Science.gov

Sample records for conserved folding mechanisms

  1. Chorismatase Mechanisms Reveal Fundamentally Different Types of Reaction in a Single Conserved Protein Fold.

    PubMed

    Hubrich, Florian; Juneja, Puneet; Müller, Michael; Diederichs, Kay; Welte, Wolfram; Andexer, Jennifer N

    2015-09-01

    Chorismatases are a class of chorismate-converting enzymes involved in the biosynthetic pathways of different natural products, many of them with interesting pharmaceutical characteristics. So far, three subfamilies of chorismatases are described that convert chorismate into different (dihydro-)benzoate derivatives (CH-FkbO, CH-Hyg5, and CH-XanB2). Until now, the detailed enzyme mechanism and the molecular basis for the different reaction products were unknown. Here we show that the CH-FkbO and CH-Hyg5 subfamilies share the same protein fold, but employ fundamentally different reaction mechanisms. While the FkbO reaction is a typical hydrolysis, the Hyg5 reaction proceeds intramolecularly, most likely via an arene oxide intermediate. Two nonconserved active site residues were identified that are responsible for the different reaction mechanisms in CH-FkbO and CH-Hyg5. Further, we propose an additional amino acid residue to be responsible for the discrimination of the CH-XanB2 subfamily, which catalyzes the formation of two different hydroxybenzoate regioisomers, likely in a single active site. A multiple sequence alignment shows that these three crucial amino acid positions are located in conserved motifs and can therefore be used to assign unknown chorismatases to the corresponding subfamily. PMID:26247872

  2. Mechanics of Curved Folds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias, Marcelo A.; Santangelo, Christian D.

    2011-03-01

    Despite an almost two thousand year history, origami, the art of folding paper, remains a challenge both artistically and scientifically. Traditionally, origami is practiced by folding along straight creases. A whole new set of shapes can be explored, however, if, instead of straight creases, one folds along arbitrary curves. We present a mechanical model for curved fold origami in which the energy of a plastically-deformed crease is balanced by the bending energy of developable regions on either side of the crease. Though geometry requires that a sheet buckle when folded along a closed curve, its shape depends on the elasticity of the sheet. NSF DMR-0846582.

  3. Folding with thermal-mechanical feedback: Discussion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treagus, Susan H.; Hudleston, Peter J.

    2009-07-01

    A recent paper in this Journal by Bruce Hobbs, Klaus Regenauer-Lieb and Alison Ord [Hobbs, B., Regenauer-Lieb, K., Ord, A., 2008. Folding with thermal-mechanical feedback. Journal of Structural Geology 30, 1572-1592] presents an alternative theory to the traditional Biot-Ramberg theory for folding of viscous rocks that involves non-equilibrium thermodynamics and thermal-mechanical feedback. The authors convey a strong message throughout their paper that the folds produced by this theoretical and numerical modelling are geologically realistic and provide a better explanation for many natural folds than the traditional theory. They promise the same approach for boudinage, and present this folding paper as part of a "unified framework for rock deformation processes". Readers of the Journal of Structural Geology might be led to conclude that this paper provides a good alternative model for folding of rocks. Our discussion will disagree, on four counts.

  4. Kinetic partitioning mechanism of HDV ribozyme folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jiawen; Gong, Sha; Wang, Yujie; Zhang, Wenbing

    2014-01-01

    RNA folding kinetics is directly tied to RNA biological functions. We introduce here a new approach for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure with pseudoknots. This approach is based on our previous established helix-based method for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure. In this approach, the transition rates for an elementary step: (1) formation, (2) disruption of a helix stem, and (3) helix formation with concomitant partial melting of an incompatible helix, are calculated with the free energy landscape. The folding kinetics of the Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme and the mutated sequences are studied with this method. The folding pathways are identified by recursive searching the states with high net flux-in(out) population starting from the native state. The theory results are in good agreement with that of the experiments. The results indicate that the bi-phasic folding kinetics for the wt HDV sequence is ascribed to the kinetic partitioning mechanism: Part of the population will quickly fold to the native state along the fast pathway, while another part of the population will fold along the slow pathway, in which the population is trapped in a non-native state. Single mutation not only changes the folding rate but also the folding pathway.

  5. Kinetic partitioning mechanism of HDV ribozyme folding

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jiawen; Gong, Sha; Wang, Yujie; Zhang, Wenbing

    2014-01-14

    RNA folding kinetics is directly tied to RNA biological functions. We introduce here a new approach for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure with pseudoknots. This approach is based on our previous established helix-based method for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure. In this approach, the transition rates for an elementary step: (1) formation, (2) disruption of a helix stem, and (3) helix formation with concomitant partial melting of an incompatible helix, are calculated with the free energy landscape. The folding kinetics of the Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme and the mutated sequences are studied with this method. The folding pathways are identified by recursive searching the states with high net flux-in(out) population starting from the native state. The theory results are in good agreement with that of the experiments. The results indicate that the bi-phasic folding kinetics for the wt HDV sequence is ascribed to the kinetic partitioning mechanism: Part of the population will quickly fold to the native state along the fast pathway, while another part of the population will fold along the slow pathway, in which the population is trapped in a non-native state. Single mutation not only changes the folding rate but also the folding pathway.

  6. Dependence of Internal Friction on Folding Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    An outstanding challenge in protein folding is understanding the origin of “internal friction” in folding dynamics, experimentally identified from the dependence of folding rates on solvent viscosity. A possible origin suggested by simulation is the crossing of local torsion barriers. However, it was unclear why internal friction varied from protein to protein or for different folding barriers of the same protein. Using all-atom simulations with variable solvent viscosity, in conjunction with transition-path sampling to obtain reaction rates and analysis via Markov state models, we are able to determine the internal friction in the folding of several peptides and miniproteins. In agreement with experiment, we find that the folding events with greatest internal friction are those that mainly involve helix formation, while hairpin formation exhibits little or no evidence of friction. Via a careful analysis of folding transition paths, we show that internal friction arises when torsion angle changes are an important part of the folding mechanism near the folding free energy barrier. These results suggest an explanation for the variation of internal friction effects from protein to protein and across the energy landscape of the same protein. PMID:25721133

  7. Protein Folding and Mechanisms of Proteostasis

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-Villanueva, José Fernando; Díaz-Molina, Raúl; García-González, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Highly sophisticated mechanisms that modulate protein structure and function, which involve synthesis and degradation, have evolved to maintain cellular homeostasis. Perturbations in these mechanisms can lead to protein dysfunction as well as deleterious cell processes. Therefore in recent years the etiology of a great number of diseases has been attributed to failures in mechanisms that modulate protein structure. Interconnections among metabolic and cell signaling pathways are critical for homeostasis to converge on mechanisms associated with protein folding as well as for the preservation of the native structure of proteins. For instance, imbalances in secretory protein synthesis pathways lead to a condition known as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress which elicits the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR). Therefore, taking this into consideration, a key part of this paper is developed around the protein folding phenomenon, and cellular mechanisms which support this pivotal condition. We provide an overview of chaperone protein function, UPR via, spatial compartmentalization of protein folding, proteasome role, autophagy, as well as the intertwining between these processes. Several diseases are known to have a molecular etiology in the malfunction of mechanisms responsible for protein folding and in the shielding of native structure, phenomena which ultimately lead to misfolded protein accumulation. This review centers on our current knowledge about pathways that modulate protein folding, and cell responses involved in protein homeostasis. PMID:26225966

  8. Protein Folding and Mechanisms of Proteostasis.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Villanueva, José Fernando; Díaz-Molina, Raúl; García-González, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Highly sophisticated mechanisms that modulate protein structure and function, which involve synthesis and degradation, have evolved to maintain cellular homeostasis. Perturbations in these mechanisms can lead to protein dysfunction as well as deleterious cell processes. Therefore in recent years the etiology of a great number of diseases has been attributed to failures in mechanisms that modulate protein structure. Interconnections among metabolic and cell signaling pathways are critical for homeostasis to converge on mechanisms associated with protein folding as well as for the preservation of the native structure of proteins. For instance, imbalances in secretory protein synthesis pathways lead to a condition known as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress which elicits the adaptive unfolded protein response (UPR). Therefore, taking this into consideration, a key part of this paper is developed around the protein folding phenomenon, and cellular mechanisms which support this pivotal condition. We provide an overview of chaperone protein function, UPR via, spatial compartmentalization of protein folding, proteasome role, autophagy, as well as the intertwining between these processes. Several diseases are known to have a molecular etiology in the malfunction of mechanisms responsible for protein folding and in the shielding of native structure, phenomena which ultimately lead to misfolded protein accumulation. This review centers on our current knowledge about pathways that modulate protein folding, and cell responses involved in protein homeostasis. PMID:26225966

  9. Mechanical Models of Fault-Related Folding

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, A. M.

    2003-01-09

    The subject of the proposed research is fault-related folding and ground deformation. The results are relevant to oil-producing structures throughout the world, to understanding of damage that has been observed along and near earthquake ruptures, and to earthquake-producing structures in California and other tectonically-active areas. The objectives of the proposed research were to provide both a unified, mechanical infrastructure for studies of fault-related foldings and to present the results in computer programs that have graphical users interfaces (GUIs) so that structural geologists and geophysicists can model a wide variety of fault-related folds (FaRFs).

  10. Protein folding and misfolding: mechanism and principles.

    PubMed

    Englander, S Walter; Mayne, Leland; Krishna, Mallela M G

    2007-11-01

    Two fundamentally different views of how proteins fold are now being debated. Do proteins fold through multiple unpredictable routes directed only by the energetically downhill nature of the folding landscape or do they fold through specific intermediates in a defined pathway that systematically puts predetermined pieces of the target native protein into place? It has now become possible to determine the structure of protein folding intermediates, evaluate their equilibrium and kinetic parameters, and establish their pathway relationships. Results obtained for many proteins have serendipitously revealed a new dimension of protein structure. Cooperative structural units of the native protein, called foldons, unfold and refold repeatedly even under native conditions. Much evidence obtained by hydrogen exchange and other methods now indicates that cooperative foldon units and not individual amino acids account for the unit steps in protein folding pathways. The formation of foldons and their ordered pathway assembly systematically puts native-like foldon building blocks into place, guided by a sequential stabilization mechanism in which prior native-like structure templates the formation of incoming foldons with complementary structure. Thus the same propensities and interactions that specify the final native state, encoded in the amino-acid sequence of every protein, determine the pathway for getting there. Experimental observations that have been interpreted differently, in terms of multiple independent pathways, appear to be due to chance misfolding errors that cause different population fractions to block at different pathway points, populate different pathway intermediates, and fold at different rates. This paper summarizes the experimental basis for these three determining principles and their consequences. Cooperative native-like foldon units and the sequential stabilization process together generate predetermined stepwise pathways. Optional misfolding errors

  11. Folded membrane dialyzer with mechanically sealed edges

    DOEpatents

    Markley, Finley W.

    1976-01-01

    A semipermeable membrane is folded in accordion fashion to form a stack of pleats and the edges are sealed so as to isolate the opposite surfaces of the membrane. The stack is contained within a case that provides ports for flow of blood in contact with one surface of the membrane through channels formed by the pleats and also provides ports for flow of a dialysate through channels formed by the pleats in contact with the other surface of the membrane. The serpentine side edges of the membrane are sealed by a solidified plastic material, whereas effective mechanical means are provided to seal the end edges of the folded membrane. The mechanical means include a clamping strip which biases case sealing flanges into a sealed relationship with end portions of the membrane near the end edges, which portions extend from the stack and between the sealing flanges.

  12. Evolutionarily Conserved Linkage between Enzyme Fold, Flexibility, and Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Arvind; Agarwal, Pratul K.

    2011-01-01

    Proteins are intrinsically flexible molecules. The role of internal motions in a protein's designated function is widely debated. The role of protein structure in enzyme catalysis is well established, and conservation of structural features provides vital clues to their role in function. Recently, it has been proposed that the protein function may involve multiple conformations: the observed deviations are not random thermodynamic fluctuations; rather, flexibility may be closely linked to protein function, including enzyme catalysis. We hypothesize that the argument of conservation of important structural features can also be extended to identification of protein flexibility in interconnection with enzyme function. Three classes of enzymes (prolyl-peptidyl isomerase, oxidoreductase, and nuclease) that catalyze diverse chemical reactions have been examined using detailed computational modeling. For each class, the identification and characterization of the internal protein motions coupled to the chemical step in enzyme mechanisms in multiple species show identical enzyme conformational fluctuations. In addition to the active-site residues, motions of protein surface loop regions (>10 Å away) are observed to be identical across species, and networks of conserved interactions/residues connect these highly flexible surface regions to the active-site residues that make direct contact with substrates. More interestingly, examination of reaction-coupled motions in non-homologous enzyme systems (with no structural or sequence similarity) that catalyze the same biochemical reaction shows motions that induce remarkably similar changes in the enzyme–substrate interactions during catalysis. The results indicate that the reaction-coupled flexibility is a conserved aspect of the enzyme molecular architecture. Protein motions in distal areas of homologous and non-homologous enzyme systems mediate similar changes in the active-site enzyme–substrate interactions, thereby

  13. Evolutionarily conserved linkage between enzyme fold, flexibility, and catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ramanathan, Arvind; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2011-01-01

    Proteins are intrinsically flexible molecules. The role of internal motions in a protein's designated function is widely debated. The role of protein structure in enzyme catalysis is well established, and conservation of structural features provides vital clues to their role in function. Recently, it has been proposed that the protein function may involve multiple conformations: the observed deviations are not random thermodynamic fluctuations; rather, flexibility may be closely linked to protein function, including enzyme catalysis. We hypothesize that the argument of conservation of important structural features can also be extended to identification of protein flexibility in interconnection with enzyme function. Three classes of enzymes (prolyl-peptidyl isomerase, oxidoreductase, and nuclease) that catalyze diverse chemical reactions have been examined using detailed computational modeling. For each class, the identification and characterization of the internal protein motions coupled to the chemical step in enzyme mechanisms in multiple species show identical enzyme conformational fluctuations. In addition to the active-site residues, motions of protein surface loop regions (>10 away) are observed to be identical across species, and networks of conserved interactions/residues connect these highly flexible surface regions to the active-site residues that make direct contact with substrates. More interestingly, examination of reaction-coupled motions in non-homologous enzyme systems (with no structural or sequence similarity) that catalyze the same biochemical reaction shows motions that induce remarkably similar changes in the enzyme substrate interactions during catalysis. The results indicate that the reaction-coupled flexibility is a conserved aspect of the enzyme molecular architecture. Protein motions in distal areas of homologous and non-homologous enzyme systems mediate similar changes in the active-site enzyme substrate interactions, thereby impacting

  14. Energy conservation in quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prentis, Jeffrey J.; Fedak, William A.

    2004-05-01

    In the classical mechanics of conservative systems, the position and momentum evolve deterministically such that the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy remains constant in time. This canonical trademark of energy conservation is absent in the standard presentations of quantum mechanics based on the Schrödinger picture. We present a purely canonical proof of energy conservation that focuses exclusively on the time-dependent position x(t) and momentum p(t) operators. This treatment of energy conservation serves as an introduction to the Heisenberg picture and illuminates the classical-quantum connection. We derive a quantum-mechanical work-energy theorem and show explicitly how the time dependence of x and p and the noncommutivity of x and p conspire to bring about a perfect temporal balance between the evolving kinetic and potential parts of the total energy operator.

  15. Conservation and diversity among the three-dimensional folds of the Dicistroviridae intergenic region IRESes.

    PubMed

    Pfingsten, Jennifer S; Costantino, David A; Kieft, Jeffrey S

    2007-07-27

    Internal ribosome entry site (IRES) RNAs are necessary for successful infection of many pathogenic viruses, but the details of the RNA structure-based mechanism used to bind and manipulate the ribosome remain poorly understood. The IRES RNAs from the Dicistroviridae intergenic region (IGR) are an excellent model system to understand the fundamental tenets of IRES function, requiring no protein factors to manipulate the ribosome and initiate translation. Here, we explore the architecture of four members of the IGR IRESes, representative of the two divergent classes of these IRES RNAs. Using biochemical and structural probing methods, we show that despite sequence variability they contain a common three-dimensional fold. The three-dimensional architecture of the ribosome binding domain from these IRESes is organized around a core helical scaffold, around which the rest of the RNA molecule folds. However, subtle variation in the folds of these IRESes and the presence of an additional secondary structure element suggest differences in the details of their manipulation of the large ribosomal subunit. Overall, the results demonstrate how a conserved three-dimensional RNA fold governs ribosome binding and manipulation. PMID:17544444

  16. Structural Conservation of the Myoviridae Phage Tail Sheath Protein Fold

    SciTech Connect

    Aksyuk, Anastasia A.; Kurochkina, Lidia P.; Fokine, Andrei; Forouhar, Farhad; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Tong, Liang; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2012-02-21

    Bacteriophage phiKZ is a giant phage that infects Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. The phiKZ virion consists of a 1450 {angstrom} diameter icosahedral head and a 2000 {angstrom}-long contractile tail. The structure of the whole virus was previously reported, showing that its tail organization in the extended state is similar to the well-studied Myovirus bacteriophage T4 tail. The crystal structure of a tail sheath protein fragment of phiKZ was determined to 2.4 {angstrom} resolution. Furthermore, crystal structures of two prophage tail sheath proteins were determined to 1.9 and 3.3 {angstrom} resolution. Despite low sequence identity between these proteins, all of these structures have a similar fold. The crystal structure of the phiKZ tail sheath protein has been fitted into cryo-electron-microscopy reconstructions of the extended tail sheath and of a polysheath. The structural rearrangement of the phiKZ tail sheath contraction was found to be similar to that of phage T4.

  17. Fold of the conserved DTC domain in deltex proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Obiero, Josiah; Walker, John R.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2012-04-30

    Human Deltex 3-like (DTX3L) is a member of the Deltex family of proteins. Initially identified as a B-lymphoma and BAL-associated protein, DTX3L is an E3 ligase that regulates subcellular localization of its partner protein, BAL, by a dynamic nucleocytoplasmic trafficking mechanism. Unlike other members of the Deltex family of proteins, DTX3L lacks the highly basic N-terminal motif and the central proline-rich motif present in other Deltex proteins, and instead contains other unique N-terminal domains. The C-terminal domains are, however, homologous with other members of the Deltex family of proteins; these include a RING domain and a previously unidentified C-terminal domain. In this study, we report the high-resolution crystal structure of this previously uncharacterized C-terminal domain of human DTX3L, which we term the Deltex C-terminal domain.

  18. The X-38 V-201 Fin Fold Actuation Mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupo, Christian; Robertson, Brandan; Gafka, George

    2004-01-01

    The X-38 Vehicle 201 (V-201) is a space flight prototype lifting body vehicle that was designed to launch to orbit in the Space Shuttle orbiter payload bay. Although the project was cancelled in May 2003, many of the systems were nearly complete. This paper will describe the fin folding actuation mechanism flight subsystems and development units as well as lessons learned in the design, assembly, development testing, and qualification testing. The two vertical tail fins must be stowed (folded inboard) to allow the orbiter payload bay doors to close. The fin folding actuation mechanism is a remotely or extravehicular activity (EVA) actuated single fault tolerant system consisting of seven subsystems capable of repeatedly deploying or stowing the fins.

  19. Structural proteomics of minimal organisms: conservation ofprotein fold usage and evolutionary implications

    SciTech Connect

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

    Background: Determining the complete repertoire of proteinstructures for all soluble, globular proteins in a single organism hasbeen one of the major goals of several structural genomics projects inrecent years. Results: We report that this goal has nearly been reachedfor several "minimal organisms"--parasites or symbionts with reducedgenomes--for which over 95 percent of the soluble, globular proteins maynow be assigned folds, overall 3-D backbone structures. We analyze thestructures of these proteins as they relate to cellular functions, andcompare conservation off old usage between functional categories. We alsocompare patterns in the conservation off olds among minimal organisms andthose observed between minimal organisms and other bacteria. Conclusion:We find that proteins performing essential cellular functions closelyrelated to transcription and translation exhibit a higher degree ofconservation in fold usage than proteins in other functional categories.Folds related to transcription and translation functional categories werealso over represented in minimal organisms compared to otherbacteria.

  20. Mechanics, Structure and Dynamics of Metaphase Chromosome Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marko, John F.

    2014-03-01

    During cell division, eukaryote chromosomes are restructured from a relatively dispersed interphase form, into a relatively compact folded metaphase form. I will discuss experiments aimed at analyzing the folding scheme of metaphase chromosomes, where mechanical response and biochemical perturbation are used as tools for diagnosing structure. Experiments with nucleases reveal that the continuity of the metaphase chromosome depends on DNA, i.e., that the metaphase chromosome can be considered to be a ``chromatin gel.'' Experiments with topoisomerases indicate that chromatin entanglements play an appreciable role in determining chromosome mechanical properties, suggesting that they may play a structural role. We further show that perturbation of condensin complexes dramatically changes metaphase chromosome mechanics. Finally we report results of fluorescence visualization of distributions of condensin I and II along metaphase chromosomes. Supported by NSF Grants MCB-1022117 and DMR-1206868, and by NIH Grants 1U54CA143869-01, 1U54HD076188 and 1R01GM105847-01.

  1. Statistical mechanics of simple models of protein folding and design.

    PubMed Central

    Pande, V S; Grosberg, A Y; Tanaka, T

    1997-01-01

    It is now believed that the primary equilibrium aspects of simple models of protein folding are understood theoretically. However, current theories often resort to rather heavy mathematics to overcome some technical difficulties inherent in the problem or start from a phenomenological model. To this end, we take a new approach in this pedagogical review of the statistical mechanics of protein folding. The benefit of our approach is a drastic mathematical simplification of the theory, without resort to any new approximations or phenomenological prescriptions. Indeed, the results we obtain agree precisely with previous calculations. Because of this simplification, we are able to present here a thorough and self contained treatment of the problem. Topics discussed include the statistical mechanics of the random energy model (REM), tests of the validity of REM as a model for heteropolymer freezing, freezing transition of random sequences, phase diagram of designed ("minimally frustrated") sequences, and the degree to which errors in the interactions employed in simulations of either folding and design can still lead to correct folding behavior. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 6 PMID:9414231

  2. Insights into Coupled Folding and Binding Mechanisms from Kinetic Studies.

    PubMed

    Shammas, Sarah L; Crabtree, Michael D; Dahal, Liza; Wicky, Basile I M; Clarke, Jane

    2016-03-25

    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are characterized by a lack of persistent structure. Since their identification more than a decade ago, many questions regarding their functional relevance and interaction mechanisms remain unanswered. Although most experiments have taken equilibrium and structural perspectives, fewer studies have investigated the kinetics of their interactions. Here we review and highlight the type of information that can be gained from kinetic studies. In particular, we show how kinetic studies of coupled folding and binding reactions, an important class of signaling event, are needed to determine mechanisms. PMID:26851275

  3. Folding with thermal-mechanical feedback: A reply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, Bruce E.; Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus; Ord, Alison

    2009-07-01

    A unified theory of deformation at all scales is outlined. Processes operating during deformation and metamorphism can be coupled in the form of reaction-diffusion equations. Solutions to these equations depend on the specific processes that dominate the dissipation of energy. Hobbs et al. (2008) is concerned with a scale where deformation and conduction of heat dominate and this corresponds to the regional scale. Other papers present results for other length and time scales. Boudinage develops through these processes in materials where the strict Biot theory predicts no boudinage. The strict Biot theory is applicable only at the instant of instability and provides no information on the subsequent growth of the folds. Analytical results for growth to large amplitudes show that only one wavelength develops and not a spectrum of wavelengths as proposed by Treagus and Hudleston (in press) and others. The wavelength to thickness ratio that finally develops is strongly dependent on boundary conditions and so such ratios tell us nothing about the conditions of folding unless these boundary conditions are known. The processes involved in folding with thermal-mechanical feedback are identical for single- and multi-layer systems so that it requires little space to expand the discussion to multi-layers.

  4. Conserved aromatic residues as determinants in the folding and assembly of immunoglobulin variable domains.

    PubMed

    Campion, Stephen R

    2016-02-01

    Detailed analysis of amino acid distribution, focusing on the "framework" regions of both heavy- and light-chain variable immunoglobulin (Ig) domains, distinguished those conserved sequence elements shared by both heavy-chain (VH) and light-chain (VL) domains from those conserved determinants unique to either VH or VL domains alone. Mapping of conserved chemical functionality onto characterized PDB structures showed the analogous placement and utilization of shared determinants in VH and VL structures that are generally similar. Identical Arginine-Aspartic acid ion-pairs located symmetrically on the lateral surfaces of VH and VL domains, respectively, as well as paired glutamine residues that constitute a central contact site between VH and VL domains represent clearly shared molecular features. Three sites of shared aromaticity were found localized to symmetrical sites lining the inaccessible interface of the VH-VL duplex, suggesting an expanded role for strategically conserved aromatic residues from a postulated determinant of individual Ig domain folding to now implicate conserved aromatic sites in the subsequent multi-subunit assembly of native antibody superstructure. Differential domain-specific conservation, representing evolutionary diversification and molecular asymmetry between heavy- and light-chain variable domains was limited, but included amino acids from each functional class and must be evaluated with regard to their possible involvement in heterologous aspects of IgV protein structure-function. PMID:26742085

  5. Role of mechanical factors in cortical folding development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razavi, Mir Jalil; Zhang, Tuo; Li, Xiao; Liu, Tianming; Wang, Xianqiao

    2015-09-01

    Deciphering mysteries of the structure-function relationship in cortical folding has emerged as the cynosure of recent research on brain. Understanding the mechanism of convolution patterns can provide useful insight into the normal and pathological brain function. However, despite decades of speculation and endeavors the underlying mechanism of the brain folding process remains poorly understood. This paper focuses on the three-dimensional morphological patterns of a developing brain under different tissue specification assumptions via theoretical analyses, computational modeling, and experiment verifications. The living human brain is modeled with a soft structure having outer cortex and inner core to investigate the brain development. Analytical interpretations of differential growth of the brain model provide preliminary insight into the critical growth ratio for instability and crease formation of the developing brain followed by computational modeling as a way to offer clues for brain's postbuckling morphology. Especially, tissue geometry, growth ratio, and material properties of the cortex are explored as the most determinant parameters to control the morphogenesis of a growing brain model. As indicated in results, compressive residual stresses caused by the sufficient growth trigger instability and the brain forms highly convoluted patterns wherein its gyrification degree is specified with the cortex thickness. Morphological patterns of the developing brain predicted from the computational modeling are consistent with our neuroimaging observations, thereby clarifying, in part, the reason of some classical malformation in a developing brain.

  6. Electrostatic mechanism of nucleosomal array folding revealed by computer simulation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jian; Zhang, Qing; Schlick, Tamar

    2005-01-01

    Although numerous experiments indicate that the chromatin fiber displays salt-dependent conformations, the associated molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here, we apply an irregular Discrete Surface Charge Optimization (DiSCO) model of the nucleosome with all histone tails incorporated to describe by Monte Carlo simulations salt-dependent rearrangements of a nucleosomal array with 12 nucleosomes. The ensemble of nucleosomal array conformations display salt-dependent condensation in good agreement with hydrodynamic measurements and suggest that the array adopts highly irregular 3D zig-zag conformations at high (physiological) salt concentrations and transitions into the extended “beads-on-a-string” conformation at low salt. Energy analyses indicate that the repulsion among linker DNA leads to this extended form, whereas internucleosome attraction drives the folding at high salt. The balance between these two contributions determines the salt-dependent condensation. Importantly, the internucleosome and linker DNA–nucleosome attractions require histone tails; we find that the H3 tails, in particular, are crucial for stabilizing the moderately folded fiber at physiological monovalent salt. PMID:15919827

  7. Explorations of linked editosome domains leading to the discovery of motifs defining conserved pockets in editosome OB-folds

    PubMed Central

    Park, Young-Jun; Hol, Wim G. J.

    2012-01-01

    Trypanosomatids form a group of protozoa which contain parasites of human, animals and plants. Several of these species cause major human diseases, including Trypanosoma brucei which is the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis, also called sleeping sickness. These organisms have many highly unusual features including a unique U-insertion/deletion RNA editing process in the single mitochondrion. A key multi-protein complex, called the ~20S editosome, or editosome, carries out a cascade of essential RNA-modifying reactions and contains a core of 12 different proteins of which six are the interaction proteins A1 to A6. Each of these interaction proteins comprises a C-terminal OB-fold and the smallest interaction protein A6 has been shown to interact with four other editosome OB-folds. Here we report the results of a “linked OB-fold” approach to obtain a view of how multiple OB-folds might interact in the core of the editosome. Constructs of multiple variants of linked domains in 25 expression and co-expression experiments resulted in 13 soluble multi-OB-fold complexes. In several instances, these complexes were more homogeneous in size than those obtained from corresponding unlinked OB-folds. The crystal structure of A3OB linked to A6 could be elucidated and confirmed the tight interaction between these two OB domains as seen also in our recent complex of A3OB and A6 with nanobodies. In the current crystal structure of A3OB linked to A6, hydrophobic side chains reside in well-defined pockets of neighboring OB-fold domains. When analyzing the available crystal structures of editosome OB-folds, it appears that in five instances “Pocket 1” of A1OB, A3OB and A6 is occupied by a hydrophobic side chain from a neighboring protein. In these three different OB-folds, Pocket 1 is formed by two conserved sequence motifs and an invariant arginine. These pockets might play a key role in the assembly or mechanism of the editosome by interacting with hydrophobic

  8. The highly conserved domain of unknown function 1792 has a distinct glycosyltransferase fold

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Zhu, Fan; Yang, Tiandi; Ding, Lei; Zhou, Meixian; Li, Jingzhi; Haslam, Stuart M; Dell, Anne; Erlandsen, Heidi; Wu, Hui

    2014-01-01

    More than 33,000 glycosyltransferases have been identified. Structural studies, however, have only revealed two distinct glycosyltransferase (GT) folds, GT-A and GT-B. Here we report a 1.34 Å resolution X-ray crystallographic structure of a previously uncharacterized “domain of unknown function” 1792 (DUF1792) and show that the domain adopts a new fold and is required for glycosylation of a family of serine-rich repeat streptococcal adhesins. Biochemical studies reveal that the domain is a glucosyltransferase, and it catalyzes the transfer of glucose to the branch point of the hexasaccharide O-linked to the serine-rich repeat of the bacterial adhesin, Fap1 of Streptococcus parasanguinis. DUF1792 homologs from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria also exhibit the activity. Thus DUF1792 represents a new family of glycosyltransferases, so we designate it as a GT-D glycosyltransferase fold. As the domain is highly conserved in bacteria and not found in eukaryotes, it can be explored as a new antibacterial target. PMID:25023666

  9. Conservation of Fold and Topology of Functional Elements in Thiamin Pyrophosphate Enzymes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dominiak, P.; Ciszak, E. M.

    2005-01-01

    Thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP)-dependent enzymes are a highly divergent family of proteins binding both TPP and metal ions. They perform decarboxylation-hydroxyaldehydes. Prior -ketoacids and of a common - (O=)C-C(OH)- fragment of to knowledge of three-dimensional structures of these enzmes, the GDGY25-30NN sequence was used to identify these enzymes. Subsequently, a number of structural studies on those enzymes revealed multi-subunit organization and the features of the two duplicate cofactor binding sites. Analyzing the structures of 44 structurally known enzymes, we found that the common structure of these enzymes is reduced to 180-220 amino acid long fragments of two PP and two PYR domains that form the [PP:PYR]2 binding center of two cofactor molecules. The structures of PP and PYR are arranged in a similar fold-sheet with triplets of helices on both sides.Dconsisting of a six-stranded Residues surrounding the cofactors are not strictly conserved, but they provide the same interatomic contacts required for the catalytic functions that these enzymes perform while maintaining interactive structural integrity. These structural and functional amino acids are topological counterparts located in the same positions of the conserved fold of sets of PP and PYR domains. Additional parallels include short fragments of sequences that link these amino acids to the fold and function. This report on the structural commonalities amongst TPP dependent enzymes is thought to contribute new approaches to annotation that may assist in advancing the functional proteomics of TPP dependent enzymes, and trace their complexity within evolutionary context.

  10. Ring Separation Highlights the Protein-Folding Mechanism Used by the Phage EL-Encoded Chaperonin.

    PubMed

    Molugu, Sudheer K; Hildenbrand, Zacariah L; Morgan, David Gene; Sherman, Michael B; He, Lilin; Georgopoulos, Costa; Sernova, Natalia V; Kurochkina, Lidia P; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V; Miroshnikov, Konstantin A; Bernal, Ricardo A

    2016-04-01

    Chaperonins are ubiquitous, ATP-dependent protein-folding molecular machines that are essential for all forms of life. Bacteriophage φEL encodes its own chaperonin to presumably fold exceedingly large viral proteins via profoundly different nucleotide-binding conformations. Our structural investigations indicate that ATP likely binds to both rings simultaneously and that a misfolded substrate acts as the trigger for ATP hydrolysis. More importantly, the φEL complex dissociates into two single rings resulting from an evolutionarily altered residue in the highly conserved ATP-binding pocket. Conformational changes also more than double the volume of the single-ring internal chamber such that larger viral proteins are accommodated. This is illustrated by the fact that φEL is capable of folding β-galactosidase, a 116-kDa protein. Collectively, the architecture and protein-folding mechanism of the φEL chaperonin are significantly different from those observed in group I and II chaperonins. PMID:26996960

  11. Pertactin β-helix folding mechanism suggests common themes for the secretion and folding of autotransporter proteins

    PubMed Central

    Junker, Mirco; Schuster, Christopher C.; McDonnell, Andrew V.; Sorg, Kelli A.; Finn, Mary C.; Berger, Bonnie; Clark, Patricia L.

    2006-01-01

    Many virulence factors secreted from pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria are autotransporter proteins. The final step of autotransporter secretion is C → N-terminal threading of the passenger domain through the outer membrane (OM), mediated by a cotranslated C-terminal porin domain. The native structure is formed only after this final secretion step, which requires neither ATP nor a proton gradient. Sequence analysis reveals that, despite size, sequence, and functional diversity among autotransporter passenger domains, >97% are predicted to form parallel β-helices, indicating this structural topology may be important for secretion. We report the folding behavior of pertactin, an autotransporter passenger domain from Bordetella pertussis. The pertactin β-helix folds reversibly in isolation, but folding is much slower than expected based on size and native-state topology. Surprisingly, pertactin is not prone to aggregation during folding, even though folding is extremely slow. Interestingly, equilibrium denaturation results in the formation of a partially folded structure, a stable core comprising the C-terminal half of the protein. Examination of the pertactin crystal structure does not reveal any obvious reason for the enhanced stability of the C terminus. In vivo, slow folding would prevent premature folding of the passenger domain in the periplasm, before OM secretion. Moreover, the extra stability of the C-terminal rungs of the β-helix might serve as a template for the formation of native protein during OM secretion; hence, vectorial folding of the β-helix could contribute to the energy-independent translocation mechanism. Coupled with the sequence analysis, the results presented here suggest a general mechanism for autotransporter secretion. PMID:16549796

  12. Mass Conservation Implications of a Reaction Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, William R.; Missen, Ronald W.

    2003-07-01

    A proposed reaction mechanism in chemical kinetics contains implications for mass-conservation equations (stoichiometry) governing the reacting system. The only information required to determine the number and a particular set of these equations is the stoichiometric matrix of the mechanism, N. The mechanism should first be tested to determine that it is conservative: that it is in accordance with a closed-system assumption. The general criterion is given and a simple version is provided when the formula matrix of the species, A, is also known. For a conservative system, a procedure is given to show how the interactive Java applet JSTOICH can be used to determine the number and a set of mass-conservation equations implied by N (A need not be known). Similarly, if A is known, JSTOICH can be used to determine the number of special stoichiometric restrictions, r. If r = 0, the set of independent element-conservation equations provide the required equations; if r > 0, the set of equations generated by JSTOICH must be used. Examples are given to illustrate the various procedures.

