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Sample records for climate molecular insights

  1. Surviving historical Patagonian landscapes and climate: molecular insights from Galaxias maculatus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The dynamic geological and climatic histories of temperate South America have played important roles in shaping the contemporary distributions and genetic diversity of endemic freshwater species. We use mitochondria and nuclear sequence variation to investigate the consequences of mountain barriers and Quaternary glacial cycles for patterns of genetic diversity in the diadromous fish Galaxias maculatus in Patagonia (~300 individuals from 36 locations). Results Contemporary populations of G. maculatus, east and west of the Andes in Patagonia, represent a single monophyletic lineage comprising several well supported groups. Mantel tests using control region data revealed a strong positive relationship when geographic distance was modeled according to a scenario of marine dispersal. (r = 0.69, P = 0.055). By contrast, direct distance between regions was poorly correlated with genetic distance (r = -0.05, P = 0.463). Hierarchical AMOVAs using mtDNA revealed that pooling samples according to historical (pre-LGM) oceanic drainage (Pacific vs. Atlantic) explained approximately four times more variance than pooling them into present-day drainage (15.6% vs. 3.7%). Further post-hoc AMOVA tests revealed additional genetic structure between populations east and west of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera (coastal vs. interior). Overall female effective population size appears to have remained relatively constant until roughly 0.5 Ma when population size rapidly increased several orders of magnitude [100× (60×-190×)] to reach contemporary levels. Maximum likelihood analysis of nuclear alleles revealed a poorly supported gene tree which was paraphyletic with respect to mitochondrial-defined haplogroups. Conclusions First diversifying in the central/north-west region of Patagonia, G. maculatus extended its range into Argentina via the southern coastal regions that join the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. More recent gene flow between northern populations involved the most

  2. Vitamin D and Adipogenesis: New Molecular Insights

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The focus of the current review is to highlight some new insights into the molecular mechanism by which vitamin D, a potentially nutritionally modulated factor, influences adipogenesis. Recent studies, predominantly using the mouse 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cell culture model, have shown that the role of...

  3. Molecular insights into intracellular RNA localization

    PubMed Central

    Blower, Michael D.

    2013-01-01

    Localization of mRNAs to specific destinations within a cell or an embryo is important for local control of protein expression. mRNA localization is well-known to function in very large and polarized cells such as neurons, and to facilitate embryonic patterning during early development. However, recent genome-wide studies have revealed that mRNA localization is more widely utilized than previously thought to control gene expression. Not only can transcripts be localized asymmetrically within the cytoplasm, they are often also localized to symmetrically-distributed organelles. Recent genetic, cytological, and biochemical studies have begun to provide molecular insight into how cells select RNAs for transport, move them to specific destinations, and control their translation. This review will summarize recent insights into the mechanisms and function of RNA localization with a specific emphasis on molecular insights into each step in the mRNA localization process. PMID:23351709

  4. Monoamine transporters: insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    PubMed Central

    Grouleff, Julie; Ladefoged, Lucy Kate; Koldsø, Heidi; Schiøtt, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    The human monoamine transporters (MATs) facilitate the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine from the synaptic cleft. Imbalance in monoaminergic neurotransmission is linked to various diseases including major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Inhibition of the MATs is thus an important strategy for treatment of such diseases. The MATs are sodium-coupled transport proteins belonging to the neurotransmitter/Na+ symporter (NSS) family, and the publication of the first high-resolution structure of a NSS family member, the bacterial leucine transporter LeuT, in 2005, proved to be a major stepping stone for understanding this family of transporters. Structural data allows for the use of computational methods to study the MATs, which in turn has led to a number of important discoveries. The process of substrate translocation across the membrane is an intrinsically dynamic process. Molecular dynamics simulations, which can provide atomistic details of molecular motion on ns to ms timescales, are therefore well-suited for studying transport processes. In this review, we outline how molecular dynamics simulations have provided insight into the large scale motions associated with transport of the neurotransmitters, as well as the presence of external and internal gates, the coupling between ion and substrate transport, and differences in the conformational changes induced by substrates and inhibitors. PMID:26528185

  5. Molecular Epidemiology of Tuberculosis: Current Insights

    PubMed Central

    Mathema, Barun; Kurepina, Natalia E.; Bifani, Pablo J.; Kreiswirth, Barry N.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular epidemiologic studies of tuberculosis (TB) have focused largely on utilizing molecular techniques to address short- and long-term epidemiologic questions, such as in outbreak investigations and in assessing the global dissemination of strains, respectively. This is done primarily by examining the extent of genetic diversity of clinical strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When molecular methods are used in conjunction with classical epidemiology, their utility for TB control has been realized. For instance, molecular epidemiologic studies have added much-needed accuracy and precision in describing transmission dynamics, and they have facilitated investigation of previously unresolved issues, such as estimates of recent-versus-reactive disease and the extent of exogenous reinfection. In addition, there is mounting evidence to suggest that specific strains of M. tuberculosis belonging to discrete phylogenetic clusters (lineages) may differ in virulence, pathogenesis, and epidemiologic characteristics, all of which may significantly impact TB control and vaccine development strategies. Here, we review the current methods, concepts, and applications of molecular approaches used to better understand the epidemiology of TB. PMID:17041139

  6. Haemophilia A and haemophilia B: molecular insights

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, D J

    2002-01-01

    This review focuses on selected areas that should interest both the scientist and the clinician alike: polymorphisms within the factor VIII and factor IX genes, their linkage, and their ethnic variation; a general assessment of mutations within both genes and a detailed inspection of the molecular pathology of certain mutations to illustrate the diverse cause–effect relations that exist; a summary of current knowledge on molecular aspects of inhibitor production; and an introduction to the new areas of factor VIII and factor IX catabolism. An appendix defining various terms encountered in the molecular genetics of the haemophilias is included, together with an appendix providing accession numbers and locus identification links for accessing gene and sequence information in the international nucleic acid databases. PMID:11836440

  7. Haemophilia A and haemophilia B: molecular insights

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, D J

    2002-01-01

    This review focuses on selected areas that should interest both the scientist and the clinician alike: polymorphisms within the factor VIII and factor IX genes, their linkage, and their ethnic variation; a general assessment of mutations within both genes and a detailed inspection of the molecular pathology of certain mutations to illustrate the diverse cause–effect relations that exist; a summary of current knowledge on molecular aspects of inhibitor production; and an introduction to the new areas of factor VIII and factor IX catabolism. An appendix defining various terms encountered in the molecular genetics of the haemophilias is included, together with an appendix providing accession numbers and locus identification links for accessing gene and sequence information in the international nucleic acid databases. PMID:11950963

  8. Combining Global Climate Model Outputs and Insights from Downscaling for Australian Climate Projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grose, M. R.; Timbal, B.; Katzfey, J. J.; Moise, A. F.; Eksrtrom, M.; Whetton, P.

    2013-12-01

    Dynamical and statistical downscaling of global climate model (GCM) outputs has the potential to provide valuable insights when making regional climate projections. It may reveal regional detail in the projected climate change signal through higher resolution and accounting for local influences such as topography and coastlines. However, climate change adaptation research and planning desires a coherent view of possible future climate that accounts for the various sources of uncertainty and at a relevant spatial scale. This means there is value in combining the most useful insights from all available downscaling with a more comprehensive set of designed global climate model (GCM) projections (e.g. the CMIP5 archive), and this is done for the next set of national climate projections products in Australia. There are several practical considerations in this process that affect the process, primarily because downscaling is done using various disparate methods for a limited set of models and scenarios. There is no objective framework to combine different sets of ad hoc downscaling simulations with a set of GCMs, so some degree of expert judgment is used. We emphasize cases where there is the most apparent ';added value' and report these insights in complement, and in some cases in preference to, GCM projections. Confidence in such insights first requires understanding of what input data is used from the host model, what biases are reduced and what new biases are potentially introduced. We then seek an understanding of how the climate change signal differs from that of the host model, and an attribution of the cause of this difference. Several case studies within Australia are discussed.

  9. Helicases as molecular motors: An insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuteja, Narendra; Tuteja, Renu

    2006-12-01

    Helicases are one of the smallest motors of biological system, which harness the chemical free energy of ATP hydrolysis to catalyze the opening of energetically stable duplex nucleic acids and thereby are involved in almost all aspect of nucleic acid metabolism including replication, repair, recombination, transcription, translation, and ribosome biogenesis. Basically, they break the hydrogen bonding between the duplex helix and translocate unidirectionally along the bound strand. Mostly all the helicases contain some conserved signature motifs, which act as an engine to power the unwinding. After the discovery of the first prokaryotic DNA helicase from Escherichia coli bacteria in 1976 and the first eukaryotic one from the lily plant in 1978, many more (>100) have been isolated. All the helicases share some common properties, including nucleic acid binding, NTP hydrolysis and unwinding of the duplex. Many helicases have been crystallized and their structures have revealed an underlying common structural fold for their function. The defects in helicases gene have also been reported to be responsible for variety of human genetic disorders, which can lead to cancer, premature aging or mental retardation. Recently, a new role of a helicase in abiotic stress signaling in plant has been discovered. Overall, helicases act as essential molecular tools for cellular machinery and help in maintaining the integrity of genome. Here an overview of helicases has been covered which includes history, biochemical assay, properties, classification, role in human disease and mechanism of unwinding and translocation.

  10. Hydropower licensing and climate change: Insights from cooperative game theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madani, Kaveh

    2011-02-01

    Cooperative game theory solutions can provide useful insights into how parties may use water and environmental resources and share any benefits of cooperation. Here, a method based on Nash and Nash-Harsanyi bargaining solutions is developed to explore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process, in which owners of non-federal hydropower projects in the United States have to negotiate their allowable operations, with other interest groups (mainly environmental). Linkage of games to expand the feasible solution range and the "strategic loss" concept are discussed and a FERC relicensing bargaining model is developed for studying the bargaining stage (third stage) of the relicensing process. Based on the suggested solution method, how the lack of incentive for cooperation results in long delay in FERC relicensing in practice is explained. Further, potential effects of climate change on the FERC relicensing are presented and how climate change may provide an incentive for cooperation among the parties to hasten the relicensing is discussed. An "adaptive FERC license" framework is proposed, based on cooperative game theory, to improve the performance and adaptability of the system to future changes with no cost to the FERC, in face of uncertainty about future hydrological and ecological conditions.

  11. Molecular dynamics insights into human aquaporin 2 water channel.

    PubMed

    Binesh, A R; Kamali, R

    2015-12-01

    In this study, the first molecular dynamics simulation of the human aquaporin 2 is performed and for a better understanding of the aquaporin 2 permeability performance, the characteristics of water transport in this protein channel and key biophysical parameters of AQP2 tetramer including osmotic and diffusive permeability constants and the pore radius are investigated. For this purpose, recently recovered high resolution X-ray crystal structure of` the human aquaporin 2 is used to perform twenty nanosecond molecular dynamics simulation of fully hydrated tetramer of this protein embedded in a lipid bilayer. The resulting water permeability characteristics of this protein channel showed that the water permeability of the human AQP2 is in a mean range in comparison with other human aquaporins family. Finally, the results reported in this research demonstrate that molecular dynamics simulation of human AQP2 provided useful insights into the mechanisms of water permeation and urine concentration in the human kidney. PMID:26489820

  12. Insights into Buforin II Membrane Translocation from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Elmore, Donald E.

    2012-01-01

    Buforin II is a histone-derived antimicrobial peptide that readily translocates across lipid membranes without causing significant membrane permeabilization. Previous studies showed that mutating the sole proline of buforin II dramatically decreases its translocation. As well, researchers have proposed that the peptide crosses membranes in a cooperative manner through forming transient toroidal pores. This paper reports molecular dynamics simulations designed to investigate the structure of buforin II upon membrane entry and evaluate whether the peptide is able to form toroidal pore structures. These simulations showed a relationship between protein-lipid interactions and increased structural deformations of the buforin N-terminal region promoted by proline. Moreover, simulations with multiple peptides show how buforin II can embed deeply into membranes and potentially form toroidal pores. Together, these simulations provide structural insight into the translocation process for buforin II in addition to providing more general insight into the role proline can play in antimicrobial peptides. PMID:23022591

  13. Molecular population genetic analysis of emerged bacterial pathogens: selected insights.

    PubMed Central

    Musser, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    Research in bacterial population genetics has increased in the last 10 years. Population genetic theory and tools and related strategies have been used to investigate bacterial pathogens that have contributed to recent episodes of temporal variation in disease frequency and severity. A common theme demonstrated by these analyses is that distinct bacterial clones are responsible for disease outbreaks and increases in infection frequency. Many of these clones are characterized by unique combinations of virulence genes or alleles of virulence genes. Because substantial interclonal variance exists in relative virulence, molecular population genetic studies have led to the concept that the unit of bacterial pathogenicity is the clone or cell line. Continued new insights into host parasite interactions at the molecular level will be achieved by combining clonal analysis of bacterial pathogens with large-scale comparative sequencing of virulence genes. PMID:8903193

  14. New insight into the molecular control of bacterial functional amyloids

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Jonathan D.; Matthews, Steve J.

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid protein structure has been discovered in a variety of functional or pathogenic contexts. What distinguishes the former from the latter is that functional amyloid systems possess dedicated molecular control systems that determine the timing, location, and structure of the fibers. Failure to guide this process can result in cytotoxicity, as observed in several pathologies like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. Many gram-negative bacteria produce an extracellular amyloid fiber known as curli via a multi-component secretion system. During this process, aggregation-prone, semi-folded curli subunits have to cross the periplasm and outer-membrane and self-assemble into surface-attached fibers. Two recent breakthroughs have provided molecular details regarding periplasmic chaperoning and subunit secretion. This review offers a combined perspective on these first mechanistic insights into the curli system. PMID:25905048

  15. Managing U.S. climate risk through mitigation: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, R. E., III; Hsiang, S. M.; Houser, T.; Larsen, K.; Rasmussen, D. M., Jr.; Jina, A.; Rising, J.; Delgado, M.; Mohan, S.; Muir-Wood, R.; Wilson, P. S.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the economic risks posed to the United States by six categories of climate change impacts: crop yield, energy demand, coastal storm damage, criminal activity, labor productivity, and mortality [1]. At a national level, measured by impact on gross domestic product, increased mortality and decreased labor productivity pose the large risks, followed by increased energy demand and coastal damages. Changes in crop yield and crime have smaller impacts. The ACP was not intended to conduct a benefit-cost analysis of climate change mitigation. It assessed the economic consequences of future impacts on an economy with a structure equivalent to that of the current economy, not accounting for socio-economic development and adaptation, and did not assess the cost of mitigation. One of its primary goals was to inform adaptation decisions that are conventionally considered 'endogenous' in economic analyses of climate change. Nonetheless, its results provide insight into the potential of mitigation to manage climate risk. Differences between RCP 8.5 (moderately-high business-as-usual emissions), RCP 4.5 (moderate mitigation) and RCP 2.6 (extremely strong mitigation) are not apparent until mid-century and become significant only late in the century. For all impacts except coastal damages, mitigation significantly reduces uncertainty in late-century impact estimates. Nationally, mitigation significantly and monotonically reduces median projected labor productivity losses and violent crime. Switching from RCP 8.5 to RCP 4.5 also significantly reduces median projections of mortality and energy demand, but the domestic value to the U.S. of further mitigation to RCP 2.6 is less clear. The marginal benefits decline in part because some regions of the country (especially the Northwest) may experience increased crop yields, reduced mortality, and reduced energy

  16. High Cholesterol Deteriorates Bone Health: New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Chandi C.

    2015-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies show a positive connection between cardiovascular diseases and risk of osteoporosis, suggesting a role of hyperlipidemia and/or hypercholesterolemia in regulating osteoporosis. The majority of the studies indicated a correlation between high cholesterol and high LDL-cholesterol level with low bone mineral density, a strong predictor of osteoporosis. Similarly, bone metastasis is a serious complication of cancer for patients. Several epidemiological and basic studies have established that high cholesterol is associated with increased cancer risk. Moreover, osteoporotic bone environment predisposes the cancer cells for metastatic growth in the bone microenvironment. This review focuses on how cholesterol and cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) regulate the functions of bone residential osteoblast and osteoclast cells to augment or to prevent bone deterioration. Moreover, this study provides an insight into molecular mechanisms of cholesterol-mediated bone deterioration. It also proposes a potential mechanism by which cellular cholesterol boosts cancer-induced bone metastasis. PMID:26557105

  17. Recent insights into the molecular genetics of dementia

    PubMed Central

    Rademakers, Rosa; Rovelet-Lecrux, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Our understanding of the molecular genetic basis of two common neurodegenerative dementias, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) has greatly advanced in recent years. Progranulin mutations were identified as a major cause of FTLD and a potential susceptibility factor for other forms of dementia. In addition, through copy-number analyses of previously identified disease genes and the study of microRNA regulation in dementia, new evidence emerged to support the view that subtle variability in the expression of known disease proteins may increase the risk for sporadic forms of dementia. Finally, in late-onset AD populations, the first genome-wide association studies were performed and novel potential AD susceptibility genes reported. These exciting findings provide novel insights into the disease mechanisms underlying dementia and hold promise for the development of potential treatments. PMID:19640594

  18. Molecular insights into the terminal energy acceptor in cyanobacterial phycobilisome.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Nan; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Wang, Zhi-Xin; Wu, Jia-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2012-09-01

    The linker protein L(CM) (ApcE) is postulated as the major component of the phycobilisome terminal energy acceptor (TEA) transferring excitation energy from the phycobilisome to photosystem II. L(CM) is the only phycobilin-attached linker protein in the cyanobacterial phycobilisome through auto-chromophorylation. However, the underlying mechanism for the auto-chromophorylation of L(CM) and the detailed molecular architecture of TEA is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the N-terminal phycobiliprotein-like domain of L(CM) (Pfam00502, LP502) can specifically recognize phycocyanobilin (PCB) by itself. Biochemical assays indicated that PCB binds into the same pocket in LP502 as that in the allophycocyanin α-subunit and that Ser152 and Asp155 play a vital role in LP502 auto-chromophorylation. By carefully conducting computational simulations, we arrived at a rational model of the PCB-LP502 complex structure that was supported by extensive mutational studies. In the PCB-LP502 complex, PCB binds into a deep pocket of LP502 with a distorted conformation, and Ser152 and Asp155 form several hydrogen bonds to PCB fixing the PCB Ring A and Ring D. Finally, based on our results, the dipoles and dipole-dipole interactions in TEA are analysed and a molecular structure for TEA is proposed, which gives new insights into the energy transformation mechanism of cyanobacterial phycobilisome. PMID:22758351

  19. Molecular asymmetry in extraterrestrial chemistry: Insights from a pristine meteorite.

    PubMed

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Huang, Yongsong; Alexandre, Marcelo R

    2008-03-11

    The nonracemic amino acids of meteorites provide the only natural example of molecular asymmetry measured so far outside the biosphere. Because extant life depends on chiral homogeneity for the structure and function of biopolymers, the study of these meteoritic compounds may offer insights into the establishment of prebiotic attributes in chemical evolution as well as the origin of terrestrial homochirality. However, all efforts to understand the origin, distribution, and scope of these amino acids' enantiomeric excesses (ee) have been frustrated by the ready exposure of meteorites to terrestrial contaminants and the ubiquitous homochirality of such contamination. We have analyzed the soluble organic composition of a carbonaceous meteorite from Antarctica that was collected and stored under controlled conditions, largely escaped terrestrial contamination and offers an exceptionally pristine sample of prebiotic material. Analyses of the meteorite diastereomeric amino acids alloisoleucine and isoleucine allowed us to show that their likely precursor molecules, the aldehydes, also carried a sizable molecular asymmetry of up to 14% in the asteroidal parent body. Aldehydes are widespread and abundant interstellar molecules; that they came to be present, survived, and evolved in the solar system carrying ee gives support to the idea that biomolecular traits such as chiral asymmetry could have been seeded in abiotic chemistry ahead of life. PMID:18310323

  20. Molecular insight into conformational transmission of human P-glycoprotein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Shan-Yan; Liu, Fu-Feng; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan

    2013-12-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a kind of ATP-binding cassette transporter, can export candidates through a channel at the two transmembrane domains (TMDs) across the cell membranes using the energy released from ATP hydrolysis at the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Considerable evidence has indicated that human P-gp undergoes large-scale conformational changes to export a wide variety of anti-cancer drugs out of the cancer cells. However, molecular mechanism of the conformational transmission of human P-gp from the NBDs to the TMDs is still unclear. Herein, targeted molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the atomic detail of the conformational transmission of human P-gp. It is confirmed that the conformational transition from the inward- to outward-facing is initiated by the movement of the NBDs. It is found that the two NBDs move both on the two directions (x and y). The movement on the x direction leads to the closure of the NBDs, while the movement on the y direction adjusts the conformations of the NBDs to form the correct ATP binding pockets. Six key segments (KSs) protruding from the TMDs to interact with the NBDs are identified. The relative movement of the KSs along the y axis driven by the NBDs can be transmitted through α-helices to the rest of the TMDs, rendering the TMDs to open towards periplasm in the outward-facing conformation. Twenty eight key residue pairs are identified to participate in the interaction network that contributes to the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs of human P-gp. In addition, 9 key residues in each NBD are also identified. The studies have thus provided clear insight into the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs in human P-gp.

  1. Molecular insight into conformational transmission of human P-glycoprotein

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Shan-Yan; Liu, Fu-Feng E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn

    2013-12-14

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a kind of ATP-binding cassette transporter, can export candidates through a channel at the two transmembrane domains (TMDs) across the cell membranes using the energy released from ATP hydrolysis at the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Considerable evidence has indicated that human P-gp undergoes large-scale conformational changes to export a wide variety of anti-cancer drugs out of the cancer cells. However, molecular mechanism of the conformational transmission of human P-gp from the NBDs to the TMDs is still unclear. Herein, targeted molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the atomic detail of the conformational transmission of human P-gp. It is confirmed that the conformational transition from the inward- to outward-facing is initiated by the movement of the NBDs. It is found that the two NBDs move both on the two directions (x and y). The movement on the x direction leads to the closure of the NBDs, while the movement on the y direction adjusts the conformations of the NBDs to form the correct ATP binding pockets. Six key segments (KSs) protruding from the TMDs to interact with the NBDs are identified. The relative movement of the KSs along the y axis driven by the NBDs can be transmitted through α-helices to the rest of the TMDs, rendering the TMDs to open towards periplasm in the outward-facing conformation. Twenty eight key residue pairs are identified to participate in the interaction network that contributes to the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs of human P-gp. In addition, 9 key residues in each NBD are also identified. The studies have thus provided clear insight into the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs in human P-gp.

  2. Molecular Insights into the Biosynthesis of the F420 Coenzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Forouhar,F.; Abashidze, M.; Xu, H.; Grochowski, L.; Seetharaman, J.; Hussain, M.; Kuzin, A.; Chen, Y.; Zhou, W.; et al

    2008-01-01

    Coenzyme F420, a hydride carrier, is found in Archaea and some bacteria and has crucial roles in methanogenesis, antibiotic biosynthesis, DNA repair, and activation of antitubercular compounds. CofD, 2-phospho-l-lactate transferase, catalyzes the last step in the biosynthesis of F420-0 (F420 without polyglutamate), by transferring the lactyl phosphate moiety of lactyl(2)diphospho-(5')guanosine to 7,8-didemethyl-8-hydroxy-5-deazariboflavin ribitol (Fo). CofD is highly conserved among F420-producing organisms, and weak sequence homologs are also found in non-F420-producing organisms. This superfamily does not share any recognizable sequence conservation with other proteins. Here we report the first crystal structures of CofD, the free enzyme and two ternary complexes, with Fo and Pi or with Fo and GDP, from Methanosarcina mazei. The active site is located at the C-terminal end of a Rossmann fold core, and three large insertions make significant contributions to the active site and dimer formation. The observed binding modes of Fo and GDP can explain known biochemical properties of CofD and are also supported by our binding assays. The structures provide significant molecular insights into the biosynthesis of the F420 coenzyme. Large structural differences in the active site region of the non-F420-producing CofD homologs suggest that they catalyze a different biochemical reaction.

  3. Molecular Determinants of Magnesium Homeostasis: Insights from Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, R. Todd; Hoenderop, Joost G.; Bindels, René J.

    2016-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed multiple advances in our understanding of magnesium (Mg2+) homeostasis. The discovery that mutations in claudin-16/paracellin-1 or claudin-19 are responsible for familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis provided insight into the molecular mechanisms governing paracellular transport of Mg2+. Our understanding of the transcellular movement of Mg2+ was similarly enhanced by the realization that defects in transient receptor potential melastatin 6 (TRPM6) cause hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia. This channel regulates the apical entry of Mg2+ into epithelia. In so doing, TRPM6 alters whole-body Mg2+ homeostasis by controlling urinary excretion. Consequently, investigation into the regulation of TRPM6 has increased. Acid-base status, 17β estradiol, and the immunosuppressive agents FK506 and cyclosporine affect plasma Mg2+ levels by altering TRPM6 expression. A mutation in epithelial growth factor is responsible for isolated autosomal recessive hypomagnesemia, and epithelial growth factor activates TRPM6. A defect in the γ-subunit of the Na,K-ATPase causes isolated dominant hypomagnesemia by altering TRPM6 activity through a decrease in the driving force for apical Mg2+ influx. We anticipate that the next decade will provide further detail into the control of the gatekeeper TRPM6 and, therefore, overall whole-body Mg2+ balance. PMID:18562569

  4. Molecular Characterization of the Endoplasmic Reticulum: insights from proteomic studies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xuequn; Karnovsky, Alla; Sans, Maria Dolors; Andrews, Philip C.; Williams, John A.

    2012-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifunctional intracellular organelle responsible for the synthesis, processing and trafficking of a wide variety of proteins essential for cell growth and survival. Thesefore, comprehensive characterization of the ER proteome is of great importance to the understanding of its functions and has been actively pursued in the past decade by scientists in the proteomics field. This review summarizes major proteomic studies published in the past decade that focused on the ER proteome. We evaluate the data sets obtained from two different organs, liver and pancreas each of which contains a primary cell type (hepatocyte and acinar cell) with specialized functions. We also discuss how the nature of the proteins uncovered is related to the methods of organelle purification, organelle purity and the techniques used for protein separation prior to mass spectrometry. In addition, this review also puts emphasis on the biological insights gained from these studies regarding to the molecular functions of the endoplasmic reticulum including protein synthesis and translocation, protein folding and quality control, ER-associated degradation and ER stress, ER export and membrane trafficking, calcium homeostasis, and detoxification and drug metabolism. PMID:21080494

  5. Proteomic Insight into the Molecular Function of the Vitreous

    PubMed Central

    Skeie, Jessica M.; Roybal, C. Nathaniel; Mahajan, Vinit B.

    2015-01-01

    The human vitreous contains primarily water, but also contains proteins which have yet to be fully characterized. To gain insight into the four vitreous substructures and their potential functions, we isolated and analyzed the vitreous protein profiles of three non-diseased human eyes. The four analyzed substructures were the anterior hyaloid, the vitreous cortex, the vitreous core, and the vitreous base. Proteins were separated by multidimensional liquid chromatography and identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics tools then extracted the expression profiles, signaling pathways, and interactomes unique to each tissue. From each substructure, a mean of 2,062 unique proteins were identified, with many being differentially expressed in a specific substructure: 278 proteins were unique to the anterior hyaloid, 322 to the vitreous cortex, 128 to the vitreous base, and 136 to the vitreous core. When the identified proteins were organized according to relevant functional pathways and networks, key patterns appeared. The blood coagulation pathway and extracellular matrix turnover networks were highly represented. Oxidative stress regulation and energy metabolism proteins were distributed throughout the vitreous. Immune functions were represented by high levels of immunoglobulin, the complement pathway, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), and evolutionarily conserved antimicrobial proteins. The majority of vitreous proteins detected were intracellular proteins, some of which originate from the retina, including rhodopsin (RHO), phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). This comprehensive analysis uncovers a picture of the vitreous as a biologically active tissue, where proteins localize to distinct substructures to protect the intraocular tissues from infection, oxidative stress, and energy disequilibrium. It also reveals the retina as a potential source of inflammatory mediators. The vitreous proteome catalogues the

  6. Molecular Insights into the Transmembrane Domain of the Thyrotropin Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Chantreau, Vanessa; Taddese, Bruck; Munier, Mathilde; Gourdin, Louis; Henrion, Daniel; Rodien, Patrice; Chabbert, Marie

    2015-01-01

    The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is member of the leucine-rich repeat subfamily (LGR). In the absence of crystal structure, the success of rational design of ligands targeting the receptor internal cavity depends on the quality of the TSHR models built. In this subfamily, transmembrane helices (TM) 2 and 5 are characterized by the absence of proline compared to most receptors, raising the question of the structural conformation of these helices. To gain insight into the structural properties of these helices, we carried out bioinformatics and experimental studies. Evolutionary analysis of the LGR family revealed a deletion in TM5 but provided no information on TM2. Wild type residues at positions 2.58, 2.59 or 2.60 in TM2 and/or at position 5.50 in TM5 were substituted to proline. Depending on the position of the proline substitution, different effects were observed on membrane expression, glycosylation, constitutive cAMP activity and responses to thyrotropin. Only proline substitution at position 2.59 maintained complex glycosylation and high membrane expression, supporting occurrence of a bulged TM2. The TSHR transmembrane domain was modeled by homology with the orexin 2 receptor, using a protocol that forced the deletion of one residue in the TM5 bulge of the template. The stability of the model was assessed by molecular dynamics simulations. TM5 straightened during the equilibration phase and was stable for the remainder of the simulations. Our data support a structural model of the TSHR transmembrane domain with a bulged TM2 and a straight TM5 that is specific of glycoprotein hormone receptors. PMID:26545118

  7. New Molecular Insights of Insulin in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Westermeier, Francisco; Riquelme, Jaime A; Pavez, Mario; Garrido, Valeria; Díaz, Ariel; Verdejo, Hugo E; Castro, Pablo F; García, Lorena; Lavandero, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a highly prevalent disease worldwide. Cardiovascular disorders generated as a consequence of T2DM are a major cause of death related to this disease. Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by the morphological, functional and metabolic changes in the heart produced as a complication of T2DM. This cardiac disorder is characterized by constant high blood glucose and lipids levels which eventually generate oxidative stress, defective calcium handling, altered mitochondrial function, inflammation and fibrosis. In this context, insulin is of paramount importance for cardiac contractility, growth and metabolism and therefore, an impaired insulin signaling plays a critical role in the DCM development. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to DCM are still a matter of study. Despite the numerous questions raised in the study of DCM, there have also been important findings, such as the role of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), which can not only have the potential of being important biomarkers, but also therapeutic targets. Furthermore, exosomes also arise as an interesting variable to consider, since they represent an important inter-cellular communication mechanism and therefore, they may explain many aspects of the pathophysiology of DCM and their study may lead to the development of therapeutic agents capable of improving insulin signaling. In addition, adenosine and adenosine receptors (ARs) may also play an important role in DCM. Moreover, the possible cross-talk between insulin and ARs may provide new strategies to reverse its defective signaling in the diabetic heart. This review focuses on DCM, the role of insulin in this pathology and the discussion of new molecular insights which may help to understand its underlying mechanisms and generate possible new therapeutic strategies. PMID:27148064

  8. New Molecular Insights of Insulin in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Westermeier, Francisco; Riquelme, Jaime A.; Pavez, Mario; Garrido, Valeria; Díaz, Ariel; Verdejo, Hugo E.; Castro, Pablo F.; García, Lorena; Lavandero, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a highly prevalent disease worldwide. Cardiovascular disorders generated as a consequence of T2DM are a major cause of death related to this disease. Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by the morphological, functional and metabolic changes in the heart produced as a complication of T2DM. This cardiac disorder is characterized by constant high blood glucose and lipids levels which eventually generate oxidative stress, defective calcium handling, altered mitochondrial function, inflammation and fibrosis. In this context, insulin is of paramount importance for cardiac contractility, growth and metabolism and therefore, an impaired insulin signaling plays a critical role in the DCM development. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to DCM are still a matter of study. Despite the numerous questions raised in the study of DCM, there have also been important findings, such as the role of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), which can not only have the potential of being important biomarkers, but also therapeutic targets. Furthermore, exosomes also arise as an interesting variable to consider, since they represent an important inter-cellular communication mechanism and therefore, they may explain many aspects of the pathophysiology of DCM and their study may lead to the development of therapeutic agents capable of improving insulin signaling. In addition, adenosine and adenosine receptors (ARs) may also play an important role in DCM. Moreover, the possible cross-talk between insulin and ARs may provide new strategies to reverse its defective signaling in the diabetic heart. This review focuses on DCM, the role of insulin in this pathology and the discussion of new molecular insights which may help to understand its underlying mechanisms and generate possible new therapeutic strategies. PMID:27148064

  9. Climate change impacts on Swiss groundwater: insights from historical records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figura, S.; Livingstone, D. M.; Kipfer, R.

