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Sample records for fine-tuning molecular energy

  1. Improving the fine tuning in models of low energy gauge mediated supersymmetry breaking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agashe, K.; Graesser, M.

    1997-02-01

    The fine tuning in models of low energy gauge mediated supersymmetry breaking required to btain the correct Z mass is quantified. To alleviate the fine tuning problem, a model with split ( 5 + overline5) messenger fields is presented. This model has additional triplets in the low energy theory which get a mass of O(500) GeV from a coupling to a singlet. The improvement in fine tuning is quantified and the spectrum in this model is discussed. The same model with the above singlet coupled to the Higgs doublets to generate the μ term is also discussed. A Grand Unified version of the model is constructed and a known doublet-triplet splitting mechanism is used to split the messenger (5 + overline5)' s. A complete model is presented and some phenomenological constraints are discussed.

  2. Researchers fine-tune production of energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Parish, D.J. )

    1990-04-01

    Renewable energy sources, plant materials that can be processed into liquid fuels, are becoming increasingly important as fossil fuel sources dwindle and environmental impacts of releasing fossilized carbon into the atmosphere become more evident. But which plant species provide the most material and can be grown on land not used to produce food, feed, and fiber Switchgrass exceeds all other herbaceous species we have tested in production of biomass on marginal sites in the Virginia Piedmont reports David J. Parrish, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) professor of crop and soil environmental sciences. In a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at Virginia Tech, graduate student Steven Nagle, Parrish, professor Dale Wolf, and associate professor W.L. Daniels are comparing the biomass productivity of switchgrass, weeping lovegrass, and tall fescue. Since 1985, the crops - selected for their marginal crop value - have been grown on 12 sites in the Virginia Piedmont. Planting was done using no-till procedures that slice but do not turn the soil, because the sites are subject to erosion. The two warm-season grasses are harvested once a year, the fescue twice. Switchgrass has been the most productive on clay soils, and lovegrass on sandy soil. In a second DOE-sponsored study - this one by graduate student Preston Sullivan, Parish, Wolf, Daniels, and Nagle - the Virginia Tech researchers have begun to investigate planting winter-annual legumes in with switchgrass as a source of nitrogen to reduce cost of production, and as a means to increase biomass. In the fall of 1988, crimson clover, arrowleaf clover, and hairy vetch were planted into the switchgrass stubble. Other plots of switchgrass are being provided with various levels of nitrogen fertilizer to compare those yields with legume-planted plots. Crimson clover had provided the most fall growth, but by mid-May 1989, the hairy vetch had produced a dense webbing of biomass over the new switchgrass.

  3. Perspective: Extremely fine tuning of doping enabled by combinatorial molecular-beam epitaxy

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, J.; Božović, I.

    2015-06-01

    Chemical doping provides an effective method to control the electric properties of complex oxides. However, the state-of-art accuracy in controlling doping is limited to about 1%. This hampers elucidation of the precise doping dependences of physical properties and phenomena of interest, such as quantum phase transitions. Using the combinatorial molecular beam epitaxy, we improve the accuracy in tuning the doping level by two orders of magnitude. We illustrate this novel method by two examples: a systematic investigation of the doping dependence of interface superconductivity, and a study of the competing ground states in the vicinity of the insulator-to-superconductor transition.

  4. Fine-Tuning Corrective Feedback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, ZhaoHong

    2001-01-01

    Explores the notion of "fine-tuning" in connection with the corrective feedback process. Describes a longitudinal case study, conducted in the context of Norwegian as a second a language, that shows how fine-tuning and lack thereof in the provision of written corrective feedback differentially affects a second language learner's restructuring of…

  5. Molecular assembly of highly symmetric molecules under a hydrogen bond framework controlled by alkyl building blocks: a simple approach to fine-tune nanoscale structures.

    PubMed

    Tanphibal, Pimsai; Tashiro, Kohji; Chirachanchai, Suwabun

    2016-01-14

    To date, molecular assemblies under the contribution of hydrogen bond in combination with weak interactions and their consequent morphologies have been variously reported; however, how the systematic variation of the structure can fine-tune the morphologies has not yet been answered. The present work finds an answer through highly symmetric molecules, i.e. diamine-based benzoxazine dimers. This type of molecule develops unique molecular assemblies with their networks formed by hydrogen bonds at the terminal, while, at the same time, their hydrogen bonded frameworks are further controlled by the hydrophobic segment at the center of the molecule. When this happens, slight differences in hydrophobic alkyl chain lengths (, , and ) bring a significant change to the molecular assemblies, thus resulting in tunable morphologies, i.e. spheres, needles and dendrites. The superimposition between the crystal lattice obtained from X-ray single crystal analysis and the electron diffraction pattern obtained from transmission electron microscopy allows us to identify the molecular alignment from single molecules to self-assembly until the morphologies developed. The present work, for the first time, shows the case of symmetric molecules, where the hydrophobic building block controls the hydrogen bond patterns, leading to the variation of molecular assemblies with tunable morphologies. PMID:26482133

  6. Design of Far-Red Sensitizing Squaraine Dyes Aiming Towards the Fine Tuning of Dye Molecular Structure.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Takuya; Fujikawa, Naotaka; Ogomi, Yuhei; Pandey, Shyam S; Ma, Tingli; Hayase, Shuzi

    2016-04-01

    Model squaraine dyes having sharp and narrow absorptions mainly in the far-red wavelength region has been logically designed, synthesized and used for their application as sensitizer in the dyesensitized solar cells (DSSC). In order to have fine control on energetics, dyes having same mother core and alkyl chain length varying only in molecular symmetry and position of substituent were designed. It has been found that even keeping all other structural factor constant, only positional variation of substituent leads to not only in the variation of energetics by 0.1 eV but affects the photovoltaic characteristics also. Optimum concentration of dye de-aggregating agent was found to be 100 times with respect to the sensitizing dye concentration. Amongst dyes utilized in this work best performance was obtained for unsymmetrical dye SQ-40 giving a photoconversion efficiency of 4.01% under simulated solar irradiation at global AM 1.5. PMID:27451618

  7. Control of stem-cell behavior by fine tuning the supramolecular assemblies of low-molecular-weight gelators.

    PubMed

    Latxague, Laurent; Ramin, Michael A; Appavoo, Ananda; Berto, Pierre; Maisani, Mathieu; Ehret, Camille; Chassande, Olivier; Barthélémy, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    Controlling the behavior of stem cells through the supramolecular architecture of the extracellular matrix remains an important challenge in the culture of stem cells. Herein, we report on a new generation of low-molecular-weight gelators (LMWG) for the culture of isolated stem cells. The bola-amphiphile structures derived from nucleolipids feature unique rheological and biological properties suitable for tissue engineering applications. The bola-amphiphile-based hydrogel scaffold exhibits the following essential properties: it is nontoxic, easy to handle, injectable, and features a biocompatible rheology. The reported glycosyl-nucleoside bola-amphiphiles (GNBA) are the first examples of LMWG that allow the culture of isolated stem cells in a gel matrix. The results (TEM observations and rheology) suggest that the supramolecular organizations of the matrix play a role in the behavior of stem cells in 3D environments. PMID:25693962

  8. Transcriptional coregulators: fine-tuning metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Mouchiroud, Laurent; Eichner, Lillian J.; Shaw, Reuben; Auwerx, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic homeostasis requires that cellular energy levels are adapted to environmental cues. This adaptation is largely regulated at the transcriptional level, through the interaction between transcription factors, coregulators, and the basal transcriptional machinery. Coregulators, which function both as metabolic sensors and transcriptional effectors, are ideally positioned to synchronize metabolic pathways to environmental stimuli. The balance between inhibitory actions of corepressors and stimulatory effects of coactivators enables the fine-tuning of metabolic processes. The tight regulation opens therapeutic opportunities to manage metabolic dysfunction, by directing the activity of cofactors towards specific transcription factors, pathways, or cells/tissues, thereby restoring whole body metabolic homeostasis. PMID:24794975

  9. Approaching {lambda} without fine-tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Matarrese, Sabino; Baccigalupi, Carlo; Perrotta, Francesca

    2004-09-15

    We address the fine-tuning problem of dark energy cosmologies which arises when the dark energy density needs to initially lie in a narrow range in order for its present value to be consistent with observations. As recently noticed, this problem becomes particularly severe in canonical quintessence scenarios, when trying to reproduce the behavior of a cosmological constant, i.e., when the dark energy equation of state w{sub Q} approaches -1: these models may be reconciled with a large basin of attraction only by requiring a rapid evolution of w{sub Q} at low redshifts, which is in conflict with the most recent estimates from type Ia Supernovae discovered by Hubble space telescope. Next, we focus on scalar-tensor theories of gravity, discussing the implications of a coupling between the quintessence scalar field and the Ricci scalar ('extended quintessence'). We show that, even if the equation of state today is very close to -1, by virtue of the scalar-tensor coupling the quintessence trajectories still possess the attractive feature which allows to reach the present level of cosmic acceleration starting by a set of initial conditions which covers tens of orders of magnitude; this effect, entirely of gravitational origin, represents a new important consequence of the possible coupling between dark energy and gravity. We illustrate this effect in typical extended quintessence scenarios.

  10. Fine tuning brings noteworthy success.

    PubMed

    Baillie, Jonathan

    2009-11-01

    Over the past year the estates and facilities team at London's UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and Interserve Consulting have jointly analysed energy consumption at University College Hospital to identify saving opportunities and potential carbon footprint reduction measures. The project, under which measures proposed could see electrical energy demand cut by 25%, is just part of a wider drive to reduce carbon emissions and cut energy bills at one of London's largest hospitals. Jonathan Baillie reports. PMID:19998839

  11. Understanding the Fine Tuning in Our Universe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Bernard L.

    2008-01-01

    It is often stated that the physical properties of our universe are "fine tuned"--that is, they must be almost exactly as they are to make the development of intelligent life possible. The implications of this statement, called the "anthropic principle," have been widely discussed in a philosophical context, but the scientific basis for the…

  12. A cyclic universe approach to fine tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, Stephon; Cormack, Sam; Gleiser, Marcelo

    2016-06-01

    We present a closed bouncing universe model where the value of coupling constants is set by the dynamics of a ghost-like dilatonic scalar field. We show that adding a periodic potential for the scalar field leads to a cyclic Friedmann universe where the values of the couplings vary randomly from one cycle to the next. While the shuffling of values for the couplings happens during the bounce, within each cycle their time-dependence remains safely within present observational bounds for physically-motivated values of the model parameters. Our model presents an alternative to solutions of the fine tuning problem based on string landscape scenarios.

  13. Pre - big bang inflation requires fine tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, Michael S.; Weinberg, Erick J.

    1997-10-01

    The pre-big-bang cosmology inspired by superstring theories has been suggested as an alternative to slow-roll inflation. We analyze, in both the Jordan and Einstein frames, the effect of spatial curvature on this scenario and show that too much curvature --- of either sign --- reduces the duration of the inflationary era to such an extent that the flatness and horizon problems are not solved. Hence, a fine-tuning of initial conditions is required to obtain enough inflation to solve the cosmological problems.

  14. Rig designers continue fine-tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Pagano, S.S.

    1993-04-01

    Rig designers and owners continue to fine-tune a variety of sophisticated new generation semisubmersible and jackup designs that will go into production once supply catches up with demand, later in the decade. The units will be designed to meet the latest international safety requirements, be more highly specialized that most existing rigs, and they will be expensive. Rising oil prices and improved rig utilization will be the catalysts to spur future rig orders. Over the longer term, the aging semi fleet will need to be upgraded or replaced beginning in the second half of the deacade. Rig life extension programs will be economically justified for many rigs, but new construction will pay a significant role in the semi fleet this decade. Many rig designs will be capable of ultra-deep-water drilling and production in water depths as deep as 10,000 feet. Additional designs concepts and projects are discussed.

  15. Fine tuning of cytosolic Ca 2+ oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Dupont, Geneviève; Combettes, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Ca 2+ oscillations, a widespread mode of cell signaling, were reported in non-excitable cells for the first time more than 25 years ago. Their fundamental mechanism, based on the periodic Ca 2+ exchange between the endoplasmic reticulum and the cytoplasm, has been well characterized. However, how the kinetics of cytosolic Ca 2+ changes are related to the extent of a physiological response remains poorly understood. Here, we review data suggesting that the downstream targets of Ca 2+ are controlled not only by the frequency of Ca 2+ oscillations but also by the detailed characteristics of the oscillations, such as their duration, shape, or baseline level. Involvement of non-endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ stores, mainly mitochondria and the extracellular medium, participates in this fine tuning of Ca 2+ oscillations. The main characteristics of the Ca 2+ exchange fluxes with these compartments are also reviewed.

  16. Understanding the Fine Tuning in Our Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Bernard L.

    2008-05-01

    I It is often stated that the physical properties of our universe are ``fine tuned''-that is, they must be almost exactly as they are to make the development of intelligent life possible.1 The implications of this statement, called the ``anthropic principle,'' have been widely discussed in a philosophical context,2 but the scientific basis for the statement3 is not widely understood outside the community of experts. My purpose here is to explain how I have presented some parts of this scientific basis, albeit with some glossing over of difficult and/or less important details, to undergraduate students majoring in humanities and social sciences and to senior citizens in ``lifetime learning'' programs who have no professional scientific background. In this paper, I concentrate on the vital processes of hydrogen burning and helium burning.

  17. Fine-Tuning of Crystal Packing and Charge Transport Properties of BDOPV Derivatives through Fluorine Substitution.

    PubMed

    Dou, Jin-Hu; Zheng, Yu-Qing; Yao, Ze-Fan; Yu, Zhi-Ao; Lei, Ting; Shen, Xingxing; Luo, Xu-Yi; Sun, Junliang; Zhang, Shi-Ding; Ding, Yi-Fan; Han, Guangchao; Yi, Yuanping; Wang, Jie-Yu; Pei, Jian

    2015-12-23

    Molecular packing in organic single crystals greatly influences their charge transport properties but can hardly be predicted and designed because of the complex intermolecular interactions. In this work, we have realized systematic fine-tuning of the single-crystal molecular packing of five benzodifurandione-based oligo(p-phenylenevinylene) (BDOPV)-based small molecules through incorporation of electronegative fluorine atoms on the BDOPV backbone. While these molecules all exhibit similar column stacking configurations in their single crystals, the intermolecular displacements and distances can be substantially modified by tuning of the amounts and/or the positions of the substituent fluorine atoms. Density functional theory calculations showed that the subtle differences in charge distribution or electrostatic potential induced by different fluorine substitutions play an important role in regulating the molecular packing of the BDOPV compounds. Consequently, the electronic couplings for electron transfer can vary from 71 meV in a slipped stack to 201 meV in a nearly cofacial antiparallel stack, leading to an increase in the electron mobility of the BDOPV derivatives from 2.6 to 12.6 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1). The electron mobility of the five molecules did not show a good correlation with the LUMO levels, indicating that the distinct difference in charge transport properties is a result of the molecular packing. Our work not only provides a series of high-electron-mobility organic semiconductors but also demonstrates that fluorination is an effective approach for fine-tuning of single-crystal packing modes beyond simply lowering the molecular energy levels. PMID:26619351

  18. Competitive binding of antagonistic peptides fine-tunes stomatal patterning

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jin Suk; Hnilova, Marketa; Maes, Michal; Lin, Ya-Chen Lisa; Putarjunan, Aarthi; Han, Soon-Ki; Avila, Julian; U.Torii, Keiko

    2015-01-01

    During development, cells interpret complex, often conflicting signals to make optimal decisions. Plant stomata, the cellular interface between a plant and the atmosphere, develop according to positional cues including a family of secreted peptides, EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTORS (EPFs). How these signaling peptides orchestrate pattern formation at a molecular level remains unclear. Here we report that Stomagen/EPF-LIKE9 peptide, which promotes stomatal development, requires ERECTA (ER)-family receptor kinases and interferes with the inhibition of stomatal development by the EPF2-ER module. Both EPF2 and Stomagen directly bind to ER and its co-receptor TOO MANY MOUTHS. Stomagen peptide competitively replaced EPF2 binding to ER. Furthermore, application of EPF2, but not Stomagen, elicited rapid phosphorylation of downstream signaling components in vivo. Our findings demonstrate how a plant receptor agonist and antagonist define inhibitory and inductive cues to fine-tune tissue patterning on the plant epidermis. PMID:26083750

  19. A Local Contingency Analysis of the Fine-Tuning Hypothesis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sokolov, Jeffrey L.

    1993-01-01

    Tested the fine-tuning hypothesis of language acquisition, which postulates that parents fine-tune their speech to their children's language level, by examining local patterns of interaction within the conversations of three parent-child dyads. The high positive correlations between parent-child dyads for the different interactional patterns…

  20. Relaxion cosmology and the price of fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Chiara, Stefano; Kannike, Kristjan; Marzola, Luca; Racioppi, Antonio; Raidal, Martti; Spethmann, Christian

    2016-05-01

    The relaxion scenario presents an intriguing extension of the standard model in which the particle introduced to solve to the strong C P problem, the axion, also achieves the dynamical relaxation of the Higgs boson mass term. In this work we complete this framework by proposing a scenario of inflationary cosmology that is consistent with all the observational constraints: the relaxion hybrid inflation with an asymmetric waterfall. In our scheme, the vacuum energy of the inflaton drives inflation in a natural way while the relaxion slow rolls. The constraints on the present inflationary observables are then matched through a subsequent inflationary epoch driven by the inflaton. We quantify the amount of fine-tuning of the proposed inflation scenario, concluding that the inflaton sector severely decreases the naturalness of the theory.

  1. The Fine-Tuning of Nomic Behavior in Multiverse Scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Max Lewis Edward

    The multiverse hypothesis (the view that there is not just one world or universe in existence, bur rather that there are many) is the leading alternative to the competing fine-tuning hypothesis (the laws of physics and constants are fine-tuned for the existence of life). The multiverse dispels many aspects of the fine-tuning argument by suggesting that there are different initial conditions in each universe, varying constants of physics, and the laws of nature lose their known arbitrary values; thus, making the previous single-universe argument from fine- tuning incredibly weak. The position that will be advocated will be that a form of multiverse could exist and that any level of Tegmark's multiverse does not circumvent the fine-tuning argument for the existence of a fine-tuner (a mind). An argument will be presented suggesting that the multiverse could strengthen the fine-tuning argument by narrowing down the parameters of the data to a more fundamental description needed for the multiverse to function as it does since it may be the case that some physical descriptions are not the same in every universe. That is, the task of explaining how the multiverse mechanism functions cannot be accounted for by the multiverse itself. Fine-tuning by a mind serves as a sufficient and best explanation for the data.

  2. Competitive binding of antagonistic peptides fine-tunes stomatal patterning.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin Suk; Hnilova, Marketa; Maes, Michal; Lin, Ya-Chen Lisa; Putarjunan, Aarthi; Han, Soon-Ki; Avila, Julian; Torii, Keiko U

    2015-06-25

    During development, cells interpret complex and often conflicting signals to make optimal decisions. Plant stomata, the cellular interface between a plant and the atmosphere, develop according to positional cues, which include a family of secreted peptides called epidermal patterning factors (EPFs). How these signalling peptides orchestrate pattern formation at a molecular level remains unclear. Here we report in Arabidopsis that Stomagen (also called EPF-LIKE9) peptide, which promotes stomatal development, requires ERECTA (ER)-family receptor kinases and interferes with the inhibition of stomatal development by the EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR 2 (EPF2)-ER module. Both EPF2 and Stomagen directly bind to ER and its co-receptor TOO MANY MOUTHS. Stomagen peptide competitively replaced EPF2 binding to ER. Furthermore, application of EPF2, but not Stomagen, elicited rapid phosphorylation of downstream signalling components in vivo. Our findings demonstrate how a plant receptor agonist and antagonist define inhibitory and inductive cues to fine-tune tissue patterning on the plant epidermis. PMID:26083750

  3. On the MSSM Higgsino mass and fine tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Graham G.; Schmidt-Hoberg, Kai; Staub, Florian

    2016-08-01

    It is often argued that low fine tuning in the MSSM necessarily requires a rather light Higgsino. In this note we show that this need not be the case when a more complete set of soft SUSY breaking mass terms are included. In particular an Higgsino mass term, that correlates the μ-term contribution with the soft SUSY-breaking Higgsino masses, significantly reduces the fine tuning even for Higgsinos in the TeV mass range where its relic abundance means it can make up all the dark matter.

  4. P2 receptor web: complexity and fine-tuning.

    PubMed

    Volonté, Cinzia; Amadio, Susanna; D'Ambrosi, Nadia; Colpi, Monica; Burnstock, Geoffrey

    2006-10-01

    The present review offers a new perspective on a family of receptors, termed P2 receptors, specific for nucleoside tri- and diphosphates of purines/pyrimidines. We emphasize here that while decoding the inputs of various related extracellular ligands, P2 receptors are a clear example of increasing biological complexity. They are represented by 7 ionotropic P2X and 8 metabotropic P2Y receptors; they have very heterogeneous ligands and binding characteristics, molecular properties, transduction mechanisms, cellular localization and protein-protein interactions. While the reason for this sophistication is unknown, a few compelling issues emerge while looking at such a rich variety. We ask, for instance, why so many different receptor subtypes are necessary for triggering biological properties and functions, and if these receptors are more than the sum of their single entities. A first possibility is that newly synthesized P2 proteins are casually located on the cell surface (stochastic hypothesis). Alternatively, distinct subunits are engaged on different cell phenotypes by genetic control (genetic determinism) and/or selective recruitment under physiopathological conditions and epigenetic stimuli (epigenetic determinism). Nevertheless, an appropriate way to both dissect the vast biological scenario and molecular complexity among P2 receptors and to integrate and upgrade their assortment is to regard them as a "combinatorial receptor web", that is, a dynamic architecture of P2 proteins demonstrating economic efficiency and involving a process of "fine-tuning", a mechanism which endorses the dynamic nature of all biological reactions. In the present analysis, we stimulate a scientific query about what contributes to such a vast P2 receptor sophistication. PMID:16780954

  5. Dark interactions and cosmological fine-tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Quartin, Miguel; Calvao, Mauricio O; Joras, Sergio E; Reis, Ribamar R R; Waga, Ioav E-mail: orca@if.ufrj.br E-mail: ribamar@if.ufrj.br

    2008-05-15

    Cosmological models involving an interaction between dark matter and dark energy have been proposed in order to solve the so-called coincidence problem. Different forms of coupling have been studied, but there have been claims that observational data seem to narrow (some of) them down to something annoyingly close to the {Lambda}CDM (CDM: cold dark matter) model, thus greatly reducing their ability to deal with the problem in the first place. The smallness problem of the initial energy density of dark energy has also been a target of cosmological models in recent years. Making use of a moderately general coupling scheme, this paper aims to unite these different approaches and shed some light on whether this class of models has any true perspective in suppressing the aforementioned issues that plague our current understanding of the universe, in a quantitative and unambiguous way.

  6. Why Cosmic Fine-Tuning Needs to BE Explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manson, Neil Alan

    Discoveries in modern physics and Big Bang cosmology indicate that if either the initial conditions of the universe or the physical laws governing its development had differed even slightly, life could never have developed. It is for this reason that the universe is said to be ``fine-tuned'' for life. I argue that cosmic fine-tuning, which some want to dismiss as the way things just happen to be, in fact needs to be explained. In Chapter One I provide an overview of the evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life. In Chapter Two I present a set of sufficient conditions for a fact's needing to be explained. The conditions are that the fact is improbable and that a ``tidy'' explanation of it is available. A tidy explanation of a fact is considerably less improbable than that fact and makes the obtaining of that fact considerably less improbable. Chapters Three, Four, and Five are devoted to showing that cosmic Chapter Three I argue that the universe's being finely tuned for life can meaningfully be considered improbable. In Chapter Four I claim that there is at least one tidy explanation of cosmic fine-tuning: that the universe was created by some sort of extramundane designer. In Chapters Four and Five I respond to three objections. The first is that the design hypothesis is ad hoc. The second is that we have no reason to believe a supernatural designer would prefer life-permitting cosmoi to other possible cosmoi and that our tendency to believe otherwise is the result of anthropocentrism. The third is that the design hypothesis never buys us an explanatory advantage.

  7. Dynamical fine-tuning of initial conditions for small field inflation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iso, Satoshi; Kohri, Kazunori; Shimada, Kengo

    2016-04-01

    Small-field inflation (SFI) is widely considered to be unnatural because an extreme fine-tuning of the initial condition is necessary for sufficiently large e -folding. In this paper, we show that the unnaturally looking initial condition can be dynamically realized without any fine-tuning if the SFI occurs after rapid oscillations of the inflaton field and particle creations by preheating. In fact, if the inflaton field ϕ is coupled to another scalar field χ through the interaction g2χ2ϕ2 and the vacuum energy during the small field inflation is given by λ M4, the initial value can be dynamically set at (√{λ }/g )M2/Mpl, which is much smaller than the typical scale of the potential M . This solves the initial condition problem in the new inflation model or some classes of the hilltop inflation models.

  8. Cosmologically Safe QCD Axion without Fine-Tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaki; Yanagida, Tsutomu T.; Yonekura, Kazuya

    2016-02-01

    Although QCD axion models are widely studied as solutions to the strong C P problem, they generically confront severe fine-tuning problems to guarantee the anomalous Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry. In this Letter, we propose a simple QCD axion model without any fine-tunings. We introduce an extra dimension and a pair of extra quarks living on two branes separately, which is also charged under a bulk Abelian gauge symmetry. We assume a monopole condensation on our brane at an intermediate scale, which implies that the extra quarks develop chiral symmetry breaking and the PQ symmetry is broken. In contrast to Kim's original model, our model explains the origin of the PQ symmetry thanks to the extra dimension and avoids the cosmological domain wall problem because of chiral symmetry breaking in Abelian gauge theory.

  9. Cosmologically Safe QCD Axion without Fine-Tuning.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Masaki; Yanagida, Tsutomu T; Yonekura, Kazuya

    2016-02-01

    Although QCD axion models are widely studied as solutions to the strong CP problem, they generically confront severe fine-tuning problems to guarantee the anomalous Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry. In this Letter, we propose a simple QCD axion model without any fine-tunings. We introduce an extra dimension and a pair of extra quarks living on two branes separately, which is also charged under a bulk Abelian gauge symmetry. We assume a monopole condensation on our brane at an intermediate scale, which implies that the extra quarks develop chiral symmetry breaking and the PQ symmetry is broken. In contrast to Kim's original model, our model explains the origin of the PQ symmetry thanks to the extra dimension and avoids the cosmological domain wall problem because of chiral symmetry breaking in Abelian gauge theory. PMID:26894701

  10. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modelling.

    PubMed

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2015-01-15

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative programme involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by the coordinated actions of cytokine and growth factors. We investigated the mechanisms underlying adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn(-/-) mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn(-/-) mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to interleukin-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver. PMID:25630259

  11. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modelling

    PubMed Central

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2015-01-01

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative programme involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by the coordinated actions of cytokine and growth factors. We investigated the mechanisms underlying adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn–/– mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn–/– mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to interleukin-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver. PMID:25630259

  12. Fine-Tuning and the Stability of Recurrent Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, David; Eliasmith, Chris

    2011-01-01

    A central criticism of standard theoretical approaches to constructing stable, recurrent model networks is that the synaptic connection weights need to be finely-tuned. This criticism is severe because proposed rules for learning these weights have been shown to have various limitations to their biological plausibility. Hence it is unlikely that such rules are used to continuously fine-tune the network in vivo. We describe a learning rule that is able to tune synaptic weights in a biologically plausible manner. We demonstrate and test this rule in the context of the oculomotor integrator, showing that only known neural signals are needed to tune the weights. We demonstrate that the rule appropriately accounts for a wide variety of experimental results, and is robust under several kinds of perturbation. Furthermore, we show that the rule is able to achieve stability as good as or better than that provided by the linearly optimal weights often used in recurrent models of the integrator. Finally, we discuss how this rule can be generalized to tune a wide variety of recurrent attractor networks, such as those found in head direction and path integration systems, suggesting that it may be used to tune a wide variety of stable neural systems. PMID:21980334

  13. An intramolecular disulfide bond designed in myoglobin fine-tunes both protein structure and peroxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lei-Bin; Yuan, Hong; Zhou, Hu; Gao, Shu-Qin; Nie, Chang-Ming; Tan, Xiangshi; Wen, Ge-Bo; Lin, Ying-Wu

    2016-06-15

    Disulfide bond plays crucial roles in stabilization of protein structure and in fine-tuning protein functions. To explore an approach for rational heme protein design, we herein rationally introduced a pair of cysteines (F46C/M55C) into the scaffold of myoglobin (Mb), mimicking those in native neuroglobin. Molecular modeling suggested that it is possible for Cys46 and Cys55 to form an intramolecular disulfide bond, which was confirmed experimentally by ESI-MS analysis, DTNB reaction and CD spectrum. Moreover, it was shown that the spontaneously formed disulfide bond of Cys46-Cys55 fine-tunes not only the heme active site structure, but also the protein functions. The substitution of Phe46 with Ser46 in F46S Mb destabilizes the protein while facilitates H2O2 activation. Remarkably, the formation of an intramolecular disulfide bond of Cys46-Cys55 in F46C/M55C Mb improves the protein stability and regulates the heme site to be more favorable for substrate binding, resulting in enhanced peroxidase activity. This study provides valuable information of structure-function relationship for heme proteins regulated by an intramolecular disulfide bond, and also suggests that construction of such a covalent bond is useful for design of functional heme proteins. PMID:27117233

  14. Polar opposites: fine-tuning cytokinesis through SIN asymmetry

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Alyssa E.; McCollum, Dannel; Gould, Kathleen L.

    2012-01-01

    Mitotic exit and cell division must be spatially and temporally integrated to facilitate equal division of genetic material between daughter cells. In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a spindle pole body (SPB) localized signaling cascade termed the septation initiation network (SIN) couples mitotic exit with cytokinesis. The SIN is controlled at many levels to ensure that cytokinesis is executed once per cell cycle and only after cells segregate their DNA. An interesting facet of the SIN is that its activity is asymmetric on the two SPBs during anaphase; however, how and why the SIN is asymmetric has remained elusive. Many key factors controlling SIN asymmetry have now been identified, shedding light on the significance of SIN asymmetry in regulating cytokinesis. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of SIN regulation, with an emphasis on how SIN asymmetry is achieved and how this aspect of SIN regulation fine-tunes cytokinesis. PMID:22786806

  15. Fine-tuning tomato agronomic properties by computational genome redesign.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Javier; Fernández Del Carmen, Asun; Fernández-Muñoz, Rafael; Rambla, Jose Luis; Pons, Clara; Jaramillo, Alfonso; Elena, Santiago F; Granell, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Considering cells as biofactories, we aimed to optimize its internal processes by using the same engineering principles that large industries are implementing nowadays: lean manufacturing. We have applied reverse engineering computational methods to transcriptomic, metabolomic and phenomic data obtained from a collection of tomato recombinant inbreed lines to formulate a kinetic and constraint-based model that efficiently describes the cellular metabolism from expression of a minimal core of genes. Based on predicted metabolic profiles, a close association with agronomic and organoleptic properties of the ripe fruit was revealed with high statistical confidence. Inspired in a synthetic biology approach, the model was used for exploring the landscape of all possible local transcriptional changes with the aim of engineering tomato fruits with fine-tuned biotechnological properties. The method was validated by the ability of the proposed genomes, engineered for modified desired agronomic traits, to recapitulate experimental correlations between associated metabolites. PMID:22685389

  16. viral silencing suppressors: Tools forged to fine-tune host-pathogen coexistence.

    PubMed

    Csorba, Tibor; Kontra, Levente; Burgyán, József

    2015-05-01

    RNA silencing is a homology-dependent gene inactivation mechanism that regulates a wide range of biological processes including antiviral defense. To deal with host antiviral responses viruses evolved mechanisms to avoid or counteract this, most notably through expression of viral suppressors of RNA silencing. Besides working as silencing suppressors, these proteins may also fulfill other functions during infection. In many cases the interplay between the suppressor function and other "unrelated" functions remains elusive. We will present host factors implicated in antiviral pathways and summarize the current status of knowledge about the diverse viral suppressors' strategies acting at various steps of antiviral silencing in plants. Besides, we will consider the multi-functionality of these versatile proteins and related biochemical processes in which they may be involved in fine-tuning the plant-virus interaction. Finally, we will present the current applications and discuss perspectives of the use of these proteins in molecular biology and biotechnology. PMID:25766638

  17. Fine tuning of the threshold of T cell selection by the Nck adapters.

    PubMed

    Roy, Edwige; Togbe, Dieudonnée; Holdorf, Amy; Trubetskoy, Dmitry; Nabti, Sabrina; Küblbeck, Günter; Schmitt, Sabine; Kopp-Schneider, Annette; Leithäuser, Frank; Möller, Peter; Bladt, Friedhelm; Hämmerling, Günter J; Arnold, Bernd; Pawson, Tony; Tafuri, Anna

    2010-12-15

    Thymic selection shapes the T cell repertoire to ensure maximal antigenic coverage against pathogens while preventing autoimmunity. Recognition of self-peptides in the context of peptide-MHC complexes by the TCR is central to this process, which remains partially understood at the molecular level. In this study we provide genetic evidence that the Nck adapter proteins are essential for thymic selection. In vivo Nck deletion resulted in a reduction of the thymic cellularity, defective positive selection of low-avidity T cells, and impaired deletion of thymocytes engaged by low-potency stimuli. Nck-deficient thymocytes were characterized by reduced ERK activation, particularly pronounced in mature single positive thymocytes. Taken together, our findings identify a crucial role for the Nck adapters in enhancing TCR signal strength, thereby fine-tuning the threshold of thymocyte selection and shaping the preimmune T cell repertoire. PMID:21078909

  18. Fine tuning points of generating function construction for linear recursions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yolcu, Bahar; Demiralp, Metin

    2014-10-01

    Recursions are quite important mathematical tools since many systems are mathematically modelled to ultimately take us to these equations because of their rather easy algebraic natures. They fit computer programming needs quite well in many circumstances to produce solutions. However, it is generally desired to find the asymptotic behaviour of the general term in the relevant sequence for convergence and therefore practicality issues. One of the general tendencies to find the general term asymptotic behaviour, when its ordering number grows unboundedly, is the integral representation over a generating function which does not depend on individual sequence elements. This is tried to be done almost for all types of recursions, even though the linear cases gain more importance than the others because they can be more effectively investigated by using many linear algebraic tools. Despite this may seem somehow to be rather trivial, there are a lot of theoretical fine tuning issues in the construction of true integral representations over true intervals on real axis or paths in complex domains. This work is devoted to focus on this issue starting from scratch for better understanding of the matter. The example cases are chosen to best illuminate the situations to get information for future generalization even though the work can be considered at somehow introductory level.