  13. When fast is better: protein folding fundamentals and mechanisms from ultrafast approaches

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Victor; Cerminara, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Protein folding research stalled for decades because conventional experiments indicated that proteins fold slowly and in single strokes, whereas theory predicted a complex interplay between dynamics and energetics resulting in myriad microscopic pathways. Ultrafast kinetic methods turned the field upside down by providing the means to probe fundamental aspects of folding, test theoretical predictions and benchmark simulations. Accordingly, experimentalists could measure the timescales for all relevant folding motions, determine the folding speed limit and confirm that folding barriers are entropic bottlenecks. Moreover, a catalogue of proteins that fold extremely fast (microseconds) could be identified. Such fast-folding proteins cross shallow free energy barriers or fold downhill, and thus unfold with minimal co-operativity (gradually). A new generation of thermodynamic methods has exploited this property to map folding landscapes, interaction networks and mechanisms at nearly atomic resolution. In parallel, modern molecular dynamics simulations have finally reached the timescales required to watch fast-folding proteins fold and unfold in silico. All of these findings have buttressed the fundamentals of protein folding predicted by theory, and are now offering the first glimpses at the underlying mechanisms. Fast folding appears to also have functional implications as recent results connect downhill folding with intrinsically disordered proteins, their complex binding modes and ability to moonlight. These connections suggest that the coupling between downhill (un)folding and binding enables such protein domains to operate analogically as conformational rheostats. PMID:27574021

  14. When fast is better: protein folding fundamentals and mechanisms from ultrafast approaches.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Victor; Cerminara, Michele

    2016-09-01

    Protein folding research stalled for decades because conventional experiments indicated that proteins fold slowly and in single strokes, whereas theory predicted a complex interplay between dynamics and energetics resulting in myriad microscopic pathways. Ultrafast kinetic methods turned the field upside down by providing the means to probe fundamental aspects of folding, test theoretical predictions and benchmark simulations. Accordingly, experimentalists could measure the timescales for all relevant folding motions, determine the folding speed limit and confirm that folding barriers are entropic bottlenecks. Moreover, a catalogue of proteins that fold extremely fast (microseconds) could be identified. Such fast-folding proteins cross shallow free energy barriers or fold downhill, and thus unfold with minimal co-operativity (gradually). A new generation of thermodynamic methods has exploited this property to map folding landscapes, interaction networks and mechanisms at nearly atomic resolution. In parallel, modern molecular dynamics simulations have finally reached the timescales required to watch fast-folding proteins fold and unfold in silico All of these findings have buttressed the fundamentals of protein folding predicted by theory, and are now offering the first glimpses at the underlying mechanisms. Fast folding appears to also have functional implications as recent results connect downhill folding with intrinsically disordered proteins, their complex binding modes and ability to moonlight. These connections suggest that the coupling between downhill (un)folding and binding enables such protein domains to operate analogically as conformational rheostats. PMID:27574021

  15. Mechanisms of integral membrane protein insertion and folding

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The biogenesis, folding, and structure of α-helical membrane proteins (MPs) are important to understand because they underlie virtually all physiological processes in cells including key metabolic pathways, such as the respiratory chain and the photosystems, and the transport of solutes and signals across membranes. Nearly all MPs require translocons—often referred to as protein-conducting channels—for proper insertion into their target membrane. Remarkable progress toward understanding the structure and functioning of translocons has been made during the past decade. Here we review and assess this progress critically. All available evidence indicates that MPs are equilibrium structures that achieve their final structural states by folding along thermodynamically controlled pathways. The main challenge for cells is the targeting and membrane insertion of highly hydrophobic amino acid sequences. Targeting and insertion are managed in cells principally by interactions between ribosomes and membrane-embedded translocons. Our review examines the biophysical and biological boundaries of membrane protein insertion and the folding of polytopic membrane proteins in vivo. A theme of the review is the under-appreciated role of basic thermodynamic principles in MP folding and assembly. Thermodynamics not only dictates the final folded structure, it is the driving force for the evolution of the ribosome-translocon system of assembly. We conclude the review with a perspective suggesting a new view of translocon-guided MP insertion. PMID:25277655

  16. Evolution Rescues Folding of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Envelope Glycoprotein GP120 Lacking a Conserved Disulfide Bond

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Shang-Te D.; van Anken, Eelco; Liscaljet, I. Marije; Dankers, Martijn; Bontjer, Ilja; Land, Aafke; Braakman, Ineke; Bonvin, Alexandre M.J.J.; Berkhout, Ben

    2008-01-01

    The majority of eukaryotic secretory and membrane proteins contain disulfide bonds, which are strongly conserved within protein families because of their crucial role in folding or function. The exact role of these disulfide bonds during folding is unclear. Using virus-driven evolution we generated a viral glycoprotein variant, which is functional despite the lack of an absolutely conserved disulfide bond that links two antiparallel β-strands in a six-stranded β-barrel. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that improved hydrogen bonding and side chain packing led to stabilization of the β-barrel fold, implying that β-sheet preference codirects glycoprotein folding in vivo. Our results show that the interactions between two β-strands that are important for the formation and/or integrity of the β-barrel can be supported by either a disulfide bond or β-sheet favoring residues. PMID:18753405

  17. Mechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of Protein Folding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Scott, Gregory E.; Denos, Sharlene

    2014-01-01

    In this activity, science education and modern technology are bridged to teach students at the high school and undergraduate levels about protein folding and to strengthen their model building skills. Students are guided from a textbook picture of a protein as a rigid crystal structure to a more realistic view: proteins are highly dynamic…

  18. Identification of an Ideal-like Fingerprint for a Protein Fold using Overlapped Conserved Residues based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Amit; Sokalingam, Sriram; Hwang, Kyu-Suk; Lee, Sun-Gu

    2014-01-01

    Design of an efficient fingerprint that detects homologous proteins at distant sequence identity has been a great challenge. This paper proposes a strategy to extract an ideal-like fingerprint with high specificity and sensitivity from a group of sequences related to a fold. The approach is devised based on the assumptions that the critical residues for a protein fold may be conserved in three aspects, i.e. sequence, structure, and intramolecular interaction, and embedded in secondary structures. We hypothesized that the residues satisfying such conditions simultaneously may work as an efficient fingerprint. This idea was tested on protein folds of various classes, such as beta-strand rich, alpha + beta proteins and alpha/beta proteins with discrete sequence similarities. The fingerprint for each fold was generated by selecting the overlapped conserved residues (OCR) from the conserved residues obtained using independent three alignment methods, i.e. multiple sequence alignment, structure-based alignment, and alignment based on the interstrand hydrogen-bonds. The OCR fingerprints showed more than 90% detection efficiency for all the folds tested and were identified to be almost the minimal fingerprints composed of only critical residues. This study is expected to provide an important conceptual improvement in the identification or design of ideal fingerprints for a protein fold. PMID:25008052

  19. Fold conservation and proteolysis in zebrafish IRBP structure: Clues to possible enzymatic function?

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Debashis; Haswell, Karen M; Sprada, Molly; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Federico

    2016-06-01

    Multiple functions for Interphotoreceptor Retinoid-Binding Protein (IRBP) may explain its localization in the retina, vitreous and pineal gland and association with retinitis pigmentosa and myopia. We have been engaged in uncovering the structure-function relationships of this interesting protein long thought to bind visual-cycle retinoids and fatty acids in the subretinal space. Although hydrophobic domains capable of binding such ligands have now been found, we ask what other structural domains might be present that could predict new functions? Interestingly, IRBP possesses a fold similar to C-terminal processing proteases (CTPases) but is missing the PDZ domain. Here we present structural evidence that this fold may have a role in a recently observed autoproteolytic activity of the two-module zebrafish (z) IRBP (Ghosh et al. Exp. Eye Res., 2015). When the structure of Scenedesmus obliquus D1 CTPase (D1P) is superimposed with the first module of zIRBP (z1), the PDZ domain of D1P occupies roughly the same position in the amino acid sequence as the inter-domain tether in z1, between residues P71 and P85. The catalytic triad K397, S372 and E375 of D1P is located at the inter-domain interfacial cleft, similarly as the tetrad K241, S243, D177 and T179 of z1 residues, presumed to have proteolytic function. Packing of two adjacent symmetry-related molecules within the z1 crystal show that the helix α8 penetrates the interfacial cleft underneath the inter-domain tether, forming a simple intermolecular "knot". The full-length zIRBP is cleaved at or immediately after T309, which is located at the end of α8 and is the ninth residue of the second module z2. We propose that the helix α8 within intact zIRBP bends at P301, away from the improbable knotted fold, and positions the cleavage site T309 near the putative catalytic tetrad of the neighboring zIRBP to be proteolytically cleaved. The conservation of this functional catalytic domain suggests that possible

  20. Evolution of ribonuclease in relation to polypeptide folding mechanisms.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnard, E. A.; Cohen, M. S.; Gold, M. H.; Kim, J.-K.

    1972-01-01

    Comparisons of the N-terminal region of pancreatic RNAase in seven species are presented, taking into account cow, bison, deer, rat, pig, kangaroo, and turtle. The available limited evidence on hypervariable regions indicates that there is still an evolutionary constraint on them. It is proposed that there is a selection pressure acting on all regions of a protein sequence in evolution. Mutations that tend to obstruct the folding process can lead to various intensities of selection pressure.

  1. Quantification of tertiary structural conservation despite primary sequence drift in the globin fold.

    PubMed

    Aronson, H E; Royer, W E; Hendrickson, W A

    1994-10-01

    The globin family of protein structures was the first for which it was recognized that tertiary structure can be highly conserved even when primary sequences have diverged to a virtually undetectable level of similarity. This principle of structural inertia in molecular evolution is now evident for many other protein families. We have performed a systematic comparison of the sequences and structures of 6 representative hemoglobin subunits as diverse in origin as plants, clams, and humans. Our analysis is based on a 97-residue helical core in common to all 6 structures. Amino acid sequence identities range from 12.4% to 42.3% in pairwise comparisons, and, despite these variations, the maximal RMS deviation in alpha-carbon positions is 3.02 A. Overall, sequence similarity and structural deviation are significantly anticorrelated, with a correlation coefficient of -0.71, but for a set of structures having under 20% pairwise identity, this anticorrelation falls to -0.38, which emphasizes the weak connection between a specific sequence and the tertiary fold. There is substantial variability in structure outside the helical core, and functional characteristics of these globins also differ appreciably. Nevertheless, despite variations in detail that the sequence dissimilarities and functional differences imply, the core structures of these globins remain remarkably preserved. PMID:7849587

  2. Mechanisms of Oxidative Protein Folding in the Bacterial Cell Envelope

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Disulfide-bond formation is important for the correct folding of a great number of proteins that are exported to the cell envelope of bacteria. Bacterial cells have evolved elaborate systems to promote the joining of two cysteines to form a disulfide bond and to repair misoxidized proteins. In the past two decades, significant advances have occurred in our understanding of the enzyme systems (DsbA, DsbB, DsbC, DsbG, and DsbD) used by the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli to ensure that correct pairs of cysteines are joined during the process of protein folding. However, a number of fundamental questions about these processes remain, especially about how they occur inside the cell. In addition, recent recognition of the increasing diversity among bacteria in the disulfide bond–forming capacity and in the systems for introducing disulfide bonds into proteins is raising new questions. We review here the marked progress in this field and discuss important questions that remain for future studies. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 1231–1246. PMID:20367276

  3. Critical taper wedge mechanics of fold-and-thrust belts on Venus - Initial results from Magellan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suppe, John; Connors, Chris

    1992-01-01

    Examples of fold-and-thrust belts from a variety of tectonic settings on Venus are introduced. Predictions for the mechanics of fold-and-thrust belts on Venus are examined on the basis of wedge theory, rock mechanics data, and currently known conditions on Venus. The theoretical predictions are then compared with new Magellan data.

  4. Autotransporters: The Cellular Environment Reshapes a Folding Mechanism to Promote Protein Transport

    PubMed Central

    Braselmann, Esther; Clark, Patricia L.

    2012-01-01

    We know very little about how the cellular environment affects protein folding mechanisms. Here, we focus on one unique aspect of that environment that is difficult to recapitulate in the test tube: the effect of a folding vector. When protein folding is initiated at one end of the polypeptide chain, folding starts from a much smaller ensemble of conformations than during refolding of a full-length polypeptide chain. But to what extent can vectorial folding affect protein folding kinetics and the conformations of folding intermediates? We focus on recent studies of autotransporter proteins, the largest class of virulence proteins from pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. Autotransporter proteins are secreted across the bacterial inner membrane from N→C-terminus, which, like refolding in vitro, retards folding. But in contrast, upon C→N-terminal secretion across the outer membrane autotransporter folding proceeds orders of magnitude faster. The potential impact of vectorial folding on the folding mechanisms of other proteins is also discussed. PMID:23687560

  5. Connecting thermal and mechanical protein (un)folding landscapes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li; Noel, Jeffrey K; Sulkowska, Joanna I; Levine, Herbert; Onuchic, José N

    2014-12-16

    Molecular dynamics simulations supplement single-molecule pulling experiments by providing the possibility of examining the full free energy landscape using many coordinates. Here, we use an all-atom structure-based model to study the force and temperature dependence of the unfolding of the protein filamin by applying force at both termini. The unfolding time-force relation τ(F) indicates that the force-induced unfolding behavior of filamin can be characterized into three regimes: barrier-limited low- and intermediate-force regimes, and a barrierless high-force regime. Slope changes of τ(F) separate the three regimes. We show that the behavior of τ(F) can be understood from a two-dimensional free energy landscape projected onto the extension X and the fraction of native contacts Q. In the low-force regime, the unfolding rate is roughly force-independent due to the small (even negative) separation in X between the native ensemble and transition state ensemble (TSE). In the intermediate-force regime, force sufficiently separates the TSE from the native ensemble such that τ(F) roughly follows an exponential relation. This regime is typically explored by pulling experiments. While X may fail to resolve the TSE due to overlap with the unfolded ensemble just below the folding temperature, the overlap is minimal at lower temperatures where experiments are likely to be conducted. The TSE becomes increasingly structured with force, whereas the average order of structural events during unfolding remains roughly unchanged. The high-force regime is characterized by barrierless unfolding, and the unfolding time approaches a limit of ∼10 μs for the highest forces we studied. Finally, a combination of X and Q is shown to be a good reaction coordinate for almost the entire force range. PMID:25517160

  6. Translation Initiation is Controlled by RNA Folding Kinetics via a Ribosome Drafting Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Espah Borujeni, Amin; Salis, Howard M

    2016-06-01

    RNA folding plays an important role in controlling protein synthesis as well as other cellular processes. Existing models have focused on how RNA folding energetics control translation initiation rate under equilibrium conditions but have largely ignored the effects of nonequilibrium RNA folding. We introduce a new mechanism, called "ribosome drafting", that explains how a mRNA's folding kinetics and the ribosome's binding rate collectively control its translation initiation rate. During cycles of translation, ribosome drafting emerges whenever successive ribosomes bind to a mRNA faster than the mRNA can refold, maintaining it in a nonequilibrium state with an acceleration of protein synthesis. Using computational design, time-correlated single photon counting, and expression measurements, we demonstrate that slow-folding and fast-folding RNA structures with equivalent folding energetics can vary protein synthesis rates by 1000-fold. We determine the necessary conditions for ribosome drafting by characterizing mRNAs with rationally designed ribosome binding rates, folding kinetics, and folding energetics, confirming the predictions of a nonequilibrium Markov model of translation. Our results have widespread implications, illustrating how competitive folding and assembly kinetics can shape the gene expression machinery's sequence-structure-function relationship inside cells. PMID:27199273

  7. A Two-step Mechanism for the Folding of Actin by the Yeast Cytosolic Chaperonin

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Sarah F.; Leatherbarrow, Robin J.; Willison, Keith R.

    2011-01-01

    Actin requires the chaperonin containing TCP1 (CCT), a hexadecameric ATPase essential for cell viability in eukaryotes, to fold to its native state. Following binding of unfolded actin to CCT, the cavity of the chaperone closes and actin is folded and released in an ATP-dependent folding cycle. In yeast, CCT forms a ternary complex with the phosducin-like protein PLP2p to fold actin, and together they can return nascent or chemically denatured actin to its native state in a pure in vitro folding assay. The complexity of the CCT-actin system makes the study of the actin folding mechanism technically challenging. We have established a novel spectroscopic assay through selectively labeling the C terminus of yeast actin with acrylodan and observe significant changes in the acrylodan fluorescence emission spectrum as actin is chemically unfolded and then refolded by the chaperonin. The variation in the polarity of the environment surrounding the fluorescent probe during the unfolding/folding processes has allowed us to monitor actin as it folds on CCT. The rate of actin folding at a range of temperatures and ATP concentrations has been determined for both wild type CCT and a mutant CCT, CCT4anc2, defective in folding actin in vivo. Binding of the non-hydrolysable ATP analog adenosine 5′-(β,γ-imino)triphosphate to the ternary complex leads to 3-fold faster release of actin from CCT following addition of ATP, suggesting a two-step folding process with a conformational change occurring upon closure of the cavity and a subsequent final folding step involving packing of the C terminus to the native-like state. PMID:21056978

  8. Mechanically and optically reliable folding structure with a hyperelastic material for seamless foldable displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Hyuk-Jun; Shim, HongShik; Kim, Sunkook; Choi, Woong; Chun, Youngtea; Kee, InSeo; Lee, SangYoon

    2011-04-01

    We report a mechanically and optically robust folding structure to realize a foldable active matrix organic-light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) display without a visible crease at the junction. A nonlinear stress analysis, based on a finite element method, provided an optimized design. The folding-unfolding test on the structure exhibited negligible deterioration of the relative brightness at the junction of the individual panels up to 105 cycles at a folding radius of 1 mm, indicating highly reliable mechanical and optical tolerances. These results demonstrate the feasibility of seamless foldable AMOLED displays, with potentially important technical implications on fabricating large size flexible displays.

  9. How Well Does a Funneled Energy Landscape Capture the Folding Mechanism of Spectrin Domains?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Three structurally similar domains from α-spectrin have been shown to fold very differently. Firstly, there is a contrast in the folding mechanism, as probed by Φ-value analysis, between the R15 domain and the R16 and R17 domains. Secondly, there are very different contributions from internal friction to folding: the folding rate of the R15 domain was found to be inversely proportional to solvent viscosity, showing no apparent frictional contribution from the protein, but in the other two domains a large internal friction component was evident. Non-native misdocking of helices has been suggested to be responsible for this phenomenon. Here, I study the folding of these three proteins with minimalist coarse-grained models based on a funneled energy landscape. Remarkably, I find that, despite the absence of non-native interactions, the differences in folding mechanism of the domains are well captured by the model, and the agreement of the Φ-values with experiment is fairly good. On the other hand, within the context of this model, there are no significant differences in diffusion coefficient along the chosen folding coordinate, and the model cannot explain the large differences in folding rates between the proteins found experimentally. These results are nonetheless consistent with the expectations from the energy landscape perspective of protein folding: namely, that the folding mechanism is primarily determined by the native-like interactions present in the Gō-like model, with missing non-native interactions being required to explain the differences in “internal friction” seen in experiment. PMID:23947368

  10. Mechanical Regulation of Three-Dimensional Epithelial Fold Pattern Formation in the Mouse Oviduct.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Hiroshi; Shi, Dongbo; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Naoto; Uemura, Tadashi; Fujimori, Toshihiko

    2016-08-01

    Epithelia exhibit various three-dimensional morphologies linked to organ function in animals. However, the mechanisms of three-dimensional morphogenesis remain elusive. The luminal epithelium of the mouse oviduct forms well-aligned straight folds along the longitudinal direction of the tubes. Disruption of the Celsr1 gene, a planar cell polarity-related gene, causes ectopically branched folds. Here, we evaluated the mechanical contributions of the epithelium to the fold pattern formation. In the mutant oviduct, the epithelium was more intricate along the longitudinal direction than in the wild-type, suggesting a higher ratio of the longitudinal length of the epithelial layer to that of the surrounding smooth muscle (SM) layer (L-Epi/SM ratio). Our mathematical modeling and computational simulations suggested that the L-Epi/SM ratio could explain the differences in fold branching between the two genotypes. Longitudinal epithelial tensions were increased in well-aligned folds compared with those in disorganized folds both in the simulations and in experimental estimations. Artificially increasing the epithelial tensions suppressed the branching in simulations, suggesting that the epithelial tensions can regulate fold patterning. The epithelial tensions could be explained by the combination of line tensions along the epithelial cell-cell boundaries with the polarized cell arrays observed in vivo. These results suggest that the fold pattern is associated with the polarized cell array through the longitudinal epithelial tension. Further simulations indicated that the L-Epi/SM ratio could contribute to fold pattern diversity, suggesting that the L-Epi/SM ratio is a critical parameter in the fold patterning in tubular organs. PMID:27508448

  11. Mechanical versus kinematical shortening reconstructions of the Zagros High Folded Zone (Kurdistan Region of Iraq)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frehner, M.; Reif, D.; Grasemann, B.

    2012-04-01

    Our study compares kinematical and mechanical techniques for the palinspastic reconstruction of folded cross-sections in collision orogens. The studied area and the reconstructed NE-SW-trending, 55.5 km long cross-section is located in the High Folded Zone of the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The present-day geometry of the cross-section has been constructed from field, as well as remote sensing data. In a first step, the structures and the stratigraphy are simplified and summarized in eight units trying to identify the main geometric and mechanical parameters. In a second step, the shortening is kinematically estimated using the dip-domain method to 11%-15%. Then the same cross-section is used in a numerical finite-element model to perform dynamical unfolding simulations taking various rheological parameters into account. The main factor allowing for an efficient dynamic unfolding is the presence of interfacial slip conditions between the mechanically strong units. Other factors, such as Newtonian vs. power-law viscous rheology or the presence of a basement affect the numerical simulations much less strongly. If interfacial slip is accounted for, fold amplitudes are reduced efficiently during the dynamical unfolding simulations, while welded layer interfaces lead to unrealistic shortening estimates. It is suggested that interfacial slip and decoupling of the deformation along detachment horizons is an important mechanical parameter that controlled the folding processes in the Zagros High Folded Zone.

  12. Mechanical versus kinematical shortening reconstructions of the Zagros High Folded Zone (Kurdistan region of Iraq)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frehner, Marcel; Reif, Daniel; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2012-06-01

    This paper compares kinematical and mechanical techniques for the palinspastic reconstruction of folded cross sections in collision orogens. The studied area and the reconstructed NE-SW trending, 55.5 km long cross section is located in the High Folded Zone of the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The present-day geometry of the cross section has been constructed from field as well as remote sensing data. In a first step, the structures and the stratigraphy are simplified and summarized in eight units trying to identify the main geometric and mechanical parameters. In a second step, the shortening is kinematically estimated using the dip domain method to 11%-15%. Then the same cross section is used in a numerical finite element model to perform dynamical unfolding simulations taking various rheological parameters into account. The main factor allowing for an efficient dynamic unfolding is the presence of interfacial slip conditions between the mechanically strong units. Other factors, such as Newtonian versus power law viscous rheology or the presence of a basement, affect the numerical simulations much less strongly. If interfacial slip is accounted for, fold amplitudes are reduced efficiently during the dynamical unfolding simulations, while welded layer interfaces lead to unrealistic shortening estimates. It is suggested that interfacial slip and decoupling of the deformation along detachment horizons is an important mechanical parameter that controlled the folding processes in the Zagros High Folded Zone.

  13. Dependence of phonation threshold pressure on vocal tract acoustics and vocal fold tissue mechanics.

    PubMed

    Chan, Roger W; Titze, Ingo R

    2006-04-01

    Analytical and computer simulation studies have shown that the acoustic impedance of the vocal tract as well as the viscoelastic properties of vocal fold tissues are critical for determining the dynamics and the energy transfer mechanism of vocal fold oscillation. In the present study, a linear, small-amplitude oscillation theory was revised by taking into account the propagation of a mucosal wave and the inertive reactance (inertance) of the supraglottal vocal tract as the major energy transfer mechanisms for flow-induced self-oscillation of the vocal fold. Specifically, analytical results predicted that phonation threshold pressure (Pth) increases with the viscous shear properties of the vocal fold, but decreases with vocal tract inertance. This theory was empirically tested using a physical model of the larynx, where biological materials (fat, hyaluronic acid, and fibronectin) were implanted into the vocal fold cover to investigate the effect of vocal fold tissue viscoelasticity on Pth. A uniform-tube supraglottal vocal tract was also introduced to examine the effect of vocal tract inertance on Pth. Results showed that Pth decreased with the inertive impedance of the vocal tract and increased with the viscous shear modulus (G") or dynamic viscosity (eta') of the vocal fold cover, consistent with theoretical predictions. These findings supported the potential biomechanical benefits of hyaluronic acid as a surgical bioimplant for repairing voice disorders involving the superficial layer of the lamina propria, such as scarring, sulcus vocalis, atrophy, and Reinke's edema. PMID:16642848

  14. Understanding the Mechanism of Prosegment-catalyzed Folding by Solution NMR Spectroscopy*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shenlin; Horimoto, Yasumi; Dee, Derek R.; Yada, Rickey Y.

    2014-01-01

    Multidomain protein folding is often more complex than a two-state process, which leads to the spontaneous folding of the native state. Pepsin, a zymogen-derived enzyme, without its prosegment (PS), is irreversibly denatured and folds to a thermodynamically stable, non-native conformation, termed refolded pepsin, which is separated from native pepsin by a large activation barrier. While it is known that PS binds refolded pepsin and catalyzes its conversion to the native form, little structural details are known regarding this conversion. In this study, solution NMR was used to elucidate the PS-catalyzed folding mechanism by examining the key equilibrium states, e.g. native and refolded pepsin, both in the free and PS-bound states, and pepsinogen, the zymogen form of pepsin. Refolded pepsin was found to be partially structured and lacked the correct domain-domain structure and active-site cleft formed in the native state. Analysis of chemical shift data revealed that upon PS binding refolded pepsin folds into a state more similar to that of pepsinogen than to native pepsin. Comparison of pepsin folding by wild-type and mutant PSs, including a double mutant PS, indicated that hydrophobic interactions between residues of prosegment and refolded pepsin lower the folding activation barrier. A mechanism is proposed for the binding of PS to refolded pepsin and how the formation of the native structure is mediated. PMID:24265313

  15. Conservation of the C-type lectin fold for massive sequence variation in a Treponema diversity-generating retroelement

    SciTech Connect

    Le Coq, Johanne; Ghosh, Partho

    2012-06-19

    Anticipatory ligand binding through massive protein sequence variation is rare in biological systems, having been observed only in the vertebrate adaptive immune response and in a phage diversity-generating retroelement (DGR). Earlier work has demonstrated that the prototypical DGR variable protein, major tropism determinant (Mtd), meets the demands of anticipatory ligand binding by novel means through the C-type lectin (CLec) fold. However, because of the low sequence identity among DGR variable proteins, it has remained unclear whether the CLec fold is a general solution for DGRs. We have addressed this problem by determining the structure of a second DGR variable protein, TvpA, from the pathogenic oral spirochete Treponema denticola. Despite its weak sequence identity to Mtd ({approx}16%), TvpA was found to also have a CLec fold, with predicted variable residues exposed in a ligand-binding site. However, this site in TvpA was markedly more variable than the one in Mtd, reflecting the unprecedented approximate 10{sup 20} potential variability of TvpA. In addition, similarity between TvpA and Mtd with formylglycine-generating enzymes was detected. These results provide strong evidence for the conservation of the formylglycine-generating enzyme-type CLec fold among DGRs as a means of accommodating massive sequence variation.

  16. Toxin structures as evolutionary tools: Using conserved 3D folds to study the evolution of rapidly evolving peptides.

    PubMed

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F

    2016-06-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) structures have been used to explore the evolution of proteins for decades, yet they have rarely been utilized to study the molecular evolution of peptides. Here, we highlight areas in which 3D structures can be particularly useful for studying the molecular evolution of peptide toxins. Although we focus our discussion on animal toxins, including one of the most widespread disulfide-rich peptide folds known, the inhibitor cystine knot, our conclusions should be widely applicable to studies of the evolution of disulfide-constrained peptides. We show that conserved 3D folds can be used to identify evolutionary links and test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin of peptides with extremely low sequence identity; construct accurate multiple sequence alignments; and better understand the evolutionary forces that drive the molecular evolution of peptides. Also watch the video abstract. PMID:27166747

  17. Uniqueness of conserved currents in quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, P.

    2003-10-01

    It is proved by a functional method that the conventional expression for the Dirac current is the only conserved 4-vector implied by the Dirac equation that is a function of just the quantum state. The demonstration is extended to derive the unique conserved currents implied by the coupled Maxwell-Dirac equations and the Klein-Gordon equation. The uniqueness of the usual Pauli and Schrödinger currents follows by regarding these as the non-relativistic limits of the Dirac and Klein-Gordon currents, respectively. The existence and properties of further conserved vectors that are not functions of just the state is examined.

  18. Mechanical Folding and Unfolding of Protein Barnase at the Single-Molecule Level.

    PubMed

    Alemany, Anna; Rey-Serra, Blanca; Frutos, Silvia; Cecconi, Ciro; Ritort, Felix

    2016-01-01

    The unfolding and folding of protein barnase has been extensively investigated in bulk conditions under the effect of denaturant and temperature. These experiments provided information about structural and kinetic features of both the native and the unfolded states of the protein, and debates about the possible existence of an intermediate state in the folding pathway have arisen. Here, we investigate the folding/unfolding reaction of protein barnase under the action of mechanical force at the single-molecule level using optical tweezers. We measure unfolding and folding force-dependent kinetic rates from pulling and passive experiments, respectively, and using Kramers-based theories (e.g., Bell-Evans and Dudko-Hummer-Szabo models), we extract the position of the transition state and the height of the kinetic barrier mediating unfolding and folding transitions, finding good agreement with previous bulk measurements. Measurements of the force-dependent kinetic barrier using the continuous effective barrier analysis show that protein barnase verifies the Leffler-Hammond postulate under applied force and allow us to extract its free energy of folding, ΔG0. The estimated value of ΔG0 is in agreement with our predictions obtained using fluctuation relations and previous bulk studies. To address the possible existence of an intermediate state on the folding pathway, we measure the power spectrum of force fluctuations at high temporal resolution (50 kHz) when the protein is either folded or unfolded and, additionally, we study the folding transition-path time at different forces. The finite bandwidth of our experimental setup sets the lifetime of potential intermediate states upon barnase folding/unfolding in the submillisecond timescale. PMID:26745410

  19. Probing the protein-folding mechanism using denaturant and temperature effects on rate constants

    PubMed Central

    Guinn, Emily J.; Kontur, Wayne S.; Tsodikov, Oleg V.; Shkel, Irina; Record, M. Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Protein folding has been extensively studied, but many questions remain regarding the mechanism. Characterizing early unstable intermediates and the high–free-energy transition state (TS) will help answer some of these. Here, we use effects of denaturants (urea, guanidinium chloride) and temperature on folding and unfolding rate constants and the overall equilibrium constant as probes of surface area changes in protein folding. We interpret denaturant kinetic m-values and activation heat capacity changes for 13 proteins to determine amounts of hydrocarbon and amide surface buried in folding to and from TS, and for complete folding. Predicted accessible surface area changes for complete folding agree in most cases with structurally determined values. We find that TS is advanced (50–90% of overall surface burial) and that the surface buried is disproportionately amide, demonstrating extensive formation of secondary structure in early intermediates. Models of possible pre-TS intermediates with all elements of the native secondary structure, created for several of these proteins, bury less amide and hydrocarbon surface than predicted for TS. Therefore, we propose that TS generally has both the native secondary structure and sufficient organization of other regions of the backbone to nucleate subsequent (post-TS) formation of tertiary interactions. The approach developed here provides proof of concept for the use of denaturants and other solutes as probes of amount and composition of the surface buried in coupled folding and other large conformational changes in TS and intermediates in protein processes. PMID:24043778

  20. A Better 2-D Mechanical Energy Conservation Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paesler, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A variety of simple classical mechanics energy conservation experiments are used in teaching laboratories. Typical one-dimensional (1-D) setups may involve falling balls or oscillating springs. Many of these can be quite satisfying in that students can confirm--within a few percent--that mechanical energy is conserved. Students generally have…

  1. Conserved catalytic machinery and the prediction of a common fold for several families of glycosyl hydrolases.

    PubMed Central

    Henrissat, B; Callebaut, I; Fabrega, S; Lehn, P; Mornon, J P; Davies, G

    1995-01-01

    The regions surrounding the catalytic amino acids previously identified in a few "retaining" O-glycosyl hydrolases (EC 3.2.1) have been analyzed by hydrophobic cluster analysis and have been used to define sequence motifs. These motifs have been found in more than 150 glycosyl hydrolase sequences representing at least eight established protein families that act on a large variety of substrates. This allows the localization and the precise role of the catalytic residues (nucleophile and acid catalyst) to be predicted for each of these enzymes, including several lysosomal glycosidases. An identical arrangement of the catalytic nucleophile was also found for S-glycosyl hydrolases (myrosinases; EC 3.2.3.1) for which the acid catalyst is lacking. A (beta/alpha)8 barrel structure has been reported for two of the eight families of proteins that have been grouped. It is suggested that the six other families also share this fold at their catalytic domain. These enzymes illustrate how evolutionary events led to a wide diversification of substrate specificity with a similar disposition of identical catalytic residues onto the same ancestral (beta/alpha)8 barrel structure. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7624375

  2. Comparison of the Folding Mechanism of Highly Homologous Proteins in the Lipid-binding Protein Family

    EPA Science Inventory

    The folding mechanism of two closely related proteins in the intracellular lipid binding protein family, human bile acid binding protein (hBABP) and rat bile acid binding protein (rBABP) were examined. These proteins are 77% identical (93% similar) in sequence Both of these singl...

  3. Surface folding in metals: a mechanism for delamination wear in sliding

    PubMed Central

    Mahato, Anirban; Guo, Yang; Sundaram, Narayan K.; Chandrasekar, Srinivasan

    2014-01-01

    Using high-resolution, in situ imaging of a hard, wedge-shaped model asperity sliding against a metal surface, we demonstrate a new mechanism for particle formation and delamination wear. Damage to the residual surface is caused by the occurrence of folds on the free surface of the prow-shaped region ahead of the wedge. This damage manifests itself as shallow crack-like features and surface tears, which are inclined at very acute angles to the surface. The transformation of folds into cracks, tears and particles is directly captured. Notably, a single sliding pass is sufficient to damage the surface, and subsequent passes result in the generation of platelet-like wear particles. Tracking the folding process at every stage from surface bumps to folds to cracks/tears/particles ensures that there is no ambiguity in capturing the mechanism of wear. Because fold formation and consequent delamination are quite general, our findings have broad applicability beyond wear itself, including implications for design of surface generation and conditioning processes. PMID:25197251

  4. Spectroscopic Monitoring of Mechanical Forces during Protein Folding by using Molecular Force Probes.

    PubMed

    Stauch, Tim; Hoffmann, Marvin T; Dreuw, Andreas

    2016-05-18

    Detailed folding pathways of proteins are still largely unknown. Real-time monitoring of mechanical forces acting in proteins during structural transitions would provide deep insights into these highly complex processes. Here, we propose two molecular force probes that can be incorporated into the protein backbone to gain insight into the magnitude and direction of mechanical forces acting in proteins during natural folding and unfolding through their optical spectroscopic response. In fact, changes in the infrared and Raman spectra are proportional to the mechanical force deforming the force probes, and the relevant bands can be intensified and shifted to a transparent window in the protein spectrum by isotopic substitution. As a result, the proposed molecular force probes can act as "force rulers", allowing the spectroscopic observation and measurement of mechanical forces acting within the proteins under natural conditions without external perturbation. PMID:26928925

  5. Mechanical restoration of large-scale folded multilayers using the finite element method: Application to the Zagros Simply Folded Belt, N-Iraq

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frehner, Marcel; Reif, Daniel; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2010-05-01

    There are a large number of numerical finite element studies concerned with modeling the evolution of folded geological layers through time. This body of research includes many aspects of folding and many different approaches, such as two- and three-dimensional studies, single-layer folding, detachment folding, development of chevron folds, Newtonian, power-law viscous and more complex rheologies, influence of anisotropy, pure-shear, simple-shear and other boundary conditions and so forth. In recent years, studies of multilayer folding emerged, thanks to more advanced mesh generator software and increased computational power. Common to all of these studies is the fact that they consider a forward directed time evolution, as in nature. Very few studies use the finite element method for reverse-time simulations. In such studies, folded geological layers are taken as initial conditions for the numerical simulation. The folding process is reversed by changing the signs of the boundary conditions that supposedly drove the folding process. In such studies, the geometry of the geological layers before the folding process is searched and the amount of shortening necessary for the final folded geometry can be calculated. In contrast to a kinematic or geometric fold restoration procedure, the described approach takes the mechanical behavior of the geological layers into account, such as rheology and the relative strength of the individual layers. This approach is therefore called mechanical restoration of folds. In this study, the concept of mechanical restoration is applied to a two-dimensional 50km long NE-SW-cross-section through the Zagros Simply Folded Belt in Iraqi Kurdistan, NE from the city of Erbil. The Simply Folded Belt is dominated by gentle to open folding and faults are either absent or record only minor offset. Therefore, this region is ideal for testing the concept of mechanical restoration. The profile used is constructed from structural field measurements

  6. STRUCTURAL FOLD, CONSERVATION AND FE(II) BINDING OF THE INTRACELLULAR DOMAIN OF PROKARYOTE FEOB

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Kuo-Wei; Chang, Yi-Wei; Eng, Edward T.; Chen, Jai-Hui; Chen, Yi-Chung; Sun, Yuh-Ju; Hsiao, Chwan-Deng; Dong, Gang; Spasov, Krasimir A.; Unger, Vinzenz M.; Huang, Tai-huang

    2010-01-01

    FeoB is a G-protein coupled membrane protein essential for Fe(II) uptake in prokaryotes. Here, we report the crystal structures of the intracellular domain of FeoB (NFeoB) from Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpNFeoB) and Pyrococcus furiosus (PfNFeoB) with and without bound ligands. In the structures, a canonical G-protein domain (G domain) is followed by a helical bundle domain (S-domain), which despite its lack of sequence similarity between species is structurally conserved. In the nucleotide-free state, the G-domain’s two switch regions point away from the binding site. This gives rise to an open binding pocket whose shallowness is likely to be responsible for the low nucleotide binding affinity. Nucleotide binding induced significant conformational changes in the G5 motif which in the case of GMPPNP binding was accompanied by destabilization of the switch I region. In addition to the structural data, we demonstrate that Fe(II)-induced foot printing cleaves the protein close to a putative Fe(II)-binding site at the tip of switch I, and we identify functionally important regions within the S-domain. Moreover, we show that NFeoB exists as a monomer in solution, and that its two constituent domains can undergo large conformational changes. The data show that the S-domain plays important roles in FeoB function. PMID:20123128

  7. Simulation based estimation of dynamic mechanical properties for viscoelastic materials used for vocal fold models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rupitsch, Stefan J.; Ilg, Jürgen; Sutor, Alexander; Lerch, Reinhard; Döllinger, Michael

    2011-08-01

    In order to obtain a deeper understanding of the human phonation process and the mechanisms generating sound, realistic setups are built up containing artificial vocal folds. Usually, these vocal folds consist of viscoelastic materials (e.g., polyurethane mixtures). Reliable simulation based studies on the setups require the mechanical properties of the utilized viscoelastic materials. The aim of this work is the identification of mechanical material parameters (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and loss factor) for those materials. Therefore, we suggest a low-cost measurement setup, the so-called vibration transmission analyzer (VTA) enabling to analyze the transfer behavior of viscoelastic materials for propagating mechanical waves. With the aid of a mathematical Inverse Method, the material parameters are adjusted in a convenient way so that the simulation results coincide with the measurement results for the transfer behavior. Contrary to other works, we determine frequency dependent functions for the mechanical properties characterizing the viscoelastic material in the frequency range of human speech (100-250 Hz). The results for three different materials clearly show that the Poisson's ratio is close to 0.5 and that the Young's modulus increases with higher frequencies. For a frequency of 400 Hz, the Young's modulus of the investigated viscoelastic materials is approximately 80% higher than for the static case (0 Hz). We verify the identified mechanical properties with experiments on fabricated vocal fold models. Thereby, only small deviations between measurements and simulations occur.