    2012-04-01

    Knowledge of the impact of climate change on groundwater is limited mainly by a lack of relevant long-term data that would allow the effects of climatic forcing to be assessed empirically. With the aim of assessing the consequences of climate change on groundwater, we collected and statistically analysed historical groundwater data from Switzerland. While most existing studies have focused on the impact of climate change on groundwater quantity, we focus on groundwater quality. As measures of groundwater quality we chose groundwater temperature and oxygen concentration because of their importance for biogeochemical processes and for reasons of data availability. Our analyses show that in aquifers that are recharged by riverbank infiltration, groundwater temperature has increased by 1°C - 1.5°C over the last 30 years. By contrast, in aquifers that are recharged only by the percolation of precipitation, increases in groundwater temperature are slight or non-existent. A detailed analysis of groundwater temperatures measured in the pumping wells of five aquifers that are recharged by riverbank infiltration revealed that an abrupt temperature increase in the late 1980s, which was also detected in Swiss air temperature and river water temperatures and which is traceable ultimately to a change in the behaviour of the Arctic Oscillation, accounted for a large proportion of the total groundwater warming [1]. Oxygen concentrations were available for four of the five aquifers we investigated. In two of these aquifers the oxygen concentration underwent a strong decrease, in the third a slight decrease, and in the fourth a slight increase. Neither long-term trends in river water oxygen concentration nor altered hydraulic conditions seem to be responsible for the long-term trends in groundwater oxygen concentrations. However, the decreasing oxygen concentrations were accompanied by decreasing DOC concentrations in the groundwater, while DOC concentrations in the river water

  10. Molecular insight into bacterial cleavage of oceanic dimethylsulfoniopropionate into dimethyl sulfide.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun-Yang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Sheng-Hui; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Peng; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Yu, Juan; Zhang, Hong-Hai; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Yang, Gui-Peng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2014-01-21

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile DMS through the action of DMSP lyases and is important in the global sulfur and carbon cycles. When released into the atmosphere from the oceans, DMS is oxidized, forming cloud condensation nuclei that may influence weather and climate. Six different DMSP lyase genes are found in taxonomically diverse microorganisms, and dddQ is among the most abundant in marine metagenomes. Here, we examine the molecular mechanism of DMSP cleavage by the DMSP lyase, DddQ, from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157. The structures of DddQ bound to an inhibitory molecule 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid and of DddQ inactivated by a Tyr131Ala mutation and bound to DMSP were solved. DddQ adopts a β-barrel fold structure and contains a Zn(2+) ion and six highly conserved hydrophilic residues (Tyr120, His123, His125, Glu129, Tyr131, and His163) in the active site. Mutational and biochemical analyses indicate that these hydrophilic residues are essential to catalysis. In particular, Tyr131 undergoes a conformational change during catalysis, acting as a base to initiate the β-elimination reaction in DMSP lysis. Moreover, structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that two loops over the substrate-binding pocket of DddQ can alternate between "open" and "closed" states, serving as a gate for DMSP entry. We also propose a molecular mechanism for DMS production through DMSP cleavage. Our study provides important insight into the mechanism involved in the conversion of DMSP into DMS, which should lead to a better understanding of this globally important biogeochemical reaction. PMID:24395783

  11. Molecular insight into bacterial cleavage of oceanic dimethylsulfoniopropionate into dimethyl sulfide

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chun-Yang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Sheng-Hui; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Peng; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Yu, Juan; Zhang, Hong-Hai; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Yang, Gui-Peng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2014-01-01

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile DMS through the action of DMSP lyases and is important in the global sulfur and carbon cycles. When released into the atmosphere from the oceans, DMS is oxidized, forming cloud condensation nuclei that may influence weather and climate. Six different DMSP lyase genes are found in taxonomically diverse microorganisms, and dddQ is among the most abundant in marine metagenomes. Here, we examine the molecular mechanism of DMSP cleavage by the DMSP lyase, DddQ, from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157. The structures of DddQ bound to an inhibitory molecule 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid and of DddQ inactivated by a Tyr131Ala mutation and bound to DMSP were solved. DddQ adopts a β-barrel fold structure and contains a Zn2+ ion and six highly conserved hydrophilic residues (Tyr120, His123, His125, Glu129, Tyr131, and His163) in the active site. Mutational and biochemical analyses indicate that these hydrophilic residues are essential to catalysis. In particular, Tyr131 undergoes a conformational change during catalysis, acting as a base to initiate the β-elimination reaction in DMSP lysis. Moreover, structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that two loops over the substrate-binding pocket of DddQ can alternate between “open” and “closed” states, serving as a gate for DMSP entry. We also propose a molecular mechanism for DMS production through DMSP cleavage. Our study provides important insight into the mechanism involved in the conversion of DMSP into DMS, which should lead to a better understanding of this globally important biogeochemical reaction. PMID:24395783

  12. Molecular insight into bacterial cleavage of oceanic dimethylsulfoniopropionate into dimethyl sulfide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chun-Yang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Sheng-Hui; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Peng; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Yu, Juan; Zhang, Hong-Hai; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Yang, Gui-Peng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2014-01-01

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile DMS through the action of DMSP lyases and is important in the global sulfur and carbon cycles. When released into the atmosphere from the oceans, DMS is oxidized, forming cloud condensation nuclei that may influence weather and climate. Six different DMSP lyase genes are found in taxonomically diverse microorganisms, and dddQ is among the most abundant in marine metagenomes. Here, we examine the molecular mechanism of DMSP cleavage by the DMSP lyase, DddQ, from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157. The structures of DddQ bound to an inhibitory molecule 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid and of DddQ inactivated by a Tyr131Ala mutation and bound to DMSP were solved. DddQ adopts a β-barrel fold structure and contains a Zn2+ ion and six highly conserved hydrophilic residues (Tyr120, His123, His125, Glu129, Tyr131, and His163) in the active site. Mutational and biochemical analyses indicate that these hydrophilic residues are essential to catalysis. In particular, Tyr131 undergoes a conformational change during catalysis, acting as a base to initiate the β-elimination reaction in DMSP lysis. Moreover, structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that two loops over the substrate-binding pocket of DddQ can alternate between "open" and "closed" states, serving as a gate for DMSP entry. We also propose a molecular mechanism for DMS production through DMSP cleavage. Our study provides important insight into the mechanism involved in the conversion of DMSP into DMS, which should lead to a better understanding of this globally important biogeochemical reaction.

  13. Emerging insights into the molecular and cellular basis of glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Gavin P.; Rinne, Mikael L.; Wykosky, Jill; Genovese, Giannicola; Quayle, Steven N.; Dunn, Ian F.; Agarwalla, Pankaj K.; Chheda, Milan G.; Campos, Benito; Wang, Alan; Brennan, Cameron; Ligon, Keith L.; Furnari, Frank; Cavenee, Webster K.; Depinho, Ronald A.; Chin, Lynda; Hahn, William C.

    2012-01-01

    Glioblastoma is both the most common and lethal primary malignant brain tumor. Extensive multiplatform genomic characterization has provided a higher-resolution picture of the molecular alterations underlying this disease. These studies provide the emerging view that “glioblastoma” represents several histologically similar yet molecularly heterogeneous diseases, which influences taxonomic classification systems, prognosis, and therapeutic decisions. PMID:22508724

  14. Estimating the limits of adaptation from historical behaviour: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jina, A.; Hsiang, S. M.; Kopp, R. E., III; Rasmussen, D.; Rising, J.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the climate risks posed to the United States' economy in a number of economic sectors [1]. The main analysis presents projections of climate impacts with an assumption of "no adaptation". Yet, historically, when the climate imposed an economic cost upon society, adaptive responses were taken to minimise these costs. These adaptive behaviours, both autonomous and planned, can be expected to occur as climate impacts increase in the future. To understand the extent to which adaptation might decrease some of the worst impacts of climate change, we empirically estimate adaptive responses. We do this in three sectors considered in the analysis - crop yield, crime, and mortality - and estimate adaptive capacity in two steps. First, looking at changes in climate impacts through time, we identify a historical rate of adaptation. Second, spatial differences in climate impacts are then used to stratify regions into more adapted or less adapted based on climate averages. As these averages change across counties in the US, we allow each to become more adapted at the rate identified in step one. We are then able to estimate the residual damages, assuming that only the historical adaptive behaviours have taken place (fig 1). Importantly, we are unable to estimate any costs associated with these adaptations, nor are we able to estimate more novel (for example, new technological discoveries) or more disruptive (for example, migration) adaptive behaviours. However, an important insight is that historical adaptive behaviours may not be capable of reducing the worst impacts of climate change. The persistence of impacts in even the most exposed areas indicates that there are non-trivial costs associated with adaptation that will need to be met from other sources or through novel behavioural changes. References: [1] T. Houser et al. (2014), American Climate

  15. The PICS Climate Insights 101 Courses: A Visual Approach to Learning About Climate Science, Mitigation and Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, T. F.; Zwiers, F. W.; Breen, C.; Murdock, T. Q.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) has now made available online three free, peer-reviewed, unique animated short courses in a series entitled "Climate Insights 101" that respectively address basic climate science, carbon-emissions mitigation approaches and opportunities, and adaptation. The courses are suitable for students of all ages, and use professionally narrated animations designed to hold a viewer's attention. Multiple issues are covered, including complex concerns like the construction of general circulation models, carbon pricing schemes in various countries, and adaptation approaches in the face of extreme weather events. Clips will be shown in the presentation. The first course (Climate Science Basics) has now been seen by over two hundred thousand individuals in over 80 countries, despite being offered in English only. Each course takes about two hours to work through, and in recognizing that that duration might pose an attention barrier to some students, PICS selected a number of short clips from the climate-science course and posted them as independent snippets on YouTube. A companion series of YouTube videos entitled, "Clear The Air", was created to confront the major global-warming denier myths. But a major challenge remains: despite numerous efforts to promote the availability of the free courses and the shorter YouTube pieces, they have yet to become widely known. Strategies to overcome that constraint will be discussed.

  16. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zivcec, Marko; Scholte, Florine; Spiropoulou, Christina; Spengler, Jessica; Bergeron, Éric

    2016-04-21

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne pathogen that causes high morbidity and mortality. Efficacy of vaccines and antivirals to treat human CCHFV infections remains limited and controversial. Research into pathology and underlying molecular mechanisms of CCHFV and other nairoviruses is limited. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of CCHFV replication and pathogenesis in the past decade. Here we review the most recent molecular advances in CCHFV-related research, and provide perspectives on future research.

  17. Insights from past millennia into climatic impacts on human health and survival.

    PubMed

    McMichael, Anthony J

    2012-03-27

    Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and survival via weather extremes and climatic impacts on food yields, fresh water, infectious diseases, conflict, and displacement. Paradoxically, these risks to health are neither widely nor fully recognized. Historical experiences of diverse societies experiencing climatic changes, spanning multicentury to single-year duration, provide insights into population health vulnerability--even though most climatic changes were considerably less than those anticipated this century and beyond. Historical experience indicates the following. (i) Long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations, typically via food shortages, consequent hunger, disease, and unrest. (ii) Medium-term climatic adversity has frequently caused similar health, social, and sometimes political consequences. (iii) Infectious disease epidemics have often occurred in association with briefer episodes of temperature shifts, food shortages, impoverishment, and social disruption. (iv) Societies have often learnt to cope (despite hardship for some groups) with recurring shorter-term (decadal to multiyear) regional climatic cycles (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation)--except when extreme phases occur. (v) The drought-famine-starvation nexus has been the main, recurring, serious threat to health. Warming this century is not only likely to greatly exceed the Holocene's natural multidecadal temperature fluctuations but to occur faster. Along with greater climatic variability, models project an increased geographic range and severity of droughts. Modern societies, although larger, better resourced, and more interconnected than past societies, are less flexible, more infrastructure-dependent, densely populated, and hence are vulnerable. Adverse historical climate-related health experiences underscore the case for abating human-induced climate change. PMID:22315419

  18. Insights from past millennia into climatic impacts on human health and survival

    PubMed Central

    McMichael, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and survival via weather extremes and climatic impacts on food yields, fresh water, infectious diseases, conflict, and displacement. Paradoxically, these risks to health are neither widely nor fully recognized. Historical experiences of diverse societies experiencing climatic changes, spanning multicentury to single-year duration, provide insights into population health vulnerability—even though most climatic changes were considerably less than those anticipated this century and beyond. Historical experience indicates the following. (i) Long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations, typically via food shortages, consequent hunger, disease, and unrest. (ii) Medium-term climatic adversity has frequently caused similar health, social, and sometimes political consequences. (iii) Infectious disease epidemics have often occurred in association with briefer episodes of temperature shifts, food shortages, impoverishment, and social disruption. (iv) Societies have often learnt to cope (despite hardship for some groups) with recurring shorter-term (decadal to multiyear) regional climatic cycles (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation)—except when extreme phases occur. (v) The drought–famine–starvation nexus has been the main, recurring, serious threat to health. Warming this century is not only likely to greatly exceed the Holocene's natural multidecadal temperature fluctuations but to occur faster. Along with greater climatic variability, models project an increased geographic range and severity of droughts. Modern societies, although larger, better resourced, and more interconnected than past societies, are less flexible, more infrastructure-dependent, densely populated, and hence are vulnerable. Adverse historical climate-related health experiences underscore the case for abating human-induced climate change. PMID:22315419

  19. Exploring soil organic matter-mineral interactions: mechanistic insights at the nanometer and molecular length scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newcomb, C.; Qafoku, N. P.; Grate, J. W.; Hufschmid, R.; Browning, N.; De Yoreo, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    With elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions and disruption to the carbon cycle, the effects of climate change are being accelerated. Approximately 80% of Earth's terrestrial organic carbon is stored in soil, and the residence time of this carbon can range from hours to millenia. Understanding the dynamics of this carbon pool in the carbon cycle is crucial to both predicting climate and sustaining ecosystem services. Soil organic carbon is known to be strongly associated with high surface area clay minerals. The nature of these interactions is not well understood primarily due to the heterogeneity of soil, as much of the current knowledge relies on experiments that take a top-down approach using bulk experimental measurements. Our work seeks to probe physical, chemical, and molecular-level interactions at the organic-mineral interface using a bottom-up approach that establishes a model system where complexity can be built in systematically. By performing in situ techniques such as dynamic force spectroscopy, a technique where organic molecules can be brought into contact with mineral surfaces in a controlled manner using an atomic force microscope, we demonstrate the ability to mechanistically probe the energy landscape of individual organic molecules with mineral surfaces. We demonstrate the ability to measure the binding energies of soil-inspired organic functional groups (including carboxylic acid, amine, methyl, and phosphate) with clay and mineral surfaces as a function of solution chemistry. This effort can provide researchers with both guiding principles about carbon dynamics at the sub-nanometer length scale and insights into early aggregation events, where organic-mineral interactions play a significant role.

  20. The structure of biodiversity – insights from molecular phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, Godfrey M

    2004-01-01

    DNA techniques, analytical methods and palaeoclimatic studies are greatly advancing our knowledge of the global distribution of genetic diversity, and how it evolved. Such phylogeographic studies are reviewed from Arctic, Temperate and Tropical regions, seeking commonalities of cause in the resulting genetic patterns. The genetic diversity is differently patterned within and among regions and biomes, and is related to their histories of climatic changes. This has major implications for conservation science. PMID:15679920

  1. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    PubMed Central

    Zivcec, Marko; Scholte, Florine E. M.; Spiropoulou, Christina F.; Spengler, Jessica R.; Bergeron, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne pathogen that causes high morbidity and mortality. Efficacy of vaccines and antivirals to treat human CCHFV infections remains limited and controversial. Research into pathology and underlying molecular mechanisms of CCHFV and other nairoviruses is limited. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of CCHFV replication and pathogenesis in the past decade. Here we review the most recent molecular advances in CCHFV-related research, and provide perspectives on future research. PMID:27110812

  2. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of general anaesthetics

    PubMed Central

    Chau, P-L

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides new insights of how general anaesthetic research should be carried out in the future by an analysis of what we know, what we do not know and what we would like to know. I describe previous hypotheses on the mechanism of action of general anaesthetics (GAs) involving membranes and protein receptors. I provide the reasons why the GABA type A receptor, the NMDA receptor and the glycine receptor are strong candidates for the sites of action of GAs. I follow with a review on attempts to provide a mechanism of action, and how future research should be conducted with the help of physical and chemical methods. PMID:20735416

  3. Unveiling the molecular mechanism of brassinosteroids: Insights from structure-based molecular modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Lei, Beilei; Liu, Jiyuan; Yao, Xiaojun

    2015-12-01

    Brassinosteroid (BR) phytohormones play indispensable roles in plant growth and development. Brassinolide (BL) and 24-epibrassinolide (24-epiBL) are the most active ones among the BRs reported thus far. Unfortunately, the extremely low natural content and intricate synthesis process limit their popularization in agricultural production. Earlier reports to discover alternative compounds have resulted in molecules with nearly same scaffold structure and without diversity in chemical space. In the present study, receptors structure based BRs regulation mechanism was analyzed. First, we examined the detailed binding interactions and their dynamic stability between BL and its receptor BRI1 and co-receptor BAK1. Then, the binding modes and binding free energies for 24-epiBL and a series of representative BRs binding with BRI1 and BRI1-BAK1 were carried out by molecular docking, energy minimization and MM-PBSA free energy calculation. The obtained binding structures and energetic results provided vital insights into the structural factors affecting the activity from both receptors and BRs aspects. Subsequently, the obtained knowledge will serve as valuable guidance to build pharmacophore models for rational screening of new scaffold alternative BRs. PMID:26362600

  4. New Insights into Molecular Ehrlichia chaffeensis-Host Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Wakeel, Abdul; Zhu, Bing; Yu, Xue-jie; McBride, Jere W.

    2010-01-01

    Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an obligately intracellular bacterium that exhibits tropism for mononuclear phagocytes and survives by reprogramming the host cell. Here we review new information regarding the newly characterized effector molecules and the complex network of molecular host-pathogen interactions that the organism exploits enabling it to thrive and persist intracellularly. PMID:20116446

  5. Chalcone Scaffold in Anticancer Armamentarium: A Molecular Insight

    PubMed Central

    Manna, Kuntal

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is an inevitable matter of concern in the medicinal chemistry era. Chalcone is the well exploited scaffold in the anticancer domain. The molecular mechanism of chalcone at cellular level was explored in past decades. This mini review provides the most recent updates on anticancer potential of chalcones. PMID:26880913

  6. Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaohao; He, Bing; Liu, Jin; Feng, Hui; Ma, Yinghui; Li, Defang; Guo, Baosheng; Liang, Chao; Dang, Lei; Wang, Luyao; Tian, Jing; Zhu, Hailong; Xiao, Lianbo; Lu, Cheng; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorder. Gut microbiota play an important role in the etiology of RA. With the considerable progress made in next-generation sequencing techniques, the identified gut microbiota difference between RA patients and healthy individuals provides an updated overview of the association between gut microbiota and RA. We reviewed the reported correlation and underlying molecular mechanisms among gut microbiota, the immune system, and RA. It has become known that gut microbiota contribute to the pathogenesis of RA via multiple molecular mechanisms. The progressive understanding of the dynamic interaction between gut microbiota and their host will help in establishing a highly individualized management for each RA patient, and achieve a better efficacy in clinical practice, or even discovering new drugs for RA. PMID:27011180

  7. Molecular insights into regulation of JAK2 in myeloproliferative neoplasms

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Stevan R.

    2015-01-01

    The critical role of Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) in regulation of myelopoiesis was established 2 decades ago, but identification of mutations in the pseudokinase domain of JAK2 in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and in other hematologic malignancies highlighted the role of JAK2 in human disease. These findings have revolutionized the diagnostics of MPNs and led to development of novel JAK2 therapeutics. However, the molecular mechanisms by which mutations in the pseudokinase domain lead to hyperactivation of JAK2 and clinical disease have been unclear. Here, we describe recent advances in the molecular characterization of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain and how pathogenic mutations lead to constitutive activation of JAK2. PMID:25824690

  8. Polycystic liver diseases: advanced insights into the molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Perugorria, Maria J.; Masyuk, Tatyana V.; Marin, Jose J.; Marzioni, Marco; Bujanda, Luis; LaRusso, Nicholas F.; Banales, Jesus M.

    2015-01-01

    Polycystic liver diseases are genetic disorders characterized by progressive bile duct dilatation and/or cyst development. The large volume of hepatic cysts causes different symptoms and complications such as abdominal distension, local pressure with back pain, hypertension, gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspnea as well as bleeding, infection and rupture of the cysts. Current therapeutic strategies are based on surgical procedures and pharmacological management, which partially prevent or ameliorate the disease. However, as these treatments only show short-term and/or modest beneficial effects, liver transplantation is the only definitive therapy. Therefore, interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis is increasing so that new targets for therapy can be identified. In this Review, the genetic mechanisms underlying polycystic liver diseases and the most relevant molecular pathways of hepatic cystogenesis are discussed. Moreover, the main clinical and preclinical studies are highlighted and future directions in basic as well as clinical research are indicated. PMID:25266109

  9. New Insights Into Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Badal, Shawn S.; Danesh, Farhad R.

    2014-01-01

    Diabetic kidney disease remains a major microvascular complication of diabetes and the most common cause of chronic kidney failure requiring dialysis in the United States. Medical advances over the past century have substantially improved the management of diabetes mellitus and thereby have increased patient survival. However, current standards of care reduce but do not eliminate the risk of diabetic kidney disease, and further studies are warranted to define new strategies for reducing the risk of diabetic kidney disease. In this review, we highlight some of the novel and established molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of the disease and its outcomes. In particular, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of diabetic kidney disease, with special emphasis on the mitochondrial oxidative stress and microRNA targets. Additionally, candidate genes associated with susceptibility to diabetic kidney disease and alterations in various cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors are addressed briefly. PMID:24461730

  10. Interaction of peptides with cell membranes: insights from molecular modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhen-lu; Ding, Hong-ming; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2016-03-01

    The investigation of the interaction of peptides with cell membranes is the focus of active research. It can enhance the understanding of basic membrane functions such as membrane transport, fusion, and signaling processes, and it may shed light on potential applications of peptides in biomedicine. In this review, we will present current advances in computational studies on the interaction of different types of peptides with the cell membrane. Depending on the properties of the peptide, membrane, and external environment, the peptide-membrane interaction shows a variety of different forms. Here, on the basis of recent computational progress, we will discuss how different peptides could initiate membrane pores, translocate across the membrane, induce membrane endocytosis, produce membrane curvature, form fibrils on the membrane surface, as well as interact with functional membrane proteins. Finally, we will present a conclusion summarizing recent progress and providing some specific insights into future developments in this field.

  11. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of action of bisphosphonates.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Michael J

    2003-01-01

    Bisphosphonates are currently the most important and effective class of anti-resorptive drugs available, but the exact molecular mechanisms by which they inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption have only recently been identified. Due to the targeting of bisphosphonates to bone mineral and the ability of osteoclasts to release bone-bound bisphosphonate, a direct effect on mature osteoclasts appears to be the most important route of action. As a result of recent discoveries concerning their molecular mechanism of action, bisphosphonates can be grouped into two classes. The simple bisphosphonates that closely resemble PPi (such as clodronate, etidronate and tiludronate) can be metabolically incorporated into non-hydrolysable analogues of ATP that accumulate intracellularly in osteoclasts, resulting in induction of osteoclast apoptosis. By contrast, the more potent, nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (such as pamidronate, alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronate) appear to act as analogues of isoprenoid diphosphate lipids, thereby inhibiting FPP synthase, an enzyme in the mevalonate pathway. Inhibition of this enzyme in osteoclasts prevents the biosynthesis of isoprenoid lipids (FPP and GGPP) that are essential for the post-translational farnesylation and geranylgeranylation of small GTPase signalling proteins. Loss of bone-resorptive activity and osteoclast apoptosis is due primarily to loss of geranylgeranylated small GTPases. Identification of FPP synthase as the target of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates has also helped explain the molecular basis for the adverse effects of these agents in the GI tract and on the immune system. PMID:14529538

  12. From quantifying historical LULCC impacts to optimizing land management for climate mitigation: Insights from climate modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, E.; Lejeune, Q.; Seneviratne, S. I.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities have profoundly transformed the land surface through land use/land cover change (LULCC). The consequence of this transformation is twofold: First, the conversion from natural to anthropogenic systems exert a direct forcing on climate (through both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes); Second the transformed ecosystems may modify land-atmosphere feedback mechanisms thus modulating the response to climate change or to specific weather events. The first point will be illustrated by reviewing recent modelling results, including LUCID and CMIP5 model intercomparisons, to shed some light on the relative importance of LULCC versus other climate forcings. Given the importance of LULCC impacts at the regional scale, some recent efforts to improve the representation of land processes in regional climate models [1] as well as a regional assessment of the impact of amazonian deforestation [2] will be presented. The second point will be discussed through two examples. First, the fact that LULCC may modulate certain modes of variability will be illustrated based on model experiments highlighting the regional interplay between ENSO variability and amazonian deforestation. Second, we will show that peak temperatures during heat waves can be strongly influenced locally by the type of land cover or land management practices. In particular no-till farming, by increasing surface albedo, can lead to a substantial attenuation of hot temperatures during heat waves, in part due to a more efficient radiative cooling effect during cloud-free conditions [3]. References:[1] Davin, E.L. and S.I. Seneviratne (2012), Role of land surface processes and diffuse/direct radiation partitioning in simulating the European climate, Biogeosciences, 9, 1695-1707, doi:10.5194/bg-9-1695-2012.[2] Lejeune, Q., E.L. Davin, B. Guillod and S.I. Seneviratne (2015), Influence of Amazonian deforestation on the future evolution of regional surface fluxes, circulation, surface temperature and

  13. Buckling of microtubules: An insight by molecular and continuum mechanics

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jin; Meguid, S. A.

    2014-10-27

    The molecular structural mechanics method has been extended to investigate the buckling of microtubules (MTs) with various configurations. The results indicate that for relative short MTs the shear deformation effect, rather than the nonlocal effect, is mainly responsible for the limitation of their widely used Euler beam description and the observed length-dependence of their bending stiffness. In addition, the configuration effect of MTs is also studied and considered as an explanation for the large scattering of the critical buckling force and bending stiffness observed in existing experiments. This configuration effect is also found to mainly originate from the geometry of the MTs and is mainly determined by the protofilament number.

  14. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

    Long-term transplant outcome is importantly influenced by the age of the organ donor. The mechanisms how age carries out its pathophysiological impact on graft survival are still not understood. One major contributing factor for the observed poor performance of old donor kidneys seems in particular the age-related loss in renal regenerative capacity. In this review, we will summarize recent findings about the molecular basis of renal aging with specific focus on the potential role of somatic cellular senescence and mitochondrial aging in renal transplant outcome. PMID:22882799

  15. Melittin Aggregation in Aqueous Solutions: Insight from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chenyi; Esai Selvan, Myvizhi; Zhao, Jun; Slimovitch, Jonathan L; Schneebeli, Severin T; Shelley, Mee; Shelley, John C; Li, Jianing

    2015-08-20

    Melittin is a natural peptide that aggregates in aqueous solutions with paradigmatic monomer-to-tetramer and coil-to-helix transitions. Since little is known about the molecular mechanisms of melittin aggregation in solution, we simulated its self-aggregation process under various conditions. After confirming the stability of a melittin tetramer in solution, we observed—for the first time in atomistic detail—that four separated melittin monomers aggregate into a tetramer. Our simulated dependence of melittin aggregation on peptide concentration, temperature, and ionic strength is in good agreement with prior experiments. We propose that melittin mainly self-aggregates via a mechanism involving the sequential addition of monomers, which is supported by both qualitative and quantitative evidence obtained from unbiased and metadynamics simulations. Moreover, by combining computer simulations and a theory of the electrical double layer, we provide evidence to suggest why melittin aggregation in solution likely stops at the tetramer, rather than forming higher-order oligomers. Overall, our study not only explains prior experimental results at the molecular level but also provides quantitative mechanistic information that may guide the engineering of melittin for higher efficacy and safety. PMID:26208115

  16. Analyses of genetic ancestry enable key insights for molecular ecology.

    PubMed

    Gompert, Zachariah; Buerkle, C Alex

    2013-11-01

    Gene flow and recombination in admixed populations produce genomes that are mosaic combinations of chromosome segments inherited from different source populations, that is, chromosome segments with different genetic ancestries. The statistical problem of estimating genetic ancestry from DNA sequence data has been widely studied, and analyses of genetic ancestry have facilitated research in molecular ecology and ecological genetics. In this review, we describe and compare different model-based statistical methods used to infer genetic ancestry. We describe the conceptual and mathematical structure of these models and highlight some of their key differences and shared features. We then discuss recent empirical studies that use estimates of genetic ancestry to analyse population histories, the nature and genetic basis of species boundaries, and the genetic architecture of traits. These diverse studies demonstrate the breadth of applications that rely on genetic ancestry estimates and typify the genomics-enabled research that is becoming increasingly common in molecular ecology. We conclude by identifying key research areas where future studies might further advance this field. PMID:24103088

  17. Molecular Insights into Poly(ADP-ribose) Recognition and Processing

    PubMed Central

    Žaja, Roko; Mikoč, Andreja; Barkauskaite, Eva; Ahel, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is a post-translational protein modification involved in the regulation of important cellular functions including DNA repair, transcription, mitosis and apoptosis. The amount of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PAR) in cells reflects the balance of synthesis, mediated by the PARP protein family, and degradation, which is catalyzed by a glycohydrolase, PARG. Many of the proteins mediating PAR metabolism possess specialised high affinity PAR-binding modules that allow the efficient sensing or processing of the PAR signal. The identification of four such PAR-binding modules and the characterization of a number of proteins utilising these elements during the last decade has provided important insights into how PAR regulates different cellular activities. The macrodomain represents a unique PAR-binding module which is, in some instances, known to possess enzymatic activity on ADP-ribose derivatives (in addition to PAR-binding). The most recently discovered example for this is the PARG protein, and several available PARG structures have provided an understanding into how the PARG macrodomain evolved into a major enzyme that maintains PAR homeostasis in living cells. PMID:24970154

  18. Molecular insights into the premature aging disease progeria.

    PubMed

    Vidak, Sandra; Foisner, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is an extremely rare premature aging disease presenting many features resembling the normal aging process. HGPS patients die before the age of 20 years due to cardiovascular problems and heart failure. HGPS is linked to mutations in the LMNA gene encoding the intermediate filament protein lamin A. Lamin A is a major component of the nuclear lamina, a scaffold structure at the nuclear envelope that defines mechanochemical properties of the nucleus and is involved in chromatin organization and epigenetic regulation. Lamin A is also present in the nuclear interior where it fulfills lamina-independent functions in cell signaling and gene regulation. The most common LMNA mutation linked to HGPS leads to mis-splicing of the LMNA mRNA and produces a mutant lamin A protein called progerin that tightly associates with the inner nuclear membrane and affects the dynamic properties of lamins. Progerin expression impairs many important cellular processes providing insight into potential disease mechanisms. These include changes in mechanosignaling, altered chromatin organization and impaired genome stability, and changes in signaling pathways, leading to impaired regulation of adult stem cells, defective extracellular matrix production and premature cell senescence. In this review, we discuss these pathways and their potential contribution to the disease pathologies as well as therapeutic approaches used in preclinical and clinical tests. PMID:26847180

  19. Molecular and isotopic insights into methane oxidation in Lake Kivu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zigah, P. K.; Wehrli, B.; Schubert, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Lake Kivu is a meromictic lake in the East African Rift Valley, located between the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hypolimnion is permanently stratified and contain an unusually high amount of dissolved methane (CH4; ~ 60 km3) and carbon dioxide (CO2; ~300 km3) at standard temperature and pressure. While microbial-mediated methane oxidation is an important sink of methane in the lake, little is known about the distribution of microbes involved in the methane oxidation. To provide insights into methanotrophy in the lake, we analyzed depth profile of CH4, δ13C-CH4 and δ13C-DIC, δ13C-POC and the biomarkers of methanotrophic archaea and bacteria and their stable carbon isotopic composition from suspended particulate matter isolated from the lake water column. Our preliminary data show enhanced methane oxidation in oxic-anoxic transition zone in the water column. Depth distribution of diagnostic methanotrophic archaeal biomarkers such as archaeol and hydroxyarchaeol suggest archaea might be involved in anaerobic methane oxidation. Phospholipid fatty acids and diplopterol distribution and carbon isotopic signatures indicate bacteria-mediated anaerobic (and aerobic) methane oxidation in the lake.

