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Sample records for biological molecules multi-quantum

  1. Diversity in Biological Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newbury, H. John

    2010-01-01

    One of the striking characteristics of fundamental biological processes, such as genetic inheritance, development and primary metabolism, is the limited amount of variation in the molecules involved. Natural selective pressures act strongly on these core processes and individuals carrying mutations and producing slightly sub-optimal versions of…

  2. Geochemical Origin of Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassez, Marie-Paule

    2013-04-01

    A model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules is presented. Rocks such as peridotites and basalts, which contain ferromagnesian minerals, evolve in the presence of water. Their hydrolysis is an exothermic reaction which generates heat and a release of H2 and of minerals with modified structures. The hydrogen reacts with the CO2 embedded inside the rock or with the CO2 of the environment to form CO in an hydrothermal process. With the N2 of the environment, and with an activation source arising from cosmic radiation, ferromagnesian rocks might evolve towards the abiotic formation of biological molecules, such as peptide like macromolecules which produce amino acids after acid hydrolysis. The reactions concerned are described. The production of hydrothermal CO is discussed in geological sites containing ferromagnesian silicate minerals and the low intensity of the Earth's magnetic field during Paleoarchaean Era is also discussed. It is concluded that excitation sources arising from cosmic radiation were much more abundant during Paleoarchaean Era and that macromolecular structures of biological relevance might consequently form during Archaean Eon, as a product of the chemical evolution of the rocks and of their mineral contents. This synthesis of abiotically formed biological molecules is consecutively discussed for meteorites and other planets such as Mars. This model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules has first been proposed in 2008 in the context of reactions involving catalysers such as kaolinite [Bassez 2008a] and then presented in conferences and articles [Bassez 2008b, 2009, 2012; Bassez et al. 2009a to 2012b]. BASSEZ M.P. 2008a Synthèse prébiotique dans les conditions hydrothermales, CNRIUT'08, Lyon 29-30/05/2008, Conf. and open access article:http://liris.cnrs.fr/~cnriut08/actes/ 29 mai 11h-12h40. BASSEZ M.P. 2008b Prebiotic synthesis under hydrothermal conditions, ISSOL'08, P2-6, Firenze-Italy, 24-29/08/2008. Poster at the

  3. Single molecule nanometry for biological physics

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Ha, Taekjip

    2013-01-01

    Precision measurement is a hallmark of physics but the small length scale (~ nanometer) of elementary biological components and thermal fluctuations surrounding them challenge our ability to visualize their action. Here, we highlight the recent developments in single molecule nanometry where the position of a single fluorescent molecule can be determined with nanometer precision, reaching the limit imposed by the shot noise, and the relative motion between two molecules can be determined with ~ 0.3 nm precision at ~ 1 millisecond time resolution, and how these new tools are providing fundamental insights on how motor proteins move on cellular highways. We will also discuss how interactions between three and four fluorescent molecules can be used to measure three and six coordinates, respectively, allowing us to correlate movements of multiple components. Finally, we will discuss recent progress in combining angstrom precision optical tweezers with single molecule fluorescent detection, opening new windows for multi-dimensional single molecule nanometry for biological physics. PMID:23249673

  4. Engineering biological systems with synthetic RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Joe C.; Bloom, Ryan J.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2011-01-01

    RNA molecules play diverse functional roles in natural biological systems. There has been growing interest in designing synthetic RNA counterparts for programming biological function. The design of synthetic RNA molecules that exhibit diverse activities, including sensing, regulatory, information processing, and scaffolding activities, has highlighted the advantages of RNA as a programmable design substrate. Recent advances in implementing these engineered RNA molecules as key control elements in synthetic genetic networks are highlighting the functional relevance of this class of synthetic elements in programming cellular behaviors. PMID:21925380

  5. 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

  6. Halogen bonds in biological molecules

    PubMed Central

    Auffinger, Pascal; Hays, Franklin A.; Westhof, Eric; Ho, P. Shing

    2004-01-01

    Short oxygen–halogen interactions have been known in organic chemistry since the 1950s and recently have been exploited in the design of supramolecular assemblies. The present survey of protein and nucleic acid structures reveals similar halogen bonds as potentially stabilizing inter- and intramolecular interactions that can affect ligand binding and molecular folding. A halogen bond in biomolecules can be defined as a short CX···OY interaction (CX is a carbon-bonded chlorine, bromine, or iodine, and OY is a carbonyl, hydroxyl, charged carboxylate, or phosphate group), where the X···O distance is less than or equal to the sums of the respective van der Waals radii (3.27 Å for Cl···O, 3.37Å for Br···O, and 3.50 Å for I···O) and can conform to the geometry seen in small molecules, with the CX···O angle ≈165° (consistent with a strong directional polarization of the halogen) and the X···OY angle ≈120°. Alternative geometries can be imposed by the more complex environment found in biomolecules, depending on which of the two types of donor systems are involved in the interaction: (i) the lone pair electrons of oxygen (and, to a lesser extent, nitrogen and sulfur) atoms or (ii) the delocalized π -electrons of peptide bonds or carboxylate or amide groups. Thus, the specific geometry and diversity of the interacting partners of halogen bonds offer new and versatile tools for the design of ligands as drugs and materials in nanotechnology. PMID:15557000

  7. Halogen bonds in biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Auffinger, Pascal; Hays, Franklin A; Westhof, Eric; Ho, P Shing

    2004-11-30

    Short oxygen-halogen interactions have been known in organic chemistry since the 1950s and recently have been exploited in the design of supramolecular assemblies. The present survey of protein and nucleic acid structures reveals similar halogen bonds as potentially stabilizing inter- and intramolecular interactions that can affect ligand binding and molecular folding. A halogen bond in biomolecules can be defined as a short C-X...O-Y interaction (C-X is a carbon-bonded chlorine, bromine, or iodine, and O-Y is a carbonyl, hydroxyl, charged carboxylate, or phosphate group), where the X...O distance is less than or equal to the sums of the respective van der Waals radii (3.27 A for Cl...O, 3.37 A for Br...O, and 3.50 A for I...O) and can conform to the geometry seen in small molecules, with the C-X...O angle approximately 165 degrees (consistent with a strong directional polarization of the halogen) and the X...O-Y angle approximately 120 degrees . Alternative geometries can be imposed by the more complex environment found in biomolecules, depending on which of the two types of donor systems are involved in the interaction: (i) the lone pair electrons of oxygen (and, to a lesser extent, nitrogen and sulfur) atoms or (ii) the delocalized pi -electrons of peptide bonds or carboxylate or amide groups. Thus, the specific geometry and diversity of the interacting partners of halogen bonds offer new and versatile tools for the design of ligands as drugs and materials in nanotechnology. PMID:15557000

  8. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant growth and development and unraveling its molecular and cellular modes of action is fundamental for plant biology research. Chemical genomics is the use of small molecules to modify protein functions. This approach currently rises as a powerful technology for basic research. Small compounds with auxin-like activities or affecting auxin-mediated biological processes have been widely used in auxin research. They can serve as a tool complementary to genetic and genomic methods, facilitating the identification of an array of components modulating auxin metabolism, transport and signaling. The employment of high-throughput screening technologies combined with informatics-based chemical design and organic chemical synthesis has since yielded many novel small molecules with more instantaneous, precise and specific functionalities. By applying those small molecules, novel molecular targets can be isolated to further understand and dissect auxin-related pathways and networks that otherwise are too complex to be elucidated only by gene-based methods. Here, we will review examples of recently characterized molecules used in auxin research, highlight the strategies of unraveling the mechanisms of these small molecules and discuss future perspectives of small molecule applications in auxin biology. PMID:24252105

  9. Low energy positron interactions with biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanniarachchi, Indika L.

    Calculations of the positron density distribution which can be used for positrons bound to midsize and larger molecules have been tested for smaller molecules and subsequently applied to investigate the most likely e +e-- annihilation sites for positrons interacting with biological molecules containing C, H, O, and N. In order to allow consideration of positrons bound to extended molecules with regions of different character and no particular symmetry, atom-centered positron basis sets of Gaussian-type functions were developed for positrons bound to molecules containing O, N, C, H, Li, Na, and Be. Testing shows that there is no need to scale the positron basis functions to take into account different effective charges on the atoms in different molecules. Even at the HF level of theory the calculated positron and the contact density of e+LiH system is in qualitative agreement with the most accurate calculation was done in ECG method. Also it has been found that for larger biological molecules such as derivation of formaldehyde can leave out positron basis sets centered on H atoms and still get qualitatively acceptable contact density distribution. According to our results, the electronic and positronic wavefunctions have the most overlap in the regions of most negative electrostatic potential in the parent molecule, and we can expect that a positron bound to the molecule will be more likely to annihilate with one of the electrons in these regions. Also we find that the highest energy occupied electronic orbital often does not make the largest contribution to e+e -- annihilation, and that the energy liberated by subsequent electronic relaxation is sufficient to break the backbone in several places in di-peptides and other organic molecules.

  10. Synthesis of biological molecules on molecular sieves.

    PubMed

    Poncelet, G; Van Assche, A T; Fripiat, J J

    1975-07-01

    Catalytic properties of aluminosilicates may play a role in the synthesis of biological molecules from simple gaseous molecules commonly found in planetary atmospheres. Urea, amino acids and UV absorbing substances have been obtained by heating CO and NH3 with Linde molecular sieves saturated with Ca+2, NH4+ or Fe+3. The yields of amino acids produced have been determined by an amino acid analyzer. The quantity of urea produced largely depends on the nature of the saturating cation. Experiments using 14CO confirm that the amino acids are not due to contaminants adsorbed on the surface of the molecular sieves. PMID:171609

  11. Carotenoids as signaling molecules in cardiovascular biology

    PubMed Central

    Barzegari, Abolfazl; Pavon-Djavid, Graciela

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress and inflammation play important roles in the etiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Thus, natural antioxidant carotenoids existing in fruits and vegetables could have a significant role in the prevention of CVD. Nevertheless, clinical data are conflicting about the positive effect of some antioxidant carotenoids in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Many biological actions of carotenoids have been attributed to their antioxidant effect; however, the precise mechanism by which carotenoids produce their beneficial effects is still under discussion. They might modulate molecular pathways involved in cell proliferation, acting at Akt, tyrosine kinases, mitogen activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) and growth factor signaling cascades. Screening for a promising cardiovascular protective carotenoids therefore might be performed in vitro and in vivo with caution in cross-interaction with other molecules involved in signaling pathways especially those affecting microRNAs, performing a role in molecular modulation of cardiovascular cells. PMID:25337462

  12. Computer Modelling of Biological Molecules: Free Resources on the Internet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Neil

    1996-01-01

    Describes a three-dimensional computer modeling system for biological molecules which is suitable for sixth-form teaching. Consists of the modeling program "RasMol" together with structure files of proteins, DNA, and small biological molecules. Describes how the whole system can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet. (Author/JRH)

  13. Advancing Biological Understanding and Therapeutics Discovery with Small Molecule Probes

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Stuart L.; Kotz, Joanne D.; Li, Min; Aubé, Jeffrey; Austin, Christopher P.; Reed, John C.; Rosen, Hugh; White, E. Lucile; Sklar, Larry A.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Alexander, Benjamin R.; Bittker, Joshua A.; Clemons, Paul A.; de Souza, Andrea; Foley, Michael A.; Palmer, Michelle; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Wawer, Mathias J.; McManus, Owen; Wu, Meng; Zou, Beiyan; Yu, Haibo; Golden, Jennifer E.; Schoenen, Frank J.; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit; Jackson, Michael R.; Pinkerton, Anthony B.; Chung, Thomas D.Y.; Griffin, Patrick R.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Hodder, Peter S.; Roush, William R.; Roberts, Edward; Chung, Dong-Hoon; Jonsson, Colleen B.; Noah, James W.; Severson, William E.; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Edwards, Bruce; Oprea, Tudor I.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Hopkins, Corey R.; Wood, Michael R.; Stauffer, Shaun R.; Emmitte, Kyle A.

    2015-01-01

    Small-molecule probes can illuminate biological processes and aid in the assessment of emerging therapeutic targets by perturbing biological systems in a manner distinct from other experimental approaches. Despite the tremendous promise of chemical tools for investigating biology and disease, small-molecule probes were unavailable for most targets and pathways as recently as a decade ago. In 2005, the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched the decade-long Molecular Libraries Program with the intent of innovating in and broadening access to small-molecule science. This Perspective describes how novel small-molecule probes identified through the program are enabling the exploration of biological pathways and therapeutic hypotheses not otherwise testable. These experiences illustrate how small-molecule probes can help bridge the chasm between biological research and the development of medicines, but also highlight the need to innovate the science of therapeutic discovery. PMID:26046436

  14. Mathematical models in biology: from molecules to life

    PubMed Central

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N.

    2011-01-01

    A vexing question in the biological sciences is the following: can biological phenotypes be explained with mathematical models of molecules that interact according to physical laws? At the crux of the matter lies the doubt that humans can develop physically faithful mathematical representations of living organisms. We discuss advantages that synthetic biological systems confer that may help us describe life’s distinctiveness with tractable mathematics that are grounded on universal laws of thermodynamics and molecular biology. PMID:21472998

  15. Computer display and manipulation of biological molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coeckelenbergh, Y.; Macelroy, R. D.; Hart, J.; Rein, R.

    1978-01-01

    This paper describes a computer model that was designed to investigate the conformation of molecules, macromolecules and subsequent complexes. Utilizing an advanced 3-D dynamic computer display system, the model is sufficiently versatile to accommodate a large variety of molecular input and to generate data for multiple purposes such as visual representation of conformational changes, and calculation of conformation and interaction energy. Molecules can be built on the basis of several levels of information. These include the specification of atomic coordinates and connectivities and the grouping of building blocks and duplicated substructures using symmetry rules found in crystals and polymers such as proteins and nucleic acids. Called AIMS (Ames Interactive Molecular modeling System), the model is now being used to study pre-biotic molecular evolution toward life.

  16. Biased and unbiased strategies to identify biologically active small molecules.

    PubMed

    Abet, Valentina; Mariani, Angelica; Truscott, Fiona R; Britton, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Raphaël

    2014-08-15

    Small molecules are central players in chemical biology studies. They promote the perturbation of cellular processes underlying diseases and enable the identification of biological targets that can be validated for therapeutic intervention. Small molecules have been shown to accurately tune a single function of pluripotent proteins in a reversible manner with exceptional temporal resolution. The identification of molecular probes and drugs remains a worthy challenge that can be addressed by the use of biased and unbiased strategies. Hypothesis-driven methodologies employs a known biological target to synthesize complementary hits while discovery-driven strategies offer the additional means of identifying previously unanticipated biological targets. This review article provides a general overview of recent synthetic frameworks that gave rise to an impressive arsenal of biologically active small molecules with unprecedented cellular mechanisms. PMID:24811300

  17. Gas biology: tiny molecules controlling metabolic systems.

    PubMed

    Kajimura, Mayumi; Nakanishi, Tsuyoshi; Takenouchi, Toshiki; Morikawa, Takayuki; Hishiki, Takako; Yukutake, Yoshinori; Suematsu, Makoto

    2012-11-15

    It has been recognized that gaseous molecules and their signaling cascades play a vital role in alterations of metabolic systems in physiologic and pathologic conditions. Contrary to this awareness, detailed mechanisms whereby gases exert their actions, in particular in vivo, have been unclear because of several reasons. Gaseous signaling involves diverse reactions with metal centers of metalloproteins and thiol modification of cysteine residues of proteins. Both the multiplicity of gas targets and the technical limitations in accessing local gas concentrations make dissection of exact actions of any gas mediator a challenge. However, a series of advanced technologies now offer ways to explore gas-responsive regulatory processes in vivo. Imaging mass spectrometry combined with quantitative metabolomics by capillary-electrophoresis/mass spectrometry reveals spatio-temporal profiles of many metabolites. Comparing the metabolic footprinting of murine samples with a targeted deletion of a specific gas-producing enzyme makes it possible to determine sites of actions of the gas. In this review, we intend to elaborate on the ideas how small gaseous molecules interact with metabolic systems to control organ functions such as cerebral vascular tone and energy metabolism in vivo. PMID:22516267

  18. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules.

    PubMed

    Makarov, Dmitrii E

    2016-01-21

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field. PMID:26801011

  19. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makarov, Dmitrii E.

    2016-01-01

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    How can we complement Caenorhabditis elegans genomics and proteomics with a comprehensive structural and functional annotation of its metabolome? Several lines of evidence indicate that small molecules of largely undetermined structure play important roles in C. elegans biology, including key pathw...

  1. On the biological activity of drug molecules: Busulfan and nabumetone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Igor; Kovač, Branka

    2010-10-01

    The electronic structures of drug molecules busulfan (BSU) and nabumetone (NAB) have been investigated by HeI and HeII UV photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), quantum chemical calculations and virtual docking studies. Their biological activities are discussed in the framework of their electronic and molecular structures, reactivity and drug-enzyme binding.

  2. Photodissociation mass spectrometry: New tools for characterization of biological molecules

    PubMed Central

    Brodbelt, Jennifer S.

    2014-01-01

    Photodissociation mass spectrometry combines the ability to activate and fragment ions using photons with the sensitive detection of the resulting product ions by mass spectrometry. The resulting combination affords a versatile tool for characterization of biological molecules. The scope and breadth of photodissociation mass spectrometry have increased substantially over the past decade as new research groups have entered the field and developed a number of innovative applications that illustrate the ability of photodissociation to produce rich fragmentation patterns, to cleave bonds selectively, and to target specific molecules based on incorporation of chromophores. This review focuses on many of the key developments in photodissociation mass spectrometry over the past decade with a particular emphasis on its applications to biological molecules. PMID:24481009

  3. Energy landscape exploration of the folding processes of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Megan Clare

    For decades, scientists from every discipline have struggled to understand the mechanism of biological self-assembly, which allows proteins and nucleic acids to fold reliably into functional three-dimensional structures. Such an understanding may hold the key to eliminating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and to effective protein engineering. The current best framework for describing biological folding processes is that of statistical mechanical energy landscape theory, and one of the most promising experimental techniques for exploring molecular energy landscapes is single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), in which molecules are mechanically denatured. Theoretical advances have enabled the extraction of complete energy landscape profiles from SMFS data. Here, SMFS experiments performed using laser optical tweezers are analyzed to yield the first ever full landscape profile for an RNA pseudoknot. Further, a promising novel landscape reconstruction technique is validated for the first time using experimental data from a DNA hairpin.

  4. Pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Hau-Riege, S; London, R; Chapman, H

    2004-10-20

    The pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules are calculated. We find that the electron fluence and pulse length requirements imposed by the damage limit and by the need to classify the diffraction patterns according to their angular orientation cannot be achieved with today's electron beam technology. A simple analytical model shows that the pulse requirements cannot be achieved due to beam broadening due to spacecharge effects.

  5. Method for imaging informational biological molecules on a semiconductor substrate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coles, L. Stephen (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    Imaging biological molecules such as DNA at rates several times faster than conventional imaging techniques is carried out using a patterned silicon wafer having nano-machined grooves which hold individual molecular strands and periodically spaced unique bar codes permitting repeatably locating all images. The strands are coaxed into the grooves preferably using gravity and pulsed electric fields which induce electric charge attraction to the molecular strands in the bottom surfaces of the grooves. Differential imaging removes substrate artifacts.

  6. A simple backscattering microscope for fast tracking of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Sowa, Yoshiyuki; Steel, Bradley C; Berry, Richard M

    2010-11-01

    Recent developments in techniques for observing single molecules under light microscopes have helped reveal the mechanisms by which molecular machines work. A wide range of markers can be used to detect molecules, from single fluorophores to micron sized markers, depending on the research interest. Here, we present a new and simple objective-type backscattering microscope to track gold nanoparticles with nanometer and microsecond resolution. The total noise of our system in a 55 kHz bandwidth is ~0.6 nm per axis, sufficient to measure molecular movement. We found our backscattering microscopy to be useful not only for in vitro but also for in vivo experiments because of lower background scattering from cells than in conventional dark-field microscopy. We demonstrate the application of this technique to measuring the motion of a biological rotary molecular motor, the bacterial flagellar motor, in live Escherichia coli cells. PMID:21133475

  7. Novel nuclear magnetic resonance techniques for studying biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, David D.

    2000-06-01

    Over the fifty-five year history of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), considerable progress has been made in the development of techniques for studying the structure, function, and dynamics of biological molecules. The majority of this research has involved the development of multi-dimensional NMR experiments for studying molecules in solution, although in recent years a number of groups have begun to explore NMR methods for studying biological systems in the solid-state. Despite this new effort, a need still exists for the development of techniques that improve sensitivity, maximize information, and take advantage of all the NMR interactions available in biological molecules. In this dissertation, a variety of novel NMR techniques for studying biomolecules are discussed. A method for determining backbone ({phi}/{psi}) dihedral angles by comparing experimentally determined {sup 13}C{sub a}, chemical-shift anisotropies with theoretical calculations is presented, along with a brief description of the theory behind chemical-shift computation in proteins and peptides. The utility of the Spin-Polarization Induced Nuclear Overhauser Effect (SPINOE) to selectively enhance NMR signals in solution is examined in a variety of systems, as are methods for extracting structural information from cross-relaxation rates that can be measured in SPINOE experiments. Techniques for the production of supercritical and liquid laser-polarized xenon are discussed, as well as the prospects for using optically pumped xenon as a polarizing solvent. In addition, a detailed study of the structure of PrP 89-143 is presented. PrP 89-143 is a 54 residue fragment of the prion proteins which, upon mutation and aggregation, can induce prion diseases in transgenic mice. Whereas the structure of the wild-type PrP 89-143 is a generally unstructured mixture of {alpha}-helical and {beta}-sheet conformers in the solid state, the aggregates formed from the PrP 89-143 mutants appear to be mostly {beta}-sheet.

  8. Imaging biological molecules with single molecule sensitivity using near-field scanning optical microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrose, W.P.; Affleck, R.L.; Goodwin, P.M.; Keller, R.A.; Martin, J.C.; Petty, J.T.; Schecker, J.A.; Wu, Ming

    1995-12-01

    We have developed a near-field scanning optical microscope with the sensitivity to detect single fluorescent molecules. Our microscope is based on scanning a sample under a tapered and metal coated fiber optic probe and has an illumination-aperture diameter as small as 100 nm. The microscope simultaneously acquires a shear force image with a height noise of {approximately} 1 nm. We have used this system to demonstrate the detection of single molecules of Rhodamine-6G on silica. In this paper, we explore the use of NSOM for investigations of biological molecules. We have prepared and imaged double-stranded DNA intercalated with thiazole orange homodimer (TOTO); single chromosomes stained with propidium iodide; and {beta}-phycoerythrin proteins on dry, borosilicate-glass surfaces. At very dilute coverages, isolated fluorescent spots are observed for the un-intercalated TOTO dye and for {beta}-phycoerythrin. These fluorescent spots exhibit-emission intensity fluctuations and abrupt bleaching transitions, similar to the intensity behavior observed previously for single Rhodamine 6G molecules on silica.

  9. Localization of single biological molecules out of the focal plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardini, L.; Capitanio, M.; Pavone, F. S.

    2014-03-01

    Since the behaviour of proteins and biological molecules is tightly related to the cell's environment, more and more microscopy techniques are moving from in vitro to in living cells experiments. Looking at both diffusion and active transportation processes inside a cell requires three-dimensional localization over a few microns range, high SNR images and high temporal resolution (ms order of magnitude). We developed an apparatus that combines different microscopy techniques to satisfy all the technical requirements for 3D tracking of single fluorescent molecules inside living cells with nanometer accuracy. To account for the optical sectioning of thick samples we built up a HILO (Highly Inclined and Laminated Optical sheet) microscopy system through which we can excite the sample in a widefield (WF) configuration by a thin sheet of light that can follow the molecule up and down along the z axis spanning the entire thickness of the cell with a SNR much higher than traditional WF microscopy. Since protein dynamics inside a cell involve all three dimensions, we included a method to measure the x, y, and z coordinates with nanometer accuracy, exploiting the properties of the point-spread-function of out-of-focus quantum dots bound to the protein of interest. Finally, a feedback system stabilizes the microscope from thermal drifts, assuring accurate localization during the entire duration of the experiment.

  10. Interferometric observations of large biologically interesting interstellar and cometary molecules

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Lewis E.

    2006-01-01

    Interferometric observations of high-mass regions in interstellar molecular clouds have revealed hot molecular cores that have substantial column densities of large, partly hydrogen-saturated molecules. Many of these molecules are of interest to biology and thus are labeled “biomolecules.” Because the clouds containing these molecules provide the material for star formation, they may provide insight into presolar nebular chemistry, and the biomolecules may provide information about the potential of the associated interstellar chemistry for seeding newly formed planets with prebiotic organic chemistry. In this overview, events are outlined that led to the current interferometric array observations. Clues that connect this interstellar hot core chemistry to the solar system can be found in the cometary detection of methyl formate and the interferometric maps of cometary methanol. Major obstacles to understanding hot core chemistry remain because chemical models are not well developed and interferometric observations have not been very sensitive. Differentiation in the molecular isomers glycolaldehdye, methyl formate, and acetic acid has been observed, but not explained. The extended source structure for certain sugars, aldehydes, and alcohols may require nonthermal formation mechanisms such as shock heating of grains. Major advances in understanding the formation chemistry of hot core species can come from observations with the next generation of sensitive, high-resolution arrays. PMID:16894168

  11. Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities.

    PubMed

    Semwal, Deepak Kumar; Semwal, Ruchi Badoni; Combrinck, Sandra; Viljoen, Alvaro

    2016-02-01

    Myricetin is a common plant-derived flavonoid and is well recognised for its nutraceuticals value. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound exhibits a wide range of activities that include strong anti-oxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It displays several activities that are related to the central nervous system and numerous studies have suggested that the compound may be beneficial to protect against diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The use of myricetin as a preserving agent to extend the shelf life of foods containing oils and fats is attributed to the compound's ability to protect lipids against oxidation. A detailed search of existing literature revealed that there is currently no comprehensive review available on this important molecule. Hence, the present work includes the history, synthesis, pharmaceutical applications and toxicity studies of myricetin. This report also highlights structure-activity relationships and mechanisms of action for various biological activities. PMID:26891321

  12. Nanosecond and femtosecond laser spectroscopy of molecules of biological interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villani, P.; Orlando, S.; Santagata, A.; De Bonis, A.; Veronesi, S.; Giardini, A.

    2007-07-01

    This paper mainly concerns on nanosecond and femtosecond laser spectroscopy of aromatic organic compounds as neurotransmitters, and plume diagnostics of the ablated species, in order to characterize the plasma dynamics, i.e. the temporal and spatial evolution of the plume. Optical emission spectroscopy has been applied to characterize the transient species produced in the femtosecond (fs) and nanosecond (ns) regimes. The laser sources employed for optical emission spectroscopy are a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG Handy ( λ = 532 nm, τ = 5 ns) and a frequency-doubled Nd:glass ( λ = 527 nm, τ = 250 fs). These studies aim to detect and give information on the photoexcitation and photodissociation of these biological molecules and to compare the plasma characteristics in the two ablation regimes.

  13. Chromatography and mass spectrometry of prebiological and biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navale, Vivek

    The detection and identification of prebiological and biological molecules are of importance for understanding chemical and biological processes occurring within the solar system. Molecular mass measurements, peptide mapping, and disulfide bond analysis of enzymes and recombinant proteins are important in the development of therapeutic drugs for human diseases. Separation of hydrocarbons (C1 to C6) and nitriles was achieved by 14%-cyanopropylphenyl-86%- dimethylpolysiloxane (CPPS-DMPS) stationary phase in a narrow bore metal capillary column. The calculation of modeling numbers enabled the differentiation of the C4 hydrocarbon isomers of 1-butene (cis and trans). The modeled retention time values for benzene, toluene, xylene, acetonitrile, propane, and propene nitriles were in good agreement with the measurements. The separation of C2 hydrocarbons (ethane and ethene) from predominantly N2 matrix was demonstrated for the first time on wall coated narrow bore low temperature glassy carbon column. Identification and accurate mass measurements of pepsin, an enzymatic protein with less number of basic amino acid residues were successfully demonstrated by matrix- assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The molecular mass of pepsin was found to be 34,787 Da. Several decomposition products of pepsin, in m/z range of 3,500 to 4,700 were identified. Trypsin, an important endopeptidase enzyme had a mass of 46829.7 Da. Lower mass components with m/z 8047.5, 7776.6, 5722, 5446.2 and 5185 Da were also observed in trypsin spectrum. Both chemokine and growth factor recombinant proteins were mass analyzed as 8848.1 ± 3.5 and 16178.52 ± 4.1 Da, respectively. The accuracy of the measurements was in the range of 0.01 to 0.02%. Reduction and alkylation experiments on the chemokine showed the presence of six cysteines and three disulfide bonds. The two cysteines of the growth factor contained the free sulfhydryl groups and the accurate average mass of the

  14. Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities

    PubMed Central

    Semwal, Deepak Kumar; Semwal, Ruchi Badoni; Combrinck, Sandra; Viljoen, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Myricetin is a common plant-derived flavonoid and is well recognised for its nutraceuticals value. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound exhibits a wide range of activities that include strong anti-oxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It displays several activities that are related to the central nervous system and numerous studies have suggested that the compound may be beneficial to protect against diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The use of myricetin as a preserving agent to extend the shelf life of foods containing oils and fats is attributed to the compound’s ability to protect lipids against oxidation. A detailed search of existing literature revealed that there is currently no comprehensive review available on this important molecule. Hence, the present work includes the history, synthesis, pharmaceutical applications and toxicity studies of myricetin. This report also highlights structure-activity relationships and mechanisms of action for various biological activities. PMID:26891321

  15. Progress in Small Molecule and Biologic Therapeutics Targeting Ghrelin Signaling.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Kayleigh R; Darling, Joseph E; Hougland, James L

    2016-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating peptide hormone involved in regulation of a wide array of physiological processes. As an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR1a), ghrelin is responsible for signaling involved in energy homeostasis, including appetite stimulation, glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and adiposity. Ghrelin has also been implicated in modulation of several neurological processes. Dysregulation of ghrelin signaling is implicated in diseases related to these pathways, including obesity, type II diabetes, and regulation of appetite and body weight in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Multiple steps in the ghrelin signaling pathway are available for targeting in the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Agonists and antagonists of GHS-R1a have been widely studied and have shown varying levels of effectiveness within ghrelin-related physiological pathways. Agents targeting ghrelin directly, either through depletion of ghrelin levels in circulation or inhibitors of ghrelin O-acyltransferase whose action is required for ghrelin to become biologically active, are receiving increasing attention as potential therapeutic options. We discuss the approaches utilized to target ghrelin signaling and highlight the current challenges toward developing small-molecule agents as potential therapeutics for ghrelin-related diseases. PMID:26202202

  16. Voltammetric detection of biological molecules using chopped carbon fiber.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Kazuharu; Yugami, Asako; Kojima, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Voltammetric detection of biological molecules was carried out using chopped carbon fibers produced from carbon fiber reinforced plastics that are biocompatible and inexpensive. Because chopped carbon fibers normally are covered with a sizing agent, they are difficult to use as an electrode. However, when the surface of a chopped carbon fiber was treated with ethanol and hydrochloric acid, it became conductive. To evaluate the functioning of chopped carbon fibers, voltammetric measurements of [Fe(CN)(6)](3-) were carried out. Redoxes of FAD, ascorbic acid and NADH as biomolecules were recorded using cyclic voltammetry. The sizing agents used to bundle the fibers were epoxy, polyamide and polyurethane resins. The peak currents were the greatest when using the chopped carbon fibers that were created with epoxy resins. When the electrode response of the chopped carbon fibers was compared with that of a glassy carbon electrode, the peak currents and the reversibility of the electrode reaction were sufficient. Therefore, the chopped carbon fibers will be useful as disposable electrodes for the sensing of biomolecules. PMID:20953048

  17. Applications of Two-Photon Absorption in Medicine and Biology Enabled by Specially Designed Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobizhev, M.