  8. Three-Dimensional Domain Swapping Changes the Folding Mechanism of the Forkhead Domain of FoxP1.

    PubMed

    Medina, Exequiel; Córdova, Cristóbal; Villalobos, Pablo; Reyes, Javiera; Komives, Elizabeth A; Ramírez-Sarmiento, César A; Babul, Jorge

    2016-06-01

    The forkhead family of transcription factors (Fox) controls gene transcription during key processes such as regulation of metabolism, embryogenesis, and immunity. Structurally, Fox proteins feature a conserved DNA-binding domain known as forkhead. Interestingly, solved forkhead structures of members from the P subfamily (FoxP) show that they can oligomerize by three-dimensional domain swapping, whereby structural elements are exchanged between adjacent subunits, leading to an intertwined dimer. Recent evidence has largely stressed the biological relevance of domain swapping in FoxP, as several disease-causing mutations have been related to impairment of this process. Here, we explore the equilibrium folding and binding mechanism of the forkhead domain of wild-type FoxP1, and of two mutants that hinder DNA-binding (R53H) and domain swapping (A39P), using size-exclusion chromatography, circular dichroism, and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. Our results show that domain swapping of FoxP1 occurs at micromolar protein concentrations within hours of incubation and is energetically favored, in contrast to classical domain-swapping proteins. Also, DNA-binding mutations do not significantly affect domain swapping. Remarkably, equilibrium unfolding of dimeric FoxP1 follows a three-state N2 ↔ 2I ↔ 2U folding mechanism in which dimer dissociation into a monomeric intermediate precedes protein unfolding, in contrast to the typical two-state model described for most domain-swapping proteins, whereas the A39P mutant follows a two-state N ↔ U folding mechanism consistent with the second transition observed for dimeric FoxP1. Also, the free-energy change of the N ↔ U in A39P FoxP1 is ∼2 kcal⋅mol(-1) larger than the I ↔ U transition of both wild-type and R53H FoxP1. Finally, hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry reveals that the intermediate strongly resembles the native state. Our results suggest that domain swapping in FoxP1 is at least

  9. Nonadditivity in Conformational Entropy upon Molecular Rigidification Reveals a Universal Mechanism Affecting Folding Cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Vorov, Oleg K.; Livesay, Dennis R.; Jacobs, Donald J.

    2011-01-01

    Previously, we employed a Maxwell counting distance constraint model (McDCM) to describe α-helix formation in polypeptides. Unlike classical helix-coil transition theories, the folding mechanism derives from nonadditivity in conformational entropy caused by rigidification of molecular structure as intramolecular cross-linking interactions form along the backbone. For example, when a hydrogen bond forms within a flexible region, both energy and conformational entropy decrease. However, no conformational entropy is lost when the region is already rigid because atomic motions are not constrained further. Unlike classical zipper models, the same mechanism also describes a coil-to-β-hairpin transition. Special topological features of the helix and hairpin structures allow the McDCM to be solved exactly. Taking full advantage of the fact that Maxwell constraint counting is a mean field approximation applied to the distribution of cross-linking interactions, we present an exact transfer matrix method that does not require any special topological feature. Upon application of the model to proteins, cooperativity within the folding transition is yet again appropriately described. Notwithstanding other contributing factors such as the hydrophobic effect, this simple model identifies a universal mechanism for cooperativity within polypeptide and protein-folding transitions, and it elucidates scaling laws describing hydrogen-bond patterns observed in secondary structure. In particular, the native state should have roughly twice as many constraints as there are degrees of freedom in the coil state to ensure high fidelity in two-state folding cooperativity, which is empirically observed. PMID:21320459

  10. Conservation of Mechanical Energy Using Dry Ice Slider-Projectiles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Jenna; Baker, Blane

    2008-01-01

    Energy concepts are fundamentally important for describing and analyzing systems ranging from subatomic particles to spiral galaxies. In general, students first encounter such concepts in introductory courses that typically focus on forms of energy, energy transfer, and conservation laws. Within these courses, conservation of mechanical energy is…

  11. Conformational propensities of intrinsically disordered proteins influence the mechanism of binding and folding

    PubMed Central

    Arai, Munehito; Sugase, Kenji; Dyson, H. Jane; Wright, Peter E.

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) frequently function in protein interaction networks that regulate crucial cellular signaling pathways. Many IDPs undergo transitions from disordered conformational ensembles to folded structures upon binding to their cellular targets. Several possible binding mechanisms for coupled folding and binding have been identified: folding of the IDP after association with the target (“induced fit”), or binding of a prefolded state in the conformational ensemble of the IDP to the target protein (“conformational selection”), or some combination of these two extremes. The interaction of the intrinsically disordered phosphorylated kinase-inducible domain (pKID) of the cAMP-response element binding (CREB) protein with the KIX domain of a general transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP) provides an example of the induced-fit mechanism. Here we show by NMR relaxation dispersion experiments that a different intrinsically disordered ligand, the transactivation domain of the transcription factor c-Myb, interacts with KIX at the same site as pKID but via a different binding mechanism that involves elements of conformational selection and induced fit. In contrast to pKID, the c-Myb activation domain has a strong propensity for spontaneous helix formation in its N-terminal region, which binds to KIX in a predominantly folded conformation. The C-terminal region of c-Myb exhibits a much smaller helical propensity and likely folds via an induced-fit process after binding to KIX. We propose that the intrinsic secondary structure propensities of pKID and c-Myb determine their binding mechanisms, consistent with their functions as inducible and constitutive transcriptional activators. PMID:26195786

  12. Protein Folding Mechanism of the Dimeric AmphiphysinII/Bin1 N-BAR Domain

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Tobias; Balbach, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    The human AmphyphisinII/Bin1 N-BAR domain belongs to the BAR domain superfamily, whose members sense and generate membrane curvatures. The N-BAR domain is a 57 kDa homodimeric protein comprising a six helix bundle. Here we report the protein folding mechanism of this protein as a representative of this protein superfamily. The concentration dependent thermodynamic stability was studied by urea equilibrium transition curves followed by fluorescence and far-UV CD spectroscopy. Kinetic unfolding and refolding experiments, including rapid double and triple mixing techniques, allowed to unravel the complex folding behavior of N-BAR. The equilibrium unfolding transition curve can be described by a two-state process, while the folding kinetics show four refolding phases, an additional burst reaction and two unfolding phases. All fast refolding phases show a rollover in the chevron plot but only one of these phases depends on the protein concentration reporting the dimerization step. Secondary structure formation occurs during the three fast refolding phases. The slowest phase can be assigned to a proline isomerization. All kinetic experiments were also followed by fluorescence anisotropy detection to verify the assignment of the dimerization step to the respective folding phase. Based on these experiments we propose for N-BAR two parallel folding pathways towards the homodimeric native state depending on the proline conformation in the unfolded state. PMID:26368922

  13. Order of steps in the cytochrome C folding pathway: evidence for a sequential stabilization mechanism.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Mallela M G; Maity, Haripada; Rumbley, Jon N; Lin, Yan; Englander, S Walter

    2006-06-23

    Previous work used hydrogen exchange (HX) experiments in kinetic and equilibrium modes to study the reversible unfolding and refolding of cytochrome c (Cyt c) under native conditions. Accumulated results now show that Cyt c is composed of five individually cooperative folding units, called foldons, which unfold and refold as concerted units in a stepwise pathway sequence. The first three steps of the folding pathway are linear and sequential. The ordering of the last two steps has been unclear because the fast HX of the amino acid residues in these foldons has made measurement difficult. New HX experiments done under slower exchange conditions show that the final two foldons do not unfold and refold in an obligatory sequence. They unfold separately and neither unfolding obligately contains the other, as indicated by their similar unfolding surface exposure and the specific effects of destabilizing and stabilizing mutations, pH change, and oxidation state. These results taken together support a sequential stabilization mechanism in which folding occurs in the native context with prior native-like structure serving to template the stepwise formation of subsequent native-like foldon units. Where the native structure of Cyt c requires sequential folding, in the first three steps, this is found. Where structural determination is ambiguous, in the final two steps, alternative parallel folding is found. PMID:16690080

  14. Kinetic folding mechanism of an integral membrane protein examined by pulsed oxidative labeling and mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yan; Brown, Leonid; Konermann, Lars

    2011-07-01

    We report the application of pulsed oxidative labeling for deciphering the folding mechanism of a membrane protein. SDS-denatured bacteriorhodopsin (BR) was refolded by mixing with bicelles in the presence of free retinal. At various time points (20 ms to 1 day), the protein was exposed to a microsecond ·OH pulse that induces oxidative modifications at solvent-accessible methionine side chains. The extent of labeling was determined by mass spectrometry. These measurements were complemented by stopped-flow spectroscopy. Major time-dependent changes in solvent accessibility were detected for M20 (helix A) and M118 (helix D). Our kinetic data indicate a sequential folding mechanism, consistent with models previously suggested by others on the basis of optical data. Yet, ·OH labeling provides additional structural insights. An initial folding intermediate I(1) gets populated within 20 ms, concomitantly with formation of helix A. Subsequent structural consolidation leads to a transient species I(2). Noncovalent retinal binding to I(2) induces folding of helix D, thereby generating an intermediate I(R). In the absence of retinal, the latter transition does not take place. Hence, formation of helix D depends on retinal binding, whereas this is not the case for helix A. As the cofactor settles deeper into its binding pocket, a final transient species I(R) is generated. This intermediate converts into native BR within minutes by formation of the retinal-K216 Schiff base linkage. The combination of pulsed covalent labeling and optical spectroscopy employed here should also be suitable for exploring the folding mechanisms of other membrane proteins. PMID:21570983

  15. Deformation mechanisms and strain history of a minor fold from the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spang, J. H.; Groshong, R. H.

    1981-02-01

    We have re-examined a minor fold in the Silurian McKenzie limestone, collected from the Cacapon Mountain anticline where the anticline crosses the Potomoc River. The fold was originally studied by James Conel (1962). We have determined the strain and deformation mechanisms in both the hinge and the limbs of one layer. The layer is towards the inner arc of a multilayer containing one other bed of comparable thickness and numerous thinner beds, all separated by thin shale beds and enclosed in shale. Intragranular deformation mechanisms related to folding include faults and replacement veins. The faults represent a complex interrelationship between shear displacement, pressure solution, and extension veins containing fibrous calcite. The faults are curved and have the effect of moving material into the inner arc of the hinge zone. The replacement veins occur normal to bedding on the outer arc of the hinge. Pressure solution zones normal to bedding are absent and so is cleavage. Intragranular strain is measured on twinned calcite using the least-squares strain gage technique. Based on all the data, the maximum compressive strain, ɛ 1, is everywhere subparallel to layering and approximately perpendicular to the fold axis. The maximum extension strain is everywhere subparallel to the fold axis. The largest ɛ 1 values (-12.7 and -11.0%) occur in the inner arc of the hinge; the smallest ɛ 1 (-2.1%) is in the outer arc of the hinge. The limbs have intermediate values of ɛ 1. Intragranular layer-parallel shear strain on the limbs is small and indicates a relative motion of material away from the hinge in the inner arc with respect to the outer arc.

  16. Distribution of pre-folding linear indicators of movement direction around the Spring Hill Synform, Vermont: significance for mechanism of folding in this portion of the Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, T. H.; Hickey, K. A.

    1997-06-01

    Three distinctly oriented sets of pre-folding, and one set of syn-folding, axes of curved inclusion trails are preserved in garnet porphyroblasts in 50 samples around the doubly plunging Spring Hill Synform in southeast Vermont. Over one third of the samples contain consistent changes in the trend of these axes from the core to rim. Since the core grew before the rim this enabled the relative timing of each set of axes to be determined, from the oldest to the youngest, as NE-SW, E-W, NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW. The youngest trend is parallel to the axial plane of the regional folds. Only those samples with the latter trend have their inclusion trails connected continuously to the matrix foliation. The three pre-folding sets of axes have the same orientation on both limbs. This consistency in orientation has significant implications for the processes operating during folding, and three mechanisms are presented that could potentially explain it. These involve the classic card deck model of shear folding, De Sitter's model of clay bricks shortening as they shear past one another, and the progressive bulk inhomogeneous shortening model. The relative merits of each of these models are discussed.

  17. A Conserved Mechanism for Sulfonucleotide Reduction

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Sulfonucleotide reductases are a diverse family of enzymes that catalyze the first committed step of reductive sulfur assimilation. In this reaction, activated sulfate in the context of adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) or 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS) is converted to sulfite with reducing equivalents from thioredoxin. The sulfite generated in this reaction is utilized in bacteria and plants for the eventual production of essential biomolecules such as cysteine and coenzyme A. Humans do not possess a homologous metabolic pathway, and thus, these enzymes represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Here we studied the mechanism of sulfonucleotide reduction by APS reductase from the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, using a combination of mass spectrometry and biochemical approaches. The results support the hypothesis of a two-step mechanism in which the sulfonucleotide first undergoes rapid nucleophilic attack to form an enzyme-thiosulfonate (E-Cys-S-SO3−) intermediate. Sulfite is then released in a thioredoxin-dependent manner. Other sulfonucleotide reductases from structurally divergent subclasses appear to use the same mechanism, suggesting that this family of enzymes has evolved from a common ancestor. PMID:16008502

  18. Exploring the mechanisms used by promiscuous chaperones to assist protein folding in the cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewett, Andrew I.

    There are two popular theories to explain how molecular chaperones boost the yield of folded protein in the cell: According to the Anfinsen cage model, (ACM) chaperonins protect denatured proteins from aggregation. A competing theory, the iterative annealing model (IAM) claims that ATP regulated chaperone binding and release accelerates folding by freeing proteins from long-lived kinetic traps. We present experimental and kinetic evidence to argue that the IAM is not a complete picture of how the GroEL/ES chaperonin works. Surprisingly some substrate proteins experience folding rate enhancements without undergoing multiple rounds of ATP-induced binding and release from the chaperonin. An explanation of this data requires going beyond the ACM and IAM models. Our work uses molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the folding of a highly frustrated protein within a chaperonin cavity. The chaperonin interior is modeled by a sphere with variable degree of attraction to the protein inside. We demonstrate that this cavity, similar to the weakly hydrophobic interior of the GroEL cavity upon complexion with ATP and GroES, is sufficient to accelerate the folding of a frustrated protein by more than an order of magnitude. Our simulations uncover a novel form of the IAM in which the substrate exhibits spontaneous binding and release from the wall of the chaperonin cage. This mimics the behavior observed in the standard IAM, with the difference that thermal fluctuations, rather than ATP, allow the substrate to unbind from the chaperone. An growing number of smaller cageless chaperones have been discovered that can assist protein folding without the consumption of ATP, including artificial "minichaperones" (fragments of larger chaperones). It is tempting to speculate that the same thermally-driven IAM mechanism could play a role with these chaperones as well. We performed additional simulations of protein folding outside the sphere. We find that in order to accelerate

  19. Optical measurements of vocal fold tensile properties: implications for phonatory mechanics.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Jordan E; Siegmund, Thomas; Chan, Roger W; Henslee, Erin A

    2011-06-01

    In voice research, in vitro tensile stretch experiments of vocal fold tissues are commonly employed to determine the tissue biomechanical properties. In the standard stretch-release protocol, tissue deformation is computed from displacements applied to sutures inserted through the thyroid and arytenoid cartilages, with the cartilages assumed to be rigid. Here, a non-contact optical method was employed to determine the actual tissue deformation of vocal fold lamina propria specimens from three excised human larynges in uniaxial tensile tests. Specimen deformation was found to consist not only of deformation of the tissue itself, but also deformation of the cartilages, as well as suture alignment and tightening. Stress-stretch curves of a representative load cycle were characterized by an incompressible Ogden model. The initial longitudinal elastic modulus was found to be considerably higher if determined based on optical displacement measurements than typical values reported in the literature. The present findings could change the understanding of the mechanics underlying vocal fold vibration. Given the high longitudinal elastic modulus the lamina propria appeared to demonstrate a substantial level of anisotropy. Consequently, transverse shear could play a significant role in vocal fold vibration, and fundamental frequencies of phonation should be predicted by beam theories accounting for such effects. PMID:21497355

  20. Validation of theoretical models of phonation threshold pressure with data from a vocal fold mechanical replica.

    PubMed

    Lucero, Jorge C; Van Hirtum, Annemie; Ruty, Nicolas; Cisonni, Julien; Pelorson, Xavier

    2009-02-01

    This paper analyzes the capability of a mucosal wave model of the vocal fold to predict values of phonation threshold lung pressure. Equations derived from the model are fitted to pressure data collected from a mechanical replica of the vocal folds. The results show that a recent extension of the model to include an arbitrary delay of the mucosal wave in its travel along the glottal channel provides a better approximation to the data than the original version of the model, which assumed a small delay. They also show that modeling the vocal tract as a simple inertive load, as has been proposed in recent analytical studies of phonation, fails to capture the effect of the vocal tract on the phonation threshold pressure with reasonable accuracy. PMID:19206840

  1. A Better 2-D Mechanical Energy Conservation Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paesler, Michael

    2012-02-01

    A variety of simple classical mechanics energy conservation experiments are used in teaching laboratories. Typical one-dimensional (1-D) setups may involve falling balls or oscillating springs. Many of these can be quite satisfying in that students can confirm—within a few percent—that mechanical energy is conserved. Students generally have little trouble identifying discrepancies such as the loss of a few percent of the gravitational potential energy due to air friction encountered by a falling ball. Two-dimensional (2-D) systems can require more sophisticated analysis for higher level laboratories, but such systems often incorporate complicating components that can make the exercise academically incomplete and experimentally less accurate. The following describes a simple 2-D energy conservation experiment based on the popular "Newton's Cradle" toy that allows students to account for nearly all of the mechanical energy in the system in an academically complete analysis.

  2. The DNAJA2 substrate release mechanism is essential for chaperone-mediated folding.

    PubMed

    Baaklini, Imad; Wong, Michael J H; Hantouche, Christine; Patel, Yogita; Shrier, Alvin; Young, Jason C

    2012-12-01

    DNAJA1 (DJA1/Hdj2) and DNAJA2 (DJA2) are the major J domain partners of human Hsp70/Hsc70 chaperones. Although they have overall similarity with the well characterized type I co-chaperones from yeast and bacteria, they are biologically distinct, and their functional mechanisms are poorly characterized. We identified DJA2-specific activities in luciferase folding and repression of human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) trafficking that depended on its expression levels in cells. Mutations in different internal domains of DJA2 abolished these effects. Using purified proteins, we addressed the mechanistic defects. A mutant lacking the region between the zinc finger motifs (DJA2-Δm2) was able to bind substrate similar to wild type but was incapable of releasing substrate during its transfer to Hsc70. The equivalent mutation in DJA1 also abolished its substrate release. A DJA2 mutant (DJA-221), which had its C-terminal dimerization region replaced by that of DJA1, was inactive but retained its ability to release substrate. The release mechanism required the J domain and ATP hydrolysis by Hsc70, although the nucleotide dependence diverged between DJA2 and DJA1. Limited proteolysis suggested further conformational differences between the two wild-type co-chaperones and the mutants. Our results demonstrate an essential role of specific DJA domains in the folding mechanism of Hsc70. PMID:23091061

  3. The DNAJA2 Substrate Release Mechanism Is Essential for Chaperone-mediated Folding*

    PubMed Central

    Baaklini, Imad; Wong, Michael J. H.; Hantouche, Christine; Patel, Yogita; Shrier, Alvin; Young, Jason C.

    2012-01-01

    DNAJA1 (DJA1/Hdj2) and DNAJA2 (DJA2) are the major J domain partners of human Hsp70/Hsc70 chaperones. Although they have overall similarity with the well characterized type I co-chaperones from yeast and bacteria, they are biologically distinct, and their functional mechanisms are poorly characterized. We identified DJA2-specific activities in luciferase folding and repression of human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) trafficking that depended on its expression levels in cells. Mutations in different internal domains of DJA2 abolished these effects. Using purified proteins, we addressed the mechanistic defects. A mutant lacking the region between the zinc finger motifs (DJA2-Δm2) was able to bind substrate similar to wild type but was incapable of releasing substrate during its transfer to Hsc70. The equivalent mutation in DJA1 also abolished its substrate release. A DJA2 mutant (DJA-221), which had its C-terminal dimerization region replaced by that of DJA1, was inactive but retained its ability to release substrate. The release mechanism required the J domain and ATP hydrolysis by Hsc70, although the nucleotide dependence diverged between DJA2 and DJA1. Limited proteolysis suggested further conformational differences between the two wild-type co-chaperones and the mutants. Our results demonstrate an essential role of specific DJA domains in the folding mechanism of Hsc70. PMID:23091061

  4. Conservation laws in the quantum mechanics of closed systems

    SciTech Connect

    Hartle, J.B. ||; Laflamme, R. |; Marolf, D.

    1995-06-15

    We investigate conservation laws in the quantum mechanics of closed systems and begin by reviewing an argument that exact decoherence implies the exact conservation of quantities that commute with the Hamiltonian. However, we also show that decoherence limits the alternatives that can be included in sets of histories that assess the conservation of these quantities. In the case of charge and energy, these limitations would be severe were these quantities not coupled to a gauge field. However, for the realistic cases of electric charge coupled to the electromagnetic field and mass coupled to spacetime curvature, we show that when alternative values of charge and mass decohere they always decohere exactly and are exactly conserved. Further, while decohering histories that describe possible changes in time of the total charge and mass are also subject to the limitations mentioned above, we show that these do not, in fact, restrict {ital physical} alternatives and are therefore not really limitations at all.

  5. Protein Folding Modulates the Swapped Dimerization Mechanism of Methyl-Accepting Chemotaxis Heme Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Marta A.; Lucas, Tânia G.; Salgueiro, Carlos A.; Gomes, Cláudio M.

    2012-01-01

    The periplasmic sensor domains GSU0582 and GSU0935 are part of methyl accepting chemotaxis proteins in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens. Both contain one c-type heme group and their crystal structures revealed that these domains form swapped dimers with a PAS fold formed from the two protein chains. The swapped dimerization of these sensors is related to the mechanism of signal transduction and the formation of the swapped dimer involves significant folding changes and conformational rearrangements within each monomeric component. However, the structural changes occurring during this process are poorly understood and lack a mechanistic framework. To address this issue, we have studied the folding and stability properties of two distinct heme-sensor PAS domains, using biophysical spectroscopies. We observed substantial differences in the thermodynamic stability (ΔG = 14.6 kJ.mol−1 for GSU0935 and ΔG = 26.3 kJ.mol−1 for GSU0582), and demonstrated that the heme moiety undergoes conformational changes that match those occurring at the global protein structure. This indicates that sensing by the heme cofactor induces conformational changes that rapidly propagate to the protein structure, an effect which is directly linked to the signal transduction mechanism. Interestingly, the two analyzed proteins have distinct levels of intrinsic disorder (25% for GSU0935 and 13% for GSU0582), which correlate with conformational stability differences. This provides evidence that the sensing threshold and intensity of the propagated allosteric effect is linked to the stability of the PAS-fold, as this property modulates domain swapping and dimerization. Analysis of the PAS-domain shows that disorder segments are found either at the hinge region that controls helix motions or in connecting segments of the β-sheet interface. The latter is known to be widely involved in both intra- and intermolecular interactions, supporting the view that it's folding and stability

  6. Conservation of Mechanical and Electric Energy: Simple Experimental Verification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponikvar, D.; Planinsic, G.

    2009-01-01

    Two similar experiments on conservation of energy and transformation of mechanical into electrical energy are presented. Both can be used in classes, as they offer numerous possibilities for discussion with students and are simple to perform. Results are presented and are precise within 20% for the version of the experiment where measured values…

  7. A three-dimensional statistical mechanical model of folding double-stranded chain molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wenbing; Chen, Shi-Jie

    2001-05-01

    Based on a graphical representation of intrachain contacts, we have developed a new three-dimensional model for the statistical mechanics of double-stranded chain molecules. The theory has been tested and validated for the cubic lattice chain conformations. The statistical mechanical model can be applied to the equilibrium folding thermodynamics of a large class of chain molecules, including protein β-hairpin conformations and RNA secondary structures. The application of a previously developed two-dimensional model to RNA secondary structure folding thermodynamics generally overestimates the breadth of the melting curves [S-J. Chen and K. A. Dill, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97, 646 (2000)], suggesting an underestimation for the sharpness of the conformational transitions. In this work, we show that the new three-dimensional model gives much sharper melting curves than the two-dimensional model. We believe that the new three-dimensional model may give much improved predictions for the thermodynamic properties of RNA conformational changes than the previous two-dimensional model.

  8. Folding to Curved Surfaces: A Generalized Design Method and Mechanics of Origami-based Cylindrical Structures.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Gong, Haoran; Chen, Xi; Chen, C Q

    2016-01-01

    Origami structures enrich the field of mechanical metamaterials with the ability to convert morphologically and systematically between two-dimensional (2D) thin sheets and three-dimensional (3D) spatial structures. In this study, an in-plane design method is proposed to approximate curved surfaces of interest with generalized Miura-ori units. Using this method, two combination types of crease lines are unified in one reprogrammable procedure, generating multiple types of cylindrical structures. Structural completeness conditions of the finite-thickness counterparts to the two types are also proposed. As an example of the design method, the kinematics and elastic properties of an origami-based circular cylindrical shell are analysed. The concept of Poisson's ratio is extended to the cylindrical structures, demonstrating their auxetic property. An analytical model of rigid plates linked by elastic hinges, consistent with numerical simulations, is employed to describe the mechanical response of the structures. Under particular load patterns, the circular shells display novel mechanical behaviour such as snap-through and limiting folding positions. By analysing the geometry and mechanics of the origami structures, we extend the design space of mechanical metamaterials and provide a basis for their practical applications in science and engineering. PMID:27624892

  9. Metric space formulation of quantum mechanical conservation laws

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, P. M.; D'Amico, I.

    2014-03-01

    We show that conservation laws in quantum mechanics naturally lead to metric spaces for the set of related physical quantities. All such metric spaces have an "onion-shell" geometry. We demonstrate the power of this approach by considering many-body systems immersed in a magnetic field, with a finite ground state current. In the associated metric spaces we find regions of allowed and forbidden distances, a "band structure" in metric space directly arising from the conservation of the z component of the angular momentum.

  10. Flux continuity and probability conservation in complexified Bohmian mechanics

    SciTech Connect

    Poirier, Bill

    2008-02-15

    Recent years have seen increased interest in complexified Bohmian mechanical trajectory calculations for quantum systems as both a pedagogical and computational tool. In the latter context, it is essential that trajectories satisfy probability conservation to ensure they are always guided to where they are most needed. We consider probability conservation for complexified Bohmian trajectories. The analysis relies on time-reversal symmetry considerations, leading to a generalized expression for the conjugation of wave functions of complexified variables. This in turn enables meaningful discussion of complexified flux continuity, which turns out not to be satisfied in general, though a related property is found to be true. The main conclusion, though, is that even under a weak interpretation, probability is not conserved along complex Bohmian trajectories.

  11. The E. coli thioredoxin folding mechanism: the key role of the C-terminal helix.

    PubMed

    Vazquez, Diego S; Sánchez, Ignacio E; Garrote, Ana; Sica, Mauricio P; Santos, Javier

    2015-02-01

    In this work, the unfolding mechanism of oxidized Escherichia coli thioredoxin (EcTRX) was investigated experimentally and computationally. We characterized seven point mutants distributed along the C-terminal α-helix (CTH) and the preceding loop. The mutations destabilized the protein against global unfolding while leaving the native structure unchanged. Global analysis of the unfolding kinetics of all variants revealed a linear unfolding route with a high-energy on-pathway intermediate state flanked by two transition state ensembles TSE1 and TSE2. The experiments show that CTH is mainly unfolded in TSE1 and the intermediate and becomes structured in TSE2. Structure-based molecular dynamics are in agreement with these experiments and provide protein-wide structural information on transient states. In our model, EcTRX folding starts with structure formation in the β-sheet, while the protein helices coalesce later. As a whole, our results indicate that the CTH is a critical module in the folding process, restraining a heterogeneous intermediate ensemble into a biologically active native state and providing the native protein with thermodynamic and kinetic stability. PMID:25463044

  12. Mechanics of fold-and-thrust belts and accretionary wedges Cohesive Coulomb theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dahlen, F. A.; Suppe, J.; Davis, D.

    1984-01-01

    A self-consistent theory for the mechanics of thin-skinned accretionary Coulomb wedges is developed and applied to the active fold-and-thrust belt of western Taiwan. The state of stress everywhere within a critical wedge is determined by solving the static equilibrium equations subject to the appropriate boundary conditions. The influence of wedge cohesion, which gives rise to a concave curvature of the critical topographic surface and affects the orientation of the principal stresses and Coulomb fracture within the wedge, is considered. The shape of the topographic surface and the angles at which thrust faults step up from the basal decollement in the Taiwanese belt is analyzed taking into account the extensive structural and fluid-pressure data available there. It is concluded that the gross geometry and structure of the Taiwan wedge are consistent with normal laboratory frictional and fracture strengths of sedimentary rocks.

  13. Mechanical cavopulmonary assist for the univentricular Fontan circulation using a novel folding propeller blood pump.

    PubMed

    Throckmorton, Amy L; Ballman, Kimberly K; Myers, Cynthia D; Litwak, Kenneth N; Frankel, Steven H; Rodefeld, Mark D

    2007-01-01

    A blood pump specifically designed to operate in the unique anatomic and physiologic conditions of a cavopulmonary connection has never been developed. Mechanical augmentation of cavopulmonary blood flow in a univentricular circulation would reduce systemic venous pressure, increase preload to the single ventricle, and temporarily reproduce a scenario analogous to the normal two-ventricle circulation. We hypothesize that a folding propeller blood pump would function optimally in this cavopulmonary circulation. The hydraulic performance of a two-bladed propeller prototype was characterized in an experimental flow loop using a blood analog fluid for 0.5-3.5 lpm at rotational speeds of 3,600-4,000 rpm. We also created five distinctive blood pump designs and evaluated their hydraulic performance using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The two-bladed prototype performed well over the design range of 0.5-3.5 lpm, producing physiologic pressure rises of 5-18 mm Hg. Building upon this proof-of-concept testing, the CFD analysis of the five numerical models predicted a physiologic pressure range of 5-40 mm Hg over 0.5-4 lpm for rotational speeds of 3,000-7,000 rpm. These preliminary propeller designs and the two-bladed prototype achieved the expected hydraulic performance. Optimization of these configurations will reduce fluid stress levels, remove regions of recirculation, and improve the hydraulic performance of the folding propeller. This propeller design produces the physiologic pressures and flows that are in the ideal range to mechanically support the cavopulmonary circulation and represents an exciting new therapeutic option for the support of a univentricular Fontan circulation. PMID:18043158

  14. Constraints on bed scale fracture chronology with a FEM mechanical model of folding: The case of Split Mountain (Utah, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sassi, W.; Guiton, M. L. E.; Leroy, Y. M.; Daniel, J.-M.; Callot, J.-P.

    2012-11-01

    A technique is presented for improving the structural analysis of natural fractures development in large scale fold structures. A 3D restoration of a fold provides the external displacement loading conditions to solve, by the finite element method, the forward mechanical problem of an idealized rock material with a stress-strain relationship based on the activation of pervasive fracture sets. In this elasto-plasticity constitutive law, any activated fracture set contributes to the total plastic strain by either an opening or a sliding mode of rock failure. Inherited versus syn-folding fracture sets development can be studied using this mechanical model. The workflow of this methodology was applied to the Weber sandstone formation deformed by forced folding at Split Mountain Anticline, Utah for which the different fracture sets were created and developed successively during the Sevier and the syn-folding Laramide orogenic phases. The field observations at the top stratigraphic surface of the Weber sandstone lead to classify the fracture sets into a pre-fold WNW-ESE fracture set, and a NE-SW fracture set post-dating the former. The development and relative chronology of the fracture sets are discussed based on the geomechanical modeling results. Starting with a 3D restoration of the Split Mountain Anticline, three fold-fracture development models were generated, alternately assuming that the WNW-ESE fracture set is either present or absent prior to folding process. Depending on the initial fracture configuration, the calculated fracture patterns are markedly different, showing that assuming a WNW-ESE joint set to predate the fold best correlates with field observations. This study is a first step addressing the complex problem of identification of fold-related fracturing events using an elementary concept of rock mechanics. When tight to complementary field observations, including petrography, diagenesis and burial history, the approach can be used to better

  15. When Less is More: Novel Mechanisms of Iron Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Bayeva, Marina; Chang, Hsiang-Chun; Wu, Rongxue; Ardehali, Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Disorders of iron homeostasis are very common, yet the molecular mechanisms of iron regulation remain understudied. Over 20 years have passed since the first characterization of iron regulatory proteins (IRP) as mediators of cellular iron deficiency response in mammals through iron acquisition. However, little is known about other mechanisms necessary for adaptation to low-iron states. In this review we present recent evidence that establishes existence of a new iron regulatory pathway aimed at iron conservation and optimization of iron use through suppression of non-essential iron-consuming processes. Moreover, we discuss the possible links between iron homeostasis and energy metabolism uncovered by studies of iron deficiency response. PMID:23948590

  16. A unified mechanism for protein folding: predetermined pathways with optional errors.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Mallela M G; Englander, S Walter

    2007-03-01

    There is a fundamental conflict between two different views of how proteins fold. Kinetic experiments and theoretical calculations are often interpreted in terms of different population fractions folding through different intermediates in independent unrelated pathways (IUP model). However, detailed structural information indicates that all of the protein population folds through a sequence of intermediates predetermined by the foldon substructure of the target protein and a sequential stabilization principle. These contrary views can be resolved by a predetermined pathway--optional error (PPOE) hypothesis. The hypothesis is that any pathway intermediate can incorporate a chance misfolding error that blocks folding and must be reversed for productive folding to continue. Different fractions of the protein population will then block at different steps, populate different intermediates, and fold at different rates, giving the appearance of multiple unrelated pathways. A test of the hypothesis matches the two models against extensive kinetic folding results for hen lysozyme which have been widely cited in support of independent parallel pathways. The PPOE model succeeds with fewer fitting constants. The fitted PPOE reaction scheme leads to known folding behavior, whereas the IUP properties are contradicted by experiment. The appearance of a conflict with multipath theoretical models seems to be due to their different focus, namely on multitrack microscopic behavior versus cooperative macroscopic behavior. The integration of three well-documented principles in the PPOE model (cooperative foldons, sequential stabilization, optional errors) provides a unifying explanation for how proteins fold and why they fold in that way. PMID:17322530

  17. Mechanics of invagination and folding: Hybridized instabilities when one soft tissue grows on another

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tallinen, Tuomas; Biggins, John S.

    2015-08-01

    We address the folding induced by differential growth in soft layered solids via an elementary model that consists of a soft growing neo-Hookean elastic layer adhered to a deep elastic substrate. As the layer-to-substrate modulus ratio is varied from above unity toward zero, we find a first transition from supercritical smooth folding followed by cusping of the valleys to direct subcritical cusped folding, then another to supercritical cusped folding. Beyond threshold, the high-amplitude fold spacing converges to about four layer thicknesses for many modulus ratios. In three dimensions, the instability gives rise to a wide variety of morphologies, including almost degenerate zigzag and triple-junction patterns that can coexist when the layer and substrate are of comparable softness. Our study unifies these results providing understanding for the complex and diverse fold morphologies found in biology, including the zigzag precursors to intestinal villi, and disordered zigzags and triple junctions in mammalian cortex.