  20. New insights into nucleation, life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, C.

    2015-12-01

    Current growth rates in aviation demand a profound scientific data base in order to accurately assess the aviation impact on climate. A major contribution results from contrail cirrus and their radiative forcing is suggested to outbalance aviation CO2 and NOx effects. Direct observations of contrail cirrus throughout their life cycle are scarce and prone to substantial ambiguities currently limiting our understanding of the climate impact by aviation. Here, we give new insights into the nucleation, growth, life cycle and climate impact from contrail cirrus based on results from suite of aircraft experiments. NASA's ACCESSII mission focusses on aircraft emissions and initial stages of contrail formation. Nascent contrails were detected at cruise altitudes near 100 m distance to the engine exit. Contrail growth to 10-min contrail age is investigated during DLR's CONCERT campaigns. Finally, the objective of ML-CIRRUS with the HALO research aircraft is to study the life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus with a novel in-situ/remote sensing payload. The contrail measurements are related to previous observations and discussed in the context of recent developments in contrail modeling. Highlights include the quantification of the effects of aircraft type, engine technology and alternative fuels on contrail microphysics and climate.

  1. Molecular Insights into the Pathogenesis of IgA Nephropathy.

    PubMed

    Robert, Thomas; Berthelot, Laureline; Cambier, Alexandra; Rondeau, Eric; Monteiro, Renato C

    2015-12-01

    Immunoglobulin IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the leading form of primary glomerulonephritis associated with end-stage renal failure, requiring either dialysis or renal transplantation. Microscopic hematuria and proteinuria are the most common presentations, and mesangial cell proliferation with IgA deposition are found in renal biopsies. There is growing evidence that IgAN is an immune complex (IC)-mediated disease. To date, three key molecules have been implicated in IC formation, correlating with disease progression/recurrence after transplantation: galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1), IgG anti-Gd-IgA1 antibodies, and soluble CD89 (an Fc receptor for IgA). This review examines recent data on the role of these molecular players in IgAN. Understanding these factors is essential because such knowledge could lead to improved strategies for the future management of patients with IgAN. PMID:26614735

  2. Brothers and Sisters: Molecular insights into arterial-venous heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Aitsebaomo, Julius; Portbury, Andrea L; Schisler, Jonathan C; Patterson, Cam

    2009-01-01

    The molecular differences between arteries and veins are genetically predetermined and are evident even before the first embryonic heart beat. Although ephrinB2 and EphB4 are expressed in cells that will ultimately differentiate into arteries and veins respectively, many other genes have been shown to play a significant role in cell fate determination. The expression patterns of ephrinB2 and EphB4 are restricted to arterial-venous boundaries, and Eph/ephrin signaling provides repulsive cues at arterial-venous boundaries that are thought to prevent intermixing of arterial- and venous-fated cells. However, the maintenance of arterial-venous fate is susceptible to some degree of plasticity. Thus, in response to signals from the ambient microenvironment and shear stress, there is flow-mediated intercalation of the arteries and veins that ultimately leads to the formation of a functional, closed-loop circulation. In addition, cells in the blood vessels of each organ undergo epigenetic, morphologic and functional adaptive changes that are specific to the proximate function of their cognate organ(s). These adaptive changes result in an inter-organ and intra-organ vessel heterogeneity that manifest clinically in a disparate response of different organs to identical risk factors and injury in the same animal. In this review, we will focus on the molecular and physiologic factors influencing arterial-venous heterogeneity between and within different organ(s). We will explore arterial-venous differences in selected organs as well as their respective endothelial cell architectural organization that results in their inter- and intra-organ heterogeneity. PMID:18948631

  3. Striped gold nanoparticles: New insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velachi, Vasumathi; Bhandary, Debdip; Singh, Jayant K.; Cordeiro, M. Natália D. S.

    2016-06-01

    Recent simulations have improved our knowledge of the molecular-level structure and hydration properties of mixed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with equal and unequal alkyl thiols at three different arrangements, namely, random, patchy, and Janus. In our previous work [V. Vasumathi et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 119, 3199-3209 (2015)], we showed that the bending of longer thiols over shorter ones clearly depends on the thiols' arrangements and chemical nature of their terminal groups. In addition, such a thiol bending revealed to have a strong impact on the structural and hydration properties of SAMs coated on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In this paper, we extend our previous atomistic simulation study to investigate the bending of longer thiols by increasing the stripe thickness of mixed SAMs of equal and unequal lengths coated on AuNPs. We study also the effect of stripe thickness on the structural morphology and hydration of the coated SAMs. Our results show that the structural and hydration properties of SAMs are affected by the stripe thickness for mixtures of alkyl thiols with unequal chain length but not for equal length. Hence, the stability of the stripe configuration depends on the alkyl's chain length, the length difference between the thiol mixtures, and solvent properties.

  4. [New insights into the molecular mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis and pathophysiology].

    PubMed

    Hirakawa, Satoshi

    2012-01-01

    Lymphatic vessels play crucial roles in transporting tissue fluid and macromolecules, and in promoting tissue immune response. Recent studies have identified new lymphatic vessel growth in pathological conditions such as cancer progression. In fact, our experimental animal models revealed that tumors can induce lymphangiogenesis not only in primary sites, but in their draining lymph nodes (LNs), even before tumors get metastasized. In fact, lymphangiogenesis in draining lymph nodes leads to increased cancer spread to distant LNs and beyond. Importantly, we very recently identified that nodal lymphangiogenesis occurs in human skin cancers, and plays a significant role in promoting distant metastases resulting in reduced patient survival. Therefore, lymphangiogenesis could be a novel indicator and therapeutic target for the prevention of cancer metastasis. Recent advances in clarifying the functional role of lymphatic vessels began with the molecular identification of genes which are specifically expressed by the lymphatic endothelial cells. Lymphatic vessels arise from veins. Prox1, a homeobox transcription factor, specifies the lymphatic identity from venous endothelial cells. Thus, Prox1 is a master regulator of lymphatic vessel development. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C and its specific receptor VEGFR-3 compose an essential signal pathway for lymphatic vessel growth in physiological and pathological conditions. Furthermore, podoplanin, another transmembrane protein in lymphatic vessels is required for their separation from veins by activating CLEC2, the specific ligand in platelets, leading to thrombus formation between veins and lymphatic vessels. Moreover, recent progress in nano-scale technologies enabled to visualize lymphatic vessels and quantitate their transport, leading to new approaches for nano-based medicine. PMID:22293702

  5. Molecular signatures of ovarian diseases: Insights from network medicine perspective.

    PubMed

    Kori, Medi; Gov, Esra; Arga, Kazim Yalcin

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions and disorders in the ovary lead to a host of diseases including ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind ovarian diseases is a great challenge. In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of transcriptome data for ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and PCOS, and integrated the information gained from statistical analysis with genome-scale biological networks (protein-protein interaction, transcriptional regulatory, and metabolic). Comparative and integrative analyses yielded reporter biomolecules (genes, proteins, metabolites, transcription factors, and micro-RNAs), and unique or common signatures at protein, metabolism, and transcription regulation levels, which might be beneficial to uncovering the underlying biological mechanisms behind the diseases. These signatures were mostly associated with formation or initiation of cancer development, and pointed out the potential tendency of PCOS and endometriosis to tumorigenesis. Molecules and pathways related to MAPK signaling, cell cycle, and apoptosis were the mutual determinants in the pathogenesis of all three diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first report that screens these diseases from a network medicine perspective. This study provides signatures which could be considered as potential therapeutic targets and/or as medical prognostic biomarkers in further experimental and clinical studies. Abbreviations DAVID: Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; LIMMA: Linear Models for Microarray Data; MBRole: Metabolite Biological Role; miRNA: micro-RNA; PCOS: polycystic ovarian syndrome; PPI: protein-protein interaction; RMA: Robust Multi-Array Average; TF: transcription factor. PMID:27341345

  6. Immunologic Function and Molecular Insight of Recombinant Interleukin-18.

    PubMed

    Saetang, Jirakrit; Puseenam, Aekkachai; Roongsawang, Niran; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan; Sangkhathat, Surasak; Tipmanee, Varomyalin

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, cytokine-mediated therapy has emerged as further advance alternative in cancer therapy. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) has exhibited interesting anti-cancer properties especially when combined with IL-12. We engineered IL-18 in order to improve its activity using single point mutagenesis. IL-18 mutants were constructed according to binding residues and polarity which we tried to increase polarity in M33Q and M60Q, enhanced cationicity in E6K, and flexibility in T63A. All IL-18 proteins were expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified, and then measured the activity by treating with the NK-92MI cell line to evaluate interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation. The E6K and T63A mutant forms showed higher activity with respect to native proteins at the concentration of 200 ng mL-1 by inducing the expression of IFN-γ, about factors of 9 and 4, respectively. Meanwhile, M33Q and M60Q had no significant activity to induce IFN-γ. Interestingly, the combination of E6K and T63A mutations could synergize the induction activity of IL-18 to be 16 times at 200 ng mL-1. Furthermore, molecular dynamics studies have elucidated the effect due to mutation on conformation of the binding site of IL-18. The results turn out that E6K provides structural perseverance against mutation, while M33Q and M60Q promote vivid overall change in protein conformation, especially at the binding site. For T63A, mutation yields small difference in structure but clearly increases structural flexibility. However, a small structural change was observed when T63A was combined with E6K. Our research resulted in a novel version of IL-18 which could be a new key candidate for cytokine-mediated therapy. PMID:27483370

  7. Molecular insights into seed dispersal mutualisms driving plant population recruitment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Cristina; Grivet, Delphine

    2011-11-01

    Most plant species require mutualistic interactions with animals to fulfil their demographic cycle. In this regard frugivory (i.e., the intake of fruits by animals) enhances natural regeneration by mobilizing a large amount of seeds from source trees to deposition sites across the landscape. By doing so, frugivores move propagules, and the genotypes they harbour creating the spatial, ecological, and genetic environment under which subsequent recruitment proceeds. Recruitment patterns can be envisioned as the result of two density- and distance-dependent processes: seed dispersal and seed/seedling survival (the Janzen-Connell model). Population genetic studies add another layer of complexity for understanding the fate of dispersed propagules: the genetic relatedness among neighbouring seeds within a seed clump, a major outcome of frugivore activity, modifies their chances of germinating and surviving. Yet, we virtually ignore how the spatial distribution of maternal progenies and recruitment patterns relate with each other in frugivore-generated seed rains. Here we focus on the critical role of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal in shaping the spatial distribution of maternal progenies in the seed rain. We first examine which genetic mechanisms underlying recruitment are influenced by the spatial distribution of maternal progenies. Next, we examine those studies depicting the spatial distribution of maternal progenies in a frugivore-generated seed rain. In doing so, we briefly review the most suitable analytical approaches applied to track the contribution of fruiting trees to the seed rain based on molecular data. Then we look more specifically at the role of distinct frugivore guilds in determining maternal genetic correlations and their expected consequences for recruitment patterns. Finally we posit some general conclusions and suggest future research directions that would provide a more comprehensive understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences

  8. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird–Tick Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Esser, Helen J.; Loaiza, Jose R.; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds’ role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually–sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical–Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically–identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly–discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the

  9. Immunologic Function and Molecular Insight of Recombinant Interleukin-18

    PubMed Central

    Saetang, Jirakrit; Puseenam, Aekkachai; Roongsawang, Niran; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan; Sangkhathat, Surasak

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, cytokine-mediated therapy has emerged as further advance alternative in cancer therapy. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) has exhibited interesting anti-cancer properties especially when combined with IL-12. We engineered IL-18 in order to improve its activity using single point mutagenesis. IL-18 mutants were constructed according to binding residues and polarity which we tried to increase polarity in M33Q and M60Q, enhanced cationicity in E6K, and flexibility in T63A. All IL-18 proteins were expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified, and then measured the activity by treating with the NK-92MI cell line to evaluate interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation. The E6K and T63A mutant forms showed higher activity with respect to native proteins at the concentration of 200 ng mL-1 by inducing the expression of IFN-γ, about factors of 9 and 4, respectively. Meanwhile, M33Q and M60Q had no significant activity to induce IFN-γ. Interestingly, the combination of E6K and T63A mutations could synergize the induction activity of IL-18 to be 16 times at 200 ng mL-1. Furthermore, molecular dynamics studies have elucidated the effect due to mutation on conformation of the binding site of IL-18. The results turn out that E6K provides structural perseverance against mutation, while M33Q and M60Q promote vivid overall change in protein conformation, especially at the binding site. For T63A, mutation yields small difference in structure but clearly increases structural flexibility. However, a small structural change was observed when T63A was combined with E6K. Our research resulted in a novel version of IL-18 which could be a new key candidate for cytokine-mediated therapy. PMID:27483370

  10. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    PubMed

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  11. Molecular Responses to Climate and Resource Availability: Emerging Evidence from Systems Biology Research in Populus.

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan D; Weston, David; Davis, John M

    2009-01-01

    The emergence of Populus as a model system for tree biology continues to be driven by a community of scientists dedicated to developing the resources needed to undertake genetic and functional genomic studies in this genus. As a result, understanding the molecular processes that underpin the growth and development of cottonwood, aspen, and hybrid poplar has steadily increased over the last several decades. Recently, our ability to examine the basic mechanisms whereby trees respond to a changing climate and resource limitations has benefitted greatly from the sequencing of the P. trichocarpa genome. This landmark event has laid a solid foundation upon which tree biologists can now explore the genome-wide effects of temperature, water and nutrient limitations on processes that govern the growth and development of some of the longest living and tallest growing organisms on Earth. Although the challenges likely to be encountered by scientists who work with trees are many, recent literature provides a number of examples whereby a systems approach, one that focuses on transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses is beginning to provide insights into the molecular-scale response of poplars to their climatic and edaphic environment.

  12. Climate change induced transformations of agricultural systems: insights from a global model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclère, D.; Havlík, P.; Fuss, S.; Schmid, E.; Mosnier, A.; Walsh, B.; Valin, H.; Herrero, M.; Khabarov, N.; Obersteiner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change might impact crop yields considerably and anticipated transformations of agricultural systems are needed in the coming decades to sustain affordable food provision. However, decision-making on transformational shifts in agricultural systems is plagued by uncertainties concerning the nature and geography of climate change, its impacts, and adequate responses. Locking agricultural systems into inadequate transformations costly to adjust is a significant risk and this acts as an incentive to delay action. It is crucial to gain insight into how much transformation is required from agricultural systems, how robust such strategies are, and how we can defuse the associated challenge for decision-making. While implementing a definition related to large changes in resource use into a global impact assessment modelling framework, we find transformational adaptations to be required of agricultural systems in most regions by 2050s in order to cope with climate change. However, these transformations widely differ across climate change scenarios: uncertainties in large-scale development of irrigation span in all continents from 2030s on, and affect two-thirds of regions by 2050s. Meanwhile, significant but uncertain reduction of major agricultural areas affects the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate latitudes, while increases to non-agricultural zones could be large but uncertain in one-third of regions. To help reducing the associated challenge for decision-making, we propose a methodology exploring which, when, where and why transformations could be required and uncertain, by means of scenario analysis.

  13. New insights into the properties of contrail cirrus and their impact on climate from airborne experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, Christiane; Schumann, Ulrich; Minikin, Andreas; Schlager, Hans; Anderson, Bruce

    2016-04-01

    Current growth rates in aviation demand a profound scientific data base of contrail cirrus properties in order to accurately assess their climate impact. In particular, the differentiation of contrail cirrus in natural cirrus fields is challenging. Direct observations of contrail cirrus throughout their life cycle are scarce and therefore limit our understanding of the climate effects from contrail cirrus. Here, we give new insights into the growth, life-cycle and climate impact from contrail cirrus based on results from suite of aircraft experiments. NASA's ACCESSII mission focused on the detection of aircraft emissions and initial contrail stages. Nascent contrails were detected at cruise altitudes at 100 m distance to the engine exit. Contrail growth to 10-min contrail age was investigated during DLR's CONCERT campaigns. Finally, the objective of the ML-CIRRUS experiment was to study the life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus. The contrail measurements are related to previous observations and discussed in the context of recent developments in contrail modeling. Highlights include the quantification of the effects of aircraft type on contrail microphysics, the analysis of ice particle shapes and the quantitative distinction of contrail cirrus and natural cirrus.

  14. Polymer Nanocomposites: Insights from Theory and Molecular Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pani, Rakhee

    Advantages of polymer nanocomposites have attracted great industrial attention due to their multifunctionality and innovative technological properties. Addition of small amount of nanoparticle (nanospheres, nanotubes, nanorods, nanoplatelets, or sheets) to polymer matrix cause dramatic improvement in structural and functional properties, which is difficult to attain from those of individual components. The interaction between polymer and nanoparticle create bulk materials dominated by solid state physics at the nanoscale. Furthermore, morphology of nanocomposites depends on structural arrangements of nanoparticles. Thus, for achievement of optimized functionality like electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties control over the dispersion of the nanoparticle is essential. However, properties of polymer nanocomposites depend on morphology control and nature of interfacial interactions. In order to control the morphology it is necessary to understand how the processing conditions, shape and size of nanoparticle influence the structure of composite. Molecular simulations can help us to predict the parameters that control the structural changes and we could design polymer nanocomposite entailing their end-use. In this work, we addressed the following research questions: (1) the dependence of nanoparticle ligand corona structure on solvent quality and (2) the role of interfacial energy and interactions on the dispersion of molecules and nanoparticles. Specifically, this research assessed the effect of solvent interactions on the structure of nanoparticles on the example of redox core encapsulating dendrimer and ligand functionalized gold nanoparticles, role of chemical interaction on solubility of glucose in ionic liquids, diffusion of fullerene nanoparticles in polymer matrix and influence of solubility parameters on the compatibility of gold nanoparticles with diblock copolymers. Computational methods allow quantifying the structure and flexibility of the

  15. Plasticity of oxidative metabolism in variable climates: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Brand, Martin D; Else, Paul L; Guderley, Helga; Hulbert, Anthony J; Moyes, Christopher D

    2010-01-01

    Converting food to chemical energy (ATP) that is usable by cells is a principal requirement to sustain life. The rate of ATP production has to be sufficient for housekeeping functions, such as protein synthesis and maintaining membrane potentials, as well as for growth and locomotion. Energy metabolism is temperature sensitive, and animals respond to environmental variability at different temporal levels, from within-individual to evolutionary timescales. Here we review principal molecular mechanisms that underlie control of oxidative ATP production in response to climate variability. Nuclear transcription factors and coactivators control expression of mitochondrial proteins and abundance of mitochondria. Fatty acid and phospholipid concentrations of membranes influence the activity of membrane-bound proteins as well as the passive leak of protons across the mitochondrial membrane. Passive proton leak as well as protein-mediated proton leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane determine the efficacy of ATP production but are also instrumental in endothermic heat production and as a defense against reactive oxygen species. Both transcriptional mechanisms and membrane composition interact with environmental temperature and diet, and this interaction between diet and temperature in determining mitochondrial function links the two major environmental variables that are affected by changing climates. The limits to metabolic plasticity could be set by the production of reactive oxygen species leading to cellular damage, limits to substrate availability in mitochondria, and a disproportionally large increase in proton leak over ATP production. PMID:20586603

  16. New insight into biodegradation of polylactide (PLA)/clay nanocomposites using molecular ecological techniques.

    PubMed

    Sangwan, Parveen; Way, Cameron; Wu, Dong-Yang

    2009-07-01

    Novel molecular ecological techniques were used to study changes in microbial community structure and population during degradation of polylactide (PLA)/organically modified layered silicates (OMLS) nanocomposites. Cloned gene sequences belonging to members of the phyla Actinobacteria and Ascomycota comprized the most dominant groups of microorganisms during biodegradation of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites. Due to their numerical abundance, members of these microbial groups are likely to play an important role during biodegradation process. This paper presents new insights into the biodegradability of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites and highlights the importance of using novel molecular ecological techniques for in situ identification of new microorganisms involved in biodegradation of polymeric materials. PMID:19148900

  17. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Fielding, Kelly S; Hornsey, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions. PMID:26903924

  18. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Fielding, Kelly S.; Hornsey, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions. PMID:26903924

  19. Insights from molecular modeling and dynamics simulation of pathogen resistance (R) protein from brinjal

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, Dipty; Nain, Vikrant; Sahi, Shakti; Verma, Anju; Sharma, Priyanka; Sharma, Prakash Chand; Kumar, Polumetla Ananda

    2011-01-01

    Resistance (R) protein recognizes molecular signature of pathogen infection and activates downstream hypersensitive response signalling in plants. R protein works as a molecular switch for pathogen defence signalling and represent one of the largest plant gene family. Hence, understanding molecular structure and function of R proteins has been of paramount importance for plant biologists. The present study is aimed at predicting structure of R proteins signalling domains (CC-NBS) by creating a homology model, refining and optimising the model by molecular dynamics simulation and comparing ADP and ATP binding. Based on sequence similarity with proteins of known structures, CC-NBS domains were initially modelled using CED- 4 (cell death abnormality protein) and APAF-1 (apoptotic protease activating factor) as multiple templates. The final CC-NBS structural model was built and optimized by molecular dynamic simulation for 5 nanoseconds (ns). Docking of ADP and ATP at active site shows that both ligand bind specifically with same residues and with minor difference (1 Kcal/mol) in binding energy. Sharing of binding site by ADP and ATP and low difference in their binding site makes CC-NBS suitable for working as molecular switch. Furthermore, structural superimposition elucidate that CC-NBS and CARD (caspase recruitment domains) domain of CED-4 have low RMSD value of 0.9 A° Availability of 3D structural model for both CC and NBS domains will . help in getting deeper insight in these pathogen defence genes. PMID:21383919

  20. Insights from molecular modeling and dynamics simulation of pathogen resistance (R) protein from brinjal.

    PubMed

    Shrivastava, Dipty; Nain, Vikrant; Sahi, Shakti; Verma, Anju; Sharma, Priyanka; Sharma, Prakash Chand; Kumar, Polumetla Ananda

    2011-01-01

    Resistance (R) protein recognizes molecular signature of pathogen infection and activates downstream hypersensitive response signalling in plants. R protein works as a molecular switch for pathogen defence signalling and represent one of the largest plant gene family. Hence, understanding molecular structure and function of R proteins has been of paramount importance for plant biologists. The present study is aimed at predicting structure of R proteins signalling domains (CC-NBS) by creating a homology model, refining and optimising the model by molecular dynamics simulation and comparing ADP and ATP binding. Based on sequence similarity with proteins of known structures, CC-NBS domains were initially modelled using CED- 4 (cell death abnormality protein) and APAF-1 (apoptotic protease activating factor) as multiple templates. The final CC-NBS structural model was built and optimized by molecular dynamic simulation for 5 nanoseconds (ns). Docking of ADP and ATP at active site shows that both ligand bind specifically with same residues and with minor difference (1 Kcal/mol) in binding energy. Sharing of binding site by ADP and ATP and low difference in their binding site makes CC-NBS suitable for working as molecular switch. Furthermore, structural superimposition elucidate that CC-NBS and CARD (caspase recruitment domains) domain of CED-4 have low RMSD value of 0.9 A° Availability of 3D structural model for both CC and NBS domains will . help in getting deeper insight in these pathogen defence genes. PMID:21383919

  1. Sustainable management for rangelands in a variable climate: evidence and insights from northern Australia.

    PubMed

    O'Reagain, P J; Scanlan, J C

    2013-03-01

    Inter-annual rainfall variability is a major challenge to sustainable and productive grazing management on rangelands. In Australia, rainfall variability is particularly pronounced and failure to manage appropriately leads to major economic loss and environmental degradation. Recommended strategies to manage sustainably include stocking at long-term carrying capacity (LTCC) or varying stock numbers with forage availability. These strategies are conceptually simple but difficult to implement, given the scale and spatial heterogeneity of grazing properties and the uncertainty of the climate. This paper presents learnings and insights from northern Australia gained from research and modelling on managing for rainfall variability. A method to objectively estimate LTCC in large, heterogeneous paddocks is discussed, and guidelines and tools to tactically adjust stocking rates are presented. The possible use of seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) in management is also considered. Results from a 13-year grazing trial in Queensland show that constant stocking at LTCC was far more profitable and largely maintained land condition compared with heavy stocking (HSR). Variable stocking (VAR) with or without the use of SCF was marginally more profitable, but income variability was greater and land condition poorer than constant stocking at LTCC. Two commercial scale trials in the Northern Territory with breeder cows highlighted the practical difficulties of variable stocking and provided evidence that heavier pasture utilisation rates depress reproductive performance. Simulation modelling across a range of regions in northern Australia also showed a decline in resource condition and profitability under heavy stocking rates. Modelling further suggested that the relative value of variable v. constant stocking depends on stocking rate and land condition. Importantly, variable stocking may possibly allow slightly higher stocking rates without pasture degradation. Enterprise

  2. Response of the benthic methane cycle to climate variability: insights from reaction-transport simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regnier, P.; Dale, A.; Arndt, S.; Tsandev, I.; Ridgwell, A.

    2012-04-01

    Methanogenesis by microorganisms within anoxic sediments is a very slow process of CH4 production. Yet, over thousands or millions of years methanogenesis has resulted in vast CH4 accumulation, either dissolved in the interstitial water, in the form of gas bubbles, or condensed as gas hydrates (Buffett and Archer, 2004). On a global scale, sediments are thus the largest methane reservoir on Earth (Buffett and Archer, 2004), and they may exert a significant influence on the carbon cycle and Earth climate. For instance, CH4 release due to destabilization of gas hydrates has resulted in significant increases in atmospheric CH4 concentration during Earth's history (e.g. Dickens, 2003). Geochemical and microbiological evidence, together with mass balance calculations, nonetheless suggest that currently, up to 90% of the methane produced globally in marine sediments is consumed in situ before reaching the seafloor by the biogeochemical process of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Yet, the extent to which the efficiency of this methane sink could be affected by climate change remains essentially unknown. This contribution reviews how recent model developments, including improved representations of the physical, chemical and biological components of the benthic system, have led to novel insights into the transient response of the benthic methane cycle at the centennial timescale. Reactive-transport model simulations combined with high resolution data are used to quantify present-day rates of methanogenesis and methanotrophy in shelf sediments where free methane gas is widespread. Results reveal that in passive sediments AOM is currently a very efficient subsurface barrier against both the aqueous and gaseous methane flux migrating towards the seafloor. Numerical experiments are then carried out to forecast the evolution of the methane cycle over the next century, triggered by changes in climate. Simulations predict that the gaseous methane inventory will increase, but

  3. Molecular Insights into the Enigmatic Metabolic Regulator, SnRK1.

    PubMed

    Emanuelle, Shane; Doblin, Monika S; Stapleton, David I; Bacic, Antony; Gooley, Paul R

    2016-04-01

    Sucrose non-fermenting-1 (SNF1)-related kinase 1 (SnRK1) lies at the heart of metabolic homeostasis in plants and is crucial for normal development and response to stress. Evolutionarily related to SNF1 in yeast and AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) in mammals, SnRK1 acts protectively to maintain homeostasis in the face of fluctuations in energy status. Despite a conserved function, the structure and regulation of the plant kinase differ considerably from its relatively well-understood opisthokont orthologues. In this review, we highlight the known plant-specific modes of regulation involving SnRK1 together with new insights based on a 3D molecular model of the kinase. We also summarise how these differences from other orthologues may be specific adaptations to plant metabolism, and offer insights into possible avenues of future inquiry into this enigmatic enzyme. PMID:26642889

  4. Ultrathin Molecular-Layer-by-Layer Polyamide Membranes: Insights from Atomistic Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Liyana-Arachchi, Thilanga P; Sturnfield, James F; Colina, Coray M

    2016-09-01

    In this study, we present an atomistic simulation study of several physicochemical properties of polyamide (PA) membranes formed from interfacial polymerization or from a molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer. These membranes are composed of meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid chloride (TMC) for potential reverse osmosis (RO) applications. The mLbL membrane generation procedure and the force field models were validated, by comparison with available experimental data, for hydrated density, membrane swelling, and pore size distributions of PA membranes formed by interfacial polymerization. Physicochemical properties such as density, free volume, thickness, the degree of cross-linking, atomic compositions, and average molecular orientation (which is relevant for the mLbL membranes) are compared for these different processes. The mLbL membranes are investigated systematically with respect to TMC monomer growth rate per substrate surface area, MPD/TMC ratio, and the number of mLbL deposition cycles. Atomistic simulations show that the mLbL deposition generates membranes with a constant film growth if both the TMC monomer growth rate and MPD/TMC monomer ratio are kept constant. The film growth rate increases with TMC monomer growth rate or MPD/TMC ratio. Furthermore, it was found on one hand that the mLbL membrane density and free volume varies significantly with respect to the TMC monomer growth rate, while on the other hand the degree of cross-linking and the atomic composition varies considerably with the MPD/TMC ratio. Additionally, it was found that both TMC and MPD orient at a tilted angle with respect to the substrate surface, where their angular distribution and average angle orientation depend on both the TMC growth rate and the number of deposition cycles. This study illustrates that molecular simulations can play a crucial role in the understanding of structural properties that can empower the design of the next

  5. Dynamic conformational ensembles regulate casein kinase-1 isoforms: Insights from molecular dynamics and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Singh, Surya Pratap; Gupta, Dwijendra K

    2016-04-01

    Casein kinase-1 (CK1) isoforms actively participate in the down-regulation of canonical Wnt signaling pathway; however recent studies have shown their active roles in oncogenesis of various tissues through this pathway. Functional loss of two isoforms (CK1-α/ε) has been shown to activate the carcinogenic pathway which involves the stabilization of of cytoplasmic β-catenin. Development of anticancer therapeutics is very laborious task and depends upon the structural and conformational details of the target. This study focuses on, how the structural dynamics and conformational changes of two CK1 isoforms are synchronized in carcinogenic pathway. The conformational dynamics in kinases is the responsible for their action as has been supported by the molecular docking experiments. PMID:26788877

  6. β-Cyclodextrin at the Water/1-Bromobutane Interface: Molecular Insight into Reverse Phase Transfer Catalysis.

    PubMed

    Elk, Jackson Chief; Benjamin, Ilan

    2015-05-12

    Molecular insight into the role of β-cyclodextrin (βCD) as a phase transfer catalyst at the liquid/liquid interface is obtained by molecular dynamics simulations of the structure and dynamics of βCD adsorbed at the interface between water and 1-bromobutane. In particular, we consider the structure and dynamics of the water and bromobutane molecules inside the βCD cavity and compare them with the behavior when βCD is dissolved in bulk water. βCD is preferentially oriented at the interface, with the cavity opening along the interface normal. While in bulk water the cavity includes 6-8 water molecules that are relatively mobile with short residence time, at the interface the cavity is mostly dehydrated and includes a single bromobutane molecule. This inclusion complex is stable in bulk water. The implication of this behavior for reverse phase transfer catalysis is discussed. PMID:25909764

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Alluvial fan response to climatic change: Insights from numerical modeling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, J. D.

