothermal system on the Masaya volcano, several SP profiles were made in conjunction with the continuous gravity survey. The SP data from around the summit pit craters were processed by continuous wavelet transform to localize the main large cell of hydrothermal fluid and determine the effects of the hydrothermal fluids on the continuous gravity measurements. The combination of SP and continuous gravity can give insight into short and medium term variations in magmatic activity.

  7. Acute astrocyte activation in brain detected by MRI: new insights into T(1) hypointensity.

    PubMed

    Sibson, Nicola R; Lowe, John P; Blamire, Andrew M; Martin, Matthew J; Obrenovitch, Tiho P; Anthony, Daniel C

    2008-03-01

    Increases in the T(1) of brain tissue, which give rise to dark or hypointense areas on T(1)-weighted images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are common to a number of neuropathologies including multiple sclerosis (MS) and ischaemia. However, the biologic significance of T(1) increases remains unclear. Using a multiparametric MRI approach and well-defined experimental models, we have experimentally induced increases in tissue T(1) to determine the underlying cellular basis of such changes. We have shown that a rapid acute increase in T(1) relaxation in the brain occurs in experimental models of both low-flow ischaemia induced by intrastriatal injection of endothelin-1 (ET-1), and excitotoxicity induced by intrastriatal injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). However, there appears to be no consistent correlation between increases in T(1) relaxation and changes in other MRI parameters (apparent diffusion coefficient, T(2) relaxation, or magnetisation transfer ratio of tissue water). Immunohistochemically, one common morphologic feature shared by the ET-1 and NMDA models is acute astrocyte activation, which was detectable within 2 h of intracerebral ET-1 injection. Pretreatment with an inhibitor of astrocyte activation, arundic acid, significantly reduced the spatial extent of the T(1) signal change induced by intrastriatal ET-1 injection. These findings suggest that an increase in T(1) relaxation may identify the acute development of reactive astrocytes within a central nervous system lesion. Early changes in T(1) may, therefore, provide insight into acute and reversible injury processes in neurologic patients, such as those observed before contrast enhancement in MS. PMID:17851455

  8. Common Intrinsic Connectivity States Among Posteromedial Cortex Subdivisions: Insights From Analysis of Temporal Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhen; Craddock, R. Cameron; Margulies, Daniel; Yan, Chao-Gan; Milham, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Perspectives of human brain functional connectivity continue to evolve. Static representations of functional interactions between brain regions are rapidly giving way to dynamic perspectives, which emphasizes non-random temporal variations in intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) patterns. Here, we bring this dynamic perspective to our understanding of iFC patterns for posteromedial cortex (PMC), a cortical hub known for its functional diversity. Previous work has consistently differentiated iFC patterns among PMC subregions, though assumed static iFC over time. Here, we assessed iFC as a function of time utilizing a sliding-window correlation approach, and applied hierarchical clustering to detect representative iFC states from the windowed iFC. Across subregions, five iFC states were detected over time. Although with differing frequencies, each subregion was associated with each of the states, suggesting that these iFC states are “common” to PMC subregions. Importantly, each subregion possessed a unique preferred state(s) and distinct transition patterns, explaining previously observed iFC differentiations. These results resonate with task-based fMRI studies suggesting that large-scale functional networks can be flexibly reconfigured in response to changing task-demands. Additionally, we used retest scans (~1 week later) to demonstrate the reproducibility of the iFC states identified, and establish moderate to high test-retest reliability for various metrics used to quantify switching behaviors. We also demonstrate the ability of dynamic properties in the visual PMC subregion to index inter-individual differences in a measure of concept formation and mental flexibility. These findings suggest functional relevance of dynamic iFC and its potential utility in biomarker identification over time, as d-iFC methodologies are refined and mature. PMID:24560717

  9. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false State-level activities. 300.704 Section 300.704... Allotments, Grants, and Use of Funds § 300.704 State-level activities. (a) State administration. (1) For the... may be used for the administration of Part C of the Act, if the SEA is the lead agency for the...

  10. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2011-07-01 2010-07-01 true State-level activities. 300.704 Section 300.704... Allotments, Grants, and Use of Funds § 300.704 State-level activities. (a) State administration. (1) For the... may be used for the administration of Part C of the Act, if the SEA is the lead agency for the...

  11. An insight into non-emissive excited states in conjugated polymers.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongjian; Willard, Adam P; Ono, Robert J; Bielawski, Christopher W; Rossky, Peter J; Vanden Bout, David A

    2015-01-01

    Conjugated polymers in the solid state usually exhibit low fluorescence quantum yields, which limit their applications in many areas such as light-emitting diodes. Despite considerable research efforts, the underlying mechanism still remains controversial and elusive. Here, the nature and properties of excited states in the archetypal polythiophene are investigated via aggregates suspended in solvents with different dielectric constants (ɛ). In relatively polar solvents (ɛ>∼ 3), the aggregates exhibit a low fluorescence quantum yield (QY) of 2-5%, similar to bulk films, however, in relatively nonpolar solvents (ɛ<∼ 3) they demonstrate much higher fluorescence QY up to 20-30%. A series of mixed quantum-classical atomistic simulations illustrate that dielectric induced stabilization of nonradiative charge-transfer (CT) type states can lead to similar drastic reduction in fluorescence QY as seen experimentally. Fluorescence lifetime measurement reveals that the CT-type states exist as a competitive channel of the formation of emissive exciton-type states. PMID:26391514

  12. An insight into non-emissive excited states in conjugated polymers

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Zhongjian; Willard, Adam P.; Ono, Robert J.; Bielawski, Christopher W.; Rossky, Peter J.; Vanden Bout, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Conjugated polymers in the solid state usually exhibit low fluorescence quantum yields, which limit their applications in many areas such as light-emitting diodes. Despite considerable research efforts, the underlying mechanism still remains controversial and elusive. Here, the nature and properties of excited states in the archetypal polythiophene are investigated via aggregates suspended in solvents with different dielectric constants (ɛ). In relatively polar solvents (ɛ>∼ 3), the aggregates exhibit a low fluorescence quantum yield (QY) of 2–5%, similar to bulk films, however, in relatively nonpolar solvents (ɛ<∼ 3) they demonstrate much higher fluorescence QY up to 20–30%. A series of mixed quantum-classical atomistic simulations illustrate that dielectric induced stabilization of nonradiative charge-transfer (CT) type states can lead to similar drastic reduction in fluorescence QY as seen experimentally. Fluorescence lifetime measurement reveals that the CT-type states exist as a competitive channel of the formation of emissive exciton-type states. PMID:26391514

  13. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Activities of insured State banks. 362.3 Section 362.3 Banks and Banking FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION REGULATIONS AND STATEMENTS OF GENERAL POLICY ACTIVITIES OF INSURED STATE BANKS AND INSURED SAVINGS ASSOCIATIONS Activities of...

  14. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Activities of insured State banks. 362.3 Section 362.3 Banks and Banking FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION REGULATIONS AND STATEMENTS OF GENERAL POLICY ACTIVITIES OF INSURED STATE BANKS AND INSURED SAVINGS ASSOCIATIONS Activities of...

  15. Validity Evidence for the State Mindfulness Scale for Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Anne E.; Ullrich-French, Sarah; French, Brian F.

    2016-01-01

    Being attentive to and aware of one's experiences in the present moment with qualities of acceptance and openness reflects the state of mindfulness. Positive associations exist between state mindfulness and state autonomous motivation for everyday activities. Though this suggests that state mindfulness links with adaptive motivational experiences,…

  16. Physical coupling of activation and derepression activities to maintain an active transcriptional state at FLC.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongchun; Howard, Martin; Dean, Caroline

    2016-08-16

    Establishment and maintenance of gene expression states is central to development and differentiation. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms interconnect in poorly understood ways to determine these states. We explore these mechanisms through dissection of the regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). FLC can be present in a transcriptionally active state marked by H3K36me3 or a silent state marked by H3K27me3. Here, we investigate the trans factors modifying these opposing histone states and find a physical coupling in vivo between the H3K36 methyltransferase, SDG8, and the H3K27me3 demethylase, ELF6. Previous modeling has predicted this coupling would exist as it facilitates bistability of opposing histone states. We also find association of SDG8 with the transcription machinery, namely RNA polymerase II and the PAF1 complex. Delivery of the active histone modifications is therefore likely to be through transcription at the locus. SDG8 and ELF6 were found to influence the localization of each other on FLC chromatin, showing the functional importance of the interaction. In addition, both influenced accumulation of the associated H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 histone modifications at FLC We propose the physical coupling of activation and derepression activities coordinates transcriptional activity and prevents ectopic silencing. PMID:27482092

  17. Physical coupling of activation and derepression activities to maintain an active transcriptional state at FLC

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongchun; Howard, Martin; Dean, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Establishment and maintenance of gene expression states is central to development and differentiation. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms interconnect in poorly understood ways to determine these states. We explore these mechanisms through dissection of the regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). FLC can be present in a transcriptionally active state marked by H3K36me3 or a silent state marked by H3K27me3. Here, we investigate the trans factors modifying these opposing histone states and find a physical coupling in vivo between the H3K36 methyltransferase, SDG8, and the H3K27me3 demethylase, ELF6. Previous modeling has predicted this coupling would exist as it facilitates bistability of opposing histone states. We also find association of SDG8 with the transcription machinery, namely RNA polymerase II and the PAF1 complex. Delivery of the active histone modifications is therefore likely to be through transcription at the locus. SDG8 and ELF6 were found to influence the localization of each other on FLC chromatin, showing the functional importance of the interaction. In addition, both influenced accumulation of the associated H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 histone modifications at FLC. We propose the physical coupling of activation and derepression activities coordinates transcriptional activity and prevents ectopic silencing. PMID:27482092

  18. Stability and activity of mesophilic subtilisin E and its thermophilic homolog: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Colombo, G.; Merz, K.M. Jr.

    1999-07-28

    This report examines the origin of the high-temperature (250 K) behavior of a thermophilic mutant enzyme (labeled at 5-3H5; see Zhao and Arnold Prot. Eng. 1999, 12, 47--53) derived from subtilisin E by eight amino acid substitutions. Through the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, the authors have provided molecular-level insights into how point mutations can affect protein structure and dynamics. From simulations the authors observed a reduced rmsd in several key regions, an increased overall flexibility, an increase in the number of hydrogen bonds, and an increase in the number of stabilizing interactions in the thermophilic system. It was shown that it is not a necessary requirement that thermophilic enzymes be less flexible than their mesophilic counterparts at low temperatures. However, thermophilic enzymes must retain their three-dimensional structures and flexibility at high temperatures in order to retain activity. Furthermore, the authors have been able to point out the effects of some of the single substitutions. Even if it is not possible yet to give general rules for rational protein design, the authors are able to make some predictions on how a protein should be stabilized in order to be thermophilic. In particular, the authors suggest that a promising strategy toward speeding up the design of thermally stable proteins would be to identify fluxional regions within a protein through the use of MD simulations (or suitable experiments). Presumably these regions allow for autocatalytic reactions to occur and are also involved in allowing water to gain access to the interior of the protein and initiate protein unfolding. These fluxional regions could also adversely affect the positioning of the catalytic machinery, thereby decreasing catalytic efficiency. Thus, once these locations have been identified, focused directed evolution studies could be designed that stabilize these fluxional regions.

  19. Request Strategies in Professional E-Mail Correspondence: Insights from the United States Workplace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leopold, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing interest in the rhetorical features of e-mail correspondence, this is the first study to examine the request strategies in e-mails written by native English-speaking professionals from a variety of industries in the United States. This study uses Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper's (1989) speech act framework to analyze the request…

  20. Women's Learning and Development Across Borders: Insights from Anglophone Caribbean Immigrant Women in the United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alfred, Mary V.

    The learning and development experiences of English-speaking Caribbean immigrant women in the United States were examined in a transcultural study. A heuristic phenomenological approach was used to explore how a sample of 15 Anglophone women from the British Caribbean islands who had immigrated to the midwestern, southwestern, and eastern United…

  1. Career Readiness in the United States 2015. ACT Insights in Education and Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeFebvre, Mary

    2015-01-01

    ACT has conducted over 20,000 job analyses for occupations across a diverse array of industries and occupations since 1993. This report highlights the levels of career readiness for various subgroups of ACT Work Keys® examinees in the United States and provides career readiness benchmarks for selected ACT WorkKeys cognitive skills by career…

  2. What State Policymakers Should Know about Federal Higher Education Policy. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longanecker, David A.

    2006-01-01

    Despite the mantra that education is primarily a state responsibility, the federal government is an important and influential player when it comes to providing higher education to the nation's students. The federal government invests roughly $25 billion annually in higher education excluding loans that are ultimately repaid, military benefits that…

  3. Seismic amplification within the Seattle Basin, Washington State: Insights from SHIPS seismic tomography experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snelson, C.M.; Brocher, T.M.; Miller, K.C.; Pratt, T.L.; Trehu, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    Recent observations indicate that the Seattle sedimentary basin, underlying Seattle and other urban centers in the Puget Lowland, Washington, amplifies long-period (1-5 sec) weak ground motions by factors of 10 or more. We computed east-trending P- and S-wave velocity models across the Seattle basin from Seismic Hazard Investigations of Puget Sound (SHIPS) experiments to better characterize the seismic hazard the basin poses. The 3D tomographic models, which resolve features to a depth of 10 km, for the first time define the P- and S-wave velocity structure of the eastern end of the basin. The basin, which contains sedimentary rocks of Eocene to Holocene, is broadly symmetric in east-west section and reaches a maximum thickness of 6 km along our profile beneath north Seattle. A comparison of our velocity model with coincident amplification curves for weak ground motions produced by the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake suggests that the distribution of Quaternary deposits and reduced velocity gradients in the upper part of the basement east of Seattle have significance in forecasting variations in seismic-wave amplification across the basin. Specifically, eastward increases in the amplification of 0.2- to 5-Hz energy correlate with locally thicker unconsolidated deposits and a change from Crescent Formation basement to pre-Tertiary Cascadia basement. These models define the extent of the Seattle basin, the Seattle fault, and the geometry of the basement contact, giving insight into the tectonic evolution of the Seattle basin and its influence on ground shaking.

  4. Functional insights into modulation of BKCa channel activity to alter myometrial contractility

    PubMed Central

    Lorca, Ramón A.; Prabagaran, Monali; England, Sarah K.

    2014-01-01

    The large-conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa) is an important regulator of membrane excitability in a wide variety of cells and tissues. In myometrial smooth muscle, activation of BKCa plays essential roles in buffering contractility to maintain uterine quiescence during pregnancy and in the transition to a more contractile state at the onset of labor. Multiple mechanisms of modulation have been described to alter BKCa channel activity, expression, and cellular localization. In the myometrium, BKCa is regulated by alternative splicing, protein targeting to the plasma membrane, compartmentation in membrane microdomains, and posttranslational modifications. In addition, interaction with auxiliary proteins (i.e., β1- and β2-subunits), association with G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, such as those activated by adrenergic and oxytocin receptors, and hormonal regulation provide further mechanisms of variable modulation of BKCa channel function in myometrial smooth muscle. Here, we provide an overview of these mechanisms of BKCa channel modulation and provide a context for them in relation to myometrial function. PMID:25132821

  5. Dynamical insights into {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* state mediated photodissociation of aniline

    SciTech Connect

    King, Graeme A.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Ashfold, Michael N. R.

    2010-06-07

    This article reports a comprehensive study of the mechanisms of H atom loss in aniline (C{sub 6}H{sub 5}NH{sub 2}) following ultraviolet excitation, using H (Rydberg) atom photofragment translational spectroscopy. N-H bond fission via the low lying {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* electronic state of aniline is experimentally demonstrated. The {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* potential energy surface (PES) of this prototypical aromatic amine is essentially repulsive along the N-H stretch coordinate, but possesses a shallow potential well in the vertical Franck-Condon region, supporting quasibound vibrational levels. Photoexcitation at wavelengths ({lambda}{sub phot}) in the range 293.859 nm{>=}{lambda}{sub phot}{>=}193.3 nm yields H atom loss via a range of mechanisms. With {lambda}{sub phot} resonant with the 1{sup 1}{pi}{pi}*<-S{sub 0} origin (293.859 nm), H atom loss proceeds via, predominantly, multiphoton excitation processes, resonantly enhanced at the one photon energy by the first {sup 1}{pi}{pi}* excited state (the 1{sup 1}{pi}{pi}* state). Direct excitation to the first few quasibound vibrational levels of the {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* state (at wavelengths in the range 269.513 nm{>=}{lambda}{sub phot}{>=}260 nm) induces N-H bond fission via H atom tunneling through an exit barrier into the repulsive region of the {sup 1{pi}{sigma}*} PES, forming anilino (C{sub 6}H{sub 5}NH) radical products in their ground electronic state, and with very limited vibrational excitation; the photo-prepared vibrational mode in the {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* state generally evolves adiabatically into the corresponding mode of the anilino radical upon dissociation. However, as the excitation wavelength is reduced ({lambda}{sub phot}<260 nm), N-H bond fission yields fragments with substantially greater vibrational excitation, rationalized in terms of direct excitation to 1{sup 1}{pi}{pi}* levels, followed by coupling to the {sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* PES via a 1{sup 1}{pi}{pi}*/{sup 1}{pi}{sigma}* conical intersection

  6. Dynamical insights into 1πσ* state mediated photodissociation of aniline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Graeme A.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Ashfold, Michael N. R.

    2010-06-01

    This article reports a comprehensive study of the mechanisms of H atom loss in aniline (C6H5NH2) following ultraviolet excitation, using H (Rydberg) atom photofragment translational spectroscopy. N-H bond fission via the low lying π1σ∗ electronic state of aniline is experimentally demonstrated. The π1σ∗ potential energy surface (PES) of this prototypical aromatic amine is essentially repulsive along the N-H stretch coordinate, but possesses a shallow potential well in the vertical Franck-Condon region, supporting quasibound vibrational levels. Photoexcitation at wavelengths (λphot) in the range 293.859 nm≥λphot≥193.3 nm yields H atom loss via a range of mechanisms. With λphot resonant with the 1π1π∗←S0 origin (293.859 nm), H atom loss proceeds via, predominantly, multiphoton excitation processes, resonantly enhanced at the one photon energy by the first π1π∗ excited state (the 1π1π∗ state). Direct excitation to the first few quasibound vibrational levels of the π1σ∗ state (at wavelengths in the range 269.513 nm≥λphot≥260 nm) induces N-H bond fission via H atom tunneling through an exit barrier into the repulsive region of the π1σ∗ PES, forming anilino (C6H5NH) radical products in their ground electronic state, and with very limited vibrational excitation; the photo-prepared vibrational mode in the π1σ∗ state generally evolves adiabatically into the corresponding mode of the anilino radical upon dissociation. However, as the excitation wavelength is reduced (λphot<260 nm), N-H bond fission yields fragments with substantially greater vibrational excitation, rationalized in terms of direct excitation to 1π1π∗ levels, followed by coupling to the π1σ∗ PES via a 1π1π∗/π1σ∗ conical intersection. Changes in product kinetic energy disposal once λphot approaches ˜230 nm likely indicate that the photodissociation pathways of aniline proceed via direct excitation to the (higher) 2π1π∗ state. Analysis of the

  7. Direct observation of frictional contacts: New insights for state-dependent properties

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dieterich, J.H.; Kilgore, B.D.

