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Sample records for biologic mechanism involved

  1. [THE ROLE OF MATERNAL DIET IN METABOLIC AND BEHAVIOURAL PROGRAMMING: REVIEW OF BIOLOGIC MECHANISMS INVOLVED].

    PubMed

    Ramírez-López, María Teresa; Vázquez Berrios, Mariam; Arco González, Rocío; Blanco Velilla, Rosario Noemí; Decara Del Olmo, Juan; Suárez Pérez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando; Gómez de Heras, Raquel

    2015-01-01

    Over the last few years, a considerable amount of studies have focused on the effect of undernutrition and overnutrition during critical periods of offspring development and their risk of developing metabolic diseases later in life. Additionally, inadequate maternal diets have been involved in the malprogramming of brain functions and some behaviours. Several mechanisms have been associated with the process of malprogramming such as epigenetics modifications, excessive oxidative stress or hypothalamic alterations. This evidence supports the idea that nutritional prevention strategies must be considered for offspring during early development stages that include the preconceptional period. Additionally, studying involved mechanisms could be particularly useful in the search of efficient therapies against malprogramming. PMID:26667690

  2. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms. PMID:26205204

  3. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider. PMID:22639577

  4. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

    Proton transport across lipid membranes is a fundamental aspect of biological energy transduction (metabolism). This function is mediated by a Grotthuss mechanism involving proton hopping along hydrogen-bonded networks embedded in membrane-spanning proteins. Using molecular simulations, the authors have explored the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties giving rise to long-range proton translocation in hydrogen-bonded networks involving water molecules, or water wires, which are emerging as ubiquitous H{sup +}-transport devices in biological systems.

  5. [Immunological mechanisms involved in pregnancy].

    PubMed

    Rico-Rosillo, María Guadalupe; Vega-Robledo, Gloria Bertha

    2012-05-01

    Pregnancy progresses through mechanisms that allow the embryo implantation and its development during gestation. Those mechanisms involve the immune cells that participate in the regulation of immune tolerance and response, as well as the protection conferred by Th2 cytokines and molecules expressed on trophoblast cells. Local factors expressed in the fetal interface as HLA-G, which inhibits the cytotoxicity of uterine natural killer cells and induces apoptosis of activated CD8 cells; transforming growth factor-beta, that induces tolerance, and uterine natural killer cells that are functionally different to the peripheral, as well as circulating progesterone and the glicodeline molecules that are important regulators of the immune response, also intervene in the process. From the conventional immunological point of view, pregnancy is a unique immune condition in which the fetus, semiallogenic, avoids being rejected immunologically by the mother, apparently by inducing a tolerance more than a sensitization PMID:23301425

  6. Emergent mechanics of biological structures

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, Sophie; Prakash, Manu

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical force organizes life at all scales, from molecules to cells and tissues. Although we have made remarkable progress unraveling the mechanics of life's individual building blocks, our understanding of how they give rise to the mechanics of larger-scale biological structures is still poor. Unlike the engineered macroscopic structures that we commonly build, biological structures are dynamic and self-organize: they sculpt themselves and change their own architecture, and they have structural building blocks that generate force and constantly come on and off. A description of such structures defies current traditional mechanical frameworks. It requires approaches that account for active force-generating parts and for the formation of spatial and temporal patterns utilizing a diverse array of building blocks. In this Perspective, we term this framework “emergent mechanics.” Through examples at molecular, cellular, and tissue scales, we highlight challenges and opportunities in quantitatively understanding the emergent mechanics of biological structures and the need for new conceptual frameworks and experimental tools on the way ahead. PMID:25368421

  7. The Structural Biology of Enzymes Involved in Natural Product Glycosylation

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Shanteri; Phillips, George N.

    2012-01-01

    The glycosylation of microbial natural products often dramatically influences the biological and/or pharmacological activities of the parental metabolite. Over the past decade, crystal structures of several enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and attachment of novel sugars found appended to natural products have emerged. In many cases, these studies have paved the way to a better understanding of the corresponding enzyme mechanism of action and have served as a starting point for engineering variant enzymes to facilitate to production of differentially-glycosylated natural products. This review specifically summarizes the structural studies of bacterial enzymes involved in biosynthesis of novel sugar nucleotides. PMID:22688446

  8. [Mechanism of angiogenesis. Ocular involvement].

    PubMed

    Mocanu, Carmen

    2003-01-01

    Over the past several years, there has been important progress in the field of intrinsec mechanisms of ocular neovascularization. Immunohistological studies succeeded a better systematization of the factors that stimulates and inhibits this process. Their presence in different ocular normal structures, without any angiogenic activity, suggests a physiological balance between VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) with stimulatory effect on angiogenesis and PEDF (pigment epithelium derived factor) with inhibitory effect. It has been discussing the possibility of modification of physiological balance between VEGF and PEDF to induce the neovascularization process. The understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms of the substances implicated in inhibition of chorioretinal neovascularization makes to be real the expectations for the development of new treatments. PMID:15083677

  9. Mechanical Instabilities of Biological Tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannezo, Edouard; Prost, Jacques; Joanny, Jean-François

    2012-07-01

    We study theoretically the morphologies of biological tubes affected by various pathologies. When epithelial cells grow, the negative tension produced by their division provokes a buckling instability. Several shapes are investigated: varicose, dilated, sinuous, or sausagelike. They are all found in pathologies of tracheal, renal tubes, or arteries. The final shape depends crucially on the mechanical parameters of the tissues: Young’s modulus, wall-to-lumen ratio, homeostatic pressure. We argue that since tissues must be in quasistatic mechanical equilibrium, abnormal shapes convey information as to what causes the pathology. We calculate a phase diagram of tubular instabilities which could be a helpful guide for investigating the underlying genetic regulation.

  10. Mechanics of biological polymer composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomakin, Joseph

    2009-12-01

    displayed a darker coloration and significantly increased n of 0.0470.004, suggesting both cuticles to be less cross-linked, a finding consistent with reduced beta-alanine metabolism. Suppression of the tanning enzyme laccase2 (TcLac2) resulted in a pale cuticle with an n of 0.043+/-0.005, implicating laccases in the formation of both pigments and cross-links during sclerotization. Cuticular cross-linking was increased and n decreased with decreased expression of structural proteins, CP10 and CP20. This work establishes n as an important novel parameter for confirming metabolic pathways within load bearing tissues and for understanding structure function relationships within biological polymer composites. Additionally, Tribolium castaneum elytral indentation modulus (800+/-200 MPa) was determined by nanoindentation and a 4nm regular hexagonal pattern on the dorsal side of elytra investigated via scanning, transmission and atomic microscopy. Based on studied biological materials, the combination of rigid macromolecules immersed in a ductile matrix was found to be significant in achieving exceptional mechanical performance. Inspired by this biological design principle, the synthesis, properties and structure of Poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate/agarose semi-interpenetrating network hydrogels were explored. The resulting novel composite materials were 9x stiffer than agarose and 5x tougher than PEGDA alone and showed good biocompatibility, suggesting promise as a scaffold material for tissue engineering constructs for cartilage regeneration.

  11. Mechanisms underlying protective effects of trimetazidine on endothelial progenitor cells biological functions against H2O2-induced injury: involvement of antioxidation and Akt/eNOS signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qinqin; Qi, Benling; Liu, Yun; Cheng, Bei; Liu, Lihua; Li, Yuanyuan; Wang, Qian

    2013-05-01

    Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a widely used drug exerting cardioprotective effects against ischemic heart disease through a number of mechanisms in conditions of oxidative stress. However, there are few data regarding the effects of TMZ on endothelial lineage, especially endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Thus, we sought to investigate whether TMZ could protect EPCs against oxidative stress injury induced by H2O2 (100 µM) and the preliminary mechanisms involved in vitro. The results showed that pretreatment of EPCs with TMZ (10 µM) protected the proliferation, adhesion, migration, and apoptosis of EPCs against H2O2, accompanied by an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, a decrease in malonaldehyde (MDA) content, and increases in eNOS, Akt phosphorylation, and NO production. These TMZ-mediated beneficial effects on EPCs could be attenuated by pre-incubation with the Akt inhibitor triciribine. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that TMZ ameliorated H2O2-induced impairment of biological functions in EPCs with the involvement of antioxidation and Akt/eNOS signaling pathway. These findings suggest that TMZ mediating preservation of EPCs may contribute to its cardioprotective effects on ischemic heart disease. PMID:23528356

  12. [Placebo effect: clinical, biological and therapeutical involvements in depression].

    PubMed

    Gourion, D; Mouchabac, S

    2016-02-01

    The placebo effect is an excellent model for understanding the mechanisms underlying the interaction between a subjective and complex mental activity (beliefs, expectations, hopes, learning, patient-physician relationship, socio-cultural context .) with different neural and biological systems. Initially, research on the placebo effect has focused on the mechanisms of pain and analgesia. The cognitive processes of conditioning and reward anticipation (hope of a relief) were highlighted. The involvement of different neurobiological pathways has been clearly shown: endogenous opioids, CCK, dopaminergic pathways, endocannabinoids, immunological factors… More recently, the field has open towards new perspectives: depression and anxiety, motor disorders, immune system, endocrine system. Intensive research in the field emerges because of its fundamental implications in neuroscience research but also because of the ethical, clinical and therapeutical issues. Moreover, the placebo effect is considered as a main methodological mean issue in clinical trials that allows the demonstration of the efficacy and tolerance of new drugs. In the field of psychiatry, depression is a placebo highly-sensitive disorder: placebo response rates in clinical trials are of the order of 30 % to 40 %. The identification of biological markers of placebo response, such as neuroimaging and quantitative electroencephalography may lead to develop more efficient models in clinical research. PMID:26879253

  13. The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    This workshop, entitled "The Cytoskeleton: Mechanical, Physical, and Biological Interactions," was sponsored by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Space Life Sciences at the Marine Biological Laboratory. This Center was established through a cooperative agreement between the MBL and the Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. To achieve these goals, the Center sponsors a series of workshops on various topics in the life sciences. Elements of the cytoskeleton have been implicated in the effects of gravity on the growth of plants fungi. An intriguing finding in this regard is the report indicating that an integrin-like protein may be the gravireceptor in the internodal cells of Chara. Involvement of the cytoskeleton in cellular graviperception of the basidiomycete Flammulina velutipes has also been reported. Although the responses of mammalian cells to gravity are not well documented, it has been proposed that integrins can act as mechanochemical transducers in mammalian cells. Little is known about the integrated mechanical and physical properties of cytoplasm, this workshop would be the best place to begin developing interdisciplinary approaches to the effects of mechanical stresses on cells and their most likely responsive cytoplasmic elements- the fibrous proteins comprising the cytoskeleton.

  14. The concept of mechanism in biology.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Daniel J

    2012-03-01

    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology ('mechanicism'), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure ('machine mechanism'), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon ('causal mechanism'). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of 'mechanism' in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in the philosophy of biology, situating the new 'mechanismic program' in this context. I argue that the leading advocates of the mechanismic program (i.e., Craver, Darden, Bechtel, etc.) inadvertently conflate the different senses of 'mechanism'. Specifically, they all inappropriately endow causal mechanisms with the ontic status of machine mechanisms, and this invariably results in problematic accounts of the role played by mechanism-talk in scientific practice. I suggest that for effective analyses of the concept of mechanism, causal mechanisms need to be distinguished from machine mechanisms, and the new mechanismic program in the philosophy of biology needs to be demarcated from the traditional concerns of mechanistic biology. PMID:22326084

  15. Involvement of Mechanical Stress in Androgenetic Alopecia

    PubMed Central

    Tellez-Segura, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Context: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a frequent disorder characterized by progressive hair miniaturization in a very similar pattern among all affected men. The pathogenesis is related to androgen-inducible overexpression of transforming growth factor β-1 from balding dermal papilla cells, which is involved in epithelial inhibition and perifollicular fibrosis. Recent research shows that hair follicle androgen sensitivity is regulated by Hic-5, an androgen receptor co-activator which may be activated by the mechanical stimulation. Moreover, the dermis of scalp susceptible to be affected by AGA is firmly bounded to the galea aponeurotica, so the physical force exerted by the occipitofrontalis muscle is transmitted to the scalp skin. Aims: To know whether mechanical stress supported by hair follicles is involved in AGA phenomenon. Materials and Methods: It is performed with a finite element analysis of a galea model and a schematic representation of AGA progression according to Hamilton–Norwood scale in order to establish the correlation between elastic deformation in scalp and clinical progression of male pattern baldness. Results: The result was a highly significant correlation (r: −0.885, P < 0.001) that clearly identifies a mechanical factor in AGA development. Conclusions: All these data suggest that mechanical stress determines AGA patterning and a stretch-induced and androgen-mediated mechanotransduction in dermal papilla cells could be the primary mechanism in AGA pathogenesis. PMID:26622151

  16. [Signaling mechanisms involved in resolution of inflammation].

    PubMed

    Cervantes-Villagrana, Rodolfo Daniel; Cervantes-Villagrana, Alberto Rafael; Presno-Bernal, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Inflammation is a physiological process, which eliminates pathogens and induces repair of damaged tissue. This process is controlled by negative feedback mechanisms, but if the inflammation persists, it generates a deleterious autoimmune process or can to contribute with diseases such as obesity or cancer. The inflammation resolution involves mechanisms such as decrease of proliferation and maturation of immune cells, phagocytosis and apoptosis of immune cells, and decrease of proinflammatory mediators. Therefore, is relevant to study the physiological effects of specific receptors that participate in inflammation resolution and the design of specific agonists as conventional anti-inflammatory therapeutics, without dramatic collateral effects. In this review, we study some mechanisms associated with inflammation inhibition, particularly the transduction of receptors for ligands with anti-inflammatory effects and that are relevant for their potential therapeutic. PMID:25275846

  17. A Review of Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Toxicity of Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Khalili Fard, Javad; Jafari, Samira; Eghbal, Mohammad Ali

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, the use of nanomaterials has received much attention in industrial and medical fields. However, some reports have mentioned adverse effects of these materials on the biological systems and cellular components. There are several major mechanisms for cytotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) such as physicochemical properties, contamination with toxic element, fibrous structure, high surface charge and radical species generation. In this review, a brief key mechanisms involved in toxic effect of NPs are given, followed by the in vitro toxicity assays of NPs and prooxidant effects of several NPs such as carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide NPs, quantum dots, gold NPs and silver NPs. PMID:26819915

  18. Enzymatic DNA oxidation: mechanisms and biological significance

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Guo-Liang; Walsh, Colum P.

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation at cytosines (5mC) is a major epigenetic modification involved in the regulation of multiple biological processes in mammals. How methylation is reversed was until recently poorly understood. The family of dioxygenases commonly known as Ten-eleven translocation (Tet) proteins are responsible for the oxidation of 5mC into three new forms, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). Current models link Tet-mediated 5mC oxidation with active DNA demethylation. The higher oxidation products (5fC and 5caC) are recognized and excised by the DNA glycosylase TDG via the base excision repair pathway. Like DNA methyltransferases, Tet enzymes are important for embryonic development. We will examine the mechanism and biological significance of Tet-mediated 5mC oxidation in the context of pronuclear DNA demethylation in mouse early embryos. In contrast to its role in active demethylation in the germ cells and early embryo, a number of lines of evidence suggest that the intragenic 5hmC present in brain may act as a stable mark instead. This short review explores mechanistic aspects of TET oxidation activity, the impact Tet enzymes have on epigenome organization and their contribution to the regulation of early embryonic and neuronal development. [BMB Reports 2014; 47(11): 609-618] PMID:25341925

  19. Glucan: mechanisms involved in its radioprotective effect

    SciTech Connect

    Patchen, M.L.; D'Alesandro, M.M.; Brook, I.; Blakely, W.F.; MacVittie, T.J.

    1987-01-01

    It has generally been accepted that most biologically derived agents that are radioprotective in the hemopoietic-syndrome dose range (eg, endotoxin, Bacillus Calmette Guerin, Corynebacterium parvum, etc) exert their beneficial properties by enhancing hemopoietic recovery and hence, by regenerating the host's ability to resist life-threatening opportunistic infections. However, using glucan as a hemopoietic stimulant/radioprotectant, the authors demonstrated the host resistance to opportunistic infection is enhanced in mice even prior to the detection of significant hemopoietic regeneration. This early enhanced resistance microbial invasion in glucan-treated irradiated mice could be correlated with enhanced and/or prolonged macrophage (but not granulocyte) function. These results suggest that early after irradiation glucan may mediate its radioprotection by enhancing resistance to microbial invasion via mechanisms not necessarily predicated on hemopoietic recovery. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that glucan can also function as an effective free-radical scavenger. Because macrophages have been shown to selectively phagocytize and sequester glucan, the possibility that these specific cells may be protected by virtue of glucan's scavenging ability is also suggested.

  20. Glucan: mechanisms involved in its radioprotective effect

    SciTech Connect

    Patchen, M.L.; D'Alesandro, M.M.; Brook, I.; Blakely, W.F.; MacVittie, T.J.

    1987-08-01

    It has generally been accepted that most biologically derived agents that are radioprotective in the hemopoietic-syndrome dose range (eg, endotoxin, Bacillus Calmette Guerin, Corynebacterium parvum, etc) exert their beneficial properties by enhancing hemopoietic recovery and hence, by regenerating the host's ability to resist life-threatening opportunistic infections. However, using glucan as a hemopoietic stimulant/radioprotectant, we have demonstrated that host resistance to opportunistic infection is enhanced in these mice even prior to the detection of significant hemopoietic regeneration. This early enhanced resistance to microbial invasion in glucan-treated irradiated mice could be correlated with enhanced and/or prolonged macrophage (but not granulocyte) function. These results suggest that early after irradiation glucan may mediate its radioprotection by enhancing resistance to microbial invasion via mechanisms not necessarily predicated on hemopoietic recovery. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that glucan can also function as an effective free-radical scavenger. Because macrophages have been shown to selectively phagocytize and sequester glucan, the possibility that these specific cells may be protected by virtue of glucan's scavenging ability is also suggested.

  1. Mechanical versus biological aortic valve replacement strategies.

    PubMed

    Reineke, D; Gisler, F; Englberger, L; Carrel, T

    2016-04-01

    Aortic valve replacement (AVR) is the most frequently performed procedure in valve surgery. The controversy about the optimal choice of the prosthetic valve is as old as the technique itself. Currently there is no perfect valve substitute available. The main challenge is to choose between mechanical and biological prosthetic valves. Biological valves include pericardial (bovine, porcine or equine) and native porcine bioprostheses designed in stented, stentless and sutureless versions. Homografts and pulmonary autografts are reserved for special indications and will not be discussed in detail in this review. We will focus on the decision making between artificial biological and mechanical prostheses, respectively. The first part of this article reviews guideline recommendations concerning the choice of aortic prostheses in different clinical situations while the second part is focused on novel strategies in the treatment of patients with aortic valve pathology. PMID:26678683

  2. Physiopathologic mechanisms involved in mare endometrosis.

    PubMed

    Rebordão, M R; Galvão, A; Szóstek, A; Amaral, A; Mateus, L; Skarzynski, D J; Ferreira-Dias, G

    2014-10-01

    Endometrosis is a degenerative chronic process, characterized by paramount fibrosis development in mare endometrium. This condition is one of the major causes of subfertility/infertility in mares. As in other organs, fibrosis might be a pathologic sequel of many chronic inflammatory diseases. However, aetiology and physiopathologic mechanisms involved in endometrial fibrosis are still controversial. This review presents new hypotheses based on our newest data. As the first line of innate immune defence, systemic neutrophils arrive in the uterus at mating or in the presence of pathogens. A novel paradigm is that neutrophils cast out their DNA in response to infectious stimuli and form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). We have shown that bacterial strains of Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus capitis, known to cause endometritis in mares were able to induce NETs release in vitro by equine PMN to different extents. An intriguing dilemma is the dual action of NETs. While NETs play a desirable role fighting micro-organisms in mare uterus, they may also contribute to endometrial fibrosis. A long-term in vitro exposure of mare endometrium explants to NETs components (myeloperoxidase, elastase and cathepsin G) up-regulated fibrosis markers TGFβ and Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1). Also, pro-fibrotic cytokines regulated collagen deposition and fibrosis. Changes in expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), interleukins (IL)1-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and receptors in endometrium with different degrees of fibrosis and/or inflammation were observed. A putative role of CTGF, IL and NETs components in endometrosis development should be considered. Additionally, we speculate that in sustained endometritis in mares, prostaglandins may not only cause early luteolysis or early pregnancy loss, but may also be related to endometrial fibrosis pathogenesis by stimulating collagen deposition. PMID:25277436

  3. Changes of trabecular bone under control of biologically mechanical mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Zhang, C. Q.; Dong, X.; Wu, H.

    2008-10-01

    In this study, a biological process of bone remodeling was considered as a closed loop feedback control system, which enables bone to optimize and renew itself over a lifetime. A novel idea of combining strain-adaptive and damage-induced remodeling algorithms at Basic Multicellular Unit (BMU) level was introduced. In order to make the outcomes get closer to clinical observation, the stochastic occurrence of microdamage was involved and a hypothesis that remodeling activation probability is related to the value of damage rate was assumed. Integrated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the changes of trabecular bone in morphology and material properties were simulated in the course of five years. The results suggest that deterioration and anisotropy of trabecluar bone are inevitable with natural aging, and that compression rather than tension can be applied to strengthen the ability of resistance to fracture. This investigation helps to gain more insight the mechanism of bone loss and identify improved treatment and prevention for osteoporosis or stress fracture.

  4. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time

    PubMed Central

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L.

    2011-01-01

    The last 15 years have witnessed the development of tools that allow the observation and manipulation of single molecules. The rapidly expanding application of these technologies for investigating biological systems of ever-increasing complexity is revolutionizing our ability to probe the mechanisms of biological reactions. Here, we compare the mechanistic information available from single-molecule experiments with the information typically obtained from ensemble studies and show how these two experimental approaches interface with each other. We next present a basic overview of the toolkit for observing and manipulating biology one molecule at a time. We close by presenting a case study demonstrating the impact that single-molecule approaches have had on our understanding of one of life's most fundamental biochemical reactions: the translation of a messenger RNA into its encoded protein by the ribosome. PMID:21685361

  5. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  6. A Systems Biology-Based Approach to Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Dragon's Blood Tablet in Colitis, Involving the Integration of Chemical Analysis, ADME Prediction, and Network Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiumei; Zhai, Huaqiang; Lin, Na; Tang, Shihuan; Liang, Rixin; Ma, Yan; Li, Defeng; Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Guangrong; Yang, Hongjun; Huang, Luqi

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment. PMID:25068885

  7. The mechanics of soft biological composites.

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Thao D.; Grazier, John Mark; Boyce, Brad Lee; Jones, Reese E.

    2007-10-01

    Biological tissues are uniquely structured materials with technologically appealing properties. Soft tissues such as skin, are constructed from a composite of strong fibrils and fluid-like matrix components. This was the first coordinated experimental/modeling project at Sandia or in the open literature to consider the mechanics of micromechanically-based anisotropy and viscoelasticity of soft biological tissues. We have exploited and applied Sandia's expertise in experimentation and mechanics modeling to better elucidate the behavior of collagen fibril-reinforced soft tissues. The purpose of this project was to provide a detailed understanding of the deformation of ocular tissues, specifically the highly structured skin-like tissue in the cornea. This discovery improved our knowledge of soft/complex materials testing and modeling. It also provided insight into the way that cornea tissue is bio-engineered such that under physiologically-relevant conditions it has a unique set of properties which enhance functionality. These results also provide insight into how non-physiologic loading conditions, such as corrective surgeries, may push the cornea outside of its natural design window, resulting in unexpected non-linear responses. Furthermore, this project created a clearer understanding of the mechanics of soft tissues that could lead to bio-inspired materials, such as highly supple and impact resistant body armor, and improve our design of human-machine interfaces, such as micro-electrical-mechanical (MEMS) based prosthetics.

  8. Mechanically driven interface propagation in biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranft, Jonas; Aliee, Maryam; Prost, Jacques; Jülicher, Frank; Joanny, Jean-François

    2014-03-01

    Many biological tissues consist of more than one cell type. We study the dynamics of an interface between two different cell populations as it occurs during the growth of a tumor in a healthy host tissue. Recent work suggests that the rates of cell division and cell death are under mechanical control, characterized by a homeostatic pressure. The difference in the homeostatic pressures of two cell types drives the propagation of the interface, corresponding to the invasion of one cell type into the other. We derive a front propagation equation that takes into account the coupling between cell number balance and tissue mechanics. We show that in addition to pulled fronts, pushed-front solutions occur as a result of convection driven by mechanics.

  9. NASA Sponsored Research Involving Crystallization of Biological Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Downey, James Patton

    2000-01-01

    An overview of NASA's plans for the performing experiments involving the crystallization of biological materials on the International Space Station (ISS) is presented. In addition, a brief overview of past work is provided as background. Descriptions of flight hardware currently available for use on the ISS are given and projections of future developments are discussed. In addition, experiment selection and funding is described. As of the flight of STS-95, these crystallization projects have proven to be some of the most successful in the history of microgravity research. The NASA Microgravity Research Division alone has flown 185 different proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, and complexes on 43 different missions. 37 of the 185 have resulted, in, diffraction patterns with higher resolution than was obtained in all previous ground based experiments. This occurred despite the fact that an average of only 41 samples per protein were flown. A number of other samples have shown improved signal to noise characteristics, i.e. relative Wilson plots, when compared to the best ground experiments. In addition, a number of experiments investigating the effects of microgravity conditions on the crystallization of biological material have been conducted.

  10. Identification of Inhibitors of Biological Interactions Involving Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Marasco, Daniela; Scognamiglio, Pasqualina Liana

    2015-01-01

    Protein–protein interactions involving disordered partners have unique features and represent prominent targets in drug discovery processes. Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) are involved in cellular regulation, signaling and control: they bind to multiple partners and these high-specificity/low-affinity interactions play crucial roles in many human diseases. Disordered regions, terminal tails and flexible linkers are particularly abundant in DNA-binding proteins and play crucial roles in the affinity and specificity of DNA recognizing processes. Protein complexes involving IDPs are short-lived and typically involve short amino acid stretches bearing few “hot spots”, thus the identification of molecules able to modulate them can produce important lead compounds: in this scenario peptides and/or peptidomimetics, deriving from structure-based, combinatorial or protein dissection approaches, can play a key role as hit compounds. Here, we propose a panoramic review of the structural features of IDPs and how they regulate molecular recognition mechanisms focusing attention on recently reported drug-design strategies in the field of IDPs. PMID:25849651

  11. Epigenetic mechanisms involved in developmental nutritional programming

    PubMed Central

    Gabory, Anne; Attig, Linda; Junien, Claudine

    2011-01-01

    The ways in which epigenetic modifications fix the effects of early environmental events, ensuring sustained responses to transient stimuli, which result in modified gene expression patterns and phenotypes later in life, is a topic of considerable interest. This review focuses on recently discovered mechanisms and calls into question prevailing views about the dynamics, position and functions of epigenetic marks. Most epigenetic studies have addressed the long-term effects on a small number of epigenetic marks, at the global or individual gene level, of environmental stressors in humans and animal models. In parallel, increasing numbers of studies based on high-throughput technologies and focusing on humans and mice have revealed additional complexity in epigenetic processes, by highlighting the importance of crosstalk between the different epigenetic marks. A number of studies focusing on the developmental origin of health and disease and metabolic programming have identified links between early nutrition, epigenetic processes and long-term illness. The existence of a self-propagating epigenetic cycle has been demonstrated. Moreover, recent studies demonstrate an obvious sexual dimorphism both for programming trajectories and in response to the same environmental insult. Despite recent progress, we are still far from understanding how, when and where environmental stressors disturb key epigenetic mechanisms. Thus, identifying the original key marks and their changes throughout development during an individual’s lifetime or over several generations remains a challenging issue. PMID:22010058

  12. Multiscale mechanical modeling of soft biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stylianopoulos, Triantafyllos

    2008-10-01

    Soft biological tissues include both native and artificial tissues. In the human body, tissues like the articular cartilage, arterial wall, and heart valve leaflets are examples of structures composed of an underlying network of collagen fibers, cells, proteins and molecules. Artificial tissues are less complex than native tissues and mainly consist of a fiber polymer network with the intent of replacing lost or damaged tissue. Understanding of the mechanical function of these materials is essential for many clinical treatments (e.g. arterial clamping, angioplasty), diseases (e.g. arteriosclerosis) and tissue engineering applications (e.g. engineered blood vessels or heart valves). This thesis presents the derivation and application of a multiscale methodology to describe the macroscopic mechanical function of soft biological tissues incorporating directly their structural architecture. The model, which is based on volume averaging theory, accounts for structural parameters such as the network volume fraction and orientation, the realignment of the fibers in response to strain, the interactions among the fibers and the interactions between the fibers and the interstitial fluid in order to predict the overall tissue behavior. Therefore, instead of using a constitutive equation to relate strain to stress, the tissue microstructure is modeled within a representative volume element (RVE) and the macroscopic response at any point in the tissue is determined by solving a micromechanics problem in the RVE. The model was applied successfully to acellular collagen gels, native blood vessels, and electrospun polyurethane scaffolds and provided accurate predictions for permeability calculations in isotropic and oriented fiber networks. The agreement of model predictions with experimentally determined mechanical properties provided insights into the mechanics of tissues and tissue constructs, while discrepancies revealed limitations of the model framework.

  13. Systems analysis of gene ontology and biological pathways involved in post-myocardial infarction responses

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Pathway analysis has been widely used to gain insight into essential mechanisms of the response to myocardial infarction (MI). Currently, there exist multiple pathway databases that organize molecular datasets and manually curate pathway maps for biological interpretation at varying forms of organization. However, inconsistencies among different databases in pathway descriptions, frequently due to conflicting results in the literature, can generate incorrect interpretations. Furthermore, although pathway analysis software provides detailed images of interactions among molecules, it does not exhibit how pathways interact with one another or with other biological processes under specific conditions. Methods We propose a novel method to standardize descriptions of enriched pathways for a set of genes/proteins using Gene Ontology terms. We used this method to examine the relationships among pathways and biological processes for a set of condition-specific genes/proteins, represented as a functional biological pathway-process network. We applied this algorithm to a set of 613 MI-specific proteins we previously identified. Results A total of 96 pathways from Biocarta, KEGG, and Reactome, and 448 Gene Ontology Biological Processes were enriched with these 613 proteins. The pathways were represented as Boolean functions of biological processes, delivering an interactive scheme to organize enriched information with an emphasis on involvement of biological processes in pathways. We extracted a network focusing on MI to demonstrate that tyrosine phosphorylation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) protein, positive regulation of collagen metabolic process, coagulation, and positive/negative regulation of blood coagulation have immediate impacts on the MI response. Conclusions Our method organized biological processes and pathways in an unbiased approach to provide an intuitive way to identify biological properties of pathways under specific

  14. [From the mechanical complexity in biology].

    PubMed

    Uribe, Libia Herrero

    2008-03-01

    From the mechanical complexity in biology. Through history, each century has brought new discoveries and beliefs that have resulted in different perspectives to study life organisms. In this essay, 1 define three periods: in the first, organisms were studied in the context of their environment, in the second, on the basis of physical and chemical laws, and on the third, systemically. My analysis starts with primitive humans, continues to Aristoteles and Newton, Lamarck and Darwin, the DNA doble helix discovery, and the beginnings of reduccionism in science. I propose that life is paradigmatical, that it obeys physical and chemical laws but cannot be explained by them I review the systemic theory, autopoiesis, discipative structures and non- linear dynamics. 1 propose that the deterministic, lineal and quantitative paradigm of nature are not the only way to study nature and invite the reader to explore the complexity paradigm. PMID:18624253

  15. Biological Mechanism of Silver Nanoparticle Toxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Najealicka Nicole

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), like almost all nanoparticles, are potentially toxic beyond a certain concentration because the survival of the organism is compromised due to scores of pathophysiological abnormalities above that concentration. However, the mechanism of AgNP toxicity remains undetermined. Instead of applying a toxic dose, these investigations were attempted to monitor the effects of AgNPs at a non-lethal concentration on wild type Drosophila melanogaster by exposing them to nanoparticles throughout their development. All adult flies raised in AgNP doped food indicated that of not more than 50 mg/L had no negative influence on median survival; however, these flies appeared uniformly lighter in body color due to the loss of melanin pigments in their cuticle. Additionally, fertility and vertical movement ability were compromised after AgNP feeding. The determination of the amount of free ionic silver (Ag+) indicated that the observed biological effects had resulted from the AgNPs and not from Ag+. Biochemical analysis suggests that the activity of copper dependent enzymes, namely tyrosinase and Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase, were decreased significantly following the consumption of AgNPs, despite the constant level of copper present in the tissue. Furthermore, copper supplementation restored the loss of AgNP induced demelanization, and the reduction of functional Ctr1 in Ctr1 heterozygous mutants caused the flies to be resistant to demelanization. Consequently, these studies proposed a mechanism whereby consumption of excess AgNPs in association with membrane bound copper transporter proteins cause sequestration of copper, thus creating a condition that resembles copper starvation. This model also explained the cuticular demelanization effect resulting from AgNP since tyrosinase activity is essential for melanin biosynthesis. Finally, these investigations demonstrated that Drosophila, an established genetic model system, can be well utilized for further

  16. Biological robustness: paradigms, mechanisms, and systems principles.

    PubMed

    Whitacre, James Michael

    2012-01-01

    Robustness has been studied through the analysis of data sets, simulations, and a variety of experimental techniques that each have their own limitations but together confirm the ubiquity of biological robustness. Recent trends suggest that different types of perturbation (e.g., mutational, environmental) are commonly stabilized by similar mechanisms, and system sensitivities often display a long-tailed distribution with relatively few perturbations representing the majority of sensitivities. Conceptual paradigms from network theory, control theory, complexity science, and natural selection have been used to understand robustness, however each paradigm has a limited scope of applicability and there has been little discussion of the conditions that determine this scope or the relationships between paradigms. Systems properties such as modularity, bow-tie architectures, degeneracy, and other topological features are often positively associated with robust traits, however common underlying mechanisms are rarely mentioned. For instance, many system properties support robustness through functional redundancy or through response diversity with responses regulated by competitive exclusion and cooperative facilitation. Moreover, few studies compare and contrast alternative strategies for achieving robustness such as homeostasis, adaptive plasticity, environment shaping, and environment tracking. These strategies share similarities in their utilization of adaptive and self-organization processes that are not well appreciated yet might be suggestive of reusable building blocks for generating robust behavior. PMID:22593762

  17. Biological Robustness: Paradigms, Mechanisms, and Systems Principles

    PubMed Central

    Whitacre, James Michael

    2012-01-01

    Robustness has been studied through the analysis of data sets, simulations, and a variety of experimental techniques that each have their own limitations but together confirm the ubiquity of biological robustness. Recent trends suggest that different types of perturbation (e.g., mutational, environmental) are commonly stabilized by similar mechanisms, and system sensitivities often display a long-tailed distribution with relatively few perturbations representing the majority of sensitivities. Conceptual paradigms from network theory, control theory, complexity science, and natural selection have been used to understand robustness, however each paradigm has a limited scope of applicability and there has been little discussion of the conditions that determine this scope or the relationships between paradigms. Systems properties such as modularity, bow-tie architectures, degeneracy, and other topological features are often positively associated with robust traits, however common underlying mechanisms are rarely mentioned. For instance, many system properties support robustness through functional redundancy or through response diversity with responses regulated by competitive exclusion and cooperative facilitation. Moreover, few studies compare and contrast alternative strategies for achieving robustness such as homeostasis, adaptive plasticity, environment shaping, and environment tracking. These strategies share similarities in their utilization of adaptive and self-organization processes that are not well appreciated yet might be suggestive of reusable building blocks for generating robust behavior. PMID:22593762

  18. Mutant p53: Multiple Mechanisms Define Biologic Activity in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Michael Paul; Zhang, Yun; Lozano, Guillermina

    2015-01-01

    The functional importance of p53 as a tumor suppressor gene is evident through its pervasiveness in cancer biology. The p53 gene is the most commonly altered gene in human cancer; however, not all genetic alterations are biologically equivalent. The majority of alterations involve p53 missense mutations that result in the production of mutant p53 proteins. Such mutant p53 proteins lack normal p53 function and may concomitantly gain novel functions, often with deleterious effects. Here, we review characterized mechanisms of mutant p53 gain of function in various model systems. In addition, we review mutant p53 addiction as emerging evidence suggests that tumors may depend on sustained mutant p53 activity for continued growth. We also discuss the role of p53 in stromal elements and their contribution to tumor initiation and progression. Lastly, current genetic mouse models of mutant p53 in various organ systems are reviewed and their limitations discussed. PMID:26618142

  19. [Review on the main microorganisms and their metabolic mechanisms in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xue; Zhu, Wei-Jing; Wang, Liang; Wu, Wei-Xiang

    2014-03-01

    Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process is applied widely for removing phosphorus from wastewater. Studies on functional microorganisms and their metabolic mechanisms are fundamental to effective regulation for stable operation and performance improvement of EBPR process. Two main types of microorganisms in EBPR systems, polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) were selected to summarize their metabolic mechanisms such as substrate uptake mechanisms, glycogen degradation pathways, extent of TCA cycle involvement and metabolic similarity between PAOs and GAOs. Application of molecular biology techniques in microbiology and metabolic mechanisms involved in the EBPR system was evaluated. Potential future research areas for the EBPR system and process optimization were also proposed. PMID:24984512

  20. BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY AND POTENTIAL REMEDIATION INVOLVING GEOTEXTILE LANDFILL LEACHATE FILTERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents the results of a biological growth study in geotextile filters used in landfill leachate collection systems. fter reviewing the first year's activity, a completely new experimental approach has been taken. sing 100 mm diameter columns for the experimental incu...

  1. Using Spreadsheets to Teach Aspects of Biology Involving Mathematical Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlton, Kevin; Nicholls, Mike; Ponsonby, David

    2004-01-01

    Some aspects of biology, for example the Hardy-Weinberg simulation of population genetics or modelling heat flow in lizards, have an undeniable mathematical basis. Students can find the level of mathematical skill required to deal with such concepts to be an insurmountable hurdle to understanding. If not used effectively, spreadsheet models…

  2. Mechanical Fluidity of Fully Suspended Biological Cells

    PubMed Central

    Maloney, John M.; Lehnhardt, Eric; Long, Alexandra F.; Van Vliet, Krystyn J.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical characteristics of single biological cells are used to identify and possibly leverage interesting differences among cells or cell populations. Fluidity—hysteresivity normalized to the extremes of an elastic solid or a viscous liquid—can be extracted from, and compared among, multiple rheological measurements of cells: creep compliance versus time, complex modulus versus frequency, and phase lag versus frequency. With multiple strategies available for acquisition of this nondimensional property, fluidity may serve as a useful and robust parameter for distinguishing cell populations, and for understanding the physical origins of deformability in soft matter. Here, for three disparate eukaryotic cell types deformed in the suspended state via optical stretching, we examine the dependence of fluidity on chemical and environmental influences at a timescale of ∼1 s. We find that fluidity estimates are consistent in the time and frequency domains under a structural damping (power-law or fractional-derivative) model, but not under an equivalent-complexity, lumped-component (spring-dashpot) model; the latter predicts spurious time constants. Although fluidity is suppressed by chemical cross-linking, we find that ATP depletion in the cell does not measurably alter the parameter, and we thus conclude that active ATP-driven events are not a crucial enabler of fluidity during linear viscoelastic deformation of a suspended cell. Finally, by using the capacity of optical stretching to produce near-instantaneous increases in cell temperature, we establish that fluidity increases with temperature—now measured in a fully suspended, sortable cell without the complicating factor of cell-substratum adhesion. PMID:24138852

  3. Systems biology and mechanics of growth.

    PubMed

    Eskandari, Mona; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to inert systems, living biological systems have the advantage to adapt to their environment through growth and evolution. This transfiguration is evident during embryonic development, when the predisposed need to grow allows form to follow function. Alterations in the equilibrium state of biological systems breed disease and mutation in response to environmental triggers. The need to characterize the growth of biological systems to better understand these phenomena has motivated the continuum theory of growth and stimulated the development of computational tools in systems biology. Biological growth in development and disease is increasingly studied using the framework of morphoelasticity. Here, we demonstrate the potential for morphoelastic simulations through examples of volume, area, and length growth, inspired by tumor expansion, chronic bronchitis, brain development, intestine formation, plant shape, and myopia. We review the systems biology of living systems in light of biochemical and optical stimuli and classify different types of growth to facilitate the design of growth models for various biological systems within this generic framework. Exploring the systems biology of growth introduces a new venue to control and manipulate embryonic development, disease progression, and clinical intervention. PMID:26352286

  4. Mechanisms Involved in Nematode Control by Endophytic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Schouten, Alexander

    2016-08-01

    Colonization of plants by particular endophytic fungi can provide plants with improved defenses toward nematodes. Evidently, such endophytes can be important in developing more sustainable agricultural practices. The mechanisms playing a role in this quantitative antagonism are poorly understood but most likely multifactorial. This knowledge gap obstructs the progress regarding the development of endophytes or endophyte-derived constituents into biocontrol agents. In part, this may be caused by the fact that endophytic fungi form a rather heterogeneous group. By combining the knowledge of the currently characterized antagonistic endophytic fungi and their effects on nematode behavior and biology with the knowledge of microbial competition and induced plant defenses, the various mechanisms by which this nematode antagonism operates or may operate are discussed. Now that new technologies are becoming available and more accessible, the currently unresolved mechanisms can be studied in greater detail than ever before. PMID:27296146

  5. A theoretical study of the molecular mechanism of the GAPDH Trypanosoma cruzi enzyme involving iodoacetate inhibitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carneiro, Agnaldo Silva; Lameira, Jerônimo; Alves, Cláudio Nahum

    2011-10-01

    The glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme (GAPDH) is an important biological target for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents against Chagas disease. In this Letter, the inhibition mechanism of GAPDH involving iodoacetate (IAA) inhibitor was studied using the hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach and molecular dynamic simulations. Analysis of the potential energy surface and potential of mean force show that the covalent attachment of IAA inhibitor to the active site of the enzyme occurs as a concerted process. In addition, the energy terms decomposition shows that NAD+ plays an important role in stabilization of the reagents and transition state.

  6. Review of biological mechanisms for application to instrument design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Healer, J.

    1967-01-01

    Biological sensors are the mechanisms which enable a living organism to monitor its environment. Ways in which the functional mechanism of biosensors can be applied to develop new concepts of instrumentation, enhance and extend the human senses, and improve the sensitivity of existing instrumentation are described in a review of these mechanisms.

  7. Mechanisms of and facility types involved in hazardous materials incidents.

    PubMed Central

    Kales, S N; Polyhronopoulos, G N; Castro, M J; Goldman, R H; Christiani, D C

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate hazardous materials (hazmat) releases and determine the mechanisms of these accidents, and the industries/activities and chemicals involved. We analyzed responses by Massachusetts' six district hazmat teams from their inception through May 1996. Information from incident reports was extracted onto standard coding sheets. The majority of hazardous materials incidents were caused by spills, leaks, or escapes of hazardous materials (76%) and occurred at fixed facilities (80%). Transportation-related accidents accounted for 20% of incidents. Eleven percent of hazardous materials incidents were at schools or health care facilities. Petroleum-derived fuels were involved in over half of transportation-related accidents, and these accounted for the majority of petroleum fuel releases. Chlorine derivatives were involved in 18% of all accidents and were associated with a wide variety of facility types and activities. In conclusion, systematic study of hazardous materials incidents allows the identification of preventable causes of these incidents. PMID:9300926

  8. Alternative splicing: An important mechanism in stem cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kenian; Dai, Xiaojing; Wu, Jiaqian

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is an essential mechanism in post-transcriptional regulation and leads to protein diversity. It has been shown that AS is prevalent in metazoan genomes, and the splicing pattern is dynamically regulated in different tissues and cell types, including embryonic stem cells. These observations suggest that AS may play critical roles in stem cell biology. Since embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells have the ability to give rise to all types of cells and tissues, they hold the promise of future cell-based therapy. Many efforts have been devoted to understanding the mechanisms underlying stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. However, most of the studies focused on the expression of a core set of transcription factors and regulatory RNAs. The role of AS in stem cell differentiation was not clear. Recent advances in high-throughput technologies have allowed the profiling of dynamic splicing patterns and cis-motifs that are responsible for AS at a genome-wide scale, and provided novel insights in a number of studies. In this review, we discuss some recent findings involving AS and stem cells. An emerging picture from these findings is that AS is integrated in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional networks and together they control pluripotency maintenance and differentiation of stem cells. PMID:25621101

  9. Biologic-free mechanically induced muscle regeneration.

    PubMed

    Cezar, Christine A; Roche, Ellen T; Vandenburgh, Herman H; Duda, Georg N; Walsh, Conor J; Mooney, David J

    2016-02-01

    Severe skeletal muscle injuries are common and can lead to extensive fibrosis, scarring, and loss of function. Clinically, no therapeutic intervention exists that allows for a full functional restoration. As a result, both drug and cellular therapies are being widely investigated for treatment of muscle injury. Because muscle is known to respond to mechanical loading, we investigated instead whether a material system capable of massage-like compressions could promote regeneration. Magnetic actuation of biphasic ferrogel scaffolds implanted at the site of muscle injury resulted in uniform cyclic compressions that led to reduced fibrous capsule formation around the implant, as well as reduced fibrosis and inflammation in the injured muscle. In contrast, no significant effect of ferrogel actuation on muscle vascularization or perfusion was found. Strikingly, ferrogel-driven mechanical compressions led to enhanced muscle regeneration and a ∼threefold increase in maximum contractile force of the treated muscle at 2 wk compared with no-treatment controls. Although this study focuses on the repair of severely injured skeletal muscle, magnetically stimulated bioagent-free ferrogels may find broad utility in the field of regenerative medicine. PMID:26811474

  10. Biologic-free mechanically induced muscle regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Cezar, Christine A.; Roche, Ellen T.; Vandenburgh, Herman H.; Duda, Georg N.; Walsh, Conor J.; Mooney, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Severe skeletal muscle injuries are common and can lead to extensive fibrosis, scarring, and loss of function. Clinically, no therapeutic intervention exists that allows for a full functional restoration. As a result, both drug and cellular therapies are being widely investigated for treatment of muscle injury. Because muscle is known to respond to mechanical loading, we investigated instead whether a material system capable of massage-like compressions could promote regeneration. Magnetic actuation of biphasic ferrogel scaffolds implanted at the site of muscle injury resulted in uniform cyclic compressions that led to reduced fibrous capsule formation around the implant, as well as reduced fibrosis and inflammation in the injured muscle. In contrast, no significant effect of ferrogel actuation on muscle vascularization or perfusion was found. Strikingly, ferrogel-driven mechanical compressions led to enhanced muscle regeneration and a ∼threefold increase in maximum contractile force of the treated muscle at 2 wk compared with no-treatment controls. Although this study focuses on the repair of severely injured skeletal muscle, magnetically stimulated bioagent-free ferrogels may find broad utility in the field of regenerative medicine. PMID:26811474

  11. Mechanisms Involved in Exercise-Induced Cardioprotection: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Borges, Juliana Pereira; Lessa, Marcos Adriano

    2015-01-01

    Background Acute myocardial infarction is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Furthermore, research has shown that exercise, in addition to reducing cardiovascular risk factors, can also protect the heart against injury due to ischemia and reperfusion through a direct effect on the myocardium. However, the specific mechanism involved in exerciseinduced cardiac preconditioning is still under debate. Objective To perform a systematic review of the studies that have addressed the mechanisms by which aerobic exercise promotes direct cardioprotection against ischemia and reperfusion injury. Methods A search was conducted using MEDLINE, Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe de Informação em Ciências da Saúde, and Scientific Electronic Library Online databases. Data were extracted in a standardized manner by two independent researchers, who were responsible for assessing the methodological quality of the studies. Results The search retrieved 78 studies; after evaluating the abstracts, 30 studies were excluded. The manuscripts of the remaining 48 studies were completely read and, of these, 20 were excluded. Finally, 28 studies were included in this systematic review. Conclusion On the basis of the selected studies, the following are potentially involved in the cardioprotective response to exercise: increased heat shock protein production, nitric oxide pathway involvement, increased cardiac antioxidant capacity, improvement in ATP-dependent potassium channel function, and opioid system activation. Despite all the previous investigations, further research is still necessary to obtain more consistent conclusions. PMID:25830711

  12. Mechanical and biological properties of keratose biomaterials.

    PubMed

    de Guzman, Roche C; Merrill, Michelle R; Richter, Jillian R; Hamzi, Rawad I; Greengauz-Roberts, Olga K; Van Dyke, Mark E

    2011-11-01

    The oxidized form of extractable human hair keratin proteins, commonly referred to as keratose, is gaining interest as a biomaterial for multiple tissue engineering studies including those directed toward peripheral nerve, spinal cord, skin, and bone regeneration. Unlike its disulfide cross-linked counterpart, kerateine, keratose does not possess a covalently cross-linked network structure and consequently displays substantially different characteristics. In order to understand its mode(s) of action and potential for clinical translatability, detailed characterization of the composition, physical properties, and biological responses of keratose biomaterials are needed. Keratose was obtained from end-cut human hair fibers by peracetic acid treatment, followed by base extraction, and subsequent dialysis. Analysis of lyophilized keratose powder determined that it contains 99% proteins by mass with amino acid content similar to human hair cortex. Metallic elements were also found in minute quantities. Protein oxidation led to disulfide bond cleavage and drastic reduction of free thiols due to conversion of sulfhydryl to sulfonic acid, chain fragmentation, and amino acid modifications. Mass spectrometry identified the major protein constituents as a heterogeneous mixture of 15 hair keratins (type I: K31-35 and K37-39, and type II: K81-86) with small amounts of epithelial keratins which exist in monomeric, dimeric, multimeric, and even degraded forms. Re-hydration with PBS enabled molecular assembly into an elastic solid-like hydrogel. Highly-porous scaffolds formed by lyophilization of the gel had the compression behavior of a cellular foam material and reverted back to gel upon wetting. Cytotoxicity assays showed that the EC50 for various cell lines were attained at 8-10 mg/mL keratose, indicating the non-toxic nature of the material. Implantation in mouse subcutaneous tissue pockets demonstrated that keratose resorption follows a rectangular hyperbolic regression

  13. Mechanisms Involved in the Aging-Induced Vascular Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    El Assar, Mariam; Angulo, Javier; Vallejo, Susana; Peiró, Concepción; Sánchez-Ferrer, Carlos F.; Rodríguez-Mañas, Leocadio

    2012-01-01

    Vascular aging is a key process determining health status of aged population. Aging is an independent cardiovascular risk factor associated to an impairment of endothelial function, which is a very early and important event leading to cardiovascular disease. Vascular aging, formerly being considered an immutable and inexorable risk factor, is now viewed as a target process for intervention in order to achieve a healthier old age. A further knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the age-related vascular dysfunction is required to design an adequate therapeutic strategy to prevent or restore this impairment of vascular functionality. Among the proposed mechanisms that contribute to age-dependent endothelial dysfunction, this review is focused on the following aspects occurring into the vascular wall: (1) the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, caused by diminished NO synthesis and/or by augmented NO scavenging due to oxidative stress, leading to peroxynitrite formation (ONOO−); (2) the possible sources involved in the enhancement of oxidative stress; (3) the increased activity of vasoconstrictor factors; and (4) the development of a low-grade pro-inflammatory environment. Synergisms and interactions between all these pathways are also analyzed. Finally, a brief summary of some cellular mechanisms related to endothelial cell senescence (including telomere and telomerase, stress-induced senescence, as well as sirtuins) are implemented, as they are likely involved in the age-dependent endothelial dysfunction, as well as in the lower vascular repairing capacity observed in the elderly. Prevention or reversion of those mechanisms leading to endothelial dysfunction through life style modifications or pharmacological interventions could markedly improve cardiovascular health in older people. PMID:22783194

  14. Neurophysiological mechanisms involved in language learning in adults

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Cunillera, Toni; Mestres-Missé, Anna; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in word learning during infancy and in second language acquisition and about the way these new words become stable representations that sustain language processing. In several studies we have adopted the human simulation perspective, studying the effects of brain-lesions and combining different neuroimaging techniques such as event-related potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging in order to examine the language learning (LL) process. In the present article, we review this evidence focusing on how different brain signatures relate to (i) the extraction of words from speech, (ii) the discovery of their embedded grammatical structure, and (iii) how meaning derived from verbal contexts can inform us about the cognitive mechanisms underlying the learning process. We compile these findings and frame them into an integrative neurophysiological model that tries to delineate the major neural networks that might be involved in the initial stages of LL. Finally, we propose that LL simulations can help us to understand natural language processing and how the recovery from language disorders in infants and adults can be accomplished. PMID:19933142

  15. Molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptation to low K(+) availability.

    PubMed

    Chérel, Isabelle; Lefoulon, Cécile; Boeglin, Martin; Sentenac, Hervé

    2014-03-01

    Potassium is a major inorganic constituent of the living cell and the most abundant cation in the cytosol. It plays a role in various functions at the cell level, such as electrical neutralization of anionic charges, protein synthesis, long- and short-term control of membrane polarization, and regulation of the osmotic potential. Through the latter function, K(+) is involved at the whole-plant level in osmotically driven functions such as cell movements, regulation of stomatal aperture, or phloem transport. Thus, plant growth and development require that large amounts of K(+) are taken up from the soil and translocated to the various organs. In most ecosystems, however, soil K(+) availability is low and fluctuating, so plants have developed strategies to take up K(+) more efficiently and preserve vital functions and growth when K(+) availability is becoming limited. These strategies include increased capacity for high-affinity K(+) uptake from the soil, K(+) redistribution between the cytosolic and vacuolar pools, ensuring cytosolic homeostasis, and modification of root system development and architecture. Our knowledge about the mechanisms and signalling cascades involved in these different adaptive responses has been rapidly growing during the last decade, revealing a highly complex network of interacting processes. This review is focused on the different physiological responses induced by K(+) deprivation, their underlying molecular events, and the present knowledge and hypotheses regarding the mechanisms responsible for K(+) sensing and signalling. PMID:24293613

  16. Using optics to measure biological forces and mechanics.

    PubMed

    Kuo, S C

    2001-11-01

    Spanning all size levels, regulating biological forces and transport are fundamental life processes. Used by various investigators over the last dozen years, optical techniques offer unique advantages for studying biological forces. The most mature of these techniques, optical tweezers, or the single-beam optical trap, is commercially available and is used by numerous investigators. Although technical innovations have improved the versatility of optical tweezers, simple optical tweezers continue to provide insights into cell biology. Two new, promising optical technologies, laser-tracking microrheology and the optical stretcher, allow mechanical measurements that are not possible with optical tweezers. Here, I review these various optical technologies and their roles in understanding mechanical forces in cell biology. PMID:11733041

  17. Fluid–structure interaction involving large deformations: 3D simulations and applications to biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Fang-Bao; Dai, Hu; Luo, Haoxiang; Doyle, James F.; Rousseau, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Three-dimensional fluid–structure interaction (FSI) involving large deformations of flexible bodies is common in biological systems, but accurate and efficient numerical approaches for modeling such systems are still scarce. In this work, we report a successful case of combining an existing immersed-boundary flow solver with a nonlinear finite-element solid-mechanics solver specifically for three-dimensional FSI simulations. This method represents a significant enhancement from the similar methods that are previously available. Based on the Cartesian grid, the viscous incompressible flow solver can handle boundaries of large displacements with simple mesh generation. The solid-mechanics solver has separate subroutines for analyzing general three-dimensional bodies and thin-walled structures composed of frames, membranes, and plates. Both geometric nonlinearity associated with large displacements and material nonlinearity associated with large strains are incorporated in the solver. The FSI is achieved through a strong coupling and partitioned approach. We perform several validation cases, and the results may be used to expand the currently limited database of FSI benchmark study. Finally, we demonstrate the versatility of the present method by applying it to the aerodynamics of elastic wings of insects and the flow-induced vocal fold vibration. PMID:24415796

  18. Fluid-structure interaction involving large deformations: 3D simulations and applications to biological systems.

    PubMed

    Tian, Fang-Bao; Dai, Hu; Luo, Haoxiang; Doyle, James F; Rousseau, Bernard

    2014-02-01

    Three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction (FSI) involving large deformations of flexible bodies is common in biological systems, but accurate and efficient numerical approaches for modeling such systems are still scarce. In this work, we report a successful case of combining an existing immersed-boundary flow solver with a nonlinear finite-element solid-mechanics solver specifically for three-dimensional FSI simulations. This method represents a significant enhancement from the similar methods that are previously available. Based on the Cartesian grid, the viscous incompressible flow solver can handle boundaries of large displacements with simple mesh generation. The solid-mechanics solver has separate subroutines for analyzing general three-dimensional bodies and thin-walled structures composed of frames, membranes, and plates. Both geometric nonlinearity associated with large displacements and material nonlinearity associated with large strains are incorporated in the solver. The FSI is achieved through a strong coupling and partitioned approach. We perform several validation cases, and the results may be used to expand the currently limited database of FSI benchmark study. Finally, we demonstrate the versatility of the present method by applying it to the aerodynamics of elastic wings of insects and the flow-induced vocal fold vibration. PMID:24415796

  19. Mechanisms of neutropenia involving myeloid maturation arrest in burn sepsis.

    PubMed Central

    Shoup, M; Weisenberger, J M; Wang, J L; Pyle, J M; Gamelli, R L; Shankar, R

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the mechanisms that lead to the decrease in bone marrow production of neutrophils during burn sepsis. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Impaired bone marrow granulopoiesis during burn sepsis often results in neutropenia despite elevated circulating levels of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). To date, neither the specific stages of neutrophil maturation involved in the bone marrow suppression nor the mechanisms for the impairment have been determined. METHODS: Peripheral blood absolute neutrophil count and G-CSF levels were determined in mice 3 days after randomization to control, burn alone, or burn plus a topical inoculation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (1000 colony-forming units). Bone marrow aspirates were analyzed for their neutrophil differentiation patterns by Gr-1 antigen expression and their G-CSF receptor status. Histologic analysis of liver, lung, spleen, and wound site was performed. RESULTS: In burn sepsis, absolute neutrophil count was reduced whereas plasma G-CSF levels were elevated, and myeloid differentiation was significantly shifted toward the immature mitotic myeloid cells. Bone marrow G-CSF receptor mRNA levels and G-CSF-stimulated proliferation were substantially decreased in burn sepsis. Histologic analysis revealed no significant neutrophil infiltration into the tissues. CONCLUSIONS: In thermal injury with superimposed sepsis, neutropenia and myeloid maturation arrest, despite the elevated levels of G-CSF, correlate with the reduction in bone marrow G-CSF receptor expression. These observations may provide a potential mechanism for neutropenia in sepsis. Images Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 8. Figure 9. PMID:9671075

  20. Mechanisms of Physical-Biological-Biogeochemical Interaction at the Oceanic Mesoscale.

    PubMed

    McGillicuddy, Dennis J

    2016-01-01

    Mesoscale phenomena are ubiquitous and highly energetic features of ocean circulation. Their influence on biological and biogeochemical processes varies widely, stemming not only from advective transport but also from the generation of variations in the environment that affect biological and chemical rates. The ephemeral nature of mesoscale features in the ocean makes it difficult to elucidate the attendant mechanisms of physical-biological-biogeochemical interaction, necessitating the use of multidisciplinary approaches involving in situ observations, remote sensing, and modeling. All three aspects are woven through this review in an attempt to synthesize current understanding of the topic, with particular emphasis on novel developments in recent years. PMID:26359818

  1. Mechanisms of Physical-Biological-Biogeochemical Interaction at the Oceanic Mesoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGillicuddy, Dennis J.

    2016-01-01

    Mesoscale phenomena are ubiquitous and highly energetic features of ocean circulation. Their influence on biological and biogeochemical processes varies widely, stemming not only from advective transport but also from the generation of variations in the environment that affect biological and chemical rates. The ephemeral nature of mesoscale features in the ocean makes it difficult to elucidate the attendant mechanisms of physical-biological-biogeochemical interaction, necessitating the use of multidisciplinary approaches involving in situ observations, remote sensing, and modeling. All three aspects are woven through this review in an attempt to synthesize current understanding of the topic, with particular emphasis on novel developments in recent years.

  2. Formation Mechanism for a Hybrid Supramolecular Network Involving Cooperative Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mura, Manuela; Silly, Fabien; Burlakov, Victor; Castell, Martin R.; Briggs, G. Andrew D.; Kantorovich, Lev N.

    2012-04-01

    A novel mechanism of hybrid assembly of molecules on surfaces is proposed stemming from interactions between molecules and on-surface metal atoms which eventually got trapped inside the network pores. Based on state-of-the-art theoretical calculations, we find that the new mechanism relies on formation of molecule-metal atom pairs which, together with molecules themselves, participate in the assembly growth. Most remarkably, the dissociation of pairs is facilitated by a cooperative interaction involving many molecules. This new mechanism is illustrated on a low coverage Melamine hexagonal network on the Au(111) surface where multiple events of gold atoms trapping via a set of so-called “gate” transitions are found by kinetic Monte Carlo simulations based on transition rates obtained using ab initio density functional theory calculations and the nudged elastic band method. Simulated STM images of gold atoms trapped in the pores of the Melamine network predict that the atoms should appear as bright spots inside Melamine hexagons. No trapping was found at large Melamine coverages, however. These predictions have been supported by preliminary STM experiments which show bright spots inside Melamine hexagons at low Melamine coverages, while empty pores are mostly observed at large coverages. Therefore, we suggest that bright spots sometimes observed in the pores of molecular assemblies on metal surfaces may be attributed to trapped substrate metal atoms. We believe that this type of mechanism could be used for delivering adatom species of desired functionality (e.g., magnetic) into the pores of hydrogen-bonded networks serving as templates for their capture.

  3. Multiple cellular mechanisms prevent chromosomal rearrangements involving repetitive DNA

    PubMed Central

    George, Carolyn M.; Alani, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Repetitive DNA is present in the eukaryotic genome in the form of segmental duplications, tandem and interspersed repeats, and satellites. Repetitive sequences can be beneficial by serving specific cellular functions (e.g. centromeric and telomeric DNA) and by providing a rapid means for adaptive evolution. However, such elements are also substrates for deleterious chromosomal rearrangements that affect fitness and promote human disease. Recent studies analyzing the role of nuclear organization in DNA repair and factors that suppress non-allelic homologous recombination have provided insights into how genome stability is maintained in eukaryotes. In this review we outline the types of repetitive sequences seen in eukaryotic genomes and how recombination mechanisms are regulated at the DNA sequence, cell organization, chromatin structure, and cell cycle control levels to prevent chromosomal rearrangements involving these sequences. PMID:22494239

  4. Complement involvement in periodontitis: molecular mechanisms and rational therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D.

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis. PMID:26306443

  5. FMR1 Premutation: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Involvement.

    PubMed

    Milà, Montserrat; Rodriguez-Revenga, Laia; Matilla-Dueñas, Antoni

    2016-10-01

    The wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes associated with the FMR1 premutation affect more than two million people worldwide. The clinical implications have only been recognized recently despite this disorder constitutes a relevant health problem. The present issue of The Cerebellum is focused on the "2(nd) International Conference on the FMR1 Premutation: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Involvement" held in Sitges, Barcelona (Spain), from September 30th to October 2nd, 2015. The conference was attended by professionals from different countries in Europe, the USA, Chile, Israel, Australia, and Indonesia and covered the latest clinical and molecular findings resulting from FMR1 premutation studies. Although the pathologies associated with the FMR1 premutation are considered as rare diseases, seventy abstracts were presented. This reflects the relevance of this topic in the medical community and the growing interest among professionals from other disciplines. The major topics discussed included why and how the mRNA toxicity due to a gain of function and non-canonical RAN are responsible for disorders associated with the premutation. Several presentations addressed the impact of these mechanisms in FXTAS and FXPOI, two clinical presentations caused by the FMR1 premutation. Interestingly, a deterioration of the DNA repair machinery was first proposed as the pathogenicity cause of premutation alleles. Communications related to FXTAS and FXPOI animal models were also presented. These models facilitate studies aimed to understand disease progression and early treatment interventions. Finally, there were presentations related to psychiatric, psychological, neurological, and radiological aspects. Interesting discussion on intermediate alleles and their involvement in clinical and reproductive aspects was generated. In this regards, genetic counselling is improved by taking into account the AGG interruptions and including information about the FMR1 premutation associated

  6. Neural involvement in endometriosis: Review of anatomic distribution and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Siquara De Sousa, Ana C; Capek, Stepan; Amrami, Kimberly K; Spinner, Robert J

    2015-11-01

    Endometriosis (EM) is an infrequent cause of peripheral neuropathy, most commonly sciatic. Perineural spread has recently been introduced as an alternate explanation for cases of lumbosacral or sciatic nerve EM. We performed a literature review to collect all reported cases of peripheral and central nervous system EM in search of anatomic patterns of involvement; potentially to support the perineural spread theory. If available, intraneural invasion and presence of peritoneal EM were recorded. The search revealed 83 articles describing 365 cases of somatic peripheral nervous EM and 13 cases of central nervous EM. The most frequently involved site was the sacral plexus (57%, n = 211), followed by the sciatic nerve (39%, n = 140). Other nerves were reported in significantly smaller numbers. Ninety seven percent (97%, n = 355) of peripheral nerve cases presented with pain, 20% (n = 72) reported weakness and 31% (n = 114), numbness. Thirty four percent (34%, n = 38) had solely intraneural EM of which 89% (n = 33) had no peritoneal EM (percentage based on available information). In the central nervous system, the conus medullaris and/or cauda equina constituted the majority of cases with 54% (n = 7). Apart from perineural spread, other discussed mechanisms include retrograde menstruation with peritoneal seeding, hematogenous and lymphogenous spread, stem cell implantation either hematogenously or via retrograde menstruation with subsequent EM differentiation, and coelomic or Müllerian duct metaplasia. We believe this literature review supports perineural spread as an alternate mechanism for EM of nerve, particularly the subgroup with intraneural EM and without peritoneal disease. PMID:26296428

  7. Dynamic Compression Effects on Intervertebral Disc Mechanics and Biology

    PubMed Central

    Korecki, Casey L.; MacLean, Jeffrey J.; Iatridis, James C.

    2008-01-01

    Study Design A bovine intervertebral disc organ culture model was used to study the effect of dynamic compression magnitude on mechanical behavior and measurement of biosynthesis rate, cell viability, and mRNA expression. Objective The objective of this study was to examine the effect of loading magnitude on intervertebral disc mechanics and biology in an organ culture model. Summary of Background Data The in vivo and cell culture response of intervertebral disc cells to dynamic mechanical loading provides evidence the disc responds in a magnitude dependant manner. However, the ability to link mechanical behavior of the disc with biologic phenomena has been limited. A large animal organ culture system facilitates measurements of tissue mechanics and biologic response parameters on the same sample allowing a broader understanding of disc mechanobiology. Methods Bovine caudal intervertebral discs were placed in organ culture for 6 days and assigned to a static control or 1 of 2 dynamic compression loading protocols (0.2–1 MPa or 0.2–2.5 MPa) at 1 Hz for 1 hour for 5 days. Disc structure was assessed with measurements of dynamic modulus, creep, height loss, water content, and proteoglycan loss to the culture medium. Cellular responses were assessed through changes in cell viability, metabolism, and qRT-PCR analyses. Results Increasing magnitudes of compression increased disc modulus and creep; however, all mechanical parameters recovered each day. In the anulus, significant increases in gene expression for collagen I and a trend of increasing sulfate incorporation were observed. In the nucleus, increasing gene expression for collagen I and MMP3 was observed between magnitudes and between static controls and the lowest magnitude of loading. Conclusion Results support the hypothesis that biologic remodeling precedes damage to the intervertebral disc structure, that compression is a healthy loading condition for the disc, and further support the link between applied

  8. Introduction to Special Section: Mechanical Involvement of Fluids in Faulting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickman, Stephen; Sibson, Richard; Bruhn, Ronald

    1995-07-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that fluids are intimately linked to a variety of faulting processes. These include the long term structural and compositional evolution of fault zones; fault creep; and the nucleation, propagation, arrest, and recurrence of earthquake ruptures. Besides the widely recognized physical role of fluid pressures in controlling the strength of crustal fault zones, it is also apparent that fluids can exert mechanical influence through a variety of chemical effects. The United States Geological Survey sponsored a Conference on the Mechanical Effects of Fluids in Faulting under the auspices of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program at Fish Camp, California, from June 6 to 10, 1993. The purpose of the conference was to draw together and to evaluate the disparate evidence for the involvement of fluids in faulting; to establish communication on the importance of fluids in the mechanics of faulting between the different disciplines concerned with fault zone processes; and to help define future critical investigations, experiments, and observational procedures for evaluating the role of fluids in faulting. This conference drew together a diverse group of 45 scientists, with expertise in electrical and magnetic methods, geochemistry, hydrology, ore deposits, rock mechanics, seismology, and structural geology. Some of the outstanding questions addressed at this workshop included the following: 1. What are fluid pressures at different levels within seismically active fault zones? Do they remain hydrostatic throughout the full depth extent of the seismogenic regime, or are they generally superhydrostatic at depths in excess of a few kilometers? 2. Are fluid pressures at depth within fault zones constant through an earthquake cycle, or are they time-dependent? What is the spatial variability in fluid pressures? 3. What is the role of crustal fluids in the overall process of stress accumulation, release, and transfer during the earthquake

  9. A possible mechanism of biological silicification in plants

    PubMed Central

    Exley, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Plants are significant exponents of biological silicification. While not all plants are generally considered as biosilicifiers the extent to which all plants deposit biogenic silica is largely unknown. There are plants which are known as silica accumulators though even in these plants the extent and degree to which their tissues are silicified is neither appreciated nor understood. An elucidation of the mechanism of silicification in biota is complicated by a lack of known bio-organic chemistry of silicic acid, the starting point in this process. Herein I argue the case that biological silicification is an entirely passive process. It is passive from the point of view that its underlying mechanisms and processes do not require us to invoke any as yet undiscovered silicon biochemistry. It is also passive in that although silicification confers clear biological/ecological advantages under certain conditions, it is actually non-essential in all plants and potentially, at least, toxic in some. PMID:26500676

  10. A possible mechanism of biological silicification in plants.

    PubMed

    Exley, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Plants are significant exponents of biological silicification. While not all plants are generally considered as biosilicifiers the extent to which all plants deposit biogenic silica is largely unknown. There are plants which are known as silica accumulators though even in these plants the extent and degree to which their tissues are silicified is neither appreciated nor understood. An elucidation of the mechanism of silicification in biota is complicated by a lack of known bio-organic chemistry of silicic acid, the starting point in this process. Herein I argue the case that biological silicification is an entirely passive process. It is passive from the point of view that its underlying mechanisms and processes do not require us to invoke any as yet undiscovered silicon biochemistry. It is also passive in that although silicification confers clear biological/ecological advantages under certain conditions, it is actually non-essential in all plants and potentially, at least, toxic in some. PMID:26500676

  11. Swarming mechanisms in the yellow fever mosquito: aggregation pheromones involved in the mating behavior of Aedes aegypti

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mosquitoes of various species mate in swarms comprised of tens to thousands flying males. Yet little information is known about mosquito swarming mechanism. Discovering chemical cues involved in mosquito biology leads to better adaptation of disease control interventions. In this study, we aimed ...