  19. Fine tuning chloroplast movements through physical interactions between phototropins

    PubMed Central

    Sztatelman, Olga; Łabuz, Justyna; Hermanowicz, Paweł; Banaś, Agnieszka Katarzyna; Bażant, Aneta; Zgłobicki, Piotr; Aggarwal, Chhavi; Nadzieja, Marcin; Krzeszowiec, Weronika; Strzałka, Wojciech; Gabryś, Halina

    2016-01-01

    Phototropins are plant photoreceptors which regulate numerous responses to blue light, including chloroplast relocation. Weak blue light induces chloroplast accumulation, whereas strong light leads to an avoidance response. Two Arabidopsis phototropins are characterized by different light sensitivities. Under continuous light, both can elicit chloroplast accumulation, but the avoidance response is controlled solely by phot2. As well as continuous light, brief light pulses also induce chloroplast displacements. Pulses of 0.1s and 0.2s of fluence rate saturating the avoidance response lead to transient chloroplast accumulation. Longer pulses (up to 20s) trigger a biphasic response, namely transient avoidance followed by transient accumulation. This work presents a detailed study of transient chloroplast responses in Arabidopsis. Phototropin mutants display altered chloroplast movements as compared with the wild type: phot1 is characterized by weaker responses, while phot2 exhibits enhanced chloroplast accumulation, especially after 0.1s and 0.2s pulses. To determine the cause of these differences, the abundance and phosphorylation levels of both phototropins, as well as the interactions between phototropin molecules are examined. The formation of phototropin homo- and heterocomplexes is the most plausible explanation of the observed phenomena. The physiological consequences of this interplay are discussed, suggesting the universal character of this mechanism that fine-tunes plant reactions to blue light. Additionally, responses in mutants of different protein phosphatase 2A subunits are examined to assess the role of protein phosphorylation in signaling of chloroplast movements. PMID:27406783

  20. Fine-tuning of macrophage activation using synthetic rocaglate derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Bidisha; Chatterjee, Sujoy; Devine, William G.; Kobzik, Lester; Beeler, Aaron B.; Porco, John A.; Kramnik, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Drug-resistant bacteria represent a significant global threat. Given the dearth of new antibiotics, host-directed therapies (HDTs) are especially desirable. As IFN-gamma (IFNγ) plays a central role in host resistance to intracellular bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we searched for small molecules to augment the IFNγ response in macrophages. Using an interferon-inducible nuclear protein Ipr1 as a biomarker of macrophage activation, we performed a high-throughput screen and identified molecules that synergized with low concentration of IFNγ. Several active compounds belonged to the flavagline (rocaglate) family. In primary macrophages a subset of rocaglates 1) synergized with low concentrations of IFNγ in stimulating expression of a subset of IFN-inducible genes, including a key regulator of the IFNγ network, Irf1; 2) suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and type I IFN and 3) induced autophagy. These compounds may represent a basis for macrophage-directed therapies that fine-tune macrophage effector functions to combat intracellular pathogens and reduce inflammatory tissue damage. These therapies would be especially relevant to fighting drug-resistant pathogens, where improving host immunity may prove to be the ultimate resource. PMID:27086720

  1. Pentagone internalises glypicans to fine-tune multiple signalling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Mark; Vuilleumier, Robin; Springhorn, Alexander; Gawlik, Jennifer; Pyrowolakis, George

    2016-01-01

    Tight regulation of signalling activity is crucial for proper tissue patterning and growth. Here we investigate the function of Pentagone (Pent), a secreted protein that acts in a regulatory feedback during establishment and maintenance of BMP/Dpp morphogen signalling during Drosophila wing development. We show that Pent internalises the Dpp co-receptors, the glypicans Dally and Dally-like protein (Dlp), and propose that this internalisation is important in the establishment of a long range Dpp gradient. Pent-induced endocytosis and degradation of glypicans requires dynamin- and Rab5, but not clathrin or active BMP signalling. Thus, Pent modifies the ability of cells to trap and transduce BMP by fine-tuning the levels of the BMP reception system at the plasma membrane. In addition, and in accordance with the role of glypicans in multiple signalling pathways, we establish a requirement of Pent for Wg signalling. Our data propose a novel mechanism by which morphogen signalling is regulated. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13301.001 PMID:27269283

  2. Spectral fine tuning of cyanine dyes: electron donor-acceptor substituted analogues of thiazole orange.

    PubMed

    Rastede, Elizabeth E; Tanha, Matteus; Yaron, David; Watkins, Simon C; Waggoner, Alan S; Armitage, Bruce A

    2015-09-26

    The introduction of electron donor and acceptor groups at strategic locations on a fluorogenic cyanine dye allows fine-tuning of the absorption and emission spectra while preserving the ability of the dye to bind to biomolecular hosts such as double-stranded DNA and a single-chain antibody fragment originally selected for binding to the parent unsubstituted dye, thiazole orange (TO). The observed spectral shifts are consistent with calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gaps and reflect electron density localization on the quinoline half of TO in the LUMO. A dye bearing donating methoxy and withdrawing trifluoromethyl groups on the benzothiazole and quinoline rings, respectively, shifts the absorption spectrum to sufficiently longer wavelengths to allow excitation at green wavelengths as opposed to the parent dye, which is optimally excited in the blue. PMID:26171668

  3. Spectral Fine Tuning of Cyanine Dyes: Electron Donor-Acceptor Substituted Analogues of Thiazole Orange†

    PubMed Central

    Rastede, Elizabeth E.; Tanha, Matteus; Yaron, David; Watkins, Simon C.; Waggoner, Alan S.; Armitage, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of electron donor and acceptor groups at strategic locations on a fluorogenic cyanine dye allows fine-tuning of the absorption and emission spectra while preserving the ability of the dye to bind to biomolecular hosts such as double-stranded DNA and a single-chain antibody fragment originally selected for binding to the parent unsubstituted dye, thiazole orange (TO). The observed spectral shifts are consistent with calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gaps and reflect electron density localization on the quinoline half of TO in the LUMO. A dye bearing donating methoxy and withdrawing trifluoromethyl groups on the benzothiazole and quinoline rings, respectively, shifts the absorption spectrum to sufficiently longer wavelengths to allow excitation at green wavelengths as opposed to the parent dye, which is optimally excited in the blue. PMID:26171668

  4. Zipf's Law and Criticality in Multivariate Data without Fine-Tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, David J.; Nemenman, Ilya; Mehta, Pankaj

    2014-08-01

    The joint probability distribution of states of many degrees of freedom in biological systems, such as firing patterns in neural networks or antibody sequence compositions, often follows Zipf's law, where a power law is observed on a rank-frequency plot. This behavior has been shown to imply that these systems reside near a unique critical point where the extensive parts of the entropy and energy are exactly equal. Here, we show analytically, and via numerical simulations, that Zipf-like probability distributions arise naturally if there is a fluctuating unobserved variable (or variables) that affects the system, such as a common input stimulus that causes individual neurons to fire at time-varying rates. In statistics and machine learning, these are called latent-variable or mixture models. We show that Zipf's law arises generically for large systems, without fine-tuning parameters to a point. Our work gives insight into the ubiquity of Zipf's law in a wide range of systems.

  5. The apparent fine-tuning of the cosmological, gravitational and fine structure constants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaves, Laurence

    2016-02-01

    A numerical coincidence relating the values of the cosmological, gravitational and electromagnetic fine structure constants is presented and discussed in relation to the apparent anthropic fine-tuning of these three fundamental constants of nature.

  6. SUSY models under siege: LHC constraints and electroweak fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, Howard; Barger, Vernon; Mickelson, Dan; Padeffke-Kirkland, Maren

    2014-06-01

    Recent null results from LHC8 supersymmetry (SUSY) searches along with the discovery of a standard model (SM)-like Higgs boson with mass mh≃125.5 GeV indicates sparticle masses in the TeV range, causing tension with conventional measures of electroweak fine-tuning. We propose a simple fine-tuning rule which should be followed under any credible evaluation of fine-tuning. We believe that overestimates of electroweak fine-tuning by conventional measures all arise from violations of this rule. We show that to gain accord with the fine-tuning rule, then both the Higgs mass and the traditional ΔBG fine-tuning measures reduce to the model-independent electroweak fine-tuning measure ΔEW. This occurs by combining dependent contributions to mZ or mh into independent units. Then, using ΔEW, we evaluate EW fine-tuning for a variety of SUSY models including mSUGRA, NUHM1, NUHM2, mGMSB, mAMSB, hyper-charged AMSB, gaugino AMSB and nine cases of mixed moduli-anomaly (mirage) mediated SUSY breaking models while respecting LHC Higgs mass and B-decay constraints (we do not impose LHC8 sparticle mass constraints due to the possibility of compressed spectra within many of these models). We find mSUGRA, mGMSB and the AMSB models all to be highly fine-tuned. The NUHM1 model is moderately fine-tuned while NUHM2 which allows for radiatively driven naturalness (RNS) allows for fine-tuning at a meager 10% level in the case where m(Higgsinos)˜100-200 GeV and the TeV-scale top squarks are well mixed. Models with RNS may or may not be detectable at LHC14. A √s ˜500 GeV e+e- collider will be required to make a definitive search for the requisite light Higgsinos.

  7. Fine-tuning somatostatin receptor signalling by agonist-selective phosphorylation and dephosphorylation: IUPHAR Review 5

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Stefan; Lehmann, Andreas; Kliewer, Andrea; Nagel, Falko

    2014-01-01

    The biological actions of somatostatin are mediated by a family of five GPCRs, named sst1 to sst5. Somatostatin receptors exhibit equally high-binding affinities to their natural ligand somatostatin-14 and largely overlapping distributions. The overexpression of somatostatin receptors in human tumours is the molecular basis for diagnostic and therapeutic application of the stable somatostatin analogues octreotide, lanreotide and pasireotide. The efficiency of somatostatin receptor signalling is tightly regulated and ultimately limited by the coordinated phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of intracellular carboxyl-terminal serine and threonine residues. Here, we review and discuss recent progress in the generation and application of phosphosite-specific antibodies for human sst2 and sst5 receptors. These phosphosite-specific antibodies are unique tools to monitor the spatial and temporal dynamics of receptors phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Using a combined approach of phosphosite-specific antibodies and siRNA knock-down screening, relevant kinases and phosphatases were identified. Emerging evidence suggests distinct mechanisms of agonist-selective fine-tuning for individual somatostatin receptors. The recently uncovered differences in phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of these receptors may hence be of physiological significance in mediating responses to acute, persistent or repeated stimuli in a variety of target tissues. PMID:24328848

  8. Does inflation solve the hot big bang model's fine-tuning problems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, C. D.

    2015-08-01

    Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated (and usually still is) by its solution of certain so-called fine-tuning problems of the hot big bang model, particularly what are known as the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Although the physics behind these problems is clear enough, the nature of the problems depends on the sense in which the hot big bang model is fine-tuned and how the alleged fine-tuning is problematic. Without clear explications of these, it remains unclear precisely what problems inflationary theory is meant to be solving and whether it does in fact solve them. I analyze the structure of these problems and consider various interpretations that may substantiate the alleged fine-tuning. On the basis of this analysis I argue that at present there is no unproblematic interpretation available for which it can be said that inflation solves the big bang model's alleged fine-tuning problems.

  9. Fine-tuning of single-molecule conductance by tweaking both electronic structure and conformation of side substituents.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, Albert C; Darwish, Nadim; Im, JongOne; Lim, Boram; Choi, Jeongae; Koo, Sangho; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2015-05-18

    Herein, we describe a method to fine-tune the conductivity of single-molecule wires by employing a combination of chemical composition and geometrical modifications of multiple phenyl side groups as conductance modulators embedded along the main axis of the electronic pathway. We have measured the single-molecule conductivity of a novel series of phenyl-substituted carotenoid wires whose conductivity can be tuned with high precision over an order of magnitude range by modulating both the electron-donating character of the phenyl substituent and its dihedral angle. It is demonstrated that the electronic communication between the phenyl side groups and the molecular wire is maximized when the phenyl groups are twisted closer to the plane of the conjugated molecular wire. These findings can be refined to a general technique for precisely tuning the conductivity of molecular wires. PMID:25847688

  10. Fine-tuned Bee-Flower Coevolutionary State Hidden within Multiple Pollination Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Akira; Dohzono, Ikumi; Nakaji, Masayoshi; Roff, Derek A.; Miller III, Donald G.; Osato, Sara; Yajima, Takuya; Niitsu, Shûhei; Utsugi, Nozomu; Sugawara, Takashi; Yoshimura, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between flowers and pollinators are generally considered cases of mutualism since both agents gain benefits. Fine-tuned adaptations are usually found in the form of strict one-to-one coevolution between species. Many insect pollinators are, however, considered generalists, visiting numerous kinds of flowers, and many flower species (angiosperms) are also considered generalists, visited by many insect pollinators. We here describe a fine-tuned coevolutionary state of a flower-visiting bee that collects both nectar and pollen from an early spring flower visited by multiple pollinators. Detailed morphology of the bee proboscis is shown to be finely adjusted to the floral morphology and nectar production of the flower. Behavioral observations also confirm the precision of this mutualism. Our results suggest that a fine-tuned one-to-one coevolutionary state between a flower species and a pollinator species might be common, but frequently overlooked, in multiple flower-pollinator interactions. PMID:24496444

  11. Localized electrical fine tuning of passive microwave and radio frequency devices

    DOEpatents

    Findikoglu, Alp T.

    2001-04-10

    A method and apparatus for the localized electrical fine tuning of passive multiple element microwave or RF devices in which a nonlinear dielectric material is deposited onto predetermined areas of a substrate containing the device. An appropriate electrically conductive material is deposited over predetermined areas of the nonlinear dielectric and the signal line of the device for providing electrical contact with the nonlinear dielectric. Individual, adjustable bias voltages are applied to the electrically conductive material allowing localized electrical fine tuning of the devices. The method of the present invention can be applied to manufactured devices, or can be incorporated into the design of the devices so that it is applied at the time the devices are manufactured. The invention can be configured to provide localized fine tuning for devices including but not limited to coplanar waveguides, slotline devices, stripline devices, and microstrip devices.

  12. Fine-tuned bee-flower coevolutionary state hidden within multiple pollination interactions.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Akira; Dohzono, Ikumi; Nakaji, Masayoshi; Roff, Derek A; Miller, Donald G; Osato, Sara; Yajima, Takuya; Niitsu, Shûhei; Utsugi, Nozomu; Sugawara, Takashi; Yoshimura, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between flowers and pollinators are generally considered cases of mutualism since both agents gain benefits. Fine-tuned adaptations are usually found in the form of strict one-to-one coevolution between species. Many insect pollinators are, however, considered generalists, visiting numerous kinds of flowers, and many flower species (angiosperms) are also considered generalists, visited by many insect pollinators. We here describe a fine-tuned coevolutionary state of a flower-visiting bee that collects both nectar and pollen from an early spring flower visited by multiple pollinators. Detailed morphology of the bee proboscis is shown to be finely adjusted to the floral morphology and nectar production of the flower. Behavioral observations also confirm the precision of this mutualism. Our results suggest that a fine-tuned one-to-one coevolutionary state between a flower species and a pollinator species might be common, but frequently overlooked, in multiple flower-pollinator interactions. PMID:24496444

  13. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Protects against Atherosclerosis via Fine-Tuning the Multiorgan Crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Jin, Leigang; Lin, Zhuofeng; Xu, Aimin

    2016-02-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic hormone with pleiotropic effects on energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Besides its antiobese and antidiabetic activity, FGF21 also possesses the protective effects against atherosclerosis. Circulating levels of FGF21 are elevated in patients with atherosclerosis, macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes, possibly due to a compensatory upregulation. In apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, formation of atherosclerotic plaques is exacerbated by genetic depletion of FGF21, but is attenuated upon replenishment with recombinant FGF21. However, the blood vessel is not the direct target of FGF21, and the antiatherosclerotic activity of FGF21 is attributed to its actions in adipose tissues and liver. In adipocytes, FGF21 promotes secretion of adiponectin, which in turn acts directly on blood vessels to reduce endothelial dysfunction, inhibit proliferation of smooth muscle cells and block conversion of macrophages to foam cells. Furthermore, FGF21 suppresses cholesterol biosynthesis and attenuates hypercholesterolemia by inhibiting the transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 in hepatocytes. The effects of FGF21 on elevation of adiponectin and reduction of hypercholesterolemia are also observed in a phase-1b clinical trial in patients with obesity and diabetes. Therefore, FGF21 exerts its protection against atherosclerosis by fine-tuning the interorgan crosstalk between liver, brain, adipose tissue, and blood vessels. PMID:26912152

  14. Metalloprotease OMA1 Fine-tunes Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Function and Respiratory Supercomplex Stability.

    PubMed

    Bohovych, Iryna; Fernandez, Mario R; Rahn, Jennifer J; Stackley, Krista D; Bestman, Jennifer E; Anandhan, Annadurai; Franco, Rodrigo; Claypool, Steven M; Lewis, Robert E; Chan, Sherine S L; Khalimonchuk, Oleh

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are involved in key cellular functions including energy production, metabolic homeostasis, and apoptosis. Normal mitochondrial function is preserved by several interrelated mechanisms. One mechanism - intramitochondrial quality control (IMQC) - is represented by conserved proteases distributed across mitochondrial compartments. Many aspects and physiological roles of IMQC components remain unclear. Here, we show that the IMQC protease Oma1 is required for the stability of the respiratory supercomplexes and thus balanced and tunable bioenergetic function. Loss of Oma1 activity leads to a specific destabilization of respiratory supercomplexes and consequently to unbalanced respiration and progressive respiratory decline in yeast. Similarly, experiments in cultured Oma1-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts link together impeded supercomplex stability and inability to maintain proper respiration under conditions that require maximal bioenergetic output. Finally, transient knockdown of OMA1 in zebrafish leads to impeded bioenergetics and morphological defects of the heart and eyes. Together, our biochemical and genetic studies in yeast, zebrafish and mammalian cells identify a novel and conserved physiological role for Oma1 protease in fine-tuning of respiratory function. We suggest that this unexpected physiological role is important for cellular bioenergetic plasticity and may contribute to Oma1-associated disease phenotypes in humans. PMID:26365306

  15. Metalloprotease OMA1 Fine-tunes Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Function and Respiratory Supercomplex Stability

    PubMed Central

    Bohovych, Iryna; Fernandez, Mario R.; Rahn, Jennifer J.; Stackley, Krista D.; Bestman, Jennifer E.; Anandhan, Annadurai; Franco, Rodrigo; Claypool, Steven M.; Lewis, Robert E.; Chan, Sherine S. L.; Khalimonchuk, Oleh

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are involved in key cellular functions including energy production, metabolic homeostasis, and apoptosis. Normal mitochondrial function is preserved by several interrelated mechanisms. One mechanism – intramitochondrial quality control (IMQC) – is represented by conserved proteases distributed across mitochondrial compartments. Many aspects and physiological roles of IMQC components remain unclear. Here, we show that the IMQC protease Oma1 is required for the stability of the respiratory supercomplexes and thus balanced and tunable bioenergetic function. Loss of Oma1 activity leads to a specific destabilization of respiratory supercomplexes and consequently to unbalanced respiration and progressive respiratory decline in yeast. Similarly, experiments in cultured Oma1-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts link together impeded supercomplex stability and inability to maintain proper respiration under conditions that require maximal bioenergetic output. Finally, transient knockdown of OMA1 in zebrafish leads to impeded bioenergetics and morphological defects of the heart and eyes. Together, our biochemical and genetic studies in yeast, zebrafish and mammalian cells identify a novel and conserved physiological role for Oma1 protease in fine-tuning of respiratory function. We suggest that this unexpected physiological role is important for cellular bioenergetic plasticity and may contribute to Oma1-associated disease phenotypes in humans. PMID:26365306

  16. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Protects against Atherosclerosis via Fine-Tuning the Multiorgan Crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Leigang; Lin, Zhuofeng

    2016-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic hormone with pleiotropic effects on energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Besides its antiobese and antidiabetic activity, FGF21 also possesses the protective effects against atherosclerosis. Circulating levels of FGF21 are elevated in patients with atherosclerosis, macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes, possibly due to a compensatory upregulation. In apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, formation of atherosclerotic plaques is exacerbated by genetic depletion of FGF21, but is attenuated upon replenishment with recombinant FGF21. However, the blood vessel is not the direct target of FGF21, and the antiatherosclerotic activity of FGF21 is attributed to its actions in adipose tissues and liver. In adipocytes, FGF21 promotes secretion of adiponectin, which in turn acts directly on blood vessels to reduce endothelial dysfunction, inhibit proliferation of smooth muscle cells and block conversion of macrophages to foam cells. Furthermore, FGF21 suppresses cholesterol biosynthesis and attenuates hypercholesterolemia by inhibiting the transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 in hepatocytes. The effects of FGF21 on elevation of adiponectin and reduction of hypercholesterolemia are also observed in a phase-1b clinical trial in patients with obesity and diabetes. Therefore, FGF21 exerts its protection against atherosclerosis by fine-tuning the interorgan crosstalk between liver, brain, adipose tissue, and blood vessels. PMID:26912152

  17. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability.

    PubMed

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O'Connor, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human. PMID:26514165

  18. Fine-Tuning Language Policy in Hong Kong Education: Stakeholders' Perceptions, Practices and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Jim Y. H.

    2014-01-01

    The present study evaluates the impact of the fine-tuning medium of instruction (MOI) policy in Hong Kong in the early stages of its implementation. It explores the key stakeholders' perspectives on a school-based policy via a case study, which gathered multiple sources of qualitative data (i.e. focus groups/interviews, open-ended…

  19. Carbohydrate-binding modules: fine-tuning polysaccharide recognition

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The enzymic degradation of insoluble polysaccharides is one of the most important reactions on earth. Despite this, glycoside hydrolases attack such polysaccharides relatively inefficiently as their target glycosidic bonds are often inaccessible to the active site of the appropriate enzymes. In order to overcome these problems, many of the glycoside hydrolases that utilize insoluble substrates are modular, comprising catalytic modules appended to one or more non-catalytic CBMs (carbohydrate-binding modules). CBMs promote the association of the enzyme with the substrate. In view of the central role that CBMs play in the enzymic hydrolysis of plant structural and storage polysaccharides, the ligand specificity displayed by these protein modules and the mechanism by which they recognize their target carbohydrates have received considerable attention since their discovery almost 20 years ago. In the last few years, CBM research has harnessed structural, functional and bioinformatic approaches to elucidate the molecular determinants that drive CBM–carbohydrate recognition. The present review summarizes the impact structural biology has had on our understanding of the mechanisms by which CBMs bind to their target ligands. PMID:15214846

  20. Novel players fine-tune plant trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Gimenez-Ibanez, Selena; Boter, Marta; Solano, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Jasmonates (JAs) are essential signalling molecules that co-ordinate the plant response to biotic and abiotic challenges, as well as co-ordinating several developmental processes. Huge progress has been made over the last decade in understanding the components and mechanisms that govern JA perception and signalling. The bioactive form of the hormone, (+)-7-iso-jasmonyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), is perceived by the COI1-JAZ co-receptor complex. JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins also act as direct repressors of transcriptional activators such as MYC2. In the emerging picture of JA-Ile perception and signalling, COI1 operates as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that upon binding of JA-Ile targets JAZ repressors for degradation by the 26S proteasome, thereby derepressing transcription factors such as MYC2, which in turn activate JA-Ile-dependent transcriptional reprogramming. It is noteworthy that MYCs and different spliced variants of the JAZ proteins are involved in a negative regulatory feedback loop, which suggests a model that rapidly turns the transcriptional JA-Ile responses on and off and thereby avoids a detrimental overactivation of the pathway. This chapter highlights the most recent advances in our understanding of JA-Ile signalling, focusing on the latest repertoire of new targets of JAZ proteins to control different sets of JA-Ile-mediated responses, novel mechanisms of negative regulation of JA-Ile signalling, and hormonal cross-talk at the molecular level that ultimately determines plant adaptability and survival. PMID:26374889

  1. A versatile apparatus for the fine-tuned synthesis of cluster-based materials.

    PubMed

    Fischer, A; Kruk, R; Hahn, H

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, a custom-designed experimental setup for the fine-tuned synthesis of various cluster-based materials is presented. Providing custom-designed deposition stages and special sample holders it offers a high degree of control over the sample characteristics such as the cluster size, cluster amounts, and sample homogeneity in combination with high sample purity. The system is capable of producing thin films of pure clusters and various cluster-matrix combinations with cluster sizes ranging from single atoms up to aggregates of several thousand atoms. Two custom-designed deposition stages are available, one utilizes the full cluster beam, yielding micrograms of pure clusters within a few hours and the second one uses mass-separated clusters (mass-resolution between 2% and 10%), yielding nanograms of pure clusters in the same timescale. Furthermore, at the second deposition stage, a variety of matrix materials can be co-deposited at a controlled sample temperature between 153 K and 673 K. In order to prove the capabilities of the apparatus, a series of experiments with Fe clusters embedded in Ag matrices with different volume fractions of clusters were carried out. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements revealed that the amount of deposited clusters as well as the sample homogeneity can be controlled with an outstanding accuracy of 10%. Additional measurements of the magnetic properties indicated the presence of separated clusters for volume fractions of clusters around 2 volume percent (vol. %), while above this concentration (10 vol. %) a partial aggregation of the clusters was observed. It was also shown that the resulting thin films are nearly oxygen free, which ascertains that oxygen sensitive materials can be safely handled in this newly developed apparatus. PMID:25725833

  2. A versatile apparatus for the fine-tuned synthesis of cluster-based materials

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, A. Kruk, R.; Hahn, H.

    2015-02-15

    In this paper, a custom-designed experimental setup for the fine-tuned synthesis of various cluster–based materials is presented. Providing custom-designed deposition stages and special sample holders it offers a high degree of control over the sample characteristics such as the cluster size, cluster amounts, and sample homogeneity in combination with high sample purity. The system is capable of producing thin films of pure clusters and various cluster-matrix combinations with cluster sizes ranging from single atoms up to aggregates of several thousand atoms. Two custom-designed deposition stages are available, one utilizes the full cluster beam, yielding micrograms of pure clusters within a few hours and the second one uses mass-separated clusters (mass-resolution between 2% and 10%), yielding nanograms of pure clusters in the same timescale. Furthermore, at the second deposition stage, a variety of matrix materials can be co-deposited at a controlled sample temperature between 153 K and 673 K. In order to prove the capabilities of the apparatus, a series of experiments with Fe clusters embedded in Ag matrices with different volume fractions of clusters were carried out. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements revealed that the amount of deposited clusters as well as the sample homogeneity can be controlled with an outstanding accuracy of 10%. Additional measurements of the magnetic properties indicated the presence of separated clusters for volume fractions of clusters around 2 volume percent (vol. %), while above this concentration (10 vol. %) a partial aggregation of the clusters was observed. It was also shown that the resulting thin films are nearly oxygen free, which ascertains that oxygen sensitive materials can be safely handled in this newly developed apparatus.

  3. High-temperature superconductivity from fine-tuning of Fermi-surface singularities in iron oxypnictides

    PubMed Central

    Charnukha, A.; Evtushinsky, D. V.; Matt, C. E.; Xu, N.; Shi, M.; Büchner, B.; Zhigadlo, N. D.; Batlogg, B.; Borisenko, S. V.

    2015-01-01

    In the family of the iron-based superconductors, the REFeAsO-type compounds (with RE being a rare-earth metal) exhibit the highest bulk superconducting transition temperatures (Tc) up to 55 K and thus hold the key to the elusive pairing mechanism. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the intrinsic electronic structure of SmFe0.92Co0.08AsO (Tc = 18 K) is highly nontrivial and consists of multiple band-edge singularities in close proximity to the Fermi level. However, it remains unclear whether these singularities are generic to the REFeAsO-type materials and if so, whether their exact topology is responsible for the aforementioned record Tc. In this work, we use angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to investigate the inherent electronic structure of the NdFeAsO0.6F0.4 compound with a twice higher Tc = 38 K. We find a similarly singular Fermi surface and further demonstrate that the dramatic enhancement of superconductivity in this compound correlates closely with the fine-tuning of one of the band-edge singularities to within a fraction of the superconducting energy gap Δ below the Fermi level. Our results provide compelling evidence that the band-structure singularities near the Fermi level in the iron-based superconductors must be explicitly accounted for in any attempt to understand the mechanism of superconducting pairing in these materials. PMID:26678565

  4. The HIGGS Boson Mass at 2 Loops in the Finely Tuned Split Supersymmetric Standard Model

    SciTech Connect

    Binger, M

    2004-09-08

    The mass of the Higgs boson in the finely tuned Split Supersymmetric Standard Model is calculated. All 1 loop threshold effects are included, in addition to the full RG running of the Higgs quartic coupling through 2 loops. The 2 loop corrections are very small, typically less than 1GeV. The 1 loop threshold corrections to the top yukawa coupling and the Higgs mass generally push the Higgs mass down a few GeV.

  5. An Undecanuclear Ferrimagnetic Cu9Dy2 Single Molecule Magnet Achieved through Ligand Fine-Tuning.

    PubMed

    Kühne, Irina A; Kostakis, George E; Anson, Christopher E; Powell, Annie K

    2016-05-01

    We describe the concept of increasing the nuclearity of a previously reported high-spin Cu5Gd2 core using a "fine-tuning" ligand approach. Thus, two Cu9Ln2 coordination clusters, with Ln = Dy (1) and Gd (2), were synthesized with the Gd compound having a ground spin state of (17)/2 and the Dy analogue showing single-molecule-magnet behavior in zero field. PMID:27096219

  6. Fine-tuned grayscale optofluidic maskless lithography for three-dimensional freeform shape microstructure fabrication.

    PubMed

    Song, Suk-Heung; Kim, Kibeom; Choi, Sung-Eun; Han, Sangkwon; Lee, Ho-Suk; Kwon, Sunghoon; Park, Wook

    2014-09-01

    This article presents free-floating three-dimensional (3D) microstructure fabrication in a microfluidic channel using direct fine-tuned grayscale image lithography. The image is designed as a freeform shape and is composed of gray shades as light-absorbing features. Gray shade levels are modulated through multiple reflections of light in a digital micromirror device (DMD) to produce different height formations. Whereas conventional photolithography has several limitations in producing grayscale colors on photomask features, our method focuses on a maskless, single-shot process for fabrication of freeform 3D micro-scale shapes. The fine-tuned gray image is designed using an 8-bit grayscale color; thus, each pixel is capable of displaying 256 gray shades. The pattern of the UV light reflecting on the DMD is transferred to a photocurable resin flowing through a microfluidic channel. Here, we demonstrate diverse free-floating 3D microstructure fabrication using fine-tuned grayscale image lithography. Additionally, we produce polymeric microstructures with locally embedded gray encoding patterns, such as grayscale-encoded microtags. This functional microstructure can be applied to a biophysical detection system combined with 3D microstructures. This method would be suitable for fabricating 3D microstructures that have a specific morphology to be used for particular biological or medical applications. PMID:25166099

  7. Rate of hydrolysis in ATP synthase is fine-tuned by α-subunit motif controlling active site conformation.

    PubMed

    Beke-Somfai, Tamás; Lincoln, Per; Nordén, Bengt

    2013-02-01

    Computer-designed artificial enzymes will require precise understanding of how conformation of active sites may control barrier heights of key transition states, including dependence on structure and dynamics at larger molecular scale. F(o)F(1) ATP synthase is interesting as a model system: a delicate molecular machine synthesizing or hydrolyzing ATP using a rotary motor. Isolated F(1) performs hydrolysis with a rate very sensitive to ATP concentration. Experimental and theoretical results show that, at low ATP concentrations, ATP is slowly hydrolyzed in the so-called tight binding site, whereas at higher concentrations, the binding of additional ATP molecules induces rotation of the central γ-subunit, thereby forcing the site to transform through subtle conformational changes into a loose binding site in which hydrolysis occurs faster. How the 1-Å-scale rearrangements are controlled is not yet fully understood. By a combination of theoretical approaches, we address how large macromolecular rearrangements may manipulate the active site and how the reaction rate changes with active site conformation. Simulations reveal that, in response to γ-subunit position, the active site conformation is fine-tuned mainly by small α-subunit changes. Quantum mechanics-based results confirm that the sub-Ångström gradual changes between tight and loose binding site structures dramatically alter the hydrolysis rate. PMID:23345443

  8. Nonparametric Fine Tuning of Mixtures: Application to Non-Life Insurance Claims Distribution Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sardet, Laure; Patilea, Valentin

    When pricing a specific insurance premium, actuary needs to evaluate the claims cost distribution for the warranty. Traditional actuarial methods use parametric specifications to model claims distribution, like lognormal, Weibull and Pareto laws. Mixtures of such distributions allow to improve the flexibility of the parametric approach and seem to be quite well-adapted to capture the skewness, the long tails as well as the unobserved heterogeneity among the claims. In this paper, instead of looking for a finely tuned mixture with many components, we choose a parsimonious mixture modeling, typically a two or three-component mixture. Next, we use the mixture cumulative distribution function (CDF) to transform data into the unit interval where we apply a beta-kernel smoothing procedure. A bandwidth rule adapted to our methodology is proposed. Finally, the beta-kernel density estimate is back-transformed to recover an estimate of the original claims density. The beta-kernel smoothing provides an automatic fine-tuning of the parsimonious mixture and thus avoids inference in more complex mixture models with many parameters. We investigate the empirical performance of the new method in the estimation of the quantiles with simulated nonnegative data and the quantiles of the individual claims distribution in a non-life insurance application.

  9. Fine-tune lens-heating-induced focus drift with different process and illumination settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Yuanting

    2001-09-01

    This study is to establish the relationship of lens heating (LH) performance with related process variables and develop the methodology for reducing LH induced focus drift for different products based on ASML LH algorithms and experiment data. Focus drift data is collected at certain LH machine constants for different process settings, such as different clear window images (CLW) in stepper jobs, different exposure doses, reticle transmission rates, and substrates. The further study is done at different illumination settings to establish the correlation between NA/sigma settings, focus drift and LH scaling factors ((mu) 1 (mu) 2). The characteristic (mu) 1, (mu) 2 -- NA/Ill relationship for this i-line stepper is generated using production batches. LH machine constants are fine-tuned based on the Poly layer for 0.30 micrometer Logic Mix-mode, 0.30 micrometer SRAM and 0.35 micrometer Embedded SRAM products. This work provides an accurate and practical way to fine-tune LH for all the i-line/DUV steppers based on the critical layer of representative products in a foundry fab.

  10. Fine-tuning with brane-localized flux in 6D supergravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedermann, Florian; Schneider, Robert

    2016-02-01

    There are claims in the literature that the cosmological constant problem could be solved in a braneworld model with two large (micron-sized) supersymmetric extra dimensions. The mechanism relies on two basic ingredients: first, the cosmological constant only curves the compact bulk geometry into a rugby shape while the 4D curvature stays flat. Second, a brane-localized flux term is introduced in order to circumvent Weinberg's fine-tuning argument, which otherwise enters here through a backdoor via the flux quantization condition. In this paper, we show that the latter mechanism does not work in the way it was designed: the only localized flux coupling that guarantees a flat on-brane geometry is one which preserves the scale invariance of the bulk theory. Consequently, Weinberg's argument applies, making a fine-tuning necessary again. The only remaining window of opportunity lies within scale invariance breaking brane couplings, for which the tuning could be avoided. Whether the corresponding 4D curvature could be kept under control and in agreement with the observed value will be answered in our companion paper [1].

  11. Anthropic Reasoning about Fine-Tuning, and Neoclassical Cosmology: Providence, Omnipresence, and Observation Selection Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Theodore, Jr.

    2011-10-01

    Anthropic reasoning about observation selection effects upon the appearance of cosmic providential fine-tuning (fine-tuning that provides for life) is often motivated by a desire to avoid theological implications (implications favoring the idea of a divine cosmic provider) without appealing to sheer lucky-for-us-cosmic-jackpot happenstance and coincidence. Cosmic coincidence can be rendered less incredible by appealing to a multiverse context. Cosmic providence can be rendered non-theological by appealing to an agent-less providential purpose, or by appealing to less-than-omnipresent/local providers, such as alien intelligences creating life- providing baby universes. Instead of choosing either cosmic coincidence or cosmic providence, as though they were mutually exclusive; it is better to accept both. Neoclassical thought accepts coincidence and providence, plus many local providers and one omnipresent provider. Moreover, fundamental observation selection theory should distinguish the many local observers of some events from the one omnipresent observer of all events. Accepting both coincidence and providence avoids classical theology (providence without coincidence) and classical atheism (coincidence without providence), but not neoclassical theology (providence with coincidence). Cosmology cannot avoid the idea of an all-inclusive omnipresent providential dice-throwing living-creative whole of reality, an idea essential to neoclassical theology, and to neoclassical cosmology.

  12. Fine-Tuning of FACT by the Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Regulation of Transcriptional Elongation.

    PubMed

    Sen, Rwik; Ferdoush, Jannatul; Kaja, Amala; Bhaumik, Sukesh R

    2016-06-01

    FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription), an evolutionarily conserved histone chaperone involved in transcription and other DNA transactions, is upregulated in cancers, and its downregulation is associated with cellular death. However, it is not clearly understood how FACT is fine-tuned for normal cellular functions. Here, we show that the FACT subunit Spt16 is ubiquitylated by San1 (an E3 ubiquitin ligase) and degraded by the 26S proteasome. Enhanced abundance of Spt16 in the absence of San1 impairs transcriptional elongation. Likewise, decreased abundance of Spt16 also reduces transcription. Thus, an optimal level of Spt16 is required for efficient transcriptional elongation, which is maintained by San1 via ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. Consistently, San1 associates with the coding sequences of active genes to regulate Spt16's abundance. Further, we found that enhanced abundance of Spt16 in the absence of San1 impairs chromatin reassembly at the coding sequence, similarly to the results seen following inactivation of Spt16. Efficient chromatin reassembly enhances the fidelity of transcriptional elongation. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time a fine-tuning of FACT by a ubiquitin proteasome system in promoting chromatin reassembly in the wake of elongating RNA polymerase II and transcriptional elongation, thus revealing novel regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. PMID:27044865

  13. Promoter library designed for fine-tuned gene expression in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Hartner, Franz S.; Ruth, Claudia; Langenegger, David; Johnson, Sabrina N.; Hyka, Petr; Lin-Cereghino, Geoffrey P.; Lin-Cereghino, Joan; Kovar, Karin; Cregg, James M.; Glieder, Anton

    2008-01-01

    Although frequently used as protein production host, there is only a limited set of promoters available to drive the expression of recombinant proteins in Pichia pastoris. Fine-tuning of gene expression is often needed to maximize product yield and quality. However, for efficient knowledge-based engineering, a better understanding of promoter function is indispensable. Consequently, we created a promoter library by deletion and duplication of putative transcription factor-binding sites within the AOX1 promoter (PAOX1) sequence. This first library initially spanned an activity range between ∼6% and >160% of the wild-type promoter activity. After characterization of the promoter library employing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) variant, the new regulatory toolbox was successfully utilized in a ‘real case’, i.e. the expression of industrial enzymes. Characterization of the library under repressing, derepressing and inducing conditions displayed at least 12 cis-acting elements involved in PAOX1-driven high-level expression. Based on this deletion analysis, novel short artificial promoter variants were constructed by combining cis-acting elements with basal promoter. In addition to improving yields and quality of heterologous protein production, the new PAOX1 synthetic promoter library constitutes a basic toolbox to fine-tune gene expression in metabolic engineering and sequential induction of protein expression in synthetic biology. PMID:18539608

  14. Probing conformational changes in lipoxygenases upon membrane binding: fine-tuning by the active site inhibitor ETYA.