    1994-01-01

    Rocks and many other materials display a rather complicated, but characteristic, dependence of friction on sliding history. These effects are well-described by empirical rate- and state-dependent constitutive formulations which have been utilized for analysis of fault slip and earthquake processes. We present a procedure for direct quantitative microscopic observation of frictional contacts during slip. The observations reveal that frictional state dependence represents an increase of contact area with contact age. Transient changes of sliding resistance correlate with changes in contact area and arise from shifts of contact population age. Displacement-dependent replacement of contact populations is shown to cause the diagnostic evolution of friction over a characteristic sliding distance that occurs whenever slip begins or sliding conditions change. ?? 1994 Birkha??user Verlag.

  8. Dynamical insights into (1)pi sigma(*) state mediated photodissociation of aniline.

    PubMed

    King, Graeme A; Oliver, Thomas A A; Ashfold, Michael N R

    2010-06-01

    This article reports a comprehensive study of the mechanisms of H atom loss in aniline (C(6)H(5)NH(2)) following ultraviolet excitation, using H (Rydberg) atom photofragment translational spectroscopy. N-H bond fission via the low lying (1)pi sigma(*) electronic state of aniline is experimentally demonstrated. The (1)pi sigma(*) potential energy surface (PES) of this prototypical aromatic amine is essentially repulsive along the N-H stretch coordinate, but possesses a shallow potential well in the vertical Franck-Condon region, supporting quasibound vibrational levels. Photoexcitation at wavelengths (lambda(phot)) in the range 293.859 nm > or = lambda(phot) > or = 193.3 nm yields H atom loss via a range of mechanisms. With lambda(phot) resonant with the 1(1)pi pi(*) <-- S(0) origin (293.859 nm), H atom loss proceeds via, predominantly, multiphoton excitation processes, resonantly enhanced at the one photon energy by the first (1)pi pi(*) excited state (the 1(1)pi pi(*) state). Direct excitation to the first few quasibound vibrational levels of the (1)pi sigma(*) state (at wavelengths in the range 269.513 nm > or = lambda(phot) > or = 260 nm) induces N-H bond fission via H atom tunneling through an exit barrier into the repulsive region of the (1)pi sigma(*) PES, forming anilino (C(6)H(5)NH) radical products in their ground electronic state, and with very limited vibrational excitation; the photo-prepared vibrational mode in the (1)pi sigma(*) state generally evolves adiabatically into the corresponding mode of the anilino radical upon dissociation. However, as the excitation wavelength is reduced (lambda(phot) < 260 nm), N-H bond fission yields fragments with substantially greater vibrational excitation, rationalized in terms of direct excitation to 1(1)pi pi(*) levels, followed by coupling to the (1)pi sigma(*) PES via a 1(1)pi pi(*)/(1)pi sigma(*) conical intersection. Changes in product kinetic energy disposal once lambda(phot) approaches approximately 230 nm

  9. New insights into the bonding arrangements of L- and D-glutamates from solid state 17O NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaitre, V.; Pike, K. J.; Watts, A.; Anupold, T.; Samoson, A.; Smith, M. E.; Dupree, R.

    2003-03-01

    Magic angle spinning (MAS) from L- and D-glutamic acid-HCl at 14.1 T produces highly structured and very similar NMR spectra. Lines from all 4 oxygen sites are readily distinguished and assigned. These 17O NMR spectra are very different from the previously reported 17O spectrum of the D, L-form presumably because that was a racemic crystal. 17O NMR from L-monosodium glutamate-HCl is very different again requiring the application of double angle rotation and 3 quantum MAS NMR to provide resolution of 5 different sites. Hence high resolution 17O solid state NMR techniques offer possible new insight into biochemical bonding processes.

  10. Gravity and deformation changes at two persistently active volcanoes: Insights into magmatic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams-Jones, G.; Rymer, H.

    2004-05-01

    Insights on some of the mechanisms responsible for persistent volcanism can be best achieved through the synergy of temporal geophysical and geochemical data sets. Gravity changes combined with ground deformation have been shown to provide important information on magma reservoir mass changes while measurements of gas flux have been influential in determining the rate of magma emplacement. The integration of long-term micro-gravity and ground deformation data with SO2 flux and total sulphur budgets collected at Poás and Masaya volcanoes (since 1983 and 1993, respectively) now allows for the identification of significant cycles of activity. Recent eruptive activity at Poás volcano (Costa Rica) has been characterised by the disappearance and subsequent reappearance of the summit crater lake following intrusive episodes in 1980 and 1986-1989. Magma approached the surface on both occasions and was detected by the observation of concurrent increases in micro-gravity. These increases can be best modelled in terms of brittle fracturing of a shallow magma carapace allowing magma ascent through the conduit system to beneath the crater. This process allows for the vertical transfer of heat and gas and is driven by convection of buoyant, volatile-rich magma displacing colder, degassed magma. As magma pressure drops, the connection between the deeper magma reservoir and shallow conduit system is severed allowing the hydrothermal system to resume its role as a cooling mechanism. In contrast, recent activity at Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) has been characterised by repeated periods of significant passive degassing (>2000 t/d SO2) with the eruption of only negligible amounts of juvenile material. The resulting cycle gravity and gas flux variations is clearly not driven by intrusion of additional magma into the shallow system. Rather, it may be due in part to blocking and gas accumulation caused by restrictions in the shallow volcano substructure. However, as with Poás, this

  11. Redox Switches for Single-Molecule Magnet Activity: An Ab Initio Insight.

    PubMed

    Vieru, Veacheslav; Chibotaru, Liviu F

    2016-04-01

    A dinuclear Co(II) complex (1) featuring unprecedented anodic and cathodic switches for single-molecule magnet (SMM) activity has been recently investigated (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 14670). The presence of sandwiched radicals in different oxidation states of this compound mediates magnetic coupling between the high-spin (S=3/2) cobalt ions, which gives rise to SMM activity in both the oxidized ([1(OEt2 )](+) ) and reduced ([1](-) ) states. This feature represents the first example of a SMM exhibiting fully reversible, dual ON/OFF switchability. Here we apply ab initio and broken-symmetry DFT calculations to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for magnetic properties and magnetization blocking in these compounds. It is found that due to the strong delocalization of the magnetic molecular orbital, there is a strong antiferromagnetic interaction between the radical and cobalt ions. The lack of high axiality of the cobalt centres explains why these compounds possess slow relaxation of magnetization only in an applied dc magnetic field. PMID:26918833

  12. State of the art survey: active and semi-active suspension control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, H. Eric; Hrovat, Davor

    2015-07-01

    This survey paper aims to provide some insight into the design of suspension control system within the context of existing literature and share observations on current hardware implementation of active and semi-active suspension systems. It reviews the performance envelop of active, semi-active, and passive suspensions with a focus on linear quadratic-based optimisation including a specific example. The paper further discusses various design aspects including other design techniques, the decoupling of load and road disturbances, the decoupling of pitch and heave modes, the use of an inerter as an additional design element, and the application of preview. Various production and near production suspension systems were examined and described according to the features they offer, including self-levelling, variable damping, variable geometry, and anti-roll damping and stiffness. The lessons learned from these analytical insights and related hardware implementations are valuable and can be applied towards future active or semi-active suspension design.

  13. From REM sleep behaviour disorder to status dissociatus: insights into the maze of states of being.

    PubMed

    Vetrugno, Roberto; Montagna, Pasquale

    2011-12-01

    Sleep is a coordinated process involving more or less simultaneous changes in sensory, motor, autonomic, hormonal, and cerebral processes. On the other hand, none of the changes occurring with sleep are invariably coupled to sleep. EEG synchrony, heat loss, sleep-related hormone secretion, and even REM-related motoneuron paralysis may occur independent of the parent state. In REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) the muscle tone of wakefulness intrudes into REM sleep, allowing the release of dream-enacting behaviours. Status dissociatus (SD) is a condition in which brain and mind are in disarray along the boundaries of sleep and wakefulness. The existence of such dissociated behaviours shows that they have separate neuronal control systems and indicates that the whole organization of sleep is an emergent property of the collective neuronal systems to synchronize. Insults to the brain can drastically alter the circuitries responsible for maintaining the integrity of wakefulness, NREM sleep, and REM sleep. As a consequence, the basic states of existence can become admixed and interchanged with striking disturbances of consciousness, brain electrophysiology, and the behavioural and polygraphic expression of sleep and wakefulness. The evolution of RBD into SD may result from a disarray of (brainstem) structures that orchestrate the whole brain wake-sleep conditions, but with preserved discrete systems and dissociable strategies to still place navigation in wake and sleep. Advances in the fields of genetics, neuroimaging, and behavioural neurology will expand the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the organization of the states of being along with their somatic/behavioural manifestations. PMID:22136904

  14. Language in the brain at rest: new insights from resting state data and graph theoretical analysis.

    PubMed

    Muller, Angela M; Meyer, Martin

    2014-01-01

    In humans, the most obvious functional lateralization is the specialization of the left hemisphere for language. Therefore, the involvement of the right hemisphere in language is one of the most remarkable findings during the last two decades of fMRI research. However, the importance of this finding continues to be underestimated. We examined the interaction between the two hemispheres and also the role of the right hemisphere in language. From two seeds representing Broca's area, we conducted a seed correlation analysis (SCA) of resting state fMRI data and could identify a resting state network (RSN) overlapping to significant extent with a language network that was generated by an automated meta-analysis tool. To elucidate the relationship between the clusters of this RSN, we then performed graph theoretical analyses (GTA) using the same resting state dataset. We show that the right hemisphere is clearly involved in language. A modularity analysis revealed that the interaction between the two hemispheres is mediated by three partitions: A bilateral frontal partition consists of nodes representing the classical left sided language regions as well as two right-sided homologs. The second bilateral partition consists of nodes from the right frontal, the left inferior parietal cortex as well as of two nodes within the posterior cerebellum. The third partition is also bilateral and comprises five regions from the posterior midline parts of the brain to the temporal and frontal cortex, two of the nodes are prominent default mode nodes. The involvement of this last partition in a language relevant function is a novel finding. PMID:24808843

  15. Language in the brain at rest: new insights from resting state data and graph theoretical analysis

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Angela M.; Meyer, Martin

    2014-01-01

    In humans, the most obvious functional lateralization is the specialization of the left hemisphere for language. Therefore, the involvement of the right hemisphere in language is one of the most remarkable findings during the last two decades of fMRI research. However, the importance of this finding continues to be underestimated. We examined the interaction between the two hemispheres and also the role of the right hemisphere in language. From two seeds representing Broca's area, we conducted a seed correlation analysis (SCA) of resting state fMRI data and could identify a resting state network (RSN) overlapping to significant extent with a language network that was generated by an automated meta-analysis tool. To elucidate the relationship between the clusters of this RSN, we then performed graph theoretical analyses (GTA) using the same resting state dataset. We show that the right hemisphere is clearly involved in language. A modularity analysis revealed that the interaction between the two hemispheres is mediated by three partitions: A bilateral frontal partition consists of nodes representing the classical left sided language regions as well as two right-sided homologs. The second bilateral partition consists of nodes from the right frontal, the left inferior parietal cortex as well as of two nodes within the posterior cerebellum. The third partition is also bilateral and comprises five regions from the posterior midline parts of the brain to the temporal and frontal cortex, two of the nodes are prominent default mode nodes. The involvement of this last partition in a language relevant function is a novel finding. PMID:24808843

  16. Vehicle choice in aging population: Some insights from a stated preference survey for California

    SciTech Connect

    Kavalec, C.

    1999-07-01

    This paper investigates the potential effects that an aging baby boomer generation will have on gasoline use through their vehicle choice decisions. The study uses stated preference data for both conventional and alternative fuel vehicles, and measures the impact of age of survey respondent on the perceived value of vehicle characteristics such as fuel economy, performance, and body style (e.g., car vs. truck). The results suggest the possibility that average fleet fuel economy may improve in the next few years, if survey preferences translate to actual purchase behavior. No clear implications can be drawn regarding the demand for alternative fuel vehicles.

  17. An insight into the biophysical characterization of different states of cefotaxime hydrolyzing β-lactamase 15 (CTX-M-15).

    PubMed

    Rehman, Md Tabish; Faheem, Mohd; Khan, Asad U

    2015-01-01

    Cefotaxime hydrolyzing β-lactamase-15 (CTX-M-15) is encoded by blaCTX-M-15 gene present on plasmid of various Gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli, E. cloacae, K. pneumoniae, etc. The widespread dissemination of CTX-M-15 harboring bacteria in hospital as well as community settings is a universal threat as they are resistant to various clinically significant antibiotics. In order to gain an insight into the folding mechanism of CTX-M-15, we carried out pH-induced denaturation study by monitoring Trp fluorescence, far-UV circular dichroism (CD), and ANS fluorescence. We found that the pH-induced denaturation of CTX-M-15 was a three-step process with the accumulation of two stable folding intermediates (XI at pH 2.5 and XII at pH 1.5) in the folding pathway. The intermediates were further characterized by far-UV and near-UV CD analysis, Trp fluorescence, ANS fluorescence, three-dimensional fluorescence, acrylamide quenching, dynamic light scattering, and thermal denaturation studies. We found that XI state lacked tertiary structure but retained most of the secondary structure, its Trp residues were partially exposed to the solvent and its hydrophobic patches were highly accessible to ANS. On the other hand, a complete disruption of tertiary structure along with more than 50% loss in secondary structure was observed in XII state. We conclude that the XI state of CTX-M-15 at pH 2.5 had all the characteristics of a molten globule (MG) state, while its XII state at pH 1.5 was more similar to pre-molten globule (PMG) state. ANS fluorescence also showed that the binding of ANS in XII state was lower than that in the XI state. We propose that the accumulation of MG- and PMG-states was due to separation (at pH 2.5) and then unfolding (at pH 1.5) of the αβα-fold of CTX-M-15, respectively. PMID:24650131

  18. Microhydration of LiOH: Insight from electronic decays of core-ionized states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kryzhevoi, Nikolai V.

    2016-06-01

    We compute and compare the autoionization spectra of a core-ionized LiOH molecule both in its isolated and microhydrated states. Stepwise microhydration of LiOH leads to gradual elongation of the Li-OH bond length and finally to molecular dissociation. The accompanying changes in the local environment of the OH- and Li+ counterions are reflected in the computed O 1s and Li 1s spectra. The role of solvent water molecules and the counterion in the spectral shape formation is assessed. Electronic decays of the microhydrated LiOH are found to be mostly intermolecular since the majority of the populated final states have at least one outer-valence vacancy outside the initially core-ionized ion, mainly on a neighboring water molecule. The charge delocalization occurs through the intermolecular Coulombic and electron transfer mediated decays. Both mechanisms are highly efficient that is partly attributed to hybridization of molecular orbitals. The computed spectral shapes are sensitive to the counterion separation as well as to the number and arrangement of solvent molecules. These sensitivities can be used for studying the local hydration structure of solvated ions in aqueous solutions.

  19. Non-sulfate sulfur in fine aerosols across the United States: Insight for organosulfate prevalence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakya, Kabindra M.; Peltier, Richard E.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the discrepancies in long-term sulfur measurements from 2000 to 2012 by two separate speciation methods, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and ion chromatography (IC) across the United States (334 sites). Overall, there was a good correlation between sulfur measurements by XRF spectroscopy and IC (R ≥ 0.90 for most of the sites). However, the inorganic sulfate measured by ion chromatography was not sufficient to account for all the sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy at many of the sites. Discrepancies were observed with the high ratios of sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy to that by IC. Such high ratios also exhibited seasonal variation, and differed across land use types; significant differences occurred at locations classified as forest, agriculture, and mobile, but not in locations classified as commercial, desert, industrial, and residential. On average, the excess, or non-sulfate, sulfur (unmeasured organic sulfur or other inorganic species of sulfur) was variable and observed as high as ∼13% of organic carbon and ∼2% of PM2.5. The contribution of such assumed organosulfur was larger in the eastern region than other geographical locations in the United States. Besides the temporal and spatial trends, the additional sulfur was found to be related to other factors such as aerosol acidity and emission sources. The results suggest that these unmeasured sulfur species could have significant contribution to aerosol burden, and the understanding of these could help to control PM2.5 levels and to assess other effects of sulfur aerosols.

  20. The peptide-receptive transition state of MHC-1 molecules: Insight from structure and molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson H.; Mage, M.; Dolan, M.; Wang, R.; Boyd, L.; Revilleza, M.; Natarajan, K.; Myers, N.; Hansen, T.; Margulies, D.

    2012-05-01

    MHC class I (MHC-I) proteins of the adaptive immune system require antigenic peptides for maintenance of mature conformation and immune function via specific recognition by MHC-I-restricted CD8(+) T lymphocytes. New MHC-I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum are held by chaperones in a peptide-receptive (PR) transition state pending release by tightly binding peptides. In this study, we show, by crystallographic, docking, and molecular dynamics methods, dramatic movement of a hinged unit containing a conserved 3(10) helix that flips from an exposed 'open' position in the PR transition state to a 'closed' position with buried hydrophobic side chains in the peptide-loaded mature molecule. Crystallography of hinged unit residues 46-53 of murine H-2L(d) MHC-I H chain, complexed with mAb 64-3-7, demonstrates solvent exposure of these residues in the PR conformation. Docking and molecular dynamics predict how this segment moves to help form the A and B pockets crucial for the tight peptide binding needed for stability of the mature peptide-loaded conformation, chaperone dissociation, and Ag presentation.

  1. Insights into the Excitonic States of Individual Chlorosomes from Chlorobaculum tepidum

    PubMed Central

    Jendrny, Marc; Aartsma, Thijs J.; Köhler, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Green-sulfur bacteria have evolved a unique light-harvesting apparatus, the chlorosome, by which it is perfectly adapted to thrive photosynthetically under extremely low light conditions. We have used single-particle, optical spectroscopy to study the structure-function relationship of chlorosomes each of which incorporates hundreds of thousands of self-assembled bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) molecules. The electronically excited states of these molecular assemblies are described as Frenkel excitons whose photophysical properties depend crucially on the mutual arrangement of the pigments. The signature of these Frenkel excitons and its relation to the supramolecular organization of the chlorosome becomes accessible by optical spectroscopy. Because subtle spectral features get obscured by ensemble averaging, we have studied individual chlorosomes from wild-type Chlorobaculum tepidum by polarization-resolved fluorescence-excitation spectroscopy. This approach minimizes the inherent sample heterogeneity and allows us to reveal properties of the exciton states without ensemble averaging. The results are compared with predictions from computer simulations of various models of the supramolecular organization of the BChl monomers. We find that the photophysical properties of individual chlorosomes from wild-type Chlorobaculum tepidum are consistent with a (multiwall) helical arrangement of syn-anti stacked BChl molecules in cylinders and/or spirals of different size. PMID:24806924

  2. Spectroscopic insights on selfassembly and excited state interactions between rhodamine and phthalocyanine molecules.

    PubMed

    Geng, Hao; Zhang, Xian-Fu

    2015-03-15

    The absorption and fluorescence spectra as well as fluorescence lifetimes of tetrasulfonated zinc phthalocyanine ZnPc(SO3Na)4 were measured in the absence and presence of four rhodamine dyes, Rhodamine B (RB), Ethyl rhodamine B (ERB), Rhodamine 6G (R6G), Rhodamine 110 (R110), and Pyronine B (PYB). The ground state complexes of phthalocyanine-(Rhodamine)2 were observed which exhibit new absorption bands. The binding constants are all very large (0.86×10(5)-0.22×10(8) M(-1)), suggesting rhodamine-phthalocyanine pairs are very good combinations for efficient selfassembly. Both the fluorescence intensity and the lifetime values of ZnPc(SO3Na)4 were decreased by the presence of rhodamines. The structural effect of rhodamines on selfassembly is significant. The ground state binding and dynamic quenching capability is PYB>R6G>ERB>RB>R110. The dynamic fluorescence quenching is due to the photoinduced electron transfer (PET). The PET rate constant is very large and in the order of 10(13) M(-1) s(-1), much greater than kf and kic (in the order of 10(8) M(-1) s(-1)), which means that the PET efficiency is almost 100%. Therefore the non-covalent Pc-rhodamine is a very good pair of donor/acceptor for potential efficient solar energy conversion. PMID:25546492

  3. Spectroscopic insights on selfassembly and excited state interactions between rhodamine and phthalocyanine molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Hao; Zhang, Xian-Fu

    2015-03-01

    The absorption and fluorescence spectra as well as fluorescence lifetimes of tetrasulfonated zinc phthalocyanine ZnPc(SO3Na)4 were measured in the absence and presence of four rhodamine dyes, Rhodamine B (RB), Ethyl rhodamine B (ERB), Rhodamine 6G (R6G), Rhodamine 110 (R110), and Pyronine B (PYB). The ground state complexes of phthalocyanine-(Rhodamine)2 were observed which exhibit new absorption bands. The binding constants are all very large (0.86 × 105-0.22 × 108 M-1), suggesting rhodamine-phthalocyanine pairs are very good combinations for efficient selfassembly. Both the fluorescence intensity and the lifetime values of ZnPc(SO3Na)4 were decreased by the presence of rhodamines. The structural effect of rhodamines on selfassembly is significant. The ground state binding and dynamic quenching capability is PYB > R6G > ERB > RB > R110. The dynamic fluorescence quenching is due to the photoinduced electron transfer (PET). The PET rate constant is very large and in the order of 1013 M-1 s-1, much greater than kf and kic (in the order of 108 M-1 s-1), which means that the PET efficiency is almost 100%. Therefore the non-covalent Pc-rhodamine is a very good pair of donor/acceptor for potential efficient solar energy conversion.