  12. Structure and mechanics of interfaces in biological materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelat, Francois; Yin, Zhen; Buehler, Markus J.

    2016-04-01

    Hard biological materials — for example, seashells, bone or wood — fulfil critical structural functions and display unique and attractive combinations of stiffness, strength and toughness, owing to their intricate architectures, which are organized over several length scales. The size, shape and arrangement of the ‘building blocks’ of which these materials are made are essential for defining their properties and their exceptional performance, but there is growing evidence that their deformation and toughness are also largely governed by the interfaces that join these building blocks. These interfaces channel nonlinear deformations and deflect cracks into configurations in which propagation is more difficult. In this Review, we discuss comparatively the composition, structure and mechanics of a set of representative biological interfaces in nacre, bone and wood, and show that these interfaces possess unusual mechanical characteristics, which can encourage the development of advanced bioinspired composites. Finally, we highlight recent examples of synthetic materials inspired from the mechanics and architecture of natural interfaces.

  13. Absorption of Carotenoids and Mechanisms Involved in Their Health-Related Properties.

    PubMed

    Cervantes-Paz, Braulio; Victoria-Campos, Claudia I; Ornelas-Paz, José de Jesús

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids participate in the normal metabolism and function of the human body. They are involved in the prevention of several diseases, especially those related to the inflammation syndrome. Their main mechanisms of action are associated to their potent antioxidant activity and capacity to regulate the expression of specific genes and proteins. Recent findings suggest that carotenoid metabolites may explain several processes where the participation of their parent carotenoids was unclear. The health benefits of carotenoids strongly depend on their absorption and transformation during gastrointestinal digestion. The estimation of the 'bioaccessibility' of carotenoids through in vitro models have made possible the evaluation of the effect of a large number of factors on key stages of carotenoid digestion and intestinal absorption. The bioaccessibility of these compounds allows us to have a clear idea of their potential bioavailability, a term that implicitly involves the biological activity of these compounds. PMID:27485232

  14. Neurophysiological determinants of theoretical concepts and mechanisms involved in pacing.

    PubMed

    Roelands, Bart; de Koning, Jos; Foster, Carl; Hettinga, Floor; Meeusen, Romain

    2013-05-01

    improve performance. The distribution of the power output reveals that after dopamine reuptake inhibition, subjects are able to maintain a higher power output compared with placebo. Manipulations of serotonin and, especially, noradrenaline, have the opposite effect and force subjects to decrease power output early in the time trial. Interestingly, after manipulation of brain serotonin, subjects are often unable to perform an end sprint, indicating an absence of a reserve capacity or motivation to increase power output. Taken together, it appears that many factors, such as ambient conditions and manipulation of brain neurotransmitters, have the potential to influence power output during exercise, and might thus be involved as regulatory mechanisms in the complex skill of pacing. PMID:23456493

  15. On the mechanics of growing thin biological membranes

    PubMed Central

    Rausch, Manuel K.; Kuhl, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, thin biological membranes fulfill various crucial roles in the human body and can sustain substantial mechanical loads. Unlike engineering structures, biological membranes are able to grow and adapt to changes in their mechanical environment. Finite element modeling of biological growth holds the potential to better understand the interplay of membrane form and function and to reliably predict the effects of disease or medical intervention. However, standard continuum elements typically fail to represent thin biological membranes efficiently, accurately, and robustly. Moreover, continuum models are typically cumbersome to generate from surface-based medical imaging data. Here we propose a computational model for finite membrane growth using a classical midsurface representation compatible with standard shell elements. By assuming elastic incompressibility and membrane-only growth, the model a priori satisfies the zero-normal stress condition. To demonstrate its modular nature, we implement the membrane growth model into the general-purpose non-linear finite element package Abaqus/Standard using the concept of user subroutines. To probe efficiently and robustness, we simulate selected benchmark examples of growing biological membranes under different loading conditions. To demonstrate the clinical potential, we simulate the functional adaptation of a heart valve leaflet in ischemic cardiomyopathy. We believe that our novel approach will be widely applicable to simulate the adaptive chronic growth of thin biological structures including skin membranes, mucous membranes, fetal membranes, tympanic membranes, corneoscleral membranes, and heart valve membranes. Ultimately, our model can be used to identify diseased states, predict disease evolution, and guide the design of interventional or pharmaceutic therapies to arrest or revert disease progression. PMID:24563551

  16. On the mechanics of growing thin biological membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rausch, Manuel K.; Kuhl, Ellen

    2014-02-01

    Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, thin biological membranes fulfill various crucial roles in the human body and can sustain substantial mechanical loads. Unlike engineering structures, biological membranes are able to grow and adapt to changes in their mechanical environment. Finite element modeling of biological growth holds the potential to better understand the interplay of membrane form and function and to reliably predict the effects of disease or medical intervention. However, standard continuum elements typically fail to represent thin biological membranes efficiently, accurately, and robustly. Moreover, continuum models are typically cumbersome to generate from surface-based medical imaging data. Here we propose a computational model for finite membrane growth using a classical midsurface representation compatible with standard shell elements. By assuming elastic incompressibility and membrane-only growth, the model a priori satisfies the zero-normal stress condition. To demonstrate its modular nature, we implement the membrane growth model into the general-purpose non-linear finite element package Abaqus/Standard using the concept of user subroutines. To probe efficiently and robustness, we simulate selected benchmark examples of growing biological membranes under different loading conditions. To demonstrate the clinical potential, we simulate the functional adaptation of a heart valve leaflet in ischemic cardiomyopathy. We believe that our novel approach will be widely applicable to simulate the adaptive chronic growth of thin biological structures including skin membranes, mucous membranes, fetal membranes, tympanic membranes, corneoscleral membranes, and heart valve membranes. Ultimately, our model can be used to identify diseased states, predict disease evolution, and guide the design of interventional or pharmaceutic therapies to arrest or revert disease progression.

  17. Assessment of mechanisms involved in antinociception caused by sesquiterpene polygodial.

    PubMed

    Mendes, G L; Santos, A R; Malheiros, A; Filho, V C; Yunes, R A; Calixto, J B

    2000-01-01

    Polygodial, a sesquiterpene isolated from the bark of Drymis winteri given systemically, intraplantarly, or by spinal or supraspinal sites, produced antinociception when assessed in both phases of the formalin test and against capsaicin-induced pain. Polygodial, even at high doses, had no antinociceptive or antihyperalgesic effect when assessed in hot-plate assay or in glutamate-induced hyperalgesia, nor did it significantly interfere with the motor coordination of animals when tested in the rota-rod test. The polygodial antinociception assessed in the formalin test was not affected by i.p. treatment of animals with cyprodime, yohimbine, phaclofen, bicuculine, or nitric oxide precursor or by intrathecal administration of potassium channel blockers such as apamin, charybdotoxin, glibenclamide, or tetraethylammonium. In contrast, polygodial antinociception was significantly attenuated by i.p. treatment of animals with naloxone, naltrindole, 2-(3, 4-dichlorophenyl)-n-methyl-n-[(1S)-1-(3-isothiocynatophenyl)-2-(1- pry rolidinyl)ethyl]acetamide, p-chlorophenylalanine, prazosin, or by i. c.v. treatment with pertussis toxin. In addition, polygodial antinociception was not cross-tolerant to morphine, nor was its effect affected by the adrenalectomy of animals. Together, these results show that polygodial produces pronounced systemic, spinal, and supraspinal antinociception in mice, mainly preventing the neurogenic pain produced by formalin and capsaicin. The mechanism by which polygodial produces antinociception seems likely to involve an interaction with the opioid system, mainly kappa and delta subtypes, depend on the activation of G(i/o) protein sensitive to pertussis toxin, alpha(1)-adrenoceptors, and the serotoninergic system. Collectively, these results suggest that polygodial itself or its derivatives may have potential therapeutic value for the development of new analgesic drugs. PMID:10604944

  18. On the mechanical theory for biological pattern formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentil, D. E.; Murray, J. D.

    1993-02-01

    We investigate the pattern-forming potential of mechanical models in embryology proposed by Oster, Murray and their coworkers. We show that the presence of source terms in the tissue extracellular matrix and cell density equations give rise to spatio-temporal oscillations. An extension of one such model to include ‘biologically realistic long range effects induces the formation of stationary spatial patterns. Previous attempts to solve the full system were in one dimension only. We obtain solutions in one dimension and extend our simulations to two dimensions. We show that a single mechanical model alone is capable of generating complex but regular spatial patterns rather than the requirement of model interaction as suggested by Nagorcka et al. and Shaw and Murray. We discuss some biological applications of the models among which are would healing and formation of dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) patterns.

  19. Biological phosphoryl-transfer reactions: understanding mechanism and catalysis.

    PubMed

    Lassila, Jonathan K; Zalatan, Jesse G; Herschlag, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Phosphoryl-transfer reactions are central to biology. These reactions also have some of the slowest nonenzymatic rates and thus require enormous rate accelerations from biological catalysts. Despite the central importance of phosphoryl transfer and the fascinating catalytic challenges it presents, substantial confusion persists about the properties of these reactions. This confusion exists despite decades of research on the chemical mechanisms underlying these reactions. Here we review phosphoryl-transfer reactions with the goal of providing the reader with the conceptual and experimental background to understand this body of work, to evaluate new results and proposals, and to apply this understanding to enzymes. We describe likely resolutions to some controversies, while emphasizing the limits of our current approaches and understanding. We apply this understanding to enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer and provide illustrative examples of how this mechanistic background can guide and deepen our understanding of enzymes and their mechanisms of action. Finally, we present important future challenges for this field. PMID:21513457

  20. Mechanisms for control of biological electron transfer reactions

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Heather R.; Dow, Brian A.; Davidson, Victor L.

    2014-01-01

    Electron transfer (ET) through and between proteins is a fundamental biological process. The rates and mechanisms of these ET reactions are controlled by the proteins in which the redox centers that donate and accept electrons reside. The protein influences the magnitudes of the ET parameters, the electronic coupling and reorganization energy that are associated with the ET reaction. The protein can regulate the rates of the ET reaction by requiring reaction steps to optimize the system for ET, leading to kinetic mechanisms of gated or coupled ET. Amino acid residues in the segment of the protein through which long range ET occurs can also modulate the ET rate by serving as staging points for hopping mechanisms of ET. Specific examples are presented to illustrate these mechanisms by which proteins control rates of ET reactions. PMID:25085775

  1. Large-scale study of the interactions between proteins involved in type IV pilus biology in Neisseria meningitidis: characterization of a subcomplex involved in pilus assembly.

    PubMed

    Georgiadou, Michaella; Castagnini, Marta; Karimova, Gouzel; Ladant, Daniel; Pelicic, Vladimir

    2012-06-01

    The functionally versatile type IV pili (Tfp) are one of the most widespread virulence factors in bacteria. However, despite generating much research interest for decades, the molecular mechanisms underpinning the various aspects of Tfp biology remain poorly understood, mainly because of the complexity of the system. In the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis for example, 23 proteins are dedicated to Tfp biology, 15 of which are essential for pilus biogenesis. One of the important gaps in our knowledge concerns the topology of this multiprotein machinery. Here we have used a bacterial two-hybrid system to identify and quantify the interactions between 11 Pil proteins from N. meningitidis. We identified 20 different binary interactions, many of which are novel. This represents the most complex interaction network between Pil proteins reported to date and indicates, among other things, that PilE, PilM, PilN and PilO, which are involved in pilus assembly, indeed interact. We focused our efforts on this subset of proteins and used a battery of assays to determine the membrane topology of PilN and PilO, map the interaction domains between PilE, PilM, PilN and PilO, and show that a widely conserved N-terminal motif in PilN is essential for both PilM-PilN interactions and pilus assembly. Finally, we show that PilP (another protein involved in pilus assembly) forms a complex with PilM, PilN and PilO. Taken together, these findings have numerous implications for understanding Tfp biology and provide a useful blueprint for future studies. PMID:22486968

  2. Involvement of Nitric Oxide on Bothropoides insularis Venom Biological Effects on Murine Macrophages In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    de Menezes, Ramon R. P. P. B.; Mello, Clarissa P.; Lima, Dânya B.; Tessarolo, Louise D.; Sampaio, Tiago Lima; Paes, Lívia C. F.; Alves, Natacha T. Q.; Assis Junior, Eudmar M.; Lima Junior, Roberto C. P.; Toyama, Marcos H.; Martins, Alice M. C.

    2016-01-01

    Viperidae venom has several local and systemic effects, such as pain, edema, inflammation, kidney failure and coagulopathy. Additionally, bothropic venom and its isolated components directly interfere on cellular metabolism, causing alterations such as cell death and proliferation. Inflammatory cells are particularly involved in pathological envenomation mechanisms due to their capacity of releasing many mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO). NO has many effects on cell viability and it is associated to the development of inflammation and tissue damage caused by Bothrops and Bothropoides venom. Bothropoides insularis is a snake found only in Queimada Grande Island, which has markedly toxic venom. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate the biological effects of Bothropoides insularis venom (BiV) on RAW 264.7 cells and assess NO involvement. The venom was submitted to colorimetric assays to identify the presence of some enzymatic components. We observed that BiV induced H2O2 production and showed proteolytic and phospholipasic activities. RAW 264.7 murine macrophages were incubated with different concentrations of BiV and then cell viability was assessed by MTT reduction assay after 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours of incubation. A time- and concentration-dependent effect was observed, with a tendency to cell proliferation at lower BiV concentrations and cell death at higher concentrations. The cytotoxic effect was confirmed after lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) measurement in the supernatant from the experimental groups. Flow cytometry analyses revealed that necrosis is the main cell death pathway caused by BiV. Also, BiV induced NO release. The inhibition of both proliferative and cytotoxic effects with L-NAME were demonstrated, indicating that NO is important for these effects. Finally, BiV induced an increase in iNOS expression. Altogether, these results demonstrate that B. insularis venom have proliferative and cytotoxic effects on macrophages, with necrosis participation

  3. Inference on biological mechanisms using an integrated phenotype prediction model.

    PubMed

    Enomoto, Yumi; Ushijima, Masaru; Miyata, Satoshi; Matsuura, Masaaki; Ohtaki, Megu

    2008-03-01

    We propose a methodology for constructing an integrated phenotype prediction model that accounts for multiple pathways regulating a targeted phenotype. The method uses multiple prediction models, each expressing a particular pattern of gene-to-gene interrelationship, such as epistasis. We also propose a methodology using Gene Ontology annotations to infer a biological mechanism from the integrated phenotype prediction model. To construct the integrated models, we employed multiple logistic regression models using a two-step learning approach to examine a number of patterns of gene-to-gene interrelationships. We first selected individual prediction models with acceptable goodness of fit, and then combined the models. The resulting integrated model predicts phenotype as a logical sum of predicted results from the individual models. We used published microarray data on neuroblastoma from Ohira et al (2005) for illustration, constructing an integrated model to predict prognosis and infer the biological mechanisms controlling prognosis. Although the resulting integrated model comprised a small number of genes compared to a previously reported analysis of these data, the model demonstrated excellent performance, with an error rate of 0.12 in a validation analysis. Gene Ontology analysis suggested that prognosis of patients with neuroblastoma may be influenced by biological processes such as cell growth, G-protein signaling, phosphoinositide-mediated signaling, alcohol metabolism, glycolysis, neurophysiological processes, and catecholamine catabolism. PMID:18578362

  4. Interaction mechanisms and biological effects of static magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Tenforde, T.S.

    1994-06-01

    Mechanisms through which static magnetic fields interact with living systems are described and illustrated by selected experimental observations. These mechanisms include electrodynamic interactions with moving, ionic charges (blood flow and nerve impulse conduction), magnetomechanical interactions (orientation and translation of molecules structures and magnetic particles), and interactions with electronic spin states in charge transfer reactions (photo-induced electron transfer in photosynthesis). A general summary is also presented of the biological effects of static magnetic fields. There is convincing experimental evidence for magnetoreception mechanisms in several classes of lower organisms, including bacteria and marine organisms. However, in more highly evolved species of animals, there is no evidence that the interactions of static magnetic fields with flux densities up to 2 Tesla (1 Tesla [T] = 10{sup 4} Gauss) produce either behavioral or physiolocical alterations. These results, based on controlled studies with laboratory animals, are consistent with the outcome of recent epidemiological surveys on human populations exposed occupationally to static magnetic fields.

  5. Molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, J

    1995-09-01

    Assuming that homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo effects, its biological explanation in favour of the hypothesis of the hydrate-structure formation is presented. Since cell-surface proteins are likely to be activated by the hydration-shell structure of molecules in some cases, the interaction between cell-surface proteins and the putative clathrate-like hydrate microcrystals formed during the homoeopathic dilution process is suggested as a primary molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines. This paper examines the probable protein-microcrystal interaction, forcusing on the cases in which silicon dioxide (silica) microcrystals cause inflammation and in which hydrate microcrystals may be formed during general anesthesia. PMID:8569554

  6. Mechanism of long-range proton translocation along biological membranes

    PubMed Central

    Medvedev, Emile S.; Stuchebrukhov, Alexei A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent experiments suggest that protons can travel along biological membranes up to tens of micrometers, but the mechanism of transport is unknown. To explain such a long-range proton translocation we describe a model that takes into account the coupled bulk diffusion that accompanies the migration of protons on the surface. We show that protons diffusing at or near the surface before equilibrating with the bulk desorb and re-adsorb at the surface thousands of times, giving rise to a power-law desorption kinetics. As a result, the decay of the surface protons occurs very slowly, allowing for establishing local gradient and local exchange, as was envisioned in the early local models of biological energy transduction. PMID:23268201

  7. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

  8. A comparison of form processing involved in the perception of biological and nonbiological movements.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Steven M; Lu, Hongjing

    2016-01-01

    Although there is evidence for specialization in the human brain for processing biological motion per se, few studies have directly examined the specialization of form processing in biological motion perception. The current study was designed to systematically compare form processing in perception of biological (human walkers) to nonbiological (rotating squares) stimuli. Dynamic form-based stimuli were constructed with conflicting form cues (position and orientation), such that the objects were perceived to be moving ambiguously in two directions at once. In Experiment 1, we used the classification image technique to examine how local form cues are integrated across space and time in a bottom-up manner. By comparing with a Bayesian observer model that embodies generic principles of form analysis (e.g., template matching) and integrates form information according to cue reliability, we found that human observers employ domain-general processes to recognize both human actions and nonbiological object movements. Experiments 2 and 3 found differential top-down effects of spatial context on perception of biological and nonbiological forms. When a background does not involve social information, observers are biased to perceive foreground object movements in the direction opposite to surrounding motion. However, when a background involves social cues, such as a crowd of similar objects, perception is biased toward the same direction as the crowd for biological walking stimuli, but not for rotating nonbiological stimuli. The model provided an accurate account of top-down modulations by adjusting the prior probabilities associated with the internal templates, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the Bayesian approach for visual form perception. PMID:26746875

  9. Using quantum mechanical approaches to study biological systems.

    PubMed

    Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-09-16

    Conspectus Quantum mechanics (QM) has revolutionized our understanding of the structure and reactivity of small molecular systems. Given the tremendous impact of QM in this research area, it is attractive to believe that this could also be brought into the biological realm where systems of a few thousand atoms and beyond are routine. Applying QM methods to biological problems brings an improved representation to these systems by the direct inclusion of inherently QM effects such as polarization and charge transfer. Because of the improved representation, novel insights can be gleaned from the application of QM tools to biomacromolecules in aqueous solution. To achieve this goal, the computational bottlenecks of QM methods had to be addressed. In semiempirical theory, matrix diagonalization is rate limiting, while in density functional theory or Hartree-Fock theory electron repulsion integral computation is rate-limiting. In this Account, we primarily focus on semiempirical models where the divide and conquer (D&C) approach linearizes the matrix diagonalization step with respect to the system size. Through the D&C approach, a number of applications to biological problems became tractable. Herein, we provide examples of QM studies on biological systems that focus on protein solvation as viewed by QM, QM enabled structure-based drug design, and NMR and X-ray biological structure refinement using QM derived restraints. Through the examples chosen, we show the power of QM to provide novel insights into biological systems, while also impacting practical applications such as structure refinement. While these methods can be more expensive than classical approaches, they make up for this deficiency by the more realistic modeling of the electronic nature of biological systems and in their ability to be broadly applied. Of the tools and applications discussed in this Account, X-ray structure refinement using QM models is now generally available to the community in the

  10. International cancer risk assessment: the impact of biologic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Whysner, J; Williams, G M

    1992-02-01

    The use of risk assessment by different governments and agencies varies widely in theory and practice. One major difference is in the consideration given to the biologic mechanisms of cancer causation. U.S. government agencies consider all animal carcinogens to be presumptive human carcinogens and to act in a similar manner without regard to available knowledge on the mechanism of carcinogenicity. Accordingly, standardized models that give linear dose-response at low doses without a threshold are used for predicting human cancer risk from animal studies. Accumulated evidence on biologic mechanisms reveals that some animal carcinogens should not cause cancer in humans at low exposures; other should not at any exposure level. The Netherlands has included such considerations in their cancer classification and risk assessment process. Other governments evaluate each chemical on a case-by-case basis or do not use standardized risk assessment methods for regulatory decisions. To address these issues, the American Health Foundation has convened an International Expert Panel on Carcinogen Risk Assessment. PMID:1553411

  11. Modeling Selection and Extinction Mechanisms of Biological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amirjanov, Adil

    In this paper, the behavior of a genetic algorithm is modeled to enhance its applicability as a modeling tool of biological systems. A new description model for selection mechanism is introduced which operates on a portion of individuals of population. The extinction and recolonization mechanism is modeled, and solving the dynamics analytically shows that the genetic drift in the population with extinction/recolonization is doubled. The mathematical analysis of the interaction between selection and extinction/recolonization processes is carried out to assess the dynamics of motion of the macroscopic statistical properties of population. Computer simulations confirm that the theoretical predictions of described models are in good approximations. A mathematical model of GA dynamics was also examined, which describes the anti-predator vigilance in an animal group with respect to a known analytical solution of the problem, and showed a good agreement between them to find the evolutionarily stable strategies.

  12. Roles of Biological Mechanisms in Floodplain Construction and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beechie, T.; Pollock, M.

    2006-12-01

    Biological mechanisms force patchy and episodic construction of floodplain surfaces across a wide gradient of climatic environments. Common biological mechanisms include sediment trapping by beaver dams, bed load accumulation at wood jams, and settling of suspended sediments in floodplain vegetation. Each of these mechanisms is a direct control on ΔS (change in sediment storage) in the framework of reach-level sediment budgets (ΔS=Input-Output). However, floodplain construction is discontinuous in both lateral and longitudinal dimensions, which complicates estimation of rates of floodplain construction. In this paper we illustrate how biological mechanisms drive rates and dynamics of floodplain construction in rivers in semi-arid regions of the Columbia River basin, as well as in the densely forested Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, USA. Floodplain sedimentation rates in the semi-arid region vary depending upon sediment source and biological retention mechanism. Rivers draining fined-grained source lithologies have silt-dominated sediment loads, and floodplains aggrade primarily by settling of particles on vegetated floodplains (10^{0} cm/yr), or by infilling behind beaver dams (101 cm/yr). Typical longitudinal spacing between beaver dams is several hundred meters, and filling of beaver ponds occurs within 10^{0} to 101 years. Hence, new floodplain patches are created on roughly decadal intervals and at longitudinal spacing of ~102 meters. Abandonment and failure of old dams erodes portions of some floodplain surfaces, but significant terraces remain and new beaver dams initiate construction of additional floodplain surfaces. Where beaver dams are sparse, aggradation rates are spatially more uniform, but slower as the aggradation rate in floodplain vegetation is one order of magnitude lower than in beaver ponds. Floodplains of semi-arid rivers dominated by coarse sediment loads aggrade primarily by overbank deposition in sparsely forested riparian zones, and

  13. Mechanical and biological properties of oxidized horn keratin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quanbin; Shan, Guanghua; Cao, Ping; He, Jia; Lin, Zhongshi; Huang, Yaoxiong; Ao, Ningjian

    2015-02-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the mechanical and biological properties of oxidized keratin materials, which were obtained by using buffalo horns to oxidize. It could provide a way to evaluate their potential for clinical translatability. The characterization on their composition, mechanical properties, and biological responses was performed. It is found that the oxidation process could lead the disulfide bond to break down and then to form sulfonic acid, or even make partial peptide chain to be fragment for the new modification of amino acid. Hence the oxidized horn keratins have lower thermal stability and hydrolytic stability in comparison with horn keratin, but the degradation products of oxidized horn keratins have no significant difference. In addition, the mechanical properties of oxidized horn keratins are poorer than that of horn keratin, but the oxidized horn keratins still have disulfide bonds to form a three-dimensional structure, which benefits for their mechanical properties. The fracture toughness of oxidized horn keratins increases with the increase in the degree of oxidation. After oxidation, the oxidized horn keratins have lower cytotoxicity and lower hemolysis ratio. Moreover, when the oxidized horn keratins, as well as different concentration of degradation products of oxidized horn keratins, are directly in contact with platelet-rich plasma, platelets are not activated. It suggests that the oxidized horn keratins have good hemocompatibility, without triggering blood thrombosis. The implantation experiment in vivo also demonstrates that the oxidized horn keratins are compatible with the tissue, because there are minimal fibrous capsule and less of infiltration of host cells, without causing serious inflammation. In summary, the oxidized horn keratins can act as implanted biomaterial devices that are directly in contact with blood and tissue. PMID:25492180

  14. Quantitative nano-mechanics of biological cells with AFM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sokolov, Igor

    2013-03-01

    The importance of study of living cells is hard to overestimate. Cell mechanics is a relatively young, yet not a well-developed area. Besides just a fundamental interest, large practical need has emerged to measure cell mechanics quantitatively. Recent studies revealed a significant correlation between stiffness of biological cells and various human diseases, such as cancer, malaria, arthritis, and even aging. However, really quantitative studies of mechanics of biological cells are virtually absent. It is not even clear if the cell, being a complex and heterogeneous object, can be described by the elastic modulus at all. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a natural instrument to study properties of cells in their native environments. Here we will demonstrate that quantitative measurements of elastic modulus of cells with AFM are possible. Specifically, we will show that the ``cell body'' (cell without ``brush'' surface layer, a non-elastic layer surrounding cells) typically demonstrates the response of a homogeneous elastic medium up to the deformation of 10-20%, but if and only if a) the cellular brush layer is taken into account, b) rather dull AFM probes are used. This will be justified with the help of the strong condition of elastic behavior of material: the elastic modulus is shown to be independent on the indentation depth. We will also demonstrate that an attempt either to ignore the brush layer or to use sharp AFM probes will result in the violation of the strong condition, which implies impossibility to use the concept of the elastic modulus to describe cell mechanics in such experiments. Examples of quantitative measurements of the Young's modulus of the cell body and the cell brush parameters will be given for various cells. Address when submitting: Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699

  15. ALTERED IRON HOMEOSTATIS AND THE MECHANISM OF BIOLOGIC EFFECT BY PARTICLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Several features of the clinical presentation and changes in physiology and pathology following exposure to many diverse ambient air pollution particles are comparable, suggesting a common mechanism for their biological effect. We propose that a mechanism of biological effect com...

  16. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Yanyong; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Dai, Ning; Fox, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Lactose intolerance related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency is characterized by abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. The biological mechanism and lactose malabsorption is established and several investigations are available, including genetic, endoscopic and physiological tests. Lactose intolerance depends not only on the expression of lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motility, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract to the generation of gas and other fermentation products of lactose digestion. Treatment of lactose intolerance can include lactose-reduced diet and enzyme replacement. This is effective if symptoms are only related to dairy products; however, lactose intolerance can be part of a wider intolerance to variably absorbed, fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). This is present in at least half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and this group requires not only restriction of lactose intake but also a low FODMAP diet to improve gastrointestinal complaints. The long-term effects of a dairy-free, low FODMAPs diet on nutritional health and the fecal microbiome are not well defined. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic basis, biological mechanism, diagnosis and dietary management of lactose intolerance. PMID:26393648

  17. On the mechanism of biological activation by tritium.

    PubMed

    Rozhko, T V; Badun, G A; Razzhivina, I A; Guseynov, O A; Guseynova, V E; Kudryasheva, N S

    2016-06-01

    The mechanism of biological activation by beta-emitting radionuclide tritium was studied. Luminous marine bacteria were used as a bioassay to monitor the biological effect of tritium with luminescence intensity as the physiological parameter tested. Two different types of tritium sources were used: HTO molecules distributed regularly in the surrounding aqueous medium, and a solid source with tritium atoms fixed on its surface (tritium-labeled films, 0.11, 0.28, 0.91, and 2.36 MBq/cm(2)). When using the tritium-labeled films, tritium penetration into the cells was prevented. The both types of tritium sources revealed similar changes in the bacterial luminescence kinetics: a delay period followed by bioluminescence activation. No monotonic dependences of bioluminescence activation efficiency on specific radioactivities of the films were found. A 15-day exposure to tritiated water (100 MBq/L) did not reveal mutations in bacterial DNA. The results obtained give preference to a "non-genomic" mechanism of bioluminescence activation by tritium. An activation of the intracellular bioluminescence process develops without penetration of tritium atoms into the cells and can be caused by intensification of trans-membrane cellular processes stimulated by ionization and radiolysis of aqueous media. PMID:27035890

  18. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary Management.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yanyong; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Dai, Ning; Fox, Mark

    2015-09-01

    Lactose intolerance related to primary or secondary lactase deficiency is characterized by abdominal pain and distension, borborygmi, flatus, and diarrhea induced by lactose in dairy products. The biological mechanism and lactose malabsorption is established and several investigations are available, including genetic, endoscopic and physiological tests. Lactose intolerance depends not only on the expression of lactase but also on the dose of lactose, intestinal flora, gastrointestinal motility, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract to the generation of gas and other fermentation products of lactose digestion. Treatment of lactose intolerance can include lactose-reduced diet and enzyme replacement. This is effective if symptoms are only related to dairy products; however, lactose intolerance can be part of a wider intolerance to variably absorbed, fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). This is present in at least half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and this group requires not only restriction of lactose intake but also a low FODMAP diet to improve gastrointestinal complaints. The long-term effects of a dairy-free, low FODMAPs diet on nutritional health and the fecal microbiome are not well defined. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the genetic basis, biological mechanism, diagnosis and dietary management of lactose intolerance. PMID:26393648

  19. Investigation into the non-biological outputs of mechanical-biological treatment facilities.

    PubMed

    Cook, Ed; Wagland, Stuart; Coulon, Frédéric

    2015-12-01

    Mechanical-biological and biological-mechanical treatment (MBT/BMT) are effective methods for reducing biogenic additions to landfill, producing fuel products and recovering recyclate from residual waste. However, large amounts of contamination in the non-biological outputs reduce their market value. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the principal drivers and barriers to the marketability of ferrous metals (MBTFe) and heavy inert rejects (MBTr) recovered from four UK MBT/BMT plants. The plants were either using biodrying or anaerobic digestion (AD-MBT) for biological processing. Samples were collected at the different recovery stage processes and characterised for elemental composition and particle size distribution. Results showed that processes at the two biodrying plants produced MBTFe with 10% less contamination by non-target materials than the two AD-MBT plants. Further to this, approximately 10% of the MBTFe fraction sampled at all four facilities comprised non-target material which had become entrapped in the folds of metal food containers. A possible cause is waste comminution in the cutting gap of the low-speed high-torque cutting mills. Upgrading MBTFe outputs could save the UK MBT/BMT industry up to £ 4.4 million per annum which equates to £ 230,000 per annum for an average sized facility (i.e. capacity 108,000 tpa). Glass content in the MBTr samples ranged between 44% and 62%, however all plants showed approximately 85% combined content of glass, bricks, stones and ceramics. The biodegradable content in the MBTr samples indicated that only minimal upgrade would be required to achieve the Landfill Directive requirements for inert waste. Again valorisation of MBTr could save the UK MBT/BMT industry up to £ 1.9 million pa which equates to £ 160,000 per annum for an average sized facility. PMID:26394679

  20. Molecular mechanisms of biological aging in intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Vo, Nam V; Hartman, Robert A; Patil, Prashanti R; Risbud, Makarand V; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C; Hoyland, Judith A; Le Maitre, Christine L; Sowa, Gwendolyn A; Kang, James D

    2016-08-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:1289-1306, 2016. PMID:26890203

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam V.; Hartman, Robert A.; Patil, Prashanti R.; Risbud, Makarand V.; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C.; Hoyland, Judith A.; Le Maitre, Christine L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Kang, James D.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. PMID:26890203

  2. Fluctuating Nonlinear Spring Model of Mechanical Deformation of Biological Particles.

    PubMed

    Kononova, Olga; Snijder, Joost; Kholodov, Yaroslav; Marx, Kenneth A; Wuite, Gijs J L; Roos, Wouter H; Barsegov, Valeri

    2016-01-01

    The mechanical properties of virus capsids correlate with local conformational dynamics in the capsid structure. They also reflect the required stability needed to withstand high internal pressures generated upon genome loading and contribute to the success of important events in viral infectivity, such as capsid maturation, genome uncoating and receptor binding. The mechanical properties of biological nanoparticles are often determined from monitoring their dynamic deformations in Atomic Force Microscopy nanoindentation experiments; but a comprehensive theory describing the full range of observed deformation behaviors has not previously been described. We present a new theory for modeling dynamic deformations of biological nanoparticles, which considers the non-linear Hertzian deformation, resulting from an indenter-particle physical contact, and the bending of curved elements (beams) modeling the particle structure. The beams' deformation beyond the critical point triggers a dynamic transition of the particle to the collapsed state. This extreme event is accompanied by a catastrophic force drop as observed in the experimental or simulated force (F)-deformation (X) spectra. The theory interprets fine features of the spectra, including the nonlinear components of the FX-curves, in terms of the Young's moduli for Hertzian and bending deformations, and the structural damage dependent beams' survival probability, in terms of the maximum strength and the cooperativity parameter. The theory is exemplified by successfully describing the deformation dynamics of natural nanoparticles through comparing theoretical curves with experimental force-deformation spectra for several virus particles. This approach provides a comprehensive description of the dynamic structural transitions in biological and artificial nanoparticles, which is essential for their optimal use in nanotechnology and nanomedicine applications. PMID:26821264

  3. Probing mechanical properties of fully hydrated gels and biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Constantinides, Georgios; Kalcioglu, Z Ilke; McFarland, Meredith; Smith, James F; Van Vliet, Krystyn J

    2008-11-14

    A longstanding challenge in accurate mechanical characterization of engineered and biological tissues is maintenance of both stable sample hydration and high instrument signal resolution. Here, we describe the modification of an instrumented indenter to accommodate nanomechanical characterization of biological and synthetic tissues in liquid media, and demonstrate accurate acquisition of force-displacement data that can be used to extract viscoelastoplastic properties of hydrated gels and tissues. We demonstrate the validity of this approach via elastoplastic analysis of relatively stiff, water-insensitive materials of elastic moduli E>1000 kPa (borosilicate glass and polypropylene), and then consider the viscoelastic response and representative mechanical properties of compliant, synthetic polymer hydrogels (polyacrylamide-based hydrogels of varying mol%-bis crosslinker) and biological tissues (porcine skin and liver) of E<500 kPa. Indentation responses obtained via loading/unloading hystereses and contact creep loading were highly repeatable, and the inferred E were in good agreement with available macroscopic data for all samples. As expected, increased chemical crosslinking of polyacrylamide increased stiffness (E40 kPa) and decreased creep compliance. E of porcine liver (760 kPa) and skin (222 kPa) were also within the range of macroscopic measurements reported for a limited subset of species and disease states. These data show that instrumented indentation of fully immersed samples can be reliably applied for materials spanning several orders of magnitude in stiffness (E=kPa-GPa). These capabilities are particularly important to materials design and characterization of macromolecules, cells, explanted tissues, and synthetic extracellular matrices as a function of spatial position, degree of hydration, or hydrolytic/enzymatic/corrosion reaction times. PMID:18922534

  4. Fluctuating Nonlinear Spring Model of Mechanical Deformation of Biological Particles

    PubMed Central

    Kononova, Olga; Snijder, Joost; Kholodov, Yaroslav; Marx, Kenneth A.; Wuite, Gijs J. L.; Roos, Wouter H.; Barsegov, Valeri

    2016-01-01

    The mechanical properties of virus capsids correlate with local conformational dynamics in the capsid structure. They also reflect the required stability needed to withstand high internal pressures generated upon genome loading and contribute to the success of important events in viral infectivity, such as capsid maturation, genome uncoating and receptor binding. The mechanical properties of biological nanoparticles are often determined from monitoring their dynamic deformations in Atomic Force Microscopy nanoindentation experiments; but a comprehensive theory describing the full range of observed deformation behaviors has not previously been described. We present a new theory for modeling dynamic deformations of biological nanoparticles, which considers the non-linear Hertzian deformation, resulting from an indenter-particle physical contact, and the bending of curved elements (beams) modeling the particle structure. The beams’ deformation beyond the critical point triggers a dynamic transition of the particle to the collapsed state. This extreme event is accompanied by a catastrophic force drop as observed in the experimental or simulated force (F)-deformation (X) spectra. The theory interprets fine features of the spectra, including the nonlinear components of the FX-curves, in terms of the Young’s moduli for Hertzian and bending deformations, and the structural damage dependent beams’ survival probability, in terms of the maximum strength and the cooperativity parameter. The theory is exemplified by successfully describing the deformation dynamics of natural nanoparticles through comparing theoretical curves with experimental force-deformation spectra for several virus particles. This approach provides a comprehensive description of the dynamic structural transitions in biological and artificial nanoparticles, which is essential for their optimal use in nanotechnology and nanomedicine applications. PMID:26821264

  5. Conference explores mechanical involvement of fluids in faulting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickman, Stephen; Sibson, Richard; Bruhn, Ronald

    A growing body of evidence suggests that fluids are intimately linked to a variety of faulting processes. These include the long-term structural and compositional evolution of fault zones; fault creep; and the nucleation, propagation, arrest, and recurrence of earthquake ruptures. Besides the widely recognized physical role of fluid pressures in controlling the strength of crustal fault zones, it is also apparent that fluids can exert mechanical influence through a variety of chemical effects.To address these issues, a “Red-Book” Conference on the Mechanical Effects of Fluids in Faulting was sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey under the auspices of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program at Fish Camp, Calif., from June 6-10, 1993. The coconvenors were Steve Hickman, Rick Sibson, and Ron Bruhn.

  6. Identification of genes involved in regulatory mechanism of pigments in broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Tarique, T M; Yang, S; Mohsina, Z; Qiu, J; Yan, Z; Chen, G; Chen, A

    2014-01-01

    Chicken is an important model organism that unites the evolutionary gap between mammals and other vertebrates and provide major source of protein from meat and eggs for all over the world population. However, specific genes underlying the regulatory mechanism of broiler pigmentation have not yet been determined. In order to better understand the genes involved in the mechanism of pigmentation in the muscle tissues of broilers, the Affymetrix microarray hybridization experiment platform was used to identify gene expression profiles at 7 weeks of age. Broilers fed canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII pigments (100 mg/kg) were used to explore gene expression profiles). Our data showed that the 7th week of age was a very important phase with regard to gene expression profiles. We identified a number of differentially expressed genes; in canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII, there were 54 (32 upregulated and 22 downregulated), 23 (15 upregulated and 8 downregulated), and 7 (5 upregulated and 2 downregulated) known genes, respectively. Our data indicate that the numbers of differentially expressed genes were more upregulated than downregulated, and several genes showed conserved signaling to previously known functions. Thus, functional characterization of differentially expressed genes revealed several categories that are involved in important biological processes, including pigmentation, growth, molecular mechanisms, fat metabolism, cell proliferation, immune response, lipid metabolism, and protein synthesis and degradation. The results of the present study demonstrate that the genes associated with canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII are key regulatory genes that control the regulatory mechanisms of pigmentation. PMID:25222226

  7. Orosensory self-stimulation by sucrose involves brain dopaminergic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Schneider, L H

    1989-01-01

    The most convincing body of evidence supporting a role for brain dopaminergic mechanisms in sweet taste reward has been obtained using the sham-feeding rat. In rats prepared with a chronic gastric fistula and tested with the cannula open, intake is a direct function of the palatability of the solution offered as well as of the state of food deprivation. Because essentially none of the ingested fluid passes on to the intestine, negative postingestive feedback is eliminated. Thus, the relative orosensory/hedonic potency of the food determines and sustains the rate of sham intake; long periods of food deprivation are not required. In this way, the sham feeding of sweet solutions may be considered a form of oral self-stimulation behavior and afford a preparation through which the neurochemical and neuranatomical substrates of sweet taste reward may be identified. The results obtained in the series of experiments summarized in this paper clearly indicate that central D-1 and D-2 receptor mechanisms are critical for the orosensory self-stimulation by sucrose in the rat. In conclusion, I suggest that such investigations of the roles of brain dopaminergic mechanisms in the sucrose sham-feeding rat preparation may further our understanding of normal and aberrant attractions to sweet fluids in humans (see Cabanac, Drewnowski, and Halmi, this volume), as an innate, positive affective response of human neonates to sucrose and the sustained positive hedonic ratings for glucose when tasted but not when consumed have demonstrated. PMID:2699194

  8. Molecular mechanisms involved in Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation

    PubMed Central

    Mielich-Süss, Benjamin; Lopez, Daniel

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Acetylome analysis reveals the involvement of lysine acetylation in diverse biological processes in Phytophthora sojae.

    PubMed

    Li, Delong; Lv, Binna; Tan, Lingling; Yang, Qianqian; Liang, Wenxing

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation is a dynamic and highly conserved post-translational modification that plays an important regulatory role in almost every aspects of cell metabolism in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Phytophthora sojae is one of the most important plant pathogens due to its huge economic impact. However, to date, little is known about the functions of lysine acetylation in this Phytopthora. Here, we conducted a lysine acetylome in P. sojae. Overall, 2197 lysine acetylation sites in 1150 proteins were identified. The modified proteins are involved in diverse biological processes and are localized to multiple cellular compartments. Importantly, 7 proteins involved in the pathogenicity or the secretion pathway of P. sojae were found to be acetylated. These data provide the first comprehensive view of the acetylome of P. sojae and serve as an important resource for functional analysis of lysine acetylation in plant pathogens. PMID:27412925

  10. Acetylome analysis reveals the involvement of lysine acetylation in diverse biological processes in Phytophthora sojae

    PubMed Central

    Li, Delong; Lv, Binna; Tan, Lingling; Yang, Qianqian; Liang, Wenxing

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation is a dynamic and highly conserved post-translational modification that plays an important regulatory role in almost every aspects of cell metabolism in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Phytophthora sojae is one of the most important plant pathogens due to its huge economic impact. However, to date, little is known about the functions of lysine acetylation in this Phytopthora. Here, we conducted a lysine acetylome in P. sojae. Overall, 2197 lysine acetylation sites in 1150 proteins were identified. The modified proteins are involved in diverse biological processes and are localized to multiple cellular compartments. Importantly, 7 proteins involved in the pathogenicity or the secretion pathway of P. sojae were found to be acetylated. These data provide the first comprehensive view of the acetylome of P. sojae and serve as an important resource for functional analysis of lysine acetylation in plant pathogens. PMID:27412925

  11. Waste-Activated Sludge Fermentation for Polyacrylamide Biodegradation Improved by Anaerobic Hydrolysis and Key Microorganisms Involved in Biological Polyacrylamide Removal

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Xiaohu; Luo, Fan; Zhang, Dong; Dai, Lingling; Chen, Yinguang; Dong, Bin

    2015-01-01

    During the anaerobic digestion of dewatered sludge, polyacrylamide (PAM), a chemical conditioner, can usually be consumed as a carbon and nitrogen source along with other organic matter (e.g., proteins and carbohydrates in the sludge). However, a significant accumulation of acrylamide monomers (AMs) was observed during the PAM biodegradation process. To improve the anaerobic hydrolysis of PAM, especially the amide hydrolysis process, and to avoid the generation of the intermediate product AM, a new strategy is reported herein that uses an initial pH of 9, 200 mg COD/L of PAM and a fermentation time of 17 d. First, response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to optimize PAM removal in the anaerobic digestion of the sludge. The biological hydrolysis of PAM reached 86.64% under the optimal conditions obtained from the RSM. Then, the mechanisms for the optimized parameters that significantly improved the biological hydrolysis of PAM were investigated by the synergistic effect of the main organic compounds in the sludge, the floc size distribution, and the enzymatic activities. Finally, semi-continuous-flow experiments for a microbial community study were investigated based on the determination of key microorganisms involved in the biological hydrolysis of PAM. PMID:26144551

  12. Waste-Activated Sludge Fermentation for Polyacrylamide Biodegradation Improved by Anaerobic Hydrolysis and Key Microorganisms Involved in Biological Polyacrylamide Removal.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xiaohu; Luo, Fan; Zhang, Dong; Dai, Lingling; Chen, Yinguang; Dong, Bin

    2015-01-01

    During the anaerobic digestion of dewatered sludge, polyacrylamide (PAM), a chemical conditioner, can usually be consumed as a carbon and nitrogen source along with other organic matter (e.g., proteins and carbohydrates in the sludge). However, a significant accumulation of acrylamide monomers (AMs) was observed during the PAM biodegradation process. To improve the anaerobic hydrolysis of PAM, especially the amide hydrolysis process, and to avoid the generation of the intermediate product AM, a new strategy is reported herein that uses an initial pH of 9, 200 mg COD/L of PAM and a fermentation time of 17 d. First, response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to optimize PAM removal in the anaerobic digestion of the sludge. The biological hydrolysis of PAM reached 86.64% under the optimal conditions obtained from the RSM. Then, the mechanisms for the optimized parameters that significantly improved the biological hydrolysis of PAM were investigated by the synergistic effect of the main organic compounds in the sludge, the floc size distribution, and the enzymatic activities. Finally, semi-continuous-flow experiments for a microbial community study were investigated based on the determination of key microorganisms involved in the biological hydrolysis of PAM. PMID:26144551

  13. Mechanisms involved in quinolone resistance in Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Nuno T; Assunção, Patrícia; Poveda, José B; Tavío, María M

    2015-06-01

    Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri is a causative agent of contagious agalactia in goats. In this study, M. mycoides subsp. capri mutants were selected for resistance to fluoroquinolones (norfloxacin, enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin) by serial passes in broth with increasing concentrations of antibiotic. Mutations conferring cross-resistance to the three fluoroquinolones were found in the quinolone resistance determining regions of the four genes encoding DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Different mutations in the DNA gyrase GyrA subunit suggest a different mechanism of inhibition between norfloxacin and the other tested fluoroquinolones. The presence of an adenosine triphosphate-dependent efflux system was suggested through the use of the inhibitor orthovanadate. PMID:25951987

  14. Genetic mechanisms involved in the phenotype of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Patterson, David

    2007-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of significant intellectual disability in the human population, occurring in roughly 1 in 700 live births. The ultimate cause of DS is trisomy of all or part of the set of genes located on chromosome 21. How this trisomy leads to the phenotype of DS is unclear. The completion of the DNA sequencing and annotation of the long arm of chromosome 21 was a critical step towards understanding the genetics of the phenotype. However, annotation of the chromosome continues and the functions of many genes on chromosome 21 remain uncertain. Recent findings about the structure of the human genome and of chromosome 21, in particular, and studies on mechanisms of gene regulation indicate that various genetic mechanisms may be contributors to the phenotype of DS and to the variability of the phenotype. These include variability of gene expression, the activity of transcription factors both encoded on chromosome 21 and encoded elsewhere in the genome, copy number polymorphisms, the function of conserved nongenic regions, microRNA activities, RNA editing, and perhaps DNA methylation. In this manuscript, we describe current knowledge about these genetic complexities and their likely importance in the context of DS. We identify gaps in current knowledge and suggest priorities to fill these gaps. PMID:17910086

  15. Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in leg joint morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Suzanne, Magali

    2016-07-01

    In summary, the patterning of the presumptive leg depends on gradients of Dpp and Wg morphogens, which lead to the establishment of the proximo-distal axis marked by the expression of Hth, Dac and Dll in broad domains along the leg. Then, EGFR signaling specifies the tarsal region by regulating the expression of tarsal gap genes in different tarsal segments. This patterning is closely linked to the formation of rings of Notch activation in the distal part of each leg segment. These rings of Notch activation are further regulated by different mechanisms: (1) the maintenance of a sharp border of Dl expression, (2) the inhibition of N activation in cells located proximally to the ligands, thus restricting N activity specifically to the distal part of cells. This localised activation of Notch induces the expression of Dysfusion which controls the expression of both pro-apoptotic genes and RhoGTPase regulators. Finally, apoptotic cells appear within the pro-apoptotic domain, and while dying, generate a transient pulling force. This force constitutes a mechanical signal that propagates to the rest of the tissue and triggers cytoskeleton reorganisation specifically in the presumptive fold, where RhoGTPase regulators are expressed. Altogether, this complex array of patterning and signaling leads to precise cellular mapping of the developing leg to correctly position local cell shape modifications, inducing tissue folding. PMID:26845195

  16. Systems biology approaches for identifying adverse drug reactions and elucidating their underlying biological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Boland, Mary Regina; Jacunski, Alexandra; Lorberbaum, Tal; Romano, Joseph D; Moskovitch, Robert; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Small molecules are indispensable to modern medical therapy. However, their use may lead to unintended, negative medical outcomes commonly referred to as adverse drug reactions (ADRs). These effects vary widely in mechanism, severity, and populations affected, making ADR prediction and identification important public health concerns. Current methods rely on clinical trials and postmarket surveillance programs to find novel ADRs; however, clinical trials are limited by small sample size, whereas postmarket surveillance methods may be biased and inherently leave patients at risk until sufficient clinical evidence has been gathered. Systems pharmacology, an emerging interdisciplinary field combining network and chemical biology, provides important tools to uncover and understand ADRs and may mitigate the drawbacks of traditional methods. In particular, network analysis allows researchers to integrate heterogeneous data sources and quantify the interactions between biological and chemical entities. Recent work in this area has combined chemical, biological, and large-scale observational health data to predict ADRs in both individual patients and global populations. In this review, we explore the rapid expansion of systems pharmacology in the study of ADRs. We enumerate the existing methods and strategies and illustrate progress in the field with a model framework that incorporates crucial data elements, such as diet and comorbidities, known to modulate ADR risk. Using this framework, we highlight avenues of research that may currently be underexplored, representing opportunities for future work. PMID:26559926

  17. Mechanisms involved in the development of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Boyette-Davis, Jessica A; Walters, Edgar T; Dougherty, Patrick M

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a debilitating and painful condition seen in patients undergoing treatment with common agents such as vincristine, paclitaxel, oxaliplatin and bortezomib. The mechanisms of this condition are diverse, and include an array of molecular and cellular contributions. Current research implicates genetic predispositions to this condition, which then may influence cellular responses to chemotherapy. Processes found to be influenced during CIPN include increased expression of inflammatory mediators, primarily cytokines, which can create cascading effects in neurons and glia. Changes in ion channels and neurotransmission, as well as changes in intracellular signaling and structures have been implicated in CIPN. This review explores these issues and suggests considerations for future research. PMID:26087973

  18. Kinetics and mechanisms of reactions involving small aromatic reactive intermediates

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, M.C.

    1993-12-01

    Small aromatic radicals such as C{sub 6}H{sub 5}, C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O and C{sub 6}H{sub 4} are key prototype species of their homologs. C{sub 6}H{sub 5} and its oxidation product, C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O are believed to be important intermediates which play a pivotal role in hydrocarbon combustion, particularly with regard to soot formation. Despite their fundamental importance, experimental data on the reaction mechanisms and reactivities of these species are very limited. For C{sub 6}H{sub 5}, most kinetic data except its reactions with NO and NO{sub 2}, were obtained by relative rate measurements. For C{sub 6}H{sub 5}O, the authors have earlier measured its fragmentation reaction producing C{sub 5}H{sub 5} + CO in shock waves. For C{sub 6}H{sub 4}, the only rate constant measured in the gas phase is its recombination rate at room temperature. The authors have proposed to investigate systematically the kinetics and mechanisms of this important class of molecules using two parallel laser diagnostic techniques--laser resonance absorption (LRA) and resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry (REMPI/MS). In the past two years, study has been focused on the development of a new multipass adsorption technique--the {open_quotes}cavity-ring-down{close_quotes} technique for kinetic applications. The preliminary results of this study appear to be quite good and the sensitivity of the technique is at least comparable to that of the laser-induced fluorescence method.

  19. A Model to Study Articular Cartilage Mechanical and Biological Responses to Sliding Loads.

    PubMed

    Schätti, Oliver R; Gallo, Luigi M; Torzilli, Peter A

    2016-08-01

    In physiological conditions, joint function involves continuously moving contact areas over the tissue surface. Such moving contacts play an important role for the durability of the tissue. It is known that in pathological joints these motion paths and contact mechanics change. Nevertheless, limited information exists on the impact of such physiological and pathophysiological dynamic loads on cartilage mechanics and its subsequent biological response. We designed and validated a mechanical device capable of applying simultaneous compression and sliding forces onto cartilage explants to simulate moving joint contact. Tests with varying axial loads (1-4 kg) and sliding speeds (1-20 mm/s) were performed on mature viable bovine femoral condyles to investigate cartilage mechanobiological responses. High loads and slow sliding speeds resulted in highest cartilage deformations. Contact stress and effective cartilage moduli increased with increasing load and increasing speed. In a pilot study, changes in gene expression of extracellular matrix proteins were correlated with strain, contact stress and dynamic effective modulus. This study describes a mechanical test system to study the cartilage response to reciprocating sliding motion and will be helpful in identifying mechanical and biological mechanisms leading to the initiation and development of cartilage degeneration. PMID:26698580

  20. Biologically Inspired Object Tracking Using Center-Surround Saliency Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Mahadevan, Vijay; Vasconcelos, Nuno

    2013-03-01

    A biologically inspired discriminant object tracker is proposed. It is argued that discriminant tracking is a consequence of top-down tuning of the saliency mechanisms that guide the deployment of visual attention. The principle of discriminant saliency is then used to derive a tracker that implements a combination of center-surround saliency, a spatial spotlight of attention, and feature-based attention. In this framework, the tracking problem is formulated as one of continuous target-background classification, implemented in two stages. The first, or learning stage, combines a focus of attention (FoA) mechanism, and bottom-up saliency to identify a maximally discriminant set of features for target detection. The second, or detection stage, uses a feature-based attention mechanism and a target-tuned top-down discriminant saliency detector to detect the target. Overall, the tracker iterates between learning discriminant features from the target location in a video frame and detecting the location of the target in the next. The statistics of natural images are exploited to derive an implementation which is conceptually simple and computationally efficient. The saliency formulation is also shown to establish a unified framework for classifier design, target detection, automatic tracker initialization, and scale adaptation. Experimental results show that the proposed discriminant saliency tracker outperforms a number of state-of-the-art trackers in the literature. PMID:22529325

  1. Distinctive pathological mechanisms involved in primary progressive aphasias.

    PubMed

    Leyton, Cristian E; Britton, Anna K; Hodges, John R; Halliday, Glenda M; Kril, Jillian J

    2016-02-01

    Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) comprises a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative conditions that can be classified in three cliniconeuroanatomic syndromes. Limited information exists, however, about patterns of neuropathologic spreading and microscopic changes underpinning each syndrome. We performed an analysis of a longitudinal in vivo cohort and a postmortem PPA cohort to investigate neurodegeneration over time and to quantify microscopic changes in key language brain areas. The longitudinal analyses demonstrated distinctive patterns of topological extension of brain atrophy. Although semantic variant (sv-PPA) showed an eccentric pattern, nonfluent and/or agrammatic (nfv-PPA) and logopenic (lv-PPA) variants showed additional multifocal extension. The quantitative pathology showed that sv-PPA had neuronal loss and thinning in BA 38, whereas nfv-PPA showed thinning in BA 44/45 and evidence of microscopic involvement in BA 40/22. Although lv-PPA showed neuronal loss focused on BA 40/22, imaging results demonstrated widespread left-sided brain atrophy. These analyses provide an account of the pathologic process whereby each variant has stereotypical patterns of brain atrophy extension, which is largely determined by the specific pathologic type. PMID:26827646

  2. A mechanism of paraquat toxicity involving nitric oxide synthase

    PubMed Central

    Day, Brian J.; Patel, Manisha; Calavetta, Lisa; Chang, Ling-Yi; Stamler, Jonathan S.

    1999-01-01

    Paraquat (PQ) is a well described pneumotoxicant that produces toxicity by redox cycling with cellular diaphorases, thereby elevating intracellular levels of superoxide (O2⨪). NO synthase (NOS) has been shown to participate in PQ-induced lung injury. Current theory holds that NO reacts with O2⨪ generated by PQ to produce the toxin peroxynitrite. We asked whether NOS might alternatively function as a PQ diaphorase and reexamined the question of whether NO/O2⨪ reactions were toxic or protective. Here, we show that: (i) neuronal NOS has PQ diaphorase activity that inversely correlates with NO formation; (ii) PQ-induced endothelial cell toxicity is attenuated by inhibitors of NOS that prevent NADPH oxidation, but is not attenuated by those that do not; (iii) PQ inhibits endothelium-derived, but not NO-induced, relaxations of aortic rings; and (iv) PQ-induced cytotoxicity is potentiated in cytokine-activated macrophages in a manner that correlates with its ability to block NO formation. These data indicate that NOS is a PQ diaphorase and that toxicity of such redox-active compounds involves a loss of NO-related activity. PMID:10535996

  3. Fluid mechanics of biological surfaces and their technological application.

    PubMed

    Bechert, D W; Bruse, M; Hage, W; Meyer, R

    2000-04-01

    A survey is given on fluid-dynamic effects caused by the structure and properties of biological surfaces. It is demonstrated that the results of investigations aiming at technological applications can also provide insights into biophysical phenomena. Techniques are described both for reducing wall shear stresses and for controlling boundary-layer separation. (a) Wall shear stress reduction was investigated experimentally for various riblet surfaces including a shark skin replica. The latter consists of 800 plastic model scales with compliant anchoring. Hairy surfaces are also considered, and surfaces in which the no-slip condition is modified. Self-cleaning surfaces such as that of lotus leaves represent an interesting option to avoid fluid-dynamic deterioration by the agglomeration of dirt. An example of technological implementation is discussed for riblets in long-range commercial aircraft. (b) Separation control is also an important issue in biology. After a few brief comments on vortex generators, the mechanism of separation control by bird feathers is described in detail. Self-activated movable flaps (= artificial bird feathers) represent a high-lift system enhancing the maximum lift of airfoils by about 20%. This is achieved without perceivable deleterious effects under cruise conditions. Finally, flight experiments on an aircraft with laminar wing and movable flaps are presented. PMID:10840802

  4. Fluid Mechanics of Biological Surfaces and their Technological Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bechert, D. W.; Bruse, M.; Hage, W.; Meyer, R.

    A survey is given on fluid-dynamic effects caused by the structure and properties of biological surfaces. It is demonstrated that the results of investigations aiming at technological applications can also provide insights into biophysical phenomena. Techniques are described both for reducing wall shear stresses and for controlling boundary-layer separation. (a) Wall shear stress reduction was investigated experimentally for various riblet surfaces including a shark skin replica. The latter consists of 800 plastic model scales with compliant anchoring. Hairy surfaces are also considered, and surfaces in which the no-slip condition is modified. Self-cleaning surfaces such as that of lotus leaves represent an interesting option to avoid fluid-dynamic deterioration by the agglomeration of dirt. An example of technological implementation is discussed for riblets in long-range commercial aircraft. (b) Separation control is also an important issue in biology. After a few brief comments on vortex generators, the mechanism of separation control by bird feathers is described in detail. Self-activated movable flaps (=artificial bird feathers) represent a high-lift system enhancing the maximum lift of airfoils by about 20%. This is achieved without perceivable deleterious effects under cruise conditions. Finally, flight experiments on an aircraft with laminar wing and movable flaps are presented.

  5. Nutritional Systems Biology Modeling: From Molecular Mechanisms to Physiology

    PubMed Central

    de Graaf, Albert A.; Freidig, Andreas P.; De Roos, Baukje; Jamshidi, Neema; Heinemann, Matthias; Rullmann, Johan A.C.; Hall, Kevin D.; Adiels, Martin; van Ommen, Ben

    2009-01-01

    The use of computational modeling and simulation has increased in many biological fields, but despite their potential these techniques are only marginally applied in nutritional sciences. Nevertheless, recent applications of modeling have been instrumental in answering important nutritional questions from the cellular up to the physiological levels. Capturing the complexity of today's important nutritional research questions poses a challenge for modeling to become truly integrative in the consideration and interpretation of experimental data at widely differing scales of space and time. In this review, we discuss a selection of available modeling approaches and applications relevant for nutrition. We then put these models into perspective by categorizing them according to their space and time domain. Through this categorization process, we identified a dearth of models that consider processes occurring between the microscopic and macroscopic scale. We propose a “middle-out” strategy to develop the required full-scale, multilevel computational models. Exhaustive and accurate phenotyping, the use of the virtual patient concept, and the development of biomarkers from “-omics” signatures are identified as key elements of a successful systems biology modeling approach in nutrition research—one that integrates physiological mechanisms and data at multiple space and time scales. PMID:19956660

  6. Drug interactions involving cimetidine--mechanisms, documentation, implications.

    PubMed

    Greene, W

    1984-01-01

    In summary, cimetidine is a potent inhibitor of liver microsomal activity, which may also decrease hepatic blood flow. Other effects of the drug include inhibition of gastric secretion and intrinsic toxic properties. These effects, combined with the common use of cimetidine in clinical practice, make the risk of adverse drug interactions a relatively frequent risk in the clinical setting. Although a multitude of interactions with cimetidine has been evaluated, many of these are incompletely described or understood. At the present time, a potentially significant alteration of absorption appears to exist with only ketoconazole, elemental iron, vitamin B12 (long-term therapy), and pancreatic enzyme supplements (increased activity). Significant metabolic inhibition or decreased excretion appears to exist with warfarin, propranolol, theophylline, phenytoin, quinidine, possibly lidocaine and procainamide, and certain benzodiazepines. Other potential, but less well ascertained interactions may involve the narcotic analgesics, caffeine, ethanol, pentobarbital, imipramine, chlormethiazole, and metronidazole. In these settings, the clinician must be aware of interaction potential, and astutely monitor the patient during combination therapy. Other data indicate that concomitant administration of antacids may reduce the absorption of cimetidine, that the drug may protect against the toxic effects of acetaminophen overdose, and that combination with certain other myelosuppressants may carry a significant risk. Thus, in regard to these reports, cimetidine is a drug with complex effects on the absorption, elimination, and toxicity of other drugs. When used in the setting of multiple drug therapy, the clinician must be alert to potentially increased or decreased effects of the drugs mentioned in this review. In addition, one must be aware that other hepatically metabolised agents not mentioned here may be affected by the addition of cimetidine therapy. Because of the therapeutic

  7. The prion hypothesis: from biological anomaly to basic regulatory mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Tuite, Mick F; Serio, Tricia R

    2010-01-01

    Preface Prions are unusual proteinaceous infectious agents that are typically associated with a class of fatal degenerative diseases of the mammalian brain. However, the discovery of fungal prions, which are not associated with disease, suggests that we must now consider the impact of these factors on basic cellular physiology in a different light. Fungal prions are epigenetic determinants that can alter a range of cellular processes, including metabolism and gene expression pathways, and these changes can lead to a range of prion-associated phenotypes. The mechanistic similarities between prion propagation in mammals and fungi suggest that prions are not a biological anomaly but instead are a new appreciated and perhaps ubiquitous regulatory mechanism. PMID:21081963

  8. Can We Describe Biological Systems with Quantum Mechanics?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granados-Ramírez, C. G.; Benítez-Cardoza, C. G.; Carbajal-Tinoco, M. D.

    2016-03-01

    Quantum Mechanics is the favourite theory to predict the structure of any group of atoms, including biological molecules. Due to numerous difficulties, however, it is necessary to introduce a series of approximations to overcome such impediments. We present a coarse-grained model of circular dichroism (CD) that is based on the theory of optical activity, developed by DeVoe, in order to predict CD spectra. In first stage, we determine the polarisability of individual monomers (residues, in the case of peptides) from experiments of molar absorptivity. The complex polarisabilities are used together with peptide structures obtained by density functional theory and other methods to determine their corresponding CD spectra, which are in reasonable agreement with their experimental counterparts.

  9. Physical basis and biological mechanisms of gold nanoparticle radiosensitization.

    PubMed

    Butterworth, Karl T; McMahon, Stephen J; Currell, Fred J; Prise, Kevin M

    2012-08-21

    The unique properties of nanomaterials, in particular gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have applications for a wide range of biomedical applications. GNPs have been proposed as novel radiosensitizing agents due to their strong photoelectric absorption coefficient. Experimental evidence supporting the application of GNPs as radiosensitizing agents has been provided from extensive in vitro investigation and a relatively limited number of in vivo studies. Whilst these studies provide experimental evidence for the use of GNPs in combination with ionising radiation, there is an apparent disparity between the observed experimental findings and the level of radiosensitization predicted by mass energy absorption and GNP concentration. This review summarises experimental findings and attempts to highlight potential underlying biological mechanisms of response in GNP radiosensitization. PMID:22767423

  10. Damage and failure mechanisms associated with photoablation of biological tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Antoun, T.; Seaman, L.; Curran, D.; Glinsky, M.

    1996-05-01

    This paper aims to examine the processes associated with failure of the cornea and other collagenous tissues during photoablation. Two different constitutive models are applied to simulate a series of laser deposition experiments into porcine reticular dermis (1), a biological tissue similar to the cornea in composition and photoablation characteristics. The first of our constitutive models, DFRACT, is a physically motivated, micromechanical model based on the nucleation and growth of spherical voids (2). The second is a relatively simple model that allows the material to vaporize and thermally soften. The simulation results reproduce the prominent features observed experimentally thereby shedding a new light on the operative mechanisms during photoablation. The good qualitative agreement between the simulated stress histories and the stress histories measured during the experiments also demonstrates the effectiveness of micromechanical damage and failure modeling as a viable tool for optimizing existing laser surgery procedures and designing new ones. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  11. Central mechanisms involved in pilocarpine-induced pressor response.

    PubMed

    Takakura, Ana C; Moreira, Thiago S; Borella, Thais L; Paulin, Renata F; Colombari, Débora S A; De Luca, Laurival A; Colombari, Eduardo; Menani, José V

    2011-10-28

    Pilocarpine (cholinergic muscarinic agonist) injected peripherally may act centrally to produce pressor responses; in the present study, using c-fos immunoreactive expression, we investigated the forebrain and brainstem areas activated by pressor doses of intravenous (i.v.) pilocarpine. In addition, the importance of vasopressin secretion and/or sympathetic activation and the effects of lesions in the anteroventral third ventricle (AV3V) region in awake rats were also investigated. In male Holtzman rats, pilocarpine (0.04 to 4μmol/kg b.w.) i.v. induced transitory hypotension followed by long lasting hypertension. Sympathetic blockade with prazosin (1mg/kg b.w.) i.v. or AV3V lesions (1 day) almost abolished the pressor response to i.v. pilocarpine (2μmol/kg b.w.), whereas the vasopressin antagonist (10μg/kg b.w.) i.v. reduced the response to pilocarpine. Pilocarpine (2 and 4μmol/kg b.w.) i.v. increased the number of c-fos immunoreactive cells in the subfornical organ, paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus, organ vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, median preoptic nucleus, nucleus of the solitary tract and caudal and rostral ventrolateral medulla. These data suggest that i.v. pilocarpine activates specific forebrain and brainstem mechanisms increasing sympathetic activity and vasopressin secretion to induce pressor response. PMID:21689994

  12. Mechanical systems biology of C. elegans touch sensation

    PubMed Central

    Krieg, Michael; Dunn, Alex; Goodman, Miriam B.