  18. A new mechanism for energy conservation technology services

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Feng

    1996-12-31

    In the ninth-five year plan of China, the socialist market economy model will be developed. In the stage of transferring from planning economy to market economy, the energy conservation technology services industry in China has met new challenges. Over the past ten to fifteen years, there has developed a new mechanism for financing energy efficiency investments in market economies. The process is simple. After inspecting an enterprise or an entity for energy saving opportunities, an Energy Service Company (ESCO) which business aimed at making money will review the recommended energy conservation opportunities with the enterprise or the entity (user) and implement those measures acceptable to the user at no front end cost to the user. The ESCO then guarantees that the energy savings will cover the cost of the capital renovations using the Performance Contracting.

  19. Mechanism-based corrector combination restores ΔF508-CFTR folding and function.

    PubMed

    Okiyoneda, Tsukasa; Veit, Guido; Dekkers, Johanna F; Bagdany, Miklos; Soya, Naoto; Xu, Haijin; Roldan, Ariel; Verkman, Alan S; Kurth, Mark; Simon, Agnes; Hegedus, Tamas; Beekman, Jeffrey M; Lukacs, Gergely L

    2013-07-01

    The most common cystic fibrosis mutation, ΔF508 in nucleotide binding domain 1 (NBD1), impairs cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-coupled domain folding, plasma membrane expression, function and stability. VX-809, a promising investigational corrector of ΔF508-CFTR misprocessing, has limited clinical benefit and an incompletely understood mechanism, hampering drug development. Given the effect of second-site suppressor mutations, robust ΔF508-CFTR correction most likely requires stabilization of NBD1 energetics and the interface between membrane-spanning domains (MSDs) and NBD1, which are both established primary conformational defects. Here we elucidate the molecular targets of available correctors: class I stabilizes the NBD1-MSD1 and NBD1-MSD2 interfaces, and class II targets NBD2. Only chemical chaperones, surrogates of class III correctors, stabilize human ΔF508-NBD1. Although VX-809 can correct missense mutations primarily destabilizing the NBD1-MSD1/2 interface, functional plasma membrane expression of ΔF508-CFTR also requires compounds that counteract the NBD1 and NBD2 stability defects in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cells and intestinal organoids. Thus, the combination of structure-guided correctors represents an effective approach for cystic fibrosis therapy. PMID:23666117

  20. Structural insights into a unique cellulase fold and mechanism of cellulose hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Brás, Joana L. A.; Cartmell, Alan; Carvalho, Ana Luísa M.; Verzé, Genny; Bayer, Edward A.; Vazana, Yael; Correia, Márcia A. S.; Prates, José A. M.; Ratnaparkhe, Supriya; Boraston, Alisdair B.; Romão, Maria J.; Fontes, Carlos M. G. A.; Gilbert, Harry J.

    2011-01-01

    Clostridium thermocellum is a well-characterized cellulose-degrading microorganism. The genome sequence of C. thermocellum encodes a number of proteins that contain type I dockerin domains, which implies that they are components of the cellulose-degrading apparatus, but display no significant sequence similarity to known plant cell wall–degrading enzymes. Here, we report the biochemical properties and crystal structure of one of these proteins, designated CtCel124. The protein was shown to be an endo-acting cellulase that displays a single displacement mechanism and acts in synergy with Cel48S, the major cellulosomal exo-cellulase. The crystal structure of CtCel124 in complex with two cellotriose molecules, determined to 1.5 Å, displays a superhelical fold in which a constellation of α-helices encircle a central helix that houses the catalytic apparatus. The catalytic acid, Glu96, is located at the C-terminus of the central helix, but there is no candidate catalytic base. The substrate-binding cleft can be divided into two discrete topographical domains in which the bound cellotriose molecules display twisted and linear conformations, respectively, suggesting that the enzyme may target the interface between crystalline and disordered regions of cellulose. PMID:21393568

  1. Mechanism-based corrector combination restores ΔF508-CFTR folding and function

    PubMed Central

    Okiyoneda, Tsukasa; Veit, Guido; Dekkers, Johanna F.; Bagdany, Miklos; Soya, Naoto; Xu, Haijin; Roldan, Ariel; Verkman, Alan S.; Kurth, Mark; Simon, Agnes; Hegedus, Tamas; Beekman, Jeffrey M.; Lukacs, Gergely L.

    2013-01-01

    The most common cystic fibrosis (CF) mutation, ΔF508 in the nucleotide binding domain-1 (NBD1), impairs CFTR coupled-domain folding, plasma membrane (PM) expression, function and stability. VX-809, a promising investigational corrector of ΔF508-CFTR misprocessing, has limited clinical benefit and incompletely understood mechanism, hampering drug development. Based on the effect of second site suppressor mutations, robust ΔF508-CFTR correction likely requires stabilization of NBD1 and the membrane spanning domains (MSDs)-NBD1 interface, both established primary conformational defects. Here, we elucidated the molecular targets of available correctors; class-I stabilizes the NBD1-MSD1/2 interface, class-II targets NBD2, and only chemical chaperones, surrogates of class-III correctors, stabilize the human ΔF508-NBD1. While VX-809 can correct missense mutations primarily destabilizing the NBD1-MSD1/2 interface, functional PM expression of ΔF508-CFTR also requires compounds that counteract the NBD1 and NBD2 stability defects in CF bronchial epithelial cells and intestinal organoids. Thus, structure-guided corrector combination represents an effective approach for CF therapy. PMID:23666117

  2. Modeling the effect of codon translation rates on co-translational protein folding mechanisms of arbitrary complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caniparoli, Luca; O'Brien, Edward P.

    2015-04-01

    In a cell, the folding of a protein molecule into tertiary structure can begin while it is synthesized by the ribosome. The rate at which individual amino acids are incorporated into the elongating nascent chain has been shown to affect the likelihood that proteins will populate their folded state, indicating that co-translational protein folding is a far from equilibrium process. Developing a theoretical framework to accurately describe this process is, therefore, crucial for advancing our understanding of how proteins acquire their functional conformation in living cells. Current state-of-the-art computational approaches, such as molecular dynamics simulations, are very demanding in terms of the required computer resources, making the simulation of co-translational protein folding difficult. Here, we overcome this limitation by introducing an efficient approach that predicts the effects that variable codon translation rates have on co-translational folding pathways. Our approach is based on Markov chains. By using as an input a relatively small number of molecular dynamics simulations, it allows for the computation of the probability that a nascent protein is in any state as a function of the translation rate of individual codons along a mRNA's open reading frame. Due to its computational efficiency and favorable scalability with the complexity of the folding mechanism, this approach could enable proteome-wide computational studies of the influence of translation dynamics on co-translational folding.

  3. Modeling the effect of codon translation rates on co-translational protein folding mechanisms of arbitrary complexity.

    PubMed

    Caniparoli, Luca; O'Brien, Edward P

    2015-04-14

    In a cell, the folding of a protein molecule into tertiary structure can begin while it is synthesized by the ribosome. The rate at which individual amino acids are incorporated into the elongating nascent chain has been shown to affect the likelihood that proteins will populate their folded state, indicating that co-translational protein folding is a far from equilibrium process. Developing a theoretical framework to accurately describe this process is, therefore, crucial for advancing our understanding of how proteins acquire their functional conformation in living cells. Current state-of-the-art computational approaches, such as molecular dynamics simulations, are very demanding in terms of the required computer resources, making the simulation of co-translational protein folding difficult. Here, we overcome this limitation by introducing an efficient approach that predicts the effects that variable codon translation rates have on co-translational folding pathways. Our approach is based on Markov chains. By using as an input a relatively small number of molecular dynamics simulations, it allows for the computation of the probability that a nascent protein is in any state as a function of the translation rate of individual codons along a mRNA's open reading frame. Due to its computational efficiency and favorable scalability with the complexity of the folding mechanism, this approach could enable proteome-wide computational studies of the influence of translation dynamics on co-translational folding. PMID:25877595

  4. Mechanisms for Rescue of Correctable Folding Defects in CFTRΔF508

    PubMed Central

    Grove, Diane E.; Rosser, Meredith F.N.; Ren, Hong Yu; Naren, Anjaparavanda P.

    2009-01-01

    Premature degradation of CFTRΔF508 causes cystic fibrosis (CF). CFTRΔF508 folding defects are conditional and folding correctors are being developed as CF therapeutics. How the cellular environment impacts CFTRΔF508 folding efficiency and the identity of CFTRΔF508's correctable folding defects is unclear. We report that inactivation of the RMA1 or CHIP ubiquitin ligase permits a pool of CFTRΔF508 to escape the endoplasmic reticulum. Combined RMA1 or CHIP inactivation and Corr-4a treatment enhanced CFTRΔF508 folding to 3–7-fold greater levels than those elicited by Corr-4a. Some, but not all, folding defects in CFTRΔF508 are correctable. CHIP and RMA1 recognize different regions of CFTR and a large pool of nascent CFTRΔF508 is ubiquitinated by RMA1 before Corr-4a action. RMA1 recognizes defects in CFTRΔF508 related to misassembly of a complex that contains MSD1, NBD1, and the R-domain. Corr-4a acts on CFTRΔF508 after MSD2 synthesis and was ineffective at rescue of ΔF508 dependent folding defects in amino-terminal regions. In contrast, misfolding caused by the rare CF-causing mutation V232D in MSD1 was highly correctable by Corr-4a. Overall, correction of folding defects recognized by RMA1 and/or global modulation of ER quality control has the potential to increase CFTRΔF508 folding and provide a therapeutic approach for CF. PMID:19625452

  5. Methods for detecting formation mechanisms and determining a final strain value for different scales of folded structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakovlev, Fedor L.

    2012-03-01

    Linear folding, developing in fold and thrust belts, is treated as a hierarchic system, at each level of which objects are described by special kinematic models. Geometric parameters of natural folded structures are determined by a combination of various mechanisms incorporated in the model, and a value of finite strain. Several case studies demonstrate how such data enables one to solve structural and geodynamic problems for natural objects of different size. Shortening value of two morphological types of folds is determined based on the geometry of competent layers. Application of the method to analyze the folds of the Vorontsov nappe (Greater Caucasus) determines its gravitational origin. Structural cross-sections though several tectonic zones are subdivided into relatively small domains, the geometry of which, particularly in thin-bedded flysch deposits, making it possible to identify the mechanisms of formation of both local and large structures, and also to reconstruct the pre-folded state of each domain and of the entire cross-sections. By aggregation of tectonic domains into large modules and determination of the value of shortening, we have constructed for the first time a 3D model of the present-day structure of the northwestern Caucasus, which is balanced for the whole sedimentary cover. The geometry of large structures makes it possible to validate geodynamic models.

  6. Conserved mechanism for coordinating replication fork helicase assembly with phosphorylation of the helicase

    PubMed Central

    Bruck, Irina; Kaplan, Daniel L.

    2015-01-01

    Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) phosphorylates minichromosome maintenance 2 (Mcm2) during S phase in yeast, and Sld3 recruits cell division cycle 45 (Cdc45) to minichromosome maintenance 2-7 (Mcm2-7). We show here DDK-phosphoryled Mcm2 preferentially interacts with Cdc45 in vivo, and that Sld3 stimulates DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2 by 11-fold. We identified a mutation of the replication initiation factor Sld3, Sld3-m16, that is specifically defective in stimulating DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2. Wild-type expression levels of sld3-m16 result in severe growth and DNA replication defects. Cells expressing sld3-m16 exhibit no detectable Mcm2 phosphorylation in vivo, reduced replication protein A-ChIP signal at an origin, and diminished Go, Ichi, Ni, and San association with Mcm2-7. Treslin, the human homolog of Sld3, stimulates human DDK phosphorylation of human Mcm2 by 15-fold. DDK phosphorylation of human Mcm2 decreases the affinity of Mcm5 for Mcm2, suggesting a potential mechanism for helicase ring opening. These data suggest a conserved mechanism for replication initiation: Sld3/Treslin coordinates Cdc45 recruitment to Mcm2-7 with DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2 during S phase. PMID:26305950

  7. HMMerThread: Detecting Remote, Functional Conserved Domains in Entire Genomes by Combining Relaxed Sequence-Database Searches with Fold Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, Charles Richard; Surendranath, Vineeth; Henschel, Robert; Mueller, Matthias Stefan; Habermann, Bianca Hermine

    2011-01-01

    Conserved domains in proteins are one of the major sources of functional information for experimental design and genome-level annotation. Though search tools for conserved domain databases such as Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) are sensitive in detecting conserved domains in proteins when they share sufficient sequence similarity, they tend to miss more divergent family members, as they lack a reliable statistical framework for the detection of low sequence similarity. We have developed a greatly improved HMMerThread algorithm that can detect remotely conserved domains in highly divergent sequences. HMMerThread combines relaxed conserved domain searches with fold recognition to eliminate false positive, sequence-based identifications. With an accuracy of 90%, our software is able to automatically predict highly divergent members of conserved domain families with an associated 3-dimensional structure. We give additional confidence to our predictions by validation across species. We have run HMMerThread searches on eight proteomes including human and present a rich resource of remotely conserved domains, which adds significantly to the functional annotation of entire proteomes. We find ∼4500 cross-species validated, remotely conserved domain predictions in the human proteome alone. As an example, we find a DNA-binding domain in the C-terminal part of the A-kinase anchor protein 10 (AKAP10), a PKA adaptor that has been implicated in cardiac arrhythmias and premature cardiac death, which upon stress likely translocates from mitochondria to the nucleus/nucleolus. Based on our prediction, we propose that with this HLH-domain, AKAP10 is involved in the transcriptional control of stress response. Further remotely conserved domains we discuss are examples from areas such as sporulation, chromosome segregation and signalling during immune response. The HMMerThread algorithm is able to automatically detect the presence of remotely conserved domains in proteins based on weak

  8. Using D-amino acids to delineate the mechanism of protein folding: Application to Trp-cage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culik, Robert M.; Annavarapu, Srinivas; Nanda, Vikas; Gai, Feng

    2013-08-01

    Using the miniprotein Trp-cage as a model, we show that D-amino acids can be used to facilitate the delineation of protein folding mechanism. Specifically, we study the folding-unfolding kinetics of three Trp-cage mutants where the native glycine residue near the C-terminus of the α-helix is replaced by a D-amino acid. A previous study showed that these mutations increase the Trp-cage stability, due to a terminal capping effect. Our results show that the stabilizing effect of D-asparagine and D-glutamine originates almost exclusively from a decrease in the unfolding rate, while the D-alanine mutation results in a similar decrease in the unfolding rate, but it also increases the folding rate. Together, these results support a folding mechanism wherein the α-helix formation in the transition state is nucleated at the N-terminus, whereas those long-range native interactions stabilizing this helix are developed at the downhill side of the folding free energy barrier.

  9. Energy Conservation: An Examination of Energy Conservation Mechanisms As They Relate to School Districts in Region XI.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerns, Marilyn

    This report attempts to supply information on energy conservation mechanisms that can be employed in schools to the public schools of Minnesota. The report begins by presenting guidelines for developing an energy conservation plan. The two models include the concept of Total Educational Energy Management as developed by the Colorado Department of…

  10. Significance of first-order faults in folding mechanically isotropic layers: evidence from the Sudbury Basin, Canada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Martin; Riller, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    The Sudbury Basin in Canada is a fold basin demarcated by the Sudbury Igneous Complex (SIC). Folding of the SIC is particularly notable due to its petrographically distinct but mechanically similar layers that are hardly strained when compared to folded strata in other deformed terranes. The Sudbury Basin has three ranges, the North Range, the South Range, and the East Range. The East Range differs from the other ranges by inclosing a remarkably shorter SIC segment with a strong concave curvature. Lacking significant mechanical anisotropy and solid-state strain within the SIC brings to question how the SIC in the East Range acquired its curvature. To address this question, we analyzed the orientation of prominent km-scale faults and their slip vectors. These faults transect the SIC at low angles and mimic its plan view curvature suggesting that the faults were folded along with the SIC. We have developed a G.I.S.-based workflow to address this problem that harnesses high-resolution LiDAR data to generate near surface fault geometries, and combines these geometries with local fault-slip inversions of slickensides to identify slip vectors of prominent curved faults. Analysis of slip vectors along curved faults yields clusters of slip vectors with normal and reverse slip motion in the northern and southern fault segments, respectively. The variation in slip vectors is interpreted to be non-primary and thus shows a temporal relationship between faulting and folding of the SIC. Therefore, prominent curved faults in the East Range must have occurred as a pre-folding brittle response to horizontal shortening. These faults later assumed the role of mechanical anisotropic elements necessary for folding of the SIC layers to occur. This interpretation is corroborated by two sets of principal strain axes inferred from fault-slip inversions. The first set is characterized by its principal axis of shortening oriented NW-SE, comparable in orientation to regional shortening as

  11. New hypotheses derived from the structure of a flaviviral Xrn1-resistant RNA: Conservation, folding, and host adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Kieft, Jeffrey S; Rabe, Jennifer L; Chapman, Erich G

    2015-01-01

    Arthropod-borne flaviviruses (FVs) are a growing world-wide health threat whose incidence and range are increasing. The pathogenicity and cytopathicity of these single-stranded RNA viruses are influenced by viral subgenomic non-protein-coding RNAs (sfRNAs) that the viruses produce to high levels during infection. To generate sfRNAs the virus co-opts the action of the abundant cellular exonuclease Xrn1, which is part of the cell's normal RNA turnover machinery. This exploitation of the cellular machinery is enabled by discrete, highly structured, Xrn1-resistant RNA elements (xrRNAs) in the 3′UTR that interact with Xrn1 to halt processive 5′ to 3′ decay of the viral genomic RNA. We recently solved the crystal structure of a functional xrRNA, revealing a novel fold that provides a mechanistic model for Xrn1 resistance. Continued analysis and interpretation of the structure reveals that the tertiary contacts that knit the xrRNA fold together are shared by a wide variety of arthropod-borne FVs, conferring robust Xrn1 resistance in all tested. However, there is some variability in the structures that correlates with unexplained patterns in the viral 3′ UTRs. Finally, examination of these structures and their behavior in the context of viral infection leads to a new hypothesis linking RNA tertiary structure, overall 3′ UTR architecture, sfRNA production, and host adaptation. PMID:26399159

  12. New hypotheses derived from the structure of a flaviviral Xrn1-resistant RNA: Conservation, folding, and host adaptation.

    PubMed

    Kieft, Jeffrey S; Rabe, Jennifer L; Chapman, Erich G

    2015-01-01

    Arthropod-borne flaviviruses (FVs) are a growing world-wide health threat whose incidence and range are increasing. The pathogenicity and cytopathicity of these single-stranded RNA viruses are influenced by viral subgenomic non-protein-coding RNAs (sfRNAs) that the viruses produce to high levels during infection. To generate sfRNAs the virus co-opts the action of the abundant cellular exonuclease Xrn1, which is part of the cell's normal RNA turnover machinery. This exploitation of the cellular machinery is enabled by discrete, highly structured, Xrn1-resistant RNA elements (xrRNAs) in the 3'UTR that interact with Xrn1 to halt processive 5' to 3' decay of the viral genomic RNA. We recently solved the crystal structure of a functional xrRNA, revealing a novel fold that provides a mechanistic model for Xrn1 resistance. Continued analysis and interpretation of the structure reveals that the tertiary contacts that knit the xrRNA fold together are shared by a wide variety of arthropod-borne FVs, conferring robust Xrn1 resistance in all tested. However, there is some variability in the structures that correlates with unexplained patterns in the viral 3' UTRs. Finally, examination of these structures and their behavior in the context of viral infection leads to a new hypothesis linking RNA tertiary structure, overall 3' UTR architecture, sfRNA production, and host adaptation. PMID:26399159

  13. Conservation of information and the foundations of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiribella, Giulio; Scandolo, Carlo Maria

    2015-05-01

    We review a recent approach to the foundations of quantum mechanics inspired by quantum information theory [1, 2]. The approach is based on a general framework, which allows one to address a large class of physical theories which share basic information-theoretic features. We first illustrate two very primitive features, expressed by the axioms of causality and purity-preservation, which are satisfied by both classical and quantum theory. We then discuss the axiom of purification, which expresses a strong version of the Conservation of Information and captures the core of a vast number of protocols in quantum information. Purification is a highly non-classical feature and leads directly to the emergence of entanglement at the purely conceptual level, without any reference to the superposition principle. Supplemented by a few additional requirements, satisfied by classical and quantum theory, it provides a complete axiomatic characterization of quantum theory for finite dimensional systems.

  14. Gauge transformations and conserved quantities in classical and quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berche, Bertrand; Malterre, Daniel; Medina, Ernesto

    2016-08-01

    We are taught that gauge transformations in classical and quantum mechanics do not change the physics of the problem. Nevertheless, here we discuss three broad scenarios where under gauge transformations: (i) conservation laws are not preserved in the usual manner; (ii) non-gauge-invariant quantities can be associated with physical observables; and (iii) there are changes in the physical boundary conditions of the wave function that render it non-single-valued. We give worked examples that illustrate these points, in contrast to general opinions from classic texts. We also give a historical perspective on the development of Abelian gauge theory in relation to our particular points. Our aim is to provide a discussion of these issues at the graduate level.

  15. Molecular mechanism of energy conservation in polysulfide respiration

    PubMed Central

    Jormakka, Mika; Yokoyama, Ken; Yano, Takahiro; Tamakoshi, Masatada; Akimoto, Satoru; Shimamura, Tatsuro; Curmi, Paul; Iwata, So

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial polysulfide reductase (PsrABC) is an integral membrane protein complex responsible for quinone coupled reduction of polysulfide, a process important in extreme environments such as deep-sea vents and hot springs. We determined the structure of polysulfide reductase from Thermus thermophilus at 2.4 Å resolution, revealing how the PsrA subunit recognizes and reduces its unique poly anionic substrate. The integral membrane subunit PsrC was characterized using the natural substrate menaquinone-7 and inhibitors, providing a comprehensive representation of a quinone binding site and revealing the presence of a water filled cavity connecting the quinone binding site on the periplasmic side to the cytoplasm. These results suggest that polysulfide reductase could be a key energy-conserving enzyme of the T. thermophilus respiratory chain, utilizing polysulfide as the terminal electron acceptor and pumping protons across the membrane via a previously unknown mechanism. PMID:18536726

  16. Statistical mechanics of a correlated energy landscape model for protein folding funnels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotkin, Steven S.; Wang, Jin; Wolynes, Peter G.

    1997-02-01

    In heteropolymers, energetic correlations exist due to polymeric constraints and the locality of interactions. Pair correlations in conjunction with the a priori specification of the existence of a particularly low energy state provide a method of introducing the aspect of minimal frustration to the energy landscapes of random heteropolymers. The resulting funneled landscape exhibits both a phase transition from a molten globule to a folded state, and the heteropolymeric glass transition in the globular state. We model the folding transition in the self-averaging regime, which together with a simple theory of collapse allows us to depict folding as a double-well free energy surface in terms of suitable reaction coordinates. Observed trends in barrier positions and heights with protein sequence length and thermodynamic conditions are discussed within the context of the model. We also discuss the new physics which arises from the introduction of explicitly cooperative many-body interactions, as might arise from sidechain packing and nonadditive hydrophobic forces.

  17. Architecture and Folding Mechanism of the Azoarcus Group I Pre-tRNA

    SciTech Connect

    Rangan,P.; Masquida, B.; Westhof, E.; Woodson, S.

    2004-01-01

    Self-splicing RNAs must evolve to function in their specific exon context. The conformation of a group I pre-tRNA{sup ile} from the bacterium Azoarcus was probed by ribonuclease T1 and hydroxyl radical cleavage, and by native gel electrophoresis. Biochemical data and three-dimensional models of the pre-tRNA showed that the tRNA is folded, and that the tRNA and intron sequences form separate tertiary domains. Models of the active site before steps 1 and 2 of the splicing reaction predict that exchange of the external G-cofactor and the 3{prime}-terminal G is accomplished by a slight conformational change in P9.0 of the Azoarcus group I intron. Kinetic assays showed that the pre-tRNA folds in minutes, much more slowly than the intron alone. The dependence of the folding kinetics on Mg{sup 2+} and the concentration of urea, and RNase T1 experiments showed that formation of native pre-tRNA is delayed by misfolding of P3-P9, including mispairing between residues in P9 and the tRNA. Thus, although the intron and tRNA sequences form separate domains in the native pre-tRNA, their folding is coupled via metastable non-native base-pairs. This could help prevent premature processing of the 5{prime} and 3{prime} ends of unspliced pre-tRNA.

  18. Three-dimensional geometry, strain rates and basement deformation mechanisms of thrust-bend folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wibberley, Christopher A. J.

    1997-03-01

    Models for thrust-bend folding of an isotropic medium are used to predict initial basement thrust sheet geometries and sub-surface thrust fault shapes from final basement thrust sheet structure. Predicted strains and strain rates from these models are compared with data on deformation fabrics in an example of a basement thrustbend fold in order to characterise the deformation response to thrust-bend folding. The Glencoul thrust sheet in the Moine Thrust Zone of north-west Scotland is restored to an initial thrust sheet geometry. Spatial and orientation distribution data of syn-emplacement fractures and cataclastic fault zones from within the Glencoul thrust sheet are then compared with the strain and strain rate histories predicted by thrust-bend folding models. A different set of cataclastic fault seams is demonstrated to have been generated at each frontal thrust bend. Cataclastic failure is restricted to portions of the thrust sheet that have moved over frontal bends with smaller radii of curvature. From model thrust-bend geometries and an assumed slip rate of 1 x 10 -10 ms -1, estimated minimum (critical) strain rates required for fracture failure of the Lewisian basement are 10 -11 to 10 -14 s -1 for shear strain rates and 10 -12 to 10 -15 s -1 for extensional strain rates.

  19. Modelling "reality" in tectonics: Simulation of the mechanical evolution of the Jura Mountains-Molasse Basin system, and routes to forward-inverse modelling of fold thrust belts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hindle, David; Kley, Jonas

    2016-04-01

    The ultimate validation of any numerical model of any geological process comes when it can accurately forward model a case study from the geological record. However, as the example of the Jura-Molasse fold thrust belt demonstrates, geological information on even the most basic aspects of the present day state of such systems is highly incomplete and usually known only with large uncertainties. Fold thrust-belts are studied and understood by geologists in an iterative process of constructing their subsurface geometries and structures (folds, faults, bedding etc) based on limited subsurface information from boreholes, tunnels or seismic data where available, and surface information on outcrops of different layers and their dips. This data is usually processed through geometric models which involve conservation of line length of different beds over the length of an entire cross section. Constructing such sections is the art of cross section balancing. A balanced cross section can be easily restored to its pre-deformation state, assuming (usually) originally horizontal bedding to remove the effects of folding and faulting. Such a pre-deformation state can then form an initial condition for a forward mechanical model of the section. A mechanical model introduces new parameters into the system such as rock elasticity, cohesion, and frictional properties. However, a forward mechanical model can also potentially show the continuous evolution of a fold thrust belt, including dynamic quantities like stress. Moreover, a forward mechanical model, if correct in most aspects, should match in its final state, the present day geological cross section it is simulating. However, when attempting to achieve a match between geometric and mechanical models, it becomes clear that many more aspects of the geodynamic history of a fold thrust belt have to be taken into account. Erosion of the uppermost layers of an evolving thrust belt is the most obvious one of these. This can potentially

  20. Conserved mechanism of tRNA splicing in eukaryotes.

    PubMed Central

    Zillmann, M; Gorovsky, M A; Phizicky, E M

    1991-01-01

    The ligation steps of tRNA splicing in yeast and vertebrate cells have been thought to proceed by fundamentally different mechanisms. Ligation in yeast cells occurs by incorporation of an exogenous phosphate from ATP into the splice junction, with concomitant formation of a 2' phosphate at the 5' junction nucleotide. This phosphate is removed in a subsequent step which, in vitro, is catalyzed by an NAD-dependent dephosphorylating activity. In contrast, tRNA ligation in vertebrates has been reported to occur without incorporation of exogenous phosphate or formation of a 2' phosphate. We demonstrate in this study the existence of a yeast tRNA ligase-like activity in HeLa cells. Furthermore, in extracts from these cells, the entire yeastlike tRNA splicing machinery is intact, including that for cleavage, ligation, and removal of the 2' phosphate in an NAD-dependent fashion to give mature tRNA. These results argue that the mechanism of tRNA splicing is conserved among eukaryotes. Images PMID:1922054

  1. Crystal Structures of Two Novel Dye-Decolorizing Peroxidases Reveal a Beta-Bar Fold With a Conserved Heme-Binding Motif

    SciTech Connect

    Zubieta, C.; Krishna, S.S.; Kapoor, M.; Kozbial, P.; McMullan, D.; Axelrod, H.L.; Miller, M.D.; Abdubek, P.; Ambing, E.; Astakhova, T.; Carlton, D.; Chiu, H.J.; Clayton, T.; Deller, M.C.; Duan, L.; Elsliger, M.A.; Feuerhelm, J.; Grzechnik, S.K.; Hale, J.; Hampton, E.; Han, G.W.; /JCSG /SLAC, SSRL /Burnham Inst. Med. Res. /UC, San Diego /Scripps Res. Inst. /Novartis Res. Found.

    2007-10-31

    BtDyP from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (strain VPI-5482) and TyrA from Shewanella oneidensis are dye-decolorizing peroxidases (DyPs), members of a new family of heme-dependent peroxidases recently identified in fungi and bacteria. Here, we report the crystal structures of BtDyP and TyrA at 1.6 and 2.7 Angstroms, respectively. BtDyP assembles into a hexamer, while TyrA assembles into a dimer; the dimerization interface is conserved between the two proteins. Each monomer exhibits a two-domain, {alpha}+{beta} ferredoxin-like fold. A site for heme binding was identified computationally, and modeling of a heme into the proposed active site allowed for identification of residues likely to be functionally important. Structural and sequence comparisons with other DyPs demonstrate a conservation of putative heme-binding residues, including an absolutely conserved histidine. Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments confirm heme binding, but with a stoichiometry of 0.3:1 (heme:protein).

  2. RNA under tension: Folding Landscapes, Kinetic partitioning Mechanism, and Molecular Tensegrity.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jong-Chin; Hyeon, Changbong; Thirumalai, D

    2012-11-19

    Non-coding RNA sequences play a great role in controlling a number of cellular functions, thus raising the need to understand their complex conformational dynamics in quantitative detail. In this perspective, we first show that single molecule pulling when combined with with theory and simulations can be used to quantitatively explore the folding landscape of nucleic acid hairpins, and riboswitches with tertiary interactions. Applications to riboswitches, which are non-coding RNA elements that control gene expression by undergoing dynamical conformational changes in response to binding of metabolites, lead to an organization principle that assembly of RNA is determined by the stability of isolated helices. We also point out the limitations of single molecule pulling experiments, with molecular extension as the only accessible parameter, in extracting key parameters of the folding landscapes of RNA molecules. PMID:23336034

  3. Structural fold, conservation and Fe(II) binding of the intracellular domain of prokaryote FeoB

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, Kuo-Wei; Chang, Yi-Wei; Eng, Edward T.; Chen, Jai-Hui; Chen, Yi-Chung; Sun, Yuh-Ju; Hsiao, Chwan-Deng; Dong, Gang; Spasov, Krasimir A.; Unger, Vinzenz M.; Huang, Tai-huang

    2010-09-17

    FeoB is a G-protein coupled membrane protein essential for Fe(II) uptake in prokaryotes. Here, we report the crystal structures of the intracellular domain of FeoB (NFeoB) from Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpNFeoB) and Pyrococcus furiosus (PfNFeoB) with and without bound ligands. In the structures, a canonical G-protein domain (G domain) is followed by a helical bundle domain (S-domain), which despite its lack of sequence similarity between species is structurally conserved. In the nucleotide-free state, the G-domain's two switch regions point away from the binding site. This gives rise to an open binding pocket whose shallowness is likely to be responsible for the low nucleotide-binding affinity. Nucleotide binding induced significant conformational changes in the G5 motif which in the case of GMPPNP binding was accompanied by destabilization of the switch I region. In addition to the structural data, we demonstrate that Fe(II)-induced foot printing cleaves the protein close to a putative Fe(II)-binding site at the tip of switch I, and we identify functionally important regions within the S-domain. Moreover, we show that NFeoB exists as a monomer in solution, and that its two constituent domains can undergo large conformational changes. The data show that the S-domain plays important roles in FeoB function.

  4. NMR Structure of Conserved Eukaryotic Protein ZK652.3 from C. elegans: a Ubiquitin-like Fold

    SciTech Connect

    Cort, John R. ); Chiang, Yiwen; Zheng, Deyou; Kennedy, Michael A. ); Montelione, Gaetano

    2002-09-01

    Structural proteomics aims to provide one or more representative 3D structures for every structural domain family in nature. As part of an international effort in structural proteomics, the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium has targeted clusters of strongly conserved eukaryotic protein families for structural and functional analysis. On this basis, protein ZK652.3 (nesg WR41 / YOY3{_}CAEEL / Swiss-Prot P34661 / gi|17557033) from Caenorhabditis elegans was selected for structure determination. Expression of the ZK652.3 gene has been observed in a transcriptional profile of C. elegans genes, where it was one of a cluster of 89 genes whose expression levels co-varied during development1. The biochemical function of this protein is presently unknown. Sequencing of cDNA libraries shows that homologues of ZK652.3 occur widely in vertebrates and plants (Fig. 1). However, ZK652.3 homologues are conspicuously absent from the yeast and Drosophila genomes. Here we describe the three-dimensional structure of ZK652.3 determined by NMR spectroscopy and discuss structural similarities with other proteins which provide clues to potential biochemical functions.

  5. Navigating ligand protein binding free energy landscapes: universality and diversity of protein folding and molecular recognition mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verkhivker, Gennady M.; Rejto, Paul A.; Bouzida, Djamal; Arthurs, Sandra; Colson, Anthony B.; Freer, Stephan T.; Gehlhaar, Daniel K.; Larson, Veda; Luty, Brock A.; Marrone, Tami; Rose, Peter W.

    2001-03-01

    Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of ligand-protein binding are studied for the methotrexate-dihydrofolate reductase system from the binding free energy profile constructed as a function of the order parameter. Thermodynamic stability of the native complex and a cooperative transition to the unique native structure suggest the nucleation kinetic mechanism at the equilibrium transition temperature. Structural properties of the transition state ensemble and the ensemble of nucleation conformations are determined by kinetic simulations of the transmission coefficient and ligand-protein association pathways. Structural analysis of the transition states and the nucleation conformations reconciles different views on the nucleation mechanism in protein folding.

  6. Analysis of repeat-protein folding using nearest-neighbor statistical mechanical models

    PubMed Central

    Aksel, Tural; Barrick, Doug

    2010-01-01

    The linear “Ising” model, which has been around for nearly a century, treats the behavior of linear arrays of repetitive, interacting subunits. Linear “repeat-proteins” have only been described in the last decade or so, and their folding energies have only been characterized very recently. Owing to their repetitive structures, linear repeat-proteins are particularly well suited for analysis by the nearest-neighbor Ising formalism. After briefly describing the historical origins and applications of the Ising model to biopolymers, and introducing repeat protein structure, this chapter will focus on the application of the linear Ising model to repeat proteins. When applied to homopolymers, the model can be represented and applied in a fairly simplified form. When applied to heteropolymers, where differences in energies among individual subunits (i.e. repeats) must be included, some (but not all) of this simplicity is lost. Derivations of the linear Ising model for both homopolymer and heteropolymer repeat-proteins will be presented. With the increased complexity required for analysis of heteropolymeric repeat proteins, the ability to resolve different energy terms from experimental data can be compromised. Thus, a simple matrix approach will be developed to help inform on the degree to which different thermodynamic parameters can be extracted from a particular set of unfolding curves. Finally, we will describe the application of these models to analyze repeat-protein folding equilibria, focusing on simplified repeat proteins based on “consensus” sequence information. PMID:19289204

  7. Role of folded anisotropic fabric in the failure mode of gneiss: new insights from mechanical, microseismic and microstructural laboratory data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agliardi, Federico; Vinciguerra, Sergio; Dobbs, Marcus R.; Zanchetta, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Fabric anisotropy is a key control of the mechanical behaviour of rocks in a variety of geological settings and on different timescales. However, the effects of inherited, tectonically folded anisotropic fabrics on the brittle strength and failure mode of foliated metamorphic rocks is yet to be fully understood. Data from laboratory uniaxial compression tests on folded gneiss (Agliardi et al., 2014, Tectonophysics) recently showed that the brittle failure mode of this rock type depends on the arrangement of two distinct anisotropies (i.e. foliation and fold axial plane anisotropy), and that rock strength correlates with failure mode. Here we investigate the effects of confining pressure on this behaviour by performing triaxial compression experiments with acoustic emission (AE) monitoring, and analyse resulting fracture mechanisms and their microfabric controls using high resolution microanalysis techniques. We tested the Monte Canale Gneiss (Austroalpine Bernina nappe, Central Italian Alps), characterized by low phyllosilicate content, compositional layering folded at the cm-scale, and absence of a well-developed axial plane foliation. We used a servo-controlled hydraulic loading system to test 19 air-dry cylindrical specimens (diameter: 54 mm) that were characterized both in terms of fold geometry and orientation of foliation and fold axial planes to the axial load direction. We instrumented the specimens with direct contact axial and circumferential strain gauges. We performed tests at confining pressures of 40 MPa and constant axial strain rates of 5*10-6 s-1, measuring acoustic emissions and P- and S-wave velocities by three wideband (350-1000 kHz) piezoelectric transceivers with 40 dB preamps, mounted in the compression platens. We carried out post-failure microscale observation of fracture mechanisms, microcrack patterns and related fabric controls on resin-impregnated samples, using X-ray MicroCT (resolution: 9 μm), optical microscopy and SEM. Samples

  8. Conserved Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis in the Drosophila Adult Midgut

    PubMed Central

    Martorell, Òscar; Merlos-Suárez, Anna; Campbell, Kyra; Barriga, Francisco M.; Christov, Christo P.; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene; Batlle, Eduard; Casanova, Jordi; Casali, Andreu

    2014-01-01

    Whereas the series of genetic events leading to colorectal cancer (CRC) have been well established, the precise functions that these alterations play in tumor progression and how they disrupt intestinal homeostasis remain poorly characterized. Activation of the Wnt/Wg signaling pathway by a mutation in the gene APC is the most common trigger for CRC, inducing benign lesions that progress to carcinomas due to the accumulation of other genetic alterations. Among those, Ras mutations drive tumour progression in CRC, as well as in most epithelial cancers. As mammalian and Drosophila's intestines share many similarities, we decided to explore the alterations induced in the Drosophila midgut by the combined activation of the Wnt signaling pathway with gain of function of Ras signaling in the intestinal stem cells. Here we show that compound Apc-Ras clones, but not clones bearing the individual mutations, expand as aggressive intestinal tumor-like outgrowths. These lesions reproduce many of the human CRC hallmarks such as increased proliferation, blockade of cell differentiation and cell polarity and disrupted organ architecture. This process is followed by expression of tumoral markers present in human lesions. Finally, a metabolic behavioral assay shows that these flies suffer a progressive deterioration in intestinal homeostasis, providing a simple readout that could be used in screens for tumor modifiers or therapeutic compounds. Taken together, our results illustrate the conservation of the mechanisms of CRC tumorigenesis in Drosophila, providing an excellent model system to unravel the events that, upon mutation in Apc and Ras, lead to CRC initiation and progression. PMID:24516653

  9. Illustrating some implications of the conservation laws in relativistic mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, Timothy H.