    PubMed

    Di Venere, Almerinda; Nicolai, Eleonora; Ivanov, Igor; Dainese, Enrico; Adel, Susan; Angelucci, B C; Kuhn, Hartmut; Maccarrone, Mauro; Mei, Giampiero

    2014-01-01

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are lipid-peroxidizing enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their biological activity includes a membrane binding process whose molecular details are not completely understood. The mechanism of enzyme-membrane interactions is thought to involve conformational changes at the level of the protein tertiary structure, and the extent of such alterations depends on the degree of structural flexibility of the different LOX isoforms. In this study, we have tested the resilience properties of a plant and a mammalian LOX, by using high pressure fluorescence measurements at different temperatures. The binding of LOXs to the lipid bilayer has been characterized using both large and giant unilamellar vesicles and electron transfer particles (inner mitochondrial membranes) as model membranes. The data indicate that the degree of LOXs' flexibility is strictly dependent on the two distinct N- and C-terminal domains that characterize the 3D structure of these enzymes. Furthermore, they demonstrate that increasing the rigidity of protein scaffolding by the presence of an active site ligand impairs the membrane binding ability of LOXs. These findings provide evidence that the amphitropic nature of LOXs is finely tuned by the interaction of the substrate with the residues of the active site, suggesting new strategies for the design of enzyme inhibitors. PMID:24012824

  15. Activation of oxygen-mediating pathway using copper ions: fine-tuning of growth kinetics in gold nanorod overgrowth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenqi; Zhang, Hui; Wen, Tao; Yan, Jiao; Hou, Shuai; Shi, Xiaowei; Hu, Zhijian; Ji, Yinglu; Wu, Xiaochun

    2014-10-21

    Growth kinetics plays an important role in the shape control of nanocrystals (NCs). Herein, we presented a unique way to fine-tune the growth kinetics via oxidative etching activated by copper ions. For the overgrowth of gold nanorods (Au NRs), competitive adsorption of dissolved oxygen on rod surface was found to slow down the overgrowth rate. Copper ions were able to remove the adsorbed oxygen species from the Au surface via oxidative etching, thus exposing more reaction sites for Au deposition. In this way, copper ions facilitated the overgrowth process. Furthermore, Cu(2+) rather than Cu(+) acted as the catalyst for the oxidative etching. Comparative study with Ag(+) indicated that Cu(2+) cannot regulate NC shapes via an underpotential deposition mechanism. In contrast, Ag(+) led to the formation of Au tetrahexahedra (THH) and a slight decrease of the growth rate at similar growth conditions. Combining the distinct roles of the two ions enabled elongated THH to be produced. Copper ions activating the O2 pathway suggested that dissolved oxygen has a strong affinity for the Au surface. Moreover, the results of NC-sensitized singlet oxygen ((1)O2) indicated that the absorbed oxygen species on the surface of Au NCs bounded with low-index facets mainly existed in the form of molecular O2. PMID:25244407

  16. Radiative natural supersymmetry: Reconciling electroweak fine-tuning and the Higgs boson mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, Howard; Barger, Vernon; Huang, Peisi; Mickelson, Dan; Mustafayev, Azar; Tata, Xerxes

    2013-06-01

    Models of natural supersymmetry seek to solve the little hierarchy problem by positing a spectrum of light Higgsinos ≲200-300GeV and light top squarks ≲600GeV along with very heavy squarks and TeV-scale gluinos. Such models have low electroweak fine-tuning and satisfy the LHC constraints. However, in the context of the minimal supersymmetric standard model, they predict too low a value of mh, are frequently in conflict with the measured b→sγ branching fraction, and the relic density of thermally produced Higgsino-like weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) falls well below dark matter measurements. We propose a framework dubbed radiative natural supersymmetry (RNS), which can be realized within the minimal supersymmetric standard model (avoiding the addition of extra exotic matter) and which maintains features such as gauge coupling unification and radiative electroweak symmetry breaking. The RNS model can be generated from supersymmetry (SUSY) grand unified theory type models with nonuniversal Higgs masses. Allowing for high-scale soft SUSY breaking Higgs mass mHu>m0 leads to automatic cancellations during renormalization group running and to radiatively-induced low fine-tuning at the electroweak scale. Coupled with large mixing in the top-squark sector, RNS allows for fine-tuning at the 3%-10% level with TeV-scale top squarks and a 125 GeV light Higgs scalar h. The model allows for at least a partial solution to the SUSY flavor, CP, and gravitino problems since first-/second-generation scalars (and the gravitino) may exist in the 10-30 TeV regime. We outline some possible signatures for RNS at the LHC, such as the appearance of low invariant mass opposite-sign isolated dileptons from gluino cascade decays. The smoking gun signature for RNS is the appearance of light Higgsinos at a linear e+e- collider. If the strong CP problem is solved by the Peccei-Quinn mechanism, then RNS naturally accommodates mixed axion-Higgsino cold dark matter, where the

  17. Seam tracking with adaptive image capture for fine-tuning of a high power laser welding process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahdenoja, Olli; Säntti, Tero; Laiho, Mika; Paasio, Ari; Poikonen, Jonne K.

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents the development of methods for real-time fine-tuning of a high power laser welding process of thick steel by using a compact smart camera system. When performing welding in butt-joint configuration, the laser beam's location needs to be adjusted exactly according to the seam line in order to allow the injected energy to be absorbed uniformly into both steel sheets. In this paper, on-line extraction of seam parameters is targeted by taking advantage of a combination of dynamic image intensity compression, image segmentation with a focal-plane processor ASIC, and Hough transform on an associated FPGA. Additional filtering of Hough line candidates based on temporal windowing is further applied to reduce unrealistic frame-to-frame tracking variations. The proposed methods are implemented in Matlab by using image data captured with adaptive integration time. The simulations are performed in a hardware oriented way to allow real-time implementation of the algorithms on the smart camera system.

  18. Eukaryotic initiator tRNA: finely tuned and ready for action.

    PubMed

    Kolitz, Sarah E; Lorsch, Jon R

    2010-01-21

    The initiator tRNA must serve functions distinct from those of other tRNAs, evading binding to elongation factors and instead binding directly to the ribosomal P site with the aid of initiation factors. It plays a key role in decoding the start codon, setting the frame for translation of the mRNA. Sequence elements and modifications of the initiator tRNA distinguish it from the elongator methionyl tRNA and help it to perform its varied tasks. These identity elements appear to finely tune the structure of the initiator tRNA, and growing evidence suggests that the body of the tRNA is involved in transmitting the signal that the start codon has been found to the rest of the pre-initiation complex. PMID:19925799

  19. Towards a realistic solution of the cosmological constant fine-tuning problem by Higgs inflation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Chao-Jun; Li, Xin-Zhou

    2014-11-01

    Why is the cosmological constant Λ observed today so much smaller than the Planck scale, and why is the Universe accelerating at present? This is the so-called cosmological constant fine-tuning problem. In this paper, we find that this problem may be solved with the help of Higgs inflation by simply assuming a variable cosmological "constant" during the inflationary epoch. Meanwhile, it could predict a large tensor-to-scalar ratio r ≈0.20 and a large running of the spectral index ns'≈-0.028 with a red-tilt spectrum ns≈0.96 , as well as a big enough number of e -folds N ≈40 , requiring that we solve the problems in big bang cosmology with the help of Λ .

  20. The Orchestra and Its Maestro: Shigella's Fine-Tuning of the Inflammasome Platforms.

    PubMed

    Hermansson, Anna-Karin; Paciello, Ida; Bernardini, Maria Lina

    2016-01-01

    Shigella spp. are the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, leading to extensive mortality and morbidity worldwide. These facultative intracellular bacteria invade the epithelium of the colon and the rectum, inducing a severe inflammatory response from which the symptoms of the disease originate. Shigella are human pathogens able to manipulate and subvert the innate immune system surveillance. Shigella dampens inflammasome activation in epithelial cells. In infected macrophages, inflammasome activation and IL-1β and IL-18 release lead to massive neutrophil recruitment and greatly contribute to inflammation. Here, we describe how Shigella hijacks and finely tunes inflammasome activation in the different cell populations involved in pathogenesis: epithelial cells, macrophages, neutrophils, DCs, and B and T lymphocytes. Shigella emerges as a "sly" pathogen that switches on/off the inflammasome mechanisms in order to optimize the interaction with the host and establish a successful infection. PMID:27460806

  1. Phase lock acquisition system having FLL for coarse tuning and PLL for fine tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, S. P.; Decker, M. J.; Jelen, R. A.

    1986-04-01

    The acquisition of phase lock to a reference frequency by a signal acquisition system is accomplished using a voltage controlled oscillator, a wideband frequency discriminator, a prepositioning circuit, and a phase lock loop. The voltage controlled oscillator is prepositioned within a loop bandwidth of the reference frequency by the prepositioning circuit and the wide band frequency discriminator which provide coarse tuning. The voltage controlled oscillator achieves phase lock with the reference frequency when it receives the fine tune signal from the phase lock loop. Using both the discriminator and the phase lock loop allows fast acquisition without the need to calibrate the voltage controlled oscillator. Since the discriminator pull-in range is much larger than the phase-lock loop bandwidth, the number of bits can be much smaller than in acquisition circuit using a digital prepositioning circuit alone.

  2. How SUMOylation Fine-Tunes the Fanconi Anemia DNA Repair Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Kate E.; Huang, Tony T.

    2016-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare human genetic disorder characterized by developmental defects, bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition, primarily due to a deficiency in the repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). ICL repair through the FA DNA repair pathway is a complicated multi-step process, involving at least 19 FANC proteins and coordination of multiple DNA repair activities, including homologous recombination, nucleotide excision repair and translesion synthesis (TLS). SUMOylation is a critical regulator of several DNA repair pathways, however, the role of this modification in controlling the FA pathway is poorly understood. Here, we summarize recent advances in the fine-tuning of the FA pathway by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-targeted ubiquitin ligases (STUbLs) and other SUMO-related interactions, and discuss the implications of these findings in the design of novel therapeutics for alleviating FA-associated condition, including cancer. PMID:27148358

  3. Fine-tuning the etch depth profile via dynamic shielding of ion beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lixiang; Qiu, Keqiang; Fu, Shaojun

    2016-08-01

    We introduce a method for finely adjusting the etch depth profile by dynamic shielding in the course of ion beam etching (IBE), which is crucial for the ultra-precision fabrication of large optics. We study the physical process of dynamic shielding and propose a parametric modeling method to quantitatively analyze the shielding effect on etch depths, or rather the shielding rate, where a piecewise Gaussian model is adopted to fit the shielding rate profile. Two experiments were conducted. The experimental result of parametric modeling of shielding rate profiles shows that the shielding rate profile is significantly influenced by the rotary angle of the leaf. The result of the experiment on fine-tuning the etch depth profile shows good agreement with the simulated result, which preliminarily verifies the feasibility of our method.

  4. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts

    PubMed Central

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-01-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land. PMID:27383663

  5. Enhancement of impact strength of poly (methyl methacrylate) with surface fine-tuned nano-silica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Bin; Dong, Yixiao; Wu, Lili; Long, Chao; Zhang, Chaocan

    2015-07-01

    Highly dispersible nanoparticles in organic solvent always receive wide interests due to their compatibility with polymer materials. This paper reported a kind of isopropanol alcohol silica dispersion which obtained using a method of azeotropic distillation. The isopropanol alcohol dispersed silica (IPADS) were treated with coupling agents to fine-tune their surface properties. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) was then used as a research object to test the compatibility between IPADS and polymer. UV-vis spectra indicate that IPADS would reach its high compatibility with PMMA if coupling with trimethoxypropylsilane (PTMS). Followed experiments on PMMA proved that the high compatibility can prominently enhance the impact strength about 30%. The results may provide reference both for nano-silica modification and better understanding of nano-enhanced materials.

  6. A voltage-dependent chloride channel fine-tunes photosynthesis in plants.

    PubMed

    Herdean, Andrei; Teardo, Enrico; Nilsson, Anders K; Pfeil, Bernard E; Johansson, Oskar N; Ünnep, Renáta; Nagy, Gergely; Zsiros, Ottó; Dana, Somnath; Solymosi, Katalin; Garab, Győző; Szabó, Ildikó; Spetea, Cornelia; Lundin, Björn

    2016-01-01

    In natural habitats, plants frequently experience rapid changes in the intensity of sunlight. To cope with these changes and maximize growth, plants adjust photosynthetic light utilization in electron transport and photoprotective mechanisms. This involves a proton motive force (PMF) across the thylakoid membrane, postulated to be affected by unknown anion (Cl(-)) channels. Here we report that a bestrophin-like protein from Arabidopsis thaliana functions as a voltage-dependent Cl(-) channel in electrophysiological experiments. AtVCCN1 localizes to the thylakoid membrane, and fine-tunes PMF by anion influx into the lumen during illumination, adjusting electron transport and the photoprotective mechanisms. The activity of AtVCCN1 accelerates the activation of photoprotective mechanisms on sudden shifts to high light. Our results reveal that AtVCCN1, a member of a conserved anion channel family, acts as an early component in the rapid adjustment of photosynthesis in variable light environments. PMID:27216227

  7. A voltage-dependent chloride channel fine-tunes photosynthesis in plants

    PubMed Central

    Herdean, Andrei; Teardo, Enrico; Nilsson, Anders K.; Pfeil, Bernard E.; Johansson, Oskar N.; Ünnep, Renáta; Nagy, Gergely; Zsiros, Ottó; Dana, Somnath; Solymosi, Katalin; Garab, Győző; Szabó, Ildikó; Spetea, Cornelia; Lundin, Björn

    2016-01-01

    In natural habitats, plants frequently experience rapid changes in the intensity of sunlight. To cope with these changes and maximize growth, plants adjust photosynthetic light utilization in electron transport and photoprotective mechanisms. This involves a proton motive force (PMF) across the thylakoid membrane, postulated to be affected by unknown anion (Cl−) channels. Here we report that a bestrophin-like protein from Arabidopsis thaliana functions as a voltage-dependent Cl− channel in electrophysiological experiments. AtVCCN1 localizes to the thylakoid membrane, and fine-tunes PMF by anion influx into the lumen during illumination, adjusting electron transport and the photoprotective mechanisms. The activity of AtVCCN1 accelerates the activation of photoprotective mechanisms on sudden shifts to high light. Our results reveal that AtVCCN1, a member of a conserved anion channel family, acts as an early component in the rapid adjustment of photosynthesis in variable light environments. PMID:27216227

  8. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-07-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land.

  9. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts.

    PubMed

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-01-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land. PMID:27383663

  10. Fine-tuning the Size and Minimizing the Noise of Solid-state Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Beamish, Eric; Kwok, Harold; Tabard-Cossa, Vincent; Godin, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Solid-state nanopores have emerged as a versatile tool for the characterization of single biomolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins1. However, the creation of a nanopore in a thin insulating membrane remains challenging. Fabrication methods involving specialized focused electron beam systems can produce well-defined nanopores, but yield of reliable and low-noise nanopores in commercially available membranes remains low2,3 and size control is nontrivial4,5. Here, the application of high electric fields to fine-tune the size of the nanopore while ensuring optimal low-noise performance is demonstrated. These short pulses of high electric field are used to produce a pristine electrical signal and allow for enlarging of nanopores with subnanometer precision upon prolonged exposure. This method is performed in situ in an aqueous environment using standard laboratory equipment, improving the yield and reproducibility of solid-state nanopore fabrication. PMID:24300128

  11. A Solution to the Supersymmetric Fine-Tuning Problem within the MSSM

    SciTech Connect

    Kitano, Ryuichiro; Nomura, Yasunori; /UC, Berkeley /LBL, Berkeley

    2005-09-08

    Weak scale supersymmetry has a generic problem of fine-tuning in reproducing the correct scale for electroweak symmetry breaking. The problem is particularly severe in the minimal supersymmetric extension of the standard model (MSSM). We present a solution to this problem that does not require an extension of the MSSM at the weak scale. Superparticle masses are generated by a comparable mixture of moduli and anomaly mediated contributions, and the messenger scale of supersymmetry breaking is effectively lowered to the TeV region. Crucial elements for the solution are a large A term for the top squarks and a small B term for the Higgs doublets. Requiring no fine-tuning worse than 20%, we obtain rather sharp predictions on the spectrum. The gaugino masses are almost universal at the weak scale with the mass between 450 and 900 GeV. The squark and slepton masses are also nearly universal at the weak scale with the mass a factor of {radical}2 smaller than that of the gauginos. The only exception is the top squarks whose masses split from the other squark masses by about m{sub t}/{radical}2. The lightest Higgs boson mass is smaller than 120 GeV, while the ratio of the vacuum expectation values for the two Higgs doublets, tan {beta}, is larger than about 5. The lightest superparticle is the neutral Higgsino of the mass below 190 GeV, which can be dark matter of the universe. The mass of the lighter top squark can be smaller than 300 GeV, which may be relevant for Run II at the Tevatron.

  12. Improved transgene expression fine-tuning in mammalian cells using a novel transcription-translation network.

    PubMed

    Malphettes, Laetitia; Fussenegger, Martin

    2006-08-01

    Following the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) and related phenomena, novel regulatory processes, attributable to small non-protein-coding RNAs, continue to emerge. Capitalizing on the ability of artificial short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to trigger degradation of specific target transcripts, and thereby silence desired gene expression, we designed and characterized a generic transcription-translation network in which it is possible to fine-tune heterologous protein production by coordinated transcription and translation interventions using macrolide and tetracycline antibiotics. Integration of siRNA-specific target sequences (TAGs) into the 5' or 3' untranslated regions (5'UTR, 3'UTR) of a desired constitutive transcription unit rendered transgene-encoded protein (erythropoietin, EPO; human placental alkaline phosphatase, SEAP; human vascular endothelial growth factor 121, VEGF(121)) production in mammalian cells responsive to siRNA levels that can be fine-tuned by macrolide-adjustable RNA polymerase II- or III-dependent promoters. Coupling of such macrolide-responsive siRNA-triggered translation control with tetracycline-responsive transcription of tagged transgene mRNAs created an antibiotic-adjustable two-input transcription-translation network characterized by elimination of detectable leaky expression with no reduction in maximum protein production levels. This transcription-translation network revealed transgene mRNA depletion to be dependent on siRNA and mRNA levels and that translation control was able to eliminate basal expression inherent to current transcription control modalities. Coupled transcription-translation circuitries have the potential to lead the way towards composite artificial regulatory networks, to enable complex therapeutic interventions in future biopharmaceutical manufacturing, gene therapy and tissue engineering initiatives. PMID:16488500

  13. Fine Tuning of the Lactate and Diacetyl Production through Promoter Engineering in Lactococcus lactis

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Tingting; Kong, Jian; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Chenchen; Hu, Shumin

    2012-01-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a well-studied bacterium widely used in dairy fermentation and capable of producing metabolites with organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. For fine tuning of the distribution of glycolytic flux at the pyruvate branch from lactate to diacetyl and balancing the production of the two metabolites under aerobic conditions, a constitutive promoter library was constructed by randomizing the promoter sequence of the H2O-forming NADH oxidase gene in L. lactis. The library consisted of 30 promoters covering a wide range of activities from 7,000 to 380,000 relative fluorescence units using a green fluorescent protein as reporter. Eleven typical promoters of the library were selected for the constitutive expression of the H2O-forming NADH oxidase gene in L. lactis, and the NADH oxidase activity increased from 9.43 to 58.17-fold of the wild-type strain in small steps of activity change under aerobic conditions. Meanwhile, the lactate yield decreased from 21.15±0.08 mM to 9.94±0.07 mM, and the corresponding diacetyl production increased from 1.07±0.03 mM to 4.16±0.06 mM with the intracellular NADH/NAD+ ratios varying from 0.711±0.005 to 0.383±0.003. The results indicated that the reduced pyruvate to lactate flux was rerouted to the diacetyl with an almost linear flux variation via altered NADH/NAD+ ratios. Therefore, we provided a novel strategy to precisely control the pyruvate distribution for fine tuning of the lactate and diacetyl production through promoter engineering in L. lactis. Interestingly, the increased H2O-forming NADH oxidase activity led to 76.95% lower H2O2 concentration in the recombinant strain than that of the wild-type strain after 24 h of aerated cultivation. The viable cells were significantly elevated by four orders of magnitude within 28 days of storage at 4°C, suggesting that the increased enzyme activity could eliminate H2O2 accumulation and prolong cell survival. PMID:22558426

  14. Phospho-Pon Binding-Mediated Fine-Tuning of Plk1 Activity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Kang; Shan, Zelin; Zhang, Lu; Wen, Wenyu

    2016-07-01

    In Drosophila neuroblasts (NBs), the asymmetrical localization and segregation of the cell-fate determinant Numb are regulated by its adaptor Partner of Numb (Pon) and the cell-cycle kinase Polo. Polo phosphorylates the Pon localization domain, thus leading to its basal distribution together with Numb, albeit through an unclear mechanism. Here, we find that Cdk1 phosphorylates Pon at Thr63, thus creating a docking site for the Polo-box domain (PBD) of Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1). The crystal structure of the Plk1 PBD/phospho-Pon complex reveals that two phospho-Pon bound PBDs associate to form a dimer of dimers. We provide evidence that phospho-Pon binding-induced PBD dimerization relieves the autoinhibition of Plk1. Moreover, we demonstrate that the priming Cdk1 phosphorylation of Pon is important for sequential Plk1 phosphorylation. Our results not only provide structural insight into how phosphoprotein binding activates Plk1 but also suggest that binding to different phosphoproteins might mediate the fine-tuning of Plk1 activity. PMID:27238966

  15. Natural solution to the naturalness problem: The universe does fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamada, Yuta; Kawai, Hikaru; Kawana, Kiyoharu

    2015-12-01

    We propose a new mechanism to solve the fine-tuning problem. We start from a multi-local action S=sum iciSi+sum _{i,j}c_{i,j}SiSj+sum _{i,j,k}c_{i,j,k}SiSjSk+\\cdots , where the Si's are ordinary local actions. Then, the partition function of this system is given by Z=int doverrArr {λ } fbig (overrArr {λ }big )< f|Texp left (-iint 0^{+infty }dthat {H} (overrArr {λ };a_{cl}(t))right )|irangle , where overrArr {λ } represents the parameters of the system whose Hamiltonian is given by hat {H}(overrArr {λ };a_{cl}(t)), a_{cl}(t) is the radius of the universe determined by the Friedman equation, and fbig (overrArr {λ }big ), which is determined by S, is a smooth function of overrArr {λ }. If a value of overrArr {λ }, overrArr {λ }0, dominates in the integral, we can interpret that the parameters are dynamically tuned to overrArr {λ }0. We show that this indeed happens in some realistic systems. In particular, we consider the strong CP problem, the multiple point criticality principle, and the cosmological constant problem. It is interesting that these different phenomena can be explained by one mechanism.

  16. Highly Stable and Finely Tuned Magnetic Fields Generated by Permanent Magnet Assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danieli, E.; Perlo, J.; Blümich, B.; Casanova, F.

    2013-05-01

    Permanent magnetic materials are the only magnetic source that can be used to generate magnetic fields without power consumption or maintenance. Such stand-alone magnets are very attractive for many scientific and engineering areas, but they suffer from poor temporal field stability, which arises from the strong sensitivity of the magnetic materials and mechanical support to temperature variation. In this work, we describe a highly efficient method useful to cancel the temperature coefficient of permanent magnet assemblies in a passive and accurate way. It is based on the combination of at least two units made of magnetic materials with different temperature coefficients arranged in such a way that the ratio of the fields generated by each unit matches the ratio of their effective temperature coefficients defined by both the magnetic and mechanical contributions. Although typically available magnetic materials have negative temperature coefficients, the cancellation is achieved by aligning the fields generated by each unit in the opposite direction. We demonstrate the performance of this approach by stabilizing the field generated by a dipolar Halbach magnet, recently proposed to achieve high field homogeneity. Both the field drift and the homogeneity are monitored via nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments. The results demonstrate the compatibility of the thermal compensation approach with existing strategies useful to fine-tune the spatial dependence of the field generated by permanent magnet arrays.

  17. Design and fine-tuning redox potentials of metalloproteins involved in electron transfer in bioenergetics.

    PubMed

    Hosseinzadeh, Parisa; Lu, Yi

    2016-05-01

    Redox potentials are a major contributor in controlling the electron transfer (ET) rates and thus regulating the ET processes in the bioenergetics. To maximize the efficiency of the ET process, one needs to master the art of tuning the redox potential, especially in metalloproteins, as they represent major classes of ET proteins. In this review, we first describe the importance of tuning the redox potential of ET centers and its role in regulating the ET in bioenergetic processes including photosynthesis and respiration. The main focus of this review is to summarize recent work in designing the ET centers, namely cupredoxins, cytochromes, and iron-sulfur proteins, and examples in design of protein networks involved these ET centers. We then discuss the factors that affect redox potentials of these ET centers including metal ion, the ligands to metal center and interactions beyond the primary ligand, especially non-covalent secondary coordination sphere interactions. We provide examples of strategies to fine-tune the redox potential using both natural and unnatural amino acids and native and nonnative cofactors. Several case studies are used to illustrate recent successes in this area. Outlooks for future endeavors are also provided. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biodesign for Bioenergetics--the design and engineering of electronic transfer cofactors, proteins and protein networks, edited by Ronald L. Koder and J.L. Ross Anderson. PMID:26301482

  18. Fine-tuned ATP signals are acute mediators in osteocyte mechanotransduction.

    PubMed

    Kringelbach, Tina M; Aslan, Derya; Novak, Ivana; Ellegaard, Maria; Syberg, Susanne; Andersen, Christina K B; Kristiansen, Kim A; Vang, Ole; Schwarz, Peter; Jørgensen, Niklas R

    2015-12-01

    Osteocytes are considered the primary mechanosensors of bone, but the signaling pathways they apply in mechanotransduction are still incompletely investigated and characterized. A growing body of data strongly indicates that P2 receptor signaling among osteoblasts and osteoclasts has regulatory effects on bone remodeling. Therefore, we hypothesized that ATP signaling is also applied by osteocytes in mechanotransduction. We applied a short fluid pulse on MLO-Y4 osteocyte-like cells during real-time detection of ATP and demonstrated that mechanical stimulation activates the acute release of ATP and that these acute ATP signals are fine-tuned according to the magnitude of loading. ATP release was then challenged by pharmacological inhibitors, which indicated a vesicular release pathway for acute ATP signals. Finally, we showed that osteocytes express functional P2X2 and P2X7 receptors and respond to even low concentrations of nucleotides by increasing intracellular calcium concentration. These results indicate that in osteocytes, vesicular ATP release is an acute mediator of mechanical signals and the magnitude of loading. These and previous results, therefore, implicate purinergic signaling as an early signaling pathway in osteocyte mechanotransduction. PMID:26327582

  19. Statistical-Mechanical Analysis of Pre-training and Fine Tuning in Deep Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohzeki, Masayuki

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we present a statistical-mechanical analysis of deep learning. We elucidate some of the essential components of deep learning — pre-training by unsupervised learning and fine tuning by supervised learning. We formulate the extraction of features from the training data as a margin criterion in a high-dimensional feature-vector space. The self-organized classifier is then supplied with small amounts of labelled data, as in deep learning. Although we employ a simple single-layer perceptron model, rather than directly analyzing a multi-layer neural network, we find a nontrivial phase transition that is dependent on the number of unlabelled data in the generalization error of the resultant classifier. In this sense, we evaluate the efficacy of the unsupervised learning component of deep learning. The analysis is performed by the replica method, which is a sophisticated tool in statistical mechanics. We validate our result in the manner of deep learning, using a simple iterative algorithm to learn the weight vector on the basis of belief propagation.

  20. Redirecting abiraterone metabolism to fine-tune prostate cancer anti-androgen therapy.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenfei; Alyamani, Mohammad; Li, Jianneng; Rogacki, Kevin; Abazeed, Mohamed; Upadhyay, Sunil K; Balk, Steven P; Taplin, Mary-Ellen; Auchus, Richard J; Sharifi, Nima

    2016-05-26

    Abiraterone blocks androgen synthesis and prolongs survival in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is otherwise driven by intratumoral androgen synthesis. Abiraterone is metabolized in patients to Δ(4)-abiraterone (D4A), which has even greater anti-tumour activity and is structurally similar to endogenous steroidal 5α-reductase substrates, such as testosterone. Here, we show that D4A is converted to at least three 5α-reduced and three 5β-reduced metabolites in human serum. The initial 5α-reduced metabolite, 3-keto-5α-abiraterone, is present at higher concentrations than D4A in patients with prostate cancer taking abiraterone, and is an androgen receptor agonist, which promotes prostate cancer progression. In a clinical trial of abiraterone alone, followed by abiraterone plus dutasteride (a 5α-reductase inhibitor), 3-keto-5α-abiraterone and downstream metabolites were depleted by the addition of dutasteride, while D4A concentrations rose, showing that dutasteride effectively blocks production of a tumour-promoting metabolite and permits D4A accumulation. Furthermore, dutasteride did not deplete the three 5β-reduced metabolites, which were also clinically detectable, demonstrating the specific biochemical effects of pharmacological 5α-reductase inhibition on abiraterone metabolism. Our findings suggest a previously unappreciated and biochemically specific method of clinically fine-tuning abiraterone metabolism to optimize therapy. PMID:27225130

  1. Finely tuning MOFs towards high-performance post-combustion CO2 capture materials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qian; Bai, Junfeng; Lu, Zhiyong; Pan, Yi; You, Xiaozeng

    2016-01-11

    CO2 capture science and technology, particularly for the post-combustion CO2 capture, has become one of very important research fields, due to great concern of global warming. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with a unique feature of structural fine-tunability, unlike the traditional porous solid materials, can provide many and powerful platforms to explore high-performance adsorbents for post-combustion CO2 capture. Until now, several strategies for finely tuning MOF structures have been developed, in which either the larger quadrupole moment and polarizability of CO2 are considered: metal ion change (I), functional groups attachment (II) and functional group insertion (III), vary the electronic nature of the pore surface; or targeting the smaller kinetic diameter of CO2 over N2 is focused on: framework interpenetration (IV), ligand shortening (V) and coordination site shifting (VI) contract the pore size of frameworks to improve their CO2 capture properties. In this review, from the viewpoint of synthetic materials scientists/chemists, we would like to introduce and summarize these strategies based upon recent work published by other groups and ourselves. PMID:26512792

  2. Fine-tuning the ubiquitin code at DNA double-strand breaks: deubiquitinating enzymes at work

    PubMed Central

    Citterio, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a reversible protein modification broadly implicated in cellular functions. Signaling processes mediated by ubiquitin (ub) are crucial for the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), one of the most dangerous types of DNA lesions. In particular, the DSB response critically relies on active ubiquitination by the RNF8 and RNF168 ub ligases at the chromatin, which is essential for proper DSB signaling and repair. How this pathway is fine-tuned and what the functional consequences are of its deregulation for genome integrity and tissue homeostasis are subject of intense investigation. One important regulatory mechanism is by reversal of substrate ubiquitination through the activity of specific deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), as supported by the implication of a growing number of DUBs in DNA damage response processes. Here, we discuss the current knowledge of how ub-mediated signaling at DSBs is controlled by DUBs, with main focus on DUBs targeting histone H2A and on their recent implication in stem cell biology and cancer. PMID:26442100

  3. Fine-tuning of eTRPM8 expression and activity conditions keratinocyte fate.

    PubMed

    Bidaux, Gabriel; Borowiec, Anne-Sophie; Prevarskaya, Natalia; Gordienko, Dmitri

    2016-07-01

    Recently, we reported the cloning and characterization of short isoform of the icilin-activated cold receptor TRPM8 channel in keratinocytes, dubbed eTRPM8. We demonstrated that eTRPM8 via fine tuning of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) - mitochondria Ca(2+) shuttling regulates mitochondrial ATP and superoxide (O2(•-)) production and, thereby, mediates control of epidermal homeostasis by mild cold. Here, we provide additional information explaining why eTRPM8 suppression and TRPM8 stimulation both inhibit keratinocyte growth. We also demonstrate that stimulation of eTRPM8 with icilin may give rise to sustained oscillatory responses. Furthermore, we show that ATP-induced cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca(2+) responses are attenuated by eTRPM8 suppression. This suggests positive interplay between eTRPM8 and purinergic signaling pathways, what may serve to facilitate the ER-mitochondria Ca(2+) shuttling. Finally, we demonstrate that cold (25°C) induces eTRPM8-dependent superoxide-mediated necrosis of keratinocytes. Altogether, these results are in line with our model of eTRPM8-mediated cold-dependent balance between keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. PMID:27014839

  4. Fine Tuning of the UPR by the Ubiquitin Ligases Siah1/2

    PubMed Central

    Scortegagna, Marzia; Kim, Hyungsoo; Li, Jian-Liang; Yao, Hang; Brill, Laurence M.; Han, Jaeseok; Lau, Eric; Bowtell, David; Haddad, Gabriel; Kaufman, Randal J.; Ronai, Ze'ev A.

    2014-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) responds to changes in intracellular homeostasis through activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Yet, it is not known how UPR-signaling coordinates adaptation versus cell death. Previous studies suggested that signaling through PERK/ATF4 is required for cell death. We show that high levels of ER stress (i.e., ischemia-like conditions) induce transcription of the ubiquitin ligases Siah1/2 through the UPR transducers PERK/ATF4 and IRE1/sXBP1. In turn, Siah1/2 attenuates proline hydroxylation of ATF4, resulting in its stabilization, thereby augmenting ER stress output. Conversely, ATF4 activation is reduced upon Siah1/2 KD in cultured cells, which attenuates ER stress-induced cell death. Notably, Siah1a+/−::Siah2−/− mice subjected to neuronal ischemia exhibited smaller infarct volume and were protected from ischemia-induced death, compared with the wild type (WT) mice. In all, Siah1/2 constitutes an obligatory fine-tuning mechanism that predisposes cells to death under severe ER stress conditions. PMID:24809345

  5. Tissue-Specific Regulation of Gibberellin Signaling Fine-Tunes Arabidopsis Iron-Deficiency Responses.

    PubMed

    Wild, Michael; Davière, Jean-Michel; Regnault, Thomas; Sakvarelidze-Achard, Lali; Carrera, Esther; Lopez Diaz, Isabel; Cayrel, Anne; Dubeaux, Guillaume; Vert, Grégory; Achard, Patrick

    2016-04-18

    Iron is an essential element for most living organisms. Plants acquire iron from the rhizosphere and have evolved different biochemical and developmental responses to adapt to a low-iron environment. In Arabidopsis, FIT encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that activates the expression of iron-uptake genes in root epidermis upon iron deficiency. Here, we report that the gibberellin (GA)-signaling DELLA repressors contribute substantially in the adaptive responses to iron-deficient conditions. When iron availability decreases, DELLAs accumulate in the root meristem, thereby restraining root growth, while being progressively excluded from epidermal cells in the root differentiation zone. Such DELLA exclusion from the site of iron acquisition relieves FIT from DELLA-dependent inhibition and therefore promotes iron uptake. Consistent with this mechanism, expression of a non-GA-degradable DELLA mutant protein in root epidermis interferes with iron acquisition. Hence, spatial distribution of DELLAs in roots is essential to fine-tune the adaptive responses to iron availability. PMID:27093087

  6. Fine tuning the correlation limit of spatio-temporal signal space separation for magnetoencephalography.

    PubMed

    Medvedovsky, Mordekhay; Taulu, Samu; Bikmullina, Rozaliya; Ahonen, Antti; Paetau, Ritva

    2009-02-15

    Head, jaw and tongue movements contribute to speech artifacts in magnetoencephalography (MEG). Their sources lay close to MEG sensors, therefore, the spatio-temporal signal space separation method (tSSS), specifically suppressing nearby artifacts, can be used for speech artifact suppression. After data reconstruction by signal space separation (referred as SSS), tSSS identifies artifacts by their correlated temporal behavior inside and outside the sensor helmet. The artifacts to be eliminated are thresholded by the quantitative level of this correlation determined by correlation limit (CL). Unnecessarily high CL value may result in suboptimal interference suppression. We evaluated the performance of tSSS with different CLs on MEG data containing speech artifacts. MEG was recorded with 204 planar gradiometers and 102 magnetometers in two subjects counting aloud. The recorded data were processed by tSSS using CLs 0.98, 0.8 and 0.6, and traces were compared. The speech artifact was increasingly suppressed with decreasing CL, but sufficient suppression was achieved at different CL in each subject. Alpha rhythm was not suppressed with CL 0.98 or 0.8; some amplitude reduction with CL 0.6 occurred in one subject. The tSSS is a robust tool suppressing MEG artifacts. It can be fine tuned for challenging artifacts which, after insufficient rejection might resemble brain signals. PMID:18996412

  7. Fine-tuned PEGylation of chitosan to maintain optimal siRNA-nanoplex bioactivity.

    PubMed

    Guţoaia, Andra; Schuster, Liane; Margutti, Simona; Laufer, Stefan; Schlosshauer, Burkhard; Krastev, Rumen; Stoll, Dieter; Hartmann, Hanna

    2016-06-01

    Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a widely used modification for drug delivery systems. It reduces undesired interaction with biological components, aggregation of complexes and serves as a hydrophilic linker of ligands for targeted drug delivery. However, PEGylation can also lead to undesired changes in physicochemical characteristics of chitosan/siRNA nanoplexes and hamper gene silencing. To address this conflicting issue, PEG-chitosan copolymers were synthesized with stepwise increasing degrees of PEG substitution (1.5% to 8.0%). Subsequently formed PEG-chitosan/siRNA nanoplexes were characterized physicochemically and biologically. The results showed that small ratios of chitosan PEGylation did not affect nanoplex stability and density. However, higher PEGylation ratios reduced nanoplex size and charge, as well as cell uptake and final siRNA knockdown efficiency. Therefore, we recommend fine-tuning of PEGylation ratios to generate PEG-chitosan/siRNA delivery systems with maximum bioactivity. The degree of PEGylation for chitosan/siRNA nanoplexes should be kept low in order to maintain optimal nanoplex efficiency. PMID:27083340

  8. Core formation in dwarf haloes with self-interacting dark matter: no fine-tuning necessary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbert, Oliver D.; Bullock, James S.; Garrison-Kimmel, Shea; Rocha, Miguel; Oñorbe, Jose; Peter, Annika H. G.