    2015-01-01

    The sense of touch informs us of the physical properties of our surroundings and is a critical aspect of communication. Before touches are perceived, mechanical signals are transmitted quickly and reliably from the skin’s surface to mechano-electrical transduction channels embedded within specialized sensory neurons. We are just beginning to understand how soft tissues participate in force transmission and how they are deformed. Here, we review empirical and theoretical studies of single molecules and molecular ensembles thought to be involved in mechanotransmission and apply the concepts emerging from this work to the sense of touch. We focus on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a well-studied model for touch sensation in which mechanics can be studied on the molecular, cellular, and systems level. Finally, we conclude that force transmission is an emergent property of macromolecular cellular structures that mutually stabilize one another. PMID:25597279

  13. Computation of the effective mechanical response of biological networks accounting for large configuration changes.

    PubMed

    El Nady, K; Ganghoffer, J F

    2016-05-01

    The asymptotic homogenization technique is involved to derive the effective elastic response of biological membranes viewed as repetitive beam networks. Thereby, a systematic methodology is established, allowing the prediction of the overall mechanical properties of biological membranes in the nonlinear regime, reflecting the influence of the geometrical and mechanical micro-parameters of the network structure on the overall response of the equivalent continuum. Biomembranes networks are classified based on nodal connectivity, so that we analyze in this work 3, 4 and 6-connectivity networks, which are representative of most biological networks. The individual filaments of the network are described as undulated beams prone to entropic elasticity, with tensile moduli determined from their persistence length. The effective micropolar continuum evaluated as a continuum substitute of the biological network has a kinematics reflecting the discrete network deformation modes, involving a nodal displacement and a microrotation. The statics involves the classical Cauchy stress and internal moments encapsulated into couple stresses, which develop internal work in duality to microcurvatures reflecting local network undulations. The relative ratio of the characteristic bending length of the effective micropolar continuum to the unit cell size determines the relevant choice of the equivalent medium. In most cases, the Cauchy continuum is sufficient to model biomembranes. The peptidoglycan network may exhibit a re-entrant hexagonal configuration due to thermal or pressure fluctuations, for which micropolar effects become important. The homogenized responses are in good agreement with FE simulations performed over the whole network. The predictive nature of the employed homogenization technique allows the identification of a strain energy density of a hyperelastic model, for the purpose of performing structural calculations of the shape evolutions of biomembranes. PMID:26541071

  14. Mechanism involved in enhancement of osteoblast differentiation by hyaluronic acid

    SciTech Connect

    Kawano, Michinao; Ariyoshi, Wataru; Iwanaga, Kenjiro; Okinaga, Toshinori; Habu, Manabu; Yoshioka, Izumi; Tominaga, Kazuhiro; Nishihara, Tatsuji

    2011-02-25

    Research highlights: {yields} In this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. {yields} MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. {yields} Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. {yields} HA enhanced BMP-2 induces osteoblastic differentiation in MG63 cells via down-regulation of BMP-2 antagonists and ERK phosphorylation. -- Abstract: Objectives: Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is expected to be utilized to fill bone defects and promote healing of fractures. However, it is unable to generate an adequate clinical response for use in bone regeneration. Recently, it was reported that glycosaminoglycans, including heparin, heparan sulfate, keratan sulfate, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin-4-sulfate, chondroitin-6-sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (HA), regulate BMP-2 activity, though the mechanism by which HA regulates osteogenic activities has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of HA on osteoblast differentiation induced by BMP-2. Materials and methods: Monolayer cultures of osteoblastic lineage MG63 cells were incubated with BMP-2 and HA for various time periods. To determine osteoblastic differentiation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in the cell lysates was quantified. Phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, p38, and ERK proteins was determined by Western blot analysis. To elucidate the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8, stimulated cells were subjected to immunofluorescence microscopy. To further elucidate the role of HA in enhancement of BMP-2-induced Smad signaling, mRNA expressions of the BMP-2 receptor antagonists noggin and follistatin were detected using real-time RT-PCR. Results: BMP-2-induced ALP activation, Smad 1/5/8 phosphorylation, and

  15. Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Biological Molecules—Mechanisms of Damage and Emerging Methods of Detection

    PubMed Central

    Reisz, Julie A.; Bansal, Nidhi; Qian, Jiang; Zhao, Weiling

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The detrimental effects of ionizing radiation (IR) involve a highly orchestrated series of events that are amplified by endogenous signaling and culminating in oxidative damage to DNA, lipids, proteins, and many metabolites. Despite the global impact of IR, the molecular mechanisms underlying tissue damage reveal that many biomolecules are chemoselectively modified by IR. Recent Advances: The development of high-throughput “omics” technologies for mapping DNA and protein modifications have revolutionized the study of IR effects on biological systems. Studies in cells, tissues, and biological fluids are used to identify molecular features or biomarkers of IR exposure and response and the molecular mechanisms that regulate their expression or synthesis. Critical Issues: In this review, chemical mechanisms are described for IR-induced modifications of biomolecules along with methods for their detection. Included with the detection methods are crucial experimental considerations and caveats for their use. Additional factors critical to the cellular response to radiation, including alterations in protein expression, metabolomics, and epigenetic factors, are also discussed. Future Directions: Throughout the review, the synergy of combined “omics” technologies such as genomics and epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics is highlighted. These are anticipated to lead to new hypotheses to understand IR effects on biological systems and improve IR-based therapies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21: 260–292. PMID:24382094

  16. Mechanisms of biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: an overview

    SciTech Connect

    Erwin, D.N.

    1988-11-01

    Manmade sources of electromagnetic (EM) fields, and therefore human exposures to them, continue to increase. Public concerns stem from the effects reported in the literature, the visibility of the sources, and somewhat from confusion between EM fields and ionizing radiation. Protecting humans from the real hazards and allaying groundless fears requires a self-consistent body of scientific data concerning effects of the fields, levels of exposures which cause those effects, and which effects are deleterious (or beneficial or neutral). With that knowledge, appropriate guidelines for safety can be devised, while preserving the beneficial uses of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) energy for military or civilian purposes. The task is monumental because of the large and growing number of biological endpoints and the infinite array of RFR exposure conditions under which those endpoints might be examined. The only way to reach this goal is to understand the mechanisms by which EM fields interact with tissues. As in other fields of science, a mechanistic understanding of RFR effects will enable scientists to generalize from a selected few experiments to derive the laws of RFR bioeffects. This article gives an overview of present knowledge of those mechanisms and the part that the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine has played in expanding that knowledge. 91 references.

  17. Biological effects of menadione photochemistry: effects of menadione on biological systems may not involve classical oxidant production.

    PubMed Central

    McCormick, M L; Denning, G M; Reszka, K J; Bilski, P; Buettner, G R; Rasmussen, G T; Railsback, M A; Britigan, B E

    2000-01-01

    Because cell-mediated reduction of menadione leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), this quinone is widely used to investigate the effects of ROS on cellular functions. We report that A549 human lung epithelial cells exposed to menadione demonstrate a dose-dependent increase in both intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) and ROS formation. The concentrations of menadione required to initiate these two events are markedly different, with ROS detection requiring higher levels of menadione. Modulators of antioxidant defences (e.g. buthionine sulphoximine, 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole) have little effect on the [Ca(2+)](i) response to menadione, suggesting that ROS formation does not account for menadione-dependent alterations in [Ca(2+)](i). Additional evidence suggests that menadione photochemistry may be responsible for the observed [Ca(2+)](i) effects. Specifically: (a) EPR studies with the spin trap 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) show that light exposure (maximum effect at 340 nm) stimulates menadione-dependent formation of the DMPO/(.)OH spin adduct that was not sensitive to antioxidant interventions; (b) DMPO inhibits menadione and light-dependent increases in [Ca(2+)](i); and (c) light (maximum effect at 340 nm) augments the deleterious effects of menadione on cell viability as determined by (51)Cr release. These photo effects do not appear to involve formation of singlet oxygen by menadione, but rather are the result of the oxidizing chemistry initiated by menadione in the triplet state. This work demonstrates that menadione species generated by photo-irradiation can exert biological effects on cellular functions and points to the potential importance of photochemistry in studies of menadione-mediated cell damage. PMID:10970795

  18. Biological effects of menadione photochemistry: effects of menadione on biological systems may not involve classical oxidant production.

    PubMed

    McCormick, M L; Denning, G M; Reszka, K J; Bilski, P; Buettner, G R; Rasmussen, G T; Railsback, M A; Britigan, B E

    2000-09-15

    Because cell-mediated reduction of menadione leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), this quinone is widely used to investigate the effects of ROS on cellular functions. We report that A549 human lung epithelial cells exposed to menadione demonstrate a dose-dependent increase in both intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) and ROS formation. The concentrations of menadione required to initiate these two events are markedly different, with ROS detection requiring higher levels of menadione. Modulators of antioxidant defences (e.g. buthionine sulphoximine, 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole) have little effect on the [Ca(2+)](i) response to menadione, suggesting that ROS formation does not account for menadione-dependent alterations in [Ca(2+)](i). Additional evidence suggests that menadione photochemistry may be responsible for the observed [Ca(2+)](i) effects. Specifically: (a) EPR studies with the spin trap 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) show that light exposure (maximum effect at 340 nm) stimulates menadione-dependent formation of the DMPO/(.)OH spin adduct that was not sensitive to antioxidant interventions; (b) DMPO inhibits menadione and light-dependent increases in [Ca(2+)](i); and (c) light (maximum effect at 340 nm) augments the deleterious effects of menadione on cell viability as determined by (51)Cr release. These photo effects do not appear to involve formation of singlet oxygen by menadione, but rather are the result of the oxidizing chemistry initiated by menadione in the triplet state. This work demonstrates that menadione species generated by photo-irradiation can exert biological effects on cellular functions and points to the potential importance of photochemistry in studies of menadione-mediated cell damage. PMID:10970795

  19. A mechanism for biologically induced iodine emissions from sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz-Lopez, A.; Blaszczak-Boxe, C. S.; Carpenter, L. J.

    2015-09-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements have reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, ultimately accumulating in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest that iodine is released to the atmosphere via three possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea ice, from where it is released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, the results nevertheless show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e. I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during

  20. Mechanism(S) Involved in the Colon-Specific Expression of the Thiamine Pyrophosphate (Tpp) Transporter

    PubMed Central

    Nabokina, Svetlana M.; Ramos, Mel Brendan; Said, Hamid M.

    2016-01-01

    Microbiota of the large intestine synthesizes considerable amount of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the form of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). We have recently demonstrated the existence of an efficient and specific carrier-mediated uptake process for TPP in human colonocytes, identified the TPP transporter (TPPT) involved (product of the SLC44A4 gene), and shown that expression of TPPT along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is restricted to the colon. Our aim in this study was to determine the molecular basis of the colon-specific expression of TPPT focusing on a possible epigenetic mechanism. Our results showed that the CpG island predicted in the SLC44A4 promoter is non-methylated in the human colonic epithelial NCM460 cells, but is hyper-methylated in the human duodenal epithelial HuTu80 cells (as well as in the human retinal pigment epithelial ARPE19 cells). In the mouse (where TPPT expression in the GI tract is also restricted to the colon), the CpG island predicted in the Slc44a4 promoter is non-methylated in both the jejunum and colon, thus arguing against possible contribution of DNA methylation in the colon-specific expression of TPPT. A role for histone modifications in the tissue-specific pattern of Slc44a4 expression, however, was suggested by the findings that in mouse colon, histone H3 in the 5’-regulatory region of Slc44a4 is tri-methylated at lysine 4 and acetylated at lysine 9, whereas the tri-methylation at lysine 27 modification was negligible. In contrast, in the mouse jejunum, histone H3 is hyper-trimethylated at lysine 27 (repressor mark). Similarly, possible involvement of miRNA(s) in the tissue-specific expression of TPPT was also suggested by the findings that the 3’-UTR of SLC44A4 is targeted by specific miRNAs/RNA binding proteins in non-colonic, but not in colonic, epithelial cells. These studies show, for the first time, epigenetic mechanisms (histone modifications) play a role in determining the tissue-specific pattern of expression of

  1. Mechanism(S) Involved in the Colon-Specific Expression of the Thiamine Pyrophosphate (Tpp) Transporter.

    PubMed

    Nabokina, Svetlana M; Ramos, Mel Brendan; Said, Hamid M

    2016-01-01

    Microbiota of the large intestine synthesizes considerable amount of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the form of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). We have recently demonstrated the existence of an efficient and specific carrier-mediated uptake process for TPP in human colonocytes, identified the TPP transporter (TPPT) involved (product of the SLC44A4 gene), and shown that expression of TPPT along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is restricted to the colon. Our aim in this study was to determine the molecular basis of the colon-specific expression of TPPT focusing on a possible epigenetic mechanism. Our results showed that the CpG island predicted in the SLC44A4 promoter is non-methylated in the human colonic epithelial NCM460 cells, but is hyper-methylated in the human duodenal epithelial HuTu80 cells (as well as in the human retinal pigment epithelial ARPE19 cells). In the mouse (where TPPT expression in the GI tract is also restricted to the colon), the CpG island predicted in the Slc44a4 promoter is non-methylated in both the jejunum and colon, thus arguing against possible contribution of DNA methylation in the colon-specific expression of TPPT. A role for histone modifications in the tissue-specific pattern of Slc44a4 expression, however, was suggested by the findings that in mouse colon, histone H3 in the 5'-regulatory region of Slc44a4 is tri-methylated at lysine 4 and acetylated at lysine 9, whereas the tri-methylation at lysine 27 modification was negligible. In contrast, in the mouse jejunum, histone H3 is hyper-trimethylated at lysine 27 (repressor mark). Similarly, possible involvement of miRNA(s) in the tissue-specific expression of TPPT was also suggested by the findings that the 3'-UTR of SLC44A4 is targeted by specific miRNAs/RNA binding proteins in non-colonic, but not in colonic, epithelial cells. These studies show, for the first time, epigenetic mechanisms (histone modifications) play a role in determining the tissue-specific pattern of expression of TPPT

  2. The radical mechanism of biological methane synthesis by methyl-coenzyme M reductase.

    PubMed

    Wongnate, Thanyaporn; Sliwa, Dariusz; Ginovska, Bojana; Smith, Dayle; Wolf, Matthew W; Lehnert, Nicolai; Raugei, Simone; Ragsdale, Stephen W

    2016-05-20

    Methyl-coenzyme M reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme in methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation, is responsible for the biological production of more than 1 billion tons of methane per year. The mechanism of methane synthesis is thought to involve either methyl-nickel(III) or methyl radical/Ni(II)-thiolate intermediates. We employed transient kinetic, spectroscopic, and computational approaches to study the reaction between the active Ni(I) enzyme and substrates. Consistent with the methyl radical-based mechanism, there was no evidence for a methyl-Ni(III) species; furthermore, magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy identified the Ni(II)-thiolate intermediate. Temperature-dependent transient kinetics also closely matched density functional theory predictions of the methyl radical mechanism. Identifying the key intermediate in methanogenesis provides fundamental insights to develop better catalysts for producing and activating an important fuel and potent greenhouse gas. PMID:27199421

  3. Alaska Native people's perceptions, understandings, and expectations for research involving biological specimens

    PubMed Central

    Hiratsuka, Vanessa Y.; Brown, Jennifer K.; Hoeft, Theresa J.; Dillard, Denise A.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Members of racially and ethnically diverse groups have been persistently underrepresented in biomedical research in general, possibly due to mistrust with the medical and research community. This article describes the perceptions, understandings, and expectations of Alaska Native people about research involving the collection and storage of biological specimens. Study design Stratified focus groups. Methods Twenty-nine focus groups with Alaska Native people (n = 178) were held in 14 locations using a semi-structured moderator guide. ATLAS.ti was used for thematic analysis through iterative readings and coding. Alaska Native peoples’ perceptions, understandings, and expectations of researcher beneficence, informed consent processes, and provision of research findings were elicited. Results and conclusions Alaska Native people desired extensive disclosure of information beyond that typically provided in consent and results dissemination processes. Information germane to the motivation and intent of researchers and specifics of specimen storage and destruction were specifically requested. A clear and extensive process of informed consent and continued improvements in sharing results may enhance the transparency of research intent, conduct, and use of obtained results among Alaska Native people. Meeting expectations may improve relationships between researchers and the Alaska Native population which could result in increased research participation. Our findings offer a guide for researchers and communities when planning and implementing research with biological specimens. PMID:22663942

  4. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bone Biology and Osteoporosis: Can They Drive Therapeutic Choices?

    PubMed

    Marini, Francesca; Cianferotti, Luisella; Brandi, Maria Luisa

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a complex multifactorial disorder of the skeleton. Genetic factors are important in determining peak bone mass and structure, as well as the predisposition to bone deterioration and fragility fractures. Nonetheless, genetic factors alone are not sufficient to explain osteoporosis development and fragility fracture occurrence. Indeed, epigenetic factors, representing a link between individual genetic aspects and environmental influences, are also strongly suspected to be involved in bone biology and osteoporosis. Recently, alterations in epigenetic mechanisms and their activity have been associated with aging. Also, bone metabolism has been demonstrated to be under the control of epigenetic mechanisms. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), the master transcription factor of osteoblast differentiation, has been shown to be regulated by histone deacetylases and microRNAs (miRNAs). Some miRNAs were also proven to have key roles in the regulation of Wnt signalling in osteoblastogenesis, and to be important for the positive or negative regulation of both osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Exogenous and environmental stimuli, influencing the functionality of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of bone metabolism, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, in synergy with genetic determinants. The progressive understanding of roles of epigenetic mechanisms in normal bone metabolism and in multifactorial bone disorders will be very helpful for a better comprehension of disease pathogenesis and translation of this information into clinical practice. A deep understanding of these mechanisms could help in the future tailoring of proper individual treatments, according to precision medicine's principles. PMID:27529237

  5. Free radicals: how do we stand them? Anaerobic and aerobic free radical (chain) reactions involved in the use of fluorogenic probes and in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Liochev, Stefan I

    2014-01-01

    Biologically significant conclusions have been based on the use of fluorogenic and luminogenic probes for the detection of reactive species. The basic mechanisms of the processes involved have not been satisfactorily elucidated. In the present work, the mechanism of the enzyme and photosensitized oxidation of NAD(P)H by resorufin is analyzed and appears to involve both aerobic and anaerobic free radical chain reactions. There are two major fallouts of this analysis. Many of the conclusions about the participation of radicals based on the use of probes such as resorufin and Amplex red need reevaluation. It is also concluded that anaerobic free radical reactions may be biologically significant, and the possible existence of enzymatic systems to eliminate certain free radicals is discussed. PMID:24356000

  6. Redox chemistry of molybdenum in natural waters and its involvement in biological evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Deli

    2012-01-01

    The transition element molybdenum (Mo) possesses diverse valances (+II to +VI), and is involved in forming cofactors in more than 60 enzymes in biology. Redox switching of the element in these enzymes catalyzes a series of metabolic reactions in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the element therefore plays a fundamental role in the global carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycling. In the present oxygenated waters, oxidized Mo(VI) predominates thermodynamically, whilst reduced Mo species are mainly confined within specific niches including cytoplasm. Only recently has the reduced Mo(V) been separated from Mo(VI) in sulfidic mats and even in some reducing waters. Given the presence of reduced Mo(V) in contemporary anaerobic habitats, it seems that reduced Mo species were present in the ancient reducing ocean (probably under both ferruginous and sulfidic conditions), prompting the involvement of Mo in enzymes including nitrogenase and nitrate reductase. During the global transition to oxic conditions, reduced Mo species were constrained to specific anaerobic habitats, and efficient uptake systems of oxidized Mo(VI) became a selective advantage for current prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Some prokaryotes are still able to directly utilize reduced Mo if any exists in ambient environments. In total, this mini-review describes the redox chemistry and biogeochemistry of Mo over the Earth’s history. PMID:23267355

  7. Fundamental Mechanisms of Pulsed Laser Ablation of Biological Tissue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albagli, Douglas

    The ability to cut and remove biological tissue with short pulsed laser light, a process called laser ablation, has the potential to revolutionize many surgical procedures. Ablation procedures using short pulsed lasers are currently being developed or used in many fields of medicine, including cardiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry, orthopedics, and urology. Despite this, the underlying physics of the ablation process is not well understood. In fact, there is wide disagreement over whether the fundamental mechanism is primarily photothermal, photomechanical, or photochemical. In this thesis, both experimental and theoretical techniques are developed to explore this issue. The photothermal model postulates that ablation proceeds through vaporization of the target material. The photomechanical model asserts that ablation is initiated when the laser-induced tensile stress exceeds the ultimate tensile strength of the target. I have developed a three dimensional model of the thermoelastic response of tissue to short pulsed laser irradiation which allows the time dependent stress distribution to be calculated given the optical, thermal and mechanical properties of the target. A complimentary experimental technique has been developed to verify this model, measure the needed physical properties of the tissue, and record the thermoelastic response of the tissue at the onset of ablation. The results of this work have been widely disseminated to the international research community and have led to significant findings which support the photomechanical model of ablation of tissue. First, the energy deposited in tissue is an order of magnitude less than that required for vaporization. Second, unlike the one-dimensional thermoelastic model of laser-induced stress generation that has appeared in the literature, the full three-dimensional model predicts the development of significant tensile stresses on the surface of the target, precisely where ablation is observed to

  8. Biological Nanomotors with a Revolution, Linear, or Rotation Motion Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Guo, Peixuan; Noji, Hiroyuki; Yengo, Christopher M; Zhao, Zhengyi; Grainge, Ian

    2016-03-01

    The ubiquitous biological nanomotors were classified into two categories in the past: linear and rotation motors. In 2013, a third type of biomotor, revolution without rotation (http://rnanano.osu.edu/movie.html), was discovered and found to be widespread among bacteria, eukaryotic viruses, and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages. This review focuses on recent findings about various aspects of motors, including chirality, stoichiometry, channel size, entropy, conformational change, and energy usage rate, in a variety of well-studied motors, including FoF1 ATPase, helicases, viral dsDNA-packaging motors, bacterial chromosome translocases, myosin, kinesin, and dynein. In particular, dsDNA translocases are used to illustrate how these features relate to the motion mechanism and how nature elegantly evolved a revolution mechanism to avoid coiling and tangling during lengthy dsDNA genome transportation in cell division. Motor chirality and channel size are two factors that distinguish rotation motors from revolution motors. Rotation motors use right-handed channels to drive the right-handed dsDNA, similar to the way a nut drives the bolt with threads in same orientation; revolution motors use left-handed motor channels to revolve the right-handed dsDNA. Rotation motors use small channels (<2 nm in diameter) for the close contact of the channel wall with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) or the 2-nm dsDNA bolt; revolution motors use larger channels (>3 nm) with room for the bolt to revolve. Binding and hydrolysis of ATP are linked to different conformational entropy changes in the motor that lead to altered affinity for the substrate and allow work to be done, for example, helicase unwinding of DNA or translocase directional movement of DNA. PMID:26819321

  9. Green house gas emissions from composting and mechanical biological treatment.

    PubMed

    Amlinger, Florian; Peyr, Stefan; Cuhls, Carsten

    2008-02-01

    In order to carry out life-cycle assessments as a basis for far-reaching decisions about environmentally sustainable waste treatment, it is important that the input data be reliable and sound. A comparison of the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with each solid waste treatment option is essential. This paper addresses GHG emissions from controlled composting processes. Some important methodological prerequisites for proper measurement and data interpretation are described, and a common scale and dimension of emission data are proposed so that data from different studies can be compared. A range of emission factors associated with home composting, open windrow composting, encapsulated composting systems with waste air treatment and mechanical biological waste treatment (MBT) are presented from our own investigations as well as from the literature. The composition of source materials along with process management issues such as aeration, mechanical agitation, moisture control and temperature regime are the most important factors controlling methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ammoniac (NH3) emissions. If ammoniac is not stripped during the initial rotting phase or eliminated by acid scrubber systems, biofiltration of waste air provides only limited GHG mitigation, since additional N2O may be synthesized during the oxidation of NH3, and only a small amount of CH4 degradation occurs in the biofilter. It is estimated that composting contributes very little to national GHG inventories generating only 0.01-0.06% of global emissions. This analysis does not include emissions from preceding or post-treatment activities (such as collection, transport, energy consumption during processing and land spreading), so that for a full emissions account, emissions from these activities would need to be added to an analysis. PMID:18338701

  10. Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline Cristina; Moreira, Fabricio Araújo; Gomes, Felipe Villela; Del Bel, Elaine Aparecida; Guimarães, Francisco Silveira

    2012-12-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. It lacks the psychotomimetic and other psychotropic effects that the main plant compound Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being able, on the contrary, to antagonize these effects. This property, together with its safety profile, was an initial stimulus for the investigation of CBD pharmacological properties. It is now clear that CBD has therapeutic potential over a wide range of non-psychiatric and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. Although the pharmacological effects of CBD in different biological systems have been extensively investigated by in vitro studies, the mechanisms responsible for its therapeutic potential are still not clear. Here, we review recent in vivo studies indicating that these mechanisms are not unitary but rather depend on the behavioural response being measured. Acute anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects seem to rely mainly on facilitation of 5-HT1A-mediated neurotransmission in key brain areas related to defensive responses, including the dorsal periaqueductal grey, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial prefrontal cortex. Other effects, such as anti-compulsive, increased extinction and impaired reconsolidation of aversive memories, and facilitation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis could depend on potentiation of anandamide-mediated neurotransmission. Finally, activation of TRPV1 channels may help us to explain the antipsychotic effect and the bell-shaped dose-response curves commonly observed with CBD. Considering its safety profile and wide range of therapeutic potential, however, further studies are needed to investigate the involvement of other possible mechanisms (e.g. inhibition of adenosine uptake, inverse agonism at CB2 receptor, CB1 receptor antagonism, GPR55 antagonism, PPARγ receptors agonism, intracellular (Ca(2+)) increase, etc.), on CBD behavioural effects. PMID:23108553

  11. Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Alline Cristina; Moreira, Fabricio Araújo; Gomes, Felipe Villela; Del Bel, Elaine Aparecida; Guimarães, Francisco Silveira

    2012-01-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. It lacks the psychotomimetic and other psychotropic effects that the main plant compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being able, on the contrary, to antagonize these effects. This property, together with its safety profile, was an initial stimulus for the investigation of CBD pharmacological properties. It is now clear that CBD has therapeutic potential over a wide range of non-psychiatric and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. Although the pharmacological effects of CBD in different biological systems have been extensively investigated by in vitro studies, the mechanisms responsible for its therapeutic potential are still not clear. Here, we review recent in vivo studies indicating that these mechanisms are not unitary but rather depend on the behavioural response being measured. Acute anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects seem to rely mainly on facilitation of 5-HT1A-mediated neurotransmission in key brain areas related to defensive responses, including the dorsal periaqueductal grey, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial prefrontal cortex. Other effects, such as anti-compulsive, increased extinction and impaired reconsolidation of aversive memories, and facilitation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis could depend on potentiation of anandamide-mediated neurotransmission. Finally, activation of TRPV1 channels may help us to explain the antipsychotic effect and the bell-shaped dose-response curves commonly observed with CBD. Considering its safety profile and wide range of therapeutic potential, however, further studies are needed to investigate the involvement of other possible mechanisms (e.g. inhibition of adenosine uptake, inverse agonism at CB2 receptor, CB1 receptor antagonism, GPR55 antagonism, PPARγ receptors agonism, intracellular (Ca2+) increase, etc.), on CBD behavioural effects. PMID:23108553

  12. Mechanics of dynamic needle insertion into a biological material.

    PubMed

    Mahvash, Mohsen; Dupont, Pierre E

    2010-04-01

    During needle-based procedures, transitions between tissue layers often lead to rupture events that involve large forces and tissue deformations and produce uncontrollable crack extensions. In this paper, the mechanics of these rupture events is described, and the effect of insertion velocity on needle force, tissue deformation, and needle work is analyzed. Using the J integral method from fracture mechanics, rupture events are modeled as sudden crack extensions that occur when the release rate J of strain energy concentrated at the tip of the crack exceeds the fracture toughness of the material. It is shown that increasing the velocity of needle insertion will reduce the force of the rupture event when it increases the energy release rate. A nonlinear viscoelastic Kelvin model is then used to predict the relationship between the deformation of tissue and the rupture force at different velocities. The model predicts that rupture deformation and work asymptotically approach minimum values as needle velocity increases. Consequently, most of the benefit of using a higher needle velocity can be achieved using a finite velocity that is inversely proportional to the relaxation time of the tissue. Experiments confirm the analytical predictions with multilayered porcine cardiac tissue. PMID:19932986

  13. Mechanisms of interaction and biological effects of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Tenforde, T.S.

    1994-07-01

    Evidence is mounting, that environmental electric and magnetic fields in the extremely-low-frequency (ELF) band below 300 Hz can influence biological functions by mechanisms that are only poorly understood at the present time. The primary objectives of this paper are to review the physical properties of ELF fields, their interactions with living systems at the tissue, cellular, and subcellular levels, and the key role of cell membranes in the transduction of signals from imposed ELF fields. Topics of discussion include signal-to-noise ratios for single cells and cell aggregates, resonance phenomena involving a combination of static and ELF magnetic fields, and the possible influence of ELF fields on molecular signaling pathways that involve membrane receptors and cytoplasmic second messengers. The implications of these findings for promotion of tumor growth by ELF fields are also reviewed.

  14. Mechanisms involved in Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens removal during activated sludge wastewater treatment

    PubMed Central

    Orruño, Maite; Garaizabal, Idoia; Bravo, Zaloa; Parada, Claudia; Barcina, Isabel; Arana, Inés

    2014-01-01

    Wastewater treatment reduces environmental contamination by removing gross solids and mitigating the effects of pollution. Treatment also reduces the number of indicator organisms and pathogens. In this work, the fates of two coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens, were analyzed in an activated sludge process to determine the main mechanisms involved in the reduction of pathogenic microorganisms during wastewater treatment. These bacteria, modified to express green fluorescent protein, were inoculated in an activated sludge unit and in batch systems containing wastewater. The results suggested that, among the different biological factors implied in bacterial removal, bacterivorous protozoa play a key role. Moreover, a representative number of bacteria persisted in the system as free-living or embedded cells, but their distribution into liquid or solid fractions varied depending on the bacterium tested, questioning the real value of bacterial indicators for the control of wastewater treatment process. Additionally, viable but nonculturable cells constituted an important part of the bacterial population adhered to solid fractions, what can be derived from the competition relationships with native bacteria, present in high densities in this environment. These facts, taken together, emphasize the need for reliable quantitative and qualitative analysis tools for the evaluation of pathogenic microbial composition in sludge, which could represent an undefined risk to public health and ecosystem functions when considering its recycling. PMID:25044599

  15. Mechanisms involved in Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens removal during activated sludge wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Orruño, Maite; Garaizabal, Idoia; Bravo, Zaloa; Parada, Claudia; Barcina, Isabel; Arana, Inés

    2014-10-01

    Wastewater treatment reduces environmental contamination by removing gross solids and mitigating the effects of pollution. Treatment also reduces the number of indicator organisms and pathogens. In this work, the fates of two coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens, were analyzed in an activated sludge process to determine the main mechanisms involved in the reduction of pathogenic microorganisms during wastewater treatment. These bacteria, modified to express green fluorescent protein, were inoculated in an activated sludge unit and in batch systems containing wastewater. The results suggested that, among the different biological factors implied in bacterial removal, bacterivorous protozoa play a key role. Moreover, a representative number of bacteria persisted in the system as free-living or embedded cells, but their distribution into liquid or solid fractions varied depending on the bacterium tested, questioning the real value of bacterial indicators for the control of wastewater treatment process. Additionally, viable but nonculturable cells constituted an important part of the bacterial population adhered to solid fractions, what can be derived from the competition relationships with native bacteria, present in high densities in this environment. These facts, taken together, emphasize the need for reliable quantitative and qualitative analysis tools for the evaluation of pathogenic microbial composition in sludge, which could represent an undefined risk to public health and ecosystem functions when considering its recycling. PMID:25044599

  16. Biological pattern formation: from basic mechanisms to complex structures

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, A.J.; Meinhardt, H. )

    1994-10-01

    The reliable development of highly complex organisms is an intriguing and fascinating problem. The genetic material is, as a rule, the same in each cell of an organism. How then do cells, under the influence of their common genes, produce spatial patterns Simple models are discussed that describe the generation of patterns out of an initially nearly homogeneous state. They are based on nonlinear interactions of at least two chemicals and on their diffusion. The concepts of local autocatalysis and of long-range inhibition play a fundamental role. Numerical simulations show that the models account for many basic biological observations such as the regeneration of a pattern after excision of tissue or the production of regular (or nearly regular) arrays of organs during (or after) completion of growth. Very complex patterns can be generated in a reproducible way by hierarchical coupling of several such elementary reactions. Applications to animal coats and to the generation of polygonally shaped patterns are provided. It is further shown how to generate a strictly periodic pattern of units that themselves exhibit a complex and polar fine structure. This is illustrated by two examples: the assembly of photoreceptor cells in the eye of [ital Drosophila] and the positioning of leaves and axillary buds in a growing shoot. In both cases, the substructures have to achieve an internal polarity under the influence of some primary pattern-forming system existing in the fly's eye or in the plant. The fact that similar models can describe essential steps in organisms as distantly related as animals and plants suggests that they reveal some universal mechanisms.

  17. Mechanism of aerobic biological destabilisation of wool scour effluent emulsions.

    PubMed

    Poole, Andrew J; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf; William Jones, F

    2005-07-01

    Wool scouring effluent is a highly polluted industrial wastewater in which the main pollutant, wool wax, is held in a stable oil-in-water emulsion by non-ionic detergent. The use of microbial action to cause emulsion destabilisation has been proposed as a new treatment strategy for this effluent stream. This strategy aims at improving aerobic treatment performance by physically removing the high-COD, slowly bio-degradable wool wax from the system without bio-degradation. The mechanism by which an aerobic-mixed culture destabilises the wool scouring effluent emulsion was investigated. Our results show that destabilisation is due to partial bio-degradation of both the scouring detergent and the wool wax. Cleavage of the wool wax esters was the first stage in wax degradation, when 40-50% of wax was de-emulsified. Over the same period, detergent degradation was low, at 7-21%. With further incubation, detergent degradation increased, aiding further breakdown of the emulsion. The degradation of the detergent, a nonylphenol ethoxylate, resulted in both a reduction in molar concentration (of up to 82%) and a shortening of the ethoxylate chain length. The latter reduced the hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) from 12 to approximately 7, thereby reducing the ability of the residual detergent to stabilise the emulsion. Analysis of the emulsified and de-emulsified wax fractions could not identify a group of compounds that were preferentially de-emulsified based on molecular weight or polarity. These findings will assist in using a de-emulsification strategy in both existing and new treatment systems in order to save on aeration costs and treatment times for biological treatment of this highly polluted wastewater. PMID:15979119

  18. Epidemiology of fine particulate air pollution and human health: biologic mechanisms and who's at risk?

    PubMed Central

    Pope, C A

    2000-01-01

    This article briefly summarizes the epidemiology of the health effects of fine particulate air pollution, provides an early, somewhat speculative, discussion of the contribution of epidemiology to evaluating biologic mechanisms, and evaluates who's at risk or is susceptible to adverse health effects. Based on preliminary epidemiologic evidence, it is speculated that a systemic response to fine particle-induced pulmonary inflammation, including cytokine release and altered cardiac autonomic function, may be part of the pathophysiologic mechanisms or pathways linking particulate pollution with cardiopulmonary disease. The elderly, infants, and persons with chronic cardiopulmonary disease, influenza, or asthma are most susceptible to mortality and serious morbidity effects from short-term acutely elevated exposures. Others are susceptible to less serious health effects such as transient increases in respiratory symptoms, decreased lung function, or other physiologic changes. Chronic exposure studies suggest relatively broad susceptibility to cumulative effects of long-term repeated exposure to fine particulate pollution, resulting in substantive estimates of population average loss of life expectancy in highly polluted environments. Additional knowledge is needed about the specific pollutants or mix of pollutants responsible for the adverse health effects and the biologic mechanisms involved. PMID:10931790

  19. Mechanics of elastin: molecular mechanism of biological elasticity and its relationship to contraction.

    PubMed

    Urry, D W; Parker, T M

    2002-01-01

    Description of the mechanics of elastin requires the understanding of two interlinked but distinct physical processes; the development of entropic elastic force and the occurrence of hydrophobic association. Elementary statistical-mechanical analysis of AFM single-chain force-extension data of elastin model molecules identifies damping of internal chain dynamics on extension as a fundamental source of entropic elastic force and eliminates the requirement of random chain networks. For elastin and its models, this simple analysis is substantiated experimentally by the observation of mechanical resonances in the dielectric relaxation and acoustic absorption spectra, and theoretically by the dependence of entropy on frequency of torsion-angle oscillations, and by classical molecular-mechanics and dynamics calculations of relaxed and extended states of the beta-spiral description of the elastin repeat, (GVGVP)n. The role of hydrophobic hydration in the mechanics of elastin becomes apparent under conditions of isometric contraction. During force development at constant length, increase in entropic elastic force resulting from decrease in elastomer entropy occurs under conditions of increase in solvent entropy. This eliminates the solvent entropy change as the entropy change that gives rise to entropic elastic force and couples association of hydrophobic domains to the process. Therefore, association of hydrophobic domains within the elastomer at fixed length stretches interconnecting dynamic chain segments and causes an increase in the entropic elastic force due to the resulting damping of internal chain dynamics. Fundamental to the mechanics of elastin is the inverse temperature transition of hydrophobic association that occurs with development of mechanical resonances within fibrous elastin and polymers of repeat elastin sequences, which, with design of truly minimal changes in sequence, demonstrate energy conversions extant in biology and demonstrate the special

  20. Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation.

    PubMed

    Yakymenko, Igor; Tsybulin, Olexandr; Sidorik, Evgeniy; Henshel, Diane; Kyrylenko, Olga; Kyrylenko, Sergiy

    2016-01-01

    This review aims to cover experimental data on oxidative effects of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in living cells. Analysis of the currently available peer-reviewed scientific literature reveals molecular effects induced by low-intensity RFR in living cells; this includes significant activation of key pathways generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), activation of peroxidation, oxidative damage of DNA and changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes. It indicates that among 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, in general, 93 confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems. A wide pathogenic potential of the induced ROS and their involvement in cell signaling pathways explains a range of biological/health effects of low-intensity RFR, which include both cancer and non-cancer pathologies. In conclusion, our analysis demonstrates that low-intensity RFR is an expressive oxidative agent for living cells with a high pathogenic potential and that the oxidative stress induced by RFR exposure should be recognized as one of the primary mechanisms of the biological activity of this kind of radiation. PMID:26151230

  1. FROM THE CURRENT LITERATURE: Mechanisms and models of the dehydration self-organization in biological fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarasevich, Yurii Yu

    2004-07-01

    The dehydration self-organization phenomenon in biological fluids attracted the attention of researchers slightly more than a decade ago. While seemingly simple (the structure formation is possible to observe even in domestic conditions), the effect turned out to be extremely complicated and to involve a number of interrelated processes of a different physical nature. The dehydration self-organization effect in biological fluids underlies a medical diagnostic technique patented in 40 countries of the world, while the mechanisms that underlie the technique still remain largely obscure. This review is an attempt to draw an integrated picture of the current state of the problem: to emphasize reliably established facts and the problems that remain to be solved, to put an end to speculation, and to characterize the available theories and models. An analysis of the literature sources allows us to draw the conclusion that the effects observed in the dehydration of biological fluids are typical for colloidal solutions in general and can be described in the framework of conventional physical approaches.

  2. Karyopherins: potential biological elements involved in the delayed graft function in renal transplant recipients

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Immediately after renal transplantation, patients experience rapid and significant improvement of their clinical conditions and undergo considerable systemic and cellular modifications. However, some patients present a slow recovery of the renal function commonly defined as delayed graft function (DGF). Although clinically well characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying this condition are not totally defined, thus, we are currently missing specific clinical markers to predict and to make early diagnosis of this event. Methods We investigated, using a pathway analysis approach, the transcriptomic profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from renal transplant recipients with DGF and with early graft function (EGF), before (T0) and 24 hours (T24) after transplantation. Results Bioinformatics/statistical analysis showed that 15 pathways (8 up-regulated and 7 down-regulated) and 11 pathways (5 up-regulated and 6 down-regulated) were able to identify DGF patients at T0 and T24, respectively. Interestingly, the most up-regulated pathway at both time points was NLS-bearing substrate import into nucleus, which includes genes encoding for several subtypes of karyopherins, a group of proteins involved in nucleocytoplasmic transport. Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) utilize karyopherins-alpha (KPNA) for their passage from cytoplasm into the nucleus. In vitro functional analysis demonstrated that in PBMCs of DGF patients, there was a significant KPNA-mediated nuclear translocation of the phosphorylated form of STAT3 (pSTAT3) after short-time stimulation (2 and 5 minutes) with interleukin-6. Conclusions Our study suggests the involvement, immediately before transplantation, of karyopherin-mediated nuclear transport in the onset and development of DGF. Additionally, it reveals that karyopherins could be good candidates as potential DGF predictive clinical biomarkers and targets for pharmacological interventions in renal

  3. Systems biology approaches to understanding mycobacterial survival mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Boshoff, Helena I.M.; Lun, Desmond S.

    2010-01-01

    The advent of high-throughput platforms for the interrogation of biological systems at the cellular and molecular level have allowed living cells to be observed and understood at a hitherto unprecedented level of detail and have enabled the construction of comprehensive, predictive in silico models. Here, we review the application of such high-throughput, systems-biological techniques to mycobacteria—specifically to the pernicious human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) and its ability to survive in human hosts. We discuss the development and application of transcriptomic, proteomic, regulomic, and metabolomic techniques for MTb as well as the development and application of genome-scale in silico models. Thus far, systems-biological approaches have largely focused on in vitro models of MTb growth; reliably extending these approaches to in vivo conditions relevant to infection is a significant challenge for the future that holds the ultimate promise of novel chemotherapeutic interventions. PMID:21072257

  4. Physical and chemical mechanisms in molecular radiation biology

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, W.A.; Varma, M.N.

    1991-01-01

    Through its Radiological and Chemical Physics Program, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been a primary source of funding for research in radiation physics and radiochemistry, supporting a wide range of explorations of the link between physical, chemical and biological events. This book is a series of articles by authors working within this field, most of whom have been central to the DOE-sponsored research. The opening papers focus on radiological physics; the second section covers radiation chemistry in a discussion that extends from the initial energy transfer to the production of intermediate chemical species and DNA damage. The third section explores the link between the physical and chemical events and the production of biological effects. Finally the book closes with a series of papers on molecular radiation biology.

  5. Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bone Biology and Osteoporosis: Can They Drive Therapeutic Choices?

    PubMed Central

    Marini, Francesca; Cianferotti, Luisella; Brandi, Maria Luisa

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a complex multifactorial disorder of the skeleton. Genetic factors are important in determining peak bone mass and structure, as well as the predisposition to bone deterioration and fragility fractures. Nonetheless, genetic factors alone are not sufficient to explain osteoporosis development and fragility fracture occurrence. Indeed, epigenetic factors, representing a link between individual genetic aspects and environmental influences, are also strongly suspected to be involved in bone biology and osteoporosis. Recently, alterations in epigenetic mechanisms and their activity have been associated with aging. Also, bone metabolism has been demonstrated to be under the control of epigenetic mechanisms. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), the master transcription factor of osteoblast differentiation, has been shown to be regulated by histone deacetylases and microRNAs (miRNAs). Some miRNAs were also proven to have key roles in the regulation of Wnt signalling in osteoblastogenesis, and to be important for the positive or negative regulation of both osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Exogenous and environmental stimuli, influencing the functionality of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of bone metabolism, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, in synergy with genetic determinants. The progressive understanding of roles of epigenetic mechanisms in normal bone metabolism and in multifactorial bone disorders will be very helpful for a better comprehension of disease pathogenesis and translation of this information into clinical practice. A deep understanding of these mechanisms could help in the future tailoring of proper individual treatments, according to precision medicine’s principles. PMID:27529237

  6. Effects of mechanical ventilation on diaphragm function and biology.

    PubMed

    Gayan-Ramirez, G; Decramer, M

    2002-12-01

    The pathophysiological mechanisms of weaning from mechanical ventilation are not fully known, but there is accumulating evidence that mechanical ventilation induces inspiratory muscle dysfunction. Recently, several animal models have provided potential mechanisms for mechanical ventilation-induced effects on muscle function. In patients, weaning difficulties are associated with inspiratory muscle weakness and reduced endurance capacity. Animal studies demonstrated that diaphragm force was already decreased after 12 h of controlled mechanical ventilation and this worsened with time spent on the ventilator. Diaphragmatic myofibril damage observed after 3-days controlled mechanical ventilation was inversely correlated with maximal diaphragmatic force. Downregulation of the diaphragm insulin-like growth factor-I and MyoD/myogenin messenger ribonucleic acid occurred after 24 h and diaphragmatic oxidative stress and increased protease activity after 18 h. In keeping with these findings, diaphragm fibre atrophy was shown after 12 h and reduced diaphragm mass was reported after 48 h of controlled mechanical ventilation. These animal studies show that early alterations in diaphragm function develop after short-term mechanical ventilation. These alterations may contribute to the difficulties in weaning from mechanical ventilation seen in patients. Strategies to preserve respiratory muscle mass and function during mechanical ventilation should be developed. These may include: adaptation of medication, training of the diaphragm, stabilisation of the catabolic state and pharmacotherapy. PMID:12503720

  7. Teaching the basics of redox biology to medical and graduate students: Oxidants, antioxidants and disease mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kalyanaraman, Balaraman

    2013-01-01

    This article provides a succinct but limited overview of the protective and deleterious effects of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in a clinical context. Reactive oxygen species include superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, single oxygen and lipid peroxides. Reactive nitrogen species include species derived from nitric oxide. This review gives a brief overview of the reaction chemistry of these species, the role of various enzymes involved in the generation and detoxification of these species in disease mechanisms and drug toxicity and the protective role of dietary antioxidants. I hope that the graphical review will be helpful for teaching both the first year medical and graduate students in the U.S. and abroad the fundamentals of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in redox biology and clinical medicine. PMID:24024158

  8. [Study on action mechanism of Danhong injection based on computational system biology approach].

    PubMed

    Lv, Yan-ni; Wei, Xiao-hua; Xiao, Pin

    2015-02-01

    Danhong injection is a compound preparation of traditional Chinese medicine Salvia miltiorrhiza and Carthamus tinctorius, and has been widely applied in treating coronary heart diseases and ischemic encephalopathy in clinic. Despite the complexity of its chemical compounds and the diversity of targets, especially in system biology, there have not a report for its action mechanism as a whole regulatory biological network. In this study, protein data of S. miltiorrhiza and C. tinctorius were searched in TCMGeneDIT database and agilent literature search (ALS) system to establish the multi-component protein network of S. miltiorrhiza, C. tinctorius and Danhong injection. Besides, the protein interaction network was built based on the protein-protein interaction in Genecards, BIND, BioGRID, IntAct, MINT and other databases. According to the findings, 10 compounds of S. miltiorrhiza and 14 compounds of C. tinctorius were correlated with proteins. The 24 common compounds had interactions with 81 proteins, and formed a protein interaction network with 60 none-isolated nodes. The Cluster ONE module was applied to make an enrichment analysis on the protein interaction network and extract one sub-network with significant difference P <0.05. The sub-network contains 23 key proteins, which involved five signaling pathways, namely Nod-like receptor signaling pathway, epithelial cell signaling in helicobacter pylori infection, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway and neurotrophin signaling pathway through KEGG signaling pathway mapping. In this study, the computational system biology approach was adopted to preliminarily explain the molecular mechanism of main compounds of Danhong injection in preventing and treating diseases and provide reference for systematic studies on traditional Chinese medicine compounds. PMID:26084184

  9. Mechanisms involved in regulation of osteoclastic differentiation by mechanical stress-loaded osteoblasts

    SciTech Connect

    Kaneuji, Takeshi; Ariyoshi, Wataru; Okinaga, Toshinori; Toshinaga, Akihiro; Takahashi, Tetsu; Nishihara, Tatsuji

    2011-04-29

    Highlights: {yields} Effect of compressive force on osteoblasts were examined. {yields} Compressive force induced OPG expression and suppressed osteoclastogenesis. {yields} This enhancement of OPG is dependent on Wnt/Ca2+ signal pathway. -- Abstract: Mechanical stress is known to be important for regulation of bone turnover, though the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of mechanical stress on osteoblasts using a novel compression model. Mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were embedded in three-dimensional (3D) gels and cultured with continuous compressive force (0-10.0 g/cm{sup 2}) for 48 h, and the conditioned medium were collected. RAW264.7 cells were then incubated with the conditioned medium for various times in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor-{kappa}B ligand (RANKL). Conditioned medium was found to inhibit the differentiation of RAW264.7 cells into osteoclasts induced by RANKL via down-regulation of the expression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), phosphorylation of I{kappa}B{alpha}, and nuclear translocation of p50 and p65. Interestingly, the conditioned medium also had a high level of binding activity to RANKL and blocked the binding of RANK to RANKL. Furthermore, the binding activity of conditioned medium to RANKL was reduced when the 3D gel was supplemented with KN-93, an inhibitor of non-canonical Wnt/Ca{sup 2+} pathway. In addition, expression level of osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA was increased in time- and force-dependent manners, and remarkably suppressed by KN-93. These results indicate that osteoblastic cells subjected to mechanical stress produce OPG, which binds to RANKL. Furthermore, this binding activity strongly inhibited osteoclastogenesis through suppression of TRAF6 and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-{kappa}B) signaling pathway, suggesting that enhancement of OPG expression induced by mechanical stress is dependent on non-canonical Wnt

  10. Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The potential mechanisms of action of ozone therapy are reviewed in this paper. The therapeutic efficacy of ozone therapy may be partly due the controlled and moderate oxidative stress produced by the reactions of ozone with several biological components. The line between effectiveness and toxicity of ozone may be dependent on the strength of the oxidative stress. As with exercise, it is well known that moderate exercise is good for health, whereas excessive exercise is not. Severe oxidative stress activates nuclear transcriptional factor kappa B (NFκB), resulting in an inflammatory response and tissue injury via the production of COX2, PGE2, and cytokines. However, moderate oxidative stress activates another nuclear transcriptional factor, nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Nrf2 then induces the transcription of antioxidant response elements (ARE). Transcription of ARE results in the production of numerous antioxidant enzymes, such as SOD, GPx, glutathione-s-transferase(GSTr), catalase (CAT), heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), NADPH-quinone-oxidoreductase (NQO-1), phase II enzymes of drug metabolism and heat shock proteins (HSP). Both free antioxidants and anti-oxidative enzymes not only protect cells from oxidation and inflammation but they may be able to reverse the chronic oxidative stress. Based on these observations, ozone therapy may also activate Nrf2 via moderate oxidative stress, and suppress NFκB and inflammatory responses. Furthermore, activation of Nrf2 results in protection against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Mild immune responses are induced via other nuclear transcriptional factors, such as nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) and activated protein-1 (AP-1). Additionally, the effectiveness of ozone therapy in vascular diseases may also be explained by the activation of another nuclear transcriptional factor, hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1a), which is also induced via moderate

  11. Nanomechanical strength mechanisms of hierarchical biological materials and tissues.

    PubMed

    Buehler, Markus J; Ackbarow, Theodor

    2008-12-01

    Biological protein materials (BPMs), intriguing hierarchical structures formed by assembly of chemical building blocks, are crucial for critical functions of life. The structural details of BPMs are fascinating: They represent a combination of universally found motifs such as alpha-helices or beta-sheets with highly adapted protein structures such as cytoskeletal networks or spider silk nanocomposites. BPMs combine properties like strength and robustness, self-healing ability, adaptability, changeability, evolvability and others into multi-functional materials at a level unmatched in synthetic materials. The ability to achieve these properties depends critically on the particular traits of these materials, first and foremost their hierarchical architecture and seamless integration of material and structure, from nano to macro. Here, we provide a brief review of this field and outline new research directions, along with a review of recent research results in the development of structure-property relationships of biological protein materials exemplified in a study of vimentin intermediate filaments. PMID:18803059

  12. On the mechanism of adhesion in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson, B. N. J.

    2003-04-01

    I study adhesion relevant to biological systems, e.g., flies, crickets and lizards, where the adhesive microstructures consist of arrays of thin fibers. The effective elastic modulus of the fiber arrays can be very small which is of fundamental importance for adhesion on smooth and rough substrates. I study how the adhesion depend on the substrate roughness amplitude and apply the theoretical results to lizards.

  13. Nanotwin-governed toughening mechanism in hierarchically structured biological materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Yoon Ah; Yin, Sheng; Li, Xiaoyan; Lee, Subin; Moon, Sungmin; Jeong, Jiwon; Kwon, Minhyug; Yoo, Seung Jo; Kim, Young-Min; Zhang, Teng; Gao, Huajian; Oh, Sang Ho

    2016-02-01

    As a natural biocomposite, Strombus gigas, commonly known as the giant pink queen conch shell, exhibits outstanding mechanical properties, especially a high fracture toughness. It is known that the basic building block of conch shell contains a high density of growth twins with average thickness of several nanometres, but their effects on the mechanical properties of the shell remain mysterious. Here we reveal a toughening mechanism governed by nanoscale twins in the conch shell. A combination of in situ fracture experiments inside a transmission electron microscope, large-scale atomistic simulations and finite element modelling show that the twin boundaries can effectively block crack propagation by inducing phase transformation and delocalization of deformation around the crack tip. This mechanism leads to an increase in fracture energy of the basic building block by one order of magnitude, and contributes significantly to that of the overall structure via structural hierarchy.

  14. Nanotwin-governed toughening mechanism in hierarchically structured biological materials.

    PubMed

    Shin, Yoon Ah; Yin, Sheng; Li, Xiaoyan; Lee, Subin; Moon, Sungmin; Jeong, Jiwon; Kwon, Minhyug; Yoo, Seung Jo; Kim, Young-Min; Zhang, Teng; Gao, Huajian; Oh, Sang Ho

    2016-01-01

    As a natural biocomposite, Strombus gigas, commonly known as the giant pink queen conch shell, exhibits outstanding mechanical properties, especially a high fracture toughness. It is known that the basic building block of conch shell contains a high density of growth twins with average thickness of several nanometres, but their effects on the mechanical properties of the shell remain mysterious. Here we reveal a toughening mechanism governed by nanoscale twins in the conch shell. A combination of in situ fracture experiments inside a transmission electron microscope, large-scale atomistic simulations and finite element modelling show that the twin boundaries can effectively block crack propagation by inducing phase transformation and delocalization of deformation around the crack tip. This mechanism leads to an increase in fracture energy of the basic building block by one order of magnitude, and contributes significantly to that of the overall structure via structural hierarchy. PMID:26883846

  15. Nanotwin-governed toughening mechanism in hierarchically structured biological materials

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Yoon Ah; Yin, Sheng; Li, Xiaoyan; Lee, Subin; Moon, Sungmin; Jeong, Jiwon; Kwon, Minhyug; Yoo, Seung Jo; Kim, Young-Min; Zhang, Teng; Gao, Huajian; Oh, Sang Ho

    2016-01-01

    As a natural biocomposite, Strombus gigas, commonly known as the giant pink queen conch shell, exhibits outstanding mechanical properties, especially a high fracture toughness. It is known that the basic building block of conch shell contains a high density of growth twins with average thickness of several nanometres, but their effects on the mechanical properties of the shell remain mysterious. Here we reveal a toughening mechanism governed by nanoscale twins in the conch shell. A combination of in situ fracture experiments inside a transmission electron microscope, large-scale atomistic simulations and finite element modelling show that the twin boundaries can effectively block crack propagation by inducing phase transformation and delocalization of deformation around the crack tip. This mechanism leads to an increase in fracture energy of the basic building block by one order of magnitude, and contributes significantly to that of the overall structure via structural hierarchy. PMID:26883846

  16. Thermochemical pretreatments of organic fraction of municipal solid waste from a mechanical-biological treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Gallego, Carlos José; Fdez-Güelfo, Luis Alberto; de los Ángeles Romero Aguilar, María; Romero García, Luis Isidoro

    2015-01-01

    The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) usually contains high lignocellulosic and fatty fractions. These fractions are well-known to be a hard biodegradable substrate for biological treatments and its presence involves limitations on the performance of anaerobic processes. To avoid this, thermochemical pretreatments have been applied on the OFMSW coming from a full-scale mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plant, in order to pre-hydrolyze the waste and improve the organic matter solubilisation. To study the solubilisation yield, the increments of soluble organic matter have been measured in terms of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) and acidogenic substrate as carbon (ASC). The process variables analyzed were temperature, pressure and NaOH dosage. The levels of work for each variable were three: 160-180-200 °C, 3.5-5.0-6.5 bar and 2-3-4 g NaOH/L. In addition, the pretreatment time was also modified among 15 and 120 min. The best conditions for organic matter solubilisation were 160 °C, 3 g NaOH/L, 6.5 bar and 30 min, with yields in terms of DOC, sCOD, TVFA and ASC of 176%, 123%, 119% and 178% respectively. Thus, predictably the application of this pretreatment in these optimum conditions could improve the H2 production during the subsequent Dark Fermentation process. PMID:25671816

  17. Thermochemical Pretreatments of Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste from a Mechanical-Biological Treatment Plant

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Gallego, Carlos José; Fdez-Güelfo, Luis Alberto; Romero Aguilar, María de los Ángeles; Romero García, Luis Isidoro

    2015-01-01

    The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) usually contains high lignocellulosic and fatty fractions. These fractions are well-known to be a hard biodegradable substrate for biological treatments and its presence involves limitations on the performance of anaerobic processes. To avoid this, thermochemical pretreatments have been applied on the OFMSW coming from a full-scale mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plant, in order to pre-hydrolyze the waste and improve the organic matter solubilisation. To study the solubilisation yield, the increments of soluble organic matter have been measured in terms of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) and acidogenic substrate as carbon (ASC). The process variables analyzed were temperature, pressure and NaOH dosage. The levels of work for each variable were three: 160–180–200 °C, 3.5–5.0–6.5 bar and 2–3–4 g NaOH/L. In addition, the pretreatment time was also modified among 15 and 120 min. The best conditions for organic matter solubilisation were 160 °C, 3 g NaOH/L, 6.5 bar and 30 min, with yields in terms of DOC, sCOD, TVFA and ASC of 176%, 123%, 119% and 178% respectively. Thus, predictably the application of this pretreatment in these optimum conditions could improve the H2 production during the subsequent Dark Fermentation process. PMID:25671816

  18. Structural biology of disease-associated repetitive DNA sequences and protein-DNA complexes involved in DNA damage and repair

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, G.; Santhana Mariappan, S.V.; Chen, X.; Catasti, P.; Silks, L.A. III; Moyzis, R.K.; Bradbury, E.M.; Garcia, A.E.

    1997-07-01

    This project is aimed at formulating the sequence-structure-function correlations of various microsatellites in the human (and other eukaryotic) genomes. Here the authors have been able to develop and apply structure biology tools to understand the following: the molecular mechanism of length polymorphism microsatellites; the molecular mechanism by which the microsatellites in the noncoding regions alter the regulation of the associated gene; and finally, the molecular mechanism by which the expansion of these microsatellites impairs gene expression and causes the disease. Their multidisciplinary structural biology approach is quantitative and can be applied to all coding and noncoding DNA sequences associated with any gene. Both NIH and DOE are interested in developing quantitative tools for understanding the function of various human genes for prevention against diseases caused by genetic and environmental effects.

  19. On reaction mechanisms involved in the deuteron–induced surrogate reactions

    SciTech Connect

    Avrigeanu, M.; Avrigeanu, V.; Mănăilescu, C.

    2015-02-24

    An extended analysis of the nuclear reaction mechanisms involved within deuteron interaction with nuclei, namely the breakup, stripping, pick-up, pre-equilibrium emission, and evaporation from fully equilibrated compound nucleus, is presented in order to highlight the importance of the direct mechanisms still neglected in the analysis of deuteron-induced surrogate reactions. Particularly, the dominance of the breakup mechanism at low energies around the Coulomb barrier should be considered in the case of (d,x) surrogate reactions on actinide target nuclei.

  20. On reaction mechanisms involved in the deuteron-induced surrogate reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avrigeanu, M.; Avrigeanu, V.; Mǎnǎilescu, C.

    2015-02-01

    An extended analysis of the nuclear reaction mechanisms involved within deuteron interaction with nuclei, namely the breakup, stripping, pick-up, pre-equilibrium emission, and evaporation from fully equilibrated compound nucleus, is presented in order to highlight the importance of the direct mechanisms still neglected in the analysis of deuteron-induced surrogate reactions. Particularly, the dominance of the breakup mechanism at low energies around the Coulomb barrier should be considered in the case of (d,x) surrogate reactions on actinide target nuclei.

  1. Sound and Faulty Arguments Generated by Preservice Biology Teachers When Testing Hypotheses Involving Unobservable Entities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2002-01-01

    Investigates the responses of a sample of preservice biology teachers enrolled in a teaching methods course to a casual question about why water rose in a jar inverted over a burning candle placed in a pan of water by formulating and testing six hypotheses. (Contains 43 references.) (Author/YDS)

  2. Formative Assessment and Increased Student Involvement Increase Grades in an Upper Secondary School Biology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Granbom, Martin

    2016-01-01

    This study shows that formative methods and increased student participation has a positive influence on learning measured as grades. The study was conducted during the course Biology A in a Swedish Upper Secondary School. The students constructed grade criteria and defined working methods and type of examination within a given topic, Gene…

  3. Mechanisms involved in calcium deficiency development in tomato fruit in response to gibberellins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although gibberellins (GAs) have been shown to induce the calcium deficiency disorder, blossom-end rot (BER), development in tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum), the mechanisms involved remain largely unexplored. Our objectives were to better understand how GAs and a GA biosynthesis inhibitor affect...

  4. Changes of color coordinates of biological tissue with superficial skin damage due to mechanical trauma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pteruk, Vail; Mokanyuk, Olexander; Kvaternuk, Olena; Yakenina, Lesya; Kotyra, Andrzej; Romaniuk, Ryszard S.; Dussembayeva, Shynar

    2015-12-01

    Change of color coordinates of normal and pathological biological tissues is based on calculated spectral diffuse reflection. The proposed color coordinates of normal and pathological biological tissues of skin provided using standard light sources, allowing accurately diagnose skin damage due to mechanical trauma with a blunt object for forensic problems.

  5. Some Electrical and Mechanical Devices to Illustrate Biological Principles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, L. M. J.

    1971-01-01

    Describes the use of metal construction toys (erector sets) to build laboratory equipment (to compare rates of decay, record small mammal activity, stir solutions, and function as a kymograph) and to build analogue models of skeletal joints, and feedback mechanisms responding to external stimuli. (AL)

  6. "Coding" and "Decoding": hypothesis for the regulatory mechanism involved in heparan sulfate biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu; Wang, Fengshan; Sheng, Juzheng

    2016-06-16

    Heparan sulfate (HS) is widely distributed in mammalian tissues in the form of HS proteoglycans, which play essential roles in various physiological and pathological processes. In contrast to the template-guided processes involved in the synthesis of DNA and proteins, HS biosynthesis is not believed to involve a template. However, it appears that the final structure of HS chains was strictly regulated. Herein, we report research based hypothesis that two major steps, namely "coding" and "decoding" steps, are involved in the biosynthesis of HS, which strictly regulate its chemical structure and biological activity. The "coding" process in this context is based on the distribution of sulfate moieties on the amino groups of the glucosamine residues in the HS chains. The sulfation of these amine groups is catalyzed by N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase, which has four isozymes. The composition and distribution of sulfate groups and iduronic acid residues on the glycan chains of HS are determined by several other modification enzymes, which can recognize these coding sequences (i.e., the "decoding" process). The degree and pattern of the sulfation and epimerization in the HS chains determines the extent of their interactions with several different protein factors, which further influences their biological activity. PMID:27088396

  7. On Mechanical Transitions in Biologically Motivated Soft Matter Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogle, Craig

    The notion of phase transitions as a characterization of a change in physical properties pervades modern physics. Such abrupt and fundamental changes in the behavior of physical systems are evident in condensed matter system and also occur in nuclear and subatomic settings. While this concept is less prevalent in the field of biology, recent advances have pointed to its relevance in a number of settings. Recent studies have modeled both the cell cycle and cancer as phase transition in physical systems. In this dissertation we construct simplified models for two biological systems. As described by those models, both systems exhibit phase transitions. The first model is inspired by the shape transition in the nuclei of neutrophils during differentiation. During differentiation the nucleus transitions from spherical to a shape often described as "beads on a string." As a simplified model of this system, we investigate the spherical-to-wrinkled transition in an elastic core bounded to a fluid shell system. We find that this model exhibits a first-order phase transition, and the shape that minimizes the energy of the system scales as (micror3/kappa). . The second system studied is motivated by the dynamics of globular proteins. These proteins may undergoes conformational changes with large displacements relative to their size. Transitions between conformational states are not possible if the dynamics are governed strictly by linear elasticity. We construct a model consisting of an predominantly elastic region near the energetic minimum of the system and a non-linear softening of the system at a critical displacement. We find that this simple model displays very rich dynamics include a sharp dynamical phase transition and driving-force-dependent symmetry breaking.

  8. Computational modeling of chemo-bio-mechanical coupling: a systems-biology approach toward wound healing.

    PubMed

    Buganza Tepole, A; Kuhl, E

    2016-01-01

    Wound healing is a synchronized cascade of chemical, biological, and mechanical phenomena, which act in concert to restore the damaged tissue. An imbalance between these events can induce painful scarring. Despite intense efforts to decipher the mechanisms of wound healing, the role of mechanics remains poorly understood. Here, we establish a computational systems biology model to identify the chemical, biological, and mechanical mechanisms of scar formation. First, we introduce the generic problem of coupled chemo-bio-mechanics. Then, we introduce the model problem of wound healing in terms of a particular chemical signal, inflammation, a particular biological cell type, fibroblasts, and a particular mechanical model, isotropic hyperelasticity. We explore the cross-talk between chemical, biological, and mechanical signals and show that all three fields have a significant impact on scar formation. Our model is the first step toward rigorous multiscale, multifield modeling in wound healing. Our formulation has the potential to improve effective wound management and optimize treatment on an individualized patient-specific basis. PMID:25421487

  9. Multiple mechanisms for critical behavior in the biologically relevant phase of lecithin bilayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagle, John F.; Petrache, Horia I.; Gouliaev, Nikolai; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Liu, Yufeng; Suter, Robert M.; Gawrisch, Klaus

    1998-12-01

    Lipid bilayer membranes manifest critical behavior in the lamellar D spacing observed by x-ray and neutron diffraction as the main phase transition is approached from the biologically relevant high temperature phase. The freezing out of conformational disorder of the hydrocarbon chains drives the main transition, but how this causes critical behavior of D(T) has been an interesting puzzle and various models are under investigation. This paper presents x-ray scattering and NMR data to test the various models. One model involves the straightforward lengthening of hydrocarbon chains as TM is approached, but it is shown that this accounts only for about half the anomalous increase in D. Another model of fluctuation induced expansion of the water region is shown to be inconsistent with two kinds of data. The first inconsistency is the lack of an increase in the Caillé fluctuation parameter η1. The second inconsistency is with D(T) data taken under osmotic pressure. Accurate simulations are employed to predict the theoretical values. A third model considers that the water spacing could expand because other interactions between bilayers may change as TM is approached, but there is no quantitative support for this model at present. A fourth model involving expansion of the headgroup region is tested with NMR data; results are qualitatively consistent but quantitatively inconclusive. While the precise mixture of models is still unresolved, it is concluded that multiple mechanisms must be operating in this critical regime.

  10. Mechanization and Control Concepts for Biologically Inspired Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raney, David L.; Slominski, Eric C.

    2003-01-01

    It is possible that MAV designs of the future will exploit flapping flight in order to perform missions that require extreme agility, such as rapid flight beneath a forest canopy or within the confines of a building. Many of nature's most agile flyers generate flapping motions through resonant excitation of an aeroelastically tailored structure: muscle tissue is used to excite a vibratory mode of their flexible wing structure that creates propulsion and lift. A number of MAV concepts have been proposed that would operate in a similar fashion. This paper describes an ongoing research activity in which mechanization and control concepts with application to resonant flapping MAVs are being explored. Structural approaches, mechanical design, sensing and wingbeat control concepts inspired by hummingbirds, bats and insects are examined. Experimental results from a testbed capable of generating vibratory wingbeat patterns that approximately match those exhibited by hummingbirds in hover, cruise, and reverse flight are presented.

  11. Glucosinolate Breakdown in Arabidopsis: Mechanism, Regulation and Biological Significance

    PubMed Central

    Wittstock, Ute; Burow, Meike

    2010-01-01

    Glucosinolates are a group of thioglucosides in plants of the Brassicales order. Together with their hydrolytic enzymes, the myrosinases, they constitute the ‘mustard oil bomb’ involved in plant defense. Here we summarize recent studies in Arabidopsis that have provided molecular evidence that the glucosinolate-myrosinase system is much more than a ‘two-component defense system,’ and started to unravel the roles of different glucosinolate breakdown pathways in the context of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. PMID:22303260

  12. Sensitizing Curium Luminescence through an Antenna Protein to Investigate Biological Actinide Transport Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Sturzbecher-Hoehne, Manuel; Goujon, Christophe; Deblonde, Gauthier J.-P.; Mason, Anne B.; Abergel, Rebecca J.

    2013-01-01

    Worldwide stocks of actinides and lanthanide fission products produced through conventional nuclear spent fuel are increasing continuously, resulting in a growing risk of environmental and human exposure to these toxic radioactive metal ions. Understanding the bio-molecular pathways involved in mammalian uptake, transport and storage of these f-elements is crucial to the development of new decontamination strategies and could also be beneficial to the design of new containment and separation processes. To start unraveling these pathways, our approach takes advantage of the unique spectroscopic properties of trivalent curium. We clearly show that the human iron transporter transferrin acts as an antenna that sensitizes curium luminescence through intramolecular energy transfer. This behavior has been used to describe the coordination of curium within the two binding sites of the protein and to investigate the recognition of curium-transferrin complexes by the cognate transferrin receptor. In addition to providing the first protein-curium spectroscopic characterization, these studies prove that transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis is a viable mechanism of intracellular entry for trivalent actinides such as curium and provide a new tool utilizing the specific luminescence of curium for the determination of other biological actinide transport mechanisms. PMID:23363005

  13. Sensitizing curium luminescence through an antenna protein to investigate biological actinide transport mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sturzbecher-Hoehne, Manuel; Goujon, Christophe; Deblonde, Gauthier J-P; Mason, Anne B; Abergel, Rebecca J

    2013-02-20

    Worldwide stocks of actinides and lanthanide fission products produced through conventional nuclear spent fuel are increasing continuously, resulting in a growing risk of environmental and human exposure to these toxic radioactive metal ions. Understanding the biomolecular pathways involved in mammalian uptake, transport and storage of these f-elements is crucial to the development of new decontamination strategies and could also be beneficial to the design of new containment and separation processes. To start unraveling these pathways, our approach takes advantage of the unique spectroscopic properties of trivalent curium. We clearly show that the human iron transporter transferrin acts as an antenna that sensitizes curium luminescence through intramolecular energy transfer. This behavior has been used to describe the coordination of curium within the two binding sites of the protein and to investigate the recognition of curium-transferrin complexes by the cognate transferrin receptor. In addition to providing the first protein-curium spectroscopic characterization, these studies prove that transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis is a viable mechanism of intracellular entry for trivalent actinides such as curium and provide a new tool utilizing the specific luminescence of curium for the determination of other biological actinide transport mechanisms. PMID:23363005

  14. The role of mechanics in biological and bio-inspired systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egan, Paul; Sinko, Robert; Leduc, Philip R.; Keten, Sinan

    2015-07-01

    Natural systems frequently exploit intricate multiscale and multiphasic structures to achieve functionalities beyond those of man-made systems. Although understanding the chemical make-up of these systems is essential, the passive and active mechanics within biological systems are crucial when considering the many natural systems that achieve advanced properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratios and stimuli-responsive adaptability. Discovering how and why biological systems attain these desirable mechanical functionalities often reveals principles that inform new synthetic designs based on biological systems. Such approaches have traditionally found success in medical applications, and are now informing breakthroughs in diverse frontiers of science and engineering.

  15. Uncovering the underlying physical mechanisms of biological systems via quantification of landscape and flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xu; Xiakun, Chu; Zhiqiang, Yan; Xiliang, Zheng; Kun, Zhang; Feng, Zhang; Han, Yan; Wei, Wu; Jin, Wang

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we explore the physical mechanisms of biological processes such as protein folding and recognition, ligand binding, and systems biology, including cell cycle, stem cell, cancer, evolution, ecology, and neural networks. Our approach is based on the landscape and flux theory for nonequilibrium dynamical systems. This theory provides a unifying principle and foundation for investigating the underlying mechanisms and physical quantification of biological systems. Project supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21190040, 11174105, 91225114, 91430217, and 11305176) and Jilin Province Youth Foundation, China (Grant No. 20150520082JH).