  4. Amyloidogenic behavior of different intermediate state of stem bromelain: A biophysical insight.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Masihuz; Ehtram, Aquib; Chaturvedi, Sumit Kumar; Nusrat, Saima; Khan, Rizwan Hasan

    2016-10-01

    Stem bromelain, a cysteine proteases from Ananas comosus is a widely accepted therapeutic drug with broad medicinal application. It exists as intermediate states at pH 2.0 and 10.0, where it encountered in gastrointestinal tract during adsorption (acidic pH) and in gut epithelium (alkaline pH), respectively. In this study, we monitored the thermal aggregation/amyloid formation of SB at different pH intermediate states. Thermal treatment of stem bromelain at pH 10.0 favors the fibrillation in which the extent of aggregation increases with increase in protein concentration. However, no fibril formation in stem bromelain at pH 2.0 was found at all the concentration used at pH 10.0. The fibril formation was confirmed by various techniques such as turbidity measurements, Rayleigh light scattering, dye binding assays and far UV circular dichroism. The Dynamic light scattering confirmed the formation of aggregates by measuring the hydrodynamic radii pattern. Moreover, microscopic techniques were performed to analyze the morphology of fibrils. The aggregation behavior may be due to variation in number of charged amino acid residues. The less negative charge developed at pH 10.0 may be responsible for aggregation. This work helps to overcome the aggregation related problems of stem bromelain during formulations in pharmaceutical industry. PMID:27259642

  5. Non-sulfate sulfur in fine aerosols across the United States: Insight for organosulfate prevalence

    PubMed Central

    Shakya, Kabindra M.; Peltier, Richard E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the discrepancies in long-term sulfur measurements from 2000 to 2012 by two separate speciation methods, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and ion chromatography (IC) across the United States (334 sites). Overall, there was a good correlation between sulfur measurements by XRF spectroscopy and IC (R ≥ 0.90 for most of the sites). However, the inorganic sulfate measured by ion chromatography was not sufficient to account for all the sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy at many of the sites. Discrepancies were observed with the high ratios of sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy to that by IC. Such high ratios also exhibited seasonal variation, and differed across land use types; significant differences occurred at locations classified as forest, agriculture, and mobile, but not in locations classified as commercial, desert, industrial, and residential. On average, the excess, or non-sulfate, sulfur (unmeasured organic sulfur or other inorganic species of sulfur) was variable and observed as high as ~13% of organic carbon and ~2% of PM2.5. The contribution of such assumed organosulfur was larger in the eastern region than other geographical locations in the United States. Besides the temporal and spatial trends, the additional sulfur was found to be related to other factors such as aerosol acidity and emission sources. The results suggest that these unmeasured sulfur species could have significant contribution to aerosol burden, and the understanding of these could help to control PM2.5 levels and to assess other effects of sulfur aerosols. PMID:25620874

  6. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    PubMed Central

    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. DNA topoisomerase II structures and anthracycline activity: insights into ternary complex formation.

    PubMed

    Dal Ben, D; Palumbo, M; Zagotto, G; Capranico, G; Moro, S

    2007-01-01

    DNA Topoisomerase II (Top2) is an essential nuclear enzyme that regulates the topological state of the DNA, and a target of very effective anticancer drugs including anthracycline antibiotics. Even though several aspects of drug activity against Top2 are understood, the drug receptor site is not yet known. Several Top2 mutants have altered drug sensitivity and have provided information of structural features determining drug action. Here, we have revised the published crystal structures of eukaryotic and prokaryotic Top2s and relevant biochemical investigations of enzyme activity and anthracycline action. In particular, we have considered Top2 mutations conferring resistance to anthracyclines and related agents. Following a previous study (Moro et al, Biochemistry, 2004; 43: 7503-13), we have then re-built a molecular model of the entire enzyme in complex with DNA after the cleavage reaction, and used it to define the receptor site of anthracyclines. The results suggest a model wherein the drug specifically contacts the cleaved DNA as well as amino acid residues of the enzyme CAP-like domain. The findings can explain several established structure-activity relationships of antitumour anthracyclines, and provide a framework for further developments of effective Top2 poison. PMID:17897022

  8. Change-of-state determination to recognize mobility activities using a BlackBerry smartphone.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hui Hsien; Lemaire, Edward D; Baddour, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    A Wearable Mobility Monitoring System (WMMS) can be a useful tool for rehabilitation decision-making. This paper presents preliminary design and evaluation of a WMMS proof-of-concept system. Software was developed for the BlackBerry 9550, using the integrated three axes accelerometer, GPS, video camera, and timer to identify mobility changes-of-state (CoS) between static activities, walking-related activities, taking an elevator, bathroom activities, working in the kitchen, and meal preparation (five able-bodied subjects). This pilot project provides insight into new algorithms and features that recognize CoS and activities in real-time. Following features extraction from the sensor data, two decision trees were used to distinguish the CoS and activities. Real-time CoS identification triggered BlackBerry video recording for improved mobility context analysis during post-processing. PMID:22255522

  9. Predictions of the equation of state of cerium yield interesting insights into experimental results

    SciTech Connect

    Cherne, Frank J; Jensen, Brian J; Rigg, Paulo A; Elkin, Vyacheslav M

    2009-01-01

    There has been much interest in the past in understanding the dynamic properties of phase changing materials. In this paper we begin to explore the dynamic properties of the complex material of cerium. Cerium metal is a good candidate material to explore capabilities in determining a dynamic phase diagram on account of its low dynamic phase boundaries, namely, the {gamma}-{alpha}, and {alpha}-liquid phase boundaries. Here we present a combination of experimental results with calculated results to try to understand the dynamic behavior of the material. Using the front surface impact technique, we performed a series of experiments which displayed a rarefaction shock upon release. These experiments show that the reversion shock stresses occur at different magnitudes, allowing us to plot out the {gamma}-{alpha} phase boundary. Applying a multiphase equation of state a broader understanding of the experimental results will be discussed.

  10. Molecular Structure of Aggregated Amyloid-β: Insights from Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

    PubMed

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides aggregate to form polymorphic amyloid fibrils and a variety of intermediate assemblies, including oligomers and protofibrils, both in vitro and in human brain tissue. Since the beginning of the 21st century, considerable progress has been made to characterize the molecular structures of Aβ aggregates. Full molecular structural models based primarily on data from measurements using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) have been developed for several in vitro Aβ fibrils and one metastable protofibril. Partial structural characterization of other aggregation intermediates has been achieved. One full structural model for fibrils derived from brain tissue has also been reported. Future work is likely to focus on additional structures from brain tissue and on further clarification of nonfibrillar Aβ aggregates. PMID:27481836

  11. Molecular Insight in Structure and Activity of Highly Efficient, Low-Ir Ir-Ni Oxide Catalysts for Electrochemical Water Splitting (OER).

    PubMed

    Reier, Tobias; Pawolek, Zarina; Cherevko, Serhiy; Bruns, Michael; Jones, Travis; Teschner, Detre; Selve, Sören; Bergmann, Arno; Nong, Hong Nhan; Schlögl, Robert; Mayrhofer, Karl J J; Strasser, Peter

    2015-10-14

    Mixed bimetallic oxides offer great opportunities for a systematic tuning of electrocatalytic activity and stability. Here, we demonstrate the power of this strategy using well-defined thermally prepared Ir-Ni mixed oxide thin film catalysts for the electrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER) under highly corrosive conditions such as in acidic proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers and photoelectrochemical cells (PEC). Variation of the Ir to Ni ratio resulted in a volcano type OER activity curve with an unprecedented 20-fold improvement in Ir mass-based activity over pure Ir oxide. In situ spectroscopic probing of metal dissolution indicated that, against common views, activity and stability are not directly anticorrelated. To uncover activity and stability controlling parameters, the Ir-Ni mixed thin oxide film catalysts were characterized by a wide array of spectroscopic, microscopic, scattering, and electrochemical techniques in conjunction with DFT theoretical computations. By means of an intuitive model for the formation of the catalytically active state of the bimetallic Ir-Ni oxide surface, we identify the coverage of reactive surface hydroxyl groups as a suitable descriptor for the OER activity and relate it to controllable synthetic parameters. Overall, our study highlights a novel, highly active oxygen evolution catalyst; moreover, it provides novel important insights into the structure and performance of bimetallic oxide OER electrocatalysts in corrosive acidic environments. PMID:26355767

  12. The Impact of Seawater Saturation State on Early Skeletal Development in Larval Corals: Insights into Scleractinian Biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, A. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; de Putron, S.

    2007-12-01

    Understanding the response of coral calcification to changes in seawater saturation state (ocean acidification) could provide important insights into the fundamental processes of scleractinian biomineralization. In particular, larval calcification, which involves initiation of skeletogenesis by a previously non-calcifying planktonic planula, offers a unique opportunity to examine the role and limitations of biological control over an essentially physicochemical process. Larvae of the brooding Atlantic coral Favia fragum were settled in unmodified seawater onto clay tiles within 12h of spawning, and placed into non-through flow 30 L aquaria prior to initiation of calcification. Seawater chemistry was pre-adjusted via HCl addition and continuous bubbling with laboratory air, yielding four aragonite saturation states: Omega(aragonite) = 3.71 (unmodified), 2.4, 1.04, and 0.22. The aquaria were held at 25 °C on a 12h/12h light/dark cycle, and sets of tiles harvested at 1, 5 and 8 days post-spawning. Accretion of aragonite (confirmed by Raman spectroscopy) in all treatments indicates that the settled larvae were able to elevate the saturation state of aquarium seawater sequestered within their calcifying space. However, external aqueous carbonate chemistry had a striking effect on larval mortality, on the nature and timing of basal plate formation, on skeletal growth rates (based on the length and cross-sectional area of septa), and on the structure and organization of aragonite crystals within the septa (imaged using SEM). Larval survival rates at the two lower saturation states was only 40% of that in the control and Omega = 2.35 treatments, and skeletal growth decreased by 30 % (relative to the control) in seawater with saturation state comparable to that predicted for the mid-latitude surface ocean by 2100 AD. SEM imaging of the larval skeletons revealed significant differences in the morphology of aragonite crystals accreted under different conditions. In stark

  13. Microbial Species Richness and Metabolic Activities in Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Insight into Biosignature Formation Through Lithification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgartner, Laura K.; Dupraz, Christophe; Buckley, Daniel H.; Spear, John R.; Pace, Norman R.; Visscher, Pieter T.

    2009-11-01

    Microbial mats in the hypersaline lake of Salt Pan, Eleuthera, Bahamas, display a gradient of lithification along a transect from the center to the shore of the lake. These mats exist under similar geochemical conditions, with light quantity and quality as the sole major environmental difference. Therefore, we hypothesized that the microbial community may be driving the differences in lithification and, by extension, mineral biosignature formation. The lithifying and non-lithifying mat communities were compared (via 16S rRNA gene sequencing, 485 and 464 sequences, respectively) over both temporal and spatial scales. Seven bacterial groups dominated in all the microbial mat libraries: bacteriodetes, alphaproteobacteria, deltaproetobacteria, chloroflexi, spirochaetes, cyanobacteria, and planctomycetes. The mat communities were all significantly different over space, time, and lithification state. Species richness is significantly higher in the non-lithifying mats, potentially due to differences in mat structure and activity. This increased richness may impact lithification and, hence, biosignature production.

  14. A structural snapshot of CYP2B4 in complex with paroxetine provides insights into ligand binding and clusters of conformational states.

    PubMed

    Shah, Manish B; Kufareva, Irina; Pascual, Jaime; Zhang, Qinghai; Stout, C David; Halpert, James R

    2013-07-01

    An X-ray crystal structure of CYP2B4 in complex with the drug paroxetine [(3S,4R)-3-[(2H-1,3-benzodioxol-5-yloxy)methyl]-4-(4-fluorophenyl)piperidine] was solved at 2.14 Å resolution. The structure revealed a conformation intermediate to that of the recently solved complex with amlodipine and that of the more compact complex with 4-(4-chlorophenyl)imidazole in terms of the placement of the F-G cassette. Moreover, comparison of the new structure with 15 previously solved structures of CYP2B4 revealed some new insights into the determinants of active-site size and shape. The 2B4-paroxetine structure is nearly superimposable on a previously solved closed structure in a ligand-free state. Despite the overall conformational similarity among multiple closed structures, the active-site cavity volume of the paroxetine complex is enlarged. Further analysis of the accessible space and binding pocket near the heme reveals a new subchamber that resulted from the movement of secondary structural elements and rearrangements of active-site side chains. Overall, the results from the comparison of all 16 structures of CYP2B4 demonstrate a cluster of protein conformations that were observed in the presence or absence of various ligands. PMID:23633618

  15. Mesolimbic neuronal activity across behavioral states.

    PubMed

    Woodward, D J; Chang, J Y; Janak, P; Azarov, A; Anstrom, K

    1999-06-29

    A goal of neurophysiology of the mesolimbic system is to determine the activity patterns within the regions in the prefrontal cortex, ventral neostriatum, and amygdala that regulate behavioral patterns to seek rewards. A new technology has been introduced in which arrays of microwires are implanted in different brain regions while activity patterns of ensembles of neurons are recorded for long periods of time during freely moving behaviors. Multichannel instrumentation and software is used for data acquisition and analysis. An initial hypothesis was that neural signals would be encountered in the nucleus accumbens and associated regions specifically related to reward. However, an initial study of neural activity and behavioral patterns during a simple lever press for intravenous cocaine (1 mg/kg) revealed that phasic excitatory or inhibitory neural activity patterns often appear prior to the reward phase. Individual neurons throughout the mesolimbic system appear to code information specific to sensory and motor events, tones, or lever presses in the chain of tasks leading to all rewards so far studied. Different spatial temporal patterns also appear within the same neural populations, as reward is changed from injected cocaine to heroin, from ingested pure water to ethanol in water or sucrose. Overall, patterns of activity for each neuron are found to shift dynamically during the operant task as changes are made in the target reward. Significant shifts in activity of mesolimbic neurons that are unrelated to specific sensory-motor events also appear during complex sessions, such as during a bout of ethanol consumption to reach satiation or during progressive ratio tasks with increasing difficulty. An emerging hypothesis is that some candidate neural elements in the mesolimbic system code the anticipated reward, whereas others serve internal logic functions of motivation that mediate extinction or resumption of specific goal-directed behaviors. PMID:10415645

  16. Insights into laccase producing organisms, fermentation states, purification strategies, and biotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Forootanfar, Hamid; Faramarzi, Mohammad Ali

    2015-01-01

    Laccases are phenol oxidases belonging to the superfamily of multicopper oxidases and are found in bacteria, fungi, lichens, higher plants, and insects. Over the past few decades, laccases and laccase mediator systems (LMS) have found uses in a wide range of technological applications such as textile dye decolorization, industrial wastewater detoxification, pulp bleaching, chemical synthesis, and development of miniaturized biosensors. This has encouraged numerous studies to find and purify laccases with exploitable characteristics. The main aim of the present review is to summarize the rich literature data gained in recent years from the studies on laccases, focusing on the organisms that produce them, the methods used for screening, laccase activity assays, purification strategies, and the application of laccases as eco-friendly biocatalysts. PMID:26399693

  17. Some insights about the activity of the Ceboruco Volcano (Nayarit, Mexico) from recent seismic low-frequency activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez Uribe, María Carolina; Núñez-Cornú, Francisco Javier; Nava Pichardo, Fidencio Alejandro; Suárez-Plascencia, Carlos

    2013-10-01

    The Ceboruco stratovolcano (2,280 m.a.s.l.) is located in Nayarit, Mexico, at the western end of the Mexican volcanic belt, near several population centers and by the side of a strategic highway. During the last 1,000 years it has had, on the average, one eruption every 125 years. It last eruptive activity began in 1870, and during the following 5 years it presented superficial activity including vapor emissions, ash falls, and rhyodacitic lava flows along the southeast side. A data set consisting of 139 low-frequency volcanic-type earthquakes, recorded from March 2003 to July 2008 at the CEBN triaxial short period digital station on the southwestern side of the volcano, was classified according to waveform and spectral characteristics into four families: short duration, extended coda, bobbin, and modulated amplitude. Approximate hypocentral locations indicate that there is no particular location for events of any family, but rather that all events occur at different points within the volcano. The presence of ongoing volcanic-earthquake activity together with the ongoing vapor emissions indicate that the Ceboruco volcano continues to be active, and the higher occurrence rates of short-duration events, as compared with those for the other families, could indicate an increase in the stress in the volcanic edifice. This apparent stress increase, together with the fact that the last eruption occurred 143 years ago, tell us that the Ceboruco may be approaching a critical state, and may represent a hazard to the surrounding communities and economic activities.

  18. Insights into excited-state and isomerization dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin from ultrafast transient UV absorption

    PubMed Central

    Schenkl, S.; van Mourik, F.; Friedman, N.; Sheves, M.; Schlesinger, R.; Haacke, S.; Chergui, M.