    2009-12-01

    Alluvial fans in the western U.S. exhibit a regionally correlative sequence of Plio-Quaternary deposits. Cosmogenic and U-series dating has greatly improved the age control on these deposits and their associated terraces and generally strengthened the case for aggradation during humid-to-arid transitions. Still, the linkages between climate change, upland basin response, and alluvial fan response are not well constrained. Fans may fill and cut as a result of autogenetic processes/internal adjustments, changes in regional temperature (which controls snowmelt-induced flooding), changes in the frequency-size distribution of rainfall events, and/or changes in upslope vegetation. Here I describe the results of a numerical modeling study designed to better constrain the relationships between different end-member forcing mechanisms and the geologic record of alluvial fan deposits and terraces. The model solves the evolution of the fan topography using Exner's equation (conservation of mass) coupled with a nonlinear, threshold-controlled transport relation for sand and gravel. Bank retreat is modeled using an advection equation with a rate proportional to bank shear stress. I begin by considering the building of a fan under conditions of constant water and sediment supply. This simple system exhibits all of the complexity of fans developed under experimental conditions, and it provides insights into the mechanisms that control avulsions and it provides a baseline estimate for the within-fan relief that can result from autogenetic processes. Relationships between the magnitude and period of variations in the sediment-to-water ratio and the geomorphic response of fans are then discussed. I also consider the response of a coupled drainage basin-fan system to changes in climate, including the hydrologic and vegetation response of upland hillslopes. Fans can aggrade or incise in response to the same climatic event depending on the relief of the upstream drainage basin, which

  9. Insight into the molecular switch mechanism of human Rab5a from molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jing-Fang; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2009-12-18

    Rab5a is currently a most interesting target because it is responsible for regulating the early endosome fusion in endocytosis and possibly the budding process. We utilized longtime-scale molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the internal motion of the wild-type Rab5a and its A30P mutant. It was observed that, after binding with GTP, the global flexibility of the two proteins is increasing, while the local flexibility in their sensitive sites (P-loop, switch I and II regions) is decreasing. Also, the mutation of Ala30 to Pro30 can cause notable flexibility variations in the sensitive sites. However, this kind of variations is dramatically reduced after binding with GTP. Such a remarkable feature is mainly caused by the water network rearrangements in the sensitive sites. These findings might be of use for revealing the profound mechanism of the displacements of Rab5a switch regions, as well as the mechanism of the GDP dissociation and GTP association.

  10. Molecular self-assembly on two-dimensional atomic crystals: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yinghe; Wu, Qisheng; Chen, Qian; Wang, Jinlan

    2015-11-19

    van der Waals (vdW) epitaxy of ultrathin organic films on two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals has become a sovereign area because of their unique advantages in organic electronic devices. However, the dynamic mechanism of the self-assembly remains elusive. Here, we visualize the nanoscale self-assembly of organic molecules on graphene and boron nitride monolayer from a disordered state to a 2D lattice via molecular dynamics simulation for the first time. It is revealed that the assembly toward 2D ordered structures is essentially the minimization of the molecule-molecule interaction, that is, the vdW interaction in nonpolar systems and the vdW and Coulomb interactions in polar systems that are the decisive factors for the formation of the 2D ordering. The role of the substrate is mainly governing the array orientation of the adsorbates. The mechanisms unveiled here are generally applicable to a broad class of organic thin films via vdW epitaxy. PMID:26523464

  11. New mechanistic insight in the thermal helix inversion of second-generation molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Klok, Martin; Walko, Martin; Geertsema, Edzard M; Ruangsupapichat, Nopporn; Kistemaker, Jos C M; Meetsma, Auke; Feringa, Ben L

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of dibenzocyclohepten-5-ylidene as part of a unidirectional light-driven molecular motor allows a more complete picture of the pathway of thermal helix inversion to be developed. The most stable conformation is similar to that found in related motors in that it has, overall, an anti-folded structure with the substituent at the stereogenic centre adopting an axial orientation. Photochemical cis/trans isomerisation at -40 degrees C results in the formation of an isomer in a syn-folded conformation with the methyl group in an axial orientation. This contrasts with previous studies on related molecular rotary motors. The conformation of the higher energy intermediate typically observed for this class of compound is the anti-folded conformation, in which the methyl group is in an equatorial orientation. This conformation is available through an energetically uphill upper half ring inversion of the observed photochemical product. However, this pathway competes with a second process that leads to the more stable anti-folded conformation in which the methyl group is oriented axially. It has been shown that the conformations and pathways available for second-generation molecular motors can be described by using similar overall geometries. Differences in the metastable high-energy species are attributable to the relative energy and position on the reaction coordinate of the transition states. Kinetic studies on these new molecular motors thus provide important insights into the conformational dynamics of the rotation cycle. PMID:18979464

  12. Reactivity and Selectivity of Heterogenized Homogeneous Catalysts: Insights from Molecular Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malek, Kourosh; van Santen, Rutger A.

    Immobilized metal complexes on nanoporous materials have recently been proposed as a novel class of heterogeneous enantioselective catalyst for epoxidation of unfunctionalized olefins as well as hydrogenation, alkylation, and nitroaldol reactions. The porous hosted materials affect catalytic performance due to a cooperative interaction among the nanoporous solid, immobilizing linker, and metal complex asymmetry. The effects of mesoporous materials and immobilizing agents on chiral catalysis are not well understood, however, the catalysts confined in nanopores show comparable or even higher conversions and enantioselectivity compared to their homogeneous counterparts. This chapter highlights major scientific problems for fundamental understanding and design of heterogenized homogeneous catalysts. It describes in detail the pivotal role of a sound framework in physical theory and molecular modeling in systematic efforts towards better materials and catalytic performance optimization. The common threads of the various topics addressed is the wide range of scales that has to be considered in establishing relations between structure, physicochemical properties, and catalytic performance. Physical theory and modeling employ a variety of methods, encompassing ab-initio calculations, molecular simulations, and the continuum model of transport and reaction in nanoporous materials. We particularly describe how molecular simulations can be used to investigate the origin of enantioselectivity of an anchored metal complex in nanoporous materials. These studies provide new insights into the steric effects that relate to choices of substrate and linker and to the interplay with mesopore confinement. We also bring detailed example of employing molecular simulations to unravel the catalytic properties of metallomacrocyclics for the electrochemical reduction of molecular oxygen in aqueous media. We rationalize the importance of immobilization and show how it relates to the steric

  13. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, A. J.; Ding, F.; Irle, S.; Morokuma, K.

    2015-02-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation—that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp2-carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon-metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24816101

  15. Insight into the Functionality of Microbial Exopolysaccharides by NMR Spectroscopy and Molecular Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Flemming H.; Engelsen, Søren B.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial polysaccharides represent an important class of microbial polymers with diverse functions such as biofilm formation, thickening, and gelling properties as well as health-promoting properties. The broad range of exopolysaccharide (EPS) functionalities has sparked a renewed interest in this class of molecules. Chemical, enzymatic as well as genetic modifications by metabolic engineering can be used to create large numbers of analogous EPS variants with respect to EPS functionality. While this top–down approach is effective in finding new candidates for desired functionality, there seems to be a lack of the corresponding bottom–up approach. The molecular mechanisms of the desired functionalities can be established from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and molecular models and it is proposed that these models can be fed back into the biotechnology by using a quantitative structure–property approach. In this way it will be possible to tailor specific functionality within a given design space. This perspective will include two well-known commercial microbial EPS examples namely gellan and diutan and show how even a limited use of multiphase NMR and molecular modeling can increase the insight into their different properties, which are based on only minor structural differences. PMID:26696983

  16. The mineralocorticoid receptor: insights into its molecular and (patho)physiological biology

    PubMed Central

    Viengchareun, Say; Le Menuet, Damien; Martinerie, Laetitia; Munier, Mathilde; Pascual-Le Tallec, Laurent; Lombès, Marc

    2007-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed tremendous progress in the understanding of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), its molecular mechanism of action, and its implications for physiology and pathophysiology. After the initial cloning of MR, and identification of its gene structure and promoters, it now appears as a major actor in protein-protein interaction networks. The role of transcriptional coregulators and the determinants of mineralocorticoid selectivity have been elucidated. Targeted oncogenesis and transgenic mouse models have identified unexpected sites of MR expression and novel roles for MR in non-epithelial tissues. These experimental approaches have contributed to the generation of new cell lines for the characterization of aldosterone signaling pathways, and have also facilitated a better understanding of MR physiology in the heart, vasculature, brain and adipose tissues. This review describes the structure, molecular mechanism of action and transcriptional regulation mediated by MR, emphasizing the most recent developments at the cellular and molecular level. Finally, through insights obtained from mouse models and human disease, its role in physiology and pathophysiology will be reviewed. Future investigations of MR biology should lead to new therapeutic strategies, modulating cell-specific actions in the management of cardiovascular disease, neuroprotection, mineralocorticoid resistance, and metabolic disorders. PMID:18174920

  17. Milestone in the NTB phase investigation and beyond: direct insight into molecular self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Ivšić, Trpimir; Vinković, Marijana; Baumeister, Ute; Mikleušević, Ana; Lesac, Andreja

    2014-12-14

    Although liquid-crystalline materials are most widely exploited for flat-panel displays, their ability to self-organize into periodically ordered nanostructures gives rise to a broad variety of additional applications. The recently discovered low-temperature nematic phase (N(TB)) with unusual characteristics generated considerable attention within the scientific community: despite the fact that the molecules from which the phase is composed are not chiral, the helicoidal structure of the phase is strongly implicated. Here we report on combined experimental, computational and spectroscopic studies of the structural aspects influencing formation of the N(TB) phase as well as on the molecular organization within the phase. In an extensive DFT study, the structure-property prerequisite was traced to a "bent-propeller" shape of the molecule. We also demonstrate the first utilization of liquid state NMR for direct analysis of intermolecular interactions within thermotropic liquid-crystalline phases, providing new insight into molecular packing that can lead towards design of novel chiral functional materials. The synergy of experimental, computational and NMR studies suggests a syn-parallel helical molecular organization within the N(TB) phase. PMID:25346366

  18. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review.

    PubMed

    Page, A J; Ding, F; Irle, S; Morokuma, K

    2015-02-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation-that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp(2)-carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon-metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area. PMID:25746411

  19. The mineralocorticoid receptor: insights into its molecular and (patho)physiological biology.

    PubMed

    Viengchareun, Say; Le Menuet, Damien; Martinerie, Laetitia; Munier, Mathilde; Pascual-Le Tallec, Laurent; Lombès, Marc

    2007-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed tremendous progress in the understanding of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), its molecular mechanism of action, and its implications for physiology and pathophysiology. After the initial cloning of MR, and identification of its gene structure and promoters, it now appears as a major actor in protein-protein interaction networks. The role of transcriptional coregulators and the determinants of mineralocorticoid selectivity have been elucidated. Targeted oncogenesis and transgenic mouse models have identified unexpected sites of MR expression and novel roles for MR in non-epithelial tissues. These experimental approaches have contributed to the generation of new cell lines for the characterization of aldosterone signaling pathways, and have also facilitated a better understanding of MR physiology in the heart, vasculature, brain and adipose tissues. This review describes the structure, molecular mechanism of action and transcriptional regulation mediated by MR, emphasizing the most recent developments at the cellular and molecular level. Finally, through insights obtained from mouse models and human disease, its role in physiology and pathophysiology will be reviewed. Future investigations of MR biology should lead to new therapeutic strategies, modulating cell-specific actions in the management of cardiovascular disease, neuroprotection, mineralocorticoid resistance, and metabolic disorders. PMID:18174920

  20. Estimating evapotranspiration under warmer climates: Insights from a semiarid riparian system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper presents an approach to quantify evapotranspiration under changing climates, using field observations, theoretical evaporation models and meteorological predictions from global climate models. We analyzed evaporation and meteorological data from three riparian sites located in a semiarid ...

  1. An insight into the molecular characteristics of hepatitis C virus for clinicians

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lingyao; Tang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) consists of envelope proteins, core proteins, and genome RNA. The structural genes and non-structural genes in the open reading frame of its genome encode functional proteins essential to viral life cycles, ranging from virus attachment to progeny virus secretion. After infection, the host cells suffer damage from virus-induced oxidative stress, steatosis, and activation of proto-oncogenes. Every process during the viral life cycle can be considered as targets for direct acting antivirals. However, protective immunity cannot be easily acquired for the volatility in HCV antigenic epitopes. Understanding its molecular characteristics, especially pathogenesis and targets the drugs act on, not only helps professionals to make optimal therapeutic decisions, but also helps clinicians who do not specialize in infectious diseases/hepatology to provide better management for patients. This review serves to provide an insight for clinicians and this might provide a possible solution for any possible collision. PMID:27146609

  2. Crystal Structures of Human and Staphylococcus aureus Pyruvate Carboxylase and Molecular Insights into the Carboxyltransfer Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang,S.; Tong, L.

    2008-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC) catalyzes the biotin-dependent production of oxaloacetate and has important roles in gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, insulin secretion and other cellular processes. PC contains the biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT) and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) domains. We report here the crystal structures at 2.8-Angstroms resolution of full-length PC from Staphylococcus aureus and the C-terminal region (missing only the BC domain) of human PC. A conserved tetrameric association is observed for both enzymes, and our structural and mutagenesis studies reveal a previously uncharacterized domain, the PC tetramerization (PT) domain, which is important for oligomerization. A BCCP domain is located in the active site of the CT domain, providing the first molecular insights into how biotin participates in the carboxyltransfer reaction. There are dramatic differences in domain positions in the monomer and the organization of the tetramer between these enzymes and the PC from Rhizobium etli.

  3. Protein Fibrillar Nanopolymers: Molecular-Level Insights into Their Structural, Physical and Mechanical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trusova, Valeriya M.

    2015-09-01

    Amyloid fibrils represent a generic class of mechanically strong and stable biomaterials with extremely advantageous properties. Although amyloids were initially associated only with severe neurological disorders, the role of these structures nowadays is shifting from health debilitating to highly beneficial both in biomedical and technological aspects. Intensive involvement of fibrillar assemblies into the wide range of pathogenic and functional processes strongly necessitate the molecular level characterization of the structural, physical and elastic features of protein nanofibrils. In the present contribution, we made an attempt to highlight the up-to-date progress in the understanding of amyloid properties from the polymer physics standpoint. The fundamental insights into protein fibril behavior are essential not only for development of therapeutic strategies to combat the protein misfolding disorders but also for rational and precise design of novel biodegradable protein-based nanopolymers.

  4. A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Kathryn J.; Ebi, Kristie; Friel, Sharon; McMichael, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Addressing climate change and its associated effects is a multi-dimensional and ongoing challenge. This includes recognizing that climate change will affect the health and wellbeing of all populations over short and longer terms, albeit in varied ways and intensities. That recognition has drawn attention to the need to take adaptive actions to lessen adverse impacts over the next few decades from unavoidable climate change, particularly in developing country settings. A range of sectors is responsible for appropriate adaptive policies and measures to address the health risks of climate change, including health services, water and sanitation, trade, agriculture, disaster management, and development. Objectives To broaden the framing of governance and decision-making processes by using innovative methods and assessments to illustrate the multi-sectoral nature of health-related adaptation to climate change. This is a shift from sector-specific to multi-level systems encompassing sectors and actors, across temporal and spatial scales. Design A review and synthesis of the current knowledge in the areas of health and climate change adaptation governance and decision-making processes. Results A novel framework is presented that incorporates social science insights into the formulation and implementation of adaptation activities and policies to lessen the health risks posed by climate change. Conclusion Clarification of the roles that different sectors, organizations, and individuals occupy in relation to the development of health-related adaptation strategies will facilitate the inclusion of health and wellbeing within multi-sector adaptation policies, thereby strengthening the overall set of responses to minimize the adverse health effects of climate change. PMID:24028938

  5. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  6. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes

    PubMed Central

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl− ions are larger than those of Na+ ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications. PMID:26424365

  7. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin.

    PubMed

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing; Li, Gong-Hua; Huang, Jing-Fei

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  8. Molecular Insights into Division of Single Human Cancer Cells in On-Chip Transparent Microtubes.

    PubMed

    Xi, Wang; Schmidt, Christine K; Sanchez, Samuel; Gracias, David H; Carazo-Salas, Rafael E; Butler, Richard; Lawrence, Nicola; Jackson, Stephen P; Schmidt, Oliver G

    2016-06-28

    In vivo, mammalian cells proliferate within 3D environments consisting of numerous microcavities and channels, which contain a variety of chemical and physical cues. External environments often differ between normal and pathological states, such as the unique spatial constraints that metastasizing cancer cells experience as they circulate the vasculature through arterioles and narrow capillaries, where they can divide and acquire elongated cylindrical shapes. While metastatic tumors cause most cancer deaths, factors impacting early cancer cell proliferation inside the vasculature and those that can promote the formation of secondary tumors remain largely unknown. Prior studies investigating confined mitosis have mainly used 2D cell culture systems. Here, we mimic aspects of metastasizing tumor cells dividing inside blood capillaries by investigating single-cell divisions of living human cancer cells, trapped inside 3D rolled-up, transparent nanomembranes. We assess the molecular effects of tubular confinement on key mitotic features, using optical high- and super-resolution microscopy. Our experiments show that tubular confinement affects the morphology and dynamics of the mitotic spindle, chromosome arrangements, and the organization of the cell cortex. Moreover, we reveal that membrane blebbing and/or associated processes act as a potential genome-safety mechanism, limiting the extent of genomic instability caused by mitosis in confined circumstances, especially in tubular 3D microenvironments. Collectively, our study demonstrates the potential of rolled-up nanomembranes for gaining molecular insights into key cellular events occurring in tubular 3D microenvironments in vivo. PMID:27267364

  9. Molecular Insights into Division of Single Human Cancer Cells in On-Chip Transparent Microtubes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In vivo, mammalian cells proliferate within 3D environments consisting of numerous microcavities and channels, which contain a variety of chemical and physical cues. External environments often differ between normal and pathological states, such as the unique spatial constraints that metastasizing cancer cells experience as they circulate the vasculature through arterioles and narrow capillaries, where they can divide and acquire elongated cylindrical shapes. While metastatic tumors cause most cancer deaths, factors impacting early cancer cell proliferation inside the vasculature and those that can promote the formation of secondary tumors remain largely unknown. Prior studies investigating confined mitosis have mainly used 2D cell culture systems. Here, we mimic aspects of metastasizing tumor cells dividing inside blood capillaries by investigating single-cell divisions of living human cancer cells, trapped inside 3D rolled-up, transparent nanomembranes. We assess the molecular effects of tubular confinement on key mitotic features, using optical high- and super-resolution microscopy. Our experiments show that tubular confinement affects the morphology and dynamics of the mitotic spindle, chromosome arrangements, and the organization of the cell cortex. Moreover, we reveal that membrane blebbing and/or associated processes act as a potential genome-safety mechanism, limiting the extent of genomic instability caused by mitosis in confined circumstances, especially in tubular 3D microenvironments. Collectively, our study demonstrates the potential of rolled-up nanomembranes for gaining molecular insights into key cellular events occurring in tubular 3D microenvironments in vivo. PMID:27267364

  10. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes.

    PubMed

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl(-) ions are larger than those of Na(+) ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications. PMID:26424365

  11. Selective Monocationic Inhibitors of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase. Binding Mode Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Huang, He; Ji, Haitao; Li, Huiying; Jing, Qing; Labby, Kristin Jansen; Martásek, Pavel; Roman, Linda J.; Poulos, Thomas L.; Silverman, Richard B.

    2012-01-01

    The reduction of pathophysiologic levels of nitric oxide through inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has the potential to be therapeutically beneficial in various neurodegenerative diseases. We have developed a series of pyrrolidine-based nNOS inhibitors that exhibit excellent potencies and isoform selectivities (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5437). However, there are still important challenges, such as how to decrease the multiple positive charges derived from basic amino groups, which contribute to poor bioavailability, without losing potency and/or selectivity. Here we present an interdisciplinary study combining molecular docking, crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations, synthesis, and enzymology to explore potential pharmacophoric features of nNOS inhibitors and to design potent and selective monocationic nNOS inhibitors. The simulation results indicate that different hydrogen bond patterns, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and a water molecule bridge are key factors for stabilizing ligands and controlling ligand orientation. We find that a heteroatom in the aromatic head or linker chain of the ligand provides additional stability and blocks the substrate binding pocket. Finally, the computational insights are experimentally validated with double-headed pyridine analogs. The compounds reported here are among the most potent and selective monocationic pyrrolidine-based nNOS inhibitors reported to date, and 10 shows improved membrane permeability. PMID:22731813

  12. First insight into the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Christiane Lourenço; Prim, Rodrigo Ivan; Senna, Simone Gonçalves; Rovaris, Darcita Büerger; Maurici, Rosemeri; Rossetti, Maria Lúcia; Couvin, David; Rastogi, Nalin; Bazzo, Maria Luiza

    2016-03-01

    Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is useful for understanding disease transmission dynamics, and to establish strategic measures for TB control and prevention. The aim of this study was to analyze clinical, epidemiological and molecular characteristics of MTBC clinical isolates from Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil. During one-year period, 406 clinical isolates of MTBC were collected from Central Laboratory of Public Health and typed by spoligotyping. Demographic and clinical data were collected from the Brazilian National Mandatory Disease Reporting System. The majority of cases occurred in highest population densities regions and about 50% had some condition associated with TB. Among all isolates, 5.7% were MDR, which showed association with drug addiction. LAM was the most predominant lineage with 47.5%, followed by the T superfamily with 25.9% and Haarlem with 12.3%. The MST showed two major groups: the first was formed mainly by the LAM lineage and the second was mainly formed by the T and Haarlem lineages. Others lineages were distributed in peripheral positions. This study provides the first insight into the population structure of M. tuberculosis in SC State. Spoligotyping and other genotyping analyses are important to establish strategic measures for TB control and prevention. PMID:26980497

  13. Molecular and evolutionary insights into the structural organization of cation chloride cotransporters

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Anna-Maria; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Cation chloride cotransporters (CCC) play an essential role for neuronal chloride homeostasis. K+-Cl− cotransporter (KCC2), is the principal Cl−-extruder, whereas Na+-K+-Cl− cotransporter (NKCC1), is the major Cl−-uptake mechanism in many neurons. As a consequence, the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine strongly depend on the activity of these two transporters. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in ion transport and regulation is thus of great importance to better understand normal and disturbed brain function. Although no overall 3-dimensional crystal structures are yet available, recent molecular and phylogenetic studies and modeling have provided new and exciting insights into structure-function relationships of CCC. Here, we will summarize our current knowledge of the gross structural organization of the proteins, their functional domains, ion binding and translocation sites, and the established role of individual amino acids (aa). A major focus will be laid on the delineation of shared and distinct organizational principles between KCC2 and NKCC1. Exploiting the richness of recently generated genome data across the tree of life, we will also explore the molecular evolution of these features. PMID:25653592

  14. Storm track response to climate change: Insights from simulations using an idealized dry GCM.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbengue, Cheikh; Schneider, Tapio

    2013-04-01

    The midlatitude storm tracks, where the most intense extratropical cyclones are found, are an important fixture in the general circulation. They are instrumental in balancing the Earth's heat, momentum, and moisture budgets and are responsible for the weather and climatic patterns over large regions of the Earth's surface. As a result, the midlatitude storm tracks are the subject of a considerable amount of scientific research to understand their response to global warming. This has produced the robust result showing that the storm tracks migrate poleward with global warming. However, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for this migration remain unclear. Our work seeks to broaden understanding of the dynamical mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. Competing mechanisms present in the comprehensive climate models often used to study storm track dynamics make it difficult to determine the primary mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. We are thus prompted to study storm track dynamics from a simplified and idealized framework, which enables the decoupling of mean temperature effects from the effects of static stability and of tropical from extratropical effects. Using a statistically zonally symmetric, dry general circulation model (GCM), we conduct a series of numerical simulations to help understand the storm track response to global mean temperatures and to the tropical convective static stability, which we can vary independently. We define storm tracks as regions of zonally and temporally averaged maxima of barotropic eddy kinetic energy (EKE). This storm track definition also allows us to use previously found scalings between the magnitude of bulk measures of mean available potential energy (MAPE) and EKE, to decompose MAPE, and to obtain some mechanistic understanding of the storm track response in our simulations. These simulations provide several insights, which enable us to extend upon existing theories on the mechanisms driving the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Molecular insights into the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in rats

    PubMed Central

    Sellamuthu, Rajendran; Umbright, Christina; Roberts, Jenny R.; Cumpston, Amy; McKinney, Walter; Chen, Bean T.; Frazer, David; Li, Shengqiao; Kashon, Michael; Joseph, Pius

    2015-01-01

    Identification of molecular target(s) and mechanism(s) of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity is important for the intervention and/or prevention of diseases associated with exposure to silica. Rats were exposed to crystalline silica by inhalation (15 mg m−3, 6 h per day, 5 days) and global gene expression profile was determined in the lungs by microarray analysis at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 weeks following termination of silica exposure. The number of significantly differentially expressed genes (>1.5-fold change and <0.01 false discovery rate P-value) detected in the lungs during the post-exposure time intervals analyzed exhibited a steady increase in parallel with the progression of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity noticed in the rats. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of a representative set of 10 genes confirmed the microarray findings. The number of biological functions, canonical pathways and molecular networks significantly affected by silica exposure, as identified by the bioinformatics analysis of the significantly differentially expressed genes detected during the post-exposure time intervals, also exhibited a steady increase similar to the silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, respiratory diseases, cancer, and tissue remodeling and fibrosis were significantly differentially expressed in the rat lungs; however, unresolved inflammation was the single most significant biological response to pulmonary exposure to silica. Excessive mucus production, as implicated by significant overexpression of the pendrin coding gene, SLC26A4, was identified as a potential novel mechanism for silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Collectively, the findings of our study provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in the rat. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. PMID:22431001

  17. Global and local molecular dynamics of a bacterial carboxylesterase provide insight into its catalytic mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaozhen; Sigler, Sara C.; Hossain, Delwar; Wierdl, Monika; Gwaltney, Steven R.; Potter, Philip M.; Wadkins, Randy M.

    2013-01-01

    Carboxylesterases (CEs) are ubiquitous enzymes responsible for the detoxification of xenobiotics. In humans, substrates for these enzymes are far-ranging, and include the street drug heroin and the anticancer agent irinotecan. Hence, their ability to bind and metabolize substrates is of broad interest to biomedical science. In this study, we focused our attention on dynamic motions of a CE from B. subtilis (pnbCE), with emphasis on the question of what individual domains of the enzyme might contribute to its catalytic activity. We used a 10 ns all-atom molecular dynamics simulation, normal mode calculations, and enzyme kinetics to understand catalytic consequences of structural changes within this enzyme. Our results shed light on how molecular motions are coupled with catalysis. During molecular dynamics, we observed a distinct C-C bond rotation between two conformations of Glu310. Such a bond rotation would alternately facilitate and impede protonation of the active site His399 and act as a mechanism by which the enzyme alternates between its active and inactive conformation. Our normal mode results demonstrate that the distinct low-frequency motions of two loops in pnbCE, coil_5 and coil_21, are important in substrate conversion and seal the active site. Mutant CEs lacking these external loops show significantly reduced rates of substrate conversion, suggesting this sealing motion prevents escape of substrate. Overall, the results of our studies give new insight into the structure-function relationship of CEs and have implications for the entire family of α/β fold family of hydrolases, of which this CE is a member. PMID:22127613

  18. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food

    PubMed Central

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  19. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food.

    PubMed

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  20. Molecular fossils in modern genomes provide physiological and geochemical insights to the ancient earth (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, C.; Caetano-Anolles, G.

    2010-12-01

    The genomes of extant organisms are ultimately derived from ancient life, thus theoretically contain insight to ancient physiology, ecology, and environments. In particular, metalloenzymes may be particularly insightful. The fundamental chemistry of trace elements dictates the molecular speciation and reactivity both within cells and the environment at large. Using protein structure and comparative genomics, we elucidate several major influences this chemistry has had upon biology. All of life exhibits the same proteome size-dependent scaling for the number of metal-binding proteins within a proteome. This fundamental evolutionary constant shows that the selection of one element occurs at the exclusion of another, with the eschewal of Fe for Zn and Ca being a defining feature of eukaryotic pro- teomes. Early life lacked both the structures required to control intracellular metal concentrations and the metal-binding proteins that catalyze electron transport and redox transformations. The development of protein structures for metal homeostasis coincided with the emergence of metal-specific structures, which predomi- nantly bound metals abundant in the Archean ocean. Potentially, this promoted the diversification of emerging lineages of Archaea and Bacteria through the establishment of biogeochemical cycles. In contrast, structures binding Cu and Zn evolved much later, pro- viding further evidence that environmental availability influenced the selection of the elements. The late evolving Zn-binding proteins are fundamental to eukaryotic cellular biology, and Zn bioavailabil- ity may have been a limiting factor in eukaryotic evolution. The results presented here provide an evolutionary timeline based on genomic characteristics, and key hypotheses can be tested by alternative geochemical methods.

  1. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Einstein, T. L.; Bartels, Ludwig

    2015-03-01

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species' diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  2. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Bartels, Ludwig; Einstein, T. L.

    2015-03-14

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species’ diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  3. Boron Isotope Based CO2 Reconstructions and Insights into the Sensitivity of the Climate System to CO2-forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, G. L.

    2014-12-01

    system to CO2 change. This study provides new insights into the possibility of "hidden" feedbacks and the likelihood of a state dependency to climate sensitivity. [1] Rohling, E.J., et al., 2012. Nature, 491: 683-691. [2] Stainforth, D.A. et al., 2005. Nature, 433(7024): 403-406.

  4. Migration out of 1930s Rural Eastern Oklahoma: Insights for Climate Change Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLeman, Robert

    2006-01-01

    The question of how communities and individuals adapt to changing climatic conditions is of pressing concern to scientists and policymakers in light of the growing evidence that human activity has modified the Earth's climate. A number of authors have suggested that widespread changes in human settlement and migration patterns may occur in…

  5. Limitations of Climatic Data for Inferring Species Boundaries: Insights from Speckled Rattlesnakes

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Fujita, Matthew K.