  16. The role of mechanics in biological and bio-inspired systems.

    PubMed

    Egan, Paul; Sinko, Robert; LeDuc, Philip R; Keten, Sinan

    2015-01-01

    Natural systems frequently exploit intricate multiscale and multiphasic structures to achieve functionalities beyond those of man-made systems. Although understanding the chemical make-up of these systems is essential, the passive and active mechanics within biological systems are crucial when considering the many natural systems that achieve advanced properties, such as high strength-to-weight ratios and stimuli-responsive adaptability. Discovering how and why biological systems attain these desirable mechanical functionalities often reveals principles that inform new synthetic designs based on biological systems. Such approaches have traditionally found success in medical applications, and are now informing breakthroughs in diverse frontiers of science and engineering. PMID:26145480

  17. Von Neumann's growth model: Statistical mechanics and biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Martino, A.; Marinari, E.; Romualdi, A.

    2012-09-01

    We review recent work on the statistical mechanics of Von Neumann's growth model and discuss its application to cellular metabolic networks. In this context, we present a detailed analysis of the physiological scenario underlying optimality à la Von Neumann in the metabolism of the bacterium E. coli, showing that optimal solutions are characterized by a considerable microscopic flexibility accompanied by a robust emergent picture for the key physiological functions. This suggests that the ideas behind optimal economic growth in Von Neumann's model can be helpful in uncovering functional organization principles of cell energetics.

  18. Chemical and Biological Mechanisms of Pathogen Reduction Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Mundt, Janna M; Rouse, Lindsay; Van den Bossche, Jeroen; Goodrich, Raymond P

    2014-01-01

    Within the last decade new technologies have been developed and implemented which employ light, often in the presence of a photosensitizer, to inactivate pathogens that reside in human blood products for the purpose of transfusion. These pathogen reduction technologies attempt to find the proper balance between pathogen kill and cell quality. Each system utilizes various chemistries that not only impact which pathogens they can inactivate and how, but also how the treatments affect the plasma and cellular proteins and to what degree. This paper aims to present the various chemical mechanisms for pathogen reduction in transfusion medicine that are currently practiced or in development. PMID:25041351

  19. Energy implications of mechanical and mechanical-biological treatment compared to direct waste-to-energy.

    PubMed

    Cimpan, Ciprian; Wenzel, Henrik

    2013-07-01

    Primary energy savings potential is used to compare five residual municipal solid waste treatment systems, including configurations with mechanical (MT) and mechanical-biological (MBT) pre-treatment, which produce waste-derived fuels (RDF and SRF), biogas and/or recover additional materials for recycling, alongside a system based on conventional mass burn waste-to-energy and ash treatment. To examine the magnitude of potential savings we consider two energy efficiency levels (state-of-the-art and best available technology), the inclusion/exclusion of heat recovery (CHP vs. PP) and three different background end-use energy production systems (coal condensing electricity and natural gas heat, Nordic electricity mix and natural gas heat, and coal CHP energy quality allocation). The systems achieved net primary energy savings in a range between 34 and 140 MJprimary/100 MJinput waste, in the different scenario settings. The energy footprint of transportation needs, pre-treatment and reprocessing of recyclable materials was 3-9.5%, 1-18% and 1-8% respectively, relative to total energy savings. Mass combustion WtE achieved the highest savings in scenarios with CHP production, nonetheless, MBT-based systems had similarly high performance if SRF streams were co-combusted with coal. When RDF and SRF was only used in dedicated WtE plants, MBT-based systems totalled lower savings due to inherent system losses and additional energy costs. In scenarios without heat recovery, the biodrying MBS-based system achieved the highest savings, on the condition of SRF co-combustion. As a sensitivity scenario, alternative utilisation of SRF in cement kilns was modelled. It supported similar or higher net savings for all pre-treatment systems compared to mass combustion WtE, except when WtE CHP was possible in the first two background energy scenarios. Recovery of plastics for recycling before energy recovery increased net energy savings in most scenario variations, over those of full

  20. Cissus sicyoides: Pharmacological Mechanisms Involved in the Anti-Inflammatory and Antidiarrheal Activities

    PubMed Central

    Beserra, Fernando Pereira; de Cássia Santos, Raquel; Périco, Larissa Lucena; Rodrigues, Vinicius Peixoto; de Almeida Kiguti, Luiz Ricardo; Saldanha, Luiz Leonardo; Pupo, André Sampaio; da Rocha, Lúcia Regina Machado; Dokkedal, Anne Lígia; Vilegas, Wagner; Hiruma-Lima, Clélia Akiko

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the pharmacological mechanisms involved in anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal actions of hydroalcoholic extract obtained from the leaves of Cissus sicyoides (HECS). The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated by oral administration of HECS against acute model of edema induced by xylene, and the mechanisms of action were analysed by involvement of arachidonic acid (AA) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). The antidiarrheal effect of HECS was observed and we analyzed the motility and accumulation of intestinal fluid. We also analyzed the antidiarrheal mechanisms of action of HECS by evaluating the role of the opioid receptor, α2 adrenergic receptor, muscarinic receptor, nitric oxide (NO) and PGE2. The oral administration of HECS inhibited the edema induced by xylene and AA and was also able to significantly decrease the levels of PGE2. The extract also exhibited significant anti-diarrheal activity by reducing motility and intestinal fluid accumulation. This extract significantly reduced intestinal transit stimulated by muscarinic agonist and intestinal secretion induced by PGE2. Our data demonstrate that the mechanism of action involved in the anti-inflammatory effect of HECS is related to PGE2. The antidiarrheal effect of this extract may be mediated by inhibition of contraction by acting on the intestinal smooth muscle and/or intestinal transit. PMID:26805827

  1. Tissue transglutaminase is involved in mechanical load-induced osteogenic differentiation of human ligamentum flavum cells.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yuan-Hung; Huang, Shih-Yung; Yang, Ruei-Cheng; Sun, Jui-Sheng

    2016-07-01

    Mechanical load-induced osteogenic differentiation might be the key cellular event in the calcification and ossification of ligamentum flavum. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of tissue transglutaminase (TGM2) on mechanical load-induced osteogenesis of ligamentum flavum cells. Human ligamentum flavum cells were obtained from 12 patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery. Osteogenic phenotypes of ligamentum flavum cells, such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Alizarin red-S stain, and gene expression of osteogenic makers were evaluated following the administration of mechanical load and BMP-2 treatment. The expression of TGM2 was evaluated by real-time PCR, Western blotting, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis. Our results showed that mechanical load in combination with BMP-2 enhanced calcium deposition and ALP activity. Mechanical load significantly increased ALP and OC gene expression on day 3, whereas BMP-2 significantly increased ALP, OPN, and Runx2 on day 7. Mechanical load significantly induced TGM2 gene expression and enzyme activity in human ligamentum flavum cells. Exogenous TGM2 increased ALP and OC gene expression; while, inhibited TG activity significantly attenuated mechanical load-induced and TGM2-induced ALP activity. In summary, mechanical load-induced TGM2 expression and enzyme activity is involved in the progression of the calcification of ligamentum flavum. PMID:27115725

  2. Bioactive glass/hydroxyapatite composites: mechanical properties and biological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Bellucci, Devis; Sola, Antonella; Anesi, Alexandre; Salvatori, Roberta; Chiarini, Luigi; Cannillo, Valeria

    2015-06-01

    Bioactive glass/hydroxyapatite composites for bone tissue repair and regeneration have been produced and discussed. The use of a recently developed glass, namely BG_Ca/Mix, with its low tendency to crystallize, allowed one to sinter the samples at a relatively low temperature thus avoiding several adverse effects usually reported in the literature, such as extensive crystallization of the glassy phase, hydroxyapatite (HA) decomposition and reaction between HA and glass. The mechanical properties of the composites with 80wt.% BG_Ca/Mix and 20wt.% HA are sensibly higher than those of Bioglass® 45S5 reference samples due to the presence of HA (mechanically stronger than the 45S5 glass) and to the thermal behaviour of the BG_Ca/Mix, which is able to favour the sintering process of the composites. Biocompatibility tests, performed with murine fibroblasts BALB/3T3 and osteocites MLO-Y4 throughout a multi-parametrical approach, allow one to look with optimism to the produced composites, since both the samples themselves and their extracts do not induce negative effects in cell viability and do not cause inhibition in cell growth. PMID:25842126

  3. Noise in biological systems: pros, cons, and mechanisms of control.

    PubMed

    Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2011-01-01

    Genetic regulatory circuits are often regarded as precise machines that accurately determine the level of expression of each protein. Most experimental technologies used to measure gene expression levels are incapable of testing and challenging this notion, as they often measure levels averaged over entire populations of cells. Yet, when expression levels are measured at the single cell level of even genetically identical cells, substantial cell-to-cell variation (or "noise") may be observed. Sometimes different genes in a given genome may display different levels of noise; even the same gene, expressed under different environmental conditions, may display greater cell-to-cell variability in specific conditions and more tight control in other situations. While at first glance noise may seem to be an undesired property of biological networks, it might be beneficial in some cases. For instance, noise will increase functional heterogeneity in a population of microorganisms facing variable, often unpredictable, environmental changes, increasing the probability that some cells may survive the stress. In that respect, we can speculate that the population is implementing a risk distribution strategy, long before genetic heterogeneity could be acquired. Organisms may have evolved to regulate not only the averaged gene expression levels but also the extent of allowed deviations from such an average, setting it at the desired level for every gene under each specific condition. Here we review the evolving understanding of noise, its molecular underpinnings, and its effect on phenotype and fitness--when it can be detrimental, beneficial, or neutral and which regulatory tools eukaryotic cells may use to optimally control it. PMID:21863500

  4. Biological mechanisms supporting adaptation to ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendriks, Iris E.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Olsen, Ylva S.; Steckbauer, Alexandra; Ramajo, Laura; Moore, Tommy S.; Trotter, Julie A.; McCulloch, Malcolm

    2015-01-01

    The direct influence of anthropogenic CO2 might play a limited role in pH regulation in coastal ecosystems as pH regulation in these areas can be complex. They experience large variability across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, with complex external and internal drivers. Organisms influence pH at a patch scale, where community metabolic effects and hydrodynamic processes interact to produce broad ranges in pH, (∼0.3-0.5 pH units) over daily cycles and spatial scales (mm to m) particularly in shallow vegetated habitats and coral reefs where both respiration and photosynthetic activity are intense. Biological interactions at the ecosystem scale, linked to patchiness in habitat landscapes and seasonal changes in metabolic processes and temperature lead to changes of about 0.3-0.5 pH units throughout a year. Furthermore, on the scale of individual organisms, small-scale processes including changes at the Diffusive Boundary Layer (DBL), interactions with symbionts, and changes to the specific calcification environment, induce additional changes in excess of 0.5 pH units. In these highly variable pH environments calcifying organisms have developed the capacity to alter the pH of their calcifying environment, or specifically within critical tissues where calcification occurs, thus achieving a homeostasis. This capacity to control the conditions for calcification at the organism scale may therefore buffer the full impacts of ocean acidification on an organism scale, although this might be at a cost to the individual. Furthermore, in some areas, calcifiers may potentially benefit from changes to ambient seawater pH, where photosynthetic organisms drawdown CO2.

  5. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    How Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful” have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating “evolutionary thinking” into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. PMID:25664446

  6. Approaching magnetic field effects in biology using the radical pair mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canfield, Jeffrey Michael

    1997-11-01

    The overall goal of this thesis has been to explain any of the reported magnetic field effects in biology (magnetic orientation of many species and/or health effects, such as cancer, due to man-made electromagnetic fields) using the radical pair mechanism, a quantum mechanical mechanism known for over 20 years that lets singlet-to-triplet yields (which can be related to reaction rates) of radical pair reactions depend on applied magnetic fields. This goal seems reasonable considering the known roles of many biological free radicals in cancer, disease, aging, development, and cellular signaling, the constant reminders in the media to take anti-oxidant vitamins to protect against certain deleterious free radicals, and the success of the radical pair mechanism in explaining magnetic field effects in photosynthetic reaction centers. To approach the above goal, this thesis develops several methods (using perturbation theory and other techniques in the Schrodinger and Liouville formalisms) for calculating singlet-to-triplet yields in combinations of steady and oscillating fields (some of these algorithms are more versatile or efficient while others give more insight, and all serve as cross-checks on each other) and uses these tools to explore and explain a number of interesting phenomena such as yields sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of earth-strength (0.5 G) steady fields as well as the magnitude, orientation, and frequency of very weak (7 mG or less) oscillating fields. In particular, this thesis examines such effects in several coenzyme B12 systems, systems long studied by EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, the chief method for determining the spin Hamiltonians, spin relaxation rates, and other parameters needed for calculations) in which organometallic cobalt-carbon bonds are often cleaved homolytically to form radical pairs. Among the B12-dependent enzymes are ribonucleotide reductase (which converts RNA to DNA nucleotides), methyl malonyl CoA mutase

  7. Cell biological mechanisms of multidrug resistance in tumors.

    PubMed Central

    Simon, S M; Schindler, M

    1994-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a generic term for the variety of strategies tumor cells use to evade the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs. MDR is characterized by a decreased sensitivity of tumor cells not only to the drug employed for chemotherapy but also to a broad spectrum of drugs with neither obvious structural homology nor common targets. This pleiotropic resistance is one of the major obstacles to the successful treatment of tumors. MDR may result from structural or functional changes at the plasma membrane or within the cytoplasm, cellular compartments, or nucleus. Molecular mechanisms of MDR are discussed in terms of modifications in detoxification and DNA repair pathways, changes in cellular sites of drug sequestration, decreases in drug-target affinity, synthesis of specific drug inhibitors within cells, altered or inappropriate targeting of proteins, and accelerated removal or secretion of drugs. PMID:7909602

  8. Cell Biological Mechanisms of Multidrug Resistance in Tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Sanford M.; Schindler, Melvin

    1994-04-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a generic term for the variety of strategies tumor cells use to evade the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs. MDR is characterized by a decreased sensitivity of tumor cells not only to the drug employed for chemotherapy but also to a broad spectrum of drugs with neither obvious structural homology nor common targets. This pleotropic resistance is one of the major obstacles to the successful treatment of tumors. MDR may result from structural or functional changes at the plasma membrane or within the cytoplasm, cellular compartments, or nucleus. Molecular mechanisms of MDR are discussed in terms of modifications in detoxification and DNA repair pathways, changes in cellular sites of drug sequestration, decreases in drug-target affinity, synthesis of specific drug inhibitors within cells, altered or inappropriate targeting of proteins, and accelerated removal or secretion of drugs.

  9. Systems Biology - A Pivotal Research Methodology for Understanding the Mechanisms of Traditional Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soojin

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Systems biology is a novel subject in the field of life science that aims at a systems’ level understanding of biological systems. Because of the significant progress in high-throughput technologies and molecular biology, systems biology occupies an important place in research during the post-genome era. Methods: The characteristics of systems biology and its applicability to traditional medicine research have been discussed from three points of view: data and databases, network analysis and inference, and modeling and systems prediction. Results: The existing databases are mostly associated with medicinal herbs and their activities, but new databases reflecting clinical situations and platforms to extract, visualize and analyze data easily need to be constructed. Network pharmacology is a key element of systems biology, so addressing the multi-component, multi-target aspect of pharmacology is important. Studies of network pharmacology highlight the drug target network and network target. Mathematical modeling and simulation are just in their infancy, but mathematical modeling of dynamic biological processes is a central aspect of systems biology. Computational simulations allow structured systems and their functional properties to be understood and the effects of herbal medicines in clinical situations to be predicted. Conclusion: Systems biology based on a holistic approach is a pivotal research methodology for understanding the mechanisms of traditional medicine. If systems biology is to be incorporated into traditional medicine, computational technologies and holistic insights need to be integrated. PMID:26388998

  10. Mechanisms involved in the chemoprotective effects of rosemary extract studied in human liver and bronchial cells.

    PubMed

    Offord, E A; Macé, K; Avanti, O; Pfeifer, A M

    1997-03-19

    Natural polyphenols found in rosemary have not only potent antioxidant activities but also anticarcinogenic properties. We have studied some of the molecular mechanisms involved in their chemopreventive action using in vitro human liver and bronchial cell models. Rosemary extract, or its active components, carnosol or carnosic acid are potent inhibitors of DNA adduct formation induced by benzo(a)pyrene or aflatoxin B1. At least two mechanisms are involved in the anticarcinogenic action of rosemary extract: (i) inhibition of the metabolic activation of procarcinogens catalysed by the phase I cytochrome P450 enzymes; (ii) induction of the detoxification pathway catalysed by the phase II enzymes such as glutathione S-transferase. PMID:9103309

  11. Neural Mechanisms Involved in Hypersensitive Hearing: Helping Children with ASD Who Are Overly Sensitive to Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Lucker, Jay R.; Doman, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities. This review article discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. The authors focus on brain research to support the idea of the nonclassical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain. The authors also discuss brain mechanisms felt to be involved in auditory hypersensitivity. The authors conclude with a discussion of some treatments for hypersensitive hearing. These treatments include desensitization training and the use of listening therapies such as The Listening Program. PMID:26823983

  12. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  13. A centrosomal mechanism involving CDK5RAP2 and CENPJ controls brain size.

    PubMed

    Bond, Jacquelyn; Roberts, Emma; Springell, Kelly; Lizarraga, Sofia B; Lizarraga, Sophia; Scott, Sheila; Higgins, Julie; Hampshire, Daniel J; Morrison, Ewan E; Leal, Gabriella F; Silva, Elias O; Costa, Suzana M R; Baralle, Diana; Raponi, Michela; Karbani, Gulshan; Rashid, Yasmin; Jafri, Hussain; Bennett, Christopher; Corry, Peter; Walsh, Christopher A; Woods, C Geoffrey

    2005-04-01

    Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly is a potential model in which to research genes involved in human brain growth. We show that two forms of the disorder result from homozygous mutations in the genes CDK5RAP2 and CENPJ. We found neuroepithelial expression of the genes during prenatal neurogenesis and protein localization to the spindle poles of mitotic cells, suggesting that a centrosomal mechanism controls neuron number in the developing mammalian brain. PMID:15793586

  14. Hair follicle biology and topical minoxidil: possible mechanisms of action.

    PubMed

    Headington, J T

    1987-01-01

    The mechanism by which minoxidil, whether given orally or applied topically, stimulates hair growth remains undetermined. Possible indirect drug action, such as vasodilatation and increased blood flow to the dermal papilla, or possible local irritation related to minoxidil or to one or more components of the vehicle used for topical application has been suggested. Possible sites of direct drug action include either the dermal papilla of the follicle or hair matrix cells or possibly both. Morphometric studies of control scalp biopsies taken from young male patients with androgenetic alopecia reveal that the primary morphologic event in androgenetic alopecia is miniaturization of terminal hair follicles. Shortening and diminution of follicle size is undoubtedly accompanied by shortening of the hair growth cycle (decreased anagen time). Morphometric evaluation of scalp biopsies of patients receiving topical minoxidil in a vehicle composed of propylene glycol, water and ethanol has revealed growth of larger normally formed follicles when compared with pretreatment biopsies from the same individual. There has been no suggestion in any morphologic studies of minoxidil-treated patients for development of new follicles (follicular neogenesis). Because the dermal papilla of the hair follicle apparently controls both growth and differentiation of hair matrix cells and because there are no observable dysplastic or atypical changes in follicular germinal epithelium during or after application of topical minoxidil, it is concluded that the most probable site for the action of minoxidil is on the specialized mesenchymal cells of the follicular dermal papilla. PMID:3319729

  15. Triage, monitoring, and treatment of mass casualty events involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents

    PubMed Central

    Ramesh, Aruna C.; Kumar, S.

    2010-01-01

    In a mass casualty situation due to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) event, triage is absolutely required for categorizing the casualties in accordance with medical care priorities. Dealing with a CBRN event always starts at the local level. Even before the detection and analysis of agents can be undertaken, zoning, triage, decontamination, and treatment should be initiated promptly. While applying the triage system, the available medical resources and maximal utilization of medical assets should be taken into consideration by experienced triage officers who are most familiar with the natural course of the injury presented and have detailed information on medical assets. There are several triage systems that can be applied to CBRN casualties. With no one standardized system globally or nationally available, it is important for deploying a triage and decontamination system which is easy to follow and flexible to the available medical resources, casualty number, and severity of injury. PMID:21829319

  16. Involvement of Intermediate Sulfur Species in Biological Reduction of Elemental Sulfur under Acidic, Hydrothermal Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Druschel, Gregory K.

    2013-01-01

    The thermoacidophile and obligate elemental sulfur (S80)-reducing anaerobe Acidilobus sulfurireducens 18D70 does not associate with bulk solid-phase sulfur during S80-dependent batch culture growth. Cyclic voltammetry indicated the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as well as polysulfides after 1 day of batch growth of the organism at pH 3.0 and 81°C. The production of polysulfide is likely due to the abiotic reaction between S80 and the biologically produced H2S, as evinced by a rapid cessation of polysulfide formation when the growth temperature was decreased, inhibiting the biological production of sulfide. After an additional 5 days of growth, nanoparticulate S80 was detected in the cultivation medium, a result of the hydrolysis of polysulfides in acidic medium. To examine whether soluble polysulfides and/or nanoparticulate S80 can serve as terminal electron acceptors (TEA) supporting the growth of A. sulfurireducens, total sulfide concentration and cell density were monitored in batch cultures with S80 provided as a solid phase in the medium or with S80 sequestered in dialysis tubing. The rates of sulfide production in 7-day-old cultures with S80 sequestered in dialysis tubing with pore sizes of 12 to 14 kDa and 6 to 8 kDa were 55% and 22%, respectively, of that of cultures with S80 provided as a solid phase in the medium. These results indicate that the TEA existed in a range of particle sizes that affected its ability to diffuse through dialysis tubing of different pore sizes. Dynamic light scattering revealed that S80 particles generated through polysulfide rapidly grew in size, a rate which was influenced by the pH of the medium and the presence of organic carbon. Thus, S80 particles formed through abiological hydrolysis of polysulfide under acidic conditions appeared to serve as a growth-promoting TEA for A. sulfurireducens. PMID:23335768

  17. Microbial communities involved in biological ammonium removal from coal combustion wastewaters.

    PubMed

    Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A; Fisher, L Suzanne; Brodie, Greg A; Phelps, Tommy J

    2013-07-01

    The efficiency of a novel integrated treatment system for biological removal of ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, and heavy metals from fossil power plant effluent was evaluated. Microbial communities were analyzed using bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries (Sanger sequences) and 454 pyrosequencing technology. While seasonal changes in microbial community composition were observed, the significant (P = 0.001) changes in bacterial and archaeal communities were consistent with variations in ammonium concentration. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed an increase of potential ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), Nitrosomonas, Nitrosococcus, Planctomycetes, and OD1, in samples with elevated ammonium concentration. Other bacteria, such as Nitrospira, Nitrococcus, Nitrobacter, Thiobacillus, ε-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Acidobacteria, which play roles in nitrification and denitrification, were also detected. The AOB oxidized 56 % of the ammonium with the concomitant increase in nitrite and ultimately nitrate in the trickling filters at the beginning of the treatment system. Thermoprotei within the phylum Crenarchaeota thrived in the splitter box and especially in zero-valent iron extraction trenches, where an additional 25 % of the ammonium was removed. The potential ammonium-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) (Candidatus Nitrosocaldus) were detected towards the downstream end of the treatment system. The design of an integrated treatment system consisting of trickling filters, zero-valent iron reaction cells, settling pond, and anaerobic wetlands was efficient for the biological removal of ammonium and several other contaminants from wastewater generated at a coal burning power plant equipped with selective catalytic reducers for nitrogen oxide removal. PMID:23314095

  18. Identification of up-regulated proteins potentially involved in the antagonism mechanism of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens G1.

    PubMed

    Cao, Haipeng; Zheng, Weidong; He, Shan; Wang, Hao; Wang, Tu; Lu, Liqun

    2013-06-01

    The use of Bacillus probiotics has been demonstrated as a promising method in the biocontrol of bacterial diseases in aquaculture. However, the molecular antibacterial mechanism of Bacillus still remains unclear. In order to explore the antibacterial mechanism of the potential antagonistic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain G1, comparative proteomics between B. amyloliquefaciens strain G1 and its non-antagonistic mutant strain was investigated. The 2-dimensional electrophoresis gel maps of their total extracted proteins were described and 42 different proteins were found to be highly expressed in strain G1 in comparison with those in the mutant strain. 35 of these up-regulated proteins were successfully identified using MALDI-TOF-TOF MS and databank analysis, and their biological functions were analyzed through the KEGG database. The increased expression of these proteins suggested that high levels of energy metabolism, biosynthesis and stress resistance could play important roles in strain G1's antagonism. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the proteins involved in the antagonism mechanism of B. amyloliquefaciens using a proteomic approach and the proteomic data also contribute to a better understanding of the molecular basis for the antagonism of B. amyloliquefaciens. PMID:23483288

  19. Thromboembolic diseases: biochemical mechanisms and new possibilities of biological diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Amiral, J; Fareed, J

    1996-01-01

    clinically. New investigations are initiated to find analytes reflecting endothelial damage, an early platelet activation, or the involvement of blood cells (mainly monocytes and neutrophils) in abnormal processes. It also becomes possible to evaluate directly pathological causes inducing blood activation, such as the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies or other autoimmune antibodies. PMID:8807728

  20. Structure and mechanical properties of Saxidomus purpuratus biological shells.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Zhang, G P; Zhu, X F; Li, X W; Meyers, M A

    2011-10-01

    The strength and fracture behavior of Saxidomus purpuratus shells were investigated and correlated with the structure. The shells show a crossed lamellar structure in the inner and middle layers and a fibrous/blocky and porous structure composed of nanoscaled particulates (~100 nm diameter) in the outer layer. It was found that the flexure strength and fracture mode are a function of lamellar organization and orientation. The crossed lamellar structure of this shell is composed of domains of parallel lamellae with approximate thickness of 200-600 nm. These domains have approximate lateral dimensions of 10-70 μm with a minimum of two orientations of lamellae in the inner and middle layers. Neighboring domains are oriented at specific angles and thus the structure forms a crossed lamellar pattern. The microhardness across the thickness was lower in the outer layer because of the porosity and the absence of lamellae. The tensile (from flexure tests) and compressive strengths were analyzed by means of Weibull statistics. The mean tensile (flexure) strength at probability of 50%, 80-105 MPa, is on the same order as the compressive strength (~50-150 MPa) and the Weibull moduli vary from 3.0 to 7.6. These values are significantly lower than abalone nacre, in spite of having the same aragonite structure. The lower strength can be attributed to a smaller fraction of the organic interlayer. The fracture path in the specimens is dominated by the orientation of the domains and proceeds preferentially along lamella boundaries. It also correlates with the color changes in the cross section of the shell. The cracks tend to undergo a considerable change in orientation when the color changes abruptly. The distributions of strengths, cracking paths, and fracture surfaces indicate that the mechanical properties of the shell are anisotropic with a hierarchical nature. PMID:21783161

  1. NOX signaling in molecular cardiovascular mechanisms involved in the blood pressure homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Santillo, Mariarosaria; Colantuoni, Antonio; Mondola, Paolo; Guida, Bruna; Damiano, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Blood pressure homeostasis is maintained by several mechanisms regulating cardiac output, vascular resistances, and blood volume. At cellular levels, reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling is involved in multiple molecular mechanisms controlling blood pressure. Among ROS producing systems, NADPH oxidases (NOXs), expressed in different cells of the cardiovascular system, are the most important enzymes clearly linked to the development of hypertension. NOXs exert a central role in cardiac mechanosensing, endothelium-dependent relaxation, and Angiotensin-II (Ang-II) redox signaling regulating vascular tone. The central role of NOXs in redox-dependent cardiovascular cell functions renders these enzymes a promising pharmacological target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. The aim of the present review is to focus on the physiological role of the cardiovascular NOX-generating ROS in the molecular and cellular mechanisms affecting blood pressure. PMID:26217233

  2. Quantum Information Biology: From Information Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to Applications in Molecular Biology and Cognitive Psychology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asano, Masanari; Basieva, Irina; Khrennikov, Andrei; Ohya, Masanori; Tanaka, Yoshiharu; Yamato, Ichiro

    2015-10-01

    We discuss foundational issues of quantum information biology (QIB)—one of the most successful applications of the quantum formalism outside of physics. QIB provides a multi-scale model of information processing in bio-systems: from proteins and cells to cognitive and social systems. This theory has to be sharply distinguished from "traditional quantum biophysics". The latter is about quantum bio-physical processes, e.g., in cells or brains. QIB models the dynamics of information states of bio-systems. We argue that the information interpretation of quantum mechanics (its various forms were elaborated by Zeilinger and Brukner, Fuchs and Mermin, and D' Ariano) is the most natural interpretation of QIB. Biologically QIB is based on two principles: (a) adaptivity; (b) openness (bio-systems are fundamentally open). These principles are mathematically represented in the framework of a novel formalism— quantum adaptive dynamics which, in particular, contains the standard theory of open quantum systems.

  3. A novel mechanism for the inhibition of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase by tumor necrosis factor α: involvement of proteasomal degradation.

    PubMed

    Ogiwara, Takayuki; Araki, Osamu; Morimura, Tadashi; Tsunekawa, Katsuhiko; Mori, Masatomo; Murakami, Masami

    2013-01-01

    Thyroxine (T₄) needs to be converted to 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T₃) by iodothyronine deiodinase to exert its biological activity. Recent studies revealed the presence of type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (D2) in human thyroid tissue, human skeletal muscle and other tissues, suggesting that D2 is involved in maintaining plasma T₃ level in human. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is an inflammatory cytokine of which production is elevated in patients with nonthyroidal illness. Although several lines of evidence suggest the causal role of TNFα in nonthyroidal illness, detailed nature of the effect of TNFα on D2 remains unclear. In the present study, we identified D2 activity and D2 mRNA in TCO-1 cells, which were derived from human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, and studied the mechanisms involved in the regulation of D2 expression by TNFα. The characteristics of the deiodinating activity in TCO-1 cells were compatible with those of D2 and Northern analysis demonstrated that D2 mRNA was expressed in TCO-1cells. D2 activity and D2 mRNA expression were rapidly increased by dibutyryl cAMP ((Bu)₂cAMP). TNFα showed an inhibitory effect on (Bu)₂cAMP-stimulated D2 activity in spite of little effect on (Bu)₂cAMP-stimulated D2 mRNA expression. MG132, a proteasome inhibitor abolished TNFα suppression of D2 activity whereas BAY11-7082 or 6-amino-4-(4-phenoxyphenylethylamino) quinazoline, inhibitors of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) failed to attenuate the effect of TNFα on D2 activity. These data suggest that a posttranslational mechanism through proteasomal degradation but not NF-κB activation is involved in the suppression of D2 by TNFα. PMID:23719846

  4. Population dynamics of bacteria involved in enhanced biological phosphorus removal in Danish wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz; Nguyen, Hien Thi Thu; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Nielsen, Per Halkjær

    2013-03-15

    The enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process is increasingly popular as a sustainable method for removal of phosphorus (P) from wastewater. This study consisted of a comprehensive three-year investigation of the identity and population dynamics of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs) in 28 Danish municipal wastewater treatment plants with nutrient removal. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was applied to quantify ten probe-defined populations of PAO and GAO that in total constituted a large fraction (30% on average) of the entire microbial community targeted by the EUBmix probes. Two PAO genera, Accumulibacter and Tetrasphaera, were very abundant in all EBPR plants (average of 3.7% and 27% of all bacteria, respectively), and their abundance was relatively stable in the Danish full-scale plants without clear temporal variations. GAOs were occasionally present in some plants (Competibacter in 11 plants, Defluviicoccus in 6 plants) and were consistent in only a few plants. This shows that these were not core species in the EBPR communities. The total GAO abundance was always lower than that of Accumulibacter. In plants without EBPR design, the abundance of PAO and GAO was significantly lower. Competibacter correlated in general with high fraction of industrial wastewater. In specific plants Accumulibacter correlated with high C/P ratio of the wastewater and Tetrasphaera with high organic loading. Interestingly, the relative microbial composition of the PAO/GAO species was unique to each plant over time, which gives a characteristic plant-specific "fingerprint". PMID:23317522

  5. Melanopsin: a novel photopigment involved in the photoentrainment of the brain's biological clock?

    PubMed

    Hannibal, Jens; Fahrenkrug, Jan

    2002-01-01

    The brain's biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) generates circadian rhythms of physiology and behaviour of approximately 24 hours. The clock needs, however, like a watch that runs too fast or too slow, daily adjustment and the most important stimulus for this adjustment is the environmental light/dark cycle, a process know as photoentrainment. It is well established that the eye contains a separate anatomical and functional system mediating light information to the clock. Until recently, the photopigment responsible for light entrainment of the circadian system has been elusive but recent studies have provided evidence that melanopsin, a recently identified opsin, could be the circadian photopigment. This conclusion is based on the observation that melanopsin is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells projecting to the SCN, a projection known as the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT) and that these ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive. Melanopsin is present in the plasma membrane of soma, dendrites and axons forming an extensive photoreceptive network in the entire retina. Although these findings make melanopsin a strong candidate as a circadian photopigment, a number of functional experiments are needed before the role of melanopsin is finally proven. PMID:12452484

  6. Peripheral and Central Mechanisms Involved in the Hormonal Control of Male and Female Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Rudolph, L M; Bentley, G E; Calandra, R S; Paredes, A H; Tesone, M; Wu, T J; Micevych, P E

    2016-07-01

    Reproduction involves the integration of hormonal signals acting across multiple systems to generate a synchronised physiological output. A critical component of reproduction is the luteinising hormone (LH) surge, which is mediated by oestradiol (E2 ) and neuroprogesterone interacting to stimulate kisspeptin release in the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle in rats. Recent evidence indicates the involvement of both classical and membrane E2 and progesterone signalling in this pathway. A metabolite of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), GnRH-(1-5), has been shown to stimulate GnRH expression and secretion, and has a role in the regulation of lordosis. Additionally, gonadotrophin release-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) projects to and influences the activity of GnRH neurones in birds. Stress-induced changes in GnIH have been shown to alter breeding behaviour in birds, demonstrating another mechanism for the molecular control of reproduction. Peripherally, paracrine and autocrine actions within the gonad have been suggested as therapeutic targets for infertility in both males and females. Dysfunction of testicular prostaglandin synthesis is a possible cause of idiopathic male infertility. Indeed, local production of melatonin and corticotrophin-releasing hormone could influence spermatogenesis via immune pathways in the gonad. In females, vascular endothelial growth factor A has been implicated in an angiogenic process that mediates development of the corpus luteum and thus fertility via the Notch signalling pathway. Age-induced decreases in fertility involve ovarian kisspeptin and its regulation of ovarian sympathetic innervation. Finally, morphological changes in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus influence female sexual receptivity in rats. The processes mediating these morphological changes have been shown to involve the rapid effects of E2 controlling synaptogenesis in this hypothalamic nucleus. In summary, this review highlights new

  7. Identification of genes involved in the biology of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours using Drosophila melanogaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeibmann, Astrid; Eikmeier, Kristin; Linge, Anna; Kool, Marcel; Koos, Björn; Schulz, Jacqueline; Albrecht, Stefanie; Bartelheim, Kerstin; Frühwald, Michael C.; Pfister, Stefan M.; Paulus, Werner; Hasselblatt, Martin

    2014-06-01

    Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours (AT/RT) are malignant brain tumours. Unlike most other human brain tumours, AT/RT are characterized by inactivation of one single gene, SMARCB1. SMARCB1 is a member of the evolutionarily conserved SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, which has an important role in the control of cell differentiation and proliferation. Little is known, however, about the pathways involved in the oncogenic effects of SMARCB1 inactivation, which might also represent targets for treatment. Here we report a comprehensive genetic screen in the fruit fly that revealed several genes not yet associated with loss of snr1, the Drosophila homologue of SMARCB1. We confirm the functional role of identified genes (including merlin, kibra and expanded, known to regulate hippo signalling pathway activity) in human rhabdoid tumour cell lines and AT/RT tumour samples. These results demonstrate that fly models can be employed for the identification of clinically relevant pathways in human cancer.

  8. Modelling and pathway identification involving the transport mechanism of a complex metabolic system in batch culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Jinlong; Zhang, Xu; Zhu, Xi; Feng, Enmin; Yin, Hongchao; Xiu, Zhilong

    2014-06-01

    The bio-dissimilation of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) by Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) can be characterized by a complex metabolic system of interactions among biochemical fluxes, metabolic compounds, key enzymes and genetic regulation. In this paper, in consideration of the fact that the transport ways of 1,3-PD and glycerol with different weights across cell membrane are still unclear in batch culture, we consider 121 possible metabolic pathways and establish a novel mathematical model which is represented by a complex metabolic system. Taking into account the difficulty in accurately measuring the concentration of intracellular substances and the absence of equilibrium point for the metabolic system of batch culture, the novel approach used here is to define quantitatively biological robustness of the intracellular substance concentrations for the overall process of batch culture. To determine the most possible metabolic pathway, we take the defined biological robustness as cost function and establish an identification model, in which 1452 system parameters and 484 pathway parameters are involved. Simultaneously, the identification model is subject to the metabolic system, continuous state constraints and parameter constraints. As such, solving the identification model by a serial program is a very complicated task. We propose a parallel migration particle swarm optimization algorithm (MPSO) capable of solving the identification model in conjunction with the constraint transcription and smoothing approximation techniques. Numerical results show that the most possible metabolic pathway and the corresponding metabolic system can reasonably describe the process of batch culture.

  9. Differential gene expression in seasonal sympatry: mechanisms involved in diverging life histories.

    PubMed

    Fudickar, Adam M; Peterson, Mark P; Greives, Timothy J; Atwell, Jonathan W; Bridge, Eli S; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2016-03-01

    In an era of climate change, understanding the genetic and physiological mechanisms underlying flexibility in phenology and life history has gained greater importance. These mechanisms can be elucidated by comparing closely related populations that differ in key behavioural and physiological traits such as migration and timing of reproduction. We compared gene expression in two recently diverged dark-eyed Junco ( Junco hyemalis) subspecies that live in seasonal sympatry during winter and early spring, but that differ in behaviour and physiology, despite exposure to identical environmental cues. We identified 547 genes differentially expressed in blood and pectoral muscle. Genes involved in lipid transport and metabolism were highly expressed in migrant juncos, while genes involved in reproductive processes were highly expressed in resident breeders. Seasonal differences in gene expression in closely related populations residing in the same environment provide significant insights into mechanisms underlying variation in phenology and life history, and have potential implications for the role of seasonal timing differences in gene flow and reproductive isolation. PMID:26979563

  10. Review of endocrine disorders associated with environmental toxicants and possible involved mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Maqbool, Faheem; Mostafalou, Sara; Bahadar, Haji; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2016-01-15

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are released into environment from different sources. They are mainly used in packaging industries, pesticides and food constituents. Clinical evidence, experimental models, and epidemiological studies suggest that EDC have major risks for human by targeting different organs and systems in the body. Multiple mechanisms are involved in targeting the normal system, through estrogen receptors, nuclear receptors and steroidal receptors activation. In this review, different methods by which xenobiotics stimulate signaling pathways and genetic mutation or DNA methylation have been discussed. These methods help to understand the results of xenobiotic action on the endocrine system. Endocrine disturbances in the human body result in breast cancer, ovarian problems, thyroid eruptions, testicular carcinoma, Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, nerve damage and obesity. EDC characterize a wide class of compounds such as organochlorinated pesticides, industrial wastes, plastics and plasticizers, fuels and numerous other elements that exist in the environment or are in high use during daily life. The interactions and mechanism of toxicity in relation to human general health problems, especially endocrine disturbances with particular reference to reproductive problems, diabetes, and breast, testicular and ovarian cancers should be deeply investigated. There should also be a focus on public awareness of these EDC risks and their use in routine life. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize all evidence regarding different physiological disruptions in the body and possible involved mechanisms, to prove the association between endocrine disruptions and human diseases. PMID:26497928

  11. Thymus involvement in myasthenia gravis: Epidemiological and clinical impacts of different self-tolerance breakdown mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Karni, Arnon; Asmail, Ali; Drory, Vivian E; Kolb, Hadar; Kesler, Anat

    2016-09-15

    The reasons for the abrogation of self-immunological tolerance in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) may be different between those with concomitant thymic hyperplasia or thymoma, and those with no evidence of thymic involvement. We conducted a retrospective observational case series study to investigate the epidemiology as well as the clinical, serologic, and electromyographic (EMG) characteristics of individuals diagnosed as having MG. We found that the average age at MG onset of patients with either thymic hyperplasia or thymoma was much younger (by ~20years) than that of MG patients without thymic involvement. Thymic hyperplasia was more common in females than males. There were no differences in the rates of ocular MG vs. generalized MG among those three study groups. There were also no group differences in the rates of neuromuscular junction disfunction, as observed on EMG or by the results of serology tests for acetyl choline receptor antibody. Interestingly, only patients without thymic involvement had other autoimmune diseases, and most of them were females. The patients with other coexisting autoimmune disease had a similar age at MG onset as the other patients with no thymic involvement. These results shed light on the impact of epidemiological and clinical factors that result from different mechanisms of self-immunological tolerance breakdown that occurs in MG. PMID:27609276

  12. Identification of genes involved in the biology of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours using Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Jeibmann, Astrid; Eikmeier, Kristin; Linge, Anna; Kool, Marcel; Koos, Björn; Schulz, Jacqueline; Albrecht, Stefanie; Bartelheim, Kerstin; Frühwald, Michael C; Pfister, Stefan M; Paulus, Werner; Hasselblatt, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumours (AT/RT) are malignant brain tumours. Unlike most other human brain tumours, AT/RT are characterized by inactivation of one single gene, SMARCB1. SMARCB1 is a member of the evolutionarily conserved SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, which has an important role in the control of cell differentiation and proliferation. Little is known, however, about the pathways involved in the oncogenic effects of SMARCB1 inactivation, which might also represent targets for treatment. Here we report a comprehensive genetic screen in the fruit fly that revealed several genes not yet associated with loss of snr1, the Drosophila homologue of SMARCB1. We confirm the functional role of identified genes (including merlin, kibra and expanded, known to regulate hippo signalling pathway activity) in human rhabdoid tumour cell lines and AT/RT tumour samples. These results demonstrate that fly models can be employed for the identification of clinically relevant pathways in human cancer. PMID:24892285

  13. Mechanisms involved in Korean mistletoe lectin-induced apoptosis of cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Khil, Lee-Yong; Kim, Wi; Lyu, Suyun; Park, Won Bong; Yoon, Ji-Won; Jun, Hee-Sook

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the anti-cancer mechanisms of Korean mistletoe lectin (Viscum album coloratum agglutinin, VCA) using a human colon cancer cell line (COLO). METHODS: Cytotoxic effects of VCA on COLO cells were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay in vitro and tumor-killing effects in vivo. To study the mechanisms involved, the expression of various pro-caspases, anti-apoptotic proteins, and death receptors was determined by western blot. To determine which death receptor is involved in VCA-induced apoptosis of COLO cells, cytotoxicity was examined by MTT assay after treatment with agonists or antagonists of death receptors. RESULTS: VCA killed COLO cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and induced complete regression of tumors in nude mice transplanted with COLO cells. Treatment of COLO cells with VCA activated caspase-2, -3, -8, and -9 and decreased expression of anti-apoptotic molecules including receptor interacting protein, nuclear factor-κB, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein, and Akt/protein kinase B. We then examined the involvement of death receptors in VCA-induced apoptosis. Only tumor necrosis factor receptor 1, among the death receptors examined, was involved in apoptosis of COLO cells, evidenced by inhibition of VCA-induced apoptosis and decreased activation of caspases, particularly caspase-8, by tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 antagonizing antibody. CONCLUSION: VCA-induced apoptotic COLO cell death is due to the activation of caspases and inhibition of anti-apoptotic proteins, in part through the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 signaling pathway. PMID:17569116

  14. Mechanisms regulating proteostasis are involved in sympatric speciation of the blind mole rat, Spalax galili

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Karl A.; Li, Kexin; Nevo, Eviatar; Buffenstein, Rochelle

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genome-wide analysis demonstrates extensive genomic adaptive complexes involved in sympatric speciation between blind mole rats (Spalax galili) in abutting populations living in basalt and chalk soils. Among the gene ontology (GO) enrichment, musculature and metabolism stood out in basalt dwellers while nutrition and neurogenetics were highlighted in chalk residents. Measurements of mechanisms regulating protein homeostasis inspired by these GO terms suggest that at the proteomic level there is also a habitat/soil-type driven divergence with the basalt residents exhibiting higher proteasome activity whereas elevated levels of markers of autophagy are evident in the chalk inhabitants. PMID:27050459

  15. Mechanisms regulating proteostasis are involved in sympatric speciation of the blind mole rat, Spalax galili.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Karl A; Li, Kexin; Nevo, Eviatar; Buffenstein, Rochelle

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide analysis demonstrates extensive genomic adaptive complexes involved in sympatric speciation between blind mole rats (Spalax galili) in abutting populations living in basalt and chalk soils. Among the gene ontology (GO) enrichment, musculature and metabolism stood out in basalt dwellers while nutrition and neurogenetics were highlighted in chalk residents. Measurements of mechanisms regulating protein homeostasis inspired by these GO terms suggest that at the proteomic level there is also a habitat/soil-type driven divergence with the basalt residents exhibiting higher proteasome activity whereas elevated levels of markers of autophagy are evident in the chalk inhabitants. PMID:27050459

  16. Scientific Basis for a Coupled Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical-Chemical-Biological Experimental Facility at DUSEL Homestake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnenthal, E. L.; Elsworth, D.; Lowell, R. P.; Maher, K.; Mailloux, B. J.; Uzunlar, N.; Freifeld, B. M.; Keimowitz, A. R.; Wang, J. S.

    2009-12-01

    Most natural and engineered earth system processes involve strong coupling of thermal, mechanical, chemical, and sometimes biological processes in rocks that are heterogeneous at a wide range of spatial scales. One of the most pervasive processes in the Earth’s crust is that of fluids (primarily water, but also CO2, hydrocarbons, volcanic gases, etc.) flowing through fractured heated rock under stress. A preliminary design is being formulated for a large-scale subsurface experimental facility to investigate coupled Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical-Chemical-Biological (THMCB) processes in fractured rock at depth. The experiment would be part of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) in the Homestake Mine, South Dakota. Fundamental geochemical, isotopic, microbiological, laboratory THMC experiments, and numerical modeling will be used to guide the experimental design and evaluation of the time and spatial scales of the coupled THMCB processes. Although we sometimes analyze rocks and fluids for physical and chemical properties, it is difficult to create quantitative numerical models based on fundamental physics and chemistry that can capture the dynamic changes that have occurred or may yet take place. Initial conditions and history are only known roughly at best, and the boundary conditions have likely varied over time as well. Processes such as multicomponent chemical and thermal diffusion, multiphase flow, advection, and thermal expansion/contraction, are taking place simultaneously in rocks that are structurally and chemically complex—heterogeneous assemblages of mineral grains, pores, and fractures—and visually opaque. The only way to fully understand such processes is to carry out well-controlled experiments at a range of scales (grain/pore-scale to decimeter-scale) that can be interrogated and modeled. The THMCB experimental facility is also intended to be a unique laboratory for testing hypotheses regarding effects of

  17. Myco-Biocontrol of Insect Pests: Factors Involved, Mechanism, and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Sandhu, Sardul Singh; Sharma, Anil K.; Beniwal, Vikas; Goel, Gunjan; Batra, Priya; Kumar, Anil; Jaglan, Sundeep; Sharma, A. K.; Malhotra, Sonal

    2012-01-01

    The growing demand for reducing chemical inputs in agriculture and increased resistance to insecticides have provided great impetus to the development of alternative forms of insect-pest control. Myco-biocontrol offers an attractive alternative to the use of chemical pesticides. Myco-biocontrol agents are naturally occurring organisms which are perceived as less damaging to the environment. Their mode of action appears little complex which makes it highly unlikely that resistance could be developed to a biopesticide. Past research has shown some promise of the use of fungi as a selective pesticide. The current paper updates us about the recent progress in the field of myco-biocontrol of insect pests and their possible mechanism of action to further enhance our understanding about the biological control of insect pests. PMID:22567344

  18. Reaction mechanisms involved in reduction of halogenated hydrocarbons using sulfated iron

    SciTech Connect

    Hassan, S.M.; Cipollone, M.G.; Wolfe, N.L.

    1995-12-01

    Experiments were carried out to investigate the mechanisms and pathways involved in the reduction of halogenated hydrocarbons represented by trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) with sulfated iron aqueous media. Results suggested that iron sulfide acted as the dehalogenation center. Zero-valent iron acted as a generator for molecular hydrogen through its reaction with water. Results of experiments in which iron sulfide was replaced by other transition metal sulfides and experiments in which zero-valent iron was replaced by other sources of molecular hydrogen will be reported. The main reduction product of chloroethylene derivatives was ethyne which under the catalytic reaction of zero-valent iron was reduced further to ethene and finally to ethane. Intermediate products were identified using GC-MS. Mechanisms and pathways will be presented.

  19. Characterization of compost-like outputs from mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Sally M; Bateson, Thomas; Gronow, Jan R; Voulvoulis, Nikolaos

    2010-06-01

    Throughout the world, most municipal solid waste consists of biodegradable components. The most abundant biological component is cellulose, followed by hemicellulose and lignin. Recycling of these components is important for the carbon cycle. In an attempt to reduce the environmental impacts of biodegradable wastes, mechanical biological treatments (MBTs) are being used as a waste management process in many countries. MBT plants attempt to mechanically separate the biodegradable and nonbiodegradable components. The nonbiodegradable components are then sent for reprocessing or landfilled, whereas the biodegradable components are reduced in biological content through composting or anaerobic digestion, leaving a compost-like output (CLO). The further use of these partially degraded residues is uncertain, and in many cases it is likely that they will be landfilled. The implications of this for the future of landfill management are causing some concern because there is little evidence that the long-term emissions tail will be reduced. In this study, the CLOs from four different biological treatment processes were characterized for physical contamination through visual inspection and for biological content using a sequential digestion analysis. The results indicate that the composition of the incoming waste, dependent on the way the waste was collected/segregated, was the factor that influenced biological content most, with length of treatment process the second most important. PMID:20564995

  20. The radical-pair mechanism as a paradigm for the emerging science of quantum biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kominis, Iannis K.

    2015-12-01

    The radical-pair mechanism was introduced in the 1960's to explain anomalously large EPR and NMR signals in chemical reactions of organic molecules. It has evolved to the cornerstone of spin chemistry, the study of the effect electron and nuclear spins have on chemical reactions, with the avian magnetic compass mechanism and the photosynthetic reaction center dynamics being prominent biophysical manifestations of such effects. In recent years the radical-pair mechanism was shown to be an ideal biological system where the conceptual tools of quantum information science can be fruitfully applied. We will here review recent work making the case that the radical-pair mechanism is indeed a major driving force of the emerging field of quantum biology.

  1. Soil biochar amendment as a climate change mitigation tool: Key parameters and mechanisms involved.

    PubMed

    Brassard, Patrick; Godbout, Stéphane; Raghavan, Vijaya

    2016-10-01

    Biochar, a solid porous material obtained from the carbonization of biomass under low or no oxygen conditions, has been proposed as a climate change mitigation tool because it is expected to sequester carbon (C) for centuries and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils. This review aimed to identify key biochar properties and production parameters that have an effect on these specific applications of the biochar. Moreover, mechanisms involved in interactions between biochar and soils were highlighted. Following a compilation and comparison of the characteristics of 76 biochars from 40 research studies, biochars with a lower N content, and consequently a higher C/N ratio (>30), were found to be more suitable for mitigation of N2O emissions from soils. Moreover, biochars produced at a higher pyrolysis temperature, and with O/C ratio <0.2, H/Corg ratio <0.4 and volatile matter below 80% may have high C sequestration potential. Based on these observations, biochar production and application to the field can be used as a tool to mitigate climate change. However, it is important to determine the pyrolysis conditions and feedstock needed to produce a biochar with the desired properties for a specific application. More research studies are needed to identify the exact mechanisms involved following biochar amendment to soil. PMID:27420171

  2. Dietary restriction involves NAD⁺ -dependent mechanisms and a shift toward oxidative metabolism.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Natalie; Carmona, Juan J; Anderson, Edward; Hart, Anne C; Sinclair, David A; Blackwell, T Keith

    2014-12-01

    Interventions that slow aging and prevent chronic disease may come from an understanding of how dietary restriction (DR) increases lifespan. Mechanisms proposed to mediate DR longevity include reduced mTOR signaling, activation of the NAD⁺ -dependent deacylases known as sirtuins, and increases in NAD⁺ that derive from higher levels of respiration. Here, we explored these hypotheses in Caenorhabditis elegans using a new liquid feeding protocol. DR lifespan extension depended upon a group of regulators that are involved in stress responses and mTOR signaling, and have been implicated in DR by some other regimens [DAF-16 (FOXO), SKN-1 (Nrf1/2/3), PHA-4 (FOXA), AAK-2 (AMPK)]. Complete DR lifespan extension required the sirtuin SIR-2.1 (SIRT1), the involvement of which in DR has been debated. The nicotinamidase PNC-1, a key NAD⁺ salvage pathway component, was largely required for DR to increase lifespan but not two healthspan indicators: movement and stress resistance. Independently of pnc-1, DR increased the proportion of respiration that is coupled to ATP production but, surprisingly, reduced overall oxygen consumption. We conclude that stress response and NAD⁺ -dependent mechanisms are each critical for DR lifespan extension, although some healthspan benefits do not require NAD⁺ salvage. Under DR conditions, NAD⁺ -dependent processes may be supported by a DR-induced shift toward oxidative metabolism rather than an increase in total respiration. PMID:25257342

  3. Co-morbidity and self medication in schizophrenia: involvement of endogenous morphine signaling mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kream, Richard M; Kuzelova, Hana; Kralickova, Milena; Ptacek, Radek; Stefano, George B

    2012-10-01

    For over 30 years, empirical studies have demonstrated expression of chemically authentic morphine by diverse animal tissues and organs systems. De novo biosynthesis of endogenous morphine by animal cells displays striking similarities to the multi-enzyme mediated biosynthetic pathway previously characterized in great biochemical and molecular detail in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The committed enzyme step within this pathway involves an asymmetric Pictet-Spengler condensation of dopamine (DA) and 3,4 dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), the oxidation product of L- 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), to form the essential intermediate precursor tetrahydropapaveroline (THP). We have hypothesized that endogenous morphine is synthesized within peripheral sites via conversion of THP in a regulated biosynthetic pathway, or conversely, THP may be directly transported into the CNS and converted to endogenous morphine within a similar biosynthetic pathway. The fundamental chemical relationship of the prototype catecholamine DA and its immediate precursor L-DOPA to endogenous morphine expression indicates a novel reciprocally interactive mechanism that links catecholamine and "morphinergic" pathways in the activation and inhibition of key physiological responses, including higher order neural integration. Dysregulation of interactive DAergic and "morphinergic" signaling pathways within CNS foci may contribute to the etiological factors driving co-morbid behavioral syndromes in major psychiatric disorders. Our short review is designed to provide insights on comorbidity and self-medication in schizophrenia from a novel perspective involving endogenous morphine signaling mechanisms. PMID:22876887

  4. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-02-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI. PMID:25399920

  5. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-01-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI. PMID:25399920

  6. [A mechanism conjugating cellular and individual adaptations could be produced from space biology].

    PubMed

    Atomi, Y

    2001-03-01

    To know a basic mechanism of biological organism on the earth, we can have a standard point to space. An example is hindlimb suspension model that could induce muscle atrophy. This model mimics adaptational changes under zero gravity; in turn the effect of gravity on the biological system developing on the earth. We can understand gravity is a stress from the specific changes of stress protein induced by mechanical stimuli depending on gravity. Recent development of fluorescent microscopy and time-lapse visual system brought us a possibility of analysis to see visualization of dynamic properties of molecular and cellular events in living cells. Especially dynamic fluctuation of cytoskeleton may include new ideas of biological strategy of living organism on the earth and possibly may suggest subtle changes in space. PMID:12101374

  7. Role of the endocannabinoid system in the mechanisms involved in the LPS-induced preterm labor.

    PubMed

    Bariani, María Victoria; Domínguez Rubio, Ana Paula; Cella, Maximiliano; Burdet, Juliana; Franchi, Ana María; Aisemberg, Julieta

    2015-12-01

    Prematurity is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is a strong causal relationship between infection and preterm births. Intrauterine infection elicits an immune response involving the release of inflammatory mediators like cytokines and prostaglandins (PG) that trigger uterine contractions and parturition events. Anandamide (AEA) is an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Similarly to PG, endocannabinoids are implicated in different aspects of reproduction, such as maintenance of pregnancy and parturition. Little is known about the involvement of endocannabinoids on the onset of labor in an infectious milieu. Here, using a mouse model of preterm labor induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we explored changes on the expression of components of endocannabinoid system (ECS). We have also determined whether AEA and CB antagonists alter PG production that induces labor. We observed an increase in uterine N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D expression (NAPE-PLD, the enzyme that synthesizes AEA) upon LPS treatment. Activity of catabolic enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) did not change significantly. In addition, we also found that LPS modulated uterine cannabinoid receptors expression by downregulating Cb2 mRNA levels and upregulating CB1 protein expression. Furthermore, LPS and AEA induced PGF2a augmentation, and this was reversed by antagonizing CB1 receptor. Collectively, our results suggest that ECS may be involved in the mechanism by which infection causes preterm birth. PMID:26347521

  8. Minocycline mechanism of neuroprotection involves the Bcl-2 gene family in optic nerve transection.

    PubMed

    Levkovitch-Verbin, Hani; Waserzoog, Yael; Vander, Shelly; Makarovsky, Daria; Ilia, Piven

    2014-10-01

    The second-generation tetracycline, minocycline, has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective therapeutic benefits in many neurodegenerative diseases including experimental glaucoma and optic nerve transection (ONT). This study investigated the mechanism underlying minocycline neuroprotection in a model of ONT. ONT was applied unilaterally in 36 Wistar rat eyes. The rats were randomly divided into a minocycline (22 mg/kg/d) treatment group and a saline treatment group (control). Treatment (minocycline or saline) was given by intraperitoneal injections initiated 3 d before ONT and continued daily until the end of the experiment. The involvement of pro-apoptotic, pro-survival and inflammatory pathways was analyzed by quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction at 4 h and 3 d after the transection in both treatment groups. The involvement of Bcl-2 protein was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. We found that Minocycline significantly increased the expression of the antiapoptotic gene bcl-2 4 h after transection (n = 8, p = 0.008) and decreased the expression of Bax at the same time point (n = 8, p = 0.03). Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα), Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP1) and Gadd45α were significantly upregulated in the retinas of eyes with ONTs compared to control (n = 10 for each gene, p = 0.02, p = 0.03, p = 0.04, respectively) but this effect was unaffected by minocycline. This study further support that the mechanism underlying minocycline neuroprotection involves the Bcl-2 gene family, suggesting that minocycline has antiapoptotic properties that support its value as a promising neuroprotective drug. PMID:24410139

  9. On the mechanisms of interaction of low-intensity millimeter waves with biological objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betskii, O. V.

    1994-01-01

    The interaction of low-intensity millimeter-band electromagnetic waves with biological objects is examined. These waves are widely used in medical practice as a means of physiotherapy for the treatment of various human disorders. Principal attention is given to the mechanisms through which millimeter waves act on the human organism.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  11. The Perception of Biological and Mechanical Motion in Female Fragile X Premutation Carriers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keri, Szabolcs; Benedek, Gyorgy

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies reported impaired visual information processing in patients with fragile x syndrome and in premutation carriers. In this study, we assessed the perception of biological motion (a walking point-light character) and mechanical motion (a rotating shape) in 25 female fragile x premutation carriers and in 20 healthy non-carrier…

  12. Resource Letter TTSM-1: Teaching Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics in Introductory Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreyfus, Benjamin W.; Geller, Benjamin D.; Meltzer, David E.; Sawtelle, Vashti

    2015-01-01

    This Resource Letter draws on discipline-based education research from physics, chemistry, and biology to collect literature on the teaching of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics in the three disciplines. While the overlap among the disciplinary literatures is limited at present, we hope this Resource Letter will spark more interdisciplinary interaction.

  13. T Cell Response in Patients with Implanted Biological and Mechanical Prosthetic Heart Valves

    PubMed Central

    Barbarash, L.; Kudryavtsev, I.; Rutkovskaya, N.; Golovkin, A.

    2016-01-01

    The study was aimed at assessing T cell subsets of peripheral blood from recipients of long-term functioning (more than 60 months) biological and mechanical heart valve prostheses. The absolute and relative number of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets was analyzed: naïve (N, CD45RA+CD62L+), central memory (CM, CD45RA−CD62L+), effector memory (EM, CD45RA−CD62L−), and terminally differentiated CD45RA-positive effector memory (TEMRA, CD45RA+CD62L−) in 25 persons with biological and 7 with mechanical prosthesis compared with 48 apparently healthy volunteers. The relative and absolute number of central memory and naïve CD3+CD8+ in patients with biological prosthesis was decreased (p < 0.001). Meanwhile the number of CD45RA+CD62L−CD3+CD8+ and CD3+CD4+ was increased (p < 0.001). Patients with mechanical prosthesis had increased absolute and relative number of CD45RA+CD62L−CD3+CD8+ cells (p = 0.006). Also the relative number of CD3+CD4+ cells was reduced (p = 0.04). We assume that altered composition of T cell subsets points at development of xenograft rejection reaction against both mechanical and biological heart valve prostheses. PMID:26989331

  14. An overview of potential molecular mechanisms involved in VSMC phenotypic modulation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ming-Jie; Zhou, Yi; Chen, Lei; Wang, Yan-Qin; Wang, Xu; Pi, Yan; Gao, Chang-Yue; Li, Jing-Cheng; Zhang, Li-Li

    2016-02-01

    The fully differentiated medial vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of mature vessels keep quiescent and contractile. However, VSMC can exhibit the plasticity in phenotype switching from a differentiated and contractile phenotype to a dedifferentiated state in response to alterations in local environmental cues, which is called phenotypic modulation or switching. Distinguishing from its differentiated state expressing more smooth muscle (SM)-specific/selective proteins, the phenotypic modulation in VSMC is characterized by an increased rate of proliferation, migration, synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins and decreased expression of SM contractile proteins. Although it has been well demonstrated that phenotypic modulation of VSMC contributes to the occurrence and progression of many proliferative vascular diseases, little is known about the details of the molecular mechanisms of VSMC phenotypic modulation. Growing evidence suggests that variety of molecules including microRNAs, cytokines and biochemical factors, membrane receptors, ion channels, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix play important roles in controlling VSMC phenotype. The focus of the present review is to provide an overview of potential molecular mechanisms involved in VSMC phenotypic modulation in recent years. To clarify VSMC differentiation and phenotypic modulation mechanisms will contribute to producing cell-based therapeutic interventions for aberrant VSMC differentiation-related diseases. PMID:26708152

  15. Two-step mechanism involving active-site conformational changes regulates human telomerase DNA binding.

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, Christopher G; Moye, Aaron L; Holien, Jessica K; Parker, Michael W; Cohen, Scott B; Bryan, Tracy M

    2015-01-15

    The ribonucleoprotein enzyme telomerase maintains telomeres and is essential for cellular immortality in most cancers. Insight into the telomerase mechanism can be gained from syndromes such as dyskeratosis congenita, in which mutation of telomerase components manifests in telomere dysfunction. We carried out detailed kinetic and thermodynamic analyses of wild-type telomerase and two disease-associated mutations in the reverse transcriptase domain. Differences in dissociation rates between primers with different 3' ends were independent of DNA affinities, revealing that initial binding of telomerase to telomeric DNA occurs through a previously undescribed two-step mechanism involving enzyme conformational changes. Both mutations affected DNA binding, but through different mechanisms: P704S specifically affected protein conformational changes during DNA binding, whereas R865H showed defects in binding to the 3' region of the DNA. To gain further insight at the structural level, we generated the first homology model of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase domain; the positions of P704S and R865H corroborate their observed mechanistic defects, providing validation for the structural model. Our data reveal the importance of protein interactions with the 3' end of telomeric DNA and the role of protein conformational change in telomerase DNA binding, and highlight naturally occurring disease mutations as a rich source of mechanistic insight. PMID:25365545

  16. Neurodegenerative mutants in Drosophila: a means to identify genes and mechanisms involved in human diseases?

    PubMed

    Kretzschmar, Doris

    2005-11-01

    There are 50 ways to leave your lover (Simon 1987) but many more to kill your brain cells. Several neurodegenerative diseases in humans, like Alzheimer's disease, have been intensely studied but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still unknown for most of them. For those syndromes where associated gene products have been identified their biochemistry and physiological as well as pathogenic function is often still under debate. This is in part due to the inherent limitations of genetic analyses in humans and other mammals and therefore experimentally accessible invertebrate in vivo models, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, have recently been introduced to investigate neurodegenerative syndromes. Several laboratories have used transgenic approaches in Drosophila to study the human genes associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This has added substantially to our understanding of the mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases in humans. The isolation and characterization of Drosophila mutants, which display a variety of neurodegenerative phenotypes, also provide valuable insights into genes, pathways, and mechanisms causing neurodegeneration. So far only about two dozen such mutants have been described but already their characterization reveals an involvement of various cellular functions in neurodegeneration, ranging from preventing oxidative stress to RNA editing. Some of the isolated genes can already be associated with human neurodegenerative diseases and hopefully the isolation and characterization of more of these mutants, together with an analysis of homologous genes in vertebrate models, will provide insights into the genetic and molecular basis of human neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:16187075

  17. Mitochondrial DNA replication proceeds via a ‘bootlace’ mechanism involving the incorporation of processed transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Reyes, Aurelio; Kazak, Lawrence; Wood, Stuart R.; Yasukawa, Takehiro; Jacobs, Howard T.; Holt, Ian J.

    2013-01-01

    The observation that long tracts of RNA are associated with replicating molecules of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that the mitochondrial genome of mammals is copied by an unorthodox mechanism. Here we show that these RNA-containing species are present in living cells and tissue, based on interstrand cross-linking. Using DNA synthesis in organello, we demonstrate that isolated mitochondria incorporate radiolabeled RNA precursors, as well as DNA precursors, into replicating DNA molecules. RNA-containing replication intermediates are chased into mature mtDNA, to which they are thus in precursor–product relationship. While a DNA chain terminator rapidly blocks the labeling of mitochondrial replication intermediates, an RNA chain terminator does not. Furthermore, processed L-strand transcripts can be recovered from gel-extracted mtDNA replication intermediates. Therefore, instead of concurrent DNA and RNA synthesis, respectively, on the leading and lagging strands, preformed processed RNA is incorporated as a provisional lagging strand during mtDNA replication. These findings indicate that RITOLS is a physiological mechanism of mtDNA replication, and that it involves a ‘bootlace' mechanism, in which processed transcripts are successively hybridized to the lagging-strand template, as the replication fork advances. PMID:23595151

  18. Mechanisms Involved in the Nociception Triggered by the Venom of the Armed Spider Phoneutria nigriventer

    PubMed Central

    Gewehr, Camila; Oliveira, Sara Marchesan; Rossato, Mateus Fortes; Trevisan, Gabriela; Dalmolin, Gerusa Duarte; Rigo, Flávia Karine; de Castro Júnior, Célio José; Cordeiro, Marta Nascimento; Ferreira, Juliano; Gomez, Marcus V.

    2013-01-01

    Background The frequency of accidental spider bites in Brazil is growing, and poisoning due to bites from the spider genus Phoneutria nigriventer is the second most frequent source of such accidents. Intense local pain is the major symptom reported after bites of P. nigriventer, although the mechanisms involved are still poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the mechanisms involved in nociception triggered by the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer (PNV). Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty microliters of PNV or PBS was injected into the mouse paw (intraplantar, i.pl.). The time spent licking the injected paw was considered indicative of the level of nociception. I.pl. injection of PNV produced spontaneous nociception, which was reduced by arachnid antivenin (ArAv), local anaesthetics, opioids, acetaminophen and dipyrone, but not indomethacin. Boiling or dialysing the venom reduced the nociception induced by the venom. PNV-induced nociception is not dependent on glutamate or histamine receptors or on mast cell degranulation, but it is mediated by the stimulation of sensory fibres that contain serotonin 4 (5-HT4) and vanilloid receptors (TRPV1). We detected a kallikrein-like kinin-generating enzyme activity in tissue treated with PNV, which also contributes to nociception. Inhibition of enzymatic activity or administration of a receptor antagonist for kinin B2 was able to inhibit the nociception induced by PNV. PNV nociception was also reduced by the blockade of tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels, acid-sensitive ion channels (ASIC) and TRPV1 receptors. Conclusion/Significance Results suggest that both low- and high-molecular-weight toxins of PNV produce spontaneous nociception through direct or indirect action of kinin B2, TRPV1, 5-HT4 or ASIC receptors and voltage-dependent sodium channels present in sensory neurons but not in mast cells. Understanding the mechanisms involved in nociception caused by PNV are of interest not only for

  19. Water transport mechanism through open capillaries analyzed by direct surface modifications on biological surfaces.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Daisuke; Horiguchi, Hiroko; Hirai, Yuji; Yabu, Hiroshi; Matsuo, Yasutaka; Ijiro, Kuniharu; Tsujii, Kaoru; Shimozawa, Tateo; Hariyama, Takahiko; Shimomura, Masatsugu

    2013-01-01

    Some small animals only use water transport mechanisms passively driven by surface energies. However, little is known about passive water transport mechanisms because it is difficult to measure the wettability of microstructures in small areas and determine the chemistry of biological surfaces. Herein, we developed to directly analyse the structural effects of wettability of chemically modified biological surfaces by using a nanoliter volume water droplet and a hi-speed video system. The wharf roach Ligia exotica transports water only by using open capillaries in its legs containing hair- and paddle-like microstructures. The structural effects of legs chemically modified with a self-assembled monolayer were analysed, so that the wharf roach has a smart water transport system passively driven by differences of wettability between the microstructures. We anticipate that this passive water transport mechanism may inspire novel biomimetic fluid manipulations with or without a gravitational field. PMID:24149467

  20. Prenatal stress and its effects on the fetus and the child: possible underlying biological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Glover, Vivette

    2015-01-01

    Many prospective studies have shown that if a mother is depressed, anxious or stressed while pregnant, this increases the risk for her child having a wide range of adverse outcomes including emotional problems, symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or impaired cognitive development. Although genetics and postnatal care clearly affect these outcomes, evidence for a prenatal causal component also is substantial. Prenatal anxiety/depression may contribute 10-15 % of the attributable load for emotional/behavioural outcomes.The mechanisms underlying these changes are just starting to be explored. One possible mediating factor is increased exposure of the fetus to cortisol, as has been shown in animal studies. However, the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which makes cortisol functions differently in human pregnancy from in most animals. The maternal HPA axis becomes gradually less responsive to stress as pregnancy progresses. And there is only a weak, if any, association between a mother's prenatal mood and her cortisol level, especially later in pregnancy. Cytokines are alternative possible mediators. An additional explanation is that stress or anxiety causes increased transfer of maternal cortisol across the placenta to the fetus. The placenta plays a crucial role in moderating fetal exposure to maternal factors and presumably in preparing the fetus for the environment in which it is going to find itself. There is some evidence in both rat models and in humans that prenatal stress can reduce placental 11β-HSD2, the enzyme which metabolises cortisol to inactive cortisone. The level of cortisol in the amniotic fluid, surrounding the baby in the womb, has been shown to be inversely correlated with infant cognitive development. However, several other biological systems are likely to be involved. Serotonin is another possible mediator of prenatal stress induced programming effects on offspring neurocognitive and behavioural

  1. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. Objectives: We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. Methods: For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Conclusions: Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Citation: Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that

  2. Mechanisms by which acellular biologic scaffolds promote functional skeletal muscle restoration.

    PubMed

    Badylak, Stephen F; Dziki, Jenna L; Sicari, Brian M; Ambrosio, Fabrisia; Boninger, Michael L

    2016-10-01

    Acellular biologic scaffolds derived from extracellular matrix have been investigated in preclinical and clinical studies as a regenerative medicine approach for volumetric muscle loss treatment. The present manuscript provides a review of previous studies supporting the use of extracellular matrix derived biologic scaffolds for the promotion of functional skeletal muscle tissue formation that is contractile and innervated. The manuscript also identifies key mechanisms that have been associated with ECM-mediated skeletal muscle repair, and provides hypotheses as to why there have been variable outcomes, ranging from successful to unsatisfactory, associated with ECM bioscaffold implantation in the skeletal muscle injury microenvironment. PMID:27376561

  3. TOPICAL REVIEW: Recent advances in jointed quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics calculations of biological macromolecules: schemes and applications coupled to ab initio calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagiwara, Yohsuke; Tateno, Masaru

    2010-10-01

    We review the recent research on the functional mechanisms of biological macromolecules using theoretical methodologies coupled to ab initio quantum mechanical (QM) treatments of reaction centers in proteins and nucleic acids. Since in most cases such biological molecules are large, the computational costs of performing ab initio calculations for the entire structures are prohibitive. Instead, simulations that are jointed with molecular mechanics (MM) calculations are crucial to evaluate the long-range electrostatic interactions, which significantly affect the electronic structures of biological macromolecules. Thus, we focus our attention on the methodologies/schemes and applications of jointed QM/MM calculations, and discuss the critical issues to be elucidated in biological macromolecular systems.