    2006-01-01

    A visible-pump/UV-probe transient absorption is used to characterize the ultrafast dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin with 80-fs time resolution. We identify three spectral components in the 265- to 310-nm region, related to the all-trans retinal, tryptophan (Trp)-86 and the isomerized photoproduct, allowing us to map the dynamics from reactants to products, along with the response of Trp amino acids. The signal of the photoproduct appears with a time delay of ≈250 fs and is characterized by a steep rise (≈150 fs), followed by additional rise and decay components, with time scales characteristic of the J intermediate. The delayed onset and the steep rise point to an impulsive formation of a transition state on the way to isomerization. We argue that this impulsive formation results from a splitting of a wave packet of torsional modes on the potential surface at the branching between the all-trans and the cis forms. Parallel to these dynamics, the signal caused by Trp response rises in ≈200 fs, because of the translocation of charge along the conjugate chain, and possible mechanisms are presented, which trigger isomerization. PMID:16537491

  19. Photodissociation of quantum state-selected diatomic molecules yields new insight into ultracold chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Mickey; McGuyer, Bart H.; Lee, Chih-Hsi; Apfelbeck, Florian; Zelevinsky, Tanya

    2016-05-01

    When a molecule is subjected to a sufficiently energetic photon it can break apart into fragments through a process called ``photodissociation''. For over 70 years this simple chemical reaction has served as a vital experimental tool for acquiring information about molecular structure, since the character of the photodissociative transition can be inferred by measuring the 3D photofragment angular distribution (PAD). While theoretical understanding of this process has gradually evolved from classical considerations to a fully quantum approach, experiments to date have not yet revealed the full quantum nature of this process. In my talk I will describe recent experiments involving the photodissociation of ultracold, optical lattice-trapped, and fully quantum state-resolved 88Sr2 molecules. Optical absorption images of the PADs produced in these experiments reveal features which are inherently quantum mechanical in nature, such as matter-wave interference between output channels, and are sensitive to the quantum statistics of the molecular wavefunctions. The results of these experiments cannot be predicted using quasiclassical methods. Instead, we describe our results with a fully quantum mechanical model yielding new intuition about ultracold chemistry.

  20. Spectroscopic insights on imidazole substituted phthalocyanine photosensitizers: fluorescence properties, triplet state and singlet oxygen generation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xian-Fu; Lin, Yong; Guo, Wenfeng; Zhu, Jingzhong

    2014-12-10

    Imidazole substituted metal phthalocyanine (Pc) complexes were synthesized. UV-vis absorption, steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as laser flash photolysis were used to measure the photophysical and photosensitizing properties. All the imidazole-phthalocyanine conjugates show high ΦT (quantum yield of excited triplet formation), high ΦΔ (singlet oxygen formation yield, >0.50) and good fluorescence properties (quantum yield Φf>0.20 and lifetime τf>3.0 ns). Compared to the unsubstituted Pc, both α- and β-imidazole substitutions result in the remarkable decrease in Φf and τf, but the α-substitution is stronger. The imidazole substitution, on the other hand, causes the increase of ΦT, τT, and ΦΔ values. Magnesium phthalocyanine (MgPc) is more susceptible to the substitution than zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc). The mechanism responsible for the result is suggested based on the involvement of intramolecular photoinduced electron transfer. The high ΦΔ and appropriate fluorescence properties make the Pcs good candidate for PDT photosensitizers. PMID:24997445

  1. Spectroscopic insights on imidazole substituted phthalocyanine photosensitizers: Fluorescence properties, triplet state and singlet oxygen generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xian-Fu; Lin, Yong; Guo, Wenfeng; Zhu, Jingzhong

    2014-12-01

    Imidazole substituted metal phthalocyanine (Pc) complexes were synthesized. UV-vis absorption, steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as laser flash photolysis were used to measure the photophysical and photosensitizing properties. All the imidazole-phthalocyanine conjugates show high ΦT (quantum yield of excited triplet formation), high ΦΔ (singlet oxygen formation yield, >0.50) and good fluorescence properties (quantum yield Φf > 0.20 and lifetime τf > 3.0 ns). Compared to the unsubstituted Pc, both α- and β-imidazole substitutions result in the remarkable decrease in Φf and τf, but the α-substitution is stronger. The imidazole substitution, on the other hand, causes the increase of ΦT, τT, and ΦΔ values. Magnesium phthalocyanine (MgPc) is more susceptible to the substitution than zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc). The mechanism responsible for the result is suggested based on the involvement of intramolecular photoinduced electron transfer. The high ΦΔ and appropriate fluorescence properties make the Pcs good candidate for PDT photosensitizers.

  2. Proteomic and Phospho-Proteomic Profile of Human Platelets in Basal, Resting State: Insights into Integrin Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Maiguel, Dony; Faridi, Mohd Hafeez; Barth, Constantinos J.; Salem, Saeed M.; Singhal, Mudita; Stoub, Darren; Krastins, Bryan; Ogihara, Mitsunori; Zaki, Mohammed J.; Gupta, Vineet

    2009-01-01

    During atherogenesis and vascular inflammation quiescent platelets are activated to increase the surface expression and ligand affinity of the integrin αIIbβ3 via inside-out signaling. Diverse signals such as thrombin, ADP and epinephrine transduce signals through their respective GPCRs to activate protein kinases that ultimately lead to the phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic tail of the integrin αIIbβ3 and augment its function. The signaling pathways that transmit signals from the GPCR to the cytosolic domain of the integrin are not well defined. In an effort to better understand these pathways, we employed a combination of proteomic profiling and computational analyses of isolated human platelets. We analyzed ten independent human samples and identified a total of 1507 unique proteins in platelets. This is the most comprehensive platelet proteome assembled to date and includes 190 membrane-associated and 262 phosphorylated proteins, which were identified via independent proteomic and phospho-proteomic profiling. We used this proteomic dataset to create a platelet protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and applied novel contextual information about the phosphorylation step to introduce limited directionality in the PPI graph. This newly developed contextual PPI network computationally recapitulated an integrin signaling pathway. Most importantly, our approach not only provided insights into the mechanism of integrin αIIbβ3 activation in resting platelets but also provides an improved model for analysis and discovery of PPI dynamics and signaling pathways in the future. PMID:19859549

  3. Understanding the thermostability and activity of Bacillus subtilis lipase mutants: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bipin; Bulusu, Gopalakrishnan; Mitra, Abhijit

    2015-01-15

    Improving the thermostability of industrial enzymes is an important protein engineering challenge. Point mutations, induced to increase thermostability, affect the structure and dynamics of the target protein in several ways and thus can also affect its activity. There appears to be no general rules for improving the thermostabilty of enzymes without adversely affecting their enzymatic activity. We report MD simulations, of wild type Bacillus subtilis lipase (WT) and its six progressively thermostable mutants (2M, 3M, 4M, 6M, 9M, and 12M), performed at different temperatures, to address this issue. Less thermostable mutants (LTMs), 2M to 6M, show WT-like dynamics at all simulation temperatures. However, the two more thermostable mutants (MTMs) show the required flexibility at appropriate temperature ranges and maintain conformational stability at high temperature. They show a deep and rugged free-energy landscape, confining them within a near-native conformational space by conserving noncovalent interactions, and thus protecting them from possible aggregation. In contrast, the LTMs having marginally higher thermostabilities than WT show greater probabilities of accessing non-native conformations, which, due to aggregation, have reduced possibilities of reverting to their respective native states under refolding conditions. Our analysis indicates the possibility of nonadditive effects of point mutations on the conformational stability of LTMs. PMID:25495458

  4. High-resolution structures of cholesterol oxidase in the reduced state provide insights into redox stabilization.

    PubMed

    Golden, Emily; Karton, Amir; Vrielink, Alice

    2014-12-01

    Cholesterol oxidase (CO) is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the oxidation and isomerization of cholesterol to cholest-4-en-3-one. The reductive half reaction occurs via a hydride transfer from the substrate to the FAD cofactor. The structures of CO reduced with dithionite under aerobic conditions and in the presence of the substrate 2-propanol under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions are presented. The 1.32 Å resolution structure of the dithionite-reduced enzyme reveals a sulfite molecule covalently bound to the FAD cofactor. The isoalloxazine ring system displays a bent structure relative to that of the oxidized enzyme, and alternate conformations of a triad of aromatic residues near to the cofactor are evident. A 1.12 Å resolution anaerobically trapped reduced enzyme structure in the presence of 2-propanol does not show a similar bending of the flavin ring system, but does show alternate conformations of the aromatic triad. Additionally, a significant difference electron-density peak is observed within a covalent-bond distance of N5 of the flavin moiety, suggesting that a hydride-transfer event has occurred as a result of substrate oxidation trapping the flavin in the electron-rich reduced state. The hydride transfer generates a tetrahedral geometry about the flavin N5 atom. High-level density-functional theory calculations were performed to correlate the crystallographic findings with the energetics of this unusual arrangement of the flavin moiety. These calculations suggest that strong hydrogen-bond interactions between Gly120 and the flavin N5 centre may play an important role in these structural features. PMID:25478834

  5. Satellite observations of vegetation productivity provide new insight into United States bioenergy targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, W. K.; Cleveland, C. C.; Reed, S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2012-12-01

    The United States (U.S.) currently supplies roughly half the world's biofuel, with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) specifying an additional three-fold increase in annual production by 2022. Implicit in such energy targets is an associated increase in biomass demand from roughly 2.9 to 7.4 exajoules (EJ; 1018 joules) annually. However, many of the factors used to estimate future biomass availability are relatively unresolved, bringing into question EISA's ambitious future targets. Here, we estimate the primary bioenergy potential (PBP) of the conterminous U.S. using satellite-derived net primary productivity (NPP) data as the most geographically-explicit measure of current vegetation growth capacity. We show that the primary bioenergy potential (PBP) of the conterminous U.S. realistically ranges from approximately 5.9 (± 1.4) to 22.2 (± 4.4) EJ annually, depending on land use. The low end of this range represents current harvest residuals, an attractive potential energy source since no additional harvest land is required. In contrast, the high end represents an annual harvest over 75% of vegetated land in the conterminous U.S. While we identify EISA energy targets as achievable, our results indicate that meeting such targets using current technology would require either an 80% displacement of current U.S. croplands or the conversion of 60% of total U.S. rangelands. Our results are unique in that we apply high resolution, satellite-derived NPP as an upper-envelope constraint on bioenergy potential, which removes the need for extrapolation of plot-level observed yields over large spatial areas. Effective incorporation of biofuel into the U.S. energy portfolio will depend on our ability to accurately quantify the availability of biomass as a resource.

  6. Mechanistic and Structural Insights into the Prion-Disaggregase Activity of Hsp104.

    PubMed

    Sweeny, Elizabeth A; Shorter, James

    2016-05-01

    Hsp104 is a dynamic ring translocase and hexameric AAA+ protein found in yeast, which couples ATP hydrolysis to disassembly and reactivation of proteins trapped in soluble preamyloid oligomers, disordered protein aggregates, and stable amyloid or prion conformers. Here, we highlight advances in our structural understanding of Hsp104 and how Hsp104 deconstructs Sup35 prions. Although the atomic structure of Hsp104 hexamers remains uncertain, volumetric reconstruction of Hsp104 hexamers in ATPγS, ADP-AlFx (ATP hydrolysis transition-state mimic), and ADP via small-angle x-ray scattering has revealed a peristaltic pumping motion upon ATP hydrolysis. This pumping motion likely drives directional substrate translocation across the central Hsp104 channel. Hsp104 initially engages Sup35 prions immediately C-terminal to their cross-β structure. Directional pulling by Hsp104 then resolves N-terminal cross-β structure in a stepwise manner. First, Hsp104 fragments the prion. Second, Hsp104 unfolds cross-β structure. Third, Hsp104 releases soluble Sup35. Deletion of the Hsp104 N-terminal domain yields a hypomorphic disaggregase, Hsp104(∆N), with an altered pumping mechanism. Hsp104(∆N) fragments Sup35 prions without unfolding cross-β structure or releasing soluble Sup35. Moreover, Hsp104(∆N) activity cannot be enhanced by mutations in the middle domain that potentiate disaggregase activity. Thus, the N-terminal domain is critical for the full repertoire of Hsp104 activities. PMID:26608812

  7. Tritium activities in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.L.; LaMarche, P.

    1995-07-01

    There have been many significant changes in the status of tritium activities in the US since the 4th Tritium Conference in October, 1991. The replacement Tritium Facility (RTF) at Savannah River Site and the Weapons Engineering Tritium Facility (WETF) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are now operational with tritium. The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) has initiated a highly successful experimental campaign studying DT plasmas, and has produced more than 10 Megawatts (MW) of fusion power in a D-T plasma. Sandia National Laboratory has ceased tritium operations at the Tritium Research Laboratory (TRL) and many of the activities previously performed there have been transferred to Los Alamos and Savannah River. The tritium laboratory at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has reduced the tritium inventory to <5 grams. The Tritium Systems Test Assembly (TSTA) at Los Alamos continues to be at the forefront of tritium technology and safety development for the fusion energy program.

  8. Energy metabolism in Mycobacterium gilvum PYR-GCK: insights from transcript expression analyses following two states of induction.

    PubMed

    Badejo, Abimbola Comfort; Chung, Won Hyong; Kim, Nam Shin; Chai, Jin Choul; Lee, Young Seek; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Kim, Hyo Joon; Chai, Young Gyu

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium gilvum PYR-GCK, a pyrene degrading bacterium, has been the subject of functional studies aimed at elucidating mechanisms related to its outstanding pollutant bioremediation/biodegradation activities. Several studies have investigated energy production and conservation in Mycobacterium, however, they all focused on the pathogenic strains using their various hosts as induction sources. To gain greater insight into Mycobacterium energy metabolism, mRNA expression studies focused on respiratory functions were performed under two different conditions using the toxic pollutant pyrene as a test substrate and glucose as a control substrate. This was done using two transcriptomic techniques: global transcriptomic RNA-sequencing and quantitative Real-Time PCR. Growth in the presence of pyrene resulted in upregulated expression of genes associated with limited oxygen or anaerobiosis in M. gilvum PYR-GCK. Upregulated genes included succinate dehydrogenases, nitrite reductase and various electron donors including formate dehydrogenases, fumarate reductases and NADH dehydrogenases. Oxidative phosphorylation genes (with respiratory chain complexes I, III -V) were expressed at low levels compared to the genes coding for the second molecular complex in the bacterial respiratory chain (fumarate reductase); which is highly functional during microaerophilic or anaerobic bacterial growth. This study reveals a molecular adaptation to a hypoxic mode of respiration during aerobic pyrene degradation. This is likely the result of a cellular oxygen shortage resulting from exhaustion of the oxygenase enzymes required for these degradation activities in M. gilvum PYR-GCK. PMID:24927157

  9. Energy Metabolism in Mycobacterium gilvum PYR-GCK: Insights from Transcript Expression Analyses Following Two States of Induction

    PubMed Central

    Badejo, Abimbola Comfort; Chung, Won Hyong; Kim, Nam Shin; Chai, Jin Choul; Lee, Young Seek; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Kim, Hyo Joon; Chai, Young Gyu

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium gilvum PYR-GCK, a pyrene degrading bacterium, has been the subject of functional studies aimed at elucidating mechanisms related to its outstanding pollutant bioremediation/biodegradation activities. Several studies have investigated energy production and conservation in Mycobacterium, however, they all focused on the pathogenic strains using their various hosts as induction sources. To gain greater insight into Mycobacterium energy metabolism, mRNA expression studies focused on respiratory functions were performed under two different conditions using the toxic pollutant pyrene as a test substrate and glucose as a control substrate. This was done using two transcriptomic techniques: global transcriptomic RNA-sequencing and quantitative Real-Time PCR. Growth in the presence of pyrene resulted in upregulated expression of genes associated with limited oxygen or anaerobiosis in M.gilvum PYR-GCK. Upregulated genes included succinate dehydrogenases, nitrite reductase and various electron donors including formate dehydrogenases, fumarate reductases and NADH dehydrogenases. Oxidative phosphorylation genes (with respiratory chain complexes I, III –V) were expressed at low levels compared to the genes coding for the second molecular complex in the bacterial respiratory chain (fumarate reductase); which is highly functional during microaerophilic or anaerobic bacterial growth. This study reveals a molecular adaptation to a hypoxic mode of respiration during aerobic pyrene degradation. This is likely the result of a cellular oxygen shortage resulting from exhaustion of the oxygenase enzymes required for these degradation activities in M.gilvum PYR-GCK. PMID:24927157

  10. Mechanistic insight into the hydrazine decomposition on Rh(111): effect of reaction intermediate on catalytic activity.

    PubMed

    Deng, Zhigang; Lu, Xiaoqing; Wen, Zengqiang; Wei, Shuxian; Liu, Yunjie; Fu, Dianling; Zhao, Lianming; Guo, Wenyue

    2013-10-14

    Periodic density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed to systematically investigate the effect of reaction intermediate on catalytic activity for hydrazine (N2H4) decomposition on Rh(111). Reaction mechanisms via intramolecular and NH2-assisted N2H4 decompositions are comparatively analyzed, including adsorption configuration, reaction energy and barrier of elementary step, and reaction network. Our results show that the most favorable N2H4 decomposition pathway starts with the initial N-N bond scission to the NH2 intermediate, followed by stepwise H stripping from adsorbed N2Hx (x = 1-4) species, and finally forms the N2 and NH3 products. Comparatively, the stepwise intramolecular dehydrogenation via N2H4→ N2H3→ N2H2→ N2H → N2, and N2H4→ NH2→ NH → N with or without NH2 promotion effect, are unfavorable due to higher energy barriers encountered. Energy barrier analysis, reaction rate constants, and electronic structures are used to identify the crucial competitive route. The promotion effect of the NH2 intermediate is structurally reflected in the weakening of the N-H bond and strengthening of the N-N bond in N2Hx in the coadsorption system; it results intrinsically from the less structural deformation of the adsorbate, and weakening of the interaction between dehydrogenated fragment and departing H in transition state. Our results highlight the crucial effect of reaction intermediate on catalytic activity and provide a theoretical approach to analyze the effect. PMID:23990024

  11. Proofs that Develop Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2010-01-01

    Many mathematics educators have noted that mathematicians do not only read proofs to gain conviction but also to obtain insight. The goal of this article is to discuss what this insight is from mathematicians' perspective. Based on interviews with nine research-active mathematicians, two sources of insight are discussed. The first is reading a…

  12. Synaptic plasticity modulates autonomous transitions between waking and sleep states: Insights from a Morris-Lecar model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciszak, Marzena; Bellesi, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The transitions between waking and sleep states are characterized by considerable changes in neuronal firing. During waking, neurons fire tonically at irregular intervals and a desynchronized activity is observed at the electroencephalogram. This activity becomes synchronized with slow wave sleep onset when neurons start to oscillate between periods of firing (up-states) and periods of silence (down-states). Recently, it has been proposed that the connections between neurons undergo potentiation during waking, whereas they weaken during slow wave sleep. Here, we propose a dynamical model to describe basic features of the autonomous transitions between such states. We consider a network of coupled neurons in which the strength of the interactions is modulated by synaptic long term potentiation and depression, according to the spike time-dependent plasticity rule (STDP). The model shows that the enhancement of synaptic strength between neurons occurring in waking increases the propensity of the network to synchronize and, conversely, desynchronization appears when the strength of the connections become weaker. Both transitions appear spontaneously, but the transition from sleep to waking required a slight modification of the STDP rule with the introduction of a mechanism which becomes active during sleep and changes the proportion between potentiation and depression in accordance with biological data. At the neuron level, transitions from desynchronization to synchronization and vice versa can be described as a bifurcation between two different states, whose dynamical regime is modulated by synaptic strengths, thus suggesting that transition from a state to an another can be determined by quantitative differences between potentiation and depression.

  13. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the... the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.70 How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? A State shall use funds reserved under...

  14. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the... the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.70 How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? A State shall use funds reserved under...

  15. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the... the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.70 How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? A State shall use funds reserved under...

  16. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the... the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.70 How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? A State shall use funds reserved under...