    2009-06-01

    The conservation laws of nonrelativistic and relativistic systems are reviewed and some simple illustrations are provided for the restrictive nature of the relativistic conservation law involving the center of energy compared to the nonrelativistic conservation law for the center of mass. Extension of the nonrelativistic interaction of particles through a potential to a system that is Lorentz-invariant through order v2/c2 is found to require new velocity- and acceleration-dependent forces that are suggestive of a field theory where the no-interaction theorem of Currie, Jordan, and Sudershan does not hold.

  10. Folding of proteins with diverse folds.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Sandipan; Hansmann, Ulrich H E

    2006-11-15

    Using parallel tempering simulations with high statistics, we investigate the folding and thermodynamic properties of three small proteins with distinct native folds: the all-helical 1RIJ, the all-sheet beta3s, and BBA5, which has a mixed helix-sheet fold. In all three cases, simulations with our energy function find the native structures as global minima in free energy at experimentally relevant temperatures. However, the folding process strongly differs for the three molecules, indicating that the folding mechanism is correlated with the form of the native structure. PMID:16950845

  11. Self-oscillating Vocal Fold Model Mechanics: Healthy, Diseased, and Aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiubler, Elizabeth P.; Pollok, Lucas F. E.; Apostoli, Adam G.; Hancock, Adrienne B.; Plesniak, Michael W.

    2014-11-01

    Voice disorders have been estimated to have a substantial economic impact of 2.5 billion annually. Approximately 30% of people will suffer from a voice disorder at some point in their lives. Life-sized, self-oscillating, synthetic vocal fold (VF) models are fabricated to exhibit material properties representative of human VFs. These models are created both with and without a polyp-like structure, a pathology that has been shown to produce rich viscous flow structures not normally observed for healthy VFs during normal phonation. Pressure measurements are acquired upstream of the VFs and high-speed images are captured at varying flow rates during VF oscillation to facilitate an understanding of the characteristics of healthy and diseased VFs. The images are analyzed using a videokymography line-scan technique. Clinically-relevant parameters calculated from the volume-velocity output of a circumferentially-vented mask (Rothenberg mask) are compared to human data collected from two groups of males aged 18-30 and 60-80. This study extends the use of synthetic VF models by assessing their ability to replicate behaviors observed in human subject data to advance a means of investigating changes associated with normal, pathological, and the aging voice. Supported by the GWU Institute for Biomedical Engineering (GWIBE) and GWU Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering (COBRE).

  12. Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…

  13. Divalent Metal Ion-Induced Folding Mechanism of RNase H1 from Extreme Halophilic Archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1

    PubMed Central

    Tannous, Elias; Kanaya, Shigenori

    2014-01-01

    RNase H1 from Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 (Halo-RNase H1) is characterized by the abundance of acidic residues on the surface, including bi/quad-aspartate site residues. Halo-RNase H1 exists in partially folded (I) and native (N) states in low-salt and high-salt conditions respectively. Its folding is also induced by divalent metal ions. To understand this unique folding mechanism of Halo-RNase H1, the active site mutant (2A-RNase H1), the bi/quad-aspartate site mutant (6A-RNase H1), and the mutant at both sites (8A-RNase H1) were constructed. The far-UV CD spectra of these mutants suggest that 2A-RNase H1 mainly exists in the I state, 6A-RNase H1 exists both in the I and N states, and 8A-RNase H1 mainly exists in the N state in a low salt-condition. These results suggest that folding of Halo-RNase H1 is induced by binding of divalent metal ions to the bi/quad-aspartate site. To examine whether metal-induced folding is unique to Halo-RNase H1, RNase H2 from the same organism (Halo-RNase H2) was overproduced and purified. Halo-RNase H2 exists in the I and N states in low-salt and high-salt conditions respectively, as does Halo-RNase H1. However, this protein exists in the I state even in the presence of divalent metal ions. Halo-RNase H2 exhibits junction ribonuclease activity only in a high-salt condition. A tertiary model of this protein suggests that this protein does not have a quad-aspartate site. We propose that folding of Halo-RNase H1 is induced by binding of divalent metal ion to the quad-aspartate site in a low-salt condition. PMID:25268753

  14. Mechanical benefits of conservative restoration for dental fissure caries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhongpu; Zheng, Keke; Li, Eric; Li, Wei; Li, Qing; Swain, Michael V

    2016-01-01

    The principle of minimal intervention dentistry (MID) is to limit removal of carious tooth tissue while maximizing its repair and survival potential. The objective of this study is to explore the fracture resistance of a permanent molar tooth with a fissure carious lesion along with three clinical restoration procedures, namely one traditional and two conservative approaches, based upon MID. The traditional restoration employs extensive surgical removal of enamel and dentine about the cavity to eliminate potential risk of further caries development, while conservative method #1 removes significantly less enamel and infected dentine, and conservative method #2 only restores the overhanging enamel above the cavity and leaves the infected and affected dentine as it was. An extended finite element method (XFEM) is adopted here to analyze the fracture behaviors of both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) modeling of these four different scenarios. It was found that the two conservative methods exhibited better fracture resistance than the traditional restorative method. Although conservative method #2 has less fracture resistance than method #1, it had significantly superior fracture resistance compared to other restorations. More important, after cavity sealing it may potentially enhance the opportunity for remineralization and improved loading bearing capacity and fracture resistance. PMID:26298801

  15. Structural geometry, strain distribution, and mechanical evolution of eastern Umtanum Ridge and a comparison with other selected localities within Yakima fold structures, south-central Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Price, E.H.

    1982-01-01

    The Yakima fold system of south-central Washington and north-central Oregon is a series of megascopic anticlinal ridge of multilayered basalt. Cross-sectional strain analyses were performed at five localities within three anticlines. The analyses show that the strain is consistent both laterally along a fold and within different folds. Folding strain is localized layer-internal faulting, extensive shattering, and limited layer-parallel faulting. Most strain is cataclastic, but glassy flow tops appear to have been more ductile. The strain distributions and structural geometries accord well with a flexural flow buckle model; however, the internal cataclastic flow is not inherently penetrative and limited flexural slip has occurred. This fold model suggests that most strain in the fold is by simple shear and it took place above the topographic surface of adjacent synclinal valleys. Large reverse faults associated with the anticlines are interpreted to be folding strain required by the concentric folding and their displacement is interpreted to have reached the surface late in the folding process. Therefore, the observed strain and its distribution are interpreted to be not directly the result of regional plateau shortening, but of local stresses and resultant strains related to fold geometry. A mechanical analysis of the Umtanum structure termination geometry, combined with slickenside striae movement directions from the study areas suggests that the Palouse slope has behaved as a rigid buttress around which the basalt has rotated clockwise into the folds from the southeast. Compression-box clay modeling of the Yakima fold system within the Pasco Basin shows that the buttress edge orientations control the localization and orientations of buckle folds. Fold orientations and three-dimensional shapes remarkably resembling the Yakima fold system in the Pasco Basin were produced under north-south compression.

  16. Folding mechanism of reduced cytochrome c: Equilibrium and kinetic properties in the presence of carbon monoxide

    PubMed Central

    Latypov, Ramil F.; Maki, Kosuke; Cheng, Hong; Luck, Stanley D.; Roder, Heinrich

    2008-01-01

    Despite close structural similarity, the ferric and ferrous forms of cytochrome c (cyt c) differ greatly in terms of their ligand binding properties, stability, folding and dynamics. The reduced heme iron binds diatomic ligands such as CO only under destabilizing conditions that promote weakening or disruption of the native methionine-iron linkage. This makes CO a useful conformational probe for detecting partially structured states that cannot be observed in the absence of endogenous ligands. Heme absorbance, circular dichroism and NMR were used to characterize the denaturant-induced unfolding equilibrium of Fe2+ cyt c in the presence and absence of CO. In addition to the native state (N), which does not bind CO, and the unfolded CO-complex (U-CO), a structurally distinct CO-bound form (M-CO) accumulates to high levels (~75% of the population) at intermediate guanidine hydrochloride concentrations. Comparison of the unfolding transition for different conformational probes reveals that M-CO is a compact state containing a native-like helical core and regions of local disorder in the segment containing the native Met80 ligand and adjacent loops. Kinetic measurements of CO binding and dissociation under native, partially denaturing and fully unfolded conditions indicate that a state, M, that is structurally analogous to M-CO is populated even in the absence of CO. The binding energy of the CO ligand lowers the free energy of this high-energy state to such an extent that it accumulates even under mildly denaturing equilibrium conditions. The thermodynamic and kinetic parameters obtained in this study provide a fully self-consistent description of the linked unfolding/CO-binding equilibria of reduced cyt c. PMID:18761351

  17. ANALYSIS OF FLOW-STRUCTURE COUPLING IN A MECHANICAL MODEL OF THE VOCAL FOLDS AND THE SUBGLOTTAL SYSTEM

    PubMed Central

    Howe, M. S.; McGowan, R. S.

    2009-01-01

    An analysis is made of the nonlinear interactions between flow in the subglottal vocal tract and glottis, sound waves in the subglottal system and a mechanical model of the vocal folds. The mean flow through the system is produced by a nominally steady contraction of the lungs, and mechanical experiments frequently involve a ‘lung cavity’ coupled to an experimental subglottal tube of arbitrary or ill-defined effective length L, on the basis that the actual value of L has little or no influence on excitation of the vocal folds. A simple, self-exciting single mass mathematical model of the vocal folds is used to investigate the sound generated within the subglottal domain and the unsteady volume flux from the glottis for experiments where it is required to suppress feedback of sound from the supraglottal vocal tract. In experiments where the assumed absorption of sound within the sponge-like interior of the lungs is small, the influence of changes in L can be very significant: when the subglottal tube behaves as an open-ended resonator (when L is as large as half the acoustic wavelength) there is predicted to be a mild increase in volume flux magnitude and a small change in waveform. However, the strong appearance of second harmonics of the acoustic field is predicted at intermediate lengths, when L is roughly one quarter of the acoustic wavelength. In cases of large lung damping, however, only modest changes in the volume flux are predicted to occur with variations in L. PMID:20161450

  18. The role of a conserved acidic residue in calcium-dependent protein folding for a low density lipoprotein (LDL)-A module: implications in structure and function for the LDL receptor superfamily.

    PubMed

    Guo, Ying; Yu, Xuemei; Rihani, Kayla; Wang, Qing-Yin; Rong, Lijun

    2004-04-16

    One common feature of the more than 1,000 complement-type repeats (or low density lipoprotein (LDL)-A modules) found in LDL receptor and the other members of the LDL receptor superfamily is a cluster of five highly conserved acidic residues in the C-terminal region, DXXXDXXDXXDE. However, the role of the third conserved aspartate of these LDL-A modules in protein folding and ligand recognition has not been elucidated. In this report, using a model LDL-A module and several experimental approaches, we demonstrate that this acidic residue, like the other four conserved acidic residues, is involved in calcium-dependent protein folding. These results suggest an alternative calcium coordination conformation for the LDL-A modules. The proposed model provides a plausible explanation for the conservation of this acidic residue among the LDL-A modules. Furthermore, the model can explain why mutations of this residue in human LDL receptor cause familial hypercholesterolemia. PMID:14749324

  19. The cross-road between the mechanisms of protein folding and aggregation; study of human stefin B and its H75W mutant.

    PubMed

    Smajlović, Aida; Berbić, Selma; Žerovnik, Eva

    2011-11-18

    The role of the aromatic residue at site 75 to protein stability, the mechanism of folding and the mechanism of amyloid-fibril formation were investigated for the human stefin B variant (bearing Y at site 31) and its point mutation H75W. With an aim to reveal the conformation at the cross-road between folding and aggregation, first, the kinetics of folding and oligomer formation by human stefin B(Y31) variant were studied. It was found to fold in three kinetic phases at pH 4.8 and 10% TFE; the pH and solvent conditions that transform the protein into amyloid fibrils at longer times. The same pH leads to the formation of native-like intermediate (known from previous studies of this variant), meaning that the process of folding and amyloid-fibril formation share the same structural intermediate, which is in this case native-like and dimeric. At pH 5.8 and 7.0 stefin B folded to the native state in four kinetic phases over two intermediates. In distinction, the mutant H75W did not fold to completion, ending in intermediate states at all pH values studied: 4.8, 5.8 and 7.0. At pH 4.8 and 5.8, the mutant folded in one kinetic phase to the intermediate of the "molten globule" type, which leads to the conclusion that its mechanism of folding differs from the one of the parent stefin B at the same pH. At pH 7.0 the mutant H75W folded in three kinetic phases to a native-like intermediate, analogous to folding of stefin B at pH 4.8. PMID:22033403

  20. A conserved fold for fimbrial components revealed by the crystal structure of a putative fimbrial assembly protein (BT1062) from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron at 2.2 Å resolution

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qingping; Abdubek, Polat; Astakhova, Tamara; Axelrod, Herbert L.; Bakolitsa, Constantina; Cai, Xiaohui; Carlton, Dennis; Chen, Connie; Chiu, Hsiu-Ju; Chiu, Michelle; Clayton, Thomas; Das, Debanu; Deller, Marc C.; Duan, Lian; Ellrott, Kyle; Farr, Carol L.; Feuerhelm, Julie; Grant, Joanna C.; Grzechnik, Anna; Han, Gye Won; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Jin, Kevin K.; Klock, Heath E.; Knuth, Mark W.; Kozbial, Piotr; Krishna, S. Sri; Kumar, Abhinav; Marciano, David; McMullan, Daniel; Miller, Mitchell D.; Morse, Andrew T.; Nigoghossian, Edward; Nopakun, Amanda; Okach, Linda; Puckett, Christina; Reyes, Ron; Sefcovic, Natasha; Tien, Henry J.; Trame, Christine B.; van den Bedem, Henry; Weekes, Dana; Wooten, Tiffany; Yeh, Andrew; Zhou, Jiadong; Hodgson, Keith O.; Wooley, John; Elsliger, Marc-Andre; Deacon, Ashley M.; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    BT1062 from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is a homolog of Mfa2 (PGN0288 or PG0179), which is a component of the minor fimbriae in Porphyromonas gingivalis. The crystal structure of BT1062 revealed a conserved fold that is widely adopted by fimbrial components. PMID:20944223

  1. Protein folds and protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Schaeffer, R. Dustin; Daggett, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    The classification of protein folds is necessarily based on the structural elements that distinguish domains. Classification of protein domains consists of two problems: the partition of structures into domains and the classification of domains into sets of similar structures (or folds). Although similar topologies may arise by convergent evolution, the similarity of their respective folding pathways is unknown. The discovery and the characterization of the majority of protein folds will be followed by a similar enumeration of available protein folding pathways. Consequently, understanding the intricacies of structural domains is necessary to understanding their collective folding pathways. We review the current state of the art in the field of protein domain classification and discuss methods for the systematic and comprehensive study of protein folding across protein fold space via atomistic molecular dynamics simulation. Finally, we discuss our large-scale Dynameomics project, which includes simulations of representatives of all autonomous protein folds. PMID:21051320

  2. Conservative Diffusions: a Constructive Approach to Nelson's Stochastic Mechanics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlen, Eric Anders

    In Nelson's stochastic mechanics, quantum phenomena are described in terms of diffusions instead of wave functions; this thesis is a study of that description. We emphasize that we are concerned here with the possibility of describing, as opposed to explaining, quantum phenomena in terms of diffusions. In this direction, the following questions arise: "Do the diffusions of stochastic mechanics--which are formally given by stochastic differential equations with extremely singular coefficients--really exist?" Given that they exist, one can ask, "Do these diffusions have physically reasonable sample path behavior, and can we use information about sample paths to study the behavior of physical systems?" These are the questions we treat in this thesis. In Chapter I we review stochastic mechanics and diffusion theory, using the Guerra-Morato variational principle to establish the connection with the Schroedinger equation. This chapter is largely expository; however, there are some novel features and proofs. In Chapter II we settle the first of the questions raised above. Using PDE methods, we construct the diffusions of stochastic mechanics. Our result is sufficiently general to be of independent mathematical interest. In Chapter III we treat potential scattering in stochastic mechanics and discuss direct probabilistic methods of studying quantum scattering problems. Our results provide a solid "Yes" in answer to the second question raised above.

  3. GroEL/ES Chaperonin Modulates the Mechanism and Accelerates the Rate of TIM-Barrel Domain Folding

    PubMed Central

    Bracher, Andreas; Engen, John R.; Hayer-Hartl, Manajit; Hartl, F. Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The GroEL/ES chaperonin system functions as a protein folding cage. Many obligate substrates of GroEL share the (βα)8 TIM-barrel fold, but how the chaperonin promotes folding of these proteins is not known. Here we analyzed the folding of DapA at peptide resolution using hydrogen/deuterium exchange and mass spectrometry. During spontaneous folding, all elements of the DapA TIM-barrel acquire structure simultaneously, in a process associated with a long search time. In contrast, GroEL/ES accelerates folding more than 30-fold by catalyzing segmental structure formation in the TIM-barrel. Segmental structure formation is also observed during the fast spontaneous folding of a structural homolog of DapA from a bacterium that lacks GroEL/ES. Thus, chaperonin-independence correlates with folding properties otherwise enforced by protein confinement in the GroEL/ES cage. We suggest that folding catalysis by GroEL/ES is required by a set of proteins to reach native state at a biologically relevant time-scale, avoiding aggregation or degradation. PMID:24813614

  4. Transtensional folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossen, Haakon; Teyssier, Christian; Whitney, Donna L.

    2014-05-01

    For now three decades transpression has dominated the concepts that underlie oblique tectonics, but in more recent years transtension has garnered much interest as a simple model that can be applied to shallow and deep crustal tectonics. One fundamental aspect that distinguishes transtension from transpression is that material lines in transtension rotate toward the direction of oblique divergence. Another point that may be less intuitive when thinking of transtension is that while transtensional strain involves shortening in the vertical direction, one of the horizontal axes is also a shortening axis, whatever the angle of divergence. It is the combination of these two shortening axes that leads to constrictional finite strain in transtension. The existence of a horizontal shortening strain axis implies that transtension offers the potential for folds of horizontal layers to form and then rotate toward the direction of oblique divergence. An investigation of transtensional folding using 3D strain modeling reveals that folding is more likely for simple shear dominated transtension (large wrench component). Transtensional folds can only accumulate a fixed amount of horizontal shortening and tightness that are prescribed by the angle of oblique divergence, regardless of finite strain. Transtensional folds are characterized by hinge-parallel stretching that exceeds that expected from pure wrenching. In addition, the magnitude of hinge-parallel stretching always exceeds hinge-perpendicular shortening, causing constrictional fabrics and hinge-parallel boudinage to develop. Because the dominant vertical strain axis is shortening, transtensional fold growth is generally suppressed, but when folds do develop their limbs enter the field of shortening, resulting in possible fold interference patterns akin to cascading folds. Application of these transtensional folding principles to regions of oblique rifting (i.e. Gulf of California) or exhumation of deep crust (i.e. Western

  5. Effects of cohesion on the structural and mechanical evolution of fold and thrust belts and contractional wedges: Discrete element simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Julia K.

    2015-05-01

    Particle-based numerical simulations of cohesive contractional wedges can yield important perspectives on the formation and evolution of fold and thrust belts, offering particular insights into the mechanical evolution of the systems. Results of several discrete element method simulations are presented here, demonstrating the stress and strain evolution of systems with different initial cohesive strengths. Particle assemblages consolidated under gravity, and bonded to impart cohesion, are pushed from the left at a constant velocity above a weak, unbonded décollement surface. Internal thrusting causes horizontal shortening and vertical thickening, forming wedge geometries. The mean wedge taper is similar for all simulations, consistent with their similar residual and basal sliding friction values. In all examples presented here, both forethrusts and back thrusts occur, but forethrusts accommodate most of the shortening. Fault spacing and offset increase with increasing cohesion. Significant tectonic volume strain also occurs, with the greatest incremental volume strain occurring just outboard of the deformation front. This diffuse shortening serves to strengthen the unfaulted domain in front of the deformed wedge, preconditioning these materials for brittle (dilative) failure. The reach of this volumetric strain and extent of décollement slip increase with cohesive strength, defining the extent of stress transmission. Stress paths for elements tracked through the simulations demonstrate systematic variations in shear stress in response to episodes of both décollement slip and thrust fault activity, providing a direct explanation for stress fluctuations during convergence.

  6. A highly conserved family of domains related to the DNA-glycosylase fold helps predict multiple novel pathways for RNA modifications

    PubMed Central

    Burroughs, A Maxwell; Aravind, L

    2014-01-01

    A protein family including mammalian NEMF, Drosophila caliban, yeast Tae2, and bacterial FpbA-like proteins was first defined over a decade ago and found to be universally distributed across the three domains/superkingdoms of life. Since its initial characterization, this family of proteins has been tantalizingly linked to a wide range of biochemical functions. Tapping the enormous wealth of genome information that has accumulated since the initial characterization of these proteins, we perform a detailed computational analysis of the family, identifying multiple conserved domains. Domains identified include an enzymatic domain related to the formamidopyrimidine (Fpg), MutM, and Nei/EndoVIII family of DNA glycosylases, a novel, predicted RNA-binding domain, and a domain potentially mediating protein–protein interactions. Through this characterization, we predict that the DNA glycosylase-like domain catalytically operates on double-stranded RNA, as part of a hitherto unknown base modification mechanism that probably targets rRNAs. At least in archaea, and possibly eukaryotes, this pathway might additionally include the AMMECR1 family of proteins. The predicted RNA-binding domain associated with this family is also observed in distinct architectural contexts in other proteins across phylogenetically diverse prokaryotes. Here it is predicted to play a key role in a new pathway for tRNA 4-thiouridylation along with TusA-like sulfur transfer proteins. PMID:24646681

  7. Hierarchical folding mechanism of apomyoglobin revealed by ultra-fast H/D exchange coupled with 2D NMR.

    PubMed

    Uzawa, Takanori; Nishimura, Chiaki; Akiyama, Shuji; Ishimori, Koichiro; Takahashi, Satoshi; Dyson, H Jane; Wright, Peter E

    2008-09-16

    The earliest steps in the folding of proteins are complete on an extremely rapid time scale that is difficult to access experimentally. We have used rapid-mixing quench-flow methods to extend the time resolution of folding studies on apomyoglobin and elucidate the structural and dynamic features of members of the ensemble of intermediate states that are populated on a submillisecond time scale during this process. The picture that emerges is of a continuum of rapidly interconverting states. Even after only 0.4 ms of refolding time a compact state is formed that contains major parts of the A, G, and H helices, which are sufficiently well folded to protect amides from exchange. The B, C, and E helix regions fold more slowly and fluctuate rapidly between open and closed states as they search docking sites on this core; the secondary structure in these regions becomes stabilized as the refolding time is increased from 0.4 to 6 ms. No further stabilization occurs in the A, G, H core at 6 ms of folding time. These studies begin to time-resolve a progression of compact states between the fully unfolded and native folded states and confirm the presence an ensemble of intermediates that interconvert in a hierarchical sequence as the protein searches conformational space on its folding trajectory. PMID:18779573

  8. Fast protein folding kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Fast folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well less than 1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even “slow” folding processes: fast folders are small, relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general as well as some work that is left to do. PMID:24641816

  9. Acceleration of the Rate-Limiting Step of Thioredoxin Folding by Replacement of its Conserved cis-Proline with (4 S)-Fluoroproline.

    PubMed

    Roderer, Daniel; Glockshuber, Rudi; Rubini, Marina

    2015-10-12

    The incorporation of the non-natural amino acids (4R)- and (4S)-fluoroproline (Flp) has been successfully used to improve protein stability, but little is known about their effect on protein folding kinetics. Here we analyzed the influence of (4R)- and (4S)-Flp on the rate-limiting trans-to-cis isomerization of the Ile75-Pro76 peptide bond in the folding of Escherichia coli thioredoxin (Trx). While (4R)-Flp at position 76 had essentially no effect on the isomerization rate in the context of the intact tertiary structure, (4S)-Flp accelerated the folding reaction ninefold. Similarly, tenfold faster trans-to-cis isomerization of Ile75-(4S)-Flp76 relative to Ile75-Pro76 was observed in the unfolded state of Trx. Our results show that the replacement of cis prolines by non-natural proline analogues can be used for modulating the folding rates of proteins with cis prolyl-peptide bonds in the native state. PMID:26382254

  10. Mechanical constraints on the chronology of fracture activation in folded Devonian sandstone of the western Moroccan Anti-Atlas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guiton, Martin L. E.; Sassi, William; Leroy, Yves M.; Gauthier, Bertrand D. M.

    2003-08-01

    The three-dimensional meter-scale fracture networks, observed on exposed folds between the towns of Tata and Akka, western Moroccan Anti-Atlas, consist mostly of planar discontinuities, which are sub-perpendicular to the bedding and partitioned in three main sets. The chronology of their activation is proposed in five stages since the Hercynian orogeny. Stage 1 predates folding and involves the horizontal compression of the Emsian sandstone. It involves fracture set I, composed of systematic joints parallel to the direction of compression. Stages 2-4 correspond to the folding and are marked in the outer-arc by the activation of fracture set II, composed mainly of joints parallel to the fold axial plane. Stage 5 is a regional shear event during which sets I and III, separated by an angle close to 60°, are activated in a conjugate manner. To throw light on the recurrent difficulty in discriminating between activation of inherited and new fractures, an elasto-plastic model is used to construct a stress path in the pervasively fractured medium idealized as a continuum. Each fracture set obeys the Mohr-Coulomb criterion truncated in tension to describe both sliding and opening activations. Finite-element simulations of a simple buckling event accounting for the field fracture sets are presented. It is shown that set I cannot be generated by folding and thus does belong to stage 1. Set II is activated at a later stage of folding than expected from the field interpretation. Set III cannot be activated during stage 2, confirming its role in stage 5. The advantages and limitations of the proposed modeling are finally discussed.

  11. Multiply folded graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kwanpyo; Lee, Zonghoon; Malone, Brad D.; Chan, Kevin T.; Alemán, Benjamín; Regan, William; Gannett, Will; Crommie, M. F.; Cohen, Marvin L.; Zettl, A.

    2011-06-01

    The folding of paper, hide, and woven fabric has been used for millennia to achieve enhanced articulation, curvature, and visual appeal for intrinsically flat, two-dimensional materials. For graphene, an ideal two-dimensional material, folding may transform it to complex shapes with new and distinct properties. Here, we present experimental results that folded structures in graphene, termed grafold, exist, and their formations can be controlled by introducing anisotropic surface curvature during graphene synthesis or transfer processes. Using pseudopotential-density-functional-theory calculations, we also show that double folding modifies the electronic band structure of graphene. Furthermore, we demonstrate the intercalation of C60 into the grafolds. Intercalation or functionalization of the chemically reactive folds further expands grafold's mechanical, chemical, optical, and electronic diversity.

  12. Bi-stable vocal fold adduction: A mechanism of modal-falsetto register shifts and mixed registration

    PubMed Central

    Titze, Ingo R.

    2014-01-01

    The origin of vocal registers has generally been attributed to differential activation of cricothyroid and thyroarytenoid muscles in the larynx. Register shifts, however, have also been shown to be affected by glottal pressures exerted on vocal fold surfaces, which can change with loudness, pitch, and vowel. Here it is shown computationally and with empirical data that intraglottal pressures can change abruptly when glottal adductory geometry is changed relatively smoothly from convergent to divergent. An intermediate shape between large convergence and large divergence, namely, a nearly rectangular glottal shape with almost parallel vocal fold surfaces, is associated with mixed registration. It can be less stable than either of the highly angular shapes unless transglottal pressure is reduced and upper stiffness of vocal fold tissues is balanced with lower stiffness. This intermediate state of adduction is desirable because it leads to a low phonation threshold pressure with moderate vocal fold collision. Achieving mixed registration consistently across wide ranges of F0, lung pressure, and vocal tract shapes appears to be a balancing act of coordinating laryngeal muscle activation with vocal tract pressures. Surprisingly, a large transglottal pressure is not facilitative in this process, exacerbating the bi-stable condition and the associated register contrast. PMID:25235006

  13. The interplay of fold mechanisms and basement weaknesses at the transition between Laramide basement-involved arches, north-central Wyoming, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neely, Thomas G.; Erslev, Eric A.

    2009-09-01

    Horizontally-shortened, basement-involved foreland orogens commonly exhibit anastomosing networks of bifurcating basement highs (here called arches) whose structural culminations are linked by complex transition zones of diversely-oriented faults and folds. The 3D geometry and kinematics of the southern Beartooth arch transition zone of north-central Wyoming were studied to understand the fold mechanisms and control on basement-involved arches. Data from 1581 slickensided minor faults are consistent with a single regional shortening direction of 065°. Evidence for oblique-slip, vertical axis rotations and stress refraction at anomalously-oriented folds suggests formation over reactivated pre-existing weaknesses. Restorable cross-sections and 3D surfaces, constrained by surface, well, and seismic data, document blind, ENE-directed basement thrusting and associated thin-skinned backthrusting and folding along the Beartooth and Oregon Basin fault systems. Between these systems, the basement-cored Rattlesnake Mountain backthrust followed basement weaknesses and rotated a basement chip toward the basin before the ENE-directed Line Creek fault system broke through and connected the Beartooth and Oregon Basin fault systems. Slip was transferred at the terminations of the Rattlesnake Mountain fault block by pivoting to the north and tear faulting to the south. In summary, unidirectional Laramide compression and pre-existing basement weaknesses combined with fault-propagation and rotational fault-bend folding to create an irregular yet continuous basement arch transition.

  14. Smooth-particle applied mechanics: Conservation of angular momentum with tensile stability and velocity averaging.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Wm G; Hoover, Carol G; Merritt, Elizabeth C

    2004-01-01

    Smooth-particle applied mechanics (SPAM) provides several approaches to approximate solutions of the continuum equations for both fluids and solids. Though many of the usual formulations conserve mass, (linear) momentum, and energy, the angular momentum is typically not conserved by SPAM. A second difficulty with the usual formulations is that tensile stress states often exhibit an exponentially fast high-frequency short-wavelength instability, "tensile instability." We discuss these twin defects of SPAM and illustrate them for a rotating elastic body. We formulate ways to conserve angular momentum while at the same time delaying the symptoms of tensile instability for many sound-traversal times. These ideas should prove useful in more general situations. PMID:14995750

  15. Structure of the Pseudokinase VRK3 Reveals a Degraded Catalytic Site, a Highly Conserved Kinase Fold, and a Putative Regulatory Binding Site

    PubMed Central

    Scheeff, Eric D.; Eswaran, Jeyanthy; Bunkoczi, Gabor; Knapp, Stefan; Manning, Gerard

    2009-01-01

    Summary About 10% of all protein kinases are predicted to be enzymatically inactive pseudokinases, but the structural details of kinase inactivation have remained unclear. We present the first structure of a pseudokinase, VRK3, and that of its closest active relative, VRK2. Profound changes to the active site region underlie the loss of catalytic activity, and VRK3 cannot bind ATP because of residue substitutions in the binding pocket. However, VRK3 still shares striking structural similarity with VRK2, and appears to be locked in a pseudoactive conformation. VRK3 also conserves residue interactions that are surprising in the absence of enzymatic function; these appear to play important architectural roles required for the residual functions of VRK3. Remarkably, VRK3 has an “inverted” pattern of sequence conservation: although the active site is poorly conserved, portions of the molecular surface show very high conservation, suggesting that they form key interactions that explain the evolutionary retention of VRK3. PMID:19141289

  16. Functionally Relevant Specific Packing Can Determine Protein Folding Routes.

    PubMed

    Yadahalli, Shilpa; Gosavi, Shachi

    2016-01-29

    Functional residues can modulate the folding mechanisms of proteins. In some proteins, mutations to such residues can radically change the primary folding route. Is it possible then to learn more about the functional regions of a protein by investigating just its choice of folding route? The folding and the function of the protein Escherichia coli ribonuclease H (ecoRNase-H) have been extensively studied and its folding route is known to near-residue resolution. Here, we computationally study the folding of ecoRNase-H using molecular dynamics simulations of structure-based models of increasing complexity. The differences between a model that correctly predicts the experimentally determined folding route and a simpler model that does not can be attributed to a set of six aromatic residues clustered together in a region of the protein called CORE. This clustering, which we term "specific" packing, drives CORE to fold early and determines the folding route. Both the residues involved in specific packing and their packing are largely conserved across E. coli-like RNase-Hs from diverse species. Residue conservation is usually implicated in function. Here, the identified residues either are known to bind substrate in ecoRNase-H or pack against the substrate in the homologous human RNase-H where a substrate-bound crystal structure exists. Thus, the folding mechanism of ecoRNase-H is a byproduct of functional demands upon its sequence. Using our observations on specific packing, we suggest mutations to an engineered HIV RNase-H to make its function better. Our results show that understanding folding route choice in proteins can provide unexpected insights into their function. PMID:26724535

  17. Probing the folded state and mechanical unfolding pathways of T4 lysozyme using all-atom and coarse-grained molecular simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Wenjun; Glenn, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The Bacteriophage T4 Lysozyme (T4L) is a prototype modular protein comprised of an N-terminal and a C-domain domain, which was extensively studied to understand the folding/unfolding mechanism of modular proteins. To offer detailed structural and dynamic insights to the folded-state stability and the mechanical unfolding behaviors of T4L, we have performed extensive equilibrium and steered molecular dynamics simulations of both the wild-type (WT) and a circular permutation (CP) variant of T4L using all-atom and coarse-grained force fields. Our all-atom and coarse-grained simulations of the folded state have consistently found greater stability of the C-domain than the N-domain in isolation, which is in agreement with past thermostatic studies of T4L. While the all-atom simulation cannot fully explain the mechanical unfolding behaviors of the WT and the CP variant observed in an optical tweezers study, the coarse-grained simulations based on the Go model or a modified elastic network model (mENM) are in qualitative agreement with the experimental finding of greater unfolding cooperativity in the WT than the CP variant. Interestingly, the two coarse-grained models predict different structural mechanisms for the observed change in cooperativity between the WT and the CP variant—while the Go model predicts minor modification of the unfolding pathways by circular permutation (i.e., preserving the general order that the N-domain unfolds before the C-domain), the mENM predicts a dramatic change in unfolding pathways (e.g., different order of N/C-domain unfolding in the WT and the CP variant). Based on our simulations, we have analyzed the limitations of and the key differences between these models and offered testable predictions for future experiments to resolve the structural mechanism for cooperative folding/unfolding of T4L.

