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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 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

  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

    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

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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

    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.

  8. 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

  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

    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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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 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

  13. 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

  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. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. [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

  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. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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,...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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…

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. Informal Face-to-Face Interaction Improves Mood State Reflected in Prefrontal Cortex Activity

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Jun-ichiro; Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress with wearable sensors has enabled researchers to capture face-to-face interactions quantitatively and given great insight into human dynamics. One attractive field for applying such sensors is the workplace, where the relationship between the face-to-face behaviors of employees and the productivity of the organization has been investigated. One interesting result of previous studies showed that informal face-to-face interaction among employees, captured by wearable sensors that the employees wore, significantly affects their performance. However, the mechanism behind this relationship has not yet been adequately explained, though experiences at the job scene might qualitatively support the finding. We hypothesized that informal face-to-face interaction improves mood state, which in turn affects the task performance. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the change of mood state before and after break time for two groups of participants, one that spent their breaks alone and one that spent them with other participants, by administering questionnaires and taking brain activity measurements. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested a significant relationship between mood state and brain activity. Here, we show that face-to-face interaction during breaks significantly improved mood state, which was measured by Profiles of Mood States (POMS). We also observed that the verbal working memory (WM) task performance of participants who did not have face-to-face interaction during breaks decreased significantly. In this paper, we discuss how the change of mood state was evidenced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity accompanied by WM tasks measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). PMID:27199715

  2. Informal Face-to-Face Interaction Improves Mood State Reflected in Prefrontal Cortex Activity.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Jun-Ichiro; Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress with wearable sensors has enabled researchers to capture face-to-face interactions quantitatively and given great insight into human dynamics. One attractive field for applying such sensors is the workplace, where the relationship between the face-to-face behaviors of employees and the productivity of the organization has been investigated. One interesting result of previous studies showed that informal face-to-face interaction among employees, captured by wearable sensors that the employees wore, significantly affects their performance. However, the mechanism behind this relationship has not yet been adequately explained, though experiences at the job scene might qualitatively support the finding. We hypothesized that informal face-to-face interaction improves mood state, which in turn affects the task performance. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the change of mood state before and after break time for two groups of participants, one that spent their breaks alone and one that spent them with other participants, by administering questionnaires and taking brain activity measurements. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested a significant relationship between mood state and brain activity. Here, we show that face-to-face interaction during breaks significantly improved mood state, which was measured by Profiles of Mood States (POMS). We also observed that the verbal working memory (WM) task performance of participants who did not have face-to-face interaction during breaks decreased significantly. In this paper, we discuss how the change of mood state was evidenced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity accompanied by WM tasks measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). PMID:27199715

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Flavonoids as CDK1 Inhibitors: Insights in Their Binding Orientations and Structure-Activity Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Navarro-Retamal, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    In the last years, the interactions of flavonoids with protein kinases (PKs) have been described by using crystallographic experiments. Interestingly, different orientations have been found for one flavonoid inside different PKs and different chemical substitutions lead to different orientations of the flavonoid scaffold inside one PK. Accordingly, orientation predictions of novel analogues could help to the design of flavonoids with high PK inhibitory activities. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 37 flavonoids (flavones and chalcones) inside the cyclin-dependent PK CDK1 using docking experiments. We found that the compounds under study adopted two different orientations into the active site of CDK1 (orientations I and II in the manuscript). In addition, quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models using CoMFA and CoMSIA methodologies were constructed to explain the trend of the CDK1 inhibitory activities for the studied flavonoids. Template-based and docking-based alignments were used. Models developed starting from docking-based alignment were applied for describing the whole dataset and compounds with orientation I. Adequate R2 and Q2 values were obtained by each method; interestingly, only hydrophobic and hydrogen bond donor fields describe the differential potency of the flavonoids as CDK1 inhibitors for both defined alignments and subsets. Our current application of docking and QSAR together reveals important elements to be drawn for the design of novel flavonoids with increased PK inhibitory activities. PMID:27517610

  14. 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.

  15. Two-State Reactivity in Hydrocarbon Oxidation by FeO +: New Insight through Temperature Dependent Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ard, Shaun; Melko, Josh; Shuman, Nick; Viggiano, Albert

    2013-03-01

    Oxidative activation of C-H and C-C bonds is the rate limiting step in many catalytic applications. Transition metals and their oxides are the active component in numerous catalysts as they have proven to be efficient in the activation of these bonds. We report the temperature dependence of reaction kinetics from 120-700K for reactions of FeO+ with CH4, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6 for the first time, in an effort to improve the mechanistic understanding, and from that the efficiency of these important reactions. The rate constants were found to decrease smoothly with temperature for each hydrocarbon, except for that with methane which displayed an abrupt change in temperature dependence. The branching fractions for the alcohol producing channels were also found to decrease with temperature for each hydrocarbon, with the exception of ethane where it remained constant. Implications of these results towards catalytic applications and theoretical modeling of these systems will be discussed. Specifically, the role of spin orbit coupling in determining the probability of spin inversion, and thus the importance of the ``two-state reactivity'' model applied to many transition metal oxide and hydrocarbon reactions will be addressed.

  16. New insights into the multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function.

    PubMed

    Ginhoux, Florent; Schultze, Joachim L; Murray, Peter J; Ochando, Jordi; Biswas, Subhra K

    2016-01-01

    Macrophages have protective roles in immunity to pathogens, tissue development, homeostasis and repair following damage. Maladaptive immunity and inflammation provoke changes in macrophage function that are causative of disease. Despite a historical wealth of knowledge about macrophages, recent advances have revealed unknown aspects of their development and function. Following development, macrophages are activated by diverse signals. Such tissue microenvironmental signals together with epigenetic changes influence macrophage development, activation and functional diversity, with consequences in disease and homeostasis. We discuss here how recent discoveries in these areas have led to a multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function. In connection with this, we also discuss how technical advances facilitate a new roadmap for the isolation and analysis of macrophages at high resolution. PMID:26681460

  17. Insights into the interactions between enzyme and co-solvents: stability and activity of stem bromelain.

    PubMed

    Rani, Anjeeta; Venkatesu, Pannuru

    2015-02-01

    In present study, an attempt is made to elucidate the effects of various naturally occurring osmolytes and denaturants on BM at pH 7.0. The effects of the varying concentrations of glycerol, sorbitol, sucrose, trehalose, urea and guanidinium chloride (GdnHCl) on structure, stability and activity of BM are explored by fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD), UV-vis spectroscopy and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Our experimental observations reveal that glycerol and sorbitol are acting as stabilizers at all concentrations while sucrose and trehalose are found to be destabilizers at lower concentrations, however, acted as stabilizers at higher concentrations. On the other hand, urea and GdnHCl are denaturants except at lower concentrations. There is a direct relationship between activity and conformational stability as the activity data are found to be in accordance with conformational stability parameters (ΔGu, Tm, ΔCp) and BM profile on SDS-PAGE. PMID:25434803

  18. Recent insights into the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yuee; Zhang, Wenji; Chen, Zirong; Shi, Zhi; He, Chengwei; Chen, Meiwan

    2016-01-01

    Tanshinones, the major lipid-soluble pharmacological constituents of the Chinese medicinal herb Tanshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), have attracted growing scientific attention because of the prospective biomedical applications of these compounds. Numerous pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardio-cerebrovascular protection activities, are exhibited by the three primary bioactive constituents among the tanshinones, ie, tanshinone I (TNI), tanshinone IIA (TNIIA), and cryptotanshinone (CPT). However, due to their poor solubility and low dissolution rate, the clinical applications of TNI, TNIIA, and CPT are limited. To solve these problems, many studies have focused on loading tanshinones into liposomes, nanoparticles, microemulsions, cyclodextrin inclusions, solid dispersions, and so on. In this review, we aim to offer an updated summary of the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones to provide a reference for these constituents in clinical applications. PMID:26792989

  19. Recent insights into the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yuee; Zhang, Wenji; Chen, Zirong; Shi, Zhi; He, Chengwei; Chen, Meiwan

    2016-01-01

    Tanshinones, the major lipid-soluble pharmacological constituents of the Chinese medicinal herb Tanshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), have attracted growing scientific attention because of the prospective biomedical applications of these compounds. Numerous pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardio-cerebrovascular protection activities, are exhibited by the three primary bioactive constituents among the tanshinones, ie, tanshinone I (TNI), tanshinone IIA (TNIIA), and cryptotanshinone (CPT). However, due to their poor solubility and low dissolution rate, the clinical applications of TNI, TNIIA, and CPT are limited. To solve these problems, many studies have focused on loading tanshinones into liposomes, nanoparticles, microemulsions, cyclodextrin inclusions, solid dispersions, and so on. In this review, we aim to offer an updated summary of the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones to provide a reference for these constituents in clinical applications. PMID:26792989

  20. New insights into membrane-active action in plasma membrane of fungal hyphae by the lipopeptide antibiotic bacillomycin L.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bao; Dong, Chunjuan; Shang, Qingmao; Han, Yuzhu; Li, Pinglan

    2013-09-01

    Bacillomycin L, a natural iturinic lipopeptide produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, is characterized by strong antifungal activities against a variety of agronomically important filamentous fungi including Rhizoctonia solani Kühn. Prior to this study, the role of membrane permeabilization in the antimicrobial activity of bacillomycin L against plant pathogenic fungi had not been investigated. To shed light on the mechanism of this antifungal activity, the permeabilization of R. solani hyphae by bacillomycin L was investigated and compared with that by amphotericin B, a polyene antibiotic which is thought to act primarily through membrane disruption. Our results derived from electron microscopy, various fluorescent techniques and gel retardation experiments revealed that the antifungal activity of bacillomycin L may be not solely a consequence of fungal membrane permeabilization, but related to the interaction of it with intracellular targets. Our findings provide more insights into the mode of action of bacillomycin L and other iturins, which could in turn help to develop new or improved antifungal formulations or result in novel strategies to prevent fungal spoilage. PMID:23756779

  1. Geomorphic signal of active faulting at the northern edge of Lut Block: Insights on the kinematic scenario of Central Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzolari, Gabriele; Della Seta, Marta; Rossetti, Federico; Nozaem, Reza; Vignaroli, Gianluca; Cosentino, Domenico; Faccenna, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Recent works documented Neogene to Quaternary dextral strike-slip tectonics along the Kuh-e-Sarhangi and Kuh-e-Faghan intraplate strike-slip faults at the northern edge of the Lut Block of Central Iran, previously thought to be dominated by sinistral strike-slip deformation. This work focuses on the evidence of Quaternary activity of one of these fault systems, in order to provide new spatiotemporal constraints on their role in the active regional kinematic scenario. Through geomorphological and structural investigation, integrated with optically stimulated luminescence dating of three generations of alluvial fans and fluvial terraces (at ~53, ~25, and ~6 ka), this study documents (i) the topographic inheritance of the long-term (Myr) punctuated history of fault nucleation, propagation, and exhumation along the northern edge of Lut Block; (ii) the tectonic control on drainage network evolution, pediment formation, fluvial terraces, and alluvial fan architecture; (iii) the minimum Holocene age of Quaternary dextral strike-slip faulting; and (iv) the evidence of Late Quaternary fault-related uplift localized along the different fault strands. The documented spatial and temporal constraints on the active dextral strike-slip tectonics at the northern edge of Lut Block provide new insights on the kinematic model for active faulting in Central Iran, which has been reinterpreted in an escape tectonic scenario.

  2. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    PubMed Central

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S.; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K + efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca 2+ fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation. PMID:27508077

  3. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

    PubMed

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K (+) efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca (2+) fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation. PMID:27508077

  4. Atomic insights into distinct hormonal activities of Bisphenol A analogues toward PPARγ and ERα receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Shulin; Zhang, Chunlong; Liu, Weiping

    2014-10-20

    Bisphenol A analogues (BPAs) belong to a wide variety of large volume chemicals with diverse applications yet emerging environmental concerns. Limited experimental data have demonstrated that BPAs with different halogenation patterns distinctly affect the agonistic activities toward proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ and estrogen receptors (ER)α. Understanding the modes of action of BPAs toward different receptors is essential, however, the underlying molecular mechanism is still poorly understood. Here we probed the molecular recognition process of halogenated BPAs including TBBPA, TCBPA, BPAF, BPC, triBBPA, diBBPA, and monoBBPA toward PPARγ and ERα by molecular modeling, especially the impact of different halogen patterns. Increasing bromination at phenolic rings of BPAs was found highly correlated with electrostatic interactions (R(2) = 0.978 and 0.865 toward PPARγ and ERα, respectively) and van der Waals interactions (R(2) = 0.995 and 0.994 toward PPARγ and ERα, respectively). More halogenated phenolic rings at 3,5-positions of BPAs increase the shielding of the hormonally active phenolic OH and markedly decrease electrostatic interactions favorable for agonistic activities toward PPARγ, but unfavorable for agonistic activities toward ERα. The halogenation at the phenolic rings of BPAs exerts more impact on molecular electrostatic potential distribution than halogenation at the bridging alkyl moiety. Different halogenations further alter hydrogen bond interactions of BPAs and induce conformational changes of PPARγ ligand binding domain (LBD) and ERα LBD, specifically affecting the stabilization of helix H12 attributable to the different agonistic activities. Our results indicate that structural variations in halogenation patterns result in different interactions of BPAs with PPARγ LBD and ERα LBD, potentially causing distinct agonistic/antagonistic toxic effects. The various halogenation patterns should be fully considered for the design of

  5. Immunoproteasome Activation During Early Antiviral Response in Mouse Pancreatic β-cells: New Insights into Auto-antigen Generation in Type I Diabetes?

    PubMed

    Freudenburg, Wieke; Gautam, Madhav; Chakraborty, Pradipta; James, Jared; Richards, Jennifer; Salvatori, Alison S; Baldwin, Aaron; Schriewer, Jill; Buller, R Mark L; Corbett, John A; Skowyra, Dorota

    2013-04-23

    Type 1 diabetes results from autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing pancreatic β-cells. The immunoproteasome, a version of the proteasome that collaborates with the 11S/PA28 activator to generate immunogenic peptides for presentation by MHC class I molecules, has long been implicated in the onset of the disease, but little is known about immunoproteasome function and regulation in pancreatic β-cells. Interesting insight into these issues comes from a recent analysis of the immunoproteasome expressed in pancreatic β-cells during early antiviral defenses mediated by interferon β (IFNβ), a type I IFN implicated in the induction of the diabetic state in human and animal models. Using mouse islets and the MIN6 insulinoma cell line, Freudenburg et al. found that IFNβ stimulates expression of the immunoproteasome and the 11S/PA28 activator in a manner fundamentally similar to the classic immuno-inducer IFNγ, with similar timing of mRNA accumulation and decline; similar transcriptional activation mediated primarily by the IRF1 and similar mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, neither IFNβ nor IFNγ altered the expression of regular proteolytic subunits or prevented their incorporation into proteolytic cores. As a result, immunoproteasomes had stochastic combinations of immune and regular proteolytic sites, an arrangement that would likely increase the probability with which unique immunogenic peptides are produced. However, immunoproteasomes were activated by the 11S/PA28 only under conditions of ATP depletion. A mechanism that prevents the activation of immunoproteasome at high ATP levels has not been reported before and could have a major regulatory significance, as it could suppress the generation of immunogenic peptides as cell accumulate immunoproteasome and 11S/PA28, and activate antigen processing only when ATP levels drop. We discuss implications of these new findings on the link between early antiviral response and the onset of type 1 diabetes

  6. Spectroscopic Studies of the Salmonella enterica Adenosyltransferase Enzyme SeCobA: Molecular-Level Insight into the Mechanism of Substrate Cob(II)alamin Activation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    CobA from Salmonella enterica (SeCobA) is a member of the family of ATP:Co(I)rrinoid adenosyltransferase (ACAT) enzymes that participate in the biosynthesis of adenosylcobalamin by catalyzing the transfer of the adenosyl group from an ATP molecule to a reactive Co(I)rrinoid species transiently generated in the enzyme active site. This reaction is thermodynamically challenging, as the reduction potential of the Co(II)rrinoid precursor in solution is far more negative than that of available reducing agents in the cell (e.g., flavodoxin), precluding nonenzymic reduction to the Co(I) oxidation state. However, in the active sites of ACATs, the Co(II)/Co(I) redox potential is increased by >250 mV via the formation of a unique four-coordinate (4c) Co(II)rrinoid species. In the case of the SeCobA ACAT, crystallographic and kinetic studies have revealed that the phenylalanine 91 (F91) and tryptophan 93 (W93) residues are critical for in vivo activity, presumably by blocking access to the lower axial ligand site of the Co(II)rrinoid substrate. To further assess the importance of the F91 and W93 residues with respect to enzymatic function, we have characterized various SeCobA active-site variants using electronic absorption, magnetic circular dichroism, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopies. Our data provide unprecedented insight into the mechanism by which SeCobA converts the Co(II)rrinoid substrate to 4c species, with the hydrophobicity, size, and ability to participate in offset π-stacking interactions of key active-site residues all being critical for activity. The structural changes that occur upon Co(II)rrinoid binding also appear to be crucial for properly orienting the transiently generated Co(I) “supernucleophile” for rapid reaction with cosubstrate ATP. PMID:25423616

  7. Altered Spontaneous Brain Activity in Patients with Hemifacial Spasm: A Resting-State Functional MRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Ye; Wei, Yongxu; Sun, Kun; Zhao, Weiguo; Yu, Buwei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used to detect the alterations of spontaneous neuronal activity in various neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, but rarely in hemifacial spasm (HFS), a nervous system disorder. We used resting-state fMRI with regional homogeneity (ReHo) analysis to investigate changes in spontaneous brain activity of patients with HFS and to determine the relationship of these functional changes with clinical features. Thirty patients with HFS and 33 age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls were included in this study. Compared with controls, HFS patients had significantly decreased ReHo values in left middle frontal gyrus (MFG), left medial cingulate cortex (MCC), left lingual gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus (STG) and right precuneus; and increased ReHo values in left precentral gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right brainstem, and right cerebellum. Furthermore, the mean ReHo value in brainstem showed a positive correlation with the spasm severity (r = 0.404, p = 0.027), and the mean ReHo value in MFG was inversely related with spasm severity in HFS group (r = -0.398, p = 0.028). This study reveals that HFS is associated with abnormal spontaneous brain activity in brain regions most involved in motor control and blinking movement. The disturbances of spontaneous brain activity reflected by ReHo measurements may provide insights into the neurological pathophysiology of HFS. PMID:25603126

  8. [Enhancing glutamate decarboxylase activity by site-directed mutagenesis: an insight from Ramachandran plot].

    PubMed

    Ke, Piyu; Huang, Jun; Hu, Sheng; Zhao, Weirui; Lü, Changjiang; Yu, Kai; Lei, Yinlin; Wang, Jinbo; Mei, Lehe

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) can catalyze the decarboxylation of glutamate into γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) and is the only enzyme of GABA biosynthesis. Improving GAD activity and thermostability will be helpful for the highly efficient biosynthesis of GABA. According to the Ramachandran plot information of GAD 1407 three-dimensional structure from Lactobacillus brevis CGMCC No. 1306, we identified the unstable site K413 as the mutation target, constructed the mutant GAD by site-directed mutagenesis and measured the thermostability and activity of the wide type and mutant GAD. Mutant K413A led to a remarkably slower inactivation rate, and its half-life at 50 °C reached 105 min which was 2.1-fold higher than the wild type GAD1407. Moreover, mutant K413I exhibited 1.6-fold higher activity in comparison with the wide type GAD1407, although it had little improvement in thermostability of GAD. Ramachandran plot can be considered as a potential approach to increase GAD thermostability and activity. PMID:27443004

  9. Molecular insight into activated sludge producing polyhydroxyalkanoates under aerobic-anaerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    Ciesielski, Slawomir; Pokoj, Tomasz; Klimiuk, Ewa

    2008-08-01

    One of the options enabling more economic production of polyhydroxyalkanoates compared to pure cultures is the application of mixed cultures. The use of a microbial community in a sequencing batch reactor has a few advantages: a simple process control, no necessity for sterile processing, and possibilities of using cheap substrates as a source of carbon. Nevertheless, while cultivation methods to achieve high PHAs biomass concentration and high productivity in wild and recombinant strains are defined, knowledge about the cultivation strategy for PHAs production by mixed culture and species composition of bacterial communities is still very limited. The main object of this study was to characterize on the molecular level the composition and activity of PHAs producing microorganism in activated sludge cultivated under oxygen limitation conditions. PHAs producers were detected using a PCR technique and the created PHA synthase gene library was analyzed by DNA sequencing. The obtained results indicate that PHAs-producers belonged to Pseudomonas sp., and possessed genes coding for mcl-PHA synthase. The kinetics of mcl-PHA synthase expression was relatively estimated using real-time PCR technology at several timepoints. Performed quantitative and qualitative analysis of total bacterial activity showed that there were differences in total activity during the process but differential expression of various groups of microorganisms examined by using DGGE was not observed. PMID:18418634

  10. Single molecule microscopy reveals mechanistic insight into RNA polymerase II preinitiation complex assembly and transcriptional activity

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Abigail E.; Kugel, Jennifer F.; Goodrich, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a complex process that requires general transcription factors and Pol II to assemble on DNA into preinitiation complexes that can begin RNA synthesis upon binding of NTPs (nucleoside triphosphate). The pathways by which preinitiation complexes form, and how this impacts transcriptional activity are not completely clear. To address these issues, we developed a single molecule system using TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopy and purified human transcription factors, which allows us to visualize transcriptional activity at individual template molecules. We see that stable interactions between polymerase II (Pol II) and a heteroduplex DNA template do not depend on general transcription factors; however, transcriptional activity is highly dependent upon TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF. We also found that subsets of general transcription factors and Pol II can form stable complexes that are precursors for functional transcription complexes upon addition of the remaining factors and DNA. Ultimately we found that Pol II, TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF can form a quaternary complex in the absence of promoter DNA, indicating that a stable network of interactions exists between these proteins independent of promoter DNA. Single molecule studies can be used to learn how different modes of preinitiation complex assembly impact transcriptional activity. PMID:27112574

  11. Insights into cholinesterase inhibitory and antioxidant activities of five Juniperus species.

    PubMed

    Orhan, Nilufer; Orhan, Ilkay Erdogan; Ergun, Fatma

    2011-09-01

    In vitro acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory and antioxidant activities of the aqueous and ethanol extracts of the leaves, ripe fruits, and unripe fruits of Juniperus communis ssp. nana, Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus, Juniperus sabina, Juniperus foetidissima, and Juniperus excelsa were investigated in the present study. Cholinesterase inhibition of the extracts was screened using ELISA microplate reader. Antioxidant activity of the extracts was tested by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide radical scavenging, ferrous ion-chelating, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Total phenol and flavonoid contents of the extracts were determined spectrophotometrically. The extracts had low or no inhibition towards AChE, whereas the leaf aqueous extract of J. foetidissima showed the highest BChE inhibition (93.94 ± 0.01%). The leaf extracts usually exerted higher antioxidant activity. We herein describe the first study on anticholinesterase and antioxidant activity by the methods of ferrous ion-chelating, superoxide radical scavenging, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays of the mentioned Juniperus species. PMID:21708212

  12. Insights into structure-activity relationship of GABAA receptor modulating coumarins and furanocoumarins.

    PubMed

    Singhuber, Judith; Baburin, Igor; Ecker, Gerhard F; Kopp, Brigitte; Hering, Steffen

    2011-10-01

    The coumarins imperatorin and osthole are known to exert anticonvulsant activity. We have therefore analyzed the modulation of GABA-induced chloride currents (I(GABA)) by a selection of 18 coumarin derivatives on recombinant α(1)β(2)γ(2S) GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by means of the two-microelectrode voltage clamp technique. Osthole (EC(50)=14 ± 1 μM) and oxypeucedanin (EC(50)=25 ± 8 μM) displayed the highest efficiency with I(GABA) potentiation of 116 ± 4 % and 547 ± 56 %, respectively. I(GABA) enhancement by osthole and oxypeucedanin was not inhibited by flumazenil (1 μM) indicating an interaction with a binding site distinct from the benzodiazepine binding site. In general, prenyl residues are essential for the positive modulatory activity, while longer side chains or bulkier residues (e.g. geranyl residues) diminish I(GABA) modulation. Generation of a binary classification tree revealed the importance of polarisability, which is sufficient to distinguish actives from inactives. A 4-point pharmacophore model based on oxypeucedanin - comprising three hydrophobic and one aromatic feature - identified 6 out of 7 actives as hits. In summary, (oxy-)prenylated coumarin derivatives from natural origin represent new GABA(A) receptor modulators. PMID:21749864

  13. XPD Helicase Structures and Activities: Insights into the Cancer and Aging Phenotypes from XPD Mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Tainer, John; Fan, Li; Fuss, Jill O.; Cheng, Quen J.; Arvai, Andrew S.; Hammel, Michal; Roberts, Victoria A.; Cooper, Priscilla K.; Tainer, John A.

    2008-06-02

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  14. XPD Helicase Structures And Activities: Insights Into the Cancer And Aging Phenotypes From XPD Mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, L.; Fuss, J.O.; Cheng, Q.J.; Arvai, A.S.; Hammel, M.; Roberts, V.A.; Cooper, P.K.; Tainer, J.A.

    2009-05-18

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  15. Moving Souls: History Offers Insights into Physical Activity that Go beyond Fitness and Fun

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sydnor, Synthia

    2005-01-01

    This article looks at four theoretical themes that scholars insist on when studying history. The themes--social memory, liminality, community, and critique--may be useful in stimulating the direction, planning, and practice of physical activity in young adults. These particular themes were chosen because they seem to match some of the…

  16. Effects of Human Activities on the Composition of Organic Carbon in Estuaries: Insights Gained Through Lipid Biomarker Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canuel, E. A.

    2002-12-01

    Applications of organic geochemistry have expanded in recent decades to include studies within fields as diverse as ecology and ecosystem science, biogeochemistry, and environmental geochemistry. In part, this expansion has occurred in response to increasing human impacts on the environment which are manifested to a large extent in freshwater and estuarine environments. Human influences to these regions include alterations in carbon and nutrient flow, changes in sedimentation and the introduction of industrial and petroleum products. Organic geochemists bring new tools and insights to these areas improving our ability to trace specific components of organic matter. These approaches have the capacity to improve our understanding of the role nearshore regions play in the global carbon cycle, better identification of the sources and mode of delivery of natural and anthropogenic organic molecules, and an improved understanding of the fate of organic molecules including remineralization, transformation, or burial in sediments. Chesapeake Bay and San Francisco Bay are the largest estuaries in the continental U.S.A. and provide an interesting comparison for understanding processes influencing the composition of estuarine particulate organic matter (POM). Both estuaries have also been heavily impacted by human activities thus providing an opportunity to investigate how anthropogenic activities influence POM quantity and quality. Results from biomarker analysis of suspended POM and surficial sediments collected from each estuary will be presented and summarized in this talk. Stable isotopic signatures and lipid biomarker compounds reveal spatial variations in organic matter sources along the salinity continuum of each estuary with a stronger terrigeneous signature at the freshwater end-member. In addition, temporal variations in freshwater inflow and phytoplankton production influenced the sources and reactivity of POM. This talk will demonstrate that results from biomarker

  17. New insights into the early biochemical activation of jasmonic acid biosynthesis in leaves.

    PubMed

    Bonaventure, Gustavo; Baldwin, Ian T

    2010-03-01

    In plants, herbivore attack elicits the rapid accumulation of jasmonic acid (JA) which results from the activation of constitutively expressed biosynthetic enzymes. The molecular mechanisms controlling the activation of JA biosynthesis remain largely unknown however new research has elucidated some of the early regulatory components involved in this process. Nicotiana attenuata plants, a wild tobacco species, responds to fatty acid amino acid conjuguates (FAC) elicitors in the oral secretion of its natural herbivore, Manduca sexta, by triggering specific defense and tolerance responses against it; all of the defense responses known to date require the amplification of the wound-induced JA increase. We recently demonstrated that this FAC-elicited JA burst requires an increased flux of free linolenic acid (18:3) likely originating from the activation of a plastidial glycerolipase (GLA1) which is activated by an abundant FAC found in insect oral secretions, N-linolenoyl-glutamate (18:3-Glu). The lack of accumulation of free 18:3 after elicitation suggests a tight physical association between GLA1 and LOX3 in N. attenuata leaves. In addition, the salicylate-induced protein kinase (SIPK) and the nonexpressor of PR-1 (NPR1) participate in this activation mechanism that controls the supply of 18:3. In contrast, the wound-induced protein kinase (WIPK) does not but instead regulates the conversion of 13(S)-hydroperoxy-18:3 into 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). These results open new perspectives on the complex network of signals and regulatory components inducing the JA biosynthetic pathway. PMID:20037473

  18. New insights into the antioxidant activity of hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic systems: spectroscopic, electrochemistry, and cellular studies.

    PubMed

    Mura, F; Silva, T; Castro, C; Borges, F; Zuñiga, M C; Morales, J; Olea-Azar, C

    2014-12-01

    A series hydroxycinnamic and gallic acids and their derivatives were studied with the aim of evaluating their in vitro antioxidant properties both in homogeneous and in cellular systems. It was concluded from the oxygen radical absorbance capacity-fluorescein (ORAC-FL), 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and cyclic voltammetry data that some compounds exhibit remarkable antioxidant properties. In general, in homogeneous media (DPPH assay), galloyl-based cinnamic and benzoic systems (compounds 7-11) were the most active, exhibiting the lowest oxidation potentials in both dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and phosphate buffer. Yet, p-coumaric acid and its derivatives (compounds 1-3) disclosed the highest scavenging activity toward peroxyl radicals (ORAC-FL assay). Interesting structure-property- activity relationships between ORAC-FL, or DPPH radical, and redox potentials have been attained, showing that the latter parameter can be a valuable antioxidant measure. It was evidenced that redox potentials are related to the structural features of cinnamic and benzoic systems and that their activities are also dependent on the radical generated in the assay. Electron spin resonance data of the phenoxyl radicals generated both in DMSO and phosphate buffer support the assumption that radical stability is related to the type of phenolic system. Galloyl-based cinnamic and benzoic ester-type systems (compounds 9 and 11) were the most active and effective compounds in cell-based assays (51.13 ± 1.27% and 54.90 ± 3.65%, respectively). In cellular systems, hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic systems operate based on their intrinsic antioxidant outline and lipophilic properties, so the balance between these two properties is considered of the utmost importance to ensure their performance in the prevention or minimization of the effects due to free radical overproduction. PMID:25236566

  19. Data inconsistencies from states with unconventional oil and gas activity.

    PubMed

    Malone, Samantha; Kelso, Matthew; Auch, Ted; Edelstein, Karen; Ferrar, Kyle; Jalbert, Kirk

    2015-01-01

    The quality and availability of unconventional oil and gas (O&G) data in the United States have never been compared methodically state-to-state. By conducting such an assessment, this study seeks to better understand private and publicly sourced data variability and to identify data availability gaps. We developed an exploratory data-grading tool - Data Accessibility and Usability Index (DAUI) - to guide the review of O&G data quality. Between July and October 2013, we requested, collected, and assessed 5 categories of unconventional O&G data (wells drilled, violations, production, waste, and Class II disposal wells) from 10 states with active drilling activity. We based our assessment on eight data quality parameters (accessibility, usability, point location, completeness, metadata, agency responsiveness, accuracy, and cost). Using the DAUI, two authors graded the 10 states and then averaged their scores. The average score received across all states, data categories, and parameters was 67.1 out of 100, largely insufficient for proper data transparency. By state, Pennsylvania received the highest average ( = 93.5) and ranked first in all but one data category. The lowest scoring state was Texas ( = 44) largely due to its policy of charging for certain data. This article discusses the various reasons for scores received, as well as methodological limitations of the assessment metrics. We argue that the significant variability of unconventional O&G data-and its availability to the public-is a barrier to regulatory and industry transparency. The lack of transparency also impacts public education and broader participation in industry governance. This study supports the need to develop a set of data best management practices (BMPs) for state regulatory agencies and the O&G industry, and suggests potential BMPs for this purpose. PMID:25734825

  20. Obesity, Health, and Physical Activity: Discourses from the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zieff, Susan G.; Veri, Maria J.

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the obesity, health, and physical activity discourses of the past 35 years in the context of the United States with particular reference to five social sectors: the biomedical domain; the popular media; nonprofit foundations, centers and agencies; various national and multinational corporations; and government at all levels.…

  1. The Current State of Marketing Activity among Higher Education Institutions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Cynthia M.

    2002-01-01

    Investigated the current state of marketing, marketing research, and planning practices at four-year higher education institutions. Builds upon previous studies by Blackburn (1979) and Goldgehn (1982 and 1989). Determined whether the use and apparent understanding of marketing and its attendant activities by admissions and enrollment management…

  2. Canada and the United States. Perspective. Learning Activity Packet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maine Univ., Orono. New England - Atlantic Provinces - Quebec Center.

    The similarities and differences of Canada and the United States are explored in this Learning Activity Packet (LAP). Ten learning objectives are given which encourage students to examine: 1) the misconceptions Americans and Canadians have about each other and their ways of life; 2) the effect and influence of French and English exploration and…

  3. Examining Alignment between State Performance Assessment and Mathematics Classroom Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parke, Carol S.; Lane, Suzanne

    2008-01-01

    The authors describe research on the extent to which mathematics classroom activities in Maryland were aligned with Maryland learning outcomes and the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP; Maryland State Department of Education, 1995, 2000). The study was part of a larger research project (S. Lane, C. S. Parke, & C. A. Stone,…

  4. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Financial institution letters (FILs) are available in the FDIC Public Information Center, room 100, 801 17th... 12 Banks and Banking 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Activities of insured State banks. 362.3 Section 362.3 Banks and Banking FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION REGULATIONS AND STATEMENTS...

  5. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Financial institution letters (FILs) are available in the FDIC Public Information Center, room 100, 801 17th... 12 Banks and Banking 4 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Activities of insured State banks. 362.3 Section 362.3 Banks and Banking FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION REGULATIONS AND STATEMENTS...

  6. Pharmacological insight into neurotransmission origins of resting-state functional connectivity: α2-adrenergic agonist vs antagonist.