    2008-05-01

    We quantitatively study how the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of biological molecules depend on their structure. 2PA is advantageous over regular one-photon absorption because of deeper penetration and more localized excitation in biological tissues. However, 2PA cross sections of biological chromophores are usually rather small to be useful in real life applications. Using quantum-mechanical few-level description of molecular electronic states, we interpret our data and predict new structures with considerably increased 2PA cross sections. These new materials either synthesized or genetically engineered make 2PA-based techniques applicable in medicine and biology. We show how our new porphyrin photosensitizers with drastically enhanced 2PA (˜1000 times compared to regular porphyrins) can be used for in vivo two-photon-induced closing of blood vessels in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The second example describes the application of fluorescent proteins in two-photon laser microscopy of biological cells. We demonstrate how the 2PA properties of fluorescent proteins can be considerably improved by smart mutations of the environment of chromophore inside the protein.

  18. Single molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update

    PubMed Central

    Widom, Julia R.; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution, and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. PMID:25212907

  19. Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine based origin.

    PubMed

    Murray, Patrick M; Moane, Siobhan; Collins, Catherine; Beletskaya, Tanya; Thomas, Olivier P; Duarte, Alysson W F; Nobre, Fernando S; Owoyemi, Ifeloju O; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Sette, L D; McHugh, Edward; Causse, Eric; Pérez-López, Paula; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Moreira, Ma T; Rubiolo, Juan; Leirós, Marta; Botana, Luis M; Pinteus, Susete; Alves, Celso; Horta, André; Pedrosa, Rui; Jeffryes, Clayton; Agathos, Spiros N; Allewaert, Celine; Verween, Annick; Vyverman, Wim; Laptev, Ivan; Sineoky, Sergei; Bisio, Angela; Manconi, Renata; Ledda, Fabio; Marchi, Mario; Pronzato, Roberto; Walsh, Daniel J

    2013-09-25

    The marine environment offers both economic and scientific potential which are relatively untapped from a biotechnological point of view. These environments whilst harsh are ironically fragile and dependent on a harmonious life form balance. Exploitation of natural resources by exhaustive wild harvesting has obvious negative environmental consequences. From a European industry perspective marine organisms are a largely underutilised resource. This is not due to lack of interest but due to a lack of choice the industry faces for cost competitive, sustainable and environmentally conscientious product alternatives. Knowledge of the biotechnological potential of marine organisms together with the development of sustainable systems for their cultivation, processing and utilisation are essential. In 2010, the European Commission recognised this need and funded a collaborative RTD/SME project under the Framework 7-Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) Theme 2 Programme 'Sustainable culture of marine microorganisms, algae and/or invertebrates for high value added products'. The scope of that project entitled 'Sustainable Production of Biologically Active Molecules of Marine Based Origin' (BAMMBO) is outlined. Although the Union is a global leader in many technologies, it faces increasing competition from traditional rivals and emerging economies alike and must therefore improve its innovation performance. For this reason innovation is placed at the heart of a European Horizon 2020 Strategy wherein the challenge is to connect economic performance to eco performance. This article provides a synopsis of the research activities of the BAMMBO project as they fit within the wider scope of sustainable environmentally conscientious marine resource exploitation for high-value biomolecules. PMID:23563183

  20. Advancing Biological Understanding and Therapeutics Discovery with Small-Molecule Probes.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Stuart L; Kotz, Joanne D; Li, Min; Aubé, Jeffrey; Austin, Christopher P; Reed, John C; Rosen, Hugh; White, E Lucile; Sklar, Larry A; Lindsley, Craig W; Alexander, Benjamin R; Bittker, Joshua A; Clemons, Paul A; de Souza, Andrea; Foley, Michael A; Palmer, Michelle; Shamji, Alykhan F; Wawer, Mathias J; McManus, Owen; Wu, Meng; Zou, Beiyan; Yu, Haibo; Golden, Jennifer E; Schoenen, Frank J; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit; Jackson, Michael R; Pinkerton, Anthony B; Chung, Thomas D Y; Griffin, Patrick R; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Hodder, Peter S; Roush, William R; Roberts, Edward; Chung, Dong-Hoon; Jonsson, Colleen B; Noah, James W; Severson, William E; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Edwards, Bruce; Oprea, Tudor I; Conn, P Jeffrey; Hopkins, Corey R; Wood, Michael R; Stauffer, Shaun R; Emmitte, Kyle A

    2015-06-01

    Small-molecule probes can illuminate biological processes and aid in the assessment of emerging therapeutic targets by perturbing biological systems in a manner distinct from other experimental approaches. Despite the tremendous promise of chemical tools for investigating biology and disease, small-molecule probes were unavailable for most targets and pathways as recently as a decade ago. In 2005, the NIH launched the decade-long Molecular Libraries Program with the intent of innovating in and broadening access to small-molecule science. This Perspective describes how novel small-molecule probes identified through the program are enabling the exploration of biological pathways and therapeutic hypotheses not otherwise testable. These experiences illustrate how small-molecule probes can help bridge the chasm between biological research and the development of medicines but also highlight the need to innovate the science of therapeutic discovery. PMID:26046436

  1. In Vivo Target Validation Using Biological Molecules in Drug Development.

    PubMed

    Sim, Derek S; Kauser, Katalin

    2016-01-01

    Drug development is a resource-intensive process requiring significant financial and time investment. Preclinical target validation studies and in vivo testing of the therapeutic molecules in clinically relevant disease models can accelerate and significantly de-risk later stage clinical development. In this chapter, we will focus on (1) in vivo animal models and (2) pharmacological tools for target validation. PMID:26552401

  2. Semiconductor Quantum Rods as Single Molecule FluorescentBiological Labels

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, Aihua; Gu, Weiwei; Boussert, Benjamine; Koski, Kristie; Gerion, Daniele; Manna, Liberato; Le Gros, Mark; Larabell, Carolyn; Alivisatos, A. Paul

    2006-05-29

    In recent years, semiconductor quantum dots have beenapplied with great advantage in a wide range of biological imagingapplications. The continuing developments in the synthesis of nanoscalematerials and specifically in the area of colloidal semiconductornanocrystals have created an opportunity to generate a next generation ofbiological labels with complementary or in some cases enhanced propertiescompared to colloidal quantum dots. In this paper, we report thedevelopment of rod shaped semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum rods) asnew fluorescent biological labels. We have engineered biocompatiblequantum rods by surface silanization and have applied them fornon-specific cell tracking as well as specific cellular targeting. Theproperties of quantum rods as demonstrated here are enhanced sensitivityand greater resistance for degradation as compared to quantum dots.Quantum rods have many potential applications as biological labels insituations where their properties offer advantages over quantumdots.

  3. Identification of Biologically Active, HIV TAR RNA-Binding Small Molecules Using Small Molecule Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Identifying small molecules that selectively bind to structured RNA motifs remains an important challenge in developing potent and specific therapeutics. Most strategies to find RNA-binding molecules have identified highly charged compounds or aminoglycosides that commonly have modest selectivity. Here we demonstrate a strategy to screen a large unbiased library of druglike small molecules in a microarray format against an RNA target. This approach has enabled the identification of a novel chemotype that selectively targets the HIV transactivation response (TAR) RNA hairpin in a manner not dependent on cationic charge. Thienopyridine 4 binds to and stabilizes the TAR hairpin with a Kd of 2.4 μM. Structure–activity relationships demonstrate that this compound achieves activity through hydrophobic and aromatic substituents on a heterocyclic core, rather than cationic groups typically required. Selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) analysis was performed on a 365-nucleotide sequence derived from the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of the HIV-1 genome to determine global structural changes in the presence of the molecule. Importantly, the interaction of compound 4 can be mapped to the TAR hairpin without broadly disrupting any other structured elements of the 5′ UTR. Cell-based anti-HIV assays indicated that 4 inhibits HIV-induced cytopathicity in T lymphocytes with an EC50 of 28 μM, while cytotoxicity was not observed at concentrations approaching 1 mM. PMID:24820959

  4. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2004-10-12

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  5. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Antwerp, W.P. van; Mastrototaro, J.J.

    2000-01-04

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  6. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2000-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  7. SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY, 2010 GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 27-JULY 2, 2010, ITALY

    SciTech Connect

    Professor William Moerner

    2010-07-09

    The 2010 Gordon Conference on Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology focuses on cutting-edge research in single-molecule science. Tremendous technical developments have made it possible to detect, identify, track, and manipulate single biomolecules in an ambient environment or even in a live cell. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are addressed, and new knowledge derived from these approaches continues to emerge. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of biomolecular machines: what they do, how they work individually, how they work together, and finally, how they work inside live cells. The burgeoning use of single-molecule methods to elucidate biological problems is a highly multidisciplinary pursuit, involving both force- and fluorescence-based methods, the most up-to-date advances in microscopy, innovative biological and chemical approaches, and nanotechnology tools. This conference seeks to bring together top experts in molecular and cell biology with innovators in the measurement and manipulation of single molecules, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and to exchange ideas with leaders in the field. A number of excellent poster presenters will be selected for short oral talks. Topics as diverse as single-molecule sequencing, DNA/RNA/protein interactions, folding machines, cellular biophysics, synthetic biology and bioengineering, force spectroscopy, new method developments, superresolution imaging in cells, and novel probes for single-molecule imaging will be on the program. Additionally, the collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings in the beauty of the Il Ciocco site in

  8. Spatial simulations in systems biology: from molecules to cells.

    PubMed

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  9. Spatial Simulations in Systems Biology: From Molecules to Cells

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  10. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2001-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal. Specifically, the analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix can be a boronic acid moiety.

  11. Cellular and System Biology of Memory: Timing, Molecules, and Beyond.

    PubMed

    Korte, Martin; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2016-04-01

    The storage of information in the mammalian nervous systems is dependent on a delicate balance between change and stability of neuronal networks. The induction and maintenance of processes that lead to changes in synaptic strength to a multistep process which can lead to long-lasting changes, which starts and ends with a highly choreographed and perfectly timed dance of molecules in different cell types of the central nervous system. This is accompanied by synchronization of specific networks, resulting in the generation of characteristic "macroscopic" rhythmic electrical fields, whose characteristic frequencies correspond to certain activity and information-processing states of the brain. Molecular events and macroscopic fields influence each other reciprocally. We review here cellular processes of synaptic plasticity, particularly functional and structural changes, and focus on timing events that are important for the initial memory acquisition, as well as mechanisms of short- and long-term memory storage. Then, we cover the importance of epigenetic events on the long-time range. Furthermore, we consider how brain rhythms at the network level participate in processes of information storage and by what means they participating in it. Finally, we examine memory consolidation at the system level during processes of sleep. PMID:26960344

  12. Manipulating lipid bilayer material properties using biologically active amphipathic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashrafuzzaman, Md; Lampson, M. A.; Greathouse, D. V.; Koeppe, R. E., II; Andersen, O. S.

    2006-07-01

    Lipid bilayers are elastic bodies with properties that can be manipulated/controlled by the adsorption of amphipathic molecules. The resulting changes in bilayer elasticity have been shown to regulate integral membrane protein function. To further understand the amphiphile-induced modulation of bilayer material properties (thickness, intrinsic monolayer curvature and elastic moduli), we examined how an enantiomeric pair of viral anti-fusion peptides (AFPs)—Z-Gly-D-Phe and Z-Gly-Phe, where Z denotes a benzyloxycarbonyl group, as well as Z-Phe-Tyr and Z-D-Phe-Phe-Gly—alters the function of enantiomeric pairs of gramicidin channels of different lengths in planar bilayers. For both short and long channels, the channel lifetimes and appearance frequencies increase as linear functions of the aqueous AFP concentration, with no apparent effect on the single-channel conductance. These changes in channel function do not depend on the chirality of the channels or the AFPs. At pH 7.0, the relative changes in channel lifetimes do not vary when the channel length is varied, indicating that these compounds exert their effects primarily by causing a positive-going change in the intrinsic monolayer curvature. At pH 4.0, the AFPs are more potent than at pH 7.0 and have greater effects on the shorter channels, indicating that these compounds now change the bilayer elastic moduli. When AFPs of different anti-fusion potencies are compared, the rank order of the anti-fusion activity and the channel-modifying activity is similar, but the relative changes in anti-fusion potency are larger than the changes in channel-modifying activity. We conclude that gramicidin channels are useful as molecular force transducers to probe the influence of small amphiphiles upon lipid bilayer material properties.

  13. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  14. Experimental approaches for addressing fundamental biological questions in living, functioning cells with single molecule precision

    PubMed Central

    Lenn, Tchern; Leake, Mark C.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, single molecule experimentation has allowed researchers to observe biological processes at the sensitivity level of single molecules in actual functioning, living cells, thereby allowing us to observe the molecular basis of the key mechanistic processes in question in a very direct way, rather than inferring these from ensemble average data gained from traditional molecular and biochemical techniques. In this short review, we demonstrate the impact that the application of single molecule bioscience experimentation has had on our understanding of various cellular systems and processes, and the potential that this approach has for the future to really address very challenging and fundamental questions in the life sciences. PMID:22773951

  15. Experimental and Computational Characterization of Biological Liquid Crystals: A Review of Single-Molecule Bioassays

    PubMed Central

    Eom, Kilho; Yang, Jaemoon; Park, Jinsung; Yoon, Gwonchan; Soo Sohn, Young; Park, Shinsuk; Yoon, Dae Sung; Na, Sungsoo; Kwon, Taeyun

    2009-01-01

    Quantitative understanding of the mechanical behavior of biological liquid crystals such as proteins is essential for gaining insight into their biological functions, since some proteins perform notable mechanical functions. Recently, single-molecule experiments have allowed not only the quantitative characterization of the mechanical behavior of proteins such as protein unfolding mechanics, but also the exploration of the free energy landscape for protein folding. In this work, we have reviewed the current state-of-art in single-molecule bioassays that enable quantitative studies on protein unfolding mechanics and/or various molecular interactions. Specifically, single-molecule pulling experiments based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) have been overviewed. In addition, the computational simulations on single-molecule pulling experiments have been reviewed. We have also reviewed the AFM cantilever-based bioassay that provides insight into various molecular interactions. Our review highlights the AFM-based single-molecule bioassay for quantitative characterization of biological liquid crystals such as proteins. PMID:19865530

  16. Unintended consequences? Water molecules at biological and crystallographic protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Mostafa H; Habtemariam, Mesay; Safo, Martin K; Scarsdale, J Neel; Spyrakis, Francesca; Cozzini, Pietro; Mozzarelli, Andrea; Kellogg, Glen E

    2013-12-01

    The importance of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly appreciated, as these interactions lie at the core of virtually every biological process. Small molecule modulators that target PPIs are under exploration as new therapies. One of the greatest obstacles faced in crystallographically determining the 3D structures of proteins is coaxing the proteins to form "artificial" PPIs that lead to uniform crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction. This work compares interactions formed naturally, i.e., "biological", with those artificially formed under crystallization conditions or "non-biological". In particular, a detailed analysis of water molecules at the interfaces of high-resolution (≤2.30 Å) X-ray crystal structures of protein-protein complexes, where 140 are biological protein-protein complex structures and 112 include non-biological protein-protein interfaces, was carried out using modeling tools based on the HINT forcefield. Surprisingly few and relatively subtle differences were observed between the two types of interfaces: (i) non-biological interfaces are more polar than biological interfaces, yet there is better organized hydrogen bonding at the latter; (ii) biological associations rely more on water-mediated interactions with backbone atoms compared to non-biological associations; (iii) aromatic/planar residues play a larger role in biological associations with respect to water, and (iv) Lys has a particularly large role at non-biological interfaces. A support vector machines (SVMs) classifier using descriptors from this study was devised that was able to correctly classify 84% of the two interface types. PMID:24076743

  17. Sensors and Biosensors for the Determination of Small Molecule Biological Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiang-Hong; Wang, Shuo

    2008-01-01

    The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is indispensable. Sensors and biosensors have emerged as sensitive and rapid techniques for toxicity analysis in the past decade. Several different sensors for the determination of mycotoxins and other small molecule neurotoxins have been reported in the literature, and many of these sensors such as tissue biosensors, enzyme sensors, optical immunosensors, electrochemical sensors, quartz crystal sensors, and surface plasmon resonance biosensors are reviewed in this paper. Sensors are a practical and convenient monitoring tool in the area of routine analysis, and their specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility and analysis stability should all be improved in future work. In addition, accuracy field portable sensing devices and multiplexing analysis devices will be important requirement for the future.

  18. Exploring bacterial cell biology with single-molecule tracking and super-resolution imaging

    PubMed Central

    Gahlmann, Andreas; Moerner, W. E.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to detect single molecules in live bacterial cells enables us to probe biological events one molecule at a time and thereby gain knowledge of the activities of intracellular molecules that remain obscure in conventional ensemble-averaged measurements. Single-molecule fluorescence tracking and super-resolution imaging are thus providing a new window into bacterial cells and facilitating the elucidation of cellular processes at an unprecedented level of sensitivity, specificity and spatial resolution. In this Review, we consider what these technologies have taught us about the bacterial cytoskeleton, nucleoid organization and the dynamic processes of transcription and translation, and we also highlight the methodological improvements that are needed to address a number of experimental challenges in the field. PMID:24336182

  19. Suppression and enhancement of non-native molecules within biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, E. A.; Lockyer, N. P.; Vickerman, J. C.

    2006-07-01

    With the aim of evaluating the potential of SIMS to provide molecular information from small molecules within biological systems, here we investigate the effect of different biological compounds as they act as matrices. The results highlight the fact that the chemical environment of a molecule can have a significant effect on its limit of detection. This has implications for the imaging of drugs and xenobiotics in tissue sections and other biological matrices. A 1:1 mixture of the organic acid 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone and the dipeptide valine-valine demonstrates that almost complete suppression of the [M + H] + ion of one compound can be caused by the presence of a compound of higher proton affinity. The significance of this is highlighted when two similar drug molecules, atropine (a neutral molecule) and ipratropium bromide (a quaternary nitrogen containing salt) are mixed with brain homogenate. The atropine [M + H] + ion shows significant suppression whilst the [M - Br] + of ipratopium bromide is detected at an intensity that can be rationalised by its decreased surface concentration. By investigating the effect of two abundant tissue lipids, cholesterol and dipalmitoylphosphatidyl choline (DPPC), on the atropine [M + H] + signal detected in mixtures with these lipids we see that the DPPC has a strong suppressing effect, which may be attributed to gas phase proton transfer.

  20. Multicomponent redox catalysts for reduction of large biological molecules using molecular hydrogen as the reductant

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, S.; Simon, R.A.; Mallouk, T.E.; Wrighton, M.S.

    1988-03-30

    One-electron reduction of the large biological molecules horse heart cytochrome c, sperm whale myoglobin, and horseradish peroxidase using H/sub 2/ as the reductant can be catalyzed by two-component, high surface area heterogeneous catalysts. The catalysts can be prepared by first functionalizing high surface area SiO/sub 2/ with a polycationic polymer into which is dispersed MCl/sub 4//sup 2 -/ (M = Pd, Pt). Reduction with H/sub 2/ yields elemental Pd or Pt dispersed in the polymer. The particles are finally functionalized with a redox polymer derived from hydrolysis of Si(OR)/sub 3/ groups of an N,N'-dialkyl-4,4'-bipyridinium- or from a cobalticenium-based monomer. The two components of the heterogeneous catalysts are the buried noble metal capable of activating the H/sub 2/ and the redox polymer, which can equilibrate both with the noble metal and with the large biological molecule. Reduction of the large biological molecules in aqueous solution can be effected at room temperature and 1 atm H/sub 2/ using the catalysts under conditions where the biological materials would not be reducible with H/sub 2/ alone or when the noble metal alone would be used as the catalyst.

  1. Modulation of Host Biology by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Signal Molecules: Messengers or Traitors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yi-Chia; Chan, Kok-Gan; Chang, Chien-Yi

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial cells sense their population density and respond accordingly by producing various signal molecules to the surrounding environments thereby trigger a plethora of gene expression. This regulatory pathway is termed quorum sensing (QS). Plenty of bacterial virulence factors are controlled by QS or QS-mediated regulatory systems and QS signal molecules (QSSMs) play crucial roles in bacterial signaling transduction. Moreover, bacterial QSSMs were shown to interfere with host cell signaling and modulate host immune responses. QSSMs not only regulate the expression of bacterial virulence factors but themselves act in the modulation of host biology that can be potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26617576

  2. Electronic and Transport Properties of Quasi-1D Wires of Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oetzel, Björn; Matthes, Lars; Tandetzky, Falk; Ortmann, Frank; Bechstedt, Friedhelm; Hannewald, Karsten

    2010-03-01

    In the search for organic materials with good charge-transport properties, artificial stacks of biological molecules are considered attractive candidates [1,2]. In this spirit, we present ab-initio DFT calculations of the structural, electronic, and quantum-transport properties of quasi-1D wires based on guanine and eumelanin molecules [3]. Hereby, a special focus is put on the results for the electronic bandwidths and the consequences for potential applications. [4pt] [1] R. di Felice et al., Phys. Rev. B 65, 045104 (2001) [0pt] [2] P. Meredith et al., Pigment Cell Res. 19, 572 (2006) [0pt] [3] B. Oetzel et al. (unpublished)

  3. Mass amplifying probe for sensitive fluorescence anisotropy detection of small molecules in complex biological samples.

    PubMed

    Cui, Liang; Zou, Yuan; Lin, Ninghang; Zhu, Zhi; Jenkins, Gareth; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-07-01

    detection of small molecules by means of FA in complex biological samples. PMID:22686244

  4. Singlet oxygen production from the reactions of ozone with biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kanofsky, J.R.; Sima, P. )

    1991-05-15

    The reaction of ozone with a number of biological molecules was found to produce singlet oxygen in high yield. At pH 7.0, the reaction of ozone with an equimolar amount of biological molecule produced the following singlet oxygen yields (mole of singlet oxygen/mole of ozone): cysteine, 0.49 +/- 0.02; methionine, 1.13 +/- 0.11; reduced glutathione, 0.33 +/- 0.02; albumin, 1.00 +/- 0.05; uric acid, 0.64 +/- 0.09; ascorbic acid, 0.96 +/- 0.007; NADPH, 1.07 +/- 0.07; NADH, 0.95 +/- 0.01. Thus, singlet oxygen may be an important intermediate in the biochemical damage caused by ozone.

  5. Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to genetic content operators.

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2014-08-26

    Erwin Schrödinger's question "What is life?" received the answer for decades of "physics + chemistry". The concepts of Alain Turing and John von Neumann introduced a third term: "information". This led to the understanding of nucleic acid sequences as a natural code. Manfred Eigen adapted the concept of Hammings "sequence space". Similar to Hilbert space, in which every ontological entity could be defined by an unequivocal point in a mathematical axiomatic system, in the abstract "sequence space" concept each point represents a unique syntactic structure and the value of their separation represents their dissimilarity. In this concept molecular features of the genetic code evolve by means of self-organisation of matter. Biological selection determines the fittest types among varieties of replication errors of quasi-species. The quasi-species concept dominated evolution theory for many decades. In contrast to this, recent empirical data on the evolution of DNA and its forerunners, the RNA-world and viruses indicate cooperative agent-based interactions. Group behaviour of quasi-species consortia constitute de novo and arrange available genetic content for adaptational purposes within real-life contexts that determine epigenetic markings. This review focuses on some fundamental changes in biology, discarding its traditional status as a subdiscipline of physics and chemistry. PMID:25225596

  6. Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to genetic content operators

    PubMed Central

    Witzany, Guenther

    2014-01-01

    Erwin Schrödinger‘s question “What is life?” received the answer for decades of “physics + chemistry”. The concepts of Alain Turing and John von Neumann introduced a third term: “information”. This led to the understanding of nucleic acid sequences as a natural code. Manfred Eigen adapted the concept of Hammings “sequence space”. Similar to Hilbert space, in which every ontological entity could be defined by an unequivocal point in a mathematical axiomatic system, in the abstract ”sequence space” concept each point represents a unique syntactic structure and the value of their separation represents their dissimilarity. In this concept molecular features of the genetic code evolve by means of self-organisation of matter. Biological selection determines the fittest types among varieties of replication errors of quasi-species. The quasi-species concept dominated evolution theory for many decades. In contrast to this, recent empirical data on the evolution of DNA and its forerunners, the RNA-world and viruses indicate cooperative agent-based interactions. Group behaviour of quasi-species consortia constitute de novo and arrange available genetic content for adaptational purposes within real-life contexts that determine epigenetic markings. This review focuses on some fundamental changes in biology, discarding its traditional status as a subdiscipline of physics and chemistry. PMID:25225596

  7. The corrosion inhibition of iron and aluminum by various naturally occurring biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    McCafferty, E.; Hansen, D.C.

    1995-12-31

    Biological polymers that exhibit a strong affinity for metal surfaces are increasingly becoming the focus of research toward the development of environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitors. This paper deals with the use of various naturally occurring organic molecules as corrosion inhibitors for iron or aluminum. Among the organic molecules considered are catecholate and hydroxamate siderophores isolated from bacteria, the adhesive protein from the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L, and caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. FTIR analysis, anodic polarization curves, and AC impedance measurements were used to determine the adsorption and effectiveness of the various organic molecules as corrosion inhibitors. Parabactin, a catecholate siderophore, was effective in inhibiting both the corrosion of iron in hydrochloric acid and the pitting of aluminum in 0.1 M sodium chloride. The adhesive protein from the blue mussel was also effective in inhibiting the pitting of aluminum.

  8. Structure-property relationship of quinuclidinium surfactants--Towards multifunctional biologically active molecules.

    PubMed

    Skočibušić, Mirjana; Odžak, Renata; Štefanić, Zoran; Križić, Ivana; Krišto, Lucija; Jović, Ozren; Hrenar, Tomica; Primožič, Ines; Jurašin, Darija

    2016-04-01

    Motivated by diverse biological and pharmacological activity of quinuclidine and oxime compounds we have synthesized and characterized novel class of surfactants, 3-hydroxyimino quinuclidinium bromides with different alkyl chains lengths (CnQNOH; n=12, 14 and 16). The incorporation of non conventional hydroxyimino quinuclidinium headgroup and variation in alkyl chain length affects hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of surfactant molecule and thereby physicochemical properties important for its application. Therefore, newly synthesized surfactants were characterized by the combination of different experimental techniques: X-ray analysis, potentiometry, electrical conductivity, surface tension and dynamic light scattering measurements, as well as antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Comprehensive investigation of CnQNOH surfactants enabled insight into structure-property relationship i.e., way in which the arrangement of surfactant molecules in the crystal phase correlates with their solution behavior and biologically activity. The synthesized CnQNOH surfactants exhibited high adsorption efficiency and relatively low critical micelle concentrations. In addition, all investigated compounds showed very potent and promising activity against Gram-positive and clinically relevant Gram-negative bacterial strains compared to conventional antimicrobial agents: tetracycline and gentamicin. The overall results indicate that bicyclic headgroup with oxime moiety, which affects both hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity of CnQNOH molecule in addition to enabling hydrogen bonding, has dominant effect on crystal packing and physicochemical properties. The unique structural features of cationic surfactants with hydroxyimino quinuclidine headgroup along with diverse biological activity have made them promising structures in novel drug discovery. Obtained fundamental understanding how combination of different functionalities in a single surfactant molecule affects its physicochemical

  9. Graphene as a transparent conductive support for studying biological molecules by transmission electron microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Nair, R. R.; Anissimova, S.; Novoselov, K. S.; Blake, P.; Blake, J. R.; Geim, A. K.; Zan, R.; Bangert, U.; Golovanov, A. P.; Morozov, S. V.; Latychevskaia, T.

    2010-10-11

    We demonstrate the application of graphene as a support for imaging individual biological molecules in transmission electron microscope (TEM). A simple procedure to produce free-standing graphene membranes has been designed. Such membranes are extremely robust and can support practically any submicrometer object. Tobacco mosaic virus has been deposited on graphene samples and observed in a TEM. High contrast has been achieved even though no staining has been applied.

  10. Shaping Small Bioactive Molecules to Untangle Their Biological Function: A Focus on Fluorescent Plant Hormones.

    PubMed

    Lace, Beatrice; Prandi, Cristina

    2016-08-01

    Modern biology overlaps with chemistry in explaining the structure and function of all cellular processes at the molecular level. Plant hormone research is perfectly located at the interface between these two disciplines, taking advantage of synthetic and computational chemistry as a tool to decipher the complex biological mechanisms regulating the action of plant hormones. These small signaling molecules regulate a wide range of developmental processes, adapting plant growth to ever changing environmental conditions. The synthesis of small bioactive molecules mimicking the activity of endogenous hormones allows us to unveil many molecular features of their functioning, giving rise to a new field, plant chemical biology. In this framework, fluorescence labeling of plant hormones is emerging as a successful strategy to track the fate of these challenging molecules inside living organisms. Thanks to the increasing availability of new fluorescent probes as well as advanced and innovative imaging technologies, we are now in a position to investigate many of the dynamic mechanisms through which plant hormones exert their action. Such a deep and detailed comprehension is mandatory for the development of new green technologies for practical applications. In this review, we summarize the results obtained so far concerning the fluorescent labeling of plant hormones, highlighting the basic steps leading to the design and synthesis of these compelling molecular tools and their applications. PMID:27378726

  11. Photoelectron spectra of some important biological molecules: symmetry-adapted-cluster configuration interaction study.