  4. Integrated innate mechanisms involved in airway allergic inflammation to the serine protease subtilisin.

    PubMed

    Florsheim, Esther; Yu, Shuang; Bragatto, Ivan; Faustino, Lucas; Gomes, Eliane; Ramos, Rodrigo N; Barbuto, José Alexandre M; Medzhitov, Ruslan; Russo, Momtchilo

    2015-05-15

    Proteases are recognized environmental allergens, but little is known about the mechanisms responsible for sensing enzyme activity and initiating the development of allergic inflammation. Because usage of the serine protease subtilisin in the detergent industry resulted in an outbreak of occupational asthma in workers, we sought to develop an experimental model of allergic lung inflammation to subtilisin and to determine the immunological mechanisms involved in type 2 responses. By using a mouse model of allergic airway disease, we have defined in this study that s.c. or intranasal sensitization followed by airway challenge to subtilisin induces prototypic allergic lung inflammation, characterized by airway eosinophilia, type 2 cytokine release, mucus production, high levels of serum IgE, and airway reactivity. These allergic responses were dependent on subtilisin protease activity, protease-activated receptor-2, IL-33R ST2, and MyD88 signaling. Also, subtilisin stimulated the expression of the proallergic cytokines IL-1α, IL-33, thymic stromal lymphopoietin, and the growth factor amphiregulin in a human bronchial epithelial cell line. Notably, acute administration of subtilisin into the airways increased lung IL-5-producing type 2 innate lymphoid cells, which required protease-activated receptor-2 expression. Finally, subtilisin activity acted as a Th2 adjuvant to an unrelated airborne Ag-promoting allergic inflammation to inhaled OVA. Therefore, we established a murine model of occupational asthma to a serine protease and characterized the main molecular pathways involved in allergic sensitization to subtilisin that potentially contribute to initiate allergic airway disease. PMID:25876764

  5. Mechanisms Involved in Glucocorticoid Induction of Pituitary GH Expression During Embryonic Development

    PubMed Central

    Ellestad, Laura E.; Puckett, Stefanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are involved in functional differentiation of GH-producing somatotrophs. Glucocorticoid treatment prematurely induces GH expression in mammals and birds in a process requiring protein synthesis and Rat sarcoma (Ras) signaling. The objective of this study was to investigate mechanisms through which glucocorticoids initiate GH expression during embryogenesis, taking advantage of the unique properties of chicken embryos as a developmental model. We determined that stimulation of GH expression occurred through transcriptional activation of GH, rather than enhancement of mRNA stability, and this process requires histone deacetylase activity. Through pharmacological inhibition, we identified the ERK1/2 pathway as a likely downstream Ras effector necessary for glucocorticoid stimulation of GH. However, we also found that chronic activation of ERK1/2 activity with a constitutively active mutant or stimulatory ligand reduced initiation of GH expression by glucocorticoid treatment. Corticosterone treatment of cultured embryonic pituitary cells increased ERK1/2 activity in an apparent cyclical manner, with a rapid increase within 5 minutes, followed by a reduction to near-basal levels at 3 hours, and a subsequent increase again at 6 hours. Therefore, we conclude that ERK1/2 signaling must be strictly controlled for maximal glucocorticoid induction of GH to occur. These results are the first in any species to demonstrate that Ras- and ERK1/2-mediated transcriptional events requiring histone deacetylase activity are involved in glucocorticoid induction of pituitary GH during embryonic development. This report increases our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid recruitment of somatotrophs during embryogenesis and should provide insight into glucocorticoid-induced developmental changes in other tissues and cell types. PMID:25560830

  6. Molecular Characterization of HIV-1 Subtype C gp-120 Regions Potentially Involved in Virus Adaptive Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Cenci, Alessandra; D'Avenio, Giuseppe; Tavoschi, Lara; Chiappi, Michele; Becattini, Simone; Narino, Maria del Pilar; Picconi, Orietta; Bernasconi, Daniela; Fanales-Belasio, Emanuele; Vardas, Eftyhia; Sukati, Hosea; Presti, Alessandra Lo; Ciccozzi, Massimo; Monini, Paolo; Ensoli, Barbara; Grigioni, Mauro; Buttò, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    The role of variable regions of HIV-1 gp120 in immune escape of HIV has been investigated. However, there is scant information on how conserved gp120 regions contribute to virus escaping. Here we have studied how molecular sequence characteristics of conserved C3, C4 and V3 regions of clade C HIV-1 gp120 that are involved in HIV entry and are target of the immune response, are modulated during the disease course. We found an increase of “shifting” putative N-glycosylation sites (PNGSs) in the α2 helix (in C3) and in C4 and an increase of sites under positive selection pressure in the α2 helix during the chronic stage of disease. These sites are close to CD4 and to co-receptor binding sites. We also found a negative correlation between electric charges of C3 and V4 during the late stage of disease counteracted by a positive correlation of electric charges of α2 helix and V5 during the same stage. These data allow us to hypothesize possible mechanisms of virus escape involving constant and variable regions of gp120. In particular, new mutations, including new PNGSs occurring near the CD4 and CCR5 binding sites could potentially affect receptor binding affinity and shield the virus from the immune response. PMID:24788065

  7. Evolution of oropharyngeal patterning mechanisms involving Dlx and endothelins in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Takio, Yoko; Sugahara, Fumiaki; Takechi, Masaki; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2010-05-01

    In jawed vertebrates, the Dlx code, or nested expression patterns of Dlx genes, specify the dorsoventral polarity of pharyngeal arches, downstream of endothelin-1 (Edn-1) and its effectors, Bapx1 (Nkx3.2) and dHand (Hand2). To elucidate the evolution of the specification mechanism of the oropharyngeal skeletal system, lamprey homologs of Dlx, Edn, endothelin receptor (Ednr), Bapx1, and dHand were identified. Our analysis suggested that the Edn gene family emerged at the advent of vertebrates, and that gene duplications leading to the different Edn gnathostome subtypes (Edn1-3) occurred before the cyclostome-gnathostome split. This timing of gene duplications, giving rise to multiple subtypes, was also implied for Dlx, Ednr, Hand, and Bapx. In lamprey embryos, nested expressions of Dlx genes were not observed in pharyngeal arches, nor was any focal expression of Bapx1, known in gnathostomes to specify the jaw joint. The dHand homolog, however, was expressed more intensively ventrally, as in gnathostomes. Lamprey homologs of Edn-1 and EdnrA were also shown to be expressed as described in mice, indicating involvement of this signaling pathway in the craniofacial patterning early in vertebrate evolution. These results suggest that the last common ancestor of all the extant vertebrates would have possessed basic gene repertoires involved in oropharyngeal patterning in gnathostomes, but the elaborate genetic program leading to the Dlx code is likely to have been acquired uniquely in gnathostomes. PMID:20171204

  8. Post-ictal analgesia: involvement of opioid, serotoninergic and cholinergic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Coimbra, N C; Castro-Souza, C; Segato, E N; Nora, J E; Herrero, C F; Tedeschi-Filho, W; Garcia-Cairasco, N

    2001-01-12

    The neural mechanisms involved in post-ictal analgesia remain to be elucidated. Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) is used experimentally to induce seizure in animal subjects. This non-competitive antagonist blocks GABA-mediated Cl(-) flux. The aim of this work is to study the neurochemical basis of the antinociception induced by convulsions elicited by peripheral administration of PTZ (64 mg/kg). The analgesia was measured by the tail-flick test, in eight rats per group. Convulsions were followed by significant increase in the tail-flick latencies (TFL), at least for 30 min of the post-ictal period. Peripheral administration of naloxone (5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg), atropine (1 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg), methysergide (1 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg) and ketanserine (1 mg/kg and 2 mg/kg) caused a significant decrease in the TFL in seizing animals, as compared to controls. However, while naloxone antagonized analgesia 15 and 25 min post convulsions, the other drugs caused a blockade of the post-ictal analgesia in a relatively greater period of time. These results indicate that endogenous opioids, serotonin and acetylcholine may be involved in post-ictal analgesia. PMID:11150491

  9. Effect of diet and fenfluramine on thermogenesis in the rat: possible involvement of serotonergic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Rothwell, N J; Stock, M J

    1987-01-01

    A single injection of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT, 1 mg/kg, s.c.) in rats stimulated resting oxygen consumption (Vo2) by 21 percent; this was reduced (to 8 percent) by pretreatment with hexamethonium (5 mg/kg, s.c.). DL-fenfluramine injection (20 mg/kg, s.c.) stimulated metabolic rate (Vo2) by about 40 percent, but caused only 11 and 15 per cent increases in animals pretreated with hexamethonium or metergoline (5 mg/kg, s.c.), respectively. Interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity, assessed from mitochondrial GDP-binding, was increased by 96 per cent in intact tissue 1 h after fenfluramine injection; this response was completely prevented by surgical sympathectomy of interscapular BAT. Metergoline significantly inhibited (by 46 percent) the acute thermic response (postprandial rise in Vo2) to a 40-kJ meal in normal rats, and depressed resting Vo2 in protein-deficient rats by 18 percent, but did not affect resting Vo2 in control animals. BAT activity (mitochondrial GDP-binding) was elevated by 56 per cent in rats fed the low-protein diet, but this difference was almost completely abolished by prior treatment with metergoline. These data demonstrate a potent thermogenic effect of fenfluramine which apparently involves serotonergic pathways and activation of sympathetic outflow to BAT, and indicate that acute thermic responses to food and chronic thermogenic responses to low-protein diets may also involve serotonergic mechanisms. PMID:3667065

  10. Key diffusion mechanisms involved in regulating bidirectional water permeation across E. coli outer membrane lectin

    PubMed Central

    Sachdeva, Shivangi; Kolimi, Narendar; Nair, Sanjana Anilkumar; Rathinavelan, Thenmalarchelvi

    2016-01-01

    Capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) are major bacterial virulent determinants that facilitate host immune evasion. E. coli group1 K30CPS is noncovalently attached to bacterial surface by Wzi, a lectin. Intriguingly, structure based phylogenetic analysis indicates that Wzi falls into porin superfamily. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations further shed light on dual role of Wzi as it also functions as a bidirectional passive water specific porin. Such a functional role of Wzi was not realized earlier, due to the occluded pore. While five water specific entry points distributed across extracellular & periplasmic faces regulate the water diffusion involving different mechanisms, a luminal hydrophobic plug governs water permeation across the channel. Coincidently, MD observed open state structure of “YQF” triad is seen in sugar-binding site of sodium-galactose cotransporters, implicating its involvement in K30CPS surface anchorage. Importance of Loop 5 (L5) in membrane insertion is yet another highlight. Change in water diffusion pattern of periplasmic substitution mutants suggests Wzi’s role in osmoregulation by aiding in K30CPS hydration, corroborating earlier functional studies. Water molecules located inside β-barrel of Wzi crystal structure further strengthens the role of Wzi in osmoregulation. Thus, interrupting water diffusion or L5 insertion may reduce bacterial virulence. PMID:27320406

  11. The vasorelaxant effect of gallic acid involves endothelium-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Lais Moraes; de Oliveira, Thiago Sardinha; da Costa, Rafael Menezes; de Souza Gil, Eric; Costa, Elson Alves; Passaglia, Rita de Cassia Aleixo Tostes; Filgueira, Fernando Paranaíba; Ghedini, Paulo César

    2016-06-01

    The mechanisms of action involved in the vasorelaxant effect of gallic acid (GA) were examined in the isolated rat thoracic aorta. GA exerted a relaxant effect in the highest concentrations (0.4-10mM) in both endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded aortic rings. Pre-incubation with L-NAME, ODQ, calmidazolium, TEA, 4-aminopyridine, and barium chloride significantly reduced the pEC50 values. Moreover, this effect was not modified by indomethacin, wortmannin, PP2, glibenclamide, or paxillin. Pre-incubation of GA (1, 3, and 10mM) in a Ca(2+)-free Krebs solution attenuated CaCl2-induced contractions and blocked BAY K8644-induced vascular contractions, but it did not inhibit a contraction induced by the release of Ca(2+) from the sarcoplasmatic reticulum stores. In addition, a Western blot analysis showed that GA induces phosphorylation of eNOS in rat thoracic aorta. These results suggest that GA induces relaxation in rat aortic rings through an endothelium-dependent pathway, resulting in eNOS phosphorylation and opening potassium channels. Additionally, the relaxant effect by an endothelium-independent pathway involves the blockade of the Ca(2+) influx via L-type Ca(2+) channels. PMID:26643780

  12. Exercise- and nutrient-controlled mechanisms involved in maintenance of the musculoskeletal mass.

    PubMed

    Rennie, M J

    2007-11-01

    The mechanisms of maintenance of the protein mass of muscle and associated connective tissue and bone are becoming more accessible as a result of the use of a combination of well-established techniques for measurement of protein turnover and measurement of protein expression and phosphorylation state of signalling molecules involved in anabolic and catabolic responses. Amino acids, hormones and physical activity appear to be the major short-term physiological regulators of muscle mass, mainly through their actions on protein synthesis and breakdown, on a time scale of minutes to hours, with duration of changes in gene expression up to weeks. Amino acids are the main components in the diet regulating protein turnover, having marked effects in stimulating muscle protein synthesis and with almost no effect on muscle protein breakdown. Branched-chain amino acids, and in particular leucine, simulate protein synthesis via signalling pathways involving mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) in a dose-response manner. Insulin has little effect on protein synthesis in human muscle, but it has a marked inhibitory effect on protein breakdown. The amino acid simulation of anabolism is not dependent on the presence of insulin, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) or growth hormone. Exercise not only stimulates protein synthesis in muscle, but also in tendon; and disuse atrophy is accompanied by marked decreases of both muscle and tendon collagen protein synthesis. Bone collagen synthesis appears to be nutritionally regulated by the availability of amino acids, but not lipid or glucose. PMID:17956336

  13. Mechanisms involved in the pressor response to noradrenaline microinjection into the supraoptic nucleus of unanesthetized rats.

    PubMed

    Busnardo, Cristiane; Tavares, Rodrigo Fiacadori; Corrêa, Fernando Morgan Aguiar

    2009-01-28

    We report on the cardiovascular effects of noradrenaline (NA) microinjection into the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) as well as the central and peripheral mechanisms involved in their mediation. Microinjections of NA 1, 3, 10, 30 or 45 nmol/100 nL into the SON caused dose-related pressor and bradycardiac response in unanesthetized rats. The response to NA 10 nmol was blocked by SON pretreatment with 15 nmol of the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist RX821002 and not affected by pretreatment with equimolar dose of the selective alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist WB4101, suggesting that local alpha(2)-adrenoceptors mediate these responses. Pretreatment of the SON with the nonselective beta-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol 15 nmol did not affect the pressor response to NA microinjection of into the SON. Moreover, the microinjection of the 100 nmol of the selective alpha(1)-adrenoceptor agonist methoxamine (MET) into the SON did not cause cardiovascular response while the microinjection of the selective alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonists BHT920 (BHT, 100 nmol) or clonidine (CLO, 5 nmol) caused pressor and bradycardiac responses, similar to that observed after the microinjection of NA. The pressor response to NA was potentiated by intravenous pretreatment with the ganglion blocker pentolinium and was blocked by intravenous pretreatment with the V(1)-vasopressin receptor antagonist dTyr(CH2)5(Me)AVP, suggesting an involvement of circulating vasopressin in this response. In conclusion, our results suggest that pressor responses caused by microinjections of NA into the SON involve activation of local alpha(2)-adrenoceptor receptors and are mediated by vasopressin release into circulation. PMID:19059010

  14. Rapid, Opioid-sensitive Mechanisms Involved in Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Sensitization*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Vetter, Irina; Cheng, Wei; Peiris, Madusha; Wyse, Bruce D.; Roberts-Thomson, Sarah J.; Zheng, Jie; Monteith, Gregory R.; Cabot, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    TRPV1 is a nociceptive, Ca2+-selective ion channel involved in the development of several painful conditions. Sensitization of TRPV1 responses by cAMP-dependent PKA crucially contributes to the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia. However, the pathways involved in potentiation of TRPV1 responses by cAMP-dependent PKA remain largely unknown. Using HEK cells stably expressing TRPV1 and the μ opioid receptor, we demonstrated that treatment with the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin significantly increased the multimeric TRPV1 species. Pretreatment with the μ opioid receptor agonist morphine reversed this increased TRPV1 multimerization. FRET analysis revealed that treatment with forskolin did not cause multimerization of pre-existing TRPV1 monomers on the plasma membrane and that intracellular pools of TRPV1 exist mostly as monomers in this model. This suggests that increased TRPV1 multimerization occurred from an intracellular store of inactive TRPV1 monomers. Treatment with forskolin also caused an increase in TRPV1 expression on the plasma membrane not resulting from increased TRPV1 expression, and this rapid TRPV1 translocation was inhibited by treatment with morphine. Thus, potentiation of TRPV1 responses by cAMP-dependent PKA involves plasma membrane insertion of functional TRPV1 multimers formed from an intracellular store of inactive TRPV1 monomers. This potentiation occurs rapidly and can be dynamically modulated by activation of the μ opioid receptor under conditions where cAMP levels are raised, such as with inflammation. Increased translocation and multimerization of TRPV1 channels provide a cellular mechanism for finetuning of nociceptive responses that allow for rapid modulation of TRPV1 responses independent of transcriptional changes. PMID:18482991

  15. Enhancement mechanisms of graphene in nano-58S bioactive glass scaffold: mechanical and biological performance

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chengde; Liu, Tingting; Shuai, Cijun; Peng, Shuping

    2014-01-01

    Graphene is a novel material and currently popular as an enabler for the next-generation nanocomposites. Here, we report the use of graphene to improve the mechanical properties of nano-58S bioactive glass for bone repair and regeneration. And the composite scaffolds were fabricated by a homemade selective laser sintering system. Qualitative and quantitative analysis demonstrated the successful incorporation of graphene into the scaffold without obvious structural damage and weight loss. The optimum compressive strength and fracture toughness reached 48.65 ± 3.19 MPa and 1.94 ± 0.10 MPa·m1/2 with graphene content of 0.5 wt%, indicating significant improvements by 105% and 38% respectively. The mechanisms of pull-out, crack bridging, crack deflection and crack tip shielding were found to be responsible for the mechanical enhancement. Simulated body fluid and cell culture tests indicated favorable bioactivity and biocompatibility of the composite scaffold. The results suggest a great potential of graphene/nano-58S composite scaffold for bone tissue engineering applications. PMID:24736662

  16. Pharmacological evaluation of the mechanisms involved in increased adiposity in zebrafish triggered by the environmental contaminant tributyltin.

    PubMed

    Ouadah-Boussouf, Nafia; Babin, Patrick J

    2016-03-01

    One proposed contributing factor to the rise in overweight and obesity is exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Tributyltin chloride (TBT), an organotin, induces adipogenesis in cell culture models and may increases adipose mass in vivo in vertebrate model organisms. It has been hypothesized that TBT acts via the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)γ-dependent pathway. However, the mechanisms involved in the effects of TBT exposure on in vivo adipose tissue metabolism remain unexplored. Semitransparent zebrafish larvae, with their well-developed white adipose tissue, offer a unique opportunity for studying the effects of toxicant chemicals and pharmaceuticals on adipocyte biology and whole-organism adiposity in a vertebrate model. Within hours, zebrafish larvae, treated at environmentally-relevant nanomolar concentrations of TBT, exhibited a remarkable increase in adiposity linked to adipocyte hypertrophy. Under the experimental conditions used, we also demonstrated that zebrafish larvae adipose tissue proved to be highly responsive to selected human nuclear receptor agonists and antagonists. Retinoid X receptor (RXR) homodimers and RXR/liver X receptor heterodimers were suggested to be in vivo effectors of the obesogenic effect of TBT on zebrafish white adipose tissue. RXR/PPARγ heterodimers may be recruited to modulate adiposity in zebrafish but were not a necessary requirement for the short term in vivo TBT obesogenic effect. Together, the present results suggest that TBT may induce the promotion of triacylglycerol storage in adipocytes via RXR-dependent pathways without necessary using PPAR isoforms. PMID:26812627

  17. A role of nitric oxide mechanism involved in the protective effects of venlafaxine in sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anil; Garg, Ruchika

    2008-12-12

    The present study was designed to explore the possible nitric oxide mechanism in protective effect of venlafaxine in sleep deprivation in mice. Laca mice were sleep deprived for period of 72 h using grid suspended over water method. Venlafaxine (2.5, 5 and 10mg/kg, ip), l-arginine (50mg/kg, ip), l-NAME (10mg/kg, ip) and methylene blue (10mg/kg, ip) were administered for 5 days, starting 2 days before 72-h sleep deprivation. Various behavioral tests (plus maze, zero maze, mirror chamber tests for anxiety, and actophotometer test) followed by oxidative stress parameters (malondialdehyde level, glutathione, catalase, nitrite and protein) were assessed. The present study showed that venlafaxine (5 and 10mg/kg, ip) drug treatment significantly reversed 72-h sleep deprivation caused anxiety like behavior, impairment in locomotor activity and oxidative damage (increased lipid peroxidation and nitrite levels and depleted reduced glutathione and catalase activity) as compared to control. l-NAME (10mg/kg) and methylene blue (10mg/kg) pretreatment with lower dose of venlafaxine (5mg/kg) potentiated the protective effect of venlafaxine (5mg/kg). However, l-arginine (50mg/kg) pretreatment with venlafaxine (5mg/kg) reversed the protective effect of venlafaxine. Results of present study suggest that nitric oxide mechanism is involved in the protective effect of venlafaxine against sleep-deprivation-induced behavior alteration and oxidative damage in mice. PMID:18674568

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

    PubMed Central

    Travaglini-Allocatelli, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    Cytochromes c (Cyt c) are ubiquitous heme-containing proteins, mainly involved in electron transfer processes, whose structure and functions have been and still are intensely studied. Surprisingly, our understanding of the molecular mechanism whereby the heme group is covalently attached to the apoprotein (apoCyt) in the cell is still largely unknown. This posttranslational process, known as Cyt c biogenesis or Cyt c maturation, ensures the stereospecific formation of the thioether bonds between the heme vinyl groups and the cysteine thiols of the apoCyt heme binding motif. To accomplish this task, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have evolved distinctive protein machineries composed of different proteins. In this review, the structural and functional properties of the main maturation apparatuses found in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells will be presented, dissecting the Cyt c maturation process into three functional steps: (i) heme translocation and delivery, (ii) apoCyt thioreductive pathway, and (iii) apoCyt chaperoning and heme ligation. Moreover, current hypotheses and open questions about the molecular mechanisms of each of the three steps will be discussed, with special attention to System I, the maturation apparatus found in gram-negative bacteria. PMID:24455431

  19. Diosgenin Mitigates Streptozotocin Diabetes-induced Vascular Dysfunction of the Rat Aorta: The Involved Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Roghani-Dehkordi, Farshad; Roghani, Mehrdad; Baluchnejadmojarad, Tourandokht

    2015-12-01

    Chronic diabetes mellitus finally leads to serious vascular dysfunction. Diosgenin is a natural steroidal saponin with potential cardiovascular protective effect. In this study, the protective effect of diosgenin was checked on the aorta from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats received diosgenin (40 mg·kg·d) for 7 weeks starting 1 week after intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg). Aortic reactivity of endothelium-intact and -denuded rings to potassium chloride, phenylephrine, acetylcholine, and isosorbide dinitrate were measured and some involved mechanisms were explored. The results showed that diosgenin has a hypoglycemic effect and attenuates maximum contractile response of endothelium-intact and -denuded rings to PE. In addition, endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was greater in diosgenin-treated diabetics with no significant change for endothelium-independent relaxation to isosorbide dinitrate and addition of N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, as a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor eliminated this beneficial effect. Furthermore, diosgenin significantly attenuated aortic DNA fragmentation as an index of apoptosis and malondialdehyde content, lowered the aortic expression of angiotensin converting enzyme and transcription factor nuclear factor-κB and raised expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase with no significant effect on the activity of superoxide dismutase. Taken together, our study provides insight into the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of diosgenin as a potential therapeutic agent to mitigate vascular dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. PMID:26309100

  20. Damage mechanism involved in the solid particle erosion of CVD diamond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Alun R.; Field, John E.

    2001-09-01

    Sophisticated electro-optic sensors are employed on aircraft and missiles, and it is essential to protect them from relatively high-speed impacts with airborne dust particles. A loss in transmission caused by such an event can impair guidance, and catastrophic failure may occur. Protection is afforded by the installation of a hard cover that is transparent in the relevant regime. Diamond is potentially by far the most attractive window material due to excellent optical and mechanical properties, but it is difficult to shape. Chemical vapor deposited (CVD) diamond is a polycrystalline synthetic with properties that approach those of single crystal diamond, and it can be more easily shaped. The aims of the present research were to quantify the erosion and transmission losses, and to understand the material removal mechanisms involved. Steady-state erosion rates were obtained for CVD diamond of different grain sizes, using 300-600 micrometers quartz erodent at velocities between 60 and 140 m/s. Images of CVD diamond at various stages of erosion, obtained using an optical microscope and an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), reveal that erosion initially occurs at grain boundaries and that so-called micro-features also have some influence on erosion.

  1. Inflammatory mechanisms involved in brain injury following cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

    PubMed Central

    XIANG, YANXIAO; ZHAO, HUA; WANG, JIALI; ZHANG, LUETAO; LIU, ANCHANG; CHEN, YUGUO

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac arrest (CA) is a leading cause of fatality and long-term disability worldwide. Recent advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) have improved survival rates; however, the survivors are prone to severe neurological injury subsequent to successful CPR following CA. Effective therapeutic options to protect the brain from CA remain limited, due to the complexities of the injury cascades caused by global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Although the precise mechanisms of neurological impairment following CA-initiated I/R injury require further clarification, evidence supports that one of the key cellular pathways of cerebral injury is inflammation. The inflammatory response is orchestrated by activated glial cells in response to I/R injury. Increased release of danger-associated molecular pattern molecules and cellular dysfunction in activated microglia and astrocytes contribute to ischemia-induced cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory cytokines generation, and ultimately to delayed death of neurons. Furthermore, cytokines and adhesion molecules generated within activated microglia, as well as astrocytes, are involved in the innate immune response; modulate influx of peripheral immune and inflammatory cells into the brain, resulting in neurological injury. The present review discusses the molecular aspects of immune and inflammatory mechanisms in global cerebral I/R injury following CA and CPR, and the potential therapeutic strategies that target neuroinflammation and the innate immune system. PMID:27330748

  2. Finite element simulation for the mechanical characterization of soft biological materials by atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Valero, C; Navarro, B; Navajas, D; García-Aznar, J M

    2016-09-01

    The characterization of the mechanical properties of soft materials has been traditionally performed through uniaxial tensile tests. Nevertheless, this method cannot be applied to certain extremely soft materials, such as biological tissues or cells that cannot be properly subjected to these tests. Alternative non-destructive tests have been designed in recent years to determine the mechanical properties of soft biological tissues. One of these techniques is based on the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to perform nanoindentation tests. In this work, we investigated the mechanical response of soft biological materials to nanoindentation with spherical indenters using finite element simulations. We studied the responses of three different material constitutive laws (elastic, isotropic hyperelastic and anisotropic hyperelastic) under the same process and analyzed the differences thereof. Whereas linear elastic and isotropic hyperelastic materials can be studied using an axisymmetric simplification, anisotropic hyperelastic materials require three-dimensional analyses. Moreover, we established the limiting sample size required to determine the mechanical properties of soft materials while avoiding boundary effects. Finally, we compared the results obtained by simulation with an estimate obtained from Hertz theory. Hertz theory does not distinguish between the different material constitutive laws, and thus, we proposed corrections to improve the quantitative measurement of specific material properties by nanoindentation experiments. PMID:27214690

  3. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations. PMID:25999313

  4. Functional responses and molecular mechanisms involved in histone-mediated platelet activation.

    PubMed

    Carestia, A; Rivadeneyra, L; Romaniuk, M A; Fondevila, C; Negrotto, S; Schattner, M

    2013-11-01

    Histones are highly alkaline proteins found in cell nuclei and they can be released by either dying or inflammatory cells. The recent observations that histones are major components of neutrophil extracellular traps and promote platelet aggregation and platelet-dependent thrombin generation have shown that these proteins are potent prothrombotic molecules. Because the mechanism(s) of platelet activation by histones are not completely understood, we explored the ability of individual recombinant human histones H1, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 to induce platelet activation as well as the possible molecular mechanisms involved. All histones were substrates for platelet adhesion and spreading and triggered fibrinogen binding, aggregation, von Willebrand factor release, P-selectin and phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure and the formation of platelet-leukocyte aggregates; however, H4 was the most potent. Histone-mediated fibrinogen binding, P-selectin and PS exposure and the formation of mixed aggregates were potentiated by thrombin. Histones induced the activation of ERK, Akt, p38 and NFκB. Accordingly, histone-induced platelet activation was significantly impaired by pretreatment of platelets with inhibitors of ERK (U 0126), PI3K/Akt (Ly 294002), p38 (SB 203580) and NFκB (BAY 11-7082 and Ro 106-9920). Preincubation of platelets with either aspirin or dexamethasone markedly decreased fibrinogen binding and the adhesion mediated by histones without affecting P-selectin exposure. Functional platelet responses induced by H3 and H4, but not H1, H2A and H2B, were partially mediated through interaction with Toll-like receptors -2 and -4. Our data identify histones as important triggers of haemostatic and proinflammatory platelet responses, and only haemostatic responses are partially inhibited by anti-inflammatory drugs. PMID:23965842

  5. Photosynthesis Is Not Involved in the Mechanism of Action of Acifluorfen in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Stephen O.; Kenyon, William H.

    1986-01-01

    The possible role of photosynthesis in the mechanism of action of the herbicide acifluorfen (2-chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxy-2-nitrobenzoate; AF) was examined. The sensitivity to AF of cotyledons of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) which had been grown under far red light (FR) and white light were compared. FR grown tissues which were photosynthetically imcompetent were hypersensitive to AF under white light and had approximately the same relative response to AF under blue and red light as green, white-light-grown tissues. Ultrastructural damage was apparent in FR-grown, AF-treated tissues within an hour after exposure to white light, with cytoplasmic and plastidic disorganization occurring simultaneously. In cucumber cotyledon tissue which had been greening for various time periods, there was no correlation between photosynthetic capacity and herbicidal efficacy of AF. PSII inhibitors (atrazine and DCMU) and the photophosphorylation inhibitor, tentoxin, had no effect on AF activity. Atrazine did not reduce AF activity at any concentration or light intensity tested, indicating that there is no second, photosynthetic-dependent mechanism of action operating at low AF concentrations or low fluence rates. Carbon dioxide-dependent O2 evolution of intact chloroplasts of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) had an AF I50 of 125 micromolar compared to 1000 micromolar for cucumber, whereas AF was much more herbicidally active in tissues of cucumber than of spinach. Differences in activity could not be accounted for by differences in uptake of AF. Our results indicate that there is no photosynthetic involvement in the mechanism of action of AF in cucumber. Images Fig. 2 PMID:16664919

  6. Crosstalk of Signaling Mechanisms Involved in Host Defense and Symbiosis Against Microorganisms in Rice.

    PubMed

    Akamatsu, Akira; Shimamoto, Ko; Kawano, Yoji

    2016-08-01

    Rice is one of the most important food crops, feeding about half population in the world. Rice pathogens cause enormous damage to rice production worldwide. In plant immunity research, considerable progress has recently been made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered immunity. Using genome sequencing and molecular techniques, a number of new MAMPs and their receptors have been identified in the past two decades. Notably, the mechanisms for chitin perception via the lysine motif (LysM) domain-containing receptor OsCERK1, as well as the mechanisms for bacterial MAMP (e.g. flg22, elf18) perception via the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain-containing receptors FLS2 and EFR, have been clarified in rice and Arabidopsis, respectively. In chitin signaling in rice, two direct substrates of OsCERK1, Rac/ROP GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factor OsRacGEF1 and receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase OsRLCK185, have been identified as components of the OsCERK1 complex and are rapidly phosphorylated by OsCERK1 in response to chitin. Interestingly, OsCERK1 also participates in symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in rice and plays a role in the recognition of short-chitin molecules (CO4/5), which are symbiotic signatures included in AMF germinated spore exudates and induced by synthetic strigolactone. Thus, OsCERK1 contributes to both immunity and symbiotic responses. In this review, we describe recent studies on pathways involved in rice immunity and symbiotic signaling triggered by interactions with microorganisms. In addition, we describe recent advances in genetic engineering by using plant immune receptors and symbiotic microorganisms to enhance disease resistance of rice. PMID:27499679

  7. Nelfinavir and other protease inhibitors in cancer: mechanisms involved in anticancer activity

    PubMed Central

    Koltai, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To review the mechanisms of anti-cancer activity of nelfinavir and other protease inhibitors (PIs) based on evidences reported in the published literature. Methods: We extensively reviewed the literature concerning nelfinavir (NFV) as an off target anti-cancer drug and other PIs. A classification of PIs based on anti-cancer mode of action was proposed. Controversies regarding nelfinavir mode of action were also addressed. Conclusions: The two main mechanisms involved in anti-cancer activity are endoplasmic reticulum stress-unfolded protein response pathway and Akt inhibition. However there are many other effects, partially dependent and independent of those mentioned, that may be useful in cancer treatment, including MMP-9 and MMP-2 inhibition, down-regulation of CDK-2, VEGF, bFGF, NF-kB, STAT-3, HIF-1 alfa, IGF, EGFR, survivin, BCRP, androgen receptor, proteasome, fatty acid synthase (FAS), decrease in cellular ATP concentration and upregulation of TRAIL receptor DR5, Bax, increased radiosensitivity, and autophagy. The end result of all these effects is slower growth, decreased angiogenesis, decreased invasion and increased apoptosis, which means reduced proliferation and increased cancer cells death. PIs may be classified according to their anticancer activity at clinically achievable doses, in AKT inhibitors, ER stressors and Akt inhibitors/ER stressors. Beyond the phase I trials that have been recently completed, adequately powered and well-designed clinical trials are needed in the various cancer type settings, and specific trials where NFV is tested in association with other known anti-cancer pharmaceuticals should be sought, in order to find an appropriate place for NFV in cancer treatment. The analysis of controversies on the molecular mechanisms of NFV hints to the possibility that NFV works in a different way in tumor cells and in hepatocytes and adipocytes. PMID:26097685

  8. Analyses of the involvement of PKA regulation mechanism in meiotic incompetence of porcine growing oocytes.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Takanori; Fujii, Wataru; Kano, Kiyoshi; Sugiura, Koji; Naito, Kunihiko

    2012-09-01

    Mammalian growing oocytes (GOs) lack the ability to resume meiosis, although the molecular mechanism of this limitation is not fully understood. In the present study, we cloned cDNAs of cAMP-dependent protein-kinase (PKA) subunits from porcine oocytes and analyzed the involvement of the PKA regulation mechanism in the meiotic incompetence of GOs at the molecular level. We found a cAMP-independent high PKA activity in GOs throughout the in vitro culture using a porcine PKA assay system we established, and inhibition of the activity by injection of the antisense RNA of the PKA catalytic subunit (PKA-C) induced meiotic resumption in GOs. Then we examined the possibility that the amount of the PKA regulatory subunit (PKA-R), which can bind and inhibit PKA-C, was insufficient to suppress PKA activity in GOs because of the overexpression of two PKA-Rs, PRKAR1A and PRKAR2A. We found that neither of them affected PKA activity and induced meiotic resumption in GO although PRKAR2A could inhibit PKA activity and induce meiosis in cAMP-treated full-grown oocytes (FGOs). Finally, we analyzed the subcellular localization of PKA subunits and found that all the subunits were localized in the cytoplasm during meiotic arrest and that PKA-C and PRKAR2A, but not PRKAR1A, entered into the nucleus just before meiotic resumption in FGOs, whereas all of them remained in the cytoplasm in GOs throughout the culture period. Our findings suggest that the continuous high PKA activity is a primary cause of the meiotic incompetence of porcine GOs and that this PKA activity is not simply caused by an insufficient expression level of PKA-R, but can be attributed to more complex spatial-temporal regulation mechanisms. PMID:22674394

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Aging of the T-cell Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Moro-García, Marco Antonio; Alonso-Arias, Rebeca; López-Larrea, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    T-lymphocytes play a central role in the effector and regulatory mechanisms of the adaptive immune response. Upon exiting the thymus they begin to undergo a series of phenotypic and functional changes that continue throughout the lifetime and being most pronounced in the elderly. The reason postulated for this is that the dynamic processes of repeated interaction with cognate antigens lead to multiple division cycles involving a high degree of cell differentiation, senescence, restriction of the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire, and cell cycle arrest. This cell cycle arrest is associated with the loss of telomere sequences from the ends of chromosomes. Telomere length is reduced at each cell cycle, and critically short telomeres recruit components of the DNA repair machinery and trigger replicative senescence or apoptosis. Repetitively stimulated T-cells become refractory to telomerase induction, suffer telomere erosion and enter replicative senescence. The latter is characterized by the accumulation of highly differentiated T-cells with new acquired functional capabilities, which can be caused by aberrant expression of genes normally suppressed by epigenetic mechanisms in CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells. Age-dependent demethylation and overexpression of genes normally suppressed by DNA methylation have been demonstrated in senescent subsets of T-lymphocytes. Thus, T-cells, principally CD4+CD28null T-cells, aberrantly express genes, including those of the KIR gene family and cytotoxic proteins such as perforin, and overexpress CD70, IFN-γ, LFA-1 and others. In summary, owing to a lifetime of exposure to and proliferation against a variety of pathogens, highly differentiated T-cells suffer molecular modifications that alter their cellular homeostasis mechanisms. PMID:23730199

  10. Energy saving mechanisms, collective behavior and the variation range hypothesis in biological systems: A review.

    PubMed

    Trenchard, Hugh; Perc, Matjaž

    2016-09-01

    Energy saving mechanisms are ubiquitous in nature. Aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drafting, vortice uplift, Bernoulli suction, thermoregulatory coupling, path following, physical hooks, synchronization, and cooperation are only some of the better-known examples. While drafting mechanisms also appear in non-biological systems such as sedimentation and particle vortices, the broad spectrum of these mechanisms appears more diversely in biological systems that include bacteria, spermatozoa, various aquatic species, birds, land animals, semi-fluid dwellers like turtle hatchlings, as well as human systems. We present the thermodynamic framework for energy saving mechanisms, and we review evidence in favor of the variation range hypothesis. This hypothesis posits that, as an evolutionary process, the variation range between strongest and weakest group members converges on the equivalent energy saving quantity that is generated by the energy saving mechanism. We also review self-organized structures that emerge due to energy saving mechanisms, including convective processes that can be observed in many systems over both short and long time scales, as well as high collective output processes in which a form of collective position locking occurs. PMID:27288936

  11. A renaissance in RNA synthetic biology: new mechanisms, applications and tools for the future.

    PubMed

    Chappell, James; Watters, Kyle E; Takahashi, Melissa K; Lucks, Julius B

    2015-10-01

    Since our ability to engineer biological systems is directly related to our ability to control gene expression, a central focus of synthetic biology has been to develop programmable genetic regulatory systems. Researchers are increasingly turning to RNA regulators for this task because of their versatility, and the emergence of new powerful RNA design principles. Here we review advances that are transforming the way we use RNAs to engineer biological systems. First, we examine new designable RNA mechanisms that are enabling large libraries of regulators with protein-like dynamic ranges. Next, we review emerging applications, from RNA genetic circuits to molecular diagnostics. Finally, we describe new experimental and computational tools that promise to accelerate our understanding of RNA folding, function and design. PMID:26093826

  12. Mechanism of PP2A-mediated IKKβ dephosphorylation: a systems biological approach

    PubMed Central

    Witt, Johannes; Barisic, Sandra; Schumann, Eva; Allgöwer, Frank; Sawodny, Oliver; Sauter, Thomas; Kulms, Dagmar

    2009-01-01

    Background Biological effects of nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) can differ tremendously depending on the cellular context. For example, NFκB induced by interleukin-1 (IL-1) is converted from an inhibitor of death receptor induced apoptosis into a promoter of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB)-induced apoptosis. This conversion requires prolonged NFκB activation and is facilitated by IL-1 + UVB-induced abrogation of the negative feedback loop for NFκB, involving a lack of inhibitor of κB (IκBα) protein reappearance. Permanent activation of the upstream kinase IKKβ results from UVB-induced inhibition of the catalytic subunit of Ser-Thr phosphatase PP2A (PP2Ac), leading to immediate phosphorylation and degradation of newly synthesized IκBα. Results To investigate the mechanism underlying the general PP2A-mediated tuning of IKKβ phosphorylation upon IL-1 stimulation, we have developed a strictly reduced mathematical model based on ordinary differential equations which includes the essential processes concerning the IL-1 receptor, IKKβ and PP2A. Combining experimental and modelling approaches we demonstrate that constitutively active, but not post-stimulation activated PP2A, tunes out IKKβ phosphorylation thus allowing for IκBα resynthesis in response to IL-1. Identifiability analysis and determination of confidence intervals reveal that the model allows reliable predictions regarding the dynamics of PP2A deactivation and IKKβ phosphorylation. Additionally, scenario analysis is used to scrutinize several hypotheses regarding the mode of UVB-induced PP2Ac inhibition. The model suggests that down regulation of PP2Ac activity, which results in prevention of IκBα reappearance, is not a direct UVB action but requires instrumentality. Conclusion The model developed here can be used as a reliable building block of larger NFκB models and offers comprehensive simplification potential for future modeling of NFκB signaling. It gives more insight into the newly discovered

  13. Piezo-actuated parallel mechanism for biological cell release at high speed.

    PubMed

    Avci, Ebubekir; Hattori, Takayuki; Kamiyama, Kazuto; Kojima, Masaru; Horade, Mitsuhiro; Mae, Yasushi; Arai, Tatsuo

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, a dynamic releasing approach is proposed for high-speed biological cell manipulation. A compact parallel mechanism for grasping and releasing microobjects is used to generate controllable vibration to overcome the strong adhesion forces between the end effector and the manipulated object. To reach the required acceleration of the end effector, which is necessary for the detachment of the target object by overcoming adhesion forces, vibration in the end effector is generated by applying sinusoidal voltage to the PZT actuator of the parallel mechanism. For the necessary acceleration, we focus on the possible range of the frequency of the PZT-actuator-induced vibration, while minimizing the amplitude of the vibration (14 nm) to achieve precise positioning. The effect of the air and liquid environments on the required vibration frequency for successful release is investigated. For the first time, release results of microbeads and biological cells are compared. Release of the biological cells with 100 % success rate suggests that the proposed active release method is an appropriate solution for adhered biological cells during the release task. PMID:26343357

  14. Exploring the MACH Model's Potential as a Metacognitive Tool to Help Undergraduate Students Monitor Their Explanations of Biological Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of…

  15. The radical-pair mechanism as a paradigm for the emerging science of quantum biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kominis, Iannis K.

    2015-12-01

    The radical-pair mechanism (RPM) was introduced in the 1960s to explain anomalously large EPR and NMR signals in chemical reactions of organic molecules. It has evolved to the cornerstone of spin chemistry, the study of the effect electron and nuclear spins have on chemical reactions, with the avian magnetic compass mechanism and the photosynthetic reaction center dynamics being prominent biophysical manifestations of such effects. In recent years the RPM was shown to be an ideal biological system where the conceptual tools of quantum-information science can be fruitfully applied. We will here review recent work making the case that RPM is indeed a major driving force of the emerging field of quantum biology.

  16. Involvement of medullary GABAergic system in extraterritorial neuropathic pain mechanisms associated with inferior alveolar nerve transection.

    PubMed

    Okada-Ogawa, Akiko; Nakaya, Yuka; Imamura, Yoshiki; Kobayashi, Masayuki; Shinoda, Masamichi; Kita, Kozue; Sessle, Barry J; Iwata, Koichi

    2015-05-01

    In order to determine if the functional changes in the GABAergic system in the trigeminal spinal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) are involved in the mechanisms underlying extraterritorial neuropathic pain in the orofacial region following inferior alveolar nerve transection (IANX), mechanical noxious behavior, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) immunohistochemistry and single neuronal activity were analyzed in vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT)-VenusA rats expressing fluorescent protein and the VGAT in Vc neurons. The number of VGAT-VenusA positive neurons was significantly reduced in IANX rats than naive and sham rats at 7days after nerve transection. The number of VGAT-VenusA positive pERK-immunoreactive (IR) cells was significantly increased in IANX rats at 21days after IAN transection compared with naive and sham rats. The background activity and mechanical-evoked responses of Vc nociceptive neurons were significantly depressed after intrathecal application of the GABA receptor agonist muscimol in sham rats but not in IANX rats. Furthermore, the expression of potassium-chloride co-transporter 2 (KCC2) in the Vc was significantly reduced in IANX rats compared with sham rats. The head-withdrawal threshold (HWT) to mechanical stimulation of the whisker pad skin was significantly decreased in IANX rats compared with sham rats on days 7 and 21 after IANX. The significant reduction of the HWT and significant increase in the number of VGAT-VenusA negative pERK-IR cells were observed in KCC2 blocker R-DIOA-injected rats compared with vehicle-injected rats on day 21 after sham treatment. These findings revealed that GABAergic Vc neurons might be reduced in their number at the early period after IANX and the functional changes might occur in GABAergic neurons from inhibitory to excitatory at the late period after IANX, suggesting that the neuroplastic changes occur in the GABAergic neuronal network in the Vc due to morphological and functional changes at

  17. Insights into Reference Point Indentation Involving Human Cortical Bone: Sensitivity to Tissue Anisotropy and Mechanical Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Granke, Mathilde; Coulmier, Aurélie; Uppuganti, Sasidhar; Gaddy, Jennifer A; Does, Mark D; Nyman, Jeffry S

    2014-01-01

    Reference point indentation (RPI) is a microindentation technique involving 20 cycles of loading in “force-control” that can directly assess a patient’s bone tissue properties. Even though preliminary clinical studies indicate a capability for fracture discrimination, little is known about what mechanical behavior the various RPI properties characterize and how these properties relate to traditional mechanical properties of bone. To address this, the present study investigated the sensitivity of RPI properties to anatomical location and tissue organization as well as examined to what extent RPI measurements explain the intrinsic mechanical properties of human cortical bone. Multiple indents with a target force of 10 N were done in 2 orthogonal directions (longitudinal and transverse) per quadrant (anterior, medial, posterior, and lateral) of the femoral mid-shaft acquired from 26 donors (25–101 years old). Additional RPI measurements were acquired for 3 orthogonal directions (medial only). Independent of age, most RPI properties did not vary among these locations, but they did exhibit transverse isotropy such that resistance to indentation is greater in the longitudinal (axial) direction than in the transverse direction (radial or circumferential). Next, beam specimens (~ 2 mm × 5 mm × 40 mm) were extracted from the medial cortex of femoral mid-shafts, acquired from 34 donors (21–99 years old). After monotonically loading the specimens in three-point bending to failure, RPI properties were acquired from an adjacent region outside the span. Indent direction was orthogonal to the bending axis. A significant inverse relationship was found between resistance to indentation and the apparent-level mechanical properties. Indentation distance increase (IDI) and a linear combination of IDI and the loading slope, averaged over cycles 3 through 20, provided the best explanation of the variance in ultimate stress (r2=0.25, p=0.003) and toughness (r2=0.35, p=0

  18. Distinct cognitive mechanisms involved in the processing of single objects and object ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Cant, Jonathan S.; Sun, Sol Z.; Xu, Yaoda

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral research has demonstrated that the shape and texture of single objects can be processed independently. Similarly, neuroimaging results have shown that an object's shape and texture are processed in distinct brain regions with shape in the lateral occipital area and texture in parahippocampal cortex. Meanwhile, objects are not always seen in isolation and are often grouped together as an ensemble. We recently showed that the processing of ensembles also involves parahippocampal cortex and that the shape and texture of ensemble elements are processed together within this region. These neural data suggest that the independence seen between shape and texture in single-object perception would not be observed in object-ensemble perception. Here we tested this prediction by examining whether observers could attend to the shape of ensemble elements while ignoring changes in an unattended texture feature and vice versa. Across six behavioral experiments, we replicated previous findings of independence between shape and texture in single-object perception. In contrast, we observed that changes in an unattended ensemble feature negatively impacted the processing of an attended ensemble feature only when ensemble features were attended globally. When they were attended locally, thereby making ensemble processing similar to single-object processing, interference was abolished. Overall, these findings confirm previous neuroimaging results and suggest that distinct cognitive mechanisms may be involved in single-object and object-ensemble perception. Additionally, they show that the scope of visual attention plays a critical role in determining which type of object processing (ensemble or single object) is engaged by the visual system. PMID:26360156

  19. Development of neurodevelopmental disorders: a regulatory mechanism involving bromodomain-containing proteins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are classified as diseases that cause abnormal functions of the brain or central nervous system. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders show impaired language and speech abilities, learning and memory damage, and poor motor skills. However, we still know very little about the molecular etiology of these disorders. Recent evidence implicates the bromodomain-containing proteins (BCPs) in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. BCPs have a particular domain, the bromodomain (Brd), which was originally identified as specifically binding acetyl-lysine residues at the N-terminus of histone proteins in vitro and in vivo. Other domains of BCPs are responsible for binding partner proteins to form regulatory complexes. Once these complexes are assembled, BCPs alter chromosomal states and regulate gene expression. Some BCP complexes bind nucleosomes, are involved in basal transcription regulation, and influence the transcription of many genes. However, most BCPs are involved in targeting. For example, some BCPs function as a recruitment platform or scaffold through their Brds-binding targeting sites. Others are recruited to form a complex to bind the targeting sites of their partners. The regulation mediated by these proteins is especially critical during normal and abnormal development. Mutant BCPs or dysfunctional BCP-containing complexes are implicated in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the pathogenic molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. In this review, we focus on the roles of regulatory BCPs associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, including mental retardation, Fragile X syndrome (FRX), Williams syndrome (WS), Rett syndrome and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS). A better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis, based upon the roles of BCPs, will lead to screening of targets for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:23425632

  20. Development of neurodevelopmental disorders: a regulatory mechanism involving bromodomain-containing proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Junlin; Zhao, Guifang; Gao, Xiaocai

    2013-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are classified as diseases that cause abnormal functions of the brain or central nervous system. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders show impaired language and speech abilities, learning and memory damage, and poor motor skills. However, we still know very little about the molecular etiology of these disorders. Recent evidence implicates the bromodomain-containing proteins (BCPs) in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. BCPs have a particular domain, the bromodomain (Brd), which was originally identified as specifically binding acetyl-lysine residues at the N-terminus of histone proteins in vitro and in vivo. Other domains of BCPs are responsible for binding partner proteins to form regulatory complexes. Once these complexes are assembled, BCPs alter chromosomal states and regulate gene expression. Some BCP complexes bind nucleosomes, are involved in basal transcription regulation, and influence the transcription of many genes. However, most BCPs are involved in targeting. For example, some BCPs function as a recruitment platform or scaffold through their Brds-binding targeting sites. Others are recruited to form a complex to bind the targeting sites of their partners. The regulation mediated by these proteins is especially critical during normal and abnormal development. Mutant BCPs or dysfunctional BCP-containing complexes are implicated in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the pathogenic molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. In this review, we focus on the roles of regulatory BCPs associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, including mental retardation, Fragile X syndrome (FRX), Williams syndrome (WS), Rett syndrome and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS). A better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis, based upon the roles of BCPs, will lead to screening of targets for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:23425632

  1. [Biological activity and mechanisms of therapeutic action of rosmarinic acid, luteolin and its sulphated derivatives].

    PubMed

    Popov, A M; Krivoshapko, O N; Klimovich, A A; Artyukov, A A

    2016-01-01

    The review considers recent experimental studies of biological activity and mechanisms of therapeutic action of rosmarinic acid, luteolin and its sulfated derivatives in diseases associated with disorders of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Particular attention is focused on the results of studies showing a high therapeutic potential of these phenolic compounds in their prophylactic and therapeutic use at experimental modeling of type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Based on the analysis of our results and the literature data putative mechanisms of therapeutic action of rosmarinic acid, luteolin and its sulfated derivatives have been proposed. PMID:26973183

  2. Capturing mechanical properties of biological cells using coarse-grained modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Wenbin; Chang, Monique; Alexeev, Alexander

    2013-11-01

    Understanding cell mechanics is important for a variety of biomedical applications. Our goal is to develop a coarse-grained computational model that can properly capture the micromechanics of biological cells. The coarse-grained cell model includes an elastic shell enclosing a cross-linked polymer network and a viscous fluid representing, respectively, cell membrane, cytoskeleton, and cytoplasm. We use this model to investigate the mechanical response of cells to external forces and compare the results with the experimental AFM measurements. We systematically vary the properties and structure of the internal polymer network and the outer membrane to assess their influence on the cell mechanical responses. This model not only reveals interesting insights into the cell mechanics, but also provides a promising tool for investigation of motile and multicellular systems. Acknowledge financial support from NSF under Award No. 0932510.

  3. Synthesis, mechanical and biological characterization of ionic doped carbonated hydroxyapatite/β-tricalcium phosphate mixtures.

    PubMed

    Kannan, S; Vieira, S I; Olhero, S M; Torres, P M C; Pina, S; da Cruz e Silva, O A B; Ferreira, J M F

    2011-04-01

    The influence of ionic substituents in calcium phosphates intended for bone and tooth replacement biomedical applications is an important research topic, owing to the essential roles played by trace elements in biological processes. The present study investigates the mechanical and biological evaluation of ionic doped hydroxyapatite/β-tricalcium phosphate mixtures which have been prepared by a simple aqueous precipitation method. Heat treating the resultant calcium phosphates in a carbonated atmosphere led to the formation of ionic doped carbonated hydroxyapatite/β-tricalcium phosphate mixtures containing the essential ions of biological apatite. The structural analysis determined by Rietveld refinement confirmed the presence of hydroxyapatite as the main phase, together with a considerable amount of β-tricalcium phosphate. Such phase assemblage is essentially due to the influence of substituted ions during synthesis. The results from mechanical tests proved that carbonate substitutions are detrimental for the mechanical properties of apatite-based ceramics. In vitro proliferation assays of osteoblastic-like cells (MC3T3-E1 cell line) to powders revealed that carbonate incorporation can either delay or accelerate MC3T3 proliferation, although reaching the same proliferation levels as control cells after 2 weeks in culture. Further, the powders enable pre-osteoblastic differentiation in a similar manner to control cells, as indirectly measured by ALP activity and Type-I collagen medium secretion. PMID:21146640

  4. Two Mechanisms Involved in Trigeminal CGRP Release: Implications for Migraine Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Durham, Paul L.; Masterson, Caleb G.

    2012-01-01

    Objective The goal of this study was to better understand the cellular mechanisms involved in proton stimulation of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) secretion from cultured trigeminal neurons by investigating the effects of two anti-migraine therapies, onabotulinumtoxin A and rizatriptan. Background Stimulated CGRP release from peripheral and central terminating processes of trigeminal ganglia neurons is implicated in migraine pathology by promoting inflammation and nociception. Based on models of migraine pathology, several inflammatory molecules including protons are thought to facilitate sensitization and activation of trigeminal nociceptive neurons and stimulate CGRP secretion. Despite the reported efficacy of triptans and onabotulinumtoxinA to treat acute and chronic migraine, respectively, a substantial number of migraneurs do not get adequate relief with these therapies. A possible explanation is that triptans and onabutulinumtoxinA are not able to block proton mediated CGRP secretion. Methods CGRP secretion from cultured primary trigeminal ganglia neurons was quantitated by radioimmunoassay while intracellular calcium and sodium levels were measured in neurons via live cell imaging using Fura2-AM and SBFI-AM, respectively. The expression of ASIC3 was determined by immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis. In addition, the involvement of ASICs in mediating proton stimulation of CGRP was investigated using the potent and selective ASIC3 inhibitor APETx2. Results While KCl caused a significant increase in CGRP secretion that was significantly repressed by treatment with EGTA, onabotulinumtoxinA, and rizatriptan, the stimulatory effect of protons (pH 5.5) was not suppressed by EGTA, onabotulinumtoxinA, or rizatriptan. In addition, while KCl caused a transient increase in intracellular calcium levels that was blocked by EGTA, no appreciable change in calcium levels was observed with proton treatment. However, protons did significantly increase the

  5. Mechanical, biological and structural characterization of human atherosclerotic femoral plaque tissue.

    PubMed

    Cunnane, E M; Mulvihill, J J E; Barrett, H E; Healy, D A; Kavanagh, E G; Walsh, S R; Walsh, M T

    2015-01-01

    The failure of endovascular treatments of peripheral arterial disease represents a critical clinical issue. Specialized data are required to tailor such procedures to account for the mechanical response of the diseased femoral arterial tissue to medical device deployment. The purpose of this study is to characterize the mechanical response of atherosclerotic femoral arterial tissue to large deformation, the conditions typical of angioplasty and stenting, and also to determine the mechanically induced failure properties and to relate this behaviour to biological content and structural composition using uniaxial testing, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Mechanical and biological characterization of 20 plaque samples obtained from femoral endarterectomy identified three distinct classifications. "Lightly calcified" samples display linear mechanical responses and fail at relatively high stretch. "Moderately calcified" samples undergo an increase in stiffness and ultimate strength coupled with a decrease in ductility. Structural characterization reveals calcified nodules within this group that may be acting to reinforce the tissue matrix, thus increasing the stiffness and ultimate strength. "Heavily calcified" samples account for the majority of samples tested and exhibit significantly reduced ultimate strength and ductility compared to the preceding groups. Structural characterization of this group reveals large areas of calcified tissue dominating the failure cross-sections of the samples. The frequency and structural dominance of these features solely within this group offers an explanation as to the reduced ultimate strength and ductility and highlights the need for modern peripheral endovascular devices to account for this behaviour during novel medical device design. PMID:25242646

  6. Structure and Mechanism of Enzymes Involved in Biosynthesis and Breakdown of the Phosphonates Fosfomycin, Dehydrophos, and Phosphinothricin

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Satish K.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the mechanistic and structural information on enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis and breakdown of naturally occurring phosphonates. This review focuses on these recent developments with an emphasis on those enzymes that have been characterized crystallographically in the past five years, including proteins involved in the biosynthesis of phosphinothricin, fosfomycin, and dehydrophos and proteins involved in resistance mechanisms. PMID:20854789

  7. Physiological and Molecular Mechanism of Nitric Oxide (NO) Involved in Bermudagrass Response to Cold Stress

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Jibiao; Chen, Ke; Amombo, Erick; Hu, Zhengrong; Chen, Liang; Fu, Jinmin

    2015-01-01

    Bermudagrass is widely utilized in parks, lawns, and golf courses. However, cold is a key factor limiting resource use in bermudagrass. Therefore, it is meaningful to study the mechanism of bermudagrass response to cold. Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial signal molecule with multiple biological functions. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate whether NO play roles in bermudagrass response to cold. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) was used as NO donor, while 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramentylimidazoline-l-oxyl-3-xide (PTIO) plus NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) were applied as NO inhibitor. Wild bermudagrass was subjected to 4 °C in a growth chamber under different treatments (Control, SNP, PTIO + L-NAME). The results indicated lower levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) content and electrolyte leakage (EL), higher value for chlorophyll content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) activities after SNP treatment than that of PTIO plus L-NAME treatments under cold stress. Analysis of Chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence transient displayed that the OJIP transient curve was higher after treatment with SNP than that of treated with PTIO plus L-NAME under cold stress. The values of photosynthetic fluorescence parameters were higher after treatment with SNP than that of treated with PTIO plus L-NAME under cold stress. Expression of cold-responsive genes was altered under cold stress after treated with SNP or PTIO plus L-NAME. In summary, our findings indicated that, as an important strategy to protect bermudagrass against cold stress, NO could maintain the stability of cell membrane, up-regulate the antioxidant enzymes activities, recover process of photosystem II (PSII) and induce the expression of cold-responsive genes. PMID:26177459

  8. Neural Correlates of Successful and Unsuccessful Strategical Mechanisms Involved in Uncertain Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Giustiniani, Julie; Gabriel, Damien; Nicolier, Magali; Monnin, Julie; Haffen, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    The ability to develop successful long-term strategies in uncertain situations relies on complex neural mechanisms. Although lesion studies have shown some of the mechanisms involved, it is still unknown why some healthy subjects are able to make the right decision whereas others are not. The aim of our study was to investigate neurophysiological differences underlying this ability to develop a successful strategy in a group of healthy subjects playing a monetary card game called the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). In this task, subjects have to win and earn money by choosing between four decks of cards, two were advantageous in the long term and two disadvantageous. Twenty healthy right-handed subjects performed the IGT while their cerebral activity was recorded by electroencephalography. Based on their behavioral performances, two groups of subjects could clearly be distinguished: one who selected the good decks and thus succeeded in developing a Favorable strategy (9 subjects) and one who remained Undecided (11 subjects). No neural difference was found between each group before the selection of a deck, but in both groups a greater negativity was found emerging from the right superior frontal gyrus 600 ms before a disadvantageous selection. During the processing of the feedback, an attenuation of the P200 and P300 waveforms was found for the Undecided group, and a P300 originating from the medial frontal gyrus was found in response to a loss only in the Favorable group. Our results suggest that undecided subjects are hyposensitive to the valence of the cards during gambling, which affects the feedback processing. PMID:26086196

  9. Semiquinone intermediates are involved in the energy coupling mechanism of E. coli complex I.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Madhavan; Leung, Steven A; Inaba, Yuta; Elguindy, Mahmoud M; Nakamaru-Ogiso, Eiko

    2015-08-01

    Complex I (NADH:quinone oxidoreductase) is central to cellular aerobic energy metabolism, and its deficiency is involved in many human mitochondrial diseases. Complex I translocates protons across the membrane using electron transfer energy. Semiquinone (SQ) intermediates appearing during catalysis are suggested to be key for the coupling mechanism in complex I. However, the existence of SQ has remained controversial due to the extreme difficulty in detecting unstable and low intensity SQ signals. Here, for the first time with Escherichia coli complex I reconstituted in proteoliposomes, we successfully resolved and characterized three distinct SQ species by EPR. These species include: fast-relaxing SQ (SQNf) with P1/2 (half-saturation power level)>50mW and a wider linewidth (12.8 G); slow-relaxing SQ (SQNs) with P1/2=2-3mW and a 10G linewidth; and very slow-relaxing SQ (SQNvs) with P1/2= ~0.1mW and a 7.5G linewidth. The SQNf signals completely disappeared in the presence of the uncoupler gramicidin D or squamotacin, a potent E. coli complex I inhibitor. The pH dependency of the SQNf signals correlated with the proton-pumping activities of complex I. The SQNs signals were insensitive to gramicidin D, but sensitive to squamotacin. The SQNvs signals were insensitive to both gramicidin D and squamotacin. Our deuterium exchange experiments suggested that SQNf is neutral, while SQNs and SQNvs are anion radicals. The SQNs signals were lost in the ΔNuoL mutant missing transporter module subunits NuoL and NuoM. The roles and relationships of the SQ intermediates in the coupling mechanism are discussed. PMID:25868873

  10. Vascular oxidative stress upregulates angiotensin II type I receptors via mechanisms involving nuclear factor kappa B.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Siddhartha R; Lokhandwala, Mustafa F; Banday, Anees Ahmad

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The association of oxidative stress with hypertension is well known. However, a causal role of oxidative stress in hypertension is unclear. Vascular angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) upregulation is a prominent contributor to pathogenesis of hypertension. However, the mechanisms causing this upregulation are unknown. Oxidative stress is an important regulator of protein expression via activation of transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB). The present study was carried out to test the hypothesis that oxidative stress contributes to vascular AT1R upregulation via NFκB in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). HASMC exposed to oxidative stress exhibited a robust increase in AT1R mRNA in HASMC. Furthermore, oxidative stress failed to upregulate AT1Rs in the presence of either an antioxidant catalase or siRNA against p65 subunit of NFκB. To test the role of oxidative stress and NFκB in hypertension, prehypertensive SHR were treated with NFκB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate from 5 weeks to 11-12 weeks of age. At 11-12 weeks of age, SHR exhibited increased NFκB expression, AT1R upregulation and exaggerated Ang II-induced vasoconstriction as compared to age-matched Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. PDTC treatment of SHR lowered NFκB expression, normalized AT1R expression and Ang II-induced vasoconstriction. More importantly, PDTC treatment significantly attenuated hypertension development in SHR. In conclusion, vascular oxidative can upregulate AT1R, via mechanisms involving NFκB, and contribute to the development of hypertension. PMID:25198883

  11. Monocrotaline pyrrole-induced endothelial cell megalocytosis involves a Golgi blockade mechanism.

    PubMed

    Shah, Mehul; Patel, Kirit; Sehgal, Pravin B

    2005-04-01

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids initiate disease in the lung (pulmonary hypertension), liver (veno-occlusive disease and cirrhosis), and kidneys (afferent arteriolar block and mesangiolysis) by inducing a megalocytotic phenotype in target endothelial and parenchymal cells. A "hit-and-run" type of exposure to the bioactive pyrrolizidine results, within 2-3 days, in enlarged cells with large nuclei and enlarged Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum, while the cells remain in G2/M block. In the present study, we recapitulated monocrotaline pyrrole (MCTP)-induced megalocytosis in cultures of bovine pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAEC), human Hep3B hepatocytes, human type II-like alveolar epithelial cells (A549), and human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC) and investigated the subcellular mechanism involved. There was an inverse relationship between reduction in caveolin (Cav)-1 levels and stimulation of promitogenic STAT3 and ERK1/2 cell signaling. In megalocytotic PAEC, the Golgi scaffolding protein GM130 was shifted from membranes with heavy density to those with a lighter density. This lighter Golgi fraction was enriched for hypo-oligomeric Cav-1, indicating dysfunctional trafficking of cargo. Immunofluorescence imaging studies confirmed the trapping of Cav-1 in a GM130-positive Golgi compartment. There was an increase in Ser25 phosphorylation of GM130 (typically a prelude to Golgi fragmentation and mitosis) and increased association between pGM130, cdc2 kinase, and Cav-1. Nevertheless, megalocytotic MCTP-treated cells showed reduced entry into mitosis upon stimulation with 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), reduced 2-ME-induced Golgi fragmentation, and a slowing of Golgi reassembly after nocodazole-induced fragmentation. These data suggest that a disruption of the trafficking and mitosis sensor functions of the Golgi may represent the subcellular mechanism leading to MCTP-induced megalocytosis ("the Golgi blockade hypothesis"). PMID:15561761

  12. Multiple mechanisms involved in diabetes protection by lipopolysaccharide in non-obese diabetic mice

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jun; Cao, Hui; Wang, Hongjie; Yin, Guoxiao; Du, Jiao; Xia, Fei; Lu, Jingli; Xiang, Ming

    2015-06-15

    Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation has been proposed to be important for islet cell inflammation and eventually β cell loss in the course of type 1 diabetes (T1D) development. However, according to the “hygiene hypothesis”, bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an agonist on TLR4, inhibits T1D progression. Here we investigated possible mechanisms for the protective effect of LPS on T1D development in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. We found that LPS administration to NOD mice during the prediabetic state neither prevented nor reversed insulitis, but delayed the onset and decreased the incidence of diabetes, and that a multiple-injection protocol is more effective than a single LPS intervention. Further, LPS administration suppressed spleen T lymphocyte proliferation, increased the generation of CD4{sup +}CD25{sup +}Foxp3{sup +} regulatory T cells (Tregs), reduced the synthesis of strong Th1 proinflammatory cytokines, and downregulated TLR4 and its downstream MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. Most importantly, multiple injections of LPS induced a potential tolerogenic dendritic cell (DC) subset with low TLR4 expression without influencing the DC phenotype. Explanting DCs from repeated LPS-treated NOD mice into NOD/SCID diabetic mice conferred sustained protective effects against the progression of diabetes in the recipients. Overall, these results suggest that multiple mechanisms are involved in the protective effects of LPS against the development of diabetes in NOD diabetic mice. These include Treg induction, down-regulation of TLR4 and its downstream MyD88-dependent signaling pathway, and the emergence of a potential tolerogenic DC subset. - Highlights: • Administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) prevented type 1 diabetes in NOD mice. • Downregulating TLR4 level and MyD88-dependent pathway contributed to protection of LPS. • LPS administration also hampered DC maturation and promoted Treg differentiation.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Pathogenesis of Alphavirus-Induced Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Assunção-Miranda, Iranaia; Da Poian, Andrea T.