    PubMed

    Nasrallah, Fatima A; Low, Si-Min Amanda; Lew, Si Kang; Chen, Kaina; Chuang, Kai-Hsiang

    2014-12-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity MRI has emerged as a powerful tool for mapping large-scale neural networks based on synchronous BOLD signal; however, the neurobiological mechanisms are still unknown. To understand its neural substrates, especially the underlying neurotransmission, we applied pharmacological modulation with a receptor specific agonist and antagonist. Resting and evoked electrophysiology and BOLD signals in rat brains were measured under infusion of α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, medetomidine, the antagonist, atipamezole, and the vehicle individually. Both somatosensory BOLD activation and evoked potential were increased significantly under medetomidine compared to the vehicle while atipamezole slightly decreased both. The interhemispheric correlation at the resting state, in contrast, was suppressed by medetomidine but increased by atipamezole in regions with high receptor densities including the somatosensory cortex and thalamus. No change was seen in the caudate putamen, where receptor occupancy is low. The regional difference in connectivity was not related to cerebral blood flow, indicating that BOLD signal correlation is unlikely due to the vascular effects of the drugs. Resting intracortical recording exhibited agonist/antagonist dependent changes in beta and gamma bands that correlated with the BOLD functional connectivity measure. Our results confirm an important role of the adrenergic system on functional connectivity and suggest a neurotransmission basis of the phenomenon. PMID:25241086

  7. Metabolic Activation of Rhein: Insights into the Potential Toxicity Induced by Rhein-Containing Herbs.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yuan; Zheng, Jiyue; Wang, Meiyu; Li, Yuan; Ruan, Jianqing; Zhang, Hongjian

    2016-07-20

    Rhein is a major component of the many medicinal herbs such as rhubarb. Despite wide use, intoxication cases associated with rhein-containing herbs are often reported. The present work aimed to investigate if rhein was subject to metabolic activation leading to toxicity. Upon incubations with different species of liver microsomes, three monoglucuronides were identified, corresponding to two hydroxyl glucuronides and one acyl glucuronide via the carboxyl group, respectively. Further study revealed that rhein acyl glucuronide was chemically reactive, and showed cytotoxicity toward hepatocarcinoma cells. In addition, significant species differences in glucuronidation of rhein were observed between laboratory animals and humans. Reaction phenotyping experiments demonstrated that rhein acyl glucuronide was catalyzed predominantly by uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1, 1A9, and 2B7. Taken together, the present study confirmed that rhein could be metabolically activated via the formation of acyl glucuronide, especially in human. PMID:27362917

  8. Insights into Exo- and Endoglucanase Activities of Family 6 Glycoside Hydrolases from Podospora anserina

    PubMed Central

    Poidevin, Laetitia; Feliu, Julia; Doan, Annick; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Bey, Mathieu; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Henrissat, Bernard; Record, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The ascomycete Podospora anserina is a coprophilous fungus that grows at late stages on droppings of herbivores. Its genome encodes a large diversity of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Among them, four genes encode glycoside hydrolases from family 6 (GH6), the members of which comprise putative endoglucanases and exoglucanases, some of them exerting important functions for biomass degradation in fungi. Therefore, this family was selected for functional analysis. Three of the enzymes, P. anserina Cel6A (PaCel6A), PaCel6B, and PaCel6C, were functionally expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. All three GH6 enzymes hydrolyzed crystalline and amorphous cellulose but were inactive on hydroxyethyl cellulose, mannan, galactomannan, xyloglucan, arabinoxylan, arabinan, xylan, and pectin. PaCel6A had a catalytic efficiency on cellotetraose comparable to that of Trichoderma reesei Cel6A (TrCel6A), but PaCel6B and PaCel6C were clearly less efficient. PaCel6A was the enzyme with the highest stability at 45°C, while PaCel6C was the least stable enzyme, losing more than 50% of its activity after incubation at temperatures above 30°C for 24 h. In contrast to TrCel6A, all three studied P. anserina GH6 cellulases were stable over a wide range of pHs and conserved high activity at pH values of up to 9. Each enzyme displayed a distinct substrate and product profile, highlighting different modes of action, with PaCel6A being the enzyme most similar to TrCel6A. PaCel6B was the only enzyme with higher specific activity on carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) than on Avicel and showed lower processivity than the others. Structural modeling predicts an open catalytic cleft, suggesting that PaCel6B is an endoglucanase. PMID:23645193

  9. Estimation of ground water residence times in the Critical zone: insight from U activity ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabaux, Francois; Ackerer, Julien; Lucas, Yann; viville, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The use of radioactive disequilibria as tracers and chronometers of weathering processes and related mass transfers has been recognized since the 60'. The development, over the last two decades, of analytical methods for measuring very precisely U-series nuclides (especially, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra) in environmental samples has opened up new scientific applications in Earth Surface Sciences. Here, we propose to present the potential of U activity ratios in surface waters as chronometer of water transfers at a watershed scale. This will be illustrated from studies performed at different scales, with the analysis of U activity ratios in surface waters from small watersheds (Strengbach and Ringelbach watersheds in the Vosges Mountain, France) but also from watersheds of much more regional extension (e.g., the Upper Rhine basin or the Ganges basin). These various studies show that variations of U activity ratios in surface waters are mainly associated with 234U-238U fractionations occurring during the water transfer within the bedrock, which intensity depends on two main parameters: the petro-physical characteristics of the aquifer, principally the geometry of water-rock interfaces and the duration of the water-rock interactions. This readily explains why different U activity ratios (UAR) can be observed in the different aquifers of a continental hydrosystem and hence why UAR can be used to trace the source of river waters. For a hydrological system developed on a substratum marked by fairly homogeneous petro-physical characteristics, the main parameter controlling the UAR in waters draining such a system would be the duration of the water-rock interactions. Variations of UAR in stream or spring waters of such a system can therefore be modeled using simple reactive transport model, which allows the estimation of both the dissolution rate of the bedrock and the residence time of the waters within the aquifer.

  10. Insights into the different dioxygen activation pathways of methane and toluene monooxygenase hydroxylases.

    PubMed

    Bochevarov, Arteum D; Li, Jianing; Song, Woon Ju; Friesner, Richard A; Lippard, Stephen J

    2011-05-18

    The methane and toluene monooxygenase hydroxylases (MMOH and TMOH, respectively) have almost identical active sites, yet the physical and chemical properties of their oxygenated intermediates, designated P*, H(peroxo), Q, and Q* in MMOH and ToMOH(peroxo) in a subclass of TMOH, ToMOH, are substantially different. We review and compare the structural differences in the vicinity of the active sites of these enzymes and discuss which changes could give rise to the different behavior of H(peroxo) and Q. In particular, analysis of multiple crystal structures reveals that T213 in MMOH and the analogous T201 in TMOH, located in the immediate vicinity of the active site, have different rotatory configurations. We study the rotational energy profiles of these threonine residues with the use of molecular mechanics (MM) and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computational methods and put forward a hypothesis according to which T213 and T201 play an important role in the formation of different types of peroxodiiron(III) species in MMOH and ToMOH. The hypothesis is indirectly supported by the QM/MM calculations of the peroxodiiron(III) models of ToMOH and the theoretically computed Mössbauer spectra. It also helps explain the formation of two distinct peroxodiiron(III) species in the T201S mutant of ToMOH. Additionally, a role for the ToMOD regulatory protein, which is essential for intermediate formation and protein functioning in the ToMO system, is advanced. We find that the low quadrupole splitting parameter in the Mössbauer spectrum observed for a ToMOH(peroxo) intermediate can be explained by protonation of the peroxo moiety, possibly stabilized by the T201 residue. Finally, similarities between the oxygen activation mechanisms of the monooxygenases and cytochrome P450 are discussed. PMID:21517016

  11. Insights into the amplification of bacterial resistance to erythromycin in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mei-Ting; Yuan, Qing-Bin; Yang, Jian

    2015-10-01

    Wastewater treatment plants are significant reservoirs for antimicrobial resistance. However, little is known about wastewater treatment effects on the variation of antibiotic resistance. The shifts of bacterial resistance to erythromycin, a macrolide widely used in human medicine, on a lab-scale activated sludge system fed with real wastewater was investigated from levels of bacteria, community and genes, in this study. The resistance variation of total heterotrophic bacteria was studied during the biological treatment process, based on culture dependent method. The alterations of bacterial community resistant to erythromycin and nine typical erythromycin resistance genes were explored with molecular approaches, including high-throughput sequencing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results revealed that the total heterotrophs tolerance level to erythromycin concentrations (higher than 32 mg/L) was significantly amplified during the activated sludge treatment, with the prevalence increased from 9.6% to 21.8%. High-throughput sequencing results demonstrated an obvious increase of the total heterotrophic bacterial diversity resistant to erythromycin. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the two dominant phyla in the influent and effluent of the bioreactor. However, the prevalence of Proteobacteria decreased from 76% to 59% while the total phyla number increased greatly from 18 to 29 through activated sludge treatment. The gene proportions of erm(A), mef(E) and erm(D) were greatly amplified after biological treatment. It is proposed that the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes through the variable mixtures of bacteria in the activated sludge might be the reason for the antibiotic resistance amplification. The amplified risk of antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment needs to be paid more attention. PMID:25957255

  12. A mitosis-sensing caspase activation platform? New insights into the PIDDosome.

    PubMed

    Shah, Richa B; Thompson, Ruth; Sidi, Samuel

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to the apoptosome and death-inducing signaling complex, the PIDDosome remains an orphan caspase activation platform unassigned to a specific apoptotic pathway. We found that DNA damage-induced PIDDosome formation is blocked by the mitotic checkpoint factor BUBR1 (budding uninhibited by benzimidazole-related 1), via a direct interaction that disrupts the PIDDosome core scaffold. This inhibition occurs at the kinetochore, thus physically connecting the mitotic and apoptotic machineries. PMID:27314076

  13. Mechanistic insights into an engineered riboswitch: a switching element which confers riboswitch activity.

    PubMed

    Weigand, Julia E; Schmidtke, Sina R; Will, Tristan J; Duchardt-Ferner, Elke; Hammann, Christian; Wöhnert, Jens; Suess, Beatrix

    2011-04-01

    While many different RNA aptamers have been identified that bind to a plethora of small molecules only very few are capable of acting as engineered riboswitches. Even for aptamers binding the same ligand large differences in their regulatory potential were observed. We address here the molecular basis for these differences by using a set of unrelated neomycin-binding aptamers. UV melting analyses showed that regulating aptamers are thermally stabilized to a significantly higher degree upon ligand binding than inactive ones. Regulating aptamers show high ligand-binding affinity in the low nanomolar range which is necessary but not sufficient for regulation. NMR data showed that a destabilized, open ground state accompanied by extensive structural changes upon ligand binding is important for regulation. In contrast, inactive aptamers are already pre-formed in the absence of the ligand. By a combination of genetic, biochemical and structural analyses, we identified a switching element responsible for destabilizing the ligand free state without compromising the bound form. Our results explain for the first time the molecular mechanism of an engineered riboswitch. PMID:21149263

  14. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases.

    PubMed

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard; Rompel, Annette

    2016-03-29

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze theo-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme's interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate-enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO's acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their--so far unknown--natural substrates in vivo. PMID:26976571

  15. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases

    PubMed Central

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze the o-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme’s interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate–enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO’s acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their—so far unknown—natural substrates in vivo. PMID:26976571

  16. Crystal structures of Ophiostoma piceae sterol esterase: structural insights into activation mechanism and product release.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Fernández, Javier; Vaquero, María Eugenia; Prieto, Alicia; Barriuso, Jorge; Martínez, María Jesús; Hermoso, Juan A

    2014-09-01

    Sterol esterases are able to efficiently hydrolyze both sterol esters and triglycerides and to carry out synthesis reactions in the presence of organic solvents. Their high versatility makes them excellent candidates for biotechnological purposes. Sterol esterase from fungus Ophiostoma piceae (OPE) belongs to the family abH03.01 of the Candida rugosa lipase-like proteins. Crystal structures of OPE were solved in this study for the closed and open conformations. Enzyme activation involves a large displacement of the conserved lid, structural rearrangements of loop α16-α17, and formation of a dimer with a large opening. Three PEG molecules are placed in the active site, mimicking chains of the triglyceride substrate, demonstrating the position of the oxyanion hole and the three pockets that accommodate the sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3 fatty acids chains. One of them is an internal tunnel, connecting the active center with the outer surface of the enzyme 30 Å far from the catalytic Ser220. Based on our structural and biochemical results we propose a mechanism by which a great variety of different substrates can be hydrolyzed in OPE paving the way for the construction of new variants to improve the catalytic properties of these enzymes and their biotechnological applications. PMID:25108239

  17. Insights into In Vivo Activities of Lantibiotics from Gallidermin and Epidermin Mode-of-Action Studies†

    PubMed Central

    Bonelli, Raquel Regina; Schneider, Tanja; Sahl, Hans-Georg; Wiedemann, Imke

    2006-01-01

    The activity of lanthionine-containing peptide antibiotics (lantibiotics) is based on different killing mechanisms which may be combined in one molecule. The prototype lantibiotic nisin inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis and forms pores through specific interaction with the cell wall precursor lipid II. Gallidermin and epidermin possess the same putative lipid II binding motif as nisin; however, both peptides are considerably shorter (22 amino acids, compared to 34 in nisin). We demonstrate that in model membranes, lipid II-mediated pore formation by gallidermin depends on membrane thickness. With intact cells, pore formation was less pronounced than for nisin and occurred only in some strains. In Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris HP, gallidermin was not able to release K+, and a mutant peptide, [A12L]gallidermin, in which the ability to form pores was disrupted, was as potent as wild-type gallidermin, indicating that pore formation does not contribute to killing. In contrast, nisin rapidly formed pores in the L. lactis strain; however, it was approximately 10-fold less effective in killing. The superior activity of gallidermin in a cell wall biosynthesis assay may help to explain this high potency. Generally, it appears that the multiple activities of lantibiotics combine differently for individual target strains. PMID:16569864

  18. Structural Insights into NEDD8 Activation of Cullin-RING Ligases: Conformational Control of Conjugation

    SciTech Connect

    Duda,D.; Borg, L.; Scott, D.; Hunt, H.; Hammel, M.; Schulman, B.

    2008-01-01

    Cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) comprise the largest ubiquitin E3 subclass, in which a central cullin subunit links a substrate-binding adaptor with an E2-binding RING. Covalent attachment of the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 to a conserved C-terminal domain (ctd) lysine stimulates CRL ubiquitination activity and prevents binding of the inhibitor CAND1. Here we report striking conformational rearrangements in the crystal structure of NEDD8{approx}Cul5ctd-Rbx1 and SAXS analysis of NEDD8{approx}Cul1ctd-Rbx1 relative to their unmodified counterparts. In NEDD8ylated CRL structures, the cullin WHB and Rbx1 RING subdomains are dramatically reoriented, eliminating a CAND1-binding site and imparting multiple potential catalytic geometries to an associated E2. Biochemical analyses indicate that the structural malleability is important for both CRL NEDD8ylation and subsequent ubiquitination activities. Thus, our results point to a conformational control of CRL activity, with ligation of NEDD8 shifting equilibria to disfavor inactive CAND1-bound closed architectures, and favor dynamic, open forms that promote polyubiquitination.

  19. Baroreflex Activation Therapy in Congestive Heart Failure: Novel Findings and Future Insights.

    PubMed

    Grassi, Guido; Brambilla, GianMaria; Pizzalla, Daniela Prata; Seravalle, Gino

    2016-08-01

    Congestive heart failure is characterized by hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic abnormalities, the latter including an activation of the sympathetic influences to the heart and peripheral circulation coupled with an impairment of baroreceptor control of autonomic function. Evidence has been provided that both these alterations are hallmark features of the disease with a specific relevance for the disease progression as well as for the development of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, a number of studies have documented in heart failure the adverse prognostic role of the sympathetic and baroreflex alterations, which both are regarded as major independent determinants of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This represents the pathophysiological and clinical background for the use of carotid baroreceptor activation therapy in the treatment of congestive heart failure. Promising data collected in experimental animal models of heart failure have supported the recent performance of pilot small-scale clinical studies, aimed at providing initial information in this area. The results of these studies demonstrated the clinical safety and efficacy of the intervention which has been tested in large-scale clinical studies. The present paper will critically review the background and main results of the published studies designed at defining the clinical impact of baroreflex activation therapy in congestive heart failure patients. Emphasis will be given to the strengths and limitations of such studies, which represent the background for the ongoing clinical trials testing the long-term effects of the device in heart failure patients. PMID:27334011

  20. Modulation of MICAL Monooxygenase Activity by its Calponin Homology Domain: Structural and Mechanistic Insights

    PubMed Central

    Alqassim, Saif S.; Urquiza, Mauricio; Borgnia, Eitan; Nagib, Marc; Amzel, L. Mario; Bianchet, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    MICALs (Molecule Interacting with CasL) are conserved multidomain enzymes essential for cytoskeletal reorganization in nerve development, endocytosis, and apoptosis. In these enzymes, a type-2 calponin homology (CH) domain always follows an N-terminal monooxygenase (MO) domain. Although the CH domain is required for MICAL-1 cellular localization and actin-associated function, its contribution to the modulation of MICAL activity towards actin remains unclear. Here, we present the structure of a fragment of MICAL-1 containing the MO and the CH domains—determined by X-ray crystallography and small angle scattering—as well as kinetics experiments designed to probe the contribution of the CH domain to the actin-modification activity. Our results suggest that the CH domain, which is loosely connected to the MO domain by a flexible linker and is far away from the catalytic site, couples F-actin to the enhancement of redox activity of MICALMO-CH by a cooperative mechanism involving a trans interaction between adjacently bound molecules. Binding cooperativity is also observed in other proteins regulating actin assembly/disassembly dynamics, such as ADF/Cofilins. PMID:26935886

  1. Insights into the mechanism of human papillomavirus E2-induced procaspase-8 activation and cell death

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitu; Senapati, Sanjib; Bose, Kakoli

    2016-01-01

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) E2 protein, the master regulator of viral life cycle, induces apoptosis of host cell that is independent of its virus-associated regulatory functions. E2 protein of HR-HPV18 has been found to be involved in novel FADD-independent activation of caspase-8, however, the molecular basis of this unique non-death-fold E2-mediated apoptosis is poorly understood. Here, with an interdisciplinary approach that involves in silico, mutational, biochemical and biophysical probes, we dissected and characterized the E2-procasapse-8 binding interface. Our data demonstrate direct non-homotypic interaction of HPV18 E2 transactivation domain (TAD) with α2/α5 helices of procaspase-8 death effector domain-B (DED-B). The observed interaction mimics the homotypic DED-DED complexes, wherein the conserved hydrophobic motif of procaspase-8 DED-B (F122/L123) occupies a groove between α2/α3 helices of E2 TAD. This interaction possibly drives DED oligomerization leading to caspase-8 activation and subsequent cell death. Furthermore, our data establish a model for E2-induced apoptosis in HR-HPV types and provide important clues for designing E2 analogs that might modulate procaspase-8 activation and hence apoptosis. PMID:26906543

  2. Insight on the interaction of an agmatinase-like protein with Mn(2+) activator ions.

    PubMed

    Quiñones, Matías; Cofre, Jaime; Benítez, José; García, David; Romero, Nicol; González, Arlette; Carvajal, Nelson; García, María; López, Vasthi; Schenk, Gerhard; Uribe, Elena

    2015-04-01

    Agmatinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of agmatine, a compound that is associated with numerous functions in the brain of mammalian organisms such as neurotransmitter, anticonvulsant, antinociceptive, anxiolytic and antidepressant-like actions. To date the only characterized agmatinases with significant enzymatic activity were extracted from bacterial organisms. These agmatinases are closely related to another ureahydrolase, arginase; both have binuclear Mn(2+) centers in their active sites. An agmatinase-like protein (ALP) from rat brain was identified that bears no sequence homology to known agmatinases (E. Uribe, M. Salas, S. Enriquez, M.S. Orellana, N. Carvajal, Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 461(2007) 146-150). Since all known ureahydrolases contain histidines in their binuclear Mn(2+) site each of the five histidine residues in ALP was individually replaced by alanines to identify those that may be involved in metal ion binding. Reactivation assays and thermal stability measurements indicated that His206 is likely to interact with a Mn(2+) bound to a high affinity site. In contrast, His65 and possibly His435 are important for binding of a second Mn(2+) to a lower affinity site. Metal ion binding to that site is not only leading to an increase in reactivity but also enzyme stability. Thus, similar to bacterial agmatinases and some of the antibiotic-degrading, Zn(2+)-dependent metallo-β-lactamases ALP appears to be active in the mono and binuclear form, with binding of the second metal ion increasing both reactivity and stability. PMID:25635913

  3. Insights into the mechanism of human papillomavirus E2-induced procaspase-8 activation and cell death.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitu; Senapati, Sanjib; Bose, Kakoli

    2016-01-01

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) E2 protein, the master regulator of viral life cycle, induces apoptosis of host cell that is independent of its virus-associated regulatory functions. E2 protein of HR-HPV18 has been found to be involved in novel FADD-independent activation of caspase-8, however, the molecular basis of this unique non-death-fold E2-mediated apoptosis is poorly understood. Here, with an interdisciplinary approach that involves in silico, mutational, biochemical and biophysical probes, we dissected and characterized the E2-procasapse-8 binding interface. Our data demonstrate direct non-homotypic interaction of HPV18 E2 transactivation domain (TAD) with α2/α5 helices of procaspase-8 death effector domain-B (DED-B). The observed interaction mimics the homotypic DED-DED complexes, wherein the conserved hydrophobic motif of procaspase-8 DED-B (F122/L123) occupies a groove between α2/α3 helices of E2 TAD. This interaction possibly drives DED oligomerization leading to caspase-8 activation and subsequent cell death. Furthermore, our data establish a model for E2-induced apoptosis in HR-HPV types and provide important clues for designing E2 analogs that might modulate procaspase-8 activation and hence apoptosis. PMID:26906543

  4. Nonequilibrium Equation of State in Suspensions of Active Colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginot, Félix; Theurkauff, Isaac; Levis, Demian; Ybert, Christophe; Bocquet, Lydéric; Berthier, Ludovic; Cottin-Bizonne, Cécile

    2015-01-01

    Active colloids constitute a novel class of materials composed of colloidal-scale particles locally converting chemical energy into motility, mimicking micro-organisms. Evolving far from equilibrium, these systems display structural organizations and dynamical properties distinct from thermalized colloidal assemblies. Harvesting the potential of this new class of systems requires the development of a conceptual framework to describe these intrinsically nonequilibrium systems. We use sedimentation experiments to probe the nonequilibrium equation of state of a bidimensional assembly of active Janus microspheres and conduct computer simulations of a model of self-propelled hard disks. Self-propulsion profoundly affects the equation of state, but these changes can be rationalized using equilibrium concepts. We show that active colloids behave, in the dilute limit, as an ideal gas with an activity-dependent effective temperature. At finite density, increasing the activity is similar to increasing adhesion between equilibrium particles. We quantify this effective adhesion and obtain a unique scaling law relating activity and effective adhesion in both experiments and simulations. Our results provide a new and efficient way to understand the emergence of novel phases of matter in active colloidal suspensions.

  5. New insights into the aquatic photochemistry of fluoroquinolone antibiotics: Direct photodegradation, hydroxyl-radical oxidation, and antibacterial activity changes.

    PubMed

    Ge, Linke; Na, Guangshui; Zhang, Siyu; Li, Kai; Zhang, Peng; Ren, Honglei; Yao, Ziwei

    2015-09-15

    The ubiquity and photoreactivity of fluoroquinolone antibiotics (FQs) in surface waters urge new insights into their aqueous photochemical behavior. This study concerns the photochemistry of 6 FQs: ciprofloxacin, danofloxacin, levofloxacin, sarafloxacin, difloxacin and enrofloxacin. Methods were developed to calculate their solar direct photodegradation half-lives (td,E) and hydroxyl-radical oxidation half-lives (tOH,E) in sunlit surface waters. The td,E values range from 0.56 min to 28.8 min at 45° N latitude, whereas tOH,E ranges from 3.24h to 33.6h, suggesting that most FQs tend to undergo fast direct photolysis rather than hydroxyl-radical oxidation in surface waters. However, a case study for levofloxacin and sarafloxacin indicated that the hydroxyl-radical oxidation induced risky photochlorination and resulted in multi-degradation pathways, such as piperazinyl hydroxylation and clearage. Changes in the antibacterial activity of FQs caused by photodegradation in various waters were further examined using Escherichia coli, and it was found that the activity evolution depended on primary photodegradation pathways and products. Primary intermediates with intact FQ nuclei retained significant antibacterial activity. These results are important for assessing the fate and risk of FQs in surface waters. PMID:25956144

  6. Defining Democracy and the Terms of Engagement with the Postsocialist Polish State: Insights from HIV/AIDS

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the history of HIV activism in Poland from the socialist period through the early 1990s transformation as a means of examining the reconfiguration of rights, obligations, and responsibility as Poland redefined itself as a market democracy. Drawing on archival materials, in-depth qualitative interviews with current and former HIV activists, and participant observation at HIV prevention organizations in Warsaw, Poland, I sketch the ways in the socialist system’s failures to protect the health of its subjects led to the terms through which state-citizen engagement were defined in the postsocialist period. Uncertainties and anxieties surrounding who was responsible for protecting the health and well-being of citizens in the newly democratic Poland gave rise to a series of violent protests centered on HIV prevention and care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Resolution of these political and social crises involved defining democracy in postsocialist Poland through claims to moral authority, in alliance with the Catholic Church, and an obligation by multiple stakeholders to disseminate technical/scientific knowledge. By comparing the responses to the epidemic by diverse institutions, including the government, the Catholic Church, and the fledgling gay rights movement, this analysis reveals the ways in which democracy in postsocialist Poland tightly links science, democratic reform, and moral/religious authority, while at the same time excluding sexual minorities from engaging in political activism centered on rights to health and inclusion in the new democracy. PMID:20190876

  7. Active tectonics in Taiwan: insights from a 3-D viscous finite element model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yujun; Liu, Mian; Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Huai; Shi, Yaolin

    2015-12-01

    Taiwan is a young orogenic belt with complex spatial distributions of deformation and earthquakes. We have constructed a three-dimensional finite element model to explore how the interplays between lithospheric structure and plate boundary processes control the distribution of stress and strain rates in the Taiwan region. The model assumes a liberalized power-law rheology and incorporates main lithospheric structures; the model domain is loaded by the present-day crustal velocity applied at its boundaries. The model successfully reproduces the main features of the GPS-measured strain rate patterns and the earthquake-indicated stress states in the Taiwan region. The best fitting model requires the viscosity of the lower crust to be two orders of magnitude lower than that of the upper crust and lithospheric mantle. The calculated deviatoric stress is high in regions of thrust faulting and low in regions of extensional and strike-slip faulting, consistent with the spatial pattern of seismic intensity in Taiwan.

  8. New Insights on the Mechanism of the K+-Independent Activity of Crenarchaeota Pyruvate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    De la Vega-Ruíz, Gustavo; Domínguez-Ramírez, Lenin; Riveros-Rosas, Héctor; Guerrero-Mendiola, Carlos; Torres-Larios, Alfredo; Hernández-Alcántara, Gloria; García-Trejo, José J.; Ramírez-Silva, Leticia

    2015-01-01

    Eukarya pyruvate kinases have glutamate at position 117 (numbered according to the rabbit muscle enzyme), whereas in Bacteria have either glutamate or lysine and in Archaea have other residues. Glutamate at this position makes pyruvate kinases K+-dependent, whereas lysine confers K+-independence because the positively charged residue substitutes for the monovalent cation charge. Interestingly, pyruvate kinases from two characterized Crenarchaeota exhibit K+-independent activity, despite having serine at the equivalent position. To better understand pyruvate kinase catalytic activity in the absence of K+ or an internal positive charge, the Thermofilum pendens pyruvate kinase (valine at the equivalent position) was characterized. The enzyme activity was K+-independent. The kinetic mechanism was random order with a rapid equilibrium, which is equal to the mechanism of the rabbit muscle enzyme in the presence of K+ or the mutant E117K in the absence of K+. Thus, the substrate binding order of the T. pendens enzyme was independent despite lacking an internal positive charge. Thermal stability studies of this enzyme showed two calorimetric transitions, one attributable to the A and C domains (Tm of 99.2°C), and the other (Tm of 105.2°C) associated with the B domain. In contrast, the rabbit muscle enzyme exhibits a single calorimetric transition (Tm of 65.2°C). The calorimetric and kinetic data indicate that the B domain of this hyperthermophilic enzyme is more stable than the rest of the protein with a conformation that induces the catalytic readiness of the enzyme. B domain interactions of pyruvate kinases that have been determined in Pyrobaculum aerophilum and modeled in T. pendens were compared with those of the rabbit muscle enzyme. The results show that intra- and interdomain interactions of the Crenarchaeota enzymes may account for their higher B domain stability. Thus the structural arrangement of the T. pendens pyruvate kinase could allow charge

  9. Structural insight into activity enhancement and inhibition of H64A carbonic anhydrase II by imidazoles

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Mayank; Kondeti, Bhargav; Tu, Chingkuang; Maupin, C. Mark; Silverman, David N.; McKenna, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Human carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are zinc metalloenzymes that catalyze the hydration and dehydration of CO2 and HCO3 −, respectively. The reaction follows a ping-pong mechanism, in which the rate-limiting step is the transfer of a proton from the zinc-bound solvent (OH−/H2O) in/out of the active site via His64, which is widely believed to be the proton-shuttling residue. The decreased catalytic activity (∼20-fold lower with respect to the wild type) of a variant of CA II in which His64 is replaced with Ala (H64A CA II) can be enhanced by exogenous proton donors/acceptors, usually derivatives of imidazoles and pyridines, to almost the wild-type level. X-ray crystal structures of H64A CA II in complex with four imidazole derivatives (imidazole, 1-­methylimidazole, 2-­methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole) have been determined and reveal multiple binding sites. Two of these imidazole binding sites have been identified that mimic the positions of the ‘in’ and ‘out’ rotamers of His64 in wild-type CA II, while another directly inhibits catalysis by displacing the zinc-bound solvent. The data presented here not only corroborate the importance of the imidazole side chain of His64 in proton transfer during CA catalysis, but also provide a complete structural understanding of the mechanism by which imidazoles enhance (and inhibit when used at higher concentrations) the activity of H64A CA II. PMID:25075329

  10. The nature of the volcanic activity at Loki: Insights from Galileo NIMS and PPR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Robert R.; Lopes, Rosaly M. C.

    2007-02-01

    Loki is the largest patera and the most energetic hotspot on Jupiter's moon Io, in turn the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, but the nature of the activity remains enigmatic. We present detailed analysis of Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) and PhotoPolarimeter/Radiometer (PPR) observations covering the 1.5-100 μm wavelength range during the I24, I27, and I32 flybys. The general pattern of activity during these flybys is consistent with previously proposed models of a resurfacing wave periodically crossing a silicate lava lake. In particular our analysis of the I32 NIMS observations shows, over much of the observed patera, surface temperatures and implied ages closely matching those expected for a wave advancing counterclockwise at 0.94-1.38 km/day. The age pattern is different than other published analyses which do not show as clearly this azimuthal pattern. Our analysis also shows two additional distinctly different patera surfaces. The first is located along the inner and outer margins where components with a 3.00-4.70-μm color temperature of 425 K exist. The second is located at the southwestern margin where components with a 550-K color temperature exist. Although the high temperatures could be caused by disruption of a lava lake crust, some additional mechanism is required to explain why the southwest margin is different from the inner or outer ones. Finally, analysis of the temperature profiles across the patera reveal a smoothness that is difficult to explain by simple lava cooling models. Paradoxically, at a subpixel level, wide temperature distributions exist which may be difficult to explain by just the presence of hot cracks in the lava crust. The resurfacing wave and lava cooling models explain well the overall characteristics of the observations. However, additional physical processes, perhaps involving heat transport by volatiles, are needed to explain the more subtle features.

  11. Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 in Cancer: Rationale and Insight for Future Therapeutic Testing.

    PubMed

    Placencio, Veronica R; DeClerck, Yves A

    2015-08-01

    Despite its function as an inhibitor of urokinase and tissue-type plasminogen activator (PA), PA inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) has a paradoxical protumorigenic role in cancer, promoting angiogenesis and tumor cell survival. In this review, we summarize preclinical evidence in support of the protumorigenic function of PAI-1 that has led to the testing of small-molecule PAI-1 inhibitors, initially developed as antithrombotic agents, in animal models of cancer. The review discusses the challenges and the opportunities that lay ahead to the development of efficacious and nontoxic PAI-1 inhibitors as anticancer agents. PMID:26180080

  12. Theoretical insights on the antioxidant activity of edaravone free radical scavengers derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerón-Carrasco, José P.; Roy, Hélène M.; Cerezo, Javier; Jacquemin, Denis; Laurent, Adèle D.

    2014-04-01

    The prediction of antioxidant properties is not straightforward due to the complexity of the in vivo systems. Here, we use theoretical descriptors, including the potential of ionization, the electrodonating power and the spin density distribution, to characterize the antioxidant capacity of edaravone (EDV) derivatives. Our computations reveal the relationship between these parameters and their potential bioactivity as free radical scavengers. We conclude that more efficient antioxidants could be synthesized by tuning the R1 and R2 positions of the EDV structure, rather than modifying the R3 group. Such modifications might improve the antioxidant activity in neutral and deprotonated forms.

  13. Active Reward Processing during Human Sleep: Insights from Sleep-Related Eating Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Perogamvros, Lampros; Baud, Patrick; Hasler, Roland; Cloninger, Claude Robert; Schwartz, Sophie; Perrig, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we present two carefully documented cases of patients with sleep-related eating disorder (SRED), a parasomnia which is characterized by involuntary compulsive eating during the night and whose pathophysiology is not known. Using video-polysomnography, a dream diary and psychometric examination, we found that both patients present elevated novelty seeking and increased reward sensitivity. In light of new evidence on the mesolimbic dopaminergic implication in compulsive eating disorders, our findings suggest a role of an active reward system during sleep in the manifestation of SRED. PMID:23205019

  14. Behavioral State Modulates the Activity of Brainstem Sensorimotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, Kimberly L.

    2011-01-01

    Sensorimotor processing must be modulated according to the animal's behavioral state. A previous study demonstrated that motion responses were strongly state dependent in birds. Vestibular eye and head responses were significantly larger and more compensatory during simulated flight, and a flight-specific vestibular tail response was also characterized. In the current study, we investigated the neural substrates for these state-dependent vestibular behaviors by recording extracellularly from neurons in the vestibular nuclear complex and comparing their spontaneous activity and sensory responses during default and simulated flight states. We show that motion-sensitive neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus are state dependent. Some neurons increased their spontaneous firing rates during flight, though their increased excitability was not reflected in higher sensory gains. However, other neurons exhibited state-dependent gating of sensory inputs, responding to rotational stimuli only during flight. These results demonstrate that vestibular processing in the brainstem is state dependent and lay the foundation for future studies to investigate the synaptic mechanisms responsible for these modifications. PMID:22090497

  15. Streaming potential modeling in fractured rock: Insights into the identification of hydraulically active fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roubinet, D.; Linde, N.; Jougnot, D.; Irving, J.

    2016-05-01

    Numerous field experiments suggest that the self-potential (SP) geophysical method may allow for the detection of hydraulically active fractures and provide information about fracture properties. However, a lack of suitable numerical tools for modeling streaming potentials in fractured media prevents quantitative interpretation and limits our understanding of how the SP method can be used in this regard. To address this issue, we present a highly efficient two-dimensional discrete-dual-porosity approach for solving the fluid flow and associated self-potential problems in fractured rock. Our approach is specifically designed for complex fracture networks that cannot be investigated using standard numerical methods. We then simulate SP signals associated with pumping conditions for a number of examples to show that (i) accounting for matrix fluid flow is essential for accurate SP modeling and (ii) the sensitivity of SP to hydraulically active fractures is intimately linked with fracture-matrix fluid interactions. This implies that fractures associated with strong SP amplitudes are likely to be hydraulically conductive, attracting fluid flow from the surrounding matrix.

  16. New insights into the biological activity and secretion properties of a polypeptide derived from tilapia somatotropin.