    2015-10-01

    We investigate the effect of self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) on the density profiles of Vmax ≃ 40km s-1 isolated dwarf dark matter haloes - the scale of relevance for the too big to fail problem (TBTF) - using very high resolution cosmological zoom simulations. Each halo has millions of particles within its virial radius. We find that SIDM models with cross-sections per unit mass spanning the range σ/m = 0.5-50 cm2 g-1 alleviate TBTF and produce constant-density cores of size 300-1000 pc, comparable to the half-light radii of M⋆ ˜ 105 - 7 M⊙ dwarfs. The largest, lowest density cores develop for cross-sections in the middle of this range, σ/m ˜ 5-10 cm2 g-1. Our largest SIDM cross-section run (σ/m = 50 cm2 g-1) develops a slightly denser core owing to mild core-collapse behaviour, but it remains less dense than the cold dark matter case and retains a constant-density core profile. Our work suggests that SIDM cross-sections as large or larger than 50 cm2 g-1 remain viable on velocity scales of dwarf galaxies (vrms ˜ 40 km s-1). The range of SIDM cross-sections that alleviate TBTF and the cusp/core problem spans at least two orders of magnitude and therefore need not be particularly fine-tuned.

  9. Highly stable and finely tuned magnetic fields generated by permanent magnet assemblies.

    PubMed

    Danieli, E; Perlo, J; Blümich, B; Casanova, F

    2013-05-01

    Permanent magnetic materials are the only magnetic source that can be used to generate magnetic fields without power consumption or maintenance. Such stand-alone magnets are very attractive for many scientific and engineering areas, but they suffer from poor temporal field stability, which arises from the strong sensitivity of the magnetic materials and mechanical support to temperature variation. In this work, we describe a highly efficient method useful to cancel the temperature coefficient of permanent magnet assemblies in a passive and accurate way. It is based on the combination of at least two units made of magnetic materials with different temperature coefficients arranged in such a way that the ratio of the fields generated by each unit matches the ratio of their effective temperature coefficients defined by both the magnetic and mechanical contributions. Although typically available magnetic materials have negative temperature coefficients, the cancellation is achieved by aligning the fields generated by each unit in the opposite direction. We demonstrate the performance of this approach by stabilizing the field generated by a dipolar Halbach magnet, recently proposed to achieve high field homogeneity. Both the field drift and the homogeneity are monitored via nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments. The results demonstrate the compatibility of the thermal compensation approach with existing strategies useful to fine-tune the spatial dependence of the field generated by permanent magnet arrays. PMID:23683185

  10. Community-integrated omics links dominance of a microbial generalist to fine-tuned resource usage

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Emilie E. L.; Pinel, Nicolás; Laczny, Cédric C.; Hoopmann, Michael R.; Narayanasamy, Shaman; Lebrun, Laura A.; Roume, Hugo; Lin, Jake; May, Patrick; Hicks, Nathan D.; Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Wampach, Linda; Liu, Cindy M.; Price, Lance B.; Gillece, John D.; Guignard, Cédric; Schupp, James M.; Vlassis, Nikos; Baliga, Nitin S.; Moritz, Robert L.; Keim, Paul S.; Wilmes, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are primarily structured according to their members’ ecological niches. To investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist lifestyle strategies) relates to ecological success, we develop and apply an integrative workflow for the multi-omic analysis of oleaginous mixed microbial communities from a biological wastewater treatment plant. Time- and space-resolved coupled metabolomic and taxonomic analyses demonstrate that the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype is associated with the dominance of the generalist bacterium Candidatus Microthrix spp. By integrating population-level genomic reconstructions (reflecting fundamental niches) with transcriptomic and proteomic data (realised niches), we identify finely tuned gene expression governing resource usage by Candidatus Microthrix parvicella over time. Moreover, our results indicate that the fluctuating environmental conditions constrain the accumulation of genetic variation in Candidatus Microthrix parvicella likely due to fitness trade-offs. Based on our observations, niche breadth has to be considered as an important factor for understanding the evolutionary processes governing (microbial) population sizes and structures in situ. PMID:25424998

  11. Dendrites are dispensable for basic motoneuron function but essential for fine tuning of behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ryglewski, Stefanie; Kadas, Dimitrios; Hutchinson, Katie; Schuetzler, Natalie; Vonhoff, Fernando; Duch, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    Dendrites are highly complex 3D structures that define neuronal morphology and connectivity and are the predominant sites for synaptic input. Defects in dendritic structure are highly consistent correlates of brain diseases. However, the precise consequences of dendritic structure defects for neuronal function and behavioral performance remain unknown. Here we probe dendritic function by using genetic tools to selectively abolish dendrites in identified Drosophila wing motoneurons without affecting other neuronal properties. We find that these motoneuron dendrites are unexpectedly dispensable for synaptic targeting, qualitatively normal neuronal activity patterns during behavior, and basic behavioral performance. However, significant performance deficits in sophisticated motor behaviors, such as flight altitude control and switching between discrete courtship song elements, scale with the degree of dendritic defect. To our knowledge, our observations provide the first direct evidence that complex dendrite architecture is critically required for fine-tuning and adaptability within robust, evolutionarily constrained behavioral programs that are vital for mating success and survival. We speculate that the observed scaling of performance deficits with the degree of structural defect is consistent with gradual increases in intellectual disability during continuously advancing structural deficiencies in progressive neurological disorders. PMID:25453076

  12. Postfunctionalization of BN-embedded polycyclic aromatic compounds for fine-tuning of their molecular properties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Ye; Yang, Dong-Chu; Zhuang, Fang-Dong; Liu, Jia-Jie; Wang, Jie-Yu; Pei, Jian

    2015-06-01

    New BN-embedded, thiophene-fused, polycyclic aromatic compounds with planar geometry were designed and synthesized. The molecules showed excellent stability and chemical robustness. Postfunctionalization on this skeleton was demonstrated with a series of electrophilic bromination, palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling, and Knoevenagel condensation reactions. The π skeleton remained intact during these late-stage transformations. The optical and electronic properties have been well tuned through incorporation of electron-rich and -deficient groups on the backbone. This work shows the great advantage of the postfunctionalization strategy on BN-containing polycyclic aromatic compounds for fast diversification and materials screening. PMID:25955825

  13. Timing is everything: Fine-tuned molecular machines orchestrate paramyxovirus entry

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Sayantan; Jardetzky, Theodore S.; Lamb, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    The Paramyxoviridae include some of the great and ubiquitous disease-causing viruses of humans and animals. In most paramyxoviruses, two viral membrane glycoproteins, fusion protein (F) and receptor binding protein (HN, H or G) mediate a concerted process of recognition of host cell surface molecules followed by fusion of viral and cellular membranes, resulting in viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The interactions between the F and HN, H or G viral glycoproteins and host molecules are critical in determining host range, virulence and spread of these viruses. Recently, atomic structures, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, have provided major insights into how these two viral glycoproteins successfully interact with host receptors on cellular membranes and initiate the membrane fusion process to gain entry into cells. These studies highlight the conserved core mechanisms of paramyxovirus entry that provide the fundamental basis for rational anti-viral drug design and vaccine development. PMID:25771804

  14. Timing is everything: Fine-tuned molecular machines orchestrate paramyxovirus entry

    SciTech Connect

    Bose, Sayantan; Jardetzky, Theodore S.; Lamb, Robert A.

    2015-05-15

    The Paramyxoviridae include some of the great and ubiquitous disease-causing viruses of humans and animals. In most paramyxoviruses, two viral membrane glycoproteins, fusion protein (F) and receptor binding protein (HN, H or G) mediate a concerted process of recognition of host cell surface molecules followed by fusion of viral and cellular membranes, resulting in viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The interactions between the F and HN, H or G viral glycoproteins and host molecules are critical in determining host range, virulence and spread of these viruses. Recently, atomic structures, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, have provided major insights into how these two viral glycoproteins successfully interact with host receptors on cellular membranes and initiate the membrane fusion process to gain entry into cells. These studies highlight the conserved core mechanisms of paramyxovirus entry that provide the fundamental basis for rational anti-viral drug design and vaccine development. - Highlights: • New structural and functional insights into paramyxovirus entry mechanisms. • Current data on paramyxovirus glycoproteins suggest a core conserved entry mechanism. • Diverse mechanisms preventing premature fusion activation exist in these viruses. • Precise spacio-temporal interplay between paramyxovirus glycoproteins initiate entry.

  15. Post-translational S-Nitrosylation Is an Endogenous Factor Fine Tuning the Properties of Human S100A1 Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Lenarčič Živković, Martina; Zaręba-Kozioł, Monika; Zhukova, Liliya; Poznański, Jarosław; Zhukov, Igor; Wysłouch-Cieszyńska, Aleksandra

    2012-01-01

    S100A1 is a member of the Ca2+-binding S100 protein family. It is expressed in brain and heart tissue, where it plays a crucial role as a modulator of Ca2+ homeostasis, energy metabolism, neurotransmitter release, and contractile performance. Biological effects of S100A1 have been attributed to its direct interaction with a variety of target proteins. The (patho)physiological relevance of S100A1 makes it an important molecular target for future therapeutic intervention. S-Nitrosylation is a post-translational modification of proteins, which plays a role in cellular signal transduction under physiological and pathological conditions. In this study, we confirmed that S100A1 protein is endogenously modified by Cys85 S-nitrosylation in PC12 cells, which are a well established model system for studying S100A1 function. We used isothermal calorimetry to show that S-nitrosylation facilitates the formation of Ca2+-loaded S100A1 at physiological ionic strength conditions. To establish the unique influence of the S-nitroso group, our study describes high resolution three-dimensional structures of human apo-S100A1 protein with the Cys85 thiol group in reduced and S-nitrosylated states. Solution structures of the proteins are based on NMR data obtained at physiological ionic strength. Comparative analysis shows that S-nitrosylation fine tunes the overall architecture of S100A1 protein. Although the typical S100 protein intersubunit four-helix bundle is conserved upon S-nitrosylation, the conformation of S100A1 protein is reorganized at the sites most important for target recognition (i.e. the C-terminal helix and the linker connecting two EF-hand domains). In summary, this study discloses cysteine S-nitrosylation as a new factor responsible for increasing functional diversity of S100A1 and helps explain the role of S100A1 as a Ca2+ signal transmitter sensitive to NO/redox equilibrium within cells. PMID:22989881

  16. Maximizing T2-exchange in Dy3+DOTA-(amide)X chelates: Fine-tuning the water molecule exchange rate for enhanced T2 contrast in MRI

    PubMed Central

    Soesbe, Todd C.; Ratnakar, S. James; Milne, Mark; Zhang, Shanrong; Do, Quyen N.; Kovacs, Zoltan; Sherry, A. Dean

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The water molecule exchange rates in a series of DyDOTA-(amide)X chelates were fine-tuned to maximize the effects of T2-exchange line broadening and improve T2 contrast. Methods Four DyDOTA-(amide)X chelates having a variable number of glycinate side-arms were prepared and characterized as T2-exchange agents. The non-exchanging DyTETA chelate was also used to measure the bulk water T2 reduction due solely to T2*. The total transverse relaxivity (r2tot) at 22, 37, and 52 °C for each chelate was measured in vitro at 9.4 T (400 MHz) by fitting plots of total T2−1 versus concentration. The water molecule exchange rates for each complex were measured by fitting 17O line-width versus temperature data taken at 9.4 T (54.3 MHz). Results The measured transverse relaxivities due to water molecule exchange (r2ex) and bound water lifetimes (τM) were in excellent agreement with Swift-Connick theory, with DyDOTA-(gly)3 giving the largest r2ex = 11.8 s−1 mM−1 at 37 °C. Conclusion By fine-tuning the water molecule exchange rate at 37 °C, the transverse relaxivity has been increased by 2 to 30 times compared to previously studied Dy3+-based chelates. Polymerization or dendrimerization of the optimal chelate could yield a highly sensitive, molecule-sized T2 contrast agent for improved molecular imaging applications. PMID:24390729

  17. Photoassisted photoluminescence fine-tuning of gold nanodots through free radical-mediated ligand-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Yu-Ting; Cherng, Rochelle; Harroun, Scott G.; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lin, Tai-Yuan; Wu, Chien-Wei; Chang, Huan-Tsung; Huang, Chih-Ching

    2016-05-01

    In this study, we have developed a simple photoassisted ligand assembly to fine-tune the photoluminescence (PL) of (11-mercaptoundecyl)-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide-capped gold nanodots (11-MUTAB-Au NDs). The 11-MUTAB-Au NDs (size: ca. 1.8 nm), obtained from the reaction of gold nanoparticles (ca. 3 nm) and 11-MUTAB, exhibited weak, near-infrared (NIR) PL at 700 nm with a quantum yield (QY) of 0.37% upon excitation at 365 nm. The PL QY of the Au NDs increased to 11.43% after reaction with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA) for 30 min under ultraviolet (UV) light, which was accompanied by a PL wavelength shift to the green region (~520 nm). UV-light irradiation accelerates 11-MUA assembly on the 11-MUTABAu NDs (11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs) through a radical-mediated reaction. Furthermore, the PL wavelength of the 11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs can be switched to 640 nm via cysteamine under UV-light irradiation. We propose that the PL of the Au NDs with NIR and visible emissions was originally from the surface thiol-Au complexes and the Au core, respectively. These dramatically different optical properties of the Au NDs were due to variation in the surface ligands, as well as the densities and surface oxidant states of the surface Au atoms/ions. These effects can be controlled by assembling surface thiol ligands and accelerated by UV irradiation.In this study, we have developed a simple photoassisted ligand assembly to fine-tune the photoluminescence (PL) of (11-mercaptoundecyl)-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide-capped gold nanodots (11-MUTAB-Au NDs). The 11-MUTAB-Au NDs (size: ca. 1.8 nm), obtained from the reaction of gold nanoparticles (ca. 3 nm) and 11-MUTAB, exhibited weak, near-infrared (NIR) PL at 700 nm with a quantum yield (QY) of 0.37% upon excitation at 365 nm. The PL QY of the Au NDs increased to 11.43% after reaction with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA) for 30 min under ultraviolet (UV) light, which was accompanied by a PL wavelength shift to the green region

  18. Leaf color is fine-tuned on the solar spectra to avoid strand direct solar radiation.

    PubMed

    Kume, Atsushi; Akitsu, Tomoko; Nasahara, Kenlo Nishida

    2016-07-01

    The spectral distributions of light absorption rates by intact leaves are notably different from the incident solar radiation spectra, for reasons that remain elusive. Incident global radiation comprises two main components; direct radiation from the direction of the sun, and diffuse radiation, which is sunlight scattered by molecules, aerosols and clouds. Both irradiance and photon flux density spectra differ between direct and diffuse radiation in their magnitude and profile. However, most research has assumed that the spectra of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) can be averaged, without considering the radiation classes. We used paired spectroradiometers to sample direct and diffuse solar radiation, and obtained relationships between the PAR spectra and the absorption spectra of photosynthetic pigments and organs. As monomers in solvent, the spectral absorbance of Chl a decreased with the increased spectral irradiance (W m(-2) nm(-1)) of global PAR at noon (R(2) = 0.76), and was suitable to avoid strong spectral irradiance (λmax = 480 nm) rather than absorb photon flux density (μmol m(-2) s(-1) nm(-1)) efficiently. The spectral absorption of photosystems and the intact thallus and leaves decreased linearly with the increased spectral irradiance of direct PAR at noon (I dir-max), where the wavelength was within the 450-650 nm range (R(2) = 0.81). The higher-order structure of photosystems systematically avoided the strong spectral irradiance of I dir-max. However, when whole leaves were considered, leaf anatomical structure and light scattering in leaf tissues made the leaves grey bodies for PAR and enabled high PAR use efficiency. Terrestrial green plants are fine-tuned to spectral dynamics of incident solar radiation and PAR absorption is increased in various structural hierarchies. PMID:26943164

  19. Conformational Fine-Tuning of Pore-Forming Peptide Potency and Selectivity.

    PubMed

    Krauson, Aram J; Hall, O Morgan; Fuselier, Taylor; Starr, Charles G; Kauffman, W Berkeley; Wimley, William C

    2015-12-30

    To better understand the sequence-structure-function relationships that control the activity and selectivity of membrane-permeabilizing peptides, we screened a peptide library, based on the archetypal pore-former melittin, for loss-of-function variants. This was accomplished by assaying library members for failure to cause leakage of entrapped contents from synthetic lipid vesicles at a peptide-to-lipid ratio of 1:20, 10-fold higher than the concentration at which melittin efficiently permeabilizes the same vesicles. Surprisingly, about one-third of the library members are inactive under these conditions. In the negative peptides, two changes of hydrophobic residues to glycine were especially abundant. We show that loss-of-function activity can be completely recapitulated by a single-residue change of the leucine at position 16 to glycine. Unlike the potently cytolytic melittin, the loss-of-function peptides, including the single-site variant, are essentially inactive against phosphatidylcholine vesicles and multiple types of eukaryotic cells. Loss of function is shown to result from a shift in the binding-folding equilibrium away from the active, bound, α-helical state toward the inactive, unbound, random-coil state. Accordingly, the addition of anionic lipids to synthetic lipid vesicles restored binding, α-helical secondary structure, and potent activity of the "negative" peptides. While nontoxic to mammalian cells, the single-site variant has potent bactericidal activity, consistent with the anionic nature of bacterial membranes. The results show that conformational fine-tuning of helical pore-forming peptides is a powerful way to modulate their activity and selectivity. PMID:26632653

  20. Conformational Fine-Tuning of Pore-Forming Peptide Potency and Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the sequence–structure–function relationships that control the activity and selectivity of membrane-permeabilizing peptides, we screened a peptide library, based on the archetypal pore-former melittin, for loss-of-function variants. This was accomplished by assaying library members for failure to cause leakage of entrapped contents from synthetic lipid vesicles at a peptide-to-lipid ratio of 1:20, 10-fold higher than the concentration at which melittin efficiently permeabilizes the same vesicles. Surprisingly, about one-third of the library members are inactive under these conditions. In the negative peptides, two changes of hydrophobic residues to glycine were especially abundant. We show that loss-of-function activity can be completely recapitulated by a single-residue change of the leucine at position 16 to glycine. Unlike the potently cytolytic melittin, the loss-of-function peptides, including the single-site variant, are essentially inactive against phosphatidylcholine vesicles and multiple types of eukaryotic cells. Loss of function is shown to result from a shift in the binding–folding equilibrium away from the active, bound, α-helical state toward the inactive, unbound, random-coil state. Accordingly, the addition of anionic lipids to synthetic lipid vesicles restored binding, α-helical secondary structure, and potent activity of the “negative” peptides. While nontoxic to mammalian cells, the single-site variant has potent bactericidal activity, consistent with the anionic nature of bacterial membranes. The results show that conformational fine-tuning of helical pore-forming peptides is a powerful way to modulate their activity and selectivity. PMID:26632653

  1. Fine-Tuning of Pten Localization and Phosphatase Activity Is Essential for Zebrafish Angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Stumpf, Miriam; Blokzijl-Franke, Sasja; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    The lipid- and protein phosphatase PTEN is an essential tumor suppressor that is highly conserved among all higher eukaryotes. As an antagonist of the PI3K/Akt cell survival and proliferation pathway, it exerts its most prominent function at the cell membrane, but (PIP3-independent) functions of nuclear PTEN have been discovered as well. PTEN subcellular localization is tightly controlled by its protein conformation. In the closed conformation, PTEN localizes predominantly to the cytoplasm. Opening up of the conformation of PTEN exposes N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein that are required for both interaction with the cell membrane and translocation to the nucleus. Lack of Pten leads to hyperbranching of the intersegmental vessels during zebrafish embryogenesis, which is rescued by expression of exogenous Pten. Here, we observed that expression of mutant PTEN with an open conformation rescued the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos and suppressed the increased p-Akt levels that are characteristic for embryos lacking Pten. In addition, in pten mutant and wild type embryos alike, open conformation PTEN induced stalled intersegmental vessels, which fail to connect with the dorsal longitudinal anastomotic vessel. Functional hyperactivity of open conformation PTEN in comparison to wild type PTEN seems to result predominantly from its enhanced recruitment to the cell membrane. Enhanced recruitment of phosphatase inactive mutants to the membrane did not induce the stalled vessel phenotype nor did it rescue the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos, indicating that PTEN phosphatase activity is indispensable for its regulatory function during angiogenesis. Taken together, our data suggest that PTEN phosphatase activity needs to be carefully fine-tuned for normal embryogenesis and that the control of its subcellular localization is a key mechanism in this process. PMID:27138341

  2. Dynamically avoiding fine-tuning the cosmological constant: the ''Relaxed Universe''

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, Florian; Solà, Joan; Štefancić, Hrvoje E-mail: sola@ecm.ub.es

    2010-12-01

    We demonstrate that there exists a large class of F(R,G) action functionals of the scalar curvature and of the Gauß-Bonnet invariant which are able to relax dynamically a large cosmological constant (CC), whatever it be its starting value in the early universe. Hence, it is possible to understand, without fine-tuning, the very small current value Λ{sub 0} ∼ H{sub 0}{sup 2} of the CC as compared to its theoretically expected large value in quantum field theory and string theory. In our framework, this relaxation appears as a pure gravitational effect, where no ad hoc scalar fields are needed. The action involves a positive power of a characteristic mass parameter, M, whose value can be, interestingly enough, of the order of a typical particle physics mass of the Standard Model of the strong and electroweak interactions or extensions thereof, including the neutrino mass. The model universe emerging from this scenario (the ''Relaxed Universe'') falls within the class of the so-called ΛXCDM models of the cosmic evolution. Therefore, there is a ''cosmon'' entity X (represented by an effective object, not a field), which in this case is generated by the effective functional F(R,G) and is responsible for the dynamical adjustment of the cosmological constant. This model universe successfully mimics the essential past epochs of the standard (or ''concordance'') cosmological model (ΛCDM). Furthermore, it provides interesting clues to the coincidence problem and it may even connect naturally with primordial inflation.

  3. Photoassisted photoluminescence fine-tuning of gold nanodots through free radical-mediated ligand-assembly.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Yu-Ting; Cherng, Rochelle; Harroun, Scott G; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lin, Tai-Yuan; Wu, Chien-Wei; Chang, Huan-Tsung; Huang, Chih-Ching

    2016-05-14

    In this study, we have developed a simple photoassisted ligand assembly to fine-tune the photoluminescence (PL) of (11-mercaptoundecyl)-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide-capped gold nanodots (11-MUTAB-Au NDs). The 11-MUTAB-Au NDs (size: ca. 1.8 nm), obtained from the reaction of gold nanoparticles (ca. 3 nm) and 11-MUTAB, exhibited weak, near-infrared (NIR) PL at 700 nm with a quantum yield (QY) of 0.37% upon excitation at 365 nm. The PL QY of the Au NDs increased to 11.43% after reaction with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA) for 30 min under ultraviolet (UV) light, which was accompanied by a PL wavelength shift to the green region (∼520 nm). UV-light irradiation accelerates 11-MUA assembly on the 11-MUTABAu NDs (11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs) through a radical-mediated reaction. Furthermore, the PL wavelength of the 11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs can be switched to 640 nm via cysteamine under UV-light irradiation. We propose that the PL of the Au NDs with NIR and visible emissions was originally from the surface thiol-Au complexes and the Au core, respectively. These dramatically different optical properties of the Au NDs were due to variation in the surface ligands, as well as the densities and surface oxidant states of the surface Au atoms/ions. These effects can be controlled by assembling surface thiol ligands and accelerated by UV irradiation. PMID:27118444

  4. Body appendages fine-tune posture and moments in freely manoeuvring fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Berthé, Ruben; Lehmann, Fritz-Olaf

    2015-10-01

    The precise control of body posture by turning moments is key to elevated locomotor performance in flying animals. Although elevated moments for body stabilization are typically produced by wing aerodynamics, animals also steer using drag on body appendages, shifting their centre of body mass, and changing moments of inertia caused by active alterations in body shape. To estimate the instantaneous contribution of each of these components for posture control in an insect, we three-dimensionally reconstructed body posture and movements of body appendages in freely manoeuvring fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) by high-speed video and experimentally scored drag coefficients of legs and body trunk at low Reynolds number. The results show that the sum of leg- and abdomen-induced yaw moments dominates wing-induced moments during 17% of total flight time but is, on average, 7.2-times (roll, 3.4-times) smaller during manoeuvring. Our data reject a previous hypothesis on synergistic moment support, indicating that drag on body appendages and mass-shift inhibit rather than support turning moments produced by the wings. Numerical modelling further shows that hind leg extension alters the moments of inertia around the three main body axes of the animal by not more than 6% during manoeuvring, which is significantly less than previously reported for other insects. In sum, yaw, pitch and roll steering by body appendages probably fine-tune turning behaviour and body posture, without providing a significant advantage for posture stability and moment support. Motion control of appendages might thus be part of the insect's trimming reflexes, which reduce imbalances in moment generation caused by unilateral wing damage and abnormal asymmetries of the flight apparatus. PMID:26347566

  5. A role for TRIANGULAR HULL1 in fine-tuning spikelet morphogenesis in rice.

    PubMed

    Sato, Dai-Suke; Ohmori, Yoshihiro; Nagashima, Haruka; Toriba, Taiyo; Hirano, Hiro-Yuki

    2014-01-01

    The lemma and palea, which enclose the pistil, stamens, and lodicules, are the most conspicuous organs in the rice spikelet. We isolated a mutant line (ng6569) in which the lemma and palea were narrower than those of the wild type, and found that the mutant had a defect in TRIANGULAR HULL1 (TH1), which encodes a nuclear protein with an ALOG domain. Detailed morphological analysis indicated that the th1 mutation caused a reduction in the size of tubercles, which are convex structures on the surface of the lemma and palea. This reduction was more pronounced in the apical region of the lemma than in the basal region, resulting in the formation of a beak-like spikelet. By contrast, the number of tubercle rows and their spatial distribution on the lemma were not affected in the th1 mutant. Thus, the TH1 gene seems to be involved in fine-tuning the morphogenesis of the lemma and palea. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that TH1 was highly expressed in the primordia of the lemma and palea, but only weakly expressed in the primordia of the sterile lemma and rudimentary glume. We then examined the effect of th1 mutation on the lemma-like structure formed in the long sterile lemma/glume1 (g1) and extra glume1 (eg1) mutants. The result showed that the th1 mutation strongly affected the morphology of the extra lemma of eg1, but had no significant effect on the transformed lemma of g1. PMID:25224972

  6. Cell-Specific Fine-Tuning of Neuronal Excitability by Differential Expression of Modulator Protein Isoforms

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, James; Sheldon, Amanda; Shahidullah, Mohammad; Fei, Hong; Koh, Kyunghee

    2013-01-01

    SLOB (SLOWPOKE-binding protein) modulates the Drosophila SLOWPOKE calcium-activated potassium channel. We have shown previously that SLOB deletion or RNAi knockdown decreases excitability of neurosecretory pars intercerebralis (PI) neurons in the adult Drosophila brain. In contrast, we found that SLOB deletion/knockdown enhances neurotransmitter release from motor neurons at the fly larval neuromuscular junction, suggesting an increase in excitability. Because two prominent SLOB isoforms, SLOB57 and SLOB71, modulate SLOWPOKE channels in opposite directions in vitro, we investigated whether divergent expression patterns of these two isoforms might underlie the differential modulation of excitability in PI and motor neurons. By performing detailed in vitro and in vivo analysis, we found strikingly different modes of regulatory control by the slob57 and slob71 promoters. The slob71, but not slob57, promoter contains binding sites for the Hunchback and Mirror transcriptional repressors. Furthermore, several core promoter elements that are absent in the slob57 promoter coordinately drive robust expression of a luciferase vector by the slob71 promoter in vitro. In addition, we visualized the expression patterns of the slob57 and slob71 promoters in vivo and found clear spatiotemporal differences in promoter activity. SLOB57 is expressed prominently in adult PI neurons, whereas larval motor neurons exclusively express SLOB71. In contrast, at the larval neuromuscular junction, SLOB57 expression appears to be restricted mainly to a subset of glial cells. Our results illustrate how the use of alternative transcriptional start sites within an ion channel modulator locus coupled with functionally relevant alternative splicing can be used to fine-tune neuronal excitability in a cell-specific manner. PMID:24133277

  7. A composite Higgs model with minimal fine-tuning: The large-N and weak-technicolor limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Kenneth

    2014-11-01

    We suggest a criterion to minimize the amount of fine-tuning in a composite Higgs model. The paradigm of this type of model is the top-condensate model of Bardeen-Hill-Lindner. Although "minimally fine-tuned," this model fails to account correctly for the masses of the top quark and the 125 GeV Higgs boson. We propose a generalization of the Bardeen-Hill-Lindner model that employs finely tuned extended technicolor plus technicolor (TC) interactions. The additional freedom of this model may accommodate both mt(173 ) and MH(125 ). This paper studies the large-NTC and -NC limit of this model in which technicolor is weak and does not contribute to electroweak symmetry breaking. Refinements including walking-TC dynamics and a renormalization-group analysis of mt and MH will appear in a subsequent paper. A likely generic signal of this model is enhanced production of longitudinally polarized weak bosons, alone and in association with H (125 ).

  8. The WD40 Domain Protein MSI1 Functions in a Histone Deacetylase Complex to Fine-Tune Abscisic Acid Signaling.

    PubMed

    Mehdi, Saher; Derkacheva, Maria; Ramström, Margareta; Kralemann, Lejon; Bergquist, Jonas; Hennig, Lars

    2016-01-01

    MSI1 belongs to a family of histone binding WD40-repeat proteins. Arabidopsis thaliana contains five genes encoding MSI1-like proteins, but their functions in diverse chromatin-associated complexes are poorly understood. Here, we show that MSI1 is part of a histone deacetylase complex. We copurified HISTONE DEACETYLASE19 (HDA19) with MSI1 and transcriptional regulatory SIN3-like proteins and provide evidence that MSI1 and HDA19 associate into the same complex in vivo. These data suggest that MSI1, HDA19, and HISTONE DEACETYLATION COMPLEX1 protein form a core complex that can integrate various SIN3-like proteins. We found that reduction of MSI1 or HDA19 causes upregulation of abscisic acid (ABA) receptor genes and hypersensitivity of ABA-responsive genes. The MSI1-HDA19 complex fine-tunes ABA signaling by binding to the chromatin of ABA receptor genes and by maintaining low levels of acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9, thereby affecting the expression levels of ABA receptor genes. Reduced MSI1 or HDA19 levels led to increased tolerance to salt stress corresponding to the increased ABA sensitivity of gene expression. Together, our results reveal the presence of an MSI1-HDA19 complex that fine-tunes ABA signaling in Arabidopsis. PMID:26704384

  9. Expression analysis of aquaporins from desert truffle mycorrhizal symbiosis reveals a fine-tuned regulation under drought.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Ródenas, Alfonso; Bárzana, Gloria; Nicolás, Emilio; Carra, Andrea; Schubert, Andrea; Morte, Asunción

    2013-09-01

    We have performed the isolation, functional characterization, and expression analysis of aquaporins in roots and leaves of Helianthemum almeriense, in order to evaluate their roles in tolerance to water deficit. Five cDNAs, named HaPIP1;1, HaPIP1;2, HaPIP2;1, HaPIP2;2, and HaTIP1;1, were isolated from H. almeriense. A phylogenetic analysis of deduced proteins confirmed that they belong to the water channel proteins family. The HaPIP1;1, HaPIP2;1, and HaTIP1;1 genes encode functional water channel proteins, as indicated by expression assays in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, showing divergent roles in the transport of water, CO2, and NH3. The expression patterns of the genes isolated from H. almeriense and of a previously described gene from Terfezia claveryi (TcAQP1) were analyzed in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants cultivated under well-watered or drought-stress conditions. Some of the studied aquaporins were subjected to fine-tuned expression only under drought-stress conditions. A beneficial effect on plant physiological parameters was observed in mycorrhizal plants with respect to nonmycorrhizal ones. Moreover, stress induced a change in the mycorrhizal type formed, which was more intracellular under drought stress. The combination of a high intracellular colonization, together with the fine-tuned expression of aquaporins could result in a morphophysiological adaptation of this symbiosis to drought conditions. PMID:23656332

  10. Using membrane composition to fine-tune the pKa of an optical liposome pH sensor†

    PubMed Central

    Clear, Kasey J.; Virga, Katelyn; Gray, Lawrence

    2016-01-01

    Liposomes containing membrane-anchored pH-sensitive optical probes are valuable sensors for monitoring pH in various biomedical samples. The dynamic range of the sensor is maximized when the probe pKa is close to the expected sample pH. While some biomedical samples are close to neutral pH there are several circumstances where the pH is 1 or 2 units lower. Thus, there is a need to fine-tune the probe pKa in a predictable way. This investigation examined two lipid-conjugated optical probes, each with appended deep-red cyanine dyes containing indoline nitrogen atoms that are protonated in acid. The presence of anionic phospholipids in the liposomes stabilized the protonated probes and increased the probe pKa values by < 1 unit. The results show that rational modification of the membrane composition is a general non-covalent way to fine-tune the pKa of an optical liposome sensor for optimal pH sensing performance. PMID:27087967

  11. The lesson of causal discovery algorithms for quantum correlations: causal explanations of Bell-inequality violations require fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Christopher J.; Spekkens, Robert W.

    2015-03-01

    An active area of research in the fields of machine learning and statistics is the development of causal discovery algorithms, the purpose of which is to infer the causal relations that hold among a set of variables from the correlations that these exhibit . We apply some of these algorithms to the correlations that arise for entangled quantum systems. We show that they cannot distinguish correlations that satisfy Bell inequalities from correlations that violate Bell inequalities, and consequently that they cannot do justice to the challenges of explaining certain quantum correlations causally. Nonetheless, by adapting the conceptual tools of causal inference, we can show that any attempt to provide a causal explanation of nonsignalling correlations that violate a Bell inequality must contradict a core principle of these algorithms, namely, that an observed statistical independence between variables should not be explained by fine-tuning of the causal parameters. In particular, we demonstrate the need for such fine-tuning for most of the causal mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie Bell correlations, including superluminal causal influences, superdeterminism (that is, a denial of freedom of choice of settings), and retrocausal influences which do not introduce causal cycles.