    PubMed

    Farrokhpour, Hossein; Ghandehari, Maryam

    2013-05-23

    In this work, the valence vertical ionization energies (up to 5) of some important biologically active molecules including 2,4-dinitrophenol, 2,4-dinitroanisole, nicotinic acid, nicotinic acid methyl ester, nicotinamide, N,N-diethylnicotinamide, barbituric acid, uric acid, cytosine, β-carotene, and menadione were calculated in the gas phase and compared with the experimental data reported in the literature. The symmetry-adapted-cluster configuration interaction (SAC-CI) general-R method was used to calculate the ionization energies. The intensity of each ionization band was evaluated using the monopole approximation. Comparison of the calculated photoelectron spectrum of each molecule with its corresponding experimental spectra allowed for assigning the photoelectron bands by natural bonding orbital (NBO) calculations even though some of the associated bands were significantly overlapped for some molecules. Among the considered molecules, there was no agreement between the experimental and calculated photoelectron spectrum of β-carotene. The reason for this disagreement was theoretically investigated and attributed to the degradation and decomposition of β-carotene. The calculated first ionization energies of the considered molecules were correlated with their Hückel k-index to obtain Coulomb (α) and resonance (β) integrals of the Hückel molecular orbital theory for the biomolecules considered in this study. A linear correlation was found between the first ionization energy and the Hückel k-index. PMID:23659524

  12. Fluorescence imaging for bacterial cell biology: from localization to dynamics, from ensembles to single molecules.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhizhong; Carballido-López, Rut

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins and developments in superresolution (nanoscopy) and single-molecule techniques bring high sensitivity, speed, and one order of magnitude gain in spatial resolution to live-cell imaging. These technologies have only recently been applied to prokaryotic cell biology, revealing the exquisite subcellular organization of bacterial cells. Here, we review the parallel evolution of fluorescence microscopy methods and their application to bacteria, mainly drawing examples from visualizing actin-like MreB proteins in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We describe the basic principles of nanoscopy and conventional techniques and their advantages and limitations to help microbiologists choose the most suitable technique for their biological question. Looking ahead, multidimensional live-cell nanoscopy combined with computational image analysis tools, systems biology approaches, and mathematical modeling will provide movie-like, mechanistic, and quantitative description of molecular events in bacterial cells. PMID:25002084

  13. Engineering Bacteria to Search for Specific Concentrations of Molecules by a Systematic Synthetic Biology Design Method

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria navigate environments full of various chemicals to seek favorable places for survival by controlling the flagella’s rotation using a complicated signal transduction pathway. By influencing the pathway, bacteria can be engineered to search for specific molecules, which has great potential for application to biomedicine and bioremediation. In this study, genetic circuits were constructed to make bacteria search for a specific molecule at particular concentrations in their environment through a synthetic biology method. In addition, by replacing the “brake component” in the synthetic circuit with some specific sensitivities, the bacteria can be engineered to locate areas containing specific concentrations of the molecule. Measured by the swarm assay qualitatively and microfluidic techniques quantitatively, the characteristics of each “brake component” were identified and represented by a mathematical model. Furthermore, we established another mathematical model to anticipate the characteristics of the “brake component”. Based on this model, an abundant component library can be established to provide adequate component selection for different searching conditions without identifying all components individually. Finally, a systematic design procedure was proposed. Following this systematic procedure, one can design a genetic circuit for bacteria to rapidly search for and locate different concentrations of particular molecules by selecting the most adequate “brake component” in the library. Moreover, following simple procedures, one can also establish an exclusive component library suitable for other cultivated environments, promoter systems, or bacterial strains. PMID:27096615

  14. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with precise calculations. Thus the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule has become a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), will be presented in this paper. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The accuracy of structure determination of the inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  15. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  16. Core-shell nanoparticles as scavengers for hydrophobic molecules in biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Jeffrey

    2005-11-01

    Core-shell nanoparticles containing hydrophobic cores and hydrophilic shells were synthesized based on a tertiary microemulsion system. Due to their hydrophobic interior, this system is proposed to work as a scavenger of non polar species, like pesticides or drugs present in concentrations higher than what the body can tolerate. The ability to control the core and shell sizes using different molecules to fill the core was studied with different techniques. Hydrophobic fluorescent dyes were used as model non polar molecules to study the uptake abilities of the system synthesized. Derivatization of the surface of the core-shell particles with different groups, including biotin and poly(ethylene glycol) was performed to improve the biocompatibility of the system. Binding to streptavidin via the biotin units on the surface was performed to study the biocompatibility of the derivatized nanocapsules in biological relevant systems.

  17. Single-molecule Spectroscopy: Exploring Heterogeneity in Chemical and Biological Systems.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Shirsendu; Bhattacharyya, Kankan

    2016-04-01

    Many chemical and biological systems are heterogeneous in the molecular length scale (∼ 1 nm). Heterogeneity in many chemical systems and organized assemblies may be monitored using single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS). In SMS, the size of the focal spot (i.e., the smallest region to be probed) is nearly half of the excitation wavelength (λ/2, i.e., 200-375 nm) for visible light (400-750 nm). We discuss how one can get spatial resolutions better than 200 nm using molecules as nanometric probes. We show that polymer hydrogels, lipid vesicles, room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs), and binary liquid mixtures exhibit such heterogeneity. Another important observation is solute-dependent friction in RTILs. In an RTIL, diffusion of an ionic solute is slower than that of a neutral solute. PMID:26814020

  18. Pulse requirements for x-ray diffraction imaging of single biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Hau-Riege, S; London, R; Huldt, G; Chapman, H

    2005-01-05

    It has been suggested that x-ray free electron lasers will enable single-particle diffraction imaging of biological molecules. In this paper we present a model to estimate the required pulse parameters based on a trade-off between minimizing image degradation due to damage and maximizing the image signal-to-noise ratio. We discuss several means to alleviate the photon requirements, and compare the requirements with existing or planned x-ray sources such as short-pulse x-ray free-electron lasers.

  19. Long noncoding RNAs: Novel molecules in cardiovascular biology, disease and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jingying; Zhou, Changqing; Long, Huibao; Zheng, Shaoxin; Guo, Tianzhu; Wu, Quanhua; Wu, Hao; Zhong, Tingting; Wang, Tong

    2016-06-01

    Remarkable breakthroughs made in genomic technologies have facilitated the discovery of thousands of novel transcripts that do not template protein synthesis. Numerous RNAs termed as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) generated from this pervasive transcription function vividly in gene regulatory networks and a variety of biological and cellular processes. Here, we make a brief description of the known and putative functions of lncRNAs in cardiovascular biology and disease. The association between lncRNAs and stem cells mediated cardiomyocytes differentiation and neovascularization is discussed then. It will provide a new clue for further studies on these novel molecules in cardiovascular disease and bring bright prospects for their future applications in cardiac regenerative medicine. PMID:27180105

  20. A chemical screen for biological small molecule-RNA conjugates reveals CoA-linked RNA.

    PubMed

    Kowtoniuk, Walter E; Shen, Yinghua; Heemstra, Jennifer M; Agarwal, Isha; Liu, David R

    2009-05-12

    Compared with the rapidly expanding set of known biological roles for RNA, the known chemical diversity of cellular RNA has remained limited primarily to canonical RNA, 3'-aminoacylated tRNAs, nucleobase-modified RNAs, and 5'-capped mRNAs in eukaryotes. We developed two methods to detect in a broad manner chemically labile cellular small molecule-RNA conjugates. The methods were validated by the detection of known tRNA and rRNA modifications. The first method analyzes small molecules cleaved from RNA by base or nucleophile treatment. Application to Escherichia coli and Streptomyces venezuelae RNA revealed an RNA-linked hydroxyfuranone or succinyl ester group, in addition to a number of other putative small molecule-RNA conjugates not previously reported. The second method analyzes nuclease-generated mononucleotides before and after treatment with base or nucleophile and also revealed a number of new putative small molecule-RNA conjugates, including 3'-dephospho-CoA and its succinyl-, acetyl-, and methylmalonyl-thioester derivatives. Subsequent experiments established that these CoA species are attached to E. coli and S. venezuelae RNA at the 5' terminus. CoA-linked RNA cannot be generated through aberrant transcriptional initiation by E. coli RNA polymerase in vitro, and CoA-linked RNA in E. coli is only found among smaller (approximately < 200 nucleotide) RNAs that have yet to be identified. These results provide examples of small molecule-RNA conjugates and suggest that the chemical diversity of cellular RNA may be greater than previously understood. PMID:19416889

  1. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  2. Application of Fourier transform infrared ellipsometry to assess the concentration of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Caurel, Enric; Drévillon, Bernard; De Martino, Antonello; Schwartz, Laurent

    2002-12-01

    Spectroscopic ellipsometry is a noninvasive optical characterization technique mainly used in the semiconductor field to characterize bare substrates and thin films. In particular, it allows the gathering of information concerning the physical structure of the sample, such as roughness and film thickness, as well as its optical response. In the mid-infrared (IR) range each molecule exhibits a characteristic absorption fingerprint, which makes this technique chemically selective. Phase-modulated IR ellipsometry does not require a baseline correction procedure or suppression of atmospheric CO2 and water-vapor absorption bands, thus greatly reducing the subjectivity in data analysis. We have found that ellipsometric measurements of thin films, such as the solid residuals left on a plane surface after evaporation of a liquid drop containing a given compound in solution, are particularly favorable for dosing purposes because the intensity of IR absorptions shows a linear behavior along a wide range of solution concentrations of the given compound. Our aim is to illustrate with a concrete example and to justify theoretically the linearity experimentally found between radiation absorption and molecule concentration. For the example, we prepared aqueous solutions of glycogen, a molecule of huge biological importance currently tested in biochemical analyses, at concentrations ranging from 1 mg/l to 1 g/l which correspond to those found in physiological conditions. The results of this example are promising for the application of ellipsometry for dosing purposes in biochemistry and biomedicine. PMID:12477127

  3. Probing Solvation Dynamics around Aromatic and Biological Molecules at the Single-Molecular Level.

    PubMed

    Dopfer, Otto; Fujii, Masaaki

    2016-05-11

    Solvation processes play a crucial role in chemical reactions and biomolecular recognition phenomena. Although solvation dynamics of interfacial or biological water has been studied extensively in aqueous solution, the results are generally averaged over several solvation layers and the motion of individual solvent molecules is difficult to capture. This review describes the development and application of a new experimental approach, namely, picosecond time-resolved pump-probe infrared spectroscopy of size- and isomer-selected aromatic clusters, in which for the first time the dynamics of a single individual solvent molecule can be followed in real time. The intermolecular isomerization reaction is triggered by resonant photoionization (pump), and infrared photodissociation (probe) at variable delay generates the spectroscopic signature of salient properties of the reaction, including rates, yields, pathways, branching ratios of competing reactions, existence of reaction intermediates, occurrence of back reactions, and time scales of energy relaxation processes. It is shown that this relevant information can reliably be decoded from the experimental spectra by sophisticated molecular dynamics simulations. This review covers a description of the experimental strategies and spectroscopic methods along with all applications to date, which range from aromatic clusters with nonpolar solvent molecules to aromatic monohydrated biomolecules. PMID:27054835

  4. Molecules in interstellar clouds. [physical and chemical conditions of star formation and biological evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Hjalmarson, A.; Rydbeck, O. E. H.

    1981-01-01

    The physical conditions and chemical compositions of the gas in interstellar clouds are reviewed in light of the importance of interstellar clouds for star formation and the origin of life. The Orion A region is discussed as an example of a giant molecular cloud where massive stars are being formed, and it is pointed out that conditions in the core of the cloud, with a kinetic temperature of about 75 K and a density of 100,000-1,000,000 molecules/cu cm, may support gas phase ion-molecule chemistry. The Taurus Molecular Clouds are then considered as examples of cold, dark, relatively dense interstellar clouds which may be the birthplaces of solar-type stars and which have been found to contain the heaviest interstellar molecules yet discovered. The molecular species identified in each of these regions are tabulated, including such building blocks of biological monomers as H2O, NH3, H2CO, CO, H2S, CH3CN and H2, and more complex species such as HCOOCH3 and CH3CH2CN.

  5. Next generation techniques in the high resolution spectroscopy of biologically relevant molecules.

    PubMed

    Neill, Justin L; Douglass, Kevin O; Pate, Brooks H; Pratt, David W

    2011-04-28

    Recent advances in the technology of test and measurement equipment driven by the computer and telecommunications industries have made possible the development of a new broadband, Fourier-transform microwave spectrometer that operates on principles similar to FTNMR. This technique uses a high sample-rate arbitrary waveform generator to construct a phase-locked chirped microwave pulse that gives a linear frequency sweep over a wide frequency range in 1 μs. The chirped pulse efficiently polarizes the molecular sample at all frequencies lying within this band. The subsequent free induction decay of this polarization is measured with a high-speed digitizer and then fast Fourier-transformed to yield a broadband, frequency-resolved rotational spectrum, spanning up to 11.5 GHz and containing lines that are as narrow as 100 kHz. This new technique is called chirped-pulse Fourier transform microwave (CP-FTMW) spectroscopy. The technique offers the potential to determine the structural and dynamical properties of very large molecules solely from fully resolved pure rotational spectra. FTMW double resonance techniques employing a low-resolution UV laser facilitate an easy assignment of overlapping spectra produced by different conformers in the sample. Of particular interest are the energy landscapes of conformationally flexible molecules of biological importance, including studies of their interaction with solvent and/or other weakly bound molecules. An example is provided from the authors' work on p-methoxyphenethylamine, a neurotransmitter, and its complexes with water. PMID:21394332

  6. High-throughput platform for real-time monitoring of biological processes by multicolor single-molecule fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jin; Dalal, Ravindra V.; Petrov, Alexey N.; Tsai, Albert; O’Leary, Seán E.; Chapin, Karen; Cheng, Janice; Ewan, Mark; Hsiung, Pei-Lin; Lundquist, Paul; Turner, Stephen W.; Hsu, David R.; Puglisi, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    Zero-mode waveguides provide a powerful technology for studying single-molecule real-time dynamics of biological systems at physiological ligand concentrations. We customized a commercial zero-mode waveguide-based DNA sequencer for use as a versatile instrument for single-molecule fluorescence detection and showed that the system provides long fluorophore lifetimes with good signal to noise and low spectral cross-talk. We then used a ribosomal translation assay to show real-time fluidic delivery during data acquisition, showing it is possible to follow the conformation and composition of thousands of single biomolecules simultaneously through four spectral channels. This instrument allows high-throughput multiplexed dynamics of single-molecule biological processes over long timescales. The instrumentation presented here has broad applications to single-molecule studies of biological systems and is easily accessible to the biophysical community. PMID:24379388

  7. Single Molecule Photobleaching (SMPB) Technology for Counting of RNA, DNA, Protein and Other Molecules in Nanoparticles and Biological Complexes by TIRF Instrumentation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Guo, Peixuan

    2014-01-01

    Direct counting of biomolecules within biological complexes or nanomachines is demanding. Single molecule counting using optical microscopy is challenging due to the diffraction limit. The Single Molecule Photobleaching (SMPB) technology for direct counting developed by our team (Shu et al, EMBO J, 2007, 26:527; Zhang et al, RNA, 2007, 13:1793) offers a simple and straightforward method to determine the stoichiometry of molecules or subunits within biocomplexes or nanomachines at nanometer scales. Stoichiometry is determined by real-time observation of the number of descending steps resulted from the photobleaching of individual fluorophore. This technology has now been used extensively for single molecule counting of protein, RNA, and other macromolecules in a variety of complexes or nanostructures. Here, we elucidate the SMPB technology, using the counting of RNA molecules within a bacteriophage phi29 DNA-packaging biomotor as an example. The method described here can be applied to the single molecule counting of other molecules in other systems. The construction of a concise, simple and economical single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope combining prism-type and objective-type TIRF is described. The imaging system contains a deep-cooled sensitive EMCCD camera with single fluorophore detection sensitivity, a laser combiner for simultaneous dual-color excitation, and a Dual-View™ imager to split the multiple outcome signals to different detector channels based on their wavelengths. Methodology of the single molecule photobleaching assay used to elucidate the stoichiometry of RNA on phi29 DNA packaging motor and the mechanism of protein/RNA interaction are described. Different methods for single fluorophore labeling of RNA molecules are reviewed. The process of statistical modeling to reveal the true copy number of the biomolecules based on binomial distribution is also described. PMID:24440482

  8. Single Molecule Detection in Living Biological Cells using Carbon Nanotube Optical Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strano, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Nanoscale sensing elements offer promise for single molecule analyte detection in physically or biologically constrained environments. Molecular adsorption can be amplified via modulation of sharp singularities in the electronic density of states that arise from 1D quantum confinement [1]. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), as single molecule optical sensors [2-3], offer unique advantages such as photostable near-infrared (n-IR) emission for prolonged detection through biological media, single-molecule sensitivity and, nearly orthogonal optical modes for signal transduction that can be used to identify distinct classes of analytes. Selective binding to the SWNT surface is difficult to engineer [4]. In this lecture, we will briefly review the immerging field of fluorescent diagnostics using band gap emission from SWNT. In recent work, we demonstrate that even a single pair of SWNT provides at least four optical modes that can be modulated to uniquely fingerprint chemical agents by the degree to which they alter either the emission band intensity or wavelength. We validate this identification method in vitro by demonstrating detection and identification of six genotoxic analytes, including chemotherapeutic drugs and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are spectroscopically differentiated into four distinct classes. We also demonstrate single-molecule sensitivity in detecting hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common genotoxins and an important cellular signal. Finally, we employ our sensing and fingerprinting method of these analytes in real time within live 3T3 cells, demonstrating the first multiplexed optical detection from a nanoscale biosensor and the first label-free tool to optically discriminate between genotoxins. We will also discuss our recent efforts to fabricate biomedical sensors for real time detection of glucose and other important physiologically relevant analytes in-vivo. The response of embedded SWNT in a swellable hydrogel construct to

  9. Challenges of biological sample preparation for SIMS imaging of elements and molecules at subcellular resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandra, Subhash

    2008-12-01

    Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) based imaging techniques capable of subcellular resolution characterization of elements and molecules are becoming valuable tools in many areas of biology and medicine. Due to high vacuum requirements of SIMS, the live cells cannot be analyzed directly in the instrument. The sample preparation, therefore, plays a critical role in preserving the native chemical composition for SIMS analysis. This work focuses on the evaluation of frozen-hydrated and frozen freeze-dried sample preparations for SIMS studies of cultured cells with a CAMECA IMS-3f dynamic SIMS ion microscope instrument capable of producing SIMS images with a spatial resolution of 500 nm. The sandwich freeze-fracture method was used for fracturing the cells. The complimentary fracture planes in the plasma membrane were characterized by field-emission secondary electron microscopy (FESEM) in the frozen-hydrated state. The cells fractured at the dorsal surface were used for SIMS analysis. The frozen-hydrated SIMS analysis of individual cells under dynamic primary ion beam (O 2+) revealed local secondary ion signal enhancements correlated with the water image signals of 19(H 3O) +. A preferential removal of water from the frozen cell matrix in the Z-axis was also observed. These complications render the frozen-hydrated sample type less desirable for subcellular dynamic SIMS studies. The freeze-drying of frozen-hydrated cells, either inside the instrument or externally in a freeze-drier, allowed SIMS imaging of subcellular chemical composition. Morphological evaluations of fractured freeze-dried cells with SEM and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) revealed well-preserved mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, and stress fibers. SIMS analysis of fractured freeze-dried cells revealed well-preserved chemical composition of even the most highly diffusible ions like K + and Na + in physiologically relevant concentrations. The high K-low Na signature in individual cells

  10. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy at single-molecule scale and its implications in biology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuling; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2013-02-01

    Single-molecule (SM) spectroscopy has been an exciting area of research offering significant promise and hope in the field of sensor development to detect targets at ultra-low levels down to SM resolution. To the experts and developers in the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), this has often been a challenge and a significant opportunity for exploration. Needless to say, the opportunities and excitement of this multidisciplinary area impacts span the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering, along with a significant thrust in applications constituting areas in medicine, biology, environment and agriculture among others. In this review, we will attempt to provide a quick snapshot of the basics of SM-SERS, nanostructures and devices that can enable SM Raman measurement. We will conclude with a discussion on SERS implications in biomedical sciences. PMID:23267180

  11. Accelerating the Discovery of Biologically Active Small Molecules Using a High-Throughput Yeast Halo Assay#

    PubMed Central

    Gassner, Nadine C.; Tamble, Craig M.; Bock, Jonathan E.; Cotton, Naomi; White, Kimberly N.; Tenney, Karen; St. Onge, Robert P.; Proctor, Michael J.; Giaever, Guri; Davis, Ronald W.; Crews, Phillip; Holman, Theodore R.; Lokey, R. Scott

    2008-01-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a powerful model system for the study of basic eukaryotic cell biology, has been used increasingly as a screening tool for the identification of bioactive small molecules. We have developed a novel yeast toxicity screen that is easily automated and compatible with high-throughput screening robotics. The new screen is quantitative and allows inhibitory potencies to be determined, since the diffusion of the sample provides a concentration gradient and a corresponding toxicity halo. The efficacy of this new screen was illustrated by testing materials including 3,104 compounds from the NCI libraries, 167 marine sponge crude extracts, and 149 crude marine-derived fungal extracts. There were 46 active compounds among the NCI set. One very active extract was selected for bioactivity-guided fractionation resulting in the identification of crambescidin 800 as a potent antifungal agent. PMID:17291044

  12. Developing novel organocatalyzed aldol reactions for the enantioselective synthesis of biologically active molecules

    PubMed Central

    Bhanushali, Mayur; Zhao, Cong-Gui

    2011-01-01

    Aldol reaction is one of the most important methods for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. Because of its significance and usefulness, asymmetric versions of this reaction have been realized with different approaches in the past. Over the last decade, the area of organocatalysis has made significant progresses. As one of most studied reactions in organocatalyses, organocatalyzed aldol reaction has emerged as a powerful tool for the synthesis of a large number of useful products in optically enriched forms. In this review, we summarize our efforts on the development of novel organocatalyzed aldol reactions for the enantioselective synthesis of biological active molecules. Literatures closely related to our studies are also covered. PMID:21918584

  13. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy at single-molecule scale and its implications in biology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuling; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule (SM) spectroscopy has been an exciting area of research offering significant promise and hope in the field of sensor development to detect targets at ultra-low levels down to SM resolution. To the experts and developers in the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), this has often been a challenge and a significant opportunity for exploration. Needless to say, the opportunities and excitement of this multidisciplinary area impacts span the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering, along with a significant thrust in applications constituting areas in medicine, biology, environment and agriculture among others. In this review, we will attempt to provide a quick snapshot of the basics of SM-SERS, nanostructures and devices that can enable SM Raman measurement. We will conclude with a discussion on SERS implications in biomedical sciences. PMID:23267180

  14. Incorporating small molecules or biologics into nanofibers for optimized drug release: A review.

    PubMed

    Sebe, István; Szabó, Péter; Kállai-Szabó, Barnabás; Zelkó, Romána

    2015-10-15

    Over the past several decades, the formulation of novel nanofiber-based drug delivery systems focusing on specific delivery purposes has been investigated worldwide with a continuous level of interest. The unique structure and properties of nanoscale fibrous systems, such as their high specific-area-to-volume ratio and high porosity and the possibility of controlling their crystalline-amorphous phase transitions, make them a desirable formulation pathway to satisfy the needs of recent pharmaceutical development. Fibrous delivery systems can facilitate the accelerated dissolution and increased solubility of small molecules and can also be useful in controlling drug delivery over time (for local or systemic drug administration). In the latter case, the release periods can be tuned over a wide range (from hours to weeks), e.g., by adjusting the fiber diameter and selecting the appropriate polymers. The solubility of the polymer, the fiber diameter and the fiber structure are the primary parameters affecting drug release. In addition to immediate and sustained release, other release profiles, such as biphasic release, can also be achieved. Chemical conjugation and surface functionalization offer further possibilities for the control of drug release. In the case of small molecules, developments focus mostly on overcoming the unfavorable physicochemical nature of the active agents. By contrast, in the preparation of macromolecule-loaded nanofibers, maximizing the biological activity of the macromolecules presents the greatest challenge. The authors' intent is to provide a comprehensive overview of the key parameters of advanced drug delivery systems of this type. PMID:26307263

  15. UCSF Small Molecule Discovery Center: innovation, collaboration and chemical biology in the Bay Area.

    PubMed

    Arkin, Michelle R; Ang, Kenny K H; Chen, Steven; Davies, Julia; Merron, Connie; Tang, Yinyan; Wilson, Christopher G M; Renslo, Adam R

    2014-05-01

    The Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) at the University of California, San Francisco, works collaboratively with the scientific community to solve challenging problems in chemical biology and drug discovery. The SMDC includes a high throughput screening facility, medicinal chemistry, and research labs focused on fundamental problems in biochemistry and targeted drug delivery. Here, we outline our HTS program and provide examples of chemical tools developed through SMDC collaborations. We have an active research program in developing quantitative cell-based screens for primary cells and whole organisms; here, we describe whole-organism screens to find drugs against parasites that cause neglected tropical diseases. We are also very interested in target-based approaches for so-called "undruggable", protein classes and fragment-based lead discovery. This expertise has led to several pharmaceutical collaborations; additionally, the SMDC works with start-up companies to enable their early-stage research. The SMDC, located in the biotech-focused Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco, is a hub for innovative small-molecule discovery research at UCSF. PMID:24661212

  16. Self-Optimized Biological Channels in Facilitating the Transmembrane Movement of Charged Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Huyen, V. T. N.; Lap, Vu Cong; Nguyen, V. Lien

    2016-01-01

    We consider an anisotropically two-dimensional diffusion of a charged molecule (particle) through a large biological channel under an external voltage. The channel is modeled as a cylinder of three structure parameters: radius, length, and surface density of negative charges located at the channel interior-lining. These charges induce inside the channel a potential that plays a key role in controlling the particle current through the channel. It was shown that to facilitate the transmembrane particle movement the channel should be reasonably self-optimized so that its potential coincides with the resonant one, resulting in a large particle current across the channel. Observed facilitation appears to be an intrinsic property of biological channels, regardless of the external voltage or the particle concentration gradient. This facilitation is very selective in the sense that a channel of definite structure parameters can facilitate the transmembrane movement of only particles of proper valence at corresponding temperatures. Calculations also show that the modeled channel is nonohmic with the ion conductance which exhibits a resonance at the same channel potential as that identified in the current. PMID:27022394

  17. Force per cross-sectional area from molecules to muscles: a general property of biological motors

    PubMed Central

    Meyer-Vernet, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    We propose to formally extend the notion of specific tension, i.e. force per cross-sectional area—classically used for muscles, to quantify forces in molecular motors exerting various biological functions. In doing so, we review and compare the maximum tensions exerted by about 265 biological motors operated by about 150 species of different taxonomic groups. The motors considered range from single molecules and motile appendages of microorganisms to whole muscles of large animals. We show that specific tensions exerted by molecular and non-molecular motors follow similar statistical distributions, with in particular, similar medians and (logarithmic) means. Over the 1019 mass (M) range of the cell or body from which the motors are extracted, their specific tensions vary as Mα with α not significantly different from zero. The typical specific tension found in most motors is about 200 kPa, which generalizes to individual molecular motors and microorganisms a classical property of macroscopic muscles. We propose a basic order-of-magnitude interpretation of this result. PMID:27493785

  18. Self-Optimized Biological Channels in Facilitating the Transmembrane Movement of Charged Molecules.

    PubMed

    Huyen, V T N; Ho, Le Bin; Lap, Vu Cong; Nguyen, V Lien

    2016-01-01

    We consider an anisotropically two-dimensional diffusion of a charged molecule (particle) through a large biological channel under an external voltage. The channel is modeled as a cylinder of three structure parameters: radius, length, and surface density of negative charges located at the channel interior-lining. These charges induce inside the channel a potential that plays a key role in controlling the particle current through the channel. It was shown that to facilitate the transmembrane particle movement the channel should be reasonably self-optimized so that its potential coincides with the resonant one, resulting in a large particle current across the channel. Observed facilitation appears to be an intrinsic property of biological channels, regardless of the external voltage or the particle concentration gradient. This facilitation is very selective in the sense that a channel of definite structure parameters can facilitate the transmembrane movement of only particles of proper valence at corresponding temperatures. Calculations also show that the modeled channel is nonohmic with the ion conductance which exhibits a resonance at the same channel potential as that identified in the current. PMID:27022394

  19. MicroRNA: a small molecule with a big biological impact.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofeng; Yang, Pan-Chyr

    2012-01-01

    One of the most significant achievements in biological science in the last decade is the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi), a process within living cells that regulates gene expression at post-transcriptional levels. Historically, this process was described by other more generic names, such as co-suppression and post transcriptional gene silencing. Only after the molecular mechanism underlying these apparently unrelated processes was fully understood did it become apparent that they all described the RNAi phenomenon. In 2006, Dr. Andrew Fire and Dr. Craig C. Mello were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on RNAi interference. RNAi is an RNA-dependent gene silencing process that is controlled by the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and is initiated by two types of small RNA molecules - microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, the function of microRNA appears to be far beyond RNAi alone, including direct interaction with the gene promoter and epigenetic regulation of the DNA methylation and histone modification. By regulating gene expression, miRNAs are likely to be involved in diverse biological activities, such as tumorigenesis, immune response, insulin secretion, neurotransmitter synthesis, and circadian rhythm, to name a few. MicroRNAs are 21-23 nucleotide single stranded RNA molecules found in eukaryotic cells. The first miRNA, lin-4, was characterized in C. elegans in the early 1990s [1]. In the early years, the progress on microRNA research was slow and experienced substantial growing pains. The short length and uniqueness of each microRNA rendered many conventional hybridization based methods ineffective; very small RNAs are difficult to reliably amplify or label without introducing bias. In addition, hybridization-based methods for microRNA profiling relied on probes designed to detect known microRNAs or known microRNA species previously identified by sequencing or homology search. Recent evidence of

  20. 2012 SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE (JULY 15-20, 2012 - MOUNT SNOW RESORT, WEST DOVER VT)

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, Julio

    2012-04-20

    Single molecule techniques are rapidly occupying a central role in biological research at all levels. This transition was made possible by the availability and dissemination of robust techniques that use fluorescence and force probes to track the conformation of molecules one at a time, in vitro as well as in live cells. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are studied. These novel techniques provide previously unobtainable data on fundamental biochemical processes that are essential for all forms of life. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of the molecular systems that underpin the functioning of living cells. Hence, our conference seeks to disseminate the implementation and use of single molecule techniques in the pursuit of new biological knowledge. Topics covered include: Molecular Motors on the Move; Origin And Fate Of Proteins; Physical Principles Of Life; Molecules and Super-resolution Microscopy; Nanoswitches In Action; Active Motion Or Random Diffusion?; Building Blocks Of Living Cells; From Molecular Mechanics To Physiology; Tug-of-war: Force Spectroscopy Of Single Proteins.