  17. State opportunities for action: Update of states' combined heat and power activities

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Elizabeth; Elliott, R. Neal

    2003-10-01

    This report updates the review of state policies with regard to CHP that the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy completed in 2002. It describes the current activities of states with programs during the initial survey and also reviews new programs offered by the states.

  18. [Nonequilibrium state of electrochemically activated water and its biological activity].

    PubMed

    Petrushanko, I Iu; Lobyshev, V I

    2001-01-01

    Changes in the physicochemical parameters (pH, redox potential and electroconductivity) of catholyte and anolyte produced by membrane electrolysis of distilled water and dilute (c < 10(-3) M) sodium chloride solutions were studied. The relaxation of these parameters after electrolysis and the influence of catholyte and anolyte on the growth of roots of Tradescantia viridis grafts, the development of duckweed, and the motive activity of infusoria Spirostomum ambiguum were investigated. It was found that the anolyte of distilled water stimulated development of these biological objects. The direction of shift of physicochemical parameters of catholyte and anolyte from equilibrium values and the type of their biological activity (stimulation or inhibition) depend on salt concentration in initial solution. Barbotage of initial distilled water with argon or nitrogen leads to a greater decrease in the redox potential of catholyte during electrolysis. The physicochemical parameters relax to equilibrium values, and the biological activity of catholite and anolyte decreases with time and practically disappears by the end of the day. It was found that the oxidation of reducing agent by atmospheric oxygen is not the sole cause of the relaxation of catalyte redox potential. The increase in the ionic strength of catholite and anolyte by the addition of concentrated sodium chloride after electrolysis decreases the rate of redox potential relaxation several times. The redox potential can be maintained for long periods by freezing. PMID:11449536

  19. Active Solid State Dosimetry for Lunar EVA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wrbanek, John D.; Fralick, Gustave C.; Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Chen, Liang-Yu.

    2006-01-01

    The primary threat to astronauts from space radiation is high-energy charged particles, such as electrons, protons, alpha and heavier particles, originating from galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), solar particle events (SPEs) and trapped radiation belts in Earth orbit. There is also the added threat of secondary neutrons generated as the space radiation interacts with atmosphere, soil and structural materials.[1] For Lunar exploration missions, the habitats and transfer vehicles are expected to provide shielding from standard background radiation. Unfortunately, the Lunar Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit is not expected to afford such shielding. Astronauts need to be aware of potentially hazardous conditions in their immediate area on EVA before a health and hardware risk arises. These conditions would include fluctuations of the local radiation field due to changes in the space radiation field and unknown variations in the local surface composition. Should undue exposure occur, knowledge of the dynamic intensity conditions during the exposure will allow more precise diagnostic assessment of the potential health risk to the exposed individual.[2

  20. Structural Insight into an Alzheimer’s Brain-Derived Spherical Assembly of Amyloid β by Solid-State NMR

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), are linked to cytotoxic diffusible aggregates of amyloid proteins, which are metastable intermediate species in protein misfolding. This study presents the first site-specific structural study on an intermediate called amylospheroid (ASPD), an AD-derived neurotoxin composed of oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ). Electron microscopy and immunological analyses using ASPD-specific “conformational” antibodies established synthetic ASPD for the 42-residue Aβ(1–42) as an excellent structural/morphological analogue of native ASPD extracted from AD patients, the level of which correlates with the severity of AD. 13C solid-state NMR analyses of approximately 20 residues and interstrand distances demonstrated that the synthetic ASPD is made of a homogeneous single conformer containing parallel β-sheets. These results provide profound insight into the native ASPD, indicating that Aβ is likely to self-assemble into the toxic intermediate with β-sheet structures in AD brains. This approach can be applied to various intermediates relevant to amyloid diseases. PMID:25938164

  1. Intrinsic Brain Activity in Altered States of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Boly, M.; Phillips, C.; Tshibanda, L.; Vanhaudenhuyse, A.; Schabus, M.; Dang-Vu, T.T.; Moonen, G.; Hustinx, R.; Maquet, P.; Laureys, S.

    2010-01-01

    Spontaneous brain activity has recently received increasing interest in the neuroimaging community. However, the value of resting-state studies to a better understanding of brain–behavior relationships has been challenged. That altered states of consciousness are a privileged way to study the relationships between spontaneous brain activity and behavior is proposed, and common resting-state brain activity features observed in various states of altered consciousness are reviewed. Early positron emission tomography studies showed that states of extremely low or high brain activity are often associated with unconsciousness. However, this relationship is not absolute, and the precise link between global brain metabolism and awareness remains yet difficult to assert. In contrast, voxel-based analyses identified a systematic impairment of associative frontoparieto–cingulate areas in altered states of consciousness, such as sleep, anesthesia, coma, vegetative state, epileptic loss of consciousness, and somnambulism. In parallel, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have identified structured patterns of slow neuronal oscillations in the resting human brain. Similar coherent blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) systemwide patterns can also be found, in particular in the default-mode network, in several states of unconsciousness, such as coma, anesthesia, and slow-wave sleep. The latter results suggest that slow coherent spontaneous BOLD fluctuations cannot be exclusively a reflection of conscious mental activity, but may reflect default brain connectivity shaping brain areas of most likely interactions in a way that transcends levels of consciousness, and whose functional significance remains largely in the dark. PMID:18591474

  2. Mild activation of CeO2-supported gold nanoclusters and insight into the catalytic behavior in CO oxidation.

    PubMed

    Li, Weili; Ge, Qingjie; Ma, Xiangang; Chen, Yuxiang; Zhu, Manzhou; Xu, Hengyong; Jin, Rongchao

    2016-01-28

    We report a new activation method and insight into the catalytic behavior of a CeO2-supported, atomically precise Au144(SR)60 nanocluster catalyst (where thiolate -SR = -SCH2CH2Ph) for CO oxidation. An important finding is that the activation of the catalyst is closely related to the production of active oxygen species on CeO2, rather than ligand removal of the Au144(SR)60 clusters. A mild O2 pretreatment (at 80 °C) can activate the catalyst, and the addition of reductive gases (CO or H2) can enhance the activation effects of O2 pretreatment via a redox cycle in which CO could reduce the surface of CeO2 to produce oxygen vacancies-which then adsorb and activate O2 to produce more active oxygen species. The CO/O2 pulse experiments confirm that CO is adsorbed on the cluster catalyst even with ligands on, and active oxygen species present on the surface of the pretreated catalyst reacts with CO pulses to generate CO2. The Au144(SR)60/CeO2 exhibits high CO oxidation activity at 80 °C without the removal of thiolate ligands. The surface lattice-oxygen of the support CeO2 possibly participates in the oxidation of CO over the Au144(SR)60/CeO2 catalyst. PMID:26750474

  3. Hydroxylation of p-substituted phenols by tyrosinase: Further insight into the mechanism of tyrosinase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Munoz-Munoz, Jose Luis; Berna, Jose; Garcia-Molina, Maria del Mar; Garcia-Molina, Francisco; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Varon, Ramon [Departamento de Quimica-Fisica, Escuela de Ingenieros Industriales de Albacete, Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, Avda. Espana s and others

    2012-07-27

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The action the copper complexes and tyrosinase on phenols is equivalent. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Isotope effect showed that nucleophilic attack to copper atom may be the slower step. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The value of {rho} (Hammett constant) supports an electrophilic aromatic substitution. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Data obtained in steady state pH 7 conditions support the mechanism of Scheme 1SM. -- Abstract: A study of the monophenolase activity of tyrosinase by measuring the steady state rate with a group of p-substituted monophenols provides the following kinetic information: k{sub cat}{sup m} and the Michaelis constant, K{sub M}{sup m}. Analysis of these data taking into account chemical shifts of the carbon atom supporting the hydroxyl group ({delta}) and {sigma}{sub p}{sup +}, enables a mechanism to be proposed for the transformation of monophenols into o-diphenols, in which the first step is a nucleophilic attack on the copper atom on the form E{sub ox} (attack of the oxygen of the hydroxyl group of C-1 on the copper atom) followed by an electrophilic attack (attack of the hydroperoxide group on the ortho position with respect to the hydroxyl group of the benzene ring, electrophilic aromatic substitution with a reaction constant {rho} of -1.75). These steps show the same dependency on the electronic effect of the substituent groups in C-4. Furthermore, a study of a solvent deuterium isotope effect on the oxidation of monophenols by tyrosinase points to an appreciable isotopic effect. In a proton inventory study with a series of p-substituted phenols, the representation of k{sub cat}{sup f{sub n}}/k{sub cat}{sup f{sub 0}} against n (atom fractions of deuterium), where k{sub cat}{sup f{sub n}} is the catalytic constant for a molar fraction of deuterium (n) and k{sub cat}{sup f{sub 0}} is the corresponding kinetic parameter in a water solution, was linear for all substrates. These results indicate that

  4. Insights into the Interferon Regulatory Factor Activation from the Crystal Structure of Dimeric IRF5

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.; Lam, S; Srinath, H; Jiang, Z; Correia, J; Schiffer, C; Fitzgerald, K; Lin, K; Royer, Jr., W

    2008-01-01

    The interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are involved in the innate immune response and are activated by phosphorylation. The structure of a pseudophosphorylated IRF5 activation domain now reveals structural changes in the activated form that would turn an autoinhibitory region into a dimerization interface. In vivo analysis supports the relevance of such a dimer to transcriptional activation.

  5. Biomarker insights into microbial activity in the serpentinite-hosted ecosystem of the Semail Ophiolite, Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, S. A.; Lincoln, S. A.; Shock, E.; Kelemen, P. B.; Summons, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is a process in which ultramafic and mafic rocks undergo exothermic reactions when exposed to water. The products of these reactions, including methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide, can sustain microbially dominated ecosystems [1,2,3]. Here, we report the lipid biomarker record of microbial activity in carbonate veins of the Semail Ophiolite, a site currently undergoing serpentinization [4]. The ophiolite, located in the Oman Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, was obducted onto the Arabian continental margin during the closure of the southern Tethys Ocean (~70 Ma) [5]. We detected bacterial and archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in Semail carbonates. In addition to archaeal isoprenoidal GDGTs with 0-3 cyclopentane moieties, we detected crenarchaeol, an iGDGT containing 4 cyclopentane and 1 cyclohexane moiety. Crenarchaeol biosynthesis is currently understood to be limited to thaumarchaea, representatives of which have been found to fix inorganic carbon in culture. We also analyzed isoprenoidal diether lipids, potentially derived from methanogenic euryarchaea, as well as non-isoprenoidal diether and monoether lipids that may be indicative of methane cycling bacteria. The stable carbon isotopic composition of these compounds is potentially useful in determining both their origin and the origin of methane detected in ophiolite fluids. We compare our results to those found at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, a similar microbially-dominated ecosystem fueled by serpentinization processes [3]. Modern serpentinite-hosted ecosystems such as this can serve as analogs for environments in which ultramafic and mafic rocks were prevalent (e.g. early Earth and other early terrestrial planets). Additionally, an analysis of modern serpentinite systems can help assess conditions promoting active carbon sequestration in ultramafic rocks [6]. References [1] Russell et al. (2010). Geobiology 8: 355-371. [2] Kelley et al. (2005). Science

  6. Hydroxylation of p-substituted phenols by tyrosinase: further insight into the mechanism of tyrosinase activity.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Muñoz, Jose Luis; Berna, Jose; García-Molina, María del Mar; Garcia-Molina, Francisco; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Varon, Ramon; Rodriguez-Lopez, Jose N; Garcia-Canovas, Francisco

    2012-07-27

    A study of the monophenolase activity of tyrosinase by measuring the steady state rate with a group of p-substituted monophenols provides the following kinetic information: k(cat)(m) and the Michaelis constant, K(M)(m). Analysis of these data taking into account chemical shifts of the carbon atom supporting the hydroxyl group (δ) and σ(p)(+), enables a mechanism to be proposed for the transformation of monophenols into o-diphenols, in which the first step is a nucleophilic attack on the copper atom on the form E(ox) (attack of the oxygen of the hydroxyl group of C-1 on the copper atom) followed by an electrophilic attack (attack of the hydroperoxide group on the ortho position with respect to the hydroxyl group of the benzene ring, electrophilic aromatic substitution with a reaction constant ρ of -1.75). These steps show the same dependency on the electronic effect of the substituent groups in C-4. Furthermore, a study of a solvent deuterium isotope effect on the oxidation of monophenols by tyrosinase points to an appreciable isotopic effect. In a proton inventory study with a series of p-substituted phenols, the representation of [Formula: see text] / [Formula: see text] against n (atom fractions of deuterium), where [Formula: see text] is the catalytic constant for a molar fraction of deuterium (n) and [Formula: see text] is the corresponding kinetic parameter in a water solution, was linear for all substrates. These results indicate that only one of the proton transfer processes from the hydroxyl groups involved the catalytic cycle is responsible for the isotope effects. We suggest that this step is the proton transfer from the hydroxyl group of C-1 to the peroxide of the oxytyrosinase form (E(ox)). After the nucleophilic attack, the incorporation of the oxygen in the benzene ring occurs by means of an electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism in which there is no isotopic effect. PMID:22732412

  7. Mechanistic insight into size-dependent activity and durability in Pt/CNT catalyzed hydrolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenyao; Ji, Jian; Feng, Xiang; Duan, Xuezhi; Qian, Gang; Li, Ping; Zhou, Xinggui; Chen, De; Yuan, Weikang

    2014-12-01

    We report a size-dependent activity in Pt/CNT catalyzed hydrolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane. Kinetic study and model calculations revealed that Pt(111) facet is the dominating catalytically active surface. There is an optimized Pt particle size of ca. 1.8 nm. Meanwhile, the catalyst durability was found to be highly sensitive to the Pt particle size. The smaller Pt particles appear to have lower durability, which could be related to more significant adsorption of B-containing species on Pt surfaces as well as easier changes in Pt particle size and shape. The insights reported here may pave the way for the rational design of highly active and durable Pt catalysts for hydrogen generation. PMID:25405630

  8. 34 CFR 300.814 - Other State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Other State-level activities. 300.814 Section 300.814 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  9. 34 CFR 300.812 - Reservation for State activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Reservation for State activities. 300.812 Section 300.812 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  10. Monitoring Affect States during Effortful Problem Solving Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Mello, Sidney K.; Lehman, Blair; Person, Natalie

    2010-01-01

    We explored the affective states that students experienced during effortful problem solving activities. We conducted a study where 41 students solved difficult analytical reasoning problems from the Law School Admission Test. Students viewed videos of their faces and screen captures and judged their emotions from a set of 14 states (basic…

  11. Exploring the Tensions between State Activism and School Autonomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malen, Betty; Muncey, Donna

    Since the 1970s, states have substantially and dramatically increased their involvement in education while simultaneously endorsing notions of local control. This paper focuses on the impact of such persistent and pervasive state activism on school autonomy. It describes how the proliferation and accumulation of education policies enacted at the…

  12. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false State-level activities. 300.704 Section 300.704 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES Authorization,...

  13. Education Finance Legislative Activity and Trends at the State Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crampton, Faith E.

    1999-01-01

    Reviews 1997 school finance legislation, comparing legislative activity levels from 1994 to 1997. In 1997, 32 states passed legislation pertaining to capital-outlay funding, tax bases, and taxation for education funding. Half passed legislation for state aid, technology, special-purpose education, budgeting/fiscal management, and school personnel…

  14. State Activism in School Funding: Goals and Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Theobald, Neil D.

    2000-01-01

    State activism in school funding extends far beyond increasing states' percentage of public-school revenues. However, local districts' share of funding has fallen dramatically over the last 7 decades. Equity-, efficiency-, and liberty-enhancing goals are explained, along with assistance-oriented, persuasive, and regulatory policy approaches.…

  15. Using community insight to understand physical activity adoption in overweight and obese African American and Hispanic women: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Mama, Scherezade K; McCurdy, Sheryl A; Evans, Alexandra E; Thompson, Deborah I; Diamond, Pamela M; Lee, Rebecca E

    2015-06-01

    Ecologic models suggest that multiple levels of influencing factors are important for determining physical activity participation and include individual, social, and environmental factors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use an ecologic framework to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioral mechanisms that influence physical activity adoption among ethnic minority women. Eighteen African American and Hispanic women completed a 1-hour in-depth interview. Verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed for emergent themes using a constant comparison approach. Women were middle-aged (age M = 43.9 ± 7.3 years), obese (body mass index M = 35.0 ± 8.9 kg/m(2)), and of high socioeconomic status (88.9% completed some college or more, 41.2% reported income >$82,600/year). Participants discussed individual factors, including the need for confidence, motivation and time, and emphasized the importance of environmental factors, including their physical neighborhood environments and safety of and accessibility to physical activity resources. Women talked about caretaking for others and social support and how these influenced physical activity behavior. The findings from this study highlight the multilevel, interactive complexities that influence physical activity, emphasizing the need for a more sophisticated, ecologic approach for increasing physical activity adoption and maintenance among ethnic minority women. Community insight gleaned from this study may be used to better understand determinants of physical activity and develop multilevel solutions and programs guided by an ecologic framework to increase physical activity in ethnic minority women. PMID:25504569

  16. Using Community Insight to Understand Physical Activity Adoption in Overweight and Obese African American and Hispanic Women: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    Mama, Scherezade K.; McCurdy, Sheryl A.; Evans, Alexandra E.; Thompson, Deborah I.; Diamond, Pamela M.; Lee, Rebecca E.