    PubMed

    Acosta, Jannel; Carpio, Yamila; Morales, Reynold; Aguila, Julio César; Acanda, Yosvani; Herrera, Fidel; Estrada, Mario P

    2010-08-01

    In a previous study, we unexpectedly found that tilapia growth hormone (tiGH) secreted to the culture media by transformed cells of the yeast Pichia pastoris lacks 46 amino acids from the C-terminal end. In the present study, we cloned the exact fragment that code for this truncated variant and demonstrated its growth promoting activity in goldfish when it's administered by immersion bath. Furthermore, a better characterization of this polypeptide was performed. Administration of the polypeptide derived from tiGH increased superoxide anion production and has a mitogenic effect on peripheral blood leukocytes. This molecule binds to liver membranes proteins in vitro in a saturable manner. Beside, we cloned and expressed tiGH and its truncated variant in mammalian cells using the signal peptide of this hormone and we observed that the secretion was drastically reduced in the truncated tiGH as compared to the intact molecule. Truncated tilapia growth hormone lacking the helix 4 and two disulfide loops is still a bioactive hormone, suggesting that the disulfide bonds and the helix 4 are not essential for the biological activities examined in this work. However, the growth hormone C-terminal portion seems to be essential for this hormone to be secreted by cultured cells in vitro. PMID:20382254

  17. Structure of a Diguanylate Cyclase from Thermotoga maritima: Insights into Activation, Feedback Inhibition and Thermostability

    PubMed Central

    Deepthi, Angeline; Liew, Chong Wai; Liang, Zhao-Xun; Swaminathan, Kunchithapadam; Lescar, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale production of bis-3′-5′-cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP) would facilitate biological studies of numerous bacterial signaling pathways and phenotypes controlled by this second messenger molecule, such as virulence and biofilm formation. C-di-GMP constitutes also a potentially interesting molecule as a vaccine adjuvant. Even though chemical synthesis of c-di-GMP can be done, the yields are incompatible with mass-production. tDGC, a stand-alone diguanylate cyclase (DGC or GGDEF domain) from Thermotoga maritima, enables the robust enzymatic production of large quantities of c-di-GMP. To understand the structural correlates of tDGC thermostability, its catalytic mechanism and feedback inhibition, we determined structures of an active-like dimeric conformation with both active (A) sites facing each other and of an inactive dimeric conformation, locked by c-di-GMP bound at the inhibitory (I) site. We also report the structure of a single mutant of tDGC, with the R158A mutation at the I-site, abolishing product inhibition and unproductive dimerization. A comparison with structurally characterized DGC homologues from mesophiles reveals the presence of a higher number of salt bridges in the hyperthermophile enzyme tDGC. Denaturation experiments of mutants disrupting in turn each of the salt bridges unique to tDGC identified three salt-bridges critical to confer thermostability. PMID:25360685

  18. First insight into catalytic activity of anionic iron porphyrins immobilized on exfoliated layered double hydroxides.

    PubMed

    Nakagaki, Shirley; Halma, Matilte; Bail, Alesandro; Arízaga, Gregório Guadalupe Carbajal; Wypych, Fernando

    2005-01-15

    Mg-Al layered double hydroxide (LDH) intercalated with glycinate anions was synthesized through co-precipitation and exfoliated in formamide and the single-layer suspension was reacted with aqueous iron porphyrin solutions (Fe(TDFSPP) and Fe(TCFSPP)). The obtained materials were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, UV-vis, and electron paramagnetic resonance and investigated in the oxidation reaction of cyclooctene and cyclohexane using iodosylbenzene as oxidant. The iron porphyrin seems to be immobilized at the surface of the glycinate intercalated LDH. The catalytic activities obtained in heterogeneous media for iron porphyrin, Fe(TDFSPP), was superior to the results obtained under homogeneous conditions, but the opposite effect was observed on the Fe(TCFSPP), indicating that, instead of the structural similarity of both iron porphyrins (second-generation porphyrins), the immobilization of each one produced different catalysts. The best catalytic activity of the Fe(TDFSPP)/Gly-LDH, compared to Fe(TCFSPP)/Gly-LDH, can be explained by the easy access of the oxidant and the substrate to the catalytic sites in the former, probably located at the surface of the layered double hydroxide pillared with glycinate anions. A model for the immobilization and a mechanism for the oxidation reaction will be discussed. PMID:15571697

  19. New Insights into the Active Tectonics of Eastern Indonesia from GPS Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susilo, S.; Koulali Idrissi, A.; McClusky, S.; Meilano, I.; Cummins, P. R.; Tregoning, P.; Syafii, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Indonesian archipelago encompasses a wide range of tectonic environments, including island arc volcanism, subduction zones, and arc-continent collision. Many of the details of this tectonic activity are still poorly understood, especially where the Australian continent collides with Indonesia, separating the Sunda Arc in west from that at the Banda Arc in the east. While it seems clear that the Australian plate is subducted under both the Sunda and Banda Arcs, it is not clear what happens along the 1000 km -long stretch in between. The question of just where the plate motion is accommodated is of major importance to assessments of earthquake and tsunami hazard in the region. To help resolve these questions the Geospatial Information Agency of Indonesia has collaborated with the Australian National University and the Bandung Institute of Technology in a GPS campaign spanning much of eastern Indonesia, from Lombok in the west to Alor in the east. We have combined these data with those from previous campaigns, resulting in over 27 campaign and 18 continuous GPS sites being used in the analysis. The improvement in site density allowed us to develop of a more complete description of tectonic activity in this region than has been obtained in previous studies. Our preliminary results suggests that there is a relatively simple transition from subduction at the Java Trench off east Java, to a partitioned convergence along both the Timor Trough and the Flores Thrust in the Nusa Tenggara region.

  20. Insights into the emission reductions of multiple unintentional persistent organic pollutants from industrial activities.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guorui; Zheng, Minghui; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Jin, Rong; Zhao, Yuyang; Zhan, Jiayu

    2016-02-01

    Industrial activities result in unintentional production of multiple types of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) at various concentrations. Because of the potential adverse effect of these POPs on the environment, biota and human health, methods for controlling emission of POPs are required. Development and application of techniques for controlling emissions of POPs can be a technical and economic burden for the industry involved. Therefore, from the point of view of cost-benefit analysis, reducing emissions of multiple pollutants at the same time is optimal for sustainable industrial development. Although techniques have been developed for reducing the emissions of individual POPs, such as dioxins, further work is required on multi-POP control emissions from industrial activities. This paper discusses three important aspects that need to be taken to achieve multi-POP control. These aspects include the establishment of a comprehensive system for evaluating the risk from emissions of multiple POPs, determination of indicators for total emissions of multiple POPs, and the preparation and application of functional materials to inhibit formation of multiple POPs. These discussion might be helpful for the future research on the multi-POP control in industry. PMID:26386431

  1. Electronic Word of Mouth on Twitter About Physical Activity in the United States: Exploratory Infodemiology Study

    PubMed Central

    Campo, Shelly; Janz, Kathleen F; Eckler, Petya; Yang, Jingzhen; Snetselaar, Linda G; Signorini, Alessio

    2013-01-01

    Background Twitter is a widely used social medium. However, its application in promoting health behaviors is understudied. Objective In order to provide insights into designing health marketing interventions to promote physical activity on Twitter, this exploratory infodemiology study applied both social cognitive theory and the path model of online word of mouth to examine the distribution of different electronic word of mouth (eWOM) characteristics among personal tweets about physical activity in the United States. Methods This study used 113 keywords to retrieve 1 million public tweets about physical activity in the United States posted between January 1 and March 31, 2011. A total of 30,000 tweets were randomly selected and sorted based on numbers generated by a random number generator. Two coders scanned the first 16,100 tweets and yielded 4672 (29.02%) tweets that they both agreed to be about physical activity and were from personal accounts. Finally, 1500 tweets were randomly selected from the 4672 tweets (32.11%) for further coding. After intercoder reliability scores reached satisfactory levels in the pilot coding (100 tweets separate from the final 1500 tweets), 2 coders coded 750 tweets each. Descriptive analyses, Mann-Whitney U tests, and Fisher exact tests were performed. Results Tweets about physical activity were dominated by neutral sentiments (1270/1500, 84.67%). Providing opinions or information regarding physical activity (1464/1500, 97.60%) and chatting about physical activity (1354/1500, 90.27%) were found to be popular on Twitter. Approximately 60% (905/1500, 60.33%) of the tweets demonstrated users’ past or current participation in physical activity or intentions to participate in physical activity. However, social support about physical activity was provided in less than 10% of the tweets (135/1500, 9.00%). Users with fewer people following their tweets (followers) (P=.02) and with fewer accounts that they followed (followings) (P=.04

  2. Dynamics of biomembranes with active multiple-state inclusions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsuan-Yi; Mikhailov, Alexander S

    2010-03-01

    Nonequilibrium dynamics of biomembranes with active multiple-state inclusions is considered. The inclusions represent protein molecules which perform cyclic internal conformational motions driven by the energy brought with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ligands. As protein conformations cyclically change, this induces hydrodynamical flows and also directly affects the local curvature of a membrane. On the other hand, variations in the local curvature of the membrane modify the transition rates between conformational states in a protein, leading to a feedback in the considered system. Moreover, active inclusions can move diffusively through the membrane so that their surface concentration varies. The kinetic description of this system is constructed and the stability of the uniform stationary state is analytically investigated. We show that, as the rate of supply of chemical energy is increased above a certain threshold, this uniform state becomes unstable and stationary or traveling waves spontaneously develop in the system. Such waves are accompanied by periodic spatial variations of the membrane curvature and the inclusion density. For typical parameter values, their characteristic wavelengths are of the order of hundreds of nanometers. For traveling waves, the characteristic frequency is of the order of a thousand Hz or less. The predicted instabilities are possible only if at least three internal inclusion states are present. PMID:20365764

  3. Silicate species of water glass and insights for alkali-activated green cement

    SciTech Connect

    Jansson, Helén; Bernin, Diana; Ramser, Kerstin

    2015-06-15

    Despite that sodium silicate solutions of high pH are commonly used in industrial applications, most investigations are focused on low to medium values of pH. Therefore we have investigated such solutions in a broad modulus range and up to high pH values (∼14) by use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy and silicon nuclear magnetic resonance ({sup 29}Si-NMR). The results show that the modulus dependent pH value leads to more or less charged species, which affects the configurations of the silicate units. This in turn, influences the alkali-activation process of low CO{sub 2} footprint cements, i.e. materials based on industrial waste or by-products.

  4. Recommended survey designs for occupancy modelling using motion-activated cameras: insights from empirical wildlife data.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Graeme; Lewis, Jesse S; Gerber, Brian D

    2014-01-01

    Motion-activated cameras are a versatile tool that wildlife biologists can use for sampling wild animal populations to estimate species occurrence. Occupancy modelling provides a flexible framework for the analysis of these data; explicitly recognizing that given a species occupies an area the probability of detecting it is often less than one. Despite the number of studies using camera data in an occupancy framework, there is only limited guidance from the scientific literature about survey design trade-offs when using motion-activated cameras. A fuller understanding of these trade-offs will allow researchers to maximise available resources and determine whether the objectives of a monitoring program or research study are achievable. We use an empirical dataset collected from 40 cameras deployed across 160 km(2) of the Western Slope of Colorado, USA to explore how survey effort (number of cameras deployed and the length of sampling period) affects the accuracy and precision (i.e., error) of the occupancy estimate for ten mammal and three virtual species. We do this using a simulation approach where species occupancy and detection parameters were informed by empirical data from motion-activated cameras. A total of 54 survey designs were considered by varying combinations of sites (10-120 cameras) and occasions (20-120 survey days). Our findings demonstrate that increasing total sampling effort generally decreases error associated with the occupancy estimate, but changing the number of sites or sampling duration can have very different results, depending on whether a species is spatially common or rare (occupancy = ψ) and easy or hard to detect when available (detection probability = p). For rare species with a low probability of detection (i.e., raccoon and spotted skunk) the required survey effort includes maximizing the number of sites and the number of survey days, often to a level that may be logistically unrealistic for many studies. For common species with

  5. Mechanistic Insights into the Palladium-Catalyzed Aziridination of Aliphatic Amines by C-H Activation.

    PubMed

    Smalley, Adam P; Gaunt, Matthew J

    2015-08-26

    Detailed kinetic studies and computational investigations have been performed to elucidate the mechanism of a palladium-catalyzed C-H activation aziridination. A theoretical rate law has been derived that matches with experimental observations and has led to an improvement in the reaction conditions. Acetic acid was found to be beneficial in controlling the formation of an off-cycle intermediate, allowing a decrease in catalyst loading and improved yields. Density functional theory (DFT) studies were performed to examine the selectivities observed in the reaction. Evidence for electronic-controlled regioselectivity for the cyclopalladation step was obtained by a distortion-interaction analysis, whereas the aziridination product was justified through dissociation of acetic acid from the palladium(IV) intermediate preceding the product-forming reductive elimination step. The understanding of this reaction mechanism under the synthesis conditions should provide valuable assistance in the comprehension and design of palladium-catalyzed reactions on similar systems. PMID:26247373

  6. Silicate species of water glass and insights for alkali-activated green cement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansson, Helén; Bernin, Diana; Ramser, Kerstin

    2015-06-01

    Despite that sodium silicate solutions of high pH are commonly used in industrial applications, most investigations are focused on low to medium values of pH. Therefore we have investigated such solutions in a broad modulus range and up to high pH values (˜14) by use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy and silicon nuclear magnetic resonance (29Si-NMR). The results show that the modulus dependent pH value leads to more or less charged species, which affects the configurations of the silicate units. This in turn, influences the alkali-activation process of low CO2 footprint cements, i.e. materials based on industrial waste or by-products.

  7. Recommended survey designs for occupancy modelling using motion-activated cameras: insights from empirical wildlife data

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Jesse S.; Gerber, Brian D.

    2014-01-01

    Motion-activated cameras are a versatile tool that wildlife biologists can use for sampling wild animal populations to estimate species occurrence. Occupancy modelling provides a flexible framework for the analysis of these data; explicitly recognizing that given a species occupies an area the probability of detecting it is often less than one. Despite the number of studies using camera data in an occupancy framework, there is only limited guidance from the scientific literature about survey design trade-offs when using motion-activated cameras. A fuller understanding of these trade-offs will allow researchers to maximise available resources and determine whether the objectives of a monitoring program or research study are achievable. We use an empirical dataset collected from 40 cameras deployed across 160 km2 of the Western Slope of Colorado, USA to explore how survey effort (number of cameras deployed and the length of sampling period) affects the accuracy and precision (i.e., error) of the occupancy estimate for ten mammal and three virtual species. We do this using a simulation approach where species occupancy and detection parameters were informed by empirical data from motion-activated cameras. A total of 54 survey designs were considered by varying combinations of sites (10–120 cameras) and occasions (20–120 survey days). Our findings demonstrate that increasing total sampling effort generally decreases error associated with the occupancy estimate, but changing the number of sites or sampling duration can have very different results, depending on whether a species is spatially common or rare (occupancy = ψ) and easy or hard to detect when available (detection probability = p). For rare species with a low probability of detection (i.e., raccoon and spotted skunk) the required survey effort includes maximizing the number of sites and the number of survey days, often to a level that may be logistically unrealistic for many studies. For common species with

  8. Mechanistic insights on immunosenescence and chronic immune activation in HIV-tuberculosis co-infection.

    PubMed

    Shankar, Esaki M; Velu, Vijayakumar; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Larsson, Marie

    2015-02-12

    Immunosenescence is marked by accelerated degradation of host immune responses leading to the onset of opportunistic infections, where senescent T cells show remarkably higher ontogenic defects as compared to healthy T cells. The mechanistic association between T-cell immunosenescence and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression, and functional T-cell responses in HIV-tuberculosis (HIV-TB) co-infection remains to be elaborately discussed. Here, we discussed the association of immunosenescence and chronic immune activation in HIV-TB co-infection and reviewed the role played by mediators of immune deterioration in HIV-TB co-infection necessitating the importance of designing therapeutic strategies against HIV disease progression and pathogenesis. PMID:25674514

  9. Physical Activity, Exercise, and Mammalian Testis Function: Emerging Preclinical Protein Biomarker and Integrative Biology Insights.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Mariana; Freitas, Maria João; Fardilha, Margarida

    2015-09-01

    Exercise and physical activity have long been recognized for health promotion and to delay the onset of many pathological situations such as diabetes and cancers. Still, there appears to be an upper limit on the beneficial health effects regarding intensity and frequency of exercise training. In humans, the effect of exercise training in the male reproductive system has been studied mainly through the analysis of semen quality parameters, with inconsistent results. Less is known on molecular biomarkers of exercise-related changes in testis at the protein/proteome level. This review offers an in-depth analysis on the small scale protein studies available primarily from the preclinical studies and interprets their functional impact on the reproductive health with a view to humans. In all, exercise training in preclinical models seems to negatively modulate, in the course of health, critical functions that directly affect spermatogenesis, such as testosterone biosynthesis, energy supply, and antioxidant system components. Exercise training induces apoptosis, leading to the impairment of spermatogenesis and, consequently, to male infertility. In pathological conditions, an improvement in the testicular functions is observed by increases in steroidogenic enzymes and antioxidant defenses, and reductions in activity of inflammatory pathways. Importantly, the mechanisms by which exercise training modulates the reproductive function are far from being fully understood. The analyses of the testis proteome in varying exercise conditions would inform the molecular mechanisms involved and identify putative theranostics opportunities. Such future research is a cornerstone for health promotion in the pursuit of reproductive health informed by omics systems sciences. PMID:26284990

  10. Molecular insights into cold active polygalacturonase enzyme for its potential application in food processing.

    PubMed

    Ramya, L N; Pulicherla, K K

    2015-09-01

    Pectin is a complex structural heteropolysaccharide that require numerous pectinolytic enzymes for its complete degradation. Polygalacturonase from mesophilic or thermophilic origin are being widely used in fruit and vegetable processing in the recent decades to degrade pectic substances. Recently cold active pectinases are finding added advantages over meso and thermophilic counterparts, to use in industrial scale particularly in food processing industry. They facilitate in conservation of several properties of foods so that the end product retains its naturality and also generates economic benefits. In the present study, Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis, a well reported marine psychrophile is taken as a model organism for cold active polygalacturonase and is evaluated in comparision to the routinely used mesophilic and thermophilic enzymes by insicio approach. Polygalacturonase sequences from industrially important microbial sources were subjected to MEME and Pfam wherein motifs and domains involved in the conservation were analyzed. Dendrogram revealed sequence level similarity and motifs showed uniform distribution of conserved regions that are involved in important functions. It was also observed through clustalW analysis that the amount of arginine content of psychrophiles is less when compared with thermophiles. Finally, all the modeled enzyme structures were subjected to docking studies using Autodock 4.2 with the substrate polygalacturonic acid and binding energies were found to be -5.73, -6.22 and -7.27 KCals/mole for meso, thermo and psychrophiles respectively which indicates the efficiency of psychrophilic enzymes when compared with its counterparts giving scope for further experimentation to find their better usage in various food industry applications. PMID:26344963

  11. New insights into relationships between active and dormant organisms, phylogenetic diversity and ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Cram, Jacob A

    2015-12-01

    Marine microbes make up a key part of ocean food webs and drive ocean chemistry through a range of metabolic processes. A fundamental question in ecology is whether the diversity of organisms in a community shapes the ecological functions of that community. While there is substantial evidence to support a positive link between diversity and ecological productivity for macro-organisms in terrestrial environments, this relationship has not previously been verified for marine microbial communities. One factor complicating the understanding of this relationship is that many marine microbes are dormant and are easily dispersed by ocean currents, making it difficult to ensure that the organisms found in a given environmental sample accurately reflect processes occurring in that environment. Another complication is that, due to microbes great range of genotypic and phenotypic variability, communities with distantly related species may have greater range of metabolic functions than communities have the same richness and evenness, but in which the species present are more closely related to each other. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Galand et al. (2015) provide compelling evidence that the most metabolically active communities are those in which the nondormant portion of the microbial community has the highest phylogenetic diversity. They also illustrate that focusing on the active portion of the community allows for detection of temporal patterns in community structure that would not be otherwise evident. The authors' point out that the presence of many dormant organisms that do not contribute to ecosystem functioning is a feature that makes microbial ecosystems fundamentally different from macro-ecosystems and that this difference needs to be accounted for in microbial ecology theory. PMID:26607213

  12. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway: new insights from biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'anjou, R. M.; Bradley, R. S.; Balascio, N. L.; Finkelstein, D. B.

    2012-12-01

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ~2,250±75 cal yr BP. The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments, and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, though there were periods when socio-economic factors played an equally important role. This is the first time that fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past.

  13. Education Alignment and Accountability in an Era of Convergence: Policy Insights from States with Individual Learning Plans and Policies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelps, L. Allen; Durham, Julie; Wills, Joan

    2011-01-01

    In response to the rising demand for market-responsive education reform across the U.S., since 1998 more than twenty states have created Individual Learning or Graduation Plan (ILP/IGP) state policies. Using extensive policy document analyses and stakeholder interview data from four early-adopting ILP/IGP states, the goal of this four-state case…

  14. Steady-state entanglement activation in optomechanical cavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farace, Alessandro; Ciccarello, Francesco; Fazio, Rosario; Giovannetti, Vittorio

    2014-02-01

    Quantum discord, and related indicators, are raising a relentless interest as a novel paradigm of nonclassical correlations beyond entanglement. Here, we discover a discord-activated mechanism yielding steady-state entanglement production in a realistic continuous-variable setup. This comprises two coupled optomechanical cavities, where the optical modes (OMs) communicate through a fiber. We first use a simplified model to highlight the creation of steady-state discord between the OMs. We show next that such discord improves the level of stationary optomechanical entanglement attainable in the system, making it more robust against temperature and thermal noise.

  15. Impacts of black carbon mixing state on black carbon nucleation scavenging: Insights from a particle-resolved model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ching, J.; Riemer, N.; West, M.

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents an advancement of the recently developed particle-resolved aerosol model PartMC-MOSAIC (Particle Monte Carlo-Model for Simulating Aerosol Interactions and Chemistry) to investigate the impacts of mixing state on cloud droplet formation and to provide a tool for the quantification of errors in cloud properties introduced by simplifying mixing state assumptions. We coupled PartMC-MOSAIC with a cloud parcel model. We initialized the cloud parcel simulation with hourly PartMC-MOSAIC model output from a 48-hour urban plume simulation. The cloud parcel model then explicitly simulated activation and condensational growth of the particles as the parcel underwent cooling at a specified rate and the particles of the aerosol population competed for water vapor. We used this capability to quantify the relative importance of size information versus composition information for the prediction of the cloud droplet number fraction, mass fraction of black carbon that is nucleation-scavenged, cloud droplet effective radius, and relative dispersion of the droplet size distribution by introducing averaging of particle-resolved information within prescribed bins. For the cloud droplet number fraction, both composition averaging and size-bin averaging individually led to an error of less than 25% for all cloud parcel simulations, while averaging in both size bins and composition resulted in errors of up to 34% for the base case cooling rate of 0.5 K/min. In contrast, for the nucleation-scavenged black carbon mass fraction, the results for size-bin averaging tracked the reference case well, while composition averaging, with or without size-bin averaging, led to overestimation of this quantity by up to 600%.

  16. Structural insights into ligand-induced activation of the insulin receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.; Lawrence, M.; Streltsov, V.; Garrett, T.; McKern, N.; Lou, M.-Z.; Lovrecz, G.; Adams, T.

    2008-04-29

    The current model for insulin binding to the insulin receptor proposes that there are two binding sites, referred to as sites 1 and 2, on each monomer in the receptor homodimer and two binding surfaces on insulin, one involving residues predominantly from the dimerization face of insulin (the classical binding surface) and the other residues from the hexamerization face. High-affinity binding involves one insulin molecule using its two surfaces to make bridging contacts with site 1 from one receptor monomer and site 2 from the other. Whilst the receptor dimer has two identical site 1-site 2 pairs, insulin molecules cannot bridge both pairs simultaneously. Our structures of the insulin receptor (IR) ectodomain dimer and the L1-CR-L2 fragments of IR and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) explain many of the features of ligand-receptor binding and allow the two binding sites on the receptor to be described. The IR dimer has an unexpected folded-over conformation which places the C-terminal surface of the first fibronectin-III domain in close juxtaposition to the known L1 domain ligand-binding surface suggesting that the C-terminal surface of FnIII-1 is the second binding site involved in high-affinity binding. This is very different from previous models based on three-dimensional reconstruction from scanning transmission electron micrographs. Our single-molecule images indicate that IGF-1R has a morphology similar to that of IR. In addition, the structures of the first three domains (L1-CR-L2) of the IR and IGF-1R show that there are major differences in the two regions governing ligand specificity. The implications of these findings for ligand-induced receptor activation will be discussed. This review summarizes the key findings regarding the discovery and characterization of the insulin receptor, the identification and arrangement of its structural domains in the sequence and the key features associated with ligand binding. The remainder of the review

  17. Export of earthquake-triggered landslides in active mountain ranges: insights from 2D morphodynamic modelling.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croissant, Thomas; Lague, Dimitri; Davy, Philippe; Steer, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    In active mountain ranges, large earthquakes (Mw > 5-6) trigger numerous landslides that impact river dynamics. These landslides bring local and sudden sediment piles that will be eroded and transported along the river network causing downstream changes in river geometry, transport capacity and erosion efficiency. The progressive removal of landslide materials has implications for downstream hazards management and also for understanding landscape dynamics at the timescale of the seismic cycle. The export time of landslide-derived sediments after large-magnitude earthquakes has been studied from suspended load measurements but a full understanding of the total process, including the coupling between sediment transfer and channel geometry change, still remains an issue. Note that the transport of small sediment pulses has been studied in the context of river restoration, but the magnitude of sediment pulses generated by landslides may make the problem different. Here, we study the export of large volumes (>106 m3) of sediments with the 2D hydro-morphodynamic model, Eros. This model uses a new hydrodynamic module that resolves a reduced form of the Saint-Venant equations with a particle method. It is coupled with a sediment transport and lateral and vertical erosion model. Eros accounts for the complex retroactions between sediment transport and fluvial geometry, with a stochastic description of the floods experienced by the river. Moreover, it is able to reproduce several features deemed necessary to study the evacuation of large sediment pulses, such as river regime modification (single-thread to multi-thread), river avulsion and aggradation, floods and bank erosion. Using a synthetic and simple topography we first present how granulometry, landslide volume and geometry, channel slope and flood frequency influence 1) the dominance of pulse advection vs. diffusion during its evacuation, 2) the pulse export time and 3) the remaining volume of sediment in the catchment

  18. Ordering Dynamics in Neuron Activity Pattern Model: An Insight to Brain Functionality

    PubMed Central

    Gundh, Jasleen; Singh, Awaneesh; Singh, R. K. Brojen

    2015-01-01

    We study the domain ordering kinetics in d = 2 ferromagnets which corresponds to populated neuron activities with both long-ranged interactions, V(r) ∼ r−n and short-ranged interactions. We present the results from comprehensive Monte Carlo (MC) simulations for the nonconserved Ising model with n ≥ 2, interaction range considering near and far neighbors. Our model results could represent the long-ranged neuron kinetics (n ≤ 4) in consistent with the same dynamical behaviour of short-ranged case (n ≥ 4) at far below and near criticality. We found that emergence of fast and slow kinetics of long and short ranged case could imitate the formation of connections among near and distant neurons. The calculated characteristic length scale in long-ranged interaction is found to be n independent (L(t) ∼ t1/(n−2)), whereas short-ranged interaction follows L(t) ∼ t1/2 law and approximately preserve universality in domain kinetics. Further, we did the comparative study of phase ordering near the critical temperature which follows different behaviours of domain ordering near and far critical temperature but follows universal scaling law. PMID:26506525

  19. Insights into the effect of mixed engineered nanoparticles on activated sludge performance.

    PubMed

    Eduok, Samuel; Hendry, Callum; Ferguson, Robert; Martin, Ben; Villa, Raffaella; Jefferson, Bruce; Coulon, Frédéric

    2015-07-01

    In this study, the effects, fate and transport of ENPs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) were investigated using three parallel pilot WWTPs operated under identical conditions. The WWTPs were spiked with (i) an ENP mixture consisting of silver oxide, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and (ii) bulk metal salts. The third plant served as control (unspiked). ENP effects were evaluated for (i) bulk contaminant removal, (ii) activated sludge (AS) process performance, (iii) microbial community structure and dynamics and (iv) microbial inhibition. ENPs showed a strong affinity for biosolids and induced a specific oxygen uptake rate two times higher than the control. The heterotrophic biomass retained its ability to nitrify and degrade organic matter. However, non-recovery of ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria such as Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter or Nitrospira in the ENP spiked reactors suggests selective inhibitory effects. The results further suggest that ENPs and metal salts have antimicrobial properties which can reduce synthesis of extracellular polymeric substances and therefore floc formation. Scanning electron microscopy evidenced selective damage to some microbes, whereas lipid fingerprinting and 454 pyrosequencing indicated a temporal shift in the microbial community structure and diversity. Acidovorax, Rhodoferax, Comamonas and Methanosarcina were identified as nano-tolerant species. Competitive growth advantage of the nano-tolerant species influenced the removal processes and unlike other xenobiotic compounds, ENPs can hasten the natural selection of microbial species in AS. PMID:26187478

  20. Insights into the effect of mixed engineered nanoparticles on activated sludge performance

    PubMed Central

    Eduok, Samuel; Hendry, Callum; Ferguson, Robert; Martin, Ben; Villa, Raffaella; Jefferson, Bruce; Coulon, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the effects, fate and transport of ENPs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) were investigated using three parallel pilot WWTPs operated under identical conditions. The WWTPs were spiked with (i) an ENP mixture consisting of silver oxide, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and (ii) bulk metal salts. The third plant served as control (unspiked). ENP effects were evaluated for (i) bulk contaminant removal, (ii) activated sludge (AS) process performance, (iii) microbial community structure and dynamics and (iv) microbial inhibition. ENPs showed a strong affinity for biosolids and induced a specific oxygen uptake rate two times higher than the control. The heterotrophic biomass retained its ability to nitrify and degrade organic matter. However, non-recovery of ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria such as Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter or Nitrospira in the ENP spiked reactors suggests selective inhibitory effects. The results further suggest that ENPs and metal salts have antimicrobial properties which can reduce synthesis of extracellular polymeric substances and therefore floc formation. Scanning electron microscopy evidenced selective damage to some microbes, whereas lipid fingerprinting and 454 pyrosequencing indicated a temporal shift in the microbial community structure and diversity. Acidovorax, Rhodoferax, Comamonas and Methanosarcina were identified as nano-tolerant species. Competitive growth advantage of the nano-tolerant species influenced the removal processes and unlike other xenobiotic compounds, ENPs can hasten the natural selection of microbial species in AS. PMID:26187478

  1. New Insights on Late-A and Early-F Star Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire Ferrero, R.; Catalano, S.; Marilli, E.; Gouttebroze, P.; Talavera, A.; Bruhweiler, F.

    The onset of chromospheric activity in late-A and early-F stars is here discussed. The detection of Ly- emission core in several A and F atars with the IUE satellite, gives evidence for the presence of chromospheric layers in these stars up to B - V = 0m.19 (Marilli et al., 1996). Semiempirical chromospheric models for Altair allowed us (Freire Ferrero et al., 1995) to explain the observed emission profiles taking into account normal H I interstellar (IS) absorption. However, due to the very high rotational velocity, we analysed alternative hypotheses to explain the observed emissions: (1) circumstellar or shell matter; (2) co-rotating expanding optically thin wind. We ruled out these hypotheses because their effects are negligible and as a consequence, this result reinforces the chromospheric origin of the observed Ly- core in Altair. The stars of our sample, having observed Ly- profilies similar to Altair's and similar stellar and IS properties, should reproduce similar chromospheric behaviour. Here we discuss several important questions that are raised by these results.

  2. Structures of CRISPR Cas3 offer mechanistic insights into Cascade-activated DNA unwinding and degradation

    PubMed Central

    Huo, Yanwu; Nam, Ki Hyun; Ding, Fang; Lee, Heejin; Wu, Lijie; Xiao, Yibei; Farchione, F. Daniel; Zhou, Sharleen; Rajashankar, Raj; Kurinov, Igor; Zhang, Rongguang; Ke, Ailong

    2014-01-01

    CRISPR drives prokaryotic adaptation to invasive nucleic acids such as phages and plasmids using an RNA-mediated interference mechanism. Interference in Type I CRISPR-Cas systems requires a targeting Cascade complex and a degradation machine Cas3, which contains both nuclease and helicase activities. Here we report the crystal structures of Cas3 bound to ss-DNA substrate and show that it is an obligated 3′-to-5′ ss-DNase preferentially accepting substrate directly from the helicase moiety. Conserved residues in the HD-type nuclease coordinate two irons for ss-DNA cleavage. ATP coordination and conformational flexibility are revealed for the SF2-type helicase moiety. Cas3 is specifically guided towards Cascade-bound target DNA with a correct PAM sequence, through physical interactions to both the non-target substrate strand and the CasA protein. The cascade of recognition events ensures a well-controlled DNA targeting and degradation of alien DNA by Cascade and Cas3. PMID:25132177

  3. New insights into dietary supplements used in sport: active substances, pharmacological and side effects.

    PubMed

    Koncic, Marijana Zovko; Tomczyk, Michal

    2013-08-01

    As a society we are increasingly concerned about our physical appearance. For example, as much as 24% of people in developed countries admittedly exercise to improve their performance. Professional sportsmen and amateurs alike are in a constant search for new means that will enable them better sport results in shorter time. Among those means, a prominent place belongs to dietary supplements. However, the producers often advertise products whose use in sports is neither scientifically founded nor safe. This brings on an irrational use of herbal supplements which sometimes leads to unwanted side effects, but is more often of little use. Thus, the aim of this review will be to systematically evaluate some of the herbal supplements that are used as adaptogenic and ergogenic aids in sport. The review will include available data on Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera, Schisandra chinensis, Tribulus terrestris, Vitis vinifera, Citrus aurantium, and others. Their effects, active ingredients as well as possible adverse effects will be discussed with special focus on clinical studies. PMID:23574283

  4. New insights into the anti-obesity activity of xanthones from Garcinia mangostana.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qian-Yu; Wang, Yi-Tao; Lin, Li-Gen

    2015-02-01

    Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. This condition, and its related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, have become major public health challenges. Fruits are important dietary components, and bioactive constituents from fruits are considered to be a promising source for developing effective and safe anti-obesity drugs. Garcinia mangostana Linn. (Clusiaceae) is a tropical evergreen tree, and its fruit, mangosteen, is called 'Queen of Fruit'. The pericarp of G. mangostana has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia as a medicinal agent for treatment of various diseases. Products derived from mangosteen are widely consumed to ameliorate metabolic dysfunction and resultant metabolic syndrome. However, the chemical principles and mechanisms underlying these effects are unclear. This review summarizes the recent chemical and pharmacological studies related to G. mangostana, including weight reduction, anti-adipogenesis, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation activity. The aim of this review is to shed light on the role of G. mangostana and its constituents in preventing and treating obesity, which should encourage more interest in the development of relevant therapeutic methods. PMID:25520256

  5. Insights into the structure-activity relationships of chiral 1,2-diaminophenylalkane platinum(II) anticancer derivatives.