  1. Immunological and biological properties of iodoinsulin labeled with one or less atoms of iodine per molecule

    PubMed Central

    Arquilla, Edward R.; Ooms, Henri; Mercola, Karen

    1968-01-01

    Experiments were designed to compare the distribution of free and antibody-bound unlabeled insulin to the distribution of free and antibody-bound insulin-125I. The insulin antibody was incorporated in a specific immune precipitate similar to the one used by Hales and Randle for the radioimmune assay of insulin. Insulin which was not bound by the specific immune precipitate was measured by the immune hemolysis inhibition assay. This report contains evidence that the addition of the unlabeled insulin in the radioimmune assay results in relatively more insulin-125I which remains free and less bound by antibodies than is the case with the unlabeled insulin. Methods are described for the separation of an electrophoretically homogeneous iodoinsulin from samples of crude iodoinsulin with average incorporations of less than 0.2 atoms iodine per molecule. These purified iodoinsulin fractions have a markedly attenuated biological activity. Evidence is presented which supports the postulate that only a portion of the antibodies in guinea pig insulin antiserum are capable of effectively binding with purified iodoinsulin. Images PMID:5637137

  2. Solid-supported cross-metathesis and a formal alkane metathesis for the generation of biologically relevant molecules.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Luciana; Mata, Ernesto G

    2015-02-01

    Solid-phase synthetic strategies toward the generation of libraries of biologically relevant molecules were developed using olefin cross-metathesis as a key step. It is remarkably the formal alkane metathesis based on a one-pot, microwave-assisted, ruthenium-catalyzed cross-metathesis and reduction to obtain Csp3-Csp3 linkages. PMID:25569690

  3. Introducing Bond-Line Organic Structures in High School Biology: An Activity that Incorporates Pleasant-Smelling Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rios, Andro C.; French, Gerald

    2011-01-01

    Chemical education occurs in settings other than just the chemistry classroom. High school biology courses are frequently where students are introduced to organic molecules and their importance to cellular chemistry. However, structural representations are often intimidating because students have not been introduced to the language. As part of a…

  4. Molecular-scale quantitative charge density measurement of biological molecule by frequency modulation atomic force microscopy in aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Kenichi; Kobayashi, Kei; Oyabu, Noriaki; Matsushige, Kazumi; Yamada, Hirofumi

    2015-07-01

    Surface charge distributions on biological molecules in aqueous solutions are essential for the interactions between biomolecules, such as DNA condensation, antibody-antigen interactions, and enzyme reactions. There has been a significant demand for a molecular-scale charge density measurement technique for better understanding such interactions. In this paper, we present the local electric double layer (EDL) force measurements on DNA molecules in aqueous solutions using frequency modulation atomic force microscopy (FM-AFM) with a three-dimensional force mapping technique. The EDL forces measured in a 100 mM KCl solution well agreed with the theoretical EDL forces calculated using reasonable parameters, suggesting that FM-AFM can be used for molecular-scale quantitative charge density measurements on biological molecules especially in a highly concentrated electrolyte.

  5. Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry for direct profiling and imaging of small molecules from raw biological materials

    SciTech Connect

    Cha, Sangwon

    2008-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization(MALDI) mass spectrometry(MS) has been widely used for analysis of biological molecules, especially macromolecules such as proteins. However, MALDI MS has a problem in small molecule (less than 1 kDa) analysis because of the signal saturation by organic matrixes in the low mass region. In imaging MS (IMS), inhomogeneous surface formation due to the co-crystallization process by organic MALDI matrixes limits the spatial resolution of the mass spectral image. Therefore, to make laser desorption/ionization (LDI) MS more suitable for mass spectral profiling and imaging of small molecules directly from raw biological tissues, LDI MS protocols with various alternative assisting materials were developed and applied to many biological systems of interest. Colloidal graphite was used as a matrix for IMS of small molecules for the first time and methodologies for analyses of small metabolites in rat brain tissues, fruits, and plant tissues were developed. With rat brain tissues, the signal enhancement for cerebroside species by colloidal graphite was observed and images of cerebrosides were successfully generated by IMS. In addition, separation of isobaric lipid ions was performed by imaging tandem MS. Directly from Arabidopsis flowers, flavonoids were successfully profiled and heterogeneous distribution of flavonoids in petals was observed for the first time by graphite-assisted LDI(GALDI) IMS.

  6. Smell sensing and visualizing based on multi-quantum wells spatial light modulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Fengchun; Zhao, Zhenzhen; Jia, Pengfei; Liao, Hailin; Chen, Danyu; Liu, Shouqiong

    2014-09-01

    For the existing drawbacks of traditional detecting methods which use gratings or prisms to detect light intensity distribution at each wavelength of polychromatic light, a novel method based on multi-quantum wells spatial light modulator (MQWs-SLM) has been proposed in this paper. In the proposed method, MQWs-SLM serves as a distribution features detector of the signal light. It is on the basis of quantum-confine Stark effect (QCSE) that the vertical applied voltage can change the absorption features of exciton in multi-quantum wells, and further change the distribution features of the readout polychromatic light of MQWs-SLM. It can be not only an universal detecting method, but also especially recommended to use in the Electronic nose system for features detecting of signal light so as to realize smell sensing and visualizing. The feasibility of the proposed method has been confirmed by mathematical modeling and analysis, simulation experiments and research status analysis.

  7. Electrons, Photons, and Force: Quantitative Single-Molecule Measurements from Physics to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution. PMID:21338175

  8. The Molecule Microscope: A New Instrument for Biological and Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, James C.; King, John G.

    1973-01-01

    We describe a new instrument, the molecule microscope, which reveals directly spatial variations in the rate of evaporation of molecules from surfaces by using neutral molecules instead of light or charged particles used in existing kinds of microscopes. The surface composition of the sample determines the binding energy of the evaporating molecules and, hence, the rate of evaporation, which also depends on permeability of the sample when the molecules come either from within or from the other side. We show first results obtained with our apparatus, discuss the design of an instrument now under construction with ≈1-μm resolution, and describe briefly some more advanced versions under consideration with ≈100-Å resolution. Images PMID:4542778

  9. Applications of Engineered DNA-Binding Molecules Such as TAL Proteins and the CRISPR/Cas System in Biology Research

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Toshitsugu; Fujii, Hodaka

    2015-01-01

    Engineered DNA-binding molecules such as transcription activator-like effector (TAL or TALE) proteins and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) (CRISPR/Cas) system have been used extensively for genome editing in cells of various types and species. The sequence-specific DNA-binding activities of these engineered DNA-binding molecules can also be utilized for other purposes, such as transcriptional activation, transcriptional repression, chromatin modification, visualization of genomic regions, and isolation of chromatin in a locus-specific manner. In this review, we describe applications of these engineered DNA-binding molecules for biological purposes other than genome editing. PMID:26404236

  10. Conformational, spectroscopic and nonlinear optical properties of biologically active N,N-dimethyltryptamine molecule: a theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Öner, Nazmiye; Tamer, Ömer; Avcı, Davut; Atalay, Yusuf

    2014-12-10

    The effective psychoactive properties of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) known as the near-death molecule have encouraged the imagination of many research disciplines for several decades. Although there is no theoretical study, a number of paper composed by experimental techniques have been reported for DMT molecule. In this study, the molecular modeling of DMT was carried out using B3LYP and HSEh1PBE levels of density functional theory (DFT). Our calculations showed that the energy gap between HOMO and LUMO is low, demonstrating that DMT is a biologically active molecule. Large hyperconjugation interaction energies imply that molecular charge transfer occurs in DMT. Moreover, NLO analysis indicates that DMT can be used an effective NLO material. PMID:24983923

  11. Conformational, spectroscopic and nonlinear optical properties of biologically active N,N-dimethyltryptamine molecule: A theoretical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Öner, Nazmiye; Tamer, Ömer; Avcı, Davut; Atalay, Yusuf

    2014-12-01

    The effective psychoactive properties of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) known as the near-death molecule have encouraged the imagination of many research disciplines for several decades. Although there is no theoretical study, a number of paper composed by experimental techniques have been reported for DMT molecule. In this study, the molecular modeling of DMT was carried out using B3LYP and HSEh1PBE levels of density functional theory (DFT). Our calculations showed that the energy gap between HOMO and LUMO is low, demonstrating that DMT is a biologically active molecule. Large hyperconjugation interaction energies imply that molecular charge transfer occurs in DMT. Moreover, NLO analysis indicates that DMT can be used an effective NLO material.

  12. Case studies in quantitative biology: Biochemistry on a leash and a single-molecule Hershey-Chase experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Valen, David

    2011-12-01

    The last 50 years of biological research has seen a marked increase in the amount of quantitative data that describes living systems. This wealth of data provides a unique opportunity to recast the pictorial level descriptions of biological processes in the language of mathematics, with the hope that such an undertaking will lead to deeper insights into the behavior of living systems. To achieve this end, we have undertaken three case studies in physical biology. In the first case study, we used statistical mechanics and polymer physics to construct a simple model that describes how flexible chains of amino acids, referred to as tethers, influence the information processing properties of signaling proteins. In the second case study, we studied the DNA ejection process of phage lambda in vitro. In particular, we used bulk and single-molecule methods to study the control parameters that govern the force and kinematics of the ejection process in vitro. In the last case study, we studied the DNA ejection process of phage lambda in vivo. We developed an assay that allows real-time monitoring of DNA ejection in vivo at the single-molecule level. We also developed a parallel system that allows the simultaneous visualization of both phage capsids and phage DNA at the single-cell level, constituting a true single-molecule Hershey-Chase experiment. The work described in this thesis outlines new tools, both in theory and experiment, that can be used to study biological systems as well as a paradigm that can be employed to mathematicize the cartoons of biology.

  13. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  14. Inferring Biological Structures from Super-Resolution Single Molecule Images Using Generative Models

    PubMed Central

    Maji, Suvrajit; Bruchez, Marcel P.

    2012-01-01

    Localization-based super resolution imaging is presently limited by sampling requirements for dynamic measurements of biological structures. Generating an image requires serial acquisition of individual molecular positions at sufficient density to define a biological structure, increasing the acquisition time. Efficient analysis of biological structures from sparse localization data could substantially improve the dynamic imaging capabilities of these methods. Using a feature extraction technique called the Hough Transform simple biological structures are identified from both simulated and real localization data. We demonstrate that these generative models can efficiently infer biological structures in the data from far fewer localizations than are required for complete spatial sampling. Analysis at partial data densities revealed efficient recovery of clathrin vesicle size distributions and microtubule orientation angles with as little as 10% of the localization data. This approach significantly increases the temporal resolution for dynamic imaging and provides quantitatively useful biological information. PMID:22629348

  15. Super-resolution imaging with stochastic single-molecule localization: concepts, technical developments, and biological applications.

    PubMed

    Oddone, Anna; Vilanova, Ione Verdeny; Tam, Johnny; Lakadamyali, Melike

    2014-07-01

    Light microscopy has undergone a revolution with the advent of super-resolution microscopy methods that can surpass the diffraction limit. These methods have generated much enthusiasm, in particular with regards to the new possibilities they offer for biological imaging. The recent years have seen a great advancement both in terms of new technological developments and exciting biological applications. Here, we review some of the important milestones in the field and highlight some recent biological applications. PMID:24616244

  16. SASSIE: A program to study intrinsically disordered biological molecules and macromolecular ensembles using experimental scattering restraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, Joseph E.; Raghunandan, Sindhu; Nanda, Hirsh; Krueger, Susan

    2012-02-01

    A program to construct ensembles of biomolecular structures that are consistent with experimental scattering data are described. Specifically, we generate an ensemble of biomolecular structures by varying sets of backbone dihedral angles that are then filtered using experimentally determined restraints to rapidly determine structures that have scattering profiles that are consistent with scattering data. We discuss an application of these tools to predict a set of structures for the HIV-1 Gag protein, an intrinsically disordered protein, that are consistent with small-angle neutron scattering experimental data. We have assembled these algorithms into a program called SASSIE for structure generation, visualization, and analysis of intrinsically disordered proteins and other macromolecular ensembles using neutron and X-ray scattering restraints. Program summaryProgram title: SASSIE Catalogue identifier: AEKL_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEKL_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: GNU General Public License v3 No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 3 991 624 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 826 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Python, C/C++, Fortran Computer: PC/Mac Operating system: 32- and 64-bit Linux (Ubuntu 10.04, Centos 5.6) and Mac OS X (10.6.6) RAM: 1 GB Classification: 3 External routines: Python 2.6.5, numpy 1.4.0, swig 1.3.40, scipy 0.8.0, Gnuplot-py-1.8, Tcl 8.5, Tk 8.5, Mac installation requires aquaterm 1.0 (or X window system) and Xcode 3 development tools. Nature of problem: Open source software to generate structures of disordered biological molecules that subsequently allow for the comparison of computational and experimental results is limiting the use of scattering resources. Solution method: Starting with an all atom model of a protein, for example, users can input

  17. Identification and biological activities of a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial reactive oxygen species

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Ki Hyun; Park, Ju Yeol; Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2011-01-07

    Research highlights: {yields} YCG063 was screened as a new angiogenesis inhibitor which suppresses mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library. {yields} The compound inhibited in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. {yields} This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions. -- Abstract: Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) are associated with multiple cellular functions such as cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In particular, high levels of mitochondrial ROS in hypoxic cells regulate many angiogenesis-related diseases, including cancer and ischemic disorders. Here we report a new angiogenesis inhibitor, YCG063, which suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library with an ArrayScan HCS reader. YCG063 suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation under a hypoxic condition in a dose-dependent manner, leading to the inhibition of in vitro angiogenic tube formation and chemoinvasion as well as in vivo angiogenesis of the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) at non-toxic doses. In addition, YCG063 decreased the expression levels of HIF-1{alpha} and its target gene, VEGF. Collectively, a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial ROS was identified. This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions.

  18. PDMS-Glass bonding using grafted polymeric adhesive - Alternative process flow for compatibility with patterned biological molecules

    PubMed Central

    Beh, Cyrus Weijie; Zhou, Weizhuang

    2013-01-01

    We report a novel modification of silicone elastomer, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with a polymer graft that allows interfacial bonding between elastomer and glass substrate to be performed without exposure of said substrate to harsh treatment conditions like oxygen plasma. Organic molecules can thus be patterned within microfluidic channels and still remain functional post-bonding. In addition, after polymer grafting the PDMS can be stored in a desiccator for at least 40 days, and activated upon exposure to acidic buffer for bonding. The bonded devices remain fully bonded in excess of 80 psi driving pressure, with no signs of compromise to the bond integrity. Finally, we demonstrate the compatibility of our method with biological molecules using a proof-of-concept DNA sensing device, in which fluorescently-labelled DNA targets are successfully captured by a patterned probe in a device sealed using our method, while the pattern on a plasma-treated device was completely destroyed. Therefore, this method provides a much-needed alternative bonding process for incorporation of biological molecules in microfluidic devices. PMID:22858861

  19. Nanometric Gap Structure with a Fluid Lipid Bilayer for the Selective Transport and Detection of Biological Molecules.

    PubMed

    Ando, Koji; Tanabe, Masashi; Morigaki, Kenichi

    2016-08-01

    The biological membrane is a natural biosensing platform that can detect specific molecules with extremely high sensitivity. We developed a biosensing methodology by combining a model biological membrane and a nanometer-sized gap structure on a glass substrate. The model membrane comprised lithographically patterned polymeric and fluid lipid bilayers. The polymeric bilayer was bonded to a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) sheet by using an adhesion layer with a defined thickness (lipid vesicles). Extruded lipid vesicles having a biotin moiety on the surface were used as the adhesion layer in conjunction with the biotin-streptavidin linkage. A gap structure was formed between the fluid bilayer and PDMS (nanogap junction). The thickness of the gap structure was several tens of nanometers, as determined by the thickness of the adhesion layer. The nanogap junction acted as a sensitive biosensing platform. From a mixture of proteins (cholera toxin and albumin), the target protein (cholera toxin) was selectively transported into the gap by the specific binding to a glycolipid (GM1) in the fluid bilayer and lateral diffusion. The target protein molecules were then detected with an elevated signal-to-noise ratio due to the reduced background noise in the nanometric gap. The combination of selective transport and reduced background noise drastically enhanced the sensitivity toward the target protein. The nanogap junction should have broad biomedical applications by realizing highly selective and sensitive biosensing in samples having diverse coexisting molecules. PMID:27427950

  20. Monte Carlo simulation of several biologically relevant molecules and zwitterions in water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patuwo, Michael Y.; Bettens, Ryan P. A.

    2012-02-01

    In this work, we study the hydration free energies of butane, zwitterionic alanine, valine, serine, threonine, and asparagine, and two neuraminidase inhibitors by means of Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The solute molecule, represented in the form of distributed multipoles and modified 6-12 potential, was varied from a non-interacting 'ghost' molecule to its full potential functions in TIP4P water. Intermediate systems with soft-core solute-solvent interaction potentials are simulated separately and then subjected to Bennett's Acceptance ratio (BAR) for the free energy calculation. Hydration shells surrounding the solute particles were used to assess the quality of potential functions.

  1. Unequal Activities of Enantiomers via Biological Receptors: Examples of Chiral Drug, Pesticide, and Fragrance Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mannschreck, Albrecht; Kiesswetter, Roland; von Angerer, Erwin

    2007-01-01

    A molecule coming from outside an organism can form a ligand-receptor complex. Upon its formation, a message is transmitted, for example, to certain cells. In this way, two enantiomers can emit messages that differ, either quantitatively or qualitatively. In the present article, these facts are taken as a common basis for the actions of chiral…

  2. Integration of biological ion channels onto optically addressable micro-fluidic electrode arrays for single molecule characterization.

    SciTech Connect

    Brozik, Susan Marie; Frink, Laura J. Douglas; Bachand, George David; Keller, David J.; Patrick, Elizabeth L.; Marshall, Jason A.; Ortiz, Theodore P.; Meyer, Lauren A.; Davis, Ryan W.; Brozik, James A.; Flemming, Jeb Hunter

    2004-12-01

    The challenge of modeling the organization and function of biological membranes on a solid support has received considerable attention in recent years, primarily driven by potential applications in biosensor design. Affinity-based biosensors show great promise for extremely sensitive detection of BW agents and toxins. Receptor molecules have been successfully incorporated into phospholipid bilayers supported on sensing platforms. However, a collective body of data detailing a mechanistic understanding of membrane processes involved in receptor-substrate interactions and the competition between localized perturbations and delocalized responses resulting in reorganization of transmembrane protein structure, has yet to be produced. This report describes a systematic procedure to develop detailed correlation between (recognition-induced) protein restructuring and function of a ligand gated ion channel by combining single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and single channel current recordings. This document is divided into three sections: (1) reported are the thermodynamics and diffusion properties of gramicidin using single molecule fluorescence imaging and (2) preliminary work on the 5HT{sub 3} serotonin receptor. Thirdly, we describe the design and fabrication of a miniaturized platform using the concepts of these two technologies (spectroscopic and single channel electrochemical techniques) for single molecule analysis, with a longer term goal of using the physical and electronic changes caused by a specific molecular recognition event as a transduction pathway in affinity based biosensors for biotoxin detection.

  3. Coulomb explosion and binary encounter processes in collisions between slow ions and small molecules of biological interest

    SciTech Connect

    Juhasz, Z.; Sulik, B.

    2008-12-08

    In this work we study the ion impact induced fragmentation of small molecules, which are relevant for radiation damage studies in biological tissues. We present double differential ion emission yields for collisions of N{sup 6+} ions with water and methane molecules at 15 and 30 keV impact energies. The angular distribution of the fragment ions shows post-collision and nucleus-nucleus binary collision effects. In the multiple capture energy range, a strong interplay is indicated between the Coulomb explosion and the binary collision mechanisms. In the energy region, where triple capture is dominant, an unexpected angular distribution was found for water fragments, which may be attributed to orientation sensitivity of some of the capture channels. Such processes are relevant for astrophysics and radiation therapy.

  4. Effect of Co-Existing Biologically Relevant Molecules and Ions on DNA Photocleavage Caused by Pyrene and its Derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shuguang; Yu, Hongtao

    2005-01-01

    Inorganic ions, coenzymes, amino acids, and saccharides could co-exist with toxic environmental chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in the cell. The presence of these co-existing chemicals can modulate the toxicity of the PAHs. One of the genotoxic effects by PAHs is light-induced cleavage, or photocleavage, of DNA. The effect of inorganic ions I−, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe3+, Mn2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ and biological molecules riboflavin, histidine, mannitol, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), glutathione, and glutamic acid on the DNA photocleavage by pyrene, 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP), and 1-aminopyrene (1-AP), is studied. The non-transition metal ions Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, usually have very little inhibitory effects, while the transition metal ions Fe3+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ enhance, Mn2+ inhibits the DNA photocleavage. The effect by biological molecules is complex, depending on the photochemical reaction mechanisms of the compounds tested (1-AP, 1-HP and pyrene) and on the chemical nature of the added biological molecules. Riboflavin, histidine, and mannitol enhance DNA photocleavage by all three compounds, except that mannitol has no effect on the photocleavage of DNA by pyrene. Glutathione inhibits the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and 1-HP, but has no effect on that by pyrene. NAD enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP, but has no effect on that by 1-HP and pyrene. Glutamic acid enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and pyrene, but inhibits that by 1-HP. These results show that the co-existing chemicals may have a profound effect on the toxicity of PAHs, or possibly on the toxicity of many other chemicals. Therefore, if one studies the toxic effects of PAHs or other toxic chemicals, the effect of the co-existing chemicals or ions needs to be considered. PMID:16705811

  5. High-throughput, dual probe biological assays based on single molecule detection

    DOEpatents

    Hollars, Christopher W.; Huser, Thomas R.; Lane, Stephen M.; Balhorn, Rodney L.; Bakajin, Olgica; Darrow, Christopher; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.

    2006-07-11

    A method and apparatus with the sensitivity to detect and identify single target molecules through the localization of dual, fluorescently labeled probe molecules. This can be accomplished through specific attachment of the taget to a surface or in a two-dimensional (2D) flowing fluid sheet having approximate dimensions of 0.5 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m. A device using these methods would have 10.sup.3 10.sup.4 greater throughput than previous one-dimensional (1D) micro-stream devices having 1 .mu.m.sup.3 interrogation volumes and would for the first time allow immuno- and DNA assays at ultra-low (femtomolar) concentrations to be performed in short time periods (.about.10 minutes). The use of novel labels (such as metal or semiconductor nanoparticles) may be incorporated to further extend the sensitivity possibly into the attomolar range.

  6. A recombinant, soluble, single-chain class I major histocompatibility complex molecule with biological activity.

    PubMed Central

    Mage, M G; Lee, L; Ribaudo, R K; Corr, M; Kozlowski, S; McHugh, L; Margulies, D H

    1992-01-01

    Heterodimeric class I major histocompatibility complex molecules, which consist of a 45-kDa heavy-chain and a 12-kDa beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m) light chain, bind endogenously synthesized peptides for presentation to antigen-specific T cells. We have synthesized a gene encoding a single-chain, soluble class I molecule derived from mouse H-2Dd, in which the carboxyl terminus of beta 2m is linked via a peptide spacer to the amino terminus of the heavy chain. The chimeric protein is secreted efficiently from transfected L cells, is thermostable, and when loaded with an appropriate antigenic peptide, stimulates an H-2Dd-restricted antigen-specific T-cell hybridoma. Thus, functional binding of peptide does not require the complete dissociation of beta 2m, implying that a heavy chain/peptide complex is not an obligate intermediate in the assembly of the heavy-chain/beta 2m/peptide heterotrimer. Single-chain major histocompatibility complex molecules uniformly loaded with peptide have potential uses for structural studies, toxin or fluor conjugates, and vaccines. Images PMID:1438262

  7. The Formation, Destruction, and Spectra of Extraterrestrial Biological and Prebiological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, R.; Moore, M.

    Radio and IR observations have revealed that a rich organic chemistry exists in a variety of interstellar regions. Among the organic molecules detected are acids, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and nitriles. The simplest sugar, glycolaldehyde, has also been reported (Hollis et al., ApJ, 2000, 540, L107), as has an amino acid, glycine (Kuan et al., ApJ, 2003, 593, 848; but see Hollis et al., ApJ, 2003, 588, 353). Gas-phase reactions to produce many of these molecules are not well understood, and solid-phase chemistry is thought to make an important contribution. To better understand organic chemistry in cold cosmic environments, we have performed photo- and radiation chemical experiments on icy materials at 10 - 100 K. Gas-phase molecules, or molecular mixtures, are frozen in a vacuum chamber and then exposed to either a beam of MeV protons or vacuum-UV photons to mimic cosmic-ray bombardment or cosmic-UV exposure, respectively. Changes in ice composition are followed in situ with IR spectroscopy. In this COSPAR presentation we will describe new laboratory results for glycolaldehyde and glycine, as well as a few prebiological organics. Solid-state IR spectra and synthetic reaction pathways will be presented, and predictions will be made for not only interstellar chemistry, but also the chemistry of Solar System objects such as comets, icy moons (Europa), and Titan. -- This research is funded through NASA's Planetary Atmospheres and SARA programs.

  8. The RCSB PDB “Molecule of the Month”: Inspiring a Molecular View of Biology

    PubMed Central

    Goodsell, David S.; Dutta, Shuchismita; Zardecki, Christine; Voigt, Maria; Berman, Helen M.; Burley, Stephen K.

    2015-01-01

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Molecule of the Month series provides a curated introduction to the 3-D biomolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank archive and the tools that are available at the RCSB website for accessing and exploring them. A variety of educational materials, such as articles, videos, posters, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and curricula, build on this series for use in a variety of educational settings as a general introduction to key topics, such as enzyme action, protein synthesis, and viruses. The series and associated educational materials are freely available at www.rcsb.org. PMID:25942442

  9. Regulation of platelet biology by platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1.

    PubMed

    Jones, Chris I; Moraes, Leonardo A; Gibbins, Jonathan M

    2012-01-01

    Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif containing receptor, plays diverse and apparently contradictory roles in regulating the response of platelets to stimuli; inhibiting platelet response to immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif and G protein-coupled receptor signalling following stimulation with collagen, adenosine diphosphate, and thrombin, as well as enhancing integrin outside-in signalling. These dual, and opposing, roles suggest an important and complex role for PECAM-1 in orchestrating platelet response to vascular damage. Indeed, during thrombus formation, the influence of PECAM-1 on the multiple signalling pathways combines leading to a relatively large inhibitory effect on thrombus formation. PMID:22035359

  10. The RCSB PDB "Molecule of the Month": Inspiring a Molecular View of Biology.

    PubMed

    Goodsell, David S; Dutta, Shuchismita; Zardecki, Christine; Voigt, Maria; Berman, Helen M; Burley, Stephen K

    2015-05-01

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Molecule of the Month series provides a curated introduction to the 3-D biomolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank archive and the tools that are available at the RCSB website for accessing and exploring them. A variety of educational materials, such as articles, videos, posters, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and curricula, build on this series for use in a variety of educational settings as a general introduction to key topics, such as enzyme action, protein synthesis, and viruses. The series and associated educational materials are freely available at www.rcsb.org. PMID:25942442

  11. Patterning and characterization of surfaces with organic and biological molecules by the scanning electrochemical microscope.

    PubMed

    Turyan, I; Matsue, T; Mandler, D

    2000-08-01

    A novel approach for micropatterning of surfaces with organic and biological microstructures using the scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM) is described. The approach is based on the introduction of the spatial resolution by local deposition of gold particles followed by monolayer formation and functionalization. Specifically, gold patterns were deposited locally on silicon wafers with the SECM as a result of the controlled anodic dissolution of a gold microelectrode. The gold patterns were further used as microsubstrates for assembling cystamine monolayers to which either fluoresceine isothiocyanate (FIT) or glucose oxidase (GOD) were covalently attached. Characterization of the organic monolayers, as well as the biological activity of the enzyme patterns, was carried out by fluorescence microscopy and the SECM, respectively. PMID:10952523

  12. Ridge InGaAs/InP multi-quantum-well selective growth in nanoscale trenches on Si (001) substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, S.; Zhou, X.; Li, M.; Kong, X.; Mi, J.; Wang, M.; Wang, W.; Pan, J.

    2016-01-01

    Metal organic chemical vapor deposition of InGaAs/InP multi-quantum-well in nanoscale V-grooved trenches on Si (001) substrate was studied using the aspect ratio trapping method. A high quality GaAs/InP buffer layer with two convex {111} B facets was selectively grown to promote the highly uniform, single-crystal ridge InP/InGaAs multi-quantum-well structure growth. Material quality was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and room temperature micro-photoluminescence measurements. This approach shows great promise for the fabrication of photonics devices and nanolasers on Si substrate.

  13. Detection of biological molecules using boronate-based chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph; Lane, Stephen M.; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.; Darrow, Christopher B.; Peyser, Thomas A.; Harder, Jennifer

    2004-06-15

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  14. Detection of biological molecules using boronate-based chemical amplification and optical sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Antwerp, W.P. van; Mastrototaro, J.J.; Lane, S.M.; Satcher, J.H. Jr.; Darrow, C.B.; Peyser, T.A.; Harder, J.

    1999-12-14

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  15. Detection of biological molecules using boronate-based chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph; Lane, Stephen M.; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.; Darrow, Christopher B.; Peyser, Thomas A.; Harder, Jennifer

    1999-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  16. Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics Lecture: Single-molecule protein folding and transition paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, William

    2012-02-01

    The transition path is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium molecular trajectory when a transition occurs by crossing the free energy barrier between two states. It is a uniquely single-molecule property, and has not yet been observed experimentally for any system in the condensed phase. The importance of the transition path in protein folding is that it contains all of the mechanistic information on how a protein folds. As a major step toward observing transition paths, we have determined the average transition-path time for a fast and a slow-folding protein from a photon-by-photon analysis of fluorescence trajectories in single-molecule FRET experiments. While the folding rate coefficients differ by 10,000-fold, surprisingly, the transition-path times differ by less than 5-fold, showing that a successful barrier crossing event takes almost the same time for a fast- and a slow-folding protein, i.e. almost the same time to fold when it actually happens.

  17. Crystallography Without Crystals: Determining the Structure of Individual Biological Molecules and Nanoparticles

    ScienceCinema

    Ourmazd, Abbas [University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

    2010-01-08

    Ever shattered a valuable vase into 10 to the 6th power pieces and tried to reassemble it under a light providing a mean photon count of 10 minus 2 per detector pixel with shot noise? If you can do that, you can do single-molecule crystallography. This talk will outline how this can be done in principle. In more technical terms, the talk will describe how the combination of scattering physics and Bayesian algorithms can be used to reconstruct the 3-D diffracted intensity distribution from a collection of individual 2-D diffiraction patterns down to a mean photon count of 10 minus 2 per pixel, the signal level anticipated from the Linac Coherent Light Source, and hence determine the structure of individual macromolecules and nanoparticles.