    2015-01-01

    Ecologic models suggest that multiple levels of influencing factors are important for determining physical activity participation and include individual, social, and environmental factors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use an ecologic framework to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioral mechanisms that influence physical activity adoption among ethnic minority women. Eighteen African American and Hispanic women completed a 1-hour in-depth interview. Verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed for emergent themes using a constant comparison approach. Women were middle-aged (age M = 43.9 ± 7.3 years), obese (body mass index M = 35.0 ± 8.9 kg/m2), and of high socioeconomic status (88.9% completed some college or more, 41.2% reported income >$82,600/year). Participants discussed individual factors, including the need for confidence, motivation and time, and emphasized the importance of environmental factors, including their physical neighborhood environments and safety of and accessibility to physical activity resources. Women talked about caretaking for others and social support and how these influenced physical activity behavior. The findings from this study highlight the multilevel, interactive complexities that influence physical activity, emphasizing the need for a more sophisticated, ecologic approach for increasing physical activity adoption and maintenance among ethnic minority women. Community insight gleaned from this study may be used to better understand determinants of physical activity and develop multilevel solutions and programs guided by an ecologic framework to increase physical activity in ethnic minority women. PMID:25504569

  17. Are Auditory Hallucinations Related to the Brain's Resting State Activity? A 'Neurophenomenal Resting State Hypothesis'

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    While several hypotheses about the neural mechanisms underlying auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) have been suggested, the exact role of the recently highlighted intrinsic resting state activity of the brain remains unclear. Based on recent findings, we therefore developed what we call the 'resting state hypotheses' of AVH. Our hypothesis suggest that AVH may be traced back to abnormally elevated resting state activity in auditory cortex itself, abnormal modulation of the auditory cortex by anterior cortical midline regions as part of the default-mode network, and neural confusion between auditory cortical resting state changes and stimulus-induced activity. We discuss evidence in favour of our 'resting state hypothesis' and show its correspondence with phenomenal, i.e., subjective-experiential features as explored in phenomenological accounts. Therefore I speak of a 'neurophenomenal resting state hypothesis' of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. PMID:25598821

  18. Heterogeneity of dopamine neuron activity across traits and states.

    PubMed

    Marinelli, M; McCutcheon, J E

    2014-12-12

    Midbrain dopamine neurons fire irregularly, with interspersed clusters of high-frequency spikes, commonly called 'bursts'. In this review we examine such heterogeneity in activity, and provide insight into how it can participate in psychiatric conditions such as drug addiction. We first describe several techniques used to evaluate dopamine neuron activity, and comment on the different measures that each provides. We next describe the activity of dopamine neurons in 'basal' conditions. Specifically, we discuss how the use of anesthesia and reduced preparations may alter aspects of dopamine cell activity, and how there is heterogeneity across species and regions. We also describe how dopamine cell firing changes throughout the peri-adolescent period and how dopamine neuron activity differs across the population. In the final section, we discuss how dopamine neuron activity changes in response to life events. First, we focus attention on drugs of abuse. Drugs themselves change firing activity through a variety of mechanisms, with effects on firing while drug is present differing from those seen after drug discontinuation. We then review how stimuli that are rewarding, aversive, or salient can evoke changes in firing rate and discharge pattern of dopamine neurons, and provide behavioral relevance of dopamine signaling. Finally, we discuss how stress can modulate dopamine neuron firing and how this may contribute to the role that stressful experiences play in psychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. PMID:25084048

  19. Heterogeneity of dopamine neuron activity across traits and states

    PubMed Central

    Marinelli, Michela; McCutcheon, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons fire irregularly, with interspersed clusters of high-frequency spikes, commonly called ‘bursts’. In this review we examine such heterogeneity in activity, and provide insight into how it can participate in psychiatric conditions such as drug addiction. We first describe several techniques used to evaluate dopamine neuron activity, and comment on the different measures that each provides. We next describe the activity of dopamine neurons in ‘basal’ conditions. Specifically, we discuss how the use of anesthesia and reduced preparations may alter aspects of dopamine cell activity, and how there is heterogeneity across species and regions. We also describe how dopamine cell firing changes throughout the peri-adolescent period and how dopamine neuron activity differs across the population. In the final section, we discuss how dopamine neuron activity changes in response to life events. First, we focus attention on drugs of abuse. Drugs themselves change firing activity through a variety of mechanisms, with effects on firing while drug is present differing from those seen after drug discontinuation. We then review how stimuli that are rewarding, aversive, or salient can evoke changes in firing rate and discharge pattern of dopamine neurons, and provide behavioral relevance of dopamine signaling. Finally, we discuss how stress can modulate dopamine neuron firing and how this may contribute to the role that stressful experiences play in psychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. PMID:25084048

  20. Insights into the structural patterns of the antileishmanial activity of bi- and tricyclic N-heterocycles.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Lizzi; Stephens, David E; D'Avila, Abigail; George, Kathryn G; Arman, Hadi; Zhang, Yu; Perry, George; Lleonart, Ricardo; Larionov, Oleg V; Fernández, Patricia L

    2016-08-01

    The influence of various structural patterns in a series of novel bi- and tricyclic N-heterocycles on the activity against Leishmania major and Leishmania panamensis has been studied and compounds that are active in the low micromolar region have been identified. Both quinolines and tetrahydrooxazinoindoles (TOI) proved to have significant antileishmanial activities, while substituted indoles were inactive. We have also showed that a chloroquine analogue induces Leishmania killing by modulating macrophage activation. PMID:27376396

  1. Affordability and Student Success: Recapping 2014 Higher Education Legislative Activity in the West. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krueger, Carl

    2014-01-01

    After reaching a low point in 2012, state investment in higher education increased for the second year in a row in 2014--something that had not happened since the Great Recession of 2008 began. With greater stability in some, though certainly not all, state budgets, many Western legislatures in 2014 looked for new ways to contain college costs for…

  2. A true autoactivating enzyme. Structural insight into mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 activations.

    PubMed

    Gál, Péter; Harmat, Veronika; Kocsis, Andrea; Bián, Tünde; Barna, László; Ambrus, Géza; Végh, Barbara; Balczer, Júlia; Sim, Robert B; Náray-Szabó, Gábor; Závodszky, Péter

    2005-09-30

    Few reports have described in detail a true autoactivation process, where no extrinsic cleavage factors are required to initiate the autoactivation of a zymogen. Herein, we provide structural and mechanistic insight into the autoactivation of a multidomain serine protease: mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2), the first enzymatic component in the lectin pathway of complement activation. We characterized the proenzyme form of a MASP-2 catalytic fragment encompassing its C-terminal three domains and solved its crystal structure at 2.4 A resolution. Surprisingly, zymogen MASP-2 is capable of cleaving its natural substrate C4, with an efficiency about 10% that of active MASP-2. Comparison of the zymogen and active structures of MASP-2 reveals that, in addition to the activation domain, other loops of the serine protease domain undergo significant conformational changes. This additional flexibility could play a key role in the transition of zymogen MASP-2 into a proteolytically active form. Based on the three-dimensional structures of proenzyme and active MASP-2 catalytic fragments, we present model for the active zymogen MASP-2 complex and propose a mechanism for the autoactivation process. PMID:16040602

  3. The Very Young and Education: 1974 State Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayas, Denise Kale; Ross, Doris M.

    This booklet contains more than 100 brief descriptions of early childhood projects, activities, studies, and legislation obtained from newsletters, bulletins, and the Education Commission of the States' (ECS) 1974 Annual Survey. Only legislation and activities that have been validated or newly reported are included. Bills which failed or were…

  4. Light-activated solid-state opening switch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyse, Mark W.; Petr, Rodney A.; Kachen, George I.; Reilly, James P.; Schaefer, Raymond B.

    1993-01-01

    Light-activated solid-state opening switches are shown to be a viable approach for switching inductive circuits. Measured photoswitch performance indicates that light-activated opening switches have the power density ratings needed to develop compact inductive power systems.

  5. On the way of classifying new states of active matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menzel, Andreas M.

    2016-07-01

    With ongoing research into the collective behavior of self-propelled particles, new states of active matter are revealed. Some of them are entirely based on the non-equilibrium character and do not have an immediate equilibrium counterpart. In their recent work, Romanczuk et al (2016 New J. Phys. 18 063015) concentrate on the characterization of smectic-like states of active matter. A new type, referred to by the authors as smectic P, is described. In this state, the active particles form stacked layers and self-propel along them. Identifying and classifying states and phases of non-equilibrium matter, including the transitions between them, is an up-to-date effort that will certainly extend for a longer period into the future.

  6. Translation-rotation states of H2 in C60: New insights from a perturbation-theory treatment.

    PubMed

    Felker, Peter M; Bačić, Zlatko

    2016-08-28

    We report an investigation of the translation-rotation (TR) level structure of H2 entrapped in C60, in the rigid-monomer approximation, by means of a low-order perturbation theory (PT). We focus in particular on the degree to which PT can accurately account for that level structure, by comparison with the variational quantum five-dimensional calculations. To apply PT to the system, the interaction potential of H2@C60 is decomposed into a sum over bipolar spherical tensors. A zeroth-order Hamiltonian, Hˆ0, is then constructed as the sum of the TR kinetic-energy operator and the one term in the tensor decomposition of the potential that depends solely on the radial displacement of the H2 center of mass (c.m.) from the cage center. The remaining terms in the potential are treated as perturbations. The eigenstates of Hˆ0, constructed to also account for the coupling of the angular momentum of the H2 c.m. about the cage center with the rotational angular momentum of the H2 about the c.m., are taken as the PT zeroth-order states. This zeroth-order level structure is shown to be an excellent approximation to the true one except for two types of TR-level splittings present in the latter. We then show that first-order PT accounts very well for these splittings, with respect to both their patterns and magnitudes. This allows one to connect specific features of the level structure with specific features of the potential-energy surface, and provides important new physical insight into the characteristics of the TR level structure. PMID:27586925

  7. Electrical Activation of Dark Excitonic States in Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uda, Takushi; Yoshida, Masahiro; Ishii, Akihiro; Kato, Yuichiro K.

    Electrical activation of optical transitions to parity-forbidden dark excitonic states in individual carbon nanotubes is reported. We examine electric field effects on various excitonic states by simultaneously measuring both photocurrent and photoluminescence. As the applied field increases, we observe an emergence of new absorption peaks in the excitation spectra. From the diameter dependence of the energy separation between the new peaks and the ground state of E11 excitons, we attribute the peaks to the dark excited states which became optically active due to the applied field. A simple field-induced exciton dissociation model is introduced to explain the photocurrent threshold fields, and the edge of the E11 continuum states have been identified using this model. Work supported by JSPS (KAKENHI 24340066, 26610080), MEXT (Photon Frontier Network Program, Nanotechnology Platform), Canon Foundation, and Asahi Glass Foundation.

  8. Pressure is not a state function for generic active fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solon, A. P.; Fily, Y.; Baskaran, A.; Cates, M. E.; Kafri, Y.; Kardar, M.; Tailleur, J.

    2015-08-01

    Pressure is the mechanical force per unit area that a confined system exerts on its container. In thermal equilibrium, it depends only on bulk properties--such as density and temperature--through an equation of state. Here we show that in a wide class of active systems the pressure depends on the precise interactions between the active particles and the confining walls. In general, therefore, active fluids have no equation of state. Their mechanical pressure exhibits anomalous properties that defy the familiar thermodynamic reasoning that holds in equilibrium. The pressure remains a function of state, however, in some specific and well-studied active models that tacitly restrict the character of the particle-wall and/or particle-particle interactions.

  9. New Insights into Active Site Conformation Dynamics of E. coli PNP Revealed by Combined H/D Exchange Approach and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazazić, Saša; Bertoša, Branimir; Luić, Marija; Mikleušević, Goran; Tarnowski, Krzysztof; Dadlez, Michal; Narczyk, Marta; Bzowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    The biologically active form of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) from Escherichia coli (EC 2.4.2.1) is a homohexamer unit, assembled as a trimer of dimers. Upon binding of phosphate, neighboring monomers adopt different active site conformations, described as open and closed. To get insight into the functions of the two distinctive active site conformations, virtually inactive Arg24Ala mutant is complexed with phosphate; all active sites are found to be in the open conformation. To understand how the sites of neighboring monomers communicate with each other, we have combined H/D exchange (H/DX) experiments with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Both methods point to the mobility of the enzyme, associated with a few flexible regions situated at the surface and within the dimer interface. Although H/DX provides an average extent of deuterium uptake for all six hexamer active sites, it was able to indicate the dynamic mechanism of cross-talk between monomers, allostery. Using this technique, it was found that phosphate binding to the wild type (WT) causes arrest of the molecular motion in backbone fragments that are flexible in a ligand-free state. This was not the case for the Arg24Ala mutant. Upon nucleoside substrate/inhibitor binding, some release of the phosphate-induced arrest is observed for the WT, whereas the opposite effects occur for the Arg24Ala mutant. MD simulations confirmed that phosphate is bound tightly in the closed active sites of the WT; conversely, in the open conformation of the active site of the WT phosphate is bound loosely moving towards the exit of the active site. In Arg24Ala mutant binary complex Pi is bound loosely, too.

  10. A new insight into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trofimenko, Sergey V.; Bykov, Victor G.; Shestakov, Nikolay V.; Grib, Nikolay N.; Takahashi, Hiroaki

    2016-09-01

    This study provides new insights into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults and methods of their modeling. Monthly averaged coordinate time series were analyzed for several pairs of collocated GPS sites situated near the active fault intersection area, in close proximity to the central part of the northern boundary of the Amurian plate and the vicinity of the San Andreas Fault zone. It is concluded that the observed seasonal variations are best described by a breather function which is one of the solutions of the well-known sine-Gordon equation. The obtained results suggest that, in this case, the source of seasonal variations may be caused by the appearance of solitary strain waves in the fault intersection system, which may be qualitatively treated as standing waves of compression-extension of the geological medium. Based on statistical testing, the limits of applicability of the suggested model have been established.

  11. A new insight into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trofimenko, Sergey V.; Bykov, Victor G.; Shestakov, Nikolay V.; Grib, Nikolay N.; Takahashi, Hiroaki

    2016-05-01

    This study provides new insights into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults and methods of their modeling. Monthly averaged coordinate time series were analyzed for several pairs of collocated GPS sites situated near the active fault intersection area, in close proximity to the central part of the northern boundary of the Amurian plate and the vicinity of the San Andreas Fault zone. It is concluded that the observed seasonal variations are best described by a breather function which is one of the solutions of the well-known sine-Gordon equation. The obtained results suggest that, in this case, the source of seasonal variations may be caused by the appearance of solitary strain waves in the fault intersection system, which may be qualitatively treated as standing waves of compression-extension of the geological medium. Based on statistical testing, the limits of applicability of the suggested model have been established.

  12. Pathway activation profiling reveals new insights into Age-related Macular Degeneration and provides avenues for therapeutic interventions

    PubMed Central

    Makarev, Evgeny; Cantor, Charles; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Buzdin, Anton; Aliper, Alexander; Csoka, Antonei Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in older people and is caused by loss of the central region of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Conventional methods of gene expression analysis have yielded important insights into AMD pathogenesis, but the precise molecular pathway alterations are still poorly understood. Therefore we developed a new software program, “AMD Medicine”, and discovered differential pathway activation profiles in samples of human RPE/choroid from AMD patients and controls. We identified 29 pathways in RPE-choroid AMD phenotypes: 27 pathways were activated in AMD compared to controls, and 2 pathways were activated in controls compared to AMD. In AMD, we identified a graded activation of pathways related to wound response, complement cascade, and cell survival. Also, there was downregulation of two pathways responsible for apoptosis. Furthermore, significant activation of pro-mitotic pathways is consistent with dedifferentiation and cell proliferation events, which occur early in the pathogenesis of AMD. Significantly, we discovered new global pathway activation signatures of AMD involved in the cell-based inflammatory response: IL-2, STAT3, and ERK. The ultimate aim of our research is to achieve a better understanding of signaling pathways involved in AMD pathology, which will eventually lead to better treatments. PMID:25543336

  13. Insights into the activation mechanism of class I HDAC complexes by inositol phosphates

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Peter J.; Millard, Christopher J.; Riley, Andrew M.; Robertson, Naomi S.; Wright, Lyndsey C.; Godage, Himali Y.; Cowley, Shaun M.; Jamieson, Andrew G.; Potter, Barry V. L.; Schwabe, John W. R.

    2016-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) 1, 2 and 3 form the catalytic subunit of several large transcriptional repression complexes. Unexpectedly, the enzymatic activity of HDACs in these complexes has been shown to be regulated by inositol phosphates, which bind in a pocket sandwiched between the HDAC and co-repressor proteins. However, the actual mechanism of activation remains poorly understood. Here we have elucidated the stereochemical requirements for binding and activation by inositol phosphates, demonstrating that activation requires three adjacent phosphate groups and that other positions on the inositol ring can tolerate bulky substituents. We also demonstrate that there is allosteric communication between the inositol-binding site and the active site. The crystal structure of the HDAC1:MTA1 complex bound to a novel peptide-based inhibitor and to inositol hexaphosphate suggests a molecular basis of substrate recognition, and an entropically driven allosteric mechanism of activation. PMID:27109927

  14. New Insights into Glomerular Parietal Epithelial Cell Activation and Its Signaling Pathways in Glomerular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hua; Chen, Shan; He, Fang-Fang; Wang, Yu-Mei; Bondzie, Philip; Zhang, Chun

    2015-01-01

    The glomerular parietal epithelial cells (PECs) have aroused an increasing attention recently. The proliferation of PECs is the main feature of crescentic glomerulonephritis; besides that, in the past decade, PEC activation has been identified in several types of noninflammatory glomerulonephropathies, such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, diabetic glomerulopathy, and membranous nephropathy. The pathogenesis of PEC activation is poorly understood; however, a few studies delicately elucidate the potential mechanisms and signaling pathways implicated in these processes. In this review we will focus on the latest observations and concepts about PEC activation in glomerular diseases and the newest identified signaling pathways in PEC activation. PMID:25866774

  15. Transcriptional Activation of Inflammatory Genes: Mechanistic Insight into Selectivity and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Afsar U.; Williams, Bryan R. G.; Hannigan, Gregory E.

    2015-01-01

    Acute inflammation, an integral part of host defence and immunity, is a highly conserved cellular response to pathogens and other harmful stimuli. An inflammatory stimulation triggers transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes that carry out specific functions such as anti-microbial activity or tissue healing. Based on the nature of inflammatory stimuli, an extensive exploitation of selective transcriptional activations of pro-inflammatory genes is performed by the host to ensure a defined inflammatory response. Inflammatory signal transductions are initiated by the recognition of inflammatory stimuli by transmembrane receptors, followed by the transmission of the signals to the nucleus for differential gene activations. The differential transcriptional activation of pro-inflammatory genes is precisely controlled by the selective binding of transcription factors to the promoters of these genes. Among a number of transcription factors identified to date, NF-κB still remains the most prominent and studied factor for its diverse range of selective transcriptional activities. Differential transcriptional activities of NF-κB are dictated by post-translational modifications, specificities in dimer formation, and variability in activation kinetics. Apart from the differential functions of transcription factors, the transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes is also governed by chromatin structures, epigenetic markers, and other regulators as the field is continuously expanding. PMID:26569329

  16. Transcriptional Activation of Inflammatory Genes: Mechanistic Insight into Selectivity and Diversity.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Afsar U; Williams, Bryan R G; Hannigan, Gregory E

    2015-01-01

    Acute inflammation, an integral part of host defence and immunity, is a highly conserved cellular response to pathogens and other harmful stimuli. An inflammatory stimulation triggers transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes that carry out specific functions such as anti-microbial activity or tissue healing. Based on the nature of inflammatory stimuli, an extensive exploitation of selective transcriptional activations of pro-inflammatory genes is performed by the host to ensure a defined inflammatory response. Inflammatory signal transductions are initiated by the recognition of inflammatory stimuli by transmembrane receptors, followed by the transmission of the signals to the nucleus for differential gene activations. The differential transcriptional activation of pro-inflammatory genes is precisely controlled by the selective binding of transcription factors to the promoters of these genes. Among a number of transcription factors identified to date, NF-κB still remains the most prominent and studied factor for its diverse range of selective transcriptional activities. Differential transcriptional activities of NF-κB are dictated by post-translational modifications, specificities in dimer formation, and variability in activation kinetics. Apart from the differential functions of transcription factors, the transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes is also governed by chromatin structures, epigenetic markers, and other regulators as the field is continuously expanding. PMID:26569329

  17. Insights into antioxidant activity of 1-adamantylthiopyridine analogs using multiple linear regression.

    PubMed

    Worachartcheewan, Apilak; Nantasenamat, Chanin; Owasirikul, Wiwat; Monnor, Teerawat; Naruepantawart, Orapan; Janyapaisarn, Sayamon; Prachayasittikul, Supaluk; Prachayasittikul, Virapong