    PubMed

    Berger, Gilles; Fusaro, Luca; Luhmer, Michel; Czapla-Masztafiak, Joanna; Lipiec, Ewelina; Szlachetko, Jakub; Kayser, Yves; Fernandes, Daniel L A; Sá, Jacinto; Dufrasne, François; Bombard, Sophie

    2015-07-01

    The structure-activity relationships of chiral 1,2-diaminophenylalkane platinum(II) anticancer derivatives are studied, including interactions with telomeric- and genomic-like DNA sequences, the pKa of their diaqua species, structural properties obtained from DFT calculations and resonant X-ray emission spectroscopy. The binding modes of the compounds to telomeric sequences were elucidated, showing no major differences with conventional cis-platinum(II) complexes like cisplatin, supporting that the cis-square planar geometry governs the binding of small Pt(II) complexes to G4 structures. Double-stranded DNA platination kinetics and acid-base constants of the diaqua species of the compounds were measured and compared, highlighting a strong steric dependence of the DNA-binding kinetics, but independent to stereoisomerism. Structural features of the compounds are discussed on the basis of dispersion-corrected DFT, showing that the most active series presents conformers for which the platinum atom is well devoid of steric hindrance. If reactivity indices derived from conceptual DFT do not show evidences for different reactivity between the compounds, RXES experiments provide new insight into the availability of platinum orbitals for binding to nucleophiles. PMID:25982100

  6. Neural correlates of insight in dreaming and psychosis.

    PubMed

    Dresler, Martin; Wehrle, Renate; Spoormaker, Victor I; Steiger, Axel; Holsboer, Florian; Czisch, Michael; Hobson, J Allan

    2015-04-01

    The idea that dreaming can serve as a model for psychosis has a long and honourable tradition, however it is notoriously speculative. Here we demonstrate that recent research on the phenomenon of lucid dreaming sheds new light on the debate. Lucid dreaming is a rare state of sleep in which the dreamer gains insight into his state of mind during dreaming. Recent electroencephalogram (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data for the first time allow very specific hypotheses about the dream-psychosis relationship: if dreaming is a reasonable model for psychosis, then insight into the dreaming state and insight into the psychotic state should share similar neural correlates. This indeed seems to be the case: cortical areas activated during lucid dreaming show striking overlap with brain regions that are impaired in psychotic patients who lack insight into their pathological state. This parallel allows for new therapeutic approaches and ways to test antipsychotic medication. PMID:25092021

  7. Biogeochemical Activity of Siderophilic Cyanobacteria and Insights from their Genomes Implications for the Development of New Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, I. I.; Bryant, D. A.; Thomas,-Keprta, K. L.; Tringe, S. G.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Malley, K.; Sosa, O.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, David S.

    2010-01-01

    Verifying the links between genomie features in living organisms and their mineralization/demineralization activity will help to reveal traces of life on Earth and beyond. Among contemporary environments, iron-depositing hot springs (IDHS) may represent one of the most appropriate natural models for insights into ancient life since organisms may have originated on Earth and possibly Mars in association with hydrothennal activity and high [Fe(2+)]. Siderophilic or "iron-loving" cyanobacteria (CB) inhabiting IDHS may have genomic features and properties similar to those of ancient organisms because abundant Fe(2+) in IDHS has a strong potential to increase the magnitude of oxidative stress. That is why specific and/or additional proteins involved in Fe mineralization by siderophilic CB are expected. Inorganic polyphosphates (PPi) are known to increase the viability of prokaryotes Linder heavy metal concentrations and UV stress conditions. PPi have also been proposed as biosignatures. Ancient CB could have also been stressed by occasional migrations from the Fe(2+) rich Ocean to the basaltic land which was almost devoid of dissolved Fe(2+). Thus, the study of the adaptation reactions of siderophilic CB to fluctuation of dissolved Fe level may shed light on the paleophysiology of ancient oxygenic prokaryotes. Moreover, bioweathered Fe, Al, P, Cu, Ti and rare earth elements can be thought of as candidate organomarkers that document the effects of or ganic molecules in weathered rocks. However, the molecular mechanisms of the maintenance of Fe homeostasis in siderophilic CB, the role of PPi for this process and bioweathering activities are poorly understood. Here we present preliminary results describing a new mechanism of Fe mineralization in siderophilic CB, the effect of Fe on the generation of PPi bodies in siderophilic CB, their bioweathering activity and preliminary analysis of the diversity of proteins involved in the prevention of oxidative stress in phototrophs

  8. Computational insight into the structure-activity relationship of novel N-substituted phthalimides with gibberellin-like activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Dongling; Du, Shaoqing; Tan, Weiming; Duan, Hongxia

    2015-10-01

    N-substituted phthalimides (NSPs) that show multiple gibberellin (GA)-like effects on the growth and development of higher plants have been reported. These NSPs may represent a potential alternative to commercial GAs. Therefore, in this work, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations were used to explore the mode of interaction between some NSPs and the GA receptor GID1A in order to clarify the relationship between structure and GA-like activity in the NSPs. The results obtained demonstrate that both a multiple-hydrogen-bond network and a "hat-shaped" hydrophobic interaction play important roles in the binding of the NSPs to GID1A. The carbonyl group of a phthalimide fragment in the NSPs acted in a similar manner to the pharmacophore group 6-COOH in GAs, forming multiple-hydrogen-bond interactions with residues Ser191 and Tyr322 in the binding domain of GID1A. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA) were used to further study the 3D quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) of the NSPs. It was confirmed that the GA-like activity of these NSPs is strongly linked to a few H-bond donor and acceptor field contributions of the NSPs to the H-bond interactions with GID1A. Five new NSP molecules D1-D5 were designed using the binding domain of GID1A and then docked into the receptor. D1 and D4 were shown to have good docking scores due to enhanced hydrophobic contact. We hope that these results will provide useful guidance in the rational design of new NSPs. PMID:26412055

  9. Structural Insights into the Activation and Inhibition of Histo-Aspartic Protease from Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Bhaumik, Prasenjit; Xiao, Huogen; Hidaka, Koushi; Gustchina, Alla; Kiso, Yoshiaki; Yada, Rickey Y.; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2012-09-17

    Histo-aspartic protease (HAP) from Plasmodium falciparum is a promising target for the development of novel antimalarial drugs. The sequence of HAP is highly similar to those of pepsin-like aspartic proteases, but one of the two catalytic aspartates, Asp32, is replaced with histidine. Crystal structures of the truncated zymogen of HAP and of the complex of the mature enzyme with inhibitor KNI-10395 have been determined at 2.1 and 2.5 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. As in other proplasmepsins, the propeptide of the zymogen interacts with the C-terminal domain of the enzyme, forcing the N- and C-terminal domains apart, thereby separating His32 and Asp215 and preventing formation of the mature active site. In the inhibitor complex, the enzyme forms a tight domain-swapped dimer, not previously seen in any aspartic proteases. The inhibitor is found in an unprecedented conformation resembling the letter U, stabilized by two intramolecular hydrogen bonds. Surprisingly, the location and conformation of the inhibitor are similar to those of the fragment of helix 2 comprising residues 34p-38p in the prosegments of the zymogens of gastric aspartic proteases; a corresponding helix assumes a vastly different orientation in proplasmepsins. Each inhibitor molecule is in contact with two molecules of HAP, interacting with the carboxylate group of the catalytic Asp215 of one HAP protomer through a water molecule, while also making a direct hydrogen bond to Glu278A' of the other protomer. A comparison of the shifts in the positions of the catalytic residues in the inhibitor complex presented here with those published previously gives further hints regarding the enzymatic mechanism of HAP.

  10. Vitamin E and cancer: An insight into the anticancer activities of vitamin E isomers and analogs.

    PubMed

    Constantinou, Constantina; Papas, Andreas; Constantinou, Andreas I

    2008-08-15

    Current observations in the literature suggest that vitamin E may be a suitable candidate for the adjuvant treatment of cancer. Even though historically most research focused on alpha-tocopherol, more recent evidence suggests that the other isomers of vitamin E (beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols and alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols) differ in their proapoptotic potencies. The main focus of this communication is the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulated by vitamin E isomers and their analogs during the induction of apoptosis. This review highlights that the mitochondria are the major target for the induction of apoptosis by vitamin E isomers and analogs and that the various signaling pathways regulated by these agents are likely to contribute towards maximizing the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis triggered initially by the mitochondria. Overall, the presentation of recent studies from the literature in this communication allows the drawing of the following important conclusions: (i) no direct link exists between the antioxidant activity of each isomer/derivative and proapoptotic potency, (ii) tocotrienols are more effective proapoptotic agents than tocopherols, (iii) synthetic modifications of the naturally occurring compounds may improve their apoptotic potency and (iv) vitamin E isomers and derivatives regulate caspase-independent pathways of apoptosis. The latter combined with the evidence presented in this review regarding the additive or synergistic anticarcinogenic effects obtained when vitamin E analogs are used in combination with other cancer chemotherapeutic agents, supports further research to design the most promising vitamin E derivatives and clinically test them in adjuvant chemotherapeutic treatments. PMID:18512238

  11. Integrin Activation States and Eosinophil Recruitment in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Mats W.; Mosher, Deane F.

    2013-01-01

    Eosinophil arrest and recruitment to the airway in asthma are mediated, at least in part, by integrins. Eosinophils express α4β1, α6β1, αLβ2, αMβ2, αXβ2, αDβ2, and α4β7 integrins, which interact with counter-receptors on other cells or ligands in the extracellular matrix. Whether a given integrin-ligand pair mediates cell adhesion and migration depends on the activation state of the integrin. Integrins exist in an inactive bent, an intermediate-activity extended closed, and a high-activity extended open conformation. Integrin activation states can be monitored by conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Studies in mice indicate that both β1 and β2 integrins mediate eosinophil recruitment to the lung. In vitro studies indicate that α4β1 and αMβ2 are the principal integrins mediating eosinophil adhesion, including to vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and the novel αMβ2 ligand periostin. In vivo, blood eosinophils have intermediate-activity β1 integrins, as judged by mAb N29, apparently resulting from eosinophil binding of P-selectin on the surface of activated platelets, and have a proportion of their β2 integrins in the intermediate conformation, as judged by mAb KIM-127, apparently due to exposure to low concentrations of interleukin-5 (IL-5). Airway eosinophils recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) after segmental antigen challenge have high-activity β1 integrins and high-activity αMβ2 that does not require IL-5. Here we review information on how the activation states of eosinophil β1 and β2 integrins correlate with measurements of eosinophil recruitment and pulmonary function in asthma. Blood eosinophil N29 reactivity is associated with decreased lung function under various circumstances in non-severe asthma and KIM-127 with BAL eosinophil numbers, indicating that intermediate-activity α4β1 and αMβ2 of blood eosinophils are important for eosinophil arrest and consequently for recruitment and aspects of asthma. PMID

  12. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, Daniela; Kaygorodov, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    Active states in white dwarfs are usually associated with light curve's effects that concern to the bursts, flickering or flare-up occurrences. It is common that a gas-dynamics source exists for each of these processes there. We consider the white dwarf binary stars with accretion disc around the primary. We suggest a flow transformation modeling of the mechanisms that are responsible for ability to cause some flow instability and bring the white dwarfs system to the outburst's development. The processes that cause the accretion rate to sufficiently increase are discussed. Then the transition from a quiescent to an active state is realized. We analyze a quasi-periodic variability in the luminosity of white dwarf binary stars systems. The results are supported with an observational data.

  13. Mining Claim Activity on Federal Land in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Causey, J. Douglas

    2007-01-01

    Several statistical compilations of mining claim activity on Federal land derived from the Bureau of Land Management's LR2000 database have previously been published by the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). The work in the 1990s did not include Arkansas or Florida. None of the previous reports included Alaska because it is stored in a separate database (Alaska Land Information System) and is in a different format. This report includes data for all states for which there are Federal mining claim records, beginning in 1976 and continuing to the present. The intent is to update the spatial and statistical data associated with this report on an annual basis, beginning with 2005 data. The statistics compiled from the databases are counts of the number of active mining claims in a section of land each year from 1976 to the present for all states within the United States. Claim statistics are subset by lode and placer types, as well as a dataset summarizing all claims including mill site and tunnel site claims. One table presents data by case type, case status, and number of claims in a section. This report includes a spatial database for each state in which mining claims were recorded, except North Dakota, which only has had two claims. A field is present that allows the statistical data to be joined to the spatial databases so that spatial displays and analysis can be done by using appropriate geographic information system (GIS) software. The data show how mining claim activity has changed in intensity, space, and time. Variations can be examined on a state, as well as a national level. The data are tied to a section of land, approximately 640 acres, which allows it to be used at regional, as well as local scale. The data only pertain to Federal land and mineral estate that was open to mining claim location at the time the claims were staked.

  14. Structural Analysis and Insights into the Oligomeric State of an Arginine-Dependent Transcriptional Regulator from Bacillus halodurans.

    PubMed

    Park, Young Woo; Kang, Jina; Yeo, Hyun Ku; Lee, Jae Young

    2016-01-01

    The arginine repressor (ArgR) is an arginine-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in the arginine biosynthesis and catabolic pathways. ArgR is a functional homolog of the arginine-dependent repressor/activator AhrC from Bacillus subtilis, and belongs to the ArgR/AhrC family of transcriptional regulators. In this research, we determined the structure of the ArgR (Bh2777) from Bacillus halodurans at 2.41 Å resolution by X-ray crystallography. The ArgR from B. halodurans appeared to be a trimer in a size exclusion column and in the crystal structure. However, it formed a hexamer in the presence of L-arginine in multi-angle light scattering (MALS) studies, indicating the oligomerization state was dependent on the presence of L-arginine. The trimeric structure showed that the C-terminal domains form the core, which was made by inter-subunit interactions mainly through hydrophobic contacts, while the N-terminal domains containing a winged helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif were arranged around the periphery. The arrangement of trimeric structure in the B. halodurans ArgR was different from those of other ArgR homologs previously reported. We finally showed that the B. halodurans ArgR has an arginine-dependent DNA binding property by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. PMID:27171430

  15. Structural Analysis and Insights into the Oligomeric State of an Arginine-Dependent Transcriptional Regulator from Bacillus halodurans

    PubMed Central

    Park, Young Woo; Kang, Jina; Yeo, Hyun Ku; Lee, Jae Young

    2016-01-01

    The arginine repressor (ArgR) is an arginine-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in the arginine biosynthesis and catabolic pathways. ArgR is a functional homolog of the arginine-dependent repressor/activator AhrC from Bacillus subtilis, and belongs to the ArgR/AhrC family of transcriptional regulators. In this research, we determined the structure of the ArgR (Bh2777) from Bacillus halodurans at 2.41 Å resolution by X-ray crystallography. The ArgR from B. halodurans appeared to be a trimer in a size exclusion column and in the crystal structure. However, it formed a hexamer in the presence of L-arginine in multi-angle light scattering (MALS) studies, indicating the oligomerization state was dependent on the presence of L-arginine. The trimeric structure showed that the C-terminal domains form the core, which was made by inter-subunit interactions mainly through hydrophobic contacts, while the N-terminal domains containing a winged helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif were arranged around the periphery. The arrangement of trimeric structure in the B. halodurans ArgR was different from those of other ArgR homologs previously reported. We finally showed that the B. halodurans ArgR has an arginine-dependent DNA binding property by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. PMID:27171430

  16. Structural Insights into the Activation of Human Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 by Small-Molecule Agonists.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xin; Myhr, Courtney; Huang, Zaohua; Xiao, Jingbo; Barnaeva, Elena; Ho, Brian A; Agoulnik, Irina U; Ferrer, Marc; Marugan, Juan J; Southall, Noel; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2016-03-29

    The GPCR relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) mediates the action of relaxin peptide hormone, including its tissue remodeling and antifibrotic effects. The peptide has a short half-life in plasma, limiting its therapeutic utility. However, small-molecule agonists of human RXFP1 can overcome this limitation and may provide a useful therapeutic approach, especially for chronic diseases such as heart failure and fibrosis. The first small-molecule agonists of RXFP1 were recently identified from a high-throughput screening, using a homogeneous cell-based cAMP assay. Optimization of the hit compounds resulted in a series of highly potent and RXFP1 selective agonists with low cytotoxicity, and excellent in vitro ADME and pharmacokinetic properties. Here, we undertook extensive site-directed mutagenesis studies in combination with computational modeling analysis to probe the molecular basis of the small-molecule binding to RXFP1. The results showed that the agonists bind to an allosteric site of RXFP1 in a manner that closely interacts with the seventh transmembrane domain (TM7) and the third extracellular loop (ECL3). Several residues were determined to play an important role in the agonist binding and receptor activation, including a hydrophobic region at TM7 consisting of W664, F668, and L670. The G659/T660 motif within ECL3 is crucial to the observed species selectivity of the agonists for RXFP1. The receptor binding and activation effects by the small molecule ML290 were compared with the cognate ligand, relaxin, providing valuable insights on the structural basis and molecular mechanism of receptor activation and selectivity for RXFP1. PMID:26866459

  17. Crystal structures of α-dioxygenase from Oryza sativa: insights into substrate binding and activation by hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Guangyu; Koszelak-Rosenblum, Mary; Malkowski, Michael G

    2013-10-01

    α-Dioxygenases (α-DOX) are heme-containing enzymes found predominantly in plants and fungi, where they generate oxylipins in response to pathogen attack. α-DOX oxygenate a variety of 14-20 carbon fatty acids containing up to three unsaturated bonds through stereoselective removal of the pro-R hydrogen from the α-carbon by a tyrosyl radical generated via the oxidation of the heme moiety by hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ). We determined the X-ray crystal structures of wild type α-DOX from Oryza sativa, the wild type enzyme in complex with H2 O2 , and the catalytically inactive Y379F mutant in complex with the fatty acid palmitic acid (PA). PA binds within the active site cleft of α-DOX such that the carboxylate forms ionic interactions with His-311 and Arg-559. Thr-316 aids in the positioning of carbon-2 for hydrogen abstraction. Twenty-five of the twenty eight contacts made between PA and residues lining the active site occur within the carboxylate and first eight carbons, indicating that interactions within this region of the substrate are responsible for governing selectivity. Comparison of the wild type and H2 O2 structures provides insight into enzyme activation. The binding of H2 O2 at the distal face of the heme displaces residues His-157, Asp-158, and Trp-159 ≈ 2.5 Å from their positions in the wild type structure. As a result, the Oδ2 atom of Asp-158 interacts with the Ca atom in the calcium binding loop, the side chains of Trp-159 and Trp-213 reorient, and the guanidinium group of Arg-559 is repositioned near Tyr-379, poised to interact with the carboxylate group of the substrate. PMID:23934749

  18. Insight into the mechanism of biological methanol activation based on the crystal structure of the methanol-cobalamin methyltransferase complex.

    PubMed

    Hagemeier, Christoph H; Krer, Markus; Thauer, Rudolf K; Warkentin, Eberhard; Ermler, Ulrich

    2006-12-12

    Some methanogenic and acetogenic microorganisms have the catalytic capability to cleave heterolytically the C O bond of methanol. To obtain insight into the elusive enzymatic mechanism of this challenging chemical reaction we have investigated the methanol-activating MtaBC complex from Methanosarcina barkeri composed of the zinc-containing MtaB and the 5-hydroxybenzimidazolylcobamide-carrying MtaC subunits. Here we report the 2.5-A crystal structure of this complex organized as a (MtaBC)(2) heterotetramer. MtaB folds as a TIM barrel and contains a novel zinc-binding motif. Zinc(II) lies at the bottom of a funnel formed at the C-terminal beta-barrel end and ligates to two cysteinyl sulfurs (Cys-220 and Cys-269) and one carboxylate oxygen (Glu-164). MtaC is structurally related to the cobalamin-binding domain of methionine synthase. Its corrinoid cofactor at the top of the Rossmann domain reaches deeply into the funnel of MtaB, defining a region between zinc(II) and the corrinoid cobalt that must be the binding site for methanol. The active site geometry supports a S(N)2 reaction mechanism, in which the C O bond in methanol is activated by the strong electrophile zinc(II) and cleaved because of an attack of the supernucleophile cob(I)amide. The environment of zinc(II) is characterized by an acidic cluster that increases the charge density on the zinc(II), polarizes methanol, and disfavors deprotonation of the methanol hydroxyl group. Implications of the MtaBC structure for the second step of the reaction, in which the methyl group is transferred to coenzyme M, are discussed. PMID:17142327

  19. Structural Insights into an Oxalate-producing Serine Hydrolase with an Unusual Oxyanion Hole and Additional Lyase Activity.

    PubMed

    Oh, Juntaek; Hwang, Ingyu; Rhee, Sangkee

    2016-07-15

    In Burkholderia species, the production of oxalate, an acidic molecule, is a key event for bacterial growth in the stationary phase. Oxalate plays a central role in maintaining environmental pH, which counteracts inevitable population-collapsing alkaline toxicity in amino acid-based culture medium. In the phytopathogen Burkholderia glumae, two enzymes are responsible for oxalate production. First, the enzyme oxalate biosynthetic component A (ObcA) catalyzes the formation of a tetrahedral C6-CoA adduct from the substrates acetyl-CoA and oxaloacetate. Then the ObcB enzyme liberates three products from the C6-CoA adduct: oxalate, acetoacetate, and CoA. Interestingly, these two stepwise reactions are catalyzed by a single bifunctional enzyme, Obc1, from Burkholderia thailandensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei Obc1 has an ObcA-like N-terminal domain and shows ObcB activity in its C-terminal domain despite no sequence homology with ObcB. We report the crystal structure of Obc1 in its apo and glycerol-bound form at 2.5 Å and 2.8 Å resolution, respectively. The Obc1 N-terminal domain is essentially identical both in structure and function to that of ObcA. Its C-terminal domain has an α/β hydrolase fold that has a catalytic triad for oxalate production and a novel oxyanion hole distinct from the canonical HGGG motif in other α/β hydrolases. Functional analyses through mutagenesis studies suggested that His-934 is an additional catalytic acid/base for its lyase activity and liberates two additional products, acetoacetate and CoA. These results provide structural and functional insights into bacterial oxalogenesis and an example of divergent evolution of the α/β hydrolase fold, which has both hydrolase and lyase activity. PMID:27226606

  20. TGF-β-activated kinase-1: New insights into the mechanism of TGF-β signaling and kidney disease

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sung Il; Choi, Mary E.

    2012-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a multifunctional cytokine that regulates a wide variety of cellular functions, including cell growth, cellular differentiation, apoptosis, and wound healing. TGF-β1, the prototype member of the TGF-β superfamily, is well established as a central mediator of renal fibrosis. In chronic kidney disease, dysregulation of expression and activation of TGF-β1 results in the relentless synthesis and accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins that lead to the development of glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and ultimately to end-stage renal disease. Therefore, specific targeting of the TGF-β signaling pathway is seemingly an attractive molecular therapeutic strategy in chronic kidney disease. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the multifunctionality of TGF-β1 is connected with the complexity of its cell signaling networks. TGF-β1 signals through the interaction of type I and type II receptors to activate distinct intracellular pathways. Although the Smad signaling pathway is known as a canonical pathway induced by TGF-β1, and has been the focus of many previous reviews, importantly TGF-β1 also induces various Smad-independent signaling pathways. In this review, we describe evidence that supports current insights into the mechanism and function of TGF-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1), which has emerged as a critical signaling molecule in TGF-β-induced Smad-independent signaling pathways. We also discuss the functional role of TAK1 in mediating the profibrotic effects of TGF-β1. PMID:26889415

  1. [Activities of Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, Iowa State University

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gray, Joe

    2002-01-01

    The final report of NASA funded activities at Iowa State University (ISU) for the period between 1/96 and 1/99 includes two main areas of activity. The first is the development and delivery of an x-ray simulation package suitable for evaluating the impact of parameters affects the inspectability of an assembly of parts. The second area was the development of images processing tools to remove reconstruction artifacts in x-ray laminagraphy images. The x-ray simulation portion of this work was done by J. Gray and the x-ray laminagraphy work was done by J. Basart. The report is divided into two sections covering the two activities respectively. In addition to this work reported the funding also covered NASA's membership in the NSF University/Industrial Cooperative Research Center.

  2. Probes of the Dynamical State of Galaxy Clusters: Insights from the nIFTy Simulated Galaxy Cluster Comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Power, Chris; Pearce, Frazer; Knebe, Alexander

    2015-08-01

    Galaxy clusters are widely used as both cosmological probes and testbeds for theories of galaxy formation and evolution. Cosmological hydrodynamical simulations are crucial in providing the predictive framework within which we interpret observations of these systems. However, it has been recognised for at least fifteen years, since the Santa Barbara Cluster Comparison presented in Frenk et al. 1999, that basic predictions from such simulations will sensitive to the manner - particle- versus mesh-based - in which used the equations of hydrodynamics are solved. In a recent series of workshops, we have revisited this important topic. Bringing together 12 state-of-the-art hydrodynamical galaxy formation codes, we have run cosmological zoom simulations of the same galaxy cluster as part of our nIFTy Simulated Galaxy Cluster Comparison and examined how these modern codes compare. In this talk, I will show briefly that modern particle-based codes produce results that are in good agreement with those of mesh- and moving-mesh based codes, such as flat gas entropy profiles in the cores of cluster when non-radiative hydrodynamics is assumed. I will discuss how the thermodynamic structure, galaxy kinematics and gravitational lensing properties of the clusters are affected by recent merging activity; the timescales for clusters to return to (approximate) dynamical equilibrium as measured by different tracers (e.g. hot gas versus galaxy dynamics); and the most robust observable signatures of relaxation. This has important implications for how clusters are used as cosmological probes (e.g. estimating masses, assumption of approximate hydrostatic equilibrium, etc...) and how we interpret evidence for galaxy transformation.

  3. Cytosolic Ca2+ and Ca2+-activated Cl− current dynamics: insights from two functionally distinct mouse exocrine cells

    PubMed Central

    Giovannucci, David R; Bruce, Jason I. E; Straub, Stephen V; Arreola, Jorge; Sneyd, James; Shuttleworth, Trevor J; Yule, David I

    2002-01-01

    The dynamics of Ca2+ release and Ca2+-activated Cl− currents in two related, but functionally distinct exocrine cells, were studied to gain insight into how the molecular specialization of Ca2+ signalling machinery are utilized to produce different physiological endpoints: in this case, fluid or exocytotic secretion. Digital imaging and patch-clamp methods were used to monitor the temporal and spatial properties of changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) and Cl− currents following the controlled photolytic release of caged-InsP3 or caged-Ca2+. In parotid and pancreatic acinar cells, changes in [Ca2+]c and activation of a Ca2+-activated Cl− current occurred with close temporal coincidence. In parotid, a rapid global Ca2+ signal was invariably induced, even with low-level photolytic release of threshold amounts of InsP3. In pancreas, threshold stimulation generated an apically delimited [Ca2+]c signal, while a stronger stimulus induced a global [Ca2+]c signal which exhibited characteristics of a propagating wave. InsP3 was more effective in parotid, where [Ca2+]c signals initiated with shorter latency and exhibited a faster time-to-peak than in pancreas. The increased potency of InsP3 in parotid probably results from a four-fold higher number of InsP3 receptors as measured by radiolabelled InsP3 binding and western blot analysis. The Ca2+ sensitivity of the Cl− channels in parotid and pancreas was determined from the [Ca2+]-current relationship measured during a dynamic ‘Ca2+ ramp’ produced by the continuous, low-level photolysis of caged-Ca2+. In addition to a greater number of InsP3 receptors, the Cl− current density of parotid acinar cells was more than four-fold greater than that of pancreatic cells. Whereas activation of the current was tightly coupled to increases in Ca2+ in both cell types, local Ca2+ clearance was found to contribute substantially to the deactivation of the current in parotid. These data reveal specializations of

  4. Insights into activation and RNA binding of trp RNA-binding attenuation protein (TRAP) through all-atom simulations.

    PubMed

    Murtola, Teemu; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Falck, Emma

    2008-06-01

    Tryptophan biosynthesis in Bacillus stearothermophilus is regulated by a trp RNA binding attenuation protein (TRAP). It is a ring-shaped 11-mer of identical 74 residue subunits. Tryptophan binding pockets are located between adjacent subunits, and tryptophan binding activates TRAP to bind RNA. Here, we report results from all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of the system, complementing existing extensive experimental studies. We focus on two questions. First, we look at the activation mechanism, of which relatively little is known experimentally. We find that the absence of tryptophan allows larger motions close to the tryptophan binding site, and we see indication of a conformational change in the BC loop. However, complete deactivation seems to occur on much longer time scales than the 40 ns studied here. Second, we study the TRAP-RNA interactions. We look at the relative flexibilities of the different bases in the complex and analyze the hydrogen bonds between the protein and RNA. We also study the role of Lys37, Lys56, and Arg58, which have been experimentally identified as essential for RNA binding. Hydrophobic stacking of Lys37 with the nearby RNA base is confirmed, but we do not see direct hydrogen bonding between RNA and the other two residues, in contrast to the crystal structure. Rather, these residues seem to stabilize the RNA-binding surface, and their positive charge may also play a role in RNA binding. Simulations also indicate that TRAP is able to attract RNA nonspecifically, and the interactions are quantified in more detail using binding energy calculations. The formation of the final binding complex is a very slow process: within the simulation time scale of 40 ns, only two guanine bases become bound (and no others), indicating that the binding initiates at these positions. In general, our results are in good agreement with experimental studies, and provide atomic-scale insights into the processes. PMID:18186477

  5. Air pollution information activities at state and local agencies--United States, 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-08

    Because air pollution is a pervasive environmental health problem in the United States, one of the national health objectives for the year 2000 is to increase from 49.7% to 85.0% the proportion of persons who live in counties that have not exceeded any air quality standard during the previous 12 months (1). Public support for air pollution control efforts is critical if this national health objective is to be achieved. To characterize public health information activities related to air pollution, in 1992, the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO), with the assistance of CDC, conducted a survey of state and local air pollution control agencies. This report summarizes the findings of that survey.

  6. Fe, O, and C Charge States Associated with Quiescent Versus Active Current Sheets in the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; vonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to locate the heliospheric current sheet in data from 1991 through 2006. The purpose was to characterize typical charge states for Fe, O, and C in the vicinity of the current sheet and provide insight into the physical sources for these charge states in the corona. A study of He/H around the current sheets has led to a clear distinction between quiescent current sheets at times of low solar activity and active current sheets associated with magnetic clouds (and, presumably, ICMES). It has been shown that high ionization state Fe is produced in the corona in current sheets associated with CMEs through spectroscopic observations of the corona and through in situ detection at Ulysses. Here we show that the ionization state of Fe is typically only enhanced around active current sheets while the ionization states of O and C are commonly enhanced around both quiescent and active current sheets. This is consistent with UV coronal spectroscopy, which has shown that reconnection in current sheets behind CMEs leads to high temperatures not typically seen above quiet streamers.

  7. Two-temperature formalin fixation preserves activation states efficiently.

    PubMed

    Chafin, David

    2015-01-01

    Modern pathology is built around the principle of preserving tissues such that the in vivo molecular status is maintained at levels representative of the disease state. Tissues are immersed in a solution of fixative which slowly inactivates biological activities, thus preserving the sample. Further processing ultimately allows the tissue to be embedded into wax for thin sectioning and staining for interpretation microscopically. Every year, around 7 billion tissue samples are submitted for processing in the United States alone. With this huge workload, histology laboratories are looking for faster methods of performing fixation, which currently require from several hours to days to complete. Ideally, this procedure could be standardized and would be quicker with better preservation over a wide range of biologically relevant molecules. PMID:25636434

  8. State Policies to Improve Mentoring of Novice Special Education Teachers. Induction Insights. Supporting Special Education Teachers - Policymakers [PII-4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Effective state policy for new teacher mentoring stipulates program elements that increase the likelihood that district programming will be implemented and, thus, defines for districts what is important about mentoring support. Although most state policies do not differentiate programs for novice special education teachers, there are particular…

  9. A state-of-the-art assessment of active structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    A state-of-the-art assessment of active structures with emphasis towards the applications in aeronautics and space is presented. It is felt that since this technology area is growing at such a rapid pace in many different disciplines, it is not feasible to cover all of the current research but only the relevant work as relates to aeronautics and space. Research in smart actuation materials, smart sensors, and control of smart/intelligent structures is covered. In smart actuation materials, piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, shape memory, electrorheological, and electrostrictive materials are covered. For sensory materials, fiber optics, dielectric loss, and piezoelectric sensors are examined. Applications of embedded sensors and smart sensors are discussed.

  10. CO2 ice state during active Dark Spot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, F.; Schmidt, F.; Douté, S.

    2013-09-01

    MOC and HiRISE high-resolution images permitted the identification of various active seasonal processes such as cold CO2 jets or dark flows [7] on Mars seasonal caps, triggered by the caps' seasonal variations [5]. The purpose of this work is to retrieve quantitative information about the CO2 ice physical state, and its evolution, to constrain the active processes. To this end, we perform a radiative transfer inversion of CRISM near-infrared spectra before, during and after the event. After atmospheric gas and aerosols contributions correction [3], we use a radiative transfer model [2] that simulates reflectance spectra of granular icy material to create a look up table, and then a spectral inversion based on the likelihood that allows taking into account possible bias in atmospheric correction [1]. Using that inversion method, we are able to retrieve the spatial and temporal evolutions of various parameters of the icy surface.

  11. From Parkinsonian thalamic activity to restoring thalamic relay using deep brain stimulation: new insights from computational modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meijer, H. G. E.; Krupa, M.; Cagnan, H.; Lourens, M. A. J.; Heida, T.; Martens, H. C. F.; Bour, L. J.; van Gils, S. A.

    2011-10-01

    We present a computational model of a thalamocortical relay neuron for exploring basal ganglia thalamocortical loop behavior in relation to Parkinson's disease and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Previous microelectrode, single-unit recording studies demonstrated that oscillatory interaction within and between basal ganglia nuclei is very often accompanied by synchronization at Parkinsonian rest tremor frequencies (3-10 Hz). These oscillations have a profound influence on thalamic projections and impair the thalamic relaying of cortical input by generating rebound action potentials. Our model describes convergent inhibitory input received from basal ganglia by the thalamocortical cells based on characteristics of normal activity, and/or low-frequency oscillations (activity associated with Parkinson's disease). In addition to simulated input, we also used microelectrode recordings as inputs for the model. In the resting state, and without additional sensorimotor input, pathological rebound activity is generated for even mild Parkinsonian input. We have found a specific stimulation window of amplitudes and frequencies for periodic input, which corresponds to high-frequency DBS, and which also suppresses rebound activity for mild and even more prominent Parkinsonian input. When low-frequency pathological rebound activity disables the thalamocortical cell's ability to relay excitatory cortical input, a stimulation signal with parameter settings corresponding to our stimulation window can restore the thalamocortical cell's relay functionality.

  12. Update on nutrition monitoring activities in the United States.

    PubMed

    Kuczmarski, M F; Moshfegh, A; Briefel, R

    1994-07-01

    This article provides an overview of planned and proposed nutrition monitoring activities of the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research (NNMRR) Program. Key provisions of the NNMRR Act of 1990 are described, including the roles and responsibilities of the Interagency Board of Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research (IBNMRR) and the National Nutrition Monitoring Advisory Council and the development of the Ten-Year Comprehensive Plan. The Plan, which was developed under the guidance of the IBNMRR and reviewed by the National Nutrition Monitoring Advisory Council, is the basis for planning and coordinating the monitoring activities of 22 federal agencies. Also discussed are the resources generated from nutrition monitoring activities, from publications to conferences, that are available to dietitians and nutritionists. Professionals view the scientific reports that describe the nutritional status of the US population and the directories of federal and state monitoring activities as valuable resources. Suggestions from users of nutrition monitoring data related to their information and research needs have been extremely helpful to federal agencies in the development of future monitoring publications and the Ten-Year Comprehensive Plan. Continued communication between dietitians and the federal agencies responsible for the NNMRR Program is important. PMID:8021417

  13. [Investigation of Aerosol Mixed State and CCN Activity in Nanjing].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lin; Ma, Yan; Zheng, Jun; Li, Shi-zheng; Wang, Li-peng

    2016-04-15

    During 11-18 September 2014, the size-resolved aerosol Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) activity and mixing state were measured using Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter (CCNC), Aerosol Particle Mass (APM) and Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS). The results showed that aerosols mainly existed as an internal mixture. For 76, 111, 138 and 181 nm particles, black carbon (BC) accounted for 5.4%, 10%, l0.7% and 6.7% of the particle mass, but as high as 51%, 57%, 70% and 59% of the particle number concentrations, respectively, suggesting that BC was a type of important condensation nuclei in the atmosphere and made significant contributions to particle numbers. The occasionally observed external mixtures were mainly present in 111 and 138 nm particles. The critical supersaturation was 0.25%, 0.13%, 0.06% and 0.015% for 76, 111, 138 and 181 nm particles, respectively. Precipitation and haze had significant effects on the particle CCN activity. The hygroscopicity parameter K was 0.37, 0.29 and 0.39 in rainy, clear and hazy days, respectively. Particle density and CCN activity were impacted by chemical compositions. Compared with clear days, higher contents of inorganic salts and lower contents of organics were found on hazy days, accompanied by lower particle density and higher CCN activity. PMID:27548938

  14. Role of carotenoid excited states and radicals in antioxidant activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, Chris R.