    2013-01-01

    Arthritogenic alphaviruses, including Ross River virus (RRV), Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Sindbis virus (SINV), Mayaro virus (MAYV), O'nyong-nyong virus (ONNV), and Barmah Forest virus (BFV), cause incapacitating and long lasting articular disease/myalgia. Outbreaks of viral arthritis and the global distribution of these diseases point to the emergence of arthritogenic alphaviruses as an important public health problem. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms involved in alphavirus-induced arthritis, exploring the recent data obtained with in vitro systems and in vivo studies using animal models and samples from patients. The factors associated to the extension and persistence of symptoms are highlighted, focusing on (a) virus replication in target cells, and tissues, including macrophages and muscle cells; (b) the inflammatory and immune responses with recruitment and activation of macrophage, NK cells and T lymphocytes to the lesion focus and the increase of inflammatory mediators levels; and (c) the persistence of virus or viral products in joint and muscle tissues. We also discuss the importance of the establishment of novel animal models to test new molecular targets and to develop more efficient and selective drugs to treat these diseases. PMID:24069610

  14. A nucleoside triphosphate-regulated, 3' exonucleolytic mechanism is involved in turnover of yeast mitochondrial RNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Min, J; Zassenhaus, H P

    1993-01-01

    We have employed cell-free transcription reactions with mitochondria isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study the mechanism of RNA turnover. The specificity of RNA turnover was preserved in these preparations, as were other RNA-processing reactions, including splicing, 3' end formation of mRNAs, and maturation of rRNAs. Turnover of nascent RNAs was found to occur exonucleolytically; endonucleolytic cleavage products were not detected during turnover of the omega intron RNA, which was studied in detail. However, these experiments still leave open the possibility that endonucleolytic cleavage products with very short half-lives are kinetic intermediates in the decay of omega RNA. Exonucleolytic turnover was regulated by nucleotide triphosphates and required their hydrolysis. A unique signature of this regulation was that any one of the eight standard ribo- or deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates supported RNA turnover. A novel hybrid selection protocol was used to determine the turnover rates of the 5', middle, and 3' portions of one mitochondrial transcript, the omega intron RNA. The results suggested that degradation along that transcript occurred with a 3'-->5' polarity. The similarity between features of mitochondrial RNA turnover and the properties of a nucleotide triphosphate-dependent 3' exoribonuclease that has been purified from yeast mitochondria suggests that this single enzyme is a key activity whose regulation is involved in the specificity of mitochondrial RNA turnover. Images PMID:7691792

  15. Hippocampal molecular mechanisms involved in the enhancement of fear extinction caused by exposure to novelty.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane; Furini, Cristiane Regina Guerino; Benetti, Fernando; Izquierdo, Ivan

    2014-03-25

    Exposure to a novel environment enhances the extinction of contextual fear. This has been explained by tagging of the hippocampal synapses used in extinction, followed by capture of proteins from the synapses that process novelty. The effect is blocked by the inhibition of hippocampal protein synthesis following the novelty or the extinction. Here, we show that it can also be blocked by the postextinction or postnovelty intrahippocampal infusion of the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphono pentanoic acid; the inhibitor of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), autocamtide-2-related inhibitory peptide; or the blocker of L-voltage-dependent calcium channels (L-VDCCs), nifedipine. Inhibition of proteasomal protein degradation by β-lactacystin has no effect of its own on extinction or on the influence of novelty thereon but blocks the inhibitory effects of all the other substances except that of rapamycin on extinction, suggesting that their action depends on concomitant synaptic protein turnover. Thus, the tagging-and-capture mechanism through which novelty enhances fear extinction involves more molecular processes than hitherto thought: NMDA receptors, L-VDCCs, CaMKII, and synaptic protein turnover. PMID:24591622

  16. Molecular mechanisms involved in muscle wasting in cancer and ageing: cachexia versus sarcopenia.

    PubMed

    Argilés, Josep M; Busquets, Sílvia; Felipe, Antonio; López-Soriano, Francisco J

    2005-05-01

    The aim of the present review is to summarize and evaluate the different mechanisms and catabolic mediators involved in cancer cachexia and ageing sarcopenia since they may represent targets for future promising clinical investigations. Cancer cachexia is a syndrome characterized by a marked weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anemia. In fact, many patients who die with advanced cancer suffer from cachexia. The degree of cachexia is inversely correlated with the survival time of the patient and it always implies a poor prognosis. Unfortunately, at the clinical level, cachexia is not treated until the patient suffers from a considerable weight loss and wasting. At this point, the cachectic syndrome is almost irreversible. The cachectic state is often associated with the presence and growth of the tumour and leads to a malnutrition status due to the induction of anorexia. In recent years, age-related diseases and disabilities have become of major health interest and importance. This holds particularly for muscle wasting, also known as sarcopenia, that decreases the quality of life of the geriatric population, increasing morbidity and decreasing life expectancy. The cachectic factors (associated with both depletion of fat stores and muscular tissue) can be divided into two categories: of tumour origin and humoural factors. In conclusion, more research should be devoted to the understanding of muscle wasting mediators, both in cancer and ageing, in particular the identification of common mediators may prove as a good therapeutic strategies for both prevention and treatment of wasting both in disease and during healthy ageing. PMID:15743680

  17. Integration of biological data by kernels on graph nodes allows prediction of new genes involved in mitotic chromosome condensation.

    PubMed

    Hériché, Jean-Karim; Lees, Jon G; Morilla, Ian; Walter, Thomas; Petrova, Boryana; Roberti, M Julia; Hossain, M Julius; Adler, Priit; Fernández, José M; Krallinger, Martin; Haering, Christian H; Vilo, Jaak; Valencia, Alfonso; Ranea, Juan A; Orengo, Christine; Ellenberg, Jan

    2014-08-15

    The advent of genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi)-based screens puts us in the position to identify genes for all functions human cells carry out. However, for many functions, assay complexity and cost make genome-scale knockdown experiments impossible. Methods to predict genes required for cell functions are therefore needed to focus RNAi screens from the whole genome on the most likely candidates. Although different bioinformatics tools for gene function prediction exist, they lack experimental validation and are therefore rarely used by experimentalists. To address this, we developed an effective computational gene selection strategy that represents public data about genes as graphs and then analyzes these graphs using kernels on graph nodes to predict functional relationships. To demonstrate its performance, we predicted human genes required for a poorly understood cellular function-mitotic chromosome condensation-and experimentally validated the top 100 candidates with a focused RNAi screen by automated microscopy. Quantitative analysis of the images demonstrated that the candidates were indeed strongly enriched in condensation genes, including the discovery of several new factors. By combining bioinformatics prediction with experimental validation, our study shows that kernels on graph nodes are powerful tools to integrate public biological data and predict genes involved in cellular functions of interest. PMID:24943848

  18. Integration of biological data by kernels on graph nodes allows prediction of new genes involved in mitotic chromosome condensation

    PubMed Central

    Hériché, Jean-Karim; Lees, Jon G.; Morilla, Ian; Walter, Thomas; Petrova, Boryana; Roberti, M. Julia; Hossain, M. Julius; Adler, Priit; Fernández, José M.; Krallinger, Martin; Haering, Christian H.; Vilo, Jaak; Valencia, Alfonso; Ranea, Juan A.; Orengo, Christine; Ellenberg, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The advent of genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi)–based screens puts us in the position to identify genes for all functions human cells carry out. However, for many functions, assay complexity and cost make genome-scale knockdown experiments impossible. Methods to predict genes required for cell functions are therefore needed to focus RNAi screens from the whole genome on the most likely candidates. Although different bioinformatics tools for gene function prediction exist, they lack experimental validation and are therefore rarely used by experimentalists. To address this, we developed an effective computational gene selection strategy that represents public data about genes as graphs and then analyzes these graphs using kernels on graph nodes to predict functional relationships. To demonstrate its performance, we predicted human genes required for a poorly understood cellular function—mitotic chromosome condensation—and experimentally validated the top 100 candidates with a focused RNAi screen by automated microscopy. Quantitative analysis of the images demonstrated that the candidates were indeed strongly enriched in condensation genes, including the discovery of several new factors. By combining bioinformatics prediction with experimental validation, our study shows that kernels on graph nodes are powerful tools to integrate public biological data and predict genes involved in cellular functions of interest. PMID:24943848

  19. Biological mechanisms that promote weight regain following weight loss in obese humans.

    PubMed

    Ochner, Christopher N; Barrios, Dulce M; Lee, Clement D; Pi-Sunyer, F Xavier

    2013-08-15

    Weight loss dieting remains the treatment of choice for the vast majority of obese individuals, despite the limited long-term success of behavioral weight loss interventions. The reasons for the near universal unsustainability of behavioral weight loss in [formerly] obese individuals have not been fully elucidated, relegating researchers to making educated guesses about how to improve obesity treatment, as opposed to developing interventions targeting the causes of weight regain. This article discusses research on several factors that may contribute to weight regain following weight loss achieved through behavioral interventions, including adipose cellularity, endocrine function, energy metabolism, neural responsivity, and addiction-like neural mechanisms. All of these mechanisms are engaged prior to weight loss, suggesting that these so called "anti-starvation" mechanisms are activated via reductions in energy intake, rather than depletion of energy stores. Evidence suggests that these mechanisms are not necessarily part of a homeostatic feedback system designed to regulate body weight, or even anti-starvation mechanisms per se. Although they may have evolved to prevent starvation, they appear to be more accurately described as anti-weight loss mechanisms, engaged with caloric restriction irrespective of the adequacy of energy stores. It is hypothesized that these factors may combine to create a biological disposition that fosters the maintenance of an elevated body weight and works to restore the highest sustained body weight, thus precluding the long-term success of behavioral weight loss. It may be necessary to develop interventions that attenuate these biological mechanisms in order to achieve long-term weight reduction in obese individuals. PMID:23911805

  20. Temporal sequence learning, prediction, and control: a review of different models and their relation to biological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Wörgötter, Florentin; Porr, Bernd

    2005-02-01

    In this review, we compare methods for temporal sequence learning (TSL) across the disciplines machine-control, classical conditioning, neuronal models for TSL as well as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). This review introduces the most influential models and focuses on two questions: To what degree are reward-based (e.g., TD learning) and correlation-based (Hebbian) learning related? and How do the different models correspond to possibly underlying biological mechanisms of synaptic plasticity? We first compare the different models in an open-loop condition, where behavioral feedback does not alter the learning. Here we observe that reward-based and correlation-based learning are indeed very similar. Machine control is then used to introduce the problem of closed-loop control (e.g., actor-critic architectures). Here the problem of evaluative (rewards) versus nonevaluative (correlations) feedback from the environment will be discussed, showing that both learning approaches are fundamentally different in the closed-loop condition. In trying to answer the second question, we compare neuronal versions of the different learning architectures to the anatomy of the involved brain structures (basal-ganglia, thalamus, and cortex) and the molecular biophysics of glutamatergic and dopaminergic synapses. Finally, we discuss the different algorithms used to model STDP and compare them to reward-based learning rules. Certain similarities are found in spite of the strongly different timescales. Here we focus on the biophysics of the different calcium-release mechanisms known to be involved in STDP. PMID:15720770

  1. Mechanism of biological denitrification inhibition: procyanidins induce an allosteric transition of the membrane-bound nitrate reductase through membrane alteration.

    PubMed

    Bardon, Clément; Poly, Franck; Piola, Florence; Pancton, Muriel; Comte, Gilles; Meiffren, Guillaume; Haichar, Feth el Zahar

    2016-05-01

    Recently, it has been shown that procyanidins from Fallopia spp. inhibit bacterial denitrification, a phenomenon called biological denitrification inhibition (BDI). However, the mechanisms involved in such a process remain unknown. Here, we investigate the mechanisms of BDI involving procyanidins, using the model strain Pseudomonas brassicacearum NFM 421. The aerobic and anaerobic (denitrification) respiration, cell permeability and cell viability of P. brassicacearum were determined as a function of procyanidin concentration. The effect of procyanidins on the bacterial membrane was observed using transmission electronic microscopy. Bacterial growth, denitrification, NO3- and NO2-reductase activity, and the expression of subunits of NO3- (encoded by the gene narG) and NO2-reductase (encoded by the gene nirS) under NO3 or NO2 were measured with and without procyanidins. Procyanidins inhibited the denitrification process without affecting aerobic respiration at low concentrations. Procyanidins also disturbed cell membranes without affecting cell viability. They specifically inhibited NO3- but not NO2-reductase.Pseudomonas brassicacearum responded to procyanidins by over-expression of the membrane-bound NO3-reductase subunit (encoded by the gene narG). Our results suggest that procyanidins can specifically inhibit membrane-bound NO3-reductase inducing enzymatic conformational changes through membrane disturbance and that P. brassicacearum responds by over-expressing membrane-bound NO3-reductase. Our results lead the way to a better understanding of BDI. PMID:26906096

  2. METHODS FOR USING 3-D ULTRASOUND SPECKLE TRACKING IN BIAXIAL MECHANICAL TESTING OF BIOLOGICAL TISSUE SAMPLES

    PubMed Central

    Yap, Choon Hwai; Park, Dae Woo; Dutta, Debaditya; Simon, Marc; Kim, Kang

    2014-01-01

    Being multilayered and anisotropic, biological tissues such as cardiac and arterial walls are structurally complex, making full assessment and understanding of their mechanical behavior challenging. Current standard mechanical testing uses surface markers to track tissue deformations and does not provide deformation data below the surface. In the study described here, we found that combining mechanical testing with 3-D ultrasound speckle tracking could overcome this limitation. Rat myocardium was tested with a biaxial tester and was concurrently scanned with high-frequency ultrasound in three dimensions. The strain energy function was computed from stresses and strains using an iterative non-linear curve-fitting algorithm. Because the strain energy function consists of terms for the base matrix and for embedded fibers, spatially varying fiber orientation was also computed by curve fitting. Using finite-element simulations, we first validated the accuracy of the non-linear curve-fitting algorithm. Next, we compared experimentally measured rat myocardium strain energy function values with those in the literature and found a matching order of magnitude. Finally, we retained samples after the experiments for fiber orientation quantification using histology and found that the results satisfactorily matched those computed in the experiments. We conclude that 3-D ultrasound speckle tracking can be a useful addition to traditional mechanical testing of biological tissues and may provide the benefit of enabling fiber orientation computation. PMID:25616585

  3. Particle Disease: A Current Review of the Biological Mechanisms in Periprosthetic Osteolysis After Hip Arthroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Sukur, Erhan; Akman, Yunus Emre; Ozturkmen, Yusuf; Kucukdurmaz, Fatih

    2016-01-01

    Background: Inflammatory responses to wear debris cause osteolysis that leads to aseptic prosthesis loosening and hip arthroplasty failure. Although osteolysis is usually associated with aseptic loosening, it is rarely seen around stable implants. Aseptic implant loosening is a simple radiologic phenomenon, but a complex immunological process. Particulate debris produced by implants most commonly causes osteolysis, and this is called particle-associated periprosthetic osteolysis (PPO). Objective: The objective of this review is to outline the features of particle-associated periprosthetic osteolysis to allow the physician to recognise this condition and commence early treatment, thereby optimizing patient outcome. Methods: A thorough literature search was performed using available databases, including Pubmed, to cover important research published covering particle-associated PPO. Results: Although osteolysis causes bone resorption, clinical, animal, and in vitro studies of particle bioreactivity suggest that particle-associated PPO represents the culmination of several biological reactions of many cell types, rather than being caused solely by the osteoclasts. The biological activity is highly dependent on the characteristics and quantity of the wear particles. Conclusion: Despite advances in total hip arthroplasty (THA), particle-associated PPO and aseptic loosening continue to be major factors that affect prosthetic joint longevity. Biomarkers could be exploited as easy and objective diagnostic and prognostic targets that would enable testing for osteolysis after THA. Further research is needed to identify new biomarkers in PPO. A comprehensive understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms is crucial for developing new therapeutic interventions to reverse or suppress biological responses to wear particles. PMID:27499822

  4. Mammary blood flow and metabolic activity are linked by a feedback mechanism involving nitric oxide synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cieslar, S R L; Madsen, T G; Purdie, N G; Trout, D R; Osborne, V R; Cant, J P

    2014-01-01

    To test which, if any, of the major milk precursors can elicit a rapid change in the rate of mammary blood flow (MBF) and to define the time course and magnitude of such changes, 4 lactating cows were infused with glucose, amino acids, or triacylglycerol into the external iliac artery feeding one udder half while iliac plasma flow (IPF) was monitored continuously by dye dilution. Adenosine and saline were infused as positive and negative controls, respectively, and insulin was infused to characterize the response to a centrally produced anabolic hormone. To test the roles of cyclooxygenase, NO synthase and ATP-sensitive K (KATP) channels in nutrient-mediated changes in blood flow, their respective inhibitors-indomethacin, Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME), and glibenclamide-were infused simultaneously with glucose. Each day, 1 infusate was given twice to each cow, over a 20-min period each time, separated by a 20-min washout period. In addition, each treatment protocol was administered on 2 separate days. A 73% increase in IPF during adenosine infusion showed that the mammary vasodilatory response was quadratic in time, with most changes occurring in the first 5min. Glucose infusion decreased IPF by 9% in a quadratic manner, most rapidly in the first 5min, indicating that a feedback mechanism of local blood flow control, likely through adenosine release, was operative in the mammary vasculature. Amino acid infusion increased IPF 9% in a linear manner, suggesting that mammary ATP utilization was stimulated more than ATP production. This could reflect a stimulation of protein synthesis. Triacylglycerol only tended to decrease IPF and insulin did not affect IPF. A lack of IPF response to glibenclamide indicates that KATP channels are not involved in MBF regulation. Indomethacin and L-NAME both depressed IPF. In the presence of indomethacin, glucose infusion caused a quadratic 9% increase in IPF. Indomethacin is an inhibitor of mitochondrial

  5. Study of the Genes and Mechanism Involved in the Radioadaptive Response

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dasgupta, Pushan R.

    2009-01-01

    The radioadaptive response is a phenomenon where exposure to a prior low dose of radiation reduces the level of damage induced by a subsequent high radiation dose. The molecular mechanism behind this is still not well understood. Learning more about the radioadaptive response is critical for long duration spaceflight since astronauts are exposed to low levels of cosmic radiation. The micronucleus assay was used to measure the level of damage caused by radiation. Although cells which were not washed with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) after a low priming dose of 5cGy did not show adaptation to the challenge dose, washing the cells with PBS and giving the cells fresh media after the low dose did allow radioadaptation to occur. This is consistent with the results of a previous publication by another research group. In the present study, genes involved in DNA damage signaling and the oxidative stress response were studied using RT PCR techniques in order to look at changes in expression level after the low dose with or without washing. Our preliminary results indicate that upregulation of oxidative stress response genes ANGPTL7, NCF2, TTN, and SRXN1 may be involved in the radioadaptive response. The low dose of radiation alone was found to activate the oxidative stress response genes GPR156 and MTL5, whereas, washing the cells alone caused relatively robust upregulation of the oxidative stress response genes DUSP1 and PTGS2. Washing after the priming dose showed some changes in the expression level of several DNA damage signaling genes. In addition, we studied whether washing the cells after the priming dose has an effect on the level of nitric oxide in both the media and cells, since nitric oxide levels are known to increase in the media of the cells after a high dose of radiation only if the cells were already exposed to a low priming dose. Based on this preliminary study, we propose that washing the cells after priming exposure actually eliminates some factor

  6. A Fast Response Mechanism for Insulin Storage in Crystals May Involve a Novel Mode of Kink Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vekilov, Peter

    2010-03-01

    Crystals, likely rhombohedral, of Zn-insulin hexamers form in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreases of many mammals. The suggested function of crystal formation is to protect the insulin from proteases and increase the degree of conversion of soluble proinsulin. To accomplish this, crystal growth should be fast and adaptable to rate fluctuations in the conversion reaction. Zn-insulin crystals grow layer-by-layer. Each layer spreads by the attachment of molecules to kinks located at the layers' edges, also called steps. The kinks are thought to be generated either by thermal fluctuations, as postulated by Gibbs, or by one-dimensional nucleation of new crystalline rows. The kink density determines the rate at which steps advance, and these two kink-generation mechanisms lead to weak near-linear responses of the growth rate to concentration variations. We demonstrate for the crystallization of Zn-insulin a novel mechanism of kink generation, whereby 2D clusters of several insulin molecules pre-formed on the terraces between steps associate to the steps. This mechanism results in several-fold higher kink density, faster rate of crystallization, and a high sensitivity of the kinetics to small increases of the solute concentration. If the found mechanism operates during insulin crystallization in vivo, it could be a part of the biological regulation of insulin production and function. For other crystallizing materials in biological and non-biological systems, this mechanism provides an understanding of the often seen non-linear acceleration of the kinetics.

  7. Life Cycle Assessment of mechanical biological pre-treatment of Municipal Solid Waste: a case study.

    PubMed

    Beylot, Antoine; Vaxelaire, Stéphane; Zdanevitch, Isabelle; Auvinet, Nicolas; Villeneuve, Jacques

    2015-05-01

    The environmental performance of mechanical biological pre-treatment (MBT) of Municipal Solid Waste is quantified using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), considering one of the 57 French plants currently in operation as a case study. The inventory is mostly based on plant-specific data, extrapolated from on-site measurements regarding mechanical and biological operations (including anaerobic digestion and composting of digestate). The combined treatment of 46,929 tonnes of residual Municipal Solid Waste and 12,158 tonnes of source-sorted biowaste (as treated in 2010 at the plant) generates 24,550 tonnes CO2-eq as an impact on climate change, 69,943kg SO2-eq on terrestrial acidification and 19,929kg NMVOC-eq on photochemical oxidant formation, in a life-cycle perspective. On the contrary MBT induces environmental benefits in terms of fossil resource depletion, human toxicity (carcinogenic) and ecotoxicity. The results firstly highlight the relatively large contribution of some pollutants, such as CH4, emitted at the plant and yet sometimes neglected in the LCA of waste MBT. Moreover this study identifies 4 plant-specific operation conditions which drive the environmental impact potentials induced by MBT: the conditions of degradation of the fermentable fraction, the collection of gaseous flows emitted from biological operations, the abatement of collected pollutants and NOx emissions from biogas combustion. Finally the results underline the relatively large influence of the operations downstream the plant (in particular residuals incineration) on the environmental performance of waste MBT. PMID:25708404

  8. Mechanical degradation of biological heart valve tissue induced by low diameter crimping: an early assessment.

    PubMed

    Khoffi, Foued; Heim, Frederic

    2015-04-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become today an increasingly attractive procedure to relieve patients from aortic valve disease. However, the procedure requires crimping biological tissue within a metallic stent for low diameter catheter insertion purpose. This step induces specific stress in the leaflets especially when the crimping diameter is small. One concern about crimping is the potential degradations undergone by the biological tissue, which may limit the durability of the valve once implanted. The purpose of the present work is to study the effect of low diameter crimping on the mechanical performances of pericardium valve prototypes. The prototypes were compressed to a diameter of 1mm within braided stents for 20 min. SEM observations performed on crimped material show that crimped leaflets undergo degradations characterized by apparent surface defects. Moreover mechanical extension tests were performed on pericardium strips before and after crimping. The strips (15 mm long, 5mm wide) were taken from both crimped and native leaflets considering 2 different valve diameters, 19 and 21 mm. In order to prevent the premature drying of the pericardium tissue during the procedure, the biological tissue was kept in contact with a formaldehyde solution. Results show that the ultimate strength value decreases nearly by up to 50%. The modifications observed in the material may jeopardize the long term durability of the device. However, further tests are necessary with a larger amount of samples to confirm these early results. PMID:25621851

  9. Systems Biology Elucidates Common Pathogenic Mechanisms between Nonalcoholic and Alcoholic-Fatty Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sookoian, Silvia; Pirola, Carlos J.

    2013-01-01

    The abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver is often related either to metabolic risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome in the absence of alcohol consumption (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD) or to chronic alcohol consumption (alcoholic fatty liver disease, AFLD). Clinical and histological studies suggest that NAFLD and AFLD share pathogenic mechanisms. Nevertheless, current data are still inconclusive as to whether the underlying biological process and disease pathways of NAFLD and AFLD are alike. Our primary aim was to integrate omics and physiological data to answer the question of whether NAFLD and AFLD share molecular processes that lead to disease development. We also explored the extent to which insulin resistance (IR) is a distinctive feature of NAFLD. To answer these questions, we used systems biology approaches, such as gene enrichment analysis, protein–protein interaction networks, and gene prioritization, based on multi-level data extracted by computational data mining. We observed that the leading disease pathways associated with NAFLD did not significantly differ from those of AFLD. However, systems biology revealed the importance of each molecular process behind each of the two diseases, and dissected distinctive molecular NAFLD and AFLD-signatures. Comparative co-analysis of NAFLD and AFLD clarified the participation of NAFLD, but not AFLD, in cardiovascular disease, and showed that insulin signaling is impaired in fatty liver regardless of the noxa, but the putative regulatory mechanisms associated with NAFLD seem to encompass a complex network of genes and proteins, plausible of epigenetic modifications. Gene prioritization showed a cancer-related functional map that suggests that the fatty transformation of the liver tissue is regardless of the cause, an emerging mechanism of ubiquitous oncogenic activation. In conclusion, similar underlying disease mechanisms lead to NAFLD and AFLD, but specific ones depict a particular

  10. One- and two-electron oxidation of thiols: mechanisms, kinetics and biological fates.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Madia; Alvarez, Beatriz; Radi, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    The oxidation of biothiols participates not only in the defense against oxidative damage but also in enzymatic catalytic mechanisms and signal transduction processes. Thiols are versatile reductants that react with oxidizing species by one- and two-electron mechanisms, leading to thiyl radicals and sulfenic acids, respectively. These intermediates, depending on the conditions, participate in further reactions that converge on different stable products. Through this review, we will describe the biologically relevant species that are able to perform these oxidations and we will analyze the mechanisms and kinetics of the one- and two-electron reactions. The processes undergone by typical low-molecular-weight thiols as well as the particularities of specific thiol proteins will be described, including the molecular determinants proposed to account for the extraordinary reactivities of peroxidatic thiols. Finally, the main fates of the thiyl radical and sulfenic acid intermediates will be summarized. PMID:26329537

  11. Geophysical Survey To Understand Failure Mechanisms Involved On Deep Seated Landslides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebourg, T.; Tric, E.; Guglielmi, Y.; Cappa, F.; Charmoille, A.; Bouissou, S.

    2003-04-01

    The understanding of rupture processes involve on deep seated landslides and hence the prediction of such phenomenon is difficult for two main reasons. The first one, arise from the difficulty in estimating the mechanical behaviour of the whole mountain which is very different from that of a rock sample we can study on laboratory. This is mainly true in the upper part of slope subjected to weathering (Lebourg and al., 2002). The second reason, is due to the necessity of taking into account both the 3D geometry of the phenomenon and geological discontinuities affecting the mountain slide. We propose to show geophysical research on a deep seated landslide and the way we use to integreted then into numerical models. One of main problem of study deep seatted landslides with geophysical survey is the size of the landslide and the deep of the slope. The landslides we studied are located in the French Alps (Clapière landslide and Rocbillière landslide). It concern various geological formation, triggered by hydrological sollicitations. Our geophysical methods allow us to obtain 2D and 3D imagery of the geological structures, but also the shearing surface and the hydrological system used in the numerical and physical modeling. The research of the hydrogeological system can become one of the must importante result for the administration. After the first geophysical survey, we can quantify the hydrogeological level who can initiate or accelerate the paroxism of the landslide. Numerical model and prediction can also propose a 'surveillance' on the geophysical pseudo-dynamic prospecting. Our results showed also the importance of the weathering and the complexe chenalisation of the water whithin the slope, in the initiation of the movement. Our futur goal is to study the relative influence of the mechanical behaviour of the mountain, the behaviour of the wheathering zone, faults and intial topography of the mountain on landslide to determine the key parameter controlling this

  12. Structurally diverse c-Myc inhibitors share a common mechanism of action involving ATP depletion.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huabo; Sharma, Lokendra; Lu, Jie; Finch, Paul; Fletcher, Steven; Prochownik, Edward V

    2015-06-30

    The c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein is deregulated in a large proportion of diverse human cancers. Considerable effort has therefore been directed at identifying pharmacologic inhibitors as potential anti-neoplastic agents. Three such groups of small molecule inhibitors have been described. The first is comprised of so-called "direct" inhibitors, which perturb Myc's ability to form productive DNA-binding heterodimers in association with its partner, Max. The second group is comprised of indirect inhibitors, which largely function by targeting the BET-domain protein BRD4 to prevent the proper formation of transcriptional complexes that assemble in response to Myc-Max DNA binding. Thirdly, synthetic lethal inhibitors cause the selective apoptosis of Myc over-expressing either by promoting mitotic catastrophe or altering Myc protein stability. We report here a common mechanism by which all Myc inhibitors, irrespective of class, lead to eventual cellular demise. This involves the depletion of ATP stores due to mitochondrial dysfunction and the eventual down-regulation of Myc protein. The accompanying metabolic de-regulation causes neutral lipid accumulation, cell cycle arrest, and an attempt to rectify the ATP deficit by up-regulating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). These responses are ultimately futile due to the lack of functional Myc to support the requisite anabolic response. Finally, the effects of Myc depletion on ATP levels, cell cycle arrest, differentiation and AMPK activation can be mimicked by pharmacologic inhibition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain without affecting Myc levels. Thus, all Myc inhibitors promote a global energy collapse that appears to underlie many of their phenotypic consequences. PMID:26036281

  13. Large-Scale Predictive Drug Safety: From Structural Alerts to Biological Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Serna, Ricard; Vidal, David; Remez, Nikita; Mestres, Jordi

    2015-10-19

    The recent explosion of data linking drugs, proteins, and pathways with safety events has promoted the development of integrative systems approaches to large-scale predictive drug safety. The added value of such approaches is that, beyond the traditional identification of potentially labile chemical fragments for selected toxicity end points, they have the potential to provide mechanistic insights for a much larger and diverse set of safety events in a statistically sound nonsupervised manner, based on the similarity to drug classes, the interaction with secondary targets, and the interference with biological pathways. The combined identification of chemical and biological hazards enhances our ability to assess the safety risk of bioactive small molecules with higher confidence than that using structural alerts only. We are still a very long way from reliably predicting drug safety, but advances toward gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to adverse outcomes represent a step forward in this direction. PMID:26360911

  14. A common biological mechanism in cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?

    PubMed Central

    Behrens, Maria I; Lendon, Corinne; Roe, Catherine M.

    2009-01-01

    Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are two common disorders for which the final pathophysiological mechanism is not yet clearly defined. In a prospective longitudinal study we have previously shown an inverse association between AD and cancer, such that the rate of developing cancer in general with time was significantly slower in participants with AD, while participants with a history of cancer had a slower rate of developing AD. In cancer, cell regulation mechanisms are disrupted with augmentation of cell survival and/or proliferation, whereas conversely, AD is associated with increased neuronal death, either caused by, or concomitant with, beta amyloid (Aβ) and tau deposition. The possibility that perturbations of mechanisms involved in cell survival/death regulation could be involved in both disorders is discussed. Genetic polymorphisms, DNA methylation or other mechanisms that induce changes in activity of molecules with key roles in determining the decision to “repair and live”- or “die” could be involved in the pathogenesis of the two disorders. As examples, the role of p53, Pin1 and the Wnt signaling pathway are discussed as potential candidates that, speculatively, may explain inverse associations between AD and cancer. PMID:19519301

  15. Mechanical and Biological Interactions of Implants with the Brain and Their Impact on Implant Design.

    PubMed

    Prodanov, Dimiter; Delbeke, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Neural prostheses have already a long history and yet the cochlear implant remains the only success story about a longterm sensory function restoration. On the other hand, neural implants for deep brain stimulation are gaining acceptance for variety of disorders including Parkinsons disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is anticipated that the progress in the field has been hampered by a combination of technological and biological factors, such as the limited understanding of the longterm behavior of implants, unreliability of devices, biocompatibility of the implants among others. While the field's understanding of the cell biology of interactions at the biotic-abiotic interface has improved, relatively little attention has been paid on the mechanical factors (stress, strain), and hence on the geometry that can modulate it. This focused review summarizes the recent progress in the understanding of the mechanisms of mechanical interaction between the implants and the brain. The review gives an overview of the factors by which the implants interact acutely and chronically with the tissue: blood-brain barrier (BBB) breach, vascular damage, micromotions, diffusion etc. We propose some design constraints to be considered in future studies. Aspects of the chronic cell-implant interaction will be discussed in view of the chronic local inflammation and the ways of modulating it. PMID:26903786

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Mechanical and Biological Interactions of Implants with the Brain and Their Impact on Implant Design

    PubMed Central

    Prodanov, Dimiter; Delbeke, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Neural prostheses have already a long history and yet the cochlear implant remains the only success story about a longterm sensory function restoration. On the other hand, neural implants for deep brain stimulation are gaining acceptance for variety of disorders including Parkinsons disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is anticipated that the progress in the field has been hampered by a combination of technological and biological factors, such as the limited understanding of the longterm behavior of implants, unreliability of devices, biocompatibility of the implants among others. While the field's understanding of the cell biology of interactions at the biotic-abiotic interface has improved, relatively little attention has been paid on the mechanical factors (stress, strain), and hence on the geometry that can modulate it. This focused review summarizes the recent progress in the understanding of the mechanisms of mechanical interaction between the implants and the brain. The review gives an overview of the factors by which the implants interact acutely and chronically with the tissue: blood-brain barrier (BBB) breach, vascular damage, micromotions, diffusion etc. We propose some design constraints to be considered in future studies. Aspects of the chronic cell-implant interaction will be discussed in view of the chronic local inflammation and the ways of modulating it. PMID:26903786

  18. Microwave processed nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite: Simultaneous enhancement of mechanical and biological properties

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Susmita; Dasgupta, Sudip; Tarafder, Solaiman; Bandyopadhyay, Amit

    2010-01-01

    Despite excellent bioactivity of hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramics, poor mechanical strength has limited its applications primarily to coatings and other non-load bearing areas as bone grafts. Using synthesized HA nanopowder, dense compacts with grain sizes in nanometers to micrometers were processed via microwave sintering between 1000 and 1150 °C for 20 minutes. Here we demonstrate that mechanical properties, such as compressive strength, hardness and indentation fracture toughness of HA compacts increased with a decrease in grain size. HA with 168± 86 nm grain size showed the highest compressive strength of 395±42 MPa, hardness of 8.4±0.4 GPa and indentation fracture toughness of 1.9 ±0.2 MPam1/2. To study the in vitro biological properties, HA compacts with grain size between 168 nm and 1.16 µm were assessed for in vitro bone cell-materials interactions with human osteoblast cell line. Vinculin protein expression for cell attachment and bone cell proliferation using MTT assay showed surfaces with finer grains provided better bone cell-materials interactions than coarse grained samples. Our results indicate simultaneous improvements in mechanical and biological properties in microwave sintered HA compacts with nanoscale grain size. PMID:20230922

  19. The impact of environmental stress on male reproductive development in plants: biological processes and molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    de Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2014-01-01

    In plants, male reproductive development is extremely sensitive to adverse climatic environments and (a)biotic stress. Upon exposure to stress, male gametophytic organs often show morphological, structural and metabolic alterations that typically lead to meiotic defects or premature spore abortion and male reproductive sterility. Depending on the type of stress involved (e.g. heat, cold, drought) and the duration of stress exposure, the underlying cellular defect is highly variable and either involves cytoskeletal alterations, tapetal irregularities, altered sugar utilization, aberrations in auxin metabolism, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS; oxidative stress) or the ectopic induction of programmed cell death (PCD). In this review, we present the critically stress-sensitive stages of male sporogenesis (meiosis) and male gametogenesis (microspore development), and discuss the corresponding biological processes involved and the resulting alterations in male reproduction. In addition, this review also provides insights into the molecular and/or hormonal regulation of the environmental stress sensitivity of male reproduction and outlines putative interaction(s) between the different processes involved. PMID:23731015

  20. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Overview of Immune Mechanisms and Biological Treatments

    PubMed Central

    de Mattos, Bruno Rafael Ramos; Garcia, Maellin Pereira Gracindo; Nogueira, Julia Bier; Paiatto, Lisiery Negrini; Albuquerque, Cassia Galdino; Souza, Caique Lopes; Fernandes, Luís Gustavo Romani; Tamashiro, Wirla Maria da Silva Cunha; Simioni, Patricia Ucelli

    2015-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract associated with an imbalance of the intestinal microbiota. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the most widely known types of IBD and have been the focus of attention due to their increasing incidence. Recent studies have pointed out genes associated with IBD susceptibility that, together with environment factors, may contribute to the outcome of the disease. In ulcerative colitis, there are several therapies available, depending on the stage of the disease. Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and cyclosporine are used to treat mild, moderate, and severe disease, respectively. In Crohn's disease, drug choices are dependent on both location and behavior of the disease. Nowadays, advances in treatments for IBD have included biological therapies, based mainly on monoclonal antibodies or fusion proteins, such as anti-TNF drugs. Notwithstanding the high cost involved, these biological therapies show a high index of remission, enabling a significant reduction in cases of surgery and hospitalization. Furthermore, migration inhibitors and new cytokine blockers are also a promising alternative for treating patients with IBD. In this review, an analysis of literature data on biological treatments for IBD is approached, with the main focus on therapies based on emerging recombinant biomolecules. PMID:26339135

  1. Cation Selectivity in Biological Cation Channels Using Experimental Structural Information and Statistical Mechanical Simulation.

    PubMed

    Finnerty, Justin John; Peyser, Alexander; Carloni, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Cation selective channels constitute the gate for ion currents through the cell membrane. Here we present an improved statistical mechanical model based on atomistic structural information, cation hydration state and without tuned parameters that reproduces the selectivity of biological Na+ and Ca2+ ion channels. The importance of the inclusion of step-wise cation hydration in these results confirms the essential role partial dehydration plays in the bacterial Na+ channels. The model, proven reliable against experimental data, could be straightforwardly used for designing Na+ and Ca2+ selective nanopores. PMID:26460827

  2. Developments in sclerostin biology: regulation of gene expression, mechanisms of action, and physiological functions

    PubMed Central

    Weivoda, Megan M.; Oursler, Merry Jo

    2014-01-01

    The SOST gene, which encodes the protein sclerostin, was identified through genetic linkage analysis of sclerosteosis and van Buchem’s disease (VBD) patients. Sclerostin is a secreted glycoprotein that binds to the Low-density lipoprotein Receptor-related Proteins (LRP) 4, 5, and 6 to inhibit Wnt signaling. Since the initial discovery of sclerostin, much understanding has been gained into the role of this protein in the regulation of skeletal biology. In this article, we discuss the latest findings in the regulation of SOST expression, sclerostin mechanisms of action, and the potential utility of targeting sclerostin in conditions of low bone mass. PMID:24477413

  3. Cation Selectivity in Biological Cation Channels Using Experimental Structural Information and Statistical Mechanical Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Finnerty, Justin John

    2015-01-01

    Cation selective channels constitute the gate for ion currents through the cell membrane. Here we present an improved statistical mechanical model based on atomistic structural information, cation hydration state and without tuned parameters that reproduces the selectivity of biological Na+ and Ca2+ ion channels. The importance of the inclusion of step-wise cation hydration in these results confirms the essential role partial dehydration plays in the bacterial Na+ channels. The model, proven reliable against experimental data, could be straightforwardly used for designing Na+ and Ca2+ selective nanopores. PMID:26460827

  4. Input of DNA microarrays to identify novel mechanisms in multiple myeloma biology and therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Mahtouk, Karène; Hose, Dirk; De Vos, John; Moreaux, Jérôme; Jourdan, Michel; Rossi, Jean François; Rème, Thierry; Goldschmidt, Harmut; Klein, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B cell neoplasia characterized by the proliferation of a clone of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. We review here the input of gene expression profiling (GEP) of myeloma cells and of their tumor microenvironment to develop new tumor classifiers, to better understand the biology of myeloma cells, to identify some mechanisms of drug sensitivity and resistance, to identify new myeloma growth factors, and to depict the complex interactions between tumor cells and their microenvironment. We discuss how these findings may improve the clinical outcome of this still incurable disease. PMID:18094409

  5. [The influences of anterior disc displacement on oral mandibular function and morphology and their biological mechanisms].

    PubMed

    Xia, Wendi; Fu, Kiayuan

    2016-03-01

    Anterior disc displacement is a common subtype seen in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) patients. It may cause mandibular movement disorders, such as clicking of joint, intermittent closed lock, limitation of mouth opening, etc. These disorders may affect the life qualities of patients. Anterior disc displacement may also cause mandibular malformations, especially among adolescents, which may affect the growth of condyle, therefore may have a correlation with mandibular retrusion or mandibular deviation when grown up. This paper going to review the influences of anterior disc displacement on oral mandibular function and morphology and their biological mechanisms. PMID:26980658

  6. Newt tail regeneration: a model for gravity-dependent morphogenesis and clues to the molecular mechanisms involved.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radugina, Elena A.; Almeida, Eduardo; Grigoryan, Eleonora

    factors and are expressed during development, we hypothesized they may play a role newt tail regenerative morphogenesis under altered g-levels. Specifically there is increasing evidence for HSPs expression changes as a result of hyper-and microgravity. HSPs are also expressed throughout regeneration, rather than just after surgery. To test this hypothesis we performed heat shock on intact and regenerating newts and collected tail tissues. In these experiments we observed that some tails had uplifted tips while others mimicked hook-like regenerates at 1g or 2g. These findings suggest that heat shock, and HSPs induction, may be involved in the mechanism responsible for gravity effects on morphogenesis, or at least interact with them. Current work underway is focused on analyzing the expression of mRNA and localization of proteins for two members of the group, Hsp70 and Hsp90. In summary, we developed and characterized a new practical animal model in which gravity mechanostimulation at 1g, versus unloading in aquaria, causes prominent effects on newt tail regenerative morphogenesis. This model can be achieved without the use of a centrifuge, significantly simplifying its research applications. Initial results using this model suggest that induction of HSPs may be involved in gravity regulation of newt tail regenerative morphogenesis. Further research based on this simple model may help to unravel mechanisms of gravity influence relevant not only to newt tail regeneration, but also to a broad range of other biological processes in amphibian models.

  7. Independent Study of Collegiate Biological Science as a General Education Course: Involving Achievement and Understanding the Processes of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stavick, Lloyd Clair

    The "Test on Understanding Science, Form W" and the "Nelson Biology Test, Form E", were administered before and after a college general biology course to a random selection of students who had chosen to take an individualized study program and to a random group of students who had chosen to follow the lecture-laboratory alternative. There were no…

  8. Closing the Loop: Involving Faculty in the Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning Skills of Biology Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurney, Carol A.; Brown, Justin; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Kancler, Erika; Wigtil, Clifton J.; Sundre, Donna

    2011-01-01

    The development of scientific and quantitative reasoning skills in undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an objective of many courses and curricula. The Biology Department at James Madison University (JMU) assesses these essential skills in graduating biology majors by using a multiple-choice exam…

  9. Improving mechanical and biological properties of macroporous HA scaffolds through composite coatings.

    PubMed

    Zhao, J; Lu, X; Duan, K; Guo, L Y; Zhou, S B; Weng, J

    2009-11-01

    Interconnected porous hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds are widely used for bone repair and replacement, owing to their ability to support the adhesion, transfer, proliferation and differentiation of cells. In the present study, the polymer impregnation approach was adopted to produce porous HA scaffolds with three-dimensional (3D) porous structures. These scaffolds have an advantage of highly interconnected porosity (approximately 85%) but a drawback of poor mechanical strength. Therefore, the as-prepared HA scaffolds were lined with composite polymer coatings in order to improve the mechanical properties and retain its good bioactivity and biocompatibility at the same time. The composite coatings were based on poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) polymer solutions, and contained single component or combination of HA, calcium sulfate (CS) and chondroitin sulfate (ChS) powders. The effects of composite coatings on scaffold porosity, microstructure, mechanical property, in vitro mineralizing behavior, and cell attachment of the resultant scaffolds were investigated. The results showed that the scaffolds with composite coatings resulted in significant improvement in both mechanical and biological properties while retaining the 3D interconnected porous structure. The in vitro mineralizing behaviors were mainly related to the compositions of CS and ChS powders in the composite coatings. Excellent cell attachments were observed on the pure HA scaffold as well as the three types of composite scaffolds. These composite scaffolds with improved mechanical properties and bioactivities are promising bone substitutes in tissue engineering fields. PMID:19679453

  10. Mechanisms involved in the psychological distress of Black Caribbeans in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govia, Ishtar O.

    The mental health of ethnic minorities in the United States is of urgent concern. The accelerated growth of groups of ethnic minorities and immigrants in the United States and the stressors to which they are exposed, implores academic researchers to investigate more deeply health disparities and the factors that exacerbate or minimize such inequalities. This dissertation attended to that concern. It used data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), the first survey with a national representative sample of Black Caribbeans, to explore mechanisms that involved in the psychological distress of Black Caribbeans in the United States. In a series of three studies, the dissertation investigated the role and consequence of (1) chronic discrimination, immigration factors, and closeness to ethnic and racial groups; (2) personal control and social support; and (3) family relations and social roles in the psychological distress of Black Caribbeans. Study 1 examined how the associations between discrimination and psychological distress were buffered or exacerbated by closeness to ethnic group and closeness to racial group. It also examined how these associations differed depending on immigration factors. Results indicated that the buffering or exacerbating effect of ethnic and racial group closeness varied according to the type of discrimination (subtle or severe) and were more pronounced among those born in the United States. Using the stress process framework, Study 2 tested moderation and mediation models of the effects of social support and personal control in the association between discrimination and distress. Results from a series of analyses on 579 respondents suggested that personal control served as a mediator in this relationship and that emotional support exerted a direct distress deterring function. Study 3 investigated sex differences in the associations between social roles, intergenerational family relationship perceptions and distress. Results

  11. The involvement of nucleosomes in Giemsa staining of chromosomes. A new hypothesis on the banding mechanism.

    PubMed

    van Duijn, P; van Prooijen-Knegt, A C; van der Ploeg, M

    1985-01-01

    A new hypothesis is proposed on the involvement of nucleosomes in Giemsa banding of chromosomes. Giemsa staining as well as the concomitant swelling can be explained as an insertion of the triple charged hydrophobic dye complex between the negatively-charged super-coiled helical DNA and the denatured histone cores of the nucleosomes still present in the fixed chromosomes. New cytochemical data and recent results from biochemical literature on nucleosomes are presented in support of this hypothesis. Chromosomes are stained by the Giemsa procedure in a purple (magenta) colour. Giemsa staining of DNA and histone (isolated or in a simple mixture) in model experiments results in different colours, indicating that a higher order configuration of these chromosomal components lies at the basis of the Giemsa method. Cytophotometry of Giemsa dye absorbance of chromosomes shows that the banding in the case of saline pretreatment is due to a relative absence of the complex in the faintly coloured bands (interbands). Pretreatment with trypsin results in an increase in Giemsa dye uptake in the stained bands. Cytophotometric measurements of free phosphate groups before and after pretreatment with saline, reveal a blocking of about half of the free phosphate groups indicating that a substantial number of free amino groups is still present in the fixed chromosomes. Glutaraldehyde treatment inhibited Giemsa-banding irreversibly while the formaldehyde-induced disappearance of the bands could be restored by a washing procedure. These results correlate with those of biochemical nucleosome studies using the same aldehydes. Based on these findings and on the known properties of nucleosomes, a mechanism is proposed that explains the collapse of the chromosome structure when fixed chromosomes are transferred to aqueous buffer solutions. During homogeneous Giemsa staining reswelling of the unpretreated chromosome is explained by insertion of the hydrophobic Giemsa complex between the

  12. Study of the possible mechanisms involved in the mucosal immune system activation by lactic acid bacteria.

    PubMed

    Perdigón, G; Vintiñi, E; Alvarez, S; Medina, M; Medici, M

    1999-06-01

    The induction of a mucosal immune response is not easy due to the development of oral tolerance, but under some conditions, bacteria can activate this immune system. Antigens administered orally can interact with M cells of Peyer's patches or bind to the epithelial cells. We have demonstrated that certain lactic acid bacteria are able to induce specific secretory immunity, and others will enhance the gut inflammatory immune response. The aim of this work was to establish the reason for these different behaviors and to define possible mechanisms involved in the interaction of lactic acid bacteria at the intestinal level. We studied IgA+ and IgM+ B cells comparatively in bronchus and intestine and CD4+ T cells and IgA anti-lactic acid bacteria antibodies in the intestinal fluid, induced by oral administration of Lactobacillus casei, Lb. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus, Lb. acidophilus, Lb. plantarum, Lb. rhamnosus, Lactococcus lactis, and Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus. The increase in the IgA+ B cells in the bronchus means that these lactic acid bacteria were able to induce the IgA cycle by interaction with M cells from Peyer's patches or intestinal epithelial cells. The IgM+ cells increased when the stimulus did not induce the switch from IgM+ to IgA+. The increase in the CD4+ cells suggests interaction of Peyer's patches and enhancement of the B- and T-cell migration. The anti-lactic acid bacteria antibody is related to the processing and presentation of the microorganisms to the immune cells. We demonstrated that Lb. casei and Lb. plantarum were able to interact with Peyer's patch cells and showed an increase in IgA-, CD4+ cells, and antibodies specific for the stimulating strain. Lactobacillus acidophilus induced gut mucosal activation by interaction with the epithelial cells without increase in the immune cells associated with the bronchus. Although Lb. rhamnosus and Strep. salivarius ssp. thermophilus interact with epithelial cells, they also induced

  13. TRIENNIAL LACTATION SYMPOSIUM: Systems biology of regulatory mechanisms of nutrient metabolism in lactation.

    PubMed

    McNamara, J P

    2015-12-01

    A major role of the dairy cow is to convert low-quality plant materials into high-quality protein and other nutrients for humans. We must select and manage cows with the goal of having animals of the greatest efficiency matched to their environment. We have increased efficiency tremendously over the years, yet the variation in productive and reproductive efficiency among animals is still large. In part, this is because of a lack of full integration of genetic, nutritional, and reproductive biology into management decisions. However, integration across these disciplines is increasing as the biological research findings show specific control points at which genetics, nutrition, and reproduction interact. An ordered systems biology approach that focuses on why and how cells regulate energy and N use and on how and why organs interact through endocrine and neurocrine mechanisms will speed improvements in efficiency. More sophisticated dairy managers will demand better information to improve the efficiency of their animals. Using genetic improvement and animal management to improve milk productive and reproductive efficiency requires a deeper understanding of metabolic processes throughout the life cycle. Using existing metabolic models, we can design experiments specifically to integrate data from global transcriptional profiling into models that describe nutrient use in farm animals. A systems modeling approach can help focus our research to make faster and larger advances in efficiency and determine how this knowledge can be applied on the farms. PMID:26641166

  14. Biological Targets and Mechanisms of Action of Natural Products from Marine Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Salvador-Reyes, Lilibeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine cyanobacteria are an ancient group of organisms and prolific producers of bioactive secondary metabolites. These compounds are presumably optimized by evolution over billions of years to exert high affinity for their intended biological target in the ecologically relevant organism but likely also possess activity in different biological contexts such as human cells. Screening of marine cyanobacterial extracts for bioactive natural products has largely focused on cancer cell viability; however, diversification of the screening platform led to the characterization of many new bioactive compounds. Targets of compounds have oftentimes been elusive if the compounds were discovered through phenotypic assays. Over the past few years, technology has advanced to determine mechanism of action (MOA) and targets through reverse chemical genetic and proteomic approaches, which has been applied to certain cyanobacterial compounds and will be discussed in this review. Some cyanobacterial molecules are the most-potent-in-class inhibitors and therefore may become valuable tools for chemical biology to probe protein function but also be templates for novel drugs, assuming in vitro potency translates into cellular and in vivo activity. Our review will focus on compounds for which the direct targets have been deciphered or which were found to target a novel pathway, and link them to disease states where target modulation may be beneficial. PMID:25571978

  15. Investigations on mechanical biological treatment of waste in South America: Towards more sustainable MSW management strategies

    SciTech Connect

    Bezama, Alberto . E-mail: alberto.bezama@stud.unileoben.ac.at; Aguayo, Pablo; Konrad, Odorico; Navia, Rodrigo; Lorber, Karl E.

    2007-07-01

    This work presents an analysis on the suitability of mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste in South America, based on two previous experimental investigations carried out in two different countries. The first experiment was performed for determining the mass and volume reduction of MSW in the province of Concepcion (Chile). The implemented bench-scale process consisted of a manual classification and separation stage, followed by an in-vessel biological degradation process. The second experiment consisted of a full-scale experiment performed in the city of Estrela (Brazil), where the existing municipal waste management facility was adapted to enhance the materials sorting and separation. Expressed in wet weight composition, 85.5% of the material input in the first experiment was separated for biological degradation. After 27 days of processing, 60% of the initial mass was reduced through degradation and water evaporation. The final fraction destined for landfilling equals 59% of the total input mass, corresponding to about 50% of the initial volume. In the second experiment, the fraction destined to landfill reaches 46.6% of the total input waste mass, whilst also significantly reducing the total volume to be disposed. These results, and the possible recovery of material streams suitable for recycling or for preparing solid recovered fuels, are the main advantages of the studied process.

  16. Investigations on mechanical biological treatment of waste in South America: towards more sustainable MSW management strategies.

    PubMed

    Bezama, Alberto; Aguayo, Pablo; Konrad, Odorico; Navia, Rodrigo; Lorber, Karl E

    2007-01-01

    This work presents an analysis on the suitability of mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste in South America, based on two previous experimental investigations carried out in two different countries. The first experiment was performed for determining the mass and volume reduction of MSW in the province of Concepción (Chile). The implemented bench-scale process consisted of a manual classification and separation stage, followed by an in-vessel biological degradation process. The second experiment consisted of a full-scale experiment performed in the city of Estrela (Brazil), where the existing municipal waste management facility was adapted to enhance the materials sorting and separation. Expressed in wet weight composition, 85.5% of the material input in the first experiment was separated for biological degradation. After 27 days of processing, 60% of the initial mass was reduced through degradation and water evaporation. The final fraction destined for landfilling equals 59% of the total input mass, corresponding to about 50% of the initial volume. In the second experiment, the fraction destined to landfill reaches 46.6% of the total input waste mass, whilst also significantly reducing the total volume to be disposed. These results, and the possible recovery of material streams suitable for recycling or for preparing solid recovered fuels, are the main advantages of the studied process. PMID:16540302

  17. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Epidemiology, biological mechanisms, treatment recommendations and future research

    PubMed Central

    Leon, Benjamin M; Maddox, Thomas M

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) continues to rise and has quickly become one of the most prevalent and costly chronic diseases worldwide. A close link exists between DM and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the most prevalent cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia are common in patients with DM, placing them at increased risk for cardiac events. In addition, many studies have found biological mechanisms associated with DM that independently increase the risk of CVD in diabetic patients. Therefore, targeting CV risk factors in patients with DM is critical to minimize the long-term CV complications of the disease. This paper summarizes the relationship between diabetes and CVD, examines possible mechanisms of disease progression, discusses current treatment recommendations, and outlines future research directions. PMID:26468341

  18. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Epidemiology, biological mechanisms, treatment recommendations and future research.

    PubMed

    Leon, Benjamin M; Maddox, Thomas M

    2015-10-10

    The incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) continues to rise and has quickly become one of the most prevalent and costly chronic diseases worldwide. A close link exists between DM and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the most prevalent cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia are common in patients with DM, placing them at increased risk for cardiac events. In addition, many studies have found biological mechanisms associated with DM that independently increase the risk of CVD in diabetic patients. Therefore, targeting CV risk factors in patients with DM is critical to minimize the long-term CV complications of the disease. This paper summarizes the relationship between diabetes and CVD, examines possible mechanisms of disease progression, discusses current treatment recommendations, and outlines future research directions. PMID:26468341

  19. Mineral proximity influences mechanical response of proteins in biological mineral-protein hybrid systems.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Pijush; Katti, Dinesh R; Katti, Kalpana S

    2007-03-01

    The organic phase of nacre, which is composed primarily of proteins, has an extremely high elastic modulus as compared to that of bulk proteins, and also undergoes large deformation before failure. One reason for this unusually high modulus could be the mineral-organic interactions. In this work, we elucidate the specific role of mineral proximity on the structural response of proteins in biological structural composites such as nacre through molecular modeling. The "glycine-serine" domain of a nacre protein Lustrin A has been used as a model system. It is found that the amount of work needed to unfold is significantly higher when the GS domain is pulled in the proximity of aragonite. These results indicate that the proximity of aragonite has a significant effect on the unfolding mechanisms of proteins when pulled. These results will provide very useful information in designing synthetic biocomposites, as well as further our understanding of mechanical response in structural composites in nature. PMID:17315945

  20. Biological network inferences for a protection mechanism against familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with E200K pathogenic mutation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Human prion diseases are caused by abnormal accumulation of misfolded prion protein in the brain tissue. Inherited prion diseases, including familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD), are associated with mutations of the prion protein gene (PRNP). The glutamate (E)-to-lysine (K) substitution at codon 200 (E200K) in PRNP is the most common pathogenic mutation causing fCJD, but the E200K pathogenic mutation alone is regarded insufficient to cause prion diseases; thus, additional unidentified factors are proposed to explain the penetrance of E200K-dependent fCJD. Here, exome differences and biological network analysis between fCJD patients with E200K and healthy individuals, including a non-CJD individual with E200K, were analysed to gain new insights into possible mechanisms for CJD in individuals carrying E200K. Methods Exome sequencing of the three CJD patients with E200K and 11 of the family of one patient (case1) were performed using the Illumina HiSeq 2000. The exome sequences of 24 Healthy Koreans were used as control. The bioinformatic analysis of the exome sequences was performed using the CLC Genomics Workbench v5.5. Sanger sequencing for variants validation was processed using a BigDye Terminator Cycle Sequencing Kit and an ABI 3730xl automated sequencer. Biological networks were created using Cytoscape (v2.8.3 and v3.0.2) and Pathway Studio 9.0 software. Results Nineteen sites were only observed in healthy individuals. Four proteins (NRXN2, KLKB1, KARS, and LAMA3) that harbour rarely observed single-nucleotide variants showed biological interactions that are associated with prion diseases and/or prion protein in our biological network analysis. Conclusion Through this study, we confirmed that individuals can have a CJD-free life, even if they carry a pathogenic E200K mutation. Our research provides a possible mechanism that involves a candidate protective factor; this could be exploited to prevent fCJD onset in individuals carrying E200K. PMID

  1. A few nascent methods for measuring mechanical properties of the biological cell.

    SciTech Connect

    Thayer, Gayle Echo; de Boer, Maarten Pieter; Corvalan, Carlos; Corwin, Alex David; Campanella, Osvaldo H. (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Nivens, David (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Werely, Steven (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN); Sumali, Anton Hartono; Koch, Steven John

    2006-01-01

    This report summarizes a survey of several new methods for obtaining mechanical and rheological properties of single biological cells, in particular: (1) The use of laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV) to measure the natural vibrations of certain cells. (2) The development of a novel micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for obtaining high-resolution force-displacement curves. (3) The use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) for cell imaging. (4) The adaptation of a novel squeezing-flow technique to micro-scale measurement. The LDV technique was used to investigate the recent finding reported by others that the membranes of certain biological cells vibrate naturally, and that the vibration can be detected clearly with recent instrumentation. The LDV has been reported to detect motions of certain biological cells indirectly through the motion of a probe. In this project, trials on Saccharomyces cerevisiae tested and rejected the hypothesis that the LDV could measure vibrations of the cell membranes directly. The MEMS investigated in the second technique is a polysilicon surface-micromachined force sensor that is able to measure forces to a few pN in both air and water. The simple device consists of compliant springs with force constants as low as 0.3 milliN/m and Moire patterns for nanometer-scale optical displacement measurement. Fields from an electromagnet created forces on magnetic micro beads glued to the force sensors. These forces were measured and agreed well with finite element prediction. It was demonstrated that the force sensor was fully functional when immersed in aqueous buffer. These results show the force sensors can be useful for calibrating magnetic forces on magnetic beads and also for direct measurement of biophysical forces on-chip. The use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) for profiling the geometry of red blood cells was the third technique investigated here. An important finding was that the method commonly used for attaching the cells to a

  2. Another look at the mechanism involving trimeric dUTPases in Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity island induction involves novel players in the party

    PubMed Central

    Maiques, Elisa; Quiles-Puchalt, Nuria; Donderis, Jorge; Ciges-Tomas, J. Rafael; Alite, Christian; Bowring, Janine Z.; Humphrey, Suzanne; Penadés, José R.; Marina, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    We have recently proposed that the trimeric staphylococcal phage encoded dUTPases (Duts) are signaling molecules that act analogously to eukaryotic G-proteins, using dUTP as a second messenger. To perform this regulatory role, the Duts require their characteristic extra motif VI, present in all the staphylococcal phage coded trimeric Duts, as well as the strongly conserved Dut motif V. Recently, however, an alternative model involving Duts in the transfer of the staphylococcal islands (SaPIs) has been suggested, questioning the implication of motifs V and VI. Here, using state-of the-art techniques, we have revisited the proposed models. Our results confirm that the mechanism by which the Duts derepress the SaPI cycle depends on dUTP and involves both motifs V and VI, as we have previously proposed. Surprisingly, the conserved Dut motif IV is also implicated in SaPI derepression. However, and in agreement with the proposed alternative model, the dUTP inhibits rather than inducing the process, as we had initially proposed. In summary, our results clarify, validate and establish the mechanism by which the Duts perform regulatory functions. PMID:27112567

  3. Superior in vitro biological response and mechanical properties of an implantable nanostructured biomaterial: Nanohydroxyapatite-silicone rubber composite.

    PubMed

    Thein-Han, W W; Shah, J; Misra, R D K

    2009-09-01

    A potential approach to achieving the objective of favorably modulating the biological response of implantable biopolymers combined with good mechanical properties is to consider compounding the biopolymer with a bioactive nanocrystalline ceramic biomimetic material with high surface area. The processing of silicone rubber (SR)-nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) composite involved uniform dispersion of nHA via shear mixing and ultrasonication, followed by compounding at sub-ambient temperature, and high-pressure solidification when the final curing reaction occurs. The high-pressure solidification approach enabled the elastomer to retain the high elongation of SR even in the presence of the reinforcement material, nHA. The biological response of the nanostructured composite in terms of initial cell attachment, cell viability and proliferation was consistently greater on SR-5wt.% nHA composite surface compared to pure SR. Furthermore, in the nanocomposite, cell spreading, morphology and density were distinctly different from that of pure SR. Pre-osteoblasts grown on SR-nHA were well spread, flat, large in size with a rough cell surface, and appeared as a group. In contrast, these features were less pronounced in SR (e.g. smooth cell surface, not well spread). Interestingly, an immunofluorescence study illustrated distinct fibronectin expression level, and stronger vinculin focal adhesion contacts associated with abundant actin stress fibers in pre-osteoblasts grown on the nanocomposite compared to SR, implying enhanced cell-substrate interaction. This finding was consistent with the total protein content and SDS-PAGE analysis. The study leads us to believe that further increase in nHA content in the SR matrix beyond 5wt.% will encourage even greater cellular response. The integration of cellular and molecular biology with materials science and engineering described herein provides a direction for the development of a new generation of nanostructured materials. PMID:19435616

  4. Dance between biology, mechanics, and structure: A systems-based approach to developing osteoarthritis prevention strategies.

    PubMed

    Chu, Constance R; Andriacchi, Thomas P

    2015-07-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of human suffering and disability for which disease-modifying treatments are lacking. OA occurs through complex and dynamic interplays between diverse factors over long periods of time. The traditional research and clinical focus on OA, the end stage disease, obscured understanding pathogenesis prior to reaching a common pathway defined by pain and functional deficits, joint deformity, and radiographic changes. To emphasize disease modification and prevention, we describe a multi-disciplinary systems-based approach encompassing biology, mechanics, and structure to define pre-osteoarthritic disease processes. Central to application of this model is the concept of "pre-osteoarthritis," conditions where clinical OA has not yet developed. Rather, joint homeostasis has been compromised and there are potentially reversible markers for heightened OA risk. Key messages from this perspective are (i) to focus research onto defining pre-OA through identifying and validating biological, mechanical, and imaging markers of OA risk, (ii) to emphasize multi-disciplinary approaches, and (iii) to propose that developing personalized interventions to address reversible markers of OA risk in healthy joints may be the key to prevention. Ultimately, a systems-based analysis of OA pathogenesis shows potential to transform clinical practice by facilitating development and testing of new strategies to prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis. PMID:25639920

  5. Protocatechuic acid and human disease prevention: biological activities and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Masella, R; Santangelo, C; D'Archivio, M; Li Volti, G; Giovannini, C; Galvano, F

    2012-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence has shown that a high dietary intake of vegetables and fruit rich in polyphenols is associated with a reduction of cancer incidence and mortality from coronary heart disease. The healthy effects associated with polyphenol consumption have made the study of the mechanisms of action a matter of great importance. In particular, the hydroxybenzoic acid protocatechuic acid (PCA) has been eliciting a growing interest for several reasons. Firstly, PCA is one of the main metabolites of complex polyphenols such as anthocyanins and procyanidins that are normally found at high concentrations in vegetables and fruit, and are absorbed by animals and humans. Since the daily intake of anthocyanins has been estimated to be much higher than that of other polyphenols, the nutritional value of PCA is increasingly recognized. Secondly, a growing body of evidence supports the concept that PCA can exert a variety of biological effects by acting on different molecular targets. It has been shown that PCA possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory as well as antihyperglycemic and neuroprotective activities. Furthermore, PCA seems to have chemopreventive potential because it inhibits the in vitro chemical carcinogenesis and exerts pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects in different tissues. This review is aimed at providing an up-dated and comprehensive report on PCA giving a special emphasis on its biological activities and the molecular mechanisms of action most likely responsible for a beneficial role in human disease prevention. PMID:22519395

  6. Organic fraction of municipal solid waste from mechanical selection: biological stabilization and recovery options.

    PubMed

    Cesaro, Alessandra; Russo, Lara; Farina, Anna; Belgiorno, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Although current trends address towards prevention strategies, the organic fraction of municipal solid waste is greatly produced, especially in high-income contexts. Its recovery-oriented collection is a common practice, but a relevant portion of the biodegradable waste is not source selected. Mechanical and biological treatments (MBT) are the most common option to sort and stabilize the biodegradable matter ending in residual waste stream. Following the changes of the framework around waste management, this paper aimed at analyzing the quality of the mechanically selected organic waste produced in MBT plants, in order to discuss its recovery options. The material performance was obtained by its composition as well as by its main chemical and physical parameters; biological stability was also assessed by both aerobic and anaerobic methods. On this basis, the effectiveness of an aerobic biostabilization process was assessed at pilot scale. After 21 days of treatment, results proved that the biomass had reached an acceptable biostabilization level, with a potential Dynamic Respirometric Index (DRIP) value lower than the limit required for its use as daily or final landfill cover material. However, the final stabilization level was seen to be influenced by scaling factors and the 21 days of treatment turned to be not so adequate when applied in the existing full-scale facility. PMID:26377969

  7. [Effects and molecular mechanisms of the biological action of weak and extremely weak magnetic fields].

    PubMed

    Novikov, V V; Ponomarev, V O; Novikov, G V; Kuvichkin, V V; Iablokova, E V; Fesenko, E E

    2010-01-01

    A number of effects of weak combined (static and alternating) magnetic fields with an alternating component of tens and hundreds nT at a collinear static field of 42 microT, which is equivalent to the geomagnetic field, have been found: the activation of fission and regeneration of planarians Dugesia tigrina, the inhibition of the growth of the Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in mice, the stimulation of the production of the tumor necrosis factor by macrophages, a decrease in the protection of chromatin against the action of DNase 1, and the enhancement of protein hydrolysis in systems in vivo and in vitro. The frequency and amplitude ranges for the alternating component of weak combined magnetic fields have been determined at which it affects various biological systems. Thus, the optimal amplitude at a frequency of 4.4 Hz is 100 nT (effective value); at a frequency of 16.5 Hz, the range of effective amplitudes is broader, 150-300 nT; and at a frequency of 1 (0.5) Hz, it is 300 nT. The sum of close frequencies (e.g., 16 and 17 Hz) produces a similar biological effect as the product of the modulating (0.5 Hz) and carrying frequencies (16.5 Hz), which is explained by the ratio A = A0sin omega1t + A0sin omega2t = A0sin(omega1 + omega2)t/2cos(omega1 - omega2)t/2. The efficiency of magnetic signals with pulsations (the sum of close frequencies) is more pronounced than that of sinusoidal frequencies. These data may indicate the presence of several receptors of weak magnetic fields in biological systems and, as a consequence, a higher efficiency of the effect at the simultaneous adjustment to these frequencies by the field. Even with consideration of these facts, the mechanism of the biological action of weak combined magnetic fields remains still poorly understood. PMID:20968074

  8. Involvement of mast cells and proteinase-activated receptor 2 in oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia in mice.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Ayumi; Andoh, Tsugunobu; Kuraishi, Yasushi

    2016-03-01

    The chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin induces neuropathic pain, a dose-limiting side effect, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we show the potential involvement of cutaneous mast cells in oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia in mice. A single intraperitoneal injection of oxaliplatin induced mechanical allodynia, which peaked on day 10 after injection. Oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia was almost completely prevented by congenital mast cell deficiency. The numbers of total and degranulated mast cells was significantly increased in the skin after oxaliplatin administration. Repetitive topical application of the mast cell stabilizer azelastine hydrochloride inhibited mechanical allodynia and the degranulation of mast cells without affecting the number of mast cells in oxaliplatin-treated mice. The serine protease inhibitor camostat mesilate and the proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) antagonist FSLLRY-NH2 significantly inhibited oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia. However, it was not inhibited by the H1 histamine receptor antagonist terfenadine. Single oxaliplatin administration increased the activity of cutaneous serine proteases, which was attenuated by camostat and mast cell deficiency. Depletion of the capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents by neonatal capsaicin treatment almost completely prevented oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia, the increase in the number of mast cells, and the activity of cutaneous serine proteases. These results suggest that serine protease(s) released from mast cells and PAR2 are involved in oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia. Therefore, oxaliplatin may indirectly affect the functions of mast cells through its action on capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents. PMID:26804251

  9. Effect of calcium hydroxide on mechanical strength and biological properties of bioactive glass.

    PubMed

    Shah, Asma Tufail; Batool, Madeeha; Chaudhry, Aqif Anwar; Iqbal, Farasat; Javaid, Ayesha; Zahid, Saba; Ilyas, Kanwal; Bin Qasim, Saad; Khan, Ather Farooq; Khan, Abdul Samad; Ur Rehman, Ihtesham

    2016-08-01

    In this manuscript for the first time calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) has been used for preparation of bioactive glass (BG-2) by co-precipitation method and compared with glass prepared using calcium nitrate tetrahydrate Ca(NO3)2·4H2O (BG-1), which is a conventional source of calcium. The new source positively affected physical, biological and mechanical properties of BG-2. The glasses were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis/Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TGA-DSC), BET surface area analysis and Knoop hardness. The results showed that BG-2 possessed relatively larger surface properties (100m(2)g(-1) surface area) as compared to BG-1 (78m(2)g(-1)), spherical morphology and crystalline phases (wollastonite and apatite) after sintering at lower than conventional temperature. These properties contribute critical role in both mechanical and biological properties of glasses. The Knoop hardness measurements revealed that BG-2 possessed much better hardness (0.43±0.06GPa at 680°C and 2.16±0.46GPa at 980°C) than BG-1 (0.24±0.01 at 680°C and 0.57±0.07GPA at 980°C) under same conditions. Alamar blue Assay and confocal microscopy revealed that BG-2 exhibited better attachment and proliferation of MG63 cells. Based on the improved biological properties of BG-2 as a consequent of novel calcium source selection, BG-2 is proposed as a bioactive ceramic for hard tissue repair and regeneration applications. PMID:27068802

  10. Diverse Mechanisms of Sp1-Dependent Transcriptional Regulation Potentially Involved in the Adaptive Response of Cancer Cells to Oxygen-Deficient Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Koizume, Shiro; Miyagi, Yohei

    2015-01-01

    The inside of a tumor often contains a hypoxic area caused by a limited supply of molecular oxygen due to aberrant vasculature. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are major transcription factors that are required for cancer cells to adapt to such stress conditions. HIFs, complexed with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator, bind to and activate target genes as enhancers of transcription. In addition to this common mechanism, the induction of the unfolded protein response and mTOR signaling in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress is also known to be involved in the adaptation to hypoxia conditions. Sp1 is a ubiquitously-expressed transcription factor that plays a vital role in the regulation of numerous genes required for normal cell function. In addition to the well-characterized stress response mechanisms described above, increasing experimental evidence suggests that Sp1 and HIFs collaborate to drive gene expression in cancer cells in response to hypoxia, thereby regulating additional adaptive responses to cellular oxygen deficiency. However, these characteristics of Sp1 and their biological merits have not been summarized. In this review, we will discuss the diverse mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by Sp1 and their potential involvement in the adaptive response of cancer cells to hypoxic tumor microenvironments. PMID:26703734

  11. Mechanisms and Structures of Vitamin B6-Dependent Enzymes Involved in Deoxy Sugar Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Romo, Anthony J.; Liu, Hung-wen

    2011-01-01

    PLP is well-regarded for its role as a coenzyme in a number of diverse enzymatic reactions. Transamination, deoxygenation, and aldol reactions mediated by PLP-dependent enzymes enliven and enrich deoxy sugar biosynthesis, endowing these compounds with unique structures and contributing to their roles as determinants of biological activity in many natural products. The importance of deoxy amino sugars in natural product biosynthesis has spurred several recent structural investigations of sugar aminotransferases. The structure of a PMP-dependent enzyme catalyzing the C-3 deoxygenation reaction in the biosynthesis of ascarylose was also determined. These studies, and the crystal structures they have provided, offer a wealth of new insights regarding the enzymology of PLP/PMP-dependent enzymes in deoxy sugar biosynthesis. In this review, we consider these recent achievements in the structural biology of deoxy sugar biosynthetic enzymes and the important implications they hold for understanding enzyme catalysis and natural product biosynthesis in general. PMID:21315852

  12. Mechanical Restrictions on Biological Responses by Adherent Cells within Collagen Gels

    PubMed Central

    Simon, D.D.; Horgan, C.O.; Humphrey, J.D.