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypes, DNA, and measures of ecological differences are widely used in species delimitation. Although rarely defined in such studies, ecological divergence is almost always approximated using multivariate climatic data associated with sets of specimens (i.e., the “climatic niche”); the justification for this approach is that species-specific climatic envelopes act as surrogates for physiological tolerances. Using identical statistical procedures, we evaluated the usefulness and validity of the climate-as-proxy assumption by comparing performance of genetic (nDNA SNPs and mitochondrial DNA), phenotypic, and climatic data for objective species delimitation in the speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii) complex. Ordination and clustering patterns were largely congruent among intrinsic (heritable) traits (nDNA, mtDNA, phenotype), and discordance is explained by biological processes (e.g., ontogeny, hybridization). In contrast, climatic data did not produce biologically meaningful clusters that were congruent with any intrinsic dataset, but rather corresponded to regional differences in atmospheric circulation and climate, indicating an absence of inherent taxonomic signal in these data. Surrogating climate for physiological tolerances adds artificial weight to evidence of species boundaries, as these data are irrelevant for that purpose. Based on the evidence from congruent clustering of intrinsic datasets, we recommend that three subspecies of C. mitchellii be recognized as species: C. angelensis, C. mitchellii, and C. Pyrrhus. PMID:26107178

  6. Molecular Insights Into the Evolutionary Pathway of Vibrio cholerae O1 Atypical El Tor Variants

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eun Jin; Lee, Dokyung; Moon, Se Hoon; Lee, Chan Hee; Kim, Sang Jun; Lee, Jae Hyun; Kim, Jae Ouk; Song, Manki; Das, Bhabatosh; Clemens, John D.; Pape, Jean William; Nair, G. Balakrish; Kim, Dong Wook

    2014-01-01

    Pandemic V. cholerae strains in the O1 serogroup have 2 biotypes: classical and El Tor. The classical biotype strains of the sixth pandemic, which encode the classical type cholera toxin (CT), have been replaced by El Tor biotype strains of the seventh pandemic. The prototype El Tor strains that produce biotype-specific cholera toxin are being replaced by atypical El Tor variants that harbor classical cholera toxin. Atypical El Tor strains are categorized into 2 groups, Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains, based on genomic variations and the CTX phage that they harbor. Whole-genome analysis of V. cholerae strains in the seventh cholera pandemic has demonstrated gradual changes in the genome of prototype and atypical El Tor strains, indicating that atypical strains arose from the prototype strains by replacing the CTX phages. We examined the molecular mechanisms that effected the emergence of El Tor strains with classical cholera toxin-carrying phage. We isolated an intermediary V. cholerae strain that carried two different CTX phages that encode El Tor and classical cholera toxin, respectively. We show here that the intermediary strain can be converted into various Wave 2 strains and can act as the source of the novel mosaic CTX phages. These results imply that the Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains may have been generated from such intermediary strains in nature. Prototype El Tor strains can become Wave 3 strains by excision of CTX-1 and re-equipping with the new CTX phages. Our data suggest that inter-chromosomal recombination between 2 types of CTX phages is possible when a host bacterial cell is infected by multiple CTX phages. Our study also provides molecular insights into population changes in V. cholerae in the absence of significant changes to the genome but by replacement of the CTX prophage that they harbor. PMID:25233006

  7. Molecular insights into the recognition of N-terminal histone modifications by the BRPF1 bromodomain

    PubMed Central

    Poplawski, Amanda; Hu, Kaifeng; Lee, Woonghee; Natesan, Senthil; Peng, Danni; Carlson, Samuel; Shi, Xiaobing; Balaz, Stefan; Markley, John L.; Glass, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    The monocytic leukemic zinc-finger (MOZ) histone acetyltransferase (HAT) acetylates free histones H3, H4, H2A, and H2B in vitro and is associated with up-regulation of gene transcription. The MOZ HAT functions as a quaternary complex with the bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1 (BRPF1), inhibitor of growth 5 (ING5), and hEaf6 subunits. BRPF1 links the MOZ catalytic subunit to the ING5 and hEaf6 subunits, thereby promoting MOZ HAT activity. Human BRPF1 contains multiple effector domains with known roles in gene transcription, and chromatin binding and remodeling. However, the biological function of the BRPF1 bromodomain remains unknown. Our findings reveal novel interactions of the BRPF1 bromodomain with multiple acetyllysine residues on the N-terminus of histones, and show it preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac and H3K14ac. We used chemical shift perturbation data from NMR titration experiments to map the BRPF1 bromodomain ligand binding pocket and identified key residues responsible for coordination of the post-translationally modified histones. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations were used to generate structural models of bromodomain-histone ligand complexes, to analyze H-bonding and other interactions, and to calculate the binding free energies. Our results outline the molecular mechanism driving binding specificity of the BRPF1 bromodomain for discrete acetyllysine residues on the N-terminal histone tails. Together these data provide insights on how histone recognition by the bromodomain directs the biological function of BRPF1, ultimately targeting the MOZ HAT complex to chromatin substrates. PMID:24333487

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-07-28

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

  9. Molecular insights into the recognition of N-terminal histone modifications by the BRPF1 bromodomain.

    PubMed

    Poplawski, Amanda; Hu, Kaifeng; Lee, Woonghee; Natesan, Senthil; Peng, Danni; Carlson, Samuel; Shi, Xiaobing; Balaz, Stefan; Markley, John L; Glass, Karen C

    2014-04-17

    The monocytic leukemic zinc finger (MOZ) histone acetyltransferase (HAT) acetylates free histones H3, H4, H2A, and H2B in vitro and is associated with up-regulation of gene transcription. The MOZ HAT functions as a quaternary complex with the bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1 (BRPF1), inhibitor of growth 5 (ING5), and hEaf6 subunits. BRPF1 links the MOZ catalytic subunit to the ING5 and hEaf6 subunits, thereby promoting MOZ HAT activity. Human BRPF1 contains multiple effector domains with known roles in gene transcription, as well as chromatin binding and remodeling. However, the biological function of the BRPF1 bromodomain remains unknown. Our findings reveal novel interactions of the BRPF1 bromodomain with multiple acetyllysine residues on the N-terminus of histones and show that it preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac, and H3K14ac. We used chemical shift perturbation data from NMR titration experiments to map the BRPF1 bromodomain ligand binding pocket and identified key residues responsible for coordination of the post-translationally modified histones. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations were used to generate structural models of bromodomain-histone ligand complexes, to analyze hydrogen bonding and other interactions, and to calculate the binding free energies. Our results outline the molecular mechanism driving binding specificity of the BRPF1 bromodomain for discrete acetyllysine residues on the N-terminal histone tails. Together, these data provide insights into how histone recognition by the bromodomain directs the biological function of BRPF1, ultimately targeting the MOZ HAT complex to chromatin substrates. PMID:24333487

  10. Temperature decomposition of paired site observations reveals new insights in climate models' capability to simulate the impact of LUC.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanden Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard; Janssens, Ivan; Van Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    The biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) has been shown to be a significant contributor to climate change. In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the impact of LUC in climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model simulations with a regional climate model (COSMO-CLM2) are performed which differ only in prescribed land use for site pair locations. The model is evaluated by comparing the observed and simulated difference in surface temperature (Ts) between open land and forests, an evaluation which is performed separately for summer/winter and daytime/ nighttime. Next, we identify the biogeophysical mechanisms responsible for Ts differences by applying a Ts decomposition method to both observations and model simulations, allowing us us to determine which LUC related biogeophysical mechanisms were well represented in COSMO-CLM2, and which were not. Results show that the model is able to simulate the increase in albedo and associated daytime surface cooling following deforestation reasonably well. Also well simulated is the overall decrease in sensible heat flux and associated daytime surface warming and nighttime surface cooling. However, it appears the model is missing one crucial impact of deforestation on the surface energy budget: a reduction in nighttime downwelling longwave radiation. As a result, the magnitude of nighttime cooling following deforestation is underestimated by 4 K. These new insights support a wider application of the methodology (to other climate models).

  11. Climate forcing and Neanderthal extinction in Southern Iberia: insights from a multiproxy marine record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Finlayson, Clive; Paytan, Adina; Sakamoto, Tatsuhiko; Ortega-Huertas, Miguel; Finlayson, Geraldine; Iijima, Koichi; Gallego-Torres, David; Fa, Darren

    2007-04-01

    Paleoclimate records from the western Mediterranean have been used to further understand the role of climatic changes in the replacement of archaic human populations inhabiting South Iberia. Marine sediments from the Balearic basin (ODP Site 975) was analysed at high resolution to obtain both geochemical and mineralogical data. These data were compared with climate records from nearby areas. Baexcces was used to characterize marine productivity and then related to climatic variability. Since variations in productivity were the consequence of climatic oscillations, climate/productivity events have been established. Sedimentary regime, primary marine productivity and oxygen conditions at the time of population replacement were reconstructed by means of a multiproxy approach. Climatic/oceanographic variations correlate well with Homo spatial and occupational patterns in Southern Iberia. It was found that low ventilation (U/Th), high river supply (Mg/Al), low aridity (Zr/Al) and low values of Baexcess coefficient of variation, may be linked with Neanderthal hospitable conditions. We attempt to support recent findings which claim that Neanderthals populations continued to inhabit southern Iberia between 30 and ˜28 ky cal BP and that this persistence was due to the specific characteristics of South Iberian climatic refugia. Comparisons of our data with other marine and continental records appear to indicate that conditions in South Iberia were highly inhospitable at ˜24 ky cal BP. Thus, it is proposed that the final disappearance of Neanderthals in this region could be linked with these extreme conditions.

  12. Topographic Signature of Climate Change- insights into climatic controls on landscape evolution under permafrost and non-permafrost environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gangodagamage, C.; Rowland, J. C.; Wilson, C. J.; Brumby, S.; Prancevic, J. P.; Crosby, B. T.; Marsh, P.; Altmann, G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate gradient across the deglaciated North American continental landscape has been a major control on the trajectory of landscape evolution following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (~19-25 ka BP). Following deglaciation, landscapes in the Arctic and subarctic regions have been subject to climatic conditions favoring the development and/or preservation of permafrost. In more southerly latitudes, warmer conditions have favored non-permafrost conditions. A comparison of formerly glaciated landscapes in both permafrost and non-permafrost settings offers a unique natural experiment to explore the influence of climate on landscape evolution. Additionally, by comparing formerly glaciated terrains under both permafrost and non-permafrost conditions to landscapes never having undergone glaciation it may be possible to identify unique signatures of glaciation on hillslope morphology and processes. After glaciers retreated, newly exposed landscapes were exposed to both fluvial and hillslope mass wasting processes, the relative balance and influence of these processes on landscape evolution varied depending on Holocene climatic conditions (permafrost versus non-permaforst environments). Using analysis of high resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM ~ 1m) data we show that the topographic denudation on these landscapes over the past Holocene has imprinted a unique climatic signature. Major differences are observed in landscape regimes and regime transitions. These differences are quantified mainly by introducing a new index, Normalized Directed Distance for Relief (NDDR), that treats the landscape relief differences and successfully identify the climate induced landscape responses. Previously glaciated permafrost landscapes are primarily characterized by narrow divergent hilltops (NDDR < 0.3), longer convergent flow paths (~500-1000 m) in hillslopes, and abrupt hillslope to fluvial transitions (< 100 m). Previously glaciated non-permafrost landscapes characterized by

  13. UV Photodissociation of Proline-containing Peptide Ions: Insights from Molecular Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girod, Marion; Sanader, Zeljka; Vojkovic, Marin; Antoine, Rodolphe; MacAleese, Luke; Lemoine, Jérôme; Bonacic-Koutecky, Vlasta; Dugourd, Philippe

    2015-03-01

    UV photodissociation of proline-containing peptide ions leads to unusual product ions. In this paper, we report laser-induced dissociation of a series of proline-containing peptides at 213 nm. We observe specific fragmentation pathways corresponding to the formation of (y-2), (a + 2) and (b + 2) fragment ions. This was not observed at 266 nm or for peptides which do not contain proline residues. In order to obtain insights into the fragmentation dynamics at 213 nm, a small peptide (RPK for arginine-proline-lysine) was studied both theoretically and experimentally. Calculations of absorption spectra and non-adiabatic molecular dynamics (MD) were made. Second and third excited singlet states, S2 and S3, lie close to 213 nm. Non-adiabatic MD simulation starting from S2 and S3 shows that these transitions are followed by C-C and C-N bond activation close to the proline residue. After this first relaxation step, consecutive rearrangements and proton transfers are required to produce unusual (y-2), (a + 2) and (b + 2) fragment ions. These fragmentation mechanisms were confirmed by H/D exchange experiments.

  14. Molecular Insights into Pediatric Brain Tumors Have the Potential to Transform Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Gajjar, Amar; Pfister, Stefan M.; Taylor, Michael D.; Gilbertson, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput genomic technologies have shed light on the biologic heterogeneity of several pediatric brain tumors. The biology of the four common pediatric brain tumors—namely medulloblastoma, ependymoma, high-grade glioma including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and low-grade glioma are highlighted in this CCR Focus article. The discovery that medulloblastoma consists of 4 different subgroups namely WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, each with distinct clinical and molecular features, has impacted the treatment of children with medulloblastoma. Prospective studies have documented the efficacy of SMO inhibitors in a subgroup of patients with SHH medulloblastoma. Efforts are ongoing to develop specific therapies for each of the subgroups of medulloblastoma. Similar efforts are being pursued for ependymoma, high grade glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma where the disease outcome for the latter two tumors has not changed over the past 3 decades despite several prospective clinical trials. Developing and testing targeted therapies based on this new understanding remains a major challenge to the pediatric neuro-oncology community. The focus of this review is to summarize the rapidly evolving understanding of the common pediatric brain tumors based on genome wide analysis. These novel insights will add impetus to translating these laboratory based discoveries to newer therapies for children diagnosed with these tumors. PMID:25398846

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Mechanistic Insights into Molecular Targeting and Combined Modality Therapy for Aggressive, Localized Prostate Cancer.

    PubMed

    Dal Pra, Alan; Locke, Jennifer A; Borst, Gerben; Supiot, Stephane; Bristow, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the mainstay treatments for prostate cancer (PCa). The potentially curative approaches can provide satisfactory results for many patients with non-metastatic PCa; however, a considerable number of individuals may present disease recurrence and die from the disease. Exploiting the rich molecular biology of PCa will provide insights into how the most resistant tumor cells can be eradicated to improve treatment outcomes. Important for this biology-driven individualized treatment is a robust selection procedure. The development of predictive biomarkers for RT efficacy is therefore of utmost importance for a clinically exploitable strategy to achieve tumor-specific radiosensitization. This review highlights the current status and possible opportunities in the modulation of four key processes to enhance radiation response in PCa by targeting the: (1) androgen signaling pathway; (2) hypoxic tumor cells and regions; (3) DNA damage response (DDR) pathway; and (4) abnormal extra-/intracell signaling pathways. In addition, we discuss how and which patients should be selected for biomarker-based clinical trials exploiting and validating these targeted treatment strategies with precision RT to improve cure rates in non-indolent, localized PCa. PMID:26909338

  17. Insights into Medium-chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Structure by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Bonito, Cátia A; Leandro, Paula; Ventura, Fátima V; Guedes, Rita C

    2016-08-01

    The medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the first step of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (mFAO) pathway. Its deficiency is the most common genetic disorder of mFAO. Many of the MCAD disease-causing variants, including the most common p.K304E variant, show loss of function due to protein misfolding. Herein, we used molecular dynamics simulations to provide insights into the structural stability and dynamic behavior of MCAD wild-type (MCADwt) and validate a structure that would allow reliable new studies on its variants. Our results revealed that in both proteins the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) has an important structural role on the tetramer stability and also in maintaining the volume of the enzyme catalytic pockets. We confirmed that the presence of substrate changes the dynamics of the catalytic pockets and increases FAD affinity. A comparison between the porcine MCADwt (pMCADwt) and human MCADwt (hMCADwt) structures revealed that both proteins are essentially similar and that the reversion of the double mutant E376G/T255E of hMCAD enzyme does not affect the structure of the protein neither its behavior in simulation. Our validated hMCADwt structure is crucial for complementing and accelerating the experimental studies aiming for the discovery and development of potential stabilizers of MCAD variants as candidates for the treatment of MCAD deficiency (MCADD). PMID:26992026

  18. New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms of Immune Complex-Induced Injury in Lung.

    PubMed

    Ward, Peter A; Fattahi, Fatemeh; Bosmann, Markus

    2016-01-01

    While the phlogistic activities of IgM or IgG immune complexes (ICs) have been well established as complement-activating agents and seem likely to play important roles in humans with vasculitis, certain types of glomerulonephritis as well as in a variety of autoimmune diseases, the predominant clinical strategies have involved the use of immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs. Over the past decade, new insights into molecular events developing during IC models in rodents have identified new phlogistic products that may be candidates for therapeutic blockade. Extracellular histones, located in the web-like structures of neutrophil extracellular traps, are released from complement-activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) downstream of IC deposition. Extracellular histones appear to be a new class of highly tissue-damaging products derived from complement-activated PMNs. Histones have also been discovered in cell-free broncho-alveolar lavage fluids from humans with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent studies emphasize that in the setting of ARDS-like reactions in rodents, extracellular histones are released and are exceedingly proinflammatory, tissue damaging, and prothrombotic. Such studies suggest that in humans with ARDS, extracellular histones may represent therapeutic targets for blockade. PMID:27014266

  19. Atractaspis aterrima toxins: the first insight into the molecular evolution of venom in side-stabbers.

    PubMed

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G; Jackson, Timothy N W; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-11-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima-the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  20. New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms of Immune Complex-Induced Injury in Lung

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Peter A.; Fattahi, Fatemeh; Bosmann, Markus

    2016-01-01

    While the phlogistic activities of IgM or IgG immune complexes (ICs) have been well established as complement-activating agents and seem likely to play important roles in humans with vasculitis, certain types of glomerulonephritis as well as in a variety of autoimmune diseases, the predominant clinical strategies have involved the use of immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs. Over the past decade, new insights into molecular events developing during IC models in rodents have identified new phlogistic products that may be candidates for therapeutic blockade. Extracellular histones, located in the web-like structures of neutrophil extracellular traps, are released from complement-activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) downstream of IC deposition. Extracellular histones appear to be a new class of highly tissue-damaging products derived from complement-activated PMNs. Histones have also been discovered in cell-free broncho-alveolar lavage fluids from humans with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent studies emphasize that in the setting of ARDS-like reactions in rodents, extracellular histones are released and are exceedingly proinflammatory, tissue damaging, and prothrombotic. Such studies suggest that in humans with ARDS, extracellular histones may represent therapeutic targets for blockade. PMID:27014266

  1. Mechanistic Insights into Molecular Targeting and Combined Modality Therapy for Aggressive, Localized Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Dal Pra, Alan; Locke, Jennifer A.; Borst, Gerben; Supiot, Stephane; Bristow, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the mainstay treatments for prostate cancer (PCa). The potentially curative approaches can provide satisfactory results for many patients with non-metastatic PCa; however, a considerable number of individuals may present disease recurrence and die from the disease. Exploiting the rich molecular biology of PCa will provide insights into how the most resistant tumor cells can be eradicated to improve treatment outcomes. Important for this biology-driven individualized treatment is a robust selection procedure. The development of predictive biomarkers for RT efficacy is therefore of utmost importance for a clinically exploitable strategy to achieve tumor-specific radiosensitization. This review highlights the current status and possible opportunities in the modulation of four key processes to enhance radiation response in PCa by targeting the: (1) androgen signaling pathway; (2) hypoxic tumor cells and regions; (3) DNA damage response (DDR) pathway; and (4) abnormal extra-/intracell signaling pathways. In addition, we discuss how and which patients should be selected for biomarker-based clinical trials exploiting and validating these targeted treatment strategies with precision RT to improve cure rates in non-indolent, localized PCa. PMID:26909338

  2. Molecular insights into plant cell proliferation disturbance by Agrobacterium protein 6b

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Meimei; Soyano, Takashi; Machida, Satoru; Yang, Jun-Yi; Jung, Choonkyun; Chua, Nam-Hai; Yuan, Y. Adam

    2011-01-01

    The Agrobacterium Ti plasmid (T-DNA) 6b proteins interact with many different host proteins implicated in plant cell proliferation. Here, we show that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing 6b display microRNA (miRNA) deficiency by directly targeting SERRATE and AGO1 via a specific loop fragment (residues 40–55). In addition, we report the crystal structures of Agrobacterium tumefaciens AK6b at 2.1 Å, Agrobacterium vitis AB6b at 1.65 Å, and Arabidopsis ADP ribosylation factor (ARF) at 1.8 Å. The 6b structure adopts an ADP-ribosylating toxin fold closely related to cholera toxin. In vitro ADP ribosylation analysis demonstrates that 6b represents a new toxin family, with Tyr 66, Thr 93, and Tyr 153 as the ADP ribosylation catalytic residues in the presence of Arabidopsis ARF and GTP. Our work provides molecular insights, suggesting that 6b regulates plant cell growth by the disturbance of the miRNA pathway through its ADP ribosylation activity. PMID:21156810

  3. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia.

    PubMed

    Breves, Jason P; McCormick, Stephen D; Karlstrom, Rolf O

    2014-07-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the "freshwater-adapting hormone", promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage. PMID:24434597

  4. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of negligible senescence: insight from the sea urchin

    PubMed Central

    Bodnar, Andrea G.

    2015-01-01

    Sea urchins exhibit a very different life history from humans and short-lived model animals and therefore provide the opportunity to gain new insight into the complex process of aging. Sea urchins grow indeterminately, regenerate damaged appendages, and reproduce throughout their lifespan. Some species show no increase in mortality rate at advanced ages. Nevertheless, different species of sea urchins have very different reported lifespans ranging from 4 to more than 100 years, thus providing a unique model to investigate the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms underlying both lifespan determination and negligible senescence. Studies to date have demonstrated maintenance of telomeres, maintenance of antioxidant and proteasome enzyme activities, and little accumulation of oxidative cellular damage with age in tissues of sea urchin species with different lifespans. Gene expression studies indicate that key cellular pathways involved in energy metabolism, protein homeostasis, and tissue regeneration are maintained with age. Taken together, these studies suggest that long-term maintenance of mechanisms that sustain tissue homeostasis and regenerative capacity is essential for indeterminate growth and negligible senescence, and a better understanding of these processes may suggest effective strategies to mitigate the degenerative decline in human tissues with age. PMID:26136616

  5. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Breves, Jason P.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the “freshwater-adapting hormone”, promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage. PMID:24434597

  6. Interactions of acidic pharmaceuticals with human serum albumin: insights into the molecular toxicity of emerging pollutants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiabin; Zhou, Xuefei; Zhang, Yalei; Qian, Yajie; Gao, Haiping

    2012-10-01

    Acidic pharmaceuticals such as diclofenac (DCF), clofibric acid (CA) and ketoprofen (KTP) have been detected frequently in environmental media. In order to reveal the toxicity of such emerging pollutants, their interactions with human serum albumin (HSA) were investigated by capillary electrophoresis, molecular spectrometry, and equilibrium dialysis. The binding constants and sites of these acidic pharmaceuticals with HSA were obtained. The thermodynamic parameters, e.g. enthalpy change and entropy change of these interactions were calculated to characterize that all the reactions resulted from hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. The static quenching of the fluorescence of HSA was observed when interacted with acidic pharmaceuticals, indicating acidic pharmaceuticals bound to Tryptophan residue of HSA. The 3D fluorescence and circular dichroism confirmed that the secondary conformation of HSA changed after the interactions with the pharmaceuticals. At physiological condition, only 0.12 mM acidic pharmaceuticals reduced the binding of vitamin B(2) to HSA by 37, 30 and 21% for DCF, KTP and CA, respectively. This work provides an insight into non-covalent interactions between emerging contaminants and biomolecule, and is helpful for clarifying the toxic mechanism of such emerging contaminants. PMID:22307229

  7. Atractaspis aterrima Toxins: The First Insight into the Molecular Evolution of Venom in Side-Stabbers

    PubMed Central

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima—the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  8. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breves, Jason P.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the “freshwater-adapting hormone”, promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage.

  9. The Psychology of Climate Change Communication - Insights from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marx, S.

    2010-12-01

    social goals in favor or self interest; early involvement of stakeholders through participatory processes can help identify key concerns and information needs which can then be addressed in a tailored approach; taking advantage of default effects can make it easier for people to choose environmentally and socially beneficial options. Using research into the reactions of groups as disparate as African farmers and conservative U.S. voters, we offer insights on how scientists, educators, journalists and others can effectively connect with wider audiences. The communication principles presented in this talk can be applied beyond climate change and to science communication in general.

  10. Parasite zoonoses and climate change: molecular tools for tracking shifting boundaries.

    PubMed

    Polley, Lydden; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2009-06-01

    For human, domestic animal and wildlife health, key effects of directional climate change include the risk of the altered occurrence of infectious diseases. Many parasite zoonoses have high potential for vulnerability to the new climate, in part because their free-living life-cycle stages and ectothermic hosts are directly exposed to climatic conditions. For these zoonoses, climate change can shift boundaries for ecosystem components and processes integral to parasite transmission and persistence, and these shifts can impact host health. Vulnerable boundaries include those for spatial distributions, host-parasite assemblages, demographic rates, life-cycle phenologies, associations within ecosystems, virulence, and patterns of infection and disease. This review describes these boundary shifts and how molecular techniques can be applied to defining the new boundaries. PMID:19428303

  11. Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Pinki; Jain, Meha; DeFries, Ruth S; Galford, Gillian L; Small, Christopher

    2015-01-15

    Crop productivity in India varies greatly with inter-annual climate variability and is highly dependent on monsoon rainfall and temperature. The sensitivity of yields to future climate variability varies with crop type, access to irrigation and other biophysical and socio-economic factors. To better understand sensitivities to future climate, this study focuses on agro-ecological subregions in Central and Western India that span a range of crops, irrigation, biophysical conditions and socioeconomic characteristics. Climate variability is derived from remotely-sensed data products, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM - precipitation) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS - temperature). We examined green-leaf phenologies as proxy for crop productivity using the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from 2000 to 2012. Using both monsoon and winter growing seasons, we assessed phenological sensitivity to inter-annual variability in precipitation and temperature patterns. Inter-annual EVI phenology anomalies ranged from -25% to 25%, with some highly anomalous values up to 200%. Monsoon crop phenology in the Central India site is highly sensitive to climate, especially the timing of the start and end of the monsoon and intensity of precipitation. In the Western India site, monsoon crop phenology is less sensitive to precipitation variability, yet shows considerable fluctuations in monsoon crop productivity across the years. Temperature is critically important for winter productivity across a range of crop and management types, such that irrigation might not provide a sufficient buffer against projected temperature increases. Better access to weather information and usage of climate-resilient crop types would play pivotal role in maintaining future productivity. Effective strategies to adapt to projected climate changes in the coming decades would also need to be tailored to regional biophysical and socio-economic conditions. PMID:24680541

  12. Modelled Insights into Climate Dynamics of the Cretaceous and Paleogene Greenhouse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunt, D. J.; Loptson, C.; Farnsworth, A.; Markwick, P. J.

    2013-12-01

    Although the current paradigm is that CO2 is the primary driver of large-scale Earth System change through the Cretaceous and Paleogene, the relative importance of changing palaeogeography on climate dynamics through this greenhouse period is yet to be fully explored. In particular, the opening and closing of key ocean gateways, orogenesis, and continentality, could have a key role in determining not only the timing of key transitions (e.g. Eocene-Oligocene glaciation), but could also contribute directly to the large-scale trends. Here, we present a new series of climate model simulations, built upon state-of-the-art palaeogeographic maps (~20 in total covering the Cretaceous and Paleogene). The suite of simulations allows us to consider key questions related to climate dynamics through this time period: (1) What is the role of changing palaeogeography (including gateways) in mediating ocean circulation, through changing gateways and continental configuration? (2) What is the contribution of changing palaeogeography to climate, and climate sensitivity? Through considering the relationship between the local and regional scale, we explore the dangers of drawing global conclusions from local data, and highlight key areas where new palaeodata could be targeted to inform the above questions and better evaluate the models.

  13. Migration in the context of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: insights from analogues

    PubMed Central

    McLeman, Robert A.; Hunter, Lori M.

    2011-01-01

    Migration is one of the variety of ways by which human populations adapt to environmental changes. The study of migration in the context of anthropogenic climate change is often approached using the concept of vulnerability and its key functional elements: exposure, system sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. This article explores the interaction of climate change and vulnerability through review of case studies of dry-season migration in the West African Sahel, hurricane-related population displacements in the Caribbean basin, winter migration of ‘snowbirds’ to the US Sun-belt, and 1930s drought migration on the North American Great Plains. These examples are then used as analogues for identifying general causal, temporal, and spatial dimensions of climate migration, along with potential considerations for policy-making and future research needs. PMID:22022342

  14. Mechanistic insights into the effects of climate change on larval cod.

    PubMed

    Kristiansen, Trond; Stock, Charles; Drinkwater, Kenneth F; Curchitser, Enrique N

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the biophysical mechanisms that shape variability in fisheries recruitment is critical for estimating the effects of climate change on fisheries. In this study, we used an Earth System Model (ESM) and a mechanistic individual-based model (IBM) for larval fish to analyze how climate change may impact the growth and survival of larval cod in the North Atlantic. We focused our analysis on five regions that span the current geographical range of cod and are known to contain important spawning populations. Under the SRES A2 (high emissions) scenario, the ESM-projected surface ocean temperatures are expected to increase by >1 °C for 3 of the 5 regions, and stratification is expected to increase at all sites between 1950-1999 and 2050-2099. This enhanced stratification is projected to decrease large (>5 μm ESD) phytoplankton productivity and mesozooplankton biomass at all 5 sites. Higher temperatures are projected to increase larval metabolic costs, which combined with decreased food resources will reduce larval weight, increase the probability of larvae dying from starvation and increase larval exposure to visual and invertebrate predators at most sites. If current concentrations of piscivore and invertebrate predators are maintained, larval survival is projected to decrease at all five sites by 2050-2099. In contrast to past observed responses to climate variability in which warm anomalies led to better recruitment in cold-water stocks, our simulations indicated that reduced prey availability under climate change may cause a reduction in larval survival despite higher temperatures in these regions. In the lower prey environment projected under climate change, higher metabolic costs due to higher temperatures outweigh the advantages of higher growth potential, leading to negative effects on northern cod stocks. Our results provide an important first large-scale assessment of the impacts of climate change on larval cod in the North Atlantic. PMID

  15. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  16. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  17. Informing climate change adaptation with insights from famine early warning (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, C. C.; Verdin, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Famine early warning systems provide a unique viewpoint for understanding the implications of climate change on food security, identifying the locations and seasons where millions of food insecure people are dependent upon climate-sensitive agricultural systems. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is a decision support system sponsored by the Office of Food for Peace of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which distributes over two billion dollars of food aid to more than 40 countries each year. FEWS NET identifies the times and places where food aid is required by the most climatically sensitive and consequently food insecure populations of the developing world. As result, FEWS NET has developed its own "climate service", implemented by USGS, NOAA, and NASA, to support its decision making processes. The foundation of this climate service is the monitoring of current growing conditions for early identification of agricultural drought that might impact food security. Since station networks are sparse in the countries monitored, FEWS NET has a tradition (dating back to 1985) of reliance on satellite remote sensing of vegetation and rainfall. In the last ten years, climate forecasts have become an additional tool for food security assessment, extending the early warning perspective to include expected agricultural outcomes for the season ahead. More recently, research has expanded to include detailed analyses of recent observed climate trends, combined with diagnostic ocean-atmosphere studies. These studies are then used to develop interpretations of GCM scenarios and their implications for future patterns of precipitation and temperature, revealing trends towards warmer/drier climate conditions and increases in the relative frequency of drought. In some regions, like Eastern Africa, such changes seem to be already occurring, with an associated increase in food insecurity. Sub-national analyses for Kenya, for example, point to the

  18. Dispersing perylene diimide/SWCNT hybrids: structural insights at the molecular level and fabricating advanced materials.

    PubMed

    Tsarfati, Yael; Strauss, Volker; Kuhri, Susanne; Krieg, Elisha; Weissman, Haim; Shimoni, Eyal; Baram, Jonathan; Guldi, Dirk M; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-06-17

    The unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) are advantageous for emerging applications. Yet, the CNT insolubility hampers their potential. Approaches based on covalent and noncovalent methodologies have been tested to realize stable dispersions of CNTs. Noncovalent approaches are of particular interest as they preserve the CNT's structures and properties. We report on hybrids, in which perylene diimide (PDI) amphiphiles are noncovalently immobilized onto single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The resulting hybrids were dispersed and exfoliated both in water and organic solvents in the presence of two different PDI derivatives, PP2b and PP3a. The dispersions were investigated using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), providing unique structural insights into the exfoliation. A helical arrangement of PP2b assemblies on SWCNTs dominates in aqueous dispersions, while a single layer of PP2b and PP3a was found on SWCNTs in organic dispersions. The dispersions were probed by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopies, revealing appreciable charge redistribution in the ground state, and an efficient electron transfer from SWCNTs to PDIs in the excited state. We also fabricated hybrid materials from the PP2b/SWCNT dispersions. A supramolecular membrane was prepared from aqueous dispersions and used for size-selective separation of gold nanoparticles. Hybrid buckypaper films were prepared from the organic dispersions. In the latter, high conductivity results from enhanced electronic communication and favorable morphology within the hybrid material. Our findings shed light onto SWCNT/dispersant molecular interactions, and introduce a versatile approach toward universal solution processing of SWCNT-based materials. PMID:25977989

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal tract is the first point of contact of the intestinal microbiota with the host. Cell surface macromolecules are critical for adherence of commensal bacteria to mucus but structural information is scarce. Here we report the first molecular and structural characterization of a novel cell-surface protein, Lar_0958 from Lactobacillus reuteri JCM 1112(T) , mediating adhesion of L. reuteri human strains to mucus. Lar_0958 is a modular protein of 133 kDa containing six repeat domains, an N-terminal signal sequence and a C-terminal anchoring motif (LPXTG). Lar_0958 homologues are expressed on the cell-surface of L. reuteri human strains, as shown by flow-cytometry and immunogold microscopy. Adhesion of human L. reuteri strains to mucus in vitro was significantly reduced in the presence of an anti-Lar_0958 antibody and Lar_0958 contribution to adhesion was further confirmed using a L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 lar_0958 KO mutant (6475-KO). The X-ray crystal structure of a single Lar_0958 repeat, determined at 1.5 Å resolution, revealed a divergent immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich fold, sharing structural homology with the Ig-like inter-repeat domain of internalins of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. These findings provide unique structural insights into cell-surface protein repeats involved in adhesion of Gram-positive bacteria to the intestine. PMID:24593252

  20. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of biomembrane structural changes and interactions by optical biosensor technology.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Hirst, Daniel J; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2015-09-01

    Biomolecular-membrane interactions play a critical role in the regulation of many important biological processes such as protein trafficking, cellular signalling and ion channel formation. Peptide/protein-membrane interactions can also destabilise and damage the membrane which can lead to cell death. Characterisation of the molecular details of these binding-mediated membrane destabilisation processes is therefore central to understanding cellular events such as antimicrobial action, membrane-mediated amyloid aggregation, and apoptotic protein induced mitochondrial membrane permeabilisation. Optical biosensors have provided a unique approach to characterising membrane interactions allowing quantitation of binding events and new insight into the kinetic mechanism of these interactions. One of the most commonly used optical biosensor technologies is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and there have been an increasing number of studies reporting the use of this technique for investigating biophysical analysis of membrane-mediated events. More recently, a number of new optical biosensors based on waveguide techniques have been developed, allowing membrane structure changes to be measured simultaneously with mass binding measurements. These techniques include dual polarisation interferometry (DPI), plasmon waveguide resonance spectroscopy (PWR) and optical waveguide light mode spectroscopy (OWLS). These techniques have expanded the application of optical biosensors to allow the analysis of membrane structure changes during peptide and protein binding. This review provides a theoretical and practical overview of the application of biosensor technology with a specific focus on DPI, PWR and OWLS to study biomembrane-mediated events and the mechanism of biomembrane disruption. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions. PMID:26009270

  1. New insights on Arctic Quaternary climate variability from palaeo-records and numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, Martin; Long, Antony; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Kjær, Kurt H.; Spielhagen, Robert F.