  12. Fine tune W-CMP process with alignment mark selection for optimal metal layer overlay and yield benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Yuanting; So, Albert; Louks, Sean

    2004-05-01

    Alignment performance and overlay control of metal layer from W-CMP process highly depends on the process influence on the alignment mark. While in a manufacturing environment, there could be introduced many changes into W-CMP process for defect reduction, cost reduction and yield improvement to further guarantee our success in this highly competitive industry. This study characterizes the CMP effect, especially erosion and dishing effect, polishing selectivity on alignment mark profile, which results in different alignment performance. We illustrate that how we seek solution to achieve an optimal alignment performance with the existing mark in according to different CMP slurry process by further fine tuning W-CMP process, such as over-polishing, final polish. The CMP effect on different alignment mark types is also evaluated; future alignment mark selection and design based on future CMP process, film deposition can thus be proposed. This work explains a good working method of optimizing alignment for process, fine tuning process for alignment mark, feed-backing solutions for mark selection while taking into considerations of cost, throughput, defect, yield.

  13. Fine-Tuning of β-Substitution to Modulate the Lowest Triplet Excited States: A Bioinspired Approach to Design Phosphorescent Metalloporphyrinoids.

    PubMed

    Ke, Xian-Sheng; Zhao, Hongmei; Zou, Xiaoran; Ning, Yingying; Cheng, Xin; Su, Hongmei; Zhang, Jun-Long

    2015-08-26

    Learning nature's approach to modulate photophysical properties of NIR porphyrinoids by fine-tuning β-substituents including the number and position, in a manner similar to naturally occurring chlorophylls, has the potential to circumvent the disadvantages of traditional "extended π-conjugation" strategy such as stability, molecular size, solubility, and undesirable π-π stacking. Here we show that such subtle structural changes in Pt(II) or Pd(II) cis/trans-porphodilactones (termed by cis/trans-Pt/Pd) influence photophysical properties of the lowest triplet excited states including phosphorescence, Stokes shifts, and even photosensitization ability in triplet-triplet annihilation reactions with rubrene. Prominently, the overall upconversion capability (η, η = ε·Φ(UC)) of Pd or Pt trans-complex is 10(4) times higher than that of cis-analogue. Nanosecond time-resolved infrared (TR-IR) spectroscopy experiments showed larger frequency shift of ν(C═O) bands (ca. 10 cm(-1)) of cis-complexes than those of trans-complexes in the triplet excited states. These spectral features, combining with TD-DFT calculations, suggest the strong electronic coupling between the lactone moieties and the main porphyrin chromophores and thus the importance of precisely positioning β-substituents by mimicking chlorophylls, as an alternative to "extended π-conjugation", in designing NIR active porphyrinoids. PMID:26247480

  14. Direct flow cytometry measurements reveal a fine-tuning of symbiotic cell dynamics according to the host developmental needs in aphid symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Simonet, Pierre; Duport, Gabrielle; Gaget, Karen; Weiss-Gayet, Michèle; Colella, Stefano; Febvay, Gérard; Charles, Hubert; Viñuelas, José; Heddi, Abdelaziz; Calevro, Federica

    2016-01-01

    Endosymbiotic associations constitute a driving force in the ecological and evolutionary diversification of metazoan organisms. Little is known about whether and how symbiotic cells are coordinated according to host physiology. Here, we use the nutritional symbiosis between the insect pest, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and its obligate symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, as a model system. We have developed a novel approach for unculturable bacteria, based on flow cytometry, and used this method to estimate the absolute numbers of symbionts at key stages of aphid life. The endosymbiont population increases exponentially throughout nymphal development, showing a growing rate which has never been characterized by indirect molecular techniques. Using histology and imaging techniques, we have shown that the endosymbiont-bearing cells (bacteriocytes) increase significantly in number and size during the nymphal development, and clustering in the insect abdomen. Once adulthood is reached and the laying period has begun, the dynamics of symbiont and host cells is reversed: the number of endosymbionts decreases progressively and the bacteriocyte structure degenerates during insect aging. In summary, these results show a coordination of the cellular dynamics between bacteriocytes and primary symbionts and reveal a fine-tuning of aphid symbiotic cells to the nutritional demand imposed by the host physiology throughout development. PMID:26822159

  15. Direct flow cytometry measurements reveal a fine-tuning of symbiotic cell dynamics according to the host developmental needs in aphid symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Simonet, Pierre; Duport, Gabrielle; Gaget, Karen; Weiss-Gayet, Michèle; Colella, Stefano; Febvay, Gérard; Charles, Hubert; Viñuelas, José; Heddi, Abdelaziz; Calevro, Federica

    2016-01-01

    Endosymbiotic associations constitute a driving force in the ecological and evolutionary diversification of metazoan organisms. Little is known about whether and how symbiotic cells are coordinated according to host physiology. Here, we use the nutritional symbiosis between the insect pest, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and its obligate symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, as a model system. We have developed a novel approach for unculturable bacteria, based on flow cytometry, and used this method to estimate the absolute numbers of symbionts at key stages of aphid life. The endosymbiont population increases exponentially throughout nymphal development, showing a growing rate which has never been characterized by indirect molecular techniques. Using histology and imaging techniques, we have shown that the endosymbiont-bearing cells (bacteriocytes) increase significantly in number and size during the nymphal development, and clustering in the insect abdomen. Once adulthood is reached and the laying period has begun, the dynamics of symbiont and host cells is reversed: the number of endosymbionts decreases progressively and the bacteriocyte structure degenerates during insect aging. In summary, these results show a coordination of the cellular dynamics between bacteriocytes and primary symbionts and reveal a fine-tuning of aphid symbiotic cells to the nutritional demand imposed by the host physiology throughout development. PMID:26822159

  16. Fine-tuning of process conditions to improve product uniformity of polystyrene particles used for wind tunnel velocimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Asit K.

    1990-01-01

    Monodisperse polymer particles (having uniform diameter) were used for the last two decades in physical, biological, and chemical sciences. In NASA Langley Research Center monodisperse polystyrene particles are used in wind tunnel laser velocimeters. These polystyrene (PS) particles in latex form were formulated at the Engineering Laboratory of FENGD using emulsion-free emulsion polymerization. Monodisperse PS latices particles having different particle diameters were formulated and useful experimental data involving effects of process conditions on particle size were accumulated. However, similar process conditions and chemical recipes for polymerization of styrene monomer have often yielded monodisperse particles having varying diameters. The purpose was to improve the PS latex product uniformity by fine-tuning the process parameters based on the knowledge of suspension and emulsion polymerization.

  17. Functional Role of PPARs in Ruminants: Potential Targets for Fine-Tuning Metabolism during Growth and Lactation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shuowen; Khan, Muhammad J.; Loor, Juan J.

    2013-01-01

    Characterization and biological roles of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) isotypes are well known in monogastrics, but not in ruminants. However, a wealth of information has accumulated in little more than a decade on ruminant PPARs including isotype tissue distribution, response to synthetic and natural agonists, gene targets, and factors affecting their expression. Functional characterization demonstrated that, as in monogastrics, the PPAR isotypes control expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism, anti-inflammatory response, development, and growth. Contrary to mouse, however, the PPARγ gene network appears to controls milk fat synthesis in lactating ruminants. As in monogastrics, PPAR isotypes in ruminants are activated by long-chain fatty acids, therefore, making them ideal candidates for fine-tuning metabolism in this species via nutrients. In this regard, using information accumulated in ruminants and monogastrics, we propose a model of PPAR isotype-driven biological functions encompassing key tissues during the peripartal period in dairy cattle. PMID:23737762

  18. Fine-tuning of magnetic and microfluidic viscous forces for specific magnetic bead-based immunocomplex formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornaglia, M.; Tekin, H. C.; Lehnert, T.; Gijs, M. A. M.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the working principle of a novel type of microfluidic sandwich immunoassay, as used for the detection of biomarkers. The heterogeneous assay is based on the specific interactions between an array of functionalized superparamagnetic beads and a flow of secondary superparamagnetic beads that carry the antigens and are simultaneously used as detection labels. We identify the main forces governing the immunoassay performance and develop a combined finite element method/analytical model to predict and control these forces. The clue for the improved assay specificity is in the fine-tuning of inter-bead magnetic dipolar and microfluidic viscous forces, which allows strongly reducing non-specific interactions, while enhancing the specific formation of immunocomplexes. We exploit our theoretical model to explain the enhanced sensitivity of magnetic bead-based immunoassay experiments performed in microfluidic chips.

  19. MicroRNA inhibition fine-tunes and provides robustness to the restriction point switch of the cell cycle

    PubMed Central

    del Rosario, Ricardo C. H.; Damasco, Joseph Ray Clarence G.; Aguda, Baltazar D.

    2016-01-01

    The restriction point marks a switch in G1 from growth factor-dependent to growth factor-independent progression of the cell cycle. The proper regulation of this switch is important for normal cell processes; aberrations could result in a number of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and myocardial infarction. To further understand the regulation of the restriction point, we extended a mathematical model of the Rb-E2F pathway to include members of the microRNA cluster miR-17-92. Our mathematical analysis shows that microRNAs play an essential role in fine-tuning and providing robustness to the switch. We also demonstrate how microRNA regulation can steer cells in or out of cancer states. PMID:27610602

  20. 3'-UTR engineering to improve soluble expression and fine-tuning of activity of cascade enzymes in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Song, Ji-Won; Woo, Ji-Min; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Bornscheuer, Uwe T; Park, Jin-Byung

    2016-01-01

    3'-Untranslated region (3'UTR) engineering was investigated to improve solubility of heterologous proteins (e.g., Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs)) in Escherichia coli. Insertion of gene fragments containing putative RNase E recognition sites into the 3'UTR of the BVMO genes led to the reduction of mRNA levels in E. coli. Importantly, the amounts of soluble BVMOs were remarkably enhanced resulting in a proportional increase of in vivo catalytic activities. Notably, this increase in biocatalytic activity correlated to the number of putative RNase E endonucleolytic cleavage sites in the 3'UTR. For instance, the biotransformation activity of the BVMO BmoF1 (from Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM50106) in E. coli was linear to the number of RNase E cleavage sites in the 3'UTR. In summary, 3'UTR engineering can be used to improve the soluble expression of heterologous enzymes, thereby fine-tuning the enzyme activity in microbial cells. PMID:27406241

  1. Fine-tuning of a radical-based reaction by radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine tryptophan lyase.

    PubMed

    Sicoli, Giuseppe; Mouesca, Jean-Marie; Zeppieri, Laura; Amara, Patricia; Martin, Lydie; Barra, Anne-Laure; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C; Gambarelli, Serge; Nicolet, Yvain

    2016-03-18

    The radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine tryptophan lyase NosL converts L-tryptophan into 3-methylindolic acid, which is a precursor in the synthesis of the thiopeptide antibiotic nosiheptide. Using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and multiple L-tryptophan isotopologues, we trapped and characterized radical intermediates that indicate a carboxyl fragment migration mechanism for NosL. This is in contrast to a proposed fragmentation-recombination mechanism that implied Cα-Cβ bond cleavage of L-tryptophan. Although NosL resembles related tyrosine lyases, subtle substrate motions in its active site are responsible for a fine-tuned radical chemistry, which selects the Cα-C bond for disruption. This mechanism highlights evolutionary adaptation to structural constraints in proteins as a route to alternative enzyme function. PMID:26989252

  2. MicroRNA inhibition fine-tunes and provides robustness to the restriction point switch of the cell cycle.

    PubMed

    Del Rosario, Ricardo C H; Damasco, Joseph Ray Clarence G; Aguda, Baltazar D

    2016-01-01

    The restriction point marks a switch in G1 from growth factor-dependent to growth factor-independent progression of the cell cycle. The proper regulation of this switch is important for normal cell processes; aberrations could result in a number of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and myocardial infarction. To further understand the regulation of the restriction point, we extended a mathematical model of the Rb-E2F pathway to include members of the microRNA cluster miR-17-92. Our mathematical analysis shows that microRNAs play an essential role in fine-tuning and providing robustness to the switch. We also demonstrate how microRNA regulation can steer cells in or out of cancer states. PMID:27610602

  3. Single Heteroatom Fine-Tuning of the Emissive Properties in Organoboron Complexes with 7-(Azaheteroaryl)indole Systems.

    PubMed

    Más-Montoya, Miriam; Usea, Laura; Espinosa Ferao, Arturo; Montenegro, María F; Ramírez de Arellano, Carmen; Tárraga, Alberto; Rodríguez-López, José N; Curiel, David

    2016-04-15

    The application of organoboron compounds as light-absorbing or light-emitting species in areas as relevant as organic electronics or biomedicine has motivated the search for new materials which contribute to the progress of those applications. This article reports the synthesis of four-coordinate boron complexes based on the unexplored 7-(azaheteroaryl)indole ligands. An easy synthetic approach has enabled the fine-tuning of the electronic structure of the organoboron species by modifying a heteroaromatic component in the conjugated system. Furthermore, a comprehensive characterization by X-ray diffraction, absorption and emission spectroscopy, both in solution and in the solid state, cyclic voltammetry, and computational methods has evidenced the utility of this simple strategy. Large Stokes shifts have been achieved in solid thin-films which show a range of emitted light from blue to orange. The synthesized compounds have been used as biocompatible fluorophores in cell bioimaging. PMID:26991893

  4. Enhancement of a catalysis-based fluorometric detection method for palladium through rational fine-tuning of the palladium species.

    PubMed

    Garner, Amanda L; Song, Fengling; Koide, Kazunori

    2009-04-15

    Metal analyses in chemistry, materials science, and environmental science are currently performed using techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence, which require expensive instrumentation and are not high-throughput. Although fluorescent probes are known for their sensitivity and specificity and are amenable to high-throughput analyses, the robustness of such analyses are typically limited due to their binding-based nature. Herein we report an improvement of our previously reported catalysis-based fluorescent probe for palladium by rationally fine-tuning the redox and coordination chemistries of the palladium species involved in the O-deallylation reaction. This method now rivals current analytical methods with respect to sensitivity. We demonstrate palladium detection in various active pharmaceutical ingredients, spent catalytic converter materials, and a metal scavenger resin. Thus, fluorescent methods may have the potential for substituting the current instrument-intensive techniques. PMID:19317401

  5. Fine-tuning the onset of myogenesis by homeobox proteins that interact with the Myf5 limb enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Daubas, Philippe; Duval, Nathalie; Bajard, Lola; Langa Vives, Francina; Robert, Benoît; Mankoo, Baljinder S.; Buckingham, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Skeletal myogenesis in vertebrates is initiated at different sites of skeletal muscle formation during development, by activation of specific control elements of the myogenic regulatory genes. In the mouse embryo, Myf5 is the first myogenic determination gene to be expressed and its spatiotemporal regulation requires multiple enhancer sequences, extending over 120 kb upstream of the Mrf4-Myf5 locus. An enhancer, located at −57/−58 kb from Myf5, is responsible for its activation in myogenic cells derived from the hypaxial domain of the somite, that will form limb muscles. Pax3 and Six1/4 transcription factors are essential activators of this enhancer, acting on a 145-bp core element. Myogenic progenitor cells that will form the future muscle masses of the limbs express the factors necessary for Myf5 activation when they delaminate from the hypaxial dermomyotome and migrate into the forelimb bud, however they do not activate Myf5 and the myogenic programme until they have populated the prospective muscle masses. We show that Msx1 and Meox2 homeodomain-containing transcription factors bind in vitro and in vivo to specific sites in the 145-bp element, and are implicated in fine-tuning activation of Myf5 in the forelimb. Msx1, when bound between Pax and Six sites, prevents the binding of these key activators, thus inhibiting transcription of Myf5 and consequent premature myogenic differentiation. Meox2 is required for Myf5 activation at the onset of myogenesis via direct binding to other homeodomain sites in this sequence. Thus, these homeodomain factors, acting in addition to Pax3 and Six1/4, fine-tune the entry of progenitor cells into myogenesis at early stages of forelimb development. PMID:26538636

  6. Fine-tuning the onset of myogenesis by homeobox proteins that interact with the Myf5 limb enhancer.

    PubMed

    Daubas, Philippe; Duval, Nathalie; Bajard, Lola; Langa Vives, Francina; Robert, Benoît; Mankoo, Baljinder S; Buckingham, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal myogenesis in vertebrates is initiated at different sites of skeletal muscle formation during development, by activation of specific control elements of the myogenic regulatory genes. In the mouse embryo, Myf5 is the first myogenic determination gene to be expressed and its spatiotemporal regulation requires multiple enhancer sequences, extending over 120 kb upstream of the Mrf4-Myf5 locus. An enhancer, located at -57/-58 kb from Myf5, is responsible for its activation in myogenic cells derived from the hypaxial domain of the somite, that will form limb muscles. Pax3 and Six1/4 transcription factors are essential activators of this enhancer, acting on a 145-bp core element. Myogenic progenitor cells that will form the future muscle masses of the limbs express the factors necessary for Myf5 activation when they delaminate from the hypaxial dermomyotome and migrate into the forelimb bud, however they do not activate Myf5 and the myogenic programme until they have populated the prospective muscle masses. We show that Msx1 and Meox2 homeodomain-containing transcription factors bind in vitro and in vivo to specific sites in the 145-bp element, and are implicated in fine-tuning activation of Myf5 in the forelimb. Msx1, when bound between Pax and Six sites, prevents the binding of these key activators, thus inhibiting transcription of Myf5 and consequent premature myogenic differentiation. Meox2 is required for Myf5 activation at the onset of myogenesis via direct binding to other homeodomain sites in this sequence. Thus, these homeodomain factors, acting in addition to Pax3 and Six1/4, fine-tune the entry of progenitor cells into myogenesis at early stages of forelimb development. PMID:26538636

  7. In response to partial plant shading, the lack of phytochrome A does not directly induce leaf senescence but alters the fine-tuning of chlorophyll biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Brouwer, Bastiaan; Gardeström, Per; Keech, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Phytochrome is thought to control the induction of leaf senescence directly, however, the signalling and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, an ecophysiological approach was used to establish a functional connection between phytochrome signalling and the physiological processes underlying the induction of leaf senescence in response to shade. With shade it is important to distinguish between complete and partial shading, during which either the whole or only a part of the plant is shaded, respectively. It is first shown here that, while PHYB is required to maintain chlorophyll content in a completely shaded plant, only PHYA is involved in maintaining the leaf chlorophyll content in response to partial plant shading. Second, it is shown that leaf yellowing associated with strong partial shading in phyA-mutant plants actually correlates to a decreased biosynthesis of chlorophyll rather than to an increase of its degradation. Third, it is shown that the physiological impact of this decreased biosynthesis of chlorophyll in strongly shaded phyA-mutant leaves is accompanied by a decreased capacity to adjust the Light Compensation Point. However, the increased leaf yellowing in phyA-mutant plants is not accompanied by an increase of senescence-specific molecular markers, which argues against a direct role of PHYA in inducing leaf senescence in response to partial shade. In conclusion, it is proposed that PHYA, but not PHYB, is essential for fine-tuning the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway in response to partial shading. In turn, this mechanism allows the shaded leaf to adjust its photosynthetic machinery to very low irradiances, thus maintaining a positive carbon balance and repressing the induction of leaf senescence, which can occur under prolonged periods of shade. PMID:24604733

  8. Communication between Discrete Nanostructures Triggered by Fine Tuning of an External Stimulus.

    PubMed

    Schilirò, Matteo; Contino, Annalinda; Millesi, Salvatrice; Maccarrone, Giuseppe; Gulino, Antonino

    2016-09-01

    The design of molecular architectures able to transfer mass to each other is a field of extreme importance. In the present study it is shown that two especially designed covalently assembled nanostructures can interchange Cu(2+) ions upon an external OH(-) trigger. The obtained solid interfaces are of interest for signaling, communication, memory storage and optical devices. PMID:27470925

  9. Could there be a fine-tuning role for brain-derived adipokines in the regulation of bodyweight and prevention of obesity?

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Russell E.

    2008-01-01

    Obesity is one of the most prevalent medical conditions, often associated with several negative stereotypes. Although it is true that weight gain occurs when food intake exceeds energy expenditure, it is important to note that even a 1% mismatch between the two can lead to a substantial weight gain after only a few years. Further, the body appears to balance energy metabolism via an endogenous lipostatic loop in which adipose stores send hormonal signals (e.g. adipokines such as leptin) to the hypothalamus in order to reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure. However, the brain is also a novel site of expression of many of these adipokine genes. This led to the hypothesis that hypothalamic-derived adipokines might also be involved in bodyweight regulation by exerting some effect on the control of appetite or hypothalamic function. When RNA interference (RNAi) was used to specifically silence adipokine gene expression in various in vitro models, this led to increases in cell death, modification of the expression of key signaling genes (i.e. suppressor of cytokine signaling-3; SOCS-3), and modulation of the activation of cellular energy sensors (i.e. adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase; AMPK). Subsequently, when RNAi was used to inhibit the expression of brain-derived leptin in adult rats this resulted in minor increases in weight gain in addition to modifying the expression of other adipokine genes (eg. resistin). In summary, although adipokines secreted by adipose tissue appear to the main regulator of lipostatic loop, this review shows that the fine tuning that is required to maintain a stable bodyweight by this system might be accomplished by hypothalamic-derived adipokines. Perturbations in this central adipokine system could lead to alterations in normal hypothalamic function which leads to unintended weight gain. PMID:19148319

  10. 9-fluorenemethanol: an internal electron donor to fine tune olefin polymerization activity.

    PubMed

    Gnanakumar, Edwin S; Rao Chokkapu, Eswara; Kunjir, Shrikant; Ajithkumar, T G; Rajamohanan, P R; Chakraborty, Debashis; Gopinath, Chinnakonda S

    2014-06-28

    A new MgCl2 based molecular adduct has been synthesized with 9-fluorenemethanol (9FM) as a novel internal electron donor (IED), along with ethanol (EtOH) (MgCl2·n9FM·xEtOH). The above molecular adduct has been subjected to a variety of structural, spectroscopic and morphological characterization techniques. The results of the solid state (13)C CPMAS NMR technique suggests the coordination of 9FM to MgCl2. Observation of a low angle diffraction peak at 2θ = 5.7° (d = 15.5 Å) underscores the coordination of 9FM along the z-axis, and ethanol in the molecular adduct. Active Ziegler-Natta catalysts were prepared by two different synthesis methods; the conventional method to obtain a high surface area active catalyst, and other one with 9FM as an integral part of the active catalyst in order to study the influence of 9FM as an IED over the active sites. The active catalysts were also characterized thoroughly with different analytical tools. The XRD results show (003) facets of δ-MgCl2 (α-MgCl2) for the conventional (non-conventional) titanated catalyst. Results of the ethylene polymerization activity study reveals that the conventionally prepared highly porous active catalyst shows 1.7-2.5 times higher activity than the non-conventional prepared catalyst; however, the latter shows a low molecular weight distribution and confirms the role of the Lewis base as an IED. PMID:24810354

  11. Over 11% Efficiency in Tandem Polymer Solar Cells Featured by a Low-Band-Gap Polymer with Fine-Tuned Properties.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zhong; Zhang, Shaoqing; Zhang, Jianqi; Qin, Yunpeng; Li, Wanning; Yu, Runnan; Wei, Zhixiang; Hou, Jianhui

    2016-07-01

    Highly efficient polymer solar cells with tandem structure are fabricated by using two excellent photovoltaic polymers and a highly transparent intermediate recombination layer. Power conversion efficiencies over 11% can be realized featured by a low-band-gap polymer with fine-tuned properties. PMID:27136384

  12. MicroRNA-15a fine-tunes the level of Delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1) in proliferating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Andersen, Ditte C.; Schneider, Mikael; Eskildsen, Tilde; Teisner, Borge; and others

    2010-06-10

    Delta like 1 homolog (Dlk1) exists in both transmembrane and soluble molecular forms, and is implicated in cellular growth and plays multiple roles in development, tissue regeneration, and cancer. Thus, DLK1 levels are critical for cell function, and abnormal DLK1 expression can be lethal; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We here report that miR-15a modulates DLK1 levels in preadipocytes thus providing a mechanism for DLK1 regulation that further links it to cell cycle arrest and cancer since miR-15a is deregulated in these processes. In preadipocytes, miR-15a increases with cell density, and peaks at the same stage where membrane DLK1{sup M} and soluble DLK1{sup S} are found at maximum levels. Remarkably, miR-15a represses the amount of all Dlk1 variants at the mRNA level but also the level of DLK1{sup M} protein while it increases the amount of DLK1{sup S} supporting a direct repression of DLK1 and a parallel effect on the protease that cleaves off the DLK1 from the membrane. In agreement with previous studies, we found that miR-15a represses cell numbers, but additionally, we report that miR-15a also increases cell size. Conversely, anti-miR-15a treatment decreases cell size while increasing cell numbers, scenarios that were completely rescued by addition of purified DLK1{sup S}. Our data thus imply that miR-15a regulates cell size and proliferation by fine-tuning Dlk1 among others, and further emphasize miR-15a and DLK1 levels to play important roles in growth signaling networks.

  13. OsNAP connects abscisic acid and leaf senescence by fine-tuning abscisic acid biosynthesis and directly targeting senescence-associated genes in rice

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Chengzhen; Wang, Yiqin; Zhu, Yana; Tang, Jiuyou; Hu, Bin; Liu, Linchuan; Ou, Shujun; Wu, Hongkai; Sun, Xiaohong; Chu, Jinfang; Chu, Chengcai

    2014-01-01

    It has long been established that premature leaf senescence negatively impacts the yield stability of rice, but the underlying molecular mechanism driving this relationship remains largely unknown. Here, we identified a dominant premature leaf senescence mutant, prematurely senile 1 (ps1-D). PS1 encodes a plant-specific NAC (no apical meristem, Arabidopsis ATAF1/2, and cup-shaped cotyledon2) transcriptional activator, Oryza sativa NAC-like, activated by apetala3/pistillata (OsNAP). Overexpression of OsNAP significantly promoted senescence, whereas knockdown of OsNAP produced a marked delay of senescence, confirming the role of this gene in the development of rice senescence. OsNAP expression was tightly linked with the onset of leaf senescence in an age-dependent manner. Similarly, ChIP-PCR and yeast one-hybrid assays demonstrated that OsNAP positively regulates leaf senescence by directly targeting genes related to chlorophyll degradation and nutrient transport and other genes associated with senescence, suggesting that OsNAP is an ideal marker of senescence onset in rice. Further analysis determined that OsNAP is induced specifically by abscisic acid (ABA), whereas its expression is repressed in both aba1 and aba2, two ABA biosynthetic mutants. Moreover, ABA content is reduced significantly in ps1-D mutants, indicating a feedback repression of OsNAP on ABA biosynthesis. Our data suggest that OsNAP serves as an important link between ABA and leaf senescence. Additionally, reduced OsNAP expression leads to delayed leaf senescence and an extended grain-filling period, resulting in a 6.3% and 10.3% increase in the grain yield of two independent representative RNAi lines, respectively. Thus, fine-tuning OsNAP expression should be a useful strategy for improving rice yield in the future. PMID:24951508

  14. Fine Tuning of Chlorophyll Spectra by Protein-Induced Ring Deformation.

    PubMed

    Bednarczyk, Dominika; Dym, Orly; Prabahar, Vadivel; Peleg, Yoav; Pike, Douglas H; Noy, Dror

    2016-06-01

    The ability to tune the light-absorption properties of chlorophylls by their protein environment is the key to the robustness and high efficiency of photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins. Unfortunately, the intricacy of the natural complexes makes it very difficult to identify and isolate specific protein-pigment interactions that underlie the spectral-tuning mechanisms. Herein we identify and demonstrate the tuning mechanism of chlorophyll spectra in type II water-soluble chlorophyll binding proteins from Brassicaceae (WSCPs). By comparing the molecular structures of two natural WSCPs we correlate a shift in the chlorophyll red absorption band with deformation of its tetrapyrrole macrocycle that is induced by changing the position of a nearby tryptophan residue. We show by a set of reciprocal point mutations that this change accounts for up to 2/3 of the observed spectral shift between the two natural variants. PMID:27098554

  15. High-temperature superconductivity from fine-tuning of Fermi-surface singularities in iron oxypnictides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnukha, Aliaksei

    2015-03-01

    In the family of iron-based superconductors, 1111-type materials exhibit superconductivity with the highest transition temperature Tc=55K. Early theoretical predictions of their electronic structure revealed multiple large circular sheets of the Fermi surface. Here we use ARPES to show that two prototypical compounds of the 1111 type are at odds with this description. Their low-energy band structure is formed by the edges of several bands, which are pulled to the Fermi level from the depths of the theoretically predicted band structure by strong electronic interactions. We further demonstrate that although their low-energy electronic looks remarkably similar, the Tc differs by a factor of 2. Upon closer examination we uncover that one of the bands in the higher-Tc compound sinks to 2.3meV below the Fermi level and thus does not produce a Fermi surface. And yet we find that it hosts a superconducting energy gap 10x larger than the same band in the lower-Tc sister compound. Our results show that the Fermi-surface singularities in the iron-oxypnictides dramatically affect their low-energy electronic properties, including superconductivity, and must therefore be explicitly taken into account in any attempt to understand the pairing mechanism.

  16. Fine tuning of 4,6-bisphenyl-2-(3-alkoxyanilino)pyrimidine focusing on the activity-sensitive aminoalkoxy moiety for a therapeutically useful inhibitor of receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE).

    PubMed

    Han, Young Taek; Kim, Kyeojin; Son, Dohyun; An, Hongchan; Kim, Hee; Lee, Jeeyeon; Park, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Jeewoo; Suh, Young-Ger

    2015-02-01

    Through the fine tuning of the activity-sensitive aminoalkoxy moiety of 4,6-bisphenyl-2-(3-alkoxyanilino)pyrimidine as a novel inhibitor of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), the tertiary amine was elucidated as an essential part associated with RAGE inhibition. On the basis of this finding, a 3-(N,N-dimethylamino)pyrrolidine analog 12o was identified as a therapeutically useful RAGE inhibitor with improved activity and solubility. Molecular modeling studies predicted that the improved inhibitory activity is induced by additional hydrogen bonds between the nitrogen atom of the pyrrolidine ring and Arg48 and by an interaction between the dimethylamino-substituent of the pyrrolidine moiety and a relatively hydrophobic groove in the RAGE binding site. PMID:25533401

  17. Chemokine interaction with synergy-inducing molecules: fine tuning modulation of cell trafficking.

    PubMed

    Cecchinato, Valentina; D'Agostino, Gianluca; Raeli, Lorenzo; Uguccioni, Mariagrazia

    2016-06-01

    Directed migration and arrest of leukocytes during homeostasis, inflammation, and tumor development is mediated by the chemokine system, which governs leukocyte migration and activities. Although we understand well the effects of different chemokines one by one, much less was known about the potential consequences of the concomitant expression of multiple chemokines or of their interaction with inflammatory molecules on leukocyte migration and functions. In the past 10 yr, several studies revealed the existence of additional features of chemokines: they can antagonize chemokine receptors or synergize with other chemokines, also by forming heterocomplexes. Moreover, recent data show that not only chemokines but also the alarmin high-mobility group box 1 can for a complex with CXCL12, enhancing its potency on CXCR4. The molecular mechanism underlying the effect of the heterocomplex has been partially elucidated, whereas its structure is a matter of current investigations. The present review discusses the current knowledge and relevance of the functions of heterocomplexes formed between chemokines or between the chemokine CXCL12 and the alarmin high-mobility group box 1. These studies highlight the importance of taking into account, when approaching innovative therapies targeting the chemokine system, also the fact that some chemokines and molecules released in inflammation, can considerably affect the activity of chemokine receptor agonists. PMID:26715684

  18. Sequence variation between 462 human individuals fine-tunes functional sites of RNA processing.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Pedro G; Oti, Martin; Barann, Matthias; Wieland, Thomas; Ezquina, Suzana; Friedländer, Marc R; Rivas, Manuel A; Esteve-Codina, Anna; Rosenstiel, Philip; Strom, Tim M; Lappalainen, Tuuli; Guigó, Roderic; Sammeth, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in the cost-efficiency of sequencing technologies enabled the combined DNA- and RNA-sequencing of human individuals at the population-scale, making genome-wide investigations of the inter-individual genetic impact on gene expression viable. Employing mRNA-sequencing data from the Geuvadis Project and genome sequencing data from the 1000 Genomes Project we show that the computational analysis of DNA sequences around splice sites and poly-A signals is able to explain several observations in the phenotype data. In contrast to widespread assessments of statistically significant associations between DNA polymorphisms and quantitative traits, we developed a computational tool to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms by which genetic markers drive variation in RNA-processing, cataloguing and classifying alleles that change the affinity of core RNA elements to their recognizing factors. The in silico models we employ further suggest RNA editing can moonlight as a splicing-modulator, albeit less frequently than genomic sequence diversity. Beyond existing annotations, we demonstrate that the ultra-high resolution of RNA-Seq combined from 462 individuals also provides evidence for thousands of bona fide novel elements of RNA processing-alternative splice sites, introns, and cleavage sites-which are often rare and lowly expressed but in other characteristics similar to their annotated counterparts. PMID:27617755

  19. When Proteins Start to Make Sense: Fine-tuning Aminoglycosides for PTC Suppression Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Shalev, Moran; Baasov, Timor

    2014-01-01

    Aminoglycosides (AGs) are highly potent antibacterial agents, which are known to exert their deleterious effects on bacterial cells by interfering with the translation process, leading to aberrant protein synthesis that usually results in cell death. Nearly 45 years ago, AGs were shown to induce read-through activity in prokaryotic systems by selectively encoding tRNA molecules at premature termination codon (PTC) positions; resulting in the generation of full length functional proteins. However, only in the last 20 years this ability has been demonstrated in eukaryotic systems, highlighting their potential as therapeutic agents to treat PTC induced genetic disorders. Despite the great potential, AGs use in these manners is quite restricted due to relatively high toxicity values observed upon their administration. Over the last few years several synthetic derivatives were developed to overcome some of the enhanced toxicity issues, while in parallel showed significantly improved PTC suppression activity in various in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo models of a variety of different diseases models underling by PTC mutations. Although these derivatives hold great promise to serve as therapeutic candidates they also demonstrate the necessity to further understand the molecular mechanisms of which AGs confer their biological activity in eukaryotic cells for further rational drug design. Recent achievements in structural research shed light on AGs mechanism of action and opened a new avenue in the development of new and improved therapeutic derivatives. The following manuscript highlights these accomplishments and summarizes their contributions to the state of art rational drug design. PMID:25147726

  20. Fine-tuning the space, time, and host distribution of mycobacteria in wildlife

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    molecular typing for surveys at small spatial and temporal scales. PMID:21288321

  1. Su(fu) switches Rdx functions to fine-tune hedgehog signaling in the Drosophila wing disk.

    PubMed

    Seong, Ki-Hyeon; Ishii, Shunsuke

    2013-01-01

    Hedgehog (Hh) signaling plays a central role in pattern formation by regulating transcription factor Cubitus interruptus (Ci). Previously, Roadkill (Rdx, also called HIB) was shown to inhibit Ci activity by two distinct mechanisms, depending on the Hh signal strength (Seong et al. 2010, PLoS One 5, e15365). In the anterior region abutting the anterior/posterior (A/P) boundary of the wing disk, where cells receive a strong Hh signal, Rdx blocks the nuclear entry of Ci-155. In contrast, in the region farther from the A/P boundary, where cells receive moderate levels of Hh, Rdx induces Ci-155 degradation in the nucleus. Here, we report that Suppressor of fused, Su(fu), causes the Rdx switch between mechanisms. A strong Hh signal induces rdx expression and suppresses su(fu) expression, whereas moderate levels of Hh induce moderate levels of rdx expression and high levels of su(fu) expression. Rdx blocks entry of Ci-155 into the nucleus in the absence of Su(fu) and Rdx induces the degradation of Ci-155 in the nucleus in the presence of a threshold level of Su(fu). Thus, the Su(fu)-induced switch between the dual actions of Rdx in response to the Hh signal strength plays a role in fine-tuning Hh signaling. PMID:23216924

  2. Fine-tuning the stimulation of MLL1 methyltransferase activity by a histone H3-based peptide mimetic

    SciTech Connect

    Avdic, Vanja; Zhang, Pamela; Lanouette, Sylvain; Voronova, Anastassia; Skerjanc, Ilona; Couture, Jean-Francois

    2011-08-24

    The SET1 family of methyltransferases carries out the bulk of histone H3 Lys-4 methylation in vivo. One of the common features of this family is the regulation of their methyltransferase activity by a tripartite complex composed of WDR5, RbBP5, and Ash2L. To selectively probe the role of the SET1 family of methyltransferases, we have developed a library of histone H3 peptide mimetics and report herein the characterization of an N{alpha} acetylated form of histone H3 peptide (N{alpha}H3). Binding and inhibition studies reveal that the addition of an acetyl moiety to the N terminus of histone H3 significantly enhances its binding to WDR5 and prevents the stimulation of MLL1 methyltransferase activity by the WDR5-RbBP5-Ash2L complex. The crystal structure of N{alpha}H3 in complex with WDR5 reveals that a high-affinity hydrophobic pocket accommodates the binding of the acetyl moiety. These results provide the structural basis to control WDR5-RbBP5-Ash2L-MLL1 activity and a tool to manipulate stem cell differentiation programs.-Avdic, V., Zhang, P., Lanouette, S., Voronova, A., Skerjanc, I., Couture, J.-F. Fine-tuning the stimulation of MLL1 methyltransferase activity by a histone H3-based peptide mimetic.