    2012-01-01

    Cell-seeded collagen and fibrin gels represent excellent assays for studying interactions between adherent interstitial cells and the three-dimensional extracellular matrix in which they reside. Over one hundred papers have employed the free-floating collagen gel assay alone since its introduction in 1979 and much has been learned about mechanobiological responses of diverse types of cells. Yet, given that mechanobiology is the study of biological responses by cells to mechanical stimuli that must respect the basic laws of mechanics, we must quantify better the mechanical conditions that are imposed on or arise in cell-seeded gels. In this paper, we suggest that cell responses and associated changes in matrix organization within the classical free-floating gel assay are highly restricted by the mechanics. In particular, many salient but heretofore unexplained or misinterpreted observations in free-floating gels can be understood in terms of apparent cell-mediated residual stress fields that satisfy quasi-static equilibria and continuity of tractions. There is a continuing need, therefore, to bring together the allied fields of mechanobiology and biomechanics as we continue to elucidate cellular function within both native connective tissues and tissue equivalents that are used in basic scientific investigations or regenerative medicine. PMID:23022259

  13. In search of a reliable technique for the determination of the biological stability of the organic matter in the mechanical-biological treated waste.

    PubMed

    Barrena, Raquel; d'Imporzano, Giuliana; Ponsá, Sergio; Gea, Teresa; Artola, Adriana; Vázquez, Felícitas; Sánchez, Antoni; Adani, Fabrizio

    2009-03-15

    The biological stability determines the extent to which readily biodegradable organic matter has decomposed. In this work, a massive estimation of indices suitable for the measurement of biological stability of the organic matter content in solid waste samples has been carried out. Samples from different stages in a mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plant treating municipal solid wastes (MSW) were selected as examples of different stages of organic matter stability in waste biological treatment. Aerobic indices based on respiration techniques properly reflected the process of organic matter biodegradation. Static and dynamic respirometry showed similar values in terms of aerobic biological activity (expressed as oxygen uptake rate, OUR), whereas cumulative oxygen consumption was a reliable method to express the biological stability of organic matter in solid samples. Methods based on OUR and cumulative oxygen consumption were positively correlated. Anaerobic methods based on biogas production (BP) tests also reflected well the degree of biological stability, although significant differences were found in solid and liquid BP assays. A significant correlation was found between cumulative oxygen consumption and ultimate biogas production. The results obtained in this study can be a basis for the quantitative measurement of the efficiency in the stabilization of organic matter in waste treatment plants, including MBT plants, anaerobic digestion of MSW and composting plants. PMID:18606494

  14. Elucidation of the binding mechanism of renin using a wide array of computational techniques and biological assays.

    PubMed

    Tzoupis, Haralambos; Leonis, Georgios; Avramopoulos, Aggelos; Reis, Heribert; Czyżnikowska, Żaneta; Zerva, Sofia; Vergadou, Niki; Peristeras, Loukas D; Papavasileiou, Konstantinos D; Alexis, Michael N; Mavromoustakos, Thomas; Papadopoulos, Manthos G

    2015-11-01

    We investigate the binding mechanism in renin complexes, involving three drugs (remikiren, zankiren and enalkiren) and one lead compound, which was selected after screening the ZINC database. For this purpose, we used ab initio methods (the effective fragment potential, the variational perturbation theory, the energy decomposition analysis, the atoms-in-molecules), docking, molecular dynamics, and the MM-PBSA method. A biological assay for the lead compound has been performed to validate the theoretical findings. Importantly, binding free energy calculations for the three drug complexes are within 3 kcal/mol of the experimental values, thus further justifying our computational protocol, which has been validated through previous studies on 11 drug-protein systems. The main elements of the discovered mechanism are: (i) minor changes are induced to renin upon drug binding, (ii) the three drugs form an extensive network of hydrogen bonds with renin, whilst the lead compound presented diminished interactions, (iii) ligand binding in all complexes is driven by favorable van der Waals interactions and the nonpolar contribution to solvation, while the lead compound is associated with diminished van der Waals interactions compared to the drug-bound forms of renin, and (iv) the environment (H2O/Na(+)) has a small effect on the renin-remikiren interaction. PMID:26421414

  15. A Journey with Elie Metchnikoff: From Innate Cell Mechanisms in Infectious Diseases to Quantum Biology

    PubMed Central

    Merien, Fabrice

    2016-01-01

    Many reviews of Elie Metchnikoff’s work have been published, all unanimously acknowledging the significant contributions of his cellular theory to the fields of immunology and infectious diseases. In 1883, he published a key paper describing phagocytic cells in frogs. His descriptions were not just about phagocytes involved in host defense, he also described how these specialized cells eliminated degenerating or dying cells of the host. This perspective focuses on key concepts developed by Metchnikoff by presenting relevant excerpts of his 1883 paper and matching these concepts with challenges of modern immunology. A new approach to macrophage polarization is included to introduce some creative thinking about the exciting emerging area of quantum biology. PMID:27379227

  16. A Mechanism for Land-Atmosphere Feedback Involving Planetary Wave Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koster, Randal D.; Chang, Yehui; Schubert, Siegfried D.

    2014-01-01

    While the ability of land surface conditions to influence the atmosphere has been demonstrated in various modeling and observational studies, the precise mechanisms by which land-atmosphere feedback occurs are still largely unknown particularly the mechanisms that allow land moisture state in one region to affect atmospheric conditions in another. Such remote impacts are examined here in the context of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations, leading to the identification of one potential mechanism: the phase-locking and amplification of a planetary wave through the imposition of a spatial pattern of soil moisture at the land surface. This mechanism, shown here to be relevant in the AGCM, apparently also operates in nature, as suggested by supporting evidence found in reanalysis data.

  17. Molecules and mechanisms involved in the generation and migration of cortical interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Miranda, Luis R; Parnavelas, John G; Chiara, Francesca

    2010-01-01

    The GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)-containing interneurons of the neocortex are largely derived from the ganglionic eminences in the subpallium. Numerous studies have previously defined the migratory paths travelled by these neurons from their origins to their destinations in the cortex. We review here results of studies that have identified many of the genes expressed in the subpallium that are involved in the specification of the subtypes of cortical interneurons, and the numerous transcription factors, motogenic factors and guidance molecules that are involved in their migration. PMID:20360946

  18. Hybrid printing of mechanically and biologically improved constructs for cartilage tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Xu, Tao; Binder, Kyle W; Albanna, Mohammad Z; Dice, Dennis; Zhao, Weixin; Yoo, James J; Atala, Anthony

    2013-03-01

    Bioprinting is an emerging technique used to fabricate viable, 3D tissue constructs through the precise deposition of cells and hydrogels in a layer-by-layer fashion. Despite the ability to mimic the native properties of tissue, printed 3D constructs that are composed of naturally-derived biomaterials still lack structural integrity and adequate mechanical properties for use in vivo, thus limiting their development for use in load-bearing tissue engineering applications, such as cartilage. Fabrication of viable constructs using a novel multi-head deposition system provides the ability to combine synthetic polymers, which have higher mechanical strength than natural materials, with the favorable environment for cell growth provided by traditional naturally-derived hydrogels. However, the complexity and high cost associated with constructing the required robotic system hamper the widespread application of this approach. Moreover, the scaffolds fabricated by these robotic systems often lack flexibility, which further restrict their applications. To address these limitations, advanced fabrication techniques are necessary to generate complex constructs with controlled architectures and adequate mechanical properties. In this study, we describe the construction of a hybrid inkjet printing/electrospinning system that can be used to fabricate viable tissues for cartilage tissue engineering applications. Electrospinning of polycaprolactone fibers was alternated with inkjet printing of rabbit elastic chondrocytes suspended in a fibrin-collagen hydrogel in order to fabricate a five-layer tissue construct of 1 mm thickness. The chondrocytes survived within the printed hybrid construct with more than 80% viability one week after printing. In addition, the cells proliferated and maintained their basic biological properties within the printed layered constructs. Furthermore, the fabricated constructs formed cartilage-like tissues both in vitro and in vivo as evidenced by the

  19. Sensitizing Children to the Social and Emotional Mechanisms Involved in Racism: A Program Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Triliva, Sofia; Anagnostopoulou, Tanya; Vleioras, Georgios

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes and discusses the results of an intervention aiming to sensitize children to the social and emotional processes involved in racism. The intervention was applied and evaluated in 10 Greek elementary schools. The goals and the intervention methods of the program modules are briefly outlined and the results of the program…

  20. Cumulative asbestos exposure for US automobile mechanics involved in brake repair (circa 1950s-2000).

    PubMed

    Finley, Brent L; Richter, Richard O; Mowat, Fionna S; Mlynarek, Steve; Paustenbach, Dennis J; Warmerdam, John M; Sheehan, Patrick J

    2007-11-01

    We analyzed cumulative lifetime exposure to chrysotile asbestos experienced by brake mechanics in the US during the period 1950-2000. Using Monte Carlo methods, cumulative exposures were calculated using the distribution of 8-h time-weighted average exposure concentrations for brake mechanics and the distribution of job tenure data for automobile mechanics. The median estimated cumulative exposures for these mechanics, as predicted by three probabilistic models, ranged from 0.16 to 0.41 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cm(3)) year for facilities with no dust-control procedures (1970s), and from 0.010 to 0.012 f/cm(3) year for those employing engineering controls (1980s). Upper-bound (95%) estimates for the 1970s and 1980s were 1.96 to 2.79 and 0.07-0.10 f/cm(3) year, respectively. These estimates for US brake mechanics are consistent with, but generally slightly lower than, those reported for European mechanics. The values are all substantially lower than the cumulative exposure of 4.5 f/cm(3) year associated with occupational exposure to 0.1 f/cm(3) of asbestos for 45 years that is currently permitted under the current occupational exposure limits in the US. Cumulative exposures were usually about 100- to 1,000-fold less than those of other occupational groups with asbestos exposure for similar time periods. The cumulative lifetime exposure estimates presented here, combined with the negative epidemiology data for brake mechanics, could be used to refine the risk assessments for chrysotile-exposed populations. PMID:17495871

  1. Mechanical and biological properties of chitosan/carbon nanotube nanocomposite films.

    PubMed

    Aryaei, Ashkan; Jayatissa, Ahalapitiya H; Jayasuriya, Ambalangodage C

    2014-08-01

    In this article, different concentrations of multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) were homogeneously dispersed throughout the chitosan (CS) matrix. A simple solvent-cast method was used to fabricate chitosan films with 0.1, 0.5, and 1% of MWCNT with the average diameter around 30 nm. The CS/MWCNT films were characterized for structural, viscous and mechanical properties with optical microscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, tensile test machine, and microindentation testing machine. Murine osteoblasts were used to examine the cell viability and attachment of the nanocomposite films at two time points. In comparison to the pure chitosan film, the mechanical properties, including the tensile modulus and strength of the films, were greatly improved by increasing the percentage of MWCNT. Furthermore, adding MWCNT up to 1% increased the viscosity of the chitosan solution by 15%. However, adding MWCNT decreased the samples ductility and transparency. In biological point of view, no toxic effect on osteoblasts was observed in the presence of different percentages of MWCNT at day 3 and day 7. This investigation suggested MWCNT could be a promising candidate for improving chitosan mechanical properties without inducing remarkable cytotoxicity on bone cells. PMID:24108584

  2. Hybrid PGS-PCL microfibrous scaffolds with improved mechanical and biological properties.

    PubMed

    Sant, Shilpa; Hwang, Chang Mo; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2011-04-01

    Poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) is a biodegradable elastomer that has generated great interest as a scaffold material due to its desirable mechanical properties. However, the use of PGS in tissue engineering is limited by difficulties in casting micro- and nanofibrous structures, due to high temperatures and vacuum required for its curing and limited solubility of the cured polymer. In this paper, we developed microfibrous scaffolds made from blends of PGS and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) using a standard electrospinning set-up. At a given PGS:PCL ratio, higher voltage resulted in significantly smaller fibre diameters (reduced from ∼4 µm to 2.8 µm; p < 0.05). Further increase in voltage resulted in the fusion of fibres. Similarly, higher PGS concentrations in the polymer blend resulted in significantly increased fibre diameter (p < 0.01). We further compared the mechanical properties of electrospun PGS:PCL scaffolds with those made from PCL. Scaffolds with higher PGS concentrations showed higher elastic modulus (EM), ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and ultimate elongation (UE) (p < 0.01) without the need for thermal curing or photocrosslinking. Biological evaluation of these scaffolds showed significantly improved HUVEC attachment and proliferation compared to PCL-only scaffolds (p < 0.05). Thus, we have demonstrated that simple blends of PGS prepolymer with PCL can be used to fabricate microfibrous scaffolds with mechanical properties in the range of a human aortic valve leaflet. PMID:20669260

  3. Mechanically Durable and Biologically Favorable Protein Hydrogel Based on Elastic Silklike Protein Derived from Sea Anemone.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yun Jung; Kim, Chang Sup; Choi, Bong-Hyuk; Cha, Hyung Joon

    2015-12-14

    As biodegradable scaffolds, protein hydrogels have considerable potential, particularly for bioartificial organs and three-dimensional space-filling materials. However, their low strength and stiffness have been considered to be limitations for enduring physiological stimuli. Therefore, protein hydrogels have been commonly utilized as delivery vehicles rather than as supporting materials. In this work, sea anemone tentacle-derived recombinant silk-like protein (aneroin) was evaluated as a potential material for a mechanically durable protein hydrogel. Inspired by the natural hardening mechanism, photoinitiated dityrosine cross-linking was employed to fabricate an aneroin hydrogel. It was determined that the fabricated aneroin hydrogel was approximately 10-fold stiffer than mammalian cardiac or skeletal muscle. The aneroin hydrogel provided not only structural support but also an adequate environment for cells. It exhibited an adequate swelling ability and microstructure, which are beneficial for facilitating mass transport and cell proliferation. Based on its mechanical and biological properties, this aneroin hydrogel could be used in various biomedical applications, such as cell-containing patches, biomolecule carriers, and artificial extracellular matrices. PMID:26539814

  4. Mechanical and biological properties of chitosan/carbon nanotube nanocomposite films

    PubMed Central

    Aryaei, Ashkan; Jayatissa, Ahalapitiya H.; Jayasuriya, Ambalangodage C.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, different concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) were homogeneously dispersed throughout the chitosan (CS) matrix. A simple solvent-cast method was used to fabricate chitosan films with 0.1, 0.5, and 1% of MWCNT with the average diameter around 30 nm. The CS/MWCNT films were characterized for structural, viscous and mechanical properties with optical microscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, tensile test machine, and microindentation testing machine. Murine osteoblasts were used to examine the cell viability and attachment of the nanocomposite films at two time points. In comparison to the pure chitosan film, the mechanical properties, including the tensile modulus and strength of the films were greatly improved by increasing the percentage of MWCNT. Furthermore, adding MWCNT up to 1% increased the viscosity of the chitosan solution by 15%. However, adding MWCNT decreased the samples ductility and transparency. In biological point of view, no toxic effect on osteoblasts was observed in the presence of different percentages of MWCNT at day 3 and day 7. This investigation suggested MWCNT could be a promising candidate for improving chitosan mechanical properties without inducing remarkable cytotoxicity on bone cells. PMID:24108584

  5. Hybrid PGS-PCL Microfibrous Scaffolds with Improved Mechanical and Biological Properties

    PubMed Central

    Sant, Shilpa; Hwang, Chang Mo; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2010-01-01

    Poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) is a biodegradable elastomer that has generated great interest as a scaffold material due to its desirable mechanical properties. However, the use of PGS in tissue engineering is limited by the difficulties to cast micro and nanofibrous structures due to high temperatures and vacuum required for its curing and limited solubility of the cured polymer. In this paper, we developed microfibrous scaffolds made from blends of PGS and poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) by using standard electrospinning set up. At a given PGS:PCL ratio, higher voltage resulted in significantly smaller fiber diameters (from ~ 4 μm to 2.8 μm, p < 0.05). Further increase in voltage resulted in the fusion of fibers. Similarly, higher PGS concentrations in the polymer blend resulted in significantly increased fiber diameter (p < 0.01). We further compared mechanical properties of electrospun PGS:PCL scaffolds with those made from PCL. Scaffolds with higher PGS concentration showed higher elastic modulus (EM), ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and ultimate elongation (UE) (p < 0.01) without the need for thermal curing or photocrosslinking. Biological evaluation of these scaffolds showed significantly improved HUVEC attachment and proliferation compared to PCL-only scaffolds (p < 0.05). Thus, we have demonstrated that simple blends of PGS prepolymer with PCL can be used to fabricate microfibrous scaffolds with mechanical properties in the range of human aortic valve leaflet. PMID:20669260

  6. Effects of bioactive glass nanoparticles on the mechanical and biological behavior of composite coated scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Roohani-Esfahani, S I; Nouri-Khorasani, S; Lu, Z F; Appleyard, R C; Zreiqat, H

    2011-03-01

    Biphasic calcium phosphates (BCP) scaffolds are widely used for bone tissue regeneration. However, brittleness, low mechanical properties and compromised bioactivities are, at present, their major disadvantages. In this study we coated the struts of a BCP scaffold with a nanocomposite layer consisting of bioactive glass nanoparticles (nBG) and polycaprolactone (PCL) (BCP/PCL-nBG) to enhance its mechanical and biological behavior. The effect of various nBG concentrations (1-90 wt.%) on the mechanical properties and in vitro behavior of the scaffolds was comprehensively examined and compared with that for a BCP scaffold coated with PCL and hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (nHA) (BCP/PCL-nHA) and a BCP scaffold coated with only a PCL layer (BCP/PCL). Introduction of 1-90 wt.% nBG resulted in scaffolds with compressive strengths in the range 0.2-1.45 MPa and moduli in the range 19.3-49.4 MPa. This trend was also observed for BCP/PCL-nHA scaffolds, however, nBG induced even better bioactivity and a faster degradation rate. The maximum compressive strength (increased ∼14 times) and modulus (increased ∼3 times) were achieved when 30 wt.% nBG was added, compared with BCP scaffolds. Moreover, BCP/PCL-nBG scaffolds induced the differentiation of primary human bone-derived cells (HOBs), with significant up-regulation of osteogenic gene expression for Runx2, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein, compared with the other groups. PMID:20971219

  7. Biological mechanisms underlying the role of physical fitness in health and resilience

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Marni N.; Deuster, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Physical fitness, achieved through regular exercise and/or spontaneous physical activity, confers resilience by inducing positive psychological and physiological benefits, blunting stress reactivity, protecting against potentially adverse behavioural and metabolic consequences of stressful events and preventing many chronic diseases. In this review, we discuss the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of physical fitness on mental and physical health. Physical fitness appears to buffer against stress-related disease owing to its blunting/optimizing effects on hormonal stress responsive systems, such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This blunting appears to contribute to reduced emotional, physiological and metabolic reactivity as well as increased positive mood and well-being. Another mechanism whereby regular exercise and/or physical fitness may confer resilience is through minimizing excessive inflammation. Chronic psychological stress, physical inactivity and abdominal adiposity have been associated with persistent, systemic, low-grade inflammation and exert adverse effects on mental and physical health. The anti-inflammatory effects of regular exercise/activity can promote behavioural and metabolic resilience, and protect against various chronic diseases associated with systemic inflammation. Moreover, exercise may benefit the brain by enhancing growth factor expression and neural plasticity, thereby contributing to improved mood and cognition. In summary, the mechanisms whereby physical fitness promotes increased resilience and well-being and positive psychological and physical health are diverse and complex. PMID:25285199

  8. Peripheral mechanisms of neuropathic pain – involvement of lysophosphatidic acid receptor-mediated demyelination

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    Recent advances in pain research provide a clear picture for the molecular mechanisms of acute pain; substantial information concerning plasticity that occurs during neuropathic pain has also become available. The peripheral mechanisms responsible for neuropathic pain are found in the altered gene/protein expression of primary sensory neurons. With damage to peripheral sensory fibers, a variety of changes in pain-related gene expression take place in dorsal root ganglion neurons. These changes, or plasticity, might underlie unique neuropathic pain-specific phenotype modifications – decreased unmyelinated-fiber functions, but increased myelinated A-fiber functions. Another characteristic change is observed in allodynia, the functional change of tactile to nociceptive perception. Throughout a series of studies, using novel nociceptive tests to characterize sensory-fiber or pain modality-specific nociceptive behaviors, it was demonstrated that communication between innocuous and noxious sensory fibers might play a role in allodynia mechanisms. Because neuropathic pain in peripheral and central demyelinating diseases develops as a result of aberrant myelination in experimental animals, demyelination seems to be a key mechanism of plasticity in neuropathic pain. More recently, we discovered that lysophosphatidic acid receptor activation initiates neuropathic pain, as well as possible peripheral mechanims of demyelination after nerve injury. These results lead to further hypotheses of physical communication between innocuous Aβ- and noxious C- or Aδ-fibers to influence the molecular mechanisms of allodynia. PMID:18377664

  9. CFTR regulates outwardly rectifying chloride channels through an autocrine mechanism involving ATP.

    PubMed

    Schwiebert, E M; Egan, M E; Hwang, T H; Fulmer, S B; Allen, S S; Cutting, G R; Guggino, W B

    1995-06-30

    The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) functions to regulate both Cl- and Na+ conductive pathways; however, the cellular mechanisms whereby CFTR acts as a conductance regulator are unknown. CFTR and outwardly rectifying Cl- channels (ORCCs) are distinct channels but are linked functionally via an unknown regulatory mechanism. We present results from whole-cell and single-channel patch-clamp recordings, short-circuit current recordings, and [gamma-32P]ATP release assays of normal, CF, and wild-type or mutant CFTR-transfected CF airway cultured epithelial cells wherein CFTR regulates ORCCs by triggering the transport of the potent agonist, ATP, out of the cell. Once released, ATP stimulates ORCCs through a P2U purinergic receptor-dependent signaling mechanism. Our results suggest that CFTR functions to regulate other Cl- secretory pathways in addition to itself conducting Cl-. PMID:7541313

  10. BCR-ABL negative myeloproliferative neoplasia: a review of involved molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Koopmans, Suzanne M; Schouten, Harry C; van Marion, Ariënne M W

    2015-02-01

    The clonal bone marrow stem cell disorders essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) belong to the group of Philadelphia chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasia (Ph- MPN). In 2005 the JAK2(V617F) mutation was discovered which has generated more insight in the pathogenetic mechanism of the MPNs. More mutations have been detected in MPN patients since. However, the underlying cause of MPN has not been discovered so far. The mechanism of increased angiogenesis in MPNs and the development of fibrosis in the bone marrow in PMF patients and in some ET and PV patients is still not known. This review will focus on the most important molecular pathogenetic mechanisms in MPN patients. PMID:25196073

  11. Mechanical-biological treatment: performance and potentials. An LCA of 8 MBT plants including waste characterization.

    PubMed

    Montejo, Cristina; Tonini, Davide; Márquez, María del Carmen; Astrup, Thomas Fruergaard

    2013-10-15

    In the endeavour of avoiding presence of biodegradable waste in landfills and increasing recycling, mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plants have seen a significant increase in number and capacity in the last two decades. The aim of these plants is separating and stabilizing the quickly biodegradable fraction of the waste as well as recovering recyclables from mixed waste streams. In this study the environmental performance of eight MBT-based waste management scenarios in Spain was assessed by means of life cycle assessment. The focus was on the technical and environmental performance of the MBT plants. These widely differed in type of biological treatment and recovery efficiencies. The results indicated that the performance is strongly connected with energy and materials recovery efficiency. The recommendation for upgrading and/or commissioning of future plants is to optimize materials recovery through increased automation of the selection and to prioritize biogas-electricity production from the organic fraction over direct composting. The optimal strategy for refuse derived fuel (RDF) management depends upon the environmental compartment to be prioritized and the type of marginal electricity source in the system. It was estimated that, overall, up to ca. 180-190 kt CO2-eq. y(-1) may be saved by optimizing the MBT plants under assessment. PMID:23850761

  12. Enhancing combined biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater by applying mechanically disintegrated excess sludge.

    PubMed

    Zubrowska-Sudol, Monika; Walczak, Justyna

    2015-06-01

    The goal of the study was to evaluate the possibility of applying disintegrated excess sludge as a source of organic carbon to enhance biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal. The experiment, performed in a sequencing batch reactor, consisted of two two-month series, without and with applying mechanically disintegrated excess sludge, respectively. The effects on carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal were observed. It was shown that the method allows enhancement of combined nitrogen and phosphorus removal. After using disintegrated sludge, denitrification effectiveness increased from 49.2 ± 6.8% to 76.2 ± 2.3%, which resulted in a decline in the NOx-N concentration in the effluent from the SBR by an average of 21.4 mg NOx-N/L. Effectiveness of biological phosphorus removal increased from 28.1 ± 11.3% to 96.2 ± 2.5%, thus resulting in a drop in the [Formula: see text] concentration in the effluent by, on average, 6.05 mg PO4(3-)-P/L. The application of disintegrated sludge did not deteriorate effluent quality in terms of COD and NH4(+)-N. The concentration of NH4(+)-N in both series averaged 0.16 ± 0.11 mg NH4(+)-N/L, and the concentration of COD was 15.36 ± 3.54 mg O2/L. PMID:25776916

  13. Statistical mechanics in biology: how ubiquitous are long-range correlations?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanley, H. E.; Buldyrev, S. V.; Goldberger, A. L.; Goldberger, Z. D.; Havlin, S.; Mantegna, R. N.; Ossadnik, S. M.; Peng, C. K.; Simons, M.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this opening talk is to describe examples of recent progress in applying statistical mechanics to biological systems. We first briefly review several biological systems, and then focus on the fractal features characterized by the long-range correlations found recently in DNA sequences containing non-coding material. We discuss the evidence supporting the finding that for sequences containing only coding regions, there are no long-range correlations. We also discuss the recent finding that the exponent alpha characterizing the long-range correlations increases with evolution, and we discuss two related models, the insertion model and the insertion-deletion model, that may account for the presence of long-range correlations. Finally, we summarize the analysis of long-term data on human heartbeats (up to 10(4) heart beats) that supports the possibility that the successive increments in the cardiac beat-to-beat intervals of healthy subjects display scale-invariant, long-range "anti-correlations" (a tendency to beat faster is balanced by a tendency to beat slower later on). In contrast, for a group of subjects with severe heart disease, long-range correlations vanish. This finding suggests that the classical theory of homeostasis, according to which stable physiological processes seek to maintain "constancy," should be extended to account for this type of dynamical, far from equilibrium, behavior.

  14. Heavy-ion radiobiology: new approaches to delineate mechanisms underlying enhanced biological effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Blakely, E A; Kronenberg, A

    1998-11-01

    Shortly after the discovery of polonium and radium by Marie Curie and her husband and colleague, Pierre Curie, it was learned that exposure to these alpha-particle emitters produced deleterious biological effects. The mechanisms underlying the increased biological effectiveness of densely ionizing radiations, including alpha particles, neutrons and highly energetic heavy charged particles, remain an active area of investigation. In this paper, we review recent advances in several areas of the radiobiology of these densely ionizing radiations, also known as heavy ions. Advances are described in the areas of DNA damage and repair, chromosome aberrations, mutagenesis, neoplastic transformation in vitro, genomic instability, normal tissue radiobiology and carcinogenesis in vivo. We focus on technical innovations, including novel applications of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), linkage analysis, and studies of gene expression and protein expression. We also highlight the use of new cellular and animal systems, including those with defined DNA repair deficiencies, as well as epithelial cell model systems to assess neoplastic transformation both in vitro and in vivo. The studies reviewed herein have had a substantial impact on our understanding of the genotoxic effects of heavy ions as well as their distinct effects on tissue homeostasis. The use of these radiations in cancer therapy is also discussed. The use of both heavy-ion and proton therapy is on the upswing in several centers around the world, due to their unique energy deposition characteristics that enhance the therapeutic effect and help reduce damage to normal tissue. PMID:9806616

  15. Heavy-ion radiobiology: new approaches to delineate mechanisms underlying enhanced biological effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blakely, E. A.; Kronenberg, A.; Chatterjee, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Shortly after the discovery of polonium and radium by Marie Curie and her husband and colleague, Pierre Curie, it was learned that exposure to these alpha-particle emitters produced deleterious biological effects. The mechanisms underlying the increased biological effectiveness of densely ionizing radiations, including alpha particles, neutrons and highly energetic heavy charged particles, remain an active area of investigation. In this paper, we review recent advances in several areas of the radiobiology of these densely ionizing radiations, also known as heavy ions. Advances are described in the areas of DNA damage and repair, chromosome aberrations, mutagenesis, neoplastic transformation in vitro, genomic instability, normal tissue radiobiology and carcinogenesis in vivo. We focus on technical innovations, including novel applications of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), linkage analysis, and studies of gene expression and protein expression. We also highlight the use of new cellular and animal systems, including those with defined DNA repair deficiencies, as well as epithelial cell model systems to assess neoplastic transformation both in vitro and in vivo. The studies reviewed herein have had a substantial impact on our understanding of the genotoxic effects of heavy ions as well as their distinct effects on tissue homeostasis. The use of these radiations in cancer therapy is also discussed. The use of both heavy-ion and proton therapy is on the upswing in several centers around the world, due to their unique energy deposition characteristics that enhance the therapeutic effect and help reduce damage to normal tissue.

  16. Tibolone protects astrocytic cells from glucose deprivation through a mechanism involving estrogen receptor beta and the upregulation of neuroglobin expression.

    PubMed

    Avila-Rodriguez, Marco; Garcia-Segura, Luis Miguel; Hidalgo-Lanussa, Oscar; Baez, Eliana; Gonzalez, Janneth; Barreto, George E

    2016-09-15

    Tibolone, a synthetic steroid used for the prevention of osteoporosis and the treatment of climacteric symptoms in post-menopausal women, may exert tissue selective estrogenic actions acting on estrogen receptors (ERs). We previously showed that tibolone protects human T98G astroglial cells against glucose deprivation (GD). In this study we have explored whether the protective effect of tibolone on these cells is mediated by ERs. Experimental studies showed that both ERα and ERβ were involved in the protection by tibolone on GD cells, being ERβ preferentially involved on these actions over ERα. Tibolone increased viability of GD cells by a mechanism fully blocked by an ERβ antagonist and partially blocked by an ERα antagonist. Furthermore, ERβ inhibition prevented the effect of tibolone on nuclear fragmentation, ROS and mitochondrial membrane potential in GD cells. The protective effect of tibolone was mediated by neuroglobin. Tibolone upregulated neuroglobin in T98G cells and primary mouse astrocytes by a mechanism involving ERβ and neuroglobin silencing prevented the protective action of tibolone on GD cells. In summary, tibolone protects T98G cells by a mechanism involving ERβ and the upregulation of neuroglobin. PMID:27250720

  17. Designing Laboratory Exercises for the Undergraduate Molecular Biology/Biochemistry Student: Techniques and Ethical Implications Involved in Personalized Medicine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinlander, Kenneth M.; Hall, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Personalized medicine refers to medical care that involves genetically screening patients for their likelihood to develop various disorders. Commercial genome screening only involves identifying a consumer's genotype for a few single nucleotide polymorphisms. A phenotype (such as an illness) is greatly influenced by three factors: genes, gene…

  18. Noise-Induced Mechanism for Biological Homochirality of Early Life Self-Replicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jafarpour, Farshid; Biancalani, Tommaso; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2015-10-01

    The observed single-handedness of biological amino acids and sugars has long been attributed to autocatalysis. However, the stability of homochiral states in deterministic autocatalytic systems relies on cross inhibition of the two chiral states, an unlikely scenario for early life self-replicators. Here, we present a theory for a stochastic individual-level model of autocatalysis due to early life self-replicators. Without chiral inhibition, the racemic state is the global attractor of the deterministic dynamics, but intrinsic multiplicative noise stabilizes the homochiral states, in both well-mixed and spatially extended systems. We conclude that autocatalysis is a viable mechanism for homochirality, without imposing additional nonlinearities such as chiral inhibition.

  19. Noise-Induced Mechanism for Biological Homochirality of Early Life Self-Replicators.

    PubMed

    Jafarpour, Farshid; Biancalani, Tommaso; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2015-10-01

    The observed single-handedness of biological amino acids and sugars has long been attributed to autocatalysis. However, the stability of homochiral states in deterministic autocatalytic systems relies on cross inhibition of the two chiral states, an unlikely scenario for early life self-replicators. Here, we present a theory for a stochastic individual-level model of autocatalysis due to early life self-replicators. Without chiral inhibition, the racemic state is the global attractor of the deterministic dynamics, but intrinsic multiplicative noise stabilizes the homochiral states, in both well-mixed and spatially extended systems. We conclude that autocatalysis is a viable mechanism for homochirality, without imposing additional nonlinearities such as chiral inhibition. PMID:26550754

  20. Untangling nociceptive, neuropathic and neuroplastic mechanisms underlying the biological domain of back pain.

    PubMed

    Hush, Julia M; Stanton, Tasha R; Siddall, Philip; Marcuzzi, Anna; Attal, Nadine

    2013-05-01

    SUMMARY Current clinical practice guidelines advocate a model of diagnostic triage for back pain, underpinned by the biopsychosocial paradigm. However, limitations of this clinical model have become apparent: it can be difficult to classify patients into the diagnostic triage categories; patients with 'nonspecific back pain' are clearly not a homogenous group; and mean effects of treatments based on this approach are small. In this article, it is proposed that the biological domain of the biopsychosocial model needs to be reconceptualized using a neurobiological mechanism-based approach. Recent evidence about nociceptive and neuropathic contributors to back pain is outlined in the context of maladaptive neuroplastic changes of the somatosensory system. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed. PMID:24654765

  1. Racism, society, and disease: an exploration of the social and biological mechanisms of differential mortality.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R; Steinhauer, M; Miller, W; David, R; Schatzkin, A

    1981-01-01

    Racial differentials in mortality provide important insight into the nature of mass disease in capitalist society. Not only are the differentials sizable in magnitude, they are consistent for multiple causes of death and appear to evolve in response to social development. The relationships among social factors and the biological and physical agents of disease can be identified through racial contrasts and a pattern of causation which applies to both the minority and majority populations described. Furthermore, the impact of exploitation as the primary disease-mediating factor under capitalist social relations can be estimated. This paper attempts to combine an analysis of bio-medical mechanisms with Marxist social theory in a comprehensive framework for the study of the social origins of racial differentials. PMID:7298254

  2. In situ activity recovery of aging biofilm in biological aerated filter: Surfactants treatment and mechanisms study.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qisheng; Huang, Hui; Ren, Hongqiang; Ding, Lili; Geng, Jinju

    2016-11-01

    In situ activity recovery of aging biofilm in the biological aerated filter (BAF) is an important but underappreciated problem. Lab-scaled BAFs were established in this study and three kinds of surfactants containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) and rhamnolipid were employed. Multiple indicators including effluent qualities, dissolved organic matters, biofilm physiology and morphology characteristics were investigated to explore the mechanisms. Results showed that removal rates of effluent COD in test groups significantly recovered to the level before aging. Compared with the control, effluent in SDBS and rhamnolipid-treated groups obtained more protein-like and humic-like substances, respectively. Furthermore, great live cell ratio, smooth surface and low adhesion force of biofilm were observed after rhamnolipid treatment, which was in consistent with good effluent qualities in the same group. This is the first report of applying rhamnolipid for in situ activity recovery of aging biofilm in bioreactors. PMID:27513646

  3. Studying chemical reactions in biological systems with MBN Explorer: implementation of molecular mechanics with dynamical topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sushko, Gennady B.; Solov'yov, Ilia A.; Verkhovtsev, Alexey V.; Volkov, Sergey N.; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of molecular mechanics force field has been widely accepted nowadays for studying various processes in biomolecular systems. In this paper, we suggest a modification for the standard CHARMM force field that permits simulations of systems with dynamically changing molecular topologies. The implementation of the modified force field was carried out in the popular program MBN Explorer, and, to support the development, we provide several illustrative case studies where dynamical topology is necessary. In particular, it is shown that the modified molecular mechanics force field can be applied for studying processes where rupture of chemical bonds plays an essential role, e.g., in irradiation- or collision-induced damage, and also in transformation and fragmentation processes involving biomolecular systems. Contribution to the Topical Issue "COST Action Nano-IBCT: Nano-scale Processes Behind Ion-Beam Cancer Therapy", edited by Andrey V. Solov'yov, Nigel Mason, Gustavo Garcia and Eugene Surdutovich.

  4. Investigation of cellular mechanisms involved in apoptosis induced by a synthetic naphthylchalcone in acute leukemia cell lines.

    PubMed

    Maioral, Mariana Franzoni; Moraes, Ana Carolina Rabello de; Sgambatti, Karen Ristau; Mascarello, Alessandra; Chiaradia-Delatorre, Louise Domeneghini; Yunes, Rosendo Augusto; Nunes, Ricardo José; Santos da Silva, Maria Cláudia

    2016-09-01

    We have previously reported the cytotoxic effects of chalcone A1, derived from 1-naphthaldehyde, in leukemia cell lines. On the basis of these findings, the main aim of this study was to elucidate some of the molecular mechanisms involved in apoptosis induced by chalcone A1 toward K562 and Jurkat cells. In both cell lines, chalcone A1 decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, increased the expression of Bax proapoptotic protein, and decreased the expression of Bcl-2 antiapoptotic protein (resulting in the inversion of the Bcl-2/Bax ratio), which indicates the involvement of the intrinsic pathway. In addition, chalcone A1 increased the expression of FasR in Jurkat cells, which also indicates the involvement of the extrinsic pathway in this cell line. The results also showed an increased expression of effector caspase-3 and cleaved PARP-1 and a decreased expression of IAP protein survivin, which are consistent with apoptotic cell death. The decreased expression of Ki67 suggests that the mechanism involved in cell death induced by chalcone A1 also involves a decrease in cell proliferation. In ex-vivo experiments, chalcone A1 reduced the cell viability of blast cells collected from eight patients with different types of acute leukemia, confirming the cytotoxicity results found in vitro. The results obtained so far are very promising and further studies need to be carried out so that chalcone A1 can be used as a prototype for the development of new antileukemia agents. PMID:27337110

  5. Shear strength characteristics of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste (MBT-MSW) from Bangalore

    SciTech Connect

    Sivakumar Babu, G.L.; Lakshmikanthan, P.; Santhosh, L.G.

    2015-05-15

    Highlights: • Shear strength properties of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste. • Effect of unit weight and particle size on the shear strength of waste. • Effect of particle size on the strength properties. • Stiffness ratio and the strength ratio of MSW. - Abstract: Strength and stiffness properties of municipal solid waste (MSW) are important in landfill design. This paper presents the results of comprehensive testing of shear strength properties of mechanically biologically treated municipal solid waste (MBT-MSW) in laboratory. Changes in shear strength of MSW as a function of unit weight and particle size were investigated by performing laboratory studies on the MSW collected from Mavallipura landfill site in Bangalore. Direct shear tests, small scale and large scale consolidated undrained and drained triaxial tests were conducted on reconstituted compost reject MSW samples. The triaxial test results showed that the MSW samples exhibited a strain-hardening behaviour and the strength of MSW increased with increase in unit weight. Consolidated drained tests showed that the mobilized shear strength of the MSW increased by 40% for a unit weight increase from 7.3 kN/m{sup 3} to 10.3 kN/m{sup 3} at 20% strain levels. The mobilized cohesion and friction angle ranged from 5 to 9 kPa and 8° to 33° corresponding to a strain level of 20%. The consolidated undrained tests exhibited reduced friction angle values compared to the consolidated drained tests. The friction angle increased with increase in the unit weight from 8° to 55° in the consolidated undrained tests. Minor variations were found in the cohesion values. Relationships for strength and stiffness of MSW in terms of strength and stiffness ratios are developed and discussed. The stiffness ratio and the strength ratio of MSW were found to be 10 and 0.43.

  6. A mechanism for biologically-induced iodine emissions from sea-ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz-Lopez, A.; Blaszczak-Boxe, C. S.; Carpenter, L. J.

    2015-04-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements have reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea-ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea-ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, to accumulate in the quasi-liquid layer (QLL) on the surface of sea-ice. Prior to reaching the QLL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea-ice is depth-dependent. The QLL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest iodine is released to the atmosphere via 3 possible pathways: (1) emitted from the QLL and then transported throughout snow atop sea-ice, to be released to the atmosphere, (2) released directly from the QLL to the atmosphere in regions of sea-ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea-ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. The results show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e., I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea-ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during this timeframe. The model results also indicate that iodine may trigger the catalytic release of bromine from sea-ice through phase

  7. Biodegradation of endocrine-disrupting compounds by ligninolytic fungi: mechanisms involved in the degradation.

    PubMed

    Cajthaml, Tomáš

    2015-12-01

    Without any doubt, endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) represent an environmental risk for wildlife and human beings. Endocrine-disrupting effects were found for many chemicals in products for personal use, industrial compounds and even in classical persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In order to understand the fate of EDCs in the environment, it is highly important to identify and to clarify the biodegradation mechanisms that can lead to their decomposition. Ligninolytic fungi (LF) are interesting microorganisms that are capable of participating in a variety of versatile decomposition mechanisms. The microorganisms represent a useful model group and, moreover, LF or their enzymes can be actively used for decontamination. Potential optimization of the decontamination process provides another important reason why it is necessary for understanding the mechanisms of EDC transformation. This minireview summarizes current knowledge about the LF biodegradation mechanisms of the most important micropollutants (xenoestrogens), including nonylphenols, bisphenol A and 17α-ethinylestradiol and polychlorinated biphenyls as POPs with endocrine-disrupting potency. Generally, LF exhibit the ability to either polymerize the target pollutants or to substantially decompose the original structure using ligninolytic enzymes and cytochrome P-450. Moreover, most of the transformation processes are accompanied by reduction of the endocrine-disrupting activity or ecotoxicity. PMID:24650234

  8. How preconditioning affects the measurement of poro-viscoelastic mechanical properties in biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, Sayyed Mohsen; Wilson, Wouter; Ito, Keita; van Donkelaar, Corrinus C

    2014-06-01

    It is known that initial loading curves of soft biological tissues are substantially different from subsequent loadings. The later loading curves are generally used for assessing the mechanical properties of a tissue, and the first loading cycles, referred to as preconditioning, are omitted. However, slow viscoelastic phenomena related to fluid flow or collagen viscoelasticity are initiated during these first preconditioning loading cycles and may persist during the actual data collection. When these data are subsequently used for fitting of material properties, the viscoelastic phenomena that occurred during the initial cycles are not accounted for. The aim of the present study is to explore whether the above phenomena are significant for articular cartilage, by evaluating the effect of such time-dependent phenomena by means of computational modeling. Results show that under indentation, collagen viscoelasticity dominates the time-dependent behavior. Under UC, fluid-dependent effects are more important. Interestingly, viscoelastic and poroelastic effects may act in opposite directions and may cancel each other out in a stress-strain curve. Therefore, equilibrium may be apparent in a stress-strain relationship, even though internally the tissue is not in equilibrium. Also, the time-dependent effects of viscoelasticity and poroelasticity may reinforce each other, resulting in a sustained effect that lasts longer than suggested by their individual effects. Finally, the results illustrate that data collected from a mechanical test may depend on the preconditioning protocol. In conclusion, preconditioning influences the mechanical response of articular cartilage significantly and therefore cannot be neglected when determining the mechanical properties. To determine the full viscoelastic and poroelastic properties of articular cartilage requires fitting to both preconditioning and post-preconditioned loading cycles. PMID:23864393

  9. Involvement of breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) in the biliary excretion mechanism of fluoroquinolones.

    PubMed

    Ando, Tomohiro; Kusuhara, Hiroyuki; Merino, Gracia; Alvarez, Ana I; Schinkel, Alfred H; Sugiyama, Yuichi

    2007-10-01

    Fluoroquinolones are effective antibiotics for the treatment of bile duct infections. It has been shown that the biliary excretion of grepafloxacin is partly accounted for by multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2/ABCC2), whereas neither MRP2 nor P-glycoprotein is involved in the biliary excretion of ulifloxacin. In the present study, we examined the involvement of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2) in the biliary excretion of fluoroquinolones (grepafloxacin, ulifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and ofloxacin). In Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells expressing human BCRP or mouse Bcrp, the basal-to-apical transport of grepafloxacin and ulifloxacin was greater than that of the mock control, which was inhibited by a BCRP inhibitor, 3-(6-isobutyl-9-methoxy-1,4-dioxo-1,2,3,4,6,7,12,12a-octahydropyrazino[1',2':1,6]pyrido[3,4-b]indol-3-yl)-propionic acid tert-butyl ester (Ko143). Plasma and bile concentrations of fluoroquinolones were determined in wild-type and Bcrp(-/-) mice after i.v. bolus injection. The cumulative biliary excretion of fluoroquinolones was significantly reduced in Bcrp(-/-) mice, resulting in a reduction of the biliary excretion clearances to 86, 50, 40, and 16 of the control values, for ciprofloxacin, grepafloxacin, ofloxacin, and ulifloxacin, respectively. Preinfusion of sulfobromophthalein significantly inhibited the biliary excretion of grepafloxacin in Bcrp(-/-) mice. There was no change in the tissue/plasma concentration ratios of fluoroquinolones in the liver or brain, whereas those in the kidney were increased 3.6- and 1.5-fold for ciprofloxacin and grepafloxacin, respectively, in Bcrp(-/-) mice but were unchanged for ofloxacin and ulifloxacin. The present study shows that BCRP mediates the biliary excretion of fluoroquinolones and suggests that it is also involved in the tubular secretion of ciprofloxacin and grepafloxacin. PMID:17639028

  10. Residual Force Enhancement Following Eccentric Contractions: A New Mechanism Involving Titin.

    PubMed

    Herzog, W; Schappacher, G; DuVall, M; Leonard, T R; Herzog, J A

    2016-07-01

    Eccentric muscle properties are not well characterized by the current paradigm of the molecular mechanism of contraction: the cross-bridge theory. Findings of force contributions by passive structural elements a decade ago paved the way for a new theory. Here, we present experimental evidence and theoretical support for the idea that the structural protein titin contributes to active force production, thereby explaining many of the unresolved properties of eccentric muscle contraction. PMID:27252165

  11. Complete catalytic cycle of cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase involves a spring-loaded mechanism.

    PubMed

    Roychowdhury, Amlan; Kundu, Anirban; Bose, Madhuparna; Gujar, Akanksha; Mukherjee, Somnath; Das, Amit Kumar

    2015-03-01

    Cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase (iPGM), an important enzyme in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, catalyses the isomerization of 2- and 3-phosphoglycerates by an Mn(2+)-dependent phospho-transfer mechanism via a phospho-enzyme intermediate. Crystal structures of bi-domain iPGM from Staphylococcus aureus, together with substrate-bound forms, have revealed a new conformation of the enzyme, representing an intermediate state of domain movement. The substrate-binding site and the catalytic site are present in two distinct domains in the intermediate form. X-ray crystallography complemented by simulated dynamics has enabled delineation of the complete catalytic cycle, which includes binding of the substrate, followed by its positioning into the catalytic site, phospho-transfer and finally product release. The present work describes a novel mechanism of domain movement controlled by a hydrophobic patch that is exposed on domain closure and acts like a spring to keep the protein in open conformation. Domain closing occurs after substrate binding, and is essential for phospho-transfer, whereas the open conformation is a prerequisite for efficient substrate binding and product dissociation. A new model of catalysis has been proposed by correlating the hinge-bending motion with the phospho-transfer mechanism. PMID:25611430

  12. Neurobiological mechanisms involved in nicotine dependence and reward: participation of the endogenous opioid system

    PubMed Central

    Berrendero, Fernando; Robledo, Patricia; Trigo, José Manuel; Martín-García, Elena; Maldonado, Rafael

    2010-01-01

    Nicotine is the primary component of tobacco that maintains the smoking habit and develops addiction. The adaptive changes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors produced by repeated exposure to nicotine play a crucial role in the establishment of dependence. However, other neurochemical systems also participate in the addictive effects of nicotine including glutamate, cannabinoids, GABA and opioids. This review will cover the involvement of these neurotransmitters in nicotine addictive properties, with a special emphasis on the endogenous opioid system. Thus, endogenous enkephalins and beta-endorphins acting on mu-opioid receptors are involved in nicotine rewarding effects, whereas opioid peptides derived from prodynorphin participate in nicotine aversive responses. An upregulation of mu-opioid receptors has been reported after chronic nicotine treatment that could counteract the development of nicotine tolerance, whereas the downregulation induced on kappa-opioid receptors seems to facilitate nicotine tolerance. Endogenous enkephalins acting on mu-opioid receptors also play a role in the development of physical dependence to nicotine. In agreement with these actions of the endogenous opioid system, the opioid antagonist naltrexone has shown to be effective for smoking cessation in certain subpopulations of smokers. PMID:20170672

  13. Discovery of a Biological Mechanism of Active Transport through the Tympanic Membrane to the Middle Ear.

    PubMed

    Kurabi, Arwa; Pak, Kwang K; Bernhardt, Marlen; Baird, Andrew; Ryan, Allen F

    2016-01-01

    Otitis media (OM) is a common pediatric disease for which systemic antibiotics are often prescribed. While local treatment would avoid the systemic treatment side-effects, the tympanic membrane (TM) represents an impenetrable barrier unless surgically breached. We hypothesized that the TM might harbor innate biological mechanisms that could mediate trans-TM transport. We used two M13-bacteriophage display biopanning strategies to search for mediators of trans-TM transport. First, aliquots of linear phage library displaying 10(10th) 12mer peptides were applied on the TM of rats with active bacterial OM. The middle ear (ME) contents were then harvested, amplified and the preparation re-applied for additional rounds. Second, the same naïve library was sequentially screened for phage exhibiting TM binding, internalization and then transit. Results revealed a novel set of peptides that transit across the TM to the ME in a time and temperature dependent manner. The peptides with highest transport capacities shared sequence similarities. Historically, the TM was viewed as an impermeable barrier. However, our studies reveal that it is possible to translocate peptide-linked small particles across the TM. This is the first comprehensive biopanning for the isolation of TM transiting peptidic ligands. The identified mechanism offers a new drug delivery platform into the ME. PMID:26946957

  14. Discovery of a Biological Mechanism of Active Transport through the Tympanic Membrane to the Middle Ear

    PubMed Central

    Kurabi, Arwa; Pak, Kwang K.; Bernhardt, Marlen; Baird, Andrew; Ryan, Allen F.

    2016-01-01

    Otitis media (OM) is a common pediatric disease for which systemic antibiotics are often prescribed. While local treatment would avoid the systemic treatment side-effects, the tympanic membrane (TM) represents an impenetrable barrier unless surgically breached. We hypothesized that the TM might harbor innate biological mechanisms that could mediate trans-TM transport. We used two M13-bacteriophage display biopanning strategies to search for mediators of trans-TM transport. First, aliquots of linear phage library displaying 1010th 12mer peptides were applied on the TM of rats with active bacterial OM. The middle ear (ME) contents were then harvested, amplified and the preparation re-applied for additional rounds. Second, the same naïve library was sequentially screened for phage exhibiting TM binding, internalization and then transit. Results revealed a novel set of peptides that transit across the TM to the ME in a time and temperature dependent manner. The peptides with highest transport capacities shared sequence similarities. Historically, the TM was viewed as an impermeable barrier. However, our studies reveal that it is possible to translocate peptide-linked small particles across the TM. This is the first comprehensive biopanning for the isolation of TM transiting peptidic ligands. The identified mechanism offers a new drug delivery platform into the ME. PMID:26946957

  15. A mechanism for biologically-induced iodine emissions from sea-ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boxe, C.

    2015-12-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea-ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea-ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, to accumulate in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea-ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea-ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest iodine is released to the atmosphere via 3 possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea-ice, to be released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea-ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea-ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, nevertheless the results show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e., I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea-ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during this timeframe. The model results

  16. Involvement of three mechanisms in the alteration of cytokine responses by sodium methyldithiocarbamate

    SciTech Connect

    Pruett, Stephen B. . E-mail: spruet@LSUHSC.edu; Fan, Ruping; Zheng, Qiang

    2006-06-01

    Sodium methyldithiocarbamate (SMD) is the third most abundantly used conventional pesticide in the U.S. We recently reported that it alters the induction of cytokine production mediated though Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 at relevant dosages in mice. Its chemical properties and evidence from the literature suggest thee potential mechanisms of action for this compound. It could either act as a free radical scavenger (by means of its free S{sup -}group) or promote oxidation by breaking down to form methylisothiocyanate, which can deplete glutathione. It is a potent copper chelator and may affect the availability of copper to a number of copper-dependent enzymes (including some signaling molecules). SMD induces a classical neuroendocrine stress response characterized by elevated serum corticosterone concentrations, which could affect cytokine production. Although each of these mechanisms could potentially contribute to altered cytokine responses, direct evidence is lacking. The present study was conducted to obtain such evidence. The role of redox balance was investigated by pretreating mice with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which increases cellular glutathione concentrations, before administration of SMD. NAC exacerbated the SMD-induced suppression of IL-12 and the SMD-induced enhancement of IL-10 in the serum. The role of copper chelation was investigated by comparing the effects of SMD with an equimolar dose to SMD that was administered in the form of a copper chelation complex. Addition of copper significantly decreased the action of SMD on IL-12 production but not on IL-10 production. The role of the stress response was investigated by pretreating mice with antagonists of corticosterone and catecholamines. This treatment partially prevented the action of SMD on IL-10 and IL-12 in the peritoneal fluid. The results suggest that all of the proposed mechanisms have some role in the alteration of cytokine production by SMD.

  17. Mechanisms involved in cardiac sensitization by volatile anesthetics: general applicability to halogenated hydrocarbons?

    PubMed

    Himmel, Herbert M

    2008-01-01

    An increased sensitivity of the heart to catecholamines or cardiac sensitization is a recognized risk during acute human exposure to halogenated hydrocarbons used as solvents, foam-blowing or fire-extinguishing agents, refrigerants, and aerosol propellants. Although cardiac sensitization to such "industrial" halocarbons can result in serious arrhythmia and death, research into its mechanistic basis has been limited, whereas the literature on volatile anesthetics (e.g., halothane, chloroform) is comparably extensive. A review of the literature on halocarbons and related volatile anesthetics was conducted. The available experimental evidence suggests that volatile anesthetics at physiologically relevant concentrations interact predominantly with the main repolarizing cardiac potassium channels hERG and I(Ks), as well as with calcium and sodium channels at slightly higher concentrations. On the level of the heart, inhibition of these ion channels is prone to alter both action potential shape (triangulation) and electrical impulse conduction, which may facilitate arrhythmogenesis by volatile anesthetics per se and is potentiated by catecholamines. Action potential triangulation by regionally heterogeneous inhibition of calcium and potassium channels will facilitate catecholamine-induced afterdepolarizations, triggered activity, and enhanced automaticity. Inhibition of cardiac sodium channels will reduce conduction velocity and alter refractory period; this is potentiated by catecholamines and promotes reentry arrhythmias. Other cardiac and/or neuronal mechanisms might also contribute to arrhythmogenesis. The few scattered in vitro data available for halocarbons (e.g., FC-12, halon 1301, trichloroethylene) suggest inhibition of cardiac sodium (conduction), calcium and potassium channels (triangulation), extraneuronal catecholamine reuptake, and various neuronal ion channels. Therefore, it is hypothesized that halocarbons promote cardiac sensitization by similar

  18. The principal motions involved in the coupling mechanism of the recovery stroke of the myosin motor.

    SciTech Connect

    Mesentean, Sidonia; Koppole, Sampath; Smith, Jeremy C; Fischer, S.

    2007-03-01

    Muscle contraction is driven by a cycle of conformational changes in the myosin II head. After myosin binds ATP and releases from the actin fibril, myosin prepares for the next power stroke by rotating back the converter domain that carries the lever arm by 60{sup o}. This recovery stroke is coupled to the activation of myosin ATPase by a mechanism that is essential for an efficient motor cycle. The mechanics of this coupling have been proposed to occur via two distinct and successive motions of the two helices that hold the converter domain: in a first phase a seesaw motion of the relay helix, followed by a piston-like motion of the SH1 helix in a second phase. To test this model, we have determined the principal motions of these structural elements during equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of the crystallographic end states of the recovery-stroke by using principal component analysis. This reveals that the only principal motions of these two helices that make a large-amplitude contribution towards the conformational change of the recovery stroke are indeed the predicted seesaw and piston motions. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the seesaw motion of the relay helix dominates in the dynamics of the pre-recovery stroke structure, but not in the dynamics of the post-recovery stroke structure, and vice versa for the piston motion of the SH1 helix. This is consistent with the order of the proposed two-phase model for the coupling mechanism of the recovery stroke. Molecular movies of these principal motions are available at http://www.iwr.uni-heidelberg.de/groups/biocomp/fischer.

  19. GR-127935-sensitive mechanism mediating hypotension in anesthetized rats: are 5-HT5B receptors involved?

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Maldonado, Carolina; López-Sánchez, Pedro; Anguiano-Robledo, Liliana; Leopoldo, Marcello; Lacivita, Enza; Terrón, José A

    2015-04-01

    The 5-HT1B/1D receptor antagonist, GR-127935, inhibits hypotensive responses produced by the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B/1D and 5-HT7 receptor agonist, and 5-HT5A/5B receptor ligand, 5-carboxamidotryptamine (5-CT), in rats. This work further characterized the above mechanism using more selective 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptor antagonists. Also, expression of 5-HT5A and 5-HT5B receptor mRNAs in blood vessels was searched by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Decreases in diastolic blood pressure induced by 5-CT (0.001-10 μg/kg, intravenously) were analyzed in anesthetized rats that had received intravenous vehicle (1 mL/kg), SB-224289 (5-HT1B antagonist; 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg), BRL15572 (5-HT1D antagonist; 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg), SB-224289 + BRL15572 (0.3 mg/kg, each), or SB-224289 + BRL15572 (0.3 mg/kg, each) + GR-127935 (1 mg/kg). Because only the latter treatment inhibited 5-CT-induced hypotension, suggestive of a mechanism unrelated to 5-HT1B/1D receptors, the effects of antagonists/ligands at 5-HT5A (SB-699551, 1 mg/kg), 5-HT6 (SB-399885, 1 mg/kg), and 5-HT1B/1D/5A/5B/7 receptors (ergotamine, 0.1 mg/kg) on 5-CT-induced hypotension were tested. Interestingly, only ergotamine blocked 5-CT-induced responses; this effect closely paralleled that of SB-224289 + BRL-15572 + GR-127935. Neither did ergotamine nor GR-127935 inhibit hypotensive responses induced by the 5-HT7 receptor agonist, LP-44. Faint but clear bands corresponding to 5-HT5A and 5-HT5B receptor mRNAs in aorta and mesenteric arteries were detected. Results suggest that the GR-127935-sensitive mechanism mediating hypotension in rats is unrelated to 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT5A, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7 receptors. This mechanism, however, resembles putative 5-HT5B receptors. PMID:25502305

  20. Antinociceptive action of Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) in mice: possible mechanisms involved.

    PubMed

    Khanna, N; Bhatia, Jagriti

    2003-10-01

    The alcoholic leaf extract of Ocimum sanctum (OS, Tulsi) was tested for analgesic activity in mice. In the glacial acetic acid (GAA)-induced writhing test, OS (50, 100 mg/kg, i.p.; and 50, 100, 200 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced the number of writhes. OS (50, 100 mg/kg, i.p.) also increased the tail withdrawal latency in mice. Naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an opioid antagonist, and DSP-4 (50 mg/kg, i.p.), a central noradrenaline depletor, attenuated the analgesic effect of OS in both the experimental models, whereas, PCPA (300 mg/kg, i.p.), a serotonin synthesis inhibitor, potentiated the action of OS on tail flick response in mice. The results of our study suggest that the analgesic action of OS is exerted both centrally as well as peripherally and involves an interplay between various neurotransmitter systems. PMID:12963158

  1. SIGNALING MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN THE ACUTE EFFECTS OF ESTRADIOL ON 5-HT CLEARANCE

    PubMed Central

    Benmansour, Saloua; Privratsky, Anthony A.; Adeniji, Opeyemi S.; Frazer, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Estradiol was found previously to have an antidepressant-like effect and to block the ability of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to have an antidepressant-like effect. The antidepressant-like effect of estradiol was due to estrogen receptor β (ERβ) and/or GPR30 activation whereas estradiol’s blockade of the effect of an SSRI was mediated by ERα. This study focuses on investigating signaling pathways as well as interacting receptors associated with these two effects of estradiol. In vivo chronoamperometry was used to measure serotonin transporter (SERT) function. The effect of local application of estradiol or selective agonists for ERα (PPT) or ERβ (DPN) into the CA3 region of the hippocampus of ovariectomized (OVX) rats on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) clearance as well as on the ability of fluvoxamine to slow 5-HT clearance was examined after selective blockade of signaling pathways or that of interacting receptors. Estradiol- or DPN-induced slowing of 5-HT clearance mediated by ERβ was blocked after inhibition of MAPK/ERK1/2 but not of PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. This effect also involved interactions with TrkB, and IGF-1 receptors. Estradiol’s or PPT’s inhibition of the fluvoxamine-induced slowing of 5-HT clearance mediated by ERα, was blocked after inhibition of either MAPK/ERK1/2 or PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. This effect involved interactions with the IGF-1 receptor and with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 but not with TrkB. This study illustrates some of the signaling pathways required for the effects of estradiol on SERT function and particularly shows that ER subtypes elicit different as well as common signaling pathways for their actions. PMID:24423185

  2. Mechanisms of Prescription Drug Diversion Among Drug-Involved Club- and Street-Based Populations

    PubMed Central

    Inciardi, James A.; Surratt, Hilary L.; Kurtz, Steven P.; Cicero, Theodore J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective Prescription drug diversion involves the unlawful channeling of regulated pharmaceuticals from legal sources to the illicit marketplace, and can occur along all points in the drug delivery process, from the original manufacturing site to the wholesale distributor, the physician's office, the retail pharmacy, or the patient. However, empirical data on diversion are limited. Method In an attempt to develop a better understanding of how specific drug-using populations are diverting prescription opioids and other medications, or obtaining controlled drugs that have already been diverted, qualitative interviews and focus group data were collected on four separate populations of prescription drug abusers in Miami, Florida—club drug users, street-based illicit drug users, methadone maintenance patients, and HIV positive individuals who abuse and/or divert drugs. Results Sources of abused prescription drugs cited by focus group participants were extremely diverse, including their physicians and pharmacists; parents and relatives; “doctor shopping”; leftover supplies following an illness or injury; personal visits to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean; prescriptions intended for the treatment of mental illness; direct sales on the street and in nightclubs; pharmacy and hospital theft; through friends or acquaintances; under-the-door apartment flyers advertising telephone numbers to call; and “stealing from grandma's medicine cabinet.” Conclusion While doctor shoppers, physicians and the Internet receive much of the attention regarding diversion, the data reported in this paper suggest that there are numerous active street markets involving patients, Medicaid recipients and pharmacies as well. In addition, there are other data which suggest that the contributions of residential burglaries, pharmacy robberies and thefts, and “sneak thefts” to the diversion problem may be understated. PMID:17305688

  3. Signaling mechanisms involved in the acute effects of estradiol on 5-HT clearance.

    PubMed

    Benmansour, Saloua; Privratsky, Anthony A; Adeniji, Opeyemi S; Frazer, Alan

    2014-05-01

    Estradiol was found previously to have an antidepressant-like effect and to block the ability of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to have an antidepressant-like effect. The antidepressant-like effect of estradiol was due to estrogen receptor β (ERβ) and/or GPR30 activation, whereas estradiol's blockade of the effect of an SSRI was mediated by ERα. This study focuses on investigating signaling pathways as well as interacting receptors associated with these two effects of estradiol. In vivo chronoamperometry was used to measure serotonin transporter (SERT) function. The effect of local application of estradiol or selective agonists for ERα (PPT) or ERβ (DPN) into the CA3 region of the hippocampus of ovariectomized (OVX) rats on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) clearance as well as on the ability of fluvoxamine to slow 5-HT clearance was examined after selective blockade of signaling pathways or that of interacting receptors. Estradiol- or DPN-induced slowing of 5-HT clearance mediated by ERβ was blocked after inhibition of MAPK/ERK1/2 but not of PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. This effect also involved interactions with TrkB, and IGF-1 receptors. Estradiol's or PPT's inhibition of the fluvoxamine-induced slowing of 5-HT clearance mediated by ERα, was blocked after inhibition of either MAPK/ERK1/2 or PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. This effect involved interactions with the IGF-1 receptor and with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1, but not with TrkB. This study illustrates some of the signaling pathways required for the effects of estradiol on SERT function, and particularly shows that ER subtypes elicit different as well as common signaling pathways for their actions. PMID:24423185

  4. Potential of Magnetic Nanofiber Scaffolds with Mechanical and Biological Properties Applicable for Bone Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Rajendra K.; Patel, Kapil D.; Lee, Jae Ho; Lee, Eun-Jung; Kim, Joong-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Hyun; Kim, Hae-Won

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic nanofibrous scaffolds of poly(caprolactone) (PCL) incorporating magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) were produced, and their effects on physico-chemical, mechanical and biological properties were extensively addressed to find efficacy for bone regeneration purpose. MNPs 12 nm in diameter were citrated and evenly distributed in PCL solutions up to 20% and then were electrospun into nonwoven nanofibrous webs. Incorporation of MNPs greatly improved the hydrophilicity of the nanofibers. Tensile mechanical properties of the nanofibers (tensile strength, yield strength, elastic modulus and elongation) were significantly enhanced with the addition of MNPs up to 15%. In particular, the tensile strength increase was as high as ∼25 MPa at 15% MNPs vs. ∼10 MPa in pure PCL. PCL-MNP nanofibers exhibited magnetic behaviors, with a high saturation point and hysteresis loop area, which increased gradually with MNP content. The incorporation of MNPs substantially increased the degradation of the nanofibers, with a weight loss of ∼20% in pure PCL, ∼45% in 10% MNPs and ∼60% in 20% MNPs. Apatite forming ability of the nanofibers tested in vitro in simulated body fluid confirmed the substantial improvement gained by the addition of MNPs. Osteoblastic cells favored the MNPs-incorporated nanofibers with significantly improved initial cell adhesion and subsequent penetration through the nanofibers, compared to pure PCL. Alkaline phosphatase activity and expression of genes associated with bone (collagen I, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein) were significantly up-regulated in cells cultured on PCL-MNP nanofibers than those on pure PCL. PCL-MNP nanofibers subcutaneously implanted in rats exhibited minimal adverse tissue reactions, while inducing substantial neoblood vessel formation, which however, greatly limited in pure PCL. In vivo study in radial segmental defects also signified the bone regeneration ability of the PCL-MNP nanofibrous scaffolds. The magnetic, bone

  5. Beller Lectureship Talk: Active response of biological cells to mechanical stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safran, Samuel

    2009-03-01

    Forces exerted by and on adherent cells are important for many physiological processes such as wound healing and tissue formation. In addition, recent experiments have shown that stem cell differentiation is controlled, at least in part, by the elasticity of the surrounding matrix. We present a simple and generic theoretical model for the active response of biological cells to mechanical stress. The theory includes cell activity and mechanical forces as well as random forces as factors that determine the polarizability that relates cell orientation to stress. This allows us to explain the puzzling observation of parallel (or sometimes random) alignment of cells for static and quasi-static stresses and of nearly perpendicular alignment for dynamically varying stresses. In addition, we predict the response of the cellular orientation to a sinusoidally varying applied stress as a function of frequency and compare the theory with recent experiments. The dependence of the cell orientation angle on the Poisson ratio of the surrounding material distinguishes cells whose activity is controlled by stress from those controlled by strain. We have extended the theory to generalize the treatment of elastic inclusions in solids to ''living'' inclusions (cells) whose active polarizability, analogous to the polarizability of non-living matter, results in the feedback of cellular forces that develop in response to matrix stresses. We use this to explain recent observations of the non-monotonic dependence of stress-fiber polarization in stem cells on matrix rigidity. These findings provide a mechanical correlate for the existence of an optimal substrate elasticity for cell differentiation and function. [3pt] *In collaboration with R. De (Brown University), Y. Biton (Weizmann Institute), and A. Zemel (Hebrew University) and the experimental groups: Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart: S. Jungbauer, R. Kemkemer, J. Spatz; University of Pennsylvania: A. Brown, D. Discher, F. Rehfeldt.