  18. “Turn-on” fluorescence probe integrated polymer nanoparticles for sensing biological thiol molecules

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Chung Yen; Tan, Si Yu; Lu, Yunpeng; Bai, Linyi; Li, Menghuan; Li, Peizhou; Zhang, Quan; Selvan, Subramanian Tamil; Zhao, Yanli

    2014-01-01

    A “turn-on” thiol-responsive fluorescence probe was synthesized and integrated into polymeric nanoparticles for sensing intracellular thiols. There is a photo-induced electron transfer process in the off state of the probe, and this process is terminated upon the reaction with thiol compounds. Configuration interaction singles (CIS) calculation was performed to confirm the mechanism of this process. A series of sensing studies were carried out, showing that the probe-integrated nanoparticles were highly selective towards biological thiol compounds over non-thiolated amino acids. Kinetic studies were also performed to investigate the relative reaction rate between the probe and the thiolated amino acids. Subsequently, the Gibbs free energy of the reactions was explored by means of the electrochemical method. Finally, the detection system was employed for sensing intracellular thiols in cancer cells, and the sensing selectivity could be further enhanced with the use of a cancer cell-targeting ligand in the nanoparticles. This development paves a path for the sensing and detection of biological thiols, serving as a potential diagnostic tool in the future. PMID:25394758

  19. Galectin-3 is a marker of favorable prognosis and a biologically relevant molecule in neuroblastic tumors

    PubMed Central

    Veschi, V; Petroni, M; Bartolazzi, A; Altavista, P; Dominici, C; Capalbo, C; Boldrini, R; Castellano, A; McDowell, H P; Pizer, B; Frati, L; Screpanti, I; Gulino, A; Giannini, G

    2014-01-01

    Childhood neuroblastic tumors are characterized by heterogeneous clinical courses, ranging from benign ganglioneuroma (GN) to highly lethal neuroblastoma (NB). Although a refined prognostic evaluation and risk stratification of each tumor patient is becoming increasingly essential to personalize treatment options, currently only few biomolecular markers (essentially MYCN amplification, chromosome 11q status and DNA ploidy) are validated for this purpose in neuroblastic tumors. Here we report that Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a β-galactoside-binding lectin involved in multiple biological functions that has already acquired diagnostic relevance in specific clinical settings, is variably expressed in most differentiated and less aggressive neuroblastic tumors, such as GN and ganglioneuroblastoma, as well as in a subset of NB cases. Gal-3 expression is associated with the INPC histopathological categorization (P<0.001) and Shimada favorable phenotype (P=0.001), but not with other prognostically relevant features. Importantly, Gal-3 expression was associated with a better 5-year overall survival (P=0.003), and with improved cumulative survival in patient subsets at worse prognosis, such as older age at diagnosis, advanced stages or NB histopathological classification. In vitro, Gal-3 expression and nuclear accumulation accompanied retinoic acid-induced cell differentiation in NB cell lines. Forced Gal-3 overexpression increased phenotypic differentiation and substrate adherence, while inhibiting proliferation. Altogether, these findings suggest that Gal-3 is a biologically relevant player for neuroblastic tumors, whose determination by conventional immunohistochemistry might be used for outcome assessment and patient's risk stratification in the clinical setting. PMID:24603328

  20. Diverse Biological Activities of the Vascular Non-Inflammatory Molecules - The Vanin Pantetheinases.

    PubMed Central

    Kaskow, Belinda J; Proffit, J Michael; Blangero, John; Moses, Eric K; Abraham, Lawrence J

    2011-01-01

    The Vanin genes are a family that encode pantetheinases involved in recycling Coenzyme A, caytalysing the breakdown of intermediate panetheine to vitamin B5 for reuse in CoA biosynthesis. The role of pantetheinase in this most fundamental of cellular processes, was substantially characterised by the 1970s. The next 20 years saw little further interest in pantetheinase until various genetic studies implicated the vanin locus in a range of normal and disease phenotypes, and a consequent interest in the other product of pantetheinase activity, cysteamine. This report seeks to bring together the early biochemical studies with recent biological data implicating cysteamine as a regulator of the oxidative state of a cell. Numerous studies now report a role for Vanin in inflammation, oxidative stress, cell migration and numerous diseases including cardiovascular disease. PMID:22155241

  1. The Origin of Universal Scaling Laws in Biology from Molecules and Cells to Whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Geoffrey B.

    1999-10-01

    Even though biological systems are the most complex physical systems known, they satisfy remarkably simple scaling laws. For example, metabolic rate (the power needed to sustain life) scales like the -power of mass over 26 orders of magnitude ranging from the molecular respiratory complex within mitochondria up through the smallest unicellular organism (mycoplasma) to the largest animals (whales) and plants (giant sequoia). Other scaling laws relate how organismal features change with size over many orders of magnitude; these include time-scales (such as lifespan and heart-rate) and sizes (such as the radius of a tree trunk or the aorta). All of these can be expressed as power laws with exponents which are typically simple multiples of . Their phenomenology will be discussed and a quantitative, unified model presented that can explain their origin, including that of the universal -power.

  2. Rotational dynamics of water molecules near biological surfaces with implications for nuclear quadrupole relaxation.

    PubMed

    Braun, Daniel; Schmollngruber, Michael; Steinhauser, Othmar

    2016-09-21

    Based on Molecular Dynamics simulations of two different systems, the protein ubiquitin dissolved in water and an AOT reverse micelle, we present a broad analysis of the single particle rotational dynamics of water. A comprehensive connection to NQR, which is a prominent experimental method in this field, is developed, based on a reformulation of its theoretical framework. Interpretation of experimental NQR results requires a model which usually assumes that the NQR experiences retardation only in the first hydration shell. Indeed, the present study shows that this first-shell model is correct. Moreover, previous experimental retardation factors are quantitatively reproduced. All of this is seemingly contradicted by results of other methods, e.g., dielectric spectroscopy, responsible for a long-standing debate in this field. Our detailed analysis shows that NQR omits important information contained in overall water dynamics, most notably, the retardation of the water dipole axis in the electric field exerted by a biological surface. PMID:27546227

  3. Fluid Flows and Their Role in the Regulation of Biological Molecules in the Bloodstream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sing, Charles; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo

    2010-03-01

    We use computer simulations to elucidate the physics underlying blood clotting mechanisms. A straightforward and general model for the behavior of proteins such as von Willebrand Factor (vWF) under various flow conditions has been developed. The particular case of vWF is considered in depth, since it demonstrates the counter-intuitive behavior of adsorbing to a surface at higher flow rates. We use the globule-stretch transition of a collapsed polymer to explain this phenomenon, and have identified the conditions necessary to induce this transition. We have also developed a theory to explain the mechanism of this transition, which is based on the nucleation and growth of large thermal protrusions. Upon the consideration of the specific length and time scales present under biological conditions, it is apparent that vWF is strongly regulated by elongational flows. We can show how phenomena from the molecular to physiological levels are supplemented by this understanding of vWF function.

  4. Small cantilevers for atomic force microscopy and force spectroscopy of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viani, M. B.; Schaffer, T. E.; Chand, A.; Smith, B. L.; Hansma, P. K.; Wendman, M.

    1998-03-01

    Small cantilevers offer new possibilities for high speed/low noise atomic force microscopy of soft, biological samples. We have used a novel process to fabricate metallic cantilevers that should maximize reflectivity and minimize thermal bending. We have fabricated and measured the properties of aluminum, nickel, silver, and 14-karat gold cantilevers that are 3-12 um long, 1-4 um wide, and 60-300 nm thick and have resonant frequencies of 0.5-2 MHz and spring constants of 0.1-3 N/m. We also have fabricated small cantilevers with ultra-low spring constants (1-10 mN/m) out of silicon nitride and used them for force spectroscopy of DNA. This work was supported by grant numbers NSF-DMR9622169 and NSF-DMR9632716 from the Materials Research Division of the National Science Foundation and by grant number DAAH04-96-1-004 from the Army Research Office.

  5. Detection of nerve agents and biological molecules using embedded piezoresistive microcantilever sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Timothy; Vail, Tim; Wooley, Amanda

    2008-03-01

    Embedded piezoresistive microcantilever (EPM) sensors have been used in the detection of a variety of analyte species. EPM sensors utilize a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever partially embedded into a sensing material to produce a sensing element that is compact, simple, resistant to movement and shock, and suitable for remote sensing applications. In the current project, we have used sensing materials comprised of an immobilizing polymer functionalized with either target enzymes or antibodies to detect two biological agents, bacillus globigi (BG) and Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP). DFP is an organophosphate used as a simulant for organophosphate nerve agents, while BG is a large bacterial spore used as a simulant for other bacterial spores such as bacillus anthracis. Sensing results are presented for both types of EPM sensors.

  6. Directed Evolution of RebH for Site Selective Halogenation of Large, Biologically Active Molecules**

    PubMed Central

    Payne, James T.; Poor, Catherine B.

    2015-01-01

    We recently characterized the substrate scope of wild-type RebH and evolved variants of this enzyme with improved stability for biocatalysis. The substrate scopes of both RebH and the stabilized variants, however, are limited primarily to compounds similar in size to tryptophan. We have now used a substrate walking approach to further evolve RebH variants with expanded substrate scope. Two particularly notable variants were identified: 3-SS, which provides high conversion of tricyclic tryptoline derivatives; and 4-V, which accepts a broad range of large indoles and carbazoles. This constitutes the first reported use of directed evolution to enable functionalization of substrates not accepted by wild-type RebH and demonstrates the utility of RebH variants for site-selective halogenation of biologically active compounds. PMID:25678465

  7. Electron flow through biological molecules: Does hole hopping protect proteins from oxidative damage?

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Jay R.; Gray, Harry B.

    2016-01-01

    Biological electron transfers often occur between metal-containing cofactors that are separated by very large molecular distances. Employing photosensitizer-modified iron and copper proteins, we have shown that single-step electron tunneling can occur on nanosecond to microsecond timescales at distances between 15 and 20 angstroms. We also have shown that charge transport can occur over even longer distances by hole hopping (multistep tunneling) through intervening tyrosines and tryptophans. In this Perspective, we advance the hypothesis that such hole hopping through Tyr/Trp chains could protect oxygenase, dioxygenase, and peroxidase enzymes from oxidative damage. In support of this view, by examining the structures of P450 (CYP102A) and 2OG-Fe (TauD) enzymes, we have identified candidate Tyr/Trp chains that could transfer holes from uncoupled high-potential intermediates to reductants in contact with protein surface sites. PMID:26537399

  8. Screening and characterization of molecules that modulate the biological activity of IFNs-I.

    PubMed

    Bürgi, Milagros; Zapol'skii, Viktor A; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Köster, Mario; Kaufmann, Dieter E; Sasse, Florenz; Hauser, Hansjörg; Etcheverrigaray, Marina; Kratje, Ricardo; Bollati-Fogolín, Mariela; Oggero, Marcos

    2016-09-10

    Type I Interferons (IFNs-I) are species-specific glycoproteins which play an important role as primary defence against viral infections and that can also modulate the adaptive immune system. In some autoimmune diseases, interferons (IFNs) are over-produced. IFNs are widely used as biopharmaceuticals for a variety of cancer indications, chronic viral diseases, and for their immuno-modulatory action in patients with multiple sclerosis; therefore, increasing their therapeutic efficiency and decreasing their side effects is of high clinical value. In this sense, it is interesting to find molecules that can modulate the activity of IFNs. In order to achieve that, it was necessary to establish a simple, fast and robust assay to analyze numerous compounds simultaneously. We developed four reporter gene assays (RGAs) to identify IFN activity modulator compounds by using WISH-Mx2/EGFP, HeLa-Mx2/EGFP, A549-Mx2/EGFP, and HEp2-Mx2/EGFP reporter cell lines (RCLs). All of them present a Z' factor higher than 0.7. By using these RGAs, natural and synthetic compounds were analyzed simultaneously. A total of 442 compounds were studied by the Low Throughput Screening (LTS) assay using the four RCLs to discriminate between their inhibitory or enhancing effects on IFN activity. Some of them were characterized and 15 leads were identified. Finally, one promising candidate with enhancing effect on IFN-α/-β activity and five compounds with inhibitory effect were described. PMID:27346232

  9. Detecting and Identifying Organic Molecules in Space - The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron (4000-625/cm) range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX (Medium-class Explorer) mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. Both the scientific goals of the mission and how they would be achieved will be discussed.

  10. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Allamandola, Louis; Bregman, Jesse; Ennico, Kimberly; Greene, Thomas; Hudgins, Douglas; Strecker, Donald; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. The technical considerations of achieving these science objectives in a MIDEX-sized mission will be described.

  11. Detecting and Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 microns (4000-625/cm) range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX (Medium-class Explorer) mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. Both the scientific goals of the mission and how they would be achieved will be discussed.

  12. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Selenium (Se-NSAID) Molecules as Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Plano, Daniel; Karelia, Deepkamal N; Pandey, Manoj K; Spallholz, Julian E; Amin, Shantu; Sharma, Arun K

    2016-03-10

    The synthesis and anticancer evaluation of novel selenium-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Se-NSAID) hybrid molecules are reported. The Se-aspirin analogue 8 was identified as the most effective agent in reducing the viability of different cancer cell lines, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, was more selective toward cancer cells than normal cells, and was >10 times more potent than 5-FU, the current therapy for CRC. Compound 8 inhibits CRC growth via the inhibition of the cell cycle in G1 and G2/M phases and reduces the cell cycle markers like cyclin E1 and B1 in a dose dependent manner; the inhibition of the cell cycle may be dependent on the ability of 8 to induce p21 expression. Furthermore, 8 induces apoptosis by activating caspase 3/7 and PARP cleavage, and its longer exposure causes increase in intracellular ROS levels in CRC cells. Taken together, 8 has the potential to be developed further as a chemotherapeutic agent for CRC. PMID:26750401

  13. Evolution of conformational changes in the dynamics of small biological molecules: a hybrid MD/RRK approach.

    PubMed

    Segev, Elad; Grumbach, Mikael; Gerber, Robert Benny

    2006-11-14

    The dynamics of long timescale evolution of conformational changes in small biological molecules is described by a hybrid molecular dynamics/RRK algorithm. The approach employs classical trajectories for transitions between adjacent structures separated by a low barrier, and the classical statistical RRK approximation when the barrier involved is high. In determining the long-time dynamics from an initial structure to a final structure of interest, an algorithm is introduced for determining the most efficient pathways (sequence of the intermediate conformers). This method uses the Dijkstra algorithm for finding optimal paths on networks. Three applications of the method using an AMBER force field are presented: a detailed study of conformational transitions in a blocked valine dipeptide; a multiple reaction path study of the blocked valine tripeptide; and the evolution in time from the beta hairpin to alpha helix structure of a blocked alanine hexapeptide. Advantages and limitations of the method are discussed in light of the results. PMID:17066182

  14. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle. PMID:20735820

  15. Experimental evidence of hot carriers solar cell operation in multi-quantum wells heterostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Rodière, Jean; Lombez, Laurent; Le Corre, Alain; Durand, Olivier; Guillemoles, Jean-François

    2015-05-04

    We investigated a semiconductor heterostructure based on InGaAsP multi quantum wells (QWs) using optical characterizations and demonstrate its potential to work as a hot carrier cell absorber. By analyzing photoluminescence spectra, the quasi Fermi level splitting Δμ and the carrier temperature are quantitatively measured as a function of the excitation power. Moreover, both thermodynamics values are measured at the QWs and the barrier emission energy. High values of Δμ are found for both transition, and high carrier temperature values in the QWs. Remarkably, the quasi Fermi level splitting measured at the barrier energy exceeds the absorption threshold of the QWs. This indicates a working condition beyond the classical Shockley-Queisser limit.

  16. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ennico, K. A.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L.; Bregman, J.; Cohen, M.; Cruikshank, D.; Dumas, C.; Greene, T.; Hudgins, D.; Kwok, S.

    2004-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T < 50 K equipped with medium resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such a system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. The mission s observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extra-terrestrial environments: 1) The Outflow of Dying Stars, 2) The Diffuse Interstellar Medium, 3) Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young StellarPlanetary Systems, 4) Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System, and 5 ) The Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies. ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these areas by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5-20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R > 2000 of about 1500 objects including galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects. Keywords: Astrobiology, infrared, Explorers, interstellar organics, telescope, spectrometer, space, infrared detectors

  17. In vivo biochemistry: Applications for small molecule biosensors in plant biology

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alexander; Grossmann, Guido; Danielson, Jonas Å.H.; Sosso, Davide; Chen, Li-Qing; Ho, Cheng Hsun; Frommer, Wolf B.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Revolutionary new technologies, namely in the areas of DNA sequencing and molecular imaging, continue to impact new discoveries in plant science and beyond. For decades we have been able to determine properties of enzymes, receptors and transporters in vitro or in heterologous systems, and more recently been able to analyze their regulation at the transcriptional level, use GFP reporters to obtain insights into cellular and subcellular localization, and measure ion and metabolite levels with unprecedented precision using mass spectrometry. However, we lack key information on location and dynamics of the substrates of enzymes, receptors and transporters, and on the regulation of these proteins in their cellular environment. Such information can now be obtained by transitioning from in vitro to in vivo biochemistry using biosensors. Genetically encoded fluorescent protein-based sensors for ion and metabolite dynamics provide highly resolved spatial and temporal information, and are complemented by sensors for pH, redox, voltage, and tension. They serve as powerful tools for identifying missing processes (e.g. glucose transport across ER membranes), components (e.g. SWEET sugar transporters for cellular sugar efflux), and signaling networks (e.g. from systematic screening of mutants that affect sugar transport or cytosolic and vacuolar pH). Combined with the knowledge of properties of enzymes and transporters and their interactions with the regulatory machinery, biosensors promise to be key diagnostic tools for systems and synthetic biology. PMID:23587939

  18. From molecule to man: integrating molecular biology with whole organ physiology in studying respiratory disease.

    PubMed

    Königshoff, Melanie; Uhl, Franziska; Gosens, Reinoud

    2011-10-01

    Chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are all characterized by structural changes of the airways and/or lungs that limit airflow and/or gas exchange. Currently, there is no therapy available that adequately targets the structural remodeling of the airways and lungs in these diseases. This underscores the great need for insight into the mechanisms that underpin the development of airway remodeling, fibrosis and emphysema in these diseases, in order to identify suitable drug targets. It is increasingly evident that structural cell-cell communication within the lung is central to the development of remodeling, indicating that a more integrative approach should be considered when studying molecular and cellular mechanisms of remodeling. Therefore, there is a great need to study molecular and cellular physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms in as much detail as possible, but with as little as possible loss of the physiological context. Here, we will review the use of models such as cellular co-culture, tissue culture, and lung slice culture, in which cell-cell communication and tissue architecture are better preserved or mimicked than in cell culture, and zoom in on the usefulness of molecular and cellular biological tools in these complex model systems to read out or control signaling and gene/protein regulation. PMID:21356323

  19. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ennico, Kimberly; Sandford, S.; Allamandola, L.; Bregman, J.; Cohen, M.; Cruikshank, D.; Dumas, C.; Greene, T.; Hudgins, D.; Kwok, S.

    2004-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a modest dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T less than 50 K equipped with medium resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such a system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. The mission's observaticxiai program woiild make fundamental scieztific: prngress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extra-terrestrial environments: 1) The Outflow of Dying Stars; 2) The Diffuse Interstellar Medium (DISM); 3) Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young Stellar/Planetary Systems; 4) Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System; and 5) The Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these area by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5 - 20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R greater than 2500 of about 1500 galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects.

  20. Pegylation of biological molecules and potential benefits: pharmacological properties of certolizumab pegol.

    PubMed

    Pasut, Gianfranco

    2014-04-01

    PEGylation of biological proteins, defined as the covalent conjugation of proteins with polyethylene glycol (PEG), leads to a number of biopharmaceutical improvements, including increased half-life, increased solubility and reduced aggregation, and reduced immunogenicity. Since their introduction in 1990, PEGylated proteins have significantly improved the management of various chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Certolizumab pegol is the only PEGylated anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α agent. It is a PEGylated, humanised, antigen-binding fragment of an anti-TNF monoclonal antibody. Unlike other anti-TNF agents, it has no crystallisable fragment (Fc) domain. Because of its novel structure, certolizumab pegol may have a different mechanism of action to the other anti-TNF agents, and also has different pharmacodynamic properties, which could possibly translate to a different safety profile. Pharmacodynamic studies have shown that certolizumab pegol binds to TNF with a higher affinity than adalimumab and infliximab. Certolizumab pegol is also more potent at neutralising soluble TNF-mediated signalling than adalimumab and infliximab, and has similar or lesser potency to etanercept. Certolizumab pegol does not cause detrimental in vitro effects such as degranulation, loss of cell integrity, apoptosis, complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Certolizumab pegol may also penetrate more effectively into inflamed arthritic tissue than other anti-TNF agents, and is not actively transported across the placenta during pregnancy. Pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers demonstrated that single intravenous and subcutaneous doses of certolizumab pegol had predictable pharmacokinetics. The pharmacokinetics of certolizumab pegol in patients with RA and Crohn's disease were consistent with pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers. PMID:24687235

  1. Design and Fabrication of Nano Biologically Sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (Nano Bio-FET) for Bio-Molecule Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, K. L.; Kashif, M.; Hashim, U.

    2011-05-01

    Biologically Sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (Bio-FET) based on silicon nanowires (SiNWs), so called Nano Bio-FET, promise ultrasensitive dynamic label-free electrical detection of bio-molecule. Therefore, Nano Bio-FET which is one type of biosensor is mainly used for biological element detection such as nucleic acid, antibodies and enzyme. SiNWs which is act as the transducer is one type of the Nanowire where it can be produced using a top-down or bottom-up approach. As to minimize the cost of fabrication process, conventional CMOS process was chosen. For this reason, SiNWs, as small as 40 nm in width, is fabricated using spacer patterning lithography (SPL) technique. SPL is one type of top-down technique used to fabricate nanostructure especially nanowire. It is a low-cost and compatible to standard CMOS fabrication process. SPL, in general is a combination of conventional photolithography, anisotropic etchings and the excellent homogeneity and reproducibility of conformal chemical vapor deposition processes.

  2. Peptide-coated semiconductor quantum dots and their applications in biological imaging of single molecules in live cells and organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinaud, Fabien Florent

    2007-12-01

    A new surface chemistry has been developed for the solubilization and biofunctionalization of inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals fluorescent probes, also known as quantum dots. This chemistry is based on the surface coating of quantum dots with custom-designed polycysteine peptides and yields water-soluble, small, monodispersed and colloidally stable probes that remain bright and photostable in complex biological milieus. This peptide coating strategy was successfully tested on several types of core and core-shell quantum dots emitting from the visible (e.g. CdSe/ZnS) to the NIR spectrum range (e.g. CdTe/CdSe/ZnS). By taking advantage of the versatile physico-chemical properties of peptides, a peptide "toolkit" was designed and employed to impart several biological functions to individual quantum dots and control their biochemical activity at the nanometer scale. These biofunctionalized peptide-coated quantum dots were exploited in very diverse biological applications. Near-infrared emitting quantum dot probes were engineered with optimized blood circulation and biodistribution properties for in vivo animal imaging. Visible emitting quantum dots were used for single molecule tracking of raft-associated GPI-anchored proteins in live cells. This last application revealed the presence of discrete and non-caveolar lipid microdomains capable of impeding free lateral diffusions in the plasma membrane of Hela cells. Imaging and tracking of peptide-coated quantum dots provided the first direct evidence that microdomains having the composition and behavior expected for lipid rafts can induce molecular compartmentalization in the membrane of living cells.

  3. Prospect of detection and recognition of single biological molecules using ultrafast coherent dynamics in quantum dot-metallic nanoparticle systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, S. M.

    2015-08-01

    Conventional plasmonic sensors are based on the intrinsic resonances of metallic nanoparticles. In such sensors wavelength shift of such resonances are used to detect biological molecules. Recently we introduced ultra-sensitive timedomain nanosensors based on the way variations in the environmental conditions influence coherent dynamics of hybrid systems consisting of metallic nanoparticles and quantum dots. Such dynamics are generated via interaction of these systems with a laser field, generating quantum coherence and coherent exciton-plasmon coupling. These sensors are based on impact of variations of the refractive index of the environment on such dynamics, generating time-dependent changes in the emission of the QDs. In this paper we study the impact of material properties of the metallic nanoparticles on this process and demonstrate the key role played by the design of the quantum dots. We show that Ag nanoparticles, even in a simple spherical shape, may allow these sensors to operate at room temperature, owing to the special properties of quantum dot-metallic nanoparticle systems that may allow coherent effects utilized in such sensors happen in the presence of the ultrafast polarization dephasing of quantum dots.

  4. Supramolecular assembly of biological molecules purified from bovine nerve cells: from microtubule bundles and necklaces to neurofilament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needleman, Daniel J.; Jones, Jayna B.; Raviv, Uri; Ojeda-Lopez, Miguel A.; Miller, H. P.; Li, Y.; Wilson, L.; Safinya, C. R.

    2005-11-01

    With the completion of the human genome project, the biosciences community is beginning the daunting task of understanding the structures and functions of a large number of interacting biological macromolecules. Examples include the interacting molecules involved in the process of DNA condensation during the cell cycle, and in the formation of bundles and networks of filamentous actin proteins in cell attachment, motility and cytokinesis. In this proceedings paper we present examples of supramolecular assembly based on proteins derived from the vertebrate nerve cell cytoskeleton. The axonal cytoskeleton in vertebrate neurons provides a rich example of bundles and networks of neurofilaments, microtubules (MTs) and filamentous actin, where the nature of the interactions, structures, and structure-function correlations remains poorly understood. We describe synchrotron x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and optical imaging data, in reconstituted protein systems purified from bovine central nervous system, which reveal unexpected structures not predicted by current electrostatic theories of polyelectrolyte bundling, including three-dimensional MT bundles and two-dimensional MT necklaces.

  5. Bioorganic chemistry à la baguette: studies on molecular recognition in biological systems using rigid-rod molecules.

    PubMed

    Matile, S

    2001-01-01

    Initial studies using rigid-rod molecules or "baguettes" to address bioorganic topics of current scientific concern are reported. It is illustrated how transmembrane oligo(p-phenylene)s as representative model rods can be tuned to recognize lipid bilayer membranes either by their thickness or polarization. The construction of otherwise problematic hydrogen-bonded chains along transmembrane rods yields "proton wires," which act by a mechanism that is central in bioenergetics but poorly explored by means of synthetic models. Another example focuses on multivalent ligands assembling rigid-rod cell-surface receptors into transmembrane dynamic arene arrays. The potassium transport mediated by these ligand-receptor complexes provides experimental support for the potential biological importances of the controversial cation-pi mechanism. More complex supramolecular architecture is portrayed in the first artificial beta-barrels. It is shown how programmed assembly of toroidal rigid-rod supramolecules in detergent-free water permits control of diameter of the chemical nature of their interior. Reversed rigid-rod beta-barrels are assembled to function as self-assembled ionophores, ion channel models, and transmembrane nanopores. The potential of future intratoroidal chemistry is exemplified by encapsulation and planarization of beta-carotene in water and the construction of transmembrane B-DNA at the center of a second-sphere host-guest complex à al baguette. PMID:11893065

  6. Biological and Molecular Effects of Small Molecule Kinase Inhibitors on Low-Passage Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Falko; Franz, Benjamin; Maletzki, Claudia; Linnebacher, Michael; Hühns, Maja; Jaster, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Low-passage cancer cell lines are versatile tools to study tumor cell biology. Here, we have employed four such cell lines, established from primary tumors of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, to evaluate effects of the small molecule kinase inhibitors (SMI) vemurafenib, trametinib, perifosine, and regorafenib in an in vitro setting. The mutant BRAF (V600E/V600K) inhibitor vemurafenib, but also the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib efficiently inhibited DNA synthesis, signaling through ERK1/2 and expression of genes downstream of ERK1/2 in BRAF mutant cells only. In case of the AKT inhibitor perifosine, three cell lines showed a high or intermediate responsiveness to the drug while one cell line was resistant. The multikinase inhibitor regorafenib inhibited proliferation of all CRC lines with similar efficiency and independent of the presence or absence of KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, and TP53 mutations. Regorafenib action was associated with broad-range inhibitory effects at the level of gene expression but not with a general inhibition of AKT or MEK/ERK signaling. In vemurafenib-sensitive cells, the antiproliferative effect of vemurafenib was enhanced by the other SMI. Together, our results provide insights into the determinants of SMI efficiencies in CRC cells and encourage the further use of low-passage CRC cell lines as preclinical models. PMID:25309914

  7. Reconstitution of biologically active 50S ribosomal subunits with artificial 5S RNA molecules carrying disturbances in the base pairing within the molecular stalk.

    PubMed Central

    Raué, H A; Lorenz, S; Erdmann, V A; Planta, R J

    1981-01-01

    Bacillus stearothermophilus 50S ribosomal subunits were reconstituted in vitro using artificial 5S RNA molecules constructed by combining parts of major and minor type (Raué et al. (1976) Europ. J. Biochem. 68, 169-176) B. licheniformis 5S RNA. The artificial 5S RNA molecules carry defined disturbances (A.C juxtapositions and extra G.U pairs) in the base pairing between the 5'- and 3'-terminal sequences of the molecule (the molecular stalk region). The biological activity of the reconstituted subunits was determined in an E. coli cell-free system programmed with poly-U. The results show that conservation of the base pairing within the molecular stalk is not required for biological activity of 5S RNA. Disturbances of the base pairing within this region do reduce the rate of reconstitution, however. Normal base pairing in the molecular stalk is thus required to ensure efficient ribosome assembly. PMID:6164987

  8. Investigation of temperature-dependent photoluminescence in multi-quantum wells

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Yutao; Wang, Lu; Sun, Qingling; Lu, Taiping; Deng, Zhen; Ma, Ziguang; Jiang, Yang; Jia, Haiqiang; Wang, Wenxin; Zhou, Junming; Chen, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Photoluminescence (PL) is a nondestructive and powerful method to investigate carrier recombination and transport characteristics in semiconductor materials. In this study, the temperature dependences of photoluminescence of GaAs-AlxGa1-xAs multi-quantum wells samples with and without p-n junction were measured under both resonant and non-resonant excitation modes. An obvious increase of photoluminescence(PL) intensity as the rising of temperature in low temperature range (T < 50 K), is observed only for GaAs-AlxGa1-xAs quantum wells sample with p-n junction under non-resonant excitation. The origin of the anomalous increase of integrated PL intensity proved to be associated with the enhancement of carrier drifting because of the increase of carrier mobility in the temperature range from 15 K to 100 K. For non-resonant excitation, carriers supplied from the barriers will influence the temperature dependence of integrated PL intensity of quantum wells, which makes the traditional methods to acquire photoluminescence characters from the temperature dependence of integrated PL intensity unavailable. For resonant excitation, carriers are generated only in the wells and the temperature dependence of integrated PL intensity is very suitable to analysis the photoluminescence characters of quantum wells. PMID:26228734

  9. MOVPE growth of Ga(AsBi)/GaAs multi quantum well structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludewig, P.; Knaub, N.; Stolz, W.; Volz, K.

    2013-05-01

    This paper summarizes results of the epitaxial growth of Ga(AsBi) by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) using all-liquid group V precursors. Ga(AsBi)/GaAs multi quantum well (MQW) samples are grown on GaAs (001) substrates at temperatures as low as 375 °C and 400 °C using triethylgallium (TEGa), tertiarybutylarsine (TBAs) and trimethylbismuth (TMBi) as precursors. High resolution x-ray diffraction (HR-XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements show that MQW structures with good crystalline quality are realized. Under specific growth conditions, the Bi droplet formation can be avoided completely. The incorporated Bi-content is limited depending on the growth temperature used. Surplus Bi segregates at the surface and incorporates into the subsequent GaAs barrier when the Bi supply is stopped. The MQW samples show room temperature photoluminescence (PL) already after growth. A redshift and a decreasing PL signal intensity with increasing Bi fraction is observed.