    1995-05-01

    Carotenoids are linear polyenes that occur in nature and are known to have powerful antioxidant properties. They react efficiently with the excited states of many organic molecules. In the photosynthetic apparatus of plants they quench reactive excited states that may be formed and release the energy as heat. In photodynamic therapy they may be used to ameliorate the associated skin photosensitivity that is a consequence of many photosensitizers. This protection may be either through reaction with the sensitizer triplet state or through quenching of singlet oxygen. Carotenoids also form relatively stable radical species and react efficiently with the hydroxyl radical, superoxide and the solvated electron. In cells they are associated with the lipid core of the cell membrane and are effective against lipid peroxidation. The importance of the thermodynamic properties of these compounds and their organization within biological systems is pivotal to understanding carotenoid antioxidant activity. The present paper reviews some recent work on the energy level of (beta) -carotene, electron transfer involving the one electron reduced species and the resonance Raman spectra of some carotenoids in micellar solution.

  15. Diabetic state-induced activation of calcium-activated neutral proteinase in mouse skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, S; Fujihara, M; Hoshino, N; Kimura, I; Kimura, M

    1989-12-01

    The effect of a diabetic state in the diabetic KK-CAy mouse on calcium activated neutral proteinase (CANP) of hind-limb skeletal muscles was investigated. In the diabetic state, there was an increased sensitivity to activation of CANP by calcium (Ca). In addition, there was an enhancement of maximal activity of the enzyme. The effect was induced by secondary modification of the diabetic state, but not genetical factors. Several lines of evidence suggest that the CANP is responsible for 92 K dalton protein in diabetic skeletal muscles. Among the evidence are the following: a) The 92 K band in the diabetic muscles was lower than in the prediabetic mouse and restored by the addition of 2 mM EDTA and 2 mM EGTA. b) The band was reduced by increasing the Ca content and neutral pH in the non-diabetic normal muscles. c) E-64-C, a CANP inhibitor, restored the 92 K component reduced by the diabetic state. Since the band in denervated muscles was not changed by the Ca chelating agents, the reduction of the band in the diabetic muscles is related with musculotrophic factors, not diabetic neuropathy. These results suggest that diabetic amyotrophy may be regarded as a phenomenon linked to an increase in intracellular Ca ions and an increase in CANP activity. PMID:2561275

  16. Resting-State Brain Activity in Adult Males Who Stutter

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Chaozhe; Wang, Liang; Yan, Qian; Lin, Chunlan; Yu, Chunshui

    2012-01-01

    Although developmental stuttering has been extensively studied with structural and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), few studies have focused on resting-state brain activity in this disorder. We investigated resting-state brain activity of stuttering subjects by analyzing the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), region of interest (ROI)-based functional connectivity (FC) and independent component analysis (ICA)-based FC. Forty-four adult males with developmental stuttering and 46 age-matched fluent male controls were scanned using resting-state fMRI. ALFF, ROI-based FCs and ICA-based FCs were compared between male stuttering subjects and fluent controls in a voxel-wise manner. Compared with fluent controls, stuttering subjects showed increased ALFF in left brain areas related to speech motor and auditory functions and bilateral prefrontal cortices related to cognitive control. However, stuttering subjects showed decreased ALFF in the left posterior language reception area and bilateral non-speech motor areas. ROI-based FC analysis revealed decreased FC between the posterior language area involved in the perception and decoding of sensory information and anterior brain area involved in the initiation of speech motor function, as well as increased FC within anterior or posterior speech- and language-associated areas and between the prefrontal areas and default-mode network (DMN) in stuttering subjects. ICA showed that stuttering subjects had decreased FC in the DMN and increased FC in the sensorimotor network. Our findings support the concept that stuttering subjects have deficits in multiple functional systems (motor, language, auditory and DMN) and in the connections between them. PMID:22276215

  17. Communicating Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector: Insights from Surveys and Interviews with Agricultural Advisors in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopy, L. S.; Carlton, S.; Dunn, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding U.S. agricultural stakeholder views about the existence of climate change and what influences these views is central to developing communication in support of adaptation and mitigation. It has been postulated in the literature that extreme weather events can shape people's climate change beliefs and adaptation attitudes. In this presentation, we use data from pre- and post-extreme event surveys and interviews to examine the effects of the 2012 Midwestern US drought on agricultural advisors' climate change beliefs, adaptation attitudes, and risk perceptions. We found that neither climate change beliefs nor attitudes toward adaptation changed significantly as a result of the drought. Risk perceptions did change, however, with advisors becoming more concerned about risks from drought and pests and less concerned about risks related to flooding and ponding. Qualitative interviews revealed that while advisors readily accept the occurrence of extreme weather as a risk, the irregularity and unpredictability of extreme events for specific localities limits day-to-day consideration in respect to prescribed management advice. Instead, advisors' attention is directed towards planning for short-term changes encompassing weather, pests, and the market, as well as planning for long-term trends related to water availability. These findings provide important insights for communicating climate change in this critical sector while illustrating the importance of social science research in planning and executing communication campaigns.

  18. Global metabolite analysis of the land snail Theba pisana hemolymph during active and aestivated states.

    PubMed

    Bose, U; Centurion, E; Hodson, M P; Shaw, P N; Storey, K B; Cummins, S F

    2016-09-01

    The state of metabolic dormancy has fascinated people for hundreds of years, leading to research exploring the identity of natural molecular components that may induce and maintain this state. Many animals lower their metabolism in response to high temperatures and/or arid conditions, a phenomenon called aestivation. The biological significance for this is clear; by strongly suppressing metabolic rate to low levels, animals minimize their exposure to stressful conditions. Understanding blood or hemolymph metabolite changes that occur between active and aestivated animals can provide valuable insights relating to those molecular components that regulate hypometabolism in animals, and how they afford adaptation to their different environmental conditions. In this study, we have investigated the hemolymph metabolite composition from the land snail Theba pisana, a remarkably resilient mollusc that displays an annual aestivation period. Using LC-MS-based metabolomics analysis, we have identified those hemolymph metabolites that show significant changes in relative abundance between active and aestivated states. We show that certain metabolites, including some phospholipids [e.g. LysoPC(14:0)], and amino acids such as l-arginine and l-tyrosine, are present at high levels within aestivated snails. Further investigation of our T. pisana RNA-sequencing data elucidated the entire repertoire of phospholipid-synthesis genes in the snail digestive gland, as a precursor towards future comparative investigation between the genetic components of aestivating and non-aestivating species. In summary, we have identified a large number of metabolites that are elevated in the hemolymph of aestivating snails, supporting their role in protecting against heat or desiccation. PMID:27318654

  19. Hypoxia Induces a Prothrombotic State Independently of the Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Ninivaggi, Marisa; de Laat, Marieke; Lancé, Marcus M. D.; Kicken, Cécile H.; Pelkmans, Leonie; Bloemen, Saartje; Dirks, Marlou L.; van Loon, Luc J. C.; Govers-Riemslag, José W. P.; Lindhout, Theo; Konings, Joke; de Laat, Bas

    2015-01-01

    Hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) is known to be associated with deep vein thrombosis and venous thromboembolism. We attempted to get a better comprehension of its mechanism by going to high altitude, thereby including the potential contributing role of physical activity. Two groups of 15 healthy individuals were exposed to hypoxia by going to an altitude of 3900 meters, either by climbing actively (active group) or transported passively by cable car (passive group). Both groups were tested for plasma fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor and factor VIII levels, fibrinolysis, thrombin generating capacity, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels and blood pressure. As a control for the passive group, 7 healthy volunteers stayed immobile in bed for 7 days at normoxic conditions. The heart rate increased and oxygen saturation levels decreased with increasing altitude. Fibrinolysis and fibrinogen levels were not affected. Factor VIII and von Willebrand factor levels levels increased significantly in the active group, but not in the passive group. Plasma thrombin generation remained unchanged in both the active and passive group with increasing altitude and during 7 days of immobility in healthy subjects. However, by applying whole blood thrombin generation, we found an increased peak height and endogenous thrombin potential, and a decreased lagtime and time-to-peak with increasing levels of hypoxia in both groups. In conclusion, by applying whole blood thrombin generation we demonstrated that hypoxia causes a prothrombotic state. As thrombin generation in plasma did not increase, our results suggest that the cellular part of the blood is involved in the prothrombotic phenotype induced by hypoxia. PMID:26516774

  20. Substrate-bound outward-open state of the betaine transporter BetP provides insights into Na+ coupling.

    PubMed

    Perez, Camilo; Faust, Belinda; Mehdipour, Ahmad Reza; Francesconi, Kevin A; Forrest, Lucy R; Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

    The Na(+)-coupled betaine symporter BetP shares a highly conserved fold with other sequence unrelated secondary transporters, for example, with neurotransmitter symporters. Recently, we obtained atomic structures of BetP in distinct conformational states, which elucidated parts of its alternating-access mechanism. Here, we report a structure of BetP in a new outward-open state in complex with an anomalous scattering substrate, adding a fundamental piece to an unprecedented set of structural snapshots for a secondary transporter. In combination with molecular dynamics simulations these structural data highlight important features of the sequential formation of the substrate and sodium-binding sites, in which coordinating water molecules play a crucial role. We observe a strictly interdependent binding of betaine and sodium ions during the coupling process. All three sites undergo progressive reshaping and dehydration during the alternating-access cycle, with the most optimal coordination of all substrates found in the closed state. PMID:25023443

  1. Insights into the Nature of the Exotic Fractional Quantum Hall States from Ultra-low Temperature Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csathy, Gabor

    2012-02-01

    It is believed that the ν=5/2 and 12/5 fractional quantum Hall states (FQHS) in the second Landau level of a two-dimensional electron gas support excitations with non-Abelian braiding statistics. Two outstanding questions concerning the nature of the both the odd and even denominator FQHS of the second Landau level as probed by transport measurements at temperatures as low as 5mK will be addressed. We report the discovery of a new odd denominator FQHS state at ν=2+6/13. The energy gaps of this and other states at ν=2+1/3, 2+2/3, and 2+2/5 reveal a markedly different dependence on the effective magnetic field as compared to that of the corresponding lowest Landau level states at 6/13, 1/3, 2/3, and 2/5. If, in addition, we assume a Landau level-independent effective mass, we find that the 7/3 and 8/3 states are consistent, whereas the 2+2/5 and the 2+6/13 states show a strong deviation from the predictions of the model of free composite fermions. For the even denominator states at ν=5/2 and 7/2 we extended measurements to the new regime of very low densities and to samples grown in two MBE chambers: one at Princeton and one at Purdue. Comparisons found in the literature of the experimentally measured intrinsic gaps at ν=5/2 with numerical results are confusing: three methods find a large difference whereas a fourth method finds a good agreement. Our data suggests that the former three methods have deficiencies and therefore cannot be used. Using the fourth and a new method we introduce we find an excellent agreement of the experimental and numerical intrinsic gaps at ν=5/2. These findings lend a strong support to the Pfaffian description of the ν=5/2 fractional state. Work done in collaboration with A. Kumar, N. Samkharadze, N. Deng, J. Watson, G. Gardner, M. Manfra, L. Pfeiffer, and K. West. G.A.C. has been supported by the NSF DMR-0907172 and DOE DE-SC0006671 grants.

  2. Hospital care and capacity in the tri-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio: analysis and insights.

    PubMed

    Burns, David J; Chinta, Ravi; Kashyap, Vishal; Manolis, Chris; Sen, Amit

    2008-01-01

    Hospitals are a significant part of the burgeoning healthcare sector in the United States (U.S.) economy. Despite the availability of what some describe as the world's best healthcare, the U.S. suffers from wide discrepancies in healthcare provision across hospitals and regions of the country. Specifically, capacity, utilization, quality, and even financial performance of hospitals vary widely. Based on secondary data from 533 hospitals in the adjoining states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, this study develops several comparative metrics that enable benchmarking, which, in turn, leads to several inferences and implications for hospital administrators. The paper concludes with implications for hospital administrators and suggestions for future research. PMID:19042547

  3. Glycosylation at Asn211 Regulates the Activation State of the Discoidin Domain Receptor 1 (DDR1)*

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Hsueh-Liang; Valiathan, Rajeshwari R.; Payne, Leo; Kumarasiri, Malika; Mahasenan, Kiran V.; Mobashery, Shahriar; Huang, Paul; Fridman, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) belongs to a unique family of receptor tyrosine kinases that signal in response to collagens. DDR1 undergoes autophosphorylation in response to collagen binding with a slow and sustained kinetics that is unique among members of the receptor tyrosine kinase family. DDR1 dimerization precedes receptor activation suggesting a structural inhibitory mechanism to prevent unwarranted phosphorylation. However, the mechanism(s) that maintains the autoinhibitory state of the DDR1 dimers is unknown. Here, we report that N-glycosylation at the Asn211 residue plays a unique role in the control of DDR1 dimerization and autophosphorylation. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we found that mutations that disrupt the conserved 211NDS N-glycosylation motif, but not other N-glycosylation sites (Asn260, Asn371, and Asn394), result in collagen I-independent constitutive phosphorylation. Mass spectrometry revealed that the N211Q mutant undergoes phosphorylation at Tyr484, Tyr520, Tyr792, and Tyr797. The N211Q traffics to the cell surface, and its ectodomain displays collagen I binding with an affinity similar to that of the wild-type DDR1 ectodomain. However, unlike the wild-type receptor, the N211Q mutant exhibits enhanced receptor dimerization and sustained activation upon ligand withdrawal. Taken together, these data suggest that N-glycosylation at the highly conserved 211NDS motif evolved to act as a negative repressor of DDR1 phosphorylation in the absence of ligand. The presence of glycan moieties at that site may help to lock the collagen-binding domain in the inactive state and prevent unwarranted signaling by receptor dimers. These studies provide a novel insight into the structural mechanisms that regulate DDR activation. PMID:24509848

  4. What should be the roles of conscious States and brain States in theories of mental activity?

    PubMed

    Dulany, Donelson E

    2011-01-01

    Answers to the title's question have been influenced by a history in which an early science of consciousness was rejected by behaviourists on the argument that this entails commitment to ontological dualism and "free will" in the sense of indeterminism. This is, however, a confusion of theoretical assertions with metaphysical assertions. Nevertheless, a legacy within computational and information-processing views of mind rejects or de-emphasises a role for consciousness. This paper sketches a mentalistic metatheory in which conscious states are the sole carriers of symbolic representations, and thus have a central role in the explanation of mental activity and action-while specifying determinism and materialism as useful working assumptions. A mentalistic theory of causal learning, experimentally examined with phenomenal reports, is followed by examination of these questions: Are there common roles for phenomenal reports and brain imaging? Is there defensible evidence for unconscious brain states carrying symbolic representations? Are there interesting dissociations within consciousness? PMID:21694964

  5. Altered insula activation in anticipation of changing emotional states: neural mechanisms underlying cognitive flexibility in Special Operations Forces personnel.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Alan N; Fitzpatrick, Summer; Strigo, Irina A; Potterat, Eric G; Johnson, Douglas C; Matthews, Scott C; Orden, Karl F Van; Swain, Judith L; Paulus, Martin P

    2012-03-01

    Individuals who perform optimally in extreme conditions, such as elite military warriors, can provide valuable insight into the neurobehavioral mechanisms underlying extraordinary performance. In the current study, we examined the degree to which Navy SEALs, when compared with healthy volunteers, could show more right anterior insula activation when shifting from anticipating one emotion to another during functional MRI. Consistent with our hypothesis, SEALs showed attenuated insula activation to negative image relative to positive image anticipation and greater right anterior insula activation during affective set-shifting. These findings suggest that elite warriors show combined (a) minimal reactivity during negative stimuli and (b) an enhanced ability to efficiently change their physiological state. These neural changes may underlie their ability to perform well in stressful situations. PMID:22222502

  6. The Effect of Cellulose Crystal Structure and Solid-State Morphology on the Activity of Cellulases

    SciTech Connect

    Stipanovic, Arthur J

    2014-11-17

    Consistent with the US-DOE and USDA “Roadmap” objective of producing ethanol and chemicals from cellulosic feedstocks more efficiently, a three year research project entitled “The Effect of Cellulose Crystal Structure and Solid-State Morphology on the Activity of Cellulases” was initiated in early 2003 under DOE sponsorship (Project Number DE-FG02-02ER15356). A three year continuation was awarded in June 2005 for the period September 15, 2005 through September 14, 2008. The original goal of this project was to determine the effect of cellulose crystal structure, including allomorphic crystalline form (Cellulose I, II, III, IV and sub-allomorphs), relative degree of crystallinity and crystallite size, on the activity of different types of genetically engineered cellulase enzymes to provide insight into the mechanism and kinetics of cellulose digestion by “pure” enzymes rather than complex mixtures. We expected that such information would ultimately help enhance the accessibility of cellulose to enzymatic conversion processes thereby creating a more cost-effective commercial process yielding sugars for fermentation into ethanol and other chemical products. Perhaps the most significant finding of the initial project phase was that conversion of native bacterial cellulose (Cellulose I; BC-I) to the Cellulose II (BC-II) crystal form by aqueous NaOH “pretreatment” provided an increase in cellulase conversion rate approaching 2-4 fold depending on enzyme concentration and temperature, even when initial % crystallinity values were similar for both allomorphs.

  7. Metabolomic profiling in Selaginella lepidophylla at various hydration states provides new insights into the mechanistic basis of desiccation tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selaginella lepidophylla is one of only a few species of spike mosses (Selaginellaceae) that have evolved desiccation tolerance (DT) or the ability to ‘resurrect’ from an air-dried state. In order to understand the metabolic basis of DT, S. lepidophylla was subjected to a five-stage, rehydration/de...

  8. New Insights into Mutable Collagenous Tissue: Correlations between the Microstructure and Mechanical State of a Sea-Urchin Ligament

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Ana R.; Barbaglio, Alice; Benedetto, Cristiano D.; Ribeiro, Cristina C.; Wilkie, Iain C.; Carnevali, Maria D. C.; Barbosa, Mário A.

    2011-01-01

    The mutable collagenous tissue (MCT) of echinoderms has the ability to undergo rapid and reversible changes in passive mechanical properties that are initiated and modulated by the nervous system. Since the mechanism of MCT mutability is poorly understood, the aim of this work was to provide a detailed morphological analysis of a typical mutable collagenous structure in its different mechanical states. The model studied was the compass depressor ligament (CDL) of a sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), which was characterized in different functional states mimicking MCT mutability. Transmission electron microscopy, histochemistry, cryo-scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy, and field emission gun-environmental scanning electron microscopy were used to visualize CDLs at the micro- and nano-scales. This investigation has revealed previously unreported differences in both extracellular and cellular constituents, expanding the current knowledge of the relationship between the organization of the CDL and its mechanical state. Scanning electron microscopies in particular provided a three-dimensional overview of CDL architecture at the micro- and nano-scales, and clarified the micro-organization of the ECM components that are involved in mutability. Further evidence that the juxtaligamental cells are the effectors of these changes in mechanical properties was provided by a correlation between their cytology and the tensile state of the CDLs. PMID:21935473

  9. Insights into the Spin-State Transitions in [Fe(tpy)2]2+: Importance of the Terpyridine Rocking Motion.

    PubMed

    Nance, James; Bowman, David N; Mukherjee, Sriparna; Kelley, C T; Jakubikova, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Iron(II) polypyridine complexes have the potential for numerous applications on a global scale, such as sensitizers, sensors, and molecular memory. The excited-state properties of these systems, particularly the intersystem crossing (ISC) rates, are sensitive to the choice of ligands and can be significantly altered depending on the coordination environment. We employ density functional theory and Smolyak's sparse grid interpolation algorithm to construct potential energy surfaces (PESs) for the photophysically relevant states ((1)A, (3,5)MC, and (1,3)MLCT) of the [Fe(tpy)2](2+) (tpy = 2,2':6',2"-terpyridine) complex, with the goal of obtaining a deeper understanding of the ground- and excited-state electronic structure of this system. The three dimensions that define our adiabatic PESs consist of equatorial and axial metal-ligand bond length distortions and a terpyridine ligand "rocking angle", which has not previously been investigated. The intersection crossing seams and minimum energy crossing points (MECPs) between surfaces are also determined. Overall, we find that the PESs of all electronic excited states investigated are characterized by low-energy valleys along the tpy rocking-angle coordinate. This results in the presence of large low-energy areas around the MECPs on the intersection seams of different electronic states and indicates that inclusion of this third coordinate is crucial for an adequate description of the PESs and surface crossing seams of the [Fe(tpy)2](2+) complex. Finally, we suggest that tuning the energetics of the tpy ligand rocking motion could provide a way to control the ISC process in this complex. PMID:26569373

  10. Passive resting state and history of antagonist muscle activity shape active extensions in an insect limb.

    PubMed

    Ache, Jan M; Matheson, Thomas

    2012-05-01

    Limb movements can be driven by muscle contractions, external forces, or intrinsic passive forces. For lightweight limbs like those of insects or small vertebrates, passive forces can be large enough to overcome the effects of gravity and may even generate limb movements in the absence of active muscle contractions. Understanding the sources and actions of such forces is therefore important in understanding motor control. We describe passive properties of the femur-tibia joint of the locust hind leg. The resting angle is determined primarily by passive properties of the relatively large extensor tibiae muscle and is influenced by the history of activation of the fast extensor tibiae motor neuron. The resting angle is therefore better described as a history-dependent resting state. We selectively stimulated different flexor tibiae motor neurons to generate a range of isometric contractions of the flexor tibiae muscle and then stimulated the fast extensor tibiae motor neuron to elicit active tibial extensions. Residual forces in the flexor muscle have only a small effect on subsequent active extensions, but the effect is larger for distal than for proximal flexor motor neurons and varies with the strength of flexor activation. We conclude that passive properties of a lightweight limb make substantial and complex contributions to the resting state of the limb that must be taken into account in the patterning of neuronal control signals driving its active movements. Low variability in the effects of the passive forces may permit the nervous system to accurately predict their contributions to behavior. PMID:22357791

  11. Dimerization of the EphA1 receptor tyrosine kinase transmembrane domain: Insights into the mechanism of receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Chavent, Matthieu; Chetwynd, Alan P; Stansfeld, Phillip J; Sansom, Mark S P

    2014-10-28

    EphA1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that plays a key role in developmental processes, including guidance of the migration of axons and cells in the nervous system. EphA1, in common with other RTKs, contains an N-terminal extracellular domain, a single transmembrane (TM) α-helix, and a C-terminal intracellular kinase domain. The TM helix forms a dimer, as seen in recent NMR studies. We have modeled the EphA1 TM dimer using a multiscale approach combining coarse-grain (CG) and atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The one-dimensional potential of mean force (PMF) for this system, based on interhelix separation, has been calculated using CG MD simulations. This provides a view of the free energy landscape for helix-helix interactions of the TM dimer in a lipid bilayer. The resulting PMF profiles suggest two states, consistent with a rotation-coupled activation mechanism. The more stable state corresponds to a right-handed helix dimer interacting via an N-terminal glycine zipper motif, consistent with a recent NMR structure (2K1K). A second metastable state corresponds to a structure in which the glycine zipper motif is not involved. Analysis of unrestrained CG MD simulations based on representative models from the PMF calculations or on the NMR structure reveals possible pathways of interconversion between these two states, involving helix rotations about their long axes. This suggests that the interaction of TM helices in EphA1 dimers may be intrinsically dynamic. This provides a potential mechanism for signaling whereby extracellular events drive a shift in the repopulation of the underlying TM helix dimer energy landscape. PMID:25286141

  12. Structural Insights into the HWE Histidine Kinase Family: The Brucella Blue Light-Activated Histidine Kinase Domain.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Jimena; Arrar, Mehrnoosh; Sycz, Gabriela; Cerutti, María Laura; Berguer, Paula M; Paris, Gastón; Estrín, Darío Ariel; Martí, Marcelo Adrián; Klinke, Sebastián; Goldbaum, Fernando Alberto

    2016-03-27

    In response to light, as part of a two-component system, the Brucella blue light-activated histidine kinase (LOV-HK) increases its autophosphorylation, modulating the virulence of this microorganism. The Brucella histidine kinase (HK) domain belongs to the HWE family, for which there is no structural information. The HWE family is exclusively present in proteobacteria and usually coupled to a wide diversity of light sensor domains. This work reports the crystal structure of the Brucella HK domain, which presents two different dimeric assemblies in the asymmetric unit: one similar to the already described canonical parallel homodimers (C) and the other, an antiparallel non-canonical (NC) dimer, each with distinct relative subdomain orientations and dimerization interfaces. Contrary to these crystallographic structures and unlike other HKs, in solution, the Brucella HK domain is monomeric and still active, showing an astonishing instability of the dimeric interface. Despite this instability, using cross-linking experiments, we show that the C dimer is the functionally relevant species. Mutational analysis demonstrates that the autophosphorylation activity occurs in cis. The different relative subdomain orientations observed for the NC and C states highlight the large conformational flexibility of the HK domain. Through the analysis of these alternative conformations by means of molecular dynamics simulations, we also propose a catalytic mechanism for Brucella LOV-HK. PMID:26851072

  13. Active output state of the Synechococcus Kai circadian oscillator

    PubMed Central

    Paddock, Mark L.; Boyd, Joseph S.; Adin, Dawn M.; Golden, Susan S.

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms by which cellular oscillators keep time and transmit temporal information are poorly understood. In cyanobacteria, the timekeeping aspect of the circadian oscillator, composed of the KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC proteins, involves a cyclic progression of phosphorylation states at Ser431 and Thr432 of KaiC. Elucidating the mechanism that uses this temporal information to modulate gene expression is complicated by unknowns regarding the number, structure, and regulatory effects of output components. To identify oscillator signaling states without a complete description of the output machinery, we defined a simple metric, Kai-complex output activity (KOA), that represents the difference in expression of reporter genes between strains that carry specific variants of KaiC and baseline strains that lack KaiC. In the absence of the oscillator, expression of the class 1 paradigm promoter PkaiBC was locked at its usual peak level; conversely, that of the class 2 paradigm promoter PpurF was locked at its trough level. However, for both classes of promoters, peak KOA in wild-type strains coincided late in the circadian cycle near subjective dawn, when KaiC-pST becomes most prevalent (Ser431 is phosphorylated and Thr432 is not). Analogously, peak KOA was detected specifically for the phosphomimetic of KaiC-pST (KaiC-ET). Notably, peak KOA required KaiB, indicating that a KaiBC complex is involved in the output activity. We also found evidence that phosphorylated RpaA (regulator of phycobilisome associated) represses an RpaA-independent output of KOA. A simple mathematical expression successfully simulated two key features of the oscillator—the time of peak KOA and the peak-to-trough amplitude changes. PMID:24043774

  14. Capturing state-dependent dynamic events of GABAA-receptors: a microscopic look into the structural and functional insights.

    PubMed

    Payghan, Pavan V; Bera, Indrani; Bhattacharyya, Dhananjay; Ghoshal, Nanda

    2016-08-01

    The γ-amino butyric acid type A receptors (GABAA-Rs) are the key players in the mammalian brain that meditate fast inhibitory neurotransmission events. The structural integrity of these ligand-gated ion channel controls chloride ion permeability, which in turn monitors important pharmacological functions. Despite ample studies on GABAA-Rs, there was a need for a study on full-length receptor structures, devoted to track structure-function correlations based on their dynamic behavior consideration. We have employed molecular dynamics simulations accompanied by other biophysical methods to shed light on sequential and unaddressed questions like How GABAA-R structure facilitates the entry of GABA molecules at its two orthosteric binding sites? After entry, what structural features and changes monitor site-wise GABA binding differences? In the same context, what are the roles and responsibilities of loops such as C and F? On physiologically relevant time scales, how open to close state transition occurs? How salt bridges such as E155-R207 and E153-R207 maintain state-dependent C-loop structures? In an attempt, our simulation study unravels the complete course of GABA binding-unbinding pathway. This provides us with the relevant understanding of state-dependent dynamic events of GABAA-Rs. PMID:26372345

  15. Low-dimensional dynamics of resting-state cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Mehrkanoon, Saeid; Breakspear, Michael; Boonstra, Tjeerd W

    2014-05-01

    Endogenous brain activity supports spontaneous human thought and shapes perception and behavior. Connectivity-based analyses of endogenous, or resting-state, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data have revealed the existence of a small number of robust networks which have a rich spatial structure. Yet the temporal information within fMRI data is limited, motivating the complementary analysis of electrophysiological recordings such as electroencephalography (EEG). Here we provide a novel method based on multivariate time-frequency interdependence to reconstruct the principal resting-state network dynamics in human EEG data. The stability of network expression across subjects is assessed using resampling techniques. We report the presence of seven robust networks, with distinct topographic organizations and high frequency (∼ 5-45 Hz) fingerprints, nested within slow temporal sequences that build up and decay over several orders of magnitude. Interestingly, all seven networks are expressed concurrently during these slow dynamics, although there is a temporal asymmetry in the pattern of their formation and dissolution. These analyses uncover the complex temporal character of endogenous cortical fluctuations and, in particular, offer an opportunity to reconstruct the low dimensional linear subspace in which they unfold. PMID:24104726

  16. GG high accuracy test of the equivalence principle: state of the art, laboratory prototype and new insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobili, Anna M.; Pegna, Raffaello; Comandi, Gian Luca; Bramanti, Donato; Anselmi, Alberto; Catastini, Giuseppe

    The GG ("Galileo Galilei") satellite experiment aims to test the Equivalence Principle (EP) to 10-17 , an extremely ambitious goal (due to improve current best results by 4 orders of magnitude) that should tell us in a clear cut way whether we are in the presence of a new long-range physical interaction (violation) or not (confirmation). Either way, it would be a major result. An end-to-end space experiment simulator was constructed at TAS-I based on GOCE simulator and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) funding. The resulting error budget is consistent with the mission goal, which can be realized in 4 years from the start of Phase B. In the lab, a full scale prototype has provided a 25 days continuous run with a sensitivity -in the field of the Sun, hence at diurnal frequency- of a few nanometers in the relative displacement of the proof masses, to be compared with the picometer level required in space for GG to achieve its goal. A passive suspended prototype is under completion in order to reduce ground platform noise by means of an appropriate cardanic suspension which has now been proved to be able to reduce diurnal terrain noise by a factor 104 . The crucial issue of thermal noise has been recently revisited and a major new insight has come thanks to M. Shao (JPL): in GG, by up-converting the frequency of an EP violation signal in the field of the Earth from its (low) orbital frequency of 1.7 · 10-4 Hz to the (high) rotation/modulation frequency of 1Hz -the highest ever in EP experiments- proof mass thermal noise is reduced by orders of magnitude, as the ratio of these frequencies squared. Instead, cooling the experiment to superfluid He temperature would only reduce thermal noise by a factor 10. This is a feature unique to GG. It now appears that, if equipped with an intrinsic differential transducer such as a SIM like laser gauge, GG may indeed aim to an EP test to 10-18 . The end-to-end GG simulator built at TAS-I in 2009 during GG Phase A-2 study is the

  17. Membrane Mediated Antimicrobial and Antitumor Activity of Cathelicidin 6: Structural Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation on Multi-Microsecond Scale

    PubMed Central

    Sahoo, Bikash Ranjan; Fujiwara, Toshimichi

    2016-01-01

    The cathelicidin derived bovine antimicrobial peptide BMAP27 exhibits an effective microbicidal activity and moderate cytotoxicity towards erythrocytes. Irrespective of its therapeutic and multidimensional potentiality, the structural studies are still elusive. Moreover, the mechanism of BMAP27 mediated pore formation in heterogeneous lipid membrane systems is poorly explored. Here, we studied the effect of BMAP27 in model cell-membrane systems such as zwitterionic, anionic, thymocytes-like (TLM) and leukemia-like membranes (LLM) by performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulation longer than 100 μs. All-atom MD studies revealed a stable helical conformation in the presence of anionic lipids, however, significant loss of helicity was identified in TLM and zwitterionic systems. A peptide tilt (~45˚) and central kink (at residue F10) was found in anionic and LLM models, respectively, with an average membrane penetration of < 0.5 nm. Coarse-grained (CG) MD analysis on a multi-μs scale shed light on the membrane-dependent peptide and lipid organization. Stable micelle and end-to-end like oligomers were formed in zwitterionic and TLM models, respectively. In contrast, unstable oligomer formation and monomeric BMAP27 penetration were observed in anionic and LLM systems with selective anionic lipid aggregation (in LLM). Peptide penetration up to ~1.5 nm was observed in CG-MD systems with the BMAP27 C-terminal oriented towards the bilayer core. Structural inspection suggested membrane penetration by micelle/end-to-end like peptide oligomers (carpet-model like) in the zwitterionic/TLM systems, and transmembrane-mode (toroidal-pore like) in the anionic/LLM systems, respectively. Structural insights and energetic interpretation in BMAP27 mutant highlighted the role of F10 and hydrophobic residues in mediating a membrane-specific peptide interaction. Free energy profiling showed a favorable (-4.58 kcal mol-1 for LLM) and unfavorable (+0.17 kcal mol-1 for TLM) peptide insertion

  18. Spectroscopic and computational insight into the activation of O2 by the mononuclear Cu center in polysaccharide monooxygenases

    PubMed Central

    Kjaergaard, Christian H.; Qayyum, Munzarin F.; Wong, Shaun D.; Xu, Feng; Hemsworth, Glyn R.; Walton, Daniel J.; Young, Nigel A.; Davies, Gideon J.; Walton, Paul H.; Johansen, Katja Salomon; Hodgson, Keith O.; Hedman, Britt; Solomon, Edward I.

    2014-01-01

    Strategies for O2 activation by copper enzymes were recently expanded to include mononuclear Cu sites, with the discovery of the copper-dependent polysaccharide monooxygenases, also classified as auxiliary-activity enzymes 9–11 (AA9-11). These enzymes are finding considerable use in industrial biofuel production. Crystal structures of polysaccharide monooxygenases have emerged, but experimental studies are yet to determine the solution structure of the Cu site and how this relates to reactivity. From X-ray absorption near edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopies, we observed a change from four-coordinate Cu(II) to three-coordinate Cu(I) of the active site in solution, where three protein-derived nitrogen ligands coordinate the Cu in both redox states, and a labile hydroxide ligand is lost upon reduction. The spectroscopic data allowed for density functional theory calculations of an enzyme active site model, where the optimized Cu(I) and (II) structures were consistent with the experimental data. The O2 reactivity of the Cu(I) site was probed by EPR and stopped-flow absorption spectroscopies, and a rapid one-electron reduction of O2 and regeneration of the resting Cu(II) enzyme were observed. This reactivity was evaluated computationally, and by calibration to Cu-superoxide model complexes, formation of an end-on Cu-AA9-superoxide species was found to be thermodynamically favored. We discuss how this thermodynamically difficult one-electron reduction of O2 is enabled by the unique protein structure where two nitrogen ligands from His1 dictate formation of a T-shaped Cu(I) site, which provides an open coordination position for strong O2 binding with very little reorganization energy. PMID:24889637

  19. Spectroscopic and computational insight into the activation of O2 by the mononuclear Cu center in polysaccharide monooxygenases.