  18. Probing the folded state and mechanical unfolding pathways of T4 lysozyme using all-atom and coarse-grained molecular simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Zheng, Wenjun Glenn, Paul

    2015-01-21

    The Bacteriophage T4 Lysozyme (T4L) is a prototype modular protein comprised of an N-terminal and a C-domain domain, which was extensively studied to understand the folding/unfolding mechanism of modular proteins. To offer detailed structural and dynamic insights to the folded-state stability and the mechanical unfolding behaviors of T4L, we have performed extensive equilibrium and steered molecular dynamics simulations of both the wild-type (WT) and a circular permutation (CP) variant of T4L using all-atom and coarse-grained force fields. Our all-atom and coarse-grained simulations of the folded state have consistently found greater stability of the C-domain than the N-domain in isolation, which is in agreement with past thermostatic studies of T4L. While the all-atom simulation cannot fully explain the mechanical unfolding behaviors of the WT and the CP variant observed in an optical tweezers study, the coarse-grained simulations based on the Go model or a modified elastic network model (mENM) are in qualitative agreement with the experimental finding of greater unfolding cooperativity in the WT than the CP variant. Interestingly, the two coarse-grained models predict different structural mechanisms for the observed change in cooperativity between the WT and the CP variant—while the Go model predicts minor modification of the unfolding pathways by circular permutation (i.e., preserving the general order that the N-domain unfolds before the C-domain), the mENM predicts a dramatic change in unfolding pathways (e.g., different order of N/C-domain unfolding in the WT and the CP variant). Based on our simulations, we have analyzed the limitations of and the key differences between these models and offered testable predictions for future experiments to resolve the structural mechanism for cooperative folding/unfolding of T4L.

  19. Single-Molecule Folding Mechanisms of the apo- and Mg2+-Bound States of Human Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1

    PubMed Central

    Naqvi, Mohsin M.; Heidarsson, Pétur O.; Otazo, Mariela R.; Mossa, Alessandro; Kragelund, Birthe B.; Cecconi, Ciro

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1) is the primordial member of a family of proteins responsible primarily for sensing changes in neuronal Ca2+ concentration. NCS-1 is a multispecific protein interacting with a number of binding partners in both calcium-dependent and independent manners, and acting in a variety of cellular processes in which it has been linked to a number of disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Despite extensive studies on the Ca2+-activated state of NCS proteins, little is known about the conformational dynamics of the Mg2+-bound and apo states, both of which are populated, at least transiently, at resting Ca2+ conditions. Here, we used optical tweezers to study the folding behavior of individual NCS-1 molecules in the presence of Mg2+ and in the absence of divalent ions. Under tension, the Mg2+-bound state of NCS-1 unfolds and refolds in a three-state process by populating one intermediate state consisting of a folded C-domain and an unfolded N-domain. The interconversion at equilibrium between the different molecular states populated by NCS-1 was monitored in real time through constant-force measurements and the energy landscapes underlying the observed transitions were reconstructed through hidden Markov model analysis. Unlike what has been observed with the Ca2+-bound state, the presence of Mg2+ allows both the N- and C-domain to fold through all-or-none transitions with similar refolding rates. In the absence of divalent ions, NCS-1 unfolds and refolds reversibly in a two-state reaction involving only the C-domain, whereas the N-domain has no detectable transitions. Overall, the results allowed us to trace the progression of NCS-1 folding along its energy landscapes and provided a solid platform for understanding the conformational dynamics of similar EF-hand proteins. PMID:26153708

  20. Information from folds: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudleston, Peter J.; Treagus, Susan H.

    2010-12-01

    Folds are spectacular geological structures that are seen in layered rock on many different scales. To mark 30 years of the Journal of Structural Geology, we review the information that can be gained from studies of folds in theory, experiment and nature. We first review theoretical considerations and modeling, from classical approaches to current developments. The subject is dominated by single-layer fold theory, with the assumption of perfect layer-parallel shortening, but we also review multilayer fold theory and modeling, and folding of layers that are oblique to principal stresses and strains. This work demonstrates that viscosity ratio, degree of non-linearity of the flow law, anisotropy, and the thickness and spacing distribution of layers of different competence are all important in determining the nature and strength of the folding instability. Theory and modeling provide the basis for obtaining rheological information from natural folds, through analysis of wavelength/thickness ratios of single layer folds, and fold shapes. They also provide a basis for estimating the bulk strain from folded layers. Information about folding mechanisms can be obtained by analysis of cleavage and fabric patterns in folded rocks, and the history of deformation can be revealed by understanding how asymmetry can develop in folds, by how folds develop in shear zones, and how folds develop in more complex three-dimensional deformations.

  1. Rv0216, a Conserved Hypothetical Protein from Myocbacterium Tuberculosis that is Essential for Bacterial Survival During Infection, has a Double Hotdog Fold

    SciTech Connect

    Castell,A.; Johansson, P.; Unge, T.; Jones, T.; Backbro, K.

    2005-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome contains about 4000 genes, of which approximately a third code for proteins of unknown function or are classified as conserved hypothetical proteins. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of one of these, the rv0216 gene product, which has been shown to be essential for M. tuberculosis growth in vivo. The structure exhibits the greatest similarity to bacterial and eukaryotic hydratases that catalyse the R-specific hydration of 2-enoyl coenzyme A. However, only part of the catalytic machinery is conserved in Rv0216 and it showed no activity for the substrate crotonyl-CoA. The structure of Rv0216 allows us to assign new functional annotations to a family of seven other M. tuberculosis proteins, a number if which are essential for bacterial survival during infection and growth.

  2. Universally Conserved Relationships between Nuclear Shape and Cytoplasmic Mechanical Properties in Human Stem Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozoya, Oswaldo A.; Gilchrist, Christopher L.; Guilak, Farshid

    2016-03-01

    The ability of cells to proliferate, differentiate, transduce extracellular signals and assemble tissues involves structural connections between nucleus and cytoskeleton. Yet, how the mechanics of these connections vary inside stem cells is not fully understood. To address those questions, we combined two-dimensional particle-tracking microrheology and morphological measures using variable reduction techniques to measure whether cytoplasmic mechanics allow for discrimination between different human adherent stem cell types and across different culture conditions. Here we show that nuclear shape is a quantifiable discriminant of mechanical properties in the perinuclear cytoskeleton (pnCSK) of various stem cell types. Also, we find the pnCSK is a region with different mechanical properties than elsewhere in the cytoskeleton, with heterogeneously distributed locations exhibiting subdiffusive features, and which obeys physical relations conserved among various stem cell types. Finally, we offer a prospective basis to discriminate between stem cell types by coupling perinuclear mechanical properties to nuclear shape.

  3. Universally Conserved Relationships between Nuclear Shape and Cytoplasmic Mechanical Properties in Human Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lozoya, Oswaldo A.; Gilchrist, Christopher L.; Guilak, Farshid

    2016-01-01

    The ability of cells to proliferate, differentiate, transduce extracellular signals and assemble tissues involves structural connections between nucleus and cytoskeleton. Yet, how the mechanics of these connections vary inside stem cells is not fully understood. To address those questions, we combined two-dimensional particle-tracking microrheology and morphological measures using variable reduction techniques to measure whether cytoplasmic mechanics allow for discrimination between different human adherent stem cell types and across different culture conditions. Here we show that nuclear shape is a quantifiable discriminant of mechanical properties in the perinuclear cytoskeleton (pnCSK) of various stem cell types. Also, we find the pnCSK is a region with different mechanical properties than elsewhere in the cytoskeleton, with heterogeneously distributed locations exhibiting subdiffusive features, and which obeys physical relations conserved among various stem cell types. Finally, we offer a prospective basis to discriminate between stem cell types by coupling perinuclear mechanical properties to nuclear shape. PMID:26976044

  4. Stress, deformation, conservation, and rheology: a survey of key concepts in continuum mechanics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Major, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter provides a brief survey of key concepts in continuum mechanics. It focuses on the fundamental physical concepts that underlie derivations of the mathematical formulations of stress, strain, hydraulic head, pore-fluid pressure, and conservation equations. It then shows how stresses are linked to strain and rates of distortion through some special cases of idealized material behaviors. The goal is to equip the reader with a physical understanding of key mathematical formulations that anchor continuum mechanics in order to better understand theoretical studies published in geomorphology.

  5. Probing Kinetic Mechanisms of Protein Function and Folding with Time-Resolved Natural and Magnetic Chiroptical Spectroscopies

    PubMed Central

    Kliger, David S.; Chen, Eefei; Goldbeck, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Recent and ongoing developments in time-resolved spectroscopy have made it possible to monitor circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, optical rotatory dispersion, and magnetic optical rotatory dispersion with nanosecond time resolution. These techniques have been applied to determine structural changes associated with the function of several proteins as well as to determine the nature of early events in protein folding. These studies have required new approaches in triggering protein reactions as well as the development of time-resolved techniques for polarization spectroscopies with sufficient time resolution and sensitivity to probe protein structural changes. PMID:22312279

  6. Divergent mechanisms regulate conserved cardiopharyngeal development and gene expression in distantly related ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Lowe, Elijah K; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Brown, C Titus; Swalla, Billie J; Christiaen, Lionel

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians present a striking dichotomy between conserved phenotypes and divergent genomes: embryonic cell lineages and gene expression patterns are conserved between distantly related species. Much research has focused on Ciona or Halocynthia spp. but development in other ascidians remains poorly characterized. In this study, we surveyed the multipotent myogenic B7.5 lineage in Molgula spp. Comparisons to the homologous lineage in Ciona revealed identical cell division and fate specification events that result in segregation of larval, cardiac, and pharyngeal muscle progenitors. Moreover, the expression patterns of key regulators are conserved, but cross-species transgenic assays uncovered incompatibility, or ‘unintelligibility’, of orthologous cis-regulatory sequences between Molgula and Ciona. These sequences drive identical expression patterns that are not recapitulated in cross-species assays. We show that this unintelligibility is likely due to changes in both cis- and trans-acting elements, hinting at widespread and frequent turnover of regulatory mechanisms underlying otherwise conserved aspects of ascidian embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03728.001 PMID:25209999

  7. Protein conservation and variation suggest mechanisms of cell type-specific modulation of signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Martin H; Yang, Jae-Seong; Serrano, Luis; Kiel, Christina

    2014-06-01

    Many proteins and signaling pathways are present in most cell types and tissues and yet perform specialized functions. To elucidate mechanisms by which these ubiquitous pathways are modulated, we overlaid information about cross-cell line protein abundance and variability, and evolutionary conservation onto functional pathway components and topological layers in the pathway hierarchy. We found that the input (receptors) and the output (transcription factors) layers evolve more rapidly than proteins in the intermediary transmission layer. In contrast, protein expression variability decreases from the input to the output layer. We observed that the differences in protein variability between the input and transmission layer can be attributed to both the network position and the tendency of variable proteins to physically interact with constitutively expressed proteins. Differences in protein expression variability and conservation are also accompanied by the tendency of conserved and constitutively expressed proteins to acquire somatic mutations, while germline mutations tend to occur in cell type-specific proteins. Thus, conserved core proteins in the transmission layer could perform a fundamental role in most cell types and are therefore less tolerant to germline mutations. In summary, we propose that the core signal transmission machinery is largely modulated by a variable input layer through physical protein interactions. We hypothesize that the bow-tie organization of cellular signaling on the level of protein abundance variability contributes to the specificity of the signal response in different cell types. PMID:24922536

  8. Efficient molecular mechanics simulations of the folding, orientation, and assembly of peptides in lipid bilayers using an implicit atomic solvation model

    PubMed Central

    Bordner, Andrew J.; Zorman, Barry; Abagyan, Ruben

    2014-01-01

    Membrane proteins comprise a significant fraction of the proteomes of sequenced organisms and are the targets of approximately half of marketed drugs. However, in spite of their prevalence and biomedical importance, relatively few experimental structures are available due to technical challenges. Computational simulations can potentially address this deficit by providing structural models of membrane proteins. Solvation within the spatially heterogeneous membrane/solvent environment provides a major component of the energetics driving protein folding and association within the membrane. We have developed an implicit solvation model for membranes that is both computationally efficient and accurate enough to enable molecular mechanics predictions for the folding and association of peptides within the membrane. We derived the new atomic solvation model parameters using an unbiased fitting procedure to experimental data and have applied it to diverse problems in order to test its accuracy and to gain insight into membrane protein folding. First, we predicted the positions and orientations of peptides and complexes within the lipid bilayer and compared the simulation results with solid-state NMR structures. Next, we performed folding simulations for a series of host-guest peptides with varying propensities to form alpha helices in a hydrophobic environment and compared the structures with experimental measurements. We were also able to successfully predict the structures of amphipathic peptides as well as the structures for dimeric complexes of short hexapeptides that have experimentally characterized propensities to form beta sheets within the membrane. Finally, we compared calculated relative transfer energies with data from experiments measuring the effects of mutations on the free energies of translocon-mediated insertion of proteins into lipid bilayers and of combined folding and membrane insertion of a beta barrel protein. PMID:21904908

  9. The Mechanics, Geometry and Distribution of Strike Slip Faults in a Fold and Thrust Belt, County Clare, Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nenna, F. A.; Aydin, A.

    2010-12-01

    Fundamental structures such as opening mode joints and veins, and closing mode pressure solution seams (PSSs) can form dense orthogonal arrays in collisional deformation belts and play important roles in the initiation and development of larger scale faults. We describe the deformation processes and the evolution of fault architecture using systematic documentation of field observations from arrays of strike-slip faults in the Carboniferous Ross Sandstone. This unit is exposed on the Loop Head Peninsula, County Clare, Ireland and was subject to compressive stresses associated with the Variscan orogeny at the end of the Carboniferous producing broad regional east-west trending folds and also tight low-amplitude folds cored by thrust faults. Near these faults, orthogonal sets of PSSs and joints/veins form contemporaneous arrays with pressure solution seams that are sub-parallel to the thrust fault traces and fold axes. A stress or material rotation during the Variscan Orogeny (or perhaps a major second stage of deformation either in late phase of the orogeny or post-orogeny) has lead to left-lateral shear of the PSSs evidenced by pressure solution splays and pull-aparts between their sheared segments, and right-lateral shear on the joints/veins evidenced by splay fractures. The splays of the sheared joints are in the same orientation of the joints in the pull-aparts of the sheared PSSs with which they merge. This indicates that the shearing of the joints/veins and the PSSs was likely to have occurred simultaneously under the same remote loading conditions. With increased shear, extensive splay fractures and pull-apart networks form weak damage zones through which strike-slip faults systems develop with slip of up to 2km. As a higher proportion of the shear is resolved on the joint system than that of the PSS system, the more prominent strike-slip faults are sub-parallel to or slightly inclined to the pre-existing joint/vein set and have a right-lateral sense of slip

  10. Vibrational dynamics of vocal folds using nonlinear normal modes.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Alan P; Kerschen, Gaëtan

    2013-08-01

    Many previous works involving physical models, excised and in vivo larynges have pointed out nonlinear vibration in vocal folds during voice production. Moreover, theoretical studies involving mechanical modeling of these folds have tried to gain a profound understanding of the observed nonlinear phenomena. In this context, the present work uses the nonlinear normal mode theory to investigate the nonlinear modal behavior of 16 subjects using a two-mass mechanical modeling of the vocal folds. The free response of the conservative system at different energy levels is considered to assess the impact of the structural nonlinearity of the vocal fold tissues. The results show very interesting and complex nonlinear phenomena including frequency-energy dependence, subharmonic regimes and, in some cases, modal interactions, entrainment and bifurcations. PMID:23218815

  11. A conserved structural mechanism of NMDA receptor inhibition: A comparison of ifenprodil and zinc

    PubMed Central

    Sirrieh, Rita E.; MacLean, David M.

    2015-01-01

    N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, one of the three main types of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), are involved in excitatory synaptic transmission, and their dysfunction is implicated in various neurological disorders. NMDA receptors, heterotetramers typically composed of GluN1 and GluN2 subunits, are the only members of the iGluR family that bind allosteric modulators at their amino-terminal domains (ATDs). We used luminescence resonance energy transfer to characterize the conformational changes the receptor undergoes upon binding ifenprodil, a synthetic compound that specifically inhibits activation of NMDA receptors containing GluN2B. We found that ifenprodil induced an overall closure of the GluN2B ATD without affecting conformation of the GluN1 ATD or the upper lobes of the ATDs, the same mechanism whereby zinc inhibits GluN2A. These data demonstrate that the conformational changes induced by zinc and ifenprodil represent a conserved mechanism of NMDA receptor inhibition. Additionally, we compared the structural mechanism of zinc inhibition of GluN1–GluN2A receptors to that of ifenprodil inhibition of GluN1–GluN2B. The similarities in the conformational changes induced by inhibitor binding suggest a conserved structural mechanism of inhibition independent of the binding site of the modulator. PMID:26170175

  12. Drosophila glia use a conserved cotransporter mechanism to regulate extracellular volume

    PubMed Central

    Leiserson, William M.; Forbush, Biff; Keshishian, Haig

    2010-01-01

    The nervous system is protected by blood barriers that use multiple systems to control extracellular solute composition, osmotic pressure, and fluid volume. In the human nervous system, misregulation of the extracellular volume poses serious health threats. Here we show that the glial cells that form the Drosophila blood-nerve barrier have a conserved molecular mechanism that regulates extracellular volume: the Serine/Threonine kinase Fray, which we previously showed is an ortholog of mammalian PASK/SPAK; and the Na-K-Cl cotransporter NCC69, which we show is an ortholog of human NKCC1. In mammals, PASK/SPAK binds to NKCC1 and regulates its activity. In Drosophila, larvae mutant for NCC69 develop a peripheral neuropathy, where fluid accumulates between glia and axons. The accumulation of fluid has no detectable impact on action potential conduction, suggesting that the role of NCC69 is to maintain volume or osmotic homeostasis. Drosophila NCC69 has kinetics similar to human NKCC1, and NKCC1 can rescue NCC69, suggesting that they function in a conserved physiological mechanism. We show that fray and NCC69 are coexpressed in nerve glia, interact in a yeast-two-hybrid assay, and have an essentially identical bulging nerve phenotype. We propose that normally functioning nerves generate extracellular solutes that are removed by NCC69 under the control of Fray. This mechanism may perform a similar role in humans, given that NKCC1 is expressed at the blood-brain barrier. PMID:21125654

  13. A Broadly Conserved G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase Phosphorylation Mechanism Controls Drosophila Smoothened Activity

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Dominic; Cheng, Shuofei; Faubert, Denis; Hipfner, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is essential for normal growth, patterning, and homeostasis of many tissues in diverse organisms, and is misregulated in a variety of diseases including cancer. Cytoplasmic Hedgehog signaling is activated by multisite phosphorylation of the seven-pass transmembrane protein Smoothened (Smo) in its cytoplasmic C-terminus. Aside from a short membrane-proximal stretch, the sequence of the C-terminus is highly divergent in different phyla, and the evidence suggests that the precise mechanism of Smo activation and transduction of the signal to downstream effectors also differs. To clarify the conserved role of G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) in Smo regulation, we mapped four clusters of phosphorylation sites in the membrane-proximal C-terminus of Drosophila Smo that are phosphorylated by Gprk2, one of the two fly GRKs. Phosphorylation at these sites enhances Smo dimerization and increases but is not essential for Smo activity. Three of these clusters overlap with regulatory phosphorylation sites in mouse Smo and are highly conserved throughout the bilaterian lineages, suggesting that they serve a common function. Consistent with this, we find that a C-terminally truncated form of Drosophila Smo consisting of just the highly conserved core, including Gprk2 regulatory sites, can recruit the downstream effector Costal-2 and activate target gene expression, in a Gprk2-dependent manner. These results indicate that GRK phosphorylation in the membrane proximal C-terminus is an evolutionarily ancient mechanism of Smo regulation, and point to a higher degree of similarity in the regulation and signaling mechanisms of bilaterian Smo proteins than has previously been recognized. PMID:25009998

  14. Changes in the folding landscape of the WW domain provide a molecular mechanism for an inherited genetic syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Pucheta-Martinez, Encarna; D’Amelio, Nicola; Lelli, Moreno; Martinez-Torrecuadrada, Jorge L.; Sudol, Marius; Saladino, Giorgio; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi

    2016-01-01

    WW domains are small domains present in many human proteins with a wide array of functions and acting through the recognition of proline-rich sequences. The WW domain belonging to polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1 (PQBP1) is of particular interest due to its direct involvement in several X chromosome-linked intellectual disabilities, including Golabi-Ito-Hall (GIH) syndrome, where a single point mutation (Y65C) correlates with the development of the disease. The mutant cannot bind to its natural ligand WBP11, which regulates mRNA processing. In this work we use high-field high-resolution NMR and enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations to gain insight into the molecular causes the disease. We find that the wild type protein is partially unfolded exchanging among multiple beta-strand-like conformations in solution. The Y65C mutation further destabilizes the residual fold and primes the protein for the formation of a disulphide bridge, which could be at the origin of the loss of function. PMID:27456546

  15. The Crystal Structure of Dehi Reveals a New A-Haloacid Dehalogenase Fold And Active Site Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidberger, J.W.; Wilce, J.A.; Weightman, A.J.; Whisstock, J.C.; Wilce, M.C.J.

    2009-05-27

    Haloacid dehalogenases catalyse the removal of halides from organic haloacids and are of interest for bioremediation and for their potential use in the synthesis of industrial chemicals. We present the crystal structure of the homodimer DehI from Pseudomonas putida strain PP3, the first structure of a group I {alpha}-haloacid dehalogenase that can process both L- and D-substrates. The structure shows that the DehI monomer consists of two domains of {approx}130 amino acids that have {approx}16% sequence identity yet adopt virtually identical and unique folds that form a pseudo-dimer. Analysis of the active site reveals the likely binding mode of both L- and D-substrates with respect to key catalytic residues. Asp189 is predicted to activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the substrate chiral centre resulting in an inversion of configuration of either L- or D-substrates in contrast to D-only enzymes. These details will assist with future bioengineering of dehalogenases.

  16. Changes in the folding landscape of the WW domain provide a molecular mechanism for an inherited genetic syndrome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucheta-Martinez, Encarna; D’Amelio, Nicola; Lelli, Moreno; Martinez-Torrecuadrada, Jorge L.; Sudol, Marius; Saladino, Giorgio; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi

    2016-07-01

    WW domains are small domains present in many human proteins with a wide array of functions and acting through the recognition of proline-rich sequences. The WW domain belonging to polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1 (PQBP1) is of particular interest due to its direct involvement in several X chromosome-linked intellectual disabilities, including Golabi-Ito-Hall (GIH) syndrome, where a single point mutation (Y65C) correlates with the development of the disease. The mutant cannot bind to its natural ligand WBP11, which regulates mRNA processing. In this work we use high-field high-resolution NMR and enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations to gain insight into the molecular causes the disease. We find that the wild type protein is partially unfolded exchanging among multiple beta-strand-like conformations in solution. The Y65C mutation further destabilizes the residual fold and primes the protein for the formation of a disulphide bridge, which could be at the origin of the loss of function.

  17. Changes in the folding landscape of the WW domain provide a molecular mechanism for an inherited genetic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Pucheta-Martinez, Encarna; D'Amelio, Nicola; Lelli, Moreno; Martinez-Torrecuadrada, Jorge L; Sudol, Marius; Saladino, Giorgio; Gervasio, Francesco Luigi

    2016-01-01

    WW domains are small domains present in many human proteins with a wide array of functions and acting through the recognition of proline-rich sequences. The WW domain belonging to polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1 (PQBP1) is of particular interest due to its direct involvement in several X chromosome-linked intellectual disabilities, including Golabi-Ito-Hall (GIH) syndrome, where a single point mutation (Y65C) correlates with the development of the disease. The mutant cannot bind to its natural ligand WBP11, which regulates mRNA processing. In this work we use high-field high-resolution NMR and enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations to gain insight into the molecular causes the disease. We find that the wild type protein is partially unfolded exchanging among multiple beta-strand-like conformations in solution. The Y65C mutation further destabilizes the residual fold and primes the protein for the formation of a disulphide bridge, which could be at the origin of the loss of function. PMID:27456546

  18. Protein folding. Translational tuning optimizes nascent protein folding in cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo Jung; Yoon, Jae Seok; Shishido, Hideki; Yang, Zhongying; Rooney, LeeAnn A; Barral, Jose M; Skach, William R

    2015-04-24

    In cells, biosynthetic machinery coordinates protein synthesis and folding to optimize efficiency and minimize off-pathway outcomes. However, it has been difficult to delineate experimentally the mechanisms responsible. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we studied cotranslational folding of the first nucleotide-binding domain from the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. During synthesis, folding occurred discretely via sequential compaction of N-terminal, α-helical, and α/β-core subdomains. Moreover, the timing of these events was critical; premature α-subdomain folding prevented subsequent core formation. This process was facilitated by modulating intrinsic folding propensity in three distinct ways: delaying α-subdomain compaction, facilitating β-strand intercalation, and optimizing translation kinetics via codon usage. Thus, de novo folding is translationally tuned by an integrated cellular response that shapes the cotranslational folding landscape at critical stages of synthesis. PMID:25908822

  19. HLA Preferences for Conserved Epitopes: A Potential Mechanism for Hepatitis C Clearance

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Xiangyu; Hoof, Ilka; van Baarle, Debbie; Keşmir, Can; Textor, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections affect more than 170 million people worldwide. Most of these individuals are chronically infected, but some clear the infection rapidly. Host factors seem to play a key role in HCV clearance, among them are the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules. Certain HLA molecules, e.g., B*27 and B*57, are associated with viral clearance. To identify potential mechanisms for these associations, we assess epitope distribution differences between HLA molecules using experimentally verified and in silico predicted HCV epitopes. Specifically, we show that the NS5B protein harbors the largest fraction of conserved regions among all HCV proteins. Such conserved regions could be good targets for cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) responses. We find that the protective HLA-B*27 molecule preferentially presents cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) epitopes from NS5B and, in general, presents the most strongly conserved epitopes among the 23 HLA molecules analyzed. In contrast, HLA molecules known to be associated with HCV persistence do not have similar preferences and appear to target the variable P7 protein. Overall, our analysis suggests that by targeting highly constrained – and thereby conserved – regions of HCV, the protective HLA molecule HLA-B*27 reduces the ability of HCV to escape the cytotoxic T-cell response of the host. For visualizing the distribution of both experimentally verified and predicted epitopes across the HCV genome, we created the HCV epitope browser, which is available at theory.bio.uu.nl/ucqi/hcv. PMID:26579127

  20. Evolutionary Conservation of a GPCR-Independent Mechanism of Trimeric G Protein Activation

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Brantley D.; Marivin, Arthur; Parag-Sharma, Kshitij; DiGiacomo, Vincent; Kim, Seongseop; Pepper, Judy S.; Casler, Jason; Nguyen, Lien T.; Koelle, Michael R.; Garcia-Marcos, Mikel

    2016-01-01

    Trimeric G protein signaling is a fundamental mechanism of cellular communication in eukaryotes. The core of this mechanism consists of activation of G proteins by the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity of G protein coupled receptors. However, the duration and amplitude of G protein-mediated signaling are controlled by a complex network of accessory proteins that appeared and diversified during evolution. Among them, nonreceptor proteins with GEF activity are the least characterized. We recently found that proteins of the ccdc88 family possess a Gα-binding and activating (GBA) motif that confers GEF activity and regulates mammalian cell behavior. A sequence similarity-based search revealed that ccdc88 genes are highly conserved across metazoa but the GBA motif is absent in most invertebrates. This prompted us to investigate whether the GBA motif is present in other nonreceptor proteins in invertebrates. An unbiased bioinformatics search in Caenorhabditis elegans identified GBAS-1 (GBA and SPK domain containing-1) as a GBA motif-containing protein with homologs only in closely related worm species. We demonstrate that GBAS-1 has GEF activity for the nematode G protein GOA-1 and that the two proteins are coexpressed in many cells of living worms. Furthermore, we show that GBAS-1 can activate mammalian Gα-subunits and provide structural insights into the evolutionarily conserved determinants of the GBA–G protein interface. These results demonstrate that the GBA motif is a functional GEF module conserved among highly divergent proteins across evolution, indicating that the GBA-Gα binding mode is strongly constrained under selective pressure to mediate receptor-independent G protein activation in metazoans. PMID:26659249

  1. Evolutionary Conservation of a GPCR-Independent Mechanism of Trimeric G Protein Activation.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Brantley D; Marivin, Arthur; Parag-Sharma, Kshitij; DiGiacomo, Vincent; Kim, Seongseop; Pepper, Judy S; Casler, Jason; Nguyen, Lien T; Koelle, Michael R; Garcia-Marcos, Mikel

    2016-03-01

    Trimeric G protein signaling is a fundamental mechanism of cellular communication in eukaryotes. The core of this mechanism consists of activation of G proteins by the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity of G protein coupled receptors. However, the duration and amplitude of G protein-mediated signaling are controlled by a complex network of accessory proteins that appeared and diversified during evolution. Among them, nonreceptor proteins with GEF activity are the least characterized. We recently found that proteins of the ccdc88 family possess a Gα-binding and activating (GBA) motif that confers GEF activity and regulates mammalian cell behavior. A sequence similarity-based search revealed that ccdc88 genes are highly conserved across metazoa but the GBA motif is absent in most invertebrates. This prompted us to investigate whether the GBA motif is present in other nonreceptor proteins in invertebrates. An unbiased bioinformatics search in Caenorhabditis elegans identified GBAS-1 (GBA and SPK domain containing-1) as a GBA motif-containing protein with homologs only in closely related worm species. We demonstrate that GBAS-1 has GEF activity for the nematode G protein GOA-1 and that the two proteins are coexpressed in many cells of living worms. Furthermore, we show that GBAS-1 can activate mammalian Gα-subunits and provide structural insights into the evolutionarily conserved determinants of the GBA-G protein interface. These results demonstrate that the GBA motif is a functional GEF module conserved among highly divergent proteins across evolution, indicating that the GBA-Gα binding mode is strongly constrained under selective pressure to mediate receptor-independent G protein activation in metazoans. PMID:26659249

  2. Conservation Laws for Coupled Hydro-mechanical Processes in Unsaturated Porous Media: Theory and Implementation

    SciTech Connect

    Borja, R I; White, J A

    2010-02-19

    We develop conservation laws for coupled hydro-mechanical processes in unsaturated porous media using three-phase continuum mixture theory. From the first law of thermodynamics, we identify energy-conjugate variables for constitutive modeling at macroscopic scale. Energy conjugate expressions identified relate a certain measure of effective stress to the deformation of the solid matrix, the degree of saturation to the matrix suction, the pressure in each constituent phase to the corresponding intrinsic volume change of this phase, and the seepage forces to the corresponding pressure gradients. We then develop strong and weak forms of boundary-value problems relevant for 3D finite element modeling of coupled hydro-mechanical processes in unsaturated porous media. The paper highlights a 3D numerical example illustrating the advances in the solution of large-scale coupled finite element systems, as well as the challenges in developing more predictive tools satisfying the basic conservation laws and the observed constitutive responses for unsaturated porous materials.

  3. A conserved mechanism of TOR-dependent RCK-mediated mRNA degradation regulates autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Park, Yoon-Dong; Qiu, Jin; Vural, Ali; Zhang, Nannan; Waterman, Scott R.; Blewett, Nathan H.; Myers, Timothy G.; Maraia, Richard J.; Kehrl, John H.; Uzel, Gulbu; Klionsky, Daniel J.; Williamson, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an essential eukaryotic pathway requiring tight regulation to maintain homeostasis and preclude disease. Using yeast and mammalian cells, we report a conserved mechanism of autophagy regulation by RNA helicase RCK family members in association with the decapping enzyme Dcp2. Under nutrient-replete conditions, Dcp2 undergoes TOR-dependent phosphorylation and associates with RCK members to form a complex with autophagy-related (ATG) mRNA transcripts, leading to decapping, degradation and autophagy suppression. Simultaneous with the induction of ATG mRNA synthesis, starvation reverses the process, facilitating ATG mRNA accumulation and autophagy induction. This conserved post-transcriptional mechanism modulates fungal virulence and the mammalian inflammasome, the latter providing mechanistic insight into autoimmunity reported in a patient with a PIK3CD/p110δ gain-of-function mutation. We propose a dynamic model wherein RCK family members, in conjunction with Dcp2, function in controlling ATG mRNA stability to govern autophagy, which in turn modulates vital cellular processes affecting inflammation and microbial pathogenesis. PMID:26098573

  4. Predictive Computational Modeling of Chromatin Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Pierro, Miichele; Zhang, Bin; Wolynes, Peter J.; Onuchic, Jose N.

    In vivo, the human genome folds into well-determined and conserved three-dimensional structures. The mechanism driving the folding process remains unknown. We report a theoretical model (MiChroM) for chromatin derived by using the maximum entropy principle. The proposed model allows Molecular Dynamics simulations of the genome using as input the classification of loci into chromatin types and the presence of binding sites of loop forming protein CTCF. The model was trained to reproduce the Hi-C map of chromosome 10 of human lymphoblastoid cells. With no additional tuning the model was able to predict accurately the Hi-C maps of chromosomes 1-22 for the same cell line. Simulations show unknotted chromosomes, phase separation of chromatin types and a preference of chromatin of type A to sit at the periphery of the chromosomes.

  5. Exploring the symmetry, structure, and self-assembly mechanism of a gigantic seven-fold symmetric {Pd₈₄} wheel.

    PubMed

    Scullion, Rachel A; Surman, Andrew J; Xu, Feng; Mathieson, Jennifer S; Long, De-Liang; Haso, Fadi; Liu, Tianbo; Cronin, Leroy

    2014-09-15

    The symmetry, structure and formation mechanism of the structurally self-complementary {Pd84} = [Pd84O42(PO4)42(CH3CO2)28](70-) wheel is explored. Not only does the symmetry give rise to a non-closest packed structure, the mechanism of the wheel formation is proposed to depend on the delicate balance between reaction conditions. We achieve the resolution of gigantic polyoxopalladate species through electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography, the latter has been used in conjunction with electrospray mass spectrometry to probe the formation of the ring, which was found to proceed by the stepwise aggregation of {Pd6}(-) = [Pd6O4(CH3CO2)2(PO4)3Na(6-n)H(n)](-) building blocks. Furthermore, the higher-order assembly of these clusters into hollow blackberry structures of around 50 nm has been observed using dynamic and static light scattering. PMID:25044792

  6. A New Folding Kinetic Mechanism for Human Transthyretin and the Influence of the Amyloidogenic V30M Mutation.

    PubMed

    Jesus, Catarina S H; Almeida, Zaida L; Vaz, Daniela C; Faria, Tiago Q; Brito, Rui M M

    2016-01-01

    Protein aggregation into insoluble amyloid fibrils is the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, chief among them Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Although caused by different proteins, these pathologies share some basic molecular mechanisms with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP), a rare hereditary neuropathy caused by amyloid formation and deposition by transthyretin (TTR) in the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. Among the amyloidogenic TTR mutations known, V30M-TTR is the most common in FAP. TTR amyloidogenesis (ATTR) is triggered by tetramer dissociation, followed by partial unfolding and aggregation of the low conformational stability monomers formed. Thus, tetramer dissociation kinetics, monomer conformational stability and competition between refolding and aggregation pathways do play a critical role in ATTR. Here, we propose a new model to analyze the refolding kinetics of WT-TTR and V30M-TTR, showing that at pH and protein concentrations close to physiological, a two-step mechanism with a unimolecular first step followed by a second-order second step adjusts well to the experimental data. Interestingly, although sharing the same kinetic mechanism, V30M-TTR refolds at a much slower rate than WT-TTR, a feature that may favor the formation of transient species leading to kinetic partition into amyloidogenic pathways and, thus, significantly increasing the probability of amyloid formation in vivo. PMID:27589730

  7. Graphene folding on flat substrates

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Xiaoming; Zhao, Yadong; Ke, Changhong; Zhang, Liuyang; Wang, Xianqiao

    2014-10-28

    We present a combined experimental-theoretical study of graphene folding on flat substrates. The structure and deformation of the folded graphene sheet are experimentally characterized by atomic force microscopy. The local graphene folding behaviors are interpreted based on nonlinear continuum mechanics modeling and molecular dynamics simulations. Our study on self-folding of a trilayer graphene sheet reports a bending stiffness of about 6.57 eV, which is about four times the reported values for monolayer graphene. Our results reveal that an intriguing free sliding phenomenon occurs at the interlayer van der Waals interfaces during the graphene folding process. This work demonstrates that it is a plausible venue to quantify the bending stiffness of graphene based on its self-folding conformation on flat substrates. The findings reported in this work are useful to a better understanding of the mechanical properties of graphene and in the pursuit of its applications.

  8. Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility: a petrofrabric tool for understanding mechanisms of fold and thrust belt evolution. Application in Malargüe FTB, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branellec, Matthieu; Callot, Jean Paul; Aubourg, Charles; Nivière, Bertrand; Ringenbach, Jean Claude

    2013-04-01

    In fold and thrust belts (FTB), sedimentary beds are folded and faulted but rocks do not always show evidence of strong internal deformation. Nevertheless, several studies have demonstrated that a weak internal deformation (layer parallel shortening) can be recorded at the matrix scale before any macroscopic deformation. The Anisotropy of Magnetic susceptibility (AMS) provides information about the preferred orientation of billions of magnetic minerals. It enables the definition of a magnetic fabric, which may be visualized as an ellipsoid with principal axes K1 ≥ K2 ≥ K3. Basic elements of a magnetic fabric are the magnetic foliation (K1-K2 plane) and the magnetic lineation (K1 axe), when they are statistically defined. Both are related to strain-controlled petrofrabric. The Neuquén Basin is a wide intracratonic sag basin with complex and polyphased/diachronic evolution. The Pacific subduction and south Atlantic opening were the mechanisms controlling the large scale geodynamic framework. By late Triassic times, continental scale extension initiated fault-related narrow rift depocenters which later evolved toward a sag basin from middle Jurassic to upper Cretaceous. At that time, the basin started to record the compressive stress regime from the Pacific subduction. Three pulses of compressive deformation (Cretaceous, Paleogene and Miocene) are recorded in this retro-arc foreland setting. Approximately 300 samples have been collected from 30 sites in terrigenous rocks located along three cross sections from foothills to uplifted foreland area in Malargüe FTB. We mainly sample Kimmeridgian red beds of the Tordillo formation, Tithonian shales from the Vaca Muerta Fm, and late cretaceous red beds of the Neuquén Group. AMS fabrics are used as a proxy to measure accumulated microscopic finite strain and compares it with mesoscale (fractures) and macroscale structures (faults, folds…). This multi-scaled approach helps in defining a kinematic scenario for Malarg

  9. Fry and Rf/ϕ strain methods constraints and fold transection mechanisms in the NW Iberian Variscides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soares, A.; Dias, R.