  10. Radiation response of multi-quantum well solar cells: Electron-beam-induced current analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Maximenko, S. I. Scheiman, D. A.; Jenkins, P. P.; Walters, R. J.; Lumb, M. P.; Hoheisel, R.; Gonzalez, M.; Messenger, S. R.; Tibbits, T. N. D.; Imaizumi, M.; Ohshima, T.; Sato, S. I.

    2015-12-28

    Solar cells utilizing multi-quantum well (MQW) structures are considered promising candidate materials for space applications. An open question is how well these structures can resist the impact of particle irradiation. The aim of this work is to provide feedback about the radiation response of In{sub 0.01}Ga{sub 0.99}As solar cells grown on Ge with MQWs incorporated within the i-region of the device. In particular, the local electronic transport properties of the MQW i-regions of solar cells subjected to electron and proton irradiation were evaluated experimentally using the electron beam induced current (EBIC) technique. The change in carrier collection distribution across the MQW i-region was analyzed using a 2D EBIC diffusion model in conjunction with numerical modeling of the electrical field distribution. Both experimental and simulated findings show carrier removal and type conversion from n- to p-type in MQW i-region at a displacement damage dose as low as ∼6.06–9.88 × 10{sup 9} MeV/g. This leads to a redistribution of the electric field and significant degradation in charge carrier collection.

  11. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Liefeng; Yang, Xiufang; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru

    2015-04-01

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by Ithl and Ithu, as shown in Fig. 2; Ithl is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; Ithu is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (Vj) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at Ithl and Ithu. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  12. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Liefeng E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn

    2015-04-15

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}, as shown in Fig. 2; I{sub th}{sup l} is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I{sub th}{sup u} is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V{sub j}) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  13. A novel method developed for estimating mineralization efficiencies and its application in PC and PEC degradations of large molecule biological compounds with unknown chemical formula.

    PubMed

    Li, Guiying; Liu, Xiaolu; An, Taicheng; Wong, Po Keung; Zhao, Huijun

    2016-05-15

    A new method to estimate the photocatalytic (PC) and photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) mineralization efficiencies of large molecule biological compounds with unknown chemical formula in water was firstly developed and experimentally validated. The method employed chemical oxidation under the standard dichromate chemical oxygen demand (COD) conditions to obtain QCOD values of model compounds with unknown chemical formula. The measured QCOD values were used as the reference to replace QCOD values of model compounds for calculation of the mineralization efficiencies (in %) by assuming the obtained QCOD values are the measure of the theoretical charge required for the complete mineralization of organic pollutants. Total organic carbon (TOC) was also employed as a reference to confirm the mineralization capacity of dichromate chemical oxidation. The developed method was applied to determine the degradation extent of model compounds, such as bovine serum albumin (BSA), lecithin and bacterial DNA, by PC and PEC. Incomplete PC mineralization of all large molecule biological compounds was observed, especially for BSA. But the introduction of electrochemical technique into a PC oxidation process could profoundly improve the mineralization efficiencies of model compounds. PEC mineralization efficiencies of bacterial DNA was the highest, while that of lecithin was the lowest. Overall, PEC degradation method was found to be much effective than PC method for all large molecule biological compounds investigated, with PEC/PC mineralization ratios followed an order of BSA > lecithin > DNA. PMID:26994335

  14. Design of monocrystalline Si/SiGe multi-quantum well microbolometer detector for infrared imaging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafique, Atia; Durmaz, Emre C.; Cetindogan, Barbaros; Yazici, Melik; Kaynak, Mehmet; Kaynak, Canan B.; Gurbuz, Yasar

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents the design, modelling and simulation results of silicon/silicon-germanium (Si/SiGe) multi-quantum well based bolometer detector for uncooled infrared imaging system. The microbolometer is designed to detect light in the long wave length infrared (LWIR) range from 8 to 14 μm with pixel size of 25 x 25 μm. The design optimization strategy leads to achieve the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) 4.5%/K with maximum germanium (Ge) concentration of 50%. The design of microbolometer entirely relies on standard CMOS and MEMS processes which makes it suitable candidate for commercial infrared imaging systems.

  15. Hydration Structures and Thermodynamic Properties of Cationized Biologically Relevant Molecules, M+(Indole)(H2O)n (M = Na, K; n = 3-6)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ke, Haochen; Lisy, James

    2015-03-01

    The balance between various noncovalent interactions plays a key role in determining the hydration structures and thermodynamic properties of biologically relevant molecules in biological mediums. Such properties of biologically relevant molecules are closely related to their often unique biological functionalities. The indole moiety is a basic functional group of many important neurotransmitters and hormones and has been used as tractable model for more complex biomolecules. The cationized indole water cluster is a perfect system for the quantitative and systematic study of the competition and cooperation of noncovalent interactions, as electrostatic interactions can be adjusted by introducing different monovalent cations and hydrogen bonding interactions can be adjusted by varying the level of hydration. IRPD spectra with isotopic (H/D) analysis helped unravel the overlapping N-H and O-H stretching modes, a major challenge of earlier studies. Thermodynamic analysis using relative Gibbs free energies, for energy ordering, together with spectral analysis provided unambiguous assignment of spectral features and structural configurations. A systematic hydration model with an in-depth account of noncovalent interactions is presented.

  16. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers. PMID:27363513

  17. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers. PMID:27363513

  18. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-induced syncytium formation mediated by vascular cell adhesion molecule-1: evidence for involvement of cell adhesion molecules in HTLV-1 biology.

    PubMed Central

    Hildreth, J E; Subramanium, A; Hampton, R A

    1997-01-01

    While studying the potential role of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in infection of endothelial cells by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we found that VCAM-1 can mediate human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-induced syncytium formation. Both expression-vector-encoded and endogenously expressed VCAM-1 supported fusion of uninfected cells with HTLV-1-infected cells. Fusion was obtained with cell lines carrying the HTLV-1 genome and expressing viral proteins but not with an HTLV-1-transformed cell line that does not express viral proteins. In clones of VCAM-1-transfected cells, the degree of syncytium formation observed directly reflected the level of VCAM-1 expression. Syncytium formation between HTLV-1-expressing cells and VCAM-1+ cells could be blocked with antiserum against HTLV-1 gp46 and with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against VCAM-1. Fusion was not blocked by antiserum against HIV or a MAb against VLA-4, the physiological counter-receptor for VCAM-1. The results indicate that VCAM-1 can serve as an accessory molecule or potential coreceptor for HTLV-1-induced cell fusion and provide direct evidence of a role for cell adhesion molecules in the biology of HTLV-1. PMID:8995639

  19. Signal transduction pathways mediated by PECAM-1: new roles for an old molecule in platelet and vascular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Newman, Peter J; Newman, Debra K

    2003-06-01

    Recent studies of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1 [CD31])-deficient mice have revealed that this molecule plays an important role in controlling the activation and survival of cells on which it is expressed. In this review, we focus on the complex cytoplasmic domain of PECAM-1 and describe what is presently known about its structure, posttranslational modifications, and binding partners. In addition, we summarize findings that implicate PECAM-1 as an inhibitor of cellular activation via protein tyrosine kinase-dependent signaling pathways, an activator of integrins, and a suppressor of cell death via pathways that depend on damage to the mitochondria. The challenge of future research will be to bridge our understanding of the functional and biochemical properties of PECAM-1 by establishing mechanistic links between signals transduced by the PECAM-1 cytoplasmic domain and discrete cellular responses. PMID:12689916

  20. 1H NMR analysis of complexation of hydrotropic agents nicotinamide and caffeine with aromatic biologically active molecules in aqueous solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lantushenko, Anastasia O.; Mukhina, Yulia V.; Veselkov, Kyrill A.; Davies, David B.; Veselkov, Alexei N.

    2004-07-01

    NMR spectroscopy has been used to elucidate the molecular mechanism of solubilization action of hydrotropic agents nicotinamide (NA) and caffeine (CAF). Hetero-association of NA with riboflavine-mononucleotide (FMN) and CAF with low soluble in aqueous solution synthetic analogue of antibiotic actinomycin D, actinocyl-bis-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) amine (Actill), has been investigated by 500 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy. Concentration and temperature dependences of proton chemical shifts have been analysed in terms of a statistical-thermodynamic model of indefinite self- and heteroassociation of aromatic molecules. The obtained results enable to conclude that NA-FMN and CAF-Actill intermolecular complexes are mainly stabilized by the stacking interactions of the aromatic chromophores. Hetero-association of the investigated molecules plays an important role in solubilization of aromatic drugs by hydrotropic agents nicotinamide and caffeine.

  1. Interaction of biological molecules with clay minerals: a combined spectroscopic and sorption study of lysozyme on saponite.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Cliff T; Premachandra, Gnanasiri S; Szabo, Tamas; Lok, Joyce; Schoonheydt, Robert A

    2012-01-10

    The interaction of hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) with Na- and Cs-exchanged saponite was investigated using sorption, structural, and spectroscopic methods as a model system to study clay-protein interactions. HEWL sorption to Na- and Cs-saponite was determined using the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay, thermogravimetric analysis, and C and N analysis. For Na-saponite, the TGA and elemental analysis-derived sorption maximum was 600 mg/g corresponding to a surface coverage of 0.85 ng/mm(2) with HEWL occupying 526 m(2)/g based on a cross-sectional area of 13.5 nm(2)/molecule. HEWL sorption on Na-saponite was accompanied by the release of 9.5 Na(+) ions for every molecule of HEWL sorbed consistent with an ion exchange mechanism between the positively charged HEWL (IEP 11) and the negatively charged saponite surface. The d-spacing of the HEWL-Na-saponite complex increased to a value of 4.4 nm consistent with the crystallographic dimensions of HEWL of 3 × 3 × 4.5 nm. In the case of Cs-saponite, there was no evidence of interlayer sorption; however, sorption of HEWL to the "external" surface of Cs-saponite showed a high affinity isotherm. FTIR and Raman analysis of the amide I region of the HEWL-saponite films prepared from water and D(2)O showed little perturbation to the secondary structure of the protein. The overall hydrophilic nature of the HEWL-Na-saponite complex was determined by water vapor sorption measurements. The clay retained its hydrophilic character with a water content of 18% at high humidity corresponding to 240 H(2)O molecules per molecule of HEWL. PMID:22047516

  2. Max Delbruck Biological Physics Prize Talk: The Biophysics of Gene Regulation, Studied One Molecule at a Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Block, Steven

    2008-03-01

    Advances have led to a new field, dubbed single molecule biophysics. Prominent among the new technologies is the optical trap, or `optical tweezers.' Sensitive systems for measuring force and displacement in optical traps permit the nanomechanical properties of individual macromolecules to be explored with unprecedented precision, revealing behaviors heretofore obscured by ensemble-based approaches. This talk will focus on some of our current work with single-molecule systems, including transcription by RNA polymerase and structural transitions in nucleic acids. We developed high-resolution instrumentation that has broken the nanometer barrier and is thereby able to detect displacements down to the atomic level, in aqueous buffer at room temperature. Consequently, we can monitor the motions of RNA polymerase molecules in real time as these step from base to base along DNA. On the practical side, base-pair resolution makes it possible to sequence DNA in a new way, based on enzyme motions, and points to new directions in nanoscience. The improved stability afforded by the current generation of optical trapping apparatus has allowed us to reconstruct the complete energy landscapes for folding transitions in nucleic-acid hairpins. Recently, we have turned our attention to the problem of co-transcriptional folding, aptamers, and riboswitches formed in nascent mRNAs, and to the DNA or RNA sequence elements that regulate expression.

  3. Micromanipulation system for handling of biological molecule and screening of microbes in a microchannel by electric field and laser tweezers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morishima, Keisuke; Arai, Fumihito; Fukuda, Toshio; Matsuura, Hideo; Yoshikawa, Kenichi

    1998-09-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel methodology on noncontact transportation of DNA molecules by dielectrophoretic force and high throughput screening of microbes. First, we utilize the conformational transition in the higher order structure of DNA for transportation. We designed a simple micro electrode-flow system. Experimental demonstration of DNA transportation in the globule state using dielectrophoretic force and direct observation of the DNA molecule in a non- uniform electric field were carried out with fluorescence microscopy. We discuss the experimental results on the motion of the DNA molecule. We show that transportation of DNA with the state of compacted globule is profitable in the future practical application for the separation of giant DNAs such as human gene. Next, we have developed a prototype of Microchannel system for high throughput screening of Escherichia coli. Experimental demonstration of noncontact transportation and manipulation of Escherichia coli by dielectrophoretic force and radiation pressure of laser tweezers were carried out with laser manipulator system. We discussed the basic strategies to improve the working efficiency and the operability of the micromanipulation and presented a new direction in this field. In experiments, we show that transportation and separation of E. coli cells by dielectrophoretic force and optical trapping is useful for future practical application to the high throughput screening of microbes. We showed the possibility of the Microchannel system as one of the biomanipulation and automation systems for DNA sequencing and pharmaceutical field.

  4. Analysis of the landscape of biologically-derived pharmaceuticals in Europe: dominant production systems, molecule types on the rise and approval trends.

    PubMed

    Kyriakopoulos, Sarantos; Kontoravdi, Cleo

    2013-02-14

    A thorough sort of the human drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) between its establishment in 1995 until June 2012 is presented herein with a focus on biologically-derived pharmaceuticals. Over 200 (33%) of the 640 approved therapeutic drugs are derived from natural sources, produced via recombinant DNA technology, or generated through virus propagation. A breakdown based on production method, type of molecule and therapeutic category is presented. Current EMA approvals demonstrate that mammalian cells are the only choice for glycoprotein drugs, with Chinese hamster ovary cells being the dominant hosts for their production. On the other hand, bacterial cells and specifically Escherichia coli are the dominant hosts for protein-based drugs, followed by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The latter is the dominant host for recombinant vaccine production, although egg-based production is still the main platform of vaccine provision. Our findings suggest that the majority of biologically-derived drugs are prescribed for cancer and related conditions, as well as the treatment of diabetes. The approval rate for biologically-derived drugs shows a strong upward trend for monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins since 2009, while hormones, antibodies and growth factors remain the most populous categories. Despite a clear pathway for the approval of biosimilars set by the EMA and their potential to drive sales growth, we have only found approved biosimilars for three molecules. In 2012 there appears to be a slow-down in approvals, which coincides with a reported decline in the growth rate of biologics sales. PMID:23262060

  5. Effect of potential barrier height on the carrier transport in InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells and photoelectric properties of laser diode.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hailiang; Sun, Jing; Ma, Shufang; Liang, Jian; Lu, Taiping; Jia, Zhigang; Liu, Xuguang; Xu, Bingshe

    2016-03-01

    The growth and strain-compensation behaviour of InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells, which were fabricated by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, have been studied towards the application of these quantum wells in high-power laser diodes. The effect of the height of the potential barrier on the confined level of carrier transport was studied by incorporating different levels of phosphorus content into the GaAsP barrier. The crystal quality and interface roughness of the InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells with different phosphorus contents were evaluated by high resolution X-ray diffraction and in situ optical surface reflectivity measurements during the growth. The surface morphology and roughness were characterized by atomic force microscopy, which indicates the variation law of surface roughness, terrace width and uniformity with increasing phosphorus content, owing to strain accumulation. Moreover, the defect generation and structural disorder of the multi-quantum wells were investigated by Raman spectroscopy. The optical properties of the multi-quantum wells were characterized by photoluminescence, which shows that the spectral intensity increases as the phosphorus content increases. The results suggest that more electrons are well bound in InGaAs because of the high potential barrier. Finally, the mechanism of the effect of the height of the potential barrier on laser performance was proposed on the basis of simulation calculations and experimental results. PMID:26879291

  6. Biologic activity of the novel small molecule STAT3 inhibitor LLL12 against canine osteosarcoma cell lines

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background STAT3 [1] has been shown to be dysregulated in nearly every major cancer, including osteosarcoma (OS). Constitutive activation of STAT3, via aberrant phosphorylation, leads to proliferation, cell survival and resistance to apoptosis. The present study sought to characterize the biologic activity of a novel allosteric STAT3 inhibitor, LLL12, in canine OS cell lines. Results We evaluated the effects of LLL12 treatment on 4 canine OS cell lines and found that LLL12 inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, reduced STAT3 phosphorylation, and decreased the expression of several transcriptional targets of STAT3 in these cells. Lastly, LLL12 exhibited synergistic anti-proliferative activity with the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin in the OS lines. Conclusion LLL12 exhibits biologic activity against canine OS cell lines through inhibition of STAT3 related cellular functions supporting its potential use as a novel therapy for OS. PMID:23244668

  7. Revealing G-protein-coupled receptor oligomerization at the single-molecule level through a nanoscopic lens: methods, dynamics and biological function.

    PubMed

    Scarselli, Marco; Annibale, Paolo; McCormick, Peter J; Kolachalam, Shivakumar; Aringhieri, Stefano; Radenovic, Aleksandra; Corsini, Giovanni U; Maggio, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    The introduction of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy has allowed the visualization of single proteins in their biological environment. Recently, these techniques have been applied to determine the organization of class A G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and to determine whether they exist as monomers, dimers and/or higher-order oligomers. On this subject, this review highlights recent evidence from photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), which allows the visualization of single molecules in dense samples, and single-molecule tracking (SMT), which determines how GPCRs move and interact in living cells in the presence of different ligands. PALM has demonstrated that GPCR oligomerization depends on the receptor subtype, the cell type, the actin cytoskeleton, and other proteins. Conversely, SMT has revealed the transient dynamics of dimer formation, whereby receptors show a monomer-dimer equilibrium characterized by rapid association and dissociation. At steady state, depending on the subtype, approximately 30-50% of receptors are part of dimeric complexes. Notably, the existence of many GPCR dimers/oligomers is also supported by well-known techniques, such as resonance energy transfer methodologies, and by approaches that exploit fluorescence fluctuations, such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). Future research using single-molecule methods will deepen our knowledge related to the function and druggability of homo-oligomers and hetero-oligomers. PMID:26509747

  8. Charge density of the biologically active molecule (2-oxo-1,3-benzoxazol-3(2H)-yl)acetic acid.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ai; Ashurov, Jamshid; Ibragimov, Aziz; Wang, Ruimin; Mouhib, Halima; Mukhamedov, Nasir; Englert, Ulli

    2016-02-01

    (2-Oxo-1,3-benzoxazol-3(2H)-yl)acetic acid is a member of a biologically active class of compounds. Its molecular structure in the crystal has been determined by X-ray diffraction, and its gas phase structure was obtained by quantum chemical calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) level of theory. In order to understand the dynamics of the molecule, two presumably soft degrees of freedom associated with the relative orientation of the planar benzoxazolone system and its substituent at the N atom were varied systematically. Five conformers have been identified as local minima on the resulting two-dimensional potential energy surface within an energy window of 27 kJ mol(-1). The energetically most favourable minimum closely matches the conformation observed in the crystal. Based on high-resolution diffraction data collected at low temperature, the experimental electron density of the compound was determined. Comparison with the electron density established by theory for the isolated molecule allowed the effect of intermolecular interactions to be addressed, in particular a moderately strong O-H...O hydrogen bond with a donor...acceptor distance of 2.6177 (9) Å: the oxygen acceptor is clearly polarized in the extended solid. The hydrogen bond connects consecutive molecules to chains, and the pronounced charge separation leads to stacking between neighburs with antiparallel dipole moments perpendicular to the chain direction. PMID:26830806

  9. Biological characterization of AT7519, a small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, in human tumor cell lines.

    PubMed

    Squires, Matthew S; Feltell, Ruth E; Wallis, Nicola G; Lewis, E Jonathan; Smith, Donna-Michelle; Cross, David M; Lyons, John F; Thompson, Neil T

    2009-02-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK), and their regulatory cyclin partners, play a central role in eukaryotic cell growth, division, and death. This key role in cell cycle progression, as well as their deregulation in several human cancers, makes them attractive therapeutic targets in oncology. A series of CDK inhibitors was developed using Astex's fragment-based medicinal chemistry approach, linked to high-throughput X-ray crystallography. A compound from this series, designated AT7519, is currently in early-phase clinical development. We describe here the biological characterization of AT7519, a potent inhibitor of several CDK family members. AT7519 showed potent antiproliferative activity (40-940 nmol/L) in a panel of human tumor cell lines, and the mechanism of action was shown here to be consistent with the inhibition of CDK1 and CDK2 in solid tumor cell lines. AT7519 caused cell cycle arrest followed by apoptosis in human tumor cells and inhibited tumor growth in human tumor xenograft models. Tumor regression was observed following twice daily dosing of AT7519 in the HCT116 and HT29 colon cancer xenograft models. We show that these biological effects are linked to inhibition of CDKs in vivo and that AT7519 induces tumor cell apoptosis in these xenograft models. AT7519 has an attractive biological profile for development as a clinical candidate, and the tolerability and efficacy in animal models compare favorably with other CDK inhibitors in clinical development. Studies described here formed the biological rationale for investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of AT7519 in cancer patients. PMID:19174555

  10. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, S. A.

    2002-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission is one of four selected for Phase A Concept Study in NASA's current call for MIDEX class missions. ABE is a cooled space telescope equipped with spectrographs covering the 2.5-20 micron spectral range. The ABE mission is devoted to the detection and identification of organic and related molecular species in space. ABE is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace.

  11. Carrier dynamics in Ga(NAsP)/Si multi-quantum well heterostructures with varying well thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakfa, M. K.; Woscholski, R.; Gies, S.; Wegele, T.; Wiemer, M.; Ludewig, P.; Jandieri, K.; Baranovskii, S. D.; Stolz, W.; Volz, K.; Heimbrodt, W.; Koch, M.

    2016-05-01

    Time-resolved photoluminescence (TR-PL) measurements have been performed in Ga(NAsP)/(BGa)(AsP) multi-quantum well heterostructures (MQWHs) with different well thicknesses. The studied structures have been pseudomorphically grown on Si substrates by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) with an N content of about 7%. Experimental results reveal a shortening in the PL decay time with increasing QW thickness, meanwhile, accompanied by a decrease in the PL intensity. We attribute this behavior to an increasing non-radiative recombination rate for broader QWs which arises from an increasing number of defects in the QW material. The emission-energy distribution of the PL decay time is studied at various temperatures. The PL decay time strongly depends on the emission energy at low temperatures and becomes emission-energy-independent close to room temperature. This is discussed in terms of the carrier localization in the studied structures.

  12. Observation of weak carrier localization in green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well structure

    SciTech Connect

    Mohanta, Antaryami; Wang, Shiang-Fu; Jang, Der-Jun; Young, Tai-Fa; Yeh, Ping-Hung; Ling, Dah-Chin; Lee, Meng-En

    2015-04-14

    Green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well samples were investigated using transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence (PL), and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectroscopy. Weak carrier localization with characteristic energy of ∼12 meV due to an inhomogeneous distribution of In in the InGaN quantum (QW) layer is observed. The temperature dependence of the PL peak energy exhibits S-shape phenomenon and is comparatively discussed within the framework of the Varshni's empirical formula. The full width at half maximum of the PL emission band shows an increasing-decreasing-increasing behavior with increasing temperature arising from the localized states caused by potential fluctuations. The radiative life time, τ{sub r}, extracted from the TRPL profile shows ∼T{sup 3/2} dependence on temperature above 200 K, which confirms the absence of the effect of carrier localization at room temperature.

  13. Observation of weak carrier localization in green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Wen-Ching; Mohanta, Antaryami; Yen, Tsu-Chiang; Chen, Wei-Sheng; Jang, Der-Jun

    Green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well samples were investigated using photoluminescence (PL) and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectroscopy. Weak carrier localization with characteristic energy of ~12 meV due to an inhomogeneous distribution of In in the InGaN quantum well (QW) layer is observed. The temperature dependence of the PL peak energy exhibits S-shape phenomenon and is comparatively discussed within the framework of the Varshni's empirical formula. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the PL emission band shows an increasing-decreasing-increasing behavior with increasing temperature arising from the localized states caused by potential fluctuations. The radiative life time, τr, extracted from the TRPL profile shows ~T 3 / 2 dependence on temperature above 200 K, which confirms the absence of the effect of carrier localization at room temperature.

  14. Stress influenced trapping processes in Si based multi-quantum well structures and heavy ions implanted Si

    SciTech Connect

    Ciurea, Magdalena Lidia Lazanu, Sorina

    2014-10-06

    Multi-quantum well structures and Si wafers implanted with heavy iodine and bismuth ions are studied in order to evaluate the influence of stress on the parameters of trapping centers. The experimental method of thermostimullatedcurrents without applied bias is used, and the trapping centers are filled by illumination. By modeling the discharge curves, we found in multilayered structures the parameters of both 'normal' traps and 'stress-induced' ones, the last having a Gaussian-shaped temperature dependence of the cross section. The stress field due to the presence of stopped heavy ions implanted into Si was modeled by a permanent electric field. The increase of the strain from the neighborhood of I ions to the neighborhood of Bi ions produces the broadening of some energy levels and also a temperature dependence of the cross sections for all levels.

  15. Fabrication of surface enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) substrates made from nanoparticle printing inks for detection of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Manuel Alejandro

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has generated great interest as a surface analytical technique because it can produce amplification factors between 108-1012. Silver and gold are the most widely used components as their size and structure allows for light to induce conduction electrons to oscillate locally within the nanoparticle structure. When a molecule lies in the interparticle space between two nanoparticles, highly detailed vibrational information becomes detectable. The objective of this study is to reproducibly fabricate such an arrangement in a nanoparticle substrate while maintaining stability. In this work, nanoparticle printing inks -- colloidal nanoparticles encapsulated by a stabilizing ligand -- are used as the main component of SERS substrates. The ligand shell is partially removed by controlled heating, which reduces spacing between nanoparticles creating a broad distribution of interparticle distances. Similar to fractal aggregates this arrangement allows localized plasmons to naturally resonate over a broad range of spectral frequencies. Microwave absorption is applied as a non-invasive method to sensitively monitor nanoparticle sintering in order to gauge the substrates' tuning for large amplification factors. The global arrangement of nanoparticles has always been difficult to measure during heating through DC resistivity measurements and surface imaging techniques. Microwave absorption occurs in the weak resistive links formed between particles during sintering due to the microwave losses in loosely coupled particles. By placing the substrate in a microwave cavity, absorption can be monitored globally during heating. The largest SERS amplification factors occur at a stage immediately preceding the largest microwave absorption gains. This provides a useful method for determining a thermal window for heating when optimizing SERS substrates. Finally, these optimized SERS substrates are used to detect hyaluronic acid. This complex molecule

  16. Internal water molecules and H-bonding in biological macromolecules: a review of structural features with functional implications.

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, E.

    1992-01-01

    Conserved structural patterns of internal water molecules and/or H-bond chains were observed and are here correlated in this review, which then describes two functional properties: equilibration of hydrostatic pressure and proton transport. Available evidence in support of these hypotheses is presented, together with suggested experiments to test them. High-resolution crystal structures of a variety of proteins were studied with interactive computer graphics. Conserved H-bonding linkages may be used as a paradigm for a rationalization of proton transport in membranes. The concept of the "proton wire," which links buried active-site amino acids with the surface of the protein raises the more general question of the functional role of the various molecular components. PMID:1304887

  17. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, part II: Grafting of polyphenols extracted from grape skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenols, as one of the most important family of phytochemicals protective substances from grape fruit, possess various biological activities and health-promoting benefits, for example: inhibition of some degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers, reduction of plasma oxidative stress and slowing aging. The combination of polyphenols and biomaterials may have good potential to reach good bioavailability and controlled release, as well as to give biological signaling properties to the biomaterial surfaces. In this research, conventional solvent extraction was developed for obtaining polyphenols from dry grape skins. The Folin&Ciocalteu method was used to determine the amount of total polyphenols in the extracts. Surface functionalization of two bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2) was performed by grafting the extracted polyphenols on their surfaces. The effectiveness of the functionalization was tested by UV spectroscopy, which analyzes the amount of polyphenols in the uptake solution (before and after functionalization) and on solid samples, and XPS, which analyzes the presence of phenols on the material surface.

  18. Adsorption of small biological molecules on silica from diluted aqueous solutions: Quantitative characterization and implications to the Bernal's hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basiuk, Vladimir A.; Gromovoy, Taras Yu.; Khil'Chevskaya, Elena G.

    1995-08-01

    To describe quantitatively the adsorption of prebiotically important compounds of low molecular weight (amino acids, short linear peptides, cyclic dipeptides, the Krebs's cycle and other carboxylic acids, nucleosides and related phosphates) on silica surface from diluted neutral aqueous solutions, equilibrium constants (K) and free energies (-ΔG) of adsorption were determined from the retention values measured by means of high-performance liquid chromatography on a silica gel column and from the isotherms measured under static conditions. For most carboxylic acids (including amino acids and linear peptides) -ΔG values were negative and K<1, thus showing very weak adsorption. Cyclic dipeptides (2,5-piperazinediones) exhibited higher adsorbability; -ΔG>0 and K>1 were found for most of them. Influence of the structure of α-substituent on the adsorbability is analyzed. A linear dependence of -ΔG on the number of aliphatic carbon atoms in a sorbate molecule was found for the series of aliphatic bifunctional amino acids, related dipeptides and 2,5-piperazinediones, as well as for the row from glycine to triglycyl glycine. The adsorption of nucleosides and their phosphates is characterized by much higherK and -ΔG values (of the order of 102 and 104, respectively). The adsorption data available from our work and literature are summarized and discussed with implications to the Bernal's hypothesis on the roles of solid surfaces in the prebiotic formation of biopolymers from monomeric ‘building blocks’.

  19. Investigating how the attributes of self-associated drug complexes influence the passive transport of molecules through biological membranes

    PubMed Central

    Inacio, R.; Barlow, D.; Kong, X.; Keeble, J.; Jones, S.A.

    2016-01-01

    Relatively little is known about how drug self-association influences absorption into the human body. This study presented two hydrophobic membranes with a series of solutions containing different types of tetracaine aggregates with the aim of understanding how the attributes of supramolecular aggregate formation influenced passive membrane transport. The data showed that aqueous solutions of the unprotonated form of tetracaine displayed a significantly higher (p < 0.05) passive membrane transport compared to solutions with mixtures of the unprotonated and protonated drug microspecies (e.g. transport through the skin was 0.96 ± 0.31 μg cm−2 min−1 and 1.59 ± 0.26 μg cm−2 min−1 respectively). However, despite an enhanced rate of drug transport and a better membrane partitioning the unionised molecules showed a significantly longer (p < 0.05) lag time to membrane penetration compared solutions rich in the ionised microspecies. Analytical characterisation of the solutions applied to the apical surface of the membranes in the transport studies showed that larger tetracaine aggregates with smaller surface charge gave rise to the longer lag times. These large aggregates demonstrated more extensive intermolecular bonding and therefore, it was suggest that it was the enhanced propensity of the unionised species to form tightly bound drug aggregates that caused the delay in the membrane penetration. PMID:26965142

  20. Synthesis and biological evaluation of boswellic acid-NSAID hybrid molecules as anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agents.