  3. 5-Azacytidine-induced Protein 2 (AZI2) Regulates Bone Mass by Fine-tuning Osteoclast Survival*

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Kenta; Fukasaka, Masahiro; Uematsu, Satoshi; Takeuchi, Osamu; Kondo, Takeshi; Saitoh, Tatsuya; Martino, Mikaël M.; Akira, Shizuo

    2015-01-01

    5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) is a TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor family member-associated NF-κB activator-binding kinase 1-binding protein that regulates the production of IFNs. A previous in vitro study showed that AZI2 is involved in dendritic cell differentiation. However, the roles of AZI2 in immunity and its pleiotropic functions are unknown in vivo. Here we report that AZI2 knock-out mice exhibit normal dendritic cell differentiation in vivo. However, we found that adult AZI2 knock-out mice have severe osteoporosis due to increased osteoclast longevity. We revealed that the higher longevity of AZI2-deficient osteoclasts is due to an augmented activation of proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (c-Src), which is a critical player in osteoclast survival. We found that AZI2 inhibits c-Src activity by regulating the activation of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone involved in c-Src dephosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that AZI2 indirectly inhibits c-Src by interacting with the Hsp90 co-chaperone Cdc37. Strikingly, administration of a c-Src inhibitor markedly prevented bone loss in AZI2 knock-out mice. Together, these findings indicate that AZI2 regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival. PMID:25691576

  4. 5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Kenta; Fukasaka, Masahiro; Uematsu, Satoshi; Takeuchi, Osamu; Kondo, Takeshi; Saitoh, Tatsuya; Martino, Mikaël M; Akira, Shizuo

    2015-04-10

    5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) is a TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor family member-associated NF-κB activator-binding kinase 1-binding protein that regulates the production of IFNs. A previous in vitro study showed that AZI2 is involved in dendritic cell differentiation. However, the roles of AZI2 in immunity and its pleiotropic functions are unknown in vivo. Here we report that AZI2 knock-out mice exhibit normal dendritic cell differentiation in vivo. However, we found that adult AZI2 knock-out mice have severe osteoporosis due to increased osteoclast longevity. We revealed that the higher longevity of AZI2-deficient osteoclasts is due to an augmented activation of proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (c-Src), which is a critical player in osteoclast survival. We found that AZI2 inhibits c-Src activity by regulating the activation of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone involved in c-Src dephosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that AZI2 indirectly inhibits c-Src by interacting with the Hsp90 co-chaperone Cdc37. Strikingly, administration of a c-Src inhibitor markedly prevented bone loss in AZI2 knock-out mice. Together, these findings indicate that AZI2 regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival. PMID:25691576

  5. Fine-tuning of DDES and IDDES formulations to the k-ω shear stress transport model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gritskevich, M. S.; Garbaruk, A. V.; Menter, F. R.

    2013-06-01

    Modifications are proposed of two recently developed hybrid CFD (computational fluid dynamics) strategies, Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation (DDES), and DDES with Improved wall-modeling capability (IDDES). The modifications are aimed at fine-tuning of these approaches to the k-ω SST (shear stress transport) background RANS (Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes) model. The first one includes recalibrated empirical constants in the shielding function of the Spalart-Allmaras (SA) based DDES which are shown to be suboptimal (not providing a needed level of elimination of the Model Stress Depletion (MSD)) for the SST-based DDES model. For the SST-IDDES variant, in addition to that, a simplification of the original SA-based formulation is proposed, which does not cause any visible degradation of the model performance. Both modifications are extensively tested on a range of attached and separated flows (developed channel, backward-facing step, periodic hills, wall-mounted hump, and hydrofoil with trailing edge separation).

  6. miR-17-92 fine-tunes MYC expression and function to ensure optimal B cell lymphoma growth

    PubMed Central

    Mihailovich, Marija; Bremang, Michael; Spadotto, Valeria; Musiani, Daniele; Vitale, Elena; Varano, Gabriele; Zambelli, Federico; Mancuso, Francesco M.; Cairns, David A.; Pavesi, Giulio; Casola, Stefano; Bonaldi, Tiziana

    2015-01-01

    The synergism between c-MYC and miR-17-19b, a truncated version of the miR-17-92 cluster, is well-documented during tumor initiation. However, little is known about miR-17-19b function in established cancers. Here we investigate the role of miR-17-19b in c-MYC-driven lymphomas by integrating SILAC-based quantitative proteomics, transcriptomics and 3′ untranslated region (UTR) analysis upon miR-17-19b overexpression. We identify over one hundred miR-17-19b targets, of which 40% are co-regulated by c-MYC. Downregulation of a new miR-17/20 target, checkpoint kinase 2 (Chek2), increases the recruitment of HuR to c-MYC transcripts, resulting in the inhibition of c-MYC translation and thus interfering with in vivo tumor growth. Hence, in established lymphomas, miR-17-19b fine-tunes c-MYC activity through a tight control of its function and expression, ultimately ensuring cancer cell homeostasis. Our data highlight the plasticity of miRNA function, reflecting changes in the mRNA landscape and 3′ UTR shortening at different stages of tumorigenesis. PMID:26555894

  7. Fine tuning the color-transition temperature of thermoreversible polydiacetylene/zinc oxide nanocomposites: The effect of photopolymerization time.

    PubMed

    Traiphol, Nisanart; Faisadcha, Kunruethai; Potai, Ruttayapon; Traiphol, Rakchart

    2015-02-01

    An ability to control the thermochromic behaviors of polydiacetylene (PDA)-based materials is very important for their utilization. Recently, our group has developed the PDA/zinc oxide (ZnO) nanocomposites, which exhibit reversible thermochromism (Traiphol et al., 2011). In this study, we present our continuation work demonstrating a rather simple method for fine tuning their color-transition temperature. The PDA/ZnO nanocomposites are prepared by varying photopolymerization time, which in turn affects the length of PDA conjugated backbone. We have found that the increase of photopolymerization time from 1 to 120min results in systematically decrease of the color-transition temperature from about 85 to 40°C. These PDA/ZnO nanocomposites still exhibit reversible thermochromism. The PDA/ZnO nanocomposites embedded in polyvinyl alcohol films show two-step color-transition processes, the reversible blue to purple and then irreversible purple to orange. Interestingly, the increase of photopolymerization time causes an increase of the irreversible color-transition temperature. Our method is quite simple and cheap, which can provide a library of PDA-based materials with controllable color-transition temperature. PMID:25463181

  8. Comparative phosphoproteome profiling reveals a function of the STN8 kinase in fine-tuning of cyclic electron flow (CEF)

    PubMed Central

    Reiland, Sonja; Finazzi, Giovanni; Endler, Anne; Willig, Adrian; Baerenfaller, Katja; Grossmann, Jonas; Gerrits, Bertran; Rutishauser, Dorothea; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Rochaix, Jean-David; Baginsky, Sacha

    2011-01-01

    Important aspects of photosynthetic electron transport efficiency in chloroplasts are controlled by protein phosphorylation. Two thylakoid-associated kinases, STN7 and STN8, have distinct roles in short- and long-term photosynthetic acclimation to changes in light quality and quantity. Although some substrates of STN7 and STN8 are known, the complexity of this regulatory kinase system implies that currently unknown substrates connect photosynthetic performance with the regulation of metabolic and regulatory functions. We performed an unbiased phosphoproteome-wide screen with Arabidopsis WT and stn8 mutant plants to identify unique STN8 targets. The phosphorylation status of STN7 was not affected in stn8, indicating that kinases other than STN8 phosphorylate STN7 under standard growth conditions. Among several putative STN8 substrates, PGRL1-A is of particular importance because of its possible role in the modulation of cyclic electron transfer. The STN8 phosphorylation site on PGRL1-A is absent in both monocotyledonous plants and algae. In dicots, spectroscopic measurements with Arabidopsis WT, stn7, stn8, and stn7/stn8 double-mutant plants indicate a STN8-mediated slowing down of the transition from cyclic to linear electron flow at the onset of illumination. This finding suggests a possible link between protein phosphorylation by STN8 and fine-tuning of cyclic electron flow during this critical step of photosynthesis, when the carbon assimilation is not commensurate to the electron flow capacity of the chloroplast. PMID:21768351

  9. The crystal structure of the global anaerobic transcriptional regulator FNR explains its extremely fine-tuned monomer-dimer equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Volbeda, Anne; Darnault, Claudine; Renoux, Oriane; Nicolet, Yvain; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    The structure of the dimeric holo-fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator (FNR) from Aliivibrio fischeri has been solved at 2.65 Å resolution. FNR globally controls the transition between anaerobic and aerobic respiration in facultative anaerobes through the assembly/degradation of its oxygen-sensitive [4Fe-4S] cluster. In the absence of O2, FNR forms a dimer and specifically binds to DNA, whereas in its presence, the cluster is degraded causing FNR monomerization and DNA dissociation. We have used our crystal structure and the information previously gathered from numerous FNR variants to propose that this process is governed by extremely fine-tuned interactions, mediated by two salt bridges near the amino-terminal cluster-binding domain and an "imperfect" coiled-coil dimer interface. [4Fe-4S] to [2Fe-2S] cluster degradation propagates a conformational signal that indirectly causes monomerization by disrupting the first of these interactions and unleashing the "unzipping" of the FNR dimer in the direction of the carboxyl-terminal DNA binding domain. PMID:26665177

  10. Fine tuning of the pH-sensitivity of laponite-doxorubicin nanohybrids by polyelectrolyte multilayer coating.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Shili; Castro, Rita; Maciel, Dina; Gonçalves, Mara; Shi, Xiangyang; Rodrigues, João; Tomás, Helena

    2016-03-01

    Despite the wide research done in the field, the development of advanced drug delivery systems with improved drug delivery properties and effective anticancer capability still remains a great challenge. Based on previous work that showed the potentialities of the nanoclay Laponite as a pH-sensitive doxorubicin (Dox) delivery vehicle, herein we report a simple method to modulate its extent of drug release at different pH values. This was achieved by alternate deposition of cationic poly(allylamine) hydrochloride and anionic poly(sodium styrene sulfonate) (PAH/PSS) polyelectrolytes over the surface of Dox-loaded Laponite nanoparticles using the electrostatic layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly approach. The successful formation of polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite systems was confirmed by Dynamic Light Scattering and zeta potential measurements. Systematic studies were performed to evaluate their drug release profiles and anticancer efficiency. Our results showed that the presence of the polyelectrolyte multilayers improved the sustained release properties of Laponite and allowed a fine tuning of the extension of drug release at neutral and acidic pH values. The cytotoxicity presented by polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite systems towards MCF-7 cells was in accordance with the drug delivery profiles. Furthermore, cellular uptake studies revealed that polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite nanoparticles can be effectively internalized by cells conducting to Dox accumulation in cell nucleus. PMID:26706540

  11. Fine-tuning synaptic plasticity by modulation of Ca(V)2.1 channels with Ca2+ sensor proteins.

    PubMed

    Leal, Karina; Mochida, Sumiko; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A

    2012-10-16

    Modulation of P/Q-type Ca(2+) currents through presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels (Ca(V)2.1) by binding of Ca(2+)/calmodulin contributes to short-term synaptic plasticity. Ca(2+)-binding protein-1 (CaBP1) and Visinin-like protein-2 (VILIP-2) are neurospecific calmodulin-like Ca(2+) sensor proteins that differentially modulate Ca(V)2.1 channels, but how they contribute to short-term synaptic plasticity is unknown. Here, we show that activity-dependent modulation of presynaptic Ca(V)2.1 channels by CaBP1 and VILIP-2 has opposing effects on short-term synaptic plasticity in superior cervical ganglion neurons. Expression of CaBP1, which blocks Ca(2+)-dependent facilitation of P/Q-type Ca(2+) current, markedly reduced facilitation of synaptic transmission. VILIP-2, which blocks Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation of P/Q-type Ca(2+) current, reduced synaptic depression and increased facilitation under conditions of high release probability. These results demonstrate that activity-dependent regulation of presynaptic Ca(V)2.1 channels by differentially expressed Ca(2+) sensor proteins can fine-tune synaptic responses to trains of action potentials and thereby contribute to the diversity of short-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:23027954

  12. Resistin reinforces interferon λ-3 to eliminate hepatitis C virus with fine-tuning from RETN single-nucleotide polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Ling; Liang, Kung-Hao; Ku, Cheng-Lung; Lo, Chia-Chi; Cheng, Ya-Ting; Hsu, Chen-Ming; Yeh, Chau-Ting; Chiu, Cheng-Tang

    2016-01-01

    The effect of resistin (RETN) on the response to anti-HCV therapy remains unclear. A prospective cohort study was performed using 655 consecutive HCV patients, of whom 513 had completed a course of interferon-based therapy. Multivariate and GEE analyses revealed four RETN single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs34861192, rs3219175, rs3745367 and rs1423096, to be synergistically associated with resistin levels. After adjusting for co-factors such as interferon λ-3 (IFNL3)-rs12979860, the resistin level and the hyper-resistinemic genotype at the 4 RETN SNPs were positively and negatively associated with a sustained virological response (SVR), respectively. RETN-rs3745367 was in linkage disequilibrium with IFNL3-rs12979860. Compared to non-SVR patients, SVR patients had higher levels of pre-therapy resistin, primarily originating from intrahepatic lymphocytes, stellate cells, Kupffer cells, hepatic progenitor cells and hepatocytes. This difference diminished over the course of therapy, as only SVR patients exhibited a 24-week post-therapy decrease in resistin. Both resistin and IFNL3 mRNAs were upregulated, but only resistin mRNA was upregulated by recombinant resistin in peripheral blood mononuclear cells with and without hyper-resistinemic genotypes of the 4 RETN SNPs, respectively. Fine-tuned by RETN SNPs, intrahepatic, multi-cellular resistin reinforced IFNL3 in eliminating HCV via immunomodulation to counteract pro-inflammation. These results encourage the development of novel resistin-targeted anti-viral agents. PMID:27477870

  13. Fnr (EtrA) acts as a fine-tuning regulator of anaerobic metabolism in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

    SciTech Connect

    Cruz-Garza, Claribel; Murray, Alison E.; Rodrigues, Jorge L.M.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.; McCue, Lee Ann; Romine, Margaret F.; Loffler, F. E.; Tiedje, James M.

    2011-03-30

    EtrA in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a model organism for study of adaptation to varied redox niches, shares 73.6% and 50.8% amino acid sequence identity with the oxygen-sensing regulators Fnr in E. coli and Anr in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively; however, its regulatory role of anaerobic metabolism in Shewanella spp. is not well understood. The expression of the nap genes, nrfA, cymA and hcp was significantly reduced in etrA deletion mutant EtrA7-1; however, limited anaerobic growth and nitrate reduction occurred, suggesting that multiple regulators control nitrate reduction in this strain. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and fumarate reductase gene expression was down regulated at least 2-fold and the EtrA7-1 mutant grew poorly with fumarate and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), suggesting both respiratory pathways are under EtrA control. Transcript analysis further suggested a role of EtrA in prophage activation and down regulation of genes implicated in aerobic metabolism. In contrast to previous studies that attributed a minor regulatory role to EtrA in Shewanella spp., this study demonstrates that EtrA acts as a global transcriptional regulator and confers physiological advantages to strain MR-1 under certain growth conditions. In conjunction with other regulators, EtrA fine-tunes the expression of genes involved in anaerobic metabolism in S. oneidensis strain MR-1.

  14. The crystal structure of the global anaerobic transcriptional regulator FNR explains its extremely fine-tuned monomer-dimer equilibrium

    PubMed Central

    Volbeda, Anne; Darnault, Claudine; Renoux, Oriane; Nicolet, Yvain; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    The structure of the dimeric holo–fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator (FNR) from Aliivibrio fischeri has been solved at 2.65 Å resolution. FNR globally controls the transition between anaerobic and aerobic respiration in facultative anaerobes through the assembly/degradation of its oxygen-sensitive [4Fe-4S] cluster. In the absence of O2, FNR forms a dimer and specifically binds to DNA, whereas in its presence, the cluster is degraded causing FNR monomerization and DNA dissociation. We have used our crystal structure and the information previously gathered from numerous FNR variants to propose that this process is governed by extremely fine-tuned interactions, mediated by two salt bridges near the amino-terminal cluster-binding domain and an “imperfect” coiled-coil dimer interface. [4Fe-4S] to [2Fe-2S] cluster degradation propagates a conformational signal that indirectly causes monomerization by disrupting the first of these interactions and unleashing the “unzipping” of the FNR dimer in the direction of the carboxyl-terminal DNA binding domain. PMID:26665177

  15. Large-Scale Phenomics Identifies Primary and Fine-Tuning Roles for CRKs in Responses Related to Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Rayapuram, Channabasavangowda; Idänheimo, Niina; Hunter, Kerri; Kimura, Sachie; Merilo, Ebe; Vaattovaara, Aleksia; Oracz, Krystyna; Kaufholdt, David; Pallon, Andres; Anggoro, Damar Tri; Glów, Dawid; Lowe, Jennifer; Zhou, Ji; Mohammadi, Omid; Puukko, Tuomas; Albert, Andreas; Lang, Hans; Ernst, Dieter; Kollist, Hannes; Brosché, Mikael; Durner, Jörg; Borst, Jan Willem; Collinge, David B.; Karpiński, Stanisław; Lyngkjær, Michael F.; Robatzek, Silke; Wrzaczek, Michael; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko

    2015-01-01

    Cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases (CRKs) are transmembrane proteins characterized by the presence of two domains of unknown function 26 (DUF26) in their ectodomain. The CRKs form one of the largest groups of receptor-like protein kinases in plants, but their biological functions have so far remained largely uncharacterized. We conducted a large-scale phenotyping approach of a nearly complete crk T-DNA insertion line collection showing that CRKs control important aspects of plant development and stress adaptation in response to biotic and abiotic stimuli in a non-redundant fashion. In particular, the analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related stress responses, such as regulation of the stomatal aperture, suggests that CRKs participate in ROS/redox signalling and sensing. CRKs play general and fine-tuning roles in the regulation of stomatal closure induced by microbial and abiotic cues. Despite their great number and high similarity, large-scale phenotyping identified specific functions in diverse processes for many CRKs and indicated that CRK2 and CRK5 play predominant roles in growth regulation and stress adaptation, respectively. As a whole, the CRKs contribute to specificity in ROS signalling. Individual CRKs control distinct responses in an antagonistic fashion suggesting future potential for using CRKs in genetic approaches to improve plant performance and stress tolerance. PMID:26197346

  16. Photocatalytic Deposition of Hydroxyapatite onto a Titanium Dioxide Nanotubular Layer with Fine Tuning of Layer Nanoarchitecture.

    PubMed

    Ulasevich, Sviatlana A; Poznyak, Sergey K; Kulak, Anatoly I; Lisenkov, Aleksey D; Starykevich, Maksim; Skorb, Ekaterina V

    2016-04-26

    A new effective method of photocatalytic deposition of hydroxyapatite (HA) onto semiconductor substrates is proposed. A highly ordered nanotubular TiO2 (TNT) layer formed on titanium via its anodization is chosen as the photoactive substrate. The method is based on photodecomposition of the phosphate anion precursor, triethylphosphate (TEP), on the semiconductor surface with the following reaction of formed phosphate anions with calcium cations presented in the solution. HA can be deposited only on irradiated areas, providing the possibility of photoresist-free HA patterning. It is shown that HA deposition can be controlled via pH, light intensity, and duration of the process. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy profile analysis and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy of HA-modified TNT prove that HA deposits over the entire TNT depth. High biocompatibility of the surfaces is proven by protein adsorption and pre-osteoblast cell growth. PMID:26991479

  17. Fine tuning of PPAR ligands for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Uma; Kumar, Rakesh; Mittal, Amit

    2006-05-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is highly prevalent chronic disease. Recently, many biological targets are discovered for treatment of this disease. The identification of the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) and their subtypes alpha, gamma and delta or beta as targets for controlling lipid, glucose and energy homeostasis has proved to be exciting. As hyperlipidaemia, obesity and insulin resistance are independent risk factors for coronary heart disease and macrovascular complications of diabetes; new agents that increase insulin sensitivity as well as decrease hyperlipidaemia by distinct yet complementary mechanism are being studied as they may provide improved therapy for T2DM and related disorders. In this article, we review highly potent PPARgamma agonists, PPARalpha/gamma dual agonists, PPAR pan agonists, alternative PPAR ligands like partial agonists or selective PPAR modulators (SPPARMs) and antagonists from a chemist point of view. PMID:16719831

  18. Fine Tuning Your Lease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    What is the optimum lease arrangement for the no-till farmer? No-till farmers will many times have more "up front" chemical input costs than a conventional till farmer. Do these differences warrant a different lease arrangement? An easy to use spreadsheet tool was developed to enable a farmer to ...

  19. High Performance All-Polymer Solar Cells by Synergistic Effects of Fine-Tuned Crystallinity and Solvent Annealing.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhaojun; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Wei; Meng, Xiangyi; Ma, Wei; Yartsev, Arkady; Inganäs, Olle; Andersson, Mats R; Janssen, René A J; Wang, Ergang

    2016-08-31

    Growing interests have been devoted to the design of polymer acceptors as potential replacement for fullerene derivatives for high-performance all polymer solar cells (all-PSCs). One key factor that is limiting the efficiency of all-PSCs is the low fill factor (FF) (normally <0.65), which is strongly correlated with the mobility and film morphology of polymer:polymer blends. In this work, we find a facile method to modulate the crystallinity of the well-known naphthalene diimide (NDI) based polymer N2200, by replacing a certain amount of bithiophene (2T) units in the N2200 backbone by single thiophene (T) units and synthesizing a series of random polymers PNDI-Tx, where x is the percentage of the single T. The acceptor PNDI-T10 is properly miscible with the low band gap donor polymer PTB7-Th, and the nanostructured blend promotes efficient exciton dissociation and charge transport. Solvent annealing (SA) enables higher hole and electron mobilities, and further suppresses the bimolecular recombination. As expected, the PTB7-Th:PNDI-T10 solar cells attain a high PCE of 7.6%, which is a 2-fold increase compared to that of PTB7-Th:N2200 solar cells. The FF of 0.71 reaches the highest value among all-PSCs to date. Our work demonstrates a rational design for fine-tuned crystallinity of polymer acceptors, and reveals the high potential of all-PSCs through structure and morphology engineering of semicrystalline polymer:polymer blends. PMID:27479751

  20. Evaluation of heart tissue viability under redox-magnetohydrodynamics conditions: toward fine-tuning flow in biological microfluidics applications.

    PubMed

    Cheah, Lih Tyng; Fritsch, Ingrid; Haswell, Stephen J; Greenman, John

    2012-07-01

    A microfluidic system containing a chamber for heart tissue biopsies, perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing glucose and antibiotic (KHGB) using peristaltic pumps and continuously stimulated, was used to evaluate tissue viability under redox-magnetohydrodynamics (redox-MHD) conditions. Redox-MHD possesses unique capabilities to control fluid flow using ionic current from oxidation and reduction processes at electrodes in a magnetic field, making it attractive to fine-tune fluid flow around tissues for "tissue-on-a-chip" applications. The manuscript describes a parallel setup to study two tissue samples simultaneously, and 6-min static incubation with Triton X100. Tissue viability was subsequently determined by assaying perfusate for lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, where LDH serves as an injury marker. Incubation with KHGB containing 5 mM hexaammineruthenium(III) (ruhex) redox species with and without a pair of NdFeB magnets (∼ 0.39 T, placed parallel to the chamber) exhibited no additional tissue insult. MHD fluid flow, viewed by tracking microbeads with microscopy, occurred only when the magnet was present and stimulating electrodes were activated. Pulsating MHD flow with a frequency similar to the stimulating waveform was superimposed over thermal convection (from a hotplate) for Triton-KHGB, but fluid speed was up to twice as fast for ruhex-Triton-KHGB. A large transient ionic current, achieved when switching on the stimulating electrodes, generates MHD perturbations visible over varying peristaltic flow. The well-controlled flow methodology of redox-MHD is applicable to any tissue type, being useful in various drug uptake and toxicity studies, and can be combined equally with on- or off-device analysis modalities. PMID:22271160

  1. Fine-Tuning of the Cpx Envelope Stress Response Is Required for Cell Wall Homeostasis in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Delhaye, Antoine; Collet, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The envelope of Gram-negative bacteria is an essential compartment that constitutes a protective and permeability barrier between the cell and its environment. The envelope also hosts the cell wall, a mesh-like structure made of peptidoglycan (PG) that determines cell shape and provides osmotic protection. Since the PG must grow and divide in a cell-cycle-synchronized manner, its synthesis and remodeling are tightly regulated. Here, we discovered that PG homeostasis is intimately linked to the levels of activation of the Cpx system, an envelope stress response system traditionally viewed as being involved in protein quality control in the envelope. We first show that Cpx is activated when PG integrity is challenged and that this activation provides protection to cells exposed to antibiotics inhibiting PG synthesis. By rerouting the outer membrane lipoprotein NlpE, a known Cpx activator, to a different envelope subcompartment, we managed to manipulate Cpx activation levels. We found that Cpx overactivation leads to aberrant cellular morphologies, to an increased sensitivity to β-lactams, and to dramatic division and growth defects, consistent with a loss of PG homeostasis. Remarkably, these phenotypes were largely abrogated by the deletion of ldtD, a Cpx-induced gene involved in noncanonical PG cross-linkage, suggesting that this transpeptidase is an important link between PG homeostasis and the Cpx system. Altogether our data show that fine-tuning of an envelope quality control system constitutes an important layer of regulation of the highly organized cell wall structure. PMID:26908573

  2. Tomato Yield Heterosis Is Triggered by a Dosage Sensitivity of the Florigen Pathway That Fine-Tunes Shoot Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Liberatore, Katie L.; Park, Soon Ju; Alvarez, John P.; Lippman, Zachary B.

    2013-01-01

    The superiority of hybrids has long been exploited in agriculture, and although many models explaining “heterosis” have been put forth, direct empirical support is limited. Particularly elusive have been cases of heterozygosity for single gene mutations causing heterosis under a genetic model known as overdominance. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), plants carrying mutations in SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS (SFT) encoding the flowering hormone florigen are severely delayed in flowering, become extremely large, and produce few flowers and fruits, but when heterozygous, yields are dramatically increased. Curiously, this overdominance is evident only in the background of “determinate” plants, in which the continuous production of side shoots and inflorescences gradually halts due to a defect in the flowering repressor SELF PRUNING (SP). How sp facilitates sft overdominance is unclear, but is thought to relate to the opposing functions these genes have on flowering time and shoot architecture. We show that sft mutant heterozygosity (sft/+) causes weak semi-dominant delays in flowering of both primary and side shoots. Using transcriptome sequencing of shoot meristems, we demonstrate that this delay begins before seedling meristems become reproductive, followed by delays in subsequent side shoot meristems that, in turn, postpone the arrest of shoot and inflorescence production. Reducing SFT levels in sp plants by artificial microRNAs recapitulates the dose-dependent modification of shoot and inflorescence production of sft/+ heterozygotes, confirming that fine-tuning levels of functional SFT transcripts provides a foundation for higher yields. Finally, we show that although flowering delays by florigen mutant heterozygosity are conserved in Arabidopsis, increased yield is not, likely because cyclical flowering is absent. We suggest sft heterozygosity triggers a yield improvement by optimizing plant architecture via its dosage response in the florigen pathway. Exploiting

  3. Fine-tuning of CD8(+) T-cell effector functions by targeting the 2B4-CD48 interaction.

    PubMed

    Lissina, Anna; Ambrozak, David R; Boswell, Kristin L; Yang, Wenjing; Boritz, Eli; Wakabayashi, Yoshiyuki; Iglesias, Maria C; Hashimoto, Masao; Takiguchi, Masafumi; Haddad, Elias; Douek, Daniel C; Zhu, Jun; Koup, Richard A; Yamamoto, Takuya; Appay, Victor

    2016-07-01

    Polyfunctionality and cytotoxic activity dictate CD8(+) T-cell efficacy in the eradication of infected and malignant cells. The induction of these effector functions depends on the specific interaction between the T-cell receptor (TCR) and its cognate peptide-MHC class I complex, in addition to signals provided by co-stimulatory or co-inhibitory receptors, which can further regulate these functions. Among these receptors, the role of 2B4 is contested, as it has been described as either co-stimulatory or co-inhibitory in modulating T-cell functions. We therefore combined functional, transcriptional and epigenetic approaches to further characterize the impact of disrupting the interaction of 2B4 with its ligand CD48, on the activity of human effector CD8(+) T-cell clones. In this setting, we show that the 2B4-CD48 axis is involved in the fine-tuning of CD8(+) T-cell effector function upon antigenic stimulation. Blocking this interaction resulted in reduced CD8(+) T-cell clone-mediated cytolytic activity, together with a subtle drop in the expression of genes involved in effector function regulation. Our results also imply a variable contribution of the 2B4-CD48 interaction to the modulation of CD8(+) T-cell functional properties, potentially linked to intrinsic levels of T-bet expression and TCR avidity. The present study thus provides further insights into the role of the 2B4-CD48 interaction in the fine regulation of CD8(+) T-cell effector function upon antigenic stimulation. PMID:26860368

  4. Optimization by Molecular Fine Tuning of Dihydro-β-agarofuran Sesquiterpenoids as Reversers of P-Glycoprotein-Mediated Multidrug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Callies, Oliver; Sánchez-Cañete, María P; Gamarro, Francisco; Jiménez, Ignacio A; Castanys, Santiago; Bazzocchi, Isabel L

    2016-03-10

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) plays a crucial role in the development of multidrug resistance (MDR), a major obstacle for successful chemotherapy in cancer. Herein, we report on the development of a natural-product-based library of 81 dihydro-β-agarofuran sesquiterpenes (2-82) by optimization of the lead compound 1. The compound library was evaluated for its ability to inhibit P-gp-mediated daunomycin efflux in MDR cells. Selected analogues were further analyzed for their P-gp inhibition constant, intrinsic toxicity, and potency to reverse daunomycin and vinblastine resistances. Analogues 6, 24, 28, 59, and 66 were identified as having higher potency than compound 1 and verapamil, a first-generation P-gp modulator. SAR analysis revealed the size of the aliphatic chains and presence of nitrogen atoms are important structural characteristics to modulate reversal activity. The present study highlights the potential of these analogues as modulators of P-gp mediated MDR in cancer cells. PMID:26836364

  5. Improving putrescine production by Corynebacterium glutamicum by fine-tuning ornithine transcarbamoylase activity using a plasmid addiction system.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jens; Eberhardt, Dorit; Wendisch, Volker F

    2012-07-01

    Corynebacterium glutamicum shows a great potential for the production of the polyamide monomer putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane). Previously, we constructed the putrescine-producing strain PUT1 by deletion of argF, the gene for ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTC), and argR, encoding the L-arginine repressor, combined with heterologous expression of the Escherichia coli gene for L-ornithine decarboxylase SpeC. As a consequence of argF deletion, this strain requires supplementation of L-arginine and shows growth-decoupled putrescine production. To avoid costly supplementation with L-arginine and the strong feedback inhibition of the key enzyme N-acetylglutamate kinase (ArgB) by L-arginine, a plasmid addiction system for low-level argF expression was developed. By fine-tuning argF expression through modifications of the promoter, the translational start codon and/or the ribosome binding site, high productivity and titer could be obtained. OTC activity varied almost thousandfold between 960 and 1 mU mg⁻¹ resulting in putrescine yields on glucose from less than 0.001 up to 0.26 g g⁻¹, the highest yield in bacteria reported to date. The most promising strain, designated PUT21, was characterized comprehensively. PUT21 strain grew with a rate of 0.19 h⁻¹ in mineral salt medium without the need for L-arginine supplementation and produced putrescine with a yield of 0.16 g g⁻¹ glucose at a volumetric productivity of 0.57 g L⁻¹ h⁻¹ and a specific productivity of 0.042 g g⁻¹ h⁻¹. The carbon balance suggested that no major unidentified by-product was produced. Compared to the first-generation strain PUT1, the putrescine yield observed with PUT21 was increased by 60%. In fed-batch cultivation with C. glutamicum PUT21, a putrescine titer of 19 g L⁻¹ at a volumetric productivity of 0.55 g L⁻¹ h⁻¹ and a yield of 0.16 g g⁻¹ glucose could be achieved. Moreover, while plasmid segregation of the initial strain required antibiotic selection

  6. Experimental Profiling of a Non-truncated Focused Gaussian Beam and Fine-tuning of the Quadratic Phase in the Fresnel Gaussian Shape Invariant

    SciTech Connect

    S., Juan Manuel Franco; Cywiak, Moises; Cywiak, David; Mourad, Idir

    2015-06-24

    A homodyne profiler is used for recording the intensity distribution of focused non-truncated Gaussian beams. The spatial distributions are obtained at planes in the vicinity of the back-focal plane of a focusing lens placed at different distances from a He–Ne laser beam with a Gaussian intensity profile. Comparisons of the experimental data with those obtained from the analytical equations for an ideal focusing lens allow us to propose formulae to fine-tune the quadratic term in the Fresnel Gaussian shape invariant at each interface of the propagated field. Furthermore, we give analytical expressions to calculate adequately the propagation of the field through an optical system.

  7. Fine Tuning of Tissues' Viscosity and Surface Tension through Contractility Suggests a New Role for α-Catenin

    PubMed Central

    Stirbat, Tomita Vasilica; Mgharbel, Abbas; Bodennec, Selena; Ferri, Karine; Mertani, Hichem C.; Rieu, Jean-Paul; Delanoë-Ayari, Hélène

    2013-01-01

    What governs tissue organization and movement? If molecular and genetic approaches are able to give some answers on these issues, more and more works are now giving a real importance to mechanics as a key component eventually triggering further signaling events. We chose embryonic cell aggregates as model systems for tissue organization and movement in order to investigate the origin of some mechanical constraints arising from cells organization. Steinberg et al. proposed a long time ago an analogy between liquids and tissues and showed that indeed tissues possess a measurable tissue surface tension and viscosity. We question here the molecular origin of these parameters and give a quantitative measurement of adhesion versus contractility in the framework of the differential interfacial tension hypothesis. Accompanying surface tension measurements by angle measurements (at vertexes of cell-cell contacts) at the cell/medium interface, we are able to extract the full parameters of this model: cortical tensions and adhesion energy. We show that a tunable surface tension and viscosity can be achieved easily through the control of cell-cell contractility compared to cell-medium one. Moreover we show that -catenin is crucial for this regulation to occur: these molecules appear as a catalyser for the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton underneath cell-cell contact, enabling a differential contractility between the cell-medium and cell-cell interface to take place. PMID:23390488

  8. Fine-Tuning of the Fatty Acid Pathway by Synthetic Antisense RNA for Enhanced (2S)-Naringenin Production from l-Tyrosine in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Junjun; Yu, Oliver; Du, Guocheng

    2014-01-01

    Malonyl coenzyme A (malonyl-CoA) is an important precursor for the synthesis of natural products, such as polyketides and flavonoids. The majority of this cofactor often is consumed for producing fatty acids and phospholipids, leaving only a small amount of cellular malonyl-CoA available for producing the target compound. The tuning of malonyl-CoA into heterologous pathways yields significant phenotypic effects, such as growth retardation and even cell death. In this study, fine-tuning of the fatty acid pathway in Escherichia coli with antisense RNA (asRNA) to balance the demands on malonyl-CoA for target-product synthesis and cell health was proposed. To establish an efficient asRNA system, the relationship between sequence and function for asRNA was explored. It was demonstrated that the gene-silencing effect of asRNA could be tuned by directing asRNA to different positions in the 5′-UTR (untranslated region) of the target gene. Based on this principle, the activity of asRNA was quantitatively tailored to balance the need for malonyl-CoA in cell growth and the production of the main flavonoid precursor, (2S)-naringenin. Appropriate inhibitory efficiency of the anti-fabB/fabF asRNA improved the production titer by 431% (391 mg/liter). Therefore, the strategy presented in this study provided a useful tool for the fine-tuning of endogenous gene expression in bacteria. PMID:25239896

  9. Enhancement of magnetic domain topologies in Co/Pt thin films by fine tuning the magnetic field path throughout the hysteresis loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westover, Andrew S.; Chesnel, Karine; Hatch, Kelsey; Salter, Philip; Hellwig, Olav

    2016-02-01

    We have studied the influence of magnetic history on the topology of perpendicular magnetic domains in a thin ferromagnetic film made of [Co(8 Å)/Pt(7 Å)]50 multilayers. More specifically, we have followed the morphological changes in the domain pattern when applying a magnetic field perpendicular to the layer, throughout minor and major magnetization loops, and in the resulting remanent state. We carried out this study by using MFM microscopy with an in-situ magnetic field. We find that the morphology of the magnetic domain pattern is greatly influenced by the magnetic history of the material and that some features, such as the degree of bubbliness (i.e., the extent of bubble domain formation) and density of isolated domains can be enhanced by fine tuning the magnetic field path within the major hysteresis loop towards different remanent states. In particular, we see how hysteresis is correlated to irreversible changes in the domain morphology. More interestingly, we find that the magnetic domain morphology at remanence can be changed from an interconnected labyrinthine stripe state to a state of many separated bubble domains by fine tuning the magnitude of the field previously applied to the material. These results agree well with other findings, such as the magnetic reversal behavior and magnetic memory effects in Co/Pt multilayers, and provide opportunities for potential technological applications.