    2014-02-12

    A data set of 1-adamantylthiopyridine analogs (1-19) with antioxidant activity, comprising of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, was used for constructing quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models. Molecular structures were geometrically optimized at B3LYP/6-31g(d) level and subjected for further molecular descriptor calculation using Dragon software. Multiple linear regression (MLR) was employed for the development of QSAR models using 3 significant descriptors (i.e. Mor29e, F04[N-N] and GATS5v) for predicting the DPPH activity and 2 essential descriptors (i.e. EEig06r and Mor06v) for predicting the SOD activity. Such molecular descriptors accounted for the effects and positions of substituent groups (R) on the 1-adamantylthiopyridine ring. The results showed that high atomic electronegativity of polar substituent group (R = CO2H) afforded high DPPH activity, while substituent with high atomic van der Waals volumes such as R = Br gave high SOD activity. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOO-CV) and external test set were used for model validation. Correlation coefficient (QCV) and root mean squared error (RMSECV) of the LOO-CV set for predicting DPPH activity were 0.5784 and 8.3440, respectively, while QExt and RMSEExt of external test set corresponded to 0.7353 and 4.2721, respectively. Furthermore, QCV and RMSECV values of the LOO-CV set for predicting SOD activity were 0.7549 and 5.6380, respectively. The QSAR model's equation was then used in predicting the SOD activity of tested compounds and these were subsequently verified experimentally. It was observed that the experimental activity was more potent than the predicted activity. Structure-activity relationships of significant descriptors governing antioxidant activity are also discussed. The QSAR models investigated herein are anticipated to be useful in the rational design and development of novel compounds with antioxidant activity. PMID

  18. Resting state activity in patients with disorders of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Soddu, Andrea; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Demertzi, Athena; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Tshibanda, Luaba; Di, Haibo; Boly, Mélanie; Papa, Michele; Laureys, Steven; Noirhomme, Quentin

    Summary Recent advances in the study of spontaneous brain activity have demonstrated activity patterns that emerge with no task performance or sensory stimulation; these discoveries hold promise for the study of higher-order associative network functionality. Additionally, such advances are argued to be relevant in pathological states, such as disorders of consciousness (DOC), i.e., coma, vegetative and minimally conscious states. Recent studies on resting state activity in DOC, measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques, show that functional connectivity is disrupted in the task-negative or the default mode network. However, the two main approaches employed in the analysis of resting state functional connectivity data (i.e., hypothesis-driven seed-voxel and data-driven independent component analysis) present multiple methodological difficulties, especially in non-collaborative DOC patients. Improvements in motion artifact removal and spatial normalization are needed before fMRI resting state data can be used as proper biomarkers in severe brain injury. However, we anticipate that such developments will boost clinical resting state fMRI studies, allowing for easy and fast acquisitions and ultimately improve the diagnosis and prognosis in the absence of DOC patients’ active collaboration in data acquisition. PMID:21693087

  19. Resting state activity in patients with disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Soddu, Andrea; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Demertzi, Athena; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Tshibanda, Luaba; Di, Haibo; Mélanie, Boly; Papa, Michele; Laureys, Steven; Noirhomme, Quentin

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances in the study of spontaneous brain activity have demonstrated activity patterns that emerge with no task performance or sensory stimulation; these discoveries hold promise for the study of higher-order associative network functionality. Additionally, such advances are argued to be relevant in pathological states, such as disorders of consciousness (DOC), i.e., coma, vegetative and minimally conscious states. Recent studies on resting state activity in DOC, measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques, show that functional connectivity is disrupted in the task-negative or the default mode network. However, the two main approaches employed in the analysis of resting state functional connectivity data (i.e., hypothesis-driven seed-voxel and data-driven independent component analysis) present multiple methodological difficulties, especially in non-collaborative DOC patients. Improvements in motion artifact removal and spatial normalization are needed before fMRI resting state data can be used as proper biomarkers in severe brain injury. However, we anticipate that such developments will boost clinical resting state fMRI studies, allowing for easy and fast acquisitions and ultimately improve the diagnosis and prognosis in the absence of DOC patients' active collaboration in data acquisition. PMID:21693087

  20. Insights for Exercise Adherence from a Minimal Planning Intervention to Increase Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Janine; Campbell, Marianne; Wilson, Carlene

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To test the impact of a minimal, online planning intervention on physical activity in Australian office workers. Method: Employees were randomized to an implementation intention intervention (n = 124) or health information control group (n = 130). Measures of physical activity, past behavior, and motivation were taken at baseline and 6…

  1. The Contribution of Extracurricular Activities to Adolescent Friendships: New Insights through Social Network Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaefer, David R.; Simpkins, Sandra D.; Vest, Andrea E.; Price, Chara D.

    2011-01-01

    Extracurricular activities are settings that are theorized to help adolescents maintain existing friendships and develop new friendships. The overarching goal of the current investigation was to examine whether coparticipating in school-based extracurricular activities supported adolescents' school-based friendships. We used social network methods…

  2. Cellular and circuit models of increased resting-state network gamma activity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    White, R S; Siegel, S J

    2016-05-01

    Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a disorder characterized by positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), negative symptoms (blunted affect, alogia, reduced sociability, and anhedonia), as well as persistent cognitive deficits (memory, concentration, and learning). While the biology underlying subjective experiences is difficult to study, abnormalities in electroencephalographic (EEG) measures offer a means to dissect potential circuit and cellular changes in brain function. EEG is indispensable for studying cerebral information processing due to the introduction of techniques for the decomposition of event-related activity into its frequency components. Specifically, brain activity in the gamma frequency range (30-80Hz) is thought to underlie cognitive function and may be used as an endophenotype to aid in diagnosis and treatment of SCZ. In this review we address evidence indicating that there is increased resting-state gamma power in SCZ. We address how modeling this aspect of the illness in animals may help treatment development as well as providing insights into the etiology of SCZ. PMID:26577758

  3. Mild activation of CeO2-supported gold nanoclusters and insight into the catalytic behavior in CO oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weili; Ge, Qingjie; Ma, Xiangang; Chen, Yuxiang; Zhu, Manzhou; Xu, Hengyong; Jin, Rongchao

    2016-01-01

    We report a new activation method and insight into the catalytic behavior of a CeO2-supported, atomically precise Au144(SR)60 nanocluster catalyst (where thiolate -SR = -SCH2CH2Ph) for CO oxidation. An important finding is that the activation of the catalyst is closely related to the production of active oxygen species on CeO2, rather than ligand removal of the Au144(SR)60 clusters. A mild O2 pretreatment (at 80 °C) can activate the catalyst, and the addition of reductive gases (CO or H2) can enhance the activation effects of O2 pretreatment via a redox cycle in which CO could reduce the surface of CeO2 to produce oxygen vacancies--which then adsorb and activate O2 to produce more active oxygen species. The CO/O2 pulse experiments confirm that CO is adsorbed on the cluster catalyst even with ligands on, and active oxygen species present on the surface of the pretreated catalyst reacts with CO pulses to generate CO2. The Au144(SR)60/CeO2 exhibits high CO oxidation activity at 80 °C without the removal of thiolate ligands. The surface lattice-oxygen of the support CeO2 possibly participates in the oxidation of CO over the Au144(SR)60/CeO2 catalyst.We report a new activation method and insight into the catalytic behavior of a CeO2-supported, atomically precise Au144(SR)60 nanocluster catalyst (where thiolate -SR = -SCH2CH2Ph) for CO oxidation. An important finding is that the activation of the catalyst is closely related to the production of active oxygen species on CeO2, rather than ligand removal of the Au144(SR)60 clusters. A mild O2 pretreatment (at 80 °C) can activate the catalyst, and the addition of reductive gases (CO or H2) can enhance the activation effects of O2 pretreatment via a redox cycle in which CO could reduce the surface of CeO2 to produce oxygen vacancies--which then adsorb and activate O2 to produce more active oxygen species. The CO/O2 pulse experiments confirm that CO is adsorbed on the cluster catalyst even with ligands on, and active oxygen

  4. New insights into the antioxidant activity and components in crude oat oil and soybean oil.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Qiu, Shuang; Gan, Jing; Li, Zaigui; Nirasawa, Satoru; Yin, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    Developing new antioxidants and using natural examples is of current interest. This study evaluated the antioxidant activities and the ability to inhibit soybean oil oxidation of oat oil obtained with different solvents. Oat oil extract obtained by ethanol extraction gave the highest antioxidant activity with a DPPH radical (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) scavenging activity of 88.2 % and a reducing power (A 700) of 0.83. Oat oil extracted by ethanol contained the highest polyphenol and α-tocopherol content. Significant correlation was observed between the total polyphenol contents, individual phenolic acid, α-tocopherol, and DPPH radical scavenging activity. Soybean oil with 2 % added oat oil showed low malondialdehyde content (8.35 mmol mL(-1)), suggesting that the added oat oil inhibited oxidation. Oat oil showed good antioxidant activity, especially when extracted with ethanol which could also retard the oxidation of soybean oil . DPPH radical scavenging activity was the best method to evaluate the antioxidant activity and components of oat oil. PMID:26788002

  5. Widely available active sites on Ni2P for electrochemical hydrogen evolution--insights from first principles calculations.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Martin H; Stern, Lucas-Alexandre; Feng, Ligang; Rossmeisl, Jan; Hu, Xile

    2015-04-28

    We present insights into the mechanism and the active site for hydrogen evolution on nickel phosphide (Ni2P). Ni2P was recently discovered to be a very active non-precious hydrogen evolution catalyst. Current literature attributes the activity of Ni2P to a particular site on the (0001) facet. In the present study, using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations, we show that several widely available low index crystal facets on Ni2P have better properties for a high catalytic activity. DFT calculations were used to identify moderately bonding nickel bridge sites and nickel hollow sites for hydrogen adsorption and to calculate barriers for the Tafel pathway. The investigated surfaces in this study were the (101̅0), (1̅1̅20), (112̅0), (112̅1) and (0001) facets of the hexagonal Ni2P crystal. In addition to the DFT results, we present experiments on Ni2P nanowires growing along the 〈0001〉 direction, which are shown as efficient hydrogen evolution catalysts. The experimental results add these nanowires to a variety of different morphologies of Ni2P, which are all active for HER. PMID:25812670

  6. Insights and clinical questions about the active surveillance of low-risk papillary thyroid microcarcinomas [Review].

    PubMed

    Ito, Yasuhiro; Oda, Hitomi; Miyauchi, Akira

    2016-04-25

    Over 20 years ago, two Japanese institutions initiated an active surveillance policy for papillary microcarcinomas (PMCs) without high-risk features (such as clinical lymph node and distant metastases) and suspected trachea or recurrent laryngeal nerve invasion. Since the most recent American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines adopt active surveillance as a therapy option for low-risk PMCs, the number of institutions worldwide carrying out this policy can be expected to increase. However, before adopting an active surveillance strategy, some important clinical questions must be considered. In this review, conceivable clinical questions with our answers based on the present accumulation of low-risk PMC surveillance data are presented. PMID:26632168

  7. Mechanistic Insight into the Reactivation of BCAII Enzyme from Denatured and Molten Globule States by Eukaryotic Ribosomes and Domain V rRNAs.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Biprashekhar; Bhakta, Sayan; Sengupta, Jayati

    2016-01-01

    In all life forms, decoding of messenger-RNA into polypeptide chain is accomplished by the ribosome. Several protein chaperones are known to bind at the exit of ribosomal tunnel to ensure proper folding of the nascent chain by inhibiting their premature folding in the densely crowded environment of the cell. However, accumulating evidence suggests that ribosome may play a chaperone role in protein folding events in vitro. Ribosome-mediated folding of denatured proteins by prokaryotic ribosomes has been studied extensively. The RNA-assisted chaperone activity of the prokaryotic ribosome has been attributed to the domain V, a span of 23S rRNA at the intersubunit side of the large subunit encompassing the Peptidyl Transferase Centre. Evidently, this functional property of ribosome is unrelated to the nascent chain protein folding at the exit of the ribosomal tunnel. Here, we seek to scrutinize whether this unique function is conserved in a primitive kinetoplastid group of eukaryotic species Leishmania donovani where the ribosome structure possesses distinct additional features and appears markedly different compared to other higher eukaryotic ribosomes. Bovine Carbonic Anhydrase II (BCAII) enzyme was considered as the model protein. Our results manifest that domain V of the large subunit rRNA of Leishmania ribosomes preserves chaperone activity suggesting that ribosome-mediated protein folding is, indeed, a conserved phenomenon. Further, we aimed to investigate the mechanism underpinning the ribosome-assisted protein reactivation process. Interestingly, the surface plasmon resonance binding analyses exhibit that rRNA guides productive folding by directly interacting with molten globule-like states of the protein. In contrast, native protein shows no notable affinity to the rRNA. Thus, our study not only confirms conserved, RNA-mediated chaperoning role of ribosome but also provides crucial insight into the mechanism of the process. PMID:27099964

  8. Mechanistic Insight into the Reactivation of BCAII Enzyme from Denatured and Molten Globule States by Eukaryotic Ribosomes and Domain V rRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Biprashekhar; Bhakta, Sayan; Sengupta, Jayati

    2016-01-01

    In all life forms, decoding of messenger-RNA into polypeptide chain is accomplished by the ribosome. Several protein chaperones are known to bind at the exit of ribosomal tunnel to ensure proper folding of the nascent chain by inhibiting their premature folding in the densely crowded environment of the cell. However, accumulating evidence suggests that ribosome may play a chaperone role in protein folding events in vitro. Ribosome-mediated folding of denatured proteins by prokaryotic ribosomes has been studied extensively. The RNA-assisted chaperone activity of the prokaryotic ribosome has been attributed to the domain V, a span of 23S rRNA at the intersubunit side of the large subunit encompassing the Peptidyl Transferase Centre. Evidently, this functional property of ribosome is unrelated to the nascent chain protein folding at the exit of the ribosomal tunnel. Here, we seek to scrutinize whether this unique function is conserved in a primitive kinetoplastid group of eukaryotic species Leishmania donovani where the ribosome structure possesses distinct additional features and appears markedly different compared to other higher eukaryotic ribosomes. Bovine Carbonic Anhydrase II (BCAII) enzyme was considered as the model protein. Our results manifest that domain V of the large subunit rRNA of Leishmania ribosomes preserves chaperone activity suggesting that ribosome-mediated protein folding is, indeed, a conserved phenomenon. Further, we aimed to investigate the mechanism underpinning the ribosome-assisted protein reactivation process. Interestingly, the surface plasmon resonance binding analyses exhibit that rRNA guides productive folding by directly interacting with molten globule-like states of the protein. In contrast, native protein shows no notable affinity to the rRNA. Thus, our study not only confirms conserved, RNA-mediated chaperoning role of ribosome but also provides crucial insight into the mechanism of the process. PMID:27099964

  9. Correspondence between Resting-State Activity and Brain Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guang-Zhong; Belgard, T Grant; Mao, Deng; Chen, Leslie; Berto, Stefano; Preuss, Todd M; Lu, Hanzhang; Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2015-11-18

    The relationship between functional brain activity and gene expression has not been fully explored in the human brain. Here, we identify significant correlations between gene expression in the brain and functional activity by comparing fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) from two independent human fMRI resting-state datasets to regional cortical gene expression from a newly generated RNA-seq dataset and two additional gene expression datasets to obtain robust and reproducible correlations. We find significantly more genes correlated with fALFF than expected by chance and identify specific genes correlated with the imaging signals in multiple expression datasets in the default mode network. Together, these data support a population-level relationship between regional steady-state brain gene expression and resting-state brain activity. PMID:26590343

  10. Structural Insights Lead to a Negamycin Analogue with Improved Antimicrobial Activity against Gram-Negative Pathogens.

    PubMed

    McKinney, David C; Basarab, Gregory S; Cocozaki, Alexis I; Foulk, Melinda A; Miller, Matthew D; Ruvinsky, Anatoly M; Scott, Clay W; Thakur, Kumar; Zhao, Liang; Buurman, Ed T; Narayan, Sridhar

    2015-08-13

    Negamycin is a natural product with antibacterial activity against a broad range of Gram-negative pathogens. Recent revelation of its ribosomal binding site and mode of inhibition has reinvigorated efforts to identify improved analogues with clinical potential. Translation-inhibitory potency and antimicrobial activity upon modification of different moieties of negamycin were in line with its observed ribosomal binding conformation, reaffirming stringent structural requirements for activity. However, substitutions on the N6 amine were tolerated and led to N6-(3-aminopropyl)-negamycin (31f), an analogue showing 4-fold improvement in antibacterial activity against key bacterial pathogens. This represents the most potent negamycin derivative to date and may be a stepping stone toward clinical development of this novel antibacterial class. PMID:26288696

  11. Structural Insights Lead to a Negamycin Analogue with Improved Antimicrobial Activity against Gram-Negative Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Negamycin is a natural product with antibacterial activity against a broad range of Gram-negative pathogens. Recent revelation of its ribosomal binding site and mode of inhibition has reinvigorated efforts to identify improved analogues with clinical potential. Translation-inhibitory potency and antimicrobial activity upon modification of different moieties of negamycin were in line with its observed ribosomal binding conformation, reaffirming stringent structural requirements for activity. However, substitutions on the N6 amine were tolerated and led to N6-(3-aminopropyl)-negamycin (31f), an analogue showing 4-fold improvement in antibacterial activity against key bacterial pathogens. This represents the most potent negamycin derivative to date and may be a stepping stone toward clinical development of this novel antibacterial class. PMID:26288696

  12. Dynamics of multistable states during ongoing and evoked cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Mazzucato, Luca; Fontanini, Alfredo; La Camera, Giancarlo

    2015-05-27

    Single-trial analyses of ensemble activity in alert animals demonstrate that cortical circuits dynamics evolve through temporal sequences of metastable states. Metastability has been studied for its potential role in sensory coding, memory, and decision-making. Yet, very little is known about the network mechanisms responsible for its genesis. It is often assumed that the onset of state sequences is triggered by an external stimulus. Here we show that state sequences can be observed also in the absence of overt sensory stimulation. Analysis of multielectrode recordings from the gustatory cortex of alert rats revealed ongoing sequences of states, where single neurons spontaneously attain several firing rates across different states. This single-neuron multistability represents a challenge to existing spiking network models, where typically each neuron is at most bistable. We present a recurrent spiking network model that accounts for both the spontaneous generation of state sequences and the multistability in single-neuron firing rates. Each state results from the activation of neural clusters with potentiated intracluster connections, with the firing rate in each cluster depending on the number of active clusters. Simulations show that the model's ensemble activity hops among the different states, reproducing the ongoing dynamics observed in the data. When probed with external stimuli, the model predicts the quenching of single-neuron multistability into bistability and the reduction of trial-by-trial variability. Both predictions were confirmed in the data. Together, these results provide a theoretical framework that captures both ongoing and evoked network dynamics in a single mechanistic model. PMID:26019337

  13. Dynamics of Multistable States during Ongoing and Evoked Cortical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mazzucato, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Single-trial analyses of ensemble activity in alert animals demonstrate that cortical circuits dynamics evolve through temporal sequences of metastable states. Metastability has been studied for its potential role in sensory coding, memory, and decision-making. Yet, very little is known about the network mechanisms responsible for its genesis. It is often assumed that the onset of state sequences is triggered by an external stimulus. Here we show that state sequences can be observed also in the absence of overt sensory stimulation. Analysis of multielectrode recordings from the gustatory cortex of alert rats revealed ongoing sequences of states, where single neurons spontaneously attain several firing rates across different states. This single-neuron multistability represents a challenge to existing spiking network models, where typically each neuron is at most bistable. We present a recurrent spiking network model that accounts for both the spontaneous generation of state sequences and the multistability in single-neuron firing rates. Each state results from the activation of neural clusters with potentiated intracluster connections, with the firing rate in each cluster depending on the number of active clusters. Simulations show that the model's ensemble activity hops among the different states, reproducing the ongoing dynamics observed in the data. When probed with external stimuli, the model predicts the quenching of single-neuron multistability into bistability and the reduction of trial-by-trial variability. Both predictions were confirmed in the data. Together, these results provide a theoretical framework that captures both ongoing and evoked network dynamics in a single mechanistic model. PMID:26019337

  14. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  15. Insights on how the activity of an endoglucanase is affected by physical properties of insoluble celluloses.