    2010-12-01

    Terrestrial and marine geological archives in the Arctic contain information on environmental change through Quaternary interglacial-glacial cycles. The Arctic Palaeoclimate and its Extremes (APEX) scientific network aims to better understand the magnitude and frequency of past Arctic climate variability, with focus on the "extreme" versus the "normal" conditions of the climate system. One important motivation for studying the amplitude of past natural environmental changes in the Arctic is to better understand the role of this region in a global perspective and provide base-line conditions against which to explore potential future changes in Arctic climate under scenarios of global warming. In this review we identify several areas that are distinct to the present programme and highlight some recent advances presented in this special issue concerning Arctic palaeo-records and natural variability, including spatial and temporal variability of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Arctic Ocean sediment stratigraphy, past ice shelves and marginal marine ice sheets, and the Cenozoic history of Arctic Ocean sea ice in general and Holocene oscillations in sea ice concentrations in particular. The combined sea ice data suggest that the seasonal Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean. This has important consequences for our understanding of the recent trend of declining sea ice, and calls for further research on causal links between Arctic climate and sea ice.

  2. Genetic response to climatic change: insights from ancient DNA and phylochronology.

    PubMed

    Hadly, Elizabeth A; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Chan, Yvonne L; van Tuinen, Marcel; O'Keefe, Kim; Spaeth, Paula A; Conroy, Chris J

    2004-10-01

    Understanding how climatic change impacts biological diversity is critical to conservation. Yet despite demonstrated effects of climatic perturbation on geographic ranges and population persistence, surprisingly little is known of the genetic response of species. Even less is known over ecologically long time scales pertinent to understanding the interplay between microevolution and environmental change. Here, we present a study of population variation by directly tracking genetic change and population size in two geographically widespread mammal species (Microtus montanus and Thomomys talpoides) during late-Holocene climatic change. We use ancient DNA to compare two independent estimates of population size (ecological and genetic) and corroborate our results with gene diversity and serial coalescent simulations. Our data and analyses indicate that, with population size decreasing at times of climatic change, some species will exhibit declining gene diversity as expected from simple population genetic models, whereas others will not. While our results could be consistent with selection, independent lines of evidence implicate differences in gene flow, which depends on the life history strategy of species. PMID:15361933

  3. Molecular Proxies for Climate Maladaptation in a Long-Lived Tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo-Correa, Juan-Pablo; Rodríguez-Quilón, Isabel; Grivet, Delphine; Lepoittevin, Camille; Sebastiani, Federico; Heuertz, Myriam; Garnier-Géré, Pauline H.; Alía, Ricardo; Plomion, Christophe; Vendramin, Giovanni G.; González-Martínez, Santiago C.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic responses to climate change is a main challenge for preserving biological diversity. Successful predictive models for climate-driven range shifts of species depend on the integration of information on adaptation, including that derived from genomic studies. Long-lived forest trees can experience substantial environmental change across generations, which results in a much more prominent adaptation lag than in annual species. Here, we show that candidate-gene SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) can be used as predictors of maladaptation to climate in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), an outcrossing long-lived keystone tree. A set of 18 SNPs potentially associated with climate, 5 of them involving amino acid-changing variants, were retained after performing logistic regression, latent factor mixed models, and Bayesian analyses of SNP–climate correlations. These relationships identified temperature as an important adaptive driver in maritime pine and highlighted that selective forces are operating differentially in geographically discrete gene pools. The frequency of the locally advantageous alleles at these selected loci was strongly correlated with survival in a common garden under extreme (hot and dry) climate conditions, which suggests that candidate-gene SNPs can be used to forecast the likely destiny of natural forest ecosystems under climate change scenarios. Differential levels of forest decline are anticipated for distinct maritime pine gene pools. Geographically defined molecular proxies for climate adaptation will thus critically enhance the predictive power of range-shift models and help establish mitigation measures for long-lived keystone forest trees in the face of impending climate change. PMID:25549630

  4. Molecular proxies for climate maladaptation in a long-lived tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae).

    PubMed

    Jaramillo-Correa, Juan-Pablo; Rodríguez-Quilón, Isabel; Grivet, Delphine; Lepoittevin, Camille; Sebastiani, Federico; Heuertz, Myriam; Garnier-Géré, Pauline H; Alía, Ricardo; Plomion, Christophe; Vendramin, Giovanni G; González-Martínez, Santiago C

    2015-03-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic responses to climate change is a main challenge for preserving biological diversity. Successful predictive models for climate-driven range shifts of species depend on the integration of information on adaptation, including that derived from genomic studies. Long-lived forest trees can experience substantial environmental change across generations, which results in a much more prominent adaptation lag than in annual species. Here, we show that candidate-gene SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) can be used as predictors of maladaptation to climate in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), an outcrossing long-lived keystone tree. A set of 18 SNPs potentially associated with climate, 5 of them involving amino acid-changing variants, were retained after performing logistic regression, latent factor mixed models, and Bayesian analyses of SNP-climate correlations. These relationships identified temperature as an important adaptive driver in maritime pine and highlighted that selective forces are operating differentially in geographically discrete gene pools. The frequency of the locally advantageous alleles at these selected loci was strongly correlated with survival in a common garden under extreme (hot and dry) climate conditions, which suggests that candidate-gene SNPs can be used to forecast the likely destiny of natural forest ecosystems under climate change scenarios. Differential levels of forest decline are anticipated for distinct maritime pine gene pools. Geographically defined molecular proxies for climate adaptation will thus critically enhance the predictive power of range-shift models and help establish mitigation measures for long-lived keystone forest trees in the face of impending climate change. PMID:25549630

  5. The simulated climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and the insights into the global carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matear, R. J.; Lenton, A.; Etheridge, D.; Phipps, S. J.

    2015-03-01

    Global climate models (GCMs) provide an important tool for simulating the earth's climate. Here we present a GCM simulation of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which was obtained by setting atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and the earth's orbital parameters to the values which prevailed at 21 000 years before present (BP). During the LGM, we simulate a significant cooling of the ocean and a dramatic expansion of the sea-ice extent. This behaviour agrees with reconstructions from paleoclimate archives. In the ocean, the LGM simulation produces a significant redistribution of dissolved oxygen and carbon. The oxygen levels rise and the volume of anoxic water declines by more than 50%, which is consistent with paleoclimate reconstructions of denitrification. The simulated LGM climate also stores more carbon in the deep ocean (below 2000 m), but with a reduced atmospheric CO2 level the total carbon stored in the ocean declines by 600 Pg C. The LGM ocean circulation preconditions the ocean to store carbon in the deep; however, the ocean circulation and sea-ice changes are insufficient alone to increase the total carbon stored in the ocean and modifications to the ocean biogeochemical cycles are required. With modifications to organic and inorganic carbon export and organic carbon remineralization one can increase ocean carbon storage (240 Pg C) to a level that is sufficient to explain the reduction in atmospheric and land carbon during the LGM (520 ± 400 Pg C). With the modified biogeochemical cycling in the ocean, the simulated aragonite lysocline depth and dissolved oxygen become more consistent with paleo-reconstructions.

  6. Enhanced insights into late Quaternary African hydroclimate dynamics using a water-isotope enabled climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singarayer, Joy; Holloway, Max

    2016-04-01

    The climate of intertropical Africa is strongly governed by the dynamics of the tropical rainbelt, which is often associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). On millennial time-scales the primary drivers of variation in the rainbelt include orbital configuration changes to insolation seasonality and high-latitude forcing (e.g. Heinrich events). The spatial pattern of precipitation variability in tropical and subtropical Africa over the late Quaternary is complex and has long been debated. Stable water isotopes from inland lakes and off-shore ocean core records have provided longitudinal records, variously interpreted as changes to precipitation intensity or changes to moisture source location due to atmospheric circulation changes (or a combination of several factors). In this preliminary study we have used a global climate model, HadCM3, in which water isotopes are interactively coupled to produce snapshots at 1000-year intervals covering the last deglaciation (21kyr to pre-industrial). In conjunction with a comparison to available palaeodata, this enables us to better elucidate the connections between precipitation and other climate factors with changes to the water isotope signature, as well as how this varies regionally and through time.

  7. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990–2010

    PubMed Central

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat–sheep production zone from 1991–2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF). PMID:27022910

  8. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990-2010.

    PubMed

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat-sheep production zone from 1991-2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF). PMID:27022910

  9. New insights into the molecular-level control of silica mineralization by diatoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, A. F.; Dove, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    microscopy with elements of modern materials chemistry, to directly measure the rate of amorphous silica nucleation on COOH, NH3+, and COOH / NH3+-terminated surfaces under controlled solution conditions. Our results provide new insights into the molecular-level control of silica mineralization in diatoms. We show that differences between substrate-specific nucleation rates are controlled largely by kinetic factors rather than thermodynamic drivers, and that amine-terminated surfaces are not capable of triggering the onset of silica deposition without the synergistic activity of neighboring negatively charged species on the surface or in solution (e.g. carboxyl or phosphoryl groups). In light of this result we conclude that sites on the organic matrix that have phosphate and amine moieties in close proximity serve not only as contact points between the constituent macromolecules in the matrix, but also as initial sites of silica deposition.

  10. Late Oligocene to Late Miocene Antarctic Climate Reconstructions Using Molecular and Isotopic Biomarker Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, B.; Mckay, R. M.; Bendle, J. A.; Naish, T.; Levy, R. H.; Ventura, G. T.; Moossen, H. M.; Krishnan, S.; Pagani, M.

    2015-12-01

    Major climate and environmental changes occurred during late Oligocene to the late Miocene when atmospheric CO2 ranged between 500 and 300ppm, indicating threshold response of Antarctic ice sheets and climate to relatively modest CO2 variations. This implies that the southern high latitudes are highly sensitive to feedbacks associated with changes in global ice sheet and sea-ice extent, as well as terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This study focuses on two key intervals during the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: (1) The Late Oligocene and the Oligocene/Miocene boundary, when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet expanded close to present day volume following an extended period of inferred warmth. (2) The Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO ~17-15 Ma), a period of global warmth and moderately elevated CO2 (350->500 ppm) which was subsequently followed by rapid cooling at 14-13.5 Ma. Reconstructions of climate and ice sheet variability, and thus an understanding of the various feedbacks that occurred during these intervals, are hampered by a lack of temperature and hydroclimate proxy data from the southern high latitudes. We present proxy climate reconstructions using terrestrial and marine organic biomarkers that provide new insights into Antarctica's climate evolution, using Antarctic drill cores and outcrop samples from a range of depositional settings. Bacterial ether-lipids have been analysed to determine terrestrial mean annual temperatures and soil pH (via the methylation and cyclisation indexes of branched tetraethers - MBT and CBT, respectively). Tetraether-lipids of crenarchaeota found in marine sediments sampled from continental shelves around Antarctica have been used to derive sea surface temperatures using the TEX86 index. Compound specific stable isotopes on n-alkanes sourced from terrestrial plants have been analysed to investigate changes in the hydrological and carbon cycles.

  11. π-Hydrogen Bonding of Aromatics on the Surface of Aerosols: Insights from Ab Initio and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ya-Juan; Huang, Teng; Wang, Chao; Liu, Yi-Rong; Jiang, Shuai; Miao, Shou-Kui; Chen, Jiao; Huang, Wei

    2016-07-14

    Molecular level insight into the interaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aerosols is crucial for improvement of atmospheric chemistry models. In this paper, the interaction between adsorbed toluene, one of the most significant VOCs in the urban atmosphere, and the aqueous surface of aerosols was studied by means of combined molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum chemistry calculations. It is revealed that toluene can be stably adsorbed on the surface of aqueous droplets via hydroxyl-π hydrogen bonding between the H atoms of the water molecules and the C atoms in the aromatic ring. Further, significant modifications on the electrostatic potential map and frontier molecular orbital are induced by the solvation effect of surface water molecules, which would affect the reactivity and pathway of the atmospheric photooxidation of toluene. This study demonstrates that the surface interactions should be taken into consideration in the atmospheric chemical models on oxidation of aromatics. PMID:27280740

  12. KZai 02 pollen record, an insight into West African monsoon fluctuations during the Last Climatic Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalibard, M.; Popescu, S.; Maley, J.; Suc, J.

    2012-12-01

    Climate of the circum-Atlantic intertropical zone is driven by the ocean/atmosphere dynamics in response to variations of yearly insolation. These latitudes correspond to the convergence of the Hadley cells expressed on earth surface by intense trade winds and in lower troposphere by the African easterly jet making the edges of the intertropical zone relatively dry, while humidity is concentrated near the Equator. This phenomenon generates a precipitation front, known as the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the oscillations of which regulate the latitudinal vegetation distribution. Pollen record of core KZai 02 (Guinea Gulf) allows high resolution reconstruction of variations of past ecosystems over Central Africa during the Last Climatic Cycle. Plant taxa recorded in pollen analyses have been clustered according to their ecological requirements and African phytogeography. Fluctuations of these groups inform on precipitation intensity and their distribution during the last 130 ka. During Glacials, an open vegetation made of Cyperaceae marshes developed in the central Zaire/Congo Basin, surrounded by savannah on borders and afromontane forests on reliefs. Composition and distribution of vegetation indicate a decrease in monsoon activity and the strengthening of the precipitation front in the center of the basin. Interglacial phases are characterized by rain forest expansion over Central Africa in response to a precipitation enhancement associated with a northward shift of the rainfall front. Replacement of afromontane forest and marsh ecosystems by savannah then lowland pioneering, warm-temperate and rain forests characterized glacial/interglacial transitions. This succession suggests the increasing influence of at least two climatic parameters: the water availability and temperature and/or CO2 fluctuation. Spectral analysis applied to vegetation groups evidences the forcing of insolation, mainly driven by precession, on the West African monsoon system. Sub

  13. What Actually Confers Adaptive Capacity? Insights from Agro-Climatic Vulnerability of Australian Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Brett A.; Huai, Jianjun; Connor, Jeff; Gao, Lei; King, Darran; Kandulu, John; Zhao, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerability assessments have often invoked sustainable livelihoods theory to support the quantification of adaptive capacity based on the availability of capital—social, human, physical, natural, and financial. However, the assumption that increased availability of these capitals confers greater adaptive capacity remains largely untested. We quantified the relationship between commonly used capital indicators and an empirical index of adaptive capacity (ACI) in the context of vulnerability of Australian wheat production to climate variability and change. We calculated ACI by comparing actual yields from farm survey data to climate-driven expected yields estimated by a crop model for 12 regions in Australia’s wheat-sheep zone from 1991–2010. We then compiled data for 24 typical indicators used in vulnerability analyses, spanning the five capitals. We analyzed the ACI and used regression techniques to identify related capital indicators. Between regions, mean ACI was not significantly different but variance over time was. ACI was higher in dry years and lower in wet years suggesting that farm adaptive strategies are geared towards mitigating losses rather than capitalizing on opportunity. Only six of the 24 capital indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity in a way predicted by theory. Another four indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity but of the opposite sign, countering our theory-driven expectation. We conclude that the deductive, theory-based use of capitals to define adaptive capacity and vulnerability should be more circumspect. Assessments need to be more evidence-based, first testing the relevance and influence of capital metrics on adaptive capacity for the specific system of interest. This will more effectively direct policy and targeting of investment to mitigate agro-climatic vulnerability. PMID:25668192

  14. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors.

    PubMed

    Dineshram, Ramadoss; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, Ginger Wai Kuen; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2016-06-01

    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs. PMID:26990129

  15. New Biogeographic insight into Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): integration from fossil records and molecular analyses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Given that most species that have ever existed on earth are extinct, it stands to reason that the evolutionary history can be better understood with fossil taxa. Bauhinia is a typical genus of pantropical intercontinental disjunction among the Asian, African, and American continents. Geographic distribution patterns are better recognized when fossil records and molecular sequences are combined in the analyses. Here, we describe a new macrofossil species of Bauhinia from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan County, Southeast Yunnan, China, and elucidate the biogeographic significance through the analyses of molecules and fossils. Results Morphometric analysis demonstrates that the leaf shapes of B. acuminata, B. championii, B. chalcophylla, B. purpurea, and B. podopetala closely resemble the leaf shapes of the new finding fossil. Phylogenetic relationships among the Bauhinia species were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, which inferred that species in Bauhinia species are well-resolved into three main groups. Divergence times were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method under a relaxed clock, and inferred that the stem diversification time of Bauhinia was ca. 62.7 Ma. The Asian lineage first diverged at ca. 59.8 Ma, followed by divergence of the Africa lineage starting during the late Eocene, whereas that of the neotropical lineage starting during the middle Miocene. Conclusions Hypotheses relying on vicariance or continental history to explain pantropical disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. We suggest that Bauhinia originated in the middle Paleocene in Laurasia, probably in Asia, implying a possible Tethys Seaway origin or an “Out of Tropical Asia”, and dispersal of legumes. Its present pantropical disjunction resulted from disruption of the boreotropical flora by climatic cooling after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal

  16. Insights into Low-frequency Climate Dynamics from a Surface Temperature Reconstruction Spanning the Last 2,000 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, J.; Emile-Geay, J.; McKay, N.; Guillot, D.

    2015-12-01

    Reconstructions of surface temperature over the past 2000 years extend our knowledge of temperature changes beyond the instrumental era, and thus allows for the characterization of climate variability on multidecadal to centennial timescales. This lends insight into our understanding and quantification of the influence of exogenous and endogenous global climate variability. In this study, we do so via a set of global temperature reconstructions based on the latest incarnation of the PAGES 2k global multi-proxy database (http://www.pages-igbp.org/ini/wg/2k-network/data/phase-2-data-status). Two climate field reconstruction (CFR) methods are employed: Gaussian graphical models embedded within the regularized EM algorithm (GraphEM, Guillot et al., 2015) and Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA, Smerdon et al., 2010). We find a globally warm Medieval period, which was colder than the late twentieth-century by 0.5 C. With a probability of 87%, the 1961 - 1990 period was the warmest 40-year period in the past 2000 years in most regions, especially in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. We show that surface temperature has a robust large-scale cooling pattern shortly after a volcanic eruption; in particular, over the North Atlantic Ocean, the cooling can persist up to 3 years after an eruption. An El Niño-like response (~0.2 C) is also found in 2 and 3 years after an eruption. Solar irradiance forcing is found to be an important modulator of multidecadal climate variability, with the strongest solar response (0.25 C) in high latitude North America. These key features are echoed in multiple GCM simulations of the last millennium, though we find notable differences, in particular regarding the timing of the post-volcanic ENSO response, and the magnitude of the temperature response to solar irradiance forcing. The results suggest that there is no fundamental discrepancy between simulated and reconstructed climates of the last millennium, and thus lend credibility

  17. Unraveling the molecular effects of mutation L270P on Wiskkot-Aldrich syndrome protein: insights from molecular dynamics approach.

    PubMed

    Palaniappan, Chandrasekaran; Rao, Sethumadhavan; Ramalingam, Rajasekaran

    2016-09-01

    Missense mutation L270P disrupts the auto-inhibited state of "Wiskkot-Aldrich syndrome protein" (WASP), thereby constitutively activating the mutant structure, a key event for pathogenesis of X-linked neutropenia (XLN). In this study, we comprehensively deciphered the molecular feature of activated mutant structure by all atom molecular dynamics (MD) approach. MD analysis revealed that mutant structure exposed a wide variation in the spatial environment of atoms, resulting in enhanced residue flexibility. The increased flexibility of residues favored to decrease the number of intra-molecular hydrogen bonding interactions in mutant structure. The reduction of hydrogen bonds in the mutant structure resulted to disrupt the local folding of secondary structural elements that eventually affect the proper folding of mutants. The unfolded state of mutant structure established more number of inter-molecular hydrogen bonding interaction at interface level due to the conformational variability, thus mediated high binding affinity with its interacting partner, Cdc42. PMID:26457828

  18. The role of observational reference data for climate downscaling: Insights from the VALUE COST Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotlarski, Sven; Gutiérrez, José M.; Boberg, Fredrik; Bosshard, Thomas; Cardoso, Rita M.; Herrera, Sixto; Maraun, Douglas; Mezghani, Abdelkader; Pagé, Christian; Räty, Olle; Stepanek, Petr; Soares, Pedro M. M.; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    VALUE is an open European network to validate and compare downscaling methods for climate change research (http://www.value-cost.eu). A key deliverable of VALUE is the development of a systematic validation framework to enable the assessment and comparison of downscaling methods. Such assessments can be expected to crucially depend on the existence of accurate and reliable observational reference data. In dynamical downscaling, observational data can influence model development itself and, later on, model evaluation, parameter calibration and added value assessment. In empirical-statistical downscaling, observations serve as predictand data and directly influence model calibration with corresponding effects on downscaled climate change projections. We here present a comprehensive assessment of the influence of uncertainties in observational reference data and of scale-related issues on several of the above-mentioned aspects. First, temperature and precipitation characteristics as simulated by a set of reanalysis-driven EURO-CORDEX RCM experiments are validated against three different gridded reference data products, namely (1) the EOBS dataset (2) the recently developed EURO4M-MESAN regional re-analysis, and (3) several national high-resolution and quality-controlled gridded datasets that recently became available. The analysis reveals a considerable influence of the choice of the reference data on the evaluation results, especially for precipitation. It is also illustrated how differences between the reference data sets influence the ranking of RCMs according to a comprehensive set of performance measures.

  19. Molecular-Level Insights into Photocatalysis from Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies on TiO2(110)

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, Michael A.; Lyubinetsky, Igor

    2013-06-12

    The field of heterogeneous photocatalysis has grown considerably in the decades since Fujishima and Honda's ground-breaking publications of photoelectrochemistry on TiO2. Numerous review articles continue to point to both progress made in the use of heterogeneous materials (such as TiO2) to perform photoconversion processes, and the many opportunities and challenges in heterogeneous photocatalysis research such as solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. The past decade has also seen an increase in the use of molecular-level approaches applied to model single crystal surfaces in an effort to obtain new insights into photocatalytic phenomena. In particular, scanning probe techniques (SPM) have enabled researchers to take a ‘nanoscale’ approach to photocatalysis that includes interrogation of the reactivities of specific sites and adsorbates on a model photocatalyst surface. The rutile TiO2(110) surface has become the prototypical oxide single crystal surface for fundamental studies of many interfacial phenomena. In particular, TiO2(110) has become an excellent model surface for probing photochemical and photocatalytic reactions at the molecular level. A variety of experimental approaches have emerged as being ideally suited for studying photochemical reactions on TiO2(110), including desorption-oriented approaches and electronic spectroscopies, but perhaps the most promising techniques for evaluating site-specific properties are those of SPM. In this review, we highlight the growing use of SPM techniques in providing molecular-level insights into surface photochemistry on the model photocatalyst surface of rutile TiO2(110). Our objective is to both illustrate the unique knowledge that scanning probe techniques have already provided the field of photocatalysis, and also to motivate a new generation of effort into the use of such approaches to obtain new insights into the molecular level details of photochemical events occurring at interfaces

  20. Vulnerability of the northern Mongolian steppe to climate change: insights from flower production and phenology.

    PubMed

    Liancourt, Pierre; Spence, Laura A; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Helliker, Brent R; Casper, Brenda B; Petraitis, Peter S

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid, northern Mongolian steppe, which still supports pastoral nomads who have used the steppe for millennia, has experienced an average 1.7 degrees C temperature rise over the past 40 years. Continuing climate change is likely to affect flowering phenology and flower numbers with potentially important consequences for plant community composition, ecosystem services, and herder livelihoods. Over the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we examined flowering responses to climate manipulation using open-top passive warming chambers (OTCs) at two locations on a south-facing slope: one on the moister, cooler lower slope and the other on the drier, warmer upper slope, where a watering treatment was added in a factorial design with warming. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) revealed that OTCs reduced flower production and delayed peak flowering in graminoids as a whole but only affected forbs on the upper slope, where peak flowering was also delayed. OTCs affected flowering phenology in seven of eight species, which were examined individually, either by altering the time of peak flowering and/or the onset and/or cessation of flowering, as revealed by survival analysis. In 2010, which was the drier year, OTCs reduced flower production in two grasses but increased production in an annual forb found only on the upper slope. The particular effects of OTCs on phenology, and whether they caused an extension or contraction of the flowering season, differed among species, and often depended on year, or slope, or watering treatment; however, a relatively strong pattern emerged for 2010 when four species showed a contraction of the flowering season in OTCs. Watering increased flower production in two species in 2010, but slope location more often affected flowering phenology than did watering. Our results show the importance of taking landscape-scale variation into account in climate change studies and also contrasted with those of several studies set in cold

  1. Global warming and changes in risk of concurrent climate extremes: Insights from the 2014 California drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AghaKouchak, Amir; Cheng, Linyin; Mazdiyasni, Omid; Farahmand, Alireza

    2014-12-01

    Global warming and the associated rise in extreme temperatures substantially increase the chance of concurrent droughts and heat waves. The 2014 California drought is an archetype of an event characterized by not only low precipitation but also extreme high temperatures. From the raging wildfires, to record low storage levels and snowpack conditions, the impacts of this event can be felt throughout California. Wintertime water shortages worry decision-makers the most because it is the season to build up water supplies for the rest of the year. Here we show that the traditional univariate risk assessment methods based on precipitation condition may substantially underestimate the risk of extreme events such as the 2014 California drought because of ignoring the effects of temperature. We argue that a multivariate viewpoint is necessary for assessing risk of extreme events, especially in a warming climate. This study discusses a methodology for assessing the risk of concurrent extremes such as droughts and extreme temperatures.

  2. Climate control on ancestral population dynamics: insight from Patagonian fish phylogeography.

    PubMed

    Ruzzante, Daniel E; Walde, Sandra J; Gosse, John C; Cussac, Victor E; Habit, Evelyn; Zemlak, Tyler S; Adams, Emily D M

    2008-05-01

    Changes in lake and stream habitats during the growth and retreat of Pleistocene glaciers repeatedly altered the spatial distributions and population sizes of the aquatic fauna of the southern Andes. Here, we use variation in mtDNA control region sequences to infer the temporal dynamics of two species of southern Andean fish during the past few million years. At least five important climate events were associated with major demographic changes: (i) the widespread glaciations of the mid-Pliocene (c. 3.5 Ma); (ii) the largest Patagonian glaciation (1.1 Ma); (iii) the coldest Pleistocene glaciation as indicated by stacked marine delta(18)O (c. 0.7 Ma); (iv) the last southern Patagonian glaciation to reach the Atlantic coast (180 ka); and (v) the last glacial maximum (LGM, 23-25,000 years ago). The colder-water inhabitant, Galaxias platei, underwent a strong bottleneck during the LGM and its haplotype diversity coalesces c. 0.7 Ma. In contrast, the more warm-adapted and widely distributed Percichthys trucha showed continuous growth through the last two glacial cycles but went through an important bottleneck c. 180,000 years ago, at which time populations east of the Andes may have been eliminated. Haplotype diversity of the most divergent P. trucha populations, found west of the Andes, coalesces c. 3.2 Ma. The demographic timelines obtained for the two species thus illustrate the continent-wide response of aquatic life in Patagonia to climate change during the Pleistocene, but also show how differing ecological traits and distributions led to distinctive responses. PMID:18363661

  3. New Insights on Hydro-Climate Feedback Processes over the Tropical Ocean from TRMM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lau, William K. M.; Wu, H. T.; Li, Xiaofan; Sui, C. H.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we study hydro-climate feedback processes over the tropical oceans, by examining the relationships among large scale circulation and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager-Sea Surface Temperature (TMI-SST), and a range of TRMM rain products including rain rate, cloud liquid water, precipitable water, cloud types and areal coverage, and precipitation efficiency. Results show that for a warm event (1998), the 28C threshold of convective precipitation is quite well defined over the tropical oceans. However, for a cold event (1999), the SST threshold is less well defined, especially over the central and eastern Pacific cold tongue, where stratiform rain occurs at much lower than 28 C. Precipitation rates and cloud liquid water are found to be more closely related to the large scale vertical motion than to the underlying SST. While total columnar water vapor is more strongly dependent on SST. For a large domain, over the eastern Pacific, we find that the areal extent of the cloudy region tends to shrink as the SST increases. Examination of the relationship between cloud liquid water and rain rate suggests that the residence time of cloud liquid water tends to be shorter, associated with higher precipitation efficiency in a warmer climate. It is hypothesized that the reduction in cloudy area may be influenced both by the shift in large scale cloud patterns in response to changes in large scale forcings, and possible increase in the cloud liquid water conversion to rain water in a warmer environment. Results of numerical experiments with the Goddard cloud resolving model to test the hypothesis will be discussed.

  4. Oldest isotopically characterized fish otoliths provide insight to Jurassic continental climate of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, William P.

    1999-03-01

    Large, shallow, epeiric seas and adjacent lagoons such as those described herein likely played a significant role in moderating Jurassic coastal and continental climate. Jurassic (Bathonian) ocean surface temperatures in Scotland have been calculated from δ18O(CaCO3) values of a suite of the oldest well-preserved fish otoliths analyzed to date. Otolith δ18O values range from -4.7‰ to -1.9‰ (Vienna Peedee belemnite, VPDB), while δ13C(CaCO3) values vary from -5.4‰ to +1.5‰ (VPDB), representing the oldest stable isotopic record of paleodiet, paleoecology, and fish migration to date. Using a global ocean δ18O(H2O) value of -1.0‰ (Vienna standard mean ocean water, VSMOW) for an ice-free Jurassic, fish species that migrated from estuarine to open marine water record time-averaged temperatures of 23 °C. Estuarine fish, assuming a similar temperature, record variation in δ18O(H2O) values from -3.7‰ to -2.0‰ (VSMOW). That significant mixing of fresh water and seawater occurred in the Jurassic in Scotland is in general agreement with data presented by others (molluscan fauna, lithostratigraphy, paleogeography, and paleocirculation models). The δ18O values and temperatures derived in this study correspond to the meteorologic and hydrologic parameters of a mid-latitude maritime climate with low seasonality, a mean temperature of 23 °C, and abundant precipitation and humidity. The δ18O(H2O) values calculated from estuarine fish indicate that rainfall must have a δ18O(H2O) value lower than -3.7‰ (VSMOW). Values of δ18O and δ13C suggest an environment hydrologically similar to that observed in the Everglades of south Florida or the estuaries of south Texas, both notable fish nurseries today. However, sea-surface temperatures were lower than those of modern Florida or Texas as evidenced by reduced evaporative enrichment of δ18O(H2O) values.

  5. Insights from the Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Cellobiohydrolase Cel6A Molecular Structural Model from Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3.