    2015-10-01

    Apúlia is a small Portuguese sector in NW of Central-Iberian Zone, that have been deformed in a non-coaxial sinistral transpressive regime during the first and main Variscan tectonic event (D1). This deformation give rise to a major NW-SE anticline, where the S1 N-S cleavage transect the inverted short NE limb; two and three-dimensional strains analysis have been done in the low metamorphic grade Ordovician quartzites of this limb using Fry and Rf/ϕ methods. The data show that most deformation was due to intergranular deformation mechanisms. The intragranular deformation leading to the distortion of strain markers and to cleavage was very incipient and a latter event in the D1 phase. The apparent plane strain ellipsoids (if no volume change is assumed) related to the intragranular mechanisms contrast with the more prolate strain ellipsoids related to the bulk deformation of Apúlia Quartzites. This constrictional bulk strain fabrics are characteristic of the sinistral transpressive regimes dominant in the northern sectors of the Central-Iberian Zone.

  10. Molecular dynamics studies of protein folding and aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Feng

    This thesis applies molecular dynamics simulations and statistical mechanics to study: (i) protein folding; and (ii) protein aggregation. Most small proteins fold into their native states via a first-order-like phase transition with a major free energy barrier between the folded and unfolded states. A set of protein conformations corresponding to the free energy barrier, Delta G >> kBT, are the folding transition state ensemble (TSE). Due to their evasive nature, TSE conformations are hard to capture (probability ∝ exp(-DeltaG/k BT)) and characterize. A coarse-grained discrete molecular dynamics model with realistic steric constraints is constructed to reproduce the experimentally observed two-state folding thermodynamics. A kinetic approach is proposed to identify the folding TSE. A specific set of contacts, common to the TSE conformations, is identified as the folding nuclei which are necessary to be formed in order for the protein to fold. Interestingly, the amino acids at the site of the identified folding nuclei are highly conserved for homologous proteins sharing the same structures. Such conservation suggests that amino acids that are important for folding kinetics are under selective pressure to be preserved during the course of molecular evolution. In addition, studies of the conformations close to the transition states uncover the importance of topology in the construction of order parameter for protein folding transition. Misfolded proteins often form insoluble aggregates, amyloid fibrils, that deposit in the extracellular space and lead to a type of disease known as amyloidosis. Due to its insoluble and non-crystalline nature, the aggregation structure and, thus the aggregation mechanism, has yet to be uncovered. Discrete molecular dynamics studies reveal an aggregate structure with the same structural signatures as in experimental observations and show a nucleation aggregation scenario. The simulations also suggest a generic aggregation mechanism

  11. Imprint of Ancient Evolution on rRNA Folding.

    PubMed

    Lanier, Kathryn A; Athavale, Shreyas S; Petrov, Anton S; Wartell, Roger; Williams, Loren Dean

    2016-08-23

    In a model describing the origin and evolution of the translation system, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) grew in size by accretion [Petrov, A. S., et al. (2015) History of the Ribosome and the Origin of Translation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112, 15396-15401]. Large rRNAs were built up by iterative incorporation and encasement of small folded RNAs, in analogy with addition of new LEGOs onto the surface of a preexisting LEGO assembly. In this model, rRNA robustness in folding arises from inherited autonomy of local folding. We propose that rRNAs can be decomposed at various granularities, retaining folding mechanism and folding competence. To test these predictions, we disassembled Domain III of the large ribosomal subunit (LSU). We determined whether local rRNA structure, stability, and folding pathways are autonomous. Thermal melting, chemical footprinting, and circular dichroism were used to infer rules that govern folding of rRNA. We deconstructed Domain III of the LSU rRNA by mapping out its complex multistep melting pathway. We studied Domain III and two equal-size "sub-Domains" of Domain III. The combined results are consistent with a model in which melting transitions of Domain III are conserved upon cleavage into sub-Domains. Each of the eight melting transitions of Domain III corresponds in Tm and ΔH with a transition observed in one of the two isolated sub-Domains. The results support a model in which structure, stability, and folding mechanisms are dominated by local interactions and are unaffected by separation of the sub-Domains. Domain III rRNA is distinct from RNAs that form long-range cooperative interaction networks at early stages of folding or that do not fold reversibly. PMID:27428664

  12. Mechanical study of the Chartreuse Fold-and-Thrust Belt: relationships between fluids overpressure and decollement within the Toarcian source-rock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthelon, Josselin; Sassi, William; Burov, Evgueni

    2016-04-01

    Many source-rocks are shale and constitute potential detachment levels in Fold-and-Thrust Belts (FTB): the toarcian Schistes-Cartons in the French Chartreuse FTB for example. Their mechanical properties can change during their burial and thermal maturation, as for example when large amount of hydrocarbon fluids are generated. A structural reconstruction of the Chartreuse FTB geo-history places the Toarcian Formation as the major decollement horizon. In this work, a mechanical analysis integrating the fluids overpressuring development is proposed to discuss on the validity of the structural interpretation. At first, an analogue of the Chartreuse Toarcian Fm, the albanian Posidonia Schist, is documented as it can provide insights on its initial properties and composition of its kerogen content. Laboratory characterisation documents the vertical evolution of the mineralogical, geochemical and mechanical parameters of this potential decollement layer. These physical parameters (i.e. Total Organic Carbon (TOC), porosity/permeability relationship, friction coefficient) are used to address overpressure buildup in the frontal part of the Chartreuse FTB with TEMISFlow Arctem Basin modelling approach (Faille et al, 2014) and the structural emplacement of the Chartreuse thrust units using the FLAMAR thermo-mechanical model (Burov et al, 2014). The hydro-mechanical modeling results highlight the calendar, distribution and magnitude of the overpressure that developed within the source-rock in the footwall of a simple fault-bend fold structure localized in the frontal part of the Chartreuse FTB. Several key geological conditions are required to create an overpressure able to fracture the shale-rocks and induce a significant change in the rheological behaviour: high TOC, low permeability, favourable structural evolution. These models highlight the importance of modeling the impact of a diffuse natural hydraulic fracturing to explain fluids propagation toward the foreland within

  13. A Disorder-Induced Domino-Like Destabilization Mechanism Governs the Folding and Functional Dynamics of the Repeat Protein IκBα

    PubMed Central

    Sivanandan, Srinivasan; Naganathan, Athi N.

    2013-01-01

    The stability of the repeat protein IκBα, a transcriptional inhibitor in mammalian cells, is critical in the functioning of the NF-κB signaling module implicated in an array of cellular processes, including cell growth, disease, immunity and apoptosis. Structurally, IκBα is complex, with both ordered and disordered regions, thus posing a challenge to the available computational protocols to model its conformational behavior. Here, we introduce a simple procedure to model disorder in systems that undergo binding-induced folding that involves modulation of the contact map guided by equilibrium experimental observables in combination with an Ising-like Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton model. This one-step procedure alone is able to reproduce a variety of experimental observables, including ensemble thermodynamics (scanning calorimetry, pre-transitions, m-values) and kinetics (roll-over in chevron plot, intermediates and their identity), and is consistent with hydrogen-deuterium exchange measurements. We further capture the intricate distance-dynamics between the domains as measured by single-molecule FRET by combining the model predictions with simple polymer physics arguments. Our results reveal a unique mechanism at work in IκBα folding, wherein disorder in one domain initiates a domino-like effect partially destabilizing neighboring domains, thus highlighting the effect of symmetry-breaking at the level of primary sequences. The offshoot is a multi-state and a dynamic conformational landscape that is populated by increasingly partially folded ensembles upon destabilization. Our results provide, in a straightforward fashion, a rationale to the promiscuous binding and short intracellular half-life of IκBα evolutionarily engineered into it through repeats with variable stabilities and expand the functional repertoire of disordered regions in proteins. PMID:24367251

  14. Conserved mechanisms of microtubule-stimulated ADP release, ATP binding, and force generation in transport kinesins

    PubMed Central

    Atherton, Joseph; Farabella, Irene; Yu, I-Mei; Rosenfeld, Steven S; Houdusse, Anne; Topf, Maya; Moores, Carolyn A

    2014-01-01

    Kinesins are a superfamily of microtubule-based ATP-powered motors, important for multiple, essential cellular functions. How microtubule binding stimulates their ATPase and controls force generation is not understood. To address this fundamental question, we visualized microtubule-bound kinesin-1 and kinesin-3 motor domains at multiple steps in their ATPase cycles—including their nucleotide-free states—at ∼7 Å resolution using cryo-electron microscopy. In both motors, microtubule binding promotes ordered conformations of conserved loops that stimulate ADP release, enhance microtubule affinity and prime the catalytic site for ATP binding. ATP binding causes only small shifts of these nucleotide-coordinating loops but induces large conformational changes elsewhere that allow force generation and neck linker docking towards the microtubule plus end. Family-specific differences across the kinesin–microtubule interface account for the distinctive properties of each motor. Our data thus provide evidence for a conserved ATP-driven mechanism for kinesins and reveal the critical mechanistic contribution of the microtubule interface. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03680.001 PMID:25209998

  15. New N-Acetyltransferase Fold in the Structure and Mechanism of the Phosphonate Biosynthetic Enzyme FrbF

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Brian; Cobb, Ryan E.; DeSieno, Matthew A.; Zhao, Huimin; Nair, Satish K.

    2015-10-15

    The enzyme FrbF from Streptomyces rubellomurinus has attracted significant attention due to its role in the biosynthesis of the antimalarial phosphonate FR-900098. The enzyme catalyzes acetyl transfer onto the hydroxamate of the FR-900098 precursors cytidine 5'-monophosphate-3-aminopropylphosphonate and cytidine 5'-monophosphate-N-hydroxy-3-aminopropylphosphonate. Despite the established function as a bona fide N-acetyltransferase, FrbF shows no sequence similarity to any member of the GCN5-like N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) superfamily. Here, we present the 2.0 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of FrbF in complex with acetyl-CoA, which demonstrates a unique architecture that is distinct from those of canonical GNAT-like acetyltransferases. We also utilized the co-crystal structure to guide structure-function studies that identified the roles of putative active site residues in the acetyltransferase mechanism. The combined biochemical and structural analyses of FrbF provide insights into this previously uncharacterized family of N-acetyltransferases and also provide a molecular framework toward the production of novel N-acyl derivatives of FR-900098.

  16. New N-acetyltransferase fold in the structure and mechanism of the phosphonate biosynthetic enzyme FrbF.

    PubMed

    Bae, Brian; Cobb, Ryan E; DeSieno, Matthew A; Zhao, Huimin; Nair, Satish K

    2011-10-14

    The enzyme FrbF from Streptomyces rubellomurinus has attracted significant attention due to its role in the biosynthesis of the antimalarial phosphonate FR-900098. The enzyme catalyzes acetyl transfer onto the hydroxamate of the FR-900098 precursors cytidine 5'-monophosphate-3-aminopropylphosphonate and cytidine 5'-monophosphate-N-hydroxy-3-aminopropylphosphonate. Despite the established function as a bona fide N-acetyltransferase, FrbF shows no sequence similarity to any member of the GCN5-like N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) superfamily. Here, we present the 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of FrbF in complex with acetyl-CoA, which demonstrates a unique architecture that is distinct from those of canonical GNAT-like acetyltransferases. We also utilized the co-crystal structure to guide structure-function studies that identified the roles of putative active site residues in the acetyltransferase mechanism. The combined biochemical and structural analyses of FrbF provide insights into this previously uncharacterized family of N-acetyltransferases and also provide a molecular framework toward the production of novel N-acyl derivatives of FR-900098. PMID:21865168

  17. Statistics of conserved quantities in mechanically stable packings of frictionless disks above jamming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Yegang; Teitel, S.

    2015-02-01

    We numerically simulate mechanically stable packings of soft-core, frictionless, bidisperse disks in two dimensions, above the jamming packing fraction ϕJ. For configurations with a fixed isotropic global stress tensor, we compute the averages, variances, and correlations of conserved quantities (stress ΓC, force-tile area AC, Voronoi volume VC, number of particles NC, and number of small particles Ns C) on compact subclusters of particles C , as a function of the cluster size and the global system stress. We find several significant differences depending on whether the cluster C is defined by a fixed radius R or a fixed number of particles M . We comment on the implications of our findings for maximum entropy models of jammed packings.

  18. Comparative sequence analysis suggests a conserved gating mechanism for TRP channels

    PubMed Central

    Palovcak, Eugene; Delemotte, Lucie; Klein, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    The transient receptor potential (TRP) channel superfamily plays a central role in transducing diverse sensory stimuli in eukaryotes. Although dissimilar in sequence and domain organization, all known TRP channels act as polymodal cellular sensors and form tetrameric assemblies similar to those of their distant relatives, the voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels. Here, we investigated the related questions of whether the allosteric mechanism underlying polymodal gating is common to all TRP channels, and how this mechanism differs from that underpinning Kv channel voltage sensitivity. To provide insight into these questions, we performed comparative sequence analysis on large, comprehensive ensembles of TRP and Kv channel sequences, contextualizing the patterns of conservation and correlation observed in the TRP channel sequences in light of the well-studied Kv channels. We report sequence features that are specific to TRP channels and, based on insight from recent TRPV1 structures, we suggest a model of TRP channel gating that differs substantially from the one mediating voltage sensitivity in Kv channels. The common mechanism underlying polymodal gating involves the displacement of a defect in the H-bond network of S6 that changes the orientation of the pore-lining residues at the hydrophobic gate. PMID:26078053

  19. Inter-kingdom conservation of mechanism of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

    PubMed Central

    Kerényi, Zoltán; Mérai, Zsuzsanna; Hiripi, László; Benkovics, Anna; Gyula, Péter; Lacomme, Christophe; Barta, Endre; Nagy, Ferenc; Silhavy, Dániel

    2008-01-01

    Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a quality control system that degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons. Although NMD is well characterized in yeast and mammals, plant NMD is poorly understood. We have undertaken the functional dissection of NMD pathways in plants. Using an approach that allows rapid identification of plant NMD trans factors, we demonstrated that two plant NMD pathways coexist, one eliminates mRNAs with long 3′UTRs, whereas a distinct pathway degrades mRNAs harbouring 3′UTR-located introns. We showed that UPF1, UPF2 and SMG-7 are involved in both plant NMD pathways, whereas Mago and Y14 are required only for intron-based NMD. The molecular mechanism of long 3′UTR-based plant NMD resembled yeast NMD, whereas the intron-based NMD was similar to mammalian NMD, suggesting that both pathways are evolutionarily conserved. Interestingly, the SMG-7 NMD component is targeted by NMD, suggesting that plant NMD is autoregulated. We propose that a complex, autoregulated NMD mechanism operated in stem eukaryotes, and that despite aspect of the mechanism being simplified in different lineages, feedback regulation was retained in all kingdoms. PMID:18451801

  20. Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the selection and maintenance of behavioural activity

    PubMed Central

    Fiore, Vincenzo G.; Dolan, Raymond J.; Strausfeld, Nicholas J.; Hirth, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Survival and reproduction entail the selection of adaptive behavioural repertoires. This selection manifests as phylogenetically acquired activities that depend on evolved nervous system circuitries. Lorenz and Tinbergen already postulated that heritable behaviours and their reliable performance are specified by genetically determined programs. Here we compare the functional anatomy of the insect central complex and vertebrate basal ganglia to illustrate their role in mediating selection and maintenance of adaptive behaviours. Comparative analyses reveal that central complex and basal ganglia circuitries share comparable lineage relationships within clusters of functionally integrated neurons. These clusters are specified by genetic mechanisms that link birth time and order to their neuronal identities and functions. Their subsequent connections and associated functions are characterized by similar mechanisms that implement dimensionality reduction and transition through attractor states, whereby spatially organized parallel-projecting loops integrate and convey sensorimotor representations that select and maintain behavioural activity. In both taxa, these neural systems are modulated by dopamine signalling that also mediates memory-like processes. The multiplicity of similarities between central complex and basal ganglia suggests evolutionarily conserved computational mechanisms for action selection. We speculate that these may have originated from ancestral ground pattern circuitries present in the brain of the last common ancestor of insects and vertebrates. PMID:26554043

  1. Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the selection and maintenance of behavioural activity.

    PubMed

    Fiore, Vincenzo G; Dolan, Raymond J; Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Hirth, Frank

    2015-12-19

    Survival and reproduction entail the selection of adaptive behavioural repertoires. This selection manifests as phylogenetically acquired activities that depend on evolved nervous system circuitries. Lorenz and Tinbergen already postulated that heritable behaviours and their reliable performance are specified by genetically determined programs. Here we compare the functional anatomy of the insect central complex and vertebrate basal ganglia to illustrate their role in mediating selection and maintenance of adaptive behaviours. Comparative analyses reveal that central complex and basal ganglia circuitries share comparable lineage relationships within clusters of functionally integrated neurons. These clusters are specified by genetic mechanisms that link birth time and order to their neuronal identities and functions. Their subsequent connections and associated functions are characterized by similar mechanisms that implement dimensionality reduction and transition through attractor states, whereby spatially organized parallel-projecting loops integrate and convey sensorimotor representations that select and maintain behavioural activity. In both taxa, these neural systems are modulated by dopamine signalling that also mediates memory-like processes. The multiplicity of similarities between central complex and basal ganglia suggests evolutionarily conserved computational mechanisms for action selection. We speculate that these may have originated from ancestral ground pattern circuitries present in the brain of the last common ancestor of insects and vertebrates. PMID:26554043

  2. Conservative management of mechanical neck pain: systematic overview and meta-analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Aker, P. D.; Gross, A. R.; Goldsmith, C. H.; Peloso, P.

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy of conservative management of mechanical neck disorders. METHODS: Published and unpublished reports were identified through computerised and manual searches of bibliographical databases, reference lists from primary articles, and letters to authors, agencies, foundations, and content experts. Selection criteria were applied to blinded articles, and selected articles were scored for methodological quality. Effect sizes were calculated from raw pain scores and combined by using meta-analytic techniques when appropriate. RESULTS: Twenty four randomised clinical trials met the selection criteria and were categorised by type of intervention: nine used manual treatments; 12 physical medicine methods; four drug treatment; and three education of patients (four trials investigated more than one form of intervention). The intervention strategies were summarised separately. Pooling of studies was considered only within each category. Five of the nine trials that used manual treatment in combination with other treatments were combined. One to four weeks after treatment the pooled effect size was -0.6 (95% confidence interval -0.9 to -0.4), equivalent to an improvement of 16 (6.9 to 23.1) points on a 100 point scale. Sensitivity analyses on study quality, chronicity, and data imputation did not alter this estimate. For other interventions, studies could not be combined to arrive at pooled estimates of effect. CONCLUSIONS: There is little information available from clinical trials to support many of the treatments for mechanical neck pain. In general, conservative interventions have not been studied in enough detail to assess efficacy or effectiveness adequately. PMID:8942688

  3. How do chaperonins fold protein?

    PubMed Central

    Motojima, Fumihiro

    2015-01-01

    Protein folding is a biological process that is essential for the proper functioning of proteins in all living organisms. In cells, many proteins require the assistance of molecular chaperones for their folding. Chaperonins belong to a class of molecular chaperones that have been extensively studied. However, the mechanism by which a chaperonin mediates the folding of proteins is still controversial. Denatured proteins are folded in the closed chaperonin cage, leading to the assumption that denatured proteins are completely encapsulated inside the chaperonin cage. In contrast to the assumption, we recently found that denatured protein interacts with hydrophobic residues at the subunit interfaces of the chaperonin, and partially protrude out of the cage. In this review, we will explain our recent results and introduce our model for the mechanism by which chaperonins accelerate protein folding, in view of recent findings.

  4. The prosegment catalyzes native folding of Plasmodium falciparum plasmepsin II.

    PubMed

    Jaafar, Ahmad Haniff; Xiao, Huogen; Dee, Derek R; Bryksa, Brian C; Bhaumik, Prasenjit; Yada, Rickey Y

    2016-10-01

    Plasmepsin II is a malarial pepsin-like aspartic protease produced as a zymogen containing an N-terminal prosegment domain that is removed during activation. Despite structural similarities between active plasmepsin II and pepsin, their prosegments adopt different conformations in the respective zymogens. In contrast to pepsinogen, the proplasmepsin II prosegment is 80 residues longer, contains a transmembrane region and is non-essential for recombinant expression in an active form, thus calling into question the prosegment's precise function. The present study examines the role of the prosegment in the folding mechanism of plasmepsin II. Both a shorter (residues 77-124) and a longer (residues 65-124) prosegment catalyze plasmepsin II folding at rates more than four orders of magnitude faster compared to folding without prosegment. Native plasmepsin II is kinetically trapped and requires the prosegment both to catalyze folding and to shift the folding equilibrium towards the native conformation. Thus, despite low sequence identity and distinct zymogen conformations, the folding landscapes of plasmepsin II and pepsin, both with and without prosegment, are qualitatively identical. These results imply a conserved and unusual feature of the pepsin-like protease topology that necessitates prosegment-assisted folding. PMID:27378574

  5. Enhancing conservation, ecosystem services, and local livelihoods through a wildlife premium mechanism.

    PubMed

    Dinerstein, Eric; Varma, Keshav; Wikramanayake, Eric; Powell, George; Lumpkin, Susan; Naidoo, Robin; Korchinsky, Mike; Del Valle, Christian; Lohani, Shubash; Seidensticker, John; Joldersma, Dirk; Lovejoy, Thomas; Kushlin, Andrey

    2013-02-01

    We propose the wildlife premium mechanism as an innovation to conserve endangered large vertebrates. The performance-based payment scheme would allow stakeholders in lower-income countries to generate revenue by recovering and maintaining threatened fauna that can also serve as umbrella species (i.e., species whose protection benefits other species with which they co-occur). There are 3 possible options for applying the premium: option 1, embed premiums in a carbon payment; option 2, link premiums to a related carbon payment, but as independent and legally separate transactions; option 3, link premiums to noncarbon payments for conserving ecosystem services (PES). Each option presents advantages, such as incentive payments to improve livelihoods of rural poor who reside in or near areas harboring umbrella species, and challenges, such as the establishment of a subnational carbon credit scheme. In Kenya, Peru, and Nepal pilot premium projects are now underway or being finalized that largely follow option 1. The Kasigau (Kenya) project is the first voluntary carbon credit project to win approval from the 2 leading groups sanctioning such protocols and has already sold carbon credits totaling over $1.2 million since June 2011. A portion of the earnings is divided among community landowners and projects that support community members and has added over 350 jobs to the local economy. All 3 projects involve extensive community management because they occur on lands where locals hold the title or have a long-term lease from the government. The monitoring, reporting, and verification required to make premium payments credible to investors include transparent methods for collecting data on key indices by trained community members and verification of their reporting by a biologist. A wildlife premium readiness fund would enable expansion of pilot programs needed to test options beyond those presented here. PMID:23181423

  6. A conserved splicing mechanism of the LMNA gene controls premature aging.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Mejia, Isabel C; Vautrot, Valentin; De Toledo, Marion; Behm-Ansmant, Isabelle; Bourgeois, Cyril F; Navarro, Claire L; Osorio, Fernando G; Freije, José M P; Stévenin, James; De Sandre-Giovannoli, Annachiara; Lopez-Otin, Carlos; Lévy, Nicolas; Branlant, Christiane; Tazi, Jamal

    2011-12-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare genetic disorder phenotypically characterized by many features of premature aging. Most cases of HGPS are due to a heterozygous silent mutation (c.1824C>T; p.Gly608Gly) that enhances the use of an internal 5' splice site (5'SS) in exon 11 of the LMNA pre-mRNA and leads to the production of a truncated protein (progerin) with a dominant negative effect. Here we show that HGPS mutation changes the accessibility of the 5'SS of LMNA exon 11 which is sequestered in a conserved RNA structure. Our results also reveal a regulatory role of a subset of serine-arginine (SR)-rich proteins, including serine-arginine rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) and SRSF6, on utilization of the 5'SS leading to lamin A or progerin production and a modulation of this regulation in the presence of the c.1824C>T mutation is shown directly on HGPS patient cells. Mutant mice carrying the equivalent mutation in the LMNA gene (c.1827C>T) also accumulate progerin and phenocopy the main cellular alterations and clinical defects of HGPS patients. RNAi-induced depletion of SRSF1 in the HGPS-like mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) allowed progerin reduction and dysmorphic nuclei phenotype correction, whereas SRSF6 depletion aggravated the HGPS-like MEF's phenotype. We demonstrate that changes in the splicing ratio between lamin A and progerin are key factors for lifespan since heterozygous mice harboring the mutation lived longer than homozygous littermates but less than the wild-type. Genetic and biochemical data together favor the view that physiological progerin production is under tight control of a conserved splicing mechanism to avoid precocious aging. PMID:21875900

  7. Conservation and variation in the feeding mechanism of the spiny dogfish squalus acanthias

    PubMed

    Wilga; Motta

    1998-05-01

    Changes in the feeding mechanism with feeding behavior were investigated using high-speed video and electromyography to examine the kinematics and motor pattern of prey capture, manipulation and transport in the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias (Squalidae: Squaliformes). In this study, Squalus acanthias used both suction and ram behaviors to capture and manipulate prey, while only suction was used to transport prey. The basic kinematic feeding sequence observed in other aquatic-feeding lower vertebrates is conserved in the spiny dogfish. Prey capture, bite manipulation and suction transport events are characterized by a common pattern of head movements and motor activity, but are distinguishable by differences in duration and relative timing. In general, capture events are longer in duration than manipulation and transport events, as found in other aquatic-feeding lower vertebrates. Numerous individual effects were found, indicating that individual sharks are capable of varying head movements and motor activity among successful feeding events. Upper jaw protrusion in the spiny dogfish is not restricted by its orbitostylic jaw suspension; rather, the upper jaw is protruded by 30 % of its head length, considerably more than in the lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris (Carcharhinidae: Carcharhiniformes) (18 %) with its hyostylic jaw suspension. One function of upper jaw protrusion is to assist in jaw closure by protruding the upper jaw as well as elevating the lower jaw to close the gape, thus decreasing the time to jaw closure. The mechanism of upper jaw protrusion was found to differ between squaliform and carcharhiniform sharks. Whereas the levator palatoquadrati muscle assists in retracting the upper jaw in the spiny dogfish, it assists in protruding the upper jaw in the lemon shark. This study represents the first comprehensive electromyographic and kinematic analysis of the feeding mechanism in a squaliform shark. PMID:9547315

  8. Limited cooperativity in protein folding.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Victor; Campos, Luis A; Sadqi, Mourad

    2016-02-01

    Theory and simulations predict that the structural concert of protein folding reactions is relatively low. Experimentally, folding cooperativity has been difficult to study, but in recent years we have witnessed major advances. New analytical procedures in terms of conformational ensembles rather than discrete states, experimental techniques with improved time, structural, or single-molecule resolution, and combined thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of fast folding have contributed to demonstrate a general scenario of limited cooperativity in folding. Gradual structural disorder is already apparent on the unfolded and native states of slow, two-state folding proteins, and it greatly increases in magnitude for fast folding domains. These results demonstrate a direct link between how fast a single-domain protein folds and unfolds, and how cooperative (or structurally diverse) is its equilibrium unfolding process. Reducing cooperativity also destabilizes the native structure because it affects unfolding more than folding. We can thus define a continuous cooperativity scale that goes from the 'pliable' two-state character of slow folders to the gradual unfolding of one-state downhill, and eventually to intrinsically disordered proteins. The connection between gradual unfolding and intrinsic disorder is appealing because it suggests a conformational rheostat mechanism to explain the allosteric effects of folding coupled to binding. PMID:26845039

  9. Kinetics and Mechanism of Calcium Hydroxide Conversion into Calcium Alkoxides: Implications in Heritage Conservation Using Nanolimes.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Navarro, Carlos; Vettori, Irene; Ruiz-Agudo, Encarnacion

    2016-05-24

    Nanolimes are alcohol dispersions of Ca(OH)2 nanoparticles used in the conservation of cultural heritage. Although it was believed that Ca(OH)2 particles were inert when dispersed in short-chain alcohols, it has been recently shown that they can undergo transformation into calcium alkoxides. Little is known, however, about the mechanism and kinetics of such a phase transformation as well as its effect on the performance of nanolimes. Here we show that Ca(OH)2 particles formed after lime slaking react with ethanol and isopropanol and partially transform (fractional conversion, α up to 0.08) into calcium ethoxide and isopropoxide, respectively. The transformation shows Arrhenius behavior, with apparent activation energy Ea of 29 ± 4 and 37 ± 6 kJ mol(-1) for Ca-ethoxide and Ca-isopropoxide conversion, respectively. High resolution transmission electron microscopy analyses of reactant and product phases show that the alkoxides replace the crystalline structure of Ca(OH)2 along specific [hkl] directions, preserving the external hexagonal (platelike) morphology of the parent phase. Textural and kinetic results reveal that this pseudomorphic replacement involves a 3D diffusion-controlled deceleratory advancement of the reaction front. The results are consistent with an interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation replacement mechanism. Analysis of the carbonation of Ca(OH)2 particles with different degree of conversion into Ca-ethoxide (α up to 0.08) and Ca-isopropoxide (α up to 0.04) exposed to air (20 °C, 80% relative humidity) reveals that Ca-alkoxides significantly reduce the rate of transformation into cementing CaCO3 and induce the formation of metastable vaterite, as opposed to stable calcite which forms in untransformed Ca(OH)2 samples. Similar effects are obtained when a commercial nanolime partially transformed into Ca-ethoxide is subjected to carbonation. Such effects may hamper/delay the strengthening or consolidation effects of nanolimes, thus having

  10. From tetrapods to primates: conserved developmental mechanisms in diverging ecological adaptations.

    PubMed

    Aboitiz, Francisco; Montiel, Juan F

    2012-01-01

    Primates are endowed with a brain about twice the size that of a mammal with the same body size, and humans have the largest brain relative to body size of all animals. This increase in brain size may be related to the acquisition of higher cognitive skills that permitted more complex social interactions, the evolution of culture, and the eventual ability to manipulate the environment. Nevertheless, in its internal structure, the primate brain shares a very conserved design with other mammals, being covered by a six-layered neocortex that, although expands disproportionately to other brain components, it does so following relatively well-defined allometric trends. Thus, the most fundamental events generating the basic design of the primate and human brain took place before the appearance of the first primate-like animal. Presumably, the earliest mammals already displayed a brain morphology radically different from that of their ancestors and that of their sister group, the reptiles, being characterized by the presence of an incipient neocortex that underwent an explosive growth in subsequent mammal evolution. In this chapter, we propose an integrative hypothesis for the origin of the mammalian neocortex, by considering the developmental modifications, functional networks, and ecological adaptations involved in the generation of this structure during the cretaceous period. Subsequently, the expansion of the primate brain is proposed to have relied on the amplification of the same, or very similar, developmental mechanisms as those involved in its primary origins, even in different ecological settings. PMID:22230620

  11. Nuclear reorganisation and chromatin decondensation are conserved, but distinct, mechanisms linked to Hox gene activation.

    PubMed

    Morey, Céline; Da Silva, Nelly R; Perry, Paul; Bickmore, Wendy A

    2007-03-01

    The relocalisation of some genes to positions outside chromosome territories, and the visible decondensation or unfolding of interphase chromatin, are two striking facets of nuclear reorganisation linked to gene activation that have been assumed to be related to each other. Here, in a study of nuclear reorganisation around the Hoxd cluster, we suggest that this may not be the case. Despite its very different genomic environment from Hoxb, Hoxd also loops out from its chromosome territory, and unfolds, upon activation in differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cells and in the tailbud of the embryo. However, looping out and decondensation are not simply two different manifestations of the same underlying change in chromatin structure. We show that, in the limb bud of the embryonic day 9.5 embryo, where Hoxd is also activated, there is visible decondensation of chromatin but no detectable movement of the region out from the chromosome territory. During ES cell differentiation, decondensed alleles can also be found inside of chromosome territories, and loci that have looped out of the territories can appear to still be condensed. We conclude that evolutionarily conserved chromosome remodelling mechanisms, predating the duplication of mammalian Hox loci, underlie Hox regulation along the rostrocaudal embryonic axis. However, we suggest that separate modes of regulation can modify Hoxd chromatin in different ways in different developmental contexts. PMID:17251268

  12. Evaluation of management techniques to conserve water in a mechanical head wash blood removal system.

    PubMed

    Galloway, H O; Deotte, R E; Lawrence, T E

    2013-11-01

    This research objectively evaluated methods to conserve water in a mechanical beef head wash system. Digital images of pre-wash and post-wash beef heads were analyzed to quantify the percentage change in red saturation of the image, which was used as an objective measure of cleanliness. Three types of nozzles (fan, three-hole, venturi) and three water pressures (344, 516, 689kPa) were evaluated in a two-way treatment structure. An interaction (P=0.07) was observed between water pressure and nozzle type; the change in red saturation increased as pressure decreased for fan and three-hole nozzles which contrasted with venturi nozzles. The fan nozzle×516kPa pressure treatment used 25L of water per head washed and was used to evaluate the effect of three water temperatures (15, 38, 57°C). Water temperature did not impact (P=0.21) change in red saturation. Reducing water wastage and minimizing the use of heated water could have positive economic benefits to the beef processor. PMID:23793094

  13. An Evolutionarily-Conserved Mechanism of Calcium-Dependent Neurotoxicity in a Zebrafish Model of FASD

    PubMed Central

    Flentke, George R.; Klingler, Rebekah H.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Carvan, Michael J.; Smith, Susan M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are a leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability. Non-human animal models offer novel insights into its underlying mechanisms. Although the developing zebrafish has great promise for FASD research, a significant challenge to its wider adoption is the paucity of clear, mechanistic parallels between its ethanol responses and those of non-piscine, established models. Inconsistencies in the published pharmodynamics for ethanol-exposed zebrafish, alongside the use of comparatively high ethanol doses, challenge the interpretation of this model’s clinical relevance. Methods To address these limitations, we developed a binge, single-exposure model of ethanol exposure in the early zebrafish embryo. Results Brief (3hr) ethanol exposure is sufficient to cause significant neural crest losses and craniofacial alterations, with peak vulnerability during neurogenesis and early somitogenesis. These losses are apoptotic, documented using TUNEL assay and secA5-YFP-reporter fish. Apoptosis is dose-dependent with an EC50 = 56.2mM ± 14.3mM ethanolint, a clinically-relevant value within the range producing apoptosis in chick and mouse neural crest. This apoptosis requires the calcium-dependent activation of CaMKII and recapitulates the well-described ethanol signaling mechanism in avian neural crest. Importantly, we resolve the existing confusion regarding zebrafish ethanol kinetics. We show that steady-state ethanol concentrations within both chorion-intact and dechorionated embryos are maintained at 35.7% ± 2.8% of ethanolext levels across the range from 50 to 300 mM ethanolext, a value consistent with several published reports. Equilibrium is rapid and complete within 5min of ethanol addition. Conclusions The calcium/CaMKII mechanism of ethanol's neurotoxicity is shared between an amniote (chick) and teleost fish, indicating this mechanism is evolutionarily conserved. Our data suggest that ethanolext concentrations greater

  14. A conserved genetic mechanism specifies deutocerebral appendage identity in insects and arachnids.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Tarazona, Oscar A; Lopez, Davys H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Cohn, Martin J; Wheeler, Ward C; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2015-06-01

    The segmental architecture of the arthropod head is one of the most controversial topics in the evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods. The deutocerebral (second) segment of the head is putatively homologous across Arthropoda, as inferred from the segmental distribution of the tripartite brain and the absence of Hox gene expression of this anterior-most, appendage-bearing segment. While this homology statement implies a putative common mechanism for differentiation of deutocerebral appendages across arthropods, experimental data for deutocerebral appendage fate specification are limited to winged insects. Mandibulates (hexapods, crustaceans and myriapods) bear a characteristic pair of antennae on the deutocerebral segment, whereas chelicerates (e.g. spiders, scorpions, harvestmen) bear the eponymous chelicerae. In such hexapods as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, cephalic appendages are differentiated from the thoracic appendages (legs) by the activity of the appendage patterning gene homothorax (hth). Here we show that embryonic RNA interference against hth in the harvestman Phalangium opilio results in homeonotic chelicera-to-leg transformations, and also in some cases pedipalp-to-leg transformations. In more strongly affected embryos, adjacent appendages undergo fusion and/or truncation, and legs display proximal defects, suggesting conservation of additional functions of hth in patterning the antero-posterior and proximo-distal appendage axes. Expression signal of anterior Hox genes labial, proboscipedia and Deformed is diminished, but not absent, in hth RNAi embryos, consistent with results previously obtained with the insect G. bimaculatus. Our results substantiate a deep homology across arthropods of the mechanism whereby cephalic appendages are differentiated from locomotory appendages. PMID:25948691

  15. A conserved genetic mechanism specifies deutocerebral appendage identity in insects and arachnids

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Tarazona, Oscar A.; Lopez, Davys H.; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Cohn, Martin J.; Wheeler, Ward C.; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2015-01-01

    The segmental architecture of the arthropod head is one of the most controversial topics in the evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods. The deutocerebral (second) segment of the head is putatively homologous across Arthropoda, as inferred from the segmental distribution of the tripartite brain and the absence of Hox gene expression of this anterior-most, appendage-bearing segment. While this homology statement implies a putative common mechanism for differentiation of deutocerebral appendages across arthropods, experimental data for deutocerebral appendage fate specification are limited to winged insects. Mandibulates (hexapods, crustaceans and myriapods) bear a characteristic pair of antennae on the deutocerebral segment, whereas chelicerates (e.g. spiders, scorpions, harvestmen) bear the eponymous chelicerae. In such hexapods as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, cephalic appendages are differentiated from the thoracic appendages (legs) by the activity of the appendage patterning gene homothorax (hth). Here we show that embryonic RNA interference against hth in the harvestman Phalangium opilio results in homeonotic chelicera-to-leg transformations, and also in some cases pedipalp-to-leg transformations. In more strongly affected embryos, adjacent appendages undergo fusion and/or truncation, and legs display proximal defects, suggesting conservation of additional functions of hth in patterning the antero-posterior and proximo-distal appendage axes. Expression signal of anterior Hox genes labial, proboscipedia and Deformed is diminished, but not absent, in hth RNAi embryos, consistent with results previously obtained with the insect G. bimaculatus. Our results substantiate a deep homology across arthropods of the mechanism whereby cephalic appendages are differentiated from locomotory appendages. PMID:25948691

  16. The protein folding network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Francesco; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2004-03-01

    Networks are everywhere. The conformation space of a 20-residue antiparallel beta-sheet peptide [1], sampled by molecular dynamics simulations, is mapped to a network. Conformations are nodes of the network, and the transitions between them are links. As previously found for the World-Wide Web as well as for social and biological networks , the conformation space contains highly connected hubs like the native state which is the most populated free energy basin. Furthermore, the network shows a hierarchical modularity [2] which is consistent with the funnel mechanism of folding [3] and is not observed for a random heteropolymer lacking a native state. Here we show that the conformation space network describes the free energy landscape without requiring projections into arbitrarily chosen reaction coordinates. The network analysis provides a basis for understanding the heterogeneity of the folding transition state and the existence of multiple pathways. [1] P. Ferrara and A. Caflisch, Folding simulations of a three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet peptide, PNAS 97, 10780-10785 (2000). [2] Ravasz, E. and Barabási, A. L. Hierarchical organization in complex networks. Phys. Rev. E 67, 026112 (2003). [3] Dill, K. and Chan, H From Levinthal to pathways to funnels. Nature Struct. Biol. 4, 10-19 (1997)

  17. Highly Conserved Histidine Plays a Dual Catalytic Role in Protein Splicing: a pKa Shift Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhenming; Shemella, Philip T.; Liu, Yangzhong; McCallum, Scott A.; Pereira, Brian; Nayak, Saroj K.; Belfort, Georges; Belfort, Marlene; Wang, Chunyu

    2009-01-01

    Protein splicing is a precise auto-catalytic process in which an intein excises itself from a precursor with the concomitant ligation of the flanking sequences. Protein splicing occurs through acid-base catalysis in which the ionization states of active site residues are crucial to the reaction mechanism. In inteins, several conserved histidines have been shown to play important roles in protein splicing, including the most conserved “B-block” histidine. In this study, we have combined NMR pKa determination with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) modeling to study engineered inteins from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtu) RecA intein. We demonstrate a dramatic pKa shift for the invariant B-block histidine, the most conserved residue among inteins. The B-block histidine has a pKa of 7.3 ± 0.6 in a precursor and a pKa of < 3.5 in a spliced intein. The pKa values and QM/MM data suggest that the B-block histidine has a dual role in the acid-base catalysis of protein splicing. This histidine likely acts as a general base to initiate splicing with an acyl shift and then as a general acid to cause the breakdown of the scissile bond. The proposed pKa shift mechanism accounts for the biochemical data supporting the essential role for the B-block histidine and for the absolute sequence conservation of this residue. PMID:19630416

  18. Halorhodopsin pumps Cl– and bacteriorhodopsin pumps protons by a common mechanism that uses conserved electrostatic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Gunner, M. R.