    PubMed

    Kjaergaard, Christian H; Qayyum, Munzarin F; Wong, Shaun D; Xu, Feng; Hemsworth, Glyn R; Walton, Daniel J; Young, Nigel A; Davies, Gideon J; Walton, Paul H; Johansen, Katja Salomon; Hodgson, Keith O; Hedman, Britt; Solomon, Edward I

    2014-06-17

    Strategies for O2 activation by copper enzymes were recently expanded to include mononuclear Cu sites, with the discovery of the copper-dependent polysaccharide monooxygenases, also classified as auxiliary-activity enzymes 9-11 (AA9-11). These enzymes are finding considerable use in industrial biofuel production. Crystal structures of polysaccharide monooxygenases have emerged, but experimental studies are yet to determine the solution structure of the Cu site and how this relates to reactivity. From X-ray absorption near edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopies, we observed a change from four-coordinate Cu(II) to three-coordinate Cu(I) of the active site in solution, where three protein-derived nitrogen ligands coordinate the Cu in both redox states, and a labile hydroxide ligand is lost upon reduction. The spectroscopic data allowed for density functional theory calculations of an enzyme active site model, where the optimized Cu(I) and (II) structures were consistent with the experimental data. The O2 reactivity of the Cu(I) site was probed by EPR and stopped-flow absorption spectroscopies, and a rapid one-electron reduction of O2 and regeneration of the resting Cu(II) enzyme were observed. This reactivity was evaluated computationally, and by calibration to Cu-superoxide model complexes, formation of an end-on Cu-AA9-superoxide species was found to be thermodynamically favored. We discuss how this thermodynamically difficult one-electron reduction of O2 is enabled by the unique protein structure where two nitrogen ligands from His1 dictate formation of a T-shaped Cu(I) site, which provides an open coordination position for strong O2 binding with very little reorganization energy. PMID:24889637

  20. Redox state of subcontinental lithospheric mantle and relationships with metasomatism: insights from spinel peridotites from northern Victoria Land (Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perinelli, Cristina; Andreozzi, Giovanni B.; Conte, Aida M.; Oberti, Roberta; Armienti, Pietro

    2012-12-01

    Rift-related Cenozoic alkaline mafic lavas from northern Victoria Land (Antarctica) carry abundant mantle xenoliths whose oxygen fugacities ( fO2) were determined to assess how the metasomatism, related to Cenozoic magmatism, affected the state of oxidation of the lithospheric mantle. The xenoliths used for this study are anhydrous spinel peridotites sampled in two localities, Greene Point and Baker Rocks, that show different extents of metasomatism: these are limited to incompatible element enrichments in Greene Point and to enrichments in major, minor and trace elements at Baker Rocks. The data set includes a composite xenolith from Baker Rocks, formed by a depleted lherzolite crosscut by an amphibole-bearing vein. Mössbauer spectroscopy was used to accurately determine the Fe3+/Fetot ratios in spinel and amphibole minerals. Amphiboles were also characterized by Single-Crystal X-ray Diffraction, and the crystallographic data were used to calculate the dehydrogenation. The oxidation state recorded by the xenoliths ranges from 0.2 to 1.5 log-bar units below the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) buffer (Δlog fO2) with the highest values observed in the metasomatized samples from Greene Point. For the vein of composite Baker Rocks xenolith, Δlog fO2 was estimated on the basis of the amphibole in -1.7 log-bar units, a value close to those calculated for all Baker Rocks xenoliths (Δlog fO2 = -1.5 to -1.1 log-bar units). These results indicate a similar oxidation state for lithospheric mantle prior to the metasomatic event at Greene Point and Baker Rocks (Δlog fO2 ~ -1.3 log-bar units). Metasomatism produced different effects in the shallow mantle at the two sites. At Greene Point, an oxidizing metasomatic melt caused the rise of fO2 in peridotite portions close to melt conduits up to FMQ. In contrast, at Baker Rocks, a metasomatizing melt with fO2 similar to that of the peridotite matrix produced chemical changes in the surrounding mantle rocks and amphibole

  1. On-line, adaptive state estimator for active noise control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lim, Tae W.

    1994-01-01

    Dynamic characteristics of airframe structures are expected to vary as aircraft flight conditions change. Accurate knowledge of the changing dynamic characteristics is crucial to enhancing the performance of the active noise control system using feedback control. This research investigates the development of an adaptive, on-line state estimator using a neural network concept to conduct active noise control. In this research, an algorithm has been developed that can be used to estimate displacement and velocity responses at any locations on the structure from a limited number of acceleration measurements and input force information. The algorithm employs band-pass filters to extract from the measurement signal the frequency contents corresponding to a desired mode. The filtered signal is then used to train a neural network which consists of a linear neuron with three weights. The structure of the neural network is designed as simple as possible to increase the sampling frequency as much as possible. The weights obtained through neural network training are then used to construct the transfer function of a mode in z-domain and to identify modal properties of each mode. By using the identified transfer function and interpolating the mode shape obtained at sensor locations, the displacement and velocity responses are estimated with reasonable accuracy at any locations on the structure. The accuracy of the response estimates depends on the number of modes incorporated in the estimates and the number of sensors employed to conduct mode shape interpolation. Computer simulation demonstrates that the algorithm is capable of adapting to the varying dynamic characteristics of structural properties. Experimental implementation of the algorithm on a DSP (digital signal processing) board for a plate structure is underway. The algorithm is expected to reach the sampling frequency range of about 10 kHz to 20 kHz which needs to be maintained for a typical active noise control

  2. Water-temperature data acquisition activities in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pauszek, F.H.

    1972-01-01

    Water Data Coordination, U.S. Geological Survey, and published in the "Catalog of Information on Water Data, Index to Water Quality Section, Edition 1970." This is one of four indexes, each of which is a separate section of the Catalog. Three of the indexes, "Index to Water-Quality Section," "Index to Surface-Water Section," and "Index to Ground-.Water Stations," contain information on data acquired on a recurrent basis at specific locations for a period of 3 years or more. The fourth section, "Index to Areal Investigations and Miscellaneous Activities," is concerned with specific projects or shorter-term data activities that involve field or laboratory measurements or observations not included in any other section of the Catalog. The Catalog is a record of activities throughout the country (and in some places along the international border between the United States and Canada) conducted by Federal and non-Federal agencies engaged in the acquisition of water data and who furnish such information for presentation in the Catalog. The Catalog itself is an outgrowth of an assignment to the Department of the Interior and in turn to the Geological Survey, by the Office of Management and Budget, through the medium of OMB Circular A-67. This Circular states in part that one of the assigned responsibilities will be maintenance of a "central catalog of information on...water data and on Federal activities being planned or conducted to acquire such data." As an extension of this activity, non-Federal agencies are solicited to participate in the program. In this report, information is presented by means of tables and illustrations preceded by brief explanations. It includes the agencies collecting the data, the number of stations located on surface and ground waters where temperature measurements are made, the distribution of stations by States and by the 21 regions of the Water Resources Council (WRC) (a Federal agency created in accordance with the Water Resources Planning Act of

  3. Self-assembly of PEGylated tetra-phenylalanine derivatives: structural insights from solution and solid state studies

    PubMed Central

    Diaferia, Carlo; Mercurio, Flavia Anna; Giannini, Cinzia; Sibillano, Teresa; Morelli, Giancarlo; Leone, Marilisa; Accardo, Antonella

    2016-01-01

    Water soluble fibers of PEGylated tetra-phenylalanine (F4), chemically modified at the N-terminus with the DOTA chelating agent, have been proposed as innovative contrast agent (CA) in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) upon complexation of the gadolinium ion. An in-depth structural characterization of PEGylated F4-fibers, in presence (DOTA-L6-F4) and in absence of DOTA (L6-F4), is reported in solution and at the solid state, by a multiplicity of techniques including CD, FTIR, NMR, DLS, WAXS and SAXS. This study aims to better understand how the aggregation process influences the performance of nanostructures as MRI CAs. Critical aggregation concentrations for L6-F4 (43 μM) and DOTA-L6-F4 (75 μM) indicate that self-aggregation process occurs in the same concentration range, independently of the presence of the CA. The driving force for the aggregation is the π-stacking between the side chains of the aromatic framework. CD, FTIR and WAXS measurements indicate an antiparallel β-sheet organization of the monomers in the resulting fibers. Moreover, WAXS and FTIR experiments point out that in solution the nanomaterials retain the same morphology and monomer organizations of the solid state, although the addition of the DOTA chelating agent affects the size and the degree of order of the fibers. PMID:27220817

  4. Self-assembly of PEGylated tetra-phenylalanine derivatives: structural insights from solution and solid state studies.

    PubMed

    Diaferia, Carlo; Mercurio, Flavia Anna; Giannini, Cinzia; Sibillano, Teresa; Morelli, Giancarlo; Leone, Marilisa; Accardo, Antonella

    2016-01-01

    Water soluble fibers of PEGylated tetra-phenylalanine (F4), chemically modified at the N-terminus with the DOTA chelating agent, have been proposed as innovative contrast agent (CA) in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) upon complexation of the gadolinium ion. An in-depth structural characterization of PEGylated F4-fibers, in presence (DOTA-L6-F4) and in absence of DOTA (L6-F4), is reported in solution and at the solid state, by a multiplicity of techniques including CD, FTIR, NMR, DLS, WAXS and SAXS. This study aims to better understand how the aggregation process influences the performance of nanostructures as MRI CAs. Critical aggregation concentrations for L6-F4 (43 μM) and DOTA-L6-F4 (75 μM) indicate that self-aggregation process occurs in the same concentration range, independently of the presence of the CA. The driving force for the aggregation is the π-stacking between the side chains of the aromatic framework. CD, FTIR and WAXS measurements indicate an antiparallel β-sheet organization of the monomers in the resulting fibers. Moreover, WAXS and FTIR experiments point out that in solution the nanomaterials retain the same morphology and monomer organizations of the solid state, although the addition of the DOTA chelating agent affects the size and the degree of order of the fibers. PMID:27220817

  5. Estimability of recharge through groundwater model calibration: Insights from a field-scale steady-state example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowling, Matthew J.; Werner, Adrian D.

    2016-09-01

    The ability of groundwater models to inform recharge through calibration is hampered by the correlation between recharge and aquifer parameters such as hydraulic conductivity (K), and the insufficient information content of observation datasets. These factors collectively result in non-uniqueness of parameter estimates. Previous studies that jointly estimate spatially distributed recharge and hydraulic parameters are limited to synthetic test cases and/or do not evaluate the effect of non-uniqueness. The extent to which recharge can be informed by calibration is largely unknown for practical situations, in which complexities such as parameter heterogeneities are inherent. In this study, a systematic investigation of recharge, inferred through model calibration, is undertaken using a series of numerical experiments that include varying degrees of hydraulic parameter information. The analysis involves the use of a synthetic reality, based on a regional-scale, highly parameterised, steady-state groundwater model of Uley South Basin, South Australia. Parameter identifiability is assessed to evaluate the ability of parameters to be estimated uniquely. Results show that a reasonable inference of recharge (average recharge error <10%) requires a surprisingly large number of preferred value regularisation constraints (>100 K values across the 129 km2 study area). The introduction of pumping data into the calibration reduces error in both the average recharge and its spatial variability, whereas submarine groundwater discharge (as a calibration target) reduces average recharge error only. Nonetheless, the estimation of steady-state recharge through inverse modelling may be impractical for real-world settings, limited by the need for unrealistic amounts of hydraulic parameter and groundwater level data. This study provides a useful benchmark for evaluating the extent to which field-scale groundwater models can be used to inform recharge subject to practical data

  6. Nitrogen molecule activation by excited states of copper

    SciTech Connect

    Sanchez-Zamora, M.; Novaro, O.; Ruiz, M.E. )

    1990-04-05

    Ab initio molecular orbital studies that include variational (with a multiconfiguration reference state of 200 states) and perturbational (including over 3 million configurations) configuration interaction calculations were addressed to the interaction of nitrogen molecules with copper. The Cu ground state {sup 2}S and first two excited states {sup 2}P and {sup 2}D were studied as they interact in different geometrical approaches (including side-on and end-on geometries) with ground-state N{sub 2} molecules.

  7. Active Control of Sound Field Using State-Space Model and Feedback Control Theory: a Numerical Simulation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhen

    Active sound filed control techniques have received growing attention since they provide alternative solutions to low-frequency sound control, where the conventional passive methods have not been very successful. They have wide industrial and military applications such as noise reduction, room acoustics design, acoustic measurements, underwater acoustic camouflage, etc. An appropriate model of an acoustical system serves as the basis of control law synthesis and active control system design. A classical system model describes the dynamics of an acoustic system in a view of input/output relation through transfer functions. On the other hand, a time-domain based state-space model equivalently describes the system dynamics in terms of internal system variables and provides a direct physical insight of active control of sound. Furthermore, based on a state-space model, one can take advantage of modern control analysis and synthesis tools to design an optimal control system for broadband, global sound absorption. This thesis explores state-space feedback control in unbounded acoustic systems. State-space models are developed for unbounded one-dimensional acoustic systems using a finite-difference method with special boundary treatments. State feedback control algorithms including state estimations are developed using optimal control theory (LQG). Numerical simulation results of the closed-loop system responses demonstrate the optimal performance of active control systems considering the trade-off between the high reflection reduction and limited sensing/actuating power. Two numerical examples, an active underwater sound absorbing coating system, and an active noise control system in a duct, are studied. For the active underwater sound absorbing system, a feedback control system involving two sensors and one actuator is designed. Numerical simulation of the closed-loop response indicates a substantial and broadband reflection (echo) reduction for this design. A variety

  8. Insights into reactivity properties of the ground state structures of (CuS)x (x=1-7) using DFT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luque Ceballos, Jonathan; Posada Amarillas, Alvaro

    The extraordinary properties of nanoscale materials have generated an enormous interest in the study of nanomaterials, because of the difference of their properties as compared to the corresponding bulk materials. Polyatomic nanomaterials have become important in recent years, due to the possibility of synthesize new materials with similar or better physical and chemical properties, than those of the monoatomic materials, or with a lower cost, to be used in technological applications in medicine, biology, electronics, or catalysis. Among these materials, copper sulfide is one of the transition metal chalcogenides that exhibits different stoichiometric forms with crystal structure varying from orthogonal to hexagonal. In this work we obtained the ground state structures of cooper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS)x, x=1-7. The corresponding frontier orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) are analyzed, and different reactivity parameters are obtained. We also present the molecular electrostatic potential, which is used to determine the higher and lower electron density regions on the clusters' structure. All calculations were performed using the TZVP basis set for S and the Christianssen-Ermler pseudopotential for Cu, employing two different exchange-correlation functionals, PBE and PBE0.

  9. A Simulated Intermediate State for Folding and Aggregation Provides Insights into ΔN6 β2-Microglobulin Amyloidogenic Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Estácio, Sílvia G.; Krobath, Heinrich; Vila-Viçosa, Diogo; Machuqueiro, Miguel; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.; Faísca, Patrícia F. N.

    2014-01-01

    A major component of ex vivo amyloid plaques of patients with dialysis-related amyloidosis (DRA) is a cleaved variant of β2-microglobulin (ΔN6) lacking the first six N-terminal residues. Here we perform a computational study on ΔN6, which provides clues to understand the amyloidogenicity of the full-length β2-microglobulin. Contrary to the wild-type form, ΔN6 is able to efficiently nucleate fibrillogenesis in vitro at physiological pH. This behavior is enhanced by a mild acidification of the medium such as that occurring in the synovial fluid of DRA patients. Results reported in this work, based on molecular simulations, indicate that deletion of the N-terminal hexapeptide triggers the formation of an intermediate state for folding and aggregation with an unstructured strand A and a native-like core. Strand A plays a pivotal role in aggregation by acting as a sticky hook in dimer assembly. This study further predicts that the detachment of strand A from the core is maximized at pH 6.2 resulting into higher aggregation efficiency. The structural mapping of the dimerization interface suggests that Tyr10, His13, Phe30 and His84 are hot-spot residues in ΔN6 amyloidogenesis. PMID:24809460

  10. What Should Be the Roles of Conscious States and Brain States in Theories of Mental Activity?**

    PubMed Central

    Dulany, Donelson E.

    2011-01-01

    Answers to the title’s question have been influenced by a history in which an early science of consciousness was rejected by behaviourists on the argument that this entails commitment to ontological dualism and “free will” in the sense of indeterminism. This is, however, a confusion of theoretical assertions with metaphysical assertions. Nevertheless, a legacy within computational and information-processing views of mind rejects or de-emphasises a role for consciousness. This paper sketches a mentalistic metatheory in which conscious states are the sole carriers of symbolic representations, and thus have a central role in the explanation of mental activity and action-while specifying determinism and materialism as useful working assumptions. A mentalistic theory of causal learning, experimentally examined with phenomenal reports, is followed by examination of these questions: Are there common roles for phenomenal reports and brain imaging? Is there defensible evidence for unconscious brain states carrying symbolic representations? Are there interesting dissociations within consciousness? PMID:21694964

  11. Destination state screening of active spaces in spin dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzystyniak, M.; Edwards, Luke J.; Kuprov, Ilya

    2011-06-01

    We propose a novel avenue for state space reduction in time domain Liouville space spin dynamics simulations, using detectability as a selection criterion - only those states that evolve into or affect other detectable states are kept in the simulation. This basis reduction procedure (referred to as destination state screening) is formally exact and can be applied on top of the existing state space restriction techniques. As demonstrated below, in many cases this results in further reduction of matrix dimension, leading to considerable acceleration of many spin dynamics simulation types. Destination state screening is implemented in the latest version of the Spinach library (http://spindynamics.org).

  12. Local and Global Resting State Activity in the Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Pathway Modulated by Reboxetine and Amisulpride in Healthy Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Wiegers, Maike; Walter, Martin; Abler, Birgit; Graf, Heiko

    2016-01-01

    Background: Various psychiatric populations are currently investigated with resting state fMRI, with the aim of individualizing diagnostics and treatment options and improving treatment outcomes. Many of these studies are conducted in large naturalistic samples, providing rich insights regarding disease-related neural alterations, but with the common psychopharmacological medication limiting interpretations of the results. We therefore investigated the effects of common noradrenergic and anti-dopaminergic medications on local and global resting state activity (rs-activity) in healthy volunteers to further the understanding of the respective effects independent from disease-related alterations. Methods: Within a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, we investigated 19 healthy male subjects by resting state fMRI after the intake of reboxetine (4mg/d), amisulpride (200mg/d), and placebo for 7 days each. Treatment-related differences in local and global rs-activity were measured by the fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC). Results: fALFF revealed alterations of local rs-activity within regions of the core noradrenergic pathway, including the locus coeruleus under reboxetine, correlated with its plasma levels. Moreover, reboxetine led to increased rs-FC between regions within this pathway, i.e. the locus coeruleus, tectum, thalamus, and amygdala. Amisulpride modulated local rs-activity of regions within the dopaminergic pathway, with the altered signal in the putamen correlating with amisulpride plasma levels. Correspondingly, amisulpride increased rs-FC between regions of the dopaminergic pathway comprising the substantia nigra and putamen. Conclusion: Our data provide evidence of how psychopharmacological agents alter local and global rs-activity within the respective neuroanatomical pathways in healthy subjects, which may help with interpreting data in psychiatric

  13. Defect states at organic-inorganic interfaces: Insight from first principles calculations for pentaerythritol tetranitrate on MgO surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsyshevsky, Roman V.; Rashkeev, Sergey N.; Kuklja, Maija M.

    2015-07-01

    Light-responsive organic-inorganic interfaces offer experimental opportunities that are otherwise difficult to achieve. Since laser light can be manipulated very precisely, it becomes possible to engineer selective, predictive, and highly controlled interface properties. Photochemistry of organic-inorganic energetic interfaces is a rapidly emerging research field in which energy absorption and interface stability mechanisms have yet to be established. To explore the interaction of the laser irradiation with molecular materials, we performed first principle calculations of a prototype organic-inorganic interface between a nitroester (pentaerythritol tetranitrate, PETN, C5H8N4O12) and a magnesium oxide (MgO) surface. We found that the light absorption is defined by the band alignment between interface components and interfacial charge transfer coupled with electronic states in the band gap, generated by oxide surface defects. Hence the choice of an oxide substrate and its morphology makes the optical absorption tunable and governs both the energy accumulation and energy release at the interface. The obtained results offer a possible consistent interpretation of experiments on selective laser initiation of energetic materials, which reported that the presence of metal oxide additives triggered the photoinitiation by excitation energy much lower than the band gap. We suggest that PETN photodecomposition is catalyzed by oxygen vacancies (F0 centers) at the MgO surface. Our conclusions predict ways for a complete separation of thermo- and photo-stimulated interface chemistry of molecular materials, which is imperative for highly controllable fast decomposition and was not attainable before. The methodology described here can be applied to any type of molecular material/wide band gap dielectric interfaces. It provides a solid basis for novel design and targeted improvements of organic-inorganic interfaces with desired properties that promise to enable vastly new concepts

  14. Health Needs of HIV-Infected Women in the United States: Insights from The Women Living Positive Survey

    PubMed Central

    Hodder, Sally L.; Feinberg, Judith; Bridge, Dawn Averitt; Abrams, Staats; Storfer, Stephen P.; Aberg, Judith A.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The objective of this study was to describe attitudes, opinions, and perceived health needs of HIV-infected women in the United States. In this cross-sectional study, women were invited to participate in the Women Living Positive survey, a structured interview instrument with 45 questions. Collected data were deidentified and the margin of error was calculated as four percentage points. Incoming toll-free phone interviews were conducted from December 21, 2006, through March 14, 2007 among subjects recruited from a U.S. national network of AIDS counseling centers. Seven hundred HIV-infected women (43% African American, 28.5% Hispanic, 28.5% Caucasian; median age, 42.5 years) receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for 3 years or more replied to recruitment flyers. Overall, 55% of survey participants had never discussed gender-specific HIV treatment issues with their HIV care providers. Of the 45% who did discuss these issues, almost all (96%) were satisfied. On average, one-third of the women had seen three or more providers since beginning HIV treatment; 43% indicated they had switched providers because of communication issues. Among women who had been or were pregnant at the time of the survey (n=159), more than half (57%) had not had pre-pregnancy discussions with their HIV provider about the most appropriate HIV regimens for women attempting to become pregnant. Significant communication gaps exist between HIV-infected women and their providers when discussing gender-specific treatment issues. These data highlight a need for U.S. health care providers to incorporate discussion of gender-specific issues, including preconception and reproductive counseling, into management strategies for HIV-infected women. PMID:21446785

  15. P-wave tomography of the western United States: Insight into the Yellowstone hotspot and the Juan de Fuca slab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, You; Zhao, Dapeng

    2012-06-01

    We used 190,947 high-quality P-wave arrival times from 8421 local earthquakes and 1,098,022 precise travel-time residuals from 6470 teleseismic events recorded by the EarthScope/USArray transportable array to determine a detailed three-dimensional P-wave velocity model of the crust and mantle down to 1000 km depth under the western United States (US). Our tomography revealed strong heterogeneities in the crust and upper mantle under the western US. Prominent high-velocity anomalies are imaged beneath Idaho Batholith, central Colorado Plateau, Cascadian subduction zone, stable North American Craton, Transverse Ranges, and Southern Sierra Nevada. Prominent low-velocity anomalies are imaged at depths of 0-200 km beneath Snake River Plain, which may represent a small-scale convection beneath the western US. The low-velocity structure deviates variably from a narrow vertical plume conduit extending down to ˜1000 km depth, suggesting that the Yellowstone hotspot may have a lower-mantle origin. The Juan de Fuca slab is imaged as a dipping high-velocity anomaly under the western US. The slab geometry and its subducted depth vary in the north-south direction. In the southern parts the slab may have subducted down to >600 km depth. A "slab hole" is revealed beneath Oregon, which shows up as a low-velocity anomaly at depths of ˜100 to 300 km. The formation of the slab hole may be related to the Newberry magmatism. The removal of flat subducted Farallon slab may have triggered the vigorous magmatism in the Basin and Range and southern part of Rocky Mountains and also resulted in the uplift of the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains.

  16. Changing Schools: Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Policy and Planning (ED), Washington, DC.

    Over 1,000 communities in 45 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, are mobilized under the AMERICA 2000 banner to reach the 6 National Education Goals. This collection of papers, written by those who have wrestled with the process of school reform, offers useful insights to communities as they begin their process of transforming…

  17. Student Activity Packet for the California State Capitol Museum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2001

    This packet contains materials to help fourth and fifth grade teachers provide their students with background information for field trips to the California State Capitol Museum (Sacramento). The working museum focuses on the theme areas of California history, the state government/legislative process, and state symbols. The packet presents teacher…

  18. Sector Activities and Lessons Learned Around Initial Implementation of the United States National Physical Activity Plan

    PubMed Central

    Evenson, Kelly R.; Satinsky, Sara B.

    2016-01-01

    Background National plans are increasingly common but infrequently evaluated. The 2010 United States National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) provided strategies to increase population levels of physical activity. This paper describes (i) the initial accomplishments of the NPAP sector teams, and (ii) results from a process evaluation to determine how the sectors operated, their cross-sector collaboration, challenges encountered, and positive experiences. Methods During 2011, a quarterly reporting system was developed to capture sector-level activities. A year-end interview derived more detailed information. Interviews with 12 sector leads were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for common themes. Results The 6 sectors worked on goals from the implementation plan that focused broadly on education, promotion, intervention, policy, collaboration, and evaluation. Through year-end interviews, themes were generated around operations, goal setting, and cross-sector collaboration. Challenges to the NPAP work included lack of funding and time, the need for marketing and promotion, and organizational support. Positive experiences included collaboration, efficiency of work, enhanced community dynamic, and accomplishments toward NPAP goals. Conclusions These initial results on the NPAP sector teams can be used as a baseline assessment for future monitoring. The lessons learned may be useful to other practitioners developing evaluations around state- or national-level plans. PMID:24176800

  19. SOD Therapeutics: Latest Insights into Their Structure-Activity Relationships and Impact on the Cellular Redox-Based Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Tovmasyan, Artak; Roberts, Emily R. H.; Vujaskovic, Zeljko; Leong, Kam W.; Spasojevic, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes are indispensable and ubiquitous antioxidant defenses maintaining the steady-state levels of O2·−; no wonder, thus, that their mimics are remarkably efficacious in essentially any animal model of oxidative stress injuries thus far explored. Recent Advances: Structure-activity relationship (half-wave reduction potential [E1/2] versus log kcat), originally reported for Mn porphyrins (MnPs), is valid for any other class of SOD mimics, as it is dominated by the superoxide reduction and oxidation potential. The biocompatible E1/2 of ∼+300 mV versus normal hydrogen electrode (NHE) allows powerful SOD mimics as mild oxidants and antioxidants (alike O2·−) to readily traffic electrons among reactive species and signaling proteins, serving as fine mediators of redox-based signaling pathways. Based on similar thermodynamics, both SOD enzymes and their mimics undergo similar reactions, however, due to vastly different sterics, with different rate constants. Critical Issues: Although log kcat(O2·−) is a good measure of therapeutic potential of SOD mimics, discussions of their in vivo mechanisms of actions remain mostly of speculative character. Most recently, the therapeutic and mechanistic relevance of oxidation of ascorbate and glutathionylation and oxidation of protein thiols by MnP-based SOD mimics and subsequent inactivation of nuclear factor κB has been substantiated in rescuing normal and killing cancer cells. Interaction of MnPs with thiols seems to be, at least in part, involved in up-regulation of endogenous antioxidative defenses, leading to the healing of diseased cells. Future Directions: Mechanistic explorations of single and combined therapeutic strategies, along with studies of bioavailability and translational aspects, will comprise future work in optimizing redox-active drugs. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2372–2415. PMID:23875805

  20. Cysteine-to-Serine Mutants Dramatically Reorder the Active Site of Human ABO(H) Blood Group B Glycosyltransferase without Affecting Activity: Structural Insights into Cooperative Substrate Binding

    PubMed Central

    Schuman, Brock; Persson, Mattias; Landry, Roxanne C.; Polakowski, Robert; Weadge, Joel T.; Seto, Nina O. L.; Borisova, Svetlana N.; Palcic, Monica M.; Evans, Stephen V.

    2011-01-01

    A common feature in the structures of GT-A-fold-type glycosyltransferases is a mobile polypeptide loop that has been observed to participate in substrate recognition and enclose the active site upon substrate binding. This is the case for the human ABO(H) blood group B glycosyltransferase GTB, where amino acid residues 177–195 display significantly higher levels of disorder in the unliganded state than in the fully liganded state. Structural studies of mutant enzymes GTB/C80S/C196S and GTB/C80S/C196S/C209S at resolutions ranging from 1.93 to 1.40 Å display the opposite trend, where the unliganded structures show nearly complete ordering of the mobile loop residues that is lost upon substrate binding. In the liganded states of the mutant structures, while the UDP moiety of the donor molecule is observed to bind in the expected location, the galactose moiety is observed to bind in a conformation significantly different from that observed for the wild-type chimeric structures. Although this would be expected to impede catalytic turnover, the kinetics of the transfer reaction are largely unaffected. These structures demonstrate that the enzymes bind the donor in a conformation more similar to the dominant solution rotamer and facilitate its gyration into the catalytically competent form. Further, by preventing active-site closure, these structures provide a basis for recently observed cooperativity in substrate binding. Finally, the mutation of C80S introduces a fully occupied UDP binding site at the enzyme dimer interface that is observed to be dependent on the binding of H antigen acceptor analog. PMID:20655926

  1. Crystal Structure of the Human Ubiquitin-activating Enzyme 5 (UBA5) Bound to ATP Mechanistic Insights into a Minimalistic E1 Enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Bacik, John-Paul; Walker, John R.; Ali, Mohsin; Schimmer, Aaron D.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2010-08-30

    E1 ubiquitin-activating enzymes (UBAs) are large multidomain proteins that catalyze formation of a thioester bond between the terminal carboxylate of a ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like modifier (UBL) and a conserved cysteine in an E2 protein, producing reactive ubiquityl units for subsequent ligation to substrate lysines. Two important E1 reaction intermediates have been identified: a ubiquityl-adenylate phosphoester and a ubiquityl-enzyme thioester. However, the mechanism of thioester bond formation and its subsequent transfer to an E2 enzyme remains poorly understood. We have determined the crystal structure of the human UFM1 (ubiquitin-fold modifier 1) E1-activating enzyme UBA5, bound to ATP, revealing a structure that shares similarities with both large canonical E1 enzymes and smaller ancestral E1-like enzymes. In contrast to other E1 active site cysteines, which are in a variably sized domain that is separate and flexible relative to the adenylation domain, the catalytic cysteine of UBA5 (Cys{sup 250}) is part of the adenylation domain in an {alpha}-helical motif. The novel position of the UBA5 catalytic cysteine and conformational changes associated with ATP binding provides insight into the possible mechanisms through which the ubiquityl-enzyme thioester is formed. These studies reveal structural features that further our understanding of the UBA5 enzyme reaction mechanism and provide insight into the evolution of ubiquitin activation.

  2. Science insights.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2015-06-01

    "Below is an essay by Prof. Tanabe originally written in Japanese. It gives an insight to Prof. Tanabe's inquiring mind and his approach to science. He also seek, as always, to inspire and nudge the young to scientific discovery". PMID:25463310

  3. How active site protonation state influences the reactivity and ligation of the heme in chlorite dismutase

    PubMed Central

    Streit, Bennett R.; Blanc, Béatrice; Lukat-Rodgers, Gudrun S.; Rodgers, Kenton R.; DuBois, Jennifer L.

    2010-01-01

    Chlorite dismutase catalyzes O2 release from chlorite with exquisite efficiency and specificity. The spectroscopic properties, ligand binding affinities, and steady state kinetics of chlorite dismutase from Dechloromonas aromatica were examined over pH 3–11.5 to gain insight into how the protonation state of the heme environment influences dioxygen formation. An acid/base transition was observed by UV/visible and resonance Raman spectroscopy with a pKa of 8.7, 2–3 pH units below analogous transitions observed in typical His-ligated peroxidases. This transition marks the conversion of a five coordinate high spin Fe(III) to a mixed high/low spin ferric-hydroxide, as confirmed by resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy. The two Fe–OH stretching frequencies are quite low, consistent with a weak Fe–OH bond, despite the nearly neutral imidazole side chain of the proximal histidine ligand. The hydroxide is proposed to interact strongly with a distal H-bond donor, thereby weakening the Fe–OH bond. The rR spectra of Cld-CO as a function of pH reveal two forms of the complex, one in which there is minimal interaction of distal residues with the carbonyl oxygen and another, acidic form in which the oxygen is under the influence of positive charge. Recent crystallographic data reveal arginine 183 as the lone H-bond donating residue in the distal pocket. It is likely that this Arg is the strong, positively charged H-bond donor implicated by vibrational data to interact with exogenous axial heme ligands. The same Arg in its neutral (pKa ~ 6.5) form also appears to act as the active site base in binding reactions of protonated ligands, such as HCN, to ferric Cld. The steady state profile for the rate of chlorite decomposition is characterized by these same pKas. The 5 coordinate high spin acidic Cld is more active than the alkaline hydroxide-bound form. The acid form decomposes chlorite most efficiently when the distal Arg is protonated/cationic (maximum kcat = 2.0 (±0.6)

  4. Insights into induced earthquakes and aftershock activity with in-situ measurements of seismic velocity variations in an active underground mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenguier, F.; Olivier, G.; Campillo, M.; Roux, P.; Shapiro, N.; Lynch, R.