    PubMed

    Dodda, Subba Reddy; Sarkar, Nibedita; Aikat, Kaustav; Krishnaraj, Navanietha R; Bhattacharjee, Sanchari; Bagchi, Angshuman; Mukhopadhyay, Sudit S

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for bioethanol is increasing tremendously as it could help to replace the conventional fossil fuel and at the same time supporting the bioremediation of huge volume of cellulosic wastes generated from different sources. Ideal genetic engineering approaches are essential to improve the efficacy of the bioethanol production processes for real time applications. A locally isolated fungal strain Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3 was used in our laboratory for the hydrolysis of lignocellulose with good cellulolytic activity when compared with other contemporary fungal strains. An attempt is made to sequence the cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, model its structure to predict its catalytic activity towards improving the protein by genetic engineering approaches. Herein, the structure of the sequenced Cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, modelled by homology modelling and its validation is reported. Further the catalytic activity of the modelled CBH enzyme was assessed by molecular docking analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CBH from A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3 belongs to the Glycohydro 6 (Cel6A) super family. Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation suggest the structural and functional mechanism of the enzyme. The structures of both the cellulose binding (CBD) and catalytic domain (CD) have been compared with most widely studied CBH of Trichoderma reesei. The molecular docking with cellulose suggests that Gln 248, Pro 287, Val236, Asn284, and Ala288 are the main amino acids involved in the hydrolysis of the β, 1-4, glycosidic bonds of cellulose. PMID:27109185

  6. Using Variation Theory with Metacognitive Monitoring to Develop Insights into How Students Learn from Molecular Visualizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Resa M.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular visualizations have been widely endorsed by many chemical educators as an efficient way to convey the dynamic and atomic-level details of chemistry events. Research indicates that students who use molecular visualizations are able to incorporate most of the intended features of the animations into their explanations. However, studies…

  7. Insight into glacier climate interaction: reconstruction of the mass balance field using ice extent data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

    With the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 20 000 years ago, ended the most recent long-lasting cold phase in Earth's history. We recently developed a model that describes large-scale erosion and its response to climate and dynamical changes with the application to the Alps for the LGM period. Here we will present an inverse approach we have recently developed to infer the LGM mass balance from known ice extent data, focusing on a glacier or ice cap. The ice flow model is developed using the shallow ice approximation and the developed codes are accelerated using GPUs capabilities. The mass balance field is the constrained variable defined by the balance rate β and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), where c is the cutoff value: b = max(βṡ(S(z) - ELA), c) We show that such a mass balance can be constrained from the observed past ice extent and ice thickness. We are also investigating several different geostatistical methods to constrain spatially variable mass balance, and derive uncertainties on each of the mass balance parameters.

  8. Late Triassic tropical climate of Pangea: Carbon isotopic and other insights into the rise of dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Lindström, S.; Irmis, R. B.; Glasspool, I.; Schaller, M. F.; Dunlavey, M.; Nesbitt, S. J.; Smith, N. D.; Turner, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    The rarity and species-poor nature of early dinosaurs and their relatives at low paleolatitudes persisted for 30 million years after their origin and 10-15 million years after they became abundant and speciose at higher latitudes. New environmental reconstructions from stable carbon isotope ratios of preserved organic matter (δ13Corg), atmospheric pCO2 data based on the δ13C of soil carbonate, palynological, and wildfire data from charcoal from early dinosaur-bearing strata at low paleolatitudes in western North America show that variations in δ13Corg and palynomorph ecotypes are tightly correlated, displaying large and high-frequency excursions. These variations occurred within an environment characterized by elevated and increasing atmospheric pCO2, pervasive wildfires, and rapidly fluctuating extreme climatic conditions. Whereas pseudosuchian archosaur-dominated communities were able to persist in these same regions until the end-Triassic, the large-bodied, fast-growing tachymetabolic dinosaurian herbivores were not. We hypothesize that the greater resources required by the herbivores made it difficult from them to adapt to the unstable conditions at low paleolatitudes in the Late Triassic.

  9. Baffin Island snow extent sensitivity: Insights from a regional climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berdahl, Mira; Robock, Alan

    2013-05-01

    Recent modeling efforts suggest that the Little Ice Age (LIA) onset could be explained by a series of four large decadally-spaced volcanic eruptions. At that time, glaciers on Baffin Island advanced and did not retreat until the past century, perhaps due to Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean sea ice feedbacks. To try to determine what parameters sustain snow cover, we investigate the relative impacts of changes in radiation and advection on minimum summer snow extent over Baffin Island. We used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to run eight 6 month long (April-September), 10 km resolution simulations, in which we varied boundary condition temperatures, solar radiation, and sea ice cover. Although the Control Run underestimated cloud cover and thus produced an exaggerated diurnal 2 m temperature cycle, the relative changes of snow extent show that WRF accurately simulates snow expansion into the same regions as during the LIA. With an average temperature decrease from current temperatures by -3.9 ± 1.1 K, it only requires one season for the model to lower the snowline by comparable elevation changes seen during the descent into the LIA. WRF's maximum snow line sensitivity is 7 K/km, within the range of the typically assumed lapse rate of 5-7 K/km in the Canadian Arctic. Thus, if a shift in the Arctic climate greatly expanded sea ice coverage following large volcanic eruptions, this would have been enough to perpetuate an ice sheet on Baffin Island throughout the LIA.

  10. Molecular cooperativity in the dynamics of glass-forming systems: A new insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, L.; Gujrati, P. D.; Novikov, V. N.; Sokolov, A. P.

    2009-11-01

    The mechanism behind the steep slowing down of molecular motions upon approaching the glass transition remains a great puzzle. Most of the theories relate this mechanism to the cooperativity in molecular motion. In this work, we estimate the length scale of molecular cooperativity ξ for many glass-forming systems from the collective vibrations (the so-called boson peak). The obtained values agree well with the dynamic heterogeneity length scale estimated using four-dimensional NMR. We demonstrate that ξ directly correlates to the dependence of the structural relaxation on volume. This dependence presents only one part of the mechanism of slowing down the structural relaxation. Our analysis reveals that another part, the purely thermal variation in the structural relaxation (at constant volume), does not have a direct correlation with molecular cooperativity. These results call for a conceptually new approach to the analysis of the mechanism of the glass transition and to the role of molecular cooperativity.

  11. Atomic-Scale Insight into Tautomeric Recognition, Separation, and Interconversion of Guanine Molecular Networks on Au(111).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chi; Xie, Lei; Wang, Likun; Kong, Huihui; Tan, Qinggang; Xu, Wei

    2015-09-16

    Although tautomerization may directly affect the chemical or biological properties of molecules, real-space investigation on the tautomeric behaviors of organic molecules in a larger area of molecular networks has been scarcely reported. In this paper, we choose guanine (G) molecule as a model system. From the interplay of high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we have successfully achieved the tautomeric recognition, separation, and interconversion of G molecular networks (formed by two tautomeric forms G/9H and G/7H) with the aid of NaCl on the Au(111) surface in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. Our results may serve as a prototypical system to provide important insights into tautomerization related issues, which should be intriguing to biochemistry, pharmaceutics, and other related fields. PMID:26322860

  12. Understanding impacts of climatic extremes on diarrheal disease epidemics: Insights from mechanistic disease propagation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jutla, A.; Akanda, A. S.; Colwell, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    increased climatic variability, such as acceleration of hydrological cycle, hydroclimatic hazards, etc on diarrheal disease outbreaks.

  13. Historical Arctic Logbooks Provide Insights into Past Diets and Climatic Responses of Cod.

    PubMed

    Townhill, Bryony L; Maxwell, David; Engelhard, Georg H; Simpson, Stephen D; Pinnegar, John K

    2015-01-01

    Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) stocks in the Barents Sea are currently at levels not seen since the 1950s. Causes for the population increase last century, and understanding of whether such large numbers will be maintained in the future, are unclear. To explore this, we digitised and interrogated historical cod catch and diet datasets from the Barents Sea. Seventeen years of catch data and 12 years of prey data spanning 1930-1959 cover unexplored spatial and temporal ranges, and importantly capture the end of a previous warm period, when temperatures were similar to those currently being experienced. This study aimed to evaluate cod catch per unit effort and prey frequency in relation to spatial, temporal and environmental variables. There was substantial spatio-temporal heterogeneity in catches through the time series. The highest catches were generally in the 1930s and 1940s, although at some localities more cod were recorded late in the 1950s. Generalized Additive Models showed that environmental, spatial and temporal variables are all valuable descriptors of cod catches, with the highest occurring from 15-45°E longitude and 73-77°N latitude, at bottom temperatures between 2 and 4°C and at depths between 150 and 250 m. Cod diets were highly variable during the study period, with frequent changes in the relative frequencies of different prey species, particularly Mallotus villosus (capelin). Environmental variables were particularly good at describing the importance of capelin and Clupea harengus (herring) in the diet. These new analyses support existing knowledge about how the ecology of the region is controlled by climatic variability. When viewed in combination with more recent data, these historical relationships will be valuable in forecasting the future of Barents Sea fisheries, and in understanding how environments and ecosystems may respond. PMID:26331271

  14. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    PubMed

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification. PMID:26510159

  15. Historical Arctic Logbooks Provide Insights into Past Diets and Climatic Responses of Cod

    PubMed Central

    Townhill, Bryony L.; Maxwell, David; Engelhard, Georg H.; Simpson, Stephen D.; Pinnegar, John K.

    2015-01-01

    Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) stocks in the Barents Sea are currently at levels not seen since the 1950s. Causes for the population increase last century, and understanding of whether such large numbers will be maintained in the future, are unclear. To explore this, we digitised and interrogated historical cod catch and diet datasets from the Barents Sea. Seventeen years of catch data and 12 years of prey data spanning 1930–1959 cover unexplored spatial and temporal ranges, and importantly capture the end of a previous warm period, when temperatures were similar to those currently being experienced. This study aimed to evaluate cod catch per unit effort and prey frequency in relation to spatial, temporal and environmental variables. There was substantial spatio-temporal heterogeneity in catches through the time series. The highest catches were generally in the 1930s and 1940s, although at some localities more cod were recorded late in the 1950s. Generalized Additive Models showed that environmental, spatial and temporal variables are all valuable descriptors of cod catches, with the highest occurring from 15–45°E longitude and 73–77°N latitude, at bottom temperatures between 2 and 4°C and at depths between 150 and 250 m. Cod diets were highly variable during the study period, with frequent changes in the relative frequencies of different prey species, particularly Mallotus villosus (capelin). Environmental variables were particularly good at describing the importance of capelin and Clupea harengus (herring) in the diet. These new analyses support existing knowledge about how the ecology of the region is controlled by climatic variability. When viewed in combination with more recent data, these historical relationships will be valuable in forecasting the future of Barents Sea fisheries, and in understanding how environments and ecosystems may respond. PMID:26331271

  16. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change

    PubMed Central

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification. PMID:26510159

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. The microtubule-associated molecular pathways may be genetically disrupted in patients with Bipolar Disorder. Insights from the molecular cascades.

    PubMed

    Drago, Antonio; Crisafulli, Concetta; Sidoti, Antonina; Calabrò, Marco; Serretti, Alessandro

    2016-01-15

    Bipolar Disorder is a severe disease characterized by pathological mood swings from major depressive episodes to manic ones and vice versa. The biological underpinnings of Bipolar Disorder have yet to be defined. As a consequence, pharmacological treatments are suboptimal. In the present paper we test the hypothesis that the molecular pathways involved with the direct targets of lithium, hold significantly more genetic variations associated with BD. A molecular pathway approach finds its rationale in the polygenic nature of the disease. The pathways were tested in a sample of ∼ 7,000 patients and controls. Data are available from the public NIMH database. The definition of the pathways was conducted according to the National Cancer Institute (http://pid.nci.nih.gov/). As a result, 3 out of the 18 tested pathways related to lithium action resisted the permutation analysis and were found to be associated with BD. These pathways were related to Reelin, Integrins and Aurora. A pool of genes selected from the ones linked with the above pathways was further investigated in order to identify the fine molecular mechanics shared by our significant pathways and also their link with lithium mechanism of action. The data obtained point out to a possible involvement of microtubule-related mechanics. PMID:26551401

  19. Isotopic ratios of rainfall in eastern Africa: insights into reconstructing past climate from terrestrial archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, N. E.; Cerling, T. E.; Brown, F. H.; Quade, J.; Harris, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    The timing and intensity of rainfall dominate climate variability in eastern Africa on seasonal, interannual, and precessional timescales. Today, rainfall in eastern Africa is coupled to the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the Congo Air Boundary; major wet and dry intervals during the late Pleistocene and Holocene are viewed with respect to the movement of these convergence zones. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic ratios of rainfall in eastern Africa today reflect rainfall amount, moisture source and position relative to convergence zones, such that rainfall sourced in the Indian Ocean yields δ18O and δD values that are lower than δ18O and δD values of rainfall from interior sources (e.g., Congo Basin, Sud). An interior, recycled moisture source is likely responsible for the high δ18O and δD values of meteoric waters in Ethiopia today relative to other regions in East Africa. Here we propose that the connections between isotopic composition and moisture source in rainfall today can be used as a template for identifying shifts in moisture source and the position of convergence zones in the past. The isotopic composition of meteoric water is recorded in a variety of terrestrial materials such as soil and spring carbonates, bioapatites, mollusks and plant waxes, which have the potential to document the seasonality, intensity and source of rainfall. Soil carbonates and bioapatite from Pliocene and Pleistocene rift sediments in Kenya and Ethiopia indicate a >4‰ increase in δ18O values of rainfall since 2.0 Ma. In the Turkana Basin of northern Kenya, this record indicates more intense rainfall from the southeasterly monsoon prior to 2.0 Ma. In the Awash Basin of northeastern Ethiopia, low δ18O values in Plio-Pleistocene carbonates and bioapatite likely reflect the input of Indian Ocean moisture, which does not contribute substantial amounts of rainfall to the Awash Basin today. A northwestward shift of the Congo Air Boundary and an intensified

  20. Climatic vs. Seismic Controlled Rockglacier Advances in Northern Tien Shan - Insights from Lichenometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenwinkel, S.; Korup, O.; Landgraf, A.; Dzhumabaeva, A.

    2014-12-01

    patterns vary between the different locations and support the notion that the analyzed Tien Shan rockglaciers do not record climate-driven advances exclusively. We conclude by highlighting a number of constraints that may limit the use of lichenometry for dating rockglacier advances, and scope for future research on seismic triggers.

  1. Climate- vs. Earthquake-induced Rock-Glacier Advances in the Tien Shan: Insights from Lichenometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenwinkel, Swenja; Landgraf, Angela; Korup, Oliver; Sorg, Annina

    2014-05-01

    that Tien Shan rock glaciers do not record a consistent palaeoclimatic signal. We discuss whether distinct peaks of comparable lichen sizes and associated distributions of surface velocities for a given rock-glacier lobe result from rapid climate-driven advances or high lateral material input provided by seismically-induced slope instability instead. We compare our field data to advance-rate estimates from ground surveys and remote sensing (1 to >10 m/a), and dendrogeomorphic constraints obtained from trees growing on the rock glaciers. We conclude by highlighting a number of constraints that may limit the use of lichenometry for dating rock-glacier advances, and scope for future research on seismic triggers.

  2. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Giovan F; Bickersmith, Sara A; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E; Correa, Margarita M

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  3. Molecular Taxonomy Provides New Insights into Anopheles Species of the Neotropical Arribalzagia Series

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Giovan F.; Bickersmith, Sara A.; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E.; Correa, Margarita M.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  4. Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas: Overview of Clinicopathologic Features and Insights into the Molecular Pathology

    PubMed Central

    La Rosa, Stefano; Sessa, Fausto; Capella, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Acinar cell carcinomas (ACCs) of the pancreas are rare pancreatic neoplasms accounting for about 1–2% of pancreatic tumors in adults and about 15% in pediatric subjects. They show different clinical symptoms at presentation, different morphological features, different outcomes, and different molecular alterations. This heterogeneous clinicopathological spectrum may give rise to difficulties in the clinical and pathological diagnosis with consequential therapeutic and prognostic implications. The molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of ACCs are still not completely understood, although in recent years, several attempts have been made to clarify the molecular mechanisms involved in ACC biology. In this paper, we will review the main clinicopathological and molecular features of pancreatic ACCs of both adult and pediatric subjects to give the reader a comprehensive overview of this rare tumor type. PMID:26137463

  5. Molecular recognition of malachite green by hemoglobin and their specific interactions: insights from in silico docking and molecular spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wei; Ding, Fei; Peng, Yu-Kui; Sun, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Malachite green is an organic compound that can be widely used as a dyestuff for various materials; it has also emerged as a controversial agent in aquaculture. Since malachite green is proven to be carcinogenic and mutagenic, it may become a hazard to public health. For this reason, it is urgently required to analyze this controversial dye in more detail. In our current research, the interaction between malachite green and hemoglobin under physiological conditions was investigated by the methods of molecular modeling, fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) as well as hydrophobic ANS displacement experiments. From the molecular docking, the central cavity of hemoglobin was assigned to possess high-affinity for malachite green, this result was corroborated by time-resolved fluorescence and hydrophobic ANS probe results. The recognition mechanism was found to be of static type, or rather the hemoglobin-malachite green complex formation occurred via noncovalent interactions such as π-π interactions, hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions with an association constant of 10(4) M(-1). Moreover, the results also show that the spatial structure of the biopolymer was changed in the presence of malachite green with a decrease of the α-helix and increase of the β-sheet, turn and random coil suggesting protein damage, as derived from far-UV CD and three-dimensional fluorescence. Results of this work will help to further comprehend the molecular recognition of malachite green by the receptor protein and the possible toxicological profiles of other compounds, which are the metabolites and ramifications of malachite green. PMID:24226412

  6. Electronic structure of covalently linked zinc bacteriochlorin molecular arrays: insights into molecular design for NIR light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Kushal; González-Delgado, Jessica M; Blew, James H; Jakubikova, Elena

    2014-10-23

    Pigment-based molecular arrays, especially those based on porphyrins, have been extensively studied as viable components of artificial light harvesting devices. Unlike porphyrins, bacteriochlorins absorb strongly in the NIR, yet little is known of the applicability of covalently linked bacteriochlorin-based arrays in this arena. To lay the foundation for future studies of excited state properties of such arrays, we present a systematic study of the ground state electronic structure of zinc bacteriochlorin (ZnBC) molecular arrays with various linkers and linker attachment sites (meso vs β) employing density functional theory in combination with the energy-based fragmentation (EBF) method, and the EBF with molecular orbitals (EBF-MO) method. We find that the level of steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker is directly correlated with the amount of ground sate electronic interactions between the ZnBCs. Low steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker found in alkyne-linked arrays results in strongly interacting arrays that are characterized by a decrease in the HOMO-LUMO energy gaps, large orbital energy dispersion in the frontier region, and low ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. In contrast, sterically hindered linkers, such as aryl-based linkers, result in weakly interacting arrays characterized by increased orbital energy degeneracy in the frontier region and high ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. For all linkers studied, the level of steric hindrance decreases when the ZnBCs are linked at the β position. Hence, ZnBC arrays that exhibit strong, weak, or intermediate ground-state electronic interactions can be realized by adjusting the level of steric hindrance with a judicious choice of the linker type and linker attachment site. Such tuning may be essential for design of light harvesting arrays with desired spectral properties. PMID:25237715

  7. Crater palaeolakes in the Tibesti mountains (Central Sahara, North Chad) - New insights into past Saharan climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kröpelin, Stefan; Dinies, Michèle; Sylvestre, Florence; Hoelzmann, Philipp

    2016-04-01

    For the first time continuous lacustrine sections were sampled from the volcanic Tibesti Mountains (Chad): In the 900 m deep crater of Trou au Natron at Pic Toussidé (3,315 m a.s.l.) and from the 800 m deep Era Kohor, the major sub-caldera of Emi Koussi (3,445 m a.s.l.). The remnant diatomites on their slopes are located 360 m (Trou au Natron) and 125 m (Era Kohor) above the present day bottom of the calderas. These sediments from highly continental positions in the central Sahara are keys for the reconstruction of the last climatic cycles (Kröpelin et al. 2015). We report first results from sedimentary-geochemical (total organic and total inorganic carbon contents; total nitrogen; major elements; mineralogy) and palynological analyses for palaeo-environmental interpretations. The diatomites from the Trou au Natron comprise 330 cm of mostly calcitic sediments with relatively low organic carbon (<2.5 %) and strongly varying aragonite and gypsum contents. Major elements (Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Sr), elemental ratios (Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, Fe/Mn) and the mineralogy are used to interpret the lake's salinity, productivity and ecological conditions. Trilete spores are preserved throughout the sequence, probably reflecting local moss/fern stands. Regional pollen rain-e.g. grasses and wormwood-is scarcely represented. Golden algae dominate in the lower section. The results of the first palynological samples suggest a small sedimentation basin. Two 14C-dated charcoals out of the upper part of the section indicate mid-Holocene ages and a linear extrapolation based on a sediment accumulation rate of 1.4mma-1 would lead to tentative dates of ~8650 cal a BP for basal lacustrine sediments and ~4450 cal a BP for the cessation of this lacustrine sequence. The diatomites from the Era Kohor reflect a suite of sections that in total sum up to 145 cm of mostly silica-based sediments with very low carbon contents (< 2% TC). Calcite dominated sediments are only present in the topmost 15

  8. Molecular interactions of UvrB protein and DNA from Helicobacter pylori: Insight into a molecular modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Bavi, Rohit; Kumar, Raj; Rampogu, Shailima; Son, Minky; Park, Chanin; Baek, Ayoung; Kim, Hyong-Ha; Suh, Jung-Keun; Park, Seok Ju; Lee, Keun Woo

    2016-08-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) persevere in the human stomach, an environment in which they encounter many DNA-damaging conditions, including gastric acidity. The pathogenicity of H. pylori is enhanced by its well-developed DNA repair mechanism, thought of as 'machinery,' such as nucleotide excision repair (NER). NER involves multi-enzymatic excinuclease proteins (UvrABC endonuclease), which repair damaged DNA in a sequential manner. UvrB is the central component in prokaryotic NER, essential for damage recognition. Therefore, molecular modeling studies of UvrB protein from H. pylori are carried out with homology modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results reveal that the predicted structure is bound to a DNA hairpin with 3-bp stem, an 11-nucleotide loop, and 3-nt 3' overhang. In addition, a mutation of the Y96A variant indicates reduction in the binding affinity for DNA. Free-energy calculations demonstrate the stability of the complex and help identify key residues in various interactions based on residue decomposition analysis. Stability comparative studies between wild type and mutant protein-DNA complexes indicate that the former is relatively more stable than the mutant form. This predicted model could also be useful in designing new inhibitors for UvrB protein, as well as preventing the pathogenesis of H. pylori. PMID:27315565

  9. Lipid interaction sites on channels, transporters and receptors: Recent insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Hedger, George; Sansom, Mark S P

    2016-10-01

    Lipid molecules are able to selectively interact with specific sites on integral membrane proteins, and modulate their structure and function. Identification and characterization of these sites are of importance for our understanding of the molecular basis of membrane protein function and stability, and may facilitate the design of lipid-like drug molecules. Molecular dynamics simulations provide a powerful tool for the identification of these sites, complementing advances in membrane protein structural biology and biophysics. We describe recent notable biomolecular simulation studies which have identified lipid interaction sites on a range of different membrane proteins. The sites identified in these simulation studies agree well with those identified by complementary experimental techniques. This demonstrates the power of the molecular dynamics approach in the prediction and characterization of lipid interaction sites on integral membrane proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg. PMID:26946244

  10. Coarse-grained modelling of triglyceride crystallisation: a molecular insight into tripalmitin tristearin binary mixtures by molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizzirusso, Antonio; Brasiello, Antonio; De Nicola, Antonio; Marangoni, Alejandro G.; Milano, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    The first simulation study of the crystallisation of a binary mixture of triglycerides using molecular dynamics simulations is reported. Coarse-grained models of tristearin (SSS) and tripalmitin (PPP) molecules have been considered. The models have been preliminarily tested in the crystallisation of pure SSS and PPP systems. Two different quenching procedures have been tested and their performances have been analysed. The structures obtained from the crystallisation procedures show a high orientation order and a high content of molecules in the tuning fork conformation, comparable with the crystalline α phase. The behaviour of melting temperatures for the α phase of the mixture SSS/PPP obtained from the simulations is in qualitative agreement with the behaviour that was experimentally determined.

  11. Energy frameworks: insights into interaction anisotropy and the mechanical properties of molecular crystals.

    PubMed

    Turner, Michael J; Thomas, Sajesh P; Shi, Ming W; Jayatilaka, Dylan; Spackman, Mark A

    2015-03-01

    We present an approach to understanding crystal packing via 'energy frameworks', that combines efficient calculation of accurate intermolecular interaction energies with a novel graphical representation of their magnitude. In this manner intriguing questions, such as why some crystals bend with an applied force while others break, and why one polymorph of a drug exhibits exceptional tabletability compared to others, can be addressed in terms of the anisotropy of the topology of pairwise intermolecular interaction energies. This approach is applied to a sample of organic molecular crystals with known bending, shearing and brittle behaviour, to illustrate its use in rationalising their mechanical behaviour at a molecular level. PMID:25525647

  12. Molecular insight into amyloid oligomer destabilizing mechanism of flavonoid derivative 2-(4' benzyloxyphenyl)-3-hydroxy-chromen-4-one through docking and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Akhil; Srivastava, Swati; Tripathi, Shubhandra; Singh, Sandeep Kumar; Srikrishna, Saripella; Sharma, Ashok

    2016-06-01

    Aggregation of amyloid peptide (Aβ) has been shown to be directly related to progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is neurotoxic and its deposition and aggregation ultimately lead to cell death. In our previous work, we reported flavonoid derivative (compound 1) showing promising result in transgenic AD model of Drosophila. Compound 1 showed prevention of Aβ-induced neurotoxicity and neuroprotective efficacy in Drosophila system. However, mechanism of action of compound 1 and its effect on the amyloid is not known. We therefore performed molecular docking and atomistic, explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the process of Aβ interaction, inhibition, and destabilizing mechanism. Results showed different preferred binding sites of compound 1 and good affinity toward the target. Through the course of 35 ns molecular dynamics simulation, conformations_5 of compound 1 intercalates into the hydrophobic core near the salt bridge and showed major structural changes as compared to other conformations. Compound 1 showed interference with the salt bridge and thus reducing the inter strand hydrogen bound network. This minimizes the side chain interaction between the chains A-B leading to disorder in oligomer. Contact map analysis of amino acid residues between chains A and B also showed lesser interaction with adjacent amino acids in the presence of compound 1 (conformations_5). The study provides an insight into how compound 1 interferes and disorders the Aβ peptide. These findings will further help to design better inhibitors for aggregation of the amyloid oligomer. PMID:26208790

  13. Functional proteomic and structural insights into molecular recognition in the nitrilase family enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Barglow, Katherine T.; Saikatendu, Kumar S.; Bracey, Michael H.; Huey, Ruth; Morris, Garrett M.; Olson, Arthur J.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2009-01-01

    Nitrilases are a large and diverse family of non-peptidic C-N hydrolases. The mammalian genome encodes eight nitrilase enzymes, several of which remain poorly characterized. Prominent among these are nitrilase-1 (Nit1) and nitrilase-2 (Nit2), which, despite having been shown to exert effects on cell growth and possibly serving as tumor suppressor genes, are without known substrates or selective inhibitors. In previous studies, we identified several nitrilases, including Nit1 and Nit2, as targets for dipeptide-chloroacetamide activity-based proteomics probes. Here, we have used these probes, in combination with high-resolution crystallography and molecular modeling, to systematically map the active site of Nit2 and identify residues involved in molecular recognition. We report the 1.4 Å crystal structure of mouse Nit2, and use this structure to identify residues that discriminate probe-labeling between the Nit1 and Nit2 enzymes. Interestingly, some of these residues are conserved across all vertebrate Nit2 enzymes and, conversely, not found in any vertebrate Nit1 enzymes, suggesting that they are key discriminators of molecular recognition between these otherwise highly homologous enzymes. Our findings thus point to a limited set of active site residues that establish distinct patterns of molecular recognition among nitrilases and provide chemical probes to selectively perturb the function of these enzymes in biological systems. PMID:19053248

  14. Molecular Insights into the Potential Toxicological Interaction of 2-Mercaptothiazoline with the Antioxidant Enzyme-Catalase.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhenxing; Huang, Ming; Mi, Chenyu; Wang, Tao; Chen, Dong; Teng, Yue

    2016-01-01

    2-mercaptothiazoline (2-MT) is widely used in many industrial fields, but its residue is potentially harmful to the environment. In this study, to evaluate the biological toxicity of 2-MT at protein level, the interaction between 2-MT and the pivotal antioxidant enzyme-catalase (CAT) was investigated using multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The results indicated that the CAT fluorescence quenching caused by 2-MT should be dominated by a static quenching mechanism through formation of a 2-MT/CAT complex. Furthermore, the identifications of the binding constant, binding forces, and the number of binding sites demonstrated that 2-MT could spontaneously interact with CAT at one binding site mainly via Van der Waals' forces and hydrogen bonding. Based on the molecular docking simulation and conformation dynamic characterization, it was found that 2-MT could bind into the junctional region of CAT subdomains and that the binding site was close to enzyme active sites, which induced secondary structural and micro-environmental changes in CAT. The experiments on 2-MT toxicity verified that 2-MT significantly inhibited CAT activity via its molecular interaction, where 2-MT concentration and exposure time both affected the inhibitory action. Therefore, the present investigation provides useful information for understanding the toxicological mechanism of 2-MT at the molecular level. PMID:27537873

  15. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, Monisha; Vaish, Rahul

    2015-05-01

    The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT) and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs) and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  16. Molecular Insights into the Potential Toxicological Interaction of 2-Mercaptothiazoline with the Antioxidant Enzyme—Catalase

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhenxing; Huang, Ming; Mi, Chenyu; Wang, Tao; Chen, Dong; Teng, Yue

    2016-01-01

    2-mercaptothiazoline (2-MT) is widely used in many industrial fields, but its residue is potentially harmful to the environment. In this study, to evaluate the biological toxicity of 2-MT at protein level, the interaction between 2-MT and the pivotal antioxidant enzyme—catalase (CAT) was investigated using multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The results indicated that the CAT fluorescence quenching caused by 2-MT should be dominated by a static quenching mechanism through formation of a 2-MT/CAT complex. Furthermore, the identifications of the binding constant, binding forces, and the number of binding sites demonstrated that 2-MT could spontaneously interact with CAT at one binding site mainly via Van der Waals’ forces and hydrogen bonding. Based on the molecular docking simulation and conformation dynamic characterization, it was found that 2-MT could bind into the junctional region of CAT subdomains and that the binding site was close to enzyme active sites, which induced secondary structural and micro-environmental changes in CAT. The experiments on 2-MT toxicity verified that 2-MT significantly inhibited CAT activity via its molecular interaction, where 2-MT concentration and exposure time both affected the inhibitory action. Therefore, the present investigation provides useful information for understanding the toxicological mechanism of 2-MT at the molecular level. PMID:27537873

  17. New insights into molecular diagnostic pathology of primary liver cancer: Advances and challenges.

    PubMed

    Cong, Wen-Ming; Wu, Meng-Chao

    2015-11-01

    Primary liver cancer (PLC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide with increasing incidence and accounts for the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Traditional morphopathology primarily emphasizes qualitative diagnosis of PLC, which is not sufficient to resolve the major concern of increasing the long-term treatment efficacy of PLC in clinical management for the modern era. Since the beginning of the 21st century, molecular pathology has played an active role in the investigation of the evaluation of the metastatic potential of PLC, detection of drug targets, prediction of recurrence risks, analysis of clonal origins, evaluation of the malignancy trend of precancerous lesions, and determination of clinical prognosis. As a result, many new progresses have been obtained, and new strategies of molecular-pathological diagnosis have been formed. Moreover, the new types of pathobiological diagnosis indicator systems for PLC have been preliminarily established. These achievements provide valuable molecular pathology-based guide for clinical formulation of individualized therapy programs for PLC. This review article briefly summarizes some relevant progresses of molecular-pathological diagnosis of PLC from the perspective of clinical translational application other than basic experimental studies. PMID:26276723

  18. Structure and Function: Insights into Bioinorganic Systems from Molecular Mechanics Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, Helder M.; Egan, Timothy J.; de Villiers, Katherine A.

    The use of empirical force field methods for modeling important systems in bioinorganic chemistry, including the cobalt corrins (derivatives of vitamin B12) and the iron porphyrins, is described. Particular attention is given to the use of molecular dynamics and simulated annealing calculations in exploring the solution structures of corrin, and those of likely complexes between the ferriprotoporphyrin-IX and the arylmethanol antimalarials.

  19. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    SciTech Connect

    Rastogi, Monisha; Vaish, Rahul

    2015-05-15

    The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT) and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs) and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  20. Molecular insights into the microbial formation of marine dissolved organic matter: recalcitrant or labile?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, B. P.; Kattner, G.; Witt, M.; Passow, U.