  10. Applying high-resolution sequence stratigraphic tools to the Texas continental margin to fine-tune conventional sequence stratigraphic models and improve reservoir prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.A.; Banfield, L.A.; Eckles, B.J.

    1996-12-31

    A regional sequence stratigraphic study of the Texas continental margin resulted in an improved understanding of Pleistocene-Holocene eustatic sea level fluctuations and their influence on depositional environments associated with several distinct systems: the Colorado/Brazos system, the Texas interfluve region, and the Rio Grande system. The dataset consists of approximately 7500 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profiloes, 200 borehole descriptions, and 12 sediment cores. The study involved analysis of three independent variables to better constrain Pleistocene-Holocene sea level history: coastal onlap derived from high-resolution seismic profiles; oxygen isotope data determined from selected sediment cores; and paleoenvironmental data developed from high-resolution micropaleontologic analyses. Combined lithologic data and seismic facies analysis is used to map the distribution of major depositional systems on the shelf during one complete glacial eustatic cycle. Our study provided anopportunity to fine tune conventional stratigraphic models with regard to the distribution of potential reservoirs relative to regionally mappable stratigraphic surfaces.

  11. Applying high-resolution sequence stratigraphic tools to the Texas continental margin to fine-tune conventional sequence stratigraphic models and improve reservoir prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.A.; Banfield, L.A.; Eckles, B.J. )

    1996-01-01

    A regional sequence stratigraphic study of the Texas continental margin resulted in an improved understanding of Pleistocene-Holocene eustatic sea level fluctuations and their influence on depositional environments associated with several distinct systems: the Colorado/Brazos system, the Texas interfluve region, and the Rio Grande system. The dataset consists of approximately 7500 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profiloes, 200 borehole descriptions, and 12 sediment cores. The study involved analysis of three independent variables to better constrain Pleistocene-Holocene sea level history: coastal onlap derived from high-resolution seismic profiles; oxygen isotope data determined from selected sediment cores; and paleoenvironmental data developed from high-resolution micropaleontologic analyses. Combined lithologic data and seismic facies analysis is used to map the distribution of major depositional systems on the shelf during one complete glacial eustatic cycle. Our study provided anopportunity to fine tune conventional stratigraphic models with regard to the distribution of potential reservoirs relative to regionally mappable stratigraphic surfaces.

  12. Fine-Tuning of Polymeric Resins and Their Interfaces with Amorphous Calcium Phosphate. A Strategy for Designing Effective Remineralizing Dental Composites

    PubMed Central

    Antonucci, Joseph M.; Skrtic, Drago

    2011-01-01

    For over a decade our group has been designing, preparing and evaluating bioactive, remineralizing composites based on amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) fillers embedded in polymerized methacrylate resin matrices. In these studies a major focus has been on exploring structure-property relationships of the matrix phase of these composites on their anti-cariogenic potential. The main challenges were to gain a better understanding of polymer matrix/filler interfacial properties through controlling the surface properties of the fillers or through fine-tuning of the resin matrix. In this work, we describe the effect of chemical structure and composition of the resin matrices on some of the critical physicochemical properties of the copolymers and their ACP composites. Such structure-property studies are essential in formulating clinically effective products, and this knowledge base is likely to have strong impact on the future design of therapeutic materials, appropriate for mineral restoration in defective tooth structures. PMID:21283507

  13. Consistency of LEP event excesses with an h{yields}aa decay scenario and low-fine-tuning next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard models

    SciTech Connect

    Dermisek, Radovan; Gunion, John F.

    2006-06-01

    We examine the LEP limits for the Zh{yields}Z+b's final state and find that the excess of observed events for m{sub h}{approx}100 GeV correlates well with there being an m{sub h}{approx}100 GeV Higgs boson with SM-like ZZh coupling that decays partly via h{yields}bb+{tau}{sup +}{tau}{sup -} [with B(h{yields}bb){approx}0.08] but dominantly via h{yields}aa [with B(h{yields}aa){approx}0.9], where m{sub a}<2m{sub b} so that a{yields}{tau}{sup +}{tau}{sup -} (or light quarks and gluons) decays are dominant. This type of scenario is precisely that predicted in the Next-to-Minimal Supersymmetric Model for parameter choices yielding the lowest possible fine-tuning.

  14. Fine Tuning of Nanocrystal and Pore Sizes of TiO2 Submicrospheres toward High Performance Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhao-Qian; Ding, Yong; Mo, Li-E; Hu, Lin-Hua; Wu, Ji-Huai; Dai, Song-Yuan

    2015-10-14

    In general, the properties and performance of mesoporous TiO2 are greatly dependent on its crystal size, crystallinity, porosity, surface area, and morphology; in this regard, design and fine-tuning the crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres and investigating the effect of these factors on the properties and photoelectric performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is essential. In this work, uniform TiO2 submicrospheres were synthesized by a two-step procedure containing hydrolysis and solvothermal process. The crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres were fine-tuned and controlled in a narrow range by adjusting the quantity of NH4OH during the solvothermal process. The effect of crystal and pore size of TiO2 submicrosphere on the performance of the DSSCs and their properties including dye-loading capacity, light scattering effect, power conversion efficiency (PCE), incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCEs), and electron recombination were compared and analyzed. The results show that increasing pore size plays a more significant role in improving the dye-loading capacity and PCE than increasing surface area, and an overall PCE value of 8.62% was obtained for the device with a 7.0 μm film thickness based on the TiO2 submicrospheres treated with 0.6 mL of NH4OH. Finally, the best TiO2 submicrosphere based photoanode film was optimized by TiCl4 treatment, and increasing film thickness and a remarkable PCE up to 11.11% were achieved. PMID:26393366

  15. Preparation of compact nanoparticle clusters from polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles by fine-tuning colloidal interactions.

    PubMed

    Zámbó, Dániel; Radnóczi, György Z; Deák, András

    2015-03-10

    Low-molecular weight polyethylene glycol (PEG) has a lower critical solution temperature well outside the boiling point of water at ambient pressure, but it can be reduced at high ionic strengths. We extend this concept to trigger the clustering of gold nanoparticles through the control of colloidal interactions. At high ionic strengths, low-molecular weight (<2000 Da) mPEG-SH-modified gold nanoparticles show clustering with an increase in the solution temperature. The clustering temperature decreases with an increasing ionic strength. The clustering is attributed to the delicate interplay between the high ionic strength and elevated temperature and is interpreted in terms of chain collapse of the surface-grafted PEG molecules. The chain collapse results in a change in the steric interaction term, whereas the high ionic strength eliminates the double-layer repulsion between the particles. The observations are backed by nanoparticle interaction model calculations. We found that the intermediate attractive potential on the order of a few kT allows the experimental fabrication of compact nanoparticle clusters in agreement with theoretical predictions. The approach presented here has the potential to be extended on the externally triggered preparation of nanoparticle clusters with different types of nanoparticles. PMID:25686160

  16. Improving Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction by Fine-Tuning the Pt-Support Interaction: Pt Monolayer on the Surfaces of a Pd3Fe(111) Single-Crystal Alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Wei-Ping; Yang, Xiaofang; Vukmirovic, Miomir B.; Koel, Bruce E.; Jiao, Jiao; Peng, Guowen; Mavrikakis, Manos; Adzic, Radoslav R.

    2009-09-09

    We improved the effectiveness of Pt monolayer electrocatalysts for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) using a novel approach to fine-tuning the Pt monolayer interaction with its support, exemplified by an annealed Pd3Fe(111) single-crystal alloy support having a segregated Pd layer. Low-energy ion scattering and low-energy electron diffraction studies revealed that a segregated Pd layer, with the same structure as Pd (111), is formed on the surface of high-temperature-annealed Pd3Fe(111). This Pd layer is considerably more active than Pd(111); its ORR kinetics is comparable to that of a Pt(111) surface. The enhanced catalytic activity of the segregated Pd layer compared to that of bulk Pd apparently reflects the modification of Pd surface’s electronic properties by underlying Fe. The Pd3Fe(111) suffers a large loss in ORR activity when the subsurface Fe is depleted by potential cycling (i.e., repeated excursions to high potentials in acid solutions). The Pd3Fe(111) surface is an excellent substrate for a Pt monolayer ORR catalyst, as verified by its enhanced ORR kinetics on PTML/Pd/Pd3Fe(111). Our density functional theory studies suggest that the observed enhancement of ORR activity originates mainly from the destabilization of OH binding and the decreased Pt-OH coverage on the Pt/Pd/Pd3Fe(111) surface. The activity of PtML/Pd(111) and Pt(111) is limited by OH removal, whereas the activity of PtML/Pd/Pd3Fe(111) is limited by the O-O bond scission, which places these two surfaces on the two sides of the volcano plot.

  17. Improving Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction by Fine-Tuning the Pt-Support Interaction: Pt Monolayer on the Surfaces of a Pd3Fe(111) Single-Crystal Alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, W.P.; Yang, X.; Vukmirovic, M.B.; Koel, B.E.; Jiao, J.; Peng, G.; Mavrikakis, M.; Adzic, R.R.

    2009-09-09

    We improved the effectiveness of Pt monolayer electrocatalysts for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) using a novel approach to fine-tuning the Pt monolayer interaction with its support, exemplified by an annealed Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) single-crystal alloy support having a segregated Pd layer. Low-energy ion scattering and low-energy electron diffraction studies revealed that a segregated Pd layer, with the same structure as Pd (111), is formed on the surface of high-temperature-annealed Pd{sub 3}Fe(111). This Pd layer is considerably more active than Pd(111); its ORR kinetics is comparable to that of a Pt(111) surface. The enhanced catalytic activity of the segregated Pd layer compared to that of bulk Pd apparently reflects the modification of Pd surface's electronic properties by underlying Fe. The Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) suffers a large loss in ORR activity when the subsurface Fe is depleted by potential cycling (i.e., repeated excursions to high potentials in acid solutions). The Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) surface is an excellent substrate for a Pt monolayer ORR catalyst, as verified by its enhanced ORR kinetics on PT{sub ML}/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111). Our density functional theory studies suggest that the observed enhancement of ORR activity originates mainly from the destabilization of OH binding and the decreased Pt-OH coverage on the Pt/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) surface. The activity of Pt{sub ML}/Pd(111) and Pt(111) is limited by OH removal, whereas the activity of Pt{sub ML}/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) is limited by the O-O bond scission, which places these two surfaces on the two sides of the volcano plot.

  18. PDGF beta targeting in cervical cancer cells suggest a fine-tuning of compensatory signalling pathways to sustain tumourigenic stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Tudoran, Oana Mihaela; Soritau, Olga; Balacescu, Loredana; Pop, Laura; Meurice, Guillaume; Visan, Simona; Lindberg, Staffan; Eniu, Alexandru; Langel, Ulo; Balacescu, Ovidiu; Berindan-Neagoe, Ioana

    2015-01-01

    The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signalling pathway has been reported to play an important role in human cancers by modulating autocrine and paracrine processes such as tumour growth, metastasis and angiogenesis. Several clinical trials document the benefits of targeting this pathway; however, in cervical cancer the role of PDGF signalling in still unclear. In this study, we used siRNA against PDGF beta (PDGFBB) to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of PDGFBB signalling in Ca Ski and HeLa cervical cancer cells. Our results show that PDGFBB inhibition in Ca Ski cells led to rapid alterations of the transcriptional pattern of 579 genes, genes that are known to have antagonistic roles in regulating tumour progression. Concomitantly, with the lack of significant effects on cervical cancer cells proliferation, apoptosis, migration or invasion, these findings suggests that cervical cancer cells shift between compensatory signalling pathways to maintain their behaviour. The observed autocrine effects were limited to cervical cancer cells ability to adhere to an endothelial cell (EC) monolayer. However, by inhibiting PDGFBB on cervical cells, we achieved reduced proliferation of ECs in co-culture settings and cellular aggregation in conditioned media. Because of lack of PDGF receptor expression on ECs, we believe that these effects are a result of indirect PDGFBB paracrine signalling mechanisms. Our results shed some light into the understanding of PDGFBB signalling mechanism in cervical cancer cells, which could be further exploited for the development of synergistic anti-tumour and anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies. PMID:25311137

  19. A Fine-Tuned Fluorinated MOF Addresses the Needs for Trace CO2 Removal and Air Capture Using Physisorption.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Prashant M; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Cadiau, Amandine; Adil, Karim; Shekhah, Osama; Shkurenko, Aleksander; Barbour, Leonard J; Eddaoudi, Mohamed

    2016-07-27

    The development of functional solid-state materials for carbon capture at low carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, namely, from confined spaces (<0.5%) and in particular from air (400 ppm), is of prime importance with respect to energy and environment sustainability. Herein, we report the deliberate construction of a hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework (MOF), NbOFFIVE-1-Ni, with the appropriate pore system (size, shape, and functionality), ideal for the effective and energy-efficient removal of trace carbon dioxide. Markedly, the CO2-selective NbOFFIVE-1-Ni exhibits the highest CO2 gravimetric and volumetric uptake (ca. 1.3 mmol/g and 51.4 cm(3) (STP) cm(-3)) for a physical adsorbent at 400 ppm of CO2 and 298 K. Practically, NbOFFIVE-1-Ni offers the complete CO2 desorption at 328 K under vacuum with an associated moderate energy input of 54 kJ/mol, typical for the full CO2 desorption in conventional physical adsorbents but considerably lower than chemical sorbents. Noticeably, the contracted square-like channels, affording the close proximity of the fluorine centers, permitted the enhancement of the CO2-framework interactions and subsequently the attainment of an unprecedented CO2 selectivity at very low CO2 concentrations. The precise localization of the adsorbed CO2 at the vicinity of the periodically aligned fluorine centers, promoting the selective adsorption of CO2, is evidenced by the single-crystal X-ray diffraction study on NbOFFIVE-1-Ni hosting CO2 molecules. Cyclic CO2/N2 mixed-gas column breakthrough experiments under dry and humid conditions corroborate the excellent CO2 selectivity under practical carbon capture conditions. Pertinently, the notable hydrolytic stability positions NbOFFIVE-1-Ni as the new benchmark adsorbent for direct air capture and CO2 removal from confined spaces. PMID:27388208

  20. Nicotinic modulation of glutamate receptor function at nerve terminal level: a fine-tuning of synaptic signals.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Mario; Grilli, Massimo; Pittaluga, Anna M

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on a specific interaction occurring between the nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) and the glutamatergic receptors (GluRs) at the nerve endings level. We have employed synaptosomes in superfusion and supplemented and integrated our findings with data obtained using techniques from molecular biology and immuno-cytochemistry, and the assessment of receptor trafficking. In particular, we characterize the following: (1) the direct and unequivocal localization of native α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamatergic receptors on specific nerve terminals, (2) their pharmacological characterization and functional co-localization with nAChRs on the same nerve endings, and (3) the existence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions among them. Indeed, in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc), the function of some AMPA and NMDA receptors present on the dopaminergic and glutamatergic nerve terminals can be regulated negatively or positively in response to a brief activation of nAChRs. This effect occurs rapidly and involves the trafficking of AMPA and NMDA receptors. The event takes place also at very low concentrations of nicotine and involves the activation of several nAChRs subtypes. This dynamic control by cholinergic nicotinic system of glutamatergic NMDA and AMPA receptors might therefore represent an important neuronal presynaptic adaptation associated with nicotine administration. The understanding of the role of these nicotine-induced functional changes might open new and interesting perspectives both in terms of explaining the mechanisms that underlie some of the effects of nicotine addiction and in the development of new drugs for smoking cessation. PMID:25972809

  1. Preserved fine-tuning of face perception and memory: evidence from the own-race bias in high- and low-performing older adults

    PubMed Central

    Komes, Jessica; Schweinberger, Stefan R.; Wiese, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Previous research suggests specific deficits in face perception and memory in older adults, which could reflect a dedifferentiation in the context of a general broadening of cognitive architecture with advanced age. Such dedifferentiation could manifest in a less specialized face processing system. A promising tool to investigate the fine-tuning of face processing in older age is the own-race bias (ORB), a phenomenon reflecting more accurate memory for own-relative to other-race faces, which is related to an expertise-based specialization of early perceptual stages. To investigate whether poor face memory in older age is accompanied by reduced expertise-based specialization of face processing, we assessed event-related brain potential correlates of the ORB in high- vs. low-performing older adults (mean age = 69 years; N = 24 per group). Intriguingly, both older groups demonstrated an equivalent pattern of a behavioral ORB, and a parallel increase in N170 for other-race faces, reflecting less efficient early perceptual processing for this face category. Group differences only emerged independent of face ethnicity: whereas low-performers exhibited a right-lateralized N170, high-performers showed a more bilateral response. This finding may suggest a compensatory mechanism counteracting age-related decline in face perception enabling more efficient encoding into memory in high performers. Overall, our results demonstrate that even a less efficient face processing system in older adults can exhibit preserved expertise-related specialization toward own-race faces. PMID:24772080

  2. Capability for Fine Tuning of the Refractive Index Sensing Properties of Long-Period Gratings by Atomic Layer Deposited Al2O3 Overlays

    PubMed Central

    Śmietana, Mateusz; Myśliwiec, Marcin; Mikulic, Predrag; Witkowski, Bartłomiej S.; Bock, Wojtek J.

    2013-01-01

    This work presents an application of thin aluminum oxide (Al2O3) films obtained using atomic layer deposition (ALD) for fine tuning the spectral response and refractive-index (RI) sensitivity of long-period gratings (LPGs) induced in optical fibers. The technique allows for an efficient and well controlled deposition at monolayer level (resolution ∼ 0.12 nm) of excellent quality nano-films as required for optical sensors. The effect of Al2O3 deposition on the spectral properties of the LPGs is demonstrated experimentally and numerically. We correlated both the increase in Al2O3 thickness and changes in optical properties of the film with the shift of the LPG resonance wavelength and proved that similar films are deposited on fibers and oxidized silicon reference samples in the same process run. Since the thin overlay effectively changes the distribution of the cladding modes and thus also tunes the device's RI sensitivity, the tuning can be simply realized by varying number of cycles, which is proportional to thickness of the high-refractive-index (n > 1.6 in infrared spectral range) Al2O3 film. The advantage of this approach is the precision in determining the film properties resulting in RI sensitivity of the LPGs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that an ultra-precise method for overlay deposition has been applied on LPGs for RI tuning purposes and the results have been compared with numerical simulations based on LP mode approximation.

  3. Fine-Tuning of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cell Adhesion During Drosophila Development by the Unconventional Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors Myoblast City and Sponge

    PubMed Central

    Biersmith, Bridget; Wang, Zong-Heng; Geisbrecht, Erika R.

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionarily conserved Dock proteins function as unconventional guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Upon binding to engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) proteins, Dock–ELMO complexes activate the Rho family of small GTPases to mediate a diverse array of biological processes, including cell motility, apoptotic cell clearance, and axon guidance. Overlapping expression patterns and functional redundancy among the 11 vertebrate Dock family members, which are subdivided into four families (Dock A, B, C, and D), complicate genetic analysis. In both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, the actin dynamics regulator, Rac, is the target GTPase of the Dock-A subfamily. However, it remains unclear whether Rac or Rap1 are the in vivo downstream GTPases of the Dock-B subfamily. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent genetic model organism for understanding Dock protein function as its genome encodes one ortholog per subfamily: Myoblast city (Mbc; Dock A) and Sponge (Spg; Dock B). Here we show that the roles of Spg and Mbc are not redundant in the Drosophila somatic muscle or the dorsal vessel. Moreover, we confirm the in vivo role of Mbc upstream of Rac and provide evidence that Spg functions in concert with Rap1, possibly to regulate aspects of cell adhesion. Together these data show that Mbc and Spg can have different downstream GTPase targets. Our findings predict that the ability to regulate downstream GTPases is dependent on cellular context and allows for the fine-tuning of actin cytoskeletal or cell adhesion events in biological processes that undergo cell morphogenesis. PMID:25908317

  4. Fine-tuning of catalytic tin nanoparticles by the reverse micelle method for direct deposition of silicon nanowires by a plasma-enhanced chemical vapour technique.

    PubMed

    Poinern, Gérrard E J; Ng, Yan-Jing; Fawcett, Derek

    2010-12-15

    The reverse micelle method was used for the reduction of a tin (Sn) salt solution to produce metallic Sn nanoparticles ranging from 85 nm to 140 nm in diameter. The reverse micellar system used in this process was hexane-butanol-cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The diameters of the Sn nanoparticles were proportional to the concentration of the aqueous Sn salt solution. Thus, the size of the Sn nanoparticles can easily be controlled, enabling a simple, reproducible mechanism for the growth of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) using plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). Both the Sn nanoparticles and silicon nanowires were characterised using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Further characterisations of the SiNW's were made using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Raman spectroscopy. In addition, dynamic light scattering (DLS) was used to investigate particle size distributions. This procedure demonstrates an economical route for manufacturing reproducible silicon nanowires using fine-tuned Sn nanoparticles for possible solar cell applications. PMID:20887996

  5. The Catalytic and Non-catalytic Functions of the Brahma Chromatin-Remodeling Protein Collaborate to Fine-Tune Circadian Transcription in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Kwok, Rosanna S.; Li, Ying H.; Lei, Anna J.; Edery, Isaac; Chiu, Joanna C.

    2015-01-01

    Daily rhythms in gene expression play a critical role in the progression of circadian clocks, and are under regulation by transcription factor binding, histone modifications, RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) recruitment and elongation, and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Although previous studies have shown that clock-controlled genes exhibit rhythmic chromatin modifications, less is known about the functions performed by chromatin remodelers in animal clockwork. Here we have identified the Brahma (Brm) complex as a regulator of the Drosophila clock. In Drosophila, CLOCK (CLK) is the master transcriptional activator driving cyclical gene expression by participating in an auto-inhibitory feedback loop that involves stimulating the expression of the main negative regulators, period (per) and timeless (tim). BRM functions catalytically to increase nucleosome density at the promoters of per and tim, creating an overall restrictive chromatin landscape to limit transcriptional output during the active phase of cycling gene expression. In addition, the non-catalytic function of BRM regulates the level and binding of CLK to target promoters and maintains transient RNAPII stalling at the per promoter, likely by recruiting repressive and pausing factors. By disentangling its catalytic versus non-catalytic functions at the promoters of CLK target genes, we uncovered a multi-leveled mechanism in which BRM fine-tunes circadian transcription. PMID:26132408

  6. Full phosphorescent white-light organic light-emitting diodes with improved color stability and efficiency by fine tuning primary emission contributions

    SciTech Connect

    Hua, Wang E-mail: wanghua001@tyut.edu.cn; Du, Xiaogang; Su, Wenming E-mail: wanghua001@tyut.edu.cn; Zhang, Dongyu; Lin, Wenjing

    2014-02-15

    In this paper, a novel type of white-light organic light emitting diode (OLED) with high color stability was reported, in which the yellow-light emission layer of (4,4{sup ′}-N,N{sup ′}-dicarbazole)biphenyl (CBP) : tris(2-phenylquinoline-C2,N{sup ′})iridium(III) (Ir(2-phq){sub 3}) was sandwiched by double blue-light emission layers of 1,1-bis-[(di-4-tolylamino)pheny1]cyclohexane (TAPC) : bis[4,6-(di-fluorophenyl)-pyridinato-N,C2{sup ′}]picolinate (FIrpic) and tris[3-(3-pyridyl)mesityl]borane (3TPYMB):FIrpic. And, it exhibited the maximum current efficiency of 33.1 cd/A, the turn-on voltage at about 3 V and the maximum luminance in excess of 20000 cd/m{sup 2}. More important, it realized very stable white-light emission, and its CIE(x, y) coordinates only shift from (0.34, 0.37) to (0.33, 0.37) as applied voltage increased from 5 V to 12 V. It is believed that the new scheme in emission layer of white-light OLED can fine tune the contribution of primary emission with applied voltage changed, resulting in high quality white-light OLED.

  7. Pore radius fine tuning of a silica matrix (MCM-41) based on the synthesis of alumina nanolayers with different thicknesses by atomic layer deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Zemtsova, Elena G. Arbenin, Andrei Yu.; Plotnikov, Alexander F.; Smirnov, Vladimir M.

    2015-03-15

    The authors investigated a new approach to modify the surface of the mesoporous silica matrix MCM-41. This approach is based on manipulating the chemical composition of the porous surface layer and also on fine tuning the pore radius by applying the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. The synthesis of alumina nanolayers was performed on the planar and the porous matrix (MCM-41) by the ALD technique using aluminum tri-sec-butoxide and water as precursors. The authors show that one cycle on silicon, using aluminum tri-sec-butoxide and water as precursors, results in a 1–1.2 Å increase in alumina nanolayer thickness. This is comparable to the increase in thickness per cycle for other precursors such as trimethylaluminum and aluminum chloride. The authors show that the synthesis of an Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} nanolayer on the pore surface of the mesoporous silica matrix MCM-41 by the ALD technique results in a regular change in the porous structure of the samples. The specific porosity (ml/g) of the MCM-41 was 0.95 and that of MCM-41 after 5 ALD cycles was 0.39. The pore diameter (nm) of MCM-41 was 3.3 and that of MCM-41 after 5 ALD cycles was 2.3.

  8. 3′-UTR engineering to improve soluble expression and fine-tuning of activity of cascade enzymes in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Song, Ji-Won; Woo, Ji-Min; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Bornscheuer, Uwe T.; Park, Jin-Byung

    2016-01-01

    3′-Untranslated region (3′UTR) engineering was investigated to improve solubility of heterologous proteins (e.g., Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs)) in Escherichia coli. Insertion of gene fragments containing putative RNase E recognition sites into the 3′UTR of the BVMO genes led to the reduction of mRNA levels in E. coli. Importantly, the amounts of soluble BVMOs were remarkably enhanced resulting in a proportional increase of in vivo catalytic activities. Notably, this increase in biocatalytic activity correlated to the number of putative RNase E endonucleolytic cleavage sites in the 3′UTR. For instance, the biotransformation activity of the BVMO BmoF1 (from Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM50106) in E. coli was linear to the number of RNase E cleavage sites in the 3′UTR. In summary, 3′UTR engineering can be used to improve the soluble expression of heterologous enzymes, thereby fine-tuning the enzyme activity in microbial cells. PMID:27406241

  9. Fine-Tuning of CD8(+) T Cell Mitochondrial Metabolism by the Respiratory Chain Repressor MCJ Dictates Protection to Influenza Virus.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Devin P; Hatle, Ketki M; Fortner, Karen A; D'Alessandro, Angelo; Thornton, Tina M; Yang, Rui; Torralba, Daniel; Tomás-Cortázar, Julen; Jun, Yong Woong; Ahn, Kyo Han; Hansen, Kirk C; Haynes, Laura; Anguita, Juan; Rincon, Mercedes

    2016-06-21

    Mitochondrial respiration is regulated in CD8(+) T cells during the transition from naive to effector and memory cells, but mechanisms controlling this process have not been defined. Here we show that MCJ (methylation-controlled J protein) acted as an endogenous break for mitochondrial respiration in CD8(+) T cells by interfering with the formation of electron transport chain respiratory supercomplexes. Metabolic profiling revealed enhanced mitochondrial metabolism in MCJ-deficient CD8(+) T cells. Increased oxidative phosphorylation and subcellular ATP accumulation caused by MCJ deficiency selectively increased the secretion, but not expression, of interferon-γ. MCJ also adapted effector CD8(+) T cell metabolism during the contraction phase. Consequently, memory CD8(+) T cells lacking MCJ provided superior protection against influenza virus infection. Thus, MCJ offers a mechanism for fine-tuning CD8(+) T cell mitochondrial metabolism as an alternative to modulating mitochondrial mass, an energetically expensive process. MCJ could be a therapeutic target to enhance CD8(+) T cell responses. PMID:27234056

  10. The cell-specific activity of the estrogen receptor α may be fine-tuned by phosphorylation-induced structural gymnastics

    PubMed Central

    Gburcik, Valentina; Picard, Didier

    2006-01-01

    The estrogen receptor α (ERα) regulates the transcription of target genes by recruiting coregulator proteins through several domains including the two activation functions AF1 and AF2. The contribution of the N-terminally located AF1 activity is particularly important in differentiated cells, and for ERα to integrate inputs from other signaling pathways. However, how the phosphorylation of key residues influences AF1 activity has long remained mysterious, in part because the naturally disordered AF1 domain has resisted a structural characterization. The recent discovery of two coregulators that are specific for a phosphorylated form of AF1 suggests that phosphorylation, possibly in conjunction with the subsequent binding of these coregulators, may enforce a stable structure. The binding of the "pioneer" coregulators might facilitate the subsequent recruitment of yet other coregulators. Different AF1 folds may be enabled by the combinatorial action of posttranslational modifications and coregulator binding thereby fine-tuning ERα activities in a cell- and promoter-specific fashion. PMID:16604168

  11. Fine tuning of emission property of white light-emitting diodes by quantum-dot-coating on YAG:Ce nanophosphors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Dal Sung; Kim, Min Jeong; Song, Hee Jo; Cho, In Sun; Jeong, Sohee; Shin, Hyunjung; Lee, Sangwook; Jung, Hyun Suk

    2016-08-01

    We report fine tuning of emission color of Ce-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Y3Al5O12:Ce3+, YAG:Ce) nanophosphor-based white light-emitting diodes (WLED), by coating CdSe/CdS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) onto the surface of the YAG:Ce nanoparticles via surface functionalization of both the QDs and the YAG:Ce. Mixture of bromo-functionalized QDs and amino-functionalized YAG:Ce nanoparticles results in conformal coating of the QDs onto the YAG:Ce nanoparticles (QD@YAG:Ce). By varying the QD to YAG:Ce weight ratios, the luminescence spectra of the QD@YAG:Ce are tuned. A high-quality warm-white-light emission is achieved by appropriate combination of the yellow and red emissions from the QD@YAG:Ce, and the blue emission from InGaN LED chip. However, without surface functionalization, irregular mixtures of YAG:Ce and QDs are formed, which consequently make it hard to control the emission spectra. This study demonstrates a promising way to prepare uniformly QD-coated nanophosphors and an approach to control the emission spectra the nanophosphors.

  12. The histone H2A deubiquitinase USP16 interacts with HERC2 and fine-tunes cellular response to DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Huirong; Wang, Hengbin

    2014-11-21

    Histone ubiquitination at DNA double strand breaks facilitates the recruitment of downstream repair proteins; however, how the ubiquitination is dynamically regulated during repair and terminated after repair is not well understood. Here we report that the histone H2A deubiquitinase USP16 interacts with HERC2, fine-tunes the ubiquitin signal during repair, and importantly, is required for terminating the ubiquitination signal after repair. HERC2 interacts with the coiled-coil domain of USP16 through its C-terminal HECT domain. HERC2 knockdown affects the levels of ubiquitinated H2A through the action of USP16. In response to DNA damage, USP16 levels increase, and this increase is dependent on HERC2. Increased USP16 serves as a negative regulator for DNA damage-induced ubiquitin foci formation and affects downstream factor recruitment and DNA damage response. The functional significance of USP16 is further manifested in human Down syndrome patient cells, which contain three copies of USP16 genes and have altered cellular response to DNA damage. Finally, we demonstrated that USP16 could deubiquitinate both H2A Lys-119 and H2A Lys-15 ubiquitination in vitro. Therefore, this study identifies USP16 as a critical regulator of DNA damage response and H2A Lys-15 ubiquitination as a potential target of USP16. PMID:25305019

  13. Fine-tuning motor torque

    SciTech Connect

    O`Connor, L.

    1996-01-01

    Direct-torque control, a new method of regulating the output of ac induction motors, provides a swift response to input commands. A new variable-speed ac motor drive system that responds to torque input commands 10 times faster than current state-of-the-art drives has been developed by ABB Industrial Systems Inc. in New Berlin, Wis. The new control system, called the ACS 600, provides an alternative to drive systems that use sophisticated flux vector control or more routine pulse width modulation--the primary methods of regulating the output of ac induction motors. The ACS 600 is suitable for use in single motor applications that require a standard level of performance, such as conveyors, fans, and pumps. But it will likely be more valuable in applications that require the linking of multiple motors, such as textile production, and in applications that require tight control over torque, such as cranes, elevators, and centrifuges.

  14. Fine-Tuning Teacher Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Kim

    2012-01-01

    As many states and districts rethink teacher supervision and evaluation, the team at the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has analyzed thousands of lesson videotapes and studied the shortcomings of current practices. The tentative conclusion: Teachers should be evaluated on three…

  15. Fine-tuning Philippine transactions

    SciTech Connect

    Vitale, R.

    1994-11-01

    Expanding the power generation and distribution capability of the Philippines remains a top priority of the Philippine government. It is therefore not surprising that a number of the most significant legislative initiatives approved by the Philippine legislature in the past few years have been designed to encourage these activities in particular. There are several recent, significant statutes that will affect both power and non-power projects undertaken in the Philippines.

  16. Surface charge fine tuning of reversed-phase/weak anion-exchange type mixed-mode stationary phases for milder elution conditions.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Aleksandra; Horak, Jeannie; Sánchez-Muñoz, Orlando L; Lämmerhofer, Michael

    2015-08-28

    A series of new mixed-mode reversed-phase/weak anion-exchange (RP/WAX) phases have been synthesized by immobilization of N-undecenyl-3-α-aminotropane onto thiol-modified silica gel by thiol-ene click chemistry and subsequent introduction of acidic thiol-endcapping functionalities of different type and surface densities. Click chemistry allowed to adjust a controlled surface concentration of the RP/WAX ligand in such a way that a sufficient quantity of residual thiols remained unmodified which have been capped by thiol click with either 3-butenoic acid or allylsulfonic acid as co-ligands. In another embodiment, performic acid oxidation of N-undecenyl-3-α-aminotropane-derivatized thiol-modified silica gave a RP/WAX phase with high density of sulfonic acid end-capping groups. ζ-Potential determinations confirmed the fine-tuned pI of these mixed-mode stationary phases which was shifted from 9.5 to 8.2, 7.8, and 6.5 with 3-butenoic acid and allylsulfonic acid end-capping as well as performic acid oxidation. For acidic solutes, the co-ionic endcapping leads to strongly reduced retention times and clearly allowed elution of these analytes under lower ionic strength thus milder elution conditions. In spite of the acidic endcapping, the new mixed-mode phases maintained their hydrophobic and anion-exchange selectivity as well as their multimodal nature featuring RP and HILIC elution domains at acetonitrile percentages below and above 50%, respectively. Column classification by principal component analysis of an extended retention map in comparison to a set of polar commercial and in-house synthesized stationary phases confirmed complementarity of the new mixed-mode phases with respect to HILIC, polar RP, amino and commercial mixed-mode phases. PMID:26206629

  17. PERK regulated miR-424(322)-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Ananya; Hossain, Muhammad Mosaraf; Read, Danielle E.; Hetz, Claudio; Samali, Afshin; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2015-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) responds to changes in intracellular homeostasis through activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR can facilitate the restoration of cellular homeostasis, via the concerted activation of three ER stress sensors, namely IRE1, PERK and ATF6. Global approaches in several cellular contexts have revealed that UPR regulates the expression of many miRNAs that play an important role in the regulation of life and death decisions during UPR. Here we show that expression of miR-424(322)-503 cluster is downregulated during UPR. IRE1 inhibitor (4 μ8C) and deficiency of XBP1 had no effect on downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 during UPR. Treatment of cells with CCT030312, a selective activator of EIF2AK3/PERK signalling, leads to the downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 expression. The repression of miR-424(322)-503 cluster during conditions of ER stress is compromised in PERK-deficient MEFs. miR-424 regulates the expression of ATF6 via a miR-424 binding site in its 3′ UTR and attenuates the ATF6 transcriptional activity during UPR. Further miR-424 had no effect on IRE1-XBP1 axis but enhanced the regulated IRE1-dependent decay (RIDD). Our results suggest that miR-424 constitutes an obligatory fine-tuning mechanism where PERK-mediated downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 cluster regulates optimal activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during conditions of ER stress. PMID:26674075

  18. Enhancing signal to noise ratio by fine-tuning tapers of cladded/uncladded buffer rods in ultrasonic time domain reflectometry in smelters.