    2014-01-01

    Key mutations differentiate the functions of homologous proteins. One example compares the inward ion pump halorhodopsin (HR) and the outward proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR). Of the nine essential buried ionizable residues in BR, six are conserved in HR. However, HR changes three BR acids, D85 in a central cluster of ionizable residues, D96, nearer the intracellular, and E204, nearer the extracellular side of the membrane to the small, neutral amino acids T111, V122, and T230, respectively. In BR, acidic amino acids are stationary anions whose proton affinity is modulated by conformational changes, establishing a sequence of directed binding and release of protons. Multiconformation continuum electrostatics calculations of chloride affinity and residue protonation show that, in reaction intermediates where an acid is ionized in BR, a Cl– is bound to HR in a position near the deleted acid. In the HR ground state, Cl– binds tightly to the central cluster T111 site and weakly to the extracellular T230 site, recovering the charges on ionized BR-D85 and neutral E204 in BR. Imposing key conformational changes from the BR M intermediate into the HR structure results in the loss of Cl– from the central T111 site and the tight binding of Cl– to the extracellular T230 site, mirroring the changes that protonate BR-D85 and ionize E204 in BR. The use of a mobile chloride in place of D85 and E204 makes HR more susceptible to the environmental pH and salt concentrations than BR. These studies shed light on how ion transfer mechanisms are controlled through the interplay of protein and ion electrostatics. PMID:25362051

  19. Halorhodopsin pumps Cl- and bacteriorhodopsin pumps protons by a common mechanism that uses conserved electrostatic interactions.

    PubMed

    Song, Yifan; Gunner, M R

    2014-11-18

    Key mutations differentiate the functions of homologous proteins. One example compares the inward ion pump halorhodopsin (HR) and the outward proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR). Of the nine essential buried ionizable residues in BR, six are conserved in HR. However, HR changes three BR acids, D85 in a central cluster of ionizable residues, D96, nearer the intracellular, and E204, nearer the extracellular side of the membrane to the small, neutral amino acids T111, V122, and T230, respectively. In BR, acidic amino acids are stationary anions whose proton affinity is modulated by conformational changes, establishing a sequence of directed binding and release of protons. Multiconformation continuum electrostatics calculations of chloride affinity and residue protonation show that, in reaction intermediates where an acid is ionized in BR, a Cl(-) is bound to HR in a position near the deleted acid. In the HR ground state, Cl(-) binds tightly to the central cluster T111 site and weakly to the extracellular T230 site, recovering the charges on ionized BR-D85 and neutral E204 in BR. Imposing key conformational changes from the BR M intermediate into the HR structure results in the loss of Cl(-) from the central T111 site and the tight binding of Cl(-) to the extracellular T230 site, mirroring the changes that protonate BR-D85 and ionize E204 in BR. The use of a mobile chloride in place of D85 and E204 makes HR more susceptible to the environmental pH and salt concentrations than BR. These studies shed light on how ion transfer mechanisms are controlled through the interplay of protein and ion electrostatics. PMID:25362051

  20. Extracting Information from Folds in Rocks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudleston, Peter John

    1986-01-01

    Describes the three processes of folding in rocks: buckling, bending, and passive folding. Discusses how geometrical properties and strain distributions help to identify which processes produce natural folds, and also provides information about the mechanical properties of rocks, and the sense of shear in shear zones. (TW)

  1. Protein folding at atomic resolution: analysis of autonomously folding supersecondary structure motifs by nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Sborgi, Lorenzo; Verma, Abhinav; Sadqi, Mourad; de Alba, Eva; Muñoz, Victor

    2013-01-01

    The study of protein folding has been conventionally hampered by the assumption that all single-domain proteins fold by an all-or-none process (two-state folding) that makes it impossible to resolve folding mechanisms experimentally. Here we describe an experimental method for the thermodynamic analysis of protein folding at atomic resolution using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The method is specifically developed for the study of small proteins that fold autonomously into basic supersecondary structure motifs, and that do so in the sub-millisecond timescale (folding archetypes). From the NMR experiments we obtain hundreds of atomic unfolding curves that are subsequently analyzed leading to the determination of the characteristic network of folding interactions. The application of this approach to a comprehensive catalog of elementary folding archetypes holds the promise of becoming the first experimental approach capable of unraveling the basic rules connecting protein structure and folding mechanism. PMID:22987355

  2. SELECTING INDICATORS OF BIODIVERSITY FOR CONSERVATION PLANNING: IDENTIFYING THE MECHANISMS BEHIND INDICATOR GROUP PERFORMANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most conservation planning is constrained by time and funding. In particular, the selection of areas to protect biodiversity must often be completed with limited data on species distributions. Consequently, different groups of species have been proposed as indicators or surroga...

  3. Understanding Conservation of Laws in Mechanics: Students' Conceptual Change in Learning about Collisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grimellini-Tomasini, N.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Reviews research on student learning about collisions in physics instruction. Focus is placed on the main differences between the spontaneous perspective in describing/interpreting collisions and the disciplinary perspective based upon the energy and linear momentum conservation laws. (PR)

  4. A Note on the Conservation of Mechanical Energy and the Galilean Principle of Relativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santos, F. C.; Soares, V.; Tort, A. C.

    2010-01-01

    A reexamination of simple examples that we usually teach to our students in introductory courses is the starting point for a discussion about the principle of conservation of energy and Galilean invariance. (Contains 5 figures.)

  5. A repeated-measures analysis of the effects of soft tissues on wrist range of motion in the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs: Implications for the functional origins of an automatic wrist folding mechanism in Crocodilia.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Joel David; Hutson, Kelda Nadine

    2014-07-01

    A recent study hypothesized that avian-like wrist folding in quadrupedal dinosaurs could have aided their distinctive style of locomotion with semi-pronated and therefore medially facing palms. However, soft tissues that automatically guide avian wrist folding rarely fossilize, and automatic wrist folding of unknown function in extant crocodilians has not been used to test this hypothesis. Therefore, an investigation of the relative contributions of soft tissues to wrist range of motion (ROM) in the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs, and the quadrupedal function of crocodilian wrist folding, could inform these questions. Here, we repeatedly measured wrist ROM in degrees through fully fleshed, skinned, minus muscles/tendons, minus ligaments, and skeletonized stages in the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis and the ostrich Struthio camelus. The effects of dissection treatment and observer were statistically significant for alligator wrist folding and ostrich wrist flexion, but not ostrich wrist folding. Final skeletonized wrist folding ROM was higher than (ostrich) or equivalent to (alligator) initial fully fleshed ROM, while final ROM was lower than initial ROM for ostrich wrist flexion. These findings suggest that, unlike the hinge/ball and socket-type elbow and shoulder joints in these archosaurs, ROM within gliding/planar diarthrotic joints is more restricted to the extent of articular surfaces. The alligator data indicate that the crocodilian wrist mechanism functions to automatically lock their semi-pronated palms into a rigid column, which supports the hypothesis that this palmar orientation necessitated soft tissue stiffening mechanisms in certain dinosaurs, although ROM-restricted articulations argue against the presence of an extensive automatic mechanism. Anat Rec, 297:1228-1249, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24664936

  6. Thick-skinned tectonics and basement control on geometry, kinematics and mechanics of fold-and-thrust belts. Insights from some cenozoic belts worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacombe, Olivier; Bellahsen, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    Fold-and-thrust belts (FTBs) form either in lower and upper plates at the expense of proximal parts of former passive margins during collision or within the upper plate of subduction orogens. In contrast, inner parts of mountain belts are likely made of stacked units from the distal passive margin domains that have undergone continental subduction and HP-LT metamorphism. There are increasing lines of evidence that the basement is involved in shortening in many FTBs worldwide, either pervasively (across the entire belt; tectonic inversion may even occur more forelandward than the mountain front) or mainly in their innermore domains where this basement is commonly exhumed. For thick-skinned FTBs that developed from former passive margins, the occurrence of weak mechanical layers within the proximal margin lithosphere (the middle and most of the lower crust are expectedly ductile) may explain that contractional deformation be distributed within most of the crust giving rise to basement-involved tectonic style. In contrast, because these weak crustal levels are usually lacking in distal parts of the margins as a result of thinning, these stronger lithospheric domains are more prone to localized deformation/subduction. Less understandable this way is the occurrence of thick-skinned wide domains within cold and strong interiors of upper plates of subduction zones, such as the Paleocene Laramide orogenic belt or the active Sierras Pampeanas belt. Structural, geophysical and thermochronological investigations within Cenozoic thick-skinned (or basement-involved thin-skinned) FTBs provide evidence for how the pre-orogenic and syn-orogenic deformation of the basement may control the geometry, kinematics and mechanics of FTBs. In this contribution, we examine some examples of FTBs where the basement is known to be involved in shortening and we review some aspects of the control exerted by the basement on the deformation. This control is demonstrated (1) at the scale of the

  7. Hydroxynitrile Lyases with α/β-Hydrolase Fold: Two Enzymes with Almost Identical 3D Structures but Opposite Enantioselectivities and Different Reaction Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Andexer, Jennifer N; Staunig, Nicole; Eggert, Thorsten; Kratky, Christoph; Pohl, Martina; Gruber, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) catalyze the cleavage of cyanohydrins to yield hydrocyanic acid (HCN) and the respective carbonyl compound and are key enzymes in the process of cyanogenesis in plants. In organic syntheses, HNLs are used as biocatalysts for the formation of enantiopure cyanohydrins. We determined the structure of the recently identified, R-selective HNL from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtHNL) at a crystallographic resolution of 2.5 Å. The structure exhibits an α/β-hydrolase fold, very similar to the homologous, but S-selective, HNL from Hevea brasiliensis (HbHNL). The similarities also extend to the active sites of these enzymes, with a Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad present in all three cases. In order to elucidate the mode of substrate binding and to understand the unexpected opposite enantioselectivity of AtHNL, complexes of the enzyme with both (R)- and (S)-mandelonitrile were modeled using molecular docking simulations. Compared to the complex of HbHNL with (S)-mandelonitrile, the calculations produced an approximate mirror image binding mode of the substrate with the phenyl rings located at very similar positions, but with the cyano groups pointing in opposite directions. A catalytic mechanism for AtHNL is proposed, in which His236 from the catalytic triad acts as a general base and the emerging negative charge on the cyano group is stabilized by main-chain amide groups and an α-helix dipole very similar to α/β-hydrolases. This mechanistic proposal is additionally supported by mutagenesis studies. PMID:22851196

  8. Hydroxynitrile lyases with α/β-hydrolase fold: two enzymes with almost identical 3D structures but opposite enantioselectivities and different reaction mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Andexer, Jennifer N; Staunig, Nicole; Eggert, Thorsten; Kratky, Christoph; Pohl, Martina; Gruber, Karl

    2012-09-01

    Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) catalyze the cleavage of cyanohydrins to yield hydrocyanic acid (HCN) and the respective carbonyl compound and are key enzymes in the process of cyanogenesis in plants. In organic syntheses, HNLs are used as biocatalysts for the formation of enantiopure cyanohydrins. We determined the structure of the recently identified, R-selective HNL from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtHNL) at a crystallographic resolution of 2.5 Å. The structure exhibits an α/β-hydrolase fold, very similar to the homologous, but S-selective, HNL from Hevea brasiliensis (HbHNL). The similarities also extend to the active sites of these enzymes, with a Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad present in all three cases. In order to elucidate the mode of substrate binding and to understand the unexpected opposite enantioselectivity of AtHNL, complexes of the enzyme with both (R)- and (S)-mandelonitrile were modeled using molecular docking simulations. Compared to the complex of HbHNL with (S)-mandelonitrile, the calculations produced an approximate mirror image binding mode of the substrate with the phenyl rings located at very similar positions, but with the cyano groups pointing in opposite directions. A catalytic mechanism for AtHNL is proposed, in which His236 from the catalytic triad acts as a general base and the emerging negative charge on the cyano group is stabilized by main-chain amide groups and an α-helix dipole very similar to α/β-hydrolases. This mechanistic proposal is additionally supported by mutagenesis studies. PMID:22851196

  9. In planta mutagenesis of Src homology 3 domain-like fold of NdhS, a ferredoxin-binding subunit of the chloroplast NADH dehydrogenase-like complex in Arabidopsis: a conserved Arg-193 plays a critical role in ferredoxin binding.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Shikanai, Toshiharu

    2013-12-20

    Chloroplast NADH dehydrogenase-like (NDH) complex mediates cyclic electron transport around photosystem I and chlororespiration in angiosperms. The Src homology 3 domain (SH3)-like fold protein NdhS/CRR31 is an NDH subunit that is necessary for high affinity binding of ferredoxin, indicating that chloroplast NDH functions as a ferredoxin:plastoquinone oxidoreductase. However, the mechanism of the interaction between NdhS and ferredoxin is unclear. In this study, we analyzed their interaction in planta by using site-directed mutagenesis of NdhS. In general, binding of ferredoxin to its target proteins depends on electrostatic interaction. In silico analysis predicted the presence of a positively charged pocket in the SH3-like domain of NdhS, where nine charged residues are highly conserved among plants. Systematic alteration of these sites with neutral glutamine revealed that only arginine 193 was required for high NDH activity in vivo. Further replacement of arginine 193 with negatively charged aspartate or glutamate or hydrophobic alanine significantly decreased the efficiency of ferredoxin-dependent plastoquinone reduction by NDH in ruptured chloroplasts. Similar results were obtained in in vivo analyses of NDH activity and electron transport. From these results, we propose that the positive charge of arginine 193 in the SH3-like domain of NdhS is critical for electrostatic interaction with ferredoxin in vivo. PMID:24225949

  10. Fog spontaneously folds mosquito wings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickerson, Andrew K.; Liu, Xing; Zhu, Ting; Hu, David L.

    2015-02-01

    The flexibility of insect wings confers aerodynamic benefits, but can also present a hazard if exposed to fog or dew. Fog can cause water to accumulate on wings, bending them into tight taco shapes and rendering them useless for flight. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we use high-speed video to film the spontaneous folding of isolated mosquito wings due to the evaporation of a water drop. We predict shapes of the deformed wing using two-dimensional elastica theory, considering both surface tension and Laplace pressure. We also recommend fold-resistant geometries for the wings of flapping micro-aerial vehicles. Our work reveals the mechanism of insect wing folding and provides a framework for further study of capillarity-driven folding in both natural and biomimetic systems at small scales.

  11. Studying citizen science through adaptive management and learning feedbacks as mechanisms for improving conservation.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Rebecca; Gray, Steven; Sorensen, Amanda; Newman, Greg; Mellor, David; Newman, Greg; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; LaDeau, Shannon; Biehler, Dawn; Crall, Alycia

    2016-06-01

    Citizen science has generated a growing interest among scientists and community groups, and citizen science programs have been created specifically for conservation. We examined collaborative science, a highly interactive form of citizen science, which we developed within a theoretically informed framework. In this essay, we focused on 2 aspects of our framework: social learning and adaptive management. Social learning, in contrast to individual-based learning, stresses collaborative and generative insight making and is well-suited for adaptive management. Adaptive-management integrates feedback loops that are informed by what is learned and is guided by iterative decision making. Participants engaged in citizen science are able to add to what they are learning through primary data collection, which can result in the real-time information that is often necessary for conservation. Our work is particularly timely because research publications consistently report a lack of established frameworks and evaluation plans to address the extent of conservation outcomes in citizen science. To illustrate how our framework supports conservation through citizen science, we examined how 2 programs enacted our collaborative science framework. Further, we inspected preliminary conservation outcomes of our case-study programs. These programs, despite their recent implementation, are demonstrating promise with regard to positive conservation outcomes. To date, they are independently earning funds to support research, earning buy-in from local partners to engage in experimentation, and, in the absence of leading scientists, are collecting data to test ideas. We argue that this success is due to citizen scientists being organized around local issues and engaging in iterative, collaborative, and adaptive learning. PMID:26585836

  12. Numerical investigation of deformation mechanics in fold-and-thrust belts: Influence of rheology of single and multiple décollements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruh, Jonas B.; Kaus, Boris J. P.; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2012-06-01

    Thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belts related to convergence tectonics develop by scraping off a rock sequence along a weaker basal décollement often formed by water-saturated shale layers or low-viscosity salt horizons. A two-dimensional finite element model with a viscoelastoplastic rheology is used to investigate the structural evolution of fold-and-thrust belts overlying different types of décollements. In addition, the influence of multiple weak layers in the stratigraphic column is studied. Model shale décollements are frictional, with lower friction angles as the cover sequence. Model salt layers behave linear viscous, due to a lower viscosity as the cover sequence, or with a power law rheology. Single viscous décollement simulations have been compared to an analytical solution concerning faulting versus folding. Results show that fold-and-thrust belts with a single frictional basal décollement generate thrust systems ramping from the décollement to the surface. Spacing between thrust ramps depends on the thickness of the cover sequence. The structural evolution of simulations with an additional low-frictional layer depends on the strength relationship between the basal and the intersequential décollement. Tectonic underplating and antiformal stacking occur if the within-sequence décollement is weaker. In the frontal part of models, deformation is restricted to the upper part and imbrication occurs with a wavelength depending on the depth of the intermediate weak layer. "Salt" décollement with a viscosity of 1018 Paṡs leads to isolated box folds (detachment folds). Multiple salt layers (1018 Paṡs) result in long-wavelength folding. Our results for both frictional and viscous décollements are in bulk agreement with the Mohr-Coulomb type, critical wedge theory.

  13. Proteopedia: Rossmann Fold: A Beta-Alpha-Beta Fold at Dinucleotide Binding Sites

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanukoglu, Israel

    2015-01-01

    The Rossmann fold is one of the most common and widely distributed super-secondary structures. It is composed of a series of alternating beta strand (ß) and alpha helical (a) segments wherein the ß-strands are hydrogen bonded forming a ß-sheet. The initial beta-alpha-beta (ßaß) fold is the most conserved segment of Rossmann folds. As this segment…

  14. Let Them Fold

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grant, Nicholas; Tobin, Alexander

    1972-01-01

    Directions are given for seven activities involving the folding of paper strips to illustrate geometric concepts. Properties of pentagons, triangles, hexagons, and Mobius bands resulting from the various foldings are discussed. (DT)

  15. Structural and Mechanistic Analysis of a Novel Class of Shikimate Dehydrogenases: Evidence for a Conserved Catalytic Mechanism in the Shikimate Dehydrogenase Family

    SciTech Connect

    Peek, James; Lee, John; Hu, Shi; Senisterra, Guillermo; Christendat, Dinesh

    2011-10-27

    Shikimate dehydrogenase (SDH) catalyzes the reversible NADPH-dependent reduction of 3-dehydroshikimate to shikimate. This reaction represents the fourth step of the shikimate pathway, the essential route for the biosynthesis of the aromatic amino acids in plants, fungi, bacteria, and apicomplexan parasites. The absence of this pathway in animals makes it an attractive target for herbicides and antimicrobials. At least four functionally distinct enzyme classes, AroE, YdiB, SDH-like (SdhL), and AroE-like1 (Ael1), utilize shikimate as a substrate in vitro and form the SDH family. Crystal structures have been determined for AroE, YdiB, and SdhL. In this study, we have determined the first representative crystal structure of an Ael1 enzyme. We demonstrate that Ael1 shares a similar overall structure with the other members of the SDH family. This high level of structural conservation extends to the active sites of the enzymes. In particular, an ionizable active site lysine and aspartate are present in all SDH homologues. Two distinct biochemical roles have been reported for this Lys-Asp pair: as binding residues in YdiB and as a catalytic dyad in AroE and SdhL. Here, we establish that the residues function as a catalytic dyad in Ael1 and, interestingly, in at least one YdiB homologue. The conservation of three-dimensional fold, active site architecture, and catalytic mechanism among members of the SDH family will facilitate the design of drugs targeting the shikimate pathway.

  16. Prolonged fasting identifies heat shock protein 10 as a Sirtuin 3 substrate: elucidating a new mechanism linking mitochondrial protein acetylation to fatty acid oxidation enzyme folding and function.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhongping; Chen, Yong; Aponte, Angel M; Battaglia, Valentina; Gucek, Marjan; Sack, Michael N

    2015-01-23

    Although Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), a mitochondrially enriched deacetylase and activator of fat oxidation, is down-regulated in response to high fat feeding, the rate of fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial protein acetylation are invariably enhanced in this dietary milieu. These paradoxical data implicate that additional acetylation modification-dependent levels of regulation may be operational under nutrient excess conditions. Because the heat shock protein (Hsp) Hsp10-Hsp60 chaperone complex mediates folding of the fatty acid oxidation enzyme medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, we tested whether acetylation-dependent mitochondrial protein folding contributes to this regulatory discrepancy. We demonstrate that Hsp10 is a functional SIRT3 substrate and that, in response to prolonged fasting, SIRT3 levels modulate mitochondrial protein folding. Acetyl mutagenesis of Hsp10 lysine 56 alters Hsp10-Hsp60 binding, conformation, and protein folding. Consistent with Hsp10-Hsp60 regulation of fatty acid oxidation enzyme integrity, medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity and fat oxidation are elevated by Hsp10 acetylation. These data identify acetyl modification of Hsp10 as a nutrient-sensing regulatory node controlling mitochondrial protein folding and metabolic function. PMID:25505263

  17. A Survey on Energy Conserving Mechanisms for the Internet of Things: Wireless Networking Aspects.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Zeeshan; Yoon, Wonyong

    2015-01-01

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging key technology for future industries and everyday lives of people, where a myriad of battery operated sensors, actuators, and smart objects are connected to the Internet to provide services such as mobile healthcare, intelligent transport system, environmental monitoring, etc. Since energy efficiency is of utmost importance to these battery constrained IoT devices, IoT-related standards and research works have focused on the device energy conserving issues. This paper presents a comprehensive survey on energy conserving issues and solutions in using diverse wireless radio access technologies for IoT connectivity, e.g., the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) machine type communications, IEEE 802.11ah, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Z-Wave. We look into the literature in broad areas of standardization, academic research, and industry development, and structurally summarize the energy conserving solutions based on several technical criteria. We also propose future research directions regarding energy conserving issues in wireless networking-based IoT. PMID:26404275

  18. Winter Cereal Termination and Conservation Agriculture Cotton Yield Following Mechanical and Chemical Management Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An integral component of conservation-tillage systems in cotton is the use of a high-residue winter cover crop; however, managing such cover crops is a challenge. Black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) winter cover crops were established in ear...

  19. Mechanisms to conserve glucose in lactating women during a 42-h fast

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Little is known about how lactating women accommodate for their increased glucose demands during fasting to avoid maternal hypoglycemia. The objective of this study was to determine whether lactating women conserve plasma glucose by reducing maternal glucose utilization by increasing utilization of ...

  20. A Survey on Energy Conserving Mechanisms for the Internet of Things: Wireless Networking Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Abbas, Zeeshan; Yoon, Wonyong

    2015-01-01

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging key technology for future industries and everyday lives of people, where a myriad of battery operated sensors, actuators, and smart objects are connected to the Internet to provide services such as mobile healthcare, intelligent transport system, environmental monitoring, etc. Since energy efficiency is of utmost importance to these battery constrained IoT devices, IoT-related standards and research works have focused on the device energy conserving issues. This paper presents a comprehensive survey on energy conserving issues and solutions in using diverse wireless radio access technologies for IoT connectivity, e.g., the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) machine type communications, IEEE 802.11ah, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Z-Wave. We look into the literature in broad areas of standardization, academic research, and industry development, and structurally summarize the energy conserving solutions based on several technical criteria. We also propose future research directions regarding energy conserving issues in wireless networking-based IoT. PMID:26404275

  1. Investigating the Conservation of Mechanical Energy Using Video Analysis: Four Cases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryan, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    Inexpensive video analysis technology now enables students to make precise measurements of an object's position at incremental times during its motion. Such capability now allows users to "examine", rather than simply "assume", energy conservation in a variety of situations commonly discussed in introductory physics courses. This article describes…

  2. The threads that tie protein-folding diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brodsky, Jeffrey L.

    2014-01-01

    From unicellular organisms to humans, cells have evolved elegant systems to facilitate careful folding of proteins and the maintenance of protein homeostasis. Key modulators of protein homeostasis include a large, conserved family of proteins known as molecular chaperones, which augment the folding of nascent polypeptides and temper adverse consequences of cellular stress. However, errors in protein folding can still occur, resulting in the accumulation of misfolded proteins that strain cellular quality-control systems. In some cases, misfolded proteins can be targeted for degradation by the proteasome or via autophagy. Nevertheless, protein misfolding is a feature of many complex, genetically and clinically pleiotropic diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. In recent years, substantial progress has been made in unraveling the complexity of protein folding using model systems, and we are now closer to being able to diagnose and treat the growing number of protein-folding diseases. To showcase some of these important recent advances, and also to inspire discussion on approaches to tackle unanswered questions, Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) presents a special collection of reviews from researchers at the cutting-edge of the field. PMID:24396147

  3. Teaching polymers to fold

    SciTech Connect

    Judson, R.S. )

    1992-12-10

    A new method is presented for predicting folding pathways of polymers. The folding pathway is described as a generic program or sequence of logical steps of such a form that a computer can carry them out to produce a folded structure. A genetic (GA) is used to learn specific sequences or folding pathways that carry a denatured conformation into a target final conformation. The method is demonstrated on a model 2-dimensional polymer for which the global energy minimum is known. The GA learns a program that will fold a denatured polymer into its global energy minimum conformation. 27 refs., 4 figs.

  4. Osmolyte solutions and protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Char Y; Roesgen, Joerg

    2009-01-01

    In this brief review we discuss the evolution of recent thought regarding the role and mechanism of osmolytes with respect to protein stability. Osmolytes are naturally occurring intracellular compounds that change the protein folding landscape. Contributions from experiments are considered in the context of current theory and simulation results. PMID:19960095

  5. Methylation of ribosomal RNA by NSUN5 is a conserved mechanism modulating organismal lifespan.

    PubMed

    Schosserer, Markus; Minois, Nadege; Angerer, Tina B; Amring, Manuela; Dellago, Hanna; Harreither, Eva; Calle-Perez, Alfonso; Pircher, Andreas; Gerstl, Matthias Peter; Pfeifenberger, Sigrid; Brandl, Clemens; Sonntagbauer, Markus; Kriegner, Albert; Linder, Angela; Weinhäusel, Andreas; Mohr, Thomas; Steiger, Matthias; Mattanovich, Diethard; Rinnerthaler, Mark; Karl, Thomas; Sharma, Sunny; Entian, Karl-Dieter; Kos, Martin; Breitenbach, Michael; Wilson, Iain B H; Polacek, Norbert; Grillari-Voglauer, Regina; Breitenbach-Koller, Lore; Grillari, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Several pathways modulating longevity and stress resistance converge on translation by targeting ribosomal proteins or initiation factors, but whether this involves modifications of ribosomal RNA is unclear. Here, we show that reduced levels of the conserved RNA methyltransferase NSUN5 increase the lifespan and stress resistance in yeast, worms and flies. Rcm1, the yeast homologue of NSUN5, methylates C2278 within a conserved region of 25S rRNA. Loss of Rcm1 alters the structural conformation of the ribosome in close proximity to C2278, as well as translational fidelity, and favours recruitment of a distinct subset of oxidative stress-responsive mRNAs into polysomes. Thus, rather than merely being a static molecular machine executing translation, the ribosome exhibits functional diversity by modification of just a single rRNA nucleotide, resulting in an alteration of organismal physiological behaviour, and linking rRNA-mediated translational regulation to modulation of lifespan, and differential stress response. PMID:25635753

  6. Mechanism of formation of the C-terminal beta-hairpin of the B3 domain of the immunoglobulin-binding protein G from Streptococcus. IV. Implication for the mechanism of folding of the parent protein.

    PubMed

    Lewandowska, Agnieszka; Ołdziej, Stanislaw; Liwo, Adam; Scheraga, Harold A

    2010-05-01

    A 34-residue alpha/beta peptide [IG(28-61)], derived from the C-terminal part of the B3 domain of the immunoglobulin binding protein G from Streptoccocus, was studied using CD and NMR spectroscopy at various temperatures and by differential scanning calorimetry. It was found that the C-terminal part (a 16-residue-long fragment) of this peptide, which corresponds to the sequence of the beta-hairpin in the native structure, forms structure similar to the beta-hairpin only at T = 313 K, and the structure is stabilized by non-native long-range hydrophobic interactions (Val47-Val59). On the other hand, the N-terminal part of IG(28-61), which corresponds to the middle alpha-helix in the native structure, is unstructured at low temperature (283 K) and forms an alpha-helix-like structure at 305 K, and only one helical turn is observed at 313 K. At all temperatures at which NMR experiments were performed (283, 305, and 313 K), we do not observe any long-range connectivities which would have supported packing between the C-terminal (beta-hairpin) and the N-terminal (alpha-helix) parts of the sequence. Such interactions are absent, in contrast to the folding pathway of the B domain of protein G, proposed recently by Kmiecik and Kolinski (Biophys J 2008, 94, 726-736), based on Monte-Carlo dynamics studies. Alternative folding mechanisms are proposed and discussed. PMID:20049918

  7. Mechanism of formation of the C-terminal β-hairpin of the B3 domain of the immunoglobulin binding protein G from Streptococcus. Part IV. Implication for the mechanism of folding of the parent protein

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowska, Agnieszka; Ołdziej, Stanisław; Liwo, Adam; Scheraga, Harold A.

    2010-01-01

    A 34-residue α/β peptide, [IG(28-61)], derived from the C-terminal part of the B3 domain of the immunoglobulin binding protein G from Streptoccocus was studied using CD and NMR spectroscopy at various temperatures, and by differential scanning calorimetry. It was found that the C-terminal part (a 16-residue-long fragment) of this peptide, which corresponds to the sequence of the β-hairpin in the native structure, forms structure similar to the β-hairpin only at T = 313 K, and the structure is stabilized by non-native long-range hydrophobic interactions (Val47 – Val59). On the other hand, the N-terminal part of IG(28-61), which corresponds to the middle α-helix in the native structure, is unstructured at low temperature (283 K), and forms an α-helix-like structure at 305 K and only one helical turn is observed at 313 K. At all temperatures at which NMR experiments were performed (283, 305 and 313 K), we do not observe any long-range connectivities which would have supported packing between the C-terminal (β-hairpin) and the N-terminal (α-helix) parts of the sequence. Such interactions are absent, in contrast to the folding pathway of the B domain of protein G, proposed recently by Kmiecik and Koliński [Kmiecik, S.; Kolinski, A. Biophys J 2008, 94, 726-736], based on Monte Carlo dynamics studies. Alternative folding mechanisms are proposed and discussed. PMID:20049918

  8. The viral transactivator HBx protein exhibits a high potential for regulation via phosphorylation through an evolutionarily conserved mechanism

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) encodes an oncogenic factor, HBx, which is a multifunctional protein that can induce dysfunctional regulation of signaling pathways, transcription, and cell cycle progression, among other processes, through interactions with target host factors. The subcellular localization of HBx is both cytoplasmic and nuclear. This dynamic distribution of HBx could be essential to the multiple roles of the protein at different stages during HBV infection. Transactivational functions of HBx may be exerted both in the nucleus, via interaction with host DNA-binding proteins, and in the cytoplasm, via signaling pathways. Although there have been many studies describing different pathways altered by HBx, and its innumerable binding partners, the molecular mechanism that regulates its different roles has been difficult to elucidate. Methods In the current study, we took a bioinformatics approach to investigate whether the viral protein HBx might be regulated via phosphorylation by an evolutionarily conserved mechanism. Results We found that the phylogenetically conserved residues Ser25 and Ser41 (both within the negative regulatory domain), and Thr81 (in the transactivation domain) are predicted to be phosphorylated. By molecular 3D modeling of HBx, we further show these residues are all predicted to be exposed on the surface of the protein, making them easily accesible to these types of modifications. Furthermore, we have also identified Yin Yang sites that might have the potential to be phosphorylated and O-β-GlcNAc interplay at the same residues. Conclusions Thus, we propose that the different roles of HBx displayed in different subcellular locations might be regulated by an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of posttranslational modification, via phosphorylation. PMID:23079056

  9. STIS MAMA Fold Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    The performance of MAMA microchannel plates can be monitored using a MAMA fold distribution procedure. The fold distribution provides a measurement of the distribution of charge cloud sizes incident upon the anode giving some measure of change in the pulse-height distribution of the MCP and, therefore, MCP gain. This proposal executes the same steps as the STIS MAMA Fold Distribution, Proposal 13149, as Cycle 20.

  10. STIS MAMA Fold Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, Thomas

    2012-10-01

    The performance of MAMA microchannel plates can be monitored using a MAMA fold distribution procedure. The fold distribution provides a measurement of the distribution of charge cloud sizes incident upon the anode giving some measure of change in the pulse-height distribution of the MCP and, therefore, MCP gain. This proposal executes the same steps as the STIS MAMA Fold Distribution, Proposal 12778, as Cycle 19.