    PubMed

    Shenvi, Suvarna; Kiran, K R; Kumar, Krishna; Diwakar, Latha; Reddy, G Chandrasekara

    2015-06-15

    Methyl esters of the β-boswellic acid (BA) and 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA) obtained from Boswellia serrata resin were subjected to Steglich esterification with the different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) viz., ibuprofen, naproxen, diclophenac and indomethacin. The novel hybrids of methyl boswellate (5-8) and that of methyl 11-keto boswellate (9-12) were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan-induced rat hind paw edema model and anti-arthritic activity by Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in Wister albino rat. Significant inhibition on carrageenan-induced paw edema has been observed with 5, 6 and 10 where as in CFA induced rats, hybrids 5, 8, 9 and 12 exhibited pronounced antiarthritic activity. Hybrid molecules 5 and 9 have been found to be more effective in inhibiting in-vivo COX-2 than ibuprofen by itself, thus showing the synergistic effect. Hybrid 5 and 9 tested for in-vitro lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase-2 (LOX/COX-2) inhibitory activity. The studies revealed that both 5 and 9 inhibited COX-2 relatively better than LOX enzyme. PMID:26010018

  1. Identification of biological molecules in situ at high resolution via the fluorescence excited by a scanning electron beam.

    PubMed Central

    Hough, P V; McKinney, W R; Ledbeter, M C; Pollack, R E; Moos, H W

    1976-01-01

    Proteins, nucleic acids, and fluorescein-conjugated antibody are shown to be identifidable in situ via the fluorescence excited by the focused electron beam of a canning electron microscope. A molecular species is identified by its characteristic fluorescence spectrum and by a characteristic alteration of the spectrum with time under the electron beam. Primary protein fluorescence is relatively rapidly destroyed by the beam, but protein photoproduct fluorescence is more rugged and will in some cases permit detection of small numbers of protein molecules. Nucleic acid fluorescence is extremely long-lived and will permit detection of small numbers of nucleic acid residues. The theoretical resolution limit for localization of a particular molecular species -- about 20 A--is determined by the known maximum distance for molecular excitation by fast electrons. Drect extapolation from an observed resolution of 900 A in the localization of nucleic acid using a low-efficiency detector leads to an experimental resolution limit of less than 60 A. Fluorescence is strongly quenched by residual water in the specimen. Similar quenching is produced by some macromolecular associations and so may serve to localize such associations. Images PMID:768980

  2. Polyether ionophores: broad-spectrum and promising biologically active molecules for the control of drug-resistant bacteria and parasites

    PubMed Central

    Kevin, Dion A; Meujo, Damaris AF; Hamann, Mark T

    2016-01-01

    Background As multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens continue to emerge, there is a substantial amount of pressure to identify new drug candidates. Carboxyl polyethers, also referred to as polyether antibiotics, are a unique class of compounds with outstanding potency against a variety of critical infectious disease targets including protozoa, bacteria and viruses. The characteristics of these molecules that are of key interest are their selectivity and high potency against several MDR etiological agents. Objective Although many studies have been published about carboxyl polyether antibiotics, there are no recent reviews of this class of drugs. The purpose of this review is to provide the reader with an overview of the spectrum of activity of polyether antibiotics, their mechanism of action, toxicity and potential as drug candidates to combat drug-resistant infectious diseases. Conclusion Polyether ionophores show a high degree of promise for the potential control of drug-resistant bacterial and parasitic infections. Despite the long history of use of this class of drugs, very limited medicinal chemistry and drug optimization studies have been reported, thus leaving the door open to these opportunities in the future. Scifinder and PubMed were the main search engines used to locate articles relevant to the topic presented in the present review. Keywords used in our search were specific names of each of the 88 compounds presented in the review as well as more general terms such as polyethers, ionophores, carboxylic polyethers and polyether antibiotics. PMID:23480512

  3. Predictive models for anti-tubercular molecules using machine learning on high-throughput biological screening datasets

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), affecting more than two billion people around the globe and is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Recent reports suggest that Mtb has been developing resistance to the widely used anti-tubercular drugs resulting in the emergence and spread of multi drug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains throughout the world. In view of this global epidemic, there is an urgent need to facilitate fast and efficient lead identification methodologies. Target based screening of large compound libraries has been widely used as a fast and efficient approach for lead identification, but is restricted by the knowledge about the target structure. Whole organism screens on the other hand are target-agnostic and have been now widely employed as an alternative for lead identification but they are limited by the time and cost involved in running the screens for large compound libraries. This could be possibly be circumvented by using computational approaches to prioritize molecules for screening programmes. Results We utilized physicochemical properties of compounds to train four supervised classifiers (Naïve Bayes, Random Forest, J48 and SMO) on three publicly available bioassay screens of Mtb inhibitors and validated the robustness of the predictive models using various statistical measures. Conclusions This study is a comprehensive analysis of high-throughput bioassay data for anti-tubercular activity and the application of machine learning approaches to create target-agnostic predictive models for anti-tubercular agents. PMID:22099929

  4. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Vincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    One of the principal means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space is by infrared spectroscopy. Past IR studies (telescopic and laboratory) have demonstrated that much of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) is in complex organic species of a variety of types, but the distribution, abundance, and evolutionary relationships of these materials are not well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEAST mission concept designed to conduct IR spectroscopic observations to detect and identify these materials to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. Systematic studies include the observation of planetary nebulae and stellar outflows, protostellar objects, Solar System Objects, and galaxies, and multiple lines of sight through dense molecular clouds and the diffuse ISM. ABE will also search for evidence of D enrichment in complex molecules in all these environments. The mission is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. ABE is a cryogenically-cooled 60 cm diameter space telescope equipped with 3 cryogenic cross-dispersed spectrographs that share a single common slit. The 3 spectrometers each measure single spectral octaves (2.5-5, 5-10, 10-20 microns) and together cover the entire 2.5 - 20 micron region simultaneously. The spectrometers use state-of-the-art 1024x1024 pixel detectors, with a single InSb array for the 2.5-5 micron region and two Si:As arrays for the 5-10 and 10-20 micron regions. The spectral resolution is wavelength dependent but is greater than 2000 across the entire spectral range. ABE would operate in a heliocentric, Earth drift-away orbit and is designed to take maximum advantage of this environment for cooling, thermal stability, and mission lifetime. ABE would have a core science mission lasting approximately 1.5 years.

  5. Systems biology network-based discovery of a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xupeng; Zhang, Jin; Zhang, Yonghui; Ouyang, Liang; Liu, Bo; Huang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to discover a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer. In this study, we systematically constructed the global protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and predicted apoptosis-related protein connections by the Naïve Bayesian model. Then, we identified some classical apoptotic PPIs and other previously unrecognized PPIs between apoptotic kinases, such as AMPK and ZIPK. Subsequently, we screened a series of candidate compounds targeting AMPK/ZIPK, synthesized some compounds and eventually discovered a novel dual-target activator (BL-AD008). Moreover, we found BL-AD008 bear remarkable anti-proliferative activities toward cervical cancer cells and could induce apoptosis by death-receptor and mitochondrial pathways. Additionally, we found that BL-AD008-induced apoptosis was affected by the combination of AMPK and ZIPK. Then, we found that BL-AD008 bear its anti-tumor activities and induced apoptosis by targeting AMPK/ZIPK in vivo. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the ability of systems biology network to identify some key apoptotic kinase targets AMPK and ZIPK; thus providing a dual-target small molecule activator (BL-AD008) as a potential new apoptosis-modulating drug in future cervical cancer therapy. PMID:25797270

  6. Artemether Combined with shRNA Interference of Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Significantly Inhibited the Malignant Biological Behavior of Human Glioma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ping; Xue, Yi-Xue; Yao, Yi-Long; Yu, Bo; Liu, Yun-Hui

    2013-01-01

    Artemether is the derivative extracted from Chinese traditional herb and originally used for malaria. Artemether also has potential therapeutic effects against tumors. Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) is an important cell surface adhesion molecule associated with malignancy of gliomas. In this work, we investigated the role and mechanism of artemether combined with shRNA interference of VCAM-1 (shRNA-VCAM-1) on the migration, invasion and apoptosis of glioma cells. U87 human glioma cells were treated with artemether at various concentrations and shRNA interfering technology was employed to silence the expression of VCAM-1. Cell viability, migration, invasiveness and apoptosis were assessed with MTT, wound healing, Transwell and Annexin V-FITC/PI staining. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) was checked by Western blot assay. Results showed that artemether and shRNA-VCAM-1 not only significantly inhibited the migration, invasiveness and expression of MMP-2/9 and p-Akt, but also promoted the apoptosis of U87 cells. Combined treatment of both displayed the maximum inhibitory effects on the malignant biological behavior of glioma cells. Our work revealed the potential therapeutic effects of artemether and antiVCAM-1 in the treatments of gliomas. PMID:23593320

  7. Second-harmonic generation of biological interfaces: probing the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin and imaging membrane potential around GFP molecules at specific sites in neuronal cells of C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Aaron; Khatchatouriants, Artium; Treinin, Millet; Chen, Zhongping; Peleg, Gadi; Friedman, Noga; Bouevitch, Oleg; Rothman, Zvi; Loew, Leslie; Sheres, Mordechai

    1999-07-01

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) is applied to problems of probing membrane proteins and functionally imaging around selective sites and at single molecules in biological membranes. The membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) has been shown to have large second-harmonic (SH) intensities that are modulated by protein/retinylidene chromophore interactions. The nonlinear optical properties of model compounds, which simulate these protein chromophore interactions in retinal proteins, are studied in this work by surface SHG and by hyper-Rayleigh scattering. Our results indicate that non-conjugated charges and hydrogen bonding effects have a large effect on the molecular hyperpolarizability of the retinal chromophore. However, mbR, the model system studies suggest that polarizable amino acids strongly affect the vertically excited state of the retinylidene chromophore and appear to play the major role in the observed protein enhancement (>50%) of the retinylidene chromophore molecular hyperpolarizability and associated induced dipole. Furthermore, the data provide insights on emulating these interactions for the design of organic nonlinear optical materials. Our studies have also led to the development of dyes with large SH intensities that can be embedded in cell membranes and can functionally image membrane potential. Single molecules of such dyes in selected single molecular regions of a cell membrane have been detected. SHG from green fluorescent protein (GFP) selectively expressed in concert with a specific protein in neuronal cells in a transgenic form of the worm C. elegans is also reported. The membrane potential around the GFP molecules expressed in these cells has been imaged with SHG in live animals.

  8. Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel 1,2,3-triazolyl [Formula: see text]-hydroxy alkyl/carbazole hybrid molecules.

    PubMed

    Rad, Mohammad Navid Soltani; Behrouz, Somayeh; Behrouz, Marzieh; Sami, Akram; Mardkhoshnood, Mehdi; Zarenezhad, Ali; Zarenezhad, Elham

    2016-08-01

    The design, synthesis and biological study of several novel 1,2,3-triazolyl [Formula: see text]-hydroxy alkyl/carbazole hybrid molecules as a new type of antifungal agent has been described. In this synthesis, the N-alkylation reaction of carbazol-9-ide potassium salt with 3-bromoprop-1-yne afforded 9-(prop-2-ynyl)-9H-carbazole. The 'Click' Huisgen cycloaddition reaction of 9-(prop-2-ynyl)-9H-carbazole with diverse [Formula: see text]-azido alcohols in the presence of copper-doped silica cuprous sulphate led to target molecules in excellent yields. The in vitro antifungal and antibacterial activities of title compounds were screened against various pathogenic fungal strains, Gram-positive and/or Gram-negative bacteria. In particular, 1-(4-((9H-carbazol-9-yl) methyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-1-yl)-3-butoxypropan-2-ol (10e) proved to have potent antifungal activity against all fungal tests compared with fluconazole and clotrimazole as studied reference drugs. Our molecular docking analysis revealed an appropriate fitting and a potential powerful interaction between compound 10e and an active site of the Mycobacterium P450DM enzyme. The strong hydrogen bondings between [Formula: see text]-hydroxyl and ether groups in 10e were found to be the main factors that drive the molecule to fit in the active site of enzyme. The in silico pharmacokinetic studies were used for a better description of 10a-10n as potential lead antifungal agents for future investigations. PMID:27278443

  9. FOB-SH: Fragment orbital-based surface hopping for charge carrier transport in organic and biological molecules and materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, J.; Gajdos, F.; Blumberger, J.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce a fragment orbital-based fewest switches surface hopping method, FOB-SH, designed to efficiently simulate charge carrier transport in strongly fluctuating condensed phase systems such as organic semiconductors and biomolecules. The charge carrier wavefunction is expanded and the electronic Hamiltonian constructed in a set of singly occupied molecular orbitals of the molecular sites that mediate the charge transfer. Diagonal elements of the electronic Hamiltonian (site energies) are obtained from a force field, whereas the off-diagonal or electronic coupling matrix elements are obtained using our recently developed analytic overlap method. We derive a general expression for the exact forces on the adiabatic ground and excited electronic state surfaces from the nuclear gradients of the charge localized electronic states. Applications to electron hole transfer in a model ethylene dimer and through a chain of ten model ethylenes validate our implementation and demonstrate its computational efficiency. On the larger system, we calculate the qualitative behaviour of charge mobility with change in temperature T for different regimes of the intermolecular electronic coupling. For small couplings, FOB-SH predicts a crossover from a thermally activated regime at low temperatures to a band-like transport regime at higher temperatures. For higher electronic couplings, the thermally activated regime disappears and the mobility decreases according to a power law. This is interpreted by a gradual loss in probability for resonance between the sites as the temperature increases. The polaron hopping model solved for the same system gives a qualitatively different result and underestimates the mobility decay at higher temperatures. Taken together, the FOB-SH methodology introduced here shows promise for a realistic investigation of charge carrier transport in complex organic, aqueous, and biological systems.

  10. UVA radiation induced ultrafast electron transfer from a food carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene to organic molecules, biological macromolecules, and inorganic nano structures.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Soma; Sarkar, Soumik; Lakshman, Karthik; Dutta, Joydeep; Pal, Samir Kumar

    2013-04-11

    Reactions involving electron transfer (ET) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a pivotal role in carcinogenesis and cancer biochemistry. Our present study emphasizes UVA radiation induced ET reaction as one of the key aspects of a potential carcinogen, benzo[a]pyrene (BP), in the presence of a wide variety of molecules covering organic p-benzoquinone (BQ), biological macromolecules like calf-thymus DNA (CT-DNA), human serum albumin (HSA) protein, and inorganic zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods (NRs). Steady-state and picosecond-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy have been used to monitor such ET reactions. Physical consequences of BP association with CT-DNA have been investigated through temperature-dependent circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The temperature-dependent steady-state, picosecond-resolved fluorescence lifetime and anisotropy studies reveal the effect of temperature on the perturbation of such ET reactions from BP to biological macromolecules, highlighting their temperature-dependent association. Furthermore, the electron-donating property of BP has been corroborated by measuring wavelength-dependent photocurrent in a BP-anchored ZnO NR-based photodevice, offering new physical insights for the carcinogenic study of BP. PMID:23484622

  11. Electrical and optical study of an indium gallium arsenide/gallium arsenide multi-quantum well structure for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Sangwoo

    2000-08-01

    InGaAs is a III-V material system that has recently attracted a lot of interest for possible optoelectronic applications. When grown over a GaAs substrate, it provides an example of a strained-layer system, due to the lattice mismatch of the layers. As long as the strained layers are grown shorter than a critical thickness, the material is pseudomorphic and presents no catastrophic degrading. Thus, it can be used for different devices, such as lasers, detectors, switches, and spatial light modulators. In this work a low-dimensional structure, composed of different stacks of InGaAs quantum wells embedded in a matrix of GaAs barriers, is investigated. This work addresses a number of important issues involving material properties and basic physical effects. In addition it discloses the concept of an improved, multicolor, spatial light modulator. Material information about InGaAs is abundant but not exhaustive as for the GaAs system. We have performed an in-depth spectroscopic study of a complex structure, composed of serially grown stacks of stepped quantum wells, where it is possible, in principle, to observe large Stark shifts. In this sample we have studied the formation of electrical high and low-field domains along the multi-quantum well region with a number of spectroscopic techniques. Electrical and optical measurements have been performed and have given an extensive characterization of the sample. Experimental results closely match theoretical calculations performed under the effective mass approximation. Excitonic peaks at room temperatures have been clearly resolved, a first for InGaAs stepped quantum well samples. Formation and expansion of electric field domains along the shallow multi-quantum well region have been recorded. For the first time an observation of the interplay of high field domains involving shallow quantum well levels and resonances in the continuum, have been observed. New techniques to probe such high field domains have been developed

  12. Different design of enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs) reveals quantitative differences in biological activities in terms of toxicity and inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Stamellou, E.; Storz, D.; Botov, S.; Ntasis, E.; Wedel, J.; Sollazzo, S.; Krämer, B.K.; van Son, W.; Seelen, M.; Schmalz, H.G.; Schmidt, A.; Hafner, M.; Yard, B.A.

    2014-01-01

    Acyloxydiene–Fe(CO)3 complexes can act as enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs). Their biological activity strongly depends on the mother compound from which they are derived, i.e. cyclohexenone or cyclohexanedione, and on the position of the ester functionality they harbour. The present study addresses if the latter characteristic affects CO release, if cytotoxicity of ET-CORMs is mediated through iron release or inhibition of cell respiration and to what extent cyclohexenone and cyclohexanedione derived ET-CORMs differ in their ability to counteract TNF-α mediated inflammation. Irrespective of the formulation (DMSO or cyclodextrin), toxicity in HUVEC was significantly higher for ET-CORMs bearing the ester functionality at the outer (rac-4), as compared to the inner (rac-1) position of the cyclohexenone moiety. This was paralleled by an increased CO release from the former ET-CORM. Toxicity was not mediated via iron as EC50 values for rac-4 were significantly lower than for FeCl2 or FeCl3 and were not influenced by iron chelation. ATP depletion preceded toxicity suggesting impaired cell respiration as putative cause for cell death. In long-term HUVEC cultures inhibition of VCAM-1 expression by rac-1 waned in time, while for the cyclohexanedione derived rac-8 inhibition seems to increase. NFκB was inhibited by both rac-1 and rac-8 independent of IκBα degradation. Both ET-CORMs activated Nrf-2 and consequently induced the expression of HO-1. This study further provides a rational framework for designing acyloxydiene–Fe(CO)3 complexes as ET-CORMs with differential CO release and biological activities. We also provide a better understanding of how these complexes affect cell-biology in mechanistic terms. PMID:25009775

  13. Different design of enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs) reveals quantitative differences in biological activities in terms of toxicity and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Stamellou, E; Storz, D; Botov, S; Ntasis, E; Wedel, J; Sollazzo, S; Krämer, B K; van Son, W; Seelen, M; Schmalz, H G; Schmidt, A; Hafner, M; Yard, B A

    2014-01-01

    Acyloxydiene-Fe(CO)3 complexes can act as enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs). Their biological activity strongly depends on the mother compound from which they are derived, i.e. cyclohexenone or cyclohexanedione, and on the position of the ester functionality they harbour. The present study addresses if the latter characteristic affects CO release, if cytotoxicity of ET-CORMs is mediated through iron release or inhibition of cell respiration and to what extent cyclohexenone and cyclohexanedione derived ET-CORMs differ in their ability to counteract TNF-α mediated inflammation. Irrespective of the formulation (DMSO or cyclodextrin), toxicity in HUVEC was significantly higher for ET-CORMs bearing the ester functionality at the outer (rac-4), as compared to the inner (rac-1) position of the cyclohexenone moiety. This was paralleled by an increased CO release from the former ET-CORM. Toxicity was not mediated via iron as EC50 values for rac-4 were significantly lower than for FeCl2 or FeCl3 and were not influenced by iron chelation. ATP depletion preceded toxicity suggesting impaired cell respiration as putative cause for cell death. In long-term HUVEC cultures inhibition of VCAM-1 expression by rac-1 waned in time, while for the cyclohexanedione derived rac-8 inhibition seems to increase. NFκB was inhibited by both rac-1 and rac-8 independent of IκBα degradation. Both ET-CORMs activated Nrf-2 and consequently induced the expression of HO-1. This study further provides a rational framework for designing acyloxydiene-Fe(CO)3 complexes as ET-CORMs with differential CO release and biological activities. We also provide a better understanding of how these complexes affect cell-biology in mechanistic terms. PMID:25009775

  14. Influence of pressure on the properties of GaN/AlN multi-quantum wells - Ab initio study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strak, Pawel; Sakowski, Konrad; Kaminska, Agata; Krukowski, Stanislaw

    2016-06-01

    Pressure dependence of physical properties of GaN/AlN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) was investigated using ab intio calculations. The influence of pressure was divided into two main contributions: pressure affecting the properties of GaN and AlN bulk semiconductors and an influence on systems of polar quantum wells deposited on various substrates. An influence of hydrostatic, uniaxial, and tetragonal strain on the crystallographic structure, polarization (piezoelectricity), and the bandgap of the bulk systems is assessed using ab initio calculations. It was shown that when a partial relaxation of the structure is assumed, the tetragonal strain may explain an experimentally observed reduction of pressure coefficients for polar GaN/AlN MQWs. The MQWs were also simulated directly using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. A comparison of these two approaches confirmed that nonlinear effects induced by the tetragonal strain related to lattice mismatch between the substrates and the polar MQWs systems are responsible for a drastic decrease of the pressure coefficients of photoluminescence (PL) energy experimentally observed in polar GaN/AlGaN MQWs.

  15. Enhanced Light Emission due to Formation of Semi-polar InGaN/GaN Multi-quantum Wells.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan-Ru; Weng, Guo-En; Wang, Jian-Yu; Zhang, Jiang-Yong; Liang, Hong-Wei; Sekiguchi, Takashi; Zhang, Bao-Ping

    2015-12-01

    InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) are grown on (0001) sapphire substrates by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) with special growth parameters to form V-shaped pits simultaneously. Measurements by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) demonstrate the formation of MQWs on both (0001) and ([Formula: see text]) side surface of the V-shaped pits. The latter is known to be a semi-polar surface. Optical characterizations together with theoretical calculation enable us to identify the optical transitions from these MQWs. The layer thickness on ([Formula: see text]) surface is smaller than that on (0001) surface, and the energy level in the ([Formula: see text]) semi-polar quantum well (QW) is higher than in the (0001) QW. As the sample temperature is increased from 15 K, the integrated cathodoluminescence (CL) intensity of (0001) MQWs increases first and then decreases while that of the ([Formula: see text]) MQWs decreases monotonically. The integrated photoluminescence (PL) intensity of (0001) MQWs increases significantly from 15 to 70 K. These results are explained by carrier injection from ([Formula: see text]) to (0001) MQWs due to thermal excitation. It is therefore concluded that the emission efficiency of (0001) MQWs at high temperatures can be greatly improved due to the formation of semi-polar MQWs. PMID:26625883

  16. Electron transfer in biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, H.B.

    1995-12-01

    Electron-transfer reactions are key stemps in photosynthesis, respiration, drug metabolism, and many other biochemical processes. These reactions commonly occur between protein-bound prosthetic groups that are separated by large molecular distances (often greater than 10 {Angstrom}). Although the electron donors and acceptors are expected to be weakly coupled, the reactions are remarkably fast and proceed with high specificity. Recent work on structurally engineered iron and cooper proteins has shown that the chemical bonds in the intervening medium potentially can control the rates of these electron-transfer reactions.

  17. Orientation Difference of Chemically Immobilized and Physically Adsorbed Biological Molecules on Polymers Detected at the Solid/Liquid Interfaces in Situ

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Shuji; Nguyen, Khoi Tan; Boughton, Andrew P.; Mello, Charlene M.; Chen, Zhan

    2009-01-01

    A surface sensitive second order nonlinear optical technique, sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy, was applied to study peptide orientation on polymer surfaces, supplemented by a linear vibrational spectroscopy, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). Using the antimicrobial peptide Cecropin P1 as a model system, we have quantitatively demonstrated that chemically immobilized peptides on polymers adopt a more ordered orientation than less tightly bound physically adsorbed peptides. These differences were also observed in different chemical environments, e.g., air versus water. Although numerous studies have reported a direct correlation between the choice of immobilization method and the performance of an attached biological molecule, the lack of direct biomolecular structure and orientation data has made it difficult to elucidate the relationship between structure, orientation and function at a surface. In this work, we directly studied the effect of chemical immobilization method on biomolecular orientation/ordering, an important step for future studies of biomolecular activity. The methods for orientation analysis described within are also of relevance to understanding biosensors, biocompatibility, marine-antifouling, membrane protein functions, and antimicrobial peptide activities. PMID:19961170

  18. Fundamental studies of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, using time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Eades, D.; Wruck, D.; Gregg, H.

    1996-11-11

    MALDI MS was developed as a way of getting molecular weight information on small quantities (picomole to femtomole levels) of high-mass, thermally labile macromolecules. While most other analytical MS ionization techniques cause fragmentation, decomposition, or multiple charging, MALDI efficiently places intact macromolecules into the gas phase with little fragmentation or rearrangement. This project had 3 objectives: establish the MALDI capability at LLNL, perform fundamental studies of analyte-matrix interactions, and apply the technique for biochemical research. A retired time-of-flight instrument was adapted for MALDI analyses, relevant parameters influencing the MALDI process were identified for further study (matrix molar absorptivity, sample crystal preparation), and collaborations were established with research groups in the Biology and Biotechnology Research Program at LLNL. In MALDI, the macromolecule of interest is mixed with a high-molar excess (1:100 to 1:10,000) of an organic matrix which readily absorbs energy at the wavelength corresponding to a UV laser. Upon laser irradiation, the matrix absorbs the majority of the energy, causing it to desorb from the surface and gently release the macromolecule into the gas phase with little or no fragmentation. Once in the gas phase, ion-molecule reactions between excited matrix and neutral macromolecules generated ionized analyte species which then can be focused into a MS for detection.

  19. Molecule nanoweaver

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II; Rex E.; Klingler, Robert J.; Rathke, Jerome W.; Diaz, Rocio; Vukovic, Lela

    2009-03-10

    A method, apparatus, and system for constructing uniform macroscopic films with tailored geometric assemblies of molecules on the nanometer scale. The method, apparatus, and system include providing starting molecules of selected character, applying one or more force fields to the molecules to cause them to order and condense with NMR spectra and images being used to monitor progress in creating the desired geometrical assembly and functionality of molecules that comprise the films.

  20. Effects of physiological self-crowding of DNA on shape and biological properties of DNA molecules with various levels of supercoiling

    PubMed Central

    Benedetti, Fabrizio; Japaridze, Aleksandre; Dorier, Julien; Racko, Dusan; Kwapich, Robert; Burnier, Yannis; Dietler, Giovanni; Stasiak, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    DNA in bacterial chromosomes and bacterial plasmids is supercoiled. DNA supercoiling is essential for DNA replication and gene regulation. However, the density of supercoiling in vivo is circa twice smaller than in deproteinized DNA molecules isolated from bacteria. What are then the specific advantages of reduced supercoiling density that is maintained in vivo? Using Brownian dynamics simulations and atomic force microscopy we show here that thanks to physiological DNA–DNA crowding DNA molecules with reduced supercoiling density are still sufficiently supercoiled to stimulate interaction between cis-regulatory elements. On the other hand, weak supercoiling permits DNA molecules to modulate their overall shape in response to physiological changes in DNA crowding. This plasticity of DNA shapes may have regulatory role and be important for the postreplicative spontaneous segregation of bacterial chromosomes. PMID:25653164

  1. Effect of strain-polarization fields on optical transitions in AlGaN/GaN multi-quantum well structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kladko, V.; Kuchuk, A.; Naumov, A.; Safriuk, N.; Kolomys, O.; Kryvyi, S.; Stanchu, H.; Belyaev, A.; Strelchuk, V.; Yavich, B.; Mazur, Yu. I.; Ware, M. E.; Salamo, G. J.

    2016-02-01

    The influence of strain and barrier/well thickness ratio on recombination processes in multi-quantum well (MQW) Al0.1Ga0.9N/GaN structures was investigated using X-ray diffraction and Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The deformation state of the wells and barriers was determined. In addition, the value of the polarization fields, the density of polarization charges, and the positions of energy levels for optical transitions within the quantum wells were calculated. It was established that compressive strain in the buffer layer as well as in the layers of the MQWs with respect to the buffer layer lead to the piezoelectric fields having equal sign in the well and the barrier. As a result, the recombination of donor-acceptor pairs dominates over transitions between electron and hole states in the quantum well.

  2. Optical and structural characteristics of high indium content InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells with varying GaN cap layer thickness

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, J.; Zhao, D. G. Jiang, D. S.; Chen, P.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, Z. S.; Le, L. C.; Li, X. J.; He, X. G.; Liu, J. P.; Yang, H.; Zhang, Y. T.; Du, G. T.

    2015-02-07

    The optical and structural properties of InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) with different thicknesses of low temperature grown GaN cap layers are investigated. It is found that the MQW emission energy red-shifts and the peak intensity decreases with increasing GaN cap layer thickness, which may be partly caused by increased floating indium atoms accumulated at quantum well (QW) surface. They will result in the increased interface roughness, higher defect density, and even lead to a thermal degradation of QW layers. An extra growth interruption introduced before the growth of GaN cap layer can help with evaporating the floating indium atoms, and therefore is an effective method to improve the optical properties of high indium content InGaN/GaN MQWs.

  3. Investigating the origin of efficiency droop by profiling the voltage across the multi-quantum well of an operating light-emitting diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taewoong; Seong, Tae-Yeon; Kwon, Ohmyoung

    2016-06-01

    Efficiency droop is a phenomenon in which the efficiency of a light-emitting diode (LED) decreases with the increase in current density. To analyze efficiency droop, direct experimental observations on the energy conversion occurring inside the LED is required. Here, we present the measured voltage profiles on the cross section of an operating LED and analyze them with the cross-sectional temperature profiles obtained in a previous study under the same operation conditions. The measured voltage profiles suggest that with increases in the injection current density, electron depletion shifts from the multi-quantum well through an electron blocking layer to the p-GaN region. This is because electron leakage increases with increases in current density.

  4. Mid-infrared electro-luminescence and absorption from AlGaN/GaN-based multi-quantum well inter-subband structures

    SciTech Connect

    Hofstetter, Daniel; Bour, David P.; Kirste, Lutz

    2014-06-16

    We present electro-modulated absorption and electro-luminescence measurements on chirped AlGaN/GaN-based multi-quantum well inter-subband structures grown by metal-organic vapour phase epitaxy. The absorption signal is a TM-polarized, 70 meV wide feature centred at 230 meV. At medium injection current, a 58 meV wide luminescence peak corresponding to an inter-subband transition at 1450 cm{sup −1} (180 meV) is observed. Under high injection current, we measured a 4 meV wide structure peaking at 92.5 meV in the luminescence spectrum. The energy location of this peak is exactly at the longitudinal optical phonon of GaN.

  5. CHARMM General Force Field (CGenFF): A force field for drug-like molecules compatible with the CHARMM all-atom additive biological force fields

    PubMed Central

    Vanommeslaeghe, K.; Hatcher, E.; Acharya, C.; Kundu, S.; Zhong, S.; Shim, J.; Darian, E.; Guvench, O.; Lopes, P.; Vorobyov, I.; MacKerell, A. D.