    PubMed

    Viumdal, Håkon; Mylvaganam, Saba

    2014-03-01

    Buffer rods (BR) as waveguides in ultrasonic time domain reflectometry (TDR) can somewhat extend the range of industrial applications of ultrasonics. Level, temperature and flow measurements involving elevated temperatures, corrosive fluids and generally harsh environments are some of the applications in which conventional ultrasonic transducers cannot be used directly in contact with the media. In such cases, BRs with some design modifications can make ultrasonic TDR measurements possible with limited success. This paper deals with TDR in conjunction with distance measurements in extremely hot fluids, using conventional ultrasonic transducers in combination with BRs. When using BRs in the ultrasonic measurement systems in extreme temperatures, problems associated with size and the material of the buffer, have to be addressed. The resonant frequency of the transducer and the relative size of the transducer with respect to the diameter of BR are also important parameters influencing the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the signal processing system used in the ultrasonic TDR. This paper gives an overview of design aspects related to the BRs with special emphasis on tapers and cladding used on BRs. As protective cladding, zirconium oxide-yttrium oxide composite was used, with its proven thermal stability in withstanding temperatures in rocket and jet engines up to 1650 °C. In general a BR should guide the signals through to the medium and from and back to the transducer without excessive attenuation and at the same time not exacerbate the noise in the measurement system. The SNR is the decisive performance indicator to consider in the design of BR based ultrasonic TDR, along with appropriate transducer, with suitable size and operating frequency. This work presents and analyses results from extensive experiments related to fine-tuning both geometry of and signals in cladded/uncladded BRs used in high temperature ultrasonic TDR with focus on overall performance based on

  19. Fine Tuning of CaV1.3 Ca2+ Channel Properties in Adult Inner Hair Cells Positioned in the Most Sensitive Region of the Gerbil Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Zampini, Valeria; Johnson, Stuart L.; Franz, Christoph; Knipper, Marlies; Holley, Matthew C.; Magistretti, Jacopo; Russo, Giancarlo; Marcotti, Walter; Masetto, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Hearing relies on faithful signal transmission by cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) onto auditory fibres over a wide frequency and intensity range. Exocytosis at IHC ribbon synapses is triggered by Ca2+ inflow through CaV1.3 (L-type) Ca2+ channels. We investigated the macroscopic (whole-cell) and elementary (cell-attached) properties of Ca2+ currents in IHCs positioned at the middle turn (frequency ∼2 kHz) of the adult gerbil cochlea, which is their most sensitive hearing region. Using near physiological recordings conditions (body temperature and a Na+ based extracellular solution), we found that the macroscopic Ca2+ current activates and deactivates very rapidly (time constant below 1 ms) and inactivates slowly and only partially. Single-channel recordings showed an elementary conductance of 15 pS, a sub-ms latency to first opening, and a very low steady-state open probability (Po: 0.024 in response to 500-ms depolarizing steps at ∼−18 mV). The value of Po was significantly larger (0.06) in the first 40 ms of membrane depolarization, which corresponds to the time when most Ca2+ channel openings occurred clustered in bursts (mean burst duration: 19 ms). Both the Po and the mean burst duration were smaller than those previously reported in high-frequency basal IHCs. Finally, we found that middle turn IHCs are likely to express about 4 times more Ca2+ channels per ribbon than basal cells. We propose that middle-turn IHCs finely-tune CaV1.3 Ca2+ channel gating in order to provide reliable information upon timing and intensity of lower-frequency sounds. PMID:25409445

  20. Inadequate fine-tuning of protein synthesis and failure of amino acid homeostasis following inhibition of the ATPase VCP/p97

    PubMed Central

    Parzych, K; Chinn, T M; Chen, Z; Loaiza, S; Porsch, F; Valbuena, G N; Kleijnen, M F; Karadimitris, A; Gentleman, E; Keun, H C; Auner, H W

    2015-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms that control protein degradation may constitute a non-oncogenic cancer cell vulnerability and, therefore, a therapeutic target. Although this proposition is supported by the clinical success of proteasome inhibitors in some malignancies, most cancers are resistant to proteasome inhibition. The ATPase valosin-containing protein (VCP; p97) is an essential regulator of protein degradation in multiple pathways and has emerged as a target for cancer therapy. We found that pharmacological depletion of VCP enzymatic activity with mechanistically different inhibitors robustly induced proteotoxic stress in solid cancer and multiple myeloma cells, including cells that were insensitive, adapted, or clinically resistant to proteasome inhibition. VCP inhibition had an impact on two key regulators of protein synthesis, eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), and attenuated global protein synthesis. However, a block on protein translation that was itself cytotoxic alleviated stress signaling and reduced cell death triggered by VCP inhibition. Some of the proteotoxic effects of VCP depletion depended on the eIF2α phosphatase, protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 15A (PPP1R15A)/PP1c, but not on mTORC1, although there appeared to be cross-talk between them. Thus, cancer cell death following VCP inhibition was linked to inadequate fine-tuning of protein synthesis and activity of PPP1R15A/PP1c. VCP inhibitors also perturbed intracellular amino acid levels, activated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α kinase 4 (EIF2AK4), and enhanced cellular dependence on amino acid supplies, consistent with a failure of amino acid homeostasis. Many of the observed effects of VCP inhibition differed from the effects triggered by proteasome inhibition or by protein misfolding. Thus, depletion of VCP enzymatic activity triggers cancer cell death in part through inadequate regulation of protein synthesis and

  1. Functional Characterization of MODY2 Mutations Highlights the Importance of the Fine-Tuning of Glucokinase and Its Role in Glucose Sensing

    PubMed Central

    García-Herrero, Carmen-María; Rubio-Cabezas, Oscar; Azriel, Sharona; Gutierrez-Nogués, Angel; Aragonés, Angel; Vincent, Olivier; Campos-Barros, Angel; Argente, Jesús; Navas, María-Angeles

    2012-01-01

    Glucokinase (GK) acts as a glucose sensor in the pancreatic beta-cell and regulates insulin secretion. Heterozygous mutations in the human GK-encoding GCK gene that reduce the activity index increase the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion threshold and cause familial, mild fasting hyperglycaemia, also known as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young type 2 (MODY2). Here we describe the biochemical characterization of five missense GK mutations: p.Ile130Thr, p.Asp205His, p.Gly223Ser, p.His416Arg and p.Ala449Thr. The enzymatic analysis of the corresponding bacterially expressed GST-GK mutant proteins show that all of them impair the kinetic characteristics of the enzyme. In keeping with their position within the protein, mutations p.Ile130Thr, p.Asp205His, p.Gly223Ser, and p.His416Arg strongly decrease the activity index of GK, affecting to one or more kinetic parameters. In contrast, the p.Ala449Thr mutation, which is located in the allosteric activator site, does not affect significantly the activity index of GK, but dramatically modifies the main kinetic parameters responsible for the function of this enzyme as a glucose sensor. The reduced Kcat of the mutant (3.21±0.28 s−1 vs 47.86±2.78 s−1) is balanced by an increased glucose affinity (S0.5 = 1.33±0.08 mM vs 7.86±0.09 mM) and loss of cooperativity for this substrate. We further studied the mechanism by which this mutation impaired GK kinetics by measuring the differential effects of several competitive inhibitors and one allosteric activator on the mutant protein. Our results suggest that this mutation alters the equilibrium between the conformational states of glucokinase and highlights the importance of the fine-tuning of GK and its role in glucose sensing. PMID:22291974

  2. Codon optimization of xylA gene for recombinant glucose isomerase production in Pichia pastoris and fed-batch feeding strategies to fine-tune bioreactor performance.

    PubMed

    Ata, Özge; Boy, Erdem; Güneş, Hande; Çalık, Pınar

    2015-05-01

    The objectives of this work are the optimization of the codons of xylA gene from Thermus thermophilus to enhance the production of recombinant glucose isomerase (rGI) in P. pastoris and to investigate the effects of feeding strategies on rGI production. Codons of xylA gene from T. thermophilus were optimized, ca. 30 % of the codons were replaced with those with higher frequencies according to the codon usage bias of P. pastoris, codon optimization resulted in a 2.4-fold higher rGI activity. To fine-tune bioreactor performance, fed-batch bioreactor feeding strategies were designed as continuous exponential methanol feeding with pre-calculated feeding rate based on the pre-determined specific growth rate, and fed-batch methanol-stat feeding. Six feeding strategies were designed, as follows: (S1) continuous exponential methanol- and pulse- sorbitol feeding; (S2) continuous exponential methanol- and peptone- feeding; (S3) continuous exponential methanol- and pulse- mannitol feeding; (S4) continuous exponential methanol- and peptone- feeding and pulse-mannitol feeding; (S5) methanol-stat feeding by keeping methanol concentration at 5 g L(-1); and, (S6) methanol-stat feeding by keeping methanol concentration at 5 g L(-1) and pulse-mannitol feeding. The highest cell and rGI activity was attained as 117 g L(-1) at t = 66 h and 32530 U L(-1) at t = 53 h, in strategy-S5. The use of the co-substrate mannitol does not increase the rGI activity in methanol-stat feeding, where 4.1-fold lower rGI activity was obtained in strategy-S6. The overall cell yield on total substrate was determined at t = 53 h as 0.21 g g(-1) in S5 strategy. PMID:25492311

  3. Fine-tuning of age integrating magnetostratigraphy, radiocarbon dating, and carbonate cyclicity: Example of lacustrine sediments from Heqing basin (Yunnan, China) covering the past 1 Myr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Shouyun; Goddu, Srinivasa Rao; Appel, Erwin; Verosub, Ken

    2007-05-01

    convincing Milankovitch spectrum of whole-core carbonate data. The Fourier spectra of whole-core carbonate and susceptibility time series calibrated by the optimum age model show clear Milankovitch cyclicities (95, 41, 23, and 19 kyr) indicating that a global palaeoclimatic signal is recorded. According to this result the Heqing core spans almost the complete past 1 Myr (5-1001 ka). Detailed depth-to-age conversion is listed. The optimum age model can be used as a fine-tuned time basis for interpreting the existing data set of palaeoclimatic proxies which have been already measured for this sequence.

  4. Precise Modulation of the Breathing Behavior and Pore Surface in Zr-MOFs by Reversible Post-Synthetic Variable-Spacer Installation to Fine-Tune the Expansion Magnitude and Sorption Properties.

    PubMed

    Chen, Cheng-Xia; Wei, Zhangwen; Jiang, Ji-Jun; Fan, Yan-Zhong; Zheng, Shao-Ping; Cao, Chen-Chen; Li, Yu-Hao; Fenske, Dieter; Su, Cheng-Yong

    2016-08-16

    To combine flexibility and modifiability towards a more controllable complexity of MOFs, a post-synthetic variable-spacer installation (PVSI) strategy is used to implement kinetic installation/ uninstallation of secondary ligands into/from a robust yet flexible proto-Zr-MOF. This PVSI process features precise positioning of spacers with different length, size, number, and functionality, enabling accurate fixation of successive breathing stages and fine-tuning of pore surface. It shows unprecedented synthetic tailorability to create complicated MOFs in a predictable way for property modification, for example, CO2 and R22 adsorption/separation, thermal/chemical stability, and extended breathing behavior. PMID:27405047

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Recognition: Considerations about the Role of Saliva

    PubMed Central

    Fábián, Tibor Károly; Beck, Anita; Fejérdy, Pál; Hermann, Péter; Fábián, Gábor

    2015-01-01

    The gustatory system plays a critical role in determining food preferences and food intake, in addition to nutritive, energy and electrolyte balance. Fine tuning of the gustatory system is also crucial in this respect. The exact mechanisms that fine tune taste sensitivity are as of yet poorly defined, but it is clear that various effects of saliva on taste recognition are also involved. Specifically those metabolic polypeptides present in the saliva that were classically considered to be gut and appetite hormones (i.e., leptin, ghrelin, insulin, neuropeptide Y, peptide YY) were considered to play a pivotal role. Besides these, data clearly indicate the major role of several other salivary proteins, such as salivary carbonic anhydrase (gustin), proline-rich proteins, cystatins, alpha-amylases, histatins, salivary albumin and mucins. Other proteins like glucagon-like peptide-1, salivary immunoglobulin-A, zinc-α-2-glycoprotein, salivary lactoperoxidase, salivary prolactin-inducible protein and salivary molecular chaperone HSP70/HSPAs were also expected to play an important role. Furthermore, factors including salivary flow rate, buffer capacity and ionic composition of saliva should also be considered. In this paper, the current state of research related to the above and the overall emerging field of taste-related salivary research alongside basic principles of taste perception is reviewed. PMID:25782158

  6. Potential energy hypersurface and molecular flexibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koča, Jaroslav

    1993-02-01

    The molecular flexibility phenomenon is discussed from the conformational potential energy(hyper) surface (PES) point of view. Flexibility is considered as a product of three terms: thermodynamic, kinetic and geometrical. Several expressions characterizing absolute and relative molecular flexibility are introduced, depending on a subspace studied of the entire conformational space, energy level E of PES as well as absolute temperature. Results obtained by programs DAISY, CICADA and PANIC in conjunction with molecular mechanics program MMX for flexibility analysis of isopentane, 2,2-dimethylpentane and isohexane molecules are introduced.

  7. Fine tuning of the PCDTBT-OR:PC71BM blend nanoscale phase separation via selective solvent annealing toward high-performance polymer photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Bin; Fang, Gang; Fu, Yingying; Xie, Zhiyuan; Wang, Lixiang

    2013-12-01

    Solution-processable polymer solar cells show great promise for providing a cost-effective route to create lightweight and flexible solar energy conversion devices. The photoactive layer comprising the conjugated polymer donor and fullerene derivative acceptor must be optimized to form bicontinuous nanoscale phase separation in order for efficient exciton dissociation and charge collection due to the short exciton diffusion length of organic semiconductors. The donor polymer poly[9-(heptadecan-9-yl)-9H-carbazole- 2,7-diyl-alt-(5,6-bis(hexyloxy)-4,7-di(thiophen-2- yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole)-5,5-diyl] (PCDTBT-OR) has a deeper highest occupied molecular orbital level compared to its counterpart PCDTBT, and shows promise in increasing the open-circuit voltage and power conversion efficiency (PCE) of polymer solar cells. The phase separation evolution of the PCDTBT-OR:PC71BM blend with various weight ratios under tetrahydrofuran (THF) vapor annealing and its influence on the photovoltaic performance is investigated in detail. It is found that THF vapor annealing can promote the acceptor PC71BM aggregation from the donor PCDTBT-OR matrix to form nanoscale donor/acceptor phase separation for efficient exciton dissociation and charge collection depending on the donor/acceptor weight ratio and the annealing time. The THF vapor-annealed PCDTBT-OR:PC71BM solar cells exhibit remarkable enhancement, with a PCE of 7.01% compared to 3.25% of the as-cast solar cells with the same active layer thickness. This work provides a general methodology to construct nano-interpenetrating networks for homogeneous polymer/fullerene blends and is potentially applicable to the roll-to-roll manufacturing of polymer solar cells.

  8. Metal-organic Frameworks as A Tunable Platform for Designing Functional Molecular Materials

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Cheng; Liu, Demin

    2013-01-01

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), also known as coordination polymers, represent an interesting class of crystalline molecular materials that are synthesized by combining metal-connecting points and bridging ligands. The modular nature of and mild conditions for MOF synthesis have permitted the rational structural design of numerous MOFs and the incorporation of various functionalities via constituent building blocks. The resulting designer MOFs have shown promise for applications in a number of areas, including gas storage/separation, nonlinear optics/ferroelectricity, catalysis, energy conversion/storage, chemical sensing, biomedical imaging, and drug delivery. The structure-property relationships of MOFs can also be readily established by taking advantage of the knowledge of their detailed atomic structures, which enables fine-tuning of their functionalities for desired applications. Through the combination of molecular synthesis and crystal engineering MOFs thus present an unprecedented opportunity for the rational and precise design of functional materials. PMID:23944646

  9. Fine-Tuning of Electronic Structure of Cobalt(II) Ion in Nonplanar Porphyrins and Tracking of a Cross-Hybrid Stage: Implications for the Distortion of Natural Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qiuhua; Zhang, Xi; Zeng, Wennan; Wang, Jianxiu; Zhou, Zaichun

    2015-11-01

    The core size of the porphyrin macrocycles was closely related to their stability of the different electron structure in the central metal ion. Cobalt(II) ions can undergo a conversion in electron configurations upon N4 core contraction of 0.05 Å in nonplanar porphyrins, and these ions still maintain low spin forms after and before conversion. The structural fine-tuning can induce the appearance of a cross-hybrid stage [d(x(2)-y(2))sp(2) ↔ d(z(2))sp(2)] based on quadrilateral coordination of the planar core. The results indicate that the configuration conversion plays a key role in electron transfer in redox catalysis involving cobalt complexes. The electronic properties of six monostrapped cobalt(II) porphyrins were investigated by spectral, paramagnetic, and electrochemical methods. The macrocyclic deformations and size parameters of Co-containing model compounds were directly obtained from their crystal structures. PMID:26461496

  10. Molecular energies from an incremental fragmentation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meitei, Oinam Romesh; Heßelmann, Andreas

    2016-02-01

    The systematic molecular fragmentation method by Collins and Deev [J. Chem. Phys. 125, 104104 (2006)] has been used to calculate total energies and relative conformational energies for a number of small and extended molecular systems. In contrast to the original approach by Collins, we have tested the accuracy of the fragmentation method by utilising an incremental scheme in which the energies at the lowest level of the fragmentation are calculated on an accurate quantum chemistry level while lower-cost methods are used to correct the low-level energies through a high-level fragmentation. In this work, the fragment energies at the lowest level of fragmentation were calculated using the random-phase approximation (RPA) and two recently developed extensions to the RPA while the incremental corrections at higher levels of the fragmentation were calculated using standard density functional theory (DFT) methods. The complete incremental fragmentation method has been shown to reproduce the supermolecule results with a very good accuracy, almost independent on the molecular type, size, or type of decomposition. The fragmentation method has also been used in conjunction with the DFT-SAPT (symmetry-adapted perturbation theory) method which enables a breakdown of the total nonbonding energy contributions into individual interaction energy terms. Finally, the potential problems of the method connected with the use of capping hydrogen atoms are analysed and two possible solutions are supplied.

  11. Development of Molecular Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage

    SciTech Connect

    DuBois, Daniel L.

    2014-02-20

    Molecular electrocatalysts can play an important role in energy storage and utilization reactions needed for intermittent renewable energy sources. This manuscript describes three general themes that our laboratories have found useful in the development of molecular electrocatalysts for reduction of CO2 to CO and for H2 oxidation and production. The first theme involves a conceptual partitioning of catalysts into first, second, and outer coordination spheres. This is illustrated with the design of electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction to CO using first and second coordination spheres and for H2 production catalysts using all three coordination spheres. The second theme focuses on the development of thermodynamic models that can be used to design catalysts to avoid high energy and low energy intermediates. In this research, new approaches to the measurement of thermodynamic hydride donor and acceptor abilities of transition metal complexes were developed. Combining this information with other thermodynamic information such as pKa values and redox potentials led to more complete thermodynamic descriptions of transition metal hydride, dihydride, and related species. Relationships extracted from this information were then used to develop models that are powerful tools for predicting and understanding the relative free energies of intermediates in catalytic reactions. The third theme is the control of proton movement during electrochemical fuel generation and utilization reactions. This research involves the incorporation of pendant amines in the second coordination sphere that can facilitate H-H bond heterolysis and heteroformation, intramolecular and intermolecular proton transfer steps, and the coupling of proton and electron transfer steps. Studies also indicate an important role for outer coordination sphere in the delivery of protons to the second coordination sphere. Understanding these proton transfer reactions and their

  12. Fine tuning of emission color of iridium(III) complexes from yellow to red via substituent effect on 2-phenylbenzothiazole ligands: synthesis, photophysical, electrochemical and DFT study.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Zeng, Hui; Meng, Yanyan; Sun, Huiqin; Liu, Song; Lu, Zhiyun; Huang, Yan; Pu, Xuemei

    2011-07-21

    Four novel iridium(III) complexes bearing biphenyl (7a-7c) or fluorenyl (7d) modified benzothiazole cyclometallate ligands are synthesized. In comparison with the yellow parent complex, bis(2-phenylbenzothiozolato-N,C(2')) iridium(III) (acetylacetonate) [(pbt)(2)Ir(acac)] (λ(PLmax) = 557 nm, φ(PL) = 0.26), 7a-7d show 20-43 nm bathochromic shifted orange or red phosphorescence in solution, with maximum photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield of 0.62, and PL lifetime of 1.8-2.0 μs. Meanwhile, the resulting complexes also exhibit intense orange or red phosphorescence of λ(PLmax) = 588-611 nm in solid films. The complex 7c with two tert-butyl substituents possesses the highest phosphorescent efficiency both in dilute solution and thin solid films, therefore may be a prospective candidate for both doping and host emitting electrophosphorescent material. Furthermore, despite the observation of severe oxygen quenching for 7a-7d in solution, 7a and 7c even show efficient emission intensity quenching by oxygen in their solid state due to the existence of void channels in crystals; consequently, they are promising molecular oxygen sensor reagents. Electrochemical measurement and DFT calculation results suggest that all these chelates own declined LUMOs of 0.1 eV relative to that of (pbt)(2)Ir(acac) owing to the contribution of the phenyl substituents; whereas only 7d shows a more destabilized HOMO (∼0.1 eV) compared with the parent chelate. PMID:21666891

  13. Energy pooling upconversion in organic molecular systems.

    PubMed

    LaCount, Michael D; Weingarten, Daniel; Hu, Nan; Shaheen, Sean E; van de Lagemaat, Jao; Rumbles, Garry; Walba, David M; Lusk, Mark T

    2015-04-30

    A combination of molecular quantum electrodynamics, perturbation theory, and ab initio calculations was used to create a computational methodology capable of estimating the rate of three-body singlet upconversion in organic molecular assemblies. The approach was applied to quantify the conditions under which such relaxation rates, known as energy pooling, become meaningful for two test systems, stilbene-fluorescein and hexabenzocoronene-oligothiophene. Both exhibit low intramolecular conversion, but intermolecular configurations exist in which pooling efficiency is at least 90% when placed in competition with more conventional relaxation pathways. For stilbene-fluorescein, the results are consistent with data generated in an earlier experimental investigation. Exercising these model systems facilitated the development of a set of design rules for the optimization of energy pooling. PMID:25793313

  14. Fine-Tuning of Photoautotrophic Protein Production by Combining Promoters and Neutral Sites in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803.

    PubMed

    Ng, Andrew H; Berla, Bertram M; Pakrasi, Himadri B

    2015-10-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic cell factories that use solar energy to convert CO2 into useful products. Despite this attractive feature, the development of tools for engineering cyanobacterial chassis has lagged behind that for heterotrophs such as Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterologous genes in cyanobacteria are often integrated at presumptively "neutral" chromosomal sites, with unknown effects. We used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 to identify neutral sites from which no transcripts are expressed. We characterized the two largest such sites on the chromosome, a site on an endogenous plasmid, and a shuttle vector by integrating an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) expression cassette expressed from either the Pcpc560 or the Ptrc1O promoter into each locus. Expression from the endogenous plasmid was as much as 14-fold higher than that from the chromosome, with intermediate expression from the shuttle vector. The expression characteristics of each locus correlated predictably with the promoters used. These findings provide novel, characterized tools for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria. PMID:26209663

  15. Fine-Tuning of Photoautotrophic Protein Production by Combining Promoters and Neutral Sites in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Andrew H.; Berla, Bertram M.

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic cell factories that use solar energy to convert CO2 into useful products. Despite this attractive feature, the development of tools for engineering cyanobacterial chassis has lagged behind that for heterotrophs such as Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterologous genes in cyanobacteria are often integrated at presumptively “neutral” chromosomal sites, with unknown effects. We used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 to identify neutral sites from which no transcripts are expressed. We characterized the two largest such sites on the chromosome, a site on an endogenous plasmid, and a shuttle vector by integrating an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) expression cassette expressed from either the Pcpc560 or the Ptrc1O promoter into each locus. Expression from the endogenous plasmid was as much as 14-fold higher than that from the chromosome, with intermediate expression from the shuttle vector. The expression characteristics of each locus correlated predictably with the promoters used. These findings provide novel, characterized tools for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria. PMID:26209663

  16. Optimised dipper fine tunes shovel performance

    SciTech Connect

    Fiscor, S.

    2005-06-01

    Joint efforts between mine operators, OEMs, and researchers yields unexpected benefits from dippers for shovels for coal, oil, or hardrock mining that can now be tailored to meet site-specific conditions. The article outlines a process being developed by CRCMining and P & H MIning Equipment to optimise the dipper that involves rapid prototyping and scale modelling of the dipper and the mine conditions. Scale models have been successfully field tested. 2 photos.

  17. Resistive Fine Tuning of Resonant Circuit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclyman, C. W.

    1985-01-01

    Simple fixed-inductance/fixed-capacitance tank circuit modified for fine adjustment of resonant frequency by addition of small inductance with potentiometer across it. Additional winding built into full winding as integral part or added externally. Technique provides quick way of tuning reactance out of power-transformer circuit to maximize power transfer or to adjust frequency of oscillator. Applications include rotary transformers, servo amplifiers, and analog computer modules.

  18. Fine-Tuning Your Ensemble's Jazz Style.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Antonio J.

    1991-01-01

    Proposes instructional strategies for directors of jazz groups, including guidelines for developing of skills necessary for good performance. Includes effective methods for positive changes in ensemble style. Addresses jazz group problems such as beat, tempo, staying in tune, wind power, and solo/ensemble lines. Discusses percussionists, bassists,…

  19. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella

    PubMed Central

    Fris, Megan E.; Murphy, Erin R.

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens. PMID:26858941

  20. Molecular Multipole Potential Energy Functions for Water.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ming-Liang; Tran, Kelly N; Pickard, Frank C; Simmonett, Andrew C; Brooks, Bernard R; Ichiye, Toshiko

    2016-03-01

    Water is the most common liquid on this planet, with many unique properties that make it essential for life as we know it. These properties must arise from features in the charge distribution of a water molecule, so it is essential to capture these features in potential energy functions for water to reproduce its liquid state properties in computer simulations. Recently, models that utilize a multipole expansion located on a single site in the water molecule, or "molecular multipole models", have been shown to rival and even surpass site models with up to five sites in reproducing both the electrostatic potential around a molecule and a variety of liquid state properties in simulations. However, despite decades of work using multipoles, confusion still remains about how to truncate the multipole expansions efficiently and accurately. This is particularly important when using molecular multipole expansions to describe water molecules in the liquid state, where the short-range interactions must be accurate, because the higher order multipoles of a water molecule are large. Here, truncation schemes designed for a recent efficient algorithm for multipoles in molecular dynamics simulations are assessed for how well they reproduce results for a simple three-site model of water when the multipole moments and Lennard-Jones parameters of that model are used. In addition, the multipole analysis indicates that site models that do not account for out-of-plane electron density overestimate the stability of a non-hydrogen-bonded conformation, leading to serious consequences for the simulated liquid. PMID:26562223

  1. Transcriptomics of the Interaction between the Monopartite Phloem-Limited Geminivirus Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Sardinia Virus and Solanum lycopersicum Highlights a Role for Plant Hormones, Autophagy and Plant Immune System Fine Tuning during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Miozzi, Laura; Napoli, Chiara; Sardo, Luca; Accotto, Gian Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV), a DNA virus belonging to the genus Begomovirus, causes severe losses in tomato crops. It infects only a limited number of cells in the vascular tissues, making difficult to detect changes in host gene expression linked to its presence. Here we present the first microarray study of transcriptional changes induced by the phloem-limited geminivirus TYLCSV infecting tomato, its natural host. The analysis was performed on the midrib of mature leaves, a material naturally enriched in vascular tissues. A total of 2206 genes were up-regulated and 1398 were down-regulated in infected plants, with an overrepresentation of genes involved in hormone metabolism and responses, nucleic acid metabolism, regulation of transcription, ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and autophagy among those up-regulated, and in primary and secondary metabolism, phosphorylation, transcription and methylation-dependent chromatin silencing among those down-regulated. Our analysis showed a series of responses, such as the induction of GA- and ABA-responsive genes, the activation of the autophagic process and the fine tuning of the plant immune system, observed only in TYLCSV-tomato compatible interaction so far. On the other hand, comparisons with transcriptional changes observed in other geminivirus-plant interactions highlighted common host responses consisting in the deregulation of biotic stress responsive genes, key enzymes in the ethylene biosynthesis and methylation cycle, components of the ubiquitin proteasome system and DNA polymerases II. The involvement of conserved miRNAs and of solanaceous- and tomato-specific miRNAs in geminivirus infection, investigated by integrating differential gene expression data with miRNA targeting data, is discussed. PMID:24587146

  2. Scalable Quantum Simulation of Molecular Energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Malley, P. J. J.; Babbush, R.; Kivlichan, I. D.; Romero, J.; McClean, J. R.; Barends, R.; Kelly, J.; Roushan, P.; Tranter, A.; Ding, N.; Campbell, B.; Chen, Y.; Chen, Z.; Chiaro, B.; Dunsworth, A.; Fowler, A. G.; Jeffrey, E.; Lucero, E.; Megrant, A.; Mutus, J. Y.; Neeley, M.; Neill, C.; Quintana, C.; Sank, D.; Vainsencher, A.; Wenner, J.; White, T. C.; Coveney, P. V.; Love, P. J.; Neven, H.; Aspuru-Guzik, A.; Martinis, J. M.

    2016-07-01

    We report the first electronic structure calculation performed on a quantum computer without exponentially costly precompilation. We use a programmable array of superconducting qubits to compute the energy surface of molecular hydrogen using two distinct quantum algorithms. First, we experimentally execute the unitary coupled cluster method using the variational quantum eigensolver. Our efficient implementation predicts the correct dissociation energy to within chemical accuracy of the numerically exact result. Second, we experimentally demonstrate the canonical quantum algorithm for chemistry, which consists of Trotterization and quantum phase estimation. We compare the experimental performance of these approaches to show clear evidence that the variational quantum eigensolver is robust to certain errors. This error tolerance inspires hope that variational quantum simulations of classically intractable molecules may be viable in the near future.

  3. Molecular-level assemblies on metal oxide surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Schoonover, J.R.; Bignozzi, C.; Meyer, T.

    1996-07-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The objective of this project was to explore molecular-level assemblies based on polypyridyl transition metal complexes attached to metal oxide surfaces to provide the basis for applications such as energy conversion and electricity generation, photoremediation of hazardous waste, chemical sensors, and optical storage and photorefractive devices for communications and optical computing. We have elucidated the fundamental factors that determine the photochemistry and photophysics of a series of these photoactive inorganic complexes in solution and on metal oxide substrates by exploiting our unique transient laser capabilities. This data is being utilized to design and fabricate molecular-level photonic devices. The rich chemistry of transition metal polypyridyl complexes can be utilized to prepare molecular assemblies having well-defined redox or excited-state properties that can be finely tuned to produce desired materials properties. We plan to explore other novel applications such as photorefractive switches and optical sensors using this molecular engineering approach.

  4. mTOR is a fine tuning molecule in CDK inhibitors-induced distinct cell death mechanisms via PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling axis in prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Berrak, Ozge; Arisan, Elif Damla; Obakan-Yerlikaya, Pinar; Coker-Gürkan, Ajda; Palavan-Unsal, Narçin

    2016-10-01

    alone, in part, by targeting the mTOR signaling cascade in AR (+) LNCaP cells. In this point, mTOR is a fine-tuning player in purvalanol and roscovitine-induced apoptosis and autophagy via regulation of PI3K/AKT and the downstream targets, which related with cell proliferation. PMID:27484210

  5. Orbital Energy Levels in Molecular Hydrogen. A Simple Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willis, Christopher J.

    1988-01-01

    Described are the energetics involved in the formation of molecular hydrogen using concepts that should be familiar to students beginning the study of molecular orbital theory. Emphasized are experimental data on ionization energies. Included are two-electron atomic and molecular systems. (CW)

  6. Engineering Molecular Transformations for Sustainable Energy Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Neurock, Matthew

    2010-12-03

    Future strategies for sustainable energy production will undoubtedly require processes and materials that can efficiently convert renewable resources into fuels. Nature’s enzymes can exquisitely integrate highly active catalytic centers within flexible environments that can adaptively guide reactants to products with very high activities and selectivities. They are limited, however, by their stability and ability to integrate into large scale production processes. The design of more robust heterogeneous catalytic materials that mimic the performance of enzymes, however, has been hindered by our limited understanding of how such transformations proceed. The tremendous advances in ab initio quantum mechanical methods, atomistic simulations, and high performance computing that have occurred over the past two decades, however, provide unprecedented ability to track molecular transformations and how they proceed at specific sites and within particular environments. This information together with the advances in in situ spectroscopic methods that follow such transformations can begin to enable the design of atomic surface ensembles and nanoscale reaction environments. This paper provides the author’s perspective on how theory and simulation can be used to move from current onedimensional design efforts based on catalytic descriptors to the design of two-dimensional surfaces, threedimensional reaction environments, and proton-coupled electron transfer systems that mimic enzymes in the transformation of molecules.

  7. Low Molecular Weight Norbornadiene Derivatives for Molecular Solar-Thermal Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Quant, Maria; Lennartson, Anders; Dreos, Ambra; Kuisma, Mikael; Erhart, Paul; Börjesson, Karl; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2016-09-01

    Molecular solar-thermal energy storage systems are based on molecular switches that reversibly convert solar energy into chemical energy. Herein, we report the synthesis, characterization, and computational evaluation of a series of low molecular weight (193-260 g mol(-1) ) norbornadiene-quadricyclane systems. The molecules feature cyano acceptor and ethynyl-substituted aromatic donor groups, leading to a good match with solar irradiation, quantitative photo-thermal conversion between the norbornadiene and quadricyclane, as well as high energy storage densities (396-629 kJ kg(-1) ). The spectroscopic properties and energy storage capability have been further evaluated through density functional theory calculations, which indicate that the ethynyl moiety plays a critical role in obtaining the high oscillator strengths seen for these molecules. PMID:27492997

  8. Accurate prediction of lattice energies and structures of molecular crystals with molecular quantum chemistry methods.

    PubMed

    Fang, Tao; Li, Wei; Gu, Fangwei; Li, Shuhua

    2015-01-13

    We extend the generalized energy-based fragmentation (GEBF) approach to molecular crystals under periodic boundary conditions (PBC), and we demonstrate the performance of the method for a variety of molecular crystals. With this approach, the lattice energy of a molecular crystal can be obtained from the energies of a series of embedded subsystems, which can be computed with existing advanced molecular quantum chemistry methods. The use of the field compensation method allows the method to take long-range electrostatic interaction of the infinite crystal environment into account and make the method almost translationally invariant. The computational cost of the present method scales linearly with the number of molecules in the unit cell. Illustrative applications demonstrate that the PBC-GEBF method with explicitly correlated quantum chemistry methods is capable of providing accurate descriptions on the lattice energies and structures for various types of molecular crystals. In addition, this approach can be employed to quantify the contributions of various intermolecular interactions to the theoretical lattice energy. Such qualitative understanding is very useful for rational design of molecular crystals. PMID:26574207

  9. Localization of energy on the molecular scale

    SciTech Connect

    Lindenberg, K.; Brown, D.W.

    1997-12-31

    We discuss the spontaneous localization of vibrational energy in translationally invariant anharmonic chains at finite temperatures. In addition to the familiar energy-driven coherent mechanisms, which are rapidly degraded by thermal fluctuations, we identify the entropy-driven phenomenon we call {open_quotes}stochastic localization{close_quotes}, within which we include a number of characteristics of soft anharmonic oscillators in thermal equilibrium. Principal among these are a tendency for soft oscillators to spend more time at higher energies than comparable harmonic oscillators, and for high-energy fluctuations in soft oscillators to persist for longer times than lower-energy fluctuations, leading to a tendency for energy fluctuations to be organized into {open_quotes}bursts{close_quotes} separated by intervals of relative quiet. We illustrate the effects of stochastic localization on a bistable impurity embedded in a chain of soft oscillators by comparing it to an impurity embedded in a harmonic chain. Effects on transition rates at a given system energy can be quite dramatic.

  10. Free energy calculations for molecular solids using GROMACS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aragones, J. L.; Noya, E. G.; Valeriani, C.; Vega, C.

    2013-07-01

    In this work, we describe a procedure to evaluate the free energy of molecular solids with the GROMACS molecular dynamics package. The free energy is calculated using the Einstein molecule method that can be regarded as a small modification of the Einstein crystal method. Here, the position and orientation of the molecules is fixed by using an Einstein field that binds with harmonic springs at least three non-collinear atoms (or points of the molecule) to their reference positions. The validity of the Einstein field is tested by performing free-energy calculations of methanol, water (ice), and patchy colloids molecular solids. The free energies calculated with GROMACS show a very good agreement with those obtained using Monte Carlo and with previously published results.