    PubMed

    Bragatto, Juliano; Segato, Fernando; Cota, Junio; Mello, Danilo B; Oliveira, Marcelo M; Buckeridge, Marcos S; Squina, Fabio M; Driemeier, Carlos

    2012-05-31

    Cellulose physical properties like crystallinity, porosity, and particle size are known to influence cellulase activity, but knowledge is still insufficient for activity prediction from such measurable substrate characteristics. With the aim of illuminating enzyme-substrate relationships, this work evaluates a purified hyperthermophilic endo-1,4-beta-glucanase (from Pyrococcus furiosus) acting on 13 celluloses characterized for crystallinity and crystal width (by X-ray diffraction), wet porosity (by thermoporometry), and particle size (by light scattering). Activities are analyzed by the Michaelis-Menten kinetic equation, which is justified by low enzyme-substrate affinity. Michaelis-Menten coefficients K(m) and k(cat) are reinterpreted in the context of heterogeneous cellulose hydrolysis. For a set of as-received and milled microcrystalline celluloses, activity is successfully described as a function of accessible substrate concentration, with accessibility proportional to K(m)(-1). Accessibility contribution from external particle areas, pore areas, and crystalline packing are discriminated to have comparable magnitudes, implying that activity prediction demands all these substrate properties to be considered. Results additionally suggest that looser crystalline packing increases the lengths of released cello-oligomers as well as the maximum endoglucanase specific activity (k(cat)). PMID:22577872

  16. Lipid-Controlled Peptide Topology and Interactions in Bilayers: Structural Insights into the Synergistic Enhancement of the Antimicrobial Activities of PGLa and Magainin 2

    PubMed Central

    Salnikov, Evgeniy S.; Bechinger, Burkhard

    2011-01-01

    To gain further insight into the antimicrobial activities of cationic linear peptides, we investigated the topology of each of two peptides, PGLa and magainin 2, in oriented phospholipid bilayers in the presence and absence of the other peptide and as a function of the membrane lipid composition. Whereas proton-decoupled 15N solid-state NMR spectroscopy indicates that magainin 2 exhibits stable in-plane alignments under all conditions investigated, PGLa adopts a number of different membrane topologies with considerable variations in tilt angle. Hydrophobic thickness is an important parameter that modulates the alignment of PGLa. In equimolar mixtures of PGLa and magainin 2, the former adopts transmembrane orientations in dimyristoyl-, but not 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-, phospholipid bilayers, whereas magainin 2 remains associated with the surface in all cases. These results have important consequences for the mechanistic models explaining synergistic activities of the peptide mixtures and will be discussed. The ensemble of data suggests that the thinning of the dimyristoyl membranes caused by magainin 2 tips the topological equilibrium of PGLa toward a membrane-inserted configuration. Therefore, lipid-mediated interactions play a fundamental role in determining the topology of membrane peptides and proteins and thereby, possibly, in regulating their activities as well. PMID:21402029

  17. Structural insights into the role of iron–histidine bond cleavage in nitric oxide-induced activation of H-NOX gas sensor proteins

    PubMed Central

    Herzik, Mark A.; Jonnalagadda, Rohan; Kuriyan, John; Marletta, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Heme-nitric oxide/oxygen (H-NOX) binding domains are a recently discovered family of heme-based gas sensor proteins that are conserved across eukaryotes and bacteria. Nitric oxide (NO) binding to the heme cofactor of H-NOX proteins has been implicated as a regulatory mechanism for processes ranging from vasodilation in mammals to communal behavior in bacteria. A key molecular event during NO-dependent activation of H-NOX proteins is rupture of the heme–histidine bond and formation of a five-coordinate nitrosyl complex. Although extensive biochemical studies have provided insight into the NO activation mechanism, precise molecular-level details have remained elusive. In the present study, high-resolution crystal structures of the H-NOX protein from Shewanella oneidensis in the unligated, intermediate six-coordinate and activated five-coordinate, NO-bound states are reported. From these structures, it is evident that several structural features in the heme pocket of the unligated protein function to maintain the heme distorted from planarity. NO-induced scission of the iron–histidine bond triggers structural rearrangements in the heme pocket that permit the heme to relax toward planarity, yielding the signaling-competent NO-bound conformation. Here, we also provide characterization of a nonheme metal coordination site occupied by zinc in an H-NOX protein. PMID:25253889

  18. Momentary Affective States Are Associated with Momentary Volume, Prospective Trends, and Fluctuation of Daily Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kanning, Martina K.; Schoebi, Dominik

    2016-01-01

    Several interventions aiming to enhance physical activity in everyday life showed mixed effects. Affective constructs are thought to potentially support health behavior change. However, little is known about within-subject associations between momentary affect and subsequent physical activity in everyday life. This study analyzed the extent to which three dimensions of affective states (valence, calmness, and energetic arousal) were associated with different components of daily activity trajectories. Sixty-five undergraduates’ students (Age: M = 24.6; SD = 3.2; females: 57%) participated in this study. Physical activity was assessed objectively through accelerometers during 24 h. Affective states assessments were conducted randomly every 45 min using an e-diary with a six-item mood scale that was especially designed for ambulatory assessment. We conducted three-level multi-level analyses to investigate the extent to which momentary affect accounted for momentary volume, prospective trends, and stability vs. fluctuation of physical activity in everyday life. All three affect dimensions were significantly associated with momentary activity volumes and prospective trends over 45 min periods. Physical activity didn’t fluctuate freely, but featured significant autocorrelation across repeated measurements, suggesting some stability of physical activity across 5-min assessments. After adjusting for the autoregressive structure in physical activity assessments, only energetic arousal remained a significant predictor. Feeling energized and awake was associated with an increased momentary volume of activity and initially smaller but gradually growing decreases in subsequent activity within the subsequent 45 min. Although not related to trends in physical activity, higher valence predicted lower stability in physical activity across subsequent 45 min, suggesting more short-term fluctuations in daily activity the more participants reported positive affective valence. The

  19. Antiviral Regulation in Porcine Monocytic Cells at Different Activation States

    PubMed Central

    Rowland, Raymond R. R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Monocytic cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells, exist in different activation states that are critical to the regulation of antimicrobial immunity. Many pandemic viruses are monocytotropic, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), which directly infects subsets of monocytic cells and interferes with antiviral responses. To study antiviral responses in PRRSV-infected monocytic cells, we characterized inflammatory cytokine responses and genome-wide profiled signature genes to investigate response pathways in uninfected and PRRSV-infected monocytic cells at different activation states. Our findings showed suppressed interferon (IFN) production in macrophages in non-antiviral states and an arrest of lipid metabolic pathways in macrophages at antiviral states. Importantly, porcine monocytic cells at different activation states were susceptible to PRRSV and responded differently to viral infection. Based on Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, two approaches were used to potentiate antiviral activity: (i) pharmaceutical modulation of cellular lipid metabolism and (ii) in situ PRRSV replication-competent expression of interferon alpha (IFN-α). Both approaches significantly suppressed exogenous viral infection in monocytic cells. In particular, the engineered IFN-expressing PRRSV strain eliminated exogenous virus infection and sustained cell viability at 4 days postinfection in macrophages. These findings suggest an intricate interaction of viral infection with the activation status of porcine monocytic cells. An understanding and integration of antiviral infection with activation status of monocytic cells may provide a means of potentiating antiviral immunity. IMPORTANCE Activation statuses of monocytic cells, including monocytes, macrophages (Mϕs), and dendritic cells (DCs), are critically important for antiviral immunity. Unfortunately, the activation status of porcine monocytic cells or how cell activation status

  20. Limits of state activity in the interstate water market

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, A.B.

    1986-01-01

    In an effort to ensure future water supplies, many western states are becoming participants in the market for water. As market participants, states gain a proprietary interest in their water resources which more effectively secures their right to the water than mere regulation or claims of ownership under the public trust doctrine. As the author points out, however, the constitution imposes numerous limitations on state water market activity. The privileges and immunities clause, the commerce clause, the property clause, as well as the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, all influence the manner in which states may behave. Most significantly, the author explains, these clauses prevent states from using their power as water market participants as a disguise for economic protectionism.

  1. Insights into Substrate Specificity and Metal Activation of Mammalian Tetrahedral Aspartyl Aminopeptidase

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Yuanyuan; Farquhar, Erik R.; Chance, Mark R.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kiser, Philip D.

    2012-07-11

    Aminopeptidases are key enzymes involved in the regulation of signaling peptide activity. Here, we present a detailed biochemical and structural analysis of an evolutionary highly conserved aspartyl aminopeptidase called DNPEP. We show that this peptidase can cleave multiple physiologically relevant substrates, including angiotensins, and thus may play a key role in regulating neuron function. Using a combination of x-ray crystallography, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and single particle electron microscopy analysis, we provide the first detailed structural analysis of DNPEP. We show that this enzyme possesses a binuclear zinc-active site in which one of the zinc ions is readily exchangeable with other divalent cations such as manganese, which strongly stimulates the enzymatic activity of the protein. The plasticity of this metal-binding site suggests a mechanism for regulation of DNPEP activity. We also demonstrate that DNPEP assembles into a functionally relevant tetrahedral complex that restricts access of peptide substrates to the active site. These structural data allow rationalization of the enzyme's preference for short peptide substrates with N-terminal acidic residues. This study provides a structural basis for understanding the physiology and bioinorganic chemistry of DNPEP and other M18 family aminopeptidases.

  2. Insight into the strong inhibitory action of salt on activity of neocarzinostatin.

    PubMed

    Chin, Der-Hang; Li, Huang-Hsien; Sudhahar, Christopher G; Tsai, Pei-Yin

    2010-03-01

    Enediyne anticancer drugs belong to one of the most potent category in inducing DNA damage. We report 85+/-5% inhibition on activity of neocarzinostatin by salt. As high sodium ion concentration is a known tumor cell feature, we explored the dynamic mechanism of inhibition. Using various analytical tools, we examined parameters involved in the four consecutive steps of the drug action, namely, drug releasing from carrier protein, drug-DNA binding, drug activating, and DNA damaging. Neither protein stability, nor drug release rate, was altered by salt. The salt inhibition level was similar in between the protein-bound and unbound enediyne chromophore. Salt did not quench the thiol-induced drug activation. The inhibition was independent of DNA lesion types and irrelevant with thiol structures. Collectively, no salt interaction was found in the releasing, activating, and DNA damaging step of the drug action. However, binding with DNA decreased linearly with salt and corresponded well with the salt-induced inhibition on the drug activity. Salt interference on the affinity of DNA binding was the main and sole cause of the severe salt inhibition. The inhibition factor should be carefully considered for all agents with similar DNA binding mode. PMID:20137955

  3. New Insights into the Antibacterial Activity of Hydroxycoumarins against Ralstonia solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liang; Ding, Wei; Xu, Yuquan; Wu, Dousheng; Li, Shili; Chen, Juanni; Guo, Bing

    2016-01-01

    Coumarins are important plant-derived natural products with wide-ranging bioactivities and extensive applications. In this study, we evaluated for the first time the antibacterial activity and mechanisms of action of coumarins against the phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum, and investigated the effect of functional group substitution. We first tested the antibacterial activity of 18 plant-derived coumarins with different substitution patterns, and found that daphnetin, esculetin, xanthotol, and umbelliferone significantly inhibited the growth of R. solanacearum. Daphnetin showed the strongest antibacterial activity, followed by esculetin and umbelliferone, with MICs of 64, 192, and 256 mg/L, respectively, better than the archetypal coumarin with 384 mg/L. We further demonstrated that the hydroxylation of coumarins at the C-6, C-7 or C-8 position significantly enhanced the antibacterial activity against R. solanacearum. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and fluorescence microscopy images showed that hydroxycoumarins may interact with the pathogen by mechanically destroying the cell membrane and inhibiting biofilm formation. The antibiofilm effect of hydroxycoumarins may relate to the repression of flagellar genes fliA and flhC. These physiological changes in R. solanacearum caused by hydroxycoumarins can provide information for integral pathogen control. The present findings demonstrated that hydroxycoumarins have superior antibacterial activity against the phytopathogen R. solanacearum, and thus have the potential to be applied for controlling plant bacterial wilt. PMID:27070570

  4. Insights into Substrate Specificity and Metal Activation of Mammalian Tetrahedral Aspartyl Aminopeptidase*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yuanyuan; Farquhar, Erik R.; Chance, Mark R.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kiser, Philip D.

    2012-01-01

    Aminopeptidases are key enzymes involved in the regulation of signaling peptide activity. Here, we present a detailed biochemical and structural analysis of an evolutionary highly conserved aspartyl aminopeptidase called DNPEP. We show that this peptidase can cleave multiple physiologically relevant substrates, including angiotensins, and thus may play a key role in regulating neuron function. Using a combination of x-ray crystallography, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and single particle electron microscopy analysis, we provide the first detailed structural analysis of DNPEP. We show that this enzyme possesses a binuclear zinc-active site in which one of the zinc ions is readily exchangeable with other divalent cations such as manganese, which strongly stimulates the enzymatic activity of the protein. The plasticity of this metal-binding site suggests a mechanism for regulation of DNPEP activity. We also demonstrate that DNPEP assembles into a functionally relevant tetrahedral complex that restricts access of peptide substrates to the active site. These structural data allow rationalization of the enzyme's preference for short peptide substrates with N-terminal acidic residues. This study provides a structural basis for understanding the physiology and bioinorganic chemistry of DNPEP and other M18 family aminopeptidases. PMID:22356908

  5. An insight into antimicrobial activity of the freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica.

    PubMed

    Pejin, Boris; Ciric, Ana; Horvatovic, Mladen; Jurca, Tamara; Glamoclija, Jasmina; Nikolic, Milos; Sokovic, Marina

    2016-08-01

    The antimicrobial activity of five crude extracts of the freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) was evaluated in vitro for the first time. P. magnifica acetone extract exhibited the highest antibacterial activity (minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) 0.004-0.350 mg/mL and MBC 0.007-0.500 mg/mL), while its methanol extract showed the most promising antifungal activity (MIC 0.03-0.12 mg/mL and MFC 0.06-0.25 mg/mL). Furthermore, at a concentration of 0.25 MIC, the methanol extract reduced biofilm formation of the bacterial strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a considerable extent (59.14%). FTIR spectra of the most active extracts indicate the presence of carbonyl compounds, long-chain alcohols and/or sterols. According to the experimental data obtained, P. magnifica methanol extract may be considered as a good resource of novel natural products with potent antibiofilm activity against the bacterium well known for its resistance. PMID:26252786

  6. New insights into the activation, interaction partners and possible functions of MK5/PRAK.

    PubMed

    Perander, Maria; Keyse, Stephen M; Seternes, Ole-Morten

    2016-01-01

    MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 5 (MK5) was first described as a downstream target of the p38 MAP kinase pathway leading to its alternative acronym of p38-regulated/activated protein kinase (PRAK). However, since the discovery that MK5 is a bona fide interaction partner of the atypical MAP kinases ERK3 and ERK4 and that this interaction leads to both the activation and subcellular relocalisation of MK5, there has been considerable debate as to the relative roles of these MAPK pathways in mediating the activation and biological functions of MK5. Here we discuss recent progress in defining novel upstream components of the ERK3/ERK4 signalling pathway, our increased understanding of the mechanism by which MK5 interacts with and is activated by ERK3 and ERK4, and the discovery of novel interaction partners for MK5. Finally, we review recent literature that suggests novel biological functions for MK5 in a range of physiological and pathophysiological conditions including neuronal function and cancer. PMID:26709779

  7. Structural insights into the initiating complex of the lectin pathway of complement activation.

    PubMed

    Kjaer, Troels R; Le, Le T M; Pedersen, Jan Skov; Sander, Bjoern; Golas, Monika M; Jensenius, Jens Christian; Andersen, Gregers R; Thiel, Steffen

    2015-02-01

    The proteolytic cascade of the complement system is initiated when pattern-recognition molecules (PRMs) bind to ligands, resulting in the activation of associated proteases. In the lectin pathway of complement, the complex of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) and MBL-associated serine protease-1 (MASP-1) initiates the pathway by activating a second protease, MASP-2. Here we present a structural study of a PRM/MASP complex and derive the overall architecture of the 450 kDa MBL/MASP-1 complex using small-angle X-ray scattering and electron microscopy. The serine protease (SP) domains from the zymogen MASP-1 dimer protrude from the cone-like MBL tetramer and are separated by at least 20 nm. This suggests that intracomplex activation within a single MASP-1 dimer is unlikely and instead supports intercomplex activation, whereby the MASP SP domains are accessible to nearby PRM-bound MASPs. This activation mechanism differs fundamentally from the intracomplex initiation models previously proposed for both the lectin and the classical pathway. PMID:25579818

  8. Insights from an observational assessment of park-based physical activity in Nanchang, China

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Hong; Liao, Xiong; Schuller, Kristyn; Cook, Angelie; Fan, Si; Lan, Guilian; Lu, Yuanan; Yuan, Zhaokang; Moore, Justin B.; Maddock, Jay E.

    2015-01-01

    Internationally, parks have been shown to be an important community asset for physical activity (PA), but little is known about the relationship between park usage and physical activity in China. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between park user characteristics and PA in Nanchang, China. In June 2014, 75,678 people were observed in eight parks over 12 days using SOPARC, a validated systematic observation tool. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between PA and park user characteristics. Most park users were older adults (53.5%) or adults (34.6%). Overall, 55% of park users engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Fewer women were observed in parks than men, but were 66% more likely to be engaged in MVPA than men. Park users were more likely to be observed in MVPA between 6–9 am and when the temperature was below 30 °C. Chinese park users were more active (55%) than US studies in Tampa (30%), Chicago (49%), and Los Angeles (34%). More research is necessary to identify features of parks that are associated with greater PA so that effective interventions can be developed to promote active park use in Chinese citizens. PMID:26844171

  9. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure-function relationship studies. PMID:26357462

  10. Structural Insight into Activation Mechanism of Toxoplasma gondii Nucleoside Triphosphate Diphosphohydrolases by Disulfide Reduction*

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Ulrike; Zebisch, Matthias; Krauss, Michel; Sträter, Norbert

    2012-01-01

    The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces two nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (NTPDase1 and -3). These tetrameric, cysteine-rich enzymes require activation by reductive cleavage of a hitherto unknown disulfide bond. Despite a 97% sequence identity, both isozymes differ largely in their ability to hydrolyze ATP and ADP. Here, we present crystal structures of inactive NTPDase3 as an apo form and in complex with the product AMP to resolutions of 2.0 and 2.2 Å, respectively. We find that the enzyme is present in an open conformation that precludes productive substrate binding and catalysis. The cysteine bridge 258–268 is identified to be responsible for locking of activity. Crystal structures of constitutively active variants of NTPDase1 and -3 generated by mutation of Cys258–Cys268 show that opening of the regulatory cysteine bridge induces a pronounced contraction of the whole tetramer. This is accompanied by a 12° domain closure motion resulting in the correct arrangement of all active site residues. A complex structure of activated NTPDase3 with a non-hydrolyzable ATP analog and the cofactor Mg2+ to a resolution of 2.85 Å indicates that catalytic differences between the NTPDases are primarily dictated by differences in positioning of the adenine base caused by substitution of Arg492 and Glu493 in NTPDase1 by glycines in NTPDase3. PMID:22130673