  6. The consequence of biologic graft processing on blood interface biocompatibility and mechanics.

    PubMed

    Van de Walle, Aurore B; Uzarski, Joseph S; McFetridge, Peter S

    2015-09-01

    Processing ex vivo derived tissues to reduce immunogenicity is an effective approach to create biologically complex materials for vascular reconstruction. Due to the sensitivity of small diameter vascular grafts to occlusive events, the effect of graft processing on critical parameters for graft patency, such as peripheral cell adhesion and wall mechanics, requires detailed analysis. Isolated human umbilical vein sections were used as model allogenic vascular scaffolds that were processed with either: 1. sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), 2. ethanol/acetone (EtAc), or 3. glutaraldehyde (Glu). Changes in material mechanics were assessed via uniaxial tensile testing. Peripheral cell adhesion to the opaque grafting material was evaluated using an innovative flow chamber that allows direct observation of the blood-graft interface under physiological shear conditions. All treatments modified the grafts tensile strain and stiffness properties, with physiological modulus values decreasing from Glu 240±12 kPa to SDS 210±6 kPa and EtAc 140±3 kPa, P<.001. Relative to glutaraldehyde treatments, neutrophil adhesion to the decellularized grafts increased, with no statistical difference observed between SDS or EtAc treatments. Early platelet adhesion (% surface coverage) showed no statistical difference between the three treatments; however, quantification of platelet aggregates was significantly higher on SDS scaffolds compared to EtAc or Glu. Tissue processing strategies applied to the umbilical vein scaffold were shown to modify structural mechanics and cell adhesion properties, with the EtAc treatment reducing thrombotic events relative to SDS treated samples. This approach allows time and cost effective prescreening of clinically relevant grafting materials to assess initial cell reactivity. PMID:26322140

  7. BiP and its Nucleotide Exchange Factors Grp170 and Sil1: Mechanisms of Action and Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Behnke, Julia; Feige, Matthias J.; Hendershot, Linda M.

    2015-01-01

    BiP is the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) orthologue of the Hsp70 family of molecular chaperones and is intricately involved in most functions of this organelle through its interactions with a variety of substrates and regulatory proteins. Like all Hsp70 family members, the ability of BiP to bind and release unfolded proteins is tightly regulated by a cycle of ATP binding, hydrolysis, and nucleotide exchange. As a characteristic of the Hsp70 family, multiple DnaJ-like co-factors exist that can target substrates to BiP and stimulate its ATPase activity to stabilize the binding of BiP to substrates. However, only in the past decade have nucleotide exchange factors (NEFs) for BiP been identified, which has shed light not only on the mechanism of BiP assisted folding in the ER but also on Hsp70 family members that reside throughout the cell. We will review the current understanding of the ATPase cycle of BiP in the unique environment of the ER and how it is regulated by the NEFs, Grp170 and Sil1, both of which perform unanticipated roles in various biological functions and disease states. PMID:25698114

  8. BiP and its nucleotide exchange factors Grp170 and Sil1: mechanisms of action and biological functions.

    PubMed

    Behnke, Julia; Feige, Matthias J; Hendershot, Linda M

    2015-04-10

    BiP (immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein) is the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) orthologue of the Hsp70 family of molecular chaperones and is intricately involved in most functions of this organelle through its interactions with a variety of substrates and regulatory proteins. Like all Hsp70 family members, the ability of BiP to bind and release unfolded proteins is tightly regulated by a cycle of ATP binding, hydrolysis, and nucleotide exchange. As a characteristic of the Hsp70 family, multiple DnaJ-like co-factors can target substrates to BiP and stimulate its ATPase activity to stabilize the binding of BiP to substrates. However, only in the past decade have nucleotide exchange factors for BiP been identified, which has shed light not only on the mechanism of BiP-assisted folding in the ER but also on Hsp70 family members that reside throughout the cell. We will review the current understanding of the ATPase cycle of BiP in the unique environment of the ER and how it is regulated by the nucleotide exchange factors, Grp170 (glucose-regulated protein of 170kDa) and Sil1, both of which perform unanticipated roles in various biological functions and disease states. PMID:25698114

  9. Metal Ion Involvement in the Allosteric Mechanism of Escherichia coli Aspartate Transcarbamoylase

    PubMed Central

    Cockrell, Gregory M.; Kantrowitz, Evan R.

    2012-01-01

    E. coli aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) allosterically regulates pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis. The enzyme is inhibited by CTP and can be further inhibited by UTP, although UTP alone has little or no influence on activity; however, the mechanism for the synergistic inhibition is still unknown. In order to determine how UTP is able to synergistically inhibit ATCase in the presence of CTP, we determined a series of X-ray structures of ATCase•nucleotide complexes. Analysis of the X-ray structures revealed that (1) CTP and dCTP bind in a very similar fashion, (2) UTP, in the presence of dCTP or CTP, binds at a site that does not overlap the CTP/dCTP site, (3) the triphosphates of the two nucleotides are parallel to each other with a metal ion, in this case Mg2+, coordinated between the β and γ phosphates of the two nucleotides. Kinetic experiments showed that the presence of a metal ion such as Mg2+ is required for synergistic inhibition. Together these results explain how the binding of UTP can enhance the binding of CTP and why UTP binds more tightly in the presence of CTP. A mechanism for the synergistic inhibition of ATCase is proposed in which the presence of UTP stabilizes the T state even more than CTP alone. These results also call into question many of the past kinetic and binding experiments of ATCase with nucleotides as the presence of metal contamination was not considered important. PMID:22906065

  10. Cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity of opioid and psychostimulant drugs.

    PubMed

    Cunha-Oliveira, Teresa; Rego, Ana Cristina; Oliveira, Catarina R

    2008-06-01

    Substance abuse and addiction are the most costly of all the neuropsychiatric disorders. In the last decades, much progress has been achieved in understanding the effects of the drugs of abuse in the brain. However, efficient treatments that prevent relapse have not been developed. Drug addiction is now considered a brain disease, because the abuse of drugs affects several brain functions. Neurological impairments observed in drug addicts may reflect drug-induced neuronal dysfunction and neurotoxicity. The drugs of abuse directly or indirectly affect neurotransmitter systems, particularly dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurons. This review explores the literature reporting cellular and molecular alterations reflecting the cytotoxicity induced by amphetamines, cocaine and opiates in neuronal systems. The neurotoxic effects of drugs of abuse are often associated with oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis and inhibition of neurogenesis, among other mechanisms. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie brain dysfunction observed in drug-addicted individuals may contribute to improve the treatment of drug addiction, which may have social and economic consequences. PMID:18440072

  11. Activity-Dependent Dendritic Spine Shrinkage and Growth Involve Downregulation of Cofilin via Distinct Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Calabrese, Barbara; Saffin, Jean-Michel; Halpain, Shelley

    2014-01-01

    A current model posits that cofilin-dependent actin severing negatively impacts dendritic spine volume. Studies suggested that increased cofilin activity underlies activity-dependent spine shrinkage, and that reduced cofilin activity induces activity-dependent spine growth. We suggest instead that both types of structural plasticity correlate with decreased cofilin activity. However, the mechanism of inhibition determines the outcome for spine morphology. RNAi in rat hippocampal cultures demonstrates that cofilin is essential for normal spine maintenance. Cofilin-F-actin binding and filament barbed-end production decrease during the early phase of activity-dependent spine shrinkage; cofilin concentration also decreases. Inhibition of the cathepsin B/L family of proteases prevents both cofilin loss and spine shrinkage. Conversely, during activity-dependent spine growth, LIM kinase stimulates cofilin phosphorylation, which activates phospholipase D-1 to promote actin polymerization. These results implicate novel molecular mechanisms and prompt a revision of the current model for how cofilin functions in activity-dependent structural plasticity. PMID:24740405

  12. The principal motions involved in the coupling mechanism of the recovery stroke of the myosin motor

    SciTech Connect

    Mesentean, Sidonia; Koppole, Sampath; Smith, Jeremy C; Fischer, S.

    2006-12-01

    Muscle contraction is driven by a cycle of conformational changes in the myosin II head. After myosin binds ATP and releases from the actin fibril, myosin prepares for the next power stroke by rotating back the converter domain that carries the lever arm by {approx}60 degrees. This recovery stroke is coupled to the activation of myosin's ATPase by a mechanism that is essential for an efficient motor cycle. The mechanics of this coupling have been proposed to occur via two distinct and successive motions of the two helices that hold the converter domain: in a first phase a see-saw motion of the relay helix, followed by a piston/seesaw motion of the SH1 helix in a second phase. To test this model, we have determined the principal motions of these structural elements during equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of the crystallographic end states of the recovery stroke by using Principal Component Analysis. This reveals that the only principal motions of these two helices that make a large amplitude contribution towards the conformational change of the recovery stroke are indeed the predicted seesaw and piston motions.

  13. Mechanical Properties Involved in the Micro-forming of Ultra-thin Stainless Steel Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Cong-Hanh; Thuillier, Sandrine; Manach, Pierre-Yves

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this paper is to characterize the mechanical behavior of an ultra-thin stainless steel, of 0.15-mm thickness, that is commonly used in the manufacturing of miniature connectors. The main focus is the relationship between some microstructural features, like grain size and surface roughness, and the macroscopic mechanical behavior investigated in uniaxial tension and simple shear. In tension, adaptations to the very small sheet thickness, in order to hold the specimen under the grips, are presented. Yield stress, initial elastic modulus, and evolution of the loading-unloading slope with plastic deformation were evaluated. Moreover, the kinematic contribution to the hardening was characterized by monotonic and cyclic simple shear test and reproduced by a mixed hardening law implemented in Abaqus finite element code. Then, the evolution of surface roughness with plastic strain, both in tension and simple shear, was analyzed. It was shown that in the case of an ultra-thin sheet, the stress levels, calculated either from an average thickness or when considering the effect of the surface roughness, exhibit a significant difference. Finally, the influence of surface roughness on the fracture of a tensile specimen was also investigated.

  14. Modulation of a voltage-gated Na+ channel by sevoflurane involves multiple sites and distinct mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Annika F.; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Klein, Michael L.; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.; Covarrubias, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Halogenated inhaled general anesthetic agents modulate voltage-gated ion channels, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not understood. Many general anesthetic agents regulate voltage-gated Na+ (NaV) channels, including the commonly used drug sevoflurane. Here, we investigated the putative binding sites and molecular mechanisms of sevoflurane action on the bacterial NaV channel NaChBac by using a combination of molecular dynamics simulation, electrophysiology, and kinetic analysis. Structural modeling revealed multiple sevoflurane interaction sites possibly associated with NaChBac modulation. Electrophysiologically, sevoflurane favors activation and inactivation at low concentrations (0.2 mM), and additionally accelerates current decay at high concentrations (2 mM). Explaining these observations, kinetic modeling suggests concurrent destabilization of closed states and low-affinity open channel block. We propose that the multiple effects of sevoflurane on NaChBac result from simultaneous interactions at multiple sites with distinct affinities. This multiple-site, multiple-mode hypothesis offers a framework to study the structural basis of general anesthetic action. PMID:24753583

  15. Mechanisms involved in the antinociception induced by spinal administration of inosine or guanine in mice.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Enderson D; Schallenberger, Cristhine; Böhmer, Ana Elisa; Hansel, Gisele; Fagundes, Aécio C; Milman, Michael; Silva, Marcos D P; Oses, Jean P; Porciúncula, Lisiane O; Portela, Luís V; Elisabetsky, Elaine; Souza, Diogo O; Schmidt, André P

    2016-02-01

    It is well known that adenine-based purines exert multiple effects on pain transmission. Recently, we have demonstrated that guanine-based purines may produce some antinociceptive effects against chemical and thermal pain in mice. The present study was designed to investigate the antinociceptive effects of intrathecal (i.t.) administration of inosine or guanine in mice. Additionally, investigation into the mechanisms of action of these purines, their general toxicity and measurements of CSF purine levels were performed. Animals received an i.t. injection of vehicle (30mN NaOH), inosine or guanine (up to 600nmol) and submitted to several pain models and behavioural paradigms. Guanine and inosine produced dose-dependent antinociceptive effects in the tail-flick, hot-plate, intraplantar (i.pl.) glutamate, i.pl. capsaicin and acetic acid pain models. Additionally, i.t. inosine inhibited the biting behaviour induced by spinal injection of capsaicin and i.t. guanine reduced the biting behaviour induced by spinal injection of glutamate or AMPA. Intrathecal administration of inosine (200nmol) induced an approximately 115-fold increase on CSF inosine levels. This study provides new evidence on the mechanism of action of extracellular guanine and inosine presenting antinociceptive effects following spinal administration. These effects seem to be related, at least partially, to the modulation of A1 adenosine receptors. PMID:26712379

  16. A Cell-Regulatory Mechanism Involving Feedback between Contraction and Tissue Formation Guides Wound Healing Progression

    PubMed Central

    Valero, Clara; Javierre, Etelvina; García-Aznar, José Manuel; Gómez-Benito, María José

    2014-01-01

    Wound healing is a process driven by cells. The ability of cells to sense mechanical stimuli from the extracellular matrix that surrounds them is used to regulate the forces that cells exert on the tissue. Stresses exerted by cells play a central role in wound contraction and have been broadly modelled. Traditionally, these stresses are assumed to be dependent on variables such as the extracellular matrix and cell or collagen densities. However, we postulate that cells are able to regulate the healing process through a mechanosensing mechanism regulated by the contraction that they exert. We propose that cells adjust the contraction level to determine the tissue functions regulating all main activities, such as proliferation, differentiation and matrix production. Hence, a closed-regulatory feedback loop is proposed between contraction and tissue formation. The model consists of a system of partial differential equations that simulates the evolution of fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, collagen and a generic growth factor, as well as the deformation of the extracellular matrix. This model is able to predict the wound healing outcome without requiring the addition of phenomenological laws to describe the time-dependent contraction evolution. We have reproduced two in vivo experiments to evaluate the predictive capacity of the model, and we conclude that there is feedback between the level of cell contraction and the tissue regenerated in the wound. PMID:24681636

  17. Molecular profiling of premalignant lesions in lung squamous cell carcinomas identifies mechanisms involved in stepwise carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ooi, Aik T; Gower, Adam C; Zhang, Kelvin X; Vick, Jessica L; Hong, Longsheng; Nagao, Brian; Wallace, W Dean; Elashoff, David A; Walser, Tonya C; Dubinett, Steven M; Pellegrini, Matteo; Lenburg, Marc E; Spira, Avrum; Gomperts, Brigitte N

    2014-05-01

    Lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is thought to arise from premalignant lesions in the airway epithelium; therefore, studying these lesions is critical for understanding lung carcinogenesis. Previous microarray and sequencing studies designed to discover early biomarkers and therapeutic targets for lung SCC had limited success identifying key driver events in lung carcinogenesis, mostly due to the cellular heterogeneity of patient samples examined and the interindividual variability associated with difficult to obtain airway premalignant lesions and appropriate normal control samples within the same patient. We performed RNA sequencing on laser-microdissected representative cell populations along the SCC pathologic continuum of patient-matched normal basal cells, premalignant lesions, and tumor cells. We discovered transcriptomic changes and identified genomic pathways altered with initiation and progression of SCC within individual patients. We used immunofluorescent staining to confirm gene expression changes in premalignant lesions and tumor cells, including increased expression of SLC2A1, CEACAM5, and PTBP3 at the protein level and increased activation of MYC via nuclear translocation. Cytoband enrichment analysis revealed coordinated loss and gain of expression in chromosome 3p and 3q regions, respectively, during carcinogenesis. This is the first gene expression profiling study of airway premalignant lesions with patient-matched SCC tumor samples. Our results provide much needed information about the biology of premalignant lesions and the molecular changes that occur during stepwise carcinogenesis of SCC, and it highlights a novel approach for identifying some of the earliest molecular changes associated with initiation and progression of lung carcinogenesis within individual patients. PMID:24618292

  18. Molecular profiling of premalignant lesions in lung squamous cell carcinomas identifies mechanisms involved in stepwise carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ooi, Aik T.; Gower, Adam C.; Zhang, Kelvin X.; Vick, Jessica L.; Hong, Longsheng; Nagao, Brian; Wallace, W. Dean; Elashoff, David A.; Walser, Tonya C.; Dubinett, Steven M.; Pellegrini, Matteo; Lenburg, Marc E.; Spira, Avrum; Gomperts, Brigitte N.

    2014-01-01

    Lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is thought to arise from premalignant lesions in the airway epithelium; therefore studying these lesions is critical for understanding lung carcinogenesis. Previous microarray and sequencing studies designed to discover early biomarkers and therapeutic targets for lung SCC had limited success identifying key driver events in lung carcinogenesis, mostly due to the cellular heterogeneity of patient samples examined and the inter-individual variability associated with difficult to obtain airway premalignant lesions and appropriate normal control samples within the same patient. We performed RNA sequencing on laser-microdissected representative cell populations along the SCC pathological continuum of patient-matched normal basal cells, premalignant lesions, and tumor cells. We discovered transcriptomic changes and identified genomic pathways altered with initiation and progression of SCC within individual patients. We used immunofluorescent staining to confirm gene expression changes in premalignant lesions and tumor cells, including increased expression of SLC2A1, CEACAM5, and PTBP3 at the protein level and increased activation of MYC via nuclear translocation. Cytoband enrichment analysis revealed coordinated loss and gain of expression in chromosome 3p and 3q regions, respectively, during carcinogenesis. This is the first gene expression profiling study of airway premalignant lesions with patient-matched SCC tumor samples. Our results provide much needed information about the biology of premalignant lesions and the molecular changes that occur during stepwise carcinogenesis of SCC, and it highlights a novel approach for identifying some of the earliest molecular changes associated with initiation and progression of lung carcinogenesis within individual patients. PMID:24618292

  19. Differential effects of mechanical and biological stimuli on matrix metalloproteinase promoter activation in the thoracic aorta

    PubMed Central

    Ruddy, Jean Marie; Jones, Jeffrey A.; Stroud, Robert E.; Mukherjee, Rupak; Spinale, Francis G.; Ikonomidis, John S.

    2009-01-01

    Background The effect of multiple integrated stimuli on vascular wall expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) remains unknown. Accordingly, this study has examined the influence of the vasoactive peptide angiotensin II (AngII) on wall tension-induced promoter activation of MMP-2, MMP-9, and membrane type-1 MMP (MT1-MMP). Methods and Results Thoracic aortic rings harvested from transgenic reporter mice containing the MMP-2, MMP-9, or MT1-MMP promoter sequence fused to a reporter gene were subjected to three hours of wall tension at 70, 85, or 100 mmHg with or without 100nM AngII. Total RNA was harvested from the aortic rings, and reporter gene transcripts were quantified by QPCR to measure MMP promoter activity. MT1-MMP promoter activity was increased at both 85 and 100 mmHg compared to baseline tension of 70 mmHg, while treatment with AngII stimulated MT1-MMP promoter activity to the same degree at all tension levels (p<0.05). Elevated tension and AngII displayed a potential synergistic enhancement of MMP-2 promoter activation at 85 and 100mmHg, while the same stimuli caused a decrease in MMP-9 promoter activity (p<0.05) at 100 mmHg. Conclusions This study has demonstrated that exposure to a relevant biological stimulus (AngII) in the presence of elevated tension modulated MMP promoter activation. Furthermore, these data suggest that a mechanical-molecular set point exists for the induction of MMP promoter activation, and that this set point can be adjusted up or down by a secondary biological stimulus. Together, these results may have significant clinical implications toward the regulation of hypertensive vascular remodeling. PMID:19752377

  20. Modeling of glycerol-3-phosphate transporter suggests a potential 'tilt' mechanism involved in its function.

    PubMed

    Tsigelny, Igor F; Greenberg, Jerry; Kouznetsova, Valentina; Nigam, Sanjay K

    2008-10-01

    Many major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporters have similar 12-transmembrane alpha-helical topologies with two six-helix halves connected by a long loop. In humans, these transporters participate in key physiological processes and are also, as in the case of members of the organic anion transporter (OAT) family, of pharmaceutical interest. Recently, crystal structures of two bacterial representatives of the MFS family--the glycerol-3-phosphate transporter (GlpT) and lac-permease (LacY)--have been solved and, because of assumptions regarding the high structural conservation of this family, there is hope that the results can be applied to mammalian transporters as well. Based on crystallography, it has been suggested that a major conformational "switching" mechanism accounts for ligand transport by MFS proteins. This conformational switch would then allow periodic changes in the overall transporter configuration, resulting in its cyclic opening to the periplasm or cytoplasm. Following this lead, we have modeled a possible "switch" mechanism in GlpT, using the concept of rotation of protein domains as in the DynDom program17 and membranephilic constraints predicted by the MAPAS program.(23) We found that the minima of energies of intersubunit interactions support two alternate positions consistent with their transport properties. Thus, for GlpT, a "tilt" of 9 degrees -10 degrees rotation had the most favorable energetics of electrostatic interaction between the two halves of the transporter; moreover, this confirmation was sufficient to suggest transport of the ligand across the membrane. We conducted steered molecular dynamics simulations of the GlpT-ligand system to explore how glycerol-3-phosphate would be handled by the "tilted" structure, and obtained results generally consistent with experimental mutagenesis data. While biochemical data remain most consistent with a single-site alternating access model, our results raise the possibility that, while the

  1. Exploring the MACH Model's Potential as a Metacognitive Tool to Help Undergraduate Students Monitor Their Explanations of Biological Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Caleb M; Anderson, Trevor R; Pelaez, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of the model in an undergraduate biology classroom as an educational tool to address some of the known challenges. To find out how well students' written explanations represent components of the MACH model before and after they were taught about it and why students think the MACH model was useful, we conducted an exploratory multiple case study with four interview participants. We characterize how two students explained biological mechanisms before and after a teaching intervention that used the MACH components. Inductive analysis of written explanations and interviews showed that MACH acted as an effective metacognitive tool for all four students by helping them to monitor their understanding, communicate explanations, and identify explanatory gaps. Further research, though, is needed to more fully substantiate the general usefulness of MACH for promoting students' metacognition about their understanding of biological mechanisms. PMID:27252295

  2. Increased zinc and copper availability in organic waste amended soil potentially involving distinct release mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Tella, Marie; Bravin, Matthieu N; Thuriès, Laurent; Cazevieille, Patrick; Chevassus-Rosset, Claire; Collin, Blanche; Chaurand, Perrine; Legros, Samuel; Doelsch, Emmanuel

    2016-05-01

    This study aimed at determining the fate of trace elements (TE) following soil organic waste (OW) application. We used a unique combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses, to determine TE speciation, with incubation experiments for in situ monitoring of TE availability patterns over a time course with the technique of the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT). We showed that copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) availability were both increased in OW-amended soil, but their release was controlled by distinct mechanisms. Zn speciation in OW was found to be dominated by an inorganic species, i.e. Zn sorbed on Fe oxides. Zn desorption from Fe oxides could explain the increase in Zn availability in OW-amended soil. Cu speciation in OW was dominated by organic species. Cu release through the mineralization of organic carbon from OW was responsible for the increase in Cu availability. PMID:26854699

  3. Anticonvulsants Teratogenic Mechanism Involves Alteration of Bioelectrically-controlled Processes in the Embryo. A hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Díaz, Sonia; Levin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Maternal use of anticonvulsants during the first trimester of pregnancy has been associated with an elevated risk of major congenital malformations in the offspring. Whether the increased risk is caused by the specific pharmacological mechanisms of certain anticonvulsants, the underlying epilepsy, or common genetic or environmental risk factors shared by epilepsy and malformations is controversial. We hypothesize that anticonvulsant therapies during pregnancy that attain more successful inhibition of neurotransmission might lead to both better seizure control in the mother and stronger alteration of bioelectrically-controlled processes in the embryo that result in structural malformations. If our theory were correct, development of pharmaceuticals that do not alter cell resting transmembrane voltage levels could result in safer drugs. PMID:24815983

  4. Calcium ion involvement in growth inhibition of mechanically stressed soybean (Glycine max) seedlings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. S.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1989-01-01

    A 40-50% reduction in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Century 84] hypocotyl elongation occurred 24 h after application of mechanical stress. Exogenous Ca2+ at 10 mM inhibited growth by 28% if applied with the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 to the zone of maximum hypocotyl elongation. La3+ was even more inhibitory than Ca2+, especially above 5 mM. Treatment with ethyleneglycol-bis-(beta-aminoethylether)-N, N, N', N'-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) alone had no effect on growth of non-stressed seedlings at the concentrations used but negated stress-induced growth reduction by 36% at 4 mM when compared to non-treated, stressed controls. Treatment with EDTA was ineffective in negating stress-induced growth inhibition. Calmodulin antagonists calmidazolium, chlorpromazine, and 48/80 also negated stress-induced growth reduction by 23, 50, and 35%, respectively.

  5. Peripheral mechanisms involved in the pressor and bradycardic effects of centrally administered arachidonic acid.

    PubMed

    Aydin, Cenk; Yalcin, Murat

    2008-06-01

    In the current study, we aimed to determine the cardiovascular effects of arachidonic acid and peripheral mechanisms mediated these effects in normotensive conscious rats. Studies were performed in male Sprague Dawley rats. Arachidonic acid was injected intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) at the doses of 75, 150 or 300 microg and it caused dose- and time-dependent increase in mean arterial pressure and decrease in heart rate in normal conditions. Maximal effects were observed 10 min after 150 and 300 microg dose of arachidonic acid and lasted within 30 min. In order to evaluate the role of main peripheral hormonal mechanisms in those cardiovascular effects, plasma adrenaline, noradrenaline, vasopressin levels and renin activity were measured after arachidonic acid (150 microg; i.c.v.) injection. Centrally injected arachidonic acid increased plasma levels of all these hormones and renin activity. Intravenous pretreatments with prazosin (0.5 mg/kg), an alpha1 adrenoceptor antagonist, [beta-mercapto-beta,beta-cyclopentamethylenepropionyl1, O-Me-Tyr2-Arg8]-vasopressin (10 microg/kg), a vasopressin V1 receptor antagonist, or saralasin (250 microg/kg), an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, partially blocked the pressor response to arachidonic acid (150 microg; i.c.v.) while combined administration of these three antagonists completely abolished the effect. Moreover, both individual and combined antagonist pretreatments fully blocked the bradycardic effect of arachidonic acid. In conclusion, our findings show that centrally administered arachidonic acid increases mean arterial pressure and decreases heart rate in normotensive conscious rats and the increases in plasma adrenaline, noradrenaline, vasopressin levels and renin activity appear to mediate the cardiovascular effects of the drug. PMID:18571395

  6. Mechanisms involved in the antinociception induced by systemic administration of guanosine in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, AP; Böhmer, AE; Schallenberger, C; Antunes, C; Tavares, RG; Wofchuk, ST; Elisabetsky, E; Souza, DO

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: It is well known that adenine-based purines exert multiple effects on pain transmission. However, less attention has been given to the potential effects of guanine-based purines on pain transmission. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of intraperitoneal (i.p.) and oral (p.o.) administration of guanosine on mice pain models. Additionally, investigation into the mechanisms of action of guanosine, its potential toxicity and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) purine levels were also assessed. Experimental approach: Mice received an i.p. or p.o. administration of vehicle (0.1 mM NaOH) or guanosine (up to 240 mg·kg−1) and were evaluated in several pain models. Key results: Guanosine produced dose-dependent antinociceptive effects in the hot-plate, glutamate, capsaicin, formalin and acetic acid models, but it was ineffective in the tail-flick test. Additionally, guanosine produced a significant inhibition of biting behaviour induced by i.t. injection of glutamate, AMPA, kainate and trans-ACPD, but not against NMDA, substance P or capsaicin. The antinociceptive effects of guanosine were prevented by selective and non-selective adenosine receptor antagonists. Systemic administration of guanosine (120 mg·kg−1) induced an approximately sevenfold increase on CSF guanosine levels. Guanosine prevented the increase on spinal cord glutamate uptake induced by intraplantar capsaicin. Conclusions and implications: This study provides new evidence on the mechanism of action of the antinociceptive effects after systemic administration of guanosine. These effects seem to be related to the modulation of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors and non-NMDA glutamate receptors. PMID:20132210

  7. Molecular mechanism of lysosomal sialidase deficiency in galactosialidosis involves its rapid degradation.

    PubMed Central

    Vinogradova, M V; Michaud, L; Mezentsev, A V; Lukong, K E; El-Alfy, M; Morales, C R; Potier, M; Pshezhetsky, A V

    1998-01-01

    Galactosialidosis is an inherited lysosomal storage disease caused by the combined deficiency of lysosomal sialidase and beta-galactosidase secondary to the deficiency of cathepsin A/protective protein, which is associated with sialidase and beta-galactosidase in a high-molecular weight (1.27MDa) complex. Clinical phenotypes of patients as well as the composition of compounds which are stored in patient's tissues implicate sialidase deficiency as the underlying pathogenic defect. The recent cloning and sequencing of lysosomal sialidase [Pshezhetsky, Richard, Michaud, Igdoura, Wang, Elsliger, Qu, Leclerc, Gravel, Dallaire and Potier (1997), Nature Genet. 15, 316-320] allowed us to study the molecular mechanism of sialidase deficiency in galactosialidosis. By Western blotting, using antibodies against the recombinant human enzyme, and by NH2-terminal sequencing, we showed that sialidase is synthesized as a 45.5 kDa precursor and after the cleavage of the 47-amino acid signal peptide and glycosylation becomes a 48.3 kDa mature active enzyme present in the 1.27 kDa complex. Transgenic expression of sialidase in cultured skin fibroblasts from normal controls and from galactosialidosis patients, followed by immunofluorescent and immunoelectron microscopy showed that in both normal and affected cells the expressed sialidase was localized on lysosomal and plasma membranes, but the amount of sialidase found in galactosialidosis cells was approximately 5-fold reduced. Metabolic labelling studies demonstrated that the 48.3 kDa mature active form of sialidase was stable in normal fibroblasts (half-life approximately 2.7 h), whereas in galactosialidosis fibroblasts the enzyme was rapidly converted (half-life approximately 30 min) into 38.7 and 24 kDa catalytically inactive forms. Altogether our data provide evidence that the molecular mechanism of sialidase deficiency in galactosialidosis is associated with abnormal proteolytic cleavage and fast degradation. PMID:9480870

  8. Attentional Biases toward Attractive Alternatives and Rivals: Mechanisms Involved in Relationship Maintenance among Chinese Women

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yidan; Zhao, Guang; Tu, Shen; Zheng, Yong

    2015-01-01

    A long-term romantic relationship can offer many benefits to committed individuals. Thus, humans possess relationship maintenance mechanisms to protect against threats from those who serve as attractive alternatives or intrasexual rivals. Many studies have indicated that romantic love can act as a commitment device to activate these mechanisms. To examine the attentional bias associated with relationship maintenance among 108 college students (49 single and 59 committed females) in China, we used a semantic priming procedure to activate mental representations associated with romantic love and then asked participants to complete a dot-probe task for the purpose of making a distinction between the engage and disengage components of attention. No significant engaging effects toward attractive faces were observed among committed females, but the following significant disengaging effects were found: when primed with romantic love, single females showed increased attention toward and difficulty in disengaging from attractive male faces, whereas females already in a committed relationship did not alter their attention, remaining as inattentive to attractive alternatives as they were in the baseline condition. In addition, committed females responded to love priming by exhibiting difficulty in disengaging from attractive rivals. The present findings provide evidence in the Chinese cultural context for the existence of early-stage attentional processes in the domain of relationship maintenance that committed Chinese females protected an ongoing relationship by not only being inattentive to attractive males who could serve as attractive alternatives, but also being more attentive to attractive females who could be potential rivals when mental representations associated with romantic love were primed. PMID:26309232

  9. Therapeutic targeting of myeloid-derived suppressor cells involves a novel mechanism mediated by clusterin.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Junmin; Donatelli, Sarah S; Gilvary, Danielle L; Tejera, Melba M; Eksioglu, Erika A; Chen, Xianghong; Coppola, Domenico; Wei, Sheng; Djeu, Julie Y

    2016-01-01

    Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) constitute a key checkpoint that impedes tumor immunity against cancer. Chemotherapeutic intervention of MDSCs has gained ground as a strategy for cancer therapy but its mechanism remains obscure.We report here a unique mechanism by which monocytic (M)-MDSCs are spared, allowing them to polarize towards M1 macrophages for reactivation of immunity against breast cancer. We first demonstrated that curcumin, like docetaxel (DTX), can selectively target CD11b(+)Ly6G(+)Ly6C(low) granulocytic (G)-MDSCs, sparing CD11b(+)Ly6G(-)Ly6C(high) M-MDSCs, with reduced tumor burden in 4T1-Neu tumor-bearing mice. Curcumin treatment polarized surviving M-MDSCs toward CCR7(+) Dectin-1(-)M1 cells, accompanied by IFN-γ production and cytolytic function in T cells. Selective M-MDSC chemoresistence to curcumin and DTX was mediated by secretory/cytoplasmic clusterin (sCLU). sCLU functions by trapping Bax from mitochondrial translocation, preventing the apoptotic cascade. Importantly, sCLU was only found in M-MDSCs but not in G-MDSCs. Knockdown of sCLU in M-MDSCs and RAW264.7 macrophages was found to reverse their natural chemoresistance. Clinically, breast cancer patients possess sCLU expression only in mature CD68(+) macrophages but not in immature CD33(+) immunosuppressive myeloid cells infiltrating the tumors. We thus made the seminal discovery that sCLU expression in M-MDSCs accounts for positive immunomodulation by chemotherapeutic agents. PMID:27405665

  10. Attentional Biases toward Attractive Alternatives and Rivals: Mechanisms Involved in Relationship Maintenance among Chinese Women.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yidan; Zhao, Guang; Tu, Shen; Zheng, Yong

    2015-01-01

    A long-term romantic relationship can offer many benefits to committed individuals. Thus, humans possess relationship maintenance mechanisms to protect against threats from those who serve as attractive alternatives or intrasexual rivals. Many studies have indicated that romantic love can act as a commitment device to activate these mechanisms. To examine the attentional bias associated with relationship maintenance among 108 college students (49 single and 59 committed females) in China, we used a semantic priming procedure to activate mental representations associated with romantic love and then asked participants to complete a dot-probe task for the purpose of making a distinction between the engage and disengage components of attention. No significant engaging effects toward attractive faces were observed among committed females, but the following significant disengaging effects were found: when primed with romantic love, single females showed increased attention toward and difficulty in disengaging from attractive male faces, whereas females already in a committed relationship did not alter their attention, remaining as inattentive to attractive alternatives as they were in the baseline condition. In addition, committed females responded to love priming by exhibiting difficulty in disengaging from attractive rivals. The present findings provide evidence in the Chinese cultural context for the existence of early-stage attentional processes in the domain of relationship maintenance that committed Chinese females protected an ongoing relationship by not only being inattentive to attractive males who could serve as attractive alternatives, but also being more attentive to attractive females who could be potential rivals when mental representations associated with romantic love were primed. PMID:26309232

  11. Therapeutic targeting of myeloid-derived suppressor cells involves a novel mechanism mediated by clusterin

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Junmin; Donatelli, Sarah S.; Gilvary, Danielle L.; Tejera, Melba M.; Eksioglu, Erika A.; Chen, Xianghong; Coppola, Domenico; Wei, Sheng; Djeu, Julie Y.

    2016-01-01

    Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) constitute a key checkpoint that impedes tumor immunity against cancer. Chemotherapeutic intervention of MDSCs has gained ground as a strategy for cancer therapy but its mechanism remains obscure.We report here a unique mechanism by which monocytic (M)-MDSCs are spared, allowing them to polarize towards M1 macrophages for reactivation of immunity against breast cancer. We first demonstrated that curcumin, like docetaxel (DTX), can selectively target CD11b+Ly6G+Ly6Clow granulocytic (G)-MDSCs, sparing CD11b+Ly6G−Ly6Chigh M-MDSCs, with reduced tumor burden in 4T1-Neu tumor-bearing mice. Curcumin treatment polarized surviving M-MDSCs toward CCR7+ Dectin-1−M1 cells, accompanied by IFN-γ production and cytolytic function in T cells. Selective M-MDSC chemoresistence to curcumin and DTX was mediated by secretory/cytoplasmic clusterin (sCLU). sCLU functions by trapping Bax from mitochondrial translocation, preventing the apoptotic cascade. Importantly, sCLU was only found in M-MDSCs but not in G-MDSCs. Knockdown of sCLU in M-MDSCs and RAW264.7 macrophages was found to reverse their natural chemoresistance. Clinically, breast cancer patients possess sCLU expression only in mature CD68+ macrophages but not in immature CD33+ immunosuppressive myeloid cells infiltrating the tumors. We thus made the seminal discovery that sCLU expression in M-MDSCs accounts for positive immunomodulation by chemotherapeutic agents. PMID:27405665

  12. Mechanisms involved in the intestinal absorption of dietary vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Earl H

    2012-01-01

    Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for humans and is converted to the visual chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, and to the hormone, retinoic acid. Vitamin A in animal-derived foods is found as long chain acyl esters of retinol and these are digested to free fatty acids and retinol before uptake by the intestinal mucosal cell. The retinol is then reesterified to retinyl esters for incorporation into chlylomicrons and absorbed via the lymphatics or effluxed into the portal circulation facilitated by the lipid transporter, ABCA1. Provitamin A carotenoids such as β-carotene are found in plant-derived foods. These and other carotenoids are transported into the mucosal cell by scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). Provitamin A carotenoids are partly converted to retinol by oxygenase and reductase enzymes and the retinol so produced is available for absorption via the two pathways described above. The efficiency of vitamin A and carotenoid intestinal absorption is determined by the regulation of a number of proteins involved in the process. Polymorphisms in genes for these proteins lead to individual variability in the metabolism and transport of vitamin A and carotenoids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Retinoid and Lipid Metabolism. PMID:21718801

  13. Evolutionary mechanisms involved in the virulence of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), a piscine orthomyxovirus

    SciTech Connect

    Markussen, Turhan Jonassen, Christine Monceyron Numanovic, Sanela Braaen, Stine Hjortaas, Monika Nilsen, Hanne Mjaaland, Siri

    2008-05-10

    Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is an orthomyxovirus causing a multisystemic, emerging disease in Atlantic salmon. Here we present, for the first time, detailed sequence analyses of the full-genome sequence of a presumed avirulent isolate displaying a full-length hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene (HPR0), and compare this with full-genome sequences of 11 Norwegian ISAV isolates from clinically diseased fish. These analyses revealed the presence of a virulence marker right upstream of the putative cleavage site R{sub 267} in the fusion (F) protein, suggesting a Q{sub 266} {yields} L{sub 266} substitution to be a prerequisite for virulence. To gain virulence in isolates lacking this substitution, a sequence insertion near the cleavage site seems to be required. This strongly suggests the involvement of a protease recognition pattern at the cleavage site of the fusion protein as a determinant of virulence, as seen in highly pathogenic influenza A virus H5 or H7 and the paramyxovirus Newcastle disease virus.

  14. An intermolecular binding mechanism involving multiple LysM domains mediates carbohydrate recognition by an endopeptidase

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Jaslyn E. M. M.; Midtgaard, Søren Roi; Gysel, Kira; Thygesen, Mikkel B.; Sørensen, Kasper K.; Jensen, Knud J.; Stougaard, Jens; Thirup, Søren; Blaise, Mickaël

    2015-03-01

    The crystal and solution structures of the T. thermophilus NlpC/P60 d, l-endopeptidase as well as the co-crystal structure of its N-terminal LysM domains bound to chitohexaose allow a proposal to be made regarding how the enzyme recognizes peptidoglycan. LysM domains, which are frequently present as repetitive entities in both bacterial and plant proteins, are known to interact with carbohydrates containing N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) moieties, such as chitin and peptidoglycan. In bacteria, the functional significance of the involvement of multiple LysM domains in substrate binding has so far lacked support from high-resolution structures of ligand-bound complexes. Here, a structural study of the Thermus thermophilus NlpC/P60 endopeptidase containing two LysM domains is presented. The crystal structure and small-angle X-ray scattering solution studies of this endopeptidase revealed the presence of a homodimer. The structure of the two LysM domains co-crystallized with N-acetyl-chitohexaose revealed a new intermolecular binding mode that may explain the differential interaction between LysM domains and short or long chitin oligomers. By combining the structural information with the three-dimensional model of peptidoglycan, a model suggesting how protein dimerization enhances the recognition of peptidoglycan is proposed.

  15. HSP27 Alleviates Cardiac Aging in Mice via a Mechanism Involving Antioxidation and Mitophagy Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shenglan; Wang, Yana; Zhang, Xiaojin; Kong, Qiuyue; Li, Chuanfu; Li, Yuehua; Ding, Zhengnian

    2016-01-01

    Aging-induced cardiac dysfunction is a prominent feature of cardiac aging. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) protects cardiac function against ischemia or chemical challenge. We hypothesized that HSP27 attenuates cardiac aging. Transgenic (Tg) mice with cardiac-specific expression of the HSP27 gene and wild-type (WT) littermates were employed in the experiments. Echocardiography revealed a significant decline in the cardiac function of old WT mice compared with young WT mice. In striking contrast, the aging-induced impairment of cardiac function was attenuated in old Tg mice compared with old WT mice. Levels of cardiac aging markers were lower in old Tg mouse hearts than in old WT mouse hearts. Less interstitial fibrosis and lower contents of reactive oxygen species and ubiquitin-conjugated proteins were detected in old Tg hearts than in old WT hearts. Furthermore, old Tg hearts demonstrated lower accumulation of LC3-II and p62 than old WT hearts. Levels of Atg13, Vps34, and Rab7 were also higher in old Tg hearts than in old WT hearts. Additionally, old Tg hearts had higher levels of PINK1 and Parkin than old WT hearts, suggesting that mitophagy was activated in old Tg hearts. Taken together, HSP27 alleviated cardiac aging and this action involved antioxidation and mitophagy activation. PMID:27110324

  16. Multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms are involved in human Aβ clearance by transplanted adult astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Pihlaja, Rea; Koistinaho, Jari; Kauppinen, Riitta; Sandholm, Jouko; Tanila, Heikki; Koistinaho, Milla

    2011-11-01

    Astrocytes and microglia are able to degrade potentially neurotoxic β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits typical for Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Contrary to microglia, astrocytes degrade human Aβ from tissue sections in vitro without any additional stimulation, but it has remained unclear whether transplanted astrocytes are able to clear deposited human Aβ in vivo. We transplanted adult mouse astrocytes into the hippocampi of transgenic mice mimicking AD and observed their fate, effects on microglial responses, and Aβ clearance. After 2-months follow-up time, we discovered a significant reduction in Aβ burden compared with AD mice infused with PBS only. The remaining Aβ deposits were fragmented and most of the Aβ immunoreactivity was seen within the transplanted astrocytes. Concomitant to Aβ reduction, both CD68 and CD45 immunoreactivities were significantly upregulated but phagocytic microglia were often surrounding and engulfing Aβ burdened, TUNEL-positive astrocytes rather than co-localizing with Aβ alone. Astrocytes are known to degrade Aβ also by secreting proteases involved in Aβ catabolism. To study the contribution of neprilysin (NEP), angiotensin-converting enzyme-1 (ACE-1), and endothelin-converting enzyme-2 (ECE-2) in human Aβ clearance, we utilized an ex vivo assay to demonstrate that adult astrocytes respond to human Aβ by upregulating NEP expression. Further, incubation of adult astrocytes with known inhibitors of NEP, ACE-1, or ECE-2 significantly inhibited the removal of human Aβ from the tissue suggesting an important role for these proteases in Aβ clearance by adult astrocytes ex vivo. PMID:21826742

  17. Functional involvement of G8 in the hairpin ribozyme cleavage mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Pinard, Robert; Hampel, Ken J.; Heckman, Joyce E.; Lambert, Dominic; Chan, Philip A.; Major, Francois; Burke, John M.

    2001-01-01

    The catalytic determinants for the cleavage and ligation reactions mediated by the hairpin ribozyme are integral to the polyribonucleotide chain. We describe experiments that place G8, a critical guanosine, at the active site, and point to an essential role in catalysis. Cross-linking and modeling show that formation of a catalytic complex is accompanied by a conformational change in which N1 and O6 of G8 become closely apposed to the scissile phosphodiester. UV cross-linking, hydroxyl-radical footprinting and native gel electrophoresis indicate that G8 variants inhibit the reaction at a step following domain association, and that the tertiary structure of the inactive complex is not measurably altered. Rate–pH profiles and fluorescence spectroscopy show that protonation at the N1 position of G8 is required for catalysis, and that modification of O6 can inhibit the reaction. Kinetic solvent isotope analysis suggests that two protons are transferred during the rate-limiting step, consistent with rate-limiting cleavage chemistry involving concerted deprotonation of the attacking 2′-OH and protonation of the 5′-O leaving group. We propose mechanistic models that are consistent with these data, including some that invoke a novel keto–enol tautomerization. PMID:11707414

  18. Genes and molecular mechanisms involved in the epileptogenesis of idiopathic absence epilepsies.

    PubMed

    Yalçın, Ozlem

    2012-03-01

    Idiopathic absence epilepsies (IAE), that have high prevalence particularly among children and adolescents, are complex disorders mainly caused by genetic factors. Childhood absence epilepsy and juvenile absence epilepsy are among the most common subtypes of IAEs. While the role of ion channels has been the primary focus of epilepsy research, the analysis of mutation and association in both patients with absence epilepsies and animal models revealed the involvement of GABA receptors and calcium channels, but also of novel non-ion channel proteins in inducing spike wave discharges (SWD). Functional studies on a mutated variant of these proteins also support their role in the epileptogenesis of absence seizures. Studies in animal models point to both the thalamus and cortex as the origin of SWDs: the abnormalities in the components of these circuits leading to seizure activity. This review examines the current research on mutations and susceptibility alleles determined in the genes that code for the subunits of GABA receptors (GABRG2, GABRA1, GABRB3, GABRA5, GABA(B1) and GABA(B2)), calcium channels (CACNA1A, CACNA1G, CACNA1H, CACNA1I, CACNAB4, CACNAG2 and CACNG3), and novel non-ion channel proteins, taking into account the results of functional studies on these variants. PMID:22206818

  19. Observing and diagnosing biological fluxes and canopy mechanisms with implications for climate change and ecosystem disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, David E.

    Improving our predictions of ecosystem responses is an important challenge in ecological science due to the increasing number of stresses applied to biological systems. The assumption that ecosystems are operating in steady-state conditions at annual and longer time scales is far too simple of a model as ecosystems are an integral part of the earth system. Anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic forces acting on ecosystems within the earth system are numerous and include broad external factors such as climate change to specific internal factors such as infestations causing disturbance. This research quantifies changes in biogeochemical cycling and increases understanding of the mechanisms that control these cycles across two major ecosystems of the intermountain west with the broad goal of better predictive power of ecosystem responses. Eddy covariance methods were used to quantify carbon, water and energy fluxes at two different field sites in sagebrush ecosystems and one field site in a lodgepole pine ecosystem, in south-east Wyoming and northern Colorado. These measurements were supported with environmental and micrometeorological measurements in order to better understand physical mechanisms and canopy processes that control these biological fluxes. Results from the sagebrush component of this dissertation show how semi-arid sagebrush canopies interact with the lower atmosphere in ways that can alter environmental control of water loss with changing leaf area. This feedback has large implications combined with the large land area of these ecosystems and predictions of a dryer and more variable precipitation regime in the future. At the higher elevation lodgepole pine site, the ecosystem is undergoing a major mortality disturbance due to native bark beetles. Interestingly, even with ˜80% mortality of the canopy, few changes are observed to carbon and water cycling, as well as water use efficiency and energy cycling at the ecosystem scale. This calls into question

  20. Biological Co-Adaptation of Morphological and Composition Traits Contributes to Mechanical Functionality and Skeletal Fragility

    PubMed Central

    Tommasini, Steven M; Nasser, Philip; Hu, Bin; Jepsen, Karl J

    2008-01-01

    A path analysis was conducted to determine whether functional interactions exist among morphological, compositional, and microstructural traits for young adult human tibias. Data provided evidence that bone traits are co-adapted during ontogeny so that the sets of traits together satisfy physiological loading demands. However, certain sets of traits are expected to perform poorly under extreme load conditions. Introduction Previous data from inbred mouse strains suggested that biological processes within bone co-adapt morphological and compositional traits during ontogeny to satisfy physiological loading demands. Similar work in young adult humans showed that cortical tissue from slender tibias was stiffer, less ductile, and more susceptible to accumulating damage. Here we tested whether the relationships among morphology and tissue level mechanical properties were the result of biological processes that co-adapt physical traits, similar to those observed for the mouse skeleton. Materials and Methods Cross-sectional morphology, bone slenderness (Tt.Ar/Le), and tissue level mechanical properties were measured from tibias from 14 female (22–46 yr old) and 17 male (17–46 yr old) donors. Physical bone traits measured included tissue density, ash content, water content, porosity, and the area fractions of osteonal, interstitial, and circumferential lamellar tissues. Bivariate relationships among traits were determined using linear regression analysis. A path analysis was conducted to test the hypothesis that Tt.Ar/Le is functionally related to mineralization (ash content) and the proportion of total area occupied by cortical bone. Results Ash content correlated negatively with several traits including Tt.Ar/Le and marrow area, indicating that slender bones were constructed of tissue with higher mineralization. Path analysis revealed that slender tibias were compensated by higher mineralization and a greater area fraction of bone. Conclusions The results suggest that

  1. Phospholipase A{sub 2} is involved in the mechanism of activation of neutrophils by polychlorinated biphenyls

    SciTech Connect

    Tithof, P.K.; Schiamberg, E.; Ganey, P.E.; Peters-Golden, M.

    1996-01-01

    Aroclor 1242, a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), activates neutrophils to produce superoxide anion (O{sub 2}{sup {minus}}) by a mechanism that involves phospholipase C-dependent hydrolysis of membrane phosphoinositides; however, subsequent signal transduction mechanisms are unknown. This study determines whether phospholipase A{sub 2}-dependent release of arachidonic acid is involved in PCB-induced O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production. O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production was measured in vitro in glycogen-elicited, rat neutrophils in the presence and absence of the inhibitors of phospholipase A{sub 2}: quinacrine, 4-bromophenacyl bromide (BPB), and manoalide. All three agents significantly decreased the amount of O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} detected during stimulation of neutrophils with Aroclor 1242. Similar inhibition occurred when neutrophils were activated with the classical stimuli, formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) or phorbol myristate acetate. The effects of BPB and manoalide were not a result of cytotoxicity or other nonspecific effects. Significant release of {sup 3}H-arachidonic acid preceded O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production in neutrophils stimulated with Aroclor 1242 or fMLP. Manoalide, at a concentration that abolished O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production, also inhibited the release of {sup 3}H-arachidonate. Aspirin, zileuton, or WEB 2086 did not affect Aroclor 1242-induced O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production, suggesting that eicosanoids and platelet-activating factor are not needed for neutrophil activation by PCBs. Activation of phos-pholipase A{sub 2} and O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production do not appear to involve the Ah receptor. These data suggest that Aroclor 1242 stimulates neutrophils to produce O{sub 2}{sup {minus}} by a mechanism that involves phospholipase A{sub 2}-dependent release of arachiodonic acid. 49 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Mechanisms and recent advances in biological control mediated through the potato rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Diallo, Stéphanie; Crépin, Alexandre; Barbey, Corinne; Orange, Nicole; Burini, Jean-François; Latour, Xavier

    2011-03-01

    Potato cultivation has a strategic role as a food source for the human population. Its promising future development relies on improving the control of the numerous microbial diseases that affect its growth. Numerous and recent studies on the potato rhizosphere, mycorrhizosphere and endorhiza reveal the presence of a diverse and dense microbial community. This microbial community constitutes a rich source for plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and biocontrol agents. So far, the beneficial effects achieved are related to microbial siderophores, antibiotics, biosynthesis of surfactants and phytohormones, nutrient and spatial competition, mycoparasitism, induced systemic resistance, phage therapy, quorum quenching and construction of transgenic lines. Considering the crucial role for food and the diversity of mechanisms involved in growth promotion and microbial protection, potato constitutes a historical and accurate model in developing new biocontrol strategies. PMID:21204870

  3. An update on molecular biology and drug resistance mechanisms of multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Mutlu, Pelin; Kiraz, Yağmur; Gündüz, Ufuk; Baran, Yusuf

    2015-12-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM), a neoplasm of plasma cells, is the second most common hematological malignancy. Incidance rates increase after age 40. MM is most commonly seen in men and African-American population. There are several factors to this, such as obesity, environmental factors, family history, genetic factors and monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance (MGUS) that have been implicated as potentially etiologic. Development of MM involves a series of complex molecular events, including chromosomal abnormalities, oncogene activation and growth factor dysregulation. Chemotherapy is the most commonly used treatment strategy in MM. However, MM is a difficult disease to treat because of its marked resistance to chemotherapy. MM has been shown to be commonly multidrug resistance (MDR)-negative at diagnosis and associated with a high incidence of MDR expression at relapse. This review deals with the molecular aspects of MM, drug resistance mechanisms during treatment and also possible new applications for overcoming drug resistance. PMID:26235594

  4. Dimerization of the 3'UTR of bicoid mRNA involves a two-step mechanism.

    PubMed

    Wagner, C; Palacios, I; Jaeger, L; St Johnston, D; Ehresmann, B; Ehresmann, C; Brunel, C

    2001-10-26

    The proper localization of bicoid (bcd) mRNA requires cis-acting signals within its 3' untranslated region (UTR) and trans-acting factors such as Staufen. Dimerization of bcd mRNA through intermolecular base-pairing between two complementary loops of domain III of the 3'UTR was proposed to be important for particle formation in the embryo. The participation in the dimerization process of each domain building the 3'UTR was evaluated by thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of various mutated and truncated RNAs. Although sequence complementarity between the two loops of domain III is required for initiating mRNA dimerization, the initial reversible loop-loop complex is converted rapidly into an almost irreversible complex. This conversion involves parts of RNA outside of domain III that promote initial recognition, and dimerization can be inhibited by sense or antisense oligonucleotides only before conversion has proceeded. Injection of the different bcd RNA variants into living Drosophila embryos shows that all elements that inhibit RNA dimerization in vitro prevent formation of localized particles containing Staufen. Particle formation appeared to be dependent on both mRNA dimerization and other element(s) in domains IV and V. Domain III of bcd mRNA could be substituted by heterologous dimerization motifs of different geometry. The resulting dimers were converted into stable forms, independently of the dimerization module used. Moreover, these chimeric RNAs were competent in forming localized particles and recruiting Staufen. The finding that the dimerization domain of bcd mRNA is interchangeable suggests that dimerization by itself, and not the precise geometry of the intermolecular interactions, is essential for the localization process. This suggests that the stabilizing interactions that are formed during the second step of the dimerization process might represent crucial elements for Staufen recognition and localization. PMID:11676536

  5. Involvement of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and inflammasome pathway in molecular mechanisms of fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Robert, Sacha; Gicquel, Thomas; Victoni, Tatiana; Valença, Samuel; Barreto, Emiliano; Bailly-Maître, Béatrice; Boichot, Elisabeth; Lagente, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Fibrosis is a basic connective tissue lesion defined by the increase in the fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM) components in tissue or organ. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a major group of proteases known to regulate the turn-over of ECM and so they are suggested to be important in tissue remodelling observed during fibrogenic process associated with chronic inflammation. Tissue remodelling is the result of an imbalance in the equilibrium of the normal processes of synthesis and degradation of ECM components markedly controlled by the MMPs/TIMP imbalance. We previously showed an association of the differences in collagen deposition in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice with a reduced molar pro-MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio. Using the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) preclinical model of liver fibrosis in mice, we observed a significant increase in collagen deposition with increased expression and release of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 both at 24 h and 3 weeks later. This suggests an early altered regulation of matrix turnover involved in the development of fibrosis. We also demonstrated an activation of NLRP3-inflammasome pathway associated with the IL-1R/MyD88 signalling in the development of experimental fibrosis both in lung and liver. This was also associated with an increased expression of purinergic receptors mainly P2X7 Finally, these observations emphasize those effective therapies for these disorders must be given early in the natural history of the disease, prior to the development of tissue remodelling and fibrosis. PMID:27247426

  6. Sex differences in cerebellar mechanisms involved in pain-related safety learning.

    PubMed

    Labrenz, Franziska; Icenhour, Adriane; Thürling, Markus; Schlamann, Marc; Forsting, Michael; Timmann, Dagmar; Elsenbruch, Sigrid

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have suggested that the cerebellum contributes to the central processing of pain, including pain-related learning and memory processes. As a complex experience with multiple emotional and cognitive facets, the response to pain and its underlying neural correlates differ between men and women. However, it remains poorly understood whether and to what extent sex differences exist in the cerebellar contribution to pain-related associative learning processes. In the present conditioning study with experimental abdominal pain as unconditioned stimuli (US), we assessed sex-dependent differences in behavioral and neural responses to conditioned warning and safety cues in healthy volunteers. The results revealed that in response to visual stimuli signaling safety from abdominal pain (CS(-)), women showed enhanced cerebellar activation in lobules I-IV, V, VI, VIIIa, IX and X as well as Crus II and the dentate nucleus, which are mostly representative of somatomotor networks. On the other hand, men showed enhanced neural activation in lobules I-IV, VI, VIIb, VIIIb, IX as well as Crus I and II in response to CS(-), which are representative of frontoparietal and ventral attention networks. No sex differences were observed in response to pain-predictive warning signals (CS(+)). Similarly, men and women did not differ in behavioral measures of conditioning, including conditioned changes in CS valence and contingency awareness. Together, we could demonstrate that the cerebellum is involved in associative learning processes of conditioned anticipatory safety from pain and mediates sex differences in the underlying neural processes. Given the high prevalence of chronic pain conditions in women, these results may contribute to improve our understanding of the acquisition and manifestation of chronic abdominal pain syndromes. PMID:26004678

  7. Involvement of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and inflammasome pathway in molecular mechanisms of fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Robert, Sacha; Gicquel, Thomas; Victoni, Tatiana; Valença, Samuel; Barreto, Emiliano; Bailly-Maître, Béatrice; Boichot, Elisabeth; Lagente, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Fibrosis is a basic connective tissue lesion defined by the increase in the fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM) components in tissue or organ. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a major group of proteases known to regulate the turn-over of ECM and so they are suggested to be important in tissue remodelling observed during fibrogenic process associated with chronic inflammation. Tissue remodelling is the result of an imbalance in the equilibrium of the normal processes of synthesis and degradation of ECM components markedly controlled by the MMPs/TIMP imbalance. We previously showed an association of the differences in collagen deposition in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice with a reduced molar pro-MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio. Using the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) preclinical model of liver fibrosis in mice, we observed a significant increase in collagen deposition with increased expression and release of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 both at 24 h and 3 weeks later. This suggests an early altered regulation of matrix turnover involved in the development of fibrosis. We also demonstrated an activation of NLRP3-inflammasome pathway associated with the IL-1R/MyD88 signalling in the development of experimental fibrosis both in lung and liver. This was also associated with an increased expression of purinergic receptors mainly P2X7. Finally, these observations emphasize those effective therapies for these disorders must be given early in the natural history of the disease, prior to the development of tissue remodelling and fibrosis. PMID:27247426

  8. A systems toxicology approach to elucidate the mechanisms involved in RDX species-specific sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Warner, Christopher M; Gust, Kurt A; Stanley, Jacob K; Habib, Tanwir; Wilbanks, Mitchell S; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Perkins, Edward J

    2012-07-17

    Interspecies uncertainty factors in ecological risk assessment provide conservative estimates of risk where limited or no toxicity data is available. We quantitatively examined the validity of interspecies uncertainty factors by comparing the responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) to the energetic compound 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), a known neurotoxicant. Relative toxicity was measured through transcriptional, morphological, and behavioral end points in zebrafish and fathead minnow fry exposed for 96 h to RDX concentrations ranging from 0.9 to 27.7 mg/L. Spinal deformities and lethality occurred at 1.8 and 3.5 mg/L RDX respectively for fathead minnow and at 13.8 and 27.7 mg/L for zebrafish, indicating that zebrafish have an 8-fold greater tolerance for RDX than fathead minnow fry. The number and magnitude of differentially expressed transcripts increased with increasing RDX concentration for both species. Differentially expressed genes were enriched in functions related to neurological disease, oxidative-stress, acute-phase response, vitamin/mineral metabolism and skeletal/muscular disorders. Decreased expression of collagen-coding transcripts were associated with spinal deformity and likely involved in sensitivity to RDX. Our work provides a mechanistic explanation for species-specific sensitivity to RDX where zebrafish responded at lower concentrations with greater numbers of functions related to RDX tolerance than fathead minnow. While the 10-fold interspecies uncertainty factor does provide a reasonable cross-species estimate of toxicity in the present study, the observation that the responses between ZF and FHM are markedly different does initiate a call for concern regarding establishment of broad ecotoxicological conclusions based on model species such as zebrafish. PMID:22697906

  9. Mechanisms involved in enhancement of the expression and function of aggrecanases by hyaluronan oligosaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Ariyoshi, Wataru; Takahashi, Nobunori; Hida, Daisuke; Knudson, Cheryl B.; Knudson, Warren

    2011-01-01

    Objective Small hyaluronan (HA) oligosaccharides serve as competitive receptor antagonists to displace HA from the cell surface and induce cell signaling events. In articular chondrocytes this cell signaling is mediated by the HA receptor CD44 and induces stimulation of genes involved in matrix degradation such as matrix metalloproteinases as well as matrix repair genes including collagen type II, aggrecan and HA synthase-2. The objective of this study was to determine changes in the expression and function of aggrecanases after disruption of chondrocyte CD44-HA interactions. Methods Bovine articular chondrocytes or bovine cartilage tissue were pre-treated with a variety of inhibitors of major signaling pathways prior to the addition of HA oligosaccharides. Changes in aggrecanase were monitored by real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis of ADAMTS4, ADAMTS5 and aggrecan proteolytic fragments. To test the interactions between ADAMTS4 and MT4-MMP, protein lysates purified from stimulated chondrocytes were subjected to co-immunoprecipitation. Results Disruption of chondrocyte CD44-HA interactions with HA oligosaccharides induced the transcription of ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS5 in time- and dose-dependent manner. The association of GPI-anchored MT4-MMP with ADAMTS4 was also induced in articular chondrocytes by HA oligosaccharides. Inhibition of the NF-κB pathway blocked HA oligosaccharides-mediated stimulation of aggrecanases. Conclusions Disruptive changes in chondrocyte-matrix interactions by HA oligosaccharides induce matrix degradation and elevate aggrecanases via the activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. PMID:21905012

  10. Permeability of membranes to amino acids and modified amino acids: mechanisms involved in translocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakrabarti, A. C.; Deamer, D. W. (Principal Investigator); Miller, S. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The amino acid permeability of membranes is of interest because they are one of the key solutes involved in cell function. Membrane permeability coefficients (P) for amino acid classes, including neutral, polar, hydrophobic, and charged species, have been measured and compared using a variety of techniques. Decreasing lipid chain length increased permeability slightly (5-fold), while variations in pH had only minor effects on the permeability coefficients of the amino acids tested in liposomes. Increasing the membrane surface charge increased the permeability of amino acids of the opposite charge, while increasing the cholesterol content decreased membrane permeability. The permeability coefficients for most amino acids tested were surprisingly similar to those previously measured for monovalent cations such as sodium and potassium (approximately 10(-12)-10(-13) cm s-1). This observation suggests that the permeation rates for the neutral, polar and charged amino acids are controlled by bilayer fluctuations and transient defects, rather than partition coefficients and Born energy barriers. Hydrophobic amino acids were 10(2) more permeable than the hydrophilic forms, reflecting their increased partition coefficient values. External pH had dramatic effects on the permeation rates for the modified amino acid lysine methyl ester in response to transmembrane pH gradients. It was established that lysine methyl ester and other modified short peptides permeate rapidly (P = 10(-2) cm s-1) as neutral (deprotonated) molecules. It was also shown that charge distributions dramatically alter permeation rates for modified di-peptides. These results may relate to the movement of peptides through membranes during protein translocation and to the origin of cellular membrane transport on the early Earth.

  11. Involvement of general control nonderepressible kinase 2 in cancer cell apoptosis by posttranslational mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Wei, Chen; Lin, Ma; Jinjun, Bian; Su, Feng; Dan, Cao; Yan, Chen; Jie, Yang; Jin, Zhang; Zi-Chun, Hua; Wu, Yin

    2015-03-15

    General control nonderepressible kinase 2 (GCN2) is a promising target for cancer therapy. However, the role of GCN2 in cancer cell survival or death is elusive; further, small molecules targeting GCN2 signaling are not available. By using a GCN2 level-based drug screening assay, we found that GCN2 protein level critically determined the sensitivity of the cancer cells toward Na(+),K(+)-ATPase ligand-induced apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo, and this effect was largely dependent on C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) induction. Further analysis revealed that GCN2 is a short-lived protein. In A549 lung carcinoma cells, cellular β-arrestin1/2 associated with GCN2 and maintained the GCN2 protein level at a low level by recruiting the E3 ligase NEDD4L and facilitating consequent proteasomal degradation. However, Na(+),K(+)-ATPase ligand treatment triggered the phosphorylation of GCN2 at threonine 899, which increased the GCN2 protein level by disrupting the formation of GCN2-β-arrestin-NEDD4L ternary complex. The enhanced GCN2 level, in turn, aggravated Na(+),K(+)-ATPase ligand-induced cancer cell apoptosis. Our findings reveal that GCN2 can exert its proapoptotic function in cancer cell death by posttranslational mechanisms. Moreover, Na(+),K(+)-ATPase ligands emerge as the first identified small-molecule drugs that can trigger cancer cell death by modulating GCN2 signaling. PMID:25589675

  12. Auxin-induced growth of Avena coleoptiles involves two mechanisms with different pH optima

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cleland, R. E.

    1992-01-01

    Although rapid auxin-induced growth of coleoptile sections can persist for at least 18 hours, acid-induced growth lasts for a much shorter period of time. Three theories have been proposed to explain this difference in persistence. To distinguish between these theories, the pH dependence for auxin-induced growth of oat (Avena sativa L.) coleoptiles has been determined early and late in the elongation process. Coleoptile sections from which the outer epidermis was removed to facilitate buffer entry were incubated, with or without 10 micromolar indoleacetic acid, in 20 millimolar buffers at pH 4.5 to 7.0 to maintain a fixed wall pH. During the first 1 to 2 hours after addition of auxin, elongation occurs by acid-induced extension (i.e. the pH optimum is <5 and the elongation varies inversely with the solution pH). Auxin causes no additional elongation because the buffers prevent further changes in wall pH. After 60 to 90 minutes, a second mechanism of auxin-induced growth, whose pH optimum is 5.5 to 6.0, predominates. It is proposed that rapid growth responses to changes in auxin concentration are mediated by auxin-induced changes in wall pH, whereas the prolonged, steady-state growth rate is controlled by a second, auxin-mediated process whose pH optimum is less acidic.

  13. Effects of nitric oxide on magnocellular neurons of the supraoptic nucleus involve multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, M.P.; Cedraz-Mercez, P.L.; Varanda, W.A.

    2014-01-01

    Physiological evidence indicates that the supraoptic nucleus (SON) is an important region for integrating information related to homeostasis of body fluids. Located bilaterally to the optic chiasm, this nucleus is composed of magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) responsible for the synthesis and release of vasopressin and oxytocin to the neurohypophysis. At the cellular level, the control of vasopressin and oxytocin release is directly linked to the firing frequency of MNCs. In general, we can say that the excitability of these cells can be controlled via two distinct mechanisms: 1) the intrinsic membrane properties of the MNCs themselves and 2) synaptic input from circumventricular organs that contain osmosensitive neurons. It has also been demonstrated that MNCs are sensitive to osmotic stimuli in the physiological range. Therefore, the study of their intrinsic membrane properties became imperative to explain the osmosensitivity of MNCs. In addition to this, the discovery that several neurotransmitters and neuropeptides can modulate their electrical activity greatly increased our knowledge about the role played by the MNCs in fluid homeostasis. In particular, nitric oxide (NO) may be an important player in fluid balance homeostasis, because it has been demonstrated that the enzyme responsible for its production has an increased activity following a hypertonic stimulation of the system. At the cellular level, NO has been shown to change the electrical excitability of MNCs. Therefore, in this review, we focus on some important points concerning nitrergic modulation of the neuroendocrine system, particularly the effects of NO on the SON. PMID:24519124

  14. What Do Effective Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis Tell Us about the Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Pathogenesis?

    PubMed Central

    Buzzard, Katherine A.; Broadley, Simon A.; Butzkueven, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is a potentially debilitating disease of the central nervous system. A concerted program of research by many centers around the world has consistently demonstrated the importance of the immune system in its pathogenesis. This knowledge has led to the formal testing of a number of therapeutic agents in both animal models and humans. These clinical trials have shed yet further light on the pathogenesis of MS through their sometimes unexpected effects and by their differential effects in terms of impact on relapses, progression of the disease, paraclinical parameters (MRI) and the adverse events that are experienced. Here we review the currently approved medications for the commonest form of multiple sclerosis (relapsing-remitting) and the emerging therapies for which preliminary results from phase II/III clinical trials are available. A detailed analysis of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the efficacy of these medications in multiple sclerosis indicates that blockade or modulation of both T- and B-cell activation and migration pathways in the periphery or CNS can lead to amelioration of the disease. It is hoped that further therapeutic trials will better delineate the pathogenesis of MS, ultimately leading to even better treatments with fewer adverse effects. PMID:23202920

  15. Kindling-induced learning deficiency and possible cellular and molecular involved mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sherafat, Mohammad Amin; Ronaghi, Abdolaziz; Ahmad-Molaei, Leila; Nejadhoseynian, Mohammad; Ghasemi, Rasoul; Hosseini, Arman; Naderi, Nima; Motamedi, Fereshteh

    2013-06-01

    Hippocampus learning disturbance is a major symptom of patients with seizure, hence hippocampal dysfunction has essential role in worsening the disease. Hippocampal formation includes neurons and myelinated fibers that are necessary for acquisition and consolidation of memory, long-term potentiation and learning activity. The exact mechanism by which seizure can decrease memory and learning activity of hippocampus remains unknown. In the present study, electrical kindl