    2010-01-01

    The widely used CHARMM additive all-atom force field includes parameters for proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. In the present paper an extension of the CHARMM force field to drug-like molecules is presented. The resulting CHARMM General Force Field (CGenFF) covers a wide range of chemical groups present in biomolecules and drug-like molecules, including a large number of heterocyclic scaffolds. The parametrization philosophy behind the force field focuses on quality at the expense of transferability, with the implementation concentrating on an extensible force field. Statistics related to the quality of the parametrization with a focus on experimental validation are presented. Additionally, the parametrization procedure, described fully in the present paper in the context of the model systems, pyrrolidine, and 3-phenoxymethylpyrrolidine will allow users to readily extend the force field to chemical groups that are not explicitly covered in the force field as well as add functional groups to and link together molecules already available in the force field. CGenFF thus makes it possible to perform “all-CHARMM” simulations on drug-target interactions thereby extending the utility of CHARMM force fields to medicinally relevant systems. PMID:19575467

  6. Microbial Mats in the Tswaing Impact Crater: Results of a South African Exobiology Expedition and Implications for the Search for Biological Molecules on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Brandt, D.; Hand, K.; Lee, P. C.

    2001-01-01

    We describe microbial mats from the Tswaing impact crater in South Africa. The mats provide insights into the unique biological characteristics of impact craters and can help strategies for the search for biomolecules on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. High throughput screening of biologically functional small molecules for modulating the expression of FGFR1OP2/wit3.0 in fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Cheng, William; Nishimura, Ichiro

    2012-12-01

    Oral wounds heal rapidly without scarring through yet unknown molecular mechanisms. A small cytoskeleton molecule identified in oral wound fibroblasts, FGFR1OP2/wit3.0, has been shown to accelerate wound closure in vitro and in vivo. The objective of this study was to elucidate the transcriptional mechanism of FGFR1OP2/ wit3.0 in fibroblasts using a high throughput drug-screening platform. This pilot study identified chemical compounds that could effectively modulate the FGFR1OP2/wit3.0 expression for future studies on effective wound management. PMID:23362665

  8. Integrating computational and chemical biology tools in the discovery of antiangiogenic small molecule ligands of FGF2 derived from endogenous inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Foglieni, Chiara; Pagano, Katiuscia; Lessi, Marco; Bugatti, Antonella; Moroni, Elisabetta; Pinessi, Denise; Resovi, Andrea; Ribatti, Domenico; Bertini, Sabrina; Ragona, Laura; Bellina, Fabio; Rusnati, Marco; Colombo, Giorgio; Taraboletti, Giulia

    2016-01-01

    The FGFs/FGFRs system is a recognized actionable target for therapeutic approaches aimed at inhibiting tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to therapy. We previously identified a non-peptidic compound (SM27) that retains the structural and functional properties of the FGF2-binding sequence of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a major endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis. Here we identified new small molecule inhibitors of FGF2 based on the initial lead. A similarity-based screening of small molecule libraries, followed by docking calculations and experimental studies, allowed selecting 7 bi-naphthalenic compounds that bound FGF2 inhibiting its binding to both heparan sulfate proteoglycans and FGFR-1. The compounds inhibit FGF2 activity in in vitro and ex vivo models of angiogenesis, with improved potency over SM27. Comparative analysis of the selected hits, complemented by NMR and biochemical analysis of 4 newly synthesized functionalized phenylamino-substituted naphthalenes, allowed identifying the minimal stereochemical requirements to improve the design of naphthalene sulfonates as FGF2 inhibitors. PMID:27000667

  9. Synthesis and in Vivo Biological Evaluation of (68)Ga-Labeled Carbonic Anhydrase IX Targeting Small Molecules for Positron Emission Tomography.

    PubMed

    Sneddon, Deborah; Niemans, Raymon; Bauwens, Matthias; Yaromina, Ala; van Kuijk, Simon J A; Lieuwes, Natasja G; Biemans, Rianne; Pooters, Ivo; Pellegrini, Paul A; Lengkeek, Nigel A; Greguric, Ivan; Tonissen, Kathryn F; Supuran, Claudiu T; Lambin, Philippe; Dubois, Ludwig; Poulsen, Sally-Ann

    2016-07-14

    Tumor hypoxia contributes resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy, while oxygenated tumors are sensitive to these treatments. The indirect detection of hypoxic tumors is possible by targeting carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX), an enzyme overexpressed in hypoxic tumors, with sulfonamide-based imaging agents. In this study, we present the design and synthesis of novel gallium-radiolabeled small-molecule sulfonamides targeting CA IX. The compounds display favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics and stability. We demonstrate that our lead compound, [(68)Ga]-2, discriminates CA IX-expressing tumors in vivo in a mouse xenograft model using positron emission tomography (PET). This compound shows specific tumor accumulation and low uptake in blood and clears intact to the urine. These findings were reproduced in a second study using PET/computed tomography. Small molecules investigated to date utilizing (68)Ga for preclinical CA IX imaging are scarce, and this is one of the first effective (68)Ga compounds reported for PET imaging of CA IX. PMID:27322137

  10. Systems Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    Oprea, Tudor I.; Tropsha, Alexander; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Rintoul, Mark D.

    2009-01-01

    The increasing availability of data related to genes, proteins and their modulation by small molecules, paralleled by the emergence of simulation tools in systems biology, has provided a vast amount of biological information. However, there is a critical need to develop cheminformatics tools that can integrate chemical knowledge with these biological databases, with the goal of creating systems chemical biology. PMID:17637771

  11. Interstellar molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D.

    1987-09-01

    Some 70 different molecular species have so far been detected variously in diffuse interstellar clouds, dense interstellar clouds, and circumstellar shells. Only simple (diatomic and triatomic) species exist in diffuse clouds because of the penetration of destructive UV radiations, whereas more complex (polyatomic) molecules survive in dense clouds as a result of the shielding against this UV radiation provided by dust grains. A current list of interstellar molecules is given together with a few other molecular species that have so far been detected only in circumstellar shells. Also listed are those interstellar species that contain rare isotopes of several elements. The gas phase ion chemistry is outlined via which the observed molecules are synthesized, and the process by which enrichment of the rare isotopes occurs in some interstellar molecules is described.

  12. Modeling Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The molecule modeling method known as Multibody Order (N) Dynamics, or MBO(N)D, was developed by Moldyn, Inc. at Goddard Space Flight Center through funding provided by the SBIR program. The software can model the dynamics of molecules through technology which stimulates low-frequency molecular motions and properties, such as movements among a molecule's constituent parts. With MBO(N)D, a molecule is substructured into a set of interconnected rigid and flexible bodies. These bodies replace the computation burden of mapping individual atoms. Moldyn's technology cuts computation time while increasing accuracy. The MBO(N)D technology is available as Insight II 97.0 from Molecular Simulations, Inc. Currently the technology is used to account for forces on spacecraft parts and to perform molecular analyses for pharmaceutical purposes. It permits the solution of molecular dynamics problems on a moderate workstation, as opposed to on a supercomputer.

  13. Interstellar Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solomon, Philip M.

    1973-01-01

    Radioastronomy reveals that clouds between the stars, once believed to consist of simple atoms, contain molecules as complex as seven atoms and may be the most massive objects in our Galaxy. (Author/DF)

  14. Enumerating molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Visco, Donald Patrick, Jr.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Roe, Diana C.

    2004-04-01

    This report is a comprehensive review of the field of molecular enumeration from early isomer counting theories to evolutionary algorithms that design molecules in silico. The core of the review is a detail account on how molecules are counted, enumerated, and sampled. The practical applications of molecular enumeration are also reviewed for chemical information, structure elucidation, molecular design, and combinatorial library design purposes. This review is to appear as a chapter in Reviews in Computational Chemistry volume 21 edited by Kenny B. Lipkowitz.

  15. Chemistry and biology of anti-inflammatory marine natural products: molecules interfering with cyclooxygenase, NF-kappaB and other unidentified targets.

    PubMed

    Terracciano, Stefania; Aquino, Maurizio; Rodriquez, Manuela; Monti, Maria Chiara; Casapullo, Agostino; Riccio, Raffaele; Gomez-Paloma, Luigi

    2006-01-01

    The majority of the anti-inflammatory drugs routinely used nowadays are COX (cyclo-oxygenase) inhibitors. The important role of this enzyme, once known as prostaglandin synthase, in inflammation came a consequence of the discovery by the Nobel prize winner John Vane with his path-breaking discovery that aspirin and similar drugs exert their action by blocking the biosynthesis of the prostaglandin group of lipid mediators. (John R. Vane, Nobel Lecture, December 8, 1982 and references cited therein) In the last five years it has become clear that there are two such enzymes involved. One of the "cyclo-oxygenases", called COX1 is responsible for making prostaglandins, which among other things, protect the stomach and kidney from damage. It is now clear that inhibition of COX1 accounts for the unwanted side effects of aspirin-like drugs such as gastric irritation and renal damage. The other enzyme, COX2, is induced by inflammatory stimuli and it is prostaglandins made by this enzyme that contribute to the inflammation in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, concerning inflammation-related targets, one should not limit the interest to COX and PLA2 enzymes. In recent years, it has steadily become more clear, that modulation in the expression of genes underlies most cellular responses, and inflammation is certainly not an exception in this sense. It does not come as surprise that molecules showing ability to interfere with factors involved in the modulation of genes expression, such as NF-kB, have also to be considered potential anti-inflammatory agents. Also in this respect, marine natural products (MNP) have brought a collection of novel molecular entities displaying ability to target COX1/COX2, NF-kappaB or acting through molecular mechanisms yet-to-be-discovered. Following, the marine natural products accounted for within this review will be grouped on the basis of their bio-molecular targets. Chemical synthesis of particular relevant molecules will be also

  16. Influence of redox molecules on the electronic conductance of single-walled carbon nanotube field-effect transistors: application to chemical and biological sensing.

    PubMed

    Boussaad, Salah; Diner, Bruce A; Fan, Janine

    2008-03-26

    In an effort to develop sensitive nanoscale devices for chemical and biological sensing, we have examined, using liquid gating, the conductance of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube-based field-effect transistors (SWCNT-FETs) in the presence of redox mediators. As examples, redox couples K3Fe(CN)6/K4Fe(CN)6 and K2IrCl6/K3IrCl6 are shown to modulate the SWCNT-FET conductance in part through their influence via the electrolyte gate on the electrostatic potential of the solution, as described by Larrimore et al. (Nano Lett. 2006, 6, 3129-1333) and in part through electron transfer between the redox mediators and the nanotubes. In the latter case, the rate of electron transfer is determined by the difference in chemical potential between the redox mediator and the SWCNTs and by the concentrations of the oxidized and reduced forms of the redox couple. Furthermore, these devices can detect the activity of redox enzymes through their sensitivity to the change in oxidation state of the enzyme substrate. An example is given for the blue copper oxidase, Trametes versicolor laccase, in which the rate of change of the SWCNT device conductance is linearly proportional to the rate of oxidation of the substrate 10-(2-hydroxyethyl)phenoxazine, varied over 2 orders of magnitude by the laccase concentration in the picomolar range. The behavior described in this work provides a highly sensitive means with which to do chemical and biological sensing using SWCNTs that is different from the amperometric, capacitive, and field-effect type sensing methods previously described in the literature for this material. PMID:18321094

  17. JAK/STAT signalling--an executable model assembled from molecule-centred modules demonstrating a module-oriented database concept for systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Blätke, Mary Ann; Dittrich, Anna; Rohr, Christian; Heiner, Monika; Schaper, Fred; Marwan, Wolfgang

    2013-06-01

    Mathematical models of molecular networks regulating biological processes in cells or organisms are most frequently designed as sets of ordinary differential equations. Various modularisation methods have been applied to reduce the complexity of models, to analyse their structural properties, to separate biological processes, or to reuse model parts. Taking the JAK/STAT signalling pathway with the extensive combinatorial cross-talk of its components as a case study, we make a natural approach to modularisation by creating one module for each biomolecule. Each module consists of a Petri net and associated metadata and is organised in a database publically accessible through a web interface (). The Petri net describes the reaction mechanism of a given biomolecule and its functional interactions with other components including relevant conformational states. The database is designed to support the curation, documentation, version control, and update of individual modules, and to assist the user in automatically composing complex models from modules. Biomolecule centred modules, associated metadata, and database support together allow the automatic creation of models by considering differential gene expression in given cell types or under certain physiological conditions or states of disease. Modularity also facilitates exploring the consequences of alternative molecular mechanisms by comparative simulation of automatically created models even for users without mathematical skills. Models may be selectively executed as an ODE system, stochastic, or qualitative models or hybrid and exported in the SBML format. The fully automated generation of models of redesigned networks by metadata-guided modification of modules representing biomolecules with mutated function or specificity is proposed. PMID:23443149

  18. Design, synthesis and biological activity of new neurohypophyseal hormones analogues conformationally restricted in the N-terminal part of the molecule. Highly potent OT receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowska, Anna; Ptach, Monika; Borovičková, Lenka; Slaninová, Jiřina; Lammek, Bernard; Prahl, Adam

    2012-08-01

    In this study we present the synthesis and some pharmacological properties of fourteen new analogues of neurohypophyseal hormones conformationally restricted in the N-terminal part of the molecule. All new peptides were substituted at position 2 with cis-1-amino-4-phenylcyclohexane-1-carboxylic acid (cis-Apc). Moreover, one of the new analogues: [cis-Apc(2), Val(4)]AVP was also prepared in N-acylated forms with various bulky acyl groups. All the peptides were tested for pressor, antidiuretic, and in vitro uterotonic activities. We also determined the binding affinity of the selected compounds to human OT receptor. Our results showed that introduction of cis -Apc(2) in position 2 of either AVP or OT resulted in analogues with high antioxytocin potency. Two of the new compounds, [Mpa(1),cis-Apc(2)]AVP and [Mpa(1),cis-Apc(2),Val(4)]AVP, were exceptionally potent antiuterotonic agents (pA(2) = 8.46 and 8.40, respectively) and exhibited higher affinities for the human OT receptor than Atosiban (K (i) values 5.4 and 9.1 nM). Moreover, we have demonstrated for the first time that N -terminal acylation of AVP analogue can improve its selectivity. Using this approach, we obtained compound Aba[cis-Apc(2),Val(4)]AVP (XI) which turned out to be a moderately potent and exceptionally selective OT antagonist (pA(2) = 7.26). PMID:22038179

  19. Drug Delivery Through the Skin: Molecular Simulations of Barrier Lipids to Design more Effective Noninvasive Dermal and Transdermal Delivery Systems for Small Molecules Biologics and Cosmetics

    SciTech Connect

    J Torin Huzil; S Sivaloganathan; M Kohandel; M Foldvari

    2011-12-31

    The delivery of drugs through the skin provides a convenient route of administration that is often preferable to injection because it is noninvasive and can typically be self-administered. These two factors alone result in a significant reduction of medical complications and improvement in patient compliance. Unfortunately, a significant obstacle to dermal and transdermal drug delivery alike is the resilient barrier that the epidermal layers of the skin, primarily the stratum corneum, presents for the diffusion of exogenous chemical agents. Further advancement of transdermal drug delivery requires the development of novel delivery systems that are suitable for modern, macromolecular protein and nucleotide therapeutic agents. Significant effort has already been devoted to obtain a functional understanding of the physical barrier properties imparted by the epidermis, specifically the membrane structures of the stratum corneum. However, structural observations of membrane systems are often hindered by low resolutions, making it difficult to resolve the molecular mechanisms related to interactions between lipids found within the stratum corneum. Several models describing the molecular diffusion of drug molecules through the stratum corneum have now been postulated, where chemical permeation enhancers are thought to disrupt the underlying lipid structure, resulting in enhanced permeability. Recent investigations using biphasic vesicles also suggested a possibility for novel mechanisms involving the formation of complex polymorphic lipid phases. In this review, we discuss the advantages and limitations of permeation-enhancing strategies and how computational simulations, at the atomic scale, coupled with physical observations can provide insight into the mechanisms of diffusion through the stratum corneum.

  20. Ga assisted in situ etching of AlGaInAs and InGaAsP multi quantum well structures using tertiarybutylchloride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Codato, S.; Campi, R.; Rigo, C.; Stano, A.

    2005-08-01

    In this work, we present studies on the in situ etching (ISE) technique using tertiarybutylchloride (TBCl) as etchant precursor in a metal organic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) reactor. Experiments were made in PH 3 and PH 3-free environments at low pressures (50-100 mbar) and in a low-temperature regime (545-600 °C). In particular, the combination of standard reactive ion etching (RIE) and ISE for the realization of suitable mesa structures for device applications has been systematically investigated. In our etching experiments InP, InGaAsP and Al-containing multi quantum wells (MQWs) have been used as etching targets. Particular efforts were devoted to the etching of Al-containing structures. For this material, the addition of trimethylgallium (TMGa) during the etching resulted to be of key importance in providing good surface morphology and etching of the MQW structure. The role of Ga species in the etching mechanisms will be discussed. The dependence of surface morphology and mesa shape on etching conditions, in particular, temperature, chlorine concentration, gallium concentration and etching time, will be described.

  1. Optical and crystal quality improvement in green emitting InxGa1-xN multi-quantum wells through optimization of MOCVD growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkman, Erkan A.; Lee, Soo Min; Ramos, Frank; Tucker, Eric; Arif, Ronald A.; Armour, Eric A.; Papasouliotis, George D.

    2016-02-01

    We report on green-emitting In0.18Ga0.82N/GaN multi-quantum well (MQW) structures over a variety of metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth conditions to examine the morphology, optical quality, and micron-scale emission properties. The MOCVD growth parameter space was analyzed utilizing two orthogonal metrics which allows comparing and optimizing growth conditions over a wide range of process parameters: effective gas speed, S*, and effective V/III ratio, V/III*. Optimized growth conditions with high V/III, low gas speed, and slow growth rates resulted in improved crystal quality, PL emission efficiency, and micron-scale wavelength uniformity. One of the main challenges in green MQWs with high Indium content is the formation of Indium inclusion type defects due to the large lattice mismatch combined with the miscibility gap between GaN and InN. An effective way of eliminating Indium inclusions was demonstrated by introducing a small fraction of H2 (2.7%) in the gas composition during the growth of high temperature GaN quantum barriers. In addition, the positive effects of employing an InGaN/GaN superlattice (SL) underlayer to crystal quality and micron-scale emission uniformity was demonstrated, which is of special interest for applications such as micro-LEDs.

  2. Fabrication and Photoluminescence Study of Large-Area Ordered and Size-Controlled GeSi Multi-quantum-well Nanopillar Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yuwen; Huang, Shufan; Zhu, Zhichao; Zeng, Cheng; Fan, Yongliang; Jiang, Zuimin

    2016-02-01

    Large-area ordered GeSi multi-quantum-well nanopillar array (MQW-NPA) samples with different nanopillar lateral sizes (270, 120, and 70 nm) are fabricated by a cost-effective and scalable dry-etching process in combination with nanosphere lithography technique. A significant enhancement in photoluminescence (PL) intensity has been observed in the GeSi MQW-NPA samples compared with the as-grown GeSi MQW one. Nanopillar samples with different lateral sizes show different enhancements in PL intensity. The enhancements are analyzed quantitatively and attributed to three factors. One is the antireflection of the nanopillar structures. Another is an enhanced extraction in nanopillar arrays at the emission wavelength. Thirdly, the GeSi quantum wells in close proximity to the substrates would have more contribution to the PL than before etching. Our results show that all the three factors should be taken into account in designing and fabricating surface microstructures of GeSi MQW materials in order to improve their optical properties.

  3. Combined electrical and resonant optical excitation characterization of multi-quantum well InGaN-based light-emitting diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presa, S.; Maaskant, P. P.; Kappers, M. J.; Humphreys, C. J.; Corbett, B.

    2016-07-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra and electrical characteristics of InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well light-emitting diode (LED) structures under resonant optical pumping and varying electrical bias. A 5 quantum well LED with a thin well (1.5 nm) and a relatively thick barrier (6.6 nm) shows strong bias-dependent properties in the emission spectra, poor photovoltaic carrier escape under forward bias and an increase in effective resistance when compared with a 10 quantum well LED with a thin (4 nm) barrier. These properties are due to a strong piezoelectric field in the well and associated reduced field in the thicker barrier. We compare the voltage ideality factors for the LEDs under electrical injection, light emission with current, photovoltaic mode (PV) and photoluminescence (PL) emission. The PV and PL methods provide similar values for the ideality which are lower than for the resistance-limited electrical method. Under optical pumping the presence of an n-type InGaN underlayer in a commercial LED sample is shown to act as a second photovoltaic source reducing the photovoltage and the extracted ideality factor to less than 1. The use of photovoltaic measurements together with bias-dependent spectrally resolved luminescence is a powerful method to provide valuable insights into the dynamics of GaN LEDs.

  4. Deep-level Transient Spectroscopy of GaAs/AlGaAs Multi-Quantum Wells Grown on (100) and (311)B GaAs Substrates

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Si-doped GaAs/AlGaAs multi-quantum wells structures grown by molecular beam epitaxy on (100) and (311)B GaAs substrates have been studied by using conventional deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) and high-resolution Laplace DLTS techniques. One dominant electron-emitting level is observed in the quantum wells structure grown on (100) plane whose activation energy varies from 0.47 to 1.3 eV as junction electric field varies from zero field (edge of the depletion region) to 4.7 × 106 V/m. Two defect states with activation energies of 0.24 and 0.80 eV are detected in the structures grown on (311)B plane. The Ec-0.24 eV trap shows that its capture cross-section is strongly temperature dependent, whilst the other two traps show no such dependence. The value of the capture barrier energy of the trap at Ec-0.24 eV is 0.39 eV. PMID:21170404

  5. Fabrication and Photoluminescence Study of Large-Area Ordered and Size-Controlled GeSi Multi-quantum-well Nanopillar Arrays.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuwen; Huang, Shufan; Zhu, Zhichao; Zeng, Cheng; Fan, Yongliang; Jiang, Zuimin

    2016-12-01

    Large-area ordered GeSi multi-quantum-well nanopillar array (MQW-NPA) samples with different nanopillar lateral sizes (270, 120, and 70 nm) are fabricated by a cost-effective and scalable dry-etching process in combination with nanosphere lithography technique. A significant enhancement in photoluminescence (PL) intensity has been observed in the GeSi MQW-NPA samples compared with the as-grown GeSi MQW one. Nanopillar samples with different lateral sizes show different enhancements in PL intensity. The enhancements are analyzed quantitatively and attributed to three factors. One is the antireflection of the nanopillar structures. Another is an enhanced extraction in nanopillar arrays at the emission wavelength. Thirdly, the GeSi quantum wells in close proximity to the substrates would have more contribution to the PL than before etching. Our results show that all the three factors should be taken into account in designing and fabricating surface microstructures of GeSi MQW materials in order to improve their optical properties. PMID:26909782

  6. Spacer conformation in biologically active molecules. Part 2. Structure and conformation of 4-[2-(diphenylmethylamino)ethyl]-1-(2-methoxyphenyl) piperazine and its diphenylmethoxy analog—potential 5-HT 1A receptor ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karolak-Wojciechowska, J.; Fruziński, A.; Czylkowski, R.; Paluchowska, M. H.; Mokrosz, M. J.

    2003-09-01

    As a part of studies on biologically active molecule structures with aliphatic linking chain, the structures of 4-[2-diphenylmethylamino)ethyl]-1-(2-methoxyphenyl)piperazine dihydrochloride ( 1) and 4-[2-diphenylmethoxy)ethyl]-1-(2-methoxyphenyl)piperazine fumarate ( 2) have been reported. In both compounds, four atomic non-all-carbons linking chains (N)C-C-X-C are present. The conformation of that linking spacer depends on the nature of the X-atom. The preferred conformation for chain with XNH has been found to be fully extended while for that with XO—the bend one. It was confirmed by conformational calculations (strain energy distribution and random search) and crystallographic data, including statistics from CCDC.

  7. Biological activity of a small molecule indole analog, 1-[(1H-indol-3-yl)methylene]-2-phenylhydrazine (HMPH), in chronic inflammation.

    PubMed

    Misra, Chandra Sekhar; Gejjalagere Honnappa, Chethan; Jitta, Srinivas Reddy; Gourishetti, Karthik; Daram, Prasanthi; Singh, Mahendra Pal; Hosur Shrungeswara, Akhila; Nayak, Yogendra; Unnikrishnan, Mazhuvancherry Kesavan

    2016-01-25

    A synthetic small molecule, 1-[(1H-indol-3-yl)methylene]-2-phenylhydrazine (HMPH) was conveniently synthesised by a one-step reaction, purified and characterised by chromatographic and spectroscopic methods. HMPH scavenged free radicals and inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ROS generation and NO release in RAW-264.7 cells without signs of any detectable cytotoxicity. HMPH inhibited lipid peroxidation (LPO) with IC50 of 135 ± 9 as against 58 ± 8 μM for α-tocopherol. Further, HMPH (>50 μM) significantly reduced the LPS-induced TNF-α release in mouse peritoneal macrophages and in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). HMPH did not show any visible signs of toxicity in rats up to 400 mg/kg/intraperitoneal and 2000 mg/kg/oral. HMPH at 25 and 50 mg/kg attenuated neutrophil infiltration in air-pouch lavage and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in rat models. HMPH also reduced myeloperoxidase (MPO), nitrite and TNF-α in air-pouch lavage in addition to MPO in plasma. HMPH reduced acute paw-inflammation in carrageenan-induced paw-edema. HMPH consistently decreased both ipsilateral and contralateral paw inflammation, minimised the clinical scores of arthritis, prevented body weight (B.wt.) loss, attenuated serum C-reactive protein (C-RP) and rheumatoid factors (RF) in rat model of adjuvant-induced arthritis. Histopathology and radio-graphical reports show that HMPH reduced bone erosion in both ipsilateral and contralateral paw joints. Failure to inhibit COX suggests that effectiveness of HMPH in both acute and chronic inflammation is mediated by a multimodal mechanism involving modulation of immunity, attenuating TNF-α, protecting bone attrition and reducing oxidative stress. PMID:26549477

  8. A synthetic gene increases TGFβ3 accumulation by 75-fold in tobacco chloroplasts enabling rapid purification and folding into a biologically active molecule.

    PubMed

    Gisby, Martin F; Mellors, Philip; Madesis, Panagiotis; Ellin, Marianne; Laverty, Hugh; O'Kane, Sharon; Ferguson, Mark W J; Day, Anil

    2011-06-01

    Human transforming growth factor-β3 (TGFβ3) is a new therapeutic protein used to reduce scarring during wound healing. The active molecule is a nonglycosylated, homodimer comprised of 13-kDa polypeptide chains linked by disulphide bonds. Expression of recombinant human TGFβ3 in chloroplasts and its subsequent purification would provide a sustainable source of TGFβ3 free of animal pathogens. A synthetic sequence (33% GC) containing frequent chloroplast codons raised accumulation of the 13-kDa TGFβ3 polypeptide by 75-fold compared to the native coding region (56% GC) when expressed in tobacco chloroplasts. The 13-kDa TGFβ3 monomer band was more intense than the RuBisCO 15-kDa small subunit on Coomassie blue-stained SDS-PAGE gels. TGFβ3 accumulated in insoluble aggregates and was stable in leaves of different ages but was not detected in seeds. TGFβ3 represented 12% of leaf protein and appeared as monomer, dimer and trimer bands on Western blots of SDS-PAGE gels. High yield and insolubility facilitated initial purification and refolding of the 13-kDa polypeptide into the TGFβ3 homodimer recognized by a conformation-dependent monoclonal antibody. The TGFβ3 homodimer and trace amounts of monomer were the only bands visible on silver-stained gels following purification by hydrophobic interaction chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. N-terminal sequencing and electronspray ionization mass spectrometry showed the removal of the initiator methionine and physical equivalence of the chloroplast-produced homodimer to standard TGFβ3. Functional equivalence was demonstrated by near-identical dose-response curves showing the inhibition of mink lung epithelial cell proliferation. We conclude that chloroplasts are an attractive production platform for synthesizing recombinant human TGFβ3. PMID:21535357

  9. Reduction of graphene oxide by resveratrol: a novel and simple biological method for the synthesis of an effective anticancer nanotherapeutic molecule

    PubMed Central

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Han, Jae Woong; Kim, Eun Su; Park, Jung Hyun; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2015-01-01

    Objective Graphene represents a monolayer or a few layers of sp2-bonded carbon atoms with a honeycomb lattice structure. Unique physical, chemical, and biological properties of graphene have attracted great interest in various fields including electronics, energy, material industry, and medicine, where it is used for tissue engineering and scaffolding, drug delivery, and as an antibacterial and anticancer agent. However, graphene cytotoxicity for ovarian cancer cells is still not fully investigated. The objective of this study was to synthesize graphene using a natural polyphenol compound resveratrol and to investigate its toxicity for ovarian cancer cells. Methods The successful reduction of graphene oxide (GO) to graphene was confirmed by UV-vis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy were employed to evaluate particle size and surface morphology of GO and resveratrol-reduced GO (RES-rGO). Raman spectroscopy was used to determine the removal of oxygen-containing functional groups from GO surface and to ensure the formation of graphene. We also performed a comprehensive analysis of GO and RES-rGO cytotoxicity by examining the morphology, viability, membrane integrity, activation of caspase-3, apoptosis, and alkaline phosphatase activity of ovarian cancer cells. Results The results also show that resveratrol effectively reduced GO to graphene and the properties of RES-rGO nanosheets were comparable to those of chemically reduced graphene. Biological experiments showed that GO and RES-rGO caused a dose-dependent membrane leakage and oxidative stress in cancer cells, and reduced their viability via apoptosis confirmed by the upregulation of apoptosis executioner caspase-3. Conclusion Our data demonstrate a single, simple green approach for the synthesis of highly water-dispersible functionalized graphene nanosheets, suggesting a possibility of replacing toxic hydrazine by a natural and safe phenolic

  10. [Clinical and Biological Character in Mouse Models for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Generated by Transduction with Different Doses of DPP4 Molecule].

    PubMed

    Yao, Yanfeng; Lan, Jiaming; Li, Fengdi; Niu, Peihua; Yu, Pin; Lu Shuai; Bao, Linlin; Tan, Wenjie; Qin, Chuan

    2015-11-01

    In this study, we evaluated the difference ot biological characteristics in the MERS-CoV infected mice model in prior to transduction with different dosage of human DPP4. Firstly, we transduced different dosage of DPP4 (high or low) into mice, and then challenged them with MERS-CoV in order to establish the model. After establishment of mice model, we observed the clinical signs of disease, virus replication, immunopathogenesis and antibody response. The results indicated that the infected mice showed typical pneumonia, virus replication, histological lesions, and neutralizing antibody production. Moreover, the high dosage group was superior to the low dosage group. Fourteen days after infection, the specific antibody to virus structural protein and neutralizing antibody were analyzed, the high dosage group induced higher level antibody. In summary, the MERS-CoV infected mice model were established prior transduction with DPP4, and the level of DPP4 influenced the clinical signs of disease, virus replication and antibody response in this model. PMID:26951002