    2014-02-01

    The degradation of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important control variable in the global carbon cycle and dependent on the DOM composition. For our understanding of the kinetics of organic matter cycling in the ocean, it is therefore crucial to achieve a mechanistic and molecular understanding of its transformation processes. A long-term microbial experiment was performed to follow the production of non-labile DOM by marine bacteria. Two different glucose concentrations and dissolved algal exudates were used as substrates. We monitored the bacterial abundance, concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC), nutrients, amino acids, and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) for two years. Ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) allowed the molecular characterization of extracted DOM after 70 days and after ∼2 years of incubation. Although glucose was quickly degraded, a DOC background was generated in glucose incubations. Only 20% of the organic carbon from algal exudate was degraded within the 2 years of incubation. TEP, which are released by micro-organisms, were produced during glucose degradation but decreased within less than three weeks back to half of the maximum concentration and were below detection in all treatments after 2 years. The molecular analysis demonstrated that DOM generated during glucose degradation differed appreciably from DOM produced during the degradation of the algal exudates. Our results led to several conclusions: (i) Higher substrate levels result in a higher level of non-labile DOC which is an important prerequisite for carbon sequestration in the ocean; (ii) TEP are generated by bacteria but are also degraded rapidly, thus limiting their potential contribution to carbon sequestration; (iii) The molecular signatures of DOM derived from algal exudates or glucose after 70 days of incubation differed strongly from refractory DOM. After 2 years

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. DNA molecular wire-based nanoelectronics: New insight and high frequency AC electrical characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wibowo, Denni Ari

    While recent research in electron-transport mechanism on a double strands DNA seems to converge into a consensus, experiments in direct electrical measurements on a long DNA molecules still lead to a conflicting result. This research investigates experimentally the attachment of DNA molecular wire to high aspect ratio three-dimensional (3D) metal electrode and the effect of temperature to its AC electrical conductivity. The 3-D microelectrode was built on a silicone oxide substrate using patterned thick layers of negative tone photoresist covered by sputtered gold on the top surface. Attachment of lambda-DNA to the microelectrode was demonstrated using oligonucleotide-DNA phosphate backbone ligation and thiol-gold covalent bonding. Electrical characterizations based on I-V and AC impedance analysis of several repeatable data points of attachment with varying lambda-DNA concentration (500 ng/microL to 0.0625 ng/microL) showed measurable and significant conductivity of lambda-DNA molecular wires. Further study was carried out by measuring I-V and impedance while ramping up the temperature to reach complete denaturation (~1100C) resulting in no current transduction. Subsequent re-annealing of the DNA through incubation in TM buffer at annealing temperature (~900C) resulted in recovery of electrical conduction, providing a strong proof that DNA molecular wire is the one generate the electrical conductivity. lambda-DNA molecular wires reported to have differing impedance response at two temperature regions: impedance increases (conductivity decrease) between 40C -- 400C, and then decreases from 400C until DNA completely denatured (~1100C). The increase conductivity after 400C is an experimental support the long distance electron transport mechanism referred as "thermal hopping" mechanism. We believe that this research represents a significant departure from previous studies and makes unique contributions through (i) modification of DNA attachment methods has increase

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

    PubMed

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Aminoglycosides: Molecular Insights on the Recognition of RNA and Aminoglycoside Mimics

    PubMed Central

    Chittapragada, Maruthi; Roberts, Sarah; Ham, Young Wan

    2009-01-01

    RNA is increasingly recognized for its significant functions in biological systems and has recently become an important molecular target for therapeutics development. Aminoglycosides, a large class of clinically significant antibiotics, exert their biological functions by binding to prokaryotic ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and interfering with protein translation, resulting in bacterial cell death. They are also known to bind to viral mRNAs such as HIV-1 RRE and TAR. Consequently, aminoglycosides are accepted as the single most important model in understanding the principles that govern small molecule-RNA recognition, which is essential for the development of novel antibacterial, antiviral or even anti-oncogenic agents. This review outlines the chemical structures and mechanisms of molecular recognition and antibacterial activity of aminoglycosides and various aminoglycoside mimics that have recently been devised to improve biological efficacy, binding affinity and selectivity, or to circumvent bacterial resistance. PMID:19812740

  6. Coexistence of spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in thin-film rupture: insights from molecular levels.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Trung Dac; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel; Fowlkes, Jason D; Rack, Philip D

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive investigation using hydrodynamic models and experiments over the past decades, there remain open questions regarding the origin of the initial rupture of thin liquid films. One of the reasons that makes it difficult to identify the rupture origin is the coexistence of two dewetting mechanisms, namely, thermal nucleation and spinodal instability, as observed in many experimental studies. Using a coarse-grained model and large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we are able to characterize the very early stage of dewetting in nanometer-thick liquid-metal films wetting a solid substrate. We observe the features characteristic of both spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in the spontaneously dewetting films and show that these two macroscopic mechanisms share a common origin at molecular levels. PMID:24730848

  7. Coexistence of spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in thin-film rupture: Insights from molecular levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Trung Dac; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel; Fowlkes, Jason D.; Rack, Philip D.

    2014-03-01

    Despite extensive investigation using hydrodynamic models and experiments over the past decades, there remain open questions regarding the origin of the initial rupture of thin liquid films. One of the reasons that makes it difficult to identify the rupture origin is the coexistence of two dewetting mechanisms, namely, thermal nucleation and spinodal instability, as observed in many experimental studies. Using a coarse-grained model and large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we are able to characterize the very early stage of dewetting in nanometer-thick liquid-metal films wetting a solid substrate. We observe the features characteristic of both spinodal instability and thermal nucleation in the spontaneously dewetting films and show that these two macroscopic mechanisms share a common origin at molecular levels.

  8. Whole Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Molecular Mechanisms for Molting in Litopenaeus vannamei

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yi; Zhang, Xiaojun; Wei, Jiankai; Sun, Xiaoqing; Yuan, Jianbo; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    Molting is one of the most important biological processes in shrimp growth and development. All shrimp undergo cyclic molting periodically to shed and replace their exoskeletons. This process is essential for growth, metamorphosis, and reproduction in shrimp. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying shrimp molting remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated global expression changes in the transcriptomes of the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, the most commonly cultured shrimp species worldwide. The transcriptome of whole L. vannamei was investigated by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) throughout the molting cycle, including the inter-molt (C), pre-molt (D0, D1, D2, D3, D4), and post-molt (P1 and P2) stages, and 93,756 unigenes were identified. Among these genes, we identified 5,117 genes differentially expressed (log2ratio ≥1 and FDR ≤0.001) in adjacent molt stages. The results were compared against the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant protein/nucleotide sequence database, Swiss-Prot, PFAM database, the Gene Ontology database, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database in order to annotate gene descriptions, associate them with gene ontology terms, and assign them to pathways. The expression patterns for genes involved in several molecular events critical for molting, such as hormone regulation, triggering events, implementation phases, skelemin, immune responses were characterized and considered as mechanisms underlying molting in L. vannamei. Comparisons with transcriptomic analyses in other arthropods were also performed. The characterization of major transcriptional changes in genes involved in the molting cycle provides candidates for future investigation of the molecular mechanisms. The data generated in this study will serve as an important transcriptomic resource for the shrimp research community to facilitate gene and genome annotation and to characterize key molecular processes

  9. Hypoglycosylation of dystroglycan due to T192M mutation: a molecular insight behind the fact.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Simanti; Das, Amit; Ghosh, Semanti; Dasgupta, Rakhi; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2014-03-01

    Abnormal glycosylation of dystroglycan (DG), a transmembrane glycoprotein, results in a group of diseases known as dystroglycanopathy. A severe dystroglycanopathy known as the limb girdle disease MDDGC9 [OMIM: 613818] occurs as a result of hypoglycosylation of alpha subunit of DG. Reasons behind this has been traced back to a point mutation (T192M) in DG that leads to weakening of interactions of DG protein with laminin and subsequent loss of signal flow through the DG protein. In this work we have tried to analyze the molecular details of the interactions between DG and laminin1 in order to propose a mechanism about the onset of the disease MDDGC9. We have observed noticeable changes between the modeled structures of wild type and mutant DG proteins. We also have employed molecular docking techniques to study and compare the binding interactions between laminin1 and both the wild type and mutant DG proteins. The docking simulations have revealed that the mutant DG has weaker interactions with laminin1 as compared to the wild type DG. Till date there are no previous reports that deal with the elucidation of the interactions of DG with laminin1 from the molecular level. Our study is therefore the first of its kind which analyzes the differences in binding patterns of laminin1 with both the wild type and mutant DG proteins. Our work would therefore facilitate analysis of the molecular mechanism of the disease MDDGC9. Future work based on our results may be useful for the development of suitable drugs against this disease. PMID:24361964

  10. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tony Y.; Liu, Min; Portincasa, Piero; Wang, David Q.-H.

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary fat is the most important energy source of all the nutrients. Fatty acids, stored as triacylglycerols in the body, are an important reservoir of stored energy and derive primarily from animal fats and vegetable oils. Design Although the molecular mechanisms for the transport of water-insoluble amphipathic fatty acids across cell membranes have been debated for many years, it is now believed that the dominant means for intestinal fatty acid uptake is via membrane-associated fatty acid-binding proteins, i.e., fatty acid transporters on the apical membrane of enterocytes. Results These findings indicate that intestinal fatty acid absorption is a multistep process that is regulated by multiple genes at the enterocyte level, and intestinal fatty acid absorption efficiency could be determined by factors influencing intraluminal fatty acid molecules across the brush border membrane of enterocytes. To facilitate research on intestinal, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol metabolism, it is imperative to establish standard protocols for precisely and accurately measuring the efficiency of intestinal fatty acid absorption in humans and animal models. In this review, we will discuss the chemical structure and nomenclature of fatty acids and summarize recent progress in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the intestinal absorption of fatty acids, with a particular emphasis on the physical-chemistry of intestinal lipids and the molecular physiology of intestinal fatty acid transporters. Conclusions A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption should lead to novel approaches to the treatment and the prevention of fatty acid-related metabolic diseases that are prevalent worldwide. PMID:24102389

  11. Single-ion hydration thermodynamics from clusters to bulk solutions: Recent insights from molecular modeling

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Vlcek, Lukas; Chialvo, Ariel A.

    2016-01-03

    The importance of single-ion hydration thermodynamic properties for understanding the driving forces of aqueous electrolyte processes, along with the impossibility of their direct experimental measurement, have prompted a large number of experimental, theoretical, and computational studies aimed at separating the cation and anion contributions. Here we provide an overview of historical approaches based on extrathermodynamic assumptions and more recent computational studies of single-ion hydration in order to evaluate the approximations involved in these methods, quantify their accuracy, reliability, and limitations in the light of the latest developments. Finally, we also offer new insights into the factors that influence the accuracymore » of ion–water interaction models and our views on possible ways to fill this substantial knowledge gap in aqueous physical chemistry.« less

  12. Insight on Tricalcium Silicate Hydration and Dissolution Mechanism from Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Manzano, Hegoi; Durgun, Engin; López-Arbeloa, Iñigo; Grossman, Jeffrey C

    2015-07-15

    Hydration of mineral surfaces, a critical process for many technological applications, encompasses multiple coupled chemical reactions and topological changes, challenging both experimental characterization and computational modeling. In this work, we used reactive force field simulations to understand the surface properties, hydration, and dissolution of a model mineral, tricalcium silicate. We show that the computed static quantities, i.e., surface energies and water adsorption energies, do not provide useful insight into predict mineral hydration because they do not account for major structural changes at the interface when dynamic effects are included. Upon hydration, hydrogen atoms from dissociated water molecules penetrate into the crystal, forming a disordered calcium silicate hydrate layer that is similar for most of the surfaces despite wide-ranging static properties. Furthermore, the dynamic picture of hydration reveals the hidden role of surface topology, which can lead to unexpected water tessellation that stabilizes the surface against dissolution. PMID:26107551

  13. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents. PMID:27147293

  14. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-05-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  15. Cellular and molecular drivers of differential organ growth: insights from the limbs of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Dowling, Anna; Doroba, Carolyn; Maier, Jennifer A; Cohen, Lorna; VandeBerg, John; Sears, Karen E

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental question in biology is "how is growth differentially regulated during development to produce organs of particular sizes?" We used a new model system for the study of differential organ growth, the limbs of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of differential organ growth in mammals. Opossum forelimbs grow much faster than hindlimbs, making opossum limbs an exceptional system with which to study differential growth. We first used the great differences in opossum forelimb and hindlimb growth to identify cellular processes and molecular signals that underlie differential limb growth. We then used organ culture and pharmacological addition of FGF ligands and inhibitors to test the role of the Fgf/Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in driving these cellular processes. We found that molecular signals from within the limb drive differences in cell proliferation that contribute to the differential growth of the forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums. We also found that alterations in the Fgf/MAPK pathway can generate differences in cell proliferation that mirror those observed between wild-type forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums and that manipulation of Fgf/MAPK signaling affects downstream focal adhesion-extracellular matrix (FA-ECM) and Wnt signaling in opossum limbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that evolutionary changes in the Fgf/MAPK pathway could help drive the observed differences in cell behaviors and growth in opossum forelimb and hindlimbs. PMID:27194412

  16. Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels: Mechanistic Insights From Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Oakes, V; Furini, S; Domene, C

    2016-01-01

    The permeation of ions and other molecules across biological membranes is an inherent requirement of all cellular organisms. Ion channels, in particular, are responsible for the conduction of charged species, hence modulating the propagation of electrical signals. Despite the universal physiological implications of this property, the molecular functioning of ion channels remains ambiguous. The combination of atomistic structural data with computational methodologies, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, is now considered routine to investigate structure-function relationships in biological systems. A fuller understanding of conduction, selectivity, and gating, therefore, is steadily emerging due to the applicability of these techniques to ion channels. However, because their structure is known at atomic resolution, studies have consistently been biased toward K(+) channels, thus the molecular determinants of ionic selectivity, activation, and drug blockage in Na(+) channels are often overlooked. The recent increase of available crystallographic data has eminently encouraged the investigation of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels via computational methods. Here, we present an overview of simulation studies that have contributed to our understanding of key principles that underlie ionic conduction and selectivity in Na(+) channels, in comparison to the K(+) channel analogs. PMID:27586285

  17. Structure of rigid polymers confined to nanoparticles: Molecular dynamics simulations insight

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Maskey, Sabina; Lane, J. Matthew D.; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary S.

    2016-02-04

    Nanoparticles (NPs) grafted with organic layers form hybrids able to retain their unique properties through integration into the mesoscopic scale. The organic layer structure and response often determine the functionality of the hybrids on the mesoscopic length scale. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we probe the conformation of luminescent rigid polymers, dialkyl poly(p-phenylene ethynylene)s (PPE), end-grafted onto a silica nanoparticle in different solvents as the molecular weights and polymer coverages are varied. We find that, in contrast to NP-grafted flexible polymers, the chains are fully extended independent of the solvent. In toluene and decane, which are good solvents, the graftedmore » PPEs chains assume a similar conformation to that observed in dilute solutions. In water, which is a poor solvent for the PPEs, the polymer chains form one large cluster but remain extended. The radial distribution of the chains around the core of the nanoparticle is homogeneous in good solvents, whereas in poor solvents clusters are formed independent of molecular weights and coverages. As a result, the clustering is distinctively different from the response of grafted flexible and semiflexible polymers.« less

  18. Molecular dynamics simulations provide insights into the substrate specificity of FAOX family members.

    PubMed

    Rigoldi, Federica; Spero, Ludovica; Dalle Vedove, Andrea; Redaelli, Alberto; Parisini, Emilio; Gautieri, Alfonso

    2016-07-19

    Enzymatic assays based on Fructosyl Amino Acid Oxidases (FAOX) represent a potential, rapid and economical strategy to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is in turn a reliable method to monitor the insurgence and the development of diabetes mellitus. However, the engineering of naturally occurring FAOX to specifically recognize fructosyl-valine (the glycated N-terminal residue of HbA1c) has been hindered by the paucity of information on the tridimensional structures and catalytic residues of the different FAOX that exist in nature, and in general on the molecular mechanisms that regulate specificity in this class of enzymes. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and advanced modeling techniques to investigate five different relevant wild-type FAOX (Amadoriase I, Amadoriase II, PnFPOX, FPOX-E and N1-1-FAOD) in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive their specificity towards polar and nonpolar substrates. Specifically, we compare these five different FAOX in terms of overall folding, ligand entry tunnels, ligand binding residues and ligand binding energies. Our work will contribute to future enzyme structure modifications aimed at the rational design of novel biosensors for the monitoring of blood glucose levels. PMID:27327839

  19. Stress-induced neutral lipid biosynthesis in microalgae - Molecular, cellular and physiological insights.

    PubMed

    Zienkiewicz, Krzysztof; Du, Zhi-Yan; Ma, Wei; Vollheyde, Katharina; Benning, Christoph

    2016-09-01

    Photosynthetic microalgae have promise as biofuel feedstock. Under certain conditions, they produce substantial amounts of neutral lipids, mainly in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs), which can be converted to fuels. Much of our current knowledge on the genetic and molecular basis of algal neutral lipid metabolism derives mainly from studies of plants, i.e. seed tissues, and to a lesser extent from direct studies of algal lipid metabolism. Thus, the knowledge of TAG synthesis and the cellular trafficking of TAG precursors in algal cells is to a large extent based on genome predictions, and most aspects of TAG metabolism have yet to be experimentally verified. The biofuel prospects of microalgae have raised the interest in mechanistic studies of algal TAG biosynthesis in recent years and resulted in an increasing number of publications on lipid metabolism in microalgae. In this review we summarize the current findings on genetic, molecular and physiological studies of TAG accumulation in microalgae. Special emphasis is on the functional analysis of key genes involved in TAG synthesis, molecular mechanisms of regulation of TAG biosynthesis, as well as on possible mechanisms of lipid droplet formation in microalgal cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner. PMID:26883557

  20. Molecular insights into the microbial formation of marine dissolved organic matter: recalcitrant or labile?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, B. P.; Kattner, G.; Witt, M.; Passow, U.

    2014-08-01

    The degradation of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important control variable in the global carbon cycle. For our understanding of the kinetics of organic matter cycling in the ocean, it is crucial to achieve a mechanistic and molecular understanding of its transformation processes. A long-term microbial experiment was performed to follow the production of non-labile DOM by marine bacteria. Two different glucose concentrations and dissolved algal exudates were used as substrates. We monitored the bacterial abundance, concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC), nutrients, amino acids and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) for 2 years. The molecular characterization of extracted DOM was performed by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) after 70 days and after ∼2 years of incubation. Although glucose quickly degraded, a non-labile DOC background (5-9% of the initial DOC) was generated in the glucose incubations. Only 20% of the organic carbon from the algal exudate degraded within the 2 years of incubation. The degradation rates for the non-labile DOC background in the different treatments varied between 1 and 11 μmol DOC L-1 year-1. Transparent exopolymer particles, which are released by microorganisms, were produced during glucose degradation but decreased back to half of the maximum concentration within less than 3 weeks (degradation rate: 25 μg xanthan gum equivalents L-1 d-1) and were below detection in all treatments after 2 years. Additional glucose was added after 2 years to test whether labile substrate can promote the degradation of background DOC (co-metabolism; priming effect). A priming effect was not observed but the glucose addition led to a slight increase of background DOC. The molecular analysis demonstrated that DOM generated during glucose degradation differed appreciably from DOM transformed during the degradation of the algal exudates. Our

  1. Molecular insights on pathogenic effects of mutations causing phosphoglycerate kinase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Chiarelli, Laurent R; Morera, Simone M; Bianchi, Paola; Fermo, Elisa; Zanella, Alberto; Galizzi, Alessandro; Valentini, Giovanna

    2012-01-01

    Phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) catalyzes an important ATP-generating step in glycolysis. PGK1 deficiency is an uncommon X-linked inherited disorder, generally characterized by various combinations of non-spherocytic hemolytic anemia, neurological dysfunctions, and myopathies. Patients rarely exhibit all three clinical features. To provide a molecular framework to the different pathological manifestations, all known mutations were reviewed and 16 mutant enzymes, obtained as recombinant forms, were functionally and structurally characterized. Most mutations heavily affect thermal stability and to a different extent catalytic efficiency, in line with the remarkably low PGK activity clinically observed in the patients. Mutations grossly impairing protein stability, but moderately affecting kinetic properties (p.I47N, p.L89P, p.C316R, p.S320N, and p.A354P) present the most homogeneous correlation with the clinical phenotype. Patients carrying these mutations display hemolytic anemia and neurological disorders, and,except for p.A354P variant, no myopaty. Variants highly perturbed in both catalytic efficiency (p.G158V, p.D164V, p.K191del, D285V, p.D315N, and p.T378P) and heat stability (all, but p.T378P) result to be mainly associated with myopathy alone. Finally, mutations faintly affecting molecular properties (p.R206P, p.E252A, p.I253T, p.V266M, and p.D268N) correlate with a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms. These are the first studies that correlate the clinical symptoms with the molecular properties of the mutant enzymes. All findings indicate that the different clinical manifestations associated with PGK1 deficiency chiefly depend on the distinctive type of perturbations caused by mutations in the PGK1 gene, highlighting the need for determination of the molecular properties of PGK variants to assist in prognosis and genetic counseling. However, the clinical symptoms can not be understood only on the bases of molecular properties of the mutant enzyme. Different

  2. Insights from the molecular characterization of mercury stress proteins identified by proteomics in E.coli nissle 1917.

    PubMed

    Seshapani, Panthangi; Rayalu, Daddam Jayasimha; Kumar, Vadde Kiran; Sekhar, Kathera Chandra; Kumari, Jasti Pramoda

    2013-01-01

    Differently expressed proteins in probiotic Escherichia coli nissle 1917 under mercury stress identified by using a proteomic approach. We applied to separate proteins by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and proteins were identified using MALDI-TOF-MS using PMF, by mascot database search using the NCBI database. we identified six proteins after exposure to mercury stress with respect to different functional classes. It is useful to understand the molecular insights into mercury stress in probiotic E. coli. Next we describe a structure generated by homology modelling and functional domain identification; it is interesting to study the impact of stress on protein structures. MS characterization and computational methods together provide the opportunity to examine the impact of stress arising from mercury. The role of these proteins in metal tolerance and structure relation is discussed. To the best of our knowledge, proteomics of E. coli nissle 1917 overview of mercury stress has been reported for the first time. PMID:23847405

  3. Insights into the Functions of M-T Hook Structure in HIV Fusion Inhibitor Using Molecular Modeling.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jianjun; Yuan, Hongling; Li, Chunhua; Zhang, Xiaoyi; Wang, Cunxin

    2016-04-01

    HIV-1 membrane fusion plays an important role in the process that HIV-1 entries host cells. As a treatment strategy targeting HIV-1 entry process, fusion inhibitors have been proposed. Nevertheless, development of a short peptide possessing high anti-HIV potency is considered a daunting challenge. He et al. found that two residues, Met626 and Thr627, located the upstream of the C-terminal heptad repeat of the gp41, formed a unique hook-like structure (M-T hook) that can dramatically improve the binding stability and anti-HIV activity of the inhibitors. In this work, we explored the molecular mechanism why M-T hook structure could improve the anti-HIV activity of inhibitors. Firstly, molecular dynamic simulation was used to obtain information on the time evolution between gp41 and ligands. Secondly, based on the simulations, molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) and molecular mechanics Generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) methods were used to calculate the binding free energies. The binding free energy of the ligand with M-T hook was considerably higher than the other without M-T. Further studies showed that the hydrophobic interactions made the dominant contribution to the binding free energy. The numbers of Hydrogen bonds between gp41 and the ligand with M-T hook structure were more than the other. These findings should provide insights into the inhibition mechanism of the short peptide fusion inhibitors and be useful for the rational design of novel fusion inhibitors in the future. PMID:26897548

  4. New Insights into the Molecular Epidemiology and Population Genetics of Schistosoma mansoni in Ugandan Pre-school Children and Mothers

    PubMed Central

    Betson, Martha; Sousa-Figueiredo, Jose C.; Kabatereine, Narcis B.; Stothard, J. Russell

    2013-01-01

    Significant numbers of pre-school children are infected with Schistosoma mansoni in sub-Saharan Africa and are likely to play a role in parasite transmission. However, they are currently excluded from control programmes. Molecular phylogenetic studies have provided insights into the evolutionary origins and transmission dynamics of S. mansoni, but there has been no research into schistosome molecular epidemiology in pre-school children. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of S. mansoni in pre-school children and mothers living in lakeshore communities in Uganda and monitored for changes over time after praziquantel treatment. Parasites were sampled from children (<6 years) and mothers enrolled in the longitudinal Schistosomiasis Mothers and Infants Study at baseline and at 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-up surveys. 1347 parasites from 35 mothers and 45 children were genotyped by direct sequencing of the cytochrome c oxidase (cox1) gene. The cox1 region was highly diverse with over 230 unique sequences identified. Parasite populations were genetically differentiated between lakes and non-synonymous mutations were more diverse at Lake Victoria than Lake Albert. Surprisingly, parasite populations sampled from children showed a similar genetic diversity to those sampled from mothers, pointing towards a non-linear relationship between duration of exposure and accumulation of parasite diversity. The genetic diversity six months after praziquantel treatment was similar to pre-treatment diversity. Our results confirm the substantial genetic diversity of S. mansoni in East Africa and provide significant insights into transmission dynamics within young children and mothers, important information for schistosomiasis control programmes. PMID:24349589

  5. New Insights into Fluvial Carbon Responses to Future Forest Management and Climate Change Obtained from Multi-Scale Modelling of Biogeochemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oni, S. K.; Tiwari, T.; Futter, M. N.; Agren, A.; Teutschbein, C.; Ledesma, J.; Schelker, J.; Laudon, H.

    2014-12-01

    The boreal ecozone covers 2x107 km2 of the northern circumpolar region and includes 29% of the world's forests. The boreal consists of mosaic of forest/wetland landscape elements and stores about 500 Gt3 carbon (C) with a delicate sink-source C balance. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the main form of C exported from boreal landscapes and is fundamental to global C cycling. This northern ecosystem is vulnerable to global climate change, and increasing demands for forest products threaten its surface water resources. So far, there have been no attempts to assess the combined impacts of climate change and forest management on the future DOC fluxes from boreal surface waters. While differences in model assumptions may have negligible effects on present day simulations, these differences could be amplified when projecting the future climate and land use change conditions. Here we use an ensemble of regional climate models and multi-scale models of biogeochemical processes to gain insights into uncertainties associated with climate change and forest management on C and runoff dynamics in boreal landscape. While there are significant uncertainties associated with model projections, our results show that climate change will be the main driver of long term DOC dynamics in meso- to large boreal catchments in the future. However, forestry intensifies hydrological processes and can lead to large DOC fluxes at the headwater scales.

  6. Tetramethoxybenzene is a Good Building Block for Molecular Wires: Insights from Photoinduced Electron Transfer.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Luisa G; Yushchenko, Oleksandr; Neuburger, Markus; Vauthey, Eric; Wenger, Oliver S

    2015-06-01

    Two donor bridge-acceptor molecules with terminal triarylamine and Ru(bpy)3(2+) (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine) redox partners were synthesized and investigated by cyclic voltammetry, optical absorption, luminescence, and transient absorption spectroscopy. The two dyads differ only by the central bridging unit, which was tetramethoxybenzene (tmb) in one case and unsubstituted phenylene (ph) in the other case. Photoirradiation of the Ru(bpy)3(2+) complex of the two dyads triggers intramolecular electron transfer from the triarylamine to the (3)MLCT-excited metal complex, and this process occurs with time constants of 1.5 and 6.8 ns for the tmb- and ph-bridged dyads, respectively. Thermal electron transfer in the reverse direction then leads to disappearance of the photoproduct with a time constant of 10 ns in both dyads. The faster rate of photoinduced charge transfer in the tmb-bridged dyad can be understood in the framework of a hole-tunneling model in which the electron-rich tmb bridge imposes a more shallow barrier than the less electron-rich ph spacer. Until now tmb-based molecular wires have received very little attention, and alkoxy substituents have been mostly used for improving the solubility of oligo-p-phenylene vinylene (OPV) and oligo-p-phenylene ethynylene (OPE) wires. Our study illustrates how four alkoxy-substituents on a phenylene backbone can have a significant influence on the charge-transfer properties of a molecular wire, and this is relevant in the greater context of a future molecular electronics technology. PMID:25974891

  7. Promote potential applications of nanoparticles as respiratory drug carrier: insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Xubo; Bai, Tingting; Zuo, Yi Y.; Gu, Ning

    2014-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs with different hydrophobicity and sizes on a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayer at the air-water interface. Four different NPs were considered, including hydrophilic and hydrophobic NPs, each with two diameters of 3 nm and 5 nm (the sizes are comparable to that of generation 3 and 5 PAMAM dendrimers, which have been widely used for nanoscale drug carrier systems). Our simulations showed that hydrophilic NPs can readily penetrate into the aqueous phase with little or no disturbance on the DPPC monolayer. However, hydrophobic NPs tend to induce large structural disruptions, thus inhibiting the normal phase transition of the DPPC monolayer upon film compression. Our simulations also showed that this inhibitory effect of hydrophobic NPs can be mitigated through PEGylation. Our results provide useful guidelines for molecular design of NPs as carrier systems for pulmonary drug delivery.Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs

  8. Mitochondrial DNA disease—molecular insights and potential routes to a cure

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, Oliver; Turnbull, Doug

    2014-07-01

    Mitochondrial DNA diseases are common neurological conditions caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome or nuclear genes responsible for its maintenance. Current treatments for these disorders are focussed on the management of the symptoms, rather than the correction of biochemical defects caused by the mutation. This review focuses on the molecular effects of mutations, the symptoms they cause and current work focusing on the development of targeted treatments for mitochondrial DNA disease. - Highlights: • We discuss several common disease causing mtDNA mutations. • We highlight recent work linking pathogenicity to deletion size and heteroplasmy. • We discuss recent advances in the development of targeted mtDNA disease treatments.

  9. Interaction of Tenebrio Molitor Antifreeze Protein with Ice Crystal: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Ramya, L; Ramakrishnan, Vigneshwar

    2016-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFP) observed in cold-adapting organisms bind to ice crystals and prevent further ice growth. However, the molecular mechanism of AFP-ice binding and AFP-inhibited ice growth remains unclear. Here we report the interaction of the insect antifreeze protein (Tenebrio molitor, TmAFP) with ice crystal by molecular dynamics simulation studies. Two sets of simulations were carried out at 263 K by placing the protein near the primary prism plane (PP) and basal plane (BL) of the ice crystal. To delineate the effect of temperatures, both the PP and BL simulations were carried out at 253 K as well. The analyses revealed that the protein interacts strongly with the ice crystal in BL simulation than in PP simulation both at 263 K and 253 K. Further, it was observed that the interactions are primarily mediated through the interface waters. We also observed that as the temperature decreases, the interaction between the protein and the ice increases which can be attributed to the decreased flexibility and the increased structuring of the protein at low temperature. In essence, our study has shed light on the interaction mechanism between the TmAFP antifreeze protein and the ice crystal. PMID:27492241

  10. Electronic structure of carbon dioxide under pressure and insights into the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition.

    PubMed

    Shieh, Sean R; Jarrige, Ignace; Wu, Min; Hiraoka, Nozomu; Tse, John S; Mi, Zhongying; Kaci, Linada; Jiang, Jian-Zhong; Cai, Yong Q

    2013-11-12

    Knowledge of the high-pressure behavior of carbon dioxide (CO2), an important planetary material found in Venus, Earth, and Mars, is vital to the study of the evolution and dynamics of the planetary interiors as well as to the fundamental understanding of the C-O bonding and interaction between the molecules. Recent studies have revealed a number of crystalline polymorphs (CO2-I to -VII) and an amorphous phase under high pressure-temperature conditions. Nevertheless, the reported phase stability field and transition pressures at room temperature are poorly defined, especially for the amorphous phase. Here we shed light on the successive pressure-induced local structural changes and the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition of CO2 at room temperature by performing an in situ study of the local electronic structure using X-ray Raman scattering, aided by first-principle exciton calculations. We show that the transition from CO2-I to CO2-III was initiated at around 7.4 GPa, and completed at about 17 GPa. The present study also shows that at ~37 GPa, molecular CO2 starts to polymerize to an extended structure with fourfold coordinated carbon and minor CO3 and CO-like species. The observed pressure is more than 10 GPa below previously reported. The disappearance of the minority species at 63(± 3) GPa suggests that a previously unknown phase transition within the nonmolecular phase of CO2 has occurred. PMID:24167283