    2015-12-01

    The behaviour of the crust shortly after large earthquakes has been the subject of numerous studies, but many co- and post-seismic processes remain poorly understood. Damage and healing of the bulk rock mass, post-seismic deformation and the mechanisms of earthquake triggering are still not well understood. These processes are important to properly model and understand the behaviour of faults and earthquake cycles.In this presentation, we will show how in-situ measurements of seismic velocity variations have given new insights into these co- and post-seismic processes. An experiment was performed where a blast was detonated in a tunnel in an underground mine, while seismic velocity variations were accurately (0.005 %) measured with ambient seismic noise correlations. Additionally, aftershock activity was examined and the influence of the removal of a piece of solid rock was estimated with elastic static stress modelling. The majority of the aftershocks were delayed with respect to the passing of the dynamic waves from the blast, while the locations of the aftershocks appeared clustered and not homogeneously spread around the blast location. A significant velocity drop is visible during the time of the blast, which is interpreted as co-seismic damage and plastic deformation. These non-elastic effects are healed by the confining stresses over a period of 5 days until the seismic velocity converges to a new baseline level. The instantaneous weakening and gradual healing observed from the velocity variations are qualitatively similar to results reported in laboratory studies. The change in the baseline level of the seismic velocity before and after the blast indicate a change in the static stress that is comparable to the results of elastic static stress modelling. The differences between the elastic model predictions and the seismic velocity variations could be due to zones of fractured rock, indicated by the spatial clustering of the aftershocks, that are not

  5. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  6. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  7. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 30 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  8. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  9. Preparation and biological evaluation of synthetic and polymer-encapsulated congeners of the antitumor agent pactamycin: Insight into functional group effects and biological activity

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, Robert J.; Malinowski, Justin T.; Sorana, Federico; Luft, J. Christopher; Bowerman, Charles J.; DeSimone, Joseph M.; Johnson, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    The synthesis and biological analysis of a number of novel congeners of the aminocyclopentitol pactamycin is described. Specific attention was paid to the preparation of derivatives at crucial synthetic branch points of the parent structure, and biological assays revealed a number of insights into the source of pactamycin’s biological activity. Additionally, the encapsulation of pactamycin and select derivatives into the PRINT© nanoparticle technology was investigated as a proof-of-concept, and evidence of bioactivity modulation through nanoparticle delivery is demonstrated. This work has provided heretofore unrealized access to a large number of novel compounds for further evaluation. PMID:25792144

  10. Preparation and biological evaluation of synthetic and polymer-encapsulated congeners of the antitumor agent pactamycin: insight into functional group effects and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Robert J; Malinowski, Justin T; Sorana, Federico; Luft, J Christopher; Bowerman, Charles J; DeSimone, Joseph M; Johnson, Jeffrey S

    2015-04-15

    The synthesis and biological analysis of a number of novel congeners of the aminocyclopentitol pactamycin is described. Specific attention was paid to the preparation of derivatives at crucial synthetic branch points of the parent structure, and biological assays revealed a number of insights into the source of pactamycin's biological activity. Additionally, the encapsulation of pactamycin and select derivatives into the PRINT© nanoparticle technology was investigated as a proof-of-concept, and evidence of bioactivity modulation through nanoparticle delivery is demonstrated. This work has provided heretofore unrealized access to a large number of novel compounds for further evaluation. PMID:25792144

  11. On the Heat Stability of Amyloid-Based Biological Activity: Insights from Thermal Degradation of Insulin Fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Surmacz-Chwedoruk, Weronika; Malka, Iwona; Bożycki, Łukasz; Nieznańska, Hanna; Dzwolak, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    Formation of amyloid fibrils in vivo has been linked to disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and prion-associated transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. One of the characteristic features of amyloid fibrils is the high thermodynamic stability relative both to native and disordered states which is also thought to underlie the perplexingly remarkable heat resistance of prion infectivity. Here, we are comparing high-temperature degradation of native and fibrillar forms of human insulin. Decomposition of insulin amyloid has been studied under helium atmosphere and in the temperature range from ambient conditions to 750°C using thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry coupled to mass spectrometry. While converting native insulin into amyloid does upshift onset of thermal decomposition by ca. 75°C, fibrils remain vulnerable to covalent degradation at temperatures below 300°C, as reflected by mass spectra of gases released upon heating of amyloid samples, as well as morphology and infrared spectra of fibrils subjected to incubation at 250°C. Mass spectra profiles of released gases indicate that degradation of fibrils is much more cooperative than degradation of native insulin. The data show no evidence of water of crystallization trapped within insulin fibrils. We have also compared untreated and heated amyloid samples in terms of capacity to seed daughter fibrils. Kinetic traces of seed-induced insulin fibrillation have shown that the seeding potency of amyloid samples decreases significantly already after exposure to 200°C, even though corresponding electron micrographs indicated persisting fibrillar morphology. Our results suggest that amyloid-based biological activity may not survive extremely high temperature treatments, at least in the absence of other stabilizing factors. PMID:24466022

  12. Reap around the State: "Best of Reap" Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Indiana State Dept. of Education, Indianapolis. Learning Resources Unit.

    This booklet presents selected activities from elementary, middle, junior high, and senior high schools In Indiana, intended to encourage students to read. It offers ideas for 11 community activities (including guest readers, nursing home reading, and a young author celebration), 14 continuous activities (such as the great book graffiti wall and…

  13. Laser cleaning in conservation of stone, metal, and painted artifacts: state of the art and new insights on the use of the Nd:YAG lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siano, S.; Agresti, J.; Cacciari, I.; Ciofini, D.; Mascalchi, M.; Osticioli, I.; Mencaglia, A. A.

    2012-02-01

    In the present work the application of laser cleaning in the conservation of cultural assets is reviewed and some further developments on the interpretation of the associated laser-material interaction regimes are reported. Both the state of the art and new insights mainly focus on systematic approaches addressed to the solution of representative cleaning problems, including stone and metal artifacts along with wall and easel paintings. The innovative part is entirely dedicated to the extension of the application perspective of the Nd:YAG lasers by exploiting the significant versatility provided by their different pulse durations. Besides extensively discussing the specific conservation and physical problems involved in stone and metal cleaning, a significant effort was also made to explore the application potential for wall and easel paintings. The study of the latter was confined to preliminary irradiation tests carried out on prepared samples. We characterized the ablation phenomenology, optical properties, and photomechanical generation associated with the irradiation of optically absorbing varnishes using pulse durations of 10 and 120 ns. Further results concern the nature of the well-known problem of the yellowish appearance in stone cleaning, removal of biological growths and graffiti from stones, cleaning of bronze and iron artifacts and related aspects of laser conversion of unstable minerals, removal of calcareous stratification from wall paintings, and other features.

  14. New Insights of the Fenton Reaction Using Glycerol as the Experimental Model. Effect of O2, Inhibition by Mg(2+), and Oxidation State of Fe.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Arturo Alberto; Bernatene, Eduardo A; Vitale, Martín Gustavo; Pomilio, Alicia Beatriz

    2016-07-21

    The use of iron ions as catalyst of oxidation with hydrogen peroxide, known as the Fenton reaction, is important for industry and biological systems. It has been widely studied since its discovery in the 19th century, but important aspects of the reaction as which is the oxidant, the role of oxygen, and the oxidation state of Fe still remain unclear. In this work new mechanistic insights of the oxidation of carbohydrates by the Fenton reaction using glycerol as experimental model are described. The reaction was studied by means of oxidation reduction potential (ORP) measures. The stoichiometry was measured, showing the important role of oxygen for lowering H2O2 consumption under aerobic conditions. Evidence is provided to demonstrate that in this system Fe(2+) generates a catalyst by reacting with a substrate to produce a complex, which gives rise to singlet oxygen after reacting with H2O2. This is the first time that the inhibitor effect of Mg(2+) is reported in this reaction, and its participation in the mechanism is described. A rational mechanism for the oxidation of glycerol using the Fenton reaction under these specific conditions is proposed. The role of oxygen, the participation of Fe(2+), and the inhibition by Mg(2+) are fully demonstrated experimentally. PMID:27340836

  15. Unusual non-fluorescent broad spectrum siderophore activity (SID EGYII) by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 and a new insight towards simple siderophore bioassay.

    PubMed

    Embaby, Amira M; Heshmat, Yasmin; Hussein, Ahmed

    2016-03-01

    Present study highlights an unusual non-fluorescent hydroxamate broad spectrum siderophore (SID EGYII) activity from Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801, a soil bacterial isolate, along with simple low cost effective siderophore bioassay. Detection of SID EGYII activity qualitatively was proved by masking this activity against Erwinia amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800, an indicator strain, in well-cut diffusion assay containing 100 µM FeCl3. SID EGYII activity was expressed quantitatively as arbitrary units [Siderophore arbitrary units (SAU)] 380 SAU/mL against E. amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800. Maximal SID EGYII activity was achieved upon growing P. aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 in PYB broth at 180 rpm for 24 h. SID EGYII displayed a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against some human pathogens (i.e., Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts) and a fireblight plant pathogen. Interestingly, transformants of Escherichia coli JM109 (DE3)pSID/EGYII harboring P. aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 plasmid demonstrated a perceivable antimicrobial activity against E. amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800. The broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of the unusual non-fluorescent SID EGYII would underpin its high potential in targeting bacterial pathogens posing probable threats to human health and agricultural economy. The present simple low cost effective bioassay is a new insight towards an alternative to the expensive cumbersome siderophore Chrome Azurol S assay. PMID:27015845

  16. Report to the Congress from The President of the United States. United States Aeronautics and Space Activities 1967.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Lyndon B.

    This report extensively reviews the progress of the United States in space during 1967, the tenth year of the space age. The first chapter of the report summarizes the 1967 space activities; and each of the remaining 13 chapters is devoted to reviewing the space-related activities of a particular federal agency (13 agencies included). Appendices…

  17. 78 FR 54637 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; State Educational Agency, Local...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-05

    ... Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; State Educational Agency, Local Educational... information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: State Educational Agency, Local Educational Agency,...

  18. In-depth interviews with state public health practitioners on the United States National Physical Activity Plan

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The United States National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP; 2010), the country’s first national plan for physical activity, provides strategies to increase population-level physical activity to complement the 2008 physical activity guidelines. This study examined state public health practitioner awareness, dissemination, use, challenges, and recommendations for the NPAP. Methods In 2011–2012, we interviewed 27 state practitioners from 25 states. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded using a standard protocol, verified and reconciled by an independent coder, and input into qualitative software to facilitate development of common themes. Results NPAP awareness was high among state practitioners; dissemination to local constituents varied. Development of state-level strategies and goals was the most frequently reported use of the NPAP. Some respondents noted the usefulness of the NPAP for coalitions and local practitioners. Challenges to the plan included implementation cost, complexity, and consistency with other policies. The most frequent recommendation made was to directly link examples of implementation activities to the plan. Conclusions These results provide early evidence of NPAP dissemination and use, along with challenges encountered and suggestions for future iterations. Public health is one of eight sectors in the NPAP. Further efforts are needed to understand uptake and use by other sectors, as well as to monitor long-term relevance, progress, and collaboration across sectors. PMID:23731829

  19. Activism in Concrete: Student Union, San Francisco State University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Progressive Architecture, 1978

    1978-01-01

    The San Francisco State University Student Union is a futurist design of two steel space-frame pyramids. Each contains a stairway leading to four partial floors that diminish in size as the pyramid tapers. (Author/MLF)

  20. A Cross Section Analysis of State Recreation Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seneca, Joseph J.; Davis, Robert K.

    1976-01-01

    Planning techniques provide a means of systematically evaluating and documenting the impact of alternative land use strategies, thereby enabling state recreational planners to develop policies and programs offensively, rather than as defensive reactions to deteriorating situations. (MB)

  1. Altered baseline brain activity with 72 h of simulated microgravity--initial evidence from resting-state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Liao, Yang; Zhang, Jinsong; Huang, Zhiping; Xi, Yibin; Zhang, Qianru; Zhu, Tianli; Liu, Xufeng

    2012-01-01

    To provide the basis and reference to further insights into the neural activity of the human brain in a microgravity environment, we discuss the amplitude changes of low-frequency brain activity fluctuations using a simulated microgravity model. Twelve male participants between 24 and 31 years old received resting-state fMRI scans in both a normal condition and after 72 hours in a -6° head down tilt (HDT). A paired sample t-test was used to test the amplitude differences of low-frequency brain activity fluctuations between these two conditions. With 72 hours in a -6° HDT, the participants showed a decreased amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in the left thalamus compared with the normal condition (a combined threshold of P<0.005 and a minimum cluster size of 351 mm(3) (13 voxels), which corresponded with the corrected threshold of P<0.05 determined by AlphaSim). Our findings indicate that a gravity change-induced redistribution of body fluid may disrupt the function of the left thalamus in the resting state, which may contribute to reduced motor control abilities and multiple executive functions in astronauts in a microgravity environment. PMID:23285086

  2. Excited states in the active media of oxygen - iodine lasers

    SciTech Connect

    Azyazov, V N

    2009-11-30

    A review of investigations of kinetic processes in active media oxygen - iodine lasers (OILs) performed in the last decade is presented. The mechanisms of pumping and quenching of electronically and vibrationally excited O{sub 2} and I{sub 2} molecules are considered, and dissociation mechanisms of I{sub 2} in the active medium of the OIL are analysed. The values of kinetic constants of processes proceeding in the active media of OILs are recommended. (review)

  3. Large-scale brain networks in board game experts: insights from a domain-related task and task-free resting state.

    PubMed

    Duan, Xujun; Liao, Wei; Liang, Dongmei; Qiu, Lihua; Gao, Qing; Liu, Chengyi; Gong, Qiyong; Chen, Huafu

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive performance relies on the coordination of large-scale networks of brain regions that are not only temporally correlated during different tasks, but also networks that show highly correlated spontaneous activity during a task-free state. Both task-related and task-free network activity has been associated with individual differences in cognitive performance. Therefore, we aimed to examine the influence of cognitive expertise on four networks associated with cognitive task performance: the default mode network (DMN) and three other cognitive networks (central-executive network, dorsal attention network, and salience network). During fMRI scanning, fifteen grandmaster and master level Chinese chess players (GM/M) and fifteen novice players carried out a Chinese chess task and a task-free resting state. Modulations of network activity during task were assessed, as well as resting-state functional connectivity of those networks. Relative to novices, GM/Ms showed a broader task-induced deactivation of DMN in the chess problem-solving task, and intrinsic functional connectivity of DMN was increased with a connectivity pattern associated with the caudate nucleus in GM/Ms. The three other cognitive networks did not exhibit any difference in task-evoked activation or intrinsic functional connectivity between the two groups. These findings demonstrate the effect of long-term learning and practice in cognitive expertise on large-scale brain networks, suggesting the important role of DMN deactivation in expert performance and enhanced functional integration of spontaneous activity within widely distributed DMN-caudate circuitry, which might better support high-level cognitive control of behavior. PMID:22427852

  4. Illinois State Bar Association Law Day Activities Guide. 2001 Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Bar Association, Springfield.

    These law-related lessons and activities can facilitate participation in a Law Day program. Following an introduction, this activities guide is divided into these sections: "Tips for Teachers" ("What Can a Lawyer Add to the Classroom?"; "So You Have Been Asked to Speak to Kids about the Law"; "A Checklist for Lawyers and Judges in the Classroom");…

  5. Longitudinal changes in resting-state brain activity in a capsular infarct model

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Donghyeon; Kim, Ra Gyung; Kim, Hyung-Sun; Kim, Jin-Myung; Jun, Sung Chan; Lee, Boreom; Jo, Hang Joon; Neto, Pedro R; Lee, Min-Cheol; Kim, Hyoung-Ihl

    2015-01-01

    Strokes attributable to subcortical infarcts have been increasing recently in elderly patients. To gain insight how this lesion influences the motor outcome and responds to rehabilitative training, we used circumscribed photothrombotic capsular infarct models on 36 Sprague-Dawley rats (24 experimental and 12 sham-operated). We used 2-deoxy-2-[18F]-fluoro-D-glucose-micro positron emission tomography (FDG-microPET) to assess longitudinal changes in resting-state brain activity (rs-BA) and daily single-pellet reaching task (SPRT) trainings to evaluate motor recovery. Longitudinal FDG-microPET results showed that capsular infarct resulted in a persistent decrease in rs-BA in bilateral sensory and auditory cortices, and ipsilesional motor cortex, thalamus, and inferior colliculus (P<0.0025, false discovery rate (FDR) q<0.05). The decreased rs-BA is compatible with diaschisis and contributes to manifest the malfunctions of lesion-specific functional connectivity. In contrast, capsular infarct resulted in increase of rs-BA in the ipsilesional internal capsule, and contralesional red nucleus and ventral hippocampus in recovery group (P<0.0025, FDR q<0.05), implying that remaining subcortical structures have an important role in conducting the recovery process in capsular infarct. The SPRT training facilitated motor recovery only in rats with an incomplete destruction of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) (Pearson's correlation, P<0.05). Alternative therapeutic interventions are required to enhance the potential for recovery in capsular infarct with complete destruction of PLIC. PMID:25352047

  6. Longitudinal changes in resting-state brain activity in a capsular infarct model.

    PubMed

    Kim, Donghyeon; Kim, Ra Gyung; Kim, Hyung-Sun; Kim, Jin-Myung; Jun, Sung Chan; Lee, Boreom; Jo, Hang Joon; Neto, Pedro R; Lee, Min-Cheol; Kim, Hyoung-Ihl

    2015-01-01

    Strokes attributable to subcortical infarcts have been increasing recently in elderly patients. To gain insight how this lesion influences the motor outcome and responds to rehabilitative training, we used circumscribed photothrombotic capsular infarct models on 36 Sprague-Dawley rats (24 experimental and 12 sham-operated). We used 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]-fluoro-D-glucose-micro positron emission tomography (FDG-microPET) to assess longitudinal changes in resting-state brain activity (rs-BA) and daily single-pellet reaching task (SPRT) trainings to evaluate motor recovery. Longitudinal FDG-microPET results showed that capsular infarct resulted in a persistent decrease in rs-BA in bilateral sensory and auditory cortices, and ipsilesional motor cortex, thalamus, and inferior colliculus (P<0.0025, false discovery rate (FDR) q<0.05). The decreased rs-BA is compatible with diaschisis and contributes to manifest the malfunctions of lesion-specific functional connectivity. In contrast, capsular infarct resulted in increase of rs-BA in the ipsilesional internal capsule, and contralesional red nucleus and ventral hippocampus in recovery group (P<0.0025, FDR q<0.05), implying that remaining subcortical structures have an important role in conducting the recovery process in capsular infarct. The SPRT training facilitated motor recovery only in rats with an incomplete destruction of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) (Pearson's correlation, P<0.05). Alternative therapeutic interventions are required to enhance the potential for recovery in capsular infarct with complete destruction of PLIC. PMID:25352047

  7. Novel Insights Into The Mode of Inhibition of Class A SHV-1 Beta-Lactamases Revealed by Boronic Acid Transition State Inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    W Ke; J Sampson; C Ori; F Prati; S Drawz; C Bethel; R Bonomo; F van den Akker

    2011-12-31

    Boronic acid transition state inhibitors (BATSIs) are potent class A and C {beta}-lactamase inactivators and are of particular interest due to their reversible nature mimicking the transition state. Here, we present structural and kinetic data describing the inhibition of the SHV-1 {beta}-lactamase, a clinically important enzyme found in Klebsiella pneumoniae, by BATSI compounds possessing the R1 side chains of ceftazidime and cefoperazone and designed variants of the latter, compounds 1 and 2. The ceftazidime and cefoperazone BATSI compounds inhibit the SHV-1 {beta}-lactamase with micromolar affinity that is considerably weaker than their inhibition of other {beta}-lactamases. The solved crystal structures of these two BATSIs in complex with SHV-1 reveal a possible reason for SHV-1's relative resistance to inhibition, as the BATSIs adopt a deacylation transition state conformation compared to the usual acylation transition state conformation when complexed to other {beta}-lactamases. Active-site comparison suggests that these conformational differences might be attributed to a subtle shift of residue A237 in SHV-1. The ceftazidime BATSI structure revealed that the carboxyl-dimethyl moiety is positioned in SHV-1's carboxyl binding pocket. In contrast, the cefoperazone BATSI has its R1 group pointing away from the active site such that its phenol moiety moves residue Y105 from the active site via end-on stacking interactions. To work toward improving the affinity of the cefoperazone BATSI, we synthesized two variants in which either one or two extra carbons were added to the phenol linker. Both variants yielded improved affinity against SHV-1, possibly as a consequence of releasing the strain of its interaction with the unusual Y105 conformation.

  8. An update of Utah State University's GAS activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Megill, L. R.

    1986-01-01

    The highlights of the Utah State University's participation in the space program are listed. Proposed experiments include: a study of the velocity of a bubble in water under the influence of a temperature gradient; reflight of an experiment on surface tension driven convective flow; surface waves in zero-G; crystallization in zero-G (vapor phase and liquid phase); bio gas generation; and penicillum growth; study of undamped oscillations in a vacuum and zero-G. The effect that spinoffs have had on the Utah State University were discussed.

  9. Program activities, DOE state and local assistance programs, 1980 report

    SciTech Connect

    Chiogioji, Melvin H.

    1981-01-01

    Progress achieved by DOE State and Local Assistance Programs during FY 1980 and since they were established is summarized. These programs enable improved energy efficiency of industry, transportation, commercial establishments, public buildings, and residences. Eight programs (State Energy Conservation, Energy Extension Service, Weatherization Assistance, Institutional Buildings Grants, Energy-Related Inventions, Appropriate Technology Small Grants, Emergency Energy Conservation, Emergency Building Temperature Restrictions) are described. They provide the impetus for thousands of individual and organizational actions that have significantly affected national energy use patterns. (MCW)

  10. Steady-state heating of active fibres under optical pumping

    SciTech Connect

    Gainov, V V; Shaidullin, R I; Ryabushkin, Oleg A

    2011-07-31

    We have measured the temperature in the core of rare-earth-doped optical fibres under lasing conditions at high optical pump powers using a fibre Mach - Zehnder interferometer and probe light of wavelength far away from the absorption bands of the active ions. From the observed heating kinetics of the active medium, the heat transfer coefficient on the polymer cladding - air interface has been estimated. The temperature of the active medium is shown to depend on the thermal and optical properties of the polymer cladding. (fiber and integrated optics)

  11. An active state of the BL Lacertae object Markarian 421 detected by INTEGRAL in April 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pian, E.; Türler, M.; Fiocchi, M.; Boissay, R.; Bazzano, A.; Foschini, L.; Tavecchio, F.; Bianchin, V.; Castignani, G.; Ferrigno, C.; Raiteri, C. M.; Villata, M.; Beckmann, V.; D'Ammando, F.; Hudec, R.; Malaguti, G.; Maraschi, L.; Pursimo, T.; Romano, P.; Soldi, S.; Stamerra, A.; Treves, A.; Ubertini, P.; Vercellone, S.; Walter, R.

    2014-10-01

    Aims: Multiwavelength variability of blazars offers indirect, but very effective, insight into their powerful engines and on the mechanisms through which energy is propagated from the centre down the jet. The BL Lac object Mkn 421 is a TeV emitter, a bright blazar at all wavelengths, and therefore an excellent target for variability studies. Methods: We activated INTEGRAL observations of Mkn 421 in an active state on 16-21 April 2013, and complemented them with Fermi-LAT data. Results: We obtained well sampled optical, soft, and hard X-ray light curves that show the presence of two flares and time-resolved spectra in the 3.5-60 keV (JEM-X and IBIS/ISGRI) and 0.1-100 GeV (Fermi-LAT) ranges. The average flux in the 20-100 keV range is 9.1 × 10-11 erg s-1 cm-2 (~4.5 mCrab) and the nuclear average apparent magnitude, corrected for Galactic extinction, is V ≃ 12.2. In the time-resolved X-ray spectra, which are described by broken power laws and, marginally better, by log-parabolic laws, we see a hardening that correlates with flux increase, as expected in refreshed energy injections in a population of electrons that later cool via synchrotron radiation. The hardness ratios between the JEM-X fluxes in two different bands and between the JEM-X and IBIS/ISGRI fluxes confirm this trend. During the observation, the variability level increases monotonically from the optical to the hard X-rays, while the large LAT errors do not allow a significant assessment of the MeV-GeV variability. The cross-correlation analysis during the onset of the most prominent flare suggests a monotonically increasing delay of the lower frequency emission with respect to that at higher frequency, with a maximum time-lag of about 70 min, that is however not well constrained. The spectral energy distributions from the optical to the TeV domain were compared to homogeneous models of blazar emission based on synchrotron radiation and synchrotron self-Compton scattering. They represent a satisfactory

  12. Resting-State Oscillatory Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornew, Lauren; Roberts, Timothy P. L.; Blaskey, Lisa; Edgar, J. Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Neural oscillatory anomalies in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) suggest an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance; however, the nature and clinical relevance of these anomalies are unclear. Whole-cortex magnetoencephalography data were collected while 50 children (27 with ASD, 23 controls) underwent an eyes-closed resting-state exam. A Fast Fourier…

  13. Objectively Assessed Physical Activity among Tongans in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Timothy K.; Moy, Karen; Dinger, Mary K.; Williams, Daniel P.; Harbour, Vanessa J.

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, health statistics data for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in the United States were almost nonexistent, due to their being historically aggregated into one homogenous group with Asian Americans. However, recent studies on U.S. NHPI highlight a multitude of obesity-related health disparities indicating the necessity…

  14. State of the science: a focus on physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hills, Andrew P; Byrne, Nuala M

    2006-01-01

    Diet, exercise, behavioural support and for some obese individuals, pharmacotherapy, represent the set of lifestyle factors necessary for effective management of obesity. An on-going challenge in the prevention, treatment and management of obesity is to arm health professionals in particular, with the necessary knowledge and understanding and time to engage in meaningful weight management counseling. Despite the many barriers to effective management such as lack of relevant education in nutrition and physical activity, perceived patient non-compliance, perceived inability to change patient behaviours, and the cost of specialist behavioural support, there is increasing evidence of the value of behaviour modification techniques to both dietary and exercise counseling, particularly when focusing on current behaviour. Behavioural counseling addresses the barriers to compliance with diet and physical activity goals and also equips the individual with practical strategies and motivation to be more self-responsible. Commonly employed behavioural interventions include stimulus control, reinforcement techniques, self-monitoring, behavioural contracting, and social support programs. This paper addresses one of the key behavioural components in the treatment and management of obesity - physical activity. Higher levels of energy expenditure through increased physical activity are central to successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. The specific value derived from physical activity in the context of weight management for the overweight and obese is in large part associated with an appreciation of the role of both physical activity promotion and exercise prescription. PMID:16928660

  15. Structural changes of humic acids from sinking organic matter and surface sediments investigated by advanced solid-state NMR: Insights into sources, preservation and molecularly uncharacterized components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jingdong; Tremblay, Luc; Gagné, Jean-Pierre

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of the structural changes that particulate organic matter (POM) undergoes in natural systems is essential for determining its reactivity and fate. In the present study, we used advanced solid-state NMR techniques to investigate the chemical structures of sinking particulate matter collected at different depths as well as humic acids (HAs) extracted from these samples and underlying sediments from the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence Lower Estuary (Canada). Compared to bulk POM, HAs contain more non-polar alkyls, aromatics, and aromatic C-O, but less carbohydrates (or carbohydrate-like structures). In the two locations studied, the C and N contents of the samples (POM and HAs) decreased with depth and after deposition onto sediments, leaving N-poor but O-enriched HAs and suggesting the involvement of partial oxidation reactions during POM microbial degradation. Advanced NMR techniques revealed that, compared to the water-column HAs, sedimentary HAs contained more protonated aromatics, non-protonated aromatics, aromatic C-O, carbohydrates (excluding anomerics), anomerics, OC q, O-C q-O, OCH, and OCH 3 groups, but less non-polar alkyls, NCH, and mobile CH 2 groups. These results are consistent with the relatively high reactivity of lipids and proteins or peptides. In contrast, carbohydrate-like structures were selectively preserved and appeared to be involved in substitution and copolymerization reactions. Some of these trends support the selective degradation (or selective preservation) theory. The results provide insights into mechanisms that likely contribute to the preservation of POM and the formation of molecules that escape characterization by traditional methods. Despite the depletion of non-polar alkyls with depth in HAs, a significant portion of their general structure survived and can be assigned to a model phospholipid. In addition, little changes in the connectivities of different functional groups were observed. Substituted and copolymerized

  16. Insights into how nucleotide supplements enhance the peroxidase-mimicking DNAzyme activity of the G-quadruplex/hemin system.

    PubMed

    Stefan, Loic; Denat, Franck; Monchaud, David

    2012-09-01

    Since the initial discovery of the catalytic capability of short DNA fragments, this peculiar enzyme-like property (termed DNAzyme) has continued to garner much interest in the scientific community because of the virtually unlimited applications in developing new molecular devices. Alongside the exponential rise in the number of DNAzyme applications in the last past years, the search for convenient ways to improve its overall efficiency has only started to emerge. Credence has been lent to this strategy by the recent demonstration that the quadruplex-based DNAzyme proficiency can be enhanced by ATP supplements. Herein, we have made a further leap along this path, trying first of all to decipher the actual DNAzyme catalytic cycle (to gain insights into the steps ATP may influence), and subsequently investigating in detail the influence of all the parameters that govern the catalytic efficiency. We have extended this study to other nucleotides and quadruplexes, thus demonstrating the versatility and broad applicability of such an approach. The defined exquisitely efficient DNAzyme protocols were exploited to highlight the enticing advantages of this method via a 96-well plate experiment that enables the detection of nanomolar DNA concentrations in real-time with the naked-eye (see movie as Supplementary Data). PMID:22730286

  17. Expression and characterization of the calcium-activated photoprotein from the ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri: insights into light-sensitive photoproteins

    PubMed Central

    Powers, Meghan L.; McDermott, Amy G.; Shaner, Nathan; Haddock, Steven H.D.

    2012-01-01

    Calcium-binding photoproteins have been discovered in a variety of luminous marine organisms [1]. Recent interest in photoproteins from the phylum Ctenophora has stemmed from cloning and expression of several photoproteins from this group [2-5]. Additional characterization has revealed unique biochemical properties found only in ctenophore photoproteins, such as inactivation by light. Here we report the cloning, expression, and characterization of the photoprotein responsible for luminescence in the deep-sea ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri. This animal was of particular interest due to the unique broad color spectrum observed in live specimens [6]. Full-length sequences were identified by BLAST searches of known photoprotein sequences against Bathocyroe transcripts obtained from 454 sequencing. Recombinantly expressed Bathocyroe photoprotein (BfosPP) displayed an optimal coelenterazine-loading pH of 8.5, and produced calcium-triggered luminescence with peak wavelengths closely matching the 493nm peak observed in the spectrum of live Bathocyroe fosteri specimens. Luminescence from recombinant BfosPP was inactivated most efficiently by UV and blue light. Primary structure alignment of BfosPP with other characterized photoproteins showed very strong sequence similarity to other ctenophore photoproteins and conservation of EF-hand motifs. Both alignment and structural prediction data provide more insight into the formation of the coelenterazine-binding domain and the probable mechanism of photoinactivation. PMID:23262181

  18. Expression and characterization of the calcium-activated photoprotein from the ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri: insights into light-sensitive photoproteins.

    PubMed

    Powers, Meghan L; McDermott, Amy G; Shaner, Nathan C; Haddock, Steven H D

    2013-02-01

    Calcium-binding photoproteins have been discovered in a variety of luminous marine organisms [1]. Recent interest in photoproteins from the phylum Ctenophora has stemmed from cloning and expression of several photoproteins from this group [2-5]. Additional characterization has revealed unique biochemical properties found only in ctenophore photoproteins, such as inactivation by light. Here we report the cloning, expression, and characterization of the photoprotein responsible for luminescence in the deep-sea ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri. This animal was of particular interest due to the unique broad color spectrum observed in live specimens [6]. Full-length sequences were identified by BLAST searches of known photoprotein sequences against Bathocyroe transcripts obtained from 454 sequencing. Recombinantly expressed Bathocyroe photoprotein (BfosPP) displayed an optimal coelenterazine-loading pH of 8.5, and produced calcium-triggered luminescence with peak wavelengths closely matching the 493 nm peak observed in the spectrum of live B. fosteri specimens. Luminescence from recombinant BfosPP was inactivated most efficiently by UV and blue light. Primary structure alignment of BfosPP with other characterized photoproteins showed very strong sequence similarity to other ctenophore photoproteins and conservation of EF-hand motifs. Both alignment and structural prediction data provide more insight into the formation of the coelenterazine-binding domain and the probable mechanism of photoinactivation. PMID:23262181

  19. Structure-Function Analysis of the Drosophila melanogaster Caudal Transcription Factor Provides Insights into Core Promoter-preferential Activation.

    PubMed

    Shir-Shapira, Hila; Sharabany, Julia; Filderman, Matan; Ideses, Diana; Ovadia-Shochat, Avital; Mannervik, Mattias; Juven-Gershon, Tamar

    2015-07-10

    Regulation of RNA polymerase II transcription is critical for the proper development, differentiation, and growth of an organism. The RNA polymerase II core promoter is the ultimate target of a multitude of transcription factors that control transcription initiation. Core promoters encompass the RNA start site and consist of functional elements such as the TATA box, initiator, and downstream core promoter element (DPE), which confer specific properties to the core promoter. We have previously discovered that Drosophila Caudal, which is a master regulator of genes involved in development and differentiation, is a DPE-specific transcriptional activator. Here, we show that the mouse Caudal-related homeobox (Cdx) proteins (mCdx1, mCdx2, and mCdx4) are also preferential core promoter transcriptional activators. To elucidate the mechanism that enables Caudal to preferentially activate DPE transcription, we performed structure-function analysis. Using a systematic series of deletion mutants (all containing the intact DNA-binding homeodomain) we discovered that the C-terminal region of Caudal contributes to the preferential activation of the fushi tarazu (ftz) Caudal target gene. Furthermore, the region containing both the homeodomain and the C terminus of Caudal was sufficient to confer core promoter-preferential activation to the heterologous GAL4 DNA-binding domain. Importantly, we discovered that Drosophila CREB-binding protein (dCBP) is a co-activator for Caudal-regulated activation of ftz. Strikingly, dCBP conferred the ability to preferentially activate the DPE-dependent ftz reporter to mini-Caudal proteins that were unable to preferentially activate ftz transcription themselves. Taken together, it is the unique combination of dCBP and Caudal that enables the co-activation of ftz in a core promoter-preferential manner. PMID:26018075

  20. A new activity of anti-HIV and anti-tumor protein GAP31: DNA adenosine glycosidase - Structural and modeling insight into its functions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui-Guang; Huang, Philip L.; Zhang, Dawei; Sun, Yongtao; Chen, Hao-Chia; Zhang, John; Huang, Paul L.; Kong, Xiang-Peng; Lee-Huang, Sylvia

    2010-01-01

    We report here the high-resolution atomic structures of GAP31 crystallized in the presence of HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotides systematically designed to examine the adenosine glycosidase activity of this anti-HIV and anti-tumor plant protein. Structural analysis and molecular modeling lead to several novel findings. First, adenine is bound at the active site in the crystal structures of GAP31 to HIV-LTR duplex DNA with 5' overhanging adenosine ends, such as the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA but not to DNA duplex with blunt ends. Second, the active site pocket of GAP31 is ideally suited to accommodate the 5' overhanging adenosine of the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA and the active site residues are positioned to perform the adenosine glycosidase activity. Third, GAP31 also removes the 5'-end adenine from single-stranded HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotide as well as any exposed adenosine, including that of single nucleotide dAMP but not from AMP. Fourth, GAP31 does not de-purinate guanosine from di-nucleotide GT. These results suggest that GAP31 has DNA adenosine glycosidase activity against accessible adenosine. This activity is distinct from the generally known RNA N-glycosidase activity toward the 28S rRNA. It may be an alternative function that contributes to the antiviral and anti-tumor activities of GAP31. These results provide molecular insights consistent with the anti-HIV mechanisms of GAP31 in its inhibition on the integration of viral DNA into the host genome by HIV-integrase as well as irreversible topological relaxation of the supercoiled viral DNA.

  1. Analyses and comparisons of telomerase activity and telomere length in human T and B cells: Insights for epidemiology of telomere maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jue; Epel, Elissa; Cheon, Joshua; Kroenke, Candyce; Sinclair, Elizabeth; Bigos, Marty; Wolkowitz, Owen; Mellon, Synthia; Blackburn, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Telomeres are the DNA–protein complexes that protect the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. The cellular enzyme telomerase counteracts telomere shortening by adding telomeric DNA. A growing body of literature links shorter telomere length and lower telomerase activity with various age-related diseases and earlier mortality. Thus, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and telomerase activity are emerging both as biomarkers and contributing factors for age-related diseases. However, no clinical study has directly examined telomerase activity and telomere length in different lymphocyte subtypes isolated from the same donors, which could offer insight into the summary measure of leukocyte telomere maintenance. We report the first quantitative data in humans examining both levels of telomerase activity and telomere length in four lymphocyte subpopulations from the same donors—CD4+, CD8+CD28+ and CD8+CD28− T cells and B cells, as well as total PBMCs—in a cohort of healthy women. We found that B cells had the highest telomerase activity and longest telomere length; CD4+ T cells had slightly higher telomerase activity than CD8+CD28+ T cells, and similar telomere length. Consistent with earlier reports that CD8+CD28−T cells are replicatively senescent cells, they had the lowest telomerase activity and shortest telomere length. In addition, a higher percentage of CD8+CD28− T cells correlated with shorter total PBMC TL (r = −0.26, p = 0.05). Interestingly, telomerase activities of CD4+ and CD8+CD28+ T cells from the same individual were strongly correlated (r = 0.55, r < 0.001), indicating possible common mechanisms for telomerase activity regulation in these two cell subtypes. These data will facilitate the understanding of leukocyte aging and its relationship to human health. PMID:19837074

  2. A New Activity of Anti-HIV and Anti-tumor Protein GAP31: DNA Adenosine Glycosidase – Structural and Modeling Insight into its Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, H.; Huang, P; Zhang, D; Sun, Y; Chen, H; Zhang, J; Huang, P; Kong, X; Lee-Huang, S

    2010-01-01

    We report here the high-resolution atomic structures of GAP31 crystallized in the presence of HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotides systematically designed to examine the adenosine glycosidase activity of this anti-HIV and anti-tumor plant protein. Structural analysis and molecular modeling lead to several novel findings. First, adenine is bound at the active site in the crystal structures of GAP31 to HIV-LTR duplex DNA with 5' overhanging adenosine ends, such as the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA but not to DNA duplex with blunt ends. Second, the active site pocket of GAP31 is ideally suited to accommodate the 5' overhanging adenosine of the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA and the active site residues are positioned to perform the adenosine glycosidase activity. Third, GAP31 also removes the 5'-end adenine from single-stranded HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotide as well as any exposed adenosine, including that of single nucleotide dAMP but not from AMP. Fourth, GAP31 does not de-purinate guanosine from di-nucleotide GT. These results suggest that GAP31 has DNA adenosine glycosidase activity against accessible adenosine. This activity is distinct from the generally known RNA N-glycosidase activity toward the 28S rRNA. It may be an alternative function that contributes to the antiviral and anti-tumor activities of GAP31. These results provide molecular insights consistent with the anti-HIV mechanisms of GAP31 in its inhibition on the integration of viral DNA into the host genome by HIV-integrase as well as irreversible topological relaxation of the supercoiled viral DNA.

  3. Molecular insight into the differential anti-androgenic activity of resveratrol and its natural analogs: in silico approach to understand biological actions.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Sandipan; Kumar, Avinash; Butt, Nasir A; Zhang, Liangfen; Williams, Raquema; Rimando, Agnes M; Biswas, Pradip K; Levenson, Anait S

    2016-04-26

    The androgen receptor (AR) is a therapeutic target for the treatment of prostate cancer. Androgen receptor reactivation during the androgen-independent stage of prostate cancer is mediated by numerous mechanisms including expression of AR mutants and splice variants that become non-responsive to conventional anti-androgenic agents. Resveratrol and its natural analogs exhibit varying degrees of anti-androgenic effects on tumor growth suppression in prostate cancer. However, the structural basis for the observed differential activity remains unknown. Here, anti-androgenic activities of resveratrol and its natural analogs, namely, pterostilbene, piceatannol and trimethoxy-resveratrol were studied in LNCaP cells expressing T877A mutant AR and atomistic simulations were employed to establish the structure activity relationship. Interestingly, essential hydrogen bonding contacts and the binding energies of resveratrol analogs with AR ligand binding domain (LBD), emerge as key differentiating factors for varying anti-androgenic action. Among all the analogs, pterostilbene exhibited strongest anti-androgenic activity and its binding energy and hydrogen bonding interactions pattern closely resembled pure anti-androgen, flutamide. Principal component analysis of our simulation studies revealed that androgenic compounds bind more strongly to AR LBD compared to anti-androgenic compounds and provide conformational stabilization of the receptor in essential subspace. The present study provides critical insight into the structure-activity relationship of the anti-androgenic action of resveratrol analogs, which can be translated further to design novel highly potent anti-androgenic stilbenes. PMID:27063447

  4. Physical activity in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension – insights into motivations and barriers from the MOBILE study

    PubMed Central

    Duclos, Martine; Dejager, Sylvie; Postel-Vinay, Nicolas; di Nicola, Sylvie; Quéré, Stéphane; Fiquet, Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    Background Although physical activity (PA) is key in the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and hypertension, it is difficult to implement in practice. Methods Cross-sectional, observational study. Participating physicians were asked to recruit two active and four inactive patients, screened with the Ricci-Gagnon (RG) self-questionnaire (active if score ≥16). Patients subsequently completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The objective was to assess the achievement of individualized glycated hemoglobin and blood pressure goals (<140/90 mmHg) in the active vs inactive cohort, to explore the correlates for meeting both targets by multivariate analysis, and to examine the barriers and motivations to engage in PA. Results About 1,766 patients were analyzed. Active (n=628) vs inactive (n=1,138) patients were more often male, younger, less obese, had shorter durations of diabetes, fewer complications and other health issues, such as osteoarticular disorders (P<0.001 for all). Their diabetes and hypertension control was better and obtained despite a lower treatment burden. The biggest difference in PA between the active vs inactive patients was the percentage who declared engaging in regular leisure-type PA (97.9% vs 9.6%), also reflected in the percentage with vigorous activities in International Physical Activity Questionnaire (59.5% vs 9.6%). Target control was achieved by 33% of active and 19% of inactive patients (P<0.001). Active patients, those with fewer barriers to PA, with lower treatment burden, and with an active physician, were more likely to reach targets. The physician’s role emerged in the motivations (reassurance on health issues, training on hypoglycemia risk, and prescription/monitoring of the PA by the physician). A negative self-image was the highest ranked barrier for the inactive patients, followed by lack of support and medical concerns. Conclusion Physicians should consider PA prescription as seriously as any drug

  5. Non-equilibrium States of Active Filament Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, Robert A.; Betterton, Meredith D.; Sweezy, Oliver M.; Glaser, Matthew A.

    2014-03-01

    Active networks of filamentous proteins and crosslinking motor proteins play a critical role in many cellular processes. Among the most important active networks is the mitotic spindle, an assembly of microtubules and crosslinking motor proteins that forms during cell division and that ultimately separates chromosomes into two daughter cells. To evolve a better understanding of spindle formation, structure, and dynamics, we have developed course-grained models of active networks composed of filaments, modeled as hard spherocylinders, in diffusive equilibrium with a reservoir of crosslinking motors, modeled as Hookean springs that can adsorb to microtubules and translocate at finite velocity along the microtubule axis. We explore the phase diagram and other characteristics of this model in two and three dimensions as a function of filament packing fraction, and of crosslink concentration, velocity, and adsorption and desorption rates. We observe a variety of interesting emergent behaviors including sorting of filaments into polar domains, generation of extensile stress, and superdiffusive transport. DMR-0820579

  6. A Comparative Analysis of Synthetic Quorum Sensing Modulators in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: New Insights into Mechanism, Active Efflux Susceptibility, Phenotypic Response, and Next-Generation Ligand Design

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) is a chemical signaling mechanism that allows bacterial populations to coordinate gene expression in response to social and environmental cues. Many bacterial pathogens use QS to initiate infection at high cell densities. Over the past two decades, chemical antagonists of QS in pathogenic bacteria have attracted substantial interest for use both as tools to further elucidate QS mechanisms and, with further development, potential anti-infective agents. Considerable recent research has been devoted to the design of small molecules capable of modulating the LasR QS receptor in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These molecules hold significant promise in a range of contexts; however, as most compounds have been developed independently, comparative activity data for these compounds are scarce. Moreover, the mechanisms by which the bulk of these compounds act are largely unknown. This paucity of data has stalled the choice of an optimal chemical scaffold for further advancement. Herein, we submit the best-characterized LasR modulators to standardized cell-based reporter and QS phenotypic assays in P. aeruginosa, and we report the first comprehensive set of comparative LasR activity data for these compounds. Our experiments uncovered multiple interesting mechanistic phenomena (including a potential alternative QS-modulatory ligand binding site/partner) that provide new, and unexpected, insights into the modes by which many of these LasR ligands act. The lead compounds, data trends, and mechanistic insights reported here will significantly aid the design of new small molecule QS inhibitors and activators in P. aeruginosa, and in other bacteria, with enhanced potencies and defined modes of action. PMID:26491787

  7. United States Department of Energy Thermally Activated Heat Pump Program

    SciTech Connect

    Fiskum, R.J.; Adcock, P.W.; DeVault, R.C.

    1996-06-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is working with partners from the gas heating and cooling industry to improve energy efficiency using advance absorption technologies, to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), to reduce global warming through more efficient combustion of natural gas, and to impact electric peak demand of air conditioning. To assist industry in developing these gas heating and cooling absorption technologies, the US DOE sponsors the Thermally Activated Heat Pump Program. It is divided into five key activities, addressing residential gas absorption heat pumps, large commercial chillers, advanced absorption fluids, computer-aided design, and advanced ``Hi-Cool`` heat pumps.

  8. Improved L-lysine production with Corynebacterium glutamicum and systemic insight into citrate synthase flux and activity.

    PubMed

    van Ooyen, Jan; Noack, Stephan; Bott, Michael; Reth, Alexander; Eggeling, Lothar

    2012-08-01

    We here developed a series of Corynebacterium glutamicum strains with gradual decreased specific citrate synthase (CS) activity and quantified in a multifaceted approach the consequences of residual activity on the transcriptome, metabolome, and fluxome level as well as on L-lysine formation and growth. We achieved an intended gradual L-lysine yield increase and recognized and overcame further new limitations in the L-lysine biosynthesis pathway to result in a strain with the highest yield reported so far when assayed under comparable conditions. As a non-intended outcome, a detailed flux analysis revealed an almost constant flux through CS at 10% remaining CS activity, whereas the metabolome data revealed an increase in the oxaloacetate and acetyl-CoA concentrations. Hence reduced CS activity is apparently efficiently buffered by increased concentrations of CS substrates, implying a certain robustness of the central metabolism in response of the imposed gene expressions. PMID:22392073

  9. Structural insights into chaperone-activity enhancement by a K354E mutation in tomato acidic leucine aminopeptidase.

    PubMed

    DuPrez, Kevin T; Scranton, Melissa A; Walling, Linda L; Fan, Li

    2016-05-01

    Tomato plants express acidic leucine aminopeptidase (LAP-A) in response to various environmental stressors. LAP-A not only functions as a peptidase for diverse peptide substrates, but also displays chaperone activity. A K354E mutation has been shown to abolish the peptidase activity but to enhance the chaperone activity of LAP-A. To better understand this moonlighting function of LAP-A, the crystal structure of the K354E mutant was determined at 2.15 Å resolution. The structure reveals that the K354E mutation destabilizes an active-site loop and causes significant rearrangement of active-site residues, leading to loss of the catalytic metal-ion coordination required for the peptidase activity. Although the mutant was crystallized in the same hexameric form as wild-type LAP-A, gel-filtration chromatography revealed an apparent shift from the hexamer to lower-order oligomers for the K354E mutant, showing a mixture of monomers to trimers in solution. In addition, surface-probing assays indicated that the K354E mutant has more accessible hydrophobic areas than wild-type LAP-A. Consistently, computational thermodynamic estimations of the interfaces between LAP-A monomers suggest that increased exposure of hydrophobic surfaces occurs upon hexamer breakdown. These results suggest that the K354E mutation disrupts the active-site loop, which also contributes to the hexameric assembly, and destabilizes the hexamers, resulting in much greater hydrophobic areas accessible for efficient chaperone activity than in the wild-type LAP-A. PMID:27139632

  10. New Approaches to the New Normal: Recapping 2012 Higher Education Legislative Activity in the West. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krueger, Carl

    2012-01-01

    While tax revenues in many Western states have improved since FY 2011, the 2012 legislative sessions still experienced what has become the familiar round of funding cuts to higher education, coupled with tuition increases for students. The good news is that the cuts and increases weren't as severe as in previous years, despite continued aversion…

  11. PPARγ controls pregnancy outcome through activation of EG-VEGF: new insights into the mechanism of placental development.

    PubMed

    Garnier, Vanessa; Traboulsi, Wael; Salomon, Aude; Brouillet, Sophie; Fournier, Thierry; Winkler, Carine; Desvergne, Beatrice; Hoffmann, Pascale; Zhou, Qun-Yong; Congiu, Cenzo; Onnis, Valentina; Benharouga, Mohamed; Feige, Jean-Jacques; Alfaidy, Nadia

    2015-08-15

    PPARγ-deficient mice die at E9.5 due to placental abnormalities. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. We demonstrated that the new endocrine factor EG-VEGF controls the same processes as those described for PPARγ, suggesting potential regulation of EG-VEGF by PPARγ. EG-VEGF exerts its functions via prokineticin receptor 1 (PROKR1) and 2 (PROKR2). This study sought to investigate whether EG-VEGF mediates part of PPARγ effects on placental development. Three approaches were used: 1) in vitro, using human primary isolated cytotrophoblasts and the extravillous trophoblast cell line (HTR-8/SVneo); 2) ex vivo, using human placental explants (n = 46 placentas); and 3) in vivo, using gravid wild-type PPARγ(+/-) and PPARγ(-/-) mice. Major processes of placental development that are known to be controlled by PPARγ, such as trophoblast proliferation, migration, and invasion, were assessed in the absence or presence of PROKR1 and PROKR2 antagonists. In both human trophoblast cell and placental explants, we demonstrated that rosiglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, 1) increased EG-VEGF secretion, 2) increased EG-VEGF and its receptors mRNA and protein expression, 3) increased placental vascularization via PROKR1 and PROKR2, and 4) inhibited trophoblast migration and invasion via PROKR2. In the PPARγ(-/-) mouse placentas, EG-VEGF levels were significantly decreased, supporting an in vivo control of EG-VEGF/PROKRs system during pregnancy. The present data reveal EG-VEGF as a new mediator of PPARγ effects during pregnancy and bring new insights into the fine mechanism of trophoblast invasion. PMID:26081281

  12. Use of the United States Census in Social Studies Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardy, Charles

    1982-01-01

    Discusses how teachers can use U.S. census data in secondary U.S. history classes. Four census-based activities dealing with the themes of social mobility among Detroit and Alabama Blacks, definition of megalopolis, poverty in Boston, and Irish immigrants in Walpole, Massachusetts, in 1850 are described. (AM)

  13. Solid-state active media based on aminocoumarins

    SciTech Connect

    Kopylova, T N; Mayer, G V; Samsonova, L G; Svetlichnyi, Valerii A; Reznichenko, A V; Dolotov, S M; Ponomarenko, E P; Tavrizova, M A

    2003-06-30

    The lasing properties and photostability of eighteen aminocoumarins in polymethyl methacrylate, methyl methacrylate, and ethanol excited by an excimer XeCl laser are studied. It is shown that coumarins with a fluorinated methyl group and substituents in the third position of the molecule can be promising active media for lasers on polymer matrices doped with dyes. (lasers)

  14. Recognition of human activity characteristics based on state transitions modeling technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elangovan, Vinayak; Shirkhodaie, Amir

    2012-06-01

    Human Activity Discovery & Recognition (HADR) is a complex, diverse and challenging task but yet an active area of ongoing research in the Department of Defense. By detecting, tracking, and characterizing cohesive Human interactional activity patterns, potential threats can be identified which can significantly improve situation awareness, particularly, in Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS). Understanding the nature of such dynamic activities, inevitably involves interpretation of a collection of spatiotemporally correlated activities with respect to a known context. In this paper, we present a State Transition model for recognizing the characteristics of human activities with a link to a prior contextbased ontology. Modeling the state transitions between successive evidential events determines the activities' temperament. The proposed state transition model poses six categories of state transitions including: Human state transitions of Object handling, Visibility, Entity-entity relation, Human Postures, Human Kinematics and Distance to Target. The proposed state transition model generates semantic annotations describing the human interactional activities via a technique called Casual Event State Inference (CESI). The proposed approach uses a low cost kinect depth camera for indoor and normal optical camera for outdoor monitoring activities. Experimental results are presented here to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed technique.

  15. Allowance trading activity and state regulatory rulings: Evidence from the US Acid Rain Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, E.M.

    1997-12-31

    The US Acid Rain Program is one of the first, and by far the most extensive, applications of a market based approach to pollution control. From the beginning, there has been concern whether utilities would participate in allowance trading, and whether regulatory activity at the state level would further complicate utilities` decision to trade allowances. This paper finds that public utility commission regulation has encouraged allowance trading activity in states with regulatory rulings, but that allowance trading activity has not been limited to states issuing regulations. Until there is evidence suggesting that significant additional cost savings could have been obtained if additional allowance trading activity had occurred in states without regulations or that utilities in states with regulations are still not taking advantage of all cost saving trading opportunities, this analysis suggests that there is little reason to believe that allowance trading activity is impeded by public utility commission regulations.

  16. Human C3 mutation reveals a mechanism of dense deposit disease pathogenesis and provides insights into complement activation and regulation

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Barricarte, Rubén; Heurich, Meike; Valdes-Cañedo, Francisco; Vazquez-Martul, Eduardo; Torreira, Eva; Montes, Tamara; Tortajada, Agustín; Pinto, Sheila; Lopez-Trascasa, Margarita; Morgan, B. Paul; Llorca, Oscar; Harris, Claire L.; Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago

    2010-01-01

    Dense deposit disease (DDD) is a severe renal disease characterized by accumulation of electron-dense material in the mesangium and glomerular basement membrane. Previously, DDD has been associated with deficiency of factor H (fH), a plasma regulator of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement activation, and studies in animal models have linked pathogenesis to the massive complement factor 3 (C3) activation caused by this deficiency. Here, we identified a unique DDD pedigree that associates disease with a mutation in the C3 gene. Mutant C3923ΔDG, which lacks 2 amino acids, could not be cleaved to C3b by the AP C3-convertase and was therefore the predominant circulating C3 protein in the patients. However, upon activation to C3b by proteases, or to C3(H2O) by spontaneous thioester hydrolysis, C3923ΔDG generated an active AP C3-convertase that was regulated normally by decay accelerating factor (DAF) but was resistant to decay by fH. Moreover, activated C3b923ΔDG and C3(H2O)923ΔDG were resistant to proteolysis by factor I (fI) in the presence of fH, but were efficiently inactivated in the presence of membrane cofactor protein (MCP). These characteristics cause a fluid phase–restricted AP dysregulation in the patients that continuously activated and consumed C3 produced by the normal C3 allele. These findings expose structural requirements in C3 that are critical for recognition of the substrate C3 by the AP C3-convertase and for the regulatory activities of fH, DAF, and MCP, all of which have implications for therapeutic developments. PMID:20852386

  17. Insights into the Molecular Activation Mechanism of the RhoA-specific Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, PDZRhoGEF

    SciTech Connect

    Bielnicki, Jakub A.; Shkumatov, Alexander V.; Derewenda, Urszula; Somlyo, Avril V.; Svergun, Dmitri I.; Derewenda, Zygmunt S.

    2012-10-09

    PDZRhoGEF (PRG) belongs to a small family of RhoA-specific nucleotide exchange factors that mediates signaling through select G-protein-coupled receptors via G{alpha}{sub 12/13} and activates RhoA by catalyzing the exchange of GDP to GTP. PRG is a multidomain protein composed of PDZ, regulators of G-protein signaling-like (RGSL), Dbl-homology (DH), and pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains. It is autoinhibited in cytosol and is believed to undergo a conformational rearrangement and translocation to the membrane for full activation, although the molecular details of the regulation mechanism are not clear. It has been shown recently that the main autoregulatory elements of PDZRhoGEF, the autoinhibitory 'activation box' and the 'GEF switch,' which is required for full activation, are located directly upstream of the catalytic DH domain and its RhoA binding surface, emphasizing the functional role of the RGSL-DH linker. Here, using a combination of biophysical and biochemical methods, we show that the mechanism of PRG regulation is yet more complex and may involve an additional autoinhibitory element in the form of a molten globule region within the linker between RGSL and DH domains. We propose a novel, two-tier model of autoinhibition where the activation box and the molten globule region act synergistically to impair the ability of RhoA to bind to the catalytic DH-PH tandem. The molten globule region and the activation box become less ordered in the PRG-RhoA complex and dissociate from the RhoA-binding site, which may constitute a critical step leading to PRG activation.

  18. The Role of an Active Site Mg2+ in HDV Ribozyme Self-Cleavage: Insights from QM/MM Calculations

    PubMed Central

    Mlýnský, Vojtěch; Šponer, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is a catalytic RNA motif embedded in the human pathogenic HDV RNA. It catalyzes self-cleavage of its sugar-phosphate backbone with direct participation of the active site cytosine C75. Biochemical and structural data support a general acid role of C75. Here, we used hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations to probe the reaction mechanism and changes in Gibbs energy along the ribozyme's reaction pathway with an N3-protonated C75H+ in the active site, which acts as the general acid, and a partially hydrated Mg2+ ion with one deprotonated, inner-shell coordinated water molecule that acts as the general base. We followed eight reaction paths with distinct position and coordination of the catalytically important active site Mg2+ ion. For six of them, we observed feasible activation barriers ranging from 14.2 to 21.9 kcal/mol, indicating that the specific position of the Mg2+ ion in the active site is predicted to strongly affect the kinetics of self-cleavage. The deprotonation of the U-1(2′-OH) nucleophile and the nucleophilic attack of the resulting U-1(2′-O−) on the scissile phosphodiester are found to be separate steps, as deprotonation precedes the nucleophilic attack. This sequential mechanism of the HDV ribozyme differs from the concerted nucleophilic activation and attack suggested for the hairpin ribozyme. We estimated the pKa of the U-1(2′-OH) group to range from 8.8 to 11.2, suggesting that the pKa is lowered by several units from that of a free ribose, comparable to and most likely smaller than the pKa of the solvated active site Mg2+ ion. Our results thus support the notion that the structure of the HDV ribozyme, and particularly the positioning of the active site Mg2+ ion, facilitates deprotonation and activation of the 2′-OH nucleophile. PMID:25412464

  19. Enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity of Gd-doped BiFeO3 nanoparticles and mechanism insight

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ning; Chen, Da; Niu, Feng; Wang, Sen; Qin, Laishun; Huang, Yuexiang

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the effect of Gd doping on photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 (BFO), Gd-doped BFO nanoparticles containing different Gd doping contents (Bi(1−x)GdxFeO3, x = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05) were synthesized using a facile sol-gel route. The obtained products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectra, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and their photocatalytic activities were evaluated by photocatalytic decomposition of Rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. It was found that the Gd doping content could significantly affect the photocatalytic activity of as-prepared Gd-doped BFO, and the photocatalytic activity increased with increasing the Gd doping content up to the optimal value and then decreased with further enhancing Gd doping content. To elucidate the enhanced photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO, the trapping experiments, photoluminescence, photocurrent and electrochemical impedance measurements were performed. On the basis of these experimental results, the enhanced photocatalytic activities of Gd-doped BFO could be ascribed to the increased optical absorption, the efficient separation and migration of photogenerated charge carriers as well as the decreased recombination probability of electron-hole pairs derived from the Gd doping effect. Meanwhile, the possible photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO was critically discussed. PMID:27198166

  20. Enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity of Gd-doped BiFeO3 nanoparticles and mechanism insight.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ning; Chen, Da; Niu, Feng; Wang, Sen; Qin, Laishun; Huang, Yuexiang

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the effect of Gd doping on photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 (BFO), Gd-doped BFO nanoparticles containing different Gd doping contents (Bi(1-x)GdxFeO3, x = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05) were synthesized using a facile sol-gel route. The obtained products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectra, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and their photocatalytic activities were evaluated by photocatalytic decomposition of Rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. It was found that the Gd doping content could significantly affect the photocatalytic activity of as-prepared Gd-doped BFO, and the photocatalytic activity increased with increasing the Gd doping content up to the optimal value and then decreased with further enhancing Gd doping content. To elucidate the enhanced photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO, the trapping experiments, photoluminescence, photocurrent and electrochemical impedance measurements were performed. On the basis of these experimental results, the enhanced photocatalytic activities of Gd-doped BFO could be ascribed to the increased optical absorption, the efficient separation and migration of photogenerated charge carriers as well as the decreased recombination probability of electron-hole pairs derived from the Gd doping effect. Meanwhile, the possible photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO was critically discussed. PMID:27198166

  1. Enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity of Gd-doped BiFeO3 nanoparticles and mechanism insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ning; Chen, Da; Niu, Feng; Wang, Sen; Qin, Laishun; Huang, Yuexiang

    2016-05-01

    To investigate the effect of Gd doping on photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 (BFO), Gd-doped BFO nanoparticles containing different Gd doping contents (Bi(1‑x)GdxFeO3, x = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05) were synthesized using a facile sol-gel route. The obtained products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectra, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and their photocatalytic activities were evaluated by photocatalytic decomposition of Rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. It was found that the Gd doping content could significantly affect the photocatalytic activity of as-prepared Gd-doped BFO, and the photocatalytic activity increased with increasing the Gd doping content up to the optimal value and then decreased with further enhancing Gd doping content. To elucidate the enhanced photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO, the trapping experiments, photoluminescence, photocurrent and electrochemical impedance measurements were performed. On the basis of these experimental results, the enhanced photocatalytic activities of Gd-doped BFO could be ascribed to the increased optical absorption, the efficient separation and migration of photogenerated charge carriers as well as the decreased recombination probability of electron-hole pairs derived from the Gd doping effect. Meanwhile, the possible photocatalytic mechanism of Gd-doped BFO was critically discussed.

  2. Active and passive smoking - New insights on the molecular composition of different cigarette smoke aerosols by LDI-FTICRMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schramm, Sébastien; Carré, Vincent; Scheffler, Jean-Luc; Aubriet, Frédéric

    2014-08-01

    The aerosol generated when a cigarette is smoked is a significant indoor contaminant. Both smokers and non-smokers can be exposed to this class of pollutants. Nevertheless, they are not exposed to the same kind of smoke. The active smoker breathes in the mainstream smoke (MSS) during a puff, whereas the passive smoker inhales not only the smoke generated by the lit cigarette between two puffs (SSS) but also the smoke exhaled by active smokers (EXS). The aerosol fraction of EXS has until now been poorly documented; its composition is expected to be different from MSS. This study aims to investigate the complex composition of aerosol from EXS to better understand the difference in exposure between active and passive smokers. To address this, the in-situ laser desorption ionisation Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry (LDI-FTICRMS) was used to characterise the aerosol composition of EXS from two different smokers. Results clearly indicated many similarities between EXS samples but also significant differences with MSS and SSS aerosol. The comparison of MSS and EXS aerosol allowed the chemicals retained by the active smoker's lungs to be identified, whereas the convolution of the EXS and SSS aerosol compositions were considered relevant to the exposition of a passive smoker. As a consequence, active smokers are thought to be mainly exposed to polar and poorly unsaturated oxygenated and nitrogenated organics, compared with poorly oxygenated but highly unsaturated compounds in passive smokers.

  3. The symbiotic star TX CVn has entered an active state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munari, U.; Castellani, F.; Valisa, P.; Dallaporta, S.; Cherini, G.; Vagnozzi, A.; Righetti, G. L.; Belligoli, R.

    2014-01-01

    After the last active phase that begun in 2003, the symbiotic star TX CVn has now entered a new active phase. In 2003, TX CVn rose to B=10.5 and there it remained until the end of 2007 (Skopal 2007, AN 328, 909), when we started monitoring the variable with various ANS Collaboration telescopes in BVRI bands. Our observations show that the star has spent the following 6 years on a steady decline at a rate of 0.084 mag per year in the B band, that took it from B=10.55 on December 2007 to B=11.02 on September 2013, when the star begun a rapid brightening, reaching B=10.65 by early December 2013.

  4. Mechanistic insight into conjugated N-N bond cleavage by Rh(III)-catalyzed redox-neutral C-H activation of pyrazolones.

    PubMed

    Wu, Weirong; Liu, Yuxia; Bi, Siwei

    2015-08-14

    Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed to investigate the detailed mechanism of Rh(III)-catalyzed redox-neutral C-H activation of pyrazolones with PhC≡CPh. It is found that (1) the methylene C-H activation is prior to the phenyl C-H activation, (2) the N-N bond cleavage is realized via Rh(III) → Rh(I) → Rh(III) rather than via Rh(III) → Rh(V) → Rh(III). The zwitterionic Rh(I) complex is identified to be a key intermediate in promoting the N-N bond cleavage. (3) Different from the Rh(III)-catalyzed hydrazine-directed C-H activation for indole synthesis, the rate-determining step of the reaction studied in this work is the Rh(III) → Rh(I) → Rh(III) process resulting in the N-N bond cleavage rather than the alkyne insertion step. The present theoretical study provides new insight into the mechanism of the conjugated N-N bond cleavage. PMID:26138233

  5. Coupled textural and compositional characterization of basaltic scoria: Insights into the transition from Strombolian to fire fountain activity at Mount Etna, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polacci, Margherita; Corsaro, Rosa Anna; Andronico, Daniele

    2006-03-01

    Strombolian and fire fountain activities represent a common expression of explosive basaltic eruptions. However, the transition between these two eruptive styles and their source mechanisms are still debated. We use textural and compositional studies to characterize pyroclastic material from both the Strombolian and Hawaiian-style fire fountain phases of the January June 2000 Etna activity. We find that basaltic scoria presents distinctive textural and compositional features that reflect different modes of magma vesiculation and crystallization in the two eruptive regimes. Overall, magma that forms Strombolian scoria is far more crystallized, less vesicular, and more evolved, indicating strong volatile depletion and longer residence time before being erupted. Fire fountain scoria indicates a fast-rising magma with evidence of moderate syneruptive volatile exsolution. The new textural and compositional data set is integrated with previous volcanological and geophysical investigations to provide further insights into the dynamics of fire fountains, and to frame the transition from Strombolian explosions to fire fountain activity into a model that may apply to future eruptions at Mount Etna as well as other active basaltic volcanoes.

  6. What graph theory actually tells us about resting state interictal MEG epileptic activity

    PubMed Central

    Niso, Guiomar; Carrasco, Sira; Gudín, María; Maestú, Fernando; del-Pozo, Francisco; Pereda, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    Graph theory provides a useful framework to study functional brain networks from neuroimaging data. In epilepsy research, recent findings suggest that it offers unique insight into the fingerprints of this pathology on brain dynamics. Most studies hitherto have focused on seizure activity during focal epilepsy, but less is known about functional epileptic brain networks during interictal activity in frontal focal and generalized epilepsy. Besides, it is not clear yet which measures are most suitable to characterize these networks. To address these issues, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data using two orthogonal planar gradiometers from 45 subjects from three groups (15 healthy controls (7 males, 24 ± 6 years), 15 frontal focal (8 male, 32 ± 16 years) and 15 generalized epileptic (6 male, 27 ± 7 years) patients) during interictal resting state with closed eyes. Then, we estimated the total and relative spectral power of the largest principal component of the gradiometers, and the degree of phase synchronization between each sensor site in the frequency range [0.5–40 Hz]. We further calculated a comprehensive battery of 15 graph-theoretic measures and used the affinity propagation clustering algorithm to elucidate the minimum set of them that fully describe these functional brain networks. The results show that differences in spectral power between the control and the other two groups have a distinctive pattern: generalized epilepsy presents higher total power for all frequencies except the alpha band over a widespread set of sensors; frontal focal epilepsy shows higher relative power in the beta band bilaterally in the fronto-central sensors. Moreover, all network indices can be clustered into three groups, whose exemplars are the global network efficiency, the eccentricity and the synchronizability. Again, the patterns of differences were clear: the brain network of the generalized epilepsy patients presented greater efficiency and lower

  7. What graph theory actually tells us about resting state interictal MEG epileptic activity.

    PubMed

    Niso, Guiomar; Carrasco, Sira; Gudín, María; Maestú, Fernando; Del-Pozo, Francisco; Pereda, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    Graph theory provides a useful framework to study functional brain networks from neuroimaging data. In epilepsy research, recent findings suggest that it offers unique insight into the fingerprints of this pathology on brain dynamics. Most studies hitherto have focused on seizure activity during focal epilepsy, but less is known about functional epileptic brain networks during interictal activity in frontal focal and generalized epilepsy. Besides, it is not clear yet which measures are most suitable to characterize these networks. To address these issues, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data using two orthogonal planar gradiometers from 45 subjects from three groups (15 healthy controls (7 males, 24 ± 6 years), 15 frontal focal (8 male, 32 ± 16 years) and 15 generalized epileptic (6 male, 27 ± 7 years) patients) during interictal resting state with closed eyes. Then, we estimated the total and relative spectral power of the largest principal component of the gradiometers, and the degree of phase synchronization between each sensor site in the frequency range [0.5-40 Hz]. We further calculated a comprehensive battery of 15 graph-theoretic measures and used the affinity propagation clustering algorithm to elucidate the minimum set of them that fully describe these functional brain networks. The results show that differences in spectral power between the control and the other two groups have a distinctive pattern: generalized epilepsy presents higher total power for all frequencies except the alpha band over a widespread set of sensors; frontal focal epilepsy shows higher relative power in the beta band bilaterally in the fronto-central sensors. Moreover, all network indices can be clustered into three groups, whose exemplars are the global network efficiency, the eccentricity and the synchronizability. Again, the patterns of differences were clear: the brain network of the generalized epilepsy patients presented greater efficiency and lower

  8. Active tectonic studies in the United States, 1987-1990

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, R.J., II )

    1991-01-01

    The techniques and instrumentation used in active tectonic studies are discussed, and recent results are reviewed. It is suggested that a critical mass of data on several particular regions has been accumulated, making possible critical debates and attempts to assess earthquake hazards. Particular attention is given to studies of the Pacific Northwest region, basin and range deformation studies, and distributed deformation and hidden earthquake sources. Also included is a comprehensive bibliography for the period.

  9. United States-Russia: Environmental management activities, Summer 1998

    SciTech Connect

    1998-09-01

    A Joint Coordinating Committee for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (JCCEM) was formed between the US and Russia. This report describes the areas of research being studied under JCCEM, namely: Efficient separations; Contaminant transport and site characterization; Mixed wastes; High level waste tank remediation; Transuranic stabilization; Decontamination and decommissioning; and Emergency response. Other sections describe: Administrative framework for cooperation; Scientist exchange; Future actions; Non-JCCEM DOE-Russian activities; and JCCEM publications.

  10. Structural insights into the loss of catalytic competence in pectate lyase activity at low pH.

    PubMed

    Ali, Salyha; Søndergaard, Chresten R; Teixeira, Susana; Pickersgill, Richard W

    2015-10-24

    Pectate lyase, a family 1 polysaccharide lyase, catalyses cleavage of the α-1,4 linkage of the polysaccharide homogalacturonan via an anti β-elimination reaction. In the Michaelis complex two calcium ions bind between the C6 carboxylate of the d-galacturonate residue and enzyme aspartates at the active centre (+1 subsite), they withdraw electrons acidifying the C5 proton facilitating its abstraction by the catalytic arginine. Here we show that activity is lost at low pH because protonation of